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Premier League Preview: Bournemouth vs. Chelsea

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  • Chelsea won 3-0 on Boxing Day
  • Cherries last won in Dec. 2015
  • Chelsea leads all-time 5W-2L

Antonio Conte will be in the Chelsea dugout for Saturday’s NBC affair against Bournemouth, and for the foreseeable future (Watch at 12:30 p.m. EDT on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Speaking at Friday’s prematch press conference, Conte moved quickly to dismiss reports linking him to Inter Milan.

“I’m very happy to stay,” Conte said. “I worked in Italy. They want to come back for me in Italy. It’s normal. I have two more years of contract with Chelsea. This is the truth. This is the most important thing. I don’t like when I listen to other persons talking about me.”

The Blues enter the day with a seven-point lead atop the Premier League table, while Bournemouth is still within striking distance of the top half.

The Cherries might be just two points off ninth, but they are also only seven points above the drop zone. It’s a long shot that they’ll get dragged into the muck, but every point will feel like two or three.

What they’re saying

Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe on taking momentum to Chelsea“I enjoy the challenge, I enjoyed it against Liverpool. Tactically it was very interesting with aspects changing throughout the game. I have a lot of respect for Jurgen Klopp and I think they’ll be very strong next year, they are strong this year as well. It reinforces our belief we can get points against anyone.”

Antonio Conte on the challenge of Bournemouth“They are a really good team with a good coach. They have a good idea of football. I know the atmosphere at their stadium is hot. I think we must pay great attention because if we think tomorrow is easy we are making a great mistake.”

Prediction

The road will be a challenge, but one Chelsea will overcome with a 2-0 win at the Vitality Stadium.

VIDEO: A sneak peek of Everton’s Europa League journey – Part 2

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In Part 2 of Everton Unseen, European football returns to Goodison Park as Everton host MFK Ruzomberok in the qualifying round of the Europa League.

Click play on the video below to get a feel for how Goodison Park will be in the second leg of the Europa League in Part 2 of this videos series.

[ MORE: Live Europa League scores

[ WATCH: Part 1 of Everton Unseen ] 

http://www.nbcsports.com/video/everton-unseen-part-2-everton-host-mfk-ruzomberok-europa-league

FIFA to send in emergency team to run Cameroon football

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA says it is sending in an emergency management team to run the troubled Cameroon football federation.

The panel to be appointed by FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will oversee elections by next March to replace disputed polls in 2015 for the Cameroon federation board.

FIFA’s intervention comes amid speculation Cameroon could be stripped of hosting the next African Cup of Nations in June-July 2019.

CAF President Ahmad this month cast doubt on Cameroon’s ability to prepare for the expanded 24-team tournament.

FIFA says Wednesday it acted after “recent failed attempts … to reconcile the football stakeholders in Cameroon and overcome the current impasse.”

Transfer Roundup: Tottenham complete signing of Sanchez, Clucas joins Swansea

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Tottenham reportedly broke the bank for its first transfer of the summer.

The North London club confirmed that it had completed a transfer with Ajax for defender Davinson Sanchez after the Colombian international passed a medical. According to The Telegraph, the deal is worth around $54 million, a club record. The deal is subject to acquisition of Sanchez’s work permit but given the transfer fee and him being in Colombia’s squad, it’s likely a mere formality at this point.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The 21-year-old defender brings speed and strength to Tottenham’s backline as well as a year of seasoning in the Eredivisie, which features plenty of attacking talent. Sanchez will battle with Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen for a place in Spurs’ three-man backline.

It’s a risk moving to a new club a year ahead of the World Cup, but Sanchez is hoping that with appearances in the UEFA Champions League and Premier League up for grabs, he can do well enough to keep his place in the Colombia National Team squad.

Here’s some more transfer news from across England:

(more…)

Liverpool bombard Hoffenheim with three-goal first half

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Liverpool got off to a flying start in the second leg of its UEFA Champions League tie with Hoffenheim.

With the loyal Anfield crowd behind the team, the Reds scored three goals in the first 21 minutes, two of them from Emre Can to put Liverpool well in control of the tie.

Can’s opener was followed by a goal from Mo Salah before the German international scored a wide-open goal at the back post to make it 3-0 and 5-1 on aggregate. Sadio Mane played a big role in both of Can’s goals.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann went to the bench right after the third goal and brought on Mark Uth, who promptly scored to bright a little hope back to the German club.

Here’s a look at the flying first half of goals for Liverpool.

Emre Can 10′

Mohamed Salah 18′

Emre Can 21′

Mark Uth 28′