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La Liga & Serie A: Eibar chasing Europe; Roma still chasing Juve

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A roundup of Sunday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights…

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup | Man United win | Everton, too ]

Celta Vigo 0-2 Eibar

European soccer may just be coming to Ipurua Municipal Stadium, the tiny 7,000-seat home of Eibar, far and away the lowest capacity stadium in La Liga. Saturday’s 2-0 victory away to Celta Vigo, courtesy of goals scored by Kike Garcia and Pedro Leon, pulled Eibar level (ahead on goal differential) for seventh (Spain’s second automatic Europa League spot) two days after Athletic Bilbao lost 3-1 away to Villarreal.

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Real Madrid 30 22 6 2 79 31 48 12-4-0 10-2-2 72
 Barcelona 31 21 6 4 88 28 60 11-3-1 10-3-3 69
 Atlético Madrid 31 18 8 5 56 24 32 11-2-2 7-6-3 62
 Sevilla 31 18 7 6 56 39 17 11-3-1 7-4-5 61
 Villarreal 31 15 9 7 45 24 21 9-3-4 6-6-3 54
 Eibar 31 14 8 9 52 42 10 9-3-4 5-5-5 50
 Athletic 31 15 5 11 40 36 4 11-3-2 4-2-9 50
 Real Sociedad 30 15 4 11 43 41 2 7-4-4 8-0-7 49
 Espanyol 31 12 10 9 43 42 1 8-5-3 4-5-6 46

Elsewhere in La Liga — SATURDAY’S ROUNDUP

Granada 1-3 Valencia
Osasuna 2-1 Leganes
Las Palmas 4-1 Real Betis


Bologna 0-3 Roma

Juventus won on Saturday to go nine points clear in the Scudetto race, which means a slip-up by Roma on Sunday would all but end the title race. Their response? A 3-0 thrashing of Bologna that was done and dusted before halftime. Federico Fazio opened the scoring in the 25th minute, and Mohamed Salah doubled the lead four minutes before halftime.

Edin Dzeko‘ss 24th goal of the season made it 3-0 in the 75th minute, keeping the Bosnian international even with Torino’s Andrea Belotti (one goal on Sunday) in the Golden Boot race.

Lazio 0-3 Napoli

Lazio’s pursuit of third place, and the UEFA Champions League place that comes with it, is all but dead after suffering a 3-0 demolition at the hands of Napoli, the side they’re chasing for third.

Jose Callejon made it 1-0 in the 25th minute, and a second-half brace from Lorenzo Insigne 51st and 91st minutes) signaled the all but certain end of Lazio’s Champions League chase. With seven games remaining, Napoli’s lead has ballooned to seven points. A Lazio victory would have, of course, cut it to one.

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Juventus 31 25 2 4 62 20 42 16-0-0 9-2-4 77
 Roma 31 23 2 6 69 26 43 14-0-1 9-2-5 71
 Napoli 31 20 7 4 72 33 39 10-4-2 10-3-2 67
 Lazio 31 18 6 7 52 34 18 10-2-4 8-4-3 60
 Atalanta 31 18 5 8 52 34 18 10-2-3 8-3-5 59
 AC Milan 31 17 6 8 47 33 14 11-2-3 6-4-5 57
 Inter Milan 31 17 4 10 57 35 22 10-2-3 7-2-7 55
 Fiorentina 31 14 10 7 49 39 10 8-7-0 6-3-7 52

Elsewhere in Serie ASATURDAY’S ROUNDUP

Sampdoria 2-2 Fiorentina
Udinese 3-0 Genoa
Crotone 2-1 Inter Milan
AC Milan 4-0 Palermo
Cagliari 2-3 Torino

Stoke City adds versatile Greek left-sided man on loan

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
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New Stoke City boss Paul Lambert is tasked with shoring up a defense which has been bottom half in goals allowed for several seasons, and has made his first move.

[ MORE: Top PL storylines — Week 24  ]

Kostas Stafylidis is a 24-year-old left-sided player with 22 Greek caps to his name, but he’s fallen out of favor at Bundesliga side Augsburg and managed just 31 minutes this season.

He’ll head on loan to the Potteries, where he’ll attempt to aid the leakiest side in the Premier League. Stoke’s 50 goals allowed are eight more than its closest competitor (Watford).

Stafylidis has played left back and left mid for club and country, though he had his most league success last season at left back. He scored four goals and was rated Augsburg’s best field player by WhoScored and its top player overall by Squawka.

And he wants to be there (from StokeCityfc.com):

“As soon as I heard I told my agent directly that I wanted this move,” he added. “I left it to him then, he spoke to the Club more, and then to the trainer and we all wanted to make this move happen. It is good for me, it is good for the Club to bring me here for five months and I am very happy about that.”

