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DAY 10 WORLD CUP PREVIEW/STATS/H2H: Will Sweden Kick Out Defending Champions Germany, Belgium Are Unbeaten In Their Last 10 World Cup Group Games PLUS Mexico & Tunisia

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Saturday 23 June
South Korea vs Mexico (Group F) – Rostov-on-Don – 3pm
Belgium vs Tunisia (Group G) – Moscow (Spartak) – 6pm
Germany v Sweden (Group F) – Sochi – 9pm
Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio admitted a flu bug hit the Mexico camp before their game with Germany, which affected his substitutions.
But Osorio is expected to stick with the same starting line-up for his team’s second game in Group F.
South Korean keeper Jo Hyeonwoo, a surprise call-up, should keep his place after a solid performance in the 1-0 defeat by Sweden.
The South Koreans may look to reshuffle their attacking 4-3-3 formation.
South Korea will be desperate to stop their World Cup losing streak, which now stands at three games after losing their opening match in Russia.
But after failing to keep a clean sheet in 12 of their previous 13 World Cup matches, keeping Mexico out could be as hard to come by as a goal at the other end.
The South Koreans have not scored in their last two games, but they have never gone three consecutive matches without scoring a goal in the competition.
Mexico will be buoyed by their impressive victory over defending champions Germany in their opening game, and Osorio’s side – and resolute defence – will be tough to beat.
Hirving Lozano scored El Tri’s winner against the Germans and the striker is in red-hot form, following 17 goals and eight assist in 29 appearances for PSV in the Dutch top flight last season.
South Korean midfielder Ki Sungyueng will move to joint-sixth on his country’s all-time appearances list if he picks up his 104th cap on Saturday.

Head-to-head
The only previous World Cup meeting between South Korea and Mexico was in 1998, with the Central Americans running out 3-1 winners in the group stages.

South Korea
South Korea have failed to keep a clean sheet in 12 of their last 13 World Cup matches, conceding in each of the last seven games in a row.
In their opening group game versus Sweden, South Korea had more yellow cards (2) than shots on target attempted (0).
The South Koreans are winless in their last seven World Cup matches (D2 L5), losing their last three in a row.
They have failed to score in each of their last two World Cup games – they have never gone three consecutive matches without scoring a goal in the competition.
This will be just the Koreans’ third World Cup meeting with a Concacaf side, following that 3-1 defeat in 1998 and a 1-1 draw with the USA in the 2002 group stages.

Mexico
Mexico have won all three of their World Cup games against Asian opposition (7 goals for, 2 against).
Mexico have lost just two of their last 18 World Cup group stage matches (W9 D7).
The El Tri have not won back to back matches at the World Cup since 2002, when they beat Croatia and Ecuador in their first two group matches that year.
Rafael Marquez was aged 39 years and 124 days in his substitute appearance against Germany – he was the oldest outfield player to appear in a World Cup match since Roger Milla (42 years, 38 days) played for Cameroon versus Russia in 1994.
Rafael Marquez appeared in the opening match for Mexico, making him the third player to play in five separate World Cup tournaments (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Mexico’s Antonio Carbajal and Germany’s Lothar Matthäus.


Sweden defender Victor Lindelof is expected to start against Germany on Saturday after missing Monday’s 1-0 win over South Korea because of illness.
Leeds United centre-back Pontus Jansson is likely to be replaced by the Manchester United defender, who returned to training on Thursday.
Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus is expected to start for Germany, having been on the bench against Mexico.
Coach Joachim Low is set to change his side after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat.
Defending champions Germany made a dreadful start to their bid to win back-to-back World Cups with a shock defeat by Mexico in their opening Group F game.
Hirving Lozano’s first-half goal in Moscow was decisive, with Low unimpressed by Germany’s frailty in defence. They were uncharacteristically disjointed and must avoid defeat to ensure they don’t go out in the group stages for the first time since 1938.
In contrast, Sweden marked their first appearance in the World Cup for 12 years by beating South Korea thanks to a penalty from Andreas Granqvist. At 33, the captain became the oldest player to score on his World Cup debut since Martin Palermo, who was 36 when he scored for Argentina in 2010.
They overcame a 60-year drought too because they hadn’t won their first match at a World Cup since 1958, when the tournament was held in their own backyard.
Since then, Sweden have qualified for seven World Cups – reaching Russia by defeating Italy 1-0 in a two-legged play-off, after beating the Netherlands to second place in their qualifying group.
Victory on Saturday will send them through to the knockout stages for the first time since 2006.

Head-to-head
Germany (or West Germany) are unbeaten in their past 11 games against Sweden (winning six, drawing five), whose last win came against West Germany in April 1978 (3-1).
The two most recent matches between these sides have produced a total of 16 goals – with a 4-4 draw in Germany in October 2012 before Sweden lost 5-3 at home in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
Germany (or West Germany) have won three of their four World Cup games against Sweden (in 1934, 1974 and 2006), with their only defeat coming in 1958 when Sweden – as host nation – reached the final.
That was Sweden’s only competitive win against the Germans (with three draws and eight defeats) – their other 11 victories against them came in friendlies.

Germany
Defeat against Mexico in Moscow was only the second time a German side had lost their opener at a World Cup, also losing against Algeria in 1982. However, they reached the final of the competition that year.
West Germany lost back-to-back matches at the 1958 World Cup, to Sweden in the semi-final and France in the third-place match, while East Germany lost back-to-back matches to Brazil and the Netherlands in 1974 – but no German side has suffered successive defeats at the finals since.
Thomas Muller has scored 10 goals from just 14 shots on target at the World Cup.
But Muller was the only outfield Germany player to not register a single shot in their defeat by Mexico and he has not had a shot in his past 239 minutes of World Cup football.

Sweden
Sweden have faced the reigning champions at the World Cup twice before and won both times – in 1950 against Italy and 1958 against West Germany.
Their 1-0 win against South Korea was their first in their opening match at a World Cup since beating Mexico 3-0 as hosts in 1958.
They also last won consecutive World Cup matches back in 1958 en route to the final.
Sweden’s goal against South Korea was their first in 402 minutes of international football, since Ola Toivonen scored against Chile back in March.

Belgium centre-backs Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen are again expected to be missing with groin and hamstring injuries respectively.
As a result, Dedryck Boyata will continue alongside Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen has been ruled out of the World Cup because of the shoulder injury that forced him off after 16 minutes against England.
Oussama Haddadi is expected to play instead of Ali Maaloul at left-back.
The first 45 minutes of Belgium’s opening game with Panama was certainly not easy on the eye. A ponderous, disjointed display against the World Cup debutants saw Romelu Lukaku touch the ball just seven times in the first half.
Captain Eden Hazard let rip at his team-mates during the break, with Lukaku firmly in his sights.
“It’s not easy playing with a man missing,” said Hazard of the Manchester United striker. “At half-time, I told him we needed him. He’d been hiding out a bit up front. But once he got in there, involved in the game, like magic, he scored two. I hope he understands that now.”
The constructive criticism had the desired effect and Belgium are now targeting a victory that will see them secure their place in the last 16 if England avoid defeat to Panama.
Tunisia, meanwhile, will be eliminated with a game still to go if they are defeated and England don’t lose.

Head-to-head
This will be the fourth meeting between Belgium and Tunisia, with both nations winning one game and sharing one draw.
Belgium’s Dries Mertens scored the only goal the last time the two sides met in a friendly in 2014.
This is their second meeting at a World Cup – they previously drew 1-1 in the 2002 group stage.

Belgium
Belgium are unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games and have won the previous five.
They have made it past the opening group stage in six of their last seven World Cup appearances, with the only exception coming in 1998.
They haven’t lost their second group stage game at any of their last seven World Cups.
Each of Belgium’s last 11 World Cup goals have come after half-time.
Only Jan Ceulemans (six) has scored more goals in major tournaments for Belgium than Romelu Lukaku (five, level with Marc Wilmots).
Lukaku has scored 15 goals in his last 10 internationals.

