Week 6: Top Premier League storylines – London calling, Euro-hangover

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As we head into Week 6 of the Premier League season, let’s take a quick look around at the top five storylines this weekend.

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With a huge London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal taking center stage on Saturday, tricky tests for Manchester United and Manchester City following disappointing defeats in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, plus three teams still desperate to get their first win under their belt, expect plenty of drama.

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Here’s five things you need to look out for.

London Calling

All eyes will be on Stamford Bridge on Saturday as Chelsea host Arsenal (Watch live, 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) in a massive clash between two title contenders. Jose Mourinho is feeling confident ahead of this one, despite his side losing three of their opening five PL games this season — that’s the same number they lost throughout their entire title-winning campaign last season — and plenty of critics circling around the reigning champions. Chelsea dispatched a lackluster Maccabi Tel Aviv outfit in their UEFA Champions League opener on Wednesday, with many of Mourinho’s fringe players impressing to give the Portuguese boss a selection headache ahead of the derby.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]  

As for Wenger, he wishes he had that problem as his side lost 2-1 away at Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday and had Olivier Giroud sent off. Wenger has never beaten Mourinho in league play, and if Chelsea win on Saturday they could be just three points off the top four. Would that mean the crisis is over in West London? Either way, England’s capital will be divided come lunch time on Saturday local time in what has been an incredibly feisty encounter in years gone by.

No time for Euro-hangover, United and City 

Both Manchester clubs suffered tough defeats in midweek as United and City squandered leads in the Champions League. United lost 2-1 away at PSV Eindhoven in a game which was marred by Luke Shaw’s horrific double fracture to his right leg. Louis Van Gaal had raised concerns before the PSV defeat about whether or not his side is ready to make waves in the UCL, and many are asking that same question when it comes to them in the PL this season. Despite having David De Gea back, United will be sweating on the fitness of captain Wayne Rooney this weekend as Van Gaal travels to face his fellow Dutchman Ronald Koeman at Southampton.

[ WATCH LIVE: Stream every PL game via Live Extra ]

Last season Saints beat United 1-0 at Old Trafford and lost 2-1 at St. Mary’s, despite dominating large swathes of the latter game. You just feel like a big home win would kick-start Saints’ season and this could be the perfect time to play United. As for City, Manuel Pellegrini isn’t panicking after their late collapse against Juventus at home in the UCL, but City have put themselves in a tough spot to start off with in Europe once again. They host West Ham who have three wins from five under new boss Slaven Bilic and in their two away games so far they’ve beaten Arsenal 2-0 and Liverpool 3-0. Surely they can’t start off their away schedule by making it three wins on the spin and adding City to their list of sensational scalps?

Three teams still searching

Stoke City, Newcastle United and Sunderland are the only three teams yet to record a win in the PL. All three will be very confident of grabbing their first three points of the season on Saturday, but if they don’t, man, they will be getting jittery. Stoke host Leicester City at home and, on paper, they should beat the Foxes. But Claudio Ranieiri’s side have yet to be beaten this season and are coming off the back of an incredible comeback win at home against Aston Villa. With Bojan close to returning, the Potters need the Spaniard to start and have a big impact. Speaking of having an impact, not many of Newcastle’s players had a positive one during their dismal defeat at West Ham on Monday.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Steve McClaren has a big job on his hands to turn around their fortunes and perhaps its too early to say this home game against Watford this weekend is a must-win, but if they lose, the boo boys will be out in force at St James’ Park. Then, there is Sunderland. Despite an improved display against Tottenham last Sunday, Dick Advocaat’s side went down 1-0, but if they play like that away at Bournemouth on Saturday, expect them to bag their first win of the season. Look out for Jermain Defoe to play the hero on his return to his former club.

Europa League complaints

Every season around about this time, the Thursday night football kicks in. This year, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are the PL’s reps in the Europa League, UEFA’s much-maligned second-tier continental tournament. Brendan Rodgers has left six first-team players at home for their trip to Bordeaux on Thursday, while Mauricio Pochettino will likely rotate his squad for Spurs’ clash against Qarabag.

