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Sky Sports Today - Friday March 29

Sky Sports Today - Friday March 29


    Welcome to Sky Sports Today on this Good Friday. We have an action-packed day ahead, so stay with us as we bring you the latest sporting news, views and opinion.
    3/29/2013 7:48:26 AM

    New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder is showing signs of improvement and police have charged two men in connection with the assault on all-rounder. In a statement Ryder's family said
    Jesse will be chuffed knowing how many people care and have reached out, including the huge number of cricket fans and players from around the world.
    3/29/2013 7:51:52 AM

    Roberto Mancini says players must understand when the club is more important than country after Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany played for Belgium in midweek.
    I think sometimes the player should understand that the club is more important.
    What are your views on the club v country debate? Let us know @skysports using #skysportstoday as your hashtag
    3/29/2013 7:54:01 AM

    Aaron Ramsey knows Arsenal are at the make-or-break stage of the season as they bid to beat derby rivals Tottenham Hotspur to a place in the UEFA Champions League.
    We are coming to the stage now where we need to treat every game as a cup final. We need the points and hopefully we can do that.
    3/29/2013 7:55:12 AM

    England may have to play a World Cup qualifier behind closed doors following the allegations of racist chanting during Friday's World Cup qualifier against San Marino. Football Against Racism in Europe have contacted FIFA amid reports visiting supporters directed racist abuse at England defender Rio Ferdinand and his brother, Anton.
    3/29/2013 8:12:26 AM

    There is some good news for Tottenham Hotspur fans this morning, as manager Andre Villas-Boas has revealed Younes Kaboul is close to returning from injury. The Spurs boss has been discussing the centre-back’s comeback from an August knee operation. 
    He has trained the last two days 100 per cent with the team.
    3/29/2013 8:17:19 AM

    Do you fancy a bit of nostalgia? We continue a review of the best finals from the Champions League era with a look at 1994/95, when Louis van Gaal's young Ajax side produced an upset against Fabio Capello's defending kings of Europe, AC Milan.
    3/29/2013 8:21:57 AM

    The Reds survived a late fightback from the Highlanders to secure their first-ever win in Dunedin with a 34-33 victory. James Hanson, Liam Gill, Jake Schatz and Will Genia all crossed for tries, while Quade Cooper added 14 points from the boot for the Reds.
    3/29/2013 8:38:49 AM

    The Milwaukee Bucks snapped their four-game losing streak with a 113-103 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
    3/29/2013 8:45:56 AM

    If you're the type likely to spend Good Friday holed up in a pub grumbling about how football's not the same these days, grumble no more as we continue our nostalgia-soaked trip down memory lane by catching up with Peter Reid. The affable Scouser was only too happy to regale us with his memories of a glorious 1984/85 campaign for Everton that saw him crowned the PFA Player of the Year. The question we're asking, as part of a link-up with the PFA to celebrate 40 years of the PFA Player of the Year Award, is was he the best ever winner? Have your say and register your vote here.
    3/29/2013 8:58:06 AM

    [pt]A great deal of focus in the morning papers on the latest race row to surround English football with The Mirror saying England face the nightmare prospect of playing their next World Cup qualifier behind closed doors after an anti-racism group reported Three Lions fans to FIFA for chants about Rio Ferdinand and his brother Anton in San Marino. Other lines include:
    THE SUN: Asmir Begovic will only join Manchester United if he is guaranteed to be first-choice goalkeeper.
    DAILY STAR: Rafa Benitez says John Terry is better off without England - and that Chelsea will benefit from his decision to quit international football.
    DAILY MAIL: Liverpool are to step up attempts to prise Christian Eriksen away from Ajax this summer.
    DAILY EXPRESS: Frank Lampard wants Jose Mourinho to become the next Chelsea manager, so he can work alongside the Special One in a coaching role.
    3/29/2013 9:01:52 AM

    by skysportsaldunnon Mar 29, 2013 at 9:02 AM
    Reidy was pretty darn good in 84/85 but was he the best ever winner of the PFA Player of the Year award? Vote here.

    3/29/2013 9:04:15 AM

    Leicestershire have signed Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan for this season's Friends Life t20 campaign.
    3/29/2013 9:12:38 AM
  • Former England and Scotland boss Andy Robinson talks to the Rugby Club about his role at Bristol in a special extended interview.

