Football Focus: Portland Timbers tactically transform under Caleb Porter in 2013

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PORTLAND, Ore. — In one of the most stunning turnarounds in Major League Soccer history, the Portland Timbers are tied atop the Supporters’ Shield standings one year after finishing third from bottom. First-year head coach Caleb Porter began instilling a unique philosophy, by MLS standards, at the start of the season, and the ascent since has been exponential.

The Timbers defeated Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday, perhaps turning the tables on a relationship in which the Sounders have been widely seen as the “big brother” to the Timbers, who work in a smaller town, with a smaller budget and without the backing of an NFL conglomerate.

While the Sounders exhibit a smash-and-grab style both on and off the field, playing a direct style and making big-name signings such as Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins, Portland has relied on its coach’s tactical acumen and team-building ability to get to the top.

“A real soccer game, at a high level, is going to be a little bit more of a chess match, a little bit more of a probably slower tempo,” Porter said on the Soccer Made in Portland podcast in March. “I want control in a game. Control allows us to increase our chances of winning. Shape allows us to have control. Possession allows us to have control. Pressure allows us to have control because we’re deciding what’s happening in the game.”

Never shy about speaking to the press (his post-game talks regularly take well over 10 minutes), Porter has outlined his philosophy as a desire to dominate games through possession and pressure.

Attacking with numbers

Portland’s basic shape is best described as a 4-3-3. Players are encouraged to interchange and work within the framework of the system to express their creativity, depending on their technical ability and soccer IQ.
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For example, Darlington Nagbe has more freedom than any other player because he plays best when he roams free. The others around him remain aware of his movement and fill in spaces as necessary. On Sunday, although Nagbe started as the left winger, he swapped positions with Kalif Alhassan in the middle very often.

The three biggest keys to the Timbers’ attack are:

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(Chalkboard courtesy of MLS Matchcenter)

A1: The double pivot between Will Johnson and Diego Chará. They form the base of every attacking movement and defensive sequence, encouraged to get forward often and win balls high up the field. Porter has said that both players’ natural tendency is to press into the attack, and this system allows them to step into higher spaces.

For two months earlier this season, the two could not start the same match due to multiple injury concerns. Between July 7 and Sept. 7, Portland had its worst stretch of the season, winning just twice, while losing five games and tying two.

In their first game back together, the Timbers defeated Toronto FC, 4-0, and the two central players combined for 90 percent passing accuracy, including three key passes that led directly to shots, and one goal from Johnson. Since then, they have once again started every game as the double pivot points, and Portland is 4-0-2.

A2: Overloading the central channel. This is where Porter’s technical and tactical coaching ability comes out in the final product, as his players are comfortable playing in tight spaces and know when to move the ball out of the middle.

The most dangerous space on the field to attack is the area on top of the opponent’s penalty area, as the vast majority of goals created through the run of play find this space at some point during the build-up.

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In this instance from Sunday’s game, Nagbe once again pulls inside and switches spots with Alhassan. Johnson and Chará push up, Maximiliano Urruti drops back as more of a false nine than a traditional target striker, and José Valencia also tucks in.

The move draws all five Sounders midfield players back, opening spaces for the Timbers to get wide and behind the back line.

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(Chalkboard courtesy of MLS Matchcenter)

Nagbe’s movement causes trouble for opponents because he is so good on the ball and always aware of his surroundings. He knows when to overload, when to create space, when to pass and when to shoot. His finishing ability from distance has netted him nine goals in 2013, a franchise single-season record, as well as some of the best goals in MLS since he’s been in the league.

His overdrive work rate helps, too. Against Seattle, he completed all but four of his passes and made 12 loose-ball recoveries and two interceptions. His activity centered mainly on his left-sided starting position, but he covered ground all over the field.

Combined with Diego Valeri’s passing ability (although the Argentine Designated Player has been injured recently), Portland has the keys to unlock the central channel of any defense.

A3: Getting the outside backs involved. In the play above, Jack Jewsbury and Michael Harrington step into the attacking half and offer opportunities for width (as do Valencia and Alhassan). With so many players inside the width of the 18-yard box, the ball will eventually have to go wide to move out of pressure.

When that happens, Jewsbury and Harrington can either get to the end line and find service into the box, or they can combine with wide players to exploit isolation opportunities. For example, if Urruti turns and plays the ball into space for Jewsbury to run onto, the defender can play with Valencia to get past the lone Seattle defender on that side.

Those three points lead to a style that is especially difficult to defend when Portland goes up a goal, and one that is useful in coming from behind if the opponent scores first. The Timbers are 10-0-6 when scoring first, but they have also come back to take two wins and five ties in 12 games when conceding first.

“Every game, we’re going for three points,” Porter said after Sunday’s win. “Even though we’ve had draws, we’ve not gone into any game — home or away — trying for anything other than getting three points.”

The overriding principle throughout Portland’s attacking philosophy is having possession of the ball. From back to front, Porter stresses the importance of having the ball and keeping it on the floor, moving it to create unbalance in opponents’ shape. If a team has the ball, it can throw numbers forward.

“Everybody wants to have the ball,” Porter said in March. “Everybody wants to attack. If you ask anybody, even the center backs, they would rather have the ball and attack than defend all game.”

Winning possession high up the field

The other half of Porter’s philosophy, aside from possession, is defensive pressure. After some early-season rust that saw Portland concede eight goals in its first four games, the Timbers have four shutouts in their last six matches.

Some of it is down to goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts’ shot-stopping ability — he has won MLS Save of the Week nine times — but most of it is the knowledge of when and how to defend.

“The harder you work when you lose the ball, the quicker you get the ball back,” Porter said. “There are two ways to defend: you defend the goal, or you defend the ball. We defend the ball.”
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When an opponent tries to build from the back, Portland’s defensive pressure can again be broken into three keys that are closely connected:

D1: Immediate chase and pressure. Without initial pressure on the ball from a first defender, the rest of the team’s work to get into position is rendered useless.

D2: Cutting the field in half to make play predictable. This falls onto the center forward. He has to be in position to cut off square passes through the middle of the field that would relieve the initial pressure.

D3: Funneling play into defensive numbers-up spaces or forcing a long, 50/50 ball. The first defender’s body shape on approach to pressure must discourage play into a teammate that would relieve pressure (usually wide because Portland’s numbers concentrate in the middle). The center forward, again, must cut off simple switches through the middle.

Finally, the central players have to bait opponents into playing the central pass. Instead of touch-tight marking, perhaps that means dropping off a couple steps and moving to pressure as the ball is in transit, then converging on the intended target so he has no outlet.

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In real time, this is how high-pressure defending looks. Urruti both applies initial pressure (D1) and cuts the field in half (D2) with his body shape on approach — the red space is off-limits to the passer on the ball. Valencia bends his run to discourage the wide pass, Johnson moves to get goal-side of the weak-side central midfielder, and Nagbe and Chará are in position to converge on the ball in transit (D3).

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(Chalkboards courtesy of MLS Matchcenter)

But at times, especially against the stronger teams in the league such as the Sounders, Portland cannot expect to win the ball high up the field every time. It did quite often, making 19 recoveries and six interceptions in the top half of the field, but Seattle put quite a bit of pressure on Ricketts’ goal throughout the game.

“We want to be a team in the front half. We want to be pressing and locking teams in, on the ball, but I’ve also prepared them to be in the back half as well. So basically, I’ve prepared them for Plan A and Plan B,” Porter said afterward. “I’ve tried to prepare these guys to be composed and mature when we’re playing with a lower block and not able to push the game. … I think that’s been a big reason why we’re grinding out results because earlier in the year, we were either up the field and pushing, playing well, or we’re just getting run through. So we’ve kind of downshifted just a little bit and balanced our team — just a little bit — so we’re a little bit more set up to win games. This time of year, it’s going to be tight games, most likely.”

The double pivot was again crucial in that aspect of the game on Sunday. In the defensive phase, it becomes a pair of traditional holding midfielders, shielding the back four. Johnson made 12 recoveries, while Chará had 10 and added six interceptions.

One aspect of Portland’s game that still needs work is defending set pieces, or “box defending,” as Porter calls it. Of the 33 goals the Timbers have conceded, 17 have been from dead balls: four penalty kicks, three direct free kicks, one long throw-in, three corner kicks and six free kicks served in.

The Sounders defeated Portland on an Eddie Johnson header from a Mauro Rosales free kick on Aug. 25, and Ricketts came up with another Save of the Week candidate Sunday before Dempsey hit the crossbar, both on set pieces. In the run-and-gun MLS style of play, that’s a weakness that could be exploited by opportunistic teams in the playoffs.

Buying in doesn’t cost a thing

One final aspect of Porter’s system that isn’t tactical, but it’s vital: buying in. Porter has gotten more out of every player on his roster than any coaches who have had those players before, with the possible exception of injured center back Mikael Silvestre.

In his press conference on Sunday, Porter spoke at length about how his players have bought into the philosophy of possession soccer, a sentiment that important players such as Johnson, Alhassan and Ricketts echoed afterward in the locker room. Their selflessness to the team cause has been the single biggest aspect of this team’s success.

“There have been so many guys that have just transformed as players,” Porter said. “The talent was always there. … They’re good guys, they’re talented, they have character, and you get them bought in, you get them together, you get them in the right roles, this is what can happen. … You look at the best teams in the world: teams that raise trophies are teams that have chemistry, teams that remain humble.”

In March, he tried to tamper expectations a little, while still clearly believing in what he was trying to build.

“We’re trying to change habits within guys that have never played consistently under pressure,” Porter told Soccer Made in Portland. “It’s a psychological thing, too. I mean, how many teams really play? Some say they do. So you’ve got guys that are used to, when they’re under pressure, hit the panic button and kick it. … I think the biggest challenge is, you get guys that just haven’t been encouraged to play enough, or haven’t been told how you play. That’s the toughest part. All of a sudden, you’re getting them at a certain age — and they want to learn, they really do — but if you’re 26 years old, and you’ve never done it, even if you want to learn, it’s hard to do it all of a sudden.”

As a college coach, Porter was used to reversing serious developmental flaws in the players he recruited. But at that level, coaches have closer control over their rosters. Rebuilding a professional team has to take contracts, ownership and a salary cap into consideration. Most of the Timbers’ important players were only role players last year, whether they played in Portland or elsewhere, and have stepped up into major areas of responsibility this season.

‘We play the way we play so we’re in a position to win’

From the players he brought in and the players who remained from last year’s disappointment of a season, Porter has built the most tactically sophisticated team in a doldrums of a league as far as soccer IQ goes. The Timbers have beaten direct teams with their active, evolving system of tactical problem solving, which allows them to win games in multiple ways.

“If there’s a fight, we’re up for a fight,” Porter said on Sunday. “There’s no problem with that. We can out-football teams, but also, we can outfight teams. This team’s not soft. … And yet, we still were able to mix in some good football, and you could still see — for periods — our way of playing, maybe not as much as I would like, but it’s hard to be disappointed to get that result.”

