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    Despite Poor Start Europe Should Have the Edge Over the US in the Ryder Cup

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    Neil Clark
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    At time of writing the first four-ball matches in the Ryder Cup, the biennial golfing event between Team Europe and Team USA, are in play at Le Golf National GC in Paris.

    Who's going to win? Europe were thrashed 17-11 two years ago in Minnesota, and the US have taken an early lead in this year's contest, but even so there's solid reasons for believing that Europe will be able to turn things come Sunday afternoon.

    For a start, they have home advantage. The last time Europe lost on the European continent to the US was 25 years ago, in 1993. That's actually the only time the US has won on European soil since 1981. Then there's the fact that Team Europe currently  has four of the world's top seven players, including this year's Open champion Francesco Molinari of Italy, who has been in blistering form. Europe's players also have the greater experience of the Paris course which has to be an advantage. The last two winners of the French Open which is played there,  are in the European team, while  Molinari has finished runner-up three times. The course, as golf expert Jeremy Chapman points out in his column in the Racing and Football Outlook has plenty of water hazards, and would not be ideally suited to the 'giant hitters' in the US team, such as Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bubba Watson.  Much has been made of the return of the legendary Tiger Woods to Ryder Cup action, but it's worth remembering his record in the tournament isn't all that great and the same applies to the other US 'oldie', the 48-year-old Phil Mickelson. 

    Of course, the US will put up a great fight as they always do, and there'll be some tight battles, but Europe looks value at over 2-1 to come home in front. Hopefully, Donald Trump won't be too happy come Sunday evening!

    League Cup Woes For Liverpool And Manchester United

    It all looked to be going so well for Liverpool at home to Chelsea in the League Cup this week. They were 1-0 up and looked like they'd comfortably add yet another victory to what had been a perfect start to the season. But then it all went horribly wrong. Chelsea equalised and then Eden Hazard scored his wonder goal. Liverpool is two points clear in the Premier League and kicked off their Champions League campaign with a pulsating 3-2 victory over PSG. But their exit from the League Cup will hurt as objectively speaking it was the 'easiest' prize that Jurgen Klopp's men are competing for. Fortunately, the Reds have got an immediate chance to purge the memory of last Wednesday, as they play Chelsea again this Saturday, this time at Stamford Bridge. Although we're still in September, we can't overestimate the importance of this fixture. If Liverpool wins, or avoids defeat, then it's back to business. But another defeat to the same opponents will undoubtedly dent confidence that's been so high in recent weeks.

    READ MORE: Germany Beats Turkey, Wins Vote to Host UEFA Euro 2024

    As Liverpool were losing at home to Chelsea, Manchester United were doing the same to Championship side Derby County. Although they clawed themselves back into it with a last-gasp equalizer by Fellani, United then lost an epic penalty shoot-out 8-7. At the end of September, Mourinho's men are eight points off the pace in the Premiership (having been held to a 1-1 draw by newly promoted Wolves last weekend),  and out of the easiest competition they could have hoped to win. And that's on top of off the field stories such as Paul Pogba being stripped of the vice-captaincy. United face a tricky away fixture at improving West Ham on Saturday and another defeat there would greatly increase the pressure on Mourinho. 

    Here's my predicted scorelines for this weekend's Premiership action:

    ARSENAL 2 WATFORD 2

    CHELSEA 2 LIVERPOOL 2

    EVERTON 1 FULHAM 1

    HUDDERSFIELD 0 TOTTENHAM 2

    MAN CITY 3 BRIGHTON 0

    NEWCASTLE O LEICESTER 0

    WEST HAM 1 MAN UTD 1

    WOLVES 1 SOUTHAMPTON 0

    CARDIFF 0 BURNLEY 0

    RACING ROUND-UP: A KAZAKHSTAN WIN IN PRAGUE

    The genuine internationalism of the world of horse-racing was on display in Prague in the Czech Republic last Saturday when the fourth annual European Jockeys' Cup took place. It's called the 'European' but in fact, rather like the Eurovision Song Contest, competitors came from beyond the continent, from countries such as Kazakhstan, Qatar and Panama. In the end, the Cup was won by Kazakhstan's Bauyrzhan Murzabajev, who won two races and had a second-placed finish, with France's Jean-Bernard Eyquem in second and German veteran Andreas Helfenbein in third. The day's most valuable race was won by the home-trained Troizilet, with Irish raider Gordon Lord Byron finishing fifth. He bids to bounce back on Naas in Ireland on Sunday in a 6f Group Three. Meanwhile at Newbury, the hugely popular veteran Take Cover (pictured), a mainstay in top sprints for several years, was retired after finishing a gallant, close-up second on unsuitably soft ground. I'll always have fond memories of this horse, who once helped me win a placepot of over £1500 for a mere 50p stake (and one other placepot on a later occasion). Let's hope the old boy has the long and happy retirement he so richly deserves. 

    The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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