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When is the FA Cup quarter-final draw and how to watch it?

first_img Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 3 Mar 2020 9:52 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link19Shares Advertisement Mikel Arteta has taken his Arsenal team into the last eight of the FA Cup (Picture: Getty Images)The line-up for the quarter-finals of the FA Cup this season has started to take shape, but we will have to wait until Wednesday night to learn the draw for the last eight of the competition.Arsenal became the first team to book their slot in the quarter-finals, beating Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Monday night.The fifth round is spread over four days, with three games on Tuesday night, three more on Wednesday and one final contest on Thursday evening.When is the FA Cup quarter-final draw?The draw takes place on Wednesday 4 March at Hillborough after the Sheffield Wednesday vs Manchester City tie, so around 9.50pm, unless the game goes to extra-time and penalties.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTThere will be one further game in the fifth round after the draw, with Derby County hosting Manchester United on Thursday night.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityWhat TV channel is the quarter-final draw being shown on?BBC One and BBC iPlayer will be showing the draw live after the game in Sheffield, which is also being shown on BBC One.FA Cup quarter-final draw numbersSheffield Wednesday or Manchester City Reading or Sheffield United Chelsea or Liverpool West Bromwich Albion or Newcastle United Leicester City or Birmingham City Derby County or Manchester United Tottenham Hotspur or Norwich City ArsenalWhen are the FA Cup quarter-finals being played?The matches are scheduled to take place on the weekend of Saturday 21 March.MORE: Jamie Vardy ruled out of Leicester’s FA Cup fifth round tie as injury persistsMORE: David Luiz praises debutant Pablo Mari after performance in Arsenal’s FA Cup winFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Commentcenter_img Advertisement When is the FA Cup quarter-final draw and how to watch it?last_img read more

Swiss pension fund members willing to sacrifice returns for sustainability

first_imgMore than 70% of pension fund members in Switzerland want their schemes to apply sustainability criteria when selecting investments, according to a survey commissioned by RobecoSAM.Approximately 40% of the 1,200 participants surveyed said they would be willing to sacrifice returns in exchange for sustainable investments, with 20% of that number willing to give up as much as half the return. More than 70% of respondents said they were convinced the application of ESG criteria would lead to more cautious investment decisions and probably even better ones.Roughly the same percentage of participants said they would even be in favour of making it legally mandatory for Pensionskassen to apply certain sustainability criteria. The survey also found that participants now require more transparency from Pensionskassen with respect to their investments, as well as more in-depth analyses of portfolios according to ESG criteria.The vast majority of respondents also welcomed the Swiss National Bank’s announcement that it would sell the bonds of “ethically questionable” companies it held in its portfolio until earlier this year.RobecoSAM said awareness of sustainable investments increased in conjunction with respondents’ age and education levels.last_img read more

People moves: New director for Shell’s Dutch pension funds [updated]

