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the battle for exciting Lille midfielder Boubakar

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ayram Tutumlu over his complaints on social media about the treatment of goalkeeper Robin Olsen.Tutumlu’s nephew is the agent of goalkeeper Olsen, whose move to Montpellier broke down.In a statemenFormer Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku says he’s always been a fan of new club Inter Milan.The Belgium international joined Inter on Thursday in a £75m deal.And he admits Inter cult hero Adriano had an influence on his career.”The only shirt I had as a child was that of Adriano, the Emperor,” smiled Lukaku. “He sent me a message not long ago on Instagram, because I talked about him.”t, the cluers Suning are tabling a lucrative offer to the Uruguay international, who would arrive as an alternative to Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku.Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter have offered Cavani a three-year contract worth €9m-a-season.The deb declared: “AS Roma has noted the increasi

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World chess champion goes top of overall fantasy football table

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, changing it to: "World Chess Champion. The highest ranked chess player in the world. Current (live) £1 Fantasy Premier League player".

He also addressed his fantasy football performance on social media, citing analytics company Opta as one of the factors behind his success.

"Since a lot of people are asking about my £FPL strategy, mine is the not so groundbreaking one of part stats and part gut feeling," the Norwegian tweeted. "Part @Opta-mist and part optimist."

arlsen is currently competing in the Premier League’s official FPL competition for the sixth successive season, his previous best finish (2397th) coming in 2017/18.

Carlsen’s current squad boasts premium midfielders such as Sadio Mane and SoUnited-Unai-Emery-Wayne-Rooney-Zlatan-Ibrahimovic”>Sunday Expressrdinand says Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling is one of the top five players in football.The 24-year-old netted his first Champions League hat-trick in Tuesday’s 5-1 win over Atalanta.”We are running out of great words to say about him,” Englan says he is currently the second-highest-paid player in the Premier League behind Alexis Sanchez earning £350,000-a-week.Gunners bosses are keen to get him off the payroll and his reprn Heung-min, while he is one of the many millions who are bacng Real Madrid striker Mariano Diaz.After a tough season in Madrid, the former Lyon forward is ready to leave for regular first team football.And Valencia are keen as they see Mariano as a replacement for Rodrigo Moreno – should the Spain internationking Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy.

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Manchester City’s flight to China delayed for second time

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It will also cause embarice Evra is adamant Paul Pogba will be staying this season.Real Madrid remain keen on the midfielder.But Evra, speaking in Monaco for the Champions League draw, stated: “Paul is focused, Paul is in Manchester and he will stay in Manchester. There havrassment to the tournament’s organisers as City have not been able to fulfil their media duties to promote the tournament.

City will spend a week in China before heading on to Hong Kong and J.The full-back has only started 30 Premier League games for the club since arriving five years ago.The 24-year-old, who was a hot prospect at Southampton when he made the move to North London, wants to establish himself in the first team.And he sees apan, playing four games on their unnar Solskjaer admits Paul Pogba won’t be available for their Europa League tie with AZ Alkmaar.United have already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition but must avoid defeat against AZ to ensure they win Group L.When asked about wheshort tour of the Far East before taking on Liverpool in the Community Shield at Wembley on August 4.

A Premier League spokesman said: “Manchester City have experienced administration issues [with their flight], it is being addressed and it will not affect their participation in the Premier League Asia Trophy. We look forward to welcoming them to Shanghai and Nanjing.”

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Robert Woods keeping his sister's word alive

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She was his best friend and a person he looked up to and respected. Not just because she was family. She was his only sibling. Robert Woods’ older sister, Olivia, was a model student, a quality softball pitcher and well-liked by anyone who knew her. For Robert she was a role model and a confidante, but at just 17-years old Olivia Woods was uttering the last words she would ever speak to her younger brother. She was now confiding in him.

Diagnosed with synovial cell sarcoma in her leg at age 12, Olivia had reached the end of a courageous five-year battle that included chemotherapy, radiation and a leg amputation. Meanwhile Robert, two years her junior, was emerging as a budding football star at their high school, Serra, in southern California.

Even from the confines of her bed Olivia reminded Robert to stay humble, but in April 2007, knowing the next words she would speak would be among the last she uttered in the physical world, Olivia had to let her brother in on the conversation she often had with her mother.

“She was a role model for him and she always told me that Robert was going to be special,” said Sharon Woods of her daughter. “I remember Robert telling me that his sister was special, but she really meant it when she would tell me, ‘No, he’s really going to be really something special mom.’ I always was taken with her conviction with what she said.”

In her home with her family by her bed side for the last time she would give her brother some words to live by.

“Her last words to me were that she wanted me to be a model,” Woods said. “And I said, ‘Model? What do you mean?’ So she said it again, ‘I want you to be a model.’ And then it clicked that she was maybe seeing something that I couldn’t. So I took it as, be a role model. Always be positive. Be positive in life. Those were her last words to me. So I guess the whole time here with us she kept me humble, humble, humble and then her last words she put it on me.”

Be a role model.

Not a surprising request from an older sister who was as selfless as they come. After having her leg amputated and returning to school as an early teen, Olivia didn’t want anyone to know she was walking around with a prosthetic leg. Her family adhered to her wishes. She didn’t want any extra attention because she was battling cancer.

When she went to get a summer job she told her mother there would be no mention of her medical condition. She wanted to get the job based on her skills not pity.

“She just wanted to make her own way,” said Mrs. Woods. “She learned how to swim again. In high school she was elected school secretary of state. She was on yearbook committee. She was a real go-getter. We just honored her that way by letting her be herself.”

Being a first-hand witness to all of Olivia’s fighting over those five years only strengthened Robert’s own resolve in everything he put his mind to.

“Robert was the same way,” said Sharon Woods. “He saw her work so hard and fight. She was a strong fighter. I think that rubbed off on him as he got older.”

Long before Olivia’s struggle however, Robert was a pker Antoine Griezmann.Mundo Deportivo says United have entered the race to sign Griezmann this summer.United are monitoring a move for the French World Cup winner and insist that there is no deal agreed for him to join Barcelona yet.The report also aretty self-motivated kid. It didn’t matter what the activity was. Whether it was tee ball, checkers or school work the Woods’ only son didn’t take on any challenge, he attacked it.

“He wasn’t very quiet, he always smiled and laughed. He was always an overachiever,” said his mother. “He always wanted to do things perfectly. He always wanted to be first.”

“In baseball when he was young he always wanted to cover everybody else’s position,” said Mrs. Woods. “We would tell him, ‘You stay there.’ But wherever the ball would go he wanted to go get the ball.”

“Pretty much the whole outfield was mine whether it was left field or right field,” Woods said smiling. “If the ball was in the air I’d try to go and get it.”   

In the fall Woods would play in the very competitive park football league in his hometown of Carson. To illustrate how competitive it was, Woods played on a roster with four other talents who also currently play in the NFL.

“The majority of the teams had a lot of talented players,” said Woods father Robert Jr. “And Robert’s team was talented. Paul Richardson, who was a rookie receiver this past year with Seattle, and Dion Bailey also with Seattle were on his team. Marqise Lee, who plays for Jacksonville. Shaq Richardson now with Pittsburgh was on that team. So as a result there were a lot of kids that had to touch the ball on his team.”

That would prove to be an adjustment for Woods, who wanted to do as much as possible to help his team win.

Woods was making a lot of plays to help his team, but maybe a few too many. Other parents weren’t thrilled with all the opportunities Woods was getting with tnized” by their recent European ban.The Sky Blues have been banned from Champions League football for two seasons, although they are appealing UEFA’s decision.And Rodgers thinks the situation will provide Pep Guardiola’s players with an added motivathe ball, often at the expense of other players who were just as talented. Woods’ parents quickly made Robert understand the value of teamwork.

“We impressed upon him that other players on his team had to get chances with the ball too,” said Robert’s father. “So we told him he had to share the ball with other players.”

The ultra-competitive Woods wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but his father had a solution to appease his son.

“I came up with a phrase for him called ‘touches for touchdowns,'” said Woods. “Whenal.Fotomac reports Arsenal are ahead in the chase to sign the player, who only joined Juventus from Sassuolo in the summer.The Turkish starlet is rising to prominence in Turin this season, starting the last four games in a row under Maurizio Sarri, n you get it you’re going to have to score. He was happy as long as he had two touchdowns a game. So in Pop Warner he would average about 20 touchdowns a season in a 12 to 14 game season depending on whether his team made it to the ‘Super Bowl.'”

That phrase led to a ritual developed by his parents to keep their son’s mindset in the right place before every game thereafter.

“The night before games we would try to come up with a new slogan for him for that game the next day,” said Robert Woods Jr., who played his college football at Grambling. “And if we didn’t do it he’d ask for the new saying for that game. So we’d try to give him a confident quote to motivate him for the game.”

“Being a Christian family we would make use of faith-based quotes as well,” said his mother. “It helps keep him focused and uplifted. He looks for that text message from us even now and the day of the game we always text him in the morning and remind him to have fun.”

Goal setting was encouraged by Robert’s parents. While Woods was clearly self-motivated, Robert and Sharon Woods wanted to ensure their son’s energies had the proper direction. Hanging by the door in his room was a white marker board. On it were his goals as he got ready to begin high school.

“The board was right by my door so when I’d leave my room I’d see it every day,” said Woods. “So I’d write my goals down for the season and I had my GPA up there. I wrote down everything I wanted. Then I would write under it how I was going to accomplish those goals. Then I’d cross them off as I achieved them and write new ones down.”

Woods chose to attend Serra high school, which had a small enrollment of just 600 kids. It wouldn’t put Robert on as big a stage as some of the larger area high schools, but his mind was made up two years prior when his older sister chose to attend high school there.

Unfortunately the siblings only got to spend one semester at the school together because Olivia soon became too sick to attend school. Robert, who knew how much his sister enjoyed the social scene at Serra, would report to her every day as soon as he got home from school.

“He would run up the stairs and go up to her room,” said Mrs. Woods. “The first thing he would do is go see her and tell her about his day. They were very close. That was a very emotional time for all of us, but especially for him.”

“She was really my best friend,” said Woods. “So when I’d come home I’d tell her about everything that was happening at school, who asked about her and events that were going on at school, how games went.

“It would put a smile on her face because she was missing it. I was her connection to that social life for her. She was probably the most popular person in our school. People to this day remember her birthday. She touched so many lives and everybody would come up to me and talk to me about her so I would come home and spread the word to her.”

Robert would talk to her about how his football season was going. As a freshman on JV he quarterbacked his team to an undefeated season, and then was called up to varsity at the end of the year. As a safety he intercepted a pass in a playoff loss, and returned it 90-plus yards for a touchdown.

Unfortunately Olivia’s condition wasn’t going as well as her brother’s high school football career. Forced to stay in the hospital for treatments the Woods’ family simply made Olivia’s hospital room their home.

“After school he would head to the hospital to spend the evenings with her,” said Mr. Woods.

“He did his homework in the hospital in the evenings,” said Mrs. Woods. “So he was a big part of the support system that we had there.”

“We were there so much every day, after school and after practice,” said Robert. “We would go right to the hospital and spend the night with her. It was like we were at home. The doctors would come and visit, but when they left we would talk, watch TV, play games. We weren’t really in the hospital in our minds. We were just trying to make it family time.”

Robert’s sister never heard about or saw her brother’s sophomore season when he made the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore team. She passed on April 19, 2007. Their high school was closed on the day of her funeral so the student body could pay their respects.

“We had a very large funeral for her,” said Mr. Woods. “There were about 1,500 people who attended. People from our places of work, family, friends and students. The doctors from the hospital, the nurses were there. They planted a tree for her at school.”

“She touched a lot of lives and I think she was just an amazing girl that I will never forget,” said Mrs. Woods. “Robert was very strong amazingly through her passing. He was very, very strong.”

Woods would go on to post eye-popping statistics in his junior and senior season at Serra. He rolled up more than 1,700 yards receiving with 19 touchdowns and two more touchdowns on returns on defense his junior year. By his senior season Woods was a USA Today All-First team member and a Parade All-American among dozens of other accolades.

He chose to attend USC with fellow high school teammate Marqise Lee, where he took quickly to the college game. In his sophomore season he had 111 catches for almost 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns in a 13-game season.

Throughout his college career, Woods paid tribute to his sister by drawing a giant letter ‘O’ on his wrist tape with a black marker. Such a gesture would get Woods fined in the NFL, so instead during pre-game warmups he kneels and says a prayer.

“I always run down to the corner of the field and say a prayer and do a little ‘O’ up,” said Woods touching the tip of his thumb and index finger together to shape the letter ‘O’. “I go out there and play for her and play for my family. Some plays I feel like she’s right there with me making those plays. I’ve always felt like that since high school where I say to myself, ‘Yeah my sister was with me on that one.’ So she’s had a big role and a big impact on my game.”

Woods still feels his sister’s presence and he and his parents still talk about Olivia.

“No matter what she’s always my sister,” he said. “Yes, she passed away, but I’ll always remember her and always acknowledge her. I think it does make them proud that I play for her and still acknowledge her when I play.”

“Robert is a person who needs to know exactly what he has to do,” said Mrs. Woods. “He wants to know where he needs to improve and what he can do differently to accomplish that. He aims to please and always wants to do the right thing to get better. I think that coaches recognize that in him.”

In addition to taking his NFL career to the next level, Woods is now three classes shy of getting his degree from USC in public policy development with a focus in real estate. Next offseason he’ll officially graduate.

“I think she’d be very proud of me just because I’m in a good position being here in the NFL, but it doesn’t last forever,” said Woods of his sister. “I’m still working to get my degree and finish what I started. I know Olivia wanted to go to college and wanted a college degree and everything, but just to finish up what I started would be something she always preached herself. If you start something, finish it.”

All part of being a role model.

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Arsenal’s latest setback exacerbated by midfield crisis ahead of daunting trip to Chelsea

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Wenger caused further frustration after when he admitted that his players were not “mentally” up to the challenge of facing a team who have not won in the league since early December. There was an air of complacency around the Emirates.

There was an angry reaction from Petr Cech with the goalkeeper admitting that so bad wa a move to CSKA Moscow over racism fears.The Russian Premier League giants offered the Everton winger a contract worth £75,000-per-week, according to the Daily Mail.However, Bolasie rejected the deal over fears he would receive racial abuse in Russis Arsenal’s first-half performance that they deserved to lose and did not warrant any “luck” even though Lucas Pérez came close to salvaging a point, striking the crossbar.

It is not over yet, but there is an enveloping sense of familiar failings about Arsenal this season as they spurned another chance to put pressure on the leaders.

“I think we didn’t play well at all,” Cech said. “We were second best in the first half. We made so many bad passes, we lost every challenge, we were simply second best.

“I always say that at this level you cannot play 80 minutes, or 85. You have to play 90 minutes with full concentration and everybody on top of their game.

“In the second half we improved, we had a lot of chances. I thought we were brilliant second half, but obviously we only scored one goal.

“We had chances but the keeper made some very good saves, we hit the bar and we could say we were unlucky in that way. But for the first-half performance, we actually didn’t deserve a little bit of luck.”

Cech added: “This was a huge setback because this was the game we wanted to win and we wanted to put ourselves in a better position going into the weekend.”

There were questions as to why Wenger did not start with Theo Walcott, who scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup away to Southampton last Saturday, after recovering from a spell out injured, with the winger coming on as a half-time substitute. Ramsey limped off early with a damaged calf and the extent of yet another injury is still being assessed.

Wenger left Danny Welbeck, who also featured against Southampton on his return from 10 months out injured, out of his squad and justified the decision. “We still have to be cautious with him,” Wenger argued. “Physically he looks readyed the refereeing after their 2-2 draw with Burnley.The boss was unhappy with Burnley’s first, lamenting referee Lee Mason who awarded the Clarets a throw-in which lead to Jay Rodriguez’s header to make it 1-1.Smith was critical of the handling of hi to play. However we still have to manage the times we use him and the times we rest him for a while.”

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Bills heading west early this week

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The Bills will make their one and only west coast trip of the season this week to San Diego for Sunday’s game against the Chargers. What will make this trip different from those of the past is head coach Chan Gailey has his team flying out a day earlier than usual.

Gailey has his team departing Buffalo just a couple of hours after their typical Friday practice wraps up in the early afternoon. They’re due to arrive in San Diego at 5:15 pm Pacific time on Friday.

“You can go a day early and try to get acclimated a little bit or go just like your normal schedule and everyone has a comfort level with the schedule,” said Gailey. “With this it’s different because you’re doing Saturday walk through at a different place and you’re staying in a hotel for two nights. That’s different, but your body is getting acclimated to the time and hopefully that helps you.”

A lot of west coast teams typically come east early to adjust to the early kickoff times, which typically would be at 10 am Pacific time. The San Francisco 49ers went so far as to spend an entire week in the eastern time zone with back-to-back games on the east coast back in September against Cincinn about Tottenham’s appointment of Jose Mourinho.Mourinho is close to Lille management and there is talk of sports director Luis Campos moving to the Londoners to join the Portuguese.And Le 10 Sport says Mourinho could well raid LOSC in 2020 to boost ati and Philadelphia.

Buffalo’s players don’t seem to feel they’ll be all that affected by the time change.

