Naparima College, with three games to go in their Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division title defence campaign have tightened their grip at the top of the table after Wednesday’s round of games.

Beginning the day with a four-point lead over Presentation College, Naparima did themselves a big favour with the 5-0 thrashing of Carapichaima East Secondary on Wednesday.

The result pushed Naps to 29 points from 11 games, six ahead of St Anthony’s College, who were comfortable 2-0 winners over Pleasantville Secondary.

That result helped St Anthony’s jump from third to second and may have put Presentation under pressure after their game against Queen’s Royal College was not played.

Presentation just needs to win their remaining games to keep pressure on Naps and to stave off St Anthony’s, who, while a point ahead,have a game in hand and could perceivably regain their second-place position. Without a mistake from the leaders, Presentation can finish at best, one point off the leaders.

Carapichaima are still fourth despite the heavy defeat with their 19 points, giving them one point more than fifth place East Mucurapo, who were clipped 1-0 by Trinity College East.

In other games played on Wednesday, San Juan North Secondary were 4-2 winners over Malick Secondary and Trinity College Moka were slammed 4-nil by St Benedict’s College.

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

+-

Pts

1

Naparima College

11

9

2

0

30

10

20

29

2

St Anthony's College

10

7

2

1

31

10

21

23

3

Presentation College

9

7

1

1

25

6

19

22

4

Carapichaima East Secondary

10

5

4

1

16

14

2

19

5

East Mucurapo Secondary

10

5

3

2

18

9

9

18

6

Queen's Royal College

9

5

1

3

18

20

-2

16

7

San Juan North Secondary

10

4

2

4

23

9

14

14

8

St Augustine Secondary

10

3

4

3

25

18

7

13

9

Trinity College East

9

3

2

4

13

16

-3

11

10

Pleasantville Secondary

10

3

1

6

12

16

-4

10

11

St Benedict's College

10

3

1

6

12

19

-7

10

12

Speyside Secondary

10

2

2

6

13

31

-18

8

13

Malick Secondary

10

2

1

7

15

22

-7

7

14

Trinity College Moka

10

1

1

8

11

33

-22

4

15

St Mary's College

10

1

1

8

5

34

-29

4

 

Paris Saint-Germain have been boosted by the return of Kylian Mbappe to their squad to face Nice, with Edinson Cavani also included.

The Ligue 1 champions were dealt injury blows during the international break as world-record signing Neymar and impressive midfielder Idrissa Gueye sustained hamstring issues.

But Thomas Tuchel can call on star attacker Mbappe again on Friday, with the World Cup winner available after a complication with his hamstring ahead of the previous match against Angers.

Mbappe had been out earlier in the campaign with a similar issue and had to withdraw from France duty during the international break.

Tuchel told a news conference on Thursday the 20-year-old has been "training normally" as he hoped to have him available.

"I am happy that we reached an agreement with the France national team because he couldn't play," Tuchel said. "On Monday, he trained by himself to keep coming back. He couldn't have played against Turkey.

"He now has a full week of training under his belt, but that's different, training with a small group of players, compared to a high-intensity match of football.

"You can't play when you're only 80 per cent. You need to be 100 per cent for these types of matches."

Mbappe was joined in the PSG squad by their record goalscorer Cavani, who has not played since August.

The Uruguay international - out of contract at the end of the season and linked to Juventus - is back following a hip injury.

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has the support of the club after the spat between his wife Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney, manager Brendan Rodgers has said.

Coleen Rooney, wife of England's record goalscorer Wayne Rooney, last week alleged that stories about her personal life had been leaked to a newspaper by someone with access to Rebekah Vardy's Instagram account.

By changing her privacy settings to mean only those logged in on Rebekah Vardy's account could view her Instagram stories, Coleen Rooney said she posted a series of fabricated tales about her personal life which made their way into print.

Rebekah Vardy strenuously denied any involvement in passing on details to The Sun newspaper and hit back at Coleen Rooney.

Rooney was nicknamed 'WAGatha Christie' by British media for the elaborate way in which she claimed to have worked out how the stories reached the public domain.

