EVERTON (4-2-3-1)HOWARD, COLEMAN, STONE, JAGIELKA, GALLOWAY,McCARTHY, BARRY,KONE, BARKLEY, CLEVERLEY, LUKAKUMAN CITY (4-2-3-1)AGUERO, NAVAS, SILVA, STERLING, FERNANDINHO, TOURE,KOLAROV, MANGALA, KOMPANY, SAGNA, HARTManchester City are one of four teams with a 100 per cent record after two rounds of the Barclays Premier League and they are top of the table following successive 3-0 wins, at West Bromwich Albion and at home to reigning champions Chelsea.It is an impressive start by Manuel Pellegrini’s charges as they bid to wrest the title off Chelsea. And if they win at Goodison Park it will represent City’s best start to a Premier League season since the 2011-12 campaign, when they won their first four and finished the campaign as champions.Everton have also started well, with a home draw against Watford followed by an impressive 3-0 victory at Southampton last Saturday, their best start for three years.Ross Barkley has netted in both games, equalling in two games, the number of goals he scored throughout the whole of the previous campaign.Everton last beat City in 2013, at home, and in the last four clashes between these teams, City have won three and drawn one. However, the Toffeemen have won four and drawn one of their last five games against City at Goodison Park.England left-back Leighton Baines will be out for up to 10 weeks with an ankle problem, so Brendan Galloway should continue in his place. Another defender, Tony Hibbert, is also absent, along with Darron Gibson and Steven Pienaar.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite expects a challenging tour of Sri Lanka and wants to be prepared both physically and mentally if he gets his first call-up to the Test side.The 27-year-old, an attacking right-hander and penetrative seamer, is a member of the 15-member squad which departs for Sri Lanka at month end for a two-Test series.Brathwaite said conditions in the Asian nation would be trying, especially the humid weather and the hosts’ spin-based attack, but said he was using the ongoing preparation camp to properly equip himself.”Playing spin is always a challenge, and they are very good at strangling – basically, [they employ] a lot of bat pads. It’s not something we are accustomed to in the Caribbean,” Brathwaite said.”I think that would be a challenge as well as the heat and humidity. Myself as a fast bowling all-rounder, it’s probably one of the hardest jobs in the team so I will have to be extra fitter than the rest of the other guys.”So the challenge of being fit enough and strong enough to handle five days of cricket, and your body lasting to give 100 per cent for the West Indies, that is probably one of the main challenges.”Brathwaite has been in the selection frame ever since making his international debut in 2011 but has been limited to four One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20s, while campaigning extensively for West Indies A.Preparing for Test cricketAnd while he hopes he can break into the Test side soon, he said he remained focused on ensuring he was prepared for the opportunity.”First thing is to get a little fitter and a little stronger and be prepared by the beginning of the first Test, if selected, to hit the ground running and be a 100 per cent,” he indicated.”Playing-wise, I haven’t set any targets as such. I’m new to Test cricket, I haven’t played as yet so I just want to get in and amongst the 11, get on the park, and then from there, assess and see where I went wrong, what I did well and then I would be able to set some goals for the future.”
Benzema charged in blackmail probe PARIS, France (AP): Five years after missing the World Cup amid his involvement in a prostitution probe, Karim Benzema was charged yesterday with conspiracy to blackmail as part of an investigation over a sex tape involving France teammate Mathieu Valbuena. Benzema, widely considered one of the most talented strikers in the world, also faced preliminary charges of participating in a criminal group in a scandal that has monopolised the national media’s attention. Few details of the case have been released, but investigators said they are trying to find out if Benzema played a role in an extortion attempt targeting Valbuena, and if he actually tried to blackmail the Lyon midfielder. Benzema’s involvement in the sex-tape case has yet to be determined, but investigators believe he was approached by a childhood friend to act as an intermediary between the blackmailers and Valbuena. Russia bans dopers MOSCOW, Russia (AP): The Russian athletics federation suspended five athletes yesterday, including a top marathon runner and an Olympic hammer throw finalist, just days before the publication of a major report into Russian doping. Marathon runner Maria Konovalova received a two-year ban and was stripped of results going back to 2009. She finished second at the Chicago Marathon in 2010 and third in 2013. The Russian federation said she was suspended based on irregularities in her biological passport, which monitors an athlete’s blood profile for evidence of doping. The Russian athletics federation also said that hammer thrower Maria Bespalova, who finished 11th at the 2012 London Olympics, was banned for four years after testing positive for a steroid. Also banned were three lesser-known Russian athletes: race-walker Evgeny Nushtaev and runners Vlas Bredikhin and Yaroslav Khlopov. Rossi loses CAS case LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP): Valentino Rossi will start the MotoGP title-deciding race on Sunday from the back of the grid, after all. Championship leader Rossi failed to persuade sport’s highest court yesterday to overturn a sanction for his actions during the Malaysian Grand Prix last month. Six-time champion Rossi was penalised for appearing to kick out at defending title holder Marc Marquez of Spain, who then crashed on the Sepang track. Rossi has a lead of seven points over Jorge Lorenzo of Spain ahead of the last race on Sunday at Valencia.
