Paul Lambert has tipped Christian Benteke to leave Aston Villa this summer. Press Association Lambert brought Benteke to England for around £7million from Genk and he has scored 49 goals in 101 games since. And the Scot believes Saturday’s 4-0 FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal could have been the 24-year-old’s final game for Villa. Lambert, speaking at the Tesco Bank Football Challenge at Hampden Park, said: “It looks like if he is going to go, it will be this year. “But I had it every year I was there that he probably wanted to go, because he was playing that well, you can’t stop teams coming in with that level of money. “It depends how Aston Villa want to view it now. If Christian goes maybe they will get money to buy someone. But as a goalscorer and a player, he’s top class. “I saw it a few years ago. In his first year at Villa he was only behind Cristiano Ronaldo and (Lionel) Messi in terms of goalscoring ratio, which was an incredible achievement. “He’s certainly good enough. He’s only 24, he’s got years ahead of him. Okay he didn’t have a good game on Saturday but he is a top, top player.” The Belgium international is expected to command a fee of around £30million but Lambert believes he will be value for money. The former Villa manager, who brought Benteke to the club in 2012, believes the striker could complete a big-money move in the coming months. Benteke has been linked with Liverpool and boss Tim Sherwood, who replaced Lambert in February, has confirmed he has a “substantial” release fee clause in his contract. He said: “What is anybody worth now? You don’t know. Transfer fees are ridiculous for players you would never think would move for that amount of money. “But if you go by what Benteke brings in terms of his goalscoring ratio, he’s certainly up there if you are going by modern day values.” Meanwhile, fellow forward Andi Weimann is assessing his options at Villa after being left out of their FA Cup final squad. The striker could leave the club in the summer under Tim Sherwood’s rebuild, Press Association Sport understands. His FA Cup final snub is just one of the reasons why Weimann is considering a move after struggling for game time under boss Sherwood. Weimann was an unused substitute in their final six Barclays Premier League games before being left out of the cup final squad as Villa lost 4-0 to Arsenal on Saturday. Staying at Villa Park remains and option for the Austria international but he is aware his days could be numbered after falling out of favour, starting just once in Sherwood’s four-month reign. He scored four goals in 35 games this season but failed to find the net in the Premier League after November. Sherwood has confirmed he has told some players they can leave with the futures of Aly Cissokho, Carles Gil and Philippe Senderos also in doubt.
Press Association First up for the Co Meath trainer was Moonmeister who made a winning start over obstacles in the V Is For Vintage Show Maiden Hurdle as the 11-8 joint-favourite. Ridden by Luke Dempsey, the five-time Flat scorer made his challenge two out and got the better of long-time leader Rufino after the last to score by half a length. Elliott said: “We might look at a four-year-old winner’s of one in Galway. He’ll mix and match over the Flat. He schooled well at home.” Jamie Codd was in the plate for Fort Smith’s win in the J For Jaguar Handicap Chase. Codd was standing in for Bryan Cooper, who was stood down with bruising to his ribs after a fall in the preceding East Down Beginners Chase, where he was riding Officer Cadet. Elliott said of the 10-1 winner: “Jamie gave him a good ride. He was out walking the track so we had to go looking for him! “He won a bumper on Fort Smith so I was keen for him to ride him.” Dempsey got his own double when Abarta (11-1) reeled in Royal Chief in the Its Summer Time Handicap Chase. The runner-up looked to have done enough when well clear over the second-last but jinked to his left at one stage, briefly colliding with the rail and having to be straightened up, and as the pack closed in Dempsey’s mount got there by two lengths to foil the 100-30 favourite. The concluding bumper went to Willie and Patrick Mullins, with 7-2 second-favourite Listen Dear being pushed out to win by fully 37 lengths in the colours of the Supreme Racing Club. Gordon Elliott was in double form at Downpatrick.
