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USMNT roundtable: The big stories ahead of USA vs. Mexico

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With USA vs. Mexico just one day away, the ProSoccerTalk crew discuss plenty of the hot topics surrounding the U.S. national team with a big week ahead of them.

[ MORE: How was Pulisic created? ]

Jurgen Klinsmann’s U.S. side host Mexico in Columbus, Ohio and then travel to Costa Rica to kick off the final round of CONCACAF 2018 World Cup qualifying with two of the three toughest matches available.

Below myself, Nick Mendola, Kyle Bonn and Eric Scatamacchia wade in and give our thoughts on plenty of USMNT storylines ahead of Friday’s eagerly anticipated match in Ohio.


What is special about USA vs. Mexico? And what does seeing this game in Columbus mean to you?

Joe Prince-Wright: This rivalry is one which perhaps doesn’t get the respect it deserves across the globe. It is intense and both teams have done well in recent World Cup tournaments to suggest it is up there with the biggest and best in world soccer. The U.S. has closed the gap on Mexico considerably in recent years and that’s what makes this rivalry great. Each time it is played, we now don’t know which way it will go. As for Columbus, there’s just something romantic about the stadium being the unofficial home to this game. With its location and usually hosting Mexico in Columbus in the winter months, it all adds to the occasion. If the U.S. ever wanted to build a national team stadium to permanently host the USMNT, this city would be right near the top of the list.

Nick Mendola: What isn’t special about the U.S. And Mexico? El Tri was our big brother for such a long time, and he was a rude, mean big brother. To have such a run of superiority in home World Cup qualifiers, and to win at Azteca, has only served to heighten the rivalry. For those of us who like the Yanks as much as their favorite club team, the rivalry is, well, unrivaled. Columbus doesn’t matter as much to me, other than to say my experience at a USMNT-Mexico WCQ there was among, if not the best sporting experiences of my life. Pouring rain, trading icy cold Canadian beers for Mexican beverages, singing, shouting, and celebrating a massive Dos a Cero win? Unforgettable.

Kyle Bonn: USA vs. Mexico is special for obvious reasons, proximity, relative power in the region, etc. But as with all rivalries, time builds the best bonds. Yankees/Red Sox is so engrained in the fabric of baseball society because each has taken its lumps from the other over time. The Bears/Packers series is split 94-93. England and Australia have each won the Ashes 32 times. While USA vs. Mexico all-time isn’t that even with a 34-18-14 record in favor of Mexico, since 1977 the United States has won 18 while Mexico has won 16. Recent history has this one nearly deadlocked. It has it all: the venom of play, the glory of victory, the agony of defeat.

Eric Scatamacchia: There are many factors: the closeness geographically, the frequency of the matchup (whether its World Cup qualifying, Olympic qualifying, Gold Cups, World Cups, etc.) and of course the “extracurriculars” that often accompany this fixture. Columbus is a place that understands USA vs. Mexico. It’s a place fit to host a match that goes beyond the scoreboard as it has multiple times through the years. It doesn’t hurt that many of those matches have resulted in U.S. wins.


In terms of the game itself, is this the perfect match for the USMNT to kick off the Hexagonal round with?

Joe: It’s not ideal. Straight away there is plenty of pressure on the U.S. to deliver and after the friendly performances last month, plus a few injuries, Klinsmann may not welcome this game being first up.

Nick: In some ways, but to be honest I’d rather see an easier home win to set the stage. There will be a lot of pressure if the Yanks bungle their way through these first two challenges.

Kyle: Is it the perfect game? No, they probably wish they could ease in. But for a fan, it couldn’t begin any better. For either side to get one up on the other would be a massive beginning to the round.

Eric: It could be. You never want to start the Hexagonal round with a loss and it will undoubtedly be a tough task to earn the three points against a tough Mexico side, but a win could serve as a springboard to a successful (and hopefully straightforward) qualification for the World Cup.


Straight up: will we see another Dos a Cero?

Joe: No. I think a draw would be a good outcome for the USMNT. Uno-Uno?

Nick: No. If we do, I fear it will be the other way around. Mexico is stacked, and the United States’ best defensive pairing has been broken up with the injury to Geoff Cameron.

Kyle: I’m going to go with the statistical probability and say no.

Eric: Yes. The match is in the perfect location and the U.S. is in great form.


In the lead up to this game, Jurgen Klinsmann said Christian Pulisic’s “potential is limitless.” Do you think the Borussia Dortmund teenager is the real deal and is now the right time to start putting more pressure on him?

Joe: Yep, this kid is the real deal. He is unlike anything U.S. soccer has seen in a long time and his vision and ability to time runs is innate. Being nurtured at Dortmund, he’s already been in a highly pressurized situation and has flourished. I think he can take the weight of expectation on his shoulders. Fans need to be patient with him. Over time, he could go down as one of the greatest players the USMNT has ever had.

Nick: Real deal? Yes. Pressure? Not yet. Pulisic is earning the expectations of being at least Landon Donovan-level important to the United States program. But at 18, he’s still just a pleasant surprise whose stumbles should be readily forgiven.

Kyle: Absolutely he’s the real deal. Everyone from Americans to Germans are praising his advanced nature and his technical ability. Dortmund has brought him along at the perfect pace, and it would be wise for Jurgen Klinsmann to respect that process and not push him any more than he’s already being pushed. I think JK would agree, and that might be why you won’t see him shoved into full-time duty just yet. Don’t panic.

Eric: Pulisic has handled everything the U.S. (and Dortmund for that matter) has thrown at him. Klinsmann did not immediately throw the youngster into the fire, which served him well. Now is the time to start relying on Pulisic as one of the team’s main contributors. He has proven himself with every chance he has gotten for both club and country.


How do you think the U.S. copes without the influential Geoff Cameron in defense and who would you start alongside John Brooks?

Joe: Losing Cameron is a massive blow for Klinsmann. I think his partnership with Brooks was the main reason the U.S. went to the semifinals of the Copa America Centenario last summer and his form for Stoke has been excellent this season. I think Klinsmann goes with Gonzalez because of the balance issue with Brooks heavily left-footed, like Matt Besler, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Steve Birnbaum got the nod either. Make no mistake about it, Javier Hernandez will be licking his lips…

Nick: I don’t envy Jurgen Klinsmann’s choice between Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez, and not in a good way. Gonzalez’s size and standing/familiarity in Liga MX give him an ever-so-slight edge in my book.

Kyle: Geoff Cameron is a huge loss to this team with such a difficult start to the Hex. However, with John Brooks in great form, the team will cope. It seems Omar Gonzalez is probably the best option alongside Brooks, although Klinsmann could easily go with Matt Besler or even Steve Birnbaum. I think it’s a bit early to throw Cameron Carter-Vickers to the wolves.

Eric: The U.S. has multiple capable center backs, but the loss of Cameron will hurt. None of the other U.S. center backs (Matt Besler, Steve Birnbaum, Omar Gonzalez) exhibit the combination of skills and experience that Cameron has while also serving as a great fit next to John Brooks. With that said, the best choice is Omar Gonzalez. Gonzalez has more experience than Birnbaum and is a better fit next to Brooks than Besler (both Brooks and Besler are left footed).


The central midfield area has been pretty settled in months. Do you go with Bradley, Jones, Bedoya, maybe Kljestan, or something different?

Joe: I would go for Bradley and Jones as holding midfielders and then three in front of them of Bedoya, Kljestan and Pulisic. That gives the U.S. plenty of solidity defensively and allows Bedoya and Pulisic to pour forward and support Altidore. The only issue I have is Jones wandering a little and leaving Bradley with too much defensive work to do.

Nick: Bradley and Jones for sure. Bedoya did not inspire during his final weeks in Philadelphia, and I’m hesitant to expect Kljestan to be as good against Mexico and Costa Rica as he was against T&T, Saint Vincent, and Cuba. It’ll probably be the four you mention, but I’d like to see more of a 4-2-2-2 with Jones, Bradley, Pulisic, and Zusi.

Kyle:  I think that four leaves the team weak on the left wing. Pulisic could start, but if Klinsmann wishes to ease him in, Graham Zusi is likely the pick of the roster. That won’t leave fans inspired, but Julian Green isn’t a winger, and it’s hard to see Stanko or Gooch starting US/Mexico.

