Man Utd vs Juventus

Man Utd vs Juventus: Manchester United resume their Champions League campaign following a dramatic 2-2 draw at Chelsea when they host Juventus at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

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The Red Devils have four points from their two European games but play arguably the best team in the competition in La Vecchia Signora, who dropped points for the first time in Serie A at the weekend when they drew 1-1 with Genoa.

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Ahead of Tuesday’s clash, here’s what you need to know.

​When? Tuesday 22 October @ 20:00 (BST)​
​Where? ​Old Trafford
​How Can I Watch? ​BT Sport

Man ​United were brilliant in the second half at Stamford Bridge after going 1-0 down and were unfortunate not to claim all three points when Ross Barkley equalised late on after Anthony Martial’s brace.

Their Champions League form has been decent, beating Young Boys away before drawing to Valencia at home, but Jose Mourinho will be encouraged by their display at Chelsea and will harbour hope they can play with the same kind of attacking freedom they showed in Fulham.

​Juventus, meanwhile, drew at home with Genoa on Saturday, ruining a previously perfect record in Serie A. ​Cristiano Ronaldo is in great goalscoring form but the Italian giants showed in the 1-1 draw that even they can be susceptible to a lack of concentration in defence.

Back in 1999, when the Red Devils were feared throughout the world, United came back from two goals down in Turin to secure a memorable 4-3 aggregate win to take them to the UEFA Champions League final.

Filippo Inzaghi scored twice to put Sir Alex Ferguson’s side 2-0 down inside 11 minutes but headers from Roy Keane and Dwight Yorke put United ahead on away goals and firmly in the driving seat.

As Juve pushed forward in search of an equaliser, United managed to counter through Yorke, who was hauled down by Angelo Peruzzi only for an advantage to be played by the referee and Andy Cole tapped into an empty net to seal a famous victory.

There are still plenty of doubts over ​Romelu Lukaku’s ability to hold up the ball, and on Tuesday it’s a skill he’ll need to execute brilliantly if United are to escape inevitable periods of Juventus pressure.

However, the Belgian played well against Chelsea and will fancy his chances of getting the better of Juve’s experienced defenders, with the striker set to come face to face with Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Chiellini is easily one of the best centre backs in the world and will not allow himself to be dragged out wide by Lukaku, where the former Everton forward can often do great work.

United will be without Marcos Rojo and Jesse Lingard, while Marouane Fellaini and Scott McTominay are both doubts. Fred could come into central midfield with Anthony Martial expected to keep his place after his Chelsea brace.

​Emre Can may need surgery on a thyroid problem and is unlikely to play any part in the fixture but Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to lead the line against his former club. The visitors will also be without Douglas Costa, who has an ankle injury.

Manchester United XI: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Fred, Matic, Pogba; Rashford, Lukaku, Martial.

Juventus XI: Szczesny, Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro; Pjanic, Matuidi, Bentancur; Dybala, Ronaldo, Mandzukic

United were brilliant during the second half at Chelsea and should have won the game. However, Tuesday is a massive test against arguably the best team in Europe.

Juventus will be eager to bounce back from their poor result at the weekend and should come away from Old Trafford with a win.

Dodgers vs Red Sox

Dodgers vs Red Sox: There will be no shortage of star power on display in the 2018 World Series The Boston Red Sox finished the regular season with the best record in baseball, as Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez led a high-powered offense and veteran lefties Chris Sale and David Price anchored a starting rotation that has hit its stride in October.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers needed a Game 163 to secure a sixth straight NL West title, but they’re back in the World Series after the Milwaukee Brewers took them to seven games in the NLCS.

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Who will come out on top when two of baseball’s most storied franchise do battle in a best-of-seven series for the 2018 World Series title?

Ahead we’ve made a few bold predictions for this year’s Fall Classic.

Dodgers sluggers Manny Machado and Yasiel Puig tend to rub both opposing fans and players alike the wrong way at times, and that was on full display during their NLCS series with the Brewers.

Bench-clearing incidents are usually few and far between in the World Series, as players don’t want to risk being suspended for the most important games of their careers.

That said, don’t be surprised if we see some fireworks this year.

Puig has always played with the pedal to the metal, and Machado has fully embraced the heel role ahead of his upcoming free agency.

Whether it’s a hard slide, a hit batter, trash-talking on the bases, or something else entirely, we’re betting that someone is pushed a bit too far and things escalate to the point that the benches clear.

There’s already been talk of the Red Sox using Mookie Betts at second base when the series shifts to Los Angeles. Designated hitter J.D. Martinez would then take over in right field, and the Red Sox would still have their two MVP candidates in the lineup.

Betts played primarily second base at the start of his pro career, before moving to the outfield upon arriving in the big leagues, but that was five years ago.

At the big league level, he’s played a grand total of 128 innings at second base, with all but six of those coming during his rookie season.

The other six innings came this season, and he handled his two defensive chances cleanly in that game.

So what can we expect out of Betts in three full games when every out is crucial?

Expect him to impress.

The 26-year-old is one of the best athletes in the game, and while right field is a different animal entirely, you don’t win won back-to-back Gold Glove awards in the outfield without possessing at least a few skills that translate to the dirt.

Here’s predicting at least one brilliant, run-saving defensive play from Betts at second base before the World Series is over.

David Freese authored one of the greatest postseasons in MLB history back in 2011 while he was playing with the St. Louis Cardinals.

He hit .397/.465/.794 with eight doubles, five home runs and 21 RBI in 18 games, winning NLCS and World Series MVP after delivering one clutch hit after another.

Now 35, he’s settled into a platoon role with the Dodgers after coming over in an August trade, playing first base against left-handed pitching.

He was 2-for-3 with a double and a home run in Game 6 of the NLCS, and he could play an even bigger role in the World Series.

The Red Sox will send lefties Chris Sale and David Price to the mound in Game 1 and 2, and then presumably again in Game 5 and 6, if the series gets that far.

Freese hit .321/.387/.489 with six doubles and five home runs in 155 plate appearances against left-handed pitching during the regular season.

We’ll say the Dodgers win the series in six games and Freese adds another World Series MVP trophy to his resume, as he takes Sale and Price both deep at least once.

Man City vs Shakhtar

Man City vs Shakhtar: The third match day in the Champions League group stage sees Manchester City face a tough trip to Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

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City are second in Group F with three points and bounced back from their first defeat against Lyon with a late 2-1 win at Hoffenheim on match day two.

Meanwhile, Donetsk have drawn both group games so far and will be hoping to cause an upset in Kharkiv.

City know Shakhtar’s formidable home form all too well – falling to a 2-1 defeat in last season’s competition. Top of their respective domestic leagues, both will be looking to replicate their form in a game which already seems crucial if either side wants to progress to the last 16.

Likely to be a close affair, here’s everything you need to know ahead of the game.

When? Tuesday 23 October @ 8:00pm (BST)​
​Where? ​OSK Metalist Stadium
​How Can I Watch It? ​BT Sport 3
​How Can I Watch It Outside UK? Sky Sports Gillette Soccer Special/BT Live Score

Two of the most creative outlets likely to be on show, this clash promises be a fascinating one.

Marlos has been ever present for Shakhtar since his arrival in 2014 and has featured in all but one game in all competitions this season.

The Brazilian winger has scored six league goals, behind only striker Junior Moraes, who has netted 12.

​Sterling is City’s joint second top scorer in the league has been pivotal in his side’s impressive start in the current campaign.

Although the England international is yet to score in this season’s Champions League, Sterling is a match winner and one of City’s most experienced players in the prestigious competition.

As previously mentioned, both teams are on course to retain their domestic titles. The Ukrainians have won ten of their 12 league games and lead Dynamo Kiev by two points, scoring 31 goals and conceding just six in the process.

While City boast of one Europe’s deadliest strikers in ​Sergio Aguero, Donetsk’s Junior Moraes has been prolific since his summer move from rivals Kiev. The Brazilian notched a brace in their 2-2 draw with Lyon on match day two and leads the Ukrainian goalscoring charts with an impressive ten goals in 11 league games.

Undefeated in the league, City have carried on from where they left last season and lead Liverpool on goal difference. The Merseyside club are the only team to prevent City from scoring this season.

City’s squad in depth is regarded as one of the best in Europe and will have to be at their best to overcome Donetsk.

© Michael Regan/GettyImages Arsenal v Manchester City – Premier League

Manager Pep Guardiola has named ​Kevin De Bruyne as part of the 21 man squad. After a two-month injury lay off, the Belgian made his comeback from injury against Burnley and could feature.