Portland’s ascent has been remarkable. Building a team to play an attractive, possession-based style takes time, but the club has shown patience from top to bottom since the start of the season. Comparing Porter’s quotes from just two months ago, when Seattle beat his team at CenturyLink Field, to quotes from Sunday shows the belief (and perhaps stubbornness) it takes to find success.

“We play the way we play so we’re in a position to win and, to some extent, to score the goal,” he said after the 1-0 loss on Aug. 25. “We’re right there. We were toe to toe with that team, and it was an even game. The difference was they found a goal in one moment.”

On Sunday: “When you believe that you can win games, you put yourself in position to win these games. … There’s no reason why we would be inferior [to Seattle]. There’s no reason why we should be the little brother. We should be a legitimate contender. We should be capable of beating the Sounders, and it not being a miracle. It’s very satisfying, a year later, that here we are … and I think it says everything about how far we’ve come as a club.”

Portland is at the top of the league, tied with the New York Red Bulls. The Timbers are one of the teams to beat in MLS, 12 months after being just a team that regularly got beat in MLS.

10 things we learned in the Premier League: Week 9

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What happened in the Premier League this weekend? It’s a question that regularly needs more than a few sentences to sum up.

Fortunately we have pulled analysis from all nine of our recaps — Leicester vs Nottingham Forest is still to come on Monday afternoon — to deliver you a heaping helping of bite-sized morsels.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]

Two massive derbies plus some sideways moments lead the way, and Manchester City sends a statement of historic intent in taking advantage of Erik ten Hag thinking his team’s preparation was on point.

Here’s a look at 10 things which stood out, as our writers Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Andy Edwards (AE), and Nicholas Mendola (NM) share their observations from across the most recent PL games.

VIDEO: PL highlights ]

10 things we learned in the Premier League: Week 9

1. Even recognizing Barcelona’s 2008-09, Pep’s Man City could be his best work yet (Man City 6-3 Man Utd):  It’s difficult to Imagine a season better than Barcelona’s league and Champions League double. Barcelona was stunned on Opening Day but did not lose again until February 21. It did not lose a meaningful European match nor trail after a leg of the knockout rounds. Of its five league losses, four came after building a 13-point table lead in mid-February. Even throwing in 105-goal, plus-70 goal differential La Liga figures somehow doesn’t change the thought that this City could better most of those marks. City is currently on pace for 133 goals and a nearly triple-digit goal diffrential, though it’s yet to have played Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea, or Arsenal. It’s also in second place (laughing emoji). Oh, and Erling Haaland might just rewrite the PL single season record book. (NM)

2. Statement win sums up Arsenal’s steady progress (Arsenal 3-1 Spurs): There is something special brewing at Arsenal. This run of wins to start the season should surprise nobody. After spending wisely on quality players this summer, this finally feels like Mikel Arteta’s side and it has felt that way since day one of preseason. Even after the disappointment of just missing out on Champions League qualification to Tottenham at the end of last season, Arsenal were heading in the right direction. They have been for some time and this start to the season will give them the confidence and belief they can fight for trophies and maybe, just maybe, have an outside chance of challenging for the title. (JPW)

3. Thiago Silva lucky to play on, set up Chelsea equalizer (Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea): Chelsea’s race was nearly run in the 33rd minute, when Thiago Silva was caught napping and lost the ball in acres of space. As Ayew darted past the Brazilian, who was now lying flat on his stomach, Silva stuck out his left hand and slapped the ball away to prevent the counter-attack (and likely scoring chance). Referee Chris Kavanagh showed Silva a yellow card, deeming that either (or a combination of) the distance from goal (roughly 35 yards out) and at least one recovering defender meant there wasn’t an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to be denied. Five minutes later, Silva headed the ball down for Aubameyang to rifle it home. From nearly a goal and a man down, to level on both, in 300 seconds. (AE)

4. Liverpool’s defense messy, messy, messy (Liverpool 3-3 Brighton): There Is not a level-headed person alive who would deny Trent Alexander-Arnold his status as one of the best right-sided playmakers in the world. There’s an argument that he’s could become his generation’s Andrea Pirlo as a central midfielder. But he’s not playing central midfield, and teams are targeting his side of the pitch and finding joy. As Jordan Henderson ages out and Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho exist as cover, how long before Jurgen Klopp finally says, “Yes, okay, here” to those who see what everyone else sees: a dynamic player who turns 24 on Friday and isn’t improving at the defensive duties of a right back but intercepts passes so well. That said, his performance is less of a talking point if Virgil van Dijk connects on a clearing attempt of the Brighton cross that became Trossard’s third goal. This game could’ve been 6-5 and while we would’ve loved that entertainment, Klopp has to wonder what’s next. Andy Robertson and Ibrahima Konate were missing but Liverpool’s spent plenty for depth that’s been disappointing. And Joel Matip isn’t exactly paid like a depth piece, is he? (NM)

5. Erik ten Hag handcuffs his team (Man City 6-3 Man Utd): Look, hindsight is always going to be 20:20. We get that, but expecting to go toe-to-toe with City away by deploying Christian Eriksen and Scott McTominay at the heart of your midfield while leaving Fred and Casemiro on the bench was almost absurd. Eriksen’s defensive skills weren’t up for the task and left McTominay running around like a maniac. The ball barely found its way to the front four, which was United’s only hope of hanging with the hosts. Antony’s incredible goal is a cruel hint of what might’ve been for ETH’s young team. (NM)

