Getty Images

PL Preview: Norwich City v. Liverpool

Leave a comment
  • Mohamed Salah has scored or assisted a goal in 4 of the last 5 PL games
  • Norwich City has just 1 victory since December 1
  • Liverpool has kept 9 clean sheets in its last 10 PL matches

Good ol’ top versus bottom in the table. Predictable…right? But that’s why they play the games.

Norwich City is right on the cusp. The Canaries can feel how close they are to turning things around. Since the start of December, every single loss but one – that would be five of the six total – has come by a one-goal margin. Tack on five draws in that span as well, and the Canaries are right in the thick of things, even seven points adrift of safety.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

They’re also afforded the opportunity to shock the world.

Norwich City hosts leaders Liverpool at Carrow Road on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET, live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com. With the Reds hitting the road having dropped two points all season, any Norwich City result would be hailed by the home fans as a success.

Liverpool, meanwhile, could go 25 points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a 17th successive Premier League victory. Those numbers never get less astonishing as Liverpool piles up the plaudits. The Reds will expect to have both Sadio Mane and James Milner back from hamstring injuries, but both are still listed as game-time decisions as Jurgen Klopp may decide it’s not worth risking one or both.

Injuries/suspensions

Norwich City: OUT – Timm Klose (knee), Ben Godfrey (red card suspension).

Liverpool: OUT – Nathaniel Clyne (knee), Yasser Larouci (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE – Xherdan Shaqiri (foot), Sadio Mane (hamstring), James Milner (hamstring).


Probable Lineups

Norwich City: Krul; Byram, Hanley, Zimmerman, Aarons; Tettey, McLean, Cantwell, Duda, Rupp; Pukki.

Liverpool: Alisson; Robertson, Gomez, van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Mane, Firmino, Salah.


What they’re saying

Norwich City boss Daniel Farke on midfielder Alex Tettey signing an extension: “Alex is a bit like a good red wine. The older he gets, the better he gets!”

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold on the title chances: “That’s the message the manager drills into us on a daily basis: that nothing’s over yet, there’s still a long way to go. We’re just over halfway through the season, so it’s important for us to keep our heads, keep focused and keep our mentality the same. That’s what’s been working for us, so nothing should change.”


Prediction

Norwich City should put up a better fight than some may give them credit for, but Liverpool is too big a juggernaut to fall in this match. A hard-fought 2-0 win with a late goal to seal it should be enough to see the Reds through to an 18th straight victory and see Liverpool head into Champions League play on a high note.

Fernandes scores first goal, says Ronaldo backed Manchester United move

Bruno Fernandes Ronaldo
Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)
Leave a comment

It’s probably not a surprise that a young Portuguese player would fancy Manchester United given the heroics of Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford early his career.

Bruno Fernandes admits that those images danced through his head well before he signed with the Red Devils in January.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

It’s also not a shock that United would turn to their former player for a take on the playmaker before buying him from Sporting Lisbon.

Fernandes says he’s grateful that CR7 endorsed BF18. From Sky Sports:

“I know some people asked Cristiano what he thought of me and what I was like as a player and a person,” Fernandes said. “I know he spoke highly of me and gave me a good reference, so I sent him a message after to thank him for his kind words.”

Fernandes has 19 caps and two goals for Portugal, while Ronaldo has a few more with 164 and 99.

He now has a goal and an assist in four appearances for United. Ronaldo finished with 118 goals and 69 assists in 292 appearances for the Red Devils.

Here’s the finish:

Eden Hazard suffers fracture ahead of Man City in UCL, El Clasico

Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Eden Hazard is set to miss the Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League first leg against Man City with a broken fibula.

Hazard had only returned to the lineup for two matches following a three-month absence with an ankle injury.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The 29-year-old has made just 15 appearances for Real since arriving in a big-money move from Chelsea, scoring once with five assists.

He has never appeared in less than 30 league matches over the course of his career, five times missing one or zero matches.

Of course, all of his absences show that Real is very comfortable playing and winning without Hazard. Zinedine Zidane’s men lost Sunday to drop behind Barcelona in La Liga, but that was just its second loss of the league season.

Real will be taxed in depth like its rivals, with Wednesday’s visit from Man City followed by an El Clasico at the Bernabeu on March 1. Barcelona hosts Napoli on Tuesday.

Whether you like the playmaker or despise him, there must be some sense of sympathy for his latest ailments (even if Man City and Barca fans will likely offer a Jerry Seinfeld-esque, “That’s a shame”).

Watch Live: Manchester United, Wolves host bottom three battlers

Manchester United Watford live stream link
Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Leave a comment

A pair of Premier League basement dwellers face stiff tests in their bids to win another season in the top flight.

Manchester United hosts Watford on NBCSN while Wolves welcome Norwich City on CNBC as both home sides aim to improve the health of their top four hopes in 9 a.m. ET kickoffs.

[ WATCH: Man Utd-Watford | Wolves-Norwich ]

Lineups notes from both matches:

LINEUPS

Manchester United

Watford


Wolves

Norwich City

Three Serie A matches suspended due to virus deaths in Italy

coronavirus
Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images
1 Comment

ROME (AP) Three Serie A soccer matches scheduled for Sunday in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto were suspended late Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the virus from China.

On orders from the Italian government, the games called off were: Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria, Atalanta vs. Sassuolo and Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari.

Three other matches in Genoa, Turin and Rome on Sunday are going ahead as scheduled.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown on Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the coronavirus from China, and a growing cluster of cases with no direct links to the origin of the outbreak abroad.

“The government is working on urgent measures to decisively confront and contain the cases of coronavirus contagion,” read a letter from Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora to Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago shortly before midnight local time on Saturday. “Those measures also include the sports world in order to prevent risks and to better take care of the health of those involved in the events and competition.

“Following measures taken by the cabinet for protective reasons and maximum precaution, on orders of the government I’m asking you to suspend all sports events of every level and discipline planned for the Lombardy and Veneto regions on Sunday.”

The secondary contagions prompted local authorities in the Lombardy and Veneto regions to close schools, businesses and restaurants and to cancel sporting events and Masses.

The mayor of Milan, Italy’s business capital and the regional capital of Lombardy, shuttered public offices.

A 78-year-old man infected with the virus died in Veneto. A postmortem on a 77-year-old woman in Lombardy came back positive, though it wasn’t clear if illness from the virus caused her death.

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

Andrew Dampf on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf