PL

Pogba, Shaw, Martial remain sidelined

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Paul Pogba will miss a second straight Premier League match as he continues to overcome a persistent ankle injury.

Man United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, ahead of his side’s league matchup at West Ham United on Sunday, confirmed that Pogba, along with left back Luke Shaw and forward Anthony Martial will all miss out on the match-up. Pogba hasn’t played since suffering an ankle injury in Man United’s 1-1 draw with Southampton before the international break.

Pogba missed a chance to join up with the France National Team for Euro 2020 qualifiers and according to Solskjaer, via the Manchester Evening News, Pogba hasn’t returned to full training. At the same time, Wales international and rising star Daniel James could also miss the match with an undisclosed injury. James reportedly suffered the injury during Man United’s 1-0 win over Leicester City.

The quartet of players all missed out on Man United’s 1-0 win over Astana in the UEFA Europa League group stage opener. Man United is now 2-0 since losing Pogba, with the wins over Leicester City and Astana. It will be fascinating to see whether Nemanja Matic retains his place alongside Scott McTominay, and whether that gives Man United a little more defensive balance.

Pogba so far has played four matches for Man United this season. Both Shaw and Martial have just played three times, though Martial already has two goals on the season.

Crossroads: What if Tevez hadn’t saved West Ham?

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Carlos Tevez, the wonderful yet enigmatic Argentine striker, had put West Ham in a position to survive for another Premier League season at the end of the 2006-2007 season.

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After scoring his first Premier League goal for West Ham on March 4 against Tottenham, Tevez reeled off five more goals in West Ham’s next nine games, which coincided with six wins to bring West Ham into safety. Heading into the final game of the season at Man United, West Ham only needed a draw against the eventual champions.

But what if West Ham collapsed at Old Trafford, and went down? What would it have done for both West Ham, and Tevez’s career?

Of course, we know that’s not what happened. Tevez scored just before halftime in one of his brilliant, me-against-the-world dribbles through five defenders and West Ham went on to win to secure safety.

Watch the latest episode of Crossroads above and check out all the previous episodes here.

WATCH LIVE: Arsenal vs. Manchester City

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For the second time in a week, Manchester City heads to London to take on Arsenal.

After the 3-0 win in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium last Sunday, Pep Guardiola‘s side heads to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsene Wenger and co., looking for a chance to win again and keep pushing the lead at the top of the Premier League. (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

Vincent Kompany starts four days after scoring alogngside Nicolas Otamendi with Sergio Aguero up top behind Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva. On the other side, Arsenal keeps Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka in midfield but brings in Petr Cech, Saed Kolasinac and Danny Welbeck into the starting lineup.

Click the link above and enjoy what should be a thrilling match!

LINEUPS

Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Kolasinac; Ramsey, Xhaka; Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Welbeck; Aubameyang

Bench: Ospina, Holding, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Iwobi, Nketiah

Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Danilo; de Bruyne, Gundogan, D. Silva; B. Silva, Aguero, Sane

Bench: Bravo, Laporte, Stones, Toure, Foden, Zinchenko, Jesus

Premier League Preview: Bournemouth vs. Manchester City

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  • Raheem Sterling has scored five Premier League goals against Bournemouth; more than versus any club in the competition. This includes his only Premier League hat-trick in October 2015.
  • Sergio Aguero has scored in seven successive Premier League away appearances. Only Robin Van Persie (nine matches) has a better run.
  • Benjamin Mendy could make his Manchester City debut.
  • Bournemouth will be without Simon Francis (hamstring), Junior Stanislas (groin) and Callum Wilson (knee), but Jermain Defoe is close to full fitness after recovering from a groin strain.

Manchester City is looking to continue its unbeaten run as it travels to face the Cherries of AFC Bournemouth (Watch live at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Pep Guardiola‘s side is coming off a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Everton but Guardiola is still phasing in some of the team’s new signings, including Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy, who could make his debut this weekend, especially with the suspension of Kyle Walker.

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The Cherries meanwhile are off to a tough start, dropping to 16th in the Premier League with losses to West Bromwich Albion and Watford in the first two weeks. Having Jermain Defoe finally fit and a midweek win over Birmingham City in the EFL Cup could be enough to lift the club’s spirits ahead of a tough challenge with Manchester City.

What they’re saying

Pep Guardiola on Bournemouth: “The Premier League is so complicated, so special. Sometimes in Champions League the teams they play and they let you play. Bournemouth are a team who want to play. The manager is so good in those terms. They did a fantastic season last season. Okay, They start with two defeats but sometimes that can happen, it’s just the beginning.”

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe on his team’s start: “It gets tougher every year, the competition gets more intense and the players get better. This will be the hardest Premier League ever because it’s the most recent one. With the money in the Premier League now the standard of the players coming in is always improving and that makes it ever-harder for each team to compete. It’s a challenge we always look forward to taking on.”

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Prediction

History says this is Manchester City’s game to lose and based on the way both teams have started this season, there’s no reason to believe it won’t be a similar outcome, even with Man City on the road. Manchester City 3-1 Bournemouth

Premier League 2017-18 preview – Burnley

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Burnley manager Sean Dyche achieved a feat that hadn’t been accomplished at the club in the Premier League era: Survival.

The club managed to stay up, surviving relegation by six points with a 40 point total in 2017, giving Dyche and Burnley a second-consecutive season in the Premier League. The last two times the club had been in the Premier League, in 2009-2010 and 2014-2015, it had gone straight down.

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The goal again this season will be survival, and considering the signings made, Dyche is more worried about his defense than signing a striker who can create a moment of magic that could excite fans and lift the team on the field.

After selling top centerback Michael Keane to Everton in a big-money move, it will be difficult to see Burnley remain in the Premier League, but Dyche is an expert motivator and tactician, and it’s expected that Burnley will be fighting for a top-17 place in the table until the last day of the season.

[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub

Best, worst case scenario: Burnley will finish 15th after improving its defensive form and finding a new scoring outlet other than Sam Vokes, or seeing Vokes have a breakout year with 15 or more goals. More likely, Burnley will sit in the relegation zone for most of the season, and it will be a mental grind to see if they have what it takes to pick up important points.

Best possible XI is…


—– Heaton —–

— Bardsley — Long — Tarkowski — Mee — 

—- Gudmundsson —- Cork —- Defour —- Brady —-

—– Vokes —– Gray —–


Transfers In: Jonathan Walters ($4 million, Stoke City), Jack Cork ($13.2 million, Swansea City), Phil Bardsley ($993,000, Stoke City), Charlie Taylor ($4 million, Leeds).

Transfers Out: Michael Keane ($33.1 million, Everton), George Boyd (Free), Joey Barton (Free).

Last season
– 16th place in Premier League
– Second round of EFL Cup
– Fifth round of 2016-17 FA Cup

Burnley’s Tom Heaton during the pre-season match at The City Ground, Nottingham. (Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images)

Star player: Tom Heaton – The 31-year-old goalkeeper was once again Burnley’s savior, producing many fine saves and keeping the club in a position to stay up. Heaton, who’s form has lifted him into the England National Team squad, earned 10 clean sheets and 11 wins last season along with 141 saves including one on a penalty kick. With such an inexperienced and light defense, Heaton will be as important as ever this season if Burnley wants to stay in the Premier League.

Coaches’ Corner: One of the few English managers in the Premier League, Burnley’s management has shown tremendous faith in the former centerback, sticking with him when the team was relegated from the Premier League in 2015 all the way through now. Dyche has a knack for organizing his team tactically to make them tough to break down, but at times last year when they were broken, the floodgates were open. Dyche will have another rough challenge on his hands this season, and he’ll need to guide his team mentally through the grind of the Premier League.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche during the pre-season friendly match at Turf Moor, Burnley. (Photo by Getty Images)

PST predicts: Burnley will have a tough time dealing with the loss of Michael Keane from the backline, as well as facing the other sides, many of which have improved more this offseason. The club will likely be in the relegation dog fight all season long, but if the team can improve its road form, they can have a path to survival, provided the club’s home form remains the same.