The Sports Matrix: Friday 20 April 2012


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Muamba could play 'next season'

Owen Coyle says Fabrice Muamba could play for Bolton again as he continues to recover from a cardiac arrest. "It wouldn't surprise me," the manager said. "[But he's] not under pressure. [If] he feels up to it then all good and well. If it's next season, great." MORE

City lose patience with Johnson

Adam Johnson is under pressure to prove that he deserves a future at Manchester City as doubts persist over the England player's lifestyle. City manager Roberto Mancini is believed to harbour doubts over the winger's long-term suitability at the club. MORE

Final countdown across Europe

Barcelona host leaders Real Madrid tomorrow as the race for the Spanish league hots up, with Pep Guardiola's side four points off the summit with five matches remaining. i examines the race for the title in each of Europe's main leagues. MORE

Atletico take giant stride toward final

Atletico Madrid have one foot in next month's final after easing to a 4-2 win over Valencia in last night's semi-final first leg, Radamel Falcao scoring twice. In the other tie, Diego Capel's 80th-minute winner helped Sporting Lisbon edge Athletic Bilbao 2-1.

Players' union fury at RFU 'leak' silence

The Rugby Players' Association is determined to identify the problems of England's World Cup campaign, despite the RFU's refusals to release the results of its inquiries. "To let it fade into the background [is not] acceptable," said chief executive Damian Hopley. MORE

Judd focuses on trumping rivals

Judd Trump has insisted he will let his potting speak for him at the World Championship as he seeks to better last year's efforts, when he made the final. "I'm going to let my snooker do the talking," he said. "Because too many have been talking about my lifestyle." MORE

Murray handed yet another bye

Andy Murray benefited from an injury-enforced withdrawal for the fourth time in five tournaments, the Scot being given a bye at the Monte Carlo Masters after Julien Benneteau withdrew after a fall. Murray today faces Tomas Berdych in the last eight. MORE

KP goes nuts but Strauss washed out

Kevin Pietersen struck a maiden Twenty20 century to help IPL side Delhi Daredevils beat Deccan Chargers by five wickets. His England captain, Andrew Strauss, endured a frustrating washout with Middlesex in their match with Durham at Lord's. MORE

Drogba forces Chelsea to wait over new contract

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has told the club he has no desire to hold further discussions on his future until the end of the campaign, increasing the likelihood that the Ivorian will be free to walk away from Stamford Bridge for free in the summer.

The 34-year-old, whose contract expires in June, has rejected a one-year deal in the hope of being offered a two-season contract by the club. He has been linked with moves to Europe, the US and China, where former team-mate Nicolas Anelka now plays. Tottenham and Liverpool have also been mentioned.

Drogba joined Chelsea from Marseilles in 2004 and has scored over 150 goals for the club, but struggled for form under previous manager Andre Villas-Boas.

A new coach and an on-field revival, culminating in his winner against Barcelona in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final, has seen his stock at the club rise once again. MORE