Thursday Lunchtime Sports Update

GAELIC GAMES

Dublin will be without Con O’Callaghan when Kerry take on the All Ireland Champions in Saturday’s first round fixture in the Allianz Football League.

The All-Star forward missed U-C-D’s defeat to D-C-U in the Sigerson Cup as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury suffered in a warm up two weeks ago.

College boss John Divilly expects the Cuala clubman to be out for around another month.

GOLF

Padraig Harrington is three shots off the lead at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Europe’s Ryder Cup captain has opened with a one-under-par round of 71 with David Lipsky holding the clubhouse lead at four-under.

Shane Lowry is level-par after his first round while Graeme McDowell is …

Rory McIlroy begins his attempt to reclaim his place as the world’s number one later.

The four-time major winner’s not topped the rankings since September 2015 but victory at the Farmer’s Insurance event in California would see him replace Brooks Koepka ((pron: kep-ka)).

SOCCER

Leaders Liverpool can go back 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League table with victory away at Wolves this evening.

Kick off at Molyneaux is at 8 o’clock.

Watford go to Tranmere this evening looking to seal a tie with Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The Premier League team are at the League One strugglers for a third round replay.

Last week’s meeting between the two sides was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

TENNIS

Men’s world number one Rafa Nadal is through to the third round at the Australian Open after a straight sets win over Argentina’s Federico Delbonis.

Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem (PRON: Team) have also progressed while there were wins as well this morning for women’s fourth seed Simona Halep and semi-finalist from last year Karolina Pliskova.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL

Two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Eli Manning has retired after 16 seasons with the New York Giants.

Manning was M-V-P in two Superbowl wins over the New England Patriots.

The Giants have hailed the 39-year-old as ” one of very best players” in the franchise’s history.

RACING

Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott will both saddle six runners in this afternoon’s Goffs Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park.

Mullins’ Acapella Bourgeois and the Joseph O’Brien-trained Smoking Gun are the pre-race favourites with the three-miles-one-furlong contest set to go to post at 3pm.

The going is currently soft to heavy at the Kilkenny track.