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Crystal Palace's revival encapsulates just how tight the Premier League relegation battle will be in 2018

SportFootballPremier League Crystal Palace's revival encapsulates just how tight the Premier League relegation battle will be in 2018 There are 10 clubs in the fight to avoid relegation and it is set up to be one of the closest battles for many seasons
Ed Malyon Sports Editor @eaamalyon Friday 15 December 2017 20:24 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport Roy Hodgson has overseen a turnaround in Palace's fortunes Getty League tables are a funny thing, aren’t they?
Teams are ordered on the amount of points they have accrued over the course of the season but those standings – these official rankings – actually mean nothing until the final game is over.
After 17 of their 38 Premier League games this season, Crystal Palace made their way above an imaginary dashed line and out of the relegation zone for the first time. It was only for 24 hours, with West Bromwich Albion’s point at Anfield on Wednesday then seeing them leap out of the bottom three, but it was an immense psyc..

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Manchester City, Tottenham and how Mauricio Pochettino can beat the unbeatable by changing nothing at all

SportFootballPremier League Manchester City, Tottenham and how Mauricio Pochettino can beat the unbeatable by changing nothing at all The most natural Pochettino game just might have what it takes to finally expose City's weak points and inflict their first league defeat of this record-breaking season
Miguel Delaney Chief Football Writer @MiguelDelaney Friday 15 December 2017 12:20 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino meet on Saturday evening Getty After a light-hearted Tuesday afternoon jokily discussing tunnel fights he had been involved in during his playing career, Mauricio Pochettino was eventually asked how he really felt deep down about the lack of fight that Manchester City are facing in this title race. The Tottenham Hotspur boss wanted to pay Pep Guardiola all due respect, but there was the slightest flicker that he was putting the gap down to money spent, within a fair degree of defiance.
“Of course, City was behind us in the..

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FA ask Jose Mourinho to explain himself over diving comments about Manchester City players

SportFootballPremier League FA ask Jose Mourinho to explain himself over diving comments about Manchester City players United manager claimed 'a little bit of wind and they fall' in reference to City's players going to the ground easily
Jack de Menezes @JackdeMenezes Friday 15 December 2017 08:18 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport Jose Mourinho has been asked by the FA to explain comments that he made ahead of the Manchester derby Getty Jose Mourinho has been asked by the Football Association to explain comments he made in the build-up to Manchester United’s 2-1 derby defeat by Manchester City, in which he accused Pep Guardiola’s players of diving.
The FA has requested Mourinho’s observations of his own comments after he said of City’s players last week: “A little bit of wind and they fall.”
The request comes after Mourinho also claimed that had he made a political gesture such as Guardiola’s decision to wear a yellow ribbon on his chest – a symbol of protest a..

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Roy Hodgson running low on patience with struggling Christian Benteke

SportFootballPremier League Roy Hodgson running low on patience with struggling Christian Benteke The club-record £27m signing is yet to score in 12 appearances this season
Declan Warrington Thursday 14 December 2017 17:40 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport The forward is at risk of losing his place to Bakary Sako Getty Roy Hodgson has warned the goalless Christian Benteke he is willing to use Bakary Sako as a striker and that Crystal Palace “cannot afford to carry anyone”.
The club-record £27m signing is yet to score in 12 appearances this season, and despite being their only senior recognised striker, is under growing pressure after Sako came off the bench against Watford to score.
Hodgson had begun to convert Sako from a winger while Benteke was injured, and on Tuesday he scored a poacher's goal when being the first to react to rebounds from Heurelho Gomes' saves.
Despite Hodgson's team having a convincing attacking threat at Selhurst Park, they are yet to ..

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Everton tie talented young trio Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate and Jonjoe Kenny to new contracts

SportFootballPremier League Everton tie talented young trio Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate and Jonjoe Kenny to new contracts Kenny and Holgate both signed deals until June 2022 while Calvert-Lewin agreed a contract to 2023
Lawrence Ostlere @lawrenceostlere Thursday 14 December 2017 19:08 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport Jonjoe Kenny, Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have signed new deals Getty Everton’s prolonged and muddled search for a new manager did not smack of a club with a plan but the announcement that they have tied Jonjoe Kenny, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mason Holgate to new contracts suggests there is at least a clear strategy in place when it comes to the array of young talent at Goodison Park.
Kenny and Holgate both signed deals until June 2022 while Calvert-Lewin agreed a contract to 2023 as the club moved to secure the future of their brightest prospects. “The depth of young talent in our squad is very encouraging,” said the manager, Sam Allardyc..

