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Premier League roundup: Foxes can smell title, West Ham laments PK, big win for Norwich

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Leicester City took another step toward winning the Premier League, Norwich City took a stride toward staying up, and Crystal Palace is still without a Premier League win in 2016.

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Those are just some of the talking points from an under-the-radar Saturday in England’s top-flight.

Crystal Palace 0-1 Leicester City — RECAP

Still top of the league. Still top of the leeeeeague. They’re Leicester City, and they’re still top of the league.

Foxes look increasingly likely to win the Premier League, as old pals Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez linked up to give Leicester City a 1-0 win at Selhurst Park. The lead is 8 points ahead of Spurs’ Sunday match against Bournemouth, while Saturday’s hosts are slipping closer to the relegation zone, with Norwich winning and Sunderland and/or Newcastle to pick up points on Sunday. There have been no Premier League wins for Palace in 2016. Zero.

Chelsea 2-2 West Ham UnitedRECAP

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 19:  Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Chelsea is challenged by Michail Antonio of West Ham United resulting in a penalty during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 19, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Oh, this one was controversial. West Ham led twice thanks to Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll goals, but Cesc Fabregas scored a pair of equalizers to stop the Irons from reaching the Top Four. The first one was a gorgeous free kick, but the second was the conversion of a suspect penalty. Ruben Loftus-Cheek appeared to either trip over his feet or catch the very edge of Michail Antonio‘s boot just outside the West Ham, but the penalty was given and converted by Fabregas (who actually completely stopped his momentum on the PK attempt). Slaven Bilic was furious, and the Irons are a point back of fourth-place Man City.

Everton 0-2 Arsenal — RECAP

Everton played very poorly, and Arsenal made the Toffees pay dearly at Goodison Park. First Danny Welbeck was the beneficiary of some very smart football before sliding around Joel Robles, and then Alex Iwobi scored his first Premier League goal as the Toffees never really looked like a comeback was possible.

 

West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Norwich CityRECAP

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - MARCH 19:  Robbie Brady of Norwich City celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City at The Hawthorns on March 19, 2016 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Sunday’s Tyne-Wear Derby got a whole lot more intense after Norwich City won to push Sunderland into the drop zone with Newcastle United. Robbie Brady scored for the Canaries, who picked up their first win in any competition since Jan. 2. Norwich is three points clear of 18th place Sunderland, and four ahead of 19th place Newcastle.

Watford 1-2 Stoke CityRECAP

The Potters carried the play, and the day, although Troy Deeney scored late to produce a bit of drama at Vicarage Road. Jon Walters had a goal and an assist for Stoke, and Joselu scored the other goal as Stoke sits 7th.

Swansea City 1-0 Aston VillaRECAP

A sloppy affair at the Liberty Stadium saw the home side take all three points after Brad Guzan punched a free kick off Federico Fernandez and in. Swansea is almost certainly staying up, while Villa is all but in the Championship.

SUNDAY
Newcastle United vs. Sunderland — 9:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
Southampton vs. Liverpool — 9:30 a.m. ET (Premier League ExtraTime)
Manchester City vs. Manchester United — Noon ET (NBC)
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Bournemouth — Noon ET (Premier League ExtraTime)

Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Leicester City 31 19 9 3 54 31 23 9-5-1 10-4-2 66
Tottenham Hotspur 30 16 10 4 53 24 29 8-5-2 8-5-2 58
Arsenal 30 16 7 7 48 30 18 8-3-3 8-4-4 55
Manchester City 29 15 6 8 52 31 21 10-1-4 5-5-4 51
West Ham United 30 13 11 6 47 35 12 7-5-2 6-6-4 50
Manchester United 29 13 8 8 37 27 10 8-4-2 5-4-6 47
Stoke City 31 13 7 11 34 37 -3 7-2-6 6-5-5 46
Southampton 30 12 8 10 38 30 8 7-3-5 5-5-5 44
Liverpool 28 12 8 8 43 37 6 5-5-3 7-3-5 44
Chelsea 30 10 11 9 45 41 4 5-7-4 5-4-5 41
West Bromwich Albion 30 10 9 11 30 37 -7 6-4-6 4-5-5 39
Everton 29 9 11 9 51 41 10 4-4-8 5-7-1 38
Bournemouth 30 10 8 12 38 47 -9 5-4-6 5-4-6 38
Watford 30 10 7 13 30 32 -2 5-4-7 5-3-6 37
Swansea City 31 9 9 13 31 40 -9 6-5-5 3-4-8 36
Crystal Palace 30 9 6 15 32 40 -8 4-2-10 5-4-5 33
Norwich City 31 7 7 17 32 54 -22 4-5-6 3-2-11 28

