Italy coach says he convinced Buffon to extend career

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FLORENCE, Italy (AP) Gianluigi Buffon’s international career might not be over after all.

Interim Italy coach Luigi Di Biagio believes he has convinced the 40-year-old goalkeeper to stay on for friendlies against Argentina and England next month.

Speaking at a training camp for younger players Monday, Di Biagio said “a player like him can’t go out after the loss to Sweden,” referring to the World Cup playoff defeat in November.

Buffon announced his retirement from Italy’s squad after that loss.

Di Biagio said he “proposed that (Buffon) take part in two or three matches then make a decision down the road. So Gigi will probably take part in the March trip.”

Di Biagio said veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini will also remain in the squad, although he wouldn’t announce a decision over a possible recall of Mario Balotelli.

Bournemouth vs Fulham: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Bournemouth host Fulham at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday hoping to take another huge step towards Premier League safety.

STREAM LIVE BOURNEMOUTH v FULHAM

The Cherries stunned Liverpool in their last home game but were brought back down to earth with a thud as they were hammered at Aston Villa before the international break. Still, Gary O’Neil’s side are just one point from safety with 11 games to go and have a real chance of staying up. Plus, some of their January signings look like real gamechangers and this game between the newly-promoted duo delivered a thrilling 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage earlier this season.

Fulham have struggled in recent weeks as they’ve lost two in a row in the Premier League and then their incredible meltdown at Manchester United in the FA Cup quarterfinal saw them crash out of the competition with Aleksandar Mitrovic, Willian and manager Marco Silva all sent off. Add in that Mitrovic and Silva were both charged by the FA and it was an absolute mess with Fulham’s talisman losing the plot as he pushed the referee. The Cottagers will be hoping for a straightforward trip, and win, down to the South Coast to get them back on track.

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Here’s everything you need for Bournemouth vs Fulham.


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

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines & in-form players to watch

Gary O’Neil has set Bournemouth up to be dangerous on the counter attack and that works well against teams who love to dominate possession. Fulham love to do that and this tactic could suit the Cherries in this game. Dominic Solanke has led the line superbly, Neto has been excellent in goal and Dango Ouatrara has been sensational since arriving in January as his speed and direct running has given Bournemouth an extra dimension.

Fulham have just lost their way after an incredible season so far. They are still in the battle for European qualification as they sit in the top 10 and now they have to finish the campaign strong to keep positive vibes flowing. Marco Silva wants them to snap into challenges, press high and keep the ball when they have it and they are horrible to play against.


Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Junior Stanislas (undisclosed), Marcus Tavernier (thigh), Illia Zabarnyi (foot), Adam Smith (groin)

Fulham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Willian (suspended), Aleksandar Mitrovic (suspended), Layvin Kurzawa (knee), Neeskens Kebano (Achilles). QUESTIONABLE: Shane Duffy (calf)



Manchester City vs Liverpool: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Manchester City host Liverpool in a huge game for both teams as they battle for the title and a top four finish respectively.

STREAM LIVE MANCHESTER CITY v LIVERPOOL

Pep Guardiola’s Man City can momentarily cut the gap to leaders Arsenal to five points but there are question marks swirling around the fitness of goalscoring machine Erling Haaland heading into this game. City are looking for a three-peat of Premier League titles and five in the last six seasons, but Arsenal don’t look like they’re going to slip up anytime soon. So City can’t afford to either. They’ve won six in a row in all competitions, scoring 23 and conceding once in that run. We all know they love to kick on at this point of the campaign, so let’s see if they can do it again.

As for Liverpool, well, it has been one step forward and one step back pretty much all season long for Jurgen Klopp’s side. After their 7-0 shellacking of Manchester United, they then lost at Bournemouth to infuriate Klopp and their fans further. The front three of Salah, Nunez and Gakpo are all clicking through the gears nicely but Liverpool have to become more consistent and dominant games in midfield if they’re going to close the gap to the current top four. They’ve had success against City in recent years as their contrasting style of play match up well but this seems like a different, more fragile, Liverpool this season.

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Here’s everything you need for Manchester City vs Liverpool.


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

Kick off: 7:30am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines & in-form players to watch

The fitness of Haaland is obviously a huge concern for City as he suffered a groin issue and did not play for Norway over the international break and returned to Manchester for treatment. If he isn’t fit to start then expect Julian Alvarez to come in. Elsewhere, City are flying with Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gunodgan having a big role to play with Phil Foden out following his Appendectomy. As always, Kevin de Bruyne is the main man and will relish this chance to cut Arsenal’s lead atop the table.

Liverpool just can’t find consistency right now. They have improved defensively but they are a real Jekyll and Hyde team. Jurgen Klopp isn’t a fan of that and showed his frustration after their defeat at Bournemouth, which was their last Premier League game and was way back on March 11. He’s had a few weeks to stew over that loss and it will be intriguing to see what plan he has come up with. For this game as earlier this season Liverpool beat Man City 1-0 at Anfield by playing a front four which pinned City in.


Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Erling Haaland (groin) | OUT: Phil Foden (appendix removed)

Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Calvin Ramsay (knee), Stefan Bajcetic (groin) | QUESTIONABLE: Luis Diaz (knee), Darwin Nunez (ankle), Kostas Tsimikas (rib), Thiago Alcantara (hip), Joe Gomez (undisclosed)



Premier League winners – Full list of every champion

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The Premier League winners are yet to be determined for the 2022-23 season but there is going to be one epic battle to decide who are crowned champions.

With Arsenal leading the way but Manchester City set to hunt them down in the final months of the current campaign, it makes you think back to some of the great teams, and champs, in years gone by.

From Manchester United’s legendary treble winning side to the Leicester City fairytale and Arsenal’s Invincibles, there have been so many amazing title winners over the 30 seasons of the Premier League.

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Below you will find a list of every Premier League winner since the league was formed in 1992-93, with just seven teams being able to call themselves champions since then.


Premier League winners – List of every champion

1992-93: Manchester United
1993-94: Manchester United
1994-95: Blackburn Rovers
1995-96: Manchester United
1996-97: Manchester United
1997-98: Arsenal
1998-99: Manchester United
1999-00: Manchester United
2000-01: Manchester United
2001-02: Arsenal
2002-03: Manchester United
2003-04: Arsenal
2004-05: Chelsea
2005-06: Chelsea
2006-07: Manchester United
2007-08: Manchester United
2008-09: Manchester United
2009-10: Chelsea
2010-11: Manchester United
2011-12: Manchester City
2012-13: Manchester United
2013-14: Manchester City
2014-15: Chelsea
2015-16: Leicester City
2016-17: Chelsea
2017-18: Manchester City
2018-19: Manchester City
2019-20: Liverpool
2020-21: Manchester City
2021-22: Manchester City
2022-23: TBD


Folarin Balogun to USMNT? England to hold talks after U.S. interest

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Arsenal rising star Folarin Balogun held talks with U.S. Soccer last week and now he is set to discuss his international future with England.

Balogun visited Orlando, Florida during the March international break and the USMNT eligible striker being interested in committing his international future to the USA caused quite the stir.

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The England U21 forward missed their March camp due to a small injury and he then posted a photo on social media which showed he was near to the USMNT’s training camp in Florida and he has was around Orlando for the USMNT’s 1-0 win against El Salvador there.

Now, England U21 boss Lee Carsley has revealed that the Three Lions setup will hold talks with Balogun about his future next week, as they will travel to Reims in France where he is currently on loan from Arsenal.

“He’s going to have to make a decision, so all we can do is tell him how much we rate him. The rest is down to him,” Carsley said via the London Evening Standard. Balogun has scored seven goals in 13 U21 games for England.

However, USMNT interim head coach Anthony Hudson last week confirmed that Balogun and U.S. Soccer had held talks over his future.

“We’ve had a dialogue. He is out here [in Orlando] having a bit of a break and training. We’ve had some discussions. It’s now just about him enjoying the rest of his trip… It has been an opportunity for us to share about our program, and that’s it. I hope we speak again,” Hudson said.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Balogun is a man in demand as England, the USMNT and Nigeria all push for him to represent them as he continues to assess his options.

 


What are the chances he selects USMNT?

Balogun, 21, has scored 17 goals in France’s top-flight for Reims this season as his loan spell from Arsenal has gone incredibly well and only Jonathan David and Kylian Mbappe have scored more goals than him in Ligue 1 so far in 2022-23.

Internationally he is eligible to play for the USA, England and Nigeria and he has represented England’s youth teams in recent years and has previously played for the USA at U18 level.

Balogun was expected to play for the Three Lions during this international break as he is England’s main goalscoring threat at U21 level and Carsley wants him to represent them this summer at the U21 European Championships.

The talented striker used an unexpected window of opportunity to fly to Orlando to meet with U.S. Soccer reps to discuss his potential future with the USMNT. So, will he switch his international allegiance?

Arsenal teammate and USMNT’s starting goalkeeper Matt Turner had this to say when asked about Balogun.

“Yeah, he’d be a great addition to our national team. I think he’s done really well, obviously, for his club on loan, and we’ll see. The decision has to come from the heart, because it’s not necessarily an easy task always, to come and play in these CONCACAF games, and it’s a tough region at times. So for us, we’d be really grateful to have him, but his heart needs to be in it,” Turner said.


What does he think?

Balogun has spoken about this topic before as Pro Soccer Talk asked him about his international future in an interview at the start of last season.

We asked Balogun if other Arsenal academy graduates like Yunus Musah and Bukayo Saka being in similar situations has led to them discussing how they made their decision on which country to represent and if that would help him to decide who he plays for internationally.

“I haven’t spoken to any of them about the nationality situation,” Balogun said. “Even from just the way I’ve known them, it is not something they have put a lot of pressure on themselves about. I think it is a decision that comes naturally to them.

“I think I’m going to do the same and hopefully something will just come to me and then I will make a decision… I don’t want to put too much pressure on the situation. It is just something that will just come to me.”

Maybe that feeling came to him while he was in the Orlando area with the USMNT.