Liverpool 1-1 Everton: Jagielka's stunner completed a tactically interesting derby

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The formations

Liverpool started in a 4-3-3 formation, with Markovic making up the midfield trio with Gerrard and Henderson. Balotelli was supported by Lallana on the right, Sterling on the left.

Roberto Martínez beefed up the midfield of Everton by adding Besic to the duo of McCarthy and Barry. Naismith played as a false nine, while Lukaku started on the right wing like he did against Arsenal.

Is Diego Costa set to lead Chelsea to the title?

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He’s not even been in England three months, and Chelsea’s new frontman Diego Costa is already a record breaker. His seven goals in The Blues’ opening four Premier League games surpassed the previous tally of six set by Sergio Aguero for Manchester City and Micky Quinn for Coventry. It was also the first time since Quinn’s 1992 six-in-four that any player had scored in each of their four opening games – Aguero only scored in three of his.

Liverpool's post-Suárez blues

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We go again. This was the eager battle cry in the early months of 2014 when Liverpool looked destined to win their first domestic title in a quarter of a century. Now, when you hear it spoken or written on some die-hard believer’s twitter feed, it doesn’t feel the same. It feels a pitch higher, a touch more desperate.

Napoli’s Fate Rests in Their Fans' Hands

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The Stadio San Paolo, the third largest stadium in Italy, has traditionally been a daunting place for any team to travel, given the considerable history of the ground and the raucous nature of the passionate Neapolitans that possess an unmatched fanaticism for their beloved Partenopei.

Is Alan Pardew living on borrowed time at Newcastle?

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Undoubtedly, times have been dark for the Toon during 2014. Having won just five Premier League games under the tutelage of Alan Pardew this year, Newcastle fans have been baying for his blood recently; no more so than after the 4-0 loss to Southampton a couple of weeks ago. It was the second time this year that Newcastle had been beaten by that deficit at the hands of the Saints.

Do Premier League clubs care about ladies' kits?

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If you're a bloke reading this, the chances are that you've bought a football shirt at some point in your life. And if you have you would have had lots of options where to buy, whether it's directly from your club, online, or from a local sports shop. You've probably even found yourself buying a shirt towards the end of the season when clubs sell replica kits at heavily discounted prices in order to get rid of stock ready for the new ones.

The Keane Madness: Why Villa Are Confounding Everyone This Season

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Roll your minds back to August and think about everyone’s 14/15 Premier League predictions. They were more or less all the same, of course; Chelsea to win it at a canter (insert your own suitably equine-based pun here), a van Gaal-inspired United to surge up the table, and Liverpool to struggle fighting on four fronts with their newly defanged attack. As for who would go down, well - the options seemed endless.

Felix’s Fulham Farewell Follows His Failings

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Farewell Felix, it’s been horrific.

Last weekend saw the albatross around Fulham’s neck finally get his marching orders after not only relegating the club after a decade-plus long stay in the Premier League, but guiding us to an impressive (not in a good way) run of no wins since the start of the season, leading us to be bottom of the Championship and the worst form team in all 92 clubs in the English league system. I am now going to detail why he was not only the worst manager to ever ply his trade in English football, but how he is also the most deluded man in English football history. This is going to be fun.

Ballsy Banter FIFA Party

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This Saturday Ballsy Banter teamed up with Oh Hello to bring you a Fifa 15 event at Meltdown London. Check out the pictures from the evening to spot yourself, or dwell on what you missed: Click Here...



Why Qatar Should Not Host The 2022 FIFA World Cup

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Qatar managed to win their bid for the 2022 World Cup back in 2010, alongside Russia, who bid for 2018's tournament. Unfortunately, the 2022 bid has been mired in even more controversy than Russia 2018, and Qatar is in very serious danger of having the World Cup relocated. Any number of countries would gladly take Qatar’s place to host the illustrious tournament, and evidence is piling up against the nation as we speak.

It's the same old story for FC Schalke

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It seems like no time at all since last September when I sat down to write about Schalke’s horrendously poor start to the season. Injuries, poor form and general bad luck had all contributed to leave the Royal Blues languishing in the lower reaches of the Bundesliga, unfamiliar territory for a side which has, in recent years at least, challenged admirably at the business end of the division. Happily, last season turned out to be a reasonably good one, with an excellent run coming off the back of the winter break propelling Schalke to third place and automatic Champions League qualification.

Liverpool pay the price for England's hope and glory

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Another International break, another injury for Daniel Sturridge. Coming away worse for wear whilst representing his country has turned into something of a habit for the Liverpool striker, much to the chagrin of his manager, Brendan Rodgers, and the Anfield faithful. These days, more or less every Premier League fan watches friendly games or European Qualifiers with their fingers crossed, hoping against hope that their country will score or emerge victorious, but that their team’s star player will leave the pitch unscathed. Having one of your own come a cropper during an international match is one thing – unfortunate, potentially disastrous, but almost acceptable; they were playing football, after all, and such incidents can happen as easily at Villa Park or the Liberty Stadium as at the Stade de France or Wembley. What does frustrate managers and supporters alike, however, is players getting injured in training for their respective countries. Coincidence or bad luck rarely fall into the equation in this scenario; the national team’s coaching staff and sports scientists are roundly pilloried, and that’s that.

Wayne Rooney - English football's future footnote

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Wayne Rooney – a face that has adorned a thousand bottles of soft drinks and games of FIFA since his senior debut in 2002. Many see him as a rough street footballer turned into a star striker, powerful and uncompromising. Not to me though. I have never truly liked Wayne Rooney. Something about him rubs me up the wrong way both in his personality and footballing ability.


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What do Chris Hughton, Paul Ince and Chris Powell all have in common? Well, in their playing days they were stalwarts of their teams; their names synonymous with hard work and a never say die attitude. And in management, they all started very brightly before all being dismissed at various points last season. Did I forget anything?

QPR: Are Redknapp's new signings set to secure survival?

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Slammed shut. Not just the transfer window, but Harry Redknapp's window, too. It's been a remarkable summer of signings, watching Luis Suárez go for as much as £75 million, Loïc Rémygo for as little as £10.5 million and the most bizarre of all, seeing David Luiz depart for the best part of £50 million despite his World Cup horror show – the world's seemingly gone mad. Despite all this chaos, we focus on the latest London club to re-join the Premier League in Queens Park Rangers – how well have they dealt this time around?

England Expects Nothing Much Any More – And That’s The Problem.

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Wednesday’s international friendly against Norway brought with it all the promise and glamour of a wet weekend away in Blackpool, and boy, did it deliver.  40,181 intrepid souls – the lowest ever attendance for an England game at the new Wembley, as no media organisation will ever let us forget – saw the Three Lions not so much put Per-Mathias Høgmo’s men to the sword, but rather sideways pass Norway into oblivion, until Omar Elabdellaoui just couldn’t take it anymore and scythed the impressive Raheem Sterling down just to put us all out of our misery.

Falcao's arrival means it's time to dream a little differently

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As I flicked through my Twitter feed on Monday morning, I came across a couple of stories linking Radamel Falcao to Manchester United. Colombian journalists, apparently – because who really knows these days - claiming that Falcao had in the early hours of the morning agreed to join United. I thought nothing of it, just as I had dismissed plenty of stories through the summer, and this was another. In fact, I felt quite adamant that Falcao wouldn’t be leaving Monaco at all. His agent, the infamous Jorge Mendes, was simply trying to stir up some interest after his client's expected move to Real Madrid failed to materialise. I didn’t even entertain it.

Germany 2 - 4 Argentina: The sharper team wins the replay of the World Cup final.

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Even though Germany and Argentina met in July, both of them had changes to deal with. For the Germans, this was the beginning of a new era as crucial players like Philip Lahm, Per Mertesacker and Miroslav Klose retired from international football after the World Cup. For the Argentines this was the first game of Tata Martino’s reign as manager.

The continued conundrum of Jack Wilshere

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Jack Wilshere has been labelled a lot of things since his breakthrough into English football back in 2008. ‘The new Gazza’, ‘England’s Zidane’, ‘The English Xavi/Iniesta’ etc - you get the point. But these names haven’t just appeared from thin air. The hype manufactured by fans and the media has been encouraged by high standards set by Arsenal’s no 10, but even at the tender age of 22, he’s given himself plenty to live up to.

SD Eibar: Spain's New Footballing Phenomenon

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Up until last weekend, SD Eibar’s record in La Liga stood like this: wins – 100%; matches scored in – 100%; goals conceded – 0. Not even the wildest dreams of Florentino Pérez or the most mechanically efficient of Pep Guardiola’s sides would have ever countenanced achieving such stats. Of course, up until last weekend, SD Eibar had only ever played one game in Spain’s elite division (if you haven’t checked out Javier Lara’s insane and ultimately winning free kick yet, do so: ).