Tag Archives: Liverpool

England

Liverpool’s form depends on new players finding their feet

Liverpool were involved in their first stalemate of the season after a 1-1 draw with Everton on Saturday. The two points dropped will be tough to take for last season’s runners-up especially considering that the equaliser came so late from Phil Jagielka. The result also pushed Liverpool beyond the top 10. Even though the season is just six matches old, Brendan Rodgers will not have envisaged his team having fallen significantly behind the main rivals. Football Markets did predict a positive season from Liverpool, but they are now 33/1 to win the title.

Brendan Rodgers’ team were a breath of fresh air last season, as they more often than not blew the opposition away in the first 30 minutes of matches. Luis Suarez maybe the major difference between this campaign and last season, but it is only on paper. Apart from having to contend with midweek Champions League matches, Liverpool are also having to deal with the enormous expectations surrounding them. Further, Rodgers has spent more than £100 million on new players and they have not been exactly firing on all cylinders.

Mario Balotelli, who was one of the big signings at £16 million, has scored one goal in five appearances and Rodgers would have expected much more from the former Manchester City man. Apart from the 24-year-old Italian international, the club also splashed heavily on names like Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Emre Can, and Lazar Markovic. Among the summer signings, it is interesting to note that only Balotelli and defender Alberto Moreno have scored this season.

The introduction of Lovren was aimed at solving a problem in the central defender position. Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure were the primary partners for Martin Skrtel last season, but both of them have shown that they are prone to errors. It would be the least expected from a central defender playing for a team that has top four or even the league title aspirations. Lovren excelled with Southampton last season, but the £25 million signing has shown signs that he has not fully settled within the Merseyside club.

Of course, the absence of Luis Suarez is always going to be the talking point. The Uruguayan contributed 46 goals directly and indirectly last season and this was almost 50% of Liverpool’s tally in the league. Rodgers and Liverpool were aware for much of the summer that Suarez would try and engineer a move away from the club. The confirmation came during the World Cup 2014’s high profile incident involving the 27-year-old.

In some ways, Liverpool appear to have committed the same mistake as Tottenham. The London outfit sold another PFA Player of the Year recipient in the form of Gareth Bale and tried to reinvest the £85 million they secured from the sale on a number of players. They have since struggled in the league; this can directly be attributed to the poor form that usually comes when there are a large number of new players trying to settle at the same time. Liverpool can still recover from this poor start, but they need the new signings to start performing quickly.

Betfair, though, recently pushed Liverpool at 6/5 to finish in the top four with Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Manchester United ahead of them.

The much anticipated return of Daniel Sturridge to first-team action is expected to take place either against Wednesday’s Champions League opponents FC Basel or against West Brom on Saturday. Three points against West Brom will particularly be crucial since the internationals occupy the focus once again for a fortnight. Liverpool will want to go into the international break with a positive frame of mind.

England

Who will take the Premier League title this year?

Just a few weeks remain until the Premier League season kicks off once again this August, and the league’s top managers are doing their best to make key last minute transfers to their teams.

The title is currently sitting in the hands of Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City, but their current changes could make or break their latest Premier League campaign. With three changes to their defence, it could be a case of fixing what isn’t broken for Manchester City, and with their Premier League rivals making important changes, they could struggle to defend the title.

Arsenal

Alexis Sánchez is the topic of the hour for Arsenal, who have been typically frugal in making transfers this year. While manager Arsene Wenger is renowned for not making transfers until the last minute, he did make one essential change to the team, signing the Chilean right winger for £35 million. Sanchez has shown incredible potential in this year’s World Cup and Spanish tournament La Liga, and his skills could put a halt to Arsenal’s fourth place reputation once and for all.

Chelsea

Jose Mourinho has not been so frugal, having pinched former Arsenal striker Cesc Fabregas for £30 million. The 27-year-old was enjoying a spell at Barcelona, but will now be moving to cooler climates along with Atlético Madrid’s Diego Costa, giving Chelsea average odds of 15/8 to take the title. Romelu has returned to do what he does best, but all eyes will be on La Liga boys to make this year Chelsea’s year.

Liverpool

In an effort to make sure they don’t finish in second place once again, Liverpool have made some vital transfers this season, including the signing of young blood Lazar Markovic and Emre Can. The Reds will surely have an interesting opening Premier League game as they take on Southampton, which has recently sold two of its former stars Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana to Liverpool. Despite losing Suárez, a little fresh meat and a bigger incentive than ever to win the league could make this Liverpool’s year.

Manchester United

With the departure of long-suffering David Moyes comes Dutch manager Louis van Gaal, who has made no bones about big changes he’s going to be bringing to the team. It’s rumoured that up to ten players are on the chopping block for Manchester United, who finished in an embarrassing seventh place last year. The team already signed Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw prior to Moyes’ exit, but it’s the next few weeks that will really make or break Manchester United as van Gaal begins to crack the whip.

England

Aguero’s fitness essential for further success

Aguero

The final afternoon of the 2013/14 Premier League was surprisingly uneventful. Manchester City secured three points against a better than expected rally from West Ham whilst Liverpool’s victory over Newcastle secured them second place. Following a season of unpredictability it was a rather quiet end to the season and not the climactic one Sky Sports had hoped it would be.

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England

Premier League coming down to final month

Last season Manchester United ran away with the Premiership crown, clinching on April 22 and finishing 11 points clear of their Mancunian rivals to secure their record 20th top-flight title. Unlike that season, the 2013/14 campaign is packed with the kinds of drama the previous year lacked, as every fixture down the stretch for the top three clubs is crucial to their chances.

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Dream Football League

Rennes v LA Galaxy, Hannover 96 v Inter Milan, Napoli v Gladbach, Liverpool v Aston Villa

The results from the first round of Group A and Group B matches.

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England

Mind Games: Premier League preview

We appear to have arrived at the point in the season where certain managers decide that the best way to upset and distract their rivals is by doing a bit of trolling. Jose Mourinho displayed a lack of gracefulness a few days ago, and now Manuel Pellegrini has decided to rub David Moyes’ nose in a mess which, to be fair to Moyes, was left at Old Trafford (at least in part) by someone else.

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England

Lucas’ return aids Liverpool's improvement

Lucas_Leiva

There are some players who just never seem to be appreciated as much as they should be. In an environment where flair and skill dominate the headlines it is very rare for a quiet but effective player to be noticed or commented about on a regular basis. One such player at the moment is Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva who has been instrumental in his side’s good start to the season.

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England

Hansen's departure should rejuvenate Match of the Day

First of all Sir Alex Ferguson retired and then last week the BBC announced that Alan Hansen would be leaving Match of the Day at the end of this season, what next? English football is going through one hell of an upheaval but this latest announcement should be seen as a positive step at updating their coverage and placing more emphasis on educating the younger audience.

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England

Van Persie was Sir Alex's final masterstroke

The 2013/14 Premier League season got under way this weekend and one player in particular continued from exactly where he left off last time round. Manchester United’s Robin van Persie delivered a master class in centre forward play at Swansea on Saturday and his form could be the difference once again for David Moyes’ new side.

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England

Wenger is right to be prudent

Despite the numerous high profile friendlies being played the football headlines have been dominated by transfer rumours all summer long. However, the top few in the Premier League are yet to really make any significant waves in the market as you read this and questions remain as to why.

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