Getty Images

WATCH: World Cup semifinal – France v Belgium

Leave a comment

After what’s seemed like an eternity, the 2018 World Cup semifinals are finally here!

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

From St. Petersburg, it’s a battle between two Western European nations that share a 385-mile border as France takes on Belgium.

The Red Devils have been the darlings of the tournament, having come back from a two-goal deficit to beat Japan in thrilling fashion before dispatching Brazil in the World Cup quarterfinals. France, on the other hand, have looked good but never great, except in flashes on the counter attack in the wild 4-3 win over Argentina in the Round of 16.

Facing arguably the best (or second-best after Argentina) front three, France will have a lot on its plate defensively. But Belgium manager Roberto Martinez is clearly worried about France’s attackers including Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, bringing in Moussa Dembele in a three-man holding midfield trio.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

Tuesday’s match promises to be yet another exciting, dramatic match in a World Cup that has been filled to the brim with drama.


2018 World Cup schedule – Tuesday, July 10

Semifinal 

France vs. Belgium; St. Petersburg — 2 p.m. ET — LIVE COVERAGE

Premier League Preview: West Brom v. Tottenham Hotspur

Clive Rose/Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • West Brom has just one win in last 16 against Spurs
  • Tottenham has scored at least once in last 23 league matches
  • Baggies winless in previous six home games (2D, 4L)

West Bromwich Albion hosts Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as the Baggies aim to stay afloat in the Premier League.

Anything outside of a victory in their final two matches will see West Brom drop to the Championship, as the Baggies sit on 28 points — five out of 17th place.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

The Baggies are unbeaten in their last four matches, which gives the club genuine hope heading into their last two fixtures, however, only one game has resulted in three points.

Key injuries for both sides could leave them in a bit of a pickle, as Gareth Barry and James Morrison remain sidelined for the Baggies, while Moussa Dembele, Danny Rose and Harry Winks won’t feature for Spurs.

What they’re saying

West Brom boss Darren Moore named Manager of the Month: “It’s great to be nominated with those calibre of managers, it really, really is – I am honoured. But I will share that nomination with everybody here at West Brom. The reason I can sit up here and talk about it is because of the tremendous work everybody has done behind the scenes.”

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino on West Brom’s recent form: “West Brom are showing great character in their last few games – the capacity to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford and draw with Liverpool. They are doing fantastic in the last few months and of course they have the belief still [that they can stay up]. We are playing to be in the top four and try to play Champions League next season. I think it will be a massive battle for them, but also for us.”

Prediction

The task is anything but simple for the Baggies, particularly against a Spurs side with so much quality. Darren Moore’s side has performed admirably over the last month, but the team needed at least another victory during that span to have a legitimate shot at safety. Even with two wins down the stretch, which isn’t likely, survival isn’t a certainty for the West Midlands side. West Brom 1-3 Tottenham

Celtic tops Rangers in Scottish Cup semfinal

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tom Rogic scored twice and Moussa Dembele converted a pair of penalties as Celtic knocked Rangers out of the Scottish Cup with a 4-0 semifinal win on Sunday at Hampden Park.

Celtic moves on to play Motherwell in the final on May 19.

[ MORE: Newcastle tops Arsenal ]

Celtic went ahead through Rogic, who made a strong cutback after a trio of good passes through the right of the box.

It was 2-0 through a fine Rogic finish again, the Australian taking advantage of a mishit clearance in the box which may as well have been a pass.

Ross McCrorie was sent off in the 51st minute after conceding a penalty, and Dembele converted to clinch another Old Firm Derby win for Celtic.

10-man Celtic wins Old Firm thriller at Rangers (video)

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
1 Comment

Odsonne Edouard’s second-half goal defied a Celtic red card as the 10-man visitors claimed all three Old Firm Derby points with a 3-2 comeback win over Rangers on Sunday at the Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow.

Celtic is unbeaten over 90 minutes in 12-straight against their Old Firm rivals, winning eight times including five at the Ibrox. Rangers won a League Cup match in penalty kicks.