    3/29/2013 9:15:08 AM

    Interesting line coming out of Holland this morning with regards Liverpool's purported interest in Ajax schemer Christian EriksenAjax technical director Marc Overmars has confirmed Liverpool are frequent visitors to Amsterdam, with a £16.9million bid thought to have been mooted for the summer. It's unlikely that Liverpool will be without rivals for Eriksen's signature though, with  Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur among the other clubs to have a reported interest.
    3/29/2013 9:16:51 AM

    If you're part of the goalkeepers' union you won't want to miss this week's The Footballers' Football Show webchat that kicks-off at 11am. Last night's show was a goalkeepers special - and we want YOUR views on the best shot stoppers around.
    Joe Hart has endured an indifferent campaign by his standards for Man City this term
    by skysportsaldunnon Mar 29, 2013 at 9:21 AM
    Have your say by using the text box here or tweeting with #FFShow.
    3/29/2013 9:24:32 AM
  • 3/29/2013 9:31:19 AM

    [ssn]Dean Holdsworth is in the Sky Sports News studio as we count down to the return of the Premier League and in particular Aston Villa's Super Sunday clash with Liverpool. He has been highlighting the threat Luis Suarez will pose to the Villa defence.
    He is a leader and is a constant threat in that box. Believe me you cannot touch him inside that box. He is the Jenga of footballers. He will collapse. But he is a fantastic footballer. In a way it's such a shame - he's on the edge of what is right and wrong in football but Villa defenders must not touch him when he gets in the area. You've got to be tight as tight can be. One little tap and he's the Jenga - he will go down.
    3/29/2013 9:44:38 AM

    Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has spoken of his desire to secure UEFA Champions League football for the north London outfit in his debut season in the Premier League. Spurs have hit a wobble of late but their French custodian believes they can fend off the competition to win a top four finish. 
    I think the international break was a good thing for us, to help us find energy for the end of the season. We now have eight games which are like eight finals.
    3/29/2013 9:57:43 AM

    Andy Murray renews his old rivalry with Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals of the Miami Masters tonight and the Frenchman is full of praise of the world No 3.
    Murray can do everything on the tennis court. He's very clever. He's an unbelievable player - but I know his game.
    Remember you can watch the action live on Sky Sports 2 HD.
    3/29/2013 10:09:11 AM

    [twtr]You expect+accept banter from fans on the terraces as its part of what makes the game great, but racism is not banter, & from ya own fans. WOW. Always a small minority who ruin it for others. Let's not jump to conclusions + assume though as it might just have been banter. We'll see after the investigation.

    Rio Ferdinand reacts to the England racism row. More to come on Sky Sports News...
    3/29/2013 10:11:10 AM

    Sir Alex Ferguson says he encouraged Rio Ferdinand to have face-to-face discussions with England manager Roy Hodgson over his international future. Ferdinand was selected for England's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro, only to withdraw due to an 'intricate and pre-planned' training regime. The 34-year-old has since been the victim of abuse from England fans. Ferguson said:
    He did the right thing to go down and see Roy. I encouraged him to go down and do it face to face.
    3/29/2013 10:15:27 AM

  • We're continuing our build-up to the Premier League's return through the day. Here's Aaron Ramsey on Arsenal's bid to secure a top-four finish.
    3/29/2013 10:20:45 AM

    There is an enthralling day of Super League in store on Good Friday and Sky Sports will bring you the action live from two huge derbies. First Wigan entertain St Helens at 12.15pm, then Hull FC and Hull KR go head-to-head at 2.30pm. A packed programme means that there are three other fixtures to whet your appetites.
    Wigan v Saints & Hull FC v Hull KR will be shown on Sky Sports 1 HD, or you can follow all the Super League action throughout the day with our live and interactive commentary on
    3/29/2013 10:30:08 AM

    Nothing like an easy start to life at a new club, is there? Nigel Adkins begins his tenure as Reading boss with a trip to Arsenal, who are of course doing their utmost to secure a spot in the top four. It's been a miserable week for the Gunners though, with Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby and Theo Walcott all picking up injuries. Read all about Saturday's game at the Emirates in our comprehensive match preview.
    3/29/2013 10:38:38 AM

    [twtr]Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has taken to Twitter to declare himself ready to return to action for the club this weekend. Kompany angered manager Roberto Mancini by playing in a World Cup qualifier for Belgium on Tuesday when he had not played for the club for eight weeks but now seems set to feature against Newcastle. Kompany tweeted a picture of his boots along with the caption: "They're ready to roll again! :-)"
    City's inspirational skipper last played for the champions in their FA Cup fourth-round win at Stoke on January 26.
    3/29/2013 10:39:43 AM

    Another Saturday clash that could have repercussions at both ends of the table is Southampton's game with Chelsea at St Mary's. Having taken four points from their last two Premier League games Southampton have slowly edged their way away from the drop zone but with Chelsea in hot pursuit of Manchester City in second, it's unlikely Rafa Benitez's side will do the Saints any favours. Read the full match preview here for team news.
    3/29/2013 10:53:43 AM

    It's a battle between two out-of-form sides at the Liberty Stadium as Tottenham travel to Swansea City on the back of three consecutive defeats in all competitions. After what has been an impressive first campaign at the helm for Andre Villas-Boas the Portuguese will be desperate his charges don't stumble at the final furlong. For full build-up to what should be an easy-on-the-eye encounter read our full match preview
    3/29/2013 11:03:01 AM

