Northern Ireland Open: World's best to contest Waterfront Hall event

Top stars including Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Williams, Mark Allen, Mark Selby and John Higgins will contest the NI Open at the Belfast Waterfront in November.

English rugby to introduce in-season breaks for players

The next three domestic rugby union campaigns will include in-season breaks for players, says the Rugby Football Union.

Marc Márquez – the Messi, Woods, Federer, Bolt and Hendrix of MotoGP | Richard Williams

Spaniard’s fifth world title displayed his ability to create a spectacle that leaves everyone, including rival riders, shaking their heads in wondermentOn Sunday at the Motegi circuit in Japan, Marc Márquez pulled off what Lewis Hamilton could not quite manage to achieve 15 hours later and 6,500 miles away in Texas: he won his fifth world championship in the top tier of his sport with three races to go. Now he stands level with Mick Doohan, the Australian ace of the 1990s, and only two titles away from Valentino Rossi’s seven and three from Giacomo Agostini, who won his eight championships between 1966 and 1975.The Catalan’s five MotoGP titles have come in the six seasons since he graduated from Moto2. As he is only 25, and there is no sign that success is taking the edge off his appetite, there is every likelihood he will match and then surpass Agostini’s total. This would be a fair reflection of a talent that could be likened to those displayed by Lionel Messi in football, Brian Lara in cricket, Simone Biles in gymnastics and Roger Federer in tennis: the ability to take a given set of parameters and bend them into new shapes, creating a spectacle that leaves everyone, including their rivals, shaking their heads in wonderment. Continue reading...

World Series 2018: The Red Sox or the Dodgers? Our writers’ predictions

Will Clayton Kershaw end the Dodgers’ title drought? Or will Mookie Betts and Co continue their rampaging regular-season form?This could very well be an epic World Series, even if it appears one-sided on paper. One would think that a Boston Red Sox team that beat the dangerous Houston Astros in five games, should be the heavy favorites. However, the ALCS was much closer than the 4-1 outcome suggests. (The numbers, for instance, say that Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel has been perfect in save situations this postseason, Boston fans will tell you that he was anything but.) Still, there was a reason that these Red Sox won a record number of games during the regular season and took out two very scary teams in the Yankees and the Astros. It should be close, which means that it may come down to who makes the right moves and, well, Red Sox fans trust Alex Cora more than Los Angeles Dodgers fans trust Dave Roberts. David Price gets two wins in the series and manages to hit a home run in one of the National League games and walks away with the MVP honors, kills all those postseason narratives and gains some benefit of the doubt from the Boston sports media … at least until his next game against the New York Yankees. Red Sox to win in seven. Continue reading...

The Fiver | A steadfast commitment to entertain

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!The idea that certain values should be upheld no matter the circumstances is one The Fiver has always fought dirty to uphold. Truly great football clubs do likewise. Take Bayern Munich, for example. Seven matches into the Bundesliga season, they would normally have the title wrapped up by now but instead they find themselves sprawled sixth in the table, their chances of winning the league for a 47th consecutive year reclassified from absolutely certain to more or less inevitable. This is a crisis. Continue reading...

David Squires on … José Mourinho's big day back at Chelsea

Our cartoonist looks back at an eventful afternoon at the Bridge for Chelsea and Manchester UnitedView all of David’s cartoons here Continue reading...

Champions League: Is this the best Juventus team of all time?

Football Focus takes a deeper look into Italian giants Juventus, questioning if Cristiano Ronaldo was the biggest signing in their history.

'I don't like this press conference': Mourinho unhappy with Pogba and Madrid questions – video

José Mourinho has denied any interest in taking over at Real Madrid saying that he wants to stay on as Manchester United manager beyond his current contract, which ends in the summer of 2020.Reports in Spain have claimed Mourinho is seen by Real as a replacement for Julen Lopetegui following the European champions’ disappointing start to the season. They sit seventh in La Liga, four points behind the leaders Barcelona, following Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Levante.Speaking ahead of United's Champions League tie against Juventus on Tuesday, a spiky Mourinho also deflected a question about Paul Pogba taking on his former club, saying: 'I don't like this press conference.' Continue reading...

Who is ready to take Alli's Spurs place? Garth's team of the week

Who does Garth Crooks absolutely adore? Which Tottenham player has extraordinary ability? Who which overrated international still makes the team?

Man City don't feel ready to win Champions League - Guardiola

Preview followed by live coverage of Tuesday's Champions League game between Shakhtar Donetsk and Manchester City.

Invictus Games 2018: Debbie O'Connell, double gold medallist, on her Invictus journey

Double gold medallist Debbie O'Connell tells us how she overcame paralysis in her left arm to triumph at the Invictus Games in Sydney.

Sports quiz of the week: Thierry Henry, unicorns and the smell of urine

Who broke a record? Who won twice? Who missed a penalty?Hiromu Inada completed the Ironman World Championship on Saturday, swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles and running 26.2 miles in just under 17 hours. What made his achievement extra special?He is 13 years oldHe completed the whole race alongside his dog, Rio It was his seventh Ironman in a weekHe is 85 years oldMore than 40,000 people have petitioned the Bank of England to put which Harry on the new £50 note?Harry KaneHarry RedknappHarry WinksHarry Maguire Thierry Henry has taken over as manager of Monaco, where he started his playing career. Which British footballer was in the Monaco team alongside Henry when the club won the league in the 1996-97 season?Paul LambertGlenn HoddleJohn CollinsMark HateleyHazratullah Zazai hit six sixes in a single over in the Afghanistan Premier League this week. What happened next?He completed a century in just 26 shotsHis team lost the gameHe took off his shirt and was dismissed for the “unbecoming” celebrationHe was bowled out on the next ball he facedWhich striker has now scored 55 goals for his country – a total that no player from England, France or the Netherlands can match?Romelu LukakuEdin DzekoSergio RamosMarko ArnautovicWhich two teams have won all of their games in the Nations League without conceding a goal?France and Portugal Finland and GeorgiaKosovo and Belarus Norway and SwedenOn Monday, Ronnie O’Sullivan called the venue for the English Open, a leisure centre in Crawley, “a hellhole” with “no atmosphere” that “smells of urine”. On Wednesday …He starred in an advert for a toilet cleaning productHe walked out to the table spraying a bottle of perfumeHe lost 11-0 to a teenagerHe hit a 147 in the same venueWhich football team had never won a competitive match a week ago, but have now won two in a row?LiechtensteinGibraltarSan Marino Faroe Islands Lewis Hamilton is hoping to win his fifth F1 title on Sunday in Texas at the US Grand Prix. What age was Hamilton when he won his first title?19212325Chelsea play Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday. When the teams met in the Champions League final a decade ago, the game was decided on penalties. Who missed the final kick?John TerryAshley ColeNicolas AnelkaMichael Ballack 1 and above.Oh dear. You're better than this.2 and above.Not the greatest score. There's always next week3 and above.You almost got half of them right. Take solace in that and enjoy your weekend.4 and above.You almost got half of them right. Take solace in that and enjoy your weekend.5 and above.That's a pass. Enjoy your weekend.6 and above.You've done well there. Well done. Enjoy your weekend.7 and above.A fine score. You should be proud of that performance.8 and above.A fine, fine score. You should be proud of that performance.9 and above.A fine, fine score. You should be proud of that performance.0 and above.Oh dear. You're better than this.10 and above.Top marks for you. Life doesn't get any better than this. Continue reading...

Arsenal 3-1 Leicester: Unai Emery praises Gunners' 'high quality' football

Manager Unai Emery praises Arsenal's second-half performance in their 3-1 Premier League win over Leicester City.

Tottenham's academy is succeeding thanks to locally sourced players

In the first of a new monthly series looking at youth football, Gavin Willacy investigates Spurs’ supply line of midfieldersBy Gavin Willacy for Playing in the ShadowsTottenham fans may have been concerned by the sight of Harry Winks playing for England in Spain last week after starting just three Premier League games his return from a long-term ankle injury. But they should be excited as there is more to come from that particular talent pool: gifted local central midfielders.Tottenham created history by being the first team in the Premier League era to not sign anyone during the summer transfer window, but there was a new face in their opening-day win at Newcastle. Luke Amos was promoted to the squad and given his first five minutes of action in the top flight. The 21-year-old tore his ACL in a reserve game against Blackburn the following week and is now out for the season. That has enabled an even younger midfielder to push himself forward. Continue reading...

Fifa president submits plan for annual Club World Cup

• Gianni Infantino wants top Premier League clubs involved• Uefa opposed to potential threat to Champions LeagueThe Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, has submitted a potentially explosive proposal for a lucrative, revamped Club World Cup, featuring top Premier League and European clubs and to be played every season. Uefa is understood to be fiercely opposed to the proposals, which will be considered by Fifa’s council meeting in Rwanda on Wednesday. European football’s governing body will regard any plan for an annual club tournament as a direct challenge to the Champions League.Uefa and the European Club Association were highly critical of Fifa’s proposals earlier this year to reconfigure the Club World Cup. Speaking at the time, Infantino said he had investors, who were never identified, willing to pay $12bn for four tournaments every four years from 2021. The Japanese finance house Softbank is widely reported to be representing the plan’s financial backers, whom Fifa has not named, although the world governing body has downplayed reports that a major portion of the money is coming from Saudi Arabia. Continue reading...