Eric: I go with Bradley, Jones, Bedoya, Kljestan. Bradley, Jones and Bedoya have been valuable contributors for the U.S. for years. The moment will not be too big for any of them and Klinsmann will know what he is going to get from the trio. The inclusion of Kljestan (along with Christian Pulisic) provides an attacking sharpness from the midfield that the U.S. Soccer has not had, perhaps in its history. Kljestan’s vision and ability to float into open pockets of the defense are skills that the other U.S. midfielders do not have, at least at his level, and it is something that is needed on the field.


Of the current young crop in this squad Pulisic is the standout, but who do you expect to burst through next? You can include Julian Green if you want. Even though he’s already broken through and is back for a second wave…

Joe: Cameron Carter-Vickers is thought of very highly at Tottenham and I think he will break into the U.S. team in the next two years. Don’t forget, he’s still only 18. A powerful, ball-playing center back who has featured for Spurs’ first team this season, he and Brooks could be the long-term central defensive partnership if Cameron moves into midfield.

Nick: Lynden Gooch or Cameron Carter-Vickers, simply for the standing they’ve acquired from their respected (for the most part) Premier League coaches. I could say Ethan Horvath, who should be a true competitor for the No. 1 goalkeeping seat, but Tim Howard should have that locked down long enough for another young player to make his statement at a different spot on the field.

Kyle: I’m going off the rails here. I think it’s been way too long since we’ve heard from a good player like Aron Johannsson. He’s obviously already made his mark on the USMNT in the past, but with injuries thrashing his career the last two years, he’s due to burst back onto the scene. He’s not exactly “young” but at 25, he is by no means old.

Eric: My choice is Ethan Horvath because of the combination of need at the position and his skillset. Brad Guzan and Tim Howard are on their last legs as national team goalkeepers and the 21-year-old Horvath is my pick to fill that void. Horvath has just one cap with the full national team, but he has been in the top division in Norway since 2013 with Molde FK and has played in Champions League qualification and Europa League competition.


Okay, putting you on the spot. How many points does the U.S. get from its first two Hex games at home against Mexico and then away at Costa Rica?

Joe: 1 point. I think the U.S. will lose to Mexico and get a point on the road at Costa Rica.

Nick: Two.

Kyle: Two points would put them in fabulous position, as it would also hold the others to a draw in each match. Can’t complain there. I think that’s the goal. Three points would also be more than acceptable, but it would also mean a loss. Four points is an unquestioned success. Six would nearly have them one foot into Russia 2018.

Eric: 4 points: A win against Mexico (2-0) and a draw in Costa Rica (1-1).


Let’s say the U.S. only manages one point or less from these opening two games. Is Klinsmann on the brink if that happens?

Joe: I think the U.S. has been in much worse spots than this over the past five years since Klinsmann took charge. That said, it there are two humbling defeats then who knows… At this point, it’s tough to see U.S. Soccer not giving Klinsmann the entire final round of qualifying.

Nick: Only if it that lone point comes against Costa Rica. If Klinsmann gets a draw against Mexico, who should be favored even in Columbus, that should be enough to earn him more time in the Hex.

Kyle: No he’s not on the brink. He’s still in very good shape.

Eric: If that were to happen there would certainly be chatter, but for me Klinsmann would still be safe. These are two of the toughest matches the U.S. will face in the Hex, so a lack of results would not mean the sky is falling. It’s taken a long time for the team to get here, arguably too long, but after much experimentation Klinsmann has this team in potentially its best form in years with what seems to be a clear understanding of formation and system. There is no need for an overreaction after two difficult matches.


What are your overall expectations for the Hex? Does the U.S. finish top of the group on maximum points? Just scrape third? Have to settle for the playoff spot?

Joe: I actually think the U.S. will just scrape third-place in the group. Mexico and Costa Rica will be above them and if the U.S. start the group poorly they will be playing catch up to Trinidad and Tobago, plus Panama and Hondruas will always fancy their chances of  beating the USA at home. This could be a lot tighter than most expect.

Nick: The Yanks are the second-best team in the group entering play, and should finish according to that standard. Anything more is gravy, and third is acceptable. I’d circle 18-19 points as the target.

