Cardiff lodge bid for Nice midfielder Tamezeby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff are preparing an offer for Adrien Tameze from Nice.The midfielder will cost roughly £8.5 million, with manager Neil Warnock a huge fan.The Frenchman has played 50 times for Nice.”I think we’ve almost agreed terms for one particular player,” said Warnock to reporters recently, with the assumption he is referring to Tameze.”There’s numerous players we’ve been linked with, the chairman (Mehmet Dalman) and Ken Choo (CEO) are talking to loads of players as far as I’m aware – second, third choices – to see who’s available.”But we’re not going to bring people in that aren’t better than what we’ve got. You’ve got to get the right ones in.”You look at some of the players we’re looking at and the figures are astronomical. I think it’s going to be one of those jobs again, late on in the window again where somebody decides to let somebody go.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say
MINNEAPOLIS – A Minnesota judge abruptly dismissed charges against three climate change activists during their trial on Tuesday, saying prosecutors failed to prove that the protesters’ attempt to shut down two Enbridge Energy oil pipelines caused any damage.Clearwater County District Judge Robert Tiffany threw the case out after prosecutors rested their case and before the protesters could use their defence: that the threat of climate change from using crude oil drilled from Canadian tar sands was so imminent that the activists’ actions were not only morally right, but necessary.The attorneys had long fought to use a “necessity defence” during the trial of the three Seattle-area residents, two of whom admitted turning the emergency shut-off valves on the northwest Minnesota pipelines in 2016 as part of a co-ordinated action in four states. Such a defence has been used by other activists protesting pipelines.Their attorney, Lauren Regan, acknowledged outside the courthouse in Bagley that she and her clients were surprised that the judge granted their motion to dismiss the case. The three defendants faced felony charges involving criminal damage to critical public service facilities. They could have faced up to a year in jail, according to prosecutors.“I’m very relieved the state of Minnesota acknowledged that we did no damage and intended to do no damage,” defendant Emily Johnston said. “I also admit that I am disappointed that we did not get to put on the trial that we hoped for.”Clearwater County Attorney Alan Rogalla declined to comment afterward.Climate change activists have increasingly turned to direct actions against oil and gas pipelines, with mixed legal success . Valve-turner cases in other states resulted in convictions that are under appeal. A Massachusetts judge in March cleared 13 gas pipeline protesters who used a necessity defence. While the cases generally have not set binding legal precedents, activists are hoping they help legitimize direct action as a tactic against climate change.In the Minnesota case, Johnston and Annette Klapstein readily acknowledged turning the emergency shut-off valves on two Enbridge Energy pipelines on Oct. 11, 2016, near Leonard, about 210 miles (338 kilometres) northwest of Minneapolis. A third defendant, Ben Joldersma, called in a warning to Enbridge. Charges were earlier dropped against a fourth defendant.They did it as part of a co-ordinated action by Climate Direct Action activists to shut down five Canadian tar sands crude pipelines in Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana and Washington state. A total of 11 activists were charged in the four states.Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge temporarily shut down the two pipelines as a precaution before any damage occurred. The company issued a statement Tuesday saying the protest was “reckless and dangerous.”“The individuals involved in these activities claimed to be protecting the environment, but they did the opposite and put the environment and the safety of people at risk — including themselves, first responders and neighbouring communities and landowners,” the company said.The defendants insisted there was never any danger.“We did everything in our power to make sure this was a safe action, and we did this to protect our children and all of your children from the devastating effects of climate change,” Klaptstein said at the activists’ news conference afterward.While the judge took the unusual step of allowing allowed the necessity defence in a ruling last October, he said the defendants had to clear a high legal bar to succeed. He said the defence applies “only in emergency situations where the peril is instant, overwhelming, and leaves no alternative but the conduct in question.”The valve turners had hoped to put climate change itself on trial by presenting expert witnesses who would have backed up their claims that climate change was making natural disasters worse, and that the threat of climate change from Canadian tar sands crude — which generates more climate-damaging carbon dioxide than other forms of oil — was so imminent that they had no legal alternatives. But they never got the chance.
TAYLOR, B.C. – Monday, April 15th a cat was discovered at the top of a Hydro pole unable to move as it was reportedly stuck for hours.BC Hydro and the Deputy Fire Chief were able to rescue the cat from its predicament and Councillor Dave Lueneberg took the rescued cat in for the night to ensure it was looked after. Ashley Wood’s son had accidentally let ‘Moxie’ out of the house. Although she had been looking for him for three days, she says “It never really crossed my mind to look up”Wood would then see the District of Taylor’s FB Post and said, “I knew he was my furbaby from the photo.”Moxie has been a part of the Woods family for 10 years. Wood says, “I’m very grateful to the person who found him and to BC Hydro and the Taylor Fire hall for rescuing him.”
Source: Football Whispers England is striking gold from the set pieceTeams with the best rate per 90 minutes of shots from set pieces (corner kicks and free kicks) in the World Cup TeamPasses per possessionRank teamGOALSSHOTSSHOTS ON GOAL Portugal0.693.880.69 Croatia3.194 Croatia has conceded only one goal from a set play — Russia’s equalizer in extra time of the quarterfinals. But it has conceded 22 shots from them so far, which is tied for the most in the tournament. This suggests that some luck has been involved — Russia, for instance, gave up the same number of shots from set pieces as Croatia did, but five of those shots resulted in goals against.The game will probably be tense and closed off, with England’s willingness to patiently pass the ball in its own half combined with Croatia’s indifference to pressing high resulting in an overall lack of openness. The beauty of high-stakes knockout stage soccer, though, is that one goal can change everything.Check out our latest World Cup predictions. France3.636 England4.3621 Croatia, which takes on England in the other semifinal, had just a 3 percent pre-tournament chance of winning the tournament and an SPI of 80.4, according to FiveThirtyEight’s predictions. The team is now at 18 percent with an SPI of 82.0, which reiterates the impressive run it’s been on, despite having to ride its luck in two consecutive penalty shootouts. Gareth Southgate’s young England squad, up to 85.2 in SPI, has fulfilled its pre-tournament dark horse expectations, taking advantage of a relatively easy draw to increase the chances of it finally “coming home.”The brutal truth of knockout soccer, though, is that team strength counts for only so much; just ask Spain and Brazil, which went out to Russia and Belgium, respectively. Soccer is a random game, and this is exacerbated in situations where one win carries such importance.Tactics also play a big part. Belgium was lucky in its 2-1 win over Brazil, to the extent that the South Americans had 3.01 expected goals to Belgium’s 0.52. But Roberto Martinez set his side up in a way that was designed to exploit Brazil’s limited weaknesses. Romelu Lukaku — normally the team’s central striker, with four goals already this World Cup — was moved out to the right wing to exploit the space behind Brazil’s marauding left back, Marcelo. Kevin De Bruyne, whom Martinez had underused in a deep midfield role, was shifted to the “false nine” position — in which an attacking midfielder plays nominally as a striker but drops deeper than typical to receive the ball — so that he could receive the ball behind the Brazilian midfielders and launch counterattacks quickly. The Red Devils may have ridden their luck, but they had a plan.In the two semifinals, the stylistic clashes should make for an entertaining spectacle.Belgium vs. France: divergent defendingBelgium and France are both comfortable teams on the ball. They both average more than four passes per possession, according to soccer media and technology company Football Whispers, putting them both in the top third of teams at this World Cup. The Red Devils tend to be slightly more patient, holding the ball for about 1.5 seconds more when they get it than France does, and they switch play from side to side more, with possessions that are wider (in terms of the distance between how far right and left they go) by about 3 yards. How England and Croatia match up stylisticallyNumber of per-possession passes (for and against) and where that ranks among World Cup teams Germany0.304.231.51 TeamPasses per possessionrank Off the ball, both teams implement an aggressive press — but in subtly different ways. England looks to stunt its opposition’s attacks, allowing it to cycle the ball in its own half but not advance much: The Three Lions regain the ball, on average, 54.81 yards away from their own goal, the second highest distance of any team in Russia this summer, but they allow their opponents well more than four passes per possession. Zlatko Dalic’s team, on the other hand, regains the ball in the attacking third just 1.8 times per game compared with England’s 5.6, but Croatia allows its opposition only a little more than