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Europa League preview: Everton hosts Cypriots; Arsenal in Belarus

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The two Premier League clubs currently in this season’s Europa League could hardly have found more differing stars to life in the UEL.

Everton was thumped 3-0 by Atalanta, an embarrassing set back albeit a surmountable one, while Arsenal overcame an early scare to cruise past noisy visiting Koln 3-1.

[ MORE: Mourinho on CSKA Moscow blowout ]

The Toffees have a good match for a club trying to get off the mat, with Apollon Limassol visiting, but will be without center backs Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane.

Arsenal should be able to build on its win when it visits BATE Borisov.

Other intriguing matches see AC Milan hosting Rijeka, and Villarreal taking a rare trip to Israel for a match with Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

Don’t sleep on USMNT center back Matt Miazga and Vitesse, as the young Yank looks to help hold Mario Balotelli off the score sheet. In the last four Nice matches, no one has been able to do that.

Not so sleepy: Lyon vs. Atalanta, as two clubs quite capable of fireworks meet in France.

Full schedule

11 a.m. ET kickoff
Astana vs. Slavia Prague

1 p.m. ET kickoff
Lazio vs. Zulte Waregem
Zenit vs. Real Sociedad
Ostersund vs. Hertha Berlin
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Marseille
Koln vs. Red Star Belgrade
Rosenborg vs. Vardar
Konyaspor vs. Vitoria
Athletic Bilbao vs. Zorya Luhansk
BATE Borisov vs. Arsenal
Lugano vs. Steaua Bucuresti
Plzen vs. Hapoel Beer-Sheva
Nice vs. Vitesse

3:05 p.m. ET kickoffs
Sheriff vs. Copenhagen
Braga vs. Istanbul Basaksehir
Lokomotiv Moscow vs. Zlin
Lyon vs. Atalanta
Skenderbeu vs. Young Boys
Everton vs. Apollon Limassol
Partizan vs. Dynamo Kyiv
AEK vs. Austria Wien
AC Milan vs. Rijeka
Maccabi Tel-Aviv vs. Villarreal
Ludogorets vs. Hoffenheim

LIVE, FA Cup: Swansea v Tottenham kicks off quarterfinals

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Swansea City host Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (8:15 a.m. ET) at the Liberty Stadium with both teams perhaps having an eye on other things rather than winning the FA Cup.

[ LIVE: Follow Swansea-Spurs ] 

Carlos Carvalhal‘s main aim for the Swans is to avoid relegation from the Premier League, while Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham will be fully focused on finishing in the top four.

In team news both Jordan and Andre Ayew miss out for Swansea as Carvalhal makes five changes, while Spurs are without the injured Harry Kane and make seven changes to their starting lineup with Hugo Lloris, Mousa Dembele and Dele Alli on the bench.


Swansea City: Nordfeldt, Naughton, Van der Hoorn, Bartley, Mawson, Olsson, Ki Sung-Yeung, Carroll , Clucas, Dyer, Abraham. Subs: Mulder, Roberts, Fernandez, Britton, Byers, Routledge, Narsingh

Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Sissoko, Lamela, Eriksen, Lucas, Son. Subs: Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Foyth Dembele, Alli, Moura, Llorente

Retailer removes T-shirt from sale over Hillsborough links

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LONDON (AP) A British retailer has withdrawn a T-shirt from sale in its stores and online following complaints that its design could be associated with the Hillsborough soccer disaster.

[ MORE: Liverpool, Man City drawn in UCL quarterfinals ]

Topman had on sale a red shirt with a large “96” on the back and the phrase “what goes around comes around” underneath. The word “Karma” is written on one of the sleeves.

Ninety-six people were crushed to death in the Hillsborough stadium disaster, which happened in Sheffield in April 1989 at an FA Cup semifinal match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Topman said it “apologizes unreservedly for any offense caused by this T-shirt” and that the “garment has been removed from sale online and in stores.”

The retailer said the design was inspired by a Bob Marley track, with the number referring to the year of the re-release.

Cosmos, Miami FC petition USSF for 2018 U.S. Open Cup entry

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NASL’s decision to cancel the 2018 regular season has caused significant ramifications, with the latest forcing several clubs to be excluded from the U.S. Open Cup.

The New York Cosmos and Miami FC — both of whom participated in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup have not been named among the eligible teams for the 2018 edition following NASL’s cancellation of the league season.

Now, the two teams have petitioned to U.S. Soccer and its new president, Carlos Cordeiro, to rethink its decision and allow the clubs to play despite not belonging to a professional league.

Both clubs do boast reserve teams though — New York Cosmos B and Miami 2 — which is the lead argument from each organization as to why U.S. Soccer should grant the teams an exemption and a spot in the tournament.

Cosmos B and Miami FC 2 will both play in the NPSL once again in 2018, with both rosters largely comprised of senior team players.

As it stands, 94 teams have been placed in the 2018 Open Cup field, as announced by U.S. Soccer on Wednesday.

Both open letters from the respective clubs can be found below.

Brazil’s Luis could miss World Cup after leg fracture

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MADRID (AP) Brazilian left back Filipe Luis has a leg fracture that could stop him going to the World Cup in Russia.

[ MORE: Arsenal draws CSKA Moscow in Europa quarters ]

Atletico Madrid said Friday that Luis sustained the injury to his left leg in the second half of the Spanish team’s 5-1 rout of Lokomotiv Moscow in the Europa League round-of-16 match on Thursday.

The club did not say how long Luis will be sidelined. Similar injuries have required at least six weeks of recovery time and longer if surgery is required.

The 32-year-old Luis was called up by Brazil coach Tite for friendlies against Russia in Moscow on March 23 and against Germany in Berlin on March 27. Brazil’s first game at the World Cup is against Switzerland on June 17.

Luis was injured while trying to prevent Lokomotiv forward Eder taking a shot from inside the area in the 60th minute. He successfully cleared the ball but his leg was hit from behind.

Luis left the field on a stretcher and tests Friday in Madrid confirmed the fracture in his lower leg.

Atletico advanced 8-1 on aggregate after the victory in Russia.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga