Atletico Madrid 3 Las Palmas 0: Griezmann & Torres cut Barca lead to eight Nicholas McGee Last updated 1 year ago 01:06 1/29/18 Getty Images After three games without a win, Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres helped Atletico Madrid beat Las Palmas 3-0. Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres were on the scoresheet as Atletico Madrid got back to winning ways and cut the gap to LaLiga leaders Barcelona to eight points with a 3-0 victory over Las Palmas.Atletico had failed to win any of their last three games, being held by Girona and losing in both legs of their Copa del Rey tie with Sevilla, and they were unconvincing for long periods against their struggling visitors with striker Diego Costa again out of the squad.Parity at half-time was justified for Paco Jemez’s side despite Griezmann hitting the bar for Atletico, but Diego Simeone’s men stepped up a gear in the second half. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Griezmann made it 1-0 in the 61st minute as Las Palmas were caught on the counter, and they were failed to learn their lesson from that goal.A stray pass allowed Atletico to again break quickly, and the move was wonderfully finished off by Torres for only his second league goal of the campaign and the 600th Atleti goal under Simeone in all competitions.Thomas Partey added late gloss to the scoreline but, while triumph narrows what should be a decisive lead for Barca, the leaders will be expected to stretch it back to 11 when they take on Deportivo Alaves later on Sunday.7 – Antoine Griezmann has scored more goals at Wanda Metropolitano than any other player (seven – all competitions). Prince. pic.twitter.com/BT7Le5hHaS— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 28, 2018Koke wasted an early opening for Atletico as he burst into space and towards the area, only to toe-poke the ball well over the crossbar.And the hosts would have fallen behind if not for a surprisingly adept piece of defending from Angel Correa, who tracked back and robbed the ball from Jairo as he shaped to shoot after an excellent cross from the right from Hernan Toledo on the counter.At the other end Leandro Chichizola was alert to deny Gabi after he was played in by Torres, who then sprung the offside trap only to flash an effort wide.Griezmann went closest to breaking the deadlock and would have done so in spectacular fashion had his audacious heeled effort, which saw him wrap his right leg behind his left to meet Juanfran’s right-wing cross, not clattered the crossbar.Jairo offered a reminder of Las Palmas’ threat with a decent long-range strike wide of the left-hand post, but the visitors owed Alejandro Galvez for preventing Torres from opening the scoring after the break with a vital challenge after more good work from Juanfran.But Las Palmas could do nothing to prevent Griezmann from finally opening the scoring as he latched on to a perfectly placed throughball from Juanfran, finishing confidently as he lofted the ball over Chichizola.Antoine Griezmann #AtletiLasPalmas pic.twitter.com/i0Xy95QfDn— LaLiga (@LaLiga) January 28, 2018Yannick Carrasco saw a curling shot deflected wide and, though a goal-kick was incorrectly given, Griezmann was afforded a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 as he chipped Chichizola after Las Palmas carelessly conceded possession, only to be denied by the woodwork once more.However, there was no reprieve for further sloppy play in possession from Las Palmas as Torres rolled back the years by brilliantly rifling into the roof of the net, substitute Thomas then rolling into an empty net after the visiting defence parted for a final time. Key Opta Facts:- Fernando Torres’ goal was the 600th for Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone in all competitions (601 in total).- Antoine Griezmann has scored more goals at Wanda Metropolitano than any other player (seven – all competitions).- Only Barcelona (17) have won more points after scoring in the second half of games than Atletico (16) in LaLiga this season. – Torres scored his 99th goal in La Liga, he would be the 5th player to reach 100 goals for Atletico in LaLiga history.- Jan Oblak has become the first Slovenian player to reach 100 games in La Liga history. Oblak has kept 59 clean sheets in his 100 La Liga games for Atletico. – Thomas Partey has scored five goals for Atletico this season with his only five shots on target (all competitions). read more
GOAL 25 | Mahrez’s Premier League and 5 historical achievements for Arab players in Europe Mohammed Fayad @Hamoudi_F8 03:01 2/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Between collective trophies won and individual records broken, we show you 5 historical achievements for Arab players in Europe. Riyad Mahrez – The Premier LeagueThe Algerian led Leicester City to win the Premier League in 2014-15 – named a miracle by many – by scoring 17 goals, assisting 11 goals and creating 68 chances. He dribbled more than 131 times that season too. Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player He won the Premier League’s Best Player award alongside winning the BBC African Player of the Year Award.Rabeh Madjer – The Champions LeagueMadjer won the UEFA Champions League in its old format with Porto in 1987 when he scored a backheel goal in the final. He scored 3 goals in the competition and also went onto win the Intercontinental Cup too.Mohamed Salah – A Liverpool RecordMohamed Salah had a hand in 15 goals in his first 15 games for Liverpool (12 goals and 3 assists), more than any other player in Liverpool history.Noureddine Nabit – The La LigaNabit won the La Liga, the Copa Del Rey, the Super Cup and reached the semi-final of the Champions League with Deportivo La Coruna to prove himself as one of the best Arab defenders in the history of Europe.Marouane Chamakh – Champions League RecordMarouane Chamakh was only the 3rd player to score a goal in 6 consecutive matches in the Champions League, when he did so for Bordeaux against Olympiakos (twice), Lyon (twice), Arsenal, Braga and Shakhtar.
League Cup Arsenal hit record new lows as Man City set club best in Carabao Cup final Goal 03:18 2/26/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty League Cup Arsenal v Manchester City Manchester City Arsenal Premier League Both sides made history on Sunday, though Citizens fans will be far happier with how they’ve entered the record books… Pep Guardiola lifted his first trophy with Manchester City on Sunday, with his side setting a new club record due to the impressive margin of the victory over Arsenal in the Carabao Cup final.The Gunners, meanwhile, set a a few records of their own, though it will make for grim reading for fans of the London side.The final saw City continue with the same stunning form they’ve showed all season, condemning their opponents to an embarrassing defeat at Wembley, with Arsene Wenger’s charges seemingly at a loss as to how to cope with the onslaught from Guardiola’s men. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Goals from Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva secured a 3-0 win for the Manchester side, their best-ever result in a cup final, while the opposite is true for Arsenal – it’s their biggest ever loss in a cup final.It’s widely known that Wenger has never won the Carabao Cup (also known as the League Cup), but followers of the Emirates side will be aggrieved to know that Arsenal have lost six of their eight appearances in the final of the competition – including each of their last three.In fact, the Gunners are the first side in the history of the tournament to lose in three successive appearances in the final, with Wenger having led his squads to the ultimate match in 2007, 2011 and 2018.And with the French manager having it all to do again against City in the Premier League on Thursday – and Champions League football looking increasingly unlikely – fans will no doubt be wondering when significant changes will be made in order to restore some of the storied club’s former glory.
MLS Telfer’s first MLS goal earns Toronto FC a much-needed win Dejan Kalinic 11:09 5/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) John E. Sokolowski MLS Toronto Toronto v Orlando City Orlando City Videos Even without Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore, the defending MLS champion managed to overcome Orlando City in a Friday tilt A late goal from Ryan Telfer lifted Toronto FC to a 2-1 win over Orlando City in MLS on Friday.Without suspended star Sebastian Giovinco and fellow forward Jozy Altidore, reigning MLS Cup champion Toronto claimed a much-needed win at BMO Field.Cristian Higuita had canceled out Jay Chapman’s second-half opener, but the home side found a winner through Telfer three minutes from time. Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now After Chapman put away a rebound in the 63rd minute, Orlando equalized through Higuita – who struck from 20 yards.But Telfer was the hero for Greg Vanney’s men. The 24-year-old’s powerful volley from an Auro cross proved to be enough to beat Joe Bendik and land Teller his first MLS goal. Telfer moved up to Toronto’s senior side in 2018 after spending the 2017 season with Toronto FC II.Toronto has struggled to open the MLS season, with the club having battled its way to the CONCACAF Champions League final. Ryan Telfer’s first MLS goal was a beaut. 👌 #TORvORL pic.twitter.com/7fGlgPMS6Y — Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 19, 2018 The win was just TFC’s third of the MLS season and lifted the club into ninth in the Eastern Conference, nine points behind fourth-placed Orlando.
Croatia I’d swap Madrid trophies for World Cup glory – Modric Stephen Creek 16:36 6/11/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Croatia Liverpool Real Madrid v Liverpool Real Madrid UEFA Champions League Croatia v Nigeria World Cup The Real Madrid midfielder admits that he would trade in some of his silverware at club level in order to win this summer’s international tournament Luka Modric insists Real Madrid deserved their Champions League victory but says he would trade in some of his club honours for World Cup glory with Croatia .The midfielder was at the heart of a Madrid side that beat Liverpool 3-1 in Kiev , as Zinedine Zidane’s side benefited from a pair of goalkeeping errors by Loris Karius.Despite their good fortune, Modric claims the achievement of beating Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich on their way to the final made Madrid worthy winners. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move Speaking at the Croatian Players’ Union awards ceremony, Modric said: “It seems we can’t make it without drama.”But this time we’ve had the hardest route since I came to Madrid: French champions, Italian champions, German champions and then Liverpool.”We really deserved the trophy.”The 32-year-old admitted that the 2017-18 season had not been an easy one for Madrid, who ended the season third in the La Liga table, 17 points behind bitter rivals and champions Barcelona.And Modric, who has lifted four Champions League trophies, one La Liga title and one Copa del Rey since joining the club in 2012, revealed he would give up some of his club silverware for a taste of international success with Croatia at the World Cup in Russia.”It was a very hard and long season, in La Liga and the Copa del Rey we did not play as is expected of us,” he said.”In the end we won the trophy that is most important. I am happy to be part of this club and this success that will be remembered in history.”[But] I would change some of the trophies I’ve won with Madrid for one big success with Croatia!”
The ATA office has been abuzz with Directors, Board members, employees, State Directors and representatives from around Australia, who came to Canberra with a much more important purpose than to talk about the final showdown in Australian Idol. Last Friday around 15 Professional Officers gathered to discuss the direction of the sport and ideas for better delivery of the sport. The Professional Officers meeting discussion centered around the ATA Management Audit, undertaken by Professor David Shilbury and Dr Pamm Kellett in July 2004. For those who are unsure of what the Audit involved or what the outcomes were, the full report and the Power Point presentation presented to all key stakeholders are available for download ATA Management Report Document and Management Audit Presentation State representatives agreed on the recommendations of the Audit and spent time at the workshop discussing avenues to progress change through the sport and the timelines for this change. Some of the areas which received discussion included constitutional requirements, strategic planning, financial management and human resource management. The successful outcome was agreement by professionals in the sport that a unitary model can work for Touch Football. Saturday the 20th brought more discussion and ideas to the conference table, as around 30 people, including ATA Board Members and State representatives, gathered for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Special General Meeting (SGM). Importantly, current Board members Brian Rooney and Paul Webb were re-elected for another 2 year period, while Mr Rooney was also awarded the prestigious honour of life membership. Congratulations to Mr Rooney on being awarded life membership, which is a symbol of the dedication and commitment he has always shown to Touch Football. The 2003/2004 Annual report was also presented and released and is also available online using the following links. ANNUAL REPORT 2003-2004 The SGM brought more discussion on the Management Audit and its recommendations, with everyone interested in the direction of the sport. A general agreement was reached by the delegates that change would be a positive move for Touch Football. However, several delegates indicated they would not sign the Deed of Commitment at the SGM, wanting to return to their members and address their questions and concerns before making a final decision. At this point the meeting was adjourned by the Chairman. The final decision will be made within the next 2-3 weeks once the meeting is reconvened. The adjournment of the 2004 SGM was significant for retiring CEO Bill Ker, as it signaled the final AGM and SGM he will attend in the role of CEO. Bill steps down from the position in July 2005 and everyone wishes him all the best for the future.
Field one was filled with children at the launch, as well as the Australian Men’s and Women’s Open National Training Squads, who were on hand to help launch the program. The children were split up into eight different groups, working on the core competencies of Touch Football, with Australian squad members on each station to help teach the children new skills. Touch Football Australia’s National Sport Development Coordinator, Adam Raptis, is responsible for the AusSquad program and hopes the children got something out of today’s launch. “The AusSquad program is about junior development and particularly tonight we are focussing on the skills and development aspect of the programs, so in more depth we are focussed on the eight core competencies of the game. Basically we had eight drills, covering those eight core competencies and hopefully the kids enjoyed it and had fun,” Raptis said. Australian Men’s Open squad member, Matt Prowse, was one of the players involved in the launch, and told the crowd what they should do in order to get to where he and his fellow Australian squad members are today. “I think probably something that I got told when I was younger was to listen to your coaches and work as hard as you can and you don’t have to be the star in the game to make it,” Prowse said. Touch Football Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Colm Maguire, was pleased with how the launch went and is excited for the program to keep developing. “The AusSquad launch was fantastic, in terms of seeing something that has conceptually been put together. To see a concept that the organisation has worked very hard on and believes in and there’s a lot of work to do with it but to see it actually come into fruition and see our national representatives actually working with the kids and knowing that some of those national representatives have been coached by certain individuals that are at the event watching that, it was just a fantastic advertisement for the game to see people contributing back and hopefully that spurs on other people in the same way,” Maguire said. To find out more about the AusSquad program, please contact Touch Football Australia.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea boss Sarri hails outstanding Hazard: He’ll be even better soonby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Maurizio Sarri hailed the performance of Eden Hazard for their 2-1 win at Hazard scored one goal and assisted another as Chelsea, who started without a striker, held on to beat the Seagulls.The 27-year-old set up the Blues’ opener with a wonderful pass across the face of goal for the arriving Pedro to tap in on 17 minutes.Willian then pounced on a loose pass from Leon Balogun and played in Hazard, who ran from just over the halfway line, outpacing the Brighton defence before slotting past Mat Ryan.”I think that Hazard could have played better because his level is a very high level,” said Sarri. “He can do more for him and for us.”But I think after the two injuries, he lost the physical condition. Now he’s improving. In one or two matches he’ll be back at the top.”He added: “We could have won by more goals. We conceded a goal in a moment when we were in full control. The last five minutes against a very physical team were difficult to manage.”
Flamengo launch cash bid to beat West Ham to Gabigol signingby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFlamengo hope an offer of €22m will be enough to land Inter Milan striker Gabriel Barbosa.The Brazilian, after an outstanding season on-loan at Santos, is up for sale at Inter ahead of the January market.West Ham have been regarded as favourites to land Gabigol given their relationship with his agent of Kia Joorabchian. Everton and Crystal Palace are also keen.However, Gazzetta dello Sport says Fla hope an immediate cash offer of €22m can trump their English rivals.Inter paid €35m to sign Gabigol two years ago from Santos. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Sevilla refuse to rule out move for Chelsea striker Morataby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSevilla have refused to rule out a move for Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata.The 26-year-old has scored five Premier League goals to his name from 11 starts and the Blues are reportedly willing to move him on.Sevilla are in the market for another striker after loaning striker Luis Muriel to Fiorentina. And when asked about Morata, sporting director Joaquin Caparros refused to rule out a move for the Spaniard.He said: “We are working on many names. The important thing is that the player wants to come to Sevilla.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Brahim Diaz delighted to make winning Real Madrid debutby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrahim Diaz was delighted to make a winning debut for Real Madrid in their Copa del Rey triumph over Leganes.The former Manchester City starlet, who was presented as a new Whites’ player on Monday, came on in the 78th minute to replace Vinicius Jr.The midfielder spoke at the end of the match: “This is a big, unforgettable and unique day, to make my debut at this stadium and with these fans has been a dream since I was a kid, winning makes the dream even better, but I’m calm about it all. I have to give everything out on the field because this club and these fans deserve it, I’m going to frame the debut jersey and hang it in my room.”He added: “Sergio Ramos congratulated me and told me to continue like this, he said that everything comes and that I’ll get a lot of minutes, he’s a top player and playing with him is a moment to savour, it’s a dream.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool charged by Uefa after pitch invasionby Paul Vegas21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool have been charged by Uefa after fans ran onto the pitch during their 4-3 Champions League victory against Red Bull Salzburg on Wednesday.Salzburg have been charged with the “throwing of objects” by their supporters during the game at Anfield.Uefa’s hearing into the case will take place on 17 October.Mohamed Salah scored the winner for Liverpool after Salzburg had recovered from 3-0 down to level the match at 3-3 early in the second half.
