ANALYSE THIS: Settled team one of the keys to Leicester’s success

FOOTBALL – Thirty-five years ago Aston Villa famously, and surprisingly, won the league title with just 14 players. Three years earlier, Nottingham Forest won the league immediately after promotion using just 16 players. Arsenal’s 1989 title win, their first for 18 years, was achieved with just 17 starters. This season, Leicester City have been the great surprises of the Premier League and have also followed a similar pattern in their selections. In the first 22 matches of the season, Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has picked just 17 players in his starting line-ups and the club could still equal the Premier League era record for fewest starting players in a season.
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REVIEW: Vieira Curse lives on for Arsenal

FOOTBALL – By failing to defeat Sunderland on Wednesday, Arsenal now cannot finish in the top two of the Premier League table. Their failure to finish higher than third has now reached its 10th consecutive season. This has become known as ‘The Vieira Curse’. In the eight seasons that Patrick Vieira played at Arsenal (1997-2005) the Gunners finished in the top two in the league. They did not manage that a single time since the Frenchman’s departure.

REVIEW: Burnley suffer 7th top flight relegation

FOOTBALL – Despite beating Hull City 1-0 on Saturday, Burnley were relegated from the Premier League because of results on other grounds. It was Burnley’s second relegation as a promoted side in the Premier League era (1992 onwards). Only Crystal Palace has been relegated more often from the Premier League as a promoted club (3). Continue reading

ANALYSE THIS: The Foreign Influx™

FOOTBALL – FA Chairman Greg Dyke has made a lot of news headlines in the past week because of his plan to impose restrictions on non-EU players. Our colleague at Infostrada Sports, Murray Innes, looked at the numbers surrounding this proposal and wrote an article on his blog ‘Football Mythbusters’. Click on ‘continue reading’ to read more.

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THE WAVE: Liverpool v Manchester United

FOOTBALL – Manchester United won 2-1 at Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday. Liverpool were down to 10 men after Steven Gerrard was sent off only 42 seconds after coming on at half time. Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said: “The best 45 minutes, we played them off the pitch in the first half.” See for yourself in our Wave. Continue reading