Howe confident ‘brilliant’ Livramento can cover for injured Trippier

Kieran Trippier is set to miss Newcastle United’s trips to Chelsea and Man City over the next fortnight and likely international duty with England, Eddie Howe has confirmed. (Reuters/File Photo)
Kieran Trippier is set to miss Newcastle United’s trips to Chelsea and Man City over the next fortnight and likely international duty with England, Eddie Howe has confirmed. (Reuters/File Photo)
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Updated 09 March 2024
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Howe confident ‘brilliant’ Livramento can cover for injured Trippier

Howe confident ‘brilliant’ Livramento can cover for injured Trippier
  • ‘It goes without saying how good he is,’ Magpies’ head coach says
  • England defender limped off with calf problem during 3-0 win over Wolves

NEWCASTLE: Kieran Trippier is set to miss Newcastle United’s trips to Chelsea and Man City over the next fortnight and likely international duty with England, Eddie Howe has confirmed.

However, the head coach knows he has an able deputy in former Blues full-back Tino Livramento, whom Howe believes could one day threaten Trippier’s place in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad.

Trippier limped out of the Magpies’ 3-0 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers with a calf issue and while Howe said the issue was not serious, he believes Newcastle will have to do without one of the Premier League’s leading assisters for at least the next fortnight.

“Kieran is not too bad, it’s a minor injury but the scan showed enough to probably keep him out of the next two games. We hope he’ll be back for the first game after the international break but that’s not absolutely guaranteed,” Howe said.

“As far as I know, he won’t be going away with England.”

Youngster Livramento was called off the bench at St. James’ Park on Saturday and made the perfect impact, netting his first goal in black and white with a mazy run and finish.

Howe has been impressed with the player, who will start in place of Trippier at Chelsea on Monday night. The Blues sold the academy graduate without handing him a first team appearance.

“I think it’s been a brilliant start to his Newcastle career, whether he’s played right-back, left-back or a wide position, which he had done during our injury difficulties,” Howe said.

“I think he’s handled himself really well, played ever so well. It goes without saying how good he is athletically, highlighted by his goal against Wolves when he showed his running ability and technical qualities to score. I’ve been delighted with how he’s started here.

“How his season has gone has probably been the ideal introduction back. And I still think there is more to come. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet. I really do believe in his potential. Very exciting future ahead of him.”

When quizzed on whether Southgate should be taking a look at Livramento, the head coach said: “If you ask Tino, that will be his aim and if you ask me, I’d want every player to feel the same way. If you’re not in the team, your aim and ambition should be to try to get into the team, to try to prove you’re better than the teammate that you’re competing against.

“If you have that in your squad, I think you’ve got a healthy squad, you’ve got a good balance between being a good teammate and fighting for your place.

“Tino has shown all those qualities this year. He has been learning and developing behind the scenes, he’s been no doubt picking things up off Kieran and I’ve enjoyed seeing them both battle against each other.”

Meanwhile, Howe has moved to clarify the situation of two of his other first team defenders, after doubts about the future of both Jamaal Lascelles and Lewis Hall surfaced in recent weeks.

Hall’s situation has been a particularly puzzling one. Signed to put pressure on Dan Burn in the left-back slot, the teenager has played just 104 minutes in the Premier League this season, despite the team’s injury problems. But the Magpies do have an obligation to sign him if certain, as yet unspecified, criteria are met.

Confirming Lascelles’ one-year extension, Howe said: “I hope he’s here next year. He’s done incredibly well both as a leader and captain of the group, but also a player. I think his game has really developed and he’s played an important part in the season.

“When he’s played, I think he’s been excellent. But of course there is good competition for places in that area now with everybody fit, but he’s an integral part of what we’re doing.

“In regards to his contract situation, it’s not unclear in my mind, he has a contract for next year.”

On Hall, Howe was less certain. While he committed to wanting the Chelsea loanee around next season, he did not confirm what clauses needed to be met in order for the deal to be triggered.

“In terms of my thinking, I’m preparing for Lewis to be at Newcastle for many years. He was always brought in with a long-term view, not a short-term signing. He is a long-term signing,” Howe said.

“We have always believed in him and his quality and we have been working really hard with him on his game. He’s a really talented lad. He’s got a couple of things to continue working on as all the players have. I believe in him. My vision for him is he will be at Newcastle for many years.”

On the clauses, he said: “Now you’re digging too deep. I don’t think has quite happened yet but hopefully it will do very soon.”


