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LIVE, League Cup semifinal: Arsenal v Chelsea, 2nd leg

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Arsenal host Chelsea in the second leg of their League Cup semifinal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

Locked at 0-0 following the first leg at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago, you might say that the Gunners have the upper hand with Arsene Wenger eyeing up a spot in the League Cup final for the first time since 2011.

[ LIVE: Follow Arsenal-Chelsea live ]   

Arsenal haven’t won the League Cup since the 1992-93 campaign, while Chelsea have won it three times since 2005.

The winner of this tie face Manchester City in the final at Wembley on Feb. 25 after Pep Guardiola‘s men beat second-tier Bristol City 5-3 on aggregate over their two legs.

In team news Arsenal go for a 4-2-3-1 formation with David Ospina in goal as the only change, as Mesut Ozil starts in support of Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey is on the bench.

Chelsea make one change from the team which beat Brighton 4-0 at the weekend with Willy Caballero continuing in goal, while Michy Batshuayi is replaced by Pedro.

LINEUPS

Arsenal: Ospina; Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Elneny, Xhaka, Wilshere, Iwobi, Ozil, Lacazette. Subs: Macey, Chambers, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Nelson, Nketiah.

Chelsea: Caballero; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Hazard, Pedro. Subs: Eduardo, Cahill, David Luiz, Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Barkley, Batshuayi.

Watch Live: Brighton v. Chelsea

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Brighton & Hove Albion host Chelsea at the Amex Stadium on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

With just one win in their last 12 games, Brighton are being dragged into a relegation battle, while Chelsea aren’t in glittering form with five draws on the spin in all competitions.

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In team news, Brighton start with Tomer Hemed up top and have top scorer Glenn Murray on the bench. New club-record signing Jurgen Locadia isn’t illegible to make his Brighton debut after his signing was only confirmed late Friday, plus the former PSV Eindhoven forward is struggling with an injury..

Chelsea are without star goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who has suffered an ankle injury in training, with Willy Caballero coming in to replace him. Alvaro Morata and Pedro are suspended, while Ross Barkley is on the bench and he could make his Chelsea debut.


LINEUPS

Brighton: Ryan; Goldson, Duffy, Dunk, Suttner, Schelotto; Stephens, Propper; March, Gross, Hemed. Subs: Hunemeier, Kayal, Baldock, Murray, Izquierdo, Rosenior, Krul

Chelsea: Caballero; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Batshuayi, Hazard. SubsEduardo, David Luiz, Zappacosta, Sterling, Ampadu, Barkley, Musonda

MLS comings & goings: Kitchen, Castillo, Henley arrive for 2018

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The next two weeks, leading up to players reporting for the start of preseason, are sure to be chock-full of signings made by all 23 MLS teams. A handful of key deals have been announced in the last 24 hours alone…

[ MORE: FC Dallas block USMNT call-ups in favor of CCL prep ]

For the last three seasons, the LA Galaxy attempted to play without a functioning midfield. It turned out… well, quite poorly, particularly in 2017 when Curt Onalfo’s Sigi Schmid’s side finished dead last in MLS, for the first time ever. Enter: Perry Kitchen (from D.C. United, for $300,000 in combined allocation money), five-year MLS veteran and fringe-U.S. national team defensive midfielder seeking a new club after two years in Europe (Hearts and Randers). Kitchen, who’s (somehow) still only 25, has more than 150 MLS appearances to his name (plus another 50-plus from his time in Europe). The Kitchen-Jonathan dos Santos/Joao Pedro double-pivot is a fantastic foundational unit. 7/10 — not flashy or sexy, but highly functional and priority no. 1

After finishing 20th in 2017, the Colorado Rapids’ massive rebuild has begun. Enter: USMNT and Monterrey left back Edgar Castillo, and Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Jack Price. Castillo is 31 and brings a wealth of experience at the club and international levels. Price, 25, joined the Wolves academy at the age of 8, and never left (save for a pair of loan spells) and made nearly 100 appearances between League One and the Championship. 5.5/10 — plugs a pair of holes with replacement-level (maybe slightly above) starters

