Jofra Archer is in line to make his long-awaited England return in January after he was named in a 14-man squad for the three-match ODI series against South Africa.

The Sussex bowler has not played at senior level since a white-ball tour to India in March 2021, having been sidelined with a succession of injuries since then.

After missing out on T20 World Cup success in November, Archer's return to the fold will be a timely boost in the year England look to defend their 50-over crown and take on Australia in the Ashes.

Mark Wood and Joe Root, as anticipated, are both rested, but there is room for Ben Duckett, who could play his first ODI match since 2016 after impressing upon his Test comeback.

Liam Livingstone, who was injured during England's red-ball series with Pakistan, misses out while Harry Brook will look to win his first ODI cap after a superb multi-format season.

Reece Topley, who is continuing to recovery from injury himself, will hope to join Archer in marking his return to action during the three-game tour, which starts in Bloemfontein on January 27.

A second match at Mangaung Oval follows on January 29, before the final encounter takes place at Kimberley on February 1.

A subsequent Test tour to New Zealand follows.

England ODI squad: Jos Buttler (Lancashire); Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Harry Brook (Yorkshire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Phil Salt (Lancashire), Olly Stone (Nottinghamshire), Reece Topley (Surrey), David Willey (Yorkshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).

Arsenal will embrace the opportunity of their title charge under Mikel Arteta, but the Spaniard has warned them to be prepared for an "unprecedented" Premier League challenge.

The Gunners sit five points clear at the top of the table, having won all but two of their top-flight games this season, to emerge as unlikely contenders.

But with the campaign having been split into two halves to accommodate a mid-season World Cup, Arsenal will return to action against West Ham on Boxing Day with the pressure on to pick up where they left off.

Arteta feels his side can thrive as they look to keep their title tilt on track, but acknowledges they are taking a step into the unknown after the Premier League break.

"We have all the red lights and alarms," he told Sky Sports. "What is coming in the second part of the season is something unprecedented, and we need to be ready for it.

"[But] there is excitement. We should be excited. We should be embracing the opportunity that we have ahead of us, understanding we have to do much better.

"I want the team to play a certain way, and the more consistent we are on that, the more we are going to win. We have the confidence we are on the right path."

Arsenal's main rivals this season remain reigning champions Manchester City, who have been breathing down their necks for much of the campaign.

Arteta was Pep Guardiola's assistant before he joined the Gunners, and he acknowledges the debt he owes his countryman, while stressing he cannot be expected to deliver identical results.

"He was my idol," he added. "He was the one to try to emulate. When you have a person that is so determined, so clear, so focused and has such strong beliefs, you just die for him.

"That's the secret of it. It's great to get some things from other managers or even to copy, but you cannot copy and paste. It doesn't work, unfortunately."

Ryan Tannehill looks set to miss the rest of the season as the Tennessee Titans quarterback likely requires surgery on a right-ankle injury.

The one-time Pro Bowler saw his game curtailed during Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, after outside linebacker Khalil Mack landed on his foot.

Tannehill was carted from the field before returning with his ankle heavily strapped, though he was unable to prevent the Titans slipping to a 17-14 defeat.

Reports from ESPN now indicate the 34-year-old's campaign looks to be over, with the former Miami Dolphins man set to undergo an operation for the problem.

It was a right ankle injury that ruled Tannehill out of two games following a week six match with the Indianapolis Colts, bringing Malik Willis into the fold in his place.

The reserve quarterback started in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, while the Titans have also signed Joshua Dobbs to provide additional backup.

The latter was with the Detroit Lions briefly as part of their practice squad earlier this month, after he was waived following Deshaun Watson's return to the fold at the Cleveland Browns.

Tennessee are 7-7 for the year, and sit atop the AFC South, but have not won in their last four outings to leave their postseason hopes precariously balanced heading into the final few weeks.

They play the Houston Texans on Saturday, before closing games against the Dallas Cowboys and the Jacksonville Jaguars, with the latter their main rival to top the division.

Erik ten Hag provided a blunt reply when asked when Jadon Sancho will return for Manchester United but insisted Aaron Wan-Bissaka has a future at the club.

Sancho last featured for United on October 22 in a 1-1 draw against Chelsea and was omitted from England's World Cup squad.

