Watch live: Manchester United vs. Arsenal (lineups and discuss)

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With Manchester United lagging behind in the Premier League table’s eighth position, now is the chance for David Moyes to make a statement at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils host league leaders Arsenal at 11:10 am ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

The enormous matchup could be a great litmus test for both sides.  For Manchester United they will find out just where they stack up against the hottest team in the league. For Arsenal, they will need to continue their form against a team fighting for its top-of-the-table lives.

Manchester United will have the services of Robin van Persie, despite rumblings beforehand that he may miss out due to a groin injury. Van Persie, a former Gunner, will be crucial if United are to have any chance of getting back on track to defend their title from last season.

Phil Jones and Michael Carrick will sit back for United with Valencia, Kagawa and Rooney forward in what seems to be a very defensive lineup by David Moyes.  Jones, a natural center-back, continues to be played out of position.

For Arsenal, Mesut Ozil is a key cog in the lineup and is a fixture in their starting side, and Olivier Giroud makes the eleven after passing a fitness test of his own.  Santi Cazorla also returns to the lineup on the wing, having been displaced by the red-hot Ozil.

Jack Wilshere makes the Arsenal bench, returning from injury of his own, while Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky both miss out completely due to a virus making the team rounds. Wenger confirmed that also ailing from the bug are Mikel Arteta and Serge Gnabry, but both are feeling well enough to make the squad.

LINEUPS:

Manchester United – De Gea; Smalling, Vidic, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Jones, Carrick, Kagawa; Rooney, van Persie.
Bench – Lindegaard, Giggs, Chicharito, Nani, Cleverley, Fellaini, Januzaj.

Arsenal – Sczcesny; Sagna, Koscienly, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Flamini, Ramsey, Ozil, Cazorla; Giroud.
Bench – Fabianski, Wilshere, Monreal, Jenkinson, Gnabry, Hayden, Bendtner.

WATCH: Camila’s wicked swerving goal for Brazil

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The Tournament of Nations got underway earlier Thursday, with Brazil and Japan drawing 1-1 in Seattle.

While some in the crowd may’ve been waiting to see the United States women’s national team and Australia in the second game of the twin bill, they got an absolute treat from Brazil’s Camila.

[ MORE: Galaxy’s season-changing signing ]

The Orlando Pride midfielder is yet to scoop up 10 caps, but blasted this 25-yard goal home with a wicked outside bend.

The aesthetics are terrific.

LA Galaxy’s second Dos Santos signing is a season-changer

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Remember this day, MLS fans, as one that perhaps helped determine an MLS Cup Finalist.

The LA Galaxy have signed Villarreal midfielder and Mexican national teamer Jonathan Dos Santos, and he’s the sort of player who could alter the landscape of the Western Conference.

Like Nicolas Lodeiro to Seattle last season and New England’s addition of Jermaine Jones in 2014, Dos Santos’ move comes with the distinct possibility of elevating LA into the next stratosphere.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

Take the Galaxy’s history of winning, and toss in a midseason coaching improvement from Curt Onalfo to Sigi Schmid, as well as MVP-in-their-own-right caliber teammates Giovani Dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini, and Jelle van Damme.

Don’t sleep on the fact that Schmid might be gathering momentum from inheriting a talented and underachieving roster and a brand new game-changing midfielder, which feels a bit like karmic retribution for Seattle firing him and signing Lodeiro the next day last season. Seattle only went and won the MLS Cup.

Schmid has used any number of formations, but could deploy a 4-3-3 with Jona Dos Santos, Jermaine Jones, and Joao Pedro in the midfielder and Giovani Dos Santos, Alessandrini, and Gyasi Zardes up top (Sebastian Lletget could return at some point, too).

Now FC Dallas is very deep, Sporting KC looks powerful, and Seattle won it all last year — plus, may be adding Derlis Gonzalez?!? — but LA’s move to add Dos Santos creates a quartet of teams with proven mettle (Houston looks decent, too, but I have concerns about their first-time as a unit in the playoffs).

Joey Barton’s gambling ban lowered by almost 5 months

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Joey Barton’s 18-month ban for betting on almost 1,300 soccer-related events has been lowered to 13 months and one week.

Putting aside the hilarity of grown men and women discussing whether an extra week was necessary, the alteration means he’ll be eligible to return to football on June 1, 2018.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

While that still hampers the idea of the 34-year-old playing again — he’ll be 36 when the ban ends — it’s a significant change if he’s open to the idea of returning to the game.

Barton’s original ban expired in late October 2018, well into a season. From Sky Sports:

The appeal board also agreed: “It was clear that Mr Barton was not involved in any cheating, he did not influence any games and there was nothing suspicious about his bets.

“(The reduction) reflects the overall seriousness of the breaches and also the mitigation of Mr Barton’s addiction.”

Barton’s remarkably controversial career has including several suspensions and imprisonment, but he always found his way back to the field and was very good when in form. After time at Manchester City and Newcastle United, Barton fended off naysayers with stints at QPR, Marseille, Burnley, and a regrettable move to Rangers.

We may see him on the field in August 2018.

FIFA fines Qatar after players’ political support for Emir

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has fined Qatar’s soccer federation after national team players breached rules against political statements by displaying T-shirts of the country’s Emir at a World Cup qualifier.

FIFA says its disciplinary panel imposed a 50,000 Swiss francs ($51,800) fine and reprimanded Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host.

[ MORE: Nainggolan staying at Roma ]

The incident happened in Doha on June 13, amid a dispute with regional rivals Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar’s players warmed up for a 3-2 win over South Korea wearing white T-shirts with an image of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to show their support for him.

FIFA says the charges related to “displaying a political image” and “political displays” by spectators.