Andre Villas-Boas

Aston Villa vs. Tottenham Hotspur (lineups and discuss)


It hasn’t been pretty the last two times Villa hosted Spurs, with both ending in 4-0 defeats for the home side.

However, with new-look Spurs having long since parted with the man who scored a hat-trick during the last visit – Gareth Bale – questions still remain about the on-field chemistry of the completely remodeled visitors.

Still, it’s hard to argue with history, and history says Tottenham are unbeaten in their last nine matchups with Aston Villa, winning six.  But streaks were meant to be broken, right? Villa will go for it at 11am ET live on NBCSN, or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

Christian Benteke, still on his way back from injury, can only make the bench as Villa try to break that mark.  Roberto Soldado returns to the starting lineup for Spurs after their disaster against West Ham time out.

The Spurs bench is an interesting one, with new boys Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen both sitting as well as Moussa Dembele as Andre Villas Boas makes a host of changes following that West Ham match. Nacer Chadli is dropped altogether.

Finally, an interesting switch for Spurs, Jan Vertonghen moves over to left-back with Danny Rose injured, and Vlad Chirches makes his Premier League debut in central defense.


Aston Villa: Guzan; Bacuna, Clark, Vlaar, Luna; Westwood, El Ahmadi, Delph, Weimann; Agbonlahor, Kozak.
Bench – Steer, Helenius, Sylla, Benteke, Bowery, Tonev, Lowton.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Walker, Chirches, Dawson, Vertonghen; Paulinho, Sandro, Townsend, Holtby, Sigurddson; Soldado.
Bench – Friedel, Naughton, Dembele, Eriksen, Lamela, Lennon, Defoe.

How can Man United qualify for last 16 of Champions League?

Wayne Rooney, Manchester United FC

Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]

So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:

  • A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B

[ MORE: Champions League schedule

There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.

VIDEO: Can Leicester stun the world? Man United title favorites?

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The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?

With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.

[ MORE: Full PST Extra archive ]

Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.

Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.

Men in Blazers podcast: The Leicester fairytale goes on

Men In Blazers - Sept. 22
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Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

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Pellegrini updates status of Joe Hart’s hamstring injury

Joe Hart, Manchester City FC
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.

Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).