AS PART of a three-year strategic plan announced last year, Chief Executive of Italian State Railways Giancarlo Cimoli is planning to change the way FS treats its suppliers. Head of procurement Mauro Moretti says standard contracts will be agreed, and the fragmentary approach to purchase of spares will give way to block orders. FS will move towards simple and standardised components, including bogies and air-conditioning, and new components will be expected to perform more reliably and last longer.All this should help push costs down. Judging by a tale of screws now costing 12lire instead of 1200lire, drastic savings are in prospect. FS says it is committed to take the best offer on the international market – a move partly forced on it by falling government support and partly by EU rules. Moretti rightly believes that trains should be delivered in a condition that allows them to haul commercial traffic and not have to undergo numerous modifications after they have entered service. In return, he promises a more open procurement procedure, with ’clarity’ in contracts and tenders, which will be published in good time in the EU Official Journal. FS will now adopt the European standard for payment of 30 to 60 days instead of anything up to six months.Just how this will be received by Italian industry, unions and other parties is far from clear, but Cimoli wants costs down by 30% in three years. His strategic plan will see FS pull out of non-core activities, with 10000 jobs disappearing. FS staff will get standard contracts, and around 10% of local passenger services may be withdrawn. Better productivity will save 2500bnlire, and other cost reductions a further 2500bnlire.Eight out of nine coaches of an ETR460 Pendolino set derailed on January 12 as it approached Piacenza on a curve at around 160 km/h. The Milano – Roma Botticelli was carrying about 200 passengers, three of whom were killed, along with both drivers, two members of the Italian railway police and a stewardess; all were travelling in the leading car. The speed limit for Pendolino trains on the curve was 105 km/h. o
City’s dominance has been so overwhelming that many are already ranking them among the best teams in Premier League history, alongside the likes of Arsenal’s “Invincibles”, who won the 2003-04 title without losing a single match, and United’s 1999 treble winners.Meanwhile, Guardiola might still be tempted to field a weakened side against rivals Manchester United with a crucial Champions League clash against Liverpool to come next week, and a 3-0 deficit to overturn, the Catalan coach faces a dilemma.Having watched their rivals Manchester United dominate English football for the majority of the 1990’s and the new millennium, City fans are relishing their opportunity to get one over their bitter foesÂ on Saturdayat the Etihad Stadium.The task is a simple one â€“ beat United and City will seal the fastest-ever Premier League title in front of their own fans, forcing United to look on with envy.In ordinary circumstances, Guardiola would not even entertain the idea of deploying anything other than his strongest team to secure his first league title in England, and keep City on course for a record points haul.However, what happened at AnfieldÂ on Wednesdaywould have given the Catalan coach food for thought. Liverpool blew City away in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie with a blistering display of attacking football.That 3-0 defeat leaves City on brink of an exit from a competition many tipped them to win, given their relentless league form. Guardiola, though, is not giving up just yet.“I believe a lot in this team,” he said afterÂ Wednesday’smatch. “Nobody believes we will go through. We will convince ourselves…”Tuesday’sÂ second leg at the Etihad comes just three days after the Manchester derby â€“ a match City do not necessarily have to win.City need just two wins from their remaining seven league games to seal that third Premier League crown, and that is assuming United win all of their remaining games, starting at the Etihad.Losing to United would upset fans, but is unlikely to be detrimental to City’s season. Not overturning their 3-0 deficit against Liverpool, though, would leave them to pick up the pieces of another failed campaign in Europe.City have only once reached the Champions League semifinals despite investing eye-watering sums of money in their playing squad.United are likely to put everything into today’s encounter, and with it being a derby clash, the chances are elevated of some tough tackles flying in. Guardiola will know that an injury to the likes of Kevin De Bruyne or David Silva would seriously harm their chances of a Champions League turnaround.What they said?Man City“Nobody believes but we have another game. We see what happens. Of course it is difficult but we believe. We have to accept it and now we have United at home and then Liverpool at home,” – Man City manager Pep GuardiolaMan United“Manchester City is not important for me. What is important for me is that since the moment we left first position and went to Â¬second, we stayed there for the whole of the season. We deserved to be second, in spite of what you can say, the criticisms you make. You all say the third, fourth, fifth, sixth (placed teams) are better than us, but theyâ€™re not, because we have more points than them,â€ Man United boss Jose Mourinho.