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Confirmed Lineups: Man Utd vs Liverpool

http://unitedramble.com/2019/10/20/confirmed-lineups-man-utd-vs-liverpool/

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Manchester United are set to take on Liverpool at Old Trafford in the only Premier League game this Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are looking to tie a Premier League record by winning their 18th successive league game.

We head into the game down in 14th place and only one point above the drop zone.

Here are the confirmed lineups for this afternoon’s game:

Manchester United

David de Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Axel Tuanzebe, Ashley Young; Andreas Pereira, Scott McTominay, Fred, Daniel James; Marcus Rashford

Substitutes: Sergio Romero, Marcos Rojo, Brandon Williams, James Garner, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood

David de Gea recovered from an injury to take his place in the starting lineup this afternoon. He may be protected by a back five with Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Axel Tuanzebe all starting.

Scott McTominay and Fred will start in front of the defence but both like to push forward. We could do with more discipline from them against Liverpool’s front three this afternoon.

Andreas Pereira will try to be the playmaker in the middle with Daniel James and Marcus Rashford our only real goalscoring threats in the starting lineup this afternoon. Anthony Martial returns from injury to take his place among the substitutes, alongside Mason Greenwood.

Liverpool

Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum; Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane

Substitutes: Adrian, Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, Naby Keita, James Milner, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Alisson is back from the injury in Liverpool’s season opener against Norwich City to return between the sticks for Klopp’s side. The German coach has his usual back four available to him, with both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson expected to bomb forward from full-back.

Divock Origi starts on the right of their front three in the absence of Mohamed Salah, who is out with a twisted ankle. Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will be the bigger threats up top.

Liverpool have a solid bench to change things in-play. Although there is not a striker among them, Origi could move into that role if Firmino picked up an injury.

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Brett Lee urges Australia to give Pat Cummins the new-ball in Test series against Pakistan

https://sport360.com/article/cricket/international-cricket/338221/brett-lee-urges-australia-to-give-pat-cummins-the-new-ball-in-test-series-against-pakistan

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Babar’s Azam maiden series as Pakistan’s T20I captain proved to be a chastening experience with the Men in Green comprehensively turned over by Australia (2-0) in the three-match series.

The visitors were thoroughly outplayed in all departments by the Aussies and would most definitely have lost their current No1 ranking as well, had rain not stopped the first T20 in Sydney.

While Babar has only just taken over the T20 reins, the side’s woes very much predate his appointment with just one win and nine defeats to show for from 10 outings in the current year.

For head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq, the record is now five defeats in six T20I clashes. The mandate for the former highly respected skipper on his appointment after the 2019 World Cup, was primarily to shore up Pakistan’s dwindling Test and ODI fortunes. However, just a few months into his tenure, Misbah now finds himself with the unenviable task of having to fix all three set-ups of the national team.

With less than a year remaining for the T20 World Cup to take place in Australia itself, Pakistan have plenty of holes to plug in a side which has been ranked No1 for two years and running now. Very few positives, if any, can be taken from a shambles of a series with the individual display of Babar and the emergence of Iftikhar Ahmed as a viable lower-order aggressor just about covering it.

The question marks, though, are aplenty for Misbah and Babar.

Asif Ali’s time has run out

Could be curtains for Asif as Pakistan's designated finisher.

Could be curtains for Asif as Pakistan’s designated finisher.

Pakistan’s search for an explosive hitter for the death overs has been a longstanding one and it is Asif Ali who has been given the long rope in that regard.

However, that rope is now running out with the right-hander failing to come good despite umpteen chances in the T20 setup. While much of the focus has been on opener Fakhar Zaman’s disastrous T20 form, Asif has been equally culpable with an average of just over 10 in 2019.

The middle-order batsman has a high score of only 23 in his last nine innings for Pakistan and his latest displays in Australia should all but confirm his impending axing from the squad.

He hasn’t really been able to cut it at the international level, in both ODIs and T20s, despite some promising signs in the Pakistan Super League.

Misbah’s botched selections not helping matter either

Khushdil barely got a chance to prove his case.

Khushdil barely got a chance to prove his case.

Misbah had been criticised for recalling Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad in the 3-0 series loss to Sri Lanka and the head coach responded by pointing to a lack of batting talent in Pakistan’s domestic pool.

While there might be a hint of truth in Misbah’s reasoning, the fact that he quickly discarded the two top-order batsman after the series whitewash while continuing to give others a long run, does not pain him favourably.

