Willy Boly

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PL Sunday preview: Arsenal’s post-Emery era; Man Utd host Villa

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Sunday’s slate of Premier League fixtures features four games, including (but not limited to) the first game of the post-Unai Emery era at Arsenal, Manchester United with a chance to climb into fifth place, and what could be the final game of Marco Silva‘s tenure at Everton.

[ MORE: Mourinho praises “phenomenal” Dele Alli, Spurs supporters ]

Arsenal v. Norwich City — 9 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Unai Emery was fired by Arsenal on Friday, making way for the Freddie Ljungberg (interim) era to begin on Sunday. With no obvious candidate standing out from all the others, Ljungberg, a long-time favorite as a Gunners player, could be given the chance to impress and have the “interim” tag removed, a la Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a year ago. After taking just three points from their last five PL games, Arsenal have fallen to ninth place, eight points behind fourth-place Chelsea, and could finish the weekend as low as 10th place. On the other hand, a win over 19th-place Norwich would see them climb up to fifth, a point ahead of north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Norwich’s Teemu Pukki, who took the PL by storm with five goals in his first three games, hasn’t found the back of the net since Sept. 14, a run of eight straight goal-less games for the Fininish forward.

INJURIES: Arsenal —  OUT: Dani Ceballos (hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: Hector Bellerin (hamstring), David Luiz (ribs), Shkodran Mustafi (foot) | Norwich  — OUT: Alexander Tettey (personal), Grant Hanley (groin), Timm Klose (knee); QUESTIONABLE: Jamal Lewis (knee), Josip Drmic (hamstring)


Wolves v. Sheffield United — 9 a.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold

Through 13 games of their debut season in the PL, Sheffield United are threatening to “do a Wolves,” in so much that the newly promoted side currently sits seventh — where Wolves finished last season — following a red-hot start. Following a poor start of their own (zero wins from their first six games), Wolves have rebounded nicely (unbeaten in their last eight, including four wins) and climbed all the way up to sixth (each side sat a place higher coming into the weekend).

INJURIES: Wolves —  OUT: Willy Boly (ankle), Ryan Bennett (groin), Romain Saiss (suspension), Morgan Gibbs-White (back) | Sheffield United  — OUT: None


Man United v. Aston Villa — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Nearly four months into the season, Man United are still without back-to-back PL victories. In fact, they’ve not repeated the same result — win, loss or draw — in consecutive league games all season. The Red Devils ave been, if anything, consistently inconsistent. After drawing Sheffield United 3-3 last time out, the best Solskjaer’s side can do on Sunday is get halfway there ahead of Tottenham’s blockbuster visit, and Jose Mourinho’s return, on Wednesday. United’s injury list remains extensive — and expensive — as Paul Pogba and Eric Bailly remain out, with Nemanja Matic perhaps set to return on Sunday. As for Villa, Dean Smith‘s side snapped a three-game losing skid last time out by thoroughly besting Newcastle United at Villa Park to put four points between themselves and the relegation zone. Following Southampton’s victory on Saturday, that gap is already down to two points.

INJURIES: Man United —  OUT: Paul Pogba (ankle), Eric Bailly (knee), Marcos Rojo (undisclosed), Diogo Dalot (groin); QUESTIONABLE: Nemanja Matic (groin), Scott McTominay (ankle) | Aston Villa  — OUT: Jed Steer (calf), Jota (hernia); QUESTIONABLE: Bjorn Engels (hip)


Leicester City v. Everton — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold

Every defeat in the coming days could prove to be the final day of Silva’s employment as Everton manager, with the Toffees entering Sunday’s trip to the King Power Stadium in 17th place. It’s not just the number of losses for Everton (seven) on the season thus far, but the sides to which they’ve lost (Villa, Bournemouth, Sheffield United, Burnley, Brighton & Hove Albion and Norwich, to name most of them) that stands out as most embarrassing for a club that thought it would be competing for the top-six this season. Leicester, meanwhile, have happily and swiftly taken their place as the side most likely to break up the monotony of the same clubs finishing atop the table every season. The Foxes entered the weekend in second place (they have since fallen to second), eight points back of Liverpool (now 11), on the back of five straight league victories. Jamie Vardy‘s 12 goals have garnered most of the headlines, but the play-making duo of James Maddison and Youri Tielemans have been arguably more enjoyable to watch

INJURIES: Leicester —  OUT: Matty James (achilles) | Everton  — OUT: Andre Gomes (ankle), Theo Walcott (knock), Jean-Philippe Gbamin (thigh), Morgan Schneiderlin (knock), Fabian Delph (hamstring), Cuco Martina (knee); QUESTIONABLE: Bernard (knee)

Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 10

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Tottenham Hotspur, we’re angry with you.

No, not because you’ve floundered after we had you pegged as the team best able to provide a third entrant to the Premier League title race, but, well…

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings archive ]

…You’re making our power rankings way too difficult.

Spurs, on one hand, have drawn last place Watford, barely beat Southampton, and lost to Newcastle and Brighton.

On the other, they’ve hung tight enough with Liverpool, Leicester City, and Man City, drawn Arsenal, and bashed decent-looking Villa and Palace.

