How will Man City, Chelsea line up in UEFA Champions League Final?

0 Comments

Usually, the “How will (Team X) line up?” posts ahead of a big game are pretty straight-forward on at least one if not both sides of the trophy, but not this time.

Thanks to the men making the lineups for Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final — salt-and-pepper-shaker tacticians Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel — Manchester City and Chelsea could line up any number of ways.

This is more perilous than it sounds on the side of the favorites, where Pep Guardiola’s men are significant favorites if he rolls with a 4-3-3 or some sort of formation that has best delivered his system to the masses.

But he’s got a reputation for over-thinking himself in one-off situations, enough so that we consider Pep versus himself one of the key battles of the final.

So what will we find from City and Chelsea in Porto on Saturday?

Pep v Tuchel all-time

Much has been made of Chelsea’s twin wins over Man City this season with Tuchel at the helm, the Blues besting the champs in a must-win (for them) Premier League match and in an FA Cup semifinal.

But Tuchel had been winless in five against Pep before that, all coming when Guardiola was the favorite, too, as Bayern Munich boss versus Borussia Dortmund and Mainz.

How did each man line up his players in those seven total matches?

Oct. 19, 2013 – Bayern 4-1 Mainz – Pep’s 4-1-4-1 v Tuchel’s 5-4-1

March 22, 2014 – Mainz 0-2 Bayern –  Tuchel’s 4-2-3-1 v Pep’s 4-2-3-1

Oct. 4, 2015 – Bayern 5-1 Dortmund –  Pep’s 3-5-2 v Tuchel’s 4-3-1-2

March 5, 2016 – Dortmund 0-0 Bayern –  Tuchel’s 4-3-3 v Pep’s 4-2-3-1

May 21, 2016 – Bayern 4-3 Dortmund – Pep’s 4-1-4-1 v Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1

April 17, 2021 – Chelsea 1-0 Man City –  Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1 v Pep’s 4-2-3-1

May 8, 2021 – Man City 1-2 Chelsea –  Pep’s 3-1-4-2 v Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1

So Pep has never lined up in a more focused 4-3-3, something with which he’s had great success this season, against Tuchel. So he gets to be cute and play to his strengths if he chooses the 4-3-3, one of the only possible formations Tuchel hasn’t seen deployed against him by the Catalan? Hmmm….

How will Chelsea line up in Champions League Final?

Do you believe that N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy will be fit to start? That’s where projecting Chelsea’s lineup is tough.

That said, Tuchel may dare Guardiola by playing the same lineup, more or less, as the team that knocked City out of the FA Cup, albeit with a few changes.

Mendy or Kepa

Thiago Silva — Rudiger — Azpilcueta

James — Kovacic — Jorginho — Chilwell

Pulisic — Mount

Werner

We consider the experienced back three an easy call, though Tuchel could opt to play Zouma and push Azpilicueta into a fullback spot. We have Christian Pulisic in for Hakim Ziyech. If Tuchel does go for this back three, perhaps his twist will be plugging Callum Hudson-Odoi at right wing back instead of James.

How will Man City line up in Champions League Final?

So, yes, we’re thinking a 4-3-3, with a bit of a twist in that Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez both drop back to deliver more in the middle of the park, sacrificing Raheem Sterling’s speed to the bench.

Perhaps, given the lack of true star power at left back, Guardiola plays center back Aymeric Laporte there when Chelsea has the ball and a back three when in possession. That could mean Joao Cancelo at right back over Kyle Walker.

The rest of the lineups writes itself, though you’d have to say that longshot-to-start Sergio Aguero makes some sense on a number of levels. But Pep has either been hiding the departing Argentine or just doesn’t think Aguero is his best choice.

And is Ilkay Gundogan 100 percent? He was limping at the end of training this week. If he’s fine, he starts. If not, it’s Fernandinho with Rodri underneath De Bruyne in a three-man midfield

Ederson

Walker — Dias — Stones — Laporte

Rodri — Fernandinho

De Bruyne

Mahrez — Aguero — Foden

Follow @NicholasMendola

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

0 Comments

This United States men’s national team looks for a legacy-cementing performance when it meets the Netherlands in the 2022 World Cup Round of 16 on Saturday in Al Rayyan.

The Yanks await fitness updates of Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent but are largely healthy, though the USA has been leaning on largely the same starters deep into all three matches.

STREAM LIVE NETHERLANDS vs USA

Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands opened the tournament with a 2-0 win over Senegal, then drew Ecuador 1-1 before blanking Qatar 2-0.

USA drew Wales 1-1 Wales before a more impressive 0-0 with England and a pivotal 1-0 win over Iran that saw Christian Pulisic injured while scoring a huge goal.

USA fullback Sergino Dest chose the USMNT over the Netherlands and will certainly be in focus Saturday on the right side (presuming he starts his fourth-straight match).

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

Here is everything you need for Netherlands vs USA.


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

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday Dec. 3
Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

The Netherlands are the fourth-best team in ELO Ratings and eighth in FIFA’s oft-debated rankings, while the Yanks are ranked 20th by ELO and 16th by FIFA.

So the big storyline is whether the favorites’ role affects the Dutch at all, having had that label against Ecuador, Senegal, and Qatar, and whether the Yanks can effectively channel their underdog energy again as they did against England.

The huge question, of course, is whether Christian Pulisic is 100%, 75%, or less following the pelvic contusion suffered against Iran. While Tim Weah’s been very good and fullbacks Sergino Dest and Antonee Robinson splendid, Pulisic is no doubt the focus of defenders and the U.S. attack. It’s also worth watching whether Weston McKennie finally has a game-changing performance at this tournament, as the Juventus man has been getting back to full fitness all World Cup.

The Dutch have been thrilled by the performances of 23-year-old Cody Gakpo, who has scored in every game. The back line of Virgil vsn Dijk, Jurrien Timber, and Nathan Ake has been good, allowing just one goal, while Matthijs de Ligt started the first game in place of Timber and Stefan de Vrij looms on the bench. With Frenkie de Jong in the center of the park, this Dutch team is very strong even if it isn’t vintage Holland.


Netherlands vs USA all-time

The USMNT scored a memorable win over the Dutch in 2015 under Jurgen Klinsmann, trailing 1-0 and 3-1 before winning 4-3 with goals from Danny Williams and Bobby Wood in the 89th and 90th minutes to get the win. Gyasi Zardes and John Brooks also scored in the game.

The Dutch had won all four meetings before that and all five games were friendlies occurring between 1998 and 2015.


Netherlands vs USA, World Cup history

The Dutch have never faced the USA at a World Cup, and the home of Johan Cruyff certainly has a more illustrious tournament history.

The Netherlands, like the USMNT, missed the 2018 tournament. That absence came after finishing in third place in 2014 and losing the 2010 final to Spain. They’ve lost three finals in total, two in the mid 1970s, and haven’t lost a World Cup game outside of penalties since that 1-0 loss to Spain in 2010.

The USMNT’s best tournament finish concluded with the controversial loss to Germany in the 2002 quarterfinals, but the Yanks have now reached the knockout rounds the last three times they participated in the World Cup. They’ve only won a knockout round match in 2002.


Netherlands quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 8
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 10
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group G)
Coach: Louis van Gaal
Key players: Virgil van Dijk, Memphis Depay, Frenkie de Jong, Cody Gakpo

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, Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, Weston McKennie

Croatia vs Belgium, live! Score, updates,, stream link, video highlights

0 Comments

Croatia and Belgium square off Thursday with either star-studded side capable of missing the knockout rounds without a win in Al Rayyan.

2018 finalists Croatia qualifies for the Round of 16 with a win or a draw, while Belgium is in with a win or a draw, a Morocco loss to Canada, and tiebreaker priority.

STREAM LIVE CROATIA vs BELGIUM

How’d we get here? Croatia snapped off a 4-1 win over Canada to move atop the group following an opening draw with Morocco, while Belgium fell to the Moroccans after beating the Canadians.

