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Juventus could fire Higuain if he doesn’t return to Italy

first_imgAbout Higuaín, who is experiencing a moment of concern both about the health situation in Italy in the face of the COVID-19 emergency and about his mother’s illness, there are no certainties and nothing excludes anything. Failure to return to Italy could lead to two paths: seeking an agreement to terminate (The tip has several offers, including that of his River Plate) or come to a confrontation with the club, who would refuse to pay him all the remaining wages, around 10 million net. In the coming days Maurizio Sarri could intervene, with whom the player has a special relationship (they have already worked together in Naples and London): the coach is most interested in settling the matter as soon as possible, especially if in the end it will be possible to recover the postponed matches.Juve is looking for a new center forward, but would have it at their disposal for the next course and, in this, the only one they can count on is Pipita. The former Madrid player, alternating with Dybala, was having a positive performance, playing more for the team (as his eight assists demonstrate) and also scoring a goal (he has eight). Giving up his talent in the final stretch of the season is an outcome that the mister wants to avoid at all costs, since it would force him to always play with the ‘Joya’ and Cristiano, or to make one of his wingers point (Douglas Costa, Juan Cudrado and Federico Bernardeschi).The one that has just started may be the decisive week: if the Italian Government will give the ok to the training sessions, which would finally have a date, the call for all the bianconeri abroad will arrive. And Higuaín will have to give his answer.A month in ArgentinaGonzalo Higuaín left Italy when the players and several Juventus employees were in quarantine after the positive by Covid-19 of Rugani and Matuidi. The Argentine was intercepted by the police but had a certificate of having given ‘negative’ and they allowed him to leave on a private plane that could not fly directly to Argentina and had to stop in France and Spain.Juventus authorized the trip and now, It is awaiting a possible return in which there is nothing clear.The striker is pondering his decision and the club has no answer to know if he will return or not when they call up the players. who are abroad to return to training. Given this situation, Tuttosport proposes three future scenarios for the top: returning to Italy and ending the season, not returning with permission from Juventus or without permission, staying in Argentina and that the Turin club ends up terminating his contract for breach of it. Italian football does not yet have a date to return to training and, while clubs and institutions discuss how (and if) to return to work, several Calcio players remain abroad. One of them is Gonzalo Higuain, whose case has been causing controversy in Italy for days.The situation of the Argentine is complicated: he only has one year left on his contract and Juventus has been looking for his heir for months. The names that shuffle are various, although the ones that sound the most are those of Mauro Icardi and Arkadiusz Milik. The first is an old goal of sports director Fabio Paratici and he yearns to return to the transalpine country after his time at PSG. Parisians should spend 70 million to exercise the purchase option from Inter, which would rise to 85 if in the end the Argentine ends up being transferred to an Italian club. The Pole, for his part, does not find an agreement to renew with Naples and Maurizio Sarri would be delighted to return to work with him, although his agent has not closed the doors to a new negotiation with the Azzurri to prolong it.The attitude of Juventus, who already seems to consider Pipita out of his plans, would be, according to the Italian press, one of the reasons that has led him to consider staying in Argentina also when the go-ahead comes to return to training.last_img read more

India beat England by 246 runs

first_imgVISAKHAPATNAM, India (AP):India took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five match series by beating England by 246 runs yesterday to win the second test.India sealed a comprehensive victory after lunch on the fifth and final day, dismissing England for 158 in 97.3 overs.Needing to bat through the final day to salvage a draw after resuming on 87-2, chasing an improbable target of 405 to win, England lost their last eight wickets for just 66 runs, giving up five wickets in the morning session then three more after lunch to concede a heavy defeat.India captain Virat Kohli questioned the opposition’s intent as England focused on batting out more than four sessions to save the match.”You need to show some intent as the pitch gets tougher to bat on,” said Kohli, who was named man of the match after scoring 167 and 81. “Scoring runs in between puts some pressure on the bowlers. It is a basic thing. If you don’t have that intent in the fourth innings, it is tough to play out four and a half sessions (on Days 4 and 5).”England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow followed up his first innings half-century to finish unbeaten on 34, but no one outside of England’s top three batsman made double figures.TIGHTEN THE SCREWSRavichandran Ashwin and Jayant Yadav finished with three wickets each, while Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja got two apiece for India.England made an ominous start to the day when Ben Duckett went early for a duck, caught behind by Wriddhiman Saha off Ashwin with just five added to the overnight total.Moeen Ali made just two before he was caught at backward short leg off Jadeja as India began to tighten the screws.Ben Stokes was bowled for six by off-spinner Yadav after the drinks break, then Shami used the second new ball to get rid of Joe Root (25) and Adil Rashid (4) and leave India in total command.No one bowler stood out on a wearing pitch, and the Indian attack worked as a unit, using the conditions on offer.The home team wrapped up the final three wickets quickly after the lunch interval with Ashwin bowling Zafar Ansari for a duck then Yadav trapping Stuart Broad (5) and James Anderson (0) leg before wicket in successive deliveries.The first test in Rajkot was drawn. The third test starts in Mohali on November 26.last_img read more

