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Premier League clubs in 2017 Masters: Who to support at Augusta

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Okay, so maybe you don’t pay too much attention to golf usually.

We get it. Soccer is awesome.

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Still, with the 2017 Masters taking place at Augusta National in Georgia over the next four days it will be hard to not be caught up in the magic of the green jacket.

With that in mind, here’s a handy little guide which may be useful if you are a PL fan and find yourself wanting to cheer on a particular golfer at the Masters.

[ MORE: Latest from the 2017 Masters

We’ve made a comparison between Premier League clubs and top professional golfers who will be teeing up. Imagine the following 20 golfers are PL clubs…


Phil Mickelson is Arsenal – A stalwart who has won three green jackets and should have won many more (Arsenal fans can certainly relate to this) Mickelson often plays with style and panache over substance. Again, Arsenal fans can both respect and relate to that. Like Arsena’s boss Arsene Wenger, a legendary figure of his game.

Matthew Fitzpatrick is Bournemouth – Young, fresh faced and full of talent, Fitzpatrick is regarded as the next big English talent by many. Eddie Howe is the next best English manager and the young team he has at Bournemouth continues to punch above their weight with the big boys. Maybe Fitzpatrick can do the same this weekend.

Tyrrell Hatton is Burnley – The Englishman has impressed on the European Tour and has made the step up to the PGA Tour with ease. Burnley have been similar this season after being promoted from the Championship as Sean Dyche‘s men look nailed on to survive in the Premier League for the first time in history. For both it’s all about one thing: ‘what’s next?’

Dustin Johnson is Chelsea – A back injury or not, Johnson is the red-hot favorite to win the Masters. He is the world No.1 and like Chelsea is sweeping all before him with power and his incredible driving ability. Plenty more silverware will be handled by this duo in the years to come with Chelsea on course to win the Premier League title.

Bubba Watson is Crystal Palace – Yes, Watson has won two Masters tournaments in the past and Palace have never won a major trophy in club history, but they are very similar because of this fact: you never know what you’re going to get. Bubba delivers all kinds of trick shots and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Palace have passionate fans, which Bubba will appreciate, and both are streaky with the Eagles often going on huge consecutive losing and winning wins throughout a season.

Jon Rahm is Everton – The hottest young talent on the scene, Spaniard Rahm has taken the golfing world by storm. Everton have plenty of youngsters in their team with Ronald Koeman rebuilding their squad for a top six challenge. Rahm would settle for a top six finish but he’ll fancy his chances of winning the famous green jacket.

Lee Westwood is Hull City – Westwood, like Hull, hails from Yorkshire and he is known as a battler who hangs in there when times are tough. Westwood’s record around Augusta has been impressive in recent seasons with six top-11 finishes since 2010. Hull are peaking at the right time of the season under Marco Silva and could well rise to the occasion and stave off relegation.

Danny Willett is Leicester City – The extreme underdogs who won the biggest prize last time out. That is Leicester and Willett. The lad from Sheffield, England came from nowhere to win the Masters last year and, like Leicester this season, he’s having a tough time. That said, nobody will ever forget Leicester and Willett for their unexpected success.

Rickie Fowler is Liverpool – Talented, fun and full of life, Rickie Fowler is on the verge of breaking through and winning his first major. The same can be said for Liverpool’s young team put together by Jurgen Klopp. Both are fun to watch but have a few small adjustments to make to start winning major silverware.

Jordan Spieth is Manchester City – A powerhouse who has dominated in recent years, Spieth is fine-tuning his game. Just like Pep Guardiola is doing at City, the tools are there to succeed and City’s two PL titles in the past four seasons show that. Now for both Spieth and City it is all about finding a winning formula which gets results consistently. In three Masters appearances Spieth has one win and two runners up finishes. Not bad…

Rory McIlroy is Manchester United – A giant who is battling hard to get back to the heights of a few years ago when he was winning major titles left, right and center. McIlroy has to overcome some big challenges at Augusta after collapsing on the back nine in 2011, so both are trying to regain mental strength to get back on top. Plus, Rory is a United fan too.

Chris Wood is Middlesbrough – Capable of grinding out results, Englishman Chris Wood has won plenty of tournaments on the European Tour and is on the verge of breaking through and consistently challenging for top 20 finishes. Boro will be hoping they can pull off some big wins in the final weeks of the season to secure their PL status.

Justin Rose is Southampton – He was born not far from Southampton in England, so this makes sense. That said, Rose continues to deliver each season just when it seems like he has regressed. Saints continue to do the same and have a perfect mixture of defensive solidity and flair.

Jimmy Walker is Stoke City – Hard as nails, Walker just keeps grinding out top 10 finishes. Stoke do the same with three-straight ninth place finishes in the PL. Walker has a Major under his belt and Stoke are certainly capable of winning a cup competition or beating any PL team on their day. Solid and dependable.

Paul Casey is Sunderland – Now, with Sunderland sitting bottom of the PL table this was a hard pick but Casey personifies a grafter. He is someone who always seems to punch above his weight and deliver at Augusta (six top 20’s) and knows his way around the course well. Not the most glamorous duo but when both hit rock bottom they always find a way to drag themselves back up.

