The group draw for next year’s World Cup in Russia indicates that England and Spain should qualify for the knockout stage
The eight groups are:
- Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay
- Iran, Morocco, Portugal, Spain
- Australia, Denmark, France, Peru
- Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria
- Brazil, Costa Rica, Serbia, Switzerland
- Germany, Mexico, South Korea, Sweden
- Belgium, England, Panama, Tunisia
- Colombia, Japan, Poland, Senegal
The opening game is Russia v Saudi Arabia on 14 June 2018; Spain meet Portugal 24 hours later and it’s England v Tunisia on 18 June. The top two from each group will enter the last 16, with the final taking place on 15 July.
After recent results, Manchester City, 2-1 winners over lowly West Ham, lead the Premiership by eight points. This was City’s 14th successive PL win – a record.
In a brilliant match at The Emirates, Manchester United (2nd) had Paul Pogba sent-off in a 3-1 win over Arsenal (5th); Chelsea (3rd) beat Newcastle 3-1; Liverpool (4th) won 5-1 at Brighton and Spurs (6th) drew 1-1 at Watford.
Wolves (after winning 1-0 at Birmingham) lead Cardiff by four points at the top of the Championship while struggling Sunderland, beaten by Reading, haven’t won in 21 homes games.
SPL top-dogs Celtic, now unbeaten in 67 domestic games, battered Motherwell 5-1.
La Liga leaders Barcelona are well clear of fourth-placed Real Madrid who had Sergio Ramos sent-off for a record 19th time in their 0-0 draw with Bilbao.
The last 72 hours has seen action in two major European competitions with five English clubs set to make progress in the Champions and this weekend there are three Premiership derbies – the 109th West Ham-Chelsea meeting (Saturday) and the 175th Manchester clash at Old Trafford and the 229th Merseyside battle at Anfield (Sunday).
The 3rd round FA Cup draw has produced some intriguing ties including Bournemouth-Fylde/Wigan, Coventry-Stoke, Fleetwood/Hereford-Leicester, Forest Green/Exeter-WBA, Fulham-Southampton, Liverpool-Everton, Manchester City-Burnley, Manchester United-Derby, Middlesbrough-Sunderland, Norwich-Chelsea, Nottingham Forest-Arsenal, Shrewsbury-West Ham, Spurs-AFC Wimbledon and Wolves-Swansea. Ties to be played on 5/6/7 January.
Australia beat unlucky England 6-0 in the Rugby League World Cup final in Brisbane, while Wales defeated South Africa 24-22 in a ‘Union’ friendly in Cardiff.
Exeter (40 points) lead the Aviva Premiership from Gloucester (32); Glasgow and Scarlets top the Pro12 sections A & B respectively.
Australia beat England by 120 runs in the second Test in Adelaide to go two-nil up in the five match series.
Aussies fast bowler Mitchell Starc destroyed Joe Root’s team on the final morning. The third Test starts in Perth on 14 December.
Reigning champion Mark Selby, Ken Doherty, Judd Trump and Neil Robertson crashed out of the UK Snooker Championship early doors; the final is at York’s Barbican on Sunday.
Rickie Fowler won the Heroes Golf Championship in the Bahamas; GB’s Tommy Fleetwood was third while Tiger Woods had three good rounds and finished eighth.
Alfie Hewett beat Gordon Reid in the all-British Wheelchair Tennis Masters final.
Birmingham must wait to see if they’ll host the 2022 Commonwealth Games and 48 Russians have been banned from athletics for drug abuse.
And GB Olympian Jade Jones has added the world Taekwondo Grand Prix title to her C.V.
Did You Know?
From 1998-2003 Wolfgang Wolf managed German Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg.