Success won’t be so easy for the Utah Jazz this time around

Utah caught lightning in a bottle, making the most three-point shots per game last season at 16.8. That will be much tougher to come by this year for the Jazz, and teams will focus more on chasing them off the perimeter, knowing what they want to do. The Jazz took advantage of a weird 20-21 season that saw so many stars get injured around the league. They swooped in and cleaned up the leftovers of all the broken, battered teams in the NBA. It’s hard to see them getting as many breaks this year.

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Don’t read this the wrong way — I’m not saying they aren’t a playoff team, but it’s tough to envision them winning the most games in the league again and being the number one seed out west. I’m going to say they don’t win their division either, so I’ll take the Nuggets. Falling back into the four to six range is where the Jazz will likely end the season with a first-round elimination highly possible.

This Jazz team put the league on notice last year, then everyone noticed them fall off against the Clippers minus Kawhi Leonard. Utah needs to show us they can get the job done when they’re expected to. I just don’t think they’ll be able to live up to the bar they’ve set for themselves.

Derrick Henry Is Built Different

Derrick Henry has stiff-armed his way into the MVP conversation. While the rest of the NFL is dominated by prolific passers, Henry is on a historic run as he aims for a second straight 2,000 yard season and is as valuable to the Titans as any quarterback is to his team.

#NFL #Titans #DerrickHenry
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MacKinnon might play Tuesday for Avalanche after clearing COVID protocols

Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon has cleared NHL coronavirus protocols and could make his season debut Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals.

MacKinnon tested positive for the coronavirus last week and had been in the league’s COVID-19 protocols since Oct. 12. The three-time MVP finalist did not travel with the team Monday because he did not have the requisite number of negative coronavirus tests to be considered available.

Head coach Jared Bednar said on his weekly radio show on Denver’s 92.5-FM that MacKinnon flew by himself Monday night. Under rules agreed to by the league and the players’ association, MacKinnon needed to test negative twice to be cleared to play.

MacKinnon, 26, missed Colorado’s first two games of the season. Because he is vaccinated, the 26-year-old’s absence was considered a hockey-related injury and he was paid during his time away.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said on opening night last week that the NHL had only four unvaccinated players out of roughly 700 on active rosters.

He acknowledged the pandemic will still play a factor this season, such as vaccinated players missing games, and stressed the need for vigilance across the league’s 32 teams.

The best black football boots you can buy in 2021

The best black football boots you can buy in 2021 | Goal.com

Goal

Every year, football boot designers are coming up with innovative new designs – from those covered in hundreds of spikes to ones splashed with bold colours like screaming orange and yellow alert.

While some people revel in eye-catching colourways, not everybody likes to be flashy with their football boots. Why does a colour always have to be “the new black”? Black football boots are classic for a reason, and depending on the design, can feel timeless and even futuristic. 

These 12 pairs of boots prove that you don’t have to wear bright colours to stand out on the pitch.

It would be impossible to speak about black football boots without paying deference to the most classic of all football boots, the Umbro Speciali.

Best seen on the feet of Alan Shearer in the ‘90s, these boots epitomise all things retro. This edition is made with 2021 in mind, but staying true to its roots with the iconic foldover tongue is cut to the same measurements as the original.

The kangaroo leather upper is soft, water-resistant and resilient which makes it the perfect material for football boots. The outsole uses Wishbone technology to aid support, paired with Memory Flex grooves that mirror the foot’s natural movement, these boots are a must.

Get them from Umbro for £120.00


The Copa Sense+ boots from Adidas are sleek yet futuristic, looking like something out of the space age. These boots are laceless, yet use Sensepods to fill any loose gap in between the heel and the boot for an ultra snug and secure fit.

The upper is shared between comfortable Primeknit and durable Kangaroo leather so these boots are high class. Adidas has introduced a waved 3D design called Touchpods which absorb impact energy and the studs have even been injected with a slightly malleable material that helps free up movement.

Get them from Adidas for £230.00


While lesser known than boot brands like Nike or Adidas, American makers Under Armour have certainly made an impression in the short amount of time they’ve been in the game. Famous players who have worn Under Armour football boots include Memphis Depay and Trent Alexander-Arnold, which is surely a trusted seal of approval.

The inner of these Magnetico boots are made using auxetic materials, the genetic structure of which actually changes when put under stress, making the boots fit like a glove. 

