Maurizio Sarri has told his Juventus squad they must adapt to Cristiano Ronaldo’s game after hailing him as the “player who makes the difference”.The Portugal international plundered 28 goals in his debut campaign for the Bianconeri following his move from Real Madrid, guiding them to an eighth successive Serie A title.He picked up where he left off in Juve’s first pre-season game ahead of the 2019-20 season on Sunday, scoring a typically clinical goal in his side’s 3-2 International Champions Cup defeat to Tottenham. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Speaking ahead of an ICC clash against Italian rivals Inter on Wednesday, head coach Sarri made it clear Ronaldo will be the focal point of his side in the forthcoming campaign.”He will be the player who will make the difference for us so the other 10 will have to adapt to him,” Sarri told a media conference.”During this tour he will play mostly as a left offensive striker, knowing very well he likes to move more central next to the other striker.”As a team we have to be quick to adapt to his movements since he is capable of making the difference and he will do it for sure. In the first game, he scored and had a further couple of chances.”The defeat to Tottenham also saw the debut of Matthijs de Ligt, the new signing from Ajax who arrived last week for an initial fee of €75 million (£68m/$84m).Sarri described the 19-year-old as a “phenomenal prospect” but would not be drawn on whether he will command an immediate place in his preferred starting XI.”De Ligt is a phenomenal prospect,” Sarri said. “He is a 19-year-old kid who has already been captain in an important club like Ajax so he is an important prospect.”I don’t know whether he will stay on the bench or not. If not, on the bench there will be other important defenders like [Leonardo] Bonucci, [Giorgio] Chiellini and [Daniele] Rugani.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been happy with Harry Wilson’s pre-season, but he remains unsure about the attacker’s future.Wilson, 22, scored a 30-yard stunner as the European champions beat Lyon 3-1 in a friendly at the Stade de Geneve on Wednesday.He was joined on the scoresheet by Roberto Firmino while a Joachim Andersen own goal contributed the Reds’ third goal. Memphis Depay, meanwhile, scored from the spot for Lyon. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? The Wales international impressed during a loan spell with Derby County last season, scoring 16 Championship goals, and has been linked with Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Bournemouth during this ongoing transfer window.Speaking after the win over Lyon, Klopp said talks were ongoing about Wilson, who has pleased the manager during Liverpool’s pre-season matches.”We are in constant conversations, that’s clear. We have to do the right thing for us and for the boy,” he told a news conference on Wednesday.”There is nothing to talk about in public about it, so we will see what happens in the next eight or nine days until the window closes.Another BOSS finish from @harrywilson_ pic.twitter.com/IosRegCVue — Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 31, 2019 “He is obviously a really good player and I was really happy with him in the whole pre-season. He came back from Derby in a completely different [shape]. That’s a good example of how a loan can really work out – it was for Derby really good and for Harry as well. For us as well, which is good.”I am happy for him that he could show that tonight again. He played not in his best position, he played left wing and did it really well.”We tried to set it up a little bit so it is more comfortable for him with positioning and stuff like that. When he scored the goal, it was just Harry – brilliant.”The Reds have endured a difficult pre-season with the victory over Lyon being the club’s third win in seven matches this summer.Liverpool topped Tranmere and Bradford City before falling to Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Napoli while drawing Sporting CP.The Champions League winners will face Premier League rivals Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday before their league opener at home to Norwich City five days later. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
LINCOLN, NE – OCTOBER 20: Quarterback Zack Annexstad #5 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers passes in the first half against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)Minnesota quarterback Zach Annexstad, who started the game for the Golden Gophers against Nebraska and had to be replaced at halftime, was taken to the hospital after the contest.Annexstad, according to Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck, was taken to the hospital for an “internal, midsection injury.” It’s unclear exactly what injury Annexstad is suffering from.The good news is that Fleck seems to think Annexstad is going to be okay. He told reporters he expects the quarterback to be “released soon.”Annexstad, before leaving the game due to injury, was 9-of-20 for 135 yards with a touchdown. He was replaced by Tanner Morgan.Annexstad, just a freshman, has started every game this year for the Golden Gophers.#Gophers starting quarterback Zack Annexstad suffered an internal, midsection injury and went to the hospital, with the expectation he will be released soon, coach PJ Fleck said.— Andy Greder (@andygreder) October 20, 2018Nebraska wound up winning the contest 53-28 for their first victory of the year.Hopefully, Annexstad is alright. We’ll keep you updated on his status.
