Get ready for the return of Premier League, plus what's next for Brittney Griner?

Fri, Aug 5, 2022
Soccer News (AP)

Get ready for the return of Premier League, plus what's next for Brittney Griner?

Happy Friday, everyone! Another week down. Congrats!

Let's get right to it.

PREMIER LEAGUE FANS

Rejoice, soccer fans: The Premier League is back! visits to kick things off, and then all 18 other teams open their respective seasons this weekend.

In case you missed it this summer, as reigning champions added 'from . The third-leading scorer in the Bundesliga last year, Haaland is a huge reason why our soccer expert Roger Gonzalez calls City "the clear-cut favorites to win the league" in .

But that means there's lots of pressure on Haaland, too, notes soccer reporter James Benge in .

  • Benge: "Haaland scored 115 times in 116 games for and Borussia Dortmund. ... He may just be on one of the great hot streaks at the start of his career. The very best and only the very best of strikers can be relied upon to regularly outperform their expected goals (xG) to some extent but not to the level Haaland has. ... This is a team who fetishize the close range shots in line with the goal more than anyone else. ... Haaland's sweet spot is City's and vice versa."

Our team of soccer experts has done a terrific job previewing other top teams, including...

  • Arsenal ()
  • '()
  • '()
  • '()
  • Tottenham ()

We also have for title winners, top four, bottom four and individual awards.

We'll have'live analysis over the weekend -- and the -- so be sure to stay tuned to our soccer coverage'going forward.

  • The Raiders won the Hall of Fame Game.
  • The Cubs and Cardinals in 2023.
  • Packers rookie wide receiver is impressing Aaron Rodgers.
  • Diontae Johnson''worth nearly $37 million from the Steelers.

CLAYTON KERSHAW AND THE LOS ANGELES DODGERS

The Dodgers are very likely going to cruise to another NL West title as they own the best record in MLB. The only thing they didn't need was an injury to one of their stars. Clayton Kershaw against the Giants after'experiencing back pain while throwing warm-up pitches in the fifth inning.

This is worrying for , our MLB expert Mike Axisa notes. First, it's far from Kershaw's first back issue.

  • Axisa: "He missed 41 days with back inflammation in 2014, 74 days with a disc herniation in 2016 and 39 days with a back strain in 2017. Kershaw also spent short stints on the injured list with back issues in 2018 and 2020. Last season, a flexor injury cost him much of the second half and postseason, and he missed time with a hip injury earlier this year."

The 34-year-old hurler has been terrific this season with a 2.64 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP, both top-10 marks in the NL (min. 80 IP). Any extended absence would be a tough blow for the Dodgers, whose rotation is starting to look a little thin.

  • 1. RHP'Walker Buehler (out since June 10 with a forearm injury, could return in September)
  • 2. LHP Clayton Kershaw (exited Thursday's start with an injury)
  • 3. LHP Julio Urias
  • 4. RHP Tony Gonsolin (23 1/3 innings away from his previous career high)
  • 5. LHP Tyler Anderson
  • 6. LHP Andrew Heaney (healthy now, but limited to five starts by shoulder trouble so far this year)
  • 7. RHP Ryan Pepiot (9 2/3 innings away from his previous career high)
  • The'Angels'hit seven home runs, including two from'Shohei Ohtani...'.
  • Saints rookie Trevor Penning for fighting for a third straight day.
  • Novak Djokovic in Montreal as he remains unvaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Didi Gregorius and Jackie Bradley Jr. were among 'in the wake of the trade deadline.

Phoenix Mercury star'Brittney Griner was found guilty on charges of drug smuggling and cannabis possession in and . She was also fined 1,000,000 Russian rubles (just over $16,000).

  • As part of a statement, President Joe Biden said the sentence is "more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney."

Griner was for allegedly carrying a marijuana concentrate in her luggage. She has been detained ever since and recently pleaded guilty. Wednesday, during the closing arguments of her trial, Griner said she "never meant to break any law."

This is far from the end of Griner's story, though. In late July, the U.S. that would free Griner and corporate security director Paul Whelan in exchange for convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout. While the WNBA star has now formally been sentenced, a prisoner swap still remains a possibility.

We're rapidly approaching the 2022 college football season, and, boy, has it been a wild offseason. From transfer portal craziness to NIL deals to realignment on the horizon, we have plenty of storylines to get to. That's where our college football insider Dennis Dodd can help, as he examined in his .

Let's start with the biggest one: Who will make the College Football Playoff? Dodd says usual suspect Alabama as well as reigning champion Georgia will both be there... but

  • Dodd: "Ohio State: Ryan Day has his best team since the 2019 powerhouse that was upset by Clemson in the CFP semifinal. Day is 28-3 since then with one Big Ten loss to his name. So, yeah. If the defense comes together under new coordinator Jim Knowles, watch out.'Utah:'Kyle Whittingham has reached the peak of his career entering Year 18. The Utes have the physicality to match up with anyone and the ability to go undefeated. They open the 2022 season ranked No. 4 in the ."

But before we get to the end of the season, we have to start at the beginning, and as Dennis notes, this'Week 1 is absolutely loaded.

  • Cincinnati at Arkansas
  • Oregon vs. Georgia
  • Utah at Florida
  • Notre Dame at Ohio State
  • Florida State vs. LSU
  • Clemson vs. Georgia Tech

add another layer of excitement to the season, and guess what? We're now 22 days from kickoff. Let's go!

There was plenty of movement at the MLB trade deadline:' was incredibly busy all day. But'not everyone got in on the action as much as they should have. Of course not every team can be declared a "winner" at the deadline, and there were a few squads who simply didn't do as much as they needed to.

'That's the question our MLB experts answered in their this week, and our Matt Snyder says one of the league's best teams left their fans wanting more.

  • Snyder: "I'll go with the'Mets. ... They could have been more aggressive in shoring up the bridge to closer Edwin Diaz with more setup men than'Mychal Givens -- whose Mets debut was a disaster -- and catcher remains a big question mark while All-Star'Willson Contreras didn't even get traded. ... The Mets haven't won the World Series since 1986 and they have a collection of talent that could get it done again. Why they didn't go absolutely full throttle to load the roster before the deadline is beyond my comprehension."

While the Mets were the best team on this list, a pair of AL Central clubs didn't fare too well, either.

We're watching the NWSL on Paramount+.

?? Sparks at Dream, 7 p.m. on AP Sports Network
?? Mystics at Sky, 8 p.m. on NBA TV'

? Yankees at Cardinals, 7:15 p.m. on FOX

??'Sun at Sky, 1 p.m. on ABC
??'Aces at Storm, 3 p.m. on ABC
? Padres at Dodgers, 7 p.m. on ESPN

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