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Leeds’ Bielsa admits he spied ‘all the rivals’

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Managerial darling Marcelo Bielsa spoke out Wednesday as fallout continues from a Leeds United scout caught spying on Derby County last week.

Bielsa says he’s spied on every team the club has played in the Championship this season.

[ MORE: Neymar praises Weah ]

How rare is this? And how big of a role has it played in Leeds’ 4-point lead in the race for automatic promotion to the Premier League? From the BBC:

“I observed all the rivals we played against and watched the training sessions of all opponents,” he said. “All the information I need to clarify, I gather it without watching the training session of the opponent, so why did I send someone to watch them? Just because I thought I wasn’t violating the norm. I gathered information that I can obtain in another way.

“We feel guilty if we don’t work enough, it [watching the opponents train] allows us to have less anxiety and in my case I am stupid enough to allow this kind of behavior.”

The 63-year-old Argentine has spent time at Lille, Lazio, Marseille, Athletic Bilbao, and Espanyol in addition to running the national teams of Argentina and Chile.

It does raise the question of how much spying is done in soccer. We know that the NFL’s New England Patriots cheated during a game against the New York Jets and that MLB teams try to steal signals, but sneaking around a training session… is that okay? Should it be?

Premier League odds, Prince-Wright’s picks: Matchweek 36

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EPL betting odds for the Premier League have been released but we know the bookies don’t always get it right.

Here are the latest Prince-Wright’s Premier League score predictions as the Premier League return has the EPL betting odds all over the place.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule

The Premier League score predictions below encompass the 10 games during midweek for Matchweek 36. Here we go.

If you, like me, love to dissect all the games and predict what the score will be and which team will win, I encourage you to get involved in the comments section below. Let’s have a bit of fun with these Premier League games.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Okay, so I’ve consulted my crystal ball and here’s how we see things panning out. Listen carefully, because this is very specific.

While you can download the NBC Sports Predictor app (below) and play the Premier League Pick ‘Em game yourself to predict the scores and win the prizes.

DOWNLOAD NBC SPORTS PREDICTOR

With the first section labelled “basically, free money” for the picks I think are dead certs. The section labelled “don’t touch this” means if you’re betting I advise you to stay clear, while the “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” section are the long shots. If it is better odds you are after, those are the picks to go for.

Check out our Premier League score predictions below.


PREMIER LEAGUE PREDICTIONS

BASICALLY, FREE MONEY

Man City 4-1 Bournemouth – (Wednesday, 1 p.m. ET, Peacock) – [STREAM

Chelsea 4-2 Norwich – (Tuesday, 3:15 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Burnley 1-3 Wolves – (Wednesday, 1 p.m. ET, Peacock) – [STREAM

Crystal Palace 0-2 Man United – (Thursday, 3:15 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]


DON’T TOUCH THIS…

Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool – (Wednesday, 3:15 p.m. ET, Peacock) – [STREAM

Southampton 1-1 Brighton – (Thursday, 3:15 p.m. ET, Gold/Peacock) – [STREAM

Newcastle 1-2 Tottenham – (Wednesday, 1 p.m. ET, Peacock) – [STREAM


“SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE’S A CHANCE…”

Leicester 1-1 Sheffield United – (Thursday, 1 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Everton 1-2 Aston Villa – (Thursday, 1 p.m. ET, Gold/Peacock) – [STREAM]

West Ham 1-2 Watford – (Friday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]


EPL ODDS – Via DraftKings

Tuesday, July 14: (-770) Chelsea v. Norwich (+1900), Tie: +800
Wednesday, July 15: (-715) Man City v. Bournemouth (+1800), Tie: +750
Wednesday, July 15: (+380) Burnley v. Wolves (-115), Tie: +225
Wednesday, July 15: (+380) Newcastle v. Tottenham (-130), Tie: +265
Wednesday, July 15: (+285) Arsenal v. Liverpool (-114), Tie: +290
Thursday, July 16: (+102) Everton v. Aston Villa (+270), Tie: +255
Thursday, July 16: (+100) Leicester v. Sheffield United (+310), Tie: +225
Thursday, July 16: (+900) Crystal Palace v. Man United (-295), Tie: +390
Thursday, July 16: (+117) Southampton v. Brighton (+255), Tie: +230
Friday, July 17: (+143) West Ham v. Watford (+235), Tie: +200

Premier League on Peacock: How to watch games

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Premier League on Peacock arrives this week, as NBCUniversal’s new streaming service is here and plenty of games will be aired exclusively on the free service during the national launch.

Premier League action on Wednesday, July 15 will be free to all fans with our studio shows, games and analysis being aired commercial free. How about that!?

The marquee game on July 15 is Arsenal hosting Liverpool (start time, 3:15pm ET) and we will be on air from 12-6pm ET with four games, reaction, analysis and much more.

ACCESS PEACOCK FOR FREE

Our studio host Rebecca Lowe explains exactly how it will all work and how you can sign up in the video above, with more details about Peacock on the link above.

The new streaming service will give you access to all of NBC’s properties, show and live events with the Premier League action one of the key parts of the new streaming platform.

Here are the Premier League Peacock games this week.


Premier League on Peacock

Wednesday, July 15: Burnley v. Wolves, 1 p.m. ET, Peacock
Wednesday, July 15: Man City v. Bournemouth, 1 p.m. ET, Peacock
Wednesday, July 15: Newcastle v. Tottenham, 1 p.m. ET, Peacock
Wednesday, July 15: Arsenal v. Liverpool, 3:15 p.m. ET, Peacock

Chelsea – Norwich preview: How to watch, team news, odds, prediction

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Chelsea – Norwich takes center stage on Tuesday (start time, 3:15pm ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) and all eyes are on the Blues as they try and take another big step towards the UEFA Champions League

CHELSEA – NORWICH STREAM

Frank Lampard has had his say on Man City’s UEFA ban being overturned as fifth place in the Premier League will no longer be a Champions League spot for next season.

