France's strength in depth gives them the edge against Goffin's Belgium

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s strength in depth makes them the favourites for this week’s Davis Cup final against Belgium, who will need David Goffin to be at his very best to stand a chance in the three-day showdown in Lille.

Tennis - ATP World Tour Finals - The O2 Arena, London, Britain - November 19, 2017 Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in action during the final against Belgium's David Goffin Action Images via Reuters/Tony O'Brien

Liverpool's in-form Salah poses threat to old club Chelsea

LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah could be excused for celebrating a little more loudly than normal if he scores against Chelsea in the standout clash in the Premier League this weekend.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool vs Southampton - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - November 18, 2017 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah applauds the fans as he is substituted Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

Starc removes Cook but England new boys hold firm

BRISBANE (Reuters) - Alastair Cook fell cheaply but Mark Stoneman and James Vince showed impressive defiance in their Ashes debuts to steer England to 59 for one at lunch on the first day of the series-opening test in Brisbane on Thursday.

Cricket - Ashes test match - Australia v England - GABBA Ground, Brisbane, Australia, November 23, 2017. England's Mark Stoneman watches a delivery from Australia's Mitchell Starc during the first day of the first Ashes cricket test match. REUTERS/David Gray

Queiroz seeks longer World Cup run from improving Iran

(Reuters) - Iran secured back-to-back World Cup qualification for the first time in the country’s history as Carlos Queiroz and his team sealed the nation’s fifth appearance at the finals with relative comfort.

Iran's national soccer team coach Carlos Queiroz looks on before the international soccer friendly match between Iran and Sweden at Friends Arena in Stockholm March 31, 2015. REUTERS/Henrik Montgomery/TT News Agency

Coach-less Australia wrangle with a finishing problem

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will head into a second World Cup in a row with a newly-appointed coach next year in the wake of Ange Postecoglou’s resignation a week after qualification was assured.

Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Australia vs Honduras - ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia - November 15, 2017 Australia’s Mile Jedinak celebrates scoring a goal with team mates REUTERS/Steve Christo

South Korea considers scrapping exercise with U.S. for Olympics - Yonhap

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea is considering scrapping a regular military exercise with U.S. forces next year to minimise the risk of an aggressive North Korean reaction during the Winter Olympics in the South, the Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games logo is seen at the the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre in Pyeongchang, South Korea, September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski/File Photo

Senegal's new generation ready show World Cup what it's been missing

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Senegal’s only prior appearance at a World Cup came in 2002 when they beat holders France in the opening game before going on to reach the quarter-finals, and while that golden era has come and gone a new generation of talent is set to take Russia by storm.

Britain Football Soccer - Nigeria v Senegal - International Friendly - The Hive, Barnet, London, England - 23/3/17 Senegal's Sadio Mane signs autographs for fans before the match Action Images via Reuters / Peter Cziborra Livepic

Peace offering helps Morocco rally to reach World Cup

(Reuters) - A peace offering in an Amsterdam coffee shop proved a catalyst for Morocco’s late rally to success in the World Cup qualifiers and their first appearance at the finals in 20 years since the 1998 tournament in France.

Ivory Coast's head coach Herve Renard (C) of France celebrates with his players after winning the African Nations Cup final soccer match against Ghana in Bata February 8, 2015. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Decades of disappointment ends as Egypt discover Holy Grail

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Egypt have finally found their Holy Grail, overcoming the disappointment of decades of heartbreaking failure to reach the World Cup finals for the first time since 1990.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool vs Southampton - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - November 18, 2017 Mohamed Salah applauds the fans as he is substituted Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

Iceland set for new World Cup chapter in footballing saga

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Iceland will become the smallest country ever to take part in the World Cup finals when they travel to Russia next year as the saga of outsized footballing success continues for the nation of just over 300,000 people.

Football Soccer - Iceland v Croatia - World Cup 2018 Qualifiers - Laugardalsvollur Stadium, Reykjavik, Iceland - 11/6/17- Iceland's Gylfi Sigurdsson in action REUTERS/Geirix