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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.

Southampon 0-0 Burnley: Hart continues fine start

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  • Cork goal disallowed
  • Hart, McCarthy star
  • Ings debuts off bench

Southampton couldn’t find a way past Joe Hart, and Burnley’s only successful effort was ruled offside as the Saints and Clarets drew 0-0 at St. Mary’s on Sunday.

Hart and Saints counterpart Alex McCarthy made a number of fine saves, and Jack Cork‘s eighth minute Burnley goal found the back of the net but came back via a questionable offside flag.

Danny Ings made his debut as a substitute, and was deprived a chance from the spot when a stoppage time stamp on his leg went uncalled.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chris Wood nodded a tame header to Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy within 90 seconds of kickoff.

Mario Lemina fouled Johann Berg Gudmundsson yards outside the 18 to give Burnley a promising free kick.

McCarthy was soon forced into a difficult save on Aaron Lennon, as the hosts were not impressive to open the match.

Saints finally got a chance in the Burnley end, with Lemina forcing Joe Hart to tip over the bar. And the move helped swing the pendulum in Southampton’s favor. A few Stuart Armstrong corners followed, and Oriol Romeu blasted a 42nd minute just wide of the frame.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Southampton asked more questions in the second half, and substitutes Mohamed Elyounoussi and Danny Ings both boosted the energy.

Elyounoussi’s 61st minute corner was cleared off the line by Ashley Westwood. Hart was again on the scene when Jack Stephens headed down toward the back post.

Lemina headed another Elyounoussi corner on goal, but Hart made another save. Ings slipped Elyounoussi on goal, and former Basel man made a cutback before James Tarkowski blocked his effort.

Gabbiadini saves Southampton season

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  • West Brom relegated
  • Gabbiadini scores 73rd minute goal
  • Southampton moves 16th, three clear of Swans

Southampton won a massive relegation six-pointer on Tuesday when Manolo Gabbiadini‘s second half goal led them past Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

The win boosts Saints onto 36 points, three clear of 18th place Swans and level with 17th place Huddersfield Town. Southampton has vastly superior goal differential to both.

West Bromwich Albion was relegated in the loss.

Huddersfield Town is at Chelsea on Wednesday and home to Arsenal on Sunday. Southampton hosts Manchester City on Sunday, while Swans host Stoke City.

One point earned by Huddersfield Town from its final two matches would send Swans to the Championship.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Jordan Ayew won a dangerous free kick early, but a 4th minute effort from 19 yards rammed into the wall.

Jordan then cued up his brother Andre inside the box, and he was defied by duel sliding tackles from Jan Bednarek and Wesley Hoedt. The ball bounded off the back of Hoedt’s arm, but (rightly) no penalty.

Swans had more of the ball, but Charlie Austin brought the next dangerous action with a break. The English striker couldn’t get enough on his shot, though, and Lukasz Fabianski collected the low drive.

Sam Clucas turned a header wide of goal in one of Swans’ best looks at an opener.

Austin was again stopped by Fabianski in the second half.

Bednarek had to be removed from the match when his goalkeeper, Alex McCarthy, punched a corner kick away and connected with the center back’s head.

Southampton broke through off a corner kick, with Austin again defied by Fabianski before Gabbiadini pushed the rebound home.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Stoppage time heartbreak for Saints at Goodison

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  • Redmond scores first of season
  • Deflected equalizer in stoppage time
  • Saints move to 17th
  • Everton remains 8th

Everton’s Tom Davies scored in the fifth of four minutes of stoppage time to claim a 1-1 draw with Southampton on Saturday at Goodison Park.

Nathan Redmond‘s second half goal still pushed Saints out of the drop zone and into 17th place, level with Swans and two points behind Huddersfield. Southampton is away to Swansea on Tuesday (Watch live at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Everton stays eighth with 49 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Jordan Pickford made an outstanding save on Charlie Austin as the match neared the 20 minutes.

Saints looked the better bet to score despite their status as visitors, but didn’t get their goal until the second half.

Cedric crossed from the right, and Redmond nodded between the legs of Pickford to give Saints their lead.

Saints went down a man when Maya Yoshida picked up a second yellow card with five minutes to play.

Pickford made a nice save on Redmond in the final stanza.

Alex McCarthy made an amazing save on Leighton Baines‘ late free kick… but then Davies arrived to grab a point.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Chelsea joins Man Utd in FA Cup Final

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Chelsea will meet old pal Jose Mourinho in the FA Cup Final after beating Southampton 2-0 at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata scored the goals for Antonio Conte‘s men, whose date with Manchester United comes at the same venue on May 19.

Southampton will turn its attention back to the relegation battle, four points behind 17th place Swansea City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Willian hit the cross bar with an early effort as Chelsea looked very much up for the semifinal.

Olivier Giroud had a 39th minute chance zip wide of the frame, as Chelsea posted nine of the first half’s 11 shot attempts while holding 60 percent possession.

Saints would have been happy to get to the locker room at nil-nil.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Twenty-eight seconds into the second half: That’s when Giroud scored, with Chelsea’s first long ball knocked down by Eden Hazard on the edge of the 18 and played to the Frenchman.

Giroud cut between two Saints defenders and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy to stab home with his right foot.

Hazard curled an effort of his own wide in the 48th minute.

Saints snapped to life, and Shane Long touched around Wily Caballero but too strong to equalize at Wembley.

Nathan Redmond forced a wild save out of Caballero in the 72nd minute, and nearly claimed the corner.

McCarthy tipped a Hazard shot over the bar minutes later.

Morata put it to bed on a cross from his in-tune assist man Cesar Azpilicueta.

The finish was thrilling nevertheless, with Charlie Austin hitting the far post and Saints getting a goal line clearance at the other end.