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    WEDNESDAY CHAMPION’S LEAGUE PREVIEW: Can Mourinho Survive Young Boys Scare? Ronaldo To Build On Brace, Man City Face Ligue 1 Giants Lyon



    Wednesday UEFA Champions League Games
    7:55 Shakhtar Donetsk vs Hoffenheim (Betting tip 2/GG)
    7:55 Ajax vs AEK Athens (Betting tip X/GG)
    10:00 Manchester City vs Lyon (Betting tip 1/OVER)
    10:00 Benfica vs Bayern Munich (Betting tip 2/OVER)
    10:00 Real Madrid vs Roma (Betting tip 1/GG)
    10:00 Valencia vs Juventus (Betting tip 2/GG)
    10:00 BSC Young Boys vs Manchester United (Betting tip 2/OVER)
    10:00 Viktoria Plzen vs CSKA Moscow (Betting tip 2/OVER)

    There’s a huge gulf in class and experience between these two sides but Man Utd’s poor away record in Europe of late might give Young Boys a chance.

    Young Boys in fine form
    To say this is unchartered territory for the brilliantly-named Young Boys is putting it mildly. This is their first-ever game in the Champions League, although they did take part in the European Cup several times before it was re-branded in 1992 and gave Harry Redknapp’s Spurs a fright in a qualifier back in 2010, racing into a 3-0 lead before eventually losing over two legs.
    And the Swiss champions certainly didn’t do too badly the last time they were in Europe’s top competition; they beat Real Madrid here back in 1986 before going out on aggregate.
    To prove that last year’s win in the Swiss League was no fluke, they’re top again this year, with six wins from six games. Christian Fassnacht and Gulliaume Hoarau (who is French) each contributed four goals to their very impressive tally of 19 in just six matches.
    Despite all the investment that Man Utd made there are worrying areas of weakness in at least three positions on the pitch. And few will have forgotten that bizarre capitulation at the hands of Sevilla last year at Old Trafford in the Champions League.
    Still, at least over the last two rounds of the league, Mourinho has re-discovered the art of winning games without playing that well. Not many sides this season will go to Burnley and Watford and come back with six points from those two outings.
    They’d be well-advised to take this match seriously. They’ll do well to get more than a point off Juventus across two matches and then there’s Valencia. Los Che didn’t start the season particularly well but have arguably the strongest squad they’ve had in a while and their quick, passing-based style of football isn’t one Mourinho likes being up against.

    United shouldn’t be odds-on
    The odds-compilers are clearly thinking the occasion will get to such an inexperienced team at this level. Because the away record of Mourinho’s men in this competition certainly doesn’t suggest they should be odds-on here.
    Opta tell us they’ve won just three of their last 14 games away in the Champions League and scored just once in their last three.
    David de Gea is going through a rare poor patch, Antonio Valencia looks a bit heavy-legged at the moment and you never know which Luke Shaw is going to turn up.

    Fired-up Rashford worth a look
    If Shaw is a bit of an enigma, then so is Marcus Rashford. The 20-year-old has already been through more in his short career than many players have by the time they’re 30. Few players go from being flavour of the month to scapegoat or vice-versa more often than him. Take this last couple of weeks, for example. Sent off as a substitute for violent conduct under provocation in a game Utd were cruising 2-0 in at Burnley, he then goes on and scores both of England’s goals during the international break.
    The result of that red is that he missed their trip to Watford on Saturday. And with two more domestic matches coming up he’ll be unavailable for, he’ll surely get a game here. He grabbed three goals in the group stages last year, is fresh and with a point to prove, he could well get another.

    Manchester City v Lyon: Citizens on the handicap the way to play

    Premier League champions Manchester City begin their latest Champions League campaign with a home tie against Ligue 1 giants Lyon. The Manchester side are only “halfway up their Everest” according to owner Sheikh Mansour, who wrote an open letter to fans on the 10th anniversary of his acquisition of the club last week. There’s no doubt that Champions League success is next on the Citizens wish list.
    The Premier League champions warmed up for their latest continental efforts by maintain their unbeaten Premier League record with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Fulham at the Etihad Stadium. Leroy Sane netted on his first start of the season before David Silva and Raheem Sterling completed the rout.
    Benjamin Mendy picked up a knee injury and is not expected to feature here so Fabian Delph should fill-in at left-back, although Aymeric Laporte is an option. Elsewhere, Sergio Aguero avoided serious injury at the weekend but may only be fit enough for the bench with Gabriel Jesus possibly given a starting berth.
    Lyon continued their stuttering start to the season with a 2-2 draw at nine-man Caen on Saturday, salvaging a point thanks to Ferland Mendy’s late equaliser. Les Gones had been hoping to build some momentum ahead of their trip to Manchester but struggled to find any as they were second best throughout.
    Bruno Genesio’s group had taken a lead through World Cup winner Nabil Fekir’s superb free-kick but a second-half fight-back from the Normandy club meant Mendy’s late strike clinched a point as Lyon failed to triumph for the third outing in five during domestic duties (W2-D1-L2).
    Memphis Depay was rested at the weekend but is expected to start here with Moussa Dembele potentially missing out if the Lyon boss fields a conservative side. Elsewhere, former Manchester City defender Jason Denayer is line to partner Marcelo at the heart of the visitors’ backline.
    Manchester City claimed five wins from six Champions League group-stage games last term, only failing to secure top honours when fielding a heavily rotated XI at Shakhtar Donetsk when top spot was already secured. The hosts have W7-D1-L1 in group-stage outings here during their past three campaigns.
    Unsurprisingly, the Citizens are favourites to extend that strong home record with Pep Guardiola’s troops pocketing victories in all bar six matches at the Etihad since the start of last season. Twelve (40%) of their 30 fixtures in that sample were won by a margin of three goals or more.
    Indeed, 17 (57%) of those matches on home soil were won by at least two goals.
    Lyon have struggled to find their best form in the early exchanges of Ligue 1 and have tended to do their best work at their Parc OL base in France. The visitors were beaten in three of their five trips to top-six teams last season and have returned just W1-D4-L3 when travelling to English sides.

    Real Madrid vs Roma

    Two of last season’s semi-finalists clash on Wednesday in what is arguably the pick of the first round of Champions League group games.
    Real Madrid would go on to win the competition in what was their third successive triumph. The manager that masterminded this treble, Zinedine Zidane, has since departed. His successor Julen Lopetegui therefore has high standards to maintain and needs to do so not just for the club, but also to vindicate his own decision to sign a contract with Real on the eve of the World Cup, which resulted in his sacking as Spain manager.
    Lopetegui has made a decent start. After losing in the European Super Cup to Atletico Madrid, his side have bounced back with a four match unbeaten run (W3 D1), winning both of their home games.
    Roma’s season has gone in the opposite direction. They won their opener against Torino, only to then embark on a three match run without a win (D2 L1). The fact that they have conceded seven goals in those three games, points to defensive issues which were evident in last season’s Champions League semi-final against Liverpool.
    The Italians may have had a disappointing start to the season, but they have scored in both of their away games and been involved in high-scoring home draws against Atalanta (3-3) and Chievo (2-2).
    With Real Madrid only having kept one clean sheet in their five outings this season, it seems likely that Roma should be able to score, even if they do eventually succumb to defeat.

    Valencia v Juventus: Ronaldo will build on brace

    Juventus will be hoping that the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo will be the measure needed for them to finally win the Champions League again, having gone close on several occasions since they last lifted the trophy in 1996.
    The pursuit of greatness will be challenging from the off, with a tough away trip to Valencia to start and with clashes with Manchester United to come. Juve are rightly expected to win Group H and have began the season brightly, winning all four of their matches so far.
    Valencia are in contrasting form. They have not won a league game this season (D3 L1) and are currently 17th in La Liga. New strikers Michy Batshuayi and Kevin Gameiro have yet to find the net, which has been a big obstacle to Marcelino’s team reaching the heights of last season when they finished fourth.
    Ronaldo opened his account for his new club at the weekend, as he scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Sassuolo.
    He is a player that lives for the big occasion who always delivers in the Champions League. The all-time top scorer in the competition with 120 goals, no player has outscored Ronaldo in a Champions League season in any of the last six campaigns.

    Benfica v Bayern Munich: Back German champions to take early lead

    Bayern Munich, the favourites to win Group E face what on paper could be their most challenging fixture, when Bayern Munich travel to Portugal to take on Benfica.
    Bayern have got off to a characteristically strong start to the season. They thrashed Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 in the Super Cup, have progressed in the DFB Pokal and won all three of their Bundesliga games.
    They face a Benfica side that have enjoyed a similarly consistent start to their campaign. Benfica have knocked Fenerbahce and PAOK out of the Champions League and are top of the Primeira Liga after a four unbeaten matches (W3 D1).
    Despite their similar records it’s Bayern who have faced the stiffer opposition this season and have the extra quality in their squad. They have managed to hold on to players such as Jerome Boateng and Robert Lewandowski who were strongly linked with moves away from the club this summer, while adding class in the form of new signing Leon Goretzka.
    Bayern won five of their six Champions League group games last season. In four of those victories they were leading at half-time, which has also been the case in their three Bundesliga matches this season.



