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PL Sunday preview: Arsenal, United and Everton all in action

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While many of the Premier League’s big boys took care of their business on Saturday, Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton will all have an opportunity to remain in the spotlight in Sunday’s slate of matches.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Watford vs. Stoke City — 7 a.m. ET, on CNBC and NBCSports.com

Two of the league’s least talked about sides, Watford and Stoke will both have an opportunity gain the PL’s attention with a victory on Sunday. The Hornets currently sit eighth in the table, and a victory could potentially propel the side up to sixth if other results go their way. Following a dismantling at the hands of Liverpool two weeks back, Watford bounced back nicely last weekend with a 2-1 win against defending champions Leicester City.

Stoke City finally had its unbeaten streak snapped against Bournemouth last Saturday, so Mark Hughes and co. will be looking to come back quickly after the result. Stoke has been marred by injury as of late, with American defender Geoff Cameron, Jack Butland and Phil Bardsley among the absentees for the club.

Arsenal vs. Bournemouth — 9:15 a.m. ET, on CNBC and NBCSports.com

Three consecutive draws has Arsenal in a bit of a funk, particularly following the club’s midweek 2-2 affair against Paris Saint-Germain at the Emirates Stadium. Arsene Wenger and co. have dropped to fourth in PL, and Sunday’s test against Bournemouth won’t be a cake walk. The Gunners continue to play without Santi Cazorla and Danny Welbeck, while Lucas Perez and Hector Bellerin are also sidelined.

Bournemouth is up to 10th in table and is currently playing good soccer at the moment. The Cherries are fresh off of defeating Stoke a week ago, while they have also gained results against Hull City and Tottenham dating back to last month. Manager Eddie Howe could get Jordan Ibe back for Sunday’s encounter with the Gunners, while Andrew Surman and Artur Boruc‘s statuses are also in question.

[ MORE: Bradley secures first Swansea win in nine-goal thriller ]

Manchester United vs. West Ham — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Jose Mourinho’s side has had its share of its ups and downs in 2016, but United’s midweek Europa League win against Feyenoord will surely lift the team’s spirits ahead of the upcoming PL schedule. The Red Devils are currently thin at the back, with Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling both sidelined, and Sunday will pose a test as United has deal with Dimitri Payet and the West Ham attack.

The Hammers are winless in their last three league matches, leaving the team in a cluster at the bottom of the PL table. West Ham has posted just 13 goals this season, making it quite difficult to nick results on a consistent basis.

Southampton vs. Everton — 11:30 a.m. ET, on CNBC and NBCSports.com

Southampton could miss out on several key figures on Sunday when the club faces off against Everton, including Jose Fonte, Matt Targett and Dusan Tadic. The Saints have won one match in November, leaving the club in 11th place through 12 matches.

The Toffees have won just once in their last six fixtures, leaving Ronald Koeman‘s men in seventh place after a hot start to the PL calendar. Romelu Lukaku continues to lead the way for Everton in 2016, providing seven goals and three assists.

Lippi leads China over SKorea 1-0 in World Cup qualifier

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) Marcello Lippi earned his biggest victory since taking over as coach of China’s national soccer team, leading his squad to a 1-0 victory over South Korea on Thursday in a World Cup qualifier.

[ MORE: Shorthanded USMNT hosts Honduras as WCQ resumes ]

The coach, who led his native Italy to the World Cup title in 2006, was hired by China in October.

Yu Dabao scored the lone goal at Helong Stadium in Changsha with a header in the 34th minute, giving China only its second victory over South Korea in 32 matches.

China spent much of the second half defending with the visitors piling on the pressure. Ki Seung-yeung and Ji Dong-won both went close for South Korea but could not find a way past China goalkeeper Zeng Cheng.

South Korea has 10 points from six matches in Group A and is still on course to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. China, which last qualified for the World Cup in 2002, has five points.

Only the top two teams from the six-nation group qualify automatically. The third-place team will head to the playoffs.

CONMEBOL wrap: Brazil routs Uruguay, Messi guides Argentina past Chile

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A roundup of Thursday’s action from around CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying…

[ MORE: USMNT looks to build momentum against Honduras in WCQ ]

Paulinho‘s hat-trick helped bring Brazil back from an early deficit as the Selecao topped Uruguay, 4-1. Edinson Cavani put the hosts ahead after nine minutes from the penalty spot, but it was Paulinho that answered 10 minutes later for his first of the night. Neymar also tallied for the Brazilians, who continue to lead CONMEBOL qualifying with 30 points.