Kyle Walker is set to feature in Tuesday’s game, having missed out last Saturday due a knock. Fabian Delph, Ilkay Gundogan and Danilo all miss out and second choice goalkeeper Claudio Bravo remains a long-term injury absentee.

Shakhtar will be without playmaker Taison for a third consecutive game after suffering a ruptured knee ligament at the start of the month. The Brazilian scored in last season’s famous win over Napoli in the group stages.

Midfield duo Maksym Malyshev and Vyacheslav Tankovsky are long-term absentees.

Shakhtar: Pyatov; Ismaily, Matviyenko, Krysvtov, Butko; Maycon, Alan Patrick; Fernando, Marlos, Wellington Nem; Moraes.

Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Kompany, Laporte, Mendy; David Silva, Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva; Sane, Sterling, Aguero.

City will face an intimidating atmosphere. With plenty of European experience, this is a Shakhtar team capable of upsetting European giants.

Striker Moraes will look to cause the City defence problems, hoping to add to his incredible goal tally, while Marlos and Wellington Nem will look to penetrate in wide positions.

In a group that’s already produced surprises, ​City will have to be at their best to defeat an incredibly hardworking team. However, boosted by the return of De Bruyne, Guardiola has an array of phenomenal talent to change the game if needed.

One of the world’s most influential midfielders, De Bruyne’s return is a huge boost for his side, who will be looking to go one step further after last season’s quarter final defeat to Liverpool.

Real Madrid vs Viktoria

Real Madrid vs Viktoria: Real Madrid are provided with the welcome distraction of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, when Viktoria Plzen are the guests at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

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Los Blancos are in dire straits in La Liga, falling short of their expected standard in the domestic competition in a run of four games without a win.

Real coach Julen Lopetegui is under pressure after an unprecedented goal drought severely damaged results, and home fans will be desperate to see their team score plenty against the visitors from the Czech Republic.

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The Spanish giants are second in Champions League Group G after losing 1-0 at CSKA Moscow in the last round of group games.

There would normally be a confident air around Madrid with minnows visiting in the Champions League, but Real fans are anything but relaxed at present.

Lopetegui’s tenure is imploding, and the coach will be questioning his decision to turn his back on the Spain national team to take up the role with Los Blancos.

The sale of Cristiano Ronaldo has triggered an identity crisis at the Bernabeu, and the team have forgotten how to put lesser sides to the sword.

Levante claimed a shock 2-1 La Liga victory in Madrid on Saturday to compound the team’s issues.

It’s unthinkable Plzen could do the same on Tuesday, but Real’s form is so unpredictable that anything could happen.

The Czech team have previously featured in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League, possessing confidence and pedigree as they represent their country.

Madrid should be far too strong for Plzen, but the hosts won’t be expected to simply win—they will be expected to win by a huge margin.

Madrid’s problem is not creating chances. They missed a hatful against Levante, with the visitors mustering minimal efforts on goal. However, Los Blancos are losing matches in a way that doesn’t befit the Champions League holders.

Gareth Bale came off the bench in an attempt to spare Madrid’s blushes against Levante, and the Wales international will be expected to lead the charge if fully fit on Tuesday night.

The winger has four goals and two assists in nine La Liga and Champions League appearances this term, and these statistics have to quickly increase to save Lopetegui’s job.

A draw or defeat on Tuesday night is unthinkable for Los Blancos. President Florentino Perez is not renowned as a patient man, and the manager could quickly change before the January transfer window opens.

Plzen will likely have minimal threat on Tuesday, affording the hosts an opportunity to get in plenty of shooting practice as they search for their lost mojo once again.

Manchester United vs Juventus

Manchester United vs Juventus: Old Trafford braces for its most challenging Champions League night in a while as Manchester United host high-flying Juventus, that’s riding on the Cristiano Ronaldo wave.

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The Portuguese ace would be returning to his old stomping ground and hoping to play his first full European game for the Bianconeris, after being sent off just 30 minutes into his debut against Valencia in the opener.

The Red Devils also have a lot of ground to cover after a goalless stalemate to Valencia in the previous game, while the last minute draw to arch-rivals Chelsea on Saturday served to dampen the spirits in the camp. But that was a markedly improved show from United, though the Old Lady is a different kettle of fish altogether and would have to do much better to eke out points from this game.

