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Premier League Sunday: Arsenal hosts Cherries; Wolves aim to snap skid

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Two of the Premier League week’s three remaining matches take place Sunday morning, with potential movement at both ends of the table.

[ MORE: Chaos at Copa Libertadores final ]


Can Arsenal take advantage of Chelsea’s loss?
Bournemouth vs. Arsenal — 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN [ STREAM ]

Arsenal can move within a point of the Top Four by winning at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday, but the hosts can breathe the rarefied air of sixth if they hold serve against the Gunners.

Bournemouth would move to within a point of the Gunners with a win, and the match is almost certain to entertain given both managers’ desire to play attacking football.

Terriers aim to get off the bottom versus inconsistent Wolves
Wolves vs. Huddersfield Town — 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN [ STREAM ]

Nuno Espirito Santo‘s Wolverhampton Wanderers have hung with the big dogs so far this season, but haven’t always shown up once handed the role of favorites.

That’s what they’ll be when Huddersfield Town heads into the Molineux on Sunday, with Ruben Neves, Raul Jimenez, and Joao Moutinho name quality players mostly absent from the Terriers set-up (with apologies to Aaron Mooy and Jonas Lossl).

Best Premier League signings so far

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As we enter the fourth month of the 2018-19 Premier League season, plenty of new signings from the summer months have settled in well and are ripping it up with their new teams.

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Below is a look at the best signings of the season so far, as we assess which newcomers have made the best starts.


David Brooks (Sheffield United to Bournemouth, $14.8 million)
The Welsh youngster has been a revelation in the Premier League, scoring in three of his last four games and adding pace and a direct nature to Bournemouth’s front line. In his first-ever PL season, Brooks’ form is a big reason why Bournemouth sit in sixth place. Still just 21 years old, Brooks compliments Fraser, Wilson and King very well with his clever runs inside and beyond the last defender causing all kinds of problems for opponents.


Jorginho (Napoli to Chelsea, $73.6 million)
Turned down Manchester City to sign for Chelsea and it seems like an inspired decision. The Italian international has been handed the keys to the Blues’ midfield by new manager Maurizio Sarri, the man who joined him in switching Napoli for Chelsea, and he’s transformed the entire team. Leading the PL in passes attempted and completed most weeks, Jorginho’s ability to select the correct pass and get Chelsea going is a joy to watch.


Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City to Manchester City, $77.4 million)
Struggled initially after his huge summer move but the Algerian winger has found his feet in recent weeks with goals against Burnley and Tottenham. Yes, he skied a penalty kick in the big game at Liverpool, but that happens. Aside from that he’s keeping Leroy Sane out of the team right now. That in itself is a huge achievement and Mahrez is thriving under Pep Guardiola. He adds something a little different to City’s attack and as their only signing of the summer at a club-record fee, Mahrez is coping well with the pressure on his shoulders.


James Maddison (Norwich City to Leicester City, $25.8 million)
The 21-year-old arrived as Mahrez’s replacement and his form early in the season was superb, with goals, trickery and a real understanding with Leicester’s other attackers. That resulted in an England call-up and Maddison will be keen to continue to kick on under Claude Puel in a central or wide role.


Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria to Arsenal, $34 million)
The diminutive Uruguayan has flown under the radar a little with Matteo Geundouzi getting a lot of the plaudits in midfield, but his tidy passing and ability to snap away at tackles in front of the back four has helped Unai Emery turn things around for the Gunners. Arsenal’s defense looks more solid in having Torreira and Geundouzi rampaging around, shutting down attacks in front of them. While the 22-year-old is adept at starting attacks and getting the ball up to the likes of Lacazette and Aubameyang quickly.


Richarlison (Watford to Everton, $51.6 million)
The Brazilian got off to a rapid start to the campaign after Marco Silva returned to his former club Watford to sign the 21-year-old forward. Four goals in his first six Premier League games for the Toffees got everyone excited and he’s been playing up top on his own in recent weeks, stretching opposition defenses whenever he can. A call-up to the full Brazil squad has since arrived and he scored twice in September for the Selecao.


Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United to Fulham, $22.7 million)
Not a totally new signing for Fulham seeing as the bullish Serbian striker spent the second half of last season on loan with the Cottagers as they won promotion to the PL, but his impact this season has been obvious. Mitrovic, 24, scored five goals in his first six PL games of the season but has struggled in recent weeks as Fulham’s defensive frailties have been woefully exposed. Still, it makes you wonder why Newcastle let him go given their goalscoring woes, with Mitrovic a real handful for opposition defenders.


Joao Moutinho (AS Monaco to Wolverhampton Wanderers, $6.4 million)
A contender for bargain of the season, the Portuguese midfielder arrived at Wolves thanks to his agent Jorge Mendes and his close links to the club. Moutinho, 32, scored a stunner at Manchester United to grab Wolves a deserved point and has been superb alongside Ruben Neves in midfield. His veteran leadership, alongside many of his compatriots under Nuno Espirito Santo, has seen Wolves in the discussion as the best-ever newly-promoted team in the PL era. His class on the ball is unquestionable.


Matteo Geundouzi (Lorient to Arsenal, $9 million)
Still just 19 years old, nobody expected this from Guendouzi. Perhaps his manager Emery did, having seen him at PSG’s academy and at Lorient in the second-tier in France, but the teenager has been a revelation early in the campaign. Some would say he is the combative defensive midfielder Arsenal have been missing for decades, and it would be hard to argue with that. He is still very raw but he has all of the tools to succeed in the Premier League. A very promising start.


Danny Ings (Liverpool to Southampton, loan then $23.2 million buy)
Four goals in his first nine PL games for his hometown club represents a decent start for Ings after his move from Liverpool, but the Englishman will be thinking he should have scored more. That’s a good thing. Still a little rusty after several seasons of injury struggles, Ings is showing his best form in spurts and Southampton will hope he is back to his best very shortly. He has scored 50 percent of their goals so far this season which tells us just how important he is for Mark Hughes‘ team.


Honorable mentions: Rui Patricio (Wolves), Felipe Anderson (West Ham), Fred (Manchester United), Alisson (Liverpool), Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth), Andre Schurrle (Fulham), Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool).

Report: Henry set to take Monaco job as Jardim shown door

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One of the most gifted talents in world soccer history could be taking the reins of a club known for developing such players.

Thierry Henry is about to get the keys to AS Monaco, the club that raised him, as the floundering French club is set to fire Leonardo Jardim according to ESPN.

[ PL ROUNDTABLE: The story so far ]

Monaco has just one win in nine matches to start the Ligue 1 season, and sits in 18th place. It’s also lost its first two Champions League matches of the group stage ahead of two must-win contests with Club Brugge.

Henry, 41, saw his star rise this summer as an assistant to Roberto Martinez in Belgium’s impressive World Cup run.

Monaco has sold an almost overwhelming amount of talent in the past few seasons, sending Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar, Fabinho, Terence Kongolo, Joao Moutinho, Benjamin Mendy, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Bernardo Silva, and oh my goodness I’m still typing.

Henry was reportedly offered the Bordeaux job earlier this season, but patience has paid off for the former Arsenal, Barcelona, and New York Red Bulls star.

Going the Zinedine Zidane route is intriguing for Monaco and Henry, who will not be expected to push the squad from a relegation fight to the title, and will have plenty of patience and the opportunity to either rescue the Champions League campaign or run the club into a Europa League experience.

With new pieces Aleksandr Golovin and Nacer Chadli joining Danijel Subasic, Kamil Glik, Youri Tielemans, and Radamel Falcao, the club will be fine in Ligue 1. And if Henry can develop youngsters like Moussa Sylla, Willem Geubbels, and Pietro Pellegri (when healthy), he’ll only grow his star in Europe. If he fails, so what? The club won’t be relegated and a native son will likely be viewed as a man in a bare cupboard situation.

