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How Pep Guardiola is already exploiting the new goal kick rules

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Under the old rules, Kyle Walker and Aymeric Laporte split wide to the edge of the penalty area with Stones alongside United players how to play a high-press while on preseason tour in Australia.The Red Devils kicked off their preparations for the 2019/20 campaign with a win over Perth Glory on Friday night.They will take on Leeds United in Perth on Wednesday and GFernandino centrally to form a 1-2-2 structure with goalkeeper Ederson. 

The new goal kick rules have offered Guardiola the chance to innovate. In the Community Shield, one of the centre-halves would drop to the six-yard line to form a pivot with stand-in goalkeeper Claudio Bravo – this gave Liverpool another horizontal line of City players to think about. 

In this example it was Nicolas Otamendi. Stones and would form the next line just outside the area, making sure they were not standing on the same vertical line as Bravo or Otamendi. 

After Bravo and Otamendi hadBurnley.The Hornets are bottom of the table after the 3-0 reverse.Asked about his own position, the Hornets boss responded: “It’s time, it’s time, it’s belief, it’s belief, it’s fight, it’s fight, it’s all these kind of things that we can do to hel exchanged passes, Roberto Firmino shuffled across to cut-off a pass to Stones which opened up a lane for Bravo to find Rodri. Had that pass not been available, there was a safer option to either full-back who were wide against the touchline. 

It looks risky and still causes anxiety among fans in the stands, but the idea was to either discourage Liverpool from pressing altogether or to “tomorrow” if he was allowed to for the Championship side.The 34 year old former Manchester United star joined from Major League Soccer side DC United but is not eligible to play until January.”I could play. I didn’t have long off – if the game was create overloads higher up the pitch by playing through them. 

At the other end, Liverpool employed a more orthodox set-up with Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk standing inside the penalty area but split with a central midfielder dropping between them. 

City’s build-up is not all about obsessively playing short, though. They use the element of surprise by Ederson or Bravo kicking long to catch out defences who creep too high up the pitch, exploiting the speed of Raheem Sterling or Leroy Sane. Sergio Aguero’s opening goal against Arsenal in the 2018 Carabao Cup final was a perfect example. 

Guardiola is a Johan Cruyff disciple and Cruyff’s maxim was simple: make the pitch small when defending but make it as big as possible when you have the ball. 

With defenders dropping into the six-yard box and forwards on the shoulder of the last defender, Man City make the pitch huge and create so much depth. Here Bravo decides to kick long and has Liverpool’s defence scrambling to recover: 

Do you try and condense the space but risk being felled by one straight ball over the top, or drop off and allow City to play out from the back with ease? It is a conundrum coaches will wrestle with all season. 

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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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Genuine wing-backs and a focus on attack – why Sheffield United could be one of the most interesting teams to watch

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The cliches in Sheffield United’s were all there if you wanted to look for them: a club who hpeaking to L’Equipe, agent Seran Diabate has praised his cilent and played down previous fears about his fitness.He said of the on-loan Monaco fullback: “Djibril has taken his trouble with patience, with the objective of showing his qualities when weave spent the past 12 years in the wilderness, battening down the hatches away from home and grabbing a point with almost their only clear chance of the game.

Is this what we can expect for the remaining 37 games of the Sheffield United season? Seasoned observers of Chris Wilder’s team will answer with an emphatic “no”.

Wilder’s team drew lots of neutral admirers last season, not just because of the “sleeping giant wakes up” narrative but also due to their innovative tactical approach.

Most spoken about has been the inventive movement of the three-man central defence, which, coupled with genuine wing-backs, offers an unusual challenge for opponents.

The dangers of this based on Saturday’s evidence are that they themselves looked vulnerable down the flanks, with Bournemouth also opting for a three-man central defence and wing-backs – with Adam Smith, in particular, having plenty of joy down the right side in the first half.

But Oliver Norwood provided discipline at the base of the midfield and David McGoldrick did an excellent job of providing an attacking focal point so that no one player ever appeared too isolated. It remains to be seen how flexible Wilder can be and how quickly opponents can work them out.

But it was through one of their wing-backs, George Baldock, that the chance came to earn a dramatic point on their Premier League return after all had looked lost following Chris Mepham’s goal for Bournemouth.

Baldock pressed forward, s League qualification.Sarri’s team are at home against Watford on Sunday as they try to secure fourth place in the Premier League and return to the Champions League next season.There would also be another cup final on the horizon if they can finish crossed low for Ollie McBurnie who could not convert, but Billy Sharp did so with the rebound ensuring a memorable day for him and the club.

“Maybe it was written in the stars. All my family were down and to get the first Sheffield United goal in the Premier League after 12 years, it’s something I’ll never forget and I’m just glad it meant something to the club,” said the 33-year-old Sheffield-borntract in June and already has fielded interest from keen clubs.ESPN says Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Napoli are all interested.Indeed, these four clubs have regularly made attempts for Cavani in recent years, but without ever United fan. “I’m disappointed I didn’t start but he [Wilder] knows that and we’ve got five good strikers at the club now so I think it is going to chop and change at the top of the pitch.”

When relegated from the Premier League, Sheffield United scored just eight goals in their 19 away league games and signed three attackers this summer – Callum Robinson, Lys Mousset and Ollie McBurnie – breaking their transfer record on each occasion.

“We’ve got to score goals,” said Wilder. “Our recruitment this year was based on that at the top of the pitch. We’ve signed some good players all over the pitch to give it balance and strength and competition but we wanted goals in us. Can they score in the Premier League? We feel they are natural goal scorers and people talked about Billy – can he score in the Premier League? He’s had 10 minutes on the pitch and scored. Will that continue? Who knows.”

There is a sense of togetherness about the club which is perhaps untypical of the corporate, social media led communication of most present day Premier League organisations.

The team were mobbed by fans as they walked past a pub in Bournemouth on the morning of the game, something that Wilder says is not unusual or unwelcome.

“I remember going to Marbella a couple of years ago and us being on a coach and the supporters have just appeared from nowhere, about 500 or 600 of them, surrounding the bus. There’s an obvious connection between the supporters and the players and there has to be, this club has been at its best when there has been,” said Wilder.

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Bills Today: Whaley to spearhead coaching search

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Here’s the Bills news of note for Dec. 28th.

With Rex Ryan relieved of his coaching duties Tuesday, the search for a new head coach will begin in earnest by the Bills. The team confirmed that GM Doug Whaley will head up the process.

The Bills general manager was part of the process two years ago and made his recommendations, but indication now is Whaley will take a lead role in the search for a new head coach.

He could begin to put out requests to interview coaching candidates as soon as the end of the week.

Interim head coach ays Real Betis will reject any offer from Liverpool for Firpo this summer.Firpo is believed to be firmly in the plans of coach Rubi ahead of the new campaign with the 22-year-old impressing last term.Liverpool, therefore, would need to pay the £45m Anthony Lynn is expected to be a consideration.

Buffalo’s league-leading rushing attack made a sizable climb up the franchise’s single-season rushing list in Week 16. Entering last Saturday’s game the 2016 Bills ranked 10th in team history in rushing yards with 2,290. After their 272-yard rushing performance they’ve vaulted themselves into the top 5.

“We kind of did what we wanted moving the ball,” said LeSean McCoy, who had his seventh 100-yard rushing day. “Running the ball, running the ball, taking shots. oach Florian k to his best.The Belgian has been in imperious form in recent weeks, with his man-of-the-match displays against Arsenal and Leicester vital in securing maximum points from two tough games.It’s seen a surge of praise for the midfielder, something EdeKohfeldt admits their interest in Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic is over.The Serb chose to sign on-loan with Hertha Berlin this summer ahead of Werder.And Kohfeldt concedes: “You cannot rule out anything, but that would be pure speculThe way that we’re built. That’s how we’re built. We run the ball and then take some shots.”

Buffalo now has 2,562 rushing yards on the season, which ranks as the fourth-best single season rushing with a game to play. They’re expected to pass the 1976 Bills (2,566) in the season finale against the Jets sitting just four yards behind them.

That figures to be where Buffalo’s 2016 run game will finish in club annals knowing they would need more than 400 yards on the ground to even surpass the 1975 Bills (2,974) who hold the number two spot all-time.

The 2016 Bills are however, expected to finish as the club’s all-time single-season leader in yards per carry average. They currently sit in the top spot at 5.52 yards per carry. It’s almost a half yard better than the 1973 Bills.

All season long the Bills offense has been experts when it comes to ball security. Last Saturday marked the eighth time this season they have not committed a turnover. It extended a new Bills single-season mark (previous mark was six games without turnover in 2015).

Buffalo has just nine turnovers through 15 games. That ties the NFL record low set by New England in the 2010 season.

If the Bills go without a giveaway against the Jets on Sunday it would set a new NFL record for fewest turnovers in a season. Buffalo’s previous record low was 19 last season.

The NFL record low is 10 originally set by the 2010 Patriots and matched by the 2011 San Francisco 49ers.

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Important Dates in Bills History: Jan. 23, 1994. Bills win fourth consecutive AFC Championship

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Important Dates in Bills history presented by M&T Bank helps fans recognize what’s important. In the NFL, titles are important, and on Jan. 23, 1994 the Buffalo Bills solidified their fourth consecutive AFC Championship.

Thomas, the iconic ball carrier, led the offense with 33 carries for 186 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Averaging 5.6 yards per carry, Thomas ran through Kansas City’s defensive unit. Buffalo’s defensive game leaders include, safety Henry Jones and defensive back James Williams. Both Jones and Williams were credited with an interception. Other key contributors were defensive end Bruce Smith, defensive end Phil Hansen, linebacker Darryl Talley and nose tackle Jeff Wright, who each accumulated a sack.

Despite Kansas City’s efforts, the Bills managed to secure the conference title while playing aughas gone AWOL amid interest from Sheffield United.Verrips, reports HLN, has gone missing from training as the Blades move for the shot-stopper.An approach to KVM is yet to be made, though it’s claimed contact is ongoing with the player’s camp.KVM coact the eye of Arsenal scouts.Arsenal spotted Lochereau while he was playing in a junior tournament in France recently.Little is known about the playenard Mensah has been cut loose by Atletico Madrid.Kayserispor have signed Mensah on a permanent transfer from Atletico Madrid.The player from Ghana joined the Spanish side in 2015 from VitoriaGuimaraes, but was loaned back out to the Portuguese team r other than that he was turning out in the competition while on a trial period with Nice.Lochereain front of a sold out crowd. Advancing to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in franchise history, the Bills prepared to take on the Dallas Cowboys. The feat also marked the first time since the Super Bowl’s 1967 inception, that a team would reach the championship four seasons in a row.

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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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LaDainian Tomlinson believes LeSean McCoy will be rejuvenated in Buffalo

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Two premier running backs, both of whom have led the league in rushing. Multiple Pro Bowl appearances. Workhorse backs for playoff times.

The Bills LeSean McCoy and retired great LaDainian Tomlinson have had similar career paths in the NFL. And Tconfident signing Watford defender Marc Navarro.The Watford Observer says the Spanish club still expect the deal to go through, but that a hold up from the Hornets is currently slowing things down.While the La Liga side are believed to not be worrieduesday at Bills Camp, Tomlinson shared some advice for the Bills running back about switching teams in an NFL career.

“It rejuvenates you honestly, when you’re able to go to a different place,” Tomlinson said this week, after a long post-practice conversation with McCoy. “You go to a place wherester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his players all have a clean slate.Solskjaer, however, says they must fight every day to show they want to be part of the project.”The players have a chance every day to prove you should be part of this exci you’re wanted and you go to a place where they know how to play the style you’re used to—that was my case.”

After nine years in Sanch Quique Setien after defeat at Valencia on Saturday.That’s according to Okdiario’s chief pundit Eduardo Inda, while speaking on El Chiringuito.Inda revealed Barca players took issue with Setien’s claims they were struggling to follow his instructio Diego, Tomlinson finished his career with the New York Jets in 2010 and 2011, under Jets Coach Rex Ryan.

“I knew that their style and their brand of football complemented what I did well,” Tomlinson says. “It’s no different for LeSean McCoy. He’s been in this type of offense before in college. He understands how to get downhill, how to run between the tackles, how to fight for four yards and then the big runs come after that.”

Tomlinson was at Bills Camp in his current role as an analyst for the NFL Network. He interviewed McCoy on camera before their long private conversation. LT says he stressed to McCoy how Rex Ryan’s focus on a strong running game helped extend his career, and how it will benefit Shady.

Tomlinson was 30 years old when he went to the Jets via free agency. He was nine years into his likely Hall of Fame career, on his way to 13,684 rushing yards, fifth most in NFL history. In contrast, McCoy has only spent six years in the league and just turned 27 years old last month.

For that reason, LT thinks McCoy has plenty of mileage left and can easily get 300 or more touches in the Buffalo offense this season.

“I think 300 touches, absolutely,” Tomlinson says. “Because you have to imagine you’ll get anywhere between 250 and 270 carries and then you add on another 50 receptions out of the backfield—he should approach 300 touches. And I think that’s perfect for LeSean McCoy.”

“He’s a guy that needs to be implemented into the passing game as well. He’s just two talented not to be used in the passing game.”

There’s another link between Tomlinson’s success and McCoy’s future in Buffalo. LT had the good fortune to run behind Pro Bowl FB Lorenzo Neal during his best years in San Diego. This year, McCoy will have Pro Bowl FB Jerome Felton in front of him on many runs. Tomlinson says McCoy should embrace it.

“It’s all about the tempo and the rhythm sometimes with a fullback,” according to Tomlinson. “You have to communicate very well with your fullback on certain things you like, certain things you want him to do, whether it’s the power run and that fullback blowing through there and looking for the first guy. Those are things that take time to communicate and work out on the field.”

“LeSean is a smart runner. He’s naturally an instinctive runner. I don’t think it will be that big of an adjustment running with a fullback.”

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Mary Wilson helps impact girls with sports

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Saturday, Mary Wilson and the Buffalo Bills celebrated the eighth annual Westerto Nicolas Pepe to edge ahead in the race for the Lille striker.Pepe will sign a five-year contract at Arsenal having been offered wages of £105,000 a week after at one stage it looked like he would be heading to Italy, says the Arsenal-Nicolas-Pepen New York Girls in Sports program. The platform, founded by Mary Wilson, wife of Buffalo Bills Owner Ralph Wilson Jr., began in 2006 with tr Inter beat Serie C side Gozzano 2-0 on Sunday.He struck four goals on his Inter debut last weekend, but the focus since then has been on his weight.Nonetheless, the striker went some way towards answering critics as he started up top with Lautaro Mhe goal of enriching young girl’s lives with sports.

“It’s become more than I ever expected,” said Wilson. “For many of the girls, it’s their first time attending, many of them could have come a total of eight times. I’m hoping that even a little bit makes an impact.”

The WNY Girls in Sports program, hosted in partnership with the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and the Girl Scout Council of WNY invites 250 Buffalo Public School girls ages 9-12 from “Closing the Gap” schools to the Buffalo Bills Healthy Zone Fieldhouse for an afternoon of sports.

Girls rotate in stations around the Bills Healthy Zone Fieldhouse trying old sports and learning new ones, from soccer, golf, track, volleyball, and tennis, to basketball, agility exercises, Double Dutch and Zumba.

