Neymar

Neymar set to travel, but don’t expect Barcelona to use him Wednesday in Copa del Rey

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Neymar hasn’t played since injuring his ankle on Jan. 16, but having returned to training on earlier this week, the Brazilian star will travel with Barcelona when Spain’s leaders visit Real Sociedad on Wednesday. If you’re expecting the 22-year-old attacker to lace up his boots in San Sebástian, however, don’t get your hopes up. Gerardo Martino’s highly unlikely to risk his young icon in the second leg of Barça’s Copa del Rey semifinal.

The team has already said they don’t rush Neymar’s return, and with their starting left winger having just resumed practicing on Monday, Wednesday is too soon. With the team up 2-0 after leg one at the Nou Camp, Martino has no reason to rush Neymar into action.

So why is he traveling? According to Barcelona’s website, it’s because of the occasion. With Barça 90 minutes away from a clinching a place in April’s final, Martino has asked the whole team to travel to Basque Country. That means everybody on the club’s 25-man roster will be in San Sebástian, even though Neymar and Jonathan Dos Santos are both specifically noted as “injured.”

Though Barcelona denies it, most see the team targeting a Feb. 18 for Neymar’s return. That’s when the team will be in England to take on Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16. Perhaps he gets some time this weekend to built some match fitness, but with the team’s all-important Champions League tie less than a week away, Martino may be especially remiss to take chances with his one of his stars.

Even if Neymar doesn’t play on Wednesday, his return to training gets Spain’s leaders a little closer to something they’ve rarely experienced: full fitness. Lionel Messi, out for most of the fall, appears to be finding his stride after two goals this weekend. Andrés Iniesta is starting to shake off his knocks. Victor Valdes and Jordi Alba are back in the team, and even Carles Puyol appears to have found a temporarily patch of health.

With Neymar the team’s only major absence, things seem to be falling in place. Martino’s getting his best players out of the trainer’s room and onto the field.

VIDEO: Henrikh Mkhitaryan scores beauty for Man United

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United controls the ball under pressure from Aaron Cresswell of West Ham United during the EFL Cup quarter final match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on November 30, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
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Here he comes.

When Henrikh Mkhitaryan signed for Manchester United in the summer big things were expected.

It’s taken him a while to settle but now the Armenian playmaker has scored his first goal for United with a stunning superb solo effort against Zorya Luhansk on Thursday in the UEFA Europa League.

Watch the video below to see Mkhitaryan put United 1-0 up.

What a goal.

VIDEO: Is this the worst open goal miss in history?

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My goodness.

You truly have to see this a few times to believe it is possible.

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Stunning footage from a game between National Vatera and Makedonikos Kozanis in Greece’s four-tier last weekend has emerged as Kozanis striker Thanasis Takidis goes clean through on goal, gets one yard out but then somehow delays his shot and is blocked on the line by a defender, then the ball gets away from him.

Watch the clip above to see probably the worst miss you will ever see.

I mean, come on man…

Kashima beats Auckland City 2-1 in opener of Club World Cup

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 08:  Daigo Nishi of Kashima Antlers heads the ball over Angel Berlanga of Auckland City during the FIFA Club World Cup Play-off for Quarter Final match between Kashima Antlers and Auckland City at International Stadium Yokohama on December 8, 2016 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
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YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) Japanese champion Kashima Antlers beat Auckland City of New Zealand 2-1 in the opening game of the Club World Cup on Thursday.

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Kim Dae-wook headed Auckland ahead five minutes after half time, but substitute Shuhei Akasaki equalized for the J-League champions in the 67th minute.

Fellow sub Mu Kanazaki then completed the comeback in the 88th, heading home from close range after Shoma Doi nodded a deep Shuto Yamamoto cross from the left back.

Kashima advanced to a quarterfinal against African champion Mamelodi Sundowns in Osaka on Sunday.

The winner of that game will face Copa Libertadores winner Atletico Nacional in the semifinal Wednesday. European powerhouse Real Madrid also enters the tournament from the semifinal stage.

The use of video replays was available during the match but there were no official reviews. The technology is there to be used only for correcting clear errors in game-changing decisions.

Previews of all 10 Premier League games – Week 15

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 10:  Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur (10) reacts after a challenge during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on April 10, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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Week 15 of the Premier League season has arrived with Manchester United hosting Tottenham, Liverpool welcoming West Ham and Leicester City and Manchester City clashing at the King Power Stadium.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live, here ] 

With some intense relegation battles between Swansea City and Sunderland and Hull City and Crystal Palace, there is plenty on the line as the festive season really starts to heat up.

Below are previews, score predictions and everything else you need to know about all 10 games this weekend.


Chelsea vs. West Brom

Leicester City vs. Manchester City

Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool vs. West Ham

Arsenal vs. Stoke City

Southampton vs. Middlesbrough

Swansea City vs. Sunderland

Watford vs. Everton

Hull vs. Crystal Palace

Burnley vs. Bournemouth