Midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson does have one eye on the league standings and has urged his team-mates to continue picking up points so they are challenging for Champions League positions at the business end of the campaign. “As long as we’re in the top four we’re quite happy,” he told Tottenham’s official website. “We want to be in there at the end of the season and we just need to keep winning games and keep picking up three points. “It is important after the draw against Everton that we continue to pick up points.” Spurs go into the game on the back of a 2-1 victory over Sheriff Tiraspol which saw them qualify from their Europa League group. Villas-Boas made eight changes for the European tie but a number of players, including Soldado, are expected to return to the starting line-up against Newcastle. One player who definitely will start is goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Villas-Boas was criticised in some quarters for keeping the France captain on the pitch at Everton after he was knocked unconscious following a collision with Romelu Lukaku. But the Portuguese manager defended his decision and confirmed Lloris will return on Sunday having sat out the Europa League success on Thursday evening. “We watched their game against Chelsea,” he said. “In the first half, they defended well and then attacked more in the second half. It was a good win for them. I’m sure it will be a good match on Sunday. “I think Newcastle will be quite confident and it won’t be an easy match for us.” Summer signing Soldado has yet to fully adapt to the Barclays Premier League but he has struck three match-winning penalties already this season. Spurs have found it a challenge to break teams down at White Hart Lane as the majority of visitors look to shut up shop in an attempt to stifle the wealth of attacking options available to manager Andre Villas-Boas. Soldado’s late penalty winner against Hull in their last home game was such an occasion and, despite Spurs currently sitting in the top four, the former Valencia forward is taking nothing for granted. “You don’t focus on where teams are in the league, you just go out and give 100 per cent in every match,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where teams are in the league, they give everything. There are no easy matches in the Premier League. “If we manage to win, we’ll continue to make progress and build on the draw at Everton.” Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado is wary of facing a Newcastle side high on morale following their recent victory over Chelsea. Press Association The Magpies recorded a 2-0 win at home to Jose Mourinho’s side last weekend and deservedly collected three points from a difficult fixture, with Tottenham held to a goalless draw at Everton. Now Newcastle travel to face Spurs at White Hart Lane on Sunday with Soldado aware that Alan Pardew’s men will have momentum on their side.
Using their prolific and relentless offense, the No. 3 Wisconsin’s women’s hockey team looks to win again Wednesday evening against conference rival Minnesota State. The Badgers, who are 8-1, have been rolling over opponents all season and have won eight games in a row. The offense has been the key to the Badgers success all season, with the team averaging a lofty 4.3 goals per game. The offensive attack has also made things easy for the defense, as the their fore-checking keeps the puck in the opponent’s zone for much of every game. This has resulted in having just 14 goals scored against the Badgers all season.Junior forward and assistant captain Sara Bauer, who was named WCHA offensive player of the week, leads this offensive attack. Bauer scored six points in last weekend’s sweep of St. Cloud State, and had four points in Friday’s victory. She also scored a hat trick last season against the Mavericks in February.The line of team captain Sharon Cole, Bauer and forward Jinelle Zaugg produced five goals and five assists in the series. The line has been performing well all season, with Cole and Bauer displaying incredible on ice chemistry and Zaugg using her size to camp in front of the opponent’s goal and collect rebounds.”We just need to play the best hockey we can,” Cole said. “We’re doing a good job of working together, moving the puck and moving our feet. Our communication is getting better … if we continue do what we have been, we’ll do well.”The Badgers will look to continue this trend Wednesday against Minnesota State, a team the Badgers have already conquered. Wisconsin holds an all-time record of 24-0-1 against the Mavericks.Head coach Mark Johnson stated he was not worried about a letdown.”One of our mottos is we try to play well no matter who we’re playing,” Johnson said. “If you’re playing a series against one of the top teams in the country it might be easier to get up for. But if you’re a good team and you have good leadership in the locker room, you can get yourself for every game.”The Badgers defeated the Mavericks by a score of 4-1 in Mankato on Oct. 21. The second game was cancelled due to a burst water main near the arena. This mid-week game is a rarity for Johnson’s squad.”The tough part about tomorrow’s game will be playing mid-week,” Johnson said. “It throws the players off their routine and throws the whole team off. That will be the toughest challenge.”The Badgers must look out for the Mavericks’ two best offensive players, freshmen forwards Maggie Fisher and Felicia Nelson. Fisher has 10 points on the season with eight goals and two assists while Nelson has five goals and two assists.The Mavericks do have a relatively low scoring offensive attack, but their defense only allows a few goals to slip by. Minnesota State has allowed just 17 goals in nine games this season.As the Badgers have done so well in previous games, they will look to control the puck in the Mavericks zone and wear down the defense. The Mavericks’ goaltender Brit Kehler will likely face a high number of shots, as Wisconsin has peppered the opposing goalkeeper with a multitude of shots in most games this season. The Badgers out shot St. Cloud State 75-49 this past weekend at the Kohl Center and put 68 shots on goal in just one game against Vermont earlier in October.It is unclear who will start Wednesday’s game in goal, with Meghan Horras and Christine Dufour splitting every series so far this season. It is a possibility that freshman goaltender Jessie Vetter may get the nod for her first start of the season.This game will be the first in many away from the Kohl Center. The Badgers will play six series on the road and will not play at the Kohl Center again until Jan. 20. Despite being away from the Kohl Center, Johnson isn’t concerned.”It (the long road trip) is broken up by the holidays, so that’s OK,” Johnson said. “If you want to do anything in this league, you have to win on the road. I just look at it as another game day, but sometimes you have to get on a bus or get on a plane.”The Badgers will play at St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m.
Former USC head coach Steve Sarkisian lost in his $30 million wrongful termination suit against the University. Before the fall · Sarkisian heads a USC football practice before he was released after multiple incidents related to his alcohol problems | Daily Trojan file photoEarlier this week, an arbitration hearing held in Los Angeles County Superior Court ruled against Sarkisian, the current Atlanta Falcons’ offensive coordinator. He has since said he will no longer pursue the matter.“I am disappointed in the decision, but we will respect it and move on,” said Sarkisian in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times. Sarkisian was terminated by USC in 2015 after repeated instances of drunken behavior. Prior to the 2015 season, he was caught on video slurring his words and saying multiple expletives at a booster event. Later in the season, he was allegedly intoxicated during various team meetings, practices and even games. Former Athletic Director Pat Haden fired Sarkisian in October 2015, naming Clay Helton as the interim head coach. In his lawsuit, Sarkisian alleged that USC did not allow him time to undergo treatment for alcoholism, prior to his ouster. He said he was going through a divorce at the time. “Instead of supporting its head coach, Steve Sarkisian, when he needed its help the most, USC kicked him to the curb,” read his complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court a couple of months after his termination. In the case, Sarkisian aimed to receive the outlying $12.6 million from his original contract. He sued USC on the basis he was fired over a disability. However, those allegations were shot down in the arbitration hearing. Per Deadspin, the hearing concluded that he was terminated over his detrimental behavior related to alcoholism, ruling it a “failure to control a controllable disability.” “We are pleased that the arbitration has reached its rightful conclusion and we wish Steve Sarkisian well,” USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann said in a statement.After his exit from USC, Sarkisian was hired as an offensive analyst at Alabama in 2016. He coached their offense in the 2017 National Championship game. He is entering his second season as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator. Prior to his short-lived tenure as Trojans’ head coach, Sarkisian was head coach at Washington from 2009-13. He has a long history with USC, also working as an assistant under Pete Carroll from 2001-2008.