Axel Tuanzebe

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PL Preview: Bournemouth v. Man United

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  • Bournemouth has not scored in 314 PL minutes
  • The Cherries are winless in last 7 PL matches v. MUFC with 6 losses
  • Man United has not won back-to-back PL games since last March

Manchester United looks to overcome a number of key injuries as the Red Devils travel to Vitality Stadium to take on Bournemouth, Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE HERE

In-form defender Harry Maguire is questionable for the game after picking up a knock in his 90-minute performance against Chelsea in EFL Cup action midweek, while fellow center-back Victor Lindelof and forward Marcus Rashford are also in doubt. Rashford limped off after scoring another vital Red Devils goal midweek, while Lindelof also came off injured during the Chelsea game. The new problems add to the growing list of injury concerns, as Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, and Jesse Lingard are all currently sidelined.

They will go up against a suddenly anemic Bournemouth offense that has been held goalless in three matches and has not scored since the 46th minute of a 2-2 draw with West Ham in late September, held without a league strike the entire month of October. To make matters worse, the Cherries have been locked down by struggling defenses in Arsenal, Watford, and Norwich City in that time.

Injuries/suspensions

Bournemouth: QUESTIONABLE – Dan Gosling (hip). OUT – David Brooks (ankle), Charlie Daniels (knee), Junior Stanislas (knee).

Man United: QUESTIONABLE – Harry Maguire (knock), Marcus Rashford (knee), Victor Lindelof. OUT – Axel Tuanzebe, Luke Shaw (hamstring), Nemanja Matic (undisclosed), Paul Pogba (ankle).


Projected lineups

Bournemouth: Ramsdale; Rico, Ake, Cook, Smith; Lerma, Billing; Cook, Fraser, H Wilson; C Wilson.

Man United: De Gea; Young, Maguire, Rojo, Wan-Bissaka; McTominay, Fred; Rashford, Pereira, James; Martial.


What they’re saying

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe on Solskjaer: “They’ve got quality players, a very good manager who has given them real stability. He’s working to the future to build a new Manchester United. “I imagine it is [hard under the pressure]. I think he’s handled himself really well and done an excellent job to this point.”

Manchester United manager Solskjaer on Scott McTominay“He’s been excellent. And him and Fred work in a good relationship. They’ve played well together, they did that last season at PSG, there were a few games there when we had a few injuries and now they’re working as a pair. But Scotty’s a leader, a Man United boy, he’s come through the ranks you can see he’s been a striker with the goal he scored at Norwich on the half-turn. But he’s developing into a very good midfielder.”


Prediction

Bournemouth’s struggles can’t continue for much longer, can they? Eddie Howe is too good a manager not to drag his side out of the doldrums. With the injuries piling on at Manchester United, the Red Devils could see a slip at Vitality Stadium and slump to a 1-1 draw in a tightly contested match plagued by giveaways in the final third.

EFL Cup Wed. preview: Liverpool host Arsenal; Chelsea v. Man Utd

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After five EFL Cup clashes were played on Tuesday, three more remain in the round of 16 on Wednesday, featuring six Premier League sides and a pair clashes between “big-six” sides.

[ EFL CUP: Man City cruise past Saints; Everton, Leicester into QF ]

First up, it’s PL leaders Liverpool hosting Arsenal at Anfield, where the two sides met back in August. Liverpool cruised to a 3-1 victory that day, extending their unbeaten run against the Gunners to nine games (all in the PL) since their last defeat in April 2015.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side could be without superstars Mohamed Salah (ankle) and Virgil Van Dijk (dead leg), should the manager opt to play it safe after the pair suffered minor injuries in the Reds’ 2-1 comeback victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. For Liverpool, winning on Wednesday is all about momentum as they attempt to keep alive their unbeaten start (11 games) to the domestic season (only loss to Napoli, in Champions League).

As for Arsenal, progression to the quarterfinals would provide a sense of normalcy and calm following the club’s latest crisis. Granit Xhaka has come under harsh scrutiny after he swore at fans and removed his shirt in response to being booed by his own fans as he was subbed off during the Gunners’ 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday. The club’s captain is said to be “devastated and sad,” according to manager Unai Emery. Fortunately for Emery, the EFL Cup is the ideal time to rotate his squad and shield Xhaka from additional scrutiny.

[ MORE: Cryptic Zlatan Ibrahimovic hints at return to Spain ]

Meanwhile in London, a Chelsea side riding its best run of results all season (seven straight wins – all competitions) will welcome Manchester United to Stamford Bridge. Frank Lampard’s side beat Burnley 4-2 on Saturday, a game which featured the first goal (and hat trick) of Christian Pulisic’s Chelsea career. Given his standout performance on the weekend, Pulisic could find himself rotated out of the squad for Wednesday’s game with an eye toward facing Watford in PL play on Saturday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same luxury of squad depth these days, with the likes of Paul Pogba (ankle), Eric Bailly (knee), Nemanja Matic, Luke Shaw (hamstring), Axel Tuanzebe (hip) and Diogo Dalot (groin) all currently out injured. Recent results, however, favor Man United as the Red Devils are unbeaten in their last four meetings with the Blues, including a 4-0 destruction of Chelsea at Old Trafford in August.

