paid tribute to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola


All you single-season owners out there, listen up.

You’ve been told the are going to turn loose this year, that the days of them limiting his innings are over, and technically, that may be true. But Strasburg recently suggested to the Washington Post that they may limit him in other ways.

“You look at some of the top pitchers in the game, they go at least 110 [pitches] evenchester City boss Pep Guardiola was effusive in his praise for Phil Foden after Sunday’s EFL Cup final win over Aston Villa on Sunday.Foden, 19, set-up Sergio Aguero to score the opener in the 2-1 win at Wembley.Speaking after the game, Guardiola sary time out,” he said. “I’m going to be prepared for it. I’m not saying that they’re going to let me do it.”

Jordan Zimmermann, a fellow National, averaged 96.5 pitewcastle United attacker Lomano LuaLua admits he would puncture Sir Bobby Robson’s tyres after learning he wasn’t selected.While appearing on Sky Sports’ Soccer AM on Saturday morning, LuaLua revealed he used to puncture the former Englandrid coach Zinedine Zidane confirmed snubbing Gareth Bale for their defeat of Atletico Madrid.Bale didn’t make the squad for the 1-0 win.And Zidane later explained, “He was available but when I had to choose I went for someone else.”He’s here, he’sd and Barcelches in his 32 starts last year, when he was as far removed from Tommy John surgery as Strasburg is now. He ended up with less than 200 innings. Why would the Nationals treat their golden boy with any less care?

I’m not saying Strasburg won’t be a Fantasy ace this year, but those thinking he’ll emerge as the top starting pitcher might want to think again.

Carl Crawford suffers setback; opening day in question


left fielder has been shut down for a week due to nerve irritation that stems from offseason Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, manager Don Mattingly told reporters on Friday (). And though it has been expected that Crawford would be the opening-day starter in left for the Dodgers, Mattingly told reporters that is now a question mark.

“I think it challenges opening day a little bit,” Mattingly said (), “[but] I don’t think it’s out of the question.”

And it’s not just opening day that is in question. At this point, it appears opening the season on the disabled list is possible, too.

“Opening day would be great,” Mattingly said (). “But if it’s 10 days into it, if it’s 15 days into it, if it’s 20 days into it, I want him to be healthy when he starts.”

Crawford, 31, hit .282/.306/.479 with 10 doubles, two triples, three homers, 19 RBI, 23 runs and five steals in 31 games last yime with Besiktas.Karius moved to Istanbul on a two-year loan deal last summer, following his 2018 Champions League Final nightmare and the Reds’ big-money purchase of Alisson.”This season, through my agent, two clubs in the UK, three clubs from Germear. He has been a major disappointment since signing a gigantic contract with the Red Sox before the 2011 season. Before that, he was a four-time All-Star and finished seventh in AL MVP voting in 2010.

Also of note here is that the Dodgers — after spending all that money in the past eight months — have a bit of a void when it comes to outfield depth. Theye their home form.Chelsea seek a first Premier League win at Stamford Bridge since early December when Burnley visit SW6 on Saturday afternoon.”We’re striving to get into the top four and I think that will be a big achievement if we can do it but if could play in left, otherwise it’s , who hit .232/.276/.293 last season.

Also: Crawford is owed $107.7 million in the remaining five years on his contract.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: , a Frenchman is attracting the interest of Manuel Pellegrini as he looks to build a team that can qualify for Europe next season.According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Hammers want to sign the central midfielder for roughly €4 to €5million.The 30-ynd .

tuation is resolved soon.The Serbian is out of con

content_img reports that the a scan on his injured calf.The Reds booked their place in the Champions League final after they overturned a 3-0 deficit against Barcelona at Anfield on Tuesday night. Robertson had to watch the second-half from the stands after injuring his calf in Mariners are in agreement with starting pitcher on a one-year contract, pendingPorto forward Moussa Marega has been offered to West Ham.Sky Sports says West Ham have been offered the chance to sign Marega in recent days.Marega has a €30m release clause and wants to move to the Premier League.The player scored 21 times last season, including six Champions League goals in nine appearances.The Hammers were in talks to sign Marega last summer. a physical. Saunders split last season between the Diamondbacks and Orioles, going 9-13 with a 4.07 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. Saunders also went 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in two playoKlopp confirmed his release this week.Sturridge has posted a message on Facebook in tribute to Liverpool’s supporters and colleagues on the playing and coaching staff. “What can I say… It’s been one hell of a ride at this beautiful club,” he said. ff starts with the Orioles.

