Sammy wants to seal semi-final spot by beating SA

first_imgCRICKET: ICC Twenty20 World Cup NAGPUR, India (AP) – West Indies captain Darren Sammy will be confidently aiming for a semi-final spot at the World Twenty20 when the 2012 champions take on South Africa in a Group 1 match today (9 a.m. Jamaica time). West Indies have recorded convincing victories against England and Sri Lanka on contrasting pitches in Mumbai and Bangalore and Sammy believes his side can maintain its momentum. Victory would assure West Indies of a place in the semi-finals, even before their fourth and last group game against Afghanistan on Sunday at the same venue. “We have six steps to the cup, we’ve taken two, tomorrow is about taking one more step toward our goal and that step is South Africa,” he said. “Hopefully we could entertain like we’ve been doing since the inception of T20 cricket and at the end of the day we’ll be celebrating a place in the semi-finals.” Mystery surrounds how the wicket will behave as it has been covered for the last two days under baking sun in Nagpur. If the wicket suits spinners like it did when New Zealand shocked hosts India in a low-scoring Group 2 opening match, Sammy has Samuel Badree and Sulieman Benn to pose challenges for the strong South Africa side. West Indies didn’t feel the absence of the destructive Chris Gayle against Sri Lanka after Andre Fletcher stepped up and made a rapid unbeaten 84 off 64 balls. Gayle, who scored a 47-ball century against England, couldn’t bat at Bangalore because of a hamstring injury he sustained while fielding, but he has regained fitness for today’s game. And Sammy hinted Fletcher could get the nod ahead of Johnson Charles as Gayle’s opening partner. “It’s a good headache to have whether we let Fletcher or Charles open the batting with Chris,” he said. “The good thing is Fletcher has played really well … we have a fair idea who will open tomorrow.” Despite the absence of their two key Twenty20 players Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine, West Indies twice successfully chased down the targets with ease. So much is the dominance of West Indies’ regular bowlers that Sammy and even Gayle are yet to bowl in the tournament. “That’s the beauty of our team,” Sammy said. “It’s not about egos and stuff like that, it’s about me as a captain doing what’s necessary at the time on the field for the best interest of the team.” South Africa lost to England before beating Afghanistan and are in a must-win situation as another defeat could put them in danger of making an early exit from the tournament. The Proteas scored over 200 runs against England and Afghanistan, but their bowlers went for plenty — especially in the first six overs of batting powerplay in both games at Mumbai. Joe Root’s epic 83-run knock helped England chase down World T20’s highest ever total of 230-8 while Afghanistan’s bulky opener Mohammad Shahzad whacked a rapid 41 to give South Africa an early scare. “As a team we’ve been possibly going at about 60-70 percent now for a while and I’m hoping that we’ll step up the gear when it comes to crunch time for us in the tournament,” said South Africa captain Faf du Plessis. “There’s a few mistakes we made, but I do think that bowling will be a little bit different in these conditions.” A hamstring injury to all-rounder JP Duminy during the Afghanistan match has also made South Africa consider bringing on Aaron Phangiso to supplement the legspin of Imran Tahir.last_img read more

Four for honours at Bell-Ziadie Memorial

first_imgFour football personalities will be honourees at the 30th staging of the Bell-Ziadie Memorial matches on Heroes Day (Monday, October 17) at Winchester Park, St George’s College. Among this year’s honourees are former FIFA referee Peter Prendergast, former schoolboy and national star, Kenneth ‘Bop’ Campbell, and posthumously former national goalkeeper Orville Edwards and former St George’s College and national player, Leighton Hue. “This year, we will honour four persons who contributed to the development of football in Jamaica,” chief organiser Clive ‘Busy’ Campbell disclosed during the launch of the Masters and Celebrities-promoted event at Cuddy’z Restaurant and Grill in New Kingston on Tuesday. Campbell also said it is time for Jamaica to get “back to basics” in the development of football in Jamaica. “We are all saddened that we failed in our bid to advance to World Cup 2018. We all can say we could have, we should have, but that is now history,” Campbell said. “We need to get back to basics, nurturing our youngsters and putting in place structured programmes as a start. We can do better,” said the former Jamaica Football Federation league director, during the time when Rene Simoes came to Jamaica. He added: “I appeal to the coaches of the various football clubs to ensure that they nurture the young talent that is in their care by guiding them, talk to them about the basic principles of football. The coaches need to explain to them why being disciplined is important, explain to them why education is important as one must be intelligent to play football. Explain to them why team work is important. Once they get that, I think we should be well on our way.” He further said: “Coaches should do it for the love of the game, do it for Jamaica, do it because of the passion you feel. Do it for the talented young men who are hungry for any