Good news for the Blues! Eden Hazard is reportedly set to return to training next week as he continues his recovery from a calf injury.

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Liverpool will welcome back Steven Gerrard this Saturday as the adored son of the Kop makes a return to his boyhood Club.

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Manchester City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart has spoken about his life at Italian side Torino and where he wants to be next.

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Aussie gun Daniel Ricciardo has crashed out during qualifying for the Melbourne Grand Prix.

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Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel beat his own lap record at Albert Park as he topped the time-sheet in the final free practice before the Australian Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday.

The four-times champion Germans lap of one minute 23.380 seconds eclipsed his pole record of 1:23.529 set at the lakeside circuit in 2011, and was nearly half a second faster than both the Mercedes cars.

New Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who replaced retired champion Nico Rosberg, was second fastest, just edging three-times champion teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, with Nico Hulkenberg fifth in his Renault.

Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo was sixth fastest, with his teammate Max Verstappen 12th.

Williams rookie driver Lance Stroll skidded into a barrier and blew a tyre, causing the red flag to be raised with 10 minutes left in the session.

The session was then called off, leaving constructors champions Mercedes unable to improve upon their times and adding spice to the qualifying session later on Saturday.

Hamilton was fastest in both practice sessions on Friday.

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Ireland and Everton defender Seamus Coleman faces up to a year on the sidelines after breaking his leg during a World Cup qualifier against Wales.

The ever-present risk of serious leg injuries in football was unfortunately realised once again as Wales’ Neil Taylor was shown a red card for a poor tackle during the 0-0 draw.

Once he realised what had happened, Coleman held onto his damaged leg while waiting for help.

Coleman was given oxygen on the field as medical staff attempted to immobilise his leg before taking to and ambulance and then hospital.

The final score took a back seat to Coleman’s well-being  after the match.

“It’s a bad break. Seamus is a fantastic player and character - it’s a major blow for the lad, for his club and for us,’’ Ireland manager Martin O’Neill told the UK’s Sky Sports.

“Apparently it wasn’t the best challenge in the world - I haven’t seen it back - but naturally disappointed. He’s gone to hospital and I think it’s broken.

“I saw Seamus’ reaction - he was holding his leg up and it didn’t look good.”

The length of Taylor’s suspension is yet to the decided but one this is for sure – Coleman is facing a lengthy stint of rehab before his professional career resumes.

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Gianluigi Buffon says “it’s a huge pleasure” to play his 1000th game but “there won't be another thousand!”

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The draw for places at the last 16 of the Total CAF Confederation Cup 2017 was headlined by intriguing pairings from derbies to rekindling of rivalries.

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Liverpool striker Divock Origi admits he'll consider his future in the summer following his recent lack of play time.

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Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has called for David De Gea  to extend his United stay.

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Lewis Hamilton continued his strong start to the 2017 Formula 1 season as he topped the timesheets again in second practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

The three-time F1 champion got within a tenth of Sebastian Vettel’s record lap time around Albert Park from 2011 on the ultra-soft tyres and ended the session half a second clear of the Ferrari driver.

Vettel and the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas were separated by less than a tenth of a second as the Finn continued to trail Hamilton in terms of pace.

Kimi Raikkonen was four-tenths shy of team-mate Vettel while Daniel Ricciardo was a second off Hamilton in fifth.

All of the teams’ ultra-soft runs were hampered by Jolyon Palmer’s crash at the final corner which resulted in a brief red flag stoppage. The Renault driver was unharmed but his R.S.17 was heavily damaged.

Toro Rosso led the tight midfield battle as Carlos Sainz was able to match Max Verstappen’s time for seventh place.

Romain Grosjean continued to struggle with the brakes on the Haas but managed to put a strong lap together to end the session inside the top 10 ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Daniil Kvyat.

Sergio Perez was just outside the top 10 in 11th ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who had a surprisingly smooth day on his way to 12th.

Felipe Massa was forced to stop his FW40 mid-way through the session after he suffered a gearbox issue. The Brazilian ended FP2 in 14th while rookie team-mate Lance Stroll was 16th.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson ended the day in the gravel at Turn 6 after losing the rear under braking. This resulted in a brief virtual safety car period where the drivers were forced to slow down and could not overtake.

