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England recall Ollie Robinson in place of Matthew Potts for second Test against South Africa

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England have recalled Ollie Robinson in place of fellow seamer Matthew Potts for the second LV= Insurance Test against South Africa at Emirates Old Trafford.

England are 1-0 down in the three-match series after losing the opening Test at Lord’s last week by an innings and 12 runs inside three days.

Robinson will now make his first Test appearance since the final Ashes fixture in Hobart in January having been hampered by injuries and illness since then.

Robinson for Potts is the only change to the England side from the hammering in London with Zak Crawley retaining his place despite averaging below 17 in 10 Test innings this summer with a top-score of 46.
Speaking at his press conference in Manchester on Wednesday, England captain Ben Stokes said of Robinson: “When you look at what Ollie possesses as a bowler, one of his real key assets is how much extra bounce he gets compared to other bowlers in our squad.

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“We think here at Old Trafford, with it being a slightly quicker wicket than other grounds we play at, it obviously offers a lot more bounce.”

Robinson, 28, missed the three Tests against West Indies in March with a back spasm and was then left out of the home series against New Zealand earlier this summer.

However, after overcoming his back issue and a bout of Covid-19, Robinson claimed nine wickets in Sussex’s County Championship fixture with Nottinghamshire in late July and then five wickets as England Lions beat South Africa in Canterbury earlier this month.

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In that game in Kent, Robinson dismissed Rassie van der Dussen and Sarel Erwee twice each and South Africa skipper Dean Elgar once.
Stokes added: “We all know the quality of bowler Ollie is because when he has played for England before his skillset is incredible.

“Against South Africa for the Lions, he bowled long spells, three or four spells in a day, and took wickets as well.

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“I am very excited for him to put the England shirt on again. It’s something he has worked very hard for and thoroughly deserves.

“Ollie’s form wasn’t letting him down, it was his body and that is a tough thing to deal with. But, where he is now, I think he can look back on that and use it as something to gain experience from.

“He is here with the team and playing this week so everything that has gone on in the past is something he has grown from. He has learnt a lot as a person and a player.

“I stayed in contact with him quite a lot through the period and told him whatever team he plays for is lucky to have him because of what he possesses as a bowler.

“I let him know exactly where I stand. That enabled him to go away and work on what has been asked of him. All I can say is he’s done that to the absolute extreme. He’s worked hard behind the scenes.”

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Stokes praises Potts’ attitude after being left out
Durham seamer Potts has claimed 20 wickets in five Tests since debuting for England earlier this summer, with the 23-year-old bagging 2-79 from 20 overs in South Africa’s sole innings at Lord’s last week.

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Stokes praised the manner in which Potts accepted being left out.

The skipper added: “It is tough for Matty [Potts] to miss out but what he has done in five games is taken himself from a county cricketer with a lot of promise and really announced himself on the big stage.

“You also have to give him a lot of credit to handle the decision so professionally at such a young age. I think that is a real indication of where we are at as a team at the moment.

“The selection was based around what we thought was the best bowling attack to suit this particular ground and he completely understood that.

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“For a 23-year-old to completely understand the bigger picture of what we are trying to achieve and not throw his toys out of the pram was something that shouldn’t be overlooked.”
‘England won’t take backward steps’
England’s batters lasted a combined 82.4 overs at Lord’s, rolled for 165 in their first innings before crumpling to 149 all out in their second.

The heavy defeat in the capital was England’s first since Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum took up their roles earlier this summer, with the team having swept to a 3-0 series win over New Zealand and then beaten India in the rearranged fifth Test.

Stokes added: “What we have learnt from ourselves is that you can’t always go out there and perform how you want to perform.

“The address after the game was, ‘look, lads, you have obviously not performed anywhere near the capabilities we want to and we know we can, but it’s not something that we are going to take backward steps from’.

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“South Africa were better than us in that Test, that’s fine, that’s sport. Sport is set up for someone to be a winner and someone to be a loser. We are focussing on this game and the next and want to win the series 2-1.”

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If South Africa win in Manchester, they will secure a first Test series victory over England, either home or away, since 2012, when they triumphed 2-0 in England under the captaincy of Graeme Smith.

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EPL: Arteta makes Premier League ‘guarantee’ after Champions League exit

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Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta has promised that the team will be “fully focused” on the Premier League title race after they exited the Champions League on Wednesday night.

The Gunners lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich in Germany and 3-2 on aggregate.

Arteta’s men’s only chance of winning silverware is in the Premier League where they are two points behind Manchester City.

Arsenal are away to Wolves on Saturday, having lost 2-0 at home to Aston Villa last weekend.

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“We have to be close to the players. What they need to do is stand right next to them, give them our support and our love.

“We have to pick it up because we have a big, big game on Saturday.

“We really want it and we have to show that we’re capable of turning it around,” Arteta told reporters.

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Dortmund ready for PSG rematch after epic win over Atletico

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Borussia Dortmund are relishing a rematch with Paris St Germain in the Champions League semi-finals. This was after knocking out Atletico Madrid in a thrilling tie on Tuesday to set up a meeting with the French side they played in the group stage.

Dortmund overturned a 2-1 deficit from their quarter-final first leg against Atletico to win 5-4 on aggregate.

They will now renew their acquaintance with PSG, who beat Barcelona 6-4 over two legs to book their semi-final berth.

Dortmund coach Edin Terzic feels his side, who won the Champions League in 1997, are now better prepared to face the French champions.

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This was after the Germans lost away and drew at home in the group stage.

“Our first game against them wasn’t good. In the second game, we adjusted to them better and were closer to victory.

“I think we’re a better team today than we were against them in the group stage,” Terzic said, following the win over Atletico.

Midfielder Julian Brandt, who opened the scoring in the first half for Dortmund, could scarcely believe that his side had made it through to the last four after taking a two goal-lead, conceding two goals, and then scoring twice more.

“It was a crazy game for the fans and for us. A great game for us, for our fans and for all football fans around the world,” he said after receiving his man-of-the-match award.

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“It’s going to be very serious now against Paris. We played well against them at home in the group stage, but not well away. We want to do better now and, of course, reach the final,” he added.

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For striker Niclas Fuellkrug, who also got on the scoresheet, the Champions League semi-finals will be a new experience.

“I’ve never played at this level before and I’m very proud to be in the semi-finals of the Champions League with my team,” he said.

“Things will certainly be different against Paris than in the group stage.”

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Kaka’s ex-wife denies saying she divorced footballer for being ‘perfect’

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Caroline Celico, the former wife of Brazilian football legend, Ricardo Kaka, has debunked reports making the round that she broke up with the football star because he was too “perfect for her”.

According to her, she broke up with Kaka on mutual grounds, and they have been nurturing their two kids together.

Kaka and Celico married in December 2005, and their marriage produced two children: a son, Luca Celico Leite (born June 10, 2008), and a daughter, Isabella Celico Leite (born April 23, 2011).

10 years after their marriage, they parted ways with none of them saying the reason for their divorce until Sunday after a fake quote suspected to be a statement from Celico went viral.

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The statement read, “Kaka never betrayed me; he always treated me well, and he gave me a wonderful family, but I was not happy; something was missing. The problem was that he was too perfect for me.”

It has since sparked speculations from fans across the world, with some condemning her and others saying that she probably was not happy being with the 2007 Ballon d’Or winner.

However, taking to her Instagram story, Celico debunked the viral statement on her divorce from Kaká, labelling it as not only ‘false’ but also ‘fake’, while speaking on her future with her current husband, Eduardo Scarpa Julião.

The chef and food content creator wrote, “For those who haven’t heard from me for a long time… or have never heard before.

“And are UNFORTUNATELY hearing some fake news and FAKE quotes. Let me update you:

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“I got divorced almost 10 years ago, from those 14 years of relationship there are 2 lovely teenagers.

“It’s been almost 8 years. I am with my husband Eduardo, and we are having our first child next month.

“I have a lot of respect for my lifetime story, and I am very grateful for everything I have lived so far. My ex-husband and I found a healthy way to raise our children, and I’m so grateful for this.

“Please be welcome to my social media, which is a place I share about many subjects, such as family, work and spirituality, with a lot of respect and love.

“Thank you.”

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Recall that the former AC Milan and Real Madrid midfielder remained a single father for about four years before deciding to marry a Brazilian model named Carolina Dias.

Meanwhile, Kaká’s ex-wife and her husband are also expecting their first child together.

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