2017-2018 Premier League

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Top Storylines for Premier League Week 23

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With the Premier League back following a week of FA Cup action, let’s take a look at the top storylines heading into this weekend…

Can Liverpool end Man City’s unbeaten run

Manchester City faces another stiff test to its unbeaten run – and perhaps its title aspirations – with a trip to Liverpool to end the Premier League’s Sunday slate.

Sunday (Watch live, 11:00 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com) also marks the start of the post-Philippe Coutinho era, as the Brazilian was finally given his dream transfer to Barcelona last week. It’s a key moment for Liverpool, a team fighting for another top four position as well as this year’s UEFA Champions League knockout stage only to lose one of its top attackers. How will Jurgen Klopp‘s team respond. On the other side, Man City has rebounded well from its scoreless draw with Crystal Palace, with three straight wins as it looks to wrap up the Premier League title by March.

[MORE: JPW’s Premier League picks for Week 23]

Arsenal’s transfer saga continues

Arsenal is expected to sell Alexis Sanchez any day now, but there’s nothing yet pointing to the Chilean forward not being part of the first-team squad in the meantime. The Gunners hit the road to face Bournemouth and Eddie Howe, a man who has been touted as an eventual successor to Arsene Wenger, on Sunday (Watch live, 8:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com). The Gunners are winless in their last three, including a rough scoreless draw at Chelsea in the League Cup on Wednesday, and will be without Jack Wilshere for at least a game or two. And possibly Alexis Sanchez? Who knows.

Howe will be reminding his men of the repeat fixture last year: where Bournemouth ran riot and took a commanding 3-0 lead, only for Olivier Giroud to lead Arsenal’s comeback to earn a point with a 3-3 draw. Howe will be expecting a win this time around.

Mahrez vs. Hazard at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea and Leicester City have an interesting relationship. Chelsea’s wild 2-2 draw with Tottenham secured Leicester City’s improbable and incredible Premier League title, and with Leicester City’s midfield dynamo N'Golo Kante, the Blues won the title last year.

But perhaps the focus will be on another sought-after player who just passed his four-year mark in Leicester – Riyad Mahrez. With Coutinho – who basically plays a similar position to Mahrez – making a big-money move to Barcelona, the French-born Algerian international may want to show potential suitors that he can provide plenty to a future club, or perhaps he’ll turn these performances into a new contract. It will be fun to see Mahrez go up against former teammates Kante and Danny Drinkwater, as well as Premier League star Eden Hazard (Watch live, 10:00 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

Spurs look to break into Top 4

Despite all its talent, Tottenham is currently sitting on the outside of the top four and looking in. But perhaps not for long.

If Spurs can get past a more defensively-sound Everton side on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 .m. ET, on NBC and NBCSports.com) and Liverpool lose to Manchester City, depending on goal differential, Tottenham can jump past Liverpool into the top four, keeping its Champions League hopes alive for next season. It will be a tactical battle on Saturday, with Mauricio Pochettino‘s side looking to break down Sam Allardyce‘s Everton, which is playing somewhat better since he’s taken charge. With Yannick Bolasie back for Everton as well, it will inject more pace into the squad that has been lacking it.

Can Burnley break out of slump

Burnley has had a fantastic first half of the Premier League season. But can the club sustain it for the second half?

It’s now been five-straight games in the Premier League that Burnley has failed to win – six in total – and the team has lost all of the momentum it built up when it momentarily sat in the top four. Now down to seventh, Sean Dyche‘s side looks to arrest its slide with a trip to Roy Hodgson‘s Crystal Palace (Watch live, 10:00 a.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold). Palace are fighting tooth and nail to escape relegation and it will be a difficult road test for Burnley. It’s a time for the likes of Robbie Brady, Stevan Defour and others to step up, while Wilfried Zaha will look to use his past to dangerous effect at home.

Top Storylines for Premier League Week 6

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After a week of League Cup action domestically, the Premier League returns this weekend with a myriad of interesting matchups and storylines.

Let’s take a look at some of this week’s top story’s to follow:


Can Manchester City continue its torrid form?

Manchester City has finally found its groove under manager Pep Guardiola.

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The club has won five successive games, the last three coming on the road while scoring a combined 19 goals. Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are a terrific 1-2 punch while David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne have been stars in midfield, with De Bruyne pulling the strings for Man City all season.

