Liverpool set to land Sevilla, Atletico Madrid backs to boost defense

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Both sides of Liverpool’s back line could be stronger and deeper soon, as Sky Sports is reporting the Reds are close to transfers for Atletico Madrid right back Javi Manquillo and Sevilla left back Alberto Moreno.

Liverpool’s 50 goals allowed in 2013/14 were the most of any Top 5 team, and manager Brendan Rodgers has already moved to address his defensive depth by signing Dejan Lovren from Southampton.

Moreno will cost a lot more than Manquillo, as the Sevilla back is tipped to cost in the neighborhood of $34 million while Manquillo’s move would begin as a loan that could eventually net Atleti $10 million.

Liverpool has spent loads of dough on attackers and wingers since selling Luis Suarez to Barcelona, but needed depth all around for their return to UEFA Champions League football. Lovren joined a corps that includes Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Glen Johnson, Jon Flanagan and Mamadou Sakho amongst others.

From Sky Sports:

Chief executive Ian Ayre has flown to Spain to try and complete the transfers, which would take Liverpool’s summer spending through the £100m barrier if completed.

The deal for Manquillo is reported to be a loan, possibly for two seasons, with a permanent deal worth in the region of £6m following at the end of that.

Moreno, who like Manquillo, has also been linked with Arsenal this summer, is expected to cost the Reds £20m.

Moreno, 22, scored thrice in 43 appearances for Sevilla in Spain and Europa League play last season, appearing once for the Spanish national team. The 20-year-old Manquillo has made just six appearances for Atletico. Both players are under 5-foot-9.

A lot of attention has been focused on how Liverpool would replace Suarez, but these moves would speak to what the Reds really need to make a title challenge in England. The Reds allowed 23 more goals than No. 3 Chelsea and 13 more than No. 1 Manchester City.

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