Victor Lindelof

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West Brom: Evans relegation release reportedly just $4M

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Jonny Evans has been fantastic for West Bromwich Albion this season, shepherding the Baggies back line while being involved in as many goals as any player not named Salomon Rondon or Jay Rodriguez.

[ MORE: High profile loan for Palace ]

So it would make sense for West Brom to hang onto the player at almost all costs given its status as a team in danger of the drop after its slow start under Tony Pulis has kept its lackluster pace under Alan Pardew.

Here’s the rub: Some big clubs would like to purchase Evans, who has 18 months left on his deal but reportedly no interest in signing a new deal the Hawthorns. Even worse? Monday’s story that a Baggies’ relegation would make his buyout clause just over $4 million.

Defenders who cost more last summer on the Premier League market include Jan Bednarek, Nathan Ake, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Michael Keane, Florian Lejeune, Mathias Jorgensen, Andrew Robertson, Bruno Martins Indi, and many others.

Heck, Evans’ buyout clause is the same price Derby County paid Liverpool for Andre Wisdom. And these fees are all pre-Virgil Van Dijk to Liverpool madness.

Considering only Swansea and Brighton have scored fewer league goals than the Baggies, who are just now committing to a two-striker approach under Pardew, does it make sense for West Brom to sell now?

Evans’ value at 18 months out will be more than it is at 12 months out even if the Baggies avoid relegation, but he’s possibly a lynch pin of the team. And the volatile value for attackers mean the $25-35 million he’d generate may not make for like-for-like value.

It’s not an easy decision, but desperate times call for similar measures. The Baggies have played in four nil-nils this season, and lost 1-0 to relegation rivals Southampton and Huddersfield Town away. Both of the reverse fixtures remain.

There are creative options here, too. Would Jurgen Klopp sanction a high(ish) profile attacker loan to WBA in order to pair Evans with Van Dijk? Same for Pep Guardiola at Man City?

Leicester 2-2 Man United: Foxes rob Red Devils late

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  • Mahrez-to-Vardy flashbacks to 2015-16
  • Mata brings United level before HT
  • Mata’s free kick makes it 2-1
  • Maguire steals a point in 94′

Manchester United fell a goal behind early, came back to within seconds beat Leicester City courtesy of two goals scored by Juan Mata, but were punished for not putting the game beyond reach and ultimately dropped two points on Saturday at the King Power Stadium.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The result sees Jose Mourinho’s second-place side fall to 13 points off the pace of runaway league leaders Manchester City, who won in convincing fashion (again) on Saturday.

The game’s opening goal, scored by the Foxes in the 27th minutes, was as on-brand as any goal in PL history. Demarai Gray sent Riyad Mahrez through into acres of open field with a long diagonal ball over the top. Mahrez ran onto it, raced to the top of the 18-yard box, held up play very briefly and slotted the perfect through ball for Jamie Vardy to slide past David De Gea first-time.

Thus, Vardy’s 50th PL goal adds to his sublime scoring record against the league’s top-six sides.

Leicester’s lead wouldn’t quite survive until halftime, though, as Juan Mata drew the Red Devils level in the 40th minute. He needed a bit of good fortune — and perhaps the slightest of deflections — to squeeze his left-footed effort between two Leicester defenders and tuck it just inside Kasper Schmeichel‘s left-hand post, and he got it.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

The second half’s opening 10 minutes began in frantic fashion, as each side failed to convert a golden opportunity on opposite ends of the field within 30 seconds of one another.

Christian Fuchs had a nearly open-net chance before Victor Lindelof scrambled across the face of goal to get in the way and make the block. United immediately raced down the other end of the field, where Romelu Lukaku picked out Anthony Martial with a perfectly-placed ball toward the penalty spot, but the Frenchman blazed his shot over the crossbar, and both sides came up empty.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

United wouldn’t wait long for another scoring chance, though the degree of difficulty would be far greater than Martial’s miss moments earlier. Mata delicately lifted his free kick over the leaping wall from the edge of the box. Schmeichel didn’t react until three-quarters of the way through the ball’s flight, at which point he had no chance of making the save.

Lukaku turned playmaker once again int he 72nd minute, when he slotted another through ball into a dangerous area, this time for Jesse Lingard. The hard part had been done already — Lingard rounded Schmeichel with ease — but the post denied what appeared a surefire goal to hand United a two-goal lead.

Daniel Amartey earned himself a pair of yellow cards just 17 minutes apart after coming on just before the hour mark, reducing Leicester to 10 men. Marcus Rashford let another open-net chance get away from United, as he stumbled over his own feet and hit the ground after rounding Schmeichel himself, and United were made to pay for not putting the game to bed.

Marc Albrighton lofted a hopeful ball into a dangerous spot inside the six-yard box, and Harry Maguire slid in at the back post to poke it past De Gea in the 94th minute, with what appeared to be fewer than 20 seconds of stoppage time remaining.

Young’s beautiful brace leads Man Utd

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  • Young scores pretty pair (video)
  • Martial makes it 3-0
  • Rojo concedes PK
  • Lingard solo dribble ends it

Ashley Young scored two goals and Anthony Martial also netted as Manchester United used a huge first half to beat Watford 4-2 at Vicarage Road on Tuesday.

Jesse Lingard put the match to bed after Troy Deeney and Abdoulaye Doucore scored second half goals to pull Watford within one.

United is now five points back of Man City, which plays Wednesday versus Southampton.

Watford fails to reach the Top Four, and remains eighth with 22 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Victor Lindelof bodied Richarlison off the ball before a cross could reach him in the seventh minute as Manchester United dodged the first threat of the match.

And Watford was largely on the front foot for the first quarter hour, as Will Hughes continued his prominent role in the team and Richarlison remained a challenge for the opposition.

Young gave United a second goal in as many matches, this one credited to him, as he hit a shot from the left that beat Heurelho Gomes to the near post.

Paul Pogba won a 24th minute free kick during a 50-yard dribble through the heart of the midfield. Abdoulaye Doucore saw yellow, and Young stepped to the plate with a fantastic, swerving free kick goal.

Martial added a third in the 32nd minute, running to the top of the 18 to hit a low shot to the left of a diving Gomes.

Romelu Lukaku‘s 45th minute rip was stopped by a Gomes dive, and the keeper popped up to stop Jesse Lingard’s rebound.

Richarlison missed a header just before the halftime whistle.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Lukaku had a sadly funny miss in the 75th minute. Cued up alone with an empty net, he dribbled out of a chance to make it 4-0 to compound his struggles and confound his supporters.

Roberto Pereyra won a penalty in the 77th minute, dribbling past Marcos Rojo. The back’s rescue tackle was quite poor, and Deeney didn’t miss from the spot.

Deeney then got higher than Chris Smalling to head on goal.

Watford continued to control play, and Marco Silva‘s men pulled within one when Doucoure connected with a cross. The Hornets would have seven minutes to find an equalizer.

How will teams line up for Man United v. Tottenham?

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With Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur clashing in a huge battle at Old Trafford on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) there are plenty of lineup possibilities for Jose Mourinho and Mauricio Pochettino.

Rumblings about Harry Kane potentially out with an injury will have Spurs fans sleepless until Saturday, while United’s midfield and defense looks short with injuries to Maraoune Fellaini, Paul Pogba and Eric Bailly impacting their fine early-season form and perhaps a main reason why they lost to Huddersfield Town last time out in the PL.

Below is a look at our suggested lineups for the massive clash on Saturday between two title contenders and the teams many believe are the only ones who can stop Manchester City winning the Premier League this season.


JPW’s lineup selections for Manchester United vs. Tottenham

Manchester United

—– De Gea —–

—- Valencia —- Smalling — Jones —- Darmian —-

—- Matic —- Herrera —-

—- Mata —- Mkhitaryan —- Rashford —-

—– Lukaku —–

Tottenham Hotspur

—– Lloris —–

— Alderweireld — Sanchez — Vertonghen —

—- Aurier —- Dier —- Dembele —- Davies —-

—- Eriksen —- Dele —-

—– Kane —–


Conclusion

United have some defensive issues, as we saw in their defeat at Huddersfield Town. Victor Lindelof is taking time to settle into life in the Premier League and if Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are fit, they are United’s two first-choice center backs. Bailly is out but Jones should make this game but with Marcos Rojo.. Mourinho could slot Daley Blind in at center back, or even play with a 3-4-3 system he used in preseason to try and counteract Spurs’ favored system. In attack United have a plethora of options with Romelu Lukaku set to lead the line and three from Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard behind him.

For Spurs, it’s all about getting Kane fit and on the pitch at Old Trafford on Saturday. Not only would it be a huge blow for Spurs if the red-hot striker isn’t available, it would also be a huge psychological boost for United. Kane leads the PL with eight goals so far this season and has 13 in 12 in all competitions for Tottenham. Fernando Llorente could step in and do a similar job, but Tottenham revolve around Kane and his link-up play with Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen. They aren’t a one-man team, but they’re close to it. Elsewhere on the pitch, Mousa Dembele should make his long-awaited PL return in midfield and that would be a big boost for a game of this magnitude. Pochettino will stick with his 3-4-3 formation despite the shock collapse at home to West Ham in the League Cup in midweek, with a big decision on whether in-form Ben Davies starts over fit-again Danny Rose at left wing-back.

Huddersfield Town 2-1 Manchester United: Monumental win!

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  • Town’s first win over United since 1952
  • Mooy, Depoitre score
  • Rashford pulls one back
  • United’s first PL loss

Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre scored to give Huddersfield Town its first win over Manchester United in 65 years, a 2-1 win at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.

Marcus Rashford pulled a goal back for United, which has lost its first PL match of the season and drops five points behind Man City.

Town leaps 10th, with 12 points. USMNT midfielder Danny Williams put in an impressive display for the Terriers.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Anthony Martial collected an early yellow card for United, and a clever move from Tom Ince to Steve Mounie called up Red Devils backstop David De Gea for his first collection of the match.

And Mooy put Town a head when he played Ince in for a shot, then put the rebound behind De Gea.

The keeper wouldn’t be relieved when a Jonas Lossl goal kick sailed over Victor Lindelof‘s jumping intervention, and Depoitretw danced around De Gea to make it 2-0.

Nemanja Matic‘s stoppage time effort through traffic almost pulled one back for United, but Town dealt with a corner kick to get to the break unscathed.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

But how many have?

Rashford lifted the hopes of the visitors with a goal with just under 15 minutes to play.