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The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 26 March 2013


Montenegro just where we want them, says Gerrard

Steven Gerrard said last night that England had got Montenegro "exactly where we want them" after manager Branko Brnovic went on a remarkable diatribe against Roy Hodgson's team before tonight's World Cup qualifier, accusing them of being scared and using long-ball tactics.

"They seem to be more interested in saying things and doing all the talking," said the England captain, above. "But talking doesn't win you football matches."

A victory for England in an expected hostile atmosphere at the City Stadium in Podgorica would put them top of World Cup Qualifying Group H by a point with four games remaining.

Wayne Rooney is likely to start in attack for England, with Manchester United team-mates Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley behind the striker alongside Manchester City's James Milner.

Straightforward in Miami for Murray

Second seed Andy Murray beat Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets last night to progress to the last 16 of the ATP Sony Open in Miami. The world No 3 made hard work of the first set, beating the Bulgarian on a tiebreak, but took the second set 6-3 to win in one hour and 54 minutes. MORE

Djokovic takes on revitalised Haas

Novak Djokovic tonight takes on Tommy Haas in the fourth round of the Miami Masters tonight, as the 34-year-old German continues his remarkable return to the top. Injuries had left Haas without a world ranking but he is now back up to No 18.

Stewart bemused by Vettel tactics

Sir Jackie Stewart has condemned Sebastian Vettel's tactics in Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, claiming he stole Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber's race. "I think he made a major mistake, and I really cannot understand what was going on in his head," he said. MORE

Woods finally back at world summit

Tiger Woods has returned to No 1 in the world for the first time in 29 months after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill, taking his total to 77 PGA Tour wins. A win for Rory Mcllroy at the Shell Houston Open this week will see him return to the top spot. MORE

Fred equaliser saves Brazil

Fred's late strike for Brazil ensured a 1-1 draw against Russia at Stamford Bridge last night. Fabio Capello's Russians went ahead through Viktor Fayzulin in the second half, before Brazil's last-gasp equaliser. MORE

England close to embarrassing loss

England were on the verge of a humiliating Test series defeat to New Zealand last night, despite making slow progress in the initial stages of the final day in Auckland. The tourists needed a record 481 runs to snatch an unlikely win, and were 107 for 4 with 83 overs remaining.

Opinion: James Lawton

One priority tonight is that England generally kick into touch the claim of the Montenegro coach Branko Brnovic that they have come into his country filled with apprehension. MORE

Sammon leaps in to lead Irish attack

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has handed Conor Sammon the task of leading the line against Austria tonight, in place of the injured Robbie Keane. Derby striker Sammon, 26, has won two caps for his country. MORE

Exiles given boost as Hagan signs up

London Irish have strengthened their front row by signing uncapped Ireland prop Jamie Hagan. The 25-year-old, who is yet to be capped by Ireland, has been described as "a future Test player" by the Exiles' rugby director, Brian Smith. MORE

Belfast qualifier given green light

Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Israel is set to go ahead tonight, despite snow twice caused the postponement of their match with Russia on Friday and Saturday. Israel trained on the Windsor Park pitch yesterday. MORE