Anthony Joshua believes he is getting his "rhythm" back after suffering back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua lost his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight belts against Usyk on points in London in 2021, before the Brit lost another decision to the former undisputed cruiserweight champion in their rematch in Saudi Arabia last year.

Joshua returned to the ring with an uninspiring points win over Jermaine Franklin before stopping Robert Helenius in eight rounds in August.

Those victories have put him back in the heavyweight title picture, setting up a bout with Otto Wallin in Riyadh this weekend. Deontay Wilder is set to fight Joshua Parker on the same card, and a two-fight deal has reportedly been agreed for Joshua and Wilder to meet twice in 2024.

Joshua feels he is getting back to form ahead of his fight this weekend, telling Stats Perform: "The [Oleksandr] Usyk fights were definitely tough times. Not perfect but we live to fight another day.

"But I'm here now and I'm definitely finding my feet again, for sure. That rhythm that one needs to be victorious.

"I set out a plan and I'm sticking to that. It was to be competitive, to fight three times this year. Who knows what will happen in this fight? But I'm leading towards victory.

"In terms of sticking to the plan, I've been consistent, which has helped me get my rhythm back for sure."

With all the potential distractions of future bouts hanging over this weekend's card, Joshua is remaining focused on fight week, saying: "I believe getting through a training camp in good fashion is a big part of being victorious. It's been very challenging and I've pushed myself.

"We're still staying focused. I remain in the camp mindset because I want to still be victorious. I don't want to lose myself with only a week to go and I'm going to get to the fight in good health and a good mindset and just do what I'm supposed to do."

The Wallin fight will be Joshua's first working under Ben Davison, his fifth trainer in three years after previously working with the likes of Robert McCracken and Derrick James.

Joshua is pleased with the impact Davison has had, explaining: "Working with Ben has been good. I've been disciplined. I've followed instructions.

"I'm a fast learner, not many are, but I'm a fast learner. So I take on board what they're saying.

"I trust in what he's saying as well. I wouldn't be in Ben Davison's camp if I didn't trust him and now I just have to do what I'm being told to do on the night of the fight."

Former Joshua conqueror Usyk is set to take on Tyson Fury in February, when a first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era will be crowned.

That fight is not at the front of Joshua's mind, however, with the 34-year-old stating: "I'm not focused on that one at the minute.

"It'll be a good fight. But all I'm focusing on is a day of reckoning and my opponent that's in front of me. I haven't really done a whole breakdown, but I'll be a good fight for sure."

Deontay Wilder claims boxing has missed him more than he has missed the sport during his time away.

Wilder, a former WBC heavyweight champion, is set to fight Joseph Parker in Saudi Arabia on Saturday in his first fight since October 2022.

His last bout was a first round knockout of Robert Helenius, his first fight since losing the third meeting with Tyson Fury in their epic trilogy.

Wilder claims he has not missed the sport during his time out of the ring, telling Stats Perform: "I've been enjoying my life.

"I've been enjoying all my children and enjoying all the loved ones and all my brothers that's been around, so life hasn't been bad for me. It's been amazing.

"So I can't say that I miss it. When you're having so much fun outside of the ring, how can you miss anything when you have so much love around you?

"I think boxing has missed me more than I have missed boxing."

Saturday's fight with Parker could offer Wilder a way back into the heavyweight title picture, with reports that a two-fight deal with Anthony Joshua, who is fighting Otto Wallin on the same card, has been agreed ahead of this weekend's event in Riyadh.

Any slip-ups this weekend will likely spell trouble for that agreement, but Wilder is feeling confident ahead of his fight, saying: "Camp has been amazing. My whole team has been amazing. Being here in Riyadh has been amazing.

"We've put in the rounds and we're ready to go. They say when you put in the work, you have no doubts in yourself.

"When you turn all stones, there's no doubt. And I've done that and more, especially in this short period of time. I'm very proud of myself, of what I've been able to achieve in a short amount of time.

"I think the world is going to be very excited and they're going to be surprised at what their eyes will see come Saturday night.

"I am looking forward to Saturday night. I'm always excited to get back in the ring, to put on a great performance, to knock someone out as people come to see me knock them out."