first_imgVan ‘t Zet has also been appointed as an executive trustee at SNPS. He has been legal counsel at the Pensioenbureau since 2013, having joined from Watson Wyatt where he was a senior consultant.Sigrid Juselius Foundation – Former Ilmarinen CIO Jussi Laitinen has taken up the role of chief executive at the Sigrid Juselius Foundation in Helsinki. He replaces Christian Elfving, who retired at the end of last year.Laitinen headed up Ilmarinen’s investment operations from 2001 to 2008, and then became chief executive of Aktia Bank for nine years until March 2017. He started work at the Sigrid Juselius Foundation at the beginning of this year.UK Labour party – Debbie Abrahams, a member of the UK Labour party, the official government opposition, has been removed from her position as shadow work and pensions secretary. According to multiple national media reports in the UK, Abrahams had been accused of bullying members of her staff – claims she has denied.  Troy ClutterbuckNOW: Pensions – The UK defined contribution master trust has confirmed Troy Clutterbuck as its permanent CEO. He took the role on an interim basis in August following the abrupt departure of Morten Nilsson, who had led the company since its launch in 2011. He first joined NOW: Pensions as chief financial officer in 2016, after a 15-year career with the Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group.NOW: Pensions – wholly owned by Danish pension giant ATP – is the UK’s third-largest auto-enrolment pension provider with more than £600m (€687m) in assets under management. It is the pension provider for IPE International Publishers.In July last year it withdrew itself from the UK regulator’s list of approved master trusts following administration problems, and was fined in February this year for “persistent administrative failings”.BLPK – The Swiss pension fund for the canton of Basel-Landschaft has found a new head of asset management: Thomas Monetti will be joining the CHF9.7bn (€8.1bn) pension fund from 1 September. He replaces Roland Weiss who will retire after 17 years as head of investments at the BLPK. Monetti joins from the CHF5bn pension fund for the canton of Solothurn.Amundi – The French asset management giant has appointed Yerlan Syzdykov as global head of emerging markets. He replaces Mauro Ratto, who has “decided to explore new opportunities for the next stage of his career”, according to Amundi.Syzdykov was made Ratto’s deputy in July last year following Amundi’s acquisition of Pioneer Investments. At Pioneer, Syzdykov was head of emerging markets bond and high yield, having joined the group in 2000.Mercer –  Robert Baker has been named diversity and inclusion consulting leader for Europe and the Pacific region at the global consulting group. The company said Baker would “drive growth in Mercer’s diversity and inclusion consulting services throughout the region by helping clients build the diverse and inclusive workforces they need for the future”.He has worked at Mercer for more than 20 years as an investment consultant and latterly as a global client director, working on multi-national accounts.Robeco – Mark van der Kroft has been appointed as head of a new “trend and thematic” investment team for the €152bn Dutch asset manager Robeco and RobecoSAM as of 1 June.Until March 2017, Van der Kroft had been working for Robeco as sales manager for Dutch institutional clients and as CIO for equity for 16 years. Last year, he was named director of strategic institutional business development at the €246bn asset manager NN Investment Partners.The new 18-strong team is the result of a merger between Robeco’s trend investment team and two thematic investment groups from RobecoSAM. It operates from Rotterdam and Zürich and manages 10 funds, focusing on themes such as smart energy, sustainable water, sustainable and healthy living, and worldwide fintech stocks. It has €7bn in assets under management.Axa Investment Managers – The French asset manager has hired Matthew Murtagh as a senior consultant relations manager. He is based in London and will be responsible for European clients. He joins from boutique investment firm Oaktree Capital Management where he was assistant vice president for marketing and client services. Prior to this he worked in marketing and consultant relations at Schroders.Invesco – The investment management giant has appointed Tom Sartain as a senior portfolio manager in its London-based fixed income team. He will work on the group’s global multi-sector offerings. He previously held a similar role at Schroders, where he worked with Gareth Isaac, now CIO for Invesco’s fixed income team in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.Hermes Investment Management – The £33bn asset manager has added two new hires to its fixed income team in London. Stephane Michel joined as a senior portfolio manager on 19 March. He works on the group’s asset-based lending platform and the wider multi-asset credit offerings. Andrew Lennox joined as an asset-backed securities (ABS) portfolio manager on 3 April and will focus on the European ABS market. Kempen Capital Management – Kempen has appointed Athole Skinner to the role of senior investment manager in its Edinburgh-based European small-cap team. He previously ran his own research company, Hirta Investment Research, but has also worked at Alliance Trust, Scottish Widows and Schroders during a 20-year career. Shell Netherlands, Sigrid Juselius Foundation, UK Labour party, NOW: Pensions, BLPK, Amundi, Mercer, Robeco, Axa IM, Invesco, Hermes, KempenShell Pensioenbureau – Kenan Yildirim has been appointed as director of the Shell Pensioenbureau – which runs Shell’s two pension funds, SSPF and SNPS – in the Netherlands as of 1 May. He has also joined the executive board of SNPS, Shell’s defined contribution scheme for workers who joined since 2013.Yildirim succeeds Janwillem Bouma, who starts as a trustee at the €7.4bn pension fund Hoogovens, the Dutch scheme of Tata Steel, as of 2 June. Yildirim was finance director at Shell Netherlands and has held different financial positions at Shell since 1999. Prior to this, he worked at Unilever.The Shell Pensioenbureau also named Martin van ‘t Zet as senior legal counsel and compliance officer. He takes over from Stefan Tabak, who has taken on a different legal position at Shell.last_img read more

