FIFA 19 Winter Upgrades: Premier League Ratings, Ones to Watch & Prime Icon Moments

?EA Sports have released their annual winter refresh for FIFA 19 Ultimate Team, which has seen an increase in the ratings of 23 Premier League players, as well the release of new special cards.

The popular video game franchise has rewarded a number of players who have shown impressive form over the first half of the season, with a number of high-profile stars receiving boosts to their already impressive ratings.

The update from EA Sports also contains new special cards, such as ‘Winter Ones to Watch’ and ‘Prime Icon Moments’, both of which will be highly sought after by players looking to add limited edition items to bolster their Ultimate Team.

Here is 90min’s breakdown of the FIFA 19 Winter Refresh.


Premier League Ratings Refresh

To keep the game as up-to-date as possible and to reward the recent form of many of the Premier League’s established key players and new breakthrough stars, there are 23 upgrades entering the game.

?Liverpool’s defensive solidity this season has seen goalkeeper Alisson, Virgin van Dijk and Andy Robertson all rewarded with improved in-game ratings. Alisson has jumped from an 85 to an 87, Van Dijk from an 85 to an 88 and Robertson has moved from 81 to 83.

?Manchester City’s ?Fernandinho and ?Raheem Sterling are both now 87 rated players thanks to their respective performances in City’s title defence, while Manchester United’s resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not gone unnoticed from EA, as pacey attackers ?Anthony Martial and ?Marcus Rashford are now 84 and 82 rated respectively.

FBL-ENG-PR-TOTTENHAM-WOLVES

?Tottenham attacking duo ?Harry Kane and ?Son Heung-min have been rewarded for their fine attacking displays, with Kane now 90 rated and Son an 85. Meanwhile, across the north London, ?Arsenal strikers ?Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and ?Alexandre Lacazette have both been rewarded with increased ratings – with Aubameyang now an 88 and Lacazette an 85.

The biggest improvement however is at ?Crystal Palace, where right-back Aaron Wan Bissaka has leapfrogged from a silver 70 to a gold 76.


Winter Ones to Watch

This update covers the most notable transfers to take place during the January transfer window, celebrating the moves with new special cards.

Anyone trying to build a Ligue 1 team should look for new Monaco pairing ?Cesc Fabregas and Naldo, who both have 86 ratings. New Marseille forward ?Mario Balotelli also has a new 83 rated special card after his switch from OGC Nice.

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-MONACO-TOULOUSE

Premier League new boys ?Michy Batshuayi, Nathaniel Clyne, Denis Suarez and Ryan Babel also feature with new cards in the update.


Prime Icon Moments

FIFA 19’s ‘icon’ players have also received an increase in their ratings, coupled with the introduction of new ‘Icon Moments’ cards.?

The new cards have been created to commemorate a special individual moment in the career of an existing FIFA ‘Icon’.

Not every ‘Icon’ has received a new special card, as they will be released in groups, with only group one being revealed so far. There will be a total of 34 special cards released, with group two set to be revealed at a later date – giving Ultimate Team players plenty to look forward too over the coming weeks and months.

Arsenal's Captain, Thierry Henry gesture

For fans of the Premier League, ‘Icons’ to look out for from group one include 92 rated Steven Gerrard, an extremely quick 94 rated Thierry Henry and Ruud van Nistelrooy, who is 93 rated.

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Inter vs Sampdoria: Luciano Spalletti’s Best Available Nerazzurri Lineup

Inter will host Sampdoria in Serie A on Sunday looking to get back to winning ways and focus on matters on the pitch.

Mauro Icardi will be missing for Luciano Spalletti’s men, with the Argentine striker missing with a knee problem – though his long-term future at the club is under somewhat of a cloud after he was stripped of the club captaincy.

Inter will still have a strong team available though – here’s how they may line up at kick off.

1. Goalkeeper and Defenders

Samir Handanovic

Samir Handanovic (GK) – The Slovenian international will be eager to impress in his first game as captain. An ever-present in the Serie A and looks set to start once more. 

