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The Sports Matrix: Thursday 31 March 2011

Capello: We can play like Germany

Fabio Capello has raised hopes that his England team could emulate the current German generation of players: “I hope that people will talk about us like they did about Germany,” he said. “These players are improving a lot and playing with confidence.” MORE

Robson confident of cancer recovery

Bryan Robson is to return to Thailand to undergo radiotherapy treatment for throat cancer. The 54-year-old former England captain, who is the manager of the Thai national side, is “confident” of a full recovery after a Harley Street consultation. MORE

Westwood upbeat on major chances

One week before the Masters, Lee Westwood thinks he can finally win amajor, having come so close last year. “I know I’m good enough to contend in each and every major I play,” he tells i. “Hopefully it’ll work out in the end.” MORE

England build 4-3-3 around Wilshere

England are likely to stick with the 4-3-3 formation after recent successes, as it is the best system for the emerging Jack Wilshere, who plays that way at Arsenal. What is less clear is where Steven Gerrard will slot in when he is fit again. MORE

Spurs consider stadium legal move

Tottenham Hotspur have written to the Olympic Park Legacy Company, the Mayor of London, the Minister for Sport and Newham Council “raising concerns” with the decision to hand the Olympic Stadium toWest Ham. They may later seek a judicial review. MORE

England search for 2012 base in Poland

England have started their search for a Euro 2012 base camp, and are likely to favour Poland over Ukraine, owing to the superior facilities. Germany have already decided on Poland and their early preparations mean they may well get the pick of the locations. MORE

Hanagan’s winning return to title fray

Champion jockey Paul Hanagan and Miss Work of Art were decisive winners on the first day of the new Flat season at Lingfield yesterday. “She was a little bit green early, but once the penny dropped she came home well,” Hanagan said afterwards. MORE

Uefa talks tough on financial fair play

Uefa warned yesterday that it would move to close any loopholes if it finds clubs trying to evade new financial fair-play rules. Failure to abide by the rules, and to balance the books, could lead to teams being banned from European competition. MORE

Sale nearing deal to sign Tuitupou

Sale are closing in on All Black centre Sam Tuitupou and hope to tie him to a two-year deal over the next few days. Tuitupou plays for Munster, having left Worcester last year. Sale have been busy recruiting since Steve Diamond returned as chief executive. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

As Sir Alf Ramsey knew, 4-3-3 is the best vehicle for a significant England challenge. Fabio Capello has embraced it to an enthusiastic response. He likes the clear lines of responsibility and the creative scope that it provides. MORE

Tendulkar guides India into the final

Sachin Tendulkar steered India to a 29-run win over Pakistan yesterday and into Saturday’s final against Sri Lanka in Mumbai. He was dropped four times by Pakistan, and went on to anchor his side’s innings with a score of 85. India started very briskly, and Virender Sehwag scored 38 from 25 balls. But the hosts struggled to build on that platform, and reached just 260 from their 50 overs, despite a late unbeaten 36 from Suresh Raina. There were nerves among the India fans and Pakistan’s response started steadily but slipped slowly behind the required rate thanks to some tight Indian bowling. Misbah-ul-Haq top-scored for Pakistan with 56, but his hitting could not drag his side up to the total and they were bowled out for 231 on the penultimate ball. MORE

Security high for tense semi-final

There was heavy security outside the ground in Mohali for yesterday’s semi-final between India and Pakistan, with bags being searched and fans asked to arrive at least four hours before the match started. The countries’ Prime Ministers were in attendance. MORE

Widnes favourites for Super licence

Widnes look likely to be granted a Super League spot today under the league’s licensing system. Barrow and Halifax are in contention, but Widnes are seen as the most commercially viable option. The licence will run for three years. MORE