Get them from Under Armour for £220.00


For those who love the look of Predator boots but are reluctant to try the Demonskin spikes on the Freak model, these are a great place to start.

The ankle has a stretchy Primeknit collar to hug the ankle and they feature a traditional lace closure so your feet can feel secure. With an upper coated in Controlskin, these boots help to perfect that all-important first touch and to fine-tune passing precision.

The soleplate features hybrid stud tip,s which means if you’re umming and ahhing between which ground type you’ll be playing on, this should ease the difference.

Get them from Adidas for £125.97 (reduced from £179.95)


These lightweight New Balance boots look the part as well as doing the job of a soft ground football boot. They have a low-cut stretchy knit collar which is great for players who like wearing thick socks with their boots. The lace closure is customisable so you can tailor your laces to your style of play, perfect for creative players who fly all over the pitch. 

Get them from Pro:Direct Soccer for £110.00


Mizuno is a Japanese company perhaps best known for their running trainers, but their football boots are popular as well. They have a crisp, classic feel to them and over the years have been worn by Fernando Torres, Hulk and Rivaldo to name but a few legends of the game.

The upper of these boots are made from panels of stitched together full-grain leather which adds structure to aid control. The collar of the boots is cushioned while the removable sock liner disperses pressure from the studs which adds to the all over comfortable feel of the Morelia boots.

Get them from Pro:Direct Soccer for £50.00 (reduced from £85.00)


These boots are specially created for artificial grass, sometimes referred to as “All Weather Grass”. The shorter studs on these boots are hollowed out which helps reduce strain on knees and ankles.

A large reflective Nike tick makes these ultra-lightweight boots perfect for playing football in the evening, especially without floodlights. The upper has foam-backed pods for supreme ball control and shock absorption. 

Get them from Nike for £204.95


Nike’s Dynamic Fit collar gives the ankle room to reach maximum flexibility so there’s no need to compromise. The synthetic leather on the upper is textured with tiny raised diamonds to help with ball control.

Multi ground studs are configured with multiple features to give you the best of all worlds. They’re designed to give peak performance across a variety of pitch surfaces. While they can be used in regular grass, it bears remembering that the studs are shorter than firm and soft ground boots, so you will lose a bit of traction there. 

Get them from Nike for £44.97 (reduced from £59.95)


The turf edition of the Adidas X Speedflow boots is coated with the same semi-translucent Speedskin, meaning there’s no need to compromise on quality no matter where you’re playing.

Being designed for more traditional turf pitches, the studs on these boots are short, plentiful and made of rubber. There’s also bounce in the sole to give back when the pitch can’t. The professional fully studded version of these boots can be found tearing up play in the Premier League week in week out.

They look slick, and the way the black upper flows into the black soleplate is very stylish indeed. 

Get them from Adidas for £70.00


The rubber outsole is designed for exceptional traction on astroturf surfaces, with rectangular studs being used rather than circular ones. This helps dig into the surface and get you where you’re trying to go by streamlining the process.

Reflective outlines on the black upper means visibility in the evening just got a lot easier, promoting safety in the dark. It also means your feet will be more visible when your teammates are trying to pass the ball to you on a cold winter evening.

The moulded upper has a textured pattern throughout that helps with ball control when dribbling and passing the ball.

Get them from Nike for £59.95


It can get hot and stuffy when playing football indoors, that’s why Nike added mesh to the heel and tongue of the Tiempos to promote airflow and breathability and keep you cool.

They have a non-marking outsole which is extra important when playing football indoors as you want the only lasting thing left behind to be the memory of an excellent game played. Just because the outsole is non-marking, doesn’t mean it has to be smooth and therefore slippery. This outsole has plenty of rubber grips to help gain speed and traction indoors.

Get them from Nike for £44.95


Article continues below

The upper of the Adidas Gamemode indoor trainers are constructed of a one-piece stretchy, knitted fabric that wraps the foot for seamless stability. Below, the midsole is completely cushioned which gives wearers that extra bounce that is needed when playing on hard indoor surfaces.

As always, Adidas is using recycled materials which makes these shoes a good option for the eco-conscious. The rubber sole is non-marking and carved with a herringbone style texture to give maximum grip on slippery surfaces. 

Get them from Pro:Direct Soccer for £85.00

Barcelona chose to sign Ousmane Dembele over Kylian Mbappe

Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed that the club opted to sign Ousmane Dembele instead of Kylian Mbappe back in 2017.

