As the Premier League season progresses, the anticipation for each match grows, especially when top teams like Arsenal and Newcastle United are set to clash in the very late kickoff on Saturday night.
This weekend, on the 24th of February, 2024, the Emirates Stadium will be the stage for what promises to be an enthralling encounter between these two sides, with Arsenal looking to keep pace in the title race and Newcastle looking to close the gap in their own hunt for European football next season.
Here, we delve into the predicted lineups, recent form, and key statistics to give fans an insight into what to expect.
Arsenal have been in splendid form, particularly at home, winning eight of their past ten home matches and scoring two or more goals in the same number of games.
Their recent performances suggest they are a force to be reckoned with, especially with a five-match winning streak under their belt.
The Gunners’ lineup is expected to be strong, with David Raya in goal, a solid backline including Ben White, Gabriel, William Saliba, and Jakub Kiwior. The midfield and attack are bolstered by talents like Martin Ødegaard, Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, and Gabriel Martinelli, showcasing the depth and quality Arsenal possess.
Here is our predicted XI at a glance:
Newcastle United, on the other hand, have faced challenges away from home, conceding two or more goals in seven of their last ten away matches.
Despite these statistics, the Magpies have shown resilience and the ability to score, drawing 2-2 in their last Premier League outing against Bournemouth.
Our predicted lineup for Newcastle includes Martin Dubravka guarding the net, with a defensive setup of Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schär, Sven Botman, and Dan Burn.
The midfield and forward lines are expected to feature Lewis Miley, Bruno Guimarães, Sean Longstaff, Miguel Almirón, Anthony Gordon, and Harvey Barnes.
Here is our predicted XI at a glance:
Head-to-Head and Recent Encounters
Historically, Arsenal have had the upper hand in their recent meetings with Newcastle, winning seven out of their last ten encounters.
However, Newcastle secured a 1-0 victory in their last meeting, proving they can upset the Gunners.
An average of 1.9 goals have been scored in these matches, suggesting a closely contested game could be on the cards.
What time does the match start? The match is scheduled for 13:00 on Saturday, 24th February 2024.
Where is the match being played? The match will take place at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.
Who are the key players to watch? For Arsenal, Bukayo Saka and Martin Ødegaard are pivotal, while Newcastle will rely on the likes of Bruno Guimarães and Anthony Gordon.
What’s the recent form of both teams? Arsenal have won their last five matches, while Newcastle drew their last game 2-2 against Bournemouth.
Any injury concerns? Arsenal and Newcastle have a few injury concerns, with players like Takehiro Tomiyasu and Gabriel Jesus sidelined for Arsenal, and Newcastle missing Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak due to injuries.
Jose Mourinho would love the chance to return for a third spell as Chelsea manager, a report has claimed.
Current Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino finds himself under immense pressure after watching his side tumble back into the bottom half of the Premier League table, with some inside Stamford Bridge chanting Mourinho’s name as Chelsea fell 4-2 to Wolves at the weekend.
Mourinho, who is currently out of work after leaving Roma in January, has spoken fondly of Chelsea since he left England, and according to the Daily Mail, he would “love” the opportunity to return to Stamford Bridge once again.
Alongside his eternal affinity for the club, Mourinho would relish a return to Chelsea for personal reasons. His family home sits just 200m from the Bridge and it is understood that his children still live in London alongside his wife.
As a result, a return to Chelsea would appeal to Mourinho, but it remains to be seen whether Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali will keep their faith in Pochettino, who claimed on Tuesday to have received a positive message of support from the owners after the Wolves loss.
Mourinho last led Chelsea in 2015 / CLIVE ROSE/GettyImages
Mourinho first joined Chelsea in 2004 as the first appointment of the Roman Abramovich era, and he won two Premier League titles with the Blues before disagreements with the then-owner saw him depart in 2007.
After successful stints with Inter and Real Madrid, Mourinho returned to Chelsea in 2013 and, with the likes of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas at his side, he brought one more title before leaving in late 2015.
Since managing Chelsea, Mourinho has had stints at both Manchester United and Tottenham, but he has never hidden his love for the Blues, describing them as “my Chelsea” in an interview with Sky Sports last summer.
“Chelsea will always be Chelsea,” he said. “Chelsea will always be big and my house will always be 200 metres away from the stadium so I want to keep listening to the sound of happiness and success. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be like that.