Rebekah Vardy blamed "various people having access to my insta" and said she was "disgusted" to have to deny involvement at a time when she was heavily pregnant.

The unusual saga came during football's international break. Wayne Rooney and Jamie Vardy are former England team-mates but have retired from playing for their country.

Rodgers addressed the matter at a news conference on Thursday and said: "It's something that is personal and outside of our remit. All we ever offer is support to the players and their families.

"I was aware of what went on last week. I actually gave Jamie an extra few days away with his family to have a rest and I'm sure that was a difficult week for them. We're here to support him, and his family if they need it."

Rodgers added: "I spoke to Jamie earlier on in the week. He has trained fine and been great this week."

Wayne Rooney, who is also Manchester United's record scorer, will return to English football following his time with MLS team DC United when he joins Championship club Derby County in January.

Jamie Vardy has scored five Premier League goals for Leicester this season, with Rodgers' men riding high in fourth position. They play Burnley on Saturday.

A decision on whether next week's Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid can go ahead at Camp Nou is set to be made on Thursday, Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales said.

Violent scenes broke out in Barcelona at the start of the week after nine Catalan political leaders received long prison sentences for their roles in the region's 2017 referendum and subsequent declaration of independence.

A rally in the city has been called by pro-independence politicians for October 26, the day Barca are due to host bitter rivals Madrid.

Barcelona's main airport was briefly closed on Tuesday due to the tension, with Spanish league officials raising concern the Clasico could be affected by protests.

One option would be to move the game to Madrid and for Barca to host the second Clasico of the season, but that was opposed by Blaugrana head coach Ernesto Valverde on Thursday.

There have also been suggestions the match should be postponed and an alternative date in the calendar found. Valverde thinks the game should go ahead as planned.

Rubiales said Barca and Madrid swiftly submitted their observations on the matter and the RFEF would be seeking to make an early decision.

"I can assure that we will work to try to have a resolution this evening, because there are people involved, supporters with booked trips, tickets, media, and that is what we have done," Rubiales said.

"Regarding the government, what I can say is that this is a matter of football, and it is the competition committee which has to decide. So the government hasn't contacted us or asked for one or another thing."

Roma coach Paulo Fonseca has had his Serie A touchline ban reduced from two matches to one.

Fonseca was handed a two-game ban by the Lega Serie A after continuing to aggressively shout at referee Davide Massa following his dismissal in Roma's 1-1 draw with Cagliari on October 6.

However, the 46-year-old appealed the decision and will now only miss one game - Sunday's trip to Sampdoria - before returning to the dugout for next week's home meeting with AC Milan.

Roma, who confirmed the news on their official Twitter page on Thursday, sit fifth in Serie A ahead of their return to action this weekend.

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde issued an appeal for calm as his team made an early dash to Eibar to avoid more possible protests in their home city.

Violent scenes broke out in Barcelona at the start of the week after nine Catalan political leaders were dealt long prison sentences for their roles in the region's 2017 referendum and subsequent declaration of independence.

Barcelona's main airport was briefly closed on Tuesday due to the tension, with Spanish league officials later suggesting the Clasico with Real Madrid next week could be moved from Camp Nou to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Talk around that match dominated Valverde's media conference on Thursday, which had been designated to preview this Saturday's game against Eibar.

It emerged that Barca would be leaving on Thursday to make the trip to the Basque Country, rather than departing on Friday as would normally be the case.

"Tomorrow there could be things going on, protests in Barcelona," Valverde said. "There could be travel issues and we have to be there for the game. It's Saturday at 1pm and we thought this was the best option."

Valverde grew up in the Basque region and played for Athletic Bilbao for six years.

He is no stranger to tense political climates surrounding autonomy given that background, but regarding events in Catalonia he said: "I don't want to get too far into the things that are going on. They are issues that have been going on for years.

"What's happened recently is not habitual. We want people to be able to express themselves with the maximum level of freedom.

"Everyone has to respect each other and maybe that hasn’t been there the last few days."

