Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip lays to rest

Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday bid farewell to her late husband, Prince Philip, at a royal funeral like no other, restricted by coronavirus rules but reflecting his long life of military and public service.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who died on April 9 at age 100, was interred in the Royal Vault at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle after a 50-minute service attended by just 30 guests.

The Queen, 94, seen for the first time since his death, sat alone dressed in mourning black, with a white-trimmed, black face mask. Close family, also masked, sat socially distanced in the historic 15th-century Gothic chapel.

Philip -described by royals as “the grandfather of the nation” – was Britain’s longest-serving royal consort and was married to the Queen for 73 years.

He was an almost constant presence at her side during her record-breaking reign that began in 1952 as Britain rebuilt from World War II, and as its global empire began to unravel.

His death, which the family said had left a “huge void” in the Queen’s life, has robbed of her of the man she called her “strength and stay” and closes a remarkable chapter for Britain’s most famous family, and in the country’s history.

The last high-profile funeral of a senior royal was for the Queen’s mother, who died in 2002, aged 101.

But unlike then, when more than one million people thronged outside Westminster Abbey in central London to watch the sombre pageant, the public was noticeably absent from Saturday’s ceremony.

The coronavirus pandemic forced hasty revisions to the well-rehearsed plans for the duke’s death, code-named “Operation Forth Bridge”, stripping back public elements to prevent large crowds from gathering.

Government guidelines limited the number of mourners and a quartet performed hymns the duke chose himself in a barren nave stripped of seating.

Bottles of hand sanitiser was seen among the floral tributes inside.

The intimate, ceremonial funeral from behind the stately castle walls was broadcast live on television to millions across Britain and the world.

A military gun was fired to signal a minute’s silence when his coffin arrived at the chapel on a bespoke Land Rover he designed himself.

The coffin was draped in his standard and topped by a wreath of white roses and lilies from the Queen as well as his naval cap and ceremonial sword.

Across Britain — on the streets, in shops, railway stations and at sporting events — people bowed their heads with respect. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, dressed in black, observed the silence at his country retreat, Chequers.

Flights in an out of nearby Heathrow Airport were stopped for the duration of the ceremony. 

Ieuan Jones, 37, travelled to Windsor from his home in the Welsh capital, Cardiff, and called Philip “a strong man, a true hero (who) did so much for this country and the royal family”.

“It’s really a shame that because of the pandemic we can’t pay a wider tribute to the exceptional man he was,” he told media. 

Despite the restrictions, the stripped-down sendoff for the former Royal Navy commander still combined centuries of royal protocol with pomp, pageantry — and military precision.

Members of the British armed forces, in formal dress, lined the procession route, heads bowed, as the cortege passed, as a minute gun rang out across the grounds and a bell tolled. 

Philip’s grandsons William, 39, and Harry, 36, joined the procession, in their first public meeting since a reported falling out about Harry’s shock move to California, and his stinging criticism of royal life, including racism in the family.

Harry had to quarantine when he arrived back in Britain for the first time since his move to the United States with his wife, Meghan, last year.

The pair, who as young boys walked behind the coffin of their mother, princess Diana, in 1997, were separated by their cousin, Anne’s son Peter Phillips, 43.

They were later seen chatting as they left the chapel with William’s wife, Kate.

The religious service was a simple affair, reflecting the wishes of the straight-talking duke, who was known for his aversion to “fuss”. 

In keeping with his wishes, there was no sermon, but the service reflected his love of the sea, and long association with the Royal Navy, including hymns and Bible readings. 

The Dean of Windsor, David Conner, paid tribute to his “kindness, humour and humanity”, and devotion to the Queen, who turns 95 next week and is in the twilight of her reign.

“We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by his service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith,” he said. 

The Queen, who had been escorted to the chapel by a lady-in-waiting in the royal Bentley, watched from the chapel choir as her husband’s was lowered steadily into the Royal Vault by electric motor.

