Opposition Closeup – Southampton, Tactics, and Hasenhüttl

With Liverpool's first piece of silverware secured in the new season, following a penalty shoot-out in Istanbul, the club has its sights set on the South Coast and Ralph Hasenhüttl's Southampton outfit. One UEFA Super Cup in the bag, five trophies for Jürgen Klopp's men to play for. Though fans will have experienced far better football from this Liverpool side, this second trophy win of the Klopp era is telling of ...

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Community Shield Closeup: Pre-Season Glance, Tactics, and the Players to Watch

Welcome one and all to the return of opposition closeups. Shirley and I hope you've enjoyed the break, (its been excruciating, we know), and are ready for what looks to be, on paper, a tremendous fixture with the Community Shield. Farrell Though Jürgen Klopp was eager to downplay the significance of the traditional curtain-raiser, an opportunity to win silverware - even the less fervently coveted Community Shield - before the season proper ...

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Burnley Closeup: Fighting for a Premier League Place

It's safe to say that there was much left to be desired following Liverpool's goalless draw with Mersey rivals Everton at Goodison Park. Certainly, as anyone who was brave enough to venture into Twitter will attest, the reaction was rather 'knee-jerk,' with many fans (myself included), declaring Liverpool had handed the title to Manchester City in the race for glory. With calmer minds, we can appreciate that this is simply not ...

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European Opposition Closeup: Tactics, Stats, and Niko Kovač

Without Dutch International Virgil Van Dijk on their return to Champions League action, the Reds face a difficult task against Bundesliga challengers Bayern Munich at Anfield this coming Tuesday. With injuries to Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren, Klopp will be forced to field a makeshift centre-back partnership with Joel Matip and Fabinho, although, given the latter's stellar performance in the role against Brighton, albeit less prestigious opposition, perhaps one shouldn't ...

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Bournemouth Closeup: Tactics, Stats, and Eddie Howe

With the latest against Pellegrini's West Ham, its been a couple performances to forget for Liverpool. Though one would imagine the club's fortunes will change in the upcoming Anfield clash with Bournemouth. WHERE ARE BOURNEMOUTH NOW? Coming off the back of two consecutive wins including a highly impressive, if unexpected, 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth now face a tough run of fixtures with title challengers Liverpool and Manchester ...

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Leicester City Closeup: Tactics, Stats, and Claude Puel

Following a goal glutz of an affair between Palace and Liverpool, the Reds will be hoping for a more routine experience against their latest opposition from the East Midlands - Leicester City. WHERE ARE LEICESTER CITY NOW? Having been the victim of a last minute goal in the other 4-3 thriller last weekend at the Molineux, the pressure is mounting on Claude Puel to deliver the points. With only one win in ...

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Crystal Palace Closeup: Tactics, Stats, and Roy Hodgson

Following on from the hard-fought victory over Brighton, its rather fitting that our next opponents should be the South-Coast club's arch rivals, Crystal Palace, led by former Liverpool man, Roy Hodgson. WHERE ARE PALACE NOW? Brought in to steady the Palace ship following the sacking of Dutch manager Frank de Boer, after only 77 days in charge, former England manager Roy Hodgson endured a difficult return to his boyhood club, which saw ...

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Brighton and Hove Albion Closeup: Tactics, Stats, and Chris Hughton

It's my hometown club against the Reds this week - although I won't be wishing them well against Liverpool - so this is a special piece for me to deliver to you all! WHERE ARE BRIGHTON NOW? It's far to say that Brighton have come a long way since their brush with liquidation in 1997. Successive promotions four years later in 2001 and 2002 brought the club back to the second tier, ...

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Manchester City Closeup: Tactics, Stats, and the Boys in Blue

So here it comes - the most exciting game of the year. A game in which, some claim, the title itself will hinge upon. To prepare you for it, Shirley and I are delivering you another opposition closeup! Farrell WHERE ARE CITY NOW? Manchester City's fans have enjoyed quite the change of fortunes since the club's ownership switched hands to Sheikh Mansour in 2008, one of football's wealthiest owners. The appointment of Roberto Mancini ...

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Wolverhampton Wanderers Closeup: Tactics, Stats and Nuno

Ahead of Liverpool's visit to the Molineux, we're going to take an in-depth look at Nuno Espírito Santo's in-form Wolves, who host the Reds off the back of three consecutive wins (including an impressive home victory against Chelsea). Where are Wolves now? Having propelled Wolves back to the top tier of English football last term, in his first season in at the helm, Nuno has delivered a similarly encouraging start to life in ...

