Aston Villa vs Southampton: Ramsey eases pressure on Gerrard

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Aston Villa edged past Southampton 1-0 at Villa Park as Steven Gerrard breathed a huge sigh of relief.

It wasn’t pretty but the home fans went home happy. For now.

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Jacob Ramsey’s scrappy first half goal was enough for Villa to grab their second win of the season as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton didn’t turn up and were totally off the pace.

Villa weren’t much better but Gerrard saw his side grind out the win to move on to seven points for the season, the same number that Saints have.

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What we learned from Aston Villa vs Southampton

Villa go back to basics: After a poor run of form they went back to an ultra-defensive system to get the draw against Man City last time out and they kept that solid look for this win. Gerrard’s side weren’t pretty to watch. At all. But John McGinn scrapping away in midfield and Mings and Konsa clearing everything with a safety first approach summed up their approach. Villa hardly created a chance aside from the rebound Ramsey stuck away. They were savvy, solid and smart. That was all that was needed.

Saints lack any kind of cutting edge: They wanted to sign a striker late in the summer window and you can see why. Saints had no cutting edge throughout the game and barely created a chance. Their young players did okay but what will disappoint Hasenhuttl most is that the experienced trio of Che Adams, James Ward-Prowse and Mohamed Elyounoussi all struggled massively. This was Southampton’s worst display of the season by some distance and with so many young players there will be a lot of ups and downs as their win against Chelsea have been followed up by defeats at Wolves and Villa.

Two teams who could struggle: This was not a great game. At all. And it underlined that both of these teams may well be down in the lower reaches of the Premier League for most of this season. For Southampton they kind of expected that this season after signing so many inexperienced players. For Villa? They expected to be pushing for the top 10, at least, but on this showing, and even though they got the win, they are a long way off it.


Tactical focus

Both teams lacked confidence on the ball but Villa played direct and tried to get their wingers as the ball as much as possible. At the end of the first half Coutinho dictated the tempo of the game as he dropped into little pockets of space and Saints’ midfield couldn’t pick him up and that is how Villa went ahead. It was a scrappy game from start to finish but Villa just had that extra bit of quality in the final third.

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Stars of the show

Philippe Coutinho: Buzzed around in the first half and made things happen as Saints gave him too much space.

Tyrone Mings: Never looked out of control and gave Villa confidence they would not concede. Emiliano Martinez was really solid too, especially after just making the game after his injury.

Kyle Walker-Peters: The only Saints player to show any real composure on the ball.


What’s next?

After the international break Villa head to Leeds on Sunday, Oct. 2, while Southampton host Everton on Saturday, Oct 1.


How to watch Aston Villa vs Southampton live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 3 pm ET, Friday
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & star players

Perhaps Aston Villa’s tide began to turn last time out, as they drew two-time defending champions Manchester City, with Leon Bailey’s first Premier League goal canceling out Erling Haaland’s 10th for a 1-1 stalemate. Though they had just three shots and held just 28 percent of possession in the game, Aston Villa defended in unison and limited Man City to just four shots on target. Situationally, they were much sharper (and luckier, to a degree) than they had been at any point in their first five games. Aston Villa’s next clean sheet will be their first one of the season, and that’ll be the top priority for Gerrard on Friday.

As for Southampton, it was a defeat to Wolves last time out, but that came on the heels of victories over Chelsea and Leicester, and a narrow, unlucky loss to Manchester United. For a side that most, if not all, pundits predicted down near the relegation zone, it’s hard to imagine a better start to Saints’ season, as summer signings Armel Bella-Kotchap (20 years old), Romeo Lavia (18 – currently injured) and Gavin Bazunu (20) quickly find their footing and breathe new life into a club teetering on the edge.


Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Diego Carlos (achilles), Matty Cash (hamstring), Jan Bednarek (loan – parent club)


Southampton team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Valentino Livramento (knee), Romeo Lavia (undisclosed)

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Crystal Palace vs Leicester: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Roy Hodgson is set to make his re-debut as Crystal Palace manager when the Eagles host Leicester at Selhurst Park on Saturday (watch live, 10 am ET on Peacock Premium). 

STREAM LIVE CRYSTAL PALACE vs LEICESTER

Patrick Vieira was fired on March 17 after going 11 games without a win (0W-5D-6L) after the calendar turned over to 23, leaving Crystal Palace (27 points – 12th place) closer to the relegation battle than they have any business being. Speaking of having no business being in the relegation battle, Leicester (25 points – 17th place) sit just one point and one place above the bottom-three ahead of Saturday’s trip to south London.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Crystal Palace vs Leicester

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How to watch Crystal Palace vs Leicester live, stream link and start time

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


Key storylines & star players

Hodgson came out of retirement to take over until the end of the season, at which point Vieira’s (still to-be-chosen) permanent replacement will take charge with another summer of squad turnover to come. Though they sit nearer to mid-table than the bottom-three heading into matchweek 29, the gap between Crystal Palace and 18th-place West Ham is only three points, meaning they could tumble as far as 17th with another defeat (pending results elsewhere). Wilfried Zaha’s six Premier League goals lead the way for Crystal Palace this season, but the Ivorian international hasn’t scored since Nov. 6 (11 appearances, all starts). Since Zaha’s last league goal, Palace have scored just seven goals in 15 games (1W-5D-7L).

Leicester’s winless run isn’t quite as long as Palace’s (only five games – 0W-1D-4L) since the Foxes inexplicably scored four goals in back-to-back victories over Aston Villa and Tottenham at the start of February. Since then, two goals in five games and three clean sheets against. In fairness, they have faced Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Brentford during the slide, which is perhaps the reason that Brendan Rodgers is still in the job through the recent international break. The other defeat, by the way? It was to last-place Southampton. James Maddison and Harvey Barnes are level on nine goals each, while forwards Patson Daka, Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy have combined to score eight PL goals this season.


Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Sam Johnstone (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Vicente Guaita (hamstring), Joachim Andersen (calf), James McArthur (illness), Nathan Ferguson (undisclosed)

Leicester team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Ryan Bertrand (knee), James Justin (achilles), Youri Tielemans (ankle), Jannik Vestergaard (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Harry Souttar (ankle), Victor Kristiansen (ankle), Jonny Evans (undisclosed)

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Premier League injury news, 2022-23 season

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Premier League injury news: It’s time to take a look at which players might be unavailable for matchweek 29 of the 2022-23 Premier League season, due to injury.

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Prior to every matchweek this season, we’ll update this Premier League injuries page with the latest news and update, so make sure to check back regularly to see how your favorite — or least-favorite — club is getting on.

Let’s check out the latest Premier League injury news, below.


Arsenal injuries

OUT: William Saliba (back), Eddie Nketiah (ankle), Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), Mohamed Elneny (knock) | QUESTIONABLE: Thomas Partey (undisclosed), Kieran Tierney (calf)

Aston Villa injuries

OUT: Jed Steer (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Philippe Coutinho (thigh), Matty Cash (calf), Boubacar Kamara (ankle), Leander Dendoncker (undisclosed)

Bournemouth injuries

QUESTIONABLE: Marcus Tavernier (thigh), Illia Zabarnyi (foot), Junior Stanislas (undisclosed)

Brentford injuries

OUT: Kristoffer Ajer (calf), Vitaly Janelt (knee), Keane Lewis-Potter (knee), Shandon Baptiste (suspension) | QUESTIONABLE: Mads Roerslev (thigh)

Brighton & Hove Albion injuries

OUT: Tariq Lamptey (knee), Adam Lallana (thigh – out for season), Jakub Moder (knee) (undisclosed)

Chelsea injuries

OUT: Thiago Silva (knee), Armando Broja (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Reece James (thigh), Raheem Sterling (hamstring), N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Mason Mount (abdominal), Cesar Azpilicueta (head), Edouard Mendy (shoulder), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (back)

Crystal Palace injuries

OUT: Sam Johnstone (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Vicente Guaita (hamstring), Joachim Andersen (calf), James McArthur (illness), Nathan Ferguson (undisclosed)

Everton injuries

OUT: Andros Townsend (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (thigh)

Fulham injuries

OUT: Aleksandar Mitrovic (suspension – MORE), Willian (suspension – MORE), Neeskens Kebano (achilles), Layvin Kurzawa (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Shane Duffy (calf)

Leeds United injuries

OUT: Tyler Adams (hamstring – out for season), Stuart Dallas (thigh), Adam Forshaw (groin) | QUESTIONABLE: Wilfried Gnonto (ankle), Maximillian Wober (hamstring)

Leicester City injuries

OUT: Ryan Bertrand (knee), James Justin (achilles), Youri Tielemans (ankle), Jannik Vestergaard (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Harry Souttar (ankle), Victor Kristiansen (ankle), Jonny Evans (undisclosed)

Liverpool injuries

OUT: Thiago Alcantara (hip), Joe Gomez (undisclosed), Stefan Bajcetic (undisclosed), Calvin Ramsay (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Luis Diaz (knee), Darwin Nunez (ankle), Konstantinos Tsimikas (ribs)

Manchester City injuries

OUT: Phil Foden (illness), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Erling Haaland (groin – MORE)

Manchester United injuries

OUT: Casemiro (suspension), Alejandro Garnacho (ankle), Christian Eriksen (ankle), Donny van de Beek (knee), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Raphael Varane (undisclosed), Marcus Rashford (knock), Anthony Martial (hip), Marcel Sabitzer (knee)

Newcastle United injuries

OUT: Miguel Almiron (thigh), Emil Krafth (knee), Ryan Fraser (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Allan Saint-Maximin (thigh), Sven Botman (illness), Anthony Gordon (ankle), Nick Pope (knock)

Nottingham Forest injuries

OUT: Taiwo Awoniyi (groin), Scott McKenna (thigh), Willy Boly (thigh), Dean Henderson (thigh), Giulian Biancone (knee), Omar Richards (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Brennan Johnson (groin), Chris Wood (thigh), Cheickou Kouyate (thigh), Andre Ayew (knee), Serge Aurier (knock), Wayne Hennessey (knee), Ryan Yates (shoulder)

Southampton injuries

OUT: Armel Bella-Kotchap (shoulder), Valentino Livramento (knee), Juan Larios (adductor) | QUESTIONABLE: Che Adams (calf)

Tottenham Hotspur injuries

OUT: Rodrigo Bentancur (torn ACL – out for season), Yves Bissouma (foot), Emerson Royal (knee), Ben Davies (hamstring) | QUESTIONABLE: Richarlison (undisclosed), Hugo Lloris (knee), Ivan Perisic (calf), Ryan Sessegnon (thigh)

West Ham United injuries

QUESTIONABLE: Lukasz Fabianski (face), Michail Antonio (calf)

Wolves injuries

OUT: Hugo Bueno (hamstring), Matheus Nunes (suspension), Diego Costa (knee), Sasa Kalajdzic (torn ACL), Jonny (suspension), Hee-Chan Hwang (undisclosed), Chiquinho (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Boubacar Traore (groin)

Premier League relegation history – What do the stats tell us about this season?

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With nine teams currently separated by four points, from 20th to 12th places, the 2022-23 Premier League relegation scrap is not only set to last until the final day, but the final two months of the season are sure to be one of the wildest roller-coaster rides of all time.

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Three clubs will be relegated from the Premier League (and replaced by three teams from the EFL Championship, of course) at season’s end. Never before have this many clubs been this close to the bottom-three, and the bottom of the table, at this point of a season.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League table for 2022-23 season ]

Below is everything you need to know about the relegation scrap set to unfold over the final eight weeks of the 2022-23 season…


Who are the clubs in this year’s Premier League relegation scrap?

Crystal Palace – 27 points, 12th place
Wolves – 27 points, 13th place
Leeds – 26 points, 14th place
Everton – 26 points, 15th place
Nottingham Forest – 26 points, 16th place
Leicester – 25 points, 17th place
West Ham – 24 points, 18th place
Bournemouth – 24 points, 19th place
Southampton – 23 points, 20th place


What was the magic number to avoid relegation in recent seasons?

2022: 36 points
2021: 29 points
2020: 35 points
2019: 35 points
2018: 34 points
2017: 35 points
2016: 38 points
2015: 36 points
2014: 34 points
2013: 37 points
2012: 37 points
2011: 40 points
2010: 31 points
2009: 35 points
2008: 36 points


When was the last time each club was relegated from the Premier League/top flight?

