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Carabao Cup Final Predictions: Will Newcastle upset Man United?



After six months of a very intense cup competition, the EFL Carabao Cup Final is here!

We will witness an epic clash between Manchester United and Newcastle United at the Wembley Stadium in London.

The Red Devils will be seeking their first trophy since 2016-2017 when they claimed the EFL Cup and the Europa League under former boss Jose Mourinho.

Also, Manchester United are back in a cup final for the first time since the 2021 Europa League, which they lost on penalties to Villareal.

The Magpies, who were beaten by Manchester United in the 1999 FA Cup final, will be attempting to win their first major trophy in nearly 54 years.

Their last major honor came in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969.

Analysis of current form

In Man United’s 18 games across competitions, since the resumption of play following the World Cup, they’ve averaged 2.27 goals per game.

Impressively, they’ve scored in all 18 fixtures and have been held to just one goal in two of those 18.

Only City and Arsenal have created more expected goals than Man United in the league.

In this tournament, Man U triumphed over Aston Villa, Burnley, Charlton Athletic, and twice against Nottingham Forest in two legs in the semi-finals.

Man U averages 2.8 goals per game, a productive 18.6% goal conversion in addition to 15.3 total shots, 5.6 corner kicks, and 64% ball possession.

They also have four clean sheets in this tourney.

Marcus Rashford has five goals and two assists in this competition.

Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial had two goals each while Casemiro and Alejandro Garnacho had two assists as well.

Newcastle United sits fifth in the Premier League, a point behind Tottenham Hotspurs and eight behind Sunday’s opponents.

They have just played 23 games in the Prem, but the Magpies boast themselves as the best defensive squad in England, conceding just 15 goals so far.

However, they have conceded in three consecutive games — against weaker attacks like West Ham and Bournemouth. The biggest blow was  — losing goal keeper Nick Pope who was given a straight red card and thus is suspended for today – in the 2-0 loss to Liverpool.

In six matches in the Carabao Cup, the Magpies have scored eight goals, six coming from assists with just two goals conceded.

They tally 16.3 total shots, 6.2 corners, and 58.8% ball possession. They also kept four clean sheets while registering 13.8 tackles and 15.7 clearances per game.

Joelinton and Sean Longstaff lead the team in this tourney with two goals each while Trippier and Miguel Almiron each have two assists.

Team News

Anthony Martial is doubtful while Donny Van De Beek, Christian Eriksen, Phil Jones, and Mason Greenwood are all out in this contest.

David De Gea is sure to secure his goal-keeping start along with midfielders, Fernandes, Casemiro, and Fred.

Rashford and Antony will accompany Wout Weghorst in front.

Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw will serve as wingbacks while Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane will partner as center backs.

Newcastle will be without first-choice goalkeeper Nick Pope, which means Loris Karius will start as the goalie.

Anthony Gordon and Martin Dubravka are also out.

Howe’s back four will be Fabian Schar, Burn, Botman, and Trippier.

Play-maker Bruno Guimaraes is back in the midfield with Joelinton and Longstaff.

Almiron will join Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin as forwards.

Who will win

With Guimaraes back in the lineup after a three match suspension, we can expect Newcastle to create good opportunities moving forward.

In the 17 league games Bruno has played this season, Newcastle are averaging 1.94 goals. In the six he has missed, however, those figures drop to 0.66 goals.

However, Man United’s confidence is at its peak after defeating Barcelona on Thursday.

We expect a 2-0 victory for the Red Devils.

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WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo storms off pitch after throwing his runner’s-up medal into stands




Cristiano Ronaldo and his AL-Nassr side lost the Riyadh Cup to AL Hilal on Saturday. It was a clinical performance from the Al-Hilal side as they won the match 2-0. It was a frustrating night for the Portugal legend as he was heckled by the fans in the crowd.

The cameras panned to Cristiano Ronaldo who was swarmed by his teammates. There were chants cheering on Lionel Messi from the stands. Already peeved after losing the game, Ronaldo lost his cool and threw his medal at the fans.

Watch the video here:

During the game, Ronaldo was seen showing disgraceful actions towards the AL-Hilal fans. A scarf which was thrown his way saw the Portugal superstar rub it in the most inappropriate area. The 39-year-old earned the ire of the fans after this incident came to light.

AL-Hilal down AL-Nassr to win Riyadh Cup 2024 –

The 2024 Riyadh Cup final saw some amazing football being played. Cristiano Ronaldo was all smiles as WWE Superstar The Undertaker came out to place the trophy. Once the action began it was an end-to-end encounter as both teams went hard at goal.

Serbian star Sergej-Milinkovic Savic opened the scoring in the 17th minute of the game. It was two-nil 13 minutes later as Salem Aldaswari scored an amazing goal. That was the end of the contest despite an hour left in the game to be played.

There was no way back for the Al Nassr side as they looked clueless in front of goal. Not many chances were created by Ronaldo and his team. Al Hilal’s defense held their own against a rampaging Al Nassr side in the last few minutes.

There was pandemonium in the stands as the final whistle was sounded and the Al Hilal fans celebrated. There was a chorus of Messi chants which visibly irked Ronaldo at the end of the game.

Ever since his move from Manchester United in late 2022, Cristiano Ronaldo has changed Saudi Football. The likes of Karim Benzema and N Golo Kante are currently playing in the Saudi Pro League. AL Hilal themselves signed noted Brazilian sensation Neymar who sic out injured. With the veteran star in the twilight of his career, this kind of behaviour is least expected from Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Sandeep Lamichhane convicted of molestation, jailed for eight years



Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane has been convicted of raping a 17-year-old in 2022. During the case, he kept playing for the team, notably during the Asia Cup 2023 and ODI World Cup qualifier in June last year. After the case was filed, he was playing for eventual winners, Jamaica Tallawahs. The leg-spinner was released from the team and was taken into custody.

“I know I am facing a difficult time of conspiracy and wrongful allegation and the ramification of its effect is something unimaginable. I am sure there must be some mechanism of compensating to the accused who proven to be innocent in our legal system,” he wrote. “I will soon seek legal support against wrongful prosecution and allegation made against me and I am sure I will get the justice and will return to the cricket ground soon to make the name and fame of my beloved country and I pray for speedy trial.”

After landing home, the former Delhi Capitals player claimed that the allegations made against him were baseless.

“All these things affected me mentally on one hand and on the other hand, I had to go through illness, and due to mental stress and ill health I kept myself in isolation. I have been mentally and physically affected by the portrayal and I have reached a state of imbalance and I have been bringing myself back to a normal state under the advice of doctors. My health is gradually improving, and I am planning to return to Nepal as soon as possible to defend against the false complaint against me,” the leggie wrote on Facebook in September 2022.

Talking about the current status, the bench also slapped him with a fine of Rs 300,000 (USD 2255 approx) and ordered him to pay Rs 200,000 (USD 1500 approx) in compensation to the victim. Lamichhane’s lawyer, Saroj Ghimire, told AFP that he “will appeal the decision in a higher court.”

Sandeep Lamichhane’s career at a glance

He is the first Nepal player to play in IPL, PSL, CPL, and several other leagues. He made his international debut at the age of 18

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WATCH: Gautam Gambhir makes endearing comment while answering question related to Virat Kohli



Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir is believed to have a personal dislike for former India skipper Virat Kohli. Over the years, Gambhir has been critical of the 2008 U19 World Cup-winning captain on a lot of issues. Not to forget, Gambhir has been vocal about not the media should be worshipping individual players.

During a talk show on Star Sports, the two-time World Cup winner was asked about the bowler Kohli faced while completing his 50th ODI hundred. As Gambhir gave the right answer, he also mentioned that his rivalry is with Kohli which stays on the field only.

Watch the video here

He replied:

“Lockie Ferguson.”

Gambhir then smilingly went on to add:

“Ye aap baar baar dikhana, mujhe sab kuch yaad rehta hai. Ladai meri sirf on the field hai (Please show this clip again and again, I remember everything. My fight is only on the field)”

I want Virat Kohli to bat with the same intent he is known for: Gautam Gambhir

In another conversation. Gambhir said that Kohli must bat the same way against South Africa in the two-match Test series the way he does. Notably, the latter won’t play the practice game as he has come back to India for personal reasons. However, the right-hander will be available for the series.

“It will be in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s minds that Shreyas Iyer, who is on his first tour, will be batting after Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul, if he plays, will be playing as a wicketkeeper for the first time. However, I want Virat Kohli to bat with the same intent he is known for.”

India’s squad for Tests: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KL Rahul (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Prasidh Krishna, KS Bharat (wk)

Tuesday 26-Dec-23 to 30-Dec-23 1st Test Centurion
Wednesday 03-Jan-24 to 07-Jan-24 2nd Test Cape Town
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