The Sports Matrix: Friday 27 April 2012


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The Independent Online

Chelsea on alert as Guardiola set to step down at Barca

Pep Guardiola is expected to walk away from his role as Barcelona head coach today, four years and 13 trophies after taking over. Guardiola is understood to be meeting his players today to inform them he cannot carry on, and then make it public in a joint press conference with the club's president Sandro Rosell.

The Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who has made no secret of his desire to bring Guardiola to Stamford Bridge, must now wait to see if the coach walks away from football for a year or straight into the club that has just knocked him out of the Champions League. MORE

Bilbao to face Madrid in final

It will be an all-Spanish Europa League final in Bucharest on 9 May, between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao. Bilbao beat Sporting 3-1 (4-3 on aggregate), and Madrid beat fellow Spaniards Valencia 1-0 (5-2 on aggregate) in their semi-finals last night.

Ferguson: City are now major rivals

With three days to go before the vital Premier League Manchester derby on Monday, Sir Alex Ferguson has conceded that Manchester City are now the main rivals to his Manchester United side, saying City "are our direct opponents now". MORE

No handshake for Ferdinand and Terry

There will be no handshakes before QPR's match at Chelsea on Sunday. Chelsea's John Terry is due to appear in court on 9 July to answer the charge of racially aggravated abuse against QPR's Anton Ferdinand. Terry denies the charges. MORE

Team GB to take on Brazil in friendly

Great Britain's men will play an Olympic warm-up against Brazil at Middlesbrough on 20 July, the Football Association has announced. Team GB's women's team will play Sweden as part of a double-header at the Riverside Stadium. MORE

Larsson could be back for Sweden

Sebastian Larsson is expected to be fit in time to face England with Sweden in Euro 2012 in June, despite undergoing a hernia operation on Tuesday. The Sunderland midfielder had been carrying the problem for some time. MORE

Trott hits century as Bell out for duck

Jonathan Trott hit an unbeaten century for Warwickshire as they closed day one against Sussex on 281 for 5. Trott's fellow batsman for both county and England, Ian Bell, continued his poor run of form after he was dismissed for a duck. MORE

First Crucible clash for two of the greats

Stephen Hendry and John Higgins, who have won 11 world championships between them, will face each other for the first time at the World Snooker Championship today, at the Crucible. Hendry sad he was the clear "underdog". MORE

Team Sky's streak ends in Switzerland

Team Sky's winning streak in the Tour de Romandie ended yesterday, but Britain's Bradley Wiggins retained the overall lead. The 149.1km second stage, from Montbeliard to Moutier, was won by Saur-Sojasun's Jonathan Hivert. MORE

Interview: Tim Ream

"It was an interesting time [joining Bolton]. But it was scary. Less than 24 hours after my wedding I got the phone call from Bolton, but it was within 12 hours of me leaving on a flight for my honeymoon." MORE