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The Thursday-Sunday schedule will become a grind between now and the festive period for Liverpool and Spurs, and both teams will be relieved they have home games on Sunday following Thursday night action. However, Liverpool face Norwich, who will be buoyed by their big win against Bournemouth last weekend, while Spurs play Palace who sit in sixth place after a brilliant start to the current campaign. Let’s see what Rodgers and Pochettino have to say about the Europa League after Sunday’s games.

Martinez, Monk reunited

When you scanned the schedule for this weekend (if you haven’t, here is the link) Everton vs. Swansea City may have not jumped out at you at a first glance. But it should have. Both Everton and Swansea have enjoyed superb starts to the new season, with the Toffees coming off the back of that 3-1 shellacking of Chelsea at Goodison last weekend. Swansea’s progress under young manager Garry Monk came to shuddering halt with an away defeat to Watford last week, but overall the Swans sit one place being Everton and level on points, as Monk is working his magic with plenty of shrewd signings and building on the past success at the Liberty Stadium.

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Toffees boss Roberto Martinez made Monk his captain when he managed Swansea from 2007-09, and the duo have a long history together which has seen them both play for and then go on to manage Swansea. Martinez and Monk have similar philosophies and at times both Swansea and Everton are the best teams to watch in the league. Expect plenty of possession and clever flicks and tricks at Goodison on Saturday as two old Swans collide.

West Brom – Chelsea: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction, odds

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West Brom – Chelsea: The Blues are in desperate need of a strong rebound when they visit The Hawthorns on Saturday (Watch live at 12:30 pm ET, on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

WEST BROM – CHELSEA STREAM LIVE

The Baggies, on the other hand, are simply hoping to collect their first point of the season after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Leicester City on the opening day of the 2020-21 season and following that up with a 5-2 beatdown at the hands of Everton last weekend.

As far as favorable matchups go, facing the 20th-place side a week after losing to defending champions Liverpool is quite timely for Chelsea.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Here is everything you need to know ahead of West Brom – Chelsea this Saturday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: West Brom – Chelsea (INJURY REPORT)

West Brom – QUESTIONABLE: Ahmed Hegazi (thigh), Kamil Grosicki (back), Hal Robson-Kanu (leg) | OUT: Kieran Gibbs (suspension), Conor Gallagher (loan rules), Kenneth Zohore (calf)

Chelsea – QUESTIONABLE: Christian Pulisic (hamstring), Cesar Azpilicueta (thigh) | OUT: Hakim Ziyech (knee), Andrea Christensen (suspension)


What they’re saying: West Brom – Chelsea

West Brom manager Slaven Bilic, on struggling to sign players: “We don’t have a huge budget, that is why we are trying to be creative and lucky. That’s not easy but we are trying. … We have to do it to maintain a good chance.”

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, on Thiago Silva: “It is exciting for us because he has had just over a week training with us. It was a perfect 60 minutes for him tonight. He will show the qualities he has. Of course, he will get fitter and better. He also gave us something for me on the night in the dressing room and on the pitch of a leader with authority in terms of his demands on others. He can’t speak the language but at the minute that’s not even a problem because his presence and the way he commands people around him is already showing that to me in training and in our game tonight.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

West Brom (+750) represent one of the biggest underdogs — or, opportunities, depending on how you look at it — of the still-young PL season. There’s not much to be won by betting on Chelsea (-280). Even the draw (+400) is pretty far out there.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction: West Brom – Chelsea

Barring some unforeseen circumstances — for example, a 12th-minute red card — it’s virtually impossible to see West Brom getting anything from this game. They’ve been incredibly poor defensively through two games, and they’re yet to face a side with anything close to the firepower which the Blues possess. West Brom 1-3 Chelsea.


How to watch West Brom – Chelsea stream and start time

Kickoff: 12:30 pm ET Saturday
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

MLS upcoming schedule, MLS Cup odds

MLS betting odds
Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images
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MLS betting odds and upcoming schedule: Major League Soccer still has six weeks left of fixtures left in the regular season after its long-awaited return from the COVID-19 shutdown.

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The regular season is currently scheduled to end on Nov. 8, with the playoffs beginning that same week and culminating with MLS Cup on Dec. 12.

Click here for MLS betting odds and different odds on soccer and beyond from our new official sports betting partner PointsBet, as there will be plenty of selections to make each week with game lines and more available via NBC Sports Bet.

[ MORE: Five-subs rule again voted down by Premier League clubs ]

This page will be updated following the completion of every round of games in 2020, to feature the upcoming set of fixtures and MLS betting odds.


This weekend’s MLS schedule and odds (via PointsBet)

Sunday, Sept. 26

Nashville (+105) v Houston (+235) / Draw (+225) — 3:30 pm ET
NYCFC (-228) v Cincinnati (+550) / Draw (+300) — 7 pm ET

Sunday, Sept. 27

DC United (+225) v New England (+105) / Draw (+230) — 7 pm ET
New York Red Bulls (-167) v Montreal (+375) / Draw (+280) — 7 pm ET
Philadelphia (+120) v Inter Miami (+195) / Draw (+225) — 7:30 pm ET
Chicago (-139) v Atlanta (+300) / Draw (+275) — 7:30 pm ET
Toronto (+120) v Columbus (+195) / Draw (+225) — 7:30 pm ET
Minnesota (-125) v Real Salt Lake (+265) / Draw (+270) — 8 pm ET
FC Dallas (+125) v Orlando City (+170) / Draw (+245) — 8:30 pm ET
Colorado (+145) v Sporting KC (+150) / Draw (+240) — 9 pm ET
Vancouver (+375) v Portland (-189) / Draw (+325) — 10 pm ET
LAFC (-500) v San Jose (+850) / Draw (+525) — 10:30 pm ET
LA Galaxy (+150) v Seattle (+150) / Draw (+235) — 10:30 pm ET


MLS Cup winner odds

Los Angeles FC (+450)
Toronto FC (+450)
Seattle Sounders (+800)
Philadelphia Union (+1100)
Atlanta United (+1400)
Columbus Crew (+1400)
LA Galaxy (+1800)
New York City FC (+1800)
Sporting KC (+1800)
Portland Timbers (+2000)
Minnesota United (+2500)
New England Revolution (+2500)
Orlando City SC (+2500)
New York Red Bulls (+3000)
Montreal Impact (+4000)
FC Dallas (+5000)
Real Salt Lake (+5000)
San Jose Earthquakes (+6000)
Chicago Fire (+10000)
Colorado Rapids (+10000)
D.C. United (+10000)
Houston Dynamo (+10000)
Inter Miami (+12500)
FC Cincinnati (+25000)
Vancouver Whitecaps (+25000)
Nashville SC (+30000)

West Ham – Wolves: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction, odds

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West Ham – Wolves: David Moyes will be watching from home after testing positive for COVID-19, though he reportedly remains asymptomatic, when his West Ham United side welcomes Wolverhampton Wanderers to the London Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 2 pm ET, online via Peacock).

WEST HAM – WOLVES STREAM LIVE

In recent history, West Ham have had an absolutely torrid time against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side since they won promotion from the EFL Championship. The Hammers have found the back of the net zero times, and collected zero points, in four meetings since Wolves returned to the Premier League.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Here is everything you need to know ahead of West Ham – Wolves this Sunday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: West Ham – Wolves (INJURY REPORT)

West Ham – QUESTIONABLE: Issa Diop (COVID-19), Josh Cullen (COVID-19)

Wolves – QUESTIONABLE: Fernando Marcal (undisclosed) | OUT: Jonny (knee)


What they’re saying: West Ham – Wolves

Stand-in manager Alan Irvine, on Moyes’ absence: “I’ve spoken to him several times this morning. He is not feeling any symptoms and hasn’t felt them any way through, so obviously it’s a bit frustrating for him, but he’s fine and he’s getting on with other things. Of course, David will be the manager and everything we do will be run through him. He will make the decisions on everything.”

Nuno Espirito Santo, on facing a team with COVID-19 cases: “We are not concerned, I wish David and the players the fastest recovery. What happened to West Ham can happen to any one of us. It’s tough when you are preparing for a game and you cannot be on the touchline. Now we’re not concerned, we’re confident and we trust the authorities to keep things safe for us.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Everything points to a win for Wolves (+105) with West Ham (+270) made slight home underdogs, which should spell out everything you need to know about the Hammers. Best-case scenario for Moyes and Irvine would be to snatch a draw (+240).

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction: West Ham – Wolves

West Ham might get out of the starting block at some point this season, but Wolves are hardly the ideal opponent you want to see when you have zero points and very few positives to start the season. Misery begets misery, and West Ham are in for a bit more. West Ham 0-2 Wolves.


How to watch West Ham – Wolves stream and start time

Kickoff: 2 pm ET Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock

Man City – Leicester: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction, odds

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Man City – Leicester: Pep Guardiola will have just 13 first-team players at his disposal when Manchester City hosts Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 11:30 am ET, on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

MAN CITY – LEICESTER STREAM LIVE

With a combination of injuries and confirmed cases of COVID-19 currently ravaging an already-thin squad, City have no choice but to tread water and simply stay afloat in the coming days and weeks as they attempt to reclaim the Premier League title from Liverpool. It’s a difficult position to be in, no doubt about it, and Leicester should present a tricky challenge for Guardiola and Co., without the likes of Bernardo Silva, Aymeric Laporte, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan, among others.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Man City and Leicester spent much of the 2019-20 season second and third — and third and second — in the PL table, each looking up at Liverpool miles and miles ahead, before winding up second and fifth, respectively. City won each of the two meetings last season — 3-1 at home in December, and 1-0 away in February.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Man City – Leicester this Sunday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: Man City – Leicester (INJURY REPORT)

Man City – QUESTIONABLE: Ilkay Gundogan (COVID-19), Aymeric Laporte (COVID-19) | OUT: Bernardo Silva (thigh), Gabriel Jesus (undisclosed), Sergio Aguero (knee), Joao Cancelo (foot), Oleksandr Zinchenko (undisclosed)

Leicester – QUESTIONABLE: Demarai Gray (illness) | OUT: Cengiz Under (transfer clearance), Ricardo Pereira (knee), Jonny Evans (thigh), Filip Benkovic (groin), Wilfred Ndidi (groin)


What they’re saying: Man City – Leicester

Pep Guardiola, on Man City’s injury issues: “With the situation we have right now, we need players from the academy. We have just 13 players fit. With the problems we have up front, he will stay with us. We will use him. We cannot forget, like with Phil, he is only 17 years-old. He has a lot of things to improve. We cannot anticipate the progress of every young player. We’ve had Phil, Eric, Liam and we have Cole Palmer, who will be an exceptional player. We congratulate the academy. I am the last step, but before there are a lot of people in the club working for this and it is a big success for them.”

Brendan Rodgers, on how to improve Leicester: “Firstly, we have a number of young players who can improve. Last season, we showed lots of real potential in the squad. I always felt that two things would help us to improve and continue to develop this process. One of those was time. That means time to work with the players who are here, making them better year on year, particularly the young players. They will have gained from the experiences of last season — good and bad. Time will improve James Maddison. Time will improve Harvey Barnes. Consistency will make us better as well. That will come with the introduction of quality.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Perhaps a bit surprisingly given their ongoing injury issues, City (-350) are heavy betting favorites with Leicester checking in as massive underdogs at +850. The draw (+480) might just make for the perfect speculative wager this weekend.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction: Man City – Leicester

City struggled to put away Bournemouth in the League Cup on Thursday, and will have largely the same group of players available on Sunday. Facing Leicester will be a significant increase in quality of opposition. Leicester might just get something out of this one and do Liverpool an early-season favor in the process. Man City 1-1 Leicester.


How to watch Man City – Leicester stream and start time

Kickoff: 11:30 am ET Sunday
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com