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Man United's Mata Warms to Van Gaal Tactics

Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata on Saturday gave his seal of approval to the new tactical system introduced by incoming manager Louis van Gaal.

Having set United out in a 3-4-1-2 formation for their opening pre-season friendly against Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday, with Mata playing in support of the two strikers, Van Gaal saw his new charges stroll to a 7-0 win.

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Liverpool's Lallana Set to Miss Start of Season

Liverpool suffered a major blow on Friday when England midfielder Adam Lallana was ruled out for up to six weeks after suffering a knee injury.

Lallana, who moved to Anfield from Southampton for £25 million ($42 million) earlier this month, sustained the knock to his lateral collateral ligament during a session at the Reds' Harvard University training base in Boston.

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Premier League Youngsters Face Loan Lottery

As the Premier League's leading clubs step up their preparations for the 2014-15 season, some of their most promising young talents are stepping out into the unknown.

With teams like Chelsea and champions Manchester City boasting huge, star-studded squads, their younger players have no option but to go out on loan in search of the playing time vital to their development.

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Drogba Returns to Chelsea for One Year

Premier League giants Chelsea announced on Friday that their former striker Didier Drogba has returned to the club on a one-year contract.

Citing the influence of manager Jose Mourinho, Drogba told the club website: "It was an easy decision. I couldn't turn down the opportunity to work with Jose again.

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World Cup over, but Some Argentines Won't Go Home

Lucas Bazan Pontoni rifled through his pockets for the 45-cent lunch fee as he stood in line at a downtown soup kitchen. When he came up short, an acquaintance sprang for the government-subsidized meal.

One of about 160,000 Argentines who flooded into Brazil for the World Cup, Pontoni hardly fits the image of deep-pocketed foreigners who dropped around $3 billion in Brazil during the month-long tournament. The 23-year-old actor is broke, and he has no immediate plans to return home almost two weeks after Germany beat Argentina in the July 13 final.

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Controversial Japanese World Cup Ref Hits back

The Japanese referee whose decisions in the opening match of the World Cup triggered a storm of controversy has shrugged off criticism of his performance.

Yuichi Nishimura awarded Brazil a soft penalty and decided against sending off superstar Neymar for an elbow in the host side's 3-1 win over Croatia on June 12, leading to furious protests from the Europeans and lighting up social media.

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Mourinho Contemplating Drogba Return

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho revealed on Friday that he is considering a move to bring former striker Didier Drogba back to the club after he was released by Galatasaray.

"We think about it," Mourinho told the Friday editions of several British newspapers.

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Neymar's Brain on Auto-Pilot, Say Japan Neurologists

Brazilian superstar Neymar's brain activity while dancing past opponents is less than 10 percent the level of amateur players, suggesting he plays as if on auto-pilot, according to Japanese neurologists.

Results of brain scans conducted on Neymar in February this year indicated minimal cerebral function when he rotated his ankle and point to the Barcelona striker's wizardry being uncannily natural.

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Lin Excited to Join Lakers

Jeremy Lin said Thursday he's looking to establish himself with the Los Angeles Lakers, but he won't be trying to recreate "Linsanity" on the West Coast.

The point guard whose unexpected 2012 heroics for the New York Knicks made him a global phenomenon, was traded to Los Angeles by the Houston Rockets earlier this month and was introduced by his new team on Thursday.

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Wiggins Bids Farewell to Road, Targets Rio Olympics

Bradley Wiggins has set his sights on claiming gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016 after losing out to Australia in the final of the men's team pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.

The Australian quartet of Jack Bobridge, Luke Davison, Alex Edmondson and Glenn O'Shea set a new Commonwealth record on their way to beating England to add the title to the World Championship they claimed in Colombia in February.

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