The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 25 January 2011

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The Independent Online

Luiz the first in Chelsea overhaul

Chelsea are considering January purchases beyond the possible capture of David Luiz. The deal for the Benfica defender is virtually done. Other potential targets include Gregory van der Wiel, Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Daniele de Rossi.

Anderson hopes to lift weary tourists

James Anderson wants to lift England’s fortunes after returning to Australia well rested following the birth of his baby daughter. “I do feel refreshed. Hopefully, I’ll be available [for tomorrow’s fourth ODI] after practising today,” said the seam bowler.

Murray prepares for Dolgopolov

Andy Murray is preparing himself for the unorthodox style of Alexandr Dolgopolov in their Australian Open quarter final. “He’s just a very different guy to play against, so I have to be ready for everything,” he said.

Drogba sparks 4-0 rout of Bolton

Didier Drogba’s flying drive helped Chelsea find form again as they romped to a 4-0 win at Bolton last night. Florent Malouda scored from a tight angle before halftime, Nicolas Anelka slotted the third before Ramires scored his first goal for Chelsea.

Depleted England summon reserves

England have called up Phil Dowson, Tom Wood, George Skivington and Nick Abendanon ahead of the Six Nations. Tom Croft and Lewis Moody are out injured for at least some of the championship, while Hendre Fourie has become the latest injury doubt.

Liverpool urged to raise Adam offer

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway says Liverpool may need to spend £16m to buy Charlie Adam and that they should improve their £4m bid for a player who “can replace” much-missed Xabi Alonso. Liverpool’s Ryan Babel has agreed a move to Hoffenheim.

Gatland sets Welsh sights on Hartley

The Wales coach Warren Gatland has singled out England hooker Dylan Hartley as a target ahead of next month’s Six Nations match in Cardiff. “Let’s see how Hartley fronts up against us on 4 February,” Gatland said. “Let’s see what he has to offer.”

Holloway proud to welcome United

Blackpool host Manchester United tonight, hoping to have the boiler fixed to provide their prestigious visitors with hot showers. “I’m bursting with pride,” said Ian Holloway of United’s visit. “If we’re not a couple down in the first 10 minutes I’ll be delighted.”

Packers favourites for Super Bowl

Green Bay Packers are favourites to win their first Super Bowl in 13 years after beating bitter rivals Chicago Bears in Sunday’s NFC Championship 21-14. Their opponents on 6 February, the Pittsburgh Steelers, overcame the New York Jets 24-19.

Arsenal need win to reach final

Arsenal must overcome a 1-0 first leg deficit at the Emirates tonight to overcome Ipswich Town and reach the final of the Carling Cup. Jack Wilshere and Denilson have both spoken of the importance of winning the Gunners’ first trophy since 2005.

Martinez denies N’Zogbia is leaving

oberto Martinez rejected claims that Charles N’Zogbia might leave Wigan. While describing interest as a “compliment”, he said: “We don’t need to sell players.” Wigan hope to record their first league win since Boxing Day tonight against Aston Villa.

Gray and Keys suspended by Sky

Andy Gray and Richard Keys were suspended from last night’s Monday Night Football on Sky Sports 1 as punishment for sexist comments made offmicrophone on Saturday. Gray (right) and Keys (below) were caught suggesting that Sian Massey, the female assistant referee for Wolves’ weekend game with Liverpool, would not understand the offside law on account of her gender. “Can you believe that? A female linesman! Women don’t know the offside rule,” Gray said. Yesterday the managing director of Sky Sports, Barney Francis, condemned their conduct. “I have spoken directly to both Richard Keys and Andy Gray,” he said. “It has been made clear to each of them that their comments were totally unacceptable.” Neither Gray nor Keys was on duty for Bolton v Chelsea last night; Sky Sports’ live coverage was hosted by Dave Jones instead.

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