Premier League stock exchange: Liverpool close the gap on Man City after value jump

Alex Rea 18/09/2018
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Gameweek 5 is over and only two teams remain perfect with leaders Chelsea and Liverpool securing 15 points from a possible 15.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men are arguably the biggest winners from the round of fixtures following their 2-1 win away to rivals Tottenham, however, their Merseyside neighbours Everton received a huge hit after a dire defeat to West Ham.

Keeping tabs on all 20 Premier League teams is the Sport360 Stock Exchange (360SE), our season-long measurement for top flight sides as we track each club throughout the campaign and take into account their results to assign positions.

We initially used reputation and squad worth to determine the starting price but from Gameweek 2 onward, we’ve examine their output to create a new value.

The total points gained for the season are used as a tiebreaker but sides which have produced big wins against strong opposition get a big boost and vice versa.

Without further ado, here’s the rankings after GW5.

1. Manchester City: 523 / 528 / +5

Total for 2018/19: +28

City were fantastic and Bernardo Silva was majestic as the defending champions swatted aside Fulham with ease. Still, it’s hard to please boss Pep Guardiola as he said post-match: “I am upset with my players and they know that.” The Catalan cited sloppiness as reason for his disdain, but when you were practically perfect last season, nothing but excellence will satisfy.

2. Liverpool: 500 / 515 / +15

Total for 2018/19: +40

There’s a trend emerging with Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s side are picking up maximum points without having to exert maximal force. They really should have been four clear of Tottenham and were guilty of profligacy in front of goal. But given the embarrassment they suffered in this fixture last term, this was an outstanding result to hit 15 points from 15.

3. Chelsea: 456 / 461 / +5

Total for 2018/19: +31

Kevin De Bruyne’s injury has opened up a gap in the Premier League and Eden Hazard is exposing it with the same ruthless streak he showed against Cardiff. The Belgian is bouncing and his hat-trick against the newcomers reinforced his claim as English football’s finest player right now. He is, though, papering over defensive deficiencies and while Maurizio Sarri has guided Chelsea to a perfect start, problems remain.

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard

4. Manchester United: 440 / 445 / +5

Total for 2018/19: -15

Not exactly pretty in pink but Jose Mourinho is showing signs of a turnaround following a crucial win at high-flying Watford. The first-half was a fine performance but then they returned to type after the interval and sat back which made for a nervous conclusion. David de Gea’s last-minute save equated to the goals from Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling. Yet, two straight away wins is nothing to sniff at.

5. Arsenal: 428 / 433 / +5

Total for 2018/19: +3

Two moments of genuine quality emerged from a scrappy affair as Granit Xhaka’s thunderbolt and Mesut Ozil’s landmark goal from patient build-up sealed a 2-1 win over Newcastle. The hosts were the better side in the first half until Unai Emery introduced summer-signing Lucas Torreira. The Uruguayan bossed the midfield and his forward-thinking mentality kept Arsenal’s play moving in the attacking third, helping to earn the three points.

6. Tottenham Hotspur: 438 / 430 / -8

Total for 2018/19: +10

Architects of their own downfall against Liverpool, the 2-1 scoreline flattered them because for large periods of the clash the hosts were second best after a performance riddled with poor errors. It felt like a crossroads clash given the summer business of the two clubs and Spurs are standing still at the moment.

7. Everton: 373 / 358 / -15

Total for 2018/19: -12

Apathy is an emotion which can quickly swell at Goodison Park and the 3-1 loss to a West Ham side which has begun the season in terrible form, will only balloon that feeling. It may have been Everton’s first defeat under Marco Silva but the manner of it for a team with such lofty ambitions is a huge bump in the road. It’s been a mediocre start for the Blues and Silva must organise his backline to bring about improvement.

Marco Silva

Marco Silva

8. Leicester City: 358 / 343 / -15

Total for 2018/19: -7

Claude Puel’s side were 4-0 down with two minutes of normal time remaining, 3-0 down before Wes Morgan’s dismissal, so when you look at the whole picture, it’s an ugly one. Two late goals do little to paint away the stains of their entire performance. The Foxes are incredibly vulnerable at the back and this won’t be the last time they struggle on the road. Perhaps their initial stock value was a little high?

9. West Ham: 323 / 330 / +7

Total for 2018/19: -30

Andriy Yarmolenko and Marko Arnautovic sprinkled a dose of quality on an error-strewn Everton to help Manuel Pellegrini secure his first league win as Hammers boss. They punished the home side and their catalogue of mistakes to show squad morale is still intact despite four straight defeats.

10. Wolves: 313 / 320 / +7

Total for 2018/19: +20

From the trio of new clubs in the Premier League, Wolves have shown they are the most capable of not just adapting to the English top flight, but thriving as well. Striker Raul Jimenez has been impressive among a team brimming with quality additions thanks to the phonebook of super agent Jorge Mendes. The Mexican’s sole goal was enough, but considering Wolves managed 30 shots to Burnley’s seven, boss Nuno Espirito Santo would rightly be frustrated it wasn’t more.

11. Bournemouth: 290 / 310 / +20

Total for 2018/19: +40

A dreadful dive aside, Ryan Fraser is proving to be one of the standout stars of the season so far. Instrumental in dismantling Leicester, he scored twice – it’s three league goals this term, already two behind his total for 2017/18 – and assisted another. The sparkling winger hallmarked Bournemouth’s decisive counter-attacking display and the away side’s two late goals were mere consolations, a product of their own hubris.

Ryan Fraser

Ryan Fraser

12. Watford: 290 / 292 / +2

Total for 2018/19: +42

Were it not for the goalkeeping wizardry of De Gea, the Hornets would still be unbeaten. Javi Gracia was undone by a very Mourinho performance of scrap and fight but the defeat does not take away from a magnificent start to the season. Watford do need to begin games with the same intensity they finish them, however, there’s no way they’re missing out on an increase after pushing United so close.

13. Crystal Palace: 290 / 292 / +2

Total for 2018/19: +2

In a meeting of two teams sunk by crippling losing streaks, Palace ran off with the points and positive momentum against Huddersfield thanks to an outstanding piece of quality from Wilfried Zaha. The silky 25-year-old winger snapped his side’s run of three straight losses by slicing through the hosts and lashing home from an acute angle just before half time. Palace were outplayed, Zaha was the difference.

14. Fulham: 295 / 292 / -3

Total for 2018/19: +2

We were duped by Fulham’s summer dealings into believing their initial stock value was far higher than the reality. How much you can really expect of the newboys away at the omnipotent defending champions is up for debate. Regardless, they offered absolutely nothing in a 3-0 thumping. It genuinely should have been a bigger scoreline, so despite the predictable result, Fulham lose points for their lack of fight and endeavour.

15. Newcastle United: 285 / 285 / 0

Total for 2018/19: -5

The table is looking decidedly grim for Rafa Benitez’s men, even at this early stage. They edged the first half against Arsenal, came on strong in the latter period but the time in between saw them undone by the type of quality Newcastle fans dream of. Can’t fault the attitude but that alone won’t be enough to see the Magpies survive this season.

16. Southampton: 270 / 272 / +2

Total for 2018/19: +2

The Saints were two goals to good with just a third of the game left but immediately after Danny Ings converted from the spot, Shane Duffy sent nerves racing before Glenn Murray coolly converted from a penalty of his own to snatch a point. According to the Guardian, Southampton have now dropped 26 points from winning positions in the league since the start of last season. Game management will serve them well to turn that fortune around.

17. Brighton: 265 / 268 / +3

Total for 2018/19: +18

Away from home and staring defeat in the face, Brighton launched a stirring comeback even before Ings’ penalty. They threw men forward with renewed urgency and sensed a wilt in Southampton late on to grab a point.

18. Burnley: 273 / 268 / -5

Total for 2018/19: -22

A miserable run which stretches back to last season continued as Burnley’s record in their last 26 Premier League games shows just five wins. They were utterly outclassed by Wolves and they really should have been been beaten by far more than the 1-0 scoreline. Goalkeeper Joe Hart is about the only player who came out of the defeat with any credit after his instinctive saves kept the score down.

Joe Hart

Joe Hart

19. Huddersfield Town: 218 / 216 / -2

Total for 2018/19: -4

Huddersfield are without a win in their last five league matches and this was a big opportunity spurned. They dominated possession, created double the chances compared to their season average and yet still ended up on the losing side with their acute lack of ruthlessness in front of goal sinking their value further.

20. Cardiff City: 201 / 202 / +1

Total for 2018/19: +2

Taken within the context of their opponent and the performance in parts, Cardiff nab themselves a point despite the 4-1 scoreline at Chelsea. Ultimately, they ran into a Hazard storm but the visitors started brightly and deserved their opener through Sol Bamba. Encouraging signs but they remain rock bottom for a reason.

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Derby boss Frank Lampard fined £2,000 after being sent to stands

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Derby boss Frank Lampard has been fined £2,000 after accepting a Football Association misconduct charge.

The 40-year-old was sent to the stands in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Rotherham after arguing with the officials in the 77th minute.

Lampard was protesting against a handball decision at the New York Stadium having already seen Tom Lawrence sent off and a penalty awarded against the Rams.

He has avoided a touchline ban so will be in the dugout for the visit of Blackburn on Tuesday.

“I need to go back to the rulebook myself because I do not want to be leaving the game,” Lampard said after the match.

“I was upset with a handball. If those are the rules, managers will get sent off every game.

“I like communication with officials but there was none of that. It wasn’t a penalty. They got a soft one but we didn’t get one.”

 

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Time for Philippe Coutinho to shine for Barcelona in the Champions League

Andy West 17/09/2018
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Barcelona kick off their quest to return to the ascendancy of European football with Tuesday night’s Champions League opener against PSV Eindhoven at the Camp Nou, and it’s absolutely a must-win game for Ernesto Valverde’s men.

As Lionel Messi admitted in his pre-season captain’s speech to fans, the Catalan giants have been hugely frustrated by exiting in the quarter-finals for the last three years running and have prioritised the Champions League above all other trophies this season.

But they certainly won’t have it easy with an opening group game which has every chance of becoming a dangerous banana skin for Messi and co.

MUST-WIN FOR BARCA IN GROUP OF DEATH

Mark Van Bommel

Mark Van Bommel

With Tottenham and Inter Milan lying in wait in an exceptionally challenging group, there is absolutely no margin for error for Barca as they head into theoretically the easiest of their six upcoming matches.

But PSV will be no pushovers. The Dutch team – domestic title winners in three of the last four seasons – have been in flying form at the start of the new campaign, overcoming BATE Borisov 6-2 on aggregate in the qualifying round and winning their first five league games by a cumulative score of 21-3.

The team managed by former Barca midfield hard man Mark Van Bommel will certainly fancy their chances of causing an upset, with dangerous forwards Luuk De Jong, Hirving Lozano (Mexico’s match-winner in the dramatic World Cup victory over Germany) and Steven Bergwijn all in free-scoring form.

Anything less than three points would leave Barca facing the serious prospect of an embarrassingly early exit, and they certainly cannot afford to deliver a repeat of the poor first-half performance delivered in Saturday’s fortuitous 2-1 victory at Real Sociedad.

To avoid making life very difficult for themselves in the coming weeks, hitting the ground running is the only option.

COUTINHO READY TO STEP UP

Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho

Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho

Barca are set to give a Champions League club debut to Philippe Coutinho, who was cup-tied for the knockout stages after joining the club in January having appeared in the competition’s earlier stages with Liverpool.

The importance of Coutinho’s role at his new club was emphasised on Saturday, when he was initially rested by coach Valverde for the trip to Real Sociedad after playing twice for Brazil in midweek.

The midfield struggled without him and he was brought on the break, immediately effecting a significant improvement which eventually led to victory – just as he did in the league opener against Alaves last month, when he also started on the bench before being introduced to turn the contest in his team’s favour.

Coutinho’s ability to manoeuvre his way through tight spaces to combine with Messi and former Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez adds another dimension to Barca’s otherwise often staid associative play in midfield, and his ability to shoot from long-range will provide another test to PSV’s defence.

The 26 year-old has made a very positive start to his Camp Nou career, and the Champions League campaign could be where he really makes his mark.

SEMEDO DITCHED ONCE AGAIN? 

Nelson Semedo

Nelson Semedo

It appears that every time Barca boss Valverde gives an opportunity to Nelson Semedo to prove himself as a capable starter at right-back, the Portuguese defender fluffs his lines and is forced to make way for Sergi Roberto.

That happened in the season opener against Alaves, where Semedo only lasted until the interval before being replaced, and again in last weekend’s win at the Anoeta, with Roberto undertaking a half-time positional change for the second time in four games.

Valverde would like to be able to deploy Roberto in midfield, the position he played throughout his youth before being slotted in as an emergency right-back during an injury absence for Dani Alves in 2015.

But the unconvincing performances of Semedo mean that Roberto continues to be the best option in his three-year-old ‘temporary’ position, and he will almost certainly be reinstated to that starting slot this week.

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