BPL previews

first_imgAFC B’MOUTH VS ASTON VILLABarclays Premier League newcomers AFC Bournemouth are in the top flight for the first time in their history. Arguably the ‘smallest’ club ever to feature in the Premier League – they have a stadium with a capacity of less than 12,000, and just six years ago, they finished 21st in the fourth tier of the English game. Villa lost the FA Cup final 4-0 against Arsenal and have lost key players Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke.EVERTON VS LIVERPOOLLiverpool have much to prove as they look to find a top-four finish. Boss Brendan Rodgers has signed Manchester City’s James Milner, Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne and Villa’s Belgium front man Christian Benteke. Revenge could be in the air after the massive 6-1 Stoke win last May. VS WATFORDWatford are back in the Barclays Premier League and with a new boss, head coach Enrique S·nchez Flores, who played for Spanish clubs Valencia, Real Madrid and Real Zaragoza, and has since coached the likes of Valencia, Benfica (Portugal) and AtlÈtico Madrid. He faces fellow Spaniard Roberto MartÌnez, whose Everton side struggled last season, finishing in 11th place, their lowest placing since 2005-06.LEICESTER CITY VS SUNDERLANDAfter keeping Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League last term, interim boss Dick Advocaat said he was returning to Holland. Fans persuaded him to change his mind and now he takes his side to another team that just survived relegation after a remarkable run of seven wins and a draw from their last nine. But while Leicester survived, manager Nigel Pearson did not and so former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri takes charge for the first time.NORWICH CITY VS CRYSTAL PALACENorwich are back in the Premier League and, under manager Alex Neil hopes are high that the Canaries will retain their status. Palace brought in Alan Pardew as their boss in early 2014 and his record is impressive with the club finishing in 12th spot. Palace last won at Norwich in 2010.NEWCASTLE VS SOUTHAMPTONNewcastle have a new boss in former England manager Steve McClaren and after the poor season they suffered last term they will be keen to make a mark even if the jury is out on their manager. Saints are unbeaten in their last four against the Magpies, winning the last three.STOKE CITYlast_img read more

Labours Corbyn questions evidence pointing at Iran in tanker attacks urges restraint

first_imgBritain’s opposition Labour Party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn gives a speech in central London, April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay London best pest control The leader of Britain’s main opposition party has questioned whether the government had evidence to back up its accusations that Iran was behind attacks on oil tankers in the entrance to the Gulf, and warned against escalating tensions.center_img Britain on Friday joined the United States in blaming Iran for attacks on two tankers, raising fears of a broader military confrontation in a vital passageway for the world’s oil industry.Iran has denied any involvement.“Without credible evidence about the tanker attacks, the government’s rhetoric will only increase the threat of war,” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote on Twitter late on Friday.“Britain should act to ease tensions in the Gulf, not fuel a military escalation that began with US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement,” he added,” he said, referring to Washington’s withdrawal from a 2015 pact to curb Tehran’s nuclear plans.Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, who is one of the leading candidates to succeed British Prime Minister Theresa May after she announced she would step down, described Corbyn’s comments as “pathetic and predictable.”“Why can he never bring himself to back British allies, British intelligence or British interests?,” Hunt said.On Friday, the United States released video footage they say shows Iranian special forces removing an unexploded mine from one of the tankers.Dominic Raab, another candidate to be the next Conservative leader, said Corbyn’s comments show he is unfit to lead Britain.“Corbyn allows his anti-American prejudice to skew his moral compass and political judgment,” he said.Corbyn last year was criticized by opponents and lawmakers in his own party after he questioned the government’s decision to blame Russia for a nerve toxin attack on a former double agent in England.The shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, said on Saturday that independent evidence should be brought forward that shows who was responsible for the attacks but warned the government from getting dragged into a large-scale war.Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today, Thornberry said “these are extremely dangerous developments and we really have to pause and think about where we are going next” and that there are times when the government should not follow the U.S.“We made a dreadful mistake when it came to Iraq and we must not make the same mistake again,” she said.On Friday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that a video provided by the U.S. was not sufficient to prove that Iran was behind the tanker attacks.U.S. President Donald Trump has blamed Iran for the attacks, citing a U.S. Central Command video that purports to show a patrol boat with personnel docked near one of the oil tankers.Dozens of crew members on Friday were rescued after the Japanese Kokuka Courageous and Norwegian Front Altair oil tankers burst into flames as they were passing through the Strait of Hormuz and entering the Gulf of Oman.last_img read more