Premier League Playback: Welcome to the Madhouse

0 Comments

WHAT IS GOING ON?

The only thing we learned from the midweek slate of games is that this madness is set to continue.

[ MORE: Recapping Wednesday in PL ]

With Leicester, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City all dropping points — leaders Leicester were the only side to grab a solitary point — the seemingly closed shop for a top four spot has now reopened with Manchester United and West Ham United joining the party.

Welcome to the Madhouse.

Look at the standings below and tell me who finishes where and why. Your guess is as good as anyone’s with 10 games to go.

[ MORE: 3 things learned from West Ham-Spurs ]

Leicester were unlucky to not grab all three points from their clash against West Brom on Tuesday but drew and that small slip up let in the door for the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Man City to close the gap on Wednesday.

All three lost.

It’s status quo at the top with nerves seeming to get to Spurs, the Gunners in a rut with three defeats on the spin and Man City suffering from their UEFA Champions League and League Cup final hangover.

PL Standings - March. 3

You’re aware of this by now (of course you are!?) but this season has been infuriatingly and brilliantly unpredictable.

With 10 games left, there’s no sign of that letting up. The picture at the top of the table will only begin to become more muddled this weekend as title contenders clash at White Hart Lane in the North London Derby with both Tottenham and Arsenal eager to make up the ground they lost on Leicester in midweek.

[ WATCH: Stream every PL game via Live Extra ]

Speaking after Tottenham’s defeat to West HamMauricio Pochettino half shrugged and laughed… but looked like he wanted to cry as he was asked why everyone is beating each other.

“The Premier League is the most competitive league in the world. You can see this every week,” Pochettino said.

This crazy show will continue until mid May when a champion will be crowned. I ask you: does this season have to end?

HAMMERS PRESSURE SINKS SPURS

Under the lights at Upton Park on Wednesday, the Hammers pressured Spurs from the off and beat their bitter rivals in an intense atmosphere in east London.

The historic venue was rocking after just seven minutes as Michail Antonio continued his hot-streak and now has six goals in his last seven games at the famous Boleyn Ground. This place will be sorely missed but after climbing to just one point of the top four, West Ham’s move to the Olympic Stadium next season could be met with UEFA Champions League action.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Sure, Man City has a game in hand on the Hammers and Manchester United is one point ahead but West Ham got their tactics spot on against Spurs, crowding out the midfield and playing wing backs to nullify the threat of Spurs’ wide men. Their fight and determination was relentless.

Speaking to the media after the game, Bilic revealed his team shouldn’t be thinking about a top four finish. “Every manager is trying to calm their teams down. We are not thinking about that [top four] and we shouldn’t be thinking about that.”

Ask the fans, Slaven. They certainly are. After yet another gritty and determined display with Dimitri Payet pulling the strings and a growing number of options in attack as players continue to return from injury, the Hammers could come from nowhere and mount a serious challenge for the top four.

[ MORE: Bilic says beating Spurs “game of the season” ]

As for Spurs, it was a night to forget for Mauricio Pochettino on his 44th birthday.

The Argentine boss bemoaned the slow start from which they never truly recovered. Harry Kane missed their best chance in the second half, while too many giveaways in bad errors on a bobbly pitch exemplified their struggles. Kevin Wimmer could’ve been sent off for hauling down Emmanuel Emenike and Tottenham’s decision to rotate their full backs hurt them. Given the madness elsewhere, Spurs’ failure to move top of the table is only a minor setback. After six-straight wins in the PL and going unbeaten away from home since the opening day of the season, they had an off day at Upton Park against their rivals.

Pochettino didn’t seem too worried but he’ll be expecting a big reaction from his team when they host north London rivals Arsenal on Saturday at White Hart Lane (Watch live, 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

ARSENAL, CITY FADING

Speaking of the Gunners, they have now lost three on the spin in all competitions for the first time since 2010. Arsene Wenger‘s men are struggling.

On Wednesday they went down 2-1 to Swansea City at home as the Welsh outfit once again proved to be their bogey team and put a big dent in their title hopes. The loss was bad, of course it was. If they had won — which could’ve easily happened had Alexis Sanchez’s free kick not cannoned off the bar with the scores locked at 1-1 — then they’d be level on points with Spurs going into Saturday’s derby. That said, they’re only three points behind Tottenham and six points behind Leicester. It’s not over, but they must win on Saturday to keep their title hopes alive. It’s as simple as that.

