2018/19 Premier League

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PL Sunday Preview: Liverpool host Chelsea; Man City visit Crystal Palace

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In what may be Liverpool’s toughest remaining league match of the season, the Reds host the Blues of Chelsea in an epic matchup between two big six sides. Chelsea will be looking to spoil Liverpool’s title hopes yet again. It was Chelsea and Demba Ba who pounced on Steven Gerrard‘s slip in midfield which led to Liverpool losing the title in 2014.

Liverpool v. Chelsea — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Liverpool took care of business last week early against Porto, and with a 2-0 lead, it may allow manager Jurgen Klopp to focus more of his attention on one of the biggest games of the season against Chelsea. When these teams met earlier in the season, Chelsea recorded a 1-1 draw in the Premier League and a 2-1 win in the League Cup. More than Manchester City, Chelsea may be Liverpool’s bogey team. The Reds haven’t beaten Chelsea in six games, dating back to 2016.

One of Liverpool’s big boosts heading into the match is the return of the marauding Scottish left wing back Andrew Robertson. That should allow James Milner to either return to midfield or take a place on the bench, where he can make a second-half impact with fresh legs. In addition, Joe Gomez is available after a long injury layoff while Adam Lallana is expected to take part as well. But it will be up to the likes of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane to break down Chelsea’s backline and secure a massive three points to stay alive for the title.

An interesting little facet of this game is that it will come minutes after the end of Manchester City’s match at Crystal Palace. Liverpool and Chelsea’s players will know if Man City has taken back the lead in the table, or whether Liverpool can extend its lead at the top.

INJURIES: Liverpool —  OUT: None | Chelsea — OUT: None

Crystal Palace v. Manchester City — 9:05 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Before Thursday’s defeat to Tottenham in the UEFA Champions League, Manchester City hadn’t lost a match since a 2-1 loss at Newcastle at the end of January. Now, Pep Guardiola heads back to London for the second time in a week looking to remain in the title hunt.

With Liverpool keeping pace at the top, Man City can’t afford a slip on on the road, but Roy Hodgson and his side will be hoping to pick up at least a point at Selhurst Park. Unsurprisingly, Crystal Palace has struggled against the Big Six sides this season, with the exception a 3-2 win….at Manchester City. Andros Townsend‘s world-class strike helped to prove the difference. Could Crystal Palace secure six points over the title-favorites?

Meanwhile for Man City, Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane could inject some freshness back into the squad after sitting out the past couple of games. Also in Man City’s favor, Crystal Palace has lost 12 of its 16 Premier League home games this season. Plus, with a win, Man City goes one point ahead of Liverpool, putting all the pressure on Klopp’s side.

INJURIES: Crystal Palace —  OUT: James Tompkins (groin), Mamadou Sakho (knee) | Manchester City — QUESTIONABLE: Oleksandr Zinchenko, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy

PL Sunday Preview: Man City hosts Chelsea in high-profile matchup

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There’s plenty on the line in Sunday’s high-profile matchup between Manchester City and Chelsea. Meanwhile, in the first match of the morning, surging Tottenham takes on Leicester City side that is winless in its last five.

[READ: Liverpool back on track with win over Bournemouth]

Man City v. Chelsea — 11:00 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

After a week in which Manchester City defeated Arsenal and Everton in somewhat comfortable fashion, Pep Guardiola‘s side faces a new, even tougher test.

It was only Huddersfield Town last week, but Chelsea looked back to its best once again in its 5-0 victory, with Gonzalo Higuain already looking like a terrific fit at the top of Chelsea’s attack. Higuain’s addition will take up a lot of Manchester City’s mental energy as they plan to face Chelsea, which could leave more space for Juninho to quarterback the Blues attack or for Eden Hazard and Willian to break down the wings on the counter attack.

Then again, this is Manchester City. Guardiola has his team firing on all cylinders. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are set to return to the starting lineup. Manchester City can set a new Premier League record if they score two goals; it will be their 15th consecutive home match with at least two goals scored.

Though this is the Premier League, this game could be played with some caution. Both teams face each other again later this month at Wembley Stadium in the Carabao Cup final.

INJURIES: Man City —  OUT: Benjamin Mendy (knee), Vincent Kompany (muscular) | Chelsea — OUT: None; PROBABLE: Callum Hudson-Odoi (Illness), Gary Cahill (back)


Tottenham v. Leicester City — 8:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

They won’t be on the field, but Harry Kane and Dele Alli gave Tottenham a huge boost this week by returning to training. That could be just what the team needs as it makes a mid-season push to stay in the top four, and potentially – who knows?! – try and win the Premier League title. Tottenham can win its fourth successive Premier League match and could come within two points of Man City before it plays Chelsea. Despite cup defeats in late January, Mauricio Pochettino‘s side has found a way to win in each of its last three league matches, all one-goal victories.

On the other side, Leicester City has dropped to 12th in the table as discontent for manager Claude Puel grows. Leicester hasn’t won a match since New Year’s Day, but they suffered a narrow loss to Manchester United and drew with Liverpool, perhaps showing some improvement, even without the result. Youri Tielemens appears to have improved the midfield, and Jamie Vardy has a great history facing Tottenham. He’s scored four goals with three assists in his last seven matches against Spurs.

