Watch Live: Everton vs. Aston Villa (Lineups and Discuss)

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Aston Villa arrive at Goodison Park on Saturday feeling more confident than they have in months – but will it be enough for the visitors to get a result? (10 a.m. ET, watch live online on NBC Sports Live Extra).

With an unbeaten run of just two games, it may not seem as though Villa are on the up-and-up. But with just one loss in their last five, Paul Lambert’s men finally seem to be settling down – and are once again playing some decent soccer. They managed to hold Liverpool to a draw by attacking right from the whistle, and came back from a two-goal deficit to beat rivals West Brom 4-3 in the midweek match.

Everton, meanwhile, are headed in the opposite direction, having slipped out of the top four and in danger of losing out on the European positions all together. They collapsed against Liverpool midweek, losing 4-0 in the Merseyside Derby, and it’s evident that injuries are taking a toll. And now that Romelu Lukaku is out for at least a month, are things about to get even worse for the Toffees?

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With Lukaku out, the attention goes to Kevin Mirallas to lead the attack, with Aidan McGeady handed a start in midfield. Of course, in the absence of their top scorer, Everton’s goals could also come from the likes of Gareth Barry or Leighton Baines, while Seamus Coleman could come off the bench and grab his sixth of the season.

Lambert makes just one change to the side that beat West Brom, handing Grant Holt his first start in a Villa shirt, likely to compensate for Gabby Agbonlahor’s injury. It’s Matt Lowton that drops to the bench for the visitors.

And of course, we can’t fail to mention the matchup of the American goalkeepers. Tim Howard came off better in the reverse fixture at Villa Park, but will Brad Guzan find his time to shine this time around?

LINEUPS

Everton: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, McGeady, Mirallas, Distin, McCarthy, Barry, Barkley, Osman, Stones

Subs: Joel, Hibbert, Naismith, Pienaar, Coleman, Vellios, Garbutt

Aston Villa: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Bertrand, Westwood, Delph, Weimann, Benteke, Holt

Subs: Steer, El Ahmadi, Sylla, Helenius, Albrighton, Tonev, Lowton

VIDEO: Captain Kane puts England on the board early

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It may be the easiest goal-scoring opportunity Harry Kane‘s ever had in an international competition, and he finished it as easy as you’d like.

Kane side-footed home after Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen made a terrific save on John Stone’s header off a corner, but the save was directed right into a wide-open Kane who was standing ready inside the six yard box. The 11th minute goal will surely settle some of the Three Lions’ nerves as they open their World Cup bid in Russia.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news

After slow start, Belgium takes care of business against feisty Panama

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All it took was one goal to bring Belgium to life.

Following a frustrating first 45 minutes, in which Belgium put a pair of shots into the side netting and forced saves from Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, Dries Mertens 47th minute goal opened the floodgates, as Belgium went on to defeat Panama, 3-0, Monday afternoon in Sochi.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

But Panama never made it easy for the Belgians. From the opening whistle the CONCACAF nation showed its incredible spirit, chasing down Belgium all across the field and making life incredibly difficult for Belgium attackers Romelu Lukaku, Mertens and Eden Hazard. Hazard was hacked down all over the field, and while he did earn fouls and a few yellow cards were issued to Panamanian players, it was enough to get in Hazard’s head.

Two minutes into the second half, everything changed. A wonderstrike from Mertens opened the game, and forced Panama to attack and try and tie the match, which gave Hazard, de Bruyne and Lukaku more space to operate.

In the heat and humidity of the Sochi summer, Panama’s veteran defense began to tire, allowing de Bruyne the space to deliver a terrific assist to Lukaku in the box, putting Belgium up 2-0 in the 69th minute.

 

Six minutes later, Lukaku was put through on the break, chipping over Penedo to confirm the victory.

With the win, Belgium moves to the top of Group G. Up next for Belgium is Tunisia on Saturday, while Panama takes on England on Sunday.

VIDEO: de Bruyne delivers gorgeous assist on Lukaku goal

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It took a little bit of patience, but Romelu Lukaku finally got on the scoresheet at the 2018 World Cup, thanks to a delicious assist from crosstown club rival Kevin De Bruyne.

The Manchester City playmaker delivered a spectacular outside-of-the-boot cross into the box, where Lukaku’s head met it and guided it towards the far post for Belgium’s second goal of the day.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Arsenal close in on Leno; Man City near Jorginho signing, and more

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Arsenal looks like it will have a new man between the pipes for next season.

According to a report from German publication SportBild, Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno will be introduced as an Arsenal player on Tuesday, after a reported $23-29 million transfer fee. The 26-year-old was on Germany’s 35-man pre-World Cup squad, but was one of the last cuts as Joachim Low went with Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Kevin Trapp in Russia.

Leno became the full-time starter for Leverkusen as a 20-year-old, and has held the position of the No. 1 for the last six seasons, earning plenty of Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League experience along the way.

It’s unclear what will happen to current Arsenal No. 1 Petr Cech. The 36-year-old Premier League legend experienced one of his worst seasons in net for Arsenal and he could begin the season as a backup, unless he moves to a new club. He reportedly has a contract through 2019.

Here’s some more transfer rumors from around the Premier League and Europe.

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