WESTERN BUREAU:Tuff Gong Domino Club eked out a thrilling one-point (300-299) victory over Long Bay in the Charley’s JB Overproof Rum Western Jamaica Domino Premier League on Sunday.The nail-biting finish was one of the closest margins of victory for any club in this season’s competition and showed Tuff Gong’s mettle in staving off the challenge laid down by their opponents.Tuff Gong held a comfortable, but slender seven-point (153-146) lead at the halfway mark, but Long Bay, feeling the love from their supporters, rallied in the early stages of the second half.With the scores equal in the waning moments of the tight match, it was the Tuff Gong pairs who held sway to score a memorable win.Dynasty were also forced to hold on to a single-point victory in their contest with Deeside Untouchables in another enthralling Premier League tie, and it was a similar score in the match-up between Unity Strikers and Strike Force.Western Strikers defeated Rainbow by a nine-point margin (300-291), while Tornado wasted little time to blow away Dallas 300-272 in Division One action, while Uptown eased past Cool Wave 300-280 in their encounter.Matches across all three divisions will resume on Sunday, with matches slated for a 1 p.m. start.
‘Champs’ 2016 is now consigned to the history books. In some cases, it has unearthed, and in others, cemented a more than fair share of awesome talent. It never ceases to amaze how much is being done with so little. In this regard, Foster’s Fairplay, focusing on the future at the world level, will be looking in particular at two athletes, drawn from the many coming to mind. That the country is now the envy of the world in the area of sprints is impatient of debate. The recent feats of the Kingston College (KC) phenom, quarter-miler Akeem Bloomfield and sprinter Nigel Ellis out of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) and described in knowledgeable quarters as the real deal only serves to drive home the point. Coming from a history-making 44.93 at last year’s world spectacle event, Bloomfield has his compass set beyond that stage. So confirmed coach Neil Harrison, who sees the World Junior Championships in July and a spot on the Rio Olympics team as the season’s chief objectives. Although no such crystal-ball glance is coming from Ellis’ camp, a wise coach must see the repeat 10 teens as a promise of things to come. Another point to be made here is that the cash-rich Bahrain trek has claimed a couple of the nation’s fast men who were understudying the Bolt, Blake, Powell top rung. Ellis, barring being steered in that direction, could ‘run in’ on one of the vacancies created. FANTASTIC ATHLETES A few years ago, the highly respected track and field legendary disciplinarian and JAAA president, Neville ‘Teddy’ McCook, was hosting a top-ranked administrator in the business. Enthralled with the island’s outstanding global performances, the visitor requested to be taken to where “these fantastic athletes did their training”. The pride-ridden ‘Teddy’ headed for the North Street campus of his own KC. After about one hour of watching some of Jamaica’s most gifted young athletes, the seemingly impatient guest, with a flight to catch, asked if they could relocate to the spot, as previously requested. With no regard for his shortness of stature, Teddy drew himself to full height, made a two-handed, all encompassing sign and said, “You are standing on it”. Against this background and an ever-mushrooming storehouse of talent with less-than-adequate quality or quantity of proper facilities for preparation, a recent comment by the sport’s world governing boss is quite interesting. That Usain Bolt has rescued the sport has become almost a clichÈ at forums across the world. Well, Lord Coe is calling for “more Usain Bolts”. Once the suspicion that such call is a request for a lifeline to be thrown to a badly drug-tainted sport is accepted a way forward can be sought. Typically, what is not mentioned is the role played by the equally excellent, coach, Glen Mills, who has stage-managed the Bolt act. However, that is for a different story at another time. Having said all that, there can be but a single response to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president’s musings. There is a role here for Dr Warren Blake, local athletics’ top man. Picking up on the ‘more Bolts wanted’ comment, he should meet with the good upper house British parliamentarian and assist him and track and field to rise above the ongoing Russian drug debacle. Coe should be invited to assemble his IAAF executive in an initiative to afford Jamaica the infrastructure pivotal to enhance its already glorious product. The Coe remark could not have come at a more opportune time, with a new Government taking office. For a start, a synthetic track in every parish would be handy. A travelling cadre of talent scouts, fuelled by some of the current high-performance-oriented coaches, would also have to be slotted in. Much like Coe, the Jamaican president needs to turn a few things around. This would be a lasting legacy to his tenancy. Image cleaning is required both in Monaco and here, and Coe has left a door