Everton will aim for back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since October when they travel to Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday.Marco Silva’s side won for the first time in six when they beat Burnley on Boxing Day , having recovered from a 6-2 annihilation at the hands of second-placed Tottenham Hotspur last week to reclaim a spot in the top half of the table.Brighton managed to hold Arsenal to a draw last time out but they remain winless in four games, and will be keen to stretch the 10-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The Seagulls have not beaten Everton since 1982, which is a reassuring stat for the Merseysiders who are playing their record 4,500th game in the top-flight. Game Brighton vs Everton Date Saturday, December 29 Time 3pm GMT / 10am ET TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream NBC Sports Gold fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game is not being shown live on TV or being streamed live online, but highlights will be available on the BBC and Sky Sports. UK TV channel Online stream N/A N/A Squads & Team News Position Brighton squad Goalkeepers Ryan, Steele, Button Defenders Bruno, Bong, Duffy, Balogun, Schelotto, Montoya, Suttner, Bernardo Midfielders Stephens, Kayal, Bissouma, Knockaert, Gross, March, Propper Forwards Locadia, Andone, Jahanbakhsh, Murray, Izquierdo, Andone Lewis Dunk returns from suspension and is likely to be recalled for the visit of the Toffees.But manager Chris Hughton is without goalkeeper Matt Ryan and winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh, both of whom have gone to the Asian Cup.Jose Izquierdo is still missing with a knee problem which has disrupted much of his campaign.Possible Brighton starting XI: Button; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Stephens; Knockaert, Gross, Propper, Locadia, Murray. Position Everton squad Goalkeepers Pickford, Stekelenburg Defenders Holgate, Baines, Keane, Zouma, Jagielka, Digne, Mina, Coleman, Browning, Kenny Midfielders Gomes, Sigurdsson, Walcott, McCarthy, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Bernard, Davies Forwards Tosun, Niasse, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Lookman Brazil international Richarlison should return from the start after coming off the bench and scoring against Burnley.Marco Silva has no injury concerns and has Ademola Lookman available after an ankle problem.Possible Everton starting XI: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Zouma, Digne; Gomes, Gueye; Walcott, Sigurdsson, Richarlison.Betting & Match Odds Everton are marginal 5/4 favourites with bet365 . Brighton are priced at 5/2, while a draw looks a good bet at 12/5.Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more . Match Preview Everton boss Silva hailed his side’s character after they recovered from the thrashing by Tottenham to thump Burnley, but they must prove that display was not a one-off when they travel to the south coast.The Portuguese boss allowed his players a new lease of life at Turf Moor but it remains to be seen whether he will deploy similar tactics against a more compact and organised Brighton.Cenk Tosun’s role will be heavily scrutinised with Dominic Calvert-Lewin currently in favour, but Silva is adamant the Turkey international’s future is not in jeopardy.“Of course Tosun has a future here. Why would he not?” he told reporters.“I decided to go with Oumar Niasse for a change, that’s all. James McCarthy and Morgan Schneiderlin were also not in the squad but that was one specific game for which we decided to change the formation.“We showed a good reaction after the Tottenham defeat in a difficult game where we had to show commitment as well as quality.”Ten points might separate Brighton from the bottom three, but Hughton is unwilling to rest on his laurels.No wins in four have seen the club drop out of the top half and the Brighton boss is keen to extend the gap to the lower reaches of the table, and a surprise draw against Arsenal on Boxing Day did well to boost the morale of the players.Hughton said ahead of the fixture: “I think that, for as much as we might want to talk about making progress, it’s still only our second season.”So for me – and I say this in a good way – the most important direction is down. If we can keep that gap between ourselves and the bottom three, for me that’s more important than anything.”It’s a big point (Arsenal) and a point that we needed. We’d had three defeats on the spin. I think we can gain something from the performance as well.