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Man United’s Sanchez and Lukaku must prove themselves – Solskjaer

The Norwegian has already had an impact on Paul Pogba’s form since taking over from Jose Mourinho and the 45-year-old says it is up to Sanchez and Lukaku to follow the Frenchman’s example and use the fresh start to get back to their best.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

“I cannot do anything for their performances on the pitch,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Friday. “I’m here to give them the path and it’s up to them to do it on the pitch. It’s up to them when they get a chance that’s the name of the game as a footballer. You’ve got to do it yourself.”5

Lukaku, who is back after compassionate leave, has managed just six goals this season while Sanchez, who has recovered from a hamstring injury, has scored only once this term.

Pogba also struggled for form during a disappointing start to the season but the midfielder has been one of the stars of Solskjaer’s first two games, scoring twice in the 3-1 win over Huddersfield on Boxing Day.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

Solskjaer has also confirmed Antonio Valencia is nearing a comeback from injury and will remain club captain when he returns to the team. The United caretaker boss was less optimistic about Chris Smalling’s fitness and revealed the defender may have to wait until the trip to Tottenham on Jan. 13 due to a foot injury.

“Antonio is the captain when fit,” he said. “He’s going through a couple of tough sessions now to get him ready for the busy period. There are not many better right backs going forward.

“Smalling has got a sore foot so I don’t think we’ll see him until the New Year, maybe not before Spurs. Marcos [Rojo] and Scott [McTominay] look like they can take part soon.”

What LeBron’s injury means for the young Lakers now

The Los Angeles Lakers got a win on Christmas, and they also got a test: Can they keep heading in the right direction if LeBron James’ strained groin muscle causes him to miss significant time?

“This is unchartered territory, obviously, with this group,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said after his team’s impressive 127-101 win over the Golden State Warriors. “But this is what we’ve been talking about. This is what we try to plan for — not that [James] gets hurt, but being able to play and win and compete when he’s not on the floor.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“That’s a process, and our team is much better than at the start of the season. So, it’ll get a lot more challenging for us if he misses some real time, but I’m also very confident in our group that they’ll continue to step up and battle.”

He was generally in good spirits and wouldn’t rule out playing Thursday at the Sacramento Kings, though the results of an MRI on Wednesday will determine just how plausible that will be. If James is out of the lineup, the Lakers suddenly will face the challenge that the Cleveland Cavaliers could never seem to figure out over the past four seasons: winning without James.5

The Cavs were a miserable 4-23 in games that James missed either for rest or injury over that span — 3-10 in 2014-15, 1-5 in 2015-16 and 0-8 in 2016-17. The only reason it didn’t hurt Cleveland again last season was because James played in all 82 games.

A rough patch with James out could derail the work the Lakers did through their 20-14 start to this season, giving the team the No. 4 spot in the ultra-competitive Western Conference standings.

With the Houston Rockets surging (7-1 over their past eight games), a couple of bad weeks — say a 1-7 stretch — could quickly drop L.A. out of the playoff picture, at least temporarily.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

The Lakers have had the misfortune of suspensions to Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram as well as lengthy injuries suffered by Rondo, Ingram and JaVale McGee this season already, and they kept things going. Of course, none of those players matches James’ contributions. None has so much of the offense run through him. None can dictate the team’s effort game to game like James. But some experience in dealing with adversity is better than none.

“We’ve been missing guys all year,” Lakers guard Lonzo Ball said. “Obviously, LeBron’s a really big part of this team. … We have a lot of good guys on this team. We’ve been confident all year. It’s not just one player on this team; we have a good team.

Raiders shut out of Pro Bowl for second time in franchise history

Sure, Robert Mueller is busy at the moment, but Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden might want to drop the special counsel a line.

“If he’s not a Pro Bowler,” Gruden said of Raiders tight end Jared Cook last week, “I hope there’s an investigation.”

Not only was Cook snubbed, but so too was center Rodney Hudson, who had gone to the NFL’s all-star game after each of the previous two seasons and is having the best season of his career.

In fact, for the first time since 2003 and for just the second time in franchise history, the Raiders had no players selected for the Pro Bowl. Cook, Hudson and left guard Kelechi Osemele were named as alternates for the AFC squad.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Raiders offensive lineman Jon Feliciano let his feelings on the snubs known on Twitter.6

This is what happens to 3-11 teams. But this is not what is supposed to happen to teams coached by Gruden, right?

Hudson has not given up a sack and ranks first in pass-blocking efficiency and sixth in run-blocking, per Pro Football Focus. He was bypassed in favor of the Pouncey brothers, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Maurkice and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Mike.

Cook, meanwhile, has career highs in receptions (63), receiving yards (848) and touchdown catches (6) and was passed over in favor of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce (93-1,220-10) and the Indianapolis Colts’ Eric Ebron (59-662-12).

Keep this in mind, though, because while the Raiders are in last place in their division, the Steelers, Chargers, Chiefs and Colts are all in the playoff race.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

It was a similar situation for struggling Raiders teams in 1989, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2013 and 2014, when they had one player selected in defensive lineman Howie Long, punter Shane Lechler, defensive end Derrick Burgess, Lechler and fullback Marcell Reece (three straight years).

Two years ago on this date, the Raiders were 11-3 and led the NFL with seven Pro Bowl selections. No investigation is needed to figure out what has happened in Oakland since.

Light Patriots Pro Bowl class highlights need for blue-chip talent boost

Quarterback Tom Brady and cornerback Stephon Gilmore are the New England Patriots’ only Pro Bowlers in 2018, which is the team’s lowest total since 2008, the last time the franchise didn’t qualify for the playoffs.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

While the Pro Bowl isn’t always the most accurate barometer of success, the light Patriots class does serve up a reminder of sorts as it pertains to the future health of the club: More blue-chip talent is needed. It would be even better if it is homegrown blue-chip talent.5
Such an infusion of youth and talent is needed after drafts in 2016 and 2017 haven’t provided as much in that regard. The 2015 class, with defensive end Trey Flowers and right guard Shaq Mason, was better.

It was Brady’s 14th overall selection, tying him with Peyton Manning, Tony Gonzalez, Bruce Matthews and Merlin Olsen for most in NFL history, and it’s his 10th straight, which is the longest active streak.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Gilmore’s selection serves as a reminder that the Patriots made a shrewd move to pounce on him as an unrestricted free agent in the 2017 offseason, opening up their financial vault with a five-year, $65 million deal. They essentially chose Gilmore over Butler, and it was the right call from a long-range team-building standpoint. Gilmore is the more well-rounded player, with the ability to match up against a wider variety of receivers.

To land high-end talent on the free-agent market like Gilmore, it costs a premium, and that’s not a sustainable approach on a yearly basis.

So the most effective way to go is drafting and developing.

The Patriots, with their lightest Pro Bowl class in the last decade, would greatly benefit from a boost in that area.

PSG and Adrien Rabiot contract saga turns ugly but what does the future hold?

PSG’s sporting director, Antero Henrique announced in an interview with Yahoo on Monday that Rabiot has been banned from the first-team squad until further notice. Or until he signs a new contract, that is.

Rabiot’s current deal runs out in June 2019 and he told the club last week that he was not going to sign the lucrative new terms offered to him. Instead he wants to leave on a free in the summer.

As far as Paris’ hierarchy are concerned, Rabiot is not a PSG player anymore. He will continue to collect his salary but will never play for the first team again. Henrique is now hoping that he can sell the midfielder in January — in a similar way to how Arsenal sold Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United with fewer than six months left on his contract.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Indeed, Rabiot is a much sought-after player. Barcelona believe they are the front-runners, but Liverpool, Tottenham and the two Milan clubs are also very keen. Ideally, PSG would want at least €20 million for him in January — which would be used straight away to buy another midfielder — but the dynamic is totally different for Rabiot, of course. If he waits for his contract to end, he will get a huge signing-on fee from his new club. But he also can’t afford not to play until next season, so it is probably better for him to leave as soon as possible.5

Whatever happens, it’s a blow for PSG. They had invested a lot of time and effort in trying to convince Rabiot to pledge his long-term future to the club. They were ready to give him a huge pay rise, a big bonus and to make him a key part of the squad.

Even PSG manager Thomas Tuchel showed he rated Rabiot by giving him the captain’s armband earlier in the season. He could see his potential and, while he was not personally involved in the talks over a new contract, the German privately told Rabiot how much he liked him as a player.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

But cracks started to appear in the Tuchel-Rabiot relationship in October. Rabiot’s lack of discipline, as he arrived late for training and team meetings, was a sore point and the straw that broke the camel’s back came ahead of the game against Marseille at the end of the month. Rabiot and Kylian Mbappe arrived eight minutes late for the prematch team meeting and it was too much for the manager — both were due to start but were benched instead.

Zach LaVine to undergo further evaluation on ankle injury

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine will miss at least two games and is set to undergo further evaluation on his injured left ankle, coach Jim Boylen said Saturday.

Boylen said LaVine has a sprained deltoid ligament. The coach said he did not have any definitive timetable yet.

“Zach LaVine had a MRI last night and flew home this morning to consult with other specialists,” Boylen said. “We will create a plan of action [when we know more]. Hopeful for a good evaluation. He will not play tonight or Monday.”cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Boylen said Saturday night that he had texted with LaVine.5

“He’s home resting. He wished us well.” Boylen said before the Bulls’ game against the San Antonio Spurs. “I don’t know if they’ve been able to get a hold of the specialists or not yet to just get all the information. So we’re still waiting on that.”

The Bulls face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday to finish a two-game road trip.

LaVine suffered the injury during the Bulls’ Thursday night loss to the Orlando Magic in Mexico City. Boylen said LaVine is in a walking boot.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

LaVine, who is averaging 23.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game, is the team’s leading scorer.

He also spoke with Boylen one-on-one last weekend after some Bulls players mulled over the idea of skipping practice because of their frustration with the coach’s substitution usage and comments about the team. LaVine said the meeting gave him a chance to “elaborate on thoughts.”

This is just the latest injury to plague the Bulls’ starting lineup. Lauri Markkanen (elbow) and Kris Dunn (knee) missed the first two months of the season, although both players have returned to the team this month.

Tevin Coleman’s career day gives Falcons something to ponder

All Coleman could control was how he performed with nothing except pride on the line. His 5-9 Atlanta Falcons were officially eliminated from the playoffs Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Miami Dolphins. Yet despite the Falcons’ losing record, Coleman played with sense of purpose, as if something was on the line during a 40-14 win over the Cardinals. Perhaps he was playing for his future.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Coleman’s career-high 145 rushing yards and on 11 carries, including a career-long 65-yard sprint and a 43-yard touchdown run, came in the midst of an important evaluation period. It was just the second time Coleman has rushed for 100 yards this season and the Falcons averaged a league-low 81.2 rushing yards per game entering the day. Maybe Coleman, now in his fourth year, didn’t do enough to catapult into consideration as the team’s primary back of the future, but his explosive burst through the gaping holes gave the Falcons something to ponder.6

The Falcons have a well-documented decision to make regarding how they want to proceed at running back. Two-time Pro Bowler Devonta Freeman, who has missed most of the season following groin surgery, is likely to remain the No. 1 guy — when healthy — with four years and $24.75 million left on his contract. It seems unlikely Freeman will return this season, although coach Dan Quinn didn’t it rule it out, with Freeman eligible to return off injured reserve next Sunday.

The Falcons have a variety of decisions to weigh leading into 2019, and Coleman isn’t the only player trying to make a strong impression before this season concludes. Defensive end Vic Beasley Jr., the eighth-overall pick in 2015, has been widely criticized for his lack of production after posting a league-high 15.5 sacks in 2016. But Beasley, who hopes to secure a long-term contract with his contract expiring, has shown flashes in recent weeks. He deflected two Josh Rosen passes in Sunday’s win. Teammate Deion Jones intercepted one of those tips and returned it 41 yards for a momentum-shifting touchdown. Beasley also had one of the Falcons’ season-high seven sacks.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“Every game, my goal is to make a statement, to show the team, coaches, fans what I’m capable of,” Beasley said. “With it being the end of the year, and our season hasn’t gone the way [we] wanted it to go, that makes it even more of a challenge for us.”

There were others who deserved high marks. Defensive end Bruce Irvin, who was released by Oakland before signing with his hometown Falcons, had 1.5 sacks, a tackle for loss and three quarterback hits as he tries to secure at least another year with the team. Wide receiver Justin Hardy, in the last year of his deal, caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Ryan.

Colts are a team nobody wants to face in playoffs after blanking Cowboys

Need further proof the Indianapolis Colts are a team nobody would want to face if they make the playoffs?

Beat a Houston team on a nine-game winning streak? Check.

Beat a Dallas team on a five-game winning streak the following week? Did that, too.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

And what made ending the winning streaks of the Texans and Cowboys even more impressive? The Colts used different blueprints for success.

The Colts used Andrew Luck’s arm in one game and then switched it up with an impressive running game and their best defensive performance of the season against the Cowboys.5

That’s a recipe for a team that’s capable of winning in any facet — and why the Colts have won seven of their past eight games and posted their first shutout in more than four years by blanking the surging Cowboys 23-0 on Sunday.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

The Colts (8-6) have also continually talked about not worrying about what other teams in the playoff hunt are doing because it does them no good if they take care of their own business.

