PST’s 2020-21 Premier League season preview roundtable

League Cup
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
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You know you’ve got big questions ahead of the Premier League season and a PL season preview roundtable is just the scratch for that particular itch.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Join our staff in digging into the season ahead of Saturday’s kickoff between Fulham and Arsenal (Watch live at 7:30am ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).


1. Why will Liverpool repeat, or why will they not win a second consecutive PL title?

Joe Prince-Wright: They will be close, but I don’t think so. Saw enough during project restart and over the summer to suggest a few cracks are starting to show.

Nicholas Mendola: No and it’s more about what Man City will do than what Liverpool cannot. I’m not taking anything away from the ruthless Reds and how they ran away with the league last season, but so many numbers say that the 18-point gap between Liverpool and Man City was a very bridgeable one. City scored 17 more goals than Liverpool and allowed just two more than the champs. Five times City dropped points but had an xG advantage of between 2-3.

Andy Edwards: Make no mistake, City will be improved from what they were last season, but 18 points looks a virtually impossible gap to bridge without Liverpool falling off in a big way.

Premier League roundtable
(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

2. Will Man City be improved this year in performances, results, both, or neither?

JPW: I’d say both. Pep will want a response and as long as they improve at the back, the general play is usually superb.

NM: Results for sure. Performances probably, as their defending depth is much improved. Consider this: City scored 79 of its 102 goals from open play. Only one team (Liverpool) scored more than 79 goals period. They had the ball 3 percent more than any other team (Liverpool) and passed nearly 4 percent better than anyone (Chelsea). They put 7 shots on target per game (Liverpool 6.1). All of those numbers are within percentage points of their 100-point season.

AE: For a squad such as theirs, it’s almost impossible to imagine they won’t be better in all areas. There’s only so much they can do to improve themselves, so it’s still a combination of Liverpool massively regressing and City massively improving required for Pep and Co., to reclaim the title.

3. Can Chelsea’s team come together quick enough to stay in the title race before the festive season?

JPW: Hmm, no, I don’t think so. I still worry about them at the back. Going forward they are phenomenal and will be a lot of fun to watch. Not title ready, yet.

NM: There are reasons to believe the Blues could make it a three-horse race if Mateo Kovacic continues his great performances and the side gets off to a good start. Chelsea only faces two top six contenders (Liverpool at home on Sept. 20 and Manchester United away on Oct. 24) in its first nine outings.

AE: Unlikely. They’ll probably find themselves somewhere around 4th or 5th — maybe even 15 points back — when the holidays roll around, but look for them to finish the season stronger than anyone else. Always be skeptical of the “spent a ton of money, brought in half a new team” club.

4. Alright, it’s time for the annual Christian Pulisic stats prediction for league games, goals, assists.

JPW: 32 games. 12 goals. 7 assists. Another brilliant season.

NM: 30 games, 9 goals, 12 assists. He’s got better finishers to feast on his playmaking this year.

AE: 29 appearances (injuries seem to be an unavoidable constant for him, sadly), with 8 goals and 9 assists. He might score quite as many with arguably “bigger” names around him, but that should also allow — if not force — him to become an assist machine.

Premier League roundtable
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

5. Manchester United, top three or not and why/why not?

JPW: Yes. So many attacking weapons and I think they will continue to improve at the back. That could mean Henderson taking over from David de Gea, though.

NM: I hate the phrasing of this question because it’s like a SportsBet line: designed to challenge! United’s defense gives me a lot of pause, but I think they’ll score a lot of goals. Ultimately I’m most worried about how they fare head-to-head tactically. I’m still not sold on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a match director. Ego-handler? For sure. So, no. Just.

AE: Top-four, because Chelsea should be miles better than they were last season and United still have some massive holes in their squad to address. Now, if Sancho arrives between now and Oct. 5…

6. Who finishes higher, Spurs or Arsenal?

JPW: Arsenal. It will be very close, though.

NM: I like Spurs for this because Hojbjerg gives them a steadier, steely midfield. Steven Bergwijn has PL experience under his belt, too. Defensive concerns are real but Jose Mourinho can be trusted to handle that part. Arsenal will be as entertaining as anyone and will be a real force once the defenders gel. I just can’t imagine that happens early given the relative young ages of William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, and Pablo Mari.

AE: Spurs. As much as some might dislike — or, you know, worse — Jose Mourinho, he gets the necessary results that only just get him over the finish line. Also, where are the handful of midfielders and defenders Arsenal so badly need to be signing this window? There might not be a more unbalanced squad in the entire league.

7. What’s stopping Everton from being a bonafide top six contender?

JPW: Defensive issues. Midfield will be more solid this season and James and Richardson will be superb. Michael Keane can’t do it all.

NM: The midfield upgrade is incredible but needs to come together quickly, which is not impossible but worth mentioning. I like Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin to keep improving, but I’m not sure the leaps needed from them — DCL more than Holgate — to join the top six discussion are reasonable. I don’t think goalkeeper is going to kill them, but I’m surprised to see no competition for Jordan Pickford.

AE: Please, don’t take this wrong way, okay, Everton fans? But the answer is: they’re Everton. And let’s just say, in some strange universe, they’re the surprise of the league and finish top-six — it’s only going to be for a season before falling back to mid-table. Ancelotti is the best manager they’ve had this millennium, and he’ll get the most out of the prime-age stars he now has at his disposal, but where’s the core of the future top-six side coming through? They’re spending a lot of money in all the wrong places, in my opinion.

8. Who will drop off further: Wolves, Sheffield United, or Leicester City? Who will stay a top six contender?

JPW: All three will have down years. I think Sheffield United will struggle. I like the way they play a lot but there’s no doubt they massively punched above their weight last season. With no European action this season, Wolves will remain a top six contender and Leicester just below them.

NM: The biggest fall will come from Blades, who will still be okay but fail to catch anyone off guard this go-round (though I love Sander Berge, the finishing and goalkeeping will be questions). Leicester City doesn’t look deep enough to contend with Europa League and will take a hit. Wolves will have the opposite luck and stay in the same basic table area as last season.

AE: Brendan Rodgers is the least inspiring of those three clubs’ respective managers, so I’ll go with Leicester with total and complete confidence. Wolves will again be the closest to top-six contention, without actually contending for it.

9. Who will win the Golden Boot?

JPW: Aubameyang.

NM: Aubameyang.

AE: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, because Arsenal have to score three in every game. He then leaves next summer after Arsenal fail to qualify for Champions League for the fifth straight season. Five years — that’s a half-decade!

Premier League roundtable
(Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

10. Who will be in the Team of the Year?

JPW: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Laporte, Chilwell; De Bruyne, Fernandes, Kante; Sterling, Kane, Werner

NM: Leno; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Laporte, Digne; Kovacic, De Bruyne, Fernandes; Sterling, Aubameyang, Werner

AE: Alisson; Cancelo, Van Dijk, Boly, Digne; Pogba, Bernardo Silva, Fernandes; Mane, Aubameyang, Sterling

11. Who will get relegated?

JPW: Fulham, West Brom, Crystal Palace.

NM: Fulham, Burnley, West Brom

AE: West Brom, Crystal Palace and Leeds United. Tough time to be a newly promoted side, given the financial ramifications of COVID-19.

12. Who is coming up from the Championship?

JPW: Bournemouth, Watford, and Brentford.

NM: Swansea City, Nottingham Forest, Watford

AE: Watford, Brentford, and Cardiff City

Portugal vs Uruguay, live! Score, updates, stream link, video highlights

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Portugal looks to seal its fate in the World Cup Round of 16 by piling pressure on Uruguay when two titans of the sport meet in Lusail on Monday.

Portugal outlasted Ghana 3-2 in Doha to open its tournament with a big win that featured a controversial penalty for Cristiano Ronaldo, while Uruguay staged a scoreless draw with South Korea.

STREAM LIVE PORTUGAL vs URUGUAY

It’s a group that never looked easy and is looking more and more like a “Group of Death” as the World Cup rolls through Qatar in its typically tense fashion this month and next.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Here is everything you need for Portugal vs Uruguay.


How to watch Portugal vs Uruguay live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Monday Nov. 28
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Everyone’s going to keep looking at Cristiano Ronaldo — it’s difficult not to turn your head with all the “Look at me” nonsense — but Bruno Fernandes is the real string-puller here. He’s playing well with Ruben Neves, while Ruben Dias and the back line will look to tighten things up after letting Ghana stay in the game.

Uruguay hero Luis Suarez has been here before, but his supporting cast is as good as ever. Rodrigo Betancur and Jose Maria Gimenez give La Celeste a chance at clean sheet every time they take the pitch.


