The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 9 February 2011

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Bendtner wary of Wilshere threat

Nicklas Bendtner has warned his Danish colleagues of the dangers posed by Arsenal team-mate Jack Wilshere when England visit tonight. “He seems mature and like he has played a long time,” he said. “He has shown his quality and can be a great player.” MORE

Top three meet in Dubai for first time

The top three ranked players in the world will play alongside each other for the first time in European Tour history as Tiger Woods, Martin Kaymer and World No 1 Lee Westwood go head-to-head in the Dubai Desert Classic tomorrow. MORE

Injured Morgan out of World Cup

Eoin Morgan has been forced to pull out of England’s World Cup squad as he requires an operation on an injured finger. Ravi Bopara has been called up as replacement for the tournament, which begins next weekend. MORE

Triesman critical of ‘impossible’ FA

Former FA chairman Lord Triesman has launched a scathing attack on the game’s governing body, accusing it of “systematic failure”. “There is no appetite for change,” he told a select committee’s inquiry. “The board is heavily, deeply conflicted.” MORE

Cole looks forward to Castro clash

England prop Dan Cole is relishing the prospect of facing Leicester team-mate Martin Castrogiovanni when Italy visit Twickenham on Saturday. “We get on well,” the 23- year-old said. “Castro’s a nice guy. He runs a restaurant and gives me free coffee.” MORE

Prandelli prepares to give Motta debut

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is ready to give Brazilian-born midfielder Thiago Motta his Azurri debut against Germany tonight, amid mounting dissent from supporters. Previous foreign-born players have not been well accepted by Italian fans. MORE

Hook to replace Jones at fly-half

James Hook will play at No 10 for Wales in their Six Nations clash with Scotland this Saturday. The 25-year-old started at full-back in last week’s defeat to England but will play at outside-half instead of the dropped Stephen Jones for the game at Murrayfield.

U21s beaten by Macheda penalty

The Manchester United striker, Federico Macheda, scored a late penalty as Stuart Pearce’s injuryhit England U21s suffered a 1-0 defeat to Italy in Empoli yesterday. The 88th-minute penalty gave Pearce only his sixth loss in 44 matches in charge. MORE

Tansey sacked over indiscipline

Hull FC full-back Jordan Tansey has been sacked, just days before the start of the new Super League season. The 27-year-old’s contract has been terminated after he broke the club’s rules on drinking for the third time in 18 months. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

There can be little doubt about the depth of Jack Wilshere’s ability. We see a footballer of authentic stature. His fluency, his easy judgment, the subtle ball-striking, the Bobby Moore-like understanding of space and time. MORE

Capello names Lampard captain

Frank Lampard has been named as England captain for tonight’s international friendly in Denmark, following the withdrawals, through injury, of first-choice Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard. The Chelsea midfielder, 32, becomes the sixth player to captain England under Fabio Capello (above), following in the footsteps of Ferdinand, Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham and John Terry. “It is a huge thing,” Lampard, who was previously handed the armband during a friendly in Austria in 2007, said. “It’s taken time to come, but it means a huge deal.” Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere should earn a first England start, while Darren Bent and Michael Dawson may also feature. England lost 4-1 on their last visit to the Parken Stadium, under Sven Goran Eriksson in August 2005. MORE

Ireland coast to Nations Cup win

Three second-half goals helped the Republic of Ireland beat Wales 3-0 in Dublin in the opening Nations Cup match. After a dismal opening half, Darron Gibson shot the Republic in front from 30 yards before Damien Duff and Keith Fahey sealed the win. MORE

Ferdinand set to miss City derby

Rio Ferdinand is unlikely to be fit to return to the Manchester United side for Saturday’s derby match against City. The centreback missed last weekend’s defeat at Wolves with a calf injury and will also sit out tonight’s England friendly in Denmark. MORE