Mayweather vs McGregor: Conor McGregor’s team could request a referee for Floyd Mayweather fight

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Conor McGregor’s team are considering a request about who will referee the fight with Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission, who have placed veteran referee Kenny Bayless in charge of four of Mayweather’s previous five fights, are responsible for deciding the officials.

Mayweather-McGregor on Box Office

Watch the spectacular showdown at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 26, live on Sky Sports Box Office

Both sides are awaiting confirmation of the ring official for the eagerly awaited encounter at the T-Mobile Arena on August 26, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Real Madrid v Manchester Utd

We know we can ask for our own ref, and they can ask for theirs. We’ll look into it, and see who we think would suit the fight.

Owen Roddy

“We’re still looking into our options,” McGregor’s coach Owen Roddy exclusively told Sky Sports when asked if they planned a request.

“We know we can ask for our own ref, and they can ask for theirs. We’ll look into it, and see who we think would suit the fight.”

Malignaggi quits McGregor camp

Paulie Malignaggi quits Conor McGregor’s camp over photo row

McGregor’s team does not currently have any preference over the referee’s nationality, it was confirmed.

Retired Hall of Fame referee Joe Cortez has been working inside McGregor’s training camp to oversee the Irishman’s sparring.

“Joe comes in for fight simulation,” Roddy said. “Conor spars, and Joe refs the match like any ref would.

“That’s for us to become familiar with the process. That’s all it is.

“At this stage, we’ve had a ref for almost every spar, even back in Dublin. Conor has had so many spars in that regard – the ref wears full kit, goes through everything, then we spar. Joe is just the guy that we’ve been using because he was a great ref.”

McGregor was not using Cortez’s experience to learn how to bend the rules, it was clarified.

2017 PGA Championship tee times, pairings: Complete field for Round 1

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The first and second round tee times and pairings have been released for the 2017 PGA Championship, and there are some great ones. The last three major winners will play together over the first two days with Sergio Garcia (Masters), Brooks Koepka (U.S. Open) and Jordan Spieth (British Open) in a group.

Here’s a look at the way things stand entering the first day of the tournament, which will emanate this year from Charlotte, North Carolina. With these groups, there are plenty of reasons to watch the entire day, and we here at CBS Sports will be with you the entire way covering the PGA Championship live.

2017 PGA Championship tee times, pairings for Thursday

Tee No. 1

7:20 a.m. — Grayson Murray, Rich Berberian Jr., Peter Uihlein
7:30 a.m. — Adam Rainaud, Tony Finau, Fabrizio Zanotti
7:40 a.m. — Younghan Song, Dave McNabb, Charles Howell III
7:50 a.m. — Sung Kang, Wesley Bryan, Dylan Frittelli
8 a.m. — William McGirt, Francesco Molinari, Jim Herman
8:10 a.m. — Gary Woodland, Andy Sullivan, Kyle Stanley
8:20 a.m. — Rich Beem, Vijay Singh, John Daly
8:30 a.m. — Louis Oosthuizen, Danny Willett, J.B. Holmes
8:40 a.m. — Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele, Rod Pampling
8:50 a.m. — Thorbjorn Olesen, Brendan Steele, Hudson Swafford
9 a.m. — Cameron Smith, Bernd Wiesberger, Brandon Stone
9:10 a.m. — K.T. Kim, Greg Gregory, James Hahn
9:20 a.m. — Richard Sterne, Ryan Vermeer, Barracuda Winner

12:35 p.m. — Lucas Glover, Matt Dobyns, Hideto Tanihara
12:45 p.m. — Mike Small, Jason Kokrak, Satoshi Kodaira
12:55 p.m. — Thomas Bjorn, Branden Grace, Pat Perez
1:05 p.m. — Adam Scott, Luke Donald, Webb Simpson
1:15 p.m. — Billy Horschel, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Si Woo Kim
1:25 p.m. — Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, Jason Dufner
1:35 p.m. — Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler
1:45 p.m. — Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker
1:55 p.m. — Daniel Berger, Jim Furyk, Kevin Kisner
2:05 p.m. — Ross Fisher, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Ryan Moore
2:15 p.m. — Jhonattan Vegas, Bryson DeChambeau, Jordan Smith
2:25 p.m. — Alex Beach, Sean O’Hair, Kevin Na
2:35 p.m. — Chris Moody, Luke List, Jamie Lovemark

Tee No. 10

7:25 a.m. — Shane Lowry, Stuart Deane, Pablo Larrazabal
7:35 a.m. — Alex Noren, Scott Herbert, Russell Knox
7:45 a.m. — Hideki Matsuyama, Ernie Els, Ian Poulter
7:55 a.m. — Daniel Summerhays, Robert Streb, Chris Wood
8:05 a.m. — Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed
8:15 a.m. — Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel, Paul Casey
8:25 a.m. — Sergio Garcia, Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth
8:35 a.m. — Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson
8:45 a.m. — Padraig Harrington, Keegan Bradley, Davis Love III
8:55 a.m. — Zach Johnson, Lee Westwood, Charley Hoffman
9:05 a.m. — David Lingmerth, Scott Brown, Nicolas Colsaerts
9:15 a.m. — Scott Hend, Kenny Pigman, Andrew Johnston
9:25 a.m. — Kelly Kraft, Brian Smock, Patrick Rodgers

12:30 p.m. — David Muttitt, Bud Cauley, Graham DeLaet
12:40 p.m. — Rod Perry, Yuta Ikeda, Emiliano Grillo
12:50 p.m. — Joost Luiten, Paul Claxton, Russell Henley
1 p.m. — Patrick Cantlay, Thongchai Jaidee, Soren Kjeldsen
1:10 p.m. — Omar Uresti, Y.E. Yang, Shaun Micheel
1:20 p.m. — Danny Lee, Marc Leishman, Anirban Lahiri
1:30 p.m. — Byeong Hun An, Kevin Chappell, Mackenzie Hughes
1:40 p.m. — Jonas Blixt, Steve Stricker, Brian Harman
1:50 p.m. — D.A. Points, Tyrrell Hatton, Adam Hadwin
2 p.m. — Martin Laird, Bill Haas, Graeme McDowell
2:10 p.m. — Jeunghun Wang, Alexander Levy, Jamie Broce
2:20 p.m. — JJ Wood, Ryan Fox, Haotong Li
2:30 p.m. — Jaysen Hansen, Cody Gribble, WGC Bridgestone Winner

The 2017 Open winner – who secured the Masters and US Open titles in 2015 – has been placed in a group with two fellow major champions; Sergio Garcia won the Masters in April, and Bruce Koepka won the US Open in June. They will start their first round off the 10th tee at 13:25 BST on Thursday.

Defending champion Jimmy Walker tees off at 18:25 alongside Phil Mickelson and Jason Dufner.

World number one Dustin Johnson will be joined by Australian Jason Day and Swede Henrik Stenson at 13:35.

Rory McIlroy will be looking to maintain the glimpses of form shown during the Open at Royal Birkdale as he begins his quest for glory beside John Rahm and Rickie Fowler at 18:35 on Thursday.

 

UFC 214 Results: Winners, Bonuses, Highlights, Attendance And Gate Numbers

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UFC 214 Results Jon “Bones” Jones is back and he’s the greatest of all time. On Saturday night, Jones regained his UFC light heavyweight title with a definitive third-round TKO win over Daniel Cormier to punctuate his superiority over his bitter rival.

Cormier did his best to try and close the distance against the longer opponent, but ultimately he was victimized by a high kick from Jones that caught him flush on the chin.

Cormier is tough as nails, but he was badly hurt. He stumbled around trying to regain his wherewithal, but he couldn’t find his balance. Jones pounced on him and pounded him out until referee John McCarthy was forced to call an end to the fight.

You can make the argument that he waited about 10 seconds too long to pull the plug. It took a few minutes before Cormier was able to stand, and once he was on his feet, he didn’t take the loss well. He tried to leave the Octagon before listening to the final decision, but UFC President Dana White talked him out of it.

UFC 214 Jones was emotional and classy in victory. He thanked fans for sticking by him through his mistakes and Cormier for motivating him. He also said Cormier was a great human being, father, and husband and the type of man he aspires to become one day.

That was pretty significant considering the type of insults the two men exchanged leading up to the bout.

UFC 214 Cormier was still inconsolable. He wept on the shoulder of his team and was sad andhumbled when he spoke to Joe Rogan afterward. Cormier said, “if he wins both times, I guess there is no rivalry.”

Jones improved his record to 23-1 and he has won a whopping 14 consecutive fights. During that run, Jones has beaten every great light heavyweight in the world. Cormier drops to 19-2, with both defeats coming to Jones. This was the first time Cormier has ever been stopped. That accomplishment earned Jones one of the Performance of the Night bonuses.

vAfter Cormier’s interview, Jones called out Brock Lesnar. This wasn’t a shock. He mentioned it during a Facebook Live session earlier in the week and Lesnar was receptive to the idea. Lesnar would have to serve a suspension for a drug violation, but there’s no question that fight would sell were it to be made.

I expect we’ll hear a response of some kind in the next 48 hours. Meanwhile, the WWE, the promotion that currently pays Lesnar may have so fun with this on Monday Night Raw.

Tyron Woodley Defends His Title Against Demian Maia

This wasn’t the most action-packed fight, but it was tactically interesting. Woodley defended the title successfully with a great gameplan. He stuffed 24 takedown attempts from Maia and he landed the only strikes of any significance in the fight.

UFC 214 Fans booed as Maia desperately shot for takedowns and Woodley shook them off and sidestepped every attempt brilliantly. Woodley fought a smart fight and he did what he had to do to win. That said, no one would pay to see this again.

Here’s a look at the rest of the results, bonus winners, attendance and gate numbers and major announcements from the event.

Major Announcement

The UFC is making its first trip to Mainland China on November 25. UFC Shanghai is coming.

UFC 214 The early prelim bout didn’t last long. Drew Dober ended Josh Burkman’s night with a left hook around his opponent’s guard and it sent the veteran tumbling to the mat like a ton of bricks. Referee Jason Herzog wasted no time calling an end to the bout and Dober immediately dropped to his knees to celebrate his victory.

Dober rebounded from a loss to Olivier Aubin-Mercier in December 2016 and improved his UFC record to 4-4-1. He is 17-8-1 overall.

Burkman’s loss was his fourth in a row. He nearly retired after his last fight, but this defeat might finish Burkman off. It was only the second time he’d be finished by strikes as Burkman looked a step slower than normal. It’s clearly time to hang up the gloves.

While he may go on to have a great career in the UFC, Jarred Brooks was gifted a split-decision win over Eric Shelton. Shelton deserved to win the second and third rounds based on more effective striking, but only one of the three judges agreed with me.

This was Brooks’ UFC debut and he improved his record to 13-0. Shelton is a hard-luck performer. He has lost both of UFC bouts via split decision and is now 10-4 in his career.

Alexandra Albu Outslugs Kailin Curran

UFC 214 This fight wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. The skill level was low, but it was entertaining. Albu is tough and she remained undefeated at 3-0, but she looked like a fighter with three pro fights. She’s extraordinarily stiff with almost no defense and her takedowns are pretty rudimentary.

Fortunately for her, Curran is almost devoid of striking power and her low-level takedown defense egregiously allowed two headlock takedowns. To the fighters’ credit, they traded with reckless abandon, but you won’t see this fight on any MMA instructional videos.

Calvin Kattar Upsets Andre Fili

He was a late replacement for an injured Dooho Choi, but Calvin Kattar won all three rounds over Andre Fili with more effective striking and Octagon control in his UFC debut. Kattar’s jab and straight right-hand were the most effective weapons.

UFC 214 Kattar has now won nine fights in a row and he’s 17-2 overall. He’s a sound fighter with excellent striking technique. It’ll be interesting to see what else he can do in the UFC featherweight division. Fili has now dropped two of his last three fights and he continues to alternate wins and losses in the UFC. His UFC record is now 4-4 and 16-5 overall.

Brian Ortega is Ridiculous

2017 British Open leaderboard breakdown: Scores, Round 3 coverage, golf highlights

British Open 2017 Saturday’s record scoring showed the potential to go low at Royal Birkdale when there’s little wind help defend the course, but barring something truly extraordinary, the 146th Open Championships has become a two-man race.
2017 Open Full leaderboar

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How to watch live

Brendan Grace would need to follow up his record-breaking 62 with another score in the mid-60s, or maybe it could be Dustin Johnson matching his Saturday score of 64, but even in those cases it will take a series of errors from the final group for the Claret Jug to be awarded to anyone other than Jordan Spieth or Matt Kuchar.

British Open Both players tied for the lowest score of the day on Thursday with a 65 and enter the final round of play three strokes clear of the rest of the field. They had their hiccups on Friday, but with calmer conditions favoring low scores, there was a steady approach by both golfers. They attacked when birdie chances presente

d themselves but were more than happy to walk away from the green after par putts.

Two players, one 23 years old and the other 39 years young, remained steady while other title contenders faded from the picture on Saturday afternoon and will go shot-for-shot and hole-for-hole tomorrow to decide the Open Championship.

Here’s how the leaderboard looks after 54 holes:

1. Jordan Spieth (-11): History will be on the line Sunday as Spieth looks to win the third leg of the career Grand Slam before his 24th birthday and wrap up as impressive a wire-to-wire victory as we’ve seen in a major in recent years. This was his second bogey-free 65 of the week at Royal Birkdale, and it makes sense that the best ball-striker in the game is in position to get the win at a ball-strikers course in Southport, England.

2. Matt Kuchar (-8): It was another day of grinding for Kuchar with birdie runs interrupted by missteps on both nines. No one in the field has carded more birdies this week than Kuchar, who had seven Saturday and will need another handful of them to push and potentially knock off Spieth on Sunday.

T3. Brooks Koepka (-5): The U.S. Open champion got on a heater early and matched his best nine-hole score of the championship going out in 32 despite two bogeys. Though things looked shaky for both Koepka and Ian Poulter (his Saturday playing partner), the former was able to pick up strokes on the leaders with birdies on both of the par-5s on the second nine. It’ll probably take a 65 on Sunday to win, but he has been strong enough around the greens to think it’s possible.

T3. Austin Connelly (-5): Branden Grace had the round of the day, but Connelly had the undisputed shot of the day with this dunk for an eagle at No. 2. The 20-year-old has been throwing birdie after birdie on the card here at his first major championship appearance and seems poised to be a player we’ll see more and more on the world stage moving forward.

T5. Branden Grace (-4): There will be no shortage of takes for Grace’s 62, but that’s expected when history is made in a sport that sees changes in venue every week and conditions by the hour. But the fact remains: Major championship golf has been played since 1860 and in that time no one has completed a round in less than 63 strokes before Saturday, and it was fun as hell to watch it unfold. The fact that Grace didn’t even know about the record makes it even more fun. He didn’t know he was making history; he just wanted to finish the round bogey-free.

T5. Hideki Matsuyama (-4): The list of players to take seriously as a threat to Spieth or Kuchar is short, but Matusyama is absolutely on that list. He’s one of the top talents in the world and capable of firing another round in the mid-60s. After four bogeys and a double-bogey on Friday, Matsuyama locked in and looked sharp during his final 14 holes on Saturday. I think he can get to 8 under by the end of the championship, but he’ll need some help for that score to be good enough to win.

T7. Dustin Johnson (-3): You have to put D.J. on that list of long shots, but he’ll need another 64 or a 63 to get up into a championship-winning score (he started 71-72). There is plenty of confidence D.J. can go low, but much less confidence that the leaders will fall back enough to bring him into the mix.

T7. Henrik Stenson (-3): Only Grace and D.J. had better rounds than Stenson on Saturday. The defending champ has been one of the best in the field this week hitting greens in regulation and his climb up the leaderboard ensures that the story of his 2017 Open will be more than his house get burglarized. Probably too far back to win it, but certainly a player you can bet on to finish in the top 10 by the end of the day on Sunday.

T7. Chan Kim (-3): The Arizona State product hasn’t been active on the PGA Tour but earned a spot in the Open Championship during a scorching run of golf in Japan that saw him shoot 69-68 at the Ono Golf Club in a U.S. Open qualifier then win the Mizuno Open in Okayama later the week to earn a spot in the field at Royal Birkdale. He has been driving the ball well and playing great coming in, carding nine of his 12 birdies on the second nine. A third consecutive round in the 60s will ensure qualifying next year won’t be as difficult.

Catch up on the highlights from Round 3 below with a recap of our live blog. If you are unable to view the updates in the live application below,

Tour de France 2017: Chris Froome set to win fourth title after time trial – as it happened

Tour de France 2017 Maciej Bodnar won the time trial, while Chris Froome extended his lead to 54 seconds and will seal victory in Paris

And it’s also all from me for this year’s Tour, as somebody else will be swanning in with a late burst to grab the glory in tomorrow’s final stage … which is absolutely fine with me! Thanks everyone for your time, your emails, questions and contributions over the past three weeks. It’s always a pleasure. We’ll just finish up by giving this column I wrote on Lance and his podcast one last push.

Tour de France 2017

Tour de France 2017 Final That’s all for today …

Tour de France 2017 And it’s also all from me for this year’s Tour, as somebody else will be swanning in with a late burst to grab the glory in tomorrow’s final stage … which is absolutely fine with me! Thanks everyone for your time, your emails, questions and contributions over the past three weeks. It’s always a pleasure. We’ll just finish up by giving this column I wrote on Lance and his podcast one last push.

A mail from Anthony Lawton: “Everyone, you included, says now that Froome has ‘won’ by being in yellow at the end of today. Why? Is tomorrow not a real race, but just a parade ride into a Paris for the cameras?”

Tour de France 2017 Traditionally it’s a procession, Anthony, that hots up in the final 10 kilometres as the teams with sprinters get their ducks in a row to fight out a mightily aggressive finish on the Champs Elysees. Neither Froome nor his team-mates will have anything to do with that. The yellow jersey did change hands on the final day once, in a time trial. Greg Lemond took it off Laurent Fignon and because a Frenchman lost out, the organisers did their damnedest to ensure it never happened again.

An email from Daniel Mitchell: “Wow, oh wow,” he wows, oh wows. “What a finish! I had twenty quid EW on Bardet so that last ten minutes was me frantically pacing around the flat, shaking. Quick question – should I celebrate now or wait ’til tomorrow? Are the podium places effectively locked?”

Tour de France 2017 You can go and collect, Dan. Barring a kidnapping, a particularly bad slip in the shower or a fall down the stairs you’ll get your winnings.

Tour de France 2017 Since you’re here … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

Tour de France 2017 If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. You can give to the Guardian by becoming a monthly supporter or by making a one-off contribution. – Guardian HQ

Bardet and Froome finish: Bardet finishes and clings on to third place by the skin of his teeth. Mere seconds later, Chris Froome crosses the line behind him. He was fast, but not fast enough to topple Maciej Bodnar. The Polish Bora Hansgrohe rider wins the stage.

Froome has Bardet in his sights: The only two riders left out on the course negotiate a long stretch of road that affords Froome a view of his rival and gives him something to aim at as he passes under the flamme rouge signposting one kilometre to go.

Uran finishes: Despite a brief encounter with a barrier near the finish, Uran stays upright and pedals his way home. He’ll be on the second step of the podium in Paris tomorrow.
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1d ago 16:28

Mikel Landa finishes: The Sky man stops the clock at 29min 06sec. Romain Bardet needs to finish in a time of 30min 19sec to prevent Landa taking his place on the podium. Bardet has already been knocked down to third place by Rigo Uran.

Tour de France 2017

Chris Froome powers on: He’s having another great day and any faint hopes his rivals might have had of taking the yellow jersey from him have all but evaporated. At the second checkpoint, Froome clocks in at just two seconds slower than Michal Kwiatkowski, his team-mate.

Romain Bardet blows up on the climb: Not literally, I hasten to add. He’s battling the gradient and losing a lot of time as he bobs up and down, in and out of the saddle. Stick a fork in him, he’s done.

Chris Froome hits the first checkpoint He’s two seconds quicker than stage leader Maciej Bodnar and 43 seconds quicker than Bardet. Rigoberto Uran went through 26 seconds off the pace and looks to be riding himself into second place on GC. He’ll overtake Bardet at this rate.

Warren Barguil finishes: The King of the Mountains left the velodrome with a big goofy grin on his chops and it’s still there when he returns. He salutes the crowd on the short ride from the stadium entrance to the finish line.

Alberto Contador finishes: The Spaniard posts a time of 28min 36sec, which ought to put him in the top 10 on the stage. He’s also likely to leapfrog Warren Barguil on the General Classification. Maciej Bodnar’s time of 28min 15sec remains the one to beat.

Froome going well: Wearing a yellow helmet and skinsuit, Froome is motoring along nicely and reports suggest he’s already going a lot faster than Romain Bardet. It’s not inconceivable that he could catch and pass the Frenchman, which would guarantee him a less than warm welcome back to the Velodrome.

Lizz Poulter writes from the Velodrome “That was vicious booing,” she writes. “The reaction, understandably, to Bardet was raucous, but when Froome came up on screen the catcalls were shockingly widespread and really loud. I get the reasons but wow! All over bar the pedalling now.”

The race leader and defending champion rolls away at the countdown and goes on his way. It will be interesting to see if he goes all out to win the stage, or takes it a little bit easy to avoid any accidents. He hasn’t won a stage in this year’s Tour, or a bike race of any kind in this calendar year. One suspects that barring an accident or a mechanical, he’ll win quite a big bike race tomorrow.

Maciej Bodnar still leads Mikel Landa and Rigoberto Uran are out on the road, while Romain Bardet and Chris Froome are under starters orders. Bardet sets off and like every other Frenchman today, is cheered out of the stadium.

Just four more to go: Fabio Aru sets off. Mikel Landa, Rigoberto Uran, Romain Bardet and Chris Froome are the only riders left to start. Bardet needs to make up 23 seconds on Froome, Uran needs 29.
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1d ago 15:56

Dan Martin is away He’s sixth on GC and 2min 56sec behind Chris Froome on GC. He won’t make that up, but could make up the 1min 01sec separating him from Fabio Aru in fifth. Ahead of him on the road, Louis Meintjes and Simon Yates are both racing.
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1d ago 15:53

More on Tony Martin’s possible misfortune: “There is also talk that the brown marks on his shorts is sandpaper that he uses to give him extra grip on his saddle,” writes Benjamin Parker, offering an explanation I’m happy to run with. “However on watching the video of the soigneur giving him water after the stage it appears as though he is reluctant to get too close. I guess we may never know.”
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1d ago 15:51

Warren Barguil sets off Wearing the polka-dot jersey for King of the Mountains, the Frenchman rolls down the ramp and is cheered on his way out of the stadium sporting a big goofy grin. For him, today will be more of a lap of honour than a time trial.

Louis Meintjes and Simon Yates coming up The battle for the white jersey should end today and it’s Yates’s to lose. The Orica-Scott rider is seventh overall, one place and 2min 06sec ahead of Meintjes on GC.

Sylvain Chavanel finishes to rapturous applause The Velodrome looks quite empty, but there’s plenty of noise as the French veteran powers home. He’s 37 seconds off the pace in a highly commendable seventh place.

Kieran Pender is in Marseille: He’s bedded in with Orica Scott and has spent half an hour this afternoon following Daryl Impey around the course. The South African is fourth fastest at the moment, with a time of 28min 35sec. Perhaps if Kieran and the lads in the car had tooted their horn and shouted a bit of encouragement, Impey might have gone 21 seconds faster. Anyway, here’s Kieran’s long read about 24 hours on the road with the Australian funsters. You read that and I’ll be back in five minutes …

Tour de France 2017 Here’s a home-town decision if ever I heard one Team Sunweb’s French rider Warren Barguil has been awarded the Super Combativity award. Like Keith, below, I would have bet the farm on Thomas De Gendt winning that. Even if Barguil was a more worthy winner than TDG (and I don’t think he is), he already has a couple of stage wins and the polka dot jersey to his name. Would it kill the judges to share around the baubles?

Tony Martin: Judging from evidence posted by one eagle-eyed TV viewer on Twitter, it seems Tony Martin’s failure to win might have had something to do with a little “accident” he had on his way around today’s course. I’ll spare you the grisly details, but let’s just say he’s probably the only cyclist alive who actually wishes he was kitted out in the brown shorts worn by AG2R Mondiale

Primoz Roglic is have a shocker. The outright favourite for today’s stage was 25 seconds off the pace at the first checkpoint and then had a mechanical at the bottom of the hill leading to the second. After a bike-change, he was 38 seconds off the pace at the top of the climb and won’t be winning this stage.

UFC 213 results: Biggest winners, loser from ‘Romero vs Whittaker’ last nigh

UFC 213 Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to action for UFC 213: “Romero vs. Whittaker,” which went down last night (Sat., July 8, 2017) inside inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada airing live on pay-per-view (PPV). The promotion’s latest mixed martial arts (MMA) card was supposed to be headlined by a women’s Bantamweight title fight between division queen Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko before “Lioness” was bounced from the event after she fell ill on fight day. As a result, Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker’s interim Middleweight title fight was pegged as the headliner.

Cormier vs. Jones 2  Biggest winner: Robert Whittaker

UFC 213 And new … interim champ! “The Reaper” now has his first UUFC 213 results FC title after outworking and outclassing Yoel Romero in “Sin City” (see it again UFC 213 resultshere), putting an end to “Soldier of God’s” perfect run inside the Octagon, as well as his title hopes. Whittaker was simply too much for the wrestling powerhouse, who couldn’t capitalize on his bum knee throughout the fight. It gave Whittaker the opportunities he needed to land his shots and pull away the clear cut unanimous decision win. And while the interim belt is nice and all, you can bet Whittaker is a bit happier knowing he will get his chance to put hands on reigning division champion, Michael Bisping, later this year for the chance to unify the straps. Unless of course, this fight somehow manages to go take place first.

Runner Up: Anthony Pettis

“UFC 213 results  Showtime” needed a win in the biggest way as the former Lightweight champion returned to his old stomping grounds at UFC 213, fighting at 155 pounds for the first time since suffering three straight defeats in the division. And after having a terrible run at Featherweight, where he went 1-1, including losing an interim title fight to Max Holloway, Pettis can breathe easy knowing he’s back in the win column at 155 pounds. Or at all, for that matter. His dominant victory over Jim Miller (recap) likely won’t be enough to shoot him up the upper tier of the ranks, but it will, at the very least, get him a more high profile fight in his next outing. Baby steps.

UFC 213 results Biggest Loser: Travis Browne

UFC 213 results  It hasn’t been a good couple of years for “Hapa,” as he has now lost four in a row, including his latest setback against Alexey Oliynyk, who submitted the towering Heavyweight in the second round of the “Prelims” headlining bout (see it). And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the his troubles all began when he left Jackson-Winkeljohn to join Glendale Fight Club in California. What the future holds for “Hapa” is unclear, as the promotion will have a tough decision to make regarding one of its heavy hitters. And to hear Browne tell it, he wouldn’t be too surprised if he was let go from his roster spot.

For complete UFC 213 coverage, including play-by-play results, click here

india vs pakistan

india vs pakistan : icc champions trophy final I still wonder what was going on inside Dhoni’s head. Irfan Pathan had exhausted his overs, Harbhajan had one left but he decided to go with Joginder Sharma. The final over of the 2007 World  final.india vs pakistan

india vs pakistan

Pakistan needed 13 off 6, with 1 wicket in hand.

india vs pakistan Misbah ul-Haq looked in sublime form and Joginder was as nervous as ever. He started with a wide and we all felt the pressure. He bowled a dot ball and we all felt relieved. The next ball was a full toss that Misbah whacked out of the park and we all moved to the edge of our seats. Nervous and scared .india vs pakistan

6 needed off 4.

In all likeliness, india vs pakistan ‘s ultimate dream was about to come true. They were going to beat India in a World Cup encounter for the first time and that too in a final. It looked like india vs pakistan Dhoni’s gamble was about to fail.

india vs pakistan : But one thing I’ve learnt, never doubt that brilliantly calm mind of MS Dhoni. We created history on the next ball. You all remember what happened, right? India erupted in joy and Misbah fell to his knees in disappointment. An image that represented the contrast of the moment and the moods of both nations. We were officially the inaugural World T20 champions.

 

That moment was 10 years ago. india vs pakistan

 

india vs pakistan Yes, it has been that long. A lot has happened since then. We’ve faced some great opponents and we have won some grand trophies; the ODI World Cup 2011 for instance. Of course there have been some wonderful contests in between. Won and lost.

india vs pakistan icc champions trophy final 2017

 

india vs pakistan But there is something about India-Pakistan matches, there are these moments that stay with you.

Where else would you see that Aamir Sohail-Venkatesh Prasad incident? Where else would you witness an upper cut that flies into the crowd?

india vs pakistan The passion, the sledging, the desire to win, the embarrassment of defeat and the weight of an entire nation on your shoulders.

Yes, you will feel all of it if you have donned the Indian Blue and you are playing Pakistan, because you are part of the greatest sporting rivalry. A chapter of which again culminates in a final. A final that has been 10 years in the making. This time it’s the 2017 Champions Trophy.

india vs pakistan Long ago, during an India-Pakistan match, Harsha Bhogle said, “Adelaide is in Australia just on the map otherwise it is India vs Pakistan.”

The same applies for The Oval now.

india vs pakistan England is merely the location. For 100 overs, the turf will belong to India and Pakistan.

Billions watching, billions praying. There is no excuse, you just cannot lose. Not to Pakistan. When it comes to the big stage, India do not commit that crime.

There’s a different feeling in the air. There’s a different feeling when the national anthem comes on if you’re playing Pakistan. It is one of those moments that you realise you’re Indian and proudly so. You look up to those 11 men as they sing along, poised, standing straight, taking in the atmosphere.

Oh, the goosebumps! Makes you want to be there and stay there. It has been a long time since there was so much at stake in an India-Pakistan encounter.

india vs pakistan We are the defending champions. And we need to prove why. All those years of cricketers battling to make sure that we don’t lose to our fiercest rivals, it all comes down to this. Some brilliant men have protected that legacy. It is time that our current ilk makes sure that the legacy goes on.

india vs pakistan They too will remember it for all their lives. Regardless of how much they achieve in their time here, they will never forget the day they faced Pakistan in an ICC final and beat them. We have moved from Sachin to Kohli, Sehwag to Dhawan, Kumble to Ashwin.

india vs pakistan But the thirst to win is still the same. That feeling is still the same.

india vs pakistan That feeling of Blue vs Green is of a nostalgic battle that we all want to see and we all love to win.

india vs pakistan So come on you Men in Blue, the nation is behind you. We’ve done it once in this tournament, we can do it again.

india vs pakistan Let’s go back to 2007. Let’s have a déjà vu. Let’s win this and then proudly say it again, like that banner did a decade ago

india vs pakistan

pakistan vs india

icc champions trophy final

icc champions trophy final 2017

College World Series

College World Series 2017 opening action of the 2017 College World Series, wherein eight remaining teams will face off in Omaha, Nebraska, to determine this year’s Division I college baseball champion.

College World Series

This season, Oregon State, Texas A&M, Cal State Fullerton, Louisville, Florida State, TCU, LSU and Florida are the teams that made it through the Super Regionals and will compete within two brackets at TD Ameritrade Park over the course of the first round this weekend.

The full schedule for the College World Series can be found at NCAA.com. A complete overview of every matchup in the first round of the tournament, as well as predictions for the best-of-three championship series to be held on June 26-28, is below.

2017 CWS First-Round Schedule

Saturday, June 17: Cal State Fullerton vs. Oregon State, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Saturday, June 17: Florida State vs. LSU, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Sunday, June 18: Texas A&M vs. Louisville, 2 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Sunday, June 18: TCU vs. Florida, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

College World Series

College World Series After the first round of the series concludes, the teams that lose Saturday will meet again on Monday at 1 p.m. in the double-elimination style format. The two teams that win Saturday will meet each other on Monday at 6 p.m.

Similarly, Sunday’s losers will face each other on Tuesday in the afternoon, while the two winners from Sunday’s matchups will meet Tuesday evening.

Title Prediction: Oregon State vs. Florida

The Oregon State Beavers (49-4) are the No. 1-ranked team in the country and look to have a solid chance of advancing past No. 20 Cal State Fullerton (34-21) as well as the winner between No. 16 Florida State (39-20) and No. 3 LSU (42-17) in the first round to reach the championship series.

Sure, LSU could give Oregon State a run for its money should the Tigers, as expected, best the Seminoles in their matchup on Saturday.

The No. 3 Tigers haven’t lost a game since the start of NCAA play.

However, neither have the Beavers.

College World Series

Oregon State makes its sixth appearance in the College World Series this year:

Though the Beavers are the nation’s top-ranked team, there is a cloud of uncertainty (and darkness) surrounding their bid for the title as allegations surfaced that star pitcher Luke Heimlich pleaded guilty to a single charge of sexually molesting a six-year-old female family member as a teenager, as originally

In the days following the report, Heimlich—who as of Wednesday morning has yet to be selected in the MLB draft—excused himself from his team’s series with Vanderbilt, which the Beavers swept.

Even if Heimlich does not play in the College World Series—and many feel that he should not have the opportunity to—however, the Beavers demonstrated in their series with Vandy that they can do just fine without him.

As for who the Beavers could meet from the other bracket, No. 4 Florida (47-18) looks like a good bet.

The Gators went 3-1 in their regional against Bethune-Cookman, then defeated Wake Forest 3-0 in the Super Regional to advance to the CWS.

Florida finds itself in the tournament for the sixth time in the past eight years. Last year, eventual champion Coastal Carolina ended Florida’s hopes at a title.

Now, the Gators look to clinch their first CWS championship. Behind pitchers Alex Faedo and Brady Singer, they just may.

 

2017 US Open ultimate guide: Tee times, leading contenders, Australians, odds, Erin Hills course

The US Open JASON Day spearheads an Australian contingent featuring a couple of major championship bolters in the 117th US Open beginning Thursday night (AEST).

World No.3 Day is joined by established stars Adam Scott and Marc Leishman at Erin Hills but surprise qualifiers Wade Ormsby and Nick Flanagan add an element of intrigue to the Aussie charge.

us open

World No.1 and defending champion Dustin Johnson is favourite at the daunting layout in Wisconsin but picking a winner has been near-impossible in recent majors, with first-timers claiming the past six. Here’s everything you need to know.

HOW TO WATCH

The 2017 US Open will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Australia with coverage beginning on Fox Sports Channel 501 from 3am Friday morning AEST.

Foxsports.com.au will also feature live streams and scores throughout the tournament.

THE COURSE & TOURNAMENT DETAILS

117th U.S. Open golf championship

June 15-18, Erin Hill Golf Club, Wisconsin

Wisconsin developer Robert Lang was behind the building of a public golf course on pure pastureland with hopes of attracting the U.S. Open.

The course about 65km miles northwest of Milwaukee was designed by Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry and Ron Whitten.

It opened in 2006 and was awarded the U.S. Open four years later, one year after Lang had to sell the course. It has the appearance of links golf, with rolling terrain and no trees, surrounded by wetlands and a river. It will be the second time in three years that the U.S. Open is held on a public golf course.

Length: 7,741 yards (7078 metres)

Par: 72 (36-36).

Cut: Top 60 players and ties.

Playoff (if necessary): 18 holes on June 19.

Field: 156 players.

Purse: $US12 million ($A16 million)

LAST YEAR

Dustin Johnson won his first major championship by closing with a 1-under 69 for a three-shot victory at Oakmont. The final round was complicated by Johnson’s golf ball moving on the fifth green, and the USGA telling him on the 12th tee that he may – or may not – be penalized. Johnson played the last seven holes not knowing the score, making the one-shot penalty he ultimately was assessed a moot point.

THE AUSTRALIANS

JASON DAY

Age: 29 World Ranking: 3 Worldwide wins: 11 Best in a Major: Win (2015 PGA Championship) US Opens Played: 6 (6 cuts made) Best US Open: 2nd (2011, 2013) Odds: $15

Why he can win: Day has four top-10 finishes in the past five US Opens, the most of any golfer in that span. Also has runner-up finishes in 2011 and 2013.

Why he might not: The knee-high primary rough at debutante venue Erin Hills. Ranked 145th this season for driving accuracy, his world-class short game won’t be enough on its own.

ADAM SCOTT

Age: 36 World Ranking: 12 Worldwide wins: 26 Best in a Major: Win (2013 Masters) US Opens Played: 15 (9 cuts made) Best US Open: T4 (2015) Odds: $31 Why he can win: Has top-10s in the two biggest events this year (Masters and Players Championship). Coming off a tie for 10th at last week’s St Jude Classic. Why he might not: Ball-striking. As one of the world’s best ball-strikers, Scott’s long game has been slightly off this season; he ranks 130th for driving accuracy and 36th for greens in regulation.

MARC LEISHMAN

Age: 33 World Ranking: 35 Worldwide wins: 3 Best in a Major: T2 (2015 British Open) US Opens Played: 5 (2 cuts made).

Best US Open: T18 (2016) Odds: $81 Why he can win: In career-best form. Has a victory (Arnold Palmer Invitational) among three top-10s and nine top-25s this season. Ranks 24th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained off the tee and 32nd in putting.

Why he might not: Leishman’s form at US Open’s past has been disappointing. He’s made the cut just twice in five visits.

WADE ORMSBY

Age: 37 World Ranking: 452 Worldwide wins: 1 Best in a Major: debut US Opens Played: 0 Best US Open: debut Odds: $500 Why he can win: Is one of the European Tour’s most consistent in driving accuracy and putting, ranking 55th and 36th, respectively.

Why he might not: After 16 years as a professional, the 2017 US Open is Ormsby’s major championship debut. Experience is everything at the majors.

NICK FLANAGAN

Age: 33 World Ranking: 1927 Worldwide wins: 4 (Web.com Tour) Best in a Major: 23 (2005 British Open) US Opens Played: 1 Best US Open: missed cut (2004) Odds: $1001 Why he can win: Rediscovered some of his best golf at last week’s US Open qualifier. Takes a carefree attitude into the US Open, 13 years since he last played the event.

Why he might not: Has had a horror run of injuries, which has seen him play just two Web.com Tour events in the past two years. Hasn’t played a major since the 2005 British Open.

THE TOP CONTENDERS

DUSTIN JOHNSON (USA)

Age: 32 World Ranking: 1 Worldwide wins: 15 Best in a Major: Win (2016 US Open) US Opens Played: 9 (8 cuts made) Best US Open: T2 (2015) Odds: $8.50

Why he can win: He’s the defending champion and world No.1. Johnson got the major monkey off his back at last year’s US Open. Has added five victories since, including three WGCs.

Why he might not: Recent form. Since withdrawing injured from the Masters, DJ hasn’t bagged a top-10 and missed the cut in his last start.

JORDAN SPIETH (USA)

Age: 23 World Ranking: 5 Worldwide wins: 11 (including) two Australian Opens Best in a Major: Win (2015 Masters, 2015 US Open) US Opens Played: 5 (4 cuts made) Best US Open: Win (2015) Odds: $13 Why he can win: The 2015 US Open and Masters winner is in hot form in 2017, bagging a victory, a second and a third place among six top-10s from 14 events this season.

Why he might not: The driver. Erin Hills measures 7,100 metres with brutal fescue rough. Spieth ranks 86th in driving distance and 123rd in driving accuracy. His US Open title defence ended with a disappointing 37th last year.

RORY McILROY (NIR)

Age: 27 World Ranking: 2 Worldwide wins: 22 Best in a Major: 4 Wins (2011 US Open, 2012, 2014 PGA Championship; 2014 British Open) US Opens Played: 8 (5 cuts made) Best US Open: Win (2011) Odds: $8 Why he can win: Has won the US Open before and as one of the longest hitters on tour can handle the 7,100-metre Erin Hills course. Has four top-10s from six events in 2017, including the Masters.

Why he might not: Injury. McIlroy missed three events after the Players Championship with the rib injury he suffered in January flaring up again. Might not have the necessary rounds under his belt.

JON RAHM (ESP)

Age: 22 World Ranking: 10 Worldwide wins: 1 Best in a Major: T23 (2016 US Open, as an amateur) US Opens Played: 1 (1 cut made) Odds: $21

Why he can win – Jon Rahm has been one of the year’s hottest golfers. His 2017 season includes a maiden US PGA Tour win, two runner-ups and a third place.

Why he might not – Experience. The 22-year-old has only played in three major championships.

RICKIE FOWLER (USA)

Age: 28 World Ranking: 9 Worldwide wins: 7 Best in a Major: T2 (2014 US Open and British Open) US Opens Played: 9 (8 cuts made) Best US Open: T2 (2014) Odds: $21 Why he can win – Fowler has been in superb form this year, with a win, a runner- up and a third place among five top-10s. Has a second place at the US Open to fuel the confidence.

Why he might not – Breaking through. Fowler has played 29 majors without lifting the trophy, including five top-five results.

SERGIO GARCIA (ESP)

Age: 37 World Ranking: 7 Worldwide wins: 31 Best in a Major: Win (2017 Masters) US Opens Played: 17 (15 cuts made) Best US Open: T3 (2005) Odds: $26

Why he can win: Confidence. Sergio Garcia broke through to win his first major at the Masters in April, after a series of agonisingly close calls.

Why he might not: Hunger. Since shedding the ‘best player without a major’ tag, the Spaniard hasn’t finished inside the top-15 in his past three PGA Tour events.

ROUND ONE TEE TIMES (AEST)

Thursday, June 15

Hole No. 1 6:45am local (2145 AEST) – Jordan Niebrugge (USA) Talor Gooch (USA) Kevin Dougherty (USA)

21:56 – Andres Romero (ARG), Brice Garnett (USA), TBD

22:07 – Yusaku Miyazato (JPN) J.T. Poston (USA), Aaron Rai (ENG)

22:18 – David Lingmerth (SWE) Paul Dunne (IRL), Li Haotong (TPE)

22:29 – a-Stewart Hagestad (USA) Chez Reavie (USA), Gene Sauers (USA)

22:40 – Brandt Snedeker (USA), Alex Noren (SWE), Tyrrell Hatton (ENG)

22:51 – Rafa Cabrera Bello (ESP), Thomas Pieters (BEL), Brooks Koepka (USA)

23:02 – Gary Woodland (USA), J.B. Holmes (USA), Jason Kokrak (USA)

23:13 – Russell Knox (SCO), a-Scott Gregory (ENG), Martin Laird (SCO)

23:24 – Kevin Kisner (USA), Billy Horschel (USA), Branden Grace (RSA)

23:35 – Webb Simpson (USA), Ernie Els (RSA), Lucas Glover (USA)

23:46 – Tyson Alexander (USA), Christopher Crawford (USA),Max Greyserman (USA)

23:57 – Matthew Campbell (USA), Garrett Osborn (USA), a-Walker Lee (USA)

12:30 pm (0330 Friday AEST) – Jack Maguire (USA), Corey Conners (CAN) Ben Kohles, Sea Island, Ga.

03:41 – Eddie Pepperell, England; Chan Kim (USA)

03:52 – Jhonattan Vegas (VEN), Yuta Ikeda (JPN), Sean O’Hair (USA)

04:03 – Andrew Johnston (ENG), Brian Stuard (USA), George Coetzee (RSA)

04:14 – Marc Leishman (AUS), Pat Perez (USA), Kim Si-Woo (KOR)

04:25 – Russell Henley (USA), a-Scottie Scheffler (USA), Harris English (USA)

04:36 – Bubba Watson (USA), Adam Scott (AUS), Sergio Garcia (ESP)

04:47 – Henrik Stenson (SWE), Charl Schwartzel (RSA), Louis Oosthuizen (RSA)

05:58 – Jimmy Walker (USA), Justin Thomas (USA), Paul Casey (ENG)

05:09 – Jason Day (AUS), Justin Rose (ENG), Rory McIlroy (NIR)

05:20 – Steve Stricker (USA), Stewart Cink (USA), Phil Mickelson (USA)