Wolves 2-0 Southampton: Championship winners up to 8th

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  • Wolves scored 2 goals in the final 12 minutes
  • Rui Patricio made 6 saves
  • Wolves up to 8th in the Premier League table

Wolverhampton may be newly promoted, but teams already know not to take last year’s Championship winners lightly. It still didn’t matter.

The home side didn’t exactly have the greatest performance, but they held Southampton at bay and made the Saints pay down the stretch as substitute Ivan Cavaleiro scored just two minutes after entering the match, and Jonny earned his first Premier League goal to put the game away late.

It wasn’t pretty at times, but Wolves weathered moments of Southampton pressure to stay the course and earn three more points at Monlineux. Ivan Cavaleiro scored the winner on his Premier League debut having come on just two minutes later.

Wolves proved dangerous early on, as Ruben Neves took a pair of free-kicks in threatening positions inside the opening 10 minutes, and the latter produced an open header for defender Matthew Doherty but he put it harmlessly wide left.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Again Wolves had a big chance on the 10-minute mark as Helder Costa completely roasted a defender and picked out a run down the left, and while the cross was deflected, it fell right to Jonny who found himself unmarked on the penalty spot, but Alex McCarthy produced a spectacular save to deny the effort.

The home side continued to hound the Southampton midfield, bursting forward on numerous occasions and forcing the Saints defenders to foul them in the attacking third. Finally, Southampton began to build itself into the game past the 25-minute mark, and Joao Moutinho was lucky to get away without a caution after a sliding tackle through the back of Mohamed Elyounoussi.

Elyounoussi beat Jonny on a right-sided run, and was found by Nathan Redmond, but Rui Patricio came off his line to smother the chance. Southampton continued to grow, and Danny Ings just missed the top-right corner with an audacious curler from a good distance out. Neves had a half-chance on the break but put his shot from distance well wide left.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Neither team had another serious effort on net before the half, and after the break, the home side was the first to take the initiative. A Moutinho run drew a yellow card for Ryan Bertrand blocking him off, while Diogo Jota earned himself one seconds later for chopping down Mario Lemina.

Southampton remained the more assertive side after the break, but they wouldn’t produce much on net, and would be made to pay. With 12 minutes remaining, Wolves went in front thanks to the persistence of substitute Adama Traore and the unselfishness of Raul Jiminez. Traore, signed this summer from Middlesborough, burst down the right and beat two defenders in style. He worked space for a cross that found Jiminez on the doorstep, but with his back to net he chose a layoff to substitute Ivan Cavaliero who powered a bullet into the back of the net for a debut goal.

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McCarthy was required to keep the deficit at just one, denying Jiminez a bullet header with a stunning save as he dove to his right with the post bearing down. Unfortunately for the visitors, that second would come to put the game away. Doherty got past Stuart Armstrong all too easy down the right, and from that point he poked to Jonny on the doorstep who slid the ball through the legs of McCarthy for the second. Armstrong’s defending was a mess, leaving Southampton wide open.

That would draw curtains on the match, leaving Wolves with a less than stellar performance but a win nonetheless, pushing the newly promoted club all the way to eighth in the Premier League table with 12 points on the young season. Southampton, meanwhile, moves up one spot to 15th despite the loss thanks to Fulham’s poor showing at Goodison Park.

Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 6

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Two teams in claret are leaping up our table as the Premier League eyes up a tasty weekend with matches at both ends of the table.

[ MORE: League Cup wrap ]

Chelsea will host Liverpool in a bid to knock off the Reds for a second time in four days, while Cardiff City hopes Burnley will be waylaid by a shock loss to Burton Albion in the League Cup.

To the rankings!