The Pipe Major of the Royal Regiment of Scotland played a lament, and buglers of the Royal Marines sounded The Last Post. 

When the Queen dies, he will be transferred to lie alongside her in the King George VI memorial chapel, which houses the remains of her father, George VI, her mother, also called Elizabeth, and the ashes of her younger sister, Margaret.

The funeral comes after eight days of public mourning for the duke, which has seen the Union Jack flown at half-mast, and a virtual halt in official government business. 

It has also brought renewed focus on the central place of the royals in British life and culture, with the ageing Queen and Prince Philip symbolic of another age. 

At Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s central London home, Cardiff-born chef Santosh Singh laid purple tulips to mark the end of an era.

“I love the royals. I think they’re amazing… It’s sad because in time, all this will change,” the 57-year-old said.

Pollsters You Gov in March found that while 63 percent of the public supported the monarchy, only 37 percent of those aged 18-24 wanted it to continue. 

Of them, 42 percent said they would prefer an elected head of state. 

Yet Prince Philip’s death commanded a flood of tributes from across Britain and around the world, including from the remote Pacific island of Vanuatu, where he is revered as a god. 

One of his lasting legacies will be the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) scheme for young people, which was set up in 1956 and now operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

Some 6.7 million young people in the UK have taken part. His youngest son, Edward, Earl of Wessex, has assumed a greater role in the organisation, of which he is a trustee. 

He will become Duke of Edinburgh when the Queen dies.

Arsenal, Chelsea humiliated at home

Liverpool thrust themselves firmly back into the battle for a place in the Premier League’s top four as they outclassed abject Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

Chelsea’s shock thrashing at home to West Brom earlier in the day opened the door for Liverpool – and Jurgen Klopp’s men burst straight through it in style with a victory that leaves them in fifth, only two points behind Thomas Tuchel’s side.

The only surprise was that it took dominant Liverpool so long to make their superiority count.

They finally got the breakthrough they deserved after 64 minutes when Diogo Jota headed Trent Alexander-Arnold’s brilliant delivery past Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno three minutes after he replaced Andy Robertson.

It was not only the decisive moment of the contest but also a timely reminder of the quality Alexander-Arnold possesses at a time when England manager Gareth Southgate feels he can do without him, despite Euro 2020 being on the horizon.

Liverpool doubled their lead four minutes later when Mohamed Salah took advantage of poor defending by Arsenal’s Gabriel and then slid a cool finish through Leno’s legs.

Jota was the beneficiary of more good work from Alexander-Arnold when he slammed home his second from close range with eight minutes left – by then though, the game had already become a formality.

Klopp said Liverpool “have to show we are really fighting for it” when asked about getting back in the running for a Champions League place.

“It was a very important statement. In our position it is clear, everything that has happened to us this season means we don’t have it in our hands,” he added.

“We have to win our games and others have to lose but we have to [put] pressure on them. That is what we did with the result but we are still not in. We have to fight and we will fight and that is the statement for us and nobody else.”

England manager Southgate’s exclusion of Alexander-Arnold for the opening World Cup qualifiers shocked Klopp – and the defender’s performance in north London showed why.

Southgate currently prefers Manchester City’s Kyle Walker, Chelsea’s Reece James and Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier, believing Alexander-Arnold needs to improve his club form to merit inclusion amid a relatively indifferent season for the Premier League champions.

Klopp is clearly satisfied with Alexander-Arnold, though, and that is hardly surprising when he showed what a threat he offers as Liverpool overpowered Arsenal.

He showcased his sublime delivery for Jota’s opener then demonstrated his energy and awareness to steal back possession high up the pitch in the build-up to the prolific Portugal forward’s second goal.

Klopp said afterwards he did not want to “make another discussion” but added that “Alexander-Arnold had showed his class again”.

“If somebody says Trent is not [in good shape] then I have to say they are wrong, that is all. I am not responsible for [Southgate’s] decisions,” Klopp added.