Wednesday’s EFL Cup schedule

Liverpool v. Arsenal — 3:30 p.m. ET
Aston Villa v. Wolverhampton Wanderers — 3:45 p.m. ET
Chelsea v. Man United — 4:05 p.m. ET

PL Sunday Preview: Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Man United in action

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Sunday’s slate of Premier League fixtures will have it all, as Arsenal and Crystal Palace battle for the fifth spot; Wolverhampton Wanderers look to continue their positive run against Newcastle; Manchester United look to snap a four-game winless streak as they take on a struggling Norwich City; and Liverpool look to continue their unbeaten season as they host Tottenham.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Newcastle vs. Wolves — 10:00 a.m. ET, on NBCSN

With Andy Carroll injured and weeks removed from their victory over Manchester United, the blues that has permeated thoughtout Newcastle United under Steve Bruce is back full force.

There’s a plethora of questions surrounding Bruce’s employment status, owner Mike Ashley and record signing Miguel Almiron, but, from the looks of it, the Magpies have very few answers to offer. At St, James’ Park against Wolves, who have cleaned up their act – eight points in their last four league matches – since starting the season poorly, Newcastle have the chance to answer the long list of questions.

Bruce, confident of his side true abilities, recognizes that Sunday’s match will be a tough task.

“Wolves have got good players who play in a certain system and do it very well,” the 58-year-old manager said ahead of the match. “They’re a threat – they’re a good side. We’re at home against a very decent Wolves side but we’re capable – we know that – and we’ll have to be at our best to win.”

Wolves, on the other hand, are in the best shape they’ve been all season. Second place in their Europa League group and unbeaten in their last four Premier League bouts, Nuno Espirito Santo is galvanizing his players, specifically Raul Jimenez who has scored or assisted in his last three competitive matches.

With Newcastle as their next stop, there’s a good chance Wolves’ (and Jimenez’s) fine run can continue.

INJURIES: Newcastle — OUT: Andy Carroll (groin), Fabian Schär (knee), Florian Lejeune (knee, Nov); SUSPENDED: Isaac Hayden| Wolves — OUT: None

Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace — 12:30 p.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold

On paper, there is no tighter contest this matchweek than Arsenal versus Crystal Palace.

Only a point separates the Gunners – fifth on the table – from Palace, who are putting together a surprising season under Roy Hodgson – especially taking in consideration the unproductiveness from Wilfried Zaha.

Even though Nicolas Pepe, whose arrival at the Emirates broke the club’s record, stepped up for Arsenal midweek in Europa League play, it’s Mesut Özil’s omission from the squad that has everyone glued on the North London club. Will he return to take on a competitive Palace? Probably not, but that won’t improve the Eagles’ chances, who accept that they are facing one of the fiercest attacking teams led by Andre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

“Arsenal have had a very good start to the season,” Hodgson confessed. “Their attack is very, very dangerous. We realise we are going to face a team with enormous firepower and a team that run a lot and team that are very good with the ball.”

INJURIES: Arsenal — OUT: Reiss Nelson (knee) | Crystal Palace — OUT: Connor Wickham (knock), Mamadou Sakho (knee)

Norwich City vs. Manchester United — 12:30 p.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold

Manchester United are far from being 100 percent, but with the returns of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Anthony Martial this week, the Red Devils can make a much-needed statement of intent as they travel to Carrow Road.

Obviously, the prime objective for Ole Gunnar Solskjær and company is now to get the club out of the lamentable position they are in – 15th on the table after 9 bouts. But the reality is that they have to build their way there by overwriting ongoing deficits. In their last 19 competitive matches, United have scored more than one goal in a single match only once.

Taking on the Canaries’ leaky backline enhances United’s chances of putting an end to their poor run, but if Norwich has shown Solskjær anything it’s their identity at home.

“When I watched Norwich’s first game against Liverpool, I saw a team with a lot of courage,” the Norwegian said. “It’s given them some great results as they beat Newcastle and Manchester City with a clear philosophy on how they want to play.”

“I hope we’re going to stop them because it’s always going to be difficult down at Carrow Road but we’re ready for it now,” he added. “We’ve got some players back.”

With the likes of Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, and Eric Bailly still absent, United are far from full power, but it’s likely they won’t need it to comfortably cruise past Norwich on Sunday, anyways.

INJURIES: Norwich City — OUT: Mario Vrancic (illness), Ralf Fährmann (match fitness), Grant Hanley (groin), Christoph Zimmermann (ankle), Timm Klose (knee) | Manchester United — OUT: Luke Shaw (groin), Paul Pogba (ankle), Eric Bailly (knee), Axel Tuanzebe (hip), Diogo Dalot (groin)

Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 12:30 p.m. ET, on NBC and NBCSports.com

It’s the 2019 Champions League final rematch, but one of last year’s finalist is only a shadow of its former self.

Tottenham may have showed positive moments in their 5-0 win over Red Star Belgrade in Champions League group stage play, however there are serious reparations Mauricio Pochettino needs to get done before his side comes close to the team they were less than a year ago. Their last away league match resulted in a 3-0 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion.