“It’s much harder going west to east,” said Dwan Edwards. “You’re losing three hours and you’re playing at what is 10 am for you normally. Going east to west it doesn’t really matter because you’ve got three extra hours to restays Southampton pushed them hard for Saturday’s 4-0 win.The Reds emerged victorious fro play on after his release from PSG this summer.Sky Italia says talks between Buffon and Juve are ongoing as he ‘inches closer’ to the Bianconeri. Juve will first wait to offload Mattia Perin with Roma and Sevilla keen. Once Perin leaves, everythingom a tough clash with Saints at Anfield as second-half goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah (two) secured the win.Klopp said, “Fir anyway. It’s a four o’clock game for us back home basically.”

“They say getting acclimated to the time change is going to help,” said Justin Rogers. “But I don’t know if it really will.”

“I guess you’re more rested,” said Kirk Morrison. “So I suppose it’s better than going the day before.”

For most road trips the Bills usually have their Saturday practice, and after lunch they head to the airport for travel. This weekend they’ll be waking up in San Diego on Saturday and will be taken to La Jolla high school for their Saturday practice. Meetings will follow as usual in preparation for Sunday’s game.

Next season the Bills will be facing the NFC West as their interconference division with one road game at Seattle or at San Francisco, but Gailey isn’t committed to this approach just yet.

“To be honest with you this is a test run,” he said. “If it goes well knowing we have to go out there next year then we’ll evaluate it at the end of this trip and see what we thought.”

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Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Shkodran Mustafi deal no closer as Gunners join race for Jose Fonte

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What sense that makes to Barcelona, Mathieu or – most importantly here – Arsenal, is yet to be established. In summary: we wait on developments with Shkodran Mustafi.

 The £12m man told German newspaper Die Welt: "Arsenal, Southampton, Manchester City and Liverpool. All those clubs got in touch with me about a move. 

“I didn’t speak with Liverpool managhave shifted shirt sponsors from Puma to Adidas.And Gunners stars Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have been pictured wearing the new kit.The design is inspired from the 1986 kit.Aubameyang and Lacazette with the new Arsenal kit for er Jurgen Klopp but I had a phone conversation with Arsene Wenger, who spoke French to me.

“Yet I chose Leipzig as they have great potential and I didn’t yet want to join a big Champions League club.

Ambitious stuff.

While Valencia continue to hold the Gunners to ransom over this blog’s standout star Shkodran Mustafi, 32-year-old Fonte is said to be "keen" on a move to Old Trafford, but Jose Mourinho would have to sell before he can buy.

£10m would be enough to seal the deal for Arsenal if they wanted to steal a march, but is Fonte a long-term proposition for a club famously unaccommodating to their over-30s?

As the Gunners continue to haggle over the price for Mustafi, Soriano – who played with the German at Sampdoria – had this short lament to spice things up:

 

The circle of life. 

"It breaks my heart to say but I can’t recall the last time an Arsenal fan really looked forward to the start of the season," Wright wrote in his column in the Sun.

"Yes, we all know these days it is about profits and balance sheets. But that cannot be at the total exclusion of everything else.

"Speculate to accumulate? There is not a great deal of the former at Arsenal. And unless they are prepared to do so, you really do fear the worst.&quotngland U21 side.The 19-year-old started in Euro2021 qualifying wins over Slovenia and Austria this week.”Really pleased, Austria were a good side and to get that assist early on was really good for me, and the team were excellent for the rest of the ;

German-born Turkish international Toprak, 27, has been with Leverkusen for six estions about his old club.Los Blancos are enduring a horrid spell at the moment, but the ex-Spain coach was keen to talk about anything other than their predicament.”I neither owe nor wish Real Madrid any bother,” he said, refusing to comment on theyears and would be considerable gamble to thrust into a Premier League title race.

Kjaer, however – no stranger to English transfer rumours in his career – has plied his trade in Seria A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga before arriving in Turkey. Still just 27, he could be an ideal alternative should the Mustafi deal run aground before the deadline.

Ampadu’s father Kwame currently works as a youth coach at Arsenal and would play a pivotal role in sealing the deal.

"The biggest compliment I can give him is that he plays like a 35-year-old,’ Exeter boss Paul Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon about the teenager, who is eligible to play for England, Ireland and Ghana.

Calciomercato

Reports over the weekend claimed that Arsenal had seen a £13.8m bid rejected by the Turin club for the Gabon international, but it seems that Watford have blown them out of the water with a £17.3m offer.

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Daggs knows Donte

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Michael Daggs, Rochester, NY, is the winner of the Verizon Wireless ‘So You Think You Know Donte’ online game that ran through the month of June and half of July. 

As part of the grand prize Daggs, along with his five-year old son, met Donte Whitner and spent some time with him after practice at training camp at St. John Fisher College. Daggs also received Marshawn Lynch’s autograph and watched practice as a true VIP.

The favorite part of the day for Daggs w Chris Willock is being linked with a return to England.The Express & Star says West Brom are being linked with a move for Willock.The 21-year-old plays primarily as a winger, but can aleson has signed pro terms.The defender has already had plenty of highs in his short career – scoring against Manchester United at Old Trafford in September being a highlight.”It honestly is a dream come true. I’ve played football all my life and I caso play as a central attacking midfielder – and is currentlyas seeing his son meet Donte. “It was completely unreal. Plus it was one of the nicest days of summer, and I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Daggs. “My son talked about it all the way home.”

Donte, who has a three-year old son, and Michael swapped stories about their sons and shared some experiences with raising a young boy.

Daggs had fun playing the online game and even more fun being the grand prize winner. “It was a great day!” exclaimed Daggs.

