Shipped from Abroad, Africa: Cup of Nations elimination gauntlet continues

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On Saturday, Africa started the final round of its Cup of Nations elimination tournament, a process trying determine the 15 nations that will join South Africa at January’s continental championship. This cycle, however, there’s a twist. Whereas recent qualifying tournaments have been waged with a typical group play format, there was no time of that this year. Africa is switching from holding its championship in even years to odd. Since there was only one year between last year’s finals in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea a next year’s in South Africa, operation “let’s just get 15 teams qualified, okay” went into effect.

Thirty nations are left, paired off into home-and-homes to decide who qualifies. Return legs are on Oct. 12.

The Statements

  • Cote d’Ivoire versus Senegal was the headline matchup, and true to the teams’ immense attacking talent, we got a shootout. The Ivorians got goals from Salomon Kalou, Gervinho, Didier Drogba and Max Gradel to win 4-2, coming back from a 2-1 deficit after the first hour to a take lead into next month’s leg in Dakar.
  • Ghana had no trouble with visiting Malawi, getting goals at the beginning of each half to win 2-0. Twenty-year-old Christian Atsu scored his second senior-level goal.
  • After missing three straight finals, Congo DR has practically punched their ticket to South Africa. Equatorial Guinea collapsed in the second half, conceded four goals, and now have to turn around a 4-0 deficit when the tie moves to Malabo.
  • Algeria took a huge step toward returning to the Cup of Nations with their 1-0 win versus Libya, deprived of a home match (unrest in Libya forcing this on to be playing in Casablanca). El Arbi Hillel Soudani is up to five goals in seven international appearances after his 88th minute winner sent the Desert Foxes back to Blida with a  1-0 lead.
  • Morocco looked like they were going to get out of Mozambique with a 0-0, but two goals allowed over the last quarter-hour send the Lions back to Casablana with a two-goal deficit.
  • And Togo may be back. Emmanuel Adebayor’s late equalizer in Libreville leaves Gabon even (1-1) after their home led. It also puts both 2012 hosts on the verge of elimination (then again, all these teams are on the verge of elimination).
  • The trip to Sierre Leone could have been tricky for Tunisia, but getting an 87th minute equalizer from Esperance attacker Youssef Msakni two minutes after going down 2-1, the Eagles escape their road leg even.

The Upsets

  • Cape Verde has never qualified for the Cup of Nations, but up 2-0 over Cameroon, they’re on the verge of doing so at the expense of a continental power. But is it fair to give the “continental power” label to the Indomitable Lions? If they fail to turn this result around in Yaoundé, they’ll miss their second successive finals.
  • Per the seeding system used during the draw (based on past Cup of Nations results), Zimbabwe was among the worst teams in the field. Angola was seventh, yet on Saturday in Harare, Zimbabwe was up 3-0 after 35 minutes. Angola pulled one back in the second half but face a 3-1 deficit ahead of the second leg in Luanda.

The Questions

  • Cup of Nations holders Zambia could only manage a 1-0 result at home against Uganda, a team that hasn’t competed at the African championships since 1978.
  • Sudan got two late goals from Muhannad Tenir (one from the spot in stoppage time) to pull away from Sudan, 5-3. The only question, with the venue switching to Addis Abada, is how we could possibly replicate this eight-goal slugfest in the decider.
  • Burkina Faso shouldn’t have any problem with Central Africa Republic next month, but losing 1-0 in Bangui puts a team that’s scored three goals in their last five Cup of Nations contests in a precarious position, particularly should they give up an early one in Ouagadougou.
  • After the match, Nigeria complained about Liberia’s preceived desperation tactics – putting the visitors in shoddy hotel rooms, generally giving them an international soccer welcome. But Nigeria left Paynesville with a result they can handle: 2-2.

The Results

Mali 3-0 Botswana; Zimbabwe 3-1 Angola; Ghana 2-0 Malawi; Liberia 2-2 Nigeria; Zambia 1-0 Uganda; Cape Verde 2-0 Cameroon; Mozambique 2-0 Morocco; Sierra Leona 2-2 Tunisia; Guinea 1-0 Niger; Sudan 5-3 Ethiopia; Libya 0-1 Algeria; Cote d’Ivoire 4-2 Senegal; Congo DR 4-0 Equatorial Guinea; Gabon 1-1 Togo; Central African Republic 1-0 Burkina Faso

The Future

Among the power only Cameroon has put themselves in a bind ahead of next month’s deciders, yet enough big names are in danger that we could still be looking at a second big derailing come October. Ghana and Zambia have left themselves in harm’s way after home legs, and although Cote d’Ivoire is coming off a Cup of Nations where they didn’t allow a goal, a jaded fan could look at the two conceded in Abdjan and see more disappointment awaiting Les Elephants.

