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At U.N., U.S. tells Russia it’s isolating itself by backing Assad

UNITED NATIONS ( ) – The United States told Russia at the United Nations on Wednesday that it is isolating itself by continuing to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Britain said its scientists found sarin was used in a deadly toxic gas attack on Syrian civilians last week.

Russia is set to block a push by Western powers at the United Nations later on Wednesday to bolster support for international inquiries into the April 4 toxic gas attack in Syria. It will be Moscow’s eighth veto in support of the Assad government since the Syrian war began six years ago.

“To my colleagues from Russia – you are isolating yourselves from the international community every time one of Assad’s planes drop another barrel bomb on civilians and every time Assad tries to starve another community to death,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, told the U.N. Security Council.

During a heated Security Council meeting, Russia’s deputy U.N. envoy Vladimir Safronkov told the 15-member body that Western countries were wrong to blame Assad for the attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

“I’m amazed that this was the conclusion. No one has yet visited the site of the crime. How do you know that?” he said.

The attack prompted the United States to strike a Syrian air base with cruise missiles and worsened relations between the United States and Russia.

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday trust had eroded between the two countries under President Donald Trump, as Moscow delivered an unusually hostile reception to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a face-off over Syria.

Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told the Security Council that samples taken from the site of the gas attack, in a rebel-held area of northern Syria, have tested positive for the nerve gas sarin.

He accused Russia of siding with “a murderous, barbaric criminal, rather than with their international peers.”

Safronkov, who demanded Rycroft look at him while he was speaking, responded: “I cannot accept that you insult Russia.”

Haley also accused Iran of being “Assad’s chief accomplice in the regime’s horrific acts,” adding: “Iran is dumping fuel on the flames of this war in Syria so it can expand its own reach.”

Western powers blame the gas attack, which killed scores of civilians – many of them children – on Assad’s forces. Syria’s government has denied responsibility for the attack, which prompted a U.S. strike on a Syrian air base.

Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said Syria had sent dozens of letters to the Security Council, some detailing “the smuggling of sarin from Libya through Turkey on a civilian air plane by using a Syrian citizen.”

“Two litres of sarin were transported from Libya through Turkey to terrorist groups in Syria,” he said, adding that the government does “not have these weapons.”

U.N. Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura warned the Security Council on Wednesday that fragile progress in peace talks was now “in grave danger.”

(This上海夜生活 version of the story has been refiled to fix garbled words in first paragraph)

Mexico central bank chief flags concern over ratings setbacks

MEXICO CITY ( ) – Mexico’s government must address concerns flagged by rating agencies over the sustainability of the country’s finances following debt downgrades last week, Mexican Central Bank Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon said on Tuesday.

Fitch last week cut Mexico’s sovereign credit rating and then became the first major ratings agency to downgrade the debt of state oil company Pemex to “junk” status, in a major setback for President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Fellow ratings agency Moody’s also lowered its outlook for Mexico to negative, adding to pressure on the peso.

Speaking at a banking conference in Mexico City, Diaz de Leon said the ratings developments were a risk factor for the Mexican economy that needed to be tackled.

“This has happened at times in the past, and it was dealt with, and let’s hope this is the case (now) and that it’s not a major worry going forward,” Diaz de Leon said.

The central bank has repeatedly raised concerns about the risks posed to Mexico’s finances by Pemex, which has financial debts of around $106 billion.

Lopez Obrador has vowed to revive the struggling company, pumping extra cash into Pemex to shore it up.

Mexico’s economy contracted by 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of the year, and Diaz de Leon said the economic outlook for the coming months was uncertain.

He noted that investment had been sluggish this year but said remittances from abroad were helping to prop up private consumption.

Look上海夜网ing ahead, Diaz de Leon said attracting more investment and improving productivity were among the principal challenges facing Mexico’s policymakers.

Take Five: Trade winds – World markets themes for the week ahead

( ) – Following are five big themes likely to dominate thinking of investors and traders in the coming week and the stories related to them.

1/WATCH THOSE CURVES

Moody’s warned this week that a trade war could tip the U.S. economy into recession next year. And U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest decision to hike tariff rates on Chinese goods has possibly brought that risk a bit closer. At least the bond market seems to think so — the yield on three-month U.S. Treasury bills is on the cusp of rising above 10-year yields.

A sustained curve inversion, as such a shift is called, would be seen as a sure-fire recession signal; in a normally growing economy, longer-dated borrowing costs are higher than short-term rates.

But the curve has sent a false alarm at least once before and some believe it is doing so again, above all because huge Fed purchases have depressed longer yields. Huge issuance of short-term debt is also likely to have contributed to the flattening.

Which brings us to another question. Given 2019 net borrowing will top $1 trillion, might Washington find itself scrambling to find buyers? Some dismal bond auctions recently have raised the question whether China is paring Treasury purchases — due to the escalating trade spat. Simmering tensions will keep the issue alive.

2/ TALK, TWEET, REPEAT

Industrial output, retail sales, house prices: a batch of data due in coming days was supposed to give investors an idea about how China’s economy was faring against a backdrop of 10% U.S. tariffs and authorities’ stimulus policies.

Fast forward and the stakes have been raised — quite a lot. On Friday, Washington hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% and Trump, reverting to Twitter, has threatened more. Beijing warned it would retaliate, though it didn’t say how.

Negotiations to try to end a 10-month-old trade war between the world’s biggest economies are continuing, and markets have taken heart from China’s decision to stick with the talks. Another factor is China’s central bank, which assured markets it had “rich” policy tools to cope with external uncertainties. Weak economic data can only cement that resolve.

3/OIL SLICK

The world economy seems to be shifting into a lower gear but Brent crude futures are holding above $70 a barrel, up 30% this year. Barclays sees a climb to $74-$75 in the coming year.

In the short-term too, oil looks well-supported. On the demand side, Chinese imports hit a record in April, possibly due to economic stimulus measures taking effect. And supply has been curtailed by a pipeline contamination issue in Russia and U.S. sanctions that have cut shipments from Venezuela and Iran.

Venezuelan exports have dropped 40% since January and Iran’s exports have more than halved, to one million barrels per day or less. They are expected to slide further in May.

None of these issues will be resolved anytime soon. Iran for one is threatening to retaliate against U.S. sanctions by breaching a nuclear pact signed in 2015. Sanctions have failed to dislodge Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro but they are likely to cut oil exports further in May, after the expiry of an April 28 deadline for U.S. firms to complete existing deals.

4/NO STICKER SHOCK

Few U.S. data series have been as choppy in recent months as retail sales. December’s drop in core sales was the largest in nearly two decades — only to be followed by an equally large swing to the upside in January. Demand for big-ticket items like cars then pushed the March total to the highest in 18 months.

Consumer resilience, emboldened by a strong job market, was a key pillar of support for the U.S. economy in the first quarter. So the April reading will show if that willingness to spend continues into Q2.

estimates point to the first back-to-back rise in retail sales since November. Headline sales are seen up 0.2%.

The report comes soon after Trump imposed new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, but it is far too soon to see a meaningful impact from the trade war between the world’s two largest economies. Shoppers will probably not start reacting to sticker shock until the third quarter.

5/ITALIA DEJA VU

Once again it seems there’s good reason to fret over Italy, the euro zone’s third-biggest economy — and one of its most indebted.

Tensions have flared within the ruling coalition over a corruption scandal that cost a junior minister his job. Rome may find itself footing the bill for a bank bailout after BlackRock ditched a proposed rescue of Carige. And finally, the European Commission has warned that Italian finances may deteriorate further. So another showdown with the EU might be looming.

How talks on deficit targets may pan out could become clearer at the May 16 Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers.

Signs of compromise will bring relief to Italian bond markets, where yields have seen their biggest weekly jump in three months with a rise of over 10 basis points. Contrast that to Spain and Portugal, often lumped in with Italy as the euro zone “periphery” — 10-year Spanish yields are at 2-1/2 year troughs while Portuguese yields have touched record lows.

The latest bond se上海夜生活论坛ll-off, which took Italian yields to 2.7%, is small compared to the rout a year ago when yields spiked to 3.4%. But who could be blamed for a sense of deja vu?

U.S. internet firms ask Trump to support encryption, ease regulations

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. internet companies including Facebook Inc and Amazon Inc have sent President-elect Donald Trump a detailed list of their policy priorities, which includes promoting strong encryption, immigration reform and maintaining liability protections from content that users share on their platforms.

The letter sent on Monday by the Internet Association, a trade group whose 40 members also include Alphabet’s Google, Uber and Twitter, represents an early effort to repair the relationship between the technology sector and Trump, who was almost universally disliked and at times denounced in Silicon Valley during the presidential campaign.

“The internet industry looks forward to engaging in an open and productive dialogue,” reads the letter, signed by Michael Beckerman, president of the Internet Association, and seen by .

Some of the policy goals stated in the letter may align with Trump’s priorities, including easing上海夜生活网 regulation on the sharing economy, lowering taxes on profits made from intellectual property and applying pressure on Europe to not erect too many barriers that restrict U.S. internet companies from growing in that market.

Other goals are likely to clash with Trump, who offered numerous broadsides against the tech sector during his campaign.

They include supporting strong encryption in products against efforts by law enforcement agencies to mandate access to data for criminal investigations, upholding recent reforms to U.S. government surveillance programs that ended the bulk collection of call data by the National Security Agency, and maintaining net neutrality rules that require internet service providers to treat web traffic equally.

The association seeks immigration reform to support more high-skilled workers staying in the United States. Though Trump made tougher immigration policies a central theme of his campaign, he has at times shied away from arguing against more H-1B visas for skilled workers, saying in a March debate he was “softening the position because we need to have talented people in this country.”

While urging support for trade agreements, the letter does not mention the Trans Pacific Partnership, which Trump has repeatedly assailed with claims it was poorly negotiated and would take jobs away from U.S. workers. The technology sector supported the deal, but members of Congress have conceded since the election it is not going to be enacted.

Trump’s often-shifting policy proposals on the campaign trail frequently alarmed tech companies and sometimes elicited public mockery, such as when Trump called for closing off parts of the internet to limit militant Islamist propaganda.

Trump has also urged a boycott of Apple Inc products over the company’s refusal to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation unlock an iPhone associated with last year’s San Bernardino, California, shootings, threatened antitrust action against Amazon, and demanded that tech companies such as Apple manufacture their products in the United States.

In a statement, Beckerman said the internet industry looked forward to working closely with Trump and lawmakers in Congress to “cement the internet’s role as a driver of economic and social progress for future generations.”

Norway clears way for Euronext to secure Oslo Bors in Nasdaq battle

PARIS/OSLO ( ) – Euronext won approval from Norway’s Ministry of Finance to buy up to 100% of Oslo Bors on Monday, effectively ending a five-month battle with Nasdaq for one of the last independent stock market operators in Europe.

While Euronext has already secured a stake of more than 50% in Oslo Bors, Nasdaq had argued that no takeover should be allowed unless a two-thirds stake was obtained in order to ensure that a buyer would have complete control.

Both had offered 158 Norwegian crowns per share for Oslo Bors, valuing it at around 6.8 billion Norwegian crowns ($779 million), but the view of the Norwegian government was crucial.

“Euronext welcomes the ministry’s clearance to acquire up to 100% of Oslo Bors VPS’s capital and looks forward to completing the next steps to close the transaction by the end of June,” its Chief Executive Stephane Boujnah said on Monday.

“We are extremely satisfied the process is carried out in full respect of Norwegian law,” Boujnah told .

Both Euronext, which runs exchanges in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Dublin, and Nasdaq are looking to expand their portfolios but opportunities are scarce as market operators either already belong to international groups or because their shareholders want to remain independent.

Given technological changes, size has become an important feature as big data allows larger market operators to squeeze costs and reduce transaction fees.

Oslo Bors was one of the last potential target for Euronext in the region where Nasdaq and London Stock Exchange already control several platforms.

Shares in Paris-based Euronext, which is due to release first quarter results this week, traded 1.6% higher at 61 euros.

Nasdaq had won the support of more than a third of Oslo Bors shareholders including the Norwegian market operator’s major shareholders DNB and KLP. The U.S.-based firm had been hoping to block Euronext’s bid.

No such minimum ownership requirement will be imposed however, the Norwegian ministry said in a statement.

DISAPPOINTMENT FOR NASDAQ

Euronext’s CEO said the offer filed by Euronext is open for the shareholders who supported the Nasdaq bid.

He expects them to tender their shares to Euronext now since the offer filed by Nasdaq is unlikely to proceed. “I don’t think Nasdaq intends to be an minority shareholder in Oslo Bors,” Boujnah said.

Nasdaq expressed its disappointment at the decision by the government, and said it would assess its options.

“The decision not to require a two-thirds majority of the shares to be obtained by any person seeking to acquire control of Oslo Bors VPS is disappointing,” Lauri Rosendahl, president of Nasdaq Nordic, said.

Oslo Bors would diversify Euronext’s revenue from shares and derivative trading, given Oslo Bors’ leading position in seafood derivatives as well as oil services and shipping.

Euronext plans to appoint the CEO of Oslo Bors to its managing board, and set up a hub that would supervise all commodities transactions in the Norwegian capital.

“Euronext looks forward to supporting the Norwegian financial and business community, to working constructively with all key 上海夜生活constituents and stakeholders to further drive the success of Oslo Bors VPS,” Boujnah said.

The board of Oslo Bors, which had supported Nasdaq over Euronext, said it would work with the new owner.

“The board of Oslo Bors VPS takes note of the (ministry’s) decision and will work closely with the new majority owner to maintain the company, its business and the employees in the best possible way,” it said in a statement.

($1 = 8.7338 Norwegian crowns)

RPT-Only way is down: strong bid for negative-yielding KfW bond amid rates stasis

(Repeats Friday story without changes)

* German banks sells 5 bln euros of bonds at -0.267 pct yield

* Euro zone lenders, foreign central banks among buyers

* Deal paves way for other borrowers to do same

By Abhinav Ramnarayan

LONDON, March 15 ( ) – German development bank KfW’s 5 billion euro debt sale, at one of the most deeply negative yields on record for such a deal, is a clear sign investors are resigned to several more years of low interest rates in the euro zone, bankers and analysts said.

Triple-A-rated KfW, whose debt is guaranteed by the German government and often seen as a proxy for German Bunds, sold 5 billion euros of three-year bonds via a syndicate of banks on Tuesday at a yield of minus 0.267 percent.

Negative yields have been a feature of the euro zone bond market since the European Central Bank began stimulus measures to aid the bloc’s recovery from the debt crisis of 2010-2012.

But the KfW deal is one of very few benchmark-sized transactions to price at such a deeply negative level.

“Nobody really expects rising rates, given the statements by the ECB and (U.S. Federal Reserve) and given the economic data we currently get,” said Petra Wehlert, head of capital markets at KfW. “Investors live with what they get, and they feel comfortable enough to buy into negative rates at the short end (of the yield curve).

“Investors have to manage their cash, and if there is no change in environment, the risk is limited. KfW bonds are a Bund surrogate, and portfolio managers need to buy liquid securities,” she added, while上海夜生活网 acknowledging that demand had exceeded KfW’s expectations.

Comparable examples such as the European Investment Bank’s 5 billion euro three-year deal in January 2016 came at the height of the ECB’s now-terminated asset purchase scheme — and yet the yield on that deal was much higher, at minus 0.147 percent.

The fact that KfW was able to price at such a deeply negative yield even after new asset purchases ceased seems to confirm that investors expect the euro zone economy to flat-line for years to come, and that the ECB will be unable to hike rates meaningfully for the foreseeable future.

FEW ALTERNATIVES

Mark Byrne, a syndicate official at TD Securities, which managed the deal alongside BNP Paribas and JP Morgan, said the ECB’s deposit rate of minus 0.40 percent was a clear incentive for banks to invest in such a bond.

But it was not the only reason for the demand, he said: “Not all investors have access to this (deposit facility) — central banks, asset managers and some non-euro zone banks for example. So you must look at their alternative investments.”

He cited the example of three-year German Bunds, trading around minus 0.53 percent, and three-year French government bonds — with a lower credit rating than KfW — trading at minus 0.376 percent.

“So it makes sense (to buy KfW’s bond) if you are a global central bank that needs to hold euros as part of your portfolio,” Byrne said.

As a result, the two biggest types of investor in KfW’s deal were banks, who took 38 percent of the 5 billion euros sold, and central banks, who took 35 percent.

For banks, the deposit rate is a powerful incentive — paying 26 basis points to hold KfW’s debt could be seen as an improvement on paying 40 bps to hold cash at the ECB. Both count towards the regulatory requirement that lenders hold a proportion of assets in liquid and highly rated instruments.

“The high demand from the banks as a sector overall often has to do with regulatory demand,” said Commerzbank rates strategist Rainer Guntermann. “Most investors also suspect the ECB will take some of the supply in the coming weeks.”

Factbox: U.S. Republican 2016 presidential field slips to 16 after Perry quits

( ) – The field of candidates vying to be the Republican Party nominee in the November 2016 U.S. presidential election slipped to 16 after former Texas Governor Rick Perry quit the race last week.

Candidates in the still-crowded field will meet on Wednesday at the next debate, hosted by CNN with 11 of the contenders.

For the latest /Ipsos poll results on the Republican presidential candidates, see: (bit.ly/1EXCTxR)

Here is a list of the remaining Republicans seeking the nomination:

JEB BUSH

The former Florida governor, the son of one president and brother of another, is a favorite among the Republican establishment. Bush, 62, has become a main target of rival Donald Trump and failed to gain traction in the polls, but this month vowed to jump-start his campaign. He has also faced criticism for not distancing himself from the foreign policies of his brother, former President George W. Bush, and for taking moderate positions on issues such as immigration.

BEN CARSON

Retired neurosurgeon Carson, 63, is a favorite of conservative activists who has touted his outsider status and has seen his public support grow. Raised in a poor family by a single mother, Carson rose to be director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He is the only black candidate running from either major political party.

CHRIS CHRISTIE

The New Jersey governor, 52, has vowed to bridge Washington’s partisan divide. Seen as plain-spoken by supporters and a bully by detractors, Christie’s trademark style has been eclipsed by rival Trump’s own brash rhetoric. While Christie won kudos for his response to Superstorm Sandy in 2012, his support has eroded amid the “Bridgegate” scandal and financial strains in his home state.

TED CRUZ

Cruz, 44, of Texas is the favorite of the party’s conservative Tea Party movement and has appeared with Trump rather than criticize the Republican front-runner as other rivals have done. Some blamed Cruz for the October 2013 government shutdown, and he is seen as leading the charge over the current budget fight. The Princeton- and Harvard-educated son of a Cuban immigrant, Cruz was the first Republican to officially enter the race.

CARLY FIORINA

Once one of the most powerful women in American business, the former Hewlett-Packard Co chief executive has seen her support rise following her performance in the party’s August debate. Fiorina, 60, has positioned herself as an outsider with corporate experience, although she was pushed out of the tech company and later lost her bid for the U.S. Senate. She has criticized the only other woman so far seeking the presidency, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

JIM GILMORE

The former head of the Republican National Committee briefly ran for the party’s 2008 presidential nomination. Gilmore, 65, earlier served one term as the governor of Virginia, a swing state in presidential elections. A former Army intelligence officer, he has also advised former U.S. presidents on counter terrorism response.

LINDSEY GRAHAM

The U.S. senator from South Carolina, a close ally of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, is running as a defense hawk and has made criticism of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy the main focus of his campaign. The 59-year-old has been more moderate on other issues such as immigration reform and climate change.

MIKE HUCKABEE

Former Arkansas Governor Huckabee, 59, ran unsuccessfully in 2008 and declined to run in 2012 despite his popularity with influential evangelical leaders and voters. The former host of a popular Fox News television show has focused in public appearances on the plight of working Americans left behind in the economic recovery.

BOBBY JINDAL

Louisiana’s two-term governor was once seen as a rising Republican star, but state budget woes have hurt his popularity at home. Jindal, 44, is close to the bottom of the pack in the polls and came under fire in 2013 for calling his party “stupid.” He is the first person of Indian-American heritage to run for U.S. president.

JOHN KASICH

The 63-year-old Ohio governor represents an important election swing state and could be a potent force in the Republican field. Re-elected to a second term in November, Kasich was the last Republican candidates to enter the race. He announced his bid with a focus on budget issues, race relations and his government experience.

GEORGE PATAKI

The former New York governor, who led the heavily Democratic-leaning state for three terms, could be a moderate voice in a Republican field heavy with conservatives but so far is at the bottom of most polls. Pataki, 70, has not held public office since 2006.

RAND PAUL

The first-term Kentucky senator, 52, is following his father, Ron Paul, in seeking the presidency. A libertarian, he has lobbed criticism at Democrats and fellow Republicans alike over the federal debt and personal liberties. He casts himself as an anti-establishment reformer who could win over young and minority voters.

MARCO RUBIO

Rubio, 44, cast his entry into the Republican field as a “generational choice.” The son of Cuban immigrants, the U.S. senator from Florida swept into Congre上海夜网ss in the Tea Party wave of 2010. He has fought to strengthen ties with conservatives after a failed push for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.

RICK SANTORUM

A favorite of the Christian right, the former Pennsylvania senator, 57, announced his 2016 bid with an eye on economic issues as other contenders also compete for religious conservatives. He has promised to boost the middle class, eliminate the Internal Revenue Service and crack down on illegal immigration.

DONALD TRUMP

The 69-year-old real estate mogul and TV personality has surged in public opinion polls over the summer, leading his closest rival by double digits. Although the outspoken billionaire has come under fire for controversial remarks about immigrants and women, he continues to lead the pack. He recently pledged not to buck the Republican party and run as an independent.

SCOTT WALKER

Walker, 47, had been expected to be the candidate of choice among donors looking for a more conservative option but has fallen into Trump’s shadow. The two-term Wisconsin governor has seen his lead shrink in recent weeks in Iowa, a key state because it votes early in the nominating process.

Egyptian pound appreciates to highest in over two years

CAIRO, March 17 ( ) – The Egyptian pound strengthened on Sunday to its highest in over two years, boosted by an increase in foreign funds into the country.

The currency was trading at 17.34 to the dollar o上海夜生活n Sunday, up more than three percent from 17.86 on Jan. 22 when it began its latest round of strengthening.

“You’re seeing most of the indicators improving,” said Hany Farahat, senior economist at Egyptian investment bank CI Capital. “Tourism, exports, substitution of natural gas imports with domestic production, remittances are at a peak, FDI is improving slightly.”

He also said the higher inflows were due in large part to Egypt scrapping a mechanism that guaranteed foreign currency for investors exiting the government securities market.

“Once the repatriation mechanism was abolished, it meant that every single inflow coming into the country reflects directly on interbank liquidity,” he said. “This, in tandem, should also reflect directly on EGP volatility against the dollar.”

“I think it has come a bit late. If the repatriation mechanism had been removed a year ago, this appreciation would have happened a year ago,” he said.

Since the central bank devalued the currency by about half in 2016, economists say it has closely controlled the value of the pound, which was last this strong in March 2017.

Allen Sandeep, head of research at Naeem Brokerage, said the higher inflows were also due to increased carry trade appetite for Egyptian treasury securities and improving balance of payments.

“We have now restarted LNG exports,” Sandeep said. “On an annual basis, assuming that we export 1 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas every day, that adds more than $2 billion in exports per year.”

Egypt, which now exports 1.1 bcf of natural gas per day, became a net exporter in late 2018, a significant turnaround for a country that spent about $3 billion on annual LNG imports as recently as 2016.

Preview: Real Madrid – Deportivo La Coruna

Round 20 of La Liga marks the start of the second half of the season with both Real Madrid and Dep. La Coruna hoping to reverse their current poor form.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

While Zinedine Zidane’s side have accumulated a three-match winless streak (LL), Deportivo are in need of a victory after picking up just one point in the last four matches (LL).

Disastrous home performances have kept Madrid in fourth place of the table. The ‘Merengues’ have only won 50% of their clashes played at the Santiago Bernabéu (W5, D2, L3) which is usually something unheard of!

With rumours of Cristiano Ronaldo willing to leave the club at the end of the season, as well as players linked to join Madrid (Neymar, Kane, Hazard…), coach Zidane talked about the Portuguese star: “I can’t imagine a Real Madrid without Cristiano”.

Even though there was an 18-year 上海夜生活period in which Madrid were unable to win at the Riazor stadium, their record at the Bernabéu looks different, as the last time the Galician side won there was back in 2008 (2-1).

Players to watch: Florin Andone (Deportivo) has recovered last season’s efficiency (11 goals). The Romanian has five goals this term – including three in the last three fixtures.Top 5 Real Madrid players who are succeeding on a loan Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – We need to talk about the Top 5 Real Madrid players who are currently succeeding away from the club and are currently on a…

Everyone is waiting for Cristiano Ronaldo to up his level. His goal scoring average is as low as it was in his very first season at Madrid in 2009. He’s scored only four goals in 1,156 minutes which is way below his usual astronomical standards.

Stat attack: Madrid would be on top of the LL table if only the first 45 minutes counted, but they would sit 11th if only looking at second halves.

Deportivo have only one clean sheet and one win as an away side. However, they have only failed to score in three of the nine away clashes which should make things interesting.

Missing players

Real Madrid: S. Ramos (calf injury), J. Vallejo (thigh injury), L. Zidane (shoulder injury), K. Benzema (doubtful)

Deportivo La Coruna: J. Bicho (shoulder injury), F. Cartabia (doubtful), B. Gama (doubtful), G. Valentin (doubtful).

Wenger hopeful on Ozil deal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that contract negotiations between midfielder Mesut Ozil and the club are still going but he has been encouraged by the player’s attitude.

The World Cup winner’s contract with Arsenal will expire this summer & despite allowing it to get to the stage where he can now freely negotiate a deal with a club outside of the Premier League, Wenger is hopeful the German see’s his future at the Emirates having witnessed just how focused and committed the player has been.

“We are not close enough to be optimistic, but we are not far enough to be pessimistic,” said Wenger, according to Sky Sports.Moving to Arsenal “a massive change” says Tierney George Patchias – Kiernan Tierney mo上海夜生活ved from Celtic to Arsenal this summer and he says it has been “a massive change.”The move to Arsenal was a protracted…

“He behaves like somebody who is completely focused and ready to commit but after that contract negotiations are what they are.

“We are not close enough to tell you he will do it, I don’t know.”

Ozil is expected to be in the final squad for Germany in this summer’s World Cup tournament in Russia, so it is likely that he will want to sort out his future before then. Keeping him may depend on any new signing Arsenal make in the remaining time left in this January transfer window with Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being heavily linked to the Emirates.

Liverpool chief admits uncertainty over Coutinho’s future

The Brazilian was Barcelona’s top priority over the summer and his recent showings on the pitch will certainly make the Catalans want him even more.

Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore insists that he does not know what will happen to Philippe Coutinho and whether the will still be at Anfield after the January transfer window. The 25-year-old was Barcelona’s target during the summer and reportedly submitted a transfer request to force a move through. However, the Reds’ leadership blocked the move and insisted that the ‘Magician’ is not for sale regardless of the money offered to the club.

However, Moore has now revealed that he does not have a ‘crystal ball’ only to further fuel the speculations regarding Coutinho’s future.

“[On Wednesday] I saw a player delighted to score a hat-trick in front of 54,000 fans. It’s all about Philippe on the pitch right now.” he said, according to Goal.

“As far as I’m concerned the squad in January is what we have. I have no crystal ball.”

However, the Reds official highlighted and lauded the job done by the recruitment team, expressing his delight with the signing of Salah, Chamberlain and Keïta.Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers relishing Liverpool return Andrew Smyth – Brendan Rodgers is relishing Leicester City’s trip to his old club Liverpool, whom he described as a “privilege” to work for during his three-year stint.

“From the perspective of competing, we do thing上海夜网s the Liverpool way,” Moore added.

“The chemistry that we build on the field – it’s not about buying the most expensive player.

“We haven’t been shy [in terms of spending]. Obviously, the Mohamed Salah purchase for many people has been the top acquisition of the season.

“We already have Naby Keïta coming and I think Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is doing a tremendous job.

“The investments are being made. It’s hard to knock what you are seeing on the field right now.

Everton big underdogs against Liverpool

Jamie Carragher, the former Liverpool skipper, insisted that his ex-team will be huge favourites in the upcoming derby match against Everton – and after beating Spartak Moscow 7-0, the expectations will be even higher.

Fourth-placed Liverpool scored 12 goals in their last two games and they are back in their best form – and Jamir Carragher insisted that it will be very difficult for Everton to face their biggest rivals right now. The Toffees have got a new coach as Sam Allardyce took over and won his first match in charge 2-0 against Huddersfield – but this fixture will be far more difficult.

The former Reds defender spoke about his former side’s form as he said, according to Sky Sports: “Is there a feel-good factor going into it after what happened in midweek? Any player or manager coming into this city knows how important this game is. As a fan, you are a little bit nervous thinking Sam Allardyce has come in and Everton have picked up a little bit and could it change? But then you come here in midweek and watch how well Liverpool are playing and it has to give you confidence.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He added that Sam Allardyce could possibly be an advantage for the guests: “Sam Allardyce will give the Everton supporters and players a bit more belief coming here. But they have been coming here a long time now and been finding it very difficult. He will make them more organised, you know that they had big problems defensively. But I think if Liverpool play the way they have been playing, they will be red-hot favourites. And I think上海夜生活 Sam Allardyce will recognise that.”

In the end, Carragher claimed that the Englishman is very experienced and will know how to play against Liverpool: “He has been to Anfield many times with different teams and the last time he came, he won with Crystal Palace towards the end of last season. So yes, he will probably have a belief that he can come here and win, but Everton will also be well aware of the attacking talent Liverpool have got.”

Preview: Sporting – Olympiakos Piraeus

Sporting are still hoping to reach the knockout stages of Champions League. They are currently third in Group D, three points behind Juventus. At th上海夜网e same time, the Portuguese are three points ahead of their opponents today.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Sporting CP welcome Greek side Olympiakos to the Estádio José Alvalade for this Champions League (CL) Group D round 5 tie. This group looks to be the so called “group of death” as both of these sides were always up against the odds with Barcelona and Juventus being drawn in the same group.

The hosts have a slight glimmer of hope of qualification if Juventus lose at home and they can capitalise with a victory – this would set up a very tight final gameday in which Sporting must win in order to qualify. However, the Europa League looks like a more likely destination, even though we all know that stranger things have happened in football!

The reverse fixture in Piraeus, Greece, turned out to be a very tasty encounter. A 5-goal thriller in which Sporting came away with the win (3-2). That game was not quite as close as the scoreline suggests, as the Portuguese outfit were already 3 goals to the good by the break, with Felipe Pardo managing to score 2 last-gasp goals for Olympiakos in stoppage time.

Reports coming from Greece described that last game as “one of the worst nights in Olympiakos’ history”. They were simply spectators to a strong Portuguese side who scored 3 goals, hit the woodwork 3 times, and missed 5 one on one opportunities – the red and whites will be looking for redemption tonight in a must-win encounter.Koulibaly warns about Genk danger Nedim Maric – The reliable Napoli defender, Kalidou Koulibaly warned his team about Genk’s quality as he’s played for the Belgian side in the past.Napoli opened their…

Sporting are much less prolific on home soil. They have scored 15 goals in their last 11 home games, in contrast to their record of 25 goals in their last 9 away games. Olympiakos have lost 4 of their last 6 away from home, conceding on average 2 goals per game in this time.

Olympiakos are yet to win in the competition thus far (D1, L3), but may take inspiration from their stalemate vs the mighty Barcelona. They now must come up with 2 massive performances to retain any hope of European glory this term.

In the prematch presser, Olympiakos coach Takis Lemonis spoke of the team’s determination to qualify for the Europa League and their approach to this game: “Victory is imperative for us, but it’s not imperative to field a hoard of strikers.”

Missing players

Sporting: S. Coates (suspension), S. Doumbia (injury), J. Silva (knee injury)

Olympiakos Piraeus: E. Emenike (injury), E. Ben (doubtful), H. Milic (doubtful).

Preview: Liverpool – Southampton

Liverpool are currently 5th in the Premier League table and Jurgen Klopp’s side will be looking to catch up on the top four today when they receive the visit of 13th-placed Southampton.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match: 

Liverpool welcome Southampton to Anfield for this Premier League (PL) clash, but the visitors face an uphill task as they take on a side that are undefeated in their last 13 home games in all competitions.

Jurgen Klopp must try and reverse his poor record versus Southampton as there is no other side he has faced more in the PL without winning, drawing 3 and losing 1 of his 4 matches against them, with The Saints also knocking The上海夜生活 Reds out of the League Cup last season with a 2-0 aggregate victory in the semi-finals.

It is no secret that Liverpool defend likes strangers at times, shipping 17 goals in their 11 PL matches this season, but they have surprisingly managed to keep a clean sheet in 6 of their last 7 home games in the competition.Top 5 Premier League players in September’s last weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – A fresh Premier League fixture just ended, which means we can talk about the Top 5 best players of September’s last weekend.After a fresh…

Sadio Mane was sent home from international duty this week after being left out of Senegal’s final World Cup qualifier against South Africa with a reported recurrence of an old hamstring injury and is therefore a major doubt to face his former club.

If they avoid defeat in this match, Mauricio Pellegrino’s side can make it 6 consecutive games without loss against Liverpool for the first time in their history, having won 3 and drawn 2 of the last 5 meetings in all competitions.

Missing players

Liverpool: A. Bogdan (knee injury), N. Clyne (muscle injury), D. Ward (back injury), A. Lallana (doubtful)

Southampton: J. Pied (knock), M. Lemina (doubtful).

Mourinho will not lose sleep over missed handshake with Conte

The Blues manager went straight into the pitch after final whistle of the referee.

Manchester United head coach insisted he would not chase Antoni上海夜网o Conte just to shake hands with him after losing the Sunday showdown with 1-0 to Chelsea.

The pair have not been in the best relationship ever since the arrival of the Italian at Stamford Bridge as the Portuguese accused Conte of over-celebrating his team’s goals last season when the Blues dominated the Red Devils with a 4-0 win.

On Sunday, Conte went straight into the pitch at the final whistle, missing a potential handshake with Mourinho, who shook hands with the rest of the Blues’ staff.Jamie Carragher puts Chelsea over Manchester United and Arsenal Nedim Maric – In an uneventful derby, last night, Manchester United and Arsenal both got point each.Top four-fight this season looks like it’s going to be between…

The Portuguese, however, insisted there was no issue between the pair when he was asked about the missed handshake after the game.

“You want me to go and chase him in the middle of the pitch? I was there. I shook hands with the people who were there,” he told reporters after the game, according to Goal.

“I think one of them was his brother, the assistant, so I feel that by shaking the hands of his brother and the other assistants that I did my duty. I cannot go and run to chase him.

“Why should I wait [in the tunnel]? He doesn’t have to wait. There is no problem with it at all. You are always worried with these things… no problem.”

Bolasie wants to make an impact

He was injured for the past 11 months but now, he is back and determined to help Everton with achieving far better results – Yannick Bolasie said that he wants to ‘come back feeling refreshed and hungry’.

The DR Congo i上海夜网nternational still isn’t 100% fit but he is close to making his return – he suffered the injury which has kept him out for the last 11 months in the Toffees 1-1 draw against Manchester United on December 4, 2016, but the player recently shared a video of himself doing ball tricks on social media, according to Goal.

The Everton winger spoke about his injury for the club website as he said: “I tend to distance myself [when I’m injured] but now that I am getting there, I am starting to watch and go to games again and I feel like I am close, and that is the main thing. It’s been almost a year but I don’t think of it like that because in that year I have been given the chance to develop myself and develop things I would have taken for granted before.”Wijnaldum looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning winners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

He also talked about his feelings: “That has taken up my time and the whole package has come together, so I’m buzzing, really, and happy with where I am at. I want to come back feeling refreshed and hungry. We have quite a few new players, it’s happened to teams in the past, but the boys are working hard to make it right.”

Bolasie is aware of the current situation of his club as he claimed: “With everything that is going on, hopefully, I can come in and give a boost to the team and I am confident that they will be confident when I come in. If the team is confident, then that helps you even more, and that makes it better for me to come back and slot in that little bit easier.”

