Arsenal face tough test vs. Liverpool, MLS playoffs will dazzle – View from the Booth, with Arlo White

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When watching soccer on TV, have you ever sat there and wondered what the man behind the microphone really thinks?

Maybe this will go someway to helping with that.

In the latest edition of “View from the Booth” we chat with NBC Sports’ lead soccer announcer Arlo White about Fernando Torres’ revival, Joe Hart’s demise, the biggy between Arsenal and Liverpool, MLS playoff action on NBC and much more.

(VIEW FROM THE BOOTH ARCHIVE)

You can hear Arlo calling live games this weekend on NBC Sports Network, and watch every single game available live online via NBC Sports Live Extra,

So, let’s get to it.

Rumors suggest Joe Hart will finally be dropped after yet another calamitous mistake in a big game for Man City. Did Tim Howard give you an insight to what is going wrong? Should Manuel Pellegrini cast Hart aside?

Well, I mean, being alongside Tim for the Chelsea Man City game was a terrific experience. He brought all of his experience and knowledge about goalkeeping to the fore. He told us, he said on air that he had a chat with Hart after the game at the Etihad a few weeks previous when Man City had won 3-1 And he said, words to the fact of, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘keep your chin up, put an arm round him and said, ‘you’re a very good goalkeeper, keep it going.’

source: Getty Images
Arlo believes Hat’s mistakes have been too much of late but expects him to bounce back.

Hart’s response was, ‘don’t worry, I’ll be fine I love the pressure,’ which suggests that he is a tough character mentally. But as we saw at the end of the game, it was another aberration on his part. I thought Tim, who was you know, in a slightly awkward position there, because he’s a current player, commenting on a current player, they do talk about the goalkeepers union and those guys sticking together. But he was working for NBC on the day, and it was his job I suppose was to break down exactly what happened. And what he said was, and I thought this was very skillfully done by Tim. In regards to Joe Hart, ‘You’ve got to let the defender, defend in that situation.’ Which I thought was very telling. Obviously for Nastasic, with the crowd, it was just bedlam at Stamford Bridge. He’s got his eye on the ball, he doesn’t know that Hart is tearing out of the goal. And there’s no need for him to be that far out, Nastasic seemed to have the situation under control.

Am I surprised that he’s been relieved out his duties? Perhaps not for the time being. Although this may create a few headaches for Roy Hodgson in the buildup to the World Cup finals for England as well.

Fernando Torres has got everyone believing he has returned to his best form, can he spearhead Chelsea to success? Or is he a different player now to what he was at Liverpool? Big test at Newcastle for the Blues. 

I think he is a different player, and I’ve been monitoring him closely and talking to people about him all season and I mentioned on a Podcast a few weeks ago that I felt, even in a small cameo appearance against Fulham a few weeks ago. He almost scored a header from the corner, and he created havoc for the last twenty minutes or so when he came on. He has a renewed figure, renewed enthusiasm. He seems to be in a great frame of mind. If he still has that situation hanging over him that he’s only scored one goal in the Premier League in 2013. We saw against Schalke that he’s back and he’s sharp.

source: AP
Chelsea have got their $75million man back.

What was very telling against Man City was that he missed a very very good chance in the first half. And he could have gone either way and Tim Howard asked, ‘Fernando Torres, is he going to go into a shell, or is he going to stick his chest out and try and make amends.’ And he did, he set up the Schurrle equalizer, curled an audacious attempt off the cross bar and then he kept going and chasing and harrying Nastasic until that mistake at the end. He was absolutely brilliant and if he continues likes this then Chelsea have got themselves the $75 million man they bought.

Arsenal vs. Liverpool is the big game this Saturday, live on NBC at 1:30pm ET, is this a huge indicator as to which one of these teams has the better chance of challenging for the title?

It is an indicator. But there are so many indicators throughout the season, because there are so many teams that appear to be in the mix at this early stage. Arsenal have had a fantastic start to the season but they’ve been blessed with a less than arduous opening fixture list. Let’s be honest. Although, they’ve gotten the job done. As we’ve seen, the ‘smaller teams’ are capable of producing surprise results.

Against Dortmund they came up a little bit short, against quality opposition. Against Crystal Palace, I thought they labored somewhat to a 2-0 victory and I thought Arsenal were a little bit off the pace and then they get beaten at home by Chelsea in the League Cup. This is a big game for Arsenal to really prove their start to the season was no fluke and they’re not about to recede back into the pack. Now for Liverpool, if they get Coutinho back on the field, along with Suarez, and Sturridge and the players that are in form. They are a genuine force, whether they’ve got the depth to be able to sustain it, we’ll wait and see. Right now, that’s an absolutely fascinating match. We say each week, that has the potential of being the match of the season so far.

Cardiff vs. Swansea on Sunday marks the first-time these two Welsh clubs have met in the Premier League… what can fans expect when they tune into this one?

A contrast, I think. Cardiff will pull their sleeves up, and they’ll get stuck in. Swansea are now an established Premier League team with an identifiable culture. They like to pass the ball. They play some lovely stuff and there not afraid of getting stuck in around the field as well. They’re going to have to be, because they can’t shirk anything against Cardiff at the weekend. It’s going to be a brilliant atmosphere, it’s going to be a ferocious game played at a terrific pace. Swansea have to live physically with Cardiff, because man for man they could play Cardiff off the park. But this idea that the heart and toughness that Cardiff are going to bring to the game could be a great leveller. I’m going to be fascinated to see how it shakes out, my head would say draw but let’s see if one of the two sides can nick it. I’d say Swansea based on their quality, may just edge it.

source: Getty Images
Cardiff’s passion could see them overcome Swansea.

Finally, what are you most looking forward to this weekend?

I think the Arsenal vs. Liverpool game will be fantastic. I will be watching that from a hotel room in Houston. We’re doing the MLS playoffs at the moment, so it’s great to get back to the States for a little spell, I will miss my Premier League at the weekend but we are doing Houston vs. New York Red Bulls live on NBC on Sunday at 3:30pm ET, that’s going to be fascinating after New York won the shield and Houston are always so good in the playoffs. It’s a delight to be back, I really enjoy MLS and I always have done. I’m excited be at the Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders game on Thursday, it will be the defining game in that series between the two great rivals in the Pacific Northwest. That’s going to be fantastic.

Wolves vs Liverpool, live! Score, updates, stream link, video highlights

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Liverpool hopes it can boost its top-four hopes by hurting Wolves’ plans for Premier League safety when the duo meet Saturday at the Molineux (watch live, 10am ET Saturday online via Peacock Premium).

It’s the third meeting since early January between the sides following a 2-2 draw in the FA Cup and a 1-0 Liverpool win in the replay.

STREAM LIVE WOLVES vs LIVERPOOL

Wolves sit 17th with 17 points, only outside of the bottom three due to Bournemouth’s poor goal differential. Last place is just two points away, as there are seven teams within three points between 14th and 20th.

Liverpool, meanwhile, is 10 points off the top four but has played at least one fewer match than all but two of the eight teams ahead of them (Sixth-place Brighton and leaders Arsenal).

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

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


Wolves vs Liverpool score: Wolves lead 2-0 on early o.g., Dawson debut goal


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

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
Online: Premier League on Peacock


Liverpool own goal video: Wolves 1-0 Liverpool

 

Craig Dawson goal video: Debutant makes it 2-0 to Wolves with rare goal

 


Key storylines & star players

Winning games is about scoring goals and only two Wolves players have more than one. Daniel Podence has collected five, while Ruben Neves has four. Even more surprising, Wolves are still waiting on a goal from Raul Jimenez, Diego Costa, or injured Pedro Neto. Perhaps Matheus Cunha or Pablo Sarabia will chip in soon.

Liverpool has one win from its last three Premier League outings, but there’s a heaping helping of bad luck to their struggles. The Reds have 24 goals from open play and 20 allowed in that same situation. Their expected goals in those spots is 34.6 – 24. Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez have been especially unlucky despite combining for 12 goals and six assists on the season.


Wolves team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Pedro Neto (ankle), Sasa Kalajdzic (torn ACL), Boubacar Traore (undisclosed), Chiquinho (knee)

Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Virgil van Dijk (thigh), Roberto Firmino (calf), Ibrahima Konate (hamstring), Luis Diaz (knee), Diogo Jota (thigh), Arthur Melo (thigh)

Brighton vs Bournemouth, live! Score, updates, stream link, video highlights

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Brighton will continue their chase for European qualification, while Bournemouth try to climb out of the relegation zone, when the two sides meet at Amex Stadium on Saturday (watch live, 10 am ET on Peacock Premium). 

STREAM LIVE BRIGHTON vs BOURNEMOUTH

Graham Potter and Roberto De Zerbi have, between them, guided Brighton (31 points) all the way up to 6th place in the Premier League table. The gap to 5th-place Tottenham is five points; the gap to Manchester United in 4th in eight. Bournemouth, meanwhile, are in the bottom-three for the first time this season after picking up just one point from their last five PL games.

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

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


Brighton vs Bournemouth score, video highlights: 0-0


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

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


Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Alexis Mac Allister (suspension), Jakub Moder (knee), Adam Lallana (undisclosed), Levi Colwill (undisclosed), Evan Ferguson (ankle)

Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: David Brooks (thigh), Lewis Cook (knee), Neto (thigh), Dominic Solanke (knee), Marcus Tavernier (thigh), Ryan Fredericks (undisclosed), Junior Stanislas (undisclosed)

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace, live! Score, updates, how to watch, stream, videos

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Manchester United looks to keep climbing up the Premier League table when its hosts improving Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday (watch live, 10am ET online via Premier League on Peacock).

United has won all three of its cup matches since a Jan. 22 setback at Premier League leaders Arsenal, and now face Palace before two matches with Leeds

STREAM LIVE MANCHESTER UNITED vs CRYSTAL PALACE

Palace hasn’t won in 2023, though the Eagles managed back-to-back draws with Manchester United and Newcastle in their past two matches. Both of those were at Selhurst Park.

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

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


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

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
Online: Premier League on Peacock


Key storylines & star players

Man United’s lost Christian Eriksen through April but acted quick and in impressive fashion with the loan addition of Marcel Sabitzer from Bayern Munich. Desperate for playing time and a more attacking role than what was asked of him by Bayern, the Austrian star may be just what the doctor ordered even before Eriksen went down. This is a hard-edged player with plenty of attcking firepower to boot.

Palace, of course, is still all about their creative players, as Wilfried Zaha, Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze, and Odsonne Edouard can deliver the goods with just a half-chance, but look out for Deadline Day adds Albert Sambi Lokonga, on loan from Patrick Vieira’s former team Arsenal, and Naouirou Ahamada, who they hope will add a needed ball progressor in the heart of the pitch.


Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Christian Eriksen (ankle), Donny van de Beek (knee), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Jadon Sancho (undisclosed), Anthony Martial (undisclosed), Diogo Dalot (thigh), Luke Shaw (illness), Scott McTominay (undisclosed)

Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Wilfried Zaha (hamstring), Joachim Andersen (calf), Nathan Ferguson (undisclosed), James McArthur (groin)

Aston Villa vs Leicester, live! Score, updates, how to watch, stream, videos

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Aston Villa can stick its nose into the top seven discussion with a win over Leicester City, who is flying well below its normal radar this season as it heads to Villa Park (watch live, 3pm ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com).

Villa’s season has surged forward since it parted ways with Steven Gerrard. Villa won its next match, a 4-0 defeat of Brentford, then hired Unai Emery and since boasts a 5W-1D-2L record.

STREAM LIVE ASTON VILLA vs LEICESTER

Thar has the Villans in 11th but just three points off sixth, eight behind fifth-place Tottenham who’s played a further game.

Leicester’s 35 goals allowed are fewer than only one team, Bournemouth, and level with two others as the Foxes have struggled to find ways to keep opponents off the board. Leicester sits 14th with 18 points, but that’s just a point off the bottom three.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Aston Villa vs Leicester.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


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

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


Key storylines & star players

Ollie Watkins has scored or assisted in five of his last eight appearances for Villa in the Premier League and Emiliano Buendia has a pair of goals in his four PL starts since the calendar turned 2023.

Is James Maddison fit to start? The England midfielder missed four-straight games for Leicester, all losses, before returning for the final 21 minutes against Brighton on Jan. 21? He’s so important to the way Brendan Rodgers want to run an attack, and he’s clearly not leaving the club this season.


Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: John McGinn (hamstring), Diego Carlos (achilles), Ludwig Augustinsson (illness), Jed Steer (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Lucas Digne (shoulder)

Leicester team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Ricardo Pereira (achilles), Boubakary Soumare (thigh), Ryan Bertrand (knee), James Justin (achilles), Jonny Evans (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Jamie Vardy (buttock), Wilfred Ndidi (undisclosed)