Tomer Hemed

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Weekend friendly preview: Home preseason stretch

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The Premier League season is just around the corner. How do we know? The Community Shield is Sunday, with less than a week to go before the campaign opener.

But teams have just a little more preparation to do. On Friday, four Premier League teams were in action, and three found victory lane.

Huddersfield Town torched Bundesliga side RB Leipzig 3-0 in Austria. Steve Mounie started things off in the 10th minute with a header off brilliant combination play down the left, while 22-year-old Adama Diakhaby grabbed the second right on the hour mark, and Philip Billing finished it off six minutes later.

West Ham topped French club Angers 1-0 in Austria as well on a goal from Mexican international Chicharito, largely thanks to the strong hold-up play of Marko Arnautovic on the left touchline.

That wraps things up for the Hammers, who will open their season next Sunday against Liverpool.

Also winning is Brighton & Hove Albion, beating Ligue 1 side Nantes 2-1 at home. They went 2-0 up on goals by Tomer Hemed and Pascal Gross, before conceding in the 80th minute. Finally, Bournemouth was the only Premier League club to lose Friday as they fell 2-0 to rising La Liga club Real Betis.

The list below is the remaining friendly schedule before the season starts, with most of it to come this weekend. Many teams with just one tuneup left will look to put their likely Premier League starting lineup out on the field together, so fans can get an idea of what the teamsheet will look like next weekend.

Sat, Aug 4 – vs. Lazio (Stockholm, Sweden)

Sat, Aug 4 – vs. Olympique Marseille (Vitality Stadium)

Brighton & Hove Albion

Burnley has already begun its season with the early rounds of Europa League qualifying

Cardiff City

Tue, Aug 7 – vs. Lyon (Stamford Bridge)
Chelsea also has the Community Shield vs. Manchester City on Sun, Aug 5

Crystal Palace
Sat, Aug 4 – vs. Toulouse (Selhurst Park)

Sat, Aug 4 – vs. Valencia (Goodison Park)

Sat, Aug 4 – vs. Celta Vigo (Craven Cottage)

Huddersfield Town

Leicester City
Sat, Aug 4 – vs. Lille (Lille, France)

Sat, Aug 4 – Napoli (Dublin, Ireland)
Tue, Aug 7 – Torino (Anfield)

Manchester City
Manchester City has the Community Shield vs. Chelsea on Sun, Aug 5

Manchester United
Sun, Aug 5 – vs. Bayern Munich (Munich, Germany)

Newcastle United
Sat, Aug 4 – vs. FC Augsburg (St. James Park)

Sat, Aug 4 – vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (St. Mary’s Stadium)

Tottenham Hotspur
Sat, Aug 4 – vs. Girona (Girona, Italy)

Sat, Aug 4 – vs. Sampdoria (Vicarage Road)

West Ham United

7 good, 7 bad: Analyzing the PL January deals

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With a record $596.7 million spent on new players by Premier League clubs in January, there are plenty of new faces who are either settling in at their new clubs or they’re about to.

[ MORE: Latest January transfer news ] 

Bearing that in mind, let’s focus on seven deals which were good and seven deals where they jury remains well and truly out.

[ MORE: January transfer grades for each club ] 

Remember: the term “panic buy” was invented for the January window…


1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Dortmund to Arsenal, $79.6 million) – The big man should be a big player for Arsenal for many years to come and he joins as the reigning top goalscorer in the Bundesliga with a reputation for holding the ball up and finishing chances clinically. Auba’s arrival is a big boost for the Gunners and it will be intriguing to see if Lacazette lines up alongside him.
2. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool to West Brom, loan) – Could prove to be the signing of the January window, if he stays fit. Sturridge’s pedigree as a supreme goalscorer is undoubted but he had no chances of regular minutes. Fair play to him for rolling up his sleeves in a relegation battle at West Brom rather than joining Inter Milan or Sevilla. He needs to play well, and scored goals, to work himself into England’s 2018 World Cup squad.
3. Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal to Man United, swap) – We all know about Sanchez’s quality and once Mourinho finds the perfect place for him in the lineup, he will flourish. He could perhaps do his best work centrally behind Lukaku before drifting out wide. Huge wages, but a swap deal for Mkhitaryan represented a wonderful deal for United.

