League Table
FIVE LESSONS LEARNT IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE OVER THE WEEKEND
1. RASHFORD DESERVES A STARTING BERTH WITH JOSE'S TEAM Marcus Rashford has been an amazing revelation for Manchester united since he was brought on the scene for Manchester united under LVG last season. He has proven with his performances that he's come to stay by taking all chances given him by scoring goals whenever called upon . He was deployed into the starting XI that thrashed Leicester city by 4-1 and staked his claim by getting a goal as usual . He should become a regular starter in the team from now on as his performances isn't that of a bench warmer . 2.MANCHESTER CITY ARE THE TEAM TO BEAT SO FAR With a 100% start to the new season under Pep Guardiola ,Manchester city are the team to beat in England having won all their opening six games with the maximum 18 points accrued. Their fluid flow of football has been a thing worthy of envy and the fact that almost all players are good to deliver when called upon is Scary. Swansea city gave a bit of fight but Man city as usual were able to finish their rivals off by scoring 3 goals to continue their winning streak going into the new season . They are undoubtedly the team to beat so far. 3. CHELSEA'S DEFENSIVE WOES ,CONTE'S REAL HEADACHE For a chelsea team known for defensive discipline in the past years to have conceded 6 goals in their last 2 premier league games ,Their is a real problem in the hands of Antonio Conte and his chelsea team . The manner with which they were whopped by Arsenal and Liverpool is a real cause for concern if they are to give a good account of themselves in the current campaign . Antonio Conte's real challenge this season will be to sort the problems of the ageing blues backline that have failed to remain water-tight conceding goals so cheaply . 4. LIVERPOOL LOOK READY TO CHALLENGE FOR THE TITLE Liverpool have been on a decent streak after their shock loss to Burnley. They have beaten Arsenal and chelsea already in their first 6 games of the 2016/17 season and the manner with which they dispatched Hull city deserves extreme credit. Klopp has found a way get everyone firing from all cylinders with Saido Mane a crucial part of the Anfield revolution 5. BILIC COULD BE ON THE BRINK Westham united this season have been shockingly shambolic winning just one game so far in six. One can easily point out that part of this is caused by a couple of injuries involving record signing Andre Ayew , Andy Caroll, Diafra Sakho . Dmitri Payet has been uninspiring for the hammers so far. Slaven Bilic has been unable to replicate last season's form at the olympic stadium . They are currently swimming in relegation waters after losing 3-0 to Southampton . if things dont turn around quickly ,The sack hammer could fall on Bilic very soon.
MATCH PREVIEW: MANCHESTER UNITED VS LEICESTER CITY.
VENUE; OLD TRAFFORD KICK OFF; 12:30PM DATE; SATURDAY, 24-Sep-16 POSITION; MANCHESTER UNITED 7TH VS LEICESTER CITY 11TH MANCHESTER UNITED ; Wayne Rooney will reportedly be axed on Saturday after a terrible performance against Watford last weekend. The United captain played the full 90 minutes against Northampton in the League Cup on Wednesday and struggled once again. Will Jose Mourinho finally buckle under the pressure? Luke Shaw missed their League Cup fixture with Northampton in midweek with a slight groin injury and remains a doubt for the reception of Premier League champions Leicester. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has missed United's last three matches because of injury and he too could remain sidelined for this fixture. Anthony Martial isn't expected to feature this weekend after coming off against Watford with suspected concussion. This should see Marcus Rashford retain his place, with Juan Mata or Ashley Young vying for a start. Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera impressed in midweek and are pushing for starts againt Leicester in midweek. LEICESTER ; Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri rung the changes in midweek as the Foxes were knocked out the League Cup against Chelsea in extra-time. Jeffrey Schlupp made his first appearance of the season in the 4-2 defeat. The Leicester manager is expected to start with a starting XI similar to the one used in the 3-0 win over Burnley last weekend. The only real selection issue for Ranieri is whether to reward Shinji Okazaki with a start after his brace against Chelsea or to stick with club record signing Islam Slimani as Jamie Vardy's partner. The latter is expected to get the nod. Nampalys Mendy remains Leicester's only real injury concern ahead of Saturday's early kick off. PREDICTION; Mourinho would not want to make it three straight losses in the league so i see a United win here, 2-1 final score.