20. Huddersfield Town — Both Cardiff and Huddersfield will be looking for each other on the schedule, only to realize that’s where both acquired one of their measly two points.
Last week: 18
Season high: 18
Season low: 20

19. Cardiff City — Neil Warnock‘s Bluebirds get to sit above Huddersfield on account of their last three matches, all losses, coming against Arsenal, Chelsea, and Man City.
Last week: 19
Season high: 19
Season low: 20

18. Newcastle United — Celebrated the end of a tough early season run of fixtures by nearly losing to Palace and scrambling to find any notion of offense in the scoreless draw. Rafa Benitez clearly has little trust for his strikers.
Last week: 17
Season high: 13
Season low: 18

17. Burnley — Celebrate! The Clarets absolutely crushed Bournemouth at Turf Moor to ring in some good times and climb out of our, and the real table’s, Bottom Three.
Last week: 20
Season high: 15
Season low: 20

16. Southampton — Not being able to use Danny Ings against his parent club had three points in Liverpool’s side of the board before the match began at Anfield.
Last week: 14
Season high: 13
Season low: 17

15. Fulham — The Cottagers only loss in four matches was against Man City. The question is whether Fulham has enough defense to limit goals. The club has not kept a clean sheet and has only allowed one goal on one occasion.
Last week: 15
Season high: 11
Season low: 17

14. Brighton and Hove Albion — A rainy visit from Spurs ended 2-1 in favor of Tottenham, but there was reason to believe the Seagulls could’ve managed a third successive 2-2 draw.
Last week: 12
Season high: 9
Season low: 19

13. Everton — Having Richarlison back in encouraging, but not much else about the 2-0 loss at Arsenal is giving us hope about Everton rising too high up the table.
Last week: 10
Season high: 5
Season low: 11

12. Crystal Palace — Mamadou Sakho‘s missed sitter at the back post is going to be one of the things we look back on if Palace fails to finish top half.
Last week: 11
Season high: 6
Season low: 13

11. West Ham United — We know this is a terrific jump for a club who lost its first four matches of the season, but Manuel Pellegrini‘s side was always too talented and too high-powered to be a Bottom Three candidate.
Last week: 16
Season high: 16
Season low: 20

(Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

10. Leicester City — If Claude Puel‘s men are for real, they’ll do a job against Newcastle United this week.
Last week: 13
Season high: 8
Season low: 13

9. Bournemouth — A mighty shot back to Earth for the Cherries, though admittedly the 4-0 loss at Burnley wasn’t reflective of their performance.
Last week: 6
Season high: 6
Season low: 12

8. Watford — Fourth in the table, but failing to get more than a point at home to Fulham has the feel of sheep in wolves’ clothing (or at least less vicious dogs in wolves’ clothing).
Last week: 5
Season high: 4
Season low: 8

7. Manchester United — If the off-field subplots weren’t running so rampant, the draw against Wolves would be easily forgiven. Instead, they’ve run into a League Cup upset at the hands of Derby County. Beware the match-up with West Ham early Saturday (Watch live at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
Last week: 7
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

6. Tottenham Hotspur — The win against Brighton failed to inspire, but Erik Lamela is rounding into form. Dele Alli‘s midweek League Cup goal could be the jolt his season needed at Stadium MK.
Last week: 8
Season high: 3
Season low: 8

5. Wolves — Fun to watch, and have drawn both Manchester clubs (including United away). Nuno Espirito Santo‘s on hallowed ground.
Last week: 8
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Joao Moutinho (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

4. Arsenal — Winners of four-straight in league play, a defeat of Watford at the weekend would show signs of true contention.
Last week: 4
Season high: 4
Season low: 9

3. Chelsea — The draw against West Ham was unlucky, but Maurizio Sarri‘s men will be serious title fighters if either Olivier Giroud or Alvaro Morata can find their in-form finishing boots.
Last week: 3
Season high: 3
Season low: 4

2. Manchester City — Just another ho-hum 5-0 win. Avoiding a slip-up at Brighton in a classic trap game before trips to Hoffenheim and Liverpool will be paramount to their title hopes.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 2

  1. Liverpool — The perfect season was lost in a home defeat to Chelsea at midweek. Now can they flip the script when the same two teams switch venues and put all their stars on show in London on Saturday?
    Last week: 1
    Season high: 1
    Season low: 2