Man City Keep Pressure on Liverpool with Saints Visit

first_img City’s win in midweek was their fourth in a row following the international break – a run that suggests that the club are close to hitting top form as they continue glory on four fronts.The Citizens are the Premier League’s top scorers this season with 32 goals from their opening 10 games, while Saturday’s opponents Southampton have the division’s worst defence, having conceded 25 goals already.Those numbers will make pleasant reading for Guardiola’s side, who in the form of Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero boast two of the division’s most deadly finishers.England international Sterling has starred for City this season, consistently beating defenders with his pace, creating opportunities for his teammates and regularly getting in behind opposition defences.His speed and direct approach play down the left-hand side has been a thorn in the sides of many teams this season, and that is likely to be the case against a Saints team who have struggled to defend effectively in the wide areas this season.Kyle Walker is expected to return to the team at right-back and his lung-busting runs will be a source of nightmares for Southampton’s beleaguered defensive unit.City will also have, statistically at least, a distinct advantage in the air against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men, with defender Nicolas Otamendi leading the way for the club in terms of aerial challenges won this season.Interestingly, the Sky Blues have not lost a home game against a side starting the day in the relegation zone since November 2008.Hasenhuttl’s men enter today’s game hoping for a response to their record-breaking 9-0 defeat against Leicester City last Friday, a game in which their attempt to mark man-to-man was torn apart by Ryan Bertrand’s early dismissal.The one-man advantage that the Foxes enjoyed was the undoing of the Saints’ back three, who have looked far from convincing throughout the season thus far.In midweek, the Saints did look much more organised, opting for a fully-fledged 5-3-2 that gave them numbers behind the ball at all times.However, they still lost, a result which extended their winless run in all competitions to five games.After winning their first ever match at the Etihad back in April 2004, the Saints have failed to register a win in the blue half of Manchester in their nine subsequent visits.Although their Austrian coach is under severe pressure at the moment with the south coast club down in the bottom three, there are some signs that they could grab something from the game at the weekend.For example, City had real difficulty breaking down Wolverhampton Wanderers a few weeks ago, eventually being beaten by the pace their opponents possessed on the counter.That offers a blueprint for the Saints to follow, as although they are without influential and explosive winger Moussa Djenepo, they do have the likes of Danny Ings, Che Adams and Nathan Redmond at their disposal.Likewise, as Norwich City showed in September, there will be chances to score against a City backline that is far from impenetrable.Meanwhile, fans will be treated to a sneak preview of one of the EFL Cup quarter-finals today when Aston Villa welcome unbeaten league leaders Liverpool to Villa Park.Two days after the clubs were drawn against each other for December’s cup contest they will do battle in the league, with both sides coming into the game off the back of Wednesday wins which sealed their places in the last eight.Liverpool will have barely had time to catch their breath ahead of this match following their crazy and chaotic cup classic against Arsenal on Wednesday night.A brilliantly bonkers contest ended 5-5 after normal time before Liverpool won a penalty shootout which was actually lower scoring than the game itself, Curtis Jones enjoying the dream moment of netting the winning penalty in front of the Kop end on what was his home debut for his boyhood club.Jurgen Klopp’s suggestion that it could have all been for nothing should Liverpool be forced to withdraw from the competition due to their Club World Cup commitments dampened the atmosphere somewhat after the game, but even with a completely changed XI the result once again showcased the never-say-die attitude that has played a major role in them setting the pace at the top of the Premier League table.Today’s match will be much more than just a dress rehearsal for the EFL Cup quarter-final, particularly with the prospect of an Anfield showdown against Manchester City on the horizon.The Reds take on their main title rivals next weekend knowing that a win would be a significant step towards a first title in 30 years – even at this stage of the season – but they also have matches against Villa and Genk prior to that which will require their full attention.While it is impossible to argue with a joint-record tally of 28 points from the first 30 available which leaves them six clear of City, it is some time since Liverpool delivered a victory as convincing as their league position suggests they should.Over the last five league games the leaders have hung on to beat Chelsea, needed a goalkeeping howler to beat Sheffield United, required late goals against Leicester City and Manchester United and had to come from behind against Tottenham Hotspur to keep their fine form intact.The ability to grind out results when not at their best is a priceless commodity and one which so often separates champions from the rest, but a comfortable and confident win by more than one goal is arguably overdue for a team who have been statistically as good as any the Premier League has ever seen over the past season-and-a-bit.One reason behind that is perhaps their defensive record; Liverpool may have conceded the joint-fewest goals in the Premier League this season, but they have kept only two clean sheets in 10 games and, across all competitions, have not kept a shutout in six.Klopp will be the first to stress that there are no easy games in the Premier League, particularly on the road, and Villa’s home record this season suggests that Liverpool may need to find answers from somewhere again today.The newly-promoted side are unbeaten in their last five outings in front of their own fans including Wednesday’s victory over Midlands rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, which set up that quarter-final tie with Liverpool.Indeed, home or away Villa’s only loss in their last six matches came at Manchester City last weekend, and even then they gave the champions a scare during a goalless first half.The eventual 3-0 defeat at the Etihad leaves them 15th in the table, just three points clear of the relegation zone, but Dean Smith will be relatively content with how their return to the top flight has gone so far.Only Tottenham outside the top four have scored more goals than the Villans this term, although on the flip side only the bottom three have conceded more too, so there are clear areas for improvement.A double-header against Man City and then Liverpool is as tough as it gets in the Premier League at the moment and if Villa can even come away with one point from those two games they will deem that a good return, so they could be out to frustrate the Reds from the off in this match.In John McGinn, Anwar El Ghazi and Jack Grealish they have a midfield capable of breaking and getting goals, though, while Wesley could provide an important hold-up role if, as expected, Liverpool see the lion’s share of possession.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Still trailing Liverpool by six points, Manchester City would be hoping to continue to keep on the pressure on the league leaders with the visit of Southampton to the Etihad Stadium for the second time in five days after first hosting the Saints in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday  Manchester City welcome Southampton back to the Etihad Stadium today in the Premier League, just four days after they knocked the Saints out of the Carabao Cup.City have responded well since losing to Wolves at the start of the month, winning their last four games in all competitions, including back-to-back wins in the Premier League. However, due to the impressive form of rivals Liverpool, Pep Guardiola’s side still find themselves six points adrift of the Reds, who sit top of the table. Soccer Football – Premier League – Manchester City v Liverpool – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain – January 3, 2019 Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling in action with Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk REUTERS/Phil Noble EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.last_img read more

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Pelicans fans clearly don’t support team’s birthday message to Anthony Davis

first_imgThe social media crew in New Orleans had to know this wouldn’t end well.Anthony Davis celebrated his 26th birthday on Monday, so the Pelicans sent out a standard birthday message from the team’s official Twitter account. Pretty harmless, right? Only 13 more games to go! Sorry, Pelicans fans. Here for the replies?! Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel 👀https://t.co/Z0bE6DAz82— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) March 11, 2019The Pelicans also made the mistake of not disabling Instagram comments. Here’s a sampling… Happy Birthday @AntDavis23! 🎊 pic.twitter.com/OkfdbgrVGu— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) March 11, 2019MORE: Adam Silver comments on Anthony Davis situationExcept for that whole part about Davis requesting a trade and the saga derailing New Orleans’ season. That made Pelicans fans fire off some understandably emotional replies.pic.twitter.com/aRmTir5e9T— Casey Rogers (@Casedillas_) March 11, 2019pic.twitter.com/FHgKzVYgnS— Chandler Brauf (@chandlerbreaux2) March 11, 2019pic.twitter.com/WYxr5xdJUT— Sean Haspel (@SeanHaspel) March 11, 2019pic.twitter.com/sEB0McSqXy— Jason Pitts (@mluck80) March 11, 2019pic.twitter.com/WirjC48rDU— Daniel Abadie Jr. (@deurty_dan_jr) March 11, 2019Why would we wish happy birthday to a guy that has repeatedly disrespected our city and the people here? I didn’t even know 🐍 had birthdays. 👎👎 pic.twitter.com/sBxSMc7Qrh— ♊Gerard♊ (@gluke94) March 11, 2019At least take this opportunity to promote the YouTube channel? (Instagram) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/95/86/anthony-davis-instagram-031119-ftrjpg_tipwa39u3d4w1wdvk8lz8obrb.jpg?t=1859554849&w=500&quality=80last_img read more