Ons Jabeur ‘avoids risk’ by missing Paris Olympics

Ons Jabeur ‘avoids risk’ by missing Paris Olympics
Updated 4 sec ago
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Ons Jabeur ‘avoids risk’ by missing Paris Olympics

Ons Jabeur ‘avoids risk’ by missing Paris Olympics
  • Earlier in the day, world number three Aryna Sabalenka said she would also miss the Olympics to protect her fitness
PARIS: Three-time Grand Slam runner up Ons Jabeur said on Monday she will sit out this summer’s Paris Olympics to avoid further injury to her knee.
Tunisian Jabeur, 29, will miss the Games, between July 27-August 4. The competition being played Roland-Garros, meaning a switch back to clay immediately after the grass season and before the hard-court run up to the US Open.
Last year Jabeur underwent surgery on her right knee.
“After consulting with my medical team regarding attending to the Olympics in Paris, we have decided that the quick change of surface and the body’s adaptation required would put my knee at risk and jeopardize the rest of my season,” Jabeur said on her social media accounts.
“Unfortunately I will not be able to participate in the 2024 Olympics,” she added.
Jabeur reached the final at Wimbledon in 2022 and 2023 and at the US Open in 2022. She competed at the Olympics in London in 2012, in Rio in 2016 and in Tokyo five years later.
Wimbledon starts on July 1 with the US Open beginning on August 26.
Earlier in the day, world number three Aryna Sabalenka said she would also miss the Olympics to protect her fitness.

Boats cruise the Seine river in a rehearsal for the Paris Olympics’ opening ceremony

Boats cruise the Seine river in a rehearsal for the Paris Olympics’ opening ceremony
Updated 4 min 50 sec ago
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Boats cruise the Seine river in a rehearsal for the Paris Olympics’ opening ceremony

Boats cruise the Seine river in a rehearsal for the Paris Olympics’ opening ceremony
  • Officials are confident that the near four-hour ceremony will run like clockwork on July 26
  • On the day of the eagerly-awaited event, around 200 Olympic delegations will join the parade on more than 80 boats

PARIS: Curious onlookers gathered on bridges as dozens of boats snaked along the Seine river on Monday in a rehearsal for the Paris Olympics’ unique opening ceremony next month.

A total of 55 boats made the journey from Pont d’Austerlitz, named after a French military victory in 1805, to Pont d’Iena, a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower, the nation’s most striking and best-known landmark.

Officials are confident that the near four-hour ceremony will run like clockwork on July 26.

“Six months ago we had like 10 minutes delay on the timing and today we are very close, almost to the second to our targets,” Thierry Reboul, the executive director for ceremonies said. “So it is very satisfying. We’ve respected an extremely precise level of timing.”

On the day of the eagerly-awaited event, around 200 Olympic delegations will join the parade on more than 80 boats. They will make the journey from east to west, along a six-kilometer (3.7-mile) route which has become a major talking point — for its audacity as a unique open-air event and for its exposure to potential danger.

Security concerns led French President Emmanuel Macron to say in mid-April that the ceremony could shift to Stade de France if the threat level was too high. But Reboul said Monday that authorities are preparing for the big day as originally planned, with no alternatives being prepared at this stage.

There will be a final rehearsal, involving the full armada of boats, before the opening ceremony — one which is expected to bring 100 world leaders to the city’s embankments, where more than 300,000 people will watch.

“We will give our heart and souls to make it a great success for the French people,” France’s Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera said Monday. “They deserve it.”

The rehearsal saw 10 police speedboats shadowing the convoy, as well as speedboats equipped with television cameras. There were armed police officers stationed at various points along the way. The boats crossed 16 bridges, passing by iconic landmarks such as the green-tinged Grand Palais — where fencing and Taekwondo events will be held.

On each bridge, a few dozen people watched attentively.

“Fifty-five? That’s a lot of boats,” said 49-year-old Rosa Gabriel. Taking a break between walking from the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral, she watched it from the Pont des Arts bridge — fondly known as Love Lock Bridge, with its thousands of personalized locks attached to the railings.

One tourist even mistook the scene for something else.

“Maybe they are making a movie,” said Driss El Kaoutari, a 42-year-old from Morocco who was on vacation in Paris with his daughter.

What people actually saw were empty vessels bobbing slowly by. But they will be full of life, color, sound and movement next month.

“You will have many delegation members on the boats with their uniforms and their flags,” Reboul said. “Around them there will be many other things, as you can imagine.”

The water itself has become a sensitive and thorny topic for the organizers and politicians heading into the July 26-Aug. 11 Paris Games. A whopping $1.5 billion investment has already been made to improve the Seine’s water quality, with Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo both promising to take a dip.

