Youssouf Mulumbu

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic sells $23m Dembele to Lyon ahead of Old Firm match

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The Old Firm Derby will have a new feel on Sunday, relatively speaking, after Celtic announced it will not keep hold of Moussa Dembele, the electric attacker who scored seven goals in eight matches against Rangers.

The 22-year-old is off to Lyon, netting Brendan Rodgers‘ side $23 million. Celtic signed Dembele on a free transfer.

[ PL PREVIEW: Leicester vs. Liverpool ]

Dembele left Fulham for Celtic in 2016, helping the Bhoys to a pair of Scottish crowns while scoring 46 goals with 18 assists.

Rodgers was not excited to announce the sale. From CelticFC.net:

“It is vital to make clear that we have never promised any player that he can leave the Club at a particular time. It has never happened. In fact, we have said all along that we did not wish to sell Moussa, given the circumstances within the transfer window and that is why we rejected a significant offer yesterday.

“However, this particular decision to accept this offer has been taken in order to serve the best interests of the first-team squad, my coaching team and the culture and environment we have created in these last two seasons.

Celtic will enter the derby one point ahead of Rangers and three behind leaders Aberdeen. They signed former West Brom man Youssouf Mulumbu and Leicester City’s Filip Benkovic on loan.

Rangers have flipped their roster under Steven Gerrard, with Roma’s Umar Sadiq and Liverpool’s Ovie Ejaria and Ryan Kent on loan. Rangers also bought Hearts’ Kyle Lafferty.

PL Sunday preview: Norwich visit last-place Newcastle

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Sunday’s slate of Premier League action offers up just a singular fixture, but when projecting the impending relegation battle six months from now, it figures to be massive as a potential six-point swing.

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup ]

Newcastle United vs. Norwich City — 10 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and Live Extra

No side has won fewer points than Newcastle United (three points from eight games – zero wins) to begin the 2015-16 PL season. Steve McClaren’s job is said to be in no danger whatsoever, but if affairs at St. James’ Park continue in their current state for much longer, how long can owner Mike Ashley (of all people) sit idly by and watch the Magpies languish at the very bottom of the league table?

In Norwich City, Sunday’s opponent, Newcastle face the second-highest scoring team (12 goals — Chelsea, who’ll not be down there much longer, are first with 14) currently sitting in the bottom half of the table. Center back Russell Martin and 21-year-old winger Nathan Redmond lead the Canaries with three goals a piece, while manager Alex Neil waits for Cameron Jerome, who last season scored 18 goals in the Championship, to improve upon his one-goal output to begin his latest stint in the PL.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays | Standings | Stats ]

Newcastle are currently joint-bottom in goals scored this season, as Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is the only player to score more than once. Newcastle will be without goalkeeper Tim Krul, who this week tore his ACL while on international duty, as well as backup goalkeeper Karl Darlow (ankle). Norwich forward Gary Hooper (ankle) will face a late fitness test to feature on Sunday, while Youssouf Mulumbu is still a doubt to make his Canaries debut this week.

Watch Live: Liverpool vs Norwich City (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Daniel Sturridge makes his Liverpool return as the Reds are looking for their first win in a month as they host Norwich City at Anfield live on USA Network at 11:00 a.m. ET and live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

The England international has not appeared since April 4 due to a host of injury problems but finally makes his way back into the starting lineup straight away after returning to fitness. He’ll start alongside Christian Benteke, supported by Coutinho and James Milner. The Reds have not won in any competition since August 17, the second of two wins to start the league season for Liverpool.

Unfortunately for Liverpool, what goes up must come down, and going down is Jordan Henderson who will miss 6-8 weeks with a broken foot. That forces Brendan Rodgers to move Emre Can back into midfield alongside Lucas.

WATCH LIVE: Liverpool vs Norwich City live online at NBC Sports Live Extra

Norwich pair Gary Hooper and Youssouf Mulumbu remain injured and unavailable, but otherwise the squad is healthy. Andre Wisdom, on loan from Liverpool, is not an option today against his parent club, but Steven Whittaker returns to the starting lineup from his one-match suspension after a pair of yellows in the 3-0 loss to Southampton before the international break.

LINEUPS

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Lucas, Can, Milner, Coutinho, Benteke, Sturridge
Subs: Bogdan, Lovren, Firmino, Gomez, Lallana, Ings, Ibe

Norwich City: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin, Bassong, Brady; Redmond, Dorrans, Tettey, Jarvis; Howson; Jerome.
Subs: Rudd, Grabban, Mbokani, Hoolahan, Olsson, R Bennett, O’Neil.