Patrice Evra likely in his last five months with Manchester United

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Adding to the offseason makeover shaping up across Manchester United’s back line, left back Patrice Evra looks unlikely to return to the Red Devils next season. The 33-year-old, in the last year of his contract, has not been offered a new deal at Old Trafford, and with rumors linking him with a return to Monaco last summer, the French international looks set to make way for a new purchase in Stretford.

Leighton Baines has been rumored to be Evra’s replacement ever since the current Toffee’s former boss, David Moyes, made the move to Manchester last May. According to The Guardian’s reporting, Southampton’s Luke Shaw is now also a target, with the Red Devils seemingly committed to bringing in a fresh face to replace the long-time starter.

Evra joined United from Monaco in January 2006 and, after initially battling to win a place in Alex Ferguson’s starting XI, has been a regular during the last seven seasons. Over the course of 359 all-competition appearances, Evra has scored nine times while contributing to five league and one European champion. On three occasions, Evra’s been voted to the Professional Footballers’ Association team of the season in England while earning FifPRO’s worldwide honor in 2009.

That résumé looks set to leave Old Trafford come May, however, potentially following teammates Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand out of United’s defense. Vidic’s agent recently told Italian radio that the Red Devils’ captain is unlikely to sign an extension to a contract that expires this June, while Ferdinand’s continuing health problems mean the long-time Red Devil is unlikely to be offered a new deal.

Yet whereas Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones leave a number of options in central defense,  Evra’s departure would be met with more uncertainty. The French international has played at least 28 games in each of the last six Premier League seasons, leaving very little time for an understudy. Whether that understudy would be Alexander Büttner, Fabio, or somebody else is unclear based on United’s current options.

More likely, Moyes would up the pursuit of a replacement through the transfer market, with the likes of Baines and Shaw pursued to replace somebody who’s been a given in United’s defense.

Clinical Russia tops Egypt to reach knockout rounds

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  • Russia goals: Fathy o.g. (48′), Cheryshev (59′), Dzyuba (62′)
  • Egypt: Salah (PK, 73′)
  • Next: Russia-Uruguay, Egypt-Saudi Arabia

Hosts Russia scored a trio of second half goals to clinch the first spot in the 2018 World Cup’s Round of 16 with a 3-1 win over Egypt on Tuesday in Saint Petersburg.

The loss means Egypt is 0-2, the Pharoahs unable to find momentum despite the return of Mohamed Salah. Egypt needs a wild combination of factors to stay alive for the knockout rounds, and is likely heading home.

Salah won and converted a penalty for Egypt, while Denis Cheryshev, Artem Dzyuba, and an Egyptian own goal accounted for Russia’s goals.

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Some sloppy play out of the back allowed Golovin a shot from outside the 18 but he hit his effort wide of the frame.

Egypt stayed in the mix though, and a Russian mistake  deep in its own end forced Zhirkov to concede a corner with a desperation intervention that stopped Mo Salah from a doorstep opportunity.

Salah then won a yard of space but fired wide in the 42nd minute after Zhirkov stopped him from going to his right peg.

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Russia went ahead through an Egypt own goal from Fathy, who was jostling for position with Artem Dzyuba and turned Roman Zobnin’s mishit inside his net.

After Cheryshev made it 2-0, Dzyuba took an Ilya Kutepov long ball out of the air with his chest before turning past Ahmed Hegazy and blasting Russia’s third goal home.

Salah won a penalty in the 73rd minute, one initially ruled a free kick, and the Liverpool man blasted his shot home.

Neymar limps out of Brazil training

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Having drawn against Switzerland in its opener, Brazil now faces renewed concerns over the health of its megastar forward.

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Neymar’s right foot was “still not 100 percent” when he took the field for the 1-1 draw on Sunday, and the 26-year-old left practice early two days later.

He missed nearly three months after fracturing his foot for PSG under pressure by Marseille’s Dimitri Payet, but returned to score for Brazil in friendly defeats of Croatia and Austria. Neymar has 55 goals in 85 caps.

Neymar was favoring his right foot as he limped off the pitch, two days after being fouled 10 times against Switzerland. Fox reports that Neymar will be fine to practice on Wednesday, but the situation bears close observation.

Neymar was injured in the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals when Juan Zuniga kneed him in the back.

Salah returns to Egypt starting lineup

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A familiar name returned to the starting lineup for Egypt on Tuesday afternoon.

Egypt named star Mohamed Salah in its starting XI, after resting Salah in Egypt’s 1-0 defeat to Uguruay on June 15. Salah has been recovering from an injured shoulder that he suffered during the UEFA Champions League final in late May.

Salah makes his World Cup debut now against the host nation, Russia, at 2:00 p.m.

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Senegal hold off late charge, defeat Poland on controversial goal

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Two matches, two upsets.

For the second time on Tuesday, an underdog took down a favorite as Senegal defeated Poland, 2-1, with the game-winning goal decided in controversial fashion.

In the 60th minute, M’baye Niang was waved onto the field by the referee while the ball was still in play in the middle of the field, and Niang raced on to the end of a Gregorz Krychowiak backpass that stunned the Poland defense. Niang arrived at the pass a second quicker than goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, allowing the Senegal winger to score into an empty net.

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The VAR checked the goal but it was allowed, as it was a subjective decision of the referee to allow Niang back on the field following an injury, and not a clear and obvious error.

Senegal took the lead in the first half on the counter attack. With Poland slow in transition, Sadio Mane found Idrissa Gueye in space at the top of the box. After two touches, Gueye fired a strike to the far post in the 37th minute that took a wicked deflection off Poland defender Thiago Cionek and left Szczesny helpless.

Poland struggled all game against the pace and physicality of Senegal and the Lions of Teranga were very smart in controlling possession and switching the field, forcing the Poland squad to tire quickly.

Krychowiak did breathe some life into the game with a header goal off a free kick in the 86th minute, but despite some poor clock management from Senegal, its defense was able to hold off Poland’s last-ditch chance to tie the game, going level with Japan on three points at the top of Group H.