Cedric Soares (RB) – The former Southampton man seems the perfect fit at right back in what would be his fourth appearance in the blue and black of Inter. 

Milan Skriniar (CB) – A player with an ever-growing reputation, Skriniar is quickly becoming one of the most talked about centre-backs in European football. Inter have some star players and he is certainly one of them. 

Stefan de Vrij (CB) – The Dutch international has had a smooth start to life in Milan, having already made 18 league appearances. Will start once more barring any late injury hiccups.

Kwadwo Asamoah (LB) – The versatile defender can play in numerous different positions, however in this Inter side, he has established himself as the first choice left-back.

2. Midfield

Ivan Perisic

Matias Vecino (CDM) – Enjoying an impressive season at Inter, the Uruguayan has gone on to become first choice in the centre of midfield and it’s likely he will be given the nod once again. 

Marcelo Brozovic (CDM) – Brozovic’s European suspension in midweek should ensure he’s fully fit and raring to go for this one.

Matteo Politano – (RM) – Politano has played consistently for Inter this season, with 21 league appearances so far this season. His good form means another start is almost certain.

Ivan Perisic (LM) – With speculation about his future now a thing of the past, Perisic will look to regain his focus on field and put in another polished performance down the left-hand side.

Radja Nainggolan (CAM) – The tireless Belgian midfielder is back in favour at San Siro, and could spearhead Inter’s attacks through the heart of midfield.

3. Forwards

Lautaro Martinez

Lautaro Martinez (ST) – One Argentine replaces another as Martinez will look to take advantage of Icardi’s absence. He scored the winner against Parma and the decisive penalty away in Austria, so will be keen to impress once again for the visit of Sampdoria.

Inter should have what it takes to defeat a plucky Sampdoria side, but they must not take anything for granted.  

The form of Lautaro Martinez has really excited the Inter faithful and rightfully so, with all the issues with Icardi, this could be the perfect opportunity for a new golden boy to shine through. Saying that, they have been caught out in recent weeks and so, if they do not perform to the best of their ability, could be left wanting. 

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Inter vs Sampdoria Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

It’s been a rollercoaster of a week for Inter, with skipper Mauro Icardi stripped off the captaincy before the Nerazzurri’s win over Rapid Wien in the Europa League.

But Luciano Spalletti’s men must now turn their attention back to domestic action, as they take on Sampdoria at San Siro in what could turn out to be an exhilarating Serie A clash.

The hosts will have the opportunity to strengthen their grip on third place, as they look to seal their passage back into next season’s Champions League.

Mauro Icardi

Their opponents Sampdoria currently sit ninth in the table and will hope to shake off their recent patch of indifferent form, which has seen them lose without scoring in their last two games.

Here’s 90min’s preview of the Serie A clash.


Where to Watch

?When is Kick Off?                     ?17th February 2019                                                                 
?What Time is Kick Off? 17:00 (BST)?
?Where Is it Played? San Siro?
?TV Channel/Live Stream Premier Sports?
?Referee? ?Daniele Doveri

Team News

?Inter have several question marks over their available squad for Saturday’s fixture, with the aforementioned Icardi unlikely to be included in the hosts squad with a knee injury. Lautaro Martinez will likely lead the line as a result, supported ably by the likes of Ivan Perisic and Radja Nainggolan.

Sime Vrsaljiko is definitely out with a knee injury, with Cedric, signed on loan from Southampton, likely to continue deputising at full-back. 

Gianluca Caprari

Sampdoria will again be missing Gianluca Caprari, who is still recovering from the fibula fracture he picked up towards the end of January.

The game has also come too soon for Edgar Barreto, with his calf complaint having kept him out of the visitors last ten games.


Predicted Lineups

?Inter Milan ?Handanovic; Soares, Skriniar, De Vrij, Asamoah, Vecino, Brozovic, Politano, Perisic, Nainggolan; Martinez
?Sampdoria  ?Audero; Bereszynski, Colley, Andersen, Tavares; Praet, Ekdal, Linetty Saponara; Quagliarella, Gabbiadini 

Head to Head Record

Inter will go into this game full of confidence having won their last three games against Sampdoria. The Nerazzurri have the chance to win four in a row versus Sunday’s opponents for the first time since 1985.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-SAMPDORIA-INTERMILAN

They will be wary of the attacking threat Sampdoria possess however, as both teams have scored in six of the last seven meetings between the two at San Siro. 

This, coupled with the fact that they have only managed to score three homes goal in 2019, will no doubt ensure Inter strive to be at their very best.


Recent Form

Inter’s 1-0 away win to Parma in their last game came off the back of three poor results, in which they lost twice in the Serie A and were dumped out of the Coppa Italia on penalties by Lazio.

The black and blue outfit have not won a league game in 2019, with their last victory coming against Empoli.

Mauro Emanuel Icardi,Radja Nainggolan

Lautaro Martinez has scored in consecutive matches though, and Luciano Spalletti will hope his young superstar is up for the challenge of leading the Inter line in Icardi’s likely absence.


Sampdoria’s struggles will offer Inter some comfort though, with recent defeats against Frosinone and Napoli denting their European aspirations. The visitors will hope that the controversy surrounding Icardi’s replacing as captain (by goalkeeper Samir Handanovic) will put the hosts off their game, allowing them to scoop a surprise result.

Here are the two teams last five results in all competitions.

?Inter Sampdoria?
?Rapid Wien 0-1 Inter (14/02) ?Sampdoria 0-1 Frosinone (10/02)
?Parma 0-1 Inter (9/02) ?Napoli 3-0 Sampdoria (02/02)
?Inter 0-1 Bologna (03/02) Sampdoria 4-0 Udinese (26/01)?
?Inter 1-1 Lazio (3-4 AET) (31/01) Fiorentina 3-3 Sampdoria (20/01)?
?Torino 1-0 Inter (27/01) ?Sampdoria 0-2 AC Milan (12/01)

Prediction

This match really could go either way. On the one hand, Inter have the better players on paper and you would expect their home record of recent to pick up.

Icardi’s absence up front though could cause unrest and nerves among the squad, as he often bails the home side out of trouble with his regular goals contribution.

Lautaro Martinez

Sampdoria, though they haven’t been in the best form recently, will be licking their lips after Inter’s recent European exploits – but their own poor form means they may just come up short in this one.

Prediction: Inter 2-1 Sampdoria

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Sporting Director Provides Update on Mauro Icardi Situation After Forward Is Stripped of Captaincy

?Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio has said that Mauro Icardi remains an important part of the club and hopes to hold onto the striker for a long time, despite being stripped of the captaincy this week. 

The story exploded when Inter, rather strangely, released a statement confirming that the armband had been taken from Icardi and given to goalkeeper Samir Handanovic ‘for the good of the club’.

After the number nine was subsequently left out for their Europa League trip to Rapid Vienna, many jumped to the conclusion that his days at the club were numbered, and though it later ?emerged that this was due to an injury, the player himself would add fuel to the fire with a cryptic Instagram post. 


In the latest development to what is already becoming one of the overplayed stories of the season, however, Ausilio has come out in defence of the player – saying the situation has no bearing on his first-team or contract status. 

“A decision was made that everyone agreed with, and it was a painful one to make,” he told Sky Sport, via ?FourFourTwo. “The reasons are serious and valid; there’s nothing to explain.

“Mauro remains important to us. He still has a lot to give to ?Inter. We are not questioning him as a professional or as a striker, which is why I hope he stays with us for a long time yet. ‘Us’ is the key word here and must always prevail for the good of the club and the changing room.”

He continued: “We have taken measures – and it’s the last thing we would have wanted to do – after letting something slide in the past. It might seem like a step backwards, but in terms of the future it’s 10 steps forward.

Mauro Emanuel Icardi

“We’ll speak with Icardi, although it’s not right to speak of talks to clear the air because he’s never been put in discussion and he’s a great player. If he likes, we’ll set conditions to follow. Contract discussions have in no way been affected by these events – it’s a totally different subject.”

He has since been linked with a ?sensational move to Juventus, so it could be interesting to see how this one develops in the summer months. 

