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Sky Sports Today - Friday April 12

Sky Sports Today - Friday April 12


    Welcome to Sky Sports Today. Throughout the day we'll be continuing our coverage of the Masters at Augusta and taking a look at the key figures in the running for a Green Jacket. We're also looking ahead to the Chinese Grand Prix and bringing you reaction from the Europa League as Chelsea reached the semi-finals while Tottenham and Newcastle crashed out. The Champions League and Europa League semi-final draws take place later this morning, plus we'll have all the build up to the FA Cup semi-finals and the weekend's Premier League action.
    4/12/2013 7:42:53 AM
  • [pt] PAPER TALK

    There is plenty of Europa League reaction in the papers, but here are some of the other key lines...


    Liverpool are favourites to sign Swansea defender Ashley Williams, 28, this summer despite interest from Arsenal, while Aston Villa and Southampton are both keen to sign former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini, 29, who will be out of contract with AC Milan in the summer.


    Manchester City are leading the chase for 20-year-old Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Mario Gotze who has a £35m release clause, while Stoke City boss Tony Pulis is chasing FC Copenhagen striker Andreas Cornelius.


    Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has slapped a £25m price tag on striker Christian Benteke after his goalscoring exploits this season.


    West Ham are set to offer Liverpool £10m for striker Andy Carroll, 24, who is currently on loan at Upton Park - but is valued at £17m by the Reds, while St Etienne's 23-year-old striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, valued at £13m, is attracting interest from Newcastle, Arsenal and Spurs.


    Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez said he had no problems with the squabble that erupted between David Luiz and Frank Lampard as the teams departed at half-time, pointing to the tete-a-tete as recognition of a need to improve.

    4/12/2013 8:02:31 AM

    Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher is confident striker Luis Suarez will stay at Anfield and expects the Premier League club to make new signings over the summer.
    We are desperate to keep him, I'm sure he will be staying, I think he loves it here and the fans love him.
    Click here for the full story as Luis Suarez is backed to stay at Liverpool.
    4/12/2013 8:06:22 AM

    Felipe Massa has set the fastest time in second practice for the Chinese Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver set a lap of 1 minute 35.340 seconds to finish a tenth and a half ahead of the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen. The second Ferrari of Fernando Alonso was third. Earlier today, the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton set the pace in practice one. Head to our F1 section for the full timesheets from P1 and P2.
    4/12/2013 8:06:26 AM

    Corinthians director of football Edu Gaspar has played down reports that they are looking to sign Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez in the summer.
    At this moment we have no interest in Tevez, we'll sign players for the positions we need.
    Click here for the full story on Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez.
    4/12/2013 8:09:41 AM

    Chinese teenager Guan Tianlang certainly made a big impression in the first round of the Masters yesterday. The 14-year-old, who is the youngest player ever to compete in the tournament, shot a one-over par round of 73 to put himself in contention to make the cut. Our man in Augusta Dave Tindall has analysed his day.
    You don't expect to use the word boy at The Masters unless it's in relation to the Par 3 Contest and a family member dressed up as a caddie but that's what Tianlang is. An eighth grader who does homework and has sandwiches made for him by his mum.
    4/12/2013 8:19:41 AM

    The Champions League and Europa League semi-final draws take place at 11am this morning and you can follow the drama right here with Sky Sports. To whet your appetite, here's Nick Collins' take on the final four remaining contenders in the Champions League.
    4/12/2013 8:23:33 AM

    Mercedes looked in dominant form in the opening practice session at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, but it was Ferrari who had the advantage in P2 with Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso occupying first and third places respectively.
    4/12/2013 8:30:18 AM

    The npower Football League manager of the month awards for March have just been announced, with Billy Davies taking the honour in the Championship after his efforts with Nottingham Forest. Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade is the winner for League One and Plymouth's John Sheridan takes the League Two gong.
    4/12/2013 8:41:24 AM

    The player of the month awards have also been released, with Hull City's George Boyd taking the Championship honour, Brett Pitman of Bournemouth the top player in League One and Plymouth's Jason Banton recognised for his efforts in League Two.
    4/12/2013 8:44:28 AM

    Lewis Hamilton was second fastest in first practice for the Chinese Grand Prix behind only Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. But when the British driver bolted on the Pirelli soft tyres in P2 he did not have such a good time of it. Hamilton finished down in seventh place and was unhappy with the degradation of his rubber.
    I did a couple of laps and the tyre just disintegrated. The soft are hardcore, it just doesn't feel like the right type of tyre for this circuit.
    4/12/2013 8:47:10 AM

    George North has spoken for the first time since it was announced that he would leave the Scarlets to join Aviva Premiership side Northampton at the end of the season. The Wales wing told the Telegraph:
    I'm delighted to have made the decision and I'm very excited about the move to a new club. Now I can just focus on the rugby. It's a big move. Northampton have got a good squad, they've recruited really well this year and it's a club which competes regularly in the Premiership and the Heineken Cup and hopefully over the next few seasons I can help them push on and win some silverware.
    4/12/2013 8:50:11 AM

    Golfing royalty Jack Nicklaus was in the Sky Sports studio at Augusta on Thursday to give his take on the opening exchanges at the Masters - and he thinks early co-leader Sergio Garcia could capture the big one...
    He's a very talented young man and he's still a young man, but he doesn't seem to have the confidence to finish four days. He's played well enough to win, but just hasn't received that trophy at the end of the tournament. That pretty soon gets into your head and when it gets to your head it makes it more difficult. But I firmly believe that if he just so happened to win here I think Sergio is a good enough player to win several more. If he doesn't ever get the first one, it makes for a tough career.
    Get Jack's thoughts on Chinese starlet Tianlang Guan and how to play Augusta here.
    4/12/2013 9:00:41 AM
  • Jack Nicklaus has also been discussing how he has been mentoring Rory McIlroy and Nicolas Colsearts

    4/12/2013 9:01:22 AM
  • [twtr]
    @SkyFootball #skysportstoday basel for the europa league, bayern munich for the champions league.. JohnRoddy. via Twitter at 10:03 AM

    #skysportstoday Madrid to win the champions league, will have to see what the draw is but Barca aren't dominating this yr Zubair Siddique via Twitter at 9:59 AM

    @skyfootball EL belongs to Benfica, CL is a close call but i guess Fc Barcelona will have it #skysportstoday Neme Neme via Twitter at 10:02 AM

    #skysportstoday Real Madrid, Basel Nathan Hardy via Twitter at 9:58 AM

    @SkyFootball Madrid will win Champions League , Chelsea will win Europa League #skysportstoday Dimas Mahessa via Twitter at 9:58 AM

    #skysportstoday Barcelona will win the champions league and Chelsea will win the Europa league David Asquith via Twitter at 9:56 AM

    Bayern and chelsea to win the euro competions!! Easy isn't it? #skysportstoday matt bristow via Twitter at 9:56 AM

    4/12/2013 9:06:31 AM
  • [bn]
    Manchester United winger Ashley Young out for up to two weeks with ankle injury.
    4/12/2013 9:10:16 AM

    Sky Sports chief football reporter Nick Collins is in Nyon today to bring us news of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League semi-final draws. You can watch the drama live on Sky Sports News from 11am, or stick with us at #skysportstoday if you can't get to a TV.
    4/12/2013 9:16:46 AM

    Sebastian Vettel's comments about Mark Webber yesterday have led many to state that he is undermining Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. But Horner does not think his authority is being challenged and says the rivalry between the two drivers is good for the team.
    Is my leadership undermined? I don't think so. I've led the team from the time Red Bull entered the sport, to 35 victories, to world championships. Of course there have been bumps along the way and there have been incidents between those two drivers. We've retained them because the are both fiercely competitive individuals, they drive each other forward, they bring the best out of each other and at some points of course it's uncomfortable for the team. But I think it's a healthy rivalry.
    4/12/2013 9:18:17 AM

    Paolo Di Canio has admitted it would be too much of a risk to revolutionise the way Sunderland work at such a late stage of the season, and will develop his own style slowly.
    We don't want such a risk as at this stage of the season you can cause problems to the players. So I can't work in the way I would like to do. That is very difficult, you have to do it gradually.
    Click here to read more from Di Canio ahead of Sunday's Newcastle v Sunderland clash.
    4/12/2013 9:26:04 AM
  • [twtr]
    @SkyFootball #skysportstoday Real Madrid and Chelsea respectively; they got what it takes to do that. Obed Jefferson via Twitter at 10:12 AM

    REAL MADRID #skysportstoday David Selepe via Twitter at 9:56 AM

    @SkyFootball @FCBarcelona for champions league and for Europa League Chelsea #skysportstoday K@rim Rodriguez via Twitter at 10:08 AM

    @SkyFootball Champions League Winner #Barca and Europa League Winner # Chelsea #skysportstoday Luke Sanderson via Twitter at 10:17 AM

    4/12/2013 9:28:30 AM

    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has responded to criticism from England boss Roy Hodgson over some clubs using international breaks to rest their players. The Old Trafford chief was typically forthright with his views.
    You could look at it the other way and say international football interferes with club football. Look at the friendlies being played before the season starts. I've no problem with the competitive games, but friendlies are a problem.

    4/12/2013 9:34:09 AM

    The Brumbies have continued their fine start to the Super Rugby season by taking a 30-19 victory over the Highlanders at Carisbrook. Henry Speight, George Smith and Joseph Toman ran in the tries for the victors, while Hayden Parker kicked four penalties and AaronSmith ran in a try for the hosts.
    4/12/2013 9:36:22 AM

    Here's the full story on the news we brought you earlier with Manchester United winger Ashley Young facing two weeks out with an ankle problem. Sir Alex Ferguson also gave injury updates on Nemanja Vidic, Jonny Evans and Paul Scholes ahead of Sunday's clash with Stoke.
    Ashley is out. He took a whack on his ankle. He will maybe miss two weeks.
    Click here for all the latest Manchester United injury news ahead of their clash with Stoke.
    4/12/2013 9:38:12 AM

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere are set to return from injury for Saturday's home meeting with Norwich, while Tomas Rosicky is rated at '50-50' following his crucial goals in the victory over West Brom last week.
    Click here to read our preview of Arsenal v Norwich at Emirates Stadium.
    4/12/2013 9:46:14 AM
  • [twtr]
    @SkyFootball; Fenerbahce to win europa & Real Madrid to win champions league #skysportstoday Sefkan via Twitter at 10:50 AM

    @SkyFootball Real Madrid to win the Champions League and @chelseafc to win the Europa League. #skysportstoday Abukar via Twitter at 10:47 AM

    4/12/2013 9:52:01 AM

    For those of you who need a reminder, the final four in the UEFA Champions League are Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid
    Chelsea are the only English side still in Europe and they join Basel, Benfica and Fenerbahce in the Europa League semi-finals.
    We will bring you news of the draw as it happens from 11am.
    4/12/2013 9:57:15 AM

    If missed any of the action from the first round at Augusta yesterday, you can catch up with the pick of the shots by clicking here. Live coverage of the second round of the Masters begins on Sky Sports 1 HD at 7pm this evening.
    4/12/2013 10:00:18 AM

    Former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has taken to the stage in Nyon to help with the UEFA Champions League semi-final draw.
    4/12/2013 10:06:47 AM

    It looks set to be a weather-hit day in the LV=County Championship. All four Division One fixtures are currently delayed while Essex v Gloucestershire in the second tier has also been unable to get underway.
    4/12/2013 10:10:40 AM
  • [ssn] Former England manager Steve McClaren is in the Sky Sports studio to give his expert analysis of the Champions League and Europa League semi-final draws.
    4/12/2013 10:13:37 AM

    Europa League semi-final draw is first up.
    Fenerbahce v Benfica
    Basel v Chelsea
    4/12/2013 10:14:48 AM

    The first leg of the Europa League semi-finals will be played on April 25, with the second leg on May 2.
    4/12/2013 10:18:29 AM

    Chelsea fans, what do you make of the semi-final draw? Are you happy to have the second leg at Stamford Bridge? Can Rafa Benitez lead the club to European glory this season? Have your say on Twitter using #skysportstoday
    4/12/2013 10:20:13 AM

    [ssn]Mark Webber seemed keen to brush off his spat with Sebastian Vettel when asked for a response to the German's comments following today's two practice sessions. 
    I'm not too bothered what he says. Today was a good day for us, we had a good amount of mileage, which is one thing. Obviously there are still some pretty quick cars out there, so nothing unusual to see this early in the championship.
    Head to our Formula 1 section for all the latest from the Chinese Grand Prix
    4/12/2013 10:21:11 AM
  • [ssn]
    Steve McClaren reckons Real Madrid are the team to watch in the UEFA Champions League. The former England boss believes Barcelona can be 'fragile' at times, even with Lionel Messi in the side. He admits Bayern Munich are a danger, but feels Borussia Dortmund will simply be happy in the last four after their dramatic comeback against Malaga.
    4/12/2013 10:24:56 AM
  • [bn] Champions League semi-final draw: Bayern Munich v Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid.
    4/12/2013 10:30:16 AM
  • Ruud van Nistelrooy draws Bayern Munich against Barcelona

    4/12/2013 10:33:32 AM
  • ...and the Dutchman picks Borussia Dortmund against his former club Real Madrid

    4/12/2013 10:34:38 AM

    The first leg of the Champions League semi-finals will be played on April 23/24, with the second legs on April 30 and May 1. A quick reminder of the draw:
    Bayern Munich v Barcelona
    Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid
    4/12/2013 10:36:13 AM

    Borussia Dortmund may be regarded as the outsiders for the tournament, but it should be remembered that they finished ahead of Real Madrid in Group D earlier this season, winning 2-1 on home turf and drawing 2-2 when they travelled to Spain. 
    4/12/2013 10:38:46 AM
  • 4/12/2013 10:39:26 AM
  • 4/12/2013 10:39:29 AM
  • [ssn]
    Steve McClaren believes Bayern Munich could oust Barcelona from their Champions League semi-final as he feels the Spanish club can sometimes have an over-reliance on Lionel Messi.
    If Bayern Munich are to win it will be because of their team effort and their team ideology and they have a good chance of going through.

    4/12/2013 10:43:21 AM
  • How about this for a catch... not content with plucking the ball out of the sky using his glass, this baseball fan then proceeds to down the rest of his beer in celebration! Spills most of it down his top though!

    4/12/2013 10:48:52 AM

    Chelsea club secretary David Barnard has told Sky Sports he knows the Blues must be wary of Basel after being paired with the Swiss side in the semi-finals of the Europa League.
    They put out our Premier League colleagues Tottenham and have accounted for Manchester United in the past. We’ve got the players, we’ve been there, that will probably be a big factor.

    4/12/2013 10:51:25 AM
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