Pablo Zabaleta

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STREAM: Manchester United vs. West Ham United

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Old friend Javier Hernandez is on the other side of the pitch when Manchester United hosts West Ham United at Old Trafford on Sunday (Watch live at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

He won’t recognize too many of the Red Devils as former teammates, with Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic, and Paul Pogba all handed starts by Jose Mourinho.

For their part, West Ham starts new boys Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Marko Arnautovic in addition to Hernandez. Remarkably, Jose Fonte and Aaron Cresswell are on the bench.

LINEUPS

Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Blind, Matic, Pogba, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Lukaku. Subs: Romero, Darmian, Smalling, Fellaini, Herrera, Lingard, Martial.

West Ham United: Hart, Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Noble, Obiang, Fernandes, Arnautovic, Ayew, Chicharito. Subs: Adrian, Byram, Cresswell, Fonte, Collins, Rice, Sakho.

Ranking the top 10 Premier League players in each position

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It’s always nice to open up a can of worms before the start of the season, right?

[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ] 

With new players arriving in the Premier League and superstars staying put, we thought it would be a good idea to rank the best players in each position ahead of the 2017-18 season.

Think of this as a preseason PL player Power Rankings, if you will, and if you want to use this us a “cheat-sheet” for your PL fantasy teams, go for it.

Here’s a list at the top 10 in each position. Let the debate begin in 3, 2, 1…


Goalkeepers

1. David De Gea
2. Hugo Lloris
3. Petr Cech
4. Thibaut Courtois
5. Jack Butland
6. Jordan Pickford
7. Kasper Schmeichel
8. Joe Hart
9. Lukasz Fabianski
10. Ben Foster

Right back

1. Antonio Valencia
2. Seamus Coleman
3. Kyle Walker
4. Danilo
5. Cedric
6. Nathaniel Clyne
7. Kieran Trippier
8. Victor Moses
9. Hector Bellerin
10. Pablo Zabaleta

Center back

1. Toby Alderweireld
2. Cesar Azpilicueta
3. Virgil Van Dijk
4. Jan Vertonghen
5. Laurent Koscielny
6. Vincent Kompany
7. David Luiz
8. Eric Bailly
9. Michael Keane
10. Gary Cahill

Left back

1. Danny Rose
2. Ryan Bertrand
3. Marcos Alonso
4. Nacho Monreal
5. Leighton Baines
6. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
7. Benjamin Mendy
8. Luke Shaw
9. Aaron Cresswell
10. Andrew Robertson

Central midfielders

1. N'Golo Kante
2. David Silva
3. Mousa Dembele
4. Paul Pogba
5. Juan Mata
6. Nemanja Matic
7. Victor Wanyama
8. Ander Herrera
9. Oriol Romeu
10. Georginio Wijnaldum

Attacking midfielders/wingers

1. Kevin De Bruyne
2. Dele Alli
3. Eden Hazard
4. Sadio Mane
5. Philippe Coutinho
6. Christian Eriksen
7. Mesut Ozil
8. Leroy Sane
9. Gylfi Sigurdsson
10. Bernardo Silva

Strikers

1. Harry Kane
2. Alexis Sanchez
3. Sergio Aguero
4. Romelu Lukaku
5. Diego Costa
6. Alvaro Morata
7. Javier Hernandez
8. Gabriel Jesus
9. Roberto Firmino
10. Jamie Vardy

Premier League completed summer transfers, so far

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Up-to-date moves on the final Monday before the Premier League season.

Arsenal

In: Sead Kolasinac (Schalke), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon)

Out: Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus), Emiliano Martinez (Getafe, loan)

Bournemouth

In: Asmir Begovic (Chelsea), Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Nathan Ake (Chelsea), Connor Mahoney (Blackburn)

Out (All loans): Ryan Allsop (Blackpool), Lewis Grabban (Sunderland), Jordan Lee (Torquay United), Mark Travers (Weymouth), Sam Surridge (Yeovil Town), Ben Whitfield (Port Vale)

Brighton and Hove Albion

In: Pascal Gross (Ingolstadt), Josh Kerr (Celtic), Izzy Brown (Chelsea, loan), Mathew Ryan (Valencia), Markus Suttner (Ingolstadt), Mathias Normann (Bodo/Glimt), Steven Alzate (Leyton Orient), Ales Mateju (Viktoria Plzen).

