10 things we learned from Week 1 of the Premier League

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What did we learn in the Premier League over the season’s first weekend?

If past is prologue, then probably not as much as we think, but there’s still so so so much to dissect as Tottenham, Brentford, Manchester United, and Chelsea fly high while Man City, Arsenal, and Leeds lick wounds.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in the USA ]

Here’s a look at 10 things that stood out, as our writers Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Nicholas Mendola (NM) and Andy Edwards (AE) share their observations from across the most recent Premier League games.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Let’s get to it.


Ten things we learned from Week 1 of the Premier League

1. Determined Spurs show nasty streak in Kane’s absence (Tottenham 1-0 Man City)

Heung-min Son’s goal was certainly deserved as Tottenham played angry and opportunistic from Moment No. 1, an approach embodied by Japhet Tanganga at right back. At one point, referee Anthony Taylor called over Spurs captain Hugo Lloris to presumably warn Spurs about persistent fouling and physical play. It didn’t change much. No one was perfect but Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Dele Alli, and Tanganga all put in shifts in front of a typically strong Lloris.

Still, Spurs need quick resolution of this Kane story if he’s leaving North London. Son is very good and did Harry Kane’s role in a decent manner, but the difference between Spurs when both players are alternating between hold-up maestro and dangerous play driver is obviously huge. If they do sell Kane, it’s going to be key that they have an immediate answer in Kane’s stead, as improbable of a task as that will be for a player to put on the forward’s legendary shoes. At least Kane is painting a poor picture on his way out the door (NM).

2. Pogba, Bruno off to classy start (Manchester United 5-1 Leeds United)

So what if names like Rashford, Cavani, Martial, and Sancho were either on the bench or unavailable? Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes are still world-class playmakers (video) and the former’s terrific first-touch pass was met with the latter’s delightful take and finish to make it 1-0 to the Old Trafford set early in the match.

Fernandes would score twice more, one with a tremendous cut move to make it 4-1 early in the second half, so we know there will be a lot of love for a hat trick but please don’t sleep on  Pogba’s three assists in the first 60 minutes. Sure, the third was pretty much about Bruno but his chipped first touch to put the Portuguese in the box for 1-0 and his long, grass-tracing pass to release Greenwood was spectacular and came moments after Leeds had made it 1-1 (NM).

3. Depth on display, even without a full squad (Chelsea 3-0 Crystal Palace)

Hakim Ziyech (shoulder) and Romelu Lukaku (signed on Thursday) were each unavailable against Crystal Palace, and Kai Havertz started the game on the bench after playing 120 minutes in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday. And still, three goals scored and a thoroughly dominant display to kick off the season. Once Lukaku finds his footing and gets up to speed with the rest of the group, Chelsea will be a problem to deal with this year (AE).

4. Sluggish Arsenal in trouble (Brentford 2-0 Arsenal)

Yes, they were missing the injured Partey and Gabriel, plus Aubameyang and Lacazette through illness and Saka could only come off the bench, but this was so lackluster from Arsenal. Arteta was not a happy man on the sidelines as his team could not match Brentford’s intensity. In the second half they improved as Smith Rowe was dangerous, Martinelli never stopped running up top and Saka made a big difference after coming on. Albert Sambi Lokonga was very steady too on his Premier League debut, but it’s clear that Arsenal’s policy of promoting young players will have plenty of growing pains. Will Arsenal keep the faith with Arteta’s long-term plan? Results, and displays, like this will not help his cause (JPW).

5. Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin hold the key for Rafa (Everton 3-1 Southampton)

They each scored and Richarlison set up DCL for a late header and those two hold the key for Benitez. We know that Everton will be solid defensively under the Spanish coach but they need their star duo to step up like they did in the opening weekend. Week in, week out (JPW).

6. Leicester City bends, but doesn’t break (Leicester City 1-0 Wolves)

The Foxes enjoyed a 56-44 advantage in possession, but were massively out-shot by a margin of 17-8. Part of that is down to the fact they had a lead to defend for 50 minutes, and part is down to the ease with which they can concede two-thirds of the field before putting opposing attacks into a stranglehold once into the final third. Leicester is a side full of well-rounded, highly disciplined footballers who are, to a man, delighted to go the extra mile (AE).

