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Sunderland

Forecaster: Liverpool on top-four bubble

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Prem Forecaster: LFC on top-4 bubble

Liverpool, which is unbeaten in 12 straight Premier League games, continues to steadily climb the league table.
Liverpool, which is unbeaten in 12 straight Premier League games, continues to steadily climb the league table.

In three rounds of Premier League games since Insider's previous Prem Forecaster, little has ultimately changed in the title or relegation races, though Chelsea did stumble momentarily. The Champions League race is where the true drama took place, as one team's struggles were a boon for two others.

As a reminder, the Forecaster is an end-of-season table projection fueled by ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI), a regression-based algorithm designed to predict soccer matches. SPI simulates the remainder of the season 10,000 times, using the odds of each projected match, with the end result presented in the table below.

In this edition we examine table risers and fallers over the past few weeks; break down the title, Champions League and relegation battles; and preview an upcoming match with major Champions League qualification implications. To begin, here's our updated top-to-bottom table forecast:

Latest table projection

...

Chelsea closer to Premier League title, but are Everton in a relegation scrap?

Manchester United grab another three points, while Aston Villa break their losing streak with a vital extra-time winner.
A full slate of midweek fixtures saw Tim Sherwood lead Villa to victory, an apologetic Ben Foster and a water bottle showdown between Gus Poyet and Steve Bruce.
The ESPN FC panel discuss why Chelsea have been able to maintain their lead atop the Premier League as they held on for a 1-nil victory over West Ham.

It's time to run the rule over the Heroes and Villains of matchday 28 in the Premier League, as there were plenty of exciting midweek fixtures.

HEROES

Twice, Jonas Gutierrez has been diagnosed with testicular cancer. Twice, he has beaten it. To fight that battle with courage and dignity, whether that battle is won or lost, is an achievement that outstrips any of the trivialities this column covers from week to week. To fight it twice, to beat it twice and to return to one of the world's most demanding...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Sunderland's Gus Poyet charged with improper conduct by FA after Hull red

Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet reflects on his side's 1-1 draw at Hull, and his scuffle with Steve Bruce which led to him being sent off.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley agrees with Steve Bruce who credited South Americans for making diving more prevalent in English football.

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has been charged with improper conduct by the FA following his dismissal after clashing with Hull boss Steve Bruce during Tuesday's 1-1 draw.

Poyet's sending off by referee Mike Dean came as a result of an on-pitch incident involving Jack Rodwell, who had just been cautioned for simulation. Poyet believed Sunderland should have been awarded a penalty, while Hull boss Steve Bruce claimed Rodwell dived.

The two managers then clashed as Poyet was making his way to the stands,...