first_img The Togo striker has returned from compassionate leave but is not yet fully fit, so is unlikely to start for Pochettino, who has a fully fit squad in buoyant mood after the 4-0 defeat of the Magpies. “He’s available,” Pochettino said. “We played them one year ago at St Mary’s (with Southampton). It’s the same team, same philosophy and they are very consistent. “Every game you need to win, more here, at Tottenham. In our mind is to get three points tomorrow, but we have full respect for our opponent. “It’s important to keep the level of performance that we had on Wednesday and to go tomorrow ready to compete. “We need to suffer, because in front of us we have a very tough team.” Burnley start this weekend outside the Premier League’s bottom three and Sean Dyche believes his men are now being viewed as “serious underdogs”. The Clarets took their seat at the top table back in August with the manager declaring last season’s Sky Bet Championship runners-up could be considered the “biggest underdogs” in Premier League history. But, despite not winning a game until November, they enter the festive schedule in 17th spot after accruing 11 points from the last 18 available. And ahead of a tricky run which sees them face Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City to close out 2014, Dyche is aware that while Burnley remain unfancied, the perceptions from outside Turf Moor have shifted. “I think people will probably take us a bit more seriously than they did in the first 10 games,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we’re not underdogs. We’re going to White Hart Lane, there’s only one favourite, we’re playing Liverpool, there’s only one favourite, we’re playing Man City, there’s only one favourite. “I’m not doing us down, but there is. If you walk into any bookies they will be the favourites. “I think there was a rare game when we played Hull and we weren’t the underdogs. That’s one game in 16. “So there lies the truth, bookies rarely get it wrong with that sort of stuff. “We’re still underdogs, all I’m saying is we’re maybe a bit more serious underdogs than maybe people thought at first. “But that’s the outside view. Managers and professionals know they have to be on their guard and they have to play well.” Burnley continue to be troubled by injury problems for their visit to White Hart Lane. Michael Duff has had a minor setback in his recovery from a calf problem while fellow experienced heads Matt Taylor and Stephen Ward are sidelined by respective Achilles and ankle complaints. Sam Vokes’ return from his knee injury is imminent, yet the Wales international is more likely to appear in another game for the development squad on Monday, but Ben Mee has made a full recovery from illness. Press Association “After, we will see if I pick him or not. I’m happy with Ade and how he’s been training. Maybe he’s not 100 per cent yet, but he’s not far away. “He’s getting better. He needs training, he needs to improve, especially his physical condition, but he’s getting better.” Adebayor has not played for Spurs since criticising the White Hart Lane supporters following last month’s loss to Stoke. The enigmatic striker suggested it would be better to play away from home due to the atmosphere, which Pochettino believes is positive again following the Capital One Cup quarter-final humbling of Newcastle. The Argentinian added: “It’s important to create this relationship. When you create this relationship between the supporters and the team, after that comes only good things. “The energy is positive after a victory like Wednesday.” Spurs play a Burnley side whose three wins this season have come in the last six games, when they have lost just once. “Burnley are a very good team,” former Southampton boss Pochettino added. Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has Emmanuel Adebayor available for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Burnley as Spurs look to carry the momentum of the midweek thrashing of Newcastle. last_img read more

first_img Published on February 21, 2018 at 10:35 pm Contact Matt: mdliberm@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ The first two weeks of No. 16 Syracuse’s (1-1) season could not have been more different from each other. The Orange opened the season with a 21-4 shellacking of Binghamton (0-3), where 12 different players scored for SU.The Orange followed up its massive opening-day win with one of its worst losses in decades. Then-No. 4 Albany (1-0) thrashed the Orange, 15-3, in the Great Danes first game of the season, earning its second win against the Orange in program history and handing SU its worst home defeat since a 19-6 loss against Cornell in 1987.This Saturday, SU finishes up its opening home stand against No. 9 Army (3-0), which is coming off a 9-7 win against No. 13 Rutgers. One key piece that may be missing, though, is Army’s “top defender,” Johnny Surdick, Army head coach Joe Alberici said. Surdick missed last Saturday’s contest against Rutgers due to an injury. In his place, senior long-stick midfielder Jon LaMonica moved to defense, finishing with a team-leading 14 ground balls. Alberici is “hopeful” Surdick will play on Saturday, but that is to be determined.The last two seasons, Army and Syracuse have split their matchups. Syracuse won, 9-8, in 2016 and lost, 14-13, in 2017. In last year’s contest, SU had to play without its all-time faceoff leader in Ben Williams, but it had veteran go-to scorers in Nick Mariano and Sergio Salcido. This year’s Syracuse team is much different, while Army’s is much of the same.Veteran attackAdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile Syracuse lost three of its top-five scorers from last season, the Black Knights return all but one of their top-five scorers, including 2017 USILA All-American Honorable Mention David Symmes, who played hero last season against SU, putting a game-winner past Evan Molloy with 0.5 seconds remaining.