Election or No Election: Another Hard Test for the Liberian Constitution

first_imgSince the return to civilian democratic rule there have been numerous crises of constitutional ambiguities on key political and governance issues. These crises continue to cast doubt on the usefulness of the Constitution to Liberia’s postwar challenges, and in some instances, have gravely impacted public policy. From the appointing powers of the President to residential requirement of candidates for electoral offices, the Constitution has gone through numerous crises of interpretation. The latest crises have been the use of emergency powers, which I wrote on elsewhere and the proposed curtailment of range of fundamental rights by the President in response to the Ebola crisis. On November 28, 2014, what appeared as the beginning of another major political and constitutional crisis began when the Supreme Court issued a Stay Order on the holding of Senatorial Elections set for December 16, 2014. This piece is particularly about this election and how it has exposed Liberia’s perennial crisis with its current Constitution.The Senate Election was initially scheduled for October 14, 2014 as per the Constitution, and by July 2014, political parties and independent aspirants had gone well into canvassing for support in the various counties. Sadly, the Ebola Virus that hit the country in March reached a crisis proportion in July devouring everything along the way from ordinary citizens and politicians to health personnel and health infrastructures. Stringent measures to contain the spread required both constitutional and extra-constitutional measures. This led to the declaration of a State of Emergency and restrictions on free speech and freedom of movement during certain times of the night.The State of Emergency equally affected the holding of elections and the elections were therefore postponed indefinitely. As the government and international partners mobilized sufficiently against the virus, rate of infection reduced drastically by end of October and the panic began to wear away. Consequently the election was set for December 16 by the Legislature.Does the Legislature or any branch of government have the authority to set a date for a process whose Constitutionally-scheduled time had passed? What become of the Senate in the wake of a potential power vacuum were elections not held by January 15? These are the questions at the center of the current constitutional crisis in Liberia instigated by the outbreak of the Ebola Virus disease.As any major political issue, opinion is highly divided on this one. While some are proffering legal arguments against the election, others attach strong emotional sentiments on accounts that people are still dying and that saving lives is better than avoiding a constitutional crisis.A group of citizens under the banner of ‘eminent citizens’ along with two political parties have condemned the process and prayed to the Supreme Court for a prohibition. They argue that the virus is still prevalent and that holding elections under such conditions would be unconstitutional, un-free and unfair, and that the legislature and no other branch of government have power to set a date for election. The injunction on the election by the Supreme Court just 18 days to the polls has therefore exposed another weakness of the Constitution of Liberia that over the years continues to go under numerous tests for clarity including a referendum in less than ten years.  While the petitioners’ claim that no institution has the authority to set an election date might hold legal waters, there call for a ‘sovereign national conference’ to decide such a date appears even more controversial and unconstitutional. Holding a national conference would as much require huge crowds and political activities just as holding elections would. Both events therefore seem counterproductive to the fight against Ebola.Perhaps this ‘sovereign national conference’ was needed in 2003 immediately after the war to chart a new course for the country beyond what a handful of warlords and politicians dictated in the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement.On the other side of the debate are 14 political parties (including the major parties) and some public intellectuals who support the conduct of the elections and do not see any constitutional violation with the setting of date. The parties argue that the date of December 16 was set after broader consultations with all political and civic actors. Whether elections are held or not, leaders of these parties continue to benefit from the weaknesses of Liberia’s political and economic governance systems that find roots in the current constitution, and elections have only been used to legitimize their control of the body-polity. None has over the years made strong cases for constitutional reform or alternative public policies that promote the redistribution of power, wealth and authority in Liberia.This debate continues to deepen and the Supreme Court’s Stay Order is still in place as legal teams are preparing for a show down soon. At the moment no one can easily predict the outcome of the hearings, but one thing remains clear from the ongoing standoff: The fate of the election to replace fifteen Senators whose tenure expires on January 15 remains gloomy. Political and civic actors and Liberia’s international partners will have to step up and strategize for a peaceful handling of a potential crisis that has no precedence in contemporary Liberian political history.What are the provisions of the Constitution for business of the Senate in the absence of half of its members, and would there be a power vacuum were elections not held by January 15? Again these are hard questions challenging the usefulness of the constitution of Liberia to the country’s contemporary problems.Under Article 33 of the Constitution a simple majority of each House (Senate or Representatives) is required to transact any business. Anything below a simple majority cannot constitute a quorum, thus the Constitution instructs each House to compel members to attend. The current situation means only 15 Senators would be in the House of Senate were elections not held nationwide by January 15, and clearly this figure is one person short of a quorum for transaction of business in the Senate. Thus the potential for a power vacuum in Liberia come January 2015 is imminent.In previous cases – particularly during the civil war – Liberian stakeholders, mostly warlords and politicians resorted to the formation of transitional administration and transitional assemblies to address intermittent power vacuums. The current case is different and unprecedented as there is no civil war and a constitutional government is well in place. Stakeholders in this case are not limited to warlords and leaders of political parties, but all Liberians of voting age. In addition, many Liberians are weary of such ad hoc transitional arrangements as they represent abnormalities and usually marred by widespread fraud and mismanagement of public resources.What then can be done in the ongoing crises? Proposals abound daily on the way forward, but the lesson taught in this case like in previous cases of ambiguity over the constitution, is that the current Constitution of Liberia has outlived its usefulness, and like any postwar country, constitutional reform in Liberia remains urgent. Finally, the argument here is not that a new constitution is a cure for constitutional crises, which are parts of processes of competitive democracy, and Liberia is not the only country that experiences such crises. All free societies do. But what is a common and best practice is that after protracted civil wars or political instabilities, laws and constitutions are reformed to address the anomalies that incite conflicts.  Liberia started its Constitution reform exercise nine years after the war (in 2012) and continues to drag in bureaucratic channels.  As this review process continues, these issues, particularly those exposed by the outbreak of the Ebola virus – state failure on constitutional responsibilities, use of emergency powers, electoral issues, and limits of powers of the legislature – are hard lessons for Liberians around which perhaps a ‘sovereign national conference’ is needed when the dusts on Senate elections are settled.In the Cause of Democracy and Social Justice the Pen Shall Never Run DryShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

President Sirleaf Consoles UK

first_imgPresident SirleafPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sent a condolence message to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, following a terror attack in Westminister on Wednesday, March 22, 2017.Four people, including the terrorist himself, Khalid Masood, died in the attack when he rammed a rental car onto the sidewalk on Westminister Bridge.Masood then stabbed an unarmed police officer as he stood guard at Carriage Gates, an entrance into a paved courtyard frequently used by Members of Parliament and staff. Twenty-nine people were injured requiring hospital treatment, while some remain critically ill.According to a Foreign Ministry release, President Sirleaf said she was shocked and saddened by the terror attack and on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia and in her own name, affirmed her repugnance toward such barbaric and atrocious actions.President Sirleaf extended deepest solidarity with the entire nation and people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, especially the families of those severely hurt by this accident, and hoped that the people of the UK will be further strengthened and united so that their shared resolve in the global fight against terrorism and extremism remain vibrant.“As we collaborate in this global fight, let me reassure you of Liberia’s continued commitment to global initiatives aimed at maintaining a safe, happy and prosperous world,” President Sirleaf reiterated to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.She then prayed that God will grant the people of the United Kingdom the fortitude to endure this heartbreaking attack as she again expressed Liberia’s deepest condolence.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Hunter Brown invited to BC Hockey U16 provincial hockey camp

first_img“Hopefully, I’m going to go in there thinking I’ve got a chance, but it’s going to be pretty tough to make it,” Brown said on his chance of making the team.Team B.C. is the defending champion of the tournament after they beat Team Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan last year.Up next for Brown is the Red Deer Rebels Prospect camp which starts next week. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A Fort St. John resident has been invited to BC Hockey’s U16 Provincial camp in Shawnigan Lake this summer.Hunter Brown, a former member of the Fort St. John Northern Metallic Bantam Flyers will be playing for Team White at the camp. Out of 62 players invited to the camp, Brown is the only one from the Peace Region. Three weeks ago, he was also drafted by the Red Deer Rebels in the seventh round of this year’s WHL Bantam Draft.“I don’t feel any pressure, I’m just going to go out there and do my best, see how it goes,” Brown said of being the only athlete from the Peace. “Hopefully I make it, if I don’t I’ll just keep working hard for the WHL.”- Advertisement -The camp is composed of three teams (White, Blue, and Yellow) who will participate in on and off-ice activities as well as scrimmage each other each day.Hunter Brown photographed at the U16 BC Cup last April. Photo by BC HockeyPlayers were invited to the camp based on their performances at the U16 B.C. Cup that was held in Salmon Arm last April. 20 out of the 62 players invited will be selected to play for Team B.C. at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer next February.Advertisementlast_img read more

Juve forward Costa given four-match ban for spitting

first_imgJuventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said the club would not be appealing the ban.The 28-year-old was nevertheless selected in the squad for Wednesday’s Champions League opener against Valencia.“Douglas Costa surprised us, but he will prove that it was an isolated incident,” said Allegri at the pre-match press conference in Spain.“He lost it for a moment which can happen and he asked for forgiveness.“He will serve four games and we will not appeal.“It was a very unpleasant gesture, which surprised everyone, a very out of character gesture,” continued Allegri.“Tomorrow (Wednesday), I’ll decide if he’s going to be on the bench or if he’s in the team. I’m sorry because it was not the kind of behaviour to show children, but he’s the most disappointed with his attitude.”Di Francesco had earlier rubbished claims that he provoked the Brazilian with racist insults.Costa posted an apology to his teammates and fans on his Instagram account on Sunday, although he replied to one comment by saying that people did not know what Di Francesco had said to him.“You don’t know what he said to me. But no big deal… I say sorry to all those who I have to say it to, because I did wrong,” Costa wrote.And amid the speculation, the 24-year-old Di Francesco hit back at suggestions he had racially abused his rival.“I’m deeply troubled by the allegations and inventions that have appeared in some national media outlets,” Di Francesco said on Sassuolo’s Twitter account.“All of this is offensive and derogatory. I won’t allow any racist behaviour and/or phrases, which do not belong to my ethical values and are the fruit of other people’s imagination, to be attributed to me. I ask for and demand respect!”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000“You don’t know what he said to me”: Juventus forward Douglas Costa was spitting mad with Sassuolo’s Federico Di Francesco © AFP/File / Marco BERTORELLOMILAN, Italy, Sep 18 – Juventus forward Douglas Costa has been banned for four matches for spitting in the face of Sassuolo winger Federico Di Francesco in last weekend’s Serie A game in Turin, the Italian FA announced on Tuesday.Costa was sent off after being caught by VAR aiming an elbow and headbutt before spitting in the face of Di Francesco, the son of Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco, as the champions won 2-1 thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goals for the club.last_img read more

3,200 gold miners rescued from shaft

first_img“I was hungry, though we were all hungry,” said Thibile, 32, an engineering assistant who had been underground since early Wednesday morning. He was given a cold beef sandwich and a bottle of water when he reached the surface. “Most of the people are scared, and we also have some women miners there underground,” he said. One large group emerged from the shaft singing traditional songs and stamping their feet with joy despite their exhaustion. They were greeted by a crowd of ululating female miners. Relatives had complained that they had not been given enough information about their loved ones. “I am very traumatized, exhausted, not knowing what is going on,” said Sam Ramohanoe, whose wife was among those trapped. “It is very unfair to us, not knowing what is going on with our beloved ones.” Officials had hoped to rescue all the miners by lunchtime, but it ended up taking hours longer. The mine owner and South Africa’s minerals and energy minister vowed to improve safety in one of the country’s most important industries after the accident prompted allegations that the industry cut safety corners and didn’t properly maintain the mine. The union threatened to strike if its safety demands were not met. Amelia Soares, spokeswoman for Harmony, said the mine had won a number of safety awards and had never seen any fatal accidents. She said the company was likely to suffer considerable losses in output during the closure. “We have to recommit ourselves to refocus on safety in this country; our safety record both as a company and an industry leave much to be desired,” Harmony chairman Patrice Motsepe said, according to the South African Press Association.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ACCIDENT: No casualties reported, but many who were stranded a mile underground are exhausted and angry. By Michelle Faul THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CARLETONVILLE, South Africa – The last of 3,200 gold miners trapped for more than 24 hours in a deep shaft were brought safely to the surface Thursday night, ending one of South Africa’s biggest rescue operations, mining officials said. The final workers emerged just after 9 p.m., singing and dancing, according to the Harmony Gold Mining Co. No casualties were reported. A pressurized air pipe snapped at the mine near Johannesburg and tumbled down a shaft Wednesday, causing extensive damage to an elevator and stranding the miners. The joyful reunions were mixed with anger, fear and renewed concern about safety standards in a country that is the world’s largest gold miner. The miners were brought to the surface in a smaller cage in another shaft that can hold about 75 miners at a time. Most who emerged into the blinding sunlight looked dazed and exhausted. “We nearly died down there,” one man yelled as he walked past reporters. “I’d rather leave (the job) than die in the mine.” Sethiri Thibile, who was in the first batch of miners to be rescued about 19 hours after the accident, said there was no food or water in the mine. last_img read more

GAA NEWS – FOUR MASTERS RESERVES OVERCOME ST MICHAELS

first_imgLotto: There was no jackpot winner this week; week 5. Weekly winners were, Sean Diver, Drimark and Phyllis McNulty, C/O Liam Mullan’s Shop. Both received €50 each. Numbers drawn were 9, 16, 17 & 22. Next weeks jackpot now stands at €1300. To play lotto please check out www.fourmastersgaa.com Congratulations: Well done to the Reserves in their Championship (quarter final) victory. Fantastic team effort. Final score. Four Masters 1-11 St Michaels 1-05. Well done to Managers Mickey Martin and John Doogan on a job well done!  Under 10: Under 10 boys travel to Glenties on Wednesday 14th and also to Bundoran on Saturday 17th. Good luck boys. Under 16 boys football league fixtures: On Tuesday evening Naomh Brid v Four Masters, throw in 7:30 in Ballintra. On Thursday, Four Masters v St Nauls, throw in at 7:30 at Tirchonaill Park. Good luck boys!  Fundraising Tickets: Tickets for the Training Pitch Development Draw continue to be on sale and ticket stubs can be returned to the Abbey Hotel every Monday evening between 9pm – 9.30pm to Committee members. Tickets are on sale on the Clubs new website. www.fourmastersgaa.com. Fantastic prizes available, including tickets to the All Ireland football final and money prizes. U15: On Saturday U15 Og Sport Competition takes place this Saturday on a round robin basis in Glencolmcille. Best of luck. Senior Ladies championship: Four Masters v Milford, throw in at 12 o’clock on Sunday 18th at Tirchonaill Park. Very best of luck to the Ladies. Please come out and support the Team. GAA NEWS – FOUR MASTERS RESERVES OVERCOME ST MICHAELS was last modified: August 12th, 2013 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) Tags:FOUR MASTERS GAA NOTESlast_img read more

