• Pep Guardiola defends £448m outlay on players after Man City break club record with £57m Aymeric Laporte

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    “We had a problem last summer with six players out of contract. When you want to compete at the highest level, you need to spend.

    “Maybe one day this club will spend £100 million or £130 million on one player but we decide not to do it. We understand the inflation of the market. It is what it is. We accept criticism but what matters is our signings perform well and fit in at this club.”

    Guardiola has high hopes for Laporte, who will wear the No. 14 shirt and joins 19 months after pulling out of a planned move to City. “He is a young player, 23-years-old, left footed, centre-back, he has played since a young age in La Liga so the biggest stages. He is strong in the air, fast, has quality with the pass so we are delighted and happy and grateful to the club. We are very aware of his skills. He has been in big stages, playing in the Bernabeu and Nou Camp. He has the skills we need to help us. Also he is in the perfect age at 23.

    “In that time [2016] it was not possible [to sign Laporte]. He decided to remain in Bilbao. We spoke with the club. We needed a centre-back in the summer time but we still have a lot of games to play and decided to try and bring him right now. Our summer window will be easier because it is done.

    It is unclear if Laporte’s paperwork has been processed in time for him to be eligible to fuma has called on Chelsea to continue the same intensity from Tuesday's 2-0 win over Liverpool for their clash with Everton oTottenham midfielder Lucas Moura was delighted to lift the Audi Cup.Victory over Bayern Munich saw Spurs win the tournament."I am very happy to win my first trophy with this amazing club," declared Lucas. "The best way to start the season! We will work hard to continue to develop this winning mentality."Spurs drew with Bayern 2-2 last night before winning 6-5 on penalties.n Sunday.The Blues will needurizio Sarri is doing.The Chelsea manager is in talks with Juventus.“(Carlo) Ancelotti did very well, the results confirm that he did," De Laurentiis told the Corriere dello Sport.“I don't pay attention to the Sarri to Juventus rumours, I am comp to shake off their poor Premier League form at home against the Toffees in what is a huge match ace West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday night but Guardiola said he would have no qualms about throwing the player straight into action.

    “Yeah. He is fit,” Guardiola said. “He is playing the last period so of course he has to adapt. The Premier League is special in many senses. I think he is intelligent. He has to live individually. Always for the young players it is a little bit tough but he doesn’t come for three months, he comes for four or five years.”

    Guardiola refused to rule out the prospect of centre-halves Tosin Adarabioyo or Eliaquim Mangala leaving on loan before the close of the winter window.

    And asked about the prospect of more signings amid reported interest in Leicester City playmaker Riyad Mahrez, Guardiola said: “I don’t know. I don’t think so but everything can happen – 95, 99 per cent nothing will happen.”

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  • Bills offense rolls in win over Steelers

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    Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY

    Buffalo (2-1), Pittsburgh (1-3)

    Fred Jackson and EJ Manuel got the offense off to a fast start with touchdown plays on the team's first two possessions, and the offensive success was sustained throughout on a day in which they rolled up more than 500 net yards. Though the lead changed back and forth a few times in the first half with Pittsburgh, Buffalo pulled away with 30 unanswered points en route to posting a 43-19 win.

    All three of Buffalo's quarterbacks fared well in the game. EJ Manuel got the start and went 7-8 passing for 170 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Matt Cassel was in the game second and went 7-8 passing for 38 yards. Tyrod Taylor entered the game third and as 12-13 passing for 122 yards and ran for a 20-yard score.

    Jackson, Taylor, Charles Clay, Ricky Seale, Tobais Palmer and Chris Gragg all had touchdowns for Buffalo in the game.

    Buffalo's defense held the Steelers to under 50 yards rushing in the game (43) and just a 27 percent conversion rate on third down (3-11). Preston Brown, Corbin Bryant and Manny Lawson all logged sacks in the game.

    **

    --Pittsburgh answered on the ensuing possession, which was helped by a 35-yard pass interference penalty against Buffalo. DeAngelo Williams capped the five-play 80-yard with a one-yard run. He also scored on a two-point conversion attempt to give the Steelers a one-point lead (8-7) with 10:41 left in opening quarter.

    --EJ Manuel led another quick scoring drive, hitting Challian has admits Chelsea are in serious danger of missing out on the top four.Chelsea have dropped a staggering 18 points from a possible 36 at Stamford Bridge by throwing away leads and losing more games on their own turf than any of their top four rles Clay down the seam after a linebacker in coverage fell down. Clay went 67 yards for a touchdown, but the Bills two-point conversion failed giving Buffalo a five-point advantage (13-8).

    --Back and forth it went with the Steelers putting together a field goal drive getting a 28-yarder from Garrett Hartley to make it a two-point game (13-11).

    --Pittsburgh would re-take the lead with 5:36 left in the first half on a 39-yard catch and run to the end zone by Martavis Bryant. Landry Jones then hit Sammie Coates for a two-point conversion to give the Steelers a six-point edge (19-13).

    --Rookie RB Ricky Seale would give Buffalo the lead back again on a one-yard run to finish off an 11-play 80-yard drive (20-19).

    --Buffalo then put toge they strive for success this season.The Gunners are competing on several fronts, including the Premier League and Europa League.Squad rotation is essential if they are to maintain form and fitness over a lengthy and gruelling season.It is why Emery ther a short field goal drive together at the end of the half as Dan Carpenter put a 52-yard attempt up and through for a four-point lead as time expired in the first half (23-19).

    --The Bills scored on their third consecutive possession to start the second half when Tyrod Taylor went 5-for-5 passing for 44 yards and then scrambled 20 yards to the end zone for a touchdown to give Buffalo its largest lead of the game (29-19) with 9:09 left in the third quarter. The extra point was missed.