opportunity and not for the fame and fortune that may just come your way.” Former FIFA referee, Prendergast, called for the development of proper surfaces in order for the improvement of the game in Jamaica. “We must have proper playing fields to move forward. We cannot continue to play on those surfaces that is affecting the game,” Prendergast said. The Bell-Ziadie matches are scheduled to start at 2 p.m., with three teams participating. The teams include St George’s College Invitational, Chris Martin Invitational and Masters and Celebrities. Among the names are former World Cup players Walter Boyd, Ricardo Gardner, Ian Goodison, as well as Shavar Thomas, Usain Bolt, Jermaine Gonzales, Nicholas Ziadie and others. Winthorpe ‘Jackie’ Bell and Dennis Ziadie died in an accident during the 1986 FIFA World Cup Finals in Mexico City, Mexico. Since then, ‘Busy’ Campbell has organised the game to honour both men, who contributed significantly to local football. MESSAGE TO COACHESlast_img read more

Boris Becker calls for fight against racism amid tweet spat

first_imgOSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Richardson’s layup lifts Heat past Jazz Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Former German tennis player Boris Becker addresses the media during a news conference of the German Tennis Federation DTB in Frankfurt, Germany, on August 23, 2017. Six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker will be named as the German Tennis Federation’s (DTB) first ‘head of tennis’, according to AFP subsidiary SID. AFP PHOTOBERLIN — Former tennis star Boris Becker says it’s time to stand up against racism amid a controversy over a slur directed at his son from the Twitter account of a German nationalist lawmaker.In an article for Sunday’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper, Becker questioned the assertion of Alternative for Germany lawmaker Jens Maier that the tweet about Noah Becker was posted by a member of his staff. He called for “consequences.”ADVERTISEMENT Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals 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 awardcenter_img OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ A lawyer for Noah Becker said Thursday the 23-year-old had filed a criminal complaint against Maier, who has said he regretted the “mishap.”The elder Becker wrote in Sunday’s article that racism must no longer be accepted and “it is time to stand up … here and all over the world.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson MOST READ Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina View commentslast_img read more

Asian Games: Dismal start for PH boxers as Petecio, Bacho crash out

first_imgSEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) PLAY LIST 02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)04:07SEA Games: John Marvin 1st Filipino boxer to crash out, bows to Vietnam bet02:51SEA Games 2019: PH’s Josie Gabuco boxing light flyweight semi final (HIGHLIGHTS)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 DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal Peza offers relief to ecozone firms ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentscenter_img Bacho suffered the same fate after a 4-1 loss to Iran’s Sajjad Kazemzadeh Poshtiri in the round of 32 in the men’s welterweight division.Joel Bacho of Philippines (in red) competes against Sajjad Kazemzadeh Poshtiri of Iran (in blue) during the men’s welter 69 kgs boxing round of 32 at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on August 24, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MONEY SHARMAThe Philippines, though, still has six boxers who are still in the hunt for a medal finish.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Eumir Marcial, who won gold medals in the welterweight and middleweight divisions in the two previous Southeast Asian Games, will face Macau’s Ng Kuok Kun in the round of 16 in the men’s middleweight division.Carlo Paalam advanced to the round of 16 of the men’s lightweight division while Irish Magno will duke it out against Pang Chol Mi of the People’s Republic of Korea in the round of 16 in the women’s flyweight division. Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Yin Junhua of China (red) and Nesthy Petecip of Philippines (blue) compete during the women’s feather 57 kgs boxing round of 16 at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on August 24, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MONEY SHARMAA couple of Filipino boxers were booted out of contention as Nesthy Petecio and Joel Bacho suffered similar losses Friday in the 2018 Asian Games Friday at JIExpo in Jakarta.Petecio lost to China’s Yin Junhua in the round of 16 via split decision, 3-2, in the women’s featherweight division.ADVERTISEMENT James Palicte will face Uzbek fighter Shunkor Abdurasulov in the round of 16 in the men’s lightweight division while Rogen Ladon will go up against Nepal’s Prem Chaudhary in the men’s flyweight division.Lastly, Mario Fernandez will take on Iraq’s Jaafar Abdulridha ali Al Sudani in the round of 32 in the men’s bantamweight division.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next TNT loses anew but Racela likes what he sees from new import Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? MOST READlast_img read more

The Key to Christianizing Liberia: Wipe Out Witchcraft!

