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La Liga: Sevilla squeaks by Levante, La Real back to winning ways

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Real Sociedad put its two-game losing streak to bed and remained in the mix at the top of the La Liga table, turning around an early 1-0 deficit and winning 3-1 at home over Real Betis.

Lorenzo Moron scored 12 minutes in for the visitors, but a Javi Garcia own-goal leveled the score while Willian Jose and Portu sealed the three points. Martin Odegaard was fantastic again for La Real, constantly proving a threat in the buildup. Man of the Match, however, was Mikel Merino who was active in the midfield and popped up occasionally in the attacking third. The win pushes La Real up to fourth in the table, two points behind second-placed Real Madrid and three back of leaders Barcelona.

Sevilla was held for 86 minutes at home by Levante, but Luuk De Jong gave the hosts all three points as he rose high above Erick Cabaco to head home Jesus Navas’s cross from deep. Sevilla held over 60% possession throughout the match and racked up nine corners to Levante’s one, but didn’t create much in front of net until the final 15 minutes. Chicharito and De Jong both missed within two minutes of each other, and the latter eventually converted to push Sevilla to sixth in the La Liga table.

Alaves picked up a big three points over Celta Vigo with a 2-0 home win on second half goals from Lisandro Magallan and Lucas Perez. The visitors managed just two shots on target and had just one clear cut chance that Santi Mina failed to put on frame seconds out of halftime. Former Newcastle striker Joselu had a bad miss past the half-hour mark but proved a threat for much of the match, ripping off six shots on his own. Alaves also picked up five yellow cards in the match, but ultimately jumped out of the relegation zone and past Celta Vigo into 14th.

Villareal moved to seventh in the table with a 1-0 road victory at Espanyol. Cameroon international Karl Toko Ekambi scored his third goal of the season in the 17th minute and the visiting defense spoiled the Espanyol attack all game long. The hosts put forth 18 shots but managed to get just three of them on target. Santi Cazorla has been stellar all season for Villareal, and he went the full 90 minutes again, not adding much up front but proving a menace in midfield.

Athletic Club drew 1-1 with Real Valladolid as Inaki Williams put Athletic up just after the half-hour mark, but an Inigo Martinez own-goal pegged them back with 20 minutes to go. Athletic popped off 17 shots to Real Valladolid’s seven but Jordi Masip made six saves in net for Real Valladolid to spoil the home side’s day, leaving Athletic in eighth with 13 points.

Premier League odds, Prince-Wright’s picks: Matchweek 35

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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 of Matchweek 35. 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

Brighton 1-3 Man City – (Saturday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Man United 4-2 Southampton – (Monday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Liverpool 3-1 Burnley – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM


DON’T TOUCH THIS…

Wolves 1-1 Everton – (Sunday, 7 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Sheffield United 1-2 Chelsea – (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC) – [STREAM

Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal – (Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Norwich 1-2 West Ham – (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]


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

Bournemouth 2-2 Leicester – (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Watford 2-1 Newcastle – (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET, Gold/Peacock) – [STREAM]

Aston Villa 2-1 Crystal Palace – (Sunday, 9:15 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]


EPL ODDS – Via DraftKings

Saturday, July 11: (-124) Watford v. Newcastle (+360), Tie: +255
Saturday, July 11: (+275) Norwich v. West Ham (-104), Tie: +265
Saturday, July 11: (-400) Liverpool v. Burnley (+1050), Tie: +525
Saturday, July 11: (+500) Sheffield United v. Chelsea (-167), Tie: +290
Saturday, July 11: (+900) Brighton v. Man City (-345), Tie: +475
Sunday, July 12: (+102) Wolves v. Everton (+310), Tie: +225
Sunday, July 12: (+130) Aston Villa v. Crystal Palace (+220), Tie: +230
Sunday, July 12: (+160) Tottenham v. Arsenal (+170), Tie: +240
Sunday, July 12: (+410) Bournemouth v. Leicester (-148), Tie: +285
Monday, July 13: (-375) Man United v. Southampton (+1050), Tie: +480

Top four, relegation battle: What’s the situation?

