Leicester City have made constant progress since the arrival of Brendan Rodgers in February 2019, from securing Leicester’s position in the top six in his first full season to now contesting for the Premier League’s top spot half-way into the 2020-21 season. The improvements are evident and though claims that Leicester are not title contenders are played down by Rodgers himself, their performances this season suggest otherwise. In fact, it would be of much surprise if Leicester were not in the running for a top four finish if not more come the end of the season.
With only two wins in their last five, Liverpool’s recent form has seen them slip so far down the top of the table that both Chelsea and West Ham started the day with only one point behind their fourth place rivals. Only a win against Leicester would lift them into a better position.
However, despite Brendan Rodgers’ problems against the Big Six in the past, he has become more confident registering wins against Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea this season.
Manchester United have suffered a turbulent start to the 2020-21 season, despite surprising victories against PSG & RB Leipzig that leave them on the verge of qualification from a challenging Champions League group, Ole’s team have stumbled against too many an opposition.
Two teams seeking to disrupt the status-quo of the ‘big six’ in the Premier League met on Sunday afternoon at the King Power Stadium. Both sides have seemingly aimed to control more possession this season as the next stage in their evolution.
Following on from the first of this two part series where the predominant offensive structures Manchester City used were outlined, this part will examine the methods used to create chances within the aforementioned structures.
Manchester City were the most potent attacking force, in Europe’s major five leagues, during the 2019/20 season. They ranked first for expected goals (xG), shots taken and goals scored compared to the other top performing teams in Europe.
This FA Cup third-round tie was truly a game of two halves where Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal matched-up against Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds. The game was won in the second half after Arsenal improved dramatically following a poor first-half display. This analysis will discuss Arsenal’s initial issues in their build-up, how Leeds outplayed their pressure much more effectively and then Arteta’s changes for the second half which changed the dynamic of the match.
Revisiting the theme of analysing matches from previous seasons but not too long ago to be called a ‘retro analysis’, I planned on analysing Chelsea’s first match against Manchester City in the season they won the title under Antonio Conte.
The Canaries entered the 2019/20 Premier League season with an abundance of hope, fresh from finishing their promotion campaign in the Championship on top of the pile with a notable 94 points, 5 clear of runners-up Sheffield United and a whole 11 from Leeds United back in third-place, Daniel Farke would have surely been confident of steering the new boys to safety in their return season to the top flight. However, this has not played out in the manner to be expected.
Solskjaer’s in-form Manchester United hosted a similarly buoyant Southampton side at Old Trafford on Monday evening. With the hosts locked in a battle with Chelsea and Leicester for the final Champions league positions, a win was vital. Whilst their opponents had no such clear targets, their recent performances and results show they do not lack motivation.