Celtic earlier announced that the 19-year-old right-back would join the club on a four-year contract from Manchester United subject to the final results of a medical. The Switzerland Under-19 international faces competition from Mikael Lustig, Adam Matthews and Darnell Fisher for the right-back spot but Deila believes he can make his mark. Celtic manager Ronny Deila has told new signing Saidy Janko that the path to the first team is open if he can prove himself. Janko did not make a first-team appearance for United after joining from FC Zurich on summer transfer deadline day in 2013, but he played 10 games for Bolton last season after Neil Lennon signed him on loan in February. Speaking after Celtic’s 2-0 friendly win against Den Bosch, Deila said: “He’s a young player who we want to develop. He’s a very talented full-back and I’m really looking forward to seeing him in training. “He has to show himself in training and the road is there if he shows he’s the best. “He can play winger as well but his main position is full-back.” Deila is still looking to add to his summer arrivals of Dedryck Boyata and Janko but he would not comment on Celtic’s pursuit of Dundee United forward Nadir Ciftci. Celtic saw an offer rejected last week with Wigan reported to have moved ahead of them in the race to sign the 23-year-old forward. Deila, whose public pursuit of Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong earned a rebuke from United boss Jackie McNamara in January, said: “I don’t want to comment on any names. I did that before and I don’t think I want to do it again. “We will see. We are working hard on different things but we want to build a team with consistency. We have a lot of consistency in the team and that’s why the players are performing well. The players who are here are the players who will be the most important for us.” Armstrong and Lustig went off 40 minutes into Celtic’s win over the Dutch side at St Mirren Park but their fitness issues were not serious. Deila said: “He (Armstrong) has a dead leg, so that will be okay. Lustig hadn’t played for four months and his groins were a little bit tight. There is nothing to worry about.” Press Association
Manager Manuel Pellegrini is confident he can do that and has been pleased with how quickly the player has fitted in during pre-season. Pellegrini said: “He has settled in very well. He wants to come here, he wants to have new challenges. I don’t think he deserves criticism about that. “He is working very well and it is easy for good players to settle in a good team. I think we are going to have a very successful player this year.” Sterling is likely to be thrown straight into the action with Pellegrini having suggested that he may ease his four Copa America players, including star striker Sergio Aguero, back into action because of their summer exertions. Pellegrini certainly adopted such an approach with Aguero after his injury-hit World Cup campaign last year, starting him on the bench for the first two games. It proved to be a sensible decision with Aguero going on to score 32 goals during a prolific season. There could also be an opportunity for Wilfried Bony, who is now the only other senior out-and-out striker in the squad following the departure of Stevan Jovetic and imminent sale of Edin Dzeko. Bony has made a slow start to his City career, scoring just twice since his £28million January move from Swansea. Pellegrini said: “Bony is a very good player. He was very unlucky last season because he started with the African Nations Cup and after that he had an injury for about a month and a half. We have a squad and have to fight for four titles. I think Bony will be very important in that squad.” The England international will be the chief focus of attention at The Hawthorns following his acrimonious £49million move to City from Liverpool over the summer. Much of the headlines surrounding the 20-year-old in recent months have been negative and he will want to make a quick start in City colours to turn discussion back to his football. Raheem Sterling will hope to justify the fuss as Manchester City begin their Barclays Premier League campaign at West Brom on Monday. The trip to Tony Pulis’ West Brom, followed by next week’s clash with champions Chelsea, makes for a potentially tricky opening to the season for City. Pellegrini said: “All the games in the Premier League are very difficult, especially when you start because everyone expects to have a good season. Playing away is not the same to starting at home but we are confident we are going to have a good game.” Sterling’s conduct during his final months at Liverpool, as it became apparent he was looking to leave, attracted much criticism and over the summer he was booed on England duty and during City pre-season games. He could remain a target for opposition supporters but new team-mate Fernandinho believes he will take it in his stride. The Brazil midfielder said: “I think he is a strong character with the right personality. I remember seeing him in an interview talking about his determination to win trophies and I’m sure he will be able to manage the situation.” Fernandinho is confident the arrival of Sterling, and the further addition of midfielder Fabian Delph, have improved the squad after last season’s disappointing second-placed finish to Chelsea. The 30-year-old is also hopeful of a prolonged run in the Champions League. He said: “I believe the squad is strong enough to fight for both trophies and I feel very enthusiastic about our chances this season, especially in the Champions League. It is going to be my third season in the competition and (winning it) is something that motivates me. “The players that have come in are very good, but there is also a responsibility of the players already here to help them properly integrate into the team and allow them to give their best. “Personally, I believe the team can be very successful scoring goals. The biggest thing to improve is defensively. The attacking part of the team is very strong, and it’s about improving consistency in defence. “Of course that includes myself, as part of my role. I believe we have learned the lesson and I’m confident the new season will be much better.” Press Association
Wenger added: “We want to play out from the back so the players go into the game and they do that. “Once they lose the ball, they think they have to continue to play out from the back. That’s where the more experienced players maybe should have said ‘You can see that he is having trouble, let’s push forward so he can kick the ball into the opponent’s half and play off (Olivier) Giroud’.” “That is what I told them to do, but by the time they realised that on the pitch we were already in trouble.” Wenger will make a late call on whether Chambers will start at St James’ Park. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny both missed the game against Liverpool and remain a doubt for Saturday’s lunch-time clash. Press Association And he appeared to struggle in Arsenal’s goalless draw against Liverpool on Monday night after forming a makeshift central defensive partnership with Gabriel. “He has lost a bit of confidence compared to the player he was last year,” said Wenger ahead of his side’s trip to Newcastle on Saturday. “I don’t think it will have killed him to replace him. I did not sub him as I wanted to save my offensive options. “It gave him time to recover. I looked at how he started again, and if he does not get better I sub him then – you want to win the game and not think too much individually about the player – but he recovered quite well in the second half.” Chambers was called up by England Under-21s manager Gareth Southgate for the woeful European Championship campaign. But the defender failed to feature, and Wenger believes that may have knocked his self-belief. “Maybe not playing too much, and the under-21 tournament did not help him on that front as he did not play at all, but I think he will be a very good player,” Wenger said. “I have spoken to him and he’s a strong boy, a dedicated player who loves football, is ready to work day and night and he has the talent. He will be good player.” Chambers made an impressive start to his Arsenal career following his £16million switch from Southampton last summer. But after being substituted in Arsenal’s defeat at Southampton on New Year’s Day, the 20-year-old made only three Premier League starts for the remainder of the season. Arsene Wenger has said that he considered replacing Calum Chambers in Arsenal’s goalless draw against Liverpool and revealed that the England defender is struggling with confidence.
They will, however, go into the play-off first leg without central defender John O’Shea, who was sent off for a second bookable offence for a stoppage-time foul on Lewandowski, and striker Jonathan Walters, who collected his third caution of the group phase for a late challenge on the same man. Walters had earlier given the visitors hope of a positive result – a 2-2 draw at the Narodowy Stadium would have put them through – by converting a 16th-minute penalty after Grzegorz Krychowiak had opened the scoring, but Lewandowski won it with a powerful header three minutes before the break. The Republic are likely to face Ukraine, Croatia, Bosnia, Sweden or Denmark over two legs next month, but having improved their play-off record with a 5-1 aggregate victory over Estonia four years ago, they will hope to repeat the feat this time around. Keane, 35, said: “Look, we’ve been successful in the play-offs. “Having that hunger and desire, knowing that there’s a massive prize at the end of it, playing at the European Championships – some players never get get the opportunity to play in these competitions. “We’ve been lucky enough that we have quite a few who know what it’s like, the atmosphere that gets created around it for everybody. “To have a European Championship on your CV, that’s an opportunity the lads certainly have to be mindful of. “We all have to go on thinking we have a great chance regardless of who we get because we’re a good team.” With only three of the nine groups completed, it remains to be seen which of the third place teams qualifies automatically by virtue of their superior record, and which seven others join Martin O’Neill’s men in the shoot-out, but it is highly unlikely they will be seeded. Keane said: “What we have to do is to forget about it as much as we all can. I know it’s difficult, but we have to try. “We said at the end there, we’ve got a play-off and if you looked at the group overall back at the start of the campaign, would you have accepted third spot at the time? “People would probably have said ‘yeah’. “When you’re in with a chance and you think you can take second spot, then of course it’s a disappointment. “But I think that we have to try to move on as quickly as possible and try to make sure that the lads going back to their clubs, they’ll be fully focused on that, but that they have it in the backs of their minds that we have big games in a month’s time and we still have the chance to go to the European Championship in France. “There’s still something in it.” The defeat in Poland was just Ireland’s second of the campaign, and the goals they conceded only the sixth and seventh in 10 games. The Republic saw the opportunity to clinch automatic qualification for the Euro 2016 finals slip from their grasp in Warsaw on Sunday evening when Robert Lewandowski’s goal secured a 2-1 victory for the home side in the final round of Group D fixtures. Germany’s win over Georgia by the same score in Leipzig meant the world champions topped the group despite their shock defeat in Dublin three days earlier and the Poles finished second, leaving Ireland with the consolation prize of a play-off place. Press Association Skipper Robbie Keane has told his Republic of Ireland team-mates to forget the disappointment of defeat in Poland to ensure they make the most of their second chance.
Newcastle have appealed against Fabricio Coloccini’s red card in Sunday’s derby defeat at Sunderland. Press Association A statement from the Magpies read: “Newcastle United have lodged an appeal with the Football Association for the wrongful dismissal of Fabricio Coloccini during Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby match against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. “Coloccini was given a straight red card by referee Robert Madley in first half injury time following an incident involving Steven Fletcher, which resulted in the awarding of a penalty kick. “The appeal will be heard by a Regulatory Commission tomorrow afternoon and the club will be notified of the result shortly afterwards. “Should the dismissal stand, United’s captain will miss Saturday’s Barclays Premier League fixture with Stoke City at St James’ Park.” Coloccini leaned heavily on Fletcher as the Sunderland striker sought to get on the end of a Jermain Defoe through-ball just before half-time. Steve McClaren criticised Madley after the incident, which did his team few favours in their unsuccessful attempt to avoid a sixth successive derby defeat to their fierce rivals. The Newcastle boss said: ”It’s simple: he is wrong in my opinion. “Referees are part and parcel of the game and you control your performance – you can’t control the opponent or the referee and they can affect the result. And they have done today – not so much the opponent, but definitely the referee. The Magpies captain was dismissed just before half-time after fouling Steven Fletcher, an incident which led to Adam Johnson opening the scoring from the penalty spot in a 3-0 win for the Wearsiders. Newcastle confirmed they had lodged an appeal with the Football Association on Monday morning. “I have seen lots of challenges like that in the game, in every game and, outside the box, they are never given. It’s a double whammy – a penalty and 10 men. It made it very difficult. ”We need an experienced referee for this and I think he was a little too quick to make a decision.” Second half goals from Billy Jones and Fletcher sealed a victory for Sunderland which saw them move above their rivals, although both teams occupy positions in the bottom three above Aston Villa.
A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was investigating an accident on I-95 south near Woolbright Rd. Monday afternoon when a car hydroplaned and headed straight for him.The fast-thinking trooper jumped onto the dividing wall to avoid being hit, sustaining a broken ankle but no life threatening injuries.FHP is investigating the incident which was captured on his car’s dashcam.The trooper, whose name has not been released, is expected to recover.
They’re finally here…for now, at least.The showers and cloudy to overcast skies we are experiencing are bringing cooler, fall-type temperatures with them.Highs Sunday are ranging from the low 80s in Palm Beach County to the upper 70s along the Treasure Coast.According to meteorologists with our news partner, CBS12, we can expect a few widely scattered showers on Monday.The rest of the week should bring drier weather, with highs in the mid 80s.
A popular Chinese New Year Festival event that has drawn thousands of people to a Miami Dade College campus for more than three decades has been canceled.The reason for scrapping the festival, which has been held at the Kendall campus for the past 32 years, was provided in this statement on Friday: “In order to stand with the global family of Asia — especially China, the Asian-American Advisory Board regrets to announce the Chinese Cultural Foundation has decided to cancel the 2020 Chinese New Year Festival.”The announcement urges the public to “Please enjoy and celebrate the Chinese New Year — the Year of the Rat with your loved ones” and to support the 2021 Year of the Ox Chinese New Year Festival in Miami.The Chinese New Year Festival Miami’s Facebook page cites coronavirus as the actual reason for removing the event from this year’s calendar.A post on the page explains, “Due to the worldwide concerns regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and our concern for the welfare and benefit of all our visitors, vendors, exhibitors, and sponsors, the 2020 Festival Committee has canceled the 2020 Chinese New Year Festival.”Peter Liu, the president of the Chinese Cultural Foundation and the festival’s chair, told The Miami Herald that the decision to cancel this year’s event was due to expectations of a drop in attendance.Although the coronavirus was not given as the direct reason for the cancellation, he added that “because of unwarranted fears” the revenue loss from this year’s festival could result in “financial bankruptcy” and possibly lead to the end of the festival.Courtesy: Chinese New Year Festival Miami/FacebookThe event, which includes food vendors and cultural performances, typically draws between 3,000 and 4,000 people for a $10 admission fee.It is staffed by volunteers and small vendors, while festival organizers rent space on the campus for a stage and seating. The professional performers, in addition to police security staff and bathroom facility staffers, also need to be paid.“The festival limps from year to year and that is why financial stability is significant,” Liu says. “We have heard reports from many of our regular attendees that they plan to skip this year.”He estimates that the expected decline in attendance would have been about 20 percent from the normal amount, or about 600 fewer people.Although there have been no reported cases of the coronavirus in Miami, its impact on local businesses and on the cruise industry is being felt.Florida could end up losing as much as $1.75 billion as a result of the virus, with about one-quarter of that amount concentrated in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, according to a Miami Herald report. The viral outbreak that began in China has now infected nearly 35,000 people worldwide, global health authorities said in Beijing.There have been 12 U.S. cases, and one American citizen has died in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus.