Bundesliga team of the week
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Bundesliga: Takeaways from Week 30

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Our Bundesliga wrap-up doesn’t need its own Player of the Week portion this week, as history-making Thomas Muller moved Bayern Munich closer to the club’s eighth-straight Bundesliga title

[ PREMIER LEAGUE: Remaining schedule ]

A few weeks ago, we saw Bayern veteran Muller brand young Alphonso Davies the club’s Roadrunner, complete with “meep, meep” soundbite.

Davies returned the nickname brandishing on Saturday after Muller set the Bundesliga season record for assists with 20, breaking Kevin De Bruyne’s record in Bayern’s 4-2 defeat of Bayer Leverkusen.

“I call him ‘chef’, Chef Thomas Muller,” Davies said. “He gives you assists, he gives you goals, whatever you need. He’s a big part of the team and him setting a record is an amazing achievement.”

Twenty assists in one season is a wonderful achievement for Muller, who has double-digit assists in 10-of-11 Bundesliga seasons. The outlier is the year he scored 20 times in a season that saw him play a lot of center forwards.

Hansi Flick is righteously getting a lot of credit for Bayern’s turnaround as the unbeaten streak hits 16 matches including an active nine-match winning streak, but how about the reversal of fortune in Muller’s season.

Muller had no goals and four assists in Bayern’s first 10 matches, but came to life in the 4-0 Klassiker rout of Borussia Dortmund on Nov. 9, Flick’s first match as caretaker boss. He’s scored seven times with 16 assists in the following 20 matches. Only five times in that stretch did Muller fail to register a goal or assist.

Bayern has a seven-point lead on Borussia Dortmund and an 11-point lead on RB Leipzig with four matches to play. RBL will be eliminated by Bayern’s next point, but BVB cannot be eliminated from the running until at least Week 32.

Imagine: Germany coach Joachim Low doesn’t have need for a player ringing up assist after assist because it’s about a new era. Must be nice.


How will the Cup semis affect the season?

Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, and Eintracht Frankfurt are apart of German Cup semifinals at midweek.

They’ll be the only sides playing ahead of Weeks 31 and 32, as match days come in quick succession with midweek markers June 16-17.

Bayer Leverkusen go away to face fourth-tier darlings Saarbrucken in one semi on Tuesday before Bayern hosts Eintracht on Wednesday.

Eintracht and Bayern both play Weds-Sat, while Bayer gets a bit more rest leading into the match thanks to a Sunday visit to Schalke.

A successful Cup run can bring added momentum to a club but it’s difficult to imagine it’ll be a blessing in this terribly congested run to the end of the season.

The German Cup Final will be played June 30 at the Olympiadstadion in Berlin.


Team of the Week

Horn (Koln)

Brosinski (Mainz) — Niakhate (Mainz) — Can (Dortmund) — Augustinsson (Bremen)

Schlager (Wolfsburg) —  Kimmich (Bayern)

Goretzka (Bayern) — Andrich (Union Berlin)

 Muller (Bayern) — Hennings (Fortuna)

  • We saw the center back mode of Emre Can produce a goal as Dortmund picked up a 1-0 win over in-form Hertha.
  • Mainz left back Daniel Brosinski cued up center back Moussa Niakhate’s goal in a huge 2-0 win for the relegation-threatened club, but the pair played a complete game at the back, too.
  • Rouwen Hennings attempted seven shots in getting two goals for Fortuna, still aiming to peek above the bottom three.

Week 30 results and recaps

Freiburg 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach — RECAP
Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-2 Hoffenheim — RECAP
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-2 Mainz — RECAP
RB Leipzig 1-1 Paderborn — RECAP
Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Bayern Munich — RECAP
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Hertha Berlin — RECAP
Werder Bremen 0-1 Wolfsburg — RECAP
Union Berlin 1-1 Schalke — RECAP
Augsburg 1-1 Koln — RECAP

Week 31 fixtures

Hoffenheim v. RB Leipzig — 2:30 p.m. ET Friday
Fortuna Dusseldorf v. Borussia Dortmund — 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday
Hertha Berlin v. Eintracht Frankfurt — 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday
Wolfsburg v. Freiburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday
Koln v. Union Berlin — 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday
Paderborn v. Werder Bremen — 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday
Bayern Munich v. Borussia Monchengladbach — 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Mainz v. Augsburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Schalke v. Bayer Leverkusen — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 30 22 4 4 90 30 60 11-2-2 11-2-2 70
 Borussia Dortmund 30 19 6 5 81 35 46 11-3-1 8-3-4 63
 RB Leipzig 30 16 11 3 75 32 43 7-7-1 9-4-2 59
 Mönchengladbach 30 17 5 8 57 36 21 10-2-3 7-3-5 56
 Bayer Leverkusen 30 17 5 8 56 40 16 7-4-4 10-1-4 56
 VfL Wolfsburg 30 12 9 9 42 36 6 4-6-5 8-3-4 45
 1899 Hoffenheim 30 12 7 11 42 50 -8 6-1-8 6-6-3 43
 SC Freiburg 30 11 8 11 39 41 -2 7-2-6 4-6-5 41
 Hertha BSC Berlin 30 10 8 12 43 51 -8 5-3-7 5-5-5 38
 FC Schalke 04 30 9 11 10 35 47 -12 5-6-4 4-5-6 38
 Eintracht Frankfurt 30 10 5 15 49 55 -6 6-4-5 4-1-10 35
 1. FC Köln 30 10 5 15 47 57 -10 6-3-6 4-2-9 35
 FC Augsburg 30 8 8 14 41 57 -16 5-5-5 3-3-9 32
 1. FC Union Berlin 30 9 5 16 35 53 -18 6-3-6 3-2-10 32
 FSV Mainz 05 30 9 4 17 39 62 -23 4-2-9 5-2-8 31
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 30 6 10 14 33 60 -27 4-5-6 2-5-8 28
 Werder Bremen 30 6 7 17 30 63 -33 1-3-11 5-4-6 25
 SC Paderborn 30 4 8 18 33 62 -29 2-2-11 2-6-7 20

