Kylian Mbappe, Neymar 8/10 as PSG flatter in rout of Lyon on fifa15guide

Kylian Mbappe found his scoring touch in the second half, scoring four goals in 14 minutes to lead PSG to victory over rivals Lyon.

Kylian Mbappe scored his first Paris Saint-Germain hat trick as part of a four-goal haul in a 5-0 thrashing of Lyon at Parc des Princes on Sunday. The defending champions set a new Ligue 1 record with a ninth consecutive win from their opening nine matches and also maintained their eight-point lead at the summit. Neymar opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the first half, while Presnel Kimpembe, as well as Lucas Tousart, saw red before half-time.


To win by such a convincing score against arguably the best footballing team aside from themselves is a bizarre achievement, but that is what happened. PSG were not as superior as the final score suggests, particularly in the first half, yet they took their chances and capitalised on Lyon’s collapse when it came. Of particular note is the fact that the hosts once again maintained their intensity and hunger, having already scored a few times. Something is brewing under Thomas Tuchel.


It might seem a bit ungrateful after a 5-0 win over one of the best teams in Ligue 1, but PSG could have been better against Lyon. The defence could and perhaps should have been punished more than once by the visitors, while the midfield missed Adrien Rabiot as chances to add further gloss to the score were missed.

Manager rating out of 10

7 — PSG went goal crazy, but it was not a perfect tactical match from Tuchel; Marquinhos is still far from convincing in midfield, while the defence still leaks chances. However, the players clearly believe in the German tactician’s vision because the intensity and hunger on show were impressive once again.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Gianluigi Buffon, 7 — Busier than you would expect from a glance at the score, he was forced to make a number of saves over the course of the game.

DF Thomas Meunier, 5 — In difficulty at times, though not as often as Juan Bernat on the left, he could only watch as Neymar and Mbappe did most of the attacking.

DF Thiago Silva (c), 7 — Bizarrely, one of the skipper’s stronger performances because of the volume of chances enjoyed by Lyon and Presnel Kimpembe’s first-half red card.

DF Presnel Kimpembe, 3 — Solid up until his dismissal, it was a deserved expulsion and endangers his hopes of featuring against Marseille in Le Classique — avoidable.

DF Juan Bernat, 4 — Another tough night on the left, his struggles are a significant reason PSG continue to look unconvincing in defence.

MF Marco Verratti, 6 — Formed a decent enough pairing with Marquinhos in midfield, though it lacks the balance of his combination with Adrien Rabiot and picked up a booking when things got heated toward the break.

MF Marquinhos, 5 — Still continues to find midfield a difficult transition from defence, but he did grab an assist as Mbappe went nuts in front of goal.

Kylian Mbappe scored four goals vs. Lyon, but amazingly, he rarely hit top gear.

FW Kylian Mbappe, 8 — Despite his quadruple, once he warmed up, he still took a while to calibrate his finishing, and he could and perhaps should have finished with more than the four he got — a scary thought. His relationship with Neymar went to a whole new level once Edinson Cavani was substituted as Tuchel sought balance after Kimpembe’s red card.

FW Neymar, 8 — Aside from a booking, it was another balanced performance. He might have finished with only one goal (a penalty) and an assist each, but he created much more than that, and Mbappe’s wasteful finishing at times denied him tangible proof of that creativity.

FW Angel Di Maria, 4 — Found it tough going after Kimpembe’s dismissal as he moved into midfield, it was a surprise that he lasted 82 minutes until he was replaced by Moussa Diaby, but Tuchel is not exactly flush with midfield options.

FW Edinson Cavani, 5 — The unlucky victim of Kimpembe’s red card, he did not even make it until half-time, and it was still a contest when he left the pitch.


DF Thilo Kehrer, 6 — Solid enough in Kimpembe’s place, he looks more comfortable now than he did in his earlier outings.

MF Julian Draxler, NR — Given 16 minutes at the end in place of Verratti, his teammates had already pulverised Lyon in terms of goals.

FW Moussa Diaby, NR — Sent on for the final eight minutes in Di Maria’s place, he perhaps could have been introduced sooner to lessen the Argentina international’s struggles.

Jose Mourinho gets a reprieve at Man United, fresh concerns for Tottenham and Crystal Palace –

Nick Miller breaks down all the highs and lows from matchday eight of the 2018-19 Premier League season in our Weekend Review.

Goal of the weekend

After an uncomfortable first season at Everton, Gylfi Sigurdsson looks back to his best. His astonishing goal against Leicester — a perfect Cruyff turn followed by a thumping shot into the top corner — proved as much. In most weeks, Ricardo Pereira’s extraordinary solo strike would have stood out, but ultimately it wasn’t even the best goal in that game.

Missed opportunities of the weekend

Pep Guardiola declared it a “good result.” Jurgen Klopp said he was “really happy with what the boys did.” It seems everyone was satisfied with the 0-0 draw between Manchester City and Liverpool on Sunday, except perhaps those of us who had to watch this rather dubious form of public entertainment.

But should the managers have been quite so pleased? Before the game, they would both have justifiably been delighted with a draw, Liverpool playing the best team in the country, while Guardiola was facing the manager with the best record of anyone against him and one who seems to get in his head the most.

And yet, both teams were so bad that they can only blame their own poor performance for not taking three points. It will surely never be easier for Liverpool to beat Manchester City and for Manchester City to beat Liverpool, but both teams wasted their chance. A point is useful, but both could’ve had much more.

Optimists of the weekend

From a neutral perspective, it was quite nice just to hear Arsenal fans enjoying their team again.

“We’ve got our Arsenal back,” they sang during the 5-1 deconstruction of Fulham, their ninth win in a row. Considering their next two league games are against Crystal Palace and Leicester, you’d imagine that run will be extended, meaning they’ll go into the home game against Liverpool at the start of November high on confidence.

Suddenly, this looks like an Arsenal team that could do something.

Papered cracks of the weekend

A reprieve then, for Jose Mourinho, who nonetheless emerged from Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Newcastle with an air of paranoia that you might actually excuse him for, this time. But even in victory, there were indications of exactly why his job might be in jeopardy.

“The second half was the way we should always play football,” said Romelu Lukaku afterwards.

“That’s what the fans want to see, that’s the way we want to play. I don’t know why we don’t always play like this but we won the game and have to move on.”

It’s always possible to read too much into these things, but that’s the second senior player this season to openly and almost casually question Mourinho’s approach. It was a fine win and a rousing comeback, but ultimately it might prove a temporary sticking plaster, a delay of the inevitable.

Luckiest moment of the weekend

Luckiest moment of the season? Whether Alexis Sanchez’s late goal will actually save Mourinho’s job remains to be seen, but it was aided greatly by referee Anthony Taylor’s failure to spot one of the more blatant handballs you’ll see this season, when Ashley Young raised his arm to block a free kick from Jonjo Shelvey in the penalty area. To compound the disbelief, Taylor’s unique interpretation of physics led him to not even give a corner after the ball went out.

That was in the 40th minute, the score at 2-0 to Newcastle. Manchester United’s comeback from that point was unlikely, but had Newcastle converted the penalty, surely it would have been impossible.

Veteran of the weekend

Glenn Murray gave an interview to the Times last weekend in which he said he didn’t let himself have breakfast at the Brighton training ground these days, because he’d stay there too long, get chatting and fill up with unnecessary food.

It’s always easy to ascribe on-pitch success to off-pitch marginal gains like this, but it is indicative of a 35-year-old who wants to wring every last drop out of his career. Murray’s goal against West Ham on Friday night was his fifth in seven league starts this season: Whether it’s the light breakfasts or not, whatever Murray is doing is working.

Concern of the weekend: Part one

Ultimately it didn’t prove costly, but Hugo Lloris’s latest error will still prove concerning for Tottenham. The mad dash off his line that donated a goal to Barcelona last week was at least sort of consistent with his all-round career. He’s always been a goalkeeper who comes for everything, for good or bad, but one wonders whether the mistake in the Champions League got into his head against Cardiff.

This time, after a ball over the top was overhit and provided a theoretically easy claim for any alert keeper, Lloris dithered, then advanced at just the right time for Jacob Murphy to lift the ball over him. Toby Alderweireld saved his bacon, but if Lloris is now second-guessing himself rather than just making mistakes, it is a real worry.

Concern of the weekend: Part two

Crystal Palace now haven’t scored in their four home games so far this season, and only two of the bottom three — Huddersfield and Cardiff — have fewer overall. The inability to find a forward, other than Wilfried Zaha, capable of scoring could land them in deep trouble.

