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Burnley midfielder Cork joins England for Germany, Brazil tests

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What a year it’s been for Jack Cork.

The midfielder has helped new club Burnley to the surprise start of the Premier League season, and now could earn his first England cap against high-profile opponents Brazil or Germany this week.

Cork, 28, represented England at every level from U-15 to U-21,  but hadn’t broken through during since leaving Chelsea for Southampton in 2011.

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The call-up comes as Gareth Southgate is dealing with the departures of injured sextet Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph, Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks.

Cork was humble in accepted the honor, from BurnleyFootballClub.com:

“Four or five of the lads in the squad probably could have got in at the same time as me, so I feel lucky that I’ve been given the chance and, hopefully, if we can keep this form up then maybe one or two others can get in as well.”

Cork becomes one of five uncapped players on the England roster, joining Tammy Abraham (Swansea City), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Jordan Pickford (Everton), and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace). Abraham and Loftus-Cheek are on loan from Chelsea.

Notable stats from the Premier League weekend — Week 11

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What numbers jump out following another entertaining three days in the Premier League? We culled the web, with help from Opta, to find out.

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— 4 — Points claimed by West Brom in nine matches since opening the season with wins over Bournemouth and Burnley.

— 96.6 — PL-leading pass completion percentage from Man City’s John Stones, almost four percent more than runner-up Davinson Sanchez.

— 5 — Number of Man City players in the Top Ten for passes per game, including Stones, Fernandinho, David Silva, Nicolas Otamendi, and Kevin De Bruyne.

— 4.2 — Leicester City’s Wilfried Ndidi has played every minute for the Foxes, leading the league in tackles per game with 4.2.

— 2.5 — Ndidi also leads the league in times dribbles past per game.

— 22 — Goals conceded this season by Stoke City, Everton, and Crystal Palace, the most in the league.

— 38 — Goals scored by Man City, 15 more than any team in the Premier League.

— 19 — Burnley’s point total this season, one more than the almost historically low total one idiot writer predicted for them before the season.

— 142 — Peter Crouch appearances as a substitute. The giant scored off the bench in a 2-2 draw with Leicester City.

— 5 — Yellow cards each for Man City’s Nicolas Otamendi and countryman/ex-teammate Pablo Zabaleta of West Ham, tops in the PL.

Southampton 0-1 Burnley: Vokes wins it late on

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  • Vokes heads home winner late on
  • 1 defeat in nine PL games for Burnley
  • Burnley up to sixth in PL table

Burnley beat Southampton 1-0 at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday with Sean Dyche‘s team continuing their fine form away from home this season.

Substitute Sam Vokes scored the game-winner late on with Burnley’s only effort on target as Saints once again dominated possession but failed to score at home.

With the win Burnley momentarily move into sixth place in the table, while Southampton drop into the bottom half.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

After a slow start at St Mary’s, the home side did most of the pressing but just like in recent games they struggled to break down a stubborn defense.

Sofiane Boufal smashed in a volley on goal which Nick Pope saved well at the near post as Saints cranked up the pressure before half time.

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Ryan Bertrand then had a powerful drive blocked by James Tarkowski as Southampton had plenty of joy down their left flank.

Soon after Nathan Redmond cut inside, again from the left, but his shot was saved well down low by Pope.

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Pope made another great stop early in the second half as Maya Yoshida volleyed acrobatically towards goal but Burnley’s goalkeeper tipped it over the bar.

Burnley threatened on the break in the second half after bringing on Sam Vokes and Ashley Barnes, while Southampton brought on Charlie Austin and Shane Long but failed to break the Clarets down.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Steven Davis found some space on the edge of the box but fired his shot over the bar and late on Burnley went 1-0 up.

A fine cross from Johan Gudmundsson found Vokes who headed home to put the away side ahead with their first, and only, effort on target during the game.

Benitez: Newcastle needs to improve attack quality

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Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez says his team worked hard enough to get a win over Burnley, but sloppiness and a lack of quality in the final third subverted his hopes for three points.

“It was a game we were controlling,” Benitez said. “We knew that scoring one goal we could win, and one goal we could lose. We made a mistake.”

[ RECAP: Burnley 1-0 Newcastle ]

Jeff Hendrick‘s 74th minute goal gave the Clarets seventh place in the Premier League with a 1-0 win, while Newcastle sinks ninth.

Benitez believes they did enough tactically to win, but the clinical finish was not provided by Joselu or substitute Dwight Gayle. Is it January yet?

“We had 12 attempts away, nine in the second half, so we were trying to go for a win. We were not very precise on the ball,” Benitez said.

“We know our strengths and weaknesses. We have to improve in everything, but I’m still happy with the work rate of the players and the way they are approaching the game but sometimes it’s something you lack that can make the difference.”

Newcastle hosts Bournemouth next weekend in a match that could see them reassert its comfortable standing on the table, or drop back toward the relegation pack.

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Burnley 1-0 Newcastle United: Clarets move 7th

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  • Hendrick scores 2nd half winner
  • Five saves for Pope, four for Elliot
  • Clarets leapfrog Magpies

Burnley ended its losing skid at one match, using a late Jeff Hendrick goal to knock off Newcastle United and rise back into the Top Seven with a 1-0 win at Turf Moor on Monday.

It’s Newcastle’s first loss since Sept. 24, and leaves the Magpies ninth with 14 points.

The clubs had drawn the only two matches they’ve played since 1983, including 1-1 at Turf Moor on Dec. 2, 2014.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Clarets roared out of the gate, with Steven Defour winning a fourth-minute corner kick as a result of near exclusive possession for the hosts.

Jeff Hendrick headed an offering toward goal that Jonjo Shelvey turned out of play for another corner eventually collected by Newcastle backstop Rob Elliot.

Newcastle’s first time in Burnley’s end was a ninth minute corner. Christian Atsu couldn’t get over a bouncing ball and sent it over the frame from in tight.

Shelvey tested Burnley keeper Nick Pope in the 18th minute, but the hard hit was right at the backstop.

Elliot had some work to do, but wasn’t particularly troubled aside from an oddly flighted cross from Robbie Brady in the 29th minute.

Ashley Barnes nodded a deflected cross wide of Elliot’s right post soon after that.

As the match hit half at nil-nil, this stat did not bode well for the Magpies:

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Pope made a fine flying save on Ayoze Perez in the 50th minute to concede a Newcastle corner, but the short corner led to nothing.

At the other end Elliot snared James Tarkowski‘s header of a Brady free kick.

Elliot made a fine parry on Jack Cork before Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s deft cross over the fray allowed Hendrick to finish beyond a desperate Yedlin.

Joselu dragged a shot wide in the 82nd minute in the Magpies’ best scoring bid of the half. Shelvey then let fly with a low 22-yard strike into Pope’s arms.

Elliot made a low save on Barnes in the 89th minute, and Pope made a full-stretch parry on Isaac Hayden deep in stoppage. Elliot came up for the ensuing corner, and Javier Manquillo flicked a cross over the bar.

Follow @NicholasMendola