Wolves vs Southampton: Podence gets Wolves off and running

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Wolves beat Southampton in a tight, tense clash at Molineux, as Bruno Lage’s side grabbed their first win of the season and ended their run of 12 games without a Premier League victory.

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Daniel Podence bobbled an effort home right on half time with the only goal of the game, as Wolves were dangerous on the counter but Southampton should have grabbed at least a point.

Che Adams had a goal ruled out for an explicable handball as he missed a header from a yard out and moments later he hit the bar with a header too.

The win moves Lage’s side to six points for the season, while Southampton remain on seven points.

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What we learned from Wolves vs Southampton

Sasa Kalajdzic ruled out; Raul Jimenez injured in warm-up: Worrying news for El Tri fans as Raul Jimenez was not only left out of Wolves’ starting lineup but he was then injured in the warm-up and pulled out of the squad altogether. That meant he was in the stands watching on as his replacement (and new signing from Stuttgart) Sasa Kalajdzic suffered a knee injury in the first half and was replaced at half time. Wolves don’t score a lot of goals (just three this season) and having their two main strikers out injured is far from ideal.

Little bit of luck finally arrives ahead of tough run for Wolves: They have deserved to win a few games this season but luck has not been with them. It was with them on Saturday. From Podence’s scuffed shot to Che Adams’ incredible error, Wolves dug deep and worked as hard as ever and they had the rub of the green. They now face Manchester City and Liverpool and some of the pressure is off Lage after their first win in 13 Premier League games. Given their performances, there is no way they should have been on that run but my word, are they glad it is over.

Wasteful Saints a little sluggish: Given the incredible energy levels they used to beat Chelsea on Tuesday, it was a surprise that Ralph Hasenhuttl only made one change to his starting lineup. Saints were decent in the first half but were just a little sluggish and left themselves too exposed on the counter, which Wolves made the most of. However, Saints deserved a point here. Che Adams will score that chance 99 times out of 100 and had Saints made it 1-1 with 30 minutes to go, surely another comeback win was on the cards. Southampton’s young side are very talented but there will be a few ups and downs this season, as they miss now make the most out of games against Brentford, Aston Villa and Everton to build on their strong start.


Bruno Lage gives update on Jimenez, Kalajdzic

Wolves’ medical team gave the following update, as new signing Kalajdzic suffered an ACL injury on his debut which will see him out for several months.

“Sasa felt a pain in his knee late in the first-half against Southampton. Unfortunately, scans reveal an anterior cruciate injury and he will see a knee specialist tomorrow. We now need to support Sasa in his recovery and further updates will follow.”

As for Raul Jimenez, he was left out of the starting lineup as a precaution but felt some discomfort in his groin and pulled out of the squad.

“Raul’s pre-season was interrupted by a knee injury which means that he is still building his resilience and his ability to recover quickly during periods of match congestion. It was felt that his body needed a few more days to recover after he felt a pain in his groin during the warm up and we did not want to put him at increased risk of injury.”

 [ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Ralph Hasenhuttl bemoans missed chances but happy with performance


Stars of the show

Armel Bella-Kotchap: Once again dominant defensively and had a few chances at the other end too. What a talent the young Southampton center back is.

Ruben Neves: Snapped into tackles and the skipper dug deep to drag his side over the line. So important to Wolves. Matheus Nunes also produced a lovely assist and caused Saints plenty of problems with his clever runs and passing.


What’s next?

Wolves head to Liverpool on Saturday, Sept. 10, while Southampton host Brentford on the same day.


How to watch Wolves vs Saints live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines

There is a lot of negativity swirling around Wolves as Lage’s side dominate possession in games but just can’t put away chances and it appears to be more of a mental block that anything else. They drew 0-0 at Bournemouth on Wednesday and the frustration of their players and manager was clear to see. They need a win against Southampton. Big time.

As for Southampton, they’re full of confidence heading into this one and they’ve navigated a tough start to the season extremely well. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have seven points from their opening five games and three of those games were against Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea. They now begin a run of more ‘winnable’ games and these were the type of games they struggled in last season. Let’s see if Saints can now make the most of their unexpected fast start to the campaign.


In-form players to keep an eye on

Wolves’ Ruben Neves continues to pull the strings in midfield and the skipper is everywhere, while Jose Sa continues to stand tall in goal.