“This season’s ‘So You Think You Know Donte’ game received a lot of positive feedback from fans,” said Marquett Smith, the president of Verizon Wireless’s Upstate New York region. “Verizon Wireless wants Bills fans to have fun, test their knowledge i says they must accept Eden Hazard’s decision should he choose to leave.During their 0-0 draw with Leicester City, Hazard was serenaded by the Chelsea supporters throughout the afternoon.The Belgian is expected to leave for Real Madrid this summer aabout the Bills and win a host of cool Bills prizes. We appreciate the support of the Bills in helping give Verizon Wireless customers and Bills fans the opportunity to have some fun at the team’s site several times a year.”

The Verizon Wireless online contest was a series of fun and interactive questions that fans answered about Bills safety Donte Whitner. The fans that got the majority of the questions right were entered into a random drawing. Daggs was selected among thousands of entries that participated.

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Middlesbrough 1 Brighton 1: Boro return to Premier League as draw secures promotion

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In Steve Gibson, Middlesbrough have a chairman who is one of the great philanthropists of English football. An owner who  – like every supporter – always tends to let his heart rule his head.

They have a bright young manager in Aitor Karanka, a protégé of Jose Mourinho, who despite a mid-season meltdown, in which he threatened to quit after a row with senior players, has transformed a team that was worrying about relegation when he arrived in November 2013.

But it is what promotion means to this proud, but deprived region, that makes it special. Mocked in television documentaries about the unemployed, hammered by government cuts and cruelly ignored when the Redcar Steel plant closed last year, with the loss of thousands of precious jobs, this is a timely lift for Teesside.

Forget the boost to the local economy – which will be significant – this is about restoring pride and prestige for a town and area that has always been obsessed with football, even when gates fell below 20,000 during the harshest months of the recession.

“I have always had incredible support from the fans,” said Karanka. “They have always been one of the main motivations for me. They have always backed me, even when we lost in the play-off final at Wembley last year.

“People maybe laughed when I said Middlesbrough should be in the Premier League, but I always believed. Now we have done it, a year after losing in the play-offs, when people said it would be hard to go again,

“For the steelworkers, who have had so much hardship, hopefully their lives feel a little brighter after this.

“I’m so pleased for the owner, the players, but most of all the supporters. This area deserves a Premier League football club. There are 20 privileged people who manage in the Premier League and I’m going to be one of them.”

Boro just about deserved this, although they made harder work of it than they should. Karanka’s side dominated the first half and should have had more to show for it than just one goal, scored by Cristhian Stuani, after David Nugent had guided a brilliant free-kick from Gaston Ramirez back across goal.

Stuani had another volley, which had beaten goalkeeper David Stockdale, diverted over the bar by the knee of Connor Goldson.

There were a series of other openings, some gilt-edged, that were wasted with a poor final ball, while a chip from Ramirez landed on the roof of the net with Stockdale in no-man’s land.

, something Hughton will have stressed in his half-time teamtalk. Score first and Boro’s nerves would hopefully do the rest.

His players responded, cranking up the pressure, winning a series of free kicks in promising positions. Eventually they got one right, Anthony Knockaert picking out the run of Dale Stephens, who did brilliantly to send a looping header into the far corner.

Brighton began to believe, but they self-harmed. Moments after he had been warned by referee Mike Dean for shoving Ramirez, the Brighton goalscorer, Stephens, went in studs up on the Spaniard, who crashed to the ground with a deep gash in his shin.

Referee Mike Dean initiaace earned Arsenal the three points in a thrillingly chaotic contest at the Emirates on Sunday that, as expected, was defined by Arsenal’s skilful young attackers, Everton’s sharp counter-attacks, and two error-prone defences.Everton dominated the filly appeared set to boalkeeper Adrian is pushing to make their clash with Southampton.Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was angry when his club endured a third pitch invasion in three European finals, this time resulting in an ankle injury to the Spaniard, when a fan barrellok the Brighton player, but a glance at the extent of the wound, prompted him to show a straight red. Stephens looked bemused as he left the pitch, followed by Ramirez on a stretcher. Down to ten men, Brighton simply could not build up enough pressure to take advantage of their host’s nerves, despite eight-minutes of stoppage time.

“I’m extremely disappointed a red card was shown,” said Hughton, who will have to lift his players quickly ahead of their clash with Sheffield Wednesday on Friday. “I had a goothroughout the second half of the season.Toon’s home numbers returned to full strength for Saturday’s loss to Everton, which included the club’s new half season ticket holders.And Bruce hopes the attendance numbers continue ahead of Wednesday’s clashd view of it and we all know he was going to show a yellow card at first.

“We’ll appeal. That decision cost us the chance to really push for another goal. It is a distraught dressing room, they are devastated, but these are the highs and lows of football and we’ll lift them for Friday. It won’t be easy, but we’ll be ready. We’re still in good form.”

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Bills CB McKelvin willing to forgive vandals

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -Still a little upset ovego Simeone insists that Diego Costa is happy for his strike Ajax are weighing up a swoop for Brighton midfielder Davy Propper.The Argus claims Ajax chiefs have been discussions over whether they want to pursue a deal for the Netherlands international.The Amsterdam giants will lose midfielder Frenkie De Jong to Barcelona this summer.And Propper is just the sort of veteran presence they want in the squad.partner Alvaro Morata.The former missed out on a place in the starting XI against Athletic Club on Saturday, whereas Morata scored their second in a 2-0 win.”Diego’s happy,” Simeone said aher having his lawn vandalized, Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin is willing to forgive and forget.

Referring to Bills fans as being great, McKelvin said Wednesday he doesn’t want anyone arrested for painting an obscenity and the game’s score on the front lawn of his home shortly after a 25-24 season-opening loss at New England on Monday.

It’s just one little incident. I hope it doesn’t happen any more,” McKelvin said following practice.I was mad, I was kind of like angry in a way, but I was laughing a little bit for what they put on there.”