Kevin Magnussen suffered a water leak and ended the day last.

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Virat Kohli said he would not take the field to play India's series decider against Australia in Dharamsala if he is not entirely fit.

Kohli had injured his shoulder during the drawn Ranchi Test last week. He did not take the field for the remainder of Australia's first innings but came out to bat at his usual number four spot.

India, two days before the fourth and final Test, were forced to call in Shreyas Iyer as cover for their skipper.

On the eve of the match, Kohli said there would be no special treatment even for the best batsman in the side and added that he would take the field only if he was sure he could last the rigours of a Test match.

"I am not different from anyone else. There's no special treatment for anyone. I will take the field only if I am 100 per cent fit," Kohli said at a press briefing. "The rules apply for everyone and they are the same for everyone."

Kohli did not train with the Indian team on Thursday and restricted himself to underarm throws. 

The decision to call up Iyer has more to do with the difficulty involved in flying out a last-minute replacement to Dharamsala, which is situated in the Himalayan foothills.

Iyer, 22, was Mumbai's highest scoring batsman in the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy and struck an unbeaten 202 in a first-class match for India A against Australia last month.

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DANIEL STURRIDGE will be sold by Liverpool this summer, according to former Reds defender Phil Babb.

Sturridge has fallen down the pecking order this season, with Jurgen Klopp favouring Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi as his centre forwards.

The England international has started just six of his 14 Premier League outings, in which he's found the back of the net just twice.

And former Liverpool defender Babb would not be surprised to see Klopp offload the 27-year-old when the transfer window reopens.

"I think he's coming to the end of his tenure at Liverpool," Babb told Sky Sports.

"Klopp wants a different type of striker - someone he can rely on from a physical point of view.

"He's a phenomenal talent around the goal and in the penalty box. But he's been laden with injuries season after season.

"He hasn't played enough games but his goals to games ratio is fantastic."

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Everton are considering a pre-season friendly in Tanzania as part of their expected new sponsorship deal with SportPesa.

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Barcelona are the only club to provide Chapecoense with financial help after the deadly plane crash that killed players and staff members of the Brazilian side in November,

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Sebastian Vettel believes that Ferrari is still unsure about its Formula 1 championship chances in 2017 despite finishing as the fastest team through pre-season testing.

Following a winless campaign in 2016, Ferrari sprung a surprise in winter testing by dominating proceedings in Barcelona, with Vettel and teammate Kimi Raikkonen finishing as the fastest drivers.

The new SF70H car appears to be a marked improvement on its predecessor following the change in the technical regulations, with three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton naming Ferrari as the favorite to win the first race in Australia this weekend.

Vettel remained coy about his chances when speaking in Thursday’s FIA press conference, saying it won’t be until the first sessions of the weekend in Melbourne are complete that Ferrari will truly know where it stands.

“So far we don’t know anything. For all of us it will be exciting to find out where we are on Saturday and Sunday, to get a first impression,” Vettel said.

“For us a lot of new things last year didn’t really go the way we expected, so I think for this year we have really focused on ourselves. We have tried to do our job back in the factory and in testing.

“I think testing times, I don’t think they are that crucial, I think it matters much more what you show from here onwards. We’ll see. I think we are a bit in the dark like everyone else, not knowing what other people have done.

“For ourselves we can be reasonably happy, we did decent mileage, we didn’t have any major issues with the car and hopefully we can carry that momentum into the race.”

Vettel added that Mercedes rival Hamilton “must be” the favorite for the drivers’ title in 2017 given the German team’s form, having won over 50 races in the past three years.

“Mercedes obviously has been in very, very strong form the last three years and even though we changed the regulations, if a team is strong then they will build a strong car the year after, no matter what you do with the rules,” Vettel said.

“I think it’s very clear who is the favorite. For all of us sitting here, we are trying our best to catch-up. How much we have succeeded, we will see and, as the season goes on, I’m sure the cars will have big progression and all the teams will bring lots of stuff to develop the cars.

