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The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 28 January 2014

Gerrard discovers new tension in Mersey rivalry

15 years on from being sent off in his first Anfield derby, Steven Gerrard (below) is more fired up than ever ahead of the Merseyside game tonight. Liverpool and Everton are both vying for Champions League spots, with the pressure seemingly on the wealthier hosts. “But this is the tension we want,” he says. “I’ve spoken many times before when we’ve been nowhere near a top four race.” MORE

Lancaster faces selection gamble

Injuries have left coach Stuart Lancaster with little choice but to take a significant gamble when England play France in Paris in their Six Nations opener, with no specialist outside centre in the squad and the problems the team could face on the left wing. MORE

Arsenal’s kit deal ‘should help fans’ 

Arsenal have been urged by Liverpool fans’ group Spirit of Shankly not to charge them £93 for tickets for next month’s FA Cup tie, after the club confirmed a record-breaking £150m kit deal with Puma. The new deal will start this summer, and is worth £30m per year. MORE

Moyes: Champions League won’t Mata

Manchester United will continue to pursue the world’s best players even if they fail to qualify for the Champions League, said David Moyes. The man sitting with him, Juan Mata was proof. “I think players will still join Manchester United for what the club stands for,” he said.

Cabaye may leave, admits Pardew

Alan Pardew offered no promises to Newcastle fans over the future of Yohan Cabaye in the face of sustained interest from French big spenders Paris St Germain. “No, I’m not confident,” Pardew said when asked about Cabaye ahead of tonight’s trip to Norwich City. MORE

Home comforts ‘sacred’ for French

According to loose-head prop Yannick Forestier, it is time Les Bleus took some pride in their home performances, starting with England’s visit to the Stade de France. “I am from the old school and I believe home is sacred,” he said yesterday.

Salah can be Blues’ new wing wizard

Chelsea’s new winger Mohamed Salah could emulate Chelsea old boy Arjen Robben, according to Branislav Ivanovic. “He reminds me of Robben, the way he plays always going from the right wing but going inside left-footed,” the Blues defender said. MORE

Swann ‘not good enough’ to play on

Graeme Swann has defended his decision to leave midway through England’s tour of Australia. The spinner said: “If someone has come to the realisation that they’re not good enough, why would you want them to keep playing?” MORE

T20 suits England in hunt for Ashes

The England women’s captain, Charlotte Edwards, has welcomed the switch to cricket’s shorter format as her side try to retain the Ashes. “Twenty20 is a format that we’ve been very successful at over a period of time now,” she said.

Wawrinka: This is my time to shine

Stanislas Wawrinka believes he can challenge the elite after his Australian Open title. “I realise that when I play my best tennis I can beat Novak, I can beat Rafa, in a Grand Slam, in a final, in a semi-final,” he said. MORE

Ian Herbert

The last time Everton made the Champions League, in 2006, David Moyes was named manager of the year. Roberto Martinez would deserve at least the same considering Liverpool’s presence. MORE

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