Sweden vs Canada

Sweden vs Canada Preview: It’s Not Winter, But Expect Fire

They have history between them, but mostly in winter sports like curling, ice hockey or skiing. Sweden vs Canada will be a particularly interesting clash in Paris, because it brings to the grass a rivalry that is big on ice.

The Swedes lost 2-0 to the top-ranked Americans on Thursday to decide the Group F winner. Canada got a wake-up call, paying for a slow start and some defensive lapses with a 2-1 loss to the European champion Netherlands in their final group stage game.

“I know if we play to our best, we can beat everyone and that includes anyone who we may face in the next rounds,” said Kenneth Heiner-Møller, Canada’s Head Coach. “We were trying to win this match ‎because that is what we do and we do very well. ‎We need to learn from this game, shift quickly and focus on the next task. We are only looking forward.”

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Australia vs. Brazil Preview: A Yellow Kind Of Play

Who would’ve said that Australia would lose their first match at the Women’s World Cup against Italy, when the Italians were making their debut? A very poor start for the Matildas. Not quite disastrous, and given that the better third-placed teams qualify for the next round, there is still a long way to go. But Australia now need to beat Brazil on Thursday to retain hope of topping Group C. And that won’t be easy.

Against Jamaica, Brazil were obviously the better team and won by an easy 3-0. Brazil might not be among the main challengers for this World Cup, but they showed enough here to suggest they will be dangerous. And all without Marta. At the very least, they’ll be delighted to have ended their nine-game losing run.

Comparing the two sides with Twelve’s tools, we can see Brazilian striker Cristiane leading with 3,192 points. Mostly because of her three goals scored, as she offered a poor production in attack actions and didn’t have a single important defensive action.


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Bournemouth vs Chelsea Preview

Bournemouth vs Chelsea Preview: The same, but different

Chelsea will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they take on an inconsistent Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday night. The Blues overcame Sheffield Wednesday in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday, but lost 2-0 at Arsenal in their last Premier League clash on January 19 to leave themselves vulnerable in the top four.

Indeed, from being comfortable in the Champions League spots, Chelsea are now facing pressure from the teams behind them. Sarri’s side go into match week 24 in fourth, but they are just three points clear of Arsenal and Manchester United. As that duo have home games with Cardiff and Burnley respectively on Tuesday, there’s every chance they will be level on points with the Blues when they kick off on the south coast.

This latest Bournemouth vs Chelsea clash will be the 15th meeting in all competitions. The Blues have won 11 of the previous 14, while there has never been a draw between the two teams. Never a draw! Amazing, isn’t it?

Maybe that’s because both sides love possession. Chelsea have 696 passes on average per match, while Bournemouth have 424. Eddie Howe sets his teams to play possession based football, moving the ball around in a dynamic and expansive manner. Similar to Sarri, but also different. Read More

Crystal Palace vs Chelsea

Crystal Palace vs Chelsea Preview: Frontmen form makes it hard to predict

Chelsea are aiming to keep hold of fourth place in the table as they head to south London to face Crystal Palace on Sunday. Eden Hazard’s brace sank Watford on Boxing Day to send Maurizio Sarri’s Blues above Arsenal into the Champions League qualification places with half the season gone.

As for Palace, Roy Hodgson’s Eagles have climbed to 14th with seven points from their last three games, and a 3-2 win at champions Manchester City will serve as a warning for this London derby. This lad likes surprises.

Looking at Twelve’s leader board between both sides, we have a top five of Chelsea players. Of course Hazard is the leader, but after him, it’s a little bit surprising – at least to me – that defensive players are leading the Blues’ best performances. Read More

Brighton vs Chelsea

Brighton vs Chelsea Preview: Just another ordinary match?

Brighton will look to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Burnley when they host Chelsea at the Amex on Sunday. The Blues drew in Hungary against Vidi FC on Thursday, but Maurizio Sarri is seeking to consolidate their place in the top four.

Chelsea won 4-0 at Brighton last season, when Eden Hazard produced a sparkling individual performance. Looking forward, everything leads to an easy win for the Blues once again. The Seagulls are looking for their first victory over Chelsea in any competition since January 1933, when they won 2-1 in an FA Cup third-round tie.

The last match at home for Hughton’s boys was a possession nightmare. Against Crystal Palace, Brighton had 21% of the ball possession with only 5.7% in the attack field. Clearly they don’t like to build-up chances from ball possession, and that will be strongly marked against Chelsea, a team crazy about retaining possession. Read More

Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea Premier League Preview

Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea Preview: Deep lying midfielders pivotal

Here is a clash the whole world will watch with attention. The fourth-placed Mauricio Pochettino meet the third-placed Maurizio Sarri in a London derby full of tactical options and two teams looking for the top of the table.

The name “Maurizio” has its origins in Latin language and it means “the one with the dark skin”. Not that this information means something to the match, but I always like to bring some outside knowledge to my Twelve previews.

Pochettino was Marcelo Bielsa’s apprentice. The Argentinean master, today at Leeds United, had a very similar career as Sarri: the same age, and both started at small amateur clubs while they worked at a bank to pay their bills.

And that’s it. There’s no similarities between the managers and their football philosophies. Sarri plays a 4-3-3 with lot of possession, short passes, acceleration in the final third and trying to master set pieces.

Against a team with these features, Tottenham may have difficulties. Taking a look at Effective Time Possession against Manchester City (who utilise a similar play model to Chelsea), Spurs won the midfield but lost on defense, where Guardiola’s players ruled the match. Read More

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace Preview: Time for the first time

Let me put a question to you, Premier League fans: when was the last time you did something for the first time ever? Well, Mr. Roy Hodgson will meet Sarri’s boys for the first time this season. And I believe he is very excited to do so.

I mean, who wouldn’t be? Imagine you are a football manager and you must prepare your team to face one of the most brilliant teams of the season, at their ground. Also, you should be prepared to play against a couple of talented players, who can beat you in the blink of an eye.

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace

Looking at Chelsea’s ‘Effective Time Possession’ graphic against Burnley, it’s all about the left side. Assuming they will repeat patterns, the connection between Marco Alonso and Eden Hazard will be key. Perhaps the most dangerous duo in the Premier League this season? Read More

Barcelona vs Internazionale Champions League Preview

Barcelona vs Internazionale Preview: Who will save Valverde?

A potential thriller awaits at Camp Nou on Wednesday, not just because it pits La Liga’s champions against one of Serie A’s heavyweights, but also as it could go a long way in deciding who wins Group B. Both teams have a full haul of six points and will be keen to open-up some daylight at the top of the table.

Let’s go right away to Twelve’s Leader Board comparing players of both teams during this Champions League season. It’s no surprise to see Lionel Messi as the best performer. From the Neroazzuri side, Mauro Icardi stands out as the best performer.

Barcelona vs Internazionale Champions League Preview
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Roma vs Viktoria Plzen Champions League Preview

Roma vs Viktoria Plzen Preview: A piece of cake for Di Francesco?

While Roma slipped to a 3-0 defeat at holders Real Madrid, Plzeň looked set to kick off with a victory. They opened up a two-goal lead on CSKA Moscow, only to concede twice in the second period – the equaliser a penalty deep into added time – to be pegged back to a 2-2 draw.

It’s a live-or-die game for both sides, and when we take a look at Twelve’s leader board for the opening matches, we can see how a comparison between their players would be disputed.

Roma vs Viktoria Plzen Champions League Preview

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West Ham vs Chelsea Premier League Preview

West Ham vs Chelsea Preview: Hammers should fear the ugly sorcerer

West Ham claimed their first win of the season last time out while leaders Chelsea are looking to make it six victories from their first six matches. Sarri is striving for perfection and it brought him limited satisfaction to hear that he has emulated Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola and Craig Shakespeare by becoming the fourth manager to win his first five EPL games.

“I cannot change my mind because of one match,” Chelsea’s manager said. “My target is to be the best team in England, but not in one month. Maybe one season. Maybe a little more. But at the moment, in my opinion, Liverpool and Manchester City are better than us.”

But how can’t we say that Chelsea are favourites when eight of the top 10 players from both sides according to Twelve’s data are from the Blues? Read More