Premier League transfer needs: What every team must do in January window

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With the January transfer window now open in England from today until Jan. 31, what does each team need?

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Below we take a look at the most pressing needs for all 20 Premier League teams.

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Strikers will be in high demand this January, with plenty of clubs hoping to make the most of the loan market to help them kick on in the second half of the season.

TEAM MAIN NEED
source: CB Liverpool: With rumors of Neven Subotic potentially arriving at Anfield and both Sakho and Skrtel injury prone, perhaps Klopp should move to add another center back. Let’s see how active he is during his first transfer window in charge. Expect outgoings.
source: CM Manchester City: Fabian Delph hasn’t quite got going at City and Yaya Toure continues to underwhelm when playing as a true center midfielder. Long-term, you can see why they are targeting Paul Pogba but they probably won’t do any business in January.
source: CAM Leicester City: The surprise package of the season so far will look to keep hold of Vardy and Mahrez in January. If they do, adding a creative attacking midfielder may be a nice luxury as Kante, Drinkwater, King et al. are great two-way players but lack creativity at times. No need to spend big and disrupt the balance in the squad.
source: Striker Tottenham Hotspur: Bringing in someone to push Kane all the way and act as a back-up is key. They have Son and Njie who can play centrally but both are better out wide. A solid loan move for a striker would be key. Charlie Austin?
source: Striker Manchester United: Louis Van Gaal needs fresh impetus in attack. Fast. Lambasted for a lack of goals — just 22 in their opening 19 games — United are creating the chances but not finishing them. A loan move for a poacher is highly necessary.
source: DM Arsenal: The imminent signing of Basel’s Mohamaed Elneny is exactly what Wenger needed and subject to a work permit being granted, Arsenal’s main need of a new defensive midfielder has been filled. For once, the Gunners may have done their business early.
source: Winger Everton: With Steven Naismith said to be on his way to Norwich, a spot in Everton’s attack has opened up. Kevin Mirallas has returned recently but real pace out wide should compliment the power of Lukaku and creativity of Barkley.
source: Striker Crystal Palace: Alan Pardew‘s side are solid at the back and have plenty of pace out wide to create chances. Putting those chances away has been a problem all season long. Wickham and Chamakh aren’t prolific. Maybe taking a punt on a top score from the Championship is worth it?
source: ACM Southampton: Ronald Koeman‘s team are well stocked in most areas but you feel like a little more competition in the central attacking role could bring the best out of Dusan Tadic and Sadio Mane. Also, a striker could be needed with Graziano Pelle going through a lean patch.
source: CM Chelsea: With Fabregas and Matic struggling to protect the back four, getting a new midfielder to link defense and attack should be key. I’m talking about a true two-way player. A new CB is also a big need but it’s unlikely Chelsea will land their main target in that position, John Stones, until the summer.
source: Striker Stoke City: The Potters have flair in abundance in the final third with Afellay, Bojan and Shaqiri the three attacking midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Having a clinical poacher to finish off the chances would make a huge difference as Arnautovic blows a little hot and cold.
source: Striker West Bromwich Albion: With Saido Berahino on the bench more often than not, WBA are without their best forward due to his ongoing willingness to leave the Hawthorns. Maybe he will end up leaving and the Baggies can bring in a top replacement? They are the third lowest scorers in the PL.
source: CB Watford: Quique Sanchez Flores has worked miracles at Watford and they look healthy in attack with Ighalo and Deeney scoring for fun. At times you wonder if they could upgrade their defense and bringing in a new center back may help them continue their stunning start to life back in the PL.
source: Striker West Ham: Plagued by injuries up top, Slaven Billic’s team are starting to get healthy with Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia nearing full fitness. That said, the Hammers could do with some reinforcements up top. A loan move would be ideal.
source: Striker Swansea City: Okay, so first, they need a manager, but the Swans are the second lowest scorers in the league as Andre Ayew and Bafetimbi Gomis have stopped scoring. They look better at the back but adding quality in attack is crucial for their chances of staying up.


source:
ACM Sunderland: The Black Cats need major strengthening throughout their team and although bolstering their defense should be a priority, adding someone who can win games for them is key. Big Sam has come up with some gems in the past (Jay-Jay Okochoa and Youri Djorkaeff to name a few) and a playmaker could make all the difference.
source:
ACM Norwich City: If Naismith does arrive from Everton, he will be the man to provide extra attacking impetus and genuine PL quality in the final third. An experienced attacker will help Alex Neil‘s side.
source:
CB Bournemouth: After adding Juan Iturbe on loan to bolster their attack, the Cherries have moved to take care of their main need. Looking at CB, they still look short and if Elphick goes down again, they could be struggling.
source: ACM Newcastle United: A lack of goals and ingenuity in the final third has plagued the Magpies. If they can get service to Wijnadlum, Perez and Mitrovic then it would boost their chances of staying up.
source:  Striker Aston Villa: When you’re in as dire a situation as Villa, you need one thing: goals. Villa need help to score goals, with Jordan Ayew the only man scoring regularly. Who will want to join a team looking destined for the drop?

Eden Hazard suffers fracture ahead of Man City in UCL, El Clasico

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Eden Hazard is set to miss the Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League first leg against Man City with a broken fibula.

Hazard had only returned to the lineup for two matches following a three-month absence with an ankle injury.

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The 29-year-old has made just 15 appearances for Real since arriving in a big-money move from Chelsea, scoring once with five assists.

He has never appeared in less than 30 league matches over the course of his career, five times missing one or zero matches.

Of course, all of his absences show that Real is very comfortable playing and winning without Hazard. Zinedine Zidane’s men lost Sunday to drop behind Barcelona in La Liga, but that was just its second loss of the league season.

Real will be taxed in depth like its rivals, with Wednesday’s visit from Man City followed by an El Clasico at the Bernabeu on March 1. Barcelona hosts Napoli on Tuesday.

Whether you like the playmaker or despise him, there must be some sense of sympathy for his latest ailments (even if Man City and Barca fans will likely offer a Jerry Seinfeld-esque, “That’s a shame”).

Watch Live: Manchester United, Wolves host bottom three battlers

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A pair of Premier League basement dwellers face stiff tests in their bids to win another season in the top flight.

Manchester United hosts Watford on NBCSN while Wolves welcome Norwich City on CNBC as both home sides aim to improve the health of their top four hopes in 9 a.m. ET kickoffs.

[ WATCH: Man Utd-Watford | Wolves-Norwich ]

Lineups notes from both matches:

LINEUPS

Manchester United

Watford


Wolves

Norwich City

Three Serie A matches suspended due to virus deaths in Italy

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ROME (AP) Three Serie A soccer matches scheduled for Sunday in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto were suspended late Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the virus from China.

On orders from the Italian government, the games called off were: Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria, Atalanta vs. Sassuolo and Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari.

Three other matches in Genoa, Turin and Rome on Sunday are going ahead as scheduled.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown on Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the coronavirus from China, and a growing cluster of cases with no direct links to the origin of the outbreak abroad.

“The government is working on urgent measures to decisively confront and contain the cases of coronavirus contagion,” read a letter from Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora to Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago shortly before midnight local time on Saturday. “Those measures also include the sports world in order to prevent risks and to better take care of the health of those involved in the events and competition.

“Following measures taken by the cabinet for protective reasons and maximum precaution, on orders of the government I’m asking you to suspend all sports events of every level and discipline planned for the Lombardy and Veneto regions on Sunday.”

The secondary contagions prompted local authorities in the Lombardy and Veneto regions to close schools, businesses and restaurants and to cancel sporting events and Masses.

The mayor of Milan, Italy’s business capital and the regional capital of Lombardy, shuttered public offices.

A 78-year-old man infected with the virus died in Veneto. A postmortem on a 77-year-old woman in Lombardy came back positive, though it wasn’t clear if illness from the virus caused her death.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Andrew Dampf on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf

PL Sunday preview: Wolves, Man United, Everton, Arsenal in action

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Sunday’s slate of Premier League fixtures promise to have a wide-range of action, as Wolves, Manchester United and Arsenal all take the field.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Norwich City  — 9:00 a.m. ET, on NBC Gold and NBCSports.com

Wolverhampton Wanderers are heading into Sunday’s match against bottom dwellers Norwich City with fresh, positive inertia.

On Thursday, Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men thumped Espanyol 4-0 in the knockout stages of the Europa League, giving Wolves a much-needed boost of confidence. The club, who has yet to win in Premier League play since January 18, ended a two-game streak without generating a goal against the Spanish side.

Wolves are the clear favorites heading into Molineux Stadium on Sunday. But on the other side stands a well-rested and hungry Norwich, who before going to winter break, showcased class and discipline against Liverpool in their last league showing.

Daniel Farke‘s side are eight points out of the safe zone but time is running out. The sense of urgency is at an all-season high for the Canaries, believers of their under-appreciated strengths.

“They (Wolves) are playing in Europe, they have kept three clean sheets, they have individual quality and it is a huge task,” Farke said. “But I don’t see any easy fixtures at this stage. It is about us. We always have a chance if we are good at our topics.

“People can write us off and say we have no chance to close the gap. But I don’t agree. It is possible.”

INJURIES: Wolves — OUT: Ruben Vinagre (hamstring) | Norwich — OUT: Timm Klose (knee), Sam Byram (hamstring)

Manchester United vs. Watford — 9:00 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

History and data say Watford, who have never won a league game at Old Trafford, stand no chance against Manchester United on Sunday.

But if one victory inspired a mostly-lethargic Hornets this season under Nigel Pearson it was the 2-0 win over United at Vicarage Road. The second-to-last side went on a six-match unbeaten streak following the said victory. It brought the club back to life, lifting them out of the bottom three.

Watford have since faltered and dropped back below the red line, but Pearson promises to stick to his philosophical guns.

“We approach every game in a very similar way and that is to try and be as positive as we can,” he said. “We’ll go out there and we’ll do what we can to win the game, we’ve not changed our approach, it’s just that results sometimes change how people perceive things.”

United will certainly look different, as Odion Ighalo is expected to make his home debut against his former club following his arrival in earlier this month.

United, who stand in the seventh spot with 38 points, have a clear window of opportunity to surpass fifth-place Tottenham with a victory. Prior to Sunday’s match, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer addressed questions regarding consistency.

“It is team selection – you’ve got to maybe rotate in Europe like we’ve done, then maybe go back to what we were at Chelsea this week,” Gunnar Solskjaer said. “I feel that Bruno [Fernandes] and Odion [Ighalo] coming in will get more goals in the team. That’s been lacking. The games we’ve lost – West Ham, Burnley, Palace, Bournemouth – we’ve had chances but we haven’t scored goals.”

Perhaps Ighalo could finally contribute towards a win at Old Trafford with Watford jerseys on the field.

INJURIES: Manchester United — Paul Pogba (ankle), Axel Tuanzebe (thigh), Marcus Rashford (back) | Watford — OUT: Daryl Janmaat (knee), Tom Cleverley (match fitness)

Arsenal vs. Everton — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Subplots reign supreme ahead of Everton’s visit to the Emirates.

Mesut Ozil, who missed the Gunners’ 1-0 Europa League victory, and Andres Gomes, 16 weeks after an ankle dislocation and fracture, are both expected to return to action. Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta and Carlo Ancelotti will meet for the first time after being linked to each other’s position before the start of the new year.

Perhaps the most significant one, however – at least to Everton – is that it’s been 24 years since the Toffees won at Arsenal. If they can pull it off this time around, the Liverpool-based side will be one step closer to the European dream.

“We have to be focused on Arsenal,” Ancelotti said. “Then there are very important games after. There’s [Manchester] United, Chelsea, Liverpool. After these four games, we can see what is going on for Europe.”

“This is a really important game against a strong team, away, but we have to have confidence to do our best and try to win. We’ve got 13 games to go and have got ourselves in a decent position,” he said. “It gives us the platform to have a decent season. I think we’ve done okay. We’ve had huge problems over six weeks and fair play to the squad for showing that resilience.”

Everton have picked up 17 points out the 24 possible under the Italian, while Arsenal have only experienced two wins under the Spaniard.

INJURIES: Arsenal — Cedric Soares (knee), Kieren Tierney (shoulder), Callum Chambers (knee), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (knee) | Everton — OUT: Jean-Phillipe Gbamin (thigh)