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2022 World Cup forward power rankings: Matchday 3



Which strikers stole the show when it mattered most in the World Cup group stages?

Well, that’s what we’re about to find out. With all the storylines now played out and focus turned to the heavyweight football that comes with the knockout stages, it’s time for some power rankings for the top 10 strikers of matchday three.

Heechan Hwang

Hwang came up with the goods / Stuart Franklin/GettyImages

Cometh the hour, cometh the man.


Hwang popped up at the death and fired South Korea to a shock victory over Portugal, that also secured them a place in the last 16. Goals don’t get bigger than that.

Dani Olmo

Olmo was quiet against Japan / Matthew Ashton – AMA/GettyImages

Lacked the spark that has made him stand out so far in Qatar in Spain’s defeat to Japan, but Olmo can still be counted on to deliver in the knockout stages.

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Mitro is a menace / Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

It all came too late for Serbia, but we got a glimpse of what they were capable of against Switzerland – and it was glorious.

Mitrovic scored an absolute peach of a header by getting on the end of a stunning cross. Give this man service and he will provide.

Dusan Vlahovic

Vlahovic silenced the haters / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Watching Vlahovic’s performance against Switzerland leaves you scratching your head as to why Serbia didn’t go with a two-striker system from the off.

The guy is an absolute animal and marked his only start in Qatar with a tru striker’s finish. Elite.

Jamal Musiala

He’ll be back / BSR Agency/GettyImages

The teenager couldn’t stop Germany from crashing out of a second successive World Cup, but he did show the world what he’s capable of.

It’s scary to think how good Musiala could be by the time 2026 rolls around.

Marcus Rashford

Rashford has found his stride again / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Afforded a rare star by Gareth Southgate, and made the absolute most of it with a brilliant brace.

Rashford is in a terrific groove right now since being revived at Manchester United and is strutting his stuff for club and country. Could be a huge asset if England go deep into the tournament.

Lionel Messi

Messi was impressive against Poland / Richard Sellers/GettyImages

Yes, he missed a penalty. But we know Messi isn’t very good at those.

We can probably let him off, considering just how good he is and was against Poland, even without scoring. It was like a flashback to the past. Messi looked well and truly on it.

Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe is the key / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Mbappe sits out and France lose. Do the maths.

Defeat in matchday three serves as a reminder to Les Bleus that they are in fact human after all. To be in with a chance of doing the unthinkable, they need the near superhuman Mbappe leading the charge.

Cody Gakpo

Gakpo is enjoying himself / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Three games, three goals. Left foot, right foot, header.

The group stages couldn’t really have gone any better for Gakpo, who looks to be doing everything in his power to incite a bidding war for his services in January.

Alvaro Morata

Morata is thriving / Jam Media/GettyImages

Who would’ve thought? Probably not even Morata himself.

The man who has been scapegoated just about wherever he has been is firing his way to a World Cup golden boot charge. For all of the beautiful football Spain try to play, Morata is the anti-hero that they need.

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FA Cup 2022/23 top scorers



Here’s which players have the most in this year’s FA Cup

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Player ratings as Casemiro strikes twice in FA Cup win



Manchester United cruised into the fifth round of the FA Cup by overpowering ten-man Reading at Old Trafford on Saturday night.

The Championship visitors kept their hosts out for the first 45 minutes but United eventually broke their resistance as Casemiro struck twice in quick succession.

The Brazilian ran onto Antony’s pass and chipped Joe Lumley to put Erik ten Hag’s side 1-0 up before a long range strike found its way into the bottom corner from 25 yards.


Andy Carroll charged around with aggression all night and ended up being sent off for two bookable offences before Fred added a third, cleverly back-heeling Fernandes’ cross in at the front post.

United switched off in the 72nd minute to gift Reading a consolation, with Amadou Salif Mbengue given a free header to reduce the deficit three minutes after his introduction.

The Red Devils saw out the rest of the contest to book their place in the next round, joining the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham and Leeds.

United looked sharp throughout the first half, quickly exploding into attack with opportunities for Wout Weghorst and Christian Eriksen before a double chance fell to for Eriksen and Marcus Rashford. However, Lumley denied them on both occasions.


Fernandes lifted an effort just over before a brilliant Antony run ended without reward.

The deadlock seemed to have been broken ten minutes before half time when Rashford smashed in from close range, but Weghorst was shown to have been offside in the build-up.

The breakthrough eventually came when two Brazilians combined to cut through Reading’s defence. Antony picked out Casemiro with a precise pass, allowing the former Real Madrid midfielder to run in and dink Lumley for the game’s opener.

He netted his second goal just before the hour mark with more of a pot shot. A free kick was never fully cleared by Reading and Casemiro struck a fierce effort from distance that whistled in.


United’s job got a lot easier when Carroll was given his second yellow card for wiping out Casemiro and they took advantage of their numerical superiority by netting a third.

A short corner was worked to Fernandes, who fired the ball into Fred to inventively flick the ball beyond Lumley.

The visitors were rewarded for their efforts when United suddenly went limp at a corner, allowing substitute Mbengue a free header to reduce the deficit. It meant little, however, with the Royals exiting the FA Cup and United reaching the last 16.

GK: David de Gea – 6/10 – Unsurprisingly a quiet night for De Gea, who had to clean up loose ball on occasion. Sharp stop to deny Hoilett.


RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 7/10 – Left the tackling to Malacia on the left but another display which shows his improvement under Ten Hag.

CB: Victor Lindelof – 6/10 – Decent enough for most of the night but he and Maguire won’t be back in the Premier League starting XI anytime soon conceding poor goals from corners.

CB: Harry Maguire – 6/10 – We all got the Maguire vs Carroll battle we didn’t know we needed. He came out of that clash having performed well enough.

LB: Tyrell Malacia – 7/10 – Did present a big chance to Hoilett but managed to wake up to deliver a better performance.


CM: Casemiro – 9/10 – Provided a run from midfield and finished Antony’s pass well before netting from distance. Simply cannot do any wrong right now.

CM: Christian Eriksen – 6/10 – Came close with a free kick that whizzed past the post.

RW: Antony – 8/10 – Produced some marvellous running and the weight of pass on his delivery to Casemiro was perfect. Delivered end product which has been missing recently.

AM: Bruno Fernandes – 7/10 – Got United purring in attack and played the ball in for Fred to make in 3-0.


LW: Marcus Rashford – 7/10 – No goals for the England international but his pace and direct running was a threat.

ST: Wout Weghorst – 7/10 – Provided some more selfless pressing and occupied defenders while his teammates did the damage.


Fred (57′ for Christian Eriksen) – 8/10 – Got United’s third and was efficient during his sub appearance.

Facundo Pellestri (68′ for Fernandes) – 6/10 – Quiet final 20 minute appearance.


Alejandro Garnacho (68′ for Rashford) – 6/10

Kobbie Mainoo (68′ for Rashford) – 6/10

Anthony Elanga (73′ for Weghorst) – 6/10


Erik ten Hag – 7/10 – United averted any fears of a potential upset with a second half blitz which allowed Ten Hag to shuffle his pack in late on.


GK: Joe Lumley (5); CB: Tom McIntyre (6), CB: Tom Holmes (6), CB: Junior Hoilett (5); RWB: Andy Yiadom (5), CM: Jeff Hendrick (6), CM: Abdul Rahman Baba (6), CM: Tom Ince (7), LWB: Mamadou Loum (6) ST: Andy Carroll (5), ST: Lucas Joao (6).

SUBS: Tyrese Fornah (6), Amadou Salif Mbengue (8), Dean Bouzanis (6), Shane Long (6).

Player of the match – Casemiro

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Tete undergoing medical with Leicester



Tete will have a medical with Leicester on Saturday night ahead of his move from parent club Shakhtar Donetsk, 90min understands.

The Brazilian winger was offered to Premier League sides on loan with the view of a permanent deal back in December before the Foxes held talks with the representatives of the Lyon loanee regarding a move to the King Power Stadium.

Lyon are prepared to lose the 22-year-old as manager Laurent Blanc plans to move his side in a different direction. Despite that, Tete is their second highest top scorer this season after Alexandre Lacazette – who has 11 goals – with six strikes.


Premier League sides West Ham, Tottenham, Newcastle and Arsenal were all alerted to his availability. David Moyes’ Hammers did explore a deal only to renege on their interest later.

Tete’s arrival will add firepower to Brendan Rodgers’ squad. Harvey Barnes and James Maddison are their top Premier League scorers this season with seven each, with Patson Daka, Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho all struggling for form.

On this edition of Talking Transfers, Scott Saunders hosts Toby Cudworth & Graeme Bailey to discuss some of the latest transfer news. On today’s agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maximo Perrone & more! If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

Tete is a naturally right-sided player and has Champions League experience with Shakhtar, scoring three times in the UEFA competition.


Leicester were quiet during the summer transfer window, bringing in only Alex Smithies and Wout Faes, but have signed Victor Kristiansen this month to add competition at left back.

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