Thursday Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

Harry Arter is back in the Republic of Ireland squad, but Declan Rice remains absent.

Arter is one of the 32 players in Martin O’Neill’s provisional panel for the upcoming Nations League games against Denmark and Wales.


The Cardiff City midfielder sat out last month’s fixtures following a fall out with Roy Keane in the summer.

O’Neill says the pair had a conversation and Arter is happy to return.

There is a first call up for former Dundalk midfielder Richie Towell.

James McClean, Shane Long, Sean Maguire and Scott Hogan are back after injury, but captain Seamus Coleman has been ruled out due to a foot fracture.

Rice is considering switching his international allegiance following renewed interest from England.

Martin O’Neill insists no decision has been made yet.


Arsenal will be without Henrikh Mkhitaryan when they face Qarabag in the Europa League tonight.

Armenian nationals have been banned from entering Azerbaijan due to conflicts between the two nations.

The 29 year old could have applied for a special permit, but has remained in London on the advice his family and UEFA.

Also tonight, Chelsea welcome Hungarian champions Vidi to Stamford Bridge.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has featured in just two matches so far this season.

But Chelsea Boss Maurizio Sarri (pron: sar-ree) says the midfielder could make his first start.

Celtic are in Austria to face Red Bull Salzburg

Rangers aim to go top of Group G in the Europa League later.

To do that they’ll need to win at home to early leaders Rapid Vienna of Austria.

Rangers drew with Villareal (pron: villa ray-arl) two weeks ago.

Manager Steven Gerrard wants his players to start on the front foot.

GOLF

Paul McGinley and Michael Hoey are leading the Irish challenge on Day 1 of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

The pair lie on 1 under par, two shots behind the leader Marcus Fraser of Australia.

Padraig Harrington, Shane Lowry and Paul Dunne are level par.

Back to back double bogies sees Graeme McDowell on six over par as he heads for the turn.


RUGBY

Rory Best and Jacob Stockdale are back in the Ulster team for tomorrow’s Pro14 interprovincial against Connacht in Belfast.

Captain Jarrad Butler returns from injury as one of four changes to the Connacht side that lost to Leinster last week.

There is a first start of the season for hooker Tom McCartney.

RACING

There’s a seven-race card at Clonmel this afternoon, with the first off at 2.05.

In the UK, they run at:

Huntingdon – the going there is good – at 1.30
Lingfield – standard – at 1.50
Warwick – good – at 2.10
Chelmsford – standard – at 5.45