By Tim Stannard
Busquets out with toe-trouble
What the footballing gods give…they doth take away eventually.
They allowed Neymar to move to PSG in one of the transfer shocks of all eternity. But then the Powers-That-Be put a hammer of truth to his foot to ensure that the Brazilian was sidelined just when his new club needed him the most.
💪⚽ Straight back to work after last night's win! pic.twitter.com/IlI3En8pKo— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 15, 2018
On Wednesday night, Leo Messi put in a magisterial masterclass to dispose of Chelsea…but the gods wanted payment. And that payment was the toe of Sergio Busquets – the going rate for a brace against Chelsea in the Champions League. The Barcelona midfielder will be sidelined for the next three weeks with a fractured toe, but the impact will be limited as the club will be taking a bit of downtime anyway with the international break coming up.
Ethics take backseat in March Madness frenzy
Much of the USA throws its cares into the trash can of existence and suspends its moral code, on Thursday with the start of March Madness.
Depending on one’s philosophical and moral leanings, March Madness is either a zany, never-ending, back-to-back festival of college basketball and a chance to speak to people in the office you might ordinarily ignore over the topic of how their bracket is performing. Or it’s another morally questionable money grab by the NCAA.
Sports Burst has put its dwindling number of ethics on the back seat and built its own bracket based on college names which sound exotic and places in the USA it has been to and had a pleasant time. Hence Iona is defeating Texas in the final. Experts have said that it is a prediction that could be ended by about 4PM ET with a first round defeat to Duke to follow a similar trend with Iona in years gone by.
Roger Federer looks to roll on into final four
From basketball brackets…to tennis racquets.
Thursday sees the quarterfinals dominating at Indian Wells. And that means another outing for the seemingly unstoppable and ageless Roger Federer who is taking on Hyeon Chung of South Korea, the player he defeated in the semifinals of the Australian Open.
The women’s bracket will finish whittling down the numbers from eight to four. Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka are already through to the semifinals, where they could be joined by Venus Williams who is taking on Spaniard Carla Sanchez Navarro and Angelique Kerber with the German facing Daria Kastakina in Thursday’s play.
Wenger sets up Milan malaise for fans
From tennis racquets to…the Europa League, which is almost identical to the sport of tennis and March Madness in that a large number of participants at the start are whittled down to one eventual winner. In the Europa League’s case, the triumphant team will be the continent’s best of the rest of those teams sort-of-finishing in sixth in their respective leagues this season.
And that pretty much sums up Arsenal, a side that have to make sure that a 2-0 advantage is not lost in the Emirates from a Last 16, first leg tie against Milan. Arsene Wenger is already setting supporters up for disappointment warning that, “when you have won away from home, you have to finish the job at home but it is not easy because it always puts the team who is playing against you in the position of having nothing to lose.”
The good people of Canada can settle down with a couple of classics. At 2PM ET / 11AM PT Athletic Bilbao will be looking to overturn a 3-1 lead held by Marseille. That is followed directly by Borussia Dortmund also with quite the challenge, having to head to Salzburg and reverse a 2-1 score-line.
Tune into the best of the action on the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT.
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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.