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European roundup: Napoli win cuts Juve’s Serie A lead to four points

Napoli twice came from behind to beat Udinese 4-2 and cut Juventus’s lead at the top of Serie A to four points after the Turin side were held 1-1 at relegation-threatened Crotone.

Raul Albiol, Arkadiusz Milik and Lorenzo Tonelli scored in the last half-hour to keep Napoli in the title race before Sunday’s showdown with Juventus.nfl jerseys from china

Fiorentina forward Jordan Veretout scored a hat-trick but was on the losing side in a 4-3 home defeat by Lazio in which two players were sent off in the first 15 minutes, visiting coach Simone Inzaghi was dismissed and a penalty was revoked by VAR.
Bayern Munich seal sixth consecutive Bundesliga title with win over Augsburg
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Alex Sandro gave Juve an early lead but Simy Nwankwo equalised midway through the second half for Crotone, the club from Calabria in southern Italy.

Juventus lead with 85 points, followed by Napoli on 81 with Roma, who beat Genoa 2-1, and Lazio on 64 in the other two Champions League places.

In the German Cup semi-finals, Eintracht Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic scored a 75th-minute winner to stun Schalke and earn his manager, Niko Kovac, a date with Bayern Munich, the club he will coach from next season.wholesale nfl jerseys

Eintracht, losing finalists last year, will get their chance for silverware again when they take on overwhelming favourites Bayern, 6-2 winners against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, in Berlin on 19 May.

The 20-year-old Jovic poked in from a corner against the run of play to set up an extraordinary game for Kovac. The Croat this week signed a three-year contract at Bayern, leaving Frankfurt angry with the Bundesliga champions over the poaching of their coach, who has turned them from nfl jerseys wholesale  relegation candidates into European hopefuls this season.

The game at Schalke lacked the fireworks of Bayern’s semi-final and needed more than an hour to catch light with the hosts having the better chances.
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Eintracht were left with 10 men in the 81st minute when their substitute Gelson Ferdandes, who had only been on the pitch for 33 seconds, was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Leon Goretzka.

Schalke tried desperately to find an equaliser and had the ball in the net deep into stoppage time only for the referee to rule it out for handball.

In Spain, Cristiano Ronaldo’s superb late backheel earned Real Madrid a 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabéu.

Ronaldo flicked Luka Modric’s low drive into the back of the net in the 87th minute with a deft touch, nfl jerseys china his 24th league goal of the season and one that cancelled out a first-half chipped goal from Inaki Williams for the visitors.

Real were set for defeat until Ronaldo, who also hit the bar with a header early on, struck. Real are third in La Liga on 68 points, three behind city rivals Atlético, who play Real Sociedad on Thursday. Barcelona lead the way on 83 points, 12 clear of Diego Simeone’s men.nfl wholesale jerseys

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Kevin Love Thumb Injury Diagnosed as Torn Ligament; Will Be Ready for Game 3

Cleveland Cavaliers center Kevin Love suffered a partially torn ligament in his thumb in Wednesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN, but he is not expected to miss any time as a result.

Love was seen checking out his hand on the bench in the fourth quarter of Game 2. nfl jerseys wholesale However, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue revealed after the game that “he’s good,” per Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports.

The veteran big man had 15 points and eight rebounds in a 100-97 victory that evened the first-round series at one game apiece.

Love has struggled with injuries all year long, most notably missing 21 games with a broken hand.nfl jerseys china  Since coming back, he has also dealt with a tooth injury and concussion symptoms.

This is the second year in a row, and fifth time in 10 career seasons, he has failed to top 60 games played.

When healthy, however, Love remains one of the more versatile big men in the league.nfl wholesale jerseys  He earned his fifth All-Star appearance, including his second in a row, thanks to his effort offensively and on the glass.

He averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game during the regular season, shooting 41.5 percent from three-point range.

Unfortunately, the 29-year-old’s health could be an issue once again, putting more pressure on a shallow Cavaliers bench. nfl jerseys from china Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance Jr. could be called upon to pick up the slack in the low post next to LeBron James if the injury affects Love’s play.

The Not-So-Secret Sleeper Among Edge-Rushers

There are many difficulties with performing statistical analysis on college edge-rushers. Sacks are relatively rare, which can distort results. Blockers range from future NFL starters to pudgy future high school phys ed teachers. Many top edge-rushers rack up big sack totals against Middle Nowhere State or benefit from schemes that give them unblocked paths to the quarterback. Others are double-teamed on every snap.
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There are several methods for sidestepping these problems. One is to meld analysis with game study. Anthony Chiado does just that each year for the Optimum Scouting Draft Guide, tracking how often each top pass-rusher is double-teamed, how often he’s unblocked, where he lines up, which of his pass-rush moves are most successful and so forth.

NC State’s Bradley Chubb looks as solid as you might expect in the breakdowns. Marcus Davenport of Texas-San Antonio blows the field away, albeit against lower competition levels. But Chiado’s research uncovers a variety of secrets about other edge-rushers, most notably Oklahoma’s Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.cheap custom nfl jerseys
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Okoronkwo pressed opposing quarterbacks on 25.4 percent of passing plays, second only to Davenport. He was rarely unblocked (just 3.6 percent of his pressures) and beat his opponent with some sort of countermove 25.0 percent of the time.

The countermoves reveal Okoronkwo’s ability to do more than just explode out the gate and beat a left tackle to the edge. The Optimum Scouting analysis quantifies Okoronkwo’s ability to work through blocks and find alternate routes to the quarterback, two important skills for success as an NFL pass-rusher.cheap customized nfl jerseys

Okoronkwo also performed well at the combine and the Senior Bowl and was a major-program superstar, cheap nfl custom jerseys so he’s hardly a “sleeper.” Analytics aren’t just about evaluating players but also describing them in more precise and useful terms than “he’s explosive” or “he’s a winner.”

(And if you are protesting that counting double-teams and countermoves is scouting, not Moneyball, then here’s a news flash: That’s a false distinction. Good analysis and careful observation always go hand-in-hand. It’s when one rejects the other that teams start making foolish decisions.)

Feeling the Need for Speed (and Size) at Running Back

Moneyball principles may not recommend drafting a running back early, but the analytics love big, fast running backs just as much as scouts do.best nfl jerseys

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell developed Speed Score for Football Outsiders in 2008. It’s a deceptively simple way to combine a running back’s weight and 40 time into one easy-to-understand number. That way, no mental arithmetic must be done to compare a 233-pound back with 4.40 speed (Saquon Barkley) to a 198-pounder with 4.38 speed (NC State’s Nyheim Hines) or a 250-pounder with 4.69 speed (Texas’ Chris Warren).45b55945a7c07c3a3870ad73e9f83dbb_crop_exact

Barkley blew this year’s crop of running backs away with a 124.3 Speed Score. Hines and Warren also posted very good results for projected mid-rounders.nfl jersey for cheap  You can find the full list here, which has its share of surprises, like Nick Chubb beating Georgia teammate Sony Michel.

Speed Score is far from foolproof. After all, it’s just a blend of two combine results. But it’s a handy item to keep in the toolkit nfl jerseys cheap authentic  for informing the scouting process. A 1,000-yarder from a powerhouse program with a low Speed Score could be a product of his system. On the other hand, an unheralded rusher with a great Speed Score could be a diamond in the rough.

For example, Arizona State’s Kalen Ballage finished second to Barkley in Speed Score despite low production totals as part custom nfl jerseys cheap of a committee backfield in college. The measurables indicate that he deserves a closer look. You may want to keep an eye on him when it’s time to draft your fantasy team as well.customized nfl jerseys

Tre’ Williams, Auburn

POSITIVES

—Thumper who loves to hit and made many big tackles at the Senior Bowl.nfl jersey for sale

—Very physical taking on blockers and sniffing out the run in the middle of the field.

—Old-school mentality and relishes opportunities to put pads on ball-carriers.

—Instincts, timing and awareness all scored high.clearance nfl jerseys

NEGATIVES

—Only one year (2017) as a full-time starter.

—Shoulder injury limited him to eight starts.

—Doesn’t have ideal speed or range to project as a starting linebacker prospect.nike nfl jerseys on sale

—Low-impact player on game days. Only had 50 total tackles (24 solo) in 2017. Easy to lose him on film.