    --EJ Manuel came back into the game with the second offensive unit and made quick work of Pittsburgh's defense. He finished the quick three-play drive with a 37-yard strike to Tobais Palmer in the end zone for a 36-19 edge.

    --Chris Gragg capped the scoring on a 14-yard catch and run from Matt Simms for the final touchdown of the game in a 43-19 win.

    **

    Matt Cassel was 6-7 passing for 38 yards on two offensive series and had a passer rating of 89.3.

    Tyrod Taylor went 12-13 passing for 122 yards and a 105.8 passer rating. He also ran for a 20-yard touchdown.

    Starting CB Stephon Gilmore left the game in the first half and was being evaluated for a concussion. He was cleared of a concussion, but was ruled out for the game with a shoulder injury. Safety Aaron Williams exited with a lower leg injury, but returned to the game.

    Rookie LB Tony Steward left the game with a knee injury and did not return. a "lively" Norwich City this weekend.The Canaries shook current champions Manchester City with a confidence-boosting 3-2 last time out at Carrow Road.Cork said: “All the teams that came up this season have looked quite sharp and lively and Norwich

    WRs Marcus Thigpen (lower back) and Austin Willis (head) both left the game with injuries in the second half and did not return.  

    Marcell Dareus was a late scratch right before the game with a sore leg.

    WR Robert Woods, WR Sammy Watkins, WR Chris Hogan, WR Percy Harvin, RB LeSean McCoy, RB Boobie Dixon, CB Ross Cockrell, RB Bryce Brown, RB Karlos Williams, CB Cam Thomas, WR Deonte Thompson.

    The Bills close out the preseason in Detroit on Thursday, Sept. 3rd against the Lions. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm.

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  • Camp Countdown: Will the run defense crack the top 10?

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    Camp Countdown will examine some of the more pressing issues facing the team on the field as they make their final preparations for the regular season. We also focus on a few different areas that impact the team off the field. We'll address these subjects one at a time until training camp begins. Here now is the latest daily installment as we carefully probe for some of the answers the Buffalo Bills have to come up with between July 30 and the Sept. 13 opener at Ralph Wilson Stadium against Indianapolis.

    Last year the Bills posted their best run defense ranking since the 2004 season. Though it slipped down the stretch Buffalo still finished 11th in the league in run defense, their best ranking since their last 9-7 season when they finished seventh overall. The 10 seasons in between the Bills ranked no better than 22nd against the run and allowed no fewer than 121 rushing yards per game in any of those years.

    Last year's success was encouraging, but Buffalo is undergoing another defensive scheme change, their fifth in five seasons. The good news is Rex Ryan has a proven track record against the run and the depth and caliber of talent is virtually unchanged on the defensive side of the ball.

    So can the Bills' run defense moconnected Soccer Link reports Mourinho is in talks with the Federation about succeeding Tite.Should Brazil flop at the Copa America, Tite will be axed and the Special One is the favourite inside the Federation to replace him.For his part, Mourinho have into the upper tier of the league this fall?

    Concerns and confidence

    Ryan completely believes the talent he has on the defensive side of the ball is capable of being the league's top ranked defense come the end of the 2015 regular season. When it cesident Javier Tebas has launched a furious attack on Manchester City and their transfer spending.Tebas insists City must be banned from the Champions League with the reigning Premier League champions accused of breaking Financial Fair Play rules.Tebomes to Buffalo's run defense the head coach harbors one concern, the team's performance against the run on the back half of the schedule last year.

    "I think the last 10 games were a little bit alarming to me because it was over five yards a carry," Ryan told Buffalobills.com.

    Over their last 10 games in 2014, Buffalo gave up 4.83 yards per carry and almost 130 yards per game on the ground (129.8). Ryan knows that won't be good enough if the Bills want to end their playoff drought. In the next breath however, Buffalo's sideline boss points to his success as a defensive play caller when it comes to stopping the run and all seems right.

    "I think when you look at it I've been a part of 50 games straight without giving up a 100-yard rusher when I was in Baltimore," Ryan said. "Left at 37 straight. My dad has the all-time record for games in a row without giving up a 100-yard rusher. So I feel pretty confident that we're going to be able to stop the run."

    Since becoming a defensive coordinator in Baltimore, Ryan has only one season in which his run defense did not finish in the top half of the league (2012), and just two seasons when it didn't finish in the league's top 10. In six of his 10 seasons calling defensive plays for Baltimore and New York, Ryan's run defense ranked in the top five including a pair of top two finishes and three top three finishes.

    So it stands to reason that Ryan and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman will be able to take an 11th-ranked unit and raise the performance level of the run defense to a top tier ranking.

    "I think that what we saw last year is if we can eliminate mental errors, we can stop the run," said Kyle Williams. "We can do just about anything that we want to. Two years ago our big problem was the big play. Somebody is in the wrong position or doesn't know what they're doing and we gave up the big play on the ground. Hopefully we eliminate those and everybody knows where they're going."

    Coaching expertise

    Taking that consistency further will be on Ryan and Thurman, who have shown an ability to produce steady play, not just by their choices with 'X's and 'O's, but with the kind of teaching that is more necessary than ever in the NFL.

    "We have good enough players where we can line up and stop people, but really they're all about technique," said Kyle Williams of Buffalo's defensive staff. "Hands and feet for us up front, communicating so we know where we're lining up and where we're going down in and down out. Working on hands and feet then when we progress to training camp we'll get into the grinder a little bit and get into the physicality in practice."

    Thurman knows the unit that has the most ground to cover is his linebacking corps with the defensive line and secondary having largely played together for three to four seasons.

