Steven Taylor thinks Newcastle will lose again on Sunday if they do not tame the “beast” that is Everton striker Romelu Lukaku. Sloppy defending allowed United to bag all three points, much to Taylor’s dismay. The Newcastle defender felt his team-mates were too much in awe of the stellar cast of players on show for United. “We made it far too easy for them. We showed them too much respect,” Taylor said. “We should have been right in their faces and put a few tackles in during the first five or 10 minutes like we did against Chelsea. “We need to put pressure on the opposition. We need to test them out. “If you give them that much respect, anyone can look good and we made them look good.” A repeat performance against Everton, could prove costly, according to Taylor. The Toffees suffered a shock home defeat to Stoke on Boxing Day, but the Toon centre-back is wary of the talented players Roberto Martinez has at his disposal – chief among them Lukaku. The pressure is back on Alan Pardew after his team stretched their losing streak to four matches in all competitions with a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United on Boxing Day. Ayoze Perez and Daryl Janmaat had chances to score for the Magpies and the visitors were unlucky not to be given a penalty in the first half when Juan Mata tripped Yoan Gouffran. “He is an absolute beast – a top player,” Taylor said of the big Belgian. “And they have players like (Ross) Barkley, another top player. “They have good players left, right and centre that will hurt you if you give them time on the ball, so it’s up to us to stand up and put our head in the way.” Midfielder Cheick Tiote returns from suspension for the clash. Goalkeepers Tim Krul (ankle) and Rob Elliot (thigh) are out and there are doubts over midfielders Mehdi Abeid (toe) and Siem de Jong (thigh), who missed the 3-1 Boxing Day defeat to Manchester United. Rolando Aarons (hamstring), Gabriel Obertan (thigh) and Ryan Taylor (knee) remain on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Everton boss Roberto Martinez feels the way his side now react to suffering their first back-to-back Barclays Premier League losses this season will be vital to how their campaign pans out overall. After being beaten 3-0 at Southampton last Saturday and then 1-0 at home by Stoke on Boxing Day, the Toffees – who came fifth last term and had been targeting the Champions League places this time around – are 12th in the table, 11 points off the top four. They have only won one of their last six league games, with four of those ending in defeat, and struggled to create much going forward in what was a physical encounter with the Potters. And ahead of the trip to St James’ Park, the Spaniard said: “I don’t think in general we are lacking confidence, but I think this is a moment of the season that is pivotal for us – seeing how we can react. “The reaction now has to be that we make sure we know what we are doing. “We have a real understanding of how to perform and if we can keep that, the results will come. “But football gives you these sorts of challenges, and this is the challenge of the season. “We need to make sure we get through this period stronger than ever, and that could really give us a very strong second half of the season.” Goalkeeper Tim Howard and skipper Phil Jagielka were forced off at half-time due to calf and ankle problems respectively and look likely to miss the Newcastle game. Additionally, Jagielka’s fellow centre-back John Stones and winger Kevin Mirallas are doubtful due to knocks they picked up in the Boxing Day match. The fixture also saw forward Steven Naismith receive a fifth Premier League booking of the season, meaning he will be suspended for Sunday’s encounter. Press Association
With their home season coming to an end, the University of Wisconsin volleyball team will pack up for yet another road trip. On the agenda for head coach Kelly Sheffield’s Badgers will be a trip to Columbus to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes.A sweep of their matches last weekend versus Indiana and Purdue gives the team momentum to build off heading into the final two weeks of the regular season and then the NCAA Tournament.The Buckeyes, sitting at only 3-13 in the conference, haven’t been much of a threat to the Badgers in the past. But after playing Wisconsin early on in the season, The Ohio State’s tally on a huge upset over now ranked No. 7 Penn State. A win like this means that The Ohio State is not a team to be underestimated or taken lightly.Men’s basketball: Trio of Happ, Trice, Davison power Badgers past Xavier 77–68The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team took a trip down to Cincinnati for the 2018 Gavitt Tipoff Games Tuesday Read…Wisconsin finds itself tied in the AVCA coaches poll with Penn State at the No. 7 ranking after last weekend’s success over Purdue and Indiana. Wisconsin is one of five Big Ten teams within the top 10 ranking in the country.The Badgers haven’t faced off against the conference rival Buckeyes in nearly two months. Last time, it was Wisconsin taking care of business almost too easily — sweeping the Buckeyes on 25–19, 25–17, 25–15 set scores.The Badgers out served The Ohio State with Molly Haggerty recording four of the team’s ten aces. Dana Rettke led the offense with 11 kills. Tionna Williams recorded four blocks. Sydney Hilley had 35 assists and Tiffany Clark had 16 digs.Wisconsin will face off against Vanja Bukilic, who is the kills leader for the Buckeyes but was slow in kills last time these two teams played each other as well.The second matchup of this weekend for the Badgers is the Maryland Terrapins. The Terrapins, sitting at the middle of this tough Big Ten Conference is not a team to be taken lightly. They pose a defensive threat that has kept a lot of teams’ big hitter searching for holes that aren’t there.Women’s hockey: Badgers look to continue their dominance against Bemidji StateThe Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team (11-1-0, 5-1-0 WCHA) are slated to take on the Bemidji State Beavers (2-9-1, 2-5-1 Read…Freshman libero Allegra Rivas was recently named the Big Ten Defensive player of the week for the third time this season. She recorded a total 24 digs in the Terrapins recent upset over No. 15 Michigan.Maryland is on a two-match win streak from this past weekend, including wins over Michigan and the Ohio State. The Terrapins dominated after only three sets in each game.Although this will be the first weekend Wisconsin does not face a ranked opponent since Sept. 19, it will not be a weekend taken lightly by the Badgers. With the postseason rapidly approaching, they know they need to prepare themselves to be as best as they can be.The Badgers will face off against The Ohio State Friday at 6 p.m. from Columbus, Ohio, and they will play the Maryland Terrapins Saturday at 6:30 p.m. from College Park, Maryland.