Morning Sports Update

SOCCER

Manchester City look to continue their inevitable march towards the Premier League title with a trip to Crystal Palace this lunchtime.

Pep Guardiola’s side are aiming to set another record today – victory would equal the longest ever winning streak in any of Europe’s top 5 leagues.

Guardiola already holds that record during his time at Bayern Munich.

Kick off at Selhurst Park is at midday.

The 2017 Premier League calendar year comes to a close with the meeting of West Brom and Arsenal at 4.30.

Manchester United are heading into 2018 without their two main strikers.

Romelu Lukaku was stretchered off while getting oxygen after a head knock in their goalless draw with Southampton – and Jose Mourinho says he’s likely to miss a couple of games at least.

It’s also been confirmed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss the next month due to a knee problem.

Liverpool also have their own injury concerns.

Mo Salah suffered an injury late in their 2-1 win over Leicester yesterday and is now a doubt for the trip to Burnley tomorrow.

Salah has had an incredible first season at Anfield, scoring 17 goals in 21 games.

Nottingham Forest have sacked Mark Warburton as manager with the club 14th in the Championship.

The former Rangers and Brentford boss was appointed in March and helped Forest avoid relegation.

But they’ve won just once in seven games.

Warburton’s final match in charge was a 1-nil home defeat by struggling Sunderland.

GREYHOUNDS

6/4 on favourite Dumas won race 10 at Shelbourne Park for Tralee’s Des Grace by 6 lengths in 28-30.


RUGBY

There are two Welsh derbies in the Guinness PRO14 this afternoon.

First up at 3.15 the Cardiff Blues take on the Scarlets, and that’s followed by the meeting of the Dragons and the Ospreys at 5.35.

DARTS

Phil “The Power” Taylor is through to the final of his last ever PDC World Championship.

The 16-time world champion beat qualifier Jamie Lewis 6-1 at Alexandra Palace.

Taylor will face Rob Cross, who beat title holder Michael van Gerwen.

HORSE RACING

Killultagh Vic, absent since January 2016 when somehow winning a Grade 2 novice chase at Leopardstown after all but coming down at the last under Ruby Walsh, will make his eagerly awaited return in the feature 2m4f hurdle at Punchestown today.

Winner of the 2015 Martin Pipe Conditional Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham before brushing Thistlecrack aside in a Grade 1 novice hurdle at the Punchestown festival in the same season, will be ridden by Paul Townend.

Also on the comeback trail is Oliver McKiernan’s pair, Whatever Jacksays, off the track for a massive 1911 days, and Lean Araig, out of action for 1043 days.

After a dream Christmas, Gordon Elliott will be hoping the stable’s good run of form continues with Diamond King. The nine-year-old recorded his finest moment on a racetrack when winning the 2016 Coral Cup at Cheltenham but hasn’t been as good over fences since.

In contrast to those on the comeback trail, Ellmarie Holden’s star inmate Ex Patriot will be racing off the back of a St Stephen’s Day victory achieved in the mud at Limerick and rates as an obvious danger with match practice on his side.

Joseph O’Brien’s Ivanovich Gorbatov, winner of the 2016 Triumph Hurdle, and this year’s Galway Hurdle winner Tigris River add to the allure of the nine-runner contest.

BOXING

Anthony Joshua says negotiations are “95 per cent complete” for him to fight Joseph Parker in March.

Such a bout would be Joshua’s next step in his aim of unifying all the heavyweight titles to become undisputed champion.

Parker was crowned WBO champion in December 2016, while Joshua holds the WBA, IBO and IBF belts.