The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 15 February 2011

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The Independent Online

Spurs to attack despite absentees

Harry Redknapp has promised to play Spurs’ natural game in Milan tonight: “We are an attacking team and that is how I like it, whoever I play”. Luka Modric is a doubt so Sandro should partner Wilson Palacios in midfield with Steven Pienaar on the left. MORE

Woods fined for spitting in Dubai

Tiger Woods will be fined after the European Tour announced they would be looking into him spitting on a green at the Dubai Desert Classic. The fine is believed to be in the region of £3,000. “It was inconsiderate to spit like that,” said Woods on Twitter. MORE

Ronaldo retires from playing

Legendary Brazilian striker has announced his retirement from football, aged 34. He most recently played for Corinthians in Brazil after famous spells in Italy and Spain. He holds the record for most World Cup goals. MORE

Ibrahimovic: I said no to City riches

Zlatan Ibrahimovic said that he turned down Manchester City last year when he joined Milan: “I’m not one of those players who wants to go there and play for money.” He will start tonight, while Antonio Cassano and Mark van Bommel are ineligible. MORE

England to start cup preparations

England start their World Cup preparation tomorrow with a warm-up match against Canada, days after returning from their 6-1 ODI defeat in Australia. With conditions in the Indian subcontinent favouring spin, the race is on to get Graeme Swann fit. MORE

Walcott wants to pressure Barça

Theo Walcott believes that Arsenal need to press Barcelona better if they are to triumph tomorrow. “These days when we lose the ball we try to get it back quicker”, he said, “hopefully we can take that into the Barcelona game because it’s a massive one”. MORE

Flood denies French similarity

England’s Toby Flood has played down comparisons between his partnership with Ben Youngs and that of French pair Morgan Parra and François Trinh-Duc. “Ben and I are very different” in style, he said, “but I like to think we are just as effective.” MORE

Hodgson reveals Liverpool sadness

Roy Hodgson has admitted he felt “wounded” following the dismissal from Liverpool and alluded to “someone else” being the choice of the Kop. The newly appointed West Brom manager said “I can’t for one minute suggest that I felt wanted at Liverpool.” MORE

Contador may have ban lifted

Alberto Contador is set to have his one-year ban for failing a doping test lifted, according to reports in Spain. The three-time Tour de France champion has been provisionally suspended since August after testing positive for a banned substance. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Harry Redknapp knows that he has a team of touch and skill who are on an enjoyable learning curve. Do they have the depth and experience to progress further in Europe? We will know a lot better tonight. MORE

Dempsey misses late shot at glory

Clint Dempsey missed a stoppage time penalty for Fulham as a tight SW6 derby finished goalless. Fulham looked to have held Chelsea to a point with a firm defensive display until David Luiz tripped Dempsey in the 93rd minute. The American took the spot-kick but his effort was saved by Petr Cech and his volley on the rebound sailed over the bar. Carlo Ancelotti had dropped Didier Drogba, allowing Fernando Torres to lead the line. Chelsea’s new signing often found himself in good positions but lacked the sharpness to convert, and he was replaced by Drogba after 71 minutes. MORE

Pardew commends Enrique to Spain

Alan Pardew has called for Newcastle in-form left-back Jose Enrique to be called into the Spanish national squad: “He is showing the sort of form that could get him into that squad, no problem.” Newcastle travel to Birmingham City tonight. MORE

Gold Cup favourite continues return

Imperial Commander, favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, enjoyed a good work out at Warwick yesterday. It was his first work-out since gashing his leg in November. “It went very well,” said trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, “he’s raring to go”. MORE