Premier League preview: Manchester United vs. Queens Park Rangers

Leave a comment
  • Red Devils looking for their first win under Louis van Gaal.
  • Rio Ferdinand makes his Old Trafford return.
  • Radamel Falcao set to debut.

Sure to get a warm reception from the Old Trafford faithful, long-time Red Devil Rio Ferdinand makes his return to Manchester on Sunday, with a United team hoping for its first win of the season hosting Queens Park Rangers.  Coverage begins tomorrow on NBCSN at 8:00 a.m. ET, with the match also available to stream via NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

Ferdinand moved to QPR this summer after his contract expired in Manchester. Having joined the Red Devils in 2002 for a then-English record £34 million, Ferdinand went on to spent 12 years at Old Trafford, making 455 appearances and winning six league titles with the club.

Now the former West Ham and Leeds defender is manning central defense for Harry Redknapp, who has brought QPR back to the top flight after a brief return to the Football Championship. With one goal in three games, however, the Hoops are off to a slow start, though that single score allowed Redknapp’s team to defeat Sunderland two weeks ago.

That win leaves QPR above United in the table, with Louis van Gaal yet to record his first Premier League victory. Held to two goals in three games, Manchester United’s talented attack has yet to meet expectations, but with Colombian attacker Radamel Falcao expected to make his debut, the team will have a new dimension as it tries to break into the win column.

What they are saying

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, on his team’s adjustments to his new approach “We have to pass much quicker. We have been trying to do that already on the training pitch. It is also true that we are losing the ball too much, too early. Maybe the reason is because I am demanding much faster play. It might be a vicious circle. The pressure is much higher on the players to act quickly and they end up losing the ball.”

QPR defender Rio Ferdinand on his United departure: “I had great years at Old Trafford,’ Ferdinand told the BBC. ‘I never got to say goodbye when I left, which was unfortunate, so it will be a nice opportunity to say bye to a lot of people who supported me and helped me.”


No result would be a surprising one at this point in United’s transition, and while there is a danger the intentional break allowed players to distract themselves from the situation’s urgency, this ship will be righted, at some point.

Bloated, taking on water, United’s barge has had trouble turning into place. But on Sunday, they may find themselves pointed in the right direction. 2-0, Red Devils.

Cristiano Ronaldo won’t travel to U.S. with Juventus

Francois Nel/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Cristiano Ronaldo sent shockwaves across the globe when he completed a stunning move to Juventus over the weekend, but American fans will have to wait to little while to see the Portuguese star in action.

[ MORE: Schedule for PL giants on U.S. tour ]

The 33-year-old won’t take part in the Serie A champions’ tour of the United States this summer, which begins on July 25 against Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

Instead, Ronaldo will head to Asia for his annual “CR7 Tour,” which helps promote his various sponsorship obligations as well as his global brand.

Juventus faces a jam-packed fixture list while in the U.S. over the coming weeks, which includes three International Champions Cup matches, as well as taking on the MLS All-Stars in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game on August 1 in Atlanta.

Report: Liverpool agrees to terms for Roma keeper Alisson

Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Liverpool has been in search of a new first-choice goalkeeper for several months, and now it appears that Jurgen Klopp and his side have their man.

[ MORE: Schedule for PL giants on U.S. tours ]

The Reds reportedly have a deal in the place for Roma shot-stopper Alisson in excess of $84 million, which would make the 25-year-old the most expensive goalkeeper in football history.

Chelsea had also been viewed as a potential landing spot for the budding star in net, however, it seems likely that Liverpool has beaten their Premier League rivals for the player.

The previous transfer record for a keeper came 17 years ago when Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon completed a $69 million move from Parma to Juventus.

Alisson started in all five of Brazil’s World Cup matches this summer in Russia, including the team’s 2-1 defeat to Belgium that knocked the Selecao out of the competition in the quarterfinals.

He managed to keep three clean sheets in the tournament.

The move for Alisson will likely spell the end for Loris Karius at Anfield, after starting 33 matches in all competitions last season for the Reds, including the team’s UEFA Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

Iceland coach steps down after 7 years in charge

Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Leave a comment

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) The coach that led Iceland to its first World Cup has stepped down.

The Icelandic Football Association says Heimir Hallgrimsson has decided to leave at his own request, ending seven years in the role.

[ MORE: Schedule for PL giants on U.S. tours ]

Hallgrimsson was the co-coach with Lars Lagerback of Sweden at the European Championship in 2016, when Iceland reached the quarterfinals after beating England.

After Lagerback left, Hallgrimsson assumed sole control of the national team, which became the least populous team to ever play at a World Cup. Iceland drew with Argentina in its opening group game but failed to advance to the knockout stage.

Hellgrimsson is a part-time dentist.

Report: Real Madrid close to Courtois, Hazard deals

Getty Images
Leave a comment

According to radio network RMC Sport in France, Real Madrid has an agreement with Chelsea for the transfer of Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

The report states that Courtois would cost Los Blancos $41 million, and the transfer is imminent. That would be significantly cheaper than Liverpool’s widely reported bid for Roma goalkeeper Alisson, who is supposedly costing the Reds $81 million, which would be a record for a goalkeeper.

This could likely be attributed to the player’s contracts, with Courtois’s set to run out at the end of the coming season, while Alisson’s contract at Roma is good through the summer of 2021.

Courtois has been at Chelsea since 2011 when he arrived from Belgian club Genk, but spent the first few years out on loan at Atletico Madrid in Spain. He won the Golden Glove at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the award for the top goalkeeper in the tournament.

Meanwhile, the same RMC Sport report states that Real Madrid is close to an agreement for Courtois’s Chelsea teammate and Belgian countryman Eden Hazard. The 27-year-old has spent six years at Stamford Bridge since his move from Lille, and has heavily been speculated to be Real Madrid’s preferred replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Both players are currently on holiday at different vacation destinations inSpain following the conclusion of the 2018 World Cup.