OptiNews - Friday 24 to Thursday 30 November 2017

OptiNews - Friday 24 to Thursday 30 November 2017


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Official #SaintsFC Memberships are now reduced as part of a special #BlackFriday sale! Secure yours: http://sfcne.ws/OMBlackFriday

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@LeminaM_13 #SaintsFC fans can find out what’s inside the latest edition of SAINTS for the visit of #EFC: http://sfcne.ws/ProgEverton

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Sourced from Optimus trousers summary article summary

Summary of non-mainstream articles: 24/11/2017 01:23:58


| Soccer: Pellegrino needs a lift in crunch Everton clashREUTERS |
| | Southampton should hijack Aston Villa’s move for prolific 24-year-old strikerFOOTBALLFANCAST |

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Sourced from BBC article

New charge for accused football coach

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A former Southampton Football Club youth coach has appeared in court facing a further child abuse charge.

Bob Higgins, who is already facing multiple charges of indecent assault against boys, is accused of indecently assaulting a boy under 16 in 1984.

Prosecutors allege the offence happened between 14 September and 17 November.

Mr Higgins, 64, appeared before Southampton magistrates to deny the charge before being released on unconditional bail.

The former coach, of Litchfield Road, Southampton, is due to go on trial next year for dozens of alleged assaults against boys between 1970 and 1996.

A provisional trial date has been set for 9 April.

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Rickie Lambert confident Southampton’s fortunes will soon change

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Southampton are suffering a blip in form but former striker Rickie Lambert believes it will be only a matter of time before Mauricio Pellegrino’s squad improve in the Premier League.

Ahead of Sunday’s league visit of Everton, Southampton are 14th in the table with just one victory in eight matches.

Lambert, who netted 117 goals in 235 appearances for Southampton, defended the club’s recent performances and said it has become increasingly difficult for Premier League clubs to produce a string of positive results.

‘You can’t forget how fierce the competition is in the Premier League. Sooner or later you’re not going to be constantly going up. Eventually you’ll have a little dip,’ the former England striker told the Daily Echo.

‘The players are on it now and the manager too. Everyone involved can see they are going to start climbing the league.’

‘You might not be a million miles away, you might just be able to tweak it here and there and you can see the results change.’

Lambert reckons the team need a fighting performance to kickstart their campaign as they face a busy run of fixtures which will pit them against nine top-flight opponents before the end of the calendar year.

‘Sometimes it’s a performance when you’re losing 2-0 or 3-0 and you come back and draw or you win it, or you’re playing against one of the big boys and you beat them 2-0 or 3-0,’ he added.

‘That gets you going again and you go on a run. As long as you’re believing in what you’re doing it will turn and I’m sure it will.’

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Sourced from BBC article

Premier League predictions: Lawro v ‘Mans Not Hot’ rapper Michael Dapaah - aka Big Shaq

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Liverpool dominated the head-to-head table between the Premier League’s top six last season - but what sort of performance will we see from the Reds when they play Chelsea on Saturday?

Jurgen Klopp’s side thumped Arsenal in September but that is their only win against the teams around them in the table so far in 2017-18, and they have had heavy defeats at Manchester City and Tottenham.

BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson thinks home advantage will make a difference this time, though, and says: “I always expect Liverpool to raise their game against the big teams at Anfield.”

Lawro is going for a 2-1 Liverpool win - do you agree? You can make your own predictions now, take on Lawro and other fans, create your own league and try to make it to the top of the table by playing the new-look BBC Sport Predictor game.

Lawro scored 120 points in week 11, which leaves him in 2,277th place out of more than 270,000 users.

He will be making a prediction for all 380 top-flight games this season, against a variety of guests.

Lawro takes on comedian and rapper Michael Dapaah, aka Big Shaq, for this weekend’s fixtures.

The man behind ‘Fire in the Booth’ has racked up more than 51 million YouTube views and 20 million streams, and his single ‘Mans Not Hot’ is in in the top 10 of the charts.

Michael’s appearance on Fire in the Booth as Roadman Shaq went viral back in September.

Neymar and Gabriel Jesus are among the footballers who have been filmed singing along to it and Dapaah told BBC Sport: "It is nice to know they are singing the track.

