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U.S. allies show support for strikes on Syria

( ) – U.S. allies expressed support on Friday for Washington’s missile strikes on Syria, calling them a proportionate response to Syrian forces’ suspected use of chemical weapons.

The strikes were denounced as illegal by Syria and its allies Russia and Iran. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on the world “to reject such policies, which bring only destruction and danger to the region and the globe”. (Graphic locator map on attack – tmsnrt.rs/2nm68H0)

Iraq criticized “hasty interventions” in an apparent comment on the U.S. action.

But a wide range of U.S. allies from Asia, Europe and the Middle East expressed support, if sometimes cautiously, in similar terms.

“The U.K. government fully supports the U.S. action, which we believe was an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack launched by the Syrian regime and is intended to deter further attacks,” a British government spokesman said.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters: “Many innocent people became victims from the chemical attacks.

“Japan supports the U.S. government’s determination to prevent the spread and use of chemical weapons,” he said.

Turkey viewed the strikes positively and the international community should sustain its stance against the “barbarity” of the Syrian government, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said.

In an interview with Turkish broadcaster Fox TV, Kurtulmus said Assad’s government must be punished in the international arena and the peace process in Syria needed to be accelerated.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Russia and Iran needed to understand that supporting Assad made no sense and that the escalation of the U.S. military role in Syria was a “warning” to “a criminal regime”.

“Use of chemical weapons is appalling and should be punished because it is a war crime,” Ayrault told and France Info radio.

上海夜生活论坛French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued statements saying Assad was solely to blame for the air strikes.

The Dutch government said: “The United States has given a clear signal that the use of poison gas crosses a line.” It also labeled the strikes a “proportionate” response.

“U.S. strikes show needed resolve against barbaric chemical attacks. EU will work with the US to end brutality in Syria,” the chairman of the council of EU leaders, Donald Tusk, said on Twitter.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the strikes sent “a vitally important message” that the world would not tolerate the use of chemical weapons.

“The retribution has been proportionate and it has been swift,” he told reporters in Sydney. “We support the United States in that swift action.”

Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which back rebels fighting Assad, said they supported the U.S. strikes and held only the Syrian government responsible for the attacks.

Other Gulf countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait, also expressed support for the attacks.

Some countries expressed reservations about the U.S. decision to launch strikes without authorization from the U.N. Security Council.

Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria. “At the same time, Indonesia is concerned with unilateral actions by any parties, including the use of Tomahawk missiles, in responding to the chemical weapon attack tragedy in Syria,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir said in a text message.

“Military actions, undertaken without prior authorization of the U.N. Security Council, are not in line with international legal principles in the peaceful settlement of disputes, as stipulated in the U.N. Charter.”

Supreme Court nominee to face confirmation vote April 7: Senate leader

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that the Senate would have a final vote on April 7 on President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, even as more Democrats opposed his confirmation

The Gorsuch nomination, McConnell told reporters, will hit the Sen上海夜生活ate floor next week after the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday approves him. McConnell added that Gorsuch will be “confirmed on Friday” of next week.

Senate Republicans continued to put the pressure on Democrats to lend enough support to Colorado appeals court judge Gorsuch to avoid a showdown that in turn could trigger McConnell to seek a change in Senate rules that would clear away a Democratic blockade against the nomination.

So far, about 26 of the 48 Democratic senators have publicly announced opposition to Gorsuch. Most of that group backs a growing effort to block a confirmation vote through the use of a procedural hurdle called a filibuster.

Sixty votes in the 100-seat Senate would be needed to stop a filibuster and allow a confirmation vote on Gorsuch. The confirmation would require a simple majority in favor. Republicans control the Senate 52-48.

Some Senate Republican aides suggested that if Democrats block a confirmation vote, McConnell might move quickly to change the rules. It was unclear, however, if he had enough votes to do so

Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer told reporters that Gorsuch will face an uphill climb to get the 60 votes he would need to avoid a showdown over Senate rules.

“The bottom line is very simple, and that is that Gorsuch did not acquit himself well at the hearings and did not impress our caucus,” Schumer said, accusing Gorsuch of siding with powerful interests and expressing concerns about his independence from the president.

“It’s going to be a real uphill climb for him to get those 60 votes,” Schumer told reporters.

Trump is seeking to avoid another setback in Congress after major healthcare legislation he supported was pulled from the House of Representatives floor amid opposition within his own party on Friday.

The confirmation of Gorsuch, 49, would restore the nine-seat court’s conservative majority, a major campaign promise for Trump.

The Senate Judiciary Committee oversaw a four-day confirmation hearing for Gorsuch last week.

Thousands at rallies demand Trump release tax returns

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON ( ) – Tens of thousands of people marched through midtown Manhattan and dozens of U.S. cities on Saturday to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns and t上海夜生活o dispute his claim that the public does not care about the issue.

Organizers of “Tax March” in more than 150 cities across the country and beyond wanted to call attention to Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax history, as his White House predecessors have done for more than 40 years.

The marches coincide with the traditional April 15 deadline for U.S. federal tax returns, though the filing date was pushed backed two days this year.

There were no reports of violence or arrests, in contrast to a clash between Trump supporters and opponents that erupted at a rally in Berkeley, California, where nine people were arrested.

