Premier League Upset Watch: Arsenal, Norwich and Liverpool on notice

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Last week we previewed three possible upsets and struck gold with two picks – Aston Villa’s 3-1 win over Arsenal and Norwich City’s 2-2 draw with Everton.

This week we keep the ball rolling by forecasting three more matches where the favorite could end up breaking hearts.

Fulham v. Arsenal (Craven Cottage)

Arsenal fans will cringe at this match being circled but it has to be done.

Did the Gunners look good yesterday in the first leg of their Champions League Play-Off against Fenerbahce?

No, they looked fantastic. Thus, the 3-0 score line.

But that came at a cost – namely Laurent Koscielny being taken to the hospital after taking a reckless boot to the head and suffering a massive gash to the skull.

Obviously the Frenchman was suspended for the Fulham match anyway after last weekend’s sending but the incident nevertheless underlines the point – Arsenal’s defense is severely depleted as Per Mertesacker is currently their only fit central defender.

On top of that, Arsenal is going to be quite tired. Yesterday’s 90 minutes was a battle and the 3,600+ mile round trip won’t help. Now they have to deal with a Fulham side riding the momentum of an opening week victory and playing at home.

Don’t be surprised if the Cottagers nip a point here.

Hull City v. Norwich City (The Kingston Communications Stadium)

No better match for Steve Bruce’s Tigers to grab their points than this fixture.

After a furious opening 30 minutes at Stamford Bridge, Hull City settled down and conducted themselves fairly well against Chelsea. When Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore came on the pitch, the Tigers shape and organization improved ten-fold. Assuming the pair starts on Saturday there’s no reason to think they can’t give the home fans something to cheer about.

That being said, Norwich City looked a decent size last week. Despite some defensive frailties, the attack was organized and unpredictable. There’s always the chance, however, that a Premier League mainstay underestimates a newly promoted club.

That would be a big mistake for the Canaries.

Aston Villa v. Liverpool (Villa Park)

Playing three Premier League matches in one week will be hard on Paul Lambert’s side but given their first two performances, we simply can’t count out Aston Villa. Especially when they’re hosting their home opener.

Liverpool should be able to take care of business in this match. They’re healthy, talented and seem to have really embraced Brendan Rodgers’ style of play in his second season at Anfield.

There are some cracks in the armor, starting with the attack. Despite enjoying a slew of wonderful opportunities last weekend, they only converted one. On defense, the Potters nearly scored from the run of play on a few occasions and but for Jon Walters’ poor penalty, could’ve shared the points.

They’ll be tired but Lambert’s wee Villans will be ready.

Valencia extends Man Utd deal to great Mourinho praise

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Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his Antonio Valencia appreciation, and the Manchester United manager has rewarded his fullback with a new deal.

Valencia is nine appearances away from 300 in a Manchester United kit, with 22 goals and 61 assists as a Red Devil.

[ MORE: Monaco star’s Man City medical ]

Valencia said United has “been my life” since arriving from Wigan Athletic in 2009, while Mourinho heaped praise on the Ecuadorian captain’s character with glowing praise.

“It is no secret that I had been an admirer of Antonio’s long before I joined the club. I knew what a fantastic player he was and he has not disappointed me on that front. However, what I could never have imagined was what a great person he is. I know I have said this before but I truly believe it is a real privilege for us to have such a good player and such a good man. I am delighted he has extended his contract.”

Only Ander Herrera and Eric Bailly recorded better tackle rates at Old Trafford last season, and Valencia was credited with a team-best 1.5 crosses per game.

USMNT veteran Geoff Cameron extended by Stoke City

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Forget a return Stateside, as Geoff Cameron is sticking around the Potteries.

The versatile American midfielder and defender, 31, has extended his stay at Stoke City by two years, the Premier League club announced Friday.

Cameron has played 165 times for Stoke since arriving from the Houston Dynamo in 2012. He’s been capped 50 times by the USMNT.

Turning 32 next in mid-July, Cameron missed three-and-a-half months with a knee injury this season. That span saw Stoke go 6-5-5.

Advanced stats site WhoScored rated Cameron as Stoke’s best player — by far — this season. He was a bright spot along with loan man Bruno Martins Indi, and his extension is good news for both U.S. and Stoke fans.

Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland is preparing for more banter:

Double the Silva? Monaco star undergoing Man City medical

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Pep Guardiola is looking to Monaco in his chase for (lowers sunglasses) Silvaware.

Thanks, we’ll be here all day.

Bernardo Silva is in Manchester on Friday, with the Manchester Evening News saying the playmaker is close to joining unrelated surname sharer David Silva in the Sky Blues’ attack.

[ MORE: Three key battles in FA Cup Final ]

“The 22-year-old arrived at Manchester Airport on Thursday night on a flight from Mallorca and is believed to have had a medical at the club’s academy on Friday morning,” writes James Robson.

At 22, Bernardo Silva has already made 124 appearances for Monaco, registering 25 goals. He scored eight goals in Monaco’s Ligue 1 title run, adding three in the Champions League.

He’s also been capped 12 times by Portugal.

Where does Silva fit? He featured heavily at right wing for Monaco this season — 43 of 56 apps — also spending time in an attacking central midfield role. In City’s final match of the PL season, Gabriel Jesus lined up wide right next to David Silva

MLS Snapshot: FCD lose 2nd in a row; Fire win 4th straight

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The game in 100 words (or less): After starting the 2017 season nine games without a loss, FC Dallas, the longest-lasting unbeaten team in MLS, has lost two straight. Saturday saw their unbeaten start come to an end, against the San Jose Earthquakes, just as Wednesday’s trip to Toyota Stadium saw Oscar Pareja’s side drop all three points to the Chicago Fire. All three of the game’s goals were scored during the opening nine minutes, as FCD fought back from 1-0, but couldn’t find a second equalizer on the night. Nemanja Nikolic bagged the opener, his 11th goal in 13 games to extend his lead in the Golden Boot race to two, in the 3rd minute. Roland Lamah brought FCD back to level terms three minutes later, but David Accam restored the home side’s advantage after three more minutes. Nikolic had every opportunity in the world to take his goals tally to a dozen during second-half stoppage time, but Chris Seitz denied the Hungarian international from the penalty spot. For the first time since Sept. 2012, Chicago have won four straight league games, and sit just two points back of Eastern Conference-leading Toronto FC (26 points).

[ WATCH: Chicharito-to-MLS in doubt due to $10M contract demands ]

Three moments that mattered

3′ — Nikolic redirects past Seitz for 1-0 — Nikolic ran 15 yards straight ahead without a single FCD player picking him up or impeding his path to the near post, and they paid for it.

6′ — Lamah taps it in to make it 1-1 right away — Lamah has been quite the disappointment since arriving in Dallas this winter, but he happened to eb in the right place at the right time in this one, as a failed clearance fell to the five-times-capped Belgian international for an easy tap-in, and his first MLS goal.

9′ — Accam cuts inside to make it 2-1 just as quickly — At some point, Accam will be properly rated by the wider MLS audience, as he’s been Chicago’s best player for two full seasons, and has only hit a new high with capable attackers all around him.

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Man of the match: Dax McCarty

Goalscorers: Nikolic (3′), Lamah (6′), Accam (9′)