Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows Erling Haaland's rapid rise means his days as the top-scoring Norwegian in Champions League history are numbered. 

Manchester United boss Solskjaer coached Haaland when he was a teenager at Molde in their homeland. 

Since moving first to Salzburg and then Borussia Dortmund, Haaland has exploded onto European football's biggest stage. 

Dortmund entertain Lazio on Wednesday, with Haaland already on 16 Champions League goals. 

Solskjaer, who famously netted a stoppage-time winner for United in the 1999 final against Bayern Munich, will take charge of the Red Devils against Paris Saint-Germain this week and remains full of admiration for his young compatriot. 

"He'll beat it and very quickly that’s for sure," he told reporters, referring to his own tally of 19 goals in the competition. 

"The boy has had a great start to his career. It was really good to work with him and to see the potential in him and some parts of me feel proud to have a little bit of an input in such a rise. 

"I'm sure Erling will score loads of goals in the Champions League."

Haaland is the third-highest scoring player from Norway in the Champions League, with ex-Valencia and Lyon striker John Carew next in his sights on 18. 

However, the time in which the 20-year-old has amassed his tally is remarkable, as he dwarfs his countrymen when it comes to goals per minute. 

Solskjaer, who famously made a habit out of goalscoring cameos from the bench, got his 19 Champions League goal at a rate of one every 189 minutes, while Carew's ratio was one per 218 minutes. 

Haaland launched his Champions League career with a hat-trick when Salzburg thrashed Genk 6-2 last September. His scoring frequency has barely let up since, with his 16 tallying at one every 56 minutes. 

Since that incredible maiden outing, only Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski has scored more in the competition - a haul of 18 during that period playing a big part in the Bundesliga giants' march to glory last season. 

Lewandowski and Haaland are very much out on their own, with the former's Bayern colleague Serge Gnabry next on nine goals - four of which arrived during a 7-2 thumping of Tottenham. 

First with Atletico Madrid and now with Juventus, Alvaro Morata has managed eight Champions League goals since Haaland's debut, while Timo Werner and Karim Benzema join Manchester City duo Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling on seven. 

Lionel Messi is one of seven players on six goals during the period in question, while Cristiano Ronaldo has five. 

In terms of minutes-per-goal, Haaland is only bettered by Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, with the England international's total of five arriving at a rate of one every 50.4 minutes - a return bolstered by his hat-trick against RB Leipzig last month. 

The Dortmund youngster's reputation as a dead-eyed finisher is certainly well-earned, too. 

Morata (47 per cent) is the only player with six or more goals to boast a better shot conversion rate than Haaland's 44.4 - outstripping Lewandowski's 32.7 per cent. 

If he does beat Solskjaer's mark "very quickly" it will be entirely consistent with Haaland's career to date, which is in a gloriously prolific hurry.

Andrea Pirlo is not worried by Juventus' inconsistent form that has so far defined his first season as coach.

The Juve and Italy legend saw his side held to a 1-1 draw by Benevento on Saturday, leaving the defending Serie A champions six points behind leaders Milan.

That gap would be just two points if not for the four Juve have dropped from winning positions in the 2020-21 campaign, Benevento coming from behind to force them to settle for their fifth draw from nine league games.

It is a much better picture in the Champions League for Juve, with the Bianconeri already sure of their qualification for the last 16 ahead of Wednesday's clash with Dynamo Kiev.

And with the derby with Torino on the horizon after their European commitments, Pirlo is under no illusion as to what Juve need in order to gain ground on Milan.

"After Benevento, I said that we need more concentration and desire to bring home the points, even when we are ahead in the games," he told a media conference.

"We've spoken about it and we are all aware of it.

"I'm absolutely not worried. In Benevento it was our game to win but we weren't good at closing it out and then they managed to do that well, this can happen. We've analysed the match and we will try to improve.

"We must face all the matches in the same way, both in Europe and in Italy. I would have preferred a little more consistency, but it's normal that it takes a little more time to achieve it. The players know what they must and want to do.

"When you win, everything is fine; when you don't, problems arise that may not even exist. We are working well to improve."

