Category Archives: Top Clubs

Is there such a thing as the footballing gene? The best brothers in World football

Parents across the globe ferry their children to games to improve their talents on the ball, in the hope that one day they can fulfill the ultimate dream of becoming a top footballer. Which begs the question of why sometimes two make it from one family. A matter of parenting, or something more genetic?

Below is a list of the top brothers to both make it in the world of football.

1. Phil & Gary Neville

The pair have 34 medals between them.
The pair have 34 medals between them.

The pair came through the famous class of 92 and never looked back since with both going on to be legends for their clubs, Gary in Manchester and Phil Later on at Everton. Both now established pundits, Phil and Gary are sure to keep going for years to come in the world of football, with Phil moving to La Liga as assistant manager in Valencia.

2. Kolo & Yaya Toure

Move across Manchester and there is another pair of brothers who have established themselves independently of each other. Both started off with trials in North London with Arsenal, as it turned out kolo got the contract. With Kolo taking the Arsenal route, Yaya had to find another route, finding his way through eastern Europe before heading to Barcelona. Very different players both were reunited at Man City under the new regime and haven’t looked back since. Kolo moved on, but Yaya despite rumours reportedly wishes to see out his career at the Etihad.

3. Jerome and Kevin Boateng

The Boateng brothers chose to play for different countries
The Boateng brothers chose to play for different countries

Jerome and Kevin grew up together in Berlin. Later, though Kevin went on to play for Ghana his familial home, as a pose to Germany as with Jerome. As such, they are practically the only siblings to play against each other internationally, both now playing in the Bundesliga. Particularly Jerome, being the stalwart at the back for Bayern during their successful period since 2011.

4. Fabio & Rafael Da Silva

The identical twins have gone separate ways
The identical twins have gone separate ways

Extremely peculiar given both are full backs at Man Utd like the Nevilles, sadly it hasn’t gone quite the same direction. Though Rafael has now moved onto Lyon and Fabio is playing the Championship with Cardiff, they are truly a fan favorite at Old Trafford. Both have Brazil caps, but perhaps the hype was fuelled by being in a side ran by the most successful manager of all time.

5. Frank & Ronald De Boer

The De Boers travelled the footballing world together.
The De Boers travelled the footballing world together.

The twins both started out at Ajax and stuck with each other for pretty much their whole careers. Both having spells at Barcelona, Rangers, Al-Rayyan and Al-Shamal, altogether the two brothers spent just 5 years apart, and both are part of the management at Ajax currently. Frank in particular has seen much success in managing Ajax, winning the Eredivisie 4 times straight in the process and the twins have left an impression everywhere they have gone. Combined the De Boer twins won over 170 caps for the Netherlands.

So what do you reckon is there such a thing as the footballing gene?

Guest blog by charliewrights

Will Abou Diaby succeed in Marseille?

Diaby Marseille

With Abou’s time at Arsenal at an end, and the Ligue 1 underway, the injury prone midfielder starts his new adventure with Marseille in an attempt to resurrect his career. Having turned down an approach from West Brom, Diaby has gone home in his own words due to the medical help on offer from the French club. As well as what is undoubtedly an attempt to get back into the French national side, having made 16 appearances for Les Bleus in the past and being a starter throughout their 2010 World cup campaign. Abou will be desperate to get back to his best, but as we all know from his time at the Emirates it’s not so simple. So can he beat his injury problems and be the player we all knew he could have been?

The evidence says otherwise. Vassiriki Abou Diaby has had 42 injuries during his 9 year stint with Arsenal, which is the equivalent of one every 79 days. In fact the Daily Mail calculates that he missed 222 weeks out injured. It’s the sad case of a guy who was courted by the best clubs in the world as a youngster, but after all the investment it turns out that just one horror challenge in 2006 could ruin a whole decade’s opportunity. Aside from the 2009-10 season and a brief couple of stints here and there, Abou’s body never fully allowed him a stint in the side, and the Gunners will never know what could have been.

A challenge from Dan Smith in 2006 set the tone for a sad spell on the sidelines.
A challenge from Dan Smith in 2006 set the tone for a sad spell on the sidelines.

However, there are positives for Marseille and the towering midfielder. If he can indeed find some fitness, he still has time to make quite the career for himself. With deft feet and a physical presence which drew comparisons to Yaya Toure and Patrick Vieira, Abou Diaby could still be the heart of a Marseille side trying to get back to where they belong in the Champions League. If he can succeed, he even stands a chance of getting back into the national fold, and who knows may even be a dark horse for the Euro 2016 squad! After all, few can do this…

If his injuries persist, then of course it may be a sad end, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see retirement come calling. However, if he gets lucky and leaves his troubles behind him, who knows Arsenal may even regret letting him go.

I think I speak for all the fans when I say Good luck Abou, and thanks for the memories.

Guest blog by



Liverpool v Bournemouth: Preview, Lineups, Stats And Prediction

Liverpool v Bournemouth

19:45, Monday 17th August


Liverpool play host to Bournemouth, with both teams coming into the fixture off the back of encouraging performances last weekend.

Brendan Rodgers always emphasises the importance of recycling possession and retaining the ball in his teams and this was no different last weekend, with Liverpool completing 378 passes. He’ll do well to warn his team of Bournemouth’s passing ability, though, as they completed 464 passes against Aston Villa (the third most in the league).

Two players who will be essential to either team’s chances of dominating possession will be Andrew Surman and Jordan Henderson. The duo completed 87 and 76 passes respectively in the last round of fixtures, which was the most for either side. Henderson is 41/10 with to score at any time on Monday.

Bournemouth’s centre-backs are likely to be wary of the aerial threat of Liverpool’s new signing Christian Benteke, with the striker likely to cause Tommy Elphick a real headache. Benteke demonstrated his excellent heading ability against Stoke as he won 64% of his aerial duals, whereas Elphick won 57%.

In centre midfield pairing Jordan Henderson and James Milner, Liverpool have an impressive engine room, with the duo capable of working their socks off for the sake of the team and the pair ran an impressive 12km and 11.1km respectively. In turn, Andrew Surman (11.1km) and Matt Ritchie (11km) topped the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for Bournemouth, and they’ll need to maintain these energy levels when they come up against Brendan Rodgers’ men on Monday.

Liverpool v Bournemouth Match Stats

  • Liverpool have never lost to Bournemouth in six previous cup fixtures (W4 D2). This will be their first league meeting.
  • Bournemouth’s two previous trips to Anfield to face the Reds have ended in a 4-1 defeat (FA Cup 3rd round replays in 1927 and 1968).
  • Liverpool only attempted four shots (excl. blocked) in their first game against Stoke City – fewer than any other side on MD1.
  • Simon Mignolet has kept more clean sheets than any other Premier League goalkeeper in 2015 (10).
  • No side won more away games (13) or collected more points away (44) than Bournemouth in the Championship last season.

Stats via Dailymail

Liverpool v Bournemouth Possible Starting XI:

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Gomez, Milner, Can, Henderson, Coutinho, Firmino, Benteke

Bournemouth: Boruc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Mings, Ritchie, Gradel, Surman, Gosling, Kermorgant, Wilson

Liverpool v Bournemouth Prediction: 

A 2-0 win for the home side.

Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars with at or with FIFA Ultimate team.





Crystal Palace v Arsenal: Preview, Lineups, Match Facts And Prediction

Crystal Palace v Arsenal

Sunday 16th August, 13:30


Crystal Palace welcome Arsenal to Selhurst Park this weekend hoping to add to their winning start to the Premier League season, after they beat Norwich at Carrow Road last week. Arsenal currently sit in the relegation zone after being defeated at home to West Ham but will be hoping to kick-start their season with a win at Palace.

Yohan Cabaye returned to the Premier League last week and looked as though he had never left. Cabaye announced his return by getting on the scoresheet and putting in a great performance to add to it. Cabaye showed a range of passing, with 78.8% of his passes being short, and 22.2% long range. Cabaye will be facing up against Santi Cazorla, who despite Arsenals loss, was at his creative best last weekend. Cazorla set up five goalscoring opportunities for his teammates and made 55 passes in the opposition half, the fourth most in the league.

Wilfried Zaha also scored last week and was one of the stand out players before he was withdrawn on 78 minutes. Zaha was a constant threat, completing five successful dribbles, and a top speed of 32.6km/h. Nacho Monreal should feel confident that he can deal with the pace of Zaha, as he himself clocked in at 34km/h, the eighth fastest speed recorded last week. Monreal won 61.1% of his duels last week and will be hoping to win the majority again against Crystal Palace.

