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Hawking spars with Hunt over NHS
Hawking spars with Hunt over NHS

The physicist renews criticism of Jeremy Hunt for "cherry-picking" scientific research into the so-called "weekend effect".

Stephen Hawking has criticised the Conservative Government for its handling of the NHS and accused Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt of "abusing" science.

The renowned physicist and lifelong Labour supporter said Mr Hunt was "cherry-picking" scientific research into the so-called "weekend effect".

Mr Hunt has cited studies showing that death rates are highest during weekends and he said this was the main reason behind his drive for a seven-day health service.

That, in turn, saw Mr Hunt move to reform junior doctor contracts, which led to a number of strikes by the junior doctors.

Writing in The Guardian, Professor Hawking wrote: "Hunt had cherry-picked research to justify his argument. For a scientist, cherry-picking evidence is unacceptable.

"When public figures abuse scientific argument, citing some studies but suppressing others to justify policies they want to implement for other reasons, it debases scientific culture.

"One consequence of this sort of behaviour is that it leads ordinary people to not trust science at a time when scientific research and progress are more important than ever."

But Mr Hunt used Twitter to respond, saying: "Stephen Hawking is (a) brilliant physicist but wrong on lack of evidence for weekend effect.

"(The) 2015 Fremantle study (is the) most comprehensive ever and whatever entrenched opposition, no responsible Health Secretary could ignore it if you want NHS to be (the) safest health service in (the) world as I do."

The Fremantle Study looked at data from 2013 and 2014 and found that, although there were fewer hospital admissions at weekends, patients who were admitted during that time were sicker and faced an increased likelihood of death within 30 days, even when the severity of illness was taken into account.

According to the Govrnment, the study had concluded that the statistic "raises challenging questions about reduced service provision at weekends".

Prof Hawking, who is director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge, also wrote that the NHS "is in a crisis...that has been created by political decisions".

He added: "These political decisions include underfunding and cuts, privatising services, the public sector pay cap, the new contract imposed on junior doctors, and removal of the student nurses' bursary.

"Political decisions such as these cause reductions in care quality, longer waiting lists, anxiety for patients and staff, and dangerous staff shortages.

"Failures in the system of privatised social care for disabled and elderly people have placed an additional burden on the NHS."

August 19, 2017

Swansea City v Manchester United: Premier League – live!
Swansea City v Manchester United: Premier League – live!

The goal was coming. And then, just in time, it came.

The corner is powerfully headed goalwards by Pogba; Fabianski fingertips it onto the bar and the ball bounces onto – but not over – the line, up again, and as it works out which way it should go next it is gleefully hammered home by Bailly!

Swansea’s three-man backline is probably the most intriguing tactical issue today. Having been trialled for 10 minutes at Southampton last week, it’s getting a full baptism of the fieriest fire today.

The players are in the tunnel! We’re about to savour a serving of Saturday soccer.

And José Mourinho also does some pre-match talking, in which he brings up the concept of happy football. He doesn’t look tremendously happy while talking about it, but his players, he says, have happy feet.

It was difficult to leave anyone out. I think the players understood that. I had a conversation with them, I trust everybody, and I have great players on the bench who have the ambition to start, and I left some at home that don’t deserve to stay at home. But we played quite well and we have at this moment only one match a week, so we keep the team.

Of course we can improve. But every match is a different match and you are never in control of matches for 90 minutes, so I can expect that even if we are a team playing with tactical discipline, there will be for sure moments in this match when we are not going to have that control, but we need to keep that stability. The team are playing happy football, because the players are very comfortable on the pitch. We need to have a good performance, because only with a good performance can we win.

I think we need freedom, instead of being too much connected, with the tactical discipline that we need. We also need this happiness, the freedom to want the ball, to participate, to try and influence the game, players without fear to move, without fear to go into areas that are not their areas of control. I think when the team is confident we can do that, but our opponents are strong and we have to respect them, especially when they have the ball, and we are going to try to do that.

I always thought that when Bartley came back to the club there was a possibility to play three central defenders. I feel the shape today will give us the best chance of getting a positive result. It will give us first of all defensive solidity, but with two strikers up there we can trigger some good attacks as well.

There’s always challenges at this level, first of all to try and stop the ball going into your net, which is going to be a big challenge against a very strong and powerful Manchester United side. But scoring goals is a challenge too ... all aspects of the game are a challenge at this level.

There’s no question that Roque Mesa can play in big games. He’s a good footballer, that’s why we brought him here. And only time will tell if the physicality of the English game is going to be too much for him, but I don’t believe it will.

They were strong last season, two major trophies. I believe they’re stronger this year. They had a good start. But we hope we’re going to provide a tough test for them here. We’ll expect a very good atmosphere and our players are very motivated for this game.

So José Mourinho selects the same team that crushed West Ham last week; Swansea make two changes, with Mesa and Bartley in and Britton and Routledge out.

We already have the teams! And these are those teams!