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Government approves phased implementation of pensions dashboard

first_imgThe government has approved a phased introduction of the pensions dashboard, advising that pension schemes need to start preparing now in order to hit a three to four year delivery timeline.Yesterday (Thursday 4 April 2019), the government published its response to the Pensions dashboards: Working together for the consumer consultation, which ran between 3 December 2018 and 28 January 2019. The response document outlines the government’s course of action and how it plans to contribute to the fruition of the pensions dashboard.The initial implementation phase of the pensions dashboard will be spearheaded by the Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB), which launched in January 2019. It will establish a delivery group of stakeholders and appoint a senior team; this will allow for a steering group to be formed to set the strategic direction of the project. The delivery group will also be responsible for developing a plan on how to execute the pensions dashboard project.The government response further detailed the role of the pensions industry, advising that schemes should start preparing data now in order to achieve a delivery timeframe of between three and four years. It also suggested that the industry engage with the project at the earliest opportunity, offering to supply data on a voluntary basis prior to being compelled, and for businesses that may be developing dashboards already or that are interested in doing this, to liaise with the delivery group.The government stated that it will support the pensions dashboard by putting forward primary legislation to require pension schemes to make members’ data available to them through their chosen dashboard. However, schemes providing data will need to be brought on to the dashboard in stages for practical reasons.The response confirmed that state pension information should be part of the dashboard, and that any organisation other than the SFGB that wishes to provide a dashboard will need to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).The report stated that the focus for 2019 will be for the pensions industry to create and test a consumer-facing dashboard, presenting information to members in such a way as to increase understanding of pensions savings. To achieve this, the delivery group will focus on the digital architecture of the project, testing user interfaces, gauging what data standards need to be set and creating a governance system that will monitor and safeguard all parties involved with the creation and use of the dashboard, ensuring that information is protected. The delivery group will also work with the industry on its readiness to provide data via dashboards.The government reported that a controlled testing period will likely be used before the dashboard can be fully rolled out. The phased roll-out will schedule schemes to start participating in stages, gradually moving from the testing stage to a live dashboard. The level of detail and amount of information on the dashboard will increase over time and more complex functions will also be added in due course.The first phase of the project has been designed to act as a foundation, giving pension members clear information.John Wilson, senior consultant at Mercer, said: “The dashboard has the potential to revolutionise how individuals access their savings, but to have maximum effect, savers will need to have a comprehensive picture of their pots, including the state pension, [defined contribution] pensions and [defined benefit] pensions. We understand that this cannot all be built in immediately, though. Therefore, an evolving dashboard, in our view, gradually moving towards a comprehensive dashboard is better than no dashboard, or a long delay until all the infrastructure is in place.”Helen Morrissey, pensions specialist at Royal London, added: “After years of talk about the pension dashboard we need to ensure that what is delivered meets people’s expectations from the start. If done properly, the dashboard will give people a full understanding of what they have saved. If it is rushed, or we don’t have all interested parties on board from the beginning, there is a risk that we will not be able to deliver something meaningful or credible and the opportunity to engage people will be lost.“In addition, the government’s plan to provide a link to state pension is simply not good enough; pressure needs to be put on [HM Revenue and Customs] to get the state pension data integrated from day one if the dashboard is to work. The opportunity presented by the dashboard is too important to be lost: we must get it right first time.”Adrian Boulding, director of policy at Now: Pensions, said: “To tackle the growing challenge of small pension pots, the dashboard needs to be built with the functionality to allow all savers to easily consolidate their smallest posts with a simple drag and drop. The dashboard will only work if it provides a genuinely holistic view of the entirety of an individual’s pension entitlements, including the state pension.“We strongly believe that the dashboard should be compulsory, and hope the government can navigate this legislation speedily through the current choppy water in Parliament.”last_img read more

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