It doesn’t just make it challenging to place Spurs on this table, it makes it challenging to evaluate the quality of other teams’ results against them!

Alas, we’ll try. Because it’s our job. That’s why.

Green: New season-high ranking
Red: New season-low


20. Southampton — Nine goals allowed at home. Which repercussion was more harsh on Saints, the players and staff donating their wages to charity, or consecutive matches away to Man City.
Last week: 16
Season high: 13
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 9-0 v. Leicester City
Up next: 11 a.m. ET Saturday at Man City

19. Norwich City — Their seven losses are the most in the league, and they need to find something from two-straight winnable matches (Brighton, Watford).
Last week: 19
Season high: 10
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 3-1 v. Manchester United
Up next: 11 a.m. ET Saturday at Brighton

18. Watford — Improving, to be sure, but probably looking past a Chelsea visit to next week’s trip to Norwich City.
Last week: 20
Season high: 18
Season low: 20
Last match: Drew 0-0 v. Bournemouth
Up next: 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday v. Chelsea

17. Newcastle United — Losing Sean Longstaff to a red card against a West Ham midfield which can handle itself at home is a problem.
Last week: 17
Season high: 15
Season low: 20
Last match: Drew 1-1 v. Wolves
Up next: 11 a.m. ET Saturday at West Ham


16. Everton — A proper contender against contenders, but Marco Silva‘s men bring significantly less focus and intensity when the opposition is lesser.
Last week: 14
Season high: 5
Season low: 16
Last match: Lost 3-2 at Brighton
Up next:  11:30 a.m. ET Sunday v. Spurs

15. Brighton and Hove Albion — A very nice VAR-aided win over Everton, and Graham Potter‘s men will hope to ride momentum to another three points.
Last week: 18
Season high: 6
Season low:18
Last match: Won 3-2 v. Everton
Up next: 11 a.m. ET Saturday v. Norwich City

(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

14. West Ham United — Winless since the defeat of Man Utd (five matches), Manuel Pellegrini has to get Sebastien Haller and Felipe Anderson back to their best.
Last week: 15
Season high: 5
Season low: 18
Last match: Drew 1-1 v. Sheffield United
Up next: 11 a.m. ET Saturday v. Newcastle United

13. Bournemouth — Also winless in four with a stiff incoming test.
Last week: 9
Season high: 6
Season low: 17
Last match: Drew 0-0 at Watford
Up next: 8:30 a.m. ET Saturday v. Manchester United

12. Burnley — Into a four-match run which demands results (Sheff Utd, West Ham, Watford, Palace) if this is going to be a second top half season in three attempts.
Last week: 11
Season high: 5
Season low: 15
Last match: Lost 4-2 v. Chelsea
Up next: 11 a.m. ET Saturday at Sheffield United

11. Wolves — Deserved more than a point against Newcastle, but there have been too many matches like that for Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men this season. Willy Boly‘s injury is extremely challenging. Saturday at the Emirates could be a barnburner.
Last week: 10
Season high: 7
Season low: 17
Last match: Drew 1-1 at Newcastle United
Up next: 11 a.m. ET Saturday at Arsenal

10. Tottenham Hotspur — Tricky little run ahead, starting at inconsistent before a trip to Serbia and visit from Sheffield United. We’ll soon know if the slump has truly been addressed.
Last week: 13
Season high: 2
Season low: 13
Last match: Lost 2-1 at Liverpool
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday at Everton

9. Aston Villa — Rebounded from the loss at Man City to advance in the League Cup, but gets a well-rested Liverpool at Villa Park.
Last week: 8
Season high: 8
Season low: 15
Last match: Lost 3-0 at Man City
Up next: 11 a.m. ET Saturday v. Liverpool

8. Arsenal — A mess, but a fun one.
Last week: 7
Season high: 4
Season low: 8
Last match: Drew 2-2 v. Crystal Palace
Up next: 11 a.m. ET Saturday v. Wolves

7. Manchester United — Massively improved, though the Paul Pogba question hangs over Old Trafford as the club gets results without him.
Last week: 12
Season high: 2
Season low: 16
Last match: Won 3-1 at Norwich City
Up next: 8:30 a.m. ET Saturday at Bournemouth
(Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

6. Sheffield United — Not a bad point in London.
Last week: 5
Season high: 5
Season low: 17
Last match: Drew 1-1 at West Ham United
Up next: 11 a.m. ET Saturday v. Burnley

5. Crystal Palace — Looks like we were wrong about the Eagles, who have been truly impressive and steady thanks to Luka Milivojevic and James McArthur.
Last week: 6
Season high: 5
Season low: 18
Last match: Drew 1-1 at Arsenal
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Leicester City

4. Leicester City — The way the Foxes reacted to the blood in the water at St. Mary’s tells you all you need about the attitude at King Power.
Last week: 4
Season high: 3
Season low: 10
Last match: Won 9-0 at Southampton
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday at Crystal Palace

3. Manchester City — The injuries are mounting up, but a visit from Saints should be pretty straight-forward. The four match stretch that follows (Atalanta and Liverpool away, Chelsea and Shakhtar at home) is far from it.
Last week: 3
Season high: 1
Season low: 3
Last match: Won 3-0 v. Aston Villa
Up next: 11 a.m. ET Saturday v. Southampton

2. Chelsea — Saturday’s visitors are stingier these days, but Chelsea’s league win streak should continue at Vicarage Road.
Last week: 2
Season high: 2
Season low: 12
Last match: Won 4-2 at Burnley
Up next: 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Watford

1. Liverpool —  How many times have the Reds been the better rested team in a PL match? Klopp’s gamble of playing the kids versus Arsenal looking doubly fortunate now.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 3
Last match: Won 2-1 v. Tottenham Hotspur
Up next: 11 a.m. ET Saturday at Aston Villa

Watch Live: Newcastle United v. Wolves

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Weary Wolves visit Newcastle with both teams missing top defenders at St. James’ Park on Sunday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Nuno Espirito Santo‘s visitors were in Slovakia for Europa League on Thursday, and lost mammoth center back Willy Boly to a fibula fracture in training.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Newcastle is rested but also missing its top performer in Swiss center back Fabian Schar.

USMNT right back DeAndre Yedlin does start for Steve Bruce‘s Magpies.

LINEUPS

Newcastle United: Dubravka, Yedlin, Fernandez, Lascelles, Clark, Willems, M. Longstaff, S. Longstaff, Saint-Maximin, Almiron, JoelintonSubs: Darlow, Krafth, Dummett, Shelvey, Atsu, Gayle, Muto.

Wolves: Patricio, Otto, Saiss, Coady, Dendoncker, Doherty, Neves, Moutinho, Jota,, Raul, Traore. Subs: Ruddy, Vallejo, Neto, Cutrone, Vinagre, Kilman, Ashley-Seal.

Wolves suffer big blow with Boly’s ‘serious injury’

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Wolves stop-start season across all competitions took a major blow ahead of Sunday morning’s kickoff at Newcastle United (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Outstanding center back Willy Boly suffered a “serious” leg injury in training on Saturday and will be out for some time.

[ MORE: Pulisic scores hat trick ]

“Initial tests show a fracture to his fibula, and he will undergo further imaging over the coming days to determine whether surgery is required or not,” said Wolves head of medical Phil Hayward.

A monster at the heart of the defense, the 28-year-old Boly leads the team in tackles and aerials won.

At 28, started every match but one for the Wolves this season between Europa League and the Premier League.

Wolves came back from Slovakia late Thursday and now meet the mercurial Magpies at 10 a.m. ET.

Man United, Wolves seal key Europa League wins

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Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers both secured narrow wins away from home in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.

[ MORE: Europa League schedule, table

United beat Partizan Belgrade 1-0 in Serbia to stay top of Group L as a win in their next game, at home against Partizan, will seal their qualification to the knockout stage. Anthony Martial‘s penalty kick was enough to get the win in Belgrade in a tough environment as an inexperienced United side struggled to get going in attack.

As for Wolves, they fought back from 1-0 down to beat Slovan Bratislava 2-1 in Slovakia as they breathed new life into their Europa League campaign in Group K. Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men now have two of their final three group games at home and will fancy their chances of extending their first European journey in almost 40 years.

Here’s a look at both games, with video and analysis of a very decent night for both clubs in Europe.


Partizan Belgrade 0-1 Man United

Man United should have led early but Scott McTominay nodded wide after a great free kick from Juan Mata. Partizan battled their way back into the game as the heavy pitch didn’t suit Martial and others.

Lingard hit the post in the first half as United looked dangerous on the break, but Partizan’s top goalscorer Sadiq also smashed the post as the game developed into an open encounter. Asano went close with an effort which flew wide but Brandon Williams won a penalty kick at the end of the first half which Martial dispatched to make it 1-0.

In the second half Seydouba Soumah went close as Marcus Rashford and Daniel James came on for the final 30 minutes. Williams looked to have handled the ball but the referee waved away calls from the home fans as they continued to appeal for penalty kicks.

Sadiq flashed a shot wide as Partizan pushed a late leveller but Sergio Romero saved Asano’s effort and Bibras Natcho fired just over as a young United side held on for a big win away from home. The win was United’s first victory away from home in 12 games in all competitions.


Slovan Bratislava 1-2 Wolves

Wolves went 1-0 down early as Andraz Sporar put Slovan ahead, as he raced clear and smashed home at the near post past Rui Patricio.

A poor start for Wolves in Slovakia.

The home side were fairly comfortable until the final 30 minutes when Wolves equalized as Romain Saiss had a shot from distance which somehow went in.

Slovan’s goalkeeper Dominik Greif will not want to see this one again.

After that it was all Wolves and they took the lead from the penalty spot just five minutes after equalizing.

Jimenez was pushed to the ground in the box and the Mexican striker picked himself up to slot home the winner as Willy Boly came close to adding another.

Substitute Diogo Jota was sent off late on as he picked up a second yellow for a foul on Slovan captain Vasil Bozhikov, but Wolves held on for a crucial victory in their quest to reach the knockout rounds.