Wednesday’s Field of Play: Champions League times three, Copa Lib and MLS

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Today’s match in London will likely garner the most column inches, but look south and west to Brazil and you’ll find a match that’s difficult for Chelsea-Benfica to upstage. While you may have to look long and hard for a way to watch it, you’re unlikely to be disappointed by South America’s best player against the 2010 Libertadores champions.

But in less exotic locals, there’s still a number of quality, more accessible matches, with Major League Soccer as well as CONCACAF Champions League in action tonight.

But let’s start in England:

UEFA Champions League

  • Salamon Kalou’s goal has Chelsea (England) up 1-0 ahead of today’s second leg at Stamford Bridge against Benfica (Portual). Having won seven of their last 10, it’s difficult to think the Blues anything but a prohibitive favorite to advance and face Barcelona. (Match kicks off at 2:45 p.m. ET)
  • Real Madrid (Spain) brought back a three-goal lead from Nicosia last week. If APOEL (Cyprus) had little chance before kick off last Tuesday, what shot do they have now? Winner meets Bayern Munich in the semifinals. (2:45 p.m. ET)

Copa Libertadores

  • Group 1’s top teams (and the tournament’s last two champions) meet in Porto Alegre, where holders Santos (Brazil) will be visiting Internacional, the clubs locked in a three-team race with Bolivia’s The Strongest for two knockout round spots. Santos comes into the match having won three straight after their opening round loss La Paz. (8:50 p.m. ET)
  • Suadamericana champions Universidad de Chile can lock-up a knockout round spot with a win at Godoy Cruz (Argentina). Flip side of that coin: With a loss, they give the Argentines the inside track to advance with group-leading Atlético Nacional. (6:30 p.m. ET)
  • The dysfunction that is Flamengo (Brazil) was given second life on Tuesday when Olimpico was routed at Lanús. On Wednesday, Fla can reclaim Group 2’s second place with a win at Emelec (Ecuador). (8:50 p.m. ET)
  • Universidad Catolica (Chile), coming off their first win of the tournament, can take control of their knockout round destiny with a win at Group 3 cellar-dwellers Junior (Colombia). If later Unión Española draws Bolivar, Catolica will be top of the group at the end of the round. (8:50 p.m. ET)

CONCACAF Champions League

  • Nobody gave Toronto a chance when, having only drawn at home, they went on the road in the quarterfinals. While winning Wednesday in Torreón seems a higher hurdle than knocking off LA Galaxy at Home Depot (given what we now know about the Galaxy), Aron Winter’s always found a way, to this point. Santos Laguna may just be that next point. (8:00 p.m. ET)
  • Monterrey may be the best team in the region right now. Having survived an early winter scare that almost saw Humberto Suazo move back to Chile, the Rayados look set to defend their CCL title. They’ll get the chance to do so, provided they hold on to their 3-0 lead at Pumas. (10:00 p.m. ET)

Asian Champions League

  • Defending J-League champions Kashiwa Reysol host Dario Conca and Guangzhou Evergrande (China). Winner moves second in Group H, assuming … (6:00 a.m. ET)
  • Burinam United (Thailand) maintains their perfect record after hosting Jeonbuk Motors. The Koreans have given up 10 goals through their first two matches and look set to be group doormats. (7:00 a.m. ET)
  • In the third Australia-versus-South Korea match of the week, Brisbane Roar – currently sitting bottom of Group F – travel to Ulsan, who are tied at the top of the group. (6:30 a.m. ET)
  • The team with which they’re tied? FC Tokyo, a club that’s also off to a strong start in their domestic campaign (sitting third in the J-League) They are in China to face Beijing’s Guoan. (8:00 a.m. ET)
  • On the western half of the schedule, Uzbekistan’s Pahktakor welcomes Qatari side Al Arabi. Both teams are looking for their first wins. (9:00 a.m. ET)
  • Saudi power Al Hilal, held to two draws in their opening rounds, are in the United Arab Emirates to face Al Shabab, a team that’s allowed six goals through their first two Group D matches. Al Hilal’s scored 15 times in their last four games. (11:30 a.m. ET)
  • Group D’s leaders, Persepolis (Iran), at in Qatar to face an Al Gharafa side with Zé Roberto, Edmilson, Diego Tardelli and Aruna Dindane on their books. The Iranians counter with Éamon Zayed, who scored three goals in the first 54 minutes when Al Shabab visited Teheran two weeks ago. (11:35 a.m. ET)
  • And in the day’s final match, Al Ittihad (Saudi Arabia) – off to a perfect record and a +6 difference after two rounds – look to lock down Group B against visiting Bani Yas (UAE). With a win, Al Ittihad will have a five-point lead on the group. (1:45 p.m. ET)

