Six must-see Premier League games on NBC Sports early in 2014-15 season

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With the announcement of the 2014-15 Premier League TV schedule on NBC Sports Group arriving on Wednesday ahead of the new season, there are some cracking games coming your way.

There is just one month until it all begins on NBCSN, NBC, CNBC and across the network of channels.

[RELATED: 2014-15 PL TV schedule]

Massive clashes between title contenders, local derbies and plenty more mouth-watering matchups are coming your way during the first three months of the season. Below are details on the top six matches to pencil into your planner, plus every single game in the first three months of the season and how you can watch them via NBC Sports.

You will not want to miss these.

Don’t forget: all Premier League games will be streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets.

Is it August 16 yet?

NBC Sports Group’s “Pick Six” Matches for the First Three Months of the Season

LIVERPOOL V. SOUTHAMPTON: Sunday, Aug. 17, 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN

Two teams on the heels of a successful 2013-14 season will meet in the Premier League’s opening weekend: Liverpool, which earned a Champions League berth as league runners-up, and Southampton, which finished eighth, equaling their best-ever Premier League finish. The Reds acquired former Southampton teammates and England internationals Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert this summer, but face Southampton without Premier League leading scorer Luis Suarez (31 goals) who was transferred to FC Barcelona. The match will be Southampton manager Ronald Koeman’s first with the club.

MANCHESTER CITY V. LIVERPOOL: Monday, Aug. 25, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Last season’s top two teams face off as Liverpool head to the Etihad for a Monday matinee with defending champions Manchester City. In the most recent meeting between the two clubs on April 13, the Reds edged City, 3-2, in an unforgettable match that many consider the best of the 2013-14 season. The win put Liverpool in control of the title race, but a loss to Chelsea was followed by a shocking 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace, and Manchester City went on to win their final five games and lift the trophy on Championship Sunday.

source: AP
Chelsea and Man City will square off early in the season.

MANCHESTER CITY V. CHELSEA: Sunday, Sept. 21, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN

Last season, despite beating eventual champions Manchester City in both league meetings, Chelsea finished third under manager Jose Mourinho. This summer they’ve strengthened their attack by bringing in Spanish international forward Diego Costa, who led La Liga champions Atletico Madrid with 27 goals last season, and his World Cup teammate Cesc Fabregas, a 27-year-old playmaker who has starred for both FC Barcelona and Arsenal during his 11-year club career.

“DOUBLE DERBY DAY:” LIVERPOOL V. EVERTON: Saturday, Sept. 27, 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN:

The sixth week of the Premier League season is highlighted by two of the biggest derbies in English soccer. First, the Merseyside derby takes center stage, as Everton and U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup goalkeeper Tim Howard (15 clean sheets last season, third-most among BPL ‘keepers) make the less-than one mile trip across Stanley Park to face neighbors Liverpool. Everton looks to build upon last year’s success under manager Roberto Martinez, who guided the Toffees to a fifth place finish in his debut season to earn a Europa League berth.

“DOUBLE DERBY DAY:” ARSENAL V. TOTTENHAM: Saturday, Sept. 27, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN:

Following Liverpool-Everton is a London Derby featuring rivals Arsenal and Tottenham at the Emirates, where Spurs haven’t won since 2010. Last season, the Gunners completed the season double over Tottenham with a pair of 1-0 wins and finished ahead of their rivals for the 19th straight year. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, the longest-tenured manager in the league, guided the club to the 2013-14 FA Cup title, ending a nine-year trophy drought. Spurs will be looking to re-establish themselves as top-four contenders under newly appointed manager Mauricio Pochettino.

MANCHESTER UNITED V. EVERTON: Sunday, Oct. 5, 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN

Everton travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United and new manager Louis van Gaal, who will join the squad this week after leading Netherlands to a third-place finish at the World Cup. The Toffees came out victorious in both meetings last season, completing the season double over United for the first time in 44 years.

Full NBCUniversal schedule for the first three months of the Premier League season

(NOTE: TBD indicates that there will be one match in that time slot on NBCSN, in some cases one match on mun2, and remaining non-NBCSN games on Premier League Extra Time. Final channel assignments for those matches will be made in the coming weeks.)

