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Midfield void haunts Everton

Everton
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 By Nick Miller

Chelsea thrash Brighton as Eden Hazard runs riot to end barren run

Eden Hazard was at the heart of Chelsea's attack yet again, as the Blues overcame a spirited Brighton side and ran out convincing winners at the Amex.
Eden Hazard handed over his jersey to a young supporter after Chelsea's comprehensive win over Brighton.

BRIGHTON, England -- Three thoughts on Chelsea's 4-0 win over Brighton as Eden Hazard ended their recent barren spell with a brace, but the Blues had some good fortune to thank for the win.

1. Chelsea make Brighton pay

There are certainly better players in the world than Eden Hazard -- Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are pretty good, to name two -- but when the Belgian is on top form, there aren't many better to watch, as he displayed by masterminding a Chelsea win (their first of 2018)...

 By Steven Kelly

Liverpool can't afford to suffer lapse against overmatched Swansea

Shaka Hislop assesses Liverpool's current goalkeeping situation and identifies potential targets for a summer move to Anfield.
Shaka Hislop assesses Liverpool's current goalkeeping situation and identifies potential targets for a summer move to Anfield.
Shaka Hislop assesses Liverpool's current goalkeeping situation and identifies potential targets for a summer move to Anfield.

Liverpool play in the last Premier League game of the weekend on Monday night at Swansea City. It's a fixture where they've had mixed results since the Welsh side were promoted under Brendan Rodgers in 2011. In fact, it's an even split of two wins, two draws and two defeats.

Liverpool are on a five-game winning streak, which began with a resounding 5-0 showing at home to Swansea themselves, but things will be a little different for the bottom side in the upcoming fixture. Swansea appointed Carlos...

 By Phil Lythell

Chelsea's goalscoring woes call for change in tactics by Conte

Stevie Nicol tries to make sense of what exactly is going on at Chelsea, in particular Antonio Conte's future and Chelsea's transfer dealings.
Chelsea's Antonio Conte predicts an epic tussle between five teams for the top four Premier League places.
Gab Marcotti joins the FC panel to report on the latest behind Chelsea's rumoured interest in Peter Crouch, Andy Carroll and Edin Dzeko in the January transfer window.

In September 2016, following two damaging defeats in a row to fellow title contenders, Antonio Conte initiated a radical tactical shift that revolutionised Chelsea's prospects. The change to a three-man central defence bore instant fruit with a 13-match winning run and the rest is history.

Fast forward 16 months and it might just be time for Conte to instigate another tactical overhaul. The outlook doesn't look nearly as bleak as it did after those losses to Liverpool and Arsenal last season, even...

Chelsea's misguided striker targets are a bad sign for Antonio Conte

Stevie Nicol tries to make sense of what exactly is going on at Chelsea, in particular Antonio Conte's future and Chelsea's transfer dealings.
Gab Marcotti joins the FC panel to report on the latest behind Chelsea's rumoured interest in Peter Crouch, Andy Carroll and Edin Dzeko in the January transfer window.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol assesses rumours around Peter Crouch, Cristiano Ronaldo, Emre Can, Olivier Giroud and many more in Transfer Rater.

LONDON -- Antonio Conte insisted on Friday, albeit with a hint of resignation, that he is "very calm" about Chelsea's efforts to bolster his squad in the January transfer window.

"I'm happy to work with these players," he insisted. "Then, if the club wants to help us, we're happy. Otherwise we'll continue in this way."

It is a philosophical attitude that jars with the prevailing mood around Stamford Bridge. Reports this week suggesting that the Premier League champions had enquired about the...

 By Michael Cox

Walcott's new start after an Arsenal career that peaked in the middle

With Theo Walcott looking set to join Everton, the FC crew examine whether a change of scenery can help the out-of-favour Arsenal forward reach new heights.
ESPN FC's Stevie Nicol has his say as to whether or not Theo Walcott's time with Arsenal has been a success, amid rumours of a potential move to Everton.
Theo Walcott speaks out on his decision to join Everton, mentioning Wayne Rooney and Sam Allardyce as the main reasons for him doing so.
Arsenal's Arsene Wenger paid an emotional tribute to Theo Walcott after his Everton switch.

The careers of many legendary footballers have been effectively defined by World Cup years: Think Pele, Diego Maradona, Ronaldo or Zinedine Zidane.

Theo Walcott has not attained the status of the aforementioned quartet, but Everton's new signing is another whose career has worked in this manner. The exception is that the 28-year-old never actually played a minute at the World Cup, yet the key watersheds in his career have nevertheless been 2006, 2010, 2014 and, now, 2018.

2006-10

It goes without...

 By Ben Pearce

Tottenham cool on transfers as Pochettino's men show strong form

Mauricio Pochettino is thrilled with Harry Kane's form.

Tottenham have developed a habit of clicking into top gear at this time of year under Mauricio Pochettino, and so it is proving again.

The north Londoners have won eight of their last 10 games and one of the other two matches, where they fell short, was against Manchester City at the Etihad -- the toughest league fixture of the season.

With the exception of that 4-1 defeat back in mid-December, and this month's frustrating 1-1 draw against West Ham, there has been plenty to be positive about, culminating...