Ready

Williams delay F1 testing because car is not ready

Claire Williams says hold-up ‘not ideal, but not the end of the world’. Williams have been forced to withdraw from the opening day of Formula One pre-season testing because their car is not ready. The British team were due to be among the sport’s 10 outfits to hit the track at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Monday for the opening winter running. But in a blow to the team, which last year finished rooted to the foot of the constructors’ championship, Claire Williams has revealed they will only be watching from the sidelines. Williams Formula One deputy team principal Claire Williams admitted the news was “not ideal” (Adam Davy/PA) The Williams deputy team principal said: “Unfortunately, we have had to delay the start of our pre-season Barcelona test to Tuesday morning. “We ...

Bernd Leno: ‘Arsenal ready to claim fourth spot in Premier League’

Bernd Leno says that Arsenal are ready to capitalise on any errors from Manchester United and Chelsea in the race to finish in fourth place in the Premier League. Goalkeeper Bernd Leno has claimed that Arsenal are ready to capitalise on any mistakes from the club’s rivals in the race for fourth position in the Premier League table. Arsenal have endured an indifferent top-flight campaign, but the Gunners find themselves just one point adrift of Manchester United with 13 matches remaining. Chelsea are also in the hunt for the final Champions League spot, but Leno has backed the North London outfit to outlast their nearest rivals. The German stopper is quoted by the London Evening Standard as saying: “It is a good competition between all the teams. Chelsea played Manchester City a...

Benitez: Almiron mentally ready for Premier League challenge

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is confident record signing Miguel Almiron is mentally ready to be pitched into the heat of Premier League battle. The Paraguay forward, who turned 25 on Sunday, completed a deadline day switch from MLS side Atlanta United as Benitez’s pleas for financial support from owner Mike Ashley finally paid dividends. Benitez knows it will take Almiron time to adapt to a very different brand of football and he is equally aware of the physical demands that will place upon a player who is rich in talent, but slight in stature. However, the Spaniard is confident the playmaker is ready to take on the challenge, starting with a possible debut at Wolves on Monday evening. He said: “When you talk with him, he is ready, mentally he is ready and he says he wants to ...

Eddie Jones ready to ‘see how big the gap is’ against Wales

Six Nations title could hinge on the outcome. Eddie Jones has targeted victory over the “greatest Welsh side ever” as he seeks to avenge critical comments made by Warren Gatland last year. Straight after England accelerated their pursuit of Ireland’s Guinness Six Nations title with a 44-8 rout of France at Twickenham, Jones lit the fuse for the looming title showdown in Cardiff. The tournament’s only unbeaten teams clash in a fortnight with Jones recalling the claim made by Gatland while England were reeling from a five-Test losing run that Wales and their old foes are “poles apart”. “All I know is that we are playing against the greatest Welsh side ever, so that’s enough for me. We’re going to have to be at our absolute best,” Jones said.

Jones: Wales side is best ever and England will need to be ready

England head coach Eddie Jones turned his sights to the “greatest Welsh side ever” after a resounding mauling of France gave his men two wins from two Guinness Six Nations games. England backed up their victory in Ireland with a 44-8 defeat of Les Bleus at Twickenham, falling one point short of the record margin of victory of 37 points, set in 1911. Jonny May scored a first-half hat-trick and there were tries for Henry Slade, Owen Farrell and a penalty try as England kept hapless France scoreless in the second half. Farrell kicked an additional 14 points. Jonny May fired England to a win (David Davies/PA) Next for Jones’ men is a trip to Cardiff on February 23, with Jones apparently having forgotten the great Wales sides of the 1970s and the Grand Slam winners of 2005, 2008 and 2012 in his...

Bundee Aki ready for Manu Tuilagi test

Ireland centre Bundee Aki hopes to make a statement as he goes up against England juggernaut Manu Tuilagi in Dublin. Aki “stayed away” from his opposite number the last time the pair faced each other – 12 years ago in a college game – but he will seeing plenty of the 27-year-old as Ireland begin their Six Nations defence on Saturday. New Zealand-born Aki’s rugby odyssey has seen him settle with Connacht, where he is now the passionate heartbeat of Joe Schmidt’s Ireland squad. Bundee Aki, pictured, is ready to lock horns with Manu Tuilagi (Paul Harding/PA) The former Waikato Chiefs centre enjoyed a sixth-form stint at Truro College and while there he faced Tuilagi, who then played for John Cleveland College. Aki said: “I remember playing against Manu in England when I went to school in Corn...

Ricketts ready for Wolves reunion having experienced memorable success

Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts believes he saw the rebirth of Wolves but is determined to halt them in their tracks. The 37-year-old captained Wolves to the Sky Bet League One title in 2014 as they bounced back from successive relegations from the Premier League. Wolves were bought by Fosun in 2016 and are now eighth in the top flight having spent spent £80million in the summer after winning the Sky Bet Championship last season. Now, Ricketts hosts his old club in the FA Cup fourth round and feels he saw the start of something special. “I cancelled my contract at Bolton at the start of what Wolves is now really,” said the former defender, who made 51 appearances for the Molineux club. “I was made club captain on my first day, to captain the side and get a record points total was a great a pe...

Fighter Brown ready to stake his claim at Livingston

Former non-league player has joined the Scottish Premiership side from Cardiff. Ciaron Brown knows he will have to battle to win a place in the Livingston defence but the new loan signing has had to fight for everything in a career that has taken him from non league to Premier League Cardiff. The 21-year-old defender started his career with lowly Bedfont Sports before moving to National League South side Wealdstone in 2016, before he was handed a major move to Cardiff a year ago. Brown has a tough task getting into a Livingston defence which has shipped 20 goals in 22 Ladbrokes Premiership games – fewer than any team outside Celtic or Rangers. But he is relishing the prospect. “I’ve had to fight to get to the place where I am now, and I think they have done their homework on me,” he said. ...

Arnautovic wasn’t mentally ready to play, says Hammers boss Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini claimed Marko Arnautovic “has his head on another issue” after the player was left out of West Ham’s squad for the 2-0 defeat at Bournemouth. Austria international Arnautovic, the club’s joint leading scorer with eight goals, is keen on a big-money move to China, with Shanghai SIPG having already had a £35million offer rejected. Hammers boss Pellegrini said on Thursday that the 29-year-old would be allowed to depart, subject to a “good deal for both parties” being agreed. Marko Arnautovic was not in the West Ham squad for the defeat to Bournemouth (Yui Mok/PA). Second-half goals from Callum Wilson and Joshua King condemned the Hammers to defeat at the Vitality Stadium after Arnautovic’s replacement, Andy Carroll, squandered a golden chance with the game goalless. “The rea...

Improving Bouchard ready for Serena showdown, admitting: ‘I love her’

Eugenie Bouchard will make her return to the biggest stage with a second-round date against Serena Williams at the Australian Open. The Canadian, who soared into the top 10 in 2014, dropped as low as 193 in the rankings last season but has worked her way back into double figures and a 6-2 6-1 victory over Peng Shuai earned her a shot at the title favourite. Williams played her first competitive match since her tumultuous defeat by Naomi Osaka in the US Open final in September and was in devastating form, beating neighbour and fellow mother Tatjana Maria 6-0 6-2 in just 49 minutes. Eugenie Bouchard celebrates (Mark Schiefelbein/AP) Bouchard admitted she had her eye on a clash with Williams as soon as the draw was made. She said: “I’m super excited. This is why we play the big tournaments, t...

Juventus ‘ready to offer Medhi Benatia for Aaron Ramsey’

A report claims that Medhi Benatia could be used as leverage by Juventus to get a deal over the line for Aaron Ramsey before the end of the month. Juventus are reportedly willing to send Medhi Benatia to Arsenal in order to fast track a move for midfielder Aaron Ramsey. The Italian giants are believed to be close to reaching an agreement to sign Ramsey when he becomes a free agent in the summer, despite Massimiliano Allegri playing down a move earlier this week. Juve are eager to add the Wales international to their ranks for the second half of this season, however, and Gazzetta dello Sport claims that they will use Gunners target Benatia as leverage to push a move through. Arsenal are believed to have made an approach for Benatia earlier this window, but a lack of funds means that they ar...

Sevilla ‘ready to end interest in Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata’

Sevilla may reportedly pull out of the race to sign Alvaro Morata from Chelsea as another target has become available. Atletico Madrid are reportedly the new frontrunners to sign Alvaro Morata as Sevilla are ready to bow out of the chase for the Chelsea striker. The Spain international will be granted permission to leave Stamford Bridge this month if the Blues can bring in a replacement in time. Sevilla have made their interest known over the past week, but The Independent suggests that they may now look elsewhere for an attacking player. Barcelona ace Munir El Haddadi has become available and is now expected to be targeted by Los Rojiblancos, potentially leaving Atletico with a clear run at signing Morata. However, the La Liga side must first clear their roster, with Morata believed to be...

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