Fakhar Zaman has continued to be persisted with, despite his horrendous T20I form, while the same has been the case for Asif Ali. Khushdil Shah was the fresh face called up to the squad for the Australia tour but the middle-over batsman was only given an opportunity in the final T20.

In the bowling department, Usman Qadir was a surprise call-up to the squad by Misbah with the leg-spinner barely creating an impression in his Big Bash League stint earlier this year. While his selection turned plenty of heads, Misbah then made sure it hardly mattered by not giving the spinner a single appearance in Australia.

It would be all well and good if there were more opportunities waiting down the line for the likes of Qadir, Khushdil and even young pacer Muhammad Musa. The problem, however, is that there aren’t many with Pakistan not set to play a single limited-overs clash until July, next year.

So what exactly was Misbah saving these players for?

Babar needs time but is there any?

Babar has hardly got any time on hand to settle in as skipper.

Babar has hardly got any time on hand to settle in as skipper.

“We have learnt a lot from this series and we’ll take the positives and come back hard in the next series,” a crestfallen Babar stated after the Perth humbling.

“I have learnt a lot, there is a lot to learn as well. Hopefully, I’ll apply it in the future.”

There is no denying that there are many tricks to learn for Babar as captain after his side’s lopsided defeat in Australia. But, with just five more T20Is to come for Pakistan ahead of next year’s World Cup, the team management might have left him with too little time to learn the ropes.

The batting prodigy is not even the captain of his Pakistan Super League (PSL) outfit Karachi Kings, with his national team-mate Imad Wasim leading that franchise instead.

While he has welcomed the captaincy publicly, the fact that the burden of leading has come at a time when the team is already so reliant on his batting is not a great situation to be in for Babar.

Time is not on his side, or Pakistan’s, with the World Cup fast approaching, and the team management will now have to blindly hope that their gutsy decision will bear fruit ultimately.

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Newly established Girls Community Football preparing for debut tournament

https://sport360.com/article/football/uae-football/338223/newly-established-girls-community-football-preparing-for-debut-tournament

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UAE coach Bert van Marwijk defended his decision to play poster boy Omar Abdulrahman for three quarters of the Whites’ 2022 World Cup qualifying defeat to Thailand – nearly a year to the day since his last start for the national team.

The 28-year-old Al Jazira playmaker played 72 largely inconspicuous minutes in the 2-1 defeat in Rangsit, although there were occasional flashes of the trademark brilliance and vision that have hallmarked the career of the exalted ‘Amoory’.

Fears arose post-match that Van Marwijk might have “exposed him to exhaustion” but the Dutchman said his decision to start the talismanic former Al Ain and Al Hilal midfielder was justified, labelling him “one of the best players” in Asia.

“I am a big fan of the player who is one of the best players at the Asian level and among the best I have trained during my career,” said 67-year-old Van Marwijk, who suffered his maiden defeat as UAE coach.

“And when I made a decision for him to participate, essentially I had goals from that participation, which means I made the right decision.

“I took him out after 70 minutes for more goals and a substitute can make a difference, and indeed the team had several chances to win the game.”

It is the most action Abdulrahman has been exposed to since returning to the UAE with the Pride of Abu Dhabi after an ill-fated spell at boyhood club Hilal, cut short following a devastating knee injury towards the end of 2018.

In five previous outings since missing 10 months of action, Amoory has only played sparingly in UAE qualifying wins against Malaysia (17 minutes) and Indonesia (31) and three Jazira games – totalling 103 minutes – as he eases back into action.

Van Marwijk expressed sadness and frustration at defeat to the War Elephants – their first in three Group G games, the second round of Asian qualifying, which leaves them a point adrift of them and Vietnam, the joint leaders.

It was also a first defeat for Van Marwijk in seven games since taking the UAE reins in March – having opened with five wins and a draw.

“I am not satisfied with the performance,” he said.

“However we almost won, especially from the opportunities in the second half and the final minutes of the game.

“The result is normal, especially after the performance of Thailand, who deserved to take the lead and win.

“And although I was happy with the goal scored by Ali Mabkhout at the end of the first half I was saddened after they scored their second goal, which frustrated me. We have not managed to translate the opportunities that we had into goals.”

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India v Bangladesh LIVE: Stakes high in T20I series decider in Nagpur

https://sport360.com/article/cricket/international-cricket/338216/india-v-bangladesh-live-stakes-high-in-t20i-series-decider-in-nagpur

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Babar’s Azam maiden series as Pakistan’s T20I captain proved to be a chastening experience with the Men in Green comprehensively turned over by Australia (2-0) in the three-match series.

The visitors were thoroughly outplayed in all departments by the Aussies and would most definitely have lost their current No1 ranking as well, had rain not stopped the first T20 in Sydney.

While Babar has only just taken over the T20 reins, the side’s woes very much predate his appointment with just one win and nine defeats to show for from 10 outings in the current year.

For head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq, the record is now five defeats in six T20I clashes. The mandate for the former highly respected skipper on his appointment after the 2019 World Cup, was primarily to shore up Pakistan’s dwindling Test and ODI fortunes. However, just a few months into his tenure, Misbah now finds himself with the unenviable task of having to fix all three set-ups of the national team.

With less than a year remaining for the T20 World Cup to take place in Australia itself, Pakistan have plenty of holes to plug in a side which has been ranked No1 for two years and running now. Very few positives, if any, can be taken from a shambles of a series with the individual display of Babar and the emergence of Iftikhar Ahmed as a viable lower-order aggressor just about covering it.

The question marks, though, are aplenty for Misbah and Babar.

Asif Ali’s time has run out

Could be curtains for Asif as Pakistan's designated finisher.

Could be curtains for Asif as Pakistan’s designated finisher.

Pakistan’s search for an explosive hitter for the death overs has been a longstanding one and it is Asif Ali who has been given the long rope in that regard.

However, that rope is now running out with the right-hander failing to come good despite umpteen chances in the T20 setup. While much of the focus has been on opener Fakhar Zaman’s disastrous T20 form, Asif has been equally culpable with an average of just over 10 in 2019.

The middle-order batsman has a high score of only 23 in his last nine innings for Pakistan and his latest displays in Australia should all but confirm his impending axing from the squad.

He hasn’t really been able to cut it at the international level, in both ODIs and T20s, despite some promising signs in the Pakistan Super League.

Misbah’s botched selections not helping matter either

Khushdil barely got a chance to prove his case.

Khushdil barely got a chance to prove his case.

Misbah had been criticised for recalling Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad in the 3-0 series loss to Sri Lanka and the head coach responded by pointing to a lack of batting talent in Pakistan’s domestic pool.

While there might be a hint of truth in Misbah’s reasoning, the fact that he quickly discarded the two top-order batsman after the series whitewash while continuing to give others a long run, does not pain him favourably.

Fakhar Zaman has continued to be persisted with, despite his horrendous T20I form, while the same has been the case for Asif Ali. Khushdil Shah was the fresh face called up to the squad for the Australia tour but the middle-over batsman was only given an opportunity in the final T20.

In the bowling department, Usman Qadir was a surprise call-up to the squad by Misbah with the leg-spinner barely creating an impression in his Big Bash League stint earlier this year. While his selection turned plenty of heads, Misbah then made sure it hardly mattered by not giving the spinner a single appearance in Australia.

It would be all well and good if there were more opportunities waiting down the line for the likes of Qadir, Khushdil and even young pacer Muhammad Musa. The problem, however, is that there aren’t many with Pakistan not set to play a single limited-overs clash until July, next year.

So what exactly was Misbah saving these players for?

Babar needs time but is there any?

Babar has hardly got any time on hand to settle in as skipper.

Babar has hardly got any time on hand to settle in as skipper.

“We have learnt a lot from this series and we’ll take the positives and come back hard in the next series,” a crestfallen Babar stated after the Perth humbling.

“I have learnt a lot, there is a lot to learn as well. Hopefully, I’ll apply it in the future.”

There is no denying that there are many tricks to learn for Babar as captain after his side’s lopsided defeat in Australia. But, with just five more T20Is to come for Pakistan ahead of next year’s World Cup, the team management might have left him with too little time to learn the ropes.

The batting prodigy is not even the captain of his Pakistan Super League (PSL) outfit Karachi Kings, with his national team-mate Imad Wasim leading that franchise instead.

While he has welcomed the captaincy publicly, the fact that the burden of leading has come at a time when the team is already so reliant on his batting is not a great situation to be in for Babar.

Time is not on his side, or Pakistan’s, with the World Cup fast approaching, and the team management will now have to blindly hope that their gutsy decision will bear fruit ultimately.

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