Top 10 exciting young footballers in 2018

Top 10 exciting young footballers in 2018

“What is my age? You do not talk to me about age,” said Kylian Mbappe recently in an interview. 


Like the French star, in 2018, a host of other players proved that youth and less experience cannot create hindrance in success and responsibilities. Here are our top 10 young footballers who overwhelmed us the most.

 

David Neres (21 years old, Ajax Amsterdam)

Image Credit: Roma Press

Arrived from Sao Paulo in 2016, David Neres conquered Ajax Amsterdam. He is involved in eight goals in his last seven league games. To be sure not to lose him right away, Ajax extended the contract last September. Is he waiting for a first convocation with the Selecao now? The answer is an on a positive note.

Also Read: 5 best moments of 2018

 

Luka Jovic (21 years old, Eintracht Frankfurt)

Image Credit: AFP PHOTO / Daniel Roland

The Football Manager of the German club knew him even before he exploded with Eintracht Frankfurt. OM’s runner-up in the Europa League, loaned for two seasons by Benfica, scored 7 goals in the second part of last season before becoming Bundesliga top scorer (12 goals) of the running 2018-19 season. He also became Serbian international last June, participating in the World Cup in Russia.

 

Patrick Cutrone (20 years old, AC Milan)

Image Credit: Italian Football Daily

He too was named for the Kopa trophy. A pure product of AC Milan, Patrick Cutrone had a great year in 2018, despite the difficulties of his club. He has scored four goals in five Europa League matches this season. In all, the Italian international has 25 goals and 7 assists in 67 games.

 

Houssem Aouar (20 years old, Lyon)

Image Credit: Al Bawaba

Named among the contenders for the Kopa trophy, Houssem Aouar is the heyday of the OL. In the midfield, where his partnership with Ndombele shines brightly, he has emerged as one of the best players in the French League. He also won the praise of Pep Guardiola, who faced him as the Manchester City boss in the Champions League. “He’s a very good player, an incredible player. He is always very calm and has a good vision, “said the Spanish coach.

 

Matthijs De Ligt (19 years old, Ajax Amsterdam)

Image Credit: Getty Images

Even if Ajax Amsterdam still runs behind PSG Eindhoven in the Dutch League, Ajax this season is simply irresistible. And the capital club owes it in part to its young talents, of which Matthijs De Ligt is a part. The defender, the winner of the Golden Boy 2018, is irremovable in central defense. The fourth most used player in the squad in Eredivisie, De Ligt is one of those modern defenders whose qualities of recovery are outstanding.

 

Tanguy Ndombele (21 years old, Lyon)

Image Credit: Getty Images

His progress was dazzling. This season, Tanguy Ndombele has emerged as one of the key players in Bruno Genesio’s Olympique Lyon side. Powerful physically, optimistic about his support, always in search of good-passes, the midfielder of the Les Gones is also honored with the first selection for the team of France. If he needs more regularity, Tanguy already has it in full scale.

 

Frenkie De Jong (21 years old, Ajax Amsterdam)

Image Credit: Goal.com

The young midfielder of Ajax has revealed himself to the world this year. On one side, it is not only for his qualities and elegance but also for his particular style of play. In a highly exposed position, De Jong does not hesitate to take risks and constantly seeks verticality. His profile is a rare commodity, and PSG has clearly understood who want him next season. The Dutch press reported advanced discussions between the French club and the player’s representatives. It is an opportunity for him to confirm at the highest level.

 

Trent Alexander-Arnold (20 years old, Liverpool)

Image Credit: Getty Images

Liverpool fans voted him best young footballer in the previous Premier League season. At only 20 years of age, the Englishman is irremovable in the right corridor for the Reds. And we understand why he is the one who catches the most balls in the League and among those who recovers the most. He is very active when he loses the ball, with a good quality of tackle and an excellent vision of the game to find the pass lines in the intervals. Alexander-Arnold is already a reference to his position.