admits the Roma midfielder is facing six months o


Durineal Madrid president Florentino Perez insists James Rodriguez has a big future with the club.The Colombian playmaker went on a two-year loan to Bayern Munich and after potential moves to Atletico Madrid and Napoli failed to materialise, Zinedine Zidag a chat on, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said he isn’t opposed to having starting pitcher prospect vie for a spot in the bullpen. “I’m not opposed to having somebody work out of the bullpen, especially to get big league experience,” Mozeliak said. “You can see some value having a young pitcher out of the bullpen. Shelby’s goal will ould be back by December after “perfect” surgery to his knee problem.Sane was the subject of intense transfer speculation in the summer after Bayern Munich made him their top target as he staing Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane to Manchester United during his time in charge.AS says he was thwarted in his ambition by Zinedine Zidane, who persuaded the Frenchman to stay at Real Madrid.The Portuguese had identified United’s back line as lled on signing a new contract.But an injury early in thetry to make the big leagues in whatever role he can. We certainly won’t tell him he can’t do that if it’s available to him.”

th Tottenham at the weekend.The Gunners found them

content_img Baseball Insider Danny Knobler reported Monday that the Braves have told teams prospect could be the starting left fielder for the club in 201ams meet later today.Hasenhuttl said: “I still stand by that decision because we had a few other options in the summer which, finally, we couldn’t realise them.“if you want, this was our Moussa Djenepo we got, and Moussa has brought us a few poin3. Gattis batted .305 with 18 home runs and 67 RBI in 74 games between three stops in the minors lastaken aim at current directors Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban.Mirabelli believes the team’s woes are due to the two former stars.He stated: “Milan’s big problem is that they mustn’t live in the past,” the 50-yed only 300 euros (£265) by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for their approach to Antoine Griezmann while he was at La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid, reports BBC Sport.Spanish champions Barcelona signed Griezmann after paying his 120m-euro (£1ear-old, who was the Diavolo’s sportit season.

Report: Dan Haren ‘should’ be back with Angels on July 22


should be getting Haren back soon. (Getty Images)

The first disabled-list trip in Dan Haren’s career doesn’t appear it’ll lalympique Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele insists he’s not agreed terms with any rival club.PSG, Manchester United and Manchester City have been linked with Ndombele.But he says, “If I know what I’m going to do next season? No, I do not know yet. It ist very long. He last pitched July 3 and — assuming there are no setbacks — the Angels will reportedly get him back on July 22.

Haren ths place at Barcelona.Rafinha’s future is unclear, particularly due to his injury history and the arrival of Frenkie de Jong, but the 26-year-old is remaining calm.”I have a contract with Barcelona,” he stated.”Last year, in this very situation, I starew a bullpen session Saturday and his back injury seemed t Sandler is set to move to Anderlecht.HLN says Anderlecht player-manager Vincent Kompany is ready to take the Dutch youngster on-loan for the new season.Sandler moved to City last year from PEC Zwolle and worked closely with Kompany when they were too create no issues, meaning he’s ready to make a minor-league rehab start Monday or Tuesday, . DiGiovanna said Haren “should” return to the Angels’ rotation on July 22.

Haren, 31, is 6-8 with a 4.86 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 86 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings. Of course, once he was placed on the DL, Haren admitted he’d been dealing with the pain in his back for much of the season. It makes sense, as Haren has never been on the disabled list and was pitching much worse this season than he normally does. So getting him back healthy should provide a significant boost to the Angels.

Report: Ryan Dempster prefers the Dodgers over the Braves


would prefer to be a member of the , to’s Ken Rosenthal. 

Dempster has yet to waive his 10/5 rights because he prefers over the . Dempster still has family in Vancouver, and would prefer to be closer to them. 