Kyle: This is CONCACAF, and there’s no predicting it. But, if we’re having to predict, I think the United States finishes second behind Mexico. They’re a strong team that will slip up, but so will the others.

Eric: The U.S. finishes at the top of the group. Klinsmann has (finally) settled on a formation that fits his players. The U.S. has its deepest talent pool in years and the team’s most important players are getting significant club minutes whether that is in the U.S. or abroad. The U.S. is riding a wave of confidence that will help them finish at the top of the Hex.


Luis Suarez facing police investigation in Italy

Luis Suarez police investigation
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Luis Suarez police investigation: A failed move to Juventus could see Luis Suarez in big trouble with the authorities in Italy.

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The Barcelona and Uruguay forward, 33, looked set to join Juve last week but after complications arose over him obtaining Italian citizenship, which he needed to complete the move, he now looks likely to sign for Atletico Madrid as he’s been told he’s no longer needed by current club Barcelona.

Yet, Suarez could be in trouble, big trouble, as the Italian financial police and the Perugia public prosecutor’s office have opened an investigation into irregularities into the exam he had to take to become an Italian citizen.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA

Here are more details from our partner in the UK at Sky Sports on the Luis Suarez police investigation:


In order to complete the move, the 33-year-old Uruguayan would have needed to have acquired Italian citizenship as Juventus have no available space in their squad for non-EU players.

However, it is alleged that Suarez was aware of the contents of the exam before taking it, and that his score was pre-assigned.

A statement from the Perugia public prosecutor’s office said: “Some irregularities have emerged in the exam of certification of Italian, sat on September 17 by Uruguayan football player Luis Alberto Suarez Diaz, needed to obtain the Italian citizenship.

“From the investigation, it emerged that the topics in the exam had been agreed in advance with the applicant and that the relative mark had been attributed even before carrying out the exam, regardless of the fact that an elementary proficiency of the Italian language had been verified during remote classes carried out by lecturers of the University for Foreigners.

“Today, the Italian financial police are moving forward to capture the documents at the university offices, to verify the actions described beforehand and notify the information assurances for the crimes of revelation of professional secrecy, false representation committed by public officials in official documents and other.”


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?

[ WATCH: Premier League video ] 

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.

[ PLAY: Premier League Pick ‘Em for a chance to win $50,000 ]

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.

[ SIGN UP: Premier League on Peacock ]

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

1pm ET: Fulham v Aston Villa – Peacock Premium – STREAM LIVE
3:15pm ET: Liverpool v Arsenal – Peacock Premium – STREAM LIVE

Saturday 3 October

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

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

UK government postpones plan to reintroduce fans

Premier League
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Premier League fans may have to wait a while longer to get back into stadiums: Amid a steep rise in COVID-19 cases across the United Kingdom the government have halted plans for fans to return to stadiums from October 1.

The UK chief medical officer yesterday said cases could climb to 50,000 a day if the current trajectory isn’t stopped.

Speaking to the BBC, UK government official Michael Gove was asked about the reintroduction of a small number of fans at sporting venues and here was his answer.

“We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning – it wasn’t going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans,” Gove said. “We’re looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back.

“The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but again it’s in the nature of major sporting events that there’s a lot of mingling.”

This was expected given the huge rise in cases in the UK and the expected trajectory of the spread of the virus in the coming weeks and months. Premier League fans haven’t been allowed in stadiums since play was suspended in March, but test events in the Championship, League One and League Two have been held in recent weeks with 1,000 fans in attendance.

The fact that the UK will postpone fan reintroduction will hit the Premier League financially but it will hit the lower leagues harder. Clubs in the third and fourth tiers rely heavily on fans paying for tickets and they will now need big help from the football and government authorities in the UK to try and stay afloat in the coming months.

For now, Premier League fans will be waiting for the next update.

Serie A wrap: ‘Benjamin Button’ Zlatan nabs 2; McKennie debuts for Juve

Serie A results
Photo by Filippo Alfero - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images
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Catch up on all you missed from the opening week of calcio with the Serie A wrap.

[ MORE: Serie A schedule ]

Fourteen of the league’s 20 teams debuted this weekend, as European combatants Atalanta and Inter Milan will start the season late along with Serie B playoff winners Spezia.