“So, whoever’s in a good place in the beginning and still in a good place at the end will have a chance.”

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Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko is convinced Mercedes will consider Sebatsian Vettel for its 2018 line-up.

Marko is obviously well-versed when it comes to analysing the German driver's motivations and hypothetical plans, having brought him into the Red Bull pen years ago and shared four world championships with the Ferrari driver.

This season is viewed by many as a 'make or break' year for Ferrari and Vettel.

Should the Scuderia fail to live up once again to its expectations, the German could be encouraged to take a look at an opportunity of driving a Silver Arrows.

"Frankly, Sebastian’s results from 2016 did not reflect his class," former boss Marko insisted.

"There were some races where he would have done much better if he just wasn’t unlucky.

"Now, he will definitely try to be successful and in the end decide what will be the best for him personally," he added.

Marko thinks Mercedes signing Valtteri Bottas only for 2017, amid the expiring contracts of Vettel and Fernando Alosno, have been no coincidence.

"Mercedes will be interested in them for 2018," Marko concluded.

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Manchester United reportedly lead the race to sign Atletico Madrid centre-back Jose Gimenez. The 22-year-old joined Atletico from Uruguayan side Danubio in 2013, and has been a regular at the Vicente Calderon over the last three seasons.

Gimenez has been forced to play second fiddle to Diego Godin and Stefan Savic for periods of the 2016-17 campaign, however, and it is understood that the defender is considering his long-term future in Madrid.

Liverpool have been strongly linked with a move for the Uruguay international, but according to AS, Man United are in pole position to land the centre-back as Jose Mourinho looks to sign defensive reinforcements this summer.

Gimenez, who has been restricted to just seven La Liga starts this season, has a release clause in the region of £39m.

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Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has been ruled out up for to a month with calf injury suffered in loss at West Brom, the scan has revealed.

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The International World Games Association (IWGA) has announced that seven International Federations (IFs) have made bids for membership that meet its criteria, with their applications set to be discussed at the SportAccord Convention next month.

The International Basketball Federation (Fiba), International Triathlon Union (ITU), International Wushu Federation (IWUF), International Cycling Union (UCI), Union Internationale Motonautique (International Powerboating Union), International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) and United World Wrestling (UWW) have all applied to become IWGA members.

The federations have been invited to give a final presentation to the IWGA Annual General Meeting at SportAccord Convention on April 3 in Aarhus, Denmark.

The IWGA currently has 37 member federations. For IFs to become a member of the IWGA, membership of SportAccord is a prerequisite. Another requirement is that the sports, or disciplines of sports, proposed by the federations for inclusion in the World Games are not currently on the programme of the Olympic Games.

Wroclaw, Poland will stage the 2017 World Games from July 20-30, following on from the 2013 edition in Cali, Colombia. Birmingham, Alabama will be the first US destination to host the World Games since the inaugural event took place in Santa Clara in 1981 after it was formally awarded rights to the 2021 Games in April 2015.

The World Games - under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) - showcases more than 25 sports, such as squash, karate, sumo and dance sport.

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has signalled its opposition to the proposed reforms of the world game outlined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) stating they will “adversely affect” the very nature of the world governing body.

The ICC is set to make a final decision on a new financial and governance structure at a meeting in April after agreeing “in principle” last month to reverse a move to put the boards of India, Australia and England in a dominant position of the game’s administration.

The BCCI, along with Sri Lanka Cricket, voted against the proposal to perform a u-turn on the 2014 decision after failing to defer the vote during February’s ICC board meeting in Dubai. Under the proposed restructuring, a new revenue distribution model would seek to counter the imbalance favouring the so-called big three, with India the most influential voice in the world game.

In a communication of its preliminary observations on the proposed ICC constitution, reported by the ESPNCricinfo website, the BCCI said the changes were “vague” and “unclear”. The status of the reforms package was thrown into question last week by the resignation of Shashank Manohar, who has been driving efforts to limit the influence of the ‘big three’, as chairman of the ICC.

