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India go down fighting 1-2 against Oman in 2018 World Cup qualifier

first_imgIndia went down 1-2 against Oman in a FIFA 2018 World Cup football qualifying match at the Kanteerava Stadium on Thursday.It was India’s first match of the second round of qualifiers. India and Oman are in Group D along with Iran, Guam and Turkmenistan for the preliminary league with top two finishers progressing to the next phase of the competition. As many as 46 Asian countries vie for the four spots in the 2018 World Cup finals to be held in Russia.India fell behind as soon as the match began after poor marking helped forward Qasim Said score with a stinging left-footed shot within 20 seconds.The goal put the home team right on the backfoot and they were constantly under pressure, being pinned back to their half and rarely able to muster meaningful attacks.Indian goalkeeper Subrata Paul, the most occupied among the hosts, had to scamper to his left and right to keep India from conceding further.India, however, squared the contest against the run of play in the 26th minute. Striker Sunil Chhetri unleashed an excellent sudden left-footer on the turn from the edge of the penalty box to stun Oman, ranked forty rungs above India’s 141 spot.India grew in confidence after the strike but their defence again cracked under pressure. Debutant Dhanachandra Singh gave away a penalty bringing down midfielder Eid Mohammed, which was converted by striker Amad Al-Hosni.The momentum shifted towards the visitors as they went into the break with a 2-1 lead.The hosts put together an improved performance after the breather successfully keeping their stronger opponents at bay even putting the ball in the back of the net through Robin Singh in the 68th minute.advertisementBut his effort was deemed off-side. India pressed for the equaliser but never mustered to procure goal-scoring opportunities.last_img read more

Vijender Singh on turning pro: HC issues fresh notice to boxer

first_imgThe Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday issued a fresh notice to boxer Vijender Singh on his joining professional boxing league. The notice, returnable on 20 August, was issued by the bench comprising justice SK Mittal and justice HS Sidhu.Taking cognizance of the news published in the media with regard to his decision to turn pro and join the Queensbury Promotions boxing league, the high court had earlier issued notices to the state of Haryana and Vijender for 24 July, terming the action of the pugilist as being against the sports policy.Earlier this month, Vijender had played down the objections raised by his employers, Haryana Police, after he turned pro and said the matter would be resolved amicably soon.During the resumed hearing of the matter, the additional advocate general, Haryana, appeared before the bench and sought three weeks time for filing a reply. As the notice earlier issued through the DGP, Haryana, to the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist boxer was not received back either served or unserved, the bench issued a fresh notice to him for August 20.Haryana police had recently warned of taking action against Vijender if he failed to seek permission from the state government for turning professional.The boxer was made DSP by Haryana government after winning bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.Vijender is currently on probation and yet to complete his training. Being a government employee, Vijender cannot accept another employment and cannot accept remuneration from any other source without the government’s permission.last_img read more

10 months agoChelsea midfielder Kovacic: Hazard asked me about Real Madrid

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea midfielder Kovacic: Hazard asked me about Real Madridby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic is convinced by the commitment of Eden Hazard.Kovacic is on-loan at Chelsea from Real Madrid, which are being linked with Hazard.”For me, he is an incredible player,” said Kovacic.”I did not know he was that good and he can easily be one of the two or three best players in the world.”He asked me how it was there (at Real) but we are looking forward to having a great season together, to be fully concentrated on Chelsea.”He is focused a lot on doing great things with Chelsea.” last_img

10 months agoLiverpool boss Klopp wary facing Aubameyang today

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool boss Klopp wary facing Aubameyang todayby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is wary facing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang today.Klopp managed Arsenal striker Aubameyang when the two men were at Borussia Dortmund.”He is outstanding, as a player and as a person,” said Klopp. “He has speed and finishing skills. It makes him an exceptional player.”Aubameyang is expected to start for the Gunners against the Reds today. last_img

