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Deadline Day transfer needs for PL clubs

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Now, the idea of this transfer needs post is to identify what each Premier League club should do on Deadline Day.

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We know that quite often the January transfer window is a slow burner and maybe, just maybe we will see a flurry of activity in the finals hour of the window.

Below is a look at the key areas where each PL club should do business before the transfer window closes on Friday evening.

Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.


Arsenal
Center back: The Gunners have been on the hunt for a new central defender all month long after Calum Chambers ruptured his ACL. Mikel Arteta is trying to get a move for Pablo Mari over the line, while Thomas Lemar has also been linked with a move if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaves for Barcelona in the final days of the window.
Possibility they will add players: 90 percent


Aston Villa
Striker: They have been the busiest team in January so far after two huge injuries to Tom Heaton and Wesley have hit Villa hard. Dean Smith brought in Pepe Reina in goal, Danny Drinkwater on loan in midfield, Mbwana Samatta up top and youngster Louie Barry. So, they should be set. But Dean Smith has hinted they may add one more attacking player. With American youngster Indiana Vassilev performing well off the bench after his recent debut, Villa may not need extra help.
Possibility they will add players: 60 percent


Bournemouth
Defenders: With so many injuries, Eddie Howe has been scrambling to put his best team together. They had a big win agains Brighton last time out which will have relieved some of the pressure on him but Danny Rose has been linked with a loan move and that would seem like a good fit. 
Possibility they will add players
: 40 percent


Brighton and Hove Albion
None: The Seagulls have added Aaron Mooy on a permanent basis and have plenty of attacking options, although the goals have dried up for Maupay and Connolly. Maybe adding an extra forward on loan in the final days of the window makes sense?
Possibility they will add players
: 10 percent


Burnley
None: A quiet few days for the Clarets who may just move a few squad players out on loan. Sean Dyche has a strong squad which is free of injuries and he will be happy enough with what he has. 
Possibility they will add players
: 10 percent


Chelsea
Striker: Frank Lampard has looked a little frustrated by the lack of signings and Chelsea have been linked strongly with moves for Edinson Cavani, Piatek and Boubakary Soumare. Those deals seem unlikely to happen and their focus may be set on this summer with Timo Werner, Jadon Sancho and Wilfried Zaha at the top of their list. A deal for Zaha seems unlikely in the next few days.
Possibility they will add players: 30 percent


Crystal Palace
Defenders: Basically, Palace need to add an extra player in each area of the pitch and Roy Hodgson has already said that and he hopes the owners back him. With Cenk Tosun arriving on loan they’ve addressed that need but Palace do look short in the full area. The Eagles always seem keen to add players later in the month and hang on for a good deal. Let’s see if they do it again.
Possibility they will add players
: 40 percent


Everton
None: A bit of extra cover would be nice for Carlo Ancelotti but with Mason Holgate, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and others stepping up, he can rely on Everton’s youngsters to push them into midtable in the final months of the season. 
Possibility they will add players
: 10 percent


Leicester City
Center back: They want to sign a center back and have been linked with Southampton’s Jannik Vestergaard but that deal seems unlikely. Leicester’s squad is strong throughout and has even copped without the injured Jamie Vardy
Possibility they will add players
: 15 percent


Liverpool
None: And they’ve already done their business. Takumi Minamino has arrived from RB Salzburg in a bargain deal and that will be Liverpool wrapped up for the window. Jurgen Klopp also has plenty of talented youngsters to call up.
Possibility they will add (more) players: 5 percent


Manchester City
Center back: Their biggest need for about 12 months and City haven’t done anything about it. Seems crazy given their status as one of the richest teams on the planet. Nathan Ake would be a good buy, so too would Caglar Soyuncu or Jonny Evans but now Aymeric Laporte is back, nothing is likely to happen. Pep is unlikely to do business in the January window unless a wonderful deal presents itself.
Possibility they will add players: 25 percent


Manchester United
Central midfield, striker: As injuries pile up in central midfield Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted all month that is where he is looking. That has been their biggest need all season, especially with Pogba’s injury problems. Bruno Fernandes heading to United looks unlikely, while they may need a short-term replacement for Marcus Rashford but it seems like Mason Greenwood is ready to step in and feel that void.
Possibility they will add players: 50 percent


Newcastle United
Left back: They’ve been busy in January with Nabil Bentaleb and Valenino Lazzaro coming in on loan, while they have also been linked with Danny Rose after Paul Dummett and Jetro Willems went down with season-ending injuries. Steve Bruce will doing his best to add a left back in the final days of the window.
Possibility they will add players: 70 percent.


Norwich City
None: Norwich have loaned Hertha Berlin’s attacker Duda and signed midfielder Lukas Rupp and the main thing for Daniel Farke‘s side is that they keep hold of Pukki, Aarons and Cantwell, which they look like doing. They should have probably added an extra defensive player but Farke has already said they are done for January. 
Possibility they will add players
: 10 percent


Sheffield United
None: They added Jack Rodwell as a free agent to provide some depth and Jack Robinson as a key defensive addition. They have options in every position and Chris Wilder has rotated the squad well this season. 
Possibility they will add (more) players
: 5 percent


Southampton
Full backs: Ralph Hasenhuttl has already said he wants to sign some new full backs. Cedric is out of contract this summer and Ryan Bertrand has been linked with a move away. Expect some young full backs to arrive, with Spurs’ Kyle Walker-Peters set to arrive on loan. Given their superb recent form that is pretty much all Saints need.
Possibility they will add players: 80 percent.


