Manchester City Players – Who to Pick for your Fantasy Team?

Charts for fantasy football’s leading points scorers are predictably dominated by Man City players at present as Pep Guardiola’s men have made a sensational start to the season. They have scored more goals at this stage of the season than any top flight since the Victorian era and show no signs of slowing down. But the big question is, which of their players should you pick for your team?

It is not as easy as it sounds, because Guardiola likes to rotate his forwards and your selection could end up sitting out an entire game. City players come with hefty price tags, so that is a costly burden to shoulder. There are only three positions in the City attack and they have five top forwards vying for a starting berth: Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva.

At the start of the campaign, everyone thought Aguero and Gabriel would be forced to fight for a centre forward role, but instead Guardiola has played them together for large parts of the season. However, Gabriel sometimes drops to the bench and has started only seven of nine games. Aguero, now Man City’s record goal scorer, is more likely to nail down a place in the starting 11 but he is often blighted by injury and he has started just six out of nine games.

Sterling and Sane have both been brilliant when they have played, scoring six and five goals respectively, but if Gabriel and Aguero both start there is only room for one of them. Throw £45 million signing Bernardo into the mix and competition is fierce, so Sterling and Sane have only started five games apiece. It is therefore risky to put either of them into your fantasy team, as you never know which one Guardiola will go for as the Citizens are competing on all fronts and he needs to rotate his squad. They will become more attractive if a couple of forwards are injured and Guardiola has no choice but to play them in consecutive games, but right now it is hard to justify selecting either one.

Right now the City forward that merits consideration for your team is Aguero. But given his injury history and his huge price tag, it is arguably better to go for Tottenham’s Harry Kane and make the England striker your captain. Kane is banging in goals left, right and centre, against the big teams and the small ones, and it is hard to ignore him right now.

That frees you up to go for City’s magnificent midfielders. Guardiola has deployed both Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva in deep-lying playmaker roles this season and they have both excelled. They lead the Premiership assist charts with six each, and – unlike the forwards – they always start. Neither player has been rested yet by Guardiola this season, and they are racking up huge points tallies by teeing up chance after chance for whichever forwards Guardiola elects to play in front of them. De Bruyne is on course to win Player of the Year as he has been unplayable at times, but Silva has been equally effective from a numbers point of view, and playing both in your team could yield fantastic results. They show no signs of slowing down and should lead their club to glory this season: check reviews of the best sportsbooks and find the best odds and you will see that City are now overwhelming favourites to beat the likes of Man Utd, Spurs and Chelsea to the league title.

City are excelling going forward, but they have also massively improved defensively this season and you could use your third allowance from the club to pick one of their defenders. They have conceded just four goals in nine games and kept six clean sheets, while their defenders get chances to score from corners too. Central Defender, Nicolas Otamendi, looks a great option right now, or you could fork out a bit more money and go for Kyle Walker, who should provide more assists from his right-wing back role.

Carthorses and Show Ponies: Analysing the Best (And Worst) Premier League Signings of 2017/18 So Far

We’re now nearly 20% of the way through the 2017/18 football season – how fast has that gone? – and already we can form some pretty strong opinions as to how the campaign is set to pan out.

The Manchester sides are tipped for a titanic title dispute, with the rest of the big boys merely playing for third and fourth place. At the other end of the table, the relegation trapdoor is just starting to creak open for those anchored towards the rear end of proceedings.

All of the hype and hysteria of the summer transfer window has been laid bare too, so who has lived up to expectation and who has underwhelmed on a major scale?

The Best Signings (So Far)

When you flick open the newspapers on a Sunday morning, you’ll notice that the vast majority of headlines are dedicated to those players who have netted winning goals – that’s because goals are the only currency that truly matter in football. They are the tangible output of the 90 minutes of action, and as such much easier for the casual fan to understand than, say, the under-the-radar work of a defensive midfielder.

Goals win football matches, and points mean prizes, so proven goal-getters tend to be sold at premium prices. That is the beautiful game’s own law of economics.