10 months agoDONE DEAL: Brighton send Oliver Norwood to Sheffield Utd

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say DONE DEAL: Brighton send Oliver Norwood to Sheffield Utdby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrighton have loaned midfielder Oliver Norwood to Sheffield United until January, when a permanent transfer will be completed.Norwood has won promotion to the Premier League in each of the past two seasons with Brighton and then Fulham, where he played 41 games last term.The 27-year-old Northern Ireland international leaves Brighton after 37 appearances in all competitions.”This is a fantastic capture for us,” said Blades boss Chris Wilder.”Oli has great ability, is a great age and will make us stronger. He complements our squad and our transfer business over the course of the summer window.”Brighton manager Chris Hughton commented: “He is keen to play regular senior football.”He added: “Sheffield United provides him that opportunity. On behalf of everyone at the club I’d like to thank Ollie for his efforts.” last_img read more

11 days ago​Terry buys mansion near ex-Chelsea teammate Bridge

first_img​Terry buys mansion near ex-Chelsea teammate Bridgeby Freddie Taylor11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Chelsea defender John Terry has bought a multi-million pound mansion a few yards away from ex-teammate Wayne Bridge.The two famously fell out when they were at Chelsea, as accusations emerged about Terry having an affair with Bridge’s ex-girlfriend.Terry is said to have engaged in a sexual relationship with Vanessa Perroncel in 2010, while she was seeing Bridge. The two never mended their relationship, but it appears they will be neighbours.Terry has invested £4.35million in a mansion that is in the same neighborhood as the one that Bridge owns with his partner.A source told The Sun: “It’s going to be pretty hard for them not to bump into each other. “They are literally just a few minutes walk apart. It could make an awkward meeting.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

3 days agoChelsea boss Lampard dismisses comparison to Ajax academy: We’ve a long way to go

first_imgChelsea boss Lampard dismisses comparison to Ajax academy: We’ve a long way to goby Freddie Taylor3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFrank Lampard says Chelsea are not on the same level at bringing young players into the first-team as their Champions League opponents AjaxThe likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Fikayo Tomori have all made an impression since breaking into the first-team this season.But Lampard says the club’s academy are some way off being mentioned in the same breath as Ajax.Asked if the two academies can be compared, Lampard said: “We’ve got a long way to go to claim the similarities, but I think pride in the short term, yes.”We shouldn’t get carried away with ourselves, it’s great we have a good feeling at the club in terms of the young players that have come through. “I think it’s long-deserved recognition for the academy itself and those players as well, but we are at a place here that is steeped in history of bringing young players through, creating great teams with groups of young players over the years.”We have a long way to go to do that. But in the short term, I’m certainly happy and we need to continue working so that they continue their development, the young players.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