Date Time (ET) Home Away Network
Sat., Aug. 16 7:45 a.m. Man United Swansea City NBCSN, mun2
Sat., Aug. 16 10 a.m. Leicester City Everton TBD
Sat., Aug. 16 10 a.m. West Ham Tottenham TBD
Sat., Aug. 16 10 a.m. Stoke City Aston Villa TBD
Sat., Aug. 16 10 a.m. Queens Park Rangers Hull City TBD
Sat., Aug. 16 10 a.m. West Brom Sunderland TBD
Sat., Aug. 16 12:30 p.m. Arsenal Crystal Palace NBC, mun2
Sun., Aug. 17 8:30 a.m. Liverpool Southampton NBCSN
Sun., Aug. 17 11 a.m. Newcastle Man City NBCSN, Telemundo
Mon., Aug. 18 3 p.m. Burnley Chelsea NBCSN, mun2
***
Sat., Aug. 23 7:45 a.m. Aston Villa Newcastle NBCSN
Sat., Aug. 23 10 a.m. Chelsea Leicester City TBD, mun2
Sat., Aug. 23 10 a.m. Crystal Palace West Ham TBD
Sat., Aug. 23 10 a.m. Southampton West Brom TBD
Sat., Aug. 23 10 a.m. Swansea City Burnley TBD
Sat., Aug. 23 12:30 p.m. Everton Arsenal NBC, mun2
Sun., Aug. 24 8:30 a.m. Tottenham Queens Park Rangers CNBC
Sun., Aug. 24 8:30 a.n. Hull City Stoke City Extra Time
Sun., Aug. 24 11 a.m. Sunderland Man United NBCSN, Telemundo
Mon., Aug 25 3 p.m. Man City Liverpool NBCSN, mun2
***
Sat., Aug. 30 7:45 a.m. Burnley Man United NBCSN
Sat., Aug. 30 10 a.m. Man City Stoke City TBD, mun2
Sat., Aug. 30 10 a.m. West Ham Southampton TBD
Sat., Aug. 30 10 a.m. Aston Villa Hull City TBD
Sat., Aug. 30 10 a.m. Newcastle Crystal Palace TBD
Sat., Aug. 30 10 a.m. Swansea City West Brom TBD
Sat., Aug. 30 10 a.m. Queens Park Rangers Sunderland TBD
Sat., Aug. 30 12:30 p.m. Everton Chelsea NBC, mun2
Sun., Aug 31 8:30 a.m. Tottenham Liverpool NBCSN, mun2
Sun., Aug 31 11 a.m. Leicester City Arsenal NBCSN, Telemundo
***
Sat., Sept. 13 7:45 a.m. Arsenal Man City NBCSN, mun2
Sat., Sept. 13 10 a.m. Chelsea Swansea City TBD
Sat., Sept. 13 10 a.m. West Brom Everton TBD
Sat., Sept. 13 10 a.m. Sunderland Tottenham TBD
Sat., Sept. 13 10 a.m. Southampton Newcastle TBD
Sat., Sept. 13 10 a.m. Crystal Palace Burnley TBD
Sat., Sept. 13 10 a.m. Stoke City Leicester City TBD
Sat., Sept. 13 12:30 p.m. Liverpool Aston Villa NBC, mun2
Sun., Sept. 14 11 a.m. Man United Queens Park Rangers NBCSN, Telemundo
Mon., Sept. 15 3 p.m. Hull City West Ham NBCSN
***
Sat., Sept. 20 7:45 a.m. Queens Park Rangers Stoke City NBCSN
Sat., Sept. 20 10 a.m. Aston Villa Arsenal TBD, mun2
Sat., Sept. 20 10 a.m. Tottenham West Brom TBD
Sat., Sept. 20 10 a.m. Swansea City Southampton TBD
Sat., Sept. 20 10 a.m. Newcastle Hull City TBD
Sat., Sept. 20 10 a.m. Burnley Sunderland TBD
Sat., Sept. 20 12:30 p.m. West Ham Liverpool NBC, mun2
Sun., Sept. 21 8:30 a.m. Leicester City Man United CNBC
Sun., Sept. 21 11 a.m. Man City Chelsea NBCSN, Telemundo
Sun., Sept. 21 11 a.m. Everton Crystal Palace Extra Time
***
Sat., Sept. 27 7:45 a.m. Liverpool Everton NBCSN, mun2
Sat., Sept. 27 10 a.m. Hull City Man City TBD, mun2
Sat., Sept. 27 10 a.m. Man United West Ham TBD
Sat., Sept. 27 10 a.m. Chelsea Aston Villa TBD
Sat., Sept. 27 10 a.m. Crystal Palace Leicester City TBD
Sat., Sept. 27 10 a.m. Sunderland Swansea City TBD
Sat., Sept. 27 10 a.m. Southampton Queens Park Rangers TBD
Sat., Sept. 27 12:30 p.m. Arsenal Tottenham NBCSN, mun2
Sun., Sept. 28 11 p.m. West Brom Burnley NBCSN
Mon., Sept. 29 3 p.m. Stoke City Newcastle NBCSN
***
Sat., Oct. 4 10 a.m. Liverpool West Brom TBD, mun2
Sat., Oct. 4 10 a.m. Tottenham Southampton TBD
Sat., Oct. 4 10 a.m. Swansea City Newcastle TBD
Sat., Oct. 4 10 a.m. Hull City Crystal Palace TBD