Paulo Dybala, who is yet to score in the league this season and has been the subject of continued criticism, is not expected to feature against Dynamo.

"I don't think we'll see a trident attack tomorrow, Morata will probably play, whilst Dybala will prepare for the derby on Saturday," added Pirlo.

One player who has impressed this season is Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

Ramsey endured a difficult first season with Juve after joining from Arsenal in 2019. He scored three goals in Serie A, provided one assist and created 20 chances.

He has yet to find the net in the league this term but already has an assist to his name and has created 10 chances.

His per-90 minutes average for chances created of 2.67 is second only to Dejan Kulusevski (2.89).

Pirlo said of Ramsey: "I have to say that Ramsey was a great find for me and he can still improve. For me and for the team he is very important."

Frank Lampard says Billy Gilmour is looking "spot on" and poised to get his first minutes of the season against Sevilla in the Champions League, a game which he insists has high stakes.

Chelsea and Sevilla are already through to the last 16 with 10 points from their first four games ahead of Wednesday's match in Spain, which will determine top spot in Group E.

But Lampard is not yet satisfied, with first place his target even if he makes a few changes to his team amid a busy fixture schedule.

Victory would give Chelsea four straight Champions League wins and Lampard was in the Blues team the last time they did that in 2012, going on to win that year's competition.

"Some people are knocking on the door and deserve opportunities, but even though we have qualified we want to win the group," said Lampard.

"We are fully fit and ready to go. We are not taking it lightly, we want to win the group so I am certainly not expecting a drop in level.

"It certainly isn’t a dead rubber. We want to win the group for different reasons. Generally winning the group is the beneficial pathway, though that isn't clear all the time. 

"My feelings in football are, if you are going well and try and flick the switch off and then flick it back on again, it doesn't work that way."

Midfielder Gilmour is in contention to make his first appearance of the season after a nasty knee injury kept him out since early July.

Chelsea boss Lampard also wants to see a response from winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, who was left out of the squad for Sunday's Premier League 0-0 draw with Tottenham.

Lampard said of 19-year-old Gilmour: "He is looking spot on and will come in to compete with the other players in that midfield area.

"He is fit now and in the squad. It would be nice if he could get some minutes in the remaining two Champions League group games. Minutes are hard to get in COVID times.

"I hopefully see him coming back at the level he was at before he got injured. He made a great impact and there will be so much more to come from him at this club because of the talent he has."

On the decision to omit Hudson-Odoi for the Spurs game, Lampard said: "It was difficult. I have been really pleased with his training lately and his attitude is bang on at the moment - that was reflected with scoring and playing well against Rennes.

"I have tough decisions when we have a fully fit squad to leave players that work hard - and who are desperate to play for the club - out.

"I did speak to him personally because I wanted him to understand where he is at. It's a progression and he is getting better for me. He is back in contention and I want to see more of the same." 

Sevilla have not topped a Champions League group since 2009, while Chelsea last did so in the 2015-16 campaign.

The two teams drew 0-0 at Stamford Bridge in October, with Sevilla now unbeaten in their last seven meetings with English sides in major European competitions.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have only won one of their last 10 games against Spanish opponents in the Champions League.

Lionel Messi should have the yellow card he was shown for his on-pitch tribute to Diego Maradona rescinded, according to Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman.

Former Barca and Argentina great Maradona died last week at the age of 60 and was honoured before all LaLiga matches over the weekend.

Messi scored his side's fourth goal in fine style during Sunday's 4-0 home win over Osasuna.

Afterwards, he removed his Barca shirt to reveal a Newell's Old Boys jersey emblazoned with Maradona's famous number 10.

He then pointedly saluted the sky in honour of his compatriot, who spent a season towards the end of his career with Newell's - the club where Messi began his youth career.

Following the victory, Koeman told the media how impressed he was both with his captain's finish and with the way he chose to pay his respects to his compatriot.

The yellow card shown to Messi, which regulations state will come with a €3,000 fine for Barca, has attracted attention after the match and Koeman believes it should be overturned.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's away Champions League match against Ferencvaros, for which Messi will be rested, Koeman said: "We know that there is a rule [relating to the award of] the yellow card.

