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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 26 May 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 26 MAY 2018 27 SPORT Madrid and Reds battle for silverware in Kiev "What I've also got in the book is a top 10 list of clubs with the most appearances for the Socceroos in 'A' international games," he says. "Number one is Marconi with 5.2 per cent and number two is South Melbourne with 5 per cent, while number seven is Sydney Olympic. So, you have two of the big Greek Australian clubs there in the top 10 in terms of Socceroos playing for them at the time. "The big clubs back in the 60s and 70 were Sydney Olympic/Pan-Hellenic and South Melbourne. Then you have West Adelaide who won the second national league title in 1978. They were always up there in terms of the big crowds and they were obviously the clubs that gave players opportunities.” Howe added, "Through the 80s and 90s, Sydney Olympic and South Melbourne both won titles and contributed a lot to the national team. Including players from Greek backgrounds and lots and lots of players from non-Greek backgrounds. It certainly wasn't exclusive to Greek Australians." * Encyclopedia of Socceroos launches on Tuesday 29 May at 5.30 pm at South Melbourne Football Club (31/36 Aughtie Dr, Albert Park VIC). To book your free place at the Melbourne launch, or to find out about upcoming launches in Newcastle, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra, visit airplaypublishing.com.au/prod-uct-page/encyclopedia-of-soc-ceroos In the 60s, Liverpool had the Fab Four, and they went on to produce countless hits in the music world. On Sunday morning (our time) in Kiev, Liverpool FC fans may be singing the praises of a trio of footballers who, up till now, have been unstoppable in the Champions League competition, scoring 29 goals between them in Liverpool's record-breaking 40 goal tally in the campaign thus far. The front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have cut a swathe through the most resolute of defences in the tournament so far. They could be the key to countering the advantage in experience their opponents Real Madrid will have in Sunday morning's Champions League final. The final in Kiev brings together two of the most storied clubs in world football with Real Madrid dominating the competition over the last two years, and looking to make it a hat-trick under coach Zinedine Zidane. Should the Spanish giant win, it will be their 13th European Champions Title. Liverpool is England's best performed team in the history of the competition having won it five times, the last be- ing in 2005 when they scored that miraculous come from behind win against AC Milan. Liverpool's manager that day was Rafael Benitez, and he has also managed Real Madrid. In the lead-up to Sunday's final, his comments were eagerly sought. He said "Liverpool's intensity can hurt you but Real Madrid have the experience and quality to match them. It'll be interesting. You'll see a team with lots of passion and intensity and a lot of pressing and crossing and fast counterattacking against opponents who can manage this kind of situation." If there is one advantage that Madrid could have, it's that most of the team under current coach Zidane have been to the big event and emerged triumphantly twice, before whereas for all the Liverpool players it will be their first European Champions League final. Klopp too is yet to win a European final. Benitez says, "Liverpool can do it. They have the quality. But sometimes in these kinds of games you pay for one mistake. It's how you manage the pressure. Real Madrid have been managing this kind of pressure for a while and Liverpool are in a new situation, up front as Ronaldo seems to work best off Benzema. But they have awesome firepower in reserve with Bale and Asensio off the bench. They'll surely test Liverpool's defence which has looked a lot more solid since the arrival of Van Dijk. The match promises to be an exciting match between two teams of great attacking quality. Kick-off is at 4.45 am Sunday morning AEST. Liverpool celebrating their win: PHOTO: CHAMPIONS LEAGUE so it's a fine balance." Much will depend on how well Real Madrid can manage Liverpool's ability to counterattack at lightning pace and how well they can defend out wide on the flanks. It will be interesting to see how the Reds' Mo Salah is instructed to play, whether he is given the freedom from defensive responsibility and how far forward his direct opponent Marcelo will venture. Likewise, Madrid may attempt to target Liverpool's attacking right back Alexander-Arnold as Roma did. Expect Madrid's Tony Kroos and Luka Modric to try and control the tempo of the game. Liverpool is a team happy to cede possession because they know they can transition with devastating effect. Madrid will probably enjoy more possession than they did against Bayern in the semi. Liverpool, on the other hand, will try and keep the tempo high and not allow Kross and Modric to pick out forward runs. For Liverpool, while their front three have rightly won the plaudits, their midfield duo of Henderson and James Milner have provided innumerable assists this season. Madrid are expected to start with Ronaldo and Benzema Kyrgios tests elbow ahead of French Open Australia's highest ranked tennis player and worldranked number 23, Nick Kyrgios, has been testing out his troublesome elbow in a tournament in Lyon, in the week leading up to this year's French Open at Roland Garros beginning this Sunday. Kyrgios has battled the el- bow injury since Australia's Davis Cup tie against Germany in early February. Undergoing physio treatment, rest and cortisone injections, he returned to Australia for treatment and took five weeks out from competitive tennis, only returning to competition last week to play doubles with American Jack Sock in the Lyon Open, to test the elbow before deciding whether he'll compete at Roland Garros. There has been some speculation as to whether Kyrgios will compete at the French Grand Slam event given that the tennis played on the slower clay courts is less suited to his style than the faster grass courts of Wimbledon, and that his elbow may not be ready for the taxing demands of clay court tennis. Looking further ahead, it seems Kyrgios will have a surprise doubles partner to help him prepare for Wimbledon after it was announced that Davis Cup coach Lleyton Hewitt will partner Kyrgios at the Queens tournament, the traditional lead up event to Wimbledon. Hewitt, who retired officially from singles at the start of 2016, has partnered a number of his fellow Australians in doubles events since retirement. Also preparing for Wimbledon will be Thanassis Kokkinakis who earlier this week missed out on qualifying for the French Open when he lost in a second round qualifier to Estonian Jurgen Zopp. Like his compatriot Kyrgios, Kokkinakis has also just resumed playing following a five-week lay-off due to a knee injury sustained in the Madrid Masters. Kokkinakis will now concentrate on preparing for the grass courts of Wimbledon, by returning to the French Riviera to train at the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy. Hawthorn Spartans on top of ladder clash against Old Xavs Last Saturday playing at home in superb conditions against Chadstone the Spartans won by 61 points. It was John Farah's 100th game, and the Spartans did not disappoint with a solid win against a spirited opposition . It was the Spartans’ best first quarter for the year and a 12goal first half laid the foundation for the victory, however, the Spartans will need to continue this against also undefeated team in Old Xaverians today. Three-time premiership player John Farah kicked two goals, meaning the Spartans are still on top of the ladder on seven wins with Old Xaverians, who are also undefeated. Ex-AFL champions Ang Christou and Ang Lekkas will both be playing for Carlton and Hawthorn respectively. Meanwhile, Nick Criticos is also playing his 100th game today and is the third Spartan to reach this milestone. HIGHLIGHTS • Winning another milestone game – so important • Seven goal first quarter, 12 goal first half was a terrific start • 32 scoring shots always should win • The continued good form of a number of players • 10 individual goal kickers will always be hard to beat • Ari Mitropoulos 7 goals vintage • Nick Criticos 2 goals – smart football • Only conceding 5 goals in the first half • Most KPIs achieved • Quarter by quarter scores GOAL KICKERS A Mitropoulos 7, N Criticos 2, J Farah 2, A Coignet 1, B Coutet 1, M Dabab 1, M Fox 1, A Mok 1, C Pana 1, J Rocci 1. BEST PLAYERS M Dabab, J Rocci, D Raponi, N Criticos, S Armstrong, J Papa, A Mitropoulos, B Coutet, M Fox. Today the Spartans play at Stradbroke Park (Burke Rd, Kew), at 2.00 pm against arch rivals Old Xaverians. Both teams are undefeated and this match will decide top position on the ladder. The canteen will be open. TEAM NEWS Liverpool predicted XI (43-3): Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Mane, Salah, Firmino. Injury concerns: Adam Lallana and Emre Can return form injury, while Joel Matip, Nathaniel Clyne and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remain out. Real Madrid predicted XI (4-3-1-2): Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo. Injury concerns: No injury concerns for Madrid, with the likes of Bale, Vazquez and Asensio expected to start on the bench and make an impact.
19 May 2018
2 June 2018