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Leicester’s title surge built on simple foundations

first_imgOnce derided as the tinkerman while in charge of Chelsea, Claudio Ranieri’s secret for Leicester City’s Premier League title charge this season is astonishingly straightforward – a settled team that virtually picks itself.The statistics tell the tale – after 31 games Leicester have used only 18 players in their starting line-ups.To put that into perspective, title rivals Tottenham Hotspur, five points adrift of Ranieri’s men, have used 20 players, Arsenal 23, Manchester City 22 and United 26, according to www.stats.com.While other managers rotate their squads, sometimes, but not always, to cope with demands in Europe, stability has been at the core of Leicester’s relentless consistency.The spine of the team, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, defensive rocks Wes Morgan and Robert Huth, midfield workhorses Marc Albrighton and Danny Drinkwater and 35-goal striking duo Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, have started 29 or more league games while French midfielder N’Golo Kante has started 26.It has been a different story for the chasing pack – Tottenham have just four players who have started at least 29 games, while there are none who have reached that mark from Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs.A year ago football followers would have struggled to name half of Leicester’s team. They can now reel it off, just as they could the great Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa sides who claimed titles using 20 or less players.Manchester United were the last side to win the Premier League using 20 or fewer starters, in 2002-03.Former West Ham United striker Paolo Di Canio said Ranieri’s clarity of thought has been key.“He understands how to put the right players in the right position and they give everything for the team,” he says of his fellow Italian. “That is the magic combination.“Then some players are giving 200 per cent of their potential every game. That is fantastic.”UNSUNG HEROESLeicester’s playing style is as simple as Ranieri’s team selections. They rely on the old fashioned virtues of work rate, no-nonsense defending and speedy attacks.While Vardy and Mahrez have grabbed the headlines, Leicester’s defenders are the unsung heroes – protecting the lead on 17 of the 21 occasions Leicester scored first.Four of Leicester’s last five games have resulted in 1-0 wins with 13 of their victories so far by the odd goal, proof of their ability to shackle opposing forward lines and protect Schmeichel who on average makes just 2.63 saves per game.Leicester defend from the top back and in Kante, a £5.6 million bargain from French club Caen, have a defensive shield in the mould of Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets.He has made a league-leading 132 tackles this season and is second in interceptions and has struck up a telepathic understanding with new England cap Drinkwater.Ranieri has not tinkered but acted when it was needed in September after conceding five goals at home to Arsenal.He replaced Ritchie De Laet and Jeff Schlupp with Danny Simpson and Christian Fuchs, a move that worked wonders.Having leaked 19 goals in their first 11 matches, they have conceded just 12 since.At the other end of the pitch Leicester have struck 54 goals, second only to Tottenham’s 56, but unlike their north London title rivals they have shunned possession.They average 44.8 per cent this season with 334 completed passes per match (the third lowest in the top flight).Purists might scoff but once the Foxes do have the ball their transition from defence to attack is lethal thanks to the guile of Mahrez and the pace of Vardy.Tellingly 35 per cent of their goal attempts are on target and their 13 per cent conversion rate is the best in the league.“They play simple football but in a fantastic way,” Di Canio said. “I am proud of Ranieri. He’s done an incredible job.“Whatever happens they will have to make a monument at the front of the stadium for him.”last_img read more