 

Jadon Sancho (18 years old, Borussia Dortmund)

Image Credit: EPA

The young Englishman made a bold bet at the age of 17 by joining Dortmund of Germany. But it is clear that he made the right choice. Already brilliant in Borussia’s final matches last season, Sancho has made an outstanding first half of the 2018-19 season, which earned him the cap of the Three Lions. He is also in the typical team of revelations of the year 2018 in the Champions League where he showed his quality and class.

 

Kylian Mbappe (20 years old, PSG)

Image Credit: Ian Langsdon/EPA-EFE

It was not very hard to see how the world champion, winner of the Kopa trophy and the French player of the year, conquered the first place in the rankings. The prodigy has become indispensable to PSG and France team, who gleaned four titles including the World Cup, and has always displayed his immeasurable ambition. The one who turned 20 in mid-December already has the world at his feet.

Luka Modric wins Ballon d’Or 2018 in Paris

Luka Modric wins Ballon d’Or 2018 in Paris

Winner of the Champions League and the finalist of the Russia World Cup, the Croatian midfielder Luka Modric wins his first Ballon d’Or France Football. He finished ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann. 


After ten years of reign shared between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (5 trophies each), the 2018 edition of the Ballon d’Or marked an end with the coronation of Luka Modric. Under the light, the elegant master of Real Madrid got the prize who looks like an ‘old-fashioned’ player, with his frail pace and gestures combining grace and efficiency. 

The first player in his country, Croatia, to win this distinction, Luka Modric has done better than Davor Suker. Suker, the only Croatian who has already been on the podium of the Ballon d’Or with his 2nd place in 1998, the former Real Madrid striker won the Champions League that year and played a major role in the third place of the Croatia at the World Cup, during which he finished top scorer (6 goals) and third place of the event.

Also Read: Modric – Golden Ball Winner | FIFA World Cup

He also won the Champions League that year with Real Madrid, but Luka Modric has raised the flag on the checkered flag at the World Cup, opening the doors of the final, lost against France (2-4). Author of a sparkling performance – punctuated by a sublime goal – during the correction imposed on Argentina in the group stage (3-0), the 33-year-old then showed his notch in knockout matches.

Also Read: UEFA Men’s Player Of The Season: Luka Modric

While missing a penalty in overtime against Denmark, Luka Modric met his responsibilities by turning his shot on goal against the Vikings, then against Russia, the host country in quarters. Elected player of the competition, Luka Modric took advantage of the premature eliminations of Ronaldo’s Portugal and Messi’s Argentina to receive the most prestigious individual competitions.

Seventeenth in 2016 (tied with Kroos and Payet), fifth in 2017, Luka Modric was ahead of the five-times winner Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann, world champion and winner of the Europa League. In his acceptance speech,

Modric said: “It’s a unique feeling. I am happy, proud and honored. I have sensational emotions at the moment that are really hard to describe in words. First of all, I would like to thank my team-mates and coaches at Real Madrid and all the people who work for Real Madrid, all my coaches at team-mates with the national team, all those who voted for me and of course, my family, my wife, and kids. They are fulfilling me as a person and helping me in all aspects to be successful as a professional. As a kid, we all have dreams. My dream was to play for a big club, to win important trophies. I dreamed about it, but the Ballon d’Or was more than a childhood dream for me and it’s a real honor and a privilege to hold this trophy tonight.”

 

Women’s Ballon d’Or

Ada Hegerberg of Lyon and Norway became the first ever winner of the female Ballon d’Or. Hegerberg joined Lyon in 2014 and since then she has helped the club complete three domestic doubles and win the Women’s Champions League in each of the last three seasons.

The striker has scored 157 goals in 125 appearances for Lyon and 38 goals for Norway in 66 games. In 2016 Hegerberg was voted as Europe’s best female player. There was a collective intake of breath from the crowd when French DJ Martin Solveig asked Ada Hegerberg if she would twerk just moments after she received the award. The question was beyond inappropriate, it was an absolute disgrace.

 

Kopa Trophy

Kylian Mbappe has won the inaugural Kopa Trophy, a new award given to the world’s best male footballer aged under 21. The Paris Saint-Germain striker was one of the stars in France’s triumphant World Cup campaign as Didier Deschamps’ squad emerged victorious at the Russia 2018 tournament.

