Fireworks expected as Real Madrid prepare to host Sevilla in LaLiga Santander this Saturday


17-01-2020
Saturday’s Real Madrid versus Sevilla LaLiga clash at the Santiago Bernabeu features a host of dramatic storylines and a fascinating cast of characters.

One of LaLiga’s most historic fixtures will again not lack for narratives, including Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui returning to the capital and Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos facing his former team once more -if his ankle allows it-.

There is extra spice with both sides involved in this season’s unpredictable and exciting title race. Real Madrid sit joint-top with Barcelona at the mid-way point of the campaign, with Sevilla just five points behind in fourth place.

Los Blancos’ home form this season has been excellent, with six wins and three draws in the league in front of their own fans so far. Zinedine Zidane’s formidable defence has conceded just six goals in those nine matches, a defensive record which has helped make Belgian international keeper Thibaut Courtois the leading contender to take the ‘Zamora’ award for LaLiga’s best goalkeeper this season.

Key at the other end for Real Madrid has been the form of centre-forward Karim Benzema, who has 12 goals and five assists in LaLiga already. The Frenchman’s contribution has been vital given fitness issues affecting the team’s other high-profile attackers Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard. But the number ‘9’ missed the last two Real Madrid games and it’s not sure if he could be set for the game.

Away form has not been a strength of Sevilla’s in recent years, but that has changed under Lopetegui this term. The rojiblancos have the best ‘road-record’ in LaLiga so far, with 20 points in total from their first 10 away games. Summer signings Diego Carlos and Fernando have been excellent in defensive roles, while evergreen Argentine playmaker Ever Banega gets better and better.

Lopetegui is likely to be extra motivated on Saturday, having had a short spell as Real Madrid coach last season. Sevilla’s on loan left-back Sergio Reguilon should also be up for it and will be free to face his ‘parent’ club. Mexico international Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez also has a Bernabeu past and will be hoping Lopetegui gives him a chance to feature, although it seems to be some movements around the Mexican striker ahead the current winter transfer market.

This fixture is also always extra special for Real Madrid skipper Ramos, who was born in Seville and started his career at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan. The 32-year-old usually has an eventful time against his former club, with four goals scored and 12 yellow cards in 16 LaLiga meetings to date. It’s also true that he suffered a severe pain in his ankle during the last Real game, so it’s not sure if he will be able to play.

Real Madrid ended a run of four straight LaLiga defeats at the Sanchez-Pizjuan last September with a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Benzema. The story has been different at the Bernabeu recently, where Madrid have taken the three points in each of the last LaLiga campaigns. 2018/19's fixture finished 2-0 to Los Blancos, with the goals coming late from Casemiro and Luka Modric.

Saturday will also be Real Madrid's first game since last Sunday's Spanish Super Cup victory in Saudi Arabia, so the atmosphere is expected to be great at Bernabeu. Meanwhile Sevilla also had a successful weekend as they easily progressed to the Copa del Rey last 32 with a straightforward 5-0 victory at lower tier side UM Escobedo.

All’s perfectly poised for Saturday at the Bernabeu, with plenty to prove for players on both sides as they go head to head for three points likely to be huge in this season's LaLiga title race.

Watch Real Madrid vs Sevilla FC live this Saturday at 8:30PM on Facebook Watch.

​Sony Pictures Networks India organizes the ‘SPN Vision Run 2020’ for visually challenged athletes in India

 07-01- 2020:

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) in association with their CSR partner, Cricket Association for the Blind of Maharashtra (CABM), hosted the first edition of the SPN Vision Run 2020 today for visually challenged athletes. The run was flagged off by Rajkumar Bidawatka, Head of CSR, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and Ramakant Satam, secretary, Cricket Association for the Blind of Maharashtra (CABM) along with noted television actors from Sony Pictures Networks India, at the Worli Police Camp ground. The SPN Vision Run 2020 saw over 200 motivated visually challenged athletes accomplish a guided five km run along the Worli Sea Face route in Mumbai. 

The SPN Vision Run initiative is focused on the spirit of bridging the gap and creating equal opportunities for differently abled athletes at national sporting levels. This is one more step amongst an ongoing series of sporting activities, to hone the athletes skills and bring them at par with professional level athletes.

This association falls under the Empowerment pillar of SPN’s umbrella CSR campaign, ‘Ek India Happywala’. With an aim towards supporting India’s social development agenda, the campaign over the years has created positive social impact with a special focus on empowering youth from the marginalized sections of the society. SPN believes that sports is a terrific medium of empowerment and is committed to making a tangible impact to the sports narrative in India. 

Every participant was honored with a certificate and medal to boost their morale and encourage them to further themselves competitively. Present on the occasion were television artists of popular shows like Dev Joshi, Shreedhar Watsar of Baalveer Returns, Aasiya Kazi & Pankaj Berry of Tenali Rama, Smita Bansal, Gulfam Khan & Raashul Tandon of Aladdin: Naam Toh Suna Hoga, Mudit, Rishina, Kaaran, Pradeep, Saraswati, Sumbul, Aksh, Nitesh, Varinder, Simran & Debattma of Ishaaron Ishaaron Mein along with Indian Idol contestants, Rishab, Ridham, Rohit, Jannabi, Sunny and Shahzanmujeeb,

The SPN Vision Run 2020 also witnessed the participation of Amarjeet Singh Chawla, aka, Sporty Sikh, a 64-year-old visually challenged marathon runner who celebrated his birthday today by completing his 125th run.   

Comments:

Rajkumar Bidawatka, Head of CSR, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN):

“Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) is proud to support CABM in their endeavour to encourage the spirit of true sportsmanship. Empowerment through sports has been a key focus area for us. This opportunity helps us provide every athlete, a fair chance to achieve their dreams.  It gives us immense pride to play our role as catalysts in their individual journey by honing their skills and providing them an avenue to go #BeyondBoundaries.”

Ramakant Satam, Secretary, Cricket Association for the Blind of Maharashtra (CABM):

“We are on a constant lookout for opportunities like the SPN Vision Run 2020. It is an honor to host an event which empowers visually challenged athletes and It gives us immense pride to partner with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and help aid the cause. Our endeavour is to encourage sports participation by ensuring an equal platform for all.”

Maharashtra, Karnataka dominate day 3 in Kho Kho at Khelo India Youth Games 2020
Kerala, Gujarat, Haryana also register wins


17-01-2020
Guwahati, : Maharashtra, Karnataka continue to impress in U-21 and U-17 categories as Gujarat and Kerala also win matches in U-17 at the ongoing Khelo India Youth Games 2020 here in Guwahati, Assam today.

Maharashtra dominated the U-17 and U-21 categories. In the U-17 while the boys from Maharashtra defeated Karnataka 10-4, the girls’ in the category had a slow start as they did not secure any points in the first innings against Gujarat. However, the Maharashtra girls came from behind in the 3rd innings and clinched 10 points to win the match by 4 points. In the U-21 category, the Maharashtra girls completely overshadowed Andhra Pradesh by fetching 11 points in the first inning itself. Andhra could only manage 2 points at the end of the 2nd innings. The match ended with Maharashtra winning by an innings and 5 points.

While Karnataka girls in the U-21 category beat Haryana 7-3, in the U-17 category the girls overpowered Assam and won by a huge margin of 12 points and an innings.

Besides Karnataka, Gujarat boys also won against Andhra Pradesh in the U-17 category. The boys dominated the first half with a 7-0 socreline. Andhra boys showed some resilience in the second half by clinching 6 points but that was not enough to stop Gujarat as they added 9 more points to account in their second innings, to win the match by 10 points.

For Kerala the boys’ U-17 team crushed Assam’s confidence in the first half itself as they put 18 Assamese defenders off the mat while Assam could only manage with 5 points at the end of 2nd innings. In the 3rd innings Assam could only add 7 more points to the kitty which resulted in Kerala winning the match by 6 points and an innings.

The girls in the U-17 category however could not go past Haryana. The girls lost to Haryana by a single point.

SPORTS FIELD

07-12-2019

UFC Fight Night – Alistair Overeem vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Fight fans are in for a treat this Sunday as the UFC invades Capital One Arena, Washington for an electrifying main event which showcases Alistair Overeem versus Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the Heavyweight Bout category. Adding to the excitement, the co-main event will feature the strongest female wrestlers in UFC as Marina Rodriguez and Cynthia Calvillo are all set to punch and grapple to rise in the Women Strawweight category.  

Heavyweight Bout (Main Event) - Alistair Overeem and Jairzinho Rozenstruik

This week, UFC has made inroads all the way to Washington where Alistair “The Demolition man” Overeem will be facing off Jairzinho “Bigi Boy” Rozenstruik. The main event this time was initially supposed to see Walt Harris take on Alistair Overeem, but due to Harris’s unavailability, the card had to look out for a replacement and Jairzinho Rozenstruik stepped in to face the veteran, giving all the UFC fans an intriguing Heavyweight clash this weekend.

The former SLAMM Soema Na Basi World Champion, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, currently holds an unbeatable UFC record of 9 wins and 0 losses. At 246lbs, ‘Bigi Boy’ is surprisingly quick and agile but most notably, hits incredibly hard. Meanwhile, Alistair “The Demolition man” Overeem may be closing in on 40, but he’s clearly still a force to reckon with due to his experience in the Octagon. After suffering back-to-back losses to Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes, the Dutch superstar rebounded with consecutive first-round finishes over Sergei Pavlovich and Aleksei Oleinik to re-affirm his standing as one of the top talents in the division. However he has been wobbling from strikes in his recent fights but that solid legwork on the ground along with a record of 74% grappling accuracy will surely prove an advantage to the Demolition Man.

It would be interesting to see whether the “proven veteran” proves himself again or will the “rising star” continue his unbeaten form in UFC.

Women Strawweight Bout (Main Event) - Marina Rodriguez and Cynthia Calvillo

The co-main event this week is a reminder of the abode of talent that exists in the Women Strawweight division as Marina Rodriguez is all set to face Cynthia Calvillo. Similar to the main event, former title challenger Claudia Gadelha was scheduled to fight Cynthia Calvillo, but due to the Brazilian’s hand injury, Marina Rodriguez takes her place in the Octagon.

A venomous boxer with power-packed punches, Cynthia Calvillo, is equally dangerous on the ground as she is with her hands. UFC still remembers her wins against Poliana Botelho and Cortney Casey to solidify her place in the Top 10. Apart from her only loss against former champ Carla Esparza, Cynthia Calvillo, always fights her strengths and calculates her moves depending on her opponent and is desperately looking to take the next step forward in her title chase. Her opponent, Marina Rodriguez, the fighter with a long reach, is yet another unbeaten fighter who has always maintained the standard of her performances by never leaving her fans or critics disappointed with her time in the octagon. The fans still remember her last fight with Tecia Torres where the Brazilian used her range to avoid Torres’ boxing combinations and strategically work her over with kicks to come out victorious in the Octagon.

This one is a tricky one to pick as both women are highly skilled in all areas along with an abode of knowledge of their competitor’s strength. The fans can expect nothing less than fireworks as the best fight their way to glory inside the Octagon this weekend.

 

Fireworks expected as Real Madrid prepare to host Sevilla  in LaLiga Santander this Saturday 

17-01-2020

Saturday evening’s Real Madrid versus Sevilla LaLiga clash at the Santiago Bernabeu features a host of dramatic storylines and a fascinating cast of characters. 

One of LaLiga’s most historic fixtures will again not lack for narratives, including Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui returning to the capital and Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos facing his former team once more -if his ankle allows it-. 

There is extra spice with both sides involved in this season’s unpredictable and exciting title race. Real Madrid sit joint-top with Barcelona at the mid-way point of the campaign, with Sevilla just five points behind in fourth place. 

Los Blancos’ home form this season has been excellent, with six wins and three draws in the league in front of their own fans so far. Zinedine Zidane’s formidable defence has conceded just six goals in those nine matches, a defensive record which has helped make Belgian international keeper Thibaut Courtois the leading contender to take the ‘Zamora’ award for LaLiga’s best goalkeeper this season. 

Key at the other end for Real Madrid has been the form of centre-forward Karim Benzema, who has 12 goals and five assists in LaLiga already. The Frenchman’s contribution has been vital given fitness issues affecting the team’s other high-profile attackers Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard. But the number ‘9’ missed the last two Real Madrid games and it’s not sure if he could be set for the game.  

Away form has not been a strength of Sevilla’s in recent years, but that has changed under Lopetegui this term. The rojiblancos have the best ‘road-record’ in LaLiga so far, with 20 points in total from their first 10 away games. Summer signings Diego Carlos and Fernando have been excellent in defensive roles, while evergreen Argentine playmaker Ever Banega gets better and better. 

Lopetegui is likely to be extra motivated on Saturday, having had a short spell as Real Madrid coach last season. Sevilla’s on loan left-back Sergio Reguilon should also be up for it and will be free to face his ‘parent’ club. Mexico international Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez also has a Bernabeu past and will be hoping Lopetegui gives him a chance to feature, although it seems to be some movements around the Mexican striker ahead the current winter transfer market. 

This fixture is also always extra special for Real Madrid skipper Ramos, who was born in Seville and started his career at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan. The 32-year-old usually has an eventful time against his former club, with four goals scored and 12 yellow cards in 16 LaLiga meetings to date. It’s also true that he suffered a severe pain in his ankle during the last Real game, so it’s not sure if he will be able to play. 

Real Madrid ended a run of four straight LaLiga defeats at the Sanchez-Pizjuan last September with a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Benzema. The story has been different at the Bernabeu recently, where Madrid have taken the three points in each of the last LaLiga campaigns. 2018/19's fixture finished 2-0 to Los Blancos, with the goals coming late from Casemiro and Luka Modric. 


Saturday will also be Real Madrid's first game since last Sunday's Spanish Super Cup victory in Saudi Arabia, so the atmosphere is expected to be great at Bernabeu. Meanwhile Sevilla also had a successful weekend as they easily progressed to the Copa del Rey last 32 with a straightforward 5-0 victory at lower tier side UM Escobedo. 

All’s perfectly poised for Saturday afternoon at the Bernabeu, with plenty to prove for players on both sides as they go head to head for three points likely to be huge in this season's LaLiga title race. 

Watch Real Madrid vs Sevilla FC live this Saturday at  8.30 pm on Facebook Watch.

UFC 246


17-01-2020
As UFC enters the 26th since its inception in, MMA fans can ask for nothing more than the most awaited clash at the start of 2020. UFC is hosting its first big fight of the year with UFC 246 and it’s no less than a dream come true for all MMA enthusiasts to finally witness – Conor McGregor making his comeback with Donald Cerrone for the main event at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas in the Welterweight division.

Adding to the excitement, the co-main event will feature Holly Holm who will face off Raquel Pennington under the Featherweight Bout category to grab their titles.

Welterweight Bout (Main Event) - Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone

As we welcome the new decade, UFC opens its gates to the first fight which has all the potential to become the fight of the year, featuring some legends headlining the earth-shattering line up on the card this time. UFC 246 is the most awaited fight as it features two old rivals- Conor “Notorious” McGregor and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone who arel prepped to face off each other in the octagon this weekend. 

Conor McGregor

Conor “Notorious” McGregor is all set to end his 15-month hiatus for his win in this one since his last fight with Khabib. McGregor who appears to be taking this fight very seriously has been working rigorously on his transformation after his break and has now successfully moved to 170lbs. Donald Cerrone, on the other hand, definitely has made more trips to the octagon with a better experience at the Welterweight Bout but also has some big weaknesses which line up too well in McGregor’s favor. Conor’s height at 5’9” with a reach of 74” has always left his opponents against the fence, mostly leaving them unconscious. Talking to the media about his comeback and his excitement for UFC 246, McGregor says, “Patience is one of the most valuable skills a human being must master and I am working hard to master it and I feel I’m getting there. UFC 246 is a fight that excites me. And it’s a fight that I said I’d partake. And I appreciate it. I appreciate Donald. He’s fought a lot of times.”

The critics fondly say that all predictions go in vain when McGregor hits the octagon, but it somewhere stands true. The scenario in the octagon this weekend will be nothing but electric!

Donald Cerrone

Balancing the scale at the main event, we have Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone who has been one of those few, whose name is all over UFC record books even without a belt. Cerrone who has never been one to shy away from a fight and enters on a two-fight slide, is all set to claim this title after years of blood and sweat. The main card which is a pair of 170lbers might suit Cerrone more than ‘The Notorious One’ as the former has fought at 170lbs on numerous occasions, nearly reaching a title shot in 2017 before being derailed by Jorge Masvidal. Cerrone, at a height of 6’1” with a reach of 73” has a tremendous kicking game along with his long punches and jabs which keep his foe at distance. To combat McGregor’s strength of gauging the range of the opponent, Cerrone would have to keep his kicking and grappling game strong by mixing his takedowns for a good measure. Talking to the media before the fight, Cerrone says, “It’s cool, man. I’m happy to be here. If you look at the roster and see who damn well deserves this fight, it’s me. I put the time in, put the effort.” Critics say that Cowboy has a chance to win this fight, certainly; he’s a much better striker in terms of overall skills and he’s far better in terms of grappling.

Women Bantamweight Bout (Co- Main Event) - Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington

The co-main event this week is a reminder of the abode of talent that exists in the Women Bantamweight Bout division as Holly Holm is all set to face Raquel Pennington at the octagon this year.

Holly Holm

UFC 246 under the Women Bantamweight Bout category marks the comeback of Former UFC bantamweight champion Holly “The Hottie” Holm who is all set to fight Raquel Pennington for the rematch scheduled this weekend. Holm’s last fight against Amanda Nunes ended with a brutal knockout. She has spent the last few years bouncing between featherweight and bantamweight and has continued to compete against elite competition. Although these old friends had their first fight way back in 2014, both fighters have improved considerably since then and it is difficult to see this going a different way. It would be very interesting to see both of them together inside the cage, as Holm has a clear striking advantage every possible way, and Pennington has a clear grappling advantage, which can turn the tables and leaving the audience nail biting. Holm is expected to keep the fight on the feet and leverage her impeccable cardio to outwork Pennington.

Raquel Pennington

Raquel “Rocky” Pennington was the first to welcome Holm to the Octagon back at UFC 184 where the future bantamweight champion landed on the happy side of a split decision verdict.

The master of grappling, Pennington primarily uses her range as her tactic to open up on her opponents from angles that they may not expect. She has a strong sense of understanding of her foes where she exactly knows when to turn up the heat and draw them down into a brawl. The critics say that ‘The Rocky’ is definitely a more nuanced striker who hits harder, but she’s still a shorter fighter attempting to get into range against someone who is the absolute best with her ground work unloading heavy combinations on her opponents without slowing down at all.