Babalade was patriotic, professional — Adepoju

first_imgRelatedPosts Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking FIFA ranking: Nigeria moves up by two spots, now world 29th Omeruo welcomes second child Ex-international Mutiu Adepoju, has described the death of his former Super Eagles colleague, Ajibade Babalade, as shocking and a great loss to Nigerian sports.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Babalade, 48, died of cardiac arrest on Friday in Ibadan. Adepoju said Babalade was a consummate professional who gave his all to Nigerian football in his playing days and even after retirement.He said: “It was a shock to me and everyone around.“He was a very dedicated and professional player who gave his all to the service of fatherland.“Babalade gave his all for club and country in his days, which earned him the nickname ‘Kunde’ because he was a strong hard-tackling defender.”NAN reports that Ajibade was part of the Super Eagles team which finished in third-place at the 1992 African Nations Cup in Senegal, with Adepoju also a member of the team. He also helped the Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan reach the final of the CAF Champions League in 1996.Babalade, just like Adepoju, played for 3SC.The former defender also played for the former Stationery Stores of Lagos, defunct Iwuanyanwu Nationale of Owerri, Africa Sports of Cote d’Ivoire, Strum Graz of Austria and Mohun Bagan AC of India.Tags: Ajibade BabaladeMutiu AdepojuSuper Eagleslast_img read more

NBA trade rumors: Four stars who could be on the move during the 2019-20 season

first_imgIt’s a fool’s errand to predict the major trades that will be completed once the NBA returns for another year of drama, but it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if these four stars spark lively conversations over the next few months.NBA SCHEDULE RELEASE: Opening Night, Christmas Day, star return games for 2019-20 seasonBradley Beal, Wizards2018-19 season stats: 25.6 points, 5.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 47.5 percent shooting, 35.1 percent 3-point shootingA two-time All-Star, Beal is a perfect fit on just about every roster. He’s a threat off the ball as a 3-point shooter, and he displayed improved playmaking with John Wall out for 91 of a possible 164 games over the last two seasons. His production and efficiency in 2018-19 has only been matched by some of the greatest players in hoops history. And Beal is also just 26 years old.Would the Wizards actually consider trading Beal? So far, the answer has consistently been something along the lines of “no, shut up about it.” Washington would prefer to sign Beal to a three-year, $111 million max extension prior to the 2019-20 season. Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski there are no plans to begin trade discussions should Beal decline that extension.Beal has two years left on his current contract, so Sheppard’s strategy is fine. But the clock is already ticking. Beal doesn’t have much help with this Wizards roster, and Washington is looking like a lottery team. That could be a major factor as he decides what to do with that extension.”I’d be naive to say I wouldn’t be (interested in extension talks),” Beal told The Washington Post’s Candace Buckner in June. “Washington is where I’ve been the last seven years, going on eight. It would be great to play in one place forever.”But at the same time, you want to win and make sure you’re in a position to do so.”Kevin Love, Cavaliers2018-19 season stats: 17.0 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 38.5 percent shooting, 36.1 percent 3-point shootingThe veteran power forward struggled with injuries last season, missing 60 games for a bad Cavs team. Love signed a four-year, $120 million extension in 2018, so there may be health concerns for the soon-to-be 31-year-old. Still, Love can be a terrific complementary player and elevate the right team from really good to great.Cleveland reportedly wants both young players and picks in any Love trade. That asking price feels too high at the moment. Perhaps a contender sees Love as the missing piece, but the bet here is he remains in a Cavs jersey to start the year before trade talks intensify closer to the deadline. Chris Paul, Thunder2018-19 season stats: 15.6 points, 8.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 41.9 percent shooting, 35.8 percent 3-point shootingAfter sending Westbrook to Houston, the Thunder were hoping to flip Paul for more assets with Miami emerging as the top destination. Unfortunately for Oklahoma City, the market for Paul is essentially nonexistent because of trade limitations following free agency and Paul’s massive contract. It seems Paul has accepted he will start the 2019-20 campaign with the Thunder.Paul is no longer in “Point God” territory, but he did average 15.6 points, 8.4 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals after the 2019 All-Star break. He also scored 27 points (11 of 19 from the field), grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out six assists in the Rockets’ Game 6 loss to the Warriors, which eliminated Houston from the 2019 playoffs. Let’s not pretend overpaid means bad.If Paul shows a little bit more of his old self in OKC (and doesn’t annoy his new teammates), he could become an intriguing in-season trade target. Salary-matching will be tough, but as Kevin Garnett once said, “Anything is possible!”D’Angelo Russell, Warriors2018-19 season stats: 21.1 points, 7.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 43.4 percent shooting, 36.9 percent 3-point shootingGolden State unexpectedly acquired Russell in a sign-and-trade with the Nets, allowing the Warriors to get something in return for Kevin Durant. As soon as the deal was completed, though, there were already reports the Warriors were simply treating Russell as a trade asset. “They got a 23-year-old All-Star, and they will trade him,” Marc Stein of The New York Times said back in July. “It’s just a matter of when. … (Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson) aren’t going anywhere. There really isn’t room for Russell. Obviously Klay is going to miss the rest of next season, so in the shortterm, yes. But this was really about the Warriors protecting themselves for the future.”Warriors general manager Bob Myers has rejected that idea, saying the team “didn’t sign (Russell) with the intention of just trading him” and wants to “just see what we have.” That’s an understandable approach, but will Myers change his mind once Thompson recovers from the ACL injury he suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals?How Russell works next to Curry could dictate how Golden State handles this situation. There might not be room in the family for a “Splash Cousin.” The 2019 offseason only confirmed what we already knew about the modern NBA: Lucrative contracts for the league’s top stars, regardless of the years and dollar amounts attached, can be quickly rendered irrelevant if a general manager wants to make a move — or if a player is ready to request a trade.Anthony Davis and Paul George wanted out of New Orleans and Oklahoma City, respectively; they both landed in Los Angeles. Russell Westbrook seemed like a lock to be a Thunder player for life; he is now a member of the Rockets. Team situations can change in the blink of an eye, and the constant worries about roster turnover are unlikely to dissipate. (At least David Griffin and Sam Presti control the NBA Draft for the next century).last_img read more

