Should Premier League clubs rest players for FA Cup?

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This weekend, FA Cup fixtures replace the usual league matchups.

In an incredible display of long-shot odds, there were eight Premier League teams and eight lower-division opponents in the draw, and not a single Premier League team was drawn against another top-flight side. The age-old question of squad rotation rears its head this weekend, and with the competition winding down, it’s a question of whether top-flight clubs rest players for the Cup and risk an embarrassing upset, or play the first-choice lineup and skip the chance for rest amid an otherwise busy time of year for teams still in the tournament.

So, let’s go chronologically through each matchup and look at the situation for each top-flight team.

Burnley vs. Lincoln City, Saturday 7:30 a.m. ET

Burnley sits in 12th place in the Premier League table, 10 points above the relegation zone and 11 points behind the final potential Europa League place in seventh. The Clarets take on non-league side Lincoln City, one of two semi-professional teams in the Round of 16. With little to fight for amid mid-table obscurity in league play, it would be foolish for Burnley to rest the starters and risk becoming the next victim of Lincoln City’s amazing run. They don’t have another league match until the next weekend, and aren’t in any other competition to fill up the schedule. Easy decision.

Millwall vs. Leicester City, Saturday 10:00 a.m. ET

Leicester City is in the midst of a fierce relegation battle just a season after winning the Premier League title. The Foxes still have not fallen into the relegation zone, but sit just one point above danger. By that thought, it’s clear the Foxes should rest their players. However, the win in the last FA Cup round seemed to provide a boost to morale amid a five-match losing streak in league play, and despite it not translating into points, giving the club a bigger chance to win could boost the team down the road. Still, it would seem resting the starters could be the smarter play here given the circumstances.

Huddersfield Town vs. Manchester City, Saturday 10:00 a.m. ET

Huddersfield Town is on a roll in Championship play and could give Manchester City a good run. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Huddersfield Town is on a roll in the Championship. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

This is a tough draw for Manchester City, at least one of the tougher draws given the lower division opponents in the pool. Huddersfield is battling for a playoff spot in the Championship, sitting in third, six points clear in the playoffs and on a five-match league winning streak. Manchester City, meanwhile, is just hoping to stay within striking distance of leaders Chelsea, eight points back. They’re still in the Champions League as well, matched up with Monaco. With City on three fronts, and the FA Cup a distant third in the pecking order, they will likely rest some of the older players such as David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, and Yaya Toure. City has a deep enough squad to rotate players and still be heavily favored against a strong Championship side.

Middlesbrough vs. Oxford United, Saturday 10:00 a.m. ET

Boro takes on League One side Oxford United, and this looks similar to the Leicester situation. With Aitor Karanka‘s side in an eight-match winless run in league play and just two points above relegation, resting the starters is smart here against a mid-table League One opponent coming to town.

Wolves vs. Chelsea, Saturday 12:30 a.m. ET

Chelsea’s in great shape in Premier League play, eight points clear of anyone else and the huge favorites to claim the title. This is an obvious choice – play the boys. Sure, an injury to a key player like Diego Costa would be rough for the title run, but they have enough cushion and squad depth to push through it, and a domestic double would truly lead to a famous season for the Blues. Do I think Antonio Conte will play crucial pieces like Costa, Gary Cahill, and Cesar Azpilicueta? No, because I think he uses the opportunity to give Michy Batshuayi, Kurt Zouma, and Nathan Ake a run. But I think he should. A loss to struggling lower-division opponents like Wolves (on a three-match league losing streak) would put a damper on an otherwise stellar season.

Fulham vs. Tottenham Hotspur, Sunday 9:00 a.m. ET

This is maybe the most fascinating matchup of the weekend. Mauricio Pochettino‘s club is in the midst of a goal drought, with just one goal in their last four matches across all competitions, and a strong lineup disappointed mightily on the road in Europa League play on Thursday. So, should Pochettino give the starters a rest having just played midweek and scheduled for yet another midweek game at Wembley just four days later? Or should he give the main men another runout to get back on top of things?

[ MORE: Jose Mourinho thinks Man United played poorly in 3-0 win ]

With Spurs reeling, a loss here is a decent possibility against a possession-heavy Championship side, especially if Slavisa Jokanovic deploys his starters at Craven Cottage, which is admittedly unlikely with the Whites holding an outside shot at the playoffs and needing every point possible in league play. Also consider Pochettino rested Christian Eriksen and Heung-Min Son against Gent, although both were needed off the bench in the eventual 1-0 loss. It will be interesting to see his, and Fulham’s, lineup come Sunday morning; Pochettino’s high-pressing style is a bad matchup for counter-prone Fulham no matter who is on the field, so maybe the boss believes that will win him the game even with fringe players.

Blackburn vs. Manchester United, Sunday 11:15 a.m. ET

As the Premier League top four continue to falter and Manchester United continues to perform, suddenly the Red Devils have Champions League life. However, trophies have become more precious to Manchester United fans as the steady flow has dried up following the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. This is the dilemma for Jose Mourinho as he travels to Ewood Park. Against a club fighting for its Championship lives at the bottom of the table, it’s likely that Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David De Gea, Paul Pogba, and other essential players could see the bench. However, also consider that United’s 3-0 win against St. Etienne on Thursday means that next week’s Europa League second leg presents yet another opportunity to rest starters, meaning the usual suspects could see the field in FA Cup action. Mourinho will have to pick and choose when to rest what players, and we’ll get a view into his mind when seeing the lineup card on Sunday.

Sutton United vs. Arsenal, Sunday 2:55 p.m. ET

This is a no-brainer for Arsene Wenger. Amid the turmoil surrounding the Gunners, with calls for Wenger’s job and the disaster at Bayern Munich, a loss to non-league Sutton United would send the North London club into absolute chaos. While the Gunners hang on for dear life in the Premier League top four, Wenger is forced into playing his starters. Should he rest players and the club loses, it would truly release the hounds, something the club cannot afford as it reaches the stretch run of Premier League play. Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, and the rest of the regulars must play, especially with little riding on the midweek Champions League second leg as the matchup is all but over.

Premier League Fan Fest coming to Philadelphia

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The Premier League Fan Fest is heading to Philadelphia in 2022, as the entire Premier League Mornings Live team will be in Philly for what promises to be an incredible weekend.

Our latest Fan Fest will take place on October 15-16 in Dilworth Park and we can’t wait to be in the City of Brotherly Love.

SIGN UP FOR THE FAN FEST HERE

That weekend the huge Liverpool vs Manchester City clash takes stage (Sunday, Oct. 16 at 11:30am ET), while on the same day in the other type of football the Philadelphia Eagles host the Dallas Cowboys on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

It will be one heck of a party in Philly.

Below are more details on the event, while all you have to do is click on the link above to sign up so you can be there.


Premier League Fan Fest is coming to Philadelphia in October

This marks the first Fan Fest in the state of Pennsylvania and continues a period of huge celebration for soccer in Philly.

With the Philadelphia Union flying high atop the Major League Soccer standings, plus Philadelphia recently announced as one of the host cities for games at the men’s 2026 FIFA World Cup, the beauty of the beautiful game is spreading to every corner of Philly’s famous streets.

Philadelphia was supposed to be the site of our Fan Fest in March 2020 but was postponed due to COVID-19.

“Philly’s been waiting, and we wanted to use the best opportunities at the right moment to come back,” NBC Sports’ senior vice president of consumer engagement Lyndsay Signor told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “For all of the reasons that we landed on Philly for 2020 — the fandom the city, as the heart of so many professional sports — there was never a question.

“But I think when it started to get closer to Philadelphia hosting the World Cup, and looking at some opportunities to collaborate around Sunday Night Football … it felt like a really awesome time to fire up the Philly fan base again, and bring Fan Fest back and actually be able to execute it without COVID parameters in the way.”

Here are a few things you can expect from the Fan Fest

  • Gates will open at 6am on both days
  • Premier League legends Alan Shearer and Ian Wright will be on-site
  • Club mascots and the Premier League trophy will also be there
  • TV screens will be in place across Dilworth Park so fans can easily watch the game of their choice
  • Four games kick off at 9am ET on Sunday, Oct. 16, before Liverpool vs Manchester City at 11:30am ET
  • Entry is free but you will have to register for a ticket here
  • Special guests will join our crew throughout the weekend
  • Alcohol and food will be served at the event

Premier League odds, picks: Week 10 of the 2022-23 season

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Before you watch the Premier League this weekend, make sure to know who’s expected to win.