7. Norwich not in Liverpool’s class but should ignore the score (Norwich 0-3 Liverpool)

Daniel Farke’s men had trouble producing the big chances and clearly the Canaries won’t be contending for European placement, but Norwich City had its fair share of possession and came close to scoring late albeit with the wrong men bidding to beat Alisson Becker (center backs Grant Hanley and Ben Gibson were denied in-tight by the Brazilian). Will the Canaries struggle this year? For sure, but this wasn’t a blowout even if it was comfortable for Liverpool (NM).

8. Saint-Maximin, Benrahma delightful X-factors (Newcastle 2-4 West Ham):

The modern game doesn’t always allow for creative players to have freedom but a pair of artists were on display in Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin and West Ham’s Said Benrahma. The Magpies’ French wizard was tremendous in producing an assist and several “Wow” moments but his like-minded Algerian in claret and blue wasn’t too far behind him and scored the Irons’ second equalizer while also producing myriad chances. Saint-Maximin produced four key passes and completed 10-of-12 dribbles, while Benrahma had as goal and an assist (NM).

9. Dennis is a menace (Watford 3-2 Aston Villa)

Watford’s new Nigerian forward Emmanuel Dennis was a real menace in the first half as he scored and set up another and his partnership with Sarr seems to already be telepathic with lots of clever balls out wide and smart runs centrally. He ran Konsa and Mings ragged and Watford may have found their new Troy Deeney (JPW).

10. Brighton finds cutting edge (Burnley 1-2 Brighton)

It looked like being the same old story for the Seagulls. Yes, Danny Welbeck is out injured, but who else will score the goals for them? Graham Potter turned to his bench and Lallana, Moder and Mac Allister made a huge difference. They have so much quality in attacking midfield and that made the difference (JPW).

USMNT reportedly opens contract talks with Gregg Berhalter; Good or bad idea?

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Gregg Berhalter may be sticking around the United States men’s national team program, giving the USMNT coaching continuity as it moves from 2022 World Cup Round of 16 member to 2026 World Cup co-host.

ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle says that Berhalter is beginning contract discussions with the United States Soccer Federation but also interested in taking a job in Europe with his profile having risen alongside the USMNT at the World Cup.

Berhalter’s current contract ends at the end of the calendar year, and the Yanks have scheduled a domestic camp in January and friendlies against Serbia and Colombia.

[ MORE: USMNT transfer rumors for Musah, Dest ]

Berhalter has done some good things for the program, most notably winning the CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup with two different groups. He also straightened out the defending, for the most part, and got out of the World Cup group.

Berhalter successfully recruited Sergino Dest and Yunus Musah, two of the program’s stars at the World Cup. He also convinced Malik Tillman, Gaga Slonina, and Jesus Ferreira that the U.S. was the right place for their national team futures.

He also, subjectively, was slow if not downright stubborn in acquiesing to certain points-of-view that made the team better. From Tyler Adams as a right back at the outset of his tenure to saying Tim Ream didn’t fit how he wanted to play about a month before the World Cup… then playing him every minute of the tournament.

But for the most part when lessons were learned, they stayed learned.

Should Gregg Berhalter continue as USMNT boss?

Let’s start here, because it’s necessary: It’s clear that Berhalter cared about his players and the project, whether you like the way he operated or not. This wasn’t a half-assed operation, but one with passion.

So does he still have that passion? Only he can answer that, and if he’d like to get more matchdays in his life then maybe he does want to go back to the club game.

And frankly, that’s fine either way, because his four years with the program were neither amazing nor pitiful. They can be described as anything from a slight disappointment to a minor success, depending on your perspective and expectations.

If you believe that picking up the pieces from the absolute travesty that was failing to qualify for the World Cup from the richest nation and one of the two most talented nations amongst CONCACAF men’s programs was really hard, then you think Berhalter getting the men to the 2022 World Cup and surviving the group with a young group was a solid step in the right direction and a minor success.

If you believe that the American soccer climate is such that you should always make the World Cup out of one of the world’s lesser confederations and that the Yanks progressed as the second team of a group in which they were the second-ranked team according to FIFA and Elo Ratings, well, you can have a different standard.

The Yanks will never again fail to qualify for the World Cup given the expanded field, but hosts have historically had a drastically-improved chance to reach the semifinals. THe federation would have to be confident that picking the best squad regardless of how it reflects on his previous selections — let alone a Best XI — is going to happen under a given coach.

