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Premier League Power Rankings: Week 29

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If any club is going to catch Chelsea at the top of the Premier League, they better start their trek towards the top now.

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With 10 matches remaining for most teams, the Blues currently hold a 10-point advantage over second place Tottenham, and Antonio Conte‘s side has shown no signs of slowing down.

[ MORE: PST’s Player Power Rankings for Weeks 17 ]

Meanwhile, we’ve got a hearty battle at the bottom as four teams sit within six points of one another. Sunderland has occupied the basement position for much of 2016/17, but can the Black Cats pull off some magic as the season winds down?

TEAM RANKING
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20 (20) Sunderland: With 50 goals conceded and nobody other than Jermain Jones bagging goals for the Black Cats, Sunderland can only wait for its plummet to the Championship.
200px-Middlesbrough_crest 19 (19) Middlesbrough: 19 goals in 27 matches doesn’t spell success for the Boro, who sit 19 in the table.
Hull City logo 18 (18) Hull City: The Tigers have fought valiantly, and their recent victory over Swansea could be what the team needs to propel itself out of the bottom three.
source: 17 (17) Bournemouth: It’s been a rough second half for the Cherries but at least they should survive for another season.
source: 16 (16) Crystal Palace: Winners of back-to-back matches, Palace may have found its form again as the relegation battle heats up.
source: 15 (15) Swansea City: The Swans have risen under Paul Clement, and it might be just enough to keep them in England’s top flight come 2017/18.
burnley fc crest 14 (13) Burnley: The Clarets haven’t won since the tail end of January, and although they sit 12th, only seven points separate Burnley from 18th place.
source: 13 (14) Leicester City: A UCL quarterfinal and a recent lift in form under Craig Shakespeare. It looks like the Cinderella story is back on!
logo_westham
12 (9) West Ham United: The Hammers haven’t won since Feb. 4, but a top 10 finish could still be in the cards.
source: 11 (12) Watford: Only one win in five for the Hornets, and they must be wary of how tight the bottom of the table is.
source: 10 (11) Southampton: The Saints have benefitted from other teams struggling, and with two matches in hand a top 10 finish is very possible once again.
source: 9 (10) West Bromwich Albion: Two straight losses for the Baggies has put a damper on the team’s already bleak hopes of finishing top six.
source: 8 (8)
Stoke City: If Stoke could start picking up wins as opposed to draws, Stoke would have a shot at finishing top eight. Goals have been hard to come by for this club though.
source: 7 (4) Manchester United: Three straight winless in all competitions pretty much sums up United’s season. The Red Devils have been good but not great under Jose Mourinho.
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6 (5) Everton: The Toffees have quietly gone unbeaten in 10 of their last 11 and moved within two points of six place. If Ronald Koeman can get them there, could he be considered for Manager of the Year? 
source: 5 (7) Arsenal: The Gunners no longer have Champions League aspirations for this season after being pummeled by Bayern, and their PL title hopes are gone as well. All Arsene Wenger can hope for is to extend his team’s streak of top four finishes.
Logo_Manchester_City 4 (3) Manchester City: Take City’s Champions League collapse out of it. Pep Guardiola‘s side will likely finish top four and possibly top two.
source: 3 (6) Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp‘s backline continues to be this team’s Achilles’ heal and that showed recently with losses at Hull and Leicester. Top three is surely possible but the Reds attack has to continue to shine.
source: 2 (2) Tottenham: Any other season Spurs would go on to win the title, but Chelsea has had their say. Still a tremendous showing thus far from Tottenham.
source: 1 (1) Chelsea: Unbeaten in seven and closing in on the PL crown, the Blues can’t lose the top spot, right?

At long last, Butland returns to full training with Stoke

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Stoke City’s long-coming goalkeeping dilemma will come to a head soon, as Jack Butland is back in training.

A year ago today, the Potters confirmed that star backstop Butland would miss EURO 2016 with a broken ankle. He’d need multiple surgeries as recovery dragged on and on.

[ MORE: Complete Panama-USMNT preview ]

That was more palatable thanks to the play of Lee Grant, who arrived on loan from Derby County but became a permanent Potter in January. Grant has been a key part of Stoke’s season.

Butland is contracted to Stoke through 2021, and he’ll ascend to the starting gig sooner rather than later. But Grant is in the catbird seat for now, and at least will have made himself attractive to other clubs seeking a keeper.

Report: Everton linked with $4 million swoop for Canada’s Larin

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The Sun only hits on a few of the many transfer rumors it tosses around, but this one bears a second look for fans of Everton, MLS, and Canada.

Everton is already eyeing replacements for Romelu Lukaku, according to the report, and is hunting for a bargain in Canadian national teamer Cyle Larin.

Larin, 21, was the first overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft by Orlando City SC after an electric career at UConn.

[ MORE: Complete Panama-USMNT preview ]

He’s since scored 35 goals in 63 matches for the Lions, picking up three in his first two matches of the 2017 season. The 6-foot-1 Ontario native has five goals for Canada in 19 caps.

The Sun says Larin would cost close to $4 million, a fraction of what the Toffees will get if they sell Lukaku.

Fan dies after falling off football stadium in Brazil

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SAO PAULO (AP) A Brazilian football fan has died after falling 25 meters from the top of Morumbi Stadium in Sao Paulo onto a parking lot.

The height is equivalent to an eight-story building.

Bruno Pereira da Silva, aged 23, suffered head injuries and died upon arrival at a local hospital on Sunday.

[ MORE: Complete Panama-USMNT preview ]

He and other fans were attempting to jump to a section of the stadium where they could get a better view of the Sao Paulo state championship match between Sao Paulo and archrival Corinthians. The game ended 1-1.

Friends of da Silva told Brazilian media Silva was attending his first football match.

CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers: CRC, Honduras get off the mat

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The two traditional CONCACAF powers are riding high following Friday’s round of World Cup qualifiers, while the two other sides to qualify for Brazil 2014 are licking their wounds.

Honduras and Costa Rica both found themselves on the wrong side of shutout losses to the United States and Mexico, while Trinidad and Tobago injected itself into the discussion with a home win over Panama.

[ WATCH: CONCACAF qualifiers on Telemundo ]

What’s cooking for Tuesday? Read on:

Honduras vs. Costa Rica — 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday

Two sides which love to play physical, on-the-edge soccer meet on the heels of Friday losses. Expect Jorge Luis Pinto’s Catrachos to adapt after a 6-0 beatdown at the hands of the U.S., but they’ll have to do much, much better at home.

The dates at Estadio Morazan have to be the key for Honduras to climb into the Top Three, and it’ll be buoyed by memories of its 3-1 win over T&T two rounds ago. As for Costa Rica, Los Ticos aim to respond from conceding their first two goals of the Hex.

Trinidad and Tobago vs. Mexico — 7 p.m. EDT Tuesday

Kevin Molino’s strike gave T&T its first three points of qualifying, but its odds of getting a result against visiting Mexico aren’t nearly as good. The Soca Warriors desperation will be easy to see, as June’s qualifiers include trips to the U.S. and Costa Rica.

El Tri now has wins in two of its trickier Hex matches after adding Friday’s 2-0 win over Costa Rica to its upset of the Yanks in Columbus. Ten points through four matches would be exemplary; A draw or loss leaves the door open for Costa Rica to summit the Hex table.

United States vs. Panama — 10:05 p.m. EDT Tuesday

Read our extensive preview here, but the upshot is this: The United States can rise into the Top Three by beating Panama, while Los Canaleros will be happy to scoop a draw to stem any bleeding cause by Molino and T&T.