League Cup: Manchester United out; Chelsea, Spurs need penalties

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Two giants dodged penalty challenges to stay in the League Cup, but Manchester United wasn’t as lucky, bowing in regulation to old boss David Moyes and West Ham United on Wednesday.

Wolves vs Spurs and Chelsea vs Aston Villa both went to penalties despite goals from Harry Kane and Timo Werner for the London-based sides.

[ MORE: James Rodriguez gets transfer ]

Kepa Arrizabalaga was again the hero for Chelsea in penalties as Ashley Young smashed the cross bar and Marvelous Nakamba’s kick was slapped away by the Spanish keeper.

As for Spurs, Wolves failed to convert three penalties and only one was saved by Pierluigi Gollini in the win.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s League Cup roundup ]


Manchester United 0-1 West Ham United

David Moyes probably figured the big cup wins at Old Trafford would’ve come a few years earlier, but he’ll take Wednesday’s 1-0 win for his West Ham over Manchester United.

Manuel Lanzini’s ninth-minute goal held up even after second-half introductions for Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handed rests to Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba.

West Ham had a healthy bit of rotation as well, but Man United still held 60 percent of the ball and a 20-5 edge in shots (likely due to the Irons’ early away lead).

Andriy Yarmolenko hit the goal post and Mark Noble was saved in-close by Dean Henderson as West Ham blew two late chances to put the game to bed.

Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 Swansea City

Alexis Mac Allister set up Aaron Connolly for two first-half goaIs in six minutes as Graham Potter’s Seagulls took advantage of the few chances they got in what became a straightforward win at the Amex Stadium.

Arsenal 3-0 AFC Wimbledon

Alexandre Lacazette showed Mikel Arteta what he’s been missing with a goal and an assist, albeit against lower-league opposition, as the Gunners won at home.

Emile Smith-Rowe and Eddie Nketiah had Arsenal’s other goals.

Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa

Timo Werner’s goal was canceled out by a Cameron Archer 64th-minute marker, but Prince Harry was left disappointed in penalty kicks when Kepa Arrizabalaga showed he hasn’t lost his shootout skill.

Millwall 0-2 Leicester City

Ademola Lookman and Kelechi Iheanacho scored second-half goals as Millwall gave Leicester the ball but made the Foxes sweat for their chances in the Lion’s Den.

Wolves 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Tanguy Ndombele scored after 13 minutes and Dele Alli set up a Harry Kane goals about 10 minutes later, but Spurs needed penalty kicks after blowing a 2-0 lead at the Molineux.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s former team struck through Leander Dendoncker before the break and Daniel Podence after it, sending the match through 90 minutes level at two.

Leeds vs Everton: How to watch, stream live, TV, team news, start time, odds, prediction

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Leeds United will be desperate to right the (many) wrongs of the Premier League’s opening weekend when they host Everton at Elland Road on Saturday (Watch live at 10 am ET, on Peacock Premium).

LEEDS – EVERTON STREAM LIVE

Marcelo Bielsa’s men were battered 5-1 by Manchester United a week ago, as Bruno Fernandes bagged a hat trick of goals and Paul Pogba went one better with four assists in the blowout at Old Trafford. But, it wasn’t all bad for Leeds, who drew level at 1-1 after 49 minutes when Luke Ayling struck a magnificent strike from outside the penalty area. Of course, the proceedings quickly escalated out of Leeds’ control and they found themselves 4-1 down just 11 minutes later. Ultimately, it was 5-1 and Leeds were on the wrong end of yet another lopsided affair (they won plenty of them last season, too) to begin the 2021-22 campaign.

Everton, on the other hand, are fresh off a 3-1 victory over Southampton, a game which saw the Toffees fall a goal behind midway through the first half before bagging three in the second half. New manager (and former Liverpool boss) Rafa Benitez picked up his first win after replacing Carlo Ancelotti, who returned to Real Madrid in the summer, and things went off without a hitch โ€” even without three potential starters unavailable due to COVID-19 issues.

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Here is everything you need to know ahead of Leeds vs Everton this Saturday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Leeds team news, injuries, lineup (INJURY REPORT)

Leeds: OUT: Diego Llorente (knee)

Everton team news, injuries, lineup

Everton: OUT: James Rodriguez (COVID-19), Andre Gomes (knock)


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Leeds (+130) | Everton (+195) | Draw (+245)

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction

When Leeds lose, they lose big. When Leeds win, they win big. Everton’s midfielders aren’t quite to the level of those at Manchester United, which is just another way of saying the all-out high press will prove far more effective against the Toffees. Leeds 3-1 Everton.


How to watch Leeds vs Everton, stream live and start time

Kickoff: 10 am ET Saturday
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Premier League 2020-21 team grades

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The Premier League 2020-21 season is over and it is time to dish out grades for all 20 teams.

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That’s right, we are not going to mess around here and as we always do at ProSoccerTalk, we tell it how we see it.

So below is a look at all 20 teams as we analyze their season and dish out a grade to each.

Safe to say you will agree with 100 percent of these grades, right?

Let’s get to it.


Premier League 2020-21 team grades

Arsenal: D

What a weird season for Arsenal. Started poorly despite a lot of positive vibes after winning the FA Cup and Community Shield in 2019-20. Rallied in the second half of the season as Mikel Arteta’s side picked up the third most PL points since Boxing Day. Still, a second-straight eighth place finish isn’t good enough and they were knocked out of the Europa League semifinals by Unai Emery and Villarreal. Ouch.

Amid fan protests against the Kroenke family and a first season out of Europe for 25 years, all is not well. Strangely, though, Arteta is probably delighted to not be in Europe and he can work on his young squad tactically next season. Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli and Tierney are the future of this team. The likes of Aubameyang, Lacazette and Xhaka may have to move on soon.


Aston Villa: B+

Brilliant season for Villa, as Dean Smith’s side flirted with European qualification for most of the campaign. They ended up finishing 11th but in just their second season back in the top-flight, that was a huge improvement after surviving relegation on the final day in 2019-20. Jack Grealish took his game to a whole new level, while Ollie Watkins and Emiliano Martinez were superb and they also smashed Liverpool 7-2 and beat Spurs and Chelsea late in the season. Can Villa push for Europe next season? With some savvy signings, you’d think so.


Brighton and Hove Albion: C

The ‘expected goals’ kings of the Premier League, as Graham Potter’s side dazzled between both boxes but couldn’t take the numerous chances they created. Watching Brighton is fun and they dominate games, but somehow they finished 16th in the table. The Seagulls will do well to hold on to Potter long-term, and they need to buy a couple of clinical finishers to take them to the next level. Everything else is in place, as long as they keep Bissouma, White and Lamptey too.


Burnley: C

They stayed in the Premier League, which is always the main aim for Sean Dyche and the Clarets, but this was a tough season. They had some big wins, with the victory at Anfield the biggest highlight, and Chris Wood’s goals and the play of Nick Pope saved them from getting sucked into a relegation scrap late in the season. They finished just one place out of the drop zone and squad investment from their new American owners will be key to pushing towards the top 10 next season.


Chelsea: B

They got the job done of finishing in the top four, but they made it hard for themselves and snuck in on the final day. Frank Lampard was fired midseason and Thomas Tuchel oversaw an incredible turnaround as they became an unlikely defensive juggernaut. New signings Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy had mixed campaigns, which probably cost Lampard his job, as Silva and Mendy were the main positives.

After defeat in the FA Cup final to Leicester, Tuchel needs to win the Champions League to make this season a real success. That sounds silly to say, but this is Chelsea and the squad they have should be winning these kind of trophies. Still, if they can sign a clinical finisher this summer, Tuchel could have them challenging for the title next season. He has mostly got his tactics spot on in a 3-4-2-1, and he has N’Golo Kante too.


Crystal Palace: C+

Roy Hodgson said farewell to the Premier League as he stepped down at the end of the season, and up to 12 Palace players will be following him out of the door. So many are out of contract and there is expected to be a massive rebuild at Selhurst Park, with the likes of Frank Lampard, Eddie Howe and other young coaches linked with the job. With Wilfried Zaha and Eberechi Eze (before his long-term injury) leading the attack, Palace were midtable throughout the season. Nothing more, nothing less. Getting their next managerial appointment right will be the biggest challenge they’ve faced since they were promoted back to the Premier League.


Everton: C

A season that promised so much ended in bitter disappointment for the Toffees and Carlo Ancelotti. After spending big last summer, again, they started off brilliantly and looked ready to push for a top four spot, even late in the season. But their terrible form at home cost them dear and new signings Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez all ran out of steam. Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ben Godfrey had good campaigns but Richarlison was disappointing as Everton finished 10th. A step back for Ancelotti despite some big moments, and wins, especially away at Liverpool.


Fulham: D-

Never looked like they truly believed they could stay in the Premier League. Scott Parker tweaked the system and made them more defensive and tougher to beat, and it worked for a while, but their transfer business cost them dear. Late additions in both windows weren’t enough and although Fulham’s instant return to the Championship was inevitable in the end, it could have been very different. Parker may move on elsewhere, but with several loan signings now returning to their parent clubs, the Cottagers will look very different next season in the Championship. Fulhamerica have become the archetypal yo-yo club.


Leeds United: A

What a breath of fresh air Leeds were under Marcelo Bielsa! After 16 years away from the Premier League, they finally returned to the top-flight and a ninth place finish was brilliant. A fine end to the season will see plenty of positive vibes growing over the summer. Patrick Bamford scored lots of goals, Raphinha dazzled, the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Illan Meslier were sublime, and overall, Bielsa’s boys never changed their playing style. They took a lot of teams by surprise and won at Man City and at home against Tottenham. Can they prevail next season now that teams know all of their secrets? Bielsa will surely have more than a few tricks left up his sleeve, or under his bucket…


Leicester City: A-

There will be a strange sense of Deja Vu around Leicester this summer. An almost identical season to last, as they were in the top four throughout the entire campaign but slipped out in agonizing fashion on the final day. Still, they won the FA Cup and went on a deep run in the Europa League. Rodgers had to deal with plenty of injuries too. Tielemans, Ndidi, Iheanacho, Castagne, Evans and Vardy were all sublime, and there is a sense that Leicester can keep it going for next season. Still, there will also be a sense they may have missed their chance of finishing in the top four with the big boys retooling this summer.


Liverpool: B

What a rollercoaster of a campaign for Jurgen Klopp. The 2019-20 champs looked set for another title push despite catastrophic injury problems early in the season as they lost both starting center backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to serious knee injuries in the space of a few days. Eventually, that lost told, and injuries kept piling up throughout the season. But when they figured out two young and inexperienced center backs in Phillips and Williams could step in and midfielders could go back to their normal positions, they regained their momentum.

Eight wins out of 10 to finish the season was brilliant and they achieved their goal of a top four finish on the final day. Alisson’s winning header at West Brom will live long in the memory, and Salah was very good too. Firmino and Mane dropped off, but these players getting a proper rest this summer, plus Van Dijk, Matip and Gomez returning, will surely see Klopp’s boys contend for the title next season.


Manchester City: A

Imperious is the best word to sum them up. From about November on, nobody could get near them. Guardiola rotated his team masterfully and with Sergio Aguero injured for most of the season and Gabriel Jesus not at his best, Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden, Mahrez, Sterling and Gundogan ran the show. City were defensively superb as John Stones and Ruben Dias formed a great partnership, while in a congested season due to the pandemic, having such a big squad to rotate well made a big difference. Everyone expected City to win the title, and they did.

With the Premier League title, a third in four seasons, won, plus another League Cup, City were gutted to not win the FA Cup too, but they could win the trophy they really want, the Champions League. They are red-hot favorites to beat Chelsea in the final in Porto and that would mean that Guardiola has truly delivered on his promise to turn City into a European powerhouse.


Manchester United: B+

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer led United to a second-place finish and there was a lot of progress made, but it still feels like they are a long, long way behind Man City. Early on they made a habit of leaking early goals but fighting back to win in true Fergie style, and their incredible away form proved how dangerous they are on the counter. Bruno Fernandes, Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire were the standout players, but United still need a center back and another holding midfielder to make them title contenders.

