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 tleticos attacking crown comes i

DETROIT -- A year after the Detroit Tigers traded away stars at the deadline, Justin Verlander is trying to prevent that from happening again.You dont want to be sellers. Obviously we went through that last year, and it was tough for everybody here, especially when youve got a lot of guys in this clubhouse that are used to winning, Verlander said. We are a good club, and weve just got to go out there and prove it.Verlander struck out 10 in seven innings, and the Tigers scored three runs in the seventh to rally past Kansas City 4-2 on Friday night.Victor Martinez drove in two runs with a single in the seventh when his comebacker deflected off reliever Joakim Soria and rolled to the area between first and second. With the second baseman playing way out in shallow right field, the Royals couldnt retire Martinez, and two runners scored on the play.Id rather give up a double up the gap than do that, because I had a chance to get us out of the inning, and I didnt take it, Soria said. I made the pitches, but didnt field my position.Detroits Tyler Collins hit a solo homer earlier in the inning off Luke Hochevar (1-2) to tie the game at 2. Ian Kinsler also homered for the Tigers.Verlander (9-6) allowed one earned run and four hits. Justin Wilson pitched the eighth and Francisco Rodriguez finished for his 25th save in 27 chances.Detroit traded David Price, Yoenis Cespedes and Soria during a disappointing 2015. The Tigers have been better this year, but they came into the day trailing by 6 1/2 games in the AL Central and by four in the race for a wild card.Collins was called up from the minors before the game to replace Justin Upton, who was put on the bereavement list. Collins was 2 for 22 with Detroit this season before his seventh-inning homer tied the game. After consecutive singles by Jose Iglesias and Kinsler, Soria came on and walked Cameron Maybin to load the bases with one out.After falling behind 3-0 on Miguel Cabrera, Soria recovered to strike out the Detroit slugger, but Martinez followed with his grounder that turned into a two-run single.Verlander struck out the side in the first, and Kinsler led off the bottom half with a homer, but Detroit couldnt add to that lead. With men on first and second in the sixth, Kansas Citys Salvador Perez lifted a deep drive to right that Steven Moya couldnt handle. Perez ended up with an RBI double, and another run came home on the play thanks to a throwing error by Kinsler.Kansas City starter Ian Kennedy allowed a run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out three.RETURNThe most memorable thing Collins did with the Tigers earlier this season was extend a middle finger toward booing home fans back in April. He heard plenty of cheers Friday after his big home run.It feels great, definitely, Collins said. It feels better to get the win.RESPECTRoyals manager Ned Yost, who was the American League skipper at the All-Star Game, talked a bit about Cabreras gesture in Tuesdays game in which he insisted Kansas Citys Eric Hosmer get another at-bat to try to boost his MVP case. Cabrera didnt replace Hosmer until the seventh inning of that game.Whats really unique about the All-Star Game for me is that you get 34 guys from different organizations that youre screaming at and yelling at one day from across the field, but you walk into that clubhouse door and its amazing how they unite into a team for two days, Yost said.TRAINERS ROOMRoyals: Yost said OF Lorenzo Cain (left hamstring) is probably at about 85 percent. Cain is eligible to come off the DL whenever the Royals feel hes ready.Tigers: Manager Brad Ausmus said LHP Daniel Norris (right oblique) was probably a couple of days away from a bullpen session. ... RHP Jordan Zimmermann (neck) said he would probably do long-toss Saturday.UP NEXTRoyals: LHP Danny Duffy (4-1) starts Saturday night against the Tigers. He has struck out at least seven hitters in four straight starts. The last Kansas City pitcher to do it in five straight starts was Zack Greinke, when he won the Cy Young Award in 2009.Tigers: RHP Mike Pelfrey (2-8) tries for his third straight quality start.---Follow Noah Trister at William Carrier Stanley Cup Jersey .5 million, one-year contract on Friday. Hawkins, who turns 41 in December, will compete with Rex Brothers for the closers role at spring training. Malcolm Subban Stanley Cup Jersey . For the Wild it was their first win of the season and they now have a record of 1-1-2 while the Jets fall to 2-2. Jets start a six game home stand Friday with another divisional game, home to the Dallas Stars. . 4 Villanova with a 96-68 drubbing on Monday. Wragge hit 9-of-14 from behind the arc, matching Kyle Korvers school record for 3-pointers in a game set in 2003, as Creighton (16-3, 6-1 Big East broke a conference record with 21 treys in the rout. Jonathan Marchessault Stanley Cup Jersey . A forerunning sled crashed into the worker Thursday at the Sanki Sliding Center. The unidentified worker broke both legs and was airlifted to a nearby hospital. Erik Haula Stanley Cup Jersey . With their top three point guards and Kobe Bryant all sidelined by injury, the Lakers signed Marshall out of the D-League on Friday before their home game against Minnesota.Only a mere 7.2 miles, 20 minutes along the M-30, separates the Santiago Bernabeu and Vicente Calderon stadiums, but in terms of football philosophies and preparation, Real Madrid and Atletico are a million miles apart. Ahead of Saturdays Champions League final between the Madrid rivals, Sky Sports Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has run through what we can expect in Milan.So just what are the major differences between the two finalists? The managersBoth Diego Simeone and Zinedine Zidane were great players and cult heroes at their respective clubs. That, however, is where the similarity ends. In just about every other way, they are polar opposites.To merely describe Simeone as hands-on is to seriously underestimate his level of involvement. What we have here is a man totally obsessed with football, who transmits his heart, soul and very being into every single aspect of this Atletico side.A man who, in his head, kicks every ball, takes every throw, hits every free-kick, saves every shot and scores every goal. A man who lives, breathes and feels the pleasure and the pain of every one of his players, and a man who believes to the very depths of his red-and-white-striped soul that to do it any other way would be nothing short of a dereliction of duty. Diego Simeone has reached his second Champions League final in three years Zidane, as we have all seen and Marco Materrazi has personally felt, is not above the occasional overt display of football passion, although it has to be said that from a coaching point of view, his approach occasionally seems laid back to the point of being almost horizontal.What we have here, in complete contrast to his predecessor Rafa Benitez, is a man who has more or less let his team develop on its own and discover its own identity.That said, he has taken on board a few of the decisions that Benitez put in place, namely the inclusion of Casemiro, the gradual sidelining of Isco and James Rodriguez, and the increased prominence to the attack of Gareth Bale.And to date, despite my early misgivings, this particular style of management seems to sit very well with this Real Madrid side.As the saying has it, what cant speak, cant lie. Since taking over in January, in addition to taking Real Madrid to just one match from their 11th European Cup, he also saw his side take the title race against Barcelona right to the wire, winning 21 and losing just two out the 26 league games in charge. Simeone and Zinedine Zidane were cult heroes during their playing careers He must be doing something right, yet deep down I cant help but feel that the real problem with Real is that at one point or another during every game, they are showing vulnerability. The only exception to that was, perhaps, the Manchester City semi-final, although that may have had more to do with Citys weakness rather than Reals strength.These are weak areas that can normally be corrected in training with hard work and application, but the feeling I get is that he doesnt really bother too much with it, concentrating more on keeping the side fit and, above all, content.Simeones Atletico could not be more different. Like a predatory animal sensing blood, they harass and encircle their quarry, looking to exploit any of their opponents shortcomings.They will work to that end relentlessly in training and if there is the slightest indication of any frailty during the game, the merest suggestion of an Achilles heel, then Atletico will go for the jugular. That is exactly what I think will happen in this final.The physicalityCompared to the team that reached the final against Real two years ago in Lisbon, just about every single Atletico Madrid player has played less minutes this time around.In addition, every single player, including those on the bench, feel they have a part to play, not least the re-born Fernando Torres, who has gone from being a third striker to automatic starter. Sergio Ramos last-minute header in 2014 took the final to extra time Two years ago, Sergio Ramos last-gasp equaliser was a dagger to the heart of a spent, broken, over-used, battered and bruised Atletico side that realised at that one moment that they could make no more trips to the well.I am not convinced that this time around it will happen again.The problem, of course, is that this is a side that demands an awful lot from its players in terms of fighting for every ball and, having won it, demands the initiation of many long, lung-bursting runs, because they tend to drop too deep as a side. Mixing high pressure with low pressure is incredibly tiring, but should be a necessity, and the fact Atletico are the team that goes into the final in much better physical shape this time round should help. If there is the slightest indication of any frailty during the game, the merest suggestion of an Achilles heel, then Atletico will go for the jugular. Guillem Balague Real Madrid, on the other hand, do not have the same depth, simply because Zidane has made the clear distinction between what he considers to be his first choice, and then the others. As a result, players like James and Isco feel less important than they did a year ago, and bearing in mind that I cant recall the last time when either of them had any real impact on a game, I see no reason why this final should be any different.One player that certainly has made an impact and could make a difference, if fully recovered from his injury, is Lucas Vazquez, who has played every match since his inclusion as if it was his first. Isco (right) and James Rodriguez (left) have had to get used to the bench The two defencesJust about everyone plays his part defensiively for Atletico.dddddddddddd. Torres desire to do his bit for the cause cost him a red card in the quarter-final first leg against Barcelona but did at least demonstrate the commitment required from everyone from one to 11.More and more teams are now playing this way, but not Real Madrid, who if faced with a team that can dominate possession, will move further and further back. Their front three may put in the occasional short shift at the coalface, but it isnt always frequent enough, and against a team that attacks and defends as one, it is almost impossible to hold out for 90 minutes.In central defence, there is little to choose between the two sides, although in the area of full-back, Dani Carvajal and Marcelo are not, in my opinion, as good defensively as Juanfran and Filipe Luis are.In goal, there is little to choose between Jan Oblak and Keylor Navas, although Oblak has had fewer shots to deal with this season. He is comfortable with the ball at his feet, strong on crosses, good on one-on-one situations and unquestionably the best goalkeeper in La Liga this season. Jan Oblak has been in fine form at Atletico this term I believe, above all, he is also a better example of what is expected these days from a modern goalkeeper, although it must also be said that Navas is certainly no slouch.The psychological battleIt is in this department where Real Madrid will have certain advantages. Fans, players and directors alike will tell you that this is the sort of game the club has always been destined to play in.They have been in this position before, and feel very much at home here. Rightly or wrongly, they see the Champions League as their tournament, and will probably not be slow to remind anyone that against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002, their current manager also happened to score what many regard as the greatest goal ever to grace this magnificent football event.They also know that Ramos 93rd-minute header two years ago is still very much the elephant in the Atletico Madrid room.I spoke to Koke a few months after the final and he told me it was something they had to get out of their minds once and for all. This Champions League final will be their chance to finally pull this festering thorn out of their side. Zidane is looking for a first major trophy as a manager Big occasions are tailor-made for big personalities. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, they say. We saw quite clearly in the recent Europa League final just how important experience is in the final analysis. Both Liverpool and Sevilla could have won but in the end, experience and the big-occasion mentality saw the Spanish side over the line.Real Madrid will know they are currently a winning team and a side with a winning DNA. Above everything else, they will know that they have been here before and that they have prevailed.The two attacksGranted, with a conversion rate of just 13 per cent, and despite a staggering goal tally this season, Cristiano Ronaldo is unquestionably less efficient than he was.But nobody in Europe has more shots than him, and he ends the season in a rich vein of goalscoring form. While he is not at his physical peak, he is certainly in better nick than he was before his last Champions League final, and the World Cup back in 2014. Real Madrids attack has more power than Atleticos, says Balague He will certainly be looking to make a serious impact on this game and to that end, he will be ably supported by the excellent Karim Benzema, who has more than compensated for him when he has fallen slightly short.Ditto Gareth Bale, who is now finally playing more and more in the role that he always wanted at Real Madrid. Bale was always looking to play as a No 10 in the side and despite the efforts of his people and Benitez to ensure that was to be his role, in truth it was only ever going to happen once he had established a relationship with the squad whereby they would allow him to play there.From now on, I think we will see more and more of him in that position, because it is from here that he will be able to win more games for his side.One thing is unquestionable - Real Madrids front three is without a single shadow of a doubt more powerful than Atleticos.For the latter, Torres has improved beyond all recognition since returning to Spain and has scored 12 goals this season, but is still nothing like as lethal as someone like Ronaldo, nor is he as influential as a Bale or a Benzema. Antoine Griezmann is among the top five players in the world, adds Balague The jewel in Atleticos attacking crown comes in the shape of Antoine Griezmann, who just gets better and better. He is now, in my opinion, one of the top five players in world football, not just because of his individual brilliance, but also because of his overall contribution with and without the ball for the teams cause.And team is the word that sums it up. Atletico know more than anyone that there is no I in team, and they may need to score just one goal, or at least score first and then capitalise on the space behind a Real Madrid side that will then be chasing the game.In my opinion, Atletico Madrid are slight favourites - but only just - and I certainly wouldnt put my house on it, simply because there isnt a club in the world that knows how to play these sorts of games better than Real Madrid. Get Sky Sports Alerts Keep up to date during the close season. Your teams breaking news - direct to your mobile Also See: Champions League final preview Pundits final predictions Ronaldos CL finals WATCH: Best of Griezmann Cheap Authentic Jerseys China Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Authentic Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Wholesale Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys Online Wholesale Jerseys China ' ' '

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