London expected to play, not start

first_img “John’s just a big, physical guy and I like his presence inside,” defensive coordinator Larry Kerr said. “That might be a place for him in the future, and the future might be right now.” Bruin bits Bruins third-string quarterback David Koral was diagnosed with mononucleosis and will be out for an extended period of time. Redshirt freshman Patrick Cowan will serve as the third-string quarterback. … Strong tackle Brian Abraham missed practice with a 102-degree fever, but is expected to play. : Brian Dohn UCLA inside linebacker Justin London was limited in Thursday’s practice but is expected to play when the eighth-ranked Bruins host Oregon State on Saturday. However, London will not start, coach Karl Dorrell said. London’s surgically repaired right ankle has been bothering him all season. Instead, freshman John Hale, who was moved from outside linebacker during the week, will start inside, and Wesley Walker will make his first start of the season at outside linebacker. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the WeekInstant celebrities USC quarterback Matt Leinart, wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett and linebacker Keith Rivers were instantly recognized by celebrities Wednesday night at a Victoria’s Secret party thrown at a Hollywood club. Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Matthew Perry and Christian Slater were among those in attendance. Jarrett said boxer Mike Tyson asked him about his 61-yard catch against Notre Dame on fourth-and-9. “I don’t like talking about football, I change the subject,” Jarrett said. “Everybody was asking about it. I love the game but so many people and celebrities and fans came up to me. I guess I’d rather be known as the guy who caught the ball than the guy who dropped it.” Jarrett said he only required eye drops for his scratched cornea and can see fine this week. Bing wins USC safety Darnell Bing will return kickoffs opposite Reggie Bush as the replacement for the injured Desmond Reed. Josh Pinkard, Will Harris and Rey Maualuga will be the gunners on the punt team. Pinkard is also expected to see action at cornerback, coach Pete Carroll said. center_img Carroll is impressed with Harris, who has not played in a game yet because of a sprained ankle. “He’s going to be involved in a lot of special teams,” Carroll said. Harris will also be on the kickoff team. Field, sweet field USC returned to a lumpy and sandy Howard Jones Field for Thursday’s practice after three days on Cromwell Field. Howard Jones Field was unavailable because workers botched replacing the sod and the rain made the field even worse. “We might have come out a little early,” Carroll said. “It’s still soft and soggy.” Scott Wolf 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

