Goal of FIFA membership sets up new soccer politics problem

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GENEVA (AP) Despite FIFA’s ongoing image crisis fueled by corruption cases, membership of the organization remains a goal being pursued with passion.

Still, joining soccer’s world body – gaining entry to World Cup qualifying and million-dollar FIFA funding – can create new political problems on and off the field, including for players.

On Friday, the 209 national soccer federations who make up FIFA should add two more members at a meeting in Mexico City.

Kosovo and Gibraltar can expect to join the club, and then be fast-tracked into the 2018 World Cup qualifying groups which kick off in September.

Kosovo’s case is the more complex, posing the question of who is able to play for the largely ethnic Albanian former enclave of Serbia.

“There are many players in Europe (that) Kosovo may call, and they have expressed the desire to choose Kosovo colors,” the national federation spokesman Fazli Berisha told The Associated Press in an email reply.

It could see a wave of transfer requests to FIFA from players who opted to represent countries, including Albania and Switzerland, before Kosovo started to get international soccer recognition just two years ago.

The player eligibility issue was raised, and not resolved, when Kosovo was elected a member of UEFA last week. That win cleared the way for FIFA’s vote.

The Swiss federation led calls to delay taking Kosovo into UEFA. Its European Championship squad next month should have several Kosovo-eligible players, including midfield stars Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, aged 24 and 23, respectively.

It would be unfair to put players on the spot of having to choose, Swiss federation secretary general Alex Miescher said.

“Whatever they decide upon will not be for a nation, but against a nation,” Miescher told UEFA’s congress. “This will create a lot, a lot of problems.”

FIFA declined to comment in detail ahead of meetings in Mexico City, but noted that its player status committee decides if players can switch allegiance. That panel is on new ground. Typically, players who are eligible for more than one country are allowed to move once, and only if their appearance for initial country was not in a senior competitive international match.

Now, FIFA must consider what to do with established senior internationals who previously did not have Kosovo as an option.

“We’ve asked (FIFA) the question in a very direct way, and we’d like to receive a clear answer,” UEFA legal director Alasdair Bell said last week.

Assuming Kosovo joins FIFA, all parties seem to agree decisions should wait until the European Championship, in France, finishes in July.

The Albania vs. Switzerland match on June 11 in Lens has an extra angle since the Group A draw was made in December.

“I will be there to be Swiss, like all my teammates,” Valon Behrami, the 31-year-old, Kosovo-born Switzerland midfielder, told the Tribune de Geneve daily. “We will see after the Euro. This is such a personal choice that you should not interfere.”

Albania soccer leader Armand Duka has been more positive than his Swiss counterparts.

“We might be afraid we could be losing (players) but this is not the issue,” Duka said, urging a vote for UEFA membership to develop the game in Kosovo.

Serbia refuses to recognize Kosovo’s declaration of political independence in 2008 – which is accepted by more than 100 United Nations member states – and has pledged to challenge its neighbor’s soccer recognition at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

It is likely FIFA and UEFA will need to separate the Serbia and Kosovo national teams and clubs in competition draws for several years.

Similarly, Gibraltar and Spain teams have been kept apart since the British territory joined UEFA in 2013.

Swiss official Miescher suggested to UEFA members that where Kosovo plays its home matches could also be a security issue.

Less than four months before 2018 World Cup qualifying groups in Europe kick off, FIFA and UEFA must work quickly if the new members join on Friday.

There are vacant slots in two five-team groups, though Kosovo is again the complication.

When FIFA decided in 2014 that members could play Kosovo in international friendlies, it did not lift a block on matches involving the former Yugoslavia republics, in order to avoid regional tensions.

The qualifying groups able to accept Kosovo and Gibraltar have Croatia in one and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the other. The Croatia group is preferred, Kosovo spokesman Berisha said.

For a scandal-hit FIFA trying to prioritize the game again ahead of soccer politics, the two are not always easy to divide.

Associated Press writer Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania contributed to this report

Premier League player Power Rankings

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Premier League player Power Rankings are here!

Our second player Power Rankings of the 2020-21 season have arrived, as all 20 teams have played and we are coming off the highest scoring matchweek in Premier League history with 44 goals scored across the 10 games.

Simply put: it was incredibly tough to put 20 players in this list based on the crazy results across the Premier League.

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Stars from Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton dominate our second player Power Rankings and there are plenty of new signings who have impressed early in the season.

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Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League. If they didn’t play in the last matchweek, they aren’t going to be in this list!

