Madrid Derby: Real Test for Los Blancos Title Ambition

first_imgMadrid’s hope of winning the La Liga for the first time in five years will be put to test today as neighbours, Atletico, storm the Santiago Bernabeu for the Madrid derby. A win for the White Angels will be a big boost to their title ambition while a draw or even a loss will increase fierce rival -Barcelona’s optimism of snatching the title from leaders, who top the table with two points and a game at handReal Madrid can show how serious their bid to land a first La Liga title in five years really is when they host local rivals Atletico Madrid today in the midst of the best run of results in the campaign by Diego Simeone’s side.Real ended a three-season drought against their neighbours earlier on in the campaign with a 3-0 win at the Vicente Calderon in November, thanks to a hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo, a display Zinedine Zidane’s side have struggled to top. The European champions’ destiny is in their hands as they lead holders Barcelona by two points while also having a game in hand, though doubts linger about their true quality.Real’s play has been littered with lapses of concentration in defence and they have often had to rely on late escape acts to see them through difficult games.Atletico have won all three of their previous visits to the Santiago Bernabeu in the league and head there after beating Real Sociedad 1-0 on Tuesday to record five consecutive domestic wins for the first time this season.Zidane made wholesale changes to his team in Wednesday’s 4-2 win at Leganes in preparation for the derby, resting Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos.Marco Asensio and Alvaro Morata shone in the absence of the team’s big hitters to help put Real up 3-0 after 25 minutes but familiar frailties were visible at the back as they conceded twice in two minutes before adding a fourth after the break.Real will find it tougher to compensate for any similar errors against Atletico, who have conceded just one goal in their last six games in all competitions.Atletico defender Juanfran believes his side are far better prepared to face their neighbours than when they last met.“It’s clear they were better than us in that game but now it’s another story, a different moment. I hope we can stay on this great run and get something positive, although we know it’ll be difficult because they are top and are having an incredible season,” Juanfran told reporters.“We had a bad run around November and December and that has made us stronger and we’ve shown once again that Atletico always rises against adversity,” added Juanfran, who missed the crucial penalty in the shoot-out when Atletico lost to Real in the 2016 Champions League final.Meanwhile, Antoine Griezmann believes Atletico can inflict the worst possible start to a season defining two-weeks for Real. Griezmann scored the winner last season as Atletico became the first side to ever win away to Real in the league for three consecutive seasons.“I see us as favourites. I believe in my teammates and the coach. We have to win more for the fans than for the points. Madrid played great and caused us a lot of damage. Now it is a different story. We know it is going to be difficult, but I believe in my teammates. We are more complete now,” said a bullish Griezmann on Thursday.Inflicting a damaging blow on Real’s bid for the first league title in five years would be some measure of sweet revenge for Atletico. However, Real have yet to taste defeat at home in La Liga this season.That record will be put fully to the test over the next fortnight as Barcelona visit on March 23.In between times Madrid also face old foes Bayern Munich for a place in the Champions League semifinals.Real captain Sergio Ramos has been Atletico’s bete noire in recent times, scoring in both the Champions League finals between the sides.But he has called on Real to not rest on their laurels and go for more history by becoming the first side to retain the Champions League in 27 years and end Barca’s stranglehold on La Liga.“You can’t constantly live with what you have won in the past. You have to have ambition and belief to win titles. As of today we can win both the Champions League and La Liga,” he told Madrid’s website.Both sides are in great form having each won their last five La Liga outings.However, Zidane and Simeone’s plans could be affected by their upcoming Champions League ties with Bayern and Leicester City respectively.Zidane is expected to welcome back a host of first team regulars rested for Wednesday’s 4-2 win over Leganes, including Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.By contrast, Simeone is expected to name an unchanged side from the one that beat Real Sociedad 1-0 on Tuesday with Fernando Torres partnering Griezmann up front due to Kevin Gameiro’s continued absence through injury.Barcelona will be waiting to take advantage of any favours Atletico could do for them when they visit Malaga hours after the derby on the back of a 3-0 win over Sevilla.Coach Luis Enrique said Barcelona’s first half performance was “the display we had dreamt about”.The Catalans will be without Ivan Rakitic and Gerard Pique for the visit to Malaga, who picked up only their second win of 2017 by winning 1-0 at Sporting Gijon on Wednesday to move eight points clear of the relegation zone. Any slip up from Real would allow Barcelona to move top when they travel to Malaga later today. Enrique is expected to rest some of his star names ahead of their Champions League quarterfinal.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Celtics trade rumors: Boston has looked into deal for Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday

first_img NBA trade rumors: Celtics have ‘checked in’ with Rockets about potential deal for Clint Capela Lowe Post podcast: @kevinarnovitz and I on the AD mega-trade, what’s next for LA and New Orleans, Boston’s year from hell, free agency questions, much more— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 17, 2019The 29-year-old averaged 21.2 points, 7.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds in 67 games last season. He shot 47.2 percent from the field and 32.5 percent from 3-point range.Holiday has three seasons remaining on the five-year, $126 million contract he signed with the Pelicans in July 2017. Related News The Celtics appear like they’re looking to retool their roster.Boston has been “sniffing around” about a potential deal for Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz and Zach Lowe reported during a recent episode of “The Lowe Post.” NBA Draft 2019 rumors: Pelicans discussing trading up to No. 2 to pair Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett Holiday could be available if the Pelicans decide to move in a younger direction after completing one of the biggest trades in NBA history last week. New Orleans sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers in exchange for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three first-round picks, including the No. 4 selection in 2019.They could flip that pick to move up or acquire a veteran and they’re also considering moving back, according to a report from ESPN. The Pelicans have also been linked to Wizards star Bradley Beal. The Celtics, meanwhile, entered the season as the favorites to win the East but finished with a 49-33 record and were eliminated by the Bucks in five games in the conference semifinals. They’re expected to lose both Kyrie Irving and Al Horford in free agency.Boston has “checked in recently” with the Rockets about a trade for center Clint Capela, according to an earlier report from SNY. It also may be looking to trade up in Thursday’s draft. NBA trade rumors: Pelicans ‘monitoring’ potential deal for Wizards star Bradley Beallast_img read more

MLB All-Star Game 2019 starters: Cody Bellinger, Mike Trout lead list

first_img MLB All-Star Game 2019: Finalists include frontrunners Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, Brewers’ Christian Yelich MLB All-Star Game 2019: Angels’ Shohei Ohtani would like to participate in HR Derby The 2019 MLB All-Star starters were announced Thursday with a couple of surprises sprinkled on each team. The 2019 All-Star Game takes place Tuesday, July 9 in Cleveland at Progressive Field. The Home Run Derby is the night before.center_img Here are the 2019 MLB All-Star starters:National LeagueStarters:PositionNameTeamCWillson ContrerasCubs1BFreddie FreemanBraves2BKetel MarteDiamondbacks3BNolan ArenadoRockiesSSJavier BaezCubsOFChristian YelichBrewersOFCody BellingerDodgersOFRonald Acuna Jr.BravesAmerican LeagueStarters: Related News PositionNameTeamCGary SanchezYankees1BCarlos SantanaIndians2BDJ LeMahieuYankees3BAlex BregmanAstrosSSJorge PolancoTwinsOFMike TroutAngelsOFGeorge SpringerAstrosOFMichael BrantleyAstrosDHHunter PenceRangerslast_img read more

Damian Lillard reveals cover art, tracklist, release date for new album

first_imgIf you know Damian Lillard, you know he has talents beyond the basketball court.Rap fans got a dose of his rhyming skills when he released a diss track aimed at Kings center Marvin Bagley back in June.— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) June 21, 2019Now the Trail Blazers guard is coming out with his third album called “BIG D.O.L.L.A.” The latest effort from Dame D.O.L.L.A. (Different on Levels Lord Allowed) is set to drop on all streaming platforms on Friday.Lillard announced his album release date via Twitter, and his followers are already fully behind the project.New album alert 🚨BIG D.O.L.L.A.Available 8/9 on all platforms! It’s my 3rd album and my best. Make sure y’all go support on Friday!Dame (D)ifferent (O)n (L)evels (L)ord (A)llowed #DameDOLLA #BigDOLLA #FrontPageMusic @FrontPageMusic— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) August 7, 2019Got through @Dame_Lillard album last night. Bruh spitting some 🔥 think this is your best work to date bruh— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) August 3,— Jace (@1stSeahawks) August 7, 2019ABOUT DAME TIME— Laya’s Dad (@Shundrick) August 7, 2019#RipCity— Pinwheel Empire (@pinwheelempire) August 7, 2019″BIG D.O.L.L.A.” will feature popular artists like five-time Grammy winner Lil Wayne and R&B singer Jeremih. Here is the full tracklist:Song titleArtist(s)1. SorryDame D.O.L.L.A. ft. Lil Wayne2. CheckDame D.O.L.L.A.3. BestieDame D.O.L.L.A. ft. Marley Waters4. BaggageDame D.O.L.L.A. ft. Mozzy5. Dre GrantDame D.O.L.L.A. ft. Brookfield Duece6. CupidDame D.O.L.L.A.7. Ricky BobbyDame D.O.L.L.A.8. Money BallDame D.O.L.L.A. ft. Jeremih, Derrick Milano and Danny From Sobrante9. BeachDame D.O.L.L.A. ft. Derrick Milano10. Track MeetDame D.O.L.L.A. ft. Major Myjahlast_img read more