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Premier League: 10 talking points from the opening weekend’s action

Liverpools defensive frailties, Wayne Rooneys nous in both boxes, an unwanted headache for Paul Clement and Manchester Uniteds unsung heroes 1) Looking beyond Lukaku is the key The excellence of Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic will attract most attention, but equally crucial was went on around them. Because Jos Mourinho omitted Ander Herrera completely unnecessary against opposition likely to sit deep he could pick an extra attacker, and whether that was Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan or Marcus Rashford, the trident roaming behind Lukaku offered craft, pace, movement and numbers. Last…

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Odds and Ends 

Sleeperbot is the best place to host your fantasy football league this season

Sleeperbot, which has raised about $2M in seed funding from Birchmere VC and Expa, and boasts hundreds of thousands of users, calls itself Slack for sports. Its essentially an app (and website) that lets sports fans have conversations around different subjects theyre passionate about. These discussions happen in channels some of which are created by the company and are general topics like fantasy advice, and some are created by users like an Eagles fan club. And now they are adding another feature that is sure to make it even more…

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Headlines 

Premier League 2017-18 preview No11: Manchester City | Jamie Jackson

Pep Guardiola appears to have addressed last seasons defensive frailties but will they have time to defend if the manager sticks to an attacking philosophy? Guardian writers predicted position 1st (NB: this is not necessarily Jamie Jacksons prediction but the average of our writers tips) Last seasons position 3rd Odds to win the league (via Oddschecker) 15-8 Pep Guardiolas challenge can be crystallised into a simple question: will the manager allow Manchester City to defend this season? to Chelsea (3-1) and following an embarrassing last-16 second leg. His side arrived…

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Gerard Piqu winner lifts Barcelona over Real Madrid in pulsating friendly

Barcelona drew first blood against their rivals ahead of the upcoming season with a 3-2 victory over Real Madrid in Miami Barcelona drew first blood against Real Madrid ahead of the new season with a 3-2 victory in a pulsating Clasico friendly on Saturday in Miami. The historic rivals will meet again twice in August in the Spanish Super Cup and this International Champions Cup match set the entertainment bar high, with Barcelona maintaining their 100 per cent record in pre-season. Physically we are in good shape, the team is…

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Manchester United end US tour with underwhelming display in loss to Barcelona

Manchester United closed their pre-season tour of America on a dissonant note by losing 1-0 to Barcelona in what was a pedestrian showing from Jos Mourinhos outfit Manchester United closed their pre-season tour of America on a dissonant note by losing this fifth outing in what was a pedestrian showing from Jos Mourinhos outfit. The manager has serially stressed results do not matter and Uniteds time here is all about fitness and team gelling. Thus he will return home content with the five matches that have certainly kick-started that process….

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Manchester United beat Real Madrid after farcical penalty shoot-out

Jos Mourinhos men prevailed on penalties in Santa Clara after Jesse Lingards opener had been cancelled out by Casemiro Despite Julia Roberts, an Oscar-winning member of Hollywood royalty, Manchester United and Real Madrid drew 109,318 to Michigan Stadium for a pre-season friendly. Levis Stadium appeared noticeably under its 68,500 capacity on Sunday, despite the official attendance being given as 65,109. Given Reals, and to a lesser extent Uniteds, appeal to Californias large Latino population, there may be questions about why this was not sold-out. That 2014 match in Michigan involved…

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Jose Mourinho guarantees David De Gea is staying with Manchester United

Uniteds managers says he is 100% certain De Gea is not leaving for Real Madrid or any other club Jose Mourinho has guaranteed 100% that 5-2 against Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-0 against Manchester City. After the Real encounter United move onto Washington DC for their final match against Barcelona on Wednesday before flying back to Manchester. Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jul/23/jose-mourinho-guarantees-david-de-gea-is-staying-with-manchester-united

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USA survive biting incident to see off El Salvador in Gold Cup quarter-final

Ragged USA blank El Salvador amid humid conditions to advance to Gold Cup semi-final against Costa Rica Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj scored late in the first half and the United States beat El Salvador 2-0 on Wednesday night in an ugly Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinal in which defender Henry Romero appeared to bite Jozy Altidore on the back of a shoulder and pull the American forwards nipple. Canadian referee Drew Fischer, a Major League Soccer regular, did not penalize the incident, which occurred during a skirmish on the goal…

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Jos Mourinho says Lukaku still has to prove himself at the highest level

Jos Mourinho says Manchester United have acquired a top player in Romelu Lukaku, but the 75m striker still has to prove himself in big games Jos Mourinho says Manchester United have acquired a top player in Romelu Lukaku but the manager admits the striker still has to prove himself at the highest level. The Belgian was signed from Everton for 75m at the start of last week and scored his first goal for United in Tuesdays 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake. Lukaku has registered 85 times in the Premier…

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Matt Miazga’s late strike lifts USA to first place in Gold Cup group

The United States finished top of Group B after shutting out Nicaragua and are through to a Gold Cup quarter-final on 19 July in Philadelphia Matt Miazga scored on a closer-range header from Graham Zusis corner kick in the 88th minute, giving the United States first place in its Concacaf Gold Cup group with a 3-0 victory over Nicaragua on Saturday night. Panamas 3-0 win over Martinique in the first match of the doubleheader meant the US needed a three-goal win to move back over Los Canaleros into first. But…

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Leigh Griffiths hit by missiles during Celtics win over Linfield in Belfast

Brendan Rodgers expressed concern after Leigh Griffiths appeared to be struck by objects, including a glass bottle, during the match at Windsor Park Brendan Rodgers expressed concern for Leigh Griffiths safety after the Celtic striker had missiles thrown at him during the 2-0 Champions League qualifying win over Linfield at Windsor Park. The Scottish champions had refused their ticket allocation for the first leg of the second qualifier in Belfast due to security fears but there were around 300 Celtic fans in the Kop stand, which was set aside for…

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Chuck Blazer, former Fifa official turned whistleblower, dies aged 72

American former executive committee member was a central figure in the Fifa corruption scandal Chuck Blazer, the controversial and flamboyant American former Fifa official, has died, according to his lawyers. The cause of his death, at the age of 72, is not yet clear, but in 2013 he told a court he had rectal cancer, diabetes and coronary artery disease. The former Fifa executive committee member, who was also the general secretary of Concacaf, was a central figure in the Fifa corruption scandal. In that 2013 court appearance, he admitted…

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Jordan Morris double lifts USA to 3-2 win over undaunted Martinique

United States surrender two-goal lead before late Morris winner propel hosts to top of Group B Jordan Morris second goal of the game broke a tie in the 76th minute, and the United States edged tiny Martinique 3-2 Wednesday night in the Concacaf Gold Cup after wasting a two-goal lead against a team that is not even a member of Fifa. Failing to break through in the first half, the U.S. built a 2-0 lead on goals by Omar Gonzalez in the 53rd minute and Morris in the 64th. But…

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Jos Mourinho decided against Alexandre Lacazette for Manchester United

Jos Mourinho was told of doubts about Alexandre Lacazettes big-game mentality before the Lyon forward signed for Arsenal in a club record 52.7m transfer Manchester United scouted Alexandre Lacazette but decided the striker who became Arsenals 52.7m signing was not to the standard required by Jos Mourinho. The manager ordered the clubs French scouting operation to assess the 26-year-old, with Mourinho taking note of a goalscoring record that stands at 129 goals in 275 games for Lyon. However, it is understood Mourinho was informed of doubts regarding Lacazettes suitability for…

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Wayne Rooney and Everton are well placed for a fruitful and warm reunion | Nick Ames

Everton fans have been booing Wayne Rooney since his departure for Manchester United 13 years ago but their old feelings should not be hard to reawaken The Goodison Park roof was not quite wrenched from its fittings when Wayne Rooney made his return to Everton colours but perhaps it loosened enough to sow the seeds for what passed two years later. Rooney had felt some apprehension before donning the kit for Duncan Fergusons testimonial in August 2015, aware that his presence had hardly been greeted with universal joy on those…

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