    "We have a young group of linebackers we're excited about," said Thurman. "Coming through OTAs and minicamp they've done well. We expect them to continue to improve. If they do, we have a chance to be a pretty special defense."

    Scheme familiarity

    Working in favor of Buffalo's defensive players is the new defensive scheme is largely similar to the system they played in under former coordinator Mike Pettine in 2013.

    "Two years ago we basically played in this defense," said Williams. "There are going to be some changes, some guys are going to do some different things. I think we'll be able to have a good mix where we say here are our talented guys and put them out there and let them know what to do and say, 'You've got to block our talented guys.' We're also going to have defenses and looks where we're going to disguise and confuse. It's a good combination with the players we have."

    One of the key players with the move to more of a hybrid scheme with some 3-4 principles is the re-assignment of Manny Lawson back to the strong side linebacker role. The veteran knows her their 1-1 draw with Europa League opponents Borussia Monchengladbach.Nicolò Zaniolo had Roma in front with a header, but deep into stoppages the referee awarded a penalty in the Europa League match for handball, even though it clearly hit Chris Sow to make pre-snap reads and adjustments and that will benefit both defensive quarterback Preston Brown and the defensive unit.

    "He's talking a lot more because he's stacked so he can see the whole formation," said Brown. "So it's good to have an older guy to give his impressions of what he's seeing out there and we spread it around the field."

    Though Brown played some 3-4 looks in college at Louisville, the defense will be in stark contrast to the system he played in under Jim Schwartz last year. A player wise beyond his years, Brown took the change well.

    "The biggest difference is you're two gapping," Brown said of the linebacker responsibilities. "You can't just hit the gap because you'll be out of position and they'll hit the gap you're not in. So you've got to wait on the back and read off of him. You've got to go and face the guard every play. It's fun for me going against guards, but it's just a different mentality."

    Poised to succeed

    Knowing only two players that played roles in the starting 11 on defense last season are not back the odds are good that Buffalo can push their run defense rank into the top 10 in 2015. Even more encouraging is the fact that in Ryan's first season as coordinator in Baltimore, the Ravens ranked ninth against the run. In his first season as head coach of the Jets, his run defense finished eighth against the run.

    "We have the chance to move from a very good defense to an elite defense," said Thurman.

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  • Gary Rowett emerges as serious contender to replace Mark Hughes with Stoke hopeful of making appointment this week

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    Rowett, 43, has guided Derby to second place in the Championship and established an excellent reputation after spells with Birmingham and Burton Albion.

    O’Neill is also a target as he has proven Premier League experi build-up going into next week's Europa League clash with Manchester United.The two teams meet in the round of 32 and Mignolet knows he'll be the focus thanks to his Liverpool background.“Of course, there will be a lot said before and after the gamence and could be tempted into a return to club football, despite a new contract with the Ireland team being on the table.

    Ronald Koeman, the former Everton manager, has been considered but a move is unlikely, while Ostersunds’ Graham Potter – a former Stoke player – is a rank outsider.

    Stoke want a new manager installed before the trip to Manchester United on Monday week, with funds to be made available for the January transfer window.

    Hughes leaves after a torrid 18 months with fans demanding his dismissal at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.  He was appointed in May 2013, replacing Tony Pulis, and guided the club to three successive ninth-placed finishes.

    But defeat against Liverpool in the league cup semi-final in January 2016 triggered a downspiral in fortunes and the pressure has been buiht's FA Cup replay.The sides will meet in a fourth-round replay at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, having drawn 1-1 at St Mt of the deal was made earlier, Villa had to go through the process of getting a work permit for the Brazilian.Now they have secured the proper documentation, his signing has been officially confirmed.The 23-year-old forward joins in a £22 million tary's in the first attempt to settle the tie."It's the third time now we have played them in the past few weeks, and I expect a touglding for months. It is understood the decision was reached after the damaging 1-0 defeat to Newcastle on New Year’s Day, but Hughes earned a stay of execution due to the lack of options available. 

    His 200th game in charge proved his final outing as manager, as Stoke lost to a fourth-tier club for the first time since 1938.

    Hughes’ dismissal took away some of the focus from Coventry’s deserved triumph, masterminded by his former Manchester United team-mate Mark Robins.

    Photographs of their famous FA Cup win over Tottenham in 1987 are impossible to miss at the Ricoh Arena and this was a highlight in their troubled recent history.

    With Coventry still in the grip of the detested Sisu regime, and sharing the stadium with rugby club Wasps, the problems will not be removed with this victory. But this was a day to remember for their long-suffering supporters.

    Jack Grimmer, the young Scottish defender who scored the winner, said: “This was definitely for the fans. They travel away from home in their numbers. 

    “It has been well documented the club has had its issues, and where they find themselves now. This was a day to give back to the fans.

    “I’d love Manchester United in the next round. I’ve played them before with Shrewsbury and it would be nice to get another go and this time land a punch on them. With this squad if we got them again it could be a closer match.”

    Coventry took the lead through Jordan Willis’ close-range header as Stoke lumbered on a quagmire pitch, undoubtedly a huge asset for the home team.

    Stoke did equalise through Charlie Adam’s penalty but Grimmer secured the upset with a strike from 20 yards in the 68thminute.

    Robins said:  “I think if we can get another good draw away from home then that helps financially because it gets more interest in it, more supporters will show interest and it’s huge for the transfer market. 

    “For me to be able to compete in the transfer market it’s vital I get that revenue and to get that the grounds need to be bigger. We’re desperate to go up, we’re desperate to do the city of Coventry proud.”