6. Eddie Howe’s Newcastle well-prepared to punish (Fulham 1-4 Newcastle): It wasn’t that long ago that a Newcastle team going up a man after eight minutes would not necessarily mean a Magpies win. In fact, the 2020-21 Magpies only drew Fulham — who would be relegated — after a 62nd-minute red card to the Cottagers only saw a goal from the resulting penalty. On this day, however, Newcastle rolled past Fulham despite the absences of Allan Saint-Maximin and Alexander Isak, and all of their goal scorers were on board before last season’s big ownership change. Eddie Howe’s Black and White Army, y’all. And 2020-21 loan star Joe Willock had two assists, though big January buy Bruno Guimares had an assist and starred. (NM)

7. Toffees have found the formula to get most from Calvert-Lewin’s imminent return (Southampton 1-2 Everton): There is real progression to Everton under Frank Lampard, especially going forward. Defensively they remain solid but Gray and McNeil provided width, speed and trickery which the Toffees couldn’t make the most of. When Dominic Calvert-Lewin returns soon, they will have a focal point to make the most of this structured attacking play. (JPW)

8. Diego Costa flashes as silver lining of Wolves loss (West Ham 2-0 Wolves): The big, tempestuous veteran striker still knows where to be on the pitch and was just put off enough on a powerful header that went wide of the goal. Costa was a fine hold-up man, something Wolves have used to thrive when Raul Jimenez is at or near his best. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Costa become the positive difference in 3-4 matches this season… maybe even next Saturday against old pals Chelsea? It will have to be a new coach who picks him in the XI, as Wolves fired Bruno Lage on Sunday. (NM)

9. Ref stands by his own call to deny Bees at Cherries (AFC Bournemouth 0-0 Brentford): The game’s biggest moment came in the 20th minute, when Brentford defender Kristoffer Ajer appeared to slide through Bournemouth left back Jordan Zemura. Ajer made no contact with the ball (he could have, as it appeared well within his reach) before pulling out of the challenge, leaving his legs high and catching Zemura who tried to hurdle the outstretched defender. Referee Thomas Bramall initially said no foul, and then maintained that position following his own lengthy video review session. (AE)

10. Villa a mess in the final third (Leeds 0-0 Aston Villa): Wow. Up a man for almost the entire half and nothing but a point to show for it. To watch Aston Villa is to see a team in control of the midfield — Douglas Luiz was sublime on Sunday — but there are too many individuals in the final third. Philippe Coutinho was lively but if has to score if the attack is going to be all about him. The same can be said about Emiliano Buendia, while Ollie Watkins and (then) Danny Ings aren’t getting much service. Villa’s xG going into the game was the second-worst in the Premier League and they are still underperforming it. (NM)

Premier League fixtures for 2022-23 season: How to watch, TV schedule, live stream links, Peacock, channel

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The 2022-23 Premier League fixtures are front and center as the new season has delivered so much drama so far.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Remember: you can watch all 380 Premier League games across NBC, USA Network, NBCSports.com and Peacock. We’ve got you covered.

Will Manchester City win yet another Premier League title? Can Chelsea and Liverpool push them all the way? How will Manchester United’s new-look side fare? What about Tottenham and Arsenal? How will the new boys get on? Who will be the surprise package?

So. Many. Questions.

[ MORE: Watch Premier League live | Peacock Premium details ]

Those questions will be answered from August 2022 to May 2023, with the full list of Premier League fixtures.

While below are the answers to all of the questions you have around the Premier League fixtures and everything else you need to know for the upcoming season, with full details on the Premier League TV schedule across the NBC family of channels and more.


The 2022-23 Premier League fixtures

The Premier League fixtures for the 2022-23 season were announced on Thursday June 16, 2022 at 4am ET. Below is the full schedule, as you can watch all 380 games across our NBC platforms.

The Premier League fixture computer decides who plays who and when, as teams located close to one another are usually playing at home on opposite weekends to help with policing, crowd control and transport congestion in those areas.


What day does the 2022-23 Premier League season start?

August 6, 2022 is the opening Saturday of the 2022-23 season. The Premier League is starting earlier than usual due to the break in November/December for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.


When will the Premier League take a break for the 2022 World Cup?

The season will take a pause after Match round 16, which ends on November 13. After the World Cup is finished on Dec. 18, Premier League games will then restart on December 26.


When will the 2022-23 Premier League season finish?

The final day of the season will be on Sunday, May 28, 2023.


Which teams will compete in the 2022-23 Premier League?

These are the 20 teams which will compete in the Premier League for the upcoming season:

Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Leeds United, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers


Predictions for 2022-23 Premier League season

We made a few bold predictions ahead of the Premier League campaign, which you can read in full here. And we’ve also predicted how we think the Premier League table will look at the end of the 2022-23 campaign. I’m sure you agree wholeheartedly with these predictions…


2022-23 Premier League TV schedule

Below are the Premier League fixtures in full, with all kick offs listed at 10am ET unless otherwise stated:

Matchweek 9

Saturday 1 October

Arsenal 3-1 Spurs – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY
AFC Bournemouth 0-0 BrentfordFULL MATCH REPLAY
Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Fulham 1-4 NewcastleFULL MATCH REPLAY
Liverpool 3-3 BrightonFULL MATCH REPLAY
Southampton 1-2 EvertonFULL MATCH REPLAY
West Ham 2-0 Wolves – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 2 October

Man City 6-3 Man UtdFULL MATCH REPLAY
Leeds 0-0 Aston Villa – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Monday 3 October

