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Premier League preseason roundup: Leicester comes from behind, Hull wins, West Ham pegged late

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Leicester City needed a comeback, but they prevailed in their first preseason friendly, a 2-1 victory over League One side Oxford United at Kassam Stadium in Oxford.

The hosts got on the board first with Chris Maguire burying a free kick 14 minutes in. But Leicester City took control from there, and goals from Jeffrey Schlupp and 20-year-old Demarai Gray put the Foxes into a winning position. Riyad Mahrez, Robert Huth, Danny Drinkwater and Wes Morgan all featured for Leicester, while new signing Ahmed Musa also logged minutes. 18-year-old hometown kid Hamza Choudhury started next Drinkwater in N'Golo Kante‘s old position.

The Foxes weren’t the only Premier League side on a winning end today as Hull City brushed aside League Two side Mansfield Town 1-0 at One Call Stadium. 20-year old Jarrod Bowen scored the game’s only goal, but there were two other talking points. On the positive side, Peter Odemwingie featured for the Tigers on trial, as the experienced striker looks for a new club. Unfortunately for Hull, captain Michael Dawson was injured, picking up damage to his MCL.

[ MORE: Full Premier League preseason schedule ]

West Ham went to Austria to take on Czech side FC Slovacko, and put in a positive performance before two late goals pegged them back to a 2-2 draw. Mark Noble bagged a long-range goal and Ashley Fletcher added a header just after halftime to put the Hammers up 2-0, but with Slaven Bilic having taken out most of the regulars as the game wound down, the Slovacko scored twice in the final five minutes.

Middlesbrough is gearing up for a return to the Premier League, but they have some work to do after a 2-1 loss to La Liga club Real Betis in Marbella, Spain. Jordan Rhodes scored his third goal of the preseason in the second half, but it was too little too late after Dani Ceballos and Ruben Castro had put the Spaniards comfortably ahead. The match was quite the step up in quality for Aitor Karanka’s side, having beaten lower-division sides York City and Doncaster so far.

[ NEWS: Manchester United reportedly to make enormous Pogba offer ]

Burnley came from behind, needing a late goal to draw level with League Two minnows Morecamb, finishing with a 1-1 scoreline. There was plenty of squad rotation, but Morecambe took the lead midway through the second half before Andre Gray brought it back level 10 minutes later.

Finally, Watford downed 2.Bundesliga club Union Berlin 3-1 in Austria behind goals from Etienne Capoue, Troy Deeney and Steven Berghuis. Capoue needed just 13 minutes to put the Hornets ahead, and Deeney bagged one from the penalty spot just before halftime. Odion Ighalo was also bright, assisting Capoue’s opener and nearly scoring soon after.

Hull City 1-0 Liverpool: Dawson header gives Hull City room to breathe

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The Tigers staved off Liverpool’s Champions League gasp as captain Michael Dawson’s first goal for his new club gave the home side a vital boost in the fight for Premier League survival at the KC Stadium.

Dawson nodded home a cross midway through the first half to propel Hull City four points above the relegation zone, leaving QPR, Burnley, Sunderland, Leicester City, and Aston Villa in their wake. Liverpool, meanwhile, owned over 70% of the possession and still couldn’t muster many clear-cut chances.

Liverpool fans were few and far between thanks to a ticket price protest, but on the field things shot off right away with both sides producing promising and free-flowing attacks. Mario Balotelli had a few early-minute spats with Tom Huddlestone, but it was Hull who would have the opening chance in the sixth minute, a point-blank header from Dame N’Doye directed straight at Simon Mignolet who kept it out.

Liverpool pushed forward, and Philippe Coutinho looked an engine in the attack. On a corner in the 19th minute, Coutinho latched onto a low driven corner and powered a shot on net that was well-saved Steve Harper. Balotelli had a chance minutes later and like only he could, hit a surprisingly powerful backheel that was unlucky to go straight at Harper.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Hull down the other end forced a frantic double-save from Mignolet as the game continued to produce chances. With Hull on a spell of possession, they would take the lead after the half-hour mark. A cleared corner came out to Ahmed Elmohamady, and his cross met the head of Dawson who buried it into the corner past Mignolet for the lead.

Liverpool had a golden opportunity minutes later, but Jordan Henderson drove a great look right at Harper on 41 minutes. The Hull keeper stone-walled Henderson yet again after the break with the Liverpool midfielder unleashing a dangerous volley at the far post that forced a diving save. Brendan Rodgers brought on Rickie Lambert for Balotelli as the Italian seemed to fade, and Harper made a third off Henderson’s foot with 20 minutes to go.

[ RELATED: Latest PL standings ]

As Hull looked to kill off the game, Martin Skrtel came dangerously close to an own goal with 16 minutes to go looking to clear a Robbie Brady cross, but he headed it just wide and ended the threat. Needing a pair of goals to keep their Champions League hopes alive, Liverpool had little to offer a galvanized Hull side in the final quarter of an hour. Coutinho worked a ball to Raheem Sterling in the box with 8 minutes left but the youngster had only a weak shot to pick out.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Liverpool’s failure to score effectively ends the Reds’ charge towards a Champions League spot, leaving them five points clear of the top four and unable to capitalize on two straight losses by Manchester United above them. Hull, meanwhile, earn themselves some breathing room at the bottom of the table with 34 points and owning a better goal differential than any of the five clubs below them.

LINEUPS:

Hull City: Harper, Dawson, Chester, McShane, Elmohamady, Brady, Huddlestone, Livermore, Quinn (Ramirez 84′), Aluko, N’Doye (Rosenior 89′).

Goals: Dawson 37′

Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Lovren (Markovic 76′), Johnson, Allen, Henderson, Ibe (Lallana 65′), Sterling, Coutinho, Balotelli (Lambert 65′).

Premier League Team of the Week: Find out who starred on Matchday 8

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[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights, here ]

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

The power of the transfer window was in full display this weekend, and six players who were on different clubs last campaign are on the Premier League team of the week for Matchday 8.

Some got there by grit (Michael Dawson), others by controversy (Mohamed Diame) and still more just by golden boots.

Meanwhile, John Terry, Sergio Aguero and Diame stayed on the team over the international break.

Check out the whole team via the video above.

Matchday 8 – Premier League Team of the Week (Formation: 3-4-3)

Goalkeeper: Joe Hart (Manchester City)

Defenders: John Terry (Chelsea), Michael Dawson (Hull City), Leighton Baines (Everton)

Midfielders: Gabriel Obertan (Newcastle United), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Mohamed Diame (Hull City), Dusan Tadic (Southampton)

Forwards: Graziano Pelle (Southampton), Diafra Sakho (West Ham United), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Something old, something new: Palace reportedly interested in Spurs pair

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Tony Pulis’ relegation scrap turned into a mid-table hunt last season at Crystal Palace, and now PST’s Premier League manager of the year is looking to make a charge even higher in the table.

According to The Daily Star (we know), Pulis is after a pair of Tottenham players to begin a summer of additions at Selhurst Park, one he’s chased since his days as Stoke City boss.

The report says the Eagles would love to get their hands on a Spurs mainstay as well as a midfielder who showed flashes of brilliance at White Hart Lane in 2013/14.

Spurs captain Michael Dawson and attacker Gylfi Sigurdsson are the names mentioned in the report, and both are a little curious. Though with Tottenham bringing in a new manager, any name could be on the table.

Dawson will turn 31 in November, and the 6-foot-3 center back has made over 300 appearances for Spurs since arriving from Nottingham Forest in 2005. Dawson only played in 16 Premier League matches for the club this season.

Sigurdsson, 24, scored five goals in 22 PL appearances this season, his best total as a Spurs player (He scored seven on loan to Swansea City from Hoffenheim in 2011/12).

Moving both players into the team’s spine alongside unheralded-but-fantastic Mile Jedinak would certainly strengthen Palace. And the concept of Spurs shedding some salary ahead of a Pochettino-led buying spree could also work well (though both players hardly seem like part of the problem). Is it win-win?

Defoe: “I won’t ever be at peace” with World Cup snub

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“I don’t think I’ll ever be at peace” Jermain Defoe told reporters at training today.

At 31 years old, the Toronto FC striker was baffled with Roy Hodgson’s decision to select Rickie Lambert and Danny Welbeck ahead of him in the final 23-man roster for England’s trip to Brazil.

“If I had an injury, then I could sort of like, understand it and I could hold my hands up and say, ‘you know, missed that with injury and it’s not meant to be.’” Defoe said.

“In my head, it’s sort of baffling a little bit. I don’t understand it, but it’s important to remain positive. When you’ve been involved in every squad and the World Cup comes around and you’re not in the 23, it’s hard to understand.”

Hodgson’s final World Cup roster released Monday included Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge, along with Welbeck and Lambert at the striker position.  He decided to go with youth for many spots, taking Southampton’s young duo Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw as well as Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley, and Welbeck.

Defoe was included on the standby list incase any players end up unable to go due to injury or other circumstances. While Defoe did recall chances for Rio Ferdinand and Michael Dawson off the reserve squad during the last World Cup in South Africa, he’s not about to wish injury upon his countrymen.

“There’s an FA Cup final coming up, players can get injured but I don’t want that to happen,” Defoe said. “I don’t wish that on anyone. It’s special for all the young players that have been picked. Being on standby is difficult but at the same time I wouldn’t wish any of the players got injured because if that was me, I would be heartbroken.”

The miss does mean that Defoe will be available for Toronto during the duration of the tournament, and will provide a bit of relief to a squad missing Michael Bradley through World Cup selection.