The Portland Trail Blazers looked to continue their fantastic early-season run against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday in a clash of two of the best teams in the Western Conference. Portland had won four straight but faced a stern test from a Mavs team looking to extend a two-game winning streak of its own.
Paper News & Gossip: Moyes Denies Van Persie ‘Request,’ Arsenal Consider Coleman
This week will not have gone down as one of the best in Manchester United manager David Moyes’ life after successive home defeats to Everton and Newcastle United.
And now the Old Trafford boss has had to deny suggestions that striker Robin van Persie has handed in a transfer request, while another leading European coach has been linked with replacing him in one report.
Things are a lot sunnier at Arsenal, though, where manager Arsene Wenger is weighing up a move for Everton right-back Seamus Coleman, according to a report on Sunday.
But who else is making the headlines on Sunday? Read on to find out more.
Power Ranking Arsenal’s Squad Player by Player
Who have been Arsenal’s best players on their journey to the top of the Premier League this season? There have been many stars with the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud immediately springing to mind.
We’ve seen some great goals, assists and performances, and the Gunners have easily been the best team in the league by far. Arsene Wenger’s team seems to have captured its spirit of old and is beating teams for fun, and in the best and most entertaining way possible.
Arsenal have the best and most mobile midfield in England, a defense that is proving almost impossible to breach and a striker who has hit form and answered his critics in style.
Matthew Macklin vs. Lamar Russ: Winner, Report and Analysis
Matthew Macklin returned to winning ways and gave himself renewed hope of a fourth world title shot after a points victory over Lamar Russ in their middleweight encounter on Saturday evening.
Hours after another British middleweight, Darren Barker, had lost his IBF title to Felix Sturm, Macklin overcame some signs of rustiness to record a unanimous points victory—with the three judges scoring the fight 96-94, 98-92 and 97-93 in Macklin’s favour.
The previously undefeated Russ, a late replacement for the injured Willie Nelson, was outmatched for most of the contests, with Macklin frustrated as the American seemed reluctant to engage for much of the contest.
Macklin circled his opponent for much of the opening two rounds before beginning to pick his shots with more clarity and effect in the third and fourth.
6 Players England Should Fear in World Cup Group
England will have to face a huge number of dangers in the so-called group of death in the World Cup at Brazil 2014. Roy Hodgson’s team will have to face of Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica while taking in the cities of Rio, Manaus, Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte.
After travelling thousands of miles, England will then, somehow, have to summon the energy to contain some of the best players in the world.
Uruguay possess two of the best strikers on the planet in Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Paris Saint-Germain FC’s Edinson Cavani.
Australia vs. England Ashes 2013: Day 4 Scorecard and Recap from Adelaide
Second Ashes Test Match, Adelaide
Australia 570-9 dec & 132-3 dec
England 172 & 247-6
England need 284 runs to win
Diligent, dogged batting from Joe Root and Kevin Pietersen gave England a glimmer of hope of surviving the second Test with a draw, although the loss of both batsmen in the hours before stumps on day four means the task remains a decidedly uphill one.
With Australia surprising some by declaring around ten minutes before play was due to start on Sunday, England were thrust into bat earlier than they expected—knowing that they needed 531 runs to win or, more realistically, needed to bat for as much as 180 overs if they were to secure a draw.
Vague concerns over the weather forecast had helped influence Australia captain Michael Clarke’s decision to declare, and rain might still be needed if England are to avoid slipping 2-0 down in the series after finishing the day 247 for 6.
Root and Pietersen had been instrumental in building that score, compiling 87 and 53 respectively after seeing openers Alastair Cook (1) and Michael Carberry (14) lose their wickets early to wafted hooks down the leg side.
10 Most Embarrassing Run-Outs in Cricket History
There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the worst way to be dismissed in cricket is being run out, especially when it is your partner who has just left you high and dry.
Fantasy Premier League 2013 Week 16: Defenders, Midfielders and Strikers to Sign
As the fantasy football season rages on, it becomes gradually more difficult to find an edge over one’s opponent, getting ahead of the curve with transfers before they become commonplace.
Luckily, we’re here to provide some insight for the week ahead, complete with suggestions over which moves one might make in order to get through another matchday with flying colours.
Week 16, as ever, has more than a few viable options to invest in with the view of raking those points in, with particular attention paid to squeezing some pennies along the way.
All statistics and price references are made using the Premier League’s official fantasy website.
Cricket in South Africa and Its Debt to Nelson Mandela
Imagine a world without a South African cricket team. Imagine a world without the likes of Hashim Amla, Vernon Philander, Paul Adams and Makhaya Ntini having graced the international stage. Isn’t it scary to think that just a over 22 years ago, that world was a reality and, today, if it weren’t for Nelson Mandela, the world would have been a different place.
Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s father, Africa’s greatest son and one of the world’s icons in the struggle for freedom and equality passed away on 5 December 2013.
WATCH: Monta Ellis beats Blazers with game-winning shot
In one of the more wild games that we’ve seen this season, the Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks were tied at 106 after Damian Lillard hit an off-balance three pointer with less than two seconds to play.
Premier League Top Scorers Week 16: Updated List of EPL’s Top Marksmen
Following a week of packed Premier League action, some bodies are showing signs of wear and tear at this stage of the campaign, but others continue to thrive in front of goal.
Luis Suarez entered this weekend as the division’s leading scorer, but has the Liverpool man succeeded in tying up winning honours once again after Saturday’s action?
Read on for a breakdown of how the scoring ranks line up following Saturday’s proceedings, with a number of top-flight fixtures still scheduled for the days to come.
Luis Suarez, 14 Goals
Luis Suarez continued his sensational run of form with a threatening performance against West Ham in which the Uruguayan international was at the source of just about everything the Reds created going forward.
Having been unfortunate in settling for forcing a Guy Demel own goal earlier on at Anfield, Suarez finally got on the scoresheet himself with just 10 minutes left in the fixture, extending his tally to 14 goals.
Golden State Warriors Power Rankings: Rating Every Player After First Six Weeks
The Golden State Warriors have made it through a rough patch after the first six weeks, by both fighting off injuries and playing improved Western Conference teams. Stephen Curry has shown his leadership skills while trying to keep hold of his top power ranking spot.
The rest of his teammates have contributed in a very solid manner. Andrew Bogut made the game-saving block versus the Sacramento Kings, and Andre Iguodala hit the game-winning jumper to fend off the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Alex Song a Cut-Price Bargain for Red Devils
In a bid to end his stint at Barcelona, Alex Song could make his return to the Premier League this winter, 18 months after initially making the decision to leave.
According to recent reports, Manchester United have joined the race for the midfield anchor and could look to Song as they attempt to improve their engine-room presence.
It’s a deal that could work out for all parties, Gerardo Martino opting to use the Cameroonian international only sparingly in these first few months at the Camp Nou, playing Song only seven times in La Liga this season.
Meanwhile, David Moyes’ midfield has struggled to stamp its authority for great patches of this term, despite the summer arrival of Moyes’ former Everton talisman, Marouane Fellaini.
Michigan State Exposes Ohio State, Buckeyes Simply Not That Good
“Why not us?” Those were the words spoken earlier this week by Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio about his team and the national championship.
After Saturday’s 34-24 win over Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship, Dantonio’s words seemed rather prophetic.
No one was giving the Spartans much of a chance and all the talk heading into the week was whether Ohio State would win by enough to keep its BCS national championship hopes alive.
Instead, Michigan State exposed the weakness of Ohio State, its secondary, and is going to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1988.
Arsenal Transfer News: Confused Iker Casillas Is Ripe for January Approach
Legendary Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas is confused about his situation at Real Madrid according to his former assistant manager Aitor Karanka.
The now Middlesbrough manager has spoken about his time at the Madrid club, where he was right-hand man to Jose Mourinho. According to Karanka, Casillas was ousted by Diego Alves because of form alone, something the Spanish number one is struggling to understand (from Goal.com):
We thought a lot about his situation because we knew he was not just any player.
College Football Rankings Week 16: Bleacher Report’s Top 25
Well, the final week of the college football season was as crazy as many expected.
The national title picture shifted for the final time, and the two finalists are now crystal clear.
Who are they? Check out the rankings to find out.
Poll voters: Chris Bello, Eric Bowman, Carter Bryant, Phil Callihan, Andrew Coppens, Bill Eichenberger, Sean Frye, Ben Kercheval, Sanjay Kirpalani, David Luther, David Regimbal, Max Rausch, Patrick Runge, Barrett Sallee Alex Sims, Erin Sorensen, Marc Torrence and Greg Wallace.
SEC Deserved a Chance to Defend Its BCS Championship on the Field
The SEC has never lost a BCS championship game to anyone but itself. The league will trust Auburn to keep that streak alive when the Tigers play Florida State for the BCS title in Pasadena on Jan. 1.
While the BCS national title isn’t like a championship belt that goes from team to team or conference to conference, not having the SEC there to defend its throne wouldn’t have felt right.
Dirk Nowitzki Can Still Carry Mavericks, but Monta Ellis Just What They Needed
Following a statement 108-106 road win against the Portland Trail Blazers, it’s clear that Dirk Nowitzki is still an NBA alpha dog who can carry the Dallas Mavericks, but Monta Ellis is just what this team needed to contend for a playoff berth.
Nowitzki played just 53 games during an injury-riddled 2012-13 campaign. Without their star player, the Mavs were 13-16. With Nowitzki in the lineup, they posted a 28-25 record.
Heineken Cup 2013: Highlighting Crucial Sunday Fixtures
The Heineken Cup is back with a bang this weekend with a full round of fixtures.
With two games gone, the pools are starting to take shape. Those teams who have won both ties will be looking to streak clear atop their group, whereas those who have suffered defeat will be well aware they can’t afford to slip up again.
The pick of the action will come on Sunday and we have a plethora of intriguing contests to sample.
Was Arizona State’s Pac-12 Championship Appearance a Mirage or Start of a Trend?
Fans who remained in Sun Devil Stadium after Arizona State’s 38-14 loss to Stanford in Saturday’s Pac-12 Championship serenaded the Sun Devils upperclassmen with chants of “thank you seniors,” as they left the field for the final time.
“I want to say thank you to the fans,” said safety Alden Darby, one of the seniors who played his last college game in Tempe, Ariz., and one of seven seniors to start Saturday’s championship on the defensive side. “It’s been a long journey…in four years.