This time, it was Oudea-Castera’s turn to give assurances about the river — where marathon swimmers and triathletes are set to compete during the Olympics.

She bristled a little when answering.

“Regarding the quality of the Seine’s water, we are confident. You shouldn’t ask us to be ready ahead of time,” Oudea-Castera said, adding that a new center for collecting waste will be opened next week.


West Indies thrash Afghanistan in final T20 World Cup group game

West Indies thrash Afghanistan in final T20 World Cup group game
Updated 18 June 2024
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West Indies thrash Afghanistan in final T20 World Cup group game

West Indies thrash Afghanistan in final T20 World Cup group game
  • Nicholas Pooran’s blistering 98 off 53 balls highlighted a dominant batting effort by West Indies

GROS-ISLET, Saint Lucia: West Indies thrashed Afghanistan by 104 runs in the final group stage game of the T20 World Cup on Monday.
Nicholas Pooran’s blistering 98 off 53 balls (six fours, eight sixes) highlighted a dominant batting effort by West Indies as they piled up 218 for five after being put in as the two Super Eight qualifiers sparred in advance of the next phase of the tournament starting on Wednesday.
Afghanistan were bundled out for 114 off 16.2 overs in reply.


Celtics win 18th NBA championship with 106-88 Game 5 victory over Dallas Mavericks

Celtics win 18th NBA championship with 106-88 Game 5 victory over Dallas Mavericks
Updated 18 June 2024
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Celtics win 18th NBA championship with 106-88 Game 5 victory over Dallas Mavericks

Celtics win 18th NBA championship with 106-88 Game 5 victory over Dallas Mavericks
  • Boston earned their latest title on the 16th anniversary of hoisting their last Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2008
  • Jaylen Brown had 21 points and was voted the NBA Finals MVP

BOSTON: The Boston Celtics again stand alone among NBA champions.

Jayson Tatum had 31 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds as the Celtics topped the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 on Monday night to win the franchise’s 18th championship, breaking a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most in league history.

Boston earned their latest title on the 16th anniversary of hoisting their last Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2008. It marks the 13th championship won this century by one of the city’s Big 4 professional sports franchises.

Jaylen Brown added 21 points and was voted the NBA Finals MVP. Jrue Holiday finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Center Kristaps Porzingis also provided an emotional lift, returning from a two-game absence because of a dislocated tendon in his left ankle to chip in five points in 17 minutes.

It helped the Celtics cap a postseason that saw them go 16-3 and finish with an 80-21 overall record. That .792 winning percentage ranks second in team history behind only the Celtics’ 1985-86 championship team that finished 82-18 (.820).

Second-year coach Joe Mazzulla, at age 35, also became the youngest coach since Bill Russell in 1969 to lead a team to a championship.

Luka Doncic finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds for Dallas, who failed to extend the series after avoiding a sweep with a 38-point win in Game 4. The Mavericks had been 3-0 in Game 5s this postseason, with Doncic scoring at least 31 points in each of the them.

Kyrie Irving finished with just 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting and has now lost 13 of the last 14 meetings against the Celtics team he left in the summer of 2019 to join the Brooklyn Nets.

NBA teams are now 0-157 in postseason series after falling into a 3-0 deficit.

Boston never trailed and led by as many as 26 feeding off the energy of the Garden crowd.

Dallas were within 16-15 early before the Celtics closed the first quarter on a 12-3 run that included eight combined points by Tatum and Brown.

The Celtics did it again in the second quarter when the Mavericks trimmed what had been a 15-point deficit to nine. Boston ended the period with a 19-7 spurt that was capped by a a half-court buzzer beater by Payton Pritchard – his second such shot of the series – to give Boston a 67-46 halftime lead.

Over the last two minutes of the first and second quarters, the Celtics outscored the Mavericks 22-4.

The Celtics never looked back.

Russell’s widow, Jeannine Russell, and his daughter Karen Russell were in TD Garden to salute the newest generation of Celtics champions.

They watched current Celtics stars Tatum and Brown earn their first rings. It was the trade that sent 2008 champions Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn in 2013 that netted Boston the draft picks it eventually used to select Brown and Tatum third overall in back-to-back drafts in 2016 and 2017.

The All-Stars came into their own this season, leading a Celtics team that built around taking and making a high number of 3-pointers, and a defense that rated as the league’s best during the regular season.

The duo made it to at least the Eastern Conference finals as teammates four previous times.

