Robbie Brady

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Premier League friendlies: Watford beats Bayer, Man Utd over Inter

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Arsenal and Fiorentina are set to kickoff in Charlotte tonight, with the Gunners the last of a bevy of Premier League sides to engage in preseason friendlies this muggy Saturday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]


Girona 1-2 Bournemouth

Juanpe’s late header pushed La Liga’s hosts past Eddie Howe and his 10-man Cherries, playing down after VAR deemed Jack Simpson‘s foul worthy of a sending off. Ryan Fraser scored Bournemouth’s goal, assisted by Jordon Ibe.

Northampton Town 0-4 Sheffield United

Oliver Norwood converted two penalties in an easy win for Chris Wilder in his return to a club he played for and managed.

Fulham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion

Pascal Gross scored with an early free kick — a Megan Rapinoe special — but Tom Cairney scored twice after halftime for the Championship side.

Cheltenham Town 1-2 Leicester City

The Foxes collected a second win over a lower league side this week, with Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton on the board.

Newcastle United 1-0 West Ham United (Shanghai)

New manager Steve Bruce watched from the crowd as the Magpies made amends for a 4-0 loss to Wolves by blanking West Ham. Jamie Sterry‘s cross for Yoshinori Muto was delightful, and the Japanese striker’s finish was well-taken.

Port Vale 1-3 Burnley; Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Burnley

Chris Wood, Matej Vydra and Robbie Brady scored as the Clarets overcame an early Nick Pope goal to beat Port Vale, but the Premier League side couldn’t do much in a simultaneous friendly at Crewe.

Inter Milan 0-1 Manchester United (Singapore)

Substitute forward Mason Greenwood, just 17, scored the late goal in a match United controlled, outshooting Inter 21-8.

Preston North End 1-3 Southampton

Brace-bagging Danny Ings doesn’t usually have a problem with finish, so passing the ball directly to him is not something we’d recommend to goalkeepers. Jake Vokins also scored for Saints at Deepdale.

Watford 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Austria)

Will Hughes and Andre Gray scored as the Hornets collected a win over Champions League competition.

Man City (0-0, 2-3 pens) Wolves (Shanghai)

Rui Patricio was very good over 90 minutes, and stopped City’s first two penalty attempts as Wolves continue to perplex the PL champions.

PL Preview: Manchester United v. Burnley

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to win his ninth consecutive game in charge of Manchester United when the Red Devils host upstart Burnley (Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

All of the sudden since late December, Manchester United has looked like its old self, and it may be the worst time in the season for Burnley to make a visit to Old Trafford. Burnley has bumped itself three points out of the relegation zone with a four-match unbeaten run in the league, but it will be a tall task to top this in-form Man United side.

[Watch Live: Manchester United v. Burnley]

Chris Smalling could make his return to the field for Man United, though Marcos Rojo is a doubt and Marouane Fellaini is out with a calf injury. For Burnley, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Phil Bardsley have a chance to feature, with Robbie Brady working his way back to fitness as well.

Incredibly, with a win Solskjaer would break a Premier League record, with seven consecutive league wins to start his managerial run at Man United.

What They’re Saying? 

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on rotating his forwards: “So far, it’s been no problem. We’ve got so many games. As soon as it becomes one game a week, it might be a problem. We rotate even during games. When we can put Anthony [Martial] and ‘Rashy’ [Marcus Rashford] on for Alexis (Sanchez) and Rom(elu Lukaku), who did a fantastic job [at Arsenal], it is only going to help us. The players have been very, very good at staying ready and being ready when they get on.“

Burnley manager Sean Dyche on facing Man United“It’s a tough game because they are in good form at the minute, and statistically it is harder at the big clubs. But we have got results there on the last two occasions, and it was a soft decision that went against us last year for the free kick that got them back into it. The last one doesn’t guarantee the next one, of course, but it can be done. We need things to go our way, but the key is to play well and hopefully we’ll have players back from injury as well, who could come in and we can factor into the equation.”

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Prediction

Burnley has been on a decent run of form, but it comes to an end on Tuesday at Man United. Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and more connect on wave after wave of attacks. Manchester United 3-1 Burnley 

PL Preview: Arsenal v. Burnley

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With Arsenal’s 21-match unbeaten run now in the past, the Gunners are just looking to stay above water through the festive period, with defensive frailties taking a toll. They must piece together a back line to stay afloat as the Gunners host Burnley at the Emirates at 7:30 a.m. ET on Saturday live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, and Konstantinos Mavropanos are all out injured, leaving the defensive unit for the Gunners thinner than ever. Thankfully, Sokratis is back from suspension, but he and Laurent Koscielny are the only healthy center-backs on the roster.

[ WATCH LIVE: Arsenal v. Burnley on NBCSports.com ]

The unbeaten run came to an end last time out, falling to relegation-threatened Southampton 3-2 with Stephen Lichtsteiner and Granit Xhaka joining forces with Koscielny in a three-man back line. Twice Arsenal fought back from a one-goal deficit before Charlie Austin secured all three points for the Saints in the 85th minute.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is also out injured for the Gunners, while Sead Kolasinac will be a gametime decision. Mesut Ozil is confirmed to be involved against Burnley after being left out of the squad in recent weeks for “tactical reasons” according to manager Unai Emery.

For Burnley, the Clarets have won just once over their last five matches, and would love to pick up points against the ailing Gunners before a critical run in the relegation battle, with games against Huddersfield Town and Fulham on the horizon. Sean Dyche‘s men will be without Aaron Lennon, but Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady are working to make a return.

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What they’re saying

Arsenal manager Emery on Burnley: “We have big respect for them. They are a good team, with good players. Defensively they are very hard and can play with a lot of long balls, a lot of crosses, to create chances to score.”

Burnley manager Dyche on playing bigger clubs: “If everyone thinks that every team in the Premier League is going to play the beautiful game, at the moment there’s only one winner and that’s Manchester City. We’ve got to find a way and we’ve done that consistently over the six years that I’ve been here. We’ve found a way of being successful. We’ve had to fight, we’ve had to work, we’ve played some good stuff at times, we’ve played some productive stuff, we’ve played some hard stuff, but we’ve found a way and I think that doesn’t change. When you’re playing these big clubs it’s very, very difficult. It’s more reality tactics rather than negative tactics for me.”

Prediction

Arsenal’s defensive woes will be taxing over the festive period, but at least two central defenders are healthy to play a normal back line. Barring any additional injuries during the match, the Gunners should be able to take down a sliding Burnley with no trouble, with Mesut Ozil back and playing a role. Look for Arsenal to win 2-0 and get back to winning ways.

Watch Live: Burnley v. Newcastle United

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Burnley host Newcastle United on Monday at Turf Moor (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as the two teams meet in very different form.

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The hosts have failed to win any of their last five Premier League games, while Newcastle have won two on the trot as Rafael Benitez has turned things around in recent weeks.

Expect this to be a tough, physical battle as the two most northerly PL clubs clash on a chilly November evening.

In team news Burnley have Steven Defour and Robbie Brady in their starting lineup, while Newcastle make one change as Ciaran Clark comes in for Paul Dummett.


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Chelsea remain unbeaten, thrash Burnley

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  • Chelsea 14 games unbeaten 
  • Barkley with a goal, assist
  • Burnley without a win in three games

Chelsea eased to a 4-0 victory away at Burnley on Sunday, with Maurizio Sarri yet to taste defeat as Chelsea’s manager.

Alvaro Morata gave Chelsea the lead after a fine pass from Ross Barkley, and Barkley made it 2-0 in the second half before Willian and Ruben Loftus-Cheek finished Burnley off.

With the win Chelsea move on to 24 points for the season, while Sean Dyche‘s Burnley stay on eight points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Chelsea went close to taking the lead early on as Alvaro Morata redirected a header on goal but Joe Hart made a wonderful reaction save to keep him out. At the other end a high ball into the box caused Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa problems as Burnley’s Robbie Brady dragged a shot just wide of the post.

Chelsea continued to pour forward as Morata linked up well with Willian but the Brazilian curled a shot off the far post, but moments later Chelsea took the lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Ross Barkley played in Morata who finished low past Hart to give Chelsea a deserved 1-0 advantage. Pedro was forced off with an injury before the break with Loftus-Cheek coming on in his place.

Morata had two more decent chances but first put a tame effort wide and then Hart denied his powerful volley after a lovely ball over the top from Jorginho. And right on half time Morata went down easily in the box and was booked for simulation as Burnley’s players surrounded him angrily.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

In the second half Chelsea continued to pour forward as Willian crossed but Morata nodded just wide. Then Barkley made it 2-0 as he surged forward and drilled home a low shot to cap off a fine individual display.

Willian made it 3-0 with a lovely run and low finish into the far corner as the Blues ran riot.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Olivier Giroud flashed an effort just wide of the far post and then forced Hart to tip his header onto the bar after coming on as a sub.

Loftus-Cheek swept home a fourth in stoppage time for Chelsea to cap a fine week for the academy graduate, as Burnley were grateful to hear the final whistle.