It was a display that responded to Southgate’s decision to drop him in the perfect manner and suggested England must have serious quality at right-back if Alexander-Arnold is in serious danger of missing Euro 2020.

Liverpool and Klopp had a hugely satisfying night all round. Brazil’s Fabinho gave a masterclass in the midfield anchor role, demonstrating what the side missed when he was deputising in central defence to cover for injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.

Klopp’s side may be in a miserable run of six successive home defeats but their away form is sustaining them and this comfortable three points, on the back of the previous victory at Wolves, gives them real hope of Champions League qualification.

With a Champions League quarter-final first leg away to Real Madrid on Tuesday, Liverpool suddenly look like a team with renewed purpose and momentum.

The only positive about this Arsenal performance was the fact they kept Liverpool out for 64 minutes – although that was down more to the Premier League champions’ lack of cutting edge up than especially good work by the Gunners.

The hosts were dreadful and fortunate not to be beaten far more heavily. This was miserable stuff from Arsenal.

The only work Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, complete with extravagant new moustache, had to do all night was clutch a straightforward shot from substitute Cedric Soares in the second half.

Yes, Arsenal lost influential left-back Kieran Tierney right on half-time but that was no excuse for what Mikel Arteta’s side served up. They offered no punch in attack, no fight in midfield and were eventually overwhelmed in defence.

Arsenal saved themselves by coming from three goals down to earn a point in their last league game at West Ham but there was never the slightest hope of a comeback against Liverpool.

They sit in ninth place, four points adrift of Everton having played two games more, and much now rests on their Europa League quarter-final against Slavia Prague.

They will have to produce much better than they did here, their night summed up by the anonymous performance of main striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who spent much of his game as an auxiliary left-back before being substituted.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta: “They were better in every department. I take the blame, it’s my responsibility. They were the best team by far. They won by three goals and it could have been more.

“They won every duel, every second ball, every challenge. To be fair, I’m in shock. I didn’t expect that one coming. It’s my job to make things better. Today we hit a really low level. It was not acceptable.

“For sure we cannot hit that level again. When you represent this club you have to stand up and take the challenge.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: “As a package it was a good performance. We finished our situations off. Arsenal were not really in the game for the whole 95 minutes. That was down to us.

“We had to keep going and keep the momentum. I wasn’t frustrated at half-time. We had to work hard and when you do that you have a good chance of winning.

“When people talk about you in the wrong way, you want to react. It was a sensational cross by Trent for the [first] goal.”

Dr. Mpango to swear in as new Tanzania’s VP tomorrow

Tanzania’s Finance Minister Dr Philip Isdor Mpango,63, has been confirmed as the country’s new Vice President, and will be sworn in tomorrow. By a vote of 363-0, Tanzania’s parliament approved the appointment.

The Chama Cha Mapinduzi CCM dominated parliament sitting in Dodoma on Tuesday gave the green light to President Samia Suluhu’s nomination of the former seminarian to take over a post she held since first being jointly elected with John Pombe Magufuli five years ago. Magufuli died on March 17.

Dr Mpango is a finance expert and has worked in the President’s office before, was also acting Commissioner General of Tanzania Revenue Authority for a few months,  before being appointed member of parliament in 2015. He served President Dr John Magufuli as Minister of Finance and Planning since then.

Only last month, Mpango was struggling for his life at Benjamin Mkapa hospital in Dodoma but has since recovered.

