The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 3 August 2011

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The Independent Online

Mancini lines up Eto’o-Tevez swap

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini remains determined to bring Internazionale’s Samuel Eto’o to Eastlands in a straight swap with forward Carlos Tevez. Mancini faces doubts from City’s hierarchy over the logistics of any transfer. MORE

Bolly celebrates 80 – by parachuting

Tennis coach Nick Bollettieri has spoken of how he marked his 80th birthday with a parachute jump. “We were in free-fall for 7,000 feet, which took about a minute,” the American, who wrote for i during Wimbledon, said. “I kept my eyes open throughout.” MORE

Barton likely to be snapped up

Joey Barton, released from Newcastle on Monday, is unlikely to remain without a club for long. However, the fact that his previous clubs have been willing to let him leave sums up the difficulties of his complex character. MORE

Value to be had in team of freebies

Three former England internationals and a World Cup winner are among the players available on free transfers after being released by Premier League sides. Sam Wallace, i’s football correspondent, examines the best of the bargains. MORE

Sky extends Super League deal to 2016

Sky Sports has extended its deal to screen and fund the Super League until the end of 2016. The broadcaster will screen up to 70 matches, along with play-offs, internationals and Australian league games. The Championship is not included. MORE

Woods relishes Clarke pairing

Tiger Woods is looking forward to his pairing with Open champion Darren Clarke at this weekend’s Bridgestone Invitational. “It’ll be fun,” he said. “We’ve been great friends a long time. He’s gone through a lot and to see him win the Open was special.” MORE

Cavendish keeps silent over move

Mark Cavendish remains coy over his next ride, after being heavily linked with a move to Team Sky. “I want to go to the best place,” the 26-year-old said. “That might mean staying where I am now. I have decided. I decided in an Eindhoven hotel on Saturday.” MORE

India hope return of trio can lift spirits

An ailing and exhausted India urgently need inspiration and encouragement if they are to rescue the series against England. The potential returns of Zaheer Khan, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag are vital to the tourists’ prospects. MORE

Johnson sweating on panel verdict

Jumps trainer Howard Johnson, up before a British Horseracing Authority disciplinary panel into alleged breaches of horse welfare rules, must wait until next week at the earliest to learn the outcome of the inquiry, which closed yesterday. It could end his career. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Joey Barton, for all his rampages on the street and brutal discord with team-mates and opponents, has always tended to connect with the fans of the clubs who pay his wages. He displays extraordinary passion on the field. MORE

Flower urges caution as England look down from top

England coach Andy Flower has insisted his players are not getting ahead of themselves as they prepare for the final Tests of a series that could result in them being named the best side in the world. Andrew Strauss’s side went into a 2-0 lead in the four-Test series against India after wrapping up a convincing 319-run victory at Trent Bridge on Monday – a lead that, if maintained, would see them usurp their visitors as the No 1 ranked team in the world. “It’s important for the side that it’s not at the forefront of our minds,” Flower said ahead of next week’s third Test in Birmingham. “We should be resting and recuperating after back-to-back Tests and then getting our minds and bodies ready for the next challenge at Edgbaston. “It’s not only pointless looking further ahead than that, it’s dangerous. We’re ahead in the series but we’re only halfway through. It’s important our players and management keep feet firmly on the ground.” MORE

What England must do to be world best

Mastering the art of winning on the subcontinent and extending the partnership of Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower are two key points England must concentrate on if they are to hold on to the No 1 spot they appear poised to assume later this month. MORE

Taylor outshines Bopara with knock

James Taylor impressed as England Lions were bowled out for 299 against Sri Lanka A. The captain hit 76, outscoring Ravi Bopara, who managed only 19. The pair are in contention to replace Jonathan Trott in next week’s third Test against India. MORE