Morning Sports Update

Manchester City are fifteen-points clear at the top of the Premier League this morning.

Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero each found the net in a 3-1 win at home to Watford.

City boss Pep Guardiola was pleased with the performance but the Spaniard was left frustrated after defender Kyle Walker left the game with an injury.

The England international left the pitch clutching his right thigh, his name now joins De bruyne and Gabriel Jesus on the physio table.

Pep thinks the crowded Christmas Fixture list is to blame…

 

Shane Long scored for the first time in nearly a year for Southampton, but still wound up on the losing side.

The Irishman fired Southampton into the lead before Crystal Palace came from behind for a 2-1 win to move 2-points clear of the relegation zone.

Andy Carroll scored twice as West Ham came from behind to beat West Brom 2-1 at the London Stadium and move out of the bottom three.

While Tottenham moved above Arsenal and into fifth with a 2-nil win at bottom side Swansea.

Tonight, Chelsea can close the gap between them and Man City back to twelve points.

Antonio Conte’s side traverse London to face Arsenal who may be without Mesut Ozil due to a knee injury.

Kick off at Stamford Bridge is at 7.45.

 

In the championship,

Wolves opened up a 12-point lead at the top with a 3-nil win at home to Brentford.

The sending off of Jordan Spence lead to Ipswich losing 4-1 away to Fulham.

While Sunderland are bottom of the table after Birmingham won 2-nil at Reading.

 

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.

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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.

 

RUGBY

Munster should learn this evening if they’ll have to factor without Sam Arnold for their upcoming Champions Cup pool 4 clashes.

The centre faces a Pro 14 disciplinary panel by video link today, following his red card in the New Year’s Day defeat to Ulster.

Arnold was sent off for a dangerous challenge on Ulster’s Christian Lealiifano.

Munster complete their Champions Cup Pool 4 campaign with back-to-back games against French opposition – away to Racing and at home to Castres.

 

GAA

There are fixtures in the McKenna Cup this evening.

Rory Gallagher’s first game in charge of Fermanagh comes against Monaghan at Brewster Park.

Mickey Harte begins his 16th campaign in charge of Tyrone against Antrim,

Down take on Armagh in Newry,

Cavan face St. Mary’s at Kingspan Breffni,

Donegal take on Queen’s in Ballybofey

And Derry go up against UUJ in Owenbeg.

 

Galway begin the defence of their FBD Insurance League title with a round 1 clash with Sligo in Tourlestrane

While Leitrim take on Roscommon.

 

Meath will look to make it back-to-back wins in the O’Byrne Cup when they take on Carlow at Netwatch Cullen Park.

Paul Clarke manages a youthful Dublin side who open their campaign with a meeting with Offaly.

While Kildare take on Louth in Hawkfield.

 

Kilkenny’s defence of their Walsh Cup title begins against Laois at O’Moore Park,

Meath face Dublin at Abbotstown,

While Wexford take on Carlow.

 

The McGrath Cup starts this coming weekend with Kerry not to feature after deciding to opt out of the competition.

The reasoning being due to an earlier start to the 2018 Allianz League.

 

Horse Racing

Southwell starts at 12.40 with the going standard

Musselburgh begins at 1 o’clock with the going good to soft

While Ludlow gets underway at 20 past 1 with the going soft-heavy in places on the hurdle course.