Jose Mourinho is a big fan of Mesut Ozil but the Manchester United manager will undoubtedly be hoping Arsenal’s on-form German has one of his off days at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.The trip to what has become a fortress for Arsenal pits Mourinho against old adversary Arsene Wenger with anything less than a win of no use to either as they chase runaway leaders Manchester City.The Gunners are on a run of 12 successive home wins in the Premier League, bolstered by a 5-0 demolition of Huddersfield Town on Wednesday with Ozil and Alexis Sanchez both on the scoresheet.Ozil is unlikely to be lacking in motivation, with the flair player — often criticised for drifting in and out of matches — out of contract at the end of the season and on Mourinho’s radar.The two were together at Real Madrid before Ozil moved to Arsenal and the Portuguese to Chelsea.His man of the match performance against Huddersfield had Wenger singing his praises.”Everybody knows he’s a great football player,” said the Frenchman. “He shows also that he can fight.”I think he always covered the distance. Maybe he’s at an age, he’s mature, where he understands what’s important and less important. The judgments are sometimes harsh in this job.”When you look at the percentage of possession, no matter the game, he always wants the ball. He never hides. He’s always available.”United, who won 4-2 at Watford on Tuesday night, are second in the league but eight points adrift of leaders Manchester City.advertisementPast encounters between Mourinho and Wenger have given the Portuguese plenty of happy memories but United have been beaten on their last two league trips to Arsenal, without scoring a goal.They have plenty of firepower to change that, but the two late goals conceded to Watford when 3-0 up will be a cause for concern.Arsenal, 12 points behind City, are without record signing Alexandre Lacazette for the match after the French striker suffered a groin injury against Huddersfield.Manchester City, on a club record 12-match winning run in the league, have far fewer worries as they prepare for what looks like an easy home game against a struggling West Ham United on Sunday.The Hammers were thrashed 4-0 by Everton on Wednesday.Everton, now up to 13th, will be under new management for their home game against Huddersfield with former England boss Sam Allardyce moving in just as Wayne Rooney rediscovers his goalscoring form.West Bromwich Albion will also have a new face calling the shots against visitors Crystal Palace on Saturday, with Alan Pardew facing the south London club who sacked him last December.”Confidence is obviously a little bit low at the moment. We need a win and hopefully we will get that as quick as we can,” he said when appointed on Wednesday.Fifth placed Liverpool, rampant against Stoke City with a 3-0 win on Wednesday, are at Brighton and Hove Albion while champions Chelsea, in third, host Newcastle United in Saturday’s early match.Tottenham Hotspur are at Watford and Burnley, up to the giddy heights of sixth, are at Leicester City.
Touch Football Australia is excited to announce it will again be involved in the 2016 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars concept. At today’s launch it was announced that Rugby League’s finest Indigenous players will clash with a new World All Stars team following a revamp of the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars concept.NRL Head of Football, Todd Greenberg today announced that next year’s match, to be played on Saturday, 13 February at Suncorp Stadium, will feature the Indigenous All Stars against the newly-termed World All Stars.Touch Football will again feature at the event next year after debuting in 2015. Touch Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, Colm Maguire said the organisation is looking forward to again be involved. “We are excited to be included in this wonderful initiative which will celebrate the outstanding contribution of our indigenous community to the game,” Maguire said. “We are looking forward to a new format and another exciting competition between the Indigenous All Stars and an All Star team made up from across the country.”Stay tuned to the TFA website in the coming weeks for all of the latest information on the Touch Football All Stars game and voting processes. To read about today’s launch, please click here – http://www.nrl.com/indigenous-all-stars-to-clash-with-world/tabid/10874/newsid/90755/default.aspx Tickets to the 2016 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match are on sale now. To purchase your tickets, head to www.nrl.com/tickets.Related Links2016 All Stars
Vine/@MattNorlanderMichigan State nearly lost its game against Minnesota on one of the worst fouls you’ll see. Instead, the Spartans lucked out, and have a chance to redeem themselves in overtime. With his Golden Gophers down three and two seconds remaining in the game, Carlos Morris drilled a three-pointer and was fouled by Michigan State’s Gavin Schilling. Foul up three. But not like that. Izzo not even registering what happened. https://t.co/BaMUDf0LVr— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) February 27, 2015With the game now tied at 78, Morris had a chance to win the game at the free throw line, but was unable to complete the four-point play. Instead, this great Big Ten battle has gone to overtime. Minnesota leads 81-80 with 3:32 remaining in the game.