He added: "At this time I think things need to be done in the political world so that there’s understanding. Obviously there are things you don't like to see and we hope that's a one-time thing, and that's it."

Valverde should be more comfortable once Barcelona are out of the city and he can focus on the Eibar game, an important fixture for the club given their mixed start to the campaign.

They sit second in LaLiga, two points behind Real Madrid, and have struggled at times over their opening eight games, in which they have suffered two losses.

Looking ahead to the Eibar trip, Valverde said: "These games are important because we're not at top of the table and we need three points.

"We did have a bit of a tough stretch and we reacted well to it. Sometimes you don't play well but you win anyway and you expect the team to react and that's what we've done in recent years.

"We would like to be in first place but we're not because we tripped up in a few games."

Lucien Favre has called for calm with Jadon Sancho at Borussia Dortmund, saying the enormous expectations on the young winger's shoulders are "dangerous".

Sancho was this week named on the shortlist for the 2019 Golden Boy award - given to the best under-21 player in Europe - following an eye-catching year in Germany.

The 19-year-old has contributed to three goals and five assists in seven Bundesliga games this season, but Favre started him on the bench for the 2-2 draw at Freiburg two weeks ago due to tiredness.

Favre defended his decision at the time and has reiterated that Sancho cannot be expected to be at his best week in, week out, particularly with so much pressure on him to succeed.

"The expectations on him from everyone are enormous," Favre said at Thursday's news conference ahead of his side's home match with Borussia Monchengladbach. "We forget that he is only 19 years old. That's dangerous. 

"He still has a lot to learn. He's a great player, no discussion about that. But he still has to learn, he needs to continue having fun and making progress.

"His potential is enormous. It's normal for every player. You can't be on a high level for a whole year. It's impossible. One or two months a year you are not at 100 per cent. That is normal. 

"One year ago he basically was never on the pitch and started to play only from October. Before that he was always on the bench and slowly but steadily he showed that he needed to play."

Sancho started England's Euro 2020 qualifying defeat to Czech Republic last week and was a second-half substitute for Monday's 6-0 win against Bulgaria.

Favre is concerned by Sancho's workload at such a young age and is keen to protect the former Manchester City youngster.

"He played 73 minutes against the Czech Republic and was brought on against Bulgaria. This is not a break," he said.

"Obviously it's fantastic that he plays for England already. But to me it's completely normal that he needs to hit the brakes a little."

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde says the first Clasico of the season against Real Madrid should go ahead as planned at Camp Nou on October 26.

LaLiga has proposed moving the match to the Santiago Bernabeu amid the political unrest in Catalonia, and a reported alternative would be to set the fixture back to December.

Nine Catalan political leaders were given prison sentences ranging from nine to 13 years on Monday for their roles in the region's 2017 referendum and subsequent unilateral declaration of independence.

The ruling sparked a huge backlash and clashes between police and protestors, with Barcelona's main airport briefly closed the following day due to the tension.

A city rally has been called by pro-independence politicians for October 26, the day Barca are due to host their bitter rivals at Camp Nou.

There are concerns the match could be hijacked by protesters for political purposes, but Valverde was adamant Barca want it to be played on its intended date, at their home stadium.

He said in a news conference on Thursday: "There has been a lot of chatter about that game. There was the possibility of changing the order of matches and playing the game at Madrid first, but we don't see that.

"We have an away game this weekend, then [we would have another] next weekend, and then we have to go travel again. And not just because of that, but it's about respecting the calendar and the fans, and the normal thing is to play at our pitch, but we'll see what happens.

"People are getting a bit ahead of themselves with regard to this game. This has been a strange week in Barcelona, everyone knows that, but there's time still and we trust the game will be played in our stadium, which is what we want.

"There are nine days left before we play. We also played at the Wanda Metropolitano against Atletico Madrid [in 2017, after the Catalan independence referendum] and everyone said there would be drama and there was our fans, their fans – everyone has a right to express an opinion in the ground and we think the same thing will happen here.

"Everybody's thinking about whether the game's going to be moved, and it's an opportunity to show there is respect for your opponents that it can be played, and it's an important match for people to see.

"It should be played under normal circumstances. People can express their opinions in the stadium in a natural way."

Amid a suggestion a decision on the fixture could be taken as early as this Thursday by league officials, Valverde was asked whether a postponement might most help Barca or Madrid.

"I don't know, we're going to wait and see," he said. "We'd be coming off a Wednesday [game] and they off a Tuesday [game]. It could seem we benefit more by not having to play, but those things are not very important.

"These games are so highly anticipated that I think the players are ready to play them whenever they are played."

Thomas Tuchel says Edinson Cavani is integral to his Paris Saint-Germain plans despite the uncertainty as the striker approaches the end of his contract.

Uruguay striker Cavani is due to reach the end of his deal at Parc des Princes after this campaign, and he has been linked with a possible move to Juventus.

The 32-year-old has been with the French capital giants since 2013 and is their all-time record goalscorer.

His loss would be keenly felt, even if Cavani has been sidelined by a hip injury recently and remains a doubt for Friday's Ligue 1 match with Nice.

Asked about Cavani, and whether he hoped the frontman would agree a new deal, Tuchel said in a news conference on Thursday: "It's too soon to speak about such things. I'm sure Edi is speaking with the club. He knows it's his club.

"I don’t know Edi’s ideas exactly at the moment. I count 100 per cent on Edi this season. He's been missing for several weeks and the main thing for me is to push Edi on the pitch, so we've got a fit and in-form Edinson Cavani."

Tuchel left little doubt that he wants Cavani to remain with PSG beyond this season, explaining he is a member of a core group of players that he uses as a sounding board.

"He's got the most goals for the club. Edi is very important," Tuchel said. "He's in the group of five players I always speak with, to have an opinion from them on all things. He's important in the dressing room and on the pitch."

Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed he used to idolise Patrick Vieira as he prepares to take on the World Cup winner.

Tuchel's modest playing career in lower-league German football was grinding to a premature halt when the young Vieira was helping France lift the Jules Rimet Trophy on home soil in 1998.

Vieira went from strength to strength with Arsenal and Les Bleus, later enjoying spells at Juventus, Inter and Manchester City.

It took Tuchel many years to establish himself in the game as a coach, but success at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund paved the way for a move to Paris.

At the age of 46 he is three years Vieira's senior, and they will go head to head in Ligue 1 on Friday when leaders PSG travel to take on ninth-placed Nice.

As well as being a clash between two sides backed by unrivalled financial muscle in the French game, the touchline action could also be fascinating.

Vieira could not take the quiet route to success that Tuchel has achieved, given his status in the game, but learning the ropes on the Manchester City staff and in MLS with New York City FC led him last year to a first big job in Europe.

Tuchel is looking forward to facing Vieira again, saying: "He was one of my idols when I watched football as a fan and a player. He was a guy you could learn everything about the game from.

"Amazing career, amazing player and his personality on the field. When I was in New York on my sabbatical [in 2017-18], I watched a game of New York City FC.

"We didn't manage to meet after, so we only had some phone calls. And I was very surprised how humble and how friendly he was when we met for the first time in Nice last season."

Speaking on PSG's YouTube channel, Tuchel added: "For me, it's amazing if the best players share their experiences and be coaches.

"I like the approach that you take your way not on the highest level where you have played, but you learn the profession. Because it is good if you have the experience as a player, but it's a completely new job to learn.

"It's a nice team now in Nice. I'm looking forward to seeing him again and hopefully we wish him all the best – from Saturday!"

Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel is furious his players are being forced to play so many games and warned it could become bad for their health.

Tuchel has told the football authorities they have packed the calendar with so many matches and tournaments that the game will suffer.

The German coach will take his players from the French capital to the south coast for a clash with Nice on Friday, having barely had time to reacquaint themselves after the international break.

And after losing star forward Neymar for four weeks to a hamstring injury sustained on Brazil duty, Tuchel is understandably angry his job is being made more complicated by factors over which he has no control.