If the cannot complete a deal with the Dodgers, it’s unclear whether Dempster will accept the dealade a move for Real Madrid teen Takefusa Kubo.Kubo will be loaned out to Mallorca, reports Jugones. Real Madrid had plenty of offers on the table but decided the option of joining Mallorca would be the best for the Japanese youngster. There was talk to Atlanta. 

Both the Dodgers and Braves were interested in acquiring Dempster, but the Cubs liked the Braves offer more.

Dempster is slated to be a free-agent at the end of the season, and may prefer to sign with a team on the west coast in order to be near his family. 

For more up-to-thet at Chelsea.Willian’s effort from the edge of the area slipped from Adrian’s grasp after only 13 minutes of their FA Cup encounter at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.But Liverpool manager Klopp was in no mood for blaming his players as were in crisis talks yesterday.The Telegraph says the squad were ordered to attend a meeting on Saturday for crisis talks.Panicked Etihad chiefs sent out WhatsApp and text messages within an hour of finding out about the two years Champions League fter a slack p-minute news and analysis on the latest rumors from bloggers Chris Cwik, Jack Moore and Navin Vaswani, follow .

o preseason friendlies in Norway.Ole Gunnar Solskj


Mets farm hand won the Triple-A Hoelder is on-loan with the Sardin him withdrawing from England’s squad for the upcoming Euro2020 qualifiers.The £60million summer signing withdrew from the squad for the games against Bulgaria and Kosovo on Tuesday due to the back problem.According to the Daily Mail, Wan-Bissaka waians from Inter Milan.Nainggolan said he doesn’t want to think about what’s next for him personally and is focused on ‘finishing the League’ with Cagliari.“I’m not M Beppe Marotta admits rumours about Luciano Spalletti’s future have been frustrating.Former Juventus coach Antoio Conte continues to be linked with Spalletti’s job. “The rumours about Spalletti’s future aren’t helpful,” Marotta told Sky Sport Italthinking about anything, now I just think about finime Run Derby on Monday night. He beat out , who is in the White Sox organization, in the final round. Pascucci is batting .229 with 13 home runs and 51 RBI in 86 games for Triple-A Buffalo this season.

Don’t you love seeing position players pitch? Ron Washington doesn’t


BALTIMORE — We all love the stories about position players pitching.Well, not all of us.Sparky Anderson didn’t. He managed 4,030 games in the major leagues and never once put a position player on the mound. He thought it was wrong, that it made a joke out of the game, and he was absolutely determined not to do it.So is Ron Washington.”I want a position player to be a position player,” the Rangers manager said Monday. “Pitching is a pitcher’s job.”Washington wasn’t being critical of manager Buck Showalter and manager Bobby Valentine, both of whom felt forced into using position players to pitch in Sunday’s 17-inning game in Boston. Orioles first baseman pitched two scoreless innings to get the win, with Red Sox outfielder taking the loss.The Orioles and Red Sox played a 13-inning game Fridlayer.Some have questioned McTominay’s pedigree since he broke through the academy ranks under Jose Mourinho.But Solskjaer has shown faith in him, with the Scotland international scoring United’s 2000th Premier League goal in the 3-1 win over Norwichay night, and neither team’s starter made it through the fifth inning Sunday. By the 16th inning, when Davis pitched, Showalter’s choices were to use Davis or to go to , Monday’s scheduled starter.”I wasn’t going to throw a whole pitching staff in disarray and jeopardize a guy who’s throwing the ball real well,” Showalter told reporters Sunday.Washington knows the feeling. He remembers a game where pitching coach Mike Maddux was urging him to get Davis (then a Ranger) prepared to pitch. Washington said he thought about it but decided against it.While he won’t guarantee that he’d never be in a spot to use a position player, he is strongly opposed to it.”I hope I never have to do it,” he said.The funny thing is that fans love it, and most position players seem to, as well.Davis got a standing ovation from Orioles fans before his first at-bat Monday night against the . Before the game, center fielder joked that Davis is the Orioles’ “secret weapon,” and other Orioles players talked about who would pitch next.Showalter already had that worked out. He said that would have pitched the 18th inning if Sunday’s game had gone on, then said that he even planned to bring in the left-handed Markakis to replace the right-handed Davis if switch-hitting came up in the 17th.Markakis was a big-time pitcher in junior college. Davis also pitched in junior college, where he was his team’s closer.”But we blew everyone out, so I didn’t and months.Fans were delighted with his performance for the England under-21s in their 5-1 win against Austria.He scored a great brace and was a threat throughout the game.And the youngster thinks that he is just getting up to speed after fully recovreally need to pitch much,” he said.The Rangers also have a position player who pitched. was good enough that the Rangers once had him go to instructional league to work at pitching, with the possibility that he’d make a career of it.Moreland said Monday that he wouldn’t mind getting a chance to pitch in a major-league game someday.Washington agreed that Moreland would be the most likely Ranger position player to pitch. But he said he’ll do anything he can tbe offered a new and improved £70,000-a-week five-year deal to ensure he commits his future to the club, says The Sun.The France youngster, whose current deal expires in the summer of 2022, currently takes home around £40,000.The Gunners are also wo make sure it doesn’t happen.As for Davis, the obvious question was when he’ll pitch again.His answer: “In all honesty, I don’t ever want to do that again.”He’s a hitter, not a pitcher. And as Washington said, pitching is a pitcher’s job.

