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Sky Sports Today - Thursday April 4

Sky Sports Today - Thursday April 4

  • The Valero Texas Open golf starts tonight on Sky Sports, hopefully no-one will repeat Kevin Na's nightmare from a couple of years ago.

    4/4/2013 8:33:04 AM

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is convinced that Theo Walcott will soon rediscover his touch in front of goal and has rejected suggestions the winger has become complacent since signing a new deal at the club.
    He didn't play well and had not signed a contract, then people would say the opposite. I don't think that is linked, especially with the fact that he has signed a contract or not. Because you can say as well he is more secure, he can express himself. At Bayern he didn't have the greatest game, but he still brought the goal. He will come back.
    4/4/2013 8:39:23 AM

    [skybet] It's Heineken Cup quarter-final weekend and we've got all the latest betting updates from Sky Bet's Jordan Fiddies on where the smart money is going.
    Home advantage is key in the quarter-finals and for all four to win at home, you can get odds of nearly 3/1, which we've seen people opt for early on.

    4/4/2013 8:47:17 AM

    Three Premier League sides are in action in the first legs of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final ties this evening - with Chelsea, Tottenham and Newcastle still flying the English flag in Europe. We've put together scouting reports on their three opponents:
    • Newcastle face arguably the toughest tie of all the English clubs in the quarter-finals with a trip to Portugal beckoning to face local champions Benfica.
    • Tottenham fans will have been pleased with their draw against Europa League rank outsiders Basel, but the Swiss club have the potential to cause an upset.
    • In amongst their FA Cup and Premier League fixture congestion, Chelsea face a daunting trip to Russia to face Rubin Kazan, who have already knocked out holders Atletico Madrid.
    4/4/2013 8:48:58 AM

    It's the start of the Grand National meeting at Aintree today, and Alex Hammond is here to mark your card on who the big winners will be today.
    4/4/2013 8:58:10 AM

    [graemesouness]Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness has been speaking to Sky Sports News about last night's UEFA Champions League action. He does not believe Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos were deliberately seeking yellow cards against Galatasaray in the quarter-final first leg in order to miss the second leg and arrive clear of cards for the semi-final.
    I don’t think so. I think that would be a high-risk strategy. I think, even though Real Madrid were 3-0 up, that’s a pretty high-risk strategy if you’re going down that road. It’s impossible to prove. 
    Out of the teams left in Europe's top club competition, Souness feels four-time winners Barcelona have the edge, but admits defensive weaknesses could hinder them. 
    There’s always something to enjoy about Barcelona, whenever they play. For me, Lionel Messi is the best that’s ever played the game. Deep down I’ve got to believe it’s Barcelona, but I do worry about them defensively.
    Souness also looked towards Newcastle's UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg with Benfica this evening and insists Alan Pardew's men must keep one eye on their Premier League campaign, with safety not yet guranteed.
    They find themselves in difficult situation because they’ve got to be looking over their shoulder, they’re not safe yet. But at the same time they’ve got a glamorous tie with Benfica. They have to have one eye on keeping their Premier League status. That would be a disaster for them to drop out of that league.  
    4/4/2013 9:00:18 AM

    Australian seamer James Pattinson will miss the IPL due to abdominal surgery, but is hopeful of being available for the Ashes this summer.
    4/4/2013 9:03:45 AM

    [twtr]We've had more reaction coming in to Rafael Benitez's admission that he wants to land another Premier League post once his spell as Chelsea interim boss comes to an end.
    @SkySports #skysportstoday Newcastle.. Ben Carter via Twitter at 9:43 AM
    #skysportstoday Well I don't want him back at Liverpool he ruined us he sold everyone e.g Xabi Alonso, Mascherano, Riera, Risse. Sunny Jim via Twitter at 9:08 AM
    @SkySports #skysportstoday Newcastle man city wok via Twitter at 9:05 AM
    Have your say - #skysportstoday
    4/4/2013 9:07:11 AM
  • 4/4/2013 9:10:28 AM

    Reading are rock-bottom of the Premier League and eight points adrift of safety but Hal Robson-Kanu has warned the Royals' relegation rivals the fight for survival is not over yet.
    The season doesn't end at 31 games, it ends at 38. We need to make the most of every single one, and that starts on Saturday.
    New manager Nigel Adkins has pleaded for patience from the fans as he looks to implement his ideas on the pitch, asking them to lay off the players.
    I want the players to pass the ball and to do that there needs to be no reprisals if they give the ball away. It is a decision-making process to pass it and sometimes the ball will go astray. They've got to know they can do that with the supporters being appreciative of the way they want to go and play and being supportive of them. I know we'll get that because everyone - if you're a Reading supporter, you just want Reading Football club to do well.
    4/4/2013 9:20:17 AM

    With three English clubs involved in the UEFA Europa League action this evening, we look ahead to the quarter-final first legs in our individual previews:
    4/4/2013 9:25:46 AM