Tottenham Hotspur
Striker: Harry Kane’s injury means they will want a new striker. Jose Mourinho has sorted out their defensive displays and Daniel Levy has finally moved on Christian Eriksen with Steven Bergwijn set to replace him. Gedson Fernandes has arrived and Piatek seems like the perfect man to help with Kane’s absence.
Possibility they will add players: 70 percent.


Watford
Defender: Honestly, they are pretty set. Another striker to push Deeney and Gray hard would be nice but Nigel Pearson has inherited a decent squad and now has them well organized and hungry. The Hornets don’t really need to spend despite being in a relegation scrap. But with a few poor results in recent weeks, a defensive addition would be nice. They’ve been linked with moves for Danny Rose from Spurs and Ben Gibson from Burnley. Both would make sense. 
Possibility they will add players
: 50 percent


West Ham United
Striker, defenders: David Moyes needs to do some serious work in the finals days of the window as the Hammers look set for a relegation scrap. They have brought in Randolph to back up Fabianski in goal and more defensive improvements would be nice. The Hammers have spent a lot recently but an experienced striker to work alongside Haller is essential. Work to do. 
Possibility they will add players: 70 percent


Wolverhampton Wanderers
None: Pretty set after adding Leonardo Campana to back up Raul Jimenez up top, as Nuno Espirito Santo likes to have a small squad and they’ve battled through superbly so far. With no FA Cup run this season, they can focus on the Europa League and Premier League. Wolves always seem likely to add young players though.
Possibility they will add players: 10 percent

USMNT’s Arriola likely will miss MLS season, six World Cup qualifiers

Paul Arriola
AP Photo/LM Otero
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WASHINGTON (AP) D.C. United midfielder Paul Arriola had major knee surgery Monday and likely will miss the entire Major League Soccer season and the United States’ first six qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup

The operation was to reconstruct his right anterior cruciate ligament. The team said there was no additional cartilage damage.

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The 25-year-old midfielder injured his knee Feb. 15 during D.C. United’s preseason match against Orlando in Tampa, Florida.

Arriola has been a regular starter for the U.S. national team under coach Gregg Berhalter. Arriola has five goals in 33 international appearances.

After failing to reach the 2018 World Cup, the U.S. starts qualifying for the 2022 tournament this year. The Americans have two matches each in September, October and November, then complete qualifying with two games apiece in March and September 2021.

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

State of play in CONCACAF Champions League

CONCACAF Champions League
AP Photo/Carlos Gonzalez
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Four of five Major League Soccer clubs alive in the CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 are in fine shape to reach the quarterfinals after one leg.

The fifth has a tall hill to climb.

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LAFC trails Club Leon by two and did not collect an away goal in Mexico during first leg play last week.

“It’s 2-0, but we’re going to work hard,” said LAFC attacker Latif Blessing. “We’re going to prepare ourselves to win the next game. … We did good, but we want to win. It couldn’t happen that way but we’re going to prepare next game to win this game. We need to win.”

The second leg in L.A. is one of the last two matches of the round, kicking off at 10 p.m. ET Thursday just as Seattle Sounders square off with Olimpia.

The Honduran side managed a controversial comeback in the 2-2 draw with Jordan Morris-fueled Seattle last week, but the Sounders will be happy to have those two away goals and home field.

Montreal Impact has the same situation for Deportivo Saprissa’s visit at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, while Atlanta United scored an away goal in a draw with Motagua and hosts the visitors from Honduras’ capital at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday.

That leaves us with NYCFC, who got a Heber hat trick amongst five away goals at Costa Rican side San Carlos in a 5-3 win. The second leg begins at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday at Red Bull Arena (yes, you read that correctly).

Elsewhere, Liga MX sides don’t have it much better. Cruz Azul leads Portmore 2-1 heading back to Mexico, while Club America scored an away goal in a draw with Comunicaciones.

Finally, Tigres UANL trails 2-1 after one leg with Alianza in El Salvador.

CCL second leg schedule
all times ET

Atlanta United v. Motagua (1-1) — 8 p.m. Tuesday
Cruz Azul v. Portmore United (2-1) — 10 p.m. Tuesday
NYCFC v. San Carlos (5-3) — 6 p.m. Wednesday
Montreal Impact v. Deportivo Saprissa (2-2) — 8 p.m. Wednesday
Tigres UANL v. Alianza (1-2) — 8 p.m. Wednesday
Club America v. Comunicaciones (1-1) — 10 p.m. Wednesday
Seattle Sounders v. Olimpia (2-2) — 10 p.m. Thursday
LAFC v Leon (0-2) — 10 p.m. Thursday

Eleven to go: Ranking obstacles on Liverpool’s unbeaten path

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Liverpool has won all five of its matches since the last time we evaluated its path to an unbeaten Premier League season.