first_imgThe House of Representatives is to be commended for approving seven key propositions for the Referendum scheduled to be voted upon in the forthcoming presidential and general elections.We are sorry that they dropped Dual Citizenship—why? We do not know. But we have always maintained that Dual Citizenship would be good for Liberia because it would bring to the country many advantages that several other countries around the world, notably the State of Israel, are enjoying.Remember that just as God warned Israel many times that they would be scattered to the four corners of the earth, indeed they were. But He also promised to bring them back to the land of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And the Israelites have indeed come back, thanks to Dual Citizenship, which has made Israel the most advanced nation in the entire Middle East. Because of Israel, many Middle Eastern nations have been striving to catch up with their arch enemy, Israel and, as a result, so many Middle Eastern countries are steadily being modernized.We continue to think that Liberia could benefit handsomely from Dual Citizenship, and we hope and pray that in the next administration the subject will resurrect and then be favorably voted in referendum so that our country may begin to reap the benefits of this initiative.We thank the House further for proposing in the Referendum the reduction in the tenure of Representatives, Senators and the President. The tenure for the President, Vice President and Representatives, according to the proposal, would be reduced from six to four years; while that of Senators’ would be reduced from nine to six years.We consider this decision by the House to be most reasonable, patriotic and selfless, and we trust that the Senate will follow suit by voting likewise.But the main point of this Editorial is to state that though we think the House did not go far enough, Members are to be sincerely thanked for putting “on hold” the issue of declaring Liberia “a Christian state.”The House, we strongly believe, should have simply thrown out this terribly divisive and totally unnecessary proposition.It would be very interesting and revealing to know WHO on Gloria Scott’s Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) was behind this proposition. Who in that Committee thought themselves wiser than the Founding Fathers who, though ALL of them were Christians, clearly stated in the Constitution of 1847 that NO religion would take precedence over another in Liberia. That constitutional provision laid the foundation for religious harmony in our country. Without this, Liberia would have far sooner than 1989 exploded into civil war—why? Because there was already the ethnic divide, precipitated by the exclusion of the vast majority of the population, the indigenous people, from the body politic. To have made Christianity constitutionally the preferred religion in the republic would definitely have raised the red flag of tension and disunity, and peace would have much sooner been seriously undermined. So who are you to be so presumptuous as to think that you are smarter than the Fore Fathers: We challenge you to come out of your closet and tell us who you really are!The majority of the Liberian Christian community, including the Liberian Council of Churches and major religious bodies, including the first two, the Baptists and Methodists, the Episcopal and several of the Pentecostal churches, have already rejected this proposition. What we at the Daily Observer most lament about these leading Christian bodies, indeed all Christian bodies in Liberia, is their reluctance founded probably on timidity (fearfulness) to confront head-on the crippling, even deadly demon of witchcraft prevalent among Liberians. Only last week we heard the story of how a Kru father in Monrovia flatly and vigorously REFUSED the invitation of his close relatives in Sinoe County to send his daughter there for a visit. Why? “Do you want to kill my daughter as you have killed so many of our relatives when they visited you?” he asked. “My daughter was raised in the Settler environment in Monrovia, and in Monrovia she will remain. I am not sending her to you to die.”Yes, we know that many leading politicians, too, whether or not they have Settler connections, engage in witchcraft. But that is the problem. Witchcraft is so pervasive in the Republic that the people are crying out for religious, most especially Christian intervention to drive witchcraft from Liberia.How can this be done? It can be done through concerted, intense, widespread evangelistic campaigns to get Liberians to understand that the blood of Jesus ALONE, with its emphasis on faith in Almighty God, brother and sisterly love, forgiveness and reconciliation, can save Liberia and help her to move forward in peace, progress and development.These are the true bases of good governance that can propel Liberia into pristine glory and greatness.Can our churches rise to this challenge to evangelize Liberia and drive out from our borders the crippling, debilitating wickedness of witchcraft that has snuffed out so many thousands of innocent lives through ritualistic and other killings? It remains to be seen whether our churches have the courage to rise to this urgent challenge. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Stage greenhorns tackle `Proof’

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“It’s a serious topic about parents who fail and what that means to the children who may or may not have inherited those traits,” Lee said. “I think it’s something a lot of people are wrestling with.” The play was first shown in 2000, and the Broadway production won a Tony Award for Best Play in 2001. The script also won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In 2005, the show was made into a movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Hope Davis, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anthony Hopkins. Paltrow was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance. “Proof” tells the story of Catherine, a young woman who left college at Northwestern to take care of her mentally ill father, Robert. As the play opens, Robert has just passed away. Catherine finds a mathematical proof authored by her father, who in his early years was a mathematical genius. Catherine is left to grapple with the death of her father and the chance that she has inherited his illness, as well as her relationship with love interest Hal and her sister Claire, all while trying to prove who truly wrote the paper she discovered. Four amateur actors will try to “prove” their talent as their first show together opens this weekend at the Whittier Center Theatre. The actors will present “Proof,” an award-winning play by David Auburn with a darker edge than many of the other productions the amateur acting company has done. “We walk a very fine line where we try to do something new and original and at the same time we try to respect our audiences who like more comfortable pieces,” director Roxie Lee said. The play contains some strong language and is not recommended for children younger than 13, but Lee said the show offers a fresh, modern play about family and fate. For Lee, the annual fall performance for Whittier Community Theatre is a contrast from the popular summer musical, a chance to tackle a challenging modern piece. “I personally was one of the people who was really pushing for it, because it has so much to say,” Lee said. Although Lee has been directing with the theater group since the early 1990s, the actors in “Proof” are new to the group. Hester Wagner plays Claire, Catherine’s put-together sister. Wagner, 26, moved to Los Angeles from New York City two months ago and said she found Whittier Community Theatre through a Web site for aspiring actors. She said the experience so far has been positive. “Everything is really great, probably one of the smoothest plays that I’ve worked on,” Wagner said. “We’re all ready to explore and do stuff together.” Wagner said she first saw the play on Broadway and said she believes the show is relevant for Whittier residents. “The play is so well written that it just speaks to everybody on some level that goes to see it,” Wagner said. Leslie Rivera, 28, is also in her first production with the community group, and plays Catherine. Rivera said the role is one she has hoped to be cast in since she saw the play years ago. “I think the writing is beautiful,” Rivera said. “We are working so hard to make it a great production.” The production also includes Richard Large, 52, of Pasadena. Large saw “Proof” on Broadway several years ago, soon after it opened and plays Catherine’s father. He said he expects that audiences will be impressed by the strength of the acting team, the directing and the writing. “It’s a very moving script,” Large said. “If we do it right, they’ll follow along with us and fall in love with these people.” “Proof” opens at 8 p.m. today, and runs for three consecutive Friday and Saturday evenings, with one Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 11. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors. For information, call (562) 693-1105. (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Marian Harkin urges government to go to ECJ to clarify Apple issue

first_imgA less costly and quicker way to establish whether state aid regulations have been breached in the Apple issue would be to seek clarification from the European Court of Justice rather than instigating a challenge.This was proposed by Independent MEP Marian Harkin when she stressed that it was possible to avoid a lengthy and expensive procedure by utilising a mechanism which had been regularly used by member states when they have been unsure as to whether certain matters complied with EU legislation.Marian Harkin, MEPShe said; “This would clarify whether the European Commission’s ruling complies with EU legislation and, if so, what are the implications for future tax policy in the member states.” “Those of us who have seen the pressure put on Ireland by certain EU members during the bailout to change our corporation tax regime, and who see the ongoing pressure to adopt an EU wide common consolidated corporate tax base, are only too well aware of the need to be scrupulously careful in any matter to do with tax from an EU perspective.”EU Commission“What I don’t want is that 2/3 years down the line we find competition policy being used to influence or indeed direct our tax policies. This issue is too important for hasty decisions. The ECJ is there to adjudicate in an impartial way on matters such as this. Not to use it would be careless at best and dangerous at worst”, Marian Harkin MEP concluded.Marian Harkin urges government to go to ECJ to clarify Apple issue was last modified: September 2nd, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:apple taxeuropean court of justicemarian harkinMEPtim cooklast_img read more