“This game doesn’t come in an ideal situation, for there’s quite a gap of points between the two of us, but we all know that it’s a special game. We’re looking forward to playing against them and having a good performance. That’s what our fans deserve.” â€“ Man United playmaker Juan Mata.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Nothing would please Manchester City fans than winning the Premier League title today against bitter rivals Manchester United, with Pep Guardiolaâ€™s men needing just three points to clinch the title. Though the Red Devils may have conceded the title to the Citizens, nothing would be more humiliating to their travelling fans than seeing their â€˜noisy neighbourâ€™ clinch the title at their expense. Considering the rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Guardiola, the Portuguese would do everything to delay Cityâ€™s title celebrationM anchester City can ease the pain of their Champions League defeat to Liverpool by clinching the Premier League title against bitter rivals Manchester United today in record time.Pep Guardiola’s men will become the first team in the league’s 26-year history to wrap up the title with six games to spare if they beat United at the Etihad â€“ a fitting end to a season of almost total dominance in the league.City are 16 points clear of Jose Mourinho’s second-placed team so it is a matter of when rather than if they wrap up the Premier League title, the first of Guardiola’s reign in England.The runaway leaders will be desperate to reassert themselves after their chastening 3-0 defeat in the first leg of their Champions league quarterfinal at Anfield.But the derby comes just three days before the return leg of their European tie and Guardiola faces a difficult balancing act, still believing he can overturn the Champions League deficit at the Etihad.After decades of living in United’s shadow, City have changed the balance of power in Manchester firmly in their favour and are on the verge of their third title since 2012.Having endured a disappointing first season with City, Guardiola has silenced the critics who claimed his purist principles would not work in the cut-throat Premier League, meshing his desire for a smooth passing style with an ability to compete physically.Belgian midfielder De Bruyne has been their driving force, while David Silva, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero have all played key roles.Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola won his first English silverware in February when City trounced Arsenal in the League Cup final.By then, City had already turned the title race into a lengthy coronation and it would be fitting if they complete their journey with one more record-breaking victory, even though their probable Champions League exit threatens to cast a shadow over the celebrations.City set a record earlier this season by winning 18 successive league matches and a host of other statistical milestones are within their reach.Currently on 84 points, the leaders are chasing Chelsea’s Premier League record tally of 95 points set in 2004-05. With 27 wins so far, they can also beat Chelsea’s high of 30 victories set last season.United won the title by the widest margin when they took it by 18 points in 1999-2000 but that record could also fall to City, who, with 88 goals scored, have their sights set on Chelsea’s 103 netted in 2009-2010.
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has announced his squad to compete in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt, starting on 21 June.The first-ever 24-team tournament takes place in Egypt from 21 June to 19 July. South Africa have been drawn in Group D where they will face Morocco, Ivory Coast and Namibia.Bafana plays Ivory Coast in their first match on 24 June in Cairo, followed by Namibia at the same venue on 28 June. Their last round-robin match is against Morocco on 1 July.Bafana Bafana Squad for Afcon 2019:Goalkeepers: Darren Keet (Bidvest Wits ), Ronwen Williams (Supersport), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs).Defenders: Daniel Cardoso (Chiefs), Rivaldo Coetzee (Sundowns), Ramahlwe Mphahlele (Chiefs), Thulani Hlatshwayo (Wits), Innocent Maela (Pirates), S’Fiso Hlanti (Wits ), Buhle Mkhawanazi (Wits), Thamsanqa Mkhize (Cape Town City ).Midfielders: Bongani Zungu (Amiens), Hlompho Kekana (Downs), Dean Furman (SS), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford), Tiyani Mabunda (Downs), Thulani Serero (Vitesse), Thembinkosi Lorch (Pirates), Themba Zwane (Downs), Fortune Makaringe (Maritzburg), Ben Motshwari (Pirates), Keagan DollyStrikers: Lebo Mothiba (Strasbourg), Percy Tau (Royal St Union), Lars Veldwijk (Sparta Rotterdam), Lebogang Maboe (Downs), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Downs), Kermit Erasmus (CT City)Nikola Tavares (Crystal Palace) and Joel Unteresee (FC Zurich) are also part of the squad but are still waiting on passports before joining the rest of the team. Source: Eye Witness News
Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco The closest Kershaw has come to a game all spring has been these limited sessions against teammates. His throwing program was put on hold early in spring training due to shoulder discomfort. When he resumed throwing, the buildup carried past the end of spring training games, forcing the Dodgers to substitute simulated games for Cactus League action.Related Articles Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw might be starting on opening day after all.“Yeah. Woo hoo,” Kershaw said. “That’s great.”After throwing 52 pitches in three simulated innings Saturday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, Kershaw checked off the final box in his progression before going on a minor-league injury-rehabilitation assignment. He is expected to throw four or five innings in a rehab start for either Double-A Tulsa or Triple-A Oklahoma City, most likely on Thursday — which is the season opener for either team. The choice will be made based on the “logistics” of travel and the potential weather in either city.“Yeah, I’m ready to go,” Kershaw said. “Sim games are good when that’s your only option. But it’s good to have a game-like situation, have long innings — things like that that you can’t control in a sim game. It’ll be good.” Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season “It’s so hard,” Kershaw said of the lower-intensity settings. “You definitely get your work in. You throw your pitches. You get up and down, which is the most important thing. As far as intensity or adrenaline you might have, there’s probably always a tick more when you’re doing a spring training game against another team with fans in the stands and things like that. So a minor-league rehab game will mimic that.“It’ll be good, just another bit of a step. More intensity means pitching better, I think. More adrenaline. You don’t have to try as hard to generate things. So I actually prefer it. That’s why I never like pitching on the back fields in spring training. I prefer the games.”Kershaw’s work Saturday against Joc Pederson, Kike’ Hernandez and a couple of minor-league players brought in for the session was monitored by the usual assortment of technology measuring velocity, spin rate and break. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he didn’t know how Kershaw’s velocity or movement on his pitches rated. He said he would get that feedback at some point but there were other things higher on the priority list.“No. 1 most important, he came out of it feeling strong, which is good,” Roberts said. “I think to build him up and to come out of it healthy are the two most important things. I thought the curvveball was really good today. Fastball execution, the slider … that’s going to continue to get better. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “But the two most important things — the health coming out of it and building up as far as the arm and the innings — we passed all those hurdles.”Kershaw said the session was “definitely encouraging” and he would seek “a little bit” of the high-tech feedback, something he is trying to be open to.“More the break of pitches,” Kershaw said of his focus. “My curveball started getting there towards the end. Slider was getting there a little better. This was definitely better than the last one, which is good.“I’m trying to understand all the new technology and stuff, not just discredit it, trying to understand it. The guys are doing a good job helping me with it. It’s been good.”Kershaw and Roberts would not say whether they expect the left-hander to be ready to join the Dodgers’ rotation after the rehab start or will need to make another one.“I think that’ll be a discussion probably after this one,” Kershaw said. “I think it’ll be a little bit performance-based, a little bit timing-based, just seeing where the team is at and how I fit in. Not exactly sure yet.”HILL CLIMBLeft-hander Rich Hill has been limited to throwing on flat ground since suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee on March 17. But Roberts said he expects Hill to test his knee by throwing a 30-pitch bullpen session off a pitcher’s mound “some time early next week … and we’ll see how he feels” before planning the next step. Unlike Kershaw, Hill threw 11 innings in four Cactus League games before he was injured.RINGERSIn the home clubhouse before Saturday’s game, owner Mark Walter, team president Stan Kasten and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman presented the Dodgers with their 2018 National League championship rings.A year ago, the players received their rings for winning the 2017 NL pennant in an elaborate on-field ceremony before the third game of the season.ALSORoberts said Corey Seager and Justin Turner were scheduled to have Sunday off. After playing all 13 innings of Friday’s marathon, Roberts checked in on both, offering Seager in particular the chance to take Saturday off instead. Both were in the lineup Saturday. …UP NEXTDiamondbacks (RHP Luke Weaver) at Dodgers (RHP Walker Buehler), Sunday, 1:10 p.m., SportNet LA (where available), 570 AM