"But we also know that it was his dedication to Maradona when he took off his shirt. 

"It's not my decision, but for me I would take it off."

Barca are hopeful the yellow card decision will be changed.

According to Sport, they will use the precedent of Sergio Ramos having a booking overturned on sentimental grounds in 2007 after he paid tribute to Sevilla star Antonio Puerta to argue their case.

Barcelona have won all of their previous five competitive meetings with Hungarian sides and dominated the Camp Nou fixture against Ferencvaros in a 5-1 triumph last month.

Messi opened the scoring with a penalty in that game and also laid on a late assist for Ousmane Dembele.

However, he will now sit out of a second straight Champions League match, having also been rested for the 4-0 win over Dynamo Kiev last time out in the competition.

Barca have fared surprisingly well without Messi, winning eight of their last nine Champions League games that he missed and drawing the other since losing to Ajax in 2013, according to Opta statistics.

The club are looking to win each of their first five UEFA Champions League group stage games for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign.

Robert Lewandowski is "the most complete" player in world football and should be named The Best FIFA Men's Player 2020, according to Lothar Matthaus.

Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski scored 55 goals in all competitions last season as Hansi Flick's side won the Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal.

Voting for the award considers achievements from July 20, 2019 to October 7, 2020, during which the Poland international also won the UEFA Super Cup and DFL-Supercup with Bayern.

Lewandowski scored 15 goals and assisted five more as Bayern won all of their 2019-20 Champions League games and lifted the trophy, an achievement that will be central to his claim for the honour.

The 32-year-old's output far outstripped perennial contenders Cristiano Ronaldo (four goals, no assists) and Lionel Messi (three goals, three assists).

Bayern overcame Paris Saint-Germain in the final and their star duo of Neymar (three goals, four assists) and Kylian Mbappe (five goals, five assists) could not get anywhere near Lewandowski in the Champions League.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah – the only other attacker on the 11-man shortlist for the FIFA accolade – had four goals and two assists in last season's Champions League.

Lewandowski also had a better shot conversion rate (34.9 per cent) than any of those candidates and averaged 3.4 shots on target per 90 minutes – the most of any player to have featured more than four times.

"As the name suggests, there can only be one who is the best. That is Robert Lewandowski," Matthaus wrote in his Sky Sports column.

"He's no longer just the best number nine in the world. Robert is the most complete and best player there is in world football.

"With FC Bayern he has won the five big titles that can be won. Champions League, Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, DFL-Supercup and UEFA Super Cup. In addition, he was also the top scorer in the first three competitions mentioned.

"His rivals Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and Mbappe are all fantastic players – just like Lewy. The difference is he has won every title there was to be won.

"Messi had a season without a trophy, Ronaldo became Italian champion, is still great, but not as strong as a few years ago."

Cristiano Ronaldo has been nominated for the UEFA Men's Team of the Year for a 17th successive year but unsurprisingly it is Champions League winners Bayern Munich who dominate.

UEFA announced its shortlist for fan voting on Tuesday and Bayern led the way in terms of nominations, with 10 players – including new Liverpool signing Thiago Alcantara – up for inclusion.

The 50-name shortlist was determined by UEFA on the basis of the players' respective performances in European and domestic competition throughout 2020.

Bayern claimed European club football's biggest prize for a sixth time in August, beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 at the Estadio da Luz as the Champions League's delayed latter stages were completed in Lisbon because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Kingsley Coman, scorer of the winning goal in the final, is among the Bayern players nominated, while Robert Lewandowski – the top-scorer with 15 last term – seems a likely bet for a place in the final XI.

Ronaldo is present yet again, the 17th year in a row in which he has been nominated, as he hopes to extend his record of 14 inclusions in the line-up. He is four clear of Lionel Messi, who is also in the running again.

Alphonso Davies, 20, is the youngest nominee while the oldest is 36-year-old Thiago Silva, who helped PSG reach the Champions League final before joining Chelsea in pre-season.

The Premier League and Bundesliga are the most-represented leagues with 15 players to have at some point this year played in either division.

UEFA also revealed the shortlist for the Women's Team of the Year, with Women's Champions League winners Lyon having 13 players – including the since-departed Lucy Bronze – in contention.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz insisted he was ignoring talk about his position after a loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Wentz has struggled this season, leading to speculation he could be benched and replaced by rookie Jalen Hurts.

Hurts briefly replaced Wentz during the Eagles' 23-17 loss to the Seahawks in the NFL on Monday.

But Wentz, who completed 25 of 45 passes for 215 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, and rushed for 42 yards on five carries, said he was blocking out suggestions he could lose his place.

"This is what you sign up for, as a quarterback ever since you're a kid you're prepared for any of those. Nothing's ever guaranteed," he told a news conference.

"For me I don't think about that though, I just try and go out and be the best player I can be, in practice, prepare my tail off, compete my tail off and hopefully we can get this thing turned around.

"I don't think about those things, I'm going to give it everything I've got every time I step on the field."

Wentz was sacked six times by the Seahawks, taking that tally to an NFL-high 46 this season, while he also has a league-high 15 interceptions to go with his 16 TD passes.

A slow start proved particularly costly for the Eagles, who failed to get a first down on their opening five drives and had minus-one total yards.

Wentz said the slow starts were frustrating for Philadelphia (3-7-1).

"I've got to go watch the tape. I know some things we just missed, we didn't execute. I can be better early in the games," he said.

"I think they made some plays early and did some things differently than what we had planned, but the slow starts are frustrating.

"That's the biggest thing I'm going to go back and watch and see how we can change that, and how we can change the momentum early in ball games so we can not put ourselves behind the eight ball like that."

Matchday five of the Champions League could mean qualification for the last 16 for some - and spell trouble for others.

Bayern Munich and Manchester City are already through, but their respective opponents, Atletico Madrid and Porto, could do with positive results.

Real Madrid recorded a valuable win at Inter last time out but must do better against Shakhtar Donetsk than they did on matchday one, while the Nerazzurri themselves know nothing but a victory at Borussia Monchengladbach will do.

Liverpool need just a point at home to Ajax to progress, but with injury problems mounting and a 2-0 home loss to Atalanta last week, their progress no longer looks to be such plain sailing.

Shakhtar Donetsk v Real Madrid: Zidane's men aim to qualify against goal-shy opponents

Shakhtar's 3-2 win at Madrid was a serious shock, one that became more apparent as they lost their latest two games by four or more goals without scoring. Only Malmo and Red Star Belgrade have ever done so in three consecutive matches.

Indeed, Shakhtar have failed to score with each of their 23 shots since netting their third in the Spanish capital.

Madrid know a victory will guarantee their place in the knockouts for the 24th season in a row, a competition record. Their form might be inconsistent, but they have lost only one of their previous seven away games against Ukrainian opponents – a 2-0 defeat to Dynamo Kiev – since March 1999.

 

Atletico Madrid v Bayern Munich: Holders could match club record – but without Lewandowski

Bayern Munich will match a club-record seven away wins in a row in the Champions League with victory at Atletico Madrid. They have won their previous six by an aggregate score of 27-7.

Diego Simeone has lost three of his five meetings with Bayern in this competition, but Atleti have only been beaten once at home in Europe in their previous 24 games.

Robert Lewandowski needs just one goal to surpass Raul in the all-time goalscoring list in the tournament, having reached 71 against Salzburg. However, with the striker missing this contest, Atleti may fancy their chances of beating Bayern at home for the third time in a row.

Borussia Monchengladbach v Inter: Can Conte fix his Champions League woes?

Since losing the first meeting in 1971, Borussia Monchengladbach have gone four games unbeaten against Inter.

This season marks the first occasion Inter have ever failed to win any of their opening four Champions League matches, and they are at risk of losing three in a row in the group stage for the first time.

Indeed, Antonio Conte has won only 20 per cent of his Champions League games in charge of the Nerazzurri, the lowest ratio of any of his predecessors over at least five games in the competition. Fail to win in Germany, and Inter are out.

 

Porto v Manchester City: Imperious defence meets clinical attack

Porto have lost three games in a row against Manchester City 9-2 on aggregate and are winless in five previous meetings with English opponents.

Pep Guardiola's side have already kept three clean sheets this term, one more than they managed in nine Champions League matches in 2019-20.

Porto, however, have scored with 25.8 per cent of their shots this season, a tally only bettered by Gladbach (28.6 per cent).

Liverpool v Ajax: Mane must find magic touch

Ajax and Liverpool have not met at Anfield since 1966-67, when the Eredivisie side won the tie 7-3 on aggregate. That was the last occasion the Reds lost to a Dutch side (they have played 14 such games since).

Ajax are unbeaten in 11 away games in the Champions League, their best run since March 1997, and they have not lost in their latest five visits to England in this competition.

Liverpool, who need a point to progress, could do with Sadio Mane finding form. The forward has scored only once at home in his previous 10 appearances in this tournament, going 426 minutes without finding the net in that run.

 

Other fixtures:

Lokomotiv Moscow v Salzburg

20 – Of the 20 shots attempted between these sides in their matchday-one meeting – which ended in a 2-2 draw - 15 of them were by Salzburg. Indeed, Lokomotiv Moscow scored twice from just three shots on target in the game.

50 – Since the start of last season, Salzburg's 10 games in the Champions League group stages have seen 50 goals scored (23 for, 27 against), the most of any club. Salzburg have won just two of those 10 games (D2 L6).

 

Atalanta v Midtjylland

3 – Midtjylland have lost all three of their previous games against Italian opponents in European competition, conceding 13 goals and scoring just one in reply.

1 – Atalanta have only failed to score in one of their last 12 games in the Champions League (25 goals in total), although this did come in their most recent home game in the competition, losing by five goals to Liverpool.

 

Marseille v Olympiacos

13 – Marseille have lost their last 13 Champions League matches – a competition record – scoring just six goals and conceding 29.

10 – The Ligue 1 side (six) and Olympiacos (eight) are the only two teams in the Champions League in 2020-21 yet to attempt at least 10 shots on target, with the Greek team managing just one across their previous two matches against Man City.

Russell Wilson believes his poise and preparation have been key to his primetime success after helping the Seattle Seahawks beat the Philadelphia Eagles.

Wilson completed 22 of 31 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown as the Seahawks overcame the Eagles 23-17 on Monday to improve to 8-3.

The Seahawks star's win percentage of 77.6 in primetime is the best in the NFL since 1950, with at least 20 starts, according to NFL Research.

Wilson said preparation was key to his success, with the win meaning the Seahawks are still unbeaten against the Eagles in Philadelphia since 1989.

"I think just staying poised, I think just believing and always being prepared. I believe in being prepared," the quarterback told ESPN.

"I believe our football team was prepared. We're playing championship football, we got through some tough times, we're also doing a great job all season."

Wilson also hailed the Seahawks' defense as Seattle moved clear of the Los Angeles Rams (7-4), Arizona Cardinals (6-5) and San Francisco 49ers (5-6) in the NFC West.

"Our defense really stepped up the past few games, they look unbelievable," he said.

"Carlos Dunlap's a big pick up for us, Jamal Adams has been unbelievable, [Quandre] Diggs, Bobby Wagner's as good as it gets, I don't know if there's ever been a better linebacker, there's been some good ones and that's a big comment.

"I'm just grateful for our guys. DK Metcalf made some great plays today, he got a lot of catches, Tyler [Lockett] special, guys ran the ball really well.

"We had that holding call it could've been another touchdown, we had a couple of big plays that could've been there too to really break the game open, but we kept at it and we did it together and that's what championship teams do.

"I just love playing, I love being prepared, I love winning and I love the process more than the end result."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hit back at Sergio Conceicao after the Porto coach's claims he pressured referees.

Conceicao accused Guardiola of pressuring referees during Porto's 3-1 Champions League loss to City in October.

