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Rugby

Match Report – Leeds 6 – 30 Wakefield

Full-back Max Jowitt scored a first-half hat-trick as Wakefield continued their late-season surge with an emphatic 30-6 win over Challenge Cup winners Leeds at St Helens.

Chris Chester’s men have not looked back since being rocked by a newspaper allegation that their coach was facing a dressing-room revolt as they eased their way to a third successive win.

They were fortunate in coming up against a Rhinos team without four first-choice players who were forced to stand down through track and trace following a spate of positive Covid-19 tests at most recnt opponents Castleford.

On top of the disruption, Leeds looked jaded in their seventh match in 27 days and coach Richard Agar will have to find some fresh troops in time for a rematch between these two sides at Belle Vue on Sunday.

FULL TIME: A hat-trick from @MaxJow and a brace from Innes Senior helps Trinity to a comfortable 6-30 win over Leeds! pic.twitter.com/3M8jox50LZ

Wembley finalists Richie Myler, Tom Briscoe, Konrad Hurrell, Matt Prior and James Donaldson were all missing for the Rhinos, who had most of the early play.

Centre Alex Sutcliffe was held up over the line and prop Ava Seumanufagai was brought back for a forward pass as Wakefield rode their early luck.

Their first try came against the run of play, right winger Innes Senior – in the side in place of an injured Ben Jones-Bishop – breaking upfield to get Jowitt over for his first try on 11 minutes.

Left winger Tom Johnston then produced a break for Jowitt to score his second on 21 minutes and suddenly Wakefield were brimming with confidence.

The introduction of hooker Kyle Wood midway through the first half injected even more energy into Trinity’s attack and, after he was brought down short of the line, prop David Fifita provided a glimpse of his old form by rampaging through the Leeds defence for a trademark try.

Leeds looked to be desperate for the relief of the half-time hooter and they were caught on the hop when Jowitt forced his way over from dummy half close to the line to complete his hat-trick.

That made it 20-0 at the break, but Wakefield struggled to maintain the same intensity in the second half as Leeds clawed their way back into the game without ever threatening to overhaul the deficit.

Rhinos substitute back rower Cameron Smith had a try denied because of a forward pass and both second rower Alex Mellor and prop Mikolaj Oledzki were held up over the line.

Leeds scored their only try through winger Ash Handley following a break by centre Liam Sutcliffe. Rhyse Martin added the goal, but they finished the game with 12 men when Mellor was sin-binned for a late tackle.

Wakefield took full advantage of the extra man as centre Reece Lyne and scrum-half Ryan Hampshire each carved out tries for Senior, and Hampshire kicked his third goal.

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Soccer

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard makes exciting Hakim Ziyech vow in warning to Blues’ rivals

Frank Lampard has vowed Hakim Ziyech is just getting started after the Algerian made his first Chelsea start. The former Ajax star has been made to wait for his full debut for the club, after suffering an injury in the final pre-season game of the summer.

While the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell have been able to show their talents, Zieych was forced to sit out in the early weeks of the season.

But against Krasnodar in the Champions League, the winger hit the ground running with an impressive display in the 4-0 win in Russia.

Watched on by owner Roman Abramovich, Ziyech was a constant menace and capped his display with his first goal in the closing stages of the win.

It was a sharp touch that created his opening goal and while match sharpness will continue to improve, Lampard is confident that there is even more to come from the summer arrival.

JUST IN: Chelsea news: Lampard planning talks with two stars before Burnley

“It’s been frustrating for him and for us as his injury has meant he hasn’t been able to start,” Lampard said.

“But what I’ve seen in training and what I knew we were signing is a player of immense quality with personality to receive the ball and find assists and goals.

“We saw a lot of glimpses of that, and he will get better.

“We brought him in to do a job, and maybe people had forgotten about him a bit because we signed him in January and he missed the start of the season.

“But now he has shown that he is here.

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 “I thought he was really good last night, when you consider that was his first start for months. He hasn’t been fit so that was a really big plus from the evening.

Chelsea head to Turf Moor this weekend, looking to really kickstart their Premier League season after two disappointing draws on the spin.

For the first time this season, Lampard will have his full assortment of attacking players to choose from.

Along with Ziyech, Christian Pulisic also continued his return to 100% match fitness, scoring a goal himself.

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The game against the Clarets will be Chelsea’s fifth in two weeks, but despite some tired legs, Lampard has no fresh injury concerns.

