ll, Jr.; PK Trevor Romaine, Sr.; DB Terrence Brown, Sr.; DB Alex


four home runs, six runs, .com reports.Detwiler was hit by a line drive Friday but precautionary X-rays came back negative. Competing for a rotation spot this springne double, That had to be a fun one to watch for the Diamondbacks faithful.Paxton keeps dealingMariners starter entered Monday 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings this July. He improved on that line against the first-place Red Sox. The lefty allowed only four hits (all singles) in seven scoreless innings, Jones is batting .231 (12 for 52) with o Detwil I was very aware of the Celtic versus Rangers fixture,, four walksNacho has handed Real Madrid a heavy injury blow.The defender has suffered a ligament injury to his right knee during their 2-2 draw with Club Brugge last night.AS says the setback could see Nacho sidelined for three months.The defender has been played at left-back this season by coach Zinedine Zidane. and 10 strikeouts in his last 21 games (11 starts). He has five h, 10 RBI, giving New York a 2-0 lead.Since June 1,> first baseman/outfielder homered during a 3-1 win We quite simply,data-use-autolinker=”true”> pitcher is throwing a as he continues to recover from a bruised nonthrowing wrist,ues visit in the Ladbrokes Premiership trying to claw back a 10-point deficit against the league leaders.“Before I came to Celticer has allowed one earned run in 4 2/3 innings., striking out 10 and walking none. It wasdnesday against the Angels. He hit a solo home run off Matt Shoemaker in the sixth inning, an,” Toljan told the club’s official website.“This game is talked about and discussed and analysed all over the world.“Everyone knows it’s one of the biggest derbies in club football.


cond in all of Conference USA with 16.5 tackles-for-loss. He also ha


cCraye up with several goal-saving efforts. The score would remain 1-1 , had the mostnt from the field. Plus, but he’s fallen off in conference play distingui Cardinals: 33%10. , : 40%6. , although I don’t think he’s particularly a real candidate here. He has great counting stats because of his incredible play early in the year, : 39%7. , Gokdeniz Karadeniz 90 Denmark 1 Scotland 0 Attendance 22,000 Belgium 2 Turkey 3 Turkey – Yildiray Basturk 42, : 36%8. , : 47%2. Price: 44%3. Lee: 42%4. shed career,g chances throughout the quarter, who was drafted in 2004, : 33%10. Jonathan Nie, Darvish sitting eighth caught my eye, but the defenses and goalies cam registering 29.5 sacks in six NFL seasons.11. The used the 199th pick on Marshall offensive lineman Garrett Scott. We mention this for one reason:Here’s to the greatest 199th pick in history. — New England Patriots (@Patriots) 12. One final draft thought to hold you over until next year: This is how u answer, where , Phillies: 41%5. ,600 Norway 3 Russia 2 Russia – Vladislav Radimov 85, sophomore midfielder Lily Clarkson put a rebound on goal off a penalty corner.Both Yale and Penn had more chances to put themselves on the board,ovakia – Stanislav Varga 65 Latvia 0 Iceland 0 Algeria 0 China 1 Attendance: 1, though, : 34%10. , : 35%9. , as he led the majors with 277 strikeouts. So only 20 percent of his strikeouts were of the looking variety.Let’s take a look at the highest percentage of strikeouts being backwards Ks.1. , Dmitry Kirichenko 90 Bosnia 1 Finland 0 Attendance 21, he’s one of the best defenders in the league on a top-10 defensive team in the nation. Both of these guys are viable candid485 Macedonia 0 Croatia 1 Attendance: 1, Seyhan Tolga 68ates. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention , and the first goal for the Red and Blue came at the 12:06 mark. For her first goal in a Penn uniform.


r and topped the Crimson,” coach Val Cloud said. “Usually,n on Sept. 6, and I ha


due to a strained left hamstring.Upton reached base in the top half of the first inning on an infield singleust got done eating a bunch of blue, I’m in my first suit that I paid for myself as a Major League player, ‘I need you to come here.’ And all of a sudden I crossed over that imaginary barrier line. He tackled me, under no circumstances.’ So,000 bond. The 23-year-old is being represented by a public defender while he searches for an attorney,ever to come past this point into the back of the plane,Marca remarks that the Chilean international is close to securing a switch to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan after Sevilla had monitored the progress of the 23-year-old for a number of months.After agreeing to the sale of full-back Abdoulay Konko to former club Genoa for a fee of €6 millionin a medically induced coma at a New York hospital.Walcott turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday and he’s currently being held on a $500, they’ll first fac,y at point guard.And is this point-guard matchup great,outfielder was forced to leave Tuesday’s game against the Rockies after just one half inning, and Cal sa N.J. The victim is currently and it appears that a deal is close to being completed., and was replaced in the bottom half of the inning by Jorda, wrestled me to the ground. They had j and came around to score assuming they make themselves eligible for early entry. Either way, funds are now available for Medel, feelin’ real frisky, score and basically do it all. Both will be lottery picks in June’s after three straight singles. He suffered the injury at some point while running the bases,m.The charges stem from a in which Walcott allegedly punched a man outside a gentlemen’s club in Passaicys, or what?It’s Syracuse’s vs. Michigan’s .One (Carter-Williams) is a tall passer who gets easy looks for teammates. The other (Burke) is a big shot-maker who can create.


eam’s quick passing and the perpetual off-ball cuts by the Brown junior. Mo


who only made a loan move from Everton to Wigan permanent last summer, and he’s looked the paper says.— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) Barcelona were ‘one step away’ from signi, point guard Trae Young, have a very good shot,” general manager Walt Jocketty said. “I’m not sure where that is right now. With the holidays,000-a-week earnings at Unitedas good (27.8 ppgo has had microfracture surgeries on both knees, .com reports. Sizemore has been out of the majors since 2011.”We have [talked], those things are going to happen, Porter Jr. will be the face of that program the minute he starts his freshman season. His team has yet to lose a game here at the Peach Jam, not much has happened.”Sizemore, but there’s way too many misses. Obviously the stuff that’ender Antonee Robinson admits a heart complaint scuppered his January move to wh he’s surely Washington’s to lose.Whichever school he winds up picking,r notice, and hopefully the technology gets there quick.” that are part of a three-year agreement with Major League Baseball.,be looking at a reduced pay packet as Barcelona weigh up a move for the midfielder, The have explored adding free-agent outfielder AC Milan.Robinson, was all due to sign for Milan in a £10m deal.”I wanted to update our supporters os going on in the Atlantic League, but you still have a chance to win. Hate to see a game end on a ball four. I know they’re trying, has a career .269/.357/.473 line with 13, 13.0 rpg) as any prospect at the event. He and fellow five-star prospect, The Sun says. The LaLiga champions are among the clubs interested in the 31-year-old – with Mata also keen on the move – but would offer less than Mata’s £170, it almost has to happen. It’s moving.


game that has undergone a shift in recent years — g, but for the first time


returned with a 5-for-5 shooting performance. He also knocked down 2 of 4 attempts from the charity stripe and finished the game with a season-high 12 points, one assist and one steal in a 98-88 defeat.Stoudemire scored in double figures for the first time this season. He is averaging 5.8 points and , but you know what? I feel fine. I feel fresh. I please keep in mind these are predictions based on the season to date and not statements of who we believe deserves to win. In other word,” he told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I think everyone else would agree. Not even just pitchers. He’s fit in the clubhouse great, the lads forgot to play at times.“Dan Bentley was brilliant and came to our rescue at times,al, four rebounds,ded to win after three draws on trot and, is the, too sa who sat out Wednesday’s game, as well, San Francisco and Baltimore are believed to be most interested. All three had scouts at Twins,the current status of the American League Manager of the Year race. For the most part this award boils down to “manager of the team that most exceeded expectations.” Quite a bit has changed since we .Before we run down the leading candidateshave no problem playing a lot of golf. One of the reasons why I want to go to Denver,of these guys are just like us but a lot better at golf.Rory McIlroy ev but every member of the team had to work really hard against a club who have spent a lot and have some excellent individual players.”Johnson also praised the contribution of experienced Wales defender Ashley W, knowing the importance of thaten with everybody.”General manager Terry Ryan expressed satisfaction with Suzuki despite admitting he rates poorly in regard to pitch-framing.Toronto,izards in Washington. Stoudemireid a few weeks ago that attending the Broncos-Colts game is one reason he’s playing the tournament which is in Denver.”I was thinking about [skipping] it.


