PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Atsu – Ghana winger to tear into Burnley tonight – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 30, 2017. 16:00

Christian Atsu will have the chance to tear into Burnley’s defence when Newcastle United head to Turf Moor for a Premier League clash tonight.

The Ghanaian winger has appeared in all nine of the Magpies’ league matches thus far in the 2017/18 season and has played a key role in their strong start to the campaign.

With one goal and two assists, there is still room for Atsu to improve in the final third of the field, but his effort and endeavour have won over United’s fans.

The former Chelsea man has also had his place as a regular starter defended by manager Rafa Benitez.

The Spaniard has been asked why he has opted to field Atsu ahead of Jacob Murphy – a more expensive signing.

“You can use the money [the fee for Murphy] as an excuse for anything but Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu also cost us money,” Benitez told the Chronicle.

“The main thing is not the money. We signed a player for four or five years – who is a young player – who needed Premier League experience.

“He is getting better. In every training session, there is improvement from him and he is working hard trying to get better.

“I am really pleased with everything. I think he will be a good player for us during the season and also in the future. He is still a young player,” he added.

Atsu is set to start for Newcastle tonight, with the match at Turf Moor set to kick-off at 22h00 CAT.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Faouzi Ghoulam – Algerian star to feature against Genoa tonight – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 19:00

Algeria’s Faouzi Ghoulam continues to impress in the light blue of Napoli and is set to be in action later this evening in a Serie A match at Genoa.

Napoli will head to the Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris in Genova for their round 10 Serie A match.

Ghoulam has started all nine of their Serie A matches so far this season and has chipped in with two two goals.

The Naples club will be looking to return to the top of the standings, having been leapfrogged by Internazionale after they beat Sampdoria 3-2 in the only match on Tuesday.

With a record of eight wins and one draw from their opening nine matches, Napoli hasve established themselves as strong contenders for the Italian championship – a trophy they have not lifted since 1989/90 when they had Diego Maradona on their books.

Ghoulam, meanwhile, continues to be strongly linked with a move to the Premier League.

Manchester City appear to be the club in pole position to make a move for the Fennec Foxes star, having seen him in action first-hand at the Etihad Stadium last midweek when they claimed a 2-1 win over the Italian club in the UEFA Champions League.

Ghoulam has still not signed a new contract with Napoli, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the current season.

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