Dembele joined Barça in a deal worth up to €145m following a successful season with Borussia Dortmund, while France teammate Mbappe left Monaco for Paris Saint-Germain for up to €180m later that same window.

But while Mbappe has gone from strength to strength in the French capital, Dembele has spent much of his time at Camp Nou injured and on the fringes of the squad.

Bartomeu, who is not a popular man among Barcelona supporters due to a series of bad decisions that ultimately have led to their current financial crisis, revealed in an interview with Esport3 (via Marca) that a deal for Mbappe was possible, but was vetoed in favour of signing Dembele.

“[Mbappe’s] signing was on the table, but the coaches preferred Dembele because they wanted a player to open the field,” he said.

Dembele was signed after PSG triggered Neymar’s €222m release clause, with Bartomeu saying two years later that he considered the French winger to be superior to his predecessor.

Philippe Coutinho was also brought in following Neymar’s departure, and while these two signings have failed to live up to the hype at Barça so far, Bartomeu insists they looked like good deals at the time.

“Some of us have not met expectations, players who have cost a lot of money, but these things happen in football,” he said.

“When these two players were signed, they were applauded by everyone. Coutinho came because Andres Iniesta was going. He was the best player in the Premier League. Dembele came because of Neymar’s departure.”

Gerard Pique also recently revealed on a Twitch stream that he tried to convince Vinicius Junior to snub Real Madrid and join him at Barcelona, but those efforts were unsuccessful.

However, he refused to comment on Bartomeu’s assertions that a deal for Mbappe could have been completed four years ago.

Kyogo, Turnbull earn Celtic much-needed victory

Celtic got their first Europa League win of the season as they beat Ferencvaros 2-0 at Celtic Park.

Having lost their opening two games in Group G, Celtic needed a victory to keep their qualification hopes alive.

They had to wait until the second half to make the breakthrough, with Kyogo Furuhashi scoring in the 57th minute and David Turnbull adding a late second after Callum McGregor saw a penalty saved.

Europa League

Celtic fall to defeat at Real Betis, Rangers also beaten, Leverkusen win, Marseille held

16/09/2021 AT 19:43

Celtic dominated possession in the first half without creating many clear chances.

Jota had two shots saved by goalkeeper Denes Dibusz while Joe Hart kept out an effort from Myrto Uzuni at the other end and Ryan Mmaee was unable to steer in a great early chance.

Celtic took the lead on the counter-attack as Jota played in Kyogo to score. McGregor saw a penalty saved shortly afterwards but Turnbull made sure of the win from close range.

Real Betis host Bayer Leverkusen in the other game in the group on Thursday.

Transfers

Inside Football: Tchouameni, Nunez and more – Five possible under-the-radar PL deals

20/08/2021 AT 12:12

Europa League

Celtic through to Europa League play-offs, St Johnstone exit to Galatasaray

12/08/2021 AT 20:49

‘I’m nervous for my Dallas Cowboys’ — Skip talks Dak Prescott’s calf strain | NFL | UNDISPUTED

Will Dak Prescott be ready to play the Minnesota Vikings a week from Sunday after suffering a calf strain in the Dallas Cowboys’ win over the New England Patriots. Skip Bayless isn’t so sure. Watch as he breaks down why his ‘fear factor’ is setting in that he could see Cooper Rush leading his Cowboys in two weeks instead of a healthy Dak.

#Undisputed #NFL #DakPrescott

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More than two-thirds of Premier League players fully vaccinated against COVID-19

More than two-thirds of Premier League footballers are now double-jabbed for the COVID-19 vaccine, the league has confirmed.

The vaccination of stars in England’s top flight has been a hotly discussed topic, especially during the international break when a number of players revealed their vaccine status. England manager Gareth Southgate even said some players were deciding against getting jabbed after seeing conspiracy theories online.

Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount revealed they have had their vaccinations, but Phil Foden, Fikayo Tomori and Jesse Lingard did not want to comment on the subject.

The Premier League has revealed things are now moving in the right direction, releasing a statement which reads: “The Premier League can confirm today that 81 per cent of players have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose, with 68 per cent now fully vaccinated.

“Vaccination rates are collected by the Premier League on a weekly basis and the League continues to work with clubs to encourage vaccination among players and club staff.

“No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and player vaccination rates will be communicated at appropriate intervals in the future.”

While the numbers show an improvement – with September’s figures showing just 43% of players had been fully vaccinated – the Premier League is still markedly behind Italy’s Serie A and Germany’s Bundesliga. Serie A reported a 98% vaccination rate for all players and staff last week, while the Bundesliga hit 94%.

Not all Premier League clubs have been transparent over their vaccination rate, but every Wolves player has been fully jabbed, while Brentford and Leeds each have an uptake rate of more than 90%.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp recently said he doesn’t understand why some players have been reluctant to get jabbed, revealing he “didn’t have to convince the [Liverpool] players, it was more a natural decision from the team”.

For more from Jude Summerfield, follow him on Twitter!

NFL Week Six Stats: Diggs interception streak hits seven


Benedict Bermange

Cricket Statistician

Benedict Bermange picks out the best stats from Week Six in the NFL, including Kansas City extending their winning streak over Washington, Lamar Jackson setting a new record and Trevor Lawrence leaving London with a first win for rookie QBs

Last Updated: 19/10/21 5:58pm

Trevon Diggs extended his streak of games with at least one interception to six as he notched his seventh against the New England Patriots

Trevon Diggs extended his streak of games with at least one interception to six as he notched his seventh against the New England Patriots

Trevon Diggs extended his streak of games with at least one interception to six as he notched his seventh against the New England Patriots

Sky Sports Cricket statistician – and big Buffalo Bills fan – Benedict Bermange dives into the 2021 NFL season to pick out the best stats from each week…

Trevon Diggs of the Dallas Cowboys intercepted his seventh pass of the season in their 35-29 victory over the New England Patriots. He is also just the second player after Brian Russell of the Vikings in 2003 to have at least one interception in each of their team’s first six games in a season.

Trevon and Buffalo Bills receiver Stefon Diggs became the first pair of brothers to score an offensive touchdown and a defensive touchdown in the same NFL week since Vernon (tight end, San Francisco 49ers) and Vontae Davis (cornerback, Miami Dolphins) in Week Four of the 2009 season.

Watch the highlights of the London meeting of the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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Watch the highlights of the London meeting of the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Watch the highlights of the London meeting of the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

In London, the Jacksonville Jaguars snapped their 20-game losing streak with a 23-20 triumph over the Dolphins as Matthew Wright became the first kicker in NFL history to successfully convert more than one field goal of at least 50 yards in the last four minutes of the fourth quarter in a single game.

Trevor Lawrence earned his first NFL win in the same game and became the first rookie quarterback to win an NFL game in London – they had been 0-5 before this week.

Most quarterback wins after three days rest

Quarterback Record
Tom Brady 10-1
Peyton Manning 9-1
Russell Wilson 8-2
Ben Roethlisberger 8-4
Philip Rivers 8-4

With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night, Tom Brady is now 10-1 in his 11 career starts after just three days’ rest. He now has the most such wins by any starting quarterback on three days of rest.

Highlights of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' clash with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football.

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Highlights of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ clash with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football.

Highlights of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ clash with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football.

Despite still being plagued by turnovers, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Washington Football Team 31-13 for their eighth successive victory against them dating back to 1992. The only time the Chiefs have ever lost to Washington was in the 1983 season when the opposing starting quarterbacks were Bill Kenney and Joe Theismann. The only longer current winning streak by one team over another in terms of years lapsed is Philadelphia’s 11-0 record against the New York Jets, which dates all the way back to September 1973.

Watch the highlights from the Los Angeles Chargers' game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week Six.

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Watch the highlights from the Los Angeles Chargers’ game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week Six.

Watch the highlights from the Los Angeles Chargers’ game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week Six.

The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 34-6 to earn Lamar Jackson his 35th win as a starting quarterback in the NFL, setting a new record for the most wins by any starting QB before turning 25 years old.

Most wins by a QB before turning 25

Quarterback Team Wins
Lamar Jackson Ravens 35
Dan Marino Dolphins 34
Drew Bledsoe Patriots 32
Ben Roethlisberger Steelers 29

The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Cleveland Browns 37-14 to move to 6-0 for the first time since the 1974 season. Kyler Murray defeated Baker Mayfield for the second time in their NFL careers, following a 38-24 win for Arizona in the 2019 season. The two quarterbacks were team-mates at the University of Oklahoma from 2016 to 2017 and are the only pair of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks from the same university to subsequently start against each other in the NFL.

Watch highlights of the Arizona Cardinals against the Cleveland Browns in Week Six of the NFL.

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Watch highlights of the Arizona Cardinals against the Cleveland Browns in Week Six of the NFL.

Watch highlights of the Arizona Cardinals against the Cleveland Browns in Week Six of the NFL.

The Minnesota Vikings accumulated 571 yards of total offense in their 34-28 win against the Carolina Panthers, the third-most in team history.

Best offensive performances in Vikings team history

Yards Opposition Result Year
622 Colts W 52-14 1969
605 Saints W 38-31 2004
571 Panthers W 34-28 2021
559 49ers W 28-3 1966
558 Falcons W 41-28 2014

The Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants treated viewers to the first 38-11 scoreline in the history of the NFL. It is the first ‘unique’ score to occur so far this season and is the 1,067th different final score in NFL history.

After trailing 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Rams scored 28 unanswered points in the second quarter, the first time they have scored that many points in a single quarter since Week 17 of the 2002 season when they overcame a 20-3 deficit in the fourth quarter to win 31-20 against the 49ers.

Sky Sports NFL is your dedicated channel for NFL coverage through the season – featuring a host of NFL Network programming. Don’t forget to follow us on skysports.com/nfl, our Twitter account @SkySportsNFL & Sky Sports – on the go!

Holmbergs svar på Bergstrands kritik: “Håller väl med honom”

Djurgården åkte på ett tungt bakslag i guldstriden i och med 0-3-förlusten hemma mot Elfsborg på måndagskvällen. Efteråt var Dif-tränaren Kim Bergstrand kritisk till lagets effektivitet framför mål.

– Dålig effektivitet av Djurgården får man säga. Det handlar om kvalitet på det man håller på med. Vi skapar många väldigt många bra lägen i både första och andra halvlek. Gör man inte mål vinner man inga fotbollsmatcher, sa Bergstrand i Discovery-studion.

Därefter fick han frågan om det handlar om bristande kvalitet hos lagets anfallare.

– I dag (i går) var det så. Vi skapar tillräckligt många målchanser för att göra mål.

På frågan om vem som är Djurgårdens främste “nia”, central forward, var Bergstrand tydlig.

– Kalle (Holmberg) har väl gjort 17 starter, Joel (Asoro) har gjort ett par, Nicklas (Bärkroth) någon och (Emmanuel) Banda någon. Jag tycker att vi skapar tillräckligt med målchanser och då är det en kvalitetsfråga såklart (att målen inte kommer). Vi har den trupp vi har och det gäller att få igång dem och göra mål.

När Fotbollskanalen når Kalle Holmberg dagen efter förlusten har han inte hört Bergstrands tv-intervju efter matchen, men instämmer i det mesta.

– Jag håller väl med honom. Det är inte mer än så. Vi skapar ganska många lägen, men har inte varit så effektiva där framme. Samtidigt är vi med i toppen och slåss om de platserna, så det är bara att fortsätta gnugga så hoppas vi att det lossnar.

Vad tycker du att han pratar öppet om det i media?

– Jag har inte hört det, men han kanske fick en sådan fråga och sa exakt vad han tyckte. Det är väl inte mer med det.

Holmberg har startat 16 allsvenska matcher den här säsongen och hoppat in i tre, men står bara noterad för ett ligamål hittills.

– Just nu är jag inte nöjd. Det är sju matcher kvar och mycket kan hända, men jag är inte nöjd över att inte ha gjort mer än ett mål. Vissa matcher har jag varit jättenöjd med mitt spel i övrigt, där har jag inte så mycket att gnälla på, utan det är mest målsituationen jag är missnöjd med.

Vad har du pratat med tränarna om angående just dina insatser?
– Det har varit upp och ner. I vissa matcher har det varit mindre bra, i andra matcher har de varit jättenöjda. Det är väl som vanligt. Sedan är det klart att jag själv som forward vill göra mål, jag försöker alltid göra mål, men i vissa matcher funkar det bättre än andra.

Känner du att effektiviteten varit för dålig från dig och laget i vissa matcher?
– Ja, absolut, i vissa matcher. I andra matcher har vi gjort många mål på chanserna vi skapat, men i det stora hela har effektiviteten varit för dålig helt enkelt. Man kan liksom inte bara lägga sig ner och dö, utan man måste fortsätta. Vi hoppas och tror på att det lossnar lite där framme.

Med sju omgångar kvar ligger Djurgården tvåa i allsvenskan på samma poäng som ettan Malmö FF och trean AIK. Fyran Elfsborg skuggar två poäng bakom.