Premier League as it stands

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Does doing the math on who might clinch the Premier League title, who’s going to play in Europe next year and who’s going down leave you with a headache? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here’s a quick look at how the Premier League shakes out – based on how things stand at the conclusion of Sunday’s matches.

Relegation

We’ll start with something fairly straightforward. First, Cardiff City’s 3-0 loss to Newcastle and Fulham’s 4-1 defeat at Stoke leaves both sides relegated. They thought they’d try to get some points docked from Sunderland, but that’s not going to work, so they’ll be spending next season in the second division.

Speaking of Sunderland, hold on tight, because things are about to get tricky.

The Black Cats host West Brom on Wednesday in a match with huge implications on the relegation battle. Because the Baggies lost to Arsenal in Sunday’s early match, they’re just three points above the drop. However, because Norwich have a -32 goal difference, it’s almost impossible that West Brom could be relegated. Still, a point against Sunderland on Wednesday would make them mathematically safe – and puts Sunderland into the same “they’re never going to reach us on goal difference” category.

However, Sunderland could still drop down. If the Black Cats lose on Wednesday, it all comes down to the last round on Sunday. That’s when Norwich play host to Arsenal, who’ve got nothing left to play for, and Swansea, who are safe, visit Sunderland.

Europa League

Because Arsenal are officially in the Champions League, Hull City claim a spot in Europa, regardless of whether or not they win the FA Cup. So 5th and 6th head to Europe’s second tournament – but next season, the winner gets a spot in the Champions League, so it just might become a bit more exciting.

Everton didn’t manage to beat Manchester City in Saturday’s late game, but because Manchester United lost to Sunderland, the Toffees are assured of a place in the Europa League.

Tottenham, however, seem to have tired of the tournament, and threw away their chance to take England’s final slot by losing 2-0 to West Ham. That means United, with two games remaining, can still slip into sixth. The Red Devils will need to beat both Hull and Southampton, while Spurs will have to lose to Aston Villa next Sunday.

Champions League

Ok, this one is simple: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City will play in the Champions League next season. While the top three spots may not have fallen into place just yet, we do know that it’s Arsenal that will go into the qualifying round. Unless, of course, the Gunners manage to overcome the +18 goal difference Chelsea currently have over them (assuming Chelsea end up second, but if they don’t, it’s an even bigger gap Arsenal will need to leap).

Premier League Title

Deep breaths. Despite Liverpool playing Crystal Palace on Monday, and Manchester City hosting Aston Villa on Wednesday, the title can’t be decided until Sunday.

Currently Manchester City, who beat Everton 3-2 on Saturday, are top, thanks to a better goal difference than Liverpool. The Reds could re-take the lead at Palace, but unless they score more than ten, a win over Villa will have City back top come Sunday.

As for Chelsea, well…they’re almost out of it. After failing to score against Norwich, all the Blues can hope for is that both Liverpool and City will lose this week. Should that happen, Chelsea, who are currently a point behind both sides, will still have a chance to sneak in and grab the title.

That means Chelsea will need to beat Cardiff, which should be simple enough, while Manchester City fall to West Ham and Newcastle beat Liverpool.

Anyone think Chelsea can still do it?

Report: Croatia’s Kalinic sent home from World Cup

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It’s only been five days, and we have our first World Cup dismissal.

According to a bombshell report out of Croatia, Croatia National Team head coach Zlatko Dalic has sent home striker Nikola Kalinic from the team’s camp, after the AC Milan player reportedly refused to be a substitute during Croatia’s 2-0 win over Nigeria.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]

The report states that Kalinic refused to come on due to an injury, but Dalic had said recently that his team had no injuries that would keep players out, potentially meaning that Kalinic used the injury claim as an excuse.

Croatia’s FA is expected to confirm the news on Monday.

After a rough season at AC Milan, with just six league goals in 31 Serie A appearances, Kalinic, at 30, is likely finished with the Vatreni. He scored three goals in World Cup qualifying but hasn’t started for Croatia since a 2-0 win over Peru in March. Kalinic did score against Spain in Croatia’s shock 2-1 win exactly two years prior to Saturday’s match.

He was deemed second choice to Mario Mandzukic as the center forward up top, but was reportedly asked to spell Mandzukic during Croatia’s match against Nigeria, and Kalinic reportedly refused.

If true, Croatia will continue with 22 players for the remainder of the tournament.

VAR, Granqvist penalty lead Sweden over South Korea

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On Day 5 of the World Cup, VAR took center stage once again.

Referee Joel Aguilar of El Salvador made the trek over to the video monitor in the 63rd minute after a no-call on a South Korea challenge in its own box, eventually reversing his decision and giving Sweden a penalty kick. Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist stepped up and sent his side in front before holding on for a 1-0 victory over South Korea on Monday morning in Nizhny Novgorod.

With the win, Sweden is joint top of Group F with Mexico on three points.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

The key moment in the match took place in the 62nd minute, as Sweden’s Viktor Claesson got his foot on a loose ball first before South Korea’s Kim Min-woo went through Claesson to clear the ball away.

Aguilar initially waved the penalty claim away, but after about 20 seconds and a word from his assistant referees in his ear, Aguilar made the sign for VAR and ran over to take a second look. Around 20-30 seconds later, Aguilar reversed his decision, awarding the Swedes a penalty.

Granqvist, who plays his club football for FC Krasnodar in Russia, stepped up to the spot and with veteran poise, sent Cho Hyun-woo the wrong way for the 1-0 lead.

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Sweden had chances in the first half to get on the board. Marcus Berg was alone on goal in the 20th minute but Hyun-woo stuck out a leg and deflected it away. Another chance from Berg led to another save from Hyun-woo as he kept South Korea in the match.

Following Sweden’s goal, Sweden sat deep and allowed Heung-Min Son to find space on the wings, where South Korea set up numerous half-chances. But the final pass was just missing, and Sweden was able to clear the ball out of the box on numerous occasions, holding on to victory.

It’s a big win for Sweden, which will face an angry and pumped up Germany side coming off a loss in its first match. Meanwhile, South Korea looks to rebound against Mexico, with its spirits higher than the clouds.

It’s confirmed: Club Leon parts ways with Landon Donovan

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Landon Donovan’s four-month adventure in Mexico appears to be over.

Club Leon announced on Sunday that it had parted ways with Donovan, despite the 36-year-old having a contract through the end of the calendar year. Donovan made just eight appearances for Leon, with just one start, and failed to score or assist on a goal as Leon slumped to 13th place in the Clausura season.

[READ: England squad reconnects with fans]

“…both parties have decided not to (keep the contract) for the Clausura that united us,” Leon said in a statement. “The departure of Landon from our team has been exemplary in all aspects. The club loses a legendary professional from the world of sports that leaves an indelible institutional imprint.”

It’s unclear what’s next for Donovan, but he stated in an interview with PST’s Matt Reed that he intends to continue playing in Mexico.

Donovan recently drew the ire of U.S. Men’s National Team fans and Donovan’s former teammates when he revealed he was rooting for Mexico at the World Cup this summer as part of a Well’s Fargo campaign.

Panama boss blunt and honest before nation’s World Cup debut

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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Panama coach Hernan Dario Gomez isn’t in the business of sugarcoating the truth before his team makes history by playing in its first World Cup.

The Central American team has trouble scoring and his players will need to have a good day to have any chance against Belgium on Monday, he said.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Blunt and honest, Gomez didn’t even hide his starting lineup, the normal way of doing things for coaches these days. And when asked if Panama could repeat Iceland’s upset against Argentina — the teams drew 1-1 on Saturday — the Colombian didn’t bother picking the right words when downplaying the Argentine squad.

“Iceland sent Croatia to the playoffs (in European qualifying), and it did well in the European Championship as well,” Gomez said. “It played against an Argentina squad which isn’t at the same level as Belgium right now. I mean, the distance between Iceland and Argentina isn’t as significant as the distance between Belgium and Panama.”

Gomez didn’t completely dismiss Panama’s chances of a surprise result against the Belgians, saying “anything can happen in football,” but admitted it wouldn’t be normal.

“It’s very clear that they are the favorites,” the 62-year-old coach said. “But each game is different, and if we have a good day, maybe we can achieve something.”

[ MORE: Where to watch Monday’s games, feat. England and Belgium ]

If Panama does find a way to advance past the group stage, Gomez said he already knows how he will be celebrating.

“I’ll drink two bottles of vodka,” he said laughing, before taking it back. “No, no … we are professionals.”

Gomez didn’t bother keeping his lineup a secret for the match in Sochi, naming the 11 starters without hesitating when asked about it. He even frankly talked about the formation his team would be playing Monday.

Gomez said Panama won’t be trying anything but defending against the talented Belgians, and admitted that scoring goals has been a weakness of his team entering the tournament.

“We’ve become strong on defense. It’s Panama’s virtue,” he said. “Panama isn’t a team that will score a lot of goals. We may create good chances in some matches, but we aren’t able to score. We arrive at the World Cup with problems scoring the goals.”

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]

The 55th-ranked Panama drew 0-0 with Northern Ireland and lost 1-0 to Norway in its final warm-up matches before traveling to Russia.

It qualified for the tournament by finishing ahead of the United States in CONCACAF thanks to a last-minute victory over Costa Rica in qualifying.

Gomez said the team carries a big responsibility by representing the nation at a World Cup for the first time, and his biggest job is to get the players ready for the pressure they are about to face.

“The whole country is excited about this,” Gomez said. “I have to prepare the players mentally.”

Gomez has been coaching Panama since 2014. He was previously with Ecuador, Guatemala and Colombia.

Panama’s other Group G games will be against England on Sunday and Tunisia on June 28.