The winger did not travel with the squad for a warm-weather training camp in Spain during the domestic break for Qatar 2022 either, having instead been placed on an individual programme to work on his fitness.

United were back in action on Wednesday in a 2-0 triumph over Burnley in the EFL Cup and manager Ten Hag was asked if he knew when Sancho would be available for selection by Sky Sports, to which he merely replied: "No."

Pressed on if there was a timeline for the former Borussia Dortmund star's return to action, Ten Hag gave the same reply.

However, he did provide a lengthier response to questions about Wan-Bissaka, who has struggled with injuries this season.

The full-back set up Christian Eriksen for United's first goal, before Marcus Rashford's fine individual effort sealed United's progression to the last eight.

Wan-Bissaka has struggled for consistency since arriving from Crystal Palace in 2019 and has been linked with a return to the Eagles.

Ten Hag, though, says the defender can cement a place at Old Trafford.

"Aaron Wan-Bissaka, it is clear he has a future," Ten Hag told reporters on Wednesday. "He's had some good years with United, but from the start of this season he had a lot of illnesses and injuries, and so was running behind.

"His fitness levels are getting better, his performance levels are getting better.

"When you get an assist, especially the way he got that assist with his movement and the right moment, the timing and then great pass of course from Bruno [Fernandes]. But this is great and so I'm happy with his performance. He did good."

The Philadelphia Eagles lead the selections for next year's revamped 2023 Pro Bowl Games, with the all-star match moving to flag football from contact action.

The NFL leaders, who sit among the favourites for the Super Bowl with a 13-1 regular season record in 2022, have seen eight players picked for the event.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts headlines a list of Eagles names that also includes wide receiver A.J. Brown, guard Landon Dickerson, and offensive tackle Lane Johnson among others.

Six NFL teams have at least five players selected for the Pro Bowl, which will take place on February 5 at the Las Vegas Raiders' Allegiant Stadium, a week out from Super Bowl LVII.

Hurts will start for the NFC selection against Patrick Mahomes, with the Kansas City Chiefs man headlining a seven-strong selection from his franchise in the AFC group.

Other teams well represented include the Dallas Cowboys with seven, the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers with six and the Minnesota Vikings with five.

The league previously confirmed Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald had made his ninth consecutive Pro Bowl, despite injury struggles that have curtailed his campaign

He is joined by Travis and Jason Kelce, who become the first pair of brothers to earn simultaneous selection for a record fifth time.

The two teams will be coached by a set of siblings in former Super Bowl winners Peyton and Eli Manning too, with the duo having earned 18 Pro Bowl selections between them in their playing days.

Boston Celtics interim head coach Joe Mazzulla insists he is not concerned about his side's form despite slumping to their fifth loss from six games in Wednesday's 117-112 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

The Celtics were blown away 71-43 in the first half against the Pacers, eventually falling to their third straight loss despite a second-half rally led by Jayson Tatum with 41 points.

"I'm really not concerned about that, in the sense that I think it's the first half that we really got outplayed from an effort standpoint," Mazzulla told reporters.

"It would be more concerning if we didn’t play a completely different style in the second half. We just have a choice to make, what team do we want to be? The team from the first half or the team from the second half?"

The result means Boston slip to a 22-10 record overall, sitting second in the Eastern Conference behind the Milwaukee Bucks (22-9), who also lost on Wednesday to the third-placed Cleveland Cavaliers (22-11).

"I don't really get concerned," Mazzulla said. "We are where we are. You have to rely on who our guys as people and the process of what we're trying to build.

"We're not playing well. Up until this point we have competed defensively and it was an offensive issue. In moments like this it's important to trust your guys. Because they've been through a lot, they've had moments like this, they've had bounce back.

"We're going through a hard stage but that's part of the NBA. It's also hard when you play the way you did at the beginning of the year and at such a high standard. We need to learn to set that standard as a habit."

The Celtics closed several times in the final quarter but Mazzulla rued their start, particularly the first quarter where the Pacers piled on 42 points.

"We just didn't play with a great sense of urgency, didn't play with awareness and didn't play with a sense of details," Mazzulla said.

