The Sports Matrix: Friday 4 March 2011

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Touré suspended after drug test

Manchester City defender Kolo Touré has been suspended after testing positive for a substance. The 29-year-old was informed by the Football Association that an A sample had returned positive, and the club last night suspended him from all matches. MORE

Bendtner hopeful over Barça match

Nicklas Bendtner is confident in his ability to lead the line in the Nou Camp next week. “I prefer to play up front,” he said, “but if the manager asks me to do a job on the right, where I can come inside, then you have just to play there to help the team. MORE

Warnock wary of Sven’s Leicester

Neil Warnock said that Sven Goran Eriksson’s Leicester City are “absolutely flying at the moment”, ahead of his QPR side facing them tomorrow. “We’re going to have to come up with the right answers to get something from the game.”

Salmond leads Old Firm criticism

The Scottish Government have called an emergency summit meeting in response to Wednesday’s controversial Old Firm derby. First minister Alex Salmond said that those involved in the fixture “must – absolutely must – behave responsibly”.

Ferguson to delay accepting ban

Sir Alex Ferguson’s legal advisers will this morning urge him to plead guilty to his improper conduct charge. Such a plea is unlikely to be immediate, as a threematch touch-line ban would then rule him out of Sunday’s match with Liverpool. MORE

Dalglish recalls 40 years of clashing with Ferguson

Kenny Dalglish will confront Sir Alex Ferguson again on Sunday, more than 40 years after they first met in an Old Firm reserve fixture. Dalglish (above) was an emerging teenager at Celticwhile Ferguson (right) was a Rangers striker. The pair have clashed repeatedly since then, first as players, then during Ferguson’s spells as manager of Aberdeen and Manchester United and Dalglish’s tenures at Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers. As fellow Glaswegians they have much in common, and Dalglish said yesterday that “whatever he says, that’s it, it’s just a part of the game.” When asked about their shared roots, Dalglish described Glasgow as “a great city to leave”. “I don’t know what it is, it’s never done me any harm,” he said. Ferguson has been charged by the Football Association with improper conduct over comments he made about Martin Atkinson on Tuesday evening after the defeat by Chelsea. MORE

England could well suffer from fatigue

England’s defeat to Ireland may owe something to fatigue. Ten of those who lost this week played in the Ashes. The players have been asked to peak for two significant events in the space of weeks. Graeme Swann, though, said it was “not an excuse”. MORE

Irish may not get chance in 2015

Ireland’s famous defeat of England may not be enough to win them a place in the next World Cup, in Australia in 2015. Changes to the format mean that there will only be 10 teams next time, presumably the 10 full ICC members, thus excluding Ireland. MORE

Tindall knows how Robinson works

England will face former coach Andy Robinson, now in charge of Scotland, next Sunday. “You know his mindset,” said Mike Tindall, who played for him. “With Andy, it’s always about physicality first. He’s excellent at spotting opposition weaknesses.” MORE

Discord ruins Tunisian warm-up

While James Ward says that Britain’s Davis Cup players have had difficult seasons so far, they have had an easier year than their Tunisian opponents. Malek Jaziri, their best player, had to curtail a recent practice because of gunfire amid political unrest. MORE

Adlington: There is life after London

While Rebecca Adlington is “excited” by the prospect of the 2012 Olympics, she knows there is more swimming to do. “People forget that there’s life before London,” she told i, “and after London too.” She said the aquatic centre “already looks amazing”. MORE

Afridi prevents Canada upset

Shahid Afridi’s five-wicket haul saw Pakistan to a 46-run victory over Canada despite a poor batting display. They could only manage 184 but Afridi’s 5 for 23 from 10 overs helped his side bowl Canada out for just 138.

Opinion: James Lawton

The involvement of Ally McCoist in the Old Firm enmity this week was particularly shocking. When McCoist was recently announced as the next Rangers manager there was hope his humour might dissipate the aggro. MORE