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Blog - Tactics and Analysis

Whoscored: Explaining Newcastle's woe

Newcastle United
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Lloris deserves better than Spurs

Tactics and Analysis
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Milner among culprits for City's form

Tactics And Analysis
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WhoScored: City's away form a hindrance?

Tactics And Analysis
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WhoScored: Hummels key for Dortmund

Tactics & Analysis
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Stats suggest Bale is Madrid's fall guy

Tactics & Analysis
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WhoScored: Henderson vs. Carrick

Liverpool vs. Man Utd
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The tactical keys to Chelsea's Premier League-winning campaign

Jose Mourinho lauded his Chelsea players for the determination, quality and consistency that secured the Blues' fourth Premier League title, following a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley discusses Chelsea's title-clinching win over Crystal Palace and breaks down the keys along Chelsea's road to the title.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley discusses Chelsea's title-clinching win over Crystal Palace and breaks down the keys along Chelsea's road to the title.

In the age of tactical flexibility and squad rotation, Chelsea's title has been built on old-fashioned principles. Jose Mourinho has stuck to the same 4-2-3-1 framework throughout the campaign and has used the same players: three are ever-presents in the Premier League, 10 have started at least 26 games and an 11th, Diego Costa, would surely have done likewise but for injuries and suspension.

Chelsea's triumph has been based on key performers playing key roles and, tactically, six men have been particularly...

Newcastle United's relegation scrap is due to key players underperforming

Newcastle United manager John Carver says his side played good football considering their recent run and confidence.

A somewhat freak opener and a late Siem de Jong consolation goal did little to mask what was another dismal afternoon, as Newcastle fell to a 3-2 home defeat to Swansea. It was their seventh successive league loss, the worst such run in their Premier League history.

While the losing streak was been matched by Aston Villa earlier this season, most are tipping the Magpies to suffer what would be a record eighth defeat for the season against a resurgent Leicester side.

Ahead of the weekend's crucial...

 By Michael Cox

Chelsea's style contrasts recent Premier League winners but is not new

Craig Burley has his say on accusations that Chelsea are boring.

All things considered, Chelsea's draw vs. Arsenal on Sunday was an archetypal Jose Mourinho way of effectively wrapping up the Premier League title: a goalless draw away at your title rivals, and a couple of digs at the opposition manager after the match, which prompted a debate about what constitutes "boring football."

The consensus, it appears, is that Chelsea have regressed since the start of the campaign, in terms of playing style, at least. Before Christmas, Mourinho's side played a fluid,...

 By Michael Cox

Schneiderlin's extended Southampton stay has been mutually beneficial

Morgan Schneiderlin should be one of Arsenal's primary transfer objectives, says ESPN FC's Stewart Robson.

Mauricio Pochettino's return to Southampton this weekend is an opportune moment to remember how impressively the Saints responded to his departure -- and the loss of so many key players. A second wave of sales, however, might follow this summer.

Considering Southampton were supposedly in crisis this past summer, it's something of a surprise that they're just a point behind Pochettino's sixth-placed Tottenham. In that respect, the Argentine hasn't yet proved he's moved onto bigger and better things,...

Hugo Lloris deserves better than what he's received at Tottenham

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner discusses Hugo Lloris' future at White Hart Lane and believes the goalkeeper deserves to be competing for silverware in European competitions.

An exasperated look of sheer helplessness strewn across the face of their darling goalkeeper has become a sight all too familiar for fans of Tottenham Hotspur. Hugo Lloris has long looked a player too talented to be missing out on Champions League football, instead stuck at White Hart Lane, and reports have surfaced once again that he will look for a route out of N17 this summer with Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Manchester United all supposedly interested.

The France No. 1 has tried valiantly...

 By Michael Cox

Bayern Munich feel Robben and Ribery absences ahead of Porto clash

Bayern Munich need to create history if they're to overcome their 3-1 first-leg deficit to FC Porto in their Champions League quarterfinal.
Brian McBride believes Bayern Munich will be able to overcome their Champions League first leg deficit against FC Porto, while Craig Burley favours Porto to advance to the semi-finals.

Whatever the real reason for Pep Guardiola's bust-up with team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt -- leading to the latter's departure from the club last week -- there's no question that the Bayern boss is highly frustrated with his team's current injury crisis.

Whether Muller-Wohlfahrt is responsible is another question entirely. But Bayern's injury problems this season have been considerable: One estimate suggests Guardiola's players, collectively, have missed 24 percent of potential "minutes"...