"Friday night for us after an international break is a bit bizarre. I can't understand it," Tuchel said. "We'll have to adapt."

Tuchel was speaking in his pre-match news conference on Thursday, and when asked about the busy schedule for his players, he was stinging with his criticism.

"There's too many competitions, too many matches, too many friendlies," Tuchel said. "We've got a big problem for me because there's no preparation phase [for the Nice game].

"There's too much competition. This summer we had the Africa Cup of Nations, the European Under-21 Championship, the Copa America; next year we've got the Copa America again, the European Championship – it never stops.

"For me, it's too much. There are too many matches for the same players. At the end you feel the lack of quality, lack of health, lack of preparation, lack of time to train for sport at the highest level."

He added: "We're convinced it's necessary for everyone to have a holiday and to have time to recover and prepare, but that's not the case in football. Teams play too many games and get too many injuries to players."

PSG lead Ligue 1 but have struggled to assemble a fully fit squad all season, with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Julian Draxler all battling to return to peak fitness.

"We're doing all we can. Injuries happen," Tuchel said. "As I said, we're convinced the best thing to avoid injuries is to have proper time to prepare – good endurance and capacity for creating performance.

"It's a shame we never have the squad fully fit. We expect a lot from them – results and good performances. We have to find solutions. We're going to control as much as we can."

Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac accepts he made a mistake with comments that suggested Thomas Muller would be left on the fringes of the first team.

Muller, 30, has made just three starts in the Bundesliga this season, failing to score a single goal, as Kovac appears to favour other options in attack and out wide.

Ahead of the 2-1 defeat to Hoffenheim – in which Muller appeared as a substitute – Kovac suggested the German would only get an opportunity "when we're short of options".

Muller confirmed his frustration with the situation in an interview during the international break, while he has since been linked with a move away from the Allianz Arena.

But Kovac revealed he spoke to Muller in private to clarify his comments, as he believes he chose his words incorrectly.

"I cannot say who will play at the weekend - as for the statement, it was a mistake of mine," Kovac told reporters ahead of Saturday's trip to Augsburg.

"I incorrectly articulated my thoughts, but I disproved my own statement with the fact Thomas has been coming [into matches] recently.

"I spoke with Thomas the next day, everything was cleared up and he understood it the way I meant it, so I made a mistake – it happens to me too, that's life.

"We talked about it, but no matter which player it is, everyone who doesn't play is unhappy. I have to make decisions as a coach and I can't start more than 11 players, I have to find the team I think can win the game.

"For people from the outside, a coach basically does nothing right. I won't let myself be guided. We have our own ideas and we will implement those."

Bayern go into the weekend third in the Bundesliga table, two points adrift of early leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.

Borussia Dortmund have finally confirmed a new four-year deal for Raphael Guerreiro.

Portugal international Guerreiro had appeared set to commit his future to Dortmund in September, with sporting director Michael Zorc describing himself as "very optimistic" a contract would be agreed.

The extension was formally announced on Thursday, with the versatile defender set to stay at Signal Iduna Park until 2023.

Guerreiro's previous deal was due to expire at the end of the season, prompting links to Paris Saint-Germain in the previous transfer window.

Upon signing the new terms, Guerreiro said: "Borussia Dortmund are a great club where I have been feeling very comfortable with my family for three years.

"I will do everything I can to help our team achieve their goals and we should start with victory on Saturday at home against Gladbach [Borussia Monchengladbach]."

Zorc added: "Raphael is an internationally experienced and technically first-class footballer who can be flexibly deployed in several positions and enjoys a high regard within our squad."

Guerreiro, who can play at left-back and in midfield, has made five Bundesliga appearances for eighth-placed Dortmund this season.

He joined the German giants from Lorient in a reported €12million deal while starring in Portugal's successful Euro 2016 campaign.

Villarreal, Atletico Madrid and LaLiga have submitted a request to the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for their December meeting to be played in Miami.

Villarreal president Fernando Roig confirmed in a radio interview on Wednesday the two clubs were hoping an agreement could be struck.

