By Justin Palmer and Martyn HermanIn-form striker Diego Costa will start for Chelsea, despite a troublesome hamstring, in the Champions League Group G clash against Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday, manager Jose Mourinho said.“There is a risk, but he plays,” Mourinho told a news conference.“We assume the risk. Hopefully everything goes well and hopefully from Tuesday to Sunday he has enough period of time to be back on track and to play against Arsenal.”Costa, with eight goals in six games for the Premier League leaders, was part of a 20-player party that travelled to the Portuguese capital on Monday.Missing from the squad were striker Didier Drogba, who has been left at home after aggravating an ankle problem, and midfielder Ramires.‘Drogba is going to be out for a couple of weeks,’ continued Mourinho, with the subject now turning to the Ivorian striker who has not travelled to Lisbon with the squad.Mourinho said Drogba would be out for a fortnight.“He had a problem in the training session with his ankle, so it was not possible for him to travel and I think it will not be possible for him to recover for Sunday (when Chelsea host Arsenal).”Ramires sustained a muscular injury in the Premier League draw with Manchester City on Sept. 21 and missed the weekend win over Aston Villa.Chelsea were pegged back by Schalke in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge to open their Champions League campaign and Mourinho predicted a difficult test against a Sporting side unbeaten at home in 16 European games.“I don’t know the meaning of favourite in a football match. A good result is to win. We will try to win but to desire and to achieve are two different things.“Sporting has its weapons. A point could be considered a good result for them,” he said.“Will the team mount its strategy based on the goal of achieving one point? On Friday we saw a team that is not going for a draw. If they stick to themselves and assume their identity then it will be a great match and a great return for Sporting to the Champions League.”England goalkeeper Joe Hart meanwhile will return for Manchester City in their Champions League match at home to AS Roma on Tuesday after being replaced by Willy Caballero for the last two games.Hart sat on the bench for his team’s 4-2 win at Hull City in the Premier League and Argentine Caballero, signed from Malaga this year, produced a solid display.He was also rested for last week’s League Cup thrashing of Sheffield Wednesday and while he is clearly still manager Manuel Pellegrini’s first choice for the big games, he is not a fan of watching from the sidelines.“Of course, I want to play every game, that is my nature, my professionalism,” Hart told a news conference ahead of the vital game against the Italians in Group E.“I am not the manager, just a player. I live by the decisions of the manager.“It is hard for me to see (the positives of being rested). I am sure when I retire from football I will see them but right now I am not going to see them.”Hart was in superb form in the 1-0 defeat against Bayern Munich in City’s opening game, keeping the Bavarians out almost single-handedly until a deflected winner in the dying seconds.With Roma also winning their first match, he knows that anything short of victory will leave City with an uphill battle to reach the last 16.“It is obviously a big game after the disappointing start we had in Munich,” he said. “Roma have been doing very well. We have focused a lot more on them since they were drawn in our group. They got a great result in their opening game.”While the emphasis in Munich was very much on defence, Pellegrini believes his side have now clicked as an attacking force after a tricky start to the season.They scored seven against Wednesday and four at the weekend and the Chilean thinks they are hitting their stride.“I think we are playing well,” he said. “Maybe at the beginning of the season we didn’t score so many goals here at home, especially against Chelsea and Stoke. We scored only one goal in those two games.“But after that the team returned to its normal performance and at this moment I have a lot of trust in the team because I think we are in a good moment.”
MOSCOW (AP):Kylian Mbappe has electrified the World Cup with his speed and youthful exuberance. Luka Modric has coolly controlled matches in Russia with his graceful play in the middle.Whether France win their second title in 20 years or Croatia raise the trophy for the first time tomorrow at the Luzhniki Stadium in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin and nearly a billion television viewers, could turn on the play of the two stars.The 19-year-old Mbappe has been the biggest sensation at the tournament in Russia, scoring three goals – including two against Argentina in the round of 16 – and creating havoc for opposing defenses with his pace and his agility.”It’s going to be the biggest match of my life, for sure,” the Paris Saint-Germain forward said yesterday.Although Mbappe has impressed for France at the month-long tournament, Modric has been the rock and the spark for Croatia. When the Real Madrid midfielder has the ball at feet, good things seem to happen for Croatia.”Even when you think they’re going to lose, or going to crack, they always have the mentality to come back,” Mbappe said of the Croatian team. “It’s a team that plays with a lot of intensity.”France last won the World Cup title in 1998, at home. The French defeated Croatia in the semi-finals that year, which until now had been the country’s best showing at the tournament.The heads of state from both countries are expected to sit with Putin. Will Smith is set to headline the closing ceremony.In all three of those matches, Croatia has had to recover from being a goal down. The players never gave up.”When you put the sacred Croatia shirt on you become a different person,” Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic said through a translator. “I’m not trying to say it’s a superior feeling that the French have for France, or Russians for Russia.”The best feeling is to be Croat these days and this is the source of all our strength.”While Croatia had to rally to keep advancing, France won all three of their knockout games in the regulation 90 minutes and trailed for only nine of the 540-plus minutes it has been on the field.