Rodgers leaps to Suarez’s defence

first_img And he was keen to stress on Monday that he wants to move on from the Chelsea defeat, after which his side – top of the Premier League on Christmas Day – have been left in fifth place in the table. Asked if he felt decisions by the officials had cost his side more than anything else in last two games, Rodgers said: “I think everyone can see the decision-making. “But I don’t want to go into it too much – the games are gone. “Everyone makes mistakes, the officials have made mistakes and unfortunately we have been punished. But they are gone now.” Rodgers, who was speaking at his pre-match press conference to preview the New Year’s Day home league clash with Hull, added: “I haven’t spoken to (referees’ chief) Mike Riley about these games. “The decisions were made, I didn’t agree with them and I will always say, especially when they are as bad as I thought they were. “But it’s gone now, and we focus on the next game, which is Hull City.” Rodgers has indicated Reds captain Steven Gerrard could return to action in the Hull match. Gerrard has not played in Liverpool’s last four games after sustaining a hamstring problem in a 4-1 league win over West Ham at Anfield on December 7. And asked on Monday if the England skipper might be fit to play in Wednesday’s encounter, Rodgers said: ”We will assess that over the next 24 hours. ”Steven has rejoined training so we’ll see how he is for Hull.” Rodgers also revealed that Gerrard’s fellow midfielder Joe Allen, who came off in the second half against Chelsea, is set to be sidelined for ”a few weeks” with an abductor strain, and that he is awaiting news on how long defender Mamadou Sakho’s hamstring strain is likely to keep him out for following his withdrawal towards the end of the Stamford Bridge contest. Rodgers said: ”Joe will probably be a few weeks and with Sakho we are just awaiting confirmation. ”Glen Johnson came off but that was tactical, not injury-enforced, and there are one or two other niggles that we have to assess. ”Jordan Henderson (who took a knock against Chelsea) is fine. He was obviously on his first day of recovery today and is still sore, but he is a real soldier and should be fit.” As well as Gerrard, Rodgers has lost the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Jose Enrique and Jon Flanagan to injury in recent weeks. “I think anyone watching the game would see it wasn’t that. “Luis is an easy target.” Suarez – who was playing against Chelsea for the first time since his infamous bite on Blues defender Branislav Ivanovic in April, which earned him a 10-match ban – has been at the centre of various controversies during his career and accusations of diving have been levelled at the 26-year-old on several occasions. Rodgers added: “I think we have had a spell over the last year or so where everyone was jumping on Luis’ back, saying he was diving. “He must be the only one who is doing it. But no, I don’t think it was that at all. “It was a valid claim for a penalty against a player who wasn’t even making an effort for the football. I certainly wouldn’t say it was an acrobatic dive.” Rodgers, who thought Eto’o should have been sent off for an earlier tackle on Jordan Henderson, had expressed his unhappiness about several decisions made by the match officials in Liverpool’s previous outing, another 2-1 league loss, at Manchester City. Following that game, he made comments about referee Lee Mason that prompted the Football Association to contact Rodgers, asking for an explanation. Press Association Following the Merseysiders’ 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday, Blues manager Jose Mourinho accused Suarez of performing “an acrobatic swimming pool jump” during the Barclays Premier League contest in an unsuccessful attempt to win a penalty, referring to the moment when the Uruguay international went down in the hosts’ box having been challenged by Samuel Eto’o. Rodgers defended his player after the match and, asked on Monday about Mourinho’s comments, he said: “It certainly wasn’t that. Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers feels Reds striker Luis Suarez is an “easy target” for critics.last_img read more

Monk reveals sit-down talks with Ki

first_img Ki joined Sunderland on loan and played a major part in their run to the Capital One Cup final and successful battle to stay in the Barclays Premier League. Black Cats boss Gus Poyet wanted to make the move permanent, but Monk’s persuasive powers paid off and Ki has since signed a new four-year deal at the Welsh club. “It was important to give Ki the confidence and belief I have in him,” Monk said at his pre-match press conference. “Ki was unsure in the summer what he was going to do or how he felt about things, so I sat down with him. “We had good discussions with how I saw football, how I saw the club going forward, how I wanted the team to play and Ki bought into that. “He’s been one of our most consistent performers and before he went away he was playing well, and now it’s about him producing better football than he was earlier this season.” Monk is also wary of another player who has returned to these shores recently – former England striker Jermain Defoe, who has wasted little time settling in at Sunderland after joining from Major League Soccer side Toronto FC. Defoe scored his first Sunderland goal in last weekend’s 2-0 home victory over Burnley – the Wearsiders’ first win in six league attempts. Swansea manager Garry Monk admits he had to persuade Ki Sung-yu eng to buy into his philosophy and stop him leaving the club last summer. Press Association “He’s a fantastic player with a good Premier League pedigree,” Monk said. “He scores goals and always plays on the shoulder of defenders. “I think he enjoyed his time away but I think he’s already spoken how much he missed the Premier League and we have to be wary of him.” Jack Cork could make his Swansea debut in a re-shaped midfield following the former England Under-21 international’s arrival from Southampton. Swansea’s win at Southampton last weekend took them to 33 points and within seven of the tally traditionally seen to guarantee safety in the top flight. But Monk promised Swansea’s season would not fall away if that mark was achieved sooner rather than later. “You have to be realistic and the first point of call is to get to 40 points,” Monk said. “We have a great opportunity to do that earlier than ever before, but we have an important month that starts against Sunderland. “We want to get those 40 points as quickly as possible and then re-assess our targets, but I will push for more from myself and the players.” The South Korean returns for the Swans against his former club Sunderland on Saturday after spending the last month leading his country to the runners-up spot at the Asian Cup. But Ki could just as easily have been playing for visitors at the Liberty Stadium after being deemed surplus to requirements by former Swansea manager Michael Laudrup last season. last_img read more

WLAX : Six-goal run propels Loyola to upset win over Syracuse in Big East tournament final

first_img Published on May 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Stephen: sebail01@syr.edu | @Stephen_Bailey1 Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img The Syracuse defense bent in the first half, allowing seven Loyola goals on 15 shots.But in the second, it broke.After scoring to open the second half, the Orange allowed six straight Greyhounds goals – four coming in a span of less than seven minutes – and Loyola opened up a nine-goal lead with just eight minutes remaining.SU managed three goals in the final minutes, but it was too little too late.The No. 2 Orange entered Saturday’s Big East tournament championship game riding a program-best 15-game winning streak, but left the Carrier Dome with its first loss since Feb. 29.‘When you watched us play, it didn’t look like a Big East undefeated team playing out there today,’ SU head coach Gary Gait said. ‘It looked like a team that hadn’t been together for a little bit. We just didn’t play with the confidence level that we normally would.No. 2 seed Loyola (13-5) handily upset the favored top-seeded Orange (16-3) 13-7 in front of 527 in the Carrier Dome on Saturday, earning its second consecutive conference tournament crown. The Greyhounds racked up 26 shots on the afternoon and capitalized on a slow SU defense to pull away in the second half.‘I’m very proud of the girls and this effort they put forth today,’ Loyola head coach Jen Adams said. ‘I’d say it was probably our best game we’ve played all season. They could have not waited until this late in the season for it, but it’s what you want to be doing is playing your best lacrosse at this point in the year.’Loyola freshman Annie Thomas tallied two goals and an assist in the opening 30 minutes, but served as the catalyst for the Greyhounds’ decisive run.Leading 7-4, Thomas stood behind the cage two minutes after the break. She waited as teammate after teammate cut in front of the net, but not until junior midfielder Kathleen Barranco broke for the right doorstep did she make a pass.Barranco beat Janelle Stegeland and Katie Webster to the spot, caught the pass from Thomas and quickly whipped it past SU goaltender Kelsey Richardson and into the top-right corner.‘It’s hard for me to be patient, but Jen (Adams) just kept saying from the sideline ‘patience, patience,” Thomas said. ‘So I just waited and I just waited for the right time. I love playing behind there and seeing the whole field and hitting my teammates when they’re open.’Thomas found sophomore midfielder Marlee Paton just over a minute later to give Loyola a 9-4 advantage. That moment – with 26:51 left in regulation – marked the Orange’s largest deficit of the season.From there, it only got larger.Joanna Dalton burned Natalie Glanell down the right side for an easy score and Paton tacked on two more to break it open.Trailing 12-4 with eight minutes left, the Orange had little chance of a comeback.Glanell forced a turnover in the defensive zone, but lost possession trying to clear.Loyola freshman attack Kara Burke picked up the loose ball and put it in back of the net, finishing the 6-0 Greyhounds run.‘I think we just shocked the world, proved everyone wrong, and it feels great,’ senior goalie Kerry Stoothoff said.Syracuse scored the three late goals, but the game was long decided. After winning all of its games for the last nine weeks and completing its Big East regular-season slate undefeated, the demoralized Orange trudged off the Carrier Dome turf, forced to watch the Greyhounds celebrate and receive the tournament crown SU was expected to win.‘(The game) didn’t quite go as planned, but I give Loyola a lot of credit,’ Gait said. ‘They played an outstanding game. They’ve really come into their own and I think they’re a very good team.‘… They made big plays in the first half when they needed to and followed it up in the second half by making a big run and developing a lead that was just a little too much to overcome.’sebail01@syr.edulast_img read more

Bajrang Punia wins gold in Bulgaria, dedicates medal to Abhinandan Varthaman

first_img Press Trust Of India 1 year ago “Hardly a challenge to catch Rahul Gandhi lying,” says Col Rathore after accepting General VK Singh’s #RahulGandhiLieChallenge India may add to their gold tally as Vinesh Phogat is scheduled to play her final in the 53kg against China’s Qianyu Pang of China. Vinesh beat World Championships silver medallist Sarah Hildebrandt in the semifinals on Saturday. This is Vinesh’s first tournament since moving to 53kg from 50kg. Punia, a World Championship silver medallist, overpowered Jordan Oliver of USA 12-3 in the 65kg freestyle final to begin the season on a resounding note in the Bulgarian city. The Indian also secured the maximum ranking points from the tournament. FOLLOW US Sarita Mor won a silver in women’s 59kg though she lost to her compatriot Dhanda.READ | Bajrang Punia Becomes First Indian To Get World Championship Seeding WE RECOMMEND “I want to dedicate my gold to Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. He has inspired me. I want to meet him one day and also shake hands with him,” Punia tweeted after his victory. Written By The IAF pilot Varthaman returned to India from captivity in Pakistan on March 1 night after a suspenseful wait lasting hours, which is being seen as a major step towards defusing a near-war situation triggered by India’s retaliation following the Pulwama terror attack on February 14. First Published: 3rd March, 2019 18:03 IST India’s star wrestler Bajrang Punia has won the gold medal at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament in Ruse, Bulgaria and dedicated the victory to Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE 1 year ago AK-203 is latest derivative of legendary AK-47 rifle COMMENT READ | Bajrang Punia Unlikely To Move Court After Mentor Yogeshwar Dutt’s Timely AdvisePunia, who bagged the top prize at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games last year, has won four gold medals and one silver in the last five tournaments.This was Punia’s 10th medal in as many international tournaments since failing to finish at the podium in the 2017 World Championships in Paris.Earlier, Pooja Dhanda claimed the gold in 59 kg while Sakshi Malik won silver in 65 kg women’s freestyle.In the men’s freestyle events, Sandeep Tomar had to be content with a silver in 61kg. LIVE TV Last Updated: 3rd March, 2019 18:03 IST Bajrang Punia Wins Gold In Bulgaria, Dedicates Medal To Abhinandan Varthaman India’s star wrestler Bajrang Punia has won the gold medal at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament in Ruse, Bulgaria and dedicated the victory to Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. 1 year ago Opposition should not have made these three statements…, writes Arun Jaitley, over politicisation of India’s strike against Pakistani support for terror 1 year ago PML-N chief Shehbaz Sharif meets Nawaz Sharif; briefs him on Indo-Pak tensionslast_img read more

Wellington Police Notes: Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

first_imgWellington Police notes: Wednesday, November 12, 2014:•10:30 a.m. Officers investigated minor in possession of tobacco products by a known suspect in the 1100 block S. Jefferson, Wellington.•1:18 p.m. Non-Injury accident in the 600 block N. Blaine, Wellington involving a vehicle operated by David A. Heath,  38, Wellington and a parked and unoccupied vehicle owned by Rebecca R. McFarlane, Wellington.•3 p.m. Officers took a report of an animal complaint by a known owner in the 200 block N. Elm, Wellington.•5:59 p.m. Officers investigated a theft of a 60-day temporary tag in the 200 block N. G, Wellington.•8:40 p.m. Officers took a report of a child in need of care in the 1200 block Edgewood Dr, Wellington.last_img read more

Vikings vs. Saints playoff game gives Kirk Cousins a chance at a future-altering win

first_imgThere’s so much at stake for Cousins on Sunday. First and foremost is earning his first playoff victory. In his only previous postseason game, in 2015, he and the Redskins lost 35-18 in Green Bay when he threw for 329 yards and two TDs but was sacked six times and lost a fumble.Also in the mix is Cousins $28 million per year contract that has one year remaining and would likely be extended by the Vikings — in the $32 million-$35 million range with $100 million-plus guaranteed — if Cousins plays well in New Orleans and possibly in San Francisco next week if Minnesota advances. A poor performance Sunday would create doubt among Minnesota’s decision-makers and likely delay a decision on the quarterback’s future until after next season.NFL WILD-CARD PICKS:Against the spread | Straight-up predictionsIt’s easier said than done, but Cousins says he’s trying not to project ahead on his future or his contract and focus on the Saints. “All that really matters is the fact that it’s one game and you just have to go and play and get the job done in a tough environment,” Cousins said. “It’s an NFL playoff game with heightened awareness and scrutiny and I don’t need much more motivation. You just understand you’ve got a football game against a really good team and you’ve got to go win it. Beyond that is not the focus.”Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said essentially the same thing in regards to Cousins’ future: “The importance level is to play well this week,” he said. “We’ll worry about the long term and all those other things later on. We’re going to focus on the Saints, an excellent football team.”Back in mini-camp last June, Cousins assessed his career and foreshadowed the upcoming NFL playoffs when he said, “I think the next level is all about winning. I’m pretty much a .500 quarterback in my career so far and that’s not why you’re brought in or people are excited about you. If I don’t play well, if I don’t have gaudy statistics but we win multiple playoff games, the narrative will be I went to the next level. That’s the life of a quarterback.” (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/ad/2f/kirk-cousins-111019-getty-ftrjpg_11ehi6cr5di4f1036vvt7l3lhx.jpg?t=1458220822&w=500&quality=80 (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/a6/a4/kirk-cousins-010320-getty-ftrjpg_1otcf61npt36912rsvln70ww0z.jpg?t=1803285015&w=500&quality=80 A good omen for Cousins and the Vikings could be that the table is set for a possible repeat of the 1987 playoffs, when I was an assistant GM in Minnesota. As the NFC’s lowest seed, we upset the Saints in New Orleans and then knocked off Bill Walsh, Joe Montana and the No. 1-seeded 49ers in the divisional playoffs (before falling in the NFC title game in Washington).Such a playoff run would begin to change the narrative on Cousins’ career and set up his long-term future in Minnesota.Jeff Diamond is a former president of the Titans and former vice president/general manager of the Vikings. He was selected NFL Executive of the Year in 1998. Diamond is currently a business and sports consultant who also does broadcast and online media work. He makes speaking appearances to corporate/civic groups and college classes on negotiation and sports business/sports management. He is the former chairman and CEO of The Ingram Group. Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jeffdiamondNFL. For fans and media, there’s plenty of talk about Sunday’s wild-card playoff game between the Vikings and Saints being the rematch of the Minneapolis Miracle win for Minnesota in an NFC divisional playoff game two years ago.For Kirk Cousins, who played for the Redskins at the time, this week’s game is simply the biggest game of his career and would be his signature win thus far if he can help make it happen. The good news for Cousins: With Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook and No. 2 back Alexander Mattison returning to the lineup after missing the past two games with injuries, he will have his full complement of weapons for the first time since wide receiver Adam Thielen injured his hamstring in Week 7 at Detroit (he returned two weeks ago). Included in that group is Minneapolis Miracle hero Stefon Diggs, who has been over 100 yards receiving in the last two games against the Saints.Cousins and the Vikings offense need all hands on deck to keep up with the Saints offense led by future Hall of Famer Brees, record-breaking receiver Michael Thomas and dual-threat back Alvin Kamara. The Saints have averaged a league-high 36.3 points per game since Week 10 and will be difficult for Minnesota’s No. 14 defense to contain (although the Vikings have forced 11 turnovers in the past three games).I don’t think the Vikings can upset the Saints without an excellent game from their QB. He’ll need support from the run game to set up play-action passes from the perimeter where he’s been so effective this season. And the offensive line has to play well as they did most of the season but fell off against Green Bay with five sacks allowed. The Saints ranked third with 51 sacks (led by Cam Jordan with 15.5), and an effective run and screen game can help slow down the pass rush.MORE NFL PLAYOFFS:QBs with most to prove | Full TV scheduleCousins threw for 359 yards and two TDs last year against the Saints, so he should be confident that the passing game can be effective Sunday. But two turnovers were costly in that game as the Saints won, 30-20, so Cousins and Co. need to protect the ball. It helps the Vikings that two starters on New Orleans’ defensive line, Marcus Davenport and Sheldon Rankins, are out with injuries.Cousins and his coaches are surely studying how the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 349 yards and four TDs in a 48-46 win in New Orleans on Dec. 8. Perhaps Cousins can have a similar performance against the NFL’s No. 20 pass defense. The opportunity is there for Cousins to make his first move in the direction of which he speaks in the Big Easy on Sunday. It certainly won’t be easy. The Saints, a team with a potent offense led by Drew Brees and a big-play defense, arguably are the best team playing on wild-card weekend after a 13-3 season. Zimmer is playing the no respect card this week in saying, “We’re eight-point underdogs, we’re going on the road and they just had an NFL video of all the playoff teams except us.”Cousins has overcome the .500 QB label at least for this season in leading the Vikings to a 10-6 record, which is really 10-5 on his watch since he and most of the starters sat out last week’s loss to the Bears.It’s been a rollercoaster season for Cousins, who started slow and heated up in a 10 game stretch in which he rose to among the league leaders in passing efficiency (he finished fourth with a career-high 107.4 rating as he threw 26 TD passes against six interceptions, his career low as a starter). But his last start was shaky with only 122 yards passing in a Monday night home loss to the rival Packers that handed Green Bay the NFC North.Cousins’ poor performance that night on the national stage renewed the sniping by his critics that he falls short in big moments. He says he plays best with a chip on his shoulder when he’s doubted. That chip should be back in place this week after his disappointing Packers performance that has created doubt in many Vikings fans as to whether Cousins can be trusted to deliver in the intense playoff spotlight.MORE: NFL playoff predictions through Super Bowllast_img read more

