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Premier League Power Rankings: Anfield clash looms for Liverpool, Man City

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Chelsea continues its dominance atop the Premier League, but can Stoke halt the Blues in their pursuit of history?

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Meanwhile, four other clubs sit within 10 points of the Blues at the summit, while separation is starting to be created amongst those at the bottom of the league.

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Check out the latest round of power rankings ahead of Matchday 19.


TEAM RANKING
Hull City logo 20 (20) Hull City: One win in their last 16 has the Tigers hugging the bottom of the table. It’s difficult to envision Hull rising above the drop zone any time soon.
source: 19 (18) Swansea City: The search for a new manager has begun, and after matches against Bournemouth and Crystal Palace the Swans are rewarded with Arsenal and Liverpool in league play. Good luck.
source:
18 (16) Sunderland: The Black Cats have won two in their last five, which is better than most of the teams in the relegation battle. Still, David Moyes and co. have their work cut out.
source:
17 (13) Leicester City: One win in their last five PL matches (ironically against Manchester City) has Claudio Ranieri and co. scrambling. The Foxes stand just three points above the relegation zone.
source: 16 (17) Crystal Palace: Sam Allardyce has his work cut out for him in London, and what better way to welcome the veteran manager but to take a trip to the Emirates Stadium?
200px-Middlesbrough_crest 15 (14) Middlesbrough: As good as the defense has performed in 2016, the Boro simply can’t bag goals on a consistent basis.
source: 14 (11) Stoke City: The Potters have fallen to 13th but they have the chance to spoil Chelsea’s chase for a 13th straight PL victory on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.
burnley fc crest 13 (19) Burnley: Sean Dyche and co. must take advantage of the schedule at hand and build off of last week’s win over Middlesbrough.
source: 12 (15) Watford: The Hornets have scored just five goals in their last six matches. Because of that, they have just one win to show.
source: 11 (9) Bournemouth: Back-to-back losses have the Cherries down to 12th in the table.
source: 10 (8) West Bromwich Albion: Two straight defeats against Manchester United and Arsenal have halted the momentum of the Baggies, making Saturday’s test at St. Mary’s all the more important.
source: 9 (7) Southampton: A beatdown from Spurs calmed any top six talk for the time being. A critical match against West Brom looms for the Saints.
source: 8 (12)
West Ham: The Hammers have won three straight and allowed just one goal in the process. This team looks significantly improved from their early season woes.
source: 7 (10) Everton: Ronald Koeman‘s group has been inconsistent to say the least as of late but a match against Hull could be what the Toffees need to build some momentum.
source: 6 (6) Tottenham: Nine goals in their three straight wins has Spurs back on track after a hiccup in form. 
source: 5 (5) Manchester United: Four straight victories have Jose Mourinho’s men within four points of the top four. 
source: 4 (3) Arsenal: A gritty win over West Brom kept the Gunners in the top four but Arsene Wenger‘s side must improve soon or else their title chances could fade for good.
Logo_Manchester_City 3 (4) Manchester City: A huge clash against Liverpool could leave one side well behind league leaders Chelsea, so three points is a necessity for Pep Guardiola‘s side.
source: 2 (2) Liverpool: See above. Since their disappointing loss to Bournemouth in early December, the Reds have been on a tear, going unbeaten in four straight.
source: 1 (1) Chelsea: One win separates the Blues from tying Arsenal’s 01/02 record of 13 consecutive victories. While Stoke is more than capable of stealing a point at the very least, Chelsea hasn’t lost in forever and they very well may break history this season.

U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame ballot revealed, including Beckham

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CHICAGO (AP) David Beckham, the English midfielder who brought increased visibility to American soccer and won a pair of Major League Soccer titles while playing for the LA Galaxy from 2007-12, is among 12 first-time candidates on the 33-player ballot for the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Defender Steve Cherundolo, midfielder Pablo Mastroeni and forward Brian Ching, key parts of the U.S. national team, also are new candidates on the ballot announced Wednesday. Other first-timers include defenders Chris Albright, Danny Califf and Tina Frimpong Ellertson; goalkeepers Joe Cannon and Kevin Hartman, and midfielders Amado Guevara, Eddie Gaven and Leslie Osborne.

Defender Chris Armas and midfielder Jason Kreis, currently Orlando’s coach, are in their final year of eligibility. Former midfielder Ben Olsen, now D.C. United’s coach, is among the holdovers.

Other men on the ballot include goalkeeper Pat Onstad; defenders Gregg Berhalter, Frankie Hejduk and Tony Sanneh; midfielders Chris Klein, Eddie Lewis and Steve Ralston; and forwards Jeff Cunningham, Clint Mathis, Jaime Moreno, Ante Razov, Taylor Twellman and Josh Wolff.

Women on the ballot include goalkeeper Briana Scurry; defenders Kate Sobrero Markgraf and Heather Mitts; midfielder Aly Wagner; and forward Tiffeny Milbrett.

Voting will take place among men’s and women’s national team coaches, Major League Soccer and National Women’s Soccer league management, U.S. Soccer Federation leadership, Hall of Famers and media. Each voter can list up to 10 players, and a player must appear on at least 66.7 percent of ballots to earn election.

Among those on the builder ballot are former USSF President Bob Contiguglia; referee Esse Baharmast; coaches Gene Chyzowych, Eddie Firmani, Gordon Jago and Joe Machnik; and administrators Richard Groff, Tim Leiweke, Francisco Marcos and Kevin Payne.