Two of the biggest tax marches took place in New York and Los Angeles, with each drawing about 5,000 people, according to estimates by reporters. No official estimates were immediately available.

In Manhattan, a good-natured crowd rallied at Bryant Park before marching up Sixth Avenue to Central Park.

Among the marchers was an oversized inflatable rooster, sporting an angry expression and a sweeping metallic orange hairdo meant to resemble Trump’s signature style.

“Thanks to Trump, I think that releasing your taxes when you run for president now has to be a law,” said New Yorker Marni Halasa, 51, who arrived in a tutu and leggings made of fake dollar bills and holding a sign that read “Show Me The Money!”

In Washington, more than 1,500 protesters gathered on the front lawn of the U.S. Capitol, where members of Congress addressed the crowd before it marched to the Lincoln Memorial.

“We are taking the gloves off to say knock off the secrecy Mr. President,” said Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, which would play a leading role in tax reform measures being considered in Congress.

He described Trump’s refusal to release his taxes as being “like a teenager trying to hide a lousy report card.”

TAX REFORM

Among the marchers was Melinda Colwell, 34, a stay-at-home-mother from Ledyard, Connecticut. She said she was concerned that conflicts of interest in Trump’s tax returns might foreshadow selfish interests in his tax reform policies.

“I think it’s important to know how that could influence his decisions and how he could benefit from the decisions being made,” she said.

As a candidate and as president, Trump has refused to release his tax returns, citing an ongoing audit by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has said that Trump can release his tax returns even while under audit.

The White House could not be reached immediately for comment on the marches.

Events were also planned in cities in Europe, Japan and New Zealand.

The marches were launched by a single tweet, organizers said. A day after the massive Jan. 21 women’s march in Washington and other cities, comedy writer Frank Lesser tapped out on Twitter, “Trump claims no one cares about his taxes. The next mass protest should be on Tax Day to prove him wrong.” It has been retweeted more than 21,000 times.

In Los Angeles, television director Mike Stutz turned up at the march dressed in costume as a Russian general and said he was called General Bullshitski. He carried a sign that read: “What Tax Returns? Putin paid cash. Trust your oligarchs,” referring to allegations of contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia, led by President Vladimir Putin.

Joe Dinkin, spokesman for the Working Families Party, one of the groups organizing the marches, said investigations into the Trump campaign’s alleged connections to Russia underscore the need to disclose his returns.

“Without seeing his taxes, we’ll never really know who he’s working for,” said Dinkin, who expects the marches to draw at least 100,000 protesters.

There have been some glimpses into Trump’s tax history. Last month, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow reported on two pages of Trump’s 2005 return that were obtained by investigative reporter David Cay Johnston and released by DCReport.org. They showed Trump paid $38 million in taxes on more than $150 million in income.

And in October, The New York Times reported that Trump had declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 federal tax return, citing three pages of documents from the return.

CEO of Buffett’s Dairy Queen tries to find new tastes, keep franchisees happy

OMAHA, Neb. ( ) – The chief executive of International Dairy Queen Inc is counting on the 79-year-old brand, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, to adapt to changing consumer tastes rather than latch onto the latest fad, while ensuring that rising labor and food costs don’t squelch its franchisees.

Troy Bader, who became chief executive in January 2018, said his company wants to ensure that devotees keep ordering their Blizzards and chicken strips, without turning off customers seeking newer products or with specific dietary needs.

“About 5 percent of disposable income is spent on away-from-home dining occasions,” Bader, 54, said in an interview during Berkshire’s recent annual shareholder weekend. “Transactions in the restaurant industry have been flat, so even if wages are going up, what I have for disposable, discretionary spending is not. That’s why you’re seeing so much competition.”

Berkshire, whose 88-year-old chief executive favors the Dairy Queen vanilla orange bar, paid $590 million for the Bloomington, Minnesota-based company in 1998.

Dairy Queen’s more than 7,000 locations, including 2,000 in the United States and Canada, recorded more than $4.5 billion of sales in 2018. Bader said 2019 has been “good so far” despite bad U.S. and Canadian weather.

“Bomb cyclones and polar vortexes don’t bode well … when 50 percent of your sales are ice cream,” he said. Bader named McDonald’s Corp and Chick-Fil-A as key rivals.

Labor is the fastest-rising cost for franchisees, especially when rising minimum wages, an issue on which Bader said Dairy Queen has no position, squeeze margins as customers favor such menu items as the $5 Buck Lunch. Also rising is the cost of branded candies that Dairy Queen adds to ice cream.

Bader said adapti上海夜网ng to changing consumer habits is not a new idea.

“It’s actually evolutionary, it’s not revolutionary,” he said. “When we look at trends, you have to decide which you’re going to lead in, which you’re going to follow, and which you may not participate in at all because they may not be right for or important for your brand.”

He said Dairy Queen, despite its name, is exploring desserts for people who avoid dairy, but won’t dive into plant-based food, despite the frenzy last week when Beyond Meat Inc went public and its stock price soared.

“If appropriate for our brand, we will move in later,” he said. “Right now, the biggest opportunity is in our chicken strips, our burgers and other products.”

Another major initiative is technology, including the creation of a single electronic point-of-sale system.

Bader, a self-described “recovering lawyer,” had interviewed with Buffett before the billionaire gave Vice Chairman Greg Abel oversight over Berkshire’s non-insurance operating units. He now reports to Abel.