Seahawks trade Frank Clark to Chiefs, shaking up 2019 NFL Draft by adding No. 29 pick


is on the move, folks. As has been reported for months, the were interested in nabbing the pass rusher and now it is a done deal, CBS Sports insider Jason La Canfora confirms.

Clark, , will go to Kansas City for quite the haul, as the Seahawks will get a first-round pick in 2019 and a second-round pick (the later of the Chiefs two picks) in 2020. The teams will also swap third-round picks this year.

Additionally, the Chiefs struck a long-term deal with Clark as part of this move, a five-year, $105 million deal with $63.5 million guaranteed that eclipses the bar set by and the earlier this offseason, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Clark fell in the 2015 due to off-field concerns, with the Seahawks scooping him up with the 63rd overall pick. He became one of the breakout players on their new-look defense, helping Seattle win 10 games in 2018, when many expected the Seahawks would be rebuilding.  

Because he was a second-round pick, the Seahawks didn’t have a fifth-year option on Clark and . 

after Clark was tagged, the Seahawks gave a large christian Eriksen has backed up the Dane’s words today about leaving Tottenham.Real Madrid target Eriksen has confirmed he wants to leave Spurs, stating he wants to “try something new”.And Martin Schoots told the London Evening Standard: “Last seaontract.

The were also interested in Clark, as were the . What made the Chiefs so attractive was their willingness to simply sacrifice the pick they hold in the 2019 NFL Draft, giving Seattle No. 29 overall.

GM John Schneider began the week with just four picks in this draft and now he has one more early selection to work with as he continues to mold Seattle’s roster. You can almost guarantee Schneider doesn’t actually use at least one of those first-round picks; the Seattle GM is well known for his willingness to trade down in the draft. 

But should he hang around, there’s a real chance for the Seahawks to pick up a haul. , he has the Seahawks landing a pass rusher in Clemson’s at No. 21 and a safety in Maryland’s Darnell Savage at No. 29.

The Seahawks dealing Clark gives them some freedom to pay other defensive players as well. 

Clark finished the 2018 season with 13 sacks and 27 quarteryeing Amiens striker Moussa Konate.Foot Mercato says Brighton have approached Amiens about Konate’s situation ahead of the January market.Amiens are prepared to sell and have informed Brighton they can have the 26 year-old for €10m.It isn’t the firback hits — he was an absolute terror as a pass rusher, and the Chiefs, having lost and this offseason, badly needed to improve their pass rush. 

There will be a discussion about Clark’s backstory though. There were domestic violence allegations against him during his college days at Michigan, and the Chiefs have battled character concerns with several players in the last 18 months. was cut by Kansas City after video of him attacking a woman in a hotel hallway emerged. is under investigation by the NFL for an incident that involves a minor. It’s not yet known what will happen with Hill. 

Once again it speaks to the importance of a player’s ability and position mattering more than what said person might do/have done off the field. That is not new for the NFL. With the Chiefs contending for a next year and trying to build off ‘ MVP season and Kansaye Doucoure and Roberto Pereyra.After a disappointing 6-0 loss in the FA Cup final to Manchester City, Watford are planning for next season.The club will not being Europe, but they want to push up the Premier League table.And Gray believes they can hs City hosting the AFC Championship Game, it should hardly be surprising that Kansas City is willing to push the envelope.

The Chiefs immediately doubled down too, because Clark got a brand-new, monster contract within minutes of being dealt to Kansas City. According to reports, Clark landed a five-year, $105 million contract from the Chiefs, one which pretty obviously negotiated before a trade actually went down. The Chiefs have a lot invested in Clark as a pass rusher now. 

From a pure football perspective, it’s certainly a bold and smart move. There wasn’t going to be the type of player available at No. 29 that could match Clark’s ability out of the box next season. This is a loaded draft for pass rushers, but every draft pick is a crapshoot and the Chiefs wouldn’t be in control of their destiny if they sat back and let the drat come to them. 

Instead they got aggressive and removed themselves from the 2019 first round, all while making the Seahawks one of the more interesting teams in this draft, particularly with Scheinder’s willingness to wheel and deal while on the clock.  

Dez, Cowboys thump Lions to deny a playoff clinch: Final score, 8 takeaways


The ‘ season is officially on the brink.

After a disappointing 17-6 loss to the a week ago, the Lions entered Monday night with a chance to book a playoff spot. All they needed to do was beat a banged-up team that had nothing to play for except pride. That’s definitely a harder task than it sounds, but the point stands: The Lions needed to win Monday night.

They didn’t win. They lost, 42-21. And now they’re staring at a very real future that doesn’t involve them playing postseason football.

At 9-6, the Lions will still have an opportunity to win the NFC North if they beat the next weekend. But the Lions are also in jeopardy of ending their season with a loss to the Packers, because if the beat the Giants this weekend, the loser of the NFC North title game will miss the playoffs entirely.

Oh, by the way, the last time found himself in that exact same situation, he broke the ‘ hearts at Soldier Field with a fourth-down, game-winning touchdown to .

Have fun, Detroit.

The Lions had their chances early against the Cowboys. They scored on their first two possessions. They even led 21-14 late in the second quarter before went all Dez Bryant on them to tie the game before the break. Still, 21-21 isn’t a bad place to be in Dallas. The Lions were hanging with — arguably outplaying — the Cowboys. All they needed was one more half of solid football.

They caved instead. After halftime, looked like the Stafford of years past, turning the ball over twice. His offensive line didn’t help matters, allowing four sacks during the game. The running game, which surprisingly came alive in the first half, returned to its comatose state. The Lions had 65 rushing yards at halftime. They finished with 90. The offense was shut out in the second half.

And the defense couldn’t force a stop. The Lions were outscored by 21 points in the second half.

After beating the Bears on Dec. 11, the Lions were 9-4 and a lock to make the postseason. They’re now one Aaron Rodgers game away from dropping the final three games of the season and maybe missing out on the postseason altogether.

Conventional wisdom says the Lions are on the cusp of completing a stunning collapse, but the truth is, they’ve overachieved all season long. So engineered by Stafford. That might be a fun wvertz.McManaman says the German is probably on Jurgen Klopp’s radar – although, we won’t know about it.”He’s a young player and he’s doing really well at Bayer Leverkusen, so we will wait and see,” McManaman wrote in his Horse Racing column.”It’s oneay to win football games — Stafford broke ‘s single-seasonft of young players for loan this summer.Sky Sports says the eight returning to Cobham from Dublin include Lewis Baker, Izzy Brown and Lucas Piazon, as well as Trevoh Chalobah, Dujon Sterling, Ike Ugbo, Conor Gallagher and Marc Guehi.All eight featur record with eight fourth-quarter comebacks — but it’s not necessarily a sustainable method. It’s not the way most legit contenders win. It doesn’t lead to wins over the league’s top teams, like the Cowboys.

They still have one more game to prove us all wrong. But they’re quickly running out of chances.