Out: Oliver Norwood (Fulham), Elvis Manu (Genclerbirligi), Jordan Maguire-Drew (Lincoln City), Christian Walton (Wigan), Rob Hunt (Oldham Athletic), Ben White (Newport County), Tom Dallison (Accrington Stanley), Tyler Forbes (Accrington Stanley)

Burnley

In: Charlie Taylor (Leeds), Jonathan Walters (Stoke), Jack Cork (Swansea), Phil Bardsley (Stoke)

Out: Michael Kightly (released), Joey Barton (released), Michael Keane (Everton)

Chelsea

In: Wily Caballero (Manchester City, free), Antonio Rudiger (Roma), Tiemoue Bakayoko (Monaco), Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid)

Out: Juan Cuadrado (Juventus), Christian Atsu (Newcastle), Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth), Dominic Solanke (Liverpool), Bertrand Traore (Lyon), Nathan Ake (Bournemouth), Ola Aina (Hull City, loan), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (PSV Eindhoven, loan), Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford), Matt Miazga (Vitesse Arnhem, loan), Marco Van Ginkel (PSV Eindhoven, loan), Kurt Zouma (Stoke, loan), Izzy Brown (Brighton and Hove Albion, loan), Tomas Kalas (Fulham, loan), Michael Hector (Hull City, loan), Jamal Blackman (Sheffield United, loan), Mario Pasalic (Spartak Moscow, loan), Kasey Palmer (Huddersfield Town, loan)

Crystal Palace

In: Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea, loan), Jairo Riedewald (Ajax)

Out: Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Everton

In: Jordan Pickford (Sunderland), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Henry Onyekuru (Eupen), Sandro Ramirez (Malaga), Michael Keane (Burnley), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Cuco Martina (Southampton), Lewis Gibson (Newcastle United), Anton Donkor (Wolfsburg, loan), Boris Mathis (Metz)

Out: Tom Cleverley (Watford), Russell Griffiths (Motherwell), Henry Onyekuru (Anderlecht, loan), Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona), Brendan Galloway (Sunderland, loan), Tyias Browning (Sunderland, loan), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Aiden McGeady (Sunderland), Matthew Pennington (Leeds, loan).

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Huddersfield Town

In: Laurent Depoitre (Porto), Aaron Mooy (Manchester City), Jonas Lossi (Mainz, loan), Tom Ince (Derby County), Kasey Palmer (Chelsea, loan), Danny Williams (Reading), Steve Mounie (Montpellier), Scott Malone (Fulham), Mathias Jorgensen (Copenhagen).

Out (all loans): Tareiq Holmes-Dennis (Portsmouth), Jordy Hiwula (Fleetwood Town), Fraser Horsfall (Gateshead), Rekeil Pyke (Port Vale), Jack Payne (Oxford United)

Leicester City

In: Sam Hughes (Chester), Harry Maguire (Hull City), Vicente Iborra (Sevilla), Eldin Jakupovic (Hull City), Kelechi Iheanacho (Man City).

Out: Ron-Robert Zieler (Stuttgart), Bartosz Kapustka (Freiburg, loan), Callum Elder (Wigan Athletic, loan)

Liverpool

In: Mohamed Salah (Roma), Dominic Solanke (Chelsea), Andrew Robertson (Hull City).

Out: Andre Wisdom (Derby County), Ryan Fulton (Hamilton Academical), Lucas Leiva (Lazio), Kevin Stewart (Hull City), Pedro Chirivella (Willem II), Connor Randall (Hearts), Taiwo Awoniyi (Royal Excel Mouscron), Shamal George (Carlisle United).

Manchester City

In: Bernardo Silva (AS Monaco), Ederson (Benfica), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur), Douglas Luiz (Vasco De Gama), Danilo (Real Madrid), Benjamin Mendy (AS Monaco).