    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says the abusive chanting aimed at Rio Ferdinand during England's match in San Marino is a reflection of the times. The Scot seems almost resigned to the fact supporters sing and say whatever they like, regardless of whether it causes offence.
    "That is the modern society I am afraid, we see a lot of that. Supporters react to many things, I don't think we can change that."
    3/29/2013 11:08:46 AM

    Manchester United can move a step closer to wrestling back the Premier League crown they lost to neighbours City last season when they travel to Sunderland at the weekend. If they're not careful Martin O'Neill's Black Cats could be sucked into a relegation scrap, with a winless run in seven top flight matches not boding well for Saturday, in a game that can be seen live on Sky Sports HD2. Read the full match preview here.
    Steven Fletcher being ruled out for the rest of the season has come as a body blow to Sunderland 
    by skysportsaldunnon Mar 29, 2013 at 11:15 AM
    3/29/2013 11:17:11 AM

    Was Roberto Mancini playing mind games when he conceded the title to Manchester United this week or just being realistic? Whichever way you call it, the Manchester City boss will demand three points from Saturday's clash with Newcastle at the Etihad. For full team news click here
    Do we believe Roberto Mancini's claim that he's conceded the title race is over? 
    by skysportsaldunnon Mar 29, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    3/29/2013 11:38:43 AM
  • An Easter treat as we raid the Sky Sports classics archive to bring you George Best on his bike

    3/29/2013 11:42:09 AM

    Everton will be looking to keep the heat on their rivals for a Premier League top-four spot when they host Stoke on Saturday evening. While Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal appear the main challengers for a UEFA Champions League place, the Toffees are not yet out of the running, sitting two points behind the Gunners in sixth. Read the full match preview here.
    3/29/2013 11:47:02 AM

    The proverbial six-pointer will play out at the DW Stadium on Saturday as Wigan host Norwich City looking to build-on a decent run of form they've enjoyed of late. Roberto Martinez's side followed up their 3-0 FA Cup quarter-final win at Everton with a 2-1 home success over Newcastle in the league last time out and another three points at the weekend would be just the tonic in their bid to beat the drop. Full match facts and team news here.
    3/29/2013 11:52:26 AM
  • Castleford legend Dean Sampson is the guest on the latest Super League Superstars

    3/29/2013 12:03:17 PM

    As ever it is a bumper day of Super League derbies on Good Friday. You can watch a double-bill of Wigan v St Helens and Hull FC v Hull KR on Sky Sports 1 HD, while Salford play Huddersfield and Widnes face Warrington in 3pm kick-offs.
    3/29/2013 12:10:56 PM

    [soccersaturday]  We've got exclusive interviews with Reading chairman Anton Zingarevich, Man City star Javi Garcia and Newcastle boss Alan Pardew on this week's show - as well as all of the goal news from across England and Scotland first!

    3/29/2013 12:13:45 PM
  • World Champion Phil Taylor received a hostile reception and was spat on walking to the oche in Glasgow.

    3/29/2013 12:18:06 PM
  • For those of you that like a flutter you could do worse that read our indispensable Numbers Game. The Numbers Game's Famous Last Words provided three odds-against winners from three selections last time out with Peterborough (100/30), Colchester (19/10) and Brighton (11/8) all winning. The Banker also returned a winner with Leyton Orient (21/20) sinking Carlisle
    This Easter weekend sees @MattPBriggs plump for the 7/4 Canaries to win (draw no bet) at Wigan. The Banker is a real value punt too with in-form Bristol Rovers a tasty-looking 19/20 to beat York, while all the usual stats and pointers return. Read it in full and win a shedload of cash to spend on Easter eggs here.
    3/29/2013 12:20:32 PM

    England may have to play a World Cup qualifier behind closed doors following allegations of racist chanting during last week's game against San Marino. Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) have contacted FIFA amid reports visiting supporters directed racist abuse at England defender Rio Ferdinand and his brother Anton. Read the full story here
    3/29/2013 12:30:07 PM

    Arsenal's Mikel Arteta offers sympathy to injured teammate Abou Diaby who is out for up to nine months with cruciate ligament injury.

    Really sad for Diaby's horrible injury!!We all wish him a very speedy recovery.
    .. All the best big man!!!
    Mikel Arteta
    via Twitter at 12:30 PM

    3/29/2013 12:34:03 PM

    Wigan have drawn first blood in their Good Friday clash with St Helens thanks to Pat Richards' converted try.
    3/29/2013 12:41:11 PM

    More joy for Wigan who go 12-0 up against St Helens with Sam Tomkins crossing and Richards adding the conversion.
    3/29/2013 12:43:02 PM

    We've every Premier League preview available in one handy place as we look ahead to a weekend that could have major repercussions at both ends of the table. For comprehensive match previews and team news for all the top flight matches over the Easter weekend step this way
    3/29/2013 12:44:43 PM
  • If you missed this yesterday, it's an absolute must-watch. Someone sign this fella up.

    3/29/2013 12:52:43 PM
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