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Premier League Preview: Man City host Sunderland, Everton face Palace

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On Wednesday two rearranged Premier League games take center stage as both have huge implications on the PL title race, the top four battle and the quest against relegation.

Everything is on the line, and you can watch both games live online via NBC Sports Live Extra.


Our featured game comes from the Etihad Stadium, as Manchester City host relegation haunted Sunderland with both teams in desperate need of the win for very different reasons.

Here’s a quick preview on both games.

Everton vs. Crystal Palace 2:45 p.m. ET, watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra

The Toffees can’t afford to slip up at home to Palace, as Everton know a will win put them back into the top four and two points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal with four games to go. Roberto Martinez’s side are aiming for their eighth-straight PL win, something they haven’t achieved since 1985, while Palace after in the hunt for their fourth win on the spin as they’re all but safe of relegation. Everton are in fine form and with a talented attacking quartet of Romelu Lukaku, Steven Naismith, Kevin Mirallas and Ross Barkley, they will give Palace’s staunch defense a tough time. Tony Pulis’ men have been solid at the back and will provide a stern test for the Toffees.

In team news Phil Jagielka has not recovered so teenager John Stones will continue to deputize at the back. Palace will give late fitness tests to Kagisho Dikgacoi and Yannick Bolasie.

source: Getty Images
Can Everton win their eight-straight PL game against Palace?

Manchester City vs. Sunderland – 2:45 p.m. ET, watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra and on NBCSN

After their 3-2 defeat to Liverpool in a potential title decider last Sunday, Man City will be looking to bounce back quickly when Sunderland arrive at the Etihad on Wednesday. Manuel Pellegrini’s men have won 14 of their 15 PL home games, with their only defeat coming against Chelsea. If they’re going to win the PL title this season, they’ll likely need to win their final six games and hope for a slip up from Liverpool. As for Sunderland, their situation is dire as they sit bottom of the PL standings as manager Gus Poyet has admitted the Black Cats need a ‘miracle’ to survive. Strangely Sunderland have won four of their last eight games against Man City in the PL. However City did beat the Mackems in the League Cup final at Wembley earlier this year.

In team news Yaya Toure is out for two weeks, while Sergio Aguero could start for the first time in over a month. Sunderland will be missing Lee Cattermole through suspension and Liam Bridcutt for personal reasons.

Juan Carlos Osorio to become new Mexico boss

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Mexico looks to have found a new manager in Juan Carlos Osorio.

Osorio, who had stints managing in Major League Soccer with the Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls, was most recently coaching in Brazil with Sao Paulo.

However, the Brazilian club released a statement today that Osorio had decided to step down from his position in order to take the Mexico job.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

Following Miguel Herrera’s firing in July, Ricardo Ferretti was named interim manager of El Tri, and will coach the side in Saturday’s CONCACAF playoff match against the United States. However, Ferretti has stated he will not stay with Mexico past that match, and will return to Liga MX, where he serves as manager of Tigres UANL.

Osorio had recently been linked with the Mexico job, but said he would take his time in making a decision.

His only other exposure to Mexican football came during a short stint in Liga MX managing Puebla. He lasted just seven matches before resigning and returning to manage in his native Colombia.

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He was in line to take charge of the Honduras national team in 2011, but he was unable to get out of the contract with the Colombian team he was managing at the time.

There has been no official confirmation of the hiring from the Mexican Federation.

Benzema and Benitez in a war of words at Real Madrid

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Rafael Benitez (R) of Real Madrid CF gives instructions to his player Karim Benzema (L) during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Malaga CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 26, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Karim Benzema has scored six goals in his eight appearances for Real Madrid this season, and is currently the top scorer in La Liga.

Despite being in great form, Benzema has continuously been substituted by manager Rafa Benitez, which has upset the French striker.

Benzema opened the scoring for Real in the Madrid derby over the weekend, but was taken off in the 77th minute. Atletico would go on to score minutes later as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

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Speaking after the game, Benzema said he was “fed up” with being taken off, but will continue to work to help his team.

Substitutions are what the coach decides, I’m just there to help my teammates.

It’s true I’m fed up of being taken off. I’m calm and will continue to work so I’m not always subtituted. He took me off to get a result, for defensive reasons.

It’s true that the electronic board always shows the No.9. Ask Benitez why that is.

When told about Benzema’s comments, Benitez said he made the change for tactical reasons, as Real was in the lead and he replaced the striker with a more defensive-minded player in midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

I needed to give the team some balance at that point in the game. I’m a huge fan of Benzema. If I were Karim, I’d also be angry at being taken off when I thought I was playing well and was on a great run of form.

What I’d do if I were Karim is score more goals so that next time I don’t have to be taken off and can say, ‘Hey, here I am.’

Benitez’s response comes off as a backhanded compliment, asking Benzema to “score more goals,” despite the player leading La Liga in scoring. In fact, Benzema has averaged a goal every 84 minutes this season, an incredible strike rate.

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Over the summer, Benzema was linked with a move away from Real Madrid, but he constantly denied the rumors and said he never thought about leaving the club, which he called the best in the world. Just a few matches into the new season, there may be some trouble in paradise.