Arsenal vs Fulham

Arsenal vs Fulham: Stunned Gunners seek reprieve against Ranieri’s men

It was a disasterclass for Arsenal. Poor clearance, sprawling defenders and harebrained challenges. The 5-1 shellacking at Anfield against Jürgen Klopp’s men felt like a blitz that the leaden-footed Arsenal players were ill-equipped to deal with. Liverpool’s menacing front three pumped in four goals before half-time after Arsenal had opened the scoring.

If Liverpool’s first goal could be explained away as a mix-up and an unfortunate ricochet that saw Roberto Firmino produce a no-look finish for the tap-in, the Brazilian’s second goal was symptomatic of the state of Arsenal’s defenders and defending. Bobby seemed to tap dance through the defence on an ethereal bop beat blaring within the Kop.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos went one way, Shkodran Mustafi went the other and Lucas Torreira’s hapless slip made it all worse. Sokratis and Sead Kolasinac gave away two penalties which Liverpool scored to complete the masterclass on how not to defend. Read More

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

Chelsea vs Fulham

Chelsea vs Fulham Preview: Cottagers will find Spurs hard to imitate

The fixture-laden December period is finally upon us. Chelsea begin theirs by welcoming Fulham to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Chelsea’s unbeaten run ended in smoke when they visited Tottenham at Wembley last weekend. Apparently, Mauricio Pochettino had all the answers for Sarri-ball.

It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what happens next; as much as possible, the Blues will try to bounce back. Maurizio Sarri can see daylight appearing quickly between his side and table-toppers Manchester City – they’re now seven points adrift. Read More

Premier League Team of Week 13

Premier League Team of Week 13: Aladdin Sané

Our Premier League team of week 13 features six debutants. Some are from struggling clubs, and some are Leroy Sané. But all have earned their place here, and can be found in the upper echelons of this week’s leader board. Let’s see who our algorithm has selected for the XI.

Goalkeeper: Wayne Hennessey. Manchester United 0-0 Crystal Palace.

Hennessey topped the defence leader board in week 13, thanks mainly to making five saves (including one from a clear-cut chance). But he also won four aerial duels, which was the joint-most by any player in their own half in this match. For context, Ederson, Fabianski, Lloris and Schmeichel have won four in total this season. Read More

Fulham vs Arsenal Premier League Preview

Fulham vs Arsenal Preview: Arsenal look for their ninth straight win

A London derby! A return to Craven Cottage! A chance for nine wins on the spin and six league victories in a row! A chance to get above Spurs with a big win!

There is a lot at stake for Arsenal as they visit London neighbours Fulham on Sunday in the lunchtime match. Arsenal are the heavy favourite in this tie but after a punishing travel schedule to Azerbaijan on Thursday in the Europa League with a surprisingly strong squad this could still end up a tricky match for the Gunners.

Fulham, a pretty good attacking team, a bad defensive team

Fulham in the league have continued their attractive attacking style that got them promoted from the Championship. They are averaging nearly 13 shots per match, which is good for seventh best in the league. They are taking most of those shots from outside of the box, with over seven per match coming from long range which makes their expected goals (xG) per match in the bottom half of the league. Read More

Jorginho Premier League Team Of The Week

Premier League Team of Week 6: Jorginho the pass master

There’s a breath of fresh air about our team of the week in week six. For the first time we’re going with a 4-2-3-1 formation. There’s no sign of regulars like Tarkowski, Pogba or Hazard, and we have a whole host of debutants. The likes of Harry Maguire and Jorginho both win their second TOTW caps of the season, with the latter putting in the performance of the week.

But did he actually contribute all that much at the London Stadium? We’ll come to that in due course, and we’ll begin with a shot stopper who hasn’t received too many positive notices in 2018/19. Read More

Manchester City vs. Fulham

Manchester City vs Fulham Preview: Time for Sané to start?

There’s no better way to leave the interminable international break behind than with an incredibly exciting Manchester City fixture. As an American, Fulham have always held a place in my heart as the club of Brian McBride, Clint Dempsey, and (to a much lesser extent) Carlos Bocanegra.

But more than that, the current incarnation of Fulham have a genuine buzz about them. Only Arsenal games feature more shots and shots on target, they have exciting young talents like Ryan Sessegnon, and they picked up a genuine star in Jean-Michel Seri in the transfer window. In short, get ready for some fireworks.

As with Wolves, Fulham aren’t your typical newly promoted side. Rather than playing defensively and seeking to counter-attack, they use possession to get their shot attempts and are even averaging a greater share of the ball than Spurs, United, or Arsenal thus far this season (albeit having endured a light schedule to date). Read More

Premier League Team of Week 3: Harry Maguire’s Game

Harry Maguire Premier League Team Of The Week

James Tarkwoski and Paul Pogba were both in our teams of weeks one and two, but did either or both of them make it a hat-trick? One thing is for sure, there were a lot of excellent performances by centre-backs this week, so we’ve naturally switched to a back three to accommodate them. Oh, and if you want to share a dashboard, click on the player’s name in the text above it, and it’ll take you straight there. On with the show… Read More

Serbia 1-2 Switzerland: Swiss Win Battle of the Eagles

After a hard-fought point against the tournament favourites Brazil, Switzerland all but secured promotion to the World Cup knockouts by beating Serbia 2-1 in an emotional match in Kaliningrad on Friday night.

Mladen Krstajic’s men took the lead through Aleksandar Mitrovic’s header five minutes into the clash but the Swiss made a great comeback in the second half thanks to Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri.

The Arsenal midfielder curled in a wonderful shot from outside the box to level the score eight minutes from the hour mark. The in-demand Stoke City winger Xherdan Shaqiri then broke free of Serbia’s offside trap in the dying minutes of the game to slide the ball beneath Vladimir Stojkovic and claim a huge three points for his team.

The Partizan shot stopper topped the Serbian Twelve rankings with 1,711 points despite conceding twice. That’s more than enough evidence to paint an illustrative portrait of the decline his teammates inexplicably went through after taking the lead early on.

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Costa Rica vs Serbia Preview: Helping Mladen Krstajic Solve Selection Dilemmas

There is a football-related saying in Serbia which is a neat illustration of how the beautiful game we all love and cherish is perceived in this Balkan country from an international standpoint.

“Serbia boasts a population of 7 million people and the same number of national team managers.”

With such a grandiose managerial pool getting ready to pelt Mladen Krstajic with rotten tomatoes at the slightest notion of a selection hiccup against Costa Rica, I am glad Twelve is here to provide me with a strong argument to support my own managerial credentials.

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