Major League Soccer

  • Last but certainly not least, Real Salt Lake welcomes the Montreal Impact for the expansion team’s first visit to Rio Tinto. While it looks like a lop-sided matchup (between the second and 19th-ranked teams in PST’s rundown), RSL did lose to Chivas USA in their last home game. (8:00 p.m. ET)

West Brom – Chelsea: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction, odds

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West Brom – Chelsea: The Blues are in desperate need of a strong rebound when they visit The Hawthorns on Saturday (Watch live at 12:30 pm ET, on NBC and online via


The Baggies, on the other hand, are simply hoping to collect their first point of the season after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Leicester City on the opening day of the 2020-21 season and following that up with a 5-2 beatdown at the hands of Everton last weekend.

As far as favorable matchups go, facing the 20th-place side a week after losing to defending champions Liverpool is quite timely for Chelsea.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Here is everything you need to know ahead of West Brom – Chelsea this Saturday with team news, odds, stream link and more.

Team news: West Brom – Chelsea (INJURY REPORT)

West Brom – QUESTIONABLE: Ahmed Hegazi (thigh), Kamil Grosicki (back), Hal Robson-Kanu (leg) | OUT: Kieran Gibbs (suspension), Conor Gallagher (loan rules), Kenneth Zohore (calf)

Chelsea – QUESTIONABLE: Christian Pulisic (hamstring), Cesar Azpilicueta (thigh) | OUT: Hakim Ziyech (knee), Andrea Christensen (suspension)

What they’re saying: West Brom – Chelsea

West Brom manager Slaven Bilic, on struggling to sign players: “We don’t have a huge budget, that is why we are trying to be creative and lucky. That’s not easy but we are trying. … We have to do it to maintain a good chance.”

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, on Thiago Silva: “It is exciting for us because he has had just over a week training with us. It was a perfect 60 minutes for him tonight. He will show the qualities he has. Of course, he will get fitter and better. He also gave us something for me on the night in the dressing room and on the pitch of a leader with authority in terms of his demands on others. He can’t speak the language but at the minute that’s not even a problem because his presence and the way he commands people around him is already showing that to me in training and in our game tonight.”

Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

West Brom (+750) represent one of the biggest underdogs — or, opportunities, depending on how you look at it — of the still-young PL season. There’s not much to be won by betting on Chelsea (-280). Even the draw (+400) is pretty far out there.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links

Prediction: West Brom – Chelsea

Barring some unforeseen circumstances — for example, a 12th-minute red card — it’s virtually impossible to see West Brom getting anything from this game. They’ve been incredibly poor defensively through two games, and they’re yet to face a side with anything close to the firepower which the Blues possess. West Brom 1-3 Chelsea.

How to watch West Brom – Chelsea stream and start time

Kickoff: 12:30 pm ET Saturday
Online: Stream via

MLS upcoming schedule, MLS Cup odds

MLS betting odds
Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images
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MLS betting odds and upcoming schedule: Major League Soccer still has six weeks left of fixtures left in the regular season after its long-awaited return from the COVID-19 shutdown.

[ TRANSFER NEWS: Dest to Barcelona? ]

The regular season is currently scheduled to end on Nov. 8, with the playoffs beginning that same week and culminating with MLS Cup on Dec. 12.