4. Lucas Moura (PSG to Tottenham, $32.6 million) – This one flew under the radar on Deadline Day but could be the biggest bargain of them all. The former Real Madrid winger can rip opponents apart but was out of favor at PSG despite his best mate Neymar urging him to stay, The Brazilian winger will expect to start right away at Spurs.
5. Theo Walcott (Arsenal to Everton, $28.4 million) – Two goals and an assist in his first two games for Everton is a very tidy return and Walcott is another player hungry to get back into the England squad ahead of the World Cup. That’s good news for Everton and he’s made a flying start.
6. Fousseni Diabate (Ajaccio to Leicester, $2.55 million) – Another gem from France’s second tier for the Foxex as Diabete scored twice during his debut in the FA Cup and could be a replacement for Riyad Mahrez, long term. Pace, power and trickery, Diabete should slot into life in the PL very easily.
7. Joao Mario (Inter Milan to West Ham, loan) – Looks like an inspired loan deal until the end of the season with Mario being named Man of the Match on his PL debut. The Hammers may have finally replaced Dimitri Payet


1. Cenk Tosun (Besiktas to Everton, $38.3 million) – It appears that Besiktas have had a bit of a touch with this deal. Everton were desperate to bring in a new striker at the start of the window and they overpaid for Tosun. The Turkish striker has 64 goals in 124 games for Turkey but in his first few appearances for Everton he has looked off the pace.
2. Andre Ayew (West Ham to Swansea City, $25.5 million) – Bit of a strange deal this one. Andre Ayew didn’t want to move back to Swansea for most of the window, then all of a sudden he did. Swansea have paid a club-record fee for an injury prone striker who scored nine PL goals in 43 appearances for West Ham over the past two seasons. Hardly prolific.
3. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Man United to Arsenal, swap) – Something about this just tells me it won’t quite be the success we all think. Yes, Mkhitaryan has his buddy Aubameyang with him, but there’s a lot of expectation on his shoulders. Failed to take games by the scruff of the neck at United over the last 18 months.

4. Guido Carrillo (Monaco to Southampton, $27.1 million) – A little harsh based on two sub appearances for Saints, but he didn’t exactly rip it up at Monaco. It appears the Ligue 1 club were quite surprised to see Saints spend a club-record fee. Pellegrino is desperate for goals but Carillo averages 1 every four  games in his career.
5. Ross Barkley (Everton to Chelsea, $21.3 million) – Looks a shadow of the player he was at Everton 18 months ago and Barkley’s career is in serious danger if it carries on in this trajectory. Is he going to be another promising Englishman who ends up on the Chelsea scrapheap?
6. Alex Pritchard (Norwich City to Huddersfield, $15.6 million) – Lot of pressure on his shoulders as the club-record signing and has so far struggled to settle into a struggling Terriers side.
7. Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester to Brighton, loan) – This move seems to be all about nostalgia. Yes, Ulloa is an aerial presence, but is he really better than Glenn Murray and Tomer Hemed? Probably not.

Brighton 0-4 Chelsea: Magic Hazard runs the show

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  • Chelsea snap run of five-straight draws
  • Brighton have one win in last 13 PL games
  • Hazard scores twice, rips Brighton apart
  • Chelsea have won 11 of last 16 games

Chelsea beat Brighton and Hove Albion 4-0 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday as Eden Hazard scored twice and tore the Seagulls apart.

Two goals in the opening six minutes from Hazard and Willian set Chelsea on their way to victory, then Hazard capped the win off with a fine individual goal late on and Victor Moses added a fourth.

Brighton battled hard and hit the woodwork and had penalty shouts but Chris Hughton‘s men were outclassed by Hazard in dazzling form.

Without the suspended duo of Alvaro Morata and Pedro, plus injured goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea deserved the win and moved level on 50 points with second-place Manchester United, while the Seagulls are just three points above the drop zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Less than three minutes into the game Chelsea took the lead as Moses’ cross from the right deflected into Hazard’s path and the Belgian took a touch to settle himself before he rifled home.

It got worse soon after for Brighton as Chelsea pounced to double their lead via Willian. The Brazilian surged forward, played the ball into Eden Hazard and he then flicked the ball into Michy Batshuayi with the back of his heel and Batshuayi followed suit to play in Willian who fired home. 2-0 with six minutes on the clock.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Brighton responded well and should have had a penalty kick as Willy Caballero rushed off his line and appeared to catch Ezequiel Schelotto, but no penalty kick was given and Chelsea cleared the danger. Moments later a high ball into the box caused Cabellero problems again as he flapped at a cross but his defense bailed him out.

On the break Batshuayi had an effort stopped by Mat Ryan as Hazard ran riot, while at the other end Caballero then made a superb save to deny Tomer Hemed and Shane Duffy nodded wide as Brighton had their chances in a action-packed first half.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ] 

In the second half, Brighton continued to push for a goal back and Davy Propper‘s header hit the post and came out. Andreas Christensen was then forced off after being involved in a nasty clash of heads as David Luiz came on.

At the other end Willian had his free kick pushed onto the post by Ryan as Chelsea looked to end any hope of a Brighton comeback.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Hazard (who else?) did just that in the closing stages as he sauntered towards goal and send Ryan the wrong way with a fine finish to make it 3-0.

Charly Musonda then made a great impression as he jumped off the bench and clipped a fine ball forward for Moses who controlled and finished for Chelsea’s four goal to hammer the final nail in Brighton’s coffin.

Watch Live: Brighton v. Chelsea

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Brighton & Hove Albion host Chelsea at the Amex Stadium on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via

With just one win in their last 12 games, Brighton are being dragged into a relegation battle, while Chelsea aren’t in glittering form with five draws on the spin in all competitions.


In team news, Brighton start with Tomer Hemed up top and have top scorer Glenn Murray on the bench. New club-record signing Jurgen Locadia isn’t illegible to make his Brighton debut after his signing was only confirmed late Friday, plus the former PSV Eindhoven forward is struggling with an injury..

Chelsea are without star goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who has suffered an ankle injury in training, with Willy Caballero coming in to replace him. Alvaro Morata and Pedro are suspended, while Ross Barkley is on the bench and he could make his Chelsea debut.


Brighton: Ryan; Goldson, Duffy, Dunk, Suttner, Schelotto; Stephens, Propper; March, Gross, Hemed. Subs: Hunemeier, Kayal, Baldock, Murray, Izquierdo, Rosenior, Krul

Chelsea: Caballero; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Batshuayi, Hazard. SubsEduardo, David Luiz, Zappacosta, Sterling, Ampadu, Barkley, Musonda

Chelsea 2-0 Brighton: Blues cruise

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  • Morata, Alonso score
  • Chelsea stay in third place
  • Brighton have scored 5 goals in 9 away games

Chelsea cruised to a 2-0 win against Brighton on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.

Goals from Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso in the second half did the damage as Antonio Conte‘s men made it nine wins from their

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chelsea came up against a stubborn Brighton defense and Antonio Conte’s men had plenty of possession but found it tough to break them down.

The home side had a decent chance but Tiemoue Bakayoko scuffed an effort wide and the Seagulls kept Eden Hazard quiet.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

They couldn’t keep Morata quiet just 51 seconds into the second half.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Chelsea went in front less than a minute into the second half as Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross found Morata and he headed home to make it 1-0.

The Spaniards’ telepathic understanding continues.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Another Spaniard, Alonso, went close twice as Mat Ryan denied him twice in quick succession, but soon after he nodded home to make it 2-0 and put the result beyond doubt.

Brighton responded well as Solly March‘s cross was cleared by Gary Cahill with Tomer Hemed waiting, while at the other end Hazard’s mazy run ended with a deflected effort cleared off the line.

Chelsea cruised in the closing stages with the Blues keeping the pressure up on second-place Manchester United.