Sports Mole previews the 2023 Cricket World Cup match between England and Pakistan, scheduled to be played at Eden Gardens on Saturday.
The penultimate match in the group stages of the 2023 Cricket World Cup will see the outgoing world champions England taking on qualification hopefuls Pakistan at Eden Gardens on Saturday.
England have had a World Cup to forget and will be taking their final bow in the competition at the end of this match, while Pakistan’s chances of progress have been dealt a massive blow following New Zealand’s victory over Sri Lanka earlier this week....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
The world champions have suffered one of their worst-ever World Cup campaigns in the 2023 CWC, and with just two wins in the competition to date, they will play no further part in the competition beyond this match.
England’s only victories in this tournament came against Bangladesh over a month ago now, and while they overcame the Netherlands in their last match, they did experience yet another mini-collapse toward the back end of their innings.
The normally formidable batting lineup of the Three Lions failed to deliver with any consistency in the tournament, while the bowling lineup, now without the likes of Stuart Broad and James Anderson, have struggled to find anything even close to their best on the pitches here in India.
Still, while it will be difficult to fire themselves up for a dead rubber match in this competition, the English will still need to ensure that they maintain a better net run rate than the sides below them, or they could also give up automatic qualification for the ICC Champions Trophy if they finish lower than eighth place.
Meanwhile, Pakistan are still alive in the tournament, but after New Zealand easily dispatched Sri Lanka by five wickets, it is going to take a once-in-a-lifetime performance to see them reach the final four.
The task for the Men in Green to displace the Black Caps in fourth place will require them to win this match and lift their net run rate to over +0.743 from their current rate of +0.036.
What that equates to in simple terms is a victory by a margin of over 275 runs or to chase down the target they are set with around 284 deliveries to spare, which means they will need to wrap up the match in under three overs if they bat second.
Based on the numbers, the toss will be an incredibly important moment in this match, and Pakistan will almost certainly opt to bat first if given a chance in search of a huge total before they turn to their bowlers to dismiss the England team as quickly as possible.
Still, regardless of whether they bat or bowl first, the task at hand is a huge one for the Pakistanis, but if they can find a way to pull it off, they will set up a blockbuster semi-final against the odds-on favourites and their arch-enemies India.
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Ben Stokes’s return from ODI retirement will not have the fairytale ending he would have hoped for, but the Test captain will want to mark the occasion with another big innings to follow his sensational knock against the Netherlands last week.
This could be the last time that we see the likes of Moeen Ali (36), Adil Rashid (35) and Dawid Malan (36) in an ODI World Cup for the Three Lions, and they will all be hoping to leave their mark before departing the sub-continent.
If Pakistan are to have any chance of progressing here, they are going to rely heavily on the likes of Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam to give them a big start at the top of the innings as they did against New Zealand last week.
Shaheen Afridi, who has been disappointing with the ball in this competition, will have the opportunity to become a national hero if he can find his form here and dominate the English top order, but he will need the support of Hasan Ali and Iftikhar Ahmed at the other end.
England squad: Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w/c), Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Sam Curran, Brydon Carse, Harry Brook, Gus Atkinson
Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr.
Series so far
Match One: England lost by 9 wicketsEngland – 282/9 (50)New Zealand – 283/1 (36.2)
Match Two: England won by 137 runsEngland – 364/9 (50)Bangladesh – 227 (48.2)
Match Three: England lost by 69 runsAfghanistan – 284 (49.5)England – 215 (40.3)
Match Four: England lost by 229 runsSouth Africa – 399/7 (50)England – 170 (22)
Match Five: England lost by 8 wicketsEngland – 156 (33.2)Sri Lanka – 160/2 (25.4)
Match Six: England lost by 100 runsIndia – 229/9 (50)England – 129 (34.5)
Match Seven: England lost by 33 runsAustralia – 286 (49.3)England – 253 (48.1)
Match Eight: England won by 160 runsEngland – 339/9 (50)Netherlands – 179 (37.2)
Match One: Pakistan won by 81 runsPakistan – 286 (49)Netherlands – 205 (41)
Match Two: Pakistan won by 6 wicketsSri Lanka – 344/9 (50)Pakistan – 345/4 (48.2)
Match Three: Pakistan lost by 7 wicketsPakistan – 191 (42.5)India – 192/3 (30.3)
Match Four: Pakistan lost by 62 runsAustralia – 367/9 (50)Pakistan – 305 (45.3)
Match Five: Pakistan won by 8 wicketsPakistan – 282/7 (50)Afghanistan – 286/2 (49)
Match Six: Pakistan lost by 1 wicketPakistan – 270 (46.4)South Africa – 271/9 (47.2)
Match Seven: Pakistan won by 7 wicketsBangladesh – 204 (45.1)Pakistan – 205/3 (32.3)
Match Eight: Pakistan won by 21 runs (DLS method)New Zealand – 401/6 (50)Pakistan – 200/1 (25.3)
We say: Pakistan to win
Much of this match will hinge on the coin toss and the first 10 to 15 overs. If England get off to a strong start, it will likely mean that Pakistan’s hopes of a huge win will go out the window, and with it will go their likelihood of qualification. However, as long as there is still a chance, we can expect the Men in Green to fight for it, and we feel that regardless of whether they progress or not, they will come out with the victory in this one.