three passes per possession, the lowest of any side remaining. In other words, it’s easy to pass into Croatia’s half but difficult to do anything once you get there.The stylistic factor most likely to influence this semifinal matchup, though, is England’s skill when it comes to set plays (corners and free kicks). Southgate has spoken about his focus on them as an opportunity for England to gain an advantage over opponents, with this strategy bearing fruit: England has scored five goals from them already, nearly half of of its total so far. From Set Pieces (Per 90 Minutes) Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group Australia0.003.730.31 England4.846 The World Cup in Russia has become one of European dominance. The four teams that remain all hail from the continent: France, Belgium, England and Croatia will be battling in the semifinals Tuesday and Wednesday for a shot at glory in the final Sunday in Moscow. In this World Cup of Upsets, the French are the only consistently successful team left. Croatia and Belgium have never reached the final, while England’s only appearance was in 1966.The first semifinal, France vs. Belgium, features the two strongest teams remaining in the competition, each with a Soccer Power Index rating of 87.5, according to FiveThirtyEight’s model. Belgium’s rating has improved steadily from before the tournament began, when it stood at 85.4, to after the dramatic quarterfinal win against Brazil, the tournament favorite. France, meanwhile, has strolled to the semifinals relatively easily, apart from a dramatic 4-3 victory against Argentina in the round of 16. While Les Bleus’ World Cup average of 1.12 expected goals per 90 minutes is the worst of the remaining teams, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, their 0.67 expected goals conceded per 90 leads the semifinalists and is fourth best in the tournament: Spain0.645.341.07 When they don’t have the ball, the two teams behave very differently. Belgium is much more willing to press high up the pitch, taking risks and committing men in the hope of a valuable turnover: They’ve regained the ball in their attacking third 5.2 times per game compared with France’s 2.6, while their possessions start an average of 48.92 yards from their own goal, compared with France’s 47.28 yards.The downside to this sort of pressing, though, is that if the initial Belgian press is broken, its opposition can keep the ball under a lot less pressure and start to probe in attack. Belgium’s opponents have the ball for 2.61 seconds longer on average than France’s opponents do. Belgium’s opponents average well over four passes per possession, whereas Didier Deschamps’ side allows opponents just 3.63 passes, the sixth lowest of all teams in Russia.Martinez will need a characteristically proactive game plan to avoid allowing France the room to counter that Argentina did — speedster Kylian Mbappe needs no second invitation. Martinez will also have to find a replacement for Thomas Meunier — his first choice to play right wing-back, who is suspended for receiving his second yellow card against Brazil — in a squad thin on full-backs. Deschamps will probably avoid tinkering, hoping that his balanced side will frustrate Belgium while relying on individual talent in attack.England vs. Croatia: intense pressing and set playsDespite being blessed with arguably the most talented midfield in the competition, Croatia doesn’t dawdle when it gets on the ball, moving it to the attackers quickly: Croatia has had the fewest passes per possession of the four teams remaining. England, conversely, has had the most. Some of this is because of the quality of opposition each side has faced, but it’s also a fair reflection of their respective directness: Gareth Southgate’s men hold the ball for more than 3 seconds longer when they get it, often using possession as a defensive tactic. Croatia3.8916 TeamOpponent’s passes per possessionRank France4.2212 Brazil0.184.231.10 Uruguay0.924.601.84 Belgium4.689 Belgium4.3822 Source: Football Whispers Argentina0.233.930.69 Morocco0.303.951.22 England0.865.711.73 TeamOpponent’s passes per possessionRank How France and Belgium match up stylisticallyNumber of per-possession passes (for and against) and where that ranks among World Cup teams Switzerland0.233.670.46