And, if you’re into it, be sure to check out who our ProSoccerTalk crew of Joe Prince-Wright, Andy Edwards, and Nick Mendola think who’ll deliver the goods.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Remember: you can watch all 380 Premier League games across NBC, USA Network, NBCSports.com and Peacock. We’ve got you covered.

[ MORE: Watch Premier League live | Peacock Premium details ]


PST’s Premier League picks standings after Week 9

Considering that winning requires getting the correct result (win, loss, or draw), getting a ‘W’ in picks isn’t all that easy.

The originator of PST’s picks, Joe Prince-Wright, is now in second place after a rough week for Andy Edwards, but Nick Mendola’s re-established his first-place status with the most wins by a single writer in a single week this early season.

STANDINGS

Wk9

JPW 3-7
Andy 2-8
Nick 6-4

Season

Nick Mendola, 38-39
Joe Prince-Wright, 34-43
Andy Edwards, 33-44


Premier League picks: Week 10 of the 2022-23 season

Full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet – PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

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.

DOWNLOAD NBC SPORTS PREDICTOR


Newcastle vs Brentford

Odds: Newcastle (-131) vs Brentford (+325) | Draw (+280)
Kickoff: 10am ET Saturday
TV/Stream: USA Network – WATCH LIVE ON NBCSPORTS.COM

JPW: Newcastle 2-1 Brentford
Andy: Newcastle 3-2 Brentford
Nick: Newcastle 1-1 Brentford

Bournemouth vs Leicester City

Odds: Bournemouth (+240) vs Leicester City (+110) | Draw (+250)
Kickoff: 10am ET Saturday
TV/Stream: WATCH LIVE ON PEACOCK PREMIUM
JPW: Bournemouth 1-3 Leicester
Andy: Bournemouth 2-2 Leicester
Nick: Bournemouth 0-2 Leicester

Chelsea vs Wolves

Odds: Chelsea (-261) vs Wolves (+700) | Draw (+375)
Kickoff: 10am ET Saturday
TV/Stream: WATCH LIVE ON PEACOCK PREMIUM
JPW: Chelsea 3-1 Wolves
Andy:
Chelsea 2-0 Wolves
Nick: Chelsea 2-1 Wolves

Manchester City vs Southampton

Odds: Man City (-901) vs Southampton (+1800) | Draw (+850)
Kickoff: 10am ET Saturday
TV/Stream: WATCH LIVE ON PEACOCK PREMIUM
JPW: Man City 4-1 Southampton
Andy: Man City 5-1 Southampton
Nick: Man City 3-1 Southampton

Brighton vs Tottenham

Odds: Brighton (+165) vs Tottenham Hotspur (+160) | Draw (+240)
Kickoff: 12:30pm ET Saturday
TV/Stream: NBC – WATCH LIVE ON NBCSPORTS.COM
JPW: Brighton 1-2 Spurs
Andy:
Brighton 1-1 Tottenham
Nick: Brighton 0-2 Spurs

West Ham vs Fulham

Odds: West Ham (-136) vs Tottenham Hotspur (+350) | Draw (+280)
Kickoff: 9am ET Sunday
TV/Stream: CNBC – WATCH LIVE ON NBCSPORTS.COM
JPW: West Ham 3-1 Fulham

Andy: West Ham 2-1 Fulham
Nick: West Ham 1-0 Fulham

Crystal Palace vs Leeds United

Odds: Crystal Palace (+110) vs Leeds United (+240) | Draw (+250)
Kickoff: 9am ET Sunday
TV/Stream: USA Network – WATCH LIVE ON NBCSPORTS.COM
JPW: Palace 2-1 Leeds

Andy: Palace 2-2 Leeds
Nick: Palace 1-1 Leeds

Arsenal vs Liverpool

Odds: Arsenal (+150) vs Liverpool (+160) | Draw (+260)
Kickoff: 11:30am ET Sunday
TV/Stream: USA Network – WATCH LIVE ON NBCSPORTS.COM
JPW: Arsenal 3-2 Liverpool 
Andy:
Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool
Nick: Arsenal 1-2 Liverpool

