Futbol Masterminds – Top Four Race Heating Up

Leicester City spent the entirety of the 2019-20 season in the top four, only to miss out on Champions League football on the final day with a devastating defeat to Manchester United. With Leicester's recent 3-2 loss to West Ham United, the Futbol Masterminds examine the Champions League football race that appears to be tighter than ever before, with the Hammers and Foxes competing with the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea for a spot in next season's competition. The panel also discuss whether clubs should spend money on transfers or youth academies, what's been missing for Brighton & Hove Albion this season, and the upcoming Champions League fixture between Dortmund and Manchester City. Submit questions and follow the show @futbolmasterminds on Instagram, or on themastermindsite.com. 

Picking the PFA Team of the Year (2020-21)

The 2020-21 Premier League season has certainly been one of the most unprecedented in the history of the competition. Due to the state of the outside world and the novel coronavirus pandemic, very few players and very few teams were able to gain any sense of consistency over the course of the season. Some of those "very few" aforementioned players fall under the star-studded Manchester City umbrella, and were able to escape the heavy storm relatively unscathed. But a few other stars from around the league consistently performed to high levels, and certainly the Citizens can't claim to have the best player of the season in each and every position. With that, here is our Premier League Team of the Year, as though we were the players picking the team ourselves.

Manchester United 1-0 West Ham – Tactical Analysis

West Ham United have had an extraordinary season thus far. However, against second-place Manchester United, they failed to play with any conviction, almost as though they didn't believe in themselves to win the match. It was a confusing performance from the Hammers, who have achieved positive results against the likes of Leicester, Spurs, and even Manchester City this season. Here is Amelia-Toni Adejobi's Tactical Analysis of United's 1-0 win over the Hammers.

Are Haaland & Mbappe the new Messi & Ronaldo? – Futbol Masterminds Podcast

As requested by virtually everyone, the Futbol Masterminds panel discuss whether or not Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe have officially dethroned Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the quest to be the world's best. The panel also discuss the big moments from the North London derby, the La Liga title race and Chris Wilder's unfortunate sacking from Sheffield United. Follow @mastermindsite and our new Instagram @futbolmasterminds to submit your questions every weekend before the show.

Sam Allardyce – West Bromwich Albion – Tactical Analysis

At the time of Sam Allardyce's arrival at West Bromwich Albion, the Baggies looked dead and buried with no hope of survival. Four months on from that, Allardyce's side still look as though they have no hope at all of survival. Allardyce's perfect record of staying alive in the league without ever suffering relegation appears to be over, unless he somehow gets himself sacked before the end of the season and saves his record for another year. But although the Baggies look destined to drop down into the EFL Championship, Allardyce has changed West Brom's fortunes to an extent, with some decent performances against the likes of Wolves, Manchester United and Brighton. His rigid 4-1-4-1 system and the recent additions of the likes of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Okay Yokuslu and Mbaye Diagne have inspired a better spell of form, with some sense of stability as the final third of the season approaches. Had these players started at the club at the beginning of the season, it's very likely that Big Sam's team would be far closer to Fulham right now than they are. So with that, here is a Tactical Analysis of Sam Allardyce's West Bromwich Albion since his arrival in December 2020.

Is Bruno Fernandes the Most Transformative Player in Premier League History? – Futbol Masterminds Podcast

Rhys, Russell and Kausty answer your questions this week - including whether or not Bruno Fernandes is the most transformative player in Premier League history, following Manchester United's 2-0 win over Manchester City. The panel also discuss their predictions for the upcoming Champions League fixtures, whether or not Fulham can survive relegation after their impressive 1-0 victory at Anfield, and Arsene Wenger's proposed offside rule change. Follow @mastermindsite to submit your questions every weekend before the show.

Manchester City 0-2 Manchester United – Tactical Analysis

Despite Manchester City's incredible form in recent weeks, the feeling going into the weekend's Manchester derby was that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could get a result yet again, as he had done in four out of his five previous meetings against Guardiola's team. Led by their robust defensive structure and impeccable counter attacking play, that's exactly what happened. Manchester United played with heart and fervidity and eventually succumbed Manchester City to their first loss since November 2020. Here is a tactical analysis of Manchester United's 2-0 win over Manchester City in the derby on March 7th, 2021.

Sean Dyche – Burnley – Tactical Analysis (2020-21 Edition)

Sean Dyche's Burnley have managed to stay in the Premier League for five seasons in a row now, even reaching the Europa League in 2017-18. Despite that, many providing commentary over the game consistently pick the Clarets as favourites to go down each and every single season. In reality, Burnley never look in any danger of going down. This season it appears as though it's going to be another one in which Sean Dyche's men will steer clear of the drop with relative ease. Dyche's men play a gritty, unconventional brand of football, and their resilient 4-4-2 low-block has troubled even the best of teams and managers. Most recently, they became the first side to win at Anfield for over a thousand days. Here is an updated tactical analysis of Sean Dyche's Burnley, their tried and tested 4-4-2 system and their compact, long-ball style of play in 2020-21.

Liverpool 0-2 Everton – Tactical Analysis

The last time Everton won at Anfield, Trent Alexander-Arnold had just had his first birthday. September 1999 was the date, a match that lives long in Don Hutchinson's memory and almost no one else's. But even though it had been more than twenty-one years since Everton last won at Anfield, you just got the feeling that it might happen again this season. In the end, Carlo Ancelotti put on a tactical masterclass and his team put on a defensive clinic, but Liverpool were also woeful in attack and looked on different wavelengths at times. It all culminated in a historic win for the Toffees and an embarrassing defeat for Jurgen Klopp as things continue to go from bad to worse for the Reds. Here is a tactical analysis of Everton's historic 2-0 win over Liverpool.

Scott Parker – Fulham – Tactical Analysis (2020-21)

Although Fulham currently sit in the relegation zone, it could be argued that Scott Parker's start to his managerial career could hardly have gone better. After retiring from the game in 2017, Parker took over toward the tail-end of their horrendous 2018-19 season. He then secured the full-time managerial role for the start of the 2019-20 EFL Championship season, earning promotion via the playoffs in his first season at the club. Although 2020-21 might end in relegation, Scott Parker has immensely improved Fulham from the last time they were in the league and has kept them within a fighting chance of survival throughout the season. This is a tactical analysis of Scott Parker's Fulham.

The 5 Best & Worst Premier League Goalkeepers by Saves per Goal (2020-21 Edition)

Season after season in the Premier League, two of the biggest topics of debate involve refereeing and goalkeeping. We've already written about one of those two debates in our rant about the handball rule at the beginning of the season, and now it's time to examine the good and the bad of the Premier League's goalkeepers this season. Jordan Pickford, David De Gea and Alisson have all received criticism and attention for their recent performances, but this article attempts to assess how these players have actually performed, using data analytics. This is our analysis of the five best and worst goalkeepers in the league this season, utilizing saves per goal conceded as a statistical metric for our assessment.