Barca, Atletico clash in potential title decider as La Liga rolls into week 31

first_imgComments Tags: Spanish La Ligatop Girona vs EspanyolEstadio Municipal de Montilivi, GironaSaturday, 06-04-2019 @2pmAfter a dramatic round of fixtures in midweek, La Liga is back for match-day 31 this weekend and the action kicks off with a Catalan derby between Girona and Espanyol. Just one point separates the two sides heading into this match. Both clubs could do with another win or two to ensure they are playing top flight football again next season.Girona head into this game following back-to-back defeats against Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid. They are only five points above the drop-zone now so they’ve got to be a little bit careful although a win here would really ease the pressure. Including this one, their next four games are all against bottom eight clubs so it’s a critical phase in their season coming up and they could desperately do with improving their poor home record.Espanyol will also be looking over their shoulder somewhat having taken just 2 points from their last 4 games. They have had some tricky fixtures to be fair with all of their last four against top eight sides. The start of their decline from an excellent start this season can be loosely traced back to a 3-1 home loss to Girona in November and they’ll be hoping to avoid losing a Catalan derby for the second straight Saturday here.It’s quite hard to fancy either team for the win. Girona have won just 2 of their last 19 home league games in a really dreadful run that stretches back to this time last year. Playing at Montilivi has offered them no real advantage at all and their hopes here are further hindered by injury concerns over key men Bono and Cristhian Stuani. They are hugely dependent on the latter who has scored over 50% of their league goals this term.Espanyol don’t exactly look like a team that is ready to take full advantage though. They’ve only won one away league game this term and that was against bottom club Huesca way back in October. Since then, they’ve played 13 times on the road in all competitions, drawing 6 and losing 7. Their star striker Borja Iglesias is at least fit and did score in midweek as Espanyol drew 1-1 at home to Getafe.Real Madrid vs EibarSantiago Bernabeu, MadridSaturday, 06-04-2019 @5:15pmReal Madrid head into this Saturday’s game against Eibar hoping to avoid their second defeat in four days. They’ve now lost 9 times in La Liga this term, the same number as their opponents here with the Basque minnows having inflicted one of those losses by virtue of a comprehensive 3-0 win over Los Blancos earlier in the season at Ipurua.A repeat here may be unlikely but Eibar will travel with an element of belief you sense. They’ve had another solid season and moved into the top half in midweek with a 2-1 comeback win over Rayo Vallecano. They have some tricky games coming up but they are in absolutely no danger of going down so there is little pressure on them in this game.That could make them dangerous opponents for a Real Madrid side that look as though the end of the season can’t come soon enough. They sank to a 2-1 defeat at Valencia on Wednesday night having made very hard work of bottom club Huesca last weekend, only winning 3-2 at home thanks to a late Karim Benzema goal.Right now, you have to say Eibar look capable of getting something from this game and at the very least avoiding a heavy defeat. They were dominant against Los Blancos earlier in the season with what was then Santi Solari’s side having no effective answer to their somewhat unique style of play. They’ve only lost 3 of their last 17 games in all competitions and only one of those losses was by more than a single goal so all the indicators are that they will make a game of this.Real Madrid haven’t really improved since Zinedine Zidane’s return. He has made some strange selection calls such as picking his son in goal for the Huesca match and perhaps most bizarrely choosing Marcelo to start in all three games despite the Brazilian having a woeful season. They still have far too many players out of form and backing Eibar +2.0 Asian Handicap looks a solid bet here with the Bernabeu no longer a fortress by any means.Rayo Vallecano vs ValenciaEstadio de Vallecas, MadridSaturday, 06-04-2019 @7:30pmThis Saturday’s showdown at Vallecas is a huge game in both the race for 4th place in La Liga and the battle to stay in it. Rayo Vallecano are running out of chances to pick up a victory that could at least give them hope. Even though it’s a tough one, they almost have to chase three points here against a Valencia side that appears to have all the momentum in the battle for that final Champions League spot.They made it 17 games unbeaten in all competitions on Thursday by beating Real Madrid 2-1 at the Mestalla. The only real challenge for them now is maintaining a push on multiple fronts. They will be expected to beat Villarreal in the Europa League Quarter-Final that starts this coming week and they also have a Copa del Rey Final to look forward to. With at least four teams in the hunt, they are going to have to maintain their form if they are to get 4th place so Marcelino will have to be smart with how he uses his squad.As for Rayo, they just need to put three points on the board and it doesn’t really matter how they do it. They’ve let chances to do that slip in both games since appointing Paco Jemez. They were 1-0 up heading into the final ten minutes last weekend against Betis and 1-0 up at Eibar with an hour gone in midweek. A grand total of one point from those two matches further suggests that they are most likely heading for the Segunda Division.They do at least have a goal in them though. They’ve scored in 77% of their league games this term and 87% of their home matches. That’s pretty good going for a struggling side and both games since the attack-minded Jemez was appointed have produced goals at each end. Backing Both Teams to Score looks to be worth considering here, a winning bet in 80% of Rayo’s home fixtures this term.There is reason to think Rayo can get a result too. Valencia have drawn 53% of their league fixtures this term and they’ve rarely made life comfortable for themselves this season. Up against a team that is fighting for their lives and performed quite well at home last weekend against a decent Betis side.Barcelona vs Atletico MadridEstadio Camp Nou, BarcelonaSaturday, 06-04-2019 @9:45pmThe title race in La Liga this season will either be all over or potentially back on depending on the outcome of this game. Barcelona currently hold a commanding 8 point lead over 2nd placed Atletico Madrid. However a surprise away win here would just make life a little bit interesting heading into the final few weeks of the season.Barcelona would have much rather had pretty much any other opponent here, just four days before their Champions League trip to Old Trafford. That match will be the biggest of their season so far and they are conscious of how recent European campaigns have effectively fallen apart in the away leg at the Quarter-Final stage. Ernesto Valverde won’t risk anyone here that isn’t 100% fit but he should be able to bring Gerard Pique and Leo Messi back in after neither started the remarkable 4-4 draw at Villarreal in midweek.Atletico