Premier League
Getty Images

Five Premier League prospects to watch late this season

Leave a comment

There are plenty of young Premier League prospects who usually break through late in the season and 2019-20 will be no different, so here’s a look at five prospects to watch closely.

[ MORE: Detail on enhanced audio ]

Given that the games will be coming thick and fast once the league returns on June 17, after being suspended on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic, managers across the Premier League will have to rotate their squads to navigate nine PL games between mid-June and July 25.

With new rules allowing nine substitutes to be named in matchday squads and five substitutes to be made by teams in each Premier League game, that means plenty of young prospects will be handed minutes and they will be given valuable minutes to shine in the final weeks of the season.

[ STREAM: Premier League live here ] 

The new NBC Sports Premier League schedule for the 2019-20 season has been released, with time and dates for the first three matchweeks confirmed, with the full schedule below.

Below is also a list of five players you should keep a close eye on late in the season.


Billy Gilmour (Chelsea)
The Scottish teenager, still just 19, was superb when given opportunities early in 2020. Gilmour will have a lot of competition for minutes with Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount all battling to start in midfield but the teenager was brilliant in victories against Liverpool in the FA Cup and Everton in the Premier League. Gilmour, who joined Chelsea from Glasgow Rangers in 2017 as a 16-year-old, also has the best nickname in the Premier League: “The Irn-Bru Iniesta.” His passing, composure in possession and ability to find spaces in midfield is certainly similar to the Barcelona legend.

Will Smallbone (Southampton)
Fresh from signing a new four-year contract, Smallbone has been at Saints since the age of eight and has impressed since making his FA Cup debut in January. The central midfielder scored in the 2-0 win against Huddersfield and started in the 2-0 home win against Aston Villa in February. He is calm on the ball, likes to get forward and has shown plenty of composure. The Republic of Ireland youngster, 20, is the latest gem to come out of Saints’ academy and look out for Michael Obafemi and Jake Vokins too.

Curtis Jones (Liverpool)
If, as expected, Liverpool wrap up the title in the first few games back then it is likely Jurgen Klopp will rest some of his stars and give plenty of his talented kids a chance. He’s already done that in the cup competitions this season and Curtis Jones, 19, has scored some cracking goals in the FA Cup and has really developed over the last 12 months. With Ki-Jana Hoever, Sepp van den Berg, Neco Williams and Harvey Elliott also knocking on the door, Liverpool have a host of talented youngsters ready to be given more minutes. Jones, who can play across the attacking midfield and forward positions, seems ready to be a regular.

Indiana Vassilev (Aston Villa)
The American striker has impressed during his brief cameo roles in the Premier League early in 2020 and he recently signed a new contract at Villa Park. Vassilev, 19, is highly-rated by Villa boss Dean Smith and the Georgia native will likely get plenty of minutes off the bench if the relegation battlers need a goal late on. Vassilev has excelled for Villa’s youth team in recent years and the USMNT prospect works hard, can finish and isn’t scared to run at defenders. Fun fact: his Bulgarian parents moved to the USA and named him Indiana because they loved the Indiana Jones movies.

Tino Anjorin (Chelsea)
Frank Lampard may be about to spend big this summer but there’s no doubt he has plenty of talented youngsters to keep pushing into his first team. After Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Reece James have become regulars, Anjorin and Gilmour are the next two top prospects. Anjorin, 18, is a talented winger who has just signed a new long-term contract with the Blues and the England youth international made his debut in the victory against Everton in March. Like Gilmour, he has a lot of competition to get minutes at Chelsea but we know Lampard is keen on giving youngsters a chance.


Matchday 29

Wednesday, June 17: Aston Villa v. Sheffield United, 1 p.m. ET NBCSN
Wednesday, June 17: Man City v. Arsenal, 3:15 p.m. NBCSN

Matchday 30

Friday, June 19: Norwich v. Southampton, 1 p.m. NBCSN
Friday, June 19: Tottenham v. Man United, 3:15 p.m. NBCSN
Saturday, June 20: Watford v. Leicester, 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
Saturday, June 20: Brighton v. Arsenal, 10 a.m. NBCSN
Saturday, June 20: West Ham v. Wolves, 12:30 p.m. NBC
Saturday, June 20: Bournemouth v. Palace, 2:45 p.m. Gold/Peacock
Sunday, June 21: Newcastle v. Sheffield United, 9 a.m. NBCSN
Sunday, June 21: Aston Villa v. Chelsea, 11:15 a.m. NBCSN
Sunday, June 21: Everton v. Liverpool, 2 p.m. NBC
Monday, June 22: Man City v. Burnley, 3 p.m. NBCSN