Premier League injury news, 2022-23 season

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Premier League injury news: It’s time to take a look at which players might be unavailable for matchweek 8 of the 2022-23 Premier League season, due to injury.

[ MORE: How to watch the Premier League on NBC ]

Prior to every matchweek this season, we’ll update this Premier League injuries page with the latest news and update, so make sure to check back regularly to see how your favorite — or least-favorite — club is getting on.

Let’s check out the latest Premier League injury news, below.


Arsenal injuries

OUT: Oleksandr Zinchenko (calf), Emile Smith Rowe (groin), Mohamed Elneny (thigh), Reiss Nelson (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Thomas Partey (knee), Kieran Tierney (head), Cedric Soares (knock)

Aston Villa injuries

OUT: Diego Carlos (achilles), Matty Cash (hamstring), Lucas Digne (ankle), Boubacar Kamara (knee)

Bournemouth injuries

OUT: David Brooks (fitness), Lloyd Kelly (knee), Joseph Rothwell (thigh), Benjamin Pearson (undisclosed), Ryan Fredericks (undisclosed)

Brentford injuries

OUT: Christian Norgaard (achilles) | QUESTIONABLE: Keane Lewis-Potter (knock), Ethan Pinnock (knee)

Brighton & Hove Albion injuries

OUT: Jakub Moder (knee), Adam Lallana (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Enock Mwepu (illness)

Chelsea injuries

QUESTIONABLE: N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Edouard Mendy (knee)

Crystal Palace injuries

OUT: James Tomkins (undisclosed), Jack Butland (hand), Nathan Ferguson (foot) | QUESTIONABLE: James McArthur (groin)

Everton injuries

OUT: Jordan Pickford (thigh), Ben Godfrey (broken leg), Yerry Mina (ankle), Nathan Patterson (ankle), Mason Holgate (knee), Andros Townsend (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (knee), Jordan Pickford (thigh)

Fulham injuries

OUT: Harry Wilson (knee), Joao Pahlinha (suspension), Manor Solomon (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Antonee Robinson (ankle)

Leeds United injuries

OUT: Rodrigo (shoulder), Stuart Dallas (thigh)

Leicester City injuries

OUT: Ricardo Pereira (achilles), Ryan Bertrand (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Wilfried Ndidi (knock), Patson Daka (illness)

Liverpool injuries

OUT: Naby Keita (undisclosed), Curtis Jones (calf), Calvin Ramsay (undisclosed), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring) | QUESTIONABLE: Ibrahima Konate (knee), Andrew Robertson (knee), Caoimhin Kelleher (groin)

Manchester City injuries

OUT: Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), John Stones (hamstring), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Aymeric Laporte (knee)

Manchester United injuries

OUT: Harry Maguire (hamstring), Anthony Martial (achilles), Brandon Williams (undisclosed), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Marcus Rashford (thigh), Donny van de Beek (knock), Martin Dubravka (knock)

Newcastle United injuries

OUT: Aleksander Isak (leg), Jonjo Shelvey (thigh), Emil Krafth (knee), Karl Darlow (ankle) | QUESTIONABLE: Bruno Guimaraes (thigh), Allan Saint-Maximin (hamstring), Callum Wilson (thigh), Chris Wood (ribs), Elliott Anderson (knock)

Nottingham Forest injuries

OUT: Omar Richards (calf), Moussa Niakhate (thigh), Orel Mangala (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Emmanuel Dennis (knock), Morgan Gibbs-White (knock), Scott McKenna (knee), Joe Worrall (broken nose)

Southampton injuries

OUT: Valentino Livramento (knee), Romeo Lavia (undisclosed)

Tottenham Hotspur injuries

OUT: Lucas Moura (achilles) | QUESTIONABLE: Hugo Lloris (quad), Ben Davies (knee)

West Ham United injuries

OUT: Nayef Aguerd (ankle) | QUESTIONABLE: Benjamin Johnson (hamstring)

Wolverhampton Wanderers injuries

OUT: Raul Jimenez (groin), Sasa Kalajdzic (torn ACL), Nathan Collins (suspension), Chiquinho (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Diego Costa (undisclosed)

Fulham vs Newcastle: How to watch, live stream link, team news

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Fulham and Newcastle United look set to entertain when Aleksandar Mitrovic entertains his old mates for a Saturday morning tilt at Craven Cottage on Saturday (watch live, 10am ET online via Peacock Premium).

STREAM LIVE FULHAM vs NEWCASTLE

The Magpies are injury-hit but Eddie Howe has enjoyed pushing for offense and has largely found chances regardless of who’s been on the field, while Marco Silva’s Cottagers are healthy and have been on the front foot as often as possible during their Premier League return.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Fulham vs Newcastle.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Fulham vs Newcastle live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel/Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines & star players

Somewhere in the multiverse, Mitrovic’s tied for the Golden Boot lead because Erling Haaland is an actual superhero. The Fulham man has six goals to tie Harry Kane five behind Man City’s prolific Norwegian hitman. Kenny Tete’s assisted three of those goals, and Tete’s also top six in tackles. Teammate Joao Palhinha is first.

Newcastle, meanwhile, is dealing with a ridiculous amount of injuries to key players, as Bruno Guimares, Chris Wood, and Alexander Isak were both hurt on international break to join Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin as walking wounded attackers.


Fulham team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Antonee Robinson (ankle) OUT: Palhinha (suspended), Manor Solomn (knee), Harry Wilson (knee)

Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Chris Wood (chest), Callum Wilson (thigh), Allan Saint-Maximin (thigh), Bruno Guimares (thigh), Elliott Anderson (undisclosed). OUT: Alexander Isak (other), Emil Krafth (ACL),

Liverpool vs Brighton: How to watch, live stream link, team news

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Liverpool plays its first Premier League match in 25 days when high-flying Brighton and Hove Albion debut a new manager as visitors at Anfield on Saturday (watch live, 10am ET online via Peacock Premium).

Roberto De Zerbi takes the wheel for the Seagulls following Graham Potter’s move to Chelsea, and Brighton will be staging its first match since a 5-2 demolition of Leicester City on Sept. 4.

STREAM LIVE LIVERPOOL vs BRIGHTON

That was one day after Liverpool drew Everton 0-0 at Goodison Park in a Merseyside derby that came on the heels of back-to-back wins for Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Liverpool’s currently four points back of fourth-place Brighton; Both clubs have played six matches, one fewer than 14 other Premier League sides.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Liverpool vs Brighton.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Liverpool vs Brighton live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel/Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines & star players

Is Liverpool ready to turn chances into goals at a more familiar rate? The Reds’ expected goal total for this season is close to leaders Manchester City and Arsenal but its actual goal production is fifth and somewhat-inflated by their nine-goal beatdown of Bournemouth previously this season.

Brighton, meanwhile, has to show that it’s getting a handle on life after Graham Potter, as De Zerbi’s credentials say things might not look too different. The former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk boss craves possession in his teams and delivers chances as a boss in the manner you’d expect from a former attacking midfielder.


Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Caoimhin Kelleher (groin), Ibrahima Konate (knee), Andrew Robertson (knee). OUT: Calvin Ramsay (lower back), Curtis Jones (tibia), Ibrahima Konate (knee), Naby Keita (thigh), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (thigh).

Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Enock Mwepu (illness). OUT: Jakub Moder (knee), Adam Lallana (lower leg)

Crystal Palace vs Chelsea: How to watch, live stream link, team news

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Chelsea looks to keep up its top-four pace when it visits Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday (watch live, 10am ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com).

The match is Graham Potter’s first in the Premier League since leaving Brighton for new digs in London. The Blues drew Salzburg in 1-1 in Potter’s first match with Chelsea, and many eyes will be trained on his Starting XI.

STREAM LIVE CRYSTAL PALACE vs CHELSEA

Palace is winless in its last three Premier League matches including back-to-back draws versus Brentford and Newcastle. Patrick Vieira would love to make that a three-match unbeaten run with a good result Saturday.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Crystal Palace vs Chelsea.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Crystal Palace vs Chelsea live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & star players

What will Graham Potter’s first Premier League XI look like come Saturday? Kepa Arrizabalaga could be in goal if Edouard Mendy is not ready, but will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remain a starter? Are Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic locks for the midfield? Lots to monitor as Christian Pulisic, Conor Gallagher, Ben Chilwell, and Hakim Ziyech will hope to have made a major impression.

Palace has played well against the “Big Six” this year, leading Man City 2-0 before an Erling Haaland hat trick, drawing Liverpool, and losing on Opening Day vs Arsenal while holding 57% of the ball and matching the Gunners in shots and shots on target. A win over the Blues sure would do the trick.


Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: James McArthur (groin). OUT: James Tomkins (calf), Nathan Ferguson (ankle), Jack Butland (hand)

Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Edouard Mendy (knee), N’Golo Kante (thigh).