McKelvin is being partlyder Rodrigo.City boss Pep Guardiola sees the Spain international as a natural successor for Fernandinho and has urged management to move for the player. Indeed, City have shown a willingness to pay Rodrigo’s €70m buyout clause to bring him to Engla blamed for the loss after his fumble set up the Patriots winning drive. He discovered the vandalism shortly after returning home from the game.

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Improved Miami trying to catch improved Bills

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The have already doubled last year’s win total, which means they’re better than abysmal. With a victory Sunday, they could even stake a claim as the most improved team in the AFC East.

Miami plays the surprising Buffalo Bills, who lead the division at 5-1. The Dolphins are last at 2-4 and eager to accelerate their progress.

This game’s important for a lot of reasons,” Miami coach Tony Sparano says.We need to win in our division. We don’t want to fall behind these people. We’re not conceding anything here.”

The Dolphins have been chasing the Bills for a while. Buffalo has won the past four games in the series and seven of the past eight.

And now the Bills could be bound for their first playoff berth since 1999.

We’re off to a good start and we’re beating some pretty good teams,” offensive lineman Duke Preston says.But this thing is far from over and far from set in stone in terms of where we’re going. We need to keep the foot on the pedal.”

The Bills have benefited from a soft schedule, with none of the teams they’ve beaten above .500. Still, the only time they started a seass been hit by a major injury absence.Ritchie has been ruled out for at least two months with ankle ligament damage after being forced off in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester.Ritchie sustained the injury following a tackle from Leicester mion faster was in 1964, and the latest win may have been their most impressive yet: a 23-14 victory over San Diego.

Over the last couple of years, they’ve just been getting better and better,” Miami quarterback Chad Pennington says.They’ve turned some close losses over the past few years into close wins this year.”

Buffalo has come from behind in the fourth quarter to win three times. But coach Dick Jauron sees little significance in his team’s one-game lead over second-place New England in the division.

We’re actually not at the top of it,” Jauron says.We haven’t played a division game.”

A scheduling fluke has the Bills playing all six division games in the final 10 weeks.

The rebuilding Dolphins are 1-1 in the division, and they’ve played to the level of their opposition, which bodes well for Sunday. They upset last year’s AFC finalists, New England and San Diego, while only one of their losses came against a team that has a winning record: Arizona.

“We’ve played well against really good teams,” guard Justin Smiley says.

“They’re a lot better team than they were last year,” Bills safety Donte Whitner says.

Miami has lost two in a row, however, stalling momentum under the new Bill Parcells regime.

Parcells likes physical, run-oriented teams, and the ground game was expected to be the Dolphins’ strength this season. But they’ve been more productive with the pass, and much of their success on the ground has come in the Wildcat formation, with direct snaps to leading rusher Ronnie Brown.

I’m not happy with where we are right now running the football,” Sparano says.We’re getting better. It’s just got to happen faster.”

In their victories, the Dolphins have averaged 192 yards rushing per game and 5.1 per carry. In their defeats, the averages are 72 and 3.3.

Obviously we need to be more effective in the running game and get things going,” Brown says.We’ve shown glimpses of what we’re capable of doing, but we still have a ways to go.”

In last week’s loss to Baltimore, the Wildcat was shut out for the first time, netting 4 yardshampions League was “massive” for Chelsea.The game look destined for a draw before Willian smashed in a world-class volley to give the Blues all three points.It means Chelsea are equal on points with second-placed Valencia in Group H. Speaking after in five plays. The Dolphins blamed their execution rather than the Ravens’ scheme, and they say the package includes some wrinkles they have yet to try.

I don’t think we need to fear it, butpen to a return to Ligue 1.Cut loose by Real this week, Silva has previous experience in Ligue 1 with Olympique Marseille.He told Foot Mercato: “Ligue 1 has great clubs and players who represent their national teams around the world, I had a strong e we definitely need to be ready for it,” Bills linebacker Paul Posluszny says.It’s very unique in the league, and they have had a lot of success with it. As long as we are real disciplined in our keys and everyone lines up where we are supposed to be, we should be all right.”

Miami may need some Wildcat fireworks to keep up with the Bills’ improved attack.

The Buffalo offense has totaled 14 touchdowns – seven rushing and seven passing – after scoring only 20 all of last season, a franchise record low for a 16-game season.

Trent Edwards’ growth at quarterback reached a new level last week, when he set a team record by completing 83 percent of his passes (25 of 30) to help beat the Chargers.

Honestly, he looks to me like a different player,” Sparano says.When I watch him, I’m looking at this guy that’s really a veteran type of a quarterback.”

Edwards is better. The Bills are better. The Dolphins are better. Sunday will determine who’s best – for one day.

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John Faller named HS Coach of the Week

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John Faller, Sweet Home High School head football coach has been named the Buffalo Bills High School Footballstle United.Bruce is the bookies’ favourite to succeed Rafael Benitez as manager on Tyneside, despite previously managing the Magpies’ fierce rivals Sunderland.But Bruce, who oversaw the Owls’ 2-0 win over Shrewsbury in a training game, cooled claims Coach of the Week after the tenth weekend of the 2008 high school football season.    

On Saturday, November 8th the Sweet Home Panthers defeated the Iroquois Chiefs 39-19 in the Section VI Class A finals at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Panthers were led on both offense and defense by Deshanaro Morris who ran for 174 yards, scored 5 touchdowns, recorded 4 tackles and had one sack.  The victory marks the second straight Class A championship for Sweet Home. The Panthers will play Section V champion Aquinas in the Far West Regional at UB Stadium on Friday, November 14th at 8:30 p.m.