Here are some more takeaways from Monday’s game:

+ Zeke are still unstoppable

The Cowboys didn’t waste any time putting the Lions in an early hole on the road. On the first possession of the game, Dak Prescott went 5 of 6 for 71 yards.

He finished off the drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass to on third-and-14.

The Cowboys’ second drive belonged to their other dynamic rookie, . After getting bottled up on the first series, According to .com’s Chris Wesseling, .

Also, shoutout to that blocking:

Prescott tossed his second touchdown to tie the game just before halftime (more on that in a second) and Zeke scored his second touchdown on the ground to give the Cowboys a 28-21 lead in the third quarter. You know you’re good when you bounce a 1-yard run all the way to the outside and showboat before you reach the goal line.

Zeke’s final numbers: 12 carries, 80 yards, and two touchdowns.

Prescott’s stat line: 15 of 20 for 212 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a 148.3 passer rating.

Yeah, they played well.

Dez caught it … and threw it

The Lions didn’t have an answer for Dez Bryant either. Just before halftime, made one of those impossible catches that makes you inadvertently shout at your TV.

How the heck did to snag this football?

And that wasn’t even his most memorable moment. That honor belongs to his first career pass, which resulted in his first career touchdown.

Who knew Dez was a lefty?

That touchdown gave the Cowboys a 35-21 lead. Jerry Jones status update:

Bryant scored his third touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, which handed the Cowboys a 21-point lead. It also completed a 28-0 run that began with Bryant’s ridiculous catch in the second quarter.

The best part about the Cowboys? Their rookie duo has been so damn unstoppable this year that we’ve sort of forgotten all about Bryant.

The Cowboys are peaking

Need more proof that the Cowboys are peaking? This is their punter:

When the Cowboys lost to the Giants for the second time on Dec. 11, they looked vulnerable. Dak Prescott played so poorly in that loss that some wanted to replace him with Tony Romo.

Well, the Cowboys and Prescott have certainly responded, putting an end to the quarterback controversy and cementing their status as the best team in the NFC. After that loss, the Cowboys knocked off a pesky team and then demolished the Lions.

They’re 13-2, by the way, and the clear front-runners in the NFC.

Matthew Stafford went full Favre

Since suffering that injury to the middle finger of his throwing hand, Stafford’s struggled, hardly looking like the MVP candidate he was for most of the year. Against the Bears, Stafford posted a 64.3 passer rating. Against the Giants, he posted a 71.8 rating. So, how’d he fare against the Cowboys?

He channeled his inner Brett Favre, which isn’t exactly a good thing.

He completed crazy passes into tight coverage, demonstrating his world-class arm talent. He zipped in side-arm fastballs to his receivers.

He scored a crucial, tough touchdown on fourth down to tie the game in the second quarter.

But on the opening drive of the second half, Stafford made an unforgivable mistake. With the Lions facing second-and-long, Stafford scrambled like a madman in the backfield and It reached ‘s arms instead.

Stafford ended up throwing only one pick, but he also fumbled near the goal line. He averaged 5.7 yards per pass. He didn’t throw a touchdown. His passer rating? 63.7.

For a third straight game, Stafford played poorly.

Nice to meet you,

The Lions do not run the ball particularly well, but they ran the ball all over the Cowboys to begin the game. To be specific, Zach Zenner ran all over the Cowboys.

On the Lions’ f move to Heerenveen.Halilovic had joined Standard in January on an 18-month deal, but managed just 14 appearances last season.He will now spend the current campaign with Heerenveen, who are 10th in the Eredivisie after five games.The Croatian was theirst drive, Zenner picked up 38 yards on three carries and caught two passes for 25 yards. He also found the end zone.

He earned the approval of running back .

Zenner wasn’t done. With the score tied at 14-14 in the second quarter, he reached the end zone again.

The Cowboys’ health

Week 16 was already marred by the injuries and sustained, which ended the and ‘ seasons to varying degrees. Injuries had to be on Dallas’ mind, especially considering the coaching staff opted to play all of their healthy starters.

So, how’d they fare? Prescott stayed healthy. So did Zeke. The only issue might be left tackle , who is incredibly important to the Cowboys’ success.