Liverpool – Arsenal: How to watch, start time, odds, predicted lineup

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Liverpool – Arsenal: Two heavyweights clash at Anfield on Monday (Watch live at 3pm ET online via Peacock) as both team have a perfect record with two wins from two so far.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Reigning champions Liverpool have perhaps been more impressive as they’ve beaten upstarts Leeds United and then Chelsea, while Arsenal eased past Fulham but struggled past West Ham.

[ MORE: ProSoccerTalk unfiltered, Week 2 ]

When it comes to Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta, their playing philosophy as managers could not be more different as Arsenal beat Liverpool on penalties at Wembley to win the Community Shield last month.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of a massive early-season clash as Arsenal look to put down a marker.


Team news: Liverpool – Arsenal (INJURY REPORT)

Liverpool will be hoping center back Joe Gomez will be fit after he missed the win at Chelsea last weekend, while this game will come too soon for fellow defender Joel Matip. Judging by the early reports, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson should also be fit to start.

Arsenal could have Kieran Tierney back fit for this game, which would be a big boost. Pablo Mari, Calum Chamberls, Gabriel Martinelli and Shkodran Mustafi all remain out injured.


Predicted lineup

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Thiago, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Mane

Arsenal (3-4-3): Leno; Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles; Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Understandably Liverpool are the heavy favorites (-210) given their long unbeaten home record at Anfield. That said Arsenal (+520) do seem a high price after they beat Liverpool during ‘Project Restart’ and also in the Community Shield final. The draw at +360 is intriguing and the value perhaps lies there.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Liverpool – Arsenal prediction

Arsenal have a lot more grit under Arteta and they ware capable of bending but not breaking. This is a huge test for them, though, and Gabriel against the fluid front three of Salah, Firmino and Mane will be his biggest test yet. Arsenal have the attackers to make the most of any more slack defending from Liverpool but I expect Klopp’s side to have just too much in midfield and attack. Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal.


How to watch Liverpool – Arsenal stream and start time

Kickoff: 3pm ET Monday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Fulham – Aston Villa: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction, odds

Fulham - Aston Villa
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Fulham – Aston Villa: How early is too early to call a game “must-win” in the Premier League? Perhaps we will find out on Monday (Watch live at 12:45 pm ET, online via Peacock), when bottom-of-the-table Fulham host Aston Villa at Craven Cottage.

FULHAM – ASTON VILLA STREAM LIVE

Scott Parker’s side has had a torrid start to life back in the PL — not at all dissimilar to the way their last stint ended — and find themselves with zero points and seven goals conceded after their first two games. Losing 3-0 to Arsenal on the opening day of the season wasn’t altogether surprising, but following that defeat with four more goals conceded to Leeds United last weekend will undoubtedly have done a number on the Cottagers’ confidence.

Villa, on the other hand, have played just once and secured a 1-0 victory over Sheffield United earlier this week. A win on Monday would see Dean Smith’s side start the season with back-to-back PL victories for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Fulham – Aston Villa this Monday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: Fulham – Aston Villa (INJURY REPORT)

Fulham – No injuries or suspensions

Aston Villa – OUT: Bjorn Engels (thigh), Tom Heaton (knee), Wesley (knee), Ahmed Elmohamady (thigh)


What they’re saying: Fulham – Aston Villa

Scott Parker, on a “must-win” game: “I don’t see it as drastic as a must-win. We want to win. I know it’s either high or low in a drastic world, but we need to stay level and take realism of where we are in the campaign and where we are as a team. We will try everything we can to take some points and be up to the challenge. I don’t think we’re the only team at this present moment in time who have let in some goals in the first two games. It’s not ideal, of course not. Villa at home on Monday is a game we’re going to try to get three points.”