open. Enter, Dr. Blake. For Feedback, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Demarcus ‘Chop Chop’ Corley, who won the 2016 Contender title, and runner-up Richard ‘Frog’ Holmes, will be the headline fighters on a five-fight card in Georgetown, Guyana, tomorrow.Holmes left the island yesterday accompanied by his coach, Carl Grant. The main bout on the card will be a title fight over 12 rounds between Corley and Dexter Gonzales from Guyana for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Fecarbox lightweight title. Holmes will fight in the semi-final against Mark Austin from Guyana over eight rounds.Corley, who caught the attention of boxing fans in the Caribbean with his performance in the Contender series, is an overwhelming favourite to win the Fecarbox title as he enters the ring with a lot of experience and a series of good performances recently. He has a 47-27-1 record and looked outstanding in his fight against Holmes in the Contender finals, which he won by technical knockout (TKO) in round seven. Gonzales, who has an 8-1-2 record, last fought in October 2015 when he defeated Clive Atwell by way of an eighth-round TKO for the CABOFE lightweight title.Holmes, who has an 11-6 record, will go up against an opponent who has a 9-8-1 record. After taking a short break following the end of the Contender series in July, Holmes resumed training a month ago and told The Gleaner yesterday that he is in good condition and is confident that he will beat Austin.INCENTIVE FOR WINNINGHe also stated that there is a lot of incentive for him to win this fight because he has been told that a victory could lead to a regional title fight before the end of the year. Asked about his condition, he said that he “is fit and ready to go” and is looking forward to an exciting fight.”I had some good sparring sessions this week with Sakima Mullings, who kindly agreed to work with me. We had some great sparring, and I and I am now feeling very sharp as a result of those workouts,” Holmes added.Grant said that he was pleased with how Holmes looked this past week and added: “Richard is going to give a very good performance on Saturday night. He is ready. “
LONDON, England (AP): Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) moved ahead of Arsenal to take control of their Champions League group with a 2-2 draw in north London yesterday. Lucas Moura’s header was helped over the line by Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi in the 78th minute as PSG retrieved a point in Group A. Edinson Cavani had given the French capital club the lead at the Emirates Stadium but Olivier Giroud levelled from the penalty spot just before half time. Arsenal went in front in fortuitous circumstances on the hour when the ball pinged off Marco Verratti and into his own net. There was a glaring miss from Cavani before Lucas met a corner from Hatem Ben Arfa to ensure PSG rose above Arsenal on goal difference heading into the final group-stage games next month. Top spot secures a game in the round of 16 against a group runner-up, but whether that is an advantage will only become clearer after the knockout phase draw. Both German champion Bayern Munich and Manchester City will finish in second place, and holder Real Madrid are also currently a runner-up. Bayern Munich had to settle for second best after losing to tenacious Russian club FC Rostov 3-2 in their contest. Bayern had already qualified but will now finish second in Group D thanks to Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 win over Eindhoven. Rostov was already eliminated, but can reach the Europa League. Two months after beating Rostov 5-0, Bayern struggled to deal with Rostov’s rapid counterattacks as well as a never-say-die spirit which brought it back from 1-0 down to claim arguably the most famous win in the club’s history. Bayern’s Douglas Costa scored the opening goal in the first half, blasting the ball into the roof of the net after Rostov defender Cesar Navas failed to clear properly. Rostov striker Sardar Azmoun showed the skill which has seen him linked to top clubs around Europe to draw level eight minutes later, just before half time. Azmoun charged into the Bayern box and sent Jerome Boateng sprawling with a smart feint before hitting the ball low past Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, starting in place of the rested Manuel Neuer. PENALTY SCORED Rostov took the lead after the break when Boateng brought down Christian Noboa in the box and Dmitry Poloz stepped up to hit the penalty low and hard past Ulreich. Five minutes later, Bayern pulled level again when Juan Bernat scored with a fierce shot from a narrow angle. Noboa hit the winner in the 67th, curling a 20m free kick over the Bayern wall and into the bottom-right corner. Bayern laid siege to Rostov’s goal late on, but the Russians clung on for the win, blocking shots and packing the box until the final whistle. Manchester City drew 1-1 away to Bayer Monchengladbach, Besiktas came from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Benfica, Barcelona tagged Celtic 2-0 on the road, while the Ludogorets vs Basel and Napoli vs Dynamo Kiev games both ended 0-0.
When asked by The Gleaner, if the Red Hills Road-based school could be stronger than arch-rivals Kingston College and others, Clarke was sure they will pose a big threat. “Yes. The fact that we have a more all-round team, makes us definitely stronger in most areas,” he explained. When pressed, who would win Champs Clarke said he is not a fan of predictions. “Well, that would be a crystal ball to be correct. Everybody who lines up has a chance,” he reasoned. Last year, Calabar amassed 287.5 points and had behind them their fierce rivals Kingston College on 250 with Jamaica College third with 227.5 points. Despite Calabar’s nearly 40-point margin of victory, Clarke is not expecting an easy victory this week. “KC has a very good team, we will see at the end of the meet, no predictions from me, my crystal ball broke years ago,” he joked. Clarke stressed that his charges will be aiming to defend their title. “There are no comfort areas, all our areas are going to be competitive, and we will rise to the challenge and seek to get the best out of our guys,” he added. HIGH HOPES Though every year finds him leading a slightly different team, head coach Michael Clarke is expecting five-time consecutive champions Calabar High to go out and defend their ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships (Champs) title. According to the many-times winning coach, his team is more balanced and stronger this year, and Clarke is strategising for them to be recognised champions yet again. Calabar will be looking for a sixth-consecutive title at the March 28 to April 1 championships. “Yes, we will be hoping to defend successfully. “Like every other camp, we are putting the icing on the cake and we are pretty confident about giving of our best performance,” said Clarke. He was of the view that Calabar will have a more all-round team than last year, however.
Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments “It’s going to be hard for me to sleep tonight,” the Suns’ Devon Booker said.The Blazers dominated even though they were without one of their best players, guard C.J. McCollum, who was suspended one game for leaving the bench area during a tussle involving the Suns’ Alex Len and Caleb Swanigan in a preseason game a week ago.“That was a great way to start the season,” Stotts said. “I was really pleased with our defense through the whole night. Offense got off to a slow start but picked up.”Portland led 60-35 at the half and outscored the Suns 64-41 in the second. The Blazers led by as many as 58, for a time flirting with the most one-sided game in NBA history, a 68-point blowout of the Miami Heatby the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 17, 1991.The Suns shot 31.5 percent to Portland’s 49 percent, made 7 of 27 3-pointers to the Blazers’ 14 of 24 and were outrebounded 57-33.Phoenix had the league’s second-worst record last season at 24-58 and looked at least that bad throughout the opener. The Suns have not made the playoffs in seven seasons, the longest drought in franchise history. They are trying to rebuild with youth. That takes time and some painful moments, such as the one Wednesday night.Eric Bledsoe scored 15 points on 5-of-18 shooting. Booker added 12 on 6-of-17 shooting. Bledsoe was 1 for 6 on 3s, Booker 0 for 3.Portland’s bench outscored Phoenix’s 61-26.After Booker’s 13-footer tied it at 17, Lillard sank a layup and the Blazers bolted away from there. Bledsoe’s three-point play cut the lead to 45-35 with 4:38 left in the third quarter, but Portland scored the final 15 points of the half 60-35 at the break.The Suns shot 29 percent in the first half (14 for 49) to Portland’s 44 percent (22 for 50). Phoenix was 1 for 11 from 3-point range in the first two quarters to the Blazers’ 7 of 13. Most tellingly, the Portland bench outscored its Phoenix counterparts 24-0.It only got worse (or better from Portland’s perspective) after that.The Blazers led a numbing 98-55 entering the final quarter.TIP-INSTrail Blazers: The one-game suspension, for taking a few steps off the bench in a preseason game, cost McCollum $165,000. … Connaughton, a fourth-round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles, had a previous career high of 15 points. … Portland had six players in double figures. … Blazers have won four consecutive season openers. … Trail Blazers don’t play their home opener until next Tuesday against New Orleans.Suns: Len sat out the game with a sprained left ankle. He was injured in Saturday’s practice. … Rookie