Also Read: Kylian Mbappe – Young Player Of The Tournament | FIFA World Cup

With 32 goals in 56 games in all competitions for club and country in 2018, Mbappe beat fellow nominees including Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold and Borussia Dortmund’s United States international Christian Pulisic.

“I am very happy to receive this award, This rewards a great year, which I realized thanks to all my team-mates at PSG and with the national team. I will never forget the adventure of the World Cup. It’s a good time to thank them. And it’s an extra motivation to keep working.”

Mbappe said at Monday’s ceremony.

“My next goal? It is to win everything. It will be with hard work and help from my team-mates.”

5 Players who beat Mbappe to a Golden Boy Award Nomination

5 Players who beat Mbappe to the Golden Boy Award Nomination

The Golden Boy Nominations have been announced and the biggest Shock for Many people was the Fact that Kylian Mbappe was left out of the final 5 Shortlist.


Kylian Mbappe won the Golden Boy Award in 2017 but is still eligible for the coveted trophy as he is under the age of 21. While some fans think he is omitted because he won the award last Season while other optimistic fans think it’s because Kylian Mbappe will make it to the Ballon d’Or shortlist.

That is a realistic possibility given that the awards are organized by France’s Football Federation. The 5 Final Nominees are still a great group of Players so let’s have a look at them.

1. Trent Alexander-Arnold- Liverpool (20 Years-old)

The Liverpool Youngster has been phenomenal at the Merseyside Club and has made the Right-Back position his own keeping Compatriot Nathaniel Clyne out of the team.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Alexander-Arnold broke Into England’s World Cup Squad this year, was easily in the top 3 Right Backs in the Premier League and According to Statistics site, Squawka made just one defensive error in the whole 2017/18 Premier League Season. He is a definite favorite for the Golden Boy.

 

 

2. Patrick Cutrone- AC Milan (20 Years-Old)

Cutrone was a pleasant Surprise for AC Milan last Season. After investing so much Money in bringing top players to the Club and spending 38 Million on a Striker like Andre Silva and then watching him fail must’ve hurt fans of the Club.

Patrick Cutrone

Surprise Surprise, a new star breaks onto the Scene and Cutrone scored an impressive 18 Goals in his first Full Season for his boyhood Club. Furthermore, He broke into the Italy Squad as well to earn his first Cap.

 

 

3. Matthijs de Ligt- Ajax (19 Years-Old)

de Ligt is probably the most sought after Centre-Back in the World right now and the Dutch Teenager is living up to the hype.

Matthijs de Ligt

He has seemed to become Ajax’s most important defender and is evidently growing with every game for the Netherlands especially when he’s paired alongside Virgil Van Dijk. No wonder Barcelona are reportedly ready to pay 80 Million Euros for him.

 

 

4. Justin Kluivert- Ajax/Roma (19 Years-Old)

It isn’t often that a famous Footballer’s Son goes on to play as well as his Father. We aren’t saying that Justin Kluivert is going to achieve what the Great Patrick Kluivert did but he certainly has potential.

Justin Kluivert

Kluivert Jr. Reportedly had offers from the Likes of Barcelona and Manchester United after shining at Ajax but according to his Father, they picked Roma in order to have more game time and chances to grow. Roma Legend, Francesco Totti personally called Patrick Kluivert to advocate the move.

 

 

5. Vinicius Jr.- Real Madrid (18 Years-Old)

The Brazilian youth sensation Cost Real Madrid a reported 46 Million Euros when he signed a Pre-Contract 2 years back that would see him move to the Los Blancos after he turned 18.

Vinicius Jr

Though Vinicius isn’t a regular in the senior Real Madrid team yet, He has turned some heads for the Youth Madrid and Brazil Teams. Vinicius is an exciting prospect for the future and Madrid will hope to get the best out of him. 

 

Ligue 1 | Henry still waits for first win as Monaco manager

Ligue 1 | Henry still waits for first win as Monaco manager

French legend Thierry Henry is still waiting for his taste of victory as Monaco manager after a rollercoaster 2 – 2 draw with Dijon on Saturday, that stretched their winless run to 10 games.


After a 2 – 1 defeat at Strasbourg and 1 – 1 Champions League draw against Club Brugge,  Monaco yet again failed to impress after they gave away a lead and played out a 2 – 2 draw against Dijon on Saturday. This result means that Monaco are second from the bottom of the table and only goal difference keeps them above Guingamp, something that Monaco wouldn’t and shouldn’t be proud of given their rich history and the calibre of players they have produced.

Henrichs gave Monaco the lead in the 29th minute but Thierry Henry’s joy was short-lived as Dijon leveled just five minutes later with a clinical finish. Monaco, who haven’t managed to win since their opening day victory against Nantes never seemed like a team with the will and the fight needed to win. They looked extremely disjointed in the second half and they paid a price when a well-worked move by Dijon saw them put another past the Monaco keeper who was fazed by a deflection. But it took a powerful header from centre back Glik to salvage a point and avoid them being defeated yet again.

Henry after the game expressed his willingness to stay positive and said that it was good that they came back from a draw, but also agreed that a win is not a win and that they must get better if they are to even stay in the league. They were expected to challenge PSG this season after they won the French League, more recently. But as of now, they are expected to get some points to show for and move up the table and finish in the top half at the least. Monaco have produced some stellar players including the likes of Mbappe and Fabinho who have all moved on from the club and the owners at the club believe that Thierry Henry would be the man to rebuild this Monaco team from scratch.

He hasn’t had the best of starts as the manager of Monaco, but one would expect that he would take time to get the ball rolling for Monaco. Monaco are 25 points behind PSG who they finished runners-up to last season and Henry will be responsible to lead this Monaco team and as all managers do, he will need some time to leave his impression on the World of football, but as a manager this time.

Marseille 0 – 2 PSG | Kylian Mbappe breaks the deadlock

Marseille 0 - 2 PSG | Kylian Mbappe breaks the deadlock

Ligue 1 Results: Super – Sub Kylian Mbappe leads Paris Saint-Germain to their eleventh straight win in Ligue 1 after beating rivals Marseille on Monday.


Paris Saint-Germain kept their perfect record in Ligue 1 with an 11th consecutive victory due to goals from Kylian Mbappe and Julian Draxler. The match ended 2-0 in PSG’s favour after substitute Mbappe used his astonishing pace and panache to score a goal and help create another in a spirited match that saw both managers sent off after disputing with officials.

Thomas Tuchel decided to bench Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Adrien Rabiot after PSG’s flat Champions League draw against Napoli last week, choosing Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting up front alongside Neymar.

The match started at a frantic pace that was sustained throughout the first period as both sides took shifts to surge forward in attack, but both sides failed to produce anything meaningful. A classic end to end game without the final product was in action.

Marseille almost broke the deadlock through an excellently flicked header by Lucas Ocampos which was denied by a fabulous save by Alphonse Areola, and Angel Di Maria had his effort cleared off the line by Kevin Strootman in the dying minutes of the first half.

There was no lack of passion in the second half as well, the tackles flying in. Tuchel was sent to the stands by referee Benoit Bastien after a fiery exchange on the touchline.

Mbappe came off the bench to replace Choupo-Moting in the 62nd minute and wasted no time to get his name on the scoresheet, using his electric pace to sweep past Boubacar Kamara and drive the ball beyond Steve Mandanda, just three minutes after coming on.

Marseille continued to fight and had a Kostas Mitroglou‘s equaliser denied in the final minutes of the game after Strootman penalised for felling Marquinhos in the build-up. However, replays insinuated that the Brazillian defender had run into Strootman. When head coach Garcia lost his temper while protesting with the fourth official, he too was sent off.

PSG wrapped up the 3 points after Julian Draxler finished an exquisite counter-attack that included Mbappe by blasting home Neymar’s pass to make it 2-0 in the final minute of the game.

Les Parisiens stand proudly on the top of the Ligue 1 table with the maximum 33 points, eight ahead of second-placed Lille, while Marseille are now fourteen points behind the leaders in the 5th spot.