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Arsenal considering Viktor Gyokeres signing, scouted him more than once
Arsenal have been closely monitoring Sporting Lisbon striker Viktor Gyokeres ahead of a possible approach, according to Portuguese publication Record (page 14).
The Sweden international had a good stint in the Championship with Coventry City last term. He registered 22 goals and 12 assists from 50 appearances.
He was linked with a potential switch to the Premier League over the summer, but Sporting eventually won the race to sign him for €20 million plus add-ons.
It is now reported that the Gunners have scouted him more than once this campaign and they are now considering the possibility of landing his signature.
However, Sporting are quite clear that they don’t want to lose him in January unless any club is willing to trigger the hefty €100m release clause in his contract.
Arsenal linked with surprise move for Gyokeres
The 25-year-old was linked with a Premier League switch last summer after Coventry missed out on top-flight promotion to Luton Town via the play-offs.
West Ham United were the most interested English club in the Swede, but he chose to make the move to Sporting, who are currently top of the Primeira Liga.
Gyokeres has been pivotal for the club with 15 goals and seven assists from just 17 appearances and we are not surprised that Arsenal are monitoring him.
The Gunners already hold an interest in his teammate Ousmane Diomande, but any deal could be delayed until the summer with Sporting unwilling to negotiate in January.
A move for Diomande seems justifiable with his huge potential as a 19-year-old centre-back, but we believe there are better strikers that Arsenal could pursue over Gyokeres.
Gyokeres would be a good acquisition for a mid-table Premier League side, but the Gunners should aim higher and recruit someone like Victor Osimhen if they want to win titles.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
AC Milan ‘intensify efforts to sign Arsenal defender Jakub Kiwior’
AC Milan are reportedly set to step up their efforts to sign Arsenal’s Jakub Kiwior and are ready to open discussions over a possible move for the player in January....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
AC Milan are reportedly set to step up their efforts to sign defender Jakub Kiwior and are ready to open discussions with Arsenal over a possible move for the player in the January transfer window.
The 23-year-old arrived from Italian outfit Spezia in the last window but has not been able to nail down a regular starting role under Mikel Arteta during his time in North London.
Kiwior has made only five starts in all competitions over the last 11 months, with two of those coming in the Carabao Cup.
According to 90min, Kiwior is keen to play more regularly, and The Gunners are open to granting the defender a loan to move away from the Emirates Stadium in January.
The report adds that with the possibility of the defender becoming available in the New Year, AC Milan have emerged as one of the frontrunners to secure the 23-year-old’s services and are preparing to open discussion with Arsenal over a potential move.
It is understood that the Rossoneri are keen on a loan move for Kiwior, with the option to purchase him outright next summer.
The Serie A giants are also believed to be happy to agree with an obligation to buy the player next summer if it will help get the deal done.
AC Milan are expected to be active in the upcoming transfer market as they try to bolster their defensive line, with the likes of centre-backs Malick Thiaw and Pierre Kalulu currently sidelined through injury.
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Preview: Inter Milan vs. Udinese – prediction, team news, lineups
Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Serie A clash between Inter Milan and Udinese, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
After disposing of last season’s Scudetto winners, Inter Milan will continue their quest for this term’s Serie A title on Saturday, when they host Udinese.
Having crushed Napoli down south, Inter return to their San Siro stronghold topping the table by two points from old foes Juventus; meanwhile, the visitors are Italy’s draw specialists....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Already most pundits’ favourites for the Scudetto, Inter rubber-stamped their status as the team to beat last weekend, as they dismantled reigning champions Napoli in their own backyard, with a little help from Hakan Calhanoglu’s stunning opener just before half time.
After the Turkey international struck sweetly to become the first Inter midfielder with more than five goals at this stage of a Serie A season since Lothar Matthaus in 1990, Simone Inzaghi’s side seized the momentum, and further finishes from Nicolo Barella and Marcus Thuram secured a superb 3-0 success at Stadio Maradona.
As a result, they moved back to the top of the Serie A standings, leaving Napoli 11 points behind – arch-rivals Milan trail by six.
Now boasting a goal difference of +26 (33 scored and just seven conceded) – equalling the club’s best record after 14 games, set some 90 years ago – the Nerazzurri have proved themselves a well-oiled machine that could take some stopping in Italy and beyond.
Indeed, Inter captain Lautaro Martinez (13 goals) has scored more times in Serie A this season than Saturday’s opponents Udinese (12), and his side have still lost just once in all competitions, having also confirmed their place in the Champions League’s last 16.
With a win this weekend, the second-city club would reach 38 points after their first 15 matches for just the fourth time this century, and recent history suggests that victory is theirs for the taking: Inter have lost only one of their last 11 league meetings with Udinese, winning each of the last five at San Siro.
Udinese’s lone win during that sequence did come as recently as last season, when they triumphed 3-1 on home turf, but the Fruilani are up against the odds on this occasion – not only due to their hosts’ might, but also because of their own failings.
Last week, Gabriele Cioffi’s side let victory slip through their fingers, as they led 2-0 and then 3-2 against lowly Hellas Verona but still contrived to miss out on maximum points once again.
Substitute striker Lorenzo Lucca left the bench after seven minutes and bagged a brace for the Bianconeri, but conceding deep into stoppage time left them with just one Serie A win all season.
A meagre total of 12 points from their first 14 games means Udinese have recorded their lowest tally at this stage of a season since 1994, and a relegation battle could be in prospect if they cannot hold on to such leads more frequently.
Since Cioffi replaced Andrea Sottil in the dugout, his team have at least edged their way out of the drop zone, but they still await a first league victory in Udine this season, having also drawn no fewer than nine times home and away.
Inter Milan Serie A form:
Inter Milan form (all competitions):
Udinese Serie A form:
Udinese form (all competitions):
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Inter’s fitness woes deepened last time out, as injuries to Dutch duo Stefan de Vrij and Denzel Dumfries left Simone Inzaghi somewhat short-handed at the back.
Carlos Augusto was required to deputise in the back three at Stadio Maradona, as Benjamin Pavard (knee) is still out of action. The latter’s defensive colleague Alessandro Bastoni (calf) should return to the squad, though, after missing each of Inter’s three games since last month’s international break.
Starting up front, summer signing Marcus Thuram has been directly involved in 11 Serie A strikes already this season (five goals and six assists) – the most of any new Nerazzurri player since Champions League hero Diego Milito recorded 13 in his first 15 appearances back in 2009.
A brace against Verona last Sunday took Lorenzo Lucca on to four league goals this term, so the ex-Ajax striker is set to start for Udinese in Milan; fellow forwards Florian Thauvin and Isaac Success should overcome minor injuries to feature on the bench.
Slovenian centre-back Jaka Bijol has been ruled out until January after having surgery on a foot fracture, while long-term absentees Gerard Deulofeu, Enzo Ebosse and Brenner remain unavailable too.
Meanwhile, in midfield, captain Roberto Pereyra plays a more advanced role, and Serbia international Lazar Samardzic comes up against the club he was within a whisker of joining earlier this year.
Inter Milan possible starting lineup:Sommer; Darmian, Acerbi, Augusto; Cuadrado, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Thuram, Martinez
Udinese possible starting lineup:Silvestri; Ferreira, Kabasele, Perez; Ebosele, Samardzic, Walace, Payero, Zemura; Pereyra; Lucca
We say: Inter Milan 2-0 Udinese
With defensive injuries mounting up, Inter boss Simone Inzaghi will be keen to take care of business against Serie A strugglers Udinese without taking too much of a toll on his squad. The Nerazzurri can take a stranglehold of the game by scoring at least once in the first half, then cruise towards win number 12 of their league campaign.For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data
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