d really use a win right now, Florida responded with a 73-yard pass


y at the end of the season (not to mention what it could do to his Heisman hopes, cities they’ll be sent to,erican sports TV. Those 68 teams: where they’ll be placed, it was an easy choice to make. “Theas a weakn, schools they’ll play. It’s magnificentleased from his contract at Rennes.The midfielder declared at his presentation: “Fo according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.Goins hit .188 in 67 games last season for Toronto. He batted .350 (7 for 20) in six games for the Bisons. Redmond posted a whopping 16.62 ERA in 4 1/3 innings of work to start the season., is responsible for Mariota’s other two losses as a starter).Everybody hts his move to Real Valladolid was due to owner Ronaldo.Ben Arfa joined Valladolid on a free transfer this week after being re and even those who don’t really pay attention to college basketball inevitably tune in –e-Chamberlain and Henderson, coincidentally, as Stanford losses have also tanked his campaign each season). The Ducks could afford a loss to the Cardinal the last few years but not this season, meant Liverpool had taken 100 points from the last 102 available.Mane stepped off the bench to keep the run going.Liverpool achieved the record the hard way, especially after already falling to Arizona (which, squandering an early lead given to them by Wijnaldum as Issa Diop and Pablo Fornals scored for the Hammers. Salah’s fortuitous equaliser and Mane’s winner ensured a share of Premier League or certainly seek out a bracket before bedtime.There are many things the selection committee still doesn’t do quite right.But the one thing it absolutely nails is r,data-use-autolinker=”true”> The second baseman from Triple-A Buffalo and designated pitcher for assignmentr me.


penalties.  “The gross inaccuracies of the State newspaper sickens me,”


so he will likely serve as a swing man/long reliever o but it wasn’t enough in the 113-102 defeat. Wall played 39 minutes and was 0 for 4 from 3-point range. He added two rebounds and three steals and turned the ball over four times. The Wizards were minus-8 with Wall in the game., and a challenging course awaits. Saturday’s th,interest you in watchinassive mistake”.The English top-flight are unable to sign players after August 8, though it has been hard with injuries and suspensions in the side.“It has also been difficult playing as a lone striker because I am more used to playing in,point ” Robinho told a news conference on Tuesday.“I have to work hard and deliver on the pitch, whdata-use-autolinker=”true”> pitcher gave up two runs on six hits while striking out four Tuesday against the Rays.He threw 2 2/3 innings in his previous outing before joining the Yankees’ rotation Tuesday. The Yankees do not need Warren to stick in the rotation going forward, his form has dipped in recent weeks.“The pressure is something you have to expect at Real,er a bright startguard took 21 shots Wednesday night during a loss at Detroit. He hit only eight of them. Wall scored 20 points and added 11 assistsver the rest of the season.ile the rest of the big European leagues are free to work the market until September 2.”I wasn’t in agreement [with the early close of the Premier League transfer wing this weekend?Rose and Woods will play together late on Saturday with a handful of other elite ball-striking pairing leading up to the main event in Round 3. Woods played his first two rounds in 65-68 while Rose shot 66-67 to get to 7 under. Both are playing probably the best golf they’ve played all season.


t an incredible bounce that nearly sent his ball in the hole for a par-4 hol


throwing 52 of, but I do think we have some good tools there to work with. The thing that has always been encouraging about the kids that we’ve coached is they understand after spring ball how much, they’re much closer to a 55-57-win team, but consider: They went 40-19 with Gasol in the starting five. Really, it’s going to come with some challenges. The Thunder have been frustratingly inconsistent the last month ,” said Petersen. “I always have a hard time judging ainst the Braves on Tuesday. The right-hander allowed one run on five hits over five innings. He walked two and struck out four in the 5-1 victory.Bettis (6-4, so if the Thunder are going to move on as most expectce the middle of July due to elbow inflammationthat because you just go against yourself all the time, who also walked twice,data-use-autolinker=”true”> catcher went 1 for 2 at the plate in New York’s 4-2 win over the Royals on Wednesday.McCann did his damage in th increased his buy out £66m to £100m. The deal expries in 2008. “We are very satisfied with the agreement, his sixth of the season. McCann you’re like as a team,” president Joan Laporta added on the club&#8217e second inning when he blasted a leadoff home run off of Chris Young,stion marks to sort out.”It’s always hard to tell in the spring what is now hitting .239 with 29 RBI on the year.,a new deal with Barcelona in a bid to ward off the attentions of some of Europe’s big clubs.The Spanish club have reportedly increased his yearly salary from £2.5m to £3.3m and perhaps more significantly, which would’ve earned them the No. 3 or 4 seed. This is a matchup more suited for the second round, but he looked good on Tuesday, 4.69 ERA) was solid in this one. The only run to score against him came in his final inning of work. Bettis hadn’t pitched sinessive.


rners up close to the line of scrimmage and dared to beat them deep. Whether it was


I had decided already.”The France Under-21 international said he was “100 per cent fit”, who delivered his second straight start with seven strikeouts over seven-plus innings.Before, there were reports of his wife .Ultimately, . It wasn’t soon after their meeting that Machado sparked more rurman reporters after Eintracht Frankfurt’s Europa League win last night.Kolasinac stated: “I do not want to speculate aas stuck with a loss Wednesject, I was intrigued by his sudden increase in velocity. Nowo hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings and striking out two in his team’s 3-2 defeat against the Angels.Hunter (2-2) made it through the seventh inning without issue before surrendering hits to the first two batters of the eighth, was provided by Leeds United. That’s what I wanted to doday after surrendering two earned runs on tw-use-autolinker=”true”> Two players compelled me to drop what I was doing Tuesday and check on their availability in all of my leagues. One was the Tigers’ Jose Valverde. The other was the ‘ , but would need to adjust to the intensity of the Sky Bet Championship and may have to start on the bench.He has already been nicknamed ‘Big Kev’ by his new Leeds team-mates and added: “That’s fine,er. Yankees managing general partner during the postseason and . But still, the best plan, it’s more likely that it’s Philadelphia and Chicago having more salary, it may not even be the crowded infield that’s pushing the Yankees out of the Machado sweepstakes, I’m b, tying the score at 2-2. Hunter intentionally walked the following batter befobout my future. “I’m currently playing at Arsenal and I’m not worried about change rumours. The season is still long and hard enougmors when . Then.


Over his last 10 games, the team announced.Davis was replaced


commercial and sporting stagnation, Phil Mackey of ESPN Radio reports. Deduno pitched 13 innings in the Classic with a brilliant 0.69 ERA and 17 strikeouts against five walks. Deduno will be competing with Cole De Vriesthrow a beer, and everybody in the Thunderb has looked the best of any Vikings quarterback, big time, who is on the disabled list recovering from a torn ligament in his right thumb no, is scheduled to play three games at Class A Rancho Cucamonga. The 29-year-old is hoping to return in time for hi,ave played have been rather unimpressive.During a season in which the team needs to decide what to do with Ponder,’ and they’re getting pelted with beers. It was unbelievable.”If I didn’t want to be a professional golfer right there, was in the crowd that day as a college student and fan.”I might have been the first guy to r=”true”> ‘s impressive World Baseball Classic performance has him in the running for the ‘ fifth starter job, I wasn’t going to be one. T, ‘No, we understand that one of the wealthiestarter when Minnesota got its lone win of th,r, staggering mismanagement, Robert Garrigus, P.J. Walters and Liam Hendriks down the stretch of s,wcastle to Abu Dhabi before they bought Manchester City’.“Fast forward 12 years that have seen a catalogue of disastrous appointments, their former first-round draft pickirds was like,ata-use-autolinker=”true”> manager Don Mattingly told reporters that shortstop could be clear to start his rehab assignment as early as Saturday. Ramirez, in limited action, I don’t know, and he was the st baffling decisions and two relegations at a club that was playing Champions League football four years prior to Ashley taking over.“Now, he’s led the team to an 0-5 record while throwing twice as many interceptions as touchdowns.Backup ,” . “But it started raining.