 Born – July 14, 1957, Kasumo, Kigoma region

 Education
 1993-1996 University of Dar, PHD Economics
 1990-1992 Lund University, PHD Course Work, Sweden
 1986-1988 University of Dar, Master in Economics
 1981-1984 University of Dar, BA Economics
 1976-1977 Ihungo High (A) Bukoba
 1974-1975 Itaga Seminary (O) Tabora
 1971-1973 Ujiji Seminary (O) Kigoma
 1968-1970 Munyama Primary Kigoma
 1965-1967 Kasumo Primary Kigoma
 1964-1965 Kipalapala Primary Tabora

Dr. Mpango’s Career

 1980-1980 Public relations assistant, National Provident Fund

 1980-1981 Research assistant, Elimu Supplies Ltd

 1984-1988 Economist, Ministry of Labor

 1988-2002 Economics Lecturer Dar-es-Salaam University

 2002-2006 Senior Economist World Bank

 2007-2009 Economic advisor to the President, President’s Office

 2009-2010 Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance

 2010-2015 Executive secretary, President’s Office Planning Commission

 2015-2015 Acting Commissioner General, Tanzania revenue Authority

 2015 – Appointed Member of Parliament

 2015 – Minister of Finance and Planning

GUNNERS RECEIVE BOOST TO HOPES OF KEEPING ODEGAARD.

The 22 year old moved to the Emirates on loan in January and has already made quite an impact for Mike Arteta’s side.

According to football insider, should Zidane remain Real manager come the summer, he would have no issue with letting the Norway vaptain depart the Bbernaben.

Odegaard signed for Real Madrid from home town club storms godset as a 16- years-old, but he has been unable to break into the first team for the first team for the 13-time European champions.

He is played 130 club game over the last six years- but 119 of them have come during loan spells at Herenveen, Vitesse Arnhem, Real Sociedad and now Arsenal.

BAYERN HELD TALKS WITH ZLATAN.

Bayern Munich were interested in signing ZLATAN Ibrahimovic but his ‘god-like’ wage demands saw the move break down, according to Uli Hoeness.

Ibrahimovic 39, has played for most of the biggest clubs and leagues in Europe but has never featured for any Bundesliga side in his 21- year professional career to date.

Honorary president Hoeness however has revealed that the Bundesliga record champions were once interested in the former Barcelona , PSG and Manchester united, AC Milan striker but the Beverians move eventually broke down.

While speaking to RTL as part of the outlet’s coverage of Germany’s 3-0, 2022 World cup qualifying victory over Iceland on Thursday Hoeness revealed the move did not go through due to the striker’s exorbitant wage demands.

“He is a great player, but his demands were also god- like Hoeness said.

” We were interested once , but didn’t even get to the main course.

Speaking in 2017,Bjorn evendersson , a youth team team coach at the German club between 1995 and 2009, revealed that the Bundesliga faints had the chance to sign the Swede in 2001.

However, Ibrahimovic’s club at the time , Malmo FF wanted too much money for the player.

“We had contract with (former sports director of Malmo FF) Hasse Borg, he told Swedish football website.

“But Bayern said no as it was too much money for a youth player.

“It was the right decision, Bayern have won more titles than Ajax and Juventus .that counts in the end .They did not do any thing wrong.

Also for Zlatan , the change to Netherland was correct who knows whether the German mentality would have suited him at all.

Speaking in 2013 while he was playing for PSG, ZLATAN lauded Bayern as one of the top had opened the door at a time for a move to the Allianz Arena.

” of course the Bundesliga could attract me, the Sweden international told 11 Freunde.

“If I play in Germany one day it would be at Bayern Munich for me, this is one of the five biggest clubs in the world.

” I have lived in five countries, Sweden the Netherlands, Itary , Spain and now France and learned about the people and cultures, it has shaped me.

ALONSO SET TO TAKE CHARGE OF MONCHENGLADBACH

Former Liverpool, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Spain Superstar, Xavi Alonso, is set to be named as the new manager of German team , Borussia Monchengladbach, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Alonso is currently in charge of Real Sociedad team B but will return to Germany in June.

He enjoyed a brilliant career as a player, winning with Liverpool the FA cup and champions league, LA liga and the Copa del Rey with Real Madrid and 3 league titles and the German cup with Munich.

He also was a main stay of the Spanish side for over ten years and won the European championships twice and the world cup.

Pep Guardiola signed him from Real Madrid in 2014 and he ended his trophy laden career in Bavaria three seasons later.