first_imgDonegal Sports Partnership has announced the appointment on a short term part time contract of Karen Guthrie as Coordinator of the Innovative Programme for Sport and Recreation.Karen, from Castlefin, is well known in Ladies GAA as a midfielder with Donegal Senior Ladies GAA team which won an Intermediate All Ireland Football Championship in 2010.A Bachelor of Science in Sport and Sciences graduate from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown Karen will join the DSP team as a project coordinator to support the delivery the sports programme funded by the Donegal CDB Peace and Reconciliation Partnership. This programme will focus on using the values of sport and physical activity in eliminating issues relating to sectarianism, racism and social exclusion within communities across Co Donegal and will run until June 2013.Information sessions relating to the programme will be held in Inver and Letterkenny over the next few weeks and all are welcome to attend.Further in formation from Donegal Sports Partnership, River Front House, Pearse Road, Letterkenny – 074 9116078 / 91116079 or  DONEGAL SPORTS PARTNERSHIP MAKES KEY APPOINTMENT was last modified: August 30th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgMartin Regan has replaced Paddy Campbell as Naomh Conaill GAA Senior team manager.Martin Regan has been named as the Naomh Conaill GAA Senior Team manager for the forthcoming 2015 campaign.Regan’s appointment was ratified by the board during a meeting which was held last night.Regan takes over from Paddy Campbell who served as manager for two seasons. Naomh Conaill have an excellent squad filled with current Donegal stars and with a healthy underage system in place will be hoping to kick on next year.There are many GAA commentators in Donegal who feel Naomh Conaill should’ve won more than just TWO Donegal SFC titles in nine years, especially when you consider the success they’ve enjoyed at U21 level in particular.Regan will no doubt be targeting the Donegal SFC title, having narrowly exited the Donegal SFC at the semi-final juncture this year they’ be hoping to go all the way next year.With Leo McLoone, Dermot Molloy, Anthony Thompson and minor star Ethan O’Donnell in their ranks Naomh Conaill are as good as anyone on their day.  MARTIN REGAN NAMED AS NEW NAOMH CONAILL SENIOR TEAM MANAGER was last modified: December 9th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAAMartin ReganNaomh ConaillnewsSportlast_img read more

La Liga: Real eye return to winning ways at home to Villarreal

first_img Tags: Spanish La Ligatop Sevilla vs LeganesEstadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, SevilleFriday, 03-05-2019 @10pmThe Friday night game in La Liga this week comes from Seville. There isn’t an awful lot riding on it for visitors Leganes who have 42 points on the board and aren’t in any real danger of going down. Sevilla though are desperate for a win after a few recent hiccups have left them still outside the top four heading into the final three weeks of the season.All three 4th place contenders lost last weekend so their 1-0 defeat at struggling Girona wasn’t ultimately as damaging as it might have been. They trail Getafe in 4th only by virtue of an inferior head-to-head record. With a trip to the Wanda Metropolitano to come next weekend, it’s vital they win here which would really ramp up the pressure on both Geta and Valencia who both play on Sunday.Leganes meanwhile have the chance to rubber stamp their safety by winning this game. That could happen this weekend anyway if results go their way and they are on course for their best ever league finish. Victory here would actually lift them as high as 9th but the odds are stacked against them with Lega having gone 5 without a win now.They failed to even create a clear goalscoring opportunity last weekend at home against a Celta defence that is amongst the worst in the division. A trip to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan is clearly much tougher and despite a strong overall campaign, Leganes don’t have a great away record. 59% of their road matches this season in La Liga have ended in defeat and without much left to play, motivation could become a bit of a factor in their final few games.Sevilla will see this as a good game to have at this key time in the season for them. They’ve been strong at home since the return of Joaquin Caparros and have won 4 of their last 5 home league games. They average 2.12 points per game at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this season, easily the 4th best record and they also average an impressive 2.18 goals per home game.Levante vs Rayo VallecanoEstadio Cuidad de ValenciaSaturday, 04-05-2019 @2pmThis is a simply massive football game at the wrong end of La Liga with the top flight futures of both Levante and Rayo Vallecano in doubt heading into it. The visitors are in much greater peril and may need to win all three of their remaining matches to stay up. Levante would hit the 40 point mark if they can win this game but anything less would leave them in serious trouble heading into the final two match-days.Levante dealt their survival hopes a much needed boost when they hammered Betis 4-0 in their most recent home game. They gave a pretty good account of themselves at Camp Nou last time out too, only going down 1-0 as the Catalans were crowned champions. They now have back-to-back games against relegation rivals but this is their most obvious chance to pick up the victory they may need to keep them in La Liga.Rayo Vallecano looked down and out when they were hammered 5-0 by Sevilla in their most recent road game. However they bounced back 3 days later to record their first win over city rivals Real Madrid in 22 years with a deserved victory at Vallecas. They are still 9 points shy of the magic 40 figure but their final 3 games are all against direct relegation rivals so a great escape is not completely implausible now.With both sides really needing to win this game, it has the potential to be quite open and a few goals look likely. Levante have been one of the most entertaining sides to watch in Spain this term and their home fixtures have been particularly good with 3.47 goals per game on average. 