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Ahead of Juventus and Manchester United’s first clash since 2003, let’s look at the best-combined XI of these teams:

Both Szczesny and De Gea have maintained a clean sheet in both the Champions League games so far. However, the Juventus shot-stopper outnumbers his United counterpart in terms of the number of saves drawn so far – seven against five – and also having been the busier of the two, thereby walking into this list.

The Czech Republic star of course has a better defense in front of him than De Gea, but that shouldn’t undermine the starring role Szczesny has played in Juve’s near-perfect start to the campaign. He’s come a blinder on numerous occasions when called into action – he saved Parejo’s penalty on matchday one – and has been proving his mettle as an able successor to Buffon’s throne.

Another clean sheet, this time at Old Trafford, would be a huge statement from Szczesny.

MLB World Series 2018

The Boston Red Sox will learn their World Series opponent when the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers settle the score in Saturday’s winner-take-all Game 7.

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After ousting the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series, Boston booted the defending champion Houston Astros in a five-game American League Championship Series. The newly minted AL champs will host whichever team captures the National League pennant.

Neither of those challengers will seem overly daunting to the Red Sox after conquering teams who each notched at least 100 wins to get to the World Series.

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However, Boston will either encounter a deep Dodgers squad led by Clayton Kershaw and Manny Machado or a mighty Brewers bullpen. The team will also have to tinker their lineup at least twice with J.D. Martinez unable to serve as the designated hitter under NL rules.

The Red Sox made it this far without their three elite pitchers consistently performing to their lofty standards, but that must change to bring another banner to Boston.

2018 MLB World Series Schedule

Game 1 – Brewers/Dodgers at Red Sox: Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 8:09 p.m. ET

Game 2 – Brewers/Dodgers at Red Sox: Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 8:09 p.m. ET

Game 3 – Red Sox at Brewers/Dodgers: Friday, Oct. 26 at 8:09 p.m. ET

Game 4 – Red Sox at Brewers/Dodgers: Saturday, Oct. 27 at 8:09 p.m. ET

*Game 5 – Red Sox at Brewers/Dodgers: Sunday, Oct. 28 at 8:15 p.m. ET

*Game 6 – Brewers/Dodgers at Red Sox: Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 8:09 p.m. ET

*Game 7 – Brewers/Dodgers at Red Sox: Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 8:09 p.m. ET

*= if necessary

 All games will be televised on Fox and available to stream live on Fox Live TV

Craig Kimbrel has walked a tightrope throughout the postseason.Elsa/Getty Images

Heading into the postseason, those who picked against the 108-win Red Sox—this writer included—wondered whether the bullpen could build a sturdy bridge to Craig Kimbrel. The middle relievers have succeeded with flying colors; Joe Kelly, Heath Hembree, Matt Barnes and 31-year-old rookie Ryan Brasier have allowed two combined runs in 21.2 combined postseason frames.

They instead have held their breath watching Kimbrel, who has ceded five runs in as many nerve-wracking outings. He has issued six walks and a handful of warning-track fly balls—not to mention Alex Bregman’s screeching line drive saved by a diving Andrew Benintendi for Game 4’s final out—that nearly cost Boston in the win column.

Per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Kimbrel apologized to Boston fans after narrowly escaping another jam in Thursday’s series-clinching Game 5:

That’s the unpredictability of postseason baseball. Kimbrel boasts a career 1.91 ERA with the lowest fielding independent pitching (1.96 FIP) of any qualified reliever in major league history, according to FanGraphs.

Brasier, who has fortified their late innings with seven shutout frames, was pitching in Japan last year.

Perhaps it’s unfair to expect positive regression to the mean from Boston’s relief ace without anticipating everyone else to fall the other way. It won’t matter if the other guys squander leads before he emerges, but Kimbrel won’t preserve his October Houdini act unless he makes amends with the strike zone.

The Red Sox, of course, must also worry about recording outs before turning to the bullpen. They received a scare when Chris Sale, their scheduled Game 5 starter, was hospitalized with a stomach illness earlier in the week.

It is not supposed to impede his World Series availability. In a WEEI radio appearance (h/t NBC Sports Boston), manager Alex Cora said the star southpaw will start Tuesday’s Game 1 at Fenway Park.

“Yes, Chris Sale is our No. 1 starter. Most likely David [Price] will be Game 2,” Cora said. “… We’ll figure it out. We’ll talk about it as a group, but Chris is ready for Game 1. We’ll decide about Game 2, 3, and 4. Let’s enjoy this one.”