OTTAWA – Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says Canada and China have made good progress on environmental laws and regulations that are among the barriers to launching official free trade talks.McKenna is in China this week as part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trade mission, as well as for meetings of her own aimed largely at connecting Canadian clean tech companies with Chinese enterprises.Trudeau left China on Thursday without officially launching the formal free trade talks the two countries have been working towards, citing issues such as gender, the environment and labour among the sticking points.Some Canadian businesses fear less-stringent Chinese regulations and laws could make it harder for them to compete in a free trade environment.McKenna said Canada has made clear the environment is one of its key issues ahead of launching formal free trade talks with China but she doesn’t think it will be a deal breaker.“I think that is an area we’ve made very good progress over the past few years,” she said.“I think that’s one area where I think we have a lot of common ground and I think we can certainly build on that should we enter into formal trade negotiations. I think both Canada and China see that as a win-win.”McKenna believes China is firmly committed to combating climate change and improving environmental protections, pointing to things like its commitment to the Paris climate accord, its recent development of a national emissions market for carbon-heavy industries, and even its kicking off a Chinese national parks system.She says there are two ministerial-level discussions starting up between Canada and China, on climate change and clean technology growth.Intellectual property protections will be among the issues critical for Canadian clean tech companies and are something she says a free trade agreement could help protect.However she noted there are Canadian companies already operating in China with confidence, pointing specifically to Ballard Power, a British Columbia-based fuel cell manufacturer which has an agreement with a Chinese company.McKenna said one of her roles is to help connect clean tech companies from Canada with the Chinese market, noting it can often take government assistance because businesses in China looking for Canadian technology are state-owned.How a free trade agreement would manage the multitude of state-owned enterprises in China is also one of the barriers to a free trade agreement with the world’s most populous nation.Canada is aligning itself with China and the European Union, hoping to be seen as the world’s leaders on environmental policies, particularly when it comes to climate change. The three are trying to help fill the void left by the United States and the climate change-skepticism of President Donald Trump.But Canada’s international climate diplomacy was dealt a blow this week when its climate change ambassador had to resign her post following a family tragedy. Jennifer MacIntyre was only appointed to the job in June, assigned to help McKenna lead Canada’s international push on climate change policy.But in October, her husband suddenly died, which led to MacIntyre’s decision to step away from the high-profile and travel-heavy role so she could be with her two young daughters.“I’m devastated for her personally,” McKenna said. “She was an excellent climate ambassador.”She said the government will look for someone else to fill the role.“That role is critically important because Canada is seen as a leader on climate action,” said McKenna.“We believe that we need to be showing leadership, especially right now, if the U.S. is going to step back, Canada is going to need to step up more.”— follow @mrabson on Twitter.
Washington – Chairman of the Moroccan economic, social and environmental council (CESE), Nizar Baraka, presented on Saturday in Washington the democratic and economic reforms adopted in Morocco to promote more inclusive and job-generating growth.Baraka who spoke during a conference held by the International Monetary Fund on “Arab economic transformation among political transition,” stressed that Morocco has succeeded in speeding the reform process in order to better meet the citizens’ aspirations to a better future, noting that transition in Morocco started in early 90’s.He went on that the constitution adopted in 2011 has given more credit to institutions and helped speed up structural reforms by giving prime importance to integrated sectorial strategies that are meant to promote youth access to decent jobs. During the conference, Baraka also spoke about Morocco’s African calling, recalling, in this context, the recent tour undertaken by King Mohammed VI to four African countries and the establishment of a fertilizers plant for Africa which illustrates Morocco’s commitment to agriculture and food security in the continent. The CESE chairman further noted various measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises, including tax reduction from 30 to 10pc. The conference, held on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank spring session was moderated by head of the IMF Middle east and North Africa department, Masood Ahmed.With MAP
The No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes travel to East Lansing, Mich., this weekend for its Big Ten Conference opener against No. 20 Michigan State. We check in with both coaches at the weekly Big Ten coaches teleconference. A shot at redemption Last year’s 10-7 loss to the Spartans was historic in many ways for OSU. It marked the first time since 1999 that the Spartans beat the Buckeyes, and the first time an OSU team dropped its conference opener since 2004. It was also the first Big Ten start for quarterback Braxton Miller. The then-freshman Miller struggled mightily in his conference debut, completing just five of 10 passes for 56 yards and an interception. First-year OSU coach Urban Meyer said that his sophomore signal-caller has come a long way since then. “It’s pretty dramatic,” said Meyer. “He’s a lot different now.” Miller will have a shot at redemption against a staunch Spartan defense that has allowed 11.8 points per game this season, 11th best in the country. Ready to ring the Bell? Ohio State ranks last in the Big Ten conference in total defense, which Meyer said is “very alarming.” They now face their toughest test yet this weekend, in MSU running back Le’Veon Bell. The sophomore Bell ranks second nationally in rushing yards per game, highlighted by a 210-yard outburst in the team’s opener against then-No. 24 Boise State. Meyer said that sophomore linebacker Ryan Shazier is a big part of the defense’s game plan, with the task of plugging holes in the middle to contain Bell. When asked if the sophomore linebacker is up for the challenge, Meyer quipped, “he better be.” “This will be a great test for him,” Meyer said. “I have a lot of confidence in him obviously.” Dantonio Compares Quarterbacks MSU coach Mark Dantonio called Miller a “dynamic player,” while praising the quarterback’s running abilities. But containing mobile quarterbacks is not a foreign challenge for the Spartans. Miller has 441 rushing yards on 67 carries this season, leading all quarterbacks aside from Michigan’s Denard Robinson, who has rushed for the same amount of yards on one less carry. Robinson has been one of college football’s most dangerous duel-threat quarterbacks the past two seasons, but consistently struggled against the Spartans. In the team’s two meetings with Robinson starting under center, MSU prevailed against their instate rival, while holding Robinson below his season average on the ground. While comparing Miller and Robinson, Dantonio said, “there are certainly some similarities, but differences as well. Braxton has more tailback type features back there, he’s a spin runner on contact, but he runs the power at times. He can elude you as well.” Dantonio was the defensive coordinator at OSU from 2001-2003. While at MSU, he has posted a 1-2 record against the Buckeyes, beating his former club for the first time last season.
Redshirt-sophomore running back Bri’onte Dunn (25) looks to evade defenders during the 2014 Spring Game April 12 at Ohio Stadium. Gray defeated Scarlet, 17-7.Credit: Mark Batke / For The LanternTo Urban Meyer, the 2014 Ohio State Spring Game wasn’t about statistics, which intrasquad team won or lost, or which side played better as a unit.“It’s more of an individual — I’m not trying to evaluate an offense because who cares?” Meyer said after the Gray team defeated Scarlet, 17-7, Saturday at Ohio Stadium. “There are guys out there that will either never play or they’re not ready to play now.”With players like starting senior quarterback Braxton Miller, senior tight end Jeff Heuerman, a skill guy like sophomore H-Back Dontre Wilson and even starting offensive lineman junior Taylor Decker not seeing a single snap during the game, it was clear Meyer was more interested in how much he was going to get out of some inexperienced players.“I’m not evaluating — like (OSU spokesman) Jerry (Emig) hands me stats and I’m not sure what to do with these. I don’t care,” Meyer said.Individually, the final stats for those players who actually saw time Saturday weren’t exactly impressive. The two quarterbacks who started and played the majority of the game — redshirt-sophomore Cardale Jones, who Meyer named backup to Miller after the game, and redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett — combined to throw for just 277 yards and no passing touchdowns. No ball carrier had more than 55 yards on the ground, but redshirt-sophomore running backs Warren Ball and Bri’onte Dunn both managed to find the end zone for the Gray team.“I was just talking with Cardale out there and you are so used to 14 practices playing with the same guys and that chemistry started through spring and there were a lot of new faces,” Decker said after the game about playing with players who might not see time this fall. “You start to develop a lot of chemistry and there were guys flipping sides, playing both ways so that makes it a little difficult when you are not used to playing with somebody, but that’s not excuse. You still have to go out there and execute and do your job at the highest level.”After having a solid Spring Game a year ago, redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas performed well again and led Gray with six receptions and 64 yards, while redshirt-junior receiver Corey Smith snagged five passes from Jones for 72 yards. Senior wide receivers Devin Smith and Evan Spencer hardly saw the field at all — Spencer is still rehabbing from an injury suffered in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl, and Smith played sparingly — but Meyer still wasn’t pleased with what he saw from the unit specifically.“Not enough,” Meyer said of the wide receivers’ efforts Saturday. “Without a doubt with what we expect, we’re not where we need to be. We’re better than we were two years ago … (a) notch (better) than we were last year. We got a ways to go.”Another question mark for the Buckeyes was what the pecking order will be at running back next season after losing Carlos Hyde, who in the 2013 season became the first running back under Meyer to eclipse the 1,000-yard plateau.The expected favorite before spring practice was sophomore Ezekiel Elliott, who often came in to let Hyde rest last year. Other candidates include Dunn and Ball as well redshirt-senior Rod Smith. Smith sat out the last half of spring practice — including the Spring Game — as Meyer said “he’s focusing on academics.”“We have some depth there right now,” Meyer said. “But still it’s pretty much … I’m not ready to name a starter yet.”Dunn said after the game no matter who is at the top of the list, his mindset doesn’t change.“Every day I’m just going to work hard. I’m going to work hard,” Dunn said. “Everybody in my unit, in the running back unit, is like my brother. Whoever gets the (top) spot is going to deserve that spot.”So with no clear-cut starter at running back or wide receiver, and backup quarterbacks who struggled in a defensive-minded affair as playmakers were split up between both teams, what exactly was the 2014 Spring Game about?“What I do care is who is physically going to make the plays. This is more of, it’s almost like an individual game today and that’s what I wanted to watch,” Meyer said. “Who’s going to compete, who’s going to make plays, not who’s going to fit into the team concept because we all know what we saw out there. That’s not team, that’s not the Ohio State Buckeyes. That’s a bunch of people all over the place.”After reconvening later this summer for training camp, the Buckeyes are set to take on Navy in the first game of their 2014 campaign Aug. 30 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.Kickoff is scheduled for noon.
Paul Pogba has been heavily criticized ahead of the upcoming World Cup for his performances in the national team but Jesse Lingard believes that his Manchester United teammate will get only better.Lingard has been friends with Pogba since Frenchman’s first spell at the club and he believes that he is still young and will be only improving in his further career – and there is no need to criticize him like that.The Manchester United attacking midfielder spoke about Pogba as he said, according to Daily Mail:Report: Up to seven first team players out for United George Patchias – September 13, 2019 Manchester United have some serious injury problems with up to seven first-team players out.This Saturday, United have a Premier League clash with Leicester City….“He is always going to get that. But he’s a great human being off the pitch and he brings that on to the pitch as well.”“We were very close. He came over when he was 16 and we played for a few months. Ever since then, we’ve remained friends.”“Paul is only going to get better. He is still young, he’s still learning the game. The world is at his feet.”
Alan Stubbs has dropped warning for Rangers boss Steven Gerrard, saying that he ‘be careful who he listens to’ as he settles into life as Rangers boss.Gerrard started the Premiership outing in controversial fashion last weekend, after which he said his team’s 1-1 draw at Aberdeen showed that ‘the world is against us’, adding that refereeing decisions have been going against Rangers ‘for seasons’.The early red card given to Alfredo Morelos was the spark for Gerrard’s complaint, however, the red card has now been downgraded to yellow card, which now leaves the striker free to play against Stubbs’ St Mirren side on Sunday.Stubbs who was Everton’s centre-back frequently clashed with Gerrard during Merseyside derbies says the former Liverpool captain will learn quickly during his first job in management.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…‘Steven was the best midfielder I came up against,’ said Stubbs, according to Daily Mail.‘I’m trying to think of another one but can’t. He was brilliant.‘I think he’s dealing with management well. He just needs to be careful who he listens to. He is certainly a strong enough character to make his own mind up. Even when I’ve spoken to him away from football, he has always known what he wanted to do.
Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly closing in on the signing of Wilmar Barrios from Boca Juniors.The North London club have ‘everything agreed’ with the representatives of Wilmar Barrios to secure a potential transfer, according to journalist Luis Fregossi.Spurs are willing to offer €23million for the Colombia international to sign him from Argentine side Boca Juniors.Barrios is keen to join Tottenham and has made becoming part of Mauricio Pochettino’s side a priority ahead of the next transfer window in January.“He has put Tottenham first, who already have everything agreed with the representatives of the Colombian. The English club are set to make a 23m euro offer for the purchase of the player.” Luis Fregossi posted on his official Twitter account.El destino de Wilmar #Barrios es Inglaterra , el @SpursOfficial puso Primera y ya tiene todo acordado con el representante del Colombiano para q siga su carrera allí. La oferta del club inglés a las oficinas del club está al caer. 23 M de Euros por La totalidad d su pasePochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.— Luis Fregossi (@LuisFregossi) October 19, 2018Spurs are ready to make their signing since Lucas Moura joined the club from Paris Saint-Germain in January.The Colombia midfielder is a player the club have been keen on since the summer after his impressive performances during the World Cup in Russia.Tottenham are prepared to make an offer in the region of €23million for the Boca Juniors player and have already reached an agreement with the Barrios’ representatives.