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Manchester United Closeup: Tactics, Stats, and Rashford

Welcome to another edition of our opposition closeup's where we have a real treat in store for you. Come Sunday, Liverpool will host historic rivals Manchester United on home turf at Anfield. Whilst United are but a shadow of the team and the ethos legendary manager, Sir Alex Ferguson left behind, this fixture still represents a must win for the club. Joining me in analysing the threats we have to keep ...

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Burnley Closeup: Tactics, Stats, and Sean Dyche

Off the back of a brilliant win against Everton in the Merseyside derby, courtesy of a late Divock Origi goal, the mood in the Anfield camp could not be better, as they prepare to embark on a packed Christmas schedule. This week, I'll be looking at Sean Dyche's Burnley, who find themselves right in the middle of the relegation scrapheap at 19th.   Where are Burnley Now? Given Burnley's success last season in earning ...

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Watford Closeup: Tactics, Stats, and Pereyra

With the Watford game ahead, the team at FOAR have decided to launch a set of pieces every week looking at the tactics, stats, and key players of the opposition we'll be coming across in the league. To start it all off, we've got a joint piece on Javi Gracia's Watford by Shirley and myself. Enjoy!   (Farrell) Where are Watford now? It's been quite the journey for Watford, having secured their return to the ...

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Watford v Liverpool – FOAR Writers’ Predictions and Live Game Cafe

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:'Ty7gNnyMTSZCgD7Mq6gzlQ',sig:'rSiWeQGrY17JEUW-VkyerXZ1JTECToPnWLTmYPaOOGo=',w:'594px',h:'372px',items:'1060172294',caption: true ,tld:'co.uk',is360: false })}); Watford have had a tumultuous time of late with the recent high turnover of managers (four in three years), however, it appears that the appointment of Javi Gracia this January has gone some way in steadying the ship. Indeed, the North-West London side's newfound consistency has allowed them to benefit with an impressive points haul propelling them to 7th in the league, presenting Watford ...

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Liverpool v Fulham: FOAR Writers Predictions & Live Game Cafe!

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:'VDGHbWnuTvNnOOOzRr6zSA',sig:'DGRCxm3gIg9LqjtUI4WpXqWkD5pnCnuVP-EcN8t-O2c=',w:'594px',h:'466px',items:'1059171746',caption: false ,tld:'co.uk',is360: false })}); Bad Tidings at Belgrade We've got away with some pretty terrible performances throughout this season but Liverpool's latest turnout was truly a drudgery to behold. Nonetheless, I find myself somewhat bemused with the reactionary nature of the modern Liverpool fanbase. Consider this: we remain, despite the unexpected result, top of our Champions League group and still only two points away from the reigning Premier League ...

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Arsenal v Liverpool – FOAR Writers Predictions

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:'mEHhQksTQglRc3h5H1uCeg',sig:'hYeRofH673-yNnS4L8aI2EXd9aXPZCUpeCFFkge9vcY=',w:'594px',h:'453px',items:'532199192',caption: true ,tld:'co.uk',is360: false })}); Time to set the Record Straight Two years after a European final to forget against Sevilla, the stakes won't be quite as high when Liverpool visit Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. Make no mistake however, for this could well be a match to savour for the neutrals, as two of the most offensively exciting sides come head-to-head for the first time this season. Unai ...

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Must Liverpool Deliver the Goals to Prove Title Credentials?

Winning Ugly Time and time again this season we've found ourselves buried under a mire of concerns with the lack of goals of late, be it on Twitter, the tabloids, or even in casual conversation. On several occasions however, Liverpool have managed to silence – all too briefly – the boo boys, in producing a number of solid, if not flashy, displays. Liverpool legend, John Aldridge, was particularly worried over this development and what it ...

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Injury Roundup: Mane green-lighted to return

With Liverpool blighted once again with injuries following an international break, it will come as welcome news to all that Sadio Mane should be available for selection in the upcoming Champions League Group C clash with Red Star Belgrade. Following a successful operation on a broken thumb, incurred during Senegal's 3-0 victory over Sudan in AFCON qualifications, Mane is likely to play some role in the fixture, according to the Mirror. https://twitter.com/MaddockMirror/status/1054459919733268481 Although ...