That leaves opponents Lazio, Benevento, and Udinese also waiting to start their 2020-21 seasons.


Benjamin Button’s brace leaves Milan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice as AC Milan started the Serie A season with a 2-0 defeat of Bologna on Monday.

The humble Swede said that if he were 18 years younger he would’ve scored two more.

“I am not old, I am like Benjamin Button, I start old and die young,” Ibrahimovic said after the win. “Kidding aside, the team worked well, we are not at 100 percent and therefore made some mistakes we usually avoid, but it bodes well.”

Ibrahimovic is 38 years old and demanding he not be held to any less of a standard than his prime, which is incredible considering his prime is better than 99 percent of top soccer careers.

“I don’t want people to talk about my age, I want to be treated at the same level as everyone else,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if I am 38, I want to be treated like someone aged 20 and do the same work.”

Milan is coming off seven-straight seasons outside of the top four, six of those coming behind their city rivals Inter Milan.

But Ibrahimovic’s 2019-20 half-season in Italy showed he can still bring the goods, with 14 goals and five assists in 20 appearances

Now he’s scored thrice in two competitive fixtures after opening his campaign with a goal against Shamrock Rovers in Europa League qualifying.

Milan is aiming high and is tied for the fifth-best odds to win the scudetto this season due to a talented squad that features Ibrahimovic, Alessio Romagnoli, Gianlugi Donnarumma, and Theo Hernandez.

“This year, we have to take it one game at a time, play with confidence and treat every match like a Cup Final.”

Serie A results
MILAN, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 21: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images)

McKennie impresses as Juve rolls again

Playing under Andrea Pirlo has started well for USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie.

The 22-year-old Texan went 90 minutes in central midfield with Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot as Juventus beat Sampdoria 3-0 in Turin.

McKennie had 94 touches and completed 88 percent of his passes, with one key pass and four-of-five crosses in that mix.

[ MORE: Americans abroad in Bundesliga, Week 1 ]

He took two shots and converted his lone dribble attempt, the busy midfielderwinning six of 12 duels while registering four tackles, three interceptions, and two clearances. SofaScore did hit him with a “big chance missed” on debut.

McKennie kept some very good players on the bench in the forms of Arthur and Rodrigo Betancur. It’s going to be a battle to keep his place in the Starting XI but it’s clearly one he’s prepared to fight.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Leonoard Bonucci, and Dejan Kulusevski all scored for The Old Lady, who is bidding to win its 10th-straight title. That would double Inter’s second-best five-consecutive title run earlier this century.


Week 1 scoreboard

Fiorentina 1-0 Torino
Hellas Verona 0-0 AS Roma
Parma 0-2 Napoli
Genoa 4-1 Crotone
Sassuolo 1-1 Cagliari
Juventus 3-0 Sampdoria
AC Milan 2-0 Bologna


Week 2 fixtures

Torino v Atalanta — 9 am ET Saturday
Cagliari v Lazio — Noon ET Saturday
Sampdoria v Benevento — Noon ET Saturday
Inter Milan v Fiorentina — 2:45 pm ET Saturday
Spezia v Sassuolo — 6:30 am ET Sunday
Verona v Udinese — 9 am ET Sunday
Napoli v Genoa — 9 am ET Sunday
Crotone v AC Milan — Noon ET Sunday
AS Roma v Juventus — 2:45 pm ET Sunday
Bologna v Parma — 2:45 pm ET Monday


Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Genoa 1 1 0 0 4 1 3 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
 Juventus 1 1 0 0 3 0 3 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
 Milan 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
 Napoli 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 0-0-0 1-0-0 3
 Fiorentina 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
 Cagliari 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0-0-0 0-1-0 1
 Sassuolo 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0-1-0 0-0-0 1
 Hellas Verona 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0-1-0 0-0-0 1
 Roma 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-1-0 1
 Atalanta 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
 Benevento 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
 Inter Milan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
 Lazio 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
 Spezia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
 Udinese 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
 Torino 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0-0-0 0-0-1 0
 Bologna 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0-0-0 0-0-1 0
 Parma 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0-0-1 0-0-0 0
 Crotone 1 0 0 1 1 4 -3 0-0-0 0-0-1 0
 Sampdoria 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3 0-0-0 0-0-1 0