Top Premier League storylines for Week 8

Leave a comment

A top of the table clash awaits soccer fans across the globe as we build up to the match at Anfield. Week eight of the Premier League season is gearing up to be one of the most interesting weeks of the season.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]


Will Liverpool or Manchester City keep its unbeaten record intact?
Liverpool vs. Manchester City — 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN STREAM ]

This has the potential to be the game of the season.

There’s stars on both sides of the field. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino up top. Heck, there’s James Milner and Virgil Van Dijk, who probably don’t get enough credit for how good they are. Meanwhile, the Blue side of Manchester has just as much to counter back with, if not more. Sergio Aguero, Riyad Mahrez, Leroy Sane and Fernandinho are just a few players expected to have a big impact this weekend.

Sunday’s match is the first true high-level test for these two teams early on in this season, one that can have a ripple effect for the rest of the season depending on the result. For all of Man City’s exploits, it hasn’t won at Anfield since 2003. Liverpool holds a home record against Man City since then of 12 wins and five draws.

Will Jose Mourinho survive another weekend?
Manchester United vs. Newcastle — 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC STREAM ]

It’s been a rough two weeks for Manchester United, with every passing day Jose Mourinho’s fate seeming closer to being sealed.

A scoreless draw this week with Valencia in the UEFA Champions League followed an uninspiring 3-1 defeat at West Ham, with chaos seemingly reigning supreme in the Man United dressing room. Paul Pogba remains in the first team in spire of Mourinho’s comments but Alexis Sanchez has been inexplicably poor, left out of the gameday squad at times and a shell of his former self when he was with Arsenal and Barcelona.

Now, as rumors of Mourinho’s potential departure grow, the intensity ramps up with struggling Newcastle coming to town. For Mourinho, a win will at least appease his bosses and fans for another week, even as he seems to be on the edge. This could also be close to the end of the road for Rafa Benitez. The former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss seems fed up with the situation at Newcastle, where he’s effectively been forced to coach with one (or both) hands behind his back.

Can Arsenal continue its strong form in a London derby?

Fulham vs. Arsenal — 7:00 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN STREAM ]

It’s gone a bit under the radar, but Arsenal is looking like the Arsenal of yore.

Unai Emery‘s side has now won eight games on the bounce in all competitions, including an unbeaten September, with 16 goals scored and just four goals conceded. Arsenal hasn’t played any massive games, but the Gunners have taken care of business in places where in the past, they may have faltered. Road wins in Baku, Azerbaijan, Newcastle and Cardiff has this team flying back up the table after two defeats to open the season.

One player to keep an eye on moving forward is Alex Iwobi. The England-born Nigerian international winger has been in fine form recently, and could have a big impact against a struggling Fulham squad.

After looking so solid defensively through most of the Championship season in 2017-2018, Fulham has failed to make the grade so far in the Premier League. Getting a win over a London rival could be a big boost moving forward for the Cottagers.

Watford chasing Rennes, Senegal star Sarr

Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Watford may capture one of the rising stars of the game.

Ismaila Sarr would cost the Hornets a club transfer record fee, and Sky Sports says that Watford and Rennes are about $10 million apart.

The Ligue 1 side reportedly wants $34 million for the Senegal national team right wing.

[ VIDEO: Nketiah leads Arsenal win ]

Sarr, 21, scored a goal and an assist in Senegal’s run to the Africa Cup of Nations final, playing opposite Sadio Mane of Liverpool.

He posted 13 goals with 14 assists last season between Ligue 1, the French Cup, and the Europa League. He was the lone Rennes player to score against Arsenal in the UEL Round of 16.

Watford has held onto Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dodi Lukebakio this offseason. Lukebakio is also a 21-year-old right wing, and had a sensational loan season with Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2019-20.

Nketiah leads Arsenal past Fiorentina (video)

Photo by Streeter Lecka/International Champions Cup/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal beat Fiorentina 3-0 in Charlotte on Saturday.

Joe Willock also scored for the Gunners, which beat Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich in their first two matches of the preseason and meet Real Madrid in Maryland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]

Fiorentina took 18 of the match’s 30 shots, though Arsenal had nearly 60 percent of the ball.

Nketiah, 20, scored against Burnley in last season’s Premier League finale and then late against Bayern Munich earlier this week.

He was deft in a high-pressure spot for this one.

Premier League friendlies: Watford beats Bayer, Man Utd over Inter

Photo by PictoBank/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Arsenal and Fiorentina are set to kickoff in Charlotte tonight, with the Gunners the last of a bevy of Premier League sides to engage in preseason friendlies this muggy Saturday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]


Girona 1-2 Bournemouth

Juanpe’s late header pushed La Liga’s hosts past Eddie Howe and his 10-man Cherries, playing down after VAR deemed Jack Simpson‘s foul worthy of a sending off. Ryan Fraser scored Bournemouth’s goal, assisted by Jordon Ibe.

Northampton Town 0-4 Sheffield United

Oliver Norwood converted two penalties in an easy win for Chris Wilder in his return to a club he played for and managed.

Fulham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion

Pascal Gross scored with an early free kick — a Megan Rapinoe special — but Tom Cairney scored twice after halftime for the Championship side.

Cheltenham Town 1-2 Leicester City

The Foxes collected a second win over a lower league side this week, with Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton on the board.

Newcastle United 1-0 West Ham United (Shanghai)

New manager Steve Bruce watched from the crowd as the Magpies made amends for a 4-0 loss to Wolves by blanking West Ham. Jamie Sterry‘s cross for Yoshinori Muto was delightful, and the Japanese striker’s finish was well-taken.

Port Vale 1-3 Burnley; Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Burnley

Chris Wood, Matej Vydra and Robbie Brady scored as the Clarets overcame an early Nick Pope goal to beat Port Vale, but the Premier League side couldn’t do much in a simultaneous friendly at Crewe.

Inter Milan 0-1 Manchester United (Singapore)

Substitute forward Mason Greenwood, just 17, scored the late goal in a match United controlled, outshooting Inter 21-8.

Preston North End 1-3 Southampton

Brace-bagging Danny Ings doesn’t usually have a problem with finish, so passing the ball directly to him is not something we’d recommend to goalkeepers. Jake Vokins also scored for Saints at Deepdale.

Watford 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Austria)

Will Hughes and Andre Gray scored as the Hornets collected a win over Champions League competition.

Man City (0-0, 2-3 pens) Wolves (Shanghai)

Rui Patricio was very good over 90 minutes, and stopped City’s first two penalty attempts as Wolves continue to perplex the PL champions.

WATCH: Marco Fabian smashes set piece goal

AP Photo / Derik Hamilton
Leave a comment

Marco Fabian sent a missile toward goal, and perhaps it’s good the goalkeeper didn’t get to the hand-breaking shot.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead over Chicago on Saturday in Chester, Pennsylvania, thanks to the Mexican midfielder.

[ REPORT: Man Utd locks up De Gea ]

It was a pretty set piece from Jim Curtin’s men, a backwards played free kick was laid off to Fabian for his audacious rip.

Fabian hasn’t had a wonderful 2019 season, but his fourth goal of the season will give Union supporters hope that he’ll pick up his form and make the already East-leading side all the more dangerous.