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

Here is everything you need for Croatia vs Belgium.


How to watch Croatia vs Belgium live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Thursday, Dec. 1
Stadium: Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Croatia looked sleepy in the opening draw with Morocco, a draw that looks better after the Atlas Lions beat Belgium. They snapped to life, perhaps somewhat fueled by Canadian coach John Herdman’s confident pre-match talk, and now look capable of taking down anyone in the field. Or was that merely Canada’s beleaguered defense? We’ll find out when Mateo Kovacic and Co. meet the Belgians.

Kevin De Bruyne made waves after the win over Canada when he said Belgium’s golden generation missed its window by not claiming honors at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Red Devils failed to take down Morocco. They’ve been without Romelu Lukaku so far this tournament and Michy Batshuayi has the lone goal. Will Roberto Martinez’s men head home far earlier than expected?


Croatia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 5
World Cup titles: 1 (1966)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Key players: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Declan Rice

Belgium 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

Canada vs Morocco, live! Score, updates,, stream link, video highlights

0 Comments

Morocco looks to seal a spot in the 2022 World Cup knockout rounds when it meers eliminated Canada in Al Khor on Thursday.

The Atlas Lions opened the tournament with a 0-0 draw against returning finalists Croatia before surprising Belgium 2-0, both matches taking place in Al Khor.

STREAM LIVE CANADA vs MOROCCO

Canada felt hard done-by after missing an early penalty and losing 1-0 to Belgium, but did not validate dark horse hopes despite an early goal in its second gameI, soundly beaten 4-1 by Croatia.

Maybe leaving Al Rayyan for Al Khor will help Canada get its first World Cup result after going 0-3 in the 1986 tournament and losing both of its matches in Qatar.

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

Here is everything you need for Canada vs Morocco.


How to watch Canada vs Morocco live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Thursday Dec. 1
Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

How will Canada respond to its 4-1 loss to Croatia? Superior against Belgium and essentially until Croatia equalized on Monday, John Herdman has to decide who will have the mettle to pop off the mat and challenge unbeaten Morocco. One of those faces will surely be Alphonso Davies. Who will join him? Jonathan David and Cyle Larin could use redemptive performances, to be sure.

Morocco looks very, very strong, especially out wide where Hakim Ziyech, Achraf Hakimi, and Sofiane Boufal operate the machine. A coming-out party for Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri could go a long way toward stretching the Atlas Lions’ tournament well into December.


Canada quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 5
World Cup titles: 1 (1966)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Key players: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Declan Rice

Morocco 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

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

2 Comments

The World Cup 2022 schedule is locked in and this 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 delivered plenty of shocks.

From the USMNT and England getting out of their group to Lionel Messi dragging Argentina through and Mexico just missing out on getting out of the group stages, Australia making it to the last 16 amid upsets galore, there are plenty of intriguing games in the group stage.

[ MORE: World Cup rosters for all 32 teams ]

Then we have the small matter of 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
Recap/highlights: Netherlands 2-0 Qatar – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Ecuador 1-2 Senegal –  Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

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
Recap/highlights: Wales 0-3 England – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Iran 0-1 USA – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor

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
Recap/highlights: Poland 0-2 Argentina – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Saudi Arabia 1-2 Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail

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
Recap/highlights: Tunisia 1-0 France –  Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Australia 1-0 Denmark– Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

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 (preview) – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Thursday, December 1: Costa Rica vs Germany (preview) – 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
Recap/highlights: Brazil 1-0 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
Recap/highlights: Portugal 2-0 Uruguay – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
Recap/highlights: South Korea 2-3 Ghana – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Friday, December 2: South Korea vs Portugal (preview) – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Friday, December 2: Ghana vs Uruguay (preview) – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am


Round of 16 schedule

Match 49 – Saturday, December 3: Netherlands vs USA – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 50 – Saturday, December 3:  Argentina vs Australia – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm

Match 52 – Sunday, December 4: France vs Poland – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha – 10am

Match 51 – Sunday, December 4: England vs Senegal – 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