Liverpool 1-0 Napoli

Liverpool 1-0 Napoli: View From The Press Box

Liverpool made a number of changes for this must-win Champions League tie against Napoli, altering their personnel and their formation from the weekend’s Premier League meeting with Bournemouth.

In that game Jürgen Klopp had gone with a mixed formation which resembled his 4-2-3-1, but in truth was more 4-2-2-2 or 4-4-1-1, using Naby Keita wide on the left, Shaqiri right, with Roberto Firmino dropping deeper than fellow forward Mohamed Salah.

For this crunch game it was back to the old favourite — 4-3-3 — and the old favourites, James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum, against the 4-4-2 of Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli.

Liverpool tactics v Napoli

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Premier League team of week 16

Premier League team of week 16: Mo Mo Mo – how do you like it?

Our Premier League team of week 16 has four debutants, and three of them play for Manchester United. See what happens when you try to attack, Jose? Playing the side with the worst defensive record in the division clearly helps, in fairness.

Mohamed Salah’s hat trick obviously assured his spot here, but who else is in our XI? Let’s take a look at who the Twelve algorithm has taken a shine to this week. Read More

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Barcelona vs Tottenham

Barcelona vs Tottenham Preview: Dembélé to send Spurs out?

Barcelona have secured top spot in Group B of the Champions League but with a final match against Tottenham at the Camp Nou left to play, the Catalans will want to finish the first round in style.

Tottenham will be hoping that Inter lose or at the very least draw against PSV in the other group match and will want to walk away with three points on Tuesday to qualify for the Round of 16. However, even with Ernesto Valverde’s team having already secured qualification and with a plethora of injuries hitting the team, things will not be easy for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti, Arthur and Malcom are all out for the blaugrana. Nelson Semedo is playing to prove a point and make that right back position his to keep in Sergi Roberto’s absence.

In midfield, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic, Denis Suarez, Coutinho and Carles Aleñá have made sure that Arthur’s absence isn’t felt. And at the back, Clement Lenglent has formed a formidable partnership alongside veteran Gerard Pique. Read More

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Arsenal vs Huddersfield Town Preview: 21 gun salute?

Arsenal head into the busy Christmas period in good shape in the top four race. They are currently tied on points for the last Champions League spot with Chelsea and behind their north London rivals in third by two points.

This weekend they face a tough task, hosting Huddersfield Town. Huddersfield themselves are in a tough situation currently sitting in 17th place just outside of the relegation spots.

Have Arsenal sorted out their defensive issues?

One of the reoccurring issues for Arsenal over the years has been a leaky defense. That trend has continued under Unai Emery, at least until the last few matches. Over the last three games Arsenal have switched to a back three and that has coincided with much better defensive numbers.

The only problem for Arsenal is that even with better defensive performances recently, one of their three primary center backs is now feared to be out with a potential major knee injury. Read More

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Fantasy Football Week 16

Premier League Fantasy Football Week 16 selections

And so to fantasy football week 16. Our main hero from last week’s team was Shane Duffy, as he scored and picked up a total of 16 points. He often features in our team of the week, so it wasn’t really a surprise. Leroy Sané and Wayne Hennessey did okay too, but our other quintet largely sunk without trace.

Here’s our leader board for the last six match weeks, from which we’ll select our Draft Kings team. Before we look at who the Twelve algorithm has opted for this week, here are the matches which are included in the game on Saturday.

Fantasy Football: Week 16

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Manchester United vs Fulham

Manchester United vs Fulham: Where’s the consistency?

Manchester United and Arsenal played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in Wednesday’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford. United’s guests from North London twice led through goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexandre Lacazette, but Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard earned a share of the spoils for the home side.

Jose Mourinho’s side have now gone four games without a win and remain in eighth place in the standings, while Arsenal are down to fifth despite having extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to an amazing 20 matches.

Which manager will be happier with this result? It could easily be Unai Emery. Old Trafford seemed like an impossible puzzle for Arsenal for many years, so to go and maybe deserve to win is testament to what the Basque manager is doing this season. He’s doing a great job in transforming Arsenal into a more organized and serious side than was seen in the later years of Arsene Wenger’s reign. Read More

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Premier League Team of Week 15

Premier League Team of Week 15: Main man Mahrez

Is it really a ‘week’ when it all takes place midweek? It’s the key question of our confused times, I’m sure you’ll agree. Here’s our Premier League Team of Week 15.

Goalkeeper: Ben Foster. Watford 1-2 Manchester City.

The Watford stopper was second in the defensive chart to Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka, but he chipped in with a couple of high value long passes (as we can see here) to take the goalkeeper slot. Read More

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Bournemouth vs Liverpool

Bournemouth vs Liverpool Preview: Key duels at both ends

Bournemouth vs Liverpool sees this season’s surprise package host Manchester City’s main title challengers. I foolishly predicted that the Cherries would struggle this season, so it should surprise nobody that they’re flying.

However, appearances can be deceptive. Despite their fine start to 2018/19, Eddie Howe’s side have actually taken three points fewer than they won in the corresponding fixtures last season. Has their impressive start been borne out of a relatively kind fixture list?

Bournemouth fans will answer “so what if it has?”, and there’s nothing wrong with that. With Liverpool heading to town, though, the Cherries’ record of 16 defeats from their last 18 matches against the big six sides has to be of some concern.  Read More

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Chelsea vs Manchester City premier League Preview

Chelsea vs Manchester City Preview: Stop Jorginho, stop Chelsea?

“English football has an exceptional holding midfielder,” said Pep Guardiola in August. If he had got his way, that outstanding anchorman would be a Manchester City player. Instead a player Guardiola was confident of signing will face them. Jorginho was reunited instead with Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea. Rather than building a side around the Italy international, the Catalan will instead attempt to stop him constructing attacks in Chelsea vs Manchester City on Saturday.

Guardiola’s argument that Jorginho is outstanding is indisputable in one respect: the former Napoli man stands out in the statistics, topping the charts for touches and passes this season. He broke the Premier League record for most passes attempted against West Ham, attempting 180 in a performance that earned him 3,086 points on Twelve’s system. Look at Twelve’s diagram of his display that day (and untick ‘only important actions’ to see everything he did) and it indicates how pivotal he was. Read More

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