Liverpool 4-0 West Ham: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool 4-0 West Ham: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool picking up where they left off at the end of the 2017/18 season would have been the perfect way to kick start a league season, and Liverpool did just that. There were 92 days between Liverpool's last home league game against Brighton and the opening fixture against West Ham, but the results were identical: 4-0 drubbings. However, while the results may have been the same, the personnel and the tactics were certainly not. Alisson and Keïta were the only real …
Liverpool 2018/19: A Tactical Preview

Liverpool 2018/19: A Tactical Preview

How do Liverpool play? It's a simple question, but with the arrival of both Naby Keïta, Fabinho and Alisson, as well as the progression of Liverpool's tactics under Jürgen Klopp since he joined in 2016, the answer requires a more detailed response than the question initially indicates. There are three main tactical phases in football: on-ball, off-ball and the transition. With Liverpool's signings and their skillsets, the on-ball phase may be the one most different this season. Hence, we'll start …
Injecting Forward Passing Into Liverpool's Midfield

Injecting Forward Passing Into Liverpool's Midfield

In his first ever press conference as Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp was asked about the style of play we should expect to see the team play during his tenure, ‘Umschaltspiel’, he replied. This is a German footballing term but it roughly translates to ‘shift game’, which essentially means ‘transition game’ in England. Two full seasons later, it’s safe to say that Liverpool is now a side that thrives on exploiting moments in transition using speed, energy and the ability to …
Would the 3-5-2 formation suit Liverpool?

Would the 3-5-2 formation suit Liverpool?

Gareth Southgate’s England have been playing a relatively unused and potentially interesting variation of 3-5-2 formation at the World Cup – with a lopsided back three, wing-backs who are multi-faceted and a three-man midfield with only one defensive player in it. It’s a well-balanced formation that suits England very well. The back three is shielded by Jordan Henderson, but ahead of him, there are four very attacking individuals who are able to link up, drop deep and run in behind. …
How Klopp Could Unleash the Big Guns in the 4-2-2-2

How Klopp Could Unleash the Big Guns in the 4-2-2-2

A manager requires perpetual change if he’s to succeed in the savage land that is the Premier League. That’s the narrative that gets swung about on the regular, amidst pundits and fans alike. In Pep Guardiola’s first season, his tactical ministrations were seen as too imposing, not giving English Football’s top tier its due. Jose Mourinho has been accused of remaining “stuck in his ways” on multiple occasions; accusations which surprisingly were most stark in the Champions League against Sevilla. …
Tactical Preview: How do Liverpool beat Real Madrid?

Tactical Preview: How do Liverpool beat Real Madrid?

Over the course of the season I've been breaking down a number of Liverpool's matches in both the Premier League and Champions League, however, this week I was asked to do something rather different instead, and scout Real Madrid for the AEye Scouted pod, hosted by Dave Hendrick. Below are the key findings of my 12 game scouting exercise - essentially my notes - and a blueprint of sorts for as to how Liverpool might be able to beat Real …
Forget Attack vs. Defence - Midfield Battle Holds The Key In Kiev

Forget Attack vs. Defence - Midfield Battle Holds The Key In Kiev

As the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid edges ever nearer, it is no surprise to see predictions being offered everywhere you look. When it comes to guessing how Saturday’s enormous match in Kiev will pan out, the general consensus is that it will be both sides’ vibrant attacks attempting to dismantle a couple of suspect defences. While there is definite truth in this, with the Reds and Los Blancos famed for possessing world-class attacking talent, it is …
Organising Chaos Against Real Madrid

Organising Chaos Against Real Madrid

I shared a thread on Twitter recently about my thoughts on how Liverpool can beat Real Madrid, and it received such positive feedback that I’ve decided to expand on it here. The thread is linked below for those that want to check it out: https://twitter.com/DistanceCovered/status/996345845749637120 Now, as I’ve mentioned in the thread, the key factor when determining whether Liverpool are likely to win against any opponent is whether the opposing team is vulnerable in transition or not. Liverpool are gradually …
Liverpool 4-0 Brighton: A Tactical Breakdown

Liverpool 4-0 Brighton: A Tactical Breakdown

What a season. Liverpool have qualified for their second consecutive Champions League campaign by securing automatic qualification for the first time since 2008/09. They have also have finished with 75 points, one less than last season's tally (76), which is also the record for fourth spot. Mo Salah has broken the all-time Premier League record for goals scored with his 32nd of the season whilst his teammates in the front three - Mané and Firmino - have notched themselves 10 …
Manchester City 1-2 Liverpool (1-5): A Tactical Breakdown

Manchester City 1-2 Liverpool (1-5): A Tactical Breakdown

When Liverpool lost 5-0 at the Etihad earlier this season, I mentioned in my breakdown that typing in the scoreline just felt wrong, but there is something immensely gratifying about typing out the aggregate scoreline for the Champions League tie: 5-1. I might even do it again. 5-1. Lovely. Anyway, there are five minutes until kick-off, and I’m desperately searching through Twitter. Pep has named two wingers, three attacking midfielders, one full-back, two centre-backs, a striker, a defensive midfielder and …
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