Premier League transfer window grades

0 Comments

The summer transfer window has been absolutely bonkers and now it’s time to take stock of which Premier League clubs have done the best business.

That’s right, it’s time to dust off the old gradebook.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Below we dish out a grade for every Premier League team based on their business this summer, as some teams have managed to navigate the ins and outs of the transfer market really well.

Others? Well, it has been a struggle for some but plenty of managers will be happy to have kept hold of their superstars (ahem, Harry Kane)… for now.

[ MORE: Full list of every PL deal this summer ]

With squads now set until January 1, all 20 Premier League teams have assembled their rosters and it’s going to be intriguing to see how they fare in the coming months.


Premier League summer transfer window grades

Arsenal: D

What a really bizarre transfer window for the Gunners. You can see what Mikel Arteta and Edu are trying to do, but spending close to $200 million on new players is a huge investment and puts a lot of pressure on the young shoulders of Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Albert Sambi Lokonga. Arsenal moved on a few big earners to balance the books but given their poor start to the season, this was a poor window. It seems like they just kept signing players that nobody else particularly wanted, and they paid big money to do so. Let’s see how this experiment goes…

Mikel Arteta
Getty Images

Aston Villa: B+

After losing star man and club captain Jack Grealish for $137 million to Manchester City over a release clause they never thought would be met, it could have been a disastrous summer for Villa. They’ve turned it around wonderfully and signed Danny Ings, Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey to totally reshape their attack. Villa look stronger for it and Axel Tuanzebe also gives them extra cover at center back. Overall, a good window.


Brentford: B-

The new boys spent big on a couple of key additions, for them, and they continue to look closely at advanced stats when it comes to signing players. Kristoffer Ajer from Celtic looks like a great addition at center back, while Frank Onyeka has hit the ground running in midfield. Do they have enough experience to compete in the Premier League? So far, it looks like they’ll surprise plenty of PL teams this season. Keeping hold of Ivan Toney was key and he never really looked like leaving.


Burnley: C-

A late flurry of deals has seen the Clarets rescue their window a little, as Maxwell Cornet, Connor Roberts and Nathan Collins have all arrived. Sean Dyche has always gone for solid additions who can challenge for a starting spot and left back Cornet is a very exciting addition, while Roberts will also add extra cover. Burnley probably needed a little more business to be done in attack though.


Brighton and Hove Albion: C

The Seagulls have been pretty quiet in the window and they were keen to keep hold of striker Neal Maupay who was linked with Everton. Brighton have added Enock Mwepu and Marc Cucurella but Graham Potter probably would have surely wanted more of the Ben White cash to spend on players (read: forwards) who can help his first team now.


Chelsea: B+

Romelu Lukaku was the big offseason arrival and that was exactly what Chelsea needed to turn them into one of the favorites to win the Premier League this season. The $135 million they spent to re-sign Lukaku looks like a bit of a bargain already, and given how many players they’ve moved on for big money fees, the Blues continue to do incredible business in the transfer market. A summer of freshening up their squad and focusing on key players has left Thomas Tuchel’s side in a very strong position, and they clearly want to add a new center back (likely Jules Kounde) soon. Adding Saul Niguez on deadline day was huge too.

Premier League
Getty Images

Crystal Palace: C

The Eagles needed to do a lot of business and it feels like they haven’t done quite enough. Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi are good additions at center back and so too is Conor Gallagher on loan from Chelsea in midfield. Late in the window they moved for Odsonne Edouard, which is a good move, as their need for more firepower is clear for all to see. Patrick Vieira would have liked more depth in this squad but he has been able to add quality.


Everton: C

Some good bargain buys from Rafael Benitez as Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend came in. The Toffees will be delighted they kept hold of Richarlison, who was linked with a move to some European giants. Benitez has a very solid squad and has trimmed it nicely.