Edinson Cavani’s contribution up top was a bonus late in the season, so too was Mason Greenwood’s, as Marcus Rashford was consistent throughout and Paul Pogba also had his moments. The possibility of winning the Europa League is huge for Solskjaer, as he aims to win his first trophy as United’s manager. If they can beat Villarreal in the final, that feels like a big psychological barrier overcome.


Newcastle United: C+

All’s well that ends well, right? What a bizarre season for the Magpies, as fans wanted Steve Bruce out from the start but somehow they rallied and finished 12th after a great run at the end of the season. That was largely due to Saint-Maximin, Wilson and Almiron being back fit, plus the emergence of Joe Willock as he dazzled during his loan spell from Arsenal. Given the injuries Newcastle had, several players being hit hard by COVID-19 complications and the general fan unrest towards owner Mike Ashley and a dashed takeover attempt, Bruce did a solid job. They aren’t the prettiest to watch but when Newcastle have all of their star attacking players fit, they can cause anyone problems. The fans, rightly, want more from their club.


Sheffield United: F

Absolutely miserable season, but they did manage to salvage a bit of pride late on. Chris Wilder was fired after falling out with the owner and that was unthinkable 12 months ago. The Blades’ poor end to 2019-20 carried over to 2020-21 and at times it looked like they would be the worst team in PL history. They weren’t, but scoring goals was a huge issue and they lost a lot of tight games they won in the previous seasons. This was one of the biggest sophomore slumps ever seen in the Premier League as they were relegated and finished bottom. None of their big signings really worked either, and that was a huge reason why they went down.


Southampton: C-

Talk about a season of two halves! Southampton were top of the table in November and flying under Ralph Hasenhuttl, with Danny Ings banging in the goals. Then, injuries arrived and a huge downwards spiral in the second half of the season almost saw them dragged into a relegation scrap, and they lost 9-0 again, this time to Manchester United. In the end they finished 15th and reached the FA Cup semifinal where they lost to eventual winners Leicester. Not a bad season. But the end to the season was awful and Hasenhuttl needs Saints’ owners to spend big this summer to stop their slide. That isn’t going to happen, and many believe they will be relegation candidates in 2021-22.


Tottenham Hotspur: D

It all started so well for Jose Mourinho, but he didn’t even see out a first full season in charge of Spurs. They were top of the table heading towards the festive period but then they unravelled. Dropping points after going ahead early in games was their big problem, as Harry Kane and Heung-min Son were sublime early on but defensively they kept making the same mistakes. Hojbjerg had a good season, but he was the only standout from the new signings. They did reach the League Cup final, but lost, and the way they crashed out of the Europa League was embarrassing.

Gareth Bale finished with a flourish, mostly after Mourinho was fired, but his loan move didn’t really work out. All of that adds up to a lot of turmoil this summer as Kane could leave, Tottenham don’t have a manager and Daniel Levy has a lot of pressure on him from Spurs fans. Finishing in seventh and qualifying for the Europa Conference League isn’t ideal for next season either.


West Bromwich Albion: D

They never looked likely to stay up and sacking Slaven Bilic and replacing him with Sam Allardyce didn’t work. Matheus Pereira was very good, so too was Sam Johnstone (who had a lot of reps) but defensive issues plagued them all season. The Baggies will be at the top of the Championship next season because that is what they do, but they were never equipped to stay up and were relegated without much of a fight.


West Ham United: A+

An incredible campaign for David Moyes and West Ham, as they finished in sixth and qualified for the Europa League group stage. That is some achievement as West Ham secured their highest-ever PL points tally and did it in style. Michail Antonio was excellent, when fit, and so too was Declan Rice. Moyes used a 3-4-2-1 system which worked well as the likes of Soucek and Coufal were brilliant additions. Jesse Lingard then gave them a great push in the second half of the season, as his loan arrival was exceptional.