Buffett “was asking as many questions as we were. He wanted to know what you knew that he did not,” Bader recalled.

“What I find interesting with Greg was, he’s the same way. I’m not trying to say Greg is Warren. Nobody will ever be Warren. But he is really smart, and he is a really good study.”

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares at five-month high, sterling rides Brexit twists

(Updates prices, comment; changes dateline, previous LONDON)

* World shares up for 7th session, touch highest since October

* Oil hits 2019 high, palladium at record

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, March 19 ( ) – Stock markets across the world rose on Tuesday for a seventh session, the longest winning streak of the year, while sterling wobbled against the U.S. dollar on expectations European Union officials would allow Britain a delay on Brexit negotiations.

Bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve will this week reinforce a market view that the U.S. monetary policy-tightening cycle is in the rear-view mirror have kept the bid on stocks alive, while the dollar index touched its lowest since March 1.

“There is optimism that the Fed is going to keep rates on hold, the economy is chugging along and we don’t see any inflation,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

“Investors don’t want to miss out on the low interest rate environment which will help fuel the rise in stock prices.”

Investors will particularly look to see whether policymakers have sufficiently lowered their interest rate forecasts to more closely align their “dot plot,” which shows individual policymakers’ rate views for the next three years.

The CitiFX U.S. economic surprise index, which measures economic data against expectations, has been negative for over a month, and earlier in March, touched its lowest since August 2017.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 87.22 points, or 0.34 percent, to 26,001.32, the S&P 500 gained 6.04 points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,838.98 and the Nasdaq Composite added 12.30 points, or 0.16 percent, to 7,726.78.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.32 percent, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.57 percent.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.12 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.07 percent higher, while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.08 percent.

BREXIT OPTIONS

In currency markets, sterling touched $1.3311 after slipping to as low as $1.3241 as traders expected EU officials to allow Britain a delay on Brexit negotiations, though the uncertainty kept the market volatile. Sterling was last trading at $1.3261, up 0.05 percent on the day.

“The predominant notion adopted by the market is that as long as the worst case scenario of hard Brexit is avoided by delaying Brexit, the pound is a buy on dips,” Rabobank strategists said in a note.

The dollar index, tracking the greenback against six major peers, fell 0.16 percent, with the euro up 0.1 percent to $1.1347.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.03 percent versus the dollar to 111.39 per dollar.

Among commodities, oil prices were at 2019 highs, supported by supply cuts led by producer club OPEC. U.S. sanctions against oil producers Iran and Venezuela were also boosting prices, although traders said the market may be capped by rising U.S. output.

U.S. crude fell 0.44 percent to $58.83 per barrel and Brent was last at $67.32, down 0.33 percent on the day.

Precious metal palladium, used in things like car catalytic converters, dipped after it topped the $1,600 an 上海夜网ounce mark for the first time on supply concerns.

Palladium last lost 0.26 percent to $1,579.42 an ounce. Prices have nearly doubled since their mid-August lows and have surged more than 25 percent this year.

Spot gold added 0.3 percent to $1,307.54 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.45 percent to $1,307.40 an ounce.

Copper rose 0.76 percent to $6,474.00 a tonne.

U.S. Treasury yields followed German government bonds higher as the Fed’s interest rate policy-setting meeting began. Benchmark 10-year notes fell 4/32 in price to yield 2.6159 percent, from 2.601 percent late on Monday.

The 30-year bond fell 17/32 in price to yield 3.0375 percent, from 3.01 percent late on Monday.

Only way is down: strong bid for negative-yielding KfW bond amid rates stasis

* German banks sells 5 bln euros of bonds at -0.267 pct yield

* Euro zone lenders, foreign central banks among buyers

* Deal paves way for other borrowers to do same

By Abhinav Ramnarayan

LONDON, March 15 ( ) – German development bank KfW’s 5 billion euro debt sale, at one of the most deeply negative yields on record for such a deal, is a clear sign investors are resigned to several more years of low interest rates in the euro zone, bankers and analysts said.

Triple-A-rated KfW, whose debt is guaranteed by the German government and often seen as a proxy for German Bunds, sold 5 billion euros of three-year bonds via a syndicate of banks on Tuesday at a yield of minus 0.267 percent.

Negative yields have been a feature of the euro zone bond market since the European Central Bank began stimulus measures to aid the bloc’s recovery from the debt crisis of 2010-2012.

But the KfW deal is one of very few benchmark-sized transactions to price at such a deeply negative level.

“Nobody really expects rising rates, given the statements by the ECB and (U.S. Federal Reserve) and given the economic data we currently get,” said Petra Wehlert, head of capital markets at KfW. “Investors live with what they get, and they feel comfortable enough to buy into negative rates at the short end (of the yield curve).

“Investors have to manage their cash, and if there is no change in environment, the risk is limited. KfW bonds are a Bund surrogate, and portfolio managers need to buy liquid securities,” she added, while acknowledging that demand had exceeded KfW’s expectations.

Comparable examples such as the European Investment Bank’s 5 billion euro three-year deal in January 2016 came at the height of the ECB’s now-terminated asset purchase scheme — and yet the yield on that deal was much higher, at minus 0.147 percent.

The fact that KfW was able to price at such a deeply negative yield even after new asset purchases ceased seems to confirm that investors expect the euro zone economy to flat-line for years to come, and that the ECB will be unable to hike rates meaningfully for the foreseeable future.

FEW ALTERNATIVES

Mark Byrne, a syndicate official at TD Securities, which managed the deal alongside BNP Paribas and JP Morgan, said the ECB’s deposit rate of minus 0.40 percent was a clear incentive for banks to invest in such a bond.

But it was not the only reason for the demand, he said: “Not all investors have access to this (deposit facility) — central banks, asset managers and some non-euro zone banks for example. So you must look at their alternative investments.”

He cited the example of three-year German Bunds, trading around minus 0.53 percent, and three-year French government bonds — with a lower credit rating than KfW — trading at minus 0.376 percent.

“So it makes sense (to buy KfW’s bond) if you are a global central bank that needs to hold euros as part of your portfolio,” Byrne said.

As a result, the two biggest types of investor in KfW’s deal were banks, who took 38 percent of the 5 billion euros sold, and central banks, who took 35 percent.

For banks, the deposit rate is a powerful incentive — paying 26 basis points to hold KfW’s 上海夜网debt could be seen as an improvement on paying 40 bps to hold cash at the ECB. Both count towards the regulatory requirement that lenders hold a proportion of assets in liquid and highly rated instruments.

“The high demand from the banks as a sector overall often has to do with regulatory demand,” said Commerzbank rates strategist Rainer Guntermann. “Most investors also suspect the ECB will take some of the supply in the coming weeks.”

U.S. firm FIS buys Worldpay for $35 billion in payments deal bonanza

( ) – Fidelity National Information Services Inc (FIS) said on Monday it has agreed to buy Worldpay for about $35 billion, with the U.S. financial services provider striking the biggest deal to date in the fast-growing electronic payments industry.

The financial technology sector is consolidating fast, with global payments set to reach $3 trillion a year in revenue by 2023 as more people switch from cash to digital payments for online and high street sales, consulting firm McKinsey predicts.

“Scale matters in our rapidly changing industry,” said FIS Chief Executive Gary Norcross, who will lead the combined powerhouse in banking a上海夜网nd payments infrastructure.

Growth in payment systems has kept deals rolling even as merger moves in other sectors have stalled on concerns about trade tensions and a global economic slowdown.

The FIS deal, valuing Worldpay at about $43 billion including debt, comes a little more than a year after U.S. firm Vantiv paid $10.63 billion for the payments firm, which was set up in Britain and spun off from Royal Bank of Scotland in 2010.

And in January, U.S.-based Fiserv Inc bought payment processor First Data Corp for $22 billion, while Italy’s Nexi plans to list in what could be one of Europe’s biggest initial public offerings (IPOs) this year.

FIS and Worldpay combined will have annual revenue of about $12 billion and adjusted core earnings of about $5 billion.

“Vantiv had yet to realize all the synergies from the Worldpay merger but FIS’s offer was too good to be refused,” a source close to the deal said.

Shares in Worldpay, which has provided payment processing services for more than 40 years, closed 9.9 percent higher and Fidelity’s edged down 0.7 percent.

“Parking the two companies together gives the enlarged business a very strong position by which to play the structural growth in digital payments. They will be able to provide clients a wider portfolio of services,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said.

Related CoverageShares in European payments companies rise on Worldpay takeover

Worldpay is a major player in card payments, particularly in Britain, while FIS, produces software for banks and asset managers as well as its financial services outsourcing business.

“FIS should accelerate its revenue growth, significantly expand its position in the merchant acquiring space and generate many synergies,” Worldpay shareholder Michael Schaefer, portfolio manager at Union Investment, said.

“DIVERSIFICATION PLAY”

Worldpay shareholders will receive 0.9287 FIS shares and $11 in cash for each share held, valuing the company at $112.12 per share, a premium of about 14 percent on its Friday close.

FIS shareholders will own about 53 percent in the combined firm and Worldpay’s about 47 percent, with Worldpay Chief Executive Charles Drucker becoming executive vice-chairman.

“This is a fast-changing industry and FIS was under pressure after Fiserv bought First Data in January,” another source close to the matter said, adding that Worldpay’s Drucker, who had come from Vantiv, was the driving force behind the deal.

“For FIS buying Worldpay means expanding beyond the world of financial outsourcing and tapping into payment processing and e-commerce, the source said, adding that it was a “diversification play” giving FIS access to the high-growth payments sector.

The companies said the deal would result in an organic revenue growth outlook of 6 to 9 percent through 2021, and $700 million of total core earnings savings over three years. They expect $500 million of revenue savings and are aiming to deliver nearly $4.5 billion of free cash flow in three years.

“The deal will lead to modest EPS accretion by 2020”, Norcross said in a conference call with analysts.

FIS, which has grown through acquisitions in the past 15 years, offers software and outsourcing services to banks, asset managers and insurers and in 2015 completed its buy of financial software company SunGard for $9.1 billion.

It had bought Metavante, which provides payment processing services to financial firms, for about $2.9 billion in 2009.

“FIS’ experience and expertise in getting cost to revenue synergies should give (the) market confidence that the targets announced around this deal are very doable,” Stephen’s analyst Brett Huff said in a note, adding that FIS could see increased revenue as companies step up outsourcing.

Centerview Partners and Goldman Sachs were financial advisers to FIS, while Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as legal advisers to FIS on the deal. Credit Suisse and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as financial and legal advisers respectively to Worldpay.

Stoichkov believes that Guardiola has been successful because of money

Hristo Stoichkov, the former Barcelona striker, insisted that he believes that Pep Guardiola’s success at Manchester City goes mostly down to the amount of money he has been given as he can buy almost any上海夜生活网 player in the world.

Pep Guardiola has been incredibly successful in his career as he managed to win domestic league and cup with both Bayern Munich and Barcelona – to be added, he also won the Champions League with the Catalonian side. Now, he is about to win the Premier League with his new club but the former player of Barcelona believes that the money has been really important there…

The former Bulgaria international spoke about the former Barca coach as he said, according to Goal: “He was a born leader. Everyone was connected to him on the pitch due to his position in the midfield. Each play started through him. Ronald Koeman got the ball to Guardiola and he did the rest. He became the leader of the play at such a young age for that position. He had a long career with Spain, too.”Top 5 Real Madrid players who are succeeding on a loan Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – We need to talk about the Top 5 Real Madrid players who are currently succeeding away from the club and are currently on a…

He continued by adding that he has been impressed by Mourinho’s career as well: “Mourinho was always a coach, but few knew about it. Mourinho had a special position. He was writing down what each player did, or could not do in the training. Then he was telling Robson about it all. That’s why he is one of the greatest managers in the world. He was always one step ahead.”

In the end, Hristo Stoichkov claimed that Lionel Messi is the greatest player to him: “Messi cannot be compared to anyone. He is the greatest. I want him to win the World Cup, so people will stop comparing to the others. Nobody can do what he does at Barcelona.”

Wijnaldum described van Dijk as “a leader”

Georginio Wijnaldum, the Liverpool 上海夜生活midfielder, spoke about his future teammate, Virgil van Dijk, as he had a chance to play with him in the national team of his country – and he described him to be a “natural leader”.

The former Southampton defender joined the Reds for a record fee and he has become the world’s most expensive defender of history – but Wijnaldum believes that Liverpool won’t regret this decision. The Dutchman is certain that van Dijk will be a great addition to his team’s squad and he thinks that he will start showing that immediately.

The former Newcastle player spoke about his future colleague as he said, according to Sky Sports: “I was really happy when I spoke with him on the phone, I told him I was happy he was going to come and join us. And now there will be a little bit of Dutch support in the changing room. I think outside of the pitch he is a normal person, he’s easy going and relaxed and I think everyone in the club will like him.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He also insisted that he is a leader on the pitch: “On the pitch, from what I saw in the national team he is a leader, trying to help everyone, help with the defensive line, so I think he will help us in the team.”

In the end, Jürgen Klopp described why they have decided to bring him for such a crazy fee and also discussed a potential problem: “Quality. That’s why we got him, that’s why we were interested in him. It’s quite difficult at the moment because technically he’s still a Southampton player We only talk about the player and what he can bring in; the quality, the mentality, the character. That is why we are really happy about it.”

Preview: Borussia Monchengladbach – Schalke

In the late Bundesliga (BL) match on Saturday, Borussia Monchengladbach host Schalke in a game between two sides separated by just one point and one place in the table and with both sides harbouring Champions League aspirations.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Last week’s 3-0 defeat away to Wolfsburg ended Monchengladbach’s four game unbeaten streak which saw them collect ten points from a possible 12. However, that streak is eclipsed by the run of Schalke, who are unbeaten in eight BL games.

Schalke have scored the most goals from set pieces (eleven) in the BL this season, followed by Monchengladbach in joint second (ten). Part of the reason for the success from set pieces is that both teams have skilfull, tall defenders who cause trouble in the opposition’s box. Jannik Vestergaard and Matthias Ginter (both Monchengladbach) have both scored three goals (no defender in BL has scored more goals) while Schalke’s Naldo has two goals.

Furthermore, the two teams are extremely clever in the opposition’s box, as the Royal Blues (Schalke) and Monchengladbach already have won five penalties – and all ten penalties found the back of the net!Niko Kovac urges Bayern Munich to remain ‘humble’ Andrew Smyth – Niko Kovac has called on Bayern Munich to stay focused and humble after thrashing Tottenham 7-2 in the Champions League.

Monchengladbach have not been able to score more than two goals in any of their last twelve home games. The last time the team scored more than two goals was against….yes, you guessed it, Schalke (4-2 March this year).

For Schalke’s manager, Tedesco, the game is not yet a six pointer: “Monchengladbach have a lot of quality in the team, they have the potential to make their way to the top of上海夜网 the table. However, I do not see a key game.”

Missing players

Borussia Monchengladbach: L. Benes (foot injury), T. Strobl (knee injury), M. Doucoure (doubtful), P. Herrmann (doubtful), J. Hoffman (doubtful), T. Jantschke (doubtful), F. Johnson (doubtful), I. Traore (doubtful).

Schalke: L. Goretzka (leg injury), P. Insua (ribs injury), N. Bentaleb (doubtful), A. Schopf (doubtful).

