Premier League Weds. preview: Chasing down Chelsea?

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Only two Top Seven teams played as the Premier League kicked off its midweek matches on Tuesday, and both dropped points.

[ BUNDESLIGA: In-form Kramaric tops Bayern ]

Everton and Manchester United drew 1-1 at Old Trafford, giving Arsenal a chance to go fifth and the Top Four the opportunity to secure breathing room from both United and Arsenal.

Realistically, most eyes will be on Chelsea. The Blues fell to Crystal Palace last week and that got the wildest of imaginations running; What if the personalities that self-destructed last season are off the boil? It’s incredibly unlikely, but Spurs, Man City, and so many others are dreaming of a rot infestation at Stamford Bridge.


Chelsea vs. Manchester City
3 p.m. EDT, NBCSN – [STREAM

Of course Tottenham supporters will be pulling for Pep Guardiola‘s bunch on Tuesday, as Chelsea’s Premier League lead could be down to four points if the Blues lose and Spurs beat Swansea City.

That’s easier said than done, of course, with the Blues stung by a shocking loss to Crystal Palace and likely quite ornery. Antonio Conte will be up for a tactical battle with Guardiola, and we should all reap the benefits.

Arsenal vs. West Ham United
2:45 p.m. EDT, Premier League Extratime – [STREAM]

The Gunners welcome a reeling West Ham side which has dipped back into the relegation zone, but nothing’s a given when it comes to Arsenal these days. Arsene Wenger‘s crew will know that it can catch Manchester United with a win. The Irons would probably take a point right now.

Southampton vs. Crystal Palace
2:45 p.m. EDT, Premier League Extratime – [STREAM

Like Leicester City, Palace has leapt up the table with a series of wins. The Eagles could finish Wednesday as high as 13th if results go their way, although one would have to be a three-goal win at St. Mary’s. That seems unlikely, with Saints daydreaming of ninth by getting three points of their own.

Hull City vs. Middlesbrough
2:45 p.m. EDT, Premier League Extratime – [STREAM

This could really be it for the visitors: lose to Hull and you’re at least five points out of safety (more if Swans can steal a point from visiting Spurs). Hull’s league-worst goal differential means its tiebreaker game is weak. Is this where Boro finally finds some goals?

Swansea City vs. Tottenham Hotspur
2:45 p.m. EDT, Premier League Extratime– [STREAM

Unfortunately for Paul Clement‘s Swans, Spurs will not be caught off guard by a trip to the relegation-threatened Welsh side. The opportunity to see more than a sliver of light at the top of the table will have Hugo Lloris and Co. raring for yet another win and, at worst, a tighter grip on second place.

Liverpool vs. Bournemouth
3 p.m. EDT, Premier League Extratime – [STREAM

Both Jurgen Klopp and Eddie Howe love to play an entertaining style, so neutral viewers could do far worse than scheduling a couple of hours for Wednesday’s to-do at Anfield. Even without Sadio Mane, this one should have fireworks.

AT HALF: Rooney’s beauty leads entertaining 1-1 vs. Arsenal

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The first 10 minutes of Arsenal’s visit to Everton may’ve well been subtitled, “Alexandre Lacazette versus Jordan Pickford,” but Wayne Rooney changed that.

The Everton hero, two days shy of his 32nd birthday, buried his 15th career goal against Arsenal by picking up the ball after a 50-50 scrap opened the ball into his path.

[ STREAM: Everton vs. Arsenal ]

What a hit.

Unfortunately for Everton, Nacho Monreal hit back just before the break to level the score.

Follow @NicholasMendola

Report: Takeover bid would put $660m in Newcastle transfer kitty

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When the summer transfer window closed, there were rumors that Rafa Benitez, furious with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s refusal to live up to his war chest promises, would leave the Northeast regardless of what it meant for his checkbook.

Now, Benitez may get a huge pay-off and stay at Newcastle United.

[ RECAP: Newcastle 1-0 Palace ]

Ashley has reportedly put the Premier League club up for sale, and one of the biggest names mentioned is Amanda Staveley. She’s helped organized takeover bids for Manchester City and Liverpool and, like most prospective owners, has plenty of money.

And, as if to get the Magpies support even more excited at the prospect of new blood in the ownership seats… From The Express:

While Staveley who controls around £30 billion of capital through her PCP Capital Partners firm also advised a group Dubai-based investors during a bid to buy Liverpool.

And Benitez will be given substantial funds on new players as much as £500 million in the next two transfer windows to turn Newcastle into title contenders.
Putting those figures into dollars lends an interesting perspective to how much money and prestige there is in football, in particular the Premier League. Staveley is said to have a hold on $40 billion — for an American angle, that’s more than 13 times the president’s net worth — and is ready to provide almost $660 million in investiture.

Follow @NicholasMendola

Watch Live: Everton vs. Arsenal

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Arsene Wenger celebrates his 68th birthday with a trip to Merseyside, as Arsenal visits Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday (Watch live at 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez both start underneath Alexandre Lacazette for Wenger.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin starts up top for Everton and under fire manager Ronald Koeman, while Jonjoe Kenny starts at right back.

LINEUPS

Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Baines, Williams, Jagielka (c), Keane, Gana Gueye, Vlasic, Sigurdsson, Rooney, Calvert-Lewin. SubsJoel, Mirallas, Martina, Niasse, Klaassen, Davies, Lookman.

Arsenal: Cech, Monreal, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Bellerin, Sanchez, Ozil, Lacazette. Subs: Macey, Holding, Coquelin, Wilshere, Iwobi, Walcott, Giroud.

Klopp: Liverpool “not 500 miles away” from Man City’s standard

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Jurgen Klopp remains bullish on his Liverpool’s credentials as one of the Premier League’s top-four sides title challengers this season.

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup | Sunday preview — Spurs vs. Liverpool ]

While everyone else might be writing off the Reds due to their propensity for defensive disasters on an every-game basis, Klopp refuses to concede that a gap of “500 miles” exists between his side and Manchester City, the early-days runaway leaders of the 2017-18 season — quotes from the Guardian:

“I don’t compare City with us, but I think everyone can see we are not 500 miles away. But they fly. It was a very decisive day when we lost 5-0. Dealing with a 5-0 defeat is not the easiest thing. We didn’t lose confidence but we were not that fluent afterwards and it was not like we could close our eyes and finish [thinking about it]. They did exactly the opposite. I saw the Stoke goals, you see the shot from Fernandinho and you think, ‘If it works, it works even like this.’ They are a fantastic team and we don’t have to compare, but it starts so early again with us having to apologize for the season so far because one team is flying.”

“Their way of football I would say is not something we are too far away from but to be as clinical as they have been so far? We weren’t.

“That’s the thing. We are still in the race, not with City in the moment because they have I don’t how many points, and I don’t say already that we should only fight for a top-four place. Performance-wise we are a team that should be there but now we have to get the results.”

[ TACTICS SESSION: Inside the brilliant mind of Kevin De Bruyne ]

All due respect to Klopp and Liverpool, the league table says City currently have 25 points (having played one game more), while Liverpool have 13. That’s not a difference of 500 points, but taking into account not only results but performances, it might as well be.