collectionfifatips | Best fantasy football strikers in the Premier League 2017-18 season

Ahead of the big kick-off, Goal looks at the top striker options, as well as considering a number of potential bargain buys for virtual managers

The beginning of a new Premier League campaign is drawing close and that means a fresh slate for all the fantasy football managers out there.

Whether they are fighting to retain a crown, or desperately intent on salvaging some pride after losing to their friends last season, virtual coaches will be looking at every possible way to maximise their points return when the season kicks off in August.

Fantasy Football: The complete guide

You will be delighted to know that  Goal Fantasy Football is already up and running for the 2017-18 season — and it's free to play. The mobile app can be downloaded through this link  so that you can create and update your squad on the move.

The fantasy football game on the Premier League's official website is also a popular choice for fantasy managers, but whatever you use, we've taken a look at some of the best fantasy football forwards, including some bargains, to help get you started!


Romelu Lukaku Man Utd

The best fantasy football strikers are those who score and it is no surprise that the five most expensive frontmen in the 2017-18 game are those individuals who hit the back of the net over 20 times last season.

However, strikers who contribute assists as well as goals are also precious commodities in the world of fantasy football, with points awarded to the architects behind the goals.

Note: Some versions of the game define certain attacking players as midfielders instead of forwards. For example, on Goal Fantasy Football, Alexis Sanchez can only be selected as a forward, but on Fantasy Premier League, he can only be selected as a midfielder.

Harry Kane Tottenham Premier League

Harry Kane (Tottenham – £12.5m)

Tottenham's main man for the past three seasons, Harry Kane showed exactly why he is so highly valued last term with a haul of 29 league goals and seven assists, despite suffering an ankle injury mid-way through the campaign.

The stats clearly demonstrate that the 23-year-old England international has steadily improved since his breakthrough at White Hart Lane, as he bagged 21 goals in 2014-15 and 25 in 2015-16 before hitting a career high last year. Such consistency means that Kane is considered a must-buy by many Fantasy Football aficionados.

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City – £11.5m)

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero is the second-highest valued striker in the game, because he has been the most consistent sharpshooter in the Premier League for the past six seasons. The former Atletico Madrid star has 122 goals in 181 Premier League appearances and only twice failed to hit the 20-mark since joining City in 2011.

He has been a favourite of fantasy football players for a long time, but, while there can be no doubting the Argentina international's ability to find the net, virtual coaches should probably pay close attention to Pep Guardiola's pre-season preparations to see how heavily the injury-prone Aguero will be relied upon.

Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United – £11.5m)

Manchester United forked out a titanic £75 million to Everton for Romelu Lukaku as they look to find a solution to their long-term striker problem. The powerful Belgium international scored 25 goals for an inconsistent Everton side last year, setting up his team-mates on six further occasions.

Lukaku is a proven goalscorer, having guaranteed strikes for Anderlecht and West Brom as well as the Toffees, and a lot will be expected of him at Old Trafford this season as Jose Mourinho prepares for life without Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, it may take some time for him to settle in to his new environment.

Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal

Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal – £10.5m)

Arsenal's record signing Alexandre Lacazette arrives to the Premier League with a fearsome reputation for finding the back of the net. The 26-year-old was Lyon's go-to man for goals in the last four seasons and he struck a personal best of 28 goals in 30 Ligue 1 appearances last term.

Lacazette's consistency for his former club sees him priced among the elite strikers in the Premier League, more expensive than the fearsome Diego Costa.

Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City £10.5m)

Twenty-year-old Brazilian Gabriel Jesus is still somewhat of an unknown quantity in the Premier League, but the former Palmieras striker hit the ground running at the Etihad before having his season curtailed by injury. Jesus scored seven goals in just 10 league appearances for Pep Guardiola's side last year and it looks like he will seriously rival Sergio Aguero as the team's main goal-threat.

Alvaro Morata (Chelsea – £10m)

Brought to Stamford Bridge from Real Madrid for a hefty sum of £65m, Alvaro Morata is set to play a key role for Chelsea in the 2017-18 season. The 24-year-old has taken the number 9 jersey and, with uncertainty hanging over Diego Costa's future, it looks like Antonio Conte has found his replacement.

Morata scored 20 goals for Madrid last season in all competitions, with 15 of those coming in La Liga. As well as playing up front, the former Juventus forward is also capable of carrying out a supporting role and supplied five assists last term.


Chicharito Mexico Portugal

Each season, one or two strikers shock the league by climbing their way up the scoring charts, leaving more established performers trailing in their wake. Leicester City's Jamie Vardy during the club's remarkable Premier League-winning eason is a classic example, while Jermain Defoe defied expectations last year by scoring 15 times for a Sunderland team that was ultimately relegated.

We've taken a look at some of the players in the Premier League fantasy football who could be considered bargain buys, if you fancy saving money on strikers so that you can divert funds elsewhere.

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Tammy Abraham (Swansea – £5.5m)

One of the leading scorers in last season's Championship with a relatively weak Bristol City team, Tammy Abraham signed for Swansea City on loan from Chelsea for the upcoming season.

The 19-year-old scored 23 times in 41 league appearances during his time at Ashton Gate and could well be in line for a leading role with the Swans, who were too heavily reliant on Fernando Llorente for goals. 

Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United – £6.5m)

Rafa Benitez's Newcastle United secured promotion back to the Premier League by winning the Championship last season and they had the goals of Dwight Gayle to thank as they pipped Brighton to the title.

Though he showed glimpses of his ability, Gayle previously struggled to hit double figures in England's top division when he was at Crystal Palace. However, now 26, he has matured under the tutelage of Benitez and finished the 2016-17 season with 23 goals in 32 league appearances – an admirable tally as he prepares a renewed assault on Premier League defences.

Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez (West Ham – £7m)

West Ham landed a surprise signing ahead of the 2017-18 season with the addition of Javier Hernandez from Bayer Leverkusen. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker is a proven goalscorer and scored 39 goals in all competitions during two terms with the Bundesliga side. Still just 29, 'Chicharito' has plenty to offer for the Hammers and will be determined to show the kind of form that saw him hit double figures in each of his first three years at Man United. At £7 million, he represents good business for fantasy football managers.

Sandro Ramirez (Everton – £7.5m)

The signing of Wayne Rooney may have captured the imagination, but Everton's chief attacking threat next season in the absence of Romelu Lukaku will be Sandro Ramirez, an import from La Liga outfit Malaga.

A former Barcelona starlet, 22-year-old Sandro scored 15 goals in all competitions for Malaga last season and, having claimed the No. 9 jersey, has issued a statement of intent ahead of his maiden campaign in England.

Josh King (Bournemouth – £7.5m)

Bournemouth secured their highest ever finish last season and they had the likes of Josh King to thank as the striker scored 16 goals in 36 appearances for the Cherries. The former Borussia Monchengladbach and Blackburn Rovers man was never so prolific in his career, so his valuation in last season's game reflected that.

While it is sure to increase this year, he will still be cheaper than the likes of Olivier Giroud and Jamie Vardy, despite scoring more than them last term.

Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace – £8m)

Belgium international Christian Benteke hit 15 goals for Crystal Palace last season and, after enduring a difficult time at Liverpool, will be aiming to continue rebuilding his reputation under new boss Frank de Boer.

Still only 26, Benteke is a proven goalscorer, having reached double figures in each of his three seasons with Aston Villa before his ill-fated move to Anfield, and he is still somewhat undervalued in fantasy football.

Real Madrid v Barcelona Betting: Expect another classic finale in gripping El Clasico on collectionfifatips

Goals are expected when these two arch-rivals meet in Miami and we take a look at some of the best options for backing a high scoring game

The first ever Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona to take place outside of Spain is in theory merely a preparatory game for the forthcoming season.

In practice, however, there is plenty riding on this weekend's match in the International Champions Cup, not least because defeat will leave either manager at the mercy of the Spanish press.

Real Madrid have lost to both Manchester clubs in the USA so far, with their 4-1 defeat to City being received with frustrated incredulity back home. Barca, for their part, have recorded two wins in North America, although their summer has so far been dominated by the transfer saga involing Neymar's potential exit from the club.

Lionel Messi Neymar Barcelona Manchester United ICC

However, the Brazilian is likely to feature in Miami against Madrid and bet365 make the Catalans marginal favourites at 11/8 (2.37). Los Blancos, meanwhile, can be backed at 7/4 (2.75) while the draw is offered at 13/5 (3.60).

The last meeting between these two sides came at the end of April when Barca recorded a dramatic last-gasp 3-2 win at the Bernabeu, after Madrid had scored late on to equalise. Despite this being a friendly, we expect both sides to treat the game with a great deal of respect, and both teams to score looks nailed on at 4/11 (1.36).

GFX Real Madrid Barcelona betting

Combining that selection with over 2.5 goals, meanwhile, is offered at just 4/7 (1.57) and the bookmakers are clearly expecting goals in the game even though there is just pride at stake. Perhaps more attractive is backing both teams to score in the second half at 5/4 (2.20) while over 3.5 goals in the game is offered at 10/11 (1.91).

Real Madrid have not managed to score more than one goal in the two matches they have contested so far in the ICC, yet they can be backed at 5/6 (1.83) to net over 1.5 goals against their fiercest rivals – something they have managed in five of their last eight Clasicos.

For their part, Barcelona are offered at 4/6 (1.66) to score two or more goals, with Ernesto Valverde's men also offered at 10/3 (4.33) to win a game which sees at least four goals scored. 

Real Madrid v Barcelona Betting: Expect another classic finale in gripping El Clasico on collectionfifatips

Both teams to score in the second half at 5/4 (2.20) for a 2pt stake with bet365

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Dani Alves offers angry response to claims he is trying to talk Neymar into PSG move –

It has been suggested that the Brazilian is looking to get a former Barcelona team-mate to join him in France, but he insists that is not the case

Dani Alves has hit back at the “lies” claiming that he is trying to talk former Barcelona team-mate Neymar into joining him at Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazilian defender has linked up with the French giants this summer following a future saga of his own.

Who will prevail in ICC Clasico? Latest odds

Having negotiated his release from Italian champions Juventus, Alves was expected to take in a reunion with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, only to then head for France.

Neymar is now being heavily linked with a record-breaking move to Parc des Princes, with PSG reportedly willing to trigger his €222 million release clause, but Alves insists he has not discussed the issue with a fellow countryman.

Responding to a report on Twitter suggesting that he is attempting to persuade the Barca forward to make a move to Ligue 1, Alves said: “Lies. I don’t have to convince him about anything. When I talk to Ney, the last thing we talk about is football. I am happy if he is.”

Neymar is yet to address the issue of his future in public, with the debate being left for others to engage in.

He has figured prominently in Barca’s International Champions Cup campaign, with the winning goal netted in his most recent outing against Manchester United.

It is, however, being reported that an agreement with PSG is close and that the 25-year-old will not return to Spain alongside the rest of his team-mates following a Clasico clash with Real Madrid in Miami.

Barca, though, have offered no indication that a sale is about to be sanctioned, with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu telling the New York Times: "Well, you know Neymar is one of our best players, and so we don't want to lose that player.

Does this prove Neymar to PSG is on?

"We want him to continue, continue with us. He still has four years of his contract, so nothing else to say.

"You know that players decide if they want to leave, they can decide.

"But as far as Barcelona, we want him, and we need him. Because if we want to win, we need the best players possible."

Neymar has netted 105 times in 186 appearances for Barcelona since completing a move to Camp Nou in 2013.

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Arsenal transfer news: The latest & LIVE player rumours from the Emirates Stadium on collectionfifatips

Goal summarises the biggest transfer talk involving Arsenal as doubt continues to cloud the futures of the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez


Thomas Lemar Monaco

Monaco have rejected Arsenal’s third offer of €50 million for Thomas Lemar, but the winger’s sale hasn’t been completely excluded, reports L'Equipe.

Arsenal had previously seen bids of €40m and €45m turned down, while Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev insisted earlier this week that Lemar is not for sale.


Kylian Mbappe France England

Monaco would be willing to sell Kylian Mbappe if they were to receive a bid of €180 million, according to L'Equipe.

The Ligue 1 champions are continuing talks over a contract extension with the teenage forward amid interest from Manchester City and Real Madrid.

And they are now set to consider selling, but only if their demands are met financially. 


Ross Barkley Everton

Chelsea are preparing to spend £50 million to sign Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, The Sun reports.

The England internationals have been linked with moves during the current window and the Blues are looking to add more home grown players to their squad. Antonio Conte's side are also hoping to land Alex Sandro from Juventus.


Thomas Lemar Monaco

Arsenal are finally close to agreeing a £45 million deal with Monaco to sign winger Thomas Lemar, claims The Sun.

Monaco have already rejected two bids for Lemar and had been determined to prevent the France international from joining the club exodus, but Arsenal have reportedly persuaded the Ligue 1 champions to sell.


Arda Turan Barcelona

Arsenal are to miss out on the signing of Barcelona midfielder Arda Turan, with Galatasaray set to complete a deal, according to the Mirror

The Turkish side have offered Turan around £70,000 a week to return to the club following a frustrating stint at Camp Nou. 


HD Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Stoke City are holding talks with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s agent regarding a potential £25 million deal for the Arsenal midfielder, reports The Sun .

Oxlade-Chamberlain has just a year left on his contract and has been linked with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, but Stoke are also showing a surprise interest in the England international.


Lucas Perez, Arsenal, Premier League, 20160910

Bayer Leverkusen and Marseille are interested in signing Arsenal striker Lucas Perez, reports The Sun.

Perez is keen to leave Arsenal after struggling for regular first-team football and is also wanted back by his former club Deportivo La Coruna.


HD Karim Benzema Real Madrid

Arsenal and Liverpool could make a move for Karim Benzema should Real Madrid decide to sell the French striker, Don Balon reports.

Madrid reportedly have set their sights on Monaco star Kylian Mbappe, with the club planning to use Benzema to help finance the move. While the Gunners and Reds are in contention for Benzema, the 29-year-old also could end up at Monaco to help lower the price for Mbappe.


Lucas Perez Arsenal

Losing his shirt number to Alexandre Lacazette was the last straw for Lucas Perez as the incensed forward looks for the exit at the Emirates, La Voz de Galicia reports.

According to the Spanish newspaper, Perez was left fuming by the decision to hand his No.9 jersey to the ex-Lyon man. 

That slight led to an apparent conversation with Arsenal director Dick Law, who was told in no uncertain terms that the Spaniard wants a transfer to Deportivo as soon as possible.


Karim Benzema Juventus Real Madrid UCL 03062017

Real Madrid supremo Florentino Perez has decided that it is time to sell Karim Benzema, Spanish outlet Diario Gol reports.

With €35 million having been spent on the striker back in 2009, Perez feels he has made plenty of money back on his investment and that now is the time to cash in on the 29-year-old in order to finance a move for Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe


Lucas Perez Arsenal

Deportivo La Coruna have offered Lucas Perez a 10-year contract in an attempt to persuade the Arsenal striker to return to the club, reports DXT Campeon.

Perez is reportedly available for around €10 million and has been offered the chance to eventually become Depor’s technical secretary, if he agrees to rejoin his old side.


Marco Asensio Real Madrid Bayern Munich UCL 18042017

Marco Asensio wants to be rewarded by Real Madrid for his progress last season following interest from Arsenal, Manchester United and Juventus, according to Don Balon.

Madrid president Florentino Perez is determined not to sell Asensio, but the forward is looking for an important role in Zinedine Zidane’s team and a contract matching the terms which the likes of Arsenal and United can offer.


Alexis Sanchez Arsenal

The transfer of Alexis Sanchez to Paris Saint-Germain is hanging by a thread after financial wrangling interrupted talks, according to Le Parisien.

The Chilean had been widely tipped to complete a move from Arsenal after travelling to Paris to meet PSG sporting director Antero Henrique.

But despite early progress in contract talks, the deal is now unlikely to prosper due to both elevated demands from Alexis' agents and the reluctance of Arsenal to sell their star.


William Carvalho | Sporting

Arsenal are preparing a bid to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho for around €30 million, according to Record.

Carvalho is keen to finally move to the Premier League following several years of speculation and Arsenal are aiming to beat Newcastle to his signing.


Alexis Sanchez Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez is demanding a wage of £500,000 per week from Paris Saint-Germain as he looks to complete a move to the French club,  The Mirror  reports.

The Chile international met with PSG director Antero Henrique in the French capital to discuss a transfer, but is holding out for a huge salary before agreeing to leave Arsenal.


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Arsenal

Chelsea are planning to hold talks over a move for Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, according to Sky Sports.

The England international has rejected a new deal at the Emirates Stadium, and the Blues will swoop in after the two clubs face one another on Saturday.


Lucas Vazquez Sevilla Real Madrid Copa del Rey

Liverpool and Arsenal have shown an interest in signing Real Madrid forward Lucas Vazquez, according to Diario Madridista.

The Spain international is looking to leave Santiago Bernabeu, and Roma have also been linked with his signature.


Rafinha Barcelona 2016-17

Arsenal have been offered the chance to sign Barcelona midfielder Rafinha, according to Sky Sports.

The 24-year-old is currently recovering from a knee injury, but the Camp Nou outfit would still demand in the region of €30 million. 


Jack Wilshere Bournemouth Premier League

Swansea City are the latest club to show an interest in Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, according to  Bleacher Report .

West Ham and Sampdoria have both been linked with the England international, though the Gunners value him at £20 million.


Calum Chambers Arsenal

Arsenal have turned down a £16m bid for Calum Chambers as they hold out for £20m, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Crystal Palace are interested in signing the versatile defender, but have seen their second offer turned down by the Gunners, who are refusing to sell for anything less than £20m.

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collectionfifatips | Jonathan Dos Santos in talks to join his brother Giovani with LA Galaxy – source

New England outlasted the Galaxy in a 7-goal thriller to earn three points at home.

The LA Galaxy are negotiating a contract with Villarreal midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos to become the club’s third designated player, a source has told ESPN’s Taylor Twellman.

If a deal is completed, Dos Santos would join his brother, fellow Mexico international Giovani Dos Santos, at the StubHub Center.

Signing Jonathan Dos Santos would also likely rule out any potential move for the Galaxy to add free agent Zlatan Ibrahimovic after he recovers from a knee injury. A source told ESPN FC in March that LA had offered the striker a deal.

Dos Santos sat out training on Monday, according to El Mediterraneo, which reported Villarreal had an agreement in principle for the player to pay a transfer fee around €5-6 million ($5.8-7m).

The 27-year-old was due back in Villarreal training after a two-week break following the Confederations Cup, but the club gave him an extra few days off to negotiate his deal with the Galaxy, the Spanish newspaper reported.

Jonathan dos Santos
Jonathan Dos Santos is in talks to move to the LA Galaxy this summer, a source said.

The Galaxy already have two other designated players in Romain Alessandrini and Jelle Van Damme, who both signed DP deals before the season.

But Van Damme’s contract, which pays him a base salary of just $600,000, was always likely to be bought down with targeted allocation money if LA could find another big signing in the summer transfer window to fill the team’s third allocated DP slot.

Villarreal already have a replacement for Dos Santos lined up as Malaga midfielder Pablo Fornals paid his own €12m release clause earlier on Monday, ahead of signing a reported five-year deal.

Dos Santos, who scored two goals with three assists in La Liga last season, previously played with his brother at the Barcelona academy before Giovani signed for Tottenham in 2008.

The two were then reunited at Villarreal when Jonathan left Barcelona to join Villarreal in 2014, where his brother had moved a year earlier. Giovani, who is a year older, then left for the Galaxy in 2015.

The Galaxy have struggled in their first season under coach Curt Onalfo, after Bruce Arena left to lead the U.S. national team in November. They are just three points above the bottom in the Western Conference with six wins from 20 games and have lost five straight in MLS.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

MLS rejected $4 billion media rights deal requiring promotion/relegation on collectionfifatips

From Hector Villalba’s game winner to Kyle Beckerman’s long-distance strike, relive the goal fest that was Week 20.

Major League Soccer rejected a $4 billion global media rights deal from international media company MP & Silva, as reported by the Sports Business Journal.

The offer, which would have quadrupled the annual rate of MLS’ current deal, came with the significant contingency that MLS would have to institute a system of promotion and relegation.

The proposed deal would have run for 10 years starting in 2023, after the current deal with ESPN, Fox and Univision expires.

Those broadcasters have “exclusive negotiating windows and renewal rights,” MLS said in a statement Monday, and thus the league would be unable to consider Silva’s offer, no matter the terms.

“As was stated to [MP & Silva Group’s founding partner Riccardo] Silva both in person and in a subsequent letter, Major League Soccer is prohibited contractually from engaging in discussions about our media rights with other distributors,” said Dan Courtemanche, MLS executive vice president of communications.

“We are not in a position, nor are we interested, in engaging with Mr. Silva on his proposal.” 

Silva, as the co-owner of Miami FC of the second-tier NASL, has a vested interest in seeing promotion and relegation added to the United States, given that MLS is taking steps toward officially awarding a new team in Miami to a group led by David Beckham.

Without promotion and relegation, Silva’s Miami FC has no route to join MLS in the top flight. An attempt to reach Silva through Miami FC was unsuccessful.

According to the SBJ, Silva made a presentation to MLS executives and owners on June 26. At that meeting, Silva offered to pay $4 billion for MLS’ worldwide media rights, including the U.S. and Canada, at which point MP & Silva would sell on those rights around the world.

Courtemanche also rejected the concept of a third-party intermediary in media deals.

“It is also important to note that since its inception, MLS, like the other North American leagues, has dealt directly with its domestic broadcast partners, rather than through agents and brokers,” the statement continued. “This ensures that the league and its partners can structure an agreement that addresses all elements, such as scheduling, marketing and digital distribution, that are required for a successful partnership.”

Given that the U.S. Soccer Federation has sanctioned two leagues — the NASL and the USL — with Division II status, it’s unclear exactly how a system of promotion and relegation would work, but generally speaking, if the proposal were accepted, after every season, the worst teams in MLS would be relegated to either the NASL or the USL, while the best teams from those leagues would move up to MLS.

The insistence on instituting a system of promotion and relegation is also a nonstarter with MLS. Commissioner Don Garber has long stated that such a system would not be considered.

MLS is currently engaged in its latest round of expansion and is asking for expansion fees of $150 million. It’s almost certain that either demand would dry up or the fee would be significantly reduced if an expansion candidate were told that it could be relegated to a lower league, be it the NASL or the USL.

Beyond Beckham’s Miami team, MLS’ current expansion plans call for two expansion teams to be awarded this year, with two more to follow, bringing the league to an eventual 28 teams, which would be the largest top division in the world.

Beckham exercised his MLS option for an expansion team in 2014, more than a year before Silva founded Miami FC, and the former star player is finally making progress on building a stadium after years of delays. Miami FC plays at Florida International’s football stadium, which in April was renamed after Silva.

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.

collectionfifatips | Far Cry 5 will be about 20 – 30 hours long

Far Cry is known for its very rich campaigns that take place in exotic locations filled with incredible characters like the insanely intimidating Vaas from Far Cry 3. These stories suck you in and don't let you go for quite a long period of time, they're absolutely riveting titles and it seems like Far Cry 5 won't be an exception.

In an interview with GamingBolt, Far Cry 5's lead writer Drew Holmes confirmed the game will be about the same length as previous titles in the series making it about 20 – 30 hours long. It sounds like Ubisoft is going to make your stay in Hope County, Montana pretty grueling and lengthy.

In addition to that, Holmes teased the weapon customization will expand on what we've already seen in the series.

“It has a robust school system. And there’s going to be lots of weapons to play around with. We’re going to go into it later. But expect improvement and stuff you have seen in previous Far Cry games.”

Far Cry 5 will release on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on February 27th, 2018.

Crackdown 3 is so ambitious that the devs wanted to take as much time as possible –

Crackdown 3 has been brewing for quite a while. Crackdown 2 released in 2010 and word of a sequel was nearly non-existant until it was revealed four years later at Microsoft's E3 press briefing. All they were willing to share was a cinematic trailer but they promised that they would make full use of cloud computing features that would allow the player to play in a fully destructible city. We've seen immense amounts of destruction in games like Battlefield but there's few titles that allow you to completely wreck the world that you're in.

With a game that ambitious, it's no surprise that Sumo Digital has taken so much time to get it just right. In an interview with GameReactor, Design Director Clint Bundrick gave some specific insight on why the game has taken so long to release.

"A game like this is just incredibly ambitious. The campaign world is twice the size of the city in the original Crackdown, and not only in terms of footprint – the tallest building is also twice as tall as the tallest building in the original game. So it’s a super ambitious game for the campaign and then an incredibly ambitious game for the competitive multiplayer mode. This is a franchise that deserved to come back right and we wanted to take our time to do it right."

Bundrick went on to talk about the superhero-like movement the series is known for and talked about how they'll expand on it in Crackdown 3.

"Crackdown has always been a game about a verticality, a bit of a vertical platformer, and it’s still very much about that. We’ve added some stuff like the double jump and the airburst, so now players can combine those moves and make this long, crazy jumps that not even we are anticipating. Players can also use that in combat: you could be in the middle of a big jump and if somebody fires a rocket at you, you can airburst to dodge it. It gives the player way more choice and in the moment to moment makes the jumping a lot more fun."

It sounds like Crackdown 3 is going to be a grand return to the series that stays true to its roots rather than straying away from them.

Crackdown 3 will release on November 7th, 2017 alongside the brand new Xbox One X which boasts 4K graphics, better performances in games, and much more.

Behind the World Cup record: Roger Milla –

  • Roger Milla, 42, became the World Cup’s oldest scorer in 1994
  • The Cameroon striker had all but retired five years earlier
  • Presidential pressure & people power led to him making history

“To be honest, I found it so natural that I’m not natural.”

This was how Roger Milla reflected on the extraordinary feats that punctuated his late 30s and early ‘40s. The Cameroonian icon made history at two separate FIFA World Cups, becoming the tournament’s oldest ever goalscorer in 1990 and then breaking his own record four years later at the ripe old age of 42.

In that latter tournament, he was playing alongside and against men who hadn’t even been born when, 21-and-a-half years earlier, he had scored his first international goal in a World Cup qualifier against Zaire. Some of those colleagues and opponents had still been in nappies, in fact, when Milla won his first African Footballer of the Year award in 1976.

But despite those early achievements, and a distinguished club career in France, it was only at an age when most players have long since hung up their boots that the striker became a household name.

The Player
When the Confederation of African Football (CAF) celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007, the organisation polled the public for the continent’s best player over those five decades. Milla took home the prize.

Such an honour would have been unthinkable in the late ‘80s, when the journeyman striker – having failed to add to that 1976 African Football of the Year award – retired from the professional game to live and play amateur football on the island of Reunion.

But though Cameroon’s Russian coach, Valeri Nepomniatchi, understandably had no thoughts of calling on this 38-year-old retiree for the 1990 World Cup, that all changed when the country’s president, Paul Biya, issued a fateful order. Biya insisted that Milla be included and called the player personally to ensure his cooperation. “I think he (Biya) was not a bad coach,” a smiling Milla would later reflect.

Though controversial and far from universally popular in the Cameroon squad, the decision to enlist the veteran striker’s services proved inspired. Despite not starting a single match at Italy 1990, Milla emerged as one of the tournament’s undoubted stars, with four goals – and the makossa dance celebration that followed them – propelling him to global stardom.

Such was his status after that tournament, in fact, that he was once more recalled to the national team in 1994 at the age of 42. Again, he responded as only Milla could.

The Record
When Milla bustled his way through to score against Russia in Cameroon’s final match at USA 1994, he eclipsed a benchmark that he himself had set just four years earlier. Previously, Sweden legend Gunnar Gren had held this particular record for over three decades, having scored for the hosts in their 3-1 semi-final win over West Germany in 1958 aged 37 years and 236 days.

It was remarkable enough that Milla became the first and, to date, only man over the age of 38 to score at a World Cup when his heroics inspired Cameroon’s quarter-final run in 1990. But it was truly astonishing that he returned four years later and, 39 days after turning 42, set a World Cup record that looks sure to be one for the ages.

He did so just a minute after coming on as a half-time substitute in a 6-1 defeat to Russia that also witnessed one of his opponents, Oleg Salenko, set a World Cup record by becoming the only player in the tournament’s history to score five times in a single match.

Simply by taking to the field, Milla had become the first African player to appear in three World Cups and the oldest man from any team or continent to play at the global finals. That latter record was lost in 2014, though, when 43-year-old Colombia keeper Faryd Mondragon took to the field in Los Cafateros’ 4-1 win over Japan.

The Memories
“The Cameroonian people pushed me to play in 1994 because they thought I was the only one who could score goals. They just didn’t have faith in any of the other players. At the time I was playing for Tonnerre Yaounde, a club in Cameroon, so I was fit and ready. Was I confident? Of course.

“I looked after myself physically. I never did anything to harm my fitness. I did not have a wild lifestyle but a very wholesome one. Half a glass of wine every so often would be as much alcohol as I would drink.

“[Becoming the oldest scorer] was an honour, but it’s not hugely important to me. That goal remains a very fond memory but, as people often say, records are made to be broken. And why not by another Cameroonian player?”
Roger Milla

collectionfifatips – Alexis Sanchez must leave Arsenal to win Champions League – Zamorano

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Alexis Sanchez must leave Arsenal if he is to fulfil his ambition of winning the Champions League, Chile legend Ivan Zamorano has told SFR Sport.

Sanchez, 28, is heading into the final year of his Arsenal contract and, with no Champions League football for the Gunners next year, has been widely tipped to leave.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Confederations Cup final defeat to Germany, Sanchez, who scored 24 Premier League goals in 38 appearances last season, said his future is “clear” but would not be drawn on details.

And Zamorano, 50, said he believed the attacker needed to leave if he wanted to lift European club football’s biggest prize.

“I think Alexis knows very well what he has to do. He’s a guy who has goals and ambitions, they’re fundamental to making a choice,” he said. “I think he likes to win.

“What he wants, above all, is to win the Champions League, and I don’t think he’ll have that possibility at Arsenal.

“He must know that he will be more useful in a bigger team. But it’s his decision, his personal choice. Whatever happens, Alexis will be at the level he deserves to be and which he must achieve.”

Ian is ESPN’s French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman