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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
  • [skybet] The latest odds are in for the UEFA Champions League and are as follows:
    • Barcelona 15/8
    • Real Madrid 2/1
    • Bayern Munich 11/4
    • Borussia Dortmund 6/1
    4/12/2013 10:57:30 AM

    Chelsea club secretary David Barnard has spoken out in defence of interim manager Rafa Benitez who has come under fire from sections of the club's supporters despite guiding them the latter stages of the Europa League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup.
    Credit must go to Rafa, some people have criticised his team selections, but he has got us to three semi-finals so he must be doing something right.

    4/12/2013 10:59:20 AM

    Just under an hour now until the second round of The Masters gets underway and you can keep up to date with all the action as it happens by following our live blog here. For those of you wanting a recap of yesterday's major talking points, you can click here for a round-up of the opinions of the leading protagonists from day one including Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy and Tianlang Guan. The 14-year-old Chinese prodigy rather stole the show on Thursday with a round of 73, asked if he had felt nervous he replied...
    Not much, I just wanted to play some good shots and enjoy the game.
    Sky Sports will again be providing the very best coverage from Augusta today, click here for all the ways you can watch the action
    4/12/2013 11:07:32 AM
  • [twtr]
    @SkyFootball @ChampionsLeague Bayern vs Barca will be the toughest match to be play, but Barcelona will play in the final #skysportstoday Shamey via Twitter at 11:58 AM

    Guardiola's past vs the future #UCLSemiFinal #skysportstoday Richard Lesmana via Twitter at 12:02 PM

    I think it will be a Borussia Dortmund vs FC Barcelona Final! #UCLdraw #skysportstoday Joseph via Twitter at 11:49 AM

    @SkySports i reckon its gonna be a barca vs dortmund final #skysportstoday Emma via Twitter at 11:50 AM

    @SkySports Its time for Germany Teams for the Final, solid in defence Dangerous in Attack.. #skysportstoday #BVB #FCB Herry Walcot Mandzuk via Twitter at 11:56 AM

    4/12/2013 11:08:34 AM
  • [skybet]
    Here's the latest Europa League odds following today's semi-final draw which paired Chelsea with Basel.
    • Chelsea 6/5
    • Benfica 7/4
    • Fenerbahce 6/1
    • Basel 7/1
    4/12/2013 11:13:03 AM
  • [colinmontgomerie]Colin Montgomerie believes players are being fooled by the speed of the greens at Augusta this week. The Scot insists it will be those players who putt most aggressively that will be contending come Sunday at The Masters.
    These are the fastest greens the players have seen this year and 80 per cent of putts, I've been told, are being missed on the low side as players are frightened and are under-hitting or under-reading. It is very difficult to put a firm, positive stroke above the hole but that's the way you've got to do it and let the ball fall in on the top side.
    4/12/2013 11:15:48 AM

    Here's the confirmed dates for the UEFA Champions League semi-finals first and second legs.
    Bayern Munich v Barcelona - April 23
    Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid – April 24 (Live on Sky Sports)
    Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund – April 30
    Barcelona v Bayern Munich – May 1 (Live on Sky Sports)
    Click here for a full list of live football on Sky Sports in the coming weeks.

    4/12/2013 11:18:28 AM
  • [ssn] Former Bayern Munich defender Bixente Lizarazu has told Sky Sports that he expects an attacking encounter when his old club come up against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
    This is the top four in Europe so all the teams are strong. I am sure we will see very offensive football. Bayern are playing fantastic at the moment and are full of self-confidence. But we know what Barcelona are capable of. When you play in Barcelona most of the time they have the ball.
    Click here for full details on the UEFA Champions League semi-final draw.
    4/12/2013 11:30:59 AM

    There are two fixtures in Super League tonight, with Leeds taking on London Broncos and St Helens going up against Catalan Dragons. The Rhinos, Saints and Dragons all go into the contests on 13 points and will be looking to climb the table. The Broncos, meanwhile, will be chasing just their third win of the season. Find the latest team news here:
    4/12/2013 11:38:23 AM

    Away from the Europa League, Chelsea have the small matter of their FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday to focus on. City boss Roberto Mancini will not make a decision over David Silva's availability until the last minute after he complained of a tight hamstring in the derby victory over United on Monday.
    He may be able to play some part, but we will make a final decision as late as possible.
    Click here for the full story on the fitness of Manchester City playmaker David Silva.
    4/12/2013 11:41:42 AM

    [ssn]Leading golf psychologist Bob Rotella has been speaking on Sky Sports News about the hazards of putting too much emphasis on the early holes of rounds at the major tournaments.
    Anyone who is constantly saying, 'I really need to get off to a good start', I'd say, 'you're not ready to win'. I think you have to have the attitude of, 'I'm a great player and I'm going to play great today and it isn't going to have anything to do with how I start'. How many days do have starting three-over after two and then shoot 65 or 66 and how many days do you birdie the first three and make 74? It doesn't make any sense from people's experience but you hear a lot of people say it.
    4/12/2013 1:23:22 PM

    After being bowled out for just 132 inn their first innings, Somerset have put themselves back in with a shout in their Division One clash with Durham. Alfonso Thomas took 4-29 as the hosts were skittled for just 112 in the second innings at Emirates Durham ICG. Somerset now need 235 to win.
    4/12/2013 1:26:53 PM

    [stevo] Stevo blogs on Castleford's troubles and argues his case for a reduced Super League schedule.
    Unfortunately injuries are part of the game - you cannot expect these players to put in the tackles that they put in and not get the odd bump and bruise. But they need time to recover or they will start to suffer.
    Read Stevo's blog here.

    4/12/2013 1:27:25 PM

    Tony Pulis has called on Stoke's fans to get behind their team as they look to bring an end to a lengthy slump in form. The Britannia Stadium has become renowned for its intimidating atmosphere, but in recent weeks the supporters have booed their own side.
    There haven't been many occasions at the Britannia over the last six or seven years when they haven't got behind the lads. I think they realise we have got three massive games at home and I am expecting the crowd to be absolutely fantastic in those three games.
    Click here for the full story on Stoke boss Tony Pulis ahead of their home clash with Manchester United.
    4/12/2013 1:28:50 PM

    Phil Jagielka will replace Phil Neville as Everton's club captain next season, Toffees manager David Moyes has confirmed. The England centre-half has deputised this season in the absence of Neville, who will leave the club when his contract is up this summer.
    He's got a big act to follow because Phil Neville off the field is terrific for the players and he's been a great captain on the field.

    4/12/2013 2:28:12 PM

    Here is the full story on Brian McDermott’s appointment at Leeds. Sacked by Reading in March, McDermott now replaces Neil Warnock at Elland Road and will bring Nigel Gibbs as his right-hand man. David Haigh, deputy chief executive of GFH Capital, has paid tribute to the new boss.
    We are delighted to have appointed Brian as our manager. Obviously the immediate aim is a return as soon as possible to the Premier League. Brian's success in taking Reading to the Premier League last year was a key factor in our decision to hire him.
    4/12/2013 2:32:34 PM

    Well-known official Steve Ganson has decided to retire as a Super League referee in order to take up a backroom position in the Rugby Football League's match officials department. Ganson made his debut as a senior referee in 1995 and is rugby league's most experienced official at club and international level.
    I have been very fortunate to have enjoyed the career I have. The last 23 years have taken me on a fantastic journey and given me experiences I'll never forget. This move has all come about very quickly but opportunities like this don't come along very often and I'm really excited to make the move into coaching.
    4/12/2013 2:36:03 PM

    Tonight's Championship game - live on Sky Sports HD2 - is Leicester v Birmingham as the Foxes look to address their winless run. Here are the teams for you:
    • Leicester XI: Schmeichel, De Laet, Keane, Morgan, Konchesky, Drinkwater, King, James, Wood, Schlupp, Nugent.
    • Birmingham XI: Butland, Caddis, Davies, Robinson, Hancox, Redmond, Elliott, Gomis, Morrison, Ferguson, Zigic.
    4/12/2013 6:02:57 PM

    Reading host Liverpool in the Premier League tomorrow and Royals manager Nigel Adkins has hailed Reds 'talisman' Steven Gerrard ahead of that clash, insisting he is up there with the best.
    He's a talisman for Liverpool and always has been. He drives them on and is a leader, taking a grip on the match when he needs to. When you talk about midfielders there are different types, but he's one you'd consider being in a starting XI of any all-time Premier League team.
    4/12/2013 6:16:58 PM
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