Erik Pieters

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Burnley to add Rodriguez, Pieters; Bournemouth adds full back

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A pair of Football League Championship fullbacks are moving to the Premier League, one of them a returnee.

[ MORE: Arnautovic leaves West Ham ]

Jack Stacey is leaving Luton Town for the shores of Bournemouth on a four-year deal.

The 23-year-old right back heads to the Cherries on the heels of the 75 career appearances with five goals.

“This is a great club with a fantastic manager who helps establish young players, so that made it an easy decision in the end,” Stacey said. “I believe I can thrive here and I can’t wait to get started.”

Bournemouth reportedly paid about $6 million for the back, and will also sell former club record signing Tyrone Mings for between $25-31 million.

Meanwhile at Turf Moor, Burnley has signed a left back and may reportedly be buying back one of its homegrown forwards.

The latter is Stoke City’s Erik Pieters, who arrives on a two-year deal with an option for a third. The Dutch fullback made 150 appearances for Stoke in the Premier League and spent last season in the Championship with the Potters.

As for the former, Sky Sports says Burnley is bidding $13 million to bring Jay Rodriguez from West Bromwich Albion. The one-time Southampton man turns 30 later this month.

Rodriguez made the first 128 senior appearances of his career with the Clarets, leaving in 2012 when his manager was Eddie Howe (now, of course, of Bournemouth. So this post comes full circle).

Liverpool 0-0 Stoke: Home dominance without finish

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  • Dominant Reds can’t score
  • Pieters penalty uncalled
  • Salah misses breakaway

Liverpool couldn’t find a way past Stoke City, drawing the relegation-threatened Potters 0-0 at Anfield on Saturday.

The Reds wasted a chance to stay in the race for second place but staying mostly healthy for Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg at Roma.

The Potters now have 30 points, three back of 17th place Swans and one ahead of Saints, but have played two matches more than both.

Stoke was out shot 20-5 and held less than one-third of the ball on the day.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Stoke’s Moritz Bauer nearly put Liverpool on the penalty spot in the fifth minute when he reached out for Trent Alexander-Arnold inside the six, but was mercifully let off the hook.

Moments later, the Reds gave the Potters a break in the most surprising fashion, with Mohamed Salah‘s 50-yard breakaway chipped over Jack Butland but wide of the near post. Stunning, really: It would’ve been a remarkable way to set a Premier League record.

A rare Stoke counterattack saw Mame Biram Diouf head a cross off the outside of the goal from an acute angle in the 20th minute.

Peter Crouch just missed getting on the end of a cross through the six moments later, as the Potters started to fancy their chances of a necessary away result.

Salah missed the near post and rippled the outside of the netting with a free kick in the 34th.

Danny Ings score a fine goal from a tight, tight angle, but was just offside when the ball was played.

Already thin in the midfield, Jordan Henderson took a follow-through of Xherdan Shaqiri‘s pass in the shin and collapsed to the turf.

Liverpool bumbled through the second half, but was unlucky to not receive a penalty when Giorginio Wijnaldum’s cross was blocked by Erik Pieters‘ dangling arm. Most times, that’s given.

The Potters nearly took advantage when Diouf crossed for Shawcross and the veteran couldn’t cut it inside the goal with a slide in tight.

As for the below stat, make it 55…

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

VIDEO: Hughes hails Stoke’s character, defensive play in win over Chelsea

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Once known as a tough, physical team that is hard to break down, Stoke City has seen a recent transformation that focuses on playing more attacking, attractive football.

Today, they were a little bit of both.

Chelsea put in a good performance at the Britannia, but Stoke City stood strong and held on for a 1-0 win, moving the Potters up to 12th on the table.

[ MORE: Three things we learned ]

The goal was a bit of the new Stoke, switching the field and quickly moving the ball up the pitch, capped off by a brilliant individual effort from Marko Arnautovic.

Then there was a bit of the old Stoke, as captain and center-back Ryan Shawcross relentlessly battled with Diego Costa while Erik Pieters played through what certainly looked to be a broken nose.

After the match, manager Mark Hughes praised Stoke’s character in the win, hailing the team effort to get a big result.

I thought we displayed great character today and all the qualities that you need to compete against one of the best teams in the Premier League, if not in Europe.

Irrespective of their troubles at the moment in terms of getting results on the board, Chelsea are a fantastic team with great individual talent and world-class players.

Hughes appreciated the toughness of Pieters to play through his injury, and called for Shawcross to get a look for the England national team. The Potters’ captain missed the beginning of the season while recovering from back surgery, but has played 90 minutes in each of Stoke’s past two matches, in which the team has not conceded a goal.

