Story so far… Things were going swimmingly for Alan Pardew and Newcastle earlier this season, as the Magpies flirted with the top four around the festive period. Then the wheels came off, massively. A run of six-straight defeats, after Pardew had been handed a hefty ban due to head-butting an opposition player, saw the fans turn on their manager, the owner and then finally their club. Loic Remy has been the star man, as the on-loan Frenchman has scored 14 goals in 29 appearances. He won’t stick around next season and its highly unlikely that Pardew will be around too.
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Will under-fire owner Mike Ashley sell the club or continue to battle on despite protests at every game from Newcastle’s fans? A turbulent time awaits this summer on the Tyne after a season that promised so much has delivered very little.
Who do they play and where can I watch it: Newcastle have the chance to throw a massive spanner in the works of Liverpool’s title bid as the Magpies travel to Anfield on the final day of the season. These two clubs have played out some of the PL’s most exciting matches in history. Tune into NBCSN to watch live at 10 a.m. to see if they can repeat it and stream the game online via NBC Sports Live Extra.
Form guide: Earlier on this season Liverpool had a torrid time at St. James’ Park as they drew 2-2 just before Newcastle’s best spell of the campaign when they won all four games in November. They have been on a horrendous run of late with six defeats in a row until they beat Cardiff City last weekend.
March 29 – at Southampton, L 0-4
April 5 – vs. Manchester United, L 0-4
April 12 – at Stoke City, L 0-1
April 19 – vs. Swansea, L 1-2
April 28 – at Arsenal, L 0-3
May 3 – vs. Cardiff City, W 3-0
What’s at stake: The highest they can finish is in ninth, while defeat to Liverpool could see the St. James’ Park club finish in tenth if Stoke beat West Brom away from home.
When the final whistle blows: I expect Newcastle to finish in ninth but after in an incredible tail-spin to end the season, don’t be surprised if wholesale changes arrive at St. James’ this summer. The PL’s second longest serving manager, Pardew, is walking on thin ice. It is getting thinner by the second as the fans revolt in the North East.
Struggling Swansea City host high-flying Liverpool (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBC Sports) at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE
Swansea haven’t won since the opening day of the season with manager Francesco Guidolin under intense pressure, while Liverpool has won three-straight games in the Premier League as Jurgen Klopp‘s methods are blowing opponents away.
In team news striker Borja Baston makes his first start for Swansea, while Liverpool bring back Dejan Lovren.
Swansea City: Fabianski; Rangel, van der Horn, Amat, Naughton; Britton, Cork, Fer; Routledge, Borja, Sigurdsson. Subs: Nordfeldt, Mawson, Taylor, Fulton, Ki, Barrow, McBurnie
Liverpool: Karius, Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Lallana, Mane, Coutinho; Firmino. Subs: Mignolet, Sturridge, Klavan, Moreno, Lucas, Can, Origi
The game in 100 words (or less): With one goal already accomplished for New York City FC this season, Patrick Vieira’s group made positive strides in capturing another on Friday night in Houston. David Villa’s 20th and 21st tallies of the season gave the visitors the lead after halftime and NYCFC managed to hold onto the points from there. With just two matches remaining following the win over the Dynamo, NYCFC currently sits atop the Eastern Conference on 51 points. Meanwhile, the Dynamo remain nine points out of the final spot in the West with four matches to play.
[ MORE: NYCFC’s Vieira gets big praise from Dynamo counterpart ]
Three moments that mattered
27′ — Harrison tests Willis from distance — Chances were at a minimum in the opening stanza, but Joe Willis had to get down quickly here to deny Jack Harrison on this blast.
52′ — Villa hits his 20th on the season — The Dynamo defense won’t be pleased when they watch this one again, but in his typical fashion, David Villa found his way in on goal.
73′ — Saunders watches as Rodriguez hits post — It can be a game of inches at times and the Dynamo were certainly on the wrong end of this one as Raul Rodriguez’s effort struck the post and stayed out.
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Man of the match: David Villa
Goalscorers: David Villa (52′, 90′)
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) The South Korean soccer league deducted nine points from league leader Jeonbuk Hyundai on Friday after one of the club’s employees was convicted of bribing referees in 2013.
The K-League also fined Jeonbuk 100 million won ($90,600). The club, which saw its 14-point lead over second-place FC Seoul reduced to a five-point margin, issued an apology and vowed to take measures to prevent it from happening again.
A court in Busan on Wednesday sentenced a Jeonbuk scout to a suspended prison term of two years for paying referees in exchange for favorable decisions in several league matches in 2013.
An official from Jeonbuk said the scout has been suspended by the team and it will soon make a decision whether to terminate his employment. He refused to be named, citing office rules.
The K-League had vowed reforms after being rocked by a massive match-fixing scandal in 2011, when 52 players were indicted for taking bribes in return for trying to manipulate the outcome of matches or betting their own money on the games.
PARIS (AP) Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu has been removed from the France squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers for an unspecified reason.
[ MORE: What’s Arsenal’s best XI in the Arsene Wenger era? ]
The French football federation gave no explanation for coach Didier Deschamps’s decision to replace Mathieu with Eliaquim Mangala, only saying he made the move “following a discussion” with the Barcelona player. Mangala is currently on a season-long loan at Valencia from Manchester City.
France takes on Bulgaria on Oct. 7 at the Stade de France before traveling to Amsterdam to play the Netherlands three days later in Group A.