Wednesday Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

Paul Pogba is set to be recalled to the Manchester United team for tonight’s Champions League match against Valencia in Spain.

The French World Cup winner has been relegated to the bench for three of United’s past four matches.

The Red Devils could win Group H if results go their way tonight.

Manager Jose Mourinho suggests Pogba needs a good performance ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield.


Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he will not rotate his squad for tonight’s Champions League match with Hoffenheim at the Etihad Stadium.

A draw would be enough to secure the Premier League champions top spot in Pool F.

Key midfielders David Silva and Fernandinho are the latest to add their names to Guardiola’s lengthy injury list.

He says he does not have enough fit players to rest any first teamers.


Liverpool and Tottenham could renew their rivalry with Real Madrid in the New Year.

The two clubs can look forward to Monday’s Champions League last 16 draw after securing their place in the knock out stages in dramatic circumstances.

They could be paired with the likes of Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid.

Spurs defeated the cup holders in the Pool stages last year, while Real beat Liverpool in the European final in May.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp feels any opponent will be tough.

RUGBY

Joe Schmidt is said to have turned down an approach from the All Blacks last year.

New Zealand Rugby head Steve Tew has told a local newspaper that the Irish boss rejected an offer to join Steve Hansen’s back room staff.

It is understood the role would have seen Schmidt work alongside assistant coach Ian Foster, with the view that one would be promoted to the top job once Hansen moved on.

Schmidt has announced he will leave the sport to prioritise his family after the 2019 World Cup in Japan.


CYCLING

The future of Team Sky is in doubt after the broadcaster announced it will withdraw its backing at the end of 2019.

One of the most successful profession cycling set ups in recent years, Sky have delivered eight Grand Tour victories and Tour de France wins for Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas since launching in 2010.

Team principal Dave Brailsford says they are open minded about the future.

He insists they will continue to race under a different name if a new backer is found.