Berhalter’s 49 and is far from the worst or best boss in USMNT history. Whoever’s in the job four years from now will have a chance to go down as either one. Choose wisely, fed. And Gregg! Who knows how far his star could rise with a solid run in Europe, and history says there will be the chance to reconnect with the USMNT job.

Follow @NicholasMendola

Premier League table, 2022-23 season

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If it’s the 2022-23 Premier League table you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

We’re at the 2022 World Cup break, and the final few rounds of Premier League fixtures caused so many shocks.

Who’s looking like title contenders and/or favorites?

Almost at the halfway mark of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest.

The Gunners will have their hands full for the duration of their title challenge, as Erling Haaland continues to take the Premier League by storm with an almost impossible goal-scoring record.

Newcastle, Tottenham and Manchester United are locked in a battle for the top four, while Liverpool have improved and will be back in the Champions League scrap and Chelsea are struggling.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Who are the early-season candidates for relegation?

Newly promoted Nottingham Forest moved off the bottom of the table with a win before the break, with Wolves and Southampton currently occupying the other two relegation places.

Leicester have picked up a few big wins, while West Ham, Everton and Leeds all find themselves within a few points of the bottom-three after a topsy-turvy start.

Below you will find the latest Premier League table.


Premier League table – Matchweek 16

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England vs France: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Match 59 of the 2022 World Cup features a pair of European heavyweights duking it out for a place in the semifinals when England faces France on Saturday.

Didier Deschamps’ France is bidding to become a back-to-back World Cup winner, but Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions are tournament-hardened and have shown their explosive nature three times this tournament.

STREAM ENGLAND vs FRANCE LIVE

France beat Poland 3-1 in its Round of 16 match while England overcame a dodgy start to pound Senegal 3-0.

Neither team can say its faced a test like this in the tournament, and this could be a fantastic fight in Qatar.

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

Here is everything you need for England vs France.


How to watch England vs France live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Saturday, December 1
Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

England will look to Harry Kane, though the question remains who will flank the Tottenham center forward. Marcus Rashford’s been very good but Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden got the starting spots against Senegal and it paid off for Southgate.

Kylian Mbappe has been borderline unstoppable and will test Harry Maguire, John Stones, and friends and Antoine Griezmann pulls the strings in behind and Aurelien Tchouameni continues to strengthen his reputation in the center of the pitch.


England 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, Jude Bellingham, Jordan Pickford

France quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 4
World Cup titles: 2 (1998, 2018)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group D)
Coach: Didier Deschamps
Key players: Kylian Mbappe, Raphael Varane, Antoine Griezmann

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Croatia vs Brazil: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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World Cup-savvy Croatia stands in the way of stylish Brazil’s pursuit of a sixth World Cup crown, and the pair promise a complex match-up on Friday in Al Rayyan.

Match 58 of the 2022 World Cup kicks off the quarterfinals as Neymar leads Tite’s star-studded CONMEBOL powers into a match against the 2018 runners-up.

STREAM CROATIA vs BRAZIL LIVE

Croatia got past Japan in penalties and will now dream of the two wins that could set it back in the final where France could again be waiting for a juicy rematch.

Croatia needed penalties to get past Japan in the Round of 16, while Brazil pasted South Korea 4-1.  Croatia has never beaten Brazil in four meetings, losing at the 2006 and 2014 World Cups.

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

Here is everything you need for Croatia vs Brazil.


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

Kick off: 10am ET, Friday, December 9
Stadium: Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Croatia’s Dominik Livakovic was fantastic in penalties versus Japan to get here, but Luka Modric continues to do the things that get Croatia out of trouble and puts the opponents into heaps of it. Josko Gvardiola has arguably been the defender of the tournament, and the 20-year-old looks to test his mettle again against the Selecao.

Pick a Brazil player who’s failed to impress and you’ve achieved a mighty feat. Neymar’s been fantastic when healthy while RIcharlison is in serious pursuit of the Golden Boot. Alisson Becker flexed his muscles once or twice versus South Korea and figures to be busier as the competition continues to heat up in Qatar.


Croatia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 12
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Zlatko Dalic
Key players: Luka Modric, Andrej Kramaric, Mateo Kovacic, Josko Gvardiol

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

Follow @NicholasMendola