[ MORE: Cech out injured, to miss NLD ]

The biggest loss for Arsenal on Wednesday came with the news that Petr Cech will be out of the NLD after injuring his groin when trying to run up for a late corner kick. David Ospina will come in but Wenger has lost the leader of his defense in yet another damaging blow.

Given their recent PL form, Manchester City’s 3-0 defeat at Liverpool on Wednesday shouldn’t have been a surprise. Pellegrini’s men looked jaded after the League Cup final victory over Liverpool on Sunday at Wembley (perhaps they partied a little too hard?) and the manager admitted a long few weeks is catching up with them. City now sit 10 points off Leicester and even if they win their game in hand it will only reduce the gap to seven with 10 games left.

[ MORE: Pellegrini blames tiredness for City defeat ]

Winning the title should not be at the forefront of their mind anymore. Finishing in the top four should be the main objective as the likes of West Ham and bitter rivals Manchester United line up behind them and are within a point of taking away City’s spot in the Champions League.

LVG’S BOYS GRIND OUT ANOTHER WIN

United left it late against Watford to win 1-0 on Wednesday, but Juan Mata‘s free kick did the business and Louis Van Gaal has now recorded his fourth-straight win in all competitions with an injury-hit side.

Van Gaal, 64, may well leave Old Trafford at the end of this season but he’s doing his best to leave the Red Devils in at least a top four spot and a piece of silverware in either the FA Cup or Europa League.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

After United’s win over Watford, he posed with fans for photos for many minutes as he walked out of the stadium. Along with his touchline tumble against Arsenal last weekend, LVG is doing his bit to get the fans back on side. If City slip up against Aston Villa this Saturday and Manchester United beat West Brom on Sunday, they’ll be back in the top four. All those calling for Van Gaal to be sacked could well be eating their words in May as his side dig deep and continue to grind out wins at the business end of the season. The performances aren’t too impressive but it’s hard to say these players aren’t playing for their under-fire boss. That said, Jose Mourinho’s impending arrival this summer continues to cast a cloud of uncertainty over what lies in store for the future at Old Trafford.

THE OTHERS…

There’s still hope for plenty of other teams to maybe not sneak into the top four but definitely challenge for the top six. Chelsea won again on Tuesday, as Guus Hiddink’s side are 12 games unbeaten since Mourinho was fired. They’re now only eight points off the top four. Stoke City won for the third-straight game and they’re just five points off the top four, while Liverpool are just six points off the top four with 10 games to go.

[ MORE: Surging Chelsea change target

It is utter madness.

But, that’s why we love it and this season is setting us up for one of the finest finales we’ve ever seen from top to bottom across the league.

Premier League Playback comes out every week as PST’s Lead Writer and Editor takes an alternative look at all the action from the weekend. Read the full archive, here

Portugal vs Uruguay, live! Score, updates, stream link, video highlights

0 Comments

Portugal looks to seal its fate in the World Cup Round of 16 by piling pressure on Uruguay when two titans of the sport meet in Lusail on Monday.

Portugal outlasted Ghana 3-2 in Doha to open its tournament with a big win that featured a controversial penalty for Cristiano Ronaldo, while Uruguay staged a scoreless draw with South Korea.

STREAM LIVE PORTUGAL vs URUGUAY

It’s a group that never looked easy and is looking more and more like a “Group of Death” as the World Cup rolls through Qatar in its typically tense fashion this month and next.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Here is everything you need for Portugal vs Uruguay.


How to watch Portugal vs Uruguay live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Monday Nov. 28
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Everyone’s going to keep looking at Cristiano Ronaldo — it’s difficult not to turn your head with all the “Look at me” nonsense — but Bruno Fernandes is the real string-puller here. He’s playing well with Ruben Neves, while Ruben Dias and the back line will look to tighten things up after letting Ghana stay in the game.

Uruguay hero Luis Suarez has been here before, but his supporting cast is as good as ever. Rodrigo Betancur and Jose Maria Gimenez give La Celeste a chance at clean sheet every time they take the pitch.