Girls’ golf set for a celebration in Hampshire

first_img Girls’ golf will be in for a great celebration next week when 144 leading young players head to Blackmoor Golf Club, Hampshire, in search of national titles.The English U16 and U14 girls’ championships will be played from Tuesday to Thursday, August 8-10, and have attracted an international entry from 15 countries.The players include girl international Annabell Fuller, pictured, (Roehampton, Surrey), who has just helped England win the team championship at the European Young Masters. Meanwhile, the host club will be represented by Olivia Ripiner, from England Golf’s South regional U16 squad.Blackmoor is regarded as one of the best courses in Hampshire. It was originally laid out by renowned golf architect Harry Colt, and consists of two loops of nine holes created from heathland, with fairways surrounded by heather, pine, birch and oak trees.The curtain raiser to the week will turn the focus on handicap golf when 22 young players compete in the Abraham Trophy to find England’s most improved girl golfer.They’ve all qualified on the basis of handicap reduction and will play off for the national title on Monday, August 7.Between them the Abraham Trophy finalists represent 13 counties:Buckinghamshire – Olivia Lee of Gerrards Cross; Amelia Curtis of Stoke Park.Derbyshire – Hannah Morrison of Chapel-en-le-Frith.Dorset – Sienna Birch, Louise Burke and Chloe Haesler of Broadstone.Hampshire – Ellie Mans of Barton-on-Sea; Hannah Dymott of Meon Valley.Hertfordshire – Hallie Copping-jones of Bishops Stortford.Lancashire – Emily James of Royal Lytham & St Annes.Lincolnshire – Tilly Garfoot of Spalding.Middlesex – Lucy Handley of Pinner Hill.Norfolk – Hope Neild of Royal Norwich.Northamptonshire – Ashleigh Critchley of Kettering.Surrey – Sasha Crockett of Burhill; Lottie Woad of Farnham; Alexandra Jakins and Sarah Mardani of Windlesham.Worcestershire – Lucy Buckley of Bromsgrove; Kacey Haynes and Lili Rose Hunt of Gaudet Luce.Yorkshire – Jessica Hosking of Huddersfield.Click here for more information on the Abraham TrophyClick here for more information on the English U16 and U14 girls’ championshipsImage copyright Stills Photography 3 Aug 2017 Girls’ golf set for a celebration in Hampshire last_img read more