Ahead of the return Group C meeting on Tuesday, Guardiola denied the claims.

"I'm not in agreement. He can say, maybe it's his opinion, but I'm not agreeing that we pressure the referees," he told a news conference.

"It's not the way that we in the history speak for ourselves. We are not the type of team to do this, honestly. I would admit it. So one thing is an action that you don't agree [with], you can make any comment, one specific action. But it's not a part of who we are, honestly.

"In the five years we are here together and the people in Germany and Spain know completely that it speaks for itself, our behaviour.

"I'm not agreeing. It's not true."

City have already secured their place in the last 16, while Porto sit second on nine points, three behind and six clear of Olympiacos.

Guardiola expects a difficult encounter, although City have won their previous three meetings with Porto by an aggregate score of 9-2.

However, City are playing an away game at Porto in European competition for just the second time and first since February 2012, when they recorded a 2-1 win in the Europa League.

"It will be tough, we know it. It’s the Champions League away. Top teams in Portugal have to win every weekend," Guardiola said.

"When you have that mentality in all departments in the club, not just the players, it makes them so dangerous. That’s why we expect a difficult a game.

"We did when they came here and it was. Tomorrow will be too."

Hakim Ziyech has no doubt Chelsea can be Premier League title contenders this season.

After a 0-0 draw at home to leaders Tottenham on Sunday, Frank Lampard's side are third in the table – two points adrift of Spurs and Liverpool.

Ziyech was one of several big-name arrivals in the close season as the Blues set their sights on a first league title since 2016-17, with the 27-year-old already making a big impact, scoring once, providing three assists and creating 12 chances in total from six top-flight appearances.

And the former Ajax star said there was belief in Lampard's squad that they could challenge.

"Of course we can make a challenge," Ziyech said, via the Daily Express.

"You always have to believe in it. It starts from believing in it and then working every day harder. At the end of the day we will see what it brings.

"But you have to believe it is possible and that is what we are doing. We believe it."

The draw with Tottenham saw Chelsea extend their unbeaten run to 14 games in all competitions – their longest since November 2018.

It was the first goalless draw between the clubs in the Premier League since November 2015.

In a game of few clear chances – Chelsea mustered three attempts on target compared to Spurs' one – Tammy Abraham missed three presentable opportunities, before his replacement Olivier Giroud lofted a tame effort straight at Hugo Lloris late on.

"It felt like whoever was going to make the mistake would lose the game," added Ziyech, who had the game's first opportunity when he struck a dipping volley into Lloris' grasp.

"It was not really a game to play football. It was a tactical game. For their attackers and ours there was no space to play. We had much more of the ball than they had, but it was difficult to find space and create chances.

"Our feelings were mixed. A little disappointed because we were at home and we want to win the game but on the other side you have to look to yourself and say you didn't create enough."

Luis Suarez has been left out of Atletico Madrid's squad for Tuesday's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich after returning another positive coronavirus test.

The Uruguay international has missed Atletico's last three matches, including a reunion with former club Barcelona, after contracting COVID-19 while away with his country.

Despite Suarez not featuring on the 22-man squad list published by Atletico on Monday, however, head coach Diego Simeone is not completely ruling out the striker.

"This virus is strange. It is possible that tomorrow he tests negative and is fit. He has been training and wants to help the team," Simeone said at his pre-match news conference.

"We will have to wait and see what happens and then inform you. I spoke to him yesterday and he felt good, wanting to be with the rest of the team.

"The most important thing is he is well. If he doesn't play tomorrow he will play on Saturday."

Suarez had been in fine form for Atletico before being ruled out, scoring five goals in his first six LaLiga appearances after joining from Barca for a nominal fee in September.

The 33-year-old's 1.2 goals per 90 minutes is the highest of any player in the division to have played at least three matches, with Valencia's Manu Vallejo (1.02) next best.

His six league goals have come from 22 shots, eight of those on target, both being the most of any Atleti player this season.

Bayern are also without key players for the Group A clash, meanwhile, as Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso have not made the trip to the Spanish capital.

Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich are unavailable for a Bayern side already assured of top spot, but Simeone insists the competition holders cannot be taken lightly.

"The squad selection is a decision made by the Bayern coach," he said. "This Bayern side understand how to compete in each game they play.

"They have very good players and have almost all of their attackers available, with lots of goals in the side. That is a great strength that they have."

Atletico have picked up five points from the same number of games and are two ahead of third-place Lokomotiv Moscow, who host Salzburg on Tuesday.

Bayern won the reverse fixture with Atleti 4-0 last month but Simeone wants to see his side take the game to their opponents and remain on course for a place in the last 16.

"In football you need forcefulness," he said. "After two draws, one loss and one victory, our margin is short. We are in need of points.

"Whatever the results have been in the previous games, we have to look at where we can do damage against Bayern."

Zinedine Zidane has acknowledged Eden Hazard is experiencing a "hard time" but insists Real Madrid will do everything they can to help their record signing. 

The Belgium international has been blighted by ankle and leg problems since joining the Spanish giants from Chelsea nearly 18 months ago.

Last season he started just 14 games in LaLiga, playing a minor role as Madrid won the title in his first campaign at the club.

He has continued to struggle this term and suffered an injury to the rectus femoris muscle in his right thigh in just his third league start of the campaign against Deportivo Alaves on Saturday.

No timescale has been put on his return but he has not been named in Madrid's squad for Tuesday's Champions League trip to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Zidane said it is Madrid's responsibility to look after the 29-year-old and the Frenchman hopes the forward can return stronger than before. 

Asked at a media conference if Hazard might experience some psychological impact after yet another injury, Zidane responded: "No. Sometimes injuries happen and we have to endure. He is strong, I have no doubt. 

"He is having a hard time lately. We are going to help him to get better soon.

"It is a complicated situation for Eden. He has never been injured in his career and now has more misfortunes. He will surely come back stronger. We look forward to seeing him with us again."

Despite a largely indifferent Champions League campaign so far, which has seen them win just two of their four Group B games, Madrid can seal a last-16 spot for a record 24th time with victory against Shakhtar.

Luis Castro's side have failed to win any of their three games since beating Madrid on matchday one, but Zidane is preparing his players for what he describes as the most important game in the group. 

"It is up to us to get through," he said. "Tomorrow is another final, there are two left. It is surely the most important game because it can take us to another phase."

Since scoring the third goal in their 3-2 win over Madrid, Shakhtar have failed to score with each of their last 23 shots in the competition.

However, Los Blancos defender Nacho Fernandez still anticipates a challenging fixture in Kiev.

"We need to try to be much more attentive," he said. "They are a very fast team, very dynamic. We will try to get ahead on the scoreboard and be attentive defensively."

In 2019, Derrick Henry put together a remarkable rushing season to propel the Tennessee Titans to the playoffs, where they made an unlikely run to the AFC Championship game.

After an instrumental performance in Tennessee's 45-26 win over their AFC South rivals the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12, Henry looks primed to carry the Titans deep into the postseason again and finish 2020 with an even more impressive statistical campaign.

Henry racked up 178 yards and three touchdowns as the Titans moved into first place in the division with five games still to play.

Last year, Henry won the rushing title with a league-leading 1,540 yards on the ground. He was also first in touchdowns (16) and rushing yards per game (102.7).

After his heroics at Lucas Oil Stadium, Henry has 1,257 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns and 114.3 rushing yards per game.

Henry, therefore, is on pace to significantly outperform what he did last season and, while he is unlikely to come close to the 2,000-yard seasons that rank among the best running back campaigns of all time, his efforts against Indianapolis were still historic.

The former Alabama star became the fourth player in NFL history with three games with at least 175 rushing yards and three touchdowns in his first five seasons, joining a list that features Jim Brown (five games), LaDainian Tomlinson (three) and Adrian Peterson (three).

Additionally, Henry now has reached 100 rushing yards in eight consecutive road games. That is tied with Chris Johnson for the second-longest streak in NFL history behind only Barry Sanders, who had 10 between 1996 and 1997.

