Paul Lambert

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Premier League Preview: Stoke City vs. Manchester City

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  • Man City beat Stoke 7-2 on Oct. 14
  • Aguero misses out
  • Man City leads all-time 50W-25D-37L

Manchester City can eclipse the 80-point mark and extend its Premier League table lead back to 18 with a win at relegation-threatened Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium on Monday (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via

Man City has is unbeaten in four matches with Stoke, outscoring the Potters 15-3 in three wins.


The latest of those was a 7-2 at the Etihad Stadium, with Gabriel Jesus scoring twice, plus goals from Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, David SilvaFernandinho and Bernardo Silva.

Jesus figures to feature again, as Sergio Aguero announced he’s set for a couple weeks on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury in training.

Stoke is a point back of safety but carries the worst goal differential in the league, but has improved its defensive record in recent weeks. Paul Lambert‘s men have three clean sheets and just one loss — albeit with one win — in their last six.

What they’re saying

Kostas Stafylidis of Stoke on facing the leaders“We have to fight, fight, fight for… 90 minutes, 98 minutes, or I don’t know how many. Of course it’s going to be hard, they are the best team in England, one of the best in Europe, but in the Premier League you never know.”

Man City’s Guardiola on building the team“The club is good because now it is easy to say it is going well but it happened the same last season. That means a lot to me. In the bad moments I saw how the club reacted and supported me and when I wanted to talk about plans for the future they were there. There were no doubts about that. We had doubts because we didn’t win but not doubts about what we had to do.”


Stoke’s aforementioned and improved defensive record hasn’t come against a run of world beaters, and Man City should be too much. Gabriel Jesus is unleashed with a pair of goals in a 2-0 win.

Top Premier League storylines — Week 29

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First seems certain, 20th seems likely, but places Nos. 2-19 remain anyone’s educated guess as the Premier League begins the first of 10 remaining match days.

[ MORE: Arsenal 0-3 Man City | City’s 3 goals ]

Can Chelsea keep the Top Four in focus?
Manchester City vs. Chelsea —  11 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN

While Man City waltzes, sambas, and occasionally jigs toward the Premier League table, challenged Chelsea finds itself in danger of finishing the weekend five points back of the Top Four. At least the Blues will catch City on short rest.

Last year’s champions would need a point in a building which hasn’t seen much besides wins this season; Man City has only dropped two points at home this season, and those came in a second week draw against Everton (City did need penalty kicks to knock Wolverhampton Wanderers out of the League Cup).

Will it be Dr. Jurgen or Mr. Klopp at Anfield?
Liverpool vs. Newcastle United —  12:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC

Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds have been both stylish and head-scratching, usually the former, in their climb to third place in the Premier League. On paper, Liverpool will find several ways through stingy Newcastle, who may still be reeling from a come-from-ahead 2-2 draw at home to Bournemouth. But the Reds will also contend with a man who’s had plenty of success at Anfield in former boss Rafa Benitez.

Six points of alliteration and relegation
Southampton vs. Stoke City —  10 a.m. ET Saturday on CNBC

Stoke, Southampton, St. Mary’s, six-pointer: Bring all your S’s to the South as Paul Lambert‘s 19th place Potters hope to pilfer a trio of points and leap above 16th place Saints. The race to avoid relegation is as congested as ever, probably, with 10 matches to go in the season. This is one of the match-ups that will tell its tale.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Who will lay claim to seventh?
Burnley vs. Everton —  7:30 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN
Leicester City vs. Bournemouth —  10 a.m. ET Saturday on NBC Sports Gold

In another world, one of adequate mid-table performance, these teams would be battling to overtake slipping Arsenal. Instead, it’s “finish seventh and hope for help in qualifying for Europe.”

Seventh place Burnley has 37 points, just one more than Leicester and three ahead of Saturday’s visitors to Turf Moor.

Can Palace keep its amazing comeback season alive?
Crystal Palace vs. Manchester United —  3 p.m. ET Monday on NBCSN

Selhurst Park is without its star in Wilfried Zaha, but the home of the Eagles was in far worse shape earlier this season. Roy Hodgson has led them on a heroic rebound, but three of its next four are United, Chelsea, and Liverpool. Meanwhile, the visiting Red Devils have looked pretty darn good lately and have to keep their form ahead of a March 10 visit from Liverpool.

Premier League Preview: Leicester City vs. Stoke City

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  • Foxes unbeaten in five vs. Stoke
  • Drew 2-2 at the Potteries on Nov. 4
  • Leicester leads all-time 34W-34D-31L

Leicester City can rejoin the Top Seven with a win and help on Friday when it hosts relegation-threatened Stoke City (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on CNBC and online via

The Foxes sit eighth in the Premier League table, a point back of Burnley (The Clarets host Southampton on Saturday)

Stoke, meanwhile, is two points back of safety. The half-full glass says the Potters have only lost once since Paul Lambert took over as boss, but the half-empty one sees draws against Watford and Brighton to go a loss at Bournemouth.

What they’re saying

Leicester boss Claude Puel on Stoke’s fortunes: “Shaqiri can make the difference and at the moment they play well with a good fighting spirit. I think they play good football on the floor. When they recover the ball they try to get in behind and make good pressing on the opponent. Shaqiri has more freedom and plays between the lines and they are a good team at this moment.”