Click here for MLS betting odds and different odds on soccer and beyond from our new official sports betting partner PointsBet, as there will be plenty of selections to make each week with game lines and more available via NBC Sports Bet.

[ MORE: Five-subs rule again voted down by Premier League clubs ]

This page will be updated following the completion of every round of games in 2020, to feature the upcoming set of fixtures and MLS betting odds.

This weekend’s MLS schedule and odds (via PointsBet)

Sunday, Sept. 26

Nashville (+105) v Houston (+235) / Draw (+225) — 3:30 pm ET
NYCFC (-228) v Cincinnati (+550) / Draw (+300) — 7 pm ET

Sunday, Sept. 27

DC United (+225) v New England (+105) / Draw (+230) — 7 pm ET
New York Red Bulls (-167) v Montreal (+375) / Draw (+280) — 7 pm ET
Philadelphia (+120) v Inter Miami (+195) / Draw (+225) — 7:30 pm ET
Chicago (-139) v Atlanta (+300) / Draw (+275) — 7:30 pm ET
Toronto (+120) v Columbus (+195) / Draw (+225) — 7:30 pm ET
Minnesota (-125) v Real Salt Lake (+265) / Draw (+270) — 8 pm ET
FC Dallas (+125) v Orlando City (+170) / Draw (+245) — 8:30 pm ET
Colorado (+145) v Sporting KC (+150) / Draw (+240) — 9 pm ET
Vancouver (+375) v Portland (-189) / Draw (+325) — 10 pm ET
LAFC (-500) v San Jose (+850) / Draw (+525) — 10:30 pm ET
LA Galaxy (+150) v Seattle (+150) / Draw (+235) — 10:30 pm ET

MLS Cup winner odds

Los Angeles FC (+450)
Toronto FC (+450)
Seattle Sounders (+800)
Philadelphia Union (+1100)
Atlanta United (+1400)
Columbus Crew (+1400)
LA Galaxy (+1800)
New York City FC (+1800)
Sporting KC (+1800)
Portland Timbers (+2000)
Minnesota United (+2500)
New England Revolution (+2500)
Orlando City SC (+2500)
New York Red Bulls (+3000)
Montreal Impact (+4000)
FC Dallas (+5000)
Real Salt Lake (+5000)
San Jose Earthquakes (+6000)
Chicago Fire (+10000)
Colorado Rapids (+10000)
D.C. United (+10000)
Houston Dynamo (+10000)
Inter Miami (+12500)
FC Cincinnati (+25000)
Vancouver Whitecaps (+25000)
Nashville SC (+30000)

West Ham – Wolves: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction, odds

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West Ham – Wolves: David Moyes will be watching from home after testing positive for COVID-19, though he reportedly remains asymptomatic, when his West Ham United side welcomes Wolverhampton Wanderers to the London Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 2 pm ET, online via Peacock).


In recent history, West Ham have had an absolutely torrid time against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side since they won promotion from the EFL Championship. The Hammers have found the back of the net zero times, and collected zero points, in four meetings since Wolves returned to the Premier League.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Here is everything you need to know ahead of West Ham – Wolves this Sunday with team news, odds, stream link and more.

Team news: West Ham – Wolves (INJURY REPORT)

West Ham – QUESTIONABLE: Issa Diop (COVID-19), Josh Cullen (COVID-19)

Wolves – QUESTIONABLE: Fernando Marcal (undisclosed) | OUT: Jonny (knee)

What they’re saying: West Ham – Wolves

Stand-in manager Alan Irvine, on Moyes’ absence: “I’ve spoken to him several times this morning. He is not feeling any symptoms and hasn’t felt them any way through, so obviously it’s a bit frustrating for him, but he’s fine and he’s getting on with other things. Of course, David will be the manager and everything we do will be run through him. He will make the decisions on everything.”