Their fifth deep playoff run together proved to be the charm.

After both struggling at times offensively in the series, Tatum and Brown hit a groove in Game 5, combining for 31 points and 11 assists in the first half.

It helped bring out all the attributes that made Boston the NBA’s most formidable team this postseason – spreading teams out, sharing the ball, and causing havoc on defense.

And it put a championship bow on dizzying two-year stretch for the Celtics, that saw them lose in the finals to the Golden State Warriors in 2022 and then fail to return last season after a Game 7 home loss to the Miami Heat in the conference finals.


Lionel Messi and Argentina will try for a 3rd straight major title in Copa America

Lionel Messi and Argentina will try for a 3rd straight major title in Copa America
Updated 18 June 2024
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Lionel Messi and Argentina will try for a 3rd straight major title in Copa America

Lionel Messi and Argentina will try for a 3rd straight major title in Copa America
  • Argentina and Uruguay are tied with 15 Copa titles each, followed by Brazil with nine
  • Spain is the only nation to win three consecutive major titles: The European Championship in 2008 and 2012 around the 2010 World Cup

NEW YORK: Lionel Messi and Argentina will try to match Spain’s feat of three consecutive major titles when the Copa America kicks off Thursday night.

Coming off championships in the 2021 Copa America and the 2022 World Cup, Messi will be four days shy of his 37th birthday when the Albiceleste take the field against Canada at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

“I want to enjoy a couple of more matches being a world champion,” Messi said after Argentina beat France on penalty kicks to win the 2022 World Cup final.

He has 10 goals in 10 international appearances since, raising his total to 108 in 182 games for Argentina’s national team. He is either tied for second with Ali Daei or one behind, depending on whether a disputed goal by the Iranian is counted, trailing only Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo at 128.

“It is not easy to compete again after winning it all,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said.

Argentina and Uruguay are tied with 15 Copa titles each, followed by Brazil with nine. No other nation has won more than two.

Brazil features an attack headed by Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo, just off a Champions League title with Real Madrid, and Raphinha. The emerging star is 17-year-old Endrick, who joins Real Madrid this summer.

“If you look at every position in their proposed starting 11, it’s probably one of the world’s best players,” US coach Gregg Berhalter said.

Spain is the only nation to win three consecutive major titles: The European Championship in 2008 and 2012 around the 2010 World Cup.

A look at the tournament:

Expanded field

There will be 16 teams, just as in 2016. The US, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Panama and Jamaica join the 10 South American nations after qualifying from North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Back in the US

Ecuador was to host the tournament under the rotation of CONMEBOL, South American soccer’s governing body, but declined. The tournament was then moved to the US, which also hosted the special centennial Copa America in 2016 as Chile won on penalty kicks over Argentina at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Eleven NFL stadiums are being used, including eight of the 11 US venues for the 2026 World Cup, plus three smaller MLS homes. The final will be at Miami Gardens, Florida, on July 14, starting five hours after the European Championship final in Berlin.

CONMEBOL says more than 1 million tickets have been sold for the 32 matches. The 2016 tournament drew just under 1.5 million, and the 2019 tournament in Brazil about 850,000. The 2021 Copa was played mostly without fans because of the coronavirus pandemic.

US team

This will be the biggest test for the US team before the World Cup — the Americans get an automatic berth as co-host along with Mexico and Canada — and most Europe-based players are expected to skip next year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie are the core of a team that returns 18 players from the 2022 World Cup roster.

“A World Cup on home soil is the biggest thing that you know we’ll probably do in our career,” Pulisic said. “It’s a special time for this sport in America.”

World Cup test?

In 2016, CONMEBOL partnered with the US Soccer Federation, which was in charge of most of the logistics. This time, CONMEBOL is co-organizing the tournament with CONCACAF, the governing body of North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Unlike during the World Cup, the organizers have only short-term access to venues. At Hard Rock, a concert is scheduled for July 6, between the last group stage game and the final, and a new grass surface will be installed.

At MetLife Stadium, where a semifinal will be played July 9, staff will look at it as a preview for the World Cup final on July 19, 2026. The stadium has a camera system designed by Arecont Vision and managed by Genetec Security Center that was installed before the 2014 Super Bowl and a new system by Axis Communications is being put in place this summer in the seating bowl with 80 8K, 41-megapixel cameras.

“We can see every seat all the time. I think it serves as a good deterrent,” said Daniel DeLorenzi, vice president of security and safety services. “We have three drone detection systems. ... Not only can we track the drone, but more importantly, we can track where the operator is.”