“Of course, my English connection is Chelsea. That’s the way I see things, as a Chelsea man after two periods of Chelsea and six years.”
READ THE LATEST CHELSEA NEWS, TRANSFER RUMOURS & GOSSIP
The early window to enter the transfer portal is officially closed. Barring a five-day extension for playoff teams, players will have to wait until the spring to enter their names in the portal. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the biggest portal winners from the SEC.
RELATED: Big Ten programs that won the early transfer window | ACC programs that won the early transfer window | Portal standouts zeroing in on decisions
MORE TRANSFER PORTAL: Latest news | Transfer search | Transfer tracker/player ranking (football) | Transfer team ranking (football) | Transfer tracker/player ranking (basketball) | Transfer team ranking (basketball) | Rivals Portal Twitter
The recent loss of star running back Quinshon Judkins stings, but Ole Miss is still the biggest winner of this year’s early transfer cycle. The Rebels came away with an embarrassment of riches, landing seven players in the top 100 of the Rivals Transfer Tracker.
Ole Miss’ haul is highlighted by Walter Nolen, the top player in this year’s cycle. Along with landing the former Texas A&M defensive lineman, the Rebels also bolstered their defensive line by bringing in two other elite pass rushers in Florida’s Princely Umanmielen (No. 11 overall) and Tennessee’s Tyler Baron (No. 69 overall). Behind them will be former Arkansas linebacker Chris Paul Jr. (No. 48 overall) and former Oklahoma defensive back Key Lawrence (No. 37 overall).
Ole Miss also added to its offensive arsenal by bringing in the No. 3 wide receiver in the portal in South Carolina’s Antwane Wells Jr., ranked No. 21 overall.
The Rebels know they have a window for success, and they capitalized on it. They should be legit playoff contenders next year.
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Missouri put itself in a position to build off its Cotton Bowl-winning season by making several key additions through the portal. None of those were bigger than offensive lineman Cayden Green, who the Tigers stole from new conference rival Oklahoma.
Green, a Missouri native, started five games at guard during his freshman season with the Sooners. He should also play a big part in the Tigers’ front as they look to protect returning quarterback Brady Cook.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers poached cornerback Toriano Pride from Clemson and linebacker Corey Flagg Jr. from Miami.
Look for Missouri to continue to make noise in the SEC moving forward.
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Georgia suffered some notable portal departures, but it was also able to pull in some talent as well.
The Bulldogs’ most notable addition is Florida running back Trevor Etienne, who will end up as the No. 2 back in the portal once Judkins officially enters. After sitting in the 700-yard range on the ground the past two years, Etienne should have the ability to take his game to another level in Athens.
Georgia also gave returning quarterback Carson Beck a tall target in 6-foot-5 receiver Colbie Young, who reeled in 47 receptions for 563 yards and five touchdowns last season. He’ll be joined by Vanderbilt transfer London Humphreys, who caught 22 passes for 439 yards and four scores.
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Alabama saw a mass exodus through the transfer portal this week following its Rose Bowl loss to Michigan. However, none of the Crimson Tide’s departures should sting too much.
Conversely, Alabama was able to answer two major needs by bringing in Southern California cornerback Domani Jackson (No. 13 overall) and Texas A&M edge rusher LT Overton (No. 24 overall). Both five-star defenders should compete for starting spots in next year’s defense.
The Crimson Tide also added Texas A&M offensive tackle Naquil Betrand. While the 6-foot-6, 340-pounder didn’t see the field for the Aggies during his debut season, he should provide depth to Alabama’s offensive front moving forward.
Alabama might not be done either.
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Another week, another defeat for Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea.
The Christmas Eve loss to Wolves was, shockingly, the Blues’ 19th of 2023, and it once again came thanks to a disastrous mix of frugality in attack and silly errors in the defensive third.
Mario Lemina opened the scoring for Wolves in the 51st minute before Matt Doherty bagged a 93rd-minute goal to seal the win for the home side, with Christopher Nkunku’s 96th-minute strike proving too little, too late for Pochettino’s men.
Here’s Chelsea’s best and worst players from the game, according to 90min’s player ratings.
Christopher Nkunku: 8/10
Nkunku scored his first goal in the Premier League / MB Media/GettyImages
Christopher Nkunku made his belated Premier League debut off the bench on Sunday and showed Chelsea fans exactly what their attacking line has been missing in the first half of the 2023/24 season.
