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Pick a World Cup team based on your PL club


Let’s have a bit of fun ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

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With the U.S. national team not at the tournament, you may still be struggling to pick which team you will be rooting for in Russia.

But with the lineup set for the 2018/19 Premier League season, we’ve gone ahead and compared all 20 PL teams to a nation competing at the World Cup this summer.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]  

Below you find that list to sink your teeth into (no Suarez pun intended).

Arsenal = England
Plenty of promising stars but always seem to come up short in key moments.

Bournemouth = Nigeria
Young, talented squad who are on their way up and love to attack.

Brighton = Australia
They have a Socceroos star in Mat Ryan in goal and they are a tough defensive unit.

Burnley = Iceland
Loveable underdogs who have overachieved massively against all the odds.

Cardiff City = Switzerland
Rugged, route one teams who love to defend and cause upsets.

Chelsea = Spain
All the talent but a rollercoaster ride. From PL titles to metldowns, World Cup titles to group stage exits.

Crystal Palace = Serbia
Eagles skipper Luka Milivojevic will star for Serbia and both are well-organized but capable of devastating counter attacks.

Everton = Belgium
A plethora of talented players but the sum of their parts never quite get the job done. So much potential.

Fulham = Egypt
Attractive, possession based teams who are deadly on the break. Always underestimated but often overachieve. Sessegnon = Salah.

Huddersfield Town = Panama
Minnows who battled to get to the big dance against the odds.

Leicester City = Portugal
Both won stunning major titles in recent seasons and are hanging around to prove they weren’t quite a flash in the pan. Ronaldo = Mahrez.

Liverpool = Argentina
Ridiculously top-heavy squads but oh so fun to watch. Defensive deficiencies clear for all to see, but they love to attack and entertain.

Manchester City = Germany
A powerhouse and favorites to dominate not only in this tournament but for years to come.

Manchester United = Brazil
Past dynasties are struggling to get going again but there’s no disputing their stature in the game and past glory.

Newcastle United = Mexico
Sleeping giants who are often their own worst enemies. Both are built on solid defenses and believe they will soon dine at the top table.

Southampton = Sweden
Fun to watch and organized, while also giving youth a chance. Steady, middle of the road team who you can always rely on to be involved.

Tottenham Hotspur = France
Young, exciting team who have been growing together over the past few years. Both will have doubters until they win a major trophy in recent years.

Watford = Uruguay
Hard-nosed defensive outfit who rely on a couple of star attackers to spring them into life.

West Ham United = Croatia
So many talented players but the big challenge is to try and mesh it altogether as a unit.

Wolverhampton Wanderers = Senegal
Robust and upcoming with so much potential. Diogo Jota = Sadio Mane.

Rumored Neymar for Bale swap: Who wins?

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Who would gain more of an advantage from the rumored, sensational Gareth Bale for Neymar swap: Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid?

Both players are currently problems for their clubs, though neither is known as a true rabble-rouser; Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane wants to be done with the newly-minted 30-year-old Bale, while PSG knows Neymar wants to leave and would love to satiate Kylian Mbappe’s appetite to be the man at their club.

[ REPORT: Man Utd, Leicester agree Maguire fee ]

Presumably some money would be headed PSG’s way in addition to Bale, and both clubs would be getting a motivated megawatt star.

Neymar doesn’t turn 28 until February, but the difference in age may be offset by the Brazilian’s track record of injuries.

In fact, his injury status last season combines with an off-field accusation of sexual assault and a red card for confronting a fan to overshadow his production: Neymar’s 23 goals and 13 assists in just over 2300 minutes last season, including five and two in the Champions League (and a goal and an assist against defensively-stout Liverpool).

Bale presents very few personality challenges, and PSG won’t have a problem with his massive wages (especially with Neymar off the books). His numbers have dipped in two of three seasons since his otherworldly 2015-16, but La Liga is a more difficult scoring league than Ligue 1.

Neymar has twice been a Ballon d’Or finalist and, presuming his legal troubles don’t persist, could be a title fight changer in La Liga. Imagine the Neymar, Eden Hazard, and Luka Jovic trying to outgun Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and Luis Suarez? Insane.

We’d say Real would be winning the straight-up swap, and that it’s pretty unlikely to go down that way. So it depends what PSG does with the relative Financial Fair Play freedom that would come with the money that also arrives from Spain. Is it Idrissa Gana Gueye? Someone else who helps take PSG’s Champions League hopes to the next level?

Manchester United in ‘concrete talks’ with Lille over Pepe

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Manchester United are reportedly in “concrete talks” to agree a fee with Lille for much-tracked playmaker Nicolas Pepe.

The 24-year-old attacking midfielder has been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal amongst others, and Lille has admitted he’ll be leaving the club.

[ REPORT: Man Utd, Leicester agree Maguire fee ]

United’s reported salvo was around $87.5 million. He’d give them a star who could play across from Anthony Martial or as an attacking midfielder under Romelu Lukaku.

Only Kylian Mbappe and Teji Savanier garnered better season-long ratings than Pepe in the 2018-19 Ligue 1 campaign, and Pepe’s 22 goals and 11 assists stand out from the pack. Only Mbappe had more goals and only Savanier more assists.

Pepe has four goals in 11 caps for the Ivory Coast, and made three starts in Les Elephants’ five-match run at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. He’s a fit for the Premier League, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s system. And if the Red Devils can keep him from Liverpool, well, all the better we’re sure.

Report: Manchester United, Leicester agree to monster Maguire fee

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Manchester United and Leicester City have agreed a fee for Harry Maguire, clearing the way for the English center back to join the Old Trafford set.

That fee is a whopping $100 million, according to Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones. That’s about $4 million more than the world record for a defender, set when Liverpool purchased Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton.

[ MORE: USMNT CB to West Ham? ]

Maguire has been a statistical monster for Leicester City, and he passes the eye test, too.

Manchester United has needed to upgrade its stable of center backs for some time, and now the biggest question is who will work best alongside the 6-foot-4 26-year-old.

The former Sheffield United, Wigan Athletic, and Hull City defender is now 20-times capped by England.

The move could have a ripple effect on the Premier League, as the Foxes have been expected to bid for Burnley star James Tarkowski should Maguire leave the King Power Stadium.

Transfer rumor roundup: USMNT’s Long to London, Newcastle linked with pair

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Could USMNT center back Aaron Long be headed to the Premier League?

The 26-year-old could join West Ham United’s stable of center backs, which includes Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, and Angelo Ogbonna.

Sky Sports says that the Red Bulls defender has drawn the interest of Lyon and Fiorentina, but been offered to the Irons should they match his $5 million release clause.

Unable to find a place with Portland and Seattle, Long spent a few seasons in the USL before earning a place with RBNY.

Now 11-times capped by the USMNT with two goals, Long could be bringing his talents to London’s Olympic Stadium.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Newcastle United has the chance to sign oft-injured Danny Welbeck on a free transfer.

The longtime Arsenal striker, weaned at Manchester United, scored five times in 12 matches last season in a return to injury woes following a 43-match season the prior year.

Newcastle is also being linked with a former defender. James Tavernier has gone on to captain Glasgow Rangers, and the 27-year-old would cost around $10 million.

Surely Steven Gerrard would want more for the defender, but prices haven’t met quality for Scottish Premiership players as we’ve seen with Kieran Tierney at Celtic.