“Thiago [Silva] is fit, taking him out of the trip to Russia was more of a maintenance issue for him,” he added. Kepa has got some progression in his shoulder injury, so we’re hopeful but we’ll see with that one.

“And in terms of the rest of the squad we don’t have any clear injuries, but it’s a tired group, we arrived back quite late in the early hours of this morning.

“So I’ll have to assess everybody, as much tomorrow as today, and see how everyone settles down over the next 24 hours and we’ll see where we’re at.”

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Soccer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told biggest mistake in bid to emulate Liverpool’s success

Ryan Giggs believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to forget about single signings winning Manchester United the league and instead follow Jurgen Klopp's title-winning formula.

Liverpool won their first league crown in 20 years last season, with Klopp’s squad well placed to repeat the feat this time around.

Solskjaer has been heavily backed in the transfer window in recent years, with a host of high-profile signings since his appointment.

But Giggs believes that United need to replicate the gradual progression seen by Klopp and Liverpool, if they are to win their first title since 2013.

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“I think we have got Liverpool to look at, the last time they won it, they thought ‘we’ll win it again soon’,” Giggs told Jamie Carragher on The Greatest Game podcast.

“Even Klopp, it took four-and-a-half years to win it, it takes a long time.

“I think what Klopp did, he improved every season or won a trophy, won the Champions League, you see that improvement so the pressure is off a little bit.

“Whereas every manager, every signing is seen as: ‘He’ll win us the league’, but it’s not like that.”

Solskjaer is the fifth manager to try and fill the void left by Sir Alex Ferguson, with Giggs himself having a short stint as caretaker boss in 2014.

The Norwegian is pitting his wits against not only Klopp, but Pep Guardiola at Man City, Jose Mourinho at Tottenham and many more.

When will Manchester United next win the Premier League title?  Have your say here

With that in mind, the Red Devils legend, who won 13 Premier Leagues during a glittering career, believes United fans could be facing a long wait before the club’s 21st triumph – particularly if Klopp and Guardiola stay in their current positions.

“100% it could [be 10 or 12 years],” Giggs added. “It could be 15 or 20 years before you know it.

“Especially if Klopp and Guardiola stick around, they’ve got the resources and obviously the players.”

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Soccer

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho favourite is a ‘mistake waiting to happen’

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is clearly a big fan of Davinson Sanchez with the centre-back a regular choice in defence, but Tim Sherwood isn’t so convinced. Spurs have enjoyed a strong start to the new season, setting the standard in front of goal.

Spurs duo Heung-min Son and Harry Kane have been performing at the top of their game with the pair already scoring 20 goals between them.

It’s been a different story in defence for Tottenham though with the 1-0 win over Burnley on Monday being their first clean sheet of the season.

Mourinho opted to make some changes at the back with Toby Alderweireld coming in to replace Sanchez.

The 31-year-old put in a solid performance at the back and looks to have fought his way back into the starting line-up.

JUST IN: Tottenham boss Mourinho warned Bale is facing same problem as Giggs

Sanchez though has established himself as Mourinho’s top choice in defence and is likely to return this week.

But former Tottenham boss Sherwood suggests Sanchez is the reason for the uncertainty surrounding Spurs’ defensive displays of late.

“They’ve got so much talent in forward areas, he needs to find that solid base behind,” he told Optus Sport.

“He seems to like Eric Dier out of those centre-backs.

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“Alderweireld is the best partner for him, a calming influence.

“Davinson Sanchez is a mistake waiting to happen.

“What they have to do to challenge is keep Son fit and keep Kane fit.

“They haven’t done that for the last few seasons, they always miss one or two over the period.

“They’re so reliant on these two players. It is not about the team. It is about solid players behind the front three.

“Once Jose finds the best combinations in front of Lloris, he is always going to play a really stodgy pragmatic midfield because he wants the top players at the other end of the field to win him the match. There are some ingredients there.”

Spurs are looking to build on their opening Europa League group stage win over LASK last week.

They then have just a few days to rest before returning to Premier League action on Sunday against Brighton.

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Soccer

David Prutton's Sky Bet Championship predictions

Reading travel to Coventry City on Friday and Bristol City host Norwich on Saturday – watch both matches live on Sky Sports Football; Bottom two sides Wycombe and Sheffield Wednesday collide on Saturday

EFL Expert & Columnist

Thursday 29 October 2020 18:25, UK

Who is David Prutton tipping for victory in the Sky Bet Championship this weekend? Listen to the Prutton’s Predictions show and find out here…

The Prutton’s Predictions show!

