RelatedPosts Runarsson joins Arsenal on four-year deal Arsenal, Wolves want Michael Olise EPL: Son fires four past Southampton Arsenal vs. Tottenham Venue: Emirates Stadium Kick off: 4:30PMArsenal play host to Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby looking to establish a five-point advantage over their fierce rivals in the Premier League standings. While the Gunners lost out to Liverpool at Anfield last weekend, Spurs head into Sunday’s fixture having suffered a surprise home defeat at the hands of Newcastle United. Losing out in a relatively high-scoring game against Liverpool produced comments of “same old Arsenal”, something which is arguably justified by the questionable defending of David Luiz for one of Mohamed Salah’s two goals. However, having previously ground out wins against Newcastle United and Burnley, it is far too early for the Gunners to be written off at the top of the table. Unlike some of the other contenders, Unai Emery has had to contend with easing his new arrivals into action, with the encounter on Merseyside representing the first time that each of Luiz, Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe had all started in the same team. Although there were as many negatives as there were positives, time will be required for each of the trio to fully bed into life at the Emirates Stadium. Nevertheless, a home derby showdown with the club’s biggest enemies is the perfect occasion for them to show why they have been brought to the club, especially in the case of Pepe given the investment which has been made in the Ivory Coast international. Emery finds himself in a position where he needs to find the right balance with regards to the winger, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, aware that the supporters will want to see all three playing in tandem. Whether that is possible in the long term remains to be seen, although few would criticise the Spaniard if he opted to go with a gung-ho style against opponents who have issues at the back. There will be caution at the other end, despite none of Spurs’ attacking players showing much form in the final third, but Emery and his players have the opportunity to deliver a statement performance early in the title race, and this is the perfect platform to do just that. After reaching the Champions League final and significantly improving his squad over the summer, life at Spurs was supposed to get easier for Mauricio Pochettino as he looks to close the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool. However, the Argentine will rightly be worried about the current performances of his team, who are fortunate to have four points on the board from matches against Aston Villa, City and Newcastle. Having come through what would have been perceived to be the tougher two fixtures having avoided defeat, Pochettino would have expected his side to deliver another win against a Newcastle outfit who had offered very little in meetings against Arsenal and Norwich City. Spurs continued to look devoid of ideas in the final third, however, and it highlighted the importance of keeping Christian Eriksen at the club at least until the end of his contract. Arsenal possible XI: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Pepe, Ceballos, Aubameyang, Lacazette. Tottenham Hotspur possible XI: Lloris, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Sissoko, Dier, Winks, Eriksen, Rose, Son, Kane.Tags: ArsenalDavid LuizMohamed SalahNewcastle UnitedTottenham HotspurUnai Emery
FRESH off action from last weekend’s Digicel Open, Industrial and Mining suppliers MACORP yesterday launched the 10th edition of their Open Golf Tournament, set for this weekend at the Lusginan Golf Course. During a brief ceremony yesterday, Chief Executive Officer of MACORP, Jorge Medinas, contended that the body has seen the need to sponsor tournaments like golf as it is more than just a sport, adding, “It’s a lifestyle.”“For MACORP, we are pleased to have this tournament and we are into the 10th year of sponsoring this event. I remember long ago when we had the previous clubhouse and it was the first tournament that I participated and I said “we need to start sponsoring this”.He has also called on the local stakeholders to sit with those relevant authorities to ensure that development comes at a macro level, with the course in the future being upgraded to an international 18-hole course used for tourism purposes.The CEO cited countries like Barbados which offers golf as part of its tourism package and with the sport gaining traction across the world; clubs like the LGC should seek to move in this direction.Thanking the company for their support, president of the LGC, Oncar Ramroop, contended that the company has moved past being deemed a sponsor, to something entirely new.“I’m extremely proud to say that I don’t view MACORP as a sponsor, we view MACORP as a partner and we are extremely happy to have this relationship and it’s one that I am confident will grow from strength to strength,” he said.He also thanked the company for assisting with works done on the LGC access road prior to the Digicel Open, adding that their contributions to the sport remain invaluable.According to the LGC president, there will be the 0-9 handicap, 10-18, 19-36 male divisions as well as the females where the first three finishers will be rewarded as well as the usual prizes of nearest to the pin, best gross among others.Saturday’s session begins at 12:00hrs and at least 50 golfers are expected.
SERENA Williams underlined why she is the Australian Open favourite with a rapid first-round win, while world number one Ashleigh Barty overcame a scare to reach the second round.Williams, chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0 6-3 in just 58 minutes.Australia’s Barty recovered from a poor start against world number 120 Lesia Tsurenko to win 5-7 6-1 6-1.Defending champion Naomi Osaka also advanced on the opening day.Third seed Osaka started slowly against Marie Bouzkova, before winning 6-2 6-4.While Williams claimed a convincing victory over her Russian opponent, there was an even faster win for seventh seed Petra Kvitova, the 2019 runner-up, demolished fellow Czech Katerina Siniakova 6-1 6-0 in 51 minutes.Former champion Caroline Wozniacki got her final tournament before retirement off to a good start with a 6-1 6-3 victory over American Kristie Ahn.However, 2017 US Open champion and 24th seed Sloane Stephens was beaten by China’s Zhang Shuai.The American served for the match in the second set but then lost seven games in a row as she fell to a 2-6 7-5 6-2 defeat.Britain’s Johanna Konta was due to play on the first day but her match was one of 32 rescheduled for Tuesday because of rain.Top seed Barty won the Adelaide International on Sunday but struggled for rhythm in a patchy match.Ukrainian Tsurenko, who reached the 2018 US Open quarter-finals, was playing just her second match after injuring her elbow but initially held firm against an error-strewn Barty.Barty was broken in the opening game of the match, silencing the packed Rod Laver Arena, and Tsurenko ultimately served out the set after Barty sent an easy forehand long.The Australian made 19 unforced errors in the opening set but was able to take advantage of a fading Tsurenko, whose served crumbled as the match progressed.The 23-year-old won 14 of the final 16 games to close out the match and will play either Polona Hercog or Rebecca Peterson next.Barty, who claimed her first Grand Slam singles title in Paris last year, said: “It’s all good. This is the moment I’ve been looking forward to the most throughout the off season.”The tournament started as scheduled on Monday after air quality improved in Melbourne, although matches were later postponed because of heavy rain.Last week’s qualifying event had been disrupted by delays because of the air pollution caused by widespread bushfires.Williams, who had a pulmonary embolism after giving birth in 2017, said she had been concerned about what conditions might be like during her match.“That is still a concern for pretty much everyone. Every day all the players and the tournament make sure that all the players are updated on what the play conditions would be like,” said the American.“It’s literally every day, we are just waiting every day to see how the air quality would be. Today, it seemed normal. Yeah, it seemed pretty good.”Eighth seed Williams, who won her first WTA title in three years in the run-up to the opening Grand Slam of the year, will play Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek next.The 38-year-old was made to work harder in the second set by 18-year-old Potapova, who broke in the third game of the second set after a double-fault by Williams.But Williams immediately broke back and pulled away to victory.(BBC Sports