August 19, 2017

Pokemon Go Anaheim news revealed following major Mewtwo Raids update
Pokemon Go Anaheim news revealed following major Mewtwo Raids update

Since then, we’ve had another Pokemon Go update that will make select fans in California very happy.

In another instance of geo-location rewards, Niantic have released a region-locked Pocket Monsters for certain players.

As a way of celebrating the Card tournament, it was announced by Games Freak legend Junichi Masuda, that a usually hard-to-find Pokemon would be popping up.

Australian exclusive Kangaskhan is now available in Anaheim, California from August 18 – 20, while Tauros is also getting a boost.

Trainers battled against the Legendary Pokémon Mewtwo in Japan

Masuda revealed: "Just for this weekend in the Anaheim area, Kangaskhan will be appearing in the area. 

“And there are also rumours going around that Tauros are appearing in even greater numbers than usual. I hope you all get a chance to catch them.”

For those not playing Pokemon Go in Anaheim, it may appear a bit frustrating, however, Niantic have been getting in the habit of doling out rewards following big events.

The most recent has been Mewtwo, although the legendary psychic-type has yet to make its debut.

Niantic have made one big change to how the Pokemon Go Raids system works ahead of the big launch.

When the new Gym revamp and initial Pokemon Go Raids were launched, the development team behind the popular Android and iOS game confirmed there would be further tinkering done.

And it was thought that the official beta had ended, however, this latest Pokemon Go news suggests that Niantic are still actively working on Raids.

Trainers are confirming that they are getting different rewards for completing Raids.

Players are now reporting getting a mix of all the different Potions available in the game, including Super, Hyper and Max Potions.

One comment on Reddit explains: “Just got 8 hypers, 15 super, no revives, no golden razz, and five rare candy from a tier 4 raid. Did a tier 5 raid an hour prior and got the same previous rewards.”

From the latest feedback, it appears that the new rewards are not detracting or replacing any of the old ones, a big boost for Trainers.

Taking on the toughest Raids means a lot of your team getting wiped out for many players.

So, having the chance to replenish more of those potions, having had to use a bunch while reviving your team, is likely to prove popular.

Niantic have yet to confirm the change, although they usually let fans discover these types of tweaks on their own.

And there’s no guarantee that Niantic will keep the change either, especially if Trainers don’t respond well to what has been changed when it comes to Raid Battles.

See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

August 19, 2017

Rainbow Six Siege operators get big new reveal following major Blood Orchid news
Rainbow Six Siege operators get big new reveal following major Blood Orchid news

Ubisoft this week released a new description for one of the Rainbow Six Siege operators being launched with the August update.

In Operation Blood Orchid, two Operators from the Special Duties Unit (S.D.U.) join Team Rainbow to raid the criminal organization squatting our new free map, Theme Park.

Operator Ying had already been leaked online, however, more about her loadout and backstory has now been shared.

Ying is equipped with the SIX12 and T-95 LSW as primary weapons, and the Q-929 as a secondary weapon.

And from the leak we know that Ying uses Candela flash charges that can stun, blind, or ‘Dazzle’ opponents and will likely be the attacker of the group.

“Siu Mei Lin, codenamed Ying (meaning firefly), is the latest addition to Team Rainbow,” the official operator description explains.

“Ying had her first taste of field work at an exclusive female-only training facility in Tel Aviv, Israel. Recognized as an outstanding driver, she volunteered to take part in Operation High Sun. 

“Siu delivered the VIP vehicle REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED successfully before returning to HQ. The Operators codenamed Ash and Fuze REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED with some tensions. Ash, however, quickly resolved the situation.

“Soon after, she met and collaborated with former S.A.T. Operator Echo during a security operation named Black Jack. 

“The two had to ensure the protection of Japan’s representative during the World Trade Organization’s Ministerial Conference held in Hong Kong.

“It was reported that she became personally involved with Echo at the time, but their relationship ended a year later.”

More is likely to be revealed about the other two operators in the coming week, with Lesion and Ela also confirmed as characters coming to Rainbow Six.

Ela will be the name of the Polish GROM operative, who comes with a concussion proximity mine, and is likely to be played as a defender.

Lesion is another defender, who boasts cloaked toxic mines that injure an opponent and limit their speed.

These look set to come in the form of a spiked antipersonnel trap, and lines up with some dataminer information leaked earlier this year.

They will all be deploying on the new Theme Park map, which is being used as a criminal organization’s nest for narcotic manufacture. 

After establishing a connection with the Hong Kong Triad, two Flying Tigers are chosen to lead a lethal raid in Theme Park.

See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

August 19, 2017

Forget PS5 release date, here’s the next big Xbox One X and PS4 Pro console rival
Forget PS5 release date, here’s the next big Xbox One X and PS4 Pro console rival

There are of those who believe that the console could arrive as early as next year, albeit in the second-half and closer to the holiday period.

But there are others who have given a much more conservative line, revealing that they believe it would make more sense for a 2019 or 2020 launch to be decided upon.

