Premier League 2017-18 preview – Huddersfield Town

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We have another fairytale story in the Premier League.

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Huddersfield Town were promoted to the PL for the first time in club history via the lottery of the Championship playoffs as they beat Reading on penalty kicks at Wembley in May. It is the first time in 45 years that they’ve been in the top-tier of English soccer.

Managed by German-American David Wagner, the Terriers wheeled and dealed in the transfer market last season to build a team full of cast offs from some of the PL’s big boys and clubs across Germany. It worked a treat as they fostered a strong sense of togetherness with their fans and dug deep at the end of the season to win the playoffs. Bankrolled by local businessman Dean Hoyle, Huddersfield are set to become the new minnows of the PL everyone adores: think, a northern English version of Bournemouth.

[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ] 

Huddersfield have been champions of England in the past, winning the title for three consecutive seasons from 1923-24, while they also won the FA Cup in 1922. Their main rivals are Leeds United and Bradford City, but it’s now Huddersfield who are Yorkshire’s lone representatives in the PL.

Best, worst case scenario: Staying up is the best case scenario and they just don’t want to ‘do a Derby’ and finish rock bottom of the table.

Best possible XI is…


—– Lossl —–

—- Smith —- Heffele —- Schindler —- Lowe —-

—- Ince —- Williams —- Mooy —- Palmer —– Kachunga —-

—– Mounie —–


Transfers in: Steve Mounie ($15 million, Montpellier), Tom Ince ($11.2 million, Derby County), Aaron Mooy ($10.5 million, Manchester City), Laurent Depoitre ($4.6 million, FC Porto), Scott Malone ($6.6 million, Fulham), Mathias Jorgensen ($4.6 million, Copenhagen), Danny Williams (Free, Reading), Elias Kachunga ($1.4 million, Ingolstadt), Jonas Lossl (Loan, Mainz 05), Kasey Palmer (Loan, Chelsea)

Transfers out: Kyle Dempsey ($992,000, Fleetwood Town)

Last season
– 4th in the Championship (promoted to PL after winning playoffs)
– FA Cup 5th round
– EFL Cup 1st round

Getty Images

Star player: Steve Mounie is Huddersfield’s record signing and the Benin striker has already been in fine form in preseason. His pace and power will provide the Terries with an outlet and with Kachunga, Mooy, Ince and Palmer underneath him, expect Mounie to get plenty of chances to score. Ince is another who has excelled in preseason and will be looking to finally make his mark in the PL after several stellar seasons in the second tier.

Coaches’ Corner: German-American coach David Wagner is as charismatic as they come and the man who spent most of his coaching career working under Jurgen Klopp at Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund has now built something really special on his own. Wagner’s team are like Klopp’s with plenty of high-pressing and pace in attack, but the Terriers are also capable of sitting back and soaking up pressure when they have to. After bringing in plenty of new faces early in the summer, the signs are good that Wagner can help Huddersfield achieve much more than just battling against relegation. Whatever happens this season, Wagner has a bright future.

PST predicts: Whatever way you want to slice this up, it will be a tough season for Huddersfield as most of their squad have yet to play in the PL. A strong togetherness and a lively home atmosphere will get them so far, but Wagner will everyone to play to their maximum to just stay out of the bottom three. Expect a season-long scrap, but it will be plenty of fun and I wouldn’t bet against Wagner keeping the Terriers up.

Man City vs Man United: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Manchester City vs Manchester United: Erling Haaland is set for his Manchester derby debut when the two-time defending champions host the rapidly improving Red Devils at Etihad Stadium on Sunday (watch live, 9 am ET on Peacock Premium). 

STREAM LIVE MAN CITY vs MAN UNITED

Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm with an absurd 11 goals scored in his first seven games after (ostensibly) choosing Man City over Man United before leaving Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Six weeks ago, Manchester United had not a single point from their first two games, including a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of tiny Brentford, but Erik ten Hag has since switched tactical course en route to four straight wins, including a 3-1 victory over PL leaders Arsenal last time out, to set up this hugely intriguing showdown on Sunday.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Man City vs Man United

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Manchester City vs Manchester United live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 9 am ET, Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines & star players

Despite a pair of disappointing draws (Newcastle and Aston Villa), it’s been an unbeaten start to the 2022-23 season for Man City, who still lead the PL in possession (66.4 percent per game) while also becoming an unstoppable offensive force from last season (14 goals in their first seven games) to this season (23). That’s not to say it’s been easy as Manchester City go through a tactical shift of their own to better appeal to the big Norwegian’s poaching abilities. Though they have been forced to grind out results a few times already this season, it’s highlighted a newfound spontaneity for a side that’s been as regimented as any in the world. Will that freedom be what ultimately lands Pep Guardiola his first Champions League trophy since 2011, and perhaps a third straight PL title (and a fifth in six years) to boot?

