20 July 2024

Super Cup team news – Liverpool vs Chelsea predicted line-ups with Allison  out and will Frank Lampard ring changes after Man Utd hammering? – The Sun  | The Sun

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Every word Jurgen Klopp said on transfers, Liverpool injury setback,  Mohamed Salah and more - Liverpool Echo

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Alex Keble analyses where Sunday’s matches could be won and lost, including:
– How Nunez can shake Villa’s confidence 
– Arteta and Ten Hag’s conservative approach

Nunez a threat to emboldened Villa

Aston Villa have recovered very quickly from the 5-1 defeat by Newcastle United on the opening weekend, and with new signing Pau Torres improving their ability to pass out from the back Unai Emery’s side are becoming increasingly good at controlling matches.

Matty Cash’s second goal in the 3-1 win at Burnley ended a 19-pass move, which is Villa’s longest goal-ending passing sequence since Opta records began in 2006/07.

It is also representative of a growing trend for the team. Across the first three League matches of the season Emery’s side are averaging 14.3 sequences of 10+ passes, considerably more than last season’s average of 8.2.

Although Villa are likely to take a more conservative approach at Anfield, and will certainly see less of the ball than at Burnley, this increased confidence in possession makes Sunday’s fixture particularly intriguing.

On the one hand Villa’s new 3-4-3 shape, used for the first time against Burnley, might mean Emery can construct the passing moves required to dismantle a new-look Liverpool central midfield that needs time to gel. It is notable that only Fulham, Sheff Utd, West Ham and Nottingham Forest – four low-block, defensive teams – have allowed more opposition “progressive passes” against them this season than Liverpool’s 136.

But just as likely, Villa’s aggressive defensive line and bold determination to use an offside trap will play into Liverpool’s hands. Villa allowed 95 through-balls last season, more than any other Premier League team and reflecting how often teams looked to move quickly behind Villa’s back line, as we saw Newcastle repeatedly manage on the opening day.

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