A trip to Anfield to take on a Liverpool that is on cruise control can result as troublesome for Harry Kane and Co., regardless if Jurgen Klopp doesn’t buy that Spurs are having a Champions League final hangover.

“I can say nothing about their situation,” the German said prior to the match. “How can I compare with our situation? It’s not possible to judge from outside. Reporters always ask for your opinion on other clubs and players but you have to be in a situation to understand it.”

“What I can say is what I saw on Tuesday night and that was a very good Tottenham team playing well,” he added.

No matter what Tottenham shows up on Saturday in Liverpool, one can expect for Liverpool – mostly healthy and unbeaten this season after nine matches – to complicate the 90 minutes for the visitors.

INJURIES: Liverpool  OUT: Xherdan Shaqiri (calf), Nathaniel Clyne (knee) | Tottenham  OUT: Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring), Hugo Lloris (elbow)

Pogba, De Gea miss Man United training

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It doesn’t seem like either David De Gea or Paul Pogba will play in the UEFA Europa League for Manchester United on Thursday.

Neither stars were training with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side on Wednesday, ahead of the Red Devils playing at Partizan Belgrade.

It is likely both will be saved for their Premier League clash at Norwich City on Sunday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET online via NBCSports.com), with Pogba in a race against time to be ready.

Pogba has missed United’s last three games after a reoccurrence of foot and ankle issues, as he travelled to Dubai over the international break to try and get himself fit as soon as possible.

De Gea wasn’t expected to play against Liverpool on Sunday after suffering a thigh injury playing for Spain, but the goalkeeper rushed back and will likely be rested with Sergio Romero set to start on Thursday.

Solskjaer’s injury woes are easing a little with Jesse Lingard returning, while Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka played against Liverpool to give the Red Devils a boost.

Luke Shaw and Nemanja Matic are closing in on a return from injury, while Diogo Dalot, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Eric Bailly and now Axel Tuanzebe are out.

With four-straight away games coming up in all competitions, United have reached a pivotal stage of their season after their worst PL start for 30 years.

They play Partizan (Europa League), Norwich, Chelsea (League Cup) and Bournemouth in the next 10 days, and after a morale-boosting performance and draw against Liverpool, Solskjaer is hoping the treatment room continues to empty and confidence continues to build.

Liverpool equalizes, denied history by Manchester United

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Adam Lallana‘s late goal denied Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a statement win as Liverpool came back to take a point from Manchester United in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Marcus Rashford scored the goal, which was upheld by VAR despite a seeming foul in the build-up, while VAR also took a Liverpool goal off the board for handball.

Liverpool was bidding to move to 9-0 on the Premier League season by claiming its ninth-straight away league win and 18th consecutive win overall, but they’ll take the point.

Liverpool leads the league with 25 points, six more than Man City, while United rises 14th with 10 points.


Three stars of the match

1. Marcus Rashford — He didn’t look right over the first 20 minutes, but kept working until he found the opening goal. The effort didn’t stop there, as he managed four successful dribbles and wasn’t credited with a single time dispossessed.

2. Adam Lallana — Jurgen Klopp‘s 71st minute sub scored his first goal since May 2017, coming off the bench and slipping behind United’s defense to punish with an equalizer.

3. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer — Credit where it’s due, especially when we’ve been critical of the Manchester United boss, but Liverpool never found an answer for the Red Devils’ back three. Perhaps more credit to Solskjaer for not going away from it when Axel Tuanzebe went down in warm-ups.

Honorable mention: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fabinho, Scott McTominay, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.


[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

United held the ball for much of the first 10 minutes, but didn’t bother Alisson Becker.

The Reds, on the other hand, saw a 13th minute dribble and shot from Georginio Wijnaldum turn into a David De Gea save.

Cagey and tight, the next shot on target was a 25th minute low effort from Scott McTominay to Alisson.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka was probably the best player on the pitch in the opening half hour, and saw a strong cross cut out by Virgil Van Dijk in the 28th.

Joel Matip spotted a streaking Sadio Mane for a lightning counter out of nothing, but Divock Origi couldn’t make much out of Mane’s feed and De Gea collected the shot.

That’s when United took its lead with one of two first half goals to go to VAR.

Rashford got on the business end of a Daniel James cross, which came two moves after Victor Lindelof kicked Divock Origi as the Belgian lost possession with a sloppy touch. A foul if it’s called, but it wasn’t and VAR did not overrule it.

Mane then had a goal chalked off for a handball, VAR catching a touch most refs wouldn’t.

Liverpool took hold of the game shortly after halftime, but physical United continued its tight marking and heavy tackling.

Daniel James was waylaid on a 50/50 ball with Fabinho and play questionably went on as James lay on the turf with an apparent head injury.

Substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain saw a deflected effort go wide in the 64th, as Jurgen Klopp took off Divock Origi and tried to find an answer to United’s back three.

The next sub was Adam Lallana for Jordan Henderson, as Liverpool had 20 minutes plus stoppage to find an equalizer.

He was the difference maker, as Robertson’s cross bounded through a sea of United defenders to meet him at the back post.