Sunderland 29 6 7 16 35 54 -19 4-4-6 2-3-10 25
Newcastle United 29 6 6 17 28 54 -26 4-5-5 2-1-12 24
Aston Villa 31 3 7 21 22 58 -36 2-4-9 1-3-12 16

Premier League confirm zero positive COVID-19 test results

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Following the latest batch of tests on players and club staff the Premier League have revealed that there were zero positive COVID-19 results out of 1,973 tests from Monday 29 June to Sunday 5 July.

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With the twelfth round of testing now completed in the Premier League, a total of 16,280 COVID-19 tests have now been carried out with 18 positive results.

All players and staff at Premier League clubs will be tested twice a week during the strict return to training protocols put in place, as games are now up and running after a restart date of June 17 has been set.

Here is the statement from the Premier League in full on the latest result:


The Premier League can today confirm that between Monday 29 June and Sunday 5 July, 1,973 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, zero have tested positive.

The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency. No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public after each round of testing.

Previous test results

Round 1: 17-18 May – 748 tested, with six testing positive from three clubs.
Round 2: 19-22 May – 996 tested, with two testing positive from two clubs.
Round 3: 25-26 May – 1,008 tested, with four testing positive from two clubs.
Round 4: 28-29 May – 1,130 tested, with zero testing positive.
Round 5: 1-2 June – 1,197 tested, with one testing positive.
Round 6: 4-5 June – 1,195 tested, with zero testing positive.
Round 7: 8-9 June – 1,213 tested, with one testing positive.
Round 8: 11-12 June – 1,200 tested, with two testing positive from two clubs.
Round 9: 15-16 June – 1,541 tested, with one testing positive.
Round 10: 17-21 June – 1,829 tested, with one testing positive.
Round 11: 22-28 June – 2,250 tested, with zero testing positive.
Round 12: 29 June – July 5 – 1,973 tested, with zero testing positive.

Premier League odds: Matchweek 34

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Check out the EPL betting odds for the games in Matchweek 34, as the Premier League return continues with games coming thick and fast.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Take a look below at the odds for the Premier League games in midweek, as the action has resumed following the suspension on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Click on the link above to watch all of the games live via our platforms here at NBC Sports, while below are the individual EPL betting odds for each game via DraftKings.

[ MORE: Prince-Wright’s Premier League predictions ]

Also, click play on the video above to watch my predictions for the games and where you should focus your attention this weekend as the Premier League action continues to come right at us.


Matchweek 33

Tuesday, July 7: (+650) Crystal Palace v. Chelsea (-220), Tie: +335
Tuesday, July 7: (-152) Watford v. Norwich (+440), Tie: +285
Tuesday, July 7: (+125) Arsenal v. Leicester (+220), Tie: +245
Wednesday, July 8: (-835) Man City v. Newcastle (+2000), Tie: +245
Wednesday, July 8: (+310) Sheffield United v. Wolves (+107), Tie: +210
Wednesday, July 8: (+104) West Ham v. Burnley (+285), Tie: +235
Wednesday, July 8: (+510) Brighton v. Liverpool (-182), Tie: +320
Thursday, July 9: (+100) Everton v. Southampton (+270), Tie: +255
Thursday, July 9: (+425) Bournemouth v. Tottenham (-157), Tie: +310
Thursday, July 9: (+900) Aston Villa v. Man United (-315), Tie: +420

Crystal Palace – Chelsea preview: How to watch, odds, team news, prediction

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Crystal Palace – Chelsea promises to be an intriguing clash at Selhurst Park on Tuesday (start time, 1pm ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in a London derby.

Christian Pulisic continues to be the main man for Chelsea as the USMNT star put in another superb display in their 3-0 win against Watford and the Blues remain on track to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.

