Mahrez and Man City fall behind in Premier League race

As another Premier League weekend passes by, Riyad Mahrez and Manchester City have fallen even further behind in the 2019/20 title race to defend the most prized possession in English football. Mahrez has three goals and three assists in the Premier League this campaign under Pep Guardiola with limited game time.

A 2-2 draw away at Newcastle United leaves the champions 11 points behind league leaders Liverpool, with Leicester City now sandwiched in between the two sides. The Reds are now -250 favourites to win the Premier League for the first time in 30 years according to SBD. Liverpool have not won the Premier League since 1990.

Mahrez has started the last two games in the Premier League, scoring the winner against Chelsea but then being subbed off at St James’ Park at the weekend. He is still battling with Bernardo Silva for the right wing position. Both players were nominated for the Ballon D’Or this year.

Man City travel to Burnley in their next Premier League fixture. Liverpool are yet to lose a game this season domestically. Leicester, who are Mahrez’s former club, have won six league games in a row. Follow all the Algerian football news in English this season with DZ Football.

 

Every Premier League player that has qualified for AFCON 2019

Several players from the Premier League have qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, which takes place in Egypt this summer. Dean Ammi takes you through the names.

Arsenal will have Mohamed Elneny attending the tournament with Egypt in his home country. Elneny scored in the final at the previous AFCON back in 2017. Alex Iwobi will be there with Nigeria. However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to qualify with Gabon.

Both Bournemouth and Burnley will not have anyone involved, but Brighton will. Gaetan Bong qualified with Cameroon, as has defender Leon Balogun with Nigeria. Midfielder Yves Bissouma will also be present with Mali.

Cardiff forward Oumar Niasse will be hoping to be in the Senegal squad, whilst Sol Bamba will miss out with Ivory Coast due to injury. Chelsea have no-one currently at the club that will be going to the tournament in June.

Crystal Palace have a whole host of names that could be in action. Senegal pair Cheikhou Kouyate and Pape Souare, Mali’s Bakary Sako as well as Ivorian forward Wilfried Zaha. Ghana duo Jordan Ayew and Jeffrey Schlupp complete an emphatic list for the Eagles.

Everton have Senegalese midfielder Idrissa Gueye, who was linked with PSG back in January. Fulham outcast Neeskens Kabano has qualified with DR Congo, as has have Jean-Michael Seri (Ivory Coast), Ibrahima Cisse (Guinea) and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Cameroon).

Huddersfield will have Steve Mounie at AFCON with Benin in addition to Elias Kachunga with DR Congo. Abdelhamid Sabiri has yet to make an appearance with Morocco.

Leicester City have several African stars. Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfried Ndidi with Nigeria, Rachid Ghezzal with Algeria and Daniel Amartey with Ghana.

Liverpool will be pleased that the tournament was moved to the summer. Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Naby Keita (Guinea) have all qualified. Joel Matip has retired from international football.

Man City have record signing Riyad Mahrez with Algeria. Their neighbours Man Utd have central defender Eric Bailly with Ivory Coast.

Newcastle have Christian Atsu with Ghana and Mohamed Diame with Senegal. Southampton starlet Jan Valery may declare for Tunisia.

Meanwhile, Tottenham have midfielder Victor Wanyama (Kenya) and full-back Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast). Watford have Isaac Success who is Nigerian.

West Ham defender Arthur Masuaku has made it with DR Congo, and finally Romain Saiss will go to AFCON with Morocco from Wolves.

Is Rachid Ghezzal good enough for the Premier League?

With Rachid Ghezzal set to leave Monaco this summer, here is a little more insight into the player that could potentially be playing Premier League football in the new season.

The first thing that I would like to mention is his temper. He has a very short fuse and this was shown in the Champions League last season when he was shown a straight red card against FC Porto. Whilst aggression and commitment can be commendable, Ghezzal does have a tendency to go over the top sometimes with unnecessary reactions to challenges.