Top Premier League storylines — Week 24

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It’s the first week of the Premier League season which follows a Manchester City league loss, so you know our top storyline of the week is going to begin with Pep Guardiola‘s men.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Just how big of a bounce back will there be for Man City?
Manchester City vs. Newcastle United — 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC STREAM ]

The manager, who turned 47 on Thursday, saw Liverpool use a frantic second half spell to boost a 4-3 win and end hopes of an unbeaten PL season.

And while Jurgen Klopp‘s high press kept them off-kilter for most of the first half and had them rattled early in the second, City still came within a late free kick to finding a point.

Enter Newcastle, a club that flustered them at St. James’ Park last month and came within a Dwight Gayle-turned header of finding a point for Christmas.

So how angry is City after its first loss of the season? Maybe a better word is motivated, and we expect that City will hang a big number on Rafa Benitez‘s men considering the Spaniard isn’t likely to try to repeat what worked for Klopp.

Wobbly Burnley plays host to sound Manchester United
Burnley vs. Manchester United — 10 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN STREAM ]

Jose Mourinho’s men head to Turf Moor with Alexis Sanchez expected to join their side any day and both Liverpool and Chelsea three points behind the Red Devils.

Believe it or not, though, the match is more pivotal for the hosts, who are in danger of slipping deep into the back of chasers after their stingy and resolute start to the season had the Clarets aiming for a Top Seven place.

Now Leicester is within three of the 7th place Clarets, and Everton is seven back with two big additions in place of need. If Burnley wants to stay in the race for seventh, it needs to get its first win in seven tries. Seven’s the number, you see?

United hasn’t allowed a goal in four matches, dating back to a 2-2 draw on Dec. 26… against Burnley.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Will the Gunners show signs of life after tumultuous week(s)?
Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace — 10 a.m. ET Saturday on CNBC 
STREAM ]

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Arsenal’s first loss in a month turned “unbeaten in seven” to “one win in five,” and Arsene Wenger‘s men look set to lose Alexis Sanchez and have already watched last season’s second-leading scorer, Theo Walcott, skip town for Everton.

Meanwhile, Palace played the Gunners tight in a 3-2 loss on Dec. 28, and that was the Eagles’ only Premier League loss since a 1-0 defeat at Spurs on Nov. 5.

Is Liverpool going to stay motivated?
Swansea City vs. Liverpool — 3 p.m. ET Monday STREAM ]

On the surface this is silly, especially with Virgil Van Dijk happy to return to the fold. Yet Liverpool has a knack of playing down to its opponents. The Reds are coming off a major win over Manchester City and have the knowledge of a recent battering of cellar-dwelling Swans in their back pocket. Will they rise up on Monday? The national focus could help.

Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks

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Week 24 of the Premier League is here and the race for the top four and against relegation is really heating up.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live ] 

If you, like me, love to dissect all the games and predict what the score will be and which team will win, I encourage you to get involved in the comments section below. Let’s have a bit of fun.

Okay, so I’ve consulted my crystal ball and here’s how we see things panning out. Listen carefully, because this is very specific.

[ STREAM: Premier League “Goal Rush”

With the first section labelled “basically, free money” for the picks I think are dead certs. The section labelled “don’t touch this” means if you’re betting I advise you to stay clear, while the “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” section are the long shots. If it is better odds you are after, those are the picks to go for. 


BASICALLY, FREE MONEY

Burnley 0-3 Man United – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Man City 4-1 Newcastle – (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC) –  [STREAM

Southampton 0-3 Tottenham – (Sunday, 11 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Arsenal 3-1 Crystal Palace (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, CNBC) – [STREAM

West Ham 2-0 Bournemouth – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

Swansea City 0-3 Liverpool – (Monday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

DON’T TOUCH THIS… 

Leicester City 2-1 Watford – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM]

Brighton 1-2 Chelsea – (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Stoke City 1-1 Huddersfield – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

“SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE’S A CHANCE…”

Everton 2-2 West Brom – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

Premier League TV, streaming schedule: MD 24

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Drink in all the Premier League action you can get before the FA Cup takes center stage the weekend after next.

MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ]

The full TV schedule for the games this weekend are 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 around the grounds. 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

Saturday
7:30 a.m. ET: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Chelsea – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Burnley vs. Manchester United – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace – CNBC [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Everton vs. West Bromwich Albion – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Leicester City vs. Watford – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Stoke City vs. Huddersfield Town – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: West Ham United vs. Bournemouth – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
12:30 p.m. ET: Manchester City vs. Newcastle United – NBC [STREAM]

Sunday
11 a.m. ET: Southampton vs. Tottenham Hotspur – NBCSN [STREAM]

Monday
3 p.m. ET: Swansea City vs. Liverpool – NBCSN [STREAM]