Norwich were relegated from the Premier League on Saturday and will finish bottom of the table as Daniel Farke’s side have lost all six games since the Premier League restart.

[ MORE: Pulisic subbed out in loss at Blades ]

They have nothing to play for and Frank Lampard will be wary of that but also expecting a reaction from Chelsea after they were thrashed 3-0 at Sheffield United on Saturday.

Check out the Chelsea – Norwich team news and details, here.


Team news

Chelsea will be without star midfielder N’Golo Kante once again, while Andreas Christensen is fit to play after coming off injured at half time in the loss at Sheffield United.

Norwich could hand a start to Todd Cantwell, while Daniel Farke is still without Sam Byram, Christoph Zimmermann, Grant Hanley and Moritz Leitner who all have long-term injuries.


What they’re saying

Frank Lampard on respecting Norwich: “If you don’t turn up or don’t perform it doesn’t matter what momentum you feel you have, but having good home form recently is good for confidence. We have to carry on from the Watford game in particular. We have to treat Norwich with utmost respect. They have quality players; a lot of games I have seen them this season they have been unfortunate not to get results. That’s the nature of the Premier League, but we are expecting a very tough game.”

Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber on potentially selling players: “It’s a case of if somebody goes, it will be on our terms. It will be for a lot of money, but also, we have to respect what these players have done. Not only the young players but also the senior players, they’ve worked hard for this club and they’ve achieved a mini miracle by getting to the Premier League. We couldn’t quite achieve staying there but we can’t forget what these boys have done for the club so far. If there’s an offer which is right and the club is right for them, then we’ll give it the respect of listening to that.”


Odds and ends

Chelsea are the heavy favorites (-770) and a Norwich win would be a miracle (+1900) but this could be trickier than people think. Norwich are down but they have nothing to lose now. The tie at +800 could be a savvy bet. Chelsea edged Norwich 3-2 when they met earlier this season and there will be plenty of goals in this game too.


Prediction

There is no seeing past a big Chelsea win here as they need to win their final three games of the season to stay in the top four. Chelsea should score plenty of goals but can they keep them out at the other end? This will be fun. Norwich have noting to lose. I’m going for a 4-2 win to Chelsea.

Top five Premier League players since restart

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The top five Premier League players since the restart?

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There have been plenty of stars who have dazzled since the suspension as an extended break seems to have rejuvenated them.

With Premier League games being aired exclusively and free on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, on July 15, you can watch the star players collide as six hours of match and studio coverage will be available from 12-6pm ET with Arsenal v. Liverpool the headline game.

[ MORE: Premier League highlights ]

Take a look below at the top Premier League players of the show so far.


Kevin de Bruyne

It is absurd how good Kevin de Bruyne is. It really is. He’s scored three goals since the restart and his free kick against Chelsea was sublime. Add to that his perfect passing and his hunger and KDB is the reason why Man City are pushing hard to add an FA Cup and Champions League to the League Cup they’ve already won this season. Yes, they are no longer Premier League champions but winning three out of four trophies this season isn’t a bad haul. Intrigued to see if he sticks around depending on the outcome of their appeal against the Champions League ban.

Remember: You can watch Kevin de Bruyne as Manchester City take on Bournemouth this Wednesday, July 15 at 1pm ET on Peacock where you can stream games for FREE with no commercials, as part of the national launch of NBCUniversal’s new streaming service.


Christian Pulisic

The USMNT star has scored two goals and has two assists in his first three games back, plus he’s been man of the match on the last three occasions for Chelsea. Pulisic, 21, has been lauded by Frank Lampard and he is tearing teams apart with his pace and direct running. His goal in the big win against Man City summed up his talent perfectly. Incredible pace, control and composure. Pulisic is the highest-scoring player in the Premier League under the age of 21 this season.


Danny Ings

What a season this man is having. Danny Ings has finally shaken off his injury problems and has 18 Premier League goals and has scored three since the restart. He’s also hit the crossbar, set up chances for his teammates and has dug deep to defend from the front. Ings, 27, will be linked with plenty of teams this summer but he will be worth way over $60 million by Southampton, his hometown club. The entire soccer world smiles when Ings scores. He is one of the good guys and he’s pushing hard to win the Golden Boot.


Michael Keane

Scored the winner at Norwich and has held Everton’s defense together with timely tackles and blocks. Keane is finally back to his best and he’s showing the form which saw Everton buy him from Burnley for $37 million in 2017. Keane has had his critics but Toffees fans are now loving his partnership with Mason Holgate at center back and they are surging up the table because of their solid foundation. Europa League is the target for Carlo Ancelotti’s side and they are very close to achieving that.


Bruno Fernandes

Perhaps saving the best to last!? Some say that the impact Bruno Fernandes has had on Man United is similar to what Eric Cantona had and how can we argue with that? Since Fernandes arrived in January, Man United haven’t lost and look a completely different team. His two goals against Brighton were sublime and his partnership in midfield with Paul Pogba is flourishing. Defensively United look better and ahead of Fernandes the trio of Martial, Rashford and Greenwood are purring. Fernandes makes everything tick and is making every single Man United player around him better. That is why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are in the top four battle and have all of the momentum.

Honorable mention: Migual Almiron, Riyad Mahrez, Raul Jimenez, Adama Traore, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, Luke Shaw, Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka, Ben Mee, Allan Saint-Maximin