Daniel Berger is Swansea City – With Swansea’s American owners, this makes sense. Seriously, though, Berger is on the rise and Swansea are hoping they are too under manager Paul Clement. There will be bumps along the way but both Berger and the Swans are hoping to stay battling among the big boys for many years to come.

Jason Day is Tottenham Hotspur – The lovable Day has won one Major and would love to add another to his collection. Talented, humble and young is how you would describe Tottenham too as they finished third in the PL last season and look set for at least a second place finish this year. Can Day, and Spurs, deliver more than a top two finish?

Brandt Snedeker is Watford – Ticking along nicely without anybody really noticing, both Snedeker and Watford just go about their business with minimum fuss. On their days they can cause big upsets but more often than that they’ll be steady and perform just above what is expected. Nothing wrong with that.

Hideki Matsuyama is West Brom – Having a very good last 12 months, the Japanese star has finished in the top 10 in each of his last two trips to the Masters. West Brom are having a fine season of their own and look set to finish in eighth place in the PL with a record points tally. Upward trend for both is clear.

Sergio Garcia is West Ham United – Garcia has been in the hunt for the Masters and many major titles in the past but just hasn’t got over the line. That sums up West Ham in recent years as they’ve flirted with the top four and winning an FA Cup but haven’t quite got there. Talent is never the issue with both Garcia and the Hammers.

Premier League TV, streaming schedule

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More midweek action is coming up in the Premier League. Let the festive fun continue.

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The full TV schedule for this weekend is below, plus you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC Sports.com,the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold.

Gold also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: Premier League live here ] 

You can also watch Premier League “Goal Rush” at for all the goals as they go in. Goal Rush is available via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports App.

[ MORE: Premier League “Goal Rush” ] 

If you’re looking for full-event replays of Premier League games, you can find them here for the games streamed on NBCSports.com and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

Here’s your full TV schedule for the coming days. Enjoy.


FULL TV SCHEDULE

Tuesday
2:45 p.m. ET: Burnley vs. Stoke City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
2:45 p.m. ET: Crystal Palace vs. Watford – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea – NBCSN [STREAM

Wednesday
2:45 p.m. ET: Swansea City vs. Manchester City – NBCSN [STREAM]
2:45.m. ET: Southampton vs. Leicester City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
2:45 p.m. ET: Newcastle United vs. Everton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: West Ham United vs. Arsenal – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Liverpool vs. West Brom – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Manchester United vs. Bournemouth – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Brighton & Hove Albion – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Premier League notes: Wanyama, Bolasie return after long layoffs, Sakho injured

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Two Premier League clubs saw a pair of players return to the field after long spells on the sidelines.

Tottenham revealed that Victor Wanyama took part in training on Monday for the first time since suffering a knee injury in late August, which has kept him off the field since then. Wanyama started in both of Tottenham’s first two fixtures of the season before the injury.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

At the same time in the northwest of England, Yannick Bolasie returned to the field for Everton’s reserves for the first time since suffering a torn ACL last December against Manchester United. Everton manager Sam Allardyce hinted recently that Bolasie could even make the first team subs bench before the end of the calendar year as he continues his rehab.

(more…)

Report: Sporting KC on verge of signing French midfielder Croizet

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Sporting Kansas City could be adding some European flair to its midfield this offseason.

According to multiple reports, the MLS club is in negotiations to sign French midfielder Yohan Croizet, who currently plays for Belgian first division side KV Mechelen. Croizet, who reportedly cost Mechelen a transfer fee worth more than $1 million, has started all 15 games he’s played for his side this season but has been substituted off on seven occasions and Mechelen are currently struggling in the league, sitting in 13th place with 18 points from 18 games.

Croizet hasn’t played since November 17, and appears on his way out.

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Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes, a Hungarian-American, is no stranger to the European market and has brought over plenty of diamonds in the rough from Europe to star with Sporting KC. Some previous examples, though in different positions from Croizet, include current winger Gerso, Krisztián Németh, Uri Rosell, and Aurelien Collin.

It will be interesting to see where Croizet plays in the Sporting KC side should it sign him, and how he works with Benny Feilhaber, who is turning 33-years old in January.

Arsenal lands Ostersunds in Europa League draw

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Arsenal will face a team with an English connection in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32.

The Gunners were paired with Swedish side Ostersunds in the Europa League knockout stage draw Monday, with matches set to be played on February 15 and February 22. Ostersund are managed by Englishman Graham Potter, who played in the Championship and lower in England before starting his managerial career with Ostersunds in 2010 in the fourth tier of Swedish soccer.

[READ: UCL draw+analysis]

Ostersunds surprised many earlier this year winning the Swedish Cup to qualify for the Europa League, and then advanced out of a group that included Hertha Berlin and Athletic Bilbao.

It represents an interesting draw for Arsenal, which will have to balance the squad during a tough February. The weekend prior to the first-leg match is the second leg of the North London derby against Tottenham, and following the second match with Ostersunds is a showdown with Manchester City.

Here’s a look at how the rest of the draw shook out: