Lionel Messi achieves yet another goalscoring feat

Barcelona striker Lionel Messi achieved another goalscoring record as he notched 2 goals in the club’s 4-2 win over Valencia at the weekend.

Messi’s brace – the 100th time he has done that, which is remarkable in itself – meant that the Argentine has now scored at least 40 goals in all competitions in each of the past 8 seasons.

Wow.

To get to 40 goals in any season is an amazing achievement, but to do it 8 years in a row is superhuman stuff.

Messi’s most productive season was 2011/12, when he scored a frankly ridiculous 73 goals.

In all, in the past 8 years, Messi has scored 410 goals. For comparison, his great rival, Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, has scored, ahem, “only” 390.

Once again, we see why Messi will be heralded as one of the all-time greats whenever he decides to finally hang up his boots. If anyone ever breaks his records, they will have to be some player.

Who will win today’s Premier League matches? Our factz give you the form

Middlesbrough v Manchester United

* United won the reverse fixture 2-1 earlier in the season.
* Boro haven’t beaten United since October 2005.
* Boro haven’t won any of their last 10 league games.
* They have also failed to score in 7 of those games and have only scored 19 all season.
* United are unbeaten in their last 17 league matches.

Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton

* Spurs thrashed Saints 1-4 at St Mary’s earlier in the season.
* Spurs have won their last 9 PL matches at home.
* Saints have won 3 and lost 5 in the league in 2017.
* Spurs have conceded just 7 goals in their 14 PL home games this season.
* Saints’ Manolo Gabbiadini has scored in each of his 3 league games since joining from Napoli.

Manchester City v Liverpool

* Liverpool won the reverse fixture 1-0 earlier in the season.
* Indeed, the Reds have won 5 of the last 6 meetings between the sides.
* City have won 5, drawn 2 and lost 1 in the PL this year.
* Liverpool have been consistently inconsistent in 2017 – played 9 in the PL, won 3, drawn 3, lost 3.
* The last 0-0 draw between the sides came in 2010 – 16 games ago, in all competitions.

Who will win today’s Premier League matches? Here is Football Newz’s Factz to give some pointers.

Who will win today’s Premier League matches? Here is Football Newz’s Factz to give some pointers.

West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal (12.30)

* Arsenal won the reverse fixture 1-0 earlier in the season.
* West Brom have only beaten Arsenal once in their last 13 attempts, but that did come at the Hawthorns last season.
* The last 0-0 draw between the sides was in 1985 – 22 games ago.
* Arsenal aren’t in great form – having lost 5 of their last 11 league matches.
* The Baggies have lost their last 2 PL matches.

Crystal Palace v Watford

* The sides drew 1-1 earlier in the season.
* Watford won at Selhurst Park last season, but it was only one of 2 wins in their last 13 against the Eagles.
* Palace have been beaten 9 times at home his season – the worst record in the division.
* Watford have won just 2 of their last 12 matches
* Palace have won their last 2 matches, but have only won 12 points out of the last 30 available.

Everton v Hull City

* The sides drew 2-2 earlier in the season.
* Everton have won 20 points in 9 matches in 2017.
* Hull have won 11 points in their last 8 matches.
* But Hull are awful away from home – losing 11 of their last 13 PL games away from the KCom Stadium, winning 0.
* Romelu Lukaku could become the first Everton player to score 20 league goals in a season since Gary Lineker achieved the feat in the 1985/6 season.

Stoke City v Chelsea

* Chelsea won 4-2 in the reverse fixture
* Chelsea have beaten Stoke in 12 of the 17 PL meetings between the sides. Stoke have won just twice.
* Stoke are unbeaten in 8 PL matches (4 wins)
* Chelsea have won 19 of their last 22 matches in all competitions, with 1 defeat.
* Chelsea have recorded 2 clean sheets in the last 9, compared to 10 in the previous 12.

Sunderland v Burnley

* Burnley won 4-1 in the reverse fixture.
* However, the Clarets haven’t beaten Sunderland away since 1972.
* Sunderland have won 1 of their last 10 PL matches.
* Burnley haven’t won in 5 PL matches.
* Burnley have earned just 2 points in 14 matches on their travels this season.

West Ham United v Leicester City

* Leicester won 1-0 earlier in the season. The Foxes also beat the Hammers in the 3rd round of the EFL Cup.
* Leicester have beaten West Ham in 4 of their last 5 encounters.
* West Ham are without a win in 4 PL matches and have lost their last 2.
* Leicester have won their last 2 matches, both under Craig Shakespeare.
* Leicester have gone 15 matches without an away win. Another loss will equal the club record.

AFC Bournemouth v Swansea City (5.30pm)

* Bournemouth won the reverse fixture earlier in the season, and are unbeaten in 4 against the Swans.
* Bournemouth are unbeaten in 2 matches, having lost the previous 4.
* However, in 5 of those 6 matches, the Cherries have conceded at least 2 goals.
* Swansea also have a leaky defence, keeping 1 clean sheet in their last 13 matches and conceding 61 goals overall.
* Swansea have won 3 and lost 3 of their last 6 matches.

Leicester City draw Athletico Madrid in Champions League quarter-finals

Leicester City, the last remaining English team in this season’s Champions League, have drawn Spanish side Athletico Madrid in the quarter-finals.

The Foxes will travel to Spain for the first leg on the 11th or 12th of April, before hosting Athletico at the King Power a week later. Having home advantage in the second leg could be crucial, given the significance of away goals.

Leicester have faced Athletico Madrid in Europe before, in the 1997/8 UEFA Cup, as it was then known. Back then, Leicester lost 4-1 on aggregate, although Foxes midfielder Garry Parker was controversially sent off in the 2nd leg at Filbert Street with the tie in the balance.

Athletico Madrid currently lie 4th in La Liga, so will be seen as a winnable tie for the Foxes. It also means they have avoided the giants of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Elsewhere in the Champions League draw, Bayern will face Real Madrid, while Barcelona’s reward for their stunning comeback against Paris St-Germain is a tie against Italian heavyweights Juventus. In the other tie, Borussia Dortmund will face Manchester City’s conquerors Monaco.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic considers move to LA Galaxy

Manchester United superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic is reportedly considering a move to the MLS in the summer.

His agent, Mino Raiola, is in Los Angeles currently and has been talking to representatives from LA Galaxy, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. LA Galaxy have previously declared they are interested in signing Ibrahimovic and making him the highest paid player in the MLS.

When he signed for Manchester United last summer, Ibrahimovic only signed a one-year deal, keeping his options open for 2017/18.

But United manager Jose Mourinho has already said he wants Ibrahimovic to stay for at least another season at Old Trafford. Ibrahimovic’s decision may be swayed by whether the club qualifies for the Champions League.

A number of Chinese clubs are known to be interested in signing Ibrahimovic, and while they can offer astronomical wages, it is thought the player would prefer to go elsewhere.