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The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 26 December 2012

Benitez vows to woo Chelsea fans with attacking football

The Chelsea manager, Rafael Benitez, hopes to win over the club's fans with a barrage of goals. The Spaniard has been an unpopular choice to replace Roberto Di Matteo at Stamford Bridge with many supporters voice their disapproval of the appointment during home games.

However, speaking ahead of today's match at Norwich City, Benitez said: "It's important when you are winning and in the way we are winning at the moment that you send the right message across.

"If they can do it on the pitch and be successful then it makes it easier. MORE

Long Run ready to silence doubters

Despite being beaten on four of his last five starts, Long Run is much the likely winner of the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton today. Even in defeat his form sets a standard in what no longer seems a vintage field. MORE

Pakistan see off India in thriller

Pakistan beat India by five wickets yesterday in the opening Twenty20 in the first bilateral series between the sides in five years. The visitors chased down India's 133-9 in Bangalore with two balls to spare with captain Mohammad Hafeez hitting 61. MORE

'Newcastle can no longer surprise us'

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Newcastle are finding this season harder than last, when they finished in fifth, because other teams have worked them out. The Manchester United manager said: "Clubs are starting to analyse them a bit differently." MORE

Fever delays Nadal's comeback

Doctors have advised Rafael Nadal not to play in a comeback tournament in Abu Dhabi tomorrow after a seven-month break nursing a knee injury. The 26-year-old said a fever caused by a stomach infection has forced him out.

Gridiron groupies lap up Longhorns

The end of the year means university play-offs in Gridiron, and nowhere is the sport more keenly supported than in Austin, and the Texas Longhorns. Matt Gatward pays a visit to sample the atmosphere. MORE

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