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Page last updated at 15:09 GMT, Friday, 29 October 2010 16:09 UK

49ers & Broncos seek London boost

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS vs DENVER BRONCOS
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: 31 October Kick-off: 1700 GMT
Coverage: Highlights: 2335-0035 on BBC One; Commentary on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra; All on the BBC Sport website (UK users only). Live on Sky Sports 2.


Oakland Raiders break through the Denver Broncos defence

49ers & Broncos both flop ahead of Wembley duel

The San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos are desperate for a change in fortunes in Sunday's NFL clash at Wembley Stadium.

The 49ers have lost six of their seven games so far this year and their opponents are also in poor form.

Denver lost their fifth game of the season 59-14 last Sunday at home to the Oakland Raiders.

But 49ers coach Mike Singletary said: "We will make a season of it. I still believe we can go to the playoffs."

Speaking from the 49ers training base in Watford, Singletary added that he believes the trip to London could turn around his team's ailing season.

"For us, it's a nice chance to get away, regroup and rethink. This has come at a great time for us," he said.

"It really works to be a bonus for us. It really gives a chance to kind of get away from the hustle and bustle of the NFL, look at maybe some changes we need to make," said the second-year head coach.

This is the fourth NFL regular season game in London, with San Francisco giving up one of their home fixtures to face the Broncos.

The 49ers have the second-worst record in the entire NFL, whilst Denver sit bottom of the AFC West and are on a three-game losing streak.

Since starting last season with six consecutive wins, the Broncos have won only four of their last seventeen games under coach Josh McDaniels.

Last Sunday's 14-59 loss to the Oakland Raiders led to McDaniels publically apologising for the performance.

Singletary is also under huge pressure after poor performances have left the San Francisco's high pre-season hopes in tatters.

The 49ers will have to do without first-choice quarterback Alex Smith who had his non-throwing arm in a sling on Monday after being injured in a third-quarter sack in the defeat by Carolina.

Backup quarterback Troy Smith will take his place and start and NFL fixture for the first time since 2007.

Wembley a dream come true - Davis

Star tight end Vernon Davis agrees with Singletary and believes that the London contest will allow the 49ers to refocus.

"We have a lot to look forward to. We have Denver here in London - we can't let that loss [to Carolina] get to us. We have to keep our heads up and keen moving forward," Davis said.

"I came here in the summer and met some fans and couldn't believe how knowledgeable they were.

"They couldn't wait for us to get here. I know we are excited to be here and see London," he added.

The Broncos are not due to arrive until Friday, giving them less time to get accustomed to the city and the surroundings.

"We know this a business trip, but at the same time we have a younger football team, and I wanted our guys to come and get a taste of the culture, and at the same time get a feel for the environment and the weather and the whole nine yards," Singletary said.

Distance runner Mo Farah and sailor Ben Ainslie have been named as honorary captains for Sunday's clash.

Farah, European champion at 5,000m and 10,000m, will wear Denver Broncos colours with triple Olympic champion Ainslie in San Francisco 49ers attire.

The NFL has also revealed that guitarist Jeff Beck will play 'God Save the Queen' and former Destiny's Child member Michelle Williams will sing 'The Star-Spangled Banner' before the game begins, with My Chemical Romance completing the line-up of pre-game entertainment.

Watch highlights of San Francisco 49ers v Denver Broncos at Wembley on BBC One and this website (UK users only) on 31 October from 2335 GMT.



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see also
Montana reminisces about England trips
23 Oct 10 |  American Football


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