Team of the weekend

Watford vs. Bournemouth looked like the low-key game of the weekend before kick-off, the two surprise packages of the season facing each other in what promised to be a fixture of razor-thin margins. In the end, it was a rout, Eddie Howe’s team dismantling their opponents with precision and aggression.

Howe wasn’t getting too excited about the 4-0 win, the brilliance from David Brooks and Josh King and Jefferson Lerma, or their position on the fringes of the Champions League spots.

“Oh, we’ve played better,” he said afterwards.

But if you can’t get excited about Bournemouth climbing to fifth, as they were on Saturday evening, then this game might not be for you.

fifa15guide | Transfer Talk: Arsenal plot swoop for Atlanta United star Miguel Almiron

Arsenal win their 9th game in a row and have been on scintillating form since their consecutive losses to Manchester City and Arsenal back in August.
Arsenal win their 9th game in a row and have been on scintillating form since their consecutive losses to Manchester City and Arsenal back in August.
Arsenal win their 9th game in a row and have been on scintillating form since their consecutive losses to Manchester City and Arsenal back in August.
ESPN FC’s Craig Burley thinks Arsenal still has room to improve, but for now Unai Emery has the team thriving with a clear plan of attack.
ESPN FC’s Craig Burley thinks Arsenal still has room to improve, but for now Unai Emery has the team thriving with a clear plan of attack.

The transfer window for all of Europe’s big five leagues is closed, but that doesn’t stop Transfer Talk from rummaging around about who will be moving where come January.

Gunners target Paraguay striker Almiron

Arsenal’s attack is looking pretty formidable after their five-goal show at Fulham, but the Mirror reports that coach Unai Emery is poised to strengthen it further.

It says the Gunners boss “is set to land Paraguay striker Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United, for whom Almiron has scored 12 goals this year, in January.”

Almiron has previously said his “objective has always been to go to Europe” and hailed the Premier League for what he called its “beautiful and competitive style of soccer.”

Meanwhile, reports that Aaron Ramsey, whose fine goal illuminated the thumping win at Craven Cottage, could be replaced by Porto captain Hector Herrera are gathering pace.

Ramsey appears all but certain to move after contract talks broke down, and the Sun says that although the Gunners are lining up a move for Herrera, they could face competition from Real Madrid whose coach Julen Lopetegui worked with him in Portugal.

The Mexico international’s contract runs out next summer, meaning he could move for “a cut-price fee” after Christmas or negotiate a pre-contract agreement to move come the end of the season.

Hernandez could leave, but Hammers won’t add

West Ham’s recovery may have shuddered to a halt in Friday’s defeat at Brighton, but Football London reports that although manager Manuel Pellegrini has no plans to add new players he could lose a big-name striker.

A summer overhaul saw the Hammers add stars including Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko to their ranks, with the additions leading to speculation that players including forward Andy Carroll may be on their way.

But the report says “Mexico international Javier Hernandez could be a possible departure given his £120,000-a-week wages, although the likelihood of the Hammers recouping the £16 million they paid Bayer Leverkusen looks unlikely.”

It adds that Robert Snodgrass, Michail Antonio, Aaron Cresswell and Pedro Obiang are set to remain at the London Stadium “until at least the end of the season” despite being linked with moves.


– Liverpool winger Ryan Kent, starring on loan at Rangers, has said he would be interested in a permanent move to the Scottish club, managed by Anfield legend Steven Gerrard.

The Sun reports that the 21-year-old would consider a full-time switch to Ibrox, with Gerrard having said he would like a permanent deal to be done.

– West Bromwich Albion will make a second attempt to sign Blackburn midfielder Bradley Dack when the window opens, the Birmingham Mail says.

Blackburn rebuffed Albion’s interest in former Gillingham player Dack in the summer, but the Baggies are “ready to return with an improved bid in January.”

fifa15guide – Albion Online Turns One

Launch Day: July 17, 2017

In the weeks leading up to the launch, anticipation in the Albion Online community reached a fever pitch. People took days or weeks off work to dive into the game, created extensive spreadsheets to document their burgeoning guilds and alliances, and spent late nights on the forums plotting their first steps in the world of Albion.

fifa15guide - Albion Online Turns One

At 13:00 UTC on July 17th, the game was officially live, and people began streaming into the Royal Continent. It was a time of firsts: first kills in the red zone, first to enter a black zone, the first Hellgates, the first attacks launched and GvGs and most importantly for some, claiming the Home Territories.

