Mane injury is a huge blow to Liverpool

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 Source: Sadio Mane via Facebook.

Liverpool have suffered another major setback in their quest for a top-four finish, after dynamic winger Sadio Mane was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Even more frustrating for the Anfield outfit is the fact that Mane suffered the injury whilst away on international duty with Senegal. It’s a major blow for the club, who rely heavily on his creative attacking runs down the flanks and his lightning pace in the final third of the pitch.

He was substituted in the 89th minute of Senegal’s win over Cape Verde and Liverpool have now confirmed the injury to the press.

The exciting forward was named in the 30-man shortlist for the 2017 Ballon d’Or on Monday, but unfortunately, he is now set to sit out even more games on the bench. The injury blow comes having just returned from a three-week suspension for a dangerous tackle on Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson Moraes in their clash back in September.

It’s an all-too-familiar scenario for Reds fans, who will remember him playing in the African Cup of Nations last season and subsequently missing the whole of January. Liverpool failed to cope with his loss sufficiently and slumped to their worst month of the 2016/17 campaign.

Despite being absent for that entire month, as well as another six weeks at the end of the year because of a knee injury, Mane still managed to score 13 goals last season.

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Source: Sadio Mane via Facebook.

Coach Jurgen Klopp now faces a massive challenge to keep the club moving forward in its push for a top-four finish. Big-spending Manchester City have set the pace so far and are the favourites to win the title, with Premier League betting sites pricing them at 4/6. Manchester United are hot on their heels at 11/4, and Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal seem to be the remaining teams who will fight it out for the remaining Champions League places.

Attention will now no doubt turn to who can replace Mane on the wing during the player’s absence. It could mean a first Liverpool start for new signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who joined the club in a £40 million deadline-day deal.

The Senegal could miss as many as eight games for the Reds, including three of the club’s critical Champions League clashes, with a potential return against Chelsea at Anfield late November.

Adam Lallana is another player that could fill the void if he can get back to match fitness sooner than expected. The England International recently travelled to Qatar where he is trying to speed up his rehabilitation at the Aspetar Sorting Clinic. He is still recovering from a ruptured tendon in his left thigh which he sustained in a training exercise at the beginning of August. The club said that they weren’t expecting him back in October, but are hopeful he could make an earlier return.

Liverpool will hope that they can find someone to fill the vacant forward position without too much trouble, and that it doesn’t impact on the clubs attacking style of play.

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Worcester sign Lance on short-term deal

Jono Lance
Image source: @WorcsWarriors

Worcester have confirmed the signing of fly-half Jono Lance on a short-term deal, in the hope the Australian can boost their Aviva Premiership campaign.

The 27-year-old playmaker will help to add experience to the Warriors’ ranks at fly-half, alongside current players Sam Olver, Tom Heathcote and Jamie Shillcock.

“Jono is a player who’s got vast experience at the top level having won Super Rugby titles with different clubs,” said Worcester rugby director Gary Gold.

“He will help drive the competition for the number 10 jersey and we’re looking forward to seeing what he has to offer.”

Lance admitted he is looking forward to the move, adding: “I’m really excited about the opportunity to represent the Warriors in the Aviva Premiership.”

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton ‘out for months’

Burnley manager Sean Dyche revealed on Thursday that Tom Heaton is expected to be missing “for months”, after suffering a shoulder injury.

The 31-year-old – who has been capped by England three times – suffered the injury after landing awkwardly during the first half of his side’s victory over Crystal Palace at the weekend, and went under the knife on Wednesday.

After the 1-0 defeat of Palace Dyche had mentioned how he suspected Heaton would be missing for a lengthy period, and when asked whether this was the confirmed case at a press conference on Thursday, he said: “Yes, It won’t be weeks, it will be a longer period.”

Burnley face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday at 3pm, as they look to continue their good start to the Premier League season, after securing seven points from the opening four matches.

Juan Martin del Potro secures victory after fight back

Juan Martin del Potro pulled off one of tennis’ most memorabke comebacks to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open on Monday.

The champion from 2009 had been struggling with illness, and looked set to crash out without a fight after winning only three games in the opening two sets against Dominic Thiem.