6 of their last 7 league outings have produced 4 or more goals with the only exception being the trip to Camp Nou where they changed their usual formation and played with much greater caution.That’s unlikely here and they should enjoy the space Rayo are likely to offer them with the visitors with little choice but to target the win. These are also the two teams with the worst defensive records in the division. Both have conceded 62 league goals already, 5 more than the next worst team.Espanyol vs Atletico MadrdiRCDE Stadium, BarcelonaSaturday, 04-05-2019 @5:15pmIt won’t be a particularly dramatic end to the season for either Espanyol or Atletico Madrid and there’s not a great deal at stake here. That said, Atletico can seal 2nd place and a finish above city rivals Real for the second season running with a point here. The hosts meanwhile need victory to keep their slim European hopes alive but in truth they look out of contention now.It might have been different had they not failed to convert leads into victories in each of their last 3 matches. The latest setback came on Monday night when they conceded a Stoppage Time leveller at Real Betis. Rubi can at least reflect on a 6 game unbeaten streak so they do take reasonable overall form into this match.Atletico Madrid to their credit have made Barcelona win the title on the pitch. They could easily have handed it to them on a plate had they slipped up in any of their recent games but Atleti have reeled off 4 straight victories since losing at Camp Nou. They now find themselves 9 points behind Barcelona but 9 points ahead of Real Madrid with only 3 games to go. Atleti have an inferior head-to-head record in both cases which is why the title has been won and why they still need a point to guarantee 2nd.Any season where Atleti finish above Real Madrid can’t be viewed as a disaster in the red and white half of the Spanish capital. However they have never really delivered on their potential this season after a very encouraging summer with some major acquisitions. Too many draws on the road has been one reason why they’ve struggled to live with Barca and a 41% away win ratio isn’t good enough for a side looking to compete for the title.Espanyol are capable of denting that further here. Despite a mid-season blip, they’ve been pretty strong at home throughout the campaign. Only six teams in the Spanish top flight can better their return of 1.76 points per home game. They’ve only suffered one defeat in their last seven at the RCDE Stadium which suggests they are well over their winter woes and they will see a result as a real possibility here.Deportivo Alaves vs Real SociedadEstadio de Mendizorroza, Vitoria GastiezSaturday, 04-05-2019 @7:30pmThere’s another Basque derby this Saturday in La Liga as Alaves take on Real Sociedad. The hosts are battling to maintain their European hopes and victory would move them level on points with Athletic Club in 7th, what’s almost certain to be the final Europa League position. Sociedad though would move level on points with Alaves were they to win this game.La Real are most likely too far back though to seriously get involved in what has become an all Basque battle for Spain’s final European place. A recent poor run has made sure of that and they come into this game having only won 2 of their last 11 in La Liga. One of those victories did come last time out though when they beat high-flying Getafe 2-1 at the Anoeta.Alaves’ last game was also a Basque derby as they held Athletic at San Mames. It was a decent result but still leaves them playing catch-up in that battle for 7th and Alaves’ overall form suggests they stand little chance of getting it. They’ve gone 7 without a win heading into this match. The departure of their coach Abelardo has also been announced amidst some turmoil behind the scenes in Vitoria with the 49 year old rejecting a new deal leading to the club to announcing his exit in somewhat bizarre circumstances.Abelardo may well wind up at Real Betis next season but if the recent results are anything to go by, the off-field stuff hasn’t helped this Alaves side which has perhaps over-achieved this season. They really need to win this game so some of their usual caution may be thrown aside and this has the potential to be relatively open.Alaves haven’t been as solid defensively in recent weeks in any case. They’ve gone 10 matches without a clean sheet now, another major factor in their loss of form. 4 of their last 5 matches have seen both teams score and they should be able to ask questions from the flanks in this one.8 of Sociedad’s last 9 games have also produced goals at each end. Their form has been a bit patchy but they do have the makings of a good side and in Willian Jose, Juanmi and Mikel Oyarzabal they do have goals in their team. The latter has had a brilliant season with 13 league goals. 8 of them have come since the start of February so he has been in a rich vein of form in front of goal of late and backing Oyarzabal to score anytime could be worth a punt in this one.Celta Vigo vs BarcelonaAbanca Balaidos, VigoSaturday, 04-05-2019 @9:45pmBarcelona were crowned champions of Spain last weekend and took another huge step towards the treble in midweek by beating Liverpool 3-0 at Camp Nou in the Champions League. A very different side is expected to take to the field at Balaidos on Saturday though. Celta Vigo are battling for their lives and the bookies make them the favourites to win this game and edge closer to survival in La Liga.Ernesto Valverde is doing an excellent job in Barcelona and while it may not always be appreciated, the results are beginning to speak for themselves. They wrapped up the most comfortable of title wins last weekend and they’ve certainly earned the right to rotate here although it’s unlikely to go down particularly well with the other sides at the bottom. Even with a 3-0 advantage, they will still be a bit nervous about the trip to Anfield and will be determined to head there in the best possible shape.Celta Vigo picked up a point at Leganes last weekend but they remain very much in the thick of the relegation scrap. The Balaidos