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Premier League Wednesday preview: Sunderland, Liverpool have glorious chances

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There are three midweek matches in the Premier League, after which all 20 teams will be even in the matches played column ahead of Sunday’s final day.

Perhaps no club has a bigger opportunity than Sunderland, who can seal Newcastle United and Norwich City’s fates as teams relegated to the Championship.

[ MORE: West Ham-Man Utd recap | Bilic reactsWatch Martial’s stunner ]

Liverpool, however might argue that their Wednesday match bears a similar import. No, the Reds can’t drop into the bottom tier, but they can keep up an unlikely Top Five charge.

Sunderland vs. Everton — 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra

Big Sam’s Black Cats are looking very strong, defying the relegation odds by rising out of the drop zone with a win over Chelsea last week. Now they can banish those fears for good by scooping up three points at home against the visiting and stumbling Toffees.

It’s looking increasingly likely that Everton, which harbored Top Five hopes at the beginning of the season, will not sniff the Top Ten. Can the Merseyside club find any semblance of desperation against its foes?

Liverpool vs. Chelsea — 2:45 p.m. ET online via Live Extra

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If Jurgen Klopp‘s club can hold serve at home against Chelsea, the Reds will leapfrog Southampton and keep fifth place an option. It’s true that Liverpool is headed to the Champions League if it wins the Europa League final against Sevilla, but Klopp will fancy finishing as high as possible and the Anfield set would adore finishing above Manchester United. It’s not unthinkable. In Chelsea’s case, it cannot finish any higher than its current ninth place.

Norwich City vs. Watford — 2:45 p.m. ET online via Live Extra

The Carrow Road faithful will be hoping that Sunderland draws or loses and Norwich picks up a win. Then, and only then, can the Canaries start to dream of a Sunday great escape at Everton. As for Watford, the Hornets have struggled on the road as of late: one win and four losses with two goals scored in their last five away from Vicarage Road.

Brighton outlasts Derby despite Ashley Cole goal (video)

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Despite a late scare, dominant Brighton and Hove Albion put an end to Frank Lampard‘s run in the FA Cup with a 2-1 defeat of Derby County at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Anthony Knockaert and Jurgen Locadia scored in the final dozen minutes of the first half for the Seagulls, who will learn their quarterfinal foe on Monday.

[ MORE: Lingard, Martial injured ]

Substitute Ashley Cole scored in the 80th minute for the Rams, who were heavily outshot in the match.

It was Cole’s first goal in England since 2012, when he bagged a Premier League marker for Chelsea against Stoke City.

Locadia was injured just before the Seagulls conceded, and looked to be in considerable pain with an ankle injury.

American attacker Duane Holmes started up top for Derby but was subbed after 45 minutes. The 24-year-old Columbus-born man has become a regular starter under Lampard.

Sir Alex Ferguson to manage Man Utd in anniversary match

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The 20th Anniversary of Manchester United’s treble, to the day, will see Sir Alex Ferguson managing the club.

This, of course, is for a single night only, as the Red Devils celebrate their 1999 treble with a testimonial of sorts against Bayern Munich, who it beat 2-1 to win the Champions League on May 26, 1999.

[ MORE: Lingard, Martial injured ]

“I’m really looking forward to what will be a special day at Old Trafford. It will be great to catch up with some familiar faces and a great opportunity to support the work of Manchester United Foundation,” Ferguson said.

Players for the game are not confirmed but imagine the possibilities: Peter Schmeichel was across the field from Oliver Kahn. Lothar Matthaus had to deal with Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole. David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, and the Neville brothers started or were in the 18.

Keep in mind that Solskjaer scored the winner for Ferguson’s United that day at the Camp Nou, as the Red Devils scored twice in stoppage time for a remarkable comeback win.

FA Cup, LIVE – Man City, Brighton in action

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A pair of Premier League team attempt to dodge upset bids with varying degrees of likelihood, while one of the guaranteed lower league quarterfinal berths will also be clinched during Saturday’s FA Cup action

Brighton and Hove Albion opens the day hoping to outlast Frank Lampard-led Derby County at the Amex Stadium.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

The other Premier League side, Man City, visits League Two side Newport County. Pep Guardiola is wary of the side’s physicality, but an upset is the longest of long shots.

Sandwiched in the middle is Millwall’s visit to AFC Wimbledon, the League One hosts hoping to continue the magic that helped them knock off the visitors’ rivals: West Ham United of the Premier League.

FA Cup Saturday
Brighton and Hove Albion v. Derby County — 7:30 am. ET
AFC Wimbledon v. Millwall — 10 a.m. ET
Newport County v. Man City — 12:30 p.m. ET

Funes Mori scores crazy long-distance goal for Monterrey (video)

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Rogelio Funes Mori is healthy again for Monterrey, and that’s a big reason why they lead the Clausura standings.

The 27-year-old Argentinian striker is in great form this Clausura after missing a significant portion of the Apertura with injuries. He had five goals in six Clausura matches coming into Friday night’s match with 16th-placed Monarcas Morelia.

He now has six goals, and his last one was an absolute stunner.

Funes Mori stole the ball off Aldo Rocha’s sloppy touch, looked up, and noticed Monarcas goalkeeper Sebastian Sosa just a hair out of his net. That was all the space he needed, letting loose from at least 35 yards out and producing an absolutely stunning finish that Sosa barely even had time to back up and give a stretch. Just like that, Monterrey went ahead.

Unfortunately for Monterrey, they gave up an equalizer less than a minute later as the left flank of the Monterrey defense saw their controller batteries die, allowing Edison Flores to snag a loose ball behind the lollygagging defenders and fire a low shot past Marcelo Barovero to level the score. The game ended 3-2 to Monterrey as Funes Mori would score a 78th minute equalizer and then the visitors won in stoppage time.

Still, win, lose, or draw, that strike by Funes Mori is something to behold. On the same day that a French top flight player unleashed from nearly halfway, Liga MX has a goal of the same caliber.