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Premier League preview: West Ham vs. Manchester United

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  • West Ham unbeaten vs. MUFC in 4 straight
  • Man Utd has won away 5 times, after 7 last year
  • West Ham has scored more than 1 goal at home just once

Manchester United seems to have figured things out, and the rest of the Premier League is dropping in its wake.

Jose Mourinho and company haven’t lost since October 23rd, a streak of 10 league matches, with five straight wins to boot. That has Manchester United within striking distance of the top four as they visit West Ham on Monday (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online via NBCSports.com).

[ MORE: JPW’s PL picks for Matchweek 20 ]

West Ham seemed to have been there as well, rising up the table after three straight wins, but a frustrating loss to Leicester City last time out has pegged them back. The Hammers could find themselves back into the top half of the table, and more notably, give its new abode its first big win. London Stadium has seen four Premier League wins so far this season – the first for West Ham in the new home – but none of the “statement” variety.

With Mourinho rolling, a Hammers victory would not only boost the home crowd, but send the Red Devils two steps back after taking several leaps forward from their early-season form.

The biggest storyline, however, has been the fixture congestion through the holiday season. More than usual, managers have spoken out against it – none more so than Mourinho, who has said both his squad and his opponents have it tough.

What they’re saying

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on fixture congestion: “It’s difficult for us and difficult for West Ham. We’ve both played at the same time, we’ve both had difficult matches and couldn’t rest players.”

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic on loss to Leicester City: “I’m very disappointed, angry, frustrated we lost. They started better, we knew they were going to start aggressively and for the first 20 minutes they deserved the goal.”

Prediction

West Ham will prove a tough test for Manchester United, but they just have not been able to come up with the answers at home against the big clubs. This one goes down as a hard-earned 2-1 win for the Red Devils.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Chelsea still pursuing Roma duo, and more

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Chelsea is looking to make a big transfer splash as it searches for potential replacements for Michy Batshuayi and David Luiz.

According to multiple reports, Chelsea is attempting a double signing from AS Roma, forward Edin Dzeko and midfielder Emerson Palmieri. The Brazilian left-back is rated by Roma at $30.5 million but he could join Chelsea on loan. However the interest in Dzeko is much newer, and it’s unclear whether Roma would allow Dzeko to leave, especially in the middle of the season.

[READ: MLS SuperDraft 2018 Live Tracker]

With Roma preparing to face Inter Milan this weekend, talks between the two clubs have been put on hold until next week.

Dzeko’s agent confirmed that Conte is interested in the Bosnia and Herzegovina international but stated Dzeko’s desire is to remain at Roma.

After failing to beat out Sergio Aguero in the starting lineup for Manchester City, it would be interesting to see Dzeko give the Premier League another go, although he’d likely play second-fiddle again, this time to Alvaro Morata.

Here are some more transfer rumors from around Europe and the Premier League:

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MLS SuperDraft 2018 Live Tracker

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For a few dozen players, hearing their name called up to the big stage will validate all the hard work and sacrifices they’ve made since they were children.

Starting at 11:00 a.m. when Los Angeles FC is on the clock at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, the 2018 MLS SuperDraft will be underway. Many of the top college prospects will soon find out whether they’ll be headed to the Pacific Northwest, New England, the Southeast, Southern California or anywhere in between.

[MORE: 2018 MLS Mock Draft]

This year’s draft class is loaded with attacking talent, from Generation Adidas trio Ema Twumasi (Wake Forest), Mason Toye (Indiana) and Francis Atuahene (Michigan) to Twumasi’s college teammate Jon Bakero.

But potential No. 1 overall pick is a three-time national champion, Thomas Hilliard-Arce, who could become the anchor of a backline for a decade.

Follow along below as we update the picks live as we hear them:

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Bayern signs Germany midfielder Goretzka from rival Schalke

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MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich signed Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka on Friday on a free transfer from Bundesliga rival Schalke effective from next season.

Bayern said the 22-year-old Goretzka signed a four-year deal from July 1 through June 2022.

Schalke, which Goretzka joined in 2013 from hometown club Bochum, said the player informed the club this week of his wish to join Bayern when his contract expired.

[ MORE: Bundesliga scores ]

“We think we did everything in the last months to convince Leon to stay with us,” Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel said. “In the end, it wasn’t enough.”

Schalke had long been engaged in trying to get Goretzka to extend his contract, but was aware of reported interest from Bayern, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Liverpool.

“We’re very happy that Leon Goretzka, a German international with big potential, has decided in favor of Bayern despite big-name international competitors. This way it’s ensured that Leon Goretzka remains in the Bundesliga,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

Goretzka scored 19 goals and set up 13 more in 130 appearances for Schalke.

The club had previously expressed its displeasure with Bayern making public statements about its player after Goretzka was praised by sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and coach Jupp Heynckes.

Heidel said “we don’t need to hear every day from the Munich people how good our player is.”

Goretzka has six goals in 12 games for Germany.

Pele hospitalized overnight in Brazil

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The most famous soccer player in the world had a scare last night as he was hospitalized in Brazil for “severe exhaustion.”

Pele, 77, was set to travel to London this weekend to be honored by the Football Writers Association, though it looks like that trip has now been postponed.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, Pele collapsed and was taken to a hospital in Brazil where he has undergone a series of tests which appear to point to severe exhaustion,” a FWA statement said. “He remains on fluids while doctors monitor his recovery.

“Thankfully, there is no suggestion of anything more serious than exhaustion.”

Here’s to hoping Pele makes a full recovery.

[MORE: USMNT centerback heads to Championship club]