IN JORDAN HENDERSON,KLOPP HAS FOUND THE ANSWER TO HIS MOST PRESSING ISSUE.
Much was made of Jurgen Klopp’s transfer strategy this summer. While many fans lamented the fact that Liverpool failed to secure a new left-back, another hole was spotted by more tactically-minded supporters, eyeing the state of the German’s squad with concern. Defensive midfield has been a problem area at Anfield for years. Not since Javier Mascherano have the Reds been able to call upon a player of quality and consistency in that role. Steven Gerrard occupied the spot at the base of midfield in the Reds’ exciting, yet ultimately flawed assault on the Premier League title under Brendan Rodgers in 2014, while Lucas Leiva did his best to fill the void for Kenny Dalglish Neither could quite match up to the Argentinian destroyer, while none of Liverpool’s current options in midfield can compare when it comes to holding their ground in front of a back four like the former Kopite. Instead, Klopp has placed his faith in a player with a different profile to the one expected to fill that gap in his squad: Jordan Henderson. The 26-year-old certainly isn’t a natural fit for the role. He initially endeared himself to Liverpool fans by providing the legs for Steven Gerrard once his own had begun to fail him due to age, and remains a very dynamic footballer. Rather than offering his side protection by sitting back like a semi-static shield in front of the back-line, intercepting dangers and making the most of his positioning, he continues to try and outrun and overpower his opponents. Yet that’s what his manager wants. Henderson has become something of a hybrid player in midfield for Klopp. As things stand he’s Liverpool’s top tackler in the Premier League this season, while also completing more passes than any other player in the division so far. He’s both the spoiler in the middle and the starter engine to his team’s attacks from deep. In his last two Premier League appearances, Liverpool’s No.14 has shown an ability to cope with the two very different challenges posed by Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City and Antonio Conte’s Chelsea. Up against the Foxes, he looked like the Henderson of old, bursting forward into the final third to combine with his side’s attacking players. This was encouraged by his manager’s instructions to overload the opposition’s back-line, as opposed to keeping players back to rebuff a potential break. His tireless energy helped to keep the pressure up and the champions pinned back. Against Chelsea, Henderson had to show a different, more disciplined side to his game, especially up against two players capable of matching him for dynamism through the middle in N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic. He again performed impressively to turn Chelsea’s caution into callowness through the main column of their team’s spine. When the Blues did come forward he took responsibility for intercepting their passes, dulling what little threat they posed and killing the tempo of the play to allow Liverpool the chance to regroup with a pass back to Simon Mignolet. His timing in the tackle was impeccable too, as was his decision-making, winning the ball to send it on to his more advanced teammates. He often had six players ahead of him to choose from, as James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne bombed forward to join their attacking colleagues and Georginio Wijnaldum. The quick ball he likes to play over the top has even become a favourite trigger that Liverpool’s forwards have become primed to expect when looking for runs into the box. Given the quality of Sadio Mane’s goal against Leicester, it’s easy to understand why. Oscar looked stressed by Henderson’s presence in the same area of the pitch. The Brazilian had looked to play between the lines with a modicum of freedom, however he was always a yard behind the Liverpool captain, out-muscled or beaten to the ball. Every 50/50 between the two – in the air, on the ground and in a foot-race – went the visitor’s way Given his burgeoning utility as a dual role player, it’s fitting that Henderson wears the shirt number he does. Under Klopp he isn’t quite a No.6 nor is he a No.8, but a combination – Liverpool’s No.14. Capable of galloping from box-to-box or breaking up play behind, he’s beginning to put to bed talk that the Reds need to sign a player like Sven Bender, who used to be the primary option to sit deep in midfield for Klopp at Borussia Dortmund Instead, the German has seen an alternative way to play thanks to his captain’s extremely athletic attributes. He can cover as much ground as anyone, complete more passes than his peers and score wonder goals when the mood takes him and the stage is right. He will have competitors for his place in Emre Can and Marko Grujic in the months ahead, although they’ll have to do far more than just clock up the yards before they can begin to think about displacing him. In Jordan Henderson, Klopp has found the answer to his most pressing issue.
WHY CONTE MUST PLAY CESC AT THE EMIRATES
It’s been a rather strange start to the 2016/2017 premier league season for Spanish and Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas with his sudden exclusion from the starting XI since Italian Gaffer Antonio Conte took over. Fabregas has failed to start a premier league game this season despite the fact that Chelsea have played five league games so far winning 3, drawing 1 and losing 1 . Conte seems to prefer the choice of Brazilan Oscar playing alongside Nemanja Matic and N’golo Kante at the heart of chelsea’s midfield. The reason for this isn’t far fetched , Most conservative modern day tacticians like their midfielders have the capacity to retrieve the balls quickly when not in possession and they worry more about player movements off the ball rather than on the ball . Fabregas’ case reminds one of the same fate suffered by Juan Mata under Jose Mourinho who rather preferred a midfielder with a high work rate and energy to one blessed with pure creative skills and ability to unlock defenses with ‘killer’ passes at the expense of their physicality and work rate . Cesc has played five games this season, scored 2 and assisted 2 despite his current lack of playing time When he joined the blues in 2014, he scored 6 goals and had 9 assists in the 49 games he played in all competitions. He was instrumental to the title winning season before the slump in the 2015/2016 campaign . The current chelsea side are not well endowed with effective creative talents which are usually needed to unlock defences and score goals. Apart from Eden Hazard , Willian and Oscar haven’t been outstanding this season and the likes of Nemanja Matic and N’golo Kante will offer more in terms of defensive cover than going up front . The lack of creativity in the chelsea setup is one of the major reasons they slumped to Liverpool embarrassingly at Stamford bridge on Matchday 5 . Against Leicester city in the English football league cup , it took the brilliance of Cesc Fabregas to fire the blues into the next round of the competition while in an advanced midfield role . The midfielder possesses the great vision to thread pin point passes for the lethal Diego Costa who is always ready to feed on his services . His brace against Leicester city shows he can also score goals when in the right positions to do so . Antonio Conte will need to rely on the seeming resurgent Fabregas who is arguably the most creative Chelsea player currently after Eden Hazard as they look to face a tricky london derby at the emirates. Playing him in the hole behind the striker will not burden him with defensive duties which he is not so accustomed to in his previous roles as a ‘’false 9’’ in the Spanish national team as well as Barcelona . Chelsea’s midfield will need to be at their creative best for adequate supplies for the strikers(Costa and Batshuayi) at the Emirates stadium and Conte’s best card will be to play Cesc at the Emirates directly behind the striker .
TEN MANCHESTER DERBY HEROES
10.) MICHAEL OWEN (Manchester United 4 Manchester City 3, Premier League, Old Trafford, September 2009 ) It was the start of the 2008/09 season. Manchester United had just sold their star man, Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid. Manchester City were splashing the cash left, right and centre. This was a game where for the first time in about 4 decades, Manchester City looked like she had the quality to beat Manchester United. An unlikely name was the hero in the game as Michael Owen came off the bench to break City hearts six minutes into stoppage time. Mark Hughes's team levelled three times, but still lost despite Craig Bellamy's second goal in the 90th minute. Of course, Mark Hughes accused the referee of giving too much extra time but in the end, Owen made an indelible moment in the heart of Manchester United fans. 9.) YAYA TOURE (Manchester City 1 Manchester United 0, FA Cup semi-final, Wembley, April 2011 ) It was a meeting between two rivals in Wembley, a very tight affair considering the fact that Manchester City had the stars to cause damage against Manchester United. YayaToure brushed Nemanja Vidic aside before stroking the ball through Edwin van der Sar's legs for the winning goal. City thus claimed their first major trophy for 35 years. Due to that, the banner at Old Trafford which mocked City for going ‘trophyless‘ for decade was removed. In retrospective, its sad that the same Yaya is surplus to retirement in City. 8.) MARIO BALOTELLI (Manchester United 1 Manchester City 6, Premier League, Old Trafford, October 2011 ) After his house was accidentally set ablaze by fireworks, the Italian scored twice and revealed a T-shirt bearing the slogan 'Why always me?' in United's heaviest home defeat since February 1955. He scored the first goal in a game that showed for the first time, Manchester City’s superiority over the team in Red. They went on to win the league and City fans may point to that moment as the time they finally conquered their derby rivals 7.) PAUL SCHOLES (Manchester City 0 United 1, Premier League, Eastlands, April 2010 ) Having lost to Chelsea when Wayne Rooney was absent through injury and drawn against Blackburn Rovers, Scholes scored a rare header with just 17 seconds left of a scrappy game at Eastlands. It kept United's slim title hopes alive, though Chelsea would go on to claim the crown. It was the second time that season Manchester United scored a late goal to defeat her bitter rivals. Manchester City fans so hated ‘fergie time’. 6.) ANDREI KANCHELSKIS (Manchester United 5 Manchester City 0, Premier League, Old Trafford, November 1994 ) The Russian winger set-up Eric Cantona for a brilliant opener before helping himself to a hat-trick as Brian Horton's City were humiliated. Mark Hughes got the other goal. Here, fergie was beginning to exert his dominance in the English game and their city rivals were part of the fist set to witness that. 5.) RYAN GIGGS (Manchester City 2 Manchester United 3, Premier League, Maine Road, April 1996 ) Manchester United record apppearance holder, Ryan Giggs has played in more derbies than anyone and he smashed a left-foot drive into the top corner to win it here after City defender Keith Curle had foolishly pointed the way to goal for him in the penalty area. 4.)ERIC CANTONA - (Manchester United 2 Manchester City 0, OLD TRAFFORD, APRIL 1994) With a virtually unblemished derby record and goals in every start against City, Eric Cantona quickly became a bete noire for the Blues, and never was his contribution more important than during United’s faltering pursuit of a first Premier League and FA Cup sweep. The Frenchman – who had been sent off in both his previous appearances - sauntered back from a five-match ban to soothe the champions’ nerves in style 3.) MARCUS RASHFORD ( MANCHESTER CITY 0 MANCHESTER UNITED 1, ETIHAD STADIUM, APRIL 2016) Three months before, it would that this teenager would even be playing for the Senior team let alone start in the derby against City. Again, Marcus Rashford, showed his worth with an excellent goal against Manchester City. Picking the ball on the edge of the 18 yards box, He dribbled Martin Demichielis before slot the ball past Joe Hart to give Louis Van Gaal’s team all three points in the game. He could have even won a penalty but was calls were denied by the referee. 2.) VINCENT KOMPANY (MANCHESTER CITY 1 – 0 MANCHESTER UNITED, ETIHAD STADIUM, MAY 2012) Manchester City were three points behind their bitter rivals and needed a win to go top due to their superior goal difference. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, it was befitting that the City captain scored the goal that deleivered the title to the blue half of Manchester. City ended up defending the one goal slim advantage to secure the victory. Two weeks later, the title was in his hands. 1.) WAYNE ROONEY (MANCHESTER UNITED 2 – 1 MANCHESTER CITY, OLD TRAFFORD, FEBRUARY 2011 ) He is the highest goal scorer in the Manchester Derby, this goal was his best ever in his career. It was so good that it was nominated for the Puskas Award and it was voted as the best goal in 20 years of the English premier league. From a Nani cross that deflected off Micah Richard’s back, Wayne Rooney titled his body and tried an overhead kick that flew into the top corner. Joe Hart stood rooted to the spot and United got all three points.
