In the first round of the Tipperary Cup defending champions St. Michaels are at home to St. Nicholas.Kick off in Cooke Park is at 7:30.There’s also one fixture in Division 1 of the North Tipp District League with Rearcross versus Arra Rovers also getting underway at 7:30.
Source: BBC Sports Liverpool could play 10 games in 29 days over Christmas after the Fifa Club World Cup dates were confirmed.The Champions League winners will play in Qatar on 18 and 21 December.The Carabao Cup quarter-finals are scheduled for that week and Liverpool will play their final Champions League group game on 10 or 11 December.They were due to visit West Ham on 21 December but still have six Premier League games between 4 December and 1 January, subject to television.This season the Premier League is having a mid-season break for the first time, with each team having a two-week pause in February.Qatar was awarded the Fifa Club World Cup in 2019 and 2020 to help prepare for when they host the 2022 World Cup, which will run from 21 November to 18 December.The 2019 Club World Cup will be played from 11 to 21 December, with Liverpool playing in the semi-finals then either the third-place play-off or the final, which are both to be played on 21 December.Mexican side CF Monterrey will also take part in the seven-team tournament having won the Concacaf Champions League, while OFC Champions League winners Hienghene Sport have become the first club from New Caledonia to qualify.The Caf, AFC and Conmebol representatives are yet to be decided while the other participant will represent hosts Qatar.The tournament will feature eight matches, with the draw for the second round and semi-finals to be made in Zurich on 16 September.Liverpool fixtures over the festive periodEverton (H), 4 DecemberBournemouth (A), 7 DecemberChampions League, 10 or 11 DecemberWatford (H), 14 DecemberFifa Club World Cup, 18 and 21 DecemberLeicester City (A), 26 DecemberWolves (H), 28 DecemberSheffield United (H), 1 JanuaryWest Ham (A); Carabao Cup quarter-finals (TBC).
Kwadwo Asamoah insists he can play a key role for Ghana when the Black Stars chase a fifth Africa Cup of Nations title in South Africa.The 24-year old has emerged as one of Ghana’s highest profile players after a summer move to Juventus for whom he has become a regular in both the Italian Serie A and the Champions League.But although he has made more than 40 appearances for his country, he has often been criticised for his performances with suggestions that his performances are below the standard he reaches for his club.It is a perception Asamoah is desperate to change as he heads into his fourth straight Nations Cup having played for Ghana in 2008, 2010 and 2012.“We have our way of thinking as footballers and fans have theirs too,” he told BBC Sport. “There is a big difference in the way we play at Juventus and the way we play at Ghana. The training is different too so you can’t compare the national team to a club side.“I always try to do my best. It is not like I am here and I don’t want to play and do my best. I always want to fight for the nation. There are days that people say I didn’t do well but it doesn’t kill my spirit. It rather motivates me to do more.” One of the biggest dilemmas facing Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah will be where best to utilise Asamoah’s huge talent. At Juventus he has played as wing-back on the left, putting in a great shift when tracking back and providing a vital source of assists when the side has gone forward, while for Ghana he has always been played in a central role.Asamoah insists he is not fussy about where he will play in South Africa. All he wants, he says, is to be part of a team that will function efficiently as a unit and win games.He said: “If we are united, I think we have the quality of players to win it with the right fighting spirit. Football is not about individuals. It’s about team spirit and the hard work.”Asamoah barely featured for Ghana at the 2008 Nations Cup when he was a surprise inclusion in the squad. But two years later, he was very influential as Ghana reached the final, where they lost to Egypt. Earlier this year in Gabon he was again a key member of the squad that came short after falling at the semi-final stage to Zambia.He understands the expectation to win again will be huge and he is confident the Black Stars will thrive on it.“I am not surprised because every fan would like to win something for their country, so for me the expectation is normal,” he said.“For us, the players, it has to motivate us to say ‘okay our country needs this so we have to work and push hard to win it and bring the cup home’. So I agree with the mentality of the fans. It will motivate us to do our best.”Asamoah is playing with confidence which comes from the start he has made at Juventus since his move from Udinese in the summer. Not many people gave him a chance of playing but he has become a regular at the Italian champions and credits that to the sort of company he trains with on a daily basis. “My first day at training when they all returned from the European championships I was so happy because I used to watch Andrea Pirlo play for AC Milan and Gianluigi Buffon on TV so it is amazing playing with them now.“The motivation they give us can help a young player achieve more if you learn from it and for me it has been really helpful.”Ghana’s fans will hope Asamoah has learnt a lot from the likes of Pirlo and will be able to produce his own brand of magic on the big stage as he attempts to help Ghana end their long trophy drought.
Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error MOVE THEY COULD MAKEWith the Philadelphia Phillies landing Realmuto, perhaps they would be willing to part with Andrew Knapp. Knapp is a 27-year-old switch hitter with a career .330 on-base percentage in 140 big league games. He’s got a .349 on-base percentage in the minors. Knapp also has options. Although Knapp doesn’t quite fit the Angels’ desire to have defensive-minded catchers, a switch-hitting catcher who gets on base and has options would be a nice depth piece. Having Knapp, Smith, Briceño and Garneau would give the Angels plenty of competition for the job backing up Lucroy, and coverage if he gets hurt.Related Articles As the Angels head toward the first workout of spring training on Wednesday, we are providing breakdowns of how they stand with their roster by position groups. Players acquired this winter include the method of their acquisition in parentheses. Today is the final installment, looking at the catchers. Previously, the rotation, bullpen, infield and outfield.2018 RECAPMartín Maldonado returned as the Angels’ primary catcher after winning a Gold Glove in his first major league season as a starter. Maldonado’s offense deteriorated in 2017, likely because of the wear of catching the most games in the majors, and in 2018 the Angels hoped to lessen his workload and maintain his offense. It didn’t really work out. Maldonado caught 79 of 103 games before he was traded, hitting .223 with a .616 OPS. After he was dealt to the Houston Astros, the Angels split the job between rookies Francisco Arcia and José Briceño. Although they combined for some nice moments, they didn’t produce much offensively either. Overall, the Angels ranked 24th in the majors in OPS from behind the plate. Defense, however, is what the Angels value most in their catchers, and in that regard, they did well.HOW IT LOOKS RIGHT NOWGeneral Manager Billy Eppler said from the start of the winter that they were looking for a catcher. They made an early inquiry into the Miami Marlins’ J.T. Realmuto, but the cost was too high for the Angels and he was traded to Philadelphia on Thursday. They also engaged with the top two free agent catchers, Yasmani Grandal and Wilson Ramos, but both eventually signed elsewhere. The Angels instead grabbed Jonathan Lucroy (free agent) on a one-year deal. Lucroy, 32, is a few years removed from being one of the game’s best catchers. Last season with the Oakland A’s, he hit .241 with a .617 OPS. Lucroy said he discovered some swing issues over the winter, and he has expressed confidence that he can correct them. He still helped nurture a young Oakland pitching staff into the playoffs in 2018. The Angels also picked up Kevan Smith (waivers) from the Chicago White Sox, and he and Briceño will battle for the backup job. Smith, who is out of options, appealed to the Angels because of his .348 on-base percentage last year. Arcia was designated for assignment and signed with the Chicago Cubs.THE NEXT LAYERThis could be an issue for the Angels. They don’t have a catcher among their top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline. The best is Jack Kruger, who had a .770 OPS at Class-A and Double-A last year. The Angels will also have Dustin Garneau (minor league free agent) in big league camp. Garneau has played 88 games in the big leagues, with the Colorado Rockies, A’s and White Sox. Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter