Premier League football – Race for the Champions League and the Golden Boot

first_imgMANCHESTER City, Liverpool and Arsenal will compete for England’s final two Champions League places as the Premier League season finishes today.City will secure third spot by winning at Watford, while Liverpool will be guaranteed at least fourth by beating Middlesbrough.But Arsenal can sneak into the top four if one of their rivals slip up and they beat Everton at the Emirates.All 20 teams are in action today, with every match kicking off at 15:00 BST.So what are the big issues on the final day – and what is the latest team news?Champions League decision dayManchester City need a point at Watford to guarantee a top-four finish – but winning and finishing third will take them straight into next season’s Champions League group stages.The team in fourth place will go into a two-legged play-off in August, while whoever finishes fifth will receive a place in the Europa League.With just six points separating Southampton, in eighth, and 16th-placed Watford, several teams also have the opportunity to improve their league position – and increase their share of Premier League prize money.Burnley, for instance, could finish as low as 17th, earning £7.6m in prize money, or as high as 11th, which would be worth £19m – a difference of £11.4m.Race for the Golden BootHarry Kane looks set to win the Premier League Golden Boot, awarded to the competition’s leading scorer, thanks to his four goals in Tottenham’s 6-1 victory at Leicester on Thursday.Spurs go to relegated Hull today with Kane on 26 league goals for the season, two clear of Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.Belgium striker Lukaku and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, third in the standings on 23 goals, will face each other at Emirates Stadium as they look to catch Kane.Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hull are all leaving the Premier League after finishing in the bottom three, but there will be individual farewells too.Chelsea captain John Terry is set to end his 22-year stay at Stamford Bridge by playing his 717th game for the club.(BBC Sport)last_img read more

Starting quarterback battle heating up

first_imgThe USC football team returned to Howard Jones Field on Tuesday after a 10-day hiatus, as it entered its second full week of spring practice under new head coach Steve Sarkisian.Chasing the dream · Redshirt freshman Max Browne is entering the 2014 season with hopes of landing the starting quarterback position. Browne’s competition is incumbent starter Cody Kessler, a redshirt junior. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanSarkisian applauded the team for its ability to stay in shape following the team’s spring break.“From a physical standpoint, our conditioning was pretty good and that just shows their willingness to working during spring break to keep up with the pace of practice,” Sarkisian said.On the practice field, the team continues to adapt to Sarkisian’s much faster playing style and new system in general, while a lot of players continue to compete with their teammates in key position battles.Quarterback Duel Coming into the spring, everyone knew that the most intriguing position battle would come at quarterback. Sarkisian  could elect to go with incumbent redshirt junior Cody Kessler or up-and-coming redshirt freshman Max Browne, both of whom are still learning to adapt to Sarkisian’s newly installed no-huddle offense.“Each and every day and every rep, it comes more smoothly and you get more comfortable every time you get out there in the team setting,” Browne said.Browne claimed that he benefited from the break, using it to watch film and see what he has to work on with his mechanics.Kessler agreed, saying that as the offense continues to play with each other and gets used to the system, the tempo of play will come along with it.“Once you start getting into the rhythm of things and running the same plays, guys are going to be flying around,” Kessler said.Sarkisian seemed to be happy with the performance of all quarterbacks in just the team’s fourth practice this spring.“The quarterbacks made much quicker decisions today,” Sarkisian said.The  offensive line also appears to getting more comfortable on the field, especially center Max Tuerk, who looks like he is starting to snap the ball better.Gettting feistyThere was a lot of extracurricular activity after the whistle in the 7-on-7 set on Tuesday.It also got chippy at times, particularly when redshirt junior wide receiver Victor Blackwell and junior cornerback Kevon Seymour got into a little quarrel towards the end of practice.Sarkisian liked the feistiness to an extent as it showed that the team has aggressiveness, but he does not appreciate it with respect to the pace of play.“If guys feel like they have time to yap at the guy across from them, we’re not snapping the ball fast enough,” Sarkisian said.He did praise the defense, however, for their improved communication and also said he thought they showed a great ability to impact and strip the football.Quick Takes Tailback Javorius ‘Buck’ Allen is getting looks in the wheel route and on one instance caught a long touchdown pass from Kessler.Freshman offensive lineman Toa Lobendahn took a lot of reps with the first team at the guard position.USC commits Damien Mama and Adoree’ Jackson were present at practice on Tuesday, while 2015 verbal commit Ricky Town was also in attendance.last_img read more