FANSBOX18 REVIEW OF TOP TRANSFERS
There is a saying that it is in the morning that we get a projection of how the rest of the day will be. The European transfer window closed on August 31st and It can be said that this is the most thrilling season till date. For the first time in almost two decades, the most expensive player in the world is not donning the white shirts of Real Madrid. For the first time ever, English cubs spent over one billion pound (£1bn). Yes, you read that right. We bring to you the top 10 transfers of this just concluded window from fansbox18 . It's arranged in order of the best deals . (Feel free to agree or disagree !) 1.) Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG to Manchester United) Free It’s funny that while so much was spent in this window, our no 1 is a player that move via the Bosman rule. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a champion anywhere. He has won league titles in Holland, Italy, Spain and France. He has played for the best clubs all over the world. To football fans, he needs no introduction. Moving to Manchester United is a new sojourn for the Swed who despises the British media. Even they have been awed by his performance in his first few games of the season. He out jumped Les Morgan and has broken United’s power records. We know in a matter of time, he will break records in England. 2.) Paul Pogba (Juventus to Manchester United) $116 million The Prodigal son came back in triumphant entry. After his exit for less than a million pound in 2012, Paul Pogba arrives as the most expensive footballer in the world. Such is the crazy world we find ourselves today. The French midfielder has impressed in his two games played so far adding steel and gloss to the Man United midfield. Anything less than a scintillating performance in any game, the media won’t forgive him. After all, he cost almost hundred million pounds. Pogba is used to winning and he won the Scudetto in every season he played in Italy. He was close to a Champions league triumph but he couldn’t match the firepower of Messi, Neymar, Suarez (MNS) but that is understandable, who can’t match those three wizards at their best? Ok, Maybe stubborn Atletico Madrid or BBC given the right motivation. 3.) N’golo Kante (Leicester City to Chelsea) £32 million Some see him as Makelele reincarnated. He shares nationality with the defensive midfield legend, he shares the same skin color and now they have both played for the same team in England. N’golo Kante was the heart beat of the Leicester City side that won the EPL in astonishing fashion. Many gave plaudits to Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy for their brilliant efforts but I dare say Kante was the most crucial player in that team. Blessed with energy, tenacity and vision to see attacking moves before they occur, Kante broke a lot of opposition attacking moves last season in the EPL. Chelsa is really lucky to have him after a disappointing season last time out. 4.) Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli to Juventus) $98.8 million He broke the Italian Serie A goal scoring record last season, He is a very deadly finisher who can make the difference count on his day (Of course, Lionel Messi will point at him as the main reason Messi has no trophy at International level), Juventus signed the Argentine from rivals Napoli and he has started to pay back the fee with the winner his first game for the club. 5.) John Stones ( Everton to Man City) $61 million Jose Mourinho chased this man through out last season transfer window for Chelsea but he ultimately stayed at Everton. After an underwhelming season at Everton and the Euros, he has moved to Man City under Pep Guardiola. His start to the season has been impressive with a commanding performance in City’s victories so far. Pep can be rest assured he has found a good partner for Vincent Kompany. 6.) Sadio Mane (Southampton to Liverpool) $44.7 million Following two fine seasons with Southampton, during which he scored 25 goals in all competitions, 24-year-old Senegal flier Mane left St Mary's to join Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool revolution. He is blessed with speed, tricks and stamina, he has made an impressive start to life at Anfield, netting a fine solo goal in Liverpool's 4-3 win at Arsenal on the opening day. If he continues this way, the Reds fans can only likc their lips at the devastating combination he and Phillipe Coutinho will be. Can he do more for Jurgen klopp? That question will be answered in due time. 7.) Michy Batshuayi (Marseille to Chelsea) $43.5 million A cunning and unorthodox striker, 22-year-old Belgium international Batshuayi moved to Chelsea following a prolific season at Marseille in which he scored 23 goals. Used mainly from the bench so far, he has scored three goals in four games so far. Chelsea fans will hope he can be like club legend, Didier Drogba and with Antonio Conte guiding him, that is a good chance that he will fulfill those desires. 8.) Joao Mario (Sporting Lisbon to Inter Milan) $50.3 million It has been a summer of rebuilding at Inter, who have a new coach in Frank de Boer and several big-money new signings. The biggest is Joao Mario, who arrived at the San Siro from Sporting fresh from winning Euro 2016 with Portugal. Sporting revealed the transfer fee was 45 million euros and the player, a Sporting youth product, was unveiled to Inter fans before last Sunday's Serie A match against Palermo. 9.) Granit Xhaka, (Borussia Moenchengladbach to Arsenal) $46 million Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger moved to address longstanding concerns about the lack of bite in his team's midfield by sanctioning a big-money move for Switzerland international Xhaka. From his display at the Euros with Switzerland, one can confidently say he is an excellent addition to the Arsenal team. The 23-year-old's arrival obliged England international Jack Wilshere to seek a loan move elsewhere. 10.) David Luiz (Paris Saint-Germain to Chelsea) $44.7 million The shaggy-haired Brazilian's deadline-day return to Chelsea was one of the biggest surprises of the transfer window, after PSG paid £50 million to make him the world's most expensive defender just two years earlier. However, Luiz, 29, was tipped to lose his place to compatriot Marquinhos at PSG, and has returned to Stamford Bridge for a reported fee of around £34 million
LIVERPOOL VS HULL CITY (MATCH PREVIEW)
MATCH - Liverpool VS Hull city VENUE - Anfield DATE -24TH September 2016 TIME -15.00 ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE On September 24th, Liverpool host Hull City at the expanded Anfield. Both teams in this one have started better than they were expected to, so this has the potential to be a very interesting match. Liverpool have already registered wins over Arsenal, Chelsea, and defending champions Leicester City this season. Despite their incredibly different start, they have won 10 points from their first matches and find themselves toward the top end of the table. Hull City are expected to be relegated this season. They have been odds on favourites to be relegated all summer. Yet, Hull have started the season defiantly with seven points from five matches, with their only two losses coming against title contenders Arsenal and Manchester United. Surprisingly enough, they find themselves solidly midtable and have had about as good a start as could have been expected. Team News Liverpool will continue to miss the services of young players Joe Gomez and Sheyi Ojo. More senior players Daniel Sturridge and Georginio Wijnaldum are both doubts going into the match. Hull City’s squad wasn’t good to begin with, but they have also been in a big injury crisis from the opening day. Alan McGregor, Greg Luer, and Moses Odubajo are all out for half the season, while Alex Bruce likely won’t be back until December. Michael Dawson is also out until mid October. Team Prediction. Liverpool- Mignolet-Milner-Lovren-Matip-Clyne-Henderson-Wijnaldum-Lallana-Coutinho-Firmino-Mane Hull City- Marshall-Robertson-Maguire-Davies-El Mohamady-Huddlestone-Clucas-Snodgrasss-Mason-Livermore-Hernandez Liverpool vs Hull City: Prediction The Reds are on an excellent run at the moment after back-to-back league wins against two strong sides Leicester City and Chelsea. Jurgen Klopp has also made it clear that he will not take anything less than full points against Hull City after calling on his Anfield faithful to be ‘angry’ during the match. They have the momentum, form, individual brilliance and home advantage. And the visiting Hull City are expected to suffer a heavy battering in this weekend’s Premier League fixture.
ARSENAL V CHELSEA (MATCH PREVIEW)
MATCH - Arsenal v Chelsea VENUE - Emirates Stadium DATE -24TH September 2016 TIME -17.30 Arsenal and Chelsea will do battle on English premier League Matchday 6 when they file out at the emirates stadium to lock horns . It will be the first time Antonio Conte will be visiting the Emirates in a London Derby and both managers will be looking to get all 3 points in the game . Chelsea are currently fifth on the premier league log with 10 points from 5 games after winning 3 ,drawing 1 and losing 1 so far in the league . Arsenal their london rivals are on the same points but with a better goal difference. PREDICTED LINE UPS- Chelsea - Courtois , Ivanovic , Cahill , Luiz , Azpilicueta . Matic , Kante , Fabregas ,Hazard ,Willian, Costa Arsenal - Cech ,Monreal , Mertesacker , Koscienly , Bellerin , Xhaka , Carzola ,Ozil ,Iwobi ,Chamberlain, Sanchez TEAM NEWS John Terry is a doubt for the tie as he continues his road to recovery from injury he suffered against Swansea city . Kourt Zouma remains on the injury table due to his ligament damage injury suffered since last season. PLAYERS TO WATCH CHELSEA - Hazard , Costa ,Kante ARSENAL - Xhaka ,Iwobi , Sanchez MATCH FACTS Arsenal have failed to win any of the last nine Premier League meetings between the two sides, although Arsene Wenger’s men did beat Chelsea in the Community Shield last season. The Gunners have also picked up four red cards in the last five league matches against the Blues. The Blues have won four Premier League matches at the Emirates, more than any other visiting side.. HEAD TO HEAD (LAST 5 MEETINGS) Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal VERDICT - ARSENAL 2-2 CHELSEA
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