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Premier League preview: Manchester United vs. Bournemouth

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  • Man Utd leads all-time 7W-2D-2L
  • Red Devils won 3-1 on Aug. 14
  • Cherries have lost four-straight

Manchester United looks to stretch its unbeaten Premier League run to 17 matches with a win against reeling Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Saturday (Watch live at 7:30 a.m. EDT on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The match kicks off the Premier League weekend, with Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe hoping to avoid a recurrence of the 3-1 decision given by United at the Vitality Stadium on Opening Weekend.

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United got goals from Juan Mata, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Wayne Rooney on that day, and the latter may be arriving into the XI on Saturday. If Jose Mourinho has his way, he’ll stick around next season, too.

The Cherries have lost to a trio of in-form sides — Everton, West Brom, and Man City — but also to Crystal Palace. In doing so, Bournemouth is just four points clear of the drop zone.

What they’re saying

United’s Michael Carrick on moving past EFL Cup win“In the back of your mind, going into this run of games now, knowing that we’ve won a trophy gives you an extra boost, but it’s not something that we’ve been enjoying all week. You move on quickly, take what you can from it, take the positives, take that belief and confidence that it brings, but at the same time all the focus has to be on the next game. That’s the nature of being successful, I think: you have to move on quite quickly.”

Bournemouth’s Mark Pugh on facing United“We’ve had presentations on their strengths and weaknesses and players we need to keep an eye out for but we all know about Manchester United anyway. We’ll prepare the same way we do for every game and that’s to trust our own ability, to get our passing football going and have that solidarity and ruthlessness in both boxes. We’ve said many times this week that we need to keep clean sheets and be more ruthless.”

Prediction

Another big win for the home side. Buoyed by the EFL Cup crown, United continues its buy-in for a twin 3-1 win.

Leicester City record massive earnings from UEFA Champions League

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Leicester City’s UEFA Champions League campaign may have ended without a trophy, but the Premier League side pipped the European champions in the bank account.

UEFA announced on Friday that Leicester City earned $96,167,125 during the Champions League run that ended in the quarterfinals, the farthest of any Premier League club. Real Madrid, the back-to-back champions, earned a slightly less $95,385,679. Much of the difference comes from TV rights deals in England, which pays out more to teams compared to the TV rights deal in Spain.

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Juventus, the Italian giant, earned the most of any club in last year’s Champions League, making a whopping $129,965,357, mostly thanks to the TV rights again.

Mourinho: Ibrahimovic could return in December

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Dare to Zlatan? It could be only a couple of months away.

That’s according to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who said the veteran striker could return from his torn ACL before the end of the calendar year.

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“Zlatan is here, he’s working here and under our control,” Mourinho told reporters. “He’s working as you would expect so, so, so hard. But he’s not to be back in the next week or next couple of weeks. Do I believe he’ll be back in 2017? Yes, I do. But it’s just a feeling.”

The big Swede scored 28 goals for Man United last year in all competitions, proving that he’s still got it at the age of 36, but it’s going to be tough for him to find his old form coming off an ACL injury at such an old age. After suffering the injury last April, it’s been a long road to recovery for Ibrahimovic.

However, with the play of Romelu Lukaku up top, Ibrahimovic would only play from time to time, which could help in his recovery both from the knee injury and just the general recovery between games.

Manchester City quartet called up by Brazil for friendlies

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Brazilian National Team coach Tite has decided on calling up a full-strength squad for November’s upcoming friendly matches in Europe, including four Manchester City players in his 25-man squad.

Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho, Danilo and Ederson all made the squad as Tite looks to develop more chemistry among his side ahead of the 2018 World Cup, which Brazil breezed into after Tite took over in 2016.

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Luckily for Manchester City and the other European-based players in the squad, Brazil’s friendly matches will be played in Western Europe. The Selecao first faces Japan in Lille, France on November 10 before taking on England at Wembley Stadium on November 14.

The call-ups may be a tough pill for Guardiola to swallow though. As of Friday, Manchester City has 17 games remaining in the calendar year, and surely he would prefer for some of his starters to get a two-week break in November to preserve some energy instead of play in friendly matches.

Everton announce lifetime ban for fan involved in altercation with Lyon player

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On a night when UEFA unveiled a new campaign for respect, there wasn’t enough of it shown both on and off the field.

Everton has followed up on UEFA opening up disciplinary proceedings against them by banning a fan from Everton matches after the fan was seen to punch at an Olympique Lyon player in the second half of Lyon’s 2-1 win at Goodison Park.

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“Club Officials have reviewed the footage of an incident that occurred in the 64th minute of the game against Olympique Lyonnais where supporters towards the front of the lower Gwladys Street End became involved in a confrontation between players,” Everton said in a statement. “We have identified one individual whom action will now be taken against. This will include a ban from attending future Everton fixtures and the Club registering a formal complaint with Merseyside Police.”

The video below shows a fan – amazingly, holding onto a small boy in one arm – throwing some punches at Lyon players after a fracas on the field.

The punch and ban is yet another dark moment for Everton, which has just one point from its first three Europa League matches and sits in 16th place in the Premier League with eight points from eight games.