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections.


1. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
2. James Rodriguez (Everton)
3. Kevin de Bruyne (Man City)
4. Harry Kane (Tottenham)
5. Heung-min Son (Tottenham)
6. Fabinho (Liverpool)
7. Tariq Lamptey (Brighton)
8. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
9. Raul Jimenez (Wolves)
10. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
11. Gabriel (Arsenal)
12. Dani Ceballos (Arsenal)
13. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
14. Vicente Guaita (Crystal Palace)
15. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
16. Patrick Bamford (Leeds)
17. Timothy Castagne (Leicester)
18. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
19. Andy Robertson (Liverpool)
20. Kalvin Phillips (Leeds)

Semedo completes $47 million move to Wolves

Semedo to Wolves
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“Nelson Semedo to Wolves for $47 million” is a statement most Wolverhampton Wanderers fans will be scratching their heads at.

But it has happened.

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Semedo, 26, has joined Wolves from Barcelona in a deal which could rise to $47 million if certain add ons are met (top four, being successful in Europe etc.).

The Portuguese international right back had a tough few seasons at Barcelona which culminated in Alphonso Davies ripping him to shreds in Bayern Munich’s 8-2 demolition of Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals in August.

Semedo is happy to have a fresh start and adds to the extremely strong Portuguese contingent at Wolves. If he can replicate his form at Benfica, then Wolves have got themselves one of the best right backs in Europe.

“I chose Wolves because it’s a very good team that plays very good football,” Semedo said. “Last year they did a very good season and it’s a very important team in England, in also Europe. I hope this year we can do very good things.”

This summer Portuguese coach Nuno Espirito Santo has brought in new Portuguese Vitinha (on loan), Semedo and Fabio Silva to strengthen his central midfield, right back and forward options.

Add that trio to Rui Patricio, Ruben Vinagre, Roderick, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves and Daniel Podence and Wolves could have 10 of their 11 starters from Portugal. If they hadn’t just sold Diogo Jota to Liverpool they could have had all 11. No wonder Wolves’ new third kit is in the same color and design as the Portugal home kit. (Look at the photo above!)

Semedo will be better suited to being a right wing-back in Wolves’ 3-5-2 system and he is the replacement for Matt Doherty who joined Tottenham this summer. Semedo is very good going forward but isn’t a right back in the sense that he doesn’t excel defensively.

At Wolves he will have the cover of the three center backs next to him, so this should work out well.

We also can’t overlook the fact that super agent Jorge Mendes is Semedo’s agent and is also a senior adviser at Wolves as their Chinese ownership group has close links with Mendes. Hence a huge number of his best clients arriving to play for his first-ever client, Nuno.

This influence is having a huge impact on the players that Wolves can attract and despite Semedo’s shaky displays in a Barcelona side in disarray, overall this should be a very good signing for them.

NBC Sports Premier League schedule

NBC Sports Premier League schedule
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The new NBC Sports Premier League schedule for the 2020-21 season has been released with dates for the new campaign confirmed and details on how to watch Premier League in the USA on TV and via Peacock online all below.

Are you ready?

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Premier League games will be aired across NBC and NBCSN this season, with games also streamed live online via Peacock which replaces NBC Sports Gold. The Premier League schedule is now confirmed with the opening day, festive fixtures and final day all set and below you will find all of the details on how to watch Premier League in the USA.

Premier League schedule release day is always a fun time for fans across the world and now you need to find out exactly how to watch the Premier League in the USA as the new season starts on September 12.

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Game times for September have been published, as the TV schedule for the opening month of the season has also been released. With the 2020-21 season coming less than seven weeks after the 2019-20 season finished, things will be getting back into action very quickly.

‘Project Restart’ was a big success as the league returned on June 17 after being suspended on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Just like the end to the 2019-20 campaign, the start of the 2020-21 season will see games played in empty stadiums at home venues but the UK government hope to have some fans back in attendance by early October.

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The full Premier League schedule and details on how to watch Premier League in the USA this season are below.

The Premier League schedule one of the key parts of the new streaming platform, and to watch PL games you will have to sign up to an ad-supported premium tier for $4.99/month, serving no more than five minutes of advertising per hour. An ad-free version of the premium tier is also available for $9.99/month. For more on the Premier League schedule on Peacock, click here.

Peacock and Roku have also announced that Peacock is now available nationwide on the Roku platform. Premier League fans who use the platform can now find exclusive Peacock Premium matches on Roku.

Peacock is widely available across Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; the Roku platform; Google platforms and devices including Android™, Android TV™ devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices; Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X; and VIZIO SmartCast™ TVs and LG Smart TVs; as well as Sony PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro. Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers, as well as eligible Cox Contour customers, enjoy Peacock Premium included with their service at no additional cost.

If you haven’t yet checked it out and would like a free 7-day preview of the Peacock Premium service, which will include access to all of this weekend’s live Premier League matches, you can sign up here.

PEACOCK PREMIUM TO FEATURE MORE THAN 175 EXCLUSIVE PREMIER LEAGUE MATCHES IN 2020-21 SEASON

NBC Sports and Peacock will present more than 175 exclusive Premier League matches on Peacock Premium in the 2020-21 season. In total, Peacock Premium will present more than 1,500 hours of Premier League live match and shoulder programming – the most robust offering ever available in the U.S. Included are full-event replays for all 380 matches on-demand (after 9 p.m. ET).

All content presented on NBC Sports Gold’s “Premier League Pass” will shift exclusively to Peacock Premium for the start of the 2020-21 Premier League season. For more information, click here.

Below is the Premier League schedule on NBC Sports for September 12 to May 23 (all games 10am ET unless otherwise stated) as the channels and times for games will be confirmed in due course and here’s how to watch the Premier League in the USA.


Premier League: How to watch Premier League in USA, full schedule (all times EST)

Saturday 12 September

Fulham 0-3 Arsenal – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Crystal Palace 1-0 Southampton – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Liverpool 4-3 Leeds United – NBC – FULL MATCH REPLAY
West Ham 0-2 Newcastle United – Peacock Premium – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Saturday 13 September

West Brom 0-3 Leicester City – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Spurs 0-1 Everton – Peacock Premium – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Burnley v Man Utd (Postponed to later date due to European appearance)
Man City v Aston Villa (Postponed to later date due to European appearance)

Monday 14 September

Sheffield United 0-2 Wolves – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Brighton 1-3 Chelsea – Peacock Premium – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Saturday 19 September

Everton 5-2 West Brom – Peacock Premium – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Leeds United 4-3 Fulham – Peacock Premium – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Manchester United 1-3 Crystal Palace – Peacock Premium – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Arsenal 2-1 West Ham – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Sunday 20 September

Southampton 2-5 Spurs – Peacock Premium – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Newcastle United 0-3 Brighton – Peacock Premium – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool – Peacock Premium – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Leicester City 4-2 Burnley – NBCSN – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Monday 21 September

Aston Villa 1-0 Sheffield United – Peacock Premium – FULL MATCH REPLAY
Wolves 1-3 Man City – Peacock Premium – FULL MATCH REPLAY

Saturday 26 September

7:30am ET: Brighton v Man Utd – NBCSN – STREAM LIVE
10am ET: Crystal Palace v Everton – NBCSN – STREAM LIVE
12:30pm ET: West Brom v Chelsea – NBC – STREAM LIVE
3pm ET: Burnley v Southampton – Peacock Premium – STREAM LIVE

Sunday 27 September

7am ET: Sheffield United v Leeds United – NBCSN – STREAM LIVE
9am ET: Spurs v Newcastle United – NBCSN – STREAM LIVE
11:30am ET: Man City v Leicester City – NBCSN – STREAM LIVE
2pm ET: West Ham v Wolves – Peacock Premium – STREAM LIVE

Monday 28 September

12:45pm ET: Fulham v Aston Villa – Peacock Premium – STREAM LIVE
3pm ET: Liverpool v Arsenal – Peacock Premium – STREAM LIVE

Saturday 3 October

7:30am ET: Chelsea v Crystal Palace
10am ET: Everton v Brighton
12:30pm ET: Leeds United v Man City
3pm ET: Newcastle United v Burnley

Sunday 4 October

7am ET: Leicester City v West Ham
7am ET: Southampton v West Brom
9am ET: Arsenal v Sheffield United
9am ET: Wolves v Fulham
11:30am ET: Man Utd v Spurs
2:15pm ET: Aston Villa v Liverpool

Saturday 17 October

Chelsea v Southampton
Crystal Palace v Brighton
Everton v Liverpool
Leeds United v Wolves
Leicester City v Aston Villa
Man City v Arsenal
Newcastle United v Man Utd
Sheffield United v Fulham
Spurs v West Ham
West Brom v Burnley

