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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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PL Preview: Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace

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  • AFC Bournemouth will make late calls on Diego Rico (hamstring) and Dan Gosling (calf) ahead of Monday night’s match. Charlie Daniels (knee) has completed a couple of days of training and is close to a return to the squad.
  • Crystal Palace will be without Jairo Riedewald, who was injured in the midweek victory over West Bromwich Albion. Christian Benteke (knee) is progressing with his recovery but manager Roy Hodgson says he is still not ready to play. 
  • Eagles forward Wilfried Zaha has scored in all three of his side’s away league fixtures this season.

Premier League matchday seven comes to a close as Wilfried Zaha and Crystal Palace head south to visit Bournemouth (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as both clubs try to position themselves in the heavily-populated mid-table.

Zaha last week called for more protection for star players like himself from referees, so it will be interesting to see how he’s officiated against a backline that will be key’d up to stop him. Bournemouth’s malaigned backline is coming off a rough, cathartic 4-0 thrashing from Burnley and will need a step up in performance if Eddie Howe‘s side wants to return to the win column.

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Bournemouth can move up to as high as sixth place with a win, while a win for Crystal Palace will see it overtake Manchester United in the table.


What they’re saying

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson on Bournemouth: “Their start has been good, there is no doubt about that with ten points from six games being a very good reward and they must be really confident. They haven’t changed their team spectacularly and their football has been pretty stable for the last two seasons which has given them very good results so obviously have no reason to change. We have a good idea what awaits us and the big question will be, are we good enough to deal with the threats that they pose and then of course to make certain that our football poses enough threats to them which will give us a chance to win the game.”

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe on facing Zaha and Crystal Palace: “He is an outstanding player. He did well against us in the two games last year, we found him difficult to deal with. From our prospective that is something we will look to improve. As I would say with any team it is not just him. Yes we need to deal with, be aware of and you have Andros Townsend on the other wing who has had a good start to the season. When [Christian] Benteke plays he is a focal point for them, they have got excellent midfielders, a lot of experience. So there are a lot of areas that they manage very well. But of course we have good players the other way. We know if we are at the top of our game we are a match for anyone.”

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Prediction

Crystal Palace is coming into the match on better form, but this game features two pretty even teams with just one or two great attacking options. Both teams will want the three points but will settle for a draw. Bournemouth 1-1 Crystal Palace

PL Watch Live: Man United v Leicester City

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It’s finally here. The Premier League season is set to get underway.

The Premier League scriptwriters have given us a heck of an opener, with drama-filled Jose Mourinho and Manchester United hosting 2015-2016 Premier League champions Leicester City (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), who have a Riyad Mahrez-size hole to fill in their lineup.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

After complaining for nearly the entire preseason that Mourinho was without half (or more!) of his squad, he’s starting some reinforcements on short rest. Paul Pogba captains the side while Marcus Rashford starts up top along with Alexis Sanchez. Matteo Darmian and Luke Shaw, two players who have been heavily rumored for a move away from Old Trafford, both start at outside back.

Leicester meanwhile continue to lean on captain (Wes) Morgan, with Man United target Harry Maguire starting alongside him. Jamie Vardy makes an appearance on the bench while former Columbus Crew trainee (and Manchester City academy product) Kelechi Iheanacho starts with Demarai Gray for Leicester. Without Mahrez, Leicester needs to find another goal creator. Perhaps Iheanacho or new signing James Maddison could be that player.


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