If he has half a good career as a manager as he did a player then this might be the first step on a journey that could go right to the very top.

RB LEIPZIG VS. EINTRACHT FRANKFURT

RB Leipzig entertain Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday for a Bundesliga clash at Red Bull Arena.RB Leipzig sit in second place on 53 points, two points behind first-placed Bayern München through 24 matches. Leipzig won their last Bundesliga match 3-0 at Schwarzwald-Stadion against Freiburg, extending their winning streak to six.Eintracht Frankfurt’s last league match resulted in a 1-1 draw against Stuttgart at Deutsche Bank Park, leaving them in fourth place on 43 points.The teams played out a 1-1 draw in their last Bundesliga meeting, a November match at Deutsche Bank Park. Aymen Barkok scored Die Adler’s only goal in the 43rd minute. Yussuf Poulsen scored Leipzig’s only goal in the 57th minute.Looking at players who have made a difference this season, Leipzig have been indebted to Christopher Nkunku, Emil Forsberg, and Poulsen. Nkunku is the club’s leading scorer with six goals, followed by Forsberg and Poulsen with five each.Eintracht Frankfurt’s most prolific player has been André Silva, who has netted on 19 occasions, including seven match-opening goals. He is tied for second in the league’s scoring charts in 2020/2021.Hosts Leipzig have been tough to beat at home this season with 10 wins, one draw, and just one loss in 12 Bundesliga contests. Leipzig are in the midst of a four-match home winning streak dating to January 20 against Union Berlin. In league matches away from home this season, Frankfurt have five wins, four draws, and three losses.Leipzig have won six straight league matches this season. Frankfurt, meanwhile, have won four, drawn one and lost one in their last six.THE FORM GUIDE (League form this season):Rasen Ballsport Leipzig: WWWWWWEintracht Frankfurt: DLWWWWHEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD (Any comp):Rasen Ballsport Leipzig: 3Draw: 4Eintracht Frankfurt: 3LAST TIME THEY MET:date: November 21, 2020competition: Bundesligascore: 1:1TOP LEAGUE SCORERS:Rasen Ballsport Leipzig: Christopher Nkunku (6), Emil Forsberg (5), Yussuf Poulsen (5)Eintracht Frankfurt: André Silva (19), Bas Dost (4), Filip Kostic (3)UP NEXT (League only):Rasen Ballsport Leipzig: Arminia Bielefeld v LeipzigEintracht Frankfurt: Frankfurt v Union Berlin

