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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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

Divock Origi Liverpool 1-0 Everton Winner

Burnley vs Liverpool Preview: The Agony and The Ecstasy

Burnley vs Liverpool is fixture which has gone in two very different directions over the past two seasons. In 2016/17, it was the Clarets’ second match back in the big time. They didn’t have a single shot in the box, Liverpool had 26 attempts in total but few of little real value, and Burnley won 2-0. Kopites were noting after their recent defeat to Crvena Zvezda that it felt very similar to that infamous Turf Moor loss.

It was a happier visit on New Year’s Day 2018, as Ragnar Klavan scored in the 94th minute in front of the away fans to give Liverpool a 2-1 win. From the agony of a stodgy defeat, to the ecstasy of an injury-time winner. But what can we expect to see on Wednesday night?

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Liverpool vs Everton Mohamed Salah

Liverpool vs Everton Preview: A Different Cup of Tea or a Boiling Kettle?

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp issued a warning ahead of the 232nd Merseyside derby by branding Everton “a different cup of tea” this season. It’s a statement that could easily become a boiling kettle for the Reds after an utterly disappointing Champions League midweek.

March On!

The Reds succumbed to a third consecutive away defeat in Champions League Group C with Paris Saint-Germain putting on a stylish – and some would say over-theatrical (but hush, it wasn’t me) – display to put Liverpool in a tight spot.

James Milner’s goal produced a slight scent of hope but the inability to overturn the deficit completely was stifling. And so were the Twelve numbers which show that Liverpool’s key men were nowhere near to being their usual selves against the Parisians. Read More

PSG vs Liverpool

PSG vs Liverpool Preview: Will the real Liverpool please stand up?

PSG vs Liverpool has the potential to be a classic, a feast of attacking football which people will look back upon for years to come. But there’s a potential fly in the ointment; the Reds’ two away performances in the 2018/19 Champions League suggest they don’t stand a chance in Paris.

What’s weird about their losses at Napoli and Crvena Zvezda is that they are so out of character with Liverpool’s results this season. Granted, their performance level within matches they’ve won has left a little to be desired at times. However, as the following chart of their expected goal stats from the season so far will demonstrate, by this measure at least they’ve largely got the results they deserved. Read More

Watford vs Liverpool Premier League Preview

Watford vs Liverpool Preview: Should Klopp sacrifice Shaqiri?

Liverpool return to Premier League action after the international break with a trip to Watford. It is sure to be a stark contrast to the Reds’ routine 2-0 home victory over Fulham last time out.

It certainly was a game – and result – Liverpool needed to boost their morale ahead of the two-week break and a timely return to the trademark Reds way. Or at least it was according to the numbers. Liverpool dominated the ball to the tune of 75 percent, and restored a high level of shot quality which put them firmly in control against the Cottagers.

Watford vs Liverpool

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Liverpool vs Fulham Premier League Preview

Liverpool vs Fulham Preview: Reds to bounce back from Serbian sorrows?

Liverpool vs Fulham looks like being a stone cold, cast iron home banker. You can get odds of 30/1 for Fulham to win on Sunday. Yet anyone who witnessed the Reds’ abject efforts in Belgrade on Tuesday night will think the away side’s chances are considerably better than that.

Even so, when looking at the expected goal data for 2018/19, it’s easy to see why the bookmakers have come up with the prices they have. You can work out the percentage chance of any score line using the statistics, and doing so suggests a 9-0 Liverpool win is more likely than a 0-0 draw.Liverpool vs Fulham Expected Goals xG Prediction Read More

Crvena Zvezda vs Liverpool Champions League preview

Crvena Zvezda vs Liverpool: Close the gates and catch that Liverbird

It’s been more than a year since the Serbian giants lost a home game.

A deep look into the club statistics across all possible competitions would reveal a remarkable piece of information: the Belgrade behemoths last suffered a home defeat at the hands of Arsenal (1-0) on 19th October 2017.

Since that moment, Crvena Zvezda have embarked on an astonishing stretch which currently stands at 23 matches at Stadion Rajko Mitic without a single defeat.

It was in no small part that Crvena Zvezda goalkeeper Milan Borjan stands as the one player responsible for such an amazing feat. The Canadian international has been one of the most notable Crvena Zvezda players this season in the Champions League and Twelve’s numbers are there to support such a claim. Read More

Arsenal vs Liverpool Premier League Preview

Arsenal vs Liverpool Preview: Will regression decide the outcome?

With over a quarter of the season gone, it may seem odd that, when Arsenal and Liverpool clash on Saturday evening, there still remains uncertainty about how good either of the sides are. But neither of the opponents from Matchday 11’s most intriguing tie have lived up to the sort of numbers they have been posting in the Premier League so far this season.

In many respects, Arsenal are to this season what Manchester United were to last season. Despite finishing second in the league last year, Jose Mourinho’s United scored nine goals more than their expected goals (xG) values suggested they would, conceding 15 goals fewer than the same metric projected they should have conceded. As any statistician worth their salt will tell you, over- or under-performance against xG values is unsustainable in the long run and, lo and behold, this season, Manchester United find themselves regressing towards the norm with wild abandon. Read More

Liverpool vs Cardiff City Premier League Preview

Liverpool vs Cardiff City Preview: Bluebirds to puzzle Liverbirds?

Liverpool haven’t looked much like losing too often recently – aside from in their debacle in Naples, or when Manchester City got a late penalty at Anfield – but neither have they been tearing teams apart. Prior to their 4-0 win against Crvena Zvezda on Wednesday, the Reds hadn’t scored more than once in their preceding five matches. What can we expect from their game against Cardiff City?

The visitors cause won’t have been aided by Liverpool’s Champions League endeavours. The Reds’ first choice attacking trio all scored in midweek. It was the first time they’d managed that feat this season, but the ninth in the 14 months that Mohamed Salah has been at the club.  Read More