Out: Pablo Zabaleta (West Ham), Gael Clichy (released), Jesus Navas (released), Wily Caballero (released), Bacary Sagna (released), Enes Unal (Villarreal), Angus Gunn (Norwich City, loan) Loan, Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), Bersant Celina (Ipswich Town, loan), Angelino (NAC Breda, loan), Ruben Sobrino (Alaves), Joe Covene (Nottingham Forest), Bruno Zuculini (Hellas Verona), Olivier Ntcham (Celtic), Nolito (Sevilla), Joe Hart (West Ham United, loan), Aleksandar Kolarov (Roma), Aleix Garcia (Girona, loan), Douglas Luiz (Girona, loan), Marlos Moreno (Girona, loan), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester), Fernando (Galatasaray).

Manchester United

In: Victor Lindelof (Benfica), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Nemanja Matic (Chelsea)

Out: Josh Harrop (Preston North End), Regan Poole (Northampton), Wayne Rooney (Everton), Dean Henderson (Shrewsbury, loan), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Sam Johnstone (Aston Villa, loan), Devonte Redmond (Scunthorpe United, loan), Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (Leeds, loan).

Newcastle United 

In: Christian Atsu (Chelsea), Florian Lejeune (SD Eibar), Stefan O'Connor (Arsenal), Josef Yarney (Everton), Jacob Murphy (Norwich City), Javier Manquillo (Atletico Madrid), Mikel Merino (Borussia Dortmund)

Out: Florian Thauvin (Marseille), Kevin Mbabu (BSC Young Boys) Matz Sels (Anderlecht, loan), Haris Vuckic (FC Twente), Lubomir Satka (DAC 1904), Vurnon Anita (Leeds United), Alex Gilliead (Bradford City, loan), Tom Heardman (Bury, loan), Adam Armstrong (Bolton, loan), Yoan Gouffran (Goztepe Spor Kulubu), Sean Longstaff (Blackpool, loan), Daryl Murphy (Nottingham Forest), Lewis Gibson (Everton), Ivan Toney (Wigan Athletic, loan).

Southampton 

In: Jan Bednarek (Lech Poznan) Details

Out: Cuco Martina, Lloyd Isgrove, Harley Willard, Martin Caceres, Jason McCarthy (Barnsley), Jay Rodriguez (West Brom), Harrison Reed (Norwich, loan), Harry Lewis (Dundee United, loan), Ryan Seager (MK Dons, loan)

Stoke City

In: Darren Fletcher (West Brom), Josh Tymon (Hull City), Tre Pemberton (Blackburn Rovers), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea, loan)

Out: Daniel Bachmann, Shay Given, Liam Edwards (released), Harry Isted (released), Joel Taylor, George Waring,
Jonathan Walters (Burnley), Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa), Marko Arnautovic (West Ham), Phil Bardsley (Burnley), Dominic Telford (Bristol Rovers, loan), Ryan Sweeney (Bristol Rovers, loan).

SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND – October 31: Kurt Zouma of Chelsea during the Premier League 2 match between Everton U21s and Chelsea U21s at Haig Avenue Stadium on October 31, 2016 in Southport, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Swansea City

In: Erwin Mulder (Heerenveen), Tammy Abraham (Chelsea, loan), Roque Mesa (Las Palmas), Marc Walsh (Finn Harps), Cian Harries (Coventry City).

Out: Bafetimbi Gomis (Galatasaray), Borja Baston (Malaga, loan), Jordi Amat (Real Betis, loan), Jack Cork (Burnley), Connor Roberts (Middlesbrough, loan), Modou Barrow (Reading), Gerhard Tremmel, Marvin Emnes, Liam Shephard, Josh Vickers, Owain Jones, Tom Dyson, Tom Holland, Alex Samuel (Stevenage), Franck Tabanou, Daniel James (Shrewsbury Town)

Tottenham Hotspur

Out: Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Federico Fazio (Roma), Clinton Njie (Marseille), Tom Glover (Central Coast Mariners, loan), Anton Walkes (Atlanta United, loan), Joshua Onomah (Aston Villa, loan), Connor Ogilvie (Gillingham, loan), Luke Mcgee (Portsmouth).

