WATCH: Cardiff host Manchester City, Spurs face Swansea on Sunday

3 Comments

Two massive games will take place on Sunday, as Week 2 of the Premier League continues.

Both Welsh clubs will be in action at 11am ET as Cardiff City prepare for their first-ever home game in the Premier League against Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City side. You can catch that contest live online  from the Cardiff City Stadium.

While in North London Tottenham’s first home game of the 2013-14 campaign sees them face Swansea City (11am ET, watch live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra) after both sides were in Europa League action on Thursday.

Both games will be fiercely contested, especially as Swansea and Cardiff are still searching for their first points of the season following disappointment in their opening matches.

(MORE: Premier League Roundup; Arsenal, Liverpool, Hull and Stoke all win)

Looking towards Cardiff against Man City, the Citizens dismantled Newcastle United with ease last Monday by smashing four past the Magpies, and it could’ve been more. The last time Cardiff played Manchester City in the league was 1985 in the second-tier, when a 2-2 draw played out. Safe to say the Bluebirds would take a similar result on Sunday after their opening day defeat at West Ham.

Tottenham will be looking to build on their 1-0 win against Crystal Palace last Sunday as a talented Swansea side rolls into town. However Spurs are returning from a long midweek trip to Georgia, as they battered Dinamo Tbilisi 5-0 in the first leg of their Europa League playoff game.

Swansea also scored five in the first leg of their Europa League playoff tie, but did so at home against Romanian outfit Petrolul Ploiești.

Remember, you can watch both games live at 11am ET on Sunday, via NBC Sports Live Extra.

Injuries

Manchester City will be without captain Vincent Kompany for a month, after a groin injury against Newcastle. While Cardiff could start record signing Andreas Cornelius, after the Danish international missed the season opener with an ankle injury.

In the other game, Spurs will be hoping Aaron Lennon and Jan Vertonghen return after missing the trip to Tbilisi. While Swansea will be without winger Nathan Dyer after his hamstring injury.

Key Stats

  • Against Newcastle on Monday, Manchester City completed 90% of their passes – the best ratio in the PL in the opening round of fixtures.
  • Cardiff City have not lost at home since a 2-0 Championship defeat to Brighton in February.
  • Swansea have never won a league match at White Hart Lane in 15 attempts, losing 13 and drawing two.
  • Tottenham have lost just two league games since December 2012

Predictions

I can see Manchester City rolling into Cardiff and putting on a clinic. Fans of Cardiff City will be excited to welcome Premier League soccer to town but Pellegrini’s men looked so good going forward and Cardiff’s defense wasn’t the best in their opening day loss to West Ham. Comfortable win for Man City.

While Spurs vs. Swansea will be a tricky one to call. Both teams played midweek in the Europa League and a long trip to Eastern Europe, like Spurs endured, does strange things to teams. I’m going for a narrow Tottenham win.

Follow @JPW_NBCSports

Preview: New-look teams collide as Man City host Everton

Leave a comment

Manchester City welcome Everton to the Etihad Stadium on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with two Barcelona legends colliding on the sidelines.

[ LIVE: Stream Man City-Everton

Both Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman have spent big this summer to rebuild their respective teams and both Man City and Everton secured shutout wins on opening weekend.

For City it has been all about strengthening their defense with Kyle Walker, Ederson, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo all arriving this summer. Everton have added Gylfi Sigurdssson, Wayne Rooney, Davy Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez to share around the goalscoring responsibility after Romelu Lukaku‘s departure.

In team news Man City have both Ilkay Gundogan and Mendy fit, while Everton will be without Ross Barkley who is recovering from a groin injury ahead of his expected departure from the Toffees in the next 10 days. New club-record signing Sigurdsson will play at Man City, Koeman confirmed.

What they’re saying

Pep Guardiola

Ronald Koeman

Prediction

Expect an open, entertaining game with City doing most of the pressing. Everton will take a while to click in attack, while City have no problem in that department. 2-0 to Man City.

Neymar slams Barcelona; Mbappe kicked out of Monaco training

Getty Images
1 Comment

It is all happening in Ligue 1.

[ MORE: Ligue 1 score, schedule

Fresh from dazzling on his home debut for Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday Neymar — he scored twice, had two assists and generally pulled of some ridiculous skill, especially for his second goal — has launched a scathing attack on those in charge of Barcelona.

Speaking to reporters after the game the Brazilian superstar, who joined PSG from Barca in a world-record $262 million 10 days ago, revealed that many of his former teammates are not happy with the way the Catalan club is being run.

“I spent four beautiful years there and parted happy But with them [the board], no. For me, they are not the people who should be there, for the direction of Barca. Barca deserve much better,” Neymar said. “I cannot speak now I am in another team. I don’t know what’s going on there, but I see my old team-mates sad, and it’s that which makes me sad because I have a lot of friends there. I hope that things will improve for Barca and that they will become a team that can rival others.”

Intriguing from Neymar, especially with reports Lionel Messi’s representatives are set to meet with Manchester City as the 30-year-old has yet to officially sign a new contract.


Down at Monaco 18-year-old star Kylian Mbappe is in a bit of trouble.

Mbappe, rumored to be heading to Real Madrid or PSG in a huge $210 million deal, was kicked off the training field after clashing with teammate Andrea Raggi in training last week.

The French international striker was sent home from training and did not feature in their victory over Metz last Friday.

Mbappe has yet to play in Ligue 1 with his future with the French champions in jeopardy and although Real Madrid remain interested, PSG are the frontrunners to sign Mbappe.

It seems like incidents such as this could speed up any potential move with the teenager set to become the second-most expensive player in history.

Report: Barcelona give up on Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Some of the latest reports from Spain suggest Barcelona have given up hope of signing Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in the summer transfer window.

[ MORE: Liverpool beat Palace

Spanish outlet Marca claims that Barca offered an ultimatum when it came to their latest bid of $145 million (reports claim it was rejected) for Coutinho and have yet to hear back from Liverpool.

Per the report Barca have turned their attentions to Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri who can slot in alongside new signing Paulinho in central midfield and is more likely to cost around $35 million.

With Coutinho, 25, handing in a transfer request he has yet to appear for Liverpool this season in the Premier League or UEFA Champions League. The Brazilian playmaker is said to be suffering from a back injury and is therefore unavailable for selection, but given the fact he’s still at Anfield 10 days before the window, a change in his situation seems imminent.

Of course, a lot can happen in 10 days and this could purely be a pressure tactic from Barcelona to force through the move.

Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), issued a statement on the eve of the new Premier League season saying he would not be sold in this window and Jurgen Klopp has repeatedly said the same.

However, with Coutinho wanting out, this is a tricky situation for Liverpool, like many other PL clubs, to handle.

Look around the PL at Virgil Van Dijk, Alexis Sanchez, Ross Barkley and the summer-long saga involving Gylfi Sigurdsson. Most clubs know they will earn plenty of cash for selling their star players but most are digging their heels in and would rather keep an unhappy player around than sell.

It seems like Liverpool fall into this category when it comes to Coutinho. Does Klopp keep an unhappy player around and turn down a hugely inflated fee due to Barcelona selling Neymar for $262 million? Or does he cash in and bring in two to three new stars?

Whatever happens it appears the end-game is approaching fast and with 10 days to go until the window closes, Liverpool will not want to lose Coutinho right at the end of the window with no time to bring in replacements.

Dempsey’s last-second PK lifts Sounders past Minnesota

Getty Images
Leave a comment

SEATTLE (AP) Clint Dempsey converted a penalty kick in the final seconds of stoppage time on Sunday night, lifting the Seattle Sounders to a 2-1 victory over Minnesota United.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage

A corner kick by Seattle’s Joevin Jones floated into the penalty area, and Minnesota’s Jermaine Taylor was called for a hand ball in a scrum of players battling for possession. Dempsey stepped up and drilled his kick to the right side past Loons goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth in the fourth minute of stoppage.

Dempsey’s goal was his 11th of the year.

Referee Ismail Elfath blew the final whistle as soon as Minnesota kicked off.

Chad Marshall also scored for the Sounders (11-7-7), who tied a club record by extending their unbeaten streak to nine games (6-0-3). The team had an identical 6-0-3 mark from May 28-July 16, 2011.

Seattle was forced to rally after its club-record shutout streak ended at 421 minutes on a goal by Minnesota’s Ethan Finlay in the 21st minute.

The Loons (6-14-4, 22 points) are still looking for their first road win of the season. They are 0-8-2 away from Minneapolis.