Injury sees Clint Dempsey miss out again for Spurs

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Last week it took us by surprised, but after getting word of his injury, concern about Clint Dempsey’s exclusion from Tottenham’s team against Stoke proved much ado about nothing. Whereas the first reaction from U.S. Men’s National Team fans was one of concern, word of “Deuce’s” groin injury help assuage worries the USMNT linchpin was losing time with his club.

But over the Christmas holiday we heard very little about his (or anybody’s) fitness, so when the U.S. international was again excluded from André Villas-Boas’s team for today’s match at Villa Park, there were renewed concerns. Only this time, the concerns were accompanied by a bit of conspiracy.

Where’s Clint Dempsey? And why don’t we know more about his status?

Today against Aston Villa, Villas-Boas has selected the same four players who started at forward and wide midfield in Spurs’ 0-0 weekend draw with Stoke. Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe were up top. Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon wide.

And just under an hour into today’s match, the results have been much the same. That Tottenham has continued to struggle without Dempsey will provide some solace for Deuce’s biggest supporters, even if Defoe’s broken through near the hour.

MORE: Wayne Rooney set to miss three weeks for Manchester United

Still, all this fretting exaggerates the influence of Dempsey’s injury. While it’s true that the former Cottager may see slightly less time in a fully healthy Spurs team, he’s not going to be forgotten. Villas-Boas clearly values Dempsey’s contributions, which is why the American was not only immediately inserted into Spurs’ starting XI after his arrival but also maintained his place during his early season adaptation.

And paranoia about his injury status may also go too far. Given the nature of groin injuries, if Dempsey was hurt on Saturday, it’s not unreasonable that he’d continue to have problems today. It’s only been three days.

Until we hear more, there’s no reason to think Dempsey’s fitness is a serious concern. Nor is there reason to think he’s fallen out of favor at White Hart Lane.

WATCH: Rashford sends arrow home to put Man Utd up two

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Seemingly everything he touches turns to gold goals.

Marcus Rashford scored twice in the first 17 minutes of Wednesday’s League Cup third round match versus Burton Albion at Old Trafford, and the second was a beaut.

[ MORE: Everton fines Rooney ]

It was a classy little chipped finish that made it 1-0, but Rashford unleashed from outside the 18 to beat a flying goalkeeper and put a jewel on the scoreboard.

Well, not really a jewel, but picture that “2” as real shiny.

Rashford now has five goals in eight matches for Manchester United this season, and 22 in 78 for his career. He turns 20 next month, which is nice.

Everton fines Rooney two weeks’ wages

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Wayne Rooney‘s move back to Everton was always going to benefit the Merseyside community, though it wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Everton has fined Rooney two weeks’ wages following his admission earlier this week to a drunk driving charge.

[ MORE: PL Player Power Rankings ]

According to the BBC, “Everton intend to give the entire sum – thought to be about £300,000 – to local projects through their Everton in the Community scheme.”

At a Monday court date, Rooney learned that he would not be allowed to drive for two years. He was also fined and assigned 100 hours of community service.

Rooney has two goals and an assist in nine appearances, all starts, for the struggling Toffees. He is not in the 18 for Everton’s third round League Cup tie versus Sunderland on Wednesday.

LIVE: Man United, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal enter League Cup

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Five more League Cup third round games take place on Wednesday with Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton all hosting lower-league opponents.

[ LIVE: Latest League Cup scores ] 

Holders Man United welcome Burton Albion to Old Trafford, while Arsenal host Doncaster Rovers, Chelsea welcome Nottingham Forest to Stamford Bridge, Everton clash with recently relegated Sunderland and Manchester City head to West Brom.

On Tuesday five Premier League teams were knocked out of the competition as Liverpool lost at Leicester City, Stoke were upset at Bristol City, Burnley lost to Leeds United on penalty kicks, Brighton lost at Bournemouth and Huddersfield were knocked out by Crystal Palace.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s League Cup roundup ]

Below is the full schedule for Wednesday’s League Cup games with all games kicking off at 2:45 p.m. ET unless otherwise stated.

Click on the link above for live updates on all five games, while the fourth-round draw takes place after the games have finished.


Wednesday’s League Cup schedule

Arsenal vs. Doncaster Rovers
Chelsea vs. Nottingham Forest
Everton vs. Sunderland
Manchester United vs. Burton Albion – 3 p.m. ET
West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester City – 3 p.m. ET

Men In Blazers podcast: Chelsea-Arsenal, Rooney, Pep

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Rog and Davo break down Arsenal’s draw at Chelsea, Wazza’s return to Old Trafford, and a robotic performance from Pep’s City side. Plus, a musical number at the end.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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