Local knowledge can help United

Manchester United will host their local rivals City on Sunday, as the two Premier League giants go head-to-head at Old Trafford

Jose Mourinho’s side go into the derby on Sunday against Manchester City as underdogs, thanks to how Pep Guardiola’s team have played so far this season, as the Citizens are at the top of the league by 8 points as of right now.

It wasn’t the case during United’s 3-1 win over Arsenal at the Emirates, though. The Red Devils seemed sharp and ready to go against the league leaders, until Paul Pogba picked up his red card, resulting in a suspension.

The French midfielder’s absence might affect United in a negative way, unless they figure out a way to replace him for the fixture, since Pogba has had a tremendous impact this season, despite only playing in 8 league games due to an injury. In these 8 games, he scored 3 goals and registered 5 assists.Solskjaer “very pleased” after another failure to win George Patchias – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was “very pleased,” even though United failed to win yet again.It is now ten games on the road since…

Last season, when the two clubs faced each other, City came up with a 2-1 win, although United won an EFL Cup at home on their way to winning the trophy, ESPN claims. 上海夜生活City are eager to win, as they have spent more than any other club in the English top-flight for 3 straight seasons.

Two key players in United’s success last year were Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard. Both of them joined the Devils at the age of 7, so they know the importance of the derby, and they might prove to be crucial against City once again on Sunday.

Lingard has been quite impressive this season, as he went on to average a goal or assist every 78 minutes across all competitions, when he’s been on the field, which is a decent return. Rashford on the other hand, will probably be an option off the bench on Sunday, and Mourinho might need him.

Rashford feels that the winning mentality is back

Marcus Rashford is happy with the current form of his side and he said that everybody can feel that “the winning mentality is back” but there is still a long way to go to match the days when there was the glorious Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad.

Rashford has had a perfect introduction to the United first team, going from the academy to winning four trophies in the senior side within just 21 months. The England forward won the 2016 FA Cup under Louis van Gaal before claiming Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield winners’ medals under current boss Jose Mourinho, according to Sky Sports.

The England international spoke about his feelings about winning more trophies and the success of the current squad: “There are so many different incidents that can easily pass you by and you forget about. As soon as you win a trophy, in my mind straight away, you’re thinking about winning the next trophy. That’s when you can miss the moment of enjoying winning that trophy, it’s difficult.”Top 5 Premier League players in September’s last weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – A fresh Premier League fixture just ended, which means we can talk about the Top 5 best players of September’s last weekend.After a fresh…

Marcus Rashford also added: “We went through that second year and won three trophies in the year, so we were winning things and winning things and it became normal for us. That’s what United has always been about, so it is important for us to try and get that feeling back to Old Trafford of winning.”

But he believes that the current team has got everything required to write their own history: “It’s definitely coming back, but where they were to where we are now, we’ve still got a long way to go because they were consecutively winning. Consecutively winning is different to winning one thing or winning two things. It’s more difficult be上海夜生活网cause everybody wants to beat you. We want to make it (Old Trafford) the fortress that it was before. I think we’re on a path back to doing that. We’ve got the right manager, we have the right staff, so it’s just about producing now on the field.”

Preview: Bayern Munich – FC Augsburg

Bayern Munich will be looking to consolidate their position as leaders of Bundesliga today when they will be receiving the visit of 10th-placed Augsburg.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match: 

Only 80 kilometres separate these two Bavarian teams, who despite this have no real historic rivalry. Although physically close, their stature couldn’t be any different.

With 5 European titles and 27 league titles to their name (including 5 in a row and counting at the moment!), Bayern Munich are a powerhouse both domestically and in Europe. Compare this to Augsburg, whose crowning achievements are a 5th place in the Bundesliga and a R32 exit against Liverpool in the Europa League. But might something be brewing north of Munich!

Augsburg, who for a long time spent their days between level 2 and 3 in the German league system, suffered a crisis at the start of the century, when they were demoted to the 4th tier. However, they turned it 上海夜网into an opportunity, and were promoted to the Bundesliga before the 2011/12 season – and they haven’t looked back.

Few teams in Germany have a good H2H against Bayern, and Augsburg is no exception. 12 H2H games in the BL have resulted in 10 Bayern wins, with Augsburg winning 2 – including 1 at the Allianz Arena. Last season, however, we saw a thrashing: Bayern did not stop until the score was 6-0, with Robert Lewandowski bagging a hat trick.Kovac cryptic about plans to stop Kane Nedim Maric – Bayern Munich will travel to North London in order to face Pochettino’s Tottenham in a Champions League derby.Bundesliga looks like it’s never been as…

The Polish striker has started the season in typical fashion, scoring 11 goals in as many matches. He might not find it easy against Augsburg, however, who’ve only conceded 4 goals on their travels so far (5 games). However, Lewandowski has an impressive 16 goals against Augsburg to his name in just 12 games (9 for Munich and 7 for Dortmund)!

The right kind of entertainment: the 6 most recent BL meeting’s between the teams have yielded 22 goals (3.67 on average), but only 10 bookings (9 yellow, 1 red cards)!

Bayern loanee James Rodrigues had a quiet start to life at the club but has sparked into life in the last few weeks. Speaking to the club’s website during the week he said: “It’s a new way of life for me, but I’m happy,” adding, “It’s more chilled out here – I can go out for a walk without being pestered – and I’m learning German. And, of course, Bayern are a massive club who are always challenging for honours.” On his ambition, he commented that he hopes “to win titles and show people what I’m capable of on the pitch,” explaining further that he would “give everything – right until the last. I want to win titles with this fantastic club!”

Missing players

Bayern Munich: T. Muller (thigh injury), M. Neuer (leg injury), F. Ribery (knee injury), J. Boateng (doubtful)

FC Augsburg: S. Cordova (ankle injury), I. Gelios (back injury), R. Framberger (doubtful), M. Hinteregger (doubtful), M. Leitner (doubtful), G. Teigl (doubtful).

Manchester City’s future: Phil Foden

Manchester City star Yaya Toure believes his team-mate Phil Foden is the future of the club

Phil Foden is an U17 World Cup champion, and is considered to be one of the brightest talents in the Premier League. He made his debut for Manchester City’s first-team on Tuesday, when the Blues of Manchester faced Feyenoord in the Champions League.

On上海夜生活e of Pep Guardiola’s men talked about the midfielder, labelling him a rising star and the future of Manchester City.

Citizens manager Guardiola talked about the development of Foden earlier and claimed it’s up to the 17-year-old what he’ll become.

Yaya Toure, on the other hand, is confident that the English youngster will reach his potential as he as the chance of learning from great players such as David Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne.

“If he stays in this club, he is going to be one of the top players because it’s always good to learn from and be close to the big players,” Toure told City’s official website.Manchester City star out with groin injury Nedim Maric – In a neck-to-neck title race last season, Manchester City just edged it out against Klopp’s Liverpool.This season, however, the mood looks like it’s shifting….

“When I was at Barcelona, I learned a lot. I was lucky enough to have a chance to win trophies because of the players around me.”

“It’s fantastic for him and he’s going to be the future,” the 34-year-old added.

“He’s very important. The team keeps changing and the club are moving forward, so it’s very important [to bring players through].

“I hope, and I think, he will stay for a long time,” Toure expressed his wishes.

“Sometimes you have great players coming because Man City is such a strong team, a powerful club who can buy players, but I think he must stay here and learn from the big players, like Silva, Kevin, Gundogan, Fernandinho – all those players are going to give him more experience and confidence for the rest of his career.”

The Ivorian concluded by saying: “I hope we will see a great player in the future.”

Carragher warns West Ham that the relegation is real

West Ham are certainly not the team that should be in the relegation battle but they have to be prepared for this situation as they are just one point above the relegation zone after their last 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.

Slaven Bilic’s side were 2-0 in front but they just weren’t able to secure their lead and they gained just one point from this match – and Jamie Carragher thinks that the relegation is still more and more likely to happen for the Hammers. If they will continue making silly mistakes like they did in the last minutes of the Crystal Palace fixture, they are going to be in huge troubles.

The former Liverpool defender shared his thoughts as he said, according to Sky Sports: “There are a lot of teams down the bottom of the league you could make a case for survival. I’m struggling with West Ham. It’s a shambles. Six players ahead of the ball, again, the same situation, and there is four versus two at the back post. That is a disgrace that you find yourself in that situation. It will have felt like a defeat.”Wijnaldum looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning winners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

Carragher also added: “West Ham are getting a little bit too close to comfort to the teams we’ve slaughtered over the years. Your Sunderlands, your QPRs. We watched them, and it was really poor against Brighton, their application, and then you see that, in the last minute, you’re fighting for your lives against another rivals, it’s more than three points, and you’ve got people bombing forward to get a goal and th上海夜生活en jogging back.”

He thinks that they are one of the main adepts for the relegation as he claimed: “They’re the team I would massively worry about in terms of relegation because it doesn’t seem like there’s much there. It looks a bit of a shambles behind the scenes at times for me. It just seems like a lot of players just thrown together without any real thought.”

Preview: Lyon – Everton

Lyon are currently second in Group E, with five points after three matches, while their visitors today are last, having earned only one point.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Everton have now conceded 2+ goals in 3 consecutive European games, which has not happened since 2005-06 – a whole 39 European games ago.

Lyon approach this match unbeaten in 6 European home games. Their record unbeaten home run is 14, spanning matches between September 2004 and Novem上海夜生活ber 2007.

No miracles should be expected from Everton’s front line. The last time Everton won away in Europe by a margin of 4+ goals was in September ’79.

Lyon’s complete record against English opposition is W3, D5, L6. Only one of the 3 wins was by 2+ goals, in a 5-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday in 1961-62.Five things we learned from the Premier League at the weekend Taimoor Khan – With just Arsenal and Manchester United left to lock horns, we look at the few things the recent Premier League weekend showed us. The…

Only one Everton player has ever scored a hat-trick in a European away game and that was the now departed Romelu Lukaku (Man Utd), who did so against BSC Young Boys in February 2015.

The last time a Lyon match against English opposition produced over 4.5 goals was way back in December 1967.

Scoring first will give Everton a major boost and it could be important, as Everton have won just 8 out of the 23 European away games in which they have conceded first.

Missing players

Lyon: C. Grenier (doubtful)

Everton: R. Barkley (groin injury), Y. Bolasie (injury), M. Keane (leg injury), R. Funes-Mori (knee injury), S. Coleman (doubtful), J. McCarthy (doubtful), N. Vlasic (doubtful).

Bonucci expecting a Milan victory in Serie A derby

The Italian is grateful for his time with the Nerazzurri, but hopes to come out as a victor after the clash between Inter and AC Milan.

Leonardo Bonucci has looked back on his spell with Inter Milan ahead of the Serie A derby on Sunday. The Italy international completed a shocking move during the summer as he swapped the Nerezzurri with the Rossoneri in a record €40m deal.

Even though Bonucci is thankful for his great time at Inter, he is expecting a win for his new club AC Milan despite a rather shaky start of the season.

“I arrived when I was 17 years old and had two splendid years in their youth academy, where I really improved a lot,” Bonucci told Tencent Sports.

“They are a good side with some great individual talents and chose an important coach in Luciano Spalletti.

“We’ll have to be very wary and give our best. I would take Antonio Candreva and Eder off the Inter squad, as they are my Italy team-mates and they’re two really great guys.Milan lose but should stay positive Taimoor Khan – After leading the game against Torino, Milan went on to lose 2-1 in heartbreaking fashion but the players showed a lot of promise. On…

“I predict a Milan victory, but I won’t tell you [by] how much.”

The Italian also shared a few words regarding his choice to join the Rossoneri, stating that the new challenge at San Siro is what brought him to AC Milan.

“This stadium is the history of football, the most important arena in Italy. Stepping into San Siro always has an effect on you,

“The Rossoneri project is what pushed me to choose this great challenge. I knew there would be difficulties, but I accepted it because I wanted to challenge myself again.

“The objective is to set no limitations in Serie A or the Europa League. Qualification 上海夜生活论坛for the Champions League must be the minimum target, as Milan have to play in that tournament every year.”

Tite believes Brazil are a favourite for the World Cup

The Selecao manager has high expectations towards his squad ahead of the showcase tournament in Russia next year.

Tite thinks Brazil are one of the favourites for the 2018 World Cup alongside France and Germany. The five-time champions qualified for the tournament seated first at their respective group after a series of impressive performances.

Speaking after Selecao’s latest feature against Chile, which they won with a comfortable 3-0, Tite stated: “Brazil are a favourite at 上海夜生活论坛the World Cup,” the 56-year-old is quoted by Goal.

“By the football presented, the campaign completed, by level, performance plus results… Brazil are one of the teams, yes. Dani Alves recalls Messi laying waste with untied boots Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – During a long lost column written in The Players’ Tribune, Dani Alves recalls when Lionel Messi laid waste with untied boots.Now that Lionel Messi…

“I have said that France are at a very strong level too. Rising players like [Kylian] Mbappe, [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Antoine] Griezmann. Look at the offensive trio.

“And there is also world champions Germany.”

Meanwhile Brazil’s right-back Dani Alves praised his national coach, insisting that he is one of few who can understand football in a special way. “Today in Brazil, Tite is very distant from all Brazilian coaches because of his way of understanding football,” Alves added. “Because of the way he cares for people, it’s very different.”

Belotti was never close to leaving admits Torino president

There was no club that came close to the striker’s release clause.

The Italian club did receive a number of offers for their star forward Andrea Belotti, but none of them was close to what Torino demanded, according to the club’s president Urbano Cairo.

The 23-year-old has a release clause of €100 million after he managed to score 26 Serie A goals in 35 appearances for Torino last season. Despite interest from clubs like Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, the player remained in Italy and will be part of Torino’s squad in the 2017-18 campaign.Giampaolo: AC Milan didn’t deserve to lose to Torino Andrew Smyth – Marco Giampao上海夜网lo is adamant AC Milan deserved better than defeat to Torino after pulling off their best performance of this season.

“I was never afraid of losing him. The decision was mine to keep Belotti, unless someone came along ready to pay the €100 million clause,” Cairo told Radio Sportiva .

“Seeing as nobody came close to it, I was relaxed. He is staying with us for this season and then we’ll see. We kept him and Adem Ljajic, Iago Falque and Daniele Baselli, Antonio Barreca, Afriyie Acquah – even if he had a lot of offers – and of course Joel Obi.

“We had an incredible number of proposals come in, but we kept practically everyone and added important new players.”

Koeman insists Barkley has future at Everton

The England international refused a move to Chelsea on the last day of the close-season.

Ross Barkley still has future at Goodison Park, according to Ronald Koeman. Barkley will have no contract with the Toffees at the end of the season, meaning a move to Chelsea appeared to be the normal thing to do.

However, the 23-year-old insisted he wanted to stay at Everton until he is back to full fitness, possibly hinting an exit in January.

Meanwhile Everton’s head coach Koeman said he would never hesitate to include Ross Barkley in the squad once he is back to 100 %.Match Preview: Everton vs Manchester City Boro Tanchev – Manchester City travel to Liverpool this weekend, but don’t get that much excited because it is Everton who they are visiting in the seventh Premier League round.

“Of course it was a strange last day of the transfer window but I don’t think it was only that for Everton but for most of the Premier League clubs,” Koeman told a media conference as quoted by Goal.

“Ross also came to see me last Tuesday and he explained to me why he turned down the chance to go to Chelsea. That is private.

“He was open to making a move to another club and I heard from the board that there was an agreement between Chelsea and Everton.

“But finally the decision was by the player. And t上海夜网hat was what happened at that time.”