Thursday Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

Mohamed Salah will not face any action from the Football Association for an incident which led to a penalty during Liverpool’s win over Newcastle.

The Egypt forward scored from the spot in the 4-nil victory which sent them six points clear at the top of the Premier League.

But Newcastle weren’t happy with how easily Salah went down after a challenge by defender Paul Dummett early in the second half.  

Republic of Ireland teenager Michael Obafemi is expected to start for Southampton who are aiming for a third straight Premier League win under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl (pron: hassen-hootle) tonight.

They follow victories over Arsenal and Huddersfield with the visit of West Ham this evening.

But Hassenhuttl says he’s setting his players very small targets for now.

RUGBY

Ulster head-coach Dan McFarland has made four changes from the side that beat Munster ahead of tomorrow evening’s trip to Connacht in the Guinness Pro14.

Johnny McPhillips starts at out-half, Angus Kernohan comes in on the left wing with Darren Cave handed a start in midfield.

The other switch sees Nick Timoney drafted into the back-row while wing Henry Speight will play his last game for the northern province before returning to Australia.

Lock Quinn Roux and flanker Sean O’Brien return to the Connacht team for the game at the Sportsground.

There’s also two changes in the westerners’ front-row, with starts for hooker Shane Delahunt and tight head Conor Carey.

O’Brien’s inclusion at blindside flanker sees captain Jarrad Butler switch to number 8.

Jack Carty is retained at out-half after his man-of-the-match display in the weekend defeat to Leinster

DARTS

The P-D-C World Darts Championship swings back into action this lunchtime after the Christmas break.

The remaining third round fixtures will be completed at the Alexandra Palace, before two huge last-16 clashes tonight.

Two-time winner Gary Anderson takes on Chris Dobey – while world number one Michael van Gerwen goes up against another two-time champion, Adrian Lewis.


RACING

Footpad aims to return to winning ways at Leopardstown this afternoon.

Having suffered a minor injury at Naas last month, the Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old runs in the Grade One Paddy’s Rewards Club Handicap Chase.

Ruby Walsh will be on board the Arkle winner, while he partners Live-love-laugh in the 110-thousand Euro Grade One Paddy Power Handicap Chase.

It’s Welsh National Day at Chepstow where Raz De Maree looks to make it back-to-back wins.

Altior gets a pre Cheltenham run out at Kempton where he goes in the Grade Two Unibet Desert Orchid Chase.