Manchester City Man City Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Arsenal Sam Lee Last updated 1 year ago 19:14 23/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Manchester City Premier League Guardiola Yaya Touré İ. Gündoğan Kevin De Bruyne Raheem Sterling Leroy Sané Sergio Agüero Everything you need to know ahead of the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday afternoon Manchester City could be without Raheem Sterling as they try to claim the first piece of silverware of the Pep Guardiola era.Fabian Delph will not be available for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final, though Gabriel Jesus could return from a knee injury which has kept him out for more than six weeks.MAN CITY INJURIES Sterling suffered a muscle problem in the Champions League game against Basel which kept him out of Monday’s shock defeat at Wigan, and Guardiola says he does not know if the winger will be ready for Sunday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Jesus returned to training on Friday, February 16 and he could be in line to make Guardiola’s match day squad.Only Benjamin Mendy remains on the sidelines, though he could be back in the next month or so.City will be without either of their first-choice left-backs for the next three matches, however, as Delph will miss three games through suspension.MAN CITY SUSPENSIONS Delph will miss Sunday’s game as well as Thursday’s clash at the Emirates Stadium and next Sunday’s meeting with Chelsea as a result of his red card against Wigan.MAN CITY POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP If Sterling is not fit it is likely Bernardo Silva will take his spot on the right-hand side.Guardiola will also have to decide who plays left-back given Mendy’s injury and Delph’s ban. Danilo has tended to play in games with more defensive demands, while Oleksandar Zinchenko has tended to play at home in matches City are expected to dominate. Guardiola may err on the side of caution and use Danilo.There are other selection considerations for Guardiola, too. John Stones did not look entirely comfortable against Wigan and in fact he has struggled slightly since returning from injury in January. Aymeric Laporte will be trusted to play in City’s biggest matches this season and it would be no surprise if he started on Sunday. Nicolas Otamendi was rested on Monday and is likely to come back into the side.Claudio Bravo has played all of City’s Carabao Cup matches and he will start on Sunday, with Ederson on the bench.ARSENAL TEAM NEWS Arsene Wenger says Arsenal have no injuries for Sunday’s game. There had been concerns over Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil but Wenger believes both will be fit.”I don’t know what kind of state [Alex] Iwobi is in, we will know that today [Friday] – but overall we have no injuries.”I’ll make a decision on Aaron Ramsey on Saturday, he looks to be available but he’ll have another test today. So we will know more about it tomorrow [Saturday].”On Ozil, the Frenchman added: “He had a good session yesterday [Thursday] which he absorbed well. We’ll have to see how he responds to it, but I think he will be alright.”OPTA MATCH FACTS Arsenal have won just two of their last 11 Premier League meetings with Manchester City, drawing five and losing four. Arsenal have recorded just two victories in their last 16 Premier League matches against fellow ‘big six’ teams (D6 L8). They beat Spurs in November 2017 and Man Utd in May 2017. The Gunners have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine Premier League matches – they last went 10 without a shutout in the top-flight back in February 2002 (11 games).TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME Kick off is 16:30 GMT (11:30 ET) on Sunday, February 25, and the game will be shown on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom. It will be shown on ESPN in the United States, and on various channels around the world, details of which can be found here . Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Manchester United Man Utd treble winners better than Guardiola’s Man City – Keown Goal 18:45 3/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Getty Images Manchester United Premier League Manchester City v Chelsea Crystal Palace v Manchester United Manchester City The ex-England international believes that the Red Devils always had “something special” about them to get out of trouble Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United side of 1999 is superior to the Manchester City team running away with the Premier League title this season, according to ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown.United famously scooped the treble in 1998-99, snatching the Champions League trophy from Bayern Munich by scoring twice in the dying stages of the Camp Nou showpiece.Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola’s men have been the dominant force in England this term, already sealing the Carabao Cup and boasting a formidable 16-point advantage in the league that could make them the earliest Premier League title winners ever. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Despite City’s form, which has been all the more impressive given the style they have played, Keown believes that United’s classic vintage is better.“Manchester City are on their way to being a dominant force but Manchester United’s 1999 treble-winners would beat them,” Keown argued to the Daily Mail.“I was part of the Arsenal side who finished a point behind United that year. That Gunners team was one of the best I played in, but United beat us in an FA Cup semi-final replay despite being reduced to 10 men, thanks to a moment of magic from Ryan Giggs.“United always had one player who would do something special to dig out unexpected results.”Where United were so strong was with four strikers all competing to be top dog. Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke would run the legs off you, then Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would come off the bench with a point to prove. And their finest hour in the Champions League final was delivered by those two substitutes.”Peter Schmeichel was one of the Premier League’s finest keepers. He was such a daunting figure for strikers. The years he spent at the top should be a blueprint for Ederson at Manchester City.”Keown would not, however, discount the possibility of Guardiola’s side going on to dominate for years to come but feels they would lack the experience to trouble Ferguson’s men.“City can be as dominant as the great Liverpool and United sides but winning trophies gives teams an extra layer of armour. That is what City would discover if they faced Sir Alex Ferguson’s treble winners today,” he argued.City remain on course for a treble, although they were shockingly knocked out of the FA Cup by Wigan at the fifth-round stage.Having thrashed Basel 4-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 match, Guardiola’s men are expected to cruise into the quarter-final following Wednesday’s second leg at the Etihad Stadium. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Riyad Mahrez Leicester deny Mahrez has retired after Algerian’s Facebook account hacked Sacha Pisani Last updated 1 year ago 19:00 7/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Riyad Mahrez Leicester City Premier League WTF The Algeria international’s social media page suggests he has been forced to hang up his boots on medical grounds, but the Foxes have denied it Leicester City have denied that Riyad Mahrez has retired from football, instead insisting that his Facebook account was hacked.A message emerged via Mahrez’s verified Facebook page late on Tuesday, suggesting the Algeria international was bringing an end to his career.However, the Foxes have now confirmed that the post was not a genuine one, and that they have had the post taken down from the social media site. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp A spokesman confirmed: “Yes that’s correct. It’s not a genuine post and we’re working with Facebook to have it removed.”A picture of Mahrez had been uploaded to the popular social media platform, with an accompanying caption, which read: “After the last consultation with many doctors, I’ve decided to stay away from football.”As my time as a football player comes to an end, I would like to say few words.”I want to thank everybody for the kindness and support they have shown me in this incredible city. You will be always in my heart.”Mahrez saw a deadline-day move to Premier League champions-elect Manchester City fall through in January and the 27-year-old was absent from Leicester for 10 days.
Transfers Bayern contacted Pochettino, claims Hamann Goal Last updated 1 year ago 03:04 16/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Bayern München Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United RB Leipzig v Bayern München RB Leipzig Tottenham Hotspur Newcastle United Premier League Bundesliga The Argentine’s fine work in north London has not gone unnoticed, with Die Roten joining Real Madrid among his suitors Bayern Munich have contacted Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino with an eye to the Argentine succeeding Jupp Heynckes, Dietmar Hamann has claimed. Pochettino has won rave reviews for his work with Spurs, turning the London club into Premier League title challengers since taking over in 2014. That record has not gone unnoticed, with Real Madrid among the sides linked with the manager should he leave his current employers. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp According to Hamann, however, Bayern are keen to turn to Pochettino if Heynckes decided to end his interim term at the Allianz Arena at the end of the season. “I know Bayern have been in contact with Pochettino and that he was an option – and might still be,” the former Liverpool and Germany midfielder explained to Sky.”Some say the Bayern coach should be a German, it might be one area of importance, but not the only one. “Even Pep [Guardiola] was not perfect. It is about picking the best coach possible. “For me, that man is Pochettino.” While Pochettino is still waiting for his first trophy as a manager, he took Tottenham to second place in last year’s Premier League campaign to mark a second successive qualification for the Champions League. Spurs currently lie third in the league, and narrowly missed out on a berth in the Champions League quarters after losing out to Juventus in a thrilling last-16 tie.
Back in ⬛️See you In 24 hours 👀 @41Million_ #BTD is pic.twitter.com/dsywJUk7Hi— Oregon State Football (@BeaverFootball) August 30, 2019Justin Southwell (BWB): 2012 was a down year (8-5), but Oklahoma State bounced back in 2013 (10-3). 2014 was a down year (7-6), but Oklahoma State bounced back in 2015 (10-3). The 2013 and 2015 10-win seasons started with the Cowboys on the road in Black-White-Black. I expect history to repeat itself with Oklahoma State bouncing back from a down year by kicking off their campaign with a familiar combo (B/W/B).I would expect them to go with the brand logo to let Oregon State know who the real OSU is. It can be orange, it can be chrome, it can be whatever, as long as it’s the brand. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The uniform predictions are back, and there will be a lot of orange and black in Oregon this weekend. The Beavers will be in all black, and the Pokes will counter with white jerseys. All that remains is the OSU helmets and pants. Here are our guesses.Carson Cunningham (BWB): I want to see the Cowboys flex on Oregon State by coming out in helmets with the interlocking OSU logo. They won’t do that but I do think they show off that they’re the real OSU and mix in a lot of black and orange. I’ll go matte black helmet with the brand on it, white jerseys and black pants.Kyle Porter (WWO): Oregon State’s all-black announcement solidifies this guess for me. I think OSU going nearly opposite with a WWO look and those filthy helmets from the TCU game last season (see above) would be premium.
There has been much consternation in Pittsburgh Steelers country over the injury to Ben Roethlisberger (who is looking more like a thumb all the time), but at least one person is bullish on Pittsburgh getting better under No. 2 than they were under No. 7.That person is Rodger Sherman, and he writes for The Ringer. This week he wrote a great piece laying out the case for Rudolph (and Washington!) in the yellow and black.For the most part, prognosticators have treated the Roethlisberger injury like an iceberg ripping through Pittsburgh’s steel hull. Before Week 2, FiveThirtyEight gave Pittsburgh a 46 percent chance of making the playoffs and expected the team to post a positive point differential for the season. Now, the Steelers are listed with an 8 percent chance of making the playoffs with the third-worst projected point differential in the league. [Ringer]I think this actually has more to do with the 0-2 start than anything else. In the last 12 years only 12 of the 98 teams that have started 0-2 have gone on to make the playoffs. Here’s Sherman again.I actually think the Steelers are in better position to succeed with Rudolph than they were with an injured 37-year-old Roethlisberger at quarterback. For starters, Big Ben was abysmal in his limited playing time this season. On 62 passes, Roethlisberger had 35 completions for 351 yards and an interception, putting him 29th or worse in completion percentage, yards per attempt, passer rating, and QBR.In came Rudolph, and in one half, Pittsburgh scored more points than it did in the three with Roethlisberger as quarterback. Rudolph did throw an interception, but, well, you can blame Donte Moncrief for that. [Ringer]I’m not deep in the NFL game so I didn’t realize BB had been that weak, but I do have takes on why this is the perfect time for Rudolph. First, one last thought from Sherman.And throughout the game, Pittsburgh vastly increased its usage of play-action—a tool which basically always makes offenses more efficient, but has never been a staple of the offense with Roethlisberger. The Steelers, somehow, ran just one play out of play-action in their season-opening loss to the Patriots. Now, they realize play-action is a necessity to buy Rudolph time, and they’re running it.Pittsburgh’s offense looked more modern once Rudolph got in the game. It was no longer an offense designed specifically for the traits of an aging franchise quarterback, but an offense that proved it could succeed elsewhere.… Rudolph the deep-ball dime-disher and Washington the speedster work well together in theory and worked together in practice. Hopefully Washington turns into the player Pittsburgh thought it was drafting last year and takes some of the pressure off of JuJu Smith-Schuster after the departure of Brown. [Ringer]Here’s my thing with all of this: The timing could not be more perfect for Rudolph. You walk in and don’t have to be the guy from Day 1. You get to learn within a strong infrastructure behind a Hall-of-Fame dude who — despite his childish public antics — has actually had an amazing career.But you also don’t have to wait five years and go rusty on the thing you were drafted to do. It’s the best timing you could ask for, Rudolph — according to people who actually watch the games — is a bit more versatile in what he can do than Ben, and it sounds like everybody who needs to be bought in is bought in.Only time will tell if Rudolph can Wally Pipp Big Ben, but there’s no better time for it to take place than right now. It wouldn’t be the first time Rudolph got thrust into a role unexpectedly and went on to experience a high level of success in the subsequent years. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
I got this excellent email from a reader this week and thought I would share his thoughts (and mine!) with everyone.I’m going to wait until after the bye week to really consider #Chuba4Heisman but right now I’m just concerned that we don’t throw him the ball. Sure, we basically don’t throw the ball to anyone not named Wallace either, but shouldn’t we be seeing some screens, swings, and wheels?Looking at old Princeton box scores I see some of the same trends, the same two pass-catchers caught 55 percent or more of all completed passes in 2017 and 2018, and the RBs were essentially uninvolved. Justice and Chuba combined to catch just over 12 percent of completed passes in 2017 and 2018. RBs so far this year have caught just 4.5 percent (a grand total of four btw) of completed passes, and all of those RBs are Chuba.I would like to think we learned from not using Tyreek enough in 2014 to at least ask the question: Why isn’t Chuba involved more in the passing game and how can we get him there? Is it more that he’s there and open, but Wallace or Stoner are more open? Thanks for all y’all do on the site. -Daniel R.This is a great question and something I’ve noticed as well! I don’t know the specific scheming reasons here, but I do think the broader reason is mostly a function of Spencer Sanders’ inexperience.I would guess the majority of those 12 percent of catches from Justice and Chuba in 2017 and 2018 were on check-downs where the play broke further down the field. Maybe a handful of them were called screens or inside passes or whatever.Regardless, Sanders doesn’t check down very well for a couple of reasons. The first is that the game looks like it’s 2x speed for him right now. The second is because he doesn’t need to. That is, when plays break down for him, he’s more likely to take off than Rudolph or Cornelius (this is like saying Gundy is more likely to use a comb than Boynton, I guess, but you get the point).Now whether he should be taking off instead of checking down is a different story. Chuba in space is terrifying on all of the levels, and sometimes checking down provides the most space.I’m with you, too, I think OSU should spread him out more instead of running him between the tackles over and over again. As an aside: Remember when we weren’t positive he even could run between the tackles? 😂OR you could even line Chuba out wide like the Chiefs do with Tyreek and have him run wild on the edge out there.The more Chuba is spread out the harder it is for a defense to figure out where he’s going to end up, and thus the more scary he is as a weapon in Oklahoma State’s offense. If it’s even possible for someone who just put up 296 on 25 carries against a real defense to be more scary.Also, I asked our Xs & Os guy, Dustin Ragusa, and here’s what he said.A lot of the passing plays have involved play action, as well as play-action roll outs, and RPOs. The running back isn’t normally involved as a pass option on those.Also, as we’ve seen, Spencer would prefer to give Wallace a chance, even when he’s covered, as opposed to dumping it down. So, basically, all the receivers besides Tylan aren’t getting many targets, meaning Chuba isn’t either. As we saw last week where McCray got zero.And the running back isn’t a pass option in play action and RPOs normally because the fake is going to him, especially in an RPO since the line is blocking run, Spencer has to throw to the pass read quickly (or there will be an ineligible man downfield) so the running back is never the throw there. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
It got ugly for the Cowboys in Lubbock early, and then it got even uglier late.Oklahoma State appeared intent on falling behind on the road. As it would turn out, that’s not a good strategy.Spencer Sanders singlehandedly lost the turnover battle 5-0, losing a fumble on the Cowboys’ opening drive and then throwing two second quarter interceptions. Then late in the third, after a big run by LD Brown had the Cowboys in the red zone with a chance to make a one-score game, Sanders was sacked for a loss of 11 and lost the ball for his fourth turnover. Sanders finished 21-of-37 for 290 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions and two fumbles.AdChoices广告From the opposite sideline, Jett Duffey, who was Texas Tech’s third player at the position to make a start this season, looked more than equal to the task finishing 26-of-44 for 424 yards and four touchdowns and rushing for another score.Texas Tech’s defense was dominant in the first half, holding the Cowboys to just 7 points and 1-for-10 on third downs. But it couldn’t keep Chuba Hubbard in check for long. OSU rode the nation’s leading rusher for 156 yards and three touchdowns. Chuba was the Cowboys’ offense for much of the game.After holding up for most of the first half, the Cowboys defense may have run out of steam in the second allowing TDs on two of the Red Raiders’ first three drives in the third and allowing the home team to build a 34-14 lead.Despite falling behind 45-21, the Cowboys showed some fight late, successfully recovering an onside kick and scoring quick touchdowns on two straight possessions to pull within 10. But, in what was a sadly fitting ending, Sanders threw his third interception when a ball was tipped by Dillon Stoner and fell into the outstretched hands of a Tech defender.A hole dug deep by careless turnovers was made deeper by waning defense and even more TOs, and proved to be too much to overcome.Next up, the Cowboys head into their bye week 4-2 (1-2 in Big 12 play) and will welcome Baylor for Homecoming on October 19. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
TORONTO – Ikea and A&W are the latest big chains to join the war against single-use plastics, with each promising to limit waste production amid a growing public outcry over pollution.Ikea said Friday it would eliminate single-use plastic products from its shelves by 2020, including straws, plates, cups, freezer bags, garbage bags and plastic-coated paper plates and cups.And A&W Canada said it wanted to be the first fast food chain in North America to eliminate plastic straws with a plan to stop using them by the end of the year.The company says it will offer compostable paper straws instead. The move is expected to keep 82 million plastic straws out of landfills each year.Christine Ball of the Ecobusiness Network, which helps businesses reduce their environmental footprint, says shifting to more eco-conscious practices is an increasing concern for many companies.And she says moves by large players like Ikea and A&W can have a big impact on the broader sector.“When you start talking about something small like straws then you start to rethink the entire industry — you start rethinking how you’re using plastics overall,” says Ball, based in Whitby, Ont.