OVERALL

Tre’ Williams made a name for himself with big hits at the Senior Bowl, but he lacks the hips and speed to play in space in the NFL. He projects well as a backup middle linebacker whose aggressive, physical style would play well on special teams.
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GRADE: 5.00 (Priority Free Agent)

PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Mike Hull, Miami Dolphins cheap nfl jersey store

Nick DeLuca, North Dakota State

POSITIVES

—Above-average mental processing that puts him in the right place more often than not.

—High-level instincts that keep him in the action often.

—Special teams experience and willingness to compete.

—Vocal player; a quick learner who can direct a defense.best price nfl jerseys

NEGATIVES

—Shoulder injury in 2016 and torn meniscus in 2017.

—Struggled in Senior Bowl practices, often playing too upright and with a forward lean.

—Limited athlete with speed concerns who will be exploited in NFL.

—Average change-of-direction skills that become a problem moving laterally through traffic.

—Will be chewed up in isolation against NFL talent in the backfield.nike nfl jerseys from china

OVERALL

Nick DeLuca is a smart player who has found ways to mask some of his athletic limitations. At the Senior Bowl, however, nfl jerseys women those limitations stood out rather easily both in linebacker drills and on the field for team portions. DeLuca will have to consistently diagnose plays correctly to have any shot at being an effective NFL linebacker. If a team can manage with him as a depth piece, he has the commitment and willingness to learn any backup spot and contribute on all special teams.

GRADE: 5.00 (Priority Free Agent)

PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Nick Bellore, Detroit Lions

Mark Sanchez Reportedly Suspended 4 Games for NFL PED Violation

The NFL suspended free-agent quarterback Mark Sanchez for the first four games of the 2018 season on Friday for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, according to The MMQB’s Albert Breer. best nfl jerseys

“The NFL has informed me that I have tested positive for a substance on the banned substance list,” Sanchez wrote on Instagram. “I was blind-sided by the news and I want to say unequivocally that I have never cheated or attempted to gain a competitive advantage by using a banned performance enhancing substance.

“…My test history and pharmacological science confirm I was not cheating and the positive test was the result of incidental and isolated exposure to a banned substance. I was tested by the NFL 30 days before and 12 days after my one positive test. Both tests bracketing the one positive test were clean.”hi-res-49cf775d42b5e38775d62bef33ee1746_crop_northnfl jersey for cheap

Sanchez added that while he did not knowingly take any substances, the league’s rules are clear regarding any sort of consumption:

“Nevertheless, the NFL has an extremely comprehensive performance enhancing drug policy. Because of the policy’s comprehensive and self-described ‘strict liability’ nature, players know that inadvertent exposure to a banned substance may lead to a positive test. The policy makes it each player’s responsibility to avoid even the unwitting ingestion of a banned substance. I accept responsibility as a professional and will move forward with greater caution in the future. I look forward to getting back on the field this season.” nfl jerseys cheap authentic

Sanchez, 31, hasn’t taken a regular-season snap since 2016 when he was a member of the Dallas Cowboys. He spent last season buried on the Chicago Bears’ depth chart behind Mitchell Trubisky and Mike Glennon.
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Sanchez’s last start came on Thanksgiving in 2015 with the Philadelphia Eagles—a 45-14 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

Over the course of seven seasons, the 2009 first-round pick has completed 56.7 percent of his passes for 15,219 yards, 86 touchdowns and 86 interceptions.

Is Saquon Barkley Really a Generational RB Talent?

The 2018 draft class is fascinating for a number of reasons. As many as five quarterbacks could go in the first round, and there’s a surplus of talent at other positions. With question marks attached to all those quarterbacks, there’s a race for the title of “best player in the draft” outside the game’s most important position.
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Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is one of those players thought by many to be the best pure football talent in this class. In three years as a starter for the Nittany Lions, he gained 3,843 rushing yards and scored 43 touchdowns on 671 carries. He also caught 102 passes for 1,195 yards and eight touchdowns, and added 18 kickoff returns for 500 yards and two touchdowns.
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Barkley’s positional versatility is singularly impressive among the running backs in this class, and it would be the same in most draft classes. He can run inside and outside with tremendous speed, lateral agility and acceleration. As a receiver, he can line up anywhere from offset in a Pistol formation to the slot to outside—he has the potential to be the NFL’s best receiving back since Le’Veon Bell rounded out his skill set. As a direct-snap running quarterback who finds himself behind the center from pre-snap movement, Barkley can also create explosive plays. It’s easy to see why some would tout him as a truly great back, and in many aspects of his play, he is just that.
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Bert Whigham, who has been training Barkley this year at Tom Shaw Performance in Florida, set the bar fairly high regarding his client’s professional prospects, comparing him to another player Whigham has trained.nfl jerseys cheap authentic

“The only person I can think of that’s comparable physically is [Oakland Raiders linebacker] Khalil Mack,” Whigham told Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. “Khalil and Saquon are my 1a. and 1b. These two guys are outliers. They’re freaks. It’s those two and then probably [Tennessee Titans running back] Derrick Henry, another freak. But with Khalil, we knew he was the No. 1 overall pick. We knew he was going to be special. And it’s the same with Saquon. You’ve got a generational talent.”

Brazilian first division is set to kick off, whether anyone has noticed or not

In their book “Soccernomics,” written in 2009, Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski make “rosy predictions for Brazilian football,” including that the investments in the 2014 World Cup would help lift the country’s domestic game to a level similar to that of the major European leagues.cheap custom nfl jerseys

It is a rare false note in a fascinating work. A recent editorial in Brazil’s sports daily Lance! paints a truer picture of contemporary reality.

“Our club game is in the global third division,” it laments. “Brazilian football is today further behind the main centres than it has ever been, by any indicator.
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“We are easily beaten in terms of average crowd, TV audience, income of the clubs and interest of the sponsors.
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“Violence keeps people away from the stadiums. And we are exporters of talent, helping other leagues to be more attractive than our own.”

There are many explanations for such a state of affairs, in which the Brazilian game operates absurdly beneath its potential. Many of these explanations come back to leadership and organisation — in particular, a structure of football in which the tail wags the dog.
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Power inside the Brazilian football association, the CBF, does not rest with the clubs. It lies with the presidents of the 27 state federations. They, in turn, owe much of their allegiance to clubs so tiny they barely, if at all, qualify as professional.

As Lance! concludes, “The clubs and their fans are the biggest losers of our unhappy dynasty. Especially the big clubs — subjected to a disastrous calendar that obliges them to make a loss in the interests of those at the top.”nfl jerseys cheap nike

Quite why the clubs have yet to break away to form their own league is one of the major mysteries of Brazilian football. But the undeniable truth, the point overlooked by Kuper and Szymanski, is that there is little benefit in having 21st-century stadiums if they have to coincide with a 19th-century calendar.

Arsenal Transfer News: Everton Reportedly Confident of Signing Jack Wilshere

Everton are reportedly growing increasingly confident they will sign Jack Wilshere from Arsenal in the summer.
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Wilshere is out of contract at the end of the season and has rejected a new deal with the Gunners as it would involve taking a pay cut. He is also not too happy with the way he has been treated by the club, according to Football.London’s Charles Watts.cheap custom nfl jerseys

The situation has given Everton hope they can land Wilshere, as they would be willing to match his current wages as well as offer him “a sizeable signing on fee.”
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The 26-year-old has endured an injury-plagued career, but he has managed to prove his fitness at Arsenal this season and has made 35 appearances in all competitions.

Arsenal’s reluctance to offer Wilshere a big contract is perhaps understandable given his injury record. However, they do risk losing him on a free transfer in the summer if he does not renew.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown said it would be a disaster if Wilshere left, per Indy Football:
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Everton manager Sam Allardyce has spoken about Wilshere and said he has “always admired him” in an interview with TalkSport.

A move to Everton would also see Wilshere reunited with former team-mate Theo Walcott, who moved to Goodison Park from Arsenal in January 2017.
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There’s no doubt that a fit Wilshere is a quality midfielder who is yet to fully realise his potential. However, his injury record is a concern and is likely to have an impact on any decisions regarding his future.