Lionel Messi scored in the first half to help lift Argentina over Chile, 1-0. The Barcelona attacker scored after 16 minutes when Angel di Maria was taken down inside the Chilean area by José Fuenzalida. Chile was held to just one shot on target throughout, and the loss leaves the reigning Copa America winners on the outside looking in at the top five.

James Rodriguez rescued Colombia on Thursday as the Real Madrid winger capitalized off of his penalty-kick rebound to give Los Cafeteros a 1-0 win over Bolivia. Goalkeeper Carlos Lampe did his best to preserve a draw for the visitors, recording six saves on the afternoon, however, it wasn’t enough to tame Colombia.

Meanwhile, Paraguay knocked off Ecuador, 2-1, behind goals from Bruno Valdez and Junior Alonso. The visitors pulled a goal back in the 70th minute when Felipe Caicedo converted from the penalty spot, but it wasn’t enough for Ecuador.

Peru battled back with two second-half goals to preserve a 2-2 draw against Venezuela on the road. The hosts got out to a 2-0 advantage before halftime when Mikel Villanueva and Romulu Otero scored for Venezuela, however, the Peruvians struck back in the second stanza to knick a point. Andre Carrillo and Paolo Guerrero scored in the 46th and 64th minutes, respectively, for Peru.


Thursday’s results

Colombia 1-0 Bolivia
Paraguay 2-1 Ecuador
Uruguay 1-4 Brazil
Argentina 1-0 Chile
Venezuela 2-2 Peru


Updated CONMEBOL table

  1. Brazil — 9-3-1 — 30 pts.
  2. Uruguay — 7-2-4 — 23 pts.
  3. Argentina — 6-4-3 — 22 pts.
  4. Colombia — 6-3-4 — 21 pts.
  5. Ecuador — 6-2-4 — 20 pts.
  6. Chile — 6-2-5 — 20 pts.
  7. Paraguay — 5-3-5 — 18 pts.
  8. Peru — 4-3-6 — 15 pts.
  9. Bolivia — 2-1-9 — 7 pts.
  10. Venezuela — 1-3-9 — 6 pts.

Ex-Disney CEO Eisner eyes English soccer club Portsmouth

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PORTSMOUTH, England (AP) Michael Eisner, the former chief executive of The Walt Disney Co., is in talks to buy English soccer club Portsmouth.

The fourth-tier club says it has entered into a 70-day exclusivity agreement with Eisner for takeover talks to take place.

Eisner wrote on Twitter: “Exciting times! Looking forward to coming over and meeting you all. Good luck against Newport County on Saturday!!”

Portsmouth, which is based on the south coast, spent beyond its means in the pursuit of glory. The team endured financial turmoil in the years following its 2008 FA Cup win, sinking from the Premier League to the fourth tier.

After entering bankruptcy protection, Portsmouth was rescued by the fans through a trust in 2013.

CONCACAF: USMNT, Trinidad & Tobago seek first points of Hexagonal

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Through two rounds of play in the Hexagonal, everything has gone according to plan for Mexico and Costa Rica.

Not so much though for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

[ MORE: Shorthanded USMNT hosts Honduras as WCQ resumes ]

While Los Ticos and El Tri currently sit in the top two positions of the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, the U.S. is left at the bottom and faces a difficult match against Honduras when play resumes on Friday night.

[ MORE: Five questions for USMNT ahead of Honduras match ]

Mexico and Costa Rica will face off at the Estadio Azteca in the second of Friday’s three slated qualifiers, and while both nations surely expect to reach the World Cup in Russia, both CONCACAF heavyweights have the opportunity to put their stamp on the group.

For Costa Rica, a victory could potentially open up a five-point gap over El Tri, while a win for Mexico would bring Juan Carlos Osorio’s side the opportunity leap over their Central American foes.

Friday’s action will kick off at 7 p.m. though when third place Panama travels to Trinidad & Tobago, who seeks its first points of the Hex. Trinidad will be led by captain Kenwyne Jones of Atlanta United as well as Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Molino, with the duo scoring a combined 39 international goals for the Soca Warriors.

Below is the schedule and current table ahead of Friday’s CONCACAF matches as the region turns its attention to Matchday 3 of the Hexagonal.


Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama — 7 p.m. ET

Mexico vs. Costa Rica — 9:50 p.m. ET

USMNT vs. Honduras — 10:30 p.m. ET (PREVIEW)


1. Costa Rica — 2-0-0 — 6 pts.
2. Mexico — 1-1-0 — 4 pts.
3. Panama — 1-1-0 — 4 pts.
4. Honduras — 1-0-1 — 3 pts.
5. Trinidad & Tobago — 0-0-2 — 0 pts.
6. USMNT — 0-0-2 — 0 pts.