Portugal quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 9
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 8
How they qualified: Qualified from UEFA via playoffs
Coach: Fernando Santos
Key players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Cancelo

Uruguay quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 14
World Cup titles: 2 (1930, 1950)
World Cup appearances: 14
How they qualified: Qualified from CONMEBOL
Coach: Diego Alonso
Key players: Luis Suarez, Federico Valverde, Darwin Nunez, Rodrigo Betancur

Brazil vs Switzerland, live! Score, updates, stream link, video highlights

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Opening match winners Brazil and Switzerland meet Monday at Stadium 974 in Doha.

FIFA world No. 1 Brazil broke through pesky Serbia for a 2-0 win In Lusail to start the tournament as Richarlison scored two goals — one a ridiculous bit of technique — to get the Brazilians off on the right (and left) foot.

STREAM LIVE BRAZIL vs SWITZERLAND

Switzerland meanwhile used a 1-0 defeat of Cameroon to claim three points and set up Monday’s win-and-in match.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Can Neymar-less Brazil take the next step toward a sixth World Cup? Here is everything you need for Brazil vs Switzerland.


How to watch Brazil vs Switzerland live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11am ET, Monday Nov. 28
Stadium: Stadium 974, Doha
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Brazil will not have Neymar for this one and likely the rest of the group stage as the oft-fouled magician felt the sting of Serbian tackles in the opener. The Brazilians have had to play without their captain before and have a wealth of attacking options, but who will join Richarlison in providing the goals in a Ney-less attack.

The Swiss have all the tools to hang with Brazil, but how physical will they want to make it for the favorites? Granit Xhaka will be one to watch as the underdogs try to balance a desire to get forward with the danger of doing so against a potent Brazil.


Brazil quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 1
World Cup titles: 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
World Cup appearances: 22
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (1st place)
Coach: Tite
Key players: Neymar, Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Alisson Becker

Switzerland quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 15
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 12
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Murat Yakin
Key players: Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Yann Sommer, Remo Freuler

Brazil vs Switzerland live

World Cup 2022 schedule – how to watch, groups, calendar, match schedule, brackets, dates

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The World Cup 2022 schedule is locked in and the start to the tournament in Qatar has been sensational as action throughout November and December will capture the imagination of the world.

[ LIVE: Watch World Cup en Espanol en Peacock ]

Saudi Arabia, Japan and Morocco have already pulled off huge upset wins over Argentina, Germany and Belgium respectively as the tournament has got off to a flying start.

From the USMNT drawing against England the day after Thanksgiving to Lionel Messi saving Argentina against Mexico in the group stages, Spain squaring off with Germany and upsets galore, there are plenty of intriguing games in the opening round.

[ MORE: World Cup rosters for all 32 teams ]

Then we have the Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, and final to look forward to. Bring. It. On.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]  

Below is the schedule in full, details on how to watch the games and everything else you need..

[ MORE: World Cup odds ]


World Cup 2022 schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live

  • When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
  • Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 10am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
  • Location: Qatar
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
  • Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Follow along with ProSoccerTalk for the latest news, scores, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 World Cup, and be sure to subscribe to NBC Sports on YouTube!


Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Group E | Group F | Group G | Group H

Group A schedule (all kick off times ET)

Recap/highlights: Qatar 0-2 Ecuador – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Senegal 0-2 Netherlands – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Qatar 1-3 Senegal – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Tuesday, November 29: Netherlands vs Qatar (preview) – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 10am
Tuesday, November 29: Ecuador vs Senegal (preview)–  Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Group B schedule

Recap/highlights: England 6-2 Iran – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: USA 1-1 Wales – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: England 0-0 USA – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Wales 0-2 Iran – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Tuesday, November 29: Wales vs England (preview) – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Tuesday November 29: Iran vs USA (preview) – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

Group C schedule

Recap/highlights: Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Mexico 0-0 Poland – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Argentina 2-0 Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Poland 2-0 Saudi Arabia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Wednesday, November 30: Poland vs Argentina (preview) – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm
Wednesday, November 30: Saudi Arabia vs Mexico (preview) – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm

Group D schedule

Recap/highlights: France 4-1 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Denmark 0-0 Tunisia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: France 2-1 Denmark – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Tunisia 0-1 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Wednesday, November 30: Tunisia vs France (preview) –  Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Wednesday, November 30: Australia vs Denmark (preview) – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am