Wilder has received criticism for comments he has made in the past, once saying he wanted to kill a man in the ring to "put a body" on his record.

Wilder feels the backlash of those comments is unfair, explaining: "Sometimes I have to hold my words of what I want to say because, you know, when I say certain things, I get criticised, I get stones thrown at me.

"But if somebody else says the same thing, they don't have the same punishment. I think because when I say certain things, I think because people know that I can actually do it, then they cast stones at me.

"But they're just as guilty because you pay to watch it, see it happen. So if I speak it, you're paying to see it. So you're just as guilty as I [am] saying it."

England forward Chloe Kelly says women should never let anyone tell them they can't succeed, after Joey Barton sparked controversy with comments about female pundits working in football.

Speaking at the launch of the first ever Panini Barclays Women's Super League sticker collection at the National Football Museum, former Lionesses goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis joined Kelly to call for women to ignore Barton's 'clickbait' criticism.

Former Manchester City and Newcastle United midfielder Barton made headlines recently over a series of negative social media posts about women working in the men's game.

Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, Barton said women "shouldn't be talking with any kind of authority in the men's game", calling women's football a "different" sport and describing the decision to employ female pundits and commentators as "tokenism".

Chelsea Women's manager Emma Hayes and former Arsenal defender Alex Scott have both hit out at Barton's comments in recent days, and Kelly – the scorer of England's winning goal in the Euro 2022 final against Germany – has now joined them.

"We've broken down barriers throughout our careers, every woman involved in sport, especially in football," Kelly said. 

"We've broken down barriers to get where we are today, and we keep breaking down those barriers and not letting people tell us we can't. As you can see today, women can achieve great things.

"I definitely like to prove people wrong. I think every female has done just that along the way, proving people wrong. 

"I think we're showing exactly what we're capable of and every woman working in football is showing that they're able to do so."

Brown-Finnis, who has worked as a pundit on men's and women's football since retiring in 2015, suggested Barton's comments were primarily intended to cause outrage, rather than representing his honest views.

"It's one voice on social media that reaches a lot of people's ears and unfortunately, that's the nature of social media," she said of Barton's posts.

"We as women in football, whether it be women's football or men's football, we hear these voices on a regular basis. I think you can choose to listen to them or you can choose to not listen to them. 

"I understand that platform is for anybody to have their say. He's entitled to his view, if that is a true view, but in my opinion it's more of a clickbait exercise."

Former England goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis has described online racist abuse aimed at Chelsea's Lauren James as "disgusting", calling for action to be taken against the perpetrators.

Speaking at the launch of the first ever Panini Barclays Women's Super League sticker collection at the National Football Museum, Brown-Finnis was joined by current Lionesses forward Chloe Kelly, who pledged to support her international team-mate after she was abused on social media.

James was subjected to racist comments online after appearing to stamp on Lia Walti's foot during Chelsea's 4-1 Women's Super League defeat against Arsenal last week.

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes subsequently said James was "not in a good place" and claimed "racial profiling" by people working in football was partly to blame for the abuse.  

Brown-Finnis, who won 82 caps for England between 1997 and 2013 before moving into punditry, believes more must be done to hold those who post online abuse to account.

"Of course, it's not coming from within. People can say what they want on social media and there seems to be little ownership of comments, there seems to be no action taken against people who put what they want on social media," she said.

"It's awful, it's hurtful, it's not representative of what the majority of people think of women, of athletes, of people of colour, of any sort of minority group, and it's disgusting. 

"It's something that I would not want my children to see, would want to relate to, would want any part of, so with the fact that it's highlighted, hopefully something can be done about it."

James was also racially abused online while playing for Manchester United in 2021, while a recent FIFA study revealed one in five players at this year's Women's World Cup were subjected to "discriminatory, abusive or threatening messaging" during the tournament.

Kelly – who played alongside James in Australia and New Zealand as Sarina Wiegman's team finished as runners-up to Spain – said the forward's team-mates would now rally around her.

"I haven't seen anything about it, but it's really disappointing to hear," Kelly said of the abuse James has received.

"She's a great young talent, a great young English talent who is doing so well at the minute, but of course, there's so much negativity. I think it's always disappointing with such a talent like LJ. 

"Hopefully she's able to block that out and move forward. Everyone around her will definitely support her in this time because she's an unbelievable player and deserves a lot of support."

James was on target as Chelsea returned to winning ways in the Women's Super League on Sunday, netting the opener in a 3-0 victory over Bristol City.

Luis Suarez's performances for Gremio show he would have few problems in adapting to Major League Soccer if he joins Inter Miami, says former Los Angeles FC defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Suarez is reportedly in talks with Miami over a move which would see him reunited with former Barcelona team-mates Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets.

The Uruguayan is seemingly closing in on a one-year deal with the MLS outfit after spending 2023 with Gremio, who finished second to Palmeiras in their first season back in Brazil's top flight, having spent the previous campaign in the second tier. 

Suarez scored 17 league goals for Gremio throughout the year, also adding 11 assists to give him the most total goal involvements (28) in the Brasileirao.

The striker, who will turn 37 in January, hit 27 goals across all competitions before departing as a free agent, and recently retired defender Chiellini says he would thrive in MLS.

"You see what Suarez did this year in Brazil… Brazil is not considered a weak league," Chiellini, who was famously bitten by Suarez at the 2014 World Cup, told Stats Perform. 

"Suarez scored almost 30 goals, we still see something there and it's still really good. Now football is changing all over the world. 

"There are less differences between some leagues in Europe and other countries. The only league that's very different from every other one, I think, is the Premier League. 

"But to be honest, the other ones we can compare, and you can also find good players in some weird leagues that some years ago you never considered. Now it is very different."

Federico Chiesa is "unstoppable" in one-on-one situations and would be a fantastic signing for any of Europe's top clubs, believes his former Juventus and Italy team-mate Giorgio Chiellini. 

Chiesa has been linked with a move to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in recent months, having impressed for Massimiliano Allegri's much-improved Juventus side this season. 

The Italy international only made six league starts for the Bianconeri in 2022-23, having battled back from an anterior cruciate ligament injury which caused him to miss most of 2022.

He has been back to something approaching his best this term, scoring four goals and adding one assist in 14 league games to help Juventus stay within two points of Inter at the Serie A summit.

Chiellini – who called time on his own glittering career at the age of 39 this week – believes the Azzurri forward could be a difference-maker for any of the continent's elite teams.

Speaking exclusively to Stats Perform, the former defender said: "Chiesa is a player that could play in every big team in Europe. He could face you 10 times and beat you nine of 10 times! 

"He can go right and left, his pace is amazing. He's fantastic for that type of job. 

"He's not the type of player that links the team, like a number 10, not a player that likes to have the ball and connect passes with team-mates, but one against one, he's unstoppable. 

"We have to use that in the space, one against one, starting from the edge and trying to shoot or cross into good positions. 

"That's the player that Chiesa is and that makes the difference. He would be good for Bayern, he would be good for Juventus and also many other teams all over Europe because these skills are unique and he's very good at that. 

"He's maybe not able to do other things but in those skills, he's very, very, very good."

Giorgio Chiellini believes the Saudi Pro League deserves greater respect as the Gulf state aims to build a competition capable of shifting the global power dynamic in football.

The former Juventus defender, who announced his retirement on Monday, made a similarly unexpected move to the United States when joining MLS side Los Angeles FC in 2022.

Having admired from afar when Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Neymar all completed the switch to Saudi Arabia, Chiellini thinks world football must take note of the ongoings in Saudi Arabia.

Indeed, FIFA announced in October that Saudi Arabia was the only country to submit a bid to host the 2034 World Cup before the deadline, making a second tournament in the Gulf a formality following last year's World Cup in Qatar.

"I think that we have to respect this type of new league and new market," Chiellini, who confirmed his retirement on Monday, told Stats Perform.

"Saudi Arabia is trying to do a lot of new advertising ahead of the World Cup in 2034 to host a good tournament – not like what happened in Qatar. They were trying to do their best but weren't able to develop football in the culture.

"It maybe needs more time. They have just started to build a basis a little better than Qatar and they have a much bigger state than Qatar; that could help them reach this goal."

A host of world-class talent has been enticed to the Saudi Pro League, with players struggling to refuse lucrative contracts.

But Chiellini called for trust in Saudi Arabia's efforts.

"They are doing something unexpected and something so strong in this way," he added. "But I think that they are very trustworthy and it's not a fake moment that will finish.

"Then we'll see, I don't know how it will continue to develop and there are many directions [that it could go], but it's something that we have to respect.

"We have to accept and I think that we have to take advantage of all that, but also we could adapt that in both ways.

"[It is] something that could be good for everyone, from European football and Saudi, it depends on the way you want to see it but it's something that we could expect for years to come."

Lionel Messi's arrival at Inter Miami has brought more attention to MLS, with Giorgio Chiellini hailing the impact of the World Cup winner and likening his move to when David Beckham arrived.

Former Manchester United, Real Madrid and England star Beckham left the Spanish capital for LA Galaxy in 2007 as the dazzling midfielder's move captured the imaginations of many in the United States.

Beckham has since retired and created his own MLS franchise in the USA, bringing the likes of Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba to his newly established Miami side.

Juventus great Chiellini also joined MLS, signing for Los Angeles FC, winning the MLS Cup Final last year before defeat in this season's edition on Saturday to Columbus Crew.

And he vouched for the impact of Messi's move to Miami.

"I think that when Messi joined it was comparable to when Beckham joined," Chiellini told Stats Perform.

"And it's something that the league, but also the players, are very happy about because there is a lot of possibility for the future.

"What Messi did was huge for everyone and now there is much more consideration for the league, much more attention and it helps everyone."

Former Italy centre-back Chiellini announced his retirement on Monday, with reports suggesting the 39-year-old will move back to Juventus to take up a boardroom role.

The European Championship-winning defender will at least be thankful he does not have to face Beckham's Miami again next season.

A Messi-inspired Miami powered to a Leagues Cup triumph, with the Argentina captain scoring 10 goals.

"I don't know how every team could face and beat Miami next year," Chiellini added on Miami, who are reportedly close to signing former Barcelona and Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.

"Fortunately this year I met with Messi when they were at the bottom of the table and then he had one month out.

"They were still a really good team, it was one of the best nights and atmospheres. That's very good for the league, very good for the future of the league."

Giorgio Chiellini is delighted to see Juventus challenging at the Serie A summit again, but he struggles to see the Bianconeri winning the Scudetto this term.

Chiellini won nine Serie A titles during his distinguished spell with Juve, which came to an end at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season as he left for Los Angeles FC in MLS.

In their first season after the defender's departure, Juve finished seventh in Serie A, hampered by a 10-point deduction that was handed down following an investigation into the club's finances. 

However, Massimiliano Allegri has overseen a revival of their fortunes this campaign, with the Bianconeri sitting two points behind Inter at the top of Serie A after 15 games.

A 1-0 win over Napoli briefly took Juventus top on Friday, only for Inter to recapture the lead by thrashing Udinese 4-0.

While Chiellini has been impressed by his former club's resurgence, he believes toppling the Nerazzurri is a tough ask.

"It will be hard," he told Stats Perform.

"If they can be as consistent as Inter, if they arrive in that situation in March, I think it could be a possibility, but it's hard following a team for many months in a row. 

"We'll see, we'll see. I'm very happy obviously that they are having a good season and I hope they can finish first and win the title. 

"I think the key is the consistency of Inter, who are by far the favourites for the league." 

Juventus' off-pitch problems have refused to go away this term, though, with midfielder Paul Pogba suspended by the club after testing positive for heightened levels of testosterone following a win over Udinese in August.

Pogba's B sample also returned a positive test result, and he could face a ban of between two and four years if found guilty of doping.

Chiellini was a team-mate of Pogba's during the Frenchman's first spell in Turin between 2012 and 2016, and he says the midfielder's current situation is sad to see.

Asked how he responded to Pogba's positive test, Chiellini said: "I just text him because I knew him as a kid, from when he was 19. I love him as a good guy and I'm very sad for the situation. 

"I don't know other things, just what is public, because I cannot ask him; 'What happened? Did you do this?' It's something very bad. 

"I just ask people to be close to him and give support to him. I'm very sad and I don't know how to finish this type of situation. Everyone who has known Paul in his life will be very sad about what's happening."