The former RB Leipzig star immediately added some genuine quality to the Blues team in the final half an hour of the game, popping up in dangerous areas and finding space in a way Armando Broja and Nicolas Jackson could only dream of.
His headed goal was certainly a sign of good things to come.
Nicolas Jackson: 3/10
Another poor outing / David Rogers/GettyImages
No Premier League team has missed more big chances than Chelsea so far this season, and with Nicolas Jackson up front it is pretty easy to see why.
The 22-year-old mustered up a measly one shot on goal, completed no dribbles, lost seven duals and generally didn’t do anything well.
Thiago Silva: 4/10
Thiago Silva played like a 39-year-old on Sunday afternoon.
For perhaps the first time in his Chelsea career to date, the legendary defender was unable to roll back the years, instead looking slow and rather clumsy in and out of possession. It was a worrying performance, especially when you consider how much the Blues lean on him defensively.
READ THE LATEST CHELSEA NEWS, TRANSFER RUMOURS & GOSSIP
“It’s the Year of the Big Man in men’s college basketball!”
That was the phrase being uttered ahead of last year’s college hoops season, and for good reason. Heading into last year, with reigning national player of the year Oscar Tshiebwe returning to lead a cast that included Drew Timme, Zach Edey, Adama Sanogo, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Armando Bacot, Hunter Dickinson, Ryan Kalkbrenner and Azuolas Tubelis, the momentum surrounding the center position was clearly the headline across the country.
As a result, five of the 10 players named to the first and second AP All-America teams last year played the center position (Edey, Jackson-Davis, Timme, Tshiebwe and Tubelis).
But big men headlining college basketball is not a one-hit wonder, instead, it will be a theme in the sport this season and for many to come. While calling last year “The Year of the Big Man” was understandable, this trend is going to continue because as it stands right now for traditional post players, or most centers for that matter, it is more beneficial to stay in college than attempt a jump to the NBA.
Name, image and likeness.
The ability of a traditional big man to profit off his success and brand outweighs the benefits of going pro and either spending time between the G League and maybe the NBA, or playing overseas. Big men who are dominant at the college level can certainly get paid in both avenues, but the latter options are always going to be there. College eligibility is precious for players like Bacot, who told FOX Sports that he will “easily” make seven figures in NIL dollars in his fifth and final season at North Carolina.
It’s not a coincidence that Edey is the second straight reigning national player of the year who chose to return for another season. Before Tshiebwe did it last year, that had not occurred since Tyler Hansbrough did so in 2008, leading North Carolina to a national championship and cementing his legacy as one of the greatest players in college basketball history. That’s now the task for Edey, who looks to lead Purdue from an all-time low in the NCAA Tournament to redemption and that elusive Final Four run in the Matt Painter era.
So, not only are the big men across college basketball talented, but they are also featured in some of the very best storylines that the sport has to offer again this season.
[10 burning questions for the 2023-24 college basketball season]
With that in mind, we at FOX Sports present …
THE BIG MAN LADDER.
This series will be rolled out monthly throughout the season to update you on the sport’s best big men, featuring interesting numbers, exclusive interviews and more.
The criteria for our featured big men are as follows: We are zoning in on players who stand 6-foot-10 or taller and are making significant contributions for ranked teams across the country. This list can be adjusted as the year goes on. As Edey showed last season, you could go from being a notable big man entering the season to the best player in the sport. If someone’s impact calls for attention, we’ll add another rung to the ladder!
Edey’s numbers last season were simply incredible. When you combine those figures with the fact that he’s entering only his seventh year of playing the sport after not picking up a basketball until his sophomore year of high school, that makes his whole story even more unbelievable.
The Boilermakers’ star big man enters his senior year of college already in a class of his own, as he is the only player in the history of the sport to record 750 points, 400 rebounds, 70 blocks and 50 assists in a single season. Last year, Edey joined Michael Beasley and Kevin Durant as the only high-major players in the last 20 years to rank in the top 10 nationally in both scoring and rebounding in the same season.
Edey was a dominant force every time he stepped onto the court last season. He doesn’t have a perimeter game — that’s up to Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer — but the fact that he could somehow be better this year, something Matt Painter said at Big Ten media day, is wild to think about. How he handles ball screens defensively is a big key to Purdue’s season because teams will try to exploit Edey on that end of the floor with spacing. But overall, we should appreciate the fact that we get to watch the reigning national player of the year for another season in West Lafayette.