Nuno Espirito Santo, on facing a team with COVID-19 cases: “We are not concerned, I wish David and the players the fastest recovery. What happened to West Ham can happen to any one of us. It’s tough when you are preparing for a game and you cannot be on the touchline. Now we’re not concerned, we’re confident and we trust the authorities to keep things safe for us.”

Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Everything points to a win for Wolves (+105) with West Ham (+270) made slight home underdogs, which should spell out everything you need to know about the Hammers. Best-case scenario for Moyes and Irvine would be to snatch a draw (+240).

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links

Prediction: West Ham – Wolves

West Ham might get out of the starting block at some point this season, but Wolves are hardly the ideal opponent you want to see when you have zero points and very few positives to start the season. Misery begets misery, and West Ham are in for a bit more. West Ham 0-2 Wolves.

How to watch West Ham – Wolves stream and start time

Kickoff: 2 pm ET Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock

Man City – Leicester: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction, odds

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Man City – Leicester: Pep Guardiola will have just 13 first-team players at his disposal when Manchester City hosts Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 11:30 am ET, on NBCSN and online via


With a combination of injuries and confirmed cases of COVID-19 currently ravaging an already-thin squad, City have no choice but to tread water and simply stay afloat in the coming days and weeks as they attempt to reclaim the Premier League title from Liverpool. It’s a difficult position to be in, no doubt about it, and Leicester should present a tricky challenge for Guardiola and Co., without the likes of Bernardo Silva, Aymeric Laporte, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan, among others.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Man City and Leicester spent much of the 2019-20 season second and third — and third and second — in the PL table, each looking up at Liverpool miles and miles ahead, before winding up second and fifth, respectively. City won each of the two meetings last season — 3-1 at home in December, and 1-0 away in February.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Man City – Leicester this Sunday with team news, odds, stream link and more.

Team news: Man City – Leicester (INJURY REPORT)

Man City – QUESTIONABLE: Ilkay Gundogan (COVID-19), Aymeric Laporte (COVID-19) | OUT: Bernardo Silva (thigh), Gabriel Jesus (undisclosed), Sergio Aguero (knee), Joao Cancelo (foot), Oleksandr Zinchenko (undisclosed)

Leicester – QUESTIONABLE: Demarai Gray (illness) | OUT: Cengiz Under (transfer clearance), Ricardo Pereira (knee), Jonny Evans (thigh), Filip Benkovic (groin), Wilfred Ndidi (groin)

What they’re saying: Man City – Leicester

Pep Guardiola, on Man City’s injury issues: “With the situation we have right now, we need players from the academy. We have just 13 players fit. With the problems we have up front, he will stay with us. We will use him. We cannot forget, like with Phil, he is only 17 years-old. He has a lot of things to improve. We cannot anticipate the progress of every young player. We’ve had Phil, Eric, Liam and we have Cole Palmer, who will be an exceptional player. We congratulate the academy. I am the last step, but before there are a lot of people in the club working for this and it is a big success for them.”

Brendan Rodgers, on how to improve Leicester: “Firstly, we have a number of young players who can improve. Last season, we showed lots of real potential in the squad. I always felt that two things would help us to improve and continue to develop this process. One of those was time. That means time to work with the players who are here, making them better year on year, particularly the young players. They will have gained from the experiences of last season — good and bad. Time will improve James Maddison. Time will improve Harvey Barnes. Consistency will make us better as well. That will come with the introduction of quality.”

Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Perhaps a bit surprisingly given their ongoing injury issues, City (-350) are heavy betting favorites with Leicester checking in as massive underdogs at +850. The draw (+480) might just make for the perfect speculative wager this weekend.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links

Prediction: Man City – Leicester

City struggled to put away Bournemouth in the League Cup on Thursday, and will have largely the same group of players available on Sunday. Facing Leicester will be a significant increase in quality of opposition. Leicester might just get something out of this one and do Liverpool an early-season favor in the process. Man City 1-1 Leicester.

How to watch Man City – Leicester stream and start time

Kickoff: 11:30 am ET Sunday
Online: Stream via