Premier League fixtures: Top 10 must-see games

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The start of a new Premier League season is less than two months away and with it brings some mouth-watering matchups.

As Chelsea look to defend the title, Tottenham, Manchester United, Manchester City Liverpool and Arsenal are all looking to unseat the Blues at the Premier League throne.

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A simple caveat; With so many transfers into and out of the Premier League still to take place, it’s tough to know exactly how strong certain teams will look come the end of the transfer window. But here’s our best shot at it.

Here’s a look at ten (or more) must-see matchups of the 2017-2018 Premier League season.

August 12: Chelsea vs. Burnley

Chelsea’s title defense begins at Stamford Bridge against Sean Dyche and Burnley on the first weekend of the season.

Burnley were able to survive the drop by six points while Chelsea ran away with the title, leading the Premier League for most of the season. Chelsea will be hoping to get off to another good start in the coming season.

August 19: Tottenham vs. Chelsea

With Tottenham’s new stadium being rushed into construction on the same site as White Hart Lane, the team moves temporarily to Wembley Stadium for the upcoming season. Spurs first game comes against Chelsea, which knocked Spurs out of the FA Cup that along with Spurs miserable run at Wembley for the UEFA Champions League made for terrible memories in the national stadium.

Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino can gain a measure of revenge with a win over Chelsea in the home opener.

November 4: Manchester City vs. Arsenal (and Chelsea vs. Manchester United)

Ahead of the final international break of 2017, Pep Guardiola and Manchester City host an Arsenal team in flux. Arsene Wenger is back but it remains to be seen whether Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will still be Gunners players. If so, Arsenal will attempt to reverse its poor fortunes on the road against top six opponents in the table.

In addition to that match, Chelsea hosts Jose Mourinho and Manchester United in a statement game for both sides.

November 18: Arsenal vs. Tottenham 

For the first time in 22 years, there was no St. Totteringham’s Day in North London as Tottenham finished 11 points ahead of Arsenal in the table, bumping the Gunners from the UEFA Champions League. In addition, Tottenham drew on the road and beat Arsenal at home in last year’s Premier League fixtures.

November 28: Brighton vs. Crystal Palace

On a Tuesday night on the south coast of England, a rivalry will be renewed. Promoted Brighton and Hove Albion haven’t faced rivals Crystal Palace since the Championship playoffs in 2013 but now for the first time the teams will meet in the Premier League. Expect plenty of fireworks and a game that will be entertaining for fans to watch.

December 9: Liverpool vs. Everton

The first Liverpool derby of the season is always must-watch TV, and this season should be no different. Jurgen Klopp continues to bolster Liverpool’s squad while Ronald Koeman has graduated some of the youngsters out of Everton’s academy and given them a chance to impress. Some of Liverpool’s finest will be on display for both sides in this high-stakes rivalry.

Boxing Day December 26

There’s a trio of must-see Boxing Day matches. Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United host countryman Guardiola and his Manchester City squad to the northeast of England, Pochettino faces his former club Southampton while Arsenal travels south to Crystal Palace, where the Gunners lost this past season.

February 24: Arsenal vs. Manchester City (and Manchester United vs. Chelsea)

It’s the return leg of the November matchups and in the previous 10 years, this is the spot of the season where Arsenal would have its decline and fall out of the title race. With the team potentially playing in the Europa League ahead of this, advancing in the tournament could give Arsenal a boost while another European exit would be a confidence killer.

April 7: Manchester City vs. Manchester United April 7

A Manchester derby to close out the season? Yes please. Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and co. against Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero. It’s a can’t miss event.

May 5: Chelsea vs Liverpool

If Chelsea or Liverpool win the title, this game could be crucial. It’s the second-to-last week of the season and it’s the last major test for both teams with title ambitions.

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′