Frank Lampard provides positive Kai Havertz fitness update ahead of Rennes clash

Frank Lampard is hopeful that Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz will travel to France for their Champions League clash against Rennes on Tuesday.

Havertz has been out after he tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month prior to the home win against Rennes. 

He returned to individual training this week and has been building up his fitness following a short period on the sidelines. 

But Lampard is hoping to have the 21-year-old available for their trip to France and that he’s available to get some minutes.

“I hope he is available [for Rennes]. He’s been in for a few days now doing some individual work and he’s looked pretty good,” said Lampard. 

“Kai is a naturally fit boy so I hope to have him travelling with us to Rennes and maybe he’ll get some minutes. I’m not sure exactly how many because it was a two-week isolation but he looks in good shape.” 

On any further injury news ahead of Tuesday’s clash, Lampard added that he will closely monitor the rest of the squad before making any selection decisions.

“I’ll make a decision whether to make changes or not depending on how the recovery looks. We have people like Ben Chilwell, who has had a back problem, and players who played a lot of international minutes so we’ll have to see how they are.”

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Bloemfontein Celtic goalkeeper Mabokgwane in fitness race ahead Orlando Pirates clash

Bloemfontein Celtic coach John Maduka is fretting over the fitness of goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane and midfielder Lantshene Phalane, ahead of meeting Orlando Pirates in Wednesday’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) match at Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium.

Mabokgwane might not face his former club after lasting 66 minutes in Sunday’s 1-1 MTN8 semi-final, first leg draw away at SuperSport United on Sunday.

It was a double injury blow after Phalane played just 28 minutes of the match and before being taken off complaining of pain on his groin.

“I have not met the medical team yet and I am not sure of [Phalane’s] situation. I just heard that Jackson has been taken to hospital but Phalane is still with the team‚” said Maduka as per Sowetan Live.

“I have not gotten the [medical] reports yet to see how bad the injuries are. Yeah we will first check you know if there might be some few knocks here and there.

“It is very important for us to introduce the fresh legs. We have been playing every three days‚ so it is very important to go to the game against Pirates also refreshed a little bit.

“There might be some changes‚ one or two or three so that the team can be able to compete on Wednesday [against Pirates].”

Given Mashinkinya came on for Phalane on Sunday and could step in again if the midfielder fails to recover in time for the Pirates match.

A 1-1 draw against Golden Arrows and a 1-0 defeat by Swallows FC characterise Celtic’s PSL campaign so far.

Celtic host the Buccaneers who arrive in Bloemfontein on a high after convincingly beating Kaizer Chiefs 3-0 in the MTN8 semi-final, first leg match on Saturday.

Pirates are expecting forward Frank Mhango to be back after the Malawi forward missed the Chiefs match due to injury.

They will be without coach Josef Zinnbauer who has been granted leave to travel back to Germany to attend to his hospitalised son.

The Soweto giants are yet to win a league match after drawing their two matches games against AmaZulu and Stellenbosch on 1-1 scorelines.

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Matip and Keita hand Liverpool fitness boost ahead of Atalanta test

(Reuters) – Joel Matip and Naby Keita have returned to Liverpool first-team training but manager Juergen Klopp is yet to decide if both will be available for Tuesday’s Champions League encounter with Italian side Atalanta.



Joel Matip wearing a football uniform: Premier League - Liverpool v Newcastle United


© Reuters/JASON CAIRNDUFF
Premier League – Liverpool v Newcastle United



a group of baseball players playing a football game: Premier League - Liverpool v Leeds United


© Reuters/PHIL NOBLE
Premier League – Liverpool v Leeds United

Matip is poised to hand Liverpool a timely fitness boost as Klopp hopes to navigate his squad through a central defence injury crisis, with both Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk out of contention.

Van Dijk underwent a successful knee surgery last week after damaging his ligaments against Everton.

Keita is also set to be part of the travelling group to Bergamo for Liverpool’s third match in Champions League Group D, but fellow midfielder Thiago Alcantara is yet to return to training.

“Naby and Joel trained yesterday with the team, full, Thiago didn’t. So, that’s the situation,” Klopp told a news conference.

“I have really no idea what I do with this information in the moment because yes, they trained, that’s good, it’s better than if they don’t train. But we have to see what we do with it.

“We have another day to make these decisions. A lot of players will be on the plane hopefully, and so decisions will be made late, late, late.”

Atalanta, renowned for their high-octane pressing style under coach Gian Piero Gasperini, defied expectations last season to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

Klopp said Atalanta are Liverpool’s “biggest challenge in Europe so far” and compared the Italian outfit to Premier League’s Leeds United.

“With all Atalanta have done in the last few years, they are a settled team and they are very difficult to play against,” Klopp said.

“They are similar to Leeds in the way they set-up.

“They are a proper fighting unit. They have all our respect and I know how good they are.”

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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Covid cases in the U.S. are ‘extremely high and quite unacceptable’ ahead of the winter, Fauci says

  • The U.S. is reporting an “extremely high and quite unacceptable” daily number of new coronavirus cases ahead of the winter season, Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview that aired Friday.
  • The country is still facing its original wave of coronavirus infections that “just resurges up, comes down a little, and resurges up again,” he said.
  • Unlike previous outbreaks the nation has faced so far, the most recent surge appears to be spreading in nearly every corner of the country.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The U.S. is reporting an “extremely high and quite unacceptable” daily number of Covid-19 cases ahead of the winter season when people will be spending more time indoors and threatening to spread the virus even more, White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

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The U.S. reported a record-breaking 88,521 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, continuing its upward climb on what’s now the pandemic’s third peak. Although some have referred to the latest surge in cases as a “third wave,” Fauci said the country is still grappling with its original wave of coronavirus infections.

As the outbreak that originally ripped through New York and the Northeast began to decline in the spring, America’s Sun Belt states began reporting swelling outbreaks and infections rose again over the summer, Fauci told SiriusXM’s “Doctor Radio Reports” in an interview that aired Friday. The country was never able to report below 20,000 daily Covid-19 cases on average like other parts of the globe, Fauci said.

“We never got out of the real wave. We kind of went up and down within a wave,” Fauci said. “When I hear people talk about second and third waves, it really is the original wave that just resurges up, comes down a little, and resurges up again.”



chart, histogram


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Unlike previous outbreaks the nation has faced so far, the most recent surge appears to be spreading in nearly every corner of the country. Covid-19 cases were growing by 5% or more in 45 states over the week as of Thursday, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The positivity rate, or the percentage of tests that are positive, is increasing in over 30 states, and roughly 13 states are in the “red zone,” which means they have a positivity rate above 10%, Fauci said. A high positivity rate is a sign that “there’s more infection out there that we’re not turning over,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, told CNBC on Friday.

“That’s something that you wish you did not have as you enter into the colder months because out of necessity, a lot more things are going to have to be done indoors because of the weather,” Fauci said.

On Friday, the U.S. surpassed 9 million total Covid-19 cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic, adding an additional 1 million cases since mid-October alone, according to

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Hodgson receives boost as FIVE Crystal Palace players return to fitness ahead of trip to Wolves

Roy Hodgson receives major boost as FIVE Crystal Palace players including new signing Jack Butland return to fitness ahead of trip to Wolves

  • Gary Cahill and James Tomkins, who were both out with thigh injuries, are back
  • Jordan Ayew and summer signing Jack Butland are back after self-isolating
  • The striker and the new goalkeeper tested positive for coronavirus recently
  • James McCarthy is also back in training after picking up an injury with Ireland

Crystal Palace have received a significant injury boost ahead of Friday’s Premier League trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers, with manager Roy Hodgson confirming that five first-team players have returned to full fitness.

Defenders Gary Cahill and James Tomkins, who were both out with thigh injuries, are available for the game at Molineux, while striker Jordan Ayew and new goalkeeper Jack Butland are back after self-isolating following positive tests for COVID-19.

Central midfielder James McCarthy is also back in training after picking up an injury on international duty with Ireland.

Roy Hodgson has been boosted by the news of five Crystal Palace players returning to fitness

Roy Hodgson has been boosted by the news of five Crystal Palace players returning to fitness

New signing Jack Butland is back after the goalkeeper tested positive for coronavirus

New signing Jack Butland is back after the goalkeeper tested positive for coronavirus

Centre-back Gary Cahill also returns following a thigh injury to the former Chelsea defender

Centre-back Gary Cahill also returns following a thigh injury to the former Chelsea defender

‘We just need to assess Tyrick Mitchell before tomorrow who picked up a knock yesterday and Joel Ward,’ Hodgson told reporters on Thursday. 

‘But I’m not making too many complaints, the squad is as big and competitive as I’ve seen it.

‘I’m just trying to keep everybody as happy as possible. It might be the first time I’ve had to leave people out of an 18-man squad – that really is an unusual situation.’

Tomkins returns from a thigh injury

Ayew also tested positive for coronavirus but now returns from quarantine

James Tomkins (left) also returns from injury as does Jordan Ayew (right) does from quarantine

Midfielder James McCarthy is also back in training after picking up an injury with Ireland

Midfielder James McCarthy is also back in training after picking up an injury with Ireland

Palace beat bottom side Fulham 2-1 away last weekend and Hodgson said he expected a tight contest against Wolves, who are unbeaten in their last three Premier League games and ninth in the table, one place below Palace but level on points.

‘We’re expecting a very, very tough game. It’s nice to go there with 10 points and a bit of confidence, but so have they,’ Hodgson said.

‘We do know they have the ability to put you under the cosh for a long period of time, and it will be up to us to produce the quality to relieve that pressure.’

Hodgson also confirmed the club will assess Tyrick Mitchell ahead of the game against Wolves

Hodgson also confirmed the club will assess Tyrick Mitchell ahead of the game against Wolves

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Hearts of Oak rocked by injuries ahead of GPL start as four players battle for fitness

Sports News of Thursday, 29 October 2020

Source: Ghana Soccernet

2020-10-29

Danjuma Ademola KutiDanjuma Ademola Kuti

Ghanaian giants Hearts of Oak will be missing four of their key players in their league opener against Aduana Stars ahead of the 2020/21 Ghana Premier League opening games next month.

Hearts of Oak are likely to miss the services of new signings Ademole Kuti, Eric Dizan, Mohammed Alhassan and Mamane Lawali due to injury.

Nigerian striker Ademole Kuti is yet to arrive in Ghana to join the team for preseason according to reports.

The four players are currently not in camp and did not join the team to Cape Coast for the preseason camp.

The Phobians left the capital for preseason camp in Cape Coast on Wednesday to continue with preparations ahead of the league start on November 13.

Hearts of Oak play away to Aduana Stars at the Nana Agyeman Badu Park at Dormaa in their first game.

The Phobians managed to pick a point in their last meeting with the Ogya lads at the Nana Agyeman Badu Park.

Hearts of Oak is hoping to end its trophy drought in the upcoming season and have set it sight on winning the league.

The 2020/21 Ghana Premier League commences on November 13, 2020.

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Hibs cup hero Lewis Stevenson in desperate fight for fitness ahead of Hearts clash

Hibernian’s Lewis Stevenson is in a race against time to prove his fitness ahead of Saturday's Scottish Cup semi-final derby. Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group
Hibernian’s Lewis Stevenson is in a race against time to prove his fitness ahead of Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final derby. Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group

Lewis Stevenson, who was part of the League Cup winning side in 2007 and one of the men who will go down in history after he helped end the Leith side’s 114-year Scottish Cup drought, in 2016, hobbled away from Rugby Park in a protective boot after he rolled his ankle in the 1-0 triumph over Kilmarnock last weekend.

Jack Ross, who won one and lost one of his first two derbies as Hibs manager, had hoped that the injury would improve in time for the trip to Hampden, but the prognosis is not looking good and the 32-year-old left-back looks set to miss out on the Capital derby.

Overshadowed by young Josh Doig when the Premiership season got under way, the veteran defender had forced his way back into the starting line-up at the beginning of October.

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But, in what could be the only derby of the season against Championship Hearts, Scotland U-19 starlet Doig now looks likely to step back in.

In more positive news, the Hibs boss is hoping to have at least one of his wingers back to bolster his attacking options.

Drey Wright and Jamie Murphy, who are recovering from groin and hamstring niggles respectively, came close to being in contention for the game with Kilmarnock, but it was decided not to risk them due to the plastic pitch. Their rehabilitation remains on track, though, and there is an expectation that at least one of them will feature against Robbie Neilson’s Hearts side.

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Is Northwest Biotheraputics a Buy Ahead of Its Brain Tumor Vaccine Clinical Data Release?

When it comes to winning biotech stocks this year, coronavirus vaccine developers automatically come to many investors’ minds. However, one of the top-performing stocks in the sector is Northwest Biotherapeutics (OTC:NWBO), which focuses on immunotherapies that treat cancer, and has returned a staggering 408% since January.

The main reason why investors are so excited about Northwest Biotherapeutics’ prospects is that the company’s 14-year-long phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate its one and only immunotherapy candidate, DCVax-L, as a treatment for glioblastoma, has concluded. Should you consider buying the stock in anticipation of the data release? Let’s find out together. 

3-D illustration of a dendritic cell.

Image source: Getty Images.

Treatment background

Glioblastoma is a deadly form of brain cancer prevalent in up to 15% of people with brain tumors. Even after patients receive standard of care (SOC) treatments consisting of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, their median survival time comes down to just 15.5 months in historical studies. DCVax-L is an experimental immunotherapy that seeks to stimulate patients’ own immune systems to fight cancer growth. 

The potential biologic has been in phase 3 clinical trials since December 2006. In the study, all glioblastoma patients receive SOC treatments, while a random portion also receives DCVax-L via upper arm injections. A key trial endpoint requires at least 233 patient deaths out of a total of 331 participants enrolled to calculate a survival benefit for DCVax-L, if any. The company completed its study on July 24, and the data is currently being reviewed by statisticians. In the meantime, speculations on the results have ranged from wildly enthusiastic to pessimistic from excited investors and short-sellers. 

The bullish case

The bullish case for Northwest Biotherapeutics stock is straightforward: The DCVax-L clinical trial was supposed to wrap up as early as November 2016, but had to keep going because the projected number of deaths had not occurred by then.

