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Old Trafford no longer scary, says Man City’s Guardiola

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said Manchester United’s home ground Old Trafford is no longer the fortress it used to be as City look to win all three points and take the lead in the Premier League title race.

City, who are two points behind league leaders Liverpool, play their game in hand at sixth-placed United on Wednesday, with the home side looking to make up for lost ground in their own battle for a top-four spot.

United have lost only one league game at home this season but Guardiola, whose side have won on their last two visits to Old Trafford, was confident albeit wary of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team that are hurting after a 4-0 loss at Everton.

“Four games left and we have to win our four games to retain the title,” Guardiola told reporters on Tuesday. “It’s not an easy place to go but at the same time, it’s a nice place to go.

“It is not as scary to go there and play when before it was maybe more difficult. We know exactly what we have to do. It’s true we did better than United in the past three seasons.

“The fact they lost at Everton maybe means they are extra motivated. It’s a different game when we play them, it’s a derby.”

City will be without influential midfielder Kevin De Bruyne after he suffered a hamstring injury in the 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur over the weekend. The Belgian has already missed many games this season with knee and thigh injuries.

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When asked if De Bruyne would be available for the derby, Guardiola said: “I don’t think so. It is a muscular problem.

“We will see the next days, how he is getting better. But for tomorrow he is not available.

“We will see if he can play one or two more games and next season take care of him. We are going to speak with him, with the doctors and physios to make sure he is safe and fit.”

Guardiola also addressed speculation around Riyad Mahrez who was reported by British media to be unhappy with his playing time at the club. The Algerian winger has started only 13 of City’s 34 league games this season.

“Riyad Mahrez will be with us next season and the next one and the next one,” Guardiola said. “I don’t need to speak with him, we’re delighted with his behaviour and the way he has played.

“He knows, and everybody knows, there is competition in the squad but Riyad is not going to move, he is going to stay here. He’s happy and we’re happy.”

REUTERS

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Covid-19: I tested positive after the premier league suspension, Brendan Rogers, reveals

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Brendan Rogers

Leicester City head coach, Brendan Rodgers, has revealed that he had the novel COVID-19 after the Premier League was suspended in March.

Rodgers, who said he has now fully recovered from the virus, disclosed this in an interview with BBC radio.

The 47-year-old said:

“My wife and I had it [COVID-19] just after the Premier League was suspended.

“One week later, I started to struggle, I had no smell and taste, and it was the same with my wife.

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“I could hardly walk, and It reminded me of climbing mountain Kilimanjaro, as you climb higher you get more breathless.

“I went for a run, and I could not do it. I was so weak and had a weird sensation for three weeks of having no taste.”

Rodgers is now the second manager in the Premier League to confirm he had the virus after Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta.

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Apollo Crews: Nigerian-born wrestler wins first WWE US Champion title

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Nigerian-born America wrestler Sesugh Uhaa popularly known as Apollo Crews has clinched the United States Championship on Monday Night Raw.

The 32-year-old heavily built fighter, dethroned former champion, Andrade, to win his first-ever title in the WWE rings.

According to newsmen, the immediate ex-champion didn’t respond well to the defeat handed to him by his opposition

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The victory would delight Crews after stopping the person who prevented him from participating in the Money in the Bank ladder match.

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Reacting to his victory, he wrote;

I can finally say I’ve won my first title in @WWE.” Congratulations, @WWEApollo!!! #WWERaw“.

Reports reveal that the 32-year-old had booked his place in the men’s event ahead of his clash with Andrade on the April 27 edition of Raw.

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However, he tweaked his knee over the course of the bout, and El Idolo subsequently targeted it to such an extent the referee called for the bell.

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Russia to allow some spectators in stadiums when top flight matches resume

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Russia’s Sports Minister said on Friday he welcomed a decision by the authorities to allow spectators into stadiums when matches in the country’s top professional football league resume next month.

The Russian Premier League halted matches in mid-March because of the COVID-19 crisis and is set to resume action on June 21.

“It’s important that the football championship resumes in the presence of spectators, even though small in number,” Russian news agencies quoted Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin as saying.

“I watched Bundesliga matches. The mood is very strange. There isn’t enough emotion. Without spectators, the matches do not look the way we are used to.”

Several European professional leagues resumed matches this month, including German’s top professional league, but without spectators.

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Russia’s consumer health watchdog agreed on Thursday that stadiums could welcome spectators at Russian Premier League matches if they took up no more than 10 percent of a given venue’s capacity.

League champions Zenit St Petersburg currently leads the standings on 50 points after 22 matches played.

Lokomotiv Moscow and Krasnodar are second and third respectively, nine points behind the leaders.

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Earlier this month, Russia said it would allow foreign athletes competing in its domestic sports leagues to enter the country even though its borders remain closed to foreigners.

It said the move was designed to help clubs resume training.

As of Friday, Russia had recorded 387,623 cases of the novel coronavirus, the third-highest reported total in the world after the U.S. and Brazil

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