Weekend focus, English Premier League: Liverpool vs. Manchester City

steven gerrard
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When and where: Sunday, 11:00 a.m. Eastern, Anfield, Liverpool

Why this match matters: Liverpool got off to a horrific start last weekend, and with Manchester City and Arsenal occupying the second and third spots on their fixture list, the West Brom match was the one where they needed to get points. One bad result won’t derail a season, and if given their fixture list, it will be understandable if Liverpool start with three straight losses, though supporters are unlikely to be as sanguine about seeing a “3” in the loss column. Expect some premature, apocalyptic speculation if Brendan Rodgers can’t get a result before Arsenal leaves Anfield on Sept. 2.

How they’ve fared: Manchester City got a scare from Southampton on Sunday, a 3-2 win that some saw as a sign of weakness. More readily, it was a championship team showing they can respond respond to adversity, even if such dramatics are becoming an nerve-racking modus operandi. Liverpool was hit by a Zoltan Gera thunderbolt, saw a man sent off, and lost at West Brom on Saturday, 3-0.

Who’s in, who’s out: Sergio Aguero is out a month after hurting his right knee early against the Saints, while it’s unclear when Gareth Barry will return in the middle. In their spots, Edin Dzeko and Jack Rodwell are likely starters. Liverpool will be without Daniel Agger, suspended after picking up a red card on Saturday, as well as left back Jose Enrique, out with a knee injury. Jamie Carragher will try to quiet whispers Sebastian Coates should start, and while Glen Johnson covers for Enrique at left back, Martin Kelly moves into the starting XI.

Likely formations: Liverpool will play a 4-2-3-1 that will function as a 4-3-3. Manchester City will start a 4-4-2 with their wide midfielders playing high as wingers.

What Liverpool needs to do …

To stop City at one endSamir Nasri was City’s key on Sunday. He’ll need to be contained, though speaking more broadly, stopping City’s creators (Nasri and David Silva) will be Liverpool’s number one priority, especially given Aguero’s absence. Doing most of their damage through the middle, Nasri and Silva will demand strong days in defense from Steven Gerrard and Joe Allen, with Liverpool’s other midfielder (Lucas Leiva) left the guard the space Carlos Tevez will hope to exploit. If Liverpool merely relies on Leiva to patrol that area, City will have little trouble picking apart their Martin Sktrel-Carragher-dependent defense.

Possession may also be key. If Liverpool’s successful at containing Nasri and Silva (not giving them opportunities like the one that led to Tevez’s Saturday goal), Yaya Touré will take over. It’s City’s standard tactic: Wait until the hour-mark, then make Touré into an attacking midfielder. At that point, Liverpool’s best options will be (a) if leading, get numbers behind the ball, bringing Jonjo Shelvey on for Stewart Downing to reinforce the midfield, or (b) if tied, rely on their possession game to keep the ball away from City while trying to exploit Touré’s more advanced positioning.

And beat City, at the other: Their only proven goalscoring threats are Luis Suarez and Steve Gerrard, bad news on a number of levels. Gerrard hasn’t been that threatening for some time (hat tricks against Everton not withstanding), and Suarez has failed to score in his two Premier League appearances against Manchester City.

Liverpool’s best option might be a tangent of plan (b), above: Be patient with the ball, even if that involves some negative play, with the goals of keeping the ball away from City and creating some weaknesses (especially down the flanks, where Silva and, to a lesser extent, Nasri may not offer the needed support). Even if they can’t get Suarez into advantageous positions, they could create a match where Andy Carroll (quite a neat piece to have coming off the bench) could be influential in the last half hour.

What City needs to do …

To stop Liverpool on one end: If Jack Rodwell (and Yaya Touré) can help cut off access to Suarez while Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott keep Liverpool’s main threat close, Manchester City should be fine. Their defense is more than capable of freezing Suarez out, leaving Gerrard, Fabio Borini and Downing to provide goals.

Borini’s the biggest threat, but despite success in Italy, he’s yet to show he’s a productive Premier League scorer (even if that will likely come). Downing hasn’t scored a Premier League goal in 15 months, leaving Gerrard to summon the old Stevie G if Liverpool’s to find a complement for Suarez.

And beat Liverpool, at the other: Roberto Mancini has to figure Liverpool will be reinforce through the middle, particularly as the midfield tries to prevent Skrtel and Carragher from being exposed. That will leave room down the flanks, especially on the right, where Borini will be tasked with helping protect Johnson. If that happens, City right back Pablo Zabaleta could be a difference maker, combining with Nasri and Tevez to get behind the left side of Liverpool’s defense and work the ball back for Dzeko (and Tevez).

How it might play out: Liverpool may start conservatively, particularly after last weekend’s result. If they can control the tempo and keep the match even through its first act, the Reds can start focusing on how to steal a winner.

At least, that’s what the thinking may be. It’s not exactly what you expect from the home side, but most home sides aren’t going up against Manchester City.

Rodgers should have mild success, particularly at Anfield, but Liverpool’s unlikely to contain City once they bring Touré forward and start really chasing three points. Whether it’s Touré to Mario Balotelli (off the bench) or a Carroll header, this match looks most likely to be decided by a late winner, and although City hasn’t won at Anfield since 2003, a lot has changed around Liverpool and Manchester since Nicolas Anelka was posting doubles for the Citizens.

City has to be considered slight favorites. Look for a 1-0.

Ivan Toney – Video of all his Premier League goals in 2022-23


Ivan Toney has proven himself a bona fide Premier League striker, as he chases a 20-goal season and closes in on 30 scored across two top-flight campaigns, after just one (record-setting) season in the Championship.

Toney bagged a sensational 31 goals in 45 second-division games as Brentford won Premier League promotion in 2020-21, but there were (reasonable) questions about those goals translating to the best league in the world.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

He finished 11th in the PL with 12 goals last season, and now Toney is up to 16 goals through the Bees’ first 27 games this season — 3rd-most currently, behind only Erling Haaland’s 28 goals (WATCH HERE) and Harry Kane’s 21 (WATCH HERE).

Below you will find every Ivan Toney goal video from the 2022-23 Premier League season so far.

Goal vs Southampton – March 15, 2023

Goal vs Fulham – March 6, 2023

Goal vs Arsenal – February 11, 2023

Goal vs Bournemouth – January 14, 2023

Goal vs West Ham – December 30, 2022

Goal vs Tottenham – December 26, 2022

2 goals vs Manchester City – November 12, 2022

2 goals vs Brighton – October 14, 2022

Goal vs Newcastle – October 8, 2022

Hat trick vs Leeds – September 3, 2022

Goal vs Fulham – August 20, 2022

Goal vs Leicester – August 7, 2022

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New deadline looms for Manchester United bids


A new deadline is looming for potential new owners of Manchester United, as our partners in the UK at Sky Sports say the deadline for second offers is Wednesday, March 22.

They add that up to eight bids are expected, while INEOS owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has told The Wall Street Journal he won’t pay a ‘stupid price’ for the Red Devils.

The Glazer family continue to explore either the full or partial sale of the Premier League giants.

It has been widely reported by ESPN and Sky Sports that two bids, one from Ratcliffe and another led by Qatari Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, are the frontrunners as the Glazers look at all of their available options.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

Over the last few months the American family have been seeking potential investors in Manchester United and they have not been short of suitors.

Presentations have been taking place between potential new owners and investors and the Man United hierarchy over the last few weeks.

The latest updates

Two bids have now taken center stage as they arrived before the first, well-documented, deadline.

One is from INEOS owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who failed to buy Chelsea last year but was always said to prefer a bid for his boyhood club Manchester United.

“How do you decide the price of a painting? How do you decide the price of a house? It’s not related to how much it cost to build or how much it cost to paint. What you don’t want to do is pay stupid prices for things because then you regret it subsequently,” Ratcliffe told The Wall Street Journal.

Another bid is led by Qatari Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, who is seeking full control of the club and is the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank as his father was the former prime minister of Qatar.

The Glazer family bought United in 2005 for $1.4 billion and it is believed they are now asking over $7.3 billion for a full sale of the club.

Statement from INEOS

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS confirmed they have ‘submitted a bid for majority ownership of Manchester United’ and went into more detail on their plans.

“We would see our role as the long-term custodians of Manchester United on behalf of the fans and the wider community. We are ambitious and highly competitive and would want to invest in Manchester United to make them the number one club in the world once again.

“We also recognise that football governance in this country is at a crossroads. We would want to help lead this next chapter, deepening the culture of English football by making the club a beacon for a modern, progressive, fan-centred approach to ownership. We want a Manchester United anchored in its proud history and roots in the northwest of England, putting the Manchester back into Manchester United and clearly focusing on winning the Champions League.”

Statement from Qatari bid

The Qatari bid, led by Sheikh Jassim, promised that their offer is ‘completely debt free’ and they want United to become ‘the greatest football club in the world’ during their stewardship of the club.

“The bid will be completely debt free via Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which will look to invest in the football teams, the training center, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan experience and the communities the club supports.

“The vision of the bid is for Manchester United Football Club to be renowned for footballing excellence, and regarded as the greatest football club in the world.”

USMNT roster for Nations League features Gio Reyna, no Tyler Adams


The USMNT will be without captain Tyler Adams when they play a pair of CONCACAF Nations League games later this month, but they will have 13 members of the 2022 World Cup squad, including Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna, as confirmed by U.S. Soccer on Wednesday.

The Yanks will also not have Timothy Weah, who suffered a scary concussion for Lille versus Toulouse on Sunday. He’s been replaced by AZ Alkmaar’s Djordje Mihailovic.

[ MORE: USMNT to face rivals Mexico in April friendly ]

Adams will miss the games against Gernada (March 24) and El Salvador (March 27) after suffering a hamstring injury during a recent training session with Leeds United.

Reyna’s place within the team and program had come into question in the weeks and months since the World Cup, with events and an investigation transpiring involving former/a candidate to remain USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter and Gio’s parents, Claudio and Danielle. Interim head coach Anthony Hudson explained Reyna’s inclusion as a decision to “move forward.”

[ MORE: USMNT upcoming schedule – Nations League, friendlies, Gold Cup ]

“It became a bit more complex in the months since the World Cup, but as far as we’re concerned Gio is a part of our program,” Hudson said. “He’s a good guy and a top talent, and he is evaluated like any other player. We made the roster decisions based on what gives the team the best opportunity to win these games, and we brought him in because we think he can help us do that.”

Full USMNT roster for 2022-23 CONCACAF Nations League

Goalkeepers (3): Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough), Matt Turner (Arsenal)

Defenders (8): Sergiño Dest (AC Milan/), Mark McKenzie (Genk), Tim Ream (Fulham/), Bryan Reynolds (Westerlo), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach/), Auston Trusty (Birmingham City)

Midfielders (7): Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Leeds United), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Alan Sonora (Juárez), Djordje Mihailovic (AZ Alkmaar)

Forwards (6): Taylor Booth (Utrecht), Daryl Dike (West Bromwich Albion), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Alejandro Zendejas (Club America)

EDIT: Tim Weah (Lille) was originally called up, but exited due to a head injury.

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USMNT upcoming schedule – Nations League, friendlies, Gold Cup


After reaching the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup, the USMNT have a big 2023 coming up as they aim to build off a successful showing on the world’s biggest stage.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

For the next few months CONCACAF Nations League takes center stage, while the program is very much in transition as Anthony Hudson takes temporary charge and both the GM (Brian McBride) and Sporting Director (Earnie Stewart) left in recent months.

[ MORE: USMNT roster for Nations League features Gio Reyna, no Tyler Adams ]

As for now, here is the USMNT’s upcoming schedule for 2023, with plenty more games to be added based on their potential qualification for the 2023 Gold Cup on home soil.

How to watch USMNT

TV channels in English: HBO Max, TNT
TV channels en Español:
Universo, Telemundo Deportes
Streaming en Español: Peacock

USMNT upcoming schedule

* Friendly | ** CONCACAF Nations League | *** 2022 World Cup


vs. Serbia* — Jan. 25, 10 pm ET — Loss 2-1 | Recap & highlights
vs. Colombia* — Jan. 28, 7:30 pm ET — Draw 0-0 | Recap & highlights
at Grenada** — March 24, 8 pm ET — St. George’s, Grenada
vs El Salvador** — March 27, 7:30pm ET — Orlando, Florida
vs Mexico* — April 19, 10:22pm ET — Glendale, Arizona – More details 

2023 Gold Cup from June 16 to July 19 (USMNT yet to qualify)

USMNT games in 2022

vs. Morocco* — June 1 — Win 3-0
vs. Uruguay* — June 5 — Draw 0-0
vs. Grenada** — June 10 — Win 5-0
at El Salvador** — June 14 — Draw 1-1
vs Japan* — Sept. 23 (in Dusseldorf, Germany) — Loss 2-0
vs Saudi Arabia* — Sept. 27 (in Murcia, Spain) — Draw 0-0

USMNT at 2022 World Cup

Group B
vs. Wales*** — Nov. 21, 2 pm ET — Draw 1-1
vs. England*** — Nov. 25, 2 pm ET — Draw 0-0
vs. Iran*** — Nov. 29, 2 pm ET — Win 1-0

Last 16
vs. Netherlands*** — Dec. 3, 10 am ET — Loss 3-1

USMNT 2022 World Cup qualifying scores, recaps, analysis

at El Salvador — Sept. 2Draw 0-0
vs. Canada — Sept. 5 — Draw 1-1
at Honduras — Sept. 8 — Win 4-1

vs. Jamaica — Oct. 7 — Win 1-0
at Panama — Oct. 10 — Loss 0-1
vs. Costa Rica — Oct. 13 — Win 2-1

vs. Mexico — Nov. 12 — Win 2-0
at Jamaica — Nov. 16 — Draw 1-1

vs. El Salvador — Jan. 27 — Win 1-0
at Canada — Jan. 30 — Loss 0-2
vs. Honduras — Feb. 2 — Win 3-0

at Mexico — March 24 — Draw 0-0 
vs. Panama — March 27 — Win 5-1
at Costa Rica — March 30 — Loss 0-2 

Final CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings

Canada — 28 points – (QUALIFIED) GD +16 – automatic qualification
Mexico — 28 points (QUALIFIED) GD +9 – automatic qualification
USMNT — 25 points – (QUALIFIED) GD +11 – automatic qualification

Costa Rica — 25 points (PLAYOFF) GD +5

Panama — 21 points (ELIMINATED)
Jamaica — 14 points (ELIMINATED)
El Salvador — 10 points (ELIMINATED)
Honduras — 4 points (ELIMINATED)

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