22-02-2019 Weakened Scotland bidding to expose self-belief of unpredictable France

Despite missing a cluster of key players this weekend Scotland believe they can win in Paris for the first time since 1999Having failed to win in Paris so far this century, Scotland will attempt to end that trend on Saturday with something akin to a second-string side. Of the team’s key quartet, only the captain, Greig Laidlaw, is in the squad, Finn Russell having joined Stuart Hogg and Willem Nel on the injury list this week. Related: Gregor Townsend bullish over Scotland chances but hails ‘outstanding’ France Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Retaining the Carabao Cup would be historic for City, says Bernardo Silva

• We should forget the recent 6-0 win over Chelsea, he adds• Portuguese is also aiming for last eight of Champions LeagueBernardo Silva believes if Manchester City beat Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final and retain a trophy for the first time their quest to be serial winners will be advanced.City won the cup by beating Arsenal 3-0 in last season’s final. It was the club’s 15th major trophy and became part of a third double when Pep Guardiola’s side secured the Premier League title in April. The Portuguese midfielder acknowledged it is important to start winning the same competitions two years in a row, starting at Wembley on Sunday. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Watch: Were officials right to send off Kilmarnock's Bachmann against Rangers?

Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke called goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann's sending off in his side's 5-0 Scottish Cup fifth-round replay hammering by Rangers "a joke". Is he right?

22-02-2019 Chelsea to appeal transfer ban, Man Utd v Liverpool buildup and more – live!

Chelsea given two-window transfer banEFL warns Coventry over Ricoh Arena uncertaintySend your emails to James here, or tweet him @Piercy360 1.30pm GMT And with Pep Guardiola about to be peppered with tedious VAR-related questions, I shall bid farewell and pass you back to Jacob Steinberg. Danke. 1.25pm GMT And some words from Gordon Taylor, via the Press Association In the light of recent media interest I wish to clarify the situation with regard to the proposed Independent Review of the PFA. On November 21st, I, as chief executive, informed my members that we would be recommending to the PFA Board of Trustees and the Management Committee that an independent QC conducts a full and open review into the structure and operation of the PFA as the trade union for professional footballers in England and Wales. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Spectre of retirement will drive James DeGale to overcome Chris Eubank Jr

The IBO super-middleweight title is on the line but both boxers know the result will have a bearing on their future in the ringHistory is crowding in on James DeGale, whose long boxing career has been garlanded in titles and cursed by ill-health, and he will be driven by the spectre of retirement to overcome Chris Eubank Jr at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday night. Related: Chris Eubank ‘petrified’ son will lose must-win fight against James DeGale Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Sri Lanka v England: Pick your England team for first Test

Who do you think should be in the England side for the first Test against Sri Lanka? Choose your XI and share it with your friends.

22-02-2019 The in-form young footballers in 2019

Kylian Mbappé is making 2019 his own, but teenagers Jadon Sancho, Ibrahima Konaté and Nicolo Zaniolo are also thrivingBy Martin Laurence for WhoScoredPeter Bosz’s arrival as Bayer Leverkusen head coach just before Christmas has had a galvanising effect on a number of his players. Kai Havertz has certainly profited from the Dutchman’s possession-based approach. The teenager, now operating in a midfield three, has scored in three of his last four leagues games and boasts a pass accuracy of 87.4% in 2019. Rating: 7.42 Continue reading...

22-02-2019 David Squires on ... the hottest job in Australian football

Our cartoonist looks at the ongoing fallout from the sacking of Alen Stajcic as his successor Ante Milicic settles into the hot seatTake a look through David’s archive of cartoons Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Wales v England: Injured Emily Scarratt misses Womens Six Nations match

England centre Emily Scarratt misses the Women's Six Nations clash with Wales through injury as Abbie Scott captains the side.

22-02-2019 Solskjær: beating Liverpool would be ‘worthy of Manchester United history’

• United have only lost one of the Norwegian’s 13 games in charge• Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard could return on SundayOle Gunnar Solskjær believes if Manchester United beat Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday it will be another step towards making his side one “worthy of club history”.The Norwegian has won 11 of his 13 games in charge, losing just once, to Paris Saint-Germain in last week’s Champions League last-16 opening leg. Three of the victories have been away at Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Chelsea. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Chelsea transfer ban: Club to appeal against Fifa decision

Chelsea have been banned from signings during the next two transfer windows for breaching rules in relation to youth players, Fifa announces.

22-02-2019 Wing commanders: why Six Nations quicks are rolling back the years

Half the 32 tries scored in this year’s tournament have been scored by wide men as the likes of Jonny May and George North have emerged as key attacking forces once againInterviewing Maurice Richards, the Wales wing who scored four tries against England in 1969, was a warming return to days long gone, when matches that were clotted with set-pieces and punch-ups were invariably interrupted by moments of brilliance that endure in the memory.Richards kick-started the golden era for Wales when they won the triple crown 50 years ago, but left for rugby league six months later. Others at that time went on to become world renowned while Richards was breaking records at Salford, but the game has seen few more accomplished wings: he had everything and more. Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Chelsea v Dynamo Kyiv, Arsenal v Rennes: Europa League draw – as it happened

Chelsea will face a trip to Dynamo Kiev of Ukraine in the last 16 of the Europa League, where Arsenal take on French club Rennes 12.44pm GMT Chelsea will face a trip to Dynamo Kiev of Ukraine in the last 16 of the Europa League, where Arsenal take on French club Rennes. Friday’s draw in Nyon was not protected by any seeding but teams from Russia and Ukraine were kept apart. Dynamo Kyiv were first out against Chelsea. 12.32pm GMT Charles Antaki wanted a nice story, but alas, we cannot always have nice things: “Shame that Arsenal didn’t draw Villareal, to give fans a sight of the much-loved Santi Cazorla; even sadder that it looks like Villareal won’t even be in the top division net year…” Continue reading...

22-02-2019 Anthony Joshua: Jarrell Miller shoves Joshua in fiery press conference

Anthony Joshua's first press conference with Jarrell 'Big Baby' Miller gets off to fiery start after the American shoves the Briton ahead of their fight on 1 June in New York.

22-02-2019 In an age of endless cricket Sri Lanka just gave us a special moment | Andy Bull

Kusal Perera’s and Oshada Fernando’s last-wicket stand of 78 to beat South Africa last weekend was one of the finest spectacles the game has produced in recent yearsLast Saturday in Christchurch, Martin Guptill thrashed a century for New Zealand in a one-day game against Bangladesh; in Dubai, Shahid Afridi finished off Multan Sultans’ Twenty20 match against Islamabad United with back-to-back sixes; and in Chittagong a young kid called Jamie Smith made a run-a-ball hundred for England Under-19s in a Test against Bangladesh. Cricket’s always on, somewhere or other, one format or another, bat hitting ball like the background tick-tock of a wall clock, something you only really notice when you look at it, catch a fraction of the match in a gif, a clip, a stream, or tweet, or a glance at a scorecard.Amid all the rest of it, South Africa and Sri Lanka were playing in the first Test at Kingsmead in Durban. The match had meandered into a fourth day and it looked as if it was only going one way. South Africa v Sri Lanka isn’t necessarily a series you stop to watch. They have been playing each other for only 26 years and, in South Africa, the contests have been off-puttingly one-sided. Sri Lanka had played 13 Tests there before this series and won only one of them, in 2011, when Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samararweera made all the runs and Rangana Herath took most of the wickets. Continue reading...