How is 2017-18 looking for Americans in the Premier League?

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There are five players who have been involved with the full U.S. national team who will feature in the 2017-18 Premier League season.

[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ] 

In a World Cup year we will all be keeping a very close eye on them.

Below we look at what lies ahead for each player and their club in the upcoming campaign as they aim to keep impressing Bruce Arena ahead of Russia 2018 (fingers crossed).


Geoff Cameron – Stoke City

The U.S. national team’s starting center back signed a new contract at Stoke City at the end of last season and is heading into his sixth campaign as a regular for the Potters. Each season he is inching closer to Clint Dempsey‘s record as the outfield American player with the most appearances in PL history. Cameron, 32, will likely start in central midfield for Stoke this season after a string of man of the match performances at the end of last season when he returned from a long-term knee injury. It’s a big year for the Massachusetts native who will be in the USMNT’s starting lineup at the World Cup in Russia next summer as long as he’s fit and, of course, the U.S. qualify. Composed on the ball and strong in the air and the tackle, Cameron adds a calming influence to Stoke’s midfield and his versatility (right back, center back or center mid) means he is a hugely valuable asset to Mark Hughes‘ side.

DeAndre Yedlin – Newcastle United

Yedlin, 24, will start the season on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury in a preseason friendly. The former Seattle Sounders star made 32 appearances and scored once for Newcastle in their title-winning season in England’s second-tier in 2016-17 and he’s now ready to return to the PL after having a taste whilst on loan at Sunderland in 2015-16. He may not be Rafael Benitez’s first-choice right back after the summer arrival of Javier Manquillo but Yedlin’s versatility mean he can be deployed as a winger, wing back or full back down the right. Once he’s fully-fit expect him to make plenty of appearances for the Magpies this season. His surging forward runs are dangerous and he needs a big season under his belt in a World Cup year.

Danny Williams – Huddersfield Town

A huge season for Williams, 28, at Reading last season saw him clinch a move to newly-promoted Huddersfield. With his Reading side losing to Huddersfield on penalty kicks in the playoff final at Wembley, Williams put in a superb all-action display in midfield and obviously impressed fellow German-American David Wagner enough for the Huddersfield boss to give him a contract. Williams was a free transfer (bargain alert!) and he will compete straight away for a starting spot for the Terriers. A relegation battle likely awaits but Williams will be hoping he will get regular minutes in the PL to impress Bruce Arena and work into his plans for the USMNT. With stunning goals against Brazil and the Netherlands for the U.S. he has shown what he can do in the past but hasn’t appeared for the Stars and Stripes since 2016. Williams has experience of playing in the Bundesliga but is yet to appear in the Premier League. After four years giving his all with Reading to try and gain promotion he has finally achieved his dream, but with Huddersfield.

Emerson Hyndman – Bournemouth

The former Fulham midfielder and U.S. U-20 captain spent last season on loan at Glasgow Rangers and excelled but an untimely injury during preseason means he has started life back at parent club Bournemouth with plenty of work to do. Hyndman, 21, is now at a crossroads in his career. He is contracted to Bournemouth for another three seasons but unless he breaks into Eddie Howe‘s squad consistently this season then he will likely be loaned elsewhere again. Jack Wilshere won’t be at Bournemouth this season so another midfield slot has opened up, but can Hyndman displace veterans Harry Arter, Andrew Surman and Dan Gosling, plus youngster Lewis Cook, for one of the central midfield roles? It will be a big ask for the Dallas native but his composure on the ball and ability to time his runs into the box will impress Howe.

Cameron Carter-Vickers – Tottenham Hotspur

It is hard to believe Carter-Vickers is still just 19 years old. He’s been around Spurs’ first team squad for the past two seasons and Mauricio Pochettino is known to be a huge fan of the U.S. national team youngster. Although he hasn’t made his full debut for the USMNT, Jurgen Klinsmann called him up to the squad after he impressed for the U.S. U-20’s. CCV has played in plenty of games for Spurs during preseason and continues to be given plenty of chances to develop with the English national team keeping a close eye on him with the defender born and raised in Essex to an American father. The young center back has Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld ahead of him in the pecking order at Spurs, but with Kevin Wimmer likely on the way out he will remain with Spurs’ first team this season. Any defensive injuries could see him make his PL debut after appearing in cup competitions last season.

The 2 Robbies: Alexis/Mkhitaryan transfer saga and more

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Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle recap all the key stories from the latest Premier League Saturday fixtures including Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Newcastle (0:20), Chelsea’s 4-0 victory at Brighton (10:15) and the latest on the Alexis Sanchez/Henrikh Mkhitaryan saga after wins for Arsenal and Manchester United (19:00). Plus, a closer look at the bottom of the table and thoughts go out to James McCarthy after his serious injury against West Brom (29:00).