Some of the evidence for this is compelling, especially when you take into account how 4K TV sales could really affect things and how ownership of them will only increase in the years to come.

However, this dominance is likely to face new pressure from an old rival that appears to have their latest console selling very well.

While we already know about its popularity in Japan, it appears that North America is firmly supporting the hybrid console too.

The newest NPD data has revealed that the Nintendo Switch was the highest selling game system of the month.

One of the key take-aways is how this may have been impacted by console exclusive, Splatoon 2.

The family-friendly shooter was the highest selling game of the month in North America and has proven to be another popular addition to the console’s games list.

The unique selling point of the Nintendo Switch will likely continue to be the exclusives it offers, with the unique brands of Zelda and Mario hard to beat.

These kind of games will continue to power the console and help it take on the likes of PS4 and Xbox One market share.

The power of decent exclusives was also reaffirmed by the reveal that Nintendo had four published games in the top 20, including Splatoon 2, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and ARMS. 

Gameplay footage from Spider-Man on the PS4 was shown at E3 2017

NPD analysts have also confirmed that the recent growth in hardware spending has been driven the most by the Nintendo Switch, not the PS4 Pro or Xbox One S.

“The Nintendo Switch was July’s best-selling hardware platform,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. 

“[That was] driven by new inventory released in support of the launch of Splatoon 2. Year to date, hardware spending has grown 20 percent versus 2016 to $1.6 billion.

“Performance of the Nintendo Switch continues to be the primary cause of the year-on-year gains.

“New supply of Nintendo Switch and continued strength of PlayStation 4 pushed hardware higher.”

While this is great news for the Nintendo Switch, there’s also the factor that the console is going to be missing a mass of titles available on other platforms, such as Destiny 2 and Call of Duty WW2.

We’ll have to wait and see just how far the Nintendo Switch can go, with the holiday season the next big testing ground for all the major players.

See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

August 19, 2017

Pokemon Go news: New event update, Raids boss boost and Legendary launch
Pokemon Go news: New event update, Raids boss boost and Legendary launch

The new event is being hosted at several locations and will include free admission.

“The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has teamed up with Niantic, Inc., the developer and publisher of Pokémon GO, to encourage Akron residents, visitors and University of Akron students to connect to the downtown neighborhood using the innovative augmented-reality experience of the popular mobile game,” the event description explains.

“Akron will give Trainers the chance to play Pokemon Go together, meet other players and enjoy a variety of real world experiences on Aug. 26 and 27, during The University of Akron’s freshman orientation period, New Roo Weekend, which occurs just before classes begin.”

There is a tagline teasing that more will be included, although fans will have to wait to see what this turns out to be.

Trainers battled against the Legendary Pokémon Mewtwo in Japan

The event isn’t being billed as something fans around the globe should be keeping track of, so it’s unlikely we’ll see Mewtwo pop up… Unless it’s already been launched.

Pokemon Go in Downtown Akron is launching on August 26, from 12am to Aug 27 at 11pm EDT.

“Over the past three weeks, thousands of Legendary Pokémon have been defeated in Raid Battles around the world,” a statement from Niantic explains. 

“In celebration of this achievement and to give Trainers another chance to catch Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, and Lugia, all four of these Legendary Pokémon can be battled in Raid Battles from August 14 through August 31. 

“Be on the lookout for these Legendary Pokémon at a raid near you.”

It will be the first time that all four tier 5 bosses will be available in Gyms, although the changes don’t stop there.

Niantic also released Mewtwo as part of the recent Pokemon Go Stadium event in Japan.

That’s because Niantic plan to release the devastating psychic-type worldwide in the coming weeks.

The format will be a little different, with Niantic requiring players to beat a normal Raid battle before unlocking the chance to face Mewtwo.

Here’s the official explanation: “Earlier today, Trainers battled against the Legendary Pokémon Mewtwo at the Pokémon GO Stadium event in Yokohama, Japan. 

“Thousands of Trainers in attendance were able to successfully catch Mewtwo and add it to their Pokédexes. In the coming weeks, you, too, will have the opportunity to battle and catch Mewtwo with the new Exclusive Raid Battle feature.

“Exclusive Raid Battles are similar to existing Raid Battles, with a few notable differences. Exclusive raids will periodically appear at Gyms around the world; however, unlike existing raids, Trainers will be invited to join an Exclusive Raid Battle.”

See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

August 19, 2017

Rockstar news: GTA 5 Online update, Nintendo Switch games reveal, Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar news: GTA 5 Online update, Nintendo Switch games reveal, Red Dead Redemption 2

Like in the past, the development team have held back a few card from the initial launch so that they can pepper them in the weeks after. The most recent GTA 5 Online update allows Fans on PS4, Xbox One and PC to buy a new Supercar from Legendary Motorsport.

However, The Ocelot XA-21 is a costly luxury, with the new vehicle costing around $2,375,000 to purchase.

"The XA-21 is the latest monstrous creation to escape Ocelot's experimental underground facility, leaving a trail of shell-shocked and visibly aroused onlookers in its wake," the Rockstar description teases.

"Packed with enough hybrid tech to make environmentalists salivate, the XA-21 is the epitome of cutting edge."

There's also a long list of new discounts and double cash in-game rewards that can be found for a limited time too. The Sumo and Slasher modes are dishing out Double GTA$ & RP this week through August 21st. while Gunrunning Sell Missions will also provide Double GTA$ & RP payouts.

Fans can also take advantage of the 25% off the Route 68 Bunker purchase price offer, until August 21st, with a few other Gunrunning items also be offered at a discounted price.

Nintendo Switch GAMES: Top 10 Most Anticipated releases

Zelnick said the gaming giant, who own Grand Theft Auto developers Rockstar Games, are very supportive of the Nintendo Switch during a conference call.

The Take-Two boss said the GTA 5 publisher was excited about the Switch and supportive of it six months ago - and they still are.

According to reports he said the Nintendo Switch sales are “great” and he expects them to “continue to be great”.

Zelnick also commented that Take Two were optimistic about the Switch’s future - but did not give any indication whether GTA 5 will be coming to Nintendo’s hit console.

He also didn’t discuss the possibility of whether Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar’s next big game, will be released on the Nintendo Switch.

While the likelihood of a RDR2 launch for the Swtich are pretty much non-existent due to the hardware restraints, GTA 5 would be another matter.

The game continues to surge in support and has already achieved huge numbers this year.

And it would make sense that Rockstar would want to get involved with the Switch, as long as one big question can be resolved.

GTA 5 Online is a huge piece of the Grand Theft Auto pie for Take-Two and would likely be a dealbreaker if it couldn’t be launched alongside the rest of the game.

There’s also the fact that Rockstar will be looking to fully support Red Dead Redemption 2 when it launches next year, meaning there could be little room for such a Switch project.

Take Two have a number of confirmed releases for the Nintendo Switch coming up - WWE2K18 and NBA2K18.

The new Red Dead Redemption 2 screenshots released by Rockstar

Take Two boss Strauss Zelnick was asked during a conference call whether Red Dead 2’s online mode could be the biggest threat to GTA Online’s dominance.

He said that any piece of entertainment - from movies, to books or smartphones - will compete for people’s spare time.

But he feels that in the gaming marketplace it is rarely directly competitive between two different titles, according to Dual Shockers.

He said Take Two are looking forward to the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, and they do not think it will have an impact on Grand Theft Auto Online.

Zelnick talked about Red Dead Redemption 2 as he gave the latest update on how well Grand Theft Auto Online is performing.

He said in Q2 of this year, Grand Theft Auto Online delivered its “best quarter ever.”

After the release of the big Gunrunning update on June 13, June and July became the “two biggest months ever” for monthly active GTA Online users.

Zelnick said, due to the success of GTA Online, Take Two Interactive are expecting another fiscal year of record results.

So it’s no surprise that he added Rockstar Games will continue to support GTA Online.

See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

August 19, 2017

Toy Story shock: SEX dolls and vibrators also come ALIVE in the Toy Story world
Toy Story shock: SEX dolls and vibrators also come ALIVE in the Toy Story world

Is there anything more wholesome than Toy Story? Well...

The beloved PIXAR animated classic is back on TV screens this afternoon on BBC, but it may be hard to watch it in quite the same way after reading this.

Firstly, consider the irrefutable logic that if all toys can come alive behind their unsuspecting owners' backs that should also apply to sex toys. Then just think about those names.

Woody? Buzz? How did we not see this before? Suddenly Toy Story seems to have a rather seedy underbelly.

Catalan nanotechnology engineer Santos poses beside Samantha, a sex doll packed with artificial intelligence providing her the capability to respond to different scenarios and verbal stimulus, in his house in Rubi

In the real world, adult toys are entering the future, with unbelievable advances in sex robots that will even engage in banter to relax their owners, or require wooing and encourage flirting.

Imagine if The Rabbit came hopping, or buzzing, across your bedroom at night? What about if a sex toy or inflatable doll suddenly came to life behind your back?

If every well-loved plaything has a secret life, then why should sex toys be excluded? Many of them are certainly well-loved by their owners for many years...

The delightfully named Reddit user superpooper00 said: "In the Toy Story universe, toys aren't the only living things. There are Christmas decorations, lawn ornaments, and I'd presume many other things.

The overwhelming majority of responses thought it Woody would.

Reddit user TricksterPriestJace replied: "Yes. Sex dolls are made specifically to be played with and enjoyed, just like toys.

"Also there was no age restriction on the toys themselves, they remained sentient far after their owners grew out of them, after being broken and rebuilt, or even being abandoned. Also toys that were never played with, like the Prospector were still alive.

"I do think sex dolls would, like children's toys, be obsessed with their owners and want to please them."

