Since the Premier Leagues inception 25 years ago, English football has undergone some wholesale changes. With hi-tech new stadia and talent recruited from around the globe, the face of football has changed but how have teams, and specifically their formations, altered over the years?Modern systems require full-backs to provide defensive stability and attacking threat in tandem, a role in stark contrast to defence-orientated requirements of the past. At the other end of the pitch, the days of formidable strike partnerships appear to have disappeared, replaced by the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the lone centre-forward position or Adam Lallana in the fashionable false nine role. Watch NOW TV Watch Sky Sports for just ￡6.99. No contract. As part of Sky Sports News HQs evolution of football week, Danny Higginbotham takes a closer look at the latest trends...Defence: 4-4-2DANNY SAYS: This is still the best system, in my opinion. As long as it switches to 4-5-1 when out of possession its a formation that can outdo anyone, Leicester City showed that last season. The 4-4-2 formation was key to Leicesters Premier League title win The role of the full-backs is different in this system, at present we see full-backs play like wingers with both attacking at the same time. But historically when one full-back would attack the other would tuck in and make three at the back - if one full-back went, the other would not go.Defence: 4-2-3-1DANNY SAYS: This is a more traditional modern-day formation. One of the teams who utilise this system well are Tottenham. What they do very well is attack with both full-backs, who are expected to play both left-back and left midfield at the same time. The pace and athleticism of Walker and Rose has been key to Spurs direct style Spurs transfer from defence to attack so quickly and the full-backs are key to that as they break into open space with pace. One second theyre defending, the next the balls in the back of the net.The way that is done nowadays is down to the defensive side of things, teams want to maintain their defensive solidity when theyre attacking.This is achieved when the two centre-backs split and a midfielder drops back into the defensive line. Teams still have the strength that comes from having three at the back, meaning theyre less likely to be counter-attacked. Eric Diers defensive ability gives Spurs full-backs free reign to attack This has completely changed the role of the full-back, theyve got to be more athletic and fitter, because theyre responsible for the length of the pitch in attack and defence.Attack: 4-4-2DANNY SAYS: You used to see the big man and little man up front - Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips for example - and you didnt really see centre-forwards isolated. As such the big man would occupy the defenders, allowing the little man to feed off knock-downs.Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry were another formidable Premier League partnership. They worked differently though, Henry would stretch the game and Bergkamp would drop deep. Henry and Bergkamp formed a formidable partnership during their time at Arsenal Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke were telepathic with some of the goals they scored. They had a real understanding, they would always interchange positions.Then there was Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton, another partnership that ensured neither striker was isolated because they had a partner.With this formation, wide players, and the full-backs to some extent, would try and create a two-on-one against opposition wide players who loved going forward but werent the greatest defensively.We dont see a lot of goals being scored from crosses now but when there were two centre-forwards, and potentially a midfielder and winger from the opposite side, we did. With Premier League squads being so similar, a slight tactical change could be the difference between winning and losing games. Sky Sports pundit Danny Higginbotham This was arguably down to the fact there were more out-and-out wingers plying their trade in the Premier League, but the fact centre-forwards were rarely isolated played a massive part.Attack: 4-2-3-1DANNY SAYS: Nowadays with 4-3-2-1 we often see the centre-forward isolated and reliant on the three players behind him for support and to provide him with the opportunity to score goals. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a good example of the modern-day lone centre-forward as he carries out both attacking tasks.In the traditional formations, the smaller forward would work the channels but Ibrahimovic is often found stretching defences.At other times he allows the three supporting midfielders to attack the space in front of him, allowing him to operate in behind, as seen with his goal against Bournemouth. Watch Zlatan Ibrahimovic ruthlessly exploit the space vacated by his fellow attackers to score his first Premier League goal at Bournemouth The role of the striker has changed along with formations. The notion of a centre-forward is to create a gap between the midfielders and the defence.If you have a single centre-forward who wants to drop deep, the three midfielders behind him can push on into the space he has vacated. While if the forward holds a high line, that opens up space in the middle of the park for those behind him to play into.False nineDANNY SAYS: People talk about the false nine as though it was invented recently. Johan Cruyff actually brought it in at Barcelona in the late 80s and it was very successful.Liverpool are one of the teams who use the formation really well at the moment, with no recognised centre-forward in the line-up. Danny Higginbotham examines the evolution of formations and the changing role of strikers within football Jurgen Klopp plays with two holders in midfield in Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum and the four players in front readily interchange positions.They have utilised the formation so well that they vacate the number nine area completely and, in recent weeks, Adam Lallana in particular has had free rein to roam into the position. Its all about the players off the ball creating space for runners from deep to run in to.Ultimately, there are a lot of different tactical approaches and, with Premier League squads being so similar, a slight tactical change by managers could be the difference between winning and losing games.You can watch Englands tour of Bangladesh, plus Premier League football and the Japan Grand Prix on Sky Sports. Upgrade now and enjoy three months at half price! Also See: Premier League video Fixtures Table Live on Sky Wholesale Lakers Jerseys . 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Fake Lakers Jerseys .B. -- Canadas Rachel Homan had ideal preparation for the playoffs at the Ford World Curling Championships with a pair of hard-fought wins over tenacious opponents Thursday.ST. LOUIS -- No way Allen Craig and the St. Louis Cardinals would get tripped up in one of the wildest World Series endings imaginable. A rare obstruction call on third baseman Will Middlebrooks let Craig score with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, finishing off a mad-cap play that sent the Cardinals over the Boston Red Sox 5-4 Saturday night for a 2-1 Series lead. "Im in shock right now," St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina said. So was most everyone at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals poured out of the dugout to congratulate Craig. The Red Sox also rushed to the plate, to argue with the umpires. The fans seemed too startled to cheer. A walk-off win? More like a trip-off. "Tough way to have a game end, particularly of this significance," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. After an umpires call was the crux of Game 1 and a poor Boston throw to third base helped decide Game 2, this night combined both elements. Molina singled with one out in the ninth off losing pitcher Brandon Workman. Craig, just back from a sprained foot, pinch-hit and lined Koji Ueharas first pitch into left field for a double that put runners on second and third. With the infield in, Jon Jay hit a grounder to diving second baseman Dustin Pedroia. He made a sensational stab and threw home to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who tagged out the sliding Molina. But then Saltalamacchia threw wide of third trying to get Craig. The ball glanced off Middlebrooks glove and Craigs body, caroming into foul territory down the line. After the ball got by, Middlebrooks, lying on his stomach, raised both legs and tripped Craig, slowing him down as he tried to take off for home. "I just know I have to dive for that ball. Im on the ground. Theres nowhere for me to go," Middlebrooks said. Third base umpire Jim Joyce immediately signalled obstruction, but the players left nothing to chance. "With the defensive player on the ground, without intent or intent, its still obstruction," Joyce said. "Youd probably have to ask Middlebrooks that one, if he could have done anything. But thats not in our determination." Craig kept scrambling to get up. "He was in my way. I couldnt tell you if he tried to trip me or not. I was just trying to get over him," he said. Left fielder Daniel Nava retrieved the ball and made a strong throw home, where Saltalamacchia tagged a sliding Craig in time. But plate umpire Dana DeMuth signalled safe and then pointed to third, making clear the obstruction had been called. "I was excited at first because we nailed the guy at home. I wasnt sure why he was called safe," Middlebrooks said. "Were all running to home to see why he was called safe. We didnt think there was any obstruction there, obviously. As Im getting up, he trips over me. I dont know what else to say." Said Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday: "You hate for it to end on a somewhat controversial play." "You would like for it to end a little cleaner, but thats part of it," he said. To some Red Sox fans, the tangle mightve brought back painful memories from the 1975 World Series. In Game 3, Cincinnatis Ed Armbrister wasnt called for interference by plate umpire Larry Barnett when he blocked Boston catcher Carlton Fisk on a 10th-inning bunt. Fisk made a wild throw, setting up Joe Morgans winning single. Craig returned for this Series from a sprained left foot that had sidelined him since early September. After an awkward slide on the final play, he hobbled off the field in apparent discomfort. The Red Sox scored twice in the eighth to tie it 4-all. Jacoby Ellsbury ledd off with a single and Shane Victorino was hit by a pitch for the sixth time this post-season.dddddddddddd Both runners moved up on Pedroias groundout, and David Ortiz was intentionally walked. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny went to hard-throwing closer Trevor Rosenthal with the bases loaded, hoping for a five-out save from a rookie who has looked almost untouchable this October. But the Red Sox pushed two runs across. Nava drove in one with a short-hop grounder that was smothered by second baseman Kolten Wong, who had just entered on defence in a double-switch. Wong went to second for the forceout, but Nava beat the relay and Ellsbury scored to make it 4-3. Xander Bogaerts tied it when he chopped a single up the middle. Workman jammed Holliday and retired the slugger on a routine fly with two on to end the bottom of the eighth. That sent the game to the ninth tied at 4. Rosenthal wound up with the win. Hollidays two-run double put the Cardinals on top 4-2 in the seventh. It was a tough inning for Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow. Matt Carpenter reached safely when he checked his swing on an infield single to shortstop. Carlos Beltran was grazed on the elbow pad by a pitch -- making no effort to get out of the way. Beltran, in fact, almost appeared to stick his elbow out just a tiny bit to make sure the ball made contact. Junichi Tazawa came on and Holliday pulled a grounder past Middlebrooks at third. The ball kicked into the left-field corner and Holliday went all the way to third on the throw to the plate. Tazawa then got a couple of strikeouts and prevented further damage. It was Middlebrooks first inning in the field. He entered as a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh and took over at third base in the bottom half. That shifted Bogaerts to shortstop -- and neither one was able to make the difficult defensive play Boston needed in that inning. Cardinals starter Joe Kelly, one of the few major league pitchers to wear glasses on the mound, set down his first nine batters. The Red Sox seemed to see him better the next time around in coming back from a 2-0 deficit. Bogaerts opened the fifth with a triple that banged-up right fielder Beltran couldnt quite reach. The rookie later scored on a grounder by pinch-hitter Mike Carp. Slumping Shane Victorino drew a leadoff walk from Kelly in the sixth and wound up scoring the tying run. Ortiz grounded a single off lefty reliever Randy Choate, and Nava greeted Seth Maness with an RBI single that made it 2-all. Their fielding woes from Game 1 far behind them, the slick-fielding Cardinals made several sharp plays. Kelly barehanded a one-hopper, Carpenter threw out a runner from his knees up the middle and third baseman David Freese backhanded a line drive. St. Louis quickly broke ahead, scoring in the first inning for the first time this October on RBI singles by Holliday and Molina. After the Cardinals got three hits in a span of four pitches, Red Sox reliever Felix Doubront began heating up in a hurry before Jake Peavy settled down. NOTES: Cardinals Hall of Famers Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith and Red Schoendienst took part in the first-ball festivities, with fan favourite Willie McGee tossing the pitch. ... At 21, Bogaerts became the third-youngest player to hit a triple in a World Series. Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle did it at 20. ... Molina has a six-game hitting streak in World Series play. ... The family of late umpire Wally Bell was in the stands. Bell died at 48 this month, and the six-man crew is wearing patches to honour him. Bells first plate job in the World Series was at this ballpark in 2006. ' ' '