Klopp: It’s unlikely Liverpool will set wins record

first_imgJurgen Klopp thinks it’s unlikely that his Liverpool team will beat Manchester City’s record of 18 consecutive Premier League victories and says he doesn’t really mind either way.The Reds have won 16 in a row but would have to beat all of Leicester City, Manchester United and Tottenham to eclipse City’s mark. They also have a tough Champions League tie with Red Bull Salzburg to contend with.Leicester and Spurs make up the rest of the Premier League top four, along with the Anfield outfit and City. Article continues below Editors’ Picks 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? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Klopp says his team are focused on each game as it comes, and on getting their players back healthy from the international break that comes between the Leicester and Man Utd games.”(There are) interesting games coming up. It doesn’t sound too likely. But we will try and first and foremost Salzburg and then Leicester,” the ex-Dortmund coach said.”Then it is the international break and hopefully everybody comes back healthy. That is most important.”Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will play against each other in Singapore, very interesting game obviously, it’s not qualification for anything. So hopefully everyone comes back healthy and then we try to prepare for Man United.”Klopp says he’s not motivated by records, but wants to win every game regardless of whether it’s part of a streak.”I try to understand how other people think about things but from the way I think about things I’m not interested in the number to be honest. It’s just a number.”So, you only can create a streak like this if you’re always in the next job. The next job is Salzburg which is a different competition and then Leicester City and that will be difficult.”There’s always a story you can create. In our case, it’s always about how many games we’ve won. Even if people don’t say it they think there will be a moment when you lose a game, or whatever.”When we play Salzburg or Leicester, people will talk about the last time we lost a competitive game at Anfield. But we don’t listen.“We try to make the best of the situation we are in. That’s how it is.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Blazers accept they’ll be without McCollum down the stretch

first_img PORTLAND — Damian Lillard is just going to assume that Portland won’t have backcourt teammate CJ McCollum through the rest of the regular season so that the Trail Blazers can respond to his absence effectively.McCollum, who is averaging more than 21 points a game for Portland, has a strained left knee. He’ll be re-evaluated next week, but at this point there’s no timetable for his return.The injury comes at an inopportune time for the Blazers, who sit in fourth in the tight Western Conference standings with 12 games left to secure home-court advantage.“Mentally, I don’t want him to have to rush it,” Lillard said about McCollum’s return. “When he does come back I want him to be himself and be healthy, so in my mind, we’re going to finish the regular season without him, maybe the last couple of games of the regular season. I think that’s how I should think of it, knowing that we have to have a great effort for these last 12 games, planning on not having him out there.” While the team hasn’t collectively spoken about that possibility, McCollum said Monday night that he wasn’t going to hurry back.“I think my goal is just to come back when I’m healthy. Obviously, you don’t want to miss games. This is the seventh game I’ve missed in four years, two of them were rest and one of them was being left off the roster,” he said. “So I don’t like to miss games, but I’ve got to do what’s best for myself from a health standpoint, and doctors will sign off when they think I’m ready.”McCollum was injured in the third quarter of Portland’s 108-103 loss at San Antonio on Saturday night. The results of the MRI were revealed the following day.He has started in all but one of the Blazers’ games this season, averaging 21.3 points, four rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. “I think you guys all know I’ve tried to manage his minutes through this stretch,” Stotts said. “But with the race the way it is, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”Lillard said he’s spoken with McCollum, emphasizing patience. The last thing Portland needs when the playoffs arrive is for McCollum to be hurting.“I told him take your time, don’t rush,” Lillard said. “Get healthy and come back right.” Published: March 19, 2019, 5:23pm Receive latest stories and local news in your email: Blazers accept they’ll be without McCollum down the stretch Lineup will be fluid over last 12 games Share: Follow The Columbian on Instagram Jake Layman started the first half for the Blazers on Monday night in a 106-98 win over the Indiana Pacers, while Rodney Hood started the second.Blazers coach Terry Stotts said he imagines the rotation will be fluid in McCollum’s absence. In addition to Layman and Hood, Portland also has guard Seth Curry to turn to.Stotts did not yet know who would start Wednesday night when the Blazers host Dallas. “It’s going to be by feel and how the game is going,” he said.But he also expressed concern about overtaxing Lillard the rest of the way. Averaging 26.2 points per game, Portland’s All-Star guard played just over 40 minutes against the Pacers, finishing with 30 points and 15 assists.center_img 3 Photos Share: By ANNE M. PETERSON, Associated Press GO Follow Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard (0) has no idea when backcourt teammate CJ McCollum (3) will return from his knee strain. So Lillard’s just going to assume the Blazers won’t have him through the rest of the regular season. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) Photo Gallery By signing up you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.last_img read more

Ohtani homers off Kikuchi in Angels’ win over Seattle

first_imgOhtani homers off Kikuchi in Angels’ win over Seattle By GREG BEACHAM, Associated Press Meanwhile, Ohtani has found another groove at the plate after returning from Tommy John surgery last month. He added an RBI double in the fifth inning off Tayler Scott, who made his major league debut in relief of Kikuchi.Scott became the second South African player in major league history, and the first pitcher. The 27-year-old Johannesburg native, who moved to Arizona as a teenager to pursue his career, yielded four hits and three runs while striking out four in 2 2/3 innings.C?sar Puello homered and drove in four runs, while Albert Pujols and Kevan Smith had two-run singles as the Angels pounded out 16 hits to win for just the second time in six games.Kyle Seager and Edwin Encarnacion homered for the Mariners, who have lost six of eight. Published: June 8, 2019, 11:03pm 3 Photos ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani homered and singled in his first three major league at-bats against countryman Yusei Kikuchi, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 12-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.Ohtani’s fourth-inning homer was the Angels’ third consecutive dinger in four pitches off Kikuchi (3-4), who was chased from his rough start shortly afterward. Tommy La Stella and Mike Trout also homered before Ohtani hit the first big league homer by a Japanese-born hitter off a Japanese-born pitcher since 2009.The Angels’ designated hitter won the much-anticipated first stateside meeting between the stars, who also faced off five times in their domestic league. The 27-year-old Kikuchi and the 24-year-old Ohtani both attended Hanamaki Higashi High School in northern Japan, although their age gap meant they were never teammates.Kikuchi has arrived in the majors one season after Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year award for his two-way play. Kikuchi got a $56 million deal to make the move, but his ERA is up to 4.99 after he took his third consecutive loss while giving up nine hits and six earned runs to the Angels, who have scored 16 earned runs against him over three starts. The Angels hadn’t hit three consecutive homers since September 2016, also against Seattle. A Japanese-born batter hadn’t homered off a Japanese-born pitcher in the majors since July 8, 2009, when Kosuke Fukudome connected off Kenshin Kawakami.After opener Noe Ramirez got four outs, Dillon Peters (1-0) yielded three runs over 5 2/3 resilient innings. The Triple-A starter capably filled in during a taxing stretch for the Angels, who were on the 17th game of 20 consecutive games without a day off.Trainer’s roomMariners: OF Mitch Haniger is out of the hospital after surgery on a ruptured testicle from a foul ball. Seattle doesn’t know how long he’ll be sidelined.Angels: Trevor Cahill went on the injured list with right elbow soreness, scratching him from his scheduled start Sunday. The veteran could return from the injured list Friday. He felt soreness after his loss to the Cubs on Monday, but the injury isn’t thought to be serious. Share: The Columbian is becoming a rare example of a news organization with local, family ownership. Subscribe today to support local journalism and help us to build a stronger community. Subscribe Today Dozens of reporters covered the showdown, and Angel Stadium collectively oohed when Kikuchi’s first pitch to Ohtani was up and in, forcing the Angels star to bail out of the box. Ohtani hit a hard grounder to the right side on the third pitch and beat out an infield single.After Pujols doubled, Smith brought home both runners in his first at-bat since May 21, when he incurred a concussion.Ohtani grounded out to first in the second inning, but moved a runner along in the process.After La Stella opened the fourth with his 14th homer, Trout followed with his 17th of the season. Ohtani blasted the next pitch just over the fence in left-center for the sixth homer of his truncated season. Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, runs to first for a single as Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi runs to back up the first baseman during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 8, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Photo Gallery Receive latest stories and local news in your email: Share: Up nextRookie lefty Jos? Suarez (1-0, 4.76 ERA) will come up to make his second career start for Los Angeles against Wade LeBlanc (2-2, 5.70), who has won two of his three career starts against the Angels. Suarez beat the Mariners in his major league debut in Seattle last week, yielding three runs while pitching into the sixth. GO By signing up you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.last_img read more

2018 Big Ten Football Preview Penn State Nittany Lions

Location: College Park, Pennsylvania2017 Record: 11-2 (7-2 Big Ten) Head Coach: James Franklin2018 Record: 4-0 (1-0 Big Ten)All-time record vs. OSU: 14-18What has happened thus far in 2018:No. 9 Penn State began the season with a light schedule, with three of their first four matchups having combined for a 9-27 record last season. Penn State handled all three of those opponents by 39 points or more. Appalachian State, however, took the Nittany Lions to overtime, though Penn State held on to beat the Mountaineers 45-38. Penn State leads the NCAA in points per game with 55.5.Impact Player:Junior running back Miles Sanders has made a sizeable impact so far in the Penn State offense following Saquon Barkley’s footsteps, but all eyes are on redshirt senior quarterback Trace McSorley for a reason. As Penn State’s all-time leader in touchdown passes (59) and total touchdowns (77), McSorley is a dual-threat quarterback that has made his way by making plays at the right time, and doing it in enthusiastic fashion. This season, McSorley has swung his imaginary bat on 14 total touchdowns, with only two interceptions on 998 yards of total offense.Strengths:There’s a reason this is the highest scoring offense in the nation. With the combination of McSorley and Sanders, Penn State has won its games this season by dominating opponents on the offensive end, mostly through the run game, ranking No. 10 in the NCAA with 275.0 yards per game on the ground. The offensive and defensive lines have also done a great job avoiding and creating sacks, respectively. The Nittany Lions have allowed only one sack per game, tied for the 18th-fewest in the nation.Weaknesses:McSorley has led Penn State to only No. 62 in the country in passing yards, but has also not needed to rely on his arm much yet to win games. The Nittany Lions have been susceptible to the run game, allowing the 48th-most yards on the run at 172.5 per game. But Penn State’s Achilles heel thus far has been the first half. The Nittany Lions outscore opponents 149-35 in the second half and overtime, with 28 of the opposing points coming against Appalachian State. But Penn State only outscores its opponents 73-43 in the first half so far, allowing for lower-level teams to stay in the games until the offense inevitably blows it open in the third and fourth quarters. This issue won’t matter much against teams like Kent State and Illinois, but in a matchup like the one against No. 4 Ohio State on Saturday, a slow start could make all the difference. read more