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ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

2016/2017 Season

POS TEAM W D L PTS
14 Stoke 0 0 0 0
15 Sunderland 0 0 0 0
16 Swansea 0 0 0 0
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Sunderland's Jermain Defoe backs Sam Allardyce for England job

The FC guys discuss the rumours that Gareth Southgate is set to become interim manager of England, with Arsene Wenger tipped to take over on a permanent basis.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Alejandro Moreno debate whether the pressure is greater playing for England or playing in the Premier League.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol gives his take as to who should be the next manager of England.

Sam Allardyce deserves to be considered as a potential successor to Roy Hodgson as England manager and could even combine the job with his current role at Sunderland, according to Jermain Defoe.

England have begun the search for a new manager after Hodgson resigned within minutes of Monday's humiliating Euro 2016 exit at the hands of Iceland, and under-21 boss Gareth Southgate is widely considered the favourite to assume control, potentially on an interim basis until a permanent successor is found. 

There...

Chelsea move would be a 'dream' for Emanuele Giaccherini - agent

Italy's Emanuele Giaccherini says he has been impressed with the work rate in the Azzurri squad.
ESPN FC's Bob Ley and Steve McManaman analyse Leonardo Bonucci's pinpoint pass that led to Emanuele Giaccherini's opener for Italy.
Antonio Conte spoke of the "great satisfaction" he felt after Italy qualified for the knockout stages of Euro 2016.

It would be a "dream" for Sunderland midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini to join Antonio Conte at Chelsea this summer, according to the player's agent.

After winning two Serie A titles and a Coppa Italia in two seasons under Conte at Juventus, Giaccherini's career stalled when he left for Sunderland in a £6.5 million deal in July 2013, and he made just 43 appearances in all competitions across two years for the Black Cats before being sent on loan to Bologna.

But the 31-year-old versatile midfielder...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Premier League 2016-17 season opens with Arsenal-Liverpool, Hull-Leicester

The highlights of the Premier League fixture list, including the big derbies, managerial debuts and a tasty opening day.

Arsenal will host Liverpool on the first weekend of the 2016-17 season in August, while Leicester City will begin their title defence with a trip to Hull City on their return to the top flight.

Jose Mourinho's first match as Manchester United manager on the weekend of Aug. 13-14 will be a visit to Bournemouth. Pep Guardiola's competitive debut in charge of Manchester City will be at home against Sunderland.

The two coaches, who shared an intense rivalry during their time in Spain when Mourinho...

 By PA Sport

Steven Fletcher and Wes Brown among those released by Sunderland

Steven Fletcher
Steven Fletcher did not expect to return to Sunderland after completing a loan to Marseille.

Sunderland have confirmed the departure of striker Steven Fletcher after leaving him off their official retained list for next season's Premier League campaign.

The 29-year-old will exit alongside Wes Brown, Danny Graham and Steve Harper, none of whom will be offered extensions to their contracts which expire this summer.

Fletcher joined the Black Cats in a £12 million move from Wolves in 2012 and scored 23 goals in 108 appearances for the club.

He signed a loan deal with Marseille in January...

Jermain Defoe's contract extension at Sunderland should help with transfers

With Defoe committed to the club for the medium-term, Sunderland should be able to recruit around him.

Jermain Defoe's new contract extension, committing him to Sunderland until 2019, represents as good a piece of business as manager Sam Allardyce could have hoped for in the early close season.

The former England striker -- and many feel he should have been in Roy Hodgson's Euro 2016 squad, if only for use as an impact substitute -- was the essential difference in Sunderland's latest battle against relegation. Quite simply, his goals kept the team up. Any attacker capable of scoring 15 times in...