Rooney keen to focus on football after competitive Everton return

first_imgPhoto: Getty Images (Everton striker Wayne Rooney argues with the referee on his second competitive debut for the club) Rooney played the full 90 minutes, but struggled to find space up front before dropping into a deeper role following the introduction of Sandro Ramirez in the second half.Leighton Baines came up with a deflected winner to give Everton a slim advantage ahead of next week’s second leg in the third round of qualifying and Rooney is ready to move on after his second debut at Goodison Park.”Great day obviously, I’ve been looking forward to it and I’m pleased we got the win in a tough game,” Rooney said to ITV. “We’re early on in pre-season and we know we can play better but it was important to get the win and a clean sheet. I think we got more control of the game when I came deep into some pockets to drag the midfield around and give us space. But getting the goal gave us relief and control.”I’ve said everything in the last few weeks but it’s great to be out there in a blue shirt. It’s a great feeling but the game is the most important thing. “I put my emotions to one side and now I can get down to focusing more on the football in the coming weeks.”| @WayneRooney and @DavyKlaassen both start. Their last competitive games were on opposing sides in last season’s @EuropaLeague final. pic.twitter.com/7vnejR3eE5— Everton (@Everton) July 27, 2017Boss Ronald Koeman was satisfied with Rooney’s performance, despite the former Manchester United captain wasting a couple of opportunities in front of goal.”It’s always difficult because there were a lot of defenders around him”, the Dutchman told ITV. “He had a good first touch and he had more freedom when Sandro came in and the team got better in the second half.”We know that we’d like to sign another striker, we have Sandro as a nine and normally you will have two in the squad. I’m still confident we can bring in a new one to make us stronger.”The stubborn Slovakian outfit made life tough for Everton, but Koeman remains confident his side will be in the Europa League play-offs.”It’s always difficult against teams that drop back. We know we aren’t 100 per cent yet as we’re in pre-season,” Koeman said. “So it’s a good result. We’d like to score more goals, we had chances, but every clean sheet in European football is a great result.”It’s still 90 minutes to play and we know it will be tough away but they will have to be a little more open to score at least one goal. We’ll have more space to play and I’m confident that we can get through in this tournament.”| @sandroramirez9 speaks about his competitive #EFC debut. #EFCmatchday pic.twitter.com/evdE1tt2Tf— Everton (@Everton) July 27, 2017last_img read more

Latin expression

first_imgSatiricus was in awe at nature’s fury. He looked at the pictures of the Atlantic waves hitting the sea wall and careening 30 feet into the air and fell mute. As he ambled over to the Back Street Bar, he just couldn’t shake the image from his mind.“Imagine if that wave fell on my head!” Satiricus exclaimed as he sat down and accepted a beer from the waitress.“Me know yuh a think ‘bout dem wave pan de sea wall!” grinned Bungi. “Da jus’ Gaad a play Phagwah wid dem Wes’ Coas’ people!!”“Well if Gaad bin a play Phagwah, look like he prappa vex!” observed Cappo, who hadn’t quite gotten the abeer out from his hands and face.“Yep!” said Hari. “He’s saying ‘If you want water, tek water!!”“Talkin’ about ‘vex”, a wha’ mek Rum Jhaat suh vex de adda day?” Bungi asked Satiricus, who was polishing off his beer.“You mean when he told those reporters, ‘Hall yuh ass’?” asked Satiricus with a smile.“Yeah,” answered Bungi as the other fellas looked on with interest.“Budday! I told you fellas before,” said Satiricus. “The man isn’t angry when he uses that term!”“C’mon Sato,” said Hari. “You know he was teed off at those reporters asking him an inconvenient question.”“Naah!” said Satiricus, who was in a good mood after the Holi festivities. “Rum Jhaat is a highly trained lawyer and that is a Latin term.”“Na mek joke wid abee,” said Cappo scoffingly. “De man cuss dem reporta!”“Yeah,” affirmed Bungi. “’E cyaan tek crank up!”“OK, Sato,” said Hari resignedly. “What did Rum Jhaat say in Latin?”“Well, the word “ass” is an abbreviation of the Latin word, “asser”, pontificated Satiricus. “Meaning ‘bar”!”“Suh Rum Jhaat tell dem reporta fuh “hall dem bar”?” asked Cappo incredulously.“That’s right!” announced Satiricus. “Rum Jhaat was going to his car and they were “barring” his way!”“What about this Latin, Sato?” laughed Hari. “You and Rum Jhaat full a Sh*t!!”They all drank to that.last_img read more