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  • Arsenal close to agreeing deal for £60m Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

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    datni is feeling good about life under coach Marco Giampaolo.Borini was at times used as a left-back by former coach Rino Gattuso last season.“Giampaolo's ideas are different to the ones we had in the past, they are more complex, entertai of Bruno Fernandes' transfer fee received from Manchester United.Documents released to the CMVM, the Portuguese Securities Market Commission, by Sporting have now confirmed the details of the deal.They show that the Red Devils paid a fixed amount ofning and proaa-js="article-body" data-insert-mobile-adslot>

    Arsenal sent a delegation – headed by chief executive Ivan Gazidis and former Dortmund chief scout Sven Mislintat, who now fills a similar role for the Premier League club – to Germany last weekend to discuss the signing but had grown fearful because of the slow progress of the deal. If he is signed then Aubameyang will be reunited with former Dortmund team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

    "We are ready to realise a transfer under certain parameters but only if these are fully met," sporting director Michael Zorc told German TV. "We have a clear position. Arsenal has r City star James Maddison as a junior.Parish said their new academy would also give a structure to stop missing out on players like Maddison who was offered to Palace when he was at Coventry.“The manager said: 'He is not going to help me now, whatstarted several attempts so far. We have up to now refused them all."

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  • Draft Profile: TE Nick O'Leary may fit Bills offense

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    Nick O'Leary will look to remain a valuable offensive weapon in his jump from Florida State to the NFL.

    When Greg Roman was hired as Buffalo's offensive coordinator, a multitude of roster alterations followed, confirming that there will be a changed offensive philosophy. An essential part to Roman's offense is the , as evidenced by his time in San Francisco that featured both Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker. Buffalo's personnel department is well aware that depth must be added at the position.

    While Whaley's comments came before the signing of Charles Clay, many still believe that Buffalo will add another tight end in the upcoming draft. Knowing Buffalo coveted Clay's unique versatility, one can expect the Bills to select a player who offers a similar skill set. Florida State tight end Nick O'Leary is a multi-dimensional player who could potentially fi Lampard.The latter is now Chelsea manager, while Cole is eager to join his backroom staff.The 38-year-old has retired from the game, which means he is looking for the next step in his career.Cole shared a picture on social media of him at an airportll a role within the offense.

    The three-year starter totaled 114 career receptions and was named an AP First Team All-American as a senior. As a junior he led all Division I tight ends in yards per catch (16.9), while also performing a vital role in the Seminoles national championship run. Throughout his career, O'LeLiverpool are set to go head to head with Borussia Dortmund to sign Ferran Torres from Valencia.The 19-year-old Spanish winger is producing some eye catching displays in La Liga this season.And Reds manager Jurgen Klopp will do battle with his old clary was used all over the field and proved to be a trusted target for both E.J Manuel and Jameis Winston.

    Projecting to the next level, his size and lack of speed (4.93 40-time) have analysts, like ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr, slating him as an H-back.

    The confident O'Leary believes his route running skills and overall ability compare him well to other draft eligible tight ends.

    "I feel like I can do it all," said O'Leary. "People say my route running is not that good. I feel like it is. I feel like I run better routes than a lot of them, and I think I have better hands. There are a lot of guys at Florida State who weren't able to cover me."

    O'Leary is recognized as a smart, technically sound run blocker and pass protector, areas he improved immensely while at Florida State. He demonstrated extreme determination throughout the duration of his last game as a Seminole, as he played in the Rose Bowl despite a grade one hamstring tear suffered in warm-ups. His college head coach Jimbo Fisher suggests that O'Leary's strong bloodlines may be a reason for his unteachable qualities.

    "Nick is an ultimate competitor as his grandfather was," said Fisher. "Nick's dad (Bill) was a heck of a football player, too, at Georgia. His mom (Nan) was a volleyball player at Georgia. He comes from a competitive family."

    Nick's grandfather happens to be golf legend and 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus. O'Leary, a golfer himself, says that he remains in close contact with Nicklaus.

    "We talk a lot," said O'Leary. "It's all about carrying yourself. We talk as grandfather to grandson."

    In what has been viewed as a relatively weak tight end draft class, O'Leary has been projected between the third and fifth round. The Bi says Manchester City attacker Raheem Sterling can score more if he improves his shooting.The former Liverpool forward is the joint-top goalscorer in the Premier League having found the net five times already this campaign.Souness - speaking before Slls are currently without a fourth round selection as the pick was traded to Cleveland last April in part of the trade that allowed Buffalo to move up in the first round and select WR Sammy Watkins.

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  • Game preview: Bills vs. Buccaneers

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    Although this is Buffalo's fourth preseason game it's still their penultimate contest before the regular season. As such the starters on both sides of the ball are expected to play through the first half and into the early stages of the third quarter. Kickoff Saturday is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

    Wanted: Touchdown drive

    "We've been working on it. We know that's a point of emphasis, we weren't ranked high in the red zone last year," said Mike Williams. "We'll see this week, we'll see if all the work has been paying off. There are no excuses, but last week we didn't even have red zone in the game plThe 18-year-old emerged as a top player for Saint-Etienne this season and has reportedly become a target for the Gunners. And Lauren has been convinced by the centre-back's potential.The Invincible said: "It's not my duty but I think that the team loan, so that made it kind of difficult, but nor victory over Aston Villa.Vertonghen was not involved last Saturday as he is in the final year of his deal.And Pochettino was clearly riled that people asked the latter whether he was fit.Pochettino said: “One thing is he fit. Another is that to o excuses, we have to score down there and make the catches we're supposed to. We'll see this week."

    "It's very important," said EJ Manuel. "That's what is going to help us win. The more we find the end zone the more we'll win games. I definitely feel it's going to come on Saturday. I think we will get that touchdown before I'm out."

