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Premier League Preview: Southampton vs. Chelsea

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  • Chelsea winners of 4-straight vs. Saints
  • Blues won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Dec. 16
  • Chelsea leads all-time 42W-28D-28L

Southampton needs points badly as the relegation-threatened side welcomes Chelsea to St. Mary’s in the first of two-straight meetings in a pair of competitions (Watch live at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The two sides will meet in the FA Cup semifinal next week at Wembley Stadium.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Southampton climbs out of the drop zone with a win and a Crystal Palace home derby loss versus Brighton and Hove Albion.

The time for moral victories is almost gone for Saints, but they were very good against Arsenal in a loss last weekend.

Chelsea drew West Ham United, and is in danger of dropping out of fifth place. Arsenal is three points behind the Blues, who are 10 points back of Spurs and Liverpool in the race for two Top Four spots.

What they’re saying

Saints boss Mark Hughes on facing Chelsea“Confidence hasn’t been diminished in any way, shape or form. We’re ready to go. We’ve had another good week and we’ll get the benefit of that. It’s a busy week and one that will test us, but we’re all ready for it and ready for the challenge.”

Chelsea’s Antonio Conte on facing Saints twice in one week“I have the possibility to rotate the defensive line and when I see the chance to let someone like Andreas Christensen rest, it is right to make changes. I have four centre-backs and from now until the end of the season, I will give everyone the chance to play.”

Prediction

Saints will be cagey and could nick a point from a substandard Chelsea outfit, but we’ll trumpet the Blues as 2-1 away winners.

FOLLOW LIVE, Gold Cup: USMNT closes out group v. Panama

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It’s a fully-changed starting XI for the U.S. Men’s National Team as it closes out the group stage against Panama at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Omar Gonzalez and Matt Miazga start together in the backline, Jozy Altidore returns to the starting lineup up top, and Jordan Morris and Jonathan Lewis feature on the wings alongside Altidore. Ten of the 11 players now ply their trade in MLS, including the Gonzalez, who recently moved to Toronto FC.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT takes on Panama in Kansas City]

Hit the link above to follow along for the next two hours, and check back on PST for a full recap and in-depth analysis after the final whistle.

Must-See Goal: Wayne Rooney v. Orlando City

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I’m going to go out on a limb and say it. Wayne Rooney just scored the most amazing goal in Audi Field’s young history.

In the 10th minute of D.C. United’s match against Orlando City SC on Wednesday evening, Rooney noticed Orlando’s Brian Rowe straying way off his line. And so, with an audacious but accurate attempt, Rooney let fly from 65 yards and SCORED. Just check this goal out below.

[FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT v. Panama]

Rooney took advantage of a crazy bounce and with his literal first touch, unleashed a thunderbolt that Rowe couldn’t catch up to. It automatically becomes one of the top contenders for the MLS Goal of the Year, and should make it on every top ten countdown this evening and tomorrow.

Benfica: Atletico Madrid make $143 million bid for Felix

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The legend of Joao Felix appears to have reached full market value potential.

The 19-year-old Portuguese striker is coming off a breakout year for Benfica, and now the Portuguese giants have received an impressive $143 million offer from Atletico Madrid for Felix. The club confirmed the offer in a statement on its website, stating it was analyzing the deal. Felix has a $136.5 million release clause in his contract, but it appears the additional $7 million is in processing costs.

[READ: Kroos wants to retire at Real Madrid]

Felix was outstanding at Benfica last year, scoring 15 goals with seven assists in 26 league games and three goals and one assist in five Europa League game. Felix has already made his international debut for Portugal.

If confirmed, Felix would become the fifth-most expensive transfer in world history, and the second-most expensive transfer for a teenager behind Kylian Mbappe.

AFCON: Nigeria 1st team through to round of 16 at African Cup, joined by host Egypt

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CAIRO (AP) Former champion Nigeria became the first team to reach the last 16 at the African Cup of Nations after defender Kenneth Omeruo‘s second-half goal delivered a 1-0 win over Guinea on Wednesday.

The Nigerians were unimpressive in the first half in Alexandria but lifted their game in the second. Alex Iwobi‘s rasping shot was pushed away by Guinea goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone and Ahmed Musa almost set up Odion Ighalo on a counterattack.

The former Chelsea defender Omeruo did what the forwards had not been able to do when he beat Kone with a glancing header at the near post off Moses Simon’s corner in the 73rd minute.

Nigeria, which won the title in 2013, has two wins from two games in Group B. It beat Burundi 1-0 in its first match and now needs a draw from its last fixture against Madagascar to finish top and stay in Alexandria for the last 16.

There was more good news for Nigeria when Samuel Kalu came on as a substitute near the end. The midfield player collapsed at a training session the day before the first game, suffering from dehydration, and was hospitalized.

Coach Gernot Rohr rested captain John Obi Mikel against Guinea.

Elsewhere, Egypt also confirmed a place in the knockout stages with a 2-0 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ahmad Elmohamady and Mohamed Salah each scored in the first half to lead the Pharoahs to victory, the hosts second-straight win in the competition.

In the other match of the day, Uganda tied Zimbabwe, 1-1.