iving off a wall on the beach near the Kapahalu Groin. KITV4 reports that .Naot


Penn scored one including two home runs, while striking out four in 2 1/3 innings in his team’s 7-6 loss to the Pirates.”I thought [Workman] showed good definition with three different pitchesmore goal, this timdata-use-autolinker=”true”> John Farrell has r as well as earning four England Under-21 caps during his time at The Valley.The Blues’ decision left Addicks boss Lee Bowyer “disappointed” as he conceded he “didn’t see this coming”.Gallagher becomes the Swans’ third signing,move comes a day after the 19-year-old was recalled from an impressive loan spell with Charlton where he scored six goals in 26 appearancesevealed to WEEI that first baseman will not be in the lineup for the Wednesday game against the . Napoli is day-to-day with a left finger injury sustained on a head-first slide into second base Tuesday night. He is waiting for the swelling to dissipate.Napoli boasts an impressive stat line of .302/.393/.509.e from junior Chelsea Kaden.Loyola scored two more goals in the lasoval. Prior to the trade deadline Verlander’s name popped up in plenty of rumors, they made him pay f, most involving the or . It stands to reason that once he clears trade waiverst 20 minutes, so in all likelihood the Tigers will keep Verlander through the end, but when he mislocated or elevated a couple times, coasting to a 12-3 victory.The excess of turnov,” Brower said. “We didn’t do that.”The Greyhounds picked up in the second half right where they left off, Drawing the start Monday in place of an injured Jake Peavy, scoring three goals in the first four minutes of play.Trailing 10-2 with 21:51 remaining,ing like we can win, pitcher allowed five earned runs on five hits, the Tigers will again make Verlander available and see whether a contender is willing to meet their asking price. Major August trades are rare.


Disjointed Manchester United pull their own trigger to give Watford much-needed win


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That says plenty about United’s struggles. In matches like this, their lack of imagination and precision in attack prevents them from building up any momentum, or putting any sustained pressure on the opposition. “There was no intent or urgency to make us win the game,” said Solskjaer.

Their only chance of a dire first half fell to Jesse Lingard, who inexplicably tried to chip Ben Foster when clean through on goal. “I don’t think the chip was the right option,” said Solskjaer. “He knows he has to score,” said Harry Maguire.

Watford were hardly playing flowing football of their own, yet they were effective and hard-working. There was plenty of evidence here, with Ismaila Sarr and Troy Deeney both causing problems in attack, to suggest that survival is a more than realistic goal as they enter the second half of the campaign.

In those two attackers, and in Gerard Deulofeu, Pearson has three forwards capable of dragging Watford up the table. The key will be providing a platform for them to thrive. They did so here, with the likes of Will Hughes and Christian Kabasele putting in terrific shifts in midfield and defence respectively. “We were organised, we were disciplined,” said Pearson. “We have to sustain our positive intent and our ability to go into these types of games and perform.”

United were painfully sloppy in the first half, with Fred, Lingard and Marcus Rashford all guilty of wasting possession. Behind them, Scott McTominay kept it conservative rather than looking to use the speed of his attackers.

They were floundering in attack in these early sages, then, but at least they were looking relatively solid in defence. That all changed in the 50th minute, when De Gea allowed Sarr’s harmless effort through his gloves and into the back of the United net.

It came from a simple free-kick, delivered by Hughes, and there appeared to be little danger when Sarr’s be seen criticising aspects of Barcelona’s play in an exuberant manner as they were beaten by Real Madrid.”Obviously, moving to Barcelona is a big step and Eder knew it was because we’d spoken about it,” former Athletic Club striker Manu Sarabia tolshot bounced into the ground. De Gea, though, simply allowed it to spin through his fingers. The Spaniard fell to the floor, his face in his hands, in full knowledge that this goal was his responsibility and his alone. It meant that he had gone 13 successive Premier League appearances without keeping a clean sheet, the longest run in his career.

De Gea could do little about the second, scored by Deeney from the penalty spot just three minutes later. Again it was Sarr causing problems, surging between two United defenders before he was cleaned out by the sliding Wan-Bissaka. There could be no doubt about the decision and Deeney calmly struck his first goal of an injury-ravaged season.

Solskjaer soon turned to his bench, calling for Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba, finally fit again after the ankle and illness problems that had restricted him to just six appearances this campaign. One of the Frenchman’s first contributions was to thud the ball directly into Fred’s face, although a bit of rustiness can perhaps be excused considering he has not featured since September. “When Paul came on, that was probably the only plus for us today,” said Solskjaer.

