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Real Madrid press Juventus to defeat

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Contrast between top and bottom clear

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Son and Alli shine as Spurs outfox Leicester

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Fluent Spurs upset United's man-marking

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 By Michael Cox

One big question for Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City, Spurs, Liverpool

The FC panel delve into their 2017-18 Premier League title predictions.

The new Premier League campaign is finally here, starting with Arsenal's home meeting with Leicester at the Emirates on Friday evening. But what are the major tactical issues facing the title contenders?

Here's a run-down of the major question mark about each side's tactical approach.

Arsenal: Will they stick with the 3-4-2-1?

The immediate answer to this question is simple: yes. Arsene Wenger's decision to switch to a three-man defence last season for the first time in over 20 years completely...

 By Michael Cox

The Premier League at 25: How it became the world's most popular

As the 25th anniversary of the Premier League nears, the FC crew discuss how the league has changed over a quarter century.
The Exploding Heads provide their comical take of what exactly will happen this Premier League season.

To fully appreciate the overwhelming success of the Premier League over its first quarter of a century, it's worth flicking through a British newspaper from the early 1990s and assessing the nature of the sport section.

Football dominated in some newspapers at that point but in others, it competed for attention with rugby and cricket, vanishing almost completely during the summer off-season. Fast-forward 25 years and the way supporters consume media has changed dramatically: the internet has taken...

 By Michael Cox

Why does the Premier League feature so many stoppage-time goals?

The Premier League routinely sees more stoppage time, and more stoppage-time goals, than any other league.

The Premier League frequently casts itself as Europe's most exciting league, boasting of its unpredictability, its open title race and its frenetic tempo. There's one other crucial factor in its reputation as an entertaining, thrilling and crazy spectacle, though: its propensity for late goals. None of the other major European leagues comes close to England's top-flight for late drama.

In 2016-17, the Premier League's 25th season, there were no fewer than 68 goals scored in second-half stoppage...

 By Michael Cox

Bailly, Xhaka, Wijnaldum, others must be wary of second-season syndrome

With the 2017/18 Premier League season around the corner, Stevie Nicol predicts who will finish in the top 4.
Steve Nicol believes that Man City's big summer spending has made the club favourites to win the Premier League.
With Man United and Chelsea back in the Champions League, will this year's competition now be tighter than ever?

First impressions matter but, in Premier League terms, they can also be deceptive. England's top flight has seen many players initially disappoint having moved to a new club, only to then thrive -- see Robert Pires or Didier Drogba, for example.

Likewise, though, there are also those who look sensational initially but prove to be one-season wonders; Michu and Roque Santa Cruz were superb upon their arrival, only to entirely underwhelm after that.

Here are three players approaching their second season...

 By Michael Cox

Bielsa meets Ranieri, Tottenham face Chelsea among early-season highlights

With the 2017/18 Premier League season around the corner, Stevie Nicol predicts who will finish in the top 4.
Steve Nicol believes that Man City's big summer spending has made the club favourites to win the Premier League.

The 2017-18 European season is nearly upon us and, with Serie A having finally released its fixture list this week, we have a clear idea of which games to watch and when. Here's a selection of the most intriguing fixture for each weekend in August, leading up until the month-ending international break and transfer window closure.

Aug. 6: Lille vs. Nantes

Ordinarily, there would be nothing special about this run-of-the-mill Ligue 1 fixture. It's not a meeting between two major sides and it's not...

 By Michael Cox

Playing a game under Opta's watch: heat maps, pass completion and terror

With Craig Burley enjoying his holiday, the FC crew take a moment to poke some fun at some of his vacation exploits.

SUTTON, England -- Many of us involved in football reporting have, at some stage, been told our opinions are irrelevant because "we've never played the game." That is, of course, entirely untrue. We've all played the game; we're simply not very good at it. Last week, some of us were afforded the pleasure of discovering quite how incompetent we were, with statistics, graphics and heat maps to prove it.

Football data company Opta held a friendly match at Gander Green Lane, the home of Sutton United,...