Madrid had a much more routine outing as they saw off Girona 2-0 at home. They’ve actually responded really well to a dreadful week just before the international break with a 4-0 win at Alaves last weekend also. Therefore they do take momentum into this game and they have no European distraction so they can afford to leave everything on the pitch here.That could be really significant and there does look to be some value in backing the visitors to get a result. Atleti have been written off in some quarters as a side that has lost some of those fighting qualities that made them so successful but they have shown character to bounce back and they are clearly not writing their chances off just yet in this title race. They’ve only lost 4 matches this season in La Liga so it hasn’t been a disastrous campaign and they look set to finish as the top team in the Spanish capital again.Barcelona meanwhile showed their flaws again in midweek. They conceded 4 unanswered goals as Villarreal came from 2-0 down to lead 4-2. Only more magic from Leo Messi and Luis Suarez in the final couple of minutes rescued a point but they won’t get anything like that kind of charitable defending from this Atleti side.They will unquestionably have one eye on Manchester and Ernesto Valverde may even consider resting Suarez here with an 8 point cushion already in place. The truth is a draw would be a decent enough result for Barcelona and even if they lose, they’d back themselves to still win the title.Deportivo Alaves vs LeganesEstadio de Mendizorroza, Vitoria-GasteizSunday, 06-04-2019 @1pmThis Sunday’s game in Vitoria-Gasteiz sees European hopefuls Alaves play host to mid-table Leganes. The visitors would be just two points behind the Basques were they to win this game and both clubs have had incredible seasons in many respects having both been tipped to struggle to even stay in La Liga this term.Alaves have been in and around the top six for virtually the entire campaign. Abelardo has played down their hopes of European qualification throughout but they remain firmly in the hunt despite a poor week where they’ve suffered defeats to nil against Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, conceding 6 goals in the process. If they are to be serious challengers, they really need to bounce back here with three points from this game.Leganes meanwhile can now really start to plan for another season in the top flight. Mauricio Pellegrino has done a fabulous job since taking over last summer with pretty limited resources. They grabbed a 96th minute winner in midweek to beat Valladolid at home and they now have a huge 10 point cushion on the drop-zone and are in fact closer to the Champions League places than the relegation zone.The value does look to lie with the home team here though. Leganes have been relatively poor travellers overall this season. They’ve lost 60% of their games on the road in La Liga and there could also be some temptation to ease up now they’ve basically achieved their goal for the season which was survival. Their chances here are also hampered by the absence of their first-choice strike pairing with Youssef En-Nesyri injured and midweek match-winner Guid0 Carrillo suspended.Alaves are missing centre-back Guillermo Maripán so they’ll be relieved to see Lega short on options in attack. However otherwise the hosts are basically at full strength and their home record suggests they are capable of getting the job done here. They average of 1.71 points per game in front of their own fans and with 5 of their final 8 matches at home, Alaves can’t be written off just yet in the race for Europe.Getafe vs Athletic BilbaoColiseum Alfonso Perez, GetafeSunday, 07-04-2019 @3pmThis Sunday’s match is another big one in the race for the European places in La Liga, which looks set to go right to the wire this term. Getafe have been in it all season and continue to occupy 4th place despite a slight dip in form. Athletic Bilbao meanwhile are on a real charge up the table and suddenly they look like they have an outside chance of clinching that final Champions League place.Victory here would move them to within a point of Getafe and would secure the superior head-to-head record, which is effectively worth an extra point in the event of a tie. Athletic come into this on the back of three straight wins, the latest being a dramatic 3-2 victory over Levante in midweek. A late penalty from Iker Muniain sealed the win and it’s just 2 defeats in 16 league games for them now since appointing Gaizka Garitano who has done a sensational job.Jose Bordalas has been working wonders for even longer with South Madrid minnows Getafe. If the season was to end now they’d be playing Champions League football next term. However they are 3 without a win heading into this match and they just can’t afford for that winless streak to extend for much longer with a host of sides breathing down their neck now.This is a tough one to call in many respects. Athletic do look capable of getting a result despite their underdog status with the bookies. They are playing with a sense of belief and they’ve been very solid at the back under Garitano conceding just 0.69 goals per game in La Liga since the change in boss. However they are still drawing a lot of games. 43% of their league outings this term have ended level and only Valencia have drawn more than them.Getafe have also drawn 4 of their last 9 games. They are also very tough to break down with an average of just 0.9 goals per game conceded, the third best record in the division. Confidence would have taken a knock following that surprise derby defeat to Leganes last weekend but they bounced back reasonably well with a 1-1 draw at Espanyol in midweek.Real Valladolid vs SevillaEstadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla, ValladolidSunday, 07-04-2019 @5:15pmThere are just 7 games to go in La Liga for these sides after this Sunday’s match and it’s all to play for both clubs. Real Valladolid are in the thick of the relegation scrap and are now only one point above the drop-zone. Sevilla meanwhile are just one point off the Champions League places heading into the weekend action and they need a strong end to the season if they are to snatch 4th.Sevilla’s chances received a major boost in midweek. They beat fellow European hopefuls Alaves 2-0 to move above the Basque side. They’ve taken 6 points and only conceded 1 goal in their 3 games so far under Joaquin Caparrós. He masterminded a late push to seal Europa League qualification last term and is hoping to go one better this time around although with in-form Valencia also in the fight, it won’t be easy.Valladolid meanwhile were dealt a cruel late blow in a week of late drama in La Liga. They conceded a 96th minute goal to lose 1-0 at Leganes on Thursday night. They also conceded relatively late to be held at home by Real Sociedad last weekend so they will feel they’ve missed a couple of decent chances to at least give themselves a bit of a cushion on the relegation zone.With the stakes high for both, it’s hard to see many goals in this game. Valladolid are the division’s lowest scorers. They average just 0.8 goals per game this term while every other team in the division now averages at least one per game. They’ve been relatively solid at the back though and that has