Lambert

Watch Live: Liverpool vs. Southampton (Lineups)

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A pair of clubs headed in seemingly different directions begin their Premier League campaigns this morning as Liverpool hosts Southampton at Anfield at 8:30am ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

After a stunning near-miss in the title run last year, Liverpool is looking to not only maintain its Champions League status but best its second-place finish the previous season.

Meanwhile, Southampton also completed a meteoric rise last year, but the club has offloaded many of its star players who impressed many last season.

It’s fitting that these two clubs open the season together, since many of the players Southampton sold ended up at Liverpool, including Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, and Dejan Lovren.

However, Lallana is injured, so he will have to wait to face the side he captained up from the depths of English soccer.

WATCH LIVE: Liverpool vs. Southampton on NBC Sports Live Extra

Lovren starts for Liverpool, while Lambert begins on the bench. All the regulars are in for Reds manager Brendan Rodgers, while new signing Emre Can begins the season among the substitutes, and recent addition Alberto Moreno is not among the squad as he was not registered in time.

For Southampton, thanks to the firesale, there are plenty of new faces among the squad. Excellent attacking midfield addition Dusan Tadić starts, as does Ryan Bertrand at the back, 29-year-old striker Graziano Pellè up front, and former Celtic man Fraser Forster in net.

Also starting for the Saints is wantaway Morgan Schneiderlin, who will have to watch his former teammates don the shirt of another while he is forced to remain at his club.

LINEUPS:

Liverpool – Mignolet; Manquillo, Johnson, Skrtel, Lovren; Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling; Sturridge.
Bench – Jones, Toure, Sakho, Allen, Ibe, Can, Lambert.

Southampton – Forster; Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Bertrand; Wanyama, Schneiderlin, S. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Tadić; Pellè.
Bench – K. Davis, Long, Taïder, Cork, Hooiveld, Isgrove, Stephens.

Albert Ruiz scores fastest hat trick to start game in NCAA history

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After being named the NCAA Soccer Men’s Player of the Week, Spanish junior Albert Ruiz went out and set the base for a repeat.

The Florida Gulf Coast striker scored three goals in three minutes and 19 seconds on Tuesday, and the Eagles are battering visiting Rutgers.

[ MORE: Pochettino happy with “must win” defeat of CSKA ]

Not only that, but three goals all came before the game was 10 minutes old (9:02 to be exact). The team’s Twitter account says that’s a record to start a game, besting the record was set by Indiana’s Steve Burks on Oct. 6, 1973. Burks scored his three goals by the 11:41 mark of the first half.

If you look at the clock, too, we think it’s more like nine minutes on the dot.

Ruiz scored seven times in 11 games as a sophomore, and is battering that impressive mark this year. It’s not even halftime at FGCU, and he’s up to 11 goals in his ninth game of the season. That puts him into a tie with Buffalo’s Russell Cicerone for the most goals in men’s D1 soccer (and Ruiz has more than 45 minutes to play).

The 6-foot-2 forward is going to be attracting a lot of attention, especially considering this is his second hat trick in 10 days.

PST Extra: Breaking down the 1v2 clash between Spurs, Man City

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Manchester City visits White Hart Lane for a match-up of this early season’s first and second place Premier League clubs.

City will have one less day of rest than its Premier League rivals, though both are coming off road matches in Europe.

Spurs beat CSKA Moscow 1-0 on Tuesday, while Man City is battling Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany a day later.

[ MORE: Pochettino happy with “must win” defeat of CSKA ]

A win would pull Spurs to within a point of the leaders, while a City victory would guarantee, at-worst, a five-point table advantage for Pep Guardiola‘s bunch.

Kickoff is at 9:15 a.m. ET Sunday, and our own Joe Prince-Wright has the preview for you with the latest PST Extra (above).

Spurs: Pochettino pleased with “must win”, Son admits “a lucky time”

Tottenham's Son Heung-min is hugged by Tottenham's manager Mauricio Pochettino after he scored 1-0 during the Champions League Group E soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Tottenham Hotspur, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin
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While it’s easy to call any match “must win” after you’ve won, there’s little doubt how badly Spurs needed their 1-0 win at CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Champions League roundup ]

After making the long hike to Russia, Spurs controlled the match. Both Erik Lamela and Son Heung-min were lively but couldn’t break down the CSKA back line until Son finished a late chance.

From the BBC:

“That was a very important victory. Important to be in the race for the next round of the Champions League. This was a must win game, we are second in the group now but it is still all open.”

And Son admits it was a bit fortunate, as his shot was slowed by Akinfeev before inching across the line.

“This is a good time but also a lucky time. I try every game to score. We are very happy to win this game.”

Spurs are a point behind Monaco, who won at White Hart Lane in both teams’ Group E openers. Next up is a tricky visit from Bayer Leverkusen.

Ranieri laughs off England speculation with quip about bookmakers

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26:  Claudio Ranieri, Manager of Leicester City speaks during a Leicester City press conference ahead of their Champions League match against FC Porto at The King Power Stadium on September 26, 2016 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
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When it comes to quotes, Claudio Ranieri is one of the best.

The Leicester City manager was put on the spot after Tuesday’s 1-0 UEFA Champions League win over Porto, and handled it well.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Pulisic, BVB best Madrid ]

Asked about his name appearing on betting sites as a favorite to replace disgraced England boss Sam Allardycewho left the job Tuesday — Ranieri responded with a nod to Leicester’s long odds-defying Premier League title run.