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Twitter/@beachmaster_pK’Jakyre Daley, a three-star linebacker out of West Palm Beach, Fla., announced his commitment to the Oklahoma Sooners on Friday morning.Daley made things official with a post to Twitter, detailing his decision.Norman just got a Destroyer added to the squad ❌? pic.twitter.com/ODAzPS2y6R— Destroyer9⃣ (@beachmaster_p) October 7, 2016Oklahoma fans will appreciate those “Horns Down” gloves he has in one of the pictures in that tweet. His full note:“First I want to thank God for fiving me the opportunity to play the sport I love and to play in his name. Next I want to thank all the coaches and teams that recruited me to play and I want to thank coach Warner for everything as well. this was an amazing experience but it has to come to an end. So without further ado, I want the nation to now that I’ll be taking my talents to The University of Oklahoma #OUDNA #BoomerSooner #SoonerSquad17”With his decision, Oklahoma now has 21 members of the 2017 recruiting class, which ranks No. 5 in the country and No. 1 in the Big 12. He is the third linebacker in the class, joining four-star Levi Draper and three-star Kenneth Murray. 247Sports ranks him No. 59 among 2017 outside linebackers and No. 123 in the state of Florida.
Barcelona are Spain’s reigning champions but have plenty to prove after collapsing against Liverpool in last season’s Champions League semi-finals and then falling against Valencia in the Copa del Rey final. The Catalans have brought in stars Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong so that coach Ernesto Valverde can shake up his side and attack the new campaign with fresh vigour and a more exciting style. They are also hoping to bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou after two years away at Paris Saint-Germain. Few would deny Barcelona are favourites to win the Spanish title again but Diego Simeone’s rejuvenated Atletico Madrid have also impressed in pre-season and Valverde’s side need to hit the ground running. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? They kick off the league season at Athletic Bilbao on Friday at the San Mames, an instant test for a new-look Barcelona side. Goalkeepers Defenders Midfielders Attackers Manager How Barcelona could line upGoalkeepersMarc-Andre ter Stegen is arguably the best goalkeeper in the world – certainly among those who play the ball out from the back – and there is no doubt whatsoever that he is the first choice for Barcelona this season.Jasper Cillessen played brilliantly for the club when called upon last term but could not displace the German. The Dutchman has since moved to Valencia this summer, with Neto moving the other way.The Brazilian – who is undergoing surgery on a wrist fracture – will feature in Copa del Rey games when fit but, barring a serious injury to Ter Stegen, will largely get a front row seat on the bench for Barcelona’s campaign.Ter Stegen has impressed from day one and has now eradicated mistakes from his game – despite playing in a daring, impressive way, not afraid to beat attackers pressing him when he has the ball at his feet.DefendersOnly Gerard Pique can be sure of a starting spot in the defence this season, with the other three roles up for grabs.At the start of the season it seems Jordi Alba will play left-back with Nelson Semedo on the right, while it’s a coin toss between Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet alongside Pique at the heart of the back-line.It took Valverde a while but finally the coach appears to be convinced by Portuguese right-back Semedo.Sergi Roberto has been told he can play in midfield this season, with Moussa Wague promoted to the first team to rival Semedo for the right-back spot.However, when the going gets tough it wouldn’t be a shock to see Valverde drop Sergi Roberto back into the defence again, even if he will largely try to avoid doing so.Umtiti and Lenglet have played virtually equal minutes in pre-season (249 and 225, respectively), with Valverde giving few clues away over who will be first choice when both are fit.Junior Firpo has been brought in from Real Betis to provide competition for Alba, and while he will start the season as a reserve, the spot is there for him to win if he’s good enough.MidfieldersBarcelona have far too many midfielders on the books and will spend the next fortnight trying to lose a couple.Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Arthur, Sergi Roberto and Carles Alena are guaranteed to stay at the club, while Valverde would like Philippe Coutinho and Rafinha Alcantara to leave. One of Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic may also depart.De Jong has impressed in pre-season after joining from Ajax for €75 million (£65m/$85m) and will battle Busquets for the holding midfield role. However, the Dutchman is also capable of playing further forward in one of the two interior midfield positions. Alena is hoping for more game-time this year and has done well on the club’s pre-season tours of Asia and America. Arthur is expected to improve and hold down a regular spot, while Sergi Roberto will finally get a chance to play regularly in his favoured position.Valverde has shown a predilection for including a muscle man – Rakitic or Vidal, previously Paulinho – but this year seems more intent on playing a more classical Barcelona style.That was reflected in the 4-0 pre-season win over Napoli in Michigan on August 11 which had supporters salivating, as De Jong anchored the midfield with Alena and Sergi Roberto ahead of him.AttackersIf Barcelona get their hands on Neymar again then Valverde will need to rewrite his plans, but for now the coach is looking at four quality players going into three – and whichever combination he picks should do the job. Captain Lionel Messi, new signing Griezmann, mercurial winger Ousmane Dembele and lethal hitman Luis Suarez are vying for spots in the forward trident. Although poised to miss the first game of the season with a calf injury, Messi will be the first name on the team sheet on the right flank, nominally, with complete liberty to roam. So, it’s really two from three for the others, with Suarez or Griezmann able to play at centre-forward and Dembele or Griezmann on the left flank. Griezmann grabbed his first Barcelona goal in that win over Napoli and as the club’s €120 million (£107m/$134m) marque signing this summer, will be expected to start most matches. Suarez, in theory, should start to be phased out because of his age – he turns 33 in January – but when fresh and fit, the Uruguayan is still one of the deadliest strikers in the world. Dembele has endured two mixed seasons at Barcelona since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 but he turned up a week early to start training this summer and finally seems to have his mindset right. When the Frenchman is at his best he is unpredictable and unstoppable. ManagerValverde faced extreme criticism last season after the collapse against Liverpool and the coach only just kept his job amid crisis talks.Two titles in two years at the helm is impressive but only succeeding in La Liga again will not be enough this time around.He’s expected to play with more pizazz this season, with De Jong and Griezmann two attractive arrivals who will quickly make an impact on how the team plays.Valverde seems set on keeping his 4-3-3, and the team he picked in the win against Napoli looks to be his most likely starting line-up for the trip to face Bilbao on La Liga matchday one.The coach’s decision to bring Sergi Roberto forward shows that this year he will try to play slicker, quicker passing football in midfield, focusing more on possession than power, pleasing the fans who pine for the Pep Guardiola era.How Barcelona could line up
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 08: The Georgia Bulldogs runs out of the tunnel prior to the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Two of the best football programs in the country are set to open the 2024 season. Clemson and Georgia were reportedly working on scheduling a game for as early as 2021.Although the game won’t come that early, the two teams will play. The Tigers and Bulldogs will open the 2024 season in a Chick-fil-A Kickoff game to be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the game is scheduled for August 31, 2024.Here’s more from the report:‘We think it’s going to be a tremendous blockbuster game,’ said Gary Stokan, president and CEO of Peach Bowl Inc., which operates the annual Chick-fil-A Kickoff.Stokan said the contracts for the Georgia-Clemson matchup were signed Thursday afternoon. Both schools’ coaches and athletic directors ‘thought it was very important to renew the rivalry,’ he said.The game is scheduled for Aug. 31, 2024, in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. A formal announcement is expected later Friday.Clemson and Georgia project to be top-five programs for a long time with Dabo Swinney and Kirby Smart at the helm. Both teams made the College Football Playoff last season and have dreams of doing so again this year.Georgia has a giant edge in the all-time series. The Bulldogs are 42-18-4 against the Tigers.[AJC]
GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 01: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes on the sidelines during the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)College football’s best team right now is Alabama. College football’s second-best team, according to many, anyway, is Ohio State.A Crimson Tide-Buckeyes national title game would certainly be a lot of fun.Ohio State and Alabama met in the inaugural College Football Playoff and gave us one of the best games of the playoff era.What would the betting line look like for an Alabama-Ohio State game look like?A Vegas handicapper has released his prediction.USA TODAY’s Danny Sheridan says Ohio State would be a 7-point underdog.“Ala -7 if this Saturday on a neutral site,” he wrote.Ala -7 if this Saturday on a neutral site. https://t.co/oHtLM6AROy— Danny Sheridan (@DannySheridan1) October 8, 2018Who would you be betting on?
BATON ROUGE, LA – SEPTEMBER 19: Fans watch during the game between the Louisiana State University Tigers and the University of Louisiana-Lafatette Ragin’ Cajuns at Tiger Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)This is shaping up to be a pretty eventful day of college football already, and things could get crazier with how the LSU-Georgia game in Baton Rouge is going so far.The Tigers have been offensively challenged this year, and Georgia’s young defense has been stout. The Tigers have all the momentum early though.On its second drive of the game, LSU went 65 yards to set up a Cole Tracy chip shot. Georgia fumbled on the next drive, and LSU took advantage, with a 12-play, 84-yard touchdown drive.Quarterback Joe Burrow is off to a fast start, and punched it in for the score from a yard out.Joe Burrow has outplayed Jake Fromm early on, as LSU looks for the upset over Georgia.Video of the tough goal line plunge by Burrow:? TOUCHDOWN TIGERS ?Joe Burrow keeps it on the quarterback sneak for an LSU touchdown!▫️10-0 Tigers⌚️: 2Q 13:34?: CBS pic.twitter.com/aN2M5aacZM— CFB Kings (@CFBKings) October 13, 2018Burrow is 7-for-10 for 71 yards and the touchdown run. From is just 2-for-9 for 20 yards, and just went three and out once again. Georgia is set to punt after three-straight incompletions on the drive by Fromm.LSU is up 10-0, with a 148-80 yard advantage early on. It is very early, but with Notre Dame struggling at home against Pitt, we have two of the five main College Football Playoff contenders on the ropes right now.Just when you think you have this sport figured out mid-way through the season, a week like this happens, and has the potential to turn everything on its head.
One Michigan fan may be in the dog house on Saturday for a gesture he made towards FOX Sports 1’s cameras.Early in the first quarter of Michigan’s contest against Indiana, FS1’s cameraman, during a big third down play, panned to what appears to be the school’s student section. One male student started to make an inappropriate gesture.It was short-lived, however. A female student grabbed his arm and pulled it back in, flashing him a look of disgust. It’s hilarious.We’re not really sure what he was doing – but we can tell it wasn’t meant to be appropriate.@ItsAntWright Gotta love Michigan fans. pic.twitter.com/tBa67CXZiz— David (@beatledave69) November 17, 2018The Wolverines led at the time 3-0. It’s now 9-7 Michigan early in the second quarter.Michigan needs a win to keep pace in the College Football Playoff race. After Ohio State’s nail-biting win over Maryland, next week’s contest between the two will be for the Big Ten East.
It’s looking like Lane could use a reminder of that big payday, too:’One more check on Kiff before I go pic.twitter.com/HgFLBiZBAW— Paid man gets bored (@cjzero) August 31, 2019A lot of college football head coaches are probably going to look like that when they’re facing Ohio State this season.Fields has looked the part of an elite five-star QB recruit, throwing for 212 yards and 4 touchdowns, while adding 62 yards and one score on the ground.Ohio State and FAU are playing on FOX. BOCA RATON, FL – SEPTEMBER 15: Head coach Lane Kiffin of the Florida Atlantic Owls looks on against the Bethune Cookman Wildcats during the second half at FAU Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Boca Raton, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)Lane Kiffin was brutally honest when he was asked about the benefit of playing Ohio State to open the 2019 college football season.“Uhh, money,” Kiffin said with a laugh.Ohio State gave FAU a nice payday to come to Columbus to open the season. The Buckeyes have given the Owls a nice beatdown, too.The Justin Fields-led Buckeyes are leading Kiffin’s team, 35-6, early in the fourth quarter.