EPL: City set to extend streak against Palace

first_imgRelatedPosts Pirlo not out to copy anyone after Juventus’ comfortable opening win EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace Man City vs. Crystal Palace Venue; Etihad Stadium Kick off: 4PMManchester City will be looking to make it six straight victories in all competitions when they welcome Crystal Palace to the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League this afternoon. Pep Guardiola’s side moved above Leicester City into second spot in the table last weekend, but they are still 14 points off leaders Liverpool, while Palace occupy ninth following a solid campaign to date. There is no getting away from the fact that City have not been at their best this season, and it seems incredible to think that a team with their talent has suffered five Premier League defeats already this term. Guardiola’s side were at their best last weekend, though, as they recorded a 6-1 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park. Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick for the reigning champions, while Riyad Mahrez continued his fine form with a brace as Dean Smith’s team were blown away in front of their own supporters. The win, coupled with Leicester’s shock home loss to Southampton, saw City return to second spot in the table, now two points clear of the Foxes on the same number of matches. The Citizens could win each of their remaining 16 matches of the 2019-20 campaign and are still unlikely to get anywhere near Liverpool, though, as Jurgen Klopp’s side have a 14-point advantage with a game in hand. It will certainly be interesting to see whether Guardiola prioritises other competitions as the season progresses as it could still be a brilliant campaign for the club. Indeed, they are on course to make yet another EFL Cup final having recorded a 3-1 victory over Manchester United in the first leg of their semi-final. City is also through to the fourth round of the FA Cup having overcome Port Vale, while they have the small matter of a last-16 Champions League clash with Real Madrid to come. The first leg of their European tie will be at the Bernabeu on February 26 before the reverse at the Etihad Stadium on March 17. Guardiola’s team have lost to both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United on home soil in the Premier League this season, while Palace have already triumphed at Old Trafford during the 2019-20 campaign. All City can do in the league is keep winning and see where that takes them, and they will be looking for a double over the Eagles having recorded a 2-0 victory in the reverse match at Selhurst Park in October. Palace might have lost their last two Premier League games against the Citizens, but they recorded a 3-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium in the corresponding clash last season. The Eagles are certainly a team capable of picking up big results, although much of their success this season has been built on a strong defence, with only three teams conceding fewer goals in the top flight. Incredibly, no side in the Premier League has scored fewer goals than Palace during the 2019-20 campaign, with Roy Hodgson’s team finding the back of the net on just 20 occasions in their 22 matches. Cenk Tosun has arrived on loan from Everton in the hope of boosting their output in the final third, while it would also be fair to say that the fans will be looking for more from Wilfried Zaha over the next few months. Indeed, as talented as the Ivorian is, he has only contributed three goals and three assists in the Premier League this season, which is simply not enough for a player with his skill set. Palace, who were dumped out of the FA Cup by Derby County earlier this month, will enter Saturday’s clash off the back of a 1-1 draw against Arsenal in the Premier League last weekend. The capital outfit have actually only won one of their last eight in the league, which came at home to West Ham United on Boxing Day. They have been the draw specialists in many ways having shared the points in five of their last eight fixtures in England’s top flight. There is no question that Hodgson would take a point at the Etihad Stadium, and a positive result this weekend would lead them nicely into back-to-back home fixtures with Southampton and Sheffield United. Palace will again travel without a number of key players, though, and it is difficult to imagine City not putting another win on the board due to their excellent form in recent weeks. Man City possible XI: Ederson, Walker, Fernandinho, Stones, Mendy, Rodri, D Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling, Aguero, Mahrez. Crystal Palace possible XI: Guaita, Kelly, Tomkins, Cahill, Riedewald, McArthur, McCarthy, Kouyate, Ayew, Tosun, Zaha.Tags: Crystal PalaceEPLManchester CityPep Guardiolalast_img read more

ICC postpones T20 World Cup due to Covid-19 pandemic

first_imgTHE International Cricket Council (ICC) has finally postponed the 2020 men’s T20 World Cup, a decision made because of the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.The decision to put off the tournament, originally scheduled for October-November, was taken by the ICC Board on Monday. The board has also shifted the 2023 Men’s World Cup from the February-March window to October-November that year.The board ultimately agreed to windows for three men’s events, with T20 World Cups in October-November 2021 and October-November 2022. But one decision not yet made is in which order Australia and India will host the T20 World Cups. In the original rights cycle, India was scheduled to host the event in 2021, after this year’s event in Australia. The Women’s World Cup, in New Zealand in February next year, has not yet been postponed, the ICC saying that planning for the event continues “as scheduled”.Why has the ICC not named venues for the T20 World Cups for 2021 and 2022?This remains a point of contention between the BCCI and CA, and is one reason why it took as long as it did to postpone the tournament officially. In May Earl Eddings, the CA chairman, sent an email to the ICC’s Finance & Commercial Affairs Committee, in which he proposed that Australia and India swap hosting rights for the T20 World Cup, with Australia hosting the event in October-November 2021 and India a year later.Doing that, Eddings said, would financially help all members. If not, Eddings said it would be “detrimental to cricket” in case the “cancellation” of the World Cup in Australia this year was “replaced by award of” the tournament in October-November 2022.The BCCI is understood to have preferred hosting the 2021 T20 World Cup so it would not have to, potentially, host three marquee tournaments within a year: the T20 World Cup in 2022, the IPL in 2023 and the 50-over World Cup in 2023.“The… Board agreed to continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation and assess all the information available in order to make a considered decision on future hosts to ensure the sport is able to stage safe and successful global events in 2021 and 2022,” the ICC said in the release.It wasn’t mentioned in the release but the ICC is also hoping that the BCCI is able to resolve a long-standing tax-exemption issue with the Indian government, for which the deadline currently is December this year.Why has the 2023 World Cup been postponed?Both the ICC and its members, it is understood, wanted to buy some more time to be able to complete the qualifying events for the tournament. The ODI Super League, a qualification pathway for the event, was meant to start in May this year but has been put on hold as all international cricket came to a halt as the pandemic spread around the globe.What were CA’s concerns over hosting the T20 World Cup this year?The announcement of the postponement, ultimately, does not come as a surprise, not least because CA had said more than once that it was going to be difficult to host the tournament. Then chief executive Kevin Roberts had said in May that it was a “very high risk” to conduct the tournament, Eddings echoing that pessimism in June, saying it was “unlikely” and “unrealistic” when the pandemic was “spiking” worldwide.Australia has not been as badly hit by Covid-19 as other countries, with 3026 active cases as of Monday. But Melbourne and surrounding areas are currently back in lockdown and cases are rising in New South Wales amid concerns over a second wave. International borders, and quite a few state borders, remain closed other than for special cases.With participating countries such as England, India, South Africa and Pakistan among the most severely affected, the risks of bringing together 16 teams from around the world and creating a bio-secure bubble were seen as too high.The ICC Board has met several times since April to discuss contingency planning and was meant to make a final decision on the T20 World Cup during a meeting on June 10, but eventually deferred the call.last_img read more