In Brief

Sport shorts: Liverpool plan Qatar hotel watch party to watch Liverpool and Italy’s Serie A is blasted for ‘sick joke’

Ten things from the world of sport on Tuesday 17 December

1. Liverpool plan party… to watch Liverpool

Liverpool face a unique situation tonight and tomorrow with the club’s first-team scheduled to play fixtures on consecutive days.

Tonight a young Reds side managed by Under-23 coach Neil Critchley will face Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup quarter-final. Then tomorrow night Jurgen Klopp’s senior stars will take on Monterrey in the semi-final of the Fifa Club World Cup in Qatar.

ESPN reports that Klopp and his squad will gather at their hotel in Doha to watch the club’s youngsters in action at Villa Park. 

“It will be absolutely exciting,” said German gaffer Klopp. “I’m really delighted for the boys. 

“From the boys’ point of view, if I would be in their boots I would be excited like hell, looking forward to it like hell, run for my life, all that stuff. 

“Just give it a proper try and we will sit and will be with them. All our thoughts are with them, the more experienced players are looking forward to it to watch the game and shout them forward from here. 

“Aston Villa is the big favourite, that’s clear, but who cares? It’s football and the ball rolls in each direction, that’s pretty cool.”

Tonight’s league cup tie between Aston Villa and Liverpool kicks off at 7.45pm (GMT) and is live on Sky Sports

Tomorrow’s Fifa Club World Cup semi-final between Monterrey and Liverpool kicks off at 5.30pm (GMT) and is live on BBC Two

2. Wijnaldum out of semi-final

Sky Sports reports that Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has been ruled out of tomorrow’s Club World Cup semi-final because he is still recovering from a hamstring injury.

Dejan Lovren and Rhian Brewster are also out and could be replaced in the senior squad by Ki-Jana Hoever and Sepp van den Berg. Youngsters Hoever and Van den Berg are expected to fly out after the Carabao Cup tie against Aston Villa.

3. Pogba suffers illness setback 

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will continue to be on the sidelines after being struck down by illness. The French World Cup winner has not played in more than two months because of a foot injury. 

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4. Brilliant Brees breaks two NFL records

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees broke two NFL records in his side’s 34-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts last night. The 40-year-old threw four touchdown passes to move onto a career total of 541 and beat Peyton Manning’s previous record of 539. In the match Brees also completed 29 of 30 passes - 96.7% - to break Philip Rivers’s record of 96.6%. 

5. England women win first T20 against Pakistan 

England women’s cricket team have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match Twenty20 international series against Pakistan. After scoring 154-4 from their 20 overs, England then dismissed Pakistan for 125 all out to secure a 29-run victory.

6. Serie A blasted for ‘sick joke’

Italian football top-flight Serie A is under fire after the launch of a controversial anti-racism campaign using artworks of chimpanzees.

Created by artist Simone Fugazzotto - part of a campaign to stop fans directing monkey chants at players - the artworks have been described as a “sick joke” by Fare Network.

The anti-racism organisation tweeted: “Once again Italian football leaves the world speechless. In a country in which the authorities fail to deal with racism week after week #SerieA have launched a campaign that looks like a sick joke.”

Why everyone’s talking about Serie A’s chimpanzee poster

7. Hayes apologises to Liverpool over pitch comments

Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes has apologised to Liverpool after calling their pitch at Prenton Park a “stain on their football club”.

After the teams played out a 1-1 draw on a muddy pitch on Sunday Hayes criticised Liverpool by saying: “I think the quality of that pitch - the worst in the league - is a stain on their football club.” 

But 24 hours later Hayes tweeted: “Thanks to the fans for coming out yesterday. @LiverpoolFCW are a wonderful team with a fabulous manager and deserved the point against us. Also I apologise for my frustration regarding the pitch. You deserve better. I’m sorry for my comments.”

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8. Ticktum joins Williams as development driver

British racer Dan Ticktum has joined Williams Racing’s driver academy in the role of development driver. A two-time winner of the famed Macau Grand Prix, the 20-year-old will also drive for DAMS in the 2020 FIA Formula 2 Championship. 

9. Ozil backlash in China 

Arsenal football star Mesut Ozil was “deceived by fake news” and “untruthful remarks” in his social media post about the treatment of Uighur Muslims, China’s foreign ministry spokesman has claimed. 

After the German midfielder called Uighurs “warriors who resist persecution” and criticised both China and the silence of his fellow Muslims in response, Geng Shuang invited Ozil to visit the autonomous Xinjiang region and “have a look” for himself.

10. All change in the Prem hot seats

There’s big managerial changes about to happen in the Premier League with Everton, Arsenal and West Ham United all lining up new bosses. 

Carlo Ancelotti is closing in on the Everton job while Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta is in line to take over at Arsenal. It’s also reported that David Moyes is a candidate to replace Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham.

Today’s back pages

Carlo coup for Everton as Arsenal take the Mikel

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