Watch Live: Hull City vs. Southampton (Lineups and Discussion)

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Coming off a win in his return to the Stadium of Light, Steve Bruce looks to take 11th place Hull City Tigers into the league’s top half when they host Southampton at the KC Stadium. The action kicks off at 2:45 p.m. ET, with the game available for streaming via NBC Sports Live Extra.

Despite returning home, Hull will find today’s game much more difficult than Saturday’s, with the Saints defense unlikely to bless the Tigers with a third minute red card as Wes Brown did at Sunderland. Instead, Bruce will have to stall a Southampton side that’s unbeaten since Jan. 1 – a five-game streak that’s allowed the team to pull within one point of eighth place Newcastle.

That five game streak has featured three draws, however, with the Saints giving up two leads this weekend when Stoke visited St. Mary’s. Despite first half goals from Ricky Lambert and Steve Davis, Mauricio Pochettino’s men were left with only one point after former Southampton striker Peter Crouch equalized just before halftime.

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Having only scored 25 goals this season (in 25 games), Hull will find it difficult to match Stoke’s output, with their two-goal effort at Sunderland marking their first multi-goal game since routing Fulham 6-0 on December 28. Given the Tigers gave up four to Southampton in the teams’ first meeting of the season, Bruce faces significant challenges at both ends of the park.

He’ll meet those obstacles without wingback Liam Rosenior, who will miss today’s match with a thigh problem. Starting goalkeeper Allan McGregor will join him on the sidelines as he continues a red card suspension.

For Southampton, Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez are expected to be out with ankle injuries.

LINEUPS

Hull City: Harper; McShane, Figueroa, Bruce, Davies; Elmohamady, Huddlestone, Livermore, Meyler; Long, Jelavic

Subs: Aluko, Brady, Koren, Jakupovic, Boyd, Sagbo, Quinn

Southampton: Boruc; Chambers, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw; Schneiderlein, Cork; Lallana, S. Davis, Rodriguez; Lambert

Subs: Clyne, K. Davis, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse, Guly, Hooiveld, Isgrove

Video: Ronaldo scores fourth goal, gives Portugal early lead

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He has four goals in less than two matches, and Portugal is off to another flying start courtesy of their star forward.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Cristiano Ronaldo gave the Portuguese a 1-0 lead against Morocco in the fourth minute after brilliantly heading home a corner kick.

The Real Madrid star gave Portugal a similar spark at the beginning of their 3-3 draw against Spain in their first Group B match when Ronaldo drew, and scored a penalty kick inside of the opening three minutes.

Is there anything this man cannot do?

Reports: Alli unlikely to play in England’s second Group G match

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The Three Lions may not have taken all good news away from the team’s 2-1 win over Tunisia in their World Cup opener.

[ MORE: Russia races past Egypt, likely en route to next round ]

Several reports are suggesting that England will likely be without Tottenham playmaker Dele Alli in their second Group G match against Panama on Sunday.

Alli was forced out of England’s opener with a thigh strain, which gave manager Gareth Southgate the decision to put in Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

There isn’t a timetable for the 22-year-old’s return to the pitch, but his absence will definitely present a major question for Southgate heading into the rest of group play.

Without Alli in the starting XI, it’ll likely be between Loftus-Cheek and Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard to fill the role where Alli normally sits.

In the case of Lingard, who started against Tunisia, the England boss would have to bring in another starter if Southgate opts to have the Red Devils attacker sit in as the number 10.

Report: Newcastle activates $12m release clause of ex-Arsenal youth

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Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.

Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.

Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.

Like the move for Newcastle?

Lukaku pens inspiring post on hard-scrabble upbringing

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Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.

The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.

From The Players’ Tribune:

There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.

Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.