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La Liga & Serie A: Villarreal close in on UCL; Napoli keep title race going

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A roundup of Sunday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights…

[ MORE: Saturday’s La Liga & Serie A roundup ]

Villarreal 2-0 Getafe

Villarreal are eight points clear with six games to go in the race for UEFA Champions League qualification after knocking off Getafe at home on Sunday. Denis Suarez (15th minute) and Cedric Bakambu (84th) provided the goals for Marcelino García Toral’s side as they inched three points closer to locking up fourth place. Villarreal could also qualify for next season’s Champions League by winning this season’s UEFA Europa League (they hold a 2-1 lead over Sparta Prague after the first league of their quarterfinal tie).

Valencia 2-1 Sevilla

With Villarreal all but locking up fourth place, Sevilla’s only chance of getting into UCL next season is to win this season’s Europa League. Good news for them: they’re UEL ringers, having won the competition each of the last two seasons and currently holding a 2-1 lead over Athletic Bilbao in this year’s quarters. However, Sunday’s loss to Valencia puts them in danger of failing to even qualify for UEL next season, should they fail to win it this year. For 85 minutes, they looked like 1-0 losers (Daniel Parejo opened the scoring in the 41st minute), then from minutes 86-90 they looked certain for a 1-1 draw (Kevin Gameiro equalized on 86 minutes), then it was all undone by Alvaro Negredo’s 91st-minute winner.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Sporting Gijon 0-1 Celta Vigo
Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Rayo Vallecano

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Barcelona 32 24 4 4 87 27 60 14-1-1 10-3-3 76
Atlético Madrid 32 23 4 5 54 16 38 11-3-1 12-1-4 73
Real Madrid 32 22 6 4 93 29 64 14-1-2 8-5-2 72
Villarreal 32 17 9 6 41 26 15 12-3-2 5-6-4 60
Celta Vigo 32 15 7 10 45 52 -7 7-5-4 8-2-6 52
Athletic 32 15 6 11 50 40 10 9-4-3 6-2-8 51
Sevilla 32 13 9 10 45 39 6 13-0-3 0-9-7 48

Napoli 3-0 Hellas Verona

No Gonzalo Higuain — he of 30 goals scored in 31 league games this season — no problem for Napoli against bottom-of-the-league Hellas Verona. Manolo Gabbiadini, Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon each chipped in with a goal apiece (below videos). That’s four wins in five for Napoli, but nowhere near enough to keep pace with league leaders and champions-elect Juventus (21 wins in their last 22 league games) in the race for the title. With six games to go, Juve lead Napoil by six points. The gap between Napoli and third-place Roma, who play on Monday, is currently seven points.

Empoli 2-0 Fiorentina

At one point this season, Fiorentina looked legitimate contenders for the title. Now, with six games to go, they’re holding onto UEL qualification for dear life. Sunday’s loss away to Empoli makes it six games without a win for Paulo Sousa’s side. Manuel Pucciarelli and Piotr Zielinski bagged the goals that sentenced the Viola to yet another disappointing result, dropping them from fourth, where they began the weekend, to fifth, where they’re one spot away from falling all the way out of European competition next season.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Torino 2-1 Atalanta
Sampdoria 2-0 Udinese
Palermo 0-3 Lazio

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Juventus 32 24 4 4 58 17 41 12-2-1 12-2-3 76
Napoli 32 21 7 4 66 27 39 13-3-0 8-4-4 70
Roma 31 18 9 4 66 32 34 10-4-1 8-5-3 63
Inter Milan 32 17 7 8 42 30 12 10-2-4 7-5-4 58
Fiorentina 32 16 8 8 51 35 16 10-4-2 6-4-6 56
AC Milan 32 13 10 9 42 35 7 9-4-3 4-6-6 49

Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks

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Here are the latest Prince-Wright‘s Premier League picks ahead of Matchweek 28 in the Premier League, with eight games on the slate due to the League Cup final between Aston Villa and Man City on Sunday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

If you, like me, love to dissect all the games and predict what the score will be and which team will win, I encourage you to get involved in the comments section below. Let’s have a bit of fun with these Premier League games.

Okay, so I’ve consulted my crystal ball and here’s how we see things panning out. Listen carefully, because this is very specific.

While you can download the NBC Sports Predictor app (below) and play the Premier League Pick ‘Em game yourself to predict the scores and win the prizes.


With the first section labelled “basically, free money” for the picks I think are dead certs. The section labelled “don’t touch this” means if you’re betting I advise you to stay clear, while the “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” section are the long shots. If it is better odds you are after, those are the picks to go for.


Crystal Palace 3-1 Brighton – (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Watford 0-2 Liverpool – (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM


West Ham 1-1 Southampton – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM]

Norwich 1-2 Leicester – (Friday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Everton 2-1 Man United – (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Newcastle 2-1 Burnley – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM


Bournemouth 1-0 Chelsea – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Tottenham 1-3 Wolves – (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

Predicting the 2020 MLS standings

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The 2020 Major League Soccer season is almost here and it is time to assess the offseason for each of the 26 teams and predict how they will stack up in the standings.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage

Our writers have been asked to predict where each team will finish in the table this season and with two new teams arriving in Nashville SC and Inter Miami, plus plenty of changes in terms of players and coaches across MLS, this was not an easy task. At all.

As we all know by now, Major League Soccer loves to keep it weird and plenty of teams will no doubt surprise us all. Until then, we are going with our hunch.

Below we reveal how we think both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference will look at the end of the 2020 regular season.

Joe Prince-Wright

Eastern Conference
1. Atlanta United
2. New York City FC
3. Toronto FC
4. Philadelphia Union
5. D.C. United
6. New York Red Bulls
7.  Inter Miami
8. Montreal Impact
9. New England Revolution
10. Columbus Crew SC
11. Chicago Fire
12. FC Cincinnati
13. Orlando City SC

Western Conference
2. LA Galaxy
3. Sporting Kansas City
4. Seattle Sounders
5. Minnesota United
6. Real Salt Lake
7. Portland Timbers
8. Colorado Rapids
9. FC Dallas
10. San Jose Earthquakes
11. Houston Dynamo
12. Vancouver Whitecaps
13. Nashville SC

Nick Mendola

Eastern Conference
2. Atlanta United
3. Toronto FC
4. DC United
5. Philadelphia Union
6. Chicago Fire
7. Columbus Crew
8. Montreal Impact
9. FC Cincinnati
10. New England Revolution
11. Orlando City
12. Inter Miami
13. New York Red Bulls

Western Conference
2. Portland Timbers
3. LA Galaxy
4. Sporting KC
5. Seattle Sounders
6. FC Dallas
7. San Jose Earthquakes
8. Colorado Rapids
9. Vancouver Whitecaps
10. Houston Dynamo
11. Real Salt Lake
12. Minnesota United
13. Nashville SC

Andy Edwards

Eastern Conference
1. New York City FC
2. Atlanta United
3. Toronto FC
4. Philadelphia Union
5. D.C. United
6. Montreal Impact
7. New England Revolution
8. Columbus Crew SC
9. Inter Miami
10. New York Red Bulls
11. Chicago Fire
12. Orlando City SC
13. FC Cincinnati

Western Conference
1. Seattle Sounders
3. LA Galaxy
4. Real Salt Lake
5. FC Dallas
6. Sporting Kansas City
7. Colorado Rapids
8. Portland Timbers
9. Minnesota United
10. Houston Dynamo
11. San Jose Earthquakes
12. Vancouver Whitecaps
13. Nashville SC

Kyle Bonn

Eastern Conference
1. Atlanta
2. Toronto
5. Philadelphia
6. D.C. United
7. NE Revs
8. Inter Miami
9. Columbus
10. Orlando City
11. Montreal Impact
12. FC Cincinnati
13. Chicago Fire

Western Conference
2. Seattle
3. Portland
4. RSL
5. LA Galaxy
6. FC Dallas
7. Minnesota
8. San Jose Quakes
9. Sporting KC
10. Houston
11. Vancouver
12. Nashville
13. Colorado

Premier League TV, streaming schedule

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The Premier League TV schedule is set and we have your stream links as Matchweek 28 is going to be a lot of fun. Get in there.

Remember, there are eight games this week due to the League Cup final between Aston Villa and Man City.

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The full TV schedule for the games this weekend are below, plus you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC Sports.com,the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold.

Gold also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today, Sky Sports News, NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: Premier League live here ] 

You can also watch Premier League “Goal Rush” for all the goals as they go in around the grounds. Goal Rush is available via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports App.

[ MORE: Premier League “Goal Rush” ] 

If you’re looking for full-event replays of Premier League games, you can find them here for the games streamed on NBCSports.com and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

Here’s your full TV schedule and Premier League stream links for the coming days.


3 p.m. ET: Norwich v. Leicester – NBCSN [STREAM]

7:30 a.m. ET: Brighton v. Crystal Palace – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Bournemouth v. Chelsea – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Newcastle v. Burnley – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: West Ham v. Southampton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
12:30 p.m. ET: Watford v. Liverpool – NBCSN [STREAM]

9 a.m. ET: Tottenham v. Wolves – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
9 a.m. ET: Everton v. Man United – NBCSN [STREAM]

In the Mixed Zone with JPW: Episode 2

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NBC Sports’ Pro Soccer Talk lead writer and editor Joe Prince-Wright shares his behind-the-scenes access into the Premier League mixed zones highlighting the intriguing interviews from this week’s marquee matches.

This week, JPW shares his mixed zone interviews from Southampton-Aston Villa, Chelsea-Tottenham and Man United-Watford, talks Champions League and previews Matchweek 28.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

He also spoke exclusively with Will Smallbone, Southampton’s latest top academy product who made his PL debut in their win against Aston Villa.

“We’ve had quite a lot of players come through the ranks and you look up to them when you’re younger. To come through myself and hopefully do the best I can, it is very special,” Smallbone said.

To listen to more from the mixed zone with Joe Prince-Wright as he takes you deep inside stadiums, subscribe to In the Mixed Zone with JPW Podcast on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

And you can follow him on Twitter @JPW_NBCSports here.

Click here for In the Mixed Zone with archive ]

Click play below to listen to Episode 2 in full.