Fulham: 2021 (promoted 2022 – 1 season in PL)
Bournemouth: 2020 (promoted 2022 – 1 season)
Aston Villa: 2016 (promoted 2020 – 4 seasons)
Newcastle: 2016 (promoted 2017 – 6 seasons)
Wolves: 2012 (promoted 2018 – 5 seasons)
West Ham: 2011 (promoted 2012 – 11 seasons)
Southampton: 2005 (promoted 2012 – 11 seasons)
Crystal Palace: 2005 (promoted 2013 – 10 seasons)
Leeds: 2004 (promoted 2020 – 3 seasons)
Leicester: 2004 (promoted 2014 – 9 seasons)
Manchester City: 2001 (promoted 2002 – 21 seasons)
Nottingham Forest: 1999 (promoted 2022 – 1 season)
Chelsea: 1988 (promoted 1989 – 34 seasons)
Brighton: 1983 (promoted 2017 – 6 seasons)
Tottenham: 1977 (promoted 1978 – 45 seasons)
Manchester United: 1974 (promoted in 1975 – 48 seasons)
Liverpool: 1954 (promoted 1962 – 61 seasons)
Everton: 1951 (promoted 1954 – 69 seasons)
Brentford: 1947 (promoted 2021 – 2 seasons)
Arsenal: 1913 (promoted 1915 – 103 seasons)


How many games remaining between relegation candidates?

There are 23 remaining head-to-head matchups between the nine teams currently in the relegation battle.

Crystal Palace: 8 games (1 against every other team)
Wolves: 4 games
Leeds: 5 games
Everton: 4 games
Nottingham Forest: 4 games
Leicester: 6 games
West Ham: 5 games
Bournemouth: 6 games
Southampton: 4 games


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Indonesia stripped of hosting U20 World Cup by FIFA

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GENEVA — Indonesia was stripped of hosting the men’s U20 World Cup on Wednesday only eight weeks before the start of the tournament amid political turmoil regarding Israel’s participation.

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FIFA said Indonesia was removed from staging the 24-team tournament scheduled to start on May 20 “due to the current circumstances” without specifying details.

The decision came after a meeting in Doha between FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Indonesian soccer federation president Erick Thohir.

Israel qualified last June for its first U20 World Cup. But the country’s participation in Friday’s scheduled draw in Bali provoked political opposition this month.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation and does not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel, while publicly supporting the Palestinian cause.

Indonesia’s hosting was cast into doubt on Sunday when FIFA postponed the draw.

It is unclear who could now host the tournament, which was scheduled to be played in six stadiums in Indonesia. Argentina, which did not qualify for the tournament, is reportedly interested in hosting.

“A new host will be announced as soon as possible, with the dates of the tournament currently remaining unchanged,” FIFA said.

The Indonesian soccer federation could be further disciplined by FIFA. A suspension could remove Indonesia from Asian qualifying for the 2026 World Cup, which starts in October.

FIFA seemed to remove all blame Wednesday from Thohir, the former president of Italian club Inter Milan – the team Infantino supports – and a former co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers.

[ MORE: Manchester City vs Liverpool: How to watch live, stream link, team news ]

FIFA staff will continue to work in Indonesia in the months ahead, the governing body said, “under the leadership of President Thohir.”

Soccer and public authorities in Indonesia agreed to FIFA’s hosting requirements in 2019 before being selected to stage the 2021 edition of the U20 World Cup. The coronavirus pandemic forced the tournament to be postponed for two years.

But Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Tuesday evening that his administration objected to Israel’s participation. He told citizens that the country agreed to host before knowing Israel would qualify.

Israel qualified by reaching the semifinals of the U19 European Championship. The team went on to lose to England in that final.

Israel plays in Europe as a member of UEFA after leaving the Asian Football Confederation in the 1970s for political and security reasons.

FIFA bills the men’s U20 World Cup as “the tournament of tomorrow’s superstars.”

Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Paul Pogba are previous winners of the official player of the tournament award, and Erling Haaland was the top scorer at the 2019 edition.