Manchester United vs Liverpool Preview

Manchester United vs Liverpool Preview: Will the fixture flops come good?

Manchester United vs Liverpool is still arguably the biggest match in English football, even if it’s been rare that they’ve been competing with each other for the title in the last quarter of a century.

Jürgen Klopp’s side will hope history repeats itself. Liverpool victories at Old Trafford are rare events – there have been just 13 in history – but they have won in each of the last two seasons where they were embroiled in the title tussle. As this is their game in hand on Manchester City, three points here would do Liverpool’s championship challenge the power of good.

The most fascinating match up in this game is between two players who probably won’t come into much direct contact during the match. But according to our algorithm they’ve been the top man for each side, so will surely have key parts to play on Sunday. Read More

Liverpool vs Bournemouth

Liverpool vs Bournemouth Preview: How’s your nerve, Reds?

Little over a week ago, Liverpool supporters were starting to get giddy. Manchester City had surprisingly lost at Newcastle, giving the Reds a four point advantage and a game in hand. Eight days later and the latter remains, but their lead has been worn away.

Fortunately for Jürgen Klopp and his team, a home match with Bournemouth represents an excellent opportunity to secure three points. The Cherries have lost their last seven away games in a row, which is the longest current streak of defeats on the road in any of Europe’s top five leagues. Only one team has had a longer run of away day blues at any point in 2018/19 too. Liverpool might like a visit from SD Huesca, but Bournemouth will do for now.

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Mohamed Salah Leroy Sane Premier League wingers

Tactical Analysis: Contrasting Style of Premier League Wingers

The Premier League has seen an array of wingers in years gone by. But with managers willing to try different things to adapt to the modern-day game, we have witnessed the wingers performing different roles in different set-ups. Below we will analyse the distinct types of wide players, focusing on England’s top flight.

Firstly, let us define the role. A winger is an attacking midfielder who plays in wide areas, from where they can cross the ball and dribble past defenders. All in all, they are present to support the attacks from the sides of the field. Generally, a player playing in this position possesses pace to make runs in behind the defence, especially on counter-attacks.

The “yesteryear football” in England was predominantly about teams playing the 4-4-2 system with two wingers high and wide, crossing the ball on a regular basis with two strikers present in the box to attack those deliveries. Sir Alex Ferguson won countless trophies with Manchester United playing the flat 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1.

Back then the full-backs were defenders first, who would move forward if given the opportunity. However, the tale has changed in the modern game. The full-backs are like half-wingers themselves, hence they move forward whenever the team is in possession. It has made their job tougher in a positive sense, as they have to run up and down the pitch for the whole game, with a chance of making an impact at both ends of the field. Read More

Premier League team of week 22

Premier League Team of Week 22: Salah days

After utilising a back three last time out, we’ve gone with a 4-4-2 this week. Here’s our Premier League team of week 22, and get set for plenty of Manchester based players.

Goalkeeper: David de Gea. Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Manchester United.

United scored first once in their 13 league games at fellow big six sides under Jose Mourinho. That was at Arsenal, and David de Gea put in a stunning performance to ensure his side won. The Spaniard repeated the trick here.  Read More

Liverpool vs Manchester United Preview: Can Mourinho avoid more pain?

On Sunday Manchester United will shuffle in to Anfield fearing the worst and simply hoping they can escape relatively unscathed. It has been 26 years since such a dispirited band of United players will have arrived to play their biggest rivals.

It was in May 1992 that a disheveled United faced Liverpool knowing they needed to beat them to keep alive their hopes of winning their first league title for a quarter of a century.

But that day they lost 2-0 to an emboldened Liverpool, and suffered the agony of surrendering the title in front of a gleeful Anfield, who naturally reveled in their disappointment. Read More

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

West Ham vs Manchester City

West Ham vs Manchester City Preview: What hope the Hammers?

Previewing Manchester City games is like reading Romeo and Juliet for the first time: you know how it ends even if you don’t know how it will quite get there.

Pep Guardiola’s team are favourites to take home the Premier League trophy again this season. If you doubt this fact, then maybe the data will convince you. Take, for example, expected goal (xG) values from the 12 games so far this season. Of the top six teams, Manchester City are the only side who have consistently produced a greater xG for than their opponents have produced against them.

West Ham vs Manchester City Premier League Preview

If this isn’t impressive enough as it is, City’s average xG For – hovering, as it is, just below the 3 xG per 90 line – has only been bettered by Manchester United in one of their games so far (against Bournemouth away). Guardiola, then, is producing an average xG For better than Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United have managed in 11 of their 12 games. Read More

Premier League Team of Week 12

Premier League Team of Week 12: Rose like a Salomón

Six of the top nine performers on our leaderboard for this week are centre-backs, so our team has switched to three at the back. Our XI contains seven ‘team of the week’ debutants, but two players from last week retain their place. Here’s our full Premier League team of week 12, and we begin with a goalkeeper who did his damnedest to earn his team three points.

Goalkeeper: Jonas Lössl. Huddersfield Town 1-1 West Ham United.

Huddersfield lead for 68 minutes on Saturday. That’s almost half of their tally for the whole season, so shouldn’t be underestimated. That they were ahead for so long was in no small part thanks to Lössl, who saved two clear-cut chances.
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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