2 days agoNicolas Pepe & perspective: Why slating Arsenal attacker just wrong

first_imgNicolas Pepe & perspective: Why slating Arsenal attacker just wrongby Chris Beattie2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveCOMMENT: Nicolas Pepe and these ex-players. “Horrible”. “Redundant”. “I don’t know what he is”. Of course they’re right. Of course they’re right in what they say about Arsenal’s record signing……oh wait. Hang on. That wasn’t messrs Keown, Merson and Wright slating Pepe after Bramall Lane. No. That was John Aldridge and Danny Murphy pulling apart Roberto Firmino’s game just months after joining Liverpool from Hoffenheim.At the time, Aldridge, one of the club’s greatest No9s, would even question Firmino’s courage. Yes, Firmino! The hardest working front-to-back striker in the game. But four years ago, Aldo saw things differently: “The Brazilian also pulled out of a challenge that was 55-45 in his favour. Liverpool fans won’t accept that. I’ve been going for 50 years and I know it’s unacceptable.”Of course, cycle forward to today and Aldridge’s opinion has dramatically changed. As has Murphy’s. The former Reds midfielder would later admit his initial judgment of the Brazilian was wrong. You get the drift. Pepe isn’t three months into his Premier League career and he’s being absolutely slaughtered. The €80m man bearing the brunt of blame for Monday night’s defeat at Sheffield United. Criticism which really is undeserved.Yes, he isn’t playing as a record signing is expected. And yes, he should be burying that chance in the first-half. But it was at the end of a move he’d initiated on the edge of Bernd Leno’s penalty area. And he’d had to bend his run twice to get the timing right to meet the cross. Nine times out o… okay, okay given his current confidence levels… seven times out of ten Pepe is side-footing that volley past Dean Henderson in the Blades goal. It would’ve been one of the great goals of the season. An end-to-end Mickey Thomas or David Rocastle effort. Different players. But Pepe, with all his shimmies and tricks, is also capable of doing that. And next time, there’s every chance he’s volleying the ball home.As mentioned, Pepe isn’t playing like an €80m signing. But he wasn’t the worst player on the pitch on Monday night. Indeed, he had some bright moments. For the neutral, sitting back, it was a performance typical of a player from Ligue 1 trying to get to grips with the rigours of Premier League football. And showing some promise – at Bramall Lane no less. A dart and low cross down the right-hand side could’ve had the Gunners ahead in the first-half. Then after the break – and that miss – Pepe actually beat Henderson, but his shot from outside the area dipped the wrong side of the post.But Pepe kept persisting – which should be encouraging for the Arsenal support. The head hasn’t dropped yet. Which is a good sign. That’s not to say he shouldn’t be doing better – and this isn’t about making excuses for the Ivorian. But watching Pepe get caught up in the extremes of Prem punditry, some reality needs to prevail.”Pepe, is he going to get into the team?” queried Martin Keown, the former Gunners centre-half. “It’s a massive amount of money they have paid for him and Lille will be laughing all the way to the bank with that one.”Really? Luis Campos, Lille’s sporting director, would say otherwise. His job would be far easier having Pepe still on the books than €80m in the bank. Certainly, good friend Jose Mourinho believes so. The Special One a regular at LOSC games last season where he was able to assess Pepe up close.”He knows how to defend, to play in the 4-4-2 as the right winger, you know how to defend, not only that area but also the inside,” said Mourinho, essentially describing Pepe’s performance on Monday night to a tee. “He does that very well. When he has the ball and also without the ball, he is very effective and very direct.”I think this boy has fantastic potential.”And “potential” is the word here. Pepe wasn’t signed by the Gunners for the here and now. At 24, he’s still learning his craft – and now doing so in the most demanding league in the world.Four years ago, when it was Firmino getting it in the neck, Pepe was running around the French Third Division with US Orleans, having been plucked from Angers’ reserves team. Today he’s with Arsenal – and as their record signing. A little perspective is required. Pepe’s first months as an Arsenal player haven’t been as horrible as claimed. TagsTransfersOpinionAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

ESPN’s Poll Reveals Alabama Perceived As College Football’s Best Coaching Job

first_imgESPN SportsNation poll about the best college football coaching job.It’s always fun to debate which college football program is the most prestigious in the country. There are a number of ways to measure such an honor, including determining which head coaching job is the most coveted in the country. We went through and named our 16 most desirable head coaching gigs this past November. This week, ESPN asked the general public to chime in.In an ESPN SportsNation poll, Alabama was voted as the best coaching job in college football. The Crimson Tide received 35% of the vote, ahead of No. 2 Ohio State by a decent margin. Texas and USC came in third and fourth, though, to be fair, there were only four teams listed. “Other” took home 26% of the vote.Fans in specific regions made it clear that they believe their program should have been listed. It’s obvious that supporters of Oregon, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, LSU, Florida and Florida State felt that they should have been options as well. ESPNESPNDo you agree with the poll? Is Alabama really the best job in the country, or has Nick Saban’s success made it that way?last_img read more