Leeds United: C

Daniel James was their big money arrival this summer and he is a very Marcelo Bielsa type of player. Aside from that, Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips, Jack Harrison (now permanently) and Raphinha are all still around and that is a big win for Leeds. They could have probably done with some extra defenders given all of their injuries, but Junior Firpo in at left back will help with that.


Leicester City: B+

A very decent window for the Foxes. They didn’t lose any of their big players and Jannik Vestergaard, Ryan Bertrand, Patson Daka, Boubakary Soumare and Ademola Lookman (loan) have all arrived and their squad looks a lot stronger for it. Brendan Rodgers’ boys are ready to go far in Europe and push for the top four, once again.


Liverpool: C

Ibrahima Konate arrived early, and that was it. Liverpool locked down Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson to new long-term contracts and they sold plenty of fringe players this summer. A quiet summer, but Jurgen Klopp has key men back from injury.


Manchester City: C+

They signed Jack Grealish for a record Premier League fee, which was huge, but not bringing in a top striker will have hurt their pride. They chased Harry Kane, hard, but couldn’t get it anywhere near being over the line and a late deal for Cristiano Ronaldo never really seemed likely. A decent window, but City are still searching for a new striker and surely they will be doing all they can to bring Erling Haaland to the Etihad Stadium next summer.

Premier League
Getty Images

Manchester United: A

What. A. Window. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought in Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and then somehow Cristiano Ronaldo, as United have more quality and experience and their squad is no doubt stronger than it was at the end of last season. Ronaldo’s arrival pushes their grade from a B+ to an A, and the only thing which could have improved the grade is a new holding midfielder or getting Paul Pogba to sign a new contract.

Manchester United v Bolton Wanderers - Barclays Premier League
Getty Images

Newcastle United: D-

Pretty underwhelming. Steve Bruce’s side brought in Joe Willock from Arsenal permanently following his amazing loan spell, and that was about it. Bruce will have wanted more than this. A lot more.


Norwich City: B+

A very good window for the Canaries as Billy Gilmour adds class in midfield after arriving from Chelsea on loan, while Josh Sargent, Dimitris Giannoulis, Milot Rashica and Pierre Lees-Melou add quality in attack. Norwich haven’t spent big. That isn’t how they roll. But they look better equipped to stay up this season.


Southampton: C+

They got good money for Danny Ings and Jannik Vestergaard who had just 11 months left on their contracts, but it was still a huge blow to lose both. Especially Ings. Saints have brought in plenty of young players and Tino Livramento looks like being a real bargain. Adam Armstrong looks like a handful and should score double figures too. A solid enough window and Ralph Hasenhuttl has a bigger squad to work with this season so there should be no second half slump.


Tottenham Hotspur: B

Of course the big news of the window was keeping Harry Kane. Daniel Levy stood firm and with three years left on his contract, Kane wasn’t going to leave for anything less than $225 million. Man City weren’t going to pay that. Nuno Espirito Santo has also added a few key defenders in Cristian Romero and Emerson Royal, while Bryan Gil is an exciting young prospect. Overall, a much better window than Spurs expected.

Tottenham schedule
Getty Images

Watford: C+

Some nice additions, especially in Juraj Kucka, Dennis Emmanuel, Moussa Sissoko and bringing back Cucho Hernandez from his loan spells. But will this be enough to give the Hornets a fighting chance to stay up? Watford have a bit more experience in their squad, but they probably needed some extra help in defense.


West Ham United: B

Very good finish to the window for David Moyes’ side as silky Croatian playmaker Nikola Vlasic and Czech holding mid Alex Kral arrived on deadline day with Kurt Zouma coming in at center back a few days earlier. West Ham went for quality over quantity with their summer signings. Keeping hold of Declan Rice was the main aim for West Ham this summer and their squad looks pretty strong heading into a busy Europa League campaign. Could they have signed another striker to back up Antonio?


Wolverhampton Wanderers: D

Not the best window for Wolves. Signed some good young players led by Francisco Trincao (loan) and brought in Jose Sa in goal to replace Rui Patricio who moved to AS Roma. With Raul Jimenez just coming back and Adama Traore linked with a move away, do they have enough options in attack to hurt teams?