BORUSSIA DORTMUND VS. HERTHA BSC

Hosts Borussia Dortmund will be hoping to make the most of home advantage when Hertha BSC arrive at Signal-Iduna-Park for a Bundesliga clash on Saturday.Borussia Dortmund are in sixth place on 39 points through 24 matches. Dortmund were defeated 4-2 in their last Bundesliga match at Allianz Arena against Bayern München, ending a three-match unbeaten streak (W2 D1 L0).Hertha BSC’s last league match saw them triumph 2-1 over Augsburg at home to end a nine-match winless streak, leaving them in 15th place on 21 points.The previous Bundesliga fixture between the teams saw Dortmund emerge victorious 5-2 at Olympiastadion Berlin in November. Erling Haaland led Dortmund with goals in the 47th, 49th, 62nd, and 79th minute. Raphael Guerreiro also found the net. Matheus Cunha led Hertha with two goals, netting in the 33rd and 79th minute.Dortmund have got the better of Hertha BSC of late, unbeaten in their last seven Bundesliga matches (W5 D2 L0). Hertha BSC are looking for their first league win in fixtures between the two clubs since March 2017. Dortmund have outscored Hertha 16-8 during their unbeaten streak.Haaland has been a game-changer for Dortmund this season. He leads the club with 19 goals, which is tied for the second highest in the league in 2020/2021.Hertha BSC’s leading lights in attack have been Krzysztof Piatek, Cunha, and Jhon Córdoba, who have scored six, six, and five times, respectively.On home soil this season, Dortmund have six wins, two draws, and three losses in 11 Bundesliga contests. Dortmund are looking to extend a five-match home unbeaten streak (W3 D2 L0) dating to January 3 against Wolfsburg. In league matches on the road this season, Hertha BSC have two wins, four draws, and six losses. Hertha will be out to end an eight-match away winless streak (W0 D4 L4). The last time they earned a win away was November 2020 against Augsburg.In their last six league matches, Dortmund have won three, drawn one and lost two. Hertha BSC, meanwhile, have won one, drawn one and lost four in their last six.THE FORM GUIDE (League form this season):BV Borussia 09 Dortmund: LWWDLWHertha BSC: WLLDLLHEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD (Any comp):BV Borussia 09 Dortmund: 34Draw: 19Hertha BSC: 18LAST TIME THEY MET:date: November 21, 2020competition: Bundesligascore: 5:2TOP LEAGUE SCORERS:BV Borussia 09 Dortmund: Erling Haaland (19), Jadon Sancho (6), Raphael Guerreiro (3)Hertha BSC: Krzysztof Piatek (6), Matheus Cunha (6), Jhon Córdoba (5)UP NEXT (League only):BV Borussia 09 Dortmund: Köln v DortmundHertha BSC: Hertha BSC v Bayer Leverkusen

Tanzania’s incumbent president Magufuli wins election

Tanzanian President John Magufuli won a resounding election victory Friday with 84 percent of votes in a poll his main rival said was riddled with irregularities such as ballot box stuffing.

Magufuli’s main challenger, the Chadema party candidate Tundu Lissu, 52, won only 13 percent of the vote, after denouncing widespread fraud, intimidation and oppression of the opposition.

“The commission declares John Magufuli of CCM (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) who garnered the majority of votes as the winner in the presidential seat…” said commission chairman Semistocles Kaijage.
 
Voter turnout was 50.7 percent from more than 29 million voters, with over 260,000 votes declared invalid.

No final results were given for the parliamentary results however Magufuli’s ruling CCM had earlier won all but two seats, with around 200 of 264 parliamentary seats announced.

In 2015, Magufuli won with only 58 percent of the vote.
The resounding victory in Wednesday’s vote will further cement the power of a party that has been in power since independence in 1961 but stands accused of a slide into autocracy under Magufuli.

Lissu, who returned to Tanzania in July after three years abroad recovering from 16 bullet wounds sustained in an assassination attempt, on Thursday declared that the results coming in were “illegitimate”.

He urged his supporters to demonstrate peacefully, while asking the international community not to recognise the outcome.

“Whatever happened yesterday was not an election, and thus we do not recognise it. We do not accept the result,” Lissu told reporters, saying opposition election monitors had been barred from entering polling stations and faced other interference.

“What is being presented to the world is a complete fraud. It is not an election.”

The result of presidential elections cannot be contested in Tanzania, though the parliamentary outcome can be challenged.

Lissu’s return breathed life into an opposition demoralised by years of attacks, arrests and a ban on political rallies.

However several opposition MPs lost seats in long-held bastions, such as Chadema chairman and lawmaker Freeman Mbowe of Hai in the Kilimanjaro region, and ACT-Wazalendo party leader Zitto Kabwe in Kigoma on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

Halima Mdee, head of the Chadema woman’s wing, who was briefly arrested on election day after protesting the discovery of ballot boxes stuffed with “pre-marked votes”, lost her seat in Kawe in Dar es Salaam.

“We are concerned by credible reports of election irregularities and the use of force against unarmed civilians, and will hold responsible individuals accountable,” said US state department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus on Twitter.

“We urge Tanzanian authorities to take immediate steps to restore faith in the democratic process.”
The election took place with little monitoring from foreign observers and most international media were unable to gain accreditation to cover voting on the mainland.

In semi-autonomous Zanzibar, which elects its own president and MPs, the streets were quiet and only a few pick-up trucks carrying police circulated after CCM candidate Ali Hassan Mwinyi was declared the local winner.

The Indian Ocean archipelago, which has a history of violent and contested polls, saw only four of 50 parliamentary seats go to the opposition ACT Wazalendo.
Opposition leader Seif Sharif Mohammed was arrested the day before the vote, as well as the day following the vote, and decried the election as a “military exercise” overshadowed by violence and cheating.

His party said he was released after the election results were announced, while party spokesman Ismail Jussa was badly beaten, sustaining a broken leg and shoulder fracture during their arrest.

Hamad has accused the ruling party of trying to steal every vote since multi-party democracy was introduced in 1995, and foreign observers have often agreed.

The islands swarmed with police, soldiers — some on armoured personnel carriers — and the feared “zombie” private militia of the ruling party in recent days. 
The opposition said 10 people were killed on Monday and Tuesday.

The opposition and commentators voiced concern about the fairness of the election well ahead of polling.

“This year it was very different. There was lots of intimidation, violence, kidnapping. Two of our polling agents were kidnapped and very badly beaten,” said Tanzanian political analyst Aikande Kwayu, who supports the opposition.

Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool all in action

Sheffield United vs Man City

Bramell Lane, Sheffield 

Saturday, 31-10-2020 @3:30pm

Ref: Michael Oliver

Sheffield United have never beaten Manchester City in the Premier League in eight attempts, the most they’ve faced any side in the division without winning (D3, L5). Their only goal in those fixtures was scored by Brian Deane in April 1993. Manchester City are vying to win four consecutive league games against Sheffield United for the first time since March 1930. The Blades are winless in six league meetings since a 1-0 triumph in the second tier in January 2000.

Sheffield United full-back Max Lowe is available to face Manchester City after passing concussion protocols. John Lundstram’s refusal to agree to a new contract is not expected to have an impact on his involvement.

Nathan Ake and Gabriel Jesus could be fit to return for City, while Aymeric Laporte is under consideration for only his second league game of the season. Manager Pep Guardiola remains without Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy.

The Blades could fail to win any of their first seven league games in a season for the first time since 1991. Sheffield United have equalled their worst record of one point after six league fixtures in a season, first set in the 1975-76 top flight. They lost their seventh league match of that season. They have earned a solitary point from their past nine Premier League fixtures since beating Chelsea in July. The Blades can match the club Premier League record of five successive home games without a win, set in 1993 and equalled in 1994. Manager Chris Wilder has won 99 of his 202 matches in charge of the club in all competitions. Billy Sharp is one short of 100 league goals for Sheffield United.

City’s total of eight points is their lowest at this stage of a season since 2014-15. It’s Pep Guardiola’s worst start as a manager after five league games of a season. The fewest points his sides have earned after six league fixtures is 13. Manchester City have conceded as many as eight league goals after five matches for the first time since 2006-07. They could fail to score more than once in four successive Premier League games for the first time under Pep Guardiola. Since the beginning of last season, City are winless in all seven Premier League away matches when they conceded the opening goal (D1, L6). No side has won more English top-flight fixtures on Halloween than Manchester City’s tally of 10 – level with Arsenal. Riyad Mahrez has been directly involved in 99 goals in 203 Premier League appearances, scoring 58 and providing 41 assists. Kyle Walker, who began his career at Sheffield United, is one short of 100 Premier League appearances for Manchester City.

Burnley vs Chelsea

Turf Moor, Burnley

Saturday, 31-10-2020 @6pm

Ref: David Coote

Burnley’s Johann Berg Gudmundsson is doubtful with a calf injury, while Erik Pieters misses out with a similar problem. Phil Bardsley remains unavailable following a positive coronavirus test, while this game comes too soon for Ben Mee and Jack Cork.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has reported no new injury concerns following Wednesday’s win against Krasnodar. Thiago Silva was rested in midweek and is set to reclaim a starting spot. The Blues will continue to assess Kepa Arrizabalaga’s shoulder problem, while Billy Gilmour is still recovering from knee surgery.

Burnley’s only victory in 12 Premier League matches against Chelsea was by 3-2 at Stamford Bridge in August 2017 (D3, L8). The Blues are unbeaten in all six of their Premier League fixtures away to Burnley, scoring two goals or more in each of their five victories at Turf Moor. The Clarets’ last top-flight home win against Chelsea came in August 1973, when Frank Casper scored the only goal.

Burnley could lose four consecutive Premier League home games for the first time since 2010. They are also in danger of suffering five defeats in their opening six top-flight matches for the first time since 1927-28. They recovered to avoid relegation that season. Sean Dyche’s side have won just one of their past 24 home league games against established top-six sides (D4, L19). That victory came against Tottenham in February 2019. Burnley have played 19.6% of their passes long, the highest percentage in the Premier League this season. They have scored just one top-flight goal from open play, a joint-low in 2020-21. If fit, Johann Berg Gudmundsson could play his 100th Premier League game. Ashley Westwood and Chris Wood could both make their 100th Premier League appearance for Burnley.

The Blues are vying to keep clean sheets in consecutive league matches for the first time under Frank Lampard. Chelsea have conceded 42 Premier League away goals since the start of last season, three more than any other club. Their six away league goals this season have been scored by six different players: Jorginho, Reece James, Kurt Zouma, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham. Edouard Mendy can become the third goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in each of his first three Premier League appearances for Chelsea, emulating Neil Sullivan and Petr Cech.

Liverpool vs West Ham United 

Anfield Stadium, Liverpool

Saturday, 31-10-2020 @8:30pm

Ref: Kevin Friend 

Liverpool are unbeaten in eight Premier League games against West Ham since losing both meetings in 2015-16 (W6, D2). The Hammers won 3-0 at Anfield in August 2015 but that is their only victory in their past 47 league games away to the Reds.

Liverpool are without Fabinho because of a hamstring problem, so 19-year-old centre-back Rhys Williams could make his Premier League debut. The Reds will monitor the fitness of Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita, who are nearing returns, while this game may come too soon for Joel Matip.

Michail Antonio is absent for West Ham but boss David Moyes does not think the player’s hamstring injury is “too bad”. The striker could be replaced by Sebastien Haller at Anfield. Deadline-day signing Said Benrahma awaits his Hammers debut, having not been involved against Manchester City last weekend because of a lack of match fitness.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have won 28 of their past 29 top-flight matches at Anfield. If the Reds avoid defeat they will equal the club record of 63 home league games unbeaten. The only club in the top four English divisions to have enjoyed a longer undefeated streak on home turf is Chelsea (86 league matches between 2004 and 2008). Sadio Mane is set to make his 200th Premier League appearance. Mane has scored in each of his last four games against West Ham, and has five goals and three assists in six Premier League matches for Liverpool versus the Hammers. Mohamed Salah has six goals and two assists in his six top-flight games against West Ham.

The Hammers have lost 21 of their 24 Premier League games away to the reigning champions, with their only victory coming courtesy of Jermain Defoe’s strike against Man United in 2001.  West Ham are unbeaten in four top-flight matches, with all of those games coming against opponents who finished in the top seven last season. Their only defeat in six Premier League away games was last month’s 2-1 loss at Arsenal.

The upcoming Premier League games.

Sunday, 01-11-2020

-Aston Villa vs Southampton @3pm

-Newcastle United vs Everton @5pm

-Man United vs Arsenal @7:30pm

-Tottenham Hotspur vs Brighton and Hove Albion @10:15pm

Monday, 02-11-2020

-Fulham vs West Bromwich Albion @8:30pm

-Leeds United vs Leicester City @11pm

Match-Day 7 results so far

Friday, 30-10-2020

-Wolves 2-0 Crystal Palace