e would settle for a narrow victory a

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e would settle for a narrow victory a

Postby lw789 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:20 pm

Gareth McAuley admits he would settle for a narrow victory against San Marino when Northern Ireland face them in their World Cup qualifier. One of the lowest-ranked sides in world football, the principality have conceded 17 goals in their last two away games.They now visit Belfast to face a Northern Irish side playing at Windsor Park for the first time since its renovation was complete. As such, a sell-out crowd of over 18,000 will be in attendance which will include high-profile figures such as FIFA president Gianni Infantino and boxing world champion Carl Frampton.Despite the hype and excitement, McAuley will settle for simply beating a team which has never won a competitive game and failed to avoid defeat in any World Cup qualifiers over the last 15 years. Northern Ireland will play at Windsor Park for the first time since its redevelopment was completed The West Brom defender said: It is a must-win game. Id expect all the other teams in the group to beat San Marino home and away so we are going to have to do that if were going to give ourselves any chance.The Faroes was the same scenario in the last campaign; if you dont do that, then forget about. So that means there is a pressure on us. Weve got to stay patient on how we approach it.We need the crowd to stay with us and be patient, too. If it is a goal in the last minute and we win 1-0 then job done.Obviously wed like to win by more but the days of doing that in international football are probably gone. Watch NOW TV Watch Sky Sports for just £6.99. No contract. I wont be disappointed if we dont put on a great performance against San Marino but come out with a 1-0 win, not at all.Ive been to Luxembourg and lost. Ive been to the Faroes and drew down the years. Yes, everyone wants to entertain but the most important thing is to get three points from that game. It doesnt matter how we do it as long as we do.Previous Northern Ireland teams McAuley has been a part of have struggled against the lesser lights of international football.In the previous World Cup qualification campaign, both Luxembourg and Azerbaijan defeated Northern Ireland in their own countries.There was no such misfortune avoided in the run-up to Euro 2016, however, when Michael ONeills side claimed 10 points from fixtures with the Faroe Islands and Finland.McAuley added: Id like to think we have learned our lesson from previous campaigns over the years and how we do things. Northern Ireland took 10 points out of 12 from their qualifiers with Finland and Faroe Islands ahead of Euro 2016 If we are our own worst enemy in the game, we wont get anything from it. But if we make the right choices and do the right things then we have enough but that is down to us players on the pitch.After Luxembourg we hit a low against the team wed expect to beat. But we are in a good place now and we are making the right decisions on the pitch now.You can watch Englands tour of Bangladesh, plus Premier League football and the Japan Grand Prix on Sky Sports. Upgrade now and enjoy three months at half price! Also See: N Ireland latest N Ireland fixtures N Ireland stats Table Live on Sky Wholesale Bills Jerseys Online . - Henrik Samuelsson and Curtis Lazar each had two goals and two assists as the Edmonton Oil Kings secured top spot in the Eastern Conference by defeating the host Red Deer Rebels 7-4 on Saturday in Western Hockey League action. Harrison Phillips Jersey . The 31-year-old Spain midfielder hasnt played since Madrid lost in the Copa del Rey final to Atletico Madrid in May due to back and foot injuries. http://www.cheapbillsjerseyssale.com/. "I only want to go through this one more time," Crosby said Friday. The 24-year-old captain hasnt played since the symptoms resurfaced following a loss to Boston on Dec. 5. Doctors allowed him to return to full practice on Tuesday and while Crosby is pleased with the way his body is responding he refuses to put on his return. Khari Lee Jersey . The goals took Liverpools tally in the Premier League this season to 70, overtaking Manchester City as the top scorers, and left the fourth-place team just four points behind league leader Chelsea. Zay Jones Jersey . -- Ben Brust scored 19 points to lead six Wisconsin players in double figures as the No.With the regular season right around the corner, TSN.ca profiles each NBA division before the first tip. TSN Basketball analyst Jack Armstrong also gives his pick for division champ and a player to keep an eye on this season. We finish our trip around the NBA with the Southeast Conference where the defending champion Miami Heat begin life without LeBron James, John Wall and the Washington Wizards look to emerge as an Eastern Conference power, while the Hornets return to Charlotte for the first time since 2002. Atlanta Hawks Jeff Teague in 2013-14: 16.5 PPG, 6.7 APG, .438 FG% Coach: Mike Budenholzer (second season) GM: Danny Ferry (third season) Last year: 38-44, fourth in Southeast (eighth in Eastern Conference) Playoffs: Lost in first round to Pacers Notable additions: SG/SF Thabo Sefolosha (acquired from Thunder), PF Adreian Payne (drafted) and SG Kent Bazemore ($4M, two-year deal) Notable subtractions: SF Louis Williams (traded to Raptors) and SF/SG Cartier Martin (signed with Pistons) Hawks Depth Chart POSITION STARTER BENCH Point Guard Jeff Teague Dennis Schroder, Shelvin Mack Shooting Guard Kyle Korver Kent Bazemore, John Jenkins Small Forward DeMarre Carroll Thabo Sefolosha Power Forward Paul Milsap Mike Scott, Elton Brand, Adreian Payne Centre Al Horford Pero Antic, Mike Muscala Few teams are looking forward to the regular season more than the Atlanta Hawks and not because of why they should be looking forward to this year. The Hawks should be looking forward to the regular season because they were gamers in the playoffs. Fading down the stretch in the regular seasons, the Hawks looked to be a soft touch in the postseason, but they were a big surprise, taking the top-seeded Pacers to a surprising seventh game in the first round. That should have been a momentum builder for a team struggling to assert itself in the Eastern Conference. Instead, nobody is even talking about the Hawks on the court. The real reason why the Hawks are looking forward to the regular season is because actual basketball might shift the focus away from their front office’s disaster of an offseason. Mired in scandal stemming from a racist e-mail sent by general manager, Danny Ferry (now on leave), the Hawks hope that the regular season will provide some sort of respite from this massive PR nightmare. Though, Ferry isn’t with the team or involved with day-to-day operations, the longer the situation persists and the longer the team is in search of new ownership, the Hawks have a cloud hanging over them. As the Clippers can attest to last season, off-court issues will distract as best the players attempt to put them on the backburner. This certainly isn’t something any of the players have asked for or deserved, but it’s up to them to persevere. On the court, the Hawks’ fortunes are tied to Al Horford’s health. Horford going down in December with a shoulder injury (his second major shoulder injury in three seasons) limited him to just 29 games last year and ensured that the Hawks would be life-and-death for the playoffs. A two-time All-Star, Horford can take the Hawks from a very average team to a pretty decent one and a club that will contend for the playoffs. Elsewhere, Thabo Sefolosha returns to the Eastern Conference looking for a fresh start. Sefolosha fell out of favour in Oklahoma City, but feels that he can still be a major contributor and can play starter’s minutes. He’ll be afforded the chance to prove his credentials under Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks will gladly welcome a return to form. Still, the team is in for a fight in the East and might not have the horses to make a return to the postseason. They will need more steady production in the back from Jeff Teague and hope that being in a contract year raises the game of Paul Millsap. If anything, after what they’ve gone through with this team, Hawks fans deserve a winner or, at the very least, a club that won’t embarrass them on the court. Projection: Fourth in the Southeast (10th in the Eastern Conference) Charlotte Hornets Lance Stephenson in 2013-14 (with Pacers): 13.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, .491 FG% Coach: Steve Clifford (second season) GM: Rich Cho (fourth season) Last year: 43-39, third in Central (seventh in Eastern Conference) Playoffs: Lost in first round to Heat Notable additions: SG Lance Stephenson ($18M, two-year deal), SF/PF Marvin Williams ($14M, two-year deal), SG PJ Hairston (acquired from Heat), PF Noah Vonleh (drafted) and PG Brian Roberts ($5.59M, two-year deal) Notable subtractions: PF Josh McRoberts (signed with Heat), PF Anthony Tolliver (signed with Suns) and PG Luke Ridnour (signed with Magic) Hornets Depth Chart POSITION STARTER BENCH Point Guard Kemba Walker Brian Roberts, Jannero Pargo Shooting Guard Lance Stephenson Gerald Henderson, Gary Neal, PJ Hairston Small Forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Jeff Taylor Power Forward Marvin Williams Cody Zeller, Noah Vonleh, Jason Maxiell Centre Al Jefferson Bismack Biyombo The Bobcats are the Hornets again (because the Hornets are the Pelicans now…look, let’s not get into this. It actually makes sense, I promise) and Charlotte is a team on the upswing after making only its second postseason appearance in a decade Like its first appearance in the playoffs, last season ended in a first-round sweep, but fortunes are looking up for Michael Jordan’s club. Lance Stephenson comes over from the Pacers as the team’s prized free agent signing. Stephenson led the league in triple-doubles last season with five and represents a massive upgrade at the two. He’s a creative, two-way player with explosive speed. He can also be temperamental as seen in last year’s playoffs, including the ridiculous episode of blowing in LeBron James’s ear. The Hornets figure that Stephenson’s extracurriculars can be reined (as well as his below-average shot selection) in Charlotte and he can get a fresh start with a team crying out for a player of his ilk. His contract isn’t remotely egregious and, if Stephenson can perform up to the level he’s capable of, he could end up being a steal. His partnership with Kemba Walker will be a fun one to watch this season. The other addition to the Hornets’ starting five is Marvin Williams to replace Josh McRoberts who headed south to Miami. Williams is a serviceable veteran who can stretch the floor, but he’s a downgrade to McRoberts, who was a surprisingly adept playmaker for a guy of his size. The addition of Williams should also be seen as a bit of a warning sign to Cody Zeller. If the fourth-overall pick in the 2013 had any designs of starting with McRoberts gone, those were dashed with Williams coming aboard. Zeller got better as his rookie campaign progressed, but he’s still a long way’s away from being the impact player that Hornets fans hoped they drafted. This is also a pivotal year for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. While a fine perimeter defender who will gladly welcome the help that Stephenson will provide in that regard, MKG has struggled mightily with his offensive game in the pros. A gifted athlete, Kidd-Gilchrist’s offensive inefficiency is forgiven due to his tenacity for the most part, but his jump shot needs to improve in a hurry so that his offensive game doesn’t go from a detractor to an actual burden for the Hornets. The only lights out member of the Hornets frontcourt is Al Jefferson, who quietly had an outstanding season last year (21.8 PPG and 10.8 RPG). The Hornets have more depth this season, but the absence of McRoberts will hurt. That said, Stephenson is going to help a lot and the Hornets should even win their first playoff game this season. They might not take a series, but you will see progress. Projection: Third in the Southeast (sixth in the Eastern Conference) Miami Heat Chris Bosh in 2013-14: 16.2 PPG, 6.6 APG, 1.0 SPG Coach: Erik Spoelstra (seventh season) GM: Pat Riley (20th season) Last year: 54-28, first in Southeast (second in Eastern Conference) Playoffs: Lost in NBA Finals to Spurs Notable additions: SF Luol Deng ($20M, two-year deal), SF Danny Granger ($4.25M, two-year deal), PF Josh McRoberts ($22.65M, four-year deal), SG/PG Shannon Brown (claimed from Knicks) and PG Shabazz Napier (acquired from Hornets) Notable subtractions: SF LeBron James (signed with Cavs), SF Michael Beasley (signed with Grizzlies), SG Mike Miller (signed with Cavs), SG Ray Allen (unsigned) C Greg Oden (unsigned) and SG/SF Shane Battier (retired) Heat Depth Chart POSITION STARTER BENCH Point Guard Norris Cole Mario Chalmers, Shabazz Napier Shooting Guard Dwyane Wade Shannon Brown, Andre Dawkins Small Forward Luol Deng Danny Granger, James Ennis Power Forward Shawne Williams Udonis Haslem, Josh McRoberts (IR) Centre Chris Bosh Chris Andersen, Justin Hamilton A year ago, it would have sounded utterly bizarre, but the Miami Heat finds itself in the role of underdog for the first time in recent memory. With LeBron James taking his talents away from South Beach and the Big Three down to a duo, there are no more givens in Miami and this team will have to fight for everything it gets this season. Obviously, the best player on the planet is irreplaceable and the hole LBJ leaves is immense, but there are still some very good basketball players on this team and the Heat are far from dead just yet. As the forgotten member of the Miami troika, people tend to overlook just how dominant Chris Bosh has proven himself capable of being. It’s not so much that he forgot to how to hack and slash in the paint or be a double-double man every night, menacing the boards when he left Toronto– his role changed. He was no longer the focal point of an offence and he dropped back into a tertiary role. With James gone and Dwyane Wade’s health of constant concern, the Miami Heat is very much Chris Bosh’s team right now. I don’t think anybody is expecting him to score the near 25 points a night he averaged in his final year in Toronto, but you’re going to see an assertiveness that Bosh has yet to show with the Heat. Choosing to stick with the Heat, rather than signing with the Houston Rockets and becoming the third guy in another Big Three, Bosh hass reaffirmed his desire to be a number-one scoring option and lead a team.dddddddddddd In many ways, this could be the most important season in his career. As for Wade, Erik Spoelstra had the luxury of resting the 10-time All-Star as often as he liked last season, knowing that the scoring would be taken care of from James. It was more important to have Wade ready for a playoff run. That