“YOU MUST HAVE A BIT OF MAORI”

first_img“HE MIHI” “Te mea a tua tahi he mihi ki te atua na na nei me te whakamutunga o nga mea katoa tua rua te whare e tu nei- tena koe te papatuanuku takato nei ki waho tena koe e nga rangatira ma- tena koutou e nga koutou katoa- tena koutou no reira- tena koutou no reira- tena koutou tena koutou tena tatou koutou katoa” “The first thing to do is to acknowledge the Lord who is the creator of all things secondly is acknowledgement of this building then acknowledgment of the land and of mother earth. greetings greetings to all distinguished guests to all of us assembled here tonight, greetings greetings to everyone” This is a rough translation of a Maori thankyou speech that Wally Rifle, the coach of New Zealand’s Mens 20 years side, gave officials, coaches and selectors during an NTL function. Wally, as well as Donna Morgan, coach of the New Zealand Womens 20 years, and Tony Lagahetau, assistant coach of the Mixed 18 years, are in Australia for this year’s Open/20 year’s NTL competition. “We’re spying”, chuckles Wally. “No, seriously, not joking with you, we are”, he says. The New Zealand trio openly admit that when they flew into Australia they thought they were on a mission. Video cameras in hand they thought they were here to spy, to sneak information back to New Zealand about Australia’s Youth World Cup preparation, about the style of play and the players. They thought they were here to do it all without arousing our suspicion of three New Zealanders decked out in New Zealand national uniforms walking around with video cameras. But their visit hasn’t gone as expected. “We have been blown away by your hospitality,” says Wally. “Welcoming people is something very important in Maori culture and we think you people must have some Maori in you because you’ve been so great!” “Everyone has been very hospitable and hopefully we get the opportunity to return the favour sometime soon”, says Wally. Tony Lagahetau describes his NTL experience as not only enjoyable but as a realisation of the strength and depth of Australian touch football. “The skill level that we have seen here this week is incredible, especially the Womens 20 years, it’s all very high and we’ve seen some awesome games of touch”, he says. “It’s also become clear to us why your Open teams and style of play is so strong. We can see it is played and coached in the younger players as well. It makes it stronger and well executed at the Opens level”, says Tony. They also admitted to being impressed by how professional the tournament and sport was run here. “Everything about your tournament is outstanding. Your ethics and professionalism,” he says, “everything from your uniforms, to where your selectors are allowed to stand, to your twin towers in the commentary box!” With the three coaches heading back to New Zealand on Wednesday, we have to admit we will miss their crazy antics around the fields, they’ve been a lot of fun, added another dimension to the 2004 NTL’s and we’ve been more than glad to host them. Bring on that Youth World Cup! Rachel Moylelast_img read more