Winning the AFC South is major obstacle for them because they trail the Texans by two games with two games left in the season. But making the playoffs as a wild-card team is right there in Indianapolis’ sight, depending on what teams like Pittsburgh and Baltimore do the rest of the season. The Colts haven’t been to the playoffs since 2014.

“We’re playing great football,” receiver T.Y. Hilton said. “Right now you’re either the train or you’re on the tracks. Right now we’re rolling, so you better get on the train.”

Everton snatch last-gasp equaliser through Lucas Digne to draw with Watford

With Gylfi Sigurdsson spurning the chance to equalise for the hosts when his penalty was saved just minutes later, Watford looked to be heading for a win but Digne then popped up with his first Everton goal to salvage a point.

The night had started well for the Merseysiders, looking for the win that would have lifted them above Manchester United into sixth place, when Brazilian striker Richarlison scored against his old club after a quarter of an hour.

The goal was controversial, however, with Everton’s Theo Walcott appearing to be offside in the build-up.

“I prefer not to say anything about the referees,” said Watford manager Javi Gracia. “If VAR was ready today the result would have been different.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Everton’s Coleman then put through his own goal in the 63rd minute when Roberto Pererya’s effort hit the post and rebounded off the defender into the net, before Doucoure put the visitors in front when he rose above Coleman to head firmly home.

Three minutes later Christian Kabasele clumsily fouled Everton defender Yerry Mina in the penalty area but Sigurdsson’s spot kick down the middle was saved by the legs of Ben Foster.5

It was the Icelander’s second penalty miss from his last three.

As the clock ticked down, mid-table Watford thought they had done enough for the win but France international Digne stepped up to curl his free-kick into the net and deny the visitors.

“It showed personality and character to take that free-kick when people might have expected Gylfi. It’s a very good goal,” said Everton manager Marco Silva after facing his old club.

However, the Portuguese coach was not happy about his side’s defending for Watford’s two goals.

“We lost our focus completely. Those two moments were not too special. We are not happy with the result,” he said.

“When you start like we start and achieve just one point, of course we are unhappy. Our goal for the match is completely different from the result.”china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Everton are seventh on 24 points, two behind Manchester United, while Watford are 12th with 21 points from 16 games.

Keeping playoff hero Eovaldi a risk Red Sox could afford to take

One of my favorite moments of the postseason came when the Red Sox lost Game 3 of the World Series to the Dodgers, the 18-inning game that never ended. Nathan Eovaldi was the losing pitcher after serving up a walk-off home run to Max Muncy. He had already pitched in the first two games but still went six innings in Game 3, throwing 97 pitches and allowing just three hits. If Ian Kinsler doesn’t make a throwing error in the bottom of the 13th, the Red Sox win the game and Eovaldi gets the W.

Sure enough, the Red Sox announced Thursday they had signed Eovaldi to a four-year, $67.5 million contract. That $17 million per season price tag lines up with the predicted contract Eovaldi would receive, so the Red Sox didn’t retain his services on any kind of discount.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

It’s also not without a lot of risk, even for a pitcher, given that Eovaldi has two Tommy John surgeries in his past and a career 4.16 ERA. He had his best season in 2018, however, returning in late May after missing all of 2017 after surgery in August of 2016, then dramatically increased his stock with a huge performance in the postseason.6

He started twice and pitched four times in relief, showcasing his 100-mph fastball and allowing just 15 hits and four earned runs in 22 1/3 innings against the loaded offenses of the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers. In both the ALDS and ALCS, he started Game 3 of a tied series and pitched well, allowing one run in seven innings against the Yankees and two runs in six innings against the Astros.

The injury history aside, there are several reasons to like Eovaldi’s future, and you can make a strong claim that Eovaldi at $67.5 million over four seasons is a better signing than Patrick Corbin at $140 million over six years. Eovaldi, 29, obviously has the big fastball, but also began utilizing a cutter more often, throwing it 32 percent of the time after first unveiling it with the Yankees in 2016. That seemed to help his four-seam fastball, as his swing-and-miss rate with his fastball improved from a career rate of 15 percent to 25 percent.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

He also showed improved command with a career-low walk rate of just 4.4 percent. Out of 140 pitchers with at least 100 innings, that was the seventh-lowest walk rate, right up there in Corey Kluber/Justin Verlander territory. So you have a guy who throws 100 and throws strikes, mixes in a cutter, splitter, slider and curveball and you can see why many believe he hasn’t quite tapped his potential yet. After all, out of those 140 pitchers, Eovaldi was just middle of the pack — 67th — in strikeout rate.