    She Cranes Star Nuba Reveals Why She Decided To Play For Uganda Not South Sudan; Why She Regrets Giving Birth Early…



    She Cranes player Mary Nuba

    Born in South Sudan but grew in Uganda, that’s the story of the She Cranes goal shooter Mary Nuba Cholhok who was voted as the best shooter in the just concluded Fast5 Series tournament which was held in New Zealand.

    Uganda emerged in fifth position in the tournament. theGrapevine had a chance to talk to Nuba before she went back to England for her professional career.

    Grapevine: Why did you decide to play for Uganda and not for your native country South Sudan?

    Nuba: South Sudan is still lagging behind in Netball and I’m getting old, that’s why I decided to play for Uganda’s She Cranes.

    Grapevine: What challenges have you faced so far in your career?

    Nuba: Thinking about my five-year baby who stays in Uganda yet I’m in England playing for my professional club.

    Grapevine: Then what about your husband [the baby’s father] ?

    Nuba: I’m not married, though I gave birth.

    Mary Nuba was awarded Fans player of the Fast5 Series tournament

    Grapevine: How did you manage giving birth and playing Netball?

    Nuba: I realized that later that I made a mistake of getting pregnant. But I stood on my feet, forgot all the past and decided to move on with my child and my career.

    Grapevine: How do you manage those good performances?

    Nuba: I work very hard ever day in order to achieve my goals.

    Grapevine: Where do you see She Cranes in four years to come?

    Nuba: I see She Cranes winning the Netball World cup because we have good players who are still young.

    Grapevine: Tell us about the best game in your career?

    Nuba: When we defeated South Africa in the Common Wealth games in Birmingham.

    Grapevine: Who’s your role model in the game of Netball?

    Nuba: Peace Proscovia because of the way she managed to lift her life from a poor background. She is now superstar in the game.



    By Juma Ali


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    MIRACLE: All She Cranes Players Return After Incidents Of Players Disappearing While On Duty Abroad…



    She Cranes players and one of the start player Goal Shooter Mary Cholhok Nuba

    It was a miracle this time around after all the She Cranes players returned from New Zealand.

    It has been a habit for some Netball players to escape when the team travels for international tournaments.

    Just last month, two She Cranes players; Nakanyike Shakira, who was a Police Player and Rose Namutebi, who was a KCCA Player, disappeared in UK, during She Cranes international friendlies.

    The disappearance of these two players followed the disappearance of centre Player, Halimah Nakachwa, who disappeared in UK, in 2017 during another international friendly in UK.

    However, this time around, all the nine players who went for the first five series tournament in New Zealand, where She Cranes emerged fifth, after wining three games and losing three games, all returned with the team.

    National players disappearing while on duty abroad is also a habit in other sports disciplines like; boxing, table tennis, Rugby among others.


    By Juma Ali


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    It’s Time For Golola To Rest: I’m Going To Punch Him Into Retirement – General Fungu Vows…



    Moses Golola (L) and General Fungu (R)

    General Hamza Fungu has vowed to fight Moses Golola and send him into retirement come 26th December. 2022.

    Fungu said this during the launch at Akamwesi gardens today.

    Uganda’s middle weight kick boxing champion, Golola Moses is set to face his former trainer, General Hamza Fungu on bixing day at Akamwesi shopping mail gardens.

    Golola, who is known for his many words said that he has beaten many fighters who were better than Fungu, “now look at this piglet, I’m going to show him why I’m called Golola Moses ‘of Uganda ‘  and I call upon Ugandans to come and be witnesses on that day.”

    Though Golola said that he signed a contract which allows both fighters to fight until one gets tired, officials in charge of organizing the show said they will fight K-1 style for five rounds.

    Grapevine had a chance to sit down with Golola’s challenger General Fungu and and this is what he had to say;

    theGrapevine: How are you prepared for this fight?

    Fungu: I’m well prepared but they have also given us enough time. So, I’m going to prepare more.

    theGrapevine: Why, among fighters did you choose Golola?

    Fungu: I have been asking to fight Golola for the last five years but he has been dodging me. He one time asked for 20,000 dollars to fight me.

    theGrapevine: Why do you think he accepted this time around?

    Fungu: I think this time, he has been given a lot of money.

    theGrapevine: Which tactics are you going to use to defeat Golola?

    Fungu : Golola has words but I have the tactics which will defeat Golola.

    theGrapevine: Many people have come out to challenge Golola but he finally wins?

    Fungu : He has been favoured many times.

    theGrapevine: Is it true that the contract you signed for the fight allows you to fight until one of you gets tired?

    Fungu : The contract is a disadvantage to Golola not me because I was born a fighter.

    theGrapevine: What next after this fight?

    Fungu : After this fight, I will fight three more three bouts and retire.


    By Juma Ali


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