Premier league football is back after the international break brings heartache for England after a convincing victory over Scotland.
This international break has seen a shift from the normality of boring and unconvincing England performances to slightly more exciting, and passionate displays. Of course, England were expected to score goals against Scotland, yet the relief of meeting expectations was on show for all to see.
Our very own captain, Wayne Rooney even felt the need to crack open a few tins in celebration of the victory. Something which Gazza and the Euro 96 boys would approve of.
On Tuesday we were reminded not to allow ourselves to be overexcited. After a Lallana penalty, Vardy fired in a bullet header where he celebrated by performing a mannequin challenge of his own. However, it was not be, and England leaked two late goals allowing Spain to save the draw.
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With England performing convincingly against Scotland and Spain, Gareth Southgate looks set to take the job on a permanent basis. He replaces Sam Allardyce with the hope of bringing an end to the embarrassment of the last 6 months England have endured, both on and off the pitch.
Even with this added excitement to the International break, football fans cannot wait to get shut of International football until March, and get back to what appears to be a fascinating premier league season.
Liverpool return to the premier league in fine form, winning 4 out their last 5 premier league games, a record only Chelsea can better. The reds travel to Southampton who will be looking to bounce back after suffering a surprising 2-1 defeat to Hull before the break.
As Liverpool look to march on, they will be sweating over the availability of Adam Lallana, a player who is becoming a pivotal cog for both club and country. The player limped off after scoring a penalty for England on Tuesday night, leaving Jürgen Klopp with another potential selection headache. Daniel Sturridge, Gini Wijnaldum, and Divock Origi will all feel they have a chance of starting if Lallana doesn’t recover in time.
After Liverpool reportedly paying big money for the early return of Brazilian duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, and with the return of Sadio Mane to St. Marys, the Liverpool front three will look to continue to produce the eye-catching mesmeric football which has been so common this season.
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The blue half of Merseyside welcome a poor Swansea side to Goodison Park, a game which Everton players and fans have been longing for ever since a quite shocking performance away to Chelsea.
Recent comments by Ronald Koeman have left Everton fans outraged and calls for him to be sacked have already been murmured. The number one rule of admitting that Liverpool are actually quite good has been broken by the Dutchman, something he may regret in time to come.
Much to Everton fans delight, Leighton Baines could be in line for a return after recovering from a hamstring injury suffered in September. James McCarthy could also be for available for selection after withdrawing from the Republic of Ireland squad. The withdrawal prompted Roy Keane, the Ireland assistant manager, to publicly criticize Everton’s methods, and stating that “they’re lucky to have the Irish lads they’ve got there.”
The Everton faithful will hope the players can help restore some pride in reply to what has been a negative couple of weeks for the club.
With the International break over, football fans are relishing the hectic winter schedule and the unpredictability that is to come in the months ahead.