Without further adieu, let’s crack on with a brief preview of both games.
Everton vs. Tottenham Hotspur, Watch live on CNBC at 8:30am ET
Both the teams have the chance to climb into second spot with a win, do they need anymore motivation than that? The Toffees have been terrific since Roberto Martinez took charge and look dangerous going forward and steady as a rock at the back. Romelu Lukau has scored four goals so far and looks a real bargain on loan from Chelsea. As for Spurs, manager Andre Villas-Boas hit out at fans for negative comments following his sides 1-0 win against Hull last weekend. Tottenham have won four games 1-0 and striker Roberto Soldado has scored PK winners in three of them, so you can see why Spurs fans are frustrated. They won’t more panache, cutting edge and spark going forward… will that get that at Goodison Park? What a game we have in store, as two teams pushing to make it into the top four this season clash in a high-tempo affair.
Cardiff City vs. Swansea City, Watch live on NBCSN at 11am ET
Well, this rivalry needs no introduction. The South Wales derby will be making it’s first-ever appearance in the Premier League on Sunday, it’s going to be boisterous, ferocious and a gruesome battle… and that’s just in the stands! All joking aside, ProSoccerTalk spent some time in both cities earlier this week and got the lowdown on the intense rivalry on and off the pitch. Cardiff have made a decent start to their first-ever season in the PL and with a win they can leapfrog over their successful neighbors to the West. As for the Swans, they’re excelling in the Europa League and have had a tough fixture list to start. That said, the free-flowing attractive soccer they play is still a joy to watch and it’ll be very interesting to see it clash with Cardiff’s psychical approach and see who prevails amongst a mighty crescendo of noise, passion and rivalry at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Following last week’s decision handed down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Peru captain and talisman Paolo Guerrero has been banned from the 2018 World Cup — at the age of 34, almost certainly his last opportunity to star on the world’s biggest stage.
However, in the days since that decision, a number of Guerrero’s fellow professionals and World Cup stars — France and Denmark captains Hugo Lloris and Simon Kjaer, and Australia’s Mile Jedinak — have written to FIFA, on behalf of FIFPro, the world player union, in hopes of rendering Guerrero eligible to pay at next month’s tournament in Russia.
“We respectfully ask the Fifa Council to show compassion,” the trio wrote. “In our view it would be plainly wrong to exclude him from what should be a pinnacle of his career.”
KANSAS CITY, KAN. — The game in 100 words (or less): Nothing ruins a good game of soccer more than controversies involving the referee — and now that VAR is active within MLS, yet another failure of the video-review system to correct the most “clear and obvious” of wrong decisions. There is no longer any rhyme or reason in deciding whether or not to utilize what could be a very helpful tool. Check the third video further down this page to comprehend the absurdity of VAR in Sporting Kansas City’s 0-0 draw with Columbus Crew SC on Sunday. As for the actual soccer which was played, Tim Melia made one save to deny Gyasi Zardes with a point-blank header early in the first half, and a second to deny Zardes rom the penalty spot just before halftime. Despite being a back-and-forth affair between the league’s second- and third-place teams with a chance to take the lead in the Supporters’ Shield race, there were just six shots on target in total and genuine scoring chances were few and far between.
59′ — Martinez takes a swing at Sinovic, but no video review — At this point, it’s just time to disband the entire VAR experiment. It’s turned MLS into a clown show and an embarrassment. Signed, someone who was initially in favor of VAR, assuming MLS would utilize it properly.
So…. Apparently this doesn't warrant video review? Anyway, Martinez is unbelievably fortunate to still be on the pitch. I have no explanation for this. pic.twitter.com/gKdLm88qAu
KANSAS CITY, KAN. — Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City host Columbus Crew SC, the Eastern Conference’s second-place side, at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday with both sides capable of overtaking Atlanta United for top spot in the Supporters’ Shield race.
Sporting KC, who are unbeaten in three straight and have lost just once since opening day (11 games), lead expansion side Los Angeles FC in the West. Meanwhile, Crew SC enter Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash unbeaten in their last six games (four wins) and trail the league leaders from Atlanta by a single point.