See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

August 19, 2017

Battlegrounds Xbox One and PS4 update: New PUBG release date news from PlayerUnknown?
Battlegrounds Xbox One and PS4 update: New PUBG release date news from PlayerUnknown?

It’s an upward trends that’s been backed to continue, although developers Bluehole Inc. also have their sights set on other targets.

That’s because it’s been announced that Playerunknown's Battlegrounds creator Brendan Greene will be appear on a panel during Gamescom.

The PUGB panel is called, "My journey – from modder to creative director of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds,” and is likely to be one of the most watched.

“Greene is Creative Director of one of the world’s most popular pc games right now: Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) by Bluehole,” the Gamescom announcement reads.

“PUBG, while still in “Early Access“ has already sold nearly 7 Million copies and is on its way of becoming a phenomenon On Twitch as well as Steam it is among the top 3 of most played games.”

The date for the panel has been set for Wednesday, 23.8.2017, 12pm BST, situated in Congress Centre East.

It’s hoped that some kind of Battlegrounds Xbox One release news will be announced during this panel.

There’s the chance this will not materialise, however, Gamescom seems the perfect place and time for Bluehole Inc. to confirm more details and maybe hint at the PS4 port.

It’s been confirmed by Greene in the past that most of the console development is being done by partners Anticto, who are based in Spain

Bluehole have also revealed that the resources dedicated to the PC version haven't been diminished by this new project, which is set to launch later this year.

This will initially be through the Xbox Games Preview program, meaning that it will remain a work-in-progress for an extended amount of time.

Just in case you didn't know, Battlegrounds takes place on a remote island where 100 players compete to be the sole survivor.

Similar to games like DayZ, players must gather supplies, armour and weapons in order to defeat other players.

And in a unique twist, the battleground actually gets smaller as games go on.

"Players will enter a last-man-standing battle where they try to locate weapons, vehicles and supplies in a graphically and tactically rich battleground that eventually forces players into a shrinking play zone as they engage in a tense and spectacular fight to the death," reads a Bluehole statement.

See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

August 19, 2017

Star Wars 8 Last Jedi: ‘UNEXPECTED’ plot twist for Kylo Ren teased
Star Wars 8 Last Jedi: ‘UNEXPECTED’ plot twist for Kylo Ren teased

The actor, 33, implied in a new TV interview that the angsty antagonist’s storyline in the next Star Wars instalment will be anything but predictable.

Asked if fans will be happy, he told Today: “God, I hope! I hope they will.

“I think it will be hopefully unexpected.”

With Lucasfilm’s watertight policy against spoilers, that’s all he gave away - so what lies in store for Kylo in Episode 8?

I think it will be hopefully unexpected

The pickup from Episode 7 is huge: Ren was left humiliated after a fight with Rey (Daisy Ridley) and murdered his own father, Han Solo (Harrison Ford).

Driver’s words certainly align with his co-stars’ in the run-up to the movie’s release in December.

“Everyone talks about how different the direction is to what people may have been expecting. That’s great, and a massive blessing from having three different writers and directors for the different films,” Ridley told Access Hollywood last month.

“People have an opinion of where they want it to go. Everyone has an expectation.

“Some are going to be fulfilled and some not. The surprise will be wonderful.”

Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, echoed the sentiment.

“Rian Johnson is such a gifted film-maker and storyteller but it took me a long time because it’s radical,” he said. 

“It’s much different from The Force Awakens. I say this having not seen it yet. but based on the script…

“I hope we can deliver the excitement and the laughter, but it seems like a film unto itself. It’s very different to The Force Awakens and it’s all Rian.”

See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

August 19, 2017

Spice Girls reunion: Emma Bunton RULES OUT new tour
Spice Girls reunion: Emma Bunton RULES OUT new tour

The former Baby Spice told The Sun that the members’ commitments to their other work and their families means hitting the road is not currently an option.

Asked if they will ever get back together, she said: “I hope so, but it’s hard to pin everyone down – we’re doing our own things and we’re all mums. 

“I can’t imagine a tour would happen with the kids at school and everything.”

That’s not to say that things have turned sour between the members, however.

Bunton added:  “It is [their bond] like no other. Me and Geri are chatting away all the time. She’s great.

The Spice Girls dominated British pop music in the late 1990s with three albums and ten hit singles - of which nine hit Number One.

They reformed in 2007 with a new track - Headlines (Friendship Never Ends) - which stalled at No11.

The women last shared the stage at the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony.

See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

August 19, 2017

Diego Costa to Liverpool: Reds to launch Chelsea bid if Philippe Coutinho leaves - report
Diego Costa to Liverpool: Reds to launch Chelsea bid if Philippe Coutinho leaves - report

Barcelona remain determined to lure Coutinho away from Liverpool despite having three bids for the Brazilian rejected.

Over at Chelsea, meanwhile, Diego Costa remains the source of much discussion.

The Spain international is currently training alone in Brazil after Antonio Conte informed him via text message he was surplus to requirements.

