Premier League return
Getty Images

Premier League return: Previews of all 20 teams

Leave a comment

The Premier League return is almost here and here at ProSoccerTalk we have a ‘restart preview’ for all 20 teams.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

That’s right, from projected XI’s and tactical analysis to the remaining schedule and a prediction for where each team will finish, this is your hub for everything you need to know for the Premier League return.

We have all been eagerly anticipating the Premier League return and now it is almost here, make sure you catch up on everything you need to know.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Below you will find links to all 20 restart previews for the Premier League return as this summer will be absolutely epic for fans across the world.


ArsenalFull preview

Arteta has lost just one of his 10 Premier League games in charge of Arsenal and somehow he has managed to solidify their defensive unit and the Gunners could be set for a late top four push. They do have a game in hand on their rivals but that is away at Man City. However you look at it, Arteta has Arsenal grinding defensively and we all know they have the attacking weapons to score goals galore. They are in the FA Cup last eight too and there is plenty of optimism around the Emirates Stadium as Arteta has placed his faith in young homegrown talents. – Joe Prince-Wright


Aston VillaFull preview

It is looking pretty bleak for Aston Villa. They sit 19th in the table and even though they have a game in-hand they have a nightmare remaining schedule. Jack Grealish has been very good, so too has Tyrone Mings, but injuries have hit them hard on their return to the Premier League. Losing John McGinn, Wesley and Tom Heaton to serious injuries within a few weeks hit them hard and although they spent big last summer and in January, there doesn’t seem to be a clear plan in place and their additions seem more about quantity than quality. This is all very Fulham-esque from last season. – JPW


BournemouthFull preview

Tough sledding for the Cherries, who face zero of their fellow bottom-six sides (though 13th place Newcastle and 14th place Saints both visit the Vitality Stadium). There’s been an element of bad luck to Bournemouth’s woes, with its expected goals stats showing Ryan Fraser, Joshua King, and Callum Wilson have deserved better end product and that the Cherries’ 14 goals from open play should be closer to 22. The defense has been bad and xG says it could’ve been worse, too. Injuries had hit Bournemouth’s defense corps in a big way, too. How much better will they be after the break? – Nick Mendola


BrightonFull preview

If there’s a team whose results don’t show the way they’ve played, it’s Brighton. Graham Potter’s Seagulls have the sixth-best possession percentage in the league, are a tidy seventh in passing, and are mid-table in tackles per game, interceptions per game, and shots per game. The expected goals stats show even less reward for good work, with Brighton scoring 8.35 goals less than expected in open play and 4.38 less from corner kicks. Despite all these good things, Brighton is two points clear of the drop zone with nine matches to play and has a terribly challenging schedule especially at the Amex Stadium. – NM


BurnleyFull preview

Battling Burnley are back to their best (try and say that 10 times fast…) as they’ve had a great second half of the season. They are tough to beat again, defensively solid and have a host of attacking options who are stepping up at different times. From Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes spearheading their attack to Dwight McNeil developing into one of the best young wingers in the PL, they are direct and when they play to their strengths they are very tough to stop. Before the suspension they were seven games unbeaten and are well in with a shout of a top 10 finish during the Premier League return. After a slow start, that would be a great season for the Clarets. – JPW


ChelseaFull preview

Chelsea
Getty Images

This has been a topsy-turvy season for Chelsea but overall it has been better than anybody expected. Frank Lampard has done well in his first season as a Premier League manager and the development of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James has been very positive. But with such a young team (in part due to their transfer ban which is now over) there have been inconsistencies and Chelsea had struggled midseason and into the second half of the campaign. With a clutch of clubs breathing down their neck, fourth-place Chelsea have to improve defensively if they’re going to finish in the top four during the Premier League return. If they can finish in the top four and reach the FA Cup final, plus put up a good fight in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg at Bayern Munich, that will have been a very good season for Lampard’s youngsters. – JPW


