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Watch Live: Liverpool, Man City, Man United and more in PL action

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A full Wednesday slate of Week 28 games kicking off at 2:45 and 3:00 p.m. ET features each of the top six teams in the Premier League table.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

Leading the way is a critical matchup between Chelsea and Tottenham at Stamford Bridge (live at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBCSports.com) that sees both teams desperately need a result. Spurs comes into the cross-town London meeting in dire need of a win to keep pace with the leaders in Liverpool and Manchester City. Any slip-up for Mauricio Pochettino could see them fall harmlessly away from the title race, already six points back of the Reds at the top.

For Chelsea, the Blues are even more in need of a positive result. With Maurizio Sarri under fire, all eyes will be on the Italian after the club played spectacularly well in the Carabao Cup final, only to lose to Manchester City in penalties amid the wild incident involving Kepa Arrizabalaga. With the young goalkeeper already fined one week’s wages for refusing a substitution and enraging his manager on the touchline, Sarri has decided to drop Kepa to the bench and instead start Willy Caballero in his place. While it might be a consequence of Arrizabalaga’s actions in the Cup final, it could also be seen as an olive branch extended to Caballero, who was left befuddled on the touchline when Arrizabalaga refused a substitution on Sunday.

[ WATCH LIVE: Chelsea v. Tottenham on NBCSports.com ]

Elsewhere, Liverpool hosts Watford at Anfield in the wake of the Reds’ goalless draw with Manchester United which saw them retake the Premier League lead, but only by a point. Jurgen Klopp‘s men have won just one of their last four league matches, with six total dropped points in that span, which has allowed Manchester City to climb back into the race.

Pep Guardiola and City are also in action, welcoming West Ham to the Etihad with a 3:00 p.m. ET start. City will look for victory in the hopes that Liverpool continues its poor run of form, potentially taking over the Premier League lead should that take place. The Spanish boss will have to navigate the next few fixtures without two absolutely critical players to the squad, with Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte both sidelined for a significant portion of games due to injuries sustained in the Carabao Cup final. The squad has thinned considerably as that pair joins John Stones and Gabriel Jesus on the sidelines, meaning Guardiola has lost his first-choice central defensive partnership plus his starting defensive midfielder critical to counter-busting and distribution.

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Rounding out the top six is Manchester United, who travels to Crystal Palace hoping to capitalize on any slips by either Chelsea or Arsenal. United is sandwiched between the two in a jam-packed battle for the final Champions League place. Arsenal currently resides in fourth, but they own just a one-point advantage on Manchester United, and Chelsea rests just two points back of the Red Devils in sixth. Manchester United still has not lost in league play since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over, with draws against Burnley and Liverpool as the only blemishes on his Premier League record thus far. Crystal Palace comes into the game in good form as well, having gone unbeaten in its last four with two wins and two draws in that span.


2:45 p.m. ET: Arsenal v. Bournemouth – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
2:45 p.m. ET: Southampton v. Fulham – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Chelsea v. Tottenham – NBCSN [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Liverpool v. Watford – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Manchester City v. West Ham – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Crystal Palace v. Manchester United – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Mohamed Salah an injury doubt for Liverpool

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Mohamed Salah is an injury doubt for Liverpool’s trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via NBCSports.com).

Salah, 27, has been struggling with a right ankle injury over the last six weeks and he has been subbed off in his last three Premier League appearances for Liverpool as well as missing their draw at Man United last month.

“Yesterday he trained,” Klopp revealed. “He trained the whole time since he was here, but only the things we wanted him to do. Today is another important session to see how it looks and we can make the decision. It’s not that it got worse but it’s still kind of there, that’s the problem. We have to be sensible with things like this. But I didn’t make the decision. If I would have made a decision, I probably wouldn’t have told you now, but it’s true I have to see the session today.”

Andy Robertson and Joe Gomez are also injury doubts and late calls will be made on the duo, while Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, Alisson and Georginio Wijnaldum were all in international action and have only just returned to Liverpool’s Melwood training base.

“From the others, I cannot say 100 per cent, I don’t know 100 per cent,” Klopp said. “Today is a very important session to judge that, especially with the players who came back late.”

When it comes to Salah, he didn’t feature for Egypt during the international break and Liverpool have given him a special program to follow to build up the strength in his ankle.

The Egyptian winger has scored in recent home wins against Tottenham and Man City but his performance levels haven’t been as explosive as last season and that’s because he’s nursing this ankle injury. At some point Klopp needs to give him a rest, and with the busy festive season creeping ever closer, it seems like Liverpool’s boss is ready to rotate his squad a little more as they play in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday against Napoli.

Main takeaways from MLS contract deadline day

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Major League Soccer saw a lot of big names in the news as “Contract Deadline Day” played out across the U.S. and Canada.

— The New York Red Bulls watched two all-timers walk out the door, as Bradley Wright-Phillips did not get a new contract and the club declined its option on Luis Robles (STORY).

— Not a player move, but Austin FC announced the hiring of former NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna to the same position.

[ MORE: PST’s talk 1v1 with Reyna earlier this season ]

— Toronto FC is yet to reach a deal to keep Michael Bradley in town, but remains in contract talks with its captain. The same is true for Nicolas Benezet, while Drew Moor is out-of-contract.

