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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

The Morning Score: Thursday

Everything you need to know by 9am except whether Ireland will win by three or four tonight.

Jelena Jankovic in action during day three of the AEGON Championships in Birimingham.
Jelena Jankovic in action during day three of the AEGON Championships in Birimingham.
Image: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

1. #DAVID V GOLIATH It’s here. Ireland face the reigning world and European champions in Gdansk this evening.

Both managers are experienced old hands and both have left us guessing as to the make-up of their staring line-ups.

Giovanni Trapattoni is likely to make just one change, with Jon Walters ready to come in in place of Kevin Doyle. Vicente Del Bosque has left unsubtle hints that he may start with two strikers, having started with none last week.

Last night, the group of death seemed to claim victim number one with the Netherlands on the edge of a humiliating exit following defeat to Germany was coupled with Portugal’s thrilling win over Denmark.

2.#ROUND TWO: Ireland and New Zealand have named their teams ahead of Saturday morning’s second summer test in Christchurch. Declan Kidney has recalled Gordon D’Arcy, Mike Ross and Andrew Trimble.

Kevin McLaughlin has also been drafted in to the side with Peter O’Mahony the man to make way. Blind side flanker is the one position in which the All Blacks have made their enforced change; Adam Thomson playing in the absence of Victor Vito. 20-year-old, Sam Cane could make his debut off the bench.

3. MERRY-GO-ROUND Tottenham Hotspur have ‘mutually consented’ Harry Redknapp. The man who could have been managing England in Euro 2012 is thought to have fallen out with Chairman Daniel Levy.

Across London town, Roberto DiMatteo has been handed the big job, for real this time, by Roman Abramovich. Di Matteo picked up the pieces at Chelsea midway through last season and somehow managed to mould them back into a side capable of winning the Champions League.

4. #LANCE The seven times Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong, could soon have zero titles to his name. It emerged last night that USADA would bring formal charges of doping against the American cyclist. Lance has had his right of reply, read the full story here.

5. #US OPEN Rory McIlroy will hope for a sharp upturn in form today as he tees off in defence of his US Open crown at the Olympic club in California.

The course may just suit McIlroy as it is unmercifully long, including this 670 yard 16th hole.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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