The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 19 December 2012 - matrix - i - The Independent
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The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 19 December 2012

Sturridge lined up for £12m move as Warnock eyes win

Chelsea are prepared to sell striker Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool next month as part of a major overhaul of the squad. Rafael Benitez would be left with just Fernando Torres as a striking option should Sturridge, above, move, but the interim manager has sanctioned the £12m deal. Chelsea are interested in the Atletico Madrid forward Radamel Falcao as a replacement.

Matters on the pitch will dominate the club's thinking tonight, with a place in the League Cup semi-finals up for grabs as they travel to Leeds. The Championship side's manager, Neil Warnock, has called on his side to follow the lead of neighbours Bradford, who also beat Premier League opposition, in Arsenal, at the same stage last week.

"We are taking on one of the top three clubs in the country," he said. "We want to show what a good team we are." MORE

India victory as big as Ashes, says Bell

To win in India after 28 years is special but to do so coming back from a first-Test battering on pitches us batters were dying to play first on, makes it even more impressive. To win in those conditions makes it just as big a high as winning in Australia two years ago. MORE

Flower: Series win is just for starters

Andy Flower believes the series victory in India will be just the start of a successful era under Alastair Cook's leadership. "He's going to be an excellent leader," the England coach said. "We're very lucky to follow a bloke of [Andrew] Strauss's quality with Cook." MORE

Fightback earns Brighton a point

Brighton and Hove Albion recovered from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw at home against Millwall to move within three points of the play-off zone. Two Chris Wood goals had the visitors ahead before Kazenga LuaLua and a David Lopez penalty secured the draw. page 51

Rotherham and Oxford go through

Rotherham eased to a 3-0 win at Notts County in a second-round replay last night, while Oxford will join them in the next round after beating Accrington Stanley 2-0. Brentford needed extra-time to see off Bradford 4-2, while Barrow and Macclesfield will replay after a 1-1 draw.

Wiggins clouded by double vision

The single biggest factor affecting Bradley Wiggins' chances of winning next year's Tour de France is not Chris Froome or Alberto Contador – it is his decision to also race the Giro d'Italia. To do the double is extraordinarily difficult. MORE

UK Sport sets out targets for 2016

UK Sport has set a target of 66 medals and 121 Paralympic medals at the 2016 Games, in return for a four-year investment in elite sport of £347m. "We are confident there is more medal potential," said the chief executive, Liz Nicholl. MORE

Poulter still left amazed by Cup win

Ian Poulter admits he struggles to fathom how Europe managed a final-day turnaround to win the Ryder Cup in September. "I get goosebumps even talking about it," he recalls. "How you explain it, I don't know. Perhaps it's best not to try." MORE

Wenger remains happy with form

Arsène Wenger has insisted Arsenal's recent league form suggests a brighter outlook, in spite of their League Cup exit. "In the championship our run is not so bad," the manager said. "This run is not fantastic but not disastrous." MORE

British boxing in rudest of health

The record set this month of 58 fights on one night shows British boxing is doing good business, and there is a chance the record could tumble again in 2013 – thanks in part to an increase in television coverage. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

If Mario Balotelli's time at City has had any purpose it may be that he has unwittingly drawn a line between mad indulgence and the requirements of a professionally coherent organisation. MORE

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