Guilds began to take shape, and Alliances became clearer. "I was playing in the guild 8 Team during this time," says Emma-Jade, aka Evoque, Community Lead for Albion Online. "I remember how hyped players were and how extensively they prepared, planning days off work… it was a lot of fun as everyone in the map was at an early state and it was a relatively even playing field. On day one, 8 Team rushed to the city, got a guild island, and pushed T4 buildings out. Once the plots were open, the guild grouped up as fast as possible and we claimed as many as we could. I was not able to be involved in everything, as I was hosting the official stream on AlbionTV at the time, but I was fortunate enough to witness their progress and support where I could – it was important for me to really experience these unique moments alongside the players."

Streaming live on launch week

While thrilling, the launch was also challenging: the community had grown beyond all expectations, and was fully prepared to log in the moment the game was live. The numbers alone would have been challenging to handle from a support/moderation perspective, but coupled with malicious DDOS attacks (which caused blackscreen issues and other technical challenges), it became an exhausting week for the developers and the community alike.

"I remember how hyped players were and how extensively they prepared, planning days off work…"

Over the following weeks, the technical issues receded, and players were able to fully immerse themselves in the game. The Albion Online character builder officially launched on July 25, allowing players to share trusted builds and explore new ones, and players started reaching the higher tiers soon after that.

The Joseph Update: Prepare to Fight

The first few months after launch saw the formation of a more hardcore, PvP-oriented contingent in the Albion community. Guilds grew in size and power, and many players began to center their gameplay in Caerleon due to its access to the lawless Outlands.

"The community is now consolidated, and consists much more of players who enjoy Albion for what it is: a player-driven world with a heavy emphasis on hardcore PvP and aggressive economics."

Game Director Robin Henkys sees this phase as a sorting or consolidation of the playerbase: "Initially, we had a huge range of players who hoped Albion would deliver their particular desires. The community is now consolidated, and consists much more of players who enjoy Albion for what it is: a player-driven world with a heavy emphasis on hardcore PvP and aggressive economics."

With this competitive faction of the Albion community growing, the first post-launch update, Joseph, brought new PvP opportunities in the form of the Arena, which offered 5v5 battles in each of the game's cities, and PvE opportunities in the form of open-world treasure hunts and two new higher-tier Expeditions, which were dungeon-like adventures that could be accessed from the game's major cities.

fifa15guide – Albion Online Dev Talk – Merlyn Economy Changes

One of the key goals of the Merlyn update is to increase the relevance of the five Royal cities: Martlock, Thetford, Fort Sterling, Lymhurst and Bridgewatch. In this new Dev Talk, Robin Henkys, Game Director of Albion Online, discusses how these cities will not only gain significance as the headquarters of their factions, but will also be increasingly attractive for crafters and traders as well.

fifa15guide – Meet the New Bosses

The fourth major post-release content update for Albion Online arrives next week, bringing the all-new Faction Warfare system.

Each faction is based in a different Royal city and biome, and each faction's leader has a unique personality to match. Their quirks make them charismatic leaders to their allies… and frightening foes on the battlefield.

Watch the new trailer for a taste of these unique bosses' special skills:

You can meet the five faction leaders when the Merlyn update goes live on Tuesday, July 31.

Merlyn is Live! on fifa15guide

Merlyn, the fourth major post-launch update for Albion Online, is now live! This update brings the new Faction Warfare system to the world of Albion, along with numerous other features, improvements, and changes.

And to celebrate the occasion, we're giving all players a 25% fame boost for one week! Just log into the game between now and August 6 at 10:00 UTC and you'll automatically get the Mists of Albion buff, which gives a 25% boost to gathering, crafting, killing monsters, and all other activities.

Watch the new trailer here:

Whether you're new to the world of Albion or a seasoned veteran, Merlyn brings features, improvements, and optimizations for everyone. Here's an overview of what's coming:

Faction Warfare

Join one of five factions based in the five Royal cities to participate in open-world warfare, claim enemy outposts, partake in dangerous trade missions, and earn valuable rewards.

Merlyn is Live! on fifa15guide

Refining, Crafting and Resource Updates

Each city on the Royal Continent now has its own unique refining and crafting bonuses, offering new economic opportunities for traders and crafters – and resources have been redistributed to encourage travel and transport throughout the world.