Roig insisted such an event would be beneficial and important for Spanish football's growth, and the three parties have now lodged an official proposal to play the match on December 6 at Hard Rock Stadium.

A statement posted to Villarreal's website read: "LaLiga, alongside Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, [on Thursday] presented an official request to the RFEF to play the match between Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, corresponding to LaLiga matchday 16, on December 6, 2019, at 10pm Spanish time (4pm local time) at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami (Florida, United States).

"This request is part of LaLiga's international growth strategy. There are millions of LaLiga fans around the world. Bringing the clubs closer to these fans represents an important opportunity to connect with them and continue working for the global growth of LaLiga on a worldwide level.

"This international growth has a benefit for the clubs involved, as well as players, fans, LaLiga, Spanish football and Spain itself.

"The choice of teams is due to the interest and availability shown by both clubs. USA, and especially Miami, is an essential part of its growth strategies. Villarreal now have been working in the North American market for various years, through the presence of academies and different training and marketing activities.

"Atletico Madrid recently completed a successful summer tour of the US, where they also took part in the MLS All-Star match in Orlando (Florida).

"The players and coaching staff from both sides have been told about this and have shown enthusiasm in taking football to their fans in the US. Also the Spanish Footballers' Association (AFE) has been informed of the request."

LaLiga in 2018 struck a 15-year deal with Relevent, the company behind the International Champions Cup, and a proposal was submitted for Barcelona to play Girona in Miami at the start of 2019.

But the RFEF and AFE condemned the plan and Barca pulled out in December, after FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he would block any such match.

Despite the previous opposition to LaLiga matches being played abroad, Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil is hopeful because he feels it benefits all.

"Atletico Madrid works every season to expand and promote our brand in all continents and playing this match in the United States would allow us to continue working on it," Gil said.

"In addition, we would bring Spanish football to fans and supporters who live outside our country. It would be a great game that would mark the future."

Lionel Messi admits he needs to be "more careful than before" to get the best from his body in the twilight years of his career.

A calf problem and thigh muscle issue have hindered the Barcelona superstar this season, limiting his involvement and his impact on Ernesto Valverde's team.

At the age of 32, Messi knows he cannot constantly push himself physically to the same extent as he might have done a decade ago.

Conserving energy and strength is something Messi is determined to embrace, knowing it behoves him to produce his best as often as possible, but not at the expense of risking injury or fatigue.

"It is difficult because your mind is fine; you think that you are 25 years old and that you can continue doing the same things [as before] at the time," Messi told Marca.

"But the body rules and there are circumstances in which you have to be more careful than before. Adapting to it requires a process and preparing differently for training and matches."

He added: "You realise yourself how long you can continue. I'll find out over time. I'll be the first to say, 'I've come this far and I can't do it anymore', or that I feel good to carry on."

The Argentina captain is closing in on 700 career goals, the mark his fellow modern-day great Cristiano Ronaldo recently achieved.

In that sense, Messi is streets ahead of any player who ever represented Barcelona, with a goals haul of 604 that is unlikely ever to be matched, so limiting his attacking remit in any way would seem a negative move.

Messi was asked whether he could eventually move back from the forward line and into a midfield role.

He largely has licence to roam with his number 10 status at Barcelona, from which he finished as top scorer in LaLiga last term to earn a sixth European Golden shoe prize.

Messi said of the prospect of a deeper starting position: "I don't know, it depends on how it goes.

"Now I usually drop myself deeper to receive and be in contact with the ball and the midfield. I don't know what will happen in the future."

It appears increasingly likely Messi will play for Barca for the entirety of his career, barring a possible swan song with his boyhood club, Newell's Old Boys.

Unlike Ronaldo, who went from Sporting CP to Manchester United and on to Real Madrid and latterly Juventus, Messi has given little indication he would want to play for another European club.

Ronaldo has espoused the merits of seeking new challenges in different leagues, but Messi sees no reason to walk away from Camp Nou.

He said: "Everyone looks for their targets and their experiences. I never had the need to leave the best club in the world, that Barcelona are."

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