The Sports Matrix: Thursday 18 August 2011

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The Independent Online

Murray grinds out warm-up victory

Andy Murray continued his preparations for the US Open with an initially scratchy win over David Nalbandian in the second round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. The Scot recovered from an opening drop of serve to win 6-4 6-1. MORE

Care to miss World Cup with injury

England’s World Cup preparations continue to be hit by injury – coach Martin Johnson is now without scrum-half Danny Care for the tournament due to a toe injury. Ben Youngs, the best alternative, is also struggling to be fit for the trip to New Zealand. MORE

Mongan praised after Stakes win

Sir Henry Cecil congratulated Ian Mongan after the 32-year-old rode Twice Over to victory ahead of stablemate Midday in the Juddmonte International Stakes. “Ian really deserves this,” Cecil said. “He’s very underrated.” MORE

Redknapp keen on Adebayor loan

Harry Redknapp believes Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor could become a “hero” to Tottenham supporters should he join the club on loan. “Arsenal fans hate him so Tottenham fans will love him,” Redknapp said of the Togo striker. MORE

O’Carroll returns with Cup final hope

Wigan prop Eamon O’Carroll will return to action after a 15-month absence when he faces Bradford tomorrow. His timely recovery from a sternum injury gives him hope of claiming a place in the Challenge Cup final line-up against Leeds next week. MORE

Arsenal may have to field teenage trio

Arsenal are so short of players through injury and suspension for Saturday’s match against Liverpool they may have to play Carl Jenkinson, Emmanuel Frimpong and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – they have 60 minutes’ first-team experience between them. MORE

Maynard sinks Sven’s Leicester

Free-spending Leicester City lost their second consecutive home game last night, 2-1 to Bristol City. Nicky Maynard scored either side of David Nugent’s long-range equaliser to put early season pressure on former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Is Arsène Wenger still irreplaceable? For all his brilliant achievements, the odds are building against his maintaining a sense that Arsenal remain one of the forces at the top of the English and European game. MORE

Strauss: Now is not atime to take our foot off the gas

Andrew Strauss insists that England must continue to improve as they start their reign as the No 1 Test team. The fourth Test against India starts today at The Oval, with England already having secured a 3-0 series-winning lead. “The basis of our success over the last couple of years is centred around a very strong work ethic, playing for each other and putting the team before the individual,” said captain Strauss. “Trying to improve yourself individually on a day-to-day basis. How that exactly works is very much on an individual thing. Now is very much a time to keep that improvement going, it’s not a time to take the foot off the gas and be satisfied with ourselves.” England are likely to keep faith with the the side that won so convincingly at Trent Bridge, with lead bowler Jimmy Anderson set to play after overcoming a quadriceps injury. MORE

Reina: ‘Cool head’ DeGea will be fine

Liverpool’s Pepe Reina has put aside bitter club rivalry and backed Manchester United’s David de Gea to come good despite early errors. “The critics smell blood when there is a mistake,” Reina said. “With the cool head he has he will be fine.” MORE

Barnes double sees Brighton go second

Newly promoted Brighton moved to second in the Championship last night with a 3-1 win at Cardiff City. Ashley Barnes scored twice andWill Hoskins the other before Peter Whittingham’s consolation. Albion have won all three games so far this season. MORE