“Symmes is an impressive athlete,” Alberici said. “Great size. Good speed. Shoots the ball hard.”So far this season, the senior ranks third on the team with nine points — six goals and three assists. Tied for first are Nate Jones and Conor Glancy, who each have tallied 10 points through their first three games. Both seniors found the back of the net last year against SU. Army returns all but two players who scored in last season’s game.Still, Army isn’t the same offensive juggernaut that Albany is. Last week, Syracuse’s defense was exhausted in the second half, sophomore defender Nick Mellen said.“We can’t say let’s do what Tehoka (Nanticoke) did,” Alberici said. “We just don’t have that guy.”The Black Knights do not have a Nanticoke-type talent, but they do have a diverse, experienced offense that can attack its opponents in many different ways.Battle at the faceoff XThen-freshman Danny Varello first made his name as a collegiate faceoff specialist against Army last season, winning 10-of-17 faceoffs against Dan Grabher, the fifth-leading faceoff specialist in the country at the end of the 2017 season. Against Binghamton two weeks ago, Varello dominated, winning 15-of-17 en route to being named to the USILA Team of the Week.“He dominated,” Binghamton head coach Kevin McKeown said following the game. “It’s tough to win a ball game when you don’t have the ball.”Syracuse suffered a similar fate last Saturday against Albany. Varello folded, winning 3-of-13 against TD Ierlan, and SU rarely possessed the ball in its three-goal performance.Varello struggled mightily to win the ball against Albany, and has struggled with turnovers in both games. Against the Bearcats, Varello turned the ball over on 20 percent of his face-off wins.Ahead 4-0 in the first quarter, Varello won the faceoff against Binghamton’s Brendan Patterson. After the win, two Bearcats midfielders double-teamed Varello. Instead looking for the easy pass back to his defense, Varello tried to force a one-handed pass to a midfielder, resulting in a turnover.On Saturday, Army will bring that same pressure.“Our goal will be to try to make it a 10-man game as much as we can,” Alberici said.Plus, Army’s faceoff specialist, John Ragno, doubles down as a short-stick defensive midfielder as well. A good athlete, Alberici said, Ragno is especially tough to beat when the ball is on the ground, plus his win percentage at the faceoff X is one of the best in the country at 67.6 percent.“We’re going to rely on him to make it scrappy,” Alberici said.Do-it-all playersRagno isn’t Army’s only multi-dimensional weapon. Sophomore midfielder Matt Manown has become one of Alberici’s go-to players as a two-way midfielder.Manown is one of the best defensive players on the team, Alberici said, and his offense is only getting better. Manown led the Black Knights with four points against Rutgers — two goals and two assists.A former hockey player, Manown will work defensively to eliminate easy shots around the crease from the likes of Nate Solomon and Brendan Bomberry.“Whatever it is you ask him to do, whenever, it’s a nod and he’s going to do it to his best ability,” Alberici said. “We anticipated Matt to be that two-way midfielder for us that would go back defensively and get stops when we needed them. At a loose ball pile, he comes off ripping again and again and again.”What the coaching staff did not anticipate is Manown to rank fourth on the team in scoring, just two points behind Symmes, creating a more diverse offense than even Army thought it had.But for all the talk about SU’s struggles against Albany, Alberici knows there is more to SU than what people saw on Saturday. The first half, he said, was much closer than the scoreboard indicated, and the missed opportunities that Syracuse couldn’t capitalize on was what made the team struggle so badly in the second half. But Army isn’t Albany. And the loss to the Great Danes is in the past. Alberici knows SU isn’t focused on it anymore, and he knows his team cannot focus on it either.“We need to set the tone,” Alberici said. “What happened last week shouldn’t dictate what happens in this game. That’s going to be before we step on the field.” Commentslast_img read more

first_imgChelsea last week failed with a £20m bid for the unsettled striker, who faces a race against time to be fit for the start of the new season.Rooney was sent home from Manchester United’s pre-season tour of Asia and Australia with the injury – which the club said would sideline him for up to a month.But despite his fitness concerns, Rooney travelled down to the London area over the weekend and played at the member’s only Queenwood Golf Club in Surrey, where a host of Cheslea stars play.He was spotted at the Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire on Saturday night, before journeying to Surrey on Sunday.Queenwood is one of the most exclusive golf courses in Europe, where members can only join by invitation.Some of the world’s top professional golfers and high rollers are members, and so secretive is the club about joining that membership fees are not made public, though Starsport understands they are in excess of £200,000. News that Rooney was so close to Chelsea’s Cobham base will be interesting to Old Trafford officials, with United insisting they do not want to sell their £240,000-a-week striker.But Rooney is understood to be keen on a move to Stamford Bridge, and will be aware that playing golf while recovering from a hamstring problem – and in the London area – will raise eyebrows with some.Starsport contacted Rooney’s advisors to ask them directly about his Grove and Queenwood visits, but they declined to confirm or deny the story.last_img read more