Sale, however, also did not pitch to his elite expectations before the health scare. He issued four free passes in as many innings against the Astros. After seemingly squashing a velocity concern in the previous round, his fastball speed again tumbled:

While he remains effective at 92-93 miles per hour, those lost ticks at least give the opposition a puncher’s chance:

At least Price enters the Fall Classic on a brighter note. The 33-year-old exorcized his playoff demons by stockpiling nine strikeouts in six scoreless frames in a series-clinching win over Houston.

He had surrendered seven runs and six walks in 6.1 innings versus the Yankees and Astros—raising his career playoff ERA to 5.42—prior to Thursday’s gem.

An adjustment fueled his success. According to Brooks Baseball, the lefty threw more changeups (40) than he had in any start this year. He induced 12 whiffs and no hits against the pitch he tweaked the previous day, as noted by Sports Illustrated‘s Stephanie Apstein.

Price can forever erase the unflattering October reputation by harnessing that changeup at least one more night. Alongside Sale and Kimbrel, the big-name trio presents the key to Boston celebrating its fourth championship in 15 years.

AEK Athens vs Bayern Munich

AEK Athens’ search for a first win in the UEFA Champions League continues with a tough encounter at home to Bayern Munich on Tuesday evening.

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The Greek Superleague champions lost their opening two fixtures against fellow Group E contenders Ajax and Benfica, conceding three goals in both fixtures. They welcome a Bayern side whose return from the international break saw them bounce back from four consecutive matches without a win, beating Wolfsburg 3-1.

Ahead of the game at the Greek capital, here’s what you need to know.

When? Tuesday 22 October @ 17:55 (BST)
Where? Athens Olympic Stadium
How Can I Watch? BT Sport 

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AEK continued a promising start to the defence of their title on Saturday, beating winless Apollon Smyrni 2-0, courtesy of goals by attackers Petros Mantalos and Marko Livaja. That result earned them their fifth win in seven league games, though consistency will be vital if they are to close the gap on rivals PAOK, who have six points on them on top of the table.

​Bayern, meanwhile, beat Wolfsburg to keep a place in the top four of the German Bundesliga and they too know of the importance of maintaining that form to close the four-point gap between them and top-of-the-table ​Borussia Dortmund.
AEK captain Mantalos primarily features on the left side of an attacking midfield trio and as the armband testifies, is an important player for his side.
The 29 year-old scored his third goal of the season in all competitions for the Greek side on Saturday and will head into this game buzzing to once again be his team’s creative spark, as they seek what would be a huge scalp in the form of Bayern.
His task will likely put him against right-back Joshua Kimmich, who like his opponent poses an attacking threat, although the German may be required to sacrifice that talent to let the more defensive side of his game shine on Tuesday evening.
Robert Lewandowski vs. Dmytro Chygrynskiy
The experience of Ukranian defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy will be vital to shutting down the threat of one of Europe’s deadliest strikers, Robert Lewandowski.
The Bayern forward was in top form on Saturday, netting twice in the Bundesliga and providing an assist for his side at the Volkswagen Arena. The objective won’t be any different for this game against AEK, meaning Chygrynskiy’s positional awareness, ability to read the game and tackle will need to be top drawer.
Team News

The home side will be without a trio of players in key positions as forward Christos Albanis and defenders Helder Lopes and Marios Oikonomou are sidelined by injuries.

Bayern have travelled to Athens without winger Frank Ribery, who will miss the match due to a back injury. Other absentees include fellow countrymen Kingsley Coman, who has an ankle problem and Corentin Tolisso, who is out with a knee issue.

Predicted Lineups

AEK Athens XI: Barkas; Bakakis, Lampropoulos, Chygrynskiy, Hult; Andre Simoes, Galanopoulos; Bakasetas, Klonaridis, Mantalos; Ponce

Bayern Munich XI: Neuer; Kimmich, Hummels, Süle, Alaba; Thiago, Martinez; Robben, Müller, James; Lewandowski

Prediction

Bayern are undoubtedly the strongest side in Group E and will be keen to further reinforce that with a strong performance and win against AEK on Tuesday.

The Greek Superleague club may fancy their chances playing at home and will undoubtedly look to grasp them if and when they do come, but Niko Kovac’s men are overwhelming favourites to grab the three points.