10 months agoSao Paulo defender Rodrigo Caio chasing Europe move

first_imgSao Paulo defender Rodrigo Caio chasing Europe moveby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSao Paulo defender Rodrigo Caio retains hope of moving to Europe.Caio admits he underwent a Barcelona medical this month, though they eventually went with Valencia defender Jeison Murillo.He said, “Of course you get frustrated, but it’s part of football.”I think positively, it has never been easy for me and it won’t be easy now.”I’m staying calm and firm, knowing I have three more years on my contract at Sao Paulo.”I feel calm waiting for an opportunity and one day I want to play in Europe.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

14 days agoMan Utd plans to sign EIGHT new players

first_imgMan Utd plans to sign EIGHT new playersby Paul Vegas14 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United have plans to sign EIGHT new players over the next two summer transfer windows.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have had a woeful start to the season and currently sit 15 points behind leaders Liverpool already after just eight matches.The Telegraph says United are well aware of their need to improve their playing staff and will make a number of signings over the next two summers.One of those incomings could be brought forward to January too amid growing concern that a challenge for Champions League football could already be on the rocks. It is claimed the club believe they are “six players short of challenging for major honours” and the overhaul of players will be led by Solskjaer, who still has the full backing of the club.”Ole is looking at a three-year vision of a squad. It will be an evolution over the coming years,” a source said. “We are at base camp now.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

12 days agoMan City, Leicester watching Altinordu teen Burak Ince

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man City, Leicester watching Altinordu teen Burak Inceby Paul Vegas12 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAltinordu teen Burak Ince is attracting Premier League interest.Turkish giants Fenerbache have joined Manchester City and Leicester in the race to sign promising youngster Ince .Bayern Munich are also interested in the 15-year-old Altinordu playmaker but now Fenerbahce have entered the race.Yeni Asir says that the Super Lig side could have the advantage in the race for his signature as they have close ties with the Altinordu chief. last_img read more

Two criminals arrested for flaunting pistols ina videos

first_imgNEW DELHI: Delhi Police has arrested two criminals who posted their dance videos brandishing pistols in hands-on social media. They used to dance on popular music and gained sensation on a mobile app used to upload short videos. They have been identified as Shahzada and Akash, both residents of Delhi.Both used to roam on roads and enter into social functions with arms and brandish these to impress upon the other boys. They are fan of a famous Punjabi singer and also copied the hairstyle of the singer. They had shot a video, one week back, wherein they could be seen brandishing pistol at a social function. They hoped that more young boys would get enticed to join the Gouri gang and they can be their leader. On March 29, they were planning to roam on the roads while brandishing firearms but they were trapped by Special Staff/Dwarka District. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Both have girlfriends and used to spend their entire earnings on gifts to the girls. Lust for easy money brought them close to area criminals and they got associated to the notorious Gouri gang of Uttam Nagar. The gang provided to them weapons and the task to lure more youths to join the gang,” said DCP Dwarka Anto Alphonse. While one accused was found in possession of one Pistol and one live cartridge, other was also possessing one country-made pistol with one live cartridge.last_img read more

73 polling in AP TDP YSRC claim 3 deaths in poll violence

first_imgAmaravati: Sporadic violence marred the polling to assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh Thursday, reportedly leaving two YSR Congress and one ruling TDP member dead as the state witnessed over 73 per cent voter turnout.Incidents of EVM damage and stone pelting marked the high octane polling that saw a large number out of the over 3.97 crore eligible voters turning up braving the scorching summer heat.1 The election will decide the fate of incumbent chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and main opposition YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy, son of late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Other contenders include the Congress, BJP and the Jana Sena of Pawan Kalyan, who has tied up with BSP. Official sources said clashes between TDP and YSRC workers were reported in Guntur, Anantapuramu, West Godavari, Prakasam, Kurnool and Kadapa districts, but did not specify deaths. The polling was not affected in any place, they said. Police also did not confirm the election-related killings. Telugu Desam and YSR Congress issued statements reporting the deaths of their party members accusing each other of being responsible for the violence. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KWhile about 73 per cent of polling was reported by closing time at 6 pm, authorities expect the final figure likely to cross 80 per cent. The state had recorded 76 per cent polling in 2014. Polling was held Thurday simultaneously for 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state, in the first general election after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creation of Telangana in June, 2014. The ruling TDP raised a hue and cry over malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and blamed the Election Commission for failing to conduct the elections properly. Chandrababu Naidu went to the extent of claiming that 30 per cent of the EVMs encountered problems across the state, a charge the EC denied. All allegations against the Election Commission are completely motivated. There was nothing amiss with the electronic gadgets though about 0.3 per cent of EVMs encountered technical glitches, state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi said. The YSRC said one of its workers was attacked with sickles by the TDP men and killed in Veerapuram village under Tadipatri constituency in Anantapuramu district while another was done to death in Tamballapalle in Chittoor district. The TDP said its worker Sidda Bhaskar Reddy was killed by the opposition party in Veerapuram. Five other people were injured in the violent clash in Veerapuram.last_img read more

Morocco JanuaryFebruary trade deficit expands 47 percent

first_imgRabat (Reuters) – Morocco’s trade deficit expanded 4.7 percent from a year earlier in the first two months of the year to 31.39 billion Moroccan dirhams, the foreign exchange regulator said on Monday, mainly due to increased wheat imports. The north African country’s wheat imports jumped 60 percent or 2.548 billion dirhams compared with the same two months last year as the government suspended customs duties and introduced subsidies from the start of January to counter rising world prices. Those measures will expire at the end of April.Energy imports edged down 0.1 percent to 14.84 billion dirhams from 14.99 billion in the same period in 2013. Tourism receipts fell by 0.9 percent to 7.95 billion dirhams, and remittances from the 4.5 million Moroccans living abroad dropped by 3.3 percent.last_img read more

It Might Finally Be Someone Elses Turn In The Champions League

2017-18Lionel MessiBarcelona0.6970.4191.117 2017-18Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid0.9000.2191.119 2016-17Lionel MessiBarcelona0.6910.4161.107 Dele AlliTottenham3.0130.556 If Tottenham can get Dele and Dier back — while keeping just about everyone else healthy — there is enough talent in this squad to make a run.Atletico MadridChance: 9 percentSPI: 87.2 (6th)Status: Up 2-0 on Juventus going into second legDiego Simeone’s club has been here before. But with the big three weakened, the formula that has brought Atletico to the brink of a trophy in the past could now take it over the line. The statistical indicators are all the same, and the team has maintained its lockdown defensive style. Atletico has conceded the fewest goals in La Liga (17) and the second-fewest expected goals (24) despite allowing opponents the majority of possession (51 percent). The club has managed continuity despite the fact that Simeone has overhauled his midfield personnel, as Rodrigo replaced Gabi at defensive midfield and Thomas Lemar joined from Monaco to support Saul Niguez as a hybrid wide/center midfielder.What Atletico will need to go deep in this tournament is a second goal-scorer. Antoine Griezmann remains the club’s star forward, but he has had no support this year. The expensive signing of Diego Costa has turned into a bust; he has managed just 14 shots and one goal in nearly 1,000 minutes. But in the winter window, Atleti pulled off a coup by signing Alvaro Morata on loan from Chelsea. The Spanish forward had put up big underlying numbers for the Blues but disappointed with his finishing, converting just 16 Premier League goals from more than 21 expected goals. But for Atleti, he already has scored three goals and assisted one in less than 400 minutes. If Morata can maintain his shot production and the goals return, he and Griezmann should be a formidable strike pairing to set in front of that defense.LiverpoolChance: 10 percentSPI: 92.8 (2nd)Status: Tied 0-0 with Bayern going into second legLiverpool faces a much more dangerous second-leg match than Spurs or Atletico. The Reds solidly outplayed Bayern in their first match, but Liverpool’s forwards, particularly Sadio Mane, struggled to finish their chances. Now Liverpool needs either a draw or a win in Munich.The key question for Liverpool is its ball progression. This season, Liverpool has been highly effective at moving the ball up the field, ranking second in progressive passes and runs in the Premier League behind Manchester City.2A progressive pass or run is defined as a pass that advances the ball at least 10 yards beyond its furthest progression in the move or into the 18-yard box, and a progressive run must progress the ball similarly and eliminate a defender with a successful dribble. But the club has spread the responsibility around. No Liverpool player is in the league’s top 10 in progressive passing. Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri and James Milner rank 11th, 16th and 17th, respectively. Liverpool recently drew 0-0 against rivals Manchester United and Everton in two matches during which Keita didn’t play at all and Shaqiri and Milner made only substitute appearances in midfield (of 18 and 27 minutes respectively). Manager Jurgen Klopp needs to find more ways to get two of Keita, Milner and Shaqiri on the pitch in big matches to carry the load. Again, this is a doable task. Liverpool’s quality is there if it can just get through a high-stakes match next Wednesday.Paris Saint-GermainChance: 16 percentSPI: 91.6 (5th)Status: Up 2-0 on Manchester United going into second legPSG has an unbalanced roster. After an unprecedented spending spree in 2017, manager Thomas Tuchel ended up cobbling together a midfield this season by converting one of his defenders, Marquinhos, to the position. But it has hardly mattered. So long as PSG can at least contain its opponent’s attack, Kylian Mbappe and company will do enough on their end: It took only one chance in the first leg against Manchester United for Mbappe to change the game, outpacing the defenders at a sprint by several yards. Mbappe has married his incredible speed to a quickly improving perception of space, and his production has been unreal. So far this season, he’s outproducing even Lionel Messi, who has defied age with one of his best seasons in the past five years. Even accounting for the easier opposition the French striker faces in Ligue 1, Mbappe’s production has been incredible. Matt DohertyWolverhampton3.4620.282 2014-15Lionel MessiBarcelona0.7850.4741.259 2015-16Luis SuarezBarcelona0.8200.3491.169 Jordan AyewCrystal Palace3.3030.327 As of March 4, 2019The big five are the Premier League (England), Ligue 1 (France), La Liga (Spain), Serie A (Italy) and the Bundesliga (Germany).Source: Opta Sports Ander HerreraManchester United6.0990.287 NameTeamTackles + Int per 90xG +xA per 90 2014-15Luis SuarezBarcelona0.6520.5031.155 Gylfi SigurdssonEverton2.6190.349 2015-16Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid0.8680.2391.107 Lucas MouraTottenham2.8050.399 expected per 90 minutes Sead KolasinacArsenal2.9350.370 2014-15Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid0.8300.3211.151 2018-19Lionel MessiBarcelona0.7200.5411.261 2015-16NeymarBarcelona0.6240.5341.158 The most offensive of the defensive-minded2018-19 Premier League leaders in expected goals plus expected assists per 90 minutes among players with at least 2.5 tackles and interceptions 2015-16Pierre-Emerick AubameyangBorussia Dortmund0.8750.2401.114 With Neymar expected to return in April, Mbappe should have his primary creative support back in time for at least one leg of the quarterfinals (so long as PSG does not falter against United). The pair of them rival Messi and Luis Suarez as the best attacking duo in the world, and if Tuchel can maintain a structure behind them, Neymar and Mbappe are easily enough firepower to win the Champions League.Manchester CityChance: 24 percentSPI: 94.2 (1st)Status: Up 3-2 on Schalke going into second legHere is the favorite. With a one-goal lead going into a home leg against Schalke, City is strongly favored for the quarterfinals. Once there, Pep Guardiola’s side continues to look like the most well-rounded in Europe. The only thing that can hold City back seems to be injuries. The club went into a tailspin when both Fernadinho and David Silva were injured in December. These two midfielders, both 33 years old, remain the guts of the club. Silva leads the Premier League by a wide margin in progressive passing, with more than 5.4 progressive passes and runs per 90 minutes, and only Eden Hazard is also over 5.0. Fernandinho seems even more central to City’s success: He stands 12th in the league in progressive passing and leads the team in both tackles and interceptions. Guardiola has yet to figure out a successor to either player in the squad or a true replacement when either of them is unavailable.With its dominant underlying numbers, a weakened field and an easily winnable round of 16 match, City is just 540 minutes away from a Champions League trophy. If Silva and Fernandinho can just be healthy from April on, the Citizens should be the Champions League favorites.Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich are hardly out of it. But PSG and City rate ahead of them, and Liverpool likely will move up if the Reds can get by Bayern. With the traditional powers of European soccer increasingly wobbly, one of these other clubs could, with the right mix of quality play and good fortune, be the team to finally knock them off and lift the trophy.Check out our latest soccer predictions.CORRECTION (March 4, 2019, 7 p.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that a group of five teams, including Liverpool, had not won the Champions League before. Liverpool won the competition in 2005. Felipe AndersonWest Ham3.7270.340 SeasonNameTeamgoalsassistsgoals + assists Abdoulaye DoucoureWatford3.1750.377 2018-19Robert LewandowskiBayern Munich0.8370.2891.125 2017-18NeymarPSG0.6340.5391.173 2015-16Lionel MessiBarcelona0.7630.4591.222 2018-19Kylian MbappePSG0.9980.3631.360 As of March 4, 2019Source: Opta Sports European soccer’s “big three” — Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich — have combined to win the past six Champions League trophies and seven of the past eight. But this season, these clubs aren’t quite as dominant as they used to be, and there’s just a 31 percent chance that one of them will win it all this year, according to the FiveThirtyEight Soccer Power Index. The door is wide open for a new champion. So who will walk through?The SPI projections identify five other clubs with at least a 5 percent chance of lifting the trophy. But while it seems that change is coming to the Champions League, don’t expect a Leicester City-style underdog run. None of the five clubs that could knock off Barcelona, Madrid and Bayern quite qualifies as an “underdog.” Two contenders — Liverpool and Atletico Madrid — have appeared in three of the past five Champions League finals, losing all three. Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have never reached a Champions League final but boast massively expensive squads paid for by unfathomably wealthy owners.1City’s owner, Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is a high-ranking member of the Emirati royal family, and PSG is a subsidiary of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. Even Tottenham Hotspur ranks among the world’s 10 richest clubs, according to Deloitte’s estimates.So we are not exactly seeing a revolution in European soccer. Rather, it appears that the gap has narrowed between the big three and a larger elite — the next five to 10 best clubs in the world. Still, the Champions League is more wide open than it has been in recent memory. Each of these five teams has a real chance to break the big three’s lock on the trophy.Tottenham HotspurChance: 5 percentSPI: 83.6 (11th)Status: Up 3-0 on Borussia Dortmund going into second legTottenham is statistically the weakest club on the list. It also features one of the thinnest squads of the clubs remaining, having pressed youth team players like Oliver Skipp and Kyle Walker-Peters into service in key matches this season. With no signings at all made in the past two transfer windows, Spurs are not built to weather an injury crisis and compete against the world’s best teams at the same time.Health is Tottenham’s chief concern. Striker Harry Kane has returned from injury, but the club is still missing two key midfielders, Dele Alli and Eric Dier. Without either, Spurs have struggled to turn over opponents in midfield as the press of manager Mauricio Pochettino requires — Dier and Dele are the team’s only midfielders averaging more than 3 tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes.Dele in particular is key for Spurs, as he manages to produce as both a ball winner in midfield and a shot creator. No one in the Premier League with similar defensive numbers comes close to Dele’s shot production. Lucas Moura, Dele’s Tottenham teammate, comes in second in expected goals plus assists among players with at least 2.5 tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes, and but the gap between them is huge. Ayoze PerezNewcastle3.5150.337 Mbappe is having a Messi-like seasonThe best seasons in the big five European leagues by expected goals per 90 minutes plus expected assists per 90, 2014-19 read more