For the first half of 2017, Real Salt Lake were arguably the worst team in MLS; for the second half of the season, Mike Petke’s side was inarguably one of the best (and youngest), ultimately missing the playoffs by a single point. So far this winter, RSL have made Brooks Lennon’s loan permanent, signed 26-year-old Spanish forward Alfredo Ortuño, and on Tuesday completed their capture of 23-year-old right back Adam Henley — an American-born Welsh international. As he’s only ever appeared in friendlies for Wales (and never played for U.S. youth national teams), Henley would be eligible for a one-time switch, should his development and play warrant such a move. 6/10 — a starting right back with upside, without giving anything away in a trade

Giles Barnes, 29, has bounced around MLS in recent seasons — from Vancouver, to Houston, to Orlando, all since 2016. Now, the English-born Jamaican international is headed south of the border, to Leon, where he’s been given a Cristiano Ronaldo-like VIP welcome.

Other lesser-known (but perhaps just as impactful) signings in MLS

Columbus Crew SC — 21-year-old Venezuelan midfielder Eduardo Sosa, from Venezuelan side Zamora (FULL RELEASE)

Minnesota United — 24-year-old Cameroonian attacker (2 caps, 1 goal) Frantz Pangop, from Cameroonian side Union Douala (FULL RELEASE)

Montella to take over at Sevilla after AC Milan sacking

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Spanish side Sevilla confirmed Thursday that they were set to hire Italian manager Vincenzo Montella after coming to an agreement with AC Milan to terminate his contract.

Montella was fired as AC Milan boss in late November, but is still technically under contract until June 2019. Sevilla announced that AC Milan would terminate his contract, and he agreed a 2-year deal with the Spanish club through the same time as his old deal in Italy, which will be signed on Friday.

The 43-year-old was hired at AC Milan from Sampdoria as the Italian giants continued their desperate attempt to return to former glory. Instead, they finished the 2016/17 season in 6th, 28 points back of champions Juventus. The doldrums continued this season, with the club currently all the way down in 11th. Montella was fired after a 0-0 draw at home against Torino, with the club in 7th. In the five matches since he was dismissed, AC Milan has won just once.

Sevilla sacked Eduardo Berizzo just days before Christmas, and only days after Berizzo had returned from a battle with cancer. Sevilla currently sits in fifth in the La Liga table, two points back of Real Madrid. However, the club had gone four matches without a win. The Spanish side is still looking to adequately replace Jorge Sampaoli who left in the summer to take charge of Argentina. Fellow Italian Walter Mazzerri also reportedly interviewed for the position before Montella was chosen.

According to reports, Montella will employ former Sevilla midfielder Enzo Maresca as his assistant manager. Maresca is just 37 years old and only stopped playing in January 2017 when he was released by Hellas Verona. He has been assistant manager of Serie B side Ascoli Picchio since June.

Sevilla fires manager Berizzo one week after cancer surgery return

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Sevilla doesn’t care about timing.

Yes, it’s the holiday season and, sure, their manager has just come back from cancer surgery, but this is La Liga and they’ve got a season to save at Sevilla.

Eduardo Berizzo, a week returned from prostate cancer surgery, has been fired by the fifth place La Liga club, which is set to meet Manchester United next in the UEFA Champions League.

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You’ll remember that Berizzo reportedly told his players of his diagnosis at halftime of a 3-3 comeback against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League.

Here to answer the media’s awkward questions is Sevilla chairman Jose Castro.

“It’s a complicated and painful decision because it always is when you need to dismiss somebody, even more so with someone like Eduardo – a great person and a magnificent professional. But there are moments when you have to take appropriate decisions for the club. There had been a bad run of results and the impressions we were getting from our game give us reason to make this decision – because the reality is we weren’t seeing the project as in the ascendancy. There is an important budget and a responsibility to the club members to always achieve the maximum. We didn’t see ourselves as on the ideal road for that.”

Now he’s out of a job, with Sevilla out of action until a Copa del Rey match on Jan. 3. They restart La Liga play on Jan. 6.

The 48-year-old Berizzo led O’Higgins to a Chilean title before taking over at Celta Vigo, where he led the club to the semifinals of the Europa League. He’s also denied making a now infamous and bizarre rant against homosexuality in football stemming from his time in France.

In this first season at Sevilla, he finished 14W-6D-7L and, of course, missed time with cancer surgery. All seven losses came on the road, with defeats at Barcelona, Spartak Moscow, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Valencia, and Real Sociedad.