The modern Champions League has not been a hospitable competition for underdogs. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich have won the last four trophies, and the closest thing to an upset winner in recent years was Chelsea in 2012. This season, though, might be different.Sure, Bayern, Barcelona and Real Madrid are all still in it. But no team left in the Champions League is historically dominant. Expected goals, a statistical measure of the quality of scoring chances a team creates and concedes, rates Barcelona as the top team in this year’s competition, but one with only a 28 percent change of winning the tournament.1All of the data in this article is current through April 10.This year’s Barcelona, however, does not make the top 10 list of expected goals difference for clubs since 2010-11. With fewer truly great teams in the mix, an upset winner is that much more likely. Here’s what to expect.Borussia Dortmund (60 percent chance of advancing) vs. Monaco (40 percent)With a position atop the Ligue 1 table, an impressive defeat of Manchester City in the round of 16, and an incredible 103 goals scored between Ligue 1 and the Champions League, Monaco might appear to have the resume of a quarterfinal favorite. However, Monaco’s numbers require some caution. Despite leading to 90 nonpenalty goals this season, the chances Monaco has created have been worth only about 58 expected goals (xG), according to the soccer stats-tracker Opta. Scoring 33 more goals than expected is unprecedented in the last few years. No other club has even beaten expected goals by 20 or more at this point in the season since 2010-11. While it is not terribly unusual for top teams to outperform their expected goals — top teams tend to have better finishers — Monaco is finishing chances better than any of Lionel Messi’s teams ever did.If Monaco’s goal scoring falls off, Dortmund should be well prepared to take advantage. Since returning from the winter break, Dortmund has been dominant, collecting 1.2 more xG per match than their opponents, compared with only a +0.7 margin before the break. With underlying numbers to match its goals difference and a recent spike in performance, Dortmund looks like the more likely semifinalist.In either case, this should be one of the most exciting matches of the round. Both Monaco and Dortmund depend on pace and quick-hitting attacks — both clubs lead their respective leagues in shot attempts following moves of two passes or fewer. While Thomas Tuchel may attempt to impose more control on the match than Pep Guardiola did against Monaco in the round of 16, the game is likely to be a fast-paced and attacking affair.Barcelona (65 percent) vs. Juventus (35 percent)This rematch of the 2015 Champions League final features the best attack-vs.-defense matchup of the round. This season Barcelona has created the second-most clear scoring chances (116), as defined by Opta, in the big five leagues, while Juventus has conceded the fewest clear scoring chances (20).Barcelona is well known for an attacking style that favors making the extra pass to create the highest-quality scoring chances, rather than trying to shoot the ball from far out. Juventus, under managers Max Allegri and Antonio Conte, has developed a defensive strategy that mirrors Barcelona’s attacking play. The Italian side focuses on defensive structure in order to prevent the same kinds of clear chances that Barca aims to create. A list of the best defensive seasons since 2010-11, judging teams by the number of quality chances they concede, shows Juventus dominating. And this year Juventus is preventing clear chances at its best rate ever, allowing only about one every other match.Barcelona was able to break through Juventus’ defense in the 2015 final just as Bayern Munich did during last year’s knockout stages. But in both of those cases, it took a top performance from one of the world’s best attacks to win the tie. Barcelona is rightly favored, but any slight drop-off in execution could see the Catalan side stymied by Juventus’ defense.Bayern Munich (71 percent) vs. Real Madrid (29 percent)ESPN’s Soccer Power Index rating gives a big boost to Bayern Munich based on the German side’s superior defensive numbers. Bayern has conceded just 23 goals in 36 matches between the Bundesliga and Champions League, while Real has conceded 43 in 38 matches. Some of this difference disappears when you look at expected goals, which drops Real’s total to 37. But it is not enough to erase it all.The two sides not only see different defensive outcomes, but they also play significantly different styles when out of possession. Carlo Ancelotti has his Bayern squad playing the high-pressing style preached by Pep Guardiola. When Bayern turns the ball over in midfield, it breaks up their opponents’ next possession within three passes about 55 percent of the time, the second-highest rate in the Bundesliga. Real Madrid, by contrast, defends much more passively, breaking up opposition possession in only about 45 percent of cases, 12th in La Liga.It is not that Real Madrid has been particularly poor defensively, but its more passive defensive style seems like a major risk against Bayern. Under manager Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid has been an outlier among top clubs in not embracing the new, analytics-minded strategy of pressing on defense. It will be interesting to see if Real’s more old-fashioned defensive style can work. If Real fails to unsettle Bayern early in a possession, that would give time on the ball to central midfielders