Morning Sports Update

SOCCER

Tottenham have ended the festive period three-points adrift of the Premier League’s top four.

They were held to a 1-1 draw by West Ham at Wembley last night.


Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says there’s still a long way to go in the race for Champions League places

Pedro Obiang gave the Hammers the lead last night with a stunning long-range effort, before a similarly impressive strike by Son Heung Min.

West Ham manager David Moyes admitted he didn’t expect his side to go in front

The FA Cup third round gets underway this evening with the Merseyside derby clash of Liverpool and Everton.

Liverpool are without both Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho – with Jurgen Klopp maintaining the latter is injured, despite continued interest from Barcelona.

Salah was last night crowned African Footballer of the Year.

While Everton hope to have striker Cenk Tosun signed by lunchtime, but he’s highly unlikely to feature at Anfield where kick off is at five-to-8.

Manchester United face Championship opposition tonight.

They welcome a Derby side to Old Trafford who are unbeaten in their last seven games, winning five of those.

Kick off there is at 8.


TENNIS

Former world number one Serena Williams has pulled out of this month’s Australian Open.

In a statement she’s shared on social media, she insists she’s still not where she wants to be, after giving birth to her first child last year.

Serena says she appreciates the support and understanding of her fans and everyone at the Open.


GAELIC GAMES

New Cork football manager Ronan McCarthy has named a largely inexperienced side for his first competitive outing.

While the likes of Ryan Price, Jamie O’Sullivan and Sean Powter have been included, it’s a youthful starting fifteen that will face Waterford in the McGrath Cup on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the introductions of Anthony Nash, Luke Meade and Shane Kingston are among seven changes to the Cork hurling side for their Munster Hurling League meeting with Clare.

RUGBY

The Irish provinces are due to name their sides today for the weekend’s final derbies of the new year period.

There is action on the pitch tonight.

Scarlets take on Bernard Jackman’s Dragons.

While Southern Kings have made the long trip to Myreside to face Edinburgh.

Both games have 7.35 starts.


GOLF

Australia’s Marc Leishman has a one-shot lead after the opening round of the PGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

He’s 6-under-par after posting a 67.

Open winner Jordan Spieth had a day to forget – he’s 2-over.

HORSE RACING

After a mini Christmas break, Dundalk stages its first meeting of the new year tonight with an eight-race card beginning at 5.00pm. The opener, the aptly-named Happy New Year From All At Dundalk 5f Handicap (5.00), has attracted a field of 12.

Oneoveryou will be bidding to record her fifth win at the track and will be ridden by rising talent, Ben Coen.

Michael Halford, leading handler at the track, will be hoping that Port Lions can break his duck at the seventh attempt in the Dundalk Stadium Business Club Maiden 2018 (6.00). The Godolphin-owned colt will be partnered by Shane Foley, Halford’s former number one rider.

The Curragh-based handler has strong claims in the following Crowne Plaza Race and Stay Rated Race (6.30) with Invincible Ryker, owned by Eric Koh, who also has Kirk’s Dancer to look forward to in the Jolly January Dining At Dundalk Handicap (7.00).

With racing for the new year underway at 5pm, the surface is described as standard.