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WE’VE GOT ALL THE BIG STORIES

SUNDAY

January 27, 2019 63

CHARLIE

McCANN

WITH HIS SPORT ODDS AND ENDS

LEGENDS: Nadal

and Djokovic

Let me Sturr up

charge for title

DON’T FORGET ME SAYS LIVERPOOL STRIKER

DANIEL Sturridge hopes

boss Jurgen Klopp will

give him the chance to

help Liverpool’s title

challenge.

The 29-year-old has been

left on the sidelines as the

Reds have cut out their best

chance of winning the league

since 1990.

Sturridge’s contract is up

in the summer and it’s hard

to see Liverpool offering him

a new one — at least on his

current £120,000 a week

wages.

He is free to speak to other

teams about a move at the

end of the season.

But he is putting all that on

hold as he knows he could

By JOHN ANTHONY

still have a big part to play in

the campaign.

The England hitman said:

“I’m staying focused on right

now. You’ve got to live in the

present, you can never live in

the future.

“I’ve been at Liverpool a

long time and I’m happy too.

I want to try and help bring

the team some success, to win

a trophy with them would be

amazing.

“We’ve come close before,

finals, almost won the Premier

League before but we

didn’t quite do it.”

Sturridge was a key part in

Brendan Rodgers’ team that

went close to ending the Kop’s

title drought before Steven

Gerrard’s famous slip in

2014.

He could be carrying the

baggage of that but newer

Liverpool signings like Sadio

Mane are full of confidence.

The Senegal star is in no

doubt that the long wait for a

19th title could be coming to

an end.

The Reds have a slender

four-point lead over Man City

who seem 100% over their

blip now.

And Mane thinks they can

keep that going right to the

finishing line.

He said: “Of course we are

confident if we’re winning but

not too much, we know what

can happen.

“We are still professional

ONLY WAY IS

UP: Sturridge

will be looking

for a move

footballers and we’re going to

try to take it game by game.

“We have experience now.

The season is long and we

have many games.

“Making pressure for ourselves

doesn’t help. Why not

just try to win games until the

end of the season?”

Liverpool have had the

benefit of a week’s training in

Dubai while their rivals play

in the FA Cup.

It seems that the warm

weather did the trick for

Trent Alexander-Arnold who

is getting over his injury.

Klopp said: “He is better,

but we have to see.

“Everyone knows how desperate

Trent is to play, he can

ignore pretty much everything.”

GAME, SET

AND MATCH

TO LEGENDS

WITH respect to the FA Cup ties this afternoon you must

get up early to watch the biggest sporting event of the

year so far with tennis greats Rafael Nadal and Novak

Djokovic going head-to-head in the Australian Men’s

Singles final beginning just after 8am.

Believe it or not the pair have been better than ever

in Melbourne this year and it seems impossible that we

will not witness something quite extraordinary. The

pair – along with Roger Federer and Andy Murray –

should be cherished as they come to the end of their

magnificent and illustrious careers.

The last time the pair met in the Melbourne final in

2012 when it took the best part of six hours to split the

pair with Djokovic coming out on top in five exhausting

and quality sets. Djokovic is favourite at 4/6 with Bet-

Victor to gain a 15th Grand Slam success and a seventh

Down Under. Nadal is 11/10 at BetVictor to win an 18th

Slam but his first in Melbourne for a decade. Rafa for

me in four sets which is 7/2 at BetVictor.

Spurs travel to Selhurst Park this afternoon on the

back of a penalty shoot-out defeat at Stamford Bridge

in the League Cup semi-final. Mauricio Pochettino is

struggling for numbers with Moussa Sissoko the latest

to limp out of the action, and I fancy the hosts to edge

a thriller.

The last six games between the sides have all finished

1-0 with Spurs winning five and Palace one.

The Eagles are 17/10 with BetVictor to win in 90

minutes with Spurs 8/5 and the draw at 23/10. Roy

Hodgson’s side scored three at Anfield last weekend

and the Eagles to win and both teams to score is 17/4

and that must be the recommendation.

Record

League Cup finalists Chelsea entertain Sheffield

Wednesday and the Owls will be roared on by 6,000

away fans. The tie kicks off at 6pm so it will be nearly

midnight before the away fans return to south Yorkshire

although I don’t think they will have much else to cheer.

New loan signing Gonzalo Higuain is 13/5 to open

the scoring and 7/10 to score in the 90 minutes. The

31-year-old Argentinian scored a record 36 goals for

Napoli under Maurizio Sarri but time waits for no one.

Steve Bruce is taking charge of the Hillsborough club

next week but he was spotted in the crowd on the second

day of the Test match between the West Indies and

England at the Kensington Oval on Thursday.

Chelsea are 1/5 to win in 90 minutes with the draw

at 6s and an Owls 11/1. The Blues are 50/1 with Bet-

Victor to lift all three Cup competitions they are still

competing in (Europa League, League Cup and FA Cup)

although Manchester City will provide a massive stumbling

block at Wembley next month.

Barnet entertain Brentford tomorrow looking to become

just the fifth non-league side in the last 25 years

to reach the fifth round, but I feel they will just fall short

against a Brentford side unbeaten in their last seven.

The tip is for Brentford to win and both teams to

score.

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