ACTING Head Coach Mike Rush is playing a waiting g

first_imgACTING Head Coach Mike Rush is playing a waiting game as he awaits medical reports on four players injured over the Easter Weekend.Jon Wilkin (shoulder) came off the field on Good Friday whilst Tony Puletua (shoulder), Ade Gardner (knee) and Gary Wheeler (hamstring) didn’t finish the clash at Castleford yesterday.“TP has a scan yesterday on his shoulder and it looks serious,” he admitted. “With Ade’s knee it could be a whole host of things minor to major. We can’t tell until the swelling goes down.“Gary felt his hamstring in the game and again we won’t know until it is scanned. I feel for Wheels, he doesn’t seem to be able to get a run of games. On Monday, he single-handily created the first try and every time we made a break he was there. Hopefully, it isn’t too serious and he gets that run of games.“With Jon Wilkin, we are again waiting for results. It’s a fine line between asking players to strap up and doing long term damage. He is as brave as we have got – but we have to try and manage what is best for the long term and the player.“On the plus side though, Jonny’s finger is fine so he should be in line to return this week.”The injuries leave Rush with several choices to make ahead of this weekend’s Challenge Cup Fourth Round tie at Widnes – especially on the wing:“Tommy Makinson, Adam Swift and Jamie Foster all are in with a shout for that wing spot. A lot depends on who is playing well and fitness too. Adam has been in the 19 for the last two weeks and is benefitting from that experience. He won’t be far away on getting a shout at some point.“Since Josh Jones has come in, he’s done really well. We need to keep his feet on the floor and he needs to continue to do what he is doing. He was a powerful centre with genuine pace too. At Castleford, every time he carried the ball he looked like winning the battle on the floor.”He continued: “It wasn’t difficult to lift the lads after the Good Friday defeat because they knew they had to give one more massive effort. It’s hard when you go to Cas and have prepared to face the likes of Rangi Chase and Danny Orr. We prepared for them and perhaps it is tougher mentally when you aren’t facing that. I felt in the first 20 minutes we needed to get some points on the board and it could have been different.“But this happens over the Easter weekend. I think the RFL do have to have a look at playing Friday and Monday. Maybe you could have all the local derbies spread across the weekend on the TV? We played an intense game against Wigan and then had to dust off and ask 110kg blokes to smash into each other once again. I’m not sure that is right.“But, we built character in those final stages at Castleford and come the later rounds of Super League, the Cup or the Playoffs, we can reflect on those moments.”This Saturday’s Fourth Round match at Widnes will be Saints first taste of the Cup comp this season and the infamous iPitch.“I think all the furore over the surface has gone now and we’re looking forward to the match,” Rush said. “It will be a very tough game and we are preparing to take on the team that beat Wigan recently. The Challenge Cup is massive for us. Every overseas player comes here with the dream of doing it and it’s the same for the local boys too.”last_img read more

STAR PREVIEW Liverpool v Leicester

first_imgThe race is on for the Premier League title and Liverpool’s encounter with Leicester could provide plenty of entertainment for neutrals tonight.Man City’s shock defeat at St James’ Park last night means Jurgen Klopp’s men have the chance to extend their advantage to seven points – although no slip ups can be afforded and they will not be taking Leicester lightly. However, this isn’t a terrible time to face the Foxes, with Claude Puel under the pump.A third successive loss at Wolves came right on the back of defeats to 10-man Southampton and an FA Cup exit to League Two Newport which has seen some fans turn on Puel, although there are no strong rumours about him leaving just yet.His side can still pack a punch, as they showed against Wolves when they went down in injury time to a Diogo Jota hat-trick in a 4-3 thriller. They were 2-0 down early on before an impressive fightback in the shape of a Demarai Gray strike and a Conor Coady own goal, before Wes Morgan looked to have stolen a point for them before Jota’s injury time winner.Remarkably on the same weekend, Liverpool were also involved in their own thriller, as their 4-3 win over Crystal Palace at Anfield kept their title charge on the road whilst also providing a throwback to the helter-skelter football that neutrals were treated to last season.Klopp’s men had to work hard to get back in front after going down to Andros Townsend’s early goal, and again when James Tomkins levelled the score with over an hour on the clock, but two goals from Mohamed Salah along with strikes from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane got them over the line.It will be interesting to see how they cope with the absence of James Milner – who was red carded against Palace – and this could prove to be tricky for Klopp’s men. Leicester did manage to beat Manchester City over Christmas along with Chelsea, and they have the right game-plan and firepower to frustrate bigger teams.Liverpool v Leicester CityPremier League20:00 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 4K UHDHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)SEP 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Leicester 1-2 LiverpoolDEC 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 2-1 LeicesterSEP 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Leicester 2-3 LiverpoolSEP 2017 EFL CUP Leicester 2-0 LiverpoolFEB 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Leicester 3-1 LiverpoolSEP 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 4-1 LeicesterFEB 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Leicester 2-0 LiverpoolDEC 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 1-0 LeicesterJAN 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 2-2 LeicesterDEC 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Leicester 1-3 LiverpoolJamie Vardy is always likely to be a threat on the break and with Demarai Gray and James Maddison they’ve got two plays capable of making something out of any chances they might get. Liverpool are a better balanced defensive side this season but they have not let up going forward, and this could see action at both ends.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK OVER 3.5 GOALS 5 points at 5/4 with starsports.betPROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 205.64 points(excluding Premier League ante-post)last_img read more