luxury doesn’t exist anymore. Not to take anything away from what a Luol Deng or a Josh McRoberts can bring to the table, the Heat will need more from Flash. Wade is an all-time great and will welcome the challenge – it’s all a matter of his body being willing to do so. He’s only 32, but it’s an old 32, considering the wear and tear. Wade hasn’t played anything close to a full season in three years, so it might be optimistic to expect him to do so now. As Wade goes, so will the Heat. Even after James’s exit, the Heat retain a vast majority of last season’s team. Along with Bosh and Wade, the likes of Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem and Birdman Andersen are back in tow. Obviously, the loss of James means big changes in terms of actual systems and a game plan, but Spoelstra has players he can trust and is greatly familiar with to make those adjustments. The Heat will struggle like they haven’t in sometime, but the post-James era won’t be nearly as rough as their first season after Shaquille O’Neal left where the team was the worst in the conference. Though not the juggernaut they were, not close, the Heat will still be a playoff team and they have enough veteran savvy and quality to make the team that everybody will want to avoid in the first round. Projection: Second in Southeast (fifth in Eastern Conference) Orlando Magic Victor Oladipo in 2013-14: 13.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.1 APG Coach: Jacque Vaughn (third season) GM: Rob Hennigan Last year: 23-59, fifth in Southeast (12th in Eastern Conference) Playoffs: Did not qualify Notable additions: PF Aaron Gordon (drafted), PF/C Channing Frye ($32M, four-year deal), SG Evan Fournier (acquired from Nuggets), PG Elfrid Payton (acquired from Sixers), SG Willie Green (claimed from Clippers), SG Ben Gordon ($9M, two-year deal) and PG Luke Ridnour ($5M, two-year deal) Notable subtractions: PG Jameer Nelson (waived, signed with Mavericks), SG Arron Afflalo (traded to Nuggets) and SG/PG ETwaun Moore (signed with Bulls) Magic Depth Chart POSITION STARTER BENCH Point Guard Elfrid Payton Luke Ridnour Shooting Guard Evan Fournier Ben Gordon, Willie Green, Victor Oladipo (IR) Small Forward Maurice Harkless Devyn Marble Power Forward Tobias Harris Aaron Gordon, Kyle OQuinn, Channing Frye (IR) Centre Nikola Vucevic Andrew Nicholson, Dewayne Dedmon The Magic were in the basement of the Southeast a year ago and will be back there again this season. The team went with youth in a big way last season with impressive rookie Victor Oladipo being thrown right into the fire, playing 31 minutes a night and finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting. They’re going to do that again this season, but they’ve supplemented the kids with some savvy veterans. Still, this team is going to have trouble scoring and the goal this season will be an attempt to form some sort of identity going forward. In June’s draft, the Magic just missed out on one of the three franchise-changers in Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid and went with a guy considered a reach with the fourth pick in Aaron Gordon. Gordon has a good head on his shoulders and is a superior athlete with impressive smarts. He’s got a good first step and doesn’t take plays off. The issue with Gordon is the questions around whether or not he’s going to be able to score at an NBA level. He scored 12.4 points a game in his only year at Arizona and doesn’t handle the ball particularly well. He’s not the thickest guy in the world and will certainly need to bulk up. Don’t look for Gordon to be given the responsibility that Oladipo was last season and that’s for the best because Oladipo was much more of a polished product coming out of Indiana. Still, he’s only 19 and has room to grow and Orlando is a great situation for that. The team’s other first-rounder, Elfrid Payton, Jr., son of CFL Hall of Famer, Elfrid Payton, is likely to see more of a workload than Gordon in his freshman campaign out of necessity. With Jameer Nelson allowed to go in search of a winner, Payton gets to start at the one. A tenacious defender, look for Payton to be among the league’s leaders in steals in a hurry. He’s big for a point guard and cuts well, but will need to work on his shot. Like Gordon (and most rookies, for that matter), Payton is going to need to pack on the muscle. The biggest challenge for the Magic seems to be on who’s going to score for this team. With Arron Afflalo and his near 19 points a game back in Denver and Oladipo on the shelf to start the year (next to the absurdly overpaid Channing Frye), there’s no obvious offensive leader. Tobias Harris regressed offensively last season and is a potential trade candidate and, while Nikola Vucevic looks to be a double-double guy every night, he’s not a dynamic scorer. The Magic are a couple of year away from contending for a playoff spot, but they have a couple of very nice pieces, and, by the time the team will be fighting for the postseason, the likes of Oladipo, Gordon and Payton will be just at the cusp of their best years. Couple that with another high lottery pick this year and the Magic’s cupboard is far from bare. Projected finish: Fifth in Southeast (12th in Eastern Conference) Washington Wizards John Wall in 2013-14: 19.3 PPG, 8.8 APG, .351 3P% Coach: Randy Wittman (third season) GM: Ernie Grunfeld (12th season) Last year: 44-38, second in Southeast (fifth in Eastern Conference) Playoffs: Lost in Eastern Conference semi-finals to Pacers Notable additions: SF Paul Pierce ($10.85M, two-year deal), PF/C DeJuan Blair (acquired from Mavericks), PF/C Kris Humphries (acquired from Celtics) and SF Rasual Butler ($1.45M, one-year deal) Notable subtractions: SF/SG Trevor Ariza (traded to Rockets) and PF Trevor Booker (signed with Jazz) Wizards Depth Chart POSITION STARTER BENCH Point Guard John Wall Andre Miller, Garrett Temple Shooting Guard Glen Rice, Jr. Martell Webster, Bradley Beal (IR) Small Forward Paul Pierce Otto Porter, Jr., Rasual Butler Power Forward Nene Hilario DeJuan Blair, Drew Gooden Centre Marcin Gortat Kris Humphries, Kevin Seraphin The Washington Wizards would have gladly driven LeBron James’s personal effects back to Akron, Ohio had he asked. The team that gained the second-most with James returning to the Cavs, the Wizards smell blood in the Southeast. The team is positioned to capture their first division crown since 1979 when the Bullets made an NBA Finals appearance. But it won’t come without adversity. The first challenge facing the Wizards is an injury to one half of the House of Guards in Bradley Beal. Breaking his wrist in the preseason, Beal was lucky not to incur any ligament damage, which would have put his entire season in question. As it stands, Beal should be out until mid-December, though, the two-guard himself is optimistic about coming back earlier than that. The 21-year-old is coming off of a breakout campaign in his sophomore season and forms, along with John Wall, one of the most dynamic young backcourts in the NBA. The sooner Beal is back, the better. Randy Wittman’s team feels prepared to weather the storm of his absence, namely because of Wall. Blistering speed, supreme vision and no shortage of panache have made the 24-year-old one of the best point guards in the NBA with a claim to perhaps being the best. An absolutely mind-blowing statistic about the emergence of Wall: the former Kentucky Wildcat assisted on 43 per cent of every field goal made when he was on the court last season. Even with Beal out, the Wizards’ backcourt is in good hands with Wall, but Beal isn’t the only injury concern there. Veteran Martell Webster is still feeling the aftereffects of a lingering back injury and Glen Rice, Jr., is banged up with an ankle sprain. Otto Porter, Jr., a forward by trade, will start the year at shooting guard. Though out of position, the Wizards believe that Porter’s athleticism is enough to adequately defend at the two. If you’re talking about the Wizards and health, you’d be remiss not to mention Nene. With Paul Pierce, who proved last season that reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated (just ask Kyle Lowry), and Marcin Gortat, who just missed out on averaging a double-double a night in his first year in DC (and was rewarded with a bumper new deal), comprising two-thirds of a solid frontcourt, the onus falls on the big Brazilian to stay fit. Nene’s two full seasons in Washington haven’t exactly been that, missing 21 games two years ago and 29 games last year. When he’s healthy, Nene is fine contributor on both sides of the ball and an imposing figure in the paint. The acquisitions of DeJuan Blair and Kris Humphries provide depth when it comes to bigs, but this Wizards team will be at its best if Nene is playing significant minutes. If the team can manage Beal’s early injury, make up for the loss of Trevor Ariza’s athleticism and get close to a full season out of Nene, the Wizards win this division. None is a given, but all three can be done and the Miami Heat are looking at the usurpers of their division crown. Projection: First in Southeast (fourth in Eastern Conference) Jack Armstrongs Pick: Bradley Beal in 2013-14: 17.1 PPG, 3.1 APG, .402 3P% Washington Wizards - The Wizards will deal with the early injury to Bradley Beal just fine and the leadership of Paul Pierce will help. Theres a good talent level there and John Wall is still emerging. They gotta keep Nene healthy, though. Hes a bit fragile. Jack Armstrongs Player to Watch: Dwyane Wade in 2013-14 (54 games): 19.0 PPG, 4.7 APG, .545 FG% Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat - Its funny how just a few weeks ago NFL fans were questioning how much Tom Brady had left. Well, not anymore. Those same questions exist here with Wade and they might be more relevant. Can he still bring it? Yes. Can he do it 75-80 times a year? Not anymore. Hell still be Flash, but not as consistently as in past years. 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