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Derby midfielder Johnson banned four games for biting Joe Allen

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Derby County will be without midfielder Bradley Johnson for the next month after video caught him biting Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen during Stoke’s 2-1 win in Championship play on Wednesday.

In the aftermath of Oghenekaro Etebo’s 33rd minute red card, Johnson clearly bit Allen in the shoulder/neck area during an on-field scrum. The referee did not see the incident, allowing the FA disciplinary committee to issue the four-match ban. All in all, Johnson will miss the next five matches, having earned a yellow card accumulation ban on Wednesday, having been cautioned for further participation in the 33rd minute scrum. That will keep him out until the December 29th match against Bolton.

The usual ban for violent conduct is three matches, the standard for a direct red card, whether it be for a violent foul during the course of play or outside it. However, the FA said Johnson had been “found to have committed an act of violent conduct for which the standard punishment would be clearly insufficient,” leading to the four-match punishment.

In an unusual turn, despite the FA handing down the punishment, Allen came out after the match to defend his alleged aggressor, saying, “it might look a certain way but he hasn’t bit me.” He didn’t think Johnson should be banned at all, saying, “he might have got a little bit of the shirt but nothing that I’m worried about and I don’t think it should go any further that that.”

Derby narrowly missed out on promotion yet again last season, falling to eventual champions Fulham in the playoff semifinals. They’re in the mix for a playoff spot again this season, sitting seventh with 31 points. Johnson has been a key player for the Rams this year, but recently lost his starting spot. He started eight of Derby’s first 12 matches, but the Stoke match was his first start in the last seven.

Stoke City 1-1 Burnley: Deflating draw

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  • Ndiaye opens scoring
  • Diouf assists, then misses big chance
  • Barnes levels for Burnley

Neither Burnley not Stoke City will be pleased with a 1-1 draw at the bet365 Stadium on Sunday.

Badou Ndiaye gave Stoke a first half lead en route to a hopeful three points which could help save the side’s Premier League status, but Ashley Barnes‘ fortunate equalizer gave the Clarets a point.

Stoke has 29 points, four behind 17th place Swansea. Burnley sits four points behind Arsenal with one more match played in the race for sixth.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Stoke led in the 11th minute through a very nice team goal, as Joe Allen found Ndiaye in the middle of the pitch. The midfielder worked a 1-2 with Mame Biram Diouf before sneaking a shot inside a tiny window.

Ashley Barnes bid to level the score when he collected a Kieran Westwood diagonal ball, but his curling effort from the left failed to find the goal.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson curled a free kick over the Stoke wall, and Jack Butland did well to save for a corner.

Diouf flubbed a chance to make it 2-0 when an Ndiaye cross found him alone near the back post.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

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Butland made an outstanding save to force a Burnley corner in the 55th minute.

Barnes continued his villainous streak all match, and saw Butland’s slap save bound off his thigh and across the line to level the score in the 62nd minute.

Gudmundsson dragged a stoppage time shot millimeters wide of the far post.

Transfer rumor roundup: Liverpool demand $220m for Coutinho

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year deceptive, draining, trying time of the Premier League campaign: transfer speculation season.

[ MORE: Wenger appears resigned to losing Sanchez, Ozil this summer ]

Manchester United’s search for their full backs of the future could lead to a $70-million bid (release clause) for Napoli left back Faouzi Ghoulam, according to Portuguese publication Record, which also states 22-year-old Spaniard Alex Grimaldo would then move to Napoli for $35 million. The 23-year-old Algerian international has been on the radars of Man United-sized clubs for a couple years now, but is still only just entering the prime of his career.

Arsene Wenger appears resigned to the fact that Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will leave Arsenal this summer, for free, but insists that no offers have been made to acquire either of the Gunners’ star attackers this month.

[ PL PREVIEW: Man City, Spurs in action on Tuesday (TV, stream info) ]

Whenever If Philippe Coutinho makes his long-rumored move from Liverpool to Barcelona, he will only be allowed to do so for a fee of nearly $220 million — only $43 million short of Neymar’s world-record transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

Huddersfield Town are reportedly “in talks” to sign 23-year-old Monaco defender Terence Kongolo. The Dutch international only moved from Feyenoord to Ligue 1 in the summer, for $15 million. UPDATE: Huddersfield have announced the loan signing of Kongolo.

Stoke City have rejected West Ham United’s offer for midfielder Joe Allen, according to ESPN UK. The Potters will reportedly continue to reject any bids, at any price, that come in for the 27-year-old Welshman.

Troy Deeney banned three matches for Joe Allen scuffle

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Watford captain Troy Deeney will be shelved for three matches after receiving a violent conduct charge from the FA for a scrap with Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen where the Watford man was caught grabbing Allen’s face.

In the 94th minute of Watford’s 1-0 loss to Stoke City last weekend, a physical battle between Deeney and Allen in the penalty area boiled over after the whistle, for which both men received yellow cards. However, video after the fact caught Deeney gouging Allen’s cheek with his thumbs, which the FA deemed harsh enough for a violent conduct charge.

Deeney has since accepted the charge and will not appeal.

The two men ended up face-to-face, and a large scuffle ensued, during which it appeared that Deeney also managed to shove Ryan Shawcross to the ground.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes explained that his player was angry because he expected Deeney to send the ball back to Stoke in a sporting manner after the ball was put out of play for an injury. Instead, Deeney attempted to deliver a cross into the box with his team down a goal.

“Clearly we kicked the ball out and the right thing to do in the spirit of the game is throw it back,” he said. “Deeney, the captain of the club, should know better but he shaped to play it into our box and that’s why Joe reacted. More often than not those situations get revisited by people in authority and decisions are made as a consequence.”

Allen laughed off the incident, explaining that he probably should know better than to pick a fight with a player of much larger stature, “It was handbags really and there was nothing to it. I like Troy, he’s one of the good guys, he’s a really good player and it was nothing personal. He’s a big guy and we were both laughing – I knew I was beaten in that situation, but I have a bit of a bad habit of picking the wrong fights!”

Deeney will miss games against Everton, West Ham, and Newcastle and will return for a game against Manchester United at Vicarage Road. Andre Gray will likely get the bulk of the work up front in Deeney’s absence, already playing alongside the Hornets captain in regular deployment.

Stoke City 1-0 Crystal Palace: Allen keeps Allardyce’s Eagles down

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  • Allen nets sixth of season
  • Palace still in drop zone
  • Stoke in top half

Joe Allen heaped misery on Sam Allardyce and Crystal Palace, as Stoke City handed the reeling Eagles a 1-0 loss at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

Stoke is ninth with 32 points, while Palace is 19th with 19 points. The Eagles are two points shy of safety.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Peter Crouch flicked a ball to Marko Arnautovic for early danger, but Wayne Hennessey made a nice save on the Austrian attacker.

There wasn’t much to like in the first half for Palace, but Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend helped inject threatening moments into the early stages of the second half.

Stoke finally broke through courtesy of Allen, the Welshman hooking home after Ramadan Sobhi did a masterful job of holding up Arnautovic’s terrific cross.

James Tomkins mishit a scoring chance in a bad way in the 72nd minute, belting a ball wide off the side of his shin.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]