“The proposed ICC constitution seeks to convert the ICC from a members' organisation to a supra-national regulator,” BCCI chief executive Rahul Johri wrote in an email sent to ICC chief operating officer Iain Higgins. “This is a fundamental change in the nature of the ICC that adversely affects the autonomy of its members.

“Further, several of the proposed changes are vague and unclear in their purport and intended operation. Given that one of the stated objectives behind the proposed changes is to bring in clarity and transparency, it is imperative that there is complete clarity on all the proposed changes so that members can properly understand the same before formulating their position thereon.”

Johri also reserved heavy criticism for the new financial model proposed by the ICC, stating it is “arbitrary” and not “agreeable”. Under the current ‘big three’ model, full members receive a contribution cost for participating in ICC events based on their perceived value in the sport. The new model is set to remove these contribution costs and instead introduce a set figure allocated to each of the 10 full members, along with two second-tier associate members - Ireland and Afghanistan.

Johri said, according to ESPNCricinfo: “The ICC is seeking to change the existing financial model without having any scientific formula or technical analysis behind the proposed changes. It is a fundamental attribute of any resource allocation system to first collect information and then allocate resources based on the information, priorities and a defined methodology following appropriate principles. The move to propose changes to the existing financial model without carrying out the aforesaid exercise is an arbitrary one.”

He added: “Any discussion on the proposed new financial model has to be based on clearly articulated and acceptable principles which recognise the relative contribution of BCCI to the revenues of the ICC. For the above reasons, we are not agreeable to the proposed new financial model.”

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France’s national railway company, SNCF, and professional and financial services group Deloitte have signed up as official supporters of France’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

SNCF will advise the French Rugby Federation (FFR) on transport and sustainable mobility options, and support the implementation of a ticketing strategy for the World Cup.

The company will also provide logistical support to the FFR during different stages of the application process while promoting the bid both nationally and internationally.

Deloitte’s French division will work with the FFR on drafting budgets and financing plans for the event.

FFR president Bernard Laporte said: “(We are) very pleased to be able to count on the expertise of these two companies with world-renowned know-how to help us in our application. This support again illustrates the strong mobilisation of the economic world behind #France2023.”

France faces competition from Ireland and South Africa in its bid to stage the 2023 World Cup. The World Rugby Council will select the winning bid on November 15.

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Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunner Solskjaer is confident that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will want to play in the Champions League at Old Trafford next season. 

Jose Mourinho snapped up the veteran forward on a free transfer last summer and the Swede has been a talismanic presence at Manchester United this season, scoring 26 goals in all competitions.

Ibrahimovic is yet to extend his contract, which expires in the summer, but according to Swedish daily Expressen, the forward will sign on the dotted line soon to prolong his stay at Old Trafford for one more season.

And Solskjaer believes the Swede will want to experience Champions League football with Manchester United, if they qualify for next season, as he feels there is no better club than the Red Devils to represent on the biggest stage of European football. 

The former Manchester United striker told Expressen: “We hope that we can qualify for the Champions League next season.  

“Then I expect Ibrahimovic will want to play on the biggest stage for the best club.

“There is no better place to play Champions League football than at Manchester United.

"They are the biggest and the best club.”

Despite winning countless league titles and domestic cups in various countries, Ibrahimovic is yet to win the Champions League in his career.

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Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin has described potential interest in him from Barcelona as "special".

The 22-year-old penned a new six-year deal with the Gunners last November but has been strongly linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer, with a number of top clubs across Europe thought to be interested.

Bellerin began his career as part of the Barcelona youth setup before leaving for Arsenal in 2011, and in recent days the La Liga giants have been linked with a £35m bid this summer as they continue to look for a long-term replacement for Dani Alves.

"It's nice there are a lot of big clubs that are interested in me, but if one of those is Barcelona that's special," Bellerin told Sport.

"I don't forget I grew up in that home and I will never forget my stay at Barcelona... I left Barcelona because I felt the club was not confident in me, I didn't feel valued, I was disenchanted."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has described speculation of Bellerin's potential exit as 'very difficult to take seriously'.

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