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Could Joe Hart return to the England squad?

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Gareth Southgate is planning a trip to Turf Moor this Saturday, and that could mean big things for 31-year-old goalkeeper Joe Hart.

The former Manchester City starter and longtime England #1 has fallen out of the setup after a dip in form that led to not only his fall down the England depth chart, but also his exit from the Etihad. After losing his starting spot at City in 2016, a loan move to Italian club Torino was the beginning of the end for Hart’s international job.

Or was it?

Jordan Pickford, who was one of the best goalkeepers at the World Cup this summer, is firmly entrenched in the starting spot. However, there are murky waters surrounding the backup job, and that’s where Hart could find himself back in the mix.

England boss Gareth Southgate has insisted publicly that the position is open for the taking. Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is expected to be the man Southgate calls upon during the October international break, but that’s nowhere near set in stone. Burnely’s Nick Pope, who served as backup at the World Cup without seeing game action, is out injured for a significant amount of time with a dislocated shoulder. Jack Butland‘s stock has dropped after Stoke City was relegated, and now the Potters toil in the bottom third of the Championship standings. Fulham shot-stopper Marcus Bettinelli was called up in early September, but he did not feature, and the 26-year-old hardly even has the confidence of his own club manager.

So, could Hart earn himself a spot in the rotation? With Pope injured, the 31-year-old has stepped in at Burnley and performed at a decent level despite just a single point for the club through the first five Premier League matches. With few concrete options, it’s possible a familiar face could be back in the England squad.

Wolves ease past punchless Burnley

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  • Mexico’s Jimenez scores
  • Hart stars in loss (again)
  • Wolves out shoot Clarets 28-7

They finally found a way past Joe Hart and the Burnley defense.

Shot after shot, save after save, goal line clearance after goal line clearance, Burnley threatened to stymy creative Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday at the Molineux, but Mexican striker Raul Jimenez converted a second half chance to give Wolves a 1-0 win on Sunday.

Wolves rise ninth with eight points, while Burnley has just one point this season.

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The hosts were on the front foot early, with Burnley backstop Joe Hart making a fine stop off a 10th minute corner.

Hart made another impressive stop on Raul Jimenez in the 30th minute, with a goal line clearance from James Tarkowski denying the rebound bid. Hart made two further saves — with another goal line clearance from a Burnley back mixed in — in the ensuing stanza.

Burnley would be screaming for halftime by the break, with Wolves tempting the scoreboard on several occasions.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

A miserable giveaway from Phil Bardsley led to a gorgeous chance for Wolves, but a poor first touch and slow square ball ended with Jimenez blazing over the bar.

It was Jimenez who would find the break through just after the hour mark, rewarding the Molineux for its patience and him for his effort.

The Mexican international, on loan from Benfica, scored his second of the Premier League season on a feed from Matt Doherty.

Adama Traore forced Hart into another save in the 71st minute.

Lukaku powers 10-man Man Utd past Burnley

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  • Lukaku scores two
  • Hart saves Pogba PK
  • Rashford sent off

Romelu Lukaku gave Jose Mourinho a much-needed win with two goals in a 2-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday.

Alexis Sanchez registered in an assist for United, which won its first league match since Opening Day.

United moves 10th on the table with six points, while Burnley remains 19th.

Red Devils substitute Marcus Rashford was sent off, and will miss three matches for a straight red card.

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Jesse Lingard came very close to curling in a wonderful effort in the second minute, but the ball missed by inches and teased by bounding behind the goal.

Luke Shaw forced a save out of Joe Hart a couple of minutes later.

United went ahead in the 27th minute, as Lukaku leapt between a pair of defenders to head Alexis Sanchez’s pinpoint cross past a leaping Joe Hart.

Lukaku was on the doorstep to make it 2-0 when a blocked shot dropped into his path in the 45th minute.

Joe Hart saved Paul Pogba‘s penalty kick bid after Aaron Lennon stepped on Marcus Rashford in the box.

Burnley’s Phil Bardsley was shown a yellow card and Rashford a red after the latter headbutted the former following a dirty foul from Bardsley.

Lukaku was sprung on a breakaway from Pogba, and danced around Hart but couldn’t get past Ben Mee‘s challenge. Mee had both hands on Lukaku’s challenge, but referee Jon Moss did not award United its second penalty of the game.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Fulham batter Burnley for first win back in PL

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  • Mitrovic scores double for Fulham
  • Seri, Schurrle grab a goal each
  • Burnley made it 3-2 at half time
  • Fulham secure first win back in PL

Fulham beat Burnley 4-2 on Sunday at Craven Cottage as the west London club got off and running back in the Premier League, while the Clarets are still searching for their first victory of the season.

Jean Seri scored a magnificent opener early on but Jeff Hendrick equalized soon after before a quickfire Aleksandar Mitrovic doubled put Fulham in the driving seat. In a wild first half James Tarkowski made it 3-2 but in the second half Fulham took over and Andre Schurrle sealed the win late on.

The victory moves Fulham on to three points for the season, while Burnley have just one point to their name.

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A rapid start in the rain in west London saw Fulham take the lead in stunning fashion with less than five minutes on the clock.

The ball found Serri over 25 yards out and the midfielder smashed home a stunning strike to make it 1-1.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

But Fulham weren’t ahead for long as Burnley equalized. Aaron Lennon crossed to Chris Wood who touched it on and Hendrick smashed home from close range with 10 minutes on the clock. 1-1.

Mitrovic then scored two headers in just over two minutes to make it 3-1 as the Serbian striker continued his magnificent form in 2018.

But before the break Burnley were back in the game as Tarkwoski knocked home from close range to make it 3-2, but there was a hint of offside about his goal.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Mitrovic continued to chaos havoc in the second half as he flicked past Ben Mee but Joe Hart denied him a tap-in as Fulham poured forward.

Hendrick curled over at the other end as Burnley battled hard to get level as the second half wore on.

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Schurrle hit the crossbar with a curler and then stung Hart’s palms from distance as the German international did his best to push Fulham over the finish line. Timothy Fosu-Mensah‘s cross was so close to being tapped home by Mitrovic for his hat trick.

But soon the win was wrapped up as Mitrovic hit the post and Schurrle followed up to make it 4-2 and seal a deserved victory.

PL Preview: Wolves vs. Manchester City

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  • Wolves was one of two teams to hold Manchester City goalless last season
  • Man City has not dropped PL points since early February
  • Man City is unbeaten in 12 PL games vs promoted sides under Guardiola

Wolves dominated the Championship last season, but has yet to win a Premier League match in its return to the English top flight. The task is monumental on Saturday as they host defending champions Manchester City on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET  on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

City has looked as dominant as ever to start this season, outscoring its first two opponents Arsenal and Huddersfield Town 8-1. Five players have scored for the Citizens already this season, with Sergio Aguero’s three strikes leading the way.

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However, Guardiola lost playmaker Kevin De Bruyne for three months with a knee injury, meaning the Man City boss has a few choices to select from. He could move Gabriel Jesus from the wing to the middle, bring Leroy Sane back into the squad in a playmaking role, or move Bernardo Silva from a wing-back position he has surprisingly excelled at of late.

The only other squad difficulty for Man City is the loss of backup goalkeeper Claudio Bravo who ruptured his Achilles tendon during training on Monday. That leaves either 20-year-old academy product Daniel Grimshaw or recalled 19-year-old Montenegrin Aro Muric as the backup to Ederson, with Joe Hart sold this summer.

For Wolves, they still don’t have new signing Leander Dendoncker who isn’t fit to play yet, but Adama Traore could make his debut start after coming on as a substitute in last weekend’s loss to Leicester City.

What they’re saying

Man City boss Pep Guardiola on Wolves: “Wolves destroyed the Championship. They had an incredible season. They play attractive football and attack with good players. We knew how tough it would be last season in the Carabao Cup and it was.”

Wolves boss Nuno on style of play: “We don’t know how to play any other way. There are two ways to react to what happened against Leicester. You react by changing or not. We will not change because we want to build something. It is more important than we keep doing the things that we train to do.”

Prediction

Despite the one point from two matches, Wolves is still a dangerous team and will make things difficult for Manchester City. This match will come down to the wire, and will end in a 1-1 draw as City adapts to play without Kevin de Bruyne.