Group E schedule

Recap/highlights: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Germany 1-2 Japan – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Spain 1-1 Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Japan 0-1 Costa Rica – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Thursday, December 1: Japan vs Spain – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Thursday, December 1: Costa Rica vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

Group F schedule

Recap/highlights: Belgium 1-0 Canada – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Morocco 0-0 Croatia – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Belgium 0-2 Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Croatia 4-1 Canada – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Thursday, December 1: Croatia vs Belgium (preview) – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Thursday, December 1: Canada vs Morocco (preview) – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 10am

Group G schedule

Recap/highlights: Brazil 2-0 Serbia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Monday, November 28: Brazil vs Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha – 11am
Recap/highlights: Cameroon 3-3 Serbia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Friday, December 2: Cameroon vs Brazil – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
Friday, December 2: Serbia vs Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm

Group H schedule

Recap/highlights: Portugal 3-2 Ghana – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Uruguay 0-0 South Korea – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Monday, November 28: Portugal vs Uruguay (preview) – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
Recap/highlights: South Korea 2-3 Ghana – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Friday, December 2: South Korea vs Portugal – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Friday, December 2: Ghana vs Uruguay – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am


Round of 16 schedule

Match 49 – Saturday, December 3: Winner Group A vs Runners up Group B – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 50 – Saturday, December 3:  Winners Group C vs Runners up Group D – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm

Match 52 – Sunday, December 4: Winners Group D vs Runners up Group C – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha – 10am

Match 51 – Sunday, December 4: Winners Group B vs Runners up Group A – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

Match 53 – Monday, December 5: Winners Group E vs Runners up Group F – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am

Match 54 – Monday, December 5: Winners Group G vs Runners up Group H – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm

Match 55 – Tuesday, December 6: Winners Group F vs Runners up Group E – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 56 – Tuesday, December 6: Winners Group H vs Runners up Group G – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm


Quarterfinal schedule

Match 58 – Friday, December 9: Winners Match 53 vs Winners Match 54 – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 57 – Friday, December 9: Winners Match 49 vs Winners Match 50 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 10am

Match 60 – Saturday, December 10: Winners Match 55 vs Winners Match 56 – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha – 10am

Match 59 – Saturday, December 10: Winners Match 51 vs Winners Match 52 – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Semifinal schedule

Match 61 – Tuesday, December 13: Winners Match 57 vs Winners Match 58 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm

Match 62 – Wednesday, December 14: Winners Match 59 vs Winners Match 60 – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Third-place play-off

Match 63 – Saturday, December 17: Losers Match 61 vs Losers Match 62 – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm


Final

Match 64 – Sunday, December 18: Winners Match 61 vs Winners Match 62 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 10am

Iran vs USA: How to watch live, USMNT stream link, team news

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The United States men’s national team seeks a return to the knockout rounds and that’ll only come with a win over Iran at 2pm ET Saturday inside Al Thumama Stadium in Al Khor.

STREAM LIVE IRAN vs USA

It doesn’t matter what Wales does vs England at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan because England already has four points and a draw would give Iran four as well.

The Yanks’ two draws mandate a win-or-go-home mentality on Saturday and there are multiple generations worth of redemption up for grabs after the USMNT was felled by Iran at the 1998 World Cup and failed to qualify for the 2018 tourney in Russia.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

How can Gregg Berhalter unlock the USMNT attack to get the goal or goals he’ll need to reach a date with Group B’s winner or runner-up?

Here is everything you need for Iran vs USA.


How to watch Iran vs USA live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Tuesday Nov. 29
Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

For Iran, it’s about riding the momentum of a huge win after finding inspiration in a huge loss. There’s an ocean’s worth of difference in emotion between the 6-2 tournament-opening loss to England in Al Rayyan and the 2-0 triumph over Wales In the same city. Can Mehdi Taremi or Sardar Azmoun succeed where Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling could not and break down the USMNT defense for a goal?

Meanwhile, the Yanks may still be lamenting a 1-1 draw with Wales as much as they are celebrating a strong performance that kept them unbeaten against England at the World Cup after a scoreless draw with Gareth Southgate’s men In Al Khor. Gregg Berhalter has to find a way to unlock the USMNT’s final-third woes when they hit Al Khor on Tuesday.


Iran quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 20
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group A)
Coach: Dragan Skocic
Key players: Ehsan Hajsafi, Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi

USA quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 16
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 9
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (3rd place)
Coach: Gregg Berhalter
Key players: Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams