By Tim Stannard
Argentina in must-win at all costs clash against Haiti
Sports Burst has just spent 15 minutes wondering if Argentina’s friendly clash against Haiti on Tuesday is a win-win, lose-win, win-lose, lose-win, lose-lose situation for the Albiceleste. And it still cannot make its mind up.
Argentina is supposedly one of the favorites for the World Cup, considering the country’s world ranking and having the recent habit of reaching finals of major competitions. But Haiti is hardly a powerhouse of the world game, ranked at 108. So what value would there be to Argentina of a victory in Buenos Aires? Especially with Lionel Messi in the team to pull the strings and set up missed chances for Gonzalo Higuain?
Then again, confidence is so low in the Argentina camp and goals so hard to come by – just 19 scored in 18 World Cup qualifying games – that any kind of hefty Lebron-esque performance would be a morale boost. Or simply a band-aid to cover up significant issues going into the World Cup from a rookie goalkeeper, iffy defense, mediocre midfield and non-clicking forward line.
Leo Messi himself has been talking about the challenges to come and has been in diplomatic mode about his teammates - “I have great faith in this group, we are working very well, we have players with a lot of capacity and experience,” claimed the Barcelona man.
Fortunately, you the viewer can judge for yourself on what the future result holds as Argentina takes on Haiti live on beIN SPORTS at 6:50PM ET / 3:50PM ET.
Icardi out at Inter in Higuain swap?
Staying with an Albiceleste vibe and two Argentina strikers make up the lead – and potentially dodgy – transfer rumor of the day.
The Corriere della Sera out of Italy is claiming that Juventus is offering Higuain and over $50m in cash to Inter for the striking services of Mauro Icardi. In theory, it’s a non-mover: the Milan club has made a return to the Champions League, are almost 99% reliant on the goals of Icardi and would not be in the habit of selling to a direct rival, despite Higuain coming the other way.
“We have to be ready for anything, but for now there are no signals and no doubts about what he wants," warned Inter boss, Luciano Spalletti, who says that although Icardi is happy, there are some teams that can make moves happen.
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And if a bunch of other transfer rumors were to be true then Manchester City is about to drop a huge amount of cash on the transfer market over the next few weeks with rumored bids for Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe – the player was only on loan at PSG - Napoli’s Jorginho and Leicester City’s playmaker, Riyad Mahrez.
Catch the latest transfer tracker rumors on the XTRA at the special time of 9:30PM ET / 6:30AM PT.
Warriors fight back as Golden Knights live the dream
Time to zip back some 12 hours or so and reflect on a mad night of sport in the US of A.
Despite the drama of both conference finals going to seven games, the NBA final will once again be between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors for a fourth successive year, after the latter had a remarkable second-half on Monday night to come back against the Houston Rockets.
The dream for the Las Vegas Golden Knights continued at the start of the Stanley Cup final, after the 500-1 shot newbie franchise took a 1-0 series lead over the Washington Capitals.
In the world of soccer-ball, there was a fresh-faced look to the USMNT in a 3-0 win over Bolivia with Timothy Weah scoring in a line-up that also included Josh Sargent, Weston McKennie and the now veteran Christian Pulisic. Not so much luck for a Mexico side that took on a Gareth Bale-free Wales in Pasadena but could only manage a goalless draw.
Serena returns at rain-swept French Open
Back over the pond now to France and the one and only Serena Williams is making an increasingly rare appearance on a tennis court with opening round French Open clash against Kristyna Pliskova.
The former world number one was handed a wildcard to the tournament after taking much of 2017 off to have baby. Number one seed, Simona Halep, is also in action against American player, Alison Riske. However, inclement weather literally looks like putting a dampener on matters.
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The life philosophy of Sports Burst is that if you are not upsetting someone, then you are not trying hard enough. Sports Burst is a daily trawl and troll through the morning's sports news to bring you fact-nuggets to make you both smile and swear. Hopefully at the same time.