    Dominic Cork is freezing cold as he’s out at his former side Derbyshire today on their pre-season media day.
    It’s absolutely freezing here, with the wind chill it must be about minus three, and with just six days to go until the start of the new season.
    We'll have more throughout the day from Derbyshire as the build-up to the new season continues - Check out our Cricket Section for all the latest.
    4/4/2013 9:41:32 AM

    Tony Pulis has urged Stoke City supporters to put their feelings towards him to one side and get behind the players. The Potters have endured an alarming dip in form since the turn of the year, with just five points collected from 11 fixtures in 2013.
    Our supporters have made the Britannia the place it is and I know they will carry on doing that because they love their club so much. What they think of me does not matter now, it's what they think of the team that counts.
    4/4/2013 9:46:10 AM
  • GOLF

    Rory McIlroy may not have been in the best form this year - but he's not bothered one bit as long as he gets another major title under his belt.
    I don't care if I miss ten cuts in a row and win a major a year. I don't care. I mean that's what it's all about, winning the big tournaments.
    McIlroy will tee it up in Texas tonight in his final Masters prep, live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm.
    4/4/2013 9:50:45 AM
  • The men accused of attacking cricketer Jesse Ryder have appeared in court today - here's the latest.

    4/4/2013 9:57:22 AM

    For the Moneyball generation, analytics has become cool. But what happens next? Adam Bate was at the Sports Analytics Innovation Summit in London last month to discover how those at the centre of the industry believe the revolution is progressing.
    4/4/2013 10:02:30 AM

    Audley Harrison has suggested he will walk away from boxing for good if he loses to Deontay Wilder on April 27.
    Lose and it's over, win and I'm in the top ten for sure, eligible to challenge for the world title. Biggest risk for the biggest reward. It can't get any better than that.
    4/4/2013 10:08:41 AM

    [ssn] At a chilly Edgbaston, Ian Bell has been speaking to us and he says he does not think Australia’s recent woes will have any impact on this summer’s Ashes series, which he believes will still be as tough as ever.
    Australia are always going to be tough, the Ashes is different to other bits of Test cricket, we’ll just be working as hard as we can as a group to be ready for that series. 
    4/4/2013 11:14:29 AM

    Stoke striker Cameron Jerome believes the pressure is all on Aston Villa as the two sides prepare to go head-to-head at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, with the Midlanders currently sitting in the Premier League bottom three.
    Villa are right in the relegation mix. Whilst we know we aren't clear of that threat either just yet, it is a game Villa know they really have to win. It's not do or die for us though, not at all, but we do understand the need of getting a win under our belts to give us a bit more breathing space, and in many ways take some of the pressure off. That is my responsibility. Beyond that, it does not concern me.
    4/4/2013 11:25:06 AM

    Great Britain go into their Davis Cup tie with Russia without Andy Murray, and now without Jamie Baker who has been replaced in the team by Dan Evans. The winner of the tie in Coventry will go into a World Group play-off.
    4/4/2013 11:27:21 AM

    Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Manchester United have received a boost with the news Wayne Rooney and Rafael have returned to training and should be available for Monday night's Manchester derby, which is live on Sky Sports HD1.  Rooney returned from international duty with a groin injury, while Rafael suffered a similar problem during Saturday's win at Sunderland.
    Wayne and Rafael started training this morning, which is good news. They should be fine by Monday.
    4/4/2013 11:33:43 AM
  • It's a big weekend for grapple fans as WWE Wrestlemania hits Sky Sports screens - here's our promo for the event and read all about it & how to book in our WWE section.

    4/4/2013 11:44:56 AM

    [ssn]As promised, Sir Alex Ferguson has been speaking in a press conference on Sky Sports News and has discussed Robin van Persie's scoring drought. The manager feels the Dutch striker was unlucky not to be awarded the winner at Sunderland last weekend after it was deflected in off Titus Bramble.
    It’s a bit disappointing last week that the goal wasn’t awarded to him, his shot was a fantastic shot. His ability to manoeuvre and his position at that point was excellent, there’s no doubt about that. The goals are there, they’ll come. All strikers have dry spells and hope it ends quickly and that will be the same for Robin, it’s part of being a striker. You have to get through that period and don’t lose your faith in yourself and your belief.
    Ferguson also had his say on Martin O'Neill's sacking at the Stadium of Light after Paolo Di Canio replaced him this week.
    I’ve not had chance to speak to him. I did try to phone the other day but he didn’t answer. He’s a good guy, Martin. There was no indication anything was going to happen, I had no idea until that evening. I’m disappointed for him. He’s never been sacked before. The only thing I’m focusing on is how Sunderland are going to do in the next few weeks. When teams are at the bottom of the league it doesn’t matter who you play – it’s not easy. 
    4/4/2013 11:48:10 AM

    Team news is in for tonight's Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final between Gloucester & Biarritz - the game is live from Kingsholm on Sky Sports 2 HD.
    4/4/2013 11:49:03 AM

    Paul Lambert has warned Stoke are in for a rude awakening if Aston Villa draw them into a relegation scrap on Saturday.
    Suddenly there are other teams that have been pulled into it, teams who haven't had to get their heads around it and we'll see now what happens.
    4/4/2013 11:58:27 AM
  • We've got out exclusive behind the scenes 'Off the Oche' video ahead of tonight's Judgement Night in the darts.

    4/4/2013 12:04:12 PM

    We have just received a statement from Blackburn Rovers in response to speculation regarding the position of managing director Derek Shaw. Rumours had suggested Shaw had been told to stay away from the club. 
    The club's owners wish it to be known that, contrary to those widespread rumours, Mr. Shaw is very much with the club and insist that all other recent reports are untrue.
    Stay with us for the full story.
    4/4/2013 12:12:57 PM

    Daniel Routledge previews Manchester's big clash with London in his column this week. In the final regular season round of the season who will snatch the final play-off berth?
    One thing I am certain of is there will be no quarter given or asked, no lack of pride for the shirt.
    Read Daniel Routledge's blog here.

    4/4/2013 3:14:49 PM

    [ssn] David Ginola has been speaking live to Sky Sports News in central London ahead of his former club, Tottenham Hotspur’s, game against Basel. Speaking about Tottenham’s priorities, Ginola said…
    I think all the games are important. When you are a football player, you want to win every trophy. For Spurs, after last season, they will want to finish third. They will also want to beat Basel tonight to give them a good chance to reach the Europa League semi-finals.
    Ginola has also been discussing another of his former club’s, Newcastle United, and how their Europa League run could impact on their fight against Premier League relegation. 
    Beating Benfica will give them something extra. It is not about the travelling. When you are a footballer, you know you will play a lot of games. More games for Newcastle will give them the confidence they need for the rest of the season.
    4/4/2013 3:18:59 PM
  • GOLF

    [ssn] Check out Special Report's US Masters preview, 7.30pm, Monday, Sky Sports News HD, in which we speak to Lee Westwood and look at the form of some of the leading Augusta contenders. Click here for more info.

    4/4/2013 3:20:02 PM

    Big shock at Aintree as 100-1 shot Tartan Snow wins the Foxhunters Chase run over the same fences as the Grand National - could we see the same on Saturday?
    4/4/2013 3:27:42 PM
  • Football

    [peterbeagrie] Will Crewe's Wembley experience and army of match-winners prove too much for Southend in this weekend’s Johnstone's Paint Trophy final? Peter Beagrie thinks so…
    Phil Brown, who won the Johnstone's Paint Trophy while playing for Bolton in 1989 and took Hull up to the Premier League at Wembley in 2008, could become an instant hero if in just his third game in charge he guides the Shrimpers to silverware.
    4/4/2013 3:27:46 PM

    Aleksandar Kolarov has raised the temperature ahead of Monday's Manchester derby by claiming City are a better side than United, before conceding that the Red Devils deserve to land the Premier League title.
    They are confident in this moment and it will be a different game but - if we play like we know, if we are all at 100 per cent - I think we are better than them.
    4/4/2013 3:31:28 PM

    Elsewhere in the Premier League, Steve Bould has revealed that Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott could return to action for Arsenal for their fixture with Norwich next Saturday.
    We have good news with both of them. Jack and Theo are outside running and have an outside chance of being involved against Norwich a week on Saturday.
    4/4/2013 3:34:47 PM

    There is also good news for Swansea player Neil Taylor. Michael Laudrup says the full-back is close to making a first-team return after being out of action since September. Taylor broke and dislocated his ankle in a challenge with Sunderland's Craig Gardner but despite being expected to miss the rest of the season, the 24-year-old could return before the summer.
    Physically he is quite close to being back. He has trained with us for some weeks, but we all know match fitness is a different level and only by coming back will he get that.
    4/4/2013 3:43:43 PM

    Being the age the manager is and not having any real coaching experience, being his first job, I think it's always a risk, but somebody has got to take that risk for someone to do well. Hopefully the risk in appointing him will be good for the club.
    4/4/2013 3:50:29 PM
  • [bn] Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure signs a new four-year contract.
    4/4/2013 3:51:05 PM

    Goal! Papiss Cisse has put Newcastle ahead away to Benfica. Crucial away goal. You can follow live and interactive text commentary here or stay updated on all the games in our Score Centre.
    4/4/2013 7:20:35 PM

    Biarritz scored five tries, including two for Teddy Thomas, during a 41-31 victory over Gloucester at Kingsholm in the quarter-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup.
    4/4/2013 9:14:55 PM

    All the Europa League games are over and we have the match reports up on the site now. News of Tottenham 2 Basel 2 is here, while Chelsea's 3-1 win over Rubin Kazan is here and details of Newcastle's 3-1 defeat at Benfica can be read here
    4/4/2013 9:16:42 PM
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