New Jersey Devils captain Nico Hischier says they are "back on track" after ending their six-game skid with a hard-fought 4-2 win at the Florida Panthers on Wednesday.

The Devils had gone 0-5-1 since beating the Chicago Blackhawks at home to December 6 to slump to a 21-9-2 record and second spot in the Metropolitan Division coming into Wednesday's game.

But Jesper Bratt scored twice, with Yegor Sharangovich scoring the go-ahead goal midway through the third period with Tomas Tatar adding an empty-netter, while Mackenzie Blackwood made 34 saves.

"That one felt good for sure," Hischier told reporters. "We put in the work. We came in late on back-to-back and came out to play.

"It was a full team effort. That one definitely feels good and puts us back on track."

Two-goal hero Bratt had endured a four-game pointless drought prior to getting an assist against Carolina on Tuesday.

Sharangovich was another to find form, having broken a nine-game goalless drought with his ninth of the season, tipping in Jonas Siegenthaler's point shot after Florida led 2-1 going into the third period.

"That was real important. We needed a win," Devils head coach Lindy Ruff said.

"We've played several really good games inside this and couldn't find ways to get the puck in the back of the net.

"To come out and get a couple goals in the third period, a real good goal by Jesper and get some traffic in front and a re-direction by Shara, it was real important."

The Brooklyn Nets scored the third most first-half points in NBA history on their way to a 143-113 rout of the short-handed Golden State Warriors at the Barclays Center on Wednesday.

The Nets led 91-51 at half-time, which was also a franchise record first half, led by Kevin Durant who scored 21 of his 23 points before the main break as they claimed their seventh straight win.

The result compelled the Warriors to back-to-back 30-point losses for the first time since 2001 and extended their poor road record to 3-16, leaving them 15-18 overall.

Brooklyn's 46-17 quarter-time lead, which equated to a 29-point differential, was the largest in any period this NBA season.

The Nets were ruthless in the first half, capitalizing on turnovers from the Warriors, who were without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins and playing the second game in a back-to-back after losing 132-94 to the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

Brooklyn, who were without Kyrie Irving due to calf tightness, also matched a franchise record with nine players reaching double-figure scoring, including Edmond Sumner (16), Royce O'Neale (14) and Ben Simmons (10).

James Wiseman offered some positivity for Golden State, with 30 points from 28 minutes off the bench, while Jordan Poole struggled on four-of-17 shooting with seven turnovers.

The Nets, who have won 11 of their past 12 games, improved to 20-12, while the Warriors end their six-game road trip with a 1-5 record but can look forward to an eight-game home stand.

Knicks win streak over after Siakam domination

The New York Knicks' eight-game winning streak was ended by the struggling Toronto Raptors as Pascal Siakam scored a career-high 52 points in a 113-106 win.

Siakam scored 34 through the second and third quarters, shooting 17-of-25 from the field along with 16-of-18 from the free-throw line as the Raptors halted their own six-game losing run.

Fred VanVleet added 28 points for Toronto, while Julius Randle scored 30 with 13 rebounds for the Knicks, with R.J. Barrett draining four triples in his 30-point haul.

Mitchell's Cavs down Giannis' Bucks

Not even a trademark Herculean Giannis Antetokounmpo performance was enough for the Milwaukee Bucks, who went down 114-106 to Donovan Mitchell's Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Greek forward scored a season-high 45 points with 14 rebounds, four assists and two blocks as the Bucks rallied in the fourth quarter but fell short.

Mitchell was key for the Cavs with 36 points, four rebounds, six assists and two steals, while Darius Garland added 23 points and Jarrett Allen had 19 points with eight rebounds.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr concedes his side have hit "rock bottom" after conceding a massive 91 first-half points in their 143-113 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.

The Nets' first-half haul was the third largest in NBA history, while the result condemned Golden State to back-to-back 30-point losses for the first time since 2001, having lost to the New York Knicks 132-94 on Tuesday.

The reigning champions were without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins for the defeat, which leaves the Warriors at 15-18, with an abysmal 3-16 road record, ending their six-game road trip with just one win.

"Our spirit is fine," Kerr told reporters. "Our energy is good. The guys are committed.

"We're just right now at that point that pretty much everybody goes during in an 82-game season, most teams anyway, [where] you hit rock bottom with injuries, schedule, fatigued, whatever it is.

"You take it on the chin, the whole key is how you respond to that. I have no doubt our guys will respond but we've got to clean up the execution. Turnovers are a killer."

The Warriors trailed by as much as 44 points at the Barclays Center, with the Nets leading 91-51 at half-time.

Golden State gave up 21 turnovers for the game, with shooting guard Jordan Poole responsible for seven of those, finishing the game with 13 points on four-of-17 shooting.

"You can't play defense recovering from a turnover so that was the biggest issue to start the game," Kerr said.

"We were just trying too hard to make plays and getting out of control and then they made everything. They were phenomenal in the first half. I think they were 13 from 19 from three."

On Poole, Kerr added: "He forced it tonight. He got in a rush. We're going to live with Jordan's mistakes. He's a young player, he's still learning a ton. He's a great talent.

"Really proud of his development, but the development continues. Part of that development is having the best guy on him with Steph Curry out."

James Wiseman, who was second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, offered a bright point for the Warriors with 30 points from 28 minutes off the bench, having had an indifferent season to date.

"James did a great job tonight," Kerr said. "It was fun to see him let loose and get some minutes and make the most of it. He did a lot of good things offensively… But when you lose by 30, it's small consolation."

Kevin Durant top scored for the Nets with 23 points with seven rebounds, five assists and four steals, while Kyrie Irving was absent with calf tightness. Ben Simmons contributed 10 points with four rebounds and eight assists.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott knows the NFC top seed may be out of reach but wants his side to "make a statement" against the 13-1 Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday.

The Eagles sit atop the NFC East ahead of the Cowboys, with a 10-4 record, with the Minnesota Vikings (11-3) and the San Francisco 49ers (10-4) among the only other contenders for the NFC top seed with three games to play. Dallas must beat Philadelphia to remain in contention to usurp them.

The Cowboys, who are assured of a playoffs spot, allowed a season-high 40 points in their loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15 and Prescott was eager to see a response against a fellow contender.

"If anything, it's about making a statement to ourselves," Prescott told reporters.

"It's about, as you look at the season, we've had some games where we played really well and some games where we bit ourselves in the foot and had some games where we didn't and we lost.

"This is about putting our best foot forward, putting our best effort out there and proving it to ourselves in all three phases that we're a hell of a team and we can go get it done against one of the best teams in the league whether they're in our division or not."

The Eagles beat the Cowboys 26-17 in October at Lincoln Financial Field when Prescott did not play due to a thumb injury. Dallas have gone 6-2 since Prescott's return.

"I think everybody in this locker room is looking forward to this rematch in that sense," Prescott said.

"When you play a team that's a division rival, understanding the long history that comes with these two teams, understanding that they're playing their asses off. They're having a hell of a season.

"For them to be in our division and that they control the destiny in winning the division right now, yeah, you just want to get in and get another shot and make sure you put your best foot forward in doing so."

The Eagles may be without QB Jalen Hurts after he hurt his throwing shoulder late in the third quarter of their 25-20 win over the Chicago Bears.

Fourth-season quarterback Trace McSorley will make his first career start when the Arizona Cardinals take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury confirmed that the third-string quarterback would start after McCoy suffered a concussion in their Week 15 loss to the Denver Broncos after Murray tore his ACL in their Week 14 defeat to the New England Patriots.

McSorley, 27, was taken by the Baltimore Ravens with a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft before moving to the Cardinals in 2021.

"He's one of those guys, I hate to use the term 'gamer,' but he's got a lot of moxie, plays with a lot of confidence," Kingsbury told reporters about McSorley. "Teammates respond to that.

"He's mobile, can move around. He had a couple of throws you'd like to have back, but he had a couple of scoring drives.

"I just want to see how he does with some reps. It's not easy to go in there without any reps, basically throughout the entire season, with the first-team offense, so excited to see how he can perform with some reps this week."

Kingsbury said that McCoy was "feeling a lot better" in concussion protocol, making "encouraging" progress which may mean McSorley's stint as starter is brief.

But McSorley was excited about the chance to play on Christmas evening against Tom Brady.

"It's an exciting opportunity," McSorley said. "I always want to let myself feel that excitement and feel that a little bit just so I can enjoy the moment but at the same time just being focused and ready to go."

Former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown will no longer face charges for domestic battery after Tampa prosecutors decided to drop the case.

The 34-year-old former Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver had been involved in an incident on November 29 involving a woman.

Brown had been accused of throwing a shoe at the woman and trying to evict her from the home by locking her out, leading to an arrest warrant being issued.

The prosecutors, however, have decided against pursuing the case after reviewing the charges contained in the affidavit and notice to appear, after new investigation from the woman who recanted her previous allegations.

Brown has not been on an NFL roster since being released by the Bucs in early January after he jogged off the field mid-game against the New York Jets. He removed his jersey and pads and left the field, jumping in the endzone and waving to fans before running down the tunnel and subsequently leaving the stadium in an Uber.

Miguel Almiron holds no grudges towards Jack Grealish and "would shake his hand" despite the Manchester City man's disparaging jibe.

Grealish suggested team-mate Riyad Mahrez had "played like Almiron" after being substituted in City's victory over Aston Villa to secure the Premier League title on the final day of last season.

The England international has since acknowledged he regrets the comments in a clip that went viral on social media – referencing Almiron's previously underwhelming performances for Newcastle United.

Almiron's form has since upturned, with the Paraguay international scoring seven goals in eight games for Newcastle before the World Cup break, and he insists he has no issues with Grealish.

"I didn't pay a lot of attention, I was on holiday with my family," Almiron told The Daily Mail. "And I didn't have a mobile phone signal! So no, I didn't watch the video. I wasn't bothered.

"I'm not interested in that. Jack's a great player and I will always wish him all the best. He's at Manchester City for good reason. I just avoid making any comparisons.

"It's about me focusing on what I do. It's no big deal."

Almiron believes Grealish's apology highlights the character of the 27-year-old.

He added: "I saw the interview and heard that he spoke positively about me. I've never had anything against Jack and have maintained all along that I think he's a great player and a good guy.

"There's never been any issue for me. It was a nice interview and the fact he spoke the way he did reinforces the type of person he is. I would shake his hand, no problem."

Almiron returns to Premier League action with Newcastle at Leicester City on Monday.

Marcus Rashford declared "there is no time to feel sorry for yourself" after scoring on his Manchester United return after World Cup heartbreak with England.

Christian Eriksen and Rashford were on target as United breezed to a 2-0 win over Vincent Kompany's Burnley to reach the EFL Cup quarter-finals at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Rashford scored three goals in Qatar before England were eliminated by France in the last eight after Harry Kane missed a late penalty in a 2-1 defeat.

The forward has been involved in 13 goals in 12 EFL Cup appearances, scoring nine and assisting four, and assured his focus remains on United and not on the disappointment in the Middle East.

"It is good to play again but it was a tough game and it was good to get a win to take into the next game," he told Sky Sports.

"[The World Cup loss affects you] more emotions-wise because it was such a disappointing feeling to be knocked out and you have to pick yourselves up.

"There is no time to feel sorry for yourself. You need to pick up results and thankfully we did that. It was fun to be out there."

The 25-year-old believes the EFL Cup can propel sides to success in the Premier League, with United sitting three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham – who have played a game more.

He added: "We are in every tournament to go on and try and win it. This one is a good one to win. 

"Winning this early in the season, in February, can push you on to go and achieve things for the rest of the campaign – we are going to try and do that."

United manager Erik ten Hag hailed the versatility of Rashford, who will be expected to play a vital role in the second half of the season after Cristiano Ronaldo's exit.

The Dutchman told Sky Sports: "He was a constant threat. Playing on the backline of them, he is so dangerous, with his movement with and without the ball, he creates so much and then you see the benefits."

Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez were both unavailable after Argentina defeated France to lift the World Cup on Sunday.

Ten Hag does not expect to have Martinez back for the time being as the celebrations in Argentina continue, while he refused to offer an update on the return of Jadon Sancho, who was not named among United's substitutes.

"In Argentina, I think they are still celebrating," he added. "We will see, the Premier League is going to restart and we have to be ready for that."

Ten Hag's side return to Premier League action at home to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.