Everton duo Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson are closing in on returns but won’t be fit in time for Saturday’s trip to Swansea City.Oviedo, who sustained a knee problem on international duty, is expected to feature in the club’s League Cup tie against Reading on Tuesday.Gibson, meanwhile, is fit again having been sidelined since April with a fractured metatarsal and is also in line to feature against the Royals after playing for the reserves this week.“Darron is a just a matter of fitness now,” said Everton boss Roberto Martinez. “He played over 70 minutes at Goodison on Monday, so clearly he is on the road to regaining that match fitness.“Medically, he’s fully fit and ready to rejoin the group, it’s just a case of getting him that match fitness.“Bryan will probably be ready for the League Cup game.” 1 Bryan Oviedo
Liverpool were looking good for a half time lead over Everton, but then with the break looming up cropped their tendency to lose the plot defensively.The Toffees were given too much time to deliver a right wing cross, which Emre Can played into the path of Martin Skrtel, leading to Romelu Lukaku pouncing for an Everton equaliser.Here is how Liverpool fans reacted on social media to the Reds’ first half Merseyside derby calamity.[View the story “Liverpool fans react to Everton equaliser ” on Storify] 1 Liverpool players look dejected after conceding a first half equaliser to Everton
Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain have joined Real Madrid in the race for Robert Lewandowski, according to reports in Germany.The striker has been in outstanding form for Bayern Munich again this season with 23 goals in 25 appearances.Real Madrid have already expressed their interest in the Poland international and want to do a deal next summer.However, according to Bild, they now face strong competition from Manchester United and PSG.The French champions are aware that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is likely to leave in the summer and Lewandowski is their top target to replace the Swede.United, meanwhile, are desperate to land a prolific striker and Louis van Gaal sees Lewandowski as the ideal signing for his side. 1 Robert Lewandowski
1 Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is happy with his side’s positioning halfway through the title race.City are third in the Barclays Premier League after 19 games, three points behind leaders Arsenal.City have already been beaten five times and, with 36 points, are well down on their tallies at the equivalent stages of their title-winning campaigns of 2011-12 (45) and 2013-14 (41).But Pellegrini does not think that matters as none of the leading contenders have been able to find consistency.The Chilean said: “Of course we are in a good position. Always the best position is to be top of the table but I think that this is a special season in the Premier League.“With the amount of points we have at this moment, it is not good to fight for the title in a normal season, but we are now just three points behind the leaders. I hope we are going to complete with a very good second part of the season.”To get their challenge firing City need to address their away form. Pellegrini’s men have won just three of their nine games on the road and the last of them was on September 12. Yaya Toure’s late consolation in the 2-1 loss at Arsenal on December 21 was also their only goal in their last five away games.But Pellegrini saw positives in Tuesday’s goalless draw at second-placed Leicester and the team will look to build on that as they travel to Watford on Saturday.He said: “If we didn’t win the last games that we played away, it is because we must improve.“But it was good to have a clean sheet and for me the best thing from that game was continuing to playing the same way we did in the last two games.“We didn’t win against Arsenal but I don’t think we played a bad game and we played very well against Sunderland. I think we also played very well against Leicester. Maybe we have to finish a little bit more but I think we are in the correct way.”Promoted Watford have been one of the season’s surprise packages and go into the game against City at Vicarage Road just two points off fifth place.Pellegrini said: “Maybe at the beginning of the season it can be a surprise, the same as Leicester, but when you play 19 games, half of the season, and you are still talking about Watford or Leicester, they continue playing in a good way, it is because they have important players in a good moment of high performance and managers that are doing very well their job.”City’s clean sheet against Leicester was their first this season without injured captain Vincent Kompany, who could be out for another month with calf trouble. Left-back Gael Clichy and midfielders Fernando and Fabian Delph are back in contention. Manuel Pellegrini
Former Tottenham captain Michael Dawson believes Mauricio Pochettino can lead the north Londoners to Premier League glory this season.With all eyes on leaders Leicester, Spurs have quietly gone about their business this season and the recent victory at Man City moved them up to second in the table, just TWO points behind the Foxes.The north Londoners – who are still fighting on three fronts in the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League – have lost just three times domestically this term and they look capable of maintaining their title push.Central defender Dawson made over 300 appearances for the club in eight-and-a-half years at White Hart Lane before joining Hull City in 2014.Speaking ahead of their FA Cup clash at Arsenal – live on talkSPORT, the 32-year-old told Drive: “Yes I do [believe they can go on and win the title].“I’m absolutely delighted for everyone there.“The job Pochettino is doing there is incredible. If you look at the players and the way they are playing, he’s got a style of football that suits them.“I love watching them – they go out and play with no fear and you talk about them winning the Premier League and people say they have players who have never won things.“Well they are certainly up there and playing with no fear and I’d back them to go on and win the league.”As they remain in the three competitions in February, Thursday’s Europa League draw at Fiorentina in the last 32 was their 37th of the campaign.Some fear the number of games may eventually catch up with the squad, but Dawson is sure they can come through the fixture congestion well.“[Squad rotation] is one thing the manager does there – if you look at them in the Europa League last night they have a squad and the way they play, the intensity they play [with], he has to change them.“They have a good squad, good players coming through – it’s great to see the likes of Harry Winks and Josh Onomah and young players playing with no fear by the looks of it.“They are going out there and enjoying it, it’s great to see.”
Chelsea captain John Terry has told talkSPORT that ‘no dialogue’ has taken place about extending his stay at Stamford Bridge.Following the FA Cup victory over MK Dons in February, Terry told reporters that he will leave the west Londoners at the end of the season after being informed he will not be offered an extension on his current deal.The 35-year-old’s contract ends at the end of the campaign and, while Chelsea insisted he may still be offered a new contract, Terry told talkSPORT’s Warren Haughton the situation is no different.The defender, currently out of action with injury, said: “No talks at the moment, but for me the most important thing is Chelsea Football Club and winning games.“You get to the one-year rolling contracts and you don’t take it for granted.“We had the rewards of winning the league last year, you cherish those moments and savour them.“For me, I really hope not but we don’t know at the minute, there’s no dialogue at the moment but that’s not to say there won’t be. Who knows what the future holds.”
The Belgium playmaker limped off with a knock in the second half Eden Hazard did not do himself any favours in the Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain. The out-of-sorts Chelsea playmaker – who has been linked with a move to the Parisians on multiple occasions this season – swapped shirts with Angel Di Maria at half-time. Hazard’s performances have already come under scrutiny this season and he limped off the pitch with a knock in the second half. Chelsea’s European campaign came to an end as they lost 4-2 on aggregate to the Ligue 1 side – read the report here. Fans were not pleased with his antics at the interval – see below! 1
SACRAMENTO – California’s budget picture has deteriorated significantly since the summer amid a slumping housing market and slowing economy, leading to a nearly $10 billion revenue shortfall, the state’s legislative analyst said Wednesday. Without immediate spending cuts or other fixes, the state’s $4.1 billion reserve will evaporate. California will be nearly $2 billion in the red by the time lawmakers vote on a new budget next summer, according to the analyst’s report. In addition, the shortfall for the budget year that will begin next July has mushroomed by more than 50 percent, leading to the combined $10 billion shortfall for the two fiscal years. That’s more than the state spends for the University of California and California State University systems combined – about $7.2 billion for the current fiscal year. He ordered state department heads to draft plans for a 10 percent across-the-board reduction. If enacted, it would be the largest round of budget cuts since Schwarzenegger took office after the 2003 recall of then-Gov. Gray Davis. The state had faced a projected $5 billion to $6 billion deficit in 2008. Schwarzenegger’s administration has in recent months warned that the continued housing slump and weakened credit markets could exacerbate that shortfall. Some analysts said the governor should have seen the problem coming sooner. When Schwarzenegger signed the state’s overdue spending plan in August, he touted it as a balanced budget. Even before then, however, turmoil in the housing and credit markets had begun biting into state tax revenue and threatening to make next year’s budget even worse. Economists warned that the continuing decline in new home sales and construction, layoffs and bankruptcies in the mortgage-lending industry, and an increasingly volatile stock market had begun erasing revenue that lawmakers assumed would materialize to cover California’s $145 billion budget. Falling revenue will make it harder for lawmakers to close the gap without considering painful cuts to schools, transportation projects and an array of social services. Schwarzenegger said his administration has been studying ways to address the deficit. “I have not made any final decisions yet, but it’s clear that the decisions that will be involved will be tough,” the governor said in a statement. “I have a constitutional requirement to submit a balanced budget to the Legislature in January, and I will fulfill that responsibility.” He also said the revenue forecast should be an incentive for lawmakers to reform the state’s budgeting process. During last summer’s budget stalemate, Republican and Democratic legislative leaders said they were open to doing so. In many ways, the state’s budget is besieged by what economists view as the delayed effect of the depressed housing market on California’s economy. Despite more than two years of warnings about a housing bubble and more than a year of sluggish home sales across the state, California’s coffers had until recently seen few ill effects of the housing downturn. As recently as May, Schwarzenegger’s finance team revised state job growth figures upward, saying there was little evidence that problems related to housing and lending would spread to other parts of the economy. That forecast now seems overly optimistic. State cash flow figures released Wednesday show revenue is off more than $1.1 billion since August. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre The future looks equally grim, with multibillion-dollar deficits projected to spiral upward for the rest of the decade, Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill said. “Addressing the state’s current budget problem is even more urgent because we forecast a continuing gap between revenues and expenditures,” Hill wrote in her analysis. Assemblyman Roger Niello, vice chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee, called the legislative analyst’s report a wake-up call for lawmakers. “We cannot continue to put off the tough decisions required to get our fiscal house in order without facing serious consequences for our state,” he said in a statement. “While tax revenues to the state have softened, the problem continues to be overspending. We must get our spending in line with revenues.” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last week directed state agencies to prepare for possible deep spending cuts.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “I’m not doubting the tree is sick and may have to be cut,” he said. “What I’m saying is, I want a second opinion.” The tree suffers from a fungus that has caused more than half its trunk to rot. The city ordered it cut down next Wednesday, citing an appraisal that said it was in imminent danger of falling. But opponents, including the Netherlands’ Trees Institute, challenged the decision as hasty and argued that the tree is a historical monument worthy of extraordinary measures to save. The Utrecht-based institute carried out an independent inspection of the tree Wednesday and said it will seek an injunction to block the order. It said that while much of the tree’s trunk is diseased, what remains healthy is strong enough to hold during a storm and the main supporting roots are healthy. AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – Hiding from the Nazis in a cramped Amsterdam apartment, Anne Frank often gazed at a majestic chestnut tree visible through an attic skylight – her only window to the outside world – and dreamed of freedom. Now a group of conservationists and local activists are fighting to prevent the badly diseased tree from being cut down, saying it is a living link to the memory of the teenage diarist, who died in a Nazi concentration camp at 15. “It’s a monument to the spirit of what Anne Frank wrote – hope and light, which she did not have,” said Sylvio Mutal, a neighbor whose study overlooks the courtyard where the tree is located. Mutal, a former consultant to the United Nations on preservation of monuments, called a decision Tuesday by the city of Amsterdam to fell the tree next week a “betrayal,” after earlier promises to wait until Jan. 1 to consider a salvage plan. “This tree is of very great cultural and historical value, and ecological value,” said institute arborist Annemiek van Loon. “You can’t just replace a 160-year-old tree.” A rescue plan would likely involve supports for the trunk and limbs. The tree stands behind the “secret annex” atop the canal-side warehouse where the Frank family hid during Nazi Germany’s occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. The Jewish teenager kept her diary for 25 months until the family was arrested in August 1944. Her diary was preserved and later published and has now been read by millions of people. Anne Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945. “Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs,” she wrote Feb. 23, 1944. “From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind. …” “As long as this exists, I thought, and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts I cannot be unhappy.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
STERLING has risen faster than at any time since 2009 – great news for the tourism sector and local retailers in Donegal.In simple terms, it means tourists from the North and Britain will get more than €1.20.5c for the £1. It makes hotel beds and meals cheaper.It will also stop shoppers going north – and could begin a trickle of northern shoppers south into Donegal for the first time in more than two years. And analysts believe the Euro will continue its decline this week as massive debt issues in Spain, Portugal and Italy become clearer on Wednesday and Thursday.“The market is starting to get bulled up on sterling and we are too,” Greg Anderson, a currency strategist at Citigroup Inc. in New York told Bloomberg. “Austerity in the UK doesn’t seem to have had that big an impact on growth and growth is accelerating faster than in the euro zone.”The euro fell over 4% against sterling last week – down to £82.89p. Borrowing costs for Portugal surged this week as it prepares to sell €20 billion in bonds.Spain and Italy need to raise a combined total of €317 billion to manage their imminent debt maturities. Portugal will try to raise cash on Wednesday, and Spain and Italy do the same on Thursday.Sterling is also benefiting from analysts who believe the UK interest rate will rise later this year.EURO SLIDES AGAINST STERLING: GOOD NEWS FOR DONEGAL RETAIL & TOURISM SECTORS was last modified: January 9th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)