The 28-year-old is desperate to return to former club Atletico Madrid, three years after he joined Chelsea from Diego Simeone's side.

Liverpool are set to bid for Chelsea star Diego Costa if Philippe Coutinho seals a move to Barcelona

It is said Jurgen Klopp will seek to make marquee signings if and when Coutinho eventually joins Barcelona.

And with Costa's Chelsea career dead in the water, the bulldozing centre-forward has emerged as a Klopp target. 

Liverpool have already raided their Premier League rivals for one striker in the form of Dominic Solanke.

But, with the 19-year-old still raw and Daniel Sturridge constantly plagued by injuries, Costa is wanted to lead the Anfield line.

Everton have also been tipped to move for the ex-Atletico man.

And, speaking ahead of their clash with Manchester City on Monday night, Ronald Koeman refused to rule out a move.

"Is this about Costa?" he said when quizzed whether he would be looking at permanent transfers or loan deals. 

"Of course you like to sign players for the future, but if you can get the best one that way, then why not?"

See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

August 19, 2017

Chris Wood to reject new Leeds United contract to force through Burnley move
Chris Wood to reject new Leeds United contract to force through Burnley move

Wood was Leeds' top goalscorer last season as they narrowly missed out on a Championship play-offs spot, finding the back of the net 30 times in his 44 appearances.

And his form has caught the attention of Premier League outfit Burnley, who are said to have already had a £12million bid rejected.

Leeds have offered the New Zealand a new three-year contract in a bid to keep him at Elland Road.

Chris Wood to reject new Leeds United contract

Leeds are said to be demanding at least £20m to sell their star man, but Burnley are unwilling to go above £15m.

New Elland Road manager Thomas Christiansen has made no secret of his desire to keep Wood, who has already scored and set up another in his opening three games of the season.

When if Wood will still be a Leeds player in September, Christiansen said: "Yes of course. He's our player.

"There's only one thing that I know 100 per cent and that is that we will all pass away. But in football nothing is guaranteed.

“In the case of Chris Wood, he will stay and I want him to stay. But you never know."

See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

August 19, 2017

Swansea v Man Utd: Why are fans booing Marcus Rashford?
Swansea v Man Utd: Why are fans booing Marcus Rashford?

Manchester United are currently in action against Swansea.

And Marcus Rashford has been given a frosty welcome in Wales.

Fans on social media have expressed their bemusement at Rashford being booed given his innocuous reputation.

But, thinking back to last season, Rashford infuriated Swansea supporters by appearing to dive to win a penalty in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. 

Last season,back in April, Paul Clement's side travelled to Manchester while they were in the midst of a relegation battle.

Marcus Rashford met Odell Beckham Jnr at a Nike event in Oregon

And Swansea fans felt he robbed them of a crucial three points.

Rashford was accused of going down without reason under pressure from goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Wayne Rooney then slotted home the spot-kick from 12 yards.

Speaking after the game, Clement expressed his anger at Rashford's antics.

"I've now seen the replay and the player has deceived the referee," he said. 

"I don't even think he [Rashford] initiated contact. He's gone down way before there's contact."

See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

August 19, 2017

PSG star Angel Di Maria snubbed Barcelona earlier this summer: Ernesto Valverde still keen
PSG star Angel Di Maria snubbed Barcelona earlier this summer: Ernesto Valverde still keen

Barcelona are looking for replacements for Neymar, who was sold to PSG for a world-record £200million fee earlier this month.

So far, their bids to fill the void left by his departure have failed.

Barcelona want Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele to spearhead a new era under Ernesto Valverde.

But Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund are currently holding firm, well aware of the money Barcelona have at their disposal.

Who is most likely to replace Neymar at Barcelona this summer?

Angel Di Maria turned down the chance to leave PSG for Barcelona earlier this summer

It is said, however, that Barcelona are not deterred.

Di Maria appeals to the club because they supposedly know they can sign him for a relatively cheap £65million.

Liverpool and Dortmund have both been demanding well over £100m to part with Coutinho and Dembele respectively.

Don Balon adds that Barcelona did enquire about the availability of Julian Draxler.

The Germany international has reportedly been deemed surplus to requirements in France following Neymar's arrival.

But PSG surprisingly told Barcelona they were not willing to do business. 

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August 19, 2017

Swansea v Man Utd: Paul Pogba should not have been sent off - Thierry Henry
Swansea v Man Utd: Paul Pogba should not have been sent off - Thierry Henry

That is the opinion of pundit and former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry.

Just four minutes later the £89million man tripped left wing-back Martin Olsson, with Swans fans and players protesting he should have been given a second yellow.

Referee Jon Moss only gave Pogba a warning though, a decision Henry agreed with.

“That was unnecessary, I don’t know what he felt, he felt that he had to do it," Henry said on Sky Sports on the first foul on Carroll.

Juan Mata drives Ander Herrera, Matteo Darmian and David De Gea to training

For me it is a foul, yes. I don’t think it’s anymore than that

"This is the one, three minutes or so after. For me it is a foul, yes.

"No I don’t think it’s anymore than that.

"The only thing, because it happens so close to the first one and the crowd was on him so you remember ‘why are you doing this?’.

"But you can clearly see that he was trying to get the ball.

"It is a bit late but I don’t think that was a second yellow in all fairness."

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August 19, 2017

Liverpool speedsters: Mane, Clyne or Moreno – Who is Anfield’s fastest player?
Liverpool speedsters: Mane, Clyne or Moreno – Who is Anfield’s fastest player?

Speed is a vital component in the Premier League. 

Southampton ace Shane Long was the fastest player in England’s top division last term. 

The Irish striker clocked speeds of 35.31km per hour during 2016/17. 

Long was fractionally quicker than Liverpool’s fastest player who was recorded as running at 34.7km.

But which star man topped the charts for Jurgen Klopp’s Anfield side, and who makes it into the top 10?

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August 19, 2017

Liverpool star Coutinho will move to Barcelona but Reds in 'driving seat' to keep him
Liverpool star Coutinho will move to Barcelona but Reds in 'driving seat' to keep him

Barcelona are determined to bring Coutinho to the Nou Camp as a replacement for Neymar after his recent £198million transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

Former Everton midfielder Leon Osman said the Spanish giant’s determination to secure their main transfer target will see Coutinho swap Anfield for the Nou Camp.

However, Osman said Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp are in the “driving seat” when it comes to the Coutinho transfer because he recently signed a five-year contract to stay on Merseyside until 2022.

Liverpool are determined, it would seem, to keep hold of Philippe Coutinho

Speaking on BBC’s Football Focus, Osman said: “I think Barcelona seem like they really want their man, and usually when a team like Barcelona comes knocking it ends up with them getting the player.

According to reports, Liverpool will launch a stunning bid for wantaway Chelsea striker Diego Costa if Coutinho does eventually move to Barcelona.

Costa has failed to return to Chelsea and is training alone in Brazil after Antonio Conte informed him via text message he was surplus to requirements.

Chelsea ordered him back to training but Costa responded by claiming he is being treated like a “criminal”.

However, Spanish outlet Don Balon have claimed Liverpool could be ready to give Costa a second chance in the Premier League.

It is said Anfield manager Jurgen Klopp will seek to make marquee if and when Coutinho eventually joins Barcelona.

And with Costa’s Stamford Bridge career dead in the water, the centre-forward is said to be one Klopp’s list of targets.

Liverpool could also target Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, with the Croatian international potentially to be included in the Coutinho deal.

Spanish outlet Diario Gol claim while Liverpool want Rakatic, Barcelona are more keen to give the Reds midfielder Andre Gomes.

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August 19, 2017

Australia 34 - New Zealand 54: All Blacks run riot in Rugby Championship opener
Australia 34 - New Zealand 54: All Blacks run riot in Rugby Championship opener

The world champions extinguished any chance of an upset with three tries in seven first-half minutes and sliced through the home defence almost at will in the opening 50 to start their title defence with a bonus-point win.

Liam Squire, Sonny Bill Williams, Damian McKenzie and Ben Smith also scored tries as the All Blacks brushed off the disappointment of the drawn British and Irish Lions series and a string of off-field distractions.

The Wallabies scored tries through debutant winger Curtis Rona, replacement back Tevita Kuridrani, centre Kurtley Beale and fullback Israel Folau but they came in the second half once the game was already beyond them.

"It was pretty surreal that first half to be honest. We came here to play our game and it really came off. It was a pretty awesome first half," New Zealand captain Kieran Read said.

"It came about by the doing the simple things. We carried really hard and exploited a few gaps out wide."

New Zealand are the first country to retain the Webb Ellis Cup

The Wallabies face the All Blacks in Dunedin again next week and on this evidence their prospects of winning the remaining two Bledisloe Cup tests to reclaim the trophy for the first time since 2002 must be rated as extremely remote.

"It is not the start we would have hoped for," said Australia captain Michael Hooper.

"Being 50 points behind, you start to throw everything we had, I'm so happy with that."

Looking to dispel some of the gloom hanging over the Australian game, the Wallabies put together some sharp phases with their first possession and were rewarded with flyhalf Bernard Foley's penalty in the third minute.

From then on, however, it was one-way traffic in the first half with quick hands down the line sending Squire over in the 10th minute and the three-try burst from the 18th minute silencing what noise was coming from the home supporters.

Winger Ioane scored the first two, beating a badly positioned Folau on the outside and benefiting from a Beale spill to race away for the second.

Flyhalf Beauden Barrett's neat short pass sent Crotty in for the fourth try and his centre partner Williams, returning after a four-match ban for his red card in the Lions series, stormed across for the fifth.

Crotty still had time before the interval to claim his second after more poor tackling in the Wallabies midfield to give the visitors a 40-6 lead at the break.