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Salah Suffers Injury with Egypt

Following a spectacular effort during the first half from a corner, Mohamed Salah was forced to limp off late into Egypt's meeting with Swaziland after sustaining a 'muscular injury.' https://twitter.com/SkySportsNews/status/1050844395497492480 Attempts were made by physios to return the Egyptian to the pitch following a period of treatment. However, it would appear that the injury was serious enough to warrant the player's full withdrawal. Whether the injury is at all related to concerns about ...

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Midfield Rotation After the Nations League

A goalless share of the points between two of the Premier League's most dangerous sides was perhaps not the result most fans expected, but nonetheless, it's one that both managers were more than happy to accept. "It is a very intense, an unbelievable challenge to face Manchester City always - I've said that before - and as the last game of an intense period, it makes the challenge even bigger, so ...

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xG: The Exciting Stats Placing Liverpool and City Ahead of the Competition

Although we have yet to re-witness the dizzying heights of Liverpool's free-scoring exploits of the previous season, fans have been treated to a number of positive performances. This culminated most recently in a hard fought draw at Stamford Bridge, courtesy of a brilliant 25-yard effort from Daniel Sturridge, which looped beyond the reach of Chelsea No.1 Kepa Arrizabalaga. A share of the points - Maurizio Sarri graciously admitted - was a ...

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Can Liverpool beat Chelsea without Van Dijk?

A bamboozling run and a powerful drive by Belgium international, Eden Hazard, with five minutes to go, was enough to inspire a Chelsea comeback in the Carabao Cup at the expense of a hapless Liverpool. Virgil Van Dijk and the rest of Liverpool's back five were notable absentees, yet, until Hazard's introduction, the game was very much Liverpool's to lose, with the home side having had a number of opportunities to ...

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Liverpool FC: A ‘One-Man Team’ No Longer

Billed as a heavyweight Champions League fixture between two of Europe's most exciting sides, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain's opening group stage match lived up to high expectations. Providing the perfect response in the dying moments of the game, Roberto Firmino fired away Liverpool's third to seal top spot of Group C in yet another brilliant Anfield European night. In my last article, following Gary Neville's comments, I talked about how Liverpool could ...

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Neville: Kick the Champions League into Touch

Gary Neville warns Jürgen Klopp's reds against pursuing Champions League Glory On the 26th May, the sheer excitement that emanated around Liverpool's glorious Champions League run, which saw them brush aside the likes of Manchester City and Roma, was palpable. Mohamed Salah's Liverpool against Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid; this would be a final to go down in history, or so it seemed. The resulting 3-1 defeat, which saw Salah limp off early ...

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Thomas Grønnemark: Specialism gone mad?

It's fair to say that Liverpool's appointment of throw-in specialist, Thomas Grønnemark, a former coach for FC Midtjylland, raised a few eyebrows. Targeted as an object of ridicule, most notably by former Sky pundit, Andy Gray, question marks have been raised as to the necessity of such a specialty in football. Gray mocked Liverpool's latest addition to their backroom staff  Coming up with the novel idea of coaching throw-ins, in what - ...

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Liverpool and Barcelona to battle for Rabiot signature

Informed by sources close to Adrien Rabiot, ESPN is the latest - in a line of sports agencies - to claim that Liverpool have stepped up their approach for the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder. Despite the club's best efforts to extend the French international's stay in Ligue 1, it is looking increasingly likely that Rabiot will seek pastures new, amidst interest abroad from some of Europe's top clubs. Considering Adam Lallana's injury ...

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A Distribution Revolution

Inconvenient as international breaks are, it offers ample opportunity to take stock of Liverpool’s rugged performances of late. Rarely operating past second gear, Liverpool have relied largely on the efforts of their back four – a historically uncomfortable experience, as fans will attest – in grinding out a series of hard fought wins. It was a task made easier with the addition of £66.9 million goalkeeper Alisson – formerly of ...

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Pavard to Liverpool?

Liverpool's next foray into the Transfer Market A world cup winner, scorer of the best goal of the tournament, (yes, that stunning volley against Argentina), and lauded by Didier Deschamps. Yet, Benjamin Pavard was something of an unknown quantity on the international stage, as France prepared to embark on what would be a historic campaign. Indeed, you could forgive fans for scratching their heads at Deschamps decision to field, at right-back, ...

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