World Sports News in Brief

Messi could make Barca return against Dortmund

Tuesday, 2019-09-17 07:45:22
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Lionel Messi (right) trained with his team-mates on Monday. (Photo: Reuters)
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Barcelona captain Lionel Messi could make his comeback from injury against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday in the Champions League.

The Argentina striker has not played since sustaining a calf injury in pre-season, but Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde named him in the group which arrived in Germany on Monday. Messi trained on Sunday and Monday after missing the first three La Liga matches of the season.

* Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp declared Manchester City as the best team in the world even though the Premier League champions have yet to win Europe's premier club competition. As his team prepared to begin their Champions League title defence by taking on Napoli in a Group E encounter on Tuesday, the German dismissed suggestions that his side should be viewed as favourites to lift the trophy again.

* Ajax Amsterdam will have to cope without influential midfielder Donny van de Beek and flying fullback Noussair Mazraoui for Tuesday’s Champions League game at home to Lille, coach Erik ten Hag said on Monday. Van de Beek is struggling with a thigh injury while Mazraoui returned from playing in Olympic Games qualifiers for Morocco last week with a knee complaint.

* Olympique Lyonnais captain Jason Denayer will be fit to play against Zenit St Petersburg in their Champions League opener on Tuesday and help the French side improve in defence.

* Real Madrid defender Marcelo will miss the Champions League Group A clash at Paris St. Germain on Wednesday after sustaining a back injury, the club said. The Brazilian, set to be replaced at left back by Ferland Mendy as the record 13-time winners' make their European bow, joins the long list of injuries suffered by Madrid this season.

* Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has signed a new contract that will keep him at Old Trafford until at least June 2023, the Premier League club said on Monday. De Gea, 28, had entered the final year of his contract and would have been able to open talks with clubs outside England over a possible move in January. The Spain international has made 367 appearances for United since joining the club in 2011.

* West Ham United, reduced to 10 men for the final 23 minutes, held on for a goalless draw at Aston Villa in the Premier League on Monday. The Hammers move up to eighth place with the point, while promoted Villa are now one spot above the relegation zone on four points from their opening five games.

* European champions Liverpool were left waiting to see who they will face in the Club World Cup semi-finals after Monday’s draw pitted them against four potential opponents. They were drawn to face the winners of the quarter-final between CONCACAF champions Monterrey of Mexico and either Al Sadd, champions of hosts Qatar, or Hienghene Sport, Oceania title holders, who meet in a preliminary round match.

* Frank Lampard is proud to be leading Chelsea back into the Champions League but will be without defender Antonio Rudiger for Tuesday's clash with Valencia at Stamford Bridge. The club's record scorer is preparing for his first game in the competition as a manager, having replaced Maurizio Sarri.

* Sheffield United's Kevin McCabe has been ordered by a High Court to sell his 50% share in the English football team to co-owner Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Premier League club announced on Monday.

* World number two Karolina Pliskova has become the second singles player to qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen after top-ranked Ash Barty, the WTA Tour said on Monday. The 27-year-old Czech won the inaugural Zhengzhou Open on Sunday, adding to trophies won in Brisbane, Rome and Eastbourne, and will make her fourth appearance in the Oct 27 to Nov 3 Finals which offer US$14 million in prize money.

* Chapecoense have appointed former Brazil youth team boss Marquinhos Santos as head coach as they fight to avoid relegation to the country's second division. Santos signed a deal that runs until December and will take charge of his first training session on Tuesday, Chapecoense said in a statement on Monday. The 40-year-old replaces Emerson Cris, who was named caretaker manager after the July sacking of Ney Franco.

* Brazil will meet Senegal and Nigeria in international friendlies in Singapore next month as the five-time world champions prepare for the South American zone's 2022 World Cup qualifiers. The Selecao will play two more friendlies in November in their final matches before the start of the CONMEBOL region's World Cup qualifiers next March.

Reuters, Xinhua