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Premier League Preview: Bournemouth vs. Manchester United

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  • AFC Bournemouth striker Joshua King has been ruled out with an ankle injury. Eddie Howe says he is “quietly confident” Simon Francis will be passed fit after the defender suffered an injury in the EFL Cup tie against Norwich. 
  • Manchester United has Jesse Lingard and Alexis Sanchez (both groin) available again. Marouane Fellaini (groin), Diogo Dalot and Antonio Valencia (knee) remain sidelined. 
  • AFC Bournemouth, who has kept a clean sheet in its last three Premier League matches, can now make it four in a row in the top flight for the first time.
  • Anthony Martial has scored in his last three PL matches, hitting four goals in total. He can now register in a fourth consecutive fixture in the competition for the first time. 

Bournemouth looks to win its fourth game out of its last five Premier League matches as it hosts Jose Mourinho and Manchester United (Watch live at 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Eddie Howe’s side has scored nine goals in its last three Premier League victories, including three goals from Callum Wilson and David Brooks each. However, Bournemouth will be without star forward Joshua King and Man United appear to be finding its feet in the Premier League. The club nearly left Stamford Bridge with a win against Chelsea and the Red Devils held on to a 2-1 win last weekend against Everton.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Paul Pogba seems to be back to his best (even with his loooooong penalty kick run-up), and Anthony Martial has scored in his last three games. Can he make it four in a row?

What they’re saying?

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe on being underdogs against Man United: “Players need to know to get anything out of the game, they are going to have to excel, perhaps even above what we have done this season, to get a positive result. That’s my message to the players. Whenever you play the elite teams, the big guns, you have to outperform your levels. You have to hit your very top to get a result. We have found that before, you can’t play below your best and expect to win. The challenge is to win and go harder.”

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on keeping his team focused on themselves and not the rest of the table: “I think in this moment we have to focus on ourselves and do better, or get better results. I think it’s very difficult, for example, to go to Stamford Bridge and do better than what we did in terms of performance. We had three points in our pocket but we left with only one. In other matches, we could have had and we should have had better results than we did. So, until the end of December, we have to focus on ourselves and the potential we have and the problems we have and the qualities we have and try to go because at the moment we are outside the top four. We have to push hard and work hard to improve and try and get into the top four positions.“

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Prediction

We think this can be a pretty exciting match, though both teams will have to share the spoils. Paul Pogba actually scores a penalty kick on Saturday but Bournemouth’s Wilson scraps one home on a set piece. Bournemouth 1-1 Man United. 

Chelsea needs to wait “48 hours” to assess Mount

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Mason Mount‘s move from the Championship to the Premier League has been nearly seamless.

His adjustment to the Champions League was cut down too quickly to get an understanding of whether it would be too big of a jump.

[ MORE: Match recap | Barkley drama ]

Mount, 20, was chopped down by Valencia’s Francis Coquelin, the former Arsenal man, and had to leave the game after just 16 minutes.

Here’s Frank Lampard, from ChelseaFC.com:

“He’s got an ankle injury but we don’t know how bad it is. We’ll have to assess it in the next 48 hours to see the scale of the injury. It was a shame because he started the game well and it meant we had to make the change early on.”

Mount scored nine times with four assists on loan under Lampard at Derby County last season, and has already chipped in three goals for Chelsea this season.

Lampard turned to Pedro off the bench on Tuesday, but any lengthy absence for Mount will spell more time for American youngster Christian Pulisic.

UEFA Champions League Wednesday preview: Man City, Spurs debut

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Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur begin their UEFA Champions League campaigns on very different results and with very different vibes.

City is coming off a stunning 3-2 loss to injury-hit Norwich City, and is set up in Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk for the third-straight season, a side which beat Pep Guardiola once in four tries between 2017/18 and 2018/19 in the UCL.

[ MORE: UCL Tues. wrap ]

But on Wednesday, Guardiola’s men are going to carry a similar feel to one of his old Barcelona teams, as Pep seemingly will have Fernandinho pull a Javier Mascherano and drop into the back line.

Yes, Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi are Manchester City’s hopes at center back, now that John Stones has joined Aymeric Laporte on the shelf.

“For me as a manager it’s an incredible challenge,” said Pep Guardiola. “But I believe a lot, people don’t know the spirit and resolve to solve this problem. The players going to come back with Dinho, Eric Garcia, Taylor Harwood-Bellis. … It’s happened, but what we are not going to do is complain. We have to have 11 players on the pitch and I like it, to find a solution. For the players as well to find an incredible step forward.”

Spurs, meanwhile, will simply be trying to build on any momentum gained by a 4-0 demolition of Crystal Palace at the weekend, a win which came after manager Mauricio Pochettino begged his side to “re-focus” after a relatively poor start to the season.

Now a bit more relaxed, Spurs head to Greece as the clear favorites against stingy Olympiacos. These are, after all, the finalists of last season’s tournament.

Pochettino won’t be sleeping on the challenge, from The London Evening Standard:

“They have good players and if we are not focused and don’t take our best game we are going to suffer. But last season we played in the final of Champions League, so it’s normal people think before the game, Tottenham is one step above Olympiacos but in the end you need to show it on the pitch.”

Spurs are one of two early kickoffs on Tuesday.

Full UCL Wednesday schedule

12:55 p.m. ET
Club Brugge v. Galatasaray
Olympiacos v. Tottenham Hotspur

3 p.m. ET
Bayer Leverkusen v. Lokomotiv Moscow
Paris Saint-Germain v. Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid v. Juventus
Dinamo Zagreb v. Atalanta
Bayern Munich v. Red Star Belgrade
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Manchester City

American coach Marsch speaks after landmark Champions League day

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Jesse Marsch made his UEFA Champions League debut on Tuesday, a historic first for not just the Wisconsin native but also his country.

Marsch, 45, oversaw Red Bull Salzburg’s 6-2 demolition of Genk, becoming the first American to win a UCL match as manager.

[ MORE: Champions League Tues. wrap ]

“We knew we were going into the match full of confidence,” he said, via the Salzburg site. “We knew too that we could put in a performance of this quality. I wasn’t pleased with a few situations, such as conceding for 3-1. That shows our incredible mentality though as it prompted us to give a few more percent and immediately score two goals.”

The ex-New York Red Bulls manager and RB Leipzig assistant manager got another three goals from incredible 19-year-old striker Erling Braut Haland, who nows has 17 goals in nine matches this season.

“It is an absolute joy to work with this team. We have a lot of players who just know how to battle, and that rubs off on the others. You can see that on the pitch on nights like tonight.”

There will be tougher nights ahead for Marsch, who is in a group with Liverpool and Napoli, but Tuesday was a fine start for the tactician. And it was a banner moment for American coaches abroad, who’ve been led by past and present USMNT coaches Bob Bradley and Gregg Berhalter.

Maybe one day that’ll be Marsch’s title… but it seems like he may have some loftier ground to cover on his path through world soccer.

Klopp: Liverpool made wrong decisions; Penalty also incorrect

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is going to bat for his left back after Andrew Robertson gave away what became the decisive penalty in a 2-0 loss to Napoli in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it’s a penalty,” Klopp said. “What can I say, for me, it is clear and obvious no penalty. He jumps before any contact, we can’t change that.”

[ RECAP: Napoli 2-0 Liverpool ]

For what it’s worth: It sure seemed like both a foul on Robertson and a comical embellishment from Callejon, but we digress.

Liverpool just didn’t have it on the day, like when Sadio Mane played a terrible pass to Mohamed Salah on what could’ve been an easy 1-0 lead.

In the moments they did have it, there was Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret making a splendid save.

“We played a lot of good football but didn’t finish it off. We controlled moments but had not enough chances in the end. We made decisions that were not right and have to accept the result. It was very often the final ball that was not right.”

Also, forgive Klopp if he has stopped enjoying the beautiful country of Italy.