Rangers led 1-0 and 2-1 through Josh Windass and Daniel Daneias, but Celtic found answers through Tom Rogic and Moussa Dembele before halftime.

Jozo Šimunović was sent off with 33 minutes to play, but Celtic found its winner and went nine points clear of their historic rivals with a match-in-hand. Rangers remain second, five points ahead of Aberdeen.

[ MORE: Fiorentina salutes Astori ]

An awful giveaway from Dedryck Boyata allowed Windass to put Rangers ahead after three minutes.

But the champs answered through Rogic’s classy finish to level the score in the 10th.

That wasn’t it for the insane stanza, and Rangers capitalized on sloppy Boyata defending to retake the lead through Daneias.

But ‘Gers killer Dembele got on the end of a Scott Brown long ball to have it 2-2 at the break.

Šimunović was shown a red card by referee Willie Collum in the 57th minute, a high elbow ending his day and putting the visitors in a bad place.

Yet, somehow, the reigning champions found the next goal through Edouard, set up by Dembele and scoring from just inside the 18.

PL Preview: Tottenham vs. Everton

Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • Everton has not beaten Tottenham in any competitions since 2008
  • Tottenham are unbeaten in 10 home league matches
  • Everton have scored just one goal in their last four games

An important top-half clash comes your way Saturday as Tottenham hosts Everton at White Hart Lane, live on NBC at 12:30 p.m. ET or live online at NBCSports.com.

Spurs sit fifth in the Premier League table with 41 points, and they are looking in both directions as they chase Liverpool three points above them in a Champions League place and hope to fend off Arsenal two points back in sixth. While the Premier League title is likely wrapped up barring a historic collapse, the Champions League places are very much up for grabs.

WATCH LIVE, HERE

Since losing 4-1 to likely champions Manchester City, Spurs have rebounded with three Premier League wins and a draw. Harry Kane is in unstoppable form, with a pair of hat-tricks over the festive period followed by a brace midweek in FA Cup action against AFC Wimbledon. Key to that midweek Cup match was the return of Moussa Dembele, who played a full 90 minutes for the first time since December 16th. Dembele has lost his place in the team due to both fitness concerns and poor form, but the 30-year-old played well against Wimbledon and could potentially see a return to the starting lineup.

On the other side, Everton has seen a brutal dip in form strike the Toffees, with just one Premier League win since December 2nd. A loss to Bournemouth and a draw with West Brom highlight the disappointing results of late, and it appears the honeymoon period with new manager Sam Allardyce is over.

However, they could receive a boost as new signing Cenk Tosun, a 26-year-old Turkish international, could make his first Everton appearance as the Toffees look for help up front. The striker had eight goals in 14 Turkish Super Lig appearances for Besiktas this season before his transfer, and 14 goals in 24 appearances over all competitions. Everton is starved for goalscoring prowess, with just one goal in their last four matches.

INJURIES: Tottenham — OUT: Harry Winks (ankle), Danny Rose (knee), Toby Alderweireld (hamstring). | Everton — OUT: Michael Keane (foot), Idrissa Gueye (hamstring).


What they’re saying

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino on the potential for new signings: “Until today, now, no-one is close to arriving in this transfer window.  Maybe in five minutes something happens. But until now, before the press conference, nothing is close. I’m not concerned, not worried. I think we’re working and of course we’re awake about the market. If something’s available in the terms that we can take, of course we are going to do it.”

Everton manager Sam Allardyce on balancing Everton’s weaknesses: “I think the service provided in the final third is one of our weaknesses and why we’re not scoring enough goals. We don’t have enough natural goalscorers so we have to try and work on that without losing our defensive qualities.”

Prediction

Cenk Tosun is a quality signing and will help Everton up front, especially against a defensively depleted Spurs, but they won’t be able to contain the home side all game, and this ends up as a 1-1 draw that is disappointing for both sides.