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Premiership Countdown: 37 Days to Go

It was one of the main reasons why the 2006 World Cup was less entertaining than previous years, and the reason why so few of the football superstars shone at the World Cup. It’s the 4-5-1 formation.

Unfortunately, I predict the dreaded 4-5-1 will have a big impact on the Premiership this season, and we’ll see more teams adopting the strategy based on how effective it was at the World Cup.

For many teams in the Premiership, they’ll see it as one of their only hopes of avoiding relegation and grinding out results. It’s worked well for Bolton, and I can see other teams using the method. The strategy works well to crowd the midfield and prevent attacking teams from getting forward. Many EPL managers, who can’t compete against the heavyweights (Chelsea, Arsenal, Man United or Liverpool), may feel that this is their only option.

However, let’s hope that the 4-4-2 (or similar attacking formations) will prevail and EPL managers will quickly see that it’s difficult to win matches using a 4-5-1 (unless the 4-5-1 morphs into a 4-3-3 if the wingers attack down the sides, like Chelsea).

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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