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DAY 11 WORLD CUP PREVIEW/STATS/H2H: Senegal Are Unbeaten In Their Three Previous Games With Japan, England Play Panama For The First Time PLUS Colombia & Poland

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Sunday 24 June
England vs Panama (Group G) – Nizhny Novgorod – 3pm
Japan vs Senegal (Group H) – Ekaterinburg – 6pm
Poland vs Colombia (Group H) – Kazan – 9pm

Midfielder Dele Alli returned to training with England, but is likely to miss Sunday’s World Cup Group G game against Panama.
The Tottenham player, 22, suffered a thigh injury during Monday’s 2-1 win over Tunisia.
Pictures of assistant manager Steve Holland’s training notes seemed to indicate Ruben Loftus-Cheek would replace him in England’s starting XI.
Alli has trained alone for the past three days and manager Gareth Southgate said the player was “unlikely” to be fit for England’s second group game.
He started training with the main group on Saturday but was withdrawn after warm-ups to work individually.
World Cup debutants Panama were beaten 3-0 by Belgium in their opening match.
Coach Hernan Dario Gomez has already confirmed that he will field the same XI against England.
Harry Kane’s last-minute intervention got England off to a flying start and gave them a win in their opening game of a major tournament for the first time since the 2006 World Cup, when they beat Paraguay. At times against Tunisia it wasn’t pretty, or perfect, but with a bit more luck, composure and favourable decisions they would have won with ease.
The Panamanians played to type in their opening game with Belgium. Los Canaleros (The Canal Men) were aggressive, robust, but ultimately hugely outclassed. The Belgians knew they had been in a game, though, and complained afterwards about some of the tackles that were flying in.
“I don’t know what people are complaining about,” captain Roman Torres said. “Football is like that – you always have to impose yourself, you have to mark out your territory.”
Their coach Hernan Dario Gomez was in charge of Colombia when they lost 2-0 to England at France 1998. His opposite number in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday, Gareth Southgate, was on the bench.

Head-to-head
This will be the first meeting between England and Panama.
Panama are the 38th different nation England have faced at a World Cup.
England have only lost their first meeting against a nation at the World Cup in five of their previous 37 matches (v USA, Spain, Uruguay, Hungary and Italy).

England
They have only won their opening two games at a World Cup twice before, in 1982 and 2006.
England’s victory over Tunisia ended a run of four World Cup matches without a win (D1, L3).
They are unbeaten in their last 11 internationals (W8, D3).
Kane became the first England player to score a brace in a World Cup match since Gary Lineker against Cameroon in 1990.
The last England player to score more goals in the group stage of a World Cup tournament than the two Kane has already scored was Lineker in 1986 (three).
The Three Lions’ 2-1 win over Tunisia was the first time they had scored more than once in a World Cup match since a 2-2 draw with Sweden in 2006.

Panama
In their 3-0 loss to Belgium, Panama suffered the biggest defeat by a World Cup debutant since Ukraine lost 4-0 to Spain in 2006.
The last side to lose by three or more goals in both of their opening two World Cup matches on their tournament debut were Greece in 1994, who lost 4-0 to Bulgaria and Argentina.
They received more yellow cards (five) than they had shots on target (two) against the Belgians.
Panama have lost four of their last six internationals (W1, D1) and have only won one of their last eight (D2, L5).
They have failed to beat any of the previous 10 European sides they have faced in their history.

Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda suffered a bruised thigh after coming on as a substitute in the 2-1 win against Colombia, and will be monitored.
Forward Shinji Okazaki was a doubt prior to the opening match because of a calf problem but played the final five minutes, so should be in contention.
However, Okazaki is unlikely to displace Yuya Osako, who impressed as a lone striker in their last match.
Senegal also won their first game and they may be unchanged.
Stoke’s Mame Diouf started against the Poles but didn’t register a single shot, and was withdrawn after an hour.
Should Senegal opt for a change up front, Moussa Konate and Moussa Sow are alternative options.
Japan and Senegal are the pacesetters in Group H with a win apiece after both capitalised against opponents who hit the self-destruct button.
The Japanese had a numerical advantage for 87 minutes in their opener following Carlos Sanchez’s dismissal for Colombia.
Senegal, meanwhile, were gifted their second goal against Poland, with the quick-thinking Mbaye Niang tapping into an empty net after a calamitous back-pass from Grzegorz Krychowiak.
Japan’s win was the first at a World Cup for an Asian team against a South American side. Opponents Senegal have also been flying the flag for their continent, as they were the only African side to avoid defeat in the opening round of games.
Another Senegal victory will leave them on the brink of the last 16 – progress would be confirmed if Colombia fail to beat Poland later in the day. Conversely, Japan will go through if they win and the Poles fail to record a victory.