Kola\u0161inac admits he was nervous about working with Wenger

The full-back has certainly been one of the surprises from the transfer window following a run of great performances for the Gunners.

Sead Kolašinac joined Arsenal on a free transfer from Schalke during the close-season, but has turned out a great bargain. The 24-year-old has settled in perfectly at the club from north London, but he admits he was nervous about working with his new manager.

The defender quickly became a fan favourite, featuring in almost every Premier League game so far and even scoring in Arsenal’s上海夜网 3-1 win over Koln. Kolašinac believes he has developed well at the Emirates Stadium and insists he is happy to work under Wenger despite having second thoughts about it in the beginning.Strachan: Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney similar to Virgil van Dijk Andrew Smyth – Gordon Strachan believes Arsenal new signing Kieran Tierney is a similar kind of defender to Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk.

“It is really a lot of fun to work alongside a manager like Wenger. He has been here ever since I can remember,” he told Arsenal’s website.

“At the start, maybe I was a bit nervous to work alongside him. The fact that he speaks German really helps me – it made it a lot easier again for me to settle in here. He is good to work with.

“The season is young but I am happy with how I’ve developed and how I have started. But I have got more potential to get better and I want to show that in the coming games.”

Juventus sign Howedes on loan

Benedikt Howedes has put pen to paper at Juventus and will play for the Italian side for at least one season.

Juventus have confirmed on their official website that they have completed the loan deal of the German central defender from Schalke.

The Bianconeri were looking for a replacement for Leonardo Bonucci, who left for Milan earlier this summer. Their search has now ended with the signing of Howedes on a one year loan deal. The world champion arrived earlier today in Turin and has passed his medical tests before signing the deal.Report: Mourinho rejects several offers amid Real Madrid talk Andrew Smyth – Jose Mou上海夜生活rinho has reportedly turned down several job offers in Europe as he eyes up a potential shock return to Real Madrid.

Juventus will pay €3m to Schalke for the loan of Howedes. The deal also includes an option to buy, which will be automatically activated if the central defender will play 25 competitive matches for Juve. In this case, the Italians will have to pay another €13m plus €3m in bonuses to Schalke.

The 29-year-old will play for the first time in his career for a different club than Schalke. He joined the Gelsenkirchen club as a trainee and advanced through the ranks, making 334 appearances for the club, during which he scored 23 goals and helped the team win the German Cup in 2011.

Howedes has 44 matches for the German national team and played an important part in their World Cup winning campaign in 2014.

\u0130lkay G\u00fcndo\u011fan speaks about his recovery

Manchester City player İlkay Gündoğan says recovering from his injuries has been mentally challenging.

The player admits it has been really difficult to approach his recovery with the right set of mind as he struggles to get fit for Guardiola’s side.

Gündoğan started only nine Premier League games last season due to an injury in December when he tore cruciate knee ligaments.

The 26-year-old is close to full recovery, but admits it has been really difficult for him to keep a positive mindset about his career since he missed both 2014 World Cup and 2016 Euro due to injuries.

“It is heavy mentally to accept that,” Gundogan told BBC Sport.

“It is really hard always to fall and fight your way back. You feel good and feel ready, then you get the next kick.Paiva says Felix would have done better at City or Barca George Patchias – Joao Felix would have become a better player at Manchester City or Barcelona according to former coach Renato Paiva.Renato Paiva was the prodigious Portuguese…

“The worst part is behind me now. I want to feel ready when I am fully back. I want to feel safe and confident. I don’t mind if it is two weeks or six.”

City are one of the favourites for the Premier League title in the forthcoming season, after some heavy spending on the market. However, the midfielder believes last year’s runners-up Tottenham will challenge for the title once again, despite not bringing in any new players.

“We felt that last year as well but it was a completely new experience for all of us. We know the Premier League a bit more now and can’t wait for the season to start.

“Tottenham are a great team. They have the style of foo上海夜生活网tball. They have young English players. Our experience last season shows it is really tough to beat them. They are really uncomfortable to play against.

“I am pretty sure, even if they will not say it loud, the people who know the Premier League know Tottenham are definitely a competitor for the title.

Alderweireld admits no progress in contract talks

The Belgium international defender remains a Spurs player until 2019, but there is no development on the discussions regarding an extension.

Toby Alderweireld has admitted there is nothing regarding a potential new contract from Tottenham. The Belgium full-back has established himself as a top-quality centre-back during his time in England. Spurs are reportedly interested in extending his contract, but no breakthrough has been made as Alderweireld has to keep waiting on updates from his superiors.

When approached and asked about a potential contract renewal, the 28-year-old told Sky Sports: “No news that I know of so nothing… zero.”

The player also shared that Kyle Walker’s departure was bad news for the whole squad, but they will have to find a way to deal with it.Kane: Transfer window disrupted the Spurs squad Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane believes a key reason behind Tottenham’s early-season crisis is down to all the uncertainty surrounding some players’ fu上海夜网ture in the transfer window.

“Everybody is sad that he left.

“He is one of the best full-backs in the world and unfortunately he goes to another [Premier League] team, but we have to focus ourselves to win the game.”

The Belgium international joined Tottenham from Atletico Madrid in 2015 and has made 80 appearances for the Spurs over the course of two seasons.