Aug 12, 2013, 9:00 AM EST
Each day from now until the beginning of the Premier League season, we will preview two teams from England’s top flight. You can view them all here at PST Preview central. Don’t forget, the 2013-14 PL season begins on August 17th, and for the first-time ever you can watch every game live on NBC Sports.
After claiming fourth in 2011-12, Tottenham “regressed” last season, their first under André Villas-Boas. Regressed is in quotes because the club posted their best point total in a 38-game season, matched their largest win total in the Premier League era, and made the quarterfinals of Europa League. Along the way, one of the brighter young managers in Europe started to remake the squad he’d inherited from Harry Redknapp, a process that should start to reap rewards this season.
Transfers In: W Nacir Chadli (Twente), M Paulinho (Corinthians), F Roberto Soldado (Valencia)
Transfer Out: D Steven Caulker (Cardiff City), F Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders)
Key Player: Sometimes you have to think long and hard about which player’s going to have the greatest impact on a team’s season. Other times you get the team that has Gareth Bale.
If he’s sold to Real Madrid (which seems unlikely at this point), Tottenham gets the largest transfer package in history, somewhere close to a $130 million evaluation. They spend some of that this window, some in January, some next summer; regardless, they’re able to address multiple areas of need. Whether they can replace the attacker’s 21 league goals morphs into a debate as to whether improvements at the back and the influx of quality depth do enough to offset the loss.
And if Daniel Levy keeps Bale? The 24-year-old keeps improving, just as he’s done every season. With a year’s experience, Villa-Boas knows how to get the most out of him, forgoing the try-and-error period during the season’s opening months. In the coach’s favored 4-3-3, Bale makes yet another leap and starts to justify the vague Cristiano Ronaldo comparisons that have latched on to him this summer.
Manager: Still only 35, Villas-Boas has already amassed over three years or top-flight experience, and while his third season (a short spell at Chelsea) was initially viewed as a disaster, history has been kind to the former Porto boss. Between the work he’s done at White Hart Lane and the troubles Chelsea saw last year, his time at Stamford Bridge is now seen as a young manager being a bad fit for a idiosyncratic squad.
This year, however, between Paulinho and Soldado, Villas-Boas has the pieces to implement his preferred approach. While he did well playing a 4-2-3-1 last season, now Villas-Boas can play the same system that brought him success at Porto. He’ll be expecting a return to Champions League.
Outlook: Spurs have the talent to compete as high as third place, especially if they acquire some depth toward the end of the summer window. More likely, they’ll be battling Arsenal for fourth, again, with a large portion of their fate determined by how Arsène Wenger spends his rumored war chest.
Dec 21, 2013, 1:29 PM EST
Recaps, reaction, video highlights and more from all seven PL games on Saturday:
Dec 21, 2013, 1:13 PM EST
Want to watch all the PL action and hear the experts analyze every game? Watch MOTD live here:
Dec 21, 2013, 12:58 PM EST
Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay spoke after his side lost to Liverpool, stating that, despite an ultimatum from owner Vincent Tan, he would not resign.
Dec 21, 2013, 12:26 PM EST
Baggies bounce back as fighting spirit surfaces in rambunctious battle with Hull:
Dec 21, 2013, 12:17 PM EST
Sunderland fought hard for all three points, but in the end, they remain dead last after a goalless draw with Norwich.
Dec 21, 2013, 12:13 PM EST
The Toon are on the verge of the top four after another superb victory at plucky Palace:
Dec 21, 2013, 12:04 PM EST
Villa managed to make the match interesting for about five minutes, but ultimately it was fairly easy for Stoke to get all three points.
Dec 21, 2013, 12:00 PM EST
United back in the groove as superb attacking display dispatches Hammers:
Dec 21, 2013, 11:57 AM EST
Fulham came back from 2-0 down, but City were simply the superior side, ultimately trotting out the winners.
Dec 21, 2013, 11:05 AM EST
United flying high as Moyes’ men are putting on a show at Old Trafford, watch the second half unfold:
Dec 21, 2013, 9:58 AM EST
Rooney returns, can he help United down the Hammers? Watch live, right here:
Dec 21, 2013, 9:43 AM EST
Can the Eagles clip the Magpies wings down at Selhurst Park? Watch live, right here:
Dec 21, 2013, 9:36 AM EST
Against Cardiff, Luis Suárez added two more goals to his season tally, making Malky Mackay’s position even more precarious.
Dec 21, 2013, 9:31 AM EST
Uruguayan superstar bags 18th and 19th goals of the season, watch his sublime strikes:
Dec 21, 2013, 9:26 AM EST
West Brom look for their first win in seven matches as they welcome Hull City to the Hawthorns.
Dec 21, 2013, 9:19 AM EST
Will City pile more pressure on the teams above them with a win over Fulham? Watch live, here:
Dec 21, 2013, 9:13 AM EST
With neither side particularly adept at scoring, will we see any action at the Britannia today? Give us your thoughts.
Dec 21, 2013, 8:20 AM EST
Cardiff were only able to hold out for 25 minutes before Luis Suárez had the ball in the back of the net.
Dec 21, 2013, 7:40 AM EST
If a player is already finding it hard to start regularly, is it wise to publicly contradict the manager?
Dec 21, 2013, 7:25 AM EST
Where and how to watch all 10 PL games in Week 16 online, or via the app:
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- Manchester United 3-1 West Ham: Rampant Red Devils ease to three points 0
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- Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff City: Yet another side undone by Luis Suárez 0
- WATCH: Suarez scores two stunners for Liverpool to celebrate new deal (VIDEO) 0
- WATCH: Premier League live on NBC Sports Live Extra – Week 17 0
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