3pm: Leicester v Nottingham Forest – USA Network – WATCH LIVE ON NBCSPORTS.COM


Matchweek 1

Friday 5 August

Crystal Palace 0-2 Arsenal – FULL MATCH REPLAYRECAP/HIGHLIGHTS

Saturday 6 August

7:30am: Fulham 2-2 Liverpool – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
10am: AFC Bournemouth 2-0 Aston Villa – FULL MATCH REPLAYRECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Leeds 2-1 Wolves – FULL MATCH REPLAYRECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Newcastle 2-0 Nottingham Forest – FULL MATCH REPLAYRECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Spurs 4-1 Southampton – FULL MATCH REPLAYRECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
12:30pm: Everton 0-1 Chelsea – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAYRECAP/HIGHLIGHTS

Sunday 7 August

9am: Leicester 2-2 Brentford – FULL MATCH  REPLAYRECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
9am: Man Utd 1-2 Brighton – FULL MATCH REPLAYRECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
11:30am: West Ham 0-2 Man City – FULL MATCH REPLAYRECAP/HIGHLIGHTS


Matchweek 2

Saturday 13 August

Aston Villa 2-1 Everton – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Arsenal 4-2 Leicester – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Brighton 0-0 Newcastle – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Man City 4-0 AFC Bournemouth – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Southampton 2-2 Leeds – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Wolves 0-0 Fulham – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Brentford 4-0 Man Utd – NBC – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS

Sunday 14 August

Nottingham Forest 1-0 West Ham – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Chelsea 2-2 Spurs – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS

Monday 15 August

Liverpool 1-1 Crystal Palace – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS


Matchweek 3

Saturday 20 August

Spurs 1-0 Wolves – USA Network – WATCH FULL REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Crystal Palace 3-1 Aston Villa – WATCH FULL REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Everton 1-1 Nottingham Forest – WATCH FULL REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Fulham 3-2 Brentford – WATCH FULL REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Leicester 1-2 Southampton – USA Network – WATCH FULL REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
AFC Bournemouth 0-3 Arsenal – NBC – WATCH FULL REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS

Sunday 21 August

Leeds 3-0 Chelsea – USA Network – WATCH FULL REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
West Ham 0-2 Brighton – WATCH FULL REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Newcastle 3-3 Man City – USA Network – WATCH FULL REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS

Monday 22 August

Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool – WATCH FULL REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS


Matchweek 4

Saturday 27 August

Southampton 0-1 Man Utd – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Brentford 1-1 Everton – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Brighton 1-0 Leeds – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Chelsea 2-1 Leicester – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Liverpool 9-0 AFC Bournemouth – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Man City 4-2 Crystal Palace – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Arsenal 2-1 Fulham – NBC – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS

Sunday 28 August

Aston Villa 0-1 West Ham – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Wolves 1-1 Newcastle – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Nottingham Forest 0-2 Spurs – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS


Matchweek 5

Tuesday 30 August

Crystal Palace 1-1 Brentford – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Fulham 2-1 Brighton – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Southampton 2-1 Chelsea – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Leeds 1-1 Everton – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS

Wednesday 31 August

AFC Bournemouth 0-0 Wolves – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Man City 6-0 Nottingham Forest –  FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
West Ham 1-1 Spurs – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS

Thursday 1 September

Leicester 0-1 Man Utd – USA Network –  FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS


Matchweek 6

Saturday 3 September

Everton 0-0 Liverpool – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Chelsea 2-1 West Ham FULL MATCH REPLAYRECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Brentford 5-2 Leeds – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Newcastle 0-0 Crystal Palace – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Nottingham Forest 2-3 AFC Bournemouth – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Spurs 2-1 Fulham – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Wolves 1-0 Southampton – FULL MATCH REPLAY RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Aston Villa 1-1 Man City – NBC – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS

Sunday 4 September

Brighton 5-2 Leicester – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Man Utd 3-1 Arsenal – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS


Matchweek 7 – POSTPONED

Saturday 10 September

7:30am: Fulham v Chelsea – USA Network – WATCH LIVE
AFC Bournemouth v Brighton – Watch live on Peacock Premium
Leicester v Aston Villa – Watch live on Peacock Premium
Liverpool v Wolves – USA Network – WATCH LIVE
Southampton v Brentford – Watch live on Peacock Premium
12:30pm: Man City v Spurs – USA Network – WATCH LIVE

Sunday 11 September

9am: Arsenal v Everton – Watch live on Peacock Premium
9am: West Ham v Newcastle – USA Network – WATCH LIVE
11:30am: Crystal Palace v Man Utd – USA Network – WATCH LIVE

Monday 12 September

3pm: Leeds v Nottingham Forest – USA Network – WATCH LIVE


Matchweek 8

Friday 16 September

Aston Villa 1-0 Southampton – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Nottingham Forest 2-3 Fulham – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS

Saturday 17 September

Wolves 0-3 Man City – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAYRECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Brighton v Crystal Palace – POSTPONED
Newcastle 1-1 Bournemouth – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAYRECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Spurs 6-2 Leicester – NBC – FULL MATCH REPLAYRECAP/HIGHLIGHTS

Sunday 18 September

Brentford 0-3 Arsenal – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAYRECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
Everton 1-0 West Ham – USA Network – FULL MATCH REPLAY – RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
9am: Man Utd v Leeds – POSTPONED
11:30am: Chelsea v Liverpool – POSTPONED


