Henrik Stenson comes off his best finish of the season at the PGA Championship
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The Barclays: McIlroy’s amazing run to end at Stenson’s hands
Ryder Cup absentee Tiger Woods has said he he is looking to be stronger and “more explosive” when he returns from his back injury later this year (2014 Ryder Cup – USA 7/4 tournament outright ). The former world number one has been forced to pull out of contention for the American Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles next month as his niggling back troubles have continued to plague his game (Team Europe 4/7 Ryder Cup outright ). Woods is now targeting a return to action in December has he looks to build some form going into the 2015 campaign. The 38-year-old has admitted it was a disappointment to miss out on possible selection for the Ryder Cup but hopes this latest break from the sport will do him some good in the long-term. He said: “Physically I just couldn’t do it – I wouldn’t be ready and not being ready for my team-mates, for the captain, assistant captains and everyone who’s involved in the event, I just wouldn’t be ready and I just couldn’t help the team. “Every time your name’s called – and when you’re on that team your name could be called five times and trust me, I’ve played all five sessions, some guys have played one – but when your name’s called, your name’s called and you need to be able to go out there and get a point. “And I just didn’t feel like I could be ready enough where I could get a point and with that being said, it was time to shut it down, get stronger and get more explosive again and get back for next year.”
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Woods eyes strong return
Toro Rosso have confirmed that they will have the youngest ever driver in Formula 1 when teenager Max Verstappen joins them for the 2015 season. Verstappen, who will soon turn 17, has impressed in Formula 3 this year and has been given the chance to step up into F1, with the Dutchman set to replace Jean-Eric Vergne next season. Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said of Verstappen: “We consider Max to be one of the most skilled young drivers of the new generation. “We believe he has the necessary maturity and mental strength to take on this challenge successfully. “It will now be up to us to provide Max with a competitive car, which will enable him to have the best possible start to his Formula 1 career.” This season Toro Rosso lie seventh in the Constructors’ standings, having scored just 17 points, with eighth by Vergne in Australia and Canada their best result. The Frenchman is 13/8 with bet365 to secure another points finish at the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho hopes Petr Cech will stay with the club and battle Thibaut Courtois for the goalkeeper’s starting spot at Stamford Bridge. Veteran Cech was left on the bench for the 3-1 win at Burnley on Monday evening, with Belgium international Courtois given the nod after three seasons away on loan at Atletico Madrid. However, Mourinho is keen to keep the long-serving Cech, who has made well over 450 appearances for the Blues in his decade with the club. He said after a solid victory at Turf Moor: “Obviously a goalkeeper is not the kind of player you change match after match, you must give a bit of stability. “But this is about performances, so Thibaut has to know that having a goalkeeper of Petr’s level sitting on the bench, it means from him (we need) high level of performances.” The Blues are 11/8 with bet365 to be crowned Premier League champions this season.
Soccer – Mourinho hopes for Cech stay
Scottish and French sides joined by Zenit St Petersburg in Wednesday night fourfold
Arsene Wenger is expecting a difficult two-legged play-off against Besiktas as he attempts to guide his Arsenal side into the group stage of the Champions League for the 17th season in a row. The Gunners also had to overcome Turkish opponents at this stage of the competition 12 months ago, eventually seeing off Fenerbahce 5-0 on aggregate. Besiktas, who are managed by the former Croatia coach Slaven Bilic, beat Dutch side Feyenoord 5-2 on aggregate in the third qualifying round, and Wenger is aware of their threat. The Gunners can be backed at 13/2 with bet365 to draw the first leg in Turkey 1-1 and are 1/6 to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League. Wenger said: “We are desperate to do it because we want to play in the Champions League and we know how big these games are. “We always have a difficult draw, we had Fenerbahce last year, this time we have Besiktas, so it is difficult.”
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Soccer – Wenger ready for tricky Besiktas test
Alastair Cook has warned that England are still a work in progress after they hit back to beat India 3-1 in this summer’s Test series. Since losing last month’s second Test at Lord’s, a result which left the tourists 1-0 ahead in the five-Test series, England have been superb, romping to big wins at Southampton, Old Trafford and The Oval. England sealed their series success by cantering to victory inside three days in the final Test, but Cook is refusing to get carried away. He said: “A five-match series always gives you a chance to come back. I had full faith in our ability, it was about stringing performances together. “But just because we’ve won this series doesn’t mean everything is rosy. It’s a start but we will keep our feet on the ground.” England are 15/8 with bet365 to beat India 3-2 in the upcoming one-day series and are available at 6/1 to win the World Cup 2015 outright.
Mike Norman has all the betting highlights as Chelsea come from a goal behind to beat relegation favourites Burnley in the live Monday Night Football fixture…
Real’s transfer business means Los Blancos should be backed for big win over Atleti
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Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid: Bernabeu blasting on cards