Daily Briefing

The Decathlon: ten things from the world of sport on 25 April

Virgil van Dijk looks set to win PFA award and Andy Murray is ‘cautiously optimistic’ over tennis return

1. Van Dijk set to win PFA award, Pogba named in TOTY

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is set to be named the 2019 Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Players’ Player of the Year. The Daily Mail says that the Dutch star has beaten Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling to the award. Meanwhile, the PFA Premier League Team of the Year has been announced and a surprise inclusion is Manchester United’s Paul Pogba. The French midfielder is the only player not from Manchester City or Liverpool to feature. Chelsea’s Eden Hazard misses out.

PFA Team of the Year
  • Goalkeeper: Ederson (Man City) 
  • Left-back: Andy Robertson (Liverpool) 
  • Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) 
  • Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) 
  • Centre-back: Aymeric Laporte (Man City) 
  • Midfield: Fernandinho (Man City) 
  • Midfield: Paul Pogba (Man Utd) 
  • Midfield: Bernardo Silva (Man City) 
  • Forward: Raheem Sterling (Man City) 
  • Forward: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) 
  • Forward: Sergio Aguero (Man City)

2. No TV or papers for Man City stars

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola told his players not to watch the TV or read the newspapers following their 2-0 win against Manchester United which put them back on top of the Premier League table. Urging his squad to remain focused on the title race with Liverpool the Spaniard said: “Now is the time to be calm. Don’t read, don’t turn on the TV, don’t listen to the radio.”

3. Farah and Gebrselassie at war

On the eve of the London Marathon two athletics icons are involved in a major dispute, the BBC reports. Team GB star Mo Farah, who is running in London on Sunday, has alleged that he had money, a watch and two phones stolen from his room at a hotel owned by Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie. Farah is disappointed that Gebrselassie did not help him, while in response Gebrselassie has accused Farah of “blackmail” and “defaming” his reputation and business.

4. Tiger agrees to play in Japan

Masters winner Tiger Woods will play in the PGA Tour’s first official event in Japan. ESPN reports that the American golfer will line up in the inaugural ZOZO Championship in October.

5. ATP Finals will leave London for Turin

It’s the “end of an era” for tennis in London says The Guardian’s Kevin Mitchell after it was confirmed that the ATP World Tour Finals will be held in Turin, Italy, from 2021. London has hosted the finals for the past 12 years.

6. Joyce agrees Dubois fight

Joe Joyce will fight rival Daniel Dubois for the vacant British heavyweight title. The Daily Mail says that the bout is likely to take place in London.

7. Hamilton looks for Baku improvement

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has told Sky Sports that he must improve his performance at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku this weekend. The current championship leader said: “It’s a really great track and it’s one that I’ve honestly struggled at a little bit, particularly last year. It will be interesting, and I’m going there with a mindset that I’ve got to try and improve my previous years’ performance. I was fortunate to get the win there last year but I wasn’t quick enough really through the weekend. So that’s a place I expect Valtteri to be quick and I expect the Ferraris to be particularly quick.”

8. Russell named in Windies squad

The West Indies have named their squad for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup and included on the 15-player list is Andre Russell. The all-rounder has only played one one-day international since 2015, the BBC reports.

  • West Indies World Cup squad: Jason Holder (captain), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (wicketkeeper), Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas

9. Protesters to target Tour de Yorkshire

Up to 10,000 anti-fracking protesters could line the route of next week’s Tour de Yorkshire cycling event. The protesters are set to wear masks “depicting the UK’s richest man as the devil” The Guardian reports. Billionaire Jim Ratcliffe is the main shareholder of chemical company Ineos which has taken over sponsorship of the Team Sky cycling squad.

10. Murray is optimistic but it’s early days

Andy Murray’s mother Judy says the three-time grand slam winner is “cautiously optimistic” he could return to tennis “at some point this summer”. The Scot had a hip operation in January and is currently on the road to recovery. Judy Murray told the BBC: “It is still early days so we will have to wait and see.”

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