Petra Nemcova Joins United Nations World Tsunami Awareness Day

first_imgPetra Nemcova joined the United Nations’ commemoration of the Day for the inaugural World Tsunami Awareness Day on 5 November.Video: Tsunami survivor Petra Nemcova: Education on natural disasters has power to save lives“It’s like a concrete building, not water, falling on you,” Petra Nemcova, a 37-year-old fashion model and philanthropist, told the UN News Centre, describing the impact of the Indian Ocean Tsunami on 26 December 2004, which hit her and her partner in a bungalow on a Thai beach.There was no warning, she said. In seconds, the bungalow completely crashed and there was glass everywhere and they were trying to hold on for dear life. She almost drowned many times, but after holding onto a palm tree for eight hours, she was found by a Thai man who risked his life to save the lives of strangers. Her partner was a strong swimmer but the power of nature was too strong for anyone.Unfortunately, he was among the roughly 9,000 foreign tourists that perished in the disaster, which left more than 220,000 people dead.“I’m happy to hear that finally tsunami has a dedicated international day to raise the awareness of the importance of early warning systems, education and preparedness,” she said, stressing that “the power of education is not just to transform lives but the power of education is to really save lives.”She said that there is usually time to evacuate in the wake of earthquakes. The 2004 tsunami took two hours to strike Thailand. “In two hours, you can save your lives if there is an early warning system and enough education.”“Time is of the essence here. There is no excuse for countries not to have an early warning system or education,” she said.Her tragic experience changed her perspective on life.In 2006, she founded Happy Hearts Fund, whose mission is to rebuild safe, resilient schools in areas impacted by natural disasters.To read more, click here.last_img read more

Organic dairy farmers vow to compete in changing industry

first_imgFAIRFIELD, Iowa – Small family operated dairy farms with cows freely grazing on verdant pastures are going out of business as large confined animal operations with thousands of animals lined up in assembly-line fashion are expanding into the organic market.Many traditional small-scale organic farmers are determined to fight back against the industry transformation by appealing to consumers to look closely at the organic milk they buy to make sure it comes from a farm that meets the idyllic expectations portrayed on the cartons. While the large operations say they’re meeting U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for organic milk, the smaller farms say federal regulators under Republican and Democratic administrations have relaxed enforcement of strict organic standards for dairy farms, allowing confinement dairies to grow and put intense competition on small family operated dairies.“There’s a higher authority than the USDA. There’s a higher authority than the federal courts where we’ve litigated some of these issues. And that’s the consumer. Their dollar has power,” said Mark Kastel at the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute, a non-profit public interest group focused on farm policy.The dairy industry, like much of U.S. farming, has trended toward fewer but larger farms since the 1980s, when organic milk was available only at farmers markets or specialty grocers and the milk came from small-scale dairy farms selling to a local co-operative. Now organic dairy products are widely distributed by mainstream grocers and mass retailers including Costco, Target and Walmart. But much of those companies’ store-brand milk comes from dairies with thousands of cows maintained in immense confinement operations.Kastel says that style of farming is contrary to what the founders of the organic movement envisioned and what consumers believe they’re buying. His group on Thursday is releasing an updated Organic Dairy Scorecard , which will rank 160 brands evaluated for their organic practices including quality of pasture, how frequently cows graze and how often they’re milked.A spokeswoman for Aurora Organic Dairy, the industry’s largest supplier to grocery chains such as Costco, Safeway, and Walmart, said activists who believe organic food should come from only small producers are the primary critics inaccurately portraying large-scale organic production.Sonja Tuitele said the company’s farms have more than 10,000 acres (4,046 hectares) of organic pasture for grazing and the farms exceed minimum requirements for grazing days and per cent of diet from grazing.The company has nine barns in Colorado and Texas with about 26,000 cows. The largest has 4,400 cows and the smallest, 900 cows. Aurora CEO Scott McGinty said in a statement released in April that the company maintains two USDA accredited certifiers for each farm.“A second organic certification is a voluntary quality assurance step to ensure our farms receive more frequent inspections and measurement of compliance,” he said.Competition from large operations combined with plummeting dairy prices in the past four years have left organic dairy farmers either barely squeezing out a profit or in most cases losing money. It has accelerated the loss of smaller farms.The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported in February that the number of U.S. dairy farms, including organic and conventional fell nearly 4 per cent last year from the previous year to 40,219. The number of dairy farms declined 32 per cent in the last decade.For Patti and Brian Wilson, the changing industry has soured the profitability at their 600-acre dream dairy farm in Orwell, Vermont, they converted to organic 16 years ago. Milking their 50 cows has become unprofitable, said Patty, who was an agronomist with the USDA before she began farming full time.“We just put an ad out listing our herd for sale,” she said. “It’s been a slow decline, kind of a slow death.”Southern Iowa organic dairy farmer Francis Thicke’s strategy is to work with other farmers to create the Real Organic Project , an effort to create an additional label that will be placed on packaging to tell consumers that the products meet traditional organic standards. A pilot project this year will have 50 farms with products carrying the Real Organics label.In addition to meeting USDA certification requirements, they must meet the project’s standards, including that produce has been grown in soil and not hydroponically and that animals have access to the outdoors.Thicke, who has been in organic farming since the 1970s, walks among 85 docile Jersey cows on his 730-acre (295-hectare) Radiance Dairy farm near Fairfield as they lounge under a grove of trees on a sunny summer day, casually walking and grabbing mouthfuls of thick green grass. He sells 2,000 gallons (7,570 litres) of organic milk a week in the form of milk, cheese and yogurt to nearby restaurants, grocery stores and a private college.“Basically, it’s just bringing organic back to the roots that the pioneer organic farmers envisioned,” Thicke said of the Real Organics label effort.___Follow David Pitt on Twitter: story has been corrected to remove reference to Organic Farmers Association, which is a separate group from those working on the Real Organic Project.last_img read more

Feds restarting Indigenous talks over pipeline wont appeal court decision

first_imgThe Trans Mountain pipeline expansion plan to triple capacity of the existing pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C., is in limbo while Ottawa attempts to fulfil requirements to consult Indigenous communities and consider the environmental impact the pipeline will have from additional oil tankers off the coast of British Columbia.Last month, Sohi ordered the National Energy Board to go back and do a better environmental review of the risk of oil spills and the impact on marine life when the number of oil tankers in the Burrard Inlet rises to 35 a month from about five.Sohi gave the NEB until the end of February to report back on the environmental review but is not putting a deadline on the Indigenous consultations.“We believe that meaningful consultation can be undertaken in a focused and efficient manner,” he told a news conference today.“We are not going to put a timeline on these consultations because we feel that it is our duty to faithfully engage with the Indigenous communities to get this right.”(THE CANADIAN PRESS) OTTAWA, O.N. – The federal government will not appeal the court decision that tore up cabinet approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and is appointing former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci to oversee a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities.Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says the government does not intend to start the phase-three Indigenous consultations from the beginning but will use them to address the weaknesses that led to the Federal Court of Appeal decision in August.The court found that while the government did spend several months in 2016 meeting with Indigenous communities concerned about the pipeline, those consultations were largely note-taking exercises and the government did not do anything to address the concerns that were raised.last_img read more

Fort Nelson Community Forest application submitted to the Province

first_imgFORT NELSON, B.C. – The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality and the Fort Nelson First Nation have formally submitted their Community Forest Agreement to the Province.If approved by the Province, the agreement will allow the two communities to manage timber harvesting around Fort Nelson. The agreement would cover a radius of 100 kilometres around the community and would include over 200,000 hectares of timber harvesting land base.The Fort Nelson Community Forest would allow the two communities the chance to restart the forest industry in the community. Formal approval of the application is expected to take six to eight weeks. Once it has been approved the Regional Municipality and the Fort Nelson First Nation would coordinate forest management activities to help develop this significant resource.last_img read more

Suncor assessing impact of Albertas move to cut oil production next year

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – Suncor Energy Inc. says it’s assessing the impact of the Alberta government’s move to curtail oil production next year.The company says the specific impact of the production cut will be provided when it issues its 2019 capital and production guidance.The Alberta government announced a plan Sunday to impose across-the-board oil production cuts to reduce a glut of oil that has helped increase the discount the province’s oil fetches compared with the North American benchmark. The anticipated regulations will require oil producers to reduce their production effective Jan. 1, 2019. Cenovus Energy Inc. proposed the idea of a production cut last month, however several large players in the oilpatch have been opposed to involuntary cuts.Suncor, Imperial Oil Ltd. and Husky Energy Inc. whose refining assets and firm pipeline contracts allow them to avoid most local price discounts have opposed the idea of mandatory production curtailments.Suncor says it believes the market is the most effective means to balance supply and demand and normalize differentials.last_img read more