GoL Imposes US$100K Fine on LAC

first_imgThe Liberian government has imposed a fine of US$100K on the Liberia Agricultural Company due to security breaches that led to the deaths of six employees, as well as inflicting eleven others with serious injuries.Speaking to newsmen on Thursday at the Ministry of Information’s regular press briefing in Monrovia, Labor Minister Neto Zarzar Lighe said “The money is to be paid within 30 days and LAC is further directed to fully comply with the labor laws of Liberia and relevant regulations regarding compensation and other benefits to the victims of this incident.” He said the explosion that caused the deaths and injuries was due to negligence that also caused mechanical failure with underlying factors that gave rise to the explosion.According to him, the Ministry of Labour is convinced that the recklessness and lack of appropriate occupational safety and health programs on the plantation, exacerbated by inadequate supervision to ensure compliance with applicable laws and industrial best practices, is the direct and proximate cause of the explosion for which LAC must bear the ultimate responsibility.He mandated that “each family of the deceased employees receive US$4,500 in cash and in kind to cover funeral and burial expenses.  Children of the deceased employees should receive US$75.00 per family for the first semester to assist them with  school preparations while each of the injured employees should receive US$25.00.”Mr. Lighe said apart from the benefits that will be paid to the beneficiaries of the deceased employees, LAC will provide free education up to high school in the LAC high school system for the children of deceased employees.“Spouses of the deceased employees will be allowed to remain in their houses on the plantation to accommodate them and their children if they are desirous to remain on the plantation,” Minister Lighe added.He stressed that the LAC management should provide adequate and appropriate benefits to the families of those who lost their lives as a result of the accident.The Minister named the factors that caused the explosion as increase in the amount of steam going into the dryer due to alternation in the size of the pipe that limited the amount of the steam without reference to the manufacturer’s specifications and taking into account the capacity and integrity of the tank.He also said a decrease in the amount of steam leaving the condensate tank to obstruction created by the insertion of a cylinder in the vent pipe thus creating excessive heat or pressure build up within the condensate which may have caused the explosion.According to him, “There is no safety and health program as required by the concession agreement in line with the Ministry of Labour and Industry best practices.”  “We also observed from the accident scene that there was no emergency preparedness and evacuation plans, nor was  there any dressing room or locker room designated for male and female workers to change from regular clothes to factory attires prior to the work.He said applicable programs to ensure safety must include employee safety and health, handbook, hazard and high energy lockout, among others.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

PVL: PetroGazz pounces on tired Army for bounce back win

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ “Air Force and Army just played in a one-week tournament and we just took advantage of that because we know they haven’t recovered yet,” said Laniog in Filipino.Jeanette Panaga finished with 13 points for the Angels while Jovielyn Prado added 12 with Paneng Mercado and Sabete each pitching in nine points.Royse Tubino had 10 points to lead the Lady Troopers.ADVERTISEMENT MANILA, Philippines—PetroGazz got into even ground after a rousing win over Philippine Army, 25-15, 25-15, 25-19, in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Center.ADVERTISEMENT Stefanos Tsitsipas to US Open umpire in tirade: ‘You’re all weirdos!’ Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu PLAY LIST 03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption02:48ABS-CBN franchise has ‘natural deadline,’ no need for quo warranto — Gatchalian03:06Tahimik, Mapanganib | Jong Manlapaz00:49Sweet! Indian bakers make world’s ‘longest’ cake02:44Gatchalian wants arrest for residents returning to Taal danger zones Taal Volcano’s quakes, cracks send more people fleeing Mandatory evacuation enforced in Lemery Priyanka Chopra Jonas joining Amazon’s spy series ‘Citadel’ BREAKING: DOJ indicts ex-PNP chief Albayalde for graftcenter_img ‘Homeland’ star Patinkin lauds intelligence community Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Dutch YouTube star Nikkie de Jager says she is transgender 3 young volunteers die in car crash after giving aid to Taal evacuees The Angels improved to a 2-2 record but they have yet to score two consecutive wins while the Lady Troopers dropped to a 2-1 card.PetroGazz held a 17-14 lead in the third set before the Lady Troopers launched one minor offensive to get into an 18-18 stalemate.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAllen Durham chews out Meralco: Everybody played like sh*tSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsThat salvo was Army’s final hoorah with the Angels going on an 8-1 run that Jonah Sabete capped off with a well-timed block on Nerissa Bautista.PetroGazz head coach Arnold Laniog said they took advantage of a tired Army squad that played in a one-week tournament in Cagayan de Oro along with other units from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Robredo hits Mocha over false post: Why let gov’t pay a fake news purveyor? View commentslast_img read more

Pride and purpose

first_imgStill, Archuleta insists that Brandon and Matthew wear their Army uniforms at events honoring service men and women. “I guess he’s proud of us,” Brandon said, laughing. Since the fifth grade, Brandon has worn a uniform. The first was his Boy Scout uniform as a member of local Troop 455. “My brother and I were exposed early on to the importance of public service,” he said, citing his father’s military background and job as an officer in the Montebello Police Department. “Dad certainly exemplified what public service is all about and what it takes to lead.” Brandon became a leader in his own right when he was elected to the student council at St. John Bosco High School. Busy with the business of student government and also involved in the school’s ministry program and its varsity football team, Archuleta let his life in Boy Scouts fall off. But just days before his 18th birthday, he realized that he was close to earning the rank of Eagle Scout, so he decided to go for it. “Only about 10 percent of all Boy Scouts get to be an Eagle Scout,” he said. On a Thanksgiving Day eve, he and a group of friends held a food drive, which served as Brandon’s Eagle Scout project. That example of determination is a trait learned from his late mother, Vera, who suffered a stroke just as Brandon was starting in the Boy Scouts. “She was a very unique person,” he said. The stroke left his mother paralyzed on her right side. She had to learn to walk again. It was an emotional time for Brandon and Matthew, who had always viewed their mother as a very strong person. “It was hard to see her like that. We had to grow up quickly, with all the added responsibilities,” Brandon said. The experience, he said, served to reiterate his family’s unspoken motto: “Quitting is not an option.” But the words were put to the test during Brandon’s freshman year at West Point, when Vera died. “You’re a fourth-class citizen doing the menial tasks. Having her die just made the year tougher,” he said. Friends suggested that Brandon take the year off. But that thought never crossed his mind, he said. “I thought about my mom, and knew that quitting was not an option,” said Brandon. sandra.molina@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Today, he will attend a Memorial Day observance at the Veterans Monument in Pico Rivera, one of dozens of such events the son of Los Angeles County Veterans Advisory Commissioner Bob Archuleta has attended through the years. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Brandon also has the distinction of becoming the first Latino ever to be elected class president of the prestigious academy. But it’s an accomplishment he downplays. “This is a school of literally 1,200 leaders. Someone had to step up to be class president,” he said. “There’s nothing special about me. I am proud to be an Army officer. There’s still a lot to be done in my life.” Equally as self-effacing, Bob Archuleta, a Vietnam veteran and a Pico Rivera City Council member, said both Brandon and his younger brother Matthew, 20, who is in his first year at West Point, owe much of their accomplishments to their community. “Both my sons’ accomplishments are not mine,” the father said. “It was the community – their friends, teachers, coaches and counselors – that put them together and made them what they are today.” PICO RIVERA – As he attends today’s Memorial Day observances honoring service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, Army 2nd Lt. Brandon Archuleta will have in the back of his mind the real possibility he could join those ranks. “I think about it every day, especially since I am preparing to go to Iraq in September,” the 23-year-old Pico Rivera resident said from his base at Fort Stewart, Ga. Memorial Day is a day of great joy and great sadness, he said. “Families can’t help but wonder what their loved ones would have done with the rest of their lives if they had come home,” Archuleta said. “But at the same time, they are filled with nothing but pride.” last_img read more

Wall Street retreats on disappointing earnings reports, subprime concerns

first_img“I think we’re in a range here,” he said. “The market doesn’t know what it’s looking for.” A steady flow of lackluster earnings reports dictated the glum mood Tuesday on Wall Street. DuPont and American Express both sank after their earnings reports. DuPont tumbled $3.36, or 6.3percent, to $49.90, while American Express dropped $3.49, or 5.4percent, to $61.17. McDonald’s Corp., the world’s largest restaurant chain, posted a loss after taking a charge for the sale of its Latin American outlets. Excluding that charge, it reported earnings per share that matched Wall Street expectations. The Dow stock fell 95cents to $51.55. Dow component AT&T reported a 61percent increase in second- quarter earnings, lifted primarily by its buyout of BellSouth Corp. At the same time, the telecommunications company reported fewer activations of Apple Inc.’s iPhone than analysts expected when the much-touted device debuted just before the quarter’s end. AT&T shares fell 35 cents to $39.68, while Apple’s stock dropped $8.81, or 6.1percent, to $134.89. Apple is scheduled to report quarterly results today. In what is perhaps a signal to Wall Street of more woes to come in the mortgage lending market, Countrywide Financial posted sharply lower second-quarter profit and slashed its earnings forecast as mortgage banking earnings were cut in half. Its shares declined $3.56, or 10.5percent, to $30.50. The largest U.S. mortgage lender is used as one of the barometers of the housing industry, which has continued to slump amid delinquencies and defaults in subprime loans, or those made to borrowers with weak credit. The troubles among subprime mortgage lenders have periodically rattled Wall Street this year, leading to sudden plunges as investors feared that the sector’s problems would spread to other parts of the economy. The market has generally recovered in a short period of time, but as Tuesday’s trading showed, it remains vulnerable to any bad news about mortgages or housing. Investors received some positive earnings news after the market close: Amazon.com Inc. said second-quarter profit more than tripled on robust online sales of books, music and electronics. The stock ended the regular session down $2.49, or 3.5percent, at $69.25, then jumped in after-hours electronic trading. Meanwhile, oil prices receded further from last week’s 11-month highs. Light, sweet crude gave up $1.33 to end at $73.56 on the Nymex. Gasoline futures fell. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies dipped 23.76, or 2.84percent, to 811.86. Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell 0.21percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.90percent, Germany’s DAX index fell 1.73percent, and France’s CAC-40 fell 1.69percent.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Declining issues outnumbered advancers by nearly 10 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to a heavy 4.06billion shares, compared with 3.09billion shares on Monday. After the Dow moved last week above 14,000 for the first time, it “seems logically like the market needs to have some profit-taking,” said Joe Ranieri, managing director of U.S. equity trading at Canaccord Adams. The stock market will likely be driven again by company earnings reports during the next two weeks, he said, as investors try to get a sense of how well corporate profits will hold up in the second half of the year. Tuesday’s decline kept up a pattern of back-and-forth finishes. For the sixth straight session, the market has risen one day and fallen the next. The shifts may have seemed sharp at times. But Todd Leone, managing director of equity trading at Cowen & Co. noted that, as a percentage of the whole, 100-point swings in the Dow don’t register the way they used to, when the index traded at less than 10,000. NEW YORK – Wall Street pulled back sharply Tuesday as investors dealt with disappointing earnings reports and rising concerns about the mortgage market. The Dow Jones industrials fell more than 200points. DuPont Co. was the Dow’s biggest loser after the chemical maker reported flat second-quarter profit, as improving sales abroad balanced the ongoing weakness in the U.S. housing and automotive markets. Fellow Dow component American Express Co. said late Monday its quarterly profit climbed 12percent on record card-member spending. However, the nation’s third-largest credit card brand said cardholders are also shirking more payments. Tuesday’s retreat was not surprising, given that the market’s recent move into record territory above 14,000 came before companies began reporting quarterly results in earnest. Many investors bet that results would be better than they have been. A profit warning Tuesday from mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. also reminded investors that troubles persist in the subprime market. The Dow gave up 226.47, or 1.62percent, closing at 13,716.95. The drop was the biggest since March13, when the Dow tumbled 242points, also amid concerns that subprime woes could infect the broader lending industry. Twenty-nine of the 30 Dow components fell; only Verizon Communications Inc. notched a modest gain. Other major stock indicators also suffered steep declines. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index shed 30.53, or 1.98percent, to 1,511.04. The Nasdaq composite index lost 50.72, or 1.89percent, closing at 2,639.86. last_img read more

