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Leicester City vs Chelsea: Tuchel names squad for EPL game

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Chelsea’s squad to face Leicester City in today’s English Premier League (EPL) tie has been revealed.

According to Football London, Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel, has named a 23-man squad to tackle Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

Tuchel’s men head to the game following a 1-1 draw with Burnley in their previous Premier League encounter.

The Blues are currently on top of the Premier League table with 26 points from 11 matches.

Below is Chelsea’s full squad against Leicester:

Goalkeepers: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcus Bettinelli, Edouard Mendy.

Defenders: Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah, Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Cesar Azpilicueta, Malang Sarr.

Midfielders: Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Saul Niguez, Ross Barkley, Mason Mount.

Forwards: Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz.

The kick-off time for Chelsea vs Burnley is 1.30 pm.

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African countries should not be penalized for Omicron COVID-19 variant – Adesina

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The President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has said that African countries should not be penalised for the Omicron COVID-19 variants and other mutations across the world.

Adesina said this in a tweet on Sunday, following the travel ban imposed on Southern African countries by the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union and some Asian countries as part of an emergency response to the recently-discovered B.1.1.529 strain of COVID-19, first detected in South Africa.

Adesina stated that Africa is not the source of COVID-19 which was first discovered in Wuhan, China, some two years ago.

His tweets read, “Africa should not be labelled and penalized for COVID-19 variants and mutations that occur randomly elsewhere in the world. Africa is not the source of COVID-19.

Adesina also campaigned for equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa and other parts of the world even as he encouraged African nations to start manufacturing its COVID-19 vaccines.

“There must be global justice, equity and fairness in access to vaccines. Global vaccine supply system has under served Africa. Protecting one’s home alone in the midst of a forest fire does not work. Put out the forest fire.

“Africa must accelerate the manufacturing of its own vaccines and set up its own ‘healthcare security defence system’. Africa must no longer outsource health security of its 1.8 billion people to the benevolence of others,” his tweet read.

Recall that the World Health Organisation, WHO had on Friday declared the new COVID-19 strain first discovered in South Africa to be a variant of concern and renamed it Omicron.

COVID-19: We’re monitoring emerging evidence on Omicron variant – NCDC

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COVID-19: We’re monitoring emerging evidence on Omicron variant – NCDC

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Ifedayo Adetifa

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has said it is monitoring emerging evidence on Omicron variant and its implications, to inform Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Director General, NCDC, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday in Abuja.

Omicron was first identified from testing done on Nov. 9, 2021, in Botswana on travellers from West Africa.

It was reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on identification of cases among a cluster of young unvaccinated people in South Africa on Nov. 24, 2021.

While this variant has so far not been detected in Nigeria, a number of cases have now been reported in the UK, Israel, Botswana, Hong-Kong, Germany, Belgium, Italy and many more countries.

WHO has also urged countries to enhance their surveillance and virus sequencing efforts to increase their understanding of the circulating variants.

Reacting, Adetifa said that the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and NCDC are aware of reports of a new COVID-19 variant – the B.1.1.529 lineage.

“The FMOH and NCDC are monitoring emerging evidence on this new variant and its implication, to inform Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Given the high number of mutations present in the Omicron variant and the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases observed in South Africa, this virus is considered highly transmissible and may also present an increased risk of reinfection compared to other VOCs,” he added.

He, however, said the fears about the variant’s ability to evade protective immune responses and/or its being vaccine resistant were only theoretical so far.

“This virus can still be detected with existing Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests. The WHO and researchers across the world are working at speed to gain understanding of the likely impact of this variant on the severity of COVID-19 and on the potency of existing vaccines and therapeutics,” he added.

The NCDC boss added that the agency would continues to ensure daily review of surveillance data and uses this to inform public health decision making.

He, therefore, urged all States to ensure that sample collection and testing are accessible, so that travellers, people with symptoms or who have been exposed to COVID-19 cases get tested promptly.

COVID-19: South Africa condemns ‘punishment’ over Omicron variant detection

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EPL: Man United abusing Cristiano Ronaldo, making him average player – Michael Owen

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Michael Owen has said that Manchester United’s use of Cristiano Ronaldo borders on ‘abuse’, adding that they want to turn the 5-time ballon d’Or winner into an average player.

Ronaldo was only introduced late into the second half in United’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Portugal international has scored ten goals in 15 appearances for the Red Devils so far this season.

And Owen noted that the former Real Madrid forward is often left to run the side’s attack and says the lack of support he gets is ‘abusive’.

Asked whether he’d like to play in United’s team, Owen told Premier League Productions: “No you can’t! We were at Old Trafford for the City game the other day and all of a sudden it’s just exactly the same they leave Cristiano Ronaldo up front on his own. That’s almost abuse!

“Having someone that good in your team and then playing everyone defensively and saying ‘That’s alright we’ll just hope he nicks a goal’ he’ll end up being average.

“If you leave him and all these good players or just two of them playing and everyone else defending they’ll start putting in bad performances because they’ve got nobody to pass to, they’ve got no options, they’re chipping the ball form 50 yards away. They need other players to come up and help them.

“It’s almost abusing the good players they’ve got and that’s the last thing you’ve got to do. If anything, expose the rubbish! Find ways of getting world class players in your team, get Pogba, get Fernandes, get Ronaldo, get them as best as you can.

“If you let a few goals in because Bailly’s not great or Wan-Bissaka or whoever it may be then fine you can replace them but at the minute because they’re nervous and scared they just bulk up with sitting midfielders and more defenders and abuse the great players up front leaving half of them on the bench and one or two to play, they’ve got no chance!”

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