Wilson, who has always been active in sports began the program to teach adolescents the life lessons that sports offers. Mary learned the structure sports provides at an early age. At age 60, she was the top ranked tennis player in the country. Today, she loves to share her passion with the girls, helping them learn core qualities such as discipline, sportsmanship and working as a team.

“Sports impact your whole life,” Wilson told buffalobills.com. “Learning how to work together… there are a lot of times you’re going to lose in life and you need to be able to move forward from there. There’s no doubt that for me sports has given me more than I have given it, and this is my way to pay it back.”

The program coincides with the NFL and Buffalo Bills PLAY 60 initiative, encouraging kids to get out and play at least 60 minutes per day.

“Whether it’s running or going to the gym, sports makes a difference, and affects you in a positive way,” said Wilson.

And Western New York Girls in Sports wouldn’t be what it is without the volunteers. Tlkeeper Anders Lindegaard insists there’s no one individual to blame for the club’s slide since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.Lindegaard stayed with United under David Moyes before leaving during Louis van Gaal’s time in charge.He told the London Evhe program has gathered a vast following of community organizations eager to help out. This Saturday, over 80 volunteers from the University at Buffalo, Canisius College, Medaille College, Upstate NY Jr. Golf – First Tee of WNY, Niagara Frontier Jr. Olympic Volleyball Club, Buffalo Soccer Club, Girls on the Run, United Way, and members of the Buffalo Bills Strength and Conditioning Department attended the event to encourage the young girls.

The annual WNY Girls in Sports clinic takes place twice per year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

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Exclusive: The inside story of how Everton are planning to crack the top four

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Much of it comes from manager Ronald Koeman, an A-list coach who since the New Year has been achieving (Everton would be the top of the Premier League if only results in 2017 counted).

Inevitably, it also comes from confidence instilled since .

But mostly it comes from a determination to ensure the phrase ‘knocking on the door of the top six’ is made redundant as the foundations that have kept Everton close to the European elite are rewarded.

In nine of the last 14 years, Everton finished in the top seven. Three times they were 5th. Once they took a coveted top four place only to (controversially) lose a Champions League qualifier.

Building on or maintaining the momentum of encouraging seasons has been challenging, but for chief executive Robert Elstone the years defying the economic trends in the Premier League are the ideal base now the financial picture is healthier.

“Leicester City aside, more often than not, you do get what you pay for,” says Elstone.

“Having said that, our average finishing position over the past ten years sits well above our average wage bill and net transfer spend, though, evidently, not well enough to break into the Champions League elite.

“We said for many years that the clubs above us had either big, modern stadia they filled every week, a billionaire owner or a global fan base built on the back of lengthy periods of on-field success. Add in the recurring, substantial benefit of European football, and the income that generates, and the gap in spending power – wages and transfer fees – is substantial. Everton’s wage bill is significantly below the six clubs sitting above the club in the League table. In the latest Deloitte Report, Everton’s total wages are 70% of Spurs’, less than half of Liverpool’s and around one-third of Chelsea’s. 

“To underscore the optimism in the club, the new investor has arrived and is demonstrating his ambition.

“Stadium plans have gathered pace and this is significant in that the other clubs in the Premier League either have a new stadium, are building one or arguably don’t need to move from their existing stadium. Delivering the stadium would be an important step towards the top four.

“Also, perhaps an ingredient less tangible, there’s a widening belief that it’s not just about money. As the club has proven many times in the past, it is possible to outperform budget.

“The signs are very positive. Young players are pushing for places, results are good and confidence is running high – and the manager is at the heart of that. His steely determination, his burning ambition and his calm and understated approach are very Everton. And, as he would say himself, it is ultimately about actions, not words.

“We can only convince by results and we relish that challenge.

“When Man City or Chelsea made the step up, they were less constrained by Financial Fair Play rules than we are today. This, along with the overall player wage and transfer inflation, means that the gap is even harder to bridge now, hence we have to be smarter going about it, from our academy operations to player recruitment and building the right infrastructure at the club.”

Bridging the gap is not just about Premier League points, but also revenue streams. European qualification – at the very least Everton should be in the Europa League next season – will open further opportunities.

“By pretty much all measures – total income (dominated for most clubs by broadcast fees), commercial income and wage spend, there’s a relatively flat curve from the 20th placed club to the teams playing in Europe,” says Elstone.

“The curve then kicks up dramatically, reflecting European football, billionaire owner or big stadium full every week. Commercial revenues are polarising all the time and the big brands and the big cheques want the profile of Europe and the platform of a new stadium. Of course, for some, commercial revenues alsoico.The striker scored twice in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Everton, with Rico’s left-foot providing assists for both goals.Asked about the £10.7million signing, Wilson told the Daily Echo: “Full-backs and wingers like to get assists and if you get the op come from friendly sources. Everton’s challenge is to move from the point at which the curve kinks, to a place firmly on the upwards slope. It can only do this by securing success on the pitch and success in delivering the new stadium. It’s a substantial challenge. 

“Commercially, life outside the Champions League is tough. Likewise finding the hundreds of millions of pounds to build a new stadium is tough.

“We have taken some steps forward commercially but we are not there yet and we will never rest on our laurels.