Henry has achieved these feats running behind an offensive line that lost its starting left tackle Taylor Lewan and his backup Ty Sambrailo to serious injuries.

And a deeper dive into the numbers from Sunday suggest Henry's display was not just a product of impressive blocking from the offensive line but a reflection of how his remarkable size and speed makes him near impossible to stop.

According to the NFL's NextGen Stats, Henry averaged 7.7 yards per rush attempt on runs outside the offensive tackles. He had 146 of his 178 yards on such runs.

Few running backs of Henry's 6ft 3in and 247-pound frame have the speed to get to the edge of defenses and pick up significant yardage so consistently, and the extra value Henry added was also reflected by his performance in rush yards over expected (RYOE).

RYOE measures the difference between a player's rushing yards on a run or series of runs and the yards he was anticipated to gain.

In the win over the Colts, Henry averaged 1.19 RYOE per attempt, the eighth-highest average in the league through Sunday and third-highest among backs to receive at least 20 carries.

His season-long RYOE per attempt average of 0.7 yards is eighth in the league but the evidence from Week 12 indicates that is set to improve.

With three successive 100-yard games and four in his past five appearances, Henry is picking up steam at exactly the right time, his form sending an ominous warning to Tennessee's rivals in the AFC.

The NFL equivalent of a freight train, Henry is the undoubted focal point of a talented Tennessee offense. If he maintains the level of play he demonstrated in Week 12, the Titans will be extremely difficult to derail.

Jurgen Klopp says Virgil Van Dijk's recovery from serious injury is going "really well" despite the Liverpool boss revealing the defender's knee "does not look like a knee should".

Van Dijk suffered knee ligament damage in last month's Merseyside derby, sustaining the injury as a result of a forceful challenge from Jordan Pickford.

The Dutchman could ultimately miss the rest of the club season and even next year's delayed Euro 2020.

His absence will be felt by the Reds given how influential he has been since making a big-money move from Southampton – he was colossal last season as Liverpool ended a 30-year wait for a top-flight crown.

Van Dijk attempted more passes (3,255) than any other defender in the Premier League, while only two other defenders with more than 1,500 had a better completion rate than him (89.2 per cent).

On top of that, Trent Alexander-Arnold (3,664) was the sole defender to have more touches of the ball than Van Dijk (3,624), his 239 duels won were the joint-fifth-best among rearguard players and his 191 aerial wins was bettered by only James Tarkowski (199).

The 29-year-old underwent a successful operation at the end of October, with Klopp confirming he is progressing well. 

Asked if he was in touch with Van Dijk, Klopp told a media conference: "Yes, of course we are in contact. Considering the circumstances, he's doing really well.

"His knee doesn't look good, to be honest. It doesn't look like a knee should look, but it looks good for a knee with that surgery and the time he had since the surgery.

"So, yes, of course we are in contact and he's doing well, that's true."

Klopp also revealed Alexander-Arnold and Xherdan Shaqiri are making progress in their recoveries from injury, but confirmed Tuesday's Champions League clash with Ajax will come too soon for them. 

They will be joined on the sidelines by James Milner, who sustained a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion at the weekend. 

While Alexander-Arnold and Shaqiri are not ready for the game at Anfield, Klopp said there is an outside chance Naby Keita could return.

"They are all getting closer to being back, but not close enough for tomorrow, I think," he said.

"With Naby we have to check there still, but with the other two, they will not be ready.

"Trent looks quite good, but nobody gave me the green light for tonight so he will not be in it [training]. He hasn't trained with the team and stuff like this.

"I saw him today on the pitch doing his rehab stuff outside, so that looks already good, but I cannot decide when this rehab stuff is finished. I take the players only in the moment when I get the green light and that didn't happen yet.

"But from my rather experienced eye from what I saw today, it will not be that long anymore with Trent."

Liverpool can secure their place in the last 16 if they avoid defeat against Ajax and they will be confirmed as Group D winners if they beat the Eredivisie side and Atalanta fail to overcome Midtjylland.

Page 1 of 89
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.