Vincent Kompany

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Premier League preview: Manchester City vs. Liverpool

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  • Jurgen Klopp has never lost to Manchester City as Liverpool manager
  • Sergio Aguero needs 1 goal to become PL’s all-time non-European goalscorer
  • Aguero has scored in all 5 PL matches vs. Liverpool at the Etihad
  • Sadio Mane has scored in four consecutive PL matches

Two Champions League hopefuls square off at the Etihad on Saturday when Liverpool travels to Manchester to take on Pep Guardiola and Man City at 7:30 am E.T. live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

Both teams have picked up two wins and a draw through three league games thus far, but both will be without players who have proven key in the past. Philippe Coutinho will miss out, Jurgen Klopp confirmed, as the Liverpool star returns to fitness after missing the first few league games towards the end of the transfer window. Klopp said Coutinho probably could have played off the substitutes bench, but that he preferred to rest him this week and then play the Brazilian in the starting lineup.

[MORE: Premier League stats ]

On the other side, Raheem Sterling is suspended for City after receiving his red card last time out for celebrating a winning goal with fans who had entered the pitch. Defender Vincent Kompany is also injured, as the Belgian continues to struggle with a myriad of injury problems that have plagued the most recent few years of his career.

One man who could feature is new Liverpool signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who came to Liverpool on a permanent basis from Arsenal at the deadline, and has yet to play for the Reds.

What they’re saying

Pep Guardiola on playing Liverpool: “Every time I play Jurgen’s teams I learn a lot. Top manager, top club, top players. It will be a nice game tomorrow.”

Jurgen Klopp on his managing style: “I really am a relaxed person – the opposite of how I am during the game. It’s my job to be part of the game. You need to adapt as a player to my coaching style. Usually when a manager shouts as loud as I do, he’s angry – but I’m not angry, I’m just emotional and very loud!”

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Prediction

Both these teams are on attacking highs now, and both have occasionally shaky defenses, so this should be an incredibly entertaining match. Manchester City has the depth, while Liverpool has the form. At the moment, all things seem to cancel out, and the best bet is a high-flying 3-3 draw with plenty of entertainment. Look for goals!

Kompany out injured for Man City; Hazard to return for Chelsea

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Manchester City have been dealt a major blow ahead of their clash against Liverpool on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

[ LIVE: Stream Premier League live

Pep Guardiola has confirmed that captain Vincent Kompany will not play against Liverpool after the Belgian center back suffered a calf injury during international duty.

“I do not think  will be available tomorrow. I am sad for Kompany. The last seven, eight, nine games last season he played no problem, but we will get him fit as soon as possible,” Guardiola said.

Kompany, 31, had looked to have put his long line of injuries behind him but just three games into the new campaign a familiar problem has developed.

Guardiola confirmed Tosin Adarabioyo and Eliaquim Mangala will be available to slot into the team if needed when questioned about why City didn’t sign a new center back in the transfer window, while John Stones is likely to slot in alongside Nicolas Otamendi against Liverpool.


While there is bad news for one title hopeful in Man City, good news has arrived for Antonio Conte and Chelsea.

The Italian manager confirmed Eden Hazard will return against Leicester City on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold, online via NBCSports.com) after missing the opening month of the season with an ankle injury.

Hazard, 26, injured his ankle while on international duty with Belgium in June and required surgery but Conte confirmed Hazard is available this weekend.

“He is improving a lot and I think now I can count on him. I have to decide the right minutes but he is available,” Conte said.

Despite not playing for Chelsea this season Hazard did appear for Belgium against Gibraltar and Greece over the international break and he is now available for the reigning champs as they head to the King Power Stadium.

This is a huge bonus for Chelsea as their chief attacking talent returns.

Cheick Tiote tributes pour in; Hard-nosed midfielder mourned

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Few people enjoyed playing against combative Ivorian midfielder Cheick Tiote, but the longtime Newcastle United midfielder was respected by many.