Head-to-head
Senegal are unbeaten in their three previous games with Japan, all of which were friendlies.
The Senegalese have won the last two encounters, keeping clean sheets in both games (2-0 in 2001 and 1-0 in 2003).

Japan
Victory would see Japan become the first Asian side to win their opening two games at a World Cup.
The only previous occasion Japan have won consecutive games at a World Cup came at the 2002 tournament, which they co-hosted.
On that occasion they beat Russia and Tunisia in their second and third group games.
Japan have won two of their three World Cup games against African opponents, although they lost the more recent encounter, a 2-1 defeat by Ivory Coast in 2014.
The Japanese played 377 passes in the second half against Colombia, compared to just 218 in the first half (despite their opponents playing virtually the entire game with 10 men).
Keisuke Honda has been directly involved in six of Japan’s last eight World Cup goals, scoring three and assisting three.
Honda has not scored in his last 15 international games, a run stretching back to September 2016.

Senegal
Senegal have the best win rate of any African side to have played at a World Cup, winning three of their six matches (50%).
Only two African nations have won their opening two World Cup matches – Cameroon in 1990 and Nigeria in 1998.
This will be the first time Senegal have faced Asian opponents in a World Cup game.
They have conceded five times in their last nine games in all competitions, with just one of those goals coming in the first half.


Colombia’s James Rodriguez could start Sunday’s World Cup Group H match against Poland after coming on as a substitute in the defeat by Japan.
Poland forward Dawid Kownacki may start the game after he impressed against Senegal as a second-half substitute.
Centre-back Kamil Glik has returned to full training after shoulder injury but remains a doubt for Sunday’s game.
That means Thiago Cionek, his replacement against Senegal, is likely to keep his place.
Poland had huge support inside the Spartak Stadium and are the seeded team in Group H – but they were disappointing in all areas during their opening defeat by Senegal.
Leading striker Robert Lewandowski struggled to make his mark during his World Cup debut, and his side must now produce the goods on Sunday.
Their 2-1 defeat came hours after Japan had beaten 10-man Colombia 2-1.
Poland have never qualified for the second phase after losing their opening game, and they could face an even bigger challenge should Rodriguez return to Colombia’s starting XI.
Colombia, for their part, played 87 minutes of their opening match with 10 men after Carlos Sanchez was shown the second-fastest World Cup red card in history.

Head-to-head
This will be the first competitive meeting between Poland and Colombia – the South Americans won the most recent friendly 2-1 in Chorzow in 2006.
Colombia have won only two of their nine previous World Cup games against European opponents (D2 L5), though these victories have come in their past four such meetings against Switzerland in 1994 and Greece in 2014.
None of Poland’s nine World Cup games against South American opponents has finished as a draw, with the Eagles winning four and losing five.

Poland
Poland have lost seven of their past nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses.
They have failed to keep a clean sheet in their past nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986.
Despite failing to score against Senegal in Poland’s opening match, Lewandowski has netted 21 goals in his last 16 appearances for his national team.

Colombia
Only once before have Colombia lost both of their opening two games in a World Cup tournament, doing so against Romania and the USA back in 1994.
None of Colombia’s 19 games at the World Cup have ended goalless.
Juan Quintero became the first Colombian player to score in two different World Cup tournaments in their opening defeat against Japan (2014 and 2018).
Sanchez’s red card in their opening match against Japan was the first dismissal at the 2018 World Cup and was also Colombia’s first ever sending off in the competition.

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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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