There’s a touch of the Capital 101 Cup about the final Champions League fixtures as managers are forced to rejig their squads. Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City must beat Borussia Dortmund and hope Real Madrid to the business at home against Ajax in Group D if they are to qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League but the Italian will have one eye on Sunday’s Manchester Derby with cross-town rivals United.
Arsene Wenger has opted to rest nine senior players as the Gunners face Olympiacos in a bid to get their Premier League challenge back on track after last week’s home defeat to Swansea.
Arsenal have already qualified for the knock-out stages of the Champions League for the 13th time on the trot but can top Group B if they win and the Schalke 04 result goes their way.
Newcastle ended a four-match losing run with a 3-0 won over Wigan in the Premier League thanks to a double-strike by Demba Ba and Gael Bigirimana.
The draw for the PDC World Championship takes place later today as 72 players – including the world’s top 32 – battle it out for the £1m jackpot that starts on December 14th. Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis is on a hat-trick of wins in the event but Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor’s mantlepiece has been extended as he would dearly love another World title crown to add to the 15 he’s already won.
Taylor bounced back to form to claim his third Cash Converters Players Championship Finals title at the weekend while Dutch sensation Michael Van Gerwin beat the ‘Power’ in the Players Championship and is many people’s fancy to win his first World title this year.
Jockey Frankie Dettori made the flying dismount his trademark but could be brought down to earth this afternoon after the stewards of France Galop rule on him testing positive for a banned substance. The most popular pilot of his generation and former stable jockey to Godolphin faces a six-month worldwide ban if found guilty.
Today’s racing comes from Towcester, Folkestone and Wolverhampton.