Tunisia
Tunisia have failed to win their last 12 World Cup games since winning their first-ever match against Mexico in 1978. It was the first match won by an African side at the World Cup.
The last team to have a longer winless run in the World Cup was South Korea (14 games between 1954 and 1998).
They have scored with their only shot on target so far at this World Cup, which was a penalty.
They are in a first World Cup since 2006, but have yet to reach the knockout stage in four previous attempts.
Tunisia have only kept one clean sheet in 13 World Cup games, 0-0 with West Germany in 1978.

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MESSI: Suarez Was Unfairly “Forced” Out…

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Argentinian star and Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi has expressed emotional grief after the departure of Uruguayan counterpart Luis Suarez to rivals Atletico Madrid for £5.5m on a two-year deal.

The 33 year old had one more year to run on the contract he signed with Barca in 2016, but was told by new head coach Ronald Koeman last month that he was not part of his plans.

Suarez and Lionel Messi struck up a strong friendship on and off the field at Barcelona.

With Messi, Suarez won La Liga titles, four Copa del Reys, the Champions League, the Club World Cup and the European Super Cup during his hugely successful time at the Nou Camp.

Suarez was filmed leaving Barcelona’s training ground in tears on Wednesday as his transfer to Atletico neared completion.

Suarez departs Barcelona as their second-highest goal-scorer of all time, having scored 198 goals since signing from Liverpool in 2014.

Lionel Messi has aimed fresh criticism at the Barcelona hierarchy, following Suarez’s departure from the club to Atletico.

Messi, who came close to leaving the Nou Camp earlier in the transfer window before reversing his threat to end his contract unilaterally, has hit out at the club’s management of Suarez’s departure from the Spanish giants.

He wrote on Instagram: “You deserved a fitting farewell for the person that you are: one of the best players in the club’s history, having achieved incredible things both individually and collectively. You didn’t deserve to be pushed out the way they did, but the truth is nothing surprises me anymore.

 

Via SkySports

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Kajoba Has No Excuse Of Not Retaining The League Title For Vipers – Coach Makumbi…

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Former Bunamwaya FC coach, Richard Makumbi has said that Fred Kajoba will have no excuses for not winning the Uganda Premier League title next season.

Makumbi who is the current head coach, for Mbarara outfit Nyamitoobora in the FUFA Big league added that Vipers management have given Kajoba everything he needs like; signing players of his choice and recruiting experienced Paul Kiwanuka from Bright Stars as his assistant coach.

Coach Makumbi says there will therefore be no excuse if Kajoba doesn’t win the league, because he has been given what he asked for to retain the league.

“If you are given what you ask for, you have to get the job done, there’s is no excuse for that, coach Kajoba must make sure Vipers are crowned league champions,” Makumbi emphasized.

The experienced coach however also cited the need for coach Kajoba to make winning at home traditional, and register victories on the road,  as part of his bargain.

Makumbi who was baptized the ‘King of promotions’ after leading various clubs to the Uganda Premier League from the FUFA Big League tipped Vipers for the title crown.

He however also noted that KCCA and URA have prepared well and are in for some stiff competition.

 

By Juma Ali

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COVID19 Has Left Us Penniless, We Now Need Support – Boxing Council Boss Katongole Cries Out…

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Uganda Professional Boxing Council (UPBC) Vice President, Simon Katongole has said that their lives have been negatively affected since the outbreak of the COVID19.

In an interview with theGrapevine, Katongole said that the cancellation of all boxing fights buried their source of income.

Katongole disclosed that before the lockdown, three international fights had been arranged, one at Hotel Africana and two at International University of East Africa (IUEA).

Frank Kiwalabye was scheduled to take on a South African opponent while heavy weight boxer Shafic Kiwanuka was set to face an Egyptian.

Katongole said that they now need support like all the other organisations that have been affected by COVID19, “We are broke, we don’t have anything in our pockets.”

Katongole further hinted that even if government opens up sporting activities including boxing, as long as fans are excluded from attending these events, they will still struggle financially.

 

By Juma Ali

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