How the mighty have fallen. A former giant of European football that has fallen so far that nothing other than a root and branches rebuild is required…… and I’m not talking about England (for once) but rather their opponents tonight the Netherlands.I’m still struggling to come to terms with the fact the mighty Oranje will not be part of Russia 2018 having failed to qualify.That disaster signalled big changes and this is Ronald Koeman’s first game in charge and there’re plenty of new faces amongst the players too with Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder now retired from International football. Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk takes over as captain of the Netherlands. He said: “It is great news, for me and my family. I am very happy with it, it is a great honour to be the captain of your country.”Ordinarily, I would think England would be a good bet to win this but the usual caveat of IF applies. If, in this case, standing for international friendly.Gareth Southgate will no doubt be keen to keep England’s momentum going with the World Cup now less than three months away. England have kept four clean sheets in a row and five in their last six.Southgate is likely to use Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford who is increasingly looking like the number one choice for the England number one shirt.Jack Wilshere has not travelled after injuring his knee in training and his hopes of being fit for Russia are in the balance.Southgate said: “It’s difficult for me to say when he will report back because he’s more experienced with it than I am, but it’s definitely not a big problem. We just have to see how it settles. It’s ongoing.“It’s not uncommon at all for players to experience it. It’s disappointing for him in terms of this game, but given the injuries he’s had and the progress over the last 18 months, he’s made huge strides.”Netherlands v EnglandInternational Friendly19:45 ITVHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)Mar 2016 INTERNATIONAL England 1-2 HollandFeb 2012 INTERNATIONAL England 2-3 HollandAug 2009 INTERNATIONAL England 2-2 HollandNov 2006 INTERNATIONAL Holland 1-1 EnglandFeb 2005 INTERNATIONAL England 0-0 HollandFeb 2002 INTERNATIONAL Holland 1-1 EnglandAug 2001 INTERNATIONAL England 0-2 HollandJun 1996 EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS England 4-1 HollandOct 1993 WORLD CUP Holland 2-0 EnglandApr 1993 WORLD CUP England 2-2 HollandNetherlands have lost just one of their past 13 matches against England (W5 D7) but they are likely to be much more experimental than England will be tonight as Southgate’s men continue the build up to the main event. As such, England at 19/10 makes plenty of appeal – despite the IF factor!RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK ENGLAND 9 points at 19/10 with starsports.betPROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 97.17 points
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram On Monday residents and visitors of Galaxidi marked the end of the carnival season and the start of the Lenten fast with a ‘flour war’. The seaside town, located 200 kilometres west of Athens, came alive with participants running wild and showering one another with bags of brightly dyed flour. The event takes place for a few hours annually every Clean Monday along the coastal road that lines the town’s old harbour, attracting visitors from across Greece and abroad. Traditionally it kicks off with the ringing of cow bells, giving participants the go ahead to commence the parade and try to cover one another in as much flour as possible.To protect themselves and their homes, locals cover buildings in plastic sheeting and also wear plastic suits and goggles. Meanwhile those who wish to partake purely as spectators observe the shenanigans from afar, across the village quay. While an initiation of the Orthodox Christian holiday of Clean Monday, the ‘flour war’ also marks the end of carnival season, referred to as apokries, which dates back to Greece’s pre-Christian era.
By Dan RahnUniversity of GeorgiaWith the fall harvest set to begin, Georgia muscadine growers arewarily eyeing Tropical Storm Katrina, hoping the tropical seasonwill be kinder to them this year than last.”We had three storms last year, and they cost us about half ofour crop,” said Charles Cowart, owner of Still Pond Vineyardsnear Arlington, Ga. “We don’t need any more of that.”Cowart said he had planned to begin harvesting his 160 acres ofmuscadine grapes this week. “But they’re just not ripening,” hesaid. “We’ve put it off now until the first of next week.”As Katrina began threatening south Florida, the Georgia muscadinecrop was looking good. “We’ve got a better-than-average crop,”Cowart said. “The sugars are low, but we’ve got some prettyfruit, large fruit.”No problemThe low sugar content isn’t a problem, he said. “If everybodyelse had high sugars and we were the only ones around with lowsugars, it might be a problem,” he said. “But in a high-moistureseason, everybody’s got low sugars. That’s just a given.”The rainy summer, he said, will just “make the sugar man happy.”Some sugar has to be added to any muscadine juice being fermentedinto wine. The lower the sugar content, the greater the need foradded sugar.The summer’s abundant rainfall has created a more seriouspotential problem, though: a high risk for tropical storm damage.The crop just can’t handle a lot of rain right now.”It would split a lot of grapes,” Cowart said. “There’s just somuch water they can hold, and they can’t go beyond that. Thegrapes are ripening now, and if we get a lot of rain now they’lltake up more water than they can hold.”Wind damageHigh winds could hurt the crop, too, said Paul Wigley, theUniversity of Georgia Cooperative Extension coordinator inCalhoun County.”High winds can put a bunch of grapes on the ground,” Wigleysaid. “And once the grapes hit the ground, you can’t use them injuices or wines.”Cowart, who makes juice and wine products with all of hismuscadine crop, said Tropical Storm Frances hit his farm with 50to 60 mile-per-hour winds in early September last year and shookoff a lot of his grapes.”The grapes aren’t as ripe now as they were with Frances,” hesaid. The heavier the grapes, the more susceptible they are tobeing blown off their vines by high winds.Georgia has about 1,200 commercial acres of muscadines. The cropbegins ripening in August in south Georgia. The harvest movesnorthward through the upper piedmont area, where it ends in earlyOctober.Many Georgia gardeners grow muscadines as a backyard fruit. UGAExtension experts figure the state has probably twice as manybackyard muscadines as commercial acres. Your county UGAExtension agent can tell you how to grow them.(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
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