So while eyebrows will have been raised at the transfer fees of both Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata at £75m and £58m respectively, the truth is that these two frontmen could make Manchester United and Chelsea plenty of cash of their own this season.

There are some that claim that Lukaku is a flat track bully, and use statistics that show a goal return of one-in-two games against sides outside of the ‘big six’ – as opposed to one-in-four against the elite outfits – as some kind of confirmation that he is overrated and overpriced.

But draw up a list of players that have scored 15 or more Premier League goals in each of the last three seasons and your pen won’t be running out of ink any time soon: the list comprises just Lukaku, Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero alone.

What kind of fees do you think Kane and Aguero would command in the current market? It would certainly be far in excess of £75m, and so by that measure Manchester United have landed a real bargain in the 24-year-old, who has already repaid Jose Mourinho’s faith with seven league goals in just eight starts.

The fact that Morata has taken to life in the English top flight like a duck to water is perhaps a little more surprising. The Spaniard has lined up for some of the continent’s finest outfits, including Real Madrid and Juventus, but never quite made the grade at either: featuring more as an impact substitute rather than somebody considered to have the ability to make a difference from the start.

But he has hit the ground running for the Blues, netting six times in as many Premier League starts, and as such Morata has to be shortlisted as a signing of the season (so far) candidate – regardless of his lofty price tag. Where would Chelsea be without his goals at this moment in time?

There are a number of other candidates for the best signing category, and many are located at the clubs that generally have the cash to splash on premium performers. But what about a player who has transformed the fortunes of one of the Premier League’s perennial ‘punching above their weight’ merchants?

Grzegorz Krychowiak has won the Europa League with Sevilla and played Champions League football for PSG in recent seasons, so his decision to join West Brom on loan raised more than a few eyebrows.

An intelligent, combative midfielder, Krychowiak has been a vital cog in the Baggies’ outstanding start to the campaign. The Pole ranks first in the division for interceptions made – averaging more per 90 minutes than even the perceptive powers of N’Golo Kante can muster.

He also ranks thirteenth for successful tackles, boasts a pass completion rate of 81% and even finds time to connect three long passes per game on average – crucial to Tony Pulis’ style of play.

As we know, defensive midfielders like Krychowiak very rarely own the spotlight, but as a vital cog in a West Brom side that currently sits in tenth place – just three points behind Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, we must recognise his stellar input into a magnificent example of overachieving personified.

And the Worst Signings So Far

For the vast majority of us, the closest we get to elite football management is via our fictional efforts on computer games, and so we have to assume that we know less about the beautiful game than those employed as managers at the top level.

So when we question a player like Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, we have to remember that two respected managers in Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klopp clearly see something in him. The Ox has now played for two of the biggest clubs in the land, and has a bunch of England caps to look back on.

He is a top player then, surely?

Perhaps he is, but to the layman it is difficult to see how Klopp can justify his £40 million outlay on the midfielder. His game is peppered with awful decision making in the final third of the pitch, and the kind of end product that would drive a Sunday League manager to tears; let alone one with designs on continental domination.

Starting out as a central midfielder, it is always apparent when a player is lacking something when they get pigeonholed into different positions – the Ox has played left wing back, right wing back and on either flank in the past few seasons, but very rarely gets a run-out in his favoured central role. Why? Because he simply can’t be trusted to control matches due to his wayward passing.

Before this turns into a hatchet job, we must stress that Liverpool should be applauded for taking a chance on a young English talent, but the £40m outlay on a player who will be a million miles from the first team once Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane return from injury is an indictment of the fact that there is simply too much spare money sloshing about in the game.

For his part, the Ox should have gone and played for a side who will let him learn his craft in the middle of the park – as Jack Wilshere did in his time at Bournemouth. As it stands, he’s likely to fade into obscurity as so many young Englishmen with dreams of riches at the big clubs have in the past.

The other main candidate for this (dis)honour is more of a reflection on the manager that purchased him rather than the player himself.

When Ronald Koeman paid £45 million for Gylfi Sigurdsson, he must have been rubbing his hands together in glee. Many had suggested the Icelander was overpriced for a 28-year-old, but a player that has assisted 33 Premier League goals – more than anyone else of the modern era – is worth their weight in gold.