Crystal PalaceFull preview

Palace has navigated injuries and a disappointing season from superstar Wilfried Zaha to sit within striking distance, or at least hoping distance, of a place in the Europa League. The journey won’t be easy, with six of nine matches coming against top five hopefuls, but Roy Hodgson’s done a good job at Selhurst Park despite limited contributions from the center forward position. – NM


EvertonFull preview

Located six points back of the top seven, Everton will hope their long pause allowed Carlo Ancelotti’s system to sink deeper into the minds of his Toffees players. A three-match challenge of Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea which yielded a lone point would’ve left Everton feeling burnt and sour for a good, long time. Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s strong attacking seasons are ready for the rebound. The return to the training ground hasn’t come without worry; Yerry Mina suffered a quad tear and may be out for the season, while summer signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin has experienced another setback and won’t be able to pitch into the fight for Europe. – NM


Leicester CityFull preview

Leicester were genuine title contenders until December but then things unravelled. Still, that doesn’t take anything away from the job Brendan Rodgers has done with the Foxes, as they have a young, talented team which could become a genuine top four side for the next few years. Jamie Vardy’s goals have been essential to their fine season but Soyuncu has replaced Harry Maguire effortlessly in defense and Ndidi has been a revelation at holding midfield. The Foxes are lovely to watch and lethal on the counter with Vardy and Maddison the main protagonists. If they can hold onto a top four spot and reach the FA Cup final, that would be a fine season. Four wins from their last 13 PL games is a little concerning but it would take an almighty collapse during the Premier League return for them not to be in the Champions League next season. – JPW


LiverpoolFull preview

Premier League return
Getty Images

This has been a truly historic season for Liverpool and Klopp. They pushed Man City all the way last season but just came up short but they won the UEFA Champions League. In this very rare instance, the Premier League trophy would mean more to every Liverpool fan than the Champions League title. A supreme defensive unit led by Virgil van Dijk and Alisson perfectly balanced the attacking trio of Salah, Mane and Firmino, surging full backs Alexander-Arnold and Robertson and captain Jordan Henderson has taken his game to a whole new level in midfield. Across the board Liverpool have been sensational as they won the FIFA Club World Cup and are about to be crowned the Premier League champions. The wait is almost over and Klopp has constructed one of the best teams the Premier League has ever seen with their high-pressing, speedy attacking unit complemented by a sturdy backline. – JPW


Man CityFull preview

City’s two-year spell as defending champions will end very soon, but Pep Guardiola has reason to believe three pieces of silverware could again arrive at the Etihad Stadium. Leroy Sane is now available again, making a Sane-Aguero-Sterling front line a tantalizing possibility, while Aymeric Laporte is healthy, too. That’s an even bigger deal as City is unbeaten in the seven PL appearances Laporte has made this season (6W-1D). That’s good news considering City is about to miss out on European competition for two seasons pending an appeal next week. – NM


Man UnitedFull preview

Very, very good. While United supporters will feel aggrieved to know their club cannot. catch their two biggest rivals, you wouldn’t laugh off the idea of them finishing as high as third given a wildly straight-forward fixture list and the fact that we are about to see Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, and Marcus Rashford together for the first time. Perhaps those players will have some growing pains, but the club has the depth to finish in the Premier League’s top four, challenge for the FA Cup, and win the Europa League. – NM


Newcas$tle UnitedFull preview

The Magpies won’t be qualifying for Europe and also are extremely unlikely to be relegated, but is there some danger of the latter? It seems more likely that Newcastle’s season will be more headline watching to see if its controversial takeover is approved and serious pitch-analyzing to see if Joelinton can rediscover what he did well in the Bundesliga last season. Steve Bruce’s men are also in the FA Cup quarterfinals but have Man City coming to St. James’ Park, but the veteran manager getting a result against Pep Guardiola twice in one season seems a tall ask. – NM


Norwi$ch CityFull preview

Look, the Canaries plan was to try and finish fourth from bottom and they still have a chance of doing that. Farke was given limited funds to spend and even if they are relegated, it is highly unlikely he will be fired this summer. Norwich play an open, expansive style of soccer and they are extremely entertaining to watch for the neutral. Defensively they need to improve massively but going forward, Teemu Pukki is always a threat, while midfielders Emiliano Buendia and Todd Cantwell are both destined for big things. With five of their final nine games at home and all looking pretty winnable, if Norwich can turn Carrow Road into a fortress, they can get out of trouble. Their away schedule is tough but they do play three times around them in their final nine games, so there are plenty of six-pointers which will be pivotal. No matter what happens, it has been fun to have Norwich in the Premier League this season and their status as a well-run yo-yo club continues. They’re in the FA Cup quarterfinals too, which shows their ability to deliver on one-off occasions. – JPW


Sheffield UnitedFull preview

Sheffield United has welcomed itself to the Premier League and put its feet up on the big boys’ tables while asking what’s for dinner. Blades sit seventh and will hope to continue a fairytale which has them on the precipice of the Europa League. Their fixture list in monstrous, especially at Bramall Lane, but Wilder’s proven capable of outwitting even the smartest of bosses for long periods of time. A name to remember is Simon Moore. The backup keeper and starter from Blades’ League One days could become vital should Manchester United defy expectation and pull Dean Henderson home from his loan upon its June 30 expiry. – NM


SouthamptonFull preview

The season started very badly and hit rock bottom with that hammering by Leicester. Hasenhuttl then went back to his tried and tested 4-2-2-2 formation and kept things simple, as previously he messed around with several formations and his players seemed confused. A run of seven wins from 11 games around the turn of the year pushed them up the Premier League table and they are seven points above the relegation zone with nine games to go. Danny Ings is their main man with 18 goals in all competitions and their high-pressing style often catches out opponents. Defensively they still need to improve but Hasenhuttl has recently signed a new four-year contract extension and there’s a clear plan in place for the future. Saints have some talented young players coming through again and even though they haven’t got a lot of cash to spend, Hasenhuttl has made his team horrible to play against and they should be a solid PL club for the next few seasons. – JPW


TottenhamFull preview

Premier League return
Getty Images

They are currently seven points off the top four and on paper their remaining schedule isn’t too bad, as they face Sheffield United and Arsenal around them and wins against those teams would significantly boost their chances of a top four finish. They’d still need a collapse from Chelsea and Man United above them, and that doesn’t seem likely. Mourinho has tried to improve Spurs defensively but with Jan Vertonghen’s future still uncertain, one of Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier or Japhet Tanganga will likely partner Alderweireld in central defense. Mourinho has tried 3-4-3, 3-5-2, 4-3-3 and every other formation in-between but Spurs have leaked so many goals. Going forward they now have Kane, Son and Bergwijn all fit, as Lo Celso, Lamela, Sessegnon, Lucas Moura and Dele Alli will be fighting for those attacking positions too. Going forward Tottenham will be dangerous but Mourinho needs to work his magic to strengthen their defense, with the holding midfield area a particular concern ever since Mousa Dembele left in January 2019. – JPW


WatfordFull preview

Watford were rock bottom and looked doomed heading into December but the turnaround since Nigel Pearson arrived has been remarkable. They won once in their opening 17 Premier League games of the season as first Javi Gracia then Quique Sanchez Flores were sacked, and Nigel Pearson arrived to bring organization and defensive stability. He has done more than that as home wins over Man United, Aston Villa, Wolves and Liverpool has breathed new life into their season. Now, Watford are still only out of the relegation zone on goal difference (one goal, to be exact) and if Aston Villa win their game in-hand they are back in the bottom three. That said, any Watford fan would have bitten your hand off in December had you offered them this scenario heading into the final nine games of the season. Their home form should see them over the line but there are plenty of tetchy games coming up between now and late July for Watford. If Troy Deeney can return to training and action, that will be a big boost, but losing Gerard Deulofeu to a serious knee injury just before the suspension was a cruel blow as he’d been the catalyst to turn their season around. – JPW


