Something For The Weekend: 08/10/2011

 

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The Independent Online

It's squeaky-bum time for...

Craig Levein's Scotland

The Tartan Army roll on to Liechtenstein this evening, with a win vital to the preservation of their qualifying campaign. They remain in desperate pursuit of the Czech Republic for the right to lose a play-off against Turkey or Sweden.

This has been a losing battle, though, ever since a strikerless Scottish side were beaten 1-0 in Prague a year ago. Levein, under the misapprehension that the Czechs were still as good as they were in 1996, undersold his players. Levein wears a constant look of despair and disbelief but with a negative attitude it is little surprise. Scotland have some excellent footballers: Steven Fletcher, Barry Bannan, Charlie Adam, but Levein's dour approach seems to deny them the chance even to challenge. A surprise victory is now needed to deliver a surprise vindication.

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Mind matters in golf

If the average professional golfer hits thousands of balls a week but is still an average professional golfer, something's not right. If 51 per cent of pros on the European Tour are unhappy with their performances – just seven per cent are happy – something is definitely awry. So says a study carried out by Genworth Financial. It points out that golfers are ignoring the mental training. A good mind coach helps (Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel all used one before winning majors), but, apparently, having the right man on the bag is key, to say the right thing at the right time. Rumours that Tiger's new bag man is mute are entirely unfounded.

Harsh Spanish justice

So disgusted were the Spanish football federation by Jose Mourinho's eye-poking antics in the Spanish Super Cup that they fined him €600. Which would appear trivial, until you see the Barcelona fine: €90.

Have you been paying attention

1. How many runs did the partnership of Graham Dilley and Ian Botham yield for England against Australia at Headingley in 1981?

2. Who was the last driver to win more than nine F1 GPs in a season?

3. How many times had England met France in the rugby World Cup before today, and who had the better record?

4. Fulham's victory over QPR last week was their first six-goal top-flight haul in how many years?

5. And which opposing midfielder was pictured at a bus stop after leaving the ground at half-time?

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