Watch Live: West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United (Lineups and Discuss)

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The two sides meeting at the Hawthorns today might be ten spots and twenty points apart in the Premier League table, but both West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United have a point to prove (Watch live on NBCSN at 7:45 a.m. ET and online via Live Extra).

The visitors head to the Midlands still desperately hoping for some sort of miracle that could turn their season around. United have won two of their last five games, the ones against relegation-battling Cardiff City and not-so-safe Crystal Palace. They also lost to Stoke and could only draw with bottom side Fulham. If David Moyes wants to see his side playing in Europe next season, a long unbeaten run is a necessity.

(READ MORE: WEST BROM – UNITED PREVIEW)

They could very well begin that streak against the Baggies. West Brom sacked Steve Clark in December, bringing in Pepe Mel a month later. They may as well have stuck with Keith Downing as caretaker manager, for all the good Mel is doing. In his first seven matches in charge, the Albion have won exactly zero, although West Brom fans might argue that draws with Everton, Chelsea, and Liverpool are enough to recommend the Spaniard.

Moyes needs to caution his side to keep their guard up – of the Baggies’ four draws under Mel, they’ve come from behind each time, scoring after the hour mark.

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Mel has made a few changes to his starting XI, with Zoltán Gera, Victor Anichebe, Claudio Yacob and Youssouf Mulumbu all getting the start. In defense, Steven Reid takes the place of the injured Billy Jones, while Matej Vydra, who got the equalizer last week, remains on the bench.

Moyes, too, is making changes – five, in fact, from the team that lost 2-0 to Olympiakos in Champions League play. Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj come in, while the great center back pairing of old, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidić, are out, replaced by Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. And, naturally, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are starting.

LINEUPS

West Brom: Foster; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Yacob, Mulumbu; Amalfitano, Gera, Brunt, Anichebe

Substitutes: Myhill, Morrison, Thievy, Vydra, Sessegnon, Dawson, Berahino

Manchester United: De Gea, Da Silva, Smalling, Jones, Evra, Carrick, Fellaini, Mata, Rooney, Januzaj, van Persie

Substitutes: Giggs, Lindegaard, Vidic, Young, Welbeck, Fletcher, Kagawa

Juve’s Kean could leave club over tractor dispute

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No tractors, no teenager.

Moise Kean, 17, broke into the Juventus senior team last season with a trio of Serie A appearances that concluded with a goal against Bologna on May 27.

He also made a token appearance in the UEFA Champions League against Sevilla, which all-in-all is a pretty solid debut for the century’s first birth to make an appearance in a Top Five league in Europe.

[ MORE: Fabinho has interest in Man Utd ]

About that contract, though.

Kean’s father, Biorou, says Juventus has broken a contractual promise to his family, and that could send the teenager into the transfer market. Biorou says that his son’s 18th birthday — Feb. 28, 2018 — could trigger Moise Kean leave town as “an adult.”

From Sky Sports:

“Juventus offered a contract of €700,000-a-year, which was fine, but the problem is they had also promised me some tractors for my agricultural business in the Ivory Coast, but now they say there is no budget for them.

“I own several hectares of land in the Ivory Coast which I would like to cultivate with rice and corn. I’m an agronomist. I asked for agricultural materials and they told me “no problem.”

Now, though, those tractors are not in the Ivory Coast, and Biorou claims that he never signed a contract with agent Mino Raiola. It all sets the table for further complains and a transfer, so it’s worth keeping an eye on this odd saga.

FIFA takes no further action on Mexico-New Zealand clashes

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) FIFA will not intervene after reviewing two volatile clashes between New Zealand and Mexico players and coaches.

FIFA says “it has been verified that there are no grounds for any disciplinary action to be taken.”

Tempers flared in a running brawl late in Mexico’s 2-1 comeback win on Wednesday in Sochi.

[ MORE: Fabinho has interest in Man Utd ]

Three players were shown yellow cards after match officials paused the game to review video.

Replays showed at least one other player went unpunished after running into the melee to strike an opponent in the head.

In the first half, Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio was caught on the TV broadcast aiming a verbal obscenity at New Zealand coaching staff.

Osorio later apologized for the profanity provoked when New Zealand continued an attack as a Mexico player appeared injured.

Fabinho admits interest in Manchester United

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If even a fraction of this summer’s transfer interest is real, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has taken every precaution against his biggest 2017 enemy: scheduled congestion.

Mourinho was a regular critic of United’s schedule last season in the run-up to its UEFA Europa League title win over Ajax, and is building his roster up for the UEFA Champions League.

[ MORE: Saief completes USMNT switch ]

The manager already had plenty of attacking options, and has added Victor Lindelof to his stable of defenders while reportedly flirting with PSG’s Marquinhos, too. Defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic is also a reported target (as are half of the world’s elite footballers).

And now, a wry smile from Monaco’s Fabinho hints that Mourinho may be making progress with another target.

‘‘It’s a tempting invitation. … I would first talk to my agent, Monaco too, to decide everything right. But it’s a great club, sure enough I would think well about it.”

Fabinho played mostly right back in 2014-15 before splitting time between that position and defensive midfielder the following year and seeing most of his time at CDM last season. Mourinho has lavished praise and given a contract extension to right back Antonio Valencia and has Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, and Paul Pogba at CDM (though the latter can certainly operate higher up the field).

Chinese clubs to pay 100% tax on foreign transfers

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The days of Chinese Super League sides spending eye-popping figures on a handful of international superstars are over — either that, or those figures are about to double — for now, at least.

[ MORE: Oscar given 8-game ban for petulant display in China ]

China’s Football Association announced Thursday that, effective immediately, any foreign player signed for a fee exceeding $6.63 million would be subject to a 100-percent tax on top of the fee paid to acquire the player. The tax will remain in effect until the end of China’s ongoing transfer window, July 14. The tax will also apply to Chinese players signed for a fee exceeding $3 million.

It’s Chinese authorities’ latest attempt to prevent big spending by CSL clubs, which has in every instance been detrimental to the development of young Chinese players making their way through the academy system. The taxed money will then be reinvested in “youth training, construction of public sporting facilities and scientific progress in football development,” according to a statement by the CFA.

Just last week, China was eliminated from contention to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Russia. The only time China has ever qualified for the World Cup was in 2002.