Watford 

In: Tom Cleverley (Everton), Will Hughes (Derby County), Daniel Bachmann (Stoke), Kiko Femenia (Alaves), Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea).

Out: Dennon Lewis (Crawley Town, loan), Mario Suarez (Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng), Obbi Oulare (Royal Antwerp, loan), Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Juan Carlos Paredes.

West Bromwich Albion 

In: Jay Rodriguez (Southampton), Yuning Zhang (Vitesse Arnhem), Ben Pierce, Ahmed Hegazi (Al Ahly, loan).

Out: Darren Fletcher (Stoke City), Sebastien Pocognoli (Standard Liege), Yuning Zhang (Werder Bremen, loan).

West Ham United 

In: Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Marko Arnautovic (Stoke), Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen).

Out:  Alvaro Arbeloa, Sam Howes, Sam Ford, Kyle Knoyle, Sam Westley, Havard Nordtveit (Hoffenheim), Reece Oxford (Borussia Monchengladbach, loan), Raphael Spiegel, Stephen Hendrie, Enner Valencia (Tigres UANL), George Dobson (Sparta Rotterdam), Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough), Reece Burke (Bolton Wanderers, loan), Josh Cullen (Bolton Wanderers, loan)

Premier League 2017-18 preview – West Ham United

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West Ham truly, truly struggled at times last season. Injuries were abound. There were questions asked of Slaven Bilic.

And yet through all that, they finished 11th. That seems to speak to the depth of the roster and the fantastic, sometimes underappreciated managerial job Bilic did to keep the Hammers afloat despite all the struggles.

[ LIVE: Stream Premier League live ]

This year, the bad luck should turn around. West Ham shedded the excess fat on the squad and brought in a pair of impact players who should step right into the starting lineup. Marko Arnautovic especially is a fantastic addition, who along with Robert Snodgrass, Manuel Lanzini, Sofiane Feghouli, and Michail Antonio should provide plenty for new signing Chicharito to feast on.

Best, worst case scenarios – Best case, this is a Europa League team. With all the new attacking talent for Bilic to play with, he can rotate players to avoid or deal with injuries. At the back, Bilic will have to find his preferred formation, because the depth will give him headaches – a good problem to have.

Through all the problems last season, the team still finished strong and away from the relegation battle, proving they are not a relegation candidate this season, even if the injury troubles return. Worst-case is probably another early flirt with the bottom third, but ultimately they pull out of it for a 13th place spot.


Best possible XI is…

Hart

Fonte — Reid — Ogbonna

Antonio — Noble — Lanzini  — Kouyate — Arnautovic

Carroll — Hernandez

This is tough, and you can be sure Bilic will rotate plenty. Pablo Zabaleta and Aaron Cresswell will get time in a typical 4-man defensive line, while Robert Snodgrass and Sofiane Feghouli will rotate through on the wings. Diafra Sakho provides striker depth.


[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ] 

Transfers In: Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City, $27 million), Chicharito (Bayer Leverkusen, $21 million), Joe Hart (Manchester City, Loan), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City, Free).

Transfers Out: Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough, $9 million), Havard Nordtveit (Hoffenheim, $8.5 million), Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough, $6.6 million), Raphael Spiegel (Boavista, Free), Stephen Hendrie (Southend United, Free Transfer).

Last season: 

— 11th place in Premier League
— FA Cup 3rd Round (lost to Manchester City)
— League Cup quarterfinals (lost to Manchester United)

Star Player: Chicharito — Last season, West Ham seriously missed a player who could finish chances with Andy Carroll either out or misfiring. Now, they have a guy who can provide that final touch. Chicharito is a top-class striker who will eat up the goals where last season the Hammers failed to find the back of the net.

Last year, West Ham was ninth in the Premier League in chances created. Add Arnautovic to that mix, plus a healthy Snodgrass and Lanzini, and this season could be a big return to England for the Little Pea.

Coach’s Corner: Slaven Bilic — If it wasn’t clear after his first season in charge at West Ham, last season should prove how valuable the 48-year-old Croatian is to the Hammers. Bilic is able to mix and match his tactics to fit who is available and on the field, such an important trait last season when players were dropping like flies. Now, with good squad depth, he’ll need to channel that ability again to get everyone’s best.

PST Predicts: With the creative talent and steadiness at the back, West Ham should seriously improve on last season. They’ll finish more chances, and with Bilic in charge, this should be a top-half team with a shot at a Europa League spot.

Premier League 2017-18 preview – Manchester City

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Pep Guardiola gets his second go-around with Manchester City, hoping to improve on a third-place finish that came down to the wire. The Spaniard has done much work this summer to overhaul the roster and get significantly younger in key areas.

[ LIVE: Stream Premier League live ]

Last season’s acceptable finish eased some of the pressure that was mounting on Pep Guardiola, but another finish in the same spot this season won’t be taken so lightly. This team expects much more after such a massive summer investment, and anything less than a title will probably seem like a disappointment.

Best, worst case scenarios – Best-case scenario is clear: win the Premier League championship. With such a prestigious manager plus over $280 million spent this transfer window, there’s a clear target. Should those moves gel quickly, they could be one of the most dangerous teams not just in the Premier League but in all of Europe.

However, should it take Pep Guardiola time to mesh the new players together, an early-season sputter could scuttle the season before it even truly begins. Worst-case, this team finishes outside a Champions League spot, and Guardiola likely wouldn’t last long enough to see it come to a disappointing close.


Best possible XI is…

Bravo

Walker — Stones — Kompany — Mendy

Toure — Fernandinho

D Silva — De Bruyne — Sterling

Aguero


[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ] 

Transfers In: Benjamin Mendy (Monaco, $68 million), Kyle Walker (Tottenham, $60 million), Bernardo Silva (Monaco, $59 million), Ederson (Benfica, $47 million), Danilo ($35.5 million), Douglas Luiz (Vasco de Gama, $14 million),

Transfers Out: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, $32.8 million), Enes Unal (Villareal, $17 million), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield, $10.8 million), Nolito (Sevilla, $10.6 million), Fernando (Galatasaray, $6.2 million), Aleksandar Kolarov (Roma, $6 million), Joe Hart (Loan, West Ham), Jesus Navas (Sevilla, Free), Gael Clichy (Basaksehir, Free), Pablo Zabaleta (West Ham, Free), Willy Caballero (Chelsea, Free).

Last season:

— 3rd place in Premier League
Champions League Round of 16 (lost to Monaco)
— League Cup 4th Round (lost to Manchester United)
FA Cup semifinals (lost to Arsenal)

Star player: Kevin De Bruyne — Sergio Aguero’s rocky relationship with Pep Guardiola and the arrival of Gabriel Jesus has seen the Belgian playmaker rise to the top as Manchester City’s most influential star. He played the most minutes of anyone on the squad last season across all competitions, and he was involved in 30 goals (7 scored, 23 assisted), one fewer than Raheem Sterling‘s team lead. One a team bursting at the seams with both creative and finishing talent, de Bruyne is the glue that holds it all together.

Coaches’ Corner: Pep Guardiola — Despite a solid third-place finish in his first season taking over an aging squad, Guardiola’s first season in charge had largely a disappointing feel to it. The Spaniard brought in players like John Stones and Leroy Sane who either struggled or failed to make a significant impact. After his success at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich made Guardiola one of the most sought-after managers in the world, he must prove he can navigate the Premier League or he may run out his welcome in Manchester.

PST predicts: This team is just flat out too talented to struggle two seasons in a row. Guardiola will figure out how to piece the attacking talent together, rotating Jesus and Aguero through the numerous competitions and working Ilkay Gundogan, Leroy Sane, and Bernardo Silva into the rotation behind them. The central defense is still this team’s weakness, but for all of John Stones’ struggles last season, City still managed the fourth-best defensive record in the English top flight. Kyle Walker is a fantastic addition despite his high price, and Guardiola has managed to get this team significantly younger since he arrived. This is a top-two team, and will challenge for the title.