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Greatest managerial lineup in Premier League history will see philosophies clash

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No league in soccer history has ever been blessed with this many world-class managers all at the same time.

Ever.

[ MORE: Every PL season preview ]

Ahead of the 2016-17 Premier League season kicking off, much of the talk has been about how the men in the dugouts will succeed rather than the focus being on the players they pick to go out on the pitch.

When you sift through the 20 managers in the PL this season, it’s easy to understand why.

In no particular order Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho, Mauricio PochettinoAntonio ConteArsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola will all be managing in the Premier League.

Oh yeah, did we mention Slaven BilicRonald KoemanClaudio Ranieri and Eddie Howe will also be around after overseeing stunning campaigns in 2015-16?

[ MORE: Ranking top 10 players in each position

And, just to cap it off, there’s plenty of intrigue around new boys Claude Puel and Walter Mazzarri who’ve had plenty of success in Europe, plus David Moyes is back and Aitor Karanka and Sean Dyche will fancy their chances of solidifying their newly-promoted teams in the PL. Then there’s Hull City, who have yet to appoint a manager but Sir Alex Ferguson‘s former assistant manager Mike Phelan will take charge for their PL opener and then go from there.

Who have I left out? Some of the more unfashionable names but they are shrewd tacticians who have got the best from their resources: Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew, Francesco Guidolin and Mark Hughes.

This is insane. No wonder Wenger called this season’s lineup a “world championship of managers” as all-conquering Guardiola arrives as the messiah following domination with Barcelona and Bayern Munich and Conte also lands on English soil for the first time after excelling with Italy and Juventus.

The charisma levels are on overload. The twisting subplots are plentiful. The tactical ingenuity is at an all-time high.

Quite simply we are about to witness a managerial battle unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - JULY 16: Head coach of Chelsea Antonio Conte gestures during an friendly match between SK Rapid Vienna and Chelsea F.C. at Allianz Stadion on July 16, 2016 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images)

Of course, whether or not a team wins has to do with performances out on the pitch from the players themselves but all of the prep work, the tactics and the decisions on how each team will play comes from the main men.

Styles will clash. Emotions will run high. Technical areas will become war zones.

Pep Guardiola vs. Jose Mourinho in Manchester derbies following their heated battles in Spain with Barcelona and Real Madrid. Arsene Wenger vs. Jose Mourinho will see their bitter rivalry renewed. Arsene Wenger vs. Mauricio Pochettino in the north London derby. Jurgen Klopp vs. Ronald Koeman in the Merseyside derby. Jurgen Klopp vs. Jose Mourinho as two new-look Liverpool and Manchester United sides clash. Jose Mourinho vs. erm… Jose Mourinho because that’s just the way he is.

My head is spinning.

The battles will intrigue. The intensity will be unbearable. The tactical awareness will be astuter than ever before.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool and Arsene Wenger Manager of Arsenal look on during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on January 13, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

One of the most exciting things about this conglomeration of the game’s brightest minds all in one place is that each of their managerial style’s is very different.

From the high-pressing of Pochettino to the rapid counters of Klopp to the fluidity of Wenger and the directness of Mourinho, from the defensive solidity of Conte to the dominant possession game of Guardiola, however you view the best way to play the game, it’s highly-likely a manager in the PL will set his team up to do just that this season.

The Premier League is often a gift that keeps giving. With world-record $120 million players performing in front of packed out stadiums and high drama, it is held up as the beacon for what every major league wants to become in the modern era.

Then, this happened. Something nobody would’ve ever predicted but something that is happening before our very eyes.

Never before has any league at any time in history had such a talented group of managers at its disposal.

There can be only one winner and Klopp, Mourinho, Pochettino, Conte, Wenger, Guardiola and even Ranieri believe they should be lifting the title this season.

Let the fun begin in dugouts up and down the land.

Premier League TV schedule: April 4-5

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We have 16 hours of Premier League programming coming your way this weekend and here is your TV schedule for April 4-5

This Saturday and Sunday we will have eight hours of programming coming your way each morning from 6 a.m. ET to 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN on your TV.

With the current 2019-20 Premier League season suspended until April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have a lot of programming treats planned for you in the coming weeks and will keep up fully updated with a TV schedule posted every single week.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ]

Remember, during the season 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 ] 

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.

Below is your full Premier League TV schedule and stream links for Saturday and Sunday as we have classic matches, Goal of the Season, Behind the Badge, a focus on Liverpool v. Man City and much more coming up.