    Prep for Tampa

    "We're putting a little emphasis on using the (scout team play) cards," said head coach Doug Marrone. "We're still not game planning as much as you would for a normal game, but what we're trying to get the players used to is what the normal week during the season is like."

    EJ Manuel was pleased with how the offense performed against the looks of the Tampa Bay defense in practice this week.

    "It went great going against a 'scout team,'" said Manuel. "We did a great job. I don't think we had the ball on the ground at all throughout the team period and the 7-on-7's. We had all completions so I'm very excited about that and obviously want to keep that going."

    Buffalo's defensive backfield will get good prep for their season opener. Going against the Buccaneers' receiving corps, which features tall wideouts in Vincent Jackson and top draft choice Mike Evans, it will serve as the perfect simulation for their Week 1 matchup with Chicago's tall receivers (Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery).

    "It's perfect. We have an opportunity to play against some big receivers," said Graham. "We know that going into the first week of the season it's going to be very similar with the same type of receivers and things like that. We're looking forward to having an opportunity to go out there and play against these guys and see how we match up with these guys and see what we can do."

    Kyle, Leodis, Sammy all question marks

    Williams missed his first practice session of camp on Thursday. McKelvin injured his groin in practice Tuesday. Meanwhile Watkins is still recovering from the shot he took in his ribs from Ryan Shazier's knee at the end of a play that resulted in an incompletion. Head coach Doug Marrone only had one comment for Watkins' and McKelvin's status for Saturday.

    "They are not cleared to play," said Marrone. "I can't tell you anything more than that."

    Marrone didn't rule the injured players out completely as far as Saturday is concernWolves see the 19 year-old Swede as a potential January transfer target.Indeed, Wolves are now weighing up making an offer for the youngster.However, the Premier League outfit will face competition should parent club Atalanta be willing to sell Kulused, but confirmed they would not have played if the game were Thursday.

    The opponent

    Smith's Buccaneers squad is 0-2 in the preseason with losses to Jacksonville (16-10) and Miami (20-14). Tampa Bay's head coach confirmed they too are treating their game against the Bills as a regular season contest knowing it will be the final dress rehearsal for the majority of their starters as well.

    "Game plan is in. Guys are excited about playing for an extended period of time," said Smith. "Not necessarily final opportunity, but for some of the players, it could be. Of course, cuts coming up next week and that's important."

    Not expected to play for the Bucs on Saturday include CB Mike Jenkins, DE Da'Quan Bowers, DE Will Gholston, RB Charles Sims, RB Mike James.

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  • Mike Ashley can help Newcastle steer clear of relegation – but will he sanction the funds to aid them?

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    data-js="article-body" data-inse for Inter Milan in their draw with Valencia.The midfielder scored in the p have opened new contract talks with Matteo Guendouzi.Soccerlink reports he is in line for improved terms on his £40,000-a-week Arsenal contract.The French midfielder, 20, arrived at the Emirates last summer for a mere £7million and has already turenalty shootout, won by Inter.He said, "Our preparation is going well, I'm trying to achieve the best condition possible and learn the movements that the Coach wants from me. rt-mobile-adslot>

    Now, Ashley either allows Benitez to strengthen in January or he rolls the dice and risks the collapse of not just Newcastle’s season, but also any thought of a takeover. Newcastle’s value plummets the closer they get to the Championship. “At the start of September you could see it could be a difficult season,” said Benitez, whose side had fought back to 2-2 and were chasing the winner when they conceded a terrible third, the ball eventually going in off the boot of their own player, Ayoze Perez. 

    “I think the supporters appreciate it is difficult. This team is working so hard, it is trying so hard to win games. We are reacting in the right way when things are going wrong, but we are still making a lot of mistakes.”

    Leicester were quicker, stronger and slicker. They looked like a Premier League team playing a good one from the Championship. Even though they fell behind to an early goal from Joselu.

    Leicester did not look in the least bit worried and equalised through Riyad Mahrez and took the lead through the excellent Demarai Gray in the second half. 

    Newcastle equalised through Dwight Gayle to set up a rousing finale, but they have a defence that is constantly exposed down shoulder problems.For victory at Tottenham, Traore dislocated his shoulder for the third time in 16 games.O Jogo says Wolves management are now weighing up whether to have the winger undergo surgery to fix the problem.However, any operation could ef its flanks and conceded a third when both full backs had hurtled up the pitch chasing a winner.

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  • WR Mike Williams, FB Frank Summers inactive vs. Denver

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    Inactives:

    19 Mike am is close to signing fresh terms with Chelsea.The 21-year-old England international has been prolific under Frank Lampard, netting nine goals in 11 appearances.And it looks like he'll be rewarded with a lucrative new contract that will significantlWilliams

    30 Bacarri Rambo

    38 Frank Summers

    58 Randell Johnson

    71 Cyrus Kouandjio

    89 Chris Gragg

    92 Jarius Wynn

    Projected starting lineups:

    BILLS OFFENSE: WR 10 Robert Woods, LT 77 Cordy Glenn, LG 60 Kraig Urbik, 70 C Eric Wood, RG 79 Erik Pears, 66 RT Seantrel Henderson, TE 84 Scott Chandler, QB 18 Kyle Orton, RB 22 Fred Jackson, WR 14 Sammy Watkins

    BILLS DEFENSE: LDE 94 Mario Williams, DT 95 .Ampadu is hoping his turn will come when he returns to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.“In our sport most people progress on talent and hard work — and that's what I see at Chelsea," Ampadu told the Evening London Standard."Honestly, I Kyle Williams, DT ssing out on the England squad.The centre-back was hoping that he would get a call up to the Three Lions squad by manager Gareth Southgate.However, he was left out for their Euro 2020 qualifiers. And the 26-year-old wants to continue focusing on doin99 Marcell Dareus, RDE 55 Jerry Hughes, WLB 52 Preston Brown, MLB 51 Brandon Spikes, SLB 53 Nigel Bradham, LCB 20 Corey Graham, S 25 Da'Norris Searcy, S 23 Aaron Williams, RCB 24 Stephon Gilmore

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  • David Unsworth refuses to criticise his treatment by Everton owner Farhad Moshiri during manager hunt

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    “I am a proud man and I have stood proud for five weeks. Until someone tells me otherwise I will continue to be a proud man.

    “Before I came into the press conference I was made aware of it so I am delighted if that’s the case. The sooner it's sorted the better, I think that would be fair comment.

    “This is a wonderful job for any aspiring manager, any snubbed former Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp.Klopp managed Gundogan at the German club, but the player did not want to join Klopp at Liverpool.The possibility of a move was present in 2016, but Gundogan says that he turned down Klopp's advancessenior manager, any manager of any club in the world.”

    Unsworth also backed Everton centre-back Michael Keane to come good following a difficult start to his career at Goodison Park following a £30m switch from Burnley in the summer.

    “Is his confidence as high as it could be? Probably not,” added the interim Toffees boss. “I just think Michael and appearances record.Rashford thought he was the third-youngest player to reach 200 games for Manchester United - until Norman Whiteside's wife intervened.United hailed Rashford for following George Best and Ryan Giggs as the youngest players to reach our back four have to return to basics. In terms of defending, anyway, it’s okay to put the ball in row z and be organised to keep a clean sheet.

    “We have seen in spells he is more than capable of producing performances. Michael will be fine because he is the right type; he is honest, humble, and he is keen to learn.”

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  • Olivier Giroud says he has no regrets about decision to stay at Arsenal after scoring again for France

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    Giroud is sure that Wenger will have been watching the match in Paris on Friday, especially given Aaron Ramsey’s involvement for Wales, and it was clear that the club situation has not changed his status ahead of Lacazette as France's main striker.

    "Arsene's always supporting me and there is a lot of trust in each other,” said Giroud. "He trusts in me and I try to give it back on the pitch when I can.”

    Giroud’s goal in the 2-0 win against Wales also brought him to within one of his hero Jean-Pierre Papin in fifth place on France's all-time list on 29.

    Only Zinedine Zidane, David Trezegue set to receive a cash windfall from Danny Ings' switch from Liverpool to Southampton.The striker has joined Saints on a permanent deal after a successful loan spell last season.The move is reportedly worth £18 million fee rising to £20 million.Thet, Michel Platini and Thierry Henry would then be ahead of Giroud on France’s list and he has also played fewer games than anyone in the top four. Similarly, Giroud also had the best goals-to-minutes ratio of any Arsenal player last season.

    “Papin was one oing Inter Milan fullback Alessandro Bastoni.Inter are aware of the interest and have responded by drawing up a new contract offer for the 20 year-old.The Nerazzurri aim to upgrade his terms to €300,000-a-year and extenis pushing to be fit for their Champions League clash with Manchester City.The Belgian star, who has made only 13 appearances for Real since his £150 million switch from Chelsea in the summer, has been sidelined with a hairline fracture of his ankled his deal to 2023.In the meanf my favourite players,” said Giroud. “I'm very grateful. I'm very proud and I always try to bring something to the national team. My best season was in 2015/2016 when I scored 34 goals with Arsenal and the national team, including the Euros. Usually I play a bit less with Arsenal but I always try to keep my efficiency high. That's most important for me.

    "I keep believing in my quality and I keep the faith. I have a lot of objectives with Arsenal and my country so I always try to move forward and keep scoring.”

    Of France’s progress since Euro 2016 and their status among the favourites for next summer's World Cup, Giroud added: "It's always a pleasure to play for the national team and I think we played a good game. We have a better understanding on the pitch now especially with the young players so we are very delighted.”

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  • Jan. 17 in Bills history: Bills beat Dolphins to advance to Super Bowl

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    AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAMEBILLS 29, Dolphins 10January 17, 1993 – Joe Robbie Stadium – (72,703)

    Bills' K Steve Christie connected on five FGs, and QB Jim Kelly returned to the lineup to lead Buffalo to a 29-10 victory over Miami, and a berth in a third straight Super Bowl. The Bills got on the board first on a Christie 21-yd. FG. The score was set up when DE Bruce Smith sacked Miami QB Dan Marino, forcing a fumble which LB Darryl Talley recovered. Dolphins' K Pete Stoyanovich knotted the score at 3-3 withighs up leaving Gremio.The Brazil star shone as his country won the Copa America trophy this month and has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester City.And Everton, 23, has revealed he is mulling over leaving his boyhood club."At this moment I have a week's Carabao Cup humiliation by Manchester City.Ferguson was left so upset by United's first-half display against bitter rivals City he couldn't bare to face anyone.The legendary Red Devils boss oversaw a glory period at the club in which he led Ua 51-yd. FG to close out the first quarter scoring. Buffalo came right back, driving 64 yards on seven plays, capped off by a 17-yard TD pass from Kelly to RB Thurman Thomas. On the Dolphins next possession, Bills DE Phil Hansen intercepted Marino on the Miami 24-yd. line, setting up a 33-yard Christie FG to give the Bills a 13-3 halftime lead. 

    On the second half kickoff, Buffalo DE Mark Pike stripped the ball from Mike Williams, and FB Carwell Gardner recovered on the Miami 24. Five plays later, RB Kenneth Davis scored on a two-yard run to put Buffalo on top, 20-3. Christie added another FG in the third quarter, and two more in the fourth to tie an NFL playoff record. Miami's only points of the half came on a 15-yd. TD pass from Marino to WR Mark Duper. Kelly completed 17 of 24 passes for 177 yards and a TD, including a perfect seven of seven in the second half. RBs Thurman Thomas and Kenneth Davis combined for 157 rushing yards and 122 yards receiving as the Bills rolled to their third consecutive AFC Championship.

    Bills head coach Marv Levy hired former Denver Broncos head coach Wade Phillips as the team's new about whether some of the players may head out on loan."Yeah, definitely," he said."Some want to go out on loan, some are ready to go out on loan and some aren't quite ready to go on loan."It's getting that individual basis to recognise and see what defensive coordinator.

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  • Camp Countdown: 4 reasons Aaron Williams will excel

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    In 2013 Aaron Williams very quietly tied Byrd for the team lead in interceptions (along with Kiko Alonso and Jim Leonhard) was second on the team in tackleKevin Mirallas is set to secure a fresh move away from Everton.HLN says Mirallas could move back to Belgium after 16 years away. The 31-year-old midfielder was in the country last Thursday to watch the match between Royal Antwerp and AZ Alkmaar (1: 4) in their Europa League playoff. A move to Antwerp is now in the works.The 60-cap Belgium international is tied to Everton until 2020.s and second in pass breakups to only Leodis McKelvin. Now set to inherit Byrd's free safety role and step forward as a leader on the defensive unit here are four reasons why Williams is poised to excel in 2014 and perhaps merit consideration for a Pro Bowl nod of his own.

    Staying put

    In his transition year from cornerback to safety last fall Aaron Williams looked surprisingly comfortable making the switch. His anticipation skills and angles looked on point for the most part in training camp and the preseason. They were all encouraging signs as to where he could take his new role on defense. Then at the tail end of the preseason Stephon Gilmore fractured his wrist. Ron Brooks broke his foot in Week 1 and Leodis McKelvin was subsequently injured in Buffalo's Week 3 game at the Jets. Williams out of necessity was moved back to cornerback.

    He would start the next four games at cornerback before making his last seven starts at safety. The flip-flopping back and forth between positions compromised Williams' growth at the safety position. Now with newfound depth at cornerback with the free agent addition of Corey Graham and fourth-round draft choice Ross Cockrell and Ron Brooks playing some of his best football this past spring it looks like Williams will be able to stay put at freVincent Kompany is looking to make an immediate splash in his debut managerial job at Anderlecht.The veteran defender became player-manager of the Belgian giants after leaving Manchester City.The Daily Mail say Kompany has his sights set on Brentford winger Sergi Canos.The 22-year-old, who has spent time at Liverpool and Norwich City, scored nine goals in 50 appearances for the Bees last season.e safety for a full 16-game slate.

    That continuity at one position, especially in a new scheme under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, will serve Williams' game well.

    Personal growth

    Over the past two seasons however, he's developed a close friendship with veteran Fred Jackson, who has had a positive influence on Williams. Jackson has counseled him on everything from what it means to be a professional to leadership. A visible change in Williams approach to the game was noticeable last season. So noticeable in fact that it convinced the Bills brass that they could rely on him as a future leader of the team.

    "After the season we had a comprehensive off-site with Coach Marrone and Doug Whaley and Jim Monos, our Director of Player Personnel, and really laid out in detail our master plan moving in to the future," said Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon at the time Williams signed a contract extension in March. "Obviously extending a player like Aaron was a priority for us and we're thrilled that he's going to be with us long term."

    "We talked at the end of the season that they're going to give me the responsibility of leading this defense to where it used to be," said Williams. "I like being in control and making sure everybody is in the same position and the right position. Putting people in position to make plays. It's being back there as a quarterback and it's something I grasped in the last season and Jairus (Byrd) taught me a lot in how to control the defense and how guys can trust me to put them in the right position."

    All-around game

    In Jairus Byrd the Bills had a Pro Bowl caliber safety, who was as good as there is in the league when it came to range in the deep half of the field. There aren't many who can track long balls and turn them into interceptions better than Byrd. To his credit Byrd also improved his run suppoited were prepared to sell Sead Haksabanovic last summer.The Swedish attacker is currently playing on-loan back home with IFK Norrkoping.However, SportExpressen says Djurgarden were in talks to buy Haksabanovic before his switch to IFK.Indeed, DIF anrt and was a factor when it came to forced fumbles. Where things got tricky with Byrd's game was when it came to coming down to the line of scrimmage to cover a slot receiver or a tall, rangy tight end.

    Byrd was not called upon to handle those responsibilities, but that is something Williams will be asked to do at times in Jim Schwartz's defense. Williams coverage background as a cornerback combined with his strength, size and length make him ideally suited to handle the kind of coverage assignments that are becoming more and more commonplace for todays' NFL safeties.

    "Aaron has shown all of those qualities," said Schwartz. "He can range from the middle of the field. He can cover a guy man to man. He's got those hybrid corner/safety skills. And the one thing that probably impressed me the most was his physical play. He's a tough guy. I thought last year was the year you started to see what Aaron could do. He could make an impact on the game. An interception, a big hit, a blitz, he can do all those things so we're excited to have him."

    DB chemistry

    While much is made of the talent on Buffalo's defensive line, and rightly so with three Pro Bowl players and a 10-sack end in Jerry Hughes, the team's secondary is dripping with talent and depth. Buffalo's top two corners are former first round picks with a handful of other home grown draft choices dotting the roster. Perhaps most important is the players projected to start in the secondary have all played together for two seasons. McKelvin has been in the fold since 2008, Williams and Da'Norris Searcy hail from the 2011 draft class and Stephon Gilmore was the top choice in 2012.

    Williams has a keen awareness as to how both McKelvin and Gilmore play their coverage assignments on the outside. In addition he's worked with Searcy and Robey in subpackages when Searcy served as a hybrid linebacker/safety and Robey as the nickel corner.

    "We're fine. We have great chemistry," said an assured Williams. "We keep in contact even now through the offseason, checking on each other, making sure everybody is doing their job and working out. I just let the guys know when we come back the standard is going to move up even higher now.

    "We set the limit last year finishing second in interceptions. We wanted to be first, and unfortunately we didn't get that. So now we're going for first in every stat on defense. I told the guys enjoy your time off, but when we get back get ready to work."

    The more one hears Williams talk about his role at safety the more convinced one becomes that it'll be his home for many seasons in Buffalo's secondary.

    "I do feel comfortable out there," said Williams. "Moving to safety is probably one of the best things to happen in my career."

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  • Victor Moses facing a month out as Chelsea’s hamstring curse continues

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    Chelsea go into the Roma game on the back of successive Premier League defeats and question marks hanging over whether or not they can cope without Kante.

    Midfielder from Leicester City because of a calf injury.

    Conte is considering whether or not to ask Andrea Tammy Abraham recapturing his goalscoring form at Lille.The Blues resume their Champions League group campaign in France needing a result after an opening defeat to Valencia.And set to lead the line will be Abraham, who is in line for a first Englans Christensen or David Luiz to play in midfield against Roma to help provide his defence with more protection.

    Chelsea played with three centraoss Jurgen Klopp has defended their decision to remain quiet in the transfer market.He believes that given his squad's quality, he prioritised stability over going for big money signings.The Reds did not make any significant signings, with the only al midfielders against Atletico Madrid, with Morata and Eden Hazard up front, and produced their best performance of the season so far.

    Another summer signing, Davide Zappacosta, replaced Moses at Selhurst Park and looks set for an extended stint at right wing-back, although Conte has claimed Antonio Rudiger can also play in the position.

    Roma have injury problems of their own after defender Kostas Manolas was forced off during Saturday’s defeat to Napo with his start at Inter Milan.Icardi left Inter on-loan for PSG weeks after Lukaku arrived from Manchester United.Asked about local criticism of the Belgium striker, Icardi told Gazzetta dello Sport: "He does not seem to me to be experiencing a momeli with a thigh strain.

    The Italians have already been without Stephan El Shaarawy, Patrik Schick, Kevin Strootman, Gregoire Defrel and Emerson Palmieri.

     

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  • Draft Profile: Versatility is Bitonio's calling card

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    Looking at Joel Bitonio he doesn't pass the eyeball test for an NFL offensive tackle. With arms that don't quite stretch to 34 inches and an ice box shaped frame a good number of league scouts believe the best place for this successful college offensive tackle in the NFL is at guard. But after a at a host of positions including tackle NFL clubs are pretty split on where Bitonio can fit on an NFL offensive line.

    "Probably 50-50," said Bitonio of the feedback he's gotten from league talent evaluators on where they see him lining up in the NFL. "Some teams think they're going to give me a shot at tackle and see what happens. Other teams said

    Bitonio (6-4, 315) opened some eyes at the Senior Bowl this past January. He lined up at tackle, guard and some center despite never playing on the interior before. By most accounts he fared well, which is important as ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper sees it.

    "Joel Bitonio from Nevada he can play tackle or guard," Kiper said. "Arm length is borderline for tackle, strength you'd like to see improve a little bit, but Bitonio is a guy that has improved his stock."

    The Wolfpack lineman has been shuffled between both the left and right tackle positions since his sophomore season at Nevada.

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    "I played one season at right tackle and one season at left tackle and my sophomore year we switched sides during games so I played right and left tackle, so pretty much tackle my whole career," he said. "But I think I've shown teams I can play both. There might be a bit of learning curve, but it shouldn't be too much trouble."

    Bitonio's on field demeanor has been described as feisty and relentless, two traits he attributes to his late father, who passed tragically at age 45 of a massive heart attack during Bitonio's freshman year at Nevada. The late Mike Bitonio was an MMA fighter.

    "I would say my strengths are my tenacity and finish," said Bitonio. "I play to the whistle every play and I try to finish guys every play."

    He's also held his own against some top flight pass rushing talent in his draft class including UCLA's Anthony Barr, who he held without a Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie has been charged with drink-driving ahead of Monday's clash against Arsenal.Scotland hitman McBurnie was held by police in the early hours of Friday morning after driving following a night out in West Yorkshire.Hsack and to just five tackles.

    "He's a good athlete and moved around well and he changes up his moves pretty well when he's rushing," said Bitonio. "He's got a good motor when he's playing. He's long and athletic and plays hard."

    If a team takes Bitonio as a tackle he'll likely be a second round pick. A team more inclined to play him at guard might wait until round three. Either way NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock sees a day one staGalatasaray midfielder Fernando is set to join Sevilla.That's according to former Gala sports director Cenk Ergun."I spoke with him and he told me that he has signed with Sevilla," he revealed to AS."If you ask me, I think the transfer will be completed soon."Former Manchester City midfielder Fernando, 32, is rated at €5m byason will be his last in England.The attacking midfielder will mark a decade of action in the Premier League, a time that has seen him win every domestic trophy on offer with the Citizens.Now Silva is ready for the next chapter, which could include a Gala.rter.

    Bitonio is fully aware that his versatility will likely help him come May.

    "They want guys who can play multiple positions because they only dress seven for a game so they want guys who can play multiple positions," said Bitonio. "If you have the experience at tackle and someone goes down and you're playing guard, you can bump out to tackle for a few plays. They're looking for good O-linemen mostly and if you're a tackle that's going to play inside that's okay."

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