Everton vs Manchester United

Odds: Everton (+270) vs Manchester United (-104) | Draw (+250)
Kickoff: 2pm ET Sunday
TV/Stream: USA Network – WATCH LIVE ON NBCSPORTS.COM
JPW: Everton 1-1 Man United
Andy: Everton 1-2 Man Utd
Nick: Everton 0-2 Man Utd

Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa

Odds: Nottingham Forest (+230) vs Aston Villa (+115) | Draw (+240)
Kickoff: 3pm ET Monday
TV/Stream: USA Network – WATCH LIVE ON NBCSPORTS.COM
JPW: Forest 1-1 Villa
Andy:
Forest 0-1 Villa
Nick: Forest 1-1 Villa

West Ham vs Fulham: How to watch, live stream link, TV, team news

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Injury-hit Fulham visits West Ham United on Sunday, hoping to catch weary hosts just back from a midweek trip to Belgium when the sides tangle at London’s Olympic Stadium (watch live, 9am ET Sunday on CNBC and online via NBCSports.com).

The Irons are looking to build on their Premier League form after beating Wolves on Saturday and rolling it into Europa Conference League play at midweek. West Ham beat Anderlecht 1-0 on Thursday as Gianluca Scamacca stayed hot to keep the Irons perfect in group play.

STREAM LIVE FULHAM vs WEST HAM

Fulham has been a handful this season but won’t have Nathaniel Chalobah, who was suspended in last weekend’s loss to Newcastle, in addition to possible absences for playmakers Kenny Tete, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Antonee Robinson, and Willian.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Fulham vs West Ham.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch West Ham vs Fulham live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 9am ET, Sunday
TV Channel: CNBC
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & (young) star players

Fulham may be without Robinson and Tete in addition to definitely missing Layvin Kurzawa, leaving Kevin Mbabu as the lone regular fullback certain to be available. Attacking injuries could shift focus to ex-Tottenham loanee Carlos Vinicius and wingers Neeskens Kebano and Daniel James.

West Ham started the Anderlecht win with Declan Rice, Lucas Paqueta, Gianluca Scamacca, and Pablo Fornals on the bench, with the quartet entering over the final 21 minutes to deliver the W. Aaron Cresswell, Kurt Zouma, Thilo Kehrer, and Tomas Soucek were completely rested, so there won’t be too much worry about the weariness angle mentioned above.


West Ham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Nayef Aguerd (ankle), Maxwell Cornet (calf)

Fulham team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Antonee Robinson (foot), Willian (calf), Kenny Tete (knock), Aleksandar Mitrovic (ankle). OUT: Layvin Kurzawa (knock), Manor Solomon (knee), Harry Wilson (knee), Nathaniel Chalobah (suspension)

Brighton vs Tottenham: How to watch, live stream link, TV channel, team news

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Brighton vs Tottenham is an early-season test of credentials as the host Seagulls look to show their top-four quality is on the level of their third-place visitors at the Amex Stadium (watch live, 12:30pm ET Saturday on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

The Seagulls have given new manager Roberto De Zerbi a solid start in taking over for Graham Potter, who left for Chelsea.

STREAM LIVE BRIGHTON vs TOTTENHAM

Now they’ll look to show that the team has plenty in the tank for a long run in the European places, currently three points behind Spurs with a match-in-hand on the North Londoners.

Tottenham has looked solid but also knows it has to show the 10-man North London derby loss was a fluke.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Brighton vs Tottenham.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Brighton vs Tottenham live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 3pm ET, Friday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & star players

Brighton’s been getting so much of its offense from Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard, the latter coming off a hat trick and in the upper end of the Premier League leaders in both goals and assists. Alexis Mac Allister has been solid in the midfield and at the penalty spot.

Spurs continue to use Harry Kane in the Starting XI time and time again, and the English center forward hasn’t worn down yet. A midweek scoreless draw in Germany against Eintracht Frankfurt will see Spurs show up to the party with more miles on their legs than the home team.


Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Jakub Moder (knee), Enock Mwepu (illness)

Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Emerson (suspension), Dejan Kulusevski (thigh), Japhet Tanganga (knock), Lucas Moura (calf)