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:

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Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

Video: Stoke’s Imbula scores stunner on loan at Toulouse

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Stoke City supporters know the name Giannelli Imbula, and perhaps they’ll be clamoring for the Frenchman to return to the bet365 Stadium if he can score more goals like this.

[ MORE: PL Roundup — Top three all victorious; Gunners thrash Palace ]

The holding midfielder is currently on loan with Ligue 1 outfit Toulouse, and for the first time this season, Imbula opened his goalscoring account in some fashion.

Right on half-hour mark, Imbula unleashed a left-footed strike from nearly 40 yards out to give Toulouse the lead over Montpellier (below).

Imbula joined Stoke during the 2015/16 PL season, and has made 26 appearances for the Potters in his time with the club, prior to his loan to France.

Willian proves he’s Chelsea’s x-factor against Brighton

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There’s a considerable difference when watching a Chelsea team that plays with and without one of its Brazilian influences in the attacking part of the field.

Willian — who first debuted for the Blues back in 2013 — hasn’t always managed to be a regular starter for Chelsea, whether it was Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink or current manager Antonio Conte at the helm, though.

[ SOURCES: Jack Harrison expected to join Stoke City this winter ]

The 29-year-old plays with considerable flair, something that certainly isn’t uncommon amongst many players that have grown up in Brazil.

At times Willian’s overconfidence is a significant blessing, and at others it can be considered a curse, however, the former Corinthians player’s presence is something that Chelsea needs now more than ever.

That was on display on Saturday during the side’s 4-0 win at Brighton, a match in which Chelsea dominated from start to finish with Willian on the pitch. While the performance cannot solely be attributed to the attacking midfielder’s showing, it’s easy to argue that the Blues midfielder is becoming the club’s biggest x factor — one that can determine the outcome of a match.

Just look six minutes into the match, when the Blues put together one of the best team goals you’ll see in a match this year (or any year for that matter), which of course, was started and finished by none other than Willian.

What stands out about the play isn’t the brilliant slicing shot into the near post corner by the veteran playmaker, but instead the confidence that Willian exudes and brings to a Chelsea lineup that has plenty of talent to be considered one of the best teams in England and all of Europe.

After all, Conte’s group is just a season removed from winning the Premier League and still sits inside the top three in the world’s top league.

Then, there’s the Blues’ third goal against Brighton, which was set up by a smart, and instinctive, through ball played into the path of Eden Hazard by Willian (below).

Even though Hazard ends up with a ton of time on the ball to make his next decision, which was ultimately to cut inside on his preferred right foot, the run by Willian towards the end line dragged a defender away from the Belgian international — allowing the sequence to progress.

Arguing Willian’s importance isn’t a knock on Hazard — a world-class player in his own right — or Alvaro Morata, who has had the intolerable task of replacing a key player like Diego Costa.

Instead, it simply shows that Chelsea has a plethora of talent, and that some of the club’s attacking struggles throughout the 2017/18 season can be chalked up to Willian being left out of the starting XI on a regular basis.

[ MORE: Sergio Aguero continues to display brilliance for Man City ]

The Brazilian international has scored eight goals and added seven assists this season in all competitions for the Blues, despite only starting 19 matches.

The mind of manager Conte is an ever-changing one, so maybe Willian still doesn’t get the starting nod on an every week basis, but just by watching the team’s performance at the Amex Stadium it’s quite hard to argue against the player being on the field as much as possible.

Premier League Preview: Southampton vs. Tottenham

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Southampton will host Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with both sides hoping to pick up three points for very different reasons.

The Saints are currently in the midst of a fierce relegation battle through 23 matches, and sit in 18th place in the Premier League, while Spurs are hoping challenge for a top-four position.

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Mauricio Pellegrino‘s Southampton could get defender Maya Yoshida back in time for Sunday’s match, however, the side will be without Charlie Austin once more, who is currently nursing a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, a number of key figures will miss the match for Tottenham, including goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and Harry Winks. Also, Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld remain sidelined with injuries, although the latter is expected to be back soon.

What they’re saying

Mauricio Pellegrino on state of the Saints: “We are not happy with our position but in three or four weeks’ time everything can change. It’s part of our competition. I feel in our team the spirit is really good and everybody is conscious about what we need. I receive these messages from players every day, and we have to convert these feelings into stats.”

Mauricio Pochettino on potential January moves: “To be honest it will be difficult. At some point you always dream but not too much exciting [is happening]. If it happens, it happens. If not, then it doesn’t happen. We are happy with the squad.”

Prediction

Harry Kane is firing at an absurd rate recently, and Southampton’s current form is worrisome to say the least. With just four wins all season, it’s hard to imagine the Saints coming out in front in their clash. Southampton 0-3 Tottenham