There’s every likelihood that Man City will continue its impressive run on Saturday. The club hosts floundering Crystal Palace, which is still adjusting to new manager Roy Hodgson.

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Top Storylines for Premier League Week 5

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The Premier League returns to action this weekend with plenty of big matches and storylines to look forward to.

Week five builds up to a crescendo with two matches between some of the league’s top teams. Arsenal travels nearly 10 miles to Southwest London to face Chelsea, before Jose Mourinho and Manchester United host plummeting Everton and former club legend, Wayne Rooney.

[ LIVE: Stream Premier League live ]

On Saturday, Crystal Palace’s new boss Roy Hodgson takes charge of his first game as the Eagles host Southampton and Tottenham return to Wembley Stadium, four days after winning there in the UEFA Champions League.

Here’s a closer look at this week’s top storylines heading into Premier League Week 5

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Premier League releases 25-man squads for 2017-2018 season

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With the close of the transfer window, Premier League rosters are now set for the season.

On Friday evening, after teams submitted their squads, the Premier League released each team’s 25-man squads for the current season.

There are some notable omissions. Arsenal left out Santi Cazorla, who continues to recover from an achillies injury while Chelsea left Abdul Baba Rahman off its list. However, Diego Costa was included on Chelsea’s roster despite the Spanish international’s attempts to force a move away. Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk and Everton’s Ross Barkley made their club’s squads as well.

There are six Americans currently registered for the upcoming season. Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron, Newcastle United’s DeAndre Yedlin and Huddersfield Town’s Danny Williams are registered as senior squad members. Bournemouth’s Emerson Hyndman, Arsenal’s Gedion Zelalem and Chelsea’s Kyle Scott are registered as Under-21 players, while Tottenham’s Cameron Carter-Vickers, on loan at Sheffield United for the season, is also registered as an Under-21 player.

 

Per Premier League rules, no more than 17 players who don’t fulfill the league’s “home grown” requirements can be registered. A home grown player is someone who has been registered by the FA or the Welsh FA for three years before the age of 21.

Under-21 players, those born after January 1, 1996, are eligible to play in the Premier League this season without being registered. Teams can update and change their squads

Here’s a look at the 2017-2018 Premier League squads:

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Premier League Preview: Bournemouth vs. Manchester City

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  • Raheem Sterling has scored five Premier League goals against Bournemouth; more than versus any club in the competition. This includes his only Premier League hat-trick in October 2015.
  • Sergio Aguero has scored in seven successive Premier League away appearances. Only Robin Van Persie (nine matches) has a better run.
  • Benjamin Mendy could make his Manchester City debut.
  • Bournemouth will be without Simon Francis (hamstring), Junior Stanislas (groin) and Callum Wilson (knee), but Jermain Defoe is close to full fitness after recovering from a groin strain.

Manchester City is looking to continue its unbeaten run as it travels to face the Cherries of AFC Bournemouth (Watch live at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Pep Guardiola‘s side is coming off a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Everton but Guardiola is still phasing in some of the team’s new signings, including Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy, who could make his debut this weekend, especially with the suspension of Kyle Walker.

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The Cherries meanwhile are off to a tough start, dropping to 16th in the Premier League with losses to West Bromwich Albion and Watford in the first two weeks. Having Jermain Defoe finally fit and a midweek win over Birmingham City in the EFL Cup could be enough to lift the club’s spirits ahead of a tough challenge with Manchester City.

What they’re saying

Pep Guardiola on Bournemouth: “The Premier League is so complicated, so special. Sometimes in Champions League the teams they play and they let you play. Bournemouth are a team who want to play. The manager is so good in those terms. They did a fantastic season last season. Okay, They start with two defeats but sometimes that can happen, it’s just the beginning.”

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe on his team’s start: “It gets tougher every year, the competition gets more intense and the players get better. This will be the hardest Premier League ever because it’s the most recent one. With the money in the Premier League now the standard of the players coming in is always improving and that makes it ever-harder for each team to compete. It’s a challenge we always look forward to taking on.”

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Prediction

History says this is Manchester City’s game to lose and based on the way both teams have started this season, there’s no reason to believe it won’t be a similar outcome, even with Man City on the road. Manchester City 3-1 Bournemouth