Arsenal vs Manchester United

Arsenal vs Manchester United Preview: Battle for 4th can take a back seat

A few weeks ago, Manchester United were an incredible 11 points behind Arsenal. Now, goal difference alone separates them. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revolutionised life at Old Trafford while Unai Emery seems to have lost a grip on things recently. After going on an amazing run a few months ago, Arsenal have lost four of their last nine in all competitions.

However, the recent win over an “unmotivated and mentally weak” Chelsea may have galvanised them. It was a big result and their first big game of three, with them facing Manchester City a week after United in the FA Cup.

While the rivalry between United and Arsenal isn’t what it once was, there’s still no love lost between the two sets of fans. While nothing beats a win over Liverpool for United, or a win over Tottenham Hotspur for Arsenal, the supporters will be well up for seeing their team knock the other out of this competition on Friday. Read More

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 21

Premier League Team of Week 21: PEA Shooter

As enjoyable a match as Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Liverpool was, not one player from that game made it into our XI. An abundance of centre-backs and strikers high up the rankings means we’ve gone for a 3-4-3 this week. Here’s our Premier League team of week 21.

Goalkeeper: Ben Foster. Bournemouth 3-3 Watford.

How does a goalkeeper who concedes three goals earn a spot here? By being one of his sides top attackers.
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liverpool vs arsenal

Liverpool vs Arsenal Preview: Expect(ed) Goals At Anfield

When it comes to this fixture, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal never really recovered from a remarkable match in February 2014. Liverpool were four goals up inside 20 minutes, and the visitors were fortunate to ‘only’ lose 5-1.

The Gunners have picked up just two points from their four visits to Anfield since, conceding a total of 12 goals across those games. But since Unai Emery took charge, Arsenal have generally shown far greater levels of fortitude. Liverpool vs Arsenal certainly won’t be a walkover for the home side as it has been in the past two seasons.

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Premier League team of week 14

Premier League Team of Week 14: Chicharito the MexiCan

It was another entertaining weekend in the Premier League, culminating in Divock Origi’s ridiculous winner on Sky’s derby day. The phrase ‘lies, damned lies and statistics’ is well worn, but when you see who our goalkeeper is this week, you’ll want to use it again. The Twelve algorithm is a powerful beast, but it must be used wisely. Anyway, here’s our Premier League team of week 14.

Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford. Liverpool 1-0 Everton.

The 232nd Merseyside derby will be long remembered for the bizarre circumstances in which it was decided. Nobody in their right mind would call Pickford the best goalkeeper this weekend, yet on points he was. England’s #1 made a high value save from Shaqiri, and was strong in the air for the opening 95 minutes at the match. Shame about the last minute, Jordan. Read More

Arsenal vs Wolves Premier League Preview

Arsenal vs Wolves Preview: Gunners face test to continue unbeaten run

Arsenal are on a 15 match unbeaten run that they look to continue against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday. During this run Arsenal have scored 36 goals and conceded just 13, averaging 2.6 points per match. The last three matches have resulted in draws but Arsenal have still played relatively well in those games, even if they didn’t get the three points.

The main driver of being able to turn okay performances into wins for Arsenal this season are their two main strikers getting them goals when sometimes the performances didn’t quite merit the final result.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is tied for the most goals in the league at seven and while he isn’t the best option on the wing, it doesn’t look to have hurt his ability to score goals. Read More

Premier League Team Of Week 9

Premier League Team Of Week 9: If we can all be more like Rüdiger

Another week, another 26 goals scored. Some of our players featured in five goal wins while others appeared in goal-less stalemates though. Here’s our Premier League team of week 9.

Goalkeeper: Mat Ryan. Newcastle United 0-1 Brighton.

There’s no way to be nice about it: Brighton’s record on the road since they reached the Premier League has been abysmal. It would be worse were it not for Mat Ryan. He saved a clear-cut chance while the score was 0-0 at Newcastle, then made five more saves after the Seagulls took the lead. The Australian amassed the third most defensive points this week, so is worthy of his spot between the sticks. Read More

Arsenal vs Leicester Premier League Preview

Arsenal vs Leicester: Can the Gunners hit ten in a row?

When the Premier League season began, Unai Emery’s rebuilding process had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leading the line for Arsenal. There was a fair bit of chop and change with Alexandre Lacazette getting regular cameos, however it took the fourth game of the season against Cardiff City for the Frenchman to lead the line.

For large parts of the games he started without Lacazette, Aubameyang was isolated. In the game against West Ham, the lanky striker was limited to 20 touches with none in the opposition box.

After Lacazette’s inclusion, Aubameyang was more effective with more touches in the box and more shots at goal, though he had less touches in total because he was shifted to the left side of attack. Emery persisted with the Gabonese for the first three games until he moved him to the left side of attack to accommodate Lacazette in the starting line-up. Read More

Arsenal vs Watford Premier League Preview

Arsenal vs Watford Preview: Can the Hornets defence stop the Gunners?

This Saturday’s match-up is an unexpected top of the table clash. Arsenal have put together a run of four wins, moving from the bottom of the table up to a tie for fifth behind… their opponent this Saturday, Watford. Most people would have expected Arsenal to be near the top but Watford being among the top four is the big surprise from the early results.

Watford:

Watford have put together a legitimately good defence this season.

They are over performing their expected goals (‘xG’) this season but still have excellent statistics to suggest this could continue and isn’t just down to a hot goal keeper keeping out goals. They are allowing just 9.8 shots per match (fourth fewest in the league), 1.5 big chances per match (seventh fewest) and 4.7 shots from the danger zone per match (sixth fewest). Read More