Introducing the all new Prutton’s Predictions show! David Prutton joins Sky Sports’ Simeon Gholam to discuss all his Championship predictions ahead of Gameweek 9. You can listen below, as he reveals who he is backing this weekend.

Want to get involved? Tweet your predictions for your team’s game next weekend ahead of Gameweek 11 to @SimGholam and we’ll review the best of them on next Thursday’s show!

Coventry vs Reading, Friday 7.45pm – Live on Sky Sports Football

Coventry started brightly but have fallen away in recent weeks. Consolidation is key for them this season after so long away from the Championship.

Reading have been so impressive. Defensively good despite conceding two in midweek, but that’s only a slight criticism as it’s hard to find too many of them at the minute! Away win here for me.

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Prutton predicts: 0-2 (Sky Bet odds)



Coventry City
Reading

Bristol City vs Norwich, Saturday 12.30pm – Live on Sky Sports Football

Bristol City have fallen away a little after such a bright start to the season. They’ve had some tough games lately but the goals have dried up a little.

This should be a good game. As we know Norwich have recent Premier League experience and these late shows reflect a good bit of back bone and character. I’ll back a draw here.

Prutton predicts: 2-2 (Sky Bet odds)



Bristol City
Norwich City

  • Championship fixtures | table | highlights

Barnsley vs Watford, Saturday 3pm

Valerien Ismael seems to have got them off to a flyer with a great win against QPR in midweek. They have a knack of shrewd managerial appointments, Barnsley, and could well be on to another winner here.

Watford have an excellent squad, but this will be another tough game for them. They have only scored more than once in a game all season, and I think they will be held again on Saturday.

Prutton predicts: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds)

Stoke vs Rotherham, Saturday 3pm

I think I’ve undersold Stoke a little this season! Despite a disappointing defeat in midweek they have been ticking along nicely under Michael O’Neill. They have a squad to be aiming for the top six.

Rotherham got a great win in midweek against Sheffield Wednesday. They will always put up a fight, but I think Stoke should have too much.

Prutton predicts: 2-1 (Sky Bet odds)

Swansea vs Blackburn, Saturday 3pm

Swansea are going well and have had a great start under Steve Cooper and got back to winning ways against Stoke in midweek.

Blackburn are looking ferocious up front but frail at the back, which is probably why they are in mid-table. This feels to me like a home win, although with a few goals.

Prutton predicts: 3-2 (Sky Bet odds)

Wycombe vs Sheffield Wednesday, Saturday 3pm

Wycombe got a great point against Watford in midweek and it could even have been more. It was, however, vital for them to finally get off the mark.

Sheffield Wednesday do find themselves in a tough position. They need to get to zero points as quickly as possible but it doesn’t look like happening right now. It feels like a Wycombe win.

Prutton predicts: 2-1 (Sky Bet odds)

Prutton’s other predictions (All Saturday 3pm kick-off unless stated otherwise)

Bournemouth vs Derby: 2-0 (Sky Bet odds)

Luton vs Brentford: 2-2 (Sky Bet odds)

Middlesbrough vs N Forest: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds)

Millwall vs Huddersfield: 2-0 (Sky Bet odds)

Preston vs Birmingham: 0-1 (Sky Bet odds)

QPR vs Cardiff: 2-2 (Sky Bet odds)

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Soccer

Mauricio Pochettino touted for move to "one of the biggest" Premier League teams

Jan Vertonghen believes his former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino will soon be hired by one of the biggest Premier League teams.

Pochettino impressed in his five-and-a-half years in north London, helping Spurs qualify for the Champions League on four separate occasions and leading them to the final of the competition in 2019.

He was replaced by Jose Mourinho last November following a poor run of form, however, and has been out of a job ever since.

Pochettino has been linked with a whole host of clubs since then, with Russian side Zenit Saint Petersburg the latest rumour.

But Vertonghen, who now plays for Benfica, told CBS Soccer that he is convinced the Argentinean manager's future lies in England.

"I can imagine he's impatient," the defender said. "I think the English league suits him very well as he's a manager that prioritises fitness levels and the physicality of the game.

"I think managing in the Premier League is probably the best thing he can do. He will always want to coach a big team I guess, so you have to look at the biggest teams in the league and there are only two or three you can really look at I think at this point.

"If I was him I would be impatient because he really loved his job and you want to continue that."

Rumours have regularly touted Pochettino with a move to Manchester United, although their manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to be turning things around following a poor start to the season.

