James Collins

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International friendlies: Mexico vs. Belgium, young England vs. Germany

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Let’s get something out of the way — We’re not trying to torture you by writing about teams warming up for the World Cup with fun friendlies; It stings us just as much to consider the USMNT’s failure again.

[ MORE: New Zealand can spring upset ]

So, yeah, it’d be great if the U.S. was measuring its World Cup fortunes on Friday with a rematch against Belgium, or matching wits with Paul Pogba-less France.

Alas, that’s for countries that qualified for the World Cp.

Belgium vs. Mexico — 2:45 p.m. ET

Juan Carlos Osorio has called up a number of youngsters for this week’s matches against Belgium and Poland, but the pressure’s going to be on several veterans who want to ensure their places in Russia.

On the old side, look out for LA Galaxy attacker Giovani dos Santos to bid to impress more than he did in a moribund MLS season. And Oribe Peralta isn’t exactly a young 33.

Groningen’s Uriel Antuna (20) and Excel Mouscron’s Omar Govea (21) are uncapped players with Mexico, while 20-year-old Liga MX mainstays Edson Alvarez and Cesar Montes will also look to impress.

England vs. Germany — 2 p.m. ET

The Three Lions are without several big names including Dele Alli and Harry Kane, and fellow Spurs star Eric Dier is set to captain a young England side against Germany. Look for Chelsea loanees Tammy Abraham (Swansea) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace) to take advantage of their chances against Joachim Low’s Germany, who will be giving youth a chance at the back as well.

France vs. Wales — 3 p.m. ET

Chris Coleman’s Wales turns the page on a World Cup failure of its own, and does it without Gareth Bale, Hal Robson-Kanu, and retired James Collins. France won’t have Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante, nor Tiemoue Bakayoko, but has plenty of weapons in its squad.

Portugal vs. Saudi Arabia — 3 p.m. ET

The young Portuguese “B-teamers” gear up for its home friendly versus the USMNT by hosting a team nearly full of Al-Ahli and Al-Hilal stars.

Other notable friendlies (all times ET)
South Korea vs. Colombia — 6 a.m.
China vs. Serbia – 6:35 a.m.
Ukraine vs. Slovakia — 2 p.m. ET
Poland vs. Uruguay — 2:45 p.m.
Japan vs. Brazil — 3 p.m. ET

West Ham 2-0 Huddersfield: Late pressure gives Hammers first win

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West Ham United needed something positive on Monday after the way the club started the 2017/18 Premier League season, and the Hammers delivered at home.

[ MORE: What’s next for Crystal Palace? ]

The Hammers picked up a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town at the London Stadium, snapping the team’s three-match winless run to start the season.

Meanwhile, the defeat for Huddersfield is the club’s first since joining the PL. David Wagner‘s side sits on nine points through its first four matches.

The Hammers midfielder broke the deadlock with 18 minutes remaining after a wicked deflection from Zanka sent Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lössl the wrong way.

Then, second-half substitute Andre Ayew doubled the West Ham lead five minutes later to seal the match for the hosts.

Philip Billing provided the Terriers with the squad’s first real chance of the match in the 53rd minute, when the midfielder unleashed an effort from distance that required Joe Hart to get down to make the save.

The Hammers provided much of the early pressure, and nearly found a breakthrough on 13 minutes when Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez blasted a close-range shot off the crossbar.

Jonas Lössl kept the game scoreless prior to the half-hour mark after James Collins‘ header safely rolled into the Huddersfield goalkeeper’s arms in the 26th minute.

The Terriers struggled to mount any significant build up in the attack as West Ham carried out most of the pressure in the Huddersfield half during the opening stanza.

West Ham 0-0 Everton: Stalemate at London Stadium

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  • West Ham’s second clean sheet in three games
  • Everton up to sixth place
  • Hammers move on to 38 points
  • Toffees unbeaten in four

West Ham United and Everton battled it out in an uneventful 0-0 draw at the London Stadium on Saturday.

The Hammers had the better chances, especially in the first half, while Everton couldn’t get any service to their star man Romelu Lukaku in a disappointing display.

With the point West Ham move on to 38 for the season, while Everton have 58 and momentarily move into sixth place.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

A cagey start saw West Ham almost shoot themselves in the foot with a throw back to goalkeeper Adrian poorly controlled and his clearance hit Lukaku and almost fell to Kevin Mirallas to tap home. Crisis averted.