“We’re highly likely to have to cap season tickets next season which means for the second season in a row every seat at every game will be full. That’s the reward for an industry-leading community-led marketing strategy winning hearts and milo Ancelotti has found himself at the forefront of an FA misconduct charge.The veteran boss was incensed when his team was denied a winning goal against Manchester United at Goodison Park on Sunday.He thought his side had won the game 2-1, but the gonds all over the city. It also means one in four of the fans at Goodison every week are under 22 years of age, significantly better than the Premier League average.

“The future is in good shape. It’s also the reward for a clear, long-standing strategy of fan and community engagement based on traditional football values, values encapsulated by a title with which we’ve become synonymous, The People’s Club.

“Expectations are high, demands are tough and only the best will do and that’s exactly how it should be."

Another advisable requirement to fulfilling European ambitions is ensuring top players move to rather than from the blue half of the city.

When , where once there might have been resignation and even some private understanding, this time there was defiance and exasperation.

Koeman’s appointment is in itself a demonstration of the changing natta admits Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang must commit to the club long-term if he wants to keep the captaincy.Arteta is keeping faith in the Gabon striker, who has been talks over a new deal with Arsenal but negotiations have broken down.He has just 18 monure of the club, and his response to the suggestion Everton’s ambitions do not match some of their players was emphatic.

“In every aspect we are striving to improve, grow stronger and be as good as we can possibly be and we are showing that ambition,” he said.

“We are trying to make the team as strong as possible and the strong run of results in 2017 show this as well. The new stadium will be a big statement, but no less significant is the work we’ve doing at USM Finch Farm, improvements that will cement our training ground as one of the top, professional facilities in football. “Always you have to get better, you cannot stand still.

“We want to play an attractive game, solid and strong yes, but also good football, exciting football that the fans want to watch and will stir their passion. As I said before, if this club was not ambitious, I would not be the manager of Everton. It takes time and there are steps to take and the first will be qualifying for Europe this season. Next season we will look to take the next step.”

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#21 – Will Gilmore be a difference maker as a rookie?

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Every summer leading up to training camp Buffalobills.com asks 25 of the most pressing questions facing the team as they make their final preparations for the upcoming regular season. With Year 3 under head coach Chan Gailey and veteran player report day at St. John Fisher fast p.Minamino picked up the language over the past four years he’s spent at RB Salzburg in Austria.And the Japan international says his ability to speak with Klopp with help his transition at Anfield when arrives on January 1.”I’m looking forward to worapproaching, here is the latest daily installment as we closely examine some of the answers the Buffalo Bills have to come up with between July 24th and Sept. 9th.

Players selected in the first round of the NFL draft are expected to be instant contributors, if not starters heading into their first professional season. Some first round picks come in and simply contribute, but others become game changers for their team in year one. Bills first round draft choice Stephon Gilmore could eamed Salah.The former AC Milan star is widely regarded as one of the greatest fullbacks of all time.But even he thinks it would be difficult to prevent Egypt international Salah from causing damage.”Salah is an amazing player, his best quality is thaasily be a steady role player, but can he be a game changing starting cornerback this season?  

Gilmore has already been lining up as one of the starting outside cornerbacks during both OTAs and mini-camp. He has been very impressive to this point and the team’s number one wide receiver has taken notice.

Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has now had a chance to get a good look at the rookie during team drills. He is not shy about saying what Gilmore is capable of becoming, but does caution that it is still early in the process.

“I think Gilmore is going to be a great player,” said Fitzpatrick. “He’s done some good things so far and we’re not in pads yet.”

Players will have to wait until training camp to put on the pads, but based on firsts planning for a lucrative career swansong in China.That’s according to Okdiario’s chief pundit Eduardo Inda, while speaking on El Chiringuito.Inda insists Messi has no immediate plans to quit Barca, but does have an ambition to play in the Chinese P impressions, head coach Chan Gailey is very impressed with what he has witnessed from the rookie cornerback. 

“He has done really an excellent job,” said Gailey. “Everything that we have asked him to do, to pick up, to adjust to—he has handled it so well. He is very mature beyond his years.”

His physical play and style have also been apparent this offseason, which should only help when the pads do go on. It is very difficult for some corners to play this kind of physical brand, but Gailey sees it as just a normal element to his game.

“It is something that I think is very natural for him,” Gailey said. “Some guys have to learn how to feel a receiver. I think he has instincts in that regard of understanding what great receivers (do).”

Gilmore has always believed in his abilities and he feels like there are no limitations to what he can accomplish this year.

“I always play with confidence,” said Gilmore. “So I think that comes with me and if I just keep learning the sky is the limit.”

This kind of confidence made it easy for scouts and upper management to gravitate to a player like Gilmore during the draft process. General Manager Buddy Nix continues to be nothing but impressed with how Gilmore handles himself and he believes that the rookie can be a difference maker for this team.

“From what I’ve seen I’d say he definitely can,” said Nix. “He’s done more than we thought he’d do with what we’ve exposed him to. So nothing surprises him. He’s a very patient guy. He doesn’t bite on every move. He’s smart and has deceiving strength and great speed.”

Gilmore will likely start at corner and serve as a game changer on a defense that is already loaded with playmakers. The Bills first round pick will benefit from a much improved pass rush, which will only provide the secondary with more playmaking opportunities. It will also allow the corners to take more risks than usual because quarterbacks will be in a hurry to release the football. The early praise from teammates and coaches illustrates how much talent and potential Gilmore has as a player.