All in all, Moyes deserves a huge amount of credit for turning a team many tipped for relegation at the start of the season into genuine top four contenders heading into the final weeks of the season. Now, let’s see if West Ham can cope with a Thursday-Sunday schedule next season, and the return of more of their own fans…


Wolverhampton Wanderers: C-

One thing dominated Wolves’ season: the horrific head injury to Raul Jimenez. The Mexico star fractured his skull in late November and Wolves were never the same. They missed not only his goals but also his link-up play and Nuno Espirito Santo’s side never looked like pushing for European qualification. Nuno has now left too, and it will be intriguing to see if Wolves still have plenty of cash to spend on new players, or if this marks a new era at Molineux. Still, what a job Nuno did over four seasons and surely a big job beckons for the Portuguese coach. As for Wolves, they will be praying that Jimenez returns as the same player and they can push higher than their 13th place finish this term.

Man City – Everton, stream live! How to watch, start time, odds, prediction

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Premier League champions Man City say hello to their home fans on a Championship Sunday that visiting Everton hopes to ride back into Europe (start time 11am ET on CNBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Everton needs a win to keep pressure on seventh-place Tottenham and sixth-place West Ham United, with only two of the three qualifying for either the Europa League or the Europa Conference League.

WATCH MAN CITY – EVERTON STREAM LIVE

The Toffees have 59 points, the same as Spurs but well before them on goal differential, and they are three points behind West Ham.

City looks to finish its championship season on 86 points, which would be tied for the seventh-most since the PL went to a 38-match season in 1995-96.


Injury news (Injury report)

Manchester City injuries

QUESTIONABLE: Raheem Sterling (undisclosed), Ilkay Gundogan (knee), Kyle Walker (undisclosed), Sergio Aguero (adductor) | OUT: Joao Cancelo (suspension)

Everton injuries

QUESTIONABLE: James Rodriguez (undisclosed) | OUT: Jean-Philippe Gbamin (knee), Seamus Coleman (knock)


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Man City is -239 to get back in the win column while an Everton result would be considered a big upset despite the difference in stakes. A draw is +375 while an Everton win pays +550.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.


Prediction

Man City will be feeling pressure to deliver a vintage performance going into the UEFA Champions League Final, and it’s a big ask for Everton to take all three points. Kevin De Bruyne is the star ofย Man City 3-1 Everton.


How to watch, stream and start time

Kickoff: 11am ET Sunday
TV Channel: CNBC
Stream: Online via NBCSports.com

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Aston Villa – Everton, stream live! How to watch, odds, prediction

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Aston Villa – Everton is a tasty clash on Thursday (start time 1pm ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as the Toffees try and keep themselves in the hunt for European qualification.

STREAM ASTON VILLA – EVERTON LIVE

Villa have missed Jack Grealish badly in recent weeks, as they have won just two of their last 10 games. But one of those wins did come away at Everton just 10 days ago. Anwar El Ghazi was the hero for Villa on that occasion and Dean Smith will be keen for their season to finish with a flourish as they aim to seal a top 10 finish.

As for Everton, Carlo Ancelotti’s men are still in the top four battle and this is their game in-hand. If they win at Villa they will be just three points behind fourth-place Leicester and will have a game in-hand on the Foxes. Dominic Calvert-Lewin was the hero last time out as they won at West Ham and Ancelotti has said all season long that European qualification is the aim. Everton would gladly take a Europa League spot but maybe, just maybe, they can sneak into the top four.

Hereโ€™s everything you need to know ahead of Aston Villa – Everton.

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Team and injury news

Aston Villa are without the injured duo of Morgan Sanson and Trezeguet, while Ollie Watkins is suspended after being sent off in the defeat to Manchester United. Jack Grealish returns on the bench after a lengthy spell out.

Everton are without Jean-Philippe Gbamin who has picked up a knee injury, as his rotten luck with injuries continues. Yerry Mina and James Rodriguez are both out.


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Aston Villa are the slight underdogs at +165, with Everton favored at +155. The draw is at +235.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction

This will be a tight, tense clash but given the fact that Villa will be missing Watkins and Grealish, plus Everton have improved defensively, go for a narrow Everton win here. Aston Villa 1-2 Everton.


How to watch, stream and start time

Kick off: Thursday, 1pm ET
TV Channel: NBCSN
Online:ย Stream via NBCSports.com