On Tuesday night, the College Football Playoff committee released its second series of rankings for the season. Unsurprisingly, Alabama remained the unquestioned No. 1 team in the country after its dominant performance against former No. 3 LSU.With the loss to the Tide, the Tigers only dropped four spots to No. 7. Notre Dame, Michigan, Georgia, and Oklahoma were all bumped up on spot with LSU’s loss.The two-loss Tigers remain above several one-loss teams including Washington State, West Virginia and Ohio State. After the rankings were released, Paul Finebaum broke down the team with the best “outside” shot to make the playoff.Finebaum spoke with For The Win about the Ohio State Buckeyes.“(If Ohio State) beats Michigan State and beats Michigan and wins the Big Ten championship game, they will be in the playoff. And there’s no getting around it. They have the schedule in front of them. The Michigan game would be a monster win.”Finebaum believes the Buckeyes still control their own destiny. With a road game against a top-25 Michigan State program and a home game against a potential top-4 Michigan program, Ohio State is solidly in the College Football Playoff discussion.A bad loss in 2017 kept the Buckeyes out of the playoff, so we’ll have to wait and see if that happens yet again.[For The Win]
PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 02: Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin reacts on the sideline during the first half against the USC Trojans during the 2017 Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 2, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Penn State’s James Franklin has been linked to the potential USC opening in recent days, with some reporting that the Nittany Lions’ head coach could be the favorite to replace Clay Helton if he ends up getting fired.Franklin declined to address the rumors earlier in the week, simply stating that rumors like this pop up every season.The Nittany Lions’ head coach made a stronger statement tonight.Franklin says he plans on being Penn State’s head football coach for a long time.“I have all the plans in the world to be here [at Penn State] and be here for a long time,” he said this evening.James Franklin on recent job rumors: “I have all the plans in the world to be here [at Penn State] and be here for a long time.”— Onward State (@OnwardState) November 21, 2018Franklin signed a new contract before the 2017 season with an average salary of close to $6 million. It’s possible he could attempt to use the possible USC opening as leverage for a raise, but it appears he intends on sticking around in State College, Pa.Penn State ends its 2018 regular season on Saturday against Maryland.
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 01: Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on in the second half against the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Bowl season is here in college football, but before we get into these postseason contests, it is time for a final top 25 from CBS Sports.As always, Dennis Dodd handles the rankings for CBS. He updated his weekly throughout the season, and put out his last set today.Not surprisingly, Alabama is No. 1. The Crimson Tide are 13-0 and have the top seed in the College Football Playoff, which starts on December 2019.Clemson, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Georgia round out Dodd’s top five.Here is his final top 25:AlabamaClemsonNotre DameOklahomaGeorgiaOhio StateUCFWashingtonWashington StateFloridaLSUMichiganKentuckyTexasFresno StateWest VirginiaUtah StatePenn StateUtahBoise StateSyracuseCincinnatiMississippi StateAppalachian StateTexas A&MYou can see Dodd’s full analysis and top 25 breakdown here.Bowl season begins this Saturday, December 15.
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 01: Justin Fields #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with the ball in the first half against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Much has been made about the starting quarterback competition that is going to take place at Ohio State between Justin Fields and Tate Martell. Both Fields, who decided to transfer to OSU from Georgia, and Martell, a redshirt freshman, are expecting to win the starting job.There’s another quarterback on the Buckeyes’ roster who could play a factor, too, though.Matthew Baldwin, a freshman quarterback out of Texas, is highly thought of by Ohio State’s new head coach, Ryan Day.The former four-star pro-style QB recruit certainly isn’t afraid of any decision.Baldwin told The-Ozone that he will welcome any competition between himself, Fields and Martell.“Charlie Brewer, the quarterback at Baylor, he was the MVP of the Texas Bowl last week, he started for two years and so I was under him,” Baldwin said of his high school experience. “I had the option to transfer out my sophomore year, but I never did. I’m not afraid of competition. I welcome it because the best player is going to play here. There’s no politics. I hope I can be the best player.”Baldwin added that a heavy quarterback competition comes with the territory of playing for a school like Ohio State.“Competition isn’t something that I’m afraid of,” Baldwin said. “If you come to Ohio State and think there’s not going to be a competition, you don’t know what you’re doing. Like I said, I’m not afraid of it. I’ll just take on spring with a good mindset.”Ohio State has had some notable quarterback competitions before. Just recently, Dwayne Haskins beat out Joe Burrow, who transferred to LSU and went on to start for the Tigers. A couple of years ago, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones competed for the job.It’s certainly going to be a fascinating spring in Columbus.
LINCOLN, NE – OCTOBER 16: Kicker Alex Henery #90 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers kicks a ball held by teammate Brett Maher #96 during their game at Memorial Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Texas Defeated Nebraska 20-13. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)Nebraska football has a proud history, and plenty of all-time great players worthy of recognition. Four more are set to join the program’s Hall of Fame this year.The Huskers announced a new five-player class for the Nebraska football Hall of Fame, with four former Huskers spanning the last five decades of program history. They’re joined by a star from a smaller local program.Mark Behning, Jay Foreman, Alex Henery, and Greg Jorgensen are the four former Nebraska football stars making the Hall of Fame.Henery is the most recent Husker on the list. He’s an NCAA record holder, making just under 89-percent of his career field goal attempts.Alex Henery, who hit on a NCAA-record 88.9 percent of his field-goal attempts from 2017-2010 during his time in Lincoln, headlines the 2019 Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Class. #Huskers https://t.co/gwmNX4P3Rs pic.twitter.com/jshNv3EkIN— Husker Extra (@huskerextra) July 9, 2019 Henery is a school record-holder for total career points (397) and field goals (68), and hit 193-of-194 extra points during his career. He was an All-American as a senior in 2010.Foreman starred for the Huskers during their incredible run through the mid-to-late 1990s. He racked up 233 career tackles from 1995-1998, claiming two national titles and finishing as a Butkus Award semifinalist as a senior.Jorgensen is the earliest of the four players, starring along the Nebraska offensive line from 1975-77. He was a second team All-American as a senior.Behning was a key cog in the O-Line a few years later, playing tackle from 1982-84, and earning All-Big Eight honors.They’re joined by Richie Ross, a former All-American at Nebraska-Kearney who finished his career with 4,882 yards and 50 touchdowns. Former Chadron State coach and athletic director Brad Smith has also been selected for this honor.