Watch Live: Norwich City vs. Stoke City (Lineups and Discuss)

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Is the match between Norwich and Stoke a relegation battle, or simply an opportunity to make one of the Premier League’s struggling sides a bit more comfortable? The two meet at Carrow Road today in hopes that one will emerge victorious (Watch live online at 10 a.m. ET via Live Extra).

Is thirty the magic number this season? The Potters have just 30 points, yet when they’re sitting six points above the drop, 30 seems almost sufficient. Either that, or Stoke fans simply aren’t worrying due to their club’s ability to take points at the Britannia – such as last week’s 1-0 win over Arsenal. But with just one win on their travels, are Stoke truly safe?

Norwich will be relieved by Stoke’s road record, particularly since the Canaries are coming off a bruising 4-1 loss to former manager Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa last weekend. Norwich are one of the more inconsistent sides in the league, beating Spurs and holding Manchester City to a draw, yet losing to Cardiff and Fulham. A victory at home over Stoke could save Chris Hughton once again.

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Charlie Adam, handed a ban for violent conduct after appearing to stomp on Olivier Giroud’s leg last week, will miss three matches. In comes Peter Odemwingie, while the rest of the lineup remains unchanged – guess Mark Hughes figures if it’s good enough for Arsenal, it’s good enough for Norwich.

For the Canaries, it may have been broken last week, but Hughton is doing little to fix it. Just one change for Norwich as Ricky van Wolfswinkel returns to the starting lineup, with Gary Hooper dropping to the bench.

LINEUPS

Norwich City: Ruddy; Martin, Yobo, Bassong, Olsson; Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Redmond; Hoolahan; van Wolfswinkel

Substitutes: Bunn, Whittaker, Howson, Hooper, Pilkington, Elmander, Becchio.

Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross (c), Wilson, Pieters; Odemwingie, Whelan, Nzonzi, Arnautovic; Walters, Crouch

Substitutes: Sorensen, Muniesa, Palacios, Guidetti, Etherington, Wilkinson, Ireland

Report: Southampton could sell Tadic to Ajax for $20m

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Could Southampton be selling one of its most creative forces?

Dusan Tadic, 29, is in the middle of a World Cup run with dark horse Serbia, but the Saints star is also being talked about as a purchase item for Ajax.

[ MORE: Serbia tops Costa Rica ]

The celebrated Eredivisie has traditionally been a selling club for the Premier League, but could be a $20 million buy for Ajax.

The report says director of players Marc Overmars and financial director Jeroen Slop have flown to Southampton to work out a deal.

Tadic starred for Dutch sides Groningen and Twente between 2010-14 before moving to St. Mary’s for a reported $12 million.

He’s scored 24 goals with 35 assists in 162 appearances for Saints, 21 and 30 of which came in the Premier League.

Toronto locks down USMNT backstop Bono with extension

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Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono is going to stay Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

The newly-capped USMNT backstop, 24, has been attracting interest from abroad since breaking past Clint Irwin to win the TFC job and guiding the club to multiple MLS Cup Finals.

Now general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has locked down his young goalkeeper to an undisclosed contract extension. From TorontoFC.com:

“Alex was a big part of our success last season. He set club records for wins and clean sheets and was a critical piece of our championship team,” said Toronto FC Sr. Vice-President, Soccer Operations & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Since joining the club as a first round pick in 2015, Alex’s ability to make key saves in big moments has been critical to our success.”

The Syracuse-born product of Syracuse University has made 64 appearances for the Reds.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 8 — Argentina on the edge; France aims for berth

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France, Denmark, and Croatia can clinch knockout round berths on Thursday in Russia, the last nation also holding the opportunity to help deprive the World Cup of an extended Lionel Messi run.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Messi’s Argentina drew Iceland in its opener, the megastar infamously missing a penalty, and will look to beat a Croatian side that looked quite good in dispatching Nigeria.

That’s the final match of the day, which begins with Denmark facing Australia and continues with a tasty match-up between France and Peru.

Below is Thursday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


2018 World Cup schedule – Wednesday, June 20

Group C
Denmark vs. Australia: Samara, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
France vs. Peru: Yekaterinburg, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group D
Argentina vs. Croatia: Nizhny Novgorod, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Halted World Cup flip-throw heard around the world

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Milad Mohammadi knew the time was right for something special, but special isn’t always good.

And good is a subjective term. Cause to us this is very good, Milad.

The Iranian national team defender failed with a flip-throw bid in the final moments of a 1-0 loss to Spain on Wednesday at the World Cup in Russia.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

And this wasn’t like he illegally flipped or broke some other rule. No, like a kid trying an audacious jump into the deep end, Akhmat Grozny star Mohammadi just bailed and climbed in from the side (so to speak).

The kiss, the look skyward, the headbutt… all integral parts of a wonderful World Cup moment.