Daily Archives: May 13, 2016

West Ham and Liverpool might play for Europa League spot

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West Ham and Liverpool might play for Europa League spot

Liverpool and West Ham met 4 times this season; West Ham came out on top in 3 of them.

West Ham and Liverpool could play a match to decide the takers of a place in next season’s Europa League.

The Reds will play Sevilla in the Europa League Final which may secure a Champions League place, while the Hammers lie sixth in the Premier League before the last top division game.

But should both teams must qualify for Europe through the league, there is a scenario that has both clubs level on points, goal difference and goals scored.

A Premier League spokesperson confirmed an extra game could take place, although the likelihood is small; a date or venue had thus not been chosen as of yet.

The League rules state:

If at the end of the season either the league champions or the clubs to be relegated or the question of qualification for other competitions cannot be determined because two or more clubs are equal on points, goal difference and goals scored, the clubs concerned shall play off one or more deciding league matches on neutral grounds, the format, venue and timing of which shall be determined by the board.”

There are ultimately many permutations of scorelines that allow this scenario after a full 38-game Premier League season, but in this case, it is necessary for West Ham to maintain its current position and for Sevilla to win in the final next week.

Manchester City has a confirmed Europa League spot after defeating Liverpool with penalties to win the League Cup. Should they finish in the top four this season, that place in the Europa League third qualifying round will pass to the sixth-placed team.

The same will happen if they secure a place in the Europa League group stage by finishing fifth. However, their goal difference provides enough protection for them to avoid finish lower than fifth.

Serena Williams wins, even after eating dog food

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Serena Williams wins, even after eating dog food

Serena Williams, pictured here with Chip, her Yorkshire Terrier.

Serena Williams made herself sick after experimenting with dog food, just a few hours before beating fellow American Christina McHale in straight sets and progressing through in the Italian Open.

Williams took the need for athletes to have special diets a little too seriously as she took to sampling her pet dog’s dinner.

In a video posted hours before the third round of the tournament, the world number one tried a tempting salmon and rice dish, offered on a ‘doggy menu’ at her hotel.

She told fans on Snapchat: “I ate a spoonful. Don’t judge me.”

However, Williams found it disgusting almost instantly after the bite.

“It did taste weird,” she said. “I force-swallowed it. It tasted kind of like house cleaner. I don’t know what they put in these dog foods, but Chip liked it.”

“I don’t think it’s consumable for humans. They should have wrote that!” noted Williams, who followed up the experiment with an urgent trip to the toilet a few hours later. “So now I feel really sick. It was just a spoonful but I don’t feel so good.”

But the incident did not once broke Williams’s stride in the tournament. However, she did appear to slow down a little against in the first set against McHale, before eventually blitzing through in the second, wrapping things up at 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

Her performance earns her a place at the quarter-finals in Rome. She will play Svetlana Kuznetsova, who also progressed through by defeating fellow Russian Daria Gavrilova.

England names uncapped duo named for Sri Lanka Test match

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England names uncapped duo named for Sri Lanka Test match

England has called on the service of two uncapped players, naming them in their 12-man squad in their first Test match against Sri Lanka to be held in Headingley next week.

James Vince and Jake Ball, both 25 years old are set to feature in the Investec Test from 19 to 23 May.

James Vince has five limited-overs caps and was part of the England squad that reached the final of the ICC World Twenty20 in India last month. He comes into the team in place of the retired James Taylor, taking number five ahead of Ian Bell and Gary Ballance, who were dropped last year.

“It’s something I’ve been aiming for since I was a little kid really,” said Vince. “Definitely when I was growing up, playing for England in a Test was still the number one. I’ve had the experience of the T20s in Dubai against Pakistan, when it was a good feeling being able to contribute to the team.”

Along with the Hampshire batsman James Vince, Ball’s rise has been sharp. The 25-year-old fast bowler impressed with England Lions over the winter and has started the season in rich form with 19 wickets in his side’s first four County Championship matches.

His breakthrough performance came at Trent Bridge against Yorkshire, earning four wickets in the champions’ first innings including Test batsmen Adam Lyth, Joe Root and Gary Ballance.

Stuart Broad, world number one bowler in Test Cricket and Ball’s county colleague, was all praise for his teammate’s performance and growth.

“Jake is a player I’ve seen a lot of and he’s developed so quickly,” said Broad. “He is similar to me in height and what he tries to do with the ball. He gets good pace, moves the ball both away and into the right-hander, and away from the left-handers. The selectors have done well to pick a guy in form.”

Meanwhile, Alex Hale would stay on to play as England captain Alastair Cook’s opening partner, just as Nick Compton keeps his place as England’s number three. In addition, pace bowler Steven Finn has been confirmed fit and will be likely to feature.