Sigurdsson’s best work has come in two spells at Swansea, where he has provided ample ammunition for burly frontmen such as Wilfried Bony and Fernando Llorente; the former firing the Swans to an eighth-place finish in 2014/15, and the latter keeping them up last season.

So a Sigurdsson-Lukaku link-up was the stuff of dreams for Everton fans….but by the time he had captured the creator, Koeman had already sold Lukaku to Manchester United.

All of which means the Dutchman is left with an ageing asset that is rapidly decreasing in value, as Sigurdsson is now tasked with creating goals for a band of attacking players at Everton that includes the slow (Wayne Rooney), the inexperienced (Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Sandro Ramirez) and the unknown (Davy Klaasen).

Sigurdsson’s tag as worst signing of the season is more Koeman’s doing than the player’s. He’s the right man, just in the wrong place.

Key Scorers to Watch in the Champions League

It might still be early days in the group stage of the Champions League, but already there have been some outstanding team and individual performances to enjoy, as the leading teams around the continent do battle in their quest to claim the biggest prize in Europe.

Competition in the groups is as fierce as ever this season after the opening two rounds of fixtures, and there are no easy groups, with every match counting towards success or failure in the quest to reach the knockout phase.

In this article we take a closer look at five of the leading scorers who have impressed so far, with their goals providing the vital cutting edge their teams need, if they’re to continue impressing on the continental stage this season.

Romelu Lukaku

Two consecutive wins over Basel and CSKA Moscow have ensured that three-time champions Manchester United have returned to Europe’s elite competition with a bang, in no small part due to the contribution of Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku, who after banging in three goals in those two games is 12/1 with Marathon Bet to take the scoring crown.

The powerful Belgian is in red hot form in the Premier League, too, and shows no signs of slowing with the mecurial talents of Henrikh Mkhitaryan operating in behind him. His injury record is far from spotless, but with few major knocks curtailing his progress in recent years, many are backing Lukaku to take the top scoring trophy this time out.

Lionel Messi

The Argentine maestro has just fired his team to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and his influence can never be ignored. Barcelona have made an impressive start to their campaign in La Liga, and Lionel Messi is already top of the scoring charts by some distance in Spain.

With two goals in two games in the Champions League so far and at odds of 9/2 to finish as top scorer in the competition, Barca will need Messi to be firing on all cylinders if they are to reach the final and emerge victorious this season in Europe.

Edinson Cavani

The 30-year-old is the tip of the lance for PSG and although Brazilian superstar Neymar keeps on grabbing the headlines with the French club, for various reasons, it’s Edinson Cavani who is the leading the Champions League scoring charts for his side.

Three goals in the opening two group matches have seen his odds slashed to 8/1 with MrGreen Sports to be top scorer in the competition, and with Cavani in such lethal form in front of goal, PSG are genuinely expected to mount a serious European challenge this season.

Harry Kane

If Tottenham Hotspur are to make their mark in the Champions League this season, they’ll certainly need the potent scoring form of Harry Kane to continue. Back to back winner of the Premier League Golden Boot, he hasn’t disappointed so far in Europe.

An outstanding contribution of five goals already has Kane leading the scoring charts after just two group games. Odds of 8/1 for him to remain in pole position are perhaps only tempered by his team being considered outsiders to win the competition. The question being posed by many is just how far can Spurs go this season?

Cristiano Ronaldo

Success seems to follow in the wake of every step Cristiano Ronaldo takes and Real Madrid have certainly benefitted from that, as back to back Champions League winners. His continued form will be vital if they’re to land a third consecutive title in the competition, and he finished as the competition’s top marksman last season.

Four goals already in two group games and clear favourite to top the scoring charts at 2/1 odds, few would bet against Ronaldo ending the campaign with more silverware, gaining yet more personal glory and helping his club remain the undisputed kings of Europe.


