Aston Villa v Chelsea - Premier League

Watch Live: Aston Villa vs. Fulham (Lineups and Discuss)

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Fulham travel to Villa Park on Saturday, knowing that they absolutely must beat Aston Villa to keep their faint hopes of another season in the Premier League alive (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET online via Live Extra).

With just one win in their last twelve outings, Fulham currently sit dead last, five points from safety. Their Premier League future is further complicated by the fact that West Brom and Crystal Palace both have a game in hand, while Sunderland still have two games to make up. Considering two managerial changes and the addition of six new players in the winter did nothing to bolster their chances, are the Cottagers dead and buried?

Perhaps not. After all, Villa are well known for being a team to break their opponents’ slumps. And with two consecutive 4-1 losses, this might be the time for Fulham to take advantage of their hosts – particularly now that Christian Benteke is out with a season-ending Achilles tear.

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Villa are missing some major firepower, with Gabby Agbonlahor and Fabian Delph joining the aforementioned Benteke in the stands. Grant Holt steps in to seek his first goal with Aston Villa, joined by Matt Lowton, Joe Bennett and Nathan Baker. Will the hosts have any goals in them?

17-year-old Moussa Dembele doesn’t get the chance to start two consecutive matches, which is unfortunate as he was one of the few bright spots against Everton last weekend. Instead it’s another youngster, Cauley Woodrow, stepping in in front of on-loan Lewis Holtby.

LINEUPS

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Bertrand, Westwood, Bennett, Bacuna, Albrighton, Weimann, Holt

Subs: Steer, Sylla, Tonev, Clark, Robinson, Luna, Bowery

Fulham: Stockdale; Riether, Hangeland, Heitinga, Amorebieta; Diarra, Sidwell; Kasami, Holtby, Richardson; Woodrow

Subs: Stekelenburg, Riise, Kvist, Kačaniklić, Rodallega, Dejagah, Roberts

Real Salt Lake signs Plata to multi-year DP deal

Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata (8) gestures while walking during an MLS soccer game against New York City FC Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Sandy, Utah. (Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP) DESERET NEWS OUT; LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; MAGS OUT
Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP
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SANDY, Utah (AP) Real Salt Lake has re-signed forward Joao Plata to a multi-year contract and he will continue to hold a designated-player spot.

The 24-year-old was acquired from Toronto FC before the 2013 season and he has 30 goals and 30 assists in regular-season play with RSL.

[ MORE: Liverpool flops vs LCFC ]

Plata ranks No. 3 on the team’s all-time assists list and No. 5 in goals. He has 33 goals and 35 assists during his MLS career.

Real Salt Lake begins the season Saturday when it hosts Toronto FC.

Gotze out indefinitely with metabolism disorder

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 06:  Mario Goetze (R) and Ann-Kathrin Broemmel attend the MTV Europe Music Awards 2016 on November 6, 2016 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for MTV)
Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for MTV
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Mario Gotze’s last few seasons have not fulfilled the expectations thrust about the World Cup-winning attacker.

Gotze, 24, scored the 113rd minute goal that lifted Germany past Argentina in the 2014 World Cup, but has endured successive disappointing seasons between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

[ MORE: Liverpool hires new CEO ]

With just two goals this season, Gotze has played just 24 minutes since BVB came back from winter break. On Monday, the club revealed why: a metabolism disorder that will keep him out for an indefinite period of time. From Sky Sports:

“We are glad to know the reasons for Mario’s complaints and we are convinced that after recovering he will give us extra quality with his exceptional abilities,” said Dortmund’s director of sport Michael Zorc.

“Mario gets the full backing and maximum support from all of us at Borussia Dortmund on his way back.”

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Gotze at his best, and here’s hoping this problem is both curable and the reason for his struggles.

Liverpool hires EA Sports executive as new CEO

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Liverpool has named Peter Moore as the successor to chief executive office Ian Ayre.

Ayre, 53, is off to 1860 Munich this summer, and has stepped down early to allow Moore to take over.

[ MORE: Liverpool flops vs LCFC ]

A Liverpool-born executive, Moore was the chief operating officer at EA Sports and has also worked with Microsoft and SEGA.

The move “completes a transitional phase” which saw several new names join the fray. From The Liverpool Echo:

The appointment completes a transition plan by FSG which included appointing Michael Edwards as sporting director while Billy Hogan was promoted to the role of managing director and chief commercial officer.

Palmer-Brown heads U.S. U-20s to win over Mexico (video)

Erik Palmer-Brown
@ussoccer_ynt
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The United States U-20 men are on the precipice of the U-20 World Cup after beating Mexico 1-0 on Monday, scooping their first win against El Tri in 31 years.

Brooks Lennon continues to look the part for the U.S. ahead of his loan season from Liverpool to Real Salt Lake.

[ MORE: Liverpool flops again ]

The youngster sent in this free kick that Erik Palmer-Brown, himself a loan man at Porto from Sporting KC this year, headed into the Mexico goal courtesy of a back post defender who opted for his right leg over a decent clearing attempt.

The U.S. took that lead into halftime.

Things got chippy as the second half unfolded, with referee Melvin Matamoros turning a blind eye to a few clattering tackles.

Tab Ramos subbed NYCFC prospect Jonathan Lewis into the match, and he sprung a counterattack that should have put the match to bed. But Lewis’ through ball missed FC Dallas’ Coy Craft and the latter took too much time, frittering away the chance.