VIDEO: Previewing all 20 Premier League teams ahead of the new season

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With the new Premier League season just a few days away, ProSoccerTalk’s Lead Writer and Editor Joe Prince-Wright has put together 20 videos to preview the long-old slog ahead for every PL club.

[ MORE: All of PST’s PL season previews ]

Below you can get a primer on everyone, from the title candidates to the relegation fodder.

[ MORE: Transfer news | Full schedules ]

Enjoy. The new season is almost here and it’s starting to feel a little bit like Christmas Eve, isn’t it?

Arsenal 

Arsenal’s free flowing and creative game plans with continue under Arsene Wenger, but with weaknesses on defense, the addition of Peter Cech in net will prove to be useful when The Gunners are once again in the title hunt.

Aston Villa

Aston Villa may struggle through the 2015-16 campaign as Tim Sherwood will have to figure out how to properly integrate a bunch of new players.

Bournemouth

Competing in their first-ever season in the Premier League,  the Cherries will look to emulate a team like Swansea who had immediate success after being promoted. Lots of new players but they have a bright young manager in Eddie Howe.

Chelsea

Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea doesn’t boast many weakness heading into the 2015-16 campaign, as Jose Mourinho’s club sports a relentless attack across every position on the pitch.

Crystal Palace

The Eagles’ stacked mid-field could put them in the top eight, as Yohan Cabaye’s arrival this summer will be crucial for Alan Pardew’s side to improve on their top 10 finish from last season.

Everton 

Everton’s possession-based style and ability to spray the ball around pitch will continue this season, but with a barren defense, will another mid-table place finish be enough for Roberto Martinez to keep his position?

Leicester City

With new manager Claudio Ranieri on board, not much else will change for Leicester City as they look to make waves in the Premier League focusing on defensive solidity, discipline and team spirit.

Liverpool

The Reds will need to reach the top four if Brendan Rodgers is going to keep his job, but he will have plenty of help with new signings Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino increasing their attacking options.

Manchester City

City enter the new campaign again seeking a finish near the top, but need a big performance from disappointing captain Vincent Kompany and also Raheem Sterling to live up to his historically pricey transfer fee.

Manchester United

The Red Devils have spent big once again this summer but there will be a lot of expectation as Louis van Gaal’s side must challenge for the title. However, they could be in trouble if Wayne Rooney goes down with an injury.

Newcastle United 

New head coach Steve McClaren could be in for some problems during his first campaign, but he has been allowed to strengthen the spine of his side this summer with over $60 million spent on new players. A top 10 finish would be a great season for the Magpies.

Norwich City

The Canaries haven’t added too many players this summer and young manager Alex Neil will have to use all of his nous to keep them up. Continuity should help as they have plenty of PL experience in the ranks but Norwich will be relegation candidates.

Southampton

Ronald Koeman guided Southampton to seventh place a year ago, their best-ever Premier League finish, and with an offense capable of terrorizing opposing defenses every match, they’ll aim to climb higher on the table.

Stoke City

Stoke City hopes to continue their defensive dominance during the 2015-16 campaign, but midfield questions linger as The Potters vie for another top 10 finish.

Sunderland

The biggest offseason positive for Sunderland is the return of manager Dick Advocaat, whom saved the club when he took office last season. With a lack of goals a growing concern, The Black Cats hope their fortune turns.

Swansea City

Swansea’s additions of Andre Ayew and Eder will greatly improve their striking options and a top six finish isn’t out of the question for the Swans.

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur managed a fifth place finish in the 2014-15 campaign on the back of forward Harry Kane, but this season he’ll get more help from the likes of Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela, plus a stout defense.

Watford

Watford’s outlook heading into the 2015-16 season is all about survival and with a new manager and a host of new players, expect the unexpected as they fight against relegation.

West Bromwich Albion

The Baggies will look to maintain their stability at the back from a season ago and Tony Pulis on the sideline will ensure that continuity will remain steady as they attempt to fight for a spot in the top 10.

West Ham United

A top eight finish is needed for Slaven Bilić’s term to be a success and although he has plenty of options in midfield, scoring goals may once again be a problem for the Hammers in their final season at Upton Park.

Sessegnon beats Neuer to score first Spurs, Champions League goal

Photo by Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images)Photo by Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Ryan Sessegnon has his first Spurs goal, which also happens to be his first UEFA Champions League goal, and he’ll love telling the tale of it.

The 19-year-old Englishman ripped a rocket past Manuel Neuer of all people, collecting a deflection to equalize early in Tottenham’s match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Sessegnon entered the day with an assist in 30 minutes spread across three appearances for Spurs, and needed just 20 more minutes to find a goal.

He made a big money move from Fulham this summer, having made a remarkable 120 senior appearances. Almost all of those came before he turned 19, and he’s scored 25 times with 18 assists.

Kingsley Coman has Bayern’s goal as the teams remain locked at 1 after Bayern hung 7 on Spurs in England earlier in the group stage.

 

Jesus hat-trick downs Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta qualifies for knockouts

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Manchester City looked sluggish again, but Gabriel Jesus made sure it didn’t matter.

The Brazilian cropped up at a critical juncture for Pep Guardiola, sending Manchester City through into the knockout stage on a winning note as his hat-trick sealed a 4-1 come-from-behind victory that knocked Dinamo Zagreb from European competition altogether.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

The first half was especially lackluster for the English visitors to Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, with lots of possession but little to show for it. The hosts went in front early on, punishing Man City on the counter on a fabulous volleyed finish from former Barcelona youth product Dani Olmo.

That was the best goal of the day, but Man City picked itself up and pulled back level before the break, with Jesus grabbing his first via a header as Dinamo Zagreb shut off, screaming for Man City to put the ball out with a Zagreb player down. The visitors rightly did not, and Dinamo was punished by the equalizer.

After halftime, Man City was much better, hammering the left flank to take a commanding lead. The second came on excellent work by Jesus in the box to shake a defender and finish with his right, while the third flew in minutes later on a pinpoint Benjamin Mendy cross that Jesus met with a flying karate kick. Pep Guardiola had one eye on the festive fixtures, withdrawing Jesus soon after the hour mark, replaced by Oleksandr Zinchenko who curiously took Jesus’s place at the striker position.

Phil Foden was the best Manchester City player throughout, and finished off the scoreline with seven minutes to go. An excellent buildup down the right saw Bernardo Silva sprung through, and he cut back to Foden at the top of the six-yard box who slid to meet the ball with pace and poke home the cherry on top.

Elsewhere, Atalanta topped Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 in the Ukraine on goals by Timothy Castagne, Mario Pasalic, and Robin Gosens, meaning the Italians secured the second spot in Group A, qualifying for the knockout stage. The Ukranians were left dead in the water after right-back Dodo was sent off 13 minutes from time, leading to the second goal to seal things up. Atalanta’s advancement marks a stunning comeback given the Italian side failed to secure points in any of their first three group stage matches.

That left Shakhtar in third, dropping to the Europa League, while Dinamo Zagreb was left at the bottom of the group, on the outside looking in.

Charlotte MLS club files trademarks for eight potential names

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It is being heavily reported that Charlotte is the next city to earn a club in the rapidly expanding Major League Soccer landscape, and Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has taken the next step towards that possibility.

The new club needs a name, and they appear to be nearing a selection. Tepper filed for eight different name trademarks, according to multiple reports, including The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue who confirmed the filings were made under Tepper’s Panthers address.

Here is the list of names he filed copyright requests for:

“Charlotte FC” would be a bare-bones and generic name that follows in the footsteps of recent MLS expansion clubs such as Orlando City SC, NYCFC or LAFC. Others are a little more colorful, including “Carolina Gliders FC” or “Charlotte Monarchs FC,” while a few others like “Charlotte Town FC” or “Charlotte Athletic FC” clearly call forth thoughts of smaller English clubs.

Rodrigue speculated that the relative lack of “Carolina” encompassing names is potentially due to the possibility of an expansion bid from Raleigh down the road, and a Carolina team would potentially provide an unnecessary roadblock to that future prospect. There is a clear lack of region-encompassing names in Major League Soccer, with “New England Revolution” the only example, and there’s no real reason to break that mold with another potential bid city down the road.

Which name is your favorite? What would you have gone with if you could name the club?

LIVE, UCL: Two knockout spots remain; Man City, Tottenham in play

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Two more spots in the knockout round remain unclaimed as the final day of group stage play begins on Wednesday.

Groups C and D both require a second team to progress through to the Round of 16, with five teams still in the mix.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Manchester City has already won Group D, but the remaining three teams Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb, and Atalanta all remain in contention for the second spot. Shakhtar currently sits second and has a home match with Atalanta, while Dinamo Zagreb host Man City in Croatia. Both those games feature in the early 12:55 p.m. ET kickoffs.

Group D, meanwhile, has a pair of sides vying for the last spot. Atletico Madrid has a point advantage, currently sitting in second with a home match against already eliminated Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow. Bayer Leverkusen, meanwhile, hosts group winners Juventus in Germany.

Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur has already locked up a spot in the knockout stage, locked into the second spot in Group A, and they finish out the group stage with a visit to confirmed group winners Bayern Munich. Jose Mourinho told the press he forbid his players from watching any footage of the 7-2 defeat to Bayern to begin group stage play, and is resting “a few players” ahead of the festive Premier League fixtures.

Finally, Group A has already been decided with Real Madrid confirmed to finish second behind winners Paris Saint-Germain, but the two still have to complete the fixture list. Madrid heads to Belgium to take on Club Brugge, while PSG hosts Galatasaray. The Spanish side is most likely to rest players, with a weekend visit to Valencia coming up on Sunday followed by a midweek El Clasico that was rescheduled from earlier in the season.

Below is the full schedule for the last UCL games on Wednesday, with all games kicking off at 3 p.m. ET unless otherwise noted, and you can follow the action live by clicking on the link above.


Wednesday Champions League action

Group A

Club Brugge v. Real Madrid
Paris Saint-Germain v. Galatasaray

Group B

Bayern Munich v. Tottenham Hotspur
Olympiakos v. Red Star Belgrade

Group C

Dinamo Zagreb v. Manchester City (12:55 p.m. ET)
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Atalanta (12:55 p.m. ET)

Group D

Atletico Madrid v. Lokomotiv Moscow
Bayer Leverkusen v. Juventus