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Rafael Benitez:



DATE: SUN, 13 AUG, 17 @1:30PM

Both Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are set to go for each others’ jugular at St James’ Park

Tottenham Hotspur are on the march again for a Premier League title challenge against Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday.

The happiness of the Magpies’ return to the Premier League with manager, Rafael Benítez appears to be waning recently, though.

And that is as a result of owner, Mike Ashley’s puzzling shrewdness when it comes to signing of quality players.

Inspite of that, though, Tottenham’s gaffer, Mauricio Pochettino has also had transfer market problems of his own during this summer.

The transfer situation of the Lilywhites is even worse off as they are yet to land any player this summer.

Both clubs will, however, put their transfer worries aside while hoping to start the 2017/18 season on a good note.

This will, therefore, make for a very enticing and intriguing Premier League contest at St James’ Park come Sunday afternoon.

And that is particularly the case as Spurs will presumably want revenge for their 5-1 thrashing back in May, 2016.

On that very occasion, the result led to the North London outfit finishing in the third position on the table.

But due to the difference in quality between the two sides, very few will expect a repeat of that scoreline.

And indeed, Benitez would probably be very ecstatic if his charges can at least secure one point right at home.

But the Spanish tactician should know the fear of Dele Alli and Harry Kane could be the beginning of wisdom.

Furthermore, Spurs will want a win so as to continue from where they left off last season while finishing second.

But Tottenham themselves should know that they will be up against the winners of the English Football Championship last season.

Match Build-up

The duo of winger, Jacob Murphy and defenders, Javier Manquillo and Florian Lejeune could make their debuts for Newcastle.

Striker, Dwight Gayle is set to return despite a recent hamstring issue but DeAndre Yedlin misses out with same problem.

Tottenham right full-back, Kieran Trippier picked up minor ligament damage last weekend and will not feature together with Georges-Kevin Nkoudou.

The duo of Spurs left full-back, Danny Rose and winger, Erik Lamela are still very much out with long-term injuries.

Match Facts

Newcastle have won just an opening-day game across their last nine Premier League seasons (D4, L4).

But that one and only victory was against their opponents on Sunday, Tottenham and it was 2-1 in 2012.

Spurs striker, Harry Kane has hit the net 20 times in his last 15 Premier League outings against promoted teams.

The England international is, however, yet to register a goal in the Premier League in the month of August.

Meanwhile, Kane needs just a goal more to get to 100 across all competitions for Spurs.

Both sides have scored 14 goals between themselves in their last three Premier League clashes at St James’ Park.

Benitez has not lost any of his previous eight Premier League matches at home against Spurs (W5, D3, L0).

What the managers say
Mauricio Pochettino (Right) and Rafael Benitez (Left) clash once again

Rafael Benitez: “The main message from me is to get behind the players, they will give everything for the club.

“And myself and my staff will equally make sure that we all do the very same thing.”

Mauricio Pochettino: “We’re calm, the team is ready to compete, last week against Juventus at Wembley, we showed a very good level.

“We cannot have any major concern or worry about our performance at this stage, though.”

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Jordan Ayew tops English Premier League sprint chart after 16 matches



Ghana forward Jordan Ayew has been rated as the player with most sprints in the English Premier League after 16 round of games.

The Swansea City attacker has always been faced with criticisms for his lack of work ethos when playing for the Ghana’s senior national team.

But the former Olympique Marseille man appears to have had the best statistics in arguably the world’s best championship in terms of a player that has made the most sprints in the league after 16 matches

The 25-year-old heads the list of the 10 players ahead of speedsters including Hector Bellerin of Arsenal, Delle Alli of Tottenham and Richarlison of Watford.

According to the, with their high intensity and counter-attacking football, Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints so far this season with a whopping 6198.

However, relegation-threatened West Ham have managed a measly 4942.

Surprisingly, Manchester United only have the 15th highest amount of sprints with 5210.

Even though Manchester City have wracked up the most sprints as a team, no individual star of Pep Guardiola’s side makes the top 10.

So which Premier League ace has sprinted the most times?

1. Jordan Ayew (Swansea) – 796 sprints

2. Delle Alli (Tottenham) – 742 sprints

3. Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) – 715 sprints

4. Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)- 695 sprints

5. Tom Cleverley (Watford) – 695 sprints

6. Tom Ince (Huddersfield) – 683 sprints

7. Abdoulaye Doucore (Watford) – 682 sprints

8. Richarlison (Watford) – 677 sprints

9. Erik Pieters (Stoke) – 669 sprints

10. Pascal Gross (Brighton) – 662 sprints

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Pots announced for Final Draw



With Peru completing the line-up of 32 teams for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, we now know the seeding pots for the Final Draw on 1 December.

It was confirmed in September, by the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions, that all teams will be allocated to (eight-team) pots 1 to 4 based on sporting principles. The October 2017 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be used to allocate all qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order, after hosts Russia who take the top seeding spot.

With those factors in mind, here are the final pots for the Final Draw:

POT 1 Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
POT 2 Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
POT 3 Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
POT 4 Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia

It is worth remembering that the principle of drawing the teams into the groups will remain unchanged. This means that no teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, which could have up to two teams in the same group, will be drawn into the same group.

The Final Draw will take place on Friday 1 December at Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace.

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« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »



Real Madrid are in a bad situation in the league, the club of Casa Blanca is currently third in Liga behind Valencia and Barça, the Catalans have taken a big lead, and this could definitely make them lose the championship in the winter. And a Madrid club player is highlighted in these poor results.

101 million euros for his transfer, 23 injuries since, 73 matches missed or 55% of the matches of his team. Statistics that would drive any coach and / or leaders crazy. You have it ?

These are the figures of Gareth Bale since his arrival at Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 from Tottenham. Whoever has played only nine games in the year 2017/2018 seems to have seriously undermined the patience of its leaders. Just back from a calf injury, he was summoned by the Welsh side to face France in a friendly last Friday, but made the choice to stay in Madrid to prepare for the derby against Atletico Madrid. But, the blow, the Welsh injured during training last Thursday and will be absent about a month.

What continue to fuel the rumors of transfers but especially what cause irritation of the board leader. The latter, tired of not being able to align their triplet « BBC », have made a decision that should be irrevocable, according to the Madrid newspaper AS: It must leave this summer. And the Spanish media also explains that the president of the Madrilenian club, Florentino Perez, added:

« We do not want him at Real Madrid anymore »
Yet strongly criticized last season, Bale had managed to avoid a departure last summer, claiming to want to win at Real Madrid. This year, his start to the season does not plead in his favor and he seems to have exhausted all his jokers in the Spanish capital. The departure of the Welsh international therefore seems to have been recorded.

The rumor of a return to the Premier League, Manchester United in particular, has been reactivated but the number of contenders could quickly evolve in view of the quality of the player. Be careful though, the Welsh is signed until 2022, and Florentino Perez is determined not to sell his player.

Unless a return to its best level, it is difficult to see how the Welsh international could reverse the situation. Zinedine Zidane even found his replacement for 100 million euros.

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