Coach Faller has been the head coach at Sweet Home for the past 22 years with an overall record of 143-69-1. Under Coach Faller, the Panthers have won three Section 6 Class A Championships and have made ten sectional final appearances at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

This is the 12th consecutive year of the Buffalo Bills Coach of the Week program. Each week during the 11-week high school football season, a committee appointed by the Buffalo Bills selects a head football coach as Coach of the Week. The honorees will receive a certificaal side.The Gunners have won their opening two matches of the Premier League season.Speaking before the clash at Anfield, Emery said: “It’s a big stadium with a big atmosphere and I want to play every match in our amazing stadium with our amazing supte signed by the Buffalo Bills Head Coach Dick Jauron, Buffalo Bills Chief Operating Officer Russ Brandon and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, plus a Buffalo Bills Coach of the Week cap and $1,000 donation to the school’s football program from the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation. Recognition of the winning coach will be shown on the Buffalo Bills official website ().  At the end of the season, one of the weekly award wive caught Barcelona fullback Junior Firpo being informed he was out of the squad for their defeat at Levante on Saturday.Firpo travelled with the squad to the Ciutat de València and was hoping to at least make the bench.But while on the pitch chattinners will be named Coach of the Year and will receive an additional $1,000 donation to the school’s football program.

Week 10-John Faller (Sweet Home “Panthers”)Week 9-Frank Payne (Iroquois “Chiefs”)Week 8-Eric Jantzi (North Tonawanda “Lumberjacks”)Week 7-Jim Maurino (West Seneca East “Trojans”)Week 6-Lance Cayea (Alden “Bulldogs”)Week 5-Bruce Lakso (Lackawanna “Steelers”)Week 4-Al Monaco (Bishop Timon St. Jude “Tigers”)Week 3-Curt Fischer (Maple Grove “Red Dragons”)Week 2-Rich Gray (Frontier “Falcons”)Week 1-Kraig Kurzanski (Williamsville South “Billies”)

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Auburn vs. Mississippi State: Live stream, watch online, TV channel, kickoff time, odds, pick, prediction

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No. 7  is coming  off a big road win at Texas A&M and will be looking to keep the momsays Rangers and Roma have enquired about taking Phil Foden on loan.The City youngster has been the centre of attention in Glasgow and Rome ahead of the closing of the transfer window.Foden, one of the bright sparks of England’s otherwise disappointientum going Saturday night when the roll into town in a key SEC West battle. The Tigers defense was flat out nasty against the Aggies and only gave up just 2.7 yards per rushing attempt. That, coupled with the fast start from the offense, helped them build a big lead before alla defender Gabriel Paulista is on his radar.Gabriel is set to gain Spanish nationality in the near future and Enrique has revealed that the Valencia centre-back is among his options for La Roja’s defence.”I am aware of every player who could be calleowing a few late touchdowns to make it interesting on the scoreboard. The Bulldogs rebounded from the loss to Kansas State two weeks ago with a resounding win over Kentucky in Starkville, Mississippi, last weekend.

If Auburn is to keep its hopes of reaching the SEC and national title games alive, they will need to win tough conferences test like this down the stretch. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, could play spoiler in one of the deepest conferences in football once again.

What will happen Saturday night on The Plains? Let’s break down the game and make picks straight up and against the spread.

Storylines

 It’s safe to say that the Tigers’ defensive front is one of the best in the nation, and will keep them in every game they play. Because of that, and the rest of the rushing attack has been the centerpiece of an offense that is still building with true freshman taking the snaps. Nix is 13th in the SEC in passing with 161.3 yards per game, and coach Gus Malzahn has essentially ignored short and intermediate routes over the middle despite those typically being a big part of an RPO-based offense. The Bulldogs have given up 143.2 yards per game on the ground, which means that you’ll probably see more of the same attack from Malzahn.

Quarterback ‘ status is still in doubt heading into the matchup. What isn’t in doubt is that his backup Garrett Shrader was pretty solid in his first start last week when he completed 77.3% of his passes. Why was he so efficient? Because running back is an absolute monster. The junior has topped the 100-yard mark on the ground in all four games this season, ripped off 120 yards and three touchdowns last weekend and leads the nation with 20 rushing plays of 10 or more yards. The problem for the Bulldogs is that they’ve given up 4.5 yards per rushing attempt — 12th in the SEC.

Viewing information

: Saturday, Sept. 28 | : 7 p.m. ET: Jordan-Hare Stadium — Auburn, AlabamaESPN |    

Game prediction, picks

Auburn’s philosophy is simple — run the ball, play defense and pick spots for Nix to open things up just enough in the passing game to keep opposing teams honest. The same plan will work on Saturday night. Whitlow will wear down a Bulldogs defense thak-four has given his side more freedom.The Magpies blew West Bromwich Albion away by scoring three goals in the first-half of their FA Cup fifth-round tie on Tuesday.And Bruce thinks moving from a back-five has freed up his attacking players.He said:t lacks depth, allow Nix to work off play-action and lead the Tigers to an ugly, yet efficient win and cover. It might be sketchy deep into the second half, but the Tigers are just too much for these Bulldogs. 

AUBURN -11.5 S/U

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Notre Dame vs. USC odds, line: 2019 College football picks, predictions from simulation on 68-42 run

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The Fighting Irish are looking to to keep rolling at home and stay in the hunt for a spot in the College Football Playoff when No. 9 hosts its longtime rival, the Southern Cal Trojans on Saturday. The Irish have won 14 consecutive games on their turf and have beaten the Trojans in their past two meetings. Quarterback and a potent running game give the big-play defense more than enough points to work with. The Trojans have combined some big wins with confounding losses and fell to No. 17 before a bye week. Kickoff from Notre Dame Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. The Fighting Irish are 10.5-point favorites in the latest Notre Dame vs. odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 58.5. Before making your Notre Dame vs. USC picks, be sure to check out the predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times, and those who have followed it have seen huge returns. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an eye-popping profit of over $4,300 for $100 plnager Maurizio Sarri’s system for his problems with fans this season.His performances have made him a target for criticism from Chelsea supporters, but he explains that Sarri’s decision to change the nature of his role during the course of the campaiayers on its top-rated college football against the spread picks.  

The model enters Week 7 of the 2019 season on a strong run, going 68-42 on its top-rated college football picks. It also called (-27.5) covering against and (+21) staying well within the spread against last week. Anybody who has been following it is way up.

Now, it has analyzed Notre Dame vs. USC from every angle. We can tell you it’s leaning under, but it also says one side of the spread cashes in well over 60 percent of simulations. That one is only available at SportsLine. ster United are prepared to pay massive money on two new centre-halves.ESPN says United are targeting Harry Maguire and Kalidou Koulibaly after being snubbed by Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt.De Ligt was given the chance to join Manchester United but

The model has considered that the Irish are coming off the set to receive a cash windfall from Danny Ings’ switch from Liverpool to Southampton.The striker has joined Saints on a permanent deal after a successful loan spell last season.The move is reportedly worth £18 million fee rising to £20 million.Their first shutout since 2014 after routing 52-0 last week. They have forced 14 turnovers in five games, recovering eight fumbles and intercepting six passes, two each from safeties and . The freshman Hamilton returned one of his 34 yards for a touchdown in his first game at Notre Dame Stadium. The defensive ends also have been getting after quarterbacks, with posting three of the team’s 14 sacks and adding two. The home team is 6-0 against the spread  in the last six meetings, and the Irish are 4-0 ATS in their past four non-conference games.

Book threw a career-high five touchdown passes in a little more than two quarters last week, and he has 1,254 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. . had his third 100-yard game last week to run his total to 381. The Irish also expect original starting running back to contribute Saturday after dealing with a groin injury. He ran for 383 yards and seven touchdowns despite missing three games last season. Notre Dame is perfect in the red zone this season, going 20-for-20 with 17 touchdowns.

But just because Notre Dame gets the job done on both sides of the ball doesn’t mean the Irish will cover the Notre Dame vs. USC spread on Saturday.

That’s because the Trojans will start freshman Kedon Slovis at quarterback after he missed time with a concussion. He has completed 77.9 percent of his throws and has 732 yards and five touchdowns in four games. He was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for 377 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-20 win against then-No. 23 . He will be bolstered by receivers Michael Pittman Jr. (31-501), and  (31-414).

Southern Cal has a young defense, but it has largely been effective, limiting teams to 411 yards and 24.8 points per game. It is strong up front, with John (45 tackles) and (41) anchoring the linebacking corps. and anchor the middle of the line, and has three sacks coming off the end.

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How two was better than one all night for Alabama vs. Oklahoma in the 2018 Orange Bowl

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Heisman Trophy winner ran circles around the No. 1 team in the country on Saturday night in the Orange Bowl. Kyler Murray made spectacular downfield throws, dizzying, darting runs and looked like, well, a Heisman Trophy winner.

But his entire performance was a postmortem show. The death blow had been delivered long before Murray staetired from international football.The midfielder, who has been in four World Cup squads and won 80 caps, joined League One side Southend United in the summer from Scottish Premiership club Hibernian.”It has been a privilege to be involved with the Srted tearing apart No. 1 Alabama as the Tide took a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter. And it wasn’t just the Heisman runner-up who took it to No. 4 Oklahoma early and often at the start of the game. It was a player across the line of scrimmage who also has a case for being considered the best player in the country.

Tua Tagovailoa, lining up behind center, and Quinnen Williams, lining up in front of center on defense, gave the Sooners 17 minutes of hell. By the time OU had its footing, even six straight scoring possessions weren’t enough to erase the deficit Tagovailoa, Williams and their supporting cast had created.

The beauty of the performance of both Tagovailoa and Williams is the way they unlock the rest of Nick Saban’s mighty roster. Tagovailoa was masterful, almost perfect, completing 24-of-27 attempts for 318 yards passing with  four touchdowns and no interceptions. Wide receiver Devonta Smith was his favorite target, and he jabbed the Oklahoma defense with slants for 104 yards on six catches. In total, a 2018 team record nine players caught passes for the Tide, including backup quarterback Jalen Hurts.

By his own admission, Tagovailoa was only 80-85 percent healthy on Wednesday. About 72 hours later, he looked 100 percent by any human standard. He was active in the pocket, successful scrambling and precise as a passer. Even when he did experience his first serious contact on the Tide’s second drive of the game, he threw a touchdown pass one play later. After some injury-hampered outings against Mississippi State, Auburn and Georgia, Tua looks like Tua again, and the offense is back to juggernaut status.

Of course, Oklahoma has a way of bringing out the best in an opposing offense. This is, after all, the same Sooners team that gave up 40 to Kansas. It also has a tendency to bring out the worst in a deer became a regular in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.He said: “Of course it’s hard to get to a big team.“But then it’s harder to stay there because you are competing with a lot of footballers that are such hard workers.“When you get to the big clfense, though. It even made Alabama look very uncharacteristic on Saturday but not before Williams got his paws on it for 17 minutes.

During that decisive 28-0 start, Williams was dominant. Like Tagovailoa, Williams’s domination helped to spread the production around. He only had one tackle himself on the night, but he was creating chaos on nearly every snap in that first quarter.

Behind Williams and the rest of that Alabama defensive front, Oklahoma’s award-winning offensive line looked overmatched. It took a full quarter for that unit to adjust to the best defender in . By the time it did, Oklahoma had been outgained 200-24, giving up two sacks and going 0 for 3 on third down tries. And it was down by three touchdowns.

Alabama’s two stars were better than Oklahoma’s one. It’s two units — including a defense able to contain Murray, other Premier League sides want to sign Butland, but have been put off by Stoke’s valuation, according to the Birmingham Mail.The Potters want more than £20 million for the 25-year-old, which no one is willing to pay.Stoke boss Nathan Jones confirm if only for a quarter-plus — were better than one. Alabama was better than Oklahoma, and it was clear from the start that what we all expected rang true: The Sooners were good but flawed.

And in this era of college football, with Alabama and Clemson playing at such an elite level, flawed teams need not apply.