contributed to 67% of their games producing under 2.5 goals.With Sevilla now under a more defensively minded coach, that figure looks likely to increase here. All of their three games since sacking Pablo Machin have produced under 2.5 goals and indeed 60% of their away league fixtures this term have done likewise.Celta Vigo vs Real SociedadEstadio Abanca-Balaidos, VigoSunday, 07-04-2019 @7:30pmTwo sides from the north of Spain meet this Sunday as Celta Vigo play host to Real Sociedad at Balaidos. It’s a massive game for the hosts at they look to pull themselves towards safety and it has been a dramatic week already for the Galicians. La Real meanwhile are starting to think about a possible push for Europe so there is plenty at stake in this one.Sociedad claimed a 2-1 victory over Real Betis on Thursday night. It was their first in 6 matches after a tricky run where they’ve struggled with some significant injury problems. They are still 4 points off 7th, which should be good enough for Europa League football, therefore they really need to put a winning run together if they are to seriously challenge over the final 8 games.The main story here though is that of Celta Vigo and particularly Iago Aspas. Having missed virtually all of 2019 to injury and watched his team plummet down the table from the sidelines, Aspas returned last weekend to score twice in a remarkable 3-2 comeback win against fellow strugglers Villarreal. They then let a 2-0 lead slip to draw 3-3 at bottom club Huesca in midweek so it has been a dramatic week so far for Fran Escriba’s side.There’s a strong chance we’ll see a few goals again in this match. Celta Vigo are strong going forward but often a complete mess defensively. With Aspas and Maxi Gomez firing the goals in, they’ve netted 1.4 per game this term, the joint 5th best record in La Liga. If Aspas hadn’t missed three months of the season that would be higher still so they have the tools to get themselves out of danger.However at the back Celta make too many mistakes and they’ve let in 1.73 goals per game this term and have let in 5 goals in 2 matches against fellow strugglers over the past week. Sociedad are also just getting back to full strength in the final third with Willian Jose fit again. With Mikel Oyarzabal alongside him, they also have two prolific forward players and they should come targeting three points here as draws are unlikely to fire them to Europe.Levante vs HuescaEstádio Ciudad de Valencia, ValenciaSunday, 07-04-2019 @7:30pmThis Sunday’s game in La Liga is a simply massive fixture for both these teams now following some dramatic action in midweek. Huesca are running out of chances to save themselves and come into this one 7 points from safety. Draws simply aren’t enough for them now and they will view this as a chance to chalk up a victory over a Levante side who have slipped into the relegation scrap.There were plenty of twists and turns involving these sides on Wednesday night. Huesca were up against fellow strugglers Celta Vigo and came from 2-0 down to lead 3-2, only to then concede a late leveller. That came on the back of another cruel blow as they lost late on at Real Madrid last weekend and despite some encouraging displays, it just feels as though the mountain is too steep for Huesca to climb now.They will though fancy their chances here. Levante were flying high in the top six earlier this season but they’ve fallen dramatically over the past couple of months and are now just 3 points outside the drop-zone. They’ve also been in the habit of conceding late goals this week. They let the lead slip twice to draw against Eibar last weekend and then lost 3-2 in Bilbao on Wednesday to a 93rd minute penalty having clawed themselves back from 2-0 down to level the game.Given the weeks these sides have been having, it’s fair to say that we can expect a few goals here. Huesca have clearly reached a point in their season where they’ve decided to just throw all caution to the wind and go for the wins they need to keep themselves in this league. That has contributed to all of their last 5 matches producing goals at each end and three or more in total.To be fair, they’ve been playing some decent football all season and they rank joint 11th for goals scored which tells you they haven’t been quite as bad as the league table suggests. The January signing of Enric Gallego has really given them a presence up top. The 32 year old was playing in the Segunda B this time last year but has enjoyed a remarkable rise and has 18 league goals in 27 starts this season, although most did come before January for Extremadura. Backing Gallego to Score Anytime could be worth considering here.Levante also have a goal in them and actually rank in the top six for goals scored in La Liga this term. However they are now the joint worst side defensively with 1.8 goals per game conceded on average.Huesca are sure to come at them here as a draw doesn’t help them in any way and an open, end-to-end game could be the outcome.Real Betis vs VillarrealEstádio Benito Villamarin, SevilleSunday, 07-04-2019 @9:30pmThe final game this Sunday in La Liga comes from the Benito Villamarin where Real Betis play host to Villarreal. The pressure is really building on Betis boss Quique Setién with the Seville club in some danger of slipping out of European contention after a poor run of results. They will see this as a decent chance to get back on track against strugglers Villarreal but it looks a tougher game than it might have been one month back.Villarreal have finally found a bit of fight and they’ve played some very good football at times over the past week. They scored four unanswered goals to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 advantage against Barcelona in midweek. However once again they failed to see out a game despite holding a two goal advantage. They’ve let 5 points slip from that position this week, having lost 3-2 in a crunch clash at Celta Vigo last weekend.Betis have also taken only 1 point from their 2 games since the international break. Both were away but they’d have expected more from trips to Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad and in truth they needed more with European hopes in danger of slipping away. It’s just 2 wins in 13 matches in all competitions now for the Seville club and it’s looking increasingly doubtful that Setien will remain in charge next term with sections of the Betis fans having already turned on him.The outcome here is tough to call with both sides struggling for consistency. Villarreal are in better form but they seem incapable of handling pressure and seeing games out. Backing there to be a few goals in this game may be the better approach.Defensively Villarreal are still quite poor and 6 of their last 7 games games have produced goals at each end in all competitions. Their last 3 league games alone have produced 17 goals in total and they do seem to be playing with a bit more fluency in midfield and up top now while some of their forwards have finally found a bit of form in front of goal.Betis meanwhile really have to target the win here and they’ve also been involved in some open games of late. 7 of their last 10 in all competitions have seen both teams score, as have 4 of their last 5.BET ON ALL THESE GAMES AND MANY MORE @Bunga Betlast_img read more