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USMNT’s Yedlin set for Newcastle return; Benitez struggling

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DeAndre Yedlin has yet to appear for Newcastle United this season but that may change on Sunday against Swansa City (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Yedlin, 24, injured his hamstring in preseason and has missed the last month of action.

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However, good news arrived on Friday as Newcastle’s assistant boss Francisco de Miguel Moreno (standing in for the injured Rafael Benitez, more on that below) confirmed that Yedlin has been back in full training and is likely to be in the squad for the trip to Swansea.

“DeAndre is working very well – he is working hard to get to the game. He has been training fully in the last three or four (sessions), so I think he has a good chance to come to the game,” Moreno, commonly known as ‘Paco’ said.

Yedlin was injured in a July friendly against Mainz 05 and missed the USA’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Honduras last week. News of his return will be welcomed by USMNT boss Bruce Arena.

As for his manager at Newcastle, Rafael Benitez, it is not great news for the Spaniard.

Newcastle confirmed that Benitez is recovering from an operation on his groin on Monday and he has been unable to travel to training all week from his home just outside Liverpool.

“We are a very close team behind the scenes so everyone is always happy to step in and help out wherever it’s needed,” Paco said. “We have all been in constant contact with Rafa as always and while he is very keen to be back on the training pitch, he is in good spirits. He is feeling better each day and we are looking forward to seeing him back shortly.”

The operation took place to clear up a groin issue Benitez had two years ago but it is believed he has been left with an infection.

Given his current state, Benitez may not even make the trip to Swansea on Sunday with a helicopter potentially lined up on Sunday morning for him if he is feeling comfortable enough to make the journey.

Following the lack of transfers at Newcastle in the final days of the window, many had questioned how much longer Benitez would remain in charge at Newcastle.

Their 3-0 win against West Ham before the international break calmed things down and the Magpies now have three points from their first three games back in the Premier League.

They may not have their manage on the sidelines on Sunday though.

Burnley 1-0 Stoke City: Barnes’ late strike guides Clarets into top four

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Don’t look now, but the Clarets have climbed into the Premier League top four.

Burnley found a way Stoke City late on Tuesday, picking up a 1-0 win at the Turf Moor behind Ashley Barnes‘ late finish.

[ MORE: Gremio reaches Club World Cup final, awaits Real Madrid or Al Jazira ]

The Clarets, who have now secured 31 points over their first 17 matches this season, leapfrogged Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham with the victory. However, all three sides will be in action on Wednesday.

Steven Defour nearly put Burnley ahead on 69 minutes, when the front man tested Stoke keeper Jack Butland — who had to make a sprawling save to his right.

While Stoke mustered up several quality chances, it was Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s blast in the first half that nearly found the top left corner.

Next up for Burnley will be a date against Brighton on Saturday, while Stoke travels to Huddersfield the same day.

Club World Cup wrap: Gremio reaches final, Urawa takes fifth place

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One half of this year’s FIFA Club World Cup final was decided on Tuesday as Brazilian side Gremio topped Liga MX champions Pachuca.

Second-half substitute Everton proved to be the difference for the Brazilians, with the attacker scoring in extra time to lift Gremio.

[ MORE: LA FC selects Urena, four others in MLS Expansion Draft ]

Pachuca’s chances of completing a comeback were extinguished with 10 minutes remaining in extra time, as Víctor Guzman was sent off upon picking up his second yellow card of the semifinal.

Meanwhile, Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds captured fifth place in the tournament after narrowly topping Wydad Casablanca, 3-2.

Despite going behind early, Urawa responded almost immediately in the first half, before building its lead to 3-1 at the hour mark.

A late penalty kick from Reda Hajhouj gave Casablanca a glimmer of hope in the dying moments, however, the Moroccan-based club couldn’t find a way to equalize.

Gremio will await either La Liga giants Real Madrid or Al Jazira in the Club World Cup final, which will be played on Saturday. The loser of that match will take on Pachuca in the third-place game.

Below are the scores from Tuesday’s FIFA Club World Cup matches.

Gremio 1-0 Pachuca (after extra time)

Wydad Casablanca 2-3 Urawa Red Diamonds — Fifth-place match

LAFC selects Urena, 4 others in MLS Expansion Draft

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Los Angeles FC selected five players in the MLS Expansion Draft, including Costa Rican national team star Marco Urena.

Whether they’ll make their way to the City of Angels is another story.

The first pick from general manager John Thorrington was goalkeeper Tyler Miller from Seattle Sounders.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Going next was Latif Blessing from Sporting KC, an electric attacker who netted thrice with an assist last season.

Next was Urena from San Jose and the Costa Rican national team, a huge addition, and then Columbus left back Jukka Raitala before closing up the draft with Raheem Edwards from Toronto FC.

LAFC has already announced the signings or acquisitions of Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, Carlos Alvarez, Monday Etim, and Guillermo Vizcarra.

The club will also loan Omar Gaber from Basel and Rodrigo Pacheco from Lanus.

WATCH LIVE: Three Premier League matches

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Chelsea visits the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield Town in one of three Premier League fixtures this chilly Tuesday in December (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Blues are now 14 points back of Manchester City, and three points clear of fifth place.

Meanwhile there are a pair of matches on NBC Sports Gold: Burnley looks to keep pace with its Top Four ambitions when it hosts struggling Stoke City, while in-form Crystal Palace seeks a home win that would move it out of the drop zone. In its way? Dangerous, attack-minded Watford.

Burnley vs. Stoke City — 2:45 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Crystal Palace vs. Watford — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]