NBA Icon and NASCAR Star Pair To Buy New NASCAR Team For Bubba Wallace

NBA legend and arguably the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan and current NASCAR star, Denny Hamlin, have partnered to purchase a charter for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season and beyond. The charter belonged to Germain Racing, the current owners of the #13 GEICO machine driven by Ty Dillon. Jordan and Hamlin have immediately signed Bubba Wallace Jr. to be their driver for the foreseeable future as well.

The manufacturer and car number are yet to be announced, but one could assume the #23 is the favorite. As for sponsors, the new team will inherit Door Dash, Columbia Sports Wear, and McDonald’s, among other big-time sponsors that Bubba has added throughout the season. The team could also be sponsored by the Jordan brand or Nike itself. Michael Jordan will serve as the principal owner so that Hamlin can continue piloting the #11 machine.

This is what new owner and NBA Icon Michael Jordan said about his new team:

“Growing up in North Carolina, my parents would take my brothers, sisters & me to races, and I’ve been a NASCAR fan my whole life. The opportunity to own my own racing team in partnership w/my friend, Denny Hamlin, & to have Bubba Wallace driving for us, is very exciting.”

Jordan went on to talk about he and Hamlin’s unique bond and how it’s grown over the years. They also both hit on the potential of both Bubba as a driver and as a future star of the sport. Not only that, but they talked about the opportunity this will provide for the sport to bring in a brand new fan base.

Congratulations to Hamlin, Jordan, and Bubba on the deal. I’m incredibly excited to see this team develop and to see the audience expand as the sport itself diversifies.

Watford FC: 3 players who need to have big games against West Ham

Watford FC, Ismaila Sarr

Watford FC will face off against West Han United on Friday in a relegation battle contest. Both teams are eyeing Premier League retention and will put their best foot forward to earn a victory hopefully.

The issue? Watford has lackluster offensive capabilities, despite Troy Deeney securing a brace in last week’s victory over Newcastle. Michail Antonio of West Mam slotted four goals against Norwich. He is coming off one of his best individual performances and will face off against a team with skeptical defense.

Here are three players Watford FC needs to step up against West Ham:

1.) Troy Deeney

As stated above, Deeney posted a brace against Newcastle over the weekend. On the season, he has eight goals, but at 32 years old, he doesn’t have the same speed and athleticism he once contained. Nonetheless, Watford is relying on him to lead their attack.

The skipper is notorious for showing up in big games, and this one might be the biggest of the 2019-20 season. A loss would be devastating to their Premier League hopes, but a victory would put them in great shape heading into a tough game against Manchester City.

Watford normally utilizes Troy as their lead striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation. If he can dismantle a questionable West Ham backline, it will come down to the wingers and their service.

2.) Craig Dawson

Dawson has been Watford’s best defender to-date, and he will have a tough task ahead of him with Antonio coming off a monster performance last weekend. Over 26 appearances this year, Dawson has four clean sheets and two goals. The 30-year-old defender is in his first year with Watford after spending eight seasons with West Bromwich Albion.

The Hornets desperately need him to be at the top of his game to stop a surging West Ham attack.

Last week after their victory over Norwich, Dawson had some inspiring words for his team:

“We’ve got a great squad and we haven’t performed as well as we wanted to this season and we’re working hard.

“Hopefully we can turn things around and keep working hard on the training pitch and get the points on the board.

“We’re just fully focused on ourselves and we know that the games that are coming up are great opportunities for us so it’s all about recovery now and getting ourselves ready for the next game.”

3.) Ismaila Sarr

Starr is a bright light for the Hornets in their development as a team. His hat trick against Liverpool several months ago is his greatest accomplishment so far, but with just five goals this season, Watford desperately needs him to activate his potential against the Hammers.

His blazing speed and technical ability make him extremely dangerous on the wing, but I feel Nigel Pearson utilizes him too much in the midfield role. This suggests that he doesn’t trust Kiko Femenia at right-back, but giving Sarr the space up top is essential in their counter-attack.

Giving him room on the right side should allow Deeney to hover in the middle and sit back for crosses.

How Watford FC can defeat West Ham United in a defining relegation game

Troy Deeney, Danny Welbeck

Watford FC is gearing up to face off against West ham United in a defining relegation game on Friday afternoon. Both sides are calling their way out of the relegation zone and a loss would be detrimental to their chances of remaining in the Premier League.

Let’s take a look at how Watford FC can overcome West Ham and inch closer to safety:

West Ham utilizes a 4-4-1-1 formation, dependent on striker Michail Antonio. Antonio scored four goals last week against Norwich City, who sits at the bottom of the table. His stellar performance gives him incredible momentum heading into the matchup against the Hornets.

However, Watford has their own savior gearing up for what he hopes to be another successful performance. Captain Troy Deeney, scored two goals from the penalty spot in the teams 2-1 victory over Newcastle last weekend.

Nigel Pearson currently leads the Watford team, who displays a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Deeney serving as the primary striker. Currently, they are utilizing Danny Welbeck and Ismaila Sarr as their left and right wings, with Abdoulaye Doucoure at center attacking midfielder.

Will Hughes and Etienne Capoue at center mid gives Watford a strong midfield, but their wing-backs have struggled in recent weeks. Adam Masina and Kiko Femenia have been inconsistent at times, which has given opposing teams a way into the 18-yard box. Christian Kabasele and Craig Dawson must remain strong and defend well again set pieces to overcome a surging West Ham attack.

The difference-maker

However, I believe the difference-maker in this game could be Roberto Pereyra, who has struggled this year but remains one of the more talented players on the team. His lack of care has been on display and undoubtedly affected his game in a down season. But with Watford looking to retain their Premier League status, his services are needed immediately. I believe a more aggressive formation would be beneficial in this game, as Watford’s defense is not strong enough to hold off West Ham for 90 minutes. A 4-4-2 formation could be a more suitable look.

Utilizing Deeney and Welbeck as their two strikers, Pearson could keep Capoue on the bench and swing Pereyra out to left-wing. This would make Doucoure and Hughes their center midfielders.

Putting a goal on the board early should be the priority here, and sitting back on defense in the second half to control the lead could help Watford secure their future.

Is it time for Watford FC to move on from Troy Deeney?

Watford FC, Troy Deeney

When Watford FC needs a helping hand, Troy Deeney always seems to answer the call. After a 2-1 victory over Newcastle on Saturday, the veteran striker believes Watford has “turned a corner.”

Sitting in fourth place at the bottom of the table, Watford has had a tumultuous 2019-20 campaign. Two second-half penalties secured the win and kept the Hornets alive and willing to fight another day. With teams like Norwich already sitting in the relegation zone permanently, Watford is struggling to maintain their Premier League status.

Their highly anticipated matchup against West Ham United on Friday could be the deciding factor regarding their retention. They are currently three points ahead of Bournemouth, who just thrashed Leicester 4-1 over the weekend.

The Hornets will face off against Manchester City and Arsenal to close the season after their matchup against West Ham. Even a draw would essentially guarantee their place in the Premier League, but with a -21 goal differential, Bournemouth is just three goals away from clawing their way back into the conversation.

Can Troy Deeney save the Hornets again from disappointment?

The 32-year-old skipper hasn’t posted double-digit goals since 2017 when he logged 10. With 24 appearances so far this year, he currently has eight goals and will be looking to add to his tally. His brace over the weekend gave him some essential momentum. But his clear lack of speed and agility have significantly hurt his production and effectiveness on the pitch.

Deeney told Watford’s official website:

“We can’t afford to be naive to the situation that we’re in.

“We’re in a relegation fight, we have been since the start of the season with the poor start that we had, but we’ve turned a corner and it’s in our own hands so we’re relishing that.

“We highlighted the last game (Norwich), this game (Newcastle) and the game on Friday as three must-wins and we’re two out of three so far.

“So we want to keep grinding away and getting better and hopefully that will lead into a better next season.

“I think you can see the change, I think you can see the desire, and that’s what everyone ultimately wants from their football team, and the performances will obviously get better.”

Deeney has one year left on his five year, $16.9 million pound deal. After his contract expires, I believe Watford should look elsewhere to supplement the position. He is simply not the striker he once was, and his elite status on the team has gradually decreased. While bringing him back as a reserve option on a cheaper contract might be beneficial, they cannot rely on him to be an everyday starter moving forward.