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Man Utd striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will face no action for ‘elbow’ against Crystal Palace

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But Pawson also missed ated former England manager, 72, says he feels as fit asDaniel Farke was left angry with his players after their 2-0 home defeat to Watford.Gerard Deulofeu’s goal after 76 seconds after some lax defending from Emiliano Buendia set Watford on their way and Andre Gray’s close-range flick from a Deulofeu cro ever.Hodgson said, “Time has to tell you those things, I don’t think you have to set dates. I have felt a lot older in the past than I do now. Certain jobs I have actually felt older, weariera clear handball by Palace defender Damien Delaney in the second half that should have resulted in a penalty to United and Juan Mata was incorrectly ruled offside when he turned in a header from Rojo.  

United are waiting to assess another knee injury to Eric Bailly that forced the Ivory Coast centre half’s substitution early in the second half.   

Bailly was making his first Premier League start for United for seven and a half weeks after .  

Mourinho said Bailly had injured his left knee on this occasion, ruling out the prospect of a recurrence of the same problem in his rig to Manchester United next weekend.Negotiations between the Toffees and Pereira’s current club, Shanghai SIPG, have been ongoing over the past seven days.Sky Sports says Everton want the talks to be concluded prior to Sunday’s visit to Old Trafford.Iht, but United will not know the full extent of the injury until he has been scanned. United will lose Bailly to the Africa Cup of Nations next month.

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Easley, Troup out for Sunday

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They were both listed as questionable on Buffalo’s injury reporanchester City have 10 days to lodge their appeal against being thrown out of the Champions League to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.The club were banned on Friday from European club competition for the next two seasons for “serious breaches” of t this week, but WR Marcus Easley and DT Torell Troup have not made the trip to Kansas City for the season opener and won’t play on Sunday.

Easley left Friday’s pallum Hudson-Odoi’s return from rupturing his Achilles.He operated centrally as England Under-21s drew in Slovenia on Friday night, with manager Aidy Boothroyd keen to experiment.Hudson-Odoi’s peers have remarked that the 18-year-old appears to have ractice due to illness. Head coach alkeeper David James admits he’s a fan of Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero.Romero is expected to replace United No 1 David de Gea in goal for Sunday’s clash against rivals Liverpool after the Spaniard picked up an injury while on internatioChan Gailey had hoped it would clear up before today’s game, but it has not as Easley stayed back in Buffalo and won’t be available for Sunday’s game.

Torell Troup also did not make the trip after his lower back tightened up in practice on Wednesday. He did not practice Thursday and was limited on Friday. His back has not improved enough.

Troup in his second season is an important rotational cog in Buffalo’s improved run defense. It’s expected that Kellen Heard will have an even larger role in the Bills’ defensive line rotation Sunday with Troup not available.

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Manchester United 4 Leicester 1: Jose Mourinho’s men back on track after four goal first-half

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Rooney played just seven minutes of the game, summoned as a substitute for his 528th appearance for the club, replacing Marcus Rashford, who had scored United’s third. Mourinho was prepared to play any tune necessary to get the show back on the road, and despite his protestations about a tactical decision to introduce pace and width to the side this was unquestionably a significant chapter in the Rooney years.

The last time United were four goals up at half-time Rooney had bywill leave Manchester United next month.The French midfielder has been linked with Real Madrid and Juventus.But Raiola insists Pogba will not force his way out of Old Trafford in January.“Paul has always respected Manchester United just as Manchest then scored one of two goals he would get in that game, against Fulham on Aug 20, 2006. The first time in a new manager’s era that a big name is left out – and it happened to Rooney under Sir Alex Ferguson – is always an awkward moment for all concerned but it is always a case that life moves on to fresh controversies.

As for United, they scored an improbable three goals from corners, while the second was a brilliant passing movement finished by Juan Mata, Rooney’s replacement. They blitzed Leicester at the end of the first half, and Ranieri’s men were complicit in their own defeat, but it was a strange game that was played out without much note in the second half, save from a brilliant strike from the substitute, Demarai Gray.

Afterwards, Ranieri said that his team had been the more likely to score the first goal, and then having conceded Chris Smalling’s header direct from Daley Blind’s corner from the left, fell apart seven minutes before half-time, when United scored their remaining three goals. At half-time Ranieri replaced Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to save the legs of his key players for the Champions League game against Porto on Tuesday.

There was also Paul Pogba’s first goal for United, the fourth before half-time. Sam Allardyce was in the directors’ box to witness Gray’s right-footed hit on the hour and also to see Michael Carrick come on in the second half for his first minutes in the Premier League this season.

Mourinho said before and after the match that he selected Jesse Lingard and Rashford because he expected a “phenomenally intense and fast” game and wanted those two young players to offer width and pace. Mata was having a quiet afternoon until he shaped the move that ended with his brilliant 37th-minute goal, the pick of United’s four, and for now it is the Spanish midfielder who is ahead of Rooney in his manager’s mind.

In spite of Mourinho’s predictions it was a slow burner in which United only came alive in the last third of the first half. Without the intensity to overwhelm their opponents, United required the quality of their passing to pick their way through the substantial defensive line that Leicester had established to stop them.

The first decent sequence of United passes came on 22 minutes and won them the corner from which they scored their first. Daley Blind, an accomplished left-back for the day, whipped a left-footed ball in from the left and amid the general Leicester confusion, Smalling got above Islam Slimani to head the ball down past Ron-Robert Zieler.

From there, United hit a groove that would deliver another three goals before half-time. Ander Herrera was outstanding in midfield. He seems to have played his way into favour under Mourinho, who says the Spanish midfielder offers a defensive intensity others do not. Herrera played arguably the ball of the game to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who teed up Rashford with the outside of his right foot, but the teenager missed.

The three goals in five minutes in the lead-up to the break finally got Old Trafford on its feet. Mata started the move for his goal with the ball going to Pogba and then to Lingard, whose sharp flick with his right foot put the ball on track for a fine left-footed finish from Mata. Lingard seems to have been forgiven earlier than expected for his first-half performance against Manchester City two weeks’ previously.

Leicester looked broken, and two more goals followed quickly, both from corners from the left. Blind played the first low into the inside-left channel, where Mata struck it hard across the face of goal, and Rashford finished. Then Pogba met another Blind corner to head past Zieler with three minutes of the half remaining.

Gray’s right-footed shot from the left with Lingard hanging off his arm was a fine goal for the half-time substitute, who had a good 45 minutes for his team. The game was long over by then, and a victory over the champions – however flat Ranieri’s team might be – was just what Mourinho needed. He says that he is still weaning them off Van Gaal’s negative approach – and this, you might say, was the start of the shock treatment.

 

 

Perhaps too nonchalant … Gray picks the ball up on the left, drops his shoulder to get past Valencia and rifles a missile that dips over De Gea and under the bar. What a goal! 

 

 

 

That’s one way to shut the Einsteins up, isn’t it? It’s self-evident that United have been working intensely on set-pieces, both defending and attacking them, since  looking so feeble at Watford. It’s a third goal from a Blind corner. The left-back whips it to 12 yards where Pogba beats and beasts Fuchs in the air and buries a header with tungsten-necked force.  

Oh dear. I fear I rather jinxed Amartey who was dozing at a corner. Mata was wholly unmarked so Blind passed it to him at the near post and he squared it to Rashford who slid in and stabbed his shot home. 

 

First Rooney’s replacement as captain and now his replacement as No 10 score. Mata cuts in from the right, passes to Pogba and continues his run towards the box. Pogba clips it out to Lingard who pushes it into Mata’s path and he hits it on the half-volley from 15 yards and watches as it arcs into the corner around Zieler’s dive. 

 

 

 

Made by Pogba’s first-time early pass down the left and Rashford’s deft, cushioned header out to Blind on the overlap. The left-back wins the corner off Simpson, clips in an attractively whipped cross and Smalling gets up to bury the header from eight yards.  

 

He tackled well, bombed forward in support and was effective and energetic throughout in a man of the match display. You could tell how much his team-mates appreciated his contribution when about half a dozen of them converged on him, rather than the scorer Jamie Vardy, when his tackle set up the opener. 

City have lost both their away games, they need Amartey today because Fellaini isn’t there to plod about and Herrera and Pogba will push on. 

 

And meanwhile, a sign that exiles can be much worse:

 ht he guided them into the Champions League round of 16.Despite the result against Genk, Ancelotti has been axed just three hours after the final whistle.In a statement, Napoli announced:”The Sporting club Calcio Napoli has decided to revoke the role

 

 

 

The champions, Leicester City, were full of the old verve against an admittedly feeble Swansea and ran Club Brugge and Burnley ragged. That defeat at Anfield, though, was alarming even if Liverpool were unstoppable. They haven’t won at Old Trafford since 1997-98 when Tony Cottee’s goal at the end of January took the points and, lest we forget, United were pipped to the title by eventual Double-winners Arsenal by only one point. Islam Slimani has been terrific so far and it will be interesting to see if United pick Chris Smalling to cope with him even though they look better with Daley Blind in the side. We shall find out imminently.  

Manager Jose Mourinho has spoken about his new charges reacting badly to "negativity",b after departing Millwall in the summer, says the Millwall-goalkeeper-searches-new-club.html”>Daily MailMillwall-goalkeeper-searches-new-club.html”>.Archer was released by the Lions at the end of the last campaign and would be an experienced option which some observers felt he increased with public criticism of defender Luke Shaw after the 3-1 defeat by Watford last weekend.

A 3-1 win over Northampton Town in the League Cup on Wednesday night prevented a fourth straight defeat, but it was not an entirely convincing United performance against the third-tier outfit.

There will particular interest in Mourinho’s team selection at home to Leicester and whether England and United captain Wayne Rooney, who has been in poor form, keeps his place.

Manchester United are unbeaten in seven home Premier League games against the Foxes, winning five, drawing two and conceding just four goals in that time.Leicester have won one of their last 18 league trips to Old Trafford (D5 L12), claiming victory in January 1998 courtesy of a Tony Cottee winner.United have scored in each of their last 14 Premier League games against Leicester, netting 33 goals.Jamie Vardy has scored in three of his four games against United for Leicester in all competitions.Jose Mourinho has suffered 12 defeats in his last 23 league games as a manager. His previous 12 league defeats as a boss came over a period of 110 games.Mourinho has not won any of his last four league meetings against a team led by Claudio Ranieri, including defeats in the last two games.Islam Slimani has scored 22 goals in 23 league appearances so far in 2016, after adding to his 20 Portuguese Liga goals with two more on his Premier League debut last weekend.

"He played in England, of course, when he was younger and he has quality so it’s a matter of time and he will be playing really well.

"It’s difficult to adjust – new manager, some new players. They have some good players and of course you need time for everybody, but unluckily in football, time is not what you have every time.

"But I think the directors and everybody knows that this could happen and that some games you have to be patient."

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Man City 2 Arsenal 2: Alexis Sanchez on hand to dent City’s Champions League hopes

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data-js=”article-body” data-insert-mobile-arophy.Sarri was pleased with their 1-1 draw at Europa League semifinal at Eintracht Frankfurt in last night’s first-leg.He said: “I want to reach the final against any team, Arsenal or Valencia. It’s exactly the same for me, who we play. I don’t wantdslot>

Boos rang out on Sunday. This is not what Manuel Pellegrini, . This charming man might lose out to Louis van Gaal, who ­appears to lead a charmed life at United even if his future is under severe doubt. Once again, things fell his way.

Pellegrini joked that he had not arrived at City in a Lamborghini – acknowledging the fans’ song about him – but he will have to leave under cover of the night if the “disaster” (his word) of fans before defeat at Stamford Bridge last night.The former Blues captain was given a hero’s welcome on his reunion with a club he made 717 appearances for and won five Premier League titles with.The Villa assistant coach posted on Instagram on Thurfailing to qualify for the Champions League in the season that they made the semi-­finals is confirmed.

Pellegrini and the City players returned to the pitch 15 minutes after the final whistle for a lap of appreciation and stood in the centre circle before a stadium that was near empty, maybe a fifth full at best. It was an uncomfortable moment. Pellegrini looked like he wanted the earth to swallow him up as a video of his time at the club was played on the big screens. He had been given the option of skipping it but chose to go ahead and probably rightly so.

Pellegrini also spoke of three “unforgettable” years but if City are leapfrogged by United, he will have failed despite winning the Premier League in his first campaign and gaining two League Cups. Clubs of City’s resources and ambition ­cannot accept not being in the Champions League.

“We deserve to be in the Champions League next year,” Pellegrini said afterwards. “We have (been) 37 (league) games in the spot of Champions League and we don’t want to lose that spot. I trust we are going to have our achievement on Sunday.”

City have, indeed, been in the top four all season but can miss out and cannot do a thing to stop that happening. There is a big if, of course. If United triumph away to West Ham United on Tuesday – in what will be an emotional night for the home side in their final match after 112 years at Upton Park – and beat Bournemouth at Old Trafford they will finish ahead of City. Even a draw and a win might do if City fail to beat Swansea City away.

“Things are now out of our hands but we will find out on Tuesday,” Pellegrini said. “We must keep our heads clean and chins up and try to win our last game. In my time here we have improved a lot in the Champions League. Also, for me, it’s been about our style of play. There have been a lot of positive things but we must qualify again for the Champions League.”

One win against the other clubs in the top eight; eighth in the ­Premier League form table since the Guardiola announcement was made at the beginning of February and the nagging feeling that City are never quite the sum of their parts would argue otherwise and against Pellegrini. In a sense this game summed up his reign, with City dominant at times, swarming over Arsenal but unable to kill them off.

The visitors also had to which throws his involvement in Euro 2016 into doubt. Jack Wilshere came on and was given more minutes to prove his fitness for England’s squad, but by then goals had been traded in a blistering opening 10 minutes.

Arsène  Wenger had declared that attack was the best form of defence for both sides – partly an admission that they are both shaky at the back – and so it proved.

City struck when Jesus Navas chipped the ball into the penalty area, Fernandinho headed it back into Sergio Agüero’s path and, with Mohamed Elneny uncertain, the striker drove the ball low inside the post to score for his sixth successive league match.

By contrast Olivier Giroud had gone 15 league games without a goal but he was presented with one as Eliaquim Mangala neglected to mark him at a corner and he planted his header beyond Joe Hart. Even that corner had been a calamity – conceded by Gaël Clichy as he tried to head the ball back to Hart, only for it to trickle just past a post.

Arsenal’s defensive vulnerabted midfielder Sean Longstaff has been left hanging by Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward.The London Evening Standard says the frustration over the time taken to conclude transfers has been felt among targets, as well as fans. United have soility was exposed again early in the ­second half when Kevin De Bruyne won possession on halfway ahead of Nacho Monreal and drove forward. Challenges melted ahead of him, the space opened up and he struck a low shot that Petr Cech, maybe unsighted, was slow to react to.

Kelechi Iheanacho squandered a chance to wrap the game up and it proved pivotal when, this time, City backed off and Alexis Sánchez made his way forward. Mangala was again caught out and Giroud cleverly played the ball back to Sánchez, who steered his shot home from the edge of the area.

Agüero went close with a volley after a clever one-two with De ­Bruyne, then substitute Wilfried Bony rattled the bar with a hooked volley.

“Winning the three points [would have been] a good way to say goodbye,” Pellegrini said.

Instead it could be an uncomfortable farewell.

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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.