Elsewhere there is speculation that this could be Pep Guardiola's last season at Manchester City, with the Catalan's contract set to expire at the end of the campaign.

A less likely option would be Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp seemingly going nowhere any time soon, while Pochettino previously ruled out the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea due to his connection with Spurs.

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Fighting

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr annoyed they’re being asked to fight ‘like women’

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr are angry they are being asked to fight 'like women' after being told they will meet over eight two-minute rounds.

The ring legends will clash in Los Angeles on November 28 in what has officially been termed an exhibition bout.

The rounds have been reduced from the professional length of three minutes to two minutes – the same length as a women's professional bout.

And Tyson said: "I'm sure they had their reasons but the women fight two minutes.

"But this is bigger than me, it's not all about me, so who am I to talk. I'm just happy that we're doing it."

And Jones Jr added: "I'm not happy at all, that's for women. Why would I want two minute rounds? We're not women, we're two of the best to ever do it.

"Why cut it to two minutes, it doesn't do anything for him or for me; it cheats the fans who are excited.

"It was advantageous for everybody to keep it to three minutes."

Tyson and Jones Jr will clash over eight rounds while wearing 12oz gloves and without a head guard.

The fight will be scored by WBC, the sanctioning body, but the referee will be intervened if it becomes two violent.

But both men insisted they will be treating the fight as seriously as he did during his hey day.

Tyson added: "I don't know what you're talking about [this not being a real fight], you've got Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr and I'm coming to fight and i hope hes coming to fight.

"I look at films of Roy when he was at his best because that's who I anticipate fighting. I'm boxing younger guys and hungry guys and they assure me I'm doing well."

Jones Jr added: "The last person to do an exhibition was dropped in the first round.

"Who goes into the ring and thinks its an exhibition?"

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Soccer

The five players Frank Lampard has sold at Chelsea and how they are faring

Much of the transfer news surrounding Frank Lampard’s time at Chelsea, has been regarding ncomings.

In his first summer window, the club were placed under a transfer embargo, with the club legend opting to blood a number of the academy’s talented youngsters.

That strategy changed in 2020 however, as Lampard, backed by Roman Abramovich riches, brought in seven players at a cost of more than £200million.

In terms of outgoings, Chelsea’s tactic has long been to loan huge swathes of their huge squad out.

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Lampard has seen experienced first-team members leave after their contract expired, with Willian, Pedro and Gary Cahill all departing on free transfers.

Eden Hazard was also sold for more than £100m just before he became the club’s manager.

But since his appointment at the start of delay, the Blues have still managed to bring some money into the club.

(Values provided by Transfermarkt.com)

David Luiz (to Arsenal, £8m)

The Brazilian divided opinion throughout his two spells at Stamford Bridge and has done similar since his move across the capital.

Reports suggested that Lampard and Luiz didn’t see eye-to-eye over the future of the club, with Luiz missing a pre-season training session prior to his departure.

Initially signed by Unai Emery, the central defender has struggled for consistency at times, but has remained a regular – even with Emery’s departure from the club.

Mikel Arteta has used Luiz in his back-three, starting in the FA Cup final win over Lampard’s men in August.

Has been suffering with injury problems in the early weeks of the season and faces another spell on the sidelines.

Michael Hector (to Fulham, £5m)

The defender failed to make a senior appearance during his four years at Stamford Bridge. Despite signing for Fulham in September, his contract with the club didn’t start until January.

Even though that was the case, the 28-year-old trained with Scott Parker’s side until he was able to play in 2020.

Hector played 19 times as Fulham won promotion back to the Premier League via the play-offs.

He started Fulham’s first three games of this season, but after conceding 10 goals, Parker decided to shuffle his deck, with Hector out of the picture for the meantime.

Kenneth Omeruo (to Leganes, £4.5m)

Another that failed to make a single appearance for the Blues, Omeruo completed a permanent exit in 2019 after six loan spells in seven seasons.

Leganes opted to sign him after a season-long the previous year, but after making 23 appearances, the Spanish outfit were relegated from La Liga.

Omeruo has remained a regular for Leganes in the second tier, with Legan sitting in fourth after eight games.

Alvaro Morata (to Atletico Madrid, £31.5m)

Two days after Lampard’s appointment, Morata’s permanent return to Atleti was confirmed.

The 2019/20 season saw him play for Diego Simeone on loan. In 34 games, the striker netted 12 times in the league, although his most memorable moment came in the Champions League.

