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Real, Barca out to maintain 100% record as La Liga continues


first_imgWorld Cup Golden Glove winner Thibaut Courtois is to be the centre of attention at the Santiago Bernabeu when record Liga Santander winners Real Madrid welcome lowly Leganes on Saturday. Former Atletico Madrid keeper  Courtois was expected to slot straight into the starting lineup following his protracted transfer from Chelsea.Three games into the season, he is yet to taste competitive action and finds himself playing second fiddle to Keylor Navas. The Costa Rican has won three Champions League titles with Los Blancos and is a highly popular figure at the club whose fans have made their preference known in a public vote.For all their recent success in Europe, since the turn of the century Real have underachieved in Primera Liga. Their solitary success during the last decade came in 2017 under French coach Zinedine Zidane, who has since taken a sabbatical from the game. Nevertheless, a solid start has seen one of the world’s greatest clubs seize the driving seat with comfortable victories over Getafe (2-0) and Girona.The form of record signing Gareth Bale is a source of comfort to Madrid aficionados whose nerves were frayed by Cristiano Ronaldo’s £100m departure to Juventus. Bale has been among the goals in both matches to date and he is once again expected to lead the line along with Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema.Fresh recruit Mariano Diaz, re-signed from Olympique Lyon on Wednesday, is to provide cover for Julen Lopetegui’s strikers.Elsewhere, defending champions Barcelona aim to maintain their one hundred percent start to the campaign when they welcome Huesca. The newcomers are no pushovers, as seen on Monday night when they held nine-time champions Athletic Bilbao 2-2 at the Estadio San Mames.In the pick of the matches, Real Betis clash with city rivals Seville at the Estadio Benito Villamarin, hoping to build on last weekend’s goalless draw at Alaves. Betis 37-year-old winger Joachim Sanchez and Seville’s Lucas Muriel are among players to watch out for.In other matches, Celta welcome Diego Simeone’s European Super Cup winners to the northern town of Vigo, Levante host Valencia in a local derby and Alaves confront Espanyol. Friday’s action sees Getafe host Real Valladolid, Eibar welcome Real Sociedad to the 7,000 seat Estadio de Ipurua and Villarreal collide with Girona at El Madrigal.OTHER FIXTURES: Levante v Valencia.Comments Tags: Spanish La Ligatoplast_img read more


The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of


first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments   Share   GLENDALE, Ariz. – Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fifth year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media each day during training camp.Here, in this space, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has with reporters, which on Monday came after the team’s practice.“No news injury-wise. I think Carson (Palmer), Larry (Fitzgerald), Frostee (Rucker), Karlos (Dansby) will take another day tomorrow. Day-to-day. Those guys will all have off tomorrow. I thought it was very lethargic offensively. Not very pleased with our wide receiver room. I must have been seeing things back in the spring when I said we had 12 guys that could play in the NFL. I think we might have two, but we’ll look around and see who’s available. The defense, I thought, came out ready to practice. I thought Carson came out ready to practice, and the guys around him didn’t help him very much. Can’t criticize too much without watching the film.” Was it assignment errors or effort that is the problem?“It’s not effort. Assignments, catching the ball. The main things receivers have to do, they’re not doing.”Was that a flip from the game against Oakland?“Yes. It was better in the game. It was not very good in practice last week, and to start this week. They’ve been warned.”Have you decided how the snaps will work for the first team against the Bears?“We’ll shoot for the first quarter, see how the game goes. We got 15 and I think 14 defensively — some guys got eight. Twenty will probably be the max.”What’s your level of concern regarding John Brown’s injury issues?“It’s a concern. He’s not available. You’re only as good when you’re available.”Is Jaron Brown one of the receivers who has been consistent?“As good as you can get. He and Larry (Fitzgerald).”What did you think of Kerwynn Williams as a returner?“I thought he was very decisive. Took it north. If he was 35 and 13 for the year, he’d probably lead the league. So just continue doing what he’s doing.”What did you think of Josh Bynes’ game? Top Stories “Heck of a game. Statistically he was right there. Made another interception today. He’s been a really good find.”How is a guy like that still available late in the offseason?“You never know. There’s been guys every year, you never know why they’re on the street. Might not have fit in a new system or they had a change of plans wherever they were. Injuries, I think he had some injuries last year but he also played eight games. I don’t know. He looks good for us. I don’t really care how he gets here.”What do you think of (Robert) Nkemdiche after watching the tape?“I thought he was solid. He got knocked back a few times. Played a little high jumping around some, but he’s penetrating, making plays. Again, just pretty solid. Just continue doing what he’s doing. He’s doing really well.”How do you feel about home stadium being taken over by visiting fans?“I don’t give a crap in the preseason. It hasn’t happened very often in the regular season, except for Seattle a couple years ago. Do I expect Dallas fans? Yeah. I don’t like our guys selling their tickets, but they’re their tickets.” “Fine. He reverted back to a couple things, but he wasn’t going against Khalil Mack, either. Hopefully this week he’ll get tested pretty good. He gets tested every day by two of the best there are, so it hasn’t been a concern so far.”How did John Wetzel look?“Solid. He always plays solid.”Is Wetzel one of the guys who really benefited from your injury situation last year?“Oh there’s no doubt. He was on the roster bubble and ended up starting, playing really well as a guard in San Francisco, tackle down the road in Seattle. He’s earned his stripes, we trust him.”Where is the difference in Ulrick John this season, did he get stronger?“Yeah, a little bit. He had the shoulder, he was fixing the shoulder, so he’s still getting stronger. He had a good game. He had a much better game than he has practices.”Did you see Haason Reddick improving with his eyes?“I would like to see him, when he blitzes, do some more. He’s not doing crap — just running into whoever’s blocking him. We have to do a better job in practice of putting him in pass rush situations.”center_img How much stock to you put into a big game like the one Bynes had Saturday?“He’s got tape, he’s got a resume. So as long as he fulfills his resume, you know what you’ve got. You don’t know what you’ve got in unknown quantities, rookies, a guy that doesn’t have a resume. But he’s got a resume.”What part of Saturday’s game bothered you most?“I think we outkicked our coverage a couple times. The net was OK because we made a couple tackles against average returners. We can’t kick the ball like that against the guys in our division returning punts, we’ll be hurting.”You said it was a lethargic practice. Was it just the receivers?“No. It was a collective. Dropped balls, tight ends missed cutoff blocks on the back side of the O-line. Quarterbacks, I thought, had a good day.”Is Tyrann Mathieu returning punts ever an option?“No, no. We saw what happened the last time he tried one.”Do you feel like your punters did better?“They did better. Matt (Wile) kicked off extremely well. They both punted the ball well, just have to get more hang time.”How did Jared Veldheer look at right tackle? Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact (AP Photo) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more