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Premier League fantasy picks: Is James Maddison the midfield addition you need?

By Sports Desk August 11, 2022

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  • Montero and Brenner score as Seattle Sounders draw 1-1 against Cincinnati Montero and Brenner score as Seattle Sounders draw 1-1 against Cincinnati

    The Seattle Sounders kept their playoff hopes alive by salvaging an important point in their 1-1 draw against Cincinnati on Tuesday.

    Cincinnati were the better of the two sides based on expected goal data, tallying 1.98 expected goals compared to just 0.36 for Seattle in front of their home fans.

    The visiting side took the lead in the 24th minute when Brandon Vasquez was able to take advantage of the Sounders' high defensive line, slipping a ball through for Brenner to run onto and he made no mistake with his one-on-one, calmly side-footing it inside the far post.

    Seattle nearly equalised through a set-piece in the 35th minute, with Will Bruin rising well to send his header towards the bottom-left corner, only for Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano to deny him with a terrific save.

    When the hosts did find the leveler, it was worth the wait, with a searing ball from Kelyn Rowe out of defense being controlled by Fredy Montero near the corner of the penalty box, before he unleashed a rocket high into the near-post corner.

    With the result, Seattle remain five points away from the seventh and final Western Conference playoff spot, which is currently occupied by Minnesota. Cincinnati are much more comfortable, fifth in the Eastern Conference and four points clear of chasers.

  • Pulisic 'not panicked' by United States form ahead of World Cup Pulisic 'not panicked' by United States form ahead of World Cup

    Christian Pulisic is "not panicked" about the United States' form ahead of the World Cup despite a winless international break.

    In the USA's final warm-up games for Qatar 2022, a poor 2-0 loss to Japan in Dusseldorf was followed by a limp goalless draw with Saudi Arabia in Murcia on Tuesday.

    It means Gregg Berhalter's side will go into the finals with just one victory in their past five matches.

    With Gio Reyna also suffering an injury scare against Saudi Arabia, this was not a successful camp for the United States.

    But captain Pulisic pushed back on concerns around the team's performances, even if he acknowledged the need for improvement in the final third.

    "We had a pretty good first half," the Chelsea forward stated. "I think we had a couple of half-chances where we created some things.

    "But I felt like we lost it a bit at the start of the second half, and they got a little bit of rhythm. We have to do more to figure out what we are going to do to create chances at the end of the day.

    "There are definitely some positives to take from the game, and a clean sheet is always good. I'm not panicked at all.

    "We have a fresh slate going into the World Cup, and we're going to give it everything that we have."

    The USA play Wales, England and Iran in Group B in Qatar.

  • Portugal 0-1 Spain: Late Morata goal steals place at Nations League Finals Portugal 0-1 Spain: Late Morata goal steals place at Nations League Finals

    Alvaro Morata's late goal gave Spain a 1-0 victory over Portugal and snatched a place at the Nations League Finals from their hosts in Braga.

    Spain needed to win to leapfrog Fernando Santos' side atop Group A2 but had looked set to be frustrated, with Portugal enjoying the better of the first-half opportunities.

    However, substitutions from Luis Enrique after the break changed the game, and Nico Williams' header across goal was smashed in by Morata to steal a precious victory.

    The dramatic win means Spain will join Croatia, Italy and the Netherlands at next year's tournament, with Portugal left to rue missed chances and sloppy defending in the closing stages.

     

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