It’s been one year since Liverpool took the step it needed to become an elite team.
One year ago today, Liverpool announced that it had reached an agreement to sign Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton, with the transfer worth a reported $94.5 million completed on January 1, 2018. While Mohamed Salah went on to deservedly win many individual awards for his incredible goalscoring season, perhaps no one was more valuable to their team than Van Dijk has been to Liverpool.
Since Van Dijk joined the Reds, their defense has become one of the strongest in all of Europe. Of course, the addition of Alisson Becker has helped as well but Van Dijk has been the leader in the back line, helping the rest of the defense play even better. Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold have all seen their performances improve since Van Dijk joined the club.
In the six months prior to Van Dijk joining, Liverpool recorded 17 wins, 11 draws and three defeats, with 33 goals allowed. From January 5, Van Dijk’s debut and on, Liverpool allowed just 21 goals in matches the Dutchman played in, with six of those from Roma alone.
0.5 – Liverpool in the Premier League under Klopp:
❄️ Before Virgil van Dijk’s first game – 32% of clean sheets (29/91), 1.2 goal conceded per game
🔥 Since Virgil van Dijk’s first game – 59% of clean sheets (20/34), 0.5 goal conceded per game
This season alone, Liverpool has by far the best defense in the league, having allowed just seven Premier League goals. Van Dijk combines incredible strength, pace and anticipation to go with a commanding presence, which lifts all the other players around him. Liverpool has transformed into a defensive stalwart after scoring 84 goals in 2017-2018. It’s a recipe for success, and it’s why they’re leading the table with 51 points as we head into the new year.
Europa League final, Sevilla vs Roma: How to watch live, team news, updates
It’s a second straight season that Mourinho and Roma will end their campaign in a European final, after winning the inaugural Europa Conference League this time last year. Doing so made Mourinho the first manager to win all three of the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Conference League.
Sevilla are no strangers to winning European trophies themselves, having won the Europa League an astonishing four times in the last nine seasons, with a chance to make it five in 10. Either way that Wednesday’s final goes, it will simply be another notch in the belt of Sevilla, or the master Mourinho.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Sevilla vs Roma.
For Roma, it was another subpar Serie A campaign this season, as they failed to qualify for the Champions League for a fourth straight season. However, a victory in Budapest would send them back to UEFA’s premier competition for the first time since 2018-19. Typical to form for Mourinho, as they allowed precious few goals (37 in 37 league games) while struggling to score enough (48) to push higher up the table. Paulo Dybala leads the way with 11 Serie A goals (plus four more in the Europa League, joint-most alongside Lorenzo Pellegrini’s four) and former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham chipping eight (and one) of his own.
Speaking of disappointing domestic campaigns, Sevilla sit 11th in La Liga with one game left to play (they can climb as high as 7th on the final day). Three different managers have guided Sevilla this season, with Julen Lopetegui lasting until early October before his successor, Jorge Sampaoli, was also dismissed in March. Also not unlike Roma, it’s been a struggle for Sevilla to score goals (46) as well as preventing goals (52), which is very much out of character for them.
Sevilla’s Europa League journey
Champions League group stage: finished 3rd (5 of 18 points), behind Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund
Europa League knockouts: def. PSV Eindhoven 3-2; def. Fenerbahce 2-1; def. Manchester United 5-2; def. Juventus 3-2 (AET)
Roma’s Europa League journey
Europa League group stage: finished 2nd (10 of 18 points), behind Real Betis
Europa League knockouts: def. Red Bull Salzburg 2-1; def. Real Sociedad 2-0; def. Feyenoord 4-2 (AET); def. Bayer Leverkusen 1-0
19 July v MLS All-Stars (Washington DC) 22 July v Man Utd (New York) 26 July v Barcelona (Los Angeles)
Premier League Summer Series in USA 23 July v Newcastle (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia) 26 July v Fulham (Exploria Stadium, Orlando) 30 July v Brentford (FedExField, Landover, Maryland)
Premier League Summer Series in USA 23 July v Fulham (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia) 26 July v Brighton (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta) 30 July v Aston Villa (FedExField, Landover, Maryland)
Premier League Summer Series in USA 22 July v Chelsea (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia) 26 July v Brentford (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta) 28 July v Newcastle (Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey)
19 July v Wrexham (North Carolina) 2 August v Dortmund (Chicago)
Premier League Summer Series in USA 22 July v Brighton (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia) 26 July v Newcastle (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta) 30 July v Fulham (FedExField, Landover, Maryland)
26 July v Millonarios (Chicago) 30 July v Sevilla (Detroit)
Premier League Summer Series in USA 23 July v Brentford (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia) 26 July v Aston Villa (Exploria Stadium, Orlando) 30 July v Chelsea (FedExField, Landover, Maryland)
23 July v Spurs (Bangkok) 30 July v Liverpool (Singapore)
30 July v Leicester (Singapore) 2 August v Bayern Munich (Singapore)
23 July v Yokohama F Marinos (Tokyo) 26 July v Bayern Munich (Tokyo)
30 July v Atletico Madrid (Seoul)
12 July v Leeds (Oslo)
19 July v Lyon (Edinburgh) 22 July v Arsenal (New York) 25 July v Wrexham (San Diego) 26 July v Real Madrid (Houston) 30 July v Dortmund (Las Vegas)
18 July v Rangers (Ibrox Stadium)
Premier League Summer Series in USA 23 July v Aston Villa (Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia) 26 July v Chelsea (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta) 28 July v Brighton (Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey)
18 July v West Ham (Perth) 23 July v Leicester (Bangkok) 26 July v Roma (Singapore)
15 July v Perth Glory (Perth) 18 July v Spurs (Perth)
And of course, the USA have plenty of talented youngsters so all eyes will be on Mikey Varas and his squad as they aim to go better than the quarterfinal spot they’ve reached in each of their last three U20 tournaments (2015, 2017, 2019) and they won Group B with three wins from three to reach the knockout rounds.