Matchweek 9

Saturday 1 October

7:30am: Arsenal v Spurs – USA Network – WATCH LIVE ON NBCSPORTS.COM
AFC Bournemouth v Brentford – Watch live on Peacock Premium
Crystal Palace v Chelsea – USA Network – WATCH LIVE ON NBCSPORTS.COM
Fulham v Newcastle – Watch live on Peacock Premium
Liverpool v Brighton – Watch live on Peacock Premium
Southampton v Everton – Watch live on Peacock Premium
12:30pm: West Ham v Wolves – USA Network – WATCH LIVE ON NBCSPORTS.COM

Sunday 2 October

9am: Man City v Man Utd – Watch live on Peacock Premium
11:30am: Leeds v Aston Villa – USA Network – WATCH LIVE ON NBCSPORTS.COM

Monday 3 October

3pm: Leicester v Nottingham Forest – USA Network – WATCH LIVE ON NBCSPORTS.COM


Matchweek 10

Saturday October 8

AFC Bournemouth v Leicester
Chelsea v Wolves
Man City v Southampton
Newcastle v Brentford
12:30pm: Brighton v Spurs

Sunday October 9

9am: Crystal Palace v Leeds
9am: West Ham v Fulham
11:30am: Arsenal v Liverpool
2pm: Everton v Man Utd

Monday October 10

3pm: Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa


Matchweek 11

Friday 14 October

3pm: Brentford v Brighton

Saturday 15 October

7:30am: Leicester v Crystal Palace
Fulham v AFC Bournemouth
Wolves v Nottingham Forest
12:30pm: Spurs v Everton

Sunday 16 October

9am: Aston Villa v Chelsea
9am: Leeds v Arsenal
9am: Man Utd v Newcastle
9am: Southampton v West Ham
11:30am: Liverpool v Man City


Matchweek 12

Tuesday 18 October

2:30pm: Brighton v Nottingham Forest
3:15pm: Crystal Palace v Wolves

Wednesday 19 October

2:30pm: Liverpool v West Ham
2:30pm: Newcastle v Everton
2:30pm: Brentford v Chelsea
3:15pm: Man Utd v Spurs
3:15pm: AFC Bournemouth v Southampton
Arsenal v Man City — POSTPONED

Thursday 20 October

2:30pm: Fulham v Aston Villa
3:15pm: Leicester v Leeds


Matchweek 13

Saturday 22 October

7:30am: Nottingham Forest v Liverpool
Everton v Crystal Palace
Man City v Brighton
TBC: Chelsea v Man Utd

Sunday 23 October

9am: Aston Villa v Brentford
9am: Leeds v Fulham
9am: Southampton v Arsenal
9am: Wolves v Leicester
11:30am: Spurs v Newcastle

Monday 24 October

3pm: West Ham v AFC Bournemouth


Matchweek 14

Saturday 29 October

7:30am: Leicester v Man City
AFC Bournemouth v Spurs
Brentford v Wolves
Brighton v Chelsea
Crystal Palace v Southampton
Newcastle v Aston Villa
12:30pm: Fulham v Everton
TBC: Liverpool v Leeds

Sunday October 30

9am: Arsenal v Nottingham Forest
11:30am: Man Utd v West Ham


Matchweek 15

Saturday 5 November

Leeds v AFC Bournemouth
Man City v Fulham
Nottingham Forest v Brentford
Wolves v Brighton
12:30pm: Everton v Leicester

Sunday 6 November

7am: Chelsea v Arsenal
9am: Aston Villa v Man Utd
9am: Southampton v Newcastle
9am: West Ham v Crystal Palace
11:30am: Spurs v Liverpool


Matchweek 16

Saturday 12 November

7:30am: Man City v Brentford
AFC Bournemouth v Everton
Liverpool v Southampton
Nottingham Forest v Crystal Palace
Spurs v Leeds
West Ham v Leicester
12:30pm: Newcastle v Chelsea
2:45pm: Wolves v Arsenal

Sunday 13 November

9am: Brighton v Aston Villa
11:30am: Fulham v Man Utd


Monday 26 December

Arsenal v West Ham
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Brentford v Spurs
Chelsea v AFC Bournemouth
Crystal Palace v Fulham
Everton v Wolves
Leeds v Man City
Leicester v Newcastle
Man Utd v Nottingham Forest
Southampton v Brighton

Saturday 31 December

AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace
Brighton v Arsenal
Fulham v Southampton
Liverpool v Leicester
Man City v Everton
Newcastle v Leeds
Nottingham Forest v Chelsea
Spurs v Aston Villa
West Ham v Brentford
Wolves v Man Utd

Monday 2 January

Arsenal v Newcastle
Aston Villa v Wolves
Brentford v Liverpool
Chelsea v Man City
Crystal Palace v Spurs
Everton v Brighton
Leeds v West Ham
Leicester v Fulham
Man Utd v AFC Bournemouth
Southampton v Nottingham Forest

Saturday 14 January

Aston Villa v Leeds
Brentford v AFC Bournemouth
Brighton v Liverpool
Chelsea v Crystal Palace
Everton v Southampton
Man Utd v Man City
Newcastle v Fulham
Nottingham Forest v Leicester
Spurs v Arsenal
Wolves v West Ham

Saturday 21 January

AFC Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest
Arsenal v Man Utd
Crystal Palace v Newcastle
Fulham v Spurs
Leeds v Brentford
Leicester v Brighton
Liverpool v Chelsea
Man City v Wolves
Southampton v Aston Villa
West Ham v Everton

Saturday 4 February

Aston Villa v Leicester
Brentford v Southampton
Brighton v AFC Bournemouth
Chelsea v Fulham
Everton v Arsenal
Man Utd v Crystal Palace
Newcastle v West Ham
Nottingham Forest v Leeds
Spurs v Man City
Wolves v Liverpool

Saturday 11 February

AFC Bournemouth v Newcastle
Arsenal v Brentford
Crystal Palace v Brighton
Fulham v Nottingham Forest
Leeds v Man Utd
Leicester v Spurs
Liverpool v Everton
Man City v Aston Villa
Southampton v Wolves
West Ham v Chelsea

Saturday 18 February

Aston Villa v Arsenal
Brentford v Crystal Palace
Brighton v Fulham
Chelsea v Southampton
Everton v Leeds
Man Utd v Leicester
Newcastle v Liverpool
Nottingham Forest v Man City
Spurs v West Ham
Wolves v AFC Bournemouth

Saturday 25 February

AFC Bournemouth v Man City
Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Everton v Aston Villa
Fulham v Wolves
Leeds v Southampton
Leicester v Arsenal
Man Utd v Brentford
Newcastle v Brighton
Spurs v Chelsea
West Ham v Nottingham Forest

Saturday 4 March

Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace
Brentford v Fulham
Brighton v West Ham
Chelsea v Leeds
Liverpool v Man Utd
Man City v Newcastle
Nottingham Forest v Everton
Southampton v Leicester
Wolves v Spurs

Saturday 11 March

AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool
Crystal Palace v Man City
Everton v Brentford
Fulham v Arsenal
Leeds v Brighton
Leicester v Chelsea
Man Utd v Southampton
Newcastle v Wolves
Spurs v Nottingham Forest
West Ham v Aston Villa

Saturday 18 March

Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Aston Villa v AFC Bournemouth
Brentford v Leicester
Brighton v Man Utd
Chelsea v Everton
Liverpool v Fulham
Man City v West Ham
Nottingham Forest v Newcastle
Southampton v Spurs
Wolves v Leeds

Saturday 1 April

AFC Bournemouth v Fulham
Arsenal v Leeds
Brighton v Brentford
Chelsea v Aston Villa
Crystal Palace v Leicester
Everton v Spurs
Man City v Liverpool
Newcastle v Man Utd
Nottingham Forest v Wolves
West Ham v Southampton

Saturday 8 April

Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest
Brentford v Newcastle
Fulham v West Ham
Leeds v Crystal Palace
Leicester v AFC Bournemouth
Liverpool v Arsenal
Man Utd v Everton
Southampton v Man City
Spurs v Brighton
Wolves v Chelsea

Saturday 15 April

Aston Villa v Newcastle
Chelsea v Brighton
Everton v Fulham
Leeds v Liverpool
Man City v Leicester
Nottingham Forest v Man Utd
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Spurs v AFC Bournemouth
West Ham v Arsenal
Wolves v Brentford

Saturday 22 April

AFC Bournemouth v West Ham
Arsenal v Southampton
Brentford v Aston Villa
Brighton v Man City
Crystal Palace v Everton
Fulham v Leeds
Leicester v Wolves
Liverpool v Nottingham Forest
Man Utd v Chelsea
Newcastle v Spurs

Tuesday 25 April

19:45 Everton v Newcastle
19:45 Leeds v Leicester
19:45 Nottingham Forest v Brighton
19:45 Spurs v Man Utd
19:45 West Ham v Liverpool
19:45 Wolves v Crystal Palace
20:00 Aston Villa v Fulham

Wednesday 26 April

19:45 Chelsea v Brentford
19:45 Southampton v AFC Bournemouth
20:00 Man City v Arsenal

Saturday 29 April

AFC Bournemouth v Leeds
Arsenal v Chelsea
Brentford v Nottingham Forest
Brighton v Wolves
Crystal Palace v West Ham
Fulham v Man City
Leicester v Everton
Liverpool v Spurs
Man Utd v Aston Villa
Newcastle v Southampton

Saturday 6 May

AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea
Brighton v Everton
Fulham v Leicester
Liverpool v Brentford
Man City v Leeds
Newcastle v Arsenal
Nottingham Forest v Southampton
Spurs v Crystal Palace
West Ham v Man Utd
Wolves v Aston Villa

Saturday 13 May

Arsenal v Brighton
Aston Villa v Spurs
Brentford v West Ham
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth
Everton v Man City
Leeds v Newcastle
Leicester v Liverpool
Man Utd v Wolves
Southampton v Fulham

Saturday 20 May

AFC Bournemouth v Man Utd
Brighton v Southampton
Fulham v Crystal Palace
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Man City v Chelsea
Newcastle v Leicester
Nottingham Forest v Arsenal
Spurs v Brentford
West Ham v Leeds
Wolves v Everton

Sunday 28 May

16:00 Arsenal v Wolves
16:00 Aston Villa v Brighton
16:00 Brentford v Man City
16:00 Chelsea v Newcastle
16:00 Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest
16:00 Everton v AFC Bournemouth
16:00 Leeds v Spurs
16:00 Leicester v West Ham
16:00 Man Utd v Fulham
16:00 Southampton v Liverpool

Premier League top scorers: Who is leading 2022 Golden Boot race?

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For those tempted to write off Erling Haaland’s historically-hot start to life as a Premier League striker, we get it: There’s something rather dull about not wondering the identity of the 2022 Golden Boot winner, but just the number of his final tally.

Haaland’s Premier League-leading 14 goals from eight games has him seven goals clear of the next closest challenger: Tottenham’s Harry Kane.