SARU Bill 2016The provisions of the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU) Bill give the courts the final say in any proceedings that may come before it, Legal Affairs Minister and Attorney General (AG) Basil Williams has said.The Bill, which is set to be read for the second time in the National Assembly today, will not see any criminal charges being taken against any of the defaulters.The Attorney General met with Journalists on Wednesday, along with SARU’s Head, Professor Clive Thomas and sought to dispel all misconceptions regarding the nature of the Bill.Williams maintains that there is nothing criminal about the provisions of the Bill, as it is intended strictly to act against illegal access to property.“It is strictly a civil recovery proceeding. It is a proceeding where no one will be arrested, charged, prosecuted nor is there any question under this Act that anyone will be given a custodial sentence. So, there is nothing criminal about this Bill,” the AG said on Wednesday.According to Williams, the process, though driven by the Director and staff of the Unit, requires the intervention of the High Court because it could give effect to the results of its investigations.He explained that appeals were allowed from decisions of the court as in any area of the law.Meanwhile, Williams related that while stolen State property must be recovered, once the value of the property was below $10 million, legal action would not be pursued.“In the final analysis, the court could decide in all the circumstances that it is not granting any order depending on the justice of the case.”SARU’s Head weighed in on the position of the Attorney General, saying it is clear that mischief is being made by some factions of society, seeking to create the impression that the Bill thrusts power into the hands of SARU members.Under Article 54 (1) of the UN Convention Against Corruption, each State Party must consider taking measures as may be necessary to allow confiscation of property without criminal conviction. In the context of the convention, civil recovery may be employed as part of the State’s national and international strategy in the fight against corruption, to mitigate the damaging effects of such conduct and to mobilise resources for sustainable development. As a mechanism in the struggles, civil recovery enables forfeiture, through civil proceedings, of proceeds of criminal activity so as to deprive persons of illicit gains, when criminal proceedings may not be possible or where prosecution fails.
0Shares0000NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 – Man-of-the-match Rama Salim, was the hero with a second half winner as champions Gor Mahia ended Chemelil Sugar’s unbeaten run in a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) on Thursday.The televised crunch tie at a packed Mumias Sports Complex saw Gor extend their lead to the summit to five points as they sustained their winning momentum ahead of their first leg of the KPL Top 8 semi against closest challengers Tusker in Meru on Sunday. Despite the heavy downpour, Salim lifted K’Ogalo in the 58th minute after heading home left back Godfrey Walusimbi’s cross as the champions took their tally to 29 points after flying in for the match earlier in the day in true swagger.“We new it would be a hard battle and may be a goal would separate the teams and thanks we got it. We could have doubled but we hit the wood work. I’m very pleased with the boy’s performance and now we shift our attention to Sunday’s game against Tusker.“The rain did not affect us since both teams played in the same conditions but I was only concerned my players could pick injuries and that’s why I brought off Salim, Musa Mohammed and Dan Sserunkuma to rest them ahead of Sunday’s game,” K’Ogalo coach Bobby Williamson said after the match.On the other hand, Chemelil coach Mike Mururi, who had gone 12 matches unbeaten blamed the loss to the torrential rain.