Transfer needs: Sunderland, Swansea, Tottenham, West Brom, West Ham

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With the summer transfer window either rushing or creeping toward completion, depending on whether you want your club to buy a new player or hold onto an asset, it’s due time we address the needs of each team with time ticking away.

We’re down to the final five teams of the final few days of the summer transfer window, and there’s a whole lot of need between these clubs. Let’s dig right in:

[RELATED: Summer transfer window news]

[ RELATED: Friday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

Sunderland

Manager Gus Poyet has not been shy when it comes to disclosing his discontent regarding new signings to Sunderland, which lost a number of dependable players in the offseason (including Jack Colback, Phil Bardsley and Craig Gardner). Poyet would like to bring in Fabio Borini from Liverpool, but that saga continues to drag on and on and on. One coup coming his way would be the addition of Atletico Madrid and Belgium defender Toby Alderweireld. Rumor is he’s coming to the Stadium of Light on a season-long loan.

Swansea City

Garry Monk has brought a bevy of talent to Wales, the latest being a loan move for young Aussie player Giancarlo Gallifuoco from Tottenham. Swans have also been linked with Montpellier mid Benjamin Stambouli, and they need a little more strength in the middle of the park. Adding Gylfi Sigurdsson was a good get, as well Bafetimbi Gomis and Jefferson Montero. They could be about done for this window.

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs continue to be linked with both arrivals and departures as the window works against the London club. The Swans-linked Stambouli is a target for Mauricio Pochettino and he may just be pipped away from the Welsh club as Tottenham works toward the UEFA Champions League via Top 4 spot or Europa title.

[ RELATED: Europa League draw brings stiff test for Spurs ]

Frankly, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Spurs add a big name, either, or watch a guy like Roberto Soldado skate to Italy, Spain or another place more free-flowing.

West Bromwich Albion

The Baggies could use some firepower, and Alan Irvine continues to scour the market to put someone in his strike force with Brown Ideye and Saido Berahino. Rumor has it Metalist Kharkiv winger Sebastian Blanco will be West Brom’s 11th signing of the summer, perhaps by the end of the day. The Baggies look much different and a bit deeper, but can they move mid-table?

West Ham United

Sam Allardyce has added intriguing offensive pop in Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate amongst others, but the latest name linked for West Ham is a more gritty, edgy, defensive player in Cameroon midfielder Alex Song. He’d come on loan from Barcelona, and is a Big Sam signing if we’ve ever seen one. What the Hammers need is a healthy Andy Carroll, though they could certainly settle

Transfer needs: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace

Transfer needs: Everton, Hull, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester City

Transfer needs: Man Utd, Newcastle, QPR, Southampton, Stoke City

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:

(more…)

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.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

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.

[ FOLLOW: Live MLS scores ]

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

UCL Playoff Wrap: Liverpool, Sporting CP, CSKA advance to group stage

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It was another memorable European night for Liverpool in front of the Kop at Anfield.

Lifted by three goals in the opening 21 minutes, the Reds cruised to a 4-2 win over Hoffenheim 1899 in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League playoff stage Wednesday evening. With the win, Liverpool returns to the Champions League group stage for the first time since the 2014-2015 season.

[ MORE: Champions League scores ]

Sadio Mane set up Emre Can twice and both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino chipped in with goals of their own to lead Liverpool to victory. After Can’s double and Salah’s goal gave Liverpool a three-goal lead, Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann brought Mark Uth off the bench onto the field and he promptly scored in the 28th minute to draw within two.

Firmino again put Liverpool ahead by three goals with a goal into an open net in the 63rd minute. Hoffenheim recorded a consolation goal in the 79th minute through Sandro Wagner but Liverpool was resolute and held on for victory.

Liverpool, and the rest of the winning clubs, will learn their fates for the group stage on Thursday.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Champions League playoff scores:

Slavia Prague 0-0 APOEL (APOEL advances 2-0 on aggregate)

FC Copenhagen 2-1 Qarabag FK (Qarabag advances on away goals, 2-2 on aggregate)

FCSB (Steaua București) 1-5 Sporting CP (Sporting CP advances 5-1 on aggregate)

CSKA Moscow 2-0 BSC Young Boys (CSKA advances on aggregate, 3-0)