“The general public and business (both) start to rethink: ‘OK, where else am I using these single-use plastics in my life where I don’t need to be?’”And it doesn’t stop with plastic, she adds.Ball points to a growing interest in the circular economy, in which manufacturing involves recycled materials and waste is eliminated or reused elsewhere. She points to one member company that produces a lot of cork waste, and efforts by the network to connect it to other organizations that grind cork to make cork floors.“Businesses are looking for new solutions as far as waste is concerned. Plastic is a part of it but businesses in our area that we talk to, they’re looking at an overall solution: ‘How do we deal with my organics? How do I deal with my plastics? My paper and my trash?’ I think that the plastics is amazing but it is just the tip of the iceberg.”Indeed, there have been an array of anti-plastic pledges in recent months: hotels including the Marriott and Holiday Inn Express have dumped their complimentary tiny shampoo and conditioner bottles in favour of larger containers that are attached to the bathroom wall; Montreal became the largest Canadian municipality to ban single-use plastic bags earlier this week, and Prince Edward Island is gearing up to become to the first province to do the same.Ikea Canada’s head of sustainability says the company hasn’t determined what alternatives it will offer to single-use plastics, which will also be phased out from customer and co-worker restaurants, bistros, and cafes by the end of 2019.But when Ikea committed to offering only LED lighting, he notes that forced the supply chain to come up with solutions quickly.“We’re hopeful that the commitment that we’re making around the single use plastics will actually encourage others to join us in this journey and then the suppliers that we work with, they can innovate or bring new products to market that will help us fulfil these ambitions,” says Brendan Seale.“In part, it’s an effort to shift the industry, and I think we have an opportunity and the ability to do that based on our scale. And if other large companies can do the same, then I think we’ll see fairly rapid movement on this.”He says Ikea is keen to join the circular economy by looking at new ways to work with renewable and recycled materials, and prolong the life of its products.Seale says Ikea has already taken some steps towards that: its Tanum woven rug is made from off-cuts from production of bed linens; the PS vase is made from the broken glass from production of other Ikea products; and a black matte cabinet door called Kungsbacka is made from recycled wood and PET plastic bottles.That’s important to consumers like Sophi Robertson of Toronto, who has been striving to produce zero waste since 2016.“I try to avoid a lot of the bigger chains but at the same time I try to also support (them) when I see that they’re making those kinds of changes,” says the 39-year-old Robertson, who estimates her family has produced one grocery bag of garbage in the past five months.“I think the big companies are the ones that kind of have to be the leaders in making these changes happen so that everyone else can follow.”
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook said it has uncovered “sophisticated” efforts, possibly linked to Russia, to influence U.S. politics on its platforms.The company said it removed 32 accounts from Facebook and Instagram because they were involved in “coordinated” political behavior and appeared to be fake.Facebook stopped short of saying the effort was aimed at influencing the U.S. midterm elections in November, although the timing of the suspicious activity would be consistent with such an attempt.According to a Facebook official, the company held briefings in the House and Senate this week. The official declined to be named because the briefings were private. Facebook disclosed its findings after The New York Times reported on them earlier Tuesday.The company said it doesn’t know who is behind the efforts, but said there may be connections to Russia. Facebook said it has found some connections between the accounts it removed and the accounts connected to Russia’s Internet Research Agency that it removed before and after the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.The earliest page was created in March 2017. Facebook says more than 290,000 accounts followed at least one of the fake pages. The most followed Facebook Pages had names such as “Aztlan Warriors,” ″Black Elevation,” ″Mindful Being,” and “Resisters.”Facebook says the pages ran about 150 ads for $11,000 on Facebook and Instagram, paid for in U.S. and Canadian dollars. The first ad was created in April 2017; the last was created in June 2018.The company added that the perpetrators have been “more careful to cover their tracks” than in 2016, in part because of steps Facebook has taken to prevent abuse over the past year. For example, they used virtual private networks and internet phone services, and paid third parties to run ads on their behalf.__Associated Press Writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this story from Washington.