Construction of Casablanca Elevated railway to be launched in 2014

first_imgCasablanca – Good news for Casablanca residents: City Council President Mr. Mohammed Sajid has recently announced that plans to install an elevated railway in the city would be finalized by April 2014.“We have reached an advanced stage in our planning, which will be finalized next April,” said Sajid in an interview with Moroccan newspaper L’Economist on Tuesday.According to Sajid, the railway specifications have been examined and are now being adjusted to reduce pollution. Concerning project funding, Sajid noted that  revenue from public transportation in the city would finance most of the project. The budget allocated for the project is MAD 9 billion.Sajid wend to say that “the elevated railway will have a daily capacity of 400,000 users unlike the tramway, which can only carry 100,000 people a day.Mr. Sajid also reassured the public that most of the major structural projects in Casablanca, such as Chimicolor and Sindiparc, would be operational at the end of this year.When asked the reason for the delay in the restoration of the Lincoln Hotel in Casablanca, Sajid said that the process would take a long time and that technical specifications were being prepared.As for the Derb Omar neighborhood renovation project, Sajid lamented the fact that it was abandoned because of “a lack of political will.”Regarding heavy freight trucks, which often cause traffic problems in Casablanca because of their size, Sajid said that City Council would enact a law that would institute new traffic regulations for those vehicles.Edited by Jessica Rohan © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

