Watch Live: Newcastle United vs. Manchester City (Lineups)

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Manchester City begin their title defense on the road at St. James Park, live on NBCSN at 11am ET, or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

Manuel Pellegrini has begun the season with a very curious lineup, benching Sergio Aguero, Jesus Navas, and Pablo Zabaleta in favor of Stevan Jovetic, Edin Dzeko, and Gael Clichy.

It’s especially surprising to see Jovetic in the starting lineup on opening day, considering he struggled for time mightily last season, receiving just 13 appearances – just two starts – last year.  However, the Montenegrin midfielder had a bright preseason, and clearly had an impression on his manager.

Aguero struggled with fitness last season, despite his sparkling goal record when he was on the pitch, and so Pellegrini may be hoping to keep him fit and give him ample rest throughout the year.

WATCH LIVE – Newcastle vs Manchester City on NBC Sports Live Extra

For Newcastle, it’s another year, another French striker as new signing Emmanuel Riviere begins the year up front.

The 24-year-old came over from Monaco in the summer and was tipped by manager Alan Pardew to be “a player who can grow.”

Another new Frenchman on the Newcastle roster is Remy Cabella, a 24-year-old attacking midfielder who will be supporting his countryman Riviere up front.

The Magpies have not beaten Manchester City since 2005.

LINEUPS:

Newcastle – Krul; Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Anita, Colback; Sissoko, Cabella, Gouffran; Riviere.
Bench –  Elliot, Haidara, S.Taylor, Abeid, Obertan, Aarons, Perez.

Manchester City – Hart; Clichy, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Fernando, Toure, Nasri, Silva, Jovetic; Dzeko.
Bench – Caballero, Boyata, Zabaleta, Milner, Fernandinho, Navas, Aguero.

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

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NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

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If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

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Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.