Week 10: Top Premier League storylines – Derby day, Klopp homecoming, Arsenal

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With Week 10 of the Premier League fast approaching, there are plenty of storylines swirling.

[ LIVE: Stream every single PL game ]

Here’s a look at the big ones as local rivalries take center stage.

Manchester derby takes center stage

The Manchester derby is always a huge game. But this season, it seems bigger. With Manchester City sitting top of the PL, United are in third place and a win at home against their fierce rivals will see them jump ahead of them on points. There is a lot at stake and with City having Sergio Aguero and David Silva missing through injury, plus Vincent Kompany missing for a month leading into this game, United could have found a good time to play the Citizens. Then again, United have just flown back from a midweek trip to Moscow where they ground out a 1-1 draw against CSKA in freezing temperatures. Both teams will be challenging for the Premier League title this season and on Sunday (Watch live, 10:05 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra), they will square off for the pride of Manchester.

Huge Tyne-Wear derby

This is a massive derby. With both teams languishing in the relegation zone, these three points are huge up in the North East. For new Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce, it is absolutely essential he wins this game. In his first home game in charge of the Black Cats, he has all the pressure placed on his shoulders as he lost 1-0 away at West Brom in his first game in charge and Sunderland have yet to win a PL game this season as we enter the end of October. Adding to the pressure for Big Sam is the fact that Sunderland have won five-straight derbies and two of the last three managers at the Stadium of Light have lost their opening game in charge but then beat Newcastle in a derby in their second game in charge. Will it be a case of third time lucky for Big Sam as that strange coincidence crops up again? As for the Magpies, Steve McClaren’s side smashed Norwich City 6-2 last time out but their manager is still worried with their defending despite Georginio Wijnaldum‘s magic. If it is tension and unadulterated passion you are after, tune in to NBCSN at 8 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Klopp’s PL debut at Anfield

On Sunday Jurgen Klopp will walk out at Anfield for the first time as Liverpool’s manager in the Premier League. True, Klopp’s Anfield debut will come against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League on Thursday, but it is Sunday’s game against Southampton which presents a big chance to make an impression in front of the Kop. Facing Saints will not be easy, as Ronald Koeman‘s side are set up well to soak up pressure and counter with pack away from home. That was evident in their win at Chelsea. If Klopp can get some of his key attacking players back fit and ready — Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge could all return — then you have to give the Reds the edge on what will be a special day at Anfield for the passionate German coach.

Can Arsenal sustain push?

With the Gunners playing before United and City in Week 10, they have the chance to go top of the Premier League on Saturday. After a good spell which has seen them record 3-0 wins against Manchester United and Watford in the PL, then beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in the UEFA Champions League, Arsene Wenger must now be hoping his side mount a serious title charge. They will come up against an Everton side who are inconsistent and blow hot and cold. Last weekend they were hammered at home, 3-0, by Manchester United. They’ve beaten Chelsea and Southampton easily this season and it all depends on what side shows up for the Toffees. With all of these games in Europe and the PL mounting up, so are injuries for Wenger as Aaron Ramsey will be missing for a month, and joins Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky on the treatment table. If the Gunners can stay healthy, it seems like the in-form Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez can sustain this push towards the top.

London Calling

A London derby is also on the slate as Chelsea travel to West Ham United in a role reversal of sorts. At this point of the season, nobody would have expected Jose Mourinho’s side to be languishing in 12th spot in the table and be 10 points off the top. Similarly, nobody would have expected West Ham to be in fourth after beating Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City away from home already. This is a crazy world we live in. With Chelsea’s captain John Terry backing Jose Mourinho before this game (calling him “the best manager in the world”) the togetherness is clearly there with the reigning PL champs. They will need that in abundance on Saturday at a fired up Upton Park as Slaven Bilic’s side will sit in and look to spring counters to secure yet another impressive early-season scalp. Can Chelsea keep a third-straight clean sheet and turn the corner?

WATCH: Timo Werner’s first Chelsea goal is a terrific one

Timo Werner first Chelsea goal
Photo by Visionhaus
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Timo Werner’s 11th shot as a Chelsea player finally yielded his first goal.

The German hit a 19-yard effort past Hugo Lloris to open Tuesday’s League Cup fourth-round match at Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday.

Jose Mourinho branded Tottenham’s 18-yard box “a special box” this weekend and Werner will certainly agree after crafting this memory.

[ LIVE: Follow League Cup scores ]

Werner picked up a Cesar Azpicilueta cross that found its way through a sea of players to meet him centrally outside the 18 and powered home for 1-0 in the 19th minute.

The 24-year-old has 95 goals in his time with RB Leipzig, 14 with Stuttgart, and has 12 for the German national team.

This is likely the first of a great many for Chelsea. His first assist came in Chelsea’s Premier League opener against Brighton.

UEFA Champions League qualifying: How to watch, start times, odds

Champions League qualifying
Photo by Raddad Jebarah/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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American defender Henry Wingo and manager Jesse Marsch face big weeks as the second legs of the UEFA Champions League qualifying playoffs take center stage Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wingo’s Molde drew Ferencvaros 3-3 in the first leg but those three away goals loom large as the American and his Norwegian club head to Hungary.

[ MORE: Champions League qualifying scores ]

Meanwhile, Marsch saw his Red Bull Salzburg come back from an early deficit in Israel to take a 2-1 advantage over Maccabi Tel-Aviv back to Austria.

Salzburg are very heavy favorites to win and advance to the Champions League group stage for another year.

Marsch has also been linked with an impending transfer for USMNT teen Brenden Aaronson, one of at least eight Americans to watch as the European transfer window reaches its conclusion next month.


How to watch the UEFA Champions League qualifying playoff round

Kickoff: 3 pm ET Tuesday and Wednesday
Stream: CBS All-Access (subscription required)


UEFA Champions League playoff round matches

All 12 legs will kickoff at 3 pm ET between Tuesday and Sept. 30.

First legs (Roundup)

Maccabi Tel-Aviv 1-2 Red Bull Salzburg
Slavia Prague 0-0 Midtjylland
Krasnodar 2-1 PAOK
Gent 1-2 Dynamo Kiev
Molde 3-3 Ferencvaros
Olympiakos 2-0 Omonia

Tuesday

Ferencvaros v Molde
Dynamo Kiev v Gent
Omonia v Olympiakos

Wednesday

Midtjylland v Slavia Prague
PAOK v Krasnodar
Red Bull Salzburg v Maccabi Tel-Aviv


UCL second leg odds (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Ferencvaros (+108) v Molde (+215) | Draw (+230)
Dynamo Kiev (-118) v Gent (+280) | Draw (+235)
Omonia (+325) v Olympiakos (-130) | Draw (+235)
Midtjylland (+170) v Slavia Prague (+155) | Draw (+195)
PAOK (+105) v Krasnodar (+220) | Draw (+235)
Red Bull Salzburg (-834) v Maccabi Tel-Aviv (+1300) | Draw (+600)

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

League Cup: How to watch, start times, odds, predictions

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The League Cup’s fourth round features two interesting tactical duels in that the tournament gives us rematches of a pair of Premier League matches from the weekend, right down to the locations.

Brighton will hope Manchester United’s Wednesday trip to the Amex Stadium isn’t as lucky as the Red Devils’ 3-2 triumph over the Seagulls, while Arsenal heads back to Anfield on Thursday with designs on a measure of revenge for Monday’s 3-1 loss in league play.

[ LIVE: Follow League Cup scores ]

While Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United are built a bit deeper — easy, Red Devils fans — due to squad necessity for European competition, Graham Potter’s Seagulls don’t have it as simple as chopping and changing (though Brighton has looked plenty good with its depth so far in this tournament.

How will the tactician plot his overthrow of United? And will Mikel Arteta do anything different with Arsenal to help thwart the high line Liverpool used to limit Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Monday (if the Gabonese star even plays)?

[ MORE: JPW’s 3 things from Liverpool-Arsenal ]

Elsewhere, Jose Mourinho thinks that schedule congestion is going to cost Spurs on Tuesday against Chelsea as well as in the treatment room.

The Portuguese boss says he will not be able to give the League Cup the respect he’d like because of Thursday’s Europa League visit from Maccabi Haifa is a match the club needs to make the UEL group stage.

Mourinho lost Heung-min Son to injury in Sunday’s controversial draw against Newcastle and he’s worried about what’s next.

“I think Sonny was just the first [injury],” Mourinho said, via Football.London. “More will come. So he was the first, but more will come.”

Edouard Mendy and Ben Chilwell could make their first Chelsea starts in the match, which comes too soon for Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech.

Three lower league remain and will be playing their fourth League Cup matches of the month compared to the PL’s three outings. Those who win this week will have a lot longer to wait for the quarterfinals, which won’t be held until December.


League Cup fourth round kickoff times and odds (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Tottenham (+420) v Chelsea (-180) | Draw (+360) — 2:45 pm ET Tuesday
Newport County (+560) v Newcastle (-230)  | Draw (+340)— 12:30 pm ET Weds
Burnley (+625) v Manchester City (-275) | Draw (+375) — 2 pm ET Weds
Brighton (+300) v Manchester United (-120) | Draw (+250)— 2:45 pm ET Weds
Everton (-145) v West Ham (+350) | Draw (+280)— 2:45 pm ET Weds
Brentford (+135) v Fulham (+185) | Draw (+225)— 12:30 pm ET Thursday
Aston Villa (-150) v Stoke City (+360) | Draw (+275)— 2 pm ET Thursday
Liverpool (-105) v Arsenal (+230) | Draw (+270)— 2:45 pm ET Thursday

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


League Cup fourth round predictions

Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Chelsea
Newport County 1-3 Newcastle United
Burnley 0-3 Manchester City
Brighton 2-1 Manchester United
Everton 2-2 (EFC wins in penalties) West Ham United
Brentford 1-1 (Brentford wins in penalties) Fulham
Aston Villa 2-0 Stoke City
Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal


How to watch League Cup fourth round streams and start time

Kickoff: Tuesday through Thursday
Online: Select games on ESPN+
Updates: Follow League Cup scores via NBCSports.com

Liverpool confirm Thiago tests positive for COVID-19

Thiago Alcantara
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Thiago Alcantara has tested positive for COVID-19, Liverpool confirmed.

The Spanish midfielder, 29, was a surprise omission from the Liverpool squad for their 3-1 win against Arsenal on Monday and it was initially believed he had a minor injury.

However, the reigning Premier League champions have issued a statement on Thiago after he tested positive for coronavirus and said he “exhibited minor symptoms” of COVID-19 and is now in “good health and is getting better” under the close watch of their medical team. 

Here is the statement on Thiago Alcantara.


“Thiago Alcantara has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently self-isolating according to the necessary guidelines. The 29-year-old, who missed Monday’s match against Arsenal, has exhibited minor symptoms of the virus but is in good health and is getting better. The club has, and will continue to follow, all protocols relating to COVID-19 and Thiago will remain in self-isolation for the required period of time.

“LFC first-team doctor, Dr Jim Moxon, said: ‘It is the choice of each individual whether they reveal publicly the outcome of a COVID-19 test. We have followed all the protocols to the letter and Thiago is OK. He will be self-isolating now as per the guidelines and hopefully he’ll be back with us soon.'”


This news means that Thiago Alcantara will not feature for Liverpool against Aston Villa on Sunday and all being well he will be back in action for the Reds after the international break in mid-October.

The Premier League announced late Monday that 10 individuals tested positive out of 1,658 people tested within the league for COVID-19.