The defeat to Aston Villa was Wigan's fifth at home this season and is one reason they face a fight to stay up.
The defeat to Aston Villa was Wigan's fifth at home this season and is one reason they face a fight to stay up.

Ominous signs of EPL relegation for Wigan

Andrew Cole, The National columnist, last week predicted that Wigan Athletic would go down this season, along with Birmingham City and West Ham United.

It is becoming hard to find a convincing argument for Roberto Martinez's team.

West Ham - due to their awful start to the season and constant speculation about Avram Grant and his future as manager of the club - have drawn most of the attention at the bottom of the table. But Wigan have become entrenched in the relegation battle, too.

The main reason is simple: they have the worst form in the Premier League as well as the worst home record (two wins and 12 points from 13 games) and the worst goal scoring tally (20 in 24 games).

What Wigan's situation shows, if it is not an obvious fact in football, is the importance of victories, as opposed to draws. Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City have both lost more games than Wigan (11 each compared to 10) yet, before last night's game between Liverpool and Fulham, they sat seventh and ninth in the table. Wigan were in 18th. That is down to not being able to turn draws into wins.

The three teams that Cole chose to go down share the worst win tally - just four apiece.

Blackburn and Blackpool both have the same kind of resources as Wigan and all three have conceded at least 37 goals this season. Yet Rovers - since Steve Kean took over as coach - and Blackpool both play attacking football. They have both lost more games than Wigan, but their win tally is at least double.

The other factor taking Wigan down is their home record. Tuesday night's 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa was their fifth loss at home this season, from 13 games and they have only won two at the DW Stadium. In a table based solely on away form, Wigan are 12th.

One ray of hope for Wigan - seventh place to bottom was separated by 10 points before last night so their situation is escapable, if they can start scoring.

However, they need to turn things around fast. Their next two games are West Bromwich Albion (away) and Blackburn (home). These are must-win games because Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are five of their following six opponents.

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and

The nine articles of the 50-Year Charter

1. Dubai silk road

2.  A geo-economic map for Dubai

3. First virtual commercial city

4. A central education file for every citizen

5. A doctor to every citizen

6. Free economic and creative zones in universities

7. Self-sufficiency in Dubai homes

8. Co-operative companies in various sectors

­9: Annual growth in philanthropy

Why does a queen bee feast only on royal jelly?

Some facts about bees:

The queen bee eats only royal jelly, an extraordinary food created by worker bees so she lives much longer

The life cycle of a worker bee is from 40-60 days

A queen bee lives for 3-5 years

This allows her to lay millions of eggs and allows the continuity of the bee colony

About 20,000 honey bees and one queen populate each hive

Honey is packed with vital vitamins, minerals, enzymes, water and anti-oxidants.

Apart from honey, five other products are royal jelly, the special food bees feed their queen 

Pollen is their protein source, a super food that is nutritious, rich in amino acids

Beewax is used to construct the combs. Due to its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial elements, it is used in skin treatments

Propolis, a resin-like material produced by bees is used to make hives. It has natural antibiotic qualities so works to sterilize hive,  protects from disease, keeps their home free from germs. Also used to treat sores, infection, warts

Bee venom is used by bees to protect themselves. Has anti-inflammatory properties, sometimes used to relieve conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, nerve and muscle pain

Honey, royal jelly, pollen have health enhancing qualities

The other three products are used for therapeutic purposes

Is beekeeping dangerous?

As long as you deal with bees gently, you will be safe, says Mohammed Al Najeh, who has worked with bees since he was a boy.

“The biggest mistake people make is they panic when they see a bee. They are small but smart creatures. If you move your hand quickly to hit the bees, this is an aggressive action and bees will defend themselves. They can sense the adrenalin in our body. But if we are calm, they are move away.”



Some of Darwish's last words

"They see their tomorrows slipping out of their reach. And though it seems to them that everything outside this reality is heaven, yet they do not want to go to that heaven. They stay, because they are afflicted with hope." - Mahmoud Darwish, to attendees of the Palestine Festival of Literature, 2008

His life in brief: Born in a village near Galilee, he lived in exile for most of his life and started writing poetry after high school. He was arrested several times by Israel for what were deemed to be inciteful poems. Most of his work focused on the love and yearning for his homeland, and he was regarded the Palestinian poet of resistance. Over the course of his life, he published more than 30 poetry collections and books of prose, with his work translated into more than 20 languages. Many of his poems were set to music by Arab composers, most significantly Marcel Khalife. Darwish died on August 9, 2008 after undergoing heart surgery in the United States. He was later buried in Ramallah where a shrine was erected in his honour.

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Huroob Ezterari

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Keep up with all the Middle East and North Africa athletes at the 2024 Paris Olympics

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