“It was created for everyone to enjoy themselves. It is entertainment - banter and music fused together and it is great to see it touch different age groups in different locations.”

Dapaah is friends with Manchester United star Paul Pogba and recently played Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck at Fifa.

“He won by the skin of his teeth,” Dapaah explained. “But that is because he played Big Shaq. If he played Michael, it would have been a different story. I will get him next time.”

Dapaah is a former stadium announcer at Selhurst Park but his local side Crystal Palace are not the only Premier League team he follows.

“I grew up supporting Manchester United but I am a south London boy from Croydon so I still love Crystal Palace as well,” he added. “I am a bit split right now, in between the two.”

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

All kick-offs 15:00 GMT unless otherwise stated.

It was interesting to be at Vicarage Road to watch West Ham lose at Watford in David Moyes’ first game in charge.

I spoke to Moyes afterwards and he admitted that the Hammers did not play well. He was right, but they still had better chances than Watford did. It was amazing they did not score at least one of them.

It was obvious to me that the West Ham players are very short on confidence.

Even a draw against Leicester would be something to build on and I think the most important thing for Moyes in his first home game in charge is that they do not lose.

The pace of Foxes striker Jamie Vardy will cause them problems, so I am expecting the Hammers to flood their midfield and make themselves difficult to break down.

Yes, they will need to create chances too in front of their own fans but, as we saw on Sunday, I don’t think that will be a problem, and I don’t think Moyes needs to worry about the reaction he will get from the supporters either.

Going by their chants and banners during the Watford game - and also from what the fans I spoke to afterwards had to say - they are unhappy with the board, not him.

As for Leicester, they were a little bit unlucky in their defeat against Manchester City last week because they should have been playing against 10 men for most of the game - Vincent Kompany should have been sent off after two minutes for a foul on Vardy.

That was Claude Puel’s first defeat, in his third game in charge of Leicester, and the Foxes look exactly what they are, which is a side that are comfortable in mid-table.

Sooner or later, the improved performances we have been seeing from Crystal Palace under Roy Hodgson are going to turn into wins.

I just don’t see it happening against Stoke, though.

The Potters are also on the up - they have put together a three-game unbeaten run, and they are scoring goals again too.

Mark Hughes’ side tend to go on runs which are either very good or very bad, and I see them continuing their recent form.

Brighton look as if they belong in the Premier League - with the manner of Monday’s draw with Stoke being further proof of that.

The way the Seagulls came back for a point after twice going behind shows their belief along with the character and organisation I would associate with a Chris Hughton side.

Even so, for them to go to Old Trafford and get something is an awfully big ask.

Paul Pogba added a different dimension to Manchester United’s attack when he returned from injury against Newcastle and he galvanises his team-mates too.

United look a lot more like scoring when Pogba is in the side, and I don’t see Brighton holding out.

I was very impressed by Watford after watching them beat West Ham. The Hornets use the ball well, especially down the flanks, and they have plenty of ideas when they come forward.

Newcastle’s mistake against Manchester United was probably taking the lead. They did create another very good chance when they were 1-0 up, but Jacob Murphy missed it, and they were well beaten in the end.

That made it three defeats on the spin for the Magpies, and I do not think their manager Rafael Benitez will want to risk a fourth. I am expecting this game to be very tight, and the points to be shared.

Swansea are in big trouble at the bottom of the table. Many of their problems seem to stem from their transfer business over the summer and their failure to invest the £45m they got from Everton for playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson on improving the squad.

Nor have they replaced striker Fernando Llorente, who left to join Tottenham.

I thought Swansea manager Paul Clement spoke really well after his side’s defeat by Burnley because he did not try to dodge the issue, but the mood among their fans is bleak.

The Swansea players seem very low on confidence, in stark contrast to Bournemouth who have won three of their past four matches after taking four points from their first eight games.

That turnaround in form is not a surprise, though. We already knew the Cherries are a team with a lot of attacking talent, and when they play well they get results.

If he is still in charge, I am not expecting West Brom caretaker manager Gary Megson to try to change much about the Baggies’ style of play following Tony Pulis’ departure.

Tottenham bounced back from the disappointment of their derby defeat by Arsenal by beating Borussia Dortmund, and I think they will win this one pretty comfortably too.

Eden Hazard has been fantastic for Chelsea in recent weeks, and his side are on a run of four straight wins in the Premier League.

But the Blues are going to have to put together a much longer winning streak if they are going to catch up with leaders Manchester City, and I don’t see them doing that.

It is very close between the pack of five teams that are below City, and they have been taking points off each other all season - which suits City fine.

It will be interesting to see what the chasing pack do in January if they are still bunched together then.

Normally that transfer window is more about the teams near the bottom of the table but this season who the top teams buy - and especially who they sell - is going to make a big difference to who finishes in the top four.

Yes, there was contact when Everton striker Oumar Niasse went down in the area during their draw against Crystal Palace last week, but I think it was correct to punish him for diving.

These incidents are always going to be contentious but people have had enough of seeing players throw themselves to the ground inside the area and, if you want to stop that from happening, then you have got to start somewhere.

I think this could be the tipping point because now people know what they can expect.

Niasse will be suspended for this game, but even if he was available I would not see Everton’s poor away form changing - even against a team struggling for goals the way Southampton are.

The Toffees have taken only three points from six games on the road this season and, although I admire David Unsworth’s approach of always picking a team that has a real go at sides, I do not see them having any success against Saints.

Burnley’s good form continued with their win against Swansea last weekend, and the Clarets deserve all the plaudits they are getting because they are playing some good football too.

I am looking forward to seeing how Arsenal try to deal with Sean Dyche’s side, who are level on points with them in the table.

Going to Turf Moor will be a real test of the Gunners’ resolve after their impressive win over Tottenham in the north London derby.

Mesut Ozil was great for Arsene Wenger’s side in that game but his issue is not his quality, it is his consistency.

Ozil has got to hit that level of performance and influence in seven out of every 10 games he plays, not one in five - which he seems to do at present.

Manchester City did not play particularly well against Feyenoord in the Champions League on Tuesday but that doesn’t matter - they still won, which is what counts.

Pep Guardiola’s side have now won 17 matches in a row and they were never going to play brilliantly in all of them, but they have shown they can still get the job done even when they don’t hit the heights.

Huddersfield showed last month against Manchester United what they can do at home against the top teams if they get off to a good start.

But United did not turn up until the second half of that game, and I don’t see City making the same mistake.

From the last round of games, Lawro got six correct results, including two perfect scores, from 10 matches, for a total of 120 points.

He beat actor Will Ferrell, who got three correct results, including one perfect score, giving him 60 points.

*Foster and Cram both provided predictions on week one, but only Foster’s score contributes to the guest total.

**Anderson and Moeen both provided predictions on week nine, but only Anderson’s score contributes to the guest total.

Lawro’s worst score: 40 points (week four v Umenyiora and Bell, and week five v Non Stanford)

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Sourced from A tweet by SouthamptonFC tweet

@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

#SaintsFC and partners @SportPesa have today launched a new Kits For Africa initiative! Find out more:

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Summary of non-mainstream articles: 24/11/2017 08:25:30

| | Who’s to blame?FRESHSAINTS |

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Sourced from Southampton FC - Official Site article

Saints link up with University of Southampton

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The football club and the university will look to identify opportunities for co-operation and joint research and development across a range of disciplines. They also plan to organise and participate in other academic and scientific activities such as seminars and conferences.

The organisations are already engaged in a number of specific projects including research by the university’s Faculty of Health Sciences into preventing injuries and protecting players from arthritis in later life. This collaboration, which dates back five years, has been successful in developing enhanced treatment methods and improved techniques to prevent osteoarthritis as a result of sports injury.

In addition, the football club recently hosted a number of seminars and workshops led by the university aimed at football coaches from grass roots to professional clubs around the UK. The events, recognised and supported by the Arthritis Research UK Centre and University-based FortisNet, focused on the most effective warm-up exercises for injury prevention and how best to integrate these programmes into routine practice. The football club has long provided substantial support to the university’s arthritis work and proved a key component to the projects it has undertaken.

Building on this close relationship, the university has benefitted from the football club’s elite performance environment, enabling the university to apply theory and research on professional footballers from the football club’s world-renowned academy and first team squad. The opportunity to conduct pilot studies and trial innovative medical processes with emerging and established players at a successful Premier League football club has allowed the university to gather such high-quality data that its findings are now being applied far beyond the realm of professional sport.

Ground-breaking research thanks to this exclusive access has included a recent study into the prevention of hip and groin pain in professional athletes. Data obtained from this initiative has not only been recognised nationally but also resulted in the implementation of new trial warm–up techniques in grassroots and amateur sport to reduce the amount of time loss injuries.

The expertise of Southampton Football Club’s leading medical and performance science staff has also facilitated university academics to observe and learn from the cutting-edge processes employed on a day-to-day basis at the club’s state-of-the-art Staplewood Campus training facility. Through time spent working with the club’s performance and medical experts, the university researchers have been able to see and study the innovations used to prevent injuries and help players on the road to recovery.

Expertise of its leading medical and sports performance staff

Managing Director of Southampton Football Club, Toby Steele, said: “We are delighted to announce this new agreement and look forward to the projects we’ll be working together on with great anticipation. We’ve already collaborated successfully on several initiatives and it will be fantastic to build on that success across a range of disciplines in the future. We’ve discussed some really interesting ideas and I’m very enthusiastic about the undoubted benefits which will arise for both Southampton Football Club and the University of Southampton from the opportunities we have to work together.”

Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Southampton said: “Both the University of Southampton, a member of the prestigious and world-renowned Russell Group of universities, and Southampton Football Club, an established member of England’s Premier League, are at the top of our respective professions so we’re very excited by the prospect of bringing our two organisations together to work more closely across a number of mutually beneficial activities. There is a great deal of synergy between the aspirations of the University and the Football Club and I look forward to many more successful collaborations over the years to come.”

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Sourced from A tweet by SouthamptonFC tweet

@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

#SaintsFC’s Stores have launched their #BlackFriday sale!

Visit http://store.saintsfc.co.uk for up to 5️⃣0️⃣ per cent… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/933983534670340096

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Summary of non-mainstream articles: 24/11/2017 09:25:43


| European giants join Liverpool in race to sign Virgil van Dijk101GREATGOALS |

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The Ugly Inside News for Southampton

New content from (- The Ugly Inside News for Southampton)

| The Ugly Inside TV ! Saints V Everton Opposition View | Our friends at Toffee TV give us their opinions ahead of the game at St Mary’s on Sunday as Everton try to end a … 24-11-2017 |
| Saints V Everton ! Dan’s Preview | Dan is back with his thoughts ahead of what is a very important game for Saints when they take on Everton on Sunday. 24-11-2017 |

Older content…

| It’s Six Pointer Sunday !a day ago |
| Saints Board Should Not Act In Haste !2 days ago |
| Niasse Could Miss Saints Game After Diving Charge3 days ago |
| Sunday Needs Unity !3 days ago |
| Virgin Media Subsidise Saints Trip To Wembley To Face Spurs4 days ago |
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| Saints At Liverpool The Verdict5 days ago |
| The Ugly Inside TV ! Liverpool Game Fans Reactions5 days ago |
| Liverpool 3-0 Southampton - Player Ratings and Reports6 days ago |
| Pellgrino’s Honesty Starts Media Frenzy !7 days ago |

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@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

Watch live as #SaintsFC manager Mauricio Pellegrino speaks with the media ahead of Sunday’s game with #EFC: https://www.pscp.tv/w/bOaNQzMxOTB8MWdxR3ZZZFBhdnBLQkoUSDGXlwtk1Ei68xXgcxjVBEvmeDjQK5JmIAfPJ5R1

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@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

MP: “@LeminaM_13 has been training well this week. We will make a late call on him ahead of #EFC.” #saintsfc

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@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

MP: "Football is an emotional sport, we respect the feelings of the fans and we have to fight for this three points… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/933994836499271680

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Sourced from Sky Sports article

Has Mauricio Pellegrino improved Southampton?

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Southampton host Everton live on Sky Sports this Sunday with Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino eager for a win to ease mounting pressure - but has the Argentine improved the club?

Pellegrino replaced Claude Puel in June, who was sacked one year into his three-year deal despite guiding the Saints to an eighth-place finish in the Premier League and reaching the EFL Cup final.

A Sky Sports study revealed Southampton have had the highest number of permanent top-flight managers during the Premier League era, with Pellegrino becoming the 16th appointment.

But Pellegrino is feeling the heat already after winning only three games from his opening 12 league fixtures.

Ahead of their Super Sunday clash, we look at Southampton’s signings, style of play and results to evaluate developments at the south-coast club.

Mario Lemina has impressed since his £18m move from Juventus in August, but the Gabon international has missed the last three league games with an ankle injury.

Virgil van Dijk shone in the centre of defence last term but has struggled to find the kind of form that attracted big-club interest - having missed the start of the season due to summer transfer speculation.

The Saints’ second big summer signing was centre-back Wesley Hoedt for £17m from Lazio, who was widely regarded as a replacement for compatriot Van Dijk - but he has only started five league games so far.

In terms of key players at the club, winger Nathan Redmond is goalless to date and has also struggled to rekindle the form he displayed under Puel, having convinced England boss Gareth Southgate to hand him his international debut in April this year.

Manolo Gabbiadini burst onto the scene with the Midas touch after signing in January for £17.1m from Napoli, scoring four goals in his first three league games. However, the Italian failed to score again in the Premier League that season and has only found the back of the net on three occasions under Pellegrino.

In contrast, Oriol Romeu was voted Southampton’s Player of the Season last term and has been among the Saints’ top performers again during this campaign, as has fellow midfielder Steven Davis.

Under Pellegrino, Southampton have recorded higher levels of activity in the centre of the pitch with a 4-2-3-1 formation, primarily through Romeu, Lemina and Davis.

There has been a noticeable drop in activity down the right flank during this campaign. an area typically occupied by Dusan Tadic - whereas Puel tended to deploy Redmond down the right in a 4-3-3.

In terms of the stats, there have been few significant changes between the two seasons, with the exception of Fraser Forster making 40 per cent more saves and 20 per cent more throws per 90 minutes, on average.

Conversely, and most worryingly for Pellegrino, stats in decline include the number of goals, shots on target and assists - in addition to interceptions.

Despite the negative headlines, Southampton are currently on 13 points and 14th in the league - only one point off their tally after 12 games under Puel, when they sat in 10th place on 14 points.

The main reason for concern is a lack of goals, with only Crystal Palace and Swansea having scored fewer in the Premier League and Southampton desperately need Gabbiadini, Shane Long or Charlie Austin to hit form in front of goal.

While Pellegrino will be looking to quell speculation surrounding his future, Everton’s interim boss David Unsworth will also be keen for a positive result to stake a claim for the job on a permanent basis.

"I would have expected, by this point, to see some improvement from what we saw last season. It just feels like at the moment there’s not been a great amount of change.

"They say the definition of madness is trying the same thing over and over again and getting the same results, and I would have thought that after trying the same system with different players Pellegrino would have realised that it is the system which isn’t working.

"The main problem is the that the players behind the striker have all been out of form at the same time and there’s not been a lot of creativity on the whole.

"I would have thought the players we’ve got would lend itself to playing a 3-5-2, forcing Ryan Bertrand and Cedric to get further forward up the pitch and give Charlie Austin a chance because we’ve struggled to score goals. He’s the one player out of three, if the ball falls in the box, you’d go with to take the chance.

“Shane Long seems completely drained of confidence and, while he’ll always work his socks off for you, he seems a confidence player and nothing is going right for him right now.”

Which manager will come out on top when they meet at St Mary’s? Watch Southampton v Everton live on Sky Sports Premier League from 12.30pm on Sunday to find out.

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@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC

#SaintsFC manager Mauricio Pellegrino has confirmed that a late decision will be made on @LeminaM_13 ahead of #EFC’… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/934006430365036544

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Thanks for such a great afternoon :+1:t2: #SaintsFC

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Sourced from Southampton FC - Official Site article

Black Friday membership sale

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To mark the day, Adult Memberships will be reduced to just £15, with members benefiting from £5 off tickets for two Premier League fixtures, while Junior memberships are being dropped to only £10.

That’s a reduction of £10 on the Adult price and £5 on the Junior cost, with the offer open from midnight tonight until midnight on Friday.

To benefit from it, all supporters have to do is enter the promotional code ‘BLACKFRIDAY’ at the checkout.

Memberships can be purchased by clicking here, while details of all the benefits you receive can be found here.

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