Bacot passed Hansbrough last year as UNC’s all-time leading rebounder with 1,335 and counting. Add that to the fact that he also owns the program record for double-doubles with 68, and it becomes quite clear that his career numbers are up there with the best to ever wear Carolina blue. But for Bacot, this upcoming season isn’t about what he does individually. All of those records are great, but as he told me in an exclusive conversation, it’s about charging North Carolina to a second Final Four in the last three years and shedding away the bad taste the Tar Heels had in their mouths last season.
When North Carolina reached the national championship game in 2022, Bacot became the first player in college basketball history to notch six double-doubles in one NCAA Tournament. He is made for the March stage. This upcoming season, his fifth in Chapel Hill, is about getting there again.
Hubert Davis has star guard RJ Davis back to charge the backcourt, while he and his staff crushed it in the transfer portal with Cormac Ryan and Harrison Ingram coming in from Notre Dame and Stanford, respectively. If five-star freshman Elliot Cadeau comes in and makes an immediate impact as a ball handler, watch out. This UNC team could get to Arizona in April.
In my opinion, Hunter Dickinson is the biggest name to enter the transfer portal in its history. The fact that a former All-American and three-time All-Big Ten selection, who has averaged over 18 points and nine rebounds per game in the last two seasons, left Michigan to go to another program instead of the pro ranks, is really something.
The fact that Dickinson is now pairing up with Hall of Fame head coach Bill Self, who is an offensive mastermind, is scary for the rest of the Big 12 and college basketball. Dickinson joins a Jayhawks program that is setting aim on a second national championship in the last three years. He joins a group that has Dajuan Harris Jr. back at point guard and fellow returnees Kevin McCullar Jr. and KJ Adams in the fold as well.
This feels like a match made in heaven between Dickinson and Self, who called the big man the best offensive post player he’s ever worked with.
[40 players, coaches who will shape the 2023-24 men’s college basketball season]
Filipowski was the third-highest-ranked recruit in Jon Scheyer’s 2022 class, but he quickly established himself as the alpha of that group, going off for 17 points and 14 rebounds in his third college game against Kansas. Filipowski’s versatility and length make him a tough cover for opposing defenses, which led to him recording 16 double-doubles last season. He could have been a top-20 NBA Draft pick had he left after his stellar freshman campaign. Instead, the Duke sensation is back with classmates Tyrese Proctor and Mark Mitchell on a Blue Devils team that ranks No. 2 in the FOX Sports Preseason Top 25.
Filipowski could go from a middle first-round pick in the draft to a top-10 selection if his jumper can evolve. As a freshman, he shot 28% from 3-point range. But more than anything, he’s back at Duke to lead the Blue Devils in their quest to win their first national championship since 2015.
Last season, Kalkbrenner joined Allen Iverson, Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo and seven others as one of only 11 players in the history of the Big East to be named the conference’s defensive player of the year twice. The 7-1 senior is an invaluable rim protector that has totaled 161 rejections over the last two seasons. Being a part of six NCAA Tournament wins at Creighton, more than any player in program history, he averaged 20 points and six rebounds per game during the Jays’ first Elite Eight run in modern tournament history this past year. Not only is he a force on defense, but what stands out about Kalkbrenner is his efficiency. He is adding a 3-pointer, but the way he can play above the rim and execute in screen-and-roll situations is tremendous.
Kalkbrenner led the Big East in field goal percentage in each of the last two seasons, and his 67% clip would be sixth all time in NCAA history for a career. He will be at the forefront of a Creighton team that is ranked No. 6 in the FOX Sports Preseason Top 25. When you combine the guard play of Baylor Scheierman, Trey Alexander and Steven Ashworth with Kalkbrenner, that’s a lethal formula. His presence means everything to what Greg McDermott wants to do.
Arizona head coach Tommy Lloyd, who has gone 61-11 in his first two seasons on the job, unlocked something out of his frontcourt duo of Tubelis and Ballo last year. They combined for 34 points and 17.7 rebounds per game, with Tubelis being named a second-team All-American and becoming one of the best players in the country. This year, Ballo goes from Robin to Batman in Tucson, and the Mali native will look to form a new dynamic pair with San Diego State transfer Keshad Johnson, who was a starter on the national runner-up Aztecs team last season.
[FOX 2023-24 college basketball schedule: 10 dates to circle, how to watch]
Ballo’s evolution has already been really impressive, having more than doubled his numbers from the 2021-22 season when he averaged 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, which led to him being named Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year. Possessing a 7-6 wingspan, Ballo is also an NBA Academy Latin America alum who led Mali to its best finish in the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup. His athletic ability and strength has always been present, but it’s the different ways he can impact the game offensively that is a direct reflection of what Lloyd and his staff are able to do with talent. The Wildcats will have a backcourt filled with options featuring North Carolina transfer Caleb Love, rising star Kylan Boswell, Alabama transfer Jaden Bradley, and returnee Pelle Larsson. Ballo won’t have to fight with Tubelis for touches this year. It’s his show on the interior, and that’s why he is a FOX Sports preseason third-team All-American.
Those numbers don’t look gaudy, but Clingan did that while playing 13.1 minutes per game, serving in a critical role to back up Sanogo on the national championship Huskies team last season. By every account in Storrs and beyond, the sophomore from nearby Bristol, Connecticut is poised for an All-American type season for the Huskies.
Clingan returned to practice this past week after missing the previous four weeks with a right foot strain. His strength, finishing ability around the rim and an emerging 3-point shot make him a really scary player for opposing teams this year. Is he going to be the next great UConn big man? All signs point to that happening, provided the foot doesn’t cause any injury flare-ups.
John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.
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Travel is part of life for footballers, and commercial opportunities have taken plenty of teams to the land down under in recent years, even if they are playing in exhibition competitions rather than the Australian league.
It is always interesting to have a peek at the kind of things the players do off the pitch, and the culture (plus the weather) in Australia is certainly different from that in Europe, where most pros still play. Encounters with kangaroos, jungle antics, and casino gambling are all part of the hobbies and activities that players have explored when they are in Australia.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Casino Gambling
Cristiano Ronaldo is not just one of the best footballers ever, he’s a global superstar and a household name. A lot of casino brands as well as other businesses have taken advantage of his mass following, signing Cristiano up as an ambassador. Multiple casino brands have done exactly this as the Portuguese star has a reputation for gambling at the tables.
This includes when the former-Madrid star is in Australia, as Ronaldo plays poker plus other casino games, and has been seen playing at the Crown Casino in Melbourne during his downtime during a tour, back when he was a Real Madrid player. He was in Australia for the International Champions Cup which was a pre-season tournament hosted by Australia and China. There were some big teams involved and Madrid played AC Milan, Roma, and Manchester City.
As well as being spotted at in-person casinos in Australia, many football superstars play online at a live casino in Australia to enjoy the anonymity of playing online but also be able to play their favorite games. They’re not going to get bombarded with paparazzi by logging into an online poker game or connecting to a live dealer on a casino site.
Australia allows casino gambling and there aren’t the same sort of strict restrictions we sometimes see in other countries, so some of the players who have been to Australia on pre-season tours take advantage of the fact that online gambling and pokies are widely available.
Harry Kane and James Maddison – Golf
Australia is the home of Spurs head coach Ange Postecoglu, and he took his Tottenham team back to Australia on a pre-season tour before leading them into his first Premier League season.
Star players Harry Kane (before his move to Munich) and James Maddison decided to take part in a round of golf, and when their friendly competition took a turn for the weird, they decided to share it on Instagram.
The bizarre occurrence they won’t have been expecting? A kangaroo boxing match right in the middle of their game, which the soccer stars definitely found comical judging by their reactions.
We know that golf is popular among footballers anyway and Australia has some superb (if roasting hot) golf courses that people can enjoy when they get some downtime, there have been many footballers heading to the links when not playing matches.
Heading to the Jungle
“I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here!”
This is a massive hit show and plenty of footballers (plus people related to the football industry) have been in the jungle to undertake the crazy bushtucker trials and the tribulations of weeks in the jungle eating rice and beans.
Among the players who have been in I’m a Celebrity’s reality show are Ian Wright, David Ginola, and Kieron Dyer, and they’ve definitely had some mixed experiences, with some of the players not really enjoying the experience. Ian Wright said about his time in the jungle:
“They let me down by not showing the whole picture of who I am. I’m never far away from feeling like I could cry. I have very deep feelings that I’ve had to learn to deal with, but I still have my moments.”