Sat., Oct. 4 10 a.m. Leicester City Burnley TBD
Sat., Oct. 4 10 a.m. Sunderland Stoke City TBD
Sat., Oct. 4 12:30 p.m. Aston Villa Man City NBC, mun2
Sun., Oct. 5 7 a.m. Man United Everton NBCSN, mun2
Sun., Oct. 5 9:05 a.m. Chelsea Arsenal NBCSN, Telemundo
Sun., Oct. 5 11:15 a.m. West Ham Queens Park Rangers NBCSN
***
Sat., Oct. 18 7:45 a.m. Man City Tottenham NBCSN, mun2
Sat., Oct. 18 10 a.m. Crystal Palace Chelsea TBD, mun2
Sat., Oct. 18 10 a.m. Arsenal Hull City TBD
Sat., Oct. 18 10 a.m. Everton Aston Villa TBD
Sat., Oct. 18 10 a.m. Newcastle Leicester City TBD
Sat., Oct. 18 10 a.m. Southampton Sunderland TBD
Sat., Oct. 18 10 a.m. Burnley West Ham TBD
Sun., Oct. 19 8:30 a.m. Queens Park Rangers Liverpool NBCSN, mun2
Sun., Oct. 19 11 a.m. Stoke City Swansea City NBCSN
Mon., Oct. 20 3 p.m. West Brom Man United NBCSN, mun2
***
Sat., Oct. 25 7:45 a.m. West Ham Man City NBCSN, mun2
Sat., Oct. 25 10 a.m. Sunderland Arsenal TBD, mun2
Sat., Oct. 25 10 a.m. Liverpool Hull City TBD
Sat., Oct. 25 10 a.m. Tottenham Newcastle TBD
Sat., Oct. 25 10 a.m. Southampton Stoke City TBD
Sat., Oct. 25 10 a.m. West Brom Crystal Palace TBD
Sat., Oct. 25 12:30 p.m. Swansea City Leicester City NBC
Sun., Oct 26 9:30 a.m. Burnley Everton NBCSN
Sun., Oct 26 Noon Man United Chelsea NBC, Telemundo
Mon., Oct. 27 4 p.m. Queens Park Rangers Aston Villa NBCSN, mun2
***
Sat., Nov. 1 8:45 a.m. Newcastle Liverpool NBCSN, mun2
Sat., Nov. 1 11 a.m. Chelsea Queens Park Rangers TBD, mun2
Sat., Nov. 1 11 a.m. Arsenal Burnley TBD
Sat., Nov. 1 11 a.m. Everton Swansea City TBD
Sat., Nov. 1 11 a.m. Hull City Southampton TBD
Sat., Nov. 1 11 a.m. Stoke City West Ham TBD
Sat., Nov. 1 11 a.m. Leicester City West Brom TBD
Sun., Nov. 2 8:30 a.m. Man City Man United NBCSN, mun2
Sun., Nov. 2 11 a.m. Aston Villa Tottenham NBCSN
Mon., Nov. 3 3 p.m. Crystal Palace Sunderland NBCSN, mun2
***
Sat., Nov. 8 7:45 a.m. Liverpool Chelsea NBCSN, mun2
Sat., Nov. 8 10 a.m. Man United Crystal Palace TBD, mun2
Sat., Nov. 8 10 a.m. Tottenham Stoke City TBD
Sat., Nov. 8 10 a.m. West Ham Aston Villa TBD
Sat., Nov. 8 10 a.m. Southampton Leicester City TBD
Sat., Nov. 8 10 a.m. Burnley Hull City TBD
Sat., Nov. 8 12:30 p.m. Queens Park Rangers Man City NBC, mun2
Sun., Nov. 9 8:30 a.m. Sunderland Everton NBCSN
Sun., Nov. 9 8:30 a.m. West Brom Newcastle Extra Time
Sun., Nov. 9 11 a.m. Swansea City Arsenal NBCSN
***
Sat., Nov. 22 10 a.m. Man City Swansea City TBD, mun2
Sat., Nov. 22 10 a.m. Chelsea West Brom TBD
Sat., Nov. 22 10 a.m. Everton West Ham TBD
Sat., Nov. 22 10 a.m. Newcastle Queens Park Rangers TBD
Sat., Nov. 22 10 a.m. Stoke City Burnley TBD
Sat., Nov. 22 10 a.m. Leicester City Sunderland TBD
Sat., Nov. 22 12:30 p.m. Arsenal Man United NBC, mun2
Sun., Nov 23 8:30 a.m. Crystal Palace Liverpool CNBC
Sun., Nov 23 11 a.m. Hull City Tottenham NBCSN
Mon., Nov. 24 3 p.m. Aston Villa Southampton NBCSN, mun2
***
Sat., Nov. 29 7:45 a.m. West Brom Arsenal NBCSN, mun2
Sat., Nov. 29 10 a.m. Man United Hull City TBD, mun2
Sat., Nov. 29 10 a.m. Liverpool Stoke City TBD
Sat., Nov. 29 10 a.m. West Ham Newcastle TBD
Sat., Nov. 29 10 a.m. Swansea City Crystal Palace TBD
Sat., Nov. 29 10 a.m. Burnley Aston Villa TBD
Sat., Nov. 29 10 a.m. Queens Park Rangers Leicester City TBD
Sat., Nov. 29 12:30 p.m. Sunderland Chelsea NBC
Sun., Nov. 30 8:30 a.m. Southampton Man City NBCSN
Sun., Nov. 30 11 a.m. Tottenham Everton NBCSN

West Ham sign Arnautovic from Stoke for club-record fee

Photo credit: @WestHamUtd
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LONDON (AP) West Ham signed attacking midfielder Marko Arnautovic from Stoke for a club-record fee on Saturday.

The fee wasn’t disclosed, but British media said West Ham paid an initial 20 million pounds ($26 million) that could rise to 25 million pounds ($32.5 million) for the 28-year-old Austria international.

Arnautovic is West Ham’s third signing of the summer, after right back Pablo Zabaleta on a free transfer and goalkeeper Joe Hart on loan.

“We have brought in three players with vast Premier League experience this summer,” West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan said, “and that was one of our key targets.”

Arnautovic, who has 62 caps for his country, joined Stoke from Werder Bremen in 2013. He scored 26 goals in 145 appearances for Stoke.

MLS Snapshot: 10-man NYCFC too much for McCarty-less Fire

Photo credit: @NYCFC
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The game in 100 words (or less): New York City FC spent 78 minutes at a man disadvantage, fewer than 72 hours after drawing MLS-leading Toronto FC midweek, against the second-place Chicago Fire on Saturday. It the end, this week shall go down as the back-to-back which put to bed any lingering questions regarding NYCFC’s MLS Cup-contending credentials. Four points from two games against the league’s top-two teams — Patrick Vieira’s side (37 points) now sits a single point back of Chicago, two back of Toronto. As is typically the case, David Villa’s fingerprints were all over Saturday’s win at Yankee Stadium, as the reigning MVP scored the opening goal (in typically stunning fashion) before so nearly setting up one or two more as the back-and-forth, frantic second half wore on. Frederic Brilliant scored what turned out to be the winner just three minutes later, as David Accam canceled out Villa’s opener to make it three goals scored in seven minutes.

[ MORE: Clint Dempsey goes for USMNT goals record, back home ]

Three Four Five moments that mattered

4′ — Kappelhof slides through Herrera, no penalty given — Maybe VAR will be good?

12′ — Herrera sees yellow again, and he’s gone — Herrera’s first yellow was questionable, but there’s no doubt about the second, just four minutes later.

47′ — Villa smashes on the full volley for 1-0 — This is approximately the 197th time I’ve written the phrase, “David Villa, take a bow,” since Spain’s all-time leading scorer came to MLS.

50′ — Brilliant heads home in traffic for 2-0 — It takes guts to put your head into a sea of flying feet the Brilliant does here. Fortunately, his face is intact and the Frenchman was duly rewarded.

54′ — Accam hits and prays, makes it 2-1 — Don’t think; just hit it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: David Villa

Goalscorers: Villa (47′), Brilliant (50′), Accam (54′)

Pele’s son’s in jail on drug trafficking charges in Brazil

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
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SAO PAULO (AP) A son of Brazilian soccer legend Pele has returned to jail to serve a sentence of more than 12 years on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.

A Brazilian court Friday ordered Edson Cholbi do Nascimento returned to jail after turning down his appeal.

He is a former goalkeeper with Pele’s old club Santos and was first arrested in 2005, though he remained free pending the outcome of his appeals.

In 2014 a court convicted him to 33 years in prison. That sentence was later reduced to 12 years, 10 months.

In late February he turned himself in to complete his sentence and in early March a court ordered his release and allowed him to remain free while fighting the sentence.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

Texas-born Dempsey at home 1 goal from record, 1 win from Final

AP Photo/Matt Rourke
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Clint Dempsey is back in his home state of Texas, one goal away from a national scoring record for the United States team that is one win from playing in another CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

The Americans play a semifinal game Saturday night against Costa Rica in a stadium synonymous with American football – the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, the Cotton Bowl and where the first College Football Playoff championship game was played three seasons ago.

That is only about 180 miles from Dempsey’s hometown of Nacogdoches.

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“It’s always great to be home and play in front of family and friends, especially for a big game,” Dempsey said Friday. “I have a lot of great memories of playing in Dallas as a kid, and I’m proud to represent Nacogdoches. Being from there made me who I am today.”

Dempsey, one goal from matching Landon Donovan’s American record of 57 national team goals, wasn’t part of soccer’s only Gold Cup games at the $1.2 billion AT&T Stadium.

In a 2013 semifinal game there when the Americans were on the way to their fifth Gold Cup championship, they beat Honduras 3-1. Donovan scored twice in that game – his 55th and 56th goals for the national team – and assisted on the other goal. About two months later, Donovan scored his final goal in a World Cup qualifier win over Mexico.

Within a week after Costa Rica beat the U.S. team 4-0 in World Cup qualifying last November, Jurgen Klinsmann was out as the U.S. coach and Bruce Arena was rehired to the position he had been fired from a decade earlier.

[ WATCH: Coutinho’s super goal vs. Leicester ]

Costa Rica coach Oscar Ramirez said Friday that Arena has seemingly had a positive impact on the U.S. team.

“They look more relaxed in terms of what they’re doing on the field,” Ramirez said through an interpreter.

This U.S. roster for the Gold Cup knockout rounds also is much different than the one that played in Costa Rica eight months ago – not just the change at coach. Only five players from that game that are set for this semifinal game – Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez and Graham Zusi.

“That’s in the past,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t think about that game. … This is just another game. It’s another opportunity for us to see what we’re made out of.”

Altidore, Dempsey, Bradley, Darlington Nagbe, and goalkeeper Tim Howard were all added to the lineup before a 2-0 win over El Salvador in the quarterfinal on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

Dempsey set up Eric Lichaj‘s goal in extra time before halftime to make it 2-0 against El Salvador. Dempsey also fed Gyasi Zardes for a breakaway, though that apparent goal didn’t count after he was ruled offside.

That game was Dempsey’s 135th appearance for the national team, trailing only Cobi Jones (164) and Landon Donovan (157) on the U.S. list.

[ MORE: Why PSG’s Alexis-Neymar pursuit makes (relative) sense ]

Dempsey isn’t the only player with Texas ties with the U.S. team. Three players from FC Dallas, the MLS team that plays its home games about 40 miles away from the big stadium in Frisco, are on the roster: Kellyn Acosta, Matt Hedges and Jesse Gonzalez.

Acosta, the homegrown midfielder who turns 22 next week, was recently named to the MLS All-Star team. He was born in nearby Plano, Texas, and signed by FC Dallas five years ago.

“It’s definitely a proud moment, to get to represent my community, play before my friends and family,” Acosta said. “To be back in my hometown, I’m definitely excited about it.”

Notes: Costa Rica is trying to get to its first Gold Cup final since 2002, when it lost 2-0 to the Americans. “Obviously, we want to look for that reward, that happiness, and go after that,” Ramirez said. “We have a difficult team in front of us.” … The United States’ nine goals are the most in this Gold Cup, while Costa Rica has allowed only one in its four games.