It was more of the same after the restart with fullback McKenzie, playing his third test, getting reward for his thrilling running and winger Ben Smith giving the All Blacks a 54-6 lead after 48 minutes.

Facing their biggest ever test defeat full in the face, the Wallabies rallied with the four unanswered tries to give the majority of the crowd of 54,846 something to cheer and secure a bonus point.

The All Blacks could have had a ninth try three minutes from time when Barrett, who kicked seven conversions, charged down a Foley defensive kick, only for the video official to decide both players had grounded the ball simultaneously.

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August 19, 2017

Swansea 0-1 Manchester United LIVE: Eric Bailly opens the scoring
Swansea 0-1 Manchester United LIVE: Eric Bailly opens the scoring

Swansea v Manchester United: Express Sport brings you LIVE updates from the Liberty Stadium

Marcus Rashford does well to hold the ball up, but fails to bring any of his colleagues into play, and eventually shoots from distance.

HT: It came late but there’s little doubt that Manchester United deserve their lead. It’s not been particularly slick and free-flowing, but champions win games even when they’re lacklustre. There's your cliche of the day...

Who got it? Paul Pogba’s claiming he scored, but I’m afraid it goes to Eric Bailly.

Bailly bundles home after Lukasz Fabianski parried Pogba's header on to the bar.

Chance! Fabianski flaps at a speculative looping cross and Mata is first to capitalise with a swivelling snapshot that goes wide.

Fabianski collects and Mawson apologises like he’s spilt tea on the Queen…

Not quite sure what Bailly was doing there. Looked like he was trying to lift him up for a line-out…

Romelu Lukaku has a turn at breaking in typical fashion, but blasts his effort wide. That finish wasn’t typical Rom.

We’re off! Great atmosphere inside the Liberty Stadium. Martin Olsson overruns it down the left flank and the ball slides out for a goalkick.

We’re almost ready for action folks. Incidentally, Paul Clement is playing a 3-5-2 for the first time since becoming Swansea manager.

Always fun to experiment against manchester United…

All I’m seeing is angry tweets that Marcus Rashford was selected ahead of the Frenchman, and I’m not quite sure why.

Rashford was excellent against West Ham on the opening weekend, while Martial’s late pace is torture for opposition defenders.

I thought Gabriel Jesus would demolish Brighton on he opening day, and really didn’t expect West Ham to capitulate.

The Chelsea loanee smashed it in the Championship at Bristol City last year, and hopes to take the step up with Swansea.

But what’s his ultimate dream? “I would love to win major trophies, and the FIFA Ballon d'Or,” Abraham said.

Pardew, who’s weaselled his way into the Sky Sports punditry team, believes Matic is good enough to cope with the added pressure that comes with playing at Old Trafford compared to Chelsea.

Mesa, 28, is a Spanish midfielder who arrived for £11million from Las Palmas.

Wikipedia informs me that he’s 5ft 7in, only Sevilla's Steven N'Zonzi made more accurate passes last season and he’s been dubbed the 'guardian of tiki-taka,’ whatever that means…

He’s stuck with the reliable attacking quartet of Romelu Lukaku, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford.

Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic protect the back four.

There is a slight change, and that’s the presence of Victor Lindelof who has been named on the bench after missing out last week.

Leon Britton misses out because of a back problem. Wayne Routledge drops to the bench. 

Kyle Bartley and new signing Roque Mesa comes in for his competitive debut.

The Iceland international created virtually everything for Swansea last season, but don’t worry, because Clement has “multiple targets...”

Former players Wilfried Bony and Joe Allen have both been linked with Swansea returns, while West Brom forward Nacer Chadli and Hull midfielder Sam Clucas are also understood to be on the club's radar.

This time he’s piled the pressure on his old friend Antonio Conte by announcing that Chelsea remain Premier League favourites.

Yes Jose, an opening day defeat at home to Burnley is a clear sign of quality…

I think we can all agree Jose Mourinho’s side looked scarily good against West Ham last Sunday, but there’s a few question marks surrounding that performance.

We’re going to get some answers today folks. Sit back, relax and watch the madness unfold.

Swansea captain Leon Britton is doubtful for today’s visit of Premier League leaders Manchester United.

Britton has been struggling with a back injury, and Jay Fulton and summer signing Roque Mesa are on standby to replace the veteran midfielder.

Fernando Llorente (arm), Nathan Dyer (Achilles) and Ki Sung-yueng (knee) remain absent as Swansea play for the first time since Gylfi Sigurdsson's departure to Everton for a club-record fee.

Long-term absentees Luke Shaw and Ashley Young are set to step up their rehabilitation by playing for United's Under-23s against their Swansea counterparts on Monday.

Argentina defender Marcos Rojo is still several months from returning from serious knee ligament damage.

Last season: Man Utd 1 Swansea 1, Swansea 1 Man Utd 3

Last five league matches: Swansea D W W W D; Man Utd L L D W W

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August 19, 2017