Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says they won’t bring Marcus Rashford back from injury too quickly.

The striker suffered a double stress fracture in his back in last week’s FA Cup third round replay win over Wolves.

Solskjaer added they aren’t close to signing a replacement either

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola thinks the League Cup should be scrapped to ease the burden on players.

Spain, Italy, Germany and France no longer have a second domestic cup competition – leaving England as an anomaly amongst the top leagues.

Guardiola says it’s not a surprise to see injuries when players are forced to play so much.

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There’s a couple of huge fixtures for teams at the bottom end of the Premier League this evening.

Bournemouth, who are without a win in six matches, host a Brighton side just above the relegation zone, while 18th placed Aston Villa face Watford – who are 17th in the table.

Elsewhere there’s a London derby as Chelsea take on Arsenal, Manchester City can narrow the gap to Liverpool at the top to 13 points with victory over Sheffield United.

Everton host Newcastle and Southampton travel to Crystal Palace.

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Colm Horgan has signed for Derry City ahead of the new S-S-E Airtricity League season.

The 25-year-old defender made 20 appearances for Cork City last term.

Horgan played in the second-half of the Candystripes’ friendly against Drogheda last weekend.

TENNIS

Maria Sharapova admits she may have played her last-ever match at the Australian Open.

The 2008 champion, who has handed a wild card to play in Melbourne this year, has been knocked out in straight sets in the first-round by Donna Vekic.

Men’s world number one Rafa Nadal eased into the second-round.

The 19-time Grand Slam winner eased to a 6-2 6-3 6-love victory over Hugo Dellien.

Fifth seed Dominic Thiem, Roberto Bautista Agut and former champion Stan Wawrinka are also into round two.

GAELIC GAMES

Limerick have confirmed that Declan Hannon will continue as their senior hurling captain for the upcoming season.

The defender led the Treaty men to All-Ireland glory in 2018 and has also skippered them to Division One League and Munster success.

Former hurler of the year Cian Lynch has been appointed vice-captain.

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Daniel Kearney won’t be part of the Cork hurling panel for the upcoming season.

Rebels boss Kieran Kingston has told The Irish Examiner that the three-time Munster Championship winner has opted to a take a year out.

Kingston says he would have “loved” to have Kearney available but insists it’ll offer an “opportunity to someone else”.

RUGBY

Ulster lock Kieran Treadwell has been cited for an alleged dangerous tackle in their weekend win over Bath.

He could face action for a tackle on Tom Ellis late in the northern province’s 22-15 victory in the Heineken Champions Cup.

The disciplinary hearing has been fixed for Thursday afternoon.

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Former Ireland full-back Geordan Murphy has moved to the role of director of rugby with the Leicester Tigers.

His switch comes on the back of Steve Borthwick’s appointment as head-coach of the Premiership side.

Murphy had been head-coach since 2018.

CYCLING

Ireland’s Sam Bennett is off to a winning start with his new team, Quickstep.

The Carrick-on-Suir rider has taken victory in the first stage of this year’s Tour Down Under.

Bennett finished just ahead of Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen in a sprint finish and will take a four-second lead into stage two.