Lunchtime Sports Update

RUGBY

Munster have announced the St Stephen’s Day clash with Leinster is a sell out.

Additional seating has been installed in the North and South Terraces, but all 26,267 tickets have now been sold.


It will be the highest ever Pro 12 or 14 attendance at the historic venue.

SOCCER

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says they’re still hurting from a 4-nil Premier League hammering at Liverpool in August – as they prepare for the return fixture tomorrow.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech described it as one of the worst defeats of his career.

Wenger says they need to use the experience positively………….

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reckons people have been too quick to criticise their defence this season.

Despite that area being a perceived weakness, they’ve conceded just three times in their last seven matches.

Klopp can think of one particular knee-jerk moment………..

Harry Arter is a doubt for Bournemouth’s crucial Premier League match against Manchester City on Saturday.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder suffered a calf injury during last night’s 2-1 League Cup defeat to Chelsea and could miss the busy festive period.

Hovering over the relegation zone, Bournemouth begin a run of four matches in 10 days with a trip to the league leaders this weekend.

Manager Eddie Howe is hoping for some positive news, as striker Jermain Defoe was also injured last night…………..

Louis van Gaal could be in the running for the vacant manager’s job at Swansea.

The Premier League’s bottom club are said to be chasing the former Manchester United boss after sacking Paul Clement.

Slavin Bilic and Ronald Koeman are also being linked with the post.

The F-A-I have confirmed the Republic of Ireland will play Turkey in an International Friendly in March.

Ireland will travel to Antalya for the fixture.

It will be the first time the sides have met since 2014, when Turkey won 2-1 at the Aviva Stadium.

HORSE RACING

Henry De Bromhead’s useful hurdler, Monalee, made a winning debut over the bigger obstacles at Punchestwon recently and he will now be aimed at the 3-mile Grade 1 Neville Hotels Novice Chase at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.

Dave Keena spoke to his jockey Davy Russell who was delighted with Monalee’s first start over fences but feels he needs to step up hugely if he is to win a Grade 1. ……………..

Trainer Gavin Cromwell has unearthed another gem in Espoir D’allen, who has won all his three starts to date and he will take another step up – this time into Grade 2 company – in the Knight Frank Juvelile Hurdle at the Leopardstown Christmas festival.

Cromwell told Dave Keena that he has been very impressed with Espoir D’allen so far and he is lucky to have him in his yard…………..

DARTS

Irish involvement in the PDC World Darts Championship second round will be confined to Daryl Gurney.

It follows defeat for Carlow’s Steve Lennon to Michael Smith at Alexandra Palace last night.

The second seed Peter Wright is in action tonight.

The man they call Snakebite is up against the Brazilian, Diogo Portela.

The night’s action begins with the all-Spanish meeting of Cristo Reyes and Antonio Alcinas with surprise package Kevin Munch awaiting the winner.

Darren Webster faces Devon Peterson

While Alan Norris awaits the winners of tonight’s meeting of Kim Huybrechts and James Richardson.

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