The 15-player veteran ballot, voted on only by Hall of Famers, has George Best, Chico Borja, Mike Burns, John Doyle, Marco Etcheverry, Linda Hamilton, Mary Harvey, Chris Henderson, Dominic Kinnear, Shep Messing, Cindy Parlow, Tiffany Roberts, Mike Sorber, Tisha Venturini-Hoch and Roy Wegerle.

The hall’s building in Oneonta, New York, closed in 2010. A new facility in Frisco, Texas, is under construction and slated to open in 2018.

Premier League stats of the season — Opta

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With the 2016-17 Premier League season officially complete, a look at some of the compelling, shocking and record-breaking stats, from August to May — all stats courtesy of the good folks at Opta:

[ MORE: Pogba, Mkhitaryan fire Man United to Europa League trophy ]

30 — Chelsea (30 wins) have broken the PL record for most wins in a season (previously 29, by Chelsea in 2004-05, and 2005-06)

457 — Only Chelsea (457 minutes) were in a losing position in PL matches for less time than Liverpool (471 mins) this season

114 — Chelsea used all three substitutes in every Premier League game this season (114 in total) – they are only the second team to do this in a 38-game Premier League season (Manchester City, in 2014-15)

230 — Michy Batshuayi’s title-winning goal for Chelsea at West Bromwich Albion was his first PL shot on target since Sept. 24th, 2016 (230 days), and only his third overall in the competition

3,420 — Cesar Azpilicueta became the fourth outfield player in PL history to play every minute of a title-winning season (after Gary Pallister, in 1992-93; John Terry, in 2014-15; and Wes Morgan, in 2015-16)

1 — Because of their opening day victory against Leicester City, Hull City spent one more day on top of the PL than Tottenham Hotspur did in 2016-17 (0)

86 — 11 previous PL champions have won the title with a point tally equal to or less than Tottenham’s 86-point tally in 2016-17

+60 — Tottenham Hotspur’s goal difference of +60 is the highest in PL history for a non-title winning side

3 — Tottenham were the only club in England’s top four tiers to see as many as three players score 20+ goals for them in all competitions this season (Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Son Heung-min)

6 — Harry Kane now has six PL hat-tricks for Spurs, twice as many as any other player for the club (Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe, both with 3)

0 — Liverpool were unbeaten in the PL against the top seven teams this season (12 played: 7 won, 5 drawn, 0 lost) but their record against the other 13 sides was (26 played: 15 won, 5 drawn, 6 lost)

38 — Both Arsenal and Manchester United have finished outside of the top four of the top-flight for the first time since 1978-79 (38 years)

600 — Manchester United became the first team to win 600 PL matches (962 played: 604 won, 209 drawn, 149 lost)

2,000 — Manchester United also became the first team to win 2000 points in the PL, with victory over Watford in February

11 — 11 different English players made 20+ PL appearances for Bournemouth this season. The last PL team to do this was Aston Villa, in 2000-01 (also 11 players)

48.8% — West Bromwich Albion scored a league-high proportion of their goals from set-piece situations this season (48.8%). They also conceded the lowest proportion from set-pieces (21.6%)

70 — Swansea City conceded 70 goals in the PL this season. Only two teams have conceded more in a 38-game PL season and survived relegation (Wigan, in 2009-10 — 79, and West Bromwich Albion in 2010-11 — 71)

13 — Hull City gave away 13 penalties this season, the most of any side in a single PL campaign

Men in Blazers podcast: “The Blazers” awards, plus John Terry’s farewell

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Rog and Davo recap the race for Top Four, John Terry‘s farewell at Chelsea and another Harry Kane hat trick. Plus, they roll out the red carpet for the 2016-17 end-of-season awards, “The Blazers.”

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“Three trophies and CL”: Mourinho relieved after “most difficult season”

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Don’t try to tell Jose Mourinho that his first season at Manchester United wasn’t a raging success, because all you’d get in return is a simple shake of the head before he walks away.

[ MORE: Pogba, Mkhitaryan fire Man United to Europa League trophy ]

Following Wednesday’s Europa League final victory over Ajax, one which put Man United into next season’s UEFA Champions League, Mourinho was adamant that the club’s 2016-17 season was a success, despite the fact the Red Devils finished sixth in the Premier League.

“Three trophies in one season and the Champions League,” as Mourinho put it, in his “most difficult season as a manager” — quotes from the BBC:

“We totally deserved the win. I am so happy to see the boys with the crutches with the trophy and now I am on holiday. I don’t want to see any international friendlies, I am selfish. I can’t do it.

“For me, enough is enough. It has been a very hard last few months, we were short of numbers.

“Three trophies in one season and the Champions League. I am very happy in my most difficult season as a manager.”

[ WATCH: Pogba gives United an early lead ]

As for his summer shopping list and Wayne Rooney‘s future at the club, well… Mourinho was much clearer about one than the other — quotes from the BBC:

“Ed Woodward has my list, what I want, what I would like for more than two months. So now it’s up to him and the owners. But I don’t care about football for now.

“Wayne Rooney was ready to play, he was a big option. But I didn’t need to attack at 2-0. I told him yesterday that he could be the key man but he can perfectly be here next season. He is a very important player for us. If he stays next season I’d be very happy.”