The Three Epic Early Champions League Showdowns

Man United4518764249+19+6+2 Man City633619874925+24+13+6 Bayern69%45%26%93%61%36%+24%+16%+10% Porto3714541155+4+10 Sevilla33923692+300 Roma4717663217+16+4+1 PSG714425452817-26-16-8 TEAMQTRSSEMISFINALQTRSSEMISFINALQTRSSEMISFINAL Liverpool51239592611+8+3+2 Shakhtar30823792+7+10 The draw for the Champions League round of 16 is set, and even though the first games will not be played for two months, we already know that at least one true European power will be eliminated before the quarterfinals kick off, and a couple more elite clubs could be in trouble. This is because the Champions League draw pitted some of the best teams in the world against each other in early clashes. According to Soccer Power Index, six of the nine best teams to make the knockouts have been drawn against each other. These three matchups — each of which consists of two games, one at each club’s home grounds — should give the Round of 16 a new level of drama.Tottenham Hotspur vs. JuventusJuventus has made the Champions League finals twice in the last three seasons, while Tottenham’s last semifinals appearance in a major tournament came in the 1984 UEFA Cup. SPI nonetheless projects this as a close match, giving Juventus a small 56 to 44 percent advantage in chance to advance. By the underlying numbers, not too much separates these two teams. Spurs may be sixth in the Premier League standings, but the clubs are bunched tightly together, and just four points separate Tottenham from third-place Chelsea. By expected goals, a statistical measure of the quality of chances created and conceded, Tottenham fares even better. The North London side’s plus-17.5 expected goal difference is second-best in the league behind Manchester City.Meanwhile Juventus, despite a 12-2-2 record in Italy, looks somewhat more vulnerable than it has in the past. Through 16 matches in Serie A, Juve has conceded 19 clear scoring chances, which are defined as opportunities in which a player is expected to score, like when a shooter is one-on-one with the goalie. That works out to a little over one clear chance conceded per match, which isn’t bad, but over the last three seasons, Juventus has averaged 20 clear chances conceded per full season — or roughly 0.5 per match. The defense, shorn of superstar Leonardo Bonucci, has not yet fully come together. Tottenham will be hoping that the defense does not cohere before this February clash.Chelsea vs. BarcelonaSPI ranks Barcelona as the best team in the world, and the Blaugranes had the misfortune to draw Chelsea, the world’s ninth-best team. Despite the big names here, SPI projects this matchup to go chalk. Chelsea’s chance of making the quarterfinals dropped from 41 to 24 percent after the draw was announced, while Barcelona’s moved only slightly, from 79 to 76 percent.These two sides’ statistical profiles offer a study in the importance of generating quality chances. This year, Barcelona has outshot its opponents 230 to 162. Chelsea’s shot difference is nearly identical: 240 to 170. However, Barca has outscored its opponents by 31 goals, easily surpassing Chelsea’s plus-15 goal difference. The reason is chance quality, as measured by expected goals. Barcelona has created so many good scoring chances that the club averages 0.16 expected goals per shot. This is not to say Chelsea is just wildly firing everything at net — its 0.1 expected goals per shot attempt is about average but inferior to the otherworldly Barca number. All this is to say that Barcelona deserves its large edge in goals, and this is a big part of the reason that SPI projects Barcelona as big favorites.The hope that Chelsea fans will be clinging to is that the last time the Blues were huge underdogs against Barcelona, they pulled off an all-time upset in the 2012 Champions League semifinals, en route to an unlikely trophy. This year, Chelsea would need another dose of that good fortune in the round of 16.Real Madrid vs. Paris Saint-GermainSpurs-Juve and Chelsea-Barca are fun, but this is the clear marquee matchup of the first round. Real vs. PSG is a matchup you might expect in the semifinals, and it wouldn’t have been half bad as a final. How rough a draw was this for PSG and Madrid? Before the draw, the two teams combined for a 30 percent chance of winning the Champions League, according to Soccer Power Index. Now the teams’ combined chance is only 22 percent. Real Madrid fell from 17 to 13 percent, and PSG dropped from 13 to 9 percent. Manchester City, which was fortunate to draw FC Basel, has moved up to third in the SPI projections for eventual champion, tied with Real Madrid and ahead of PSG.Here’s how the draw affected each team remaining in the tournament based on its projected chance of reaching the semifinals, reaching the finals and winning it all: Madrid and PSG both have oodles of world-class talent, but even with over 40 percent of the season done, both clubs are difficult to evaluate. Real Madrid stands a disappointing fourth in La Liga. Its struggles appear to be mostly with finishing, as Real has scored 27 non-penalty goals but created 35.5 expected goals. If the finishing improves, Real should be fine, and SPI continues to view this side among the world’s best. But any vulnerability in a team that should be as dominant as Real Madrid is a little worrying.PSG pose a harder question still. The Parisian side has dominated Ligue 1 and holds a nine-point lead over second-place Lyon. But Ligue 1 is just not that good. There are no other Ligue 1 sides in the SPI top 20, while Italy has five clubs among the world’s best, Spain has four, and England has its big six. The test will come in the Champions League, which is the only competition where PSG matches up against clubs of similar strength. This showdown with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real, these 180 minutes across two tilts, is why PSG spent untold millions on Neymar last summer and is scheduled to deliver another dump truck worth of cash next summer to turn the loan of Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe into a permanent addition. The duo’s combined 15 goals and 11 assists in Ligue 1 are nice, but given the money the team has spent and the weakness of its league, Neymar and Mbappe can only truly pay off in the Champions League. An opportunity to prove their worth comes early in the round of 16.Whoever emerges from this matchup will be one of the favorites for the trophy, having demonstrated their strength and eliminated a top contender. Juventus562913562913000 Barcelona795636765536-3-10 Besiktas244<171<1-17-30 Basel2351133<1-10-2-1 Chelsea4118724115-17-7-2 Tottenham57241044208-13-4-2 Real Madrid745031553823-19-12-8 BEFORE DRAWAFTER DRAWDIFFERENCE How the draw affected Champions League oddsTeams’ chances of making each round, before and after the draw read more

Mens Basketball No 16 Ohio State hopes to avoid threegame losing streak

Ohio State sophomore forward Kyle Young (25) and sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson (34) defend against a member of South Carolina State’s basketball team during the first half of the game on Nov. 18. Ohio State won 89-61. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorAfter losing two straight games, including Wednesday’s 64-61 defeat to Rutgers, Ohio State is in danger of its first three-game losing streak in the Chris Holtmann era.But the Ohio State head coach said he wasn’t thinking about any added pressure, and neither was freshman guard Duane Washington.“We’re just treating it like every other game,” Washington said. “We’re gonna take the same approach, and we’re gonna go there and we’re gonna do what we gotta do.”To avoid the record losing streak, the Buckeyes go on the road to face Iowa, a team that has won nine of its first 10 games at home.Projected StartersNo. 16 Ohio State (12-3, 2-2 Big Ten)G — C.J. Jackson — Senior, 13.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.9 apgG — Luther Muhammad — Freshman, 9.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.0 apgG — Keyshawn Woods — Redshirt senior, 7.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.3 apgF — Andre Wesson — Junior, 7.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.7 apgF — Kaleb Wesson — Sophomore, 17.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.5 apgIowa (13-3, 2-3 Big Ten)G — Jordan Bohannon — Junior, 11.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.8 apgG — Isaiah Moss — Redshirt junior, 9.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.4 apgG — Joe Wieskamp — Freshman, 11.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 0.9 apgF — Tyler Cook — Junior, 17.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.7 apgF — Luka Garza — Sophomore, 12.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 0.9 apg—The Hawkeyes are led by junior forward Tyler Cook, who leads the team with 17.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.But Cook is not 100 percent for the matchup against Ohio State, with the junior forward missing Iowa’s previous game against Northwestern with a knee injury.Holtmann said, regardless if Cook plays, that the Hawkeyes are not a team defined by any single player.“When you look at their teams in the past is he’s always had really good depth,” Holtmann said. “They’ve got great balance and great depth that’s why it’s hard to key on just one guy.”Iowa is the No. 36 team in the country according to KenPom, and have wins against Iowa State and Nebraska, who, at No. 12 and No. 16, rank ahead of the Buckeyes, who sit at No. 26.The Scarlet Knights found ways to score off a size advantage in the middle. The Hawkeyes work more around the perimeter, shooting 23.1 attempts from 3 per night.However, Iowa also finds a way to the charity stripe 22 times per game, compared to its opponents, who average 11.4 free throw attempts a night.The 463 free-throw attempts this season is No. 1 in the NCAA.“In order to get to the line, I think you have to have seekers and not avoiders, and they have big-bodied seekers that are seeking contact, guards that are seeking contact,” Holtmann said. “They’re getting to the line better than anybody in the country.”No. 16 Ohio State takes on Iowa on the road at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. read more

Lambert claimed that saving Stoke would be like winning the Champions

first_imgStoke City have been deep in the relegation battle and Paul Lambert knows that it is going to take almost a miracle to save the team – but he still believes that he can do it.The experienced coach won the Champions League title as a player and he claimed that it would be a success comparable to that if he will manage to avoid the relegation for the Potters.Lambert spoke about his side’s critical situation as he said, according to BBC:“There is plenty of belief in the squad we can get out of trouble.”Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“I’ve been really fortunate to win the Champions League as a player and win league titles, but keeping this club up would be up there in terms of my achievements.”“The most important thing is the club stays up. For me, it would be massive for us to stay up, but it would be bigger for the club.”“We have been playing well but have just lacked a killer pass and a bit of luck at.”last_img read more

Stress made Courtois miss Chelsea training ahead of Madrid move

first_imgThe Belgian goalkeeper talked for the first time about the day he went missing for The Blues, just before his transfer to Real Madrid was announcedFor Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois the chance to being transferred from English side Chelsea to the Spanish club Real Madrid was really stressful.And just before the six-year move to La Liga happen, he did not appear in The Blues training session.According to EIR Sport, his agent Christophe Henrotay clarified what happened during that day.Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.“The deal was about to be realized,” Henrotay reportedly told BBC 5 Live’s Sportsweek. “It’s probably something that ideally we wouldn’t have wanted.“This was the situation, he apologized and finally everybody is happy.”“It’s true that some players push and it’s true that at certain moments Thibaut was getting a bit stressed by the situation because Madrid made an offer and he had an opportunity to go. He was a bit stressed that this could not happen.”last_img read more