Portugal quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 9
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 8
How they qualified: Qualified from UEFA via playoffs
Coach: Fernando Santos
Key players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Cancelo

Uruguay quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 14
World Cup titles: 2 (1930, 1950)
World Cup appearances: 14
How they qualified: Qualified from CONMEBOL
Coach: Diego Alonso
Key players: Luis Suarez, Federico Valverde, Darwin Nunez, Rodrigo Betancur

Brazil vs Switzerland, live! Score, updates, stream link, video highlights

0 Comments

Opening match winners Brazil and Switzerland meet Monday at Stadium 974 in Doha.

FIFA world No. 1 Brazil broke through pesky Serbia for a 2-0 win In Lusail to start the tournament as Richarlison scored two goals — one a ridiculous bit of technique — to get the Brazilians off on the right (and left) foot.

STREAM LIVE BRAZIL vs SWITZERLAND

Switzerland meanwhile used a 1-0 defeat of Cameroon to claim three points and set up Monday’s win-and-in match.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Can Neymar-less Brazil take the next step toward a sixth World Cup? Here is everything you need for Brazil vs Switzerland.


How to watch Brazil vs Switzerland live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11am ET, Monday Nov. 28
Stadium: Stadium 974, Doha
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Brazil will not have Neymar for this one and likely the rest of the group stage as the oft-fouled magician felt the sting of Serbian tackles in the opener. The Brazilians have had to play without their captain before and have a wealth of attacking options, but who will join Richarlison in providing the goals in a Ney-less attack.

The Swiss have all the tools to hang with Brazil, but how physical will they want to make it for the favorites? Granit Xhaka will be one to watch as the underdogs try to balance a desire to get forward with the danger of doing so against a potent Brazil.


Brazil quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 1
World Cup titles: 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
World Cup appearances: 22
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (1st place)
Coach: Tite
Key players: Neymar, Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Alisson Becker

Switzerland quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 15
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 12
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Murat Yakin
Key players: Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Yann Sommer, Remo Freuler

Brazil vs Switzerland live

World Cup 2022 schedule – how to watch, groups, calendar, match schedule, brackets, dates

2 Comments

The World Cup 2022 schedule is locked in and the start to the tournament in Qatar has been sensational as action throughout November and December will capture the imagination of the world.

[ LIVE: Watch World Cup en Espanol en Peacock ]

Saudi Arabia, Japan and Morocco have already pulled off huge upset wins over Argentina, Germany and Belgium respectively as the tournament has got off to a flying start.

From the USMNT drawing against England the day after Thanksgiving to Lionel Messi saving Argentina against Mexico in the group stages, Spain squaring off with Germany and upsets galore, there are plenty of intriguing games in the opening round.

[ MORE: World Cup rosters for all 32 teams ]

Then we have the Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, and final to look forward to. Bring. It. On.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]  

Below is the schedule in full, details on how to watch the games and everything else you need..

[ MORE: World Cup odds ]


World Cup 2022 schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live

  • When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
  • Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 10am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
  • Location: Qatar
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
  • Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Follow along with ProSoccerTalk for the latest news, scores, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 World Cup, and be sure to subscribe to NBC Sports on YouTube!


Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Group E | Group F | Group G | Group H

Group A schedule (all kick off times ET)

Recap/highlights: Qatar 0-2 Ecuador – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Senegal 0-2 Netherlands – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Qatar 1-3 Senegal – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Tuesday, November 29: Netherlands vs Qatar (preview) – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 10am
Tuesday, November 29: Ecuador vs Senegal (preview)–  Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Group B schedule

Recap/highlights: England 6-2 Iran – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: USA 1-1 Wales – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: England 0-0 USA – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Wales 0-2 Iran – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Tuesday, November 29: Wales vs England (preview) – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Tuesday November 29: Iran vs USA (preview) – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

Group C schedule

Recap/highlights: Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Mexico 0-0 Poland – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Argentina 2-0 Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Poland 2-0 Saudi Arabia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Wednesday, November 30: Poland vs Argentina (preview) – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm
Wednesday, November 30: Saudi Arabia vs Mexico (preview) – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm

Group D schedule

Recap/highlights: France 4-1 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Denmark 0-0 Tunisia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: France 2-1 Denmark – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Tunisia 0-1 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Wednesday, November 30: Tunisia vs France (preview) –  Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Wednesday, November 30: Australia vs Denmark (preview) – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am

Group E schedule

Recap/highlights: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Germany 1-2 Japan – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Spain 1-1 Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Japan 0-1 Costa Rica – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Thursday, December 1: Japan vs Spain – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Thursday, December 1: Costa Rica vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

Group F schedule

Recap/highlights: Belgium 1-0 Canada – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Morocco 0-0 Croatia – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Belgium 0-2 Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Croatia 4-1 Canada – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Thursday, December 1: Croatia vs Belgium (preview) – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Thursday, December 1: Canada vs Morocco (preview) – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 10am

Group G schedule

Recap/highlights: Brazil 2-0 Serbia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Monday, November 28: Brazil vs Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha – 11am
Recap/highlights: Cameroon 3-3 Serbia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Friday, December 2: Cameroon vs Brazil – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
Friday, December 2: Serbia vs Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm

Group H schedule

Recap/highlights: Portugal 3-2 Ghana – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Uruguay 0-0 South Korea – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Monday, November 28: Portugal vs Uruguay (preview) – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
Recap/highlights: South Korea 2-3 Ghana – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Friday, December 2: South Korea vs Portugal – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Friday, December 2: Ghana vs Uruguay – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am


Round of 16 schedule

Match 49 – Saturday, December 3: Winner Group A vs Runners up Group B – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 50 – Saturday, December 3:  Winners Group C vs Runners up Group D – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm

Match 52 – Sunday, December 4: Winners Group D vs Runners up Group C – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha – 10am

Match 51 – Sunday, December 4: Winners Group B vs Runners up Group A – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

Match 53 – Monday, December 5: Winners Group E vs Runners up Group F – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am

Match 54 – Monday, December 5: Winners Group G vs Runners up Group H – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm

Match 55 – Tuesday, December 6: Winners Group F vs Runners up Group E – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 56 – Tuesday, December 6: Winners Group H vs Runners up Group G – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm


Quarterfinal schedule

Match 58 – Friday, December 9: Winners Match 53 vs Winners Match 54 – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 57 – Friday, December 9: Winners Match 49 vs Winners Match 50 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 10am

Match 60 – Saturday, December 10: Winners Match 55 vs Winners Match 56 – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha – 10am

Match 59 – Saturday, December 10: Winners Match 51 vs Winners Match 52 – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Semifinal schedule

Match 61 – Tuesday, December 13: Winners Match 57 vs Winners Match 58 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm

Match 62 – Wednesday, December 14: Winners Match 59 vs Winners Match 60 – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Third-place play-off

Match 63 – Saturday, December 17: Losers Match 61 vs Losers Match 62 – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm


Final

Match 64 – Sunday, December 18: Winners Match 61 vs Winners Match 62 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 10am

Iran vs USA: How to watch live, USMNT stream link, team news

0 Comments

The United States men’s national team seeks a return to the knockout rounds and that’ll only come with a win over Iran at 2pm ET Saturday inside Al Thumama Stadium in Al Khor.

STREAM LIVE IRAN vs USA

It doesn’t matter what Wales does vs England at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan because England already has four points and a draw would give Iran four as well.

The Yanks’ two draws mandate a win-or-go-home mentality on Saturday and there are multiple generations worth of redemption up for grabs after the USMNT was felled by Iran at the 1998 World Cup and failed to qualify for the 2018 tourney in Russia.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

How can Gregg Berhalter unlock the USMNT attack to get the goal or goals he’ll need to reach a date with Group B’s winner or runner-up?

Here is everything you need for Iran vs USA.


How to watch Iran vs USA live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Tuesday Nov. 29
Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

For Iran, it’s about riding the momentum of a huge win after finding inspiration in a huge loss. There’s an ocean’s worth of difference in emotion between the 6-2 tournament-opening loss to England in Al Rayyan and the 2-0 triumph over Wales In the same city. Can Mehdi Taremi or Sardar Azmoun succeed where Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling could not and break down the USMNT defense for a goal?

Meanwhile, the Yanks may still be lamenting a 1-1 draw with Wales as much as they are celebrating a strong performance that kept them unbeaten against England at the World Cup after a scoreless draw with Gareth Southgate’s men In Al Khor. Gregg Berhalter has to find a way to unlock the USMNT’s final-third woes when they hit Al Khor on Tuesday.


Iran quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 20
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group A)
Coach: Dragan Skocic
Key players: Ehsan Hajsafi, Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi

USA quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 16
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 9
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (3rd place)
Coach: Gregg Berhalter
Key players: Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams