Tammy Abraham

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Southgate to rest stars, give youth a chance v. Kosovo

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With qualification to the 2020 European Championship secured earlier this week, England manager Gareth Southgate is set to rest most of his star players in favor of giving a number of younger players a chance to impress when the Three Lions take on Kosovo in Pristina on Sunday (12 p.m. ET).

[ PREVIEW: Brazil v. Mexico in U-17 World Cup final ]

According to a report from Sky Sports, Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford will be rested to make way for Chelsea youngsters Tammy Abraham (four caps) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (two caps). Finally given a chance to play regular minutes for the Blues, Abraham has already scored 10 goals in 12 Premier League appearances this season. The 22-year-old former journeyman loanee scored his first England goal in the 7-0 thrashing of Montenegro on Thursday. Hudson-Odoi is yet to score in PL play this season, but has shown well following his return from a ruptured achilles late last season.

John Stones and Jordan Pickford will be moved to the bench after starting against Montenegro. They will likely be replaced by Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings and Burnley’s Nick Pope. Mings has made just one appearance for England, while Pope would be making his first start. Stones is seen as having taken on an excessive workload this season due to the ongoing defensive injury crisis at Manchester City.

[ MORE: Barcelona, Lionel Messi negotiating a new deal ]

Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez departed England camp on Saturday, due to illness and injury respectively. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Declan Rice and Mason Mount could start in midfield with James Maddison (calf) and injury doubt.

Another Chelsea youngster, 21-year-old Fikayo Tomori, is also said to be in line for his first England cap, most likely as a late-game substitute along the backline.

Abraham leads Chelsea past Watford; Pulisic scores again

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Tammy Abraham had a goal and an assist as Chelsea won its fifth-straight Premier League outing, getting another goal from Christian Pulisic in a 2-1 win over Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chelsea will finish the weekend with a six-point cushion on fifth place, now sitting third with 23 points.

Watford got a late penalty from Gerard Deulofeu, awarded by VAR, to score its goal. The Hornets remain dead last with five points through 11 matches.


Three things we learned

1. Abraham the genuine article: The Championship loan high-flyer might’ve entered this season with five Premier League goals from a Swansea City loan, but his bonafides are undoubtable now. Abraham calmly converted Jorginho‘s amazing early cross before setting up Pulisic for a goal in the second half. The 22-year-old now has nine goals and two assists in just over 800 league minutes this season.

2. Watford a one-man show: Maybe a long-awaited return for Troy Deeney can do the trick for winless Watford, but every single promising moment of Saturday’s match came from Gerard Deulofeu. There are other players with promise, including Will Hughes, but Roberto Pereyra, Abdoulaye Doucoure, and Andre Gray were absent. That had a lot to do with trying to meet Chelsea’s attacking energy, but it doesn’t make it any easier to be a Watford supporter.

3. Pulisic keeps league run going: The American winger was charged with being very active in the wide areas and took a satisfactory first half to another level when he doubled Chelsea’s lead. Pulisic adjusts his back post to cut in front of Christian Kabasele and add a fourth goal to his Premier League collection.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch ]

Man of the Match: This one is tough. Mateo Kovacic was a beast, and Abraham weighed in on both goals. But Pulisic’s stat line was also complete, and he honestly was as important as any Blue. Ben Foster really was the reason this match wasn’t a blowout. We’re going to give it to Abraham.


[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Too easy.

That’s the only way to describe Chelsea’s opener, with Jorginho sweeping a cross around the back of Watford’s back four and Abraham timing his run to pop the ball over a charging Ben Foster for 1-0.

Chalobah fired a shot to Kepa Arrizabalaga after Kurt Zouma mishit a cross in the 16th minute.

Pulisic headed Willian‘s corner toward the back post in the 19th minute, but Ben Foster leapt backward to make a fantastic fingertip save.

Gerard Deulofeu drove a shot wide of the far post in the 39th.

Foster made another fine save when Mason Mount tore into an effort from distance just before halftime.

Deulofeu led another break after halftime, but it ended with a superb block from Kurt Zouma.

Willian cued up a Chelsea chance, but Foster made a good stop on a Mount rip.

If anyone was going to get Watford on the board, it was Deulofeu. VAR said he was caught by Jorginho, sending the Spaniard to the spot in the 80th. He rolled it in.

Kepa Arrizabalaga made a diving save on a flying Foster header — yes, you read that right — on the final play of the night.

WATCH: Pulisic scores 4th of season to increase Chelsea lead

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Christian Pulisic has scored in back-to-back games, improving Chelsea’s advantage at Watford on Saturday.

The American had a hat trick last week at Burnley, and was held off the score sheet in the League Cup at midweek before Saturday, when he bagged his fourth Premier League goal.

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Tammy Abraham set up this goal after bagging Chelsea’s first. The striker ran down the right side of the box to meet a Willian pass before squaring through the goal mouth.

That’s where Pulisic ran between a defender and goalkeeper Ben Foster to pump in another goal, doubling the Blues lead in the 54th minute.

Chelsea leads Watford 2-0 with about a half hour to play.

England may leave pitch if racial abuse too much in EURO qualifying

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The England national team could take matters into its own hands if one of its players is racially abused in upcoming EURO qualifiers in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

UEFA’s new protocol starts with a PA warning, then takes the teams from the field and has another PA announcement with a second offense before a referee is given the power to abandon the match.

[ MORE: USMNT players in focus ]

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham says that England could walk off the pitch the first time.

From Sky Sports:

“We did speak about that. Harry Kane did ask the question about instead of going through the three steps, if we decide that we want to stop the game and we want to stop the game, no matter what the score is, if we’re not happy with it, as a team we’ll decide whether or not to stay on the pitch.”

It would be a powerful statement if England left the field due to racial abuse of its players. The Three Lions have started qualifying with four-straight wins, and have a comfortable lead on the field with a match-in-hand.

AT HALF: Chelsea, Arsenal lead; Wolves holding Man City

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We’ve got goals in two of three 9 a.m. ET kickoffs in the Premier League, as David Luiz and Mason Mount goals have Arsenal and Chelsea leading at the break.

[ STREAM: Man City-Wolves ]

[ STREAM: Arsenal-Bournemouth ]

[ STREAM: Southampton-Chelsea ]

Man City still waits for a breakthrough, and honestly Wolves have looked closer to scoring at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.


Man City 0-0 Wolves

The best chances have been produced by City… for Wolves. A bad Riyad Mahrez giveaway forced a double stop from Fernandinho at the back. Man City settled into possession over the half’s final 30 minutes or so, but no goals yet at the Etihad.

Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth

David Luiz turned a near-post corner kick from Nicolas Pepe back across goal and inside the far post to give the Gunners their lead.

Southampton 1-3 Chelsea

Tammy Abraham collected a Callum Hudson-Odoi long ball and chipped Angus Gunn after working Maya Yoshida 1v1. Pretty stuff, and Jan Bednarek of Saints helped the Blues to another with a flubbed clearance to help Willian feed Mason Mount for 2-0.

Danny Ings has pulled a goal back for the hosts, but N’Golo Kante restored the 2-goal advantage before the break.