On the final play of the third quarter, Smith served as the lead blocker on a run to the left. He ended up hurting his right knee. Trainers surrounded him on the sidelines. The Cowboys immediately declared that so hopefully the injury isn’t serious.

What’s next?

The Lions will host the Packers with the NFC North title on the line. That game was . If they tie, they’ll both make the playoffs.

The Cowboys, on the other hand, already have the No. 1 seed in the NFC wrapped up. So, their game against the next week will only be worth monitoring to see if they give their backups — including Tony Romo — any reps.

Buccaneers Notebook: New England comes to Tampa for joint practices with Bucs


After struggling to a 4-12 record in 2011, will get an up-close and personal look at the inner workings of perhaps the ’s most prolific feffield United boss Chris Wilder says their summer market plans are underway.Wilder and chief executive Stephen Bettis met with Prince Abdullah and other members of the Bramall Lane board in Dubai, where United’s squad flew during their winter break.ranchise of the past decade, as the are in town for joint practices ahead of Friday’s .The joint workouts are nothing new to New England, which is partnering with another for preseason practices for the fourth time in the last three years. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the joint workouts are one of the keys to his team’s success.“Our offense can recognize certain blitzes we run. Our defense can recognize certain formations and motions,” Belichick . “So you start to anticipate and play the plays and things like that. We kind of know who our go-to guys are. When you play against a different team, you don’t recognize those things as quickly and you have to learn who the go-to players are on the other team.”That method of simulating difficulties that playerss season.The Gunners have began the Premier League with two straight wins.They managed to sneak past Burnley 2-1 at home this weekend thanks to goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.”In life you have to believe,” Luiz said to r would face in actual games should pay off for both teams, Cummings notes, as Belichick said his team had not watched any film of Tampa and would truly be forced to react on the fly as a result.

Belichick pointed to Greg Schiano’s experience as a secondary coach with the and the many professional players his Rutgers program produced as evidence Schiano should fare well in his first NFL head coaching job. , Schiano and Belichick met several times when Belichick would watch his son play lacrosse at Rutgers, and the two have spent time observing each other’s teams practices over the years. “We have had a good relationship,” Belichick said. “I have a lot of respect for him. I think this is a great opportunity for him. I’m sure he will do well.” For the second-straight week, Tampa Bay will play a preseason game and local fans will not be able to watch it live on television. The organization failed to sell 85 percent of non-premium tickets available at Raymond James Stadium, a new, lower benchmark that the NFL has allowed. The Bucs were one of only four teams to take advantage of that rule, but it hasn’t stopped a long string of blackouts for the franchise. Only two Bucs games played in Tampa over the course of the last three seasons have been broadcast live in i is confident he’s over his injury problems from last season.The England midfielder is hoping that the hamstring and thigh muscle problems that plagued him last season have now been cured.Alli said: “It was obviously a difficult season for me in tthe area, . Down 15 pounds and in a more aggressive defense that may suit his skills better, defensive tackle is ready to have a strong 2012 season, . Miller, the 81st pick in the 2009 draft, started all 16 games in 2010 but only got the nod in three games last season. His struggles may have been a result of added weight, as Miller played at 290 pounds in college at Texas but was up to 320 by 2011. New acquisition Jordan Shipley, claimed off waivers on Monday, returned a punt more than 85 yards for a touchdown in Tuesday’s practice. That may end some of the questions about the health of Shipley’s knee, which was reportedly an issue that helped lead to ’s decision to release the former third-round draft pick. “I definitely feel like I can do anything I have to to contribute and help this team win,” Shipley . Schiano said Shipley “seems like our kind of guy” .

For more from Tampa Bay Bucs blogger Patrick Southern, follow on Twitter.

Essex impressed with bigger McLendon


Swingman has been impressed with , playiive. Pick one out – after all, Hugo Lloris Villa midfielder Jack Grealish is carrying a calf injury.Grealish has been in outstanding form and England coach Gareth Southgate watched him on Saturday in his side’s 3-0 defeat at Manchester City after he had scored three goals in his previous fouhad to do that seven times on Tuesday. But take one word to describe Christian Eriksen’s actions in the aftermath of the Bayern Munich humiliation…Ahh, remember the old days? Way, waaay back? Way back to 2ng NT in OTAs for a recovering Casey Hampton (ACL surgery). McLendon, the former 280-pound DL now claims to weigh 325. “He’s wayzio Corsi admits Napol have tried to sign Ismael Bennacer.The midfielder is expected to leave Empoli following their relegation.Corsi revealed, “Bennacer is wanted by so many teams, now he’s at the Africa Cup of Nations and he’s not even picking up too cut up to be a typical nose tackle,” Essex said. “This kid is going to be good.”

Yale QB Witt, LSU LB Baker headline rookie tryouts


Undrafted rookies receiving tryouts at rookie minicamp starting Friday: LB Ryan Baker (LSU), C Michael Caputo (Nebraska), TE Josh Chichester (Louisville)lona players are at eachother’s throats over the sacking of Ernesto Valverde, it has been revealed.Valverde lost his job in the New Year to be replaced by former Real Betis coach Quique Setien.AS says Valverde’s demise has split the locker room, with, DT Ian Davidson (Hampton), TE Kyle Fiedorowicz (North Central, Ill.), S Robby Green (California, Pa.), RB Donte Harden (Ohio), RB Michael Harris (Murray State), DB Nicholas Hixson (Hillsdale), FB Tyler Legatrmer Arsenal manager Unai Emery admits that he struggled to find the ideal balance in the team.The Spaniard was sacked in the middle of this season after the team’s form slumped alarmingly.The Gunners are still going through a rough patch, but are hoe (Nebraska), WR David Little (Midwestern State), OL Deon’tae Pannell (Penn State), S Quinton Richardson (Washington), DB Brandon Robinson (Liberty), WR Justin Siller (Purdue), Tlm around Barcelona whiz Ansu Fati.The 16 year-old has just secured his Spanish qualifications and there is a debate whether he should be called up to the senior squad.De la Fuente said: “The good ones have open doors. He is an interesting player, of Jeffrey Spikes (Kansas), OL Keyun Swinney (Alcorn State), WR Stan Warrenhuffman (Campbellsville), RB Albert Williams (Tulane), OL Scott Winnewisser (Cal Poly), QB Patrick Witt (Yale), DT Gordon White (Appalachian State).

Video: Eli Manning’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ monologue


Even if Peyton has the acting chops, Eli more than held his own on SNL. ( As far as Saturday Night Live monologues go, quarterback and two-time champ more than held his own. Of course, as always, his performance will be compared to that of his brother, . But even if Peyton has the edge in acting chops, Eli holds a 2-to-1 lead in Super Bowl rings.

“You know, I grew up in , went to school in Mississippi but I gotta say, I finally feel like a real er,” said Manning. “It took a few years, but now I’m an expert.” And with that, he dispensed with the recommendations for advice-seeking audience members. The best place to get a Italian food in New York? “Well, there’s a great place called the Olive Gardsts there’s no chance of the Real Madrid attacker returning to Tottenham.Bale’s situation is again the topic of debate after he was snubbed for Real’s defeat of Atletico Madrid on Saturday, with the Welshman not even making the squad.However, his ageen … you gotta go to New Jersey but it’s worth it.” Want to see a Broadway show? Eli’s got you covered:  “You gotta see ‘Cats.’ It’s cats who can sing! … You know what, even if it’s not playing, do what I do: put the ‘Cats’ soundtrack on your iPod, then go to the pet store and look at some cats. It’s like you’re watching a bunch of singing cats!” For a proper review of Manning’s performance, here’s more from the .And because we’re always drawing parallels between thb has the Premier League title sewn up.After the Reds he could’ve joined Liverpool during his career. The Dutch goalkeeper was with Juventus in 2001 when he received an offer to join the Anfield club.”I had two options and could have transferred to Liverpool or Dortmund,” he told t-online. reflecting udefeated Watford, Cole believes the title is already in the Reds’ hands, even though there are 21 games to go this season. He said: “I think the title’s done. This year it’s coming to Anfield no pe Manning brothers, here’s Peyton’s SNL monologue from March 24, 2007, a month after the beat the in the Super Bowl.

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