— And that’s also what’s happening in Portland with Diego Valeri, the longtime star in talks with the team despite not having his option picked up.

Chicago Fire announced a new branding initiative, changing its logo from a classic crest to something else and dropping the SC for an FC. Like Columbus before them, everyone will still call them the fire and ignore the SC, FC, or whatever see. It’s what happens when you take a formal nickname.

The club also cut ties with playmakers Nico Gaitan and Aleksandar Katai.

— Minnesota United remains in talks to bring back Reading loanee and reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year winner Vito Mannone, and that means longtime backstop Bobby Shuttleworth will hit the open market.

— Orlando declined its option on Dillon Powers, and also let the clock run out on the contract of one-time megastar Sacha Kljestan.

— Real Salt Lake did not reach an agreement with Kyle Beckerman on a new deal, though MLSSoccer.com thinks he’s still in the mix.

— New England is letting Juan Agudelo walk into free agency.

— Atlanta United exercised the contract option for Julian Gressel, but he’s being badly underpaid and the club needs to find salary room for a proper new deal.

— Thierry Henry is keeping his two brightest attacker, with Ignacio Piatti getting another year at the club and Saphir Taider seeing his loan from Bologna made permanent.

— The Philadelphia Union did not exercise their option on Marco Fabian, and are letting Haris Medunjanin leave without a new deal.

— Roman Torres did not see his option exercised by the Sounders, and Kim Kee-hee is also leaving the club.

— Sporting KC waves goodbye to Seth Sinovic, Krisztian Nemeth, Benny Feilhaber, and Gedion Zelalem.

Brazilian player Taison banned in Ukraine for response to racism

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KYIV, Ukraine (AP) Brazilian player Taison has been banned for one game for his reaction to racist abuse in a Ukrainian league game.

The Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder showed his middle finger to Dynamo Kyiv fans who had abused him with monkey chants and kicked the ball into the stands during a game Nov. 10. Taison was shown a red card.

[ MORE: Mou says Spurs can win the PL next season ]

The Ukrainian Football Association ordered Taison to serve a one-game ban plus a suspended two-game ban.

Dynamo has been fined 500,000 hryvnyas ($20,000) and ordered to play one game behind closed doors. Another one-game sanction is suspended.

World players’ union FIFPro says “sanctioning a victim of racial abuse is beyond comprehension and it plays into the hands of those who promote this kind of disgraceful behavior.”

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Top Premier League storylines: Week 13

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Yes, Jose Mourinho is back in the Premier League and, sure, both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manuel Pellegrini are in managerial hot seats, but is there any match more intriguing than Man City and Chelsea squaring off with the knowledge that a bad outcome could see them double digits out of first?

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ] 

Below we take a look at the key storylines to keep an eye on across the PL this weekend.


The Jose Mourinho Era begins against a familiar foe

  • West Ham v. Tottenham Hotspur — Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN

Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho have matched wits many times, which could help the former in his bid to get ready for a rankled Spurs side to kickstart the Premier League weekend.

Mourinho has only matched up with six managers more than Pellegrini in his career, and boasts a 7W-3D-4L record. Can he quickly get Spurs put together for a visit to a desperate Irons side.


Chelsea, Man City put slim title hopes on the line

  • Manchester City v. Chelsea — Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, on NBC

Both Pep Guardiola‘s City and Frank Lampard‘s Chelsea have lost to Liverpool, meaning their chances to directly affect the Reds’ title hopes are limited. Matches like this one are the ones that get the Reds salivating, in fact, knowing that only one team can snare three points.

City enters the day nine points back of first and a point behind Chelsea and Leicester City. The Top Four race sure looks clear cut right now — the chasing pack is eight points behind fourth — but failure to win on Saturday will likely leave either side double-digit points back of first.


Knock off the Red Devils? Wilder things have happened

  • Sheffield United v. Manchester United — Sunday, 11:30 p.m. ET, on NBCSN

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has the newly-promoted side in fifth place on the table, one point better than his celebrated visitors. The Blades will sit no worse than five points back of the Top Four if they can beat Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s Red Devils, adding another big name to a season of results which already includes a defeat of Arsenal and draws against Chelsea and Spurs. United is still without Paul Pogba and now will also miss Scott McTominay. Another upset brewing?


Reds hope to get back to business as usual in title fight

  • Crystal Palace v. Liverpool — Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold

A week removed from a glitzy show against Man City, Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds now visit a Palace side who is probably getting sick of facing the Premier League’s best. Roy Hodgson‘s table rise has been stunted by a four-match winless run that includes 2-0 losses to Man City, Leicester City, and Chelsea to go with a 2-2 draw against Arsenal.

A Liverpool win will boost it clearer of Man City and/or Chelsea, as the Reds seek a double-digit lead on the field (Second-place Leicester City is away to Brighton and Hove Albion).


Arsenal looks to right wobbly league ship versus slumping Saints

  • Arsenal v. Southampton — Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, on NBCSN

Unai Emery‘s Gunners may be doing fine in the Europa League, but they’ve taken just two points from 12 since an Oct. 6 defeat of Bourrnemouth at the Emirates Stadium. Saints only win since mid-September in any competition is a 4-0 demolition of rivals Portsmouth. If Arsenal cannot get right here, well…