Tiote, 30, passed away Monday after collapsing during a training session with Chinese side Beijing enterprises.

The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations winner also played with Twente and Anderlecht, and was especially beloved amongst his ex-Newcastle teammates.

[ MORE: Hazard out 3 months ]

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez praised Tiote as “a true professional, dedicated, talented, and above all, a great man.”

Ex-NUFC boss Alan Pardew was particularly stung by Tiote’s death, and honored “a giant of a midfielder.”

 

Watford 0-5 Man City: Guardiola’s men secure 3rd

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  • Man City finish 3rd
  • Watford finish 17th
  • Kompany, Aguero, Fernandinho get the goals

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The final-day formula for Manchester City was very simple, and very achievable: a win or draw away to Watford (or, a single point dropped by either one of Liverpool or Arsenal) would mean Pep Guardiola‘s first season in the Premier League would finish with a top-four finish.

After 45 textbook minutes of Sunday’s finale at Vicarage Road, Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho had done more than enough to secure the Citizens’ third-place finish, and the automatic place in the UEFA Champions League group stage that comes with it.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Kompany’s opener came after five minutes, as the 31-year-old oft-injured center back headed home a corner kick from Kevin De Bruyne (the Belgian playmaker’s 17th assist of the PL season).

Ageuro followed with a pair of goals well before halftime, in the 23rd and 36th minutes, and Man City had more than enough on the day. De Bruyne tallied assist no. 18 on Aguero’s first goal, a lightning-quick breakaway that made it 2-0. Leroy Sane set up Aguero’s second, City’s third, on the counter.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Fernandinho completed the first-half rout, four minutes before halftime, by tapping home an expertly placed cross from his fellow Brazilian, Gabriel Jesus. Right on the hour mark, Jesus put his name on the scoresheet, thanks to a bit of clever footwork and an emphatic finish past another Brazilian, Heurelho Gomes, to complete the scoring.

AT HALF: Man City, Liverpool lead; Arsenal up 2, down to 10

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Championship Sunday is well underway, and we already have big drama at Anfield and the Emirates Stadium.

Watford 0-4 Manchester City — USA (STREAM)

Vincent Kompany scored early and Sergio Aguero added a pair. Fernandinho also has a goal, and Pep Guardiola‘s bunch is comfortably approaching third place in the Premier League.

Arsenal 2-0 Everton — NBC (STREAM)

Hector Bellerin scored early for the Gunners, but it’s another defender who put the Gunners in jeopardy. Laurent Koscielny has been sent off, meaning he’ll miss the FA Cup Final as well. Welbeck cued up Alexis for a finish in the 28th minute.

Liverpool 1-0 Middlesbrough — NBCSN (STREAM)

The Reds are living in the Boro end, but needed a Georginio Wijnaldum arrow inside Brad Guzan‘s near post in stoppage time to put the Reds ahead.

Burnley 1-1 West Ham United — Oxygen (STREAM)

Sam Vokes and Sofiane Feghouli trade goals with four minutes to leave it level at the break.

Chelsea 1-1 Sunderland — SYFY (STREAM)

Javier Manquillo scored a deflected goal to put the visitors ahead, but Willian equalized for the champs.

Southampton 0-0 Stoke City — E! (STREAM)

Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace — CNBC (STREAM)

Twenty-one year-old Josh Harrop scored on debut, and Paul Pogba has also scored as a group of youngsters is battering Sam Allardyce‘s Palace.

Swansea City 0-1 West Bromwich Albion — Esquire (STREAM)

Jonny Evans scored in the 33rd minute to give the Baggies the lead.

Leicester City 0-1 Bournemouth — BRAVO (STREAM)

Junior Stanislas scored in the first minute to put the hosts down with heaps of time remaining at King Power Stadium.

Hull City 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur — MSNBC (STREAM)

Harry Kane has six goals in his last three halves of football after nabbing markers in the 11th and 13th minutes. Dele Alli finished a chance in stoppage time.