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When might Man City see its record winning streak end?

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Fixture congestion and the strength at the top of the Premier League feel like the only things — aside from red cards and odd bounces — that will stop Manchester City from maximizing its potential this season.

If City beats Crystal Palace this weekend, they’ll meet Pep Guardiola‘s Bayern Munich record of 19-straight wins in a season. A win over Watford the next match day breaks the record.

Here are some matches that could get in the way of City’s near-perfect run (Number where it would fall on the win streak is in parenthesis).

[ MORE: JPW’s PL picks | PL streaming schedule ]

Jan. 14 at Liverpool (22) — Drawing Bristol City in the League Cup semifinals helped Man City’s chances in this one, as Pep Guardiola’s men will be able to focus a bit more on the league match vs. Liverpool five days later. The Reds are still smarting from their 5-0, 10-man beatdown at the Etihad Stadium, and will have Virgil Van Dijk in the fold this go-round.

Feb. 10 vs. Leicester City (26) — While it’s difficult to consider Man City losing its streak at home to a non-Champions League club, the Foxes have strength in all thirds on their day. Plus, Man City is off to Basel for a UEFA Champions League first leg three days later.

March 7 vs. Chelsea (28)  — Similar to above, as City hosts Basel on March 7. Plus, Antonio Conte can organize a side to frustrate any unit.

April 7 vs Manchester United (32) -and- April 14 vs. Tottenham Hotspur (33) — Obviously the competition is good, as United will likely have Paul Pogba this time around, but how many of these sides will be contending with two Champions League legs around these fixtures? It feels like United bests Sevilla and City handles Basel, but if Spurs fall to Juventus they’ll be lying in wait with two matches in a fortnight as opposed to four.

BONUS — Wherever a League Cup Final drops Feb. 25’s visit to Arsenal — Presuming Man City handles its business against Bristol City, the League Cup Final will move this season’s trip to Arsenal. When Manchester United qualified for the League Cup Final last season, it moved the Manchester Derby to late April. For opponents Southampton, their fixture versus Arsenal was moved to mid-May.

Peru’s World Cup foes lobby to overturn Guerrero’s ban

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Following last week’s decision handed down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Peru captain and talisman Paolo Guerrero has been banned from the 2018 World Cup — at the age of 34, almost certainly his last opportunity to star on the world’s biggest stage.

[ PREVIEW: USMNT hosts Bolivia in shadows of World Cup hype ]

However, in the days since that decision, a number of Guerrero’s fellow professionals and World Cup stars — France and Denmark captains Hugo Lloris and Simon Kjaer, and Australia’s Mile Jedinak — have written to FIFA, on behalf of FIFPro, the world player union, in hopes of rendering Guerrero eligible to pay at next month’s tournament in Russia.

“We respectfully ask the Fifa Council to show compassion,” the trio wrote. “In our view it would be plainly wrong to exclude him from what should be a pinnacle of his career.”

[ MORE: Ronaldo hints at Real Madrid exit | Bale does the same ]

That Lloris, Kjaer and Jedinak are the players lobbying in favor of Guerrero is particularly notable given the fact that Peru will face France, Denmark and Australia in Group C.

Guerrero tested positive for cocaine late last year, after a tea he drank was tainted and triggered a fail drug test.

SKC, Crew SC play to 0-0 draw; VAR steals the show (again)

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KANSAS CITY, KAN. — The game in 100 words (or less): Nothing ruins a good game of soccer more than controversies involving the referee — and now that VAR is active within MLS, yet another failure of the video-review system to correct the most “clear and obvious” of wrong decisions. There is no longer any rhyme or reason in deciding whether or not to utilize what could be a very helpful tool. Check the third video further down this page to comprehend the absurdity of VAR in Sporting Kansas City’s 0-0 draw with Columbus Crew SC on Sunday. As for the actual soccer which was played, Tim Melia made one save to deny Gyasi Zardes with a point-blank header early in the first half, and a second to deny Zardes rom the penalty spot just before halftime. Despite being a back-and-forth affair between the league’s second- and third-place teams with a chance to take the lead in the Supporters’ Shield race, there were just six shots on target in total and genuine scoring chances were few and far between.

[ PREVIEW: USMNT hosts Bolivia in shadows of World Cup hype ]

Three moments that mattered

43′ — Zardes wins a PK, but Melia makes the save — Melia was responsible for giving away the penalty kick, and he more than made up for it by denying Zardes moments later.

45+6′ — Higuain puts studs into Espinoza, sees red — Originally not called a foul, changed to a red card following video review. On the softer side of red cards (just an opinion).

59′ — Martinez takes a swing at Sinovic, but no video review — At this point, it’s just time to disband the entire VAR experiment. It’s turned MLS into a clown show and an embarrassment. Signed, someone who was initially in favor of VAR, assuming MLS would utilize it properly.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Tim Melia

Goalscorers: None

Rayo Vallecano win promotion back to La Liga

Photo credit: Rayo Vallecano / @RayoVallecano
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MADRID (AP) Rayo Vallecano earned promotion to Spain’s top division after beating Lugo 1-0 in a second-tier league game on Sunday.

Alex Moreno’s goal for the hosts in the 40th minute sealed Rayo’s return to La Liga after two seasons away.

Huesca had already secured promotion last weekend with a 2-0 victory at Lugo.

The third team to move up will be the winner of a two-round playoff between the four teams that finish the season from third to sixth.

Malaga, Las Palmas and Deportivo La Coruna were all relegated from the top flight this season.

FOLLOW LIVE: West leaders SKC host East’s 2nd-best Crew SC

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KANSAS CITY, KAN. — Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City host Columbus Crew SC, the Eastern Conference’s second-place side, at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday with both sides capable of overtaking Atlanta United for top spot in the Supporters’ Shield race.

[ FOLLOW: SKC vs. Crew SC in top-of-the-table clash ]

Sporting KC, who are unbeaten in three straight and have lost just once since opening day (11 games), lead expansion side Los Angeles FC in the West. Meanwhile, Crew SC enter Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash unbeaten in their last six games (four wins) and trail the league leaders from Atlanta by a single point.

Hit the link above to follow along throughout the afternoon, and check back with PST for coverage after the final whistle.