Arturo Vidal and Thiago Alcantara. That outcome would be risky at best for Real. Thiago in particular is having a great season, leading the Bundesliga with 96 progressive passes and runs. (These are defined as passes which advance the ball through midfield over 10 yards beyond where the possession had reached, or runs which progress similarly while eliminating a defender on the dribble.) Real Madrid may need to adjust its pressing rate to protect the defense from Bayern’s passers if it means to make it to another Champions League final.Atletico Madrid (75 percent) vs. Leicester City (25 percent)Leicester City presents something of a conundrum to any projection system, having won five of six league matches since sacking manager Claudio Ranieri. The club’s performances under new manager Craig Shakespeare have not been quite as good as its unbeaten record suggests — despite outscoring opponents in the league and CL by a combined 17-8, Leicester’s expected goals difference is just 10.3-9.1. But Leicester has produced more expected goals than its opponents in five of its seven matches after running negative in expected goal difference under Ranieri. It is certainly possible that Leicester will continue performing at this higher level under Shakespeare.However, it is hard to identify any key changes Shakespeare made. Leicester City remains the highest-tempo team in the Premier League, with more possessions per match than anyone else. The Foxes still work best without the ball, managing the same 42 percent possession rate as under Ranieri. What seems to have changed is not Leicester’s style of play, but the effectiveness of it. This is the sort of change, not linked to any obvious tactical shift, that analysts tend to be skeptical of. It might just be form, in which case the large SPI advantage to Atletico Madrid may be correct.For Atletico, this persistent Leicester style may present a problem. Atleti prefers to concede possession and play off the ball, especially against top opponents. But while Atletico is unusual in the Champions League for its roughly 50 percent possession rate, Leicester at 42 percent is more extreme. Atletico will likely need to adjust its typical knockout strategy and make use of ball possession to get past Leicester, even if the Foxes’ current run of form may not be entirely sustainable.Check out our club soccer predictions.
The 51 receivers on the chart above average a scoring strike every 157.1 yards. Jones averages a TD for every 262 yards he accumulates, which is the third most extreme discrepancy in the sample.2Only Vincent Jackson and Willie Snead have Jones beat here, with 343.6 and 270 yards per touchdown respectively. The Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant, meanwhile, leads all receivers in fewest yards per touchdown, 92.7, but that’s probably no accident: Bryant has long made it clear that he expects a big portion of the touchdown glory — or someone, possibly everyone, is going to hear about it.Jones’s scoring woes almost defy explanation. Receivers who thirst for touchdowns are generally undersized players who do their damage between the 20s. But Jones is one of the game’s largest targets at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds. He’s also one of the position’s best athletes, crushing his scouting combine in speed, jumping ability and agility. It’s tough to imagine a better receiver his size on the NFL boundaries when it comes to getting both feet down inbounds and defying gravity in the process. If an NFL quarterback were to design a perfect red-zone weapon in a lab, he would look a lot like Jones.Incredibly, Jones’s lack of scoring seems to be by design. His percentage of QB Matt Ryan’s targets drops steadily the closer Atlanta gets to the goal line: from 32.8 percent of passes when the Falcons are at least 80 yards from the end zone to just a little more than half that — 16.7 percent — when they’re in the red zone. Julio Jones is unlike most other star receivers. He doesn’t scream at his quarterback or sulk or throw a tantrum when passes don’t come his way. He’s happy to share the wealth with his teammates. In short, he’s no diva.But if any NFL wide receiver has earned the right to complain on the sidelines, it’s Jones. The Falcons star hasn’t scored a touchdown this season — and in fact has underperformed his whole career when it comes to scoring. His touchdown rate has never come close to matching his outsized production everywhere else on the field. So maybe the Falcons — who have scored just 17 points in each of their past two games (both losses) heading into their Super Bowl rematch with the Patriots on Sunday — would actually benefit from Jones flipping a Gatorade cooler or two.Since 2014, Jones has been nothing short of unstoppable. He’s been the NFL’s most productive receiver when measured by yards per game, the second best in terms of receptions per game and the third best in yards per target.1Among all wide receivers and tight ends who have averaged at least 50 yards in at least 25 games since 2014. In those three-plus seasons, he’s averaging 104.8 yards but a ho-hum 0.4 touchdowns per game, which is roughly the same as less-heralded wideouts such as Allen Hurns, Emmanuel Sanders and Jordan Matthews. For an elite receiver, Jones is solidly middle-of-the-pack in touchdown production: Last Sunday, Atlanta lost to the Dolphins in the final minute when Ryan forced a pass in double coverage to second-year tight end Austin Hooper (36 career catches) instead of giving Jones a chance to make a play. The result was a game-ending interception at the Miami 6-yard line. While Jones said nothing, head coach Dan Quinn made it clear that he wasn’t pleased with bypassing his team’s best weapon.Atlanta’s strange unwillingness to use its best receiver has now spanned three offensive coordinators. When the current one, Steve Sarkisian, was handed the keys to the offense that in 2016 led the NFL in scoring, he saw one major area where the unit could improve.“Is there a way to get Julio more touches in the red zone and finding those matchups?” Sarkisian said at the time.The answer, apparently, is “no.”Check out our latest NFL predictions.
Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) is sacked by Virginia Tech sophomore cornerback Kendall Fuller during a game Sept. 6 at Ohio Stadium. OSU lost, 35-21.Credit: Jon McAllister / Asst. photo editorThe Ohio State football team broke records and multiple streaks Saturday night, many of which were not positives.The Buckeyes dropped their first home opener since 1978, due in part to a lack of offense as they allowed seven sacks, six of which occurred in the fourth quarter.The loss also snapped OSU’s streak of 25 consecutive regular-season wins, which was the longest such streak in the country.Coach Urban Meyer said postgame that he was “very disappointed” with the way his team performed in front of a record crowd of 107,517, in Ohio Stadium.“We had all kind of issues that we have to get a lot better at,” Meyer said. “We also had a lot of dropped passes…we just have to do a better job.”Redshirt-senior offensive lineman Darryl Baldwin said the offense, which was four of 16 on third downs, needs to do a better job to help out the defense.“We just haven’t been able to get on a roll offensively,” Baldwin said. “Defense has been playing well and when we get these opportunities, we haven’t been taking advantage of them. Those three and outs have been killing us.”Not only could the Buckeyes not convert third downs, they could not complete passes. Redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett completed just nine of his 29 attempts, including three interceptions — the last of which was taken back 63 yards for a score by Virginia Tech junior cornerback Donovan Riley.Despite a less than stellar showing, Meyer said he thought his quarterback did well with what he had.“Gutsy effort,” Meyer said. “Obviously not good enough, but a quarterback is a product of those around him, and we all have to get better.”The Hokie defense lined up in zero coverage — a formation with no deep safeties — for most of the game and crowded the line of scrimmage, daring the Buckeyes to throw the football. It was a tactic co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said the OSU coaching staff had not expected.“They played something we hadn’t prepared for so it took quite a bit of adjusting,” Herman said. “We had to find some ways to get to the speed option game, and we did that during the second half. We got a little momentum back on our side but couldn’t make the plays in the end.”After a year in which the Buckeyes were near the top nationally in yards per game in 2013, when then-junior Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde each rushed for over 1,000 yards, OSU managed just 108 rushing yards against the Hokies. Barrett, who suffered the seven sacks, led the team with 70 yards on the ground.The next leading rusher for OSU was sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott, who carried the ball just eight times for 32 yards.Baldwin said he was disappointed that OSU could not move the football on the ground.“The run game opens up the entire offense,” Baldwin said. “It really just opens up everything and we just couldn’t get it started.”Although the running game struggled, Herman said the loss cannot be blamed solely on one unit or person.“From myself on down to the players, it was certainly not one position or one thing that you can say, ‘this is the reason,’” he said.Meyer said that the team will regroup and come back ready to go on Sunday.“So anxious to get back to work tomorrow and get a little better,” Meyer said. “We had a good meeting as a team (after the game).”The Buckeyes are set to begin preparations for their next game against Kent State, which is scheduled to kickoff at noon on Sept. 13 at Ohio Stadium.