05:31 – Ryan Brehm (USA), John Oda (USA), Jonathan Randolph (USA)

05:42 – a-Mason Andersen (USA), Derek Barron (USA), Roman Robledo (USA)

Hole No. 10 6:45 am local (2145 AEST) – TBD, Ted Potter Jr (USA), Daniel Chopra (SWE)

21:56 – Shugo Imahira (JPN), TBD, Matthew Wallace (ENG)

22:07 – Charley Hoffman (USA), Jason Dufner (USA), Hideto Tanihara (JPN)

22:18 – Wang Jeung-Hun (KOR), Thomas Aiken (RSA), Bradley Dredge (WAL)

22:29 – a-Scott Harvey (USA), Jamie Lovemark (USA), Michael Putnam (USA)

22:40 – Brian Harman (USA), Tommy Fleetwood (ENG), Bud Cauley (USA)

22:51 – Hideki Matsuyama (JPN), Rickie Fowler (USA), Jon Rahm (ESP)

23:02 – Lee Westwood (ENG), Ross Fisher (ENG), Graeme McDowell (NIR)

23:13 – Danny Willett (ENG), Zach Johnson (USA), Angel Cabrera (ARG)

23:24 – Matt Kuchar (USA), Francesco Molinari (ITA), Patrick Reed (USA)

23:35 – Martin Kaymer (GER), Jordan Spieth (USA), Dustin Johnson (USA)

23:46 – a-Joaquin Niemann (CHI), Stephan Jaeger (GER), Joel Stalter (LUX)

23:57 – Daniel Miernicki (USA), a-Sahith Theegala (USA), TBD

12:30pm local (0330 Friday AEST) – Wade Ormsby (AUS), Oliver Bekker (RSA), Kyle Thompson (USA)

03:41 – Brandon Stone (RSA) Troy Merritt (USA), TBD

03:52 – Satoshi Kodaira (JPN), Daniel Summerhays (USA), Alexander Levy (FRA)

04:03 – William McGirt (USA), Keegan Bradley (USA), Kevin Na (USA)

04:14 – a-Brad Dalke (USA), Wesley Bryan (USA), Brendan Steele (USA)

04:25 – Nick Flanagan (AUS), Richie Ramsay (SCO), Bryson DeChambeau (USA)

04:36 – Daniel Berger (USA), Roberto Castro (USA), Bill Haas (USA)

04:47 – Adam Hadwin (CAN), Emiliano Grillo (ARG), Pan Cheng-Tsung (TPE)

04:58 – Scott Piercy (USA), Shane Lowry (IRL), Jim Furyk (USA)

05:09 – Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG), Peter Uihlein (USA), An Byeong-Hun (KOR)

05:20 – Kevin Chappell (USA), a-Maverick McNealy (USA), Bernd Wiesberger (AUT)

05:31 – Xander Schauffele (USA), Trey Mullinax (USA), a-Cameron Champ (USA)

05:42 – Sam Ryder (USA), a-Alex Smalley (USA), Andy Pope (USA)

Brazil v Australia, MCG, team news, preview: Behind the scenes at

The box office Brazil vs Australia Superclasico against Argentina has come and gone but Brazil have stuck around to add another game onto their schedule in preparation for the 2018 World Cup

Australia vs Brazil

The highest ranked team in the world, Brazil v Australia you could see why in their final training session before Tuesday night’s game.

Passes zipped across the Lakeside Stadium pitch.

There was an elegance to the way Brazil’s stars went about their business, thriving in the confined spaces of their 11v11 training game.

The pitch went from box to box in length and was narrowed off by five metres either side. The spaces were restricted, and Tite’s habit of standing in the middle of the game added another level of complexity.

But these are footballers of the highest quality. At every moment they looked to play out, with Thiago Silva and youngster Rodrigo Caio composed on the ball, looking to get David Luiz free in enough space to receive.

Luiz, who has played in the middle of a back three for his Premier League club Chelsea, will be lining up as a holding midfielder for Brazil against Australia.

It’s not a wholly unfamiliar role, with the 30-year-old regularly stepping into midfield under Antonio Conte to create overloads.

Here, with Paulinho and Philippe Coutinho in advance of him, Luiz looked natural, rarely struggling to connect with his passes.

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REMEMBERING 2006: ‘The Brazilian bus was shaking’

BRAZILIAN BENCHMARKS: The 63 Roos used between meetings

TEAM TIPS: Likely Australia changes

ULTIMATE GUIDE: When, where, how to watch for Brazil v Socceroos

But it was Coutinho, ‘the Little Magician’ who looked at his best. The Liverpool, star, who will captain his country for the first time on Tuesday night showed his knack for finding the smallest of spaces where he could still make the biggest of impacts in the front third.

With a dart towards the ball, Coutinho dragged a defender forward, only to spin and sprint in behind to receive a dinked pass over the top from Luiz. What miniscule room there was in behind the opposition, the Liverpool playmaker found it. Moments later he had onlookers gasping as he rifled a low shot into the bottom corner out of nothing.

An attacking midfielder role is where Coutinho played his final two games of the season with for Liverpool. It’s where Jurgen Klopp said he sees his star man shining next season.

While Tite has gone about making eight changes to Brazil’s starting XI, including moving his new captain in off the flanks, the team still contains players from the best teams across Europe’s biggest leagues.

The Socceroos are just another opponent to prepare Brazil for the biggest tests in 12 months time.

“We have nine games so it’s a small number,” Tite said, referencing the number of games Brazil will play in the lead up to the 2018

“We have to give them some organisation so we can play. This is what I have to look at.

“The players with the mentality to play in a friendly with a competitive mind is in front of the others [in the pecking order].

“Who is starting, they have their chance – they will be competitive. But the substitutes have to also have this competitive mind, this is something I’m looking for in my players.

“Everyone knows the hard work we’ve done in our lives to get here so in a friendly game we have to be strong too.”

Coutinho explained the team was prepared for the challenges Australia will pose – with technical staff already scouting the Socceroos’ game against Saudi Arabia on Thursday night.

“We’ve seen some videos about them,” Coutinho said. “They are really tall at the back and try to play with the possession of the ball but I think that we are prepared for this game.”

Tite added: “They have won their last game, a World Cup qualifier.

“They have a triangulation style of play and try to keep the possession of the ball. They changed their system recently and just started to win with it but their free kicks are strong.

“They have technical qualities but also a physical style of play because their tall players are really strong.”