Despite the title race being all but over, there are still plenty of stories to be written in the remainder of this Premier League campaign - and Sportsmail takes you through all the reasons to remain excited in 2022. Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and Manchester United are struggling to qualify for the Champions League, Arsenal and Tottenham (inset, bottom) are also in a top-four battle and will the big bucks of Newcastle (main) save them from relegation - and could Everton (inset, bottom-right) be dragged into the battle to avoid the drop?
'After the FIRST point she started screaming... she has a lot to learn': Emma Raducanu's first round opponent in Melbourne questions the teen's on-court behaviour - and warns the US Open champion NOT to get used to success
Sloane Stephens has warned Emma Raducanu that she has 'a lot to learn' despite her impressive victory in their Australian Open first-round clash. Raducanu got the better of Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion, in three sets on Tuesday having only required 17 minutes to wrap up the first. After being broken three times on her own serve in a frustrating second, the 19-year-old quickly regained momentum to dominate the third and record a 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 win. Yet in her post-match press conference, Stephens appeared to question Raducanu's on-court behaviour, before telling the youngster she must be prepared for plenty of 'ups and downs' in the sport.
Rooney has worked miracles at Derby, Martinez has most Premier League experience, Kovac lifted trophies at Bayern and Lampard can start NOW... We rate the four bosses on Everton's shortlist
Everton are working to a four man shortlist as they aim to recruit a manager who can save their season. Duncan Ferguson has taken caretaker charge as he did back in 2019 with Wayne Rooney (left), Frank Lampard (second left), Niko Kovac (right) and Roberto Martinez (right) the principal names in the frame to be the next permanent manager. But how do this quartet measure up? Sportsmail assesses them in several key areas as the Toffees look to make the right choice.
Tyson Fury IS in talks to stage a sensational undisputed clash against Oleksandr Usyk in the Middle East, says Bob Arum... and Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua could both step aside to make it happen!
Tyson Fury (left) is in negotiations over a stunning undisputed clash against Oleksandr Usyk in the Middle East, according to his promoter Bob Arum. The Gypsy King was preparing to face Dillian Whyte (inset) in a mandatory defence of his WBC belt this Spring, but Arum has revealed the 'total chaos' of an offer to crown the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999. The sensational development could see both Whyte and Anthony Joshua (right)` - who was set to rematch Usyk in April - step down to make the showdown happen.
JAAP STAM: Man United must look at their recruitment after spending £80m on Harry Maguire. Wes Brown was FAR quicker and more mobile... and the rest of the team need to be more resilient and
Manchester United legend Jaap Stam has slated Harry Maguire's speed and agility after being asked to compare the England's international's defensive abilities to Wes Brown. Stam featured 127 times for Manchester United and helped the Red Devils win six trophies, including three Premier League's and the Champions League title. He played alongside Brown and said that his former team-mate was better than Maguire defensively as he was able to defend 1v1's over greater distances. Stam also said that United should look internally at their recruitment system after forking out £80million on a defender that has failed to impress at the club.
Persevere with 4-3-3, focus on set pieces and target wide areas: Man United travel to Brentford tonight and with the Bees having held their own against top sides at home, this is what Ralf Rangnick's side MUST do to earn a much-needed victory
Manchester United were a mess when Ralf Rangnick took charge after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sacking, but even he would not have expected his reign to have taken a turn for the worse so quickly. It has been obstacle after obstacle so far. Indeed, as it stands, they will be fortunate to be playing Europa League football next season, a prospect certain to further stoke the anger spreading quickly across the fanbase. The race is far from over, of course, but improvement is needed - and fast. That can start tonight against Brentford. Thomas Frank's side have caused quite the stir this season, and look set to avoid dropping down into the Championship. Their home ground is a difficult place to go - United's top four rivals can attest to that. Here, Sportsmail looks at what United must do to ensure they avoid another slip-up - including sharpening up their passing, sticking with their 4-3-3 formation and targeting the wide areas.
Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders heaps praise on Harvey Elliott as he reveals the teenager is set to reprise a key role in Klopp's midfield as he returns from a serious ankle injury with a bang
The 18-year-old dislocated his ankle during Liverpool's 3-0 win over Leeds back in September, just as he was starting to nail down a regular spot in Jurgen Klopp's side. And while many expected Elliott to be out for most of the campaign, the midfielder is now back sooner than expected and is already turning heads in training. Lijnders is certainly one of them and Klopp's No 2 has revealed the dedicated youngster, who was seen smashing in goals and sharing a joke with Virgil Van Dijk in training, is set to reprise that important role in the heart of Liverpool's midfield once he's back to full fitness.
Cristiano Ronaldo 'will LEAVE Man United if they fail to qualify for the Champions League this season' after last week insisting that he does NOT want to 'fight for Europa League football'... and there's doubt over whether he's fit to play tonight!
Ronaldo, 36, sealed a sensational return to United last summer, emboldening hopes that the Red Devils could win their first title in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, United have endured a tumultuous campaign and sit in seventh spot in the Premier League, with performances failing to encourage fans that they can close the gap to West Ham in fourth.
Lewis Hamilton's F1 career hangs in the balance after meeting of F1 and FIA chiefs - as Mercedes push for race director Michael Masi's dismissal following Abu Dhabi farce with Brit staying silent
JONATHAN McEVOY: Lewis Hamilton's (centre) future was unresolved on Tuesday night as conflicting views continue to swirl over the fate of race director Michael Masi (left), who oversaw the controversial last lap of the 2021 decider (won by Max Verstappen, inset). The dramatic Abu Dhabi race - and undoubtedly Masi's survival - was discussed in a one-hour meeting on Tuesday between Mohammed Ben Sulayem (top right), the new president of motor racing's governing FIA, the body investigating the furore, and Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali (bottom right).
Newcastle are weighing up a sensational swoop for Mario Balotelli, according to Adana Demirspor's president, who reveals the striker has a release clause in his deal but insists the Magpies 'have not made an offer'
Balotelli, formerly of Manchester City and Liverpool, is currently plying his trade with Adana Demirspor in Turkey, but has now emerged as a Magpies transfer target. That is according to the president of the club, who has also claimed that there has been no official offer, however, despite the interest from Eddie Howe's side. Sancak has also confirmed that an official offer from Saudi Arabia was lodged for the hot-headed striker, but that was rebuffed. Balotelli joined the Super Lig outfit last summer in another surprising twist in his career, but is enjoying superb form this season and leading their push for Europe.
Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech have a VERY heated discussion at half time of Chelsea's draw at Brighton after winger refused to celebrate his goal... but boss Tuchel plays down the 'normal' spat
Chelsea stars Hakim Ziyech and Romelu Lukaku were seen having a very tense conversation as they left the field at half time during their 1-1 draw at Brighton - although Thomas Tuchel played it down as 'normal'. The Blues dropped points yet again as they drew a blank for the eighth time this season in another hammer blow for their title chances - with Adam Webster's header ensuring Graham Potter's men left with a point. Earlier, Ziyech's angled strike had put Tuchel's men ahead - though the Moroccan winger didn't even celebrate the opener. And his moody attitude continued after speaking with Lukaku when Chelsea walked to the tunnel at the interval.
REVEALED: Police were called to Hobart hotel because Graham Thorpe smoked a cigar INDOORS - with England coach set to be AXED after Ashes booze shame, when he bizarrely filmed Joe Root and Co in the aftermath at 6am
Graham Thorpe's position as England assistant coach looks untenable after police were called to the team hotel in Hobart because he was smoking a cigar inside the premises during a drinking session that lasted until 6am. The ECB launched an investigation after footage taken by Thorpe of Tasmanian police telling five Ashes stars - including Joe Root and Jimmy Anderson - to go to bed following a complaint about 'intoxicated people' ended up on the Sydney Morning Herald website.
'It doesn't sit well': Joe Cole criticises Hakim Ziyech's unenthusiastic celebration in 1-1 draw at Brighton as Glenn Murray suggests muted reaction affected Chelsea's attitude
Joe Cole could not understand Hakim Ziyech's non-celebration after scoring the opening goal of Chelsea's 1-1 draw at Brighton. Ziyech was one of the players most widely criticised following Saturday's defeat at Manchester City and the Moroccan, who was making only his eighth league start of the season, had a point to prove at the Amex Stadium. He gave the visitors the lead against the run of play with a speculative shot from outside the area but barely reacted after hitting the net despite being mobbed by his team-mates.
SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: I'm envious, this is the best England squad since we won the World Cup... well done Eddie Jones for recognising it's time for a new wave of players to back the old stagers
SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: You can always quibble about one or two of England's squad selections but overall, this is our most talented group of players since the class of 2003. For the first time since England and I parted company, I must confess to being a little bit envious. If England get it right they won't just be getting the Twickenham faithful on their feet going nuts but the whole rugby world will be on their feet, too.
TREVOR BAYLISS: Andrew Strauss is the PERFECT man to save English cricket… he's intelligent with an innate knowledge of the game and has wide-ranging experiences as a player, captain and administrator
The commitment to change has to be widespread, across the whole game. Let’s take what happened to white-ball cricket after the World Cup of 2015 as an example of what can be achieved. Something desperately needed to change and England’s commitment to improving after years of under- achievement led to winning the World Cup of 2019 and formidable 50 over and T20 international sides. The architect of that change, of course, was Andrew Strauss (left, with Bayliss) as then team director. I believe he would be the perfect man to do the same for England’s red-ball game now, if his personal situation is such that he can devote the time to it. Pictured top right: England managing director Ashley Giles. Pictured bottom right: England head coach Chris Silverwood.
Stars of sport
|1||Manchester City||Man City||56|
|4||West Ham United||West Ham||37|
|7||Manchester United||Man Utd||32|
|9||Brighton & Hove Albion||Brighton||29|
|11||Crystal Palace||Crystal Palace||24|
|13||Aston Villa||Aston Villa||23|
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More events than ever before, chaos in the speed skating and a battle of champions on the ice... plus more tales of the unexpected! Here are 10 reasons to tune into the Beijing Winter Olympics
NEW Just six months on and the Olympics show is back on the road with its winter edition. It's rare for two Games to be so close together as the hotter climes of Tokyo have been replaced by Beijing's cold temperatures and makeshift snow. China's £2.5billion event is coming into view and although rising Covid cases continue to threaten the much-anticipated Games, the final touches are being made. Here, Sportsmail takes a look at the reasons why fans should be excited about February's instalment.