Brazil boss Tite has praised Neymar’s extraordinary physique and ability to recover in time for their World Cup campaign after sustaining a serious foot injury last seasonThe Paris Saint-Germain forward sustained the injury in a derby game against Marseille at the end of February and was forced to miss the rest of the club’s campaign while he recovered from surgery in his homeland.However, despite a lack of recent action, Neymar was named in the Brazil World Cup squad and scored in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Costa Rica.“Right now, Neymar is at a certain level and at a certain moment of recovery, because he is a player who is physically out of the ordinary, otherwise he would not be here,” said Tite, according to Marca.Brazil will meet Serbia later today, who will be determined to bounce back after suffering a 2-1 loss to Switzerland last weekend.Victory over the five-time champions will ensure their place in the Round of 16 and Tite is under no illusions over how difficult Mladen Krstajic’s side can be.Neymar responds to PSG criticism with a stunning winner Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Despite all the backlash he got today at Parc des Princes, Neymar responded by scoring a stunning winner vs Strasbourg.We all knew that Neymar’s…“They are a team with two good characteristics, as they are very good in the air and have a lot of individual quality,” he added.The Brazilian coach also sprung to Neymar’s defence after he cried following his 96th-minute goal against Costa Rica.“In my first game with Brazil, against Ecuador, I cried,” he revealed.“When I called my wife later, I cried again, with emotion and with pride.“It seems normal to be able to cry, we must maintain a balance between reason and emotion.”Brazil and Serbia will meet at the Otkrytie Arena at 20:00 (GMT +2).
Ademola Lookman’s transfer to RB Leipzig is reportedly no longer a possibility and he will now remain at EvertonThe English winger spent the latter part of last season on loan at Leipzig and impressed the German side.After scoring on his Leipzig debut, Lookman netted four goals in his final five appearances before returning to Everton this summer.But Leipzig wanted Lookman back and, this time, on a permanent deal.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…Die Bullen apparently offered Everton an increased offer of £25m plus add-ons for the 20-year-old.However, Sky Sports reports that Everton wanted a fee in the region of £28m.Toffees’ boss Marco Silva had stated recently that he would like to retain Lookman at Goodison Park, despite not having handed the youngster a single minute on the pitch in the club’s three opening games of the new season.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has revealed he won’t change his formation or the team’s system despite the absence of the club’s two main strikers for Sunday’s semi-final clash.The Gers face Aberdeen in the semi-final of the Scottish League Cup without the services of Alfredo Morelos, due to suspension and Kyle Lafferty, who is Cup-tied.“Who says we’re going to change the system?” Gerrard said, according to Daily Mail.“We play together every day in training. It’s not always Alfredo who is the No 9 or Kyle for that matter.”“Players play in different positions every day in training so we’re not just going to toss a team out that have never played together before. Nothing will be alien to them. The players will be comfortable with whatever we do.”“I’m not going to try something crazy or outside the box that we have never done on a daily basis.”Owen reveals why Liverpool didn’t offer Gerrard a new contract Manuel R. Medina – September 6, 2019 According to Owen, the Reds wanted to sell Gerrard two years before he left the club and that’s why they didn’t offer him a contract renewal.“Against Aberdeen, in the last game we effectively were without a striker when Alfredo was sent off and I think we caused them problems with our movement and speed.”“That’s what gives me confidence we can still get the job done. It will be tough because we have the utmost respect for Aberdeen. But, the first half at Celtic and Livingston apart, more often than not we have faced the challenge and given it a real good go.”“Even though we have two good players missing it’s still 11 versus 11. Aberdeen doesn’t know what we are going to do – and even we don’t know that yet.”“I will pick a team and we will have a plan.”“We are not feeling sorry for ourselves because we haven’t got our two strikers.”