Saturday 24 October

Arsenal v Leicester City
Aston Villa v Leeds United
Brighton v West Brom
Burnley v Spurs
Fulham v Crystal Palace
Liverpool v Sheffield United
Man Utd v Chelsea
Southampton v Everton
West Ham v Man City
Wolves v Newcastle United

Saturday 31 October

Aston Villa v Southampton
Burnley v Chelsea
Fulham v West Brom
Leeds United v Leicester City
Liverpool v West Ham
Man Utd v Arsenal
Newcastle United v Everton
Sheffield United v Man City
Spurs v Brighton
Wolves v Crystal Palace

Saturday 7 November

Arsenal v Aston Villa
Brighton v Burnley
Chelsea v Sheffield United
Crystal Palace v Leeds United
Everton v Man Utd
Leicester City v Wolves
Man City v Liverpool
Southampton v Newcastle United
West Brom v Spurs
West Ham v Fulham

Saturday 21 November

Aston Villa v Brighton
Burnley v Crystal Palace
Fulham v Everton
Leeds United v Arsenal
Liverpool v Leicester City
Man Utd v West Brom
Newcastle United v Chelsea
Sheffield United v West Ham
Spurs v Man City
Wolves v Southampton

Saturday 28 November

Arsenal v Wolves
Brighton v Liverpool
Chelsea v Spurs
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United
Everton v Leeds United
Leicester City v Fulham
Man City v Burnley
Southampton v Man Utd
West Brom v Sheffield United
West Ham v Aston Villa

Saturday 5 December

Aston Villa v Newcastle United
Brighton v Southampton
Burnley v Everton
Chelsea v Leeds United
Liverpool v Wolves
Man City v Fulham
Sheffield United v Leicester City
Spurs v Arsenal
West Brom v Crystal Palace
West Ham v Man Utd

Saturday 12 December

Arsenal v Burnley
Crystal Palace v Spurs
Everton v Chelsea
Fulham v Liverpool
Leeds United v West Ham
Leicester City v Brighton
Man Utd v Man City
Newcastle United v West Brom
Southampton v Sheffield United
Wolves v Aston Villa

Tuesday 15 December

2:45pm ET: Arsenal v Southampton
2:45pm ET: Aston Villa v Burnley
2:45pm ET: Fulham v Brighton
2:45pm ET: Leeds United v Newcastle United
2:45pm ET: Leicester City v Everton
2:45pm ET: Sheffield United v Man Utd
2:45pm ET: West Ham v Crystal Palace
2:45pm ET: Wolves v Chelsea

Wednesday 16 December

3pm ET: Liverpool v Spurs
3pm ET: Man City v West Brom

Saturday 19 December

Brighton v Sheffield United
Burnley v Wolves
Chelsea v West Ham
Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Everton v Arsenal
Man Utd v Leeds United
Newcastle United v Fulham
Southampton v Man City
Spurs v Leicester City
West Brom v Aston Villa

Saturday 26 December

Arsenal v Chelsea
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace
Fulham v Southampton
Leeds United v Burnley
Leicester City v Man Utd
Liverpool v West Brom
Man City v Newcastle United
Sheffield United v Everton
West Ham v Brighton
Wolves v Spurs

Monday 28 December

Brighton v Arsenal
Burnley v Sheffield United
Chelsea v Aston Villa
Crystal Palace v Leicester City
Everton v Man City
Man Utd v Wolves
Newcastle United v Liverpool
Southampton v West Ham
Spurs v Fulham
West Brom v Leeds United

Saturday 2 January

Brighton v Wolves
Burnley v Fulham
Chelsea v Man City
Crystal Palace v Sheffield United
Everton v West Ham
Man Utd v Aston Villa
Newcastle United v Leicester City
Southampton v Liverpool
Spurs v Leeds United
West Brom v Arsenal

Tuesday 12 January*

2:45pm ET: Arsenal v Crystal Palace
2:45pm ET: Aston Villa v Spurs
2:45pm ET: Fulham v Man Utd
2:45pm ET: Leeds United v Southampton
2:45pm ET: Leicester City v Chelsea
2:45pm ET: Sheffield United v Newcastle United
2:45pm ET: West Ham v West Brom
2:45pm ET: Wolves v Everton

Wednesday 13 January*

3pm ET: Liverpool v Burnley
3pm ET: Man City v Brighton

*Matchweek 18 fixtures initially allocated to 12-13 January will be played across 12-13 January and 20 January 2021. The split of matches will be determined when the broadcast selections for January are announced.