crowd is sure to make this a hostile environment for the newly crowned champions and they’ve been arriving early in recent weeks to cheer the team bus on its way to the stadium. It has done the trick too with Celta winning their last 3 at home however they are still only just outside the relegation zone heading into this one.The team news here is very important for both sides. Celta’s key man Iago Aspas is expected to shake off a shoulder problem or at the very least play with injections and he has been inspired since his return from a more serious injury. The hometown hero has fired in 6 goals in 6 games with 5 in his last 3 at Balaidos. Backing Aspas to score anytime could be worth a punt here.His presence also increases the chances of this being a relatively high scoring game and Celta generally have been an entertaining watch this season. Only five sides have scored more goals than them but only two have conceded more and they are sure to take the game to what is certain to be a much weakened Barcelona side.The Catalans drew at Huesca a few weeks back with a youthful side but this will be a much more intense and much tougher test for their emerging players and Celta look capable of causing big problems for a defence that won’t feature the likes of Gerard Pique.Getafe vs GironaColiseuim Alfonso Perez, GetafeSunday, 05-05-2019 @1pmThis is a massive game for both Getafe and Girona. The hosts are looking to ensure they are in 4th place and pole position to secure Champions League football heading into the final fortnight of the season in La Liga. Girona meanwhile are battling just to stay in it and three points this Sunday would be a massive lift for them.Getafe are in a three-way battle with Sevilla and Valencia for that final Champions League position. They may feel as though they missed a great opportunity to really edge ahead last time out though. With the other two sides having lost earlier in the day, Getafe failed to make them pay as they slipped to a rare away defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad. With a trip to Camp Nou to come next weekend, it’s vital they win this match.Girona meanwhile finally stopped the rot in their last match. Having lost 6 on the bounce, they did Geta a favour by beating Sevilla 1-0 at Montilivi. The result lifted them out of the bottom three but they hold just a 2 point advantage on Valladolid in 18th heading into this game and there is still plenty of work to be done before they can start planning for another season in the top flight.Overall, the hosts look the more likely victors here. After 35 games, it’s hard to ignore the league table and Getafe are good value for their top six status this term. They aren’t always easy on the eye but they are very strong defensively with only Atletico Madrid having conceded fewer goals in the Spanish top flight. They are also strong at home with an impressive 59% home win ratio. They come into this one having won 8 of their last 10 home matches in all competitions.Girona meanwhile have lost their last 3 on the road, having been reasonably good travellers before that. Their victory last weekend was a much needed boost but the goals have really dried up for them with just 3 scored in their last 6 matches. Cristhian Stuani has scored over half of their goals this term but he has gone 4 without netting and the Getafe central defence is well equipped to deal with his aerial threat.Eibar vs Real BetisEstadio Municipal de Ipurua, EibarSunday, 05-05-2019 @3pmA season that had so much promise has unravelled for Real Betis. Boss Quique Setien has been jeered loudly for several games now by the club’s fans and a change is expected in the summer. He will take Betis to the Basque Country this Sunday though as they take on an Eibar side that is targeting a top half finish in La Liga.The Basques hadn’t been in the best of form either, taking just 1 point from 4 league outings before their trip to the Mestalla last time out. However a late goal from Charles sealed a shock 1-0 win, just their second away from home all season. At Ipurua they’ve generally been much more assured and they will fancy this against an out of sorts Betis side.Betis at least ended a 3 game losing streak last time out with a Stoppage Time goal of their own to rescue a point at home to Espanyol. It didn’t stop the Betis fans calling for their coach to go at Full-Time but it looks as though Setien will hold his position until at least the summer. Betis are now out of realistic European contention and a mid-table finish is about as good as it can get.Overall, the hosts look the more likely victors here. Betis capitulated 4-0 at Levante in their most recent away game. They’ve lost 56% of their league fixtures in 2019, which is a really poor return. Things were expected to pick up a bit when they were knocked out of both cups in quick succession in February but that really hasn’t happened and they look like a side that no longer fully believes in Setien’s relentless possession game.Eibar will be a lot more direct and get lots of crosses into the box, a tactic that worked for Leganes in their recent 3-0 win over Betis. Eibar have won 4 of their last 7 home games in La Liga and Ipurua has been something of a fortress again for them with the minnows taking 1.71 points per game in front of their own fans this term.Real Madrid vsVillarreal Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, MadridSunday, 05-05-2019 @5:15pmSunday’s game at the Bernabeu sees Real Madrid play host to Villarreal in La Liga. Los Blancos are coasting towards the end of the season in truth and are heading for a disappointing 3rd place finish. Villarreal meanwhile still have a bit of work to do to guarantee their safety but they may feel as though they already have enough points on the board now having hit the magic 40 figure last week.The