INJURIES: Tottenham —  OUT: Dele Alli (hamstring), Harry Kane (ankle), Ben Davies (groin), Vincent Janssen (knee), Eric Dier (illness) | Leicester City — OUT: Mark Albrighton (hamstring), Daniel Amartey (ankle)

Premier League Preview: Tottenham vs. Manchester City

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  • Spurs have midfielder Dele Alli (hamstring) available again. Jan Vertonghen (hamstring) and Danny Rose (groin) are continuing to make progress but remain absent. 
  • Man City’s Ilkay Gundogan is still doubtful with a groin problem, while Danilo (ankle) is likely to be missing. Fabian Delph has returned to contention. Claudio Bravo (Achilles) is a long-term absentee
  • Tottenham Hotspur has lost only two of their last 21 PL matches at Wembley (W15 D4 L2), but one of those defeats came against Man City in April. 
  • Man City is unbeaten in six PL away matches in London (W5 D1) and has won the last four in a row. Man City could now become the first non-London side to win five consecutive PL matches in the capital. 

Round 10 of the Premier League season comes to a close with a monumental matchup, as Manchester City travels south to take on Tottenham at Wembley Stadium (Watch live at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com). The two teams take the field around 24 hours after the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, leaving the turf in a bit of a rough state, though we’ll see how both teams handle the potentially bumpy pitch.

Tottenham received a major boost late last week with the return of Dele Alli to full training but Man City can also count on Kevin De Bruyne available, though he may come off the bench.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

What they’re saying

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino on facing Man City: “I think they are one of the best teams in Europe, not only in England. It will be so tough. They are unbeaten, they have excellent players. Of course, it will be tough. We will play the same way, as always. You cannot change your approach or mentality because the opponent is good like City. We are going to have our strategy, with or without the ball, and will try to win the game. That’s most important, playing in the way we want to play. Football is about belief. We respect them but our belief is that we can win.”

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola on facing a title contender: “When you play against the contenders it’s almost six points, isn’t it? These are important. I don’t know what’s happened in the past but it’s true that the strong teams are making a lot of points, they are not dropping points easily. That’s why maybe the games against the contenders are becoming so important. We’ve started with three games away against them. That’s why it is so important to take those points.

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Prediction

Although Tottenham has struggled in UEFA Champions League play, Spurs have won four straight Premier League matches and the ingredients are all there for an upset victory at home, especially with the potential poor condition of the Wembley Stadium turf. Man City has performed well in de Bruyne’s absence, but it misses his presence today. Tottenham 2-1 Manchester City

 

Top Premier League storylines for Week 8

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A top of the table clash awaits soccer fans across the globe as we build up to the match at Anfield. Week eight of the Premier League season is gearing up to be one of the most interesting weeks of the season.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]


Will Liverpool or Manchester City keep its unbeaten record intact?
Liverpool vs. Manchester City — 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN STREAM ]

This has the potential to be the game of the season.

There’s stars on both sides of the field. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino up top. Heck, there’s James Milner and Virgil Van Dijk, who probably don’t get enough credit for how good they are. Meanwhile, the Blue side of Manchester has just as much to counter back with, if not more. Sergio Aguero, Riyad Mahrez, Leroy Sane and Fernandinho are just a few players expected to have a big impact this weekend.

Sunday’s match is the first true high-level test for these two teams early on in this season, one that can have a ripple effect for the rest of the season depending on the result. For all of Man City’s exploits, it hasn’t won at Anfield since 2003. Liverpool holds a home record against Man City since then of 12 wins and five draws.

Will Jose Mourinho survive another weekend?
Manchester United vs. Newcastle — 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC STREAM ]

It’s been a rough two weeks for Manchester United, with every passing day Jose Mourinho’s fate seeming closer to being sealed.

A scoreless draw this week with Valencia in the UEFA Champions League followed an uninspiring 3-1 defeat at West Ham, with chaos seemingly reigning supreme in the Man United dressing room. Paul Pogba remains in the first team in spire of Mourinho’s comments but Alexis Sanchez has been inexplicably poor, left out of the gameday squad at times and a shell of his former self when he was with Arsenal and Barcelona.

Now, as rumors of Mourinho’s potential departure grow, the intensity ramps up with struggling Newcastle coming to town. For Mourinho, a win will at least appease his bosses and fans for another week, even as he seems to be on the edge. This could also be close to the end of the road for Rafa Benitez. The former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss seems fed up with the situation at Newcastle, where he’s effectively been forced to coach with one (or both) hands behind his back.

Can Arsenal continue its strong form in a London derby?

Fulham vs. Arsenal — 7:00 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN STREAM ]

It’s gone a bit under the radar, but Arsenal is looking like the Arsenal of yore.

Unai Emery‘s side has now won eight games on the bounce in all competitions, including an unbeaten September, with 16 goals scored and just four goals conceded. Arsenal hasn’t played any massive games, but the Gunners have taken care of business in places where in the past, they may have faltered. Road wins in Baku, Azerbaijan, Newcastle and Cardiff has this team flying back up the table after two defeats to open the season.

One player to keep an eye on moving forward is Alex Iwobi. The England-born Nigerian international winger has been in fine form recently, and could have a big impact against a struggling Fulham squad.

After looking so solid defensively through most of the Championship season in 2017-2018, Fulham has failed to make the grade so far in the Premier League. Getting a win over a London rival could be a big boost moving forward for the Cottagers.

Watch Live: Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace

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Eddie Howe and Bournemouth welcome Roy Hodson’s Crystal Palace to the Vitality Stadium Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as both teams look to close out Matchday 7 with three points.

The two teams played to a pair of dramatic 2-2 draws last season. Joshua King saved a point for Bournemouth last April on the south coast of England while Christian Benteke missed a 93rd minute penalty kick to squander a chance for Crystal Palace to win last December. This time around, we could see another four-goal thriller, with Zaha, Max Meyer, and Andros Townsend starting for the Eagles and King, Callum Wilson and Jefferson Lerma starting for the Cherries.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE

Enjoy the match!


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