Dean Smith, on needing another signing: “We’re always looking in the market, we’re probably one short in the squad at the moment so we’ll keep looking at that. I think there’s seven days left until the window shuts internationally, another seven days domestically. Our sporting director at the moment has got his finger on the pulse, hopefully we might get one more in and maybe a couple more out.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

This one is just about a coin flip with Fulham (+185) ever so slight underdogs to Villa (+150). In a game that could go either way like this one, the draw (+225) might just be the safe middle ground.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction: Fulham – Aston Villa

There’s not much to separate these two sides right now, and there likely won’t be much ground between them come the season’s final table. There should be a few goals, but that’ll be more down to poor defending than excellent attacking quality from either side. Fulham 2-2 Villa.


How to watch Fulham – Aston Villa stream and start time

Kickoff: 12:45 pm ET Monday
Online: Stream via Peacock

Serie A: Lozano scores twice for Napoli; 10-man Juve drop points to Roma

Cristiano Ronaldo - Juventus
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A roundup of all of Sunday’s action in Serie A, where Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to save a point for Juventus and Hirving Lozano also scored twice in Napoli’s 6-0 victory…

[ MORE: Suarez plays just 20 minutes, scores two goals in Atleti debut (video) ]

Roma 2-2 Juventus

Juventus overturned a pair of deficits to salvage a point from their trip to Rome, but Andrea Pirlo might just feel his side should have taken more from the game if not for Adrien Rabiot’s red card in the 62nd minute.

Jordan Veretout fired Roma ahead from the penalty spot in the 31st minute, but Cristiano Ronaldo matched him with a spot kick of his own in the 44th. Veretout made it 2-1 less than a minute into the second half, with thanks to an assist from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Rabiot got his second yellow card of the game 15 minutes later, but it didn’t stop Ronalado from scoring his second equalizer in the 69th minute.

Regardless of the country, league or club, we’re seeing some of Europe’s greatest powerhouses struggle through uncharacteristically slow starts to the 2020-21 season. The safe assumption is that the cream will inevitably rise to the top after working out the early kinks, but it might just open the door for an unlikely title challenger or two as well.

[ MORE: Saturday in Serie A: Inter win 7-goal thriller in 89th minute ]

Napoli 6-0 Genoa

Napoli went top of the table (after two games) by way of Sunday’s beatdown of Genoa.

Mexican superstar Hirving Lozano opened the scoring in the 10th minute and added his second goal on the game in the 65th. In between his two tallies, Piota Zielinski (46th) and Dries Mertens (57th) also scored.

Eljif Elmas (69th) and Matteo Politano (72nd) each scored not much later to complete the scoring and the rout.

Crotone 0-2 AC Milan

Franck Kessie converted from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time and Brahim Diaz added an insurance goal five minutes into the second half to give AC Milan their second 2-0 victory in a row to start the season. All appears to be going too well for the Rossoneri right now.

Other Serie A results

Spezia 1-4 Sassuolo
Hellas Verona 1-0 Udinese

Transfer news: Arsenal’s latest Aouar bid; mystery Fati bid for $175 million

Ansu Fati transfer
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Today’s Premier League transfer news includes Arsenal’s latest bid for Houssem Aouar, Barcelona rejected an astronomical bid for 17-year-old Ansu Fati, and Antonio Rudiger moving across London to West Ham for the season…

[ MORE: Transfer news: Rice in, Jorginho out at Chelsea; Skriniar to Spurs ]

Arsenal increase bid for Aouar, but is it enough?

Arsenal are reportedly prepared to increase their bid for Aouar, but only to $57 million, which remains $12 million short of Lyon’s valuation for the 22-year-old midfielder. The Gunners’ latest offer is said to include more than $11 million in add-ons, but Lyon are likely to reject that bid as well as they seek the full amount paid in full.

Barcelona reject mystery $175-million Ansu Fati transfer bid

First things first, let’s start the plainly obvious: $175 million is a lot of money for any player, let alone a 17-year-old who still has so much development left to come. Even Fati, who has been nothing short of a revelation thus far, can still fall short of expectations. With Lionel Messi seemingly headed for the exit door (for free) next summer, how exactly do Barca plan to rebuild their first-team squad? Sure, they’d enjoy themselves a great deal if a La Masia product like Fati is the focal point of their rebirth, but they still desperately need to put a competent team around him. Automatically rejecting a (reported) bid of $175 million seems a bit crazy, but so is everything else at Barcelona these days. According to some reports, Man United are said to be the club which made the mega-bid for Fati.

[ MORE: Suarez plays just 20 minutes, scores two goals in Atleti debut (video) ]

Rudiger to West Ham on loan

Antonio Rudiger might be a first-choice option at center back for Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, and he might not be as well. West Ham are taking the approach that the 27-year-old German won’t be getting the first-team action he requires, thus they wish to work out a loan deal for the 2020-21 season.

Torreira in limbo at Arsenal

Lucas Torreira’s time at Arsenal is (logically speaking) finished, but the Gunners are reportedly having a hard time finding a landing spot for the 24-year-old Uruguayan midfielder. Torino were interested for a time, but they no longer see Torreira as a viable option. Atletico Madrid are interested in a loan deal, but Arsenal don’t want to do that. Perhaps Torreria, plus cash, might tempt the La Liga side to finally part ways with Thomas Partey.