Saturday 16 January

Arsenal v Newcastle United
Aston Villa v Everton
Fulham v Chelsea
Leeds United v Brighton
Leicester City v Southampton
Liverpool v Man Utd
Man City v Crystal Palace
Sheffield United v Spurs
West Ham v Burnley
Wolves v West Brom

Tuesday 26 January

2:45pm ET: Brighton v Fulham
2:45pm ET: Burnley v Aston Villa
2:45pm ET: Everton v Leicester City
3pm ET: Man Utd v Sheffield United
3pm ET: West Brom v Man City

Wednesday 27 January

2:45pm ET: Chelsea v Wolves
2:45pm ET: Newcastle United v Leeds United
2:45pm ET: Southampton v Arsenal
2:45pm ET: Spurs v Liverpool
3pm ET: Crystal Palace v West Ham

Saturday 30 January

Arsenal v Man Utd
Brighton v Spurs
Chelsea v Burnley
Crystal Palace v Wolves
Everton v Newcastle United
Leicester City v Leeds United
Man City v Sheffield United
Southampton v Aston Villa
West Brom v Fulham
West Ham v Liverpool

Tuesday 2 February

2:45pm ET: Aston Villa v West Ham
2:45pm ET: Burnley v Man City
2:45pm ET:  Fulham v Leicester City
2:45pm ET: Leeds United v Everton
2:45pm ET: Sheffield United v West Brom
2:45pm ET: Wolves v Arsenal
3pm ET: Man Utd v Southampton

Wednesday 3 February

2:45pm ET: Newcastle United v Crystal Palace
2:45pm ET: Spurs v Chelsea
3pm ET: Liverpool v Brighton

Saturday 6 February

Aston Villa v Arsenal
Burnley v Brighton
Fulham v West Ham
Leeds United v Crystal Palace
Liverpool v Man City
Man Utd v Everton
Newcastle United v Southampton
Sheffield United v Chelsea
Spurs v West Brom
Wolves v Leicester City

Saturday 13 February

Arsenal v Leeds United
Brighton v Aston Villa
Chelsea v Newcastle United
Crystal Palace v Burnley
Everton v Fulham
Leicester City v Liverpool
Man City v Spurs
Southampton v Wolves
West Brom v Man Utd
West Ham v Sheffield United

Saturday 20 February

Arsenal v Man City
Aston Villa v Leicester City
Brighton v Crystal Palace
Burnley v West Brom
Fulham v Sheffield United
Liverpool v Everton
Man Utd v Newcastle United
Southampton v Chelsea
West Ham v Spurs
Wolves v Leeds United

Saturday 27 February

Chelsea v Man Utd
Crystal Palace v Fulham
Everton v Southampton
Leeds United v Aston Villa
Leicester City v Arsenal
Man City v West Ham
Newcastle United v Wolves
Sheffield United v Liverpool
Spurs v Burnley
West Brom v Brighton

Saturday 6 March

Aston Villa v Wolves
Brighton v Leicester City
Burnley v Arsenal
Chelsea v Everton
Liverpool v Fulham
Man City v Man Utd
Sheffield United v Southampton
Spurs v Crystal Palace
West Brom v Newcastle United
West Ham v Leeds United

Saturday 13 March

Arsenal v Spurs
Crystal Palace v West Brom
Everton v Burnley
Fulham v Man City
Leeds United v Chelsea
Leicester City v Sheffield United
Man Utd v West Ham
Newcastle United v Aston Villa
Southampton v Brighton
Wolves v Liverpool

Saturday 20 March

Brighton v Newcastle United
Burnley v Leicester City
Crystal Palace v Man Utd
Fulham v Leeds United
Liverpool v Chelsea
Man City v Wolves
Sheffield United v Aston Villa
Spurs v Southampton
West Brom v Everton
West Ham v Arsenal

Saturday 3 April

Arsenal v Liverpool
Aston Villa v Fulham
Chelsea v West Brom
Everton v Crystal Palace
Leeds United v Sheffield United
Leicester City v Man City
Man Utd v Brighton
Newcastle United v Spurs
Southampton v Burnley
Wolves v West Ham

Saturday 10 April

Brighton v Everton
Burnley v Newcastle United
Crystal Palace v Chelsea
Fulham v Wolves
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Man City v Leeds United
Sheffield United v Arsenal
Spurs v Man Utd
West Brom v Southampton
West Ham v Leicester City

Saturday 17 April

Arsenal v Fulham
Aston Villa v Man City
Chelsea v Brighton
Everton v Spurs
Leeds United v Liverpool
Leicester City v West Brom
Man Utd v Burnley
Newcastle United v West Ham
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Wolves v Sheffield United

Saturday 24 April

Arsenal v Everton
Aston Villa v West Brom
Fulham v Spurs
Leeds United v Man Utd
Leicester City v Crystal Palace
Liverpool v Newcastle United
Man City v Southampton
Sheffield United v Brighton
West Ham v Chelsea
Wolves v Burnley

Saturday 1 May

Brighton v Leeds United
Burnley v West Ham
Chelsea v Fulham
Crystal Palace v Man City
Everton v Aston Villa
Man Utd v Liverpool
Newcastle United v Arsenal
Southampton v Leicester City
Spurs v Sheffield United
West Brom v Wolves

Saturday 8 May

Arsenal v West Brom
Aston Villa v Man Utd
Fulham v Burnley
Leeds United v Spurs
Leicester City v Newcastle United
Liverpool v Southampton
Man City v Chelsea
Sheffield United v Crystal Palace
West Ham v Everton
Wolves v Brighton

Tuesday 11 May

2:45pm ET: Brighton v West Ham
2:45pm ET: Burnley v Leeds United
2:45pm ET: Everton v Sheffield United
3pm ET: Man Utd v Leicester City
3pm ET: West Brom v Liverpool

Wednesday 12 May

2:45pm ET: Chelsea v Arsenal
2:45pm ET: Newcastle United v Man City
2:45pm ET: Southampton v Fulham
2:45pm ET: Spurs v Wolves
3pm ET: Crystal Palace v Aston Villa

Saturday 15 May

Brighton v Man City
Burnley v Liverpool
Chelsea v Leicester City
Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Everton v Wolves
Man Utd v Fulham
Newcastle United v Sheffield United
Southampton v Leeds United
Spurs v Aston Villa
West Brom v West Ham

Sunday 23 May

Arsenal v Brighton
Aston Villa v Chelsea
Fulham v Newcastle United
Leeds United v West Brom
Leicester City v Spurs
Liverpool v Crystal Palace
Man City v Everton
Sheffield United v Burnley
West Ham v Southampton
Wolves v Manchester United

Mourinho reveals details on Dele Alli’s future

Dele Alli future
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Dele Alli future: Jose Mourinho believes that Dele Alli will be a Tottenham player when the transfer window shuts on Oct. 5.

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Alli, 24, was subbed off at half time of Spurs’ opening weekend defeat to Everton and didn’t feature in the 5-2 win at Southampton on Sunday.

With Dele Alli reported to be wanted by both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in recent days, the arrival of Gareth Bale and potentially another forward player could push the England playmaker further down the pecking order.

“I believe [he will]. I can even say that I’m convinced that he will be,” Mourinho told our partners in the UK at Sky Sports when ask about the Dele Alli future reports.

Ahead of Spurs’ UEFA Europa League third round qualifier on Thursday at Macedonian club Shkendija, Mourinho revealed that Alli will be in the squad for that game.

“We all know since Dele arrived from MK Dons he had ups and downs, he had fabulous periods and he also had other periods where he disappeared from top-level performances. And with me it’s no different than before. He’s had moments where he was so good, but he also had moments where he was not so good,” Mourinho said.

“I think this lack of consistency, it’s normal that when you are in great form you play because you deserve it and your production is big for the team, but when you are not in a good moment you don’t play – and it’s as simple as that. The players have to prove on the pitch with their performances; they have to prove how good they are in that specific moment.”

Mourinho added that “performance are important” and Dele Alli is the same as every other player. So, essentially, Mourinho wants him to step it up. During the Nextflix documentary ‘All or Nothing’ Mourinho called Dele Alli lazy.

That led to many believing that Dele Alli was surplus to requirements at Spurs and although he has also been left out of the most recent England squad, Mourinho clearly believes in his quality. For now, it is best if he stays at Tottenham but it would not be a shock if he leaves in January after a few months as a bit-part player.

Dele Alli is a mercurial talent and Mauricio Pochettino did his best to fit him into a system and style of play while also allowing him to express himself. Is Mourinho going to do the latter? Probably not. And therein lies the problem.

Even if he stays at Spurs for now, expect ‘Dele Alli future’ to be a term you see trending on Twitter during upcoming transfer windows.