Josh Jackson started and made a 3-pointer with his first shot, but was 3 for 9 the rest of the way with only two rebounds. … Marquese Chriss made 1 of 5 shots and had one rebound and five fouls in 12:05 minutes.UP NEXTTrail Blazers: At Indiana on Friday night.Suns: Host Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. UFC president calls Jon Jones ‘biggest waste of talent ever’ Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ LATEST STORIES Shabazz Napier of the Portland Trail Blazers high fives Pat Connaughton after scoring against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 18, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Trail Blazers defeated the Suns 124-76. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFPPHOENIX — If the Phoenix Suns were a Broadway show, they’d close for good after opening night.The Suns weren’t just bad in their 124-76 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in their season opener on Wednesday night. They were historically awful.ADVERTISEMENT It was the most one-sided season-opening loss by any team in NBA history and the most one-sided loss by the Suns in any game in their 49 years.Suns coach Earl Watson said he was “embarrassed” by what happened.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“Portland came in here and basically kicked our butts as bad as they could,” Watson said. “They didn’t have no sympathy.”Damian Lillard scored 27 points and Pat Connaughton added a career-high 24 points, making 4 of 6 3-pointers for Portland. Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ The Trail Blazers outshot, outrebounded and outhustled the Suns from the opening tip.Portland tied the second-largest margin of victory in franchise history. Only a 50-point win against Cleveland (129-79) on Nov. 21, 1982 was larger.“The obvious statement is we played really well,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said.The 48-point rout exceeded Denver’s 139-93 (46-point) victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on opening day in 1987.The blowout also topped Phoenix’s 44-point loss to Seattle (151-107) on April 2, 1988.ADVERTISEMENT
Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Joel Embiid had 30 points and 11 rebounds to pace the up-and-coming 76ers, who had won three straight and five of six.James scored the first nine points on his way to 22 in the first half, helping Cleveland to a 53-45 lead by draining a 3 in front of Cleveland’s bench at the first-half buzzer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBack on the throneThe four-time MVP then had four points, including an emphatic dunk, and J.R. Smith hit three 3-pointers early in the third as the Cavaliers took a 14-point lead. Philadelphia got within five in the period, but the Cavaliers stretched the advantage to 86-73 entering the fourth.Kyle Korver’s 3-pointer with 9:13 to play gave Cleveland a 94-77 lead. Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Parker returns, expects Leonard to return in ‘2 to 3 weeks’ Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, left, dribbles past Philadelphia 76ers’ Robert Covington during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)PHILADELPHIA — LeBron James had 30 points, 13 rebounds and six assists to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Philadelphia 76ers 113-91 on Monday night.The three-time defending Eastern Conference champions won their eighth straight game. Dwyane Wade scored 15 points, and Jeff Green had 14 points and 10 rebounds.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons entered leading all rookies in scoring (18.5 points), rebounding (9.1) and assists (7.7), but he was hounded all game by Jae Crowder and managed just 10 points before exiting in the fourth quarter with a right ankle sprain. Simmons, who has turned to James for career and life advice, missed all of last season with a broken right foot.TIP-INSCavaliers: Iman Shumpert returned after missing the last three games due to left knee soreness. Shumpert was scoreless in seven minutes.76ers: Eagles players LeGarrette Blount, Malcolm Jenkins and Brandon Graham were seated courtside, and several other players watched from a box. … The 76ers were 3 for 28 from 3-point range, including 0 for 11 in the opening half.UP NEXTCavaliers: Host the Heat on Tuesday night.76ers: Close out a six-game homestand against Washington on Wednesday night.ADVERTISEMENT View comments It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny LATEST STORIES