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PL Preview: Manchester City v. Everton

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  • Man City has won only two of its last seven matches against Everton in all competitions and has managed only one clean sheet in that run. Everton has drawn its last three Premier League away matches against City, with only four goals being scored in these meetings (two each).
  • Under Pep Guardiola, Man City has conceded seven PL goals against Everton. It’s the most the club has allowed to any Premier League team in that span.
  • Man City hasn’t lost a PL match against a non “big six” opponent since January 2017, against Everton. Since then, it has won 139 points out of a possible 153 in these matches (W44 D7 L0).

For the first time since April, Manchester City enter a Premier League match on the back of a defeat, as the Sky Blues prepare to take on Everton at the Etihad Stadium, Saturday morning (U.S. time)  (Watch live at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Chelsea shocked the world with a 2-0 win over Manchester City last Sunday, but after a strong mid-week performance, even with so many stars injured, Manchester City and manager Pep Guardiola appear to feel confident the club can return to its winning ways. Guardiola said ahead of the match that Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and John Stones will all be assessed ahead of the match, and could play a part.

For Everton, Idrissa Gueye is an injury worry but after a wild, 2-2 draw with Watford, Marco Silva‘s side is looking for its first win since it beat Cardiff three weeks ago.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

A win for either team would push them up in the table, putting plenty on the line as the Premier League weekend action kicks off.

What they’re saying

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on facing Everton: “We make good games but we dropped four points. Tomorrow is another game, the Everton team has changed completely with Sigurdsson and Richarlison, Yerry Mina – it is a top side. I’m really impressed with how they have done so far. It will be a tough game. We will see how we react playing at 12.30 p.m. (local).”

Everton manager Marco Silva on the Man City challenge ahead: “Of course, we will have our plan for the match,” he said. “We know City are a very good team with a very good manager, too. We know we are playing against possibly the best Premier League team. They have a lot of individual quality. It will be tough for us, but it is a good game for us to enjoy, to challenge a team like (Manchester) City. Our players have shown we like these type of games.”

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Prediction

Manchester City is not used to losing, especially in the league, and should Aguero, de Bruyne and Stones return, it will be a very tall task for Everton to overcome the talent gap. Everton may make it a game for a while, but Manchester City should pull out the win at home. Manchester City 3-1 Everton

Watch Live: Watford v. Arsenal

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Mesut Ozil makes his first start of the season as Arsenal visits Watford and new/old manager Quique Sanchez Flores on Sunday at Vicarage Road (Watch live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Ozil has two goals and four assists in nine appearances against Watford.

Dani Ceballos is also starting for the Gunners, who will be without Alexandre Lacazette for the next few weeks.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Gerard Deulofeu heads into the Starting XI for the Hornets, who will have in-form Will Hughes on the other side of the field.

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Watford

Arsenal

World record-holding manager Gutendorf dies at 93

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The world record holder for most teams managed has died at the age of 93.

Rudi Gutendorf, who managed in the United States with the NASL’s St. Louis Stars (1968), last managed in 2003 when he led the Samoa national team.

[ MORE: Maguire shining for Man Utd ]

Those are two of 55 teams he led onto the pitch, 22 of which were national teams. He led teams from CONCACAF (Trinidad and Tobago), CAF (Ghana), CONMEBOL (Chile), OFC (Fiji), and AFC (Australia).

The German-born Gutendorf did a lot of his club work in Europe, leading clubs as big as Hamburg, Schalke, Real Valladolid, and Hertha Berlin.

Gutendorf managed Rwanda in the wake of the country’s dark civil war. From DW.com:

“Such hate, you cannot believe. I was able to unite these two tribes to play football, and good football,” he said in a 2013 interview of the mixed Rwandan team of Hutu and Tutsi players.

What a fascinating career Gutendorf had, and the stories he’s told.

Man Utd’s Maguire “showed what a man he is” versus Leicester

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Manchester United is still working to find its form as a team, but center back Harry Maguire continued his run of fine performances when the Red Devils beat his former team on Saturday.

United beat Leicester City 1-0 on the day, a Marcus Rashford penalty the difference, but Maguire and fellow new back Aaron Wan-Bissaka were again exceptional.

[ RECAP: Man Utd 1-0 Leicester City ]

Ashley Young has been through a few iterations of Manchester United, and the long-time club offered up lofty words to credit Maguire’s contributions to the team.

“Again he showed today what a man he is,” Young said. “You know, I think the manager’s said about him, he talks non-stop, he’s a real leader and he can play as well.”

Maguire won five aerial battles and two tackles while completing 83 percent of his passes and managing two shots against his former side (WhoScored). On the season, only Anthony Martial has consistently been more important to the team.

He also did not record a loss of possession, and seemingly was unbothered by plenty of criticism from the traveling fans. From The Manchester Evening News:

“I don’t think it bothers (Maguire) whatsoever,” said Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. “You’ve got to be that way and when you play, when you coach, when you manage, we don’t get carried away when we win a game that we maybe didn’t deserve to win, but we don’t get in the dumps when we don’t win.”

Solskjaer also loved Maguire and Victor Lindelof for their performance against pesky Leicester star Jamie Vardy.

“I’ve got loads of admiration for Vardy,” Solskjaer said. “I think he’s my type of centre forward, runs in in behind, harasses and you’ve got to be spot on with the decision-making, when to stay up, when to drop off, and both of them proved their worth today. There were a couple of races and Harry did well.”

Maguire didn’t love being on the other side of Vardy, either.

“It was tough playing against Jamie,” he said. “I’ve played with him for two years and he is a top player who can terrorize defenses when he is on his game. … We knew it was important to get the win, especially after the international break. We have to build on a solid base and we want to keep clean sheets, especially at Old Trafford. We are always going to score goals with the attacking talent we have.”

United hosts Kazakhstan’s Astana on Thursday in the Europa League before visiting West Ham United on Sept. 22.

Watch Live: Bournemouth v. Everton

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin gets the start up top as Everton looks to take down hosts Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Alex Iwobi, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Richarlison join Calvert-Lewin in attack for the Toffees, who can go fourth with a win.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Bournemouth enters the day in 16th, a point ahead of the bottom three, but can rise into the top half with a win. Early season vibes.

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Bournemouth: Ramsdale, Rico, Ake, Cook, Stacey, Solanke, Billing, L. S. Cook, Wilson, King, Wilson. Subs: Boruc, Surman, Lerma, Ibe, Fraser, Simpson, Mepham.

Everton: Pickford, Digne, Mina, Keane, Coleman, Delph, Schneiderlin, Iwobi, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin. Subs: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Walcott, Sidibe, Bernard, Davies, Kean.