The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 22 March 2011

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Cambridge talk up chance of victory

Cambridge boat club president Derek Rasmussen says the “testosterone is flying” in the Light Blue camp as they prepare to defend their crown in Saturday’s Boat Race. “We’re all really anxious and ready to race,” said the American. MORE

Flower considers opening with Bell

England are mulling over a change to their batting order for the third time in this World Cup. Coach Andy Flower may ask Ian Bell to open,moving into the role already vacated by Kevin Pietersen and since filled temporarily by Matt Prior. MORE

Bonds’ perjury trial heads to court

Jury selection began yesterday in the trial of Barry Bonds, the record-breaking baseball player. He is accused of lying to a federal grand jury when he denied ever having knowingly taken performance-enhancing drugs. MORE

Jarvis ‘determined to play for England’

Wolves winger Matt Jarvis may have waited a long time for an England call-up but his father Nick tells i how Matt has been “very determined” to play for his country since being released by Millwall at 16 and then working his way up the leagues. MORE

Pakistan hit peak at the right time

Having defeated Australia on Saturday night, Pakistan are serious contenders for the World Cup. Their team, a blend of youth and experience, has recovered well from a year of scandal and discord. They play West Indies in the quarter-finals tomorrow. MORE

Capello hopes to start with Carroll

Fabio Capello intends to partner Wayne Rooney with Andy Carroll up front for England against Wales on Saturday. Carroll’s club manager, Kenny Dalglish, has warned that the striker is not fully fit but Capello is planning to play the 22-year-old anyway. MORE

McLaren change car after poor tests

McLaren have rejigged their car ahead of Sunday’s season opener after it disappointed in testing. “I’m not satisfied with where the car was on reliability or performance,” said team boss Martin Whitmarsh. “We have made some fairly dramatic changes.” MORE

City slip into battle with Spurs again

After their defeat at Chelsea on Sunday, Manchester City are in a battle for fourth place with Tottenham. Like last year, they will meet them at Eastlands late in the season and, should City fail to qualify, the possibility of Roberto Mancini leaving is real. MORE

Djokovic backs Murray for Slam

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will play doubles together tomorrow at the Miami Masters, and have been close friends for years. Djokovic has backed Murray to come good and win a Grand Slam soon. “He has all the qualities he needs,” Djokovic said. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Should Sir Alex Ferguson steer Manchester United to win the Premier League or the Champions League this season it will undoubtedly be the greatest achievement of an extraordinary career. MORE

Blatter ally warns that Bin Hammam would ‘doom’ Fifa

As Mohamed bin Hammam last night started his attempt to win vital European support for his attempt to oust Sepp Blatter as president of Fifa, a former colleague claimed Fifa would be “doomed” if he won. Peter Velappan, who was general secretary of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), is an ally of Blatter and said that a Bin Hammam win would be “very detrimental”. Bin Hammam is currently seeking European support for his challenge and has stated his intention to the reform Fifa’s executive committee, as part of a push for wide transparency. But Velappan said: “These are the very things he has not done in AFC. There is no democracy in AFC.” He also said that Bin Hammam’s intention to extend the executive committee was “the joke of the century”. MORE

Brazilian trend at Chelsea vindicated

The goals from David Luiz and Ramires in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday underlined a growing Brazilian feel at Stamford Bridge. The pair, and centre-back Alex, will be joined by Lucas Piazon in 2012 and possibly Kaka as well. MORE

Bleak outlook for European nations

Six months before the World Cup, the standard of play from the European sides in the Six Nations did not suggest they can challenge the southern hemisphere teams in New Zealand. England’s defeat in Dublin was their worst since 2007. MORE