Stoke’s Xherdan Shaqiri on Paul Lambert’s style“He has a German mentality with his teams… I’m really glad he came here. With German teams they always sit together – there are no phones on the table. It’s brought us more together – when you eat together you have to speak more to other team-mates who you don’t normally speak to. It’s a good thing.”


Phone ban or no, it will take improved communication to deal with Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, and Adrien Silva. Leicester gets another win, 3-0.

Top Premier League storylines — Week 27

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The Premier League’s 20 teams start their final dozen matches on Saturday, and there are plenty of interesting stories amongst the 10 weekend tilts.

[ WATCH: Coutinho’s first Barca goal ]

Can Spurs ruin their rivals’ Aubameyang honeymoon, Top Four hopes?
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal — 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday on CNBC

New look Arsenal will hope to channel some of its earlier season success in the North London Derby for a first season sweep of Spurs since 2013-14. Mauricio Pochettino‘s fifth-placed hosts enter the day with a four point advantage on the Gunners, and a loss for Arsenal would leave it a minimum of seven points back of the fourth.

Will Chelsea get form-healthy against basement-dwelling Baggies?
Chelsea vs. West Bromwich Albion — 3 p.m. ET Monday on NBCSN

What’s gone wrong at Stamford Bridge? Is Antonio Conte too intense, or perhaps some of the same players who sold out Jose Mourinho are doing the same to this title-winning boss. Chelsea needs a win to make amends for its 10-man blowout loss at Watford, and desperate West Brom won’t be sleepwalking into London.

Will Pep’s men keep their eyes off Switzerland?
Manchester City vs. Leicester City — 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC

Coming off a disappointing draw at Burnley, Man City will want to put a tricky Leicester team in its rear view mirror quickly. That won’t be easy. Leicester has beaten Man City in the Premier League during each of the previous two seasons, but can see that run end at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday

And what about Klopp’s lineup choice with Porto looming?
Southampton vs. Liverpool — 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN

Stung by last week’s draw with Spurs, Liverpool now has to refocus for a trip to St. Mary’s (the old haunt for so many of those players). Will Jurgen Klopp use Virgil Van Dijk on return, with a UEFA Champions League trip to Portugal next week? Saints, meanwhile, will aim to move further clear of the drop zone. Southampton enters the day two points out of 18th.

And the relegation six-pointer of the weekend is…
Stoke City vs. Brighton and Hove Albion — 10 a.m. ET Saturday on CNBC

Chris Hughton‘s Gulls are three points clear of the 18th place spot occupied by… Stoke City. Few expected the Potters to be flirting with the drop zone this deep into the season, and Paul Lambert will hope to get more than just good bounces from Brighton’s visit.

PL roundup: Arsenal impress at Emirates; Citizens drop points

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Get caught up on all seven of Saturday’s Premier League fixtures…

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Arsenal 5-1 EvertonFULL RECAP

The Toffees never looked like they were in the match, with Arsene Wenger‘s side coming out firing from the opening kick off. A hat-trick from Aaron Ramsey and Lauren Koscielny’s sliding finish had the Gunners flying high on Saturday, before new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened his account for the club (although he was really offside). Everton found its consolation through Dominic Calvert-Lewin‘s close-range header. The win puts Arsenal within three points of Tottenham for fifth place.

Manchester United 2-0 Huddersfield Town — FULL RECAP

Alexis Sanchez bagged his first goal for the Red Devils, while Romelu Lukaku also found the back of the net. Jose Mourinho’s side now sit 13 points behind league leaders Manchester City, who dropped two points on the day. Meanwhile, the Terriers have now gone eight straight PL matches without a victory, which leaves the side in the bottom three.

Burnley 1-1 Manchester City — FULL RECAP

The Clarets became the fourth PL side to take points off of Man City this season, although Pep Guardiola‘s group remain 16 points clear of second place following the draw. Johann Berg Gudmundsson played hero for the home side in the final minutes, after cancelling out Danilo‘s stunning finish earlier in the match.

Bournemouth 2-1 Stoke City — FULL RECAP

Xherdan Shaqiri kicked off the scoring for a desperate Stoke side, but it was Bournemouth that responded positively and found a way back. The Cherries moved into ninth place with its comeback victory at the Vitality Stadium behind Lys Mousset and Joshua King finishes. The defeat for Stoke leaves Paul Lambert‘s side in 18th place.

West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Southampton — FULL RECAP

In what proved to easily be the most exciting match of the day, the Saints picked up their first PL victory in 13 rounds of play. Mario Lemina‘s brilliant strike highlighted the outburst from Southampton’s attack, while goals from Jack Stephens and James Ward-Prowse also gave the visitors a boost. Southampton sits two points clear of the bottom three, while West Brom remains bottom in England.

Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 West Ham United — FULL RECAP

Goals from Glenn Murray, Jose Izquierdo and Pascal Gross gave the Seagulls a much-needed lift in the relegation battle, with Brighton moving up to 13th place. Meanwhile, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s beauty of a finish on the half-hour mark gave the Hammers a temporary moment of relief, but it was short-lived for the visiting side.

Leicester City 1-1 Swansea City — FULL RECAP

Jamie Vardy‘s 11th goal of the season wasn’t enough to secure all three points for Leicester, who picked up their 35th point. The draw was quite important to Swansea though, with the point picked up lifting the Swans out of the relegation zone despite being level on points with Stoke and Huddersfield.