Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

Manchester City can move 15-points clear at the top of the Premier League when they play Watford tonight.

They’ve been dealt a blow ahead of the the game, striker Gabriel Jesus faces a long period on the sidelines – after confirmation he has knee ligament damage.


The Brazil international’s posted on social media that he doesn’t require surgery, though.

Elsewhere, Swansea attempt to continue their positive start under new manager Carlos Carvalhal tonight.

After victory at Watford on Saturday, the Premier League strugglers start 2018 by hosting Tottenham.

Meanwhile, Southampton hope to start 2018 by ending a long run without a win this evening.

They’re looking for a first victory in nine Premier League games when they host Crystal Palace.

Also this evening, West Ham try to move out of the relegation zone – as they take on fellow strugglers West Brom.

Off the field, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he is “gutted” to see his assistant Pep Lijnders leave the club.

Lijnders, who has been working at Anfield since 2014, has been appointed the new head-coach of Dutch side Nijmegen.

Klopp says he wanted him to stay but couldn’t block such a ‘fantastic opportunity’.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he’s not “scared” about the potential of losing Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere.

All of them can leave for free this summer unless they sign a new contract.

Wenger won’t comment on negotiations with the trio – but says if they do go, Arsenal will get on just fine.

The Arsenal boss has also dismissed suggestions that they could move for Chelsea defender David Luiz this month.

In the SkyBet Champonship Wolves can go 12 points clear at the top tonight – if they get a win over Brentford.

Elsewhere, Ipswich take on Fulham at Craven Cottage, while Reading are at home to Birmingham City.

RUGBY

Leinster hope to have Sean O’Brien back for their final Champions Cup pool games against Glasgow and Montpellier later this month.

The Lions flanker will sit out this Saturday’s Guinness PRO-14 inter-pro against Ulster – as he continues to recover from a hip injury.

The Blues are set to welcome back Ireland internationals Jack McGrath and Adam Byrne for the game.

Byrne has returned to full training after a knee-injury while McGrath has come through the return to play protocals.

Dan Leavy is nursing a back injury and a decision on his availability will be made closer to the weekend.

GAELIC GAMES

Ciarán Sheehan won’t be linking up with the Cork football panel in 2018.

The 2010 All-Ireland winner was released by A-F-L club Carlton at the end of the season but he’s confirmed to the42.ie that he’s remaining in Melbourne.

Sheehan, who has been in Australia since 2013, has applied for a job with the A-F-L Players Association.

TENNIS

Andy Murray will make a decision on his Australian Open prospects at the weekend as he tries to avoid surgery to treat his long-term hip problem.

The former world number one pulled out of the Brisbane International on Tuesday as the injury that has sidelined him since Wimbledon was still causing him pain.

He added it’s “demoralising” he can’t perform at his best at the moment – and that “it’s really hurting inside”.

DARTS

Retiring darts legend Phil Taylor says it’s the right time for him step away from the game.

The 16-time world champion says he no longer has the ‘energy or interest’ to compete at the highest level after his 7-2 defeat to Rob Cross in last night’s P-D-C World Final.

‘The Power’ has no regrets about stepping away.

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