Around the time when the trial was enrolling, only 3% of glioblastoma patients who received SOC survived over five years. Due to extremely low survival rates for patients who receive SOC treatments, bullish investors argue that there is no other logical explanation for the clinical study going into overtime than DCVax-L keeping patients alive longer than expected. 

The bearish case

The bearish case is a lot more complicated.

Clinical trials investigating experimental biologics for deadly diseases with a lack of therapeutic options usually have pre-planned interim analyses. DCVax-L’s phase 3 trial had two such analyses built into the study.

The analysis is conducted by an independent data-monitoring committee (DMC) that can recommend that the trial stop early if an experimental therapy demonstrates statistically meaningful efficacy against SOC treatments. This way, the biologic can quickly advance to the approval stage in order to save more lives.

Northwest Biotherapeutics’ DMC carried out two interim analyses on the DCVax-L study in 2017 and 2018 (more on this later). Both times, however, the company published the DMC’s findings as blinded, and the trial continued. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make any sense at all in the context of

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Simeone gives update on Atletico star Suarez’s fitness ahead of Champions League clash with RB Salzburg

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone said Luis Suarez could still start the club’s Champions League fixture against Salzburg, despite training away from the squad.

Suarez trained individually ahead of Tuesday’s Group A showdown with Austrian visitors Salzburg in Madrid.

Simeone – whose Atletico were routed 4-0 by defending champions Bayern Munich on matchday one – provided a fitness update on Suarez, telling reporters on Monday: “He’ll be in the squad.

“We agreed with the doctor that it was best for him to work away from the group [on Monday] and then, according to what we see tomorrow, he’ll [either] start or be on the bench.”

Suarez has been in red-hot form since swapping embattled La Liga giants Barcelona for Spanish rivals Atletico at the start of the season.

The 33-year-old has scored four goals in five league games, including the second goal in last week’s 2-0 victory at home to Real Betis.

Suarez also scored his 150th La Liga goal earlier this month, becoming the second fastest player to reach that milestone in the competition this century – quicker than Lionel Messi and only behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

Asked if he was surprised by Suarez’s impact, Simeone replied: “Surprised, no.  I’ve found a player who I listened to on the phone when we first made contact in that first chat to see if there was a chance he could join us.

“He wanted to be here and he’s proving it. Let’s hope we can help him.”

Simeone also hailed Atletico attacker Joao Felix, who has impressed during the early stages of 2020-21.

Joao Felix arrived from Benfica for a club-record €126 million fee last season but injuries hampered the Portuguese after a solid start.

He has a goal and one assist through five La Liga appearances and Simeone added: “It’s always the same. For me, he’s had some very good games since the start of the season. Granada, Huesca, Villarreal despite being tired, the whole game in Munich…

“He’s looked dangerous on a number of occasions. The other day [against Real Betis], when he came on in the 25th minute, the team had a good fluidity.

“I’m happy with his work, except for a few minutes against Celta [Vigo], which weren’t the best. We’re always looking for a situation to find him [on the pitch]. He’s a boy who’s in good form, like many of his team-mates.”

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Ancelotti makes U-turn on Rodriguez fitness ahead of Southampton clash

(Reuters) – Everton coach Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful playmaker James Rodriguez will be fit in time for Sunday’s Premier League clash at Southampton, a day after saying he expected the Colombia international to miss the match.



Carlo Ancelotti that is standing in the water: Premier League - Everton v Brighton & Hove Albion


© Reuters/JAN KRUGER
Premier League – Everton v Brighton & Hove Albion

Rodriguez sustained an injury during a challenge from Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk early in last weekend’s Merseyside derby draw at Goodison Park, although he stayed on for the full 90 minutes.

Ancelotti had earlier suggested Rodriguez would be unable to face the Saints but on Friday confirmed the player had resumed partial training.

“He is not definitely out,” Ancelotti told reporters. “Fortunately his recovery was really good and he trained today, just a partial training session.

Video: Liverpool’s Van Dijk to undergo knee surgery (Reuters)

Liverpool’s Van Dijk to undergo knee surgery

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“I hope he trains tomorrow and is in condition to play on Sunday. We are really confident he can maybe play.”

Ancelotti said centre back Ben Godfrey, who made his Everton debut against Liverpool, will be deployed at right back against the Saints, with Jonjoe Kenny yet to recover from an ankle injury.

League leaders Everton are unbeaten this season, having recorded four wins and a draw against reigning champions Liverpool.

“The start was good, now there is a consistency to show every game,” Ancelotti said.

“They (Southampton) are trying to play without the ball with high intensity, they are really compact. We have to be smart, we have to be clever with the ball. If we are, we could have chances to win the game.”

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Chennai; Editing by Toby Davis)

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