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Sean Dyche plays down Burnley's ambitions despite their lofty spot in the Premier League's top six

SportFootballPremier League Sean Dyche plays down Burnley's ambitions despite their lofty spot in the Premier League's top six The Burnley manager remains focused on surpassing last season's achievements but very soon they might need a new target
Lawrence Ostlere @lawrenceostlere Thursday 14 December 2017 18:05 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport Sean Dyche's Burnley are sixth in the Premier League Getty Sean Dyche deployed the tried and tested method of downplaying ambition on Thursday, insisting Burnley’s primary target remains bettering last season’s 16th-placed finish despite the club’s lofty position in the Premier League.
Burnley find themselves sixth following a last-gasp win over Stoke on Tuesday evening, sitting level on points with Tottenham and Liverpool and one point above Arsenal, but the manager is doing his very best to keep feet firmly planted.
“The first target is to try and achieve something better than we did last season, both in the team..

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Manchester United, the long-distance sprint and how Jose Mourinho has started losing at his own game

SportFootballPremier League Manchester United, the long-distance sprint and how Jose Mourinho has started losing at his own game Pep Guardiola is beginning to do to Mourinho what he has done to so many before
Tim Rich @timrich001 Thursday 14 December 2017 15:37 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport Jose Mourinho was the master of blowing opponents away early in the season Getty Only once in the aftermath of Manchester United’s laboured victory over Bournemouth did Jose Mourinho sound himself. In the tunnel, straight after the final whistle, he was asked if the title race was over with Manchester City 11 points clear. “If it is over,” he retorted. “I will go on holiday to Brazil or Los Angeles.”
Later, when he had made his way to the Old Trafford press room, he was more downbeat, admitting that Eric Bailly’s ankle injury that has kept him out for six weeks might require surgery. When he was asked if his players still believed they could win the title, he replied: “They believe the..

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Arsene Wenger defends Alexis Sanchez after Arsenal fail to find target

SportFootballPremier League Arsene Wenger defends Alexis Sanchez after Arsenal fail to find target The Chilean has been one of Arsenal's most potent weapons in recent seasons but has scored just four Premier League goals this campaign
Aditi Prakash Thursday 14 December 2017 10:49 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport 'He tried tonight, he did fight. It was difficult because they defended very well as well' Getty Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refused to blame forward Alexis Sanchez's performance for the goalless draw at relegation-threatened West Ham United on Wednesday, saying the entire team must improve after a lacklustre display.
The Chilean has been one of Arsenal's most potent weapons in recent seasons but has scored just four Premier League goals this campaign, the latest in last month's win over Huddersfield Town.
Arsenal's form has mirrored Sanchez's, with the north London side winless in their last three league games and slipping ..

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Newcastle vs Everton: What time does it start, where can I watch it and what are the odds?

SportFootballPremier League Newcastle vs Everton: What time does it start, where can I watch it and what are the odds? A look ahead to Wednesday's Premier League clash at St James' Park
Grant Dalton Wednesday 13 December 2017 17:03 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport Everton won 3-0 in their last meeting with Newcastle Getty Two sides heading in opposite directions in the table face each other on Wednesday night as Newcastle United host Everton at St James’s Park.
Newcastle marked the club’s 125th anniversary with a 3-2 loss to Leicester City on Saturday which showed no shortage of fight but extended the team’s winless run to seven games, including six defeats. Newcastle could drop into the relegation zone unless they win, and with Arsenal and Man City to come in the next few weeks they will be desperate to pick up points against an Everton side who have returned to the top ten under former Magpies manager Sam Allardyce.
With owner Mike Ashley still in talks to sell ..

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Crystal Palace hit two late goals to down Watford and finally escape the Premier League relegation zone

SportFootballPremier League Crystal Palace hit two late goals to down Watford and finally escape the Premier League relegation zone Crystal Palace 2 Watford 1: Bakary Sako smashed home an 89th-minute equaliser before James McArthur slotted home the winner in the second minute of stoppage time
Declan Warrington Selhurst Park Tuesday 12 December 2017 22:22 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport James McArthur scored a dramatic late winner against Watford Getty Crystal Palace climbed out of the Premier League's bottom three after completing their recovery from a goal down in stoppage time to earn a vital 2-1 victory over Watford's 10 men.
At kick-off they remained 20th and desperate for all three points, but in a disastrous start their lack of concentration was punished by the visitors when Daryl Janmaat headed them into the lead in the third minute.
Their improved intensity went without reward to the extent that when Tom Cleverley was sent off in the 87th minute they woul..

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