Poland vs Argentina, live! Score, updates, how to watch, stream, videos

0 Comments

Poland and Argentina surely didn’t plan to reach the marquee match of World Cup Group C with their knockout round status in doubt, but it’s been that kind of tournament in Qatar.

Poland remains unbeaten in Qatar after beating Saudi Arabia 2-0 in Al Rayyan, adding to the point it earned from a scoreless draw with Mexico In Doha to give it top billing in the group heading into Wednesday’s match.

STREAM LIVE POLAND v ARGENTINA

Argentina, meanwhile, rebounded from a 2-1 tournament-opening loss to Saudi Arabia In Lusail to bear Mexico 2-0 behind a goal and an assist from Lionel Messi.

Saudi Arabia’s three points means it can still advance with a win over Mexico, who itself can add to its one point. So everyone’s alive in Group C.

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

Here is everything you need for Poland vs Argentina.


How to watch Poland vs Argentina live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Wednesday, Nov. 30
Stadium: Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

The storyline for every Argentina game this tournament from this point forward — and really since the lead-up to the Mexico match — is that any loss means the end of Lionel Messi’s World Cup career (at least according to the living legend). The Albiceleste would be thrilled to get something more out of Lautaro Martinez, while Paulo Dybala’s yet to make his tournament debut.

Robert Lewandowski finally has a World Cup goal on his resume, while Piotr Zielinski has been very good for Poland. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was sensational in the win over Saudi Arabia.


Poland quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 26
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 8
How they qualified: Qualified from UEFA via playoffs, Path B
Coach: Czeslaw Michniewicz
Key players: Robert Lewandowski, Wojciech Szczesny, Piotr Zielinski

Argentina quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 3
World Cup titles: 2 (1978, 1986)
World Cup appearances: 17
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (2nd place)
Coach: Lionel Scaloni
Key players: Lionel Messi, Angel de Maria, Lautaro Martinez

What are the group stage tiebreaker rules at the 2022 World Cup?

0 Comments

The 2022 World Cup is already well underway and through the first matches of the group stage, the tournament has been marked by unpredictability and upsets, including Saudi Arabia toppling Argentina and Japan edging out Germany thanks to a late comeback. While one loss doesn’t necessarily mean these pre-tournament contenders won’t make it to the knockout rounds, it does make the path significantly harder. Read on to see the World Cup tiebreakers that may come into play in determining which teams advance to the next round and continue on the path to soccer’s greatest glory.

How many teams will advance from the World Cup group stage?

Of the 32 teams at the 2022 World Cup, only 16 will advance to the next round of the tournament. The top two teams in each of the eight groups will advance to the Round of 16. From there, the tournament will be a single-elimination competition, with eight teams making it through to the quarterfinals and four to the semifinals. The winners of the semifinal matches will play in the final, while the losers will meet in the third-place playoff.

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

What are the tiebreakers for the group stage at the World Cup?

If two or more teams have an equal number of points after the conclusion of group stage matches, FIFA will use the following tiebreakers to determine which nations advance:

  • Goal differential – the team with the higher goal differential (total goals scored minus total goals allowed) will have the higher ranking
  • Number of goals scored – If multiple teams have the same number of points and equal goal differential, the team with more goals scored will be given a higher ranking than the lesser-scoring team

World Cup draw rules

If two or more teams are still “tied” after applying these tiebreakers, FIFA moves on to a second round of tiebreakers:

  • Greatest number of points obtained in group matches between the teams concerned
  • Superior goal difference resulting from the group matches between the team concerned
  • Greatest number of goals scored in all matches between the teams concerned
  • Highest team conduct score – team conduct score is based on the number of yellow and red cards a team has obtained. The team with the highest team conduct score will receive the higher ranking.
    • Yellow Card: Minus one point
    • Indirect Red Card (acquired via two yellow cards): Minus three points
    • Direct Red Card: Minus four points
    • Yellow Card and Direct Red Card: Minus five points

RELATED: PST’s 2022 World Cup predictions: Standings, winner, awards, USMNT fate

World Cup yellow card rules

The “team conduct” tiebreaker or “fair play” tiebreaker was first used at the 2018 World Cup – Japan and Senegal stood equal after all other tiebreakers were applied but Senegal had more yellow cards and was subsequently eliminated. Japan advanced to the Round of 16.

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)

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

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!

Saudi Arabia vs Mexico, live! Score, updates, how to watch, stream, videos

0 Comments

Mexico needs a win to have hope of reaching the World Cup knockout rounds, while Saudi Arabia’s hopes of the final 16 may require the same at Stadium 974 in Doha on Wednesday.

The Saudis stunned Argentina 2-1 In Lusail to open the tournament but could not repeat the feat against Poland at Education City in Al Rayyan on Saturday to leave themselves with three points through two matches.

STREAM LIVE SAUDI ARABIA vs MEXICO

Mexico remains without a win after their scoreless draw versus Poland led to a Lionel Messi-inspired loss to Argentina In Lusail.

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

Here is everything you need for Saudi Arabia vs Mexico.


How to watch Saudi Arabia vs Mexico live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Wednesday Nov. 30
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

The Saudis have arguably been the most fun team at the tournament amongst non-powers, always running and getting exceptional goalkeeping. Salem Al-Dawsari was very good in both games but his missed penalty before halftime against Poland looms large of a match that could’ve been 1-1 going to the break and instead ended 2-0.

Mexico has not scored at the tournament so far, and Raul Jimenez has only been used as a super sub. Hirving Lozano and Alexis Vega combined for just three shot attempts before being subbed out of the Poland loss, while Lozano and Henry Martin combined for two versus Poland (Vega attempted five). They need better up top to keep up their streak of making Round of 16 appearances at the World Cup.


Saudi Arabia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 51
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group B)
Coach: Herve Renard
Key players: Salem Al-Dawsari, Fahad Al-Muwallad, Mohammed Al-Owais

Mexico quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 13
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 16
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (2nd place)
Coach: Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino
Key players: Guillermo Ochoa, Hector Herrera, Raul Jimenez

Berhalter ‘proud’ of USMNT, looks ahead to Netherlands; Pulisic injury update

0 Comments

USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter was a relieved man as he spoke to media after the USA beat Iran 1-0 to clinch a spot in the last 16 of the World Cup.

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

After Christian Pulisic’s first half goal the U.S. held on late on as Iran create three good chances but the young American side dug deep.

They will now face the Netherlands in the last 16 on Saturday (kick off, 10am ET) and Berhalter was asked how proud he was of his side.

USA grind out win after impressive display

“Proud. First half we showed what we can do soccer wise. Second half we showed what we could do determination wise. The guys grinded. They gave every single ounce of energy. We are undefeated going into the knockout round,” Berhalter said.

He was then asked about his nerves late on as Iran almost scored in the 99th minute when Mehdi Taremi nearly got on the end of a ball into the box.

“This new injury time, counting every second, it is stressful. I think I have less hair on my head now,” Berhalter smiled. “We will take it and we will move on and we will go battle Holland.”

Christian Pulisic injury update

Pulisic, the goalscoring hero, was subbed out at half time after getting hit in the abdominal area (it looked like a nasty whack to the groin) when he scored the winning goal.

Asked about the status of the USMNT and Chelsea star, here is what Berhalter had to say.

“No update on his status but I’ve been saying all along, ‘it’s a wonderful thing when one of your best players is also one of your hardest working.’ He is certainly that. I can’t say enough positive things about Christian.”

Another update was that Pulisic was taken to the hospital after the injury and Weston McKennie said he had a message from Pulisic saying: “Best believe I’ll be ready on Saturday.”

“He was feeling some dizziness, it was a blow to his abdomen,” Berhalter said. “We FaceTimed him from the hospital and he was in good spirits.”