“We played very well in the first half where we got a chance but failed to convert. When it started raining in the second half we were unable to play since the pitch was slippery and our opponents got the chance and utilized,” the former Kenyan international affirmed.K’Ogalo put aside their off field woes once again to grab a sixth successive win and continue to dominate the sugar millers who are still waiting for a first victory over them in four years.Williamson made only one change from the squad that won 3-1 against Sofapaka; replacing keeper David Juma who picked an ankle injury during training with experienced captain, Jerim Onyango.The visitors showed their intentions from the start with Eric Ochieng almost opening the scoring in the 17th when he controlled Walusimbi’s cross in the box only for keeper Jairus Adira to deny him with his left foot.The host responded eight minutes later with Innocent Wafula bringing in a cut in cross from the right but Jonathan Mwaniki and David Oriki who were in the box both missed to tap home.Gor returned stronger and it only took 13 minutes for Williamson charges to go ahead after Walusimbi’s cross found Salim free in the box to head in past Adira and hand K’Ogalo the crucial three points.Chemelil worked hard in search of the equalizer but Gor did well to defend their lead despite the heavy downpour for the final whistle that saw them come out victors.The loss saw Mururi’s side drop to fourth with 24 points.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
1 Rafael Benitez Rafa Benitez is being urged to remain at Napoli in the wake of reported interest in the former Liverpool boss from Manchester City.Manuel Pellegrini is apparently under pressure at the Etihad after crashing out of the Champions League again and falling well behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.The achievements of Benitez at Anfield and Valencia, as well as his experience gained from spells at Inter Milan and Chelsea, has led to rumours he is on the list of names in the frame to replace Pellegrini.Former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina further fuelled speculation the Spaniard could be heading back to the Premier League in an interview with talkSPORT last week.However, despite Napoli’s recent dip in form, Benitez is being urged to continue his work with the Serie A club by defender Kalidou Koulibaly.“This is a personal matter but I would do anything to convince him to stay but our performance is not affected by doubts about his stay in Naples,” Koulibaly said.
Former England Under-21s manager Stuart Pearce has backed Joe Hart to make over 100 senior international caps, labelling the goalkeeper one of the more ‘stable’ individuals he experienced coaching in his career.Manchester City shot stopper Hart, 28, has 52 England caps to his name and is Roy Hodgson’s undisputed number one as the Three Lions seemingly cruise towards qualification for next summer’s European Championships in France.And Pearce, when speaking about his experiences with the England youth setup, picked out Hart and James Milner for special adulation when discussing the progress of those who have graduated from the Under-21s into the senior squad over recent years.“When I’m asked to name all the players that came through my care, who were the most talented? Milner and Hart were probably the most stable individuals and they will be the ones who go on and make the most senior caps,” said the ex-City manager.“Hart will end up with over 100 caps and Milner will be in the 80s, I suspect.”“We have had some real talent come through; Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Daniel Sturridge, but the likes of Milner and Hart have been so solid.”Pearce, who led the England Under-21s to the European Championship final in 2009, was posed the question by Georgie Bingham on Kick Off with the current crop of Young Lions preparing for this summer’s tournament in Prague.
Claudio Ranieri 1 Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri has confirmed the club are ‘working hard to add to the squad’.The Foxes have already splashed the cash this summer, bringing in five new players, including the £7m acquisition of striker Shinji Okazaki.But the club are still being linked with numerous players, including midfielders Charles Aranguiz and Gokhan Inler.And Ranieri has admitted that the club are still in the market for new players as the Premier League season returns this Saturday.“We are working hard to add to the squad. When there is news, we will confirm,” Ranieri told Leicester’s official Twitter account.
9 Arsenal’s midfielders score 8.5/10 – will that be enough to outscore City? Find out… – As individuals, the Gunners midfield is hugely talented but it always seems the balance isnt quite right with one player usually performing at a higher level than the others. Currently, Mesut Ozil is the star of the show but the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mathieu Flamini arent quite showing their true potential. Alexis Sanchez, meanwhile, has only been able to perform in fits and starts due to injuries. 9 Arsenal’s defenders score 8/10 – check out how City’s defence compares, on the next page – After a couple of years of being unreliable at the back, the Gunners foursome is proving the doubters wrong. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have a formidable partnership in the centre, while Gabriel is beginning to look a solid replacement, helping them to a 2-0 win over Bournemouth with a handy goal. At right-back, Hector Bellerin is getting back to his best after a slow start to the campaign and Nacho Monreal has made the left-back role his own ahead of Kieran Gibbs. Manchester City goalkeepers score 7.5/10, so it’s first blood to the Gunners! Click the arrow above to see how the defenders compare… – While Joe Hart is Englands No.1, he still struggles for consistency and can drop the occasional clanger. Against Norwich earlier in the season he handed Cameron Jerome a goal after dropping the ball at his feet. Argentine back-up Willy Caballero, is a capable stand in to rest Hart but not much more. Hes only kept two clean sheets in 15 appearances since joining the club, conceding 23 goals. Manchester City’s defenders score 7/10 – another win for Arsenal! See how the midfielders compare, next… – Sadly for the Blues, ultimately, its their defence which could cost them the Premier League title this season. Eliaquim Mangala is still looking a long way short of a player bought for £32million in 2014, while Nicolas Otamendi is also still adapting. A fit Vincent Kompany would boost the backline but that is a rarity at the moment, and ageing full-backs Bacary Sagna, Pablo Zabaleta, Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy are all solid but unspectacular. Do Man City really have a better squad than Arsenal? Here, we compare the two sets of players, starting with Arsenal’s goalkeepers, who score 9/10 – Read why we scored them nine, below, then click the arrow above to find out how City’s ‘keepers compare… and which squad rates best! – The Gunners have finally signed a world-class shot-stopper in Petr Cech and hes already been worth the £7million outlay in the summer. A string of stunning saves have kept Arsenal in games against the like of Newcastle, where they squeaked a 1-0 win. His deputy, David Ospina, did well last season but is incredibly shaky and is often caught in flap if his defence their defence isnt quite on its game. 9 Manchester City’s midfielders score 9/10 – it’s a victory for City, but how will the forwards compare? – Yaya Toure has looked like hes going through the motions in recent weeks, despite goals against Arsenal, Sunderland and Watford but with the all-action Fernandinho alongside him in the middle of the park, the Blues have still been able to keep their title challenge on course. Meanwhile, the attacking triumvirate of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Raheem Sterling offer goals, assists and balance. Back-ups Jesus Navas, Fabian Delph and Fernando are all decent performers too. 9 9 9 9 Arsenal’s forwards score 8/10 – will City clinch this category? – Olivier Giroud offers a consistent supply of goals and is often underrated given hes netted 74 goals in 163 games in his Arsenal career. Ten goals so far in the Premier League this season also mean hes on course for his highest ever tally in the top-flight. Theo Walcott, though, still isnt sure of his true position and only has five goals in 15 appearances. 9 The Premier League title race looks like it will be between Arsenal and Manchester City this season, despite Leicester City’s best efforts.The Gunners currently lead the table with 42 points, with the Foxes second on 40 and City third on 39, as they battle for the trophy.While no one should completely rule out Leicester’s chances, City and Arsenal boast far more experience of being at this end of the table going into the new year.With first XIs being tested to the limit by a congested fixture list it could come down to how strong their squads are overall.But which of the two frontrunners have the best group as they chase silverware? talkSPORT takes a look and rates the men who matter.Click the right arrow above to see which team we believe is the best… Manchester City’s forwards score 9.5/10 – another win for City, but which squad has scored the most points overall? Find out… – When fit, Sergio Aguero is undoubtedly the best striker in the Premier League and even with a number of injuries has managed eight goals in 13 appearances so far this season. Wilfried Bony should be doing better given the Blues splashed an initial £25m on him. Youngster Kelechi Iheanacho has plenty of promise, mind you. 9 Overall scores – Arsenal = 33.5 Manchester City = 33 – There you have it! Despite plenty of pundits insisting City boast the better squad, according to our ratings it’s almost to close to call and we’ve come out in favour of Arsenal. It seems City’s defence could be the deciding factor in this Premier League title race. A weak backline could well let down Manuel Pellegrinis brilliant forward line and balanced midfield. Arsenal, meanwhile, could get the trophy they crave if they can keep their squad fit, which appears strong in most areas.
It was the Longhorns’ third straight victory after being blown out first by No. 1 Duke, then unranked Tennessee in Austin last month. Texas coach Rick Barnes couldn’t have been happier. “The environment was great and to come in here and find a way to get it done is huge. I feel good for our guys. Memphis is a very hard team to defend because of the way they play,” he said. Texas turned out to be too physical for Memphis. P.J. Tucker had 24 points and 13 rebounds, and Daniel Gibson added 18 points as No. 15 Texas beat fourth-ranked Memphis 69-58 in Memphis, Tenn., on Monday, snapping the Tigers’ eight-game winning streak. Texas (11-2), ranked No. 2 for the first five polls of the season before consecutive losses, held Memphis almost 30 points below its average and sealed the win by going 17-of-19 from the free throw line over the final 8:34. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson The victory was a good send-off for a team heading into Big 12 play Saturday against Colorado. “This is a pretty big win for us,” Tucker said. “We’ve had two bad losses. This is a good way to jump back for us.” Memphis (11-2) had not lost at home this season and wanted to burnish its record before heading into Conference USA where the Tigers are the league’s only ranked team. But they couldn’t handle Texas’ 2-3 zone, choosing to settle for 3-pointers and then going 6-of-32. No. 1 Duke 84, Bucknell 50: Shelden Williams had 23 points and 11 rebounds his fourth straight double-double and J.J. Redick added 22 to lead host Duke. Freshman Josh McRoberts had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils (13-0), one of eight undefeated teams in the country. The Bison (9-3) failed to pull another upset in their first meeting ever against a No. 1 team. In the past calendar year, they have victories at Pittsburgh and Syracuse, along with one in the NCAA tournament over Kansas. Duke opened the game with a 17-2 run and was up 42-19 at halftime. Bucknell opened the second half with a 9-0 run, but the Blue Devils then scored 13 straight points. No. 10 Washington 87, Cornell 71 : Freshman Jon Brockman scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half and had a season-high 12 rebounds for host Washington. Justin Dentmon, also a freshman, added 15 points for Washington (12-1), which dominated the Big Red (4-8) inside with a 46-27 rebounding advantage in its final nonconference game. Jason Hartford scored a career-high 17 points for Cornell. WOMEN No. 1 Tennessee 83, Old Dominion 67: Shanna Zolman scored 23 points, and Nicky Anosike added 17 to lead host Tennessee. The Lady Vols (13-0) led nearly the entire game, but Old Dominion made them work for their 10th straight victory in the series. Alexis Hornbuckle added 14 points, and Candace Parker had 10 for Tennessee, which shot 52 percent (26-of-50) from the floor and went 24-of-28 from the foul line. Old Dominion had only seven chances at the line and made six. T.J. Jordan scored 17 points, and Sherida Triggs added 16 points for Old Dominion (2-7). Shahida Williams finished with 10 for the Lady Monarchs, who have the toughest schedule in the country according to the latest RPI. No. 2 Duke 100, Wake Forest 54 : Monique Currie had 16 points before sitting out the final 11 1/5 minutes, and Lindsey Harding added 14 points as host Duke won in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both schools. Reserve Chante Black finished with 13 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks for the Blue Devils (12-0), who won their previous five home games by an average margin of 57 points, including a 110-24 rout of Ball State. No. 6 Maryland 82, Manhattan 49 : Jade Perry had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and host Maryland won its ninth straight game. Shay Doron scored 16 points for the Terrapins (12-1). Maryland won easily despite shooting a season-low 36.2 percent. N.C. State 65, No. 25 Virginia Tech 44 : Tiffany Stansbury scored all 14 of her points in the second half to lead host North Carolina State. Ashley Key added 12 points, while Khadijah Whittington had a solid all-around game for the Wolfpack (10-3, 1-0 ACC), who improved to 7-0 at home and remained unbeaten in the series. Dawn Chriss scored 14 points for the Hokies (12-1, 0-1), who fell to 0-6 all-time against N.C. State since beginning varsity play in the 1976-77 season. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
1 Manchester United are set to extend Luke Shaw’s contract by a further year, despite his at-times difficult relationship with boss Jose Mourinho.Shaw has just 10 months remaining on his current deal, but United are expected to trigger a clause in his contract to extend his deal, reports The Times. The England international, 22, is close to returning from injury after damaging the ligaments in his left foot last April. He made just 19 appearances for United last term and his fractious relationship with Mourinho raised the prospect of him leaving. In April the Reds boss made a scathing assessment of Shaw, questioning his commitment to the club.“I cannot compare the way he trains and commits, the focus, the ambition. He is a long way behind,” Mourinho said.United had been linked with a move for Tottenham full-back Danny Rose, but it seems unlikely Spurs will be willing to allow Rose to head out the door so soon after Kyle Walker joined Manchester City. Shaw injured his left foot in the clash with Swansea last season