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Premier League Preview: Busy Weds sees three big boys on road

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After a two-match Tuesday appetizer, the Premier League quadruples the action with eight Wednesday matches.

Bournemouth held off Leicester 1-0 down south, while Everton got a pair of goals from backs to end Arsenal’s 14-match unbeaten Premier League run.

Wednesday’s slate see most of the Premier League’s perceived big boys viewed as favorites, even with three of five active Top Six teams on the road.

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Chelsea has a chance to open up a six-point lead on second-place Arsenal when it visits last-place Sunderland, while Liverpool can climb level with the Gunners with a win at Middlesbrough.

Also on the road is Manchester United, currently six points back of the Top Four. Jose Mourinho leads the Red Devils into Selhurst Park to meet high-flying but goal-leaking Crystal Palace.

Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur hope that home-cooking can help them close in on the league leaders. City has dropped two-straight PL contests to sink 7 points back of Chelsea, and will hope inconsistent Watford brings one of its lesser performances to the Etihad Stadium.

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Burnt by a loss at Old Trafford this weekend, Spurs host a Hull side who showed a spark in a 3-3 home draw with Palace.

Premier League Wednesday slate
Middlesbrough vs. Liverpool — 2:45 p.m. EDT
West Ham vs. Burnley — 2:45 p.m. EDT
Sunderland vs. Chelsea — 2:45 p.m. EDT
Manchester City vs. Watford — 3 p.m. EDT
Stoke City vs. Southampton — 3 p.m. EDT
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Hull City — 3 p.m. EDT
West Bromwich Albion vs. Swansea City — 3 p.m. EDT
Crystal Palace vs. Manchester United — 3 p.m. EDT

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France veteran Malouda loses appeal in Gold Cup case

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Former France winger Florent Malouda has lost his appeal against being ruled ineligible to play for French Guiana at the 2017 Gold Cup.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says its judges dismissed Malouda’s appeal against North American soccer body CONCACAF.

French Guiana fielded Malouda in a 0-0 draw against Honduras last July despite being told he was not eligible. CONCACAF awarded a 3-0 win to Honduras and suspended Malouda.

The Gold Cup uses FIFA eligibility rules which bar players from transferring allegiance after playing a competitive game for one country.

Malouda played 80 times for France including a 2006 World Cup final loss against Italy.

The French Guiana soccer federation hoped Malouda, now aged 37, could play in the Gold Cup because it is not a FIFA member.

Report: Bobby Wood unlikely to come to MLS this summer

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A U.S. Men’s National Team forward will probably have to wait a bit longer to come to Major League Soccer if that is the path that he chooses.

Reports have recently surfaced linking Bobby Wood to MLS at the conclusion of the Bundesliga season, however, is reporting that a move for the American likely won’t come in 2018.

Wood, who remains under contract for three more seasons at Hamburg, is currently fighting relegation in Germany with his club side.

Hamburg currently sits 17th in the German top flight, eight points buried in the relegation zone with four matches remaining.

The report suggests that MLS clubs aren’t willing to compensate Wood at the current rate of his contract in Germany.

Currently, Wood is making “several million dollars” per season, and even if Hamburg is relegated in 2017/18 Wood’s contract wouldn’t decrease to a number that clubs are comfortable paying.

If Wood was to join MLS, he would be considered a Discovery signing as he is not currently on the MLS player allocation list. The Washington Post previously reported that an MLS club has Wood included on their Discovery list, although the team’s identity isn’t known.

Report: Fellaini eyes MLS, China after shooting down Man United terms

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Marouane Fellaini‘s time in Manchester looks to be numbered, and a move abroad could have the Belgian in line for one last payday during his career.

The Manchester United midfielder has rejected multiple offers to stay on at Old Trafford ahead of his contract expiring this summer, which would allow Fellaini to pursue other opportunities come June.

Fellaini is being linked to moves to Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League, as the veteran aims to secure a sizable contract upon leaving the Red Devils after over five-and-a-half years with the club.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that Fellaini would be open to hearing options that could keep him in the Premier League, although it is unclear if there is any serious interest from English sides at this time.

Since the arrivals of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, Fellaini has struggled to find playing time under manager Jose Mourinho.

This season, the Belgium international has appeared in just 14 PL matches and 19 in all competitions. Fellaini has scored four goals in that span.

Chicago Fire venue to be renamed SeatGeek Stadium

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The Chicago Fire won’t be moving into a new stadium 2019, however, their venue will have a new name donned on the side of it.

For years, the Eastern Conference side has played its home matches at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, but starting next season the Fire’s home turf will be called SeatGeek Stadium as part of a rebrand.

SeatGeek is one of the largest online after-market ticket distributors, and was created back in 2009.

Toyota Park will undergo its transformation at the conclusion of the 2018 MLS season.

The venue is also home to the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars.