Roland-Jones to miss rest of the season through injury

LONDON (Reuters) - Middlesex said on Friday that England pace bowler Toby Roland-Jones will miss the remainder of the domestic season with a stress facture.

Roland-Jones was a strong contender to be named in the national side for the upcoming Ashes series in Australia, having taken 17 wickets in his first four tests for England.

However, the stress fracture to his lower back will mean he will be out of action for the foreseeable future.

Steel City derby returns after five year absence

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - One of English football’s most passionate derby clashes returns, after a five year absence, on Sunday when Sheffield Wednesday host Sheffield United in the Steel City derby.

As always local pride is on the line but this year, after some lean times for the two South Yorkshire teams, there is also an air of optimism and ambition surrounding both Championship clubs.

Personable Benitez makes most of limited Newcastle squad

(Reuters) - After a frustrating close season transfer window, Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez is making the best of his lot, with his personable approach reaping rewards.

Despite finishing top of the Championship last season, Benitez was keen to significantly bolster his squad before the beginning of the new Premier League campaign.

UEFA delay verdict on Arsenal and Cologne crowd incidents

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - UEFA has appointed a special ‘Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector’ to look into the crowd incidents that marred Arsenal’s Europa League game with FC Cologne last week, the European governing body said on Friday.

Cologne have been charged with four offences at the match which was delayed by an hour after large numbers of German fans descended on the Emirates Stadium, the majority of them without tickets.

Arsenal face a charge relating to the blocking of a stairway in the away fans sector.

Stellar Berlin marathon trio sets sights on world record

BERLIN (Reuters) - Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge has the marathon world record firmly in his sights in Berlin on Sunday as he attempts a sub-two hour race.

But he will have to outrun fellow record contenders Wilson Kipsang and Kenenisa Bekele to get there.

Olympic champion Kipchoge, who has the third-fastest personal best time of two hours, three minutes and five seconds, is keen to break the two-hour barrier and set a world record which currently stands at two hours, two minutes, 57 seconds.

Relaxed Mourinho backs Man United's squad-depth to cope with Pogba injury

(Reuters) - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said on Friday he has “no idea” when Paul Pogba will be available after injury but he expects his squad to cope with the French midfielder’s absence.

United hope to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League at Southampton on Saturday but will be without their record signing, who is recovering from a hamstring injury suffered against Basel in the Champions League earlier this month.

Conte thanks departing Costa for Chelsea success

(Reuters) - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte thanked Diego Costa on Friday for his contribution at Stamford Bridge, after the club agreed a move for the striker with Atletico Madrid.

Costa scored 52 Premier League goals to help Chelsea lift two titles in three years before Conte told the 28-year-old via text message earlier this year that he was no longer needed at the club.

Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar on FIFA player of the year shortlist

(Reuters) - Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar have been nominated as finalists for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award, the sport’s governing body said on Friday.

Ronaldo helped Real Madrid to a second consecutive Champions League title and finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 12 goals earlier this year.

Messi and Neymar claimed the Spanish King’s Cup with Barcelona with the former finishing as La Liga’s top scorer with 37 goals last season.

Napoli president says 16-team Serie A would be more competitive

(Reuters) - Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis would like the number of teams competing in Serie A cut from 20 to 16, he told the Italian radio programme 24 Mattino on Friday.

“In 1986, the teams in Serie A were 16. Then, who knows why, we became 20” said the Neapolitan film producer.

“If we were still 16, with just one relegation, we would all be happier and more competitive.”

F1 working on exhaust microphone to pump up TV volume

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One is working on a microphone that can be attached to a car’s exhaust system to make the sport louder and more ‘visceral’ for television viewers.

Engine noise has been a talking point since the quieter, more fuel-efficient 1.6 litre V6 turbo hybrid power units were introduced in 2014 in place of the raspier and less sophisticated V8 engines.

Formula One’s commercial managing director Sean Bratches said more needed to be done for the worldwide audience.