His third hat trick of the season, joined by three Phil Foden goals in Man City’s 6-3 derby win over United, keeps him on pace for more than 60 goals this season, a mark that would

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ] 

And even though Haaland is currently overperforming his expected goals total, it’s already becoming clear that projecting him for the Premier League record is not farfetched at all.

Take a look at these digits. Haaland isn’t just punching in goals; He’s made an almost seamless transition to Pep Guardiola’s system, producing chances for others in addition to his powerful self-positioning.

Erling Haaland
fotmob.com

Haaland is unlikely to hit even 50 goals given the schedule congestion to come for Man City, but the Premier League record is very well under assault

Mohamed Salah holds the 38-game season record with his 32 goals scored for Liverpool during the 2017-18 season, while Newcastle’s Andy Cole and Blackburn’s Alan Shearer bagged 34 during 42-game seasons in the 20th century’s final decade.

Haaland also could topple the record for goal involvements (goals plus assists) in a single season, including beating the 42-game record. Alan Shearer put up 47 over 42, while Thierry Henry holds the 38-game record with 44.

Other records that Haaland could legitimately tie or topple:

  • 30 goals in a first Premier League season (Kevin Phillips, Sunderland, 1999-2000)
  • Goals in 24 different Premier League matches (Salah, Liverpool, 2017-18)
  • Most goals in a Premier League match (Five tied with five)
  • 11-straight Premier League games with a goal (Jamie Vardy, Leicester, 2014-15)

Read on to see the latest Premier League goal totals for the 2022-23 season, as Haaland looks to claim a Golden Boot in his first PL season.

Premier League 2022-23 Golden Boot race

  1. Erling Haaland, Man City — 14
  2. Harry Kane, Tottenham — 7
  3. Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fulham — 6
  4. Phil Foden, Man City — 5
  5. Ivan Toney, Brentford — 5
  6. Roberto Firmino, Liverpool — 5
  7. Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal — 5
  8. Leandro Trossard — Brighton — 5
  9. Three tied with 3. (Alexis Mac Allister, Rodrigo, Wilfried Zaha)

Aston Villa rues waste in scoreless draw at 10-man Leeds

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Leeds vs Aston Villa was a cagey affair that felt destined for its scoreless outcome even after Luis Sinisterra was sent off early in the second half at Elland Road.

Suspended manager Jesse Marsch watched from the stands as Sinisterra, on a yellow card, stuck his leg out to block a restart and was shown a second yellow.

WATCH LEEDS vs ASTON VILLA FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM

Leeds defended well down a man and Aston Villa continued to struggle on the heels of a first half that contained several missed chances.

Leeds gets its ninth point through seven matches, while Villa’s a point behind with one more match played in its season.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


What we learned from Leeds vs Aston Villa

Villa a mess in the final third: Wow. To watch Aston Villa is to see a team in control of the midfield — Douglas Luiz was sublime on Sunday — but there are too many individuals in the final third. Philippe Coutinho was lively but if has to score if the attack is going to be all about him. The same can be said about Emiliano Buendia, while Ollie Watkins and (then) Danny Ings aren’t getting much service. Villa’s xG going into the game was the second-worst in the Premier League and they are still underperforming it.

Leeds will take something from this: Tyler Adams, Robin Koch, and the exceptional Illan Meslier held down the fort for nearly a full half with 10 men. By the 70th minute it was clear this was going to be all about an away point unless the counterattack could help Leeds to a goal. And there was a chance for that, but there’s no reason to be frustrated by the point (although Brenden Aaronson should’ve had a penalty when his ankle was kicked while taking a shot. The strength of what he did manage likely led to the VAR inaction, incorrectly).


Tactical focus

The red card, as it tends to do, changed the game completely and Leeds was hanging on for the final whistle. Marsch, from his seat in the stands, sanctioned the removal of Rodrigo, Jack Harrison, and eventually Brenden Aaronson to join the ejected Sinisterra. Villa controlled the midfield through a superb Douglas Luiz but could not find a way past a stellar Illan Meslier as Junior Firpo, Luke Ayling, and Mateusz Klich reinforced the defense at the back end.

[ MORE: Man City clobbers Man UtdPlayer ratings out of 10 ]

Douglas Luiz
fotmob.com

Stars of the show

Illan Meslier

Douglas Luiz

Ashley Young

Robin Koch

Philippe Coutinho


What’s next

Leeds heads to Crystal Palace for a 9am ET Sunday kickoff, while Villa will take a trip to the City Ground for a Monday, Oct. 10 visit to Nottingham Forest.


How to watch Leeds vs Aston Villa live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11:30 am ET, Sunday
TV channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & star players

As expected under Marsch, Leeds have taken a high-volume approach to their tactics — lots of pressing and challenges, lots of counter-attacking and lots of scoring chances created. Their 1.57 expected goals (per 90 minutes) ranks 7th in the Premier League. Leeds haven’t played a game (in any competition) since Sept. 3, one day shy of a month come Sunday, due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the ensuing fixture postponements. Leading goal-scorer Rodrigo remains out with a shoulder injury, but the Spaniard could be back in the next week or two.

Goal-scoring has been a major issue thus far for Aston Villa, who have scored multiple goals in a game just once this season. Six different players have scored a goal, but no one has scored two. Unsurprisingly, Steven Gerrard’s side sits 19th in the PL for xG (0.76 per 90).


Leeds team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT:  Stuart Dallas (thigh), Adam Forshaw (ankle)

Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup options

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

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