The Sport Matrix: Friday 19 December 2014


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Walcott in running to face Liverpool

Theo Walcott could make his return to action at Liverpool on Sunday. Arsenal manager Arsène

Wenger said the forward is set to resume full training after a groin injury suffered while on England duty last month. Defender Nacho Monreal and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may also return this weekend. Wenger said: “There is a slight chance of Monreal being available and a very slight chance for Walcott.”

Poyet complains about recruitment 

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet yesterday issued a veiled attack on the club’s transfer policy when asked if he intended to strengthen his squad next month. “I want more quality. Do I think I’ll get it? I don’t know,” said Poyet, whose side face Newcastle United on Sunday. “If you ever get the chance to speak to anyone on the recruitment side and ask them about it, you are lucky. If you don’t, don’t ask me.”

Launchbury ruled out of Six Nations

England were dealt a blow yesterday as Wasps lock Joe Launchbury was ruled out of the Six Nations. His neck injury shows no sign of easing and he will undergo surgery today, putting him out for three or four months. “This is a frustrating time for Joe, but rugby is not the important thing in all this,” said Wasps rugby director David Young. “The important thing is his long-term health.”

Reus handed £430,000 fine for car crimes

Germany international Marco Reus has received what is believed to be the largest fine handed out by a German court for driving offences. The Borussia Dortmund forward was docked €540,000 (£430,000) for various misdemeanours, including not having a licence.

The 25-year-old, who is sought after by several of Europe’s leading clubs, has picked up speeding tickets at least five times since 2011, and the police realised he had been repeatedly driving without a licence.

Reus told German newspaper Bild: “The reasons I did it are something I cannot really understand. I know that I was too naive and that it was stupid.”

‘Boxing is enjoying surge in interest’

Boxing promoter Frank Warren believes the interest in the sport has risen hugely this year. There have been numerous sell-out shows and the i columnist writes today: “Boxing has fought back off the ropes and is now one of sport’s biggest hitters again, here and overseas.”