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90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings: Week 21 – BAFTA Awards Special

Following a week in which: 

– Manchester City scored an incredible amount of goals.

– Jan Vertonghen put in an incredible performance at left back for Tottenham Hotspur.

– Kylian Mbappe continued to be incredible.

We rank European football teams, using quotes from 2019’s BAFTA winning films.*

*Except for Bohemian Rhapsody, because it’s a horrific film about a horrific band.


15. Ajax? (Re-Entry) 

Hakim Ziyech

“You know man, in the ol’ days, I always knew, like, you were going to do something, that you’d be alright. It’s the first time I’m worried about you.” (A Star Is Born) 

‘There’s a bright future ahead for Ajax.’ 

Is what was (roughly) exclaimed by a commentator during the Ajax vs. Real Madrid game. And while there is a lovely sentiment behind such a statement, it’s not exactly true. 

Ajax do have a great young squad – there’s no denying it. 

The problem with the commentator aforementioned comment however, is that it won’t be their ‘great young squad’ for much longer. With Frenkie de Jong already sold to Barcelona and literally every club in the world vying for Matthijs de Ligt’s signature, Tuesday night felt like the beginning of the end for this Ajax team; rather than the beginning of a…um…well…beginning. 


14. Benfica (New Entry) 

Jonas,Alex Grimaldo,Rafa Silva,Filip Krovinovic,Andre Almeida

“I think it’s a Banksy.” (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)

10-0.

Last weekend, Benfica scored ten goals and conceded zero. 

Benfica beat Nacional 10-0!!!

This result can mean one of two things, either: 

– Benfica are really, really, really good. 

– Nacional are really, really, really bad.

I’d like to think it’s the former. ?


13. Atalanta (Down 3) 

Duvan Zapata

“That’s not how it goes.” (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)

Atalanta, it’s not you, it’s me. 

La Dea fans may feel a little aggrieved when they see that their team have dropped three places in this week’s Definitive European Power Rankings. 

They did win last weekend. 

Duvan Zapata did score (as he always does). 

Other teams did too though, and with the Definitive European Power Rankings being so hotly contested week in, week out, sometimes a win over S.P.A.L. just isn’t enough. Sorry. 


12. SSC Napoli (Down 1) 

Gerson,Allan

“It’s a…complicated world.” (Green Book)

Hopes of winning first Scudetto since the Diego Maradona era have been vanquished by a Juventus team who just. Won’t. Stop. Winning. 

But hopes of winning a first European trophy since the Diego Maradona era are still alive and well. 

?Napoli recorded a comfortable win over FC Zurich in the first leg of the round of 32 on Thursday night, and are now undoubtedly one of the favourites to lift the stupidly big trophy in May. 


11. AC Milan (Up 4) 

Krzysztof Piatek

“I believe this can work.” (Vice)

Are ?AC Milan…good? 

They might be. 

A few months ago they were DEFINITELY terrible, but the signings of Lucas Paqueta and Krzysztof Piatek have changed everything. 

Now, after a myriad of false dawns, I Rossoneri fans finally believe that this ‘project’ can work. 


10. Bayern Munich (Up 2)

Thiago

“Every human has great potential that can be developed through physical training. But most importantly, through the evolution of the mind.” (Roma)

There’s been teething problems. 

A whole lot of teething problems. 

The molars still aren’t fully out. 

There’s a gap between the two front teeth. 

However, ?Bayern are doing alright. And if they trust Niko Kovac, Serge Gnabry, Alphonso Davies and co., FC Hollywood have the potential to be the best team in Europe once again.  


9. Manchester United (Down 2)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

“The world’s full of lonely people afraid to make the first move.” (Green Book) 

?Manchester United: MAKE THE MOVE.

GIVE OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER THE JOB.

HE DESERVES IT. 

‘But what about the PSG defeat? That was pretty bad…’

FORGET ABOUT THAT. HE’S WORKED WONDERS WITH THIS SIDE. THE PLAYERS LOVE HIM. THE FANS LOVE HIM. 

GIVE HIM THE JOB.


8. Borussia Dortmund (Down 7) 

Thomas Delaney

“Stalked by tragedy.” (The Favourite) 

Down seven. Yes, down seven.

This week has been that bad for ?Borussia Dortmund. But it shouldn’t really be much of a surprise. 

With Marco Reus, Manuel Akanji, Paco Alcacer Julian Weigl and Lukasz Piszczek all on the sidelines, BVB’s squad  depleted in a big, big way. 

When you’re forced to start Dan-Axel Zagadou, bad things – like a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur – will happen. And they did. 


7. Real Madrid (Up 2)

Karim Benzema

“Mountains are old, but they’re still green.” (Roma) 

We’ve suspected it for a few weeks, and it’s now official: ?Real Madrid are back. 

Los Blancos followed up an impressive 3-1 win away to Atletico Madrid with an even more impressive win over Ajax in the UEFA Champions League to prove that, yes, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Marcelo, etc. are still pretty good. 

Who’d have thought it…?


6. Liverpool (Down 1) 

James Milner

“‘Queen, you are mad. Giving me a palace. This is a monstrous extravagance. Mrs. Molly, we are at war.’

‘We won.’

‘Oh, it is not over. We must continue.’

‘Oh. Well, I did not know that.'” (The Favourite) 

“DOWN ONE?! HOW?!”

“HOW CAN LIVERPOOL DROP ONE THIS WEEK EVEN THOUGH THEY WON?!”

“PATHETIC.”

Ok, ok, I get it. Every week you guys are upset by where ?Liverpool are in 90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings. I. Get. It. 

Liverpool are down one this week because even though they won an important game on Saturday, put simply, other teams in Europe had more impressive. So chill out, ok? 


5. Paris Saint-Germain (Up 3)

Kylian Mbappe

“Unless you get out there and try to do it, you’ll never know. That’s just the truth. If there’s one reason we’re suppose to be here is to say something so people wanna hear it. So you gotta grab it and you don’t apologise you don’t worry about why they’re listening or how long they’re gonna be listening for. You just tell em what you wanna say.” (A Star Is Born) 

Kylian Mbappe. 

That’s why Paris Saint-Germain have broken into the top five of 90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings. 

How can he be this good? How is it possible? How?!


4. Barcelona (Down 2)

Del Cerro Grande,Lionel Messi,Sergio Busquets

If you have power, people will always try to take it from you. Always.” (Vice)

For only the second time this season, ?Barcelona failed to score in a game. 

Being held to a goalless draw by a dogged Athletic Bilbao side obviously isn’t the end of the world (especially when you’re top of the league), but the draw may have shown the rest of La Liga how to quell Barca’s attacking threat. 

And it’s a pretty simple tactic to utilise: kick them. Kick them a lot. Just don’t stop kicking them.


3. Tottenham Hotspur (Up 3)

Mauricio Pochettino

“Look at me. All you got to do is trust me. That’s all you got to do.” (A Star Is Born) 

– Jan Vertonghen is the best left back AND centre back in England.

– Son Heung-min is the best player in England.

– Mauricio Pochettino is a wizard.

These are the reasons ?Tottenham Hotspur beat Borussia Dortmund 3-0 in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. 


2. Juventus (Up 2) 

Mario Mandzukic

“My old man always told me good things come to those who wait.” (Blackkklansman)

?Juventus recorded another win in Serie A at the weekend…which isn’t much of a surprise, and probably doesn’t really matter.

What does matter for La Vecchia Signora this season is the UEFA Champions League; a competition they haven’t won since 1996.

For Juventus, the 2018/19 season hinges upon European glory. If they win the Champions League, the 2018/19 season was a success. If they don’t, then the 2018/19 season will go doe as one of the most disappointing in recent memory. 


1. Manchester City (Up 2) 

Raheem Sterling,Bernardo Silva

“I am the Queen.” (The Favourite) 

?Manchester City’s recent form: 

Played: 13

Won: 12

Drawn: 0

Lost: 1

Goals Scored: 45

Goals Conceded: 6

Goal Difference: 39

If I was a Liverpool fan, I’d be afraid. Very, very afraid. 


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