FULL TV SCHEDULE FOR NBCSN

Saturday, April 4
6-6:30 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – Matt Le Tissier [STREAM]
6:30-7 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – John Barnes [STREAM]
7-7:30 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – Sol Campbell [STREAM]
7:30-8 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – Ryan Giggs [STREAM]
8-9 a.m. ET: PL Goals of the Season: 2001-02 [STREAM]
9-10 a.m. ET: PL Goals of the Season: 2002-03 [STREAM]
10-10:30 a.m. ET: Classic Match: Liverpool v. Tottenham, Feb. 2015 [STREAM]
10:30-11 a.m. ET: Classic Match: Chelsea v. Man United, Feb. 2012 [STREAM]
11-11:30 a.m. ET: Classic Match: Tottenham v. Chelsea, Jan.  2015 [STREAM]
11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET: Classic Match: Man United v. Arsenal, Aug., 2011 [STREAM]
12-12:30 p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Watford, Episode 1 [STREAM]
12:30-  p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Watford, Episode 2 [STREAM]
1-1:30 p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Watford, Episode 3 [STREAM]
1:30-2 p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Watford, Episode 4 [STREAM]

Sunday, April 5
6-7 a.m. ET: PL season in review 1998-99 [STREAM]
7-8 a.m. ET: PL season in review 1999-00 [STREAM]
8-10 a.m. ET: Match of the Week, Man City v. QPR, May 2012 [STREAM]
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET: Match of the Week, Everton v. Liverpool, Nov. 2013 [STREAM]
12 p.m. – 2 p.m. ET: Match of the Week, Chelsea v. Arsenal, Oct. 2014 [STREAM]

VIDEO: Top 25 moments in Premier League history

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It’s time to take a trip down memory lane and countdown the top 25 moments in Premier League history.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

There have been so many memorable goals, incidents, performances and players throughout the league’s history and back in 2017 we celebrated its 25th anniversary by counting down our top 25 moments.

From Wayne Rooney’s bicycle kick, the arrival of Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho, Leicester’s title win and Man City’s dramatic last-gasp success, there are so many wild moments packed into this video.

In truth, it was so tough to narrow down the best moments in PL history to just 25 moments.

Click play on the video above to replay some of the greatest moments in history.

Daniel Levy calls for all players, clubs to cut wages

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Tottenham chairman has called for Premier League players and staff to take wage cuts to help clubs cope with the suspension during the coronavirus pandemic.

Levy revealed he is among 550 non-playing staff at Tottenham who have taken pay cuts as he pointed to the likes of Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern Munich as their players and officials had taken wage cuts in order to make sure every individual at the club was paid and costs did not spiral out of control during the suspension of leagues.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Levy confirmed that the “club’s operations have effectively ceased” and “has an annual cost base running into hundreds of millions of pounds” before adding that clubs and players should do their part as clubs, leagues and players’ unions meet on Wednesday in England to work out a way forward.

“We hope the current discussions between the Premier League, PFA and LMA will result in players and coaches doing their bit for the football eco system,” Levy said.

Levy in particular will be scrutinized as he was the highest-paid Premier League executive, paid $3.7 million in 2018 and $8.7 million in 2019 after a hefty bonus for Tottenham completing their move to a new stadium.

Tottenham’s chairman also explained exactly what Spurs are doing to help them deal with the new financial reality all soccer clubs are facing, as the UK government is paying 80 percent of wages of staff who have been furloughed (basically told they still have a job but aren’t needed right now) by their employers.

“We have seen some of the biggest clubs in the world such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus take steps to reduce their costs. Yesterday, having already taken steps to reduce costs, we ourselves made the difficult decision – in order to protect jobs – to reduce the remuneration of all 550 non-playing directors and employees for April and May by 20 per cent utilising, where appropriate, the Government’s furlough scheme. We shall continue to review this position,” Levy added.

Soccer will of course have to adjust to its new reality and the longer the suspension goes on, tougher decisions will have to be made about players and staff taking significant pay cuts to help keep costs down with no matchday revenue coming in. Tottenham’s stadium is being used to help prepare food for vulnerable people in the local and it has been offered to the NHS to be used any way it can help.

Plenty of clubs across the Premier League have vowed to pay temporary staff used on matchdays but many are making use of government help with wages and many are doing plenty for their local communities too. These are unprecedented times and players and clubs are stepping up to make sure the most vulnerable are looked after.

Benzema: ‘I’m F1’ quality compared to ‘go-kart’ Giroud

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It would appear that Karim Benzema lives for exactly two things in life: scoring goals and creating/participating in very public drama.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Benzema, who hasn’t feature for France’s national team since he was allegedly involved in a scandal to blackmail teammate Mathieu Valbuena with a sex tape in 2015, slammed compatriot forward Olivier Giroud as the “go-karting” alternative to his own “F1” quality.

His main gripe with Giroud doesn’t appear to actually be with the player himself, but the fact the two get compared to one another so frequently. In Benzema’s absence from Les Bleus, Giroud has been the main beneficiary, leading many to wonder if the team could have reached greater heights with Benzmea in the team instead — quotes from Sky Sports:

“You shouldn’t confuse F1 and go karting and that’s me being kind. On to the next topic. I’m not talking about him [Giroud] anymore. I just know that I’m F1.

“He has his career, he does what he wants and scores the goals that he wants to score. He’s in his corner and I’m in mine, I’m not thinking about him. If we’re talking about playing style, his suits France well.

“It’s good because there are fast players like (Kylian) Mbappe and (Antoine) Griezmann who play out wide or feed off the centre-forward. When Giroud is up front, he’s a handful for defenses, which gives the other two plenty of space to show what they can do.

“He occupies defenders and it works. It might not be brilliant to watch and you won’t say, ‘Wow, that was incredible.’ Does everyone like that style of play? I don’t know, but it suits France well.”

Giroud: 39 goals (third-highest) in 97 appearances for France. Benzema: 27 goals in 81 appearances.