Merlyn is Live! on fifa15guide

Marketplace UI Improvements

The Marketplace UI has been completely overhauled, and two new features have been added: a clearer average price display based on actual sales, and in-depth sales history for each item at a given location.

Merlyn is Live! on fifa15guide

New Dungeon, Trophies, Costumes, and More

Take on the new T5 Dungeon Stoneroot Caverns, decorate your home with all-new gathering trophies, dress in style with new wedding costumes, and experience numerous improvements to Albion's combat, UI, graphics, animations, and audio.

Merlyn is Live! on fifa15guide

Want the full details of every single feature, improvement, and change coming with the Merlyn update? You can view the complete changelog here.

Get a Saint Bernard in the New Referral Season! –

A new referral season starts today! Refer your friends and get three new rewards: the Recruiter's Barrel-Crate, the Recruiter's Beer Mug, and the Saint Bernard

Get a Saint Bernard in the New Referral Season! -

How to Earn Seasonal Referral Rewards

The new referral season lasts until September 26. There are three ways to collect referrals and earn a Saint Bernard:

  • The easiest way is by sending Trial Keys to your friends. Each key redeemed on an account without a key on it will count toward your referral season progress.
  • Additionally, any Starter Pack that you buy and that gets redeemed on an account without a key will also count toward your progress.
  • And last but not least: if a friend registers through your referral link, then buys and redeems a Starter Pack on their account, you’ll also progress.

To get an overview of your current progress this season, and to see the FAQ for the referral system, click here.

Get a Saint Bernard in the New Referral Season! -

Transfer Talk: Mesut Ozil told he must work harder to stay with Arsenal –

ESPN FC’s Shaka Hislop gives his take as to which big name players could still be on the move, but will Kylian Mbappe join Real Madrid?

The English transfer window is closed, but the rest of Europe (except Italy) is still open for business, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow along with our daily blog throughout the summer.

When does the transfer window close in the top European leagues?

All completed moves: Prem | Champ | La Liga | Serie A | Bundesliga | Ligue 1

Ozil ‘in battle for Arsenal future’

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil faces a fight for his future at the club, according to The Mirror.

Ozil missed Unai Emery’s first win in charge against West Ham, and the coach has reportedly “made it clear he expects more in terms of workrate from Arsenal’s biggest star and top earner.”

The former Germany midfielder did not train on Friday after reporting that he was suffering from a cold, and then sat out the game at the Emirates.

The Mirror says Ozil — substituted in the defeat at Chelsea last weekend — “was then told in training last week that he must work harder as suspicions grew that he could be dropped.”

Meanwhile, fellow midfielder Aaron Ramsey, into the final year of his contract, “could keep Arsenal waiting until January” before deciding on his future — but officials believe he will sign a new deal.

United again linked with Roma’s Pellegrini

When Marouane Fellaini seemed set to leave Manchester United at the end of last season, Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini was tipped as a replacement — and he could end up arriving in January, says the Manchester Evening News.

Italy international Pellegrini is being lined up by manager Jose Mourinho to bring added dynamism to his midfield.

Although the 22-year-old had been a summer target, the Evening News says the club “never stepped up their interest” — but that is set to change.

However, a new central defender remains the priority, with United set to face Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, strongly linked with an Old Trafford move, on Monday.

A clause in the Belgium international’s contract means he would be available for £25 million next summer if he does not agree a new deal — and the Evening News says that “would represent a fraction of the fee sought” earlier in the year.

Mignolet keen to quit Liverpool

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet wants to leave and could “push for a departure” before transfer windows close on Friday, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Mignolet is Jurgen Klopp’s second choice following the loan departure of Loris Karius to Besiktas and was on the bench for Saturday’s win over Brighton.

The Echo says the Belgium international — who has not played for the first team since January and is deputy to Alisson — wants regular playing time and a fresh start.

But Liverpool “are unlikely to allow him to depart this month, with youngsters Caoimhin Kelleher and Kamil Grabara the only other goalkeeping options available.”

Mignolet was linked with Besiktas and Napoli before the departure of Karius was confirmed.


— Kevin Strootman‘s transfer to Marseille should be announced on Monday pending a medical, according to multiple reports in Italy, which said the French side will pay €25m plus another €3m in performance-related bonuses.

Roma left the 28-year-old Dutchman left out of their squad for Monday’s game against Atalanta.

— Leicester are planning for the January window, and the city’s Mercury reports that Blackburn midfielder Bradley Dack is a target.

Dack, who scored 18 times as Blackburn won promotion to the Championship last season, has attracting the attention of Foxes manager Claude Puel, who could offer £10 million.

— West Brom want another defender on loan, says the Birmingham Mail, with boss Darren Moore optimistic that a deal can be done.

Moore is keen to add a right-back but has stressed he will only bring in a new face “if they’re right to take us forward.”

fifa15guide | West Ham are creating the ultimate FIFA team

Felipe Anderson

Felipe Anderson

Part of the fun of the transfer window is contemplating which club will be your team on the next edition of FIFA. FIFA 19 looks like it will have West Ham’s name written all over it, with the club’s transfer spree bringing an array of talented players to London. Manuel Pellegrini will be happy that he has managed to be so busy in the transfer market, and he probably won’t mind at all when you swoop in at the start of your FIFA 19 career and take over the team he has assembled. His new signings should not only be effective in the real world, but also boast qualities that will translate in exciting fashion to FIFA.

West Ham bringing home the bacon

The poster boy for the transfer spree is Felipe Anderson for a club record fee of £36 million from Lazio. The BBC have reported how West Ham bosses have called the Brazilian attacking midfielder one of the most exciting players in Europe. Anderson was actually something of a bit-part player for Lazio last season, with injury and the form of Luis Alberto restricting him to 21 Serie A appearances. Maybe those at the top at West Ham gained their glowing opinion of Anderson from his FIFA stats; a potential rating of 84 on FIFA 18 places him alongside Manuel Lanzini as one of their star players, while a sprint speed and acceleration of 91 and 94 respectively make Anderson the dream FIFA player. Being blessed with pace and the technical ability to back it up is a hallowed combination.

Jack Wilshere brings strong passing ability, with a short passing and ball control rating of 84. Unsurprisingly, Wilshere carries the injury-prone trait on FIFA because of his struggles with fitness in real life, but this is a player touted to be one of the world’s leading central midfielders when he emerged onto the scene. If he can avoid injury on FIFA then he will be a guaranteed starter for West Ham, with the FIFA gamers having the added bonus of not having to deal with his occasionally fiery persona.

Andriy Yarmolenko seems to have been around for ages, but at an age of 27 the Ukrainian forward is ready to make a mark on a big league in a way that he couldn’t at Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund are blessed with an embarrassment of speedy attacking riches, so FIFA and football managers alike may have seen cause to overlook Yarmolenko. At West Ham, he is the kind of player who can take them to the next level. His dribbling of 87 and strength of 81 will make him difficult to shrug off the ball, with FIFA gamers having the added bonus of not having to deal with his occasionally volatile personality. With characters like Wilshere and Yarmolenko, Pellegrini is going to have an interesting dressing room.

Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere

A FIFA challenge

Ryan Fredericks (sprint speed 94), Fabian Balbuena (potential rating 80), Lukasz Fabianski (current rating 80) and Issa Diop (potential rating 86) round off the incoming arrivals to West Ham. In particular, Diop could turn out to be a stunning signing. Sky Sports reported how West Ham fought off interest from European heavyweights Monaco and Sevilla to capture the signature of Toulouse’s 20-year-old captain, with the centre-back’s FIFA 18 strength rating of 86 marking his potential to become a formidable defender. West Ham are investing significantly in hope of making the jump from mid-table to European regulars. As of 17th July, the Hammers are 250/1 with Betway to win the Premier League, placing them in the company of Everton and Leicester. However, if the signings are embedded quickly into life in London then West Ham will be fancying their chances to spring a surprise.

Plus, their outsider status makes them an appealing FIFA challenge. Especially if Pellegrini struggles to integrate his new signings quickly, when FIFA 19 hits the stores there will be a multitude of gamers eager to see if they can do better. As mentioned above, some of these new signings are big characters who are not averse to trouble in real life. Throw in the presence of the combustible Marko Arnautovic and it is clear that Pellegrini will have his work cut out in keeping the dressing room positive. There is then the added issue of finding a system that accommodates all of his attacking talents. FIFA players can get stuck into that second issue without having to worry about potential problems off the pitch to the same extent. If players can’t find a system that works then the likes of Felipe Anderson and Ryan Fredericks are really quite fast, so that helps.