West Ham went close with two chances as Cheikou Kouyate drilled just wide, then Havard Nordtveit had an effort blocked and the follow up was saved by Maarten Stekelenburg.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Before half time West Ham again went close when James Collins headed wide while under pressure from Ashley Williams, then West Ham almost forced the ball in at the back post as Everton failed to get going.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

At half time Ademola Lookman and Gareth Barry came on for Idrissa Gueye and Tom Davies as Koeman looked to spark his team into life.

Manuel Lanzini then went close with his shot brilliantly blocked by Phil Jagialka as the Hammers carved out the better chances with Jose Fonte having his header saved by Stekelenburg.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Both teams struggled to create clear cut chances in the sun in east London as a tame encounter petered out into a 0-0 draw with Everton’s only reach chance an effort dragged wide by Lookman.

Premier League Preview: West Ham vs. Everton

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  • Toffees won 2-0 on Oct. 23
  • Irons took 4 points last season
  • Everton leads all-time 68W-30D-37L

Everton aims to keep its slim Top Five hopes alive when it attempts to sweep West Ham United for the fourth time in five seasons (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Romelu Lukaku should be a big part of that as he looks to build his 4-goal lead in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot. The soon-to-be 24-year-old has 24 goals on the season.

It hasn’t been a great couple months for West Ham, which the club is looking to turn around having picked up four points in the last two weeks (albeit against relegation candidates).

What they’re saying

West Ham’s James Collins on stopping Lukaku“Of course, Lukaku has got a good record against us, and we probably haven’t defended as well against him as we could have done in games gone by. Physically, he has got everything, he is big, strong and he can finish so it’s going to be a tough game. He’s obviously on top of his game, but I’m happy with the way I’m playing at the minute, so I’m looking forward to pitting my wits against one of the best strikers in the Premier League.”

Everton boss Ronald Koeman on away form: “It’s all about the attitude and having that in the same way when we play at home and away. Of course, it’s going to be slightly different because at Goodison we have the backing of 39,000 home fans. When those fans are against you [in an away game], that makes a difference. But we need to start well, start aggressive and try to score. We need a little bit more of that mentality away from home.”

Prediction

Something has to give between Everton’s road form (three matches in 13) and the Hammers being better away from the London Stadium than inside its walls. We expect that to sway toward the better quality on Everton, which wins 2-0.

Premier League roundup: Man City, Spurs bury their chances

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With Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Liverpool all waiting to play, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur firmed up their Top Four chances with blowout wins on Saturday.

At the other end of the table, it’s looking more and more like a two-horse race to avoid one relegation slot (although Middlesbrough has matches-in-hand). Hull City and Swansea City both lost Saturday.

Southampton 0-3 Manchester CityRECAP

Nil-nil at half, Pep Guardiola‘s men built momentum throughout the second half. Vincent Kompany scored his first Premier League goal in 20 months before Kevin De Bruyne teed up Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero for insurance markers. City goes third, level on matches with Liverpool.

Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 BournemouthRECAP

Spurs just keep piling up blowout wins, this one behind two goals in each half. Moussa Dembele and Heung-Min Son buried markers in the first half, then Harry Kane added his 20th of the season before Vincent Janssen rounded out the scoring in stoppage time. Spurs are back within four points of leaders Chelsea.

Stoke City 3-1 Hull CityRECAP

Marko Arnautovic was a man possessed, but it was a lay-off to Xherdan Shaqiri that led to an otherworldly highlight. Those two were joined on Stoke’s scoresheet by Peter Crouch, while Harry Maguire scored Hull’s lone goal. The Tigers remain two points ahead of Swansea for the final safe spot in the league.

Watford 1-0 Swansea CityRECAP

Etienne Capoue scored his first goal of 2017, stopping Swansea City from taking advantage of Hull City’s stumble. Swans remain 18th.

Crystal Palace 2-2 Leicester City — RECAP

Christian Benteke and Yohan Cabaye led the Eagles to a come-from-behind point as Palace moved closer to ensuring its Premier League future. Jamie Vardy and Robert Huth opened the scoring for Leicester.

Sunderland 2-2 West Ham UnitedRECAP

Wahbi Khazri scored an Olimpico and Fabio Borini also scored, but Sunderland will lament not nabbing all three points from the Irons. Andre Ayew and James Collins netted for the visitors.

Everton 3-1 Burnley — RECAP

Everton started slow, but rallied to score three second-half goals. Phil Jagielka and Sam Vokes traded goals before a Ben Mee own goal and Romelu Lukaku beauty teamed up to close it out at Goodison Park.