The fastest player on the pitch according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index will be Yannick Bolasie. Bolasie recorded the third fastest speed in the division, 34.3km/h, and Arsenal right back Matthieu Debuchy will be wary of this. Debucy won 66.7% of his duels last week, but with a top speed of 29.5 km/h will have to be at his very best to contain Bolasie.


Olivier Giroud was the man chosen to lead the line for Arsenal last week against West Ham. Giroud put two of his four shots on target last week and will have to improve further in order to beat Alex McCarthy. McCarthy made the second most saves in the Premier League, four, and made the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index Team Of The Week. Giroud will provide a threat in the air to McCarthy, having won 66.7% of his aerial duels last weekend. Giroud is 17/4 to score first with

Crystal Palace v Arsenal Match Facts

  • Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 12 visits to Selhurst Park in all competitions. Their only defeat at the ground came in the old Division One in November 1979 when David Swindlehurst scored the only goal of the match (P18, W10, D7, L1).
  • Palace are winless in 11 games against Arsenal since a 2-1 victory at Highbury in the Premier League in 1994.
  • Crystal Palace won their opening top-flight game for only the second time in 44 years. They have never won their opening two matches in the top division.
  • Alan Pardew has equalled the most number of wins by a Crystal Palace boss in the Premier League (11) even though he has only been in charge for 19 games,
  • The Gunners have not started a season with successive league defeats since the inaugural Premier League season of 1992-93.
  • They have won five and drawn one of their last six away matches in the league. Only Chelsea earned more away points than Arsenal’s tally of 34 last season.

Stats courtesy BBC

Crystal Palace v Arsenal Possible Lineups:

Crystal Palace: McCarthy, Ward, Delaney, Dann, Souare, Ledley, Cabaye, McArthur, Zaha, Puncheon, Murray

Arsenal: Cech, Debuchy, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla. Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Walcott

Crystal Palace v Arsenal Prediction:

A 1-2 win for the away side.

Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars with at or with FIFA Ultimate team.


Manchester City vs Chelsea – Preview, Lineups, Match Facts And Prediction

Manchester City vs Chelsea

Sunday 16th August, 16:00


Manchester City host the champions this weekend in an early title-race crunch match. City got off to a flying start, beating West Brom 3-0 on Monday night, whilst Chelsea stuttered to a 2-2 draw at home to Swansea.

Manchester City will be hoping that Yaya Toure can repeat his Monday night performance where he bagged a brace. Toure made 66 passes in the opposition half, the second highest total in the division. He is clearly trusted by his teammates too as he received 78 passes, the fourth highest in the Premier League. Toure has enjoyed some good battles with Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic in the past and this weekend should be no different. Matic covered the ninth most ground in the league on the opening weekend, running 11.72km. In addition, Matic won four tackles, ranking him 11th in the division.

David Silva was in inspired form against West Brom and was in fact the only player to have completed more passes in the opposition half than teammate Yaya Toure, with an incredible 79 passes. Silva set up four goalscoring opportunities for his teammate, and could well prove to be a tricky customer for the Chelsea defence. At the heart of that Chelsea defence is John Terry and Gary Cahill, who have been in 19 duels between them – and look sure to add to that total this weekend.

Eden Hazard completed by far and away the most dribbles of any Premier League player last season and has started this campaign in a similar fashion. Hazard sits third in the dribbling rankings, on five successful dribbles, after the first weekend. Bacary Sagna started in the fullback role often occupied by Pablo Zabaleta last season. Should Sagna start again, he will need another strong performance against the reigning PFA Player Of The Year. Sagna won 100% of his tackles last week as well as succeeding in 95.2% of his passes.

Cesar Azpilicueta will occupy what has now become his regular spot at left back. He will likely come up against his Spanish compatriot Jesus Navas. Azpilicueta last week managed to complete 100% of his tackles, and made five important clearances for Chelsea. Navas covered an impressive 11.59km last week, with a top speed of 32.2km/h, and his energy is likely to challenge Azpilicueta. Navas is 16/1 to score first with

Manchester City vs Chelsea Match Facts:

  • Chelsea are unbeaten in their last four Premier League games against Manchester City (W2, D2).
  • However, Chelsea have won just one of their previous seven games at the Etihad Stadium in all competitions (W1, D1, L5)
  • Manuel Pellegrini’s side have won their last seven Premier League home games, keeping clean sheets in six of those matches.
  • The last time they failed to win a top-flight home game was on 7 February, when they drew 1-1 with Hull City.
  • City completed 693 passes against West Brom – 212 more than any other team in the opening round of Premier League fixtures.
  • Chelsea have not lost any of their last 28 Premier League games in the month of August (W23, D5) since a 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough in 2006.
  • The last time they failed to win either of their opening two Premier League games was in 1998.

Stats courtesy BBC.

Manchester City vs Chelsea Possible Lineups:

Manchester City: Hart; Sagna, Kompany, Mangala, Clichy; Fernandinho, Toure, Silva, Navas, Sterling; Aguero

Chelsea: Begovic; Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Moses, Hazard, Willian; Costa

Manchester City vs Chelsea Prediction:

A 1-1 draw.


Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars with at or with FIFA Ultimate team.

Done Deal! Defensive Superstar To Complete Chelsea Switch After Medical

Chelsea Transfer Updates

It was being reported earlier this week by London media outlets that Augsburg defender Baba Rahman would have his medical at Chelsea and a deal would be done soon. However, once again there has been a delay in proceedings and the 21-year-old left-back’s move to Stamford Bridge is taking more time than expected, which has been frustrating for the Blues.

Jose Mourinho wanted to sign the talented youngster as soon as Brazilian international Filipe Luis left the club though the deal with his former club Atletico Madrid took some time to be completed after that as well.

Now, the latest sources have confirmed that the defender will arrive at Chelsea on Friday, complete his medical and a deal will be finally done. If the reports are true, Mourinho’s side will receive a huge boost prior to their game against big clash against Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.

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Surprise! Arsenal Could Complete Deal In The Coming Days

Joel Campbell

According to reports, Palermo are all set to once again make a move to sign Arsenal forward Joel Campbell, after talks with the Gunners did not materialize in July, according to reports from The Mail. The Serie A side were keen to sign the Costa Rican international for the upcoming season on loan, yet manager Arsene Wenger informed them that he was available for a permanent transfer.

The Italian outfit refused to meet the French manager’s £7.1m asking price and their interest in Campbell slowly faded.

However, it seems now that once again there is interest from the Romans, who are now looking to add the 23-year old winger to their squad this summer.

Campbell had a superb loan spell previously at Olympiakos and was impressive in the World Cup at Brazil as well, forcing his return to the Emirates last season.

Despite that things did not work as per plan and the youngster is back to probably have one last time to make things work, if a deal does not go through in the upcoming days.

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Mourinho Press Conference: Chelsea Boss Reveals Team News, Talks About Eva Carneiro

Ahead of Chelsea’s high voltage clash against Manchester City, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho came out to face the press. There was a huge pressure from Mourinho, who axed his medical team from sitting on the bench for the match and was caught swearing at his doctor Eva Carneiro when she went into the field to treat Eden Hazard in the dying minutes of the Blues’ Premier League opener against Swansea.

Jose Mourinho

Mourinho seemed to have a calmer attitude in the presser as he stated that he has a fantastic relationship with the medical team and media is just overreacting with the current issue. He even said that he praises them a lot like no other Chelsea manager ever did.

He said I have seven assistants, only four can go on the bench. We have four kitmen, only one can come out. Important to be on the bench for some, for others is more important what they do, their contribution, what they do for the good of the team. I don’t want to run away from the question. John Fearne and Carneiro will not be on the bench. They will not be on the bench on Sunday, it is my decision, my responsibility, but that does not mean it will be that way in the future.

He also added The board just gave me a new contract and we have great stability. If someone thinks an argument between me and two members of the medical department affects our preparation, they have no clue. The ones that like football, please stay. The ones that don’t, go or don’t ask questions. First of all I want to say I have a fantastic medical department led by Dr Paco Biosca, I have a good relationship with them. They tell me they have never been praised as much as they have done by me in the last couple of years.

More on team news,

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