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Allardyce clear favorite to take charge at Crystal Palace

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Sam Allardyce is suddenly a man in demand.

[ MORE: United to spend $220 million? ] 

The disgraced former England manager is the overwhelming bookmakers favorite to take the vacant position at Crystal Palace after the Eagles fired Alan Pardew on Thursday.

Reports are already circulating that Allardyce’s representatives are set to meet with Palace’s chairman Steve Parish in the next 24 hours to discuss the role.

Allardyce, 62, was fired as England manager in September after being filmed in a sting operation telling undercover reports he could circumvent Football Association rules on signing players. He coached the English national team for just 67 days and managed just one game before he agreed to step down as Three Lions boss.

Following the allegations of corruption, Allardyce was not charged by the police following an extensive investigation from the FA and is free to return to the game despite his reputation taking a big hit.

The former Bolton, Newcastle, West Ham and Sunderland manager has proved to be an expert at keeping teams in the Premier League and he pulled off a miracle to keep Sunderland in the top-flight last season after arriving just before the midway point of the 2015-16 campaign.

Current Wales manager Chris Coleman and former Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett are also in the running, according to the bookies, while former USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann is ranked as an outsider for the job. During his time in charge of the U.S. national team, Klinsmann’s name always came up when PL jobs were available and with American owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer in charge of Palace maybe they’ll give Klinsmann a chance in the Premier League?

It seems unlikely that will be the case with Palace’s chairman Parish saying to the BBC that “now we’re going to wind the dial back the other way” in terms of more direct soccer over the expansive passing style Pardew tried, and failed, to create.

Surely Allardyce is the man to bring back direct soccer to Selhurst Park and grind out results a la Tony Pulis from 2014. With Wilfried Zaha and Jason Puncheon out wide, plus Christian Benteke up front, Allardyce won’t need to spend much to turn things around. He’ll likely have to improve Palace’s shocking defending but as we saw at Sunderland, he can organize teams to be tough to beat in the Premier League.

If Palace want to secure their short-term survival in the Premier League, Allardyce is their man. Of course, there’s a moral argument here given his actions while England manager but with no police action taken against Allardyce, Palace may give him a second chance.

Below is a list of the bookmakers odds for the next manager of Crystal Palace:


Sam Allardyce – 1/3
Chris Coleman – 6/1
Roberto Mancini – 7/1
Gary Rowett – 8/1
Roy Hodgson – 12/1
Jurgen Klinsmann – 16/1

La Liga & Serie A: Bale leads Real to seven-goal outburst and more

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A roundup of Sunday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights…

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s La Liga coverage ]

Real Madrid 7-1 Deportivo La Coruna

Now, this is more like it from the defending European champions. Zinedine Zidane’s side went behind on Sunday when Adrian put the visitors in front, however, Real Madrid woke up and scored seven unanswered goals at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Gareth Bale was the star on the day with a brilliant curler that kicked off the first of his two goals (below). After Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to go down inside the penalty area, Bale carried on and put the ball onto his left foot before sliding his shot in off the inside of the far post.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo picked up a brace of his own on the day, both of which came off of headers for the Portuguese international. The veteran goalscorer also got bloodied on the day, but that didn’t stop him from adding to his impressive goal total.

Real Betis 0-5 Barcelona

A slow start to the match was aided by a Barcelona team that came out for blood in the second stanza. Ivan Rakitic and braces from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi paced the road side in the second half, keeping their unbeaten La Liga record in tacked.

Although Rakitic was the first to find his name on the scoresheet, it was his assist to Suarez that later on that proved to be a thing of excellence from both parties.

The first half was mildly uneventful for the Blaugrana, however, the Catalonians suffered another injury blow as Thomas Vermaelen left the match after pulling up in the first half with what appeared to be a hamstring pull.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Alaves 2-2 Leganes
Real Sociedad 1-2 Celta Vigo


Lazio 5-1 Chievo Verona

Lazio moved into third place in Serie A after a convincing victory at the Stadio Olimpico. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s double for the hosts helped propel them to the win, after Luis Alberto kicked off the scoring in the 23rd minute.

Chievo found a brief response two minutes later, but from there it was all Lazio as they closed to within 11 points of league leaders Napoli.

Cagliari 1-2 AC Milan

Franck Kessié scored twice in six minutes to pull Milan back into the match on the day, and that was exactly what they needed to secure three points at the Sardegna Arena. AC Milan sits seventh in Italy’s top flight through 21 matches, 23 points behind Napoli.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Inter Milan 1-1 Roma
Udinese 1-1 SPAL
Sassuolo 1-1 Torino
Sampdoria 3-1 Fiorentina
Bologna 3-0 Benevento
Hellas Verona 0-3 Crotone
Atalanta 0-1 Napoli

Video: Kurzawa silences Lyon with spectacular volley

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Lyon went ahead inside the opening two minutes, but then Layvin Kurzawa had his say for the visitors on the stroke of halftime.

[ MORE: Fekir’s free kick stuns PSG in opening two minutes]

Dani Alves set up the defender for one of the best volleys you’ll see in first-half stoppage time on Sunday to level the match at 1-1.

Watch below as PSG ties things up with just seconds remaining before the halftime whistle.

Video: Fekir’s brilliant free kick has Lyon leading PSG

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Paris-Saint Germain has established itself as one of Europe’s best sides, but their opponent on Sunday isn’t playing scared against Neymar and Co.

[ MORE: Spurs, Saints play to 1-1 draw at St. Mary’s ]

Lyon has taken a 1-0 lead inside the opening two minutes against the Parisians after a stunning free kick by Nabil Fekir caught PSG keeper Alphonse Aréola off his line.

The hosts could move all the way up to second place today with a victory over PSG, who holds the league lead in Ligue 1 with a nine-point advantage.

The 24-year-old Fekir has been a revelation for Lyon in his fifth season with the club, scoring his 19th goal in all competitions on Sunday.

That total has already surpassed his career-high from the 2014/15 season, when he eclipsed 15 goals.

USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie injured in Schalke draw

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Look away, U.S. Men’s National Team fans.

American and Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie was forced out of Sunday’s 1-1 Bundesliga draw against Hanover 96 after the 19-year-old collided with Felix Kraus.

McKennie, who entered the match in the 62nd minute for Leon Goretzka, managed to stay on the field for nearly 20 minutes before being substituted out.

To this point there has been no indication that the young USMNT player’s injury is serious.

More to follow…