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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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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.”

    Trending

    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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    Categories
    Basketball

    Source: Wolves, potential top pick LaMelo meet

    Projected No. 1 pick LaMelo Ball met with the Minnesota Timberwolves, owners of the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, on Tuesday, a source told ESPN.

    The meeting, conducted in Southern California, consisted of an interview and did not feature any basketball activity. It was attended by President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas and head coach Ryan Saunders, the source said.

    The NBA relaxed restrictions on in-player evaluations and interviews in mid-October according to a memo obtained by ESPN, opening the way for teams to meet with prospects in advance of the NBA Draft scheduled for November 18th.

    This was the first meeting Ball had conducted. He is tentatively scheduled to interview with the Golden State Warriors early next week, owners of the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft. The expectation is that he will also interview with the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls, who pick third and fourth.

    It is not unusual for players projected at the top of the draft to decline to conduct work outs. There is more uncertainty around the top of the draft this year, though, and Ball’s last competitive game came nearly a year ago, on November 30th of 2019.

    Ball played for the Illawarra Hawks in the Australian NBL, where he averaged 17 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 31 minutes per game, emerging as the potential No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft thanks to his combination of size, ballhandling ability, creativity and passing instincts.

    Jonathan Givony is an NBA Draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service utilized by NBA, NCAA and International teams.

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    Categories
    Sports News

    Dermot Weld: Tarnawa has "serious chance" in Breeders Cup Turf

    Dual Group 1 winner Tarnawa has a "serious chance" of winning the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf, Dermot Weld believes.

    The trainer has chosen the 1m 4f contest over the Maker's Mark Filly and Mare Turf for the four-year-old, last seen taking the Prix de l'Opera on October 4.

    Weld, the only European trainer to have an American Triple Crown triumph on his CV, is seeking his first success on the November 7 card.

    He said Tarnawa “unquestionably” represents his best ever chance of getting on the board at the meeting.

    "I have had very few horses with the serious chance that I believe she has of winning," he said.

    Tarnawa is 3-1 with Betfair, closely matched with the Aidan O'Brien pair Magical (11-4) and Mogul (3-1) in the market.

    Christophe Soumillon, on board for her last two wins at the highest level in France, will maintain the partnership.

    Tarnawa came through a piece of work with flying colours last week ahead of her trip to America, Weld added.

    "I think she’s very tough, sound and genuine so is well suited to the Breeders’ Cup and, most importantly, she’s a stayer with speed," he said.

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    Categories
    Soccer

    Liverpool’s Fabinho withdraws from Brazil squad after suffering hamstring injury

    Liverpool star Fabinho has withdrawn from the Brazil national squad as concerns mount over the extent of his hamstring injury.

    The 27-year-old was substituted just half an hour into Liverpool's win over FC Midtjylland on Tuesday after pulling up sharply as he raced back towards his own goal.

    Reds boss Jurgen Klopp revealed after the match that Fabinho felt he could have played on, but admitted the injury was still a big worry.

    Mirror Football reported Fabinho was unlikely to be available for his club side until after the international break, and latest developments suggest that is now the earliest chance the midfielder will return.

    Brazil's national team released a statement on Thursday confirming Fabinho has been replaced by Everton's Allan in the squad and will miss the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela on November 14 and Uruguay three days later.

    Fabinho underwent a scan on Wednesday which ruled out the worst-case scenario of a grade three hamstring tear.

    The injury means he will miss Liverpool's next three fixtures against West Ham, Atalanta and Man City, with the visit of Leicester on November 21 his first possible option of a return.

    While Klopp has been ruing the loss of the versatile Brazilian – who has been deputising well at centre-back – the Liverpool boss suggested his player would not be missed by his international manager quite as much.

    Can Liverpool still win the title amid their defensive crisis? Have your say below.

    "I'm not sure if [Brazil manager] Tite's too worried because he plays him never so he will probably now not sit on the bench for the next three international games," Klopp said.

    Liverpool now face a potential selection dilemma going into Saturday's clash with West Ham at Anfield.

    With Virgil van Dijk also sidelined, Joel Matip is the ideal choice to partner Joe Gomez at the back, but has missed the last two games through injury as well.

    That could give youngster Rhys Williams an opportunity to make his Premier League debut, while midfielders Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum are alternative options to fill the void.

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    Categories
    Soccer

    Sunderland CEO warns football is on brink of "tragedy" without instant Govt help

    Jim Rodwell is desperate to preserve the future and financial well-being of his club.

    But he doesn’t want to do it simply to satisfy his own agenda – he knows the devastation that is waiting to happen to communities and project all across Britain if urgent action is not taken soon.

    While football struggles to find a way out of the Covid maze, countless others are finding their own lives devastated by the loss of football.

    And the Sunderland chief executive has sounded a dire warning about the landscape he is surveying.

    Rodwell said: “All you are going to see is football clubs going bust, the Exchequer being owed a fortune in PAYE and VAT, women’s football going by the wayside, Trusts going by the wayside, academies going by the wayside.

    “All those things go when football clubs go.

    “Look at what happened with Bury – the same will happen again. We are standing on the edge in football and we need help. We need significant people in the stadium, a cash bail out, we need someone to start listening.

    “Football is just a game, we get that. But it raises billions for the economy and the impact is huge on communities across the country.”

    There is anger and frustration at the EFL that not only have the Premier League not stepped up but also the Government appear to be ignoring them, which sparked EFL chairman Rick Parry’s angry response to Secretary of State Oliver Dowden.

    Former lower league defender Rodwell, who also worked at Scunthorpe and sat on the EFL board, insists the Government must provide PAYE holiday while he is frustrated with the Premier League.

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    “It’s a tragedy and nobody is really listening. We need a PAYE holiday because if we’re not careful then they will end up winding up football clubs rather than trying to put together a plan to save them,” said Rodwell.

    “It’s inconceivable that this can go on for much longer. All we ask as an industry is people treat us fairly and as a hugely important part of the community.

    “We just need some help. I read Steve Parish’s article in which he said why should the supermarket bail out the corner shop. But there’s one important point that he missed: because they promised that they would.

    “In that meeting, with the Secretary of the State, the FA, Premier League, EFL, the Premier League undertook with guarantees that they would protect the football pyramid.

    “The £50m figure which was talked about wasn’t £50m but £20m plus money in loans with big strings attached.

    “I don’t think the Government understand what’s going on at the coal face. I don’t think there’s a lot of football supporters in the Cabinet.”

    As a final warning, Rodwell spelled out a stark reality.

    “There’s a day or reckoning for everybody and we’re not immune to it at Sunderland. The money will run out for every club and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. Clubs are living from day to day and it just can’t go on.”

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