Southampton’s new young core have impressed massively with Armel Bella-Kotchap (20) at center back and Romeo Lavia (18) in central midfield excellent in the win against Chelsea, with the former shutting down Chelsea’s attack and the latter scoring his first Premier League goal in style. Watch out for Che Adams, who has been leading the line superbly.


Wolves team news, injuries, lineup

Chiquinho is out and remains Wolves’ only injury concern. For the starting lineup, Lage has dropped Raul Jimenez and brings in new striker Sasa Kalajdzic, while Daniel Podence also comes in. However, Kalajdzic was injured on his Wolves debut and came off at half time, while Jimenez was also injured in the warm-up and had to be withdrawn from the squad.

Southampton team news, injuries, lineup

Tino Livramento is still out with a long-term knee injury, while Romeo Lavia picked up a knock against Chelsea and is expected to be out for up to six weeks so Joe Aribo comes in for him in Saints’ only change.



 

Lionel Messi goal, assist leads Argentina awakening vs Mexico

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Lionel Messi’s second-half goal gave Argentina’s World Cup hopes a massive lift as the Albiceleste broke through against stubborn Mexico to win 2-0 in Lusail on Saturday.

Enzo Fernandez, 21, also scored for Argentina in the win, which comes after a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in the opener.

STREAM LIVE ARGENTINA vs MEXICO

Mexico’s brave performance was broken by Messi’s splendid finish and now Mexico (1 point) needs to beat Saudi Arabia (3 points) and get help from Argentina (3 points) vs Poland (4 points) to make the Round of 16.

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


Lionel Messi: Of course he did.

The world’s — maybe history’s — greatest ever player had a frustrating day and spent 65 minutes thinking this could’ve been his last World Cup match.

Twenty-five minutes later, he had a goal and an assist and Argentina was heading to Poland likely a draw or better away from going to the knockout rounds.

C’est la Messi.

Mexico executed Tata Martino’s masterful plan for over an hour and looked set to walk away with a point. Messi wasn’t getting the ball in dangerous spaces and Lautaro Martinez was so ineffective that he was taken off the pitch.

Then: One hesitation when Angel Di Maria spotted Messi. Two touches for the Atomic Ant. 1-0.

Messi would later assist young Enzo Fernandez’s goal to re-certify his status as one of the very best to do it in any team sport. Argentina only had 0.28 expected goals on the day but when you have two magic shots, it’ll get the job done.


Stars of the show

Lionel Messi

Nicolas Otamendi

Hector Moreno

Argentina vs Mexico
fotmob.com

Lionel Messi goal video: GOAT things

Enzo Fernandez goal video: Pearler of a finish delivers Messi assist


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

Kick off: 2pm ET, Saturday Nov. 26
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

It’s Messi, of course, who says he’s playing in his final World Cup, but it’s also about who’s going to step up as a difference maker for Argentina. Lautaro Martinez had a goal taken off the board for a razor-thin offside versus Saudi Arabia, while Julian Alvarez had a shot saved in his sub’s role and both Paulo Dybala and Angel Correa were unused subs in the opener.

Mexico’s midfield was excellent to start the tournament. Will Hector Herrera again join Edson Alvarez and Luis Chavez is setting the tone for Tata Martino’s team? And can El Tri find a finisher after Henry Martin and Co. failed to find the back of the goal versus Poland.


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

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

Belgium vs Morocco: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Belgium will look to get back to their best and make it two wins from two in the group stage but Morocco will make it extremely tough for Kevin de Bruyne and Co.

STREAM LIVE BELGIUM v MOROCCO

Roberto Martinez saw his side totally dominated by Canada in their Group F opener but they took their one big chance and won the game, largely thanks to poor finishing from Canada and Thibaut Courtois saving a penalty kick. The No. 2 ranked team in the world has to improve. Fast.

Morocco caused Croatia plenty of problems in their opening game and a draw was a fair result as their high-pressing caused Croatia a lot of problems. They will look to do exactly the same against Belgium and could have plenty of joy if Hakim Ziyech is found in dangerous areas in the final third.

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

Here is everything you need for Belgium vs Morocco. 


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

Kick off: 8am ET – Sunday, November 27
Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor 
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Kevin de Bruyne was almost apologetic after being named man of the match against Canada as he said he and his teammates really struggled in their World Cup opener. Belgium have to give their back three more protection as they are really susceptible to speedy wide players cutting in wide and teams playing direct and cutting out their midfield playmakers. Roberto Martinez will surely start the likes of Meunier and Onana in this game to try and give Belgium a little more control and solidity. Michy Batshuayi is expected to continue to fill in for the injured Romelu Lukaku once again.