England, Brazil and hosts Argentina are among the favorites to win the tournament as Argentina stood in at the last minute to host the event after the tournament was moved from Indonesia.
Below is everything you need for the U20 World Cup.
Match 38: Tuesday, May 30: USA vs New Zealand – 1:30pm
Match 37: Tuesday, May 30: Uzbekistan vs Israel – 5pm
Match 40: Wednesday, May 31: Brazil vs Tunisia – 1:30pm
Match 42: Wednesday, May 31: Colombia vs Slovakia – 1:30pm
Match 39: Wednesday, May 31: England vs Italy – 5pm
Match 41: Wednesday, May 31: Argentina vs Nigeria – 5pm
Match 44: Thursday, June 1: Gambia vs Uruguay – 1:30pm
Match 43: Thursday, June 1: Ecuador vs South Korea – 5pm
Match 46: Saturday, June 3: Winner Match 37 vs Winner Match 40 – 1:30pm
Match 47: Saturday, June 3: Winner Match 42 vs Winner Match 39 – 5pm
Match 48: Sunday, June 4: Winner Match 43 vs Winner Match 32 – 1:30pm
Match 45: Sunday, June 4: Winner Match 38 vs Winner Match 44 – 5pm
Match 49: Thursday, June 8: Winner Match 45 vs Winner Match 46 – 1:30pm
Match 50: Thursday, June 8: Winner Match 47 vs Winner Match 48 – 5pm
Match 51: Sunday, June 11: Loser Match 49 vs Loser match 50 – 1:30pm
Match 52: Sunday, June 11: Winner Match 49 vs Winner mtahc 50 – 5pm
Group stage results
💣 ¡GOLAZO DE CARBONI!
⚽️ Valentin se tomó confianza, regateó y tiró con fuerza para lograr la remontada de la Albiceleste.
Saturday, May 20: Guatemala 0-1 New Zealand – 2pm
Saturday, May 20: Argentina 2-1 Uzbekistan – 5pm
Tuesday, May 23: Uzbekistan 2-2 New Zealand – 2pm
Tuesday, May 23: Argentina 3-0 Guatemala – 5pm
Friday, May 26: New Zealand 0-5 Argentina – 5pm
Friday, May 26: Uzbekistan 2-0 Guatemala – 5pm
Saturday, May 20: USA 1-0 Ecuador – 2pm (92nd minute winner from Jonathan Gomez)
Saturday, May 20: Fiji 0-4 Slovakia – 5pm
Tuesday, May 23: USA 3-0 Fiji – 2pm
Tuesday, May 23: Ecuador 2-1 Slovakia – 5pm
Friday, May 26: Slovakia 0-2 USA – 2pm
Friday, May 26: Ecuador 9-0 Fiji – 2pm
Sunday, May 21: Israel 1-2 Colombia – 2pm
Sunday, May 21: Senegal 0-1 Japan – 5pm
Wednesday, May 24: Senegal 1-1 Israel – 2pm
Wednesday, May 24: Japan 1-2 Colombia – 5pm
Saturday, May 27: Japan 1-2 Israel – 5pm
Saturday, May 27: Colombia 1-1 Senegal – 5pm
¡No se cansan de anotar👏!
Matheus Martins dispara con potencia y ya cae el sexto de @CBF_Futebol.
Sunday, May 21: Nigeria 2-1 Dominican Republic – 2pm
Sunday, May 21: Italy 3-2 Brazil – 5pm
Wednesday, May 24: Italy 0-2 Nigeria – 2pm
Wednesday, May 24: Brazil 6-0 Dominican Republic – 5pm
Saturday, May 27: Brazil 2-0 Nigeria – 2pm
Saturday, May 27: Dominican Republic 0-3 Italy – 2pm
Monday, May 22: England 1-0 Tunisia – 2pm
Monday, May 22: Uruguay 4-0 Iraq – 5pm
Thursday, May 25: Uruguay 2-3 England – 2pm
Thursday, May 25: Iraq 0-3 Tunisia – 5pm
Sunday, May 28: Iraq 0-0 England – 2pm
Sunday, May 28: Tunisia 0-1 Uruguay – 2pm
Monday, May 22: France 1-2 South Korea – 2pm
Monday, May 22: Gambia 2-1 Honduras – 5pm
Thursday, May 25: France 1-2 Gambia – 2pm
Thursday, May 25: South Korea 2-2 Honduras – 5pm
Sunday, May 28: South Korea 0-0 Gambia – 5pm
Sunday, May 28: Honduras 1-3 France – 5pm
If you registered for early access you can purchase tickets on pre-sale on Tuesday, April 25 only, while tickets will be available on general sale on Wednesday, April 26 from 10am ET by clicking on the link above.
Six Premier League teams — Aston Villa, Brentford, Brighton, Chelsea, Fulham and Newcastle United — will be playing in nine games across five U.S. cities in July and it will be one heck of a summer party.
The Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer Alan Shearer spoke to ProSoccerTalk (full interview above) about why this Stateside tournament is going to be special.
“It is fantastic news. I have been lucky enough to spend time with the guys at Premier League Mornings Live and be at seven of the eight Fan Fests that have happened and it is fascinating,” Shearer said. “I love the passion of the fans. I love the friendly rivalry. For them to get up at stupid o’clock and queue for hours and come in and watch their teams and mingle and all get together, I love it. To have six teams coming over to America in the summer, I think it is fantastic and something to look forward to.”
Created by the Premier League, the Summer Series will see games take place in Atlanta, Orlando, Harrison, NJ, Philadelphia and Landover, MD.
“I love how passionate the fans are,” Shearer said about Premier League fans in the USA. “They are obviously very knowledgeable. They obviously love their football very much. I understand it might not be the No. 1 sport in America but soccer is growing and it is growing really fast… The more events like this, the more times that we, the Premier League, come over to America and showcase the Premier League and the trophy at these organized events, it is only going to get bigger.”
“I think this will be the first of many,” Shearer added. “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this was going to happen every single season. It will be a great tournament and a chance to see some Premier League legends and huge football clubs.”
Aston Villa duo excited to experience the United States
Aston Villa and Brazil star Douglas Luiz, who was just named Villa’s Supporters’ Player and Players’ Player of the Season, is excited to play in front of fans in the USA, making the most of the hot weather and exploring the cities to learn more about their history.
“I am so happy. It is a good weather like it is in Brazil, I am so happy and excited to go to the US,” Luiz said. “It is a very good, very good people and I want to visit and I want to know so much more. I am so excited to go with Aston Villa and I want to enjoy seeing as much as I can.”
Aston Villa and Jamaica winger Leon Bailey is no stranger to playing Stateside and is looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere.
“I like the U.S. a lot, so I’m looking forward to a great time in the USA traveling to different States. It is a nice atmosphere, the people always come out in numbers and the support is brilliant. I’m really looking forward to it and I think it is going to be brilliant… I’ve been to LA, Houston, DC and Orlando, with the last Gold Cup most of our games [with Jamaica] were played in Orlando. It’s great and we always get time to explore. So it is nice and you are playing football and you enjoying it but you are enjoying it in a different in a city, which is great.”
Which teams are playing in the Summer Series?
The teams competing in the Premier League Summer Series in the USA in 2023 are:
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters is extremely excited about the league hosting their first-ever preseason tournament in the USA.
“We are delighted to be bringing six clubs to the USA in July for the first-ever Premier League Summer Series,” Masters said. “Our clubs have incredible supporters in the US, who passionately follow their teams throughout the season. We have seen this dedication first-hand from the tens of thousands who have attended our Mornings Live fan events and are excited to be building on this by bringing live Premier League action to five cities this summer.
“We are currently enjoying one of the most competitive Premier League seasons of all time at both ends of the table and I am sure we will see some thrilling matches during the tournament.”
Below are all the details you need on the the tournament.
Premier League Summer Series 2023 schedule, dates, how to watch live
Where: Atlanta, GA, Orlando, FL, Harrison, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, Landover, MD When: July 22-30 Tickets: Via the Premier League – April 25 (pre-sale), April 26 (general sale) How to watch: Across the NBC Sports platforms, including Peacock
Match 2: Fulham vs Brentford – 4pm ET at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia – WATCH LIVE ON PEACOCK
Match 3: Newcastle vs Aston Villa – 7pm ET at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia – WATCH LIVE ON PEACOCK