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Premier League preview: Stoke City vs. Manchester City

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  • Xherdan Shaqiri could miss out for Stoke
  • Stoke has not kept a clean sheet in 11 PL matches
  • Sergio Aguero is the top scorer in the PL for 2016

Sergio Aguero looks to follow-up his midweek hat-trick with a visit to the Britannia, Saturday at 8:00am E.T. live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

The Argentinian missed two early penalties in their Champions League playoff in Romania, but bounced back to score a hat-trick in the eventual 5-0 win over Seaua Bucharest. Aguero also scored in City’s 2-1 opening day win over Sunderland, and is in fine form.

[ WATCH LIVE: Stream every PL game via NBC Sports  ]

Raheem Sterling looks revitalized under new manager Pep Guardiola as well, with City’s attack off to a flying start. One man whose future is still wildly uncertain is goalkeeper Joe Hart, who will likely see the bench yet again with Guardiola favoring Willy Caballero. Hart’s future at City is shaky at best, with Claudio Bravo likely on his way in and the manager Friday saying that the England #1 could leave City if he wishes.

On the other side, Stoke managed a solid 1-1 draw on the road at pesky Middlesbrough in their opening game, but could be without midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri who picked up a calf injury in training and could miss out. His absence would be a major blow, with the Swiss international having scored a delicious free-kick to pull level with Boro last weekend.


What they’re saying

Guardiola on implementing his new system: “It’s not time to change a lot because I don’t want to confuse my players but I have to say I am impressed the most that they are so intelligent. The way we played in Bucharest was a high, high level. We did it so quickly. That’s because of the intelligence and quality of the players.”

Hughes on benching of Joe Hart: “From the outside, it seems the decision was made a long time ago and I’m sure they had discussions on all aspects of their team moving forward. [A goalkeeper’s distribution] is an important factor, but you have to keep the ball out of the back of the net as well and that’s quite important when you’re talking about the goalkeeping position.”

Prediction

Five of the last seven meetings between these two clubs have ended in a draw, but with City playing so well to start the season and the potential miss of Shaqiri, the most likely outcome is a visiting win. Stoke’s quiet transfer window has been disappointing, and they lack quality in certain areas to match Pep Guardiola’s energy and perseverance. A fun 3-1 scoreline is what we forsee here.

10-man Real Madrid comes back to draw 10-man Arsenal

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Maybe Zinedine Zidane ought to rethink his stance on Gareth Bale?

Of course it’s just preseason, but the on-the-market Real Match forward subbed into Tuesday’s match in Maryland on Tuesday and spearheaded a comeback 2-2 draw against Arsenal.

Real won in penalties, as all International Champions Cup matches must have a winner.

[ MORE: Rich new deal for Hudson-Odoi ]

Real was down a man after 10 minutes when Nacho Fernandez handled a ball on the goal line, and Arsenal also went down a man when Sokratis Papastathopoulos saw his second yellow of the contest in the 40th minute.

Alexandre Lacazette converted a penalty, then set-up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a goal 14 minutes later as the Gunners handled their business early.

The chemistry between two remains very real.

Real started new boys Eden Hazard, Ferland Mendy, and Luka Jovic in addition to Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, and Sergio Ramos.

Bale came in for Hazard at halftime and poked a 57th minute rebound home and Marcelo set up Marco Asensio two minutes later to complete the comeback.

Asensio, sadly, would only last a few more minutes, needing to be stretchered off with injury.

Champions League wrap: PSV strikes late to win thriller (video)

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Five first legs of the UEFA Champions League’s second qualifying round are in the books, including a thrilling back-and-forth with a show-stopping stoppage time winner.

[ MORE: Rodgers talks down Maguire sale ]


PSV Eindhoven 3-2 FC Basel

Bruma scored a debut opener for the Dutch hosts, who fell behind 2-1 in the 79th minute before Sam Lammers and Donyell Malen struck in the 89th minute and second minute of stoppage, respectively, to put PSV ahead.

Basel will be okay taken two away goals home via Albian Aljeti and Omar Alderete.

Lammers came in for Mexican star Hirving Lozano in the 79th minute to score the leveler within 10 minutes before Malen, who went the full 90, kept his focus to deliver this clever winner.

The New Saints 0-2 Copenhagen

Pieros Sotiriou and Robert Skov scored on either side of halftime to give the Danish powers a healthy advantage heading into the second leg.

Elsewhere
FK Sutjeska 0-1 APOEL Nicosia
Saburtalo 0-2 Dinamo Zagreb
Viktoria Plzen 0-0 Olympiacos

Wednesday
BATE Borisov v. Rosenborg — 1 p.m. ET
Ferencvaros v. Valletta — 2 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj v. Maccabi Tel-Aviv — 2 p.m. ET
Maribor v. AIK — 2:15 p.m. ET
Red Star Belgrade v. HJK Helsinki — 2:45 p.m. ET
Dundalk v. Qarabag — 2:45 p.m. ET
Celtic v. Nomme Kalju — 2:45 p.m. ET

Rodgers says no close bids for Maguire

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Those tired of seeing Harry Maguire‘s name in the headlines, hoping his transfer saga had concluded with weekend reports that Manchester United agreed to a fee with Leicester City, well, they are going to be sorely disappointed.

[ MORE: Who is Newcastle’s new $50M forward? ]

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers credited Maguire for his professionalism — the center back scored in a friendly win on Tuesday — and said that the club’s vice chairman Aiyawatt “Top” Srivaddhanaprabha has not received a fitting bid for the 26 year old’s services.

From The Leicester Mercury:

“There’s no big pressure to sell any player. If a player does leave Leicester City, then the player would need to be met because we have a top-level player, coveted by top-level clubs and I respect that,” Rodgers said. “Harry is on a long contract here and there’s been no valuation or near to that which would make Top have a look.”

Nooooooooooo.

Look, we’ve still got a few weeks until the close of the window, and every supporter has a target they want their club to acquire and some have some assets they hope stay in the same shirt at the deadline.

The Maguire story is getting a bit tedious now. He wants to go to Manchester United, but Rodgers is happy to keep him at Leicester. Maguire’s not the player who will quit on the club if he’s not sold, and Leicester’s hope of landing a replacement will dip as the deadline draws nearer and clubs like Burnley (James Tarkowski) realize their replacements options have been lessened by the wait.

Janssen leaves Spurs for Liga MX in $8M deal

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Vincent Janssen‘s less-than-ideal tenure with Tottenham Hotspur has come to its end, and he’s moving his way to this side of the Atlantic.

Liga MX side Monterrey has agreed to buy Janssen, Spurs announced Tuesday. The deal is for a reported $8 million.

[ MORE: Rich new deal for Hudson-Odoi ]

The Dutchman turned 25 this summer. He played just 42 times for Spurs after arriving from AZ Alkmaar for around $25 million in 2016, scoring six times, but did manage five goals and four assists in a half-year loan to Fenerbahce in 2017-18.

Janssen saw his time with the Netherlands national team peter out during his tenure at Spurs. After a red-hot start, he has not been capped since 2017. Janssen has seven goals in 17 caps.

His time at Spurs cannot be labeled as anything but a gigantic bust, but Janssen is still pretty young and has a chance to recapture his career momentum.

And he looks pretty happy about it.