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Jermain Defoe talks about scoring more goals than Thierry Henry and going vegan

BOURNEMOUTH, England -- At 36 and with almost two decades of professional football behind him, there is something refreshingly childlike about Jermain Defoe. Elite sport is a tough business and Defoe, slightly built and standing at just 5-foot-6, has endured almost two decades of being on the wrong end of bruising challenges by imposing, physical defenders. Yet it hasn't done anything to quell his enthusiasm for the game. Indeed, you'd expect the exact opposite:

A cynical and hard-bitten veteran...

Chelsea's Pedro-inspired late surge seals victory on mixed day for Luiz, Morata

LONDON -- Three thoughts on Chelsea's 2-0 win vs. Bournemouth in the Premier League.

1. Pedro ensures Chelsea make it four out of four 

Chelsea may not yet look like a Premier League title contender, but they continue to win like one.

Bournemouth were disciplined and dangerous at Stamford Bridge, but second-half goals from Pedro and Eden Hazard ensured Maurizio Sarri's men became just the sixth Chelsea side to win their opening four Premier League games of a season; four of those were crowned...

Premier League: Man City, Liverpool fight for title; Man United uncertainty under Mourinho

After a record-breaking campaign in 2017-18, the FC crew assess the expectations for Manchester City in the Premier League this season.
With Jose Mourinho's antics reaching a tipping point this preseason, the FC panel examine the effect it's having on Man United's dressing room.
Jurgen Klopp contends his top players 'don't use Liverpool and then go,' but Shaka Hislop explains why that's not a sure thing.
The ESPN FC panel answer your tweets on Man City's Champions League chances, Milan's top-four hopes and Herc's questionable wardrobe selection.

The Premier League is back! A new season brings fresh optimism and hope for the campaign ahead -- but how are the clubs shaping up?

ESPN FC's club correspondents, bloggers and staff run the rule over all 20 teams and predict their final position in 2018-19. 

Using last season's table, with the three promoted teams at the bottom, here's a look at each club's season ahead.

MAN CITY

Biggest signing and biggest loss: It's hard to think that there was too much missing from Manchester City's...

I won't give up on England, and Alli, Kane critics need to wise up - Defoe

LONDON -- Jermain Defoe is not about to abandon hope. The last player to send England to the knockout stages at the World Cup still believes he can do it again in Russia, despite "a stop-start, frustrating season" at Bournemouth.

"I got a letter. All the players that are in contention get a letter to tell you the schedule for the summer," Defoe told ESPN FC. "I don't feel like I have anything to prove. I'm quite relaxed about it to be honest. The manager knows what I'm about and, if I'm called on,...

Southampton overcome Bournemouth -- and nerves -- for vital win

SOUTHAMPTON, England -- Mark Hughes, as he is not shy of saying, has never been relegated. He may have to wear at least some of Stoke's potential demotion, having been in charge there until January, but his next three games are about ensuring he doesn't have two in the same season on his record and conscience.

At full-time, after his Southampton side had repelled attack after Bournemouth attack to close out a 2-1 win, Hughes looked like he didn't know what to do with himself. He turned around and...

Pogba, Man United respond to Mourinho criticism with win

BOURNEMOUTH, England -- Three points on Manchester United's 2-0 win vs. Bournemouth in the Premier League:

1. Pogba impresses as United get confidence boost

If a challenge had been laid down to Paul Pogba, the midfielder's 40-yard run and slide-rule pass that allowed Romelu Lukaku to seal this 2-0 win at Bournemouth on Wednesday might just have answered it to Jose Mourinho's satisfaction.

While other expensive stars took a rest, Pogba was put through almost 80 minutes of what was ultimately a routine...