Morocco will try and do exactly what Canada did to Belgium and they have the players to do it. Ziyech and Boufal will cause problems out wide and Morocco looked solid defensively against Croatia. There is a real whiff of an upset in the air around this one as Morocco will be roared on by their large group of supporters in Qatar.


Belgium quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 2
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 14
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Roberto Martinez
Key players: Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard

Morocco Rica quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 22
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CAF
Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic
Key players: Achraf Hakimi, Yassine Bounou, Youssef En-Nesyri, Romain Saiss


World Cup 2022 Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica schedule, fixtures, rankings

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Japan and Spain sent early messages in Group E with an upset of Germany and demolition of Costa Rica, respectively, to start the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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Japan reached the Round of 16 at the last World Cup and gave Belgium everything it could handle before bowing out 3-2, while Costa Rica surprised everyone in 2014 when it emerged atop a Group D with England, Italy, and Uruguay, then beating Greece in the Round of 16.

Of course, Spanish boss Luis Enrique and Germany’s Hansi Flick will be fancying themselves the favorites to emerge from the group, but the latter now knows better than ever before that anything can happen in Qatar after a 2-1 loss to Japan. Spain hammered Costa Rica 7-0 in their opener and they look the real deal.

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

Below is everything you need to know on World Cup 2022 Group E.


Group E schedule (all times ET)

Recap/highlights: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Germany 1-2 Japan – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Sunday, November 27: Spain vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm
Sunday, November 27: Japan vs Costa Rica – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 5am
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

How To Watch Group E matches live

  • When: November 23-December 1 2022
  • Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 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 E table

1. Spain — 3 points (+7 GD)
2. Japan — 3 points (+1)
3. Germany — 0 points (-1)
4. Costa Rica — 0 points (-7)


Spain

Current FIFA world ranking: 7
World Cup titles: 1 (2010)
World Cup appearances: 16
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Luis Enrique
Key players: Rodri, Pedri, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba

Germany

Current FIFA world ranking: 11
World Cup titles: 4 (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014)
World Cup appearances: 20
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Key players: Manuel Neuer, Antonio Rudiger, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka

Costa Rica

Current FIFA world ranking: 31
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified from CONCACAF via interconfederation playoffs
Coach: Luis Fernando Suarez
Key players: Keylor Navas, Joel Campbell, Celso Borges, Bryan Ruiz

Japan

Current FIFA world ranking: 24
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 7
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC
Coach: Hajime Moriyasu
Key players: Maya Yoshida, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Takumi Minamino, Daichi Kamada

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

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Newly famous international darlings Canada will try again for a number of firsts, when they face Croatia in their second game at the 2022 World Cup on Sunday.

STREAM CROATIA vs CANADA LIVE

Canada outshone many of the tournament’s heavyweights during the first round of group games, ultimately falling just short of their first World Cup point and, had things gone just a bit differently, their first win.

Group F is an intriguing one, with favorites Belgium struggling in their opener and Croatia and Morocco both failing to impress against one another. As things stand, it’s wide open for anyone (and everyone).

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

Here is everything you need for Croatia vs Canada. 


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

Kick off: 11am ET, Sunday (November 27)
Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

On one hand, Canada were downright brilliant when they made their World Cup return, 36 years in the making on Wednesday. On the other hand, they lost 1-0 to Belgium and are the only team in Group F without a point thus far. The Canucks won plaudits (and new fans) as they showed no fear whatsoever playing against the no. 2 team in the world and were comfortably the better side on the day, so said Belgium boss Roberto Martinez after the game. Alphonso Davies was denied by Thibaut Courtois from the penalty spot, with the game still 0-0 and Canada seeking its first-ever World Cup goal (yeah, that too). Sunday, perhaps.

As for Croatia, their opening draw with Morocco raised a few red flags for a nation that went all the way to the World Cup final just four (and a half) years ago. With five of 11 starters age 30 or older, Croatia have very little range and mobility, and no explosiveness anywhere in the side. Despite holding nearly 65 percent of possession in the game against Morocco, Croatia managed just five shots in 90 minutes (two on target) and a paltry 0.52 xG. If things don’t turn around on Sunday, it’ll be the end of an iconic era that, unfortunately, lasted one cycle too long.


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

Canada quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 41
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 2
How they qualified: Qualified from CONCACAF (1st place)
Coach: John Herdman
Key players: Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David, Milan Borjan, Jonathan Osorio

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