Secondly, when given a consecutive run of games in a side, the 26-year-old does deliver and this was perhaps detrimental to his time at Monaco as he spent the majority of matches on the bench. His role as an impact sub did not do him justice.

If anything, Ghezzal would see a move to the Premier League as a chance to really prove himself and establish himself in future Algeria squads as the jury is still out for him.

Perhaps his greatest quality is that he knows how to beat a man, He will not be fazed by any full-backs and he loves to check back onto his left foot and provide good deliveries into the box or even take the shot on.

Next, he is a right winger that does have some great skills in his locker. Although Ligue 1 is not the same standard, we saw him light up the French league for Lyon during 2015/16 as he bagged eight goals and made eight assists for his former side.

Finally, with the price that is being touted for the Algerian international, he is more than worth the gamble considering the current climate of transfers in football. There are far worse risks to take, and he can comfortably slot into a team that is outside of the top six.

Slimani’s impact helps Newcastle beat Arsenal

Algerian striker Islam Slimani came off the bench and helped Newcastle United beat Arsenal 2-1 in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

Slimani, who was making just his second appearance for the Magpies since joining in January, replaced Dwight Gayle in the 63rd minute with the score level at 1-1.

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And in the 69th minute, the hosts took the lead. A brilliant powerful header by Slimani was directed into the path of Ayoze Perez, who flicked the ball to Matt Ritchie and he finished off superbly, beating Petr Cech.

29-year-old Slimani, on loan from Leicester City, continued to have a positive impact on the game. He combined well with Kenedy on two occasions in the second half.

The Brazilian went close to making it 3-1, hitting the crossbar from Slimani’s ball into the box. Slimani worked his socks off, taking part in the defensive duties as well.

Having come off the bench twice, Slimani will be hoping to start some of the final five games of the campaign for Rafa Benitez’s team.

The result means that Newcastle remain in 10th place and are now on 41 points, which surely seals their Premier League status for next season. Arsenal meanwhile have now lost every away game in the league this calendar year.

Algerian winger Mahrez nominated for Goal of the Month

Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez has been nominated for March’s Premier League Goal of the Month. The Algerian international is one of eight nominees for the award.

Mahrez’s 97th minute free-kick against AFC Bournemouth at the King Power Stadium was good enough for him to be selected as a potential winner. He curled the last kick of the game around the wall with his left foot to equalise for his team.

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Another goal that has been nominated, by Jamie Vardy, was assisted by Mahrez meaning the 27-year-old is actually involved in 25% of the picks.

The other six goals were scored by Nemanja Matic, Bernardo Silva, Marcus Rashford, Junior Stanislas, Ashley Barnes and Gabriel Jesus.

Earlier in the season, Mahrez was nominated for January’s Player of the Month but lost out to Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah for that month.

Mahrez won the Player of the Year award for the 2015/16 season, after taking the Foxes to the Premier League title, so he is no stranger to winning accolades.

You can vote for free for Mahrez to win the award by following this link to the official Premier League website. We wish him the best of luck, so why not show him support and vote for the Algerian!

Mahrez’s late stunner puts him ahead of Sane and Sanchez

Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez scored a 97th minute equaliser for Leicester City to earn the Foxes a point at home to AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League.

A penalty from Josh King had put the visitors ahead in the first half, after a clumsy foul just inside the box by Marc Albrighton after 35 minutes.

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Leicester pushed and pushed for an equaliser, and right at the end got their reward with a fantastic left-footed curling free-kick from 30 yards out by Mahrez.

His 9th league goal of the season means that he now has more goals than Leroy Sane, Alexis Sanchez, Kevin De Bruyne and Sadio Mane in the Premier League this season.

One can only wonder what sort of numbers Mahrez would be producing if he was at a better club, whether that be in England or abroad.

Manchester City, who wanted to buy the 27-year-old in January, will reportedly make another move for Mahrez in the summer transfer window as Guardiola looks to strengthen his squad even more.

Claude Puel’s side remain in 8th position in the table, and also have an FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea at the King Power Stadium to look forward to, so there is plenty still to play for this season for Mahrez.

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