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Those matches were ranked 14th, 12th, 11th, 10th, and 4th on our first rankings of obstacles to immortality, so very little of the heavy lifting has been conducted.

Let’s get something out of the way: If Liverpool is unable to overturn their first leg deficit against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, you can probably etch that zero in the league loss column into stone.

That said, many expect the Reds to overcome that 1-0 disadvantage from Madrid, so here’s where we slot the difficulties moving forward.

Unranked — Crystal Palace at home (March 21) and Brighton away (April 18) — Both of these dates are very easy on the eyes, but will be moved if Liverpool is alive in the FA Cup.

9. Newcastle away, time TBD May 17 — We’re now calling this the easiest date left. Klopp’s men aren’t going to lose an unbeaten season at the altar just because Steve Bruce bunkers down. St. James’ Park is a hassle, but

8. Watford away, 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday Klopp probably feels like he’s already playing with house money in the FA Cup, so there’s no reason to think he’ll hand any priority at all to the following FA Cup meeting with Chelsea.

7. Bournemouth home, 7:30 a.m. ET March 7 Situated between Chelsea in the FA Cup and the home UCL second leg versus Atleti, it’s not easy…  but the Cherries have given us less reason to believe they’ll threaten the Reds than any other team besides Newcastle.

6. Aston Villa home, 11:30 a.m. ET April 12Dean Smith‘s desperate Villans will have Villa Park rocking before Liverpool’s possible UCL quarterfinals 2nd leg days later.

5. Burnley home, 7:30 a.m. ET April 25 — Taking place just before a possible UCL quarterfinal first leg, Burnley will try to trouble the Reds in a similar manner to West Ham.

4. Chelsea home, time TBD May 9 — Both the Blues and Reds could be coming off UCL semifinal second legs. Don’t forget that Chelsea took the Reds to the wire in the UEFA Super Cup despite it being very early in Frank Lampard‘s tenure.

3. Arsenal away, time TBD May 2 — Both sides may be days away from needing a result to qualify for the UCL or UEL final.

2. Everton away, 4 p.m. ET March 16 — This may as well be the only match left on the Toffees’ docket that matters more than another, as Carlo Ancelotti and his men know the message they could send regarding the building up of Everton.

Not only that, but Everton has nothing else left to circle, no other competitions, nothing.

1. Man City away, 11:30 a.m. ET April 5 — Taking place 3-4 days before the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals and on the heels of an international break, it’s the lone date on the calendar that Liverpool won’t be heavy favorites to win.

Champions League: Chelsea, Napoli aim to slow Lewandowski, Messi

UEFA Champions League preview
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Four of the most dangerous attacks in Europe begin their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 ties on Tuesday.

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For Chelsea that means trying to find a way to limit the damage of away goals when Bayern Munich visits Stamford Bridge.

Of course, that means trying to slow lethal Robert Lewandowski. The 31-year-old Polish striker has scored 38 times in 32 appearances this season.

Here’s Frank Lampard, via Football.London:

Form of his life means something special with Lewandowski because of how well he’s been consistently in Europe for the last, how many years, I don’t know,” Lampard said. “Everything about him, from a distance, from afar, is just top class. Having the opportunity to watch a lot of Bayern in build-up to this game, that shines through. Of course, he’s going to be a huge threat. He’s not the only threat but he is a spearhead.”

Lampard points to the Blues work without the ball and away from it that will determine whether they can limit Lewandowski and Bayern.

“We traveled to Ajax and had a fantastic game off the ball,” he said. “We’ve had games like that this year in the league as well. But the levels have to go up.”

The Blues won’t have Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and N’Golo Kante, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is finally available after a long injury absence. Pedro may play.

[ MORE: JPW’s score predictions ]

Tuesday’s other first leg sees Napoli hosting Barcelona, which means Gennaro Gattuso trying to find a way to cool down Lionel Messi.

The world’s top player scored four goals at the weekend and had six assists in his three previous La Liga outings.

Another player who’s helped Barcelona reclaim the league lead will be critical to controlling the midfield against Napoli, and that’s Frenkie de Jong.

The 22-year-old has had fits and starts at Barca, especially this month. He admits that he’s had an odd time adjusting to Messi, the teammate, though it hasn’t been part of the problem. From FCBarcelona.com:

“When I began training with him it was strange, because when I was 12, still in secondary school, I used to watch a lot of football. He was already the best in the world. He won the Ballon d’Or back then, so I was a fan, or whatever you want to call it.”

Napoli boss Gattuso was a bit more effusive when addressing Messi, via Football.Espana:

“I have read whether to make a cage or not, but we need the collective game to combat someone like him, and it is not just him,” Gattuso said. “He is the best in the world, for how he has lived his entire career. He is always perfect, never a misplaced word, he is an example for everyone. He does things that I only see on the PlayStation. He has an incredible quality and for years he has been the best of all-time.”

Both matches kick off at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday.