Gabriel Jesus hoping to prove fitness for a Man City return against Olympiacos

Gabriel Jesus is hoping to prove his fitness for Manchester City’s Champions League clash with Olympiacos on Tuesday.

The Brazil striker has been of action since suffering a thigh injury in City’s first Premier League match of the season at Wolves in September.

The 23-year-old is now back in training and, with Sergio Aguero also sidelined, a potential return against the Greeks would give City a lift.

City have played without a specialist centre forward in recent games, with winger Ferran Torres filling in in the position against Marseille last week and Sheffield United on Saturday.

Manager Pep Guardiola was still unsure whether Jesus would be ready as he held his pre-match press conference on Monday lunchtime.

He said: “It’s too early to know. We’ll see the last training session. He did one training session with part of the team but we are happy he is back.

“We are waiting for Sergio but we are happy with Ferran so we have an alternative.”

Winger Ferran Torres has played as a makeshift striker (Rui Vieira/PA)

Guardiola insisted Sunday’s looming encounter with Premier League champions Liverpool would not affect his thinking for the Olympiacos game.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “You cannot make a false step in the Champions League because after that you struggle. We have an incredible opportunity to make a huge step to qualify for the next round.”

City have opened their Champions League Group C campaign with back-to-back victories over Porto and Marseille and Guardiola wants to maintain the momentum to wrap up qualification for the knock-out stages as soon as possible.

He said: “We are only in the beginning of the season. November, December, January is very demanding in this country so tomorrow is incredibly important to go onto nine points, and be incredibly close, and then we can handle this competition with the Premier League a little bit better.”

Sergio Aguero has had an injury-hit start to the campaign (Paul Childs/PA)

Guardiola remains unsure when record goalscorer Aguero will be fit to return after a hamstring injury. The Argentinian has not been categorically ruled out of the Liverpool encounter but he seems more likely to back later in the month.

Guardiola said: “He’s getting better but I don’t know. We don’t want him to have a setback but he’s getting better.

“I don’t know about Liverpool but I think, for sure, after the international break he will be ready.”

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Why the 3rd U.S. coronavirus surge could prove particularly challenging

The United States on Friday recorded more than 85,000 new coronavirus cases, The New York Times reports. That set a new single-day record, breaking the previous mark from mid-July by nearly 10,000 cases. Hospitalizations have also been rising steadily since the start of October, and while deaths have mostly remained flat, they are often a lagging indicator.

The current surge is most heavily concentrated in the Midwest and West, but it’s spread out more widely than the previous waves from the spring and summer, which occurred primarily in the Northeast and Sun Belt, respectively. More than 170 counties across 36 states were designated rapidly rising hotspots, an internal federal report produced Thursday for Department of Health and Human Services officials that was obtained by The Washington Post revealed.

Earlier in the pandemic, health care workers would move around to help ease the burden facing overwhelmed hospitals, but “that’s just not possible when the virus is surging everywhere,” Eleanor Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University, told the Post; experts have warned of shortages of medical staff and supplies.

Additionally, Murray said, “we are starting this wave much higher than either of the previous waves. And it will simply keep going up until people and officials decide to do something about it.” Read more at The Washington Post and The New York Times.

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Wales release Liam Williams back to Scarlets to prove Six Nations fitness | Rugby Union News

British and Irish Lions star will play for Scarlets on Friday night against Benetton in the PRO14, with the 29-year-old still shaking off a long-term ankle injury; will rejoin national squad on Monday

Last Updated: 21/10/20 4:00pm

Liam Williams has been told to prove his fitness before Wales' Six Nations match against Scotland

Liam Williams has been told to prove his fitness before Wales’ Six Nations match against Scotland

Wales have released full-back Liam Williams to play for Scarlets this weekend so he can prove his fitness ahead of the Six Nations match against Scotland.

Williams will play for his region on Friday night against Benetton in the PRO14, with the 29-year-old still shaking off a long-term ankle injury.

The British and Irish Lions star missed Wales’ World Cup semi-final loss to South Africa in October 2019 after suffering the ankle problem in training and has only played once since.

Now though, the former Saracens man will have a chance to prove his fitness ahead of the rearranged Six Nations encounter with Scotland at the Principality Stadium on October 31.

Dragons winger Jonah Holmes has also been released for regional action this weekend as Wales boss Wayne Pivac looks to keep his squad fresh.

“Liam Williams (Scarlets) and Jonah Holmes (Dragons) have been released from the national squad back to their respective regions for action this weekend,” read a Wales statement.

“They will re-join the national squad on Monday.”

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