There were doubts as to whether Del Potro would be fit enough to complete the match, but he remarkably did more than just finish what he started.

The Argentinian secured the third set with ease, and then saved two match points with aces in the foruth, before clinching the win in the fifth to leave the score at 1-6 2-6 6-1 7-6 (7/1) 6-4.

Speaking after the win, Del Potro said: “Oh my God. I don’t know what can I say after this big battle. I was sick the last two days. I came here trying to play as well as I can.

“When I saw all of this crowd cheering for me, my illness cleared up. I was trying to feel better every game. I fight like this because of you guys.”

Atletico Madrid manager Simeone signs new deal

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has signed a two-year contract extension with the LaLiga club, it has been announced.

The 47-year-old first took control of the Spanish outfit in December 2011, and will now remain with Atleti until the end of June 2020.

A statement on the club’s website read: “Our manager signed the new contract that ties him to Atletico Madrid for two more seasons, until June 30th, 2020.

“The much-awaited news by the Atletico fans is thus confirmed, something that Enrique Cerezo, Miguel Angel Gil and Simeone himself have always hinted at in their public statements.”

Simeone – who also played for the club as a midfielder – led Atleti to Europa League success during his first season with the team.

He would then win the European Super Cup and Copa del Rey the following season.

Atleti secured their 10th league title in 2013/14 with Simeone in charge, and they also reached the final of the Champions League that term, before being beaten to close rivals Real Madrid.

Last season saw Simeone win more silverware with the club, guiding them to another Copa del Rey triumph – and the team currently sit fourth in the league so far this campaign, but remain unbeaten ahead of a trip to Valencia on Saturday.

Rory McIlroy drops to sixth in world rankings

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy will begin the BMW Championship next week with his lowest world ranking in over three years.

McIlroy missed the cut in the Dell Technologies Championship and has slipped from fourth to sixth in the latest standings behind winner Justin Thomas and Spain’s Jon Rahm.

Not since July 2014 has the former world number one been as low as sixth, when he was ranked eighth after the Scottish Open, before going on to win the Open Championship at Hoylake a week later.

An injury-plagued season has meant that McIlroy has only played in 15 events so far, but has plans for three more events before a several month sabatical to give his lingering rib injury a chance to full recover.

McIlroy defeated Ryan Moore and Kevin Chappell in a play-off at East Lake 12 months ago to win the overall FedEx Cup title, and a welcome $10million bonus.

The 28-year-old is keen to avoid just his second full winless season since turning professional, and is due to contest the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with his father Gerry from October 5-8 before calling time on a frustrating campaign.

Federer will face Alexander Zverev in Montreal final

Roger Federer has booked a place with Alexander Zverev in the Rogers Cup final after a comfortable victory over Robin Haase in the Semi’s.

The win meant Federer took his current win streak to 16, having won the match 6-3 7-6 (7-5) in straight-sets.

The Swiss will now compete for his third Canadian Masters title when he faces Zverev.

When asked about the final, the 36-year-old said he was delighted with his current physique.

“I’m happy – most happy that I’m actually really healthy going into the finals.

“I haven’t wasted too much energy. I’ve been able to keep points short. I’ve been really clean at net. I think my concentration and just my playing has gone up a notch. I’m just playing better.”

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Federer’s opponent in the final was humble in victory, as he praised the 18-year-old semi finalist he defeated, Denis Shapovalov.

“I told him he had a great run. Well done to him, to not worry too much that he lost today.

“I also told him that this is just the first match of very, very many that we will play against him.

“Hopefully a lot of other big matches, maybe in Grand Slams, maybe in finals of tournaments. I just told him that this is the beginning for him.”

The final will take place at 21:00 tonight, and it would be worth taking advantage of the better offers available at biggestfreebets.com before the match starts.

Manu Tuilagi named in Eddie Jones’ England squad for training camp

Manu Tuilagi has been named as one of the 37 man squad that Eddie Jones will take for a three-day training camp, which begins this weekend.

The Leicester centre hasn’t represented England on an international stage since 2016, as continuous injury setbacks threatened to hamper the 26-year-old’s career.