Defendants in murder case convicted of lesser charges

first_img 165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! POMONA – Three defendants were acquitted Monday of murder and convicted of lesser charges stemming from the stabbing death of a 21-year-old man during a brawl outside a bowling alley in Diamond Bar. Jurors deliberated about a week before finding Jonathan Carrillo and Anthony Chairez, both 22-year-old Montebello residents, and Raymond Chairez, 28, of West Covina, not guilty of murder in the Dec. 10, 2005, slaying of Brian Zelmanski. Jurors convicted Carrillo and Raymond Chairez of voluntary manslaughter. Carrillo also was found guilty of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter involving other participants in the brawl, while the brothers were each convicted of one count of attempted voluntary manslaughter. last_img read more

Reward sought in shooting

first_img Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743 james.skeen@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita After the sergeant and four of the deputies drove away, the three remaining deputies were standing outside the dealership when a bullet passed between them. They took cover behind cars, and more bullets flew overhead. Neither the three deputies nor the dealership employees who were closing up the store when the first shot hit the window were hurt. The deputies were the only people outside the dealership when the later shots were fired. Deputies believe the first shot was fired to lure deputies to the scene. The shots were fired from about 225 yards away, from a block wall surrounding an apartment complex on Gadsden Avenue, officials said. A field and the dry Amargosa Creek separate the apartment complex from the dealership. Deputies found 15 empty shell casings near the complex’s wall. Investigators have not ruled out that more than one gunman might have fired at the deputies, using a second firearm that doesn’t eject its spent casings. LANCASTER – Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich is seeking to post a $10,000 reward to catch whoever fired on three deputies at a car dealership Jan. 5. At the county Board of Supervisors meeting today, Antonovich will ask for the posting of the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the sniper – or snipers – who shot at the Mazda dealership in Lancaster. Deputies were conducting an investigation of a shot fired into one of the dealership windows when as many as 15 rounds were fired at them. There were no injuries. The incident began at 8:45 that evening when a bullet hit a showroom window. Seven deputies and a sergeant were dispatched there. last_img read more

Barton free to face Liverpool after FA hearing into betting charges postponed

first_img Joey Barton 1 Joey Barton’s Football Association hearing into betting charges has been postponed.The 34-year-old Burnley midfielder was due to appear before an FA commission on Wednesday, having accepted a misconduct charge relating to 1,260 bets over a 10-year period.It is possible a lengthy ban could ensue – though no direct precedent exists – and the Clarets were prepared for the fact that he could have played his final match for the club with his contract up at the end of the season.But the hearing was not able to take place as planned and, with no new date yet set, Barton is free to play in Sunday’s Premier League match at Liverpool.Charges had already been laid against Barton when Burnley re-signed him in January. though provisions were made in his contract should any ban be forthcoming.The once-capped England international was a key part of the Clarets’ Championship-winning campaign last season, but initially declined the opportunity to represent the club in the Premier League, opting instead to try his hand north of the border with Rangers.It was a brief and tempestuous spell at Ibrox, comprising just eight matches, dissension on the training ground, suspension, stress leave and, finally, a mutually-terminated contract.He also served a one-game ban from the Scottish Football Association for placing 44 bets between July and September.He was invited back to train with Burnley by manager Sean Dyche, stayed to sign terms and has appeared in 11 matches to date.The last of those came against Swansea at the weekend, with Barton substituted late on feeling his hamstring.With the FA hearing now awaiting rescheduling, his fitness is now the only question mark against an appearance in his home city at the weekend.last_img read more