Premier League Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Stoke City

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  • Stoke swept Spurs last season
  • Tottenham leads all-time 43W-20D-25L
  • Spurs 7W-2D-5L since Stoke’s PL return

Stoke City and Spurs both fell victim in tight contests against tough opening day foes, and it barely gets any easier when the two square off at White Hart Lane on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

USMNT veteran Geoff Cameron’s Potters will be looking to keep up their mastery of Spurs after last year’s sweep by a combined score of 5-1. Both matches did see a Tottenham player earn a red card, with Kyle Naughton sent off while Spurs trailed 2-1 in the first match, while Vlad Chiriches’ sending-off in the second match came in the 55th minute with Spurs already down 2-0. Ugly stuff.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]

Tottenham fell 1-0 to Manchester United on opening weekend in a listless affair that could’ve gone either way, or just as easily ending 0-0. Kyle Walker’s own goal was the only thing that broke the stalemate, while the Potters and Reds also could’ve ended 0-0 had Philippe Coutinho not scored a wonder goal to send Liverpool past Stoke.

Spurs will be competing this week and into the future without Roberto Soldado, who’s been sold to Villarreal and will return to La Liga.

[ WATCH LIVE: Stream every PL game via Live Extra ]

What they’re saying

Spurs’ boss Mauricio Pochettino is happy to be home: “They’ve got a lot of quality in the team, so we have to be aware of the danger they bring. But at home we want to win every game and that’s the mentality we’ll have for Saturday.”

Stoke defender Erik Pieters on facing Spurs: “We have to dare to play in the big games, and with the players we have here now we can play good attacking football and put other teams under pressure, whether we are at home or away. We had a good result against Tottenham last season at White Hart Lane and we want to do the same again. We believe that we can go there and win the game. That is what we will be looking to do.”

Prediction

Given their respective slates always looked tough, one of these teams could be looking at a zero-point total in the Premier League basement despite such high expectations to open the season. Home field does feel like the tipping point here, though Spurs’ relative consistency with their squad might also be what brings Tottenham past its still-gelling opponents. Give us Spurs by a 2-0 margin, but also some leeway: Stoke is good.

Stoke City 0-1 Liverpool: Coutinho stunner saves Liverpool late

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  • Liverpool featured five debutants
  • First 45 minutes progressed with little action
  • Philippe Coutinho golazo wins it with four minutes left

Liverpool went into the Britannia charged for revenge after last season ended with an embarrassing 6-1 defeat at that very ground. Just as it looked they’d come out confused, befuddled, and devoid of ideas, Philippe Coutinho unleashed a stunner to give the Reds all three points.

Stoke City held well along the back and had the best pair of chances as the two sides appeared to be snoozing their way to a 0-0 draw when Coutinho’s beauty struck the back of the net with four minutes to go.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

The first chance fell to Charlie Adam in the Liverpool box inside 8 minutes, but he whiffed on the shot as the ball fell to him in the middle of the box. From there, the game snoozed through much of the first half-hour, with either team shifting tactics to counter the other. On 35 minutes, Stoke had another opportunity but Ibrahim Afellay’s first effort was blocked and Glen Johnson’s follow-up shot looped over the bar.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Halftime came without much else to show for the first 45 minutes. Erik Pieters had to come off after the break due to injury, replaced by Philipp Wollscheid. Liverpool eventually made a substitution as well, although it wasn’t the one many expected. With the game continuing to drag, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers brought on defensive midfielder Emre Can instead of new signing Roberto Firmino.

Past the half-hour mark, Liverpool found its first shot on target from a set-piece, a free-kick flung over the box at the feet of Martin Skrtel who found his central defensive partner Dejan Lovren, but his low shot from a tight angle was held easily by Jack Butland. Eventually, Rodgers would eventually bring on Firmino, but to little effect.

[ MORE: Click here for full lineups, stats, box score ]

Stoke had a chance as Charlie Adam found Mame Diouf with a free-kick but the latter whiffed on the far post tap-in. Liverpool picked things up past 65 minutes as a Christian Benteke shot was blocked and the pace seemed to brighten slightly, and the ensuing corner saw Butland make a diving save to keep out a solid Benteke header.

Diouf again found himself the target of a ball forward into the box, but his header just glanced wide of the post with seven minutes remaining. The game looked to be snoozing to a finish, and Rodgers was about to substitute off Coutinho when the Brazilian shook off the cobwebs, burst forward through the midfield and unleashed a sparkling ray of brilliance that lifted the visitors to delight.