Lunchtime Sports Update

GAELIC GAMES

Stephen Wallace aims to instil a brand of Kerry Football in Offaly.

The Kerry Man’s side face Dublin tonight in the O’Byrne Cup. Offaly, who are now without recent retirees Niall McNamee and Brian Darby, will avoid any of Jim Gavin’s All-Ireland winners as the team are currently on holiday in South Africa.


The aim for this year is to win promotion from Division 3 of the Allianz League but along the way, Wallace wants to instil a traditional footballing philosophy saying “It’s the Kerrys, the Dublins, the traditional counties that invariably come out at the top, playing football the right way.”

In the other games in the O’Byrne Cup this evening, Kildare take on Louth in Hawkfield and Meath aim to make it two wins from two when travel to Carlow.

Elsewhere in hurling, Kilkenny’s defence of their Walsh Cup title begins against Laois.

Pat Gilroy’s Dublin take on Meath.

While Davy Fitzgerald will start his second year in charge of Wexford against Carlow.

There’s six games in the opening round of football’s McKenna Cup in Ulster.

Holders Tyrone face Antrim, Cavan play St Mary’s, Donegal take on Queens’s, Derry go up against Jordanstown, Down face Armagh and there’s a meeting of Fermanagh and Monaghan.

Sligo welcome F-B-D Insurance Connacht Football League champions Galway.

While Leitrim take on Roscommon.

RUGBY

Munster centre Sam Arnold will find out whether he’ll be suspended for their last two Champions Cup pool games today.

 

A PRO-14 disciplinary panel will meet in Wales later to decide whether to hand down a suspension following his red card in Reds’ 24-17 loss at Ulster on Monday.

 

Munster have the worst discipline record in the Pro 14 this season, having conceded 114 penalties in 12 league games and seen four players red carded.

 

Soccer

Chelsea are aiming to go back into second place in the Premier League tonight.

Antonio Conte’s side will need a victory at London rivals Arsenal to do that.

Ahead of the game, there are reports that Arsenal are willing to sell Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City in this transfer window.

The Chile forward is out of contract this summer.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says it’s time to look again at the festive schedule in the Premier League.

Several bosses have criticised the traditionally tightly-packed fixture list.

Leaders City beat Watford 3-1 last night but lost Kyle Walker to a thigh injury – just over 48 hours after a goalless draw at Crystal Palace saw De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus injured.

Shane Long admits his 11-month barren spell in front of goal had been playing on his mind.

The Republic of Ireland striker got his first Premier League goal in over a thousand minutes last night.

His goal did put his side in the lead but The Saints eventually fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace.

Long says it was a relief to find the net – but he was more focused on the disappointing result which leaves them in 17th place in the league…

 

In Transfer news, Liverpool are bracing themselves for a January bid for playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

Reports in Spain suggest that the La Liga leaders are willing to up their bid to 150-million Euro in order to sign the Brazilian international this month.

Barcelona had a 120-million offer rejected in August.

At home, Cork City’s FAI Cup final hero has been allowed leave the club on loan.

Asheel Campion – who netted the equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Dundalk at the Aviva – has joined Linfield until the end of June.

Finn Harps goalkeeper Ciarán Gallagher has agreed a new contract with the club.

Meanwhile, Rory Feely has signed for Waterford on his 21st birthday.

The versatile player, who is the younger brother of Kildare footballer Kevin Feely, joins from St Pat’s.

He’s the Blues’ 16th signing ahead of their move up to the S-S-E Airtrcity League Premier Division.

 

 

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