Italy great Giorgio Chiellini believes the Azzurri have a bright future ahead of them and says critics have been overly pessimistic regarding their chances at Euro 2024.

Chiellini captained Italy as they overcame England in the final of Euro 2020, but the Azzurri have not been widely tipped to retain their crown after enduring a difficult few years.

Having missed out on the last two World Cups, Italy somewhat scraped their way through qualifying for next year's tournament in Germany, losing home and away to England and requiring a nervy 0-0 draw with Ukraine on the final matchday to avoid the playoffs.

Ahead of Luciano Spalletti's first major tournament in charge, Italy have been drawn to face Spain, Croatia and Albania in a difficult-looking group, but Chiellini believes reports of the Azzurri's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

"I know the Italian draw very well. Croatia and Spain are good teams with experience, with good players," the defender told Stats Perform.

"Albania is our biggest friend that we face. We are very happy that they joined the Euros. I have a lot of Albanian friends and they deserve it. We have to respect that. 

"Obviously, we will try to pass through the group, arrive in the quarter-finals and then we'll see. We have seen also in the last [Euros], we were lucky. 

"I guess also in the round of 16 [against Austria], and we were lucky to win on penalties in the last two games, but at the end we deserved to win. 

"There is a good cycle, a new cycle, with good young players. I think that could be a good spine for the national team. 

"I don't know if they need maybe more time to be in the right moment and in their prime to win, but there is a bright future for the Italian national team."  

Asked who excited him most in the current Italy setup, Chiellini said: "I think [Gianluigi] Donnarumma is by far the best young goalkeeper that we could have and he's really special.

"[Alessandro] Bastoni is a fantastic defender and we have a lot of amazing midfielders. [Marco] Verratti is just 31, he's not 40 like me! We have a good midfield.

"[Federico] Chiesa is someone that could break every line in every moment of the game. Italy have a good team. 

"Now I hope that there are new faces arriving because we have a good academy for the national team, with players coming through. 

"We have a good coach, everything is good. Sometimes in Italy, we are too pessimistic with the team and we talk badly, but I think that we have a bright future and a really good team."

Giorgio Chiellini is keen to stay in football when he calls time on his glittering career, though he imagines himself becoming a director rather than a coach.

Chiellini won nine Serie A titles during a distinguished spell with Juventus and captained Italy to Euro 2020 glory before moving to the United States last year, helping Los Angeles FC win the MLS Cup.

LAFC failed to go back-to-back as they were beaten 2-1 by the Columbus Crew in Saturday's MLS Cup final, and Chiellini has yet to make a decision on whether he will play on in 2024, with his contract due to expire this month.

As for his long-term future, the 39-year-old has his eyes set on a place in the boardroom, rather than the dugout.

Speaking exclusively to Stats Perform, Chiellini said: "I did a degree in economics and the NBA, and I had always that type of management in my mind. 

"Not as a coach, not in scouting, but yeah, to try to remain linked in the world of football on that side. 

"It's not easy. It's not a journey that you start and then you can decide, you have to study and learn many things because at the end, you come into this world at 40 and not at 25. 

"Then you have some other skills that probably other football players don't have, but you miss other parts. 

"What I hope for my future is to have the time to learn and the patience to stay close to some key figures and key people that are open to teaching me what I'm missing, and to develop this type of situation. I cannot just focus on watching games."

Expanding further on what his ideal role would entail, the defender added: "More of a director, not just scouting, but something more management based. 

"Related to football, but not as one of the people who watch the players in order to pick them.

"Something where I maybe help the club to figure out about what we could spend for players, how we could afford them, how we could improve the situation, all this stuff."

With over 20 major trophies to his name and nearing the end of an illustrious playing career, 39-year-old Giorgio Chiellini could be forgiven for enjoying the latter part of his career in the heat of Los Angeles.

But the fire for another trophy to add to his cabinet still burns true ahead of Los Angeles FC's MLS Cup showdown with Columbus Crew on Saturday.

It does perhaps not have the pressure of a European Championship final against England at Wembley, or the annual tussles Chiellini's Juventus had with Milan and Inter in Italy in Serie A, but the veteran defender did not come to LA for everything Hollywood brings with it.

Opta's predictive model suggests the final is too close to call, with LAFC and the Crew both given a 34.5 per cent likelihood of coming out on top.

Chiellini helped LAFC, who were inspired by Gareth Bale, win MLS Cup last year, and despite his countless honours, he is full of desire to make it two titles in the space of two years in the United States.

"We are so happy because last year was a different journey," he told Stats Perform. "We were top of the league for all the season, the play-off for just three games before the World Cup. That was easier. We skipped the first round.

"We played all the games at home and was very different. This year we pushed it hard until June because of the [CONCACAF] Champions League, [but] then we lost the final. We spent a lot of energy on that, and we had some injuries, some periods where we were not so focused, but we came into the playoffs in good condition.

"We fought until the end. We won in Vancouver, we won in Seattle.

"And now in order to win, to take the cup, we have to win in Columbus. And we know how hard it will be, but we are very happy to be here.

"We respect Columbus a lot and the way they play, that style of play, but for sure we want to go there and try to go all the way to win."

Chiellini has a plethora of trophies to his name, including the European Championship with Italy and nine Serie A winners' medals with Juve, but there is room for another one in his cabinet.

"I'm enjoying every day I spend here, training and everything. It's my life. I love what I do," he said when asked if he was considering retirement or leaving LAFC.

"I watch more MLS games than most of my team-mates in their career in this year and a half and I love that. But it's not something I do for me. It's something normal. It's my way of life, this job, I live this life.

"I will see, but I'm enjoying it a lot and there's no heavy situation for me about this stuff, I just enjoy it and it's very fun."

Even though the Italian has been coached by the likes of Roberto Mancini and Massimiliano Allegri, Chiellini does not see his future in the dug-out, though he hopes to remain in the game in some capacity.

"I did a degree in economics and the NBA, and I always had that type of management in my mind," he said.

The Las Vegas Raiders made the right decision when they fired head coach Josh McDaniels last month and have got their "swagger" back under interim coach Antonio Pierce.

That is the view of three-time Super Bowl-winning safety Duron Harmon, who hopes Pierce gets a shot at leading the team on a full-time basis next season.

The Raiders parted company with coach McDaniels and general manager David Ziegler in early November, having made a 3-5 start to McDaniels' second season with the franchise.

Pierce has overseen something of an upturn since taking the reins, with the Raiders overcoming the New York Giants – with whom Pierce won Super Bowl XLII during his playing career – and the New York Jets before losing difficult games against the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Harmon, who was with the Raiders last year, believes the team are already seeing their decision pay off, telling Stats Perform: "I think [the owner] Mark Davis did the best thing. 

"I have a lot of respect for Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler. They allowed me to go out there and play and I enjoyed my time there. But you could just tell the team wasn't responding to the coach. 

"So they did the right thing by letting him go and hiring somebody on an interim basis, like Antonio Pierce, another man who's a great leader, a leader of men who could just kind of get the juices going back throughout the locker room.

"I think they've done that. They played the Dolphins tough. They beat the Jets, they beat the Giants, I believe. 

"Then they ran into the Chiefs [last week], which is a tough test for everybody. Amik [Robertson] and Devante [Adams] came out and said that basically, they beat themselves. When you watch the tape, you could probably agree with them. 

"The idea that they have this type of confidence now, it shows that they have a head coach that is giving them that swagger that they need."

The 5-7 Raiders are outside the playoff picture in the AFC with five games to play, but Harmon does not think the prospect of a postseason run is completely unrealistic. 

"Hopefully, they can maybe get on a little run and maybe sneak into playoffs," he added.

"I have a lot of great relationships over there, and I still talk to a lot of guys over there and they can't talk highly enough about the energy shift that has been since Antonio has taken over. 

"So, I wish those guys the best of luck. I think if all goes well, hopefully, they give AP a good hard look to make him not only the interim but the head coach for the future."

Cleveland Browns safety Duron Harmon says the team cannot dwell on injuries to key players Nick Chubb and Deshaun Watson, saying they must find a way to "win at all costs".

The Browns have lost several key players this season, starting with star running back Chubb as he suffered a gruesome knee injury in Week 2, which has required two separate surgeries. 

That injury put even greater responsibility on quarterback Watson, but he was forced to undergo season-ending surgery after sustaining a fracture in his throwing shoulder last month.

Despite their absences, the Browns approach their Week 14 matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars with a 7-5 record and are one of three teams from the AFC North currently in a playoff position.

Speaking exclusively to Stats Perform, Harmon – who signed to Cleveland's practice squad in November – said they cannot afford to dwell on those injuries, remaining bullish about their Super Bowl hopes.

Asked what the Browns' mentality would be for the rest of the season, Harmon said: "Find a way to win. it's not about making excuses. 

"It's not about talking about who could be there, who's not going to be there, who might be there. It's about just finding a way to win. 

"We're at the point of the season where everybody has, or is dealing with, some type of injuries on their team.

"The teams who just find a way are the teams that are going to be there in the end competing for that Lombardi. So we've just got to find a way to win at all costs."

The Browns had another injury scare last week as defensive end Myles Garrett was seen with his arm in a sling following the team's 29-12 loss to the Denver Broncos, though he was able to suit up for their road game against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 13 – a 36-19 defeat.

Harmon believes Garrett, who ranks fifth in the NFL for sacks this year with 13, is the standout athlete in the league.

Asked what makes the star edge rusher special, Harmon said: "I think just his motor, his get-off, his athletic ability. Myles Garrett is truly one-of-one. 

"I was talking to a team-mate yesterday and I was like, 'Myles Garrett might be the best athlete in the NFL'. 

"Just as a pure athlete, and he looked at me and said, 'There's no might about it, he is'. Just watching how he practices, watching how he goes about his day, how he treats his profession, how he works on his craft daily. It's no surprise he is where he is. 

"It's no surprise he's going to continue to get better and terrorise quarterbacks. He takes the right approach every day. The success coming his way is because he works for it and he's earned it."

Giorgio Chiellini has discovered a new love for football with Los Angeles FC as the Italian centre-back aims to guide his side to a second straight MLS Cup triumph.

The Columbus Crew will prove the final obstacle on Saturday in LAFC's quest to go back-to-back with MLS Cup successes, having defeated the Philadelphia Union on penalties in last season's final.

Chiellini has lifted nine Serie A titles and helped Italy win Euro 2020, but the hunger remains for the 39-year-old to add another success in the United States to his trophy-filled cabinet.

"I'm enjoying every day I spend here – training and everything," the former Juventus defender, who joined LAFC in 2022, told Stats Perform.

"It's my life. I love what I do. I've watched more MLS games this year and a half than most of my team-mates in their career and I love that.

"But it's not something I do for me. It's something normal. It's my way of life, this job, I live this life. I'm enjoying it a lot and there's no heavy situation for me about this stuff, I just enjoy it and it's very fun."

Chiellini created the opening goal as Los Angeles booked their place in the MLS Cup Final with a 2-0 win over Houston Dynamo, with his flick-on from a corner-kick finding Ryan Hollingshead.

Their final challenge comes against the Crew in what will be the 53rd game of the season for Steve Cherundolo's LAFC, who were knocked out of the Leagues Cup in the quarter-final and suffered CONCACAF Champions League final heartbreak against Mexico's Club Leon.

Columbus' Lower.com Field hosts the MLS Cup showpiece, offering Wilfried Nancy's men an edge of home advantage, but Chiellini fancies Los Angeles' chances after two hard-fought campaigns.

"We are so happy because last year was a different journey," the veteran centre-back continued. "We were top of the league all season, playoffs for just three games before the World Cup. That was easier.

"We skipped the first round. We played all the games at home and it was very different. This year we pushed harder until June because of the CONCACAF Champions League where we lost the final.

"We spent a lot of energy on that, we had some injuries, some periods where we were not so focused.

"But we arrived in good condition for the playoff in the third game [against Houston]. We fought till the end for the second [goal] that I think we deserved for what we showed during the season.

"We won in Vancouver, we won in Seattle, and now to lift the cup, we have to win in Columbus, and we know how hard it will be, but we are very happy to be here.

"We respect that team a lot and the way they play, that style of play, the players, but for sure we want to go there and try to go as far as possible to win."

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