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The Run-In: Safe, but not sound in the bottom half of the Premier League

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With seven games to go in the Premier League, this is getting tense.

[ PLAYBACK: Leicester finally believe ]

Bearing that in mind, here at ProSoccerTalk we thought it would be a good time to look at the final weeks of the season and the scenarios for each team.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Here’s “The Run-In” looking at the fortunes of teams unlikely to face relegation nor make a run into a European tournament.


West Bromwich Albion

Current position/points: 11th/39 points (played 30 games)
Toughest game: at Arsenal & Spurs, April 21 & 25 |  Full schedule
Most important player: Gareth McAuley. The big Northern Irish center back has turned back the hands of time.
Most likely outcome: A very tough slate of games are coming, and manager Tony Pulis will be sure to batten down the hatches to make sure no entertainment comes anyone’s way. Call them 13th.


Everton

Current position/points: 12th/38 points (played 29 games)’
Toughest game: at Liverpool, April 20 |  Full schedule
Most important player: Ross Barkley. He does a bit of everything, and this year has really lived up to his potential.
Most likely outcome: The only team in this bunch that could challenge to finish top half, but also is focused on succeeding the semifinals of the FA Cup and beyond. 11th.


Bournemouth

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Current position/points: 13th/38 points (played 31 games)
Toughest game: at Man Utd, May 15  Full schedule
Most important player: Andrew Surman. The steady South African midfielder covers plenty of ground and has intangibles overflowing from whatever he uses to store intangibles.
Most likely outcome: Very difficult run home for the Cherries, who will struggle to keep up their recent pace.


Watford

Current position/points: 14th/37 points (played 30 games)
Toughest game: at Arsenal, April 2 |  Full schedule
Most important player: Troy Deeney. The plaudits head Odion Ighalo‘s way more often, but Deeney’s hold-up play has created so many chances for the Hornets, and his leadership is valuable.
Most likely outcome: Around 13th-15th.


Swansea City

Current position/points: 15th/36 points (played 31 games)
Toughest game: at Leicester City, April 24|  Full schedule
Most important player: Ashley Williams. The veteran back’s crunching tackles and keen reactions have saved Swans’ leaky defense more points than their performances deserve.
Most likely outcome: A relatively tricky run-in should have Swans finishing no more than a spot higher than their current position.

WATCH: Zlatan stunner answers Vela’s opener in El Trafico

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is walking it like he talks it, not that that’s anything new.

A few days after claiming superiority over LAFC superstar Carlos Vela, Ibrahimovic and his Galaxy trailed early in El Trafico via a Vela penalty.

[ MORE: Latest on Eriksen ]

Naturally, Zlatan took it upon himself to answer the bell with his 14th goal in 17 games.

Ibrahimovic chests a long ball onto his right foot, cooking Eduard Atuesta by pushing it into position for a tremendous lash into the LAFC goal.

And if you haven’t been following LAFC’s amazing season, Atuesta’s probably been the side’s best player after Vela, who now has 20 goals in 20 games.

Wizard stuff.

Borussia Dortmund tops Liverpool 3-2 at Notre Dame

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A half-hour of the big guns wasn’t enough to get Jurgen Klopp a result against his former team.

Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster scored for Liverpool in a 3-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund at the University of Notre Dame on Friday.

Paco Alcacer, Thomas Delaney, and Jacob Bruun Larsen scored for the Black Yellow, who led 3-1 when mass changes began with Virgil Van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, and Andrew Robertson entering the match.

Liverpool faces Sevilla on Sunday at Fenway Park in Boston.

[ MORE: Latest on Eriksen ]

Alcacer with the ball in the box is a bad idea, and the Spaniard took advantage of Nathaniel Clyne and Joel Matip to smash home from a yard outside the six.

Wilson leveled the score before halftime, but Delaney made it 2-1 in the 53rd minute when a long diagonal ball beat the Reds line and a low pass across the box went undetected.

It was 3-1 via a clever Bruun Larsen touch to wrong foot James Milner, but Brewster brought the Reds back to within one when he converted a 75th minute penalty won by Ben Woodburn.

Liverpool was without Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah, who are on break after deep summer tournament runs.

Eriksen offered big Spurs wages, but Atletico Madrid lurks

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Christian Eriksen may trade London for Madrid after all, but Marca claims it’ll be Real Madrid’s rivals who earn the services of Tottenham’s Danish playmaker.

Eriksen, 27, scored 10 goals with 17 assists for Spurs in all competitions last season, and was reportedly ready to spread his wings for Real Madrid.

[ MORE: Kean to Everton? ]

But pro-Real site Marca says Zinedine Zidane doesn’t want Eriksen at the Bernabeu, and that Diego Simeone feels differently… should Atletico Madrid fail at landing his prime option.

That’s James Rodriguez, who remains property of Real and that’s a problem.

So Eriksen to Atleti, helping to replace Antoine Griezmann? It’s possible.

From Marca.com:

Just last November, the London club put a 250 million euro price tag on his head, but now appear keen to move him on. The next few days will likely reveal a lot about what’s to come.

So we may get an idea of whether this report has any guts to it by next week. There could be some sense to it, but Metro claims that Spurs are offering Eriksen an “enormous” contract to keep him in North London.

Enormous means a doubling of Eriksen’s wages, and the Dane is said to be happy in England. Might Spurs hold off the finest of La Liga and Serie A after all.

Report: Everton could land Juventus’ Kean after all

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Everton could end up with one of the hottest prospects in world soccer.

Moise Kean may wind up leaving Juventus due to the club’s failure to offload fellow strikers Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain.

And Kean, 19, was poised for a breakthrough to the first team, to the extent that Juve reportedly turned down a $33 million bid from Everton.

[ MORE: Algeria wins AFCON ]

The Toffees, however, may have new life due to the Higuain/Mandzukic problem, and Sky Sports Italia reports that Kean may indeed be an option for Marco Silva‘s club. He could join Michael Keane, if he’s keen.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Kean elected to leave Italy given the racial abuse he’s suffered in Serie A (Though racism is everywhere, of course).

The same report says Kean turned down a Barcelona offer because he would’ve headed on loan, while Arsenal is also said to be in the mix.

Kean scored six Serie A goals with an assist in just 13 matches for Juventus last season after scoring four times for Hellas Verona on loan.