Seven of the chosen 37 – Dan Cole, Owen Farrell, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, Jack Nowell, Kyle Sinckler and Anthony Watson – will spend only one day at the camp, to undergo medical check-ups.

The England head coach said:

“We are at an incredibly important stage with two years to go to the Rugby World Cup in Japan, and there is still a big step to make if we want to be the number one team in the world.

“We are going to have to be meticulous in preparation in everything we do as we build towards Tokyo, and that is why this camp is vital ahead of this season.

“The players, coaches and staff will use these three days to reconnect and ensure we are all clear on what our priorities and expectations are ahead of the Premiership season, as well as the upcoming Old Mutual Wealth Series (in November).”

England training squad: Backs – M Brown (Harlequins), D Care (Harlequins), N Earle (Saracens), O Farrell (Saracens), G Ford (Leicester), P Francis (Northampton), A Lozowski (Saracens), H Mallinder (Northampton), J Marchant (Harlequins), J Maunder (Exeter), J May (Gloucester), J Nowell (Exeter), R Wigglesworth (Saracens), H Slade (Exeter), M Smith (Harlequins), D Solomona (Sale Sharks), M Tuilagi (Leicester), A Watson (Bath), B Youngs (Leicester).

Forwards – D Cole (Leicester), L Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), T Curry (Sale Sharks), T Dunn (Bath), C Ewels (Bath), E Genge (Leicester), J George (Saracens), D Hartley (Northampton), N Hughes (Wasps), N Isiekwe (Saracens), M Itoje (Saracens), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Robshaw (Harlequins), K Sinckler (Harlequins), S Underhill (Bath), H Williams (Exeter), M Wilson (Newcastle), B Vunipola (Saracens).

Klitschko announces his retirement

Image result for Wladimir Klitschko

Former heavy weight world champion Wladimir Klitschko has today announced his retirement from boxing, after 17 years as a pro.

The announcement ruled out the possibility of the proposed rematch with Anthony Joshua, which had been touted since Joshua’s defeat of Klitschko on April 29.

The fight with Joshua could have gone either way, which was great credit to the 41-year-old, who was only defeated in the 11th round.

Joshua was hopeful of Klitschko signing a rematch clause for a proposed fight in Las Vegas on November 11.

When officially announcing his retirement, the Ukrainian said: “I have achieved everything I dreamed of, and now I want to start my second career after sports.

“I would have never imagined that I would have such a long and incredibly successful boxing career.

“Twenty-seven years ago I started my journey in sport. It was the best choice of a profession I could have made. Because of this choice I have travelled the world, learned new languages, created business, built intellectual properties, helped people in need.

“At some point in our lives we need to switch our careers and get ourselves ready for the next chapter – obviously I am not an exception to this.

“I am expecting and hoping my next career, which I have already been planning and working on for some years, will be at least as successful as the previous one, if not more successful.”

Klitschko retires on the back of a 64 wins and 5 defeats, and was the heavyweight champion for 11 years straight between 2006-2015.

Hull will face Wigan in Australia next year

Hull FC will take on Wigan in Australia in 2018 for the first Super League game to ever take place outside of Europe.

Important details:

Date: 10 February 2018

Venue: WIN Stadium in Wollongong

A week after the game, both sides will then take on Australian opponents. Wigan will face the South Sydney Rabbitohs, whilst Hull will face St George Illawarra Dragons. Both games will be in Sydney.

If either side qualifies, it will open the door for them to take part in the World Club Challenge or Series, which starts on the 24th of February.

Shane Wane’s Wigan side have previously played in Australia, when they were defeated 36-14 by the Sydney Roosters in 2014 during the World Club Challenge, but the Warriors will be hoping for a sweeter outcome this time around.

Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan said:

“We firmly believe that the Wigan and Hull fans will be as excited about this venture as we are and we have announced early to allow fans the chance to plan their trip to Australia.”

Whilst Hull chairman Adam Pearson also spoke:

“There will be a great deal of excitement from fans of both clubs and we’re sure many will want to travel to New South Wales for such an historic occasion, support their team and help showcase all that is good about rugby league in the UK.”