Premier League Sunday Preview: Liverpool, Everton look to continue late season surges

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Merseyside is in focus on Sunday in the Premier League, with Everton and Liverpool in action in the day’s two games. The Toffees start that day at Craven Cottage looking to close the gap on fourth place Arsenal while Liverpool, with a chance to go top of the league, hosts Tottenham Hotspur.

The doubleheader begins at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on NBCSN, with both games available to stream via NBC Sports Live Extra.

Everton enters the day with an opportunity to gain more ground on Arsenal ahead of the teams’ meeting next week. After drawing Saturday with Manchester City, the Gunners sit on 64 points, seven ahead of the Toffees.

Liverpool has a chance to take advantage of Chelsea’s upset loss at Crystal Palace, with a Spurs team that’s lost two of its last three in league making the trip to Anfield. That game kicks off at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.

Here’s a closer look at the day’s action:

Fulham vs. Everton, 8:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra

  • Cottagers six points away from safety with seven matches to go
  • Everton carries a four-game winning streak into Craven Cottage
  • Toffees’ five losses tied for fewest in Premier League

It’d be an exaggeration to call Sunday’s game a must-win for Everton, but it is a golden opportunity. Though Arsenal played well Saturday against City, the Gunners still dropped points, giving the Toffees a chance to narrow the gap between themselves and the team they’re trying to overtake for fourth. Between Sunday’s fixture, next week’s meeting with Arsenal, and the team’s game-in-hand, a Champions League spot is a realistic goal for Everton.

For Fulham, times are more desperate. Though the Cottagers are five points from safety, their terrible goal difference means they’ll need to gain six points on West Bromwich Albion (currently in 17th) to stay up. They’ll also need to out-perform Cardiff City (18th) and Sunderland (19th) while doing so. While Sunday’s game is not a must win, it’s unclear Fulham can afford to waste a chance to pick up points at home, where they’ve only won four times all season.

Liverpool vs. Tottenham, 11:00 a.m. ET, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra

  • Liverpool leads the league with 84 goals scored
  • Spurs ended a two-match league losing streak last weekend against Southampton
  • Liverpool has taken 32 of a possible 36 points in 2014

Saturday couldn’t have done better for Liverpool, who saw Chelsea lose while City and Arsenal drew, keeping the Gunners on the fringe of the title race while costing the Citizens points. Now it’s a matter of taking advantage of the opportunity. A win or a draw will leave them first, with a victory over sixth place Spurs giving Liverpool a two-point lead on Chelsea.

If Tottenham’s going to slow them down, they’ll have to figure out a way to stop Luis Suárez and Daniel Sturridge, a task that will rely on defenders Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen. The duo will need help from the midfield, with Nabil Bentalib and Paulinho potentially tasked with cutting off the supply from Coutinho and Steven Gerrard.

In attack, Tottenham will hope the form Christen Eriksen flashed in last weekend’s two-goal performance will persist, though foot injury may keep leading scorer Emmanuel Adebayor on the sidelines. If the Togo international misses out, Roberto Soldado will get the call up top.

Europa League Preview: Everton, Milan look to make group stage

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Everton look to make it back into the Europa League group stage for the first time since the 2014-2015 season and it has a two-goal advantage heading into the second leg of its tie.

Ronald Koeman and co. travel to Croatia to face Hadjuk Split Thursday having won the first leg at Goodison Park, 2-0. Everton is coming off a hard-fought draw on Monday with Manchester City and will be on short rest heading into the match.

Elsewhere in Europa League action, AC Milan take its 6-0 aggregate lead to Skopje, Macedonia as the legendary club looks to return to the group stage of a European competition for the first time since 2013-2014.

Here’s a look at all of Thursday’s Europa League matches, with the current aggregate scores:

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EFL Cup Rewind: Southampton, Newcastle knocked out by Championship sides

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Last season, Southampton made it to the EFL Cup final. This year, it’s a different story.

The Saints were bounced by Wolverhampton Wanderers, 2-0 at home on Wednesday in the second round of the cup. Joining Southampton of Premier League sides going home early was Newcastle, which lost 3-2 after extra time at home against Nottingham Forest.

Four other Premier League sides did advance to the third round, as Stoke City, Huddersfield Town, West Ham United and Burnley all won their fixtures.

Here’s a look at the rest of Wednesday’s EFL Cup action:

Blackburn 0-2 Burnley

Cheltenham 0-2 West Ham

Huddersfield 2-1 Rotherham

Newcastle 2-3 Nottingham Forest

Southampton 0-2 Wolverhampton

Stoke City 4-0 Rochdale

Breaking down who each Premier League team could face in the UCL Group Stage

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The UEFA Champions League group stage lineup is complete, with five Premier League clubs making the list.

On Wednesday, Liverpool joined Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City and Manchester United in the group stage after beating Hoffenheim, 6-3 on aggregate in the playoff qualification round.

Thursday’s Champions League draw (2 p.m. ET) will place clubs into groups of four, where they’ll play three matches at home and away.

Here’s a look at the four coefficient pots and who each Premier League club could face:

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Follow Live – Texas Derby, Cascadia Cup headline busy night of MLS action

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Welcome to MLS Rivalry Week.

The surging Houston Dynamo could move to first place in the Western Conference with a win over rivals FC Dallas while the current first-place side, the Seattle Sounders travel north and across the border to face Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

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The Dynamo have made an impressive turnaround under coach Wilmer Cabrera and he’ll have the trio of Ricardo Clark, Alberth Elis and star forward Erick Torres available to face Dallas after missing the Dynamo’s match at Vancouver last weekend, which ended 2-1 in favor of the Whitecaps.

FC Dallas are in its worst form of the season, winless in its last four games, but the team will be extra motivated to beat its rivals.

El Capitan is on the line after draws between FC Dallas and the Dynamo in two matches earlier this season.

Meanwhile up in Vancouver, the Whitecaps host a Sounders squad that pulled out a last-gasp victory last weekend over Minnesota United. While the team is in great form on the road recently (two wins and two draws), the top story heading into the game is the unexpected absence of Joevin Jones, who left the Sounders for his home in Trinidad and Tobago ahead of the upcoming international break.

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On the other side, Fredy Montero faces his former club and carries an interesting record into Wednesday’s match. Of his 35 MLS goals, 11 have been scored against Cascadia Cup competition.

Here’s a look at Wednesday’s action:

Full schedule

Columbus Crew vs. LA Galaxy – 7:30 p.m. ET

D.C. United vs. Atlanta United – 7:30 p.m.ET

FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo – 8 p.m. ET

Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union – 8 p.m. ET

Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes – 10 p.m. ET

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders – 10 p.m. ET

Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids – 10:30 p.m. ET