Paris Saint-Germain take on second-placed Lille in an exciting Ligue 1 tie on Saturday, 3rd November before a tough second-leg fixture in the UEFA Champions League against Italian giants Napoli on Wednesday, 7th November.

Paris Saint Germain: Can Money really buy you the best attack?

Paris Saint Germain: Can Money really buy you the best attack?

With the influx of big “Oil Money” from the Middle – East benefiting Club’s like PSG and Manchester City, let’s try to see how far can Money take you.


466 Million euros, that’s how much Paris Saint-Germain spent on their attacking trio of Edinson Cavani, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. Neymar cost the Parisian Club 222 Million euros in the Summer of 2017, a World record Transfer fee for any player, Kylian Mbappe moved on an initial loan in 2017 as well but his move was finalized in 2018 with PSG shelling out 180 Million euros for the teenagers’ services. The third and final piece of this attacking trident, Edinson Cavani cost the French Giants 64 Million euros in 2013, a record French Transfer at the time. PSG are known to spend heavily in the Transfer market and last Season when Neymar and Mbappe arrived at the Club there was a consensus that PSG has the best attack in World Football. But is it statistically true? Let’s find out.

Statistically speaking this Season PSG’s front three have been directly involved in 38 Goals with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar contributing the most. The Frenchman has been directly involved in 15 Goals, scoring 11 and assisting 4, Neymar also incidentally has been involved in 15 Goals and like Mbappe has scored 11 and assisted 4. Striker Edinson Cavani is a little behind with 8 involvements, scoring 6 and setting up 2 goals.

Now when you stack these numbers up and compare it with any other attack in Europe’s top flight, PSG appear the most dominant. But it isn’t only the number of Goals that should stand as the criteria to determine the quality of an attack. When you look closely there is another team doing a very good job, showing great numbers and the CLub have been economical in getting these players as well. Borussia Dortmund.

Dortmund’s attack that comprises of Marco Reus, Paco Alcacer and Jadon Sancho has been extremely potent and have the best Goals/Minute ratio. Furthermore, the combined Transfer fee Dortmund paid to acquire these players is probably less than the average fee PSG spend on any player, 26 Million Euros. Here’s what Dortmund’s Numbers look like, Marco Reus (17 Million euros, 6 Goals, and 4 assists), Paco Alcacer (Loan, 8 Goals) and Jadon Sancho ( 9 Million euros, 5 Goals, and 7 assists).

Now when you look at the sheer number of Goals it’s clear that PSG outdoes Dortmund but what needs to be considered is that the Bundesliga is far more competitive than the Ligue 1. Furthermore, Paco Alcacer’s Goal to minute ratio is astonishing. The Spaniard has scored a Goal approximately every 18 minutes and Jadon Sancho, the 18-Year-old sensation has the most assists by any player in Europe’s top flight (7 assists). I think part of the reason I’m even making this comparison is that of the sheer unexpected nature of its existence. If someone told you that Marco Reus, an 18-Year-old English teenager named Jadon Sancho and Barcelona reject striker Paco Alcacer would be compared to Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani you’d call me Crazy. But that’s Football, isn’t it? completely unexpected.

Nobody’s saying Sancho, Reus, and Alcacer can compare to PSG’s stalwarts. All I’m saying is that Dortmund’s attack has arrived, with immense style, swagger and at less than 1/10th the price.

Liverpool 3 – 2 PSG | Post Match Report

Liverpool 3 - 2 PSG | Post Match Report

Liverpool continued their winning run in the UEFA Champions League as they beat favorites PSG three goals to two. Liverpool started the game on the front foot and Daniel Sturridge, who replaced the injured Roberto Firmino in the starting line-up scored the opening goal nearing the thirty-minute mark as he headed in an Andrew Robertson cross and left the PSG goalkeeper Areola with absolutely no chance. He was neither as inventive nor industrious like Bobby Firmino, but his work rate in this game was one of the best he has ever produced. There was no question of his finishing abilities and he showed just that with the first goal of the game.

Klopp elected to start with the midfield trio of Henderson, Milner, and Wijnaldum and they didn’t fail him. All three had fantastic games as they completely outplayed the Parisian midfield. Henderson took complete charge of the midfield and most importantly helped double up on Neymar, while Wijnaldum was a useful defensive screen alongside Hendo and went forward occasionally with great effect. He won Liverpool a penalty just six minutes after Sturridge had scored the opener and James Milner converted coolly. Milner, however, was the star of the show. He always seemed to be in space and let Neymar know he was around early in the game, rattling the Brazilian forward on numerous occasions. He made terrific runs and never stopped working throughout the game, be it in attack or defense. Mo Salah, however, was the only man who didn’t have a good outing. He looked nowhere near his best and seemed disappointed after he was taken off. He gave the ball away on many occasions and resulted in the PSG equalizer. His compatriot on the other flank, however, was on fire as his pace and power along with trickery with the ball at his feet gave the defenders a torrid time.

Paris Saint German looked below par throughout the game and looked listless due to Liverpool’s pressing game. Neymar and Mbappe were largely ineffective and scored the one time they linked up well late in the second half, a goal that was PSG’s equalizer. But Roberto Firmino’s late equalizer meant Liverpool deservedly won the game 3 – 2.

Champions League – Liverpool vs PSG, Combined 11

Champions League - Liverpool vs PSG, Combined 11

As Liverpool and PSG get set to kick off their Champions League Campaign with a blockbuster of a game, let’s take a look at who makes the combined eleven for the encounter.

GOALKEEPER – ALISSON BECKER

Gigi Buffon was certainly the prime candidate to get the number one jersey on this team, but with Areola starting for the Parisian’s, Alisson seems the better bet between the posts for this squad. Alisson has conceded just two goals in the league this season and after proving his mettle in Europe last season with AS Roma, he is certainly a prime candidate for the spot.

https://twitter.com/BetaKopites/status/1038665972037574656

CENTRE-BACK – VIRGIL VAN DIJK

Big Virgil has certainly established himself as one of the best center-backs in the world after his class performances for the reds over the last season and his solid start to this one. He almost single-handedly transformed the Liverpool defense and should make the squad for any combined eleven in the world.

CENTRE-BACK – THIAGO SILVA

The PSG captain has been a rock at the heart of their defense for a good number of years now and is a straight choice to partner Virgil Van Dijk at the heart of this teams defense. He and Van Dijk will be a dream partnership pairing for any team in the world. 

LEFT BACK – ANDREW ROBERTSON

Robertson has been an absolute star for Liverpool since he got his opportunity last season and he hasn’t looked back ever since. The man has been vital for the Liverpool team and how they set up to play the football they play. He is one of the best left-backs in the Premier League and that in itself makes him a contender. 

RIGHT BACK – MUNIER

Munier was one of the stars of the world cup for Belgium and his attacking runs down the flank gives nightmares to any defense in the World. His attacking ability, coupled with his defensive vigor makes him the right back of this team. 

CENTER MIDFIELD – MARCO VERRATTI

Verratti hasn’t been at his best this season but there is no question of the talent he processes. He is undoubtedly one of the best in the world on his day and he would be the man pulling the strings in this team. 

CENTER MIDFIELD – NABY KEITA

Keita has not yet shown the Liverpool fans everything he is capable of as yet, but he is a man they can turn to in the big European games. His tireless performance in the midfield is just what Liverpool need to outplay their opponents in the center of the park. 

CENTRAL ATTACKING MID – NEYMAR JR

The Brazilian sensation usually plays on the left flank for his team but is more than capable of producing the flair and the spark from the CAM position too. Neymar is arguably the biggest star on the show and will look to take his team across a big hurdle by beating Liverpool in their opening fixture. 

LEFT WING – SADIO MANE

Sadio Mane has been in terrific goalscoring form this season and has looked really bright on the left for Liverpool. The man of the match for Liverpool in their Champions League final last year is certainly a man for the big occasion and Mane will look to set the competition alight once again. 

RIGHT WING – KYLIAN MBAPPE

The golden boy of football established himself as one of the best in the world at the World cup and has continued his form in the French league for PSG. He will be key for this PSG team and his battle with Virgil Van Dijk will be the one to watch out for this match. 

CENTRE FORWARD – MO SALAH

The Egyptian King hasn’t had the best of starts to his season in goal scoring terms but has certainly seemed like a big influence in on the right side for his Liverpool team. He is capable of playing down the middle as he does for his country and will look to shine at the biggest stage of them all in club competition and show the world why he is one of the best there is. 

Champions League – Liverpool Vs PSG, Match Preview

Champions League - Liverpool Vs PSG, Match Preview

Liverpool kick-start their UEFA Champions League campaign against Paris Saint German in an encounter that promises to be a blockbuster. Both the teams are unbeaten in their respective Leagues, winning all five of their games. Both the teams will look to kick-start their campaign on a high and winning this game means giving out a statement to all the other teams across Europe that they are certainly favorites. However, both teams will know that they are placed in a tough group, with Napoli and Red Star Belgrade forming the other two teams in the group. As the players completed their last training session before the game, they looked really focused, knowing what’s at stake. 

Liverpool – Team News

One major injury scare for the reds is the absence of Roberto Firmino in training and the Merseyside club will be sweating over his fitness come the game against the French giants. He was taken off after a nasty looking eye injury inflicted by Tottenham defender Vertonghen and if he doesn’t play, it would be a huge loss for the Reds, as their highly rated front three is what makes them fearful. If the Brazilian is not fit, it looks likely that Daniel Sturridge will get the nod to play up front for the Reds

PSG – Team News

PSG, on the other hand, will have a fully fit squad to choose from after manager Tuchel chose to leave their star men Neymar and Mbappe out of the matchday squad so they would be fresh to face Liverpool in the Champions League. This clearly shows the advantage that club’s from other leagues have over the Premier League. Neymar and co. will be the biggest challenge thus far for the Liverpool defense and this match will prove the credentials for the Liverpool defense for the season ahead. 

If the match delivers anything even close to what the two teams promise it to be, then the fans are in for a roller-coaster of a ride as arguably the two best-attacking trio’s in the World and though Firmino might not be fit, Liverpool will look to prove their mettle against one of the best teams in Europe. PSG are clear favorites to win the game, but the Anfield atmosphere will have a huge role to play come matchday. 

France 2 – 1 Netherlands | UEFA Nations League

France 2 - 1 Netherlands | UEFA Nations League

World Champions France find their feet as they beat the Netherlands 2-1 in the UEFA Nations League A.

French striker Olivier Giroud ended his goal drought of 10 international games by scoring a beautiful winner as Les Blues secured a well-earned 2-1 victory over the Netherlands in their second UEFA Nations League match. 

Didier Deschamps retained the same lineup that produced a goalless draw against Germany on Thursday, a token of his will to cap France‘s return with a triumph. The game began with a stirring rendition of La Marseillaise, the French National anthem as France played their first home game since lifting the World Cup in July.

Kylian Mbappe tested the reflexes of Jasper Cillessen early in the game but failed to find the net. However, the 19-year-old opened the scoring in the 13th minute, right after a mistake from Netherlands midfielder Quincy Promes. His header went straight to Blaise Matuidi, who provided a tame pass to the young forward who then converted comfortably.

The Netherlands leveled the score in the 66th minute with their only genuine shot on target as former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel guided the ball into the net off his knee from a well-driven Kenny Tete cross after a swift break down the right wing from the fullback. It was his first goal in a competitive international since he scored on his debut against Romania in a World Cup qualifier 13 years ago. 

It seemed as if the Dutch had found their long-lost fighting spirit. But, Olivier Giroud had other plans as he muscled ahead of Virgil Van Dijk and executed a magnificent volley from Benjamin Mendy‘s cross to score the winner in the 75th minute. This goal took his international goal tally to 32, past the legendary Zinedine Zidane on France’s all-time scorers’ list.

The Netherlands now prepare to face Germany on 14th October in their next UEFA Nations League fixture.