West HamFull preview

You look at the West Ham roster and their remaining fixtures and figure it should be smooth sailing out of the drop zone, but West Ham was 5W-4D-10L when it fired Manuel Pellegrini, and the hiring of David Moyes has proven nothing special. The Irons have gone 2W-2D-6L since the veteran PL manager retook the reins in London. That’s 33 percent of the points down to 27. Looking at the schedule, it’s fair to say nothing’s really changed (Moyes did have Liverpool twice, but Pellegrini saw wins over Chelsea and Man Utd). Not equal but not ideal. – NM


WolvesFull preview

Wolves well-worked (overworked?) players deserved a break. Some of them dealt with a Championship gauntlet, then a Premier League run to the Europa League, then this season’s run in both the UEL and PL. Manager Nuno Espirito Santo rode his regulars hard all season, too, and they overcame a slow league start to sit in position of qualifying for another season in Europe via the UEL final or, more likely, a Premier League top-end finish. Doing it all with key piece Willy Boly missing three months, there’s little reason besides rust to believe Wolves won’t bound back (and any team could be rusty). – NM

VIDEO: ProSoccerTalk team unfiltered – Review, preview, Power Rankings and more

Leave a comment

ProSoccerTalk is now on video as well as in written format. Unleash the beast, as they say.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ] 

Each week ProSoccerTalk writers Joe Prince-Wright, Nick Mendola and Andy Edwards will tell us what they learned from the Premier League action, rank their top five PL players based on current form, preview the upcoming weekend and handle any other news from around the soccer world.

Expect opinions, analysis and insight, as well as plenty of friendly banter along the way and maybe a beer or two…

Basically, they have these chats on their own anyway so we thought we would record them and let them loose on the Premier League, USMNT and everything in-between. This is going to be a lot of fun and a lighthearted look at all of the action from across the soccer world each week.

With JPW is based in England and heading to Premier League games and traveling to stadiums/ training grounds, plus Andy and Nick based Stateside, we will be checking in with them regularly to get their views on just about anything when it comes to Pro Soccer. Because, well, ProSoccerTalk.

Follow the ProSoccerTalk lads on Twitter below, and click play on the video above to watch ProSocccerTalk this week in full.

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

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

The 12 clubs remaining in the race for the final UEFA Champions League group stage slots will be pared down to six in the next eight days.

There are American connections to two of the six ties.

Former USMNT midfielder Jesse Marsch manages Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg toward the next round, while Molde right back Henry Wingo came up with the Seattle Sounders.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Salzburg are significant favorites to advance over two legs, odds accentuated by Maccabi Tel-Aviv’s seven players absent due to positive COVID-19 tests.

Marsch had previously said he did not want to go to Israel due to COVID-19 concerns, calling it “dangerous,” but has accepted the task at hand.

From Austrian publication Kronen Zeitung:

“The moment UEFA said we were going to play in Tel Aviv, it wasn’t a problem for me. Maccabi has a great team. We are not naive. We understand that we have to fight tomorrow.”

At 3:10 in some sportsbooks, Marsch’s men are the only club favored to win the first leg away. Salzburg is led by Dominik Szoboszlai and Patson Daka, who’ve helped the team thrive despite the sales of several stars including Erling Haaland and Takumi Minamino.

Molde has a much tougher test with Hungarian side Ferencvaros, who knocked off Celtic. That tie could go either way, while Slavia Prague and Olympiakos are respectively noticeable favorites to beat Midtjylland and Omonia Nicosia.

Dynamo Kiev will be expected to outlast Gent over two legs, while it would be a minor upset if PAOK takes down Krasnodar.


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.

Tuesday

Maccabi Tel-Aviv 1-2 Red Bull Salzburg
Slavia Prague 0-0 Midtjylland
Krasnodar 2-1 PAOK

Wednesday

Gent v Dynamo Kiev
Molde v Ferencvaros
Olympiakos v Omonia

Sept. 29

Ferencvaros v Molde
Dynamo Kiev v Gent
Omonia v Olympiakos

Sept. 30

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

League Cup: How to watch, start times, as Premier League powers enter

League Cup
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Fifteen Premier League teams eye dates in the fourth round when the League Cup returns for another September midweek.

The congested nature of the season will see some PL sides play three matches in as many weeks, though the European qualifying teams are just entering the fray this week.

[ LIVE: Follow League Cup scores ]

That includes Europa League sides Arsenal and Leicester City, who will stage the lone all-PL scrap of the round come Wednesday at the King Power Stadium.

Tuesday was going to see Tottenham Hotspur visit a club sponsored by Spurs striker Harry Kane, but Leyton Orient is in the news after positive COVID-19 tests have threatened to forfeit Spurs into the next round.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Manchester United will hope to snap out of its season-opening funk when it begins its tourney Tuesday at Luton Town, while Chelsea hosts Barnsley on Wednesday.

Liverpool is off to Lincoln City on Thursday, kicking off its League Cup at the same time Manchester City welcomes Bournemouth.

Because of the aforementioned congested September in the tournament, the fourth round draw has already been held and those fixtures are at bottom of the page.


League Cup third round draw

All times ET

Tuesday
Leyton Orient v Tottenham Hotspur — Postponed
West Brom 2-2 Brentford – (Brentford win on penalty kicks)
Newport County 3-1 Watford 
West Ham United 5-1 Hull City
Luton Town 0-3 Manchester United 

Wednesday
Preston North End v Brighton — 2 pm
Millwall v Burnley — 2 pm
Fulham v Sheffield Wednesday — 2 pm
Stoke City v Gillingham — 2 pm
Chelsea v Barnsley — 2:45 pm
Leicester City v Arsenal — 2:45 pm
Fleetwood Town v Everton — 2:45 pm
Morecambe v Newcastle United — 2:45 pm

Thursday
Bristol City v Aston Villa — 2 pm
Lincoln City v Liverpool — 2:45 pm
Manchester City v Bournemouth — 2:45 pm


League Cup fourth round draw

Lincoln City/Liverpool v Leicester City/Arsenal
Millwall/Burnley v Manchester City/Bournemouth
West Brom/Brentford v Fulham/Sheffield Wednesday
Fleetwood Town/Everton v West Ham United/Hull City
Bristol City/Aston Villa v Stoke City/Gillingham
Leyton Orient/Tottenham v Chelsea/Barnsley
Newport County/Watford v Morecambe/Newcastle United
Preston North End/Brighton v Luton Town/Manchester United


How to watch League Cup third round streams and start time

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

Premier League player Power Rankings

Leave a comment

Premier League player Power Rankings are here!

Our second player Power Rankings of the 2020-21 season have arrived, as all 20 teams have played and we are coming off the highest scoring matchweek in Premier League history with 44 goals scored across the 10 games.

Simply put: it was incredibly tough to put 20 players in this list based on the crazy results across the Premier League.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA

Stars from Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton dominate our second player Power Rankings and there are plenty of new signings who have impressed early in the season.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League. If they didn’t play in the last matchweek, they aren’t going to be in this list!

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections.


1. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
2. James Rodriguez (Everton)
3. Kevin de Bruyne (Man City)
4. Harry Kane (Tottenham)
5. Heung-min Son (Tottenham)
6. Fabinho (Liverpool)
7. Tariq Lamptey (Brighton)
8. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
9. Raul Jimenez (Wolves)
10. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
11. Gabriel (Arsenal)
12. Dani Ceballos (Arsenal)
13. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
14. Vicente Guaita (Crystal Palace)
15. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
16. Patrick Bamford (Leeds)
17. Timothy Castagne (Leicester)
18. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
19. Andy Robertson (Liverpool)
20. Kalvin Phillips (Leeds)