Matchday 31

Tuesday, June 23: Leicester v. Brighton, 1 p.m. NBCSN
Tuesday, June 23: Tottenham v. West Ham, 3:15 p.m. NBCSN
Wednesday, June 24: Man United v. Sheffield United, 1 p.m. NBCSN
Wednesday, June 24: Newcastle v. Aston Villa, 1 p.m. Gold/Peacock
Wednesday, June 24: Norwich v. Everton, 1 p.m. Gold/Peacock
Wednesday, June 24: Wolves v. Bournemouth. 1 p.m. Gold/Peacock
Wednesday, June 24: Liverpool v. Palace, 3:15 p.m. NBCSN
Thursday, June 25: Southampton v. Arsenal, 1 p.m. Gold/Peacock
Thursday, June 25: Burnley v. Watford, 1 p.m. NBCSN
Thursday, June 25: Chelsea v. Man City, 3:15 p.m. NBCSN

Matchday 32

Saturday, June 27: Aston Villa v. Wolves, 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sunday, June 28: Watford v. Southampton, 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Monday, June 29: Crystal Palace v. Burnley, 3 p.m. NBCSN
Tuesday, June 30: Brighton v. Man United, 3:15 p.m. NBCSN
Wednesday, July 1: Everton v. Leicester, 1 p.m. Gold/Peacock
Wednesday, July 1: Bournemouth v. Newcastle, 1 p.m. Gold/Peacock
Wednesday, July 1: Arsenal v. Norwich, 1 p.m. NBCSN
Wednesday, July 1: West Ham v. Chelsea, 3:15 p.m. NBCSN
Thursday, July 2: Sheffield United v. Tottenham, 1 p.m. NBCSN
Thursday, July 2: Man City v. Liverpool, 3:15 p.m. NBCSN, * Venue TBC

 

WATCH: Timo Werner’s first Chelsea goal is a terrific one

Timo Werner first Chelsea goal
Photo by Visionhaus
Leave a comment

Timo Werner’s 11th shot as a Chelsea player finally yielded his first goal.

The German hit a 19-yard effort past Hugo Lloris to open Tuesday’s League Cup fourth-round match at Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday.

Jose Mourinho branded Tottenham’s 18-yard box “a special box” this weekend and Werner will certainly agree after crafting this memory.

[ LIVE: Follow League Cup scores ]

Werner picked up a Cesar Azpicilueta cross that found its way through a sea of players to meet him centrally outside the 18 and powered home for 1-0 in the 19th minute.

The 24-year-old has 95 goals in his time with RB Leipzig, 14 with Stuttgart, and has 12 for the German national team.

This is likely the first of a great many for Chelsea. His first assist came in Chelsea’s Premier League opener against Brighton.

UEFA Champions League qualifying: How to watch, start times, odds

Champions League qualifying
Photo by Raddad Jebarah/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Leave a comment

American defender Henry Wingo and manager Jesse Marsch face big weeks as the second legs of the UEFA Champions League qualifying playoffs take center stage Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wingo’s Molde drew Ferencvaros 3-3 in the first leg but those three away goals loom large as the American and his Norwegian club head to Hungary.

[ MORE: Champions League qualifying scores ]

Meanwhile, Marsch saw his Red Bull Salzburg come back from an early deficit in Israel to take a 2-1 advantage over Maccabi Tel-Aviv back to Austria.

Salzburg are very heavy favorites to win and advance to the Champions League group stage for another year.

Marsch has also been linked with an impending transfer for USMNT teen Brenden Aaronson, one of at least eight Americans to watch as the European transfer window reaches its conclusion next month.


How to watch the UEFA Champions League qualifying playoff round

Kickoff: 3 pm ET Tuesday and Wednesday
Stream: CBS All-Access (subscription required)


UEFA Champions League playoff round matches

All 12 legs will kickoff at 3 pm ET between Tuesday and Sept. 30.

First legs (Roundup)

Maccabi Tel-Aviv 1-2 Red Bull Salzburg
Slavia Prague 0-0 Midtjylland
Krasnodar 2-1 PAOK
Gent 1-2 Dynamo Kiev
Molde 3-3 Ferencvaros
Olympiakos 2-0 Omonia

Tuesday

Ferencvaros v Molde
Dynamo Kiev v Gent
Omonia v Olympiakos

Wednesday

Midtjylland v Slavia Prague
PAOK v Krasnodar
Red Bull Salzburg v Maccabi Tel-Aviv


UCL second leg odds (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Ferencvaros (+108) v Molde (+215) | Draw (+230)
Dynamo Kiev (-118) v Gent (+280) | Draw (+235)
Omonia (+325) v Olympiakos (-130) | Draw (+235)
Midtjylland (+170) v Slavia Prague (+155) | Draw (+195)
PAOK (+105) v Krasnodar (+220) | Draw (+235)
Red Bull Salzburg (-834) v Maccabi Tel-Aviv (+1300) | Draw (+600)

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

League Cup: How to watch, start times, odds, predictions

Leave a comment

The League Cup’s fourth round features two interesting tactical duels in that the tournament gives us rematches of a pair of Premier League matches from the weekend, right down to the locations.

Brighton will hope Manchester United’s Wednesday trip to the Amex Stadium isn’t as lucky as the Red Devils’ 3-2 triumph over the Seagulls, while Arsenal heads back to Anfield on Thursday with designs on a measure of revenge for Monday’s 3-1 loss in league play.

[ LIVE: Follow League Cup scores ]

While Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United are built a bit deeper — easy, Red Devils fans — due to squad necessity for European competition, Graham Potter’s Seagulls don’t have it as simple as chopping and changing (though Brighton has looked plenty good with its depth so far in this tournament.

How will the tactician plot his overthrow of United? And will Mikel Arteta do anything different with Arsenal to help thwart the high line Liverpool used to limit Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Monday (if the Gabonese star even plays)?

[ MORE: JPW’s 3 things from Liverpool-Arsenal ]

Elsewhere, Jose Mourinho thinks that schedule congestion is going to cost Spurs on Tuesday against Chelsea as well as in the treatment room.

The Portuguese boss says he will not be able to give the League Cup the respect he’d like because of Thursday’s Europa League visit from Maccabi Haifa is a match the club needs to make the UEL group stage.

Mourinho lost Heung-min Son to injury in Sunday’s controversial draw against Newcastle and he’s worried about what’s next.

“I think Sonny was just the first [injury],” Mourinho said, via Football.London. “More will come. So he was the first, but more will come.”

Edouard Mendy and Ben Chilwell could make their first Chelsea starts in the match, which comes too soon for Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech.

Three lower league remain and will be playing their fourth League Cup matches of the month compared to the PL’s three outings. Those who win this week will have a lot longer to wait for the quarterfinals, which won’t be held until December.


League Cup fourth round kickoff times and odds (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Tottenham (+420) v Chelsea (-180) | Draw (+360) — 2:45 pm ET Tuesday
Newport County (+560) v Newcastle (-230)  | Draw (+340)— 12:30 pm ET Weds
Burnley (+625) v Manchester City (-275) | Draw (+375) — 2 pm ET Weds
Brighton (+300) v Manchester United (-120) | Draw (+250)— 2:45 pm ET Weds
Everton (-145) v West Ham (+350) | Draw (+280)— 2:45 pm ET Weds
Brentford (+135) v Fulham (+185) | Draw (+225)— 12:30 pm ET Thursday
Aston Villa (-150) v Stoke City (+360) | Draw (+275)— 2 pm ET Thursday
Liverpool (-105) v Arsenal (+230) | Draw (+270)— 2:45 pm ET Thursday

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


League Cup fourth round predictions

Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Chelsea
Newport County 1-3 Newcastle United
Burnley 0-3 Manchester City
Brighton 2-1 Manchester United
Everton 2-2 (EFC wins in penalties) West Ham United
Brentford 1-1 (Brentford wins in penalties) Fulham
Aston Villa 2-0 Stoke City
Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal


How to watch League Cup fourth round streams and start time

Kickoff: Tuesday through Thursday
Online: Select games on ESPN+
Updates: Follow League Cup scores via NBCSports.com

Liverpool confirm Thiago tests positive for COVID-19

Thiago Alcantara
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Thiago Alcantara has tested positive for COVID-19, Liverpool confirmed.

The Spanish midfielder, 29, was a surprise omission from the Liverpool squad for their 3-1 win against Arsenal on Monday and it was initially believed he had a minor injury.

However, the reigning Premier League champions have issued a statement on Thiago after he tested positive for coronavirus and said he “exhibited minor symptoms” of COVID-19 and is now in “good health and is getting better” under the close watch of their medical team. 

Here is the statement on Thiago Alcantara.


“Thiago Alcantara has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently self-isolating according to the necessary guidelines. The 29-year-old, who missed Monday’s match against Arsenal, has exhibited minor symptoms of the virus but is in good health and is getting better. The club has, and will continue to follow, all protocols relating to COVID-19 and Thiago will remain in self-isolation for the required period of time.

“LFC first-team doctor, Dr Jim Moxon, said: ‘It is the choice of each individual whether they reveal publicly the outcome of a COVID-19 test. We have followed all the protocols to the letter and Thiago is OK. He will be self-isolating now as per the guidelines and hopefully he’ll be back with us soon.'”


This news means that Thiago Alcantara will not feature for Liverpool against Aston Villa on Sunday and all being well he will be back in action for the Reds after the international break in mid-October.

The Premier League announced late Monday that 10 individuals tested positive out of 1,658 people tested within the league for COVID-19.