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The new information comes from English Premier League, as it is cited by Betting Top10 Indonesia, Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola feels the English Premier League champions have taken the right decision to release Diego Costa as they have new powers in Alvaro Morata.

The deal, reportedly worth € 60 million, will make Costa officially return to his former club at La Liga Spanish Atletico Madrid in January. The Spanish striker is no longer in Chelsea manager Antonio Conte’s plans since the start of the season.

The arrival of Diego Costa to Stamford Bridge has brought many changes for the Blues, but with the news cracking his relationship with the coach of The Blues, Antonio Conte, from the beginning of Premier League season 2017 – 2018, especially with the addition of the arrival of the new striker The Blues Alvaro Moratta, and Moratta’s glorious appearance in the last few matches, made him (Diego Costa) increasingly marginalized and in the end he had to leave Stamford Bridge.

Costa has helped Chelsea win two Premier League titles and one League Cup but Zola feels the departure of the 28-year-old striker makes sense for the Blues given they have brought in former Real Madrid striker Morata, who scored as Chelsea won 2-1 over Atletico in the Champions League on Thursday (28/9) UTC.

As he said “I do not hesitate, the decision to leave is the right thing for him. He may have a problem, this team is not just filled with one player, and I think it’s better he went,” Zola told Sky Sports as it is cited from Betting Top 10 Indonesia.

“In some circumstances, Morata is not on the same level as Costa, technically he is a great player, he certainly has high quality, good in the air and has good legs.

“He has played for Juventus, Real Madrid, big teams, but does not play regularly, and I want to know why it happened.This year I may soon get the answer.”

Morata was able to show his sharpness since he docked at Stamford Bridge. The 24-year-old striker has scored seven goals in eight games in all competitions with the Blues this season. A hamstring injury playing against Manchester City on Saturday 30 September does however show that Chelsea need strength in depth due to the number of high-intensity games the club will play this season.

Football Crests – the history behind them

Football crests and badges are the most important part of any football club. Although to outsiders they may seem badges used to differentiate the teams, to football fans and football betting fans they are an important and vital part of the clubs identify. Each badge represents the identity and history behind the football club and it helps build a strong relationship with the fans.



Everton Football Club prides itself has a club with a long and proud history stretching back to 1878. Although Everton had been playing football for over half a century, it wasn’t until 1938 when the first ‘draft’ of the clubs crest was created. The club rarely incorporated a badge on its shirts, so the design was used on the club necktie instead. Despite the crest being designed in 1938, many of the original features are still used to this day. The main feature of the crest is the Everton Lock-Up. Since its construction in 1787, the lock-up has been linked with the Everton area and still stands today at the top of Everton Brow. The club motto, “Nil Satis Nisi Optimum”, meaning “Nothing but the best is good enough” was also featured on the original design. These core features have remained part of the crest ever since, apart from in 2013/14 season where the motto was controversially removed, and looks like they will remain an important features for the foreseeable future.



Unlike Everton, Arsenal managed to adopt its first crest in 1888, just two years after the formation of the club. Throughout the years, the crest has undergone many changes, but the cannons have always been prominent part of it. By originally being based in Woolwich, the club gained inspiration from the borough’s coat of arms and incorporated to three cannons into the crest. The borough has had a long military history and the cannons are a reference to the military influence in the region. Despite moving to Highbury in 1913, Arsenal have always embraced their Woolwich legacy and incorporated the cannon as a recognisable motif on their crest. This cannon has now become a vital part of the clubs crest and identity.



To an outsider, the Bayern Munich badge is a relatively minimalistic and simplistic badge. However, the Bayern crest is one which has gradually improved and evolved since the start of the 20th century and attempted to stay as close to its roots as possible. The first three logos were very varied by being different shapes and sizes. However, their fourth badge was the first step of their ‘evolution’ to their current badge. Over the next half century, Bayern continued to make small adjustments to their badge. The most notable addition to the crest was made in 1961 when they introduced the colours and the flag of Bavaria – a feature that has remained on the badge ever since.



Since the formation of the club, every Manchester City crest has been inspired by the Manchester coat of arms. The most prominent feature of the crest over the years is the ship. As the club used the Manchester coat of arms as their crest for around 70 years, City were keen to incorporate a feature of it into their badge. As already mentioned, the boat was chosen as a reference to the Manchester Ship Canal. The boat has remained a vital part of the crest, and has been part of every crest the club has had.



Although Paris Saint-Germain have only been a club since 1970, the crests that they have used have always had some sort of relevance to the location where the club is based. Unsurprisingly, the main part of the PSG badge is the based Eiffel Tower. This has been featured in all their badges from 1972 (apart from 1992-1996 when a rectangular logo that just said PSG was used). As well as featuring the Eiffel Tower, PSG have also incorporated blue and red, which are the colours of Paris, as well as white as a tribute to the coat of arms of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. This combination ensures that the club represents both Paris and Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

West Ham vs Tottenham – in depth

By looking at Tottenham and West Ham’s start to the new season, it look likes both clubs will have a very different experience. Tottenham’s start suggests that they will be among the top teams in the Premier League once again, although they will have to improve their Wembley form if they are to challenge for the title. Meanwhile, early form suggests that West Ham will be mid table or the bottom half of the table.

This weekend sees a derby match between the two clubs, and although the majority of fans may have placed a bet on Tottenham to win, West Ham should not be ruled out. The Hammers were 1-0 winners in this fixture last season.

In the history of the Premier League, Tottenham have finished above West Ham 19 times (14 times if you take out the seasons where West Ham weren’t in the Premier League). In comparison, West Ham have only finished above Spurs six times – the last time being 10 seasons ago! For a full breakdown of the positions of each season, look at the following table:

Season Tottenham West Ham
1992/93 8th
1993/94 15th 13th
1994/95 7th 14th
1995/96 8th 10th
1996/97 10th 14th
1997/98 14th 8th
1998/99 11th 5th
1999/00 10th 9th
2000/01 12th 15th
2001/02 9th 7th
2002/03 10th 18th (R)
2003/04 14th
2004/05 9th
2005/06 5th 9th
2006/07 5th 15th
2007/08 11th 10th
2008/09 8th 9th
2009/10 4th 17th
2010/11 5th 20th (R)
2011/12 4th
2012/13 5th 10th
2013/14 6th 13th
2014/15 5th 12th
2015/16 3rd 7th
2016/17 2nd 11th

It’s not just league positions that show us which teams has been performing better over the last couple of decades. Since the inaugural Premier League season, both clubs have been fairly careful with their spending – preferring to spend money on a bunch of players rather than blowing their budget on one player.

In recent years, it seems that Tottenham have been reinvesting the money they receiving from transfer into the squad. In most seasons this decade, Tottenham have usually ‘broke even’ in terms of transfer spend. Meanwhile, West Ham have been continuously spending money on players and not receiving much from players sold.

Despite spending habits over the past few seasons, Tottenham actually have a higher net spend than West Ham. Since 1992, Tottenham have had a net spend of around £290 million while West Ham’s net spent is £131 million.

The managers have also had a huge impact on the clubs since their arrivals. Since the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino in 2014, Tottenham have been transformed from top four challengers into title contenders. Meanwhile, West Ham have been making small improvements since Slavan Bilic took over in 2015. Under Bilic, West Ham have competed in the Europa League twice but have yet to make it to the group stage. Last season was a major step backwards compared to his first season, but fans will be hoping that Bilic can get his team playing the same way which earned the team a top 7 finish in his first season.

The teams may currently be a different ‘levels’ at the moment, this London derby is shaping up to be an exciting match.

Premier League and Online Gambling: Top Sponsorship Deals of 2017 / 2018

There is a growing connection between the Premier League and the online gambling market. We are seeing more and more gaming operators sponsoring teams for larger and larger amounts of money.

Shirt sponsorship deals for 20 clubs will total over £281 million for the 2017-18 season, a £55 million increase on the previous year.

Online gaming companies are contributing to this snowballing figure, with some of the biggest brands signing up to sponsor Premier League teams.

ManBetX and Crystal Palace

In June, ManBetX and Crystal Palace signed a record-breaking sponsorship deal that will see the gaming company’s logo featured on the club’s home and away shirts. ManBetX will also be promoted as the Main Sponsor of Crystal Palace across all offline and online media channels.

According to members to the club, this is the eighth-most expensive deal in the Premier League at the moment.

Mansion Casino and AFC Bournemouth

Mansion Casino will support AFC Bournemouth during its third Premier League season. The Mansion Casino logo will appear on Bournemouth’s home and third kits while will appear on the team’s away jerseys.
With a large presence in Asia, Mansion Casino will help AFC Bournemouth boost its profile in this market.

Established in 2004, it is one of the most well-established online gaming brands in the industry and players have flocked to the casino for over a decade thanks to its commitment to exceptional customer service which includes an ever-growing collection of games and the promotion of responsible gambling.

Royal Panda and Queens Park Rangers

The Queen’s Park Rangers have recently fluctuated between divisions, hopping back and forth between the Premier League and Champions League over the past seven years. The team maintains a strong following and Royal Panda has signed on as a shirt sponsor for the next three years.

The team has stated that this will partnership will be more than having Royal Panda’s logo on its shirts. The two companies will work together to create exclusive exclusive promotions and bonuses for UK players and half-time pitch activities. There is no doubt that Royal Panda will help to further boost Queens Park’s profile among fans, as it is one of the fastest-growing online casino operators.

Fun88 and Newcastle United

Newcastle United has signed a sponsorship deal with Asian-facing online gambling operator Fun88. The team’s last agreement with Wonga was worth over £24 million over five years, and it is estimated that the deal with Fun88 will be more valuable over time. The deal will last for three years, and Fun88 will be working with Newcastle United to support fan initiatives overseas and nationally.

“The relationship will enable the club and FUN88 to enhance our respective global profiles together as we celebrate a landmark season and embark on the exciting Premier League campaign ahead,” says Lee Charnley, Managing Director at Newcastle United.

bet365 and Stoke City

After announcing that Stoke’s Britannia Stadium will be renamed the bet365 Stadium, the online gambling operator has also signed on to extend its shirt sponsorship for the next three years. The naming rights of the stadium will stand for the next six years, and it is sure to increase global brand exposure for Stoke.

bet365 is the one of the leading online sportsbetting providers, and the company has earned numerous awards of the years for its services to players around the world. As Stoke City aims to expand its brand internationally, bet365 will provide the ideal support with this impressive sponsorship deal.
Betway and West Ham

In the past, West Ham’s most expensive sponsorship deals were worth just £6 million, and Betway has certainly upped the ante. Betway’s current sponsorship of West Ham is worth over £10 million, and is one of the most expensive deals that any Premier League team has with a gaming operator. Signed in 2016, the deal is West Ham’s biggest ever, the revenue that it generates will be reinvested into the squad to help ensure its success in years to come.

“Our brand has grown faster than any other major Premier League club in the past two years, and an equally ambitious, forward-thinking brand like Betway wants to be associated with that success,” says Karren Brady, Vice-chairman of West Ham.

Dafabet and Burnley

In yet another club-record deal, Dafabet has signed on to be the official shirt sponsor of Burnley. The deal is worth around somewhere in the region of £2 million per season, and the deal will last for two years. Dafabet was chosen as the Burnley’s preferred partner due to its large following in the sportsbetting market, and its impressive track record as the Welsh Premier League’s headline sponsor.

SportPesa and Everton

In a first for the Premier League, Kenyan-based operator SportPesa will sponsor Everton. This will mark the first instance in which any team in the league will be sponsored by an African company. While the value has not been disclosed, it is Everton’s biggest commercial partnership deal.

However, the deal is controversial. Due to a change in Kenya’s gambling laws that requires a 35% tax on operators, SportPesa may have to withdraw its sponsorships from sports teams around the world.

From 2012 to 2017, the share of gambling-football sponsorships has increased from 25% to 50%, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. The online gambling market only continues to grow, as more countries around the world legalise the activity. As such, we are sure to see an even bigger increase in sponsorships between gambling operators and Premier League teams in years to come.

Preview of Gameweek 6 – Fantasy Premier League

Preview of Gameweek 6 in Fantasy Premier League, courtesy of Bet365

First a Review of Gameweek 5

Man City’s Sergio Agüero was the outstanding player in Gameweek 5, helping himself to 20 points with a hat trick and an assist in their 6-0 demolition of Watford.

The Dream Team of the Week lined up in a 3-5-2 formation. Swansea’s Lucas Fabianski (£4.5m) was the standout goalkeeper with 11 points, and the back three were made of up of players from Man City and Man United; Valencia, Otamendi and Walker scored 37 points between them (although at £18.5m they’d have taken up a considerable amount of your budget!). In midfield Scott Arfield, Steven Davis and Andrew Surman were all available at £5m or less and scored a goal each, while Matt Ritchie (£5.9m) and David Silva (£8.2m) assisted twice each to help the midfield’s points total reach 53. Up front Agüero was joined by Romelu Lukaku, with the front two scoring 4 and assisting 2 between them last weekend.

Gameweek 6 Preview

The first game this weekend sees West Ham host Tottenham at lunchtime on Saturday. Spurs have lost just 2 of their last 18 league games, but one of those defeats was a 1-0 loss here in May that effectively ended their title hopes for the season. They’ll be keen to avoid a repeat of that scoreline and they’ve started well in away games this season, winning two from two and scoring five goals in those games without reply. With that in mind Kieran Tripper (£5.4m) could be a good option in defence; it seems that Pochettino is opting for 3 at the back this season and with Tripper playing the full 90 minutes at wing-back in each of their last 4 league games he’s got potential to pick up points at both ends of the pitch. Harry Kane (£12.5m), who has scored 5 times in his last 5 appearances against West Ham, is worth consideration as captain too.

In the 3pm kick-offs there’s one match in which you’re spoilt for choice when looking for Fantasy Football picks. Manchester City host Crystal Palace, and the two sides’ form could not be further apart. City are top of the league with 13 points and a goal difference of +14, while Palace are rooted to the bottom with 5 defeats from 5 and no goals scored. Man City have been victorious in each of the last 6 meetings between the two and at the Etihad have beaten Palace by an aggregate score of 14-1 in the last 3 games. It’s hard to ignore Sergio Agüero (£11.6m) here, with the Argentine scoring 122 Premier League goals in his 6 previous seasons in England, and adding another 5 already in this campaign. Other notable picks for City this week are Gabriel Jesus (£10.5m) and Raheem Sterling (£7.8m), who have both scored in each of their last 3 league appearances, David Silva (£8.3m), who has assisted 5 in 5 in the league, and Kyle Walker (£6.5m), who has played the full 90 minutes in each of City’s Premier League clean sheets this season and has assisted goals in each of his last two.

Liverpool travel to Leicester for the evening kick-off on Saturday, in a repeat of Tuesday night’s EFL Cup tie that was won convincingly by the home side, Leicester. The Foxes have beaten Liverpool on each of their last 3 visits to the King Power Stadium now and will be looking to capitalise on the Reds’ vulnerability at the back. Jamie Vardy (£8.5m) could be a shrewd pick if he shakes off his groin injury in time – the England man has scored in both of Leicester’s last 2 league games and has scored a brace in each of his last 2 appearances here against Saturday’s opponents. The away side will be dangerous in attack though, and Mo Salah (£9.2m) will be looking to continue his impressive start to his Liverpool career, where he’s scored 5 goals from 7 starts in all competitions.

To finish off, one pick from each of the remaining fixtures:

Burnley v Huddersfield – Ben Mee (£4.5m)
Everton v Bournemouth – Jordon Ibe (£4.9m)
Southampton v Man United – Phil Jones (£5.1m)
Stoke v Chelsea – Eden Hazard (£10.5m)
Swansea v Watford – Daryl Janmaat (£4.9m)
Brighton v Newcastle – Pascal Groß (£5.6m)
Arsenal v West Brom – Alexandre Lacazette (£10.3m)

Best of luck for this weekend, and we’ll be back with another update next week.

Are Online Casinos Starting to Kill Off Wagering Requirements?

Anybody who plays online will know that most casinos offer a multitude of bonuses to both new and regular players. They are used to both attract and retain players, reward loyalty and enhance the site’s reputation. These bonuses typically give you the chance to play some slots ‘on the house’ using either free cash or a specified number of free spins on a designated game.

The casinos aren’t stupid though. They know that it would be catastrophic if every new player who registered with the site won a pocketful of cash using a free bonus only to disappear for good. For that reason, they tend to attach some terms and conditions to the bonuses – and wagering requirements are the most common. There are signs, however, that some casinos are turning their back on the concept of wagering requirements for good. Could this become a trend?

What Are Wagering Requirements?

Before we establish whether wagering requirements may soon become yesterday’s news, let’s establish what they are, and what they do. You can think of them as an insurance policy of sorts. Rather than giving you, for example, 50 free spins on a game and let you withdraw any associated winnings immediately, casinos insist that you wager or ‘play through’ the winnings a designated number of times first. The size of the wagering requirements varies from casino to casino, but can range from x25 to x80.

Perhaps it’s best explained using an example. Let’s say you win £20 from a bundle of 50 free spins. If x30 wagering requirements apply to the bonus, you will have to play through the £20 thirty times over before you can access you loot. In others words, you’ll need to place £600 worth of bets (30 x £20) before making your withdrawal. Naturally, this reduces your chance of profiting from the bonus. Most of the time, you’ll lose you winnings before you’ve fulfilled the wagering requirements.

Why Do Online Casinos Use Wagering Requirements?

Wagering Requirements are predictably unpopular with players. It’s tempting to think of them as an underhand tactic on behalf of the online casinos, but let’s not be too harsh. Casinos are businesses, and they wouldn’t last long if every player who took a bonus on registration won oodles of cash using them. Unfortunately, bonus abusers are also rife in the industry, and casinos have to protect themselves. Wagering requirements reduce their risk to exposure, and most are up front about their existence.

Bonuses With No Wagering Requirements?

Player dislike of wagering requirements has, however, encouraged online casinos to rethink their strategy. This has led some to abandon the concept altogether, resulting in wager-free bonuses, from which you can pocket the winnings straight away. These casinos are no mean in the majority, and many of them have only binned wagering requirements for free spins, rather than cash bonuses. But it’s a positive movement all the same, and perhaps it’s a predictable one.

A Growing Trend?

The fact that so few online casinos have been willing to abandon wagering requirements for all bonuses, rather than just free spins, suggests that there is still some uneasiness, even amongst those that want to innovate. It’s an undisputable ‘halfway house’ that provides the online casino with a great marketing tool, while maintaining some aversion to risk.

However, as more casinos adopted this concept, so others began to go further. Now, online casinos are beginning to abandon wagering requirements across all bonuses, not just free spins. If they prove it can be done, then the trend could ignite. It’s a popular move with players, and sites that maintain traditional bonus structures won’t want to be left behind.

Are Bonuses With No Wagering Requirements the Future?

The question is, will this trend continue or gather pace? It’s hard to say, really. The number of casinos offering bonuses without wagering requirements remains low. That said, big names like Guts. Thrills and Kaboo have all abandoned these terms for all free spins. It’s less known brands like Happy Hugo and 7Red Casino that have binned them for all bonuses though. Other sites like PlayOjo and No Bonus Casino are experimenting with cash back schemes that usurp traditional bonuses altogether.

There’s no doubt there’s a long way to go. However, it’s player thirst that could drive the change. Google search stats suggest that they haven’t cottoned on yet. Searches for Bonuses With No Wagering Requirements are still dwarfed by attempts to find no deposit bonuses and straightforward free spins. As more players realise that bonuses with no wagering requirements exist, this should begin to change. That would encourage more online casinos to take note and seek alternative ways of structuring their bonus offers.