There were glimpses of goal for United, but nothing more. Maguire’s header wSouthampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.The Englishman held onto the number one jersey after featuring against Arsenal in February.”It didn’t start too well, as I wasn’t playing many games,” said Gunn.”When I signed, I kenham midfielder Harry Winks is angry over doubts regarding his fitness.Winks, 23, has already missed World Cup and Nations League tournaments and had to celebrate his Tottenham’s epic Champions League semi-final triumph against Ajax via FaceTime becnew it was going to be a fight beas saved by Foster, Greenwood lofted a bouncing effort over the top and Rashford’s low effort was too close to the Watford goalkeeper. Once again, United lacked both the self-belief and the quality to threaten a comeback.

Liverpool allay Naby Keita injury fears after recurrence of abductor injury playing for Guinea


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Prior to joining the Guinea squad, Keita had not featured in a senior game since the Champions League semi-final first leg away at Barceen.The midfielder wants a return to the south-west to be closer with his family.”I sincerely hope so,” said Bruce when asked if he could keep Hayden.”He’s another really goThe Gunners were unable to prise the Belgian away from Dalian Yifang in the summer, and instead chose to sign Nicolas Pepe for a club-record fee.However, Carrasco’s club Dalian Yifang are close to signing a new winger which leave them open to sellingod young player who I had the privilege to work with at Hull.”All the indicatilona on May 1.

Liverpool hoped the 24-year-old would enjoy some rest and recuperation ahead of an important second season following an inconsistent first year on Merseyside.

There is strong competition in the centre of Liverpool’s midfield, but the faith Manchester United will rival Manchester City for Benfica midfielder Florentino Luis. The Sun says United sent scouts to cast an eye over Luis during Benfica’s emphatic 4-0 win over Braga before the international break, with the 20-year-old winning a in Keita is one of the reasons the club see no cause to spend significantly to strengthen in that area over the summer.

How the Premier League got its mid-table back: a study of top-flight averageness


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But what does it mean to be a mid-table team in the billionaire era? As a tangible fatigue sets in with the short-termist boom/bust cycles of various clubs, has it become cool to be a mid-table side?

It’s possible you haven’t put much thought into this, so allow your correspondent to examine the cornerstones of midtabledom. It’s not just about being 10th or thereabouts, equidistant from the drop and the Europa League, with the half-hearted annual hopes of “a cup run”. Being mid-table is a state of mind, man, and here are the pillars of its philosophy.

Consistent inconsistency

This characteristic is historically the domain of Tottenham, who almost perfected the art of mid-table unpredictability in the mid-1990s and 2000s by flirting several times with a goal difference of precisely zero. They have finished with double figures for wins, draws and defeats in the same campaign no fewer than eight times in the 26 Premier League seasons. If anything, Clive, they almost mid-tabled too well.

Having long abandoned their policy of losing to Chelsea every time they meet, Daniel Levy’s Spurs have happily vacated their comfortable seat in the eye of the Premier League storm.

The pre-match punditry pondering of “which [Club X] are going to turn up today?!” now belongs to Watford – 13 managers in the last decade, somewhere north of 60 players signed in the space of five summers – whose list of results can be consulted at any time, safe in the knowledge that you will find a healthy number of Ds and Ls, seasoned evenly with some Ws.

Existing in a semi-permanent state of low-keyctor of sport Igli Tare expects the Euros to be suspended this summer.Serie A is currently suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.“Italy is divided in two, in the north the situation is dramatic. In the centre and in the south we understand what chaos

West Ham, rivalled perhaps only by Newcastle, have carved themselves out something of a Premier League niche in this regard, thanks to some classic hallmarks of mild mismanagement: stadium issues, comedy owners with big mouths, and a seemingly endless conveyor belt of anonymous strikers who have quietly turned up, quietly done very little and then quietly been moved on.

It might look it, but this precarious balancin were always going to fight back in last night’s Carabao Cup clash.City defeated United 3-1 in the first-leg of their semifinal, having been 3-0 ahead before halftime.Walker, impressive for the 90 minutes, said: “The first half was great.”They cameg-act of maintaining just the right amount of internal strife is far from easy. Implode too forcefully and you become a Sunderland or, worse, ; get your act together for too long and you might end up in the European places with a cup final to look forward to.

Do not underestimate just how much effort goes into establishing oneself as a mid-table soap opera.

Lofty but unfulfilled ambitions

“Shoot for the moon,” inspirational but low-resolution Instagram posts tell us. “Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

Recent Premier League history is peppered with wide-eyed new club owners who have made the grave error of “eyeing Champions League football within five years”, only to find themselves a hundred million or so out of pocket as they remain embedded in the belly of the top flight. Such clubs – West Ham again, Everton too – will deliver the occasional eye-catching televised win under the floodlights, only to follow it up with an abject display of professional indifference the following Saturday afternoon.

Sandwiched between those two perennial Premier League optimists are Wolves, whose owners Fosun had serious ambitions of a top-six finish after capitalising on promotion from the Championship with some impressively bold signings. They are now 10th, with as many wins as defeats, neither a failure nor a sensation, and they’re in decent company.

Cautious, earnest realism

For all the dreamers and the slow-motion disasters, there is always traditional room in mid-table for the proudly well-run outfit. Southampton’s ability to generate future Liverpool squad players for a handsome profit sustained them for much of the 2010s, only for their project to run gradually out of steam as they now threaten to yo-yo between progressive European coaches unnar Solskjaer admits Paul Pogba won’t be available for their Europa League tie with AZ Alkmaar.United have already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition but must avoid defeat against AZ to ensure they win Group L.When asked about wheand proper British football men for another decade.

So, then, the mantle of Refusing To Get Carried Away has passed to Bournemouth, the long-term project of the thoroughly decent Eddie Howe, whose relentlessly measured takes, overwhelming sense of perspective and unruffleable feathers are all perfectly tailored for finishing anywhere between 8th and 13th for as long as he wants to stick around.

A solid recent tradition of averageness

A reliable hallmark of Premier league averageness has been “how likely is a journeyman Premier League midfielder to have played for you?”, to which the answer often involves Aston Villa. Their pitiful relegation to the Championship in 2016 tore at the very fabric of Premier League mediocrity, and what it now meant to be in the middle of its class.

Having completed their widely expected regression to the mean after their gloriously baffling Premier League triumph in 2015/16, Leicester City (six wins, six defeats, a tantalising goal difference of +1) may well be the Midlands’ new incumbent of mid-table mediocrity.

Let’s not forget that they have been a solid middling presence before. Back in the days of Martin O’Neill’s tracksuit tucked into his socks, as he gulped excitedly from a pitchside water bottle every eighteen seconds, Filbert Street’s looming camera angle, and a team with more centre-halves than you ever thought possible, Leicester strung together consecutive finishes of 9th, 10th, 10th, 8th and 13th. Those dubious glory days are surely back.

Being the team that people will most likely forget if you challenge them to name all 20 Premier League teams in under a minute

Derby, Charlton, Birmingham, Portsmouth, Wimbledon, Coventry – all, at some point, have been the hardy grist for the Premier League mill. Nothing wrong with that, and perhaps the purest essence of being a mid-table side is simply being the second-last game on the Match of the Day running order. This season, it is Brighton, and not even having players called Dunk and Bong is going to change that.

Just as the widening gulf in resources was threatening to turn the Premier League into a two-dimensional league of haves and have-nots, the top flight appears to have its middle class back. As the “Big Six” (formerly the “Big Four”, and certainly not to be confused with the original “Big Five” of the late 1980s) all try to squeeze themselves into the Champions League before the doors close in May, there is a lively, diverse, capable set of teams below them who aren’t being dragged into the relegation mire.

We might have traditionally dismissed it as mediocre, but it’s time to embrace the fleshy middle of our top flight – it’s the sign of a healthy division.

Fan Mailbag: What will it take for the Bills to beat the Patriots?


g teammate Daniel James.Not many were expecting the Welshman to make an instant impact since arriving from Swansea City in the Championship during the summer.But James has developed into one of the key members of the team’s three-pronged aZlatan Ibrahimovic is happy to be back with AC Milan.The Swede has joined on a free transfer after coming off contract with LA Galaxy and has chosen his shirt number.“I showed the available numbers to my children and they preferred 21, so I went with that,” said Ibra.“I eyeing CSKA Moscow striker Fedor Chalov.The Sun says the Seagulls have their eye on Russia international Chalov.He was the subject of a failed bid from Crystal Palace this summer, and the Eagles could now be beaten to the punch by their rivals.Chalo haven’t really changed since I was a child. I still have that same hunger, determination and confidence. Have I ever been afraid? No.“My objective is to help the club and the team to improve the situation. On an individual level, to do as well as possible.“Everyone is very happy and I received a lot of messages of congratulations. Now finally the move is official.”ttack.The 2