As for Manchester United, the Ten Hag era has been a wild roller-coaster ride already, short as it’s been. The back-to-back defeats were one thing, but the abject performances were the real cause for discontent. While picking up the four straight victories, the Dutchman has also settled on a midfield setup with Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen operating in (effectively) a double pivot with Bruno Fernandes the most advanced of the three. It has brought defensive stability, of course, but more importantly the change has revealed a deadly counter-attacking side. Each of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Fernandes have scored twice during the winning run, with new boy Antony also getting in on the fun on his debut. With space in behind (and the proper service from deep), Ten Hag might just have his first winning formula (albeit quite unlike him).


Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), John Stones (hamstring), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Aymeric Laporte (knee)

Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Harry Maguire (hamstring), Marcus Rashford (thigh), Brandon Williams (undisclosed), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE, Donny van de Beek (knock), Martin Dubravka (knock)

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WATCH: Lionel Messi spins gorgeous free kick goal past Nice’s Schmeichel

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Lionel Messi got the better of Kasper Schmeichel with an outstanding free kick as Paris Saint-Germain outlasted Nice 2-1 on Saturday at the Parc des Princes.

The world’s greatest scorer was fouled to set up a free kick just inside the arc. Nice, of course, got into a wall and former Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel arranged it to his liking.

As he does so many times, however, Messi spun a free kick just over the wall. The ball, which came so close to taking a slight turn off a leaping wall member (actually, did it?), tumbled down and right into the side netting to give PSG a 1-0 lead before the match was a half-hour old.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Ricardo Pepi scores relentless Groningen goal ]

Gaetan Laborde tied the match before halftime, and Nice’s revamped roster looked set to hold tight for a point (The club’s signed familiar Premier League names Schmeichel, Ross Barkley, Aaron Ramsey, and Mario Lemina).

Even that wouldn’t be enough, though, as Kylian Mbappe came off the bench to replace young Hugo Ekitike to finish a Nordi Mukiele assist for a 2-1 win.

PSG has eight wins and a draw this season, good for a two-point lead on second-place Marseille. Messi has five goals and a joint-league-best seven assists, tied with Neymar. Mbappe and Neymar are tied for the league goals lead with eight.

Lionel Messi free kick goal video

USMNT’s Ricardo Pepi defies xG with relentless goal (video)

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USMNT forward Ricardo Pepi’s goal while trying to will Groningen back into an eventual 4-1 loss to AZ Alkmaar on Saturday will not be one of the expected variety.

The 19-year-old striker, on loan from Augsburg, ran onto an audacious long pass from 20-year-old defender Neraysho Kasanwirjo but had plenty of work to do with AZ leading 2-0.

[ MORE: Josef Martinez scores audacious overhead goal ]

Pepi sees one defender fall in a race to the ball, then bodies up AZ’s Sam Beukema a little outside the six-yard box.

Hand-to-hand combat sees both players hit the turf, and Pepi probably could won a penalty.

But the World Cup hopeful spins while on the pitch and snaps a shot past charging AZ goalkeeper Hobie Verhulst to make it 2-1.

Video after the jump.

Ricardo Pepi
fotmob.com

Ricardo Pepi goal video: Fantastic start to Groningen loan

Pepi now has a goal or an assist in his first three Eredivisie outings, not unlike his fantastic start to life in a USMNT shirt.

His goal contributions have taken a dive since his first two USMNT matches — World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Jamaica — and he only has one assist from the following 10 outings in a U.S. shirt.

Still, Pepi is clearly one of Gregg Berhalter’s favorite options for the upcoming World Cup, and his performances will be measured against Union Berlin’s Jordan Pefok, FC Dallas’ Jesus Ferreira, and others.

In a tournament where every moment matters, his work for this scrappy finish will be well-noted by the USMNT staff.

Josef Martinez scores vicious overhead kick in Atlanta United loss (video)

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If this is the last goal of Josef Martinez’s (likely) final season with Atlanta United, it will be very appropriate.

So for Martinez, even in a losing effort, to go airborne for an overhead kick that is a simply sensational feat of athleticism and power, well, it just feels right.

The 29-year-old Venezuelan forward joined the Five Stripes in 2017 in what seemed a massive capture for the club at the time and now seems downright gargantuan, but he’s fallen out with current manager Gonzalo Pineda and was even suspended for a match last month.

[ MORE: West Ham beats Wolves | Klopp reacts to latest setback ]

Martinez has nine goals and four assists in an injury-abbreviated 25-game season, giving him 111 goals in 156 appearances for ATL UTD. The former Torino and Young Boys striker is still being capped for Venezuela and would leave with an MLS Cup, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and Campeones Cup as well as a boatload of individual honors.

Atlanta lost 2-1 to New England on Saturday and returns home for their season finale next weekend versus New York City FC. The Five Stripes won’t make the playoffs unless at least two teams decide not to field teams, so if the NYCFC game doesn’t go well, let’s pretend this one was his final appearance for the club.