With Atletico’s tie with Liverpool hanging in the balance, Morata came off the bench to score the clinching third goal on the night – eliminating the holders from the competition.

Despite a good season in Spain, the arrival of Luis Suarez meant he moved down the pecking order and was loaned back to former club Juventus.

The Italians have an option to make the deal permanent for €45m, or can extend his stay for another 12-months on loan.

Morata has one goal for Juventus this season, but did have a staggering three goals conceded during their Champions League defeat to Barcelona earlier this week.

Mario Pasalic (to Atalanta, (£13.5m)

The Croatian international was a key part of the Atalanta side that were minutes away from a Champions League semi final.

He scored nine times in Serie A, as well as scoring against Manchester City in Europe.

Pasalic scored their only goal in the quarter final vs PSG, only to see two goals in injury times knock them out in heartbreaking fashion.

Atalanta are sixth in the league after the opening month, as well as finding themselves second in their Champions League group, which also includes Liverpool.

Rio Ferdinand described the decision to sell Pasalic as “crazy” it remains to be seen whether he will be one that got away.

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Soccer

Arsenal and Tottenham included in next set of Premier League pay-per-view games

Arsenal and Tottenham have both been included in next set of pay-per-view Premier League fixtures.

The decision to make games available to supporters for a set fee of £14.95 has been met with a huge backlash over the last month, and is set to be reviewed during the upcoming international break.

Before that review takes place, both Mikel Arteta and Jose Mourinho’s sides will be included.

The fixtures, taking place on November 8, will see Spurs visit West Brom and Arsenal host Aston Villa.

Earlier this week the Gunners pledged to find a solution to the current debate over pay-per-view matches.

Standard Sport were told by an Arsenal spokesperson: “We recognise the concerns of Arsenal and other supporters regarding the pricing of pay-per-view matches.

“We are working actively alongside clubs and with the Premier League, and in turn our broadcast partners, to find a solution for the matches after the November international break.”

Those words will be met with optimism from those who have chosen to boycott the requested fee, with Gary Neville one pundit to call for the measure to be scrapped.

While on Sky Sports, he called for an independent regulator by saying: 'What an independent regulator does, appointed by the government, is just look at balance and fairness.

“So that self-interest through the Premier League, or whether it be other factions of football, are just able to be brought back to a simple ‘no that doesn't work’.

Before adding: “£14.95, that doesn't work, so Mr Regulator says ‘no you're not doing that, it doesn't work for the fan, it's not fair at this moment of time we're gonna stop it’, that's one example.”

The full list of fixtures from Matchweek 8

Friday 6 November

17:30 Brighton v Burnley (Sky Sports Box Office)

Saturday 7 November

15:00 Crystal Palace v Leeds (BT Sport Box Office)

20:00 West Ham v Fulham (BT Sport Box Office)

Sunday 8 November

12:00 West Brom v Spurs (Sky Sports Box Office)

19:15 Arsenal v Aston Villa (Sky Sports Box Office)

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Categories
Soccer

St Mirren to be investigated by SPFL over alleged breach of coronavirus rules

St Mirren will be investigated by the SPFL after they were charged for allegedly breaking coronavirus rules which led to the cancellation of two matches earlier this month.

The Paisley club could not fulfil fixtures against Motherwell and Hamilton and could now lose the points from both games, with an SPFL disciplinary hearing scheduled in November.

    It is alleged the Saints breached the SPFL’s Covid-19 regulations during the lead-up to those matches.

    • St Mirren vs Hamilton postponed
    • St Mirren Covid-19 crisis grows as more test positive

    A sub-committee of the SPFL board, chaired by an independent legally-qualified professional, will hear the case against St Mirren and also Kilmarnock, following an earlier postponement against Motherwell, on November 10-11.

    A statement from St Mirren on Twitter read: “Following the SPFL decision to proceed with disciplinary proceedings against St Mirren, St Mirren can confirm they will defend this robustly.”

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    Following the SPFL decision to proceed with disciplinary proceedings against St Mirren, St Mirren can confirm they will defend this robustly. pic.twitter.com/qsvGQXTv9T

    The Scottish Premiership match against Hamilton last week was postponed after St Mirren informed the SPFL that they could not fulfil the fixture.

    The club said that due to a number of positive tests for Covid-19 among their playing squad and coaching staff, and a number of other players who are isolating, they only had 11 registered fit players available for the game.

    Their match against Motherwell on October 17 was also postponed after a third first-team player at the club tested positive for the virus.

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