Yellow Submarine reached that mark with a 1-1 home draw against Huesca last time out. That brought to an end a 3 game winning streak which had really fired them away from trouble but they won’t be able to totally relax until relegation is mathematically impossible. They can take a bit of confidence into this game though having taken 4 points from their last 2 league visits to the Bernabeu.Real Madrid’s season plunged to fresh depths with a terrible performance and 1-0 defeat away to bottom club Rayo Vallecano last time out. They’ve now won just 1 of their last 4 in La Liga and Zinedine Zidane’s return hasn’t really lifted any of the gloom that has hovered over their season. There hasn’t even been a sense of players trying to prove their worth ahead of an expected summer shake-up and both players and supporters now seem hungry just for this season to finish.Real Madrid have at least been getting the job done at home of late though. They’ve won all four home matches since the return of Zidane and cruised to a 3-0 victory against an in-form Athletic Bilbao side last time out at the Bernabeu. They are missing one or two players here but there is still a huge amount of quality in the squad and that should be enough to see off struggling opposition.Los Blancos do have a 71% home win ratio this term in La Liga which isn’t terrible by any means but it hasn’t been sufficient to keep pace with the two sides above them. Villarreal have had an equally poor season and they have lost 3 of their last 5 competitive away fixtures despite an overall upturn in form.Real Valladolid vs Athletic BilbaoEstádio Municipal Jose Zorrilla, ValadolidSunday, 05-05-2019 @7:30pmThis Sunday’s game is a massive one for Real Valladolid who are fighting against relegation to the Segunda Division. Unfortunately for them, opponents Athletic Bilbao are also playing for more than pride with European qualification their objective now. Therefore it’s one of the biggest games of the weekend in La Liga and plenty of other teams besides these two will be keeping a close eye on it.Valladolid currently occupy 18th place having slipped back into the drop-zone as a result of their 1-0 away defeat against Atletico Madrid last time out. They felt they were on the wrong end of some poor decisions in that game though and they are certainly fighting for every ball right now having gone 3 matches unbeaten prior to that. They’ve had to deal with plenty of injury problems though which has further depleted a squad that is short on genuine top flight quality.Athletic were held at home by Alaves last time out. They’d have all but sealed European qualification had they won that game. However it was still a pretty good weekend for them with the 3 sides above them all losing. Athletic currently look to be heading for 7th but would love to climb another place which would most likely give them direct entry into the Europa League group stage as opposed to an early start in July in the Qualifying Rounds.This certainly doesn’t have the makings of a classic. Athletic’s success since the change in coach has come about largely by improving defensively but they are still a bit short on genuine goal threats with Inaki Williams their only consistent scorer this season and he’s more of a makeshift striker than a predator.He’s a big jump in class on anything Valladolid have though. The strugglers are La Liga’s lowest scorers with an average of just 0.83 goals per game this term and they’ve managed 0.88 per game at home. 66% of their matches have produced two or fewer goals.Huesca vs ValenciaEstadio El Alcoraz, HuescaSunday, 05-05-2019 @9:45pmThis is the final game this weekend in La Liga. By the time it starts, Huesca will have a clearer picture of what they need to do to take their fight for survival into next weekend. Whatever happens in the other games, they will be relegated if they lose this though. Valencia will be in merciless mood however as they aim to further their own top four ambitions.Their hopes of reaching next season’s Champions League now look more likely to come down to finishing 4th in La Liga after they lost 3-1 at Arsenal in the 1st Leg of their Europa League Semi-Final on Thursday. They were minutes away from going back to the Mestalla with just a 2-1 deficit and it’s certainly a big ask for them now next week and it’ll be interesting to see whether they opt to rest any players here.There may be some light rotation which could aid Huesca’s chances to some extent but Valencia can’t afford to mess around too much. Huesca may be bottom but they are no mugs and actually come into this game unbeaten in 6 league outings. They salvaged a point late on against Villarreal last time out and 5 of their last 6 matches have finished level. If they’d just managed to convert a couple of those draws into wins, they’d still be in with a real chance of staying up but it’s looking almost impossible now.They’ve shown no sign of going down with a whimper though and they look capable of getting something from this game. They average a very respectable 1.56 points per home game since the turn of the year and some of their football is certainly befitting of this stage. They’ve not been a clinical enough but they are certainly a side that should create chances in this match.There is likely to be some fatigue in the Valencia camp as they make their way back from London to the small Aragonese town. It’s a quick turnaround and not the easiest of journeys and there will be a concern that Valencia could put in another flat display as happened when they lost 2-0 at second bottom Rayo Vallecano a few weeks back. The games are mounting up but Valencia head into this on the back of a three game losing streak having also lost at home to Eibar in La Liga last weekend.BET ON ALL THESE GAMES AND MANY MORE @Bunga BetComments last_img read more