David Ginola was one of the fan favourites, and in a recent series, it was Lionesses footballer Jill Scott who gained the nation’s love, as she was named Queen of the Jungle in spite of being less famous than many of her competitors. Scott had only recently retired after winning the Euros with England Women, and since going on the show she has carved a career in punditry both for the men’s and women’s games, this was an incredibly smart career move for her as she showed her charisma and gained the love of the nation.
Footballers will be footballers, and you might not see many of them in Aussie cultural hotspots, snorkelling, or visiting the Opera House, but there are certain hobbies footballers seem to be drawn to including casino gaming and golf. Footballing A-listers like Ronaldo and Harry Kane draw a lot of attention wherever they go and Australia is no different, so there are always stories about the casinos they’ve visited or the games they’re playing off the pitch.
Saint Louis (Mo.) University High wide receiver Ryan Wingo remains the only uncommitted five-star in the 2024 class making his recruiting battle one of the most highly contested in the nation. Wingo keeps his intentions relatively close to the vest and maintains that he is still wide open with his recruitment – leading to much speculation about which schools really stand at the top. The latest buzz is that Texas and Missouri could be the schools to beat with the latter receiving a game day visit for Saturday’s showdown between the in-state Tigers and LSU.
Following his return from Columbia, Wingo caught up with Rivals to recap the game day visit and discuss where he stands with his recruitment.
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Questions have been asked over the scheduling of the ICC Cricket World Cup after the tournament opener was welcomed by thousands of empty seats.
For the first time since the 1996 World Cup, the host nation did not participate in the first match of the tournament, as England and New Zealand faced off in Ahmedabad.
The match lacked the buzz of a World Cup opener, with thousands of seats inside the 132,000-seater Narendra Modi Stadium vacant as England came out to bat.
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It prompted former England captain Michael Atherton to pose a question while on commentary.
“Do you not think it’s sensible the hosts should start?” Atherton asked co-commentator and Indian great Ravi Shastri.
“Because you’re guaranteed a full house and an immediate lift for the tournament.”
Watch every Australian Cricket World Cup match and other headline games live and free on Channel Nine and9Now
“Absolutely, especially on a ground like this,” Shastri replied.
“I understand you want one of the finalists to play or the former champion to play, but at all costs (you should) have a home team play.
“If this was India-England, you’re guaranteed a full house (or) at least 70-80,000 people, even on a working day.
“It just kicks off the tournament, gives it a buzz, there’s a build-up.”
Shastri and Atherton weren’t the only ones to notice the empty stands either, with fans on social media critical of the match being played in Ahmedabad as opposed to a smaller stadium elsewhere in the country.
After being sent in to bat, England finished its 50 overs on 9-282 with Joe Root (77 off 86) and skipper Jos Butler (43 off 42) leading the way.
Matt Henry (3-48 off 10 overs) and Mitchell Santner (2-37 off 10 overs) were the pick of New Zealand’s bowlers.
India, the sole host nation of this year’s World Cup, will not be in action until the tournament is three days on when it hosts Australia on Sunday night.
The Celtics are trading for former Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday afternoon.
The deal sends Holiday, a multi-time All-Star and All-Defensive First Teamer to Boston for Robert Williams III, Malcolm Brogdon, a 2024 Golden State Warriors First Round pick, as well as a 2029 unprotected Boston Celtics First Round pick.
Holiday was traded earlier this week to the Portland Trail Blazers in the deal that sent Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks. However, Wojnarowski reported that Holiday would be immediately shopped to several contenders as Portland looked to rebuild around its young core of guards.
After Lillard was traded to Milwaukee, the Celtics reported wanted Holiday to bolster their already formidable lineup with the now-reloaded Bucks looming. Along with Derrick White, Holiday will anchor one of the most dominant defensive backcourts in recent NBA history.
A career 16.4 points-per-game scorer, Holiday is often lauded as one of the league’s most underrated players and was the second-best player on a team that won the NBA Finals a mere two years ago.
By trading Williams, the Celtics lose significant depth in their Center rotation, with Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford as the only remaining bona fide bigs on the roster. Brogdon was reportedly upset with the Celtics organization after he was almost traded to the Clippers earlier this offseason, so his inclusion in the trade is unsurprising.