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The top four and relegation battle is absolutely bonkers as we head into the final four matchweeks of the 2019-20 Premier League season.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

So many teams are involved in the Champions League battle, the Europa League push and the relegation scrap.

With four games to go for each team in the Premier League, there are some massive games set up for the final weeks of the season.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Let’s take a look at the situation up and down the table.


Top four, Europa League race

Man City pretty much have second place wrapped up but with a decision on their appeal on a two-year ban from UEFA expected imminently, we will soon find out if they will be in the Champions League next season, or if fifth place in the Premier League will become a Champions League spot.

Focusing on third and fourth, Chelsea are in the driving seat but Man United are just two points behind in fifth and Leicester are sandwiched in-between them in fourth. The Foxes have looked disjoined since the restart, and for many months, while Man United are surging and have all the momentum in the top four. If fifth place does become a Champions League spot, Wolves, Sheffield United, Arsenal and Tottenham seem like outside bets to finish above one of Man United, Leicester and Chelsea to finish fifth. At this point, I think Man United will finish third, Chelsea fourth and Leicester fifth. It will all come down to Leicester v. Man United on the final day of the season.

When it comes to the Europa League, if Man City are banned from Europe then eighth place could be a Europa League spot along with sixth and seventh. That is because Man City have already won the League Cup and the four FA Cup semifinalists (Arsenal, Man City, Man United and Chelsea) are likely to qualify for Europe through their league position. Everton and Southampton are unlikely to reach eighth place, but could, and wouldn’t it be something if Burnley could keep their run going? They face Liverpool, Wolves, Norwich and Brighton.

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Liverpool 34 30 2 2 75 26 49 17-0-0 13-2-2 92
 Manchester City 34 22 3 9 86 34 52 13-2-2 9-1-7 69
 Chelsea 34 18 6 10 63 46 17 9-3-5 9-3-5 60
 Leicester City 34 17 8 9 64 32 32 10-4-3 7-4-6 59
 Manchester United 34 16 10 8 59 33 26 10-5-2 6-5-6 58
 Wolves 34 13 13 8 45 37 8 6-7-4 7-6-4 52
 Sheffield United 34 13 12 9 35 33 2 9-3-5 4-9-4 51
 Arsenal 34 12 14 8 50 42 8 8-6-3 4-8-5 50
 Tottenham Hotspur 34 13 10 11 52 44 8 10-3-4 3-7-7 49
 Burnley 34 14 7 13 38 46 -8 8-3-6 6-4-7 49
 Everton 34 12 9 13 41 49 -8 8-6-3 4-3-10 45
 Southampton 34 13 5 16 43 56 -13 5-2-10 8-3-6 44

Relegation battle

So, things are becoming a little clearer at the bottom as the bottom three have yet to win since the restart and both West Ham and Watford have picked up big wins in recent weeks. Brighton are almost safe from relegation after an impressive start to the restart, while Norwich are all but down after five defeats on the trot since the action resumed.

Now it’s all about Bournemouth or Aston Villa and if they can somehow string together two or three wins in their final four games of the season. Both teams have tough remaining schedules with Bournemouth facing Leicester, Man City, Southampton and Everton. Aston Villa face Crystal Palace, Everton, Arsenal and West Ham and Villa will hope they still have a chance of staying up ahead of that last game at West Ham.

 Brighton & Hove Albion 34 8 12 14 36 47 -11 5-6-6 3-6-8 36
 West Ham United 34 8 7 19 40 59 -19 5-3-9 3-4-10 31
 Watford 34 7 10 17 31 53 -22 5-6-6 2-4-11 31

 Bournemouth 34 7 7 20 32 59 -27 4-6-7 3-1-13 28
 Aston Villa 34 7 6 21 36 65 -29 5-3-9 2-3-12 27
 Norwich City 34 5 6 23 26 63 -37 4-3-10 1-3-13 21

Pulisic explains his superb form during ‘Project Restart’

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In an interview with Sky Sports, Christian Pulisic has explained the reason behind his superb form during ‘Project Restart’ as the USMNT winger has been one of the best players in the Premier League since action returned in June.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch – Analysis ]

Pulisic, 21, has scored three goals, won two penalty kicks and has consistently been Man of the Match for Chelsea as Frank Lampard’s side push for a top four finish and the FA Cup.

Speaking to our partners in the UK Sky Sports, Pulisic was asked what he did during the Premier League’s suspension to bring out his best form. Turns out his trip back home to Hershey, Pennsylvania was very, very helpful.

“I had that first game on my mind. I was really hungry the whole time to get back and get back on the field. I was training hard and I’m really happy now to be able to make an impact,” Pulisic said. “I was able to get some work in back in the States, as well, and be able to continue to work on my game but also rehabbing and making sure I was 100 per cent fit and ready to go. So during a really tough time for a lot of people, that was the one positive thing that I could do for myself.”

The full interview is definitely worth your time as it is chocked full of stats, graphics and more from Pulisic about his stunning form since the Premier League returned.

Asked once again about the comparisons between himself and Chelsea legend Eden Hazard, Pulisic brushed them aside and stated he will not change the way he plays.

“I’m really happy I can do that as of recent and my style is always going to continue to be that very attacking-minded and creative kind of player. I’m happy I can help the team any way I can,” Pulisic added. “I want to be a part of this team. Every day in training I work hard because I want to start and I want to be on the field and I want to create goals and I want to score goals. That’s where I want to be. I want to continue to make a big impact every week and every game.”

Alongside Bruno Fernandes from Manchester United, Pulisic has been the main man in the Premier League throughout June and July.

USMNT fans everywhere are salivating as they watch the Pennsylvanian Messi rip it up for Chelsea on a weekly basis. Long may that continue.

Chelsea’s Gilmour, Liverpool’s Henderson out for season

Chelsea Billy Gilmour
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Chelsea star Billy Gilmour and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson have both been ruled out for lengthy periods due to serious knee injuries.

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Gilmour, 19, has undergone surgery after the right knee injury he suffered against Crystal Palace was much worse than previously feared.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard confirmed that Gilmour could be out for up to four months.

“Billy had an operation on his knee [Friday] morning, we estimate he will be out for between three and four months unfortunately. I’m very disappointed, as we all are here,” Lampard said. “He’s a tough boy, it hit him hard especially as a young boy who has just made a breakthrough. I told him he should be very pleased with what he’s done and the impact he’s had this season anyway. His attitude will get him back as quickly as he can.”

Gilmour has slotted in superbly in his debut Premier League season as the “Irn-Bru Iniesta” looks a star in the making due to his composure and creativity on the ball in central midfield.

Henderson
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As for a player at the opposite end of his career, Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson is also out for the rest of the season but he could be back for the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

Henderson, 30, suffered the injury in a tackle with Yves Bissouma in Liverpool’s 3-1 win at Brighton on Tuesday.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Liverpool feared the worst but Henderson doesn’t need surgery and although he will miss the rest of this season, he could be back for the start of the 2020-21 season.

“Hendo is actually really the best possible of all the bad news. It is a knee injury, but no surgery needed,” Klopp said. “He will not play anymore in the latter stage of this season but I am pretty positive he will start with us the new season. We were all concerned in the moment we saw him in going down and when he left the pitch and stuff like this. Yesterday when we got the news, it was a big relief for all of us. It is not cool, obviously, but it is the best we could get. Hendo will be back; he is a quick healer and he will be back soon.”

Liverpool also confirmed that Henderson will lift the Premier League trophy as planned as his imperious displays from central midfield have been a hallmark of their incredible season.

It is now time for Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to get some extra minutes, with Georginio Wijnaldum and Fabinho mainstays in central midfield.