CRYSTAL PALACE – CHELSEA STREAM LIVE

As for Palace, they have lost their last three games on the trot without scoring and Roy Hodgson’s side look destined for a midtable finish.

Below is everything you need to know ahead of Crystal Palace – Chelsea on Tuesday.


Team news

Palace will be without James Tomkins, Jeffrey Schlupp and Martin Kelly, while Hodgson may bring back Cheikhou Kouyate, Scott Dann and James McCarthy as they were rested.

Chelsea will be without N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic through injury, as Fikayo Tomori is also out.

What they’re saying

Roy Hodgson on facing Chelsea: “They a very, very good team with many, many good players and, irrespective of our own position in this moment in time, all we can do is prepare for it, get ready for it and look forward to it – I do look forward to it, and I know all the players are looking forward to the game. I know we will do our best, work very hard and make life as difficult for them as possible. But we 100% aware of all the challenges, with the quality that they have, that they’re going to present us.”

Frank Lampard on the threat of Man United to their place in the top four: “They’re closest, they’re a very strong team, they’re in great form for a long period of time. They have got really good individual players. You have seen the momentum they have gained across their front three, all scoring, lots of goals. They’re the biggest threat from behind, but this is the Premier League. It looks that way today, but it’s how each team finishes the season.”

Odds and ends

Crystal Palace are huge underdogs (+650) as Chelsea (-220) are the red-hot favorites given their three wins from their first four games of the restart. The tie at +335 is where the value is at because as we saw with Chelsea’s shock defeat at West Ham last week, they can be dominated from set pieces and hit on the counter. Those two aspects are huge strengths of Palace’s game.

Prediction

We are all expecting a Chelsea win here but don’t be surprised if Wilfried Zaha has a day at makes it a very tough outing for this leaky Chelsea defense. Palace have been fired up and shocked Chelsea before but I think the Blues, led by Pulisic, have too much for Palace. 3-1 to Chelsea.

Transfer news: Havertz to Chelsea; Saint-Maximin to Arsenal

Kai Havertz to Chelsea
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In the latest Premier League transfer news Kai Havertz to Chelsea continues to gather steam, while Allan Saint-Maximin is linked with a move to Arsenal.

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Starting in west London, Kai Havertz continues to be linked with Chelsea and a report from the Daily Express says that Frank Lampard is willing to sell six players to sign the Bayer Leverkusen and Germany 21-year-old.

Per the report, Marcos Alonso, Michy Batshuayi, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Kenedy, Danny Drinkwater and Emerson Palmeri are the players Chelsea want to offload in order to afford a move for Havertz, plus bring in a new left back.

Havertz has been a star for Leverkusen during the 2019-20 season but they just missed out on qualifying for the Champions League and lost in the German Cup final at the weekend. Havertz is due to play for Bayer in the UEFA Europa League in August, but will he be a Chelsea player by then?

With Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech joining Chelsea this summer, Lampard has a host of attacking options to choose from but Havertz is seen as one of the top young attacking midfield talents and he can also play as a false nine. Chelsea would have to spend close to $112 million to sign him but if they can replace quantity with quality, this has to be the way to go for Lampard.

Chelsea are in a strong financial position given the money they saved during their FIFA transfer ban and with the market values currently low due to the coronavirus pandemic, they have pounced to sign Werner and Ziyech.

Saint-Maximin to Arsenal
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Switching to north London, Allan Saint-Maximin has been linked with a move to Arsenal once again. Saint-Maximin, 23, has been sensational since arriving at Newcastle from Nice last summer for $19 million.

The French winger is full of tricks and flicks and his unpredictability is key to his success, with four goals and four assists in all competitions.

According to a report from Le10 Sport in France, Arsenal are among the clubs trying to sign him this summer with Tottenham and Napoli also in the running. It is reported that Arsenal have contacted Saint-Maximin’s agents to see what he thinks about a move to north London.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette potentially leaving this summer, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka would be Arsenal’s main attacking threats, so they could do with some reinforcements in this area. Especially as Mesut Ozil appears to be out of Mikel Arteta’s plans.

Saint-Maximin certainly has the talent to be a main main on a top six team in the Premier League. Could we see his famous Gucci headband and somersaults coming to the Emirates Stadium?