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Summary

  1. Wales boss Coleman 'desperate' to reach World Cup
  2. World Cup qualifier: Rep of Ireland v Wales (19:45 GMT)
  3. Middlesbrough's Gibson replaces Smalling in England squad
  4. Tottenham's Alli banned for three European matches
  5. Get Involved: How did sport change your life? #bbcsportsday

Live Reporting

By Ellie Thomason and Alan Jewell

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye

That's your lot from us today.

Join us here at 18:30 GMT for live text and radio commentary of Republic of Ireland v Wales in their World Cup qualifier.

We'll be back on Monday for more rolling news and debate on Sportsday.

Bye for now.

Gibson's England call-up an 'unbelievable honour'

England v Lithuania (Sun, 17:00 BST)

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'Why Wales dare not lose'

Rep of Ireland v Wales (Fri, 19:45 GMT)

Ian Brown

BBC football commentator

They are not keen on the phrase "must-win game" and the Welsh team are right not to see it in such stark terms.

A point would keep the pot boiling. But - here's the key point - Wales dare not lose. Defeat would leave them seven points adrift of Ireland with the easier home games in Cardiff already played.

So Wales need to take advantage of Irish injuries and suspensions. Three of the back four who played in the win in Austria are unavailable to Martin O'Neill while Wales should be at full strength for the first time since that famous Euro 2016. night in Lille when Belgium were beaten 3-1

Full commentary is on 5 live Sport from 19:00 GMT.

A wigged wizard, a 'strike' & managerial sackings

#PeoplesCup

Here's a flavour of what happened during the first round of the FA People's Cup.....

FA People's Cup: Top 10 magic moments

.....and you'll be able to follow all the action from the semi-finals of the FA People's Cup this weekend with our live text commentaries on Saturday and Sunday (10:00-18:00 both days). 

Get Involved - how did sport change your life?

#bbcsportsday

Inspired by  Claressa Shields' story,   we asked how sport changed your life. Tweet #bbcsportsday, text 81111 or head to the BBC Sport Facebook page.

Luke Ennew: Sport is my life. When my dad had a heart attack last year cricket kept me going. His first game back I scored my first 100. 

Mungo George: Squash gives me those endorphins that writing a dissertation could never do 

Match facts

Rep of Ireland v Wales (Fri, 19:45 GMT)

  • Wales have not won against the Republic of Ireland in their past six games, with their most recent victory a 1-0 friendly win in February 1992.
  • Of the 13 previous meetings between the sides, both have won five each with three draws.
  • Only two matches between Wales and the Republic of Ireland have ended goalless.

Ireland match not 'do or die' for Wales

Rep of Ireland v Wales (Fri, 19:45 GMT)

Wales boss Chris Coleman is reluctant to declare Friday's World Cup qualifier in Dublin a "must-win" match for his team.

"People will look at this and say it's do or die but I don't see that," he said.

"All I see is a huge challenge, a great game for us. We've always wanted to be involved in games like this, when the pressure is on for all the right reasons, which means we're competing at the right end as opposed to halfway into it and competing for nothing, competing for pride. That's not the case."

Chris Coleman
PA

Try these at home

#GetInspired

We've got live coverage of the British Gymnastics championships this Sunday  - so why not get yourself warmed up by trying three exercises suggested by Max Whitlock? 

Max Whitlock shows you three exercises to try at home
BBC Sport

Rep of Ireland v Wales (Fri, 19:45 GMT)

Wales fans in Dublin
BBC Sport

Plenty of happy faces amongst the Welsh support in Dublin. Will that still be the case later?

Wales fans in Dublin
BBC Sport

Rep of Ireland v Wales (Fri, 19:45 GMT)

Hats and scarves for Ireland-Wales
BBC Sport

This time last week it was St Patrick's Day. Will there be more celebrating for those in green in Dublin tonight?

England U19s qualify for Euros

Football

England Under-19s have qualified for this summer's European Championships in Georgia with a game to spare.

A brace from Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold plus a goal from Arsenal's Chris Willock saw England beat Spain 3-0 at St George's Park.

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Red all over

Rep of Ireland v Wales (Fri, 19:45 GMT)

Juliette Ferrington

BBC Radio 5 live in Dublin

Wales
BBC Sport

It couldn't get any redder in Dublin City centre. The place is bouncing as the Welsh look to unleash the dragon on the boys in green tonight.

You can't get a ticket for love nor money for this game - it sold out in record time such is its importance in World Cup qualifying Group D.

Republic of Ireland have four points on Wales, who can't afford to drop further behind Martin O'Neill's men if they want to achieve their hopes of World Cup qualification.

No new injury concerns for Chris Coleman before this crucial night as thousands of Welsh fans take advantage of the sunshine and Guinness before heading down to the Aviva Stadium.

Listen to build-up and commentary on BBC Radio 5 live from 19:00 GMT.

Wales
.

To all you mums out there

#GetInspired

With Mother's Day coming up on Sunday, let Ironman athlete Jon Alexander tell you the story of his mum, Sue, and how she has always been his inspiration....

Ironman is now his mum's biggest fan

You can find out how to get into triathlon with our Get Inspired guide.

England name 24-woman squad for UAE training camp

Cricket

England squad:  Heather Knight (Berkshire, captain), Anya Shrubsole (Somerset, vice-captain) , Tammy Beaumont (Kent), Katherine Brunt (Yorkshire), Kate Cross (Lancashire), Georgia Elwiss (Sussex), Tash Farrant (Kent), Jenny Gunn (Warwickshire), Alexandra Hartley (Lancashire), Danielle Hazell (Yorkshire), Amy Jones (Warwickshire), Beth Langston (Yorkshire), Laura Marsh (Kent), Natalie Sciver (Surrey), Fran Wilson (Middlesex), Lauren Winfield (Yorkshire), Danielle Wyatt (Sussex), Georgia Adams (Sussex), Hollie Armitage (Yorkshire), Alice Davidson-Richards (Kent), Sophie Ecclestone (Lancashire), Evelyn Jones (Lancashire), Emma Lamb (Lancashire), Linsey Smith (Berkshire).  

Heather Knight
Getty Images

Man City fined by Uefa

Football

After accepting an FA charge earlier, there is more disciplinary trouble for Manchester City.

They have been fined 18,000 euros (approx £15,580) by Uefa after fans invaded the pitch in their Champions League last-16 home leg against Monaco on 21 February.

The fine also related to the throwing of objects and the late kick-off.

Tonight's other World Cup qualifiers

Football

Diego Costa
AFP

Wales will be hoping Serbia , who are currently second in Group D, slip up away at Georgia , who are yet to win one of their 2018 World Cup qualifiers. 

A win for Austria against bottom-of-the-group Moldova could see them overtake Wales if they fail to beat Republic of Ireland.

In Group G, Spain and Italy are level on points at the top, but Spain have the better goal difference. Spain host  Israel  in El Molinon, whilst Italy host Albania in Palermo. Liechtenstein  are home to fellow strugglers Macedonia , with both sides yet to pick up a point in this qualifying campaign.

Ukraine will overtake Croatia at the top of Group I with a win against the current leaders tonight. At the other end of the table, bottom side Kosovo travel to Iceland , whilst Turkey host Finland.

A fighting machine

Linares v Crolla, Saturday, 22:00 GMT, Radio 5 live

Luke Reddy

BBC Sport boxing reporter

Linares
PA

Don't fall for the cliche that the away fighter may crumble in the face of a hot British atmosphere in this one.

Jorge Linares has had 44 fights and 40 of them have been away from his Venezuelan homeland. This is a man happy to travel and mix it in equal measure.

I recall British coach Rob McCracken once describe Carl Froch as a "fighting machine". Seeing Linares take blows and throw them back almost instantly in his first meeting with Anthony Crolla certainly gave him a machine-like look. A right handful, hence his history of winning world titles.

Head-to-head respect

Linares v Crolla, Saturday, 22:00 GMT, Radio 5 live

Linares v Crolla fight record
.

Around 20,000 fans are expected at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night when Anthony Crolla tries to win his WBA lightweight title back from the man who took it - Jorge Linares.

It's been a build-up of mutual respect, there are no WWE-style insults on offer.

"Winning it back on Saturday would, without doubt, be the highlight of my career," said Crolla.

"There's a lot of people out there who think there's no way I can beat Jorge Linares. It's their opinion and Jorge is a great fighter but I'll prove an awful lot of people wrong."

You can listen to Linares v Crolla on 5 live from 22:00 GMT on Saturday.

Kearney and Heaslip both have surgery

Rugby union

Jamie Heaslip and Rob Kearney
Rex Features

Ireland's Rob Kearney and Jamie Heaslip have had their hopes of British and Irish Lions selection placed in doubt after undergoing minor surgery.

Number eight Heaslip (above, right) has completed a back procedure while full-back Kearney has had surgery on a knee injury.

Neither player was able to take part in the final match of the Six Nations against England last Saturday and face several weeks out of action.

"Jamie just had a procedure done on his back. He had disc issues. Obviously they come on quite quickly," head coach Leo Cullen said. "It rules him out of the next number of weeks.

"Rob had an issue with his knee. It happened early during training in the week of the England game.

"That's probably four to six weeks. We'll see how he comes through that."

Both players have been involved in the last two Lions tours.

World champion training

Linares v Crolla, Saturday, 22:00 GMT, Radio 5 live

Ever wondered what a typical Anthony Crolla training week looks like?

It the run up to tomorrow night's world-title shot against Jorge Linares it's been something like this:

Anthony Crolla
.

Monday AM:  Punching session  PM:  Swimming intervals

Tuesday AM:  Pads, followed by strength and conditioning  PM:  Yoga

Wednesday AM:  Punching session  PM:  Swimming intervals

Thursday AM:  Pads, followed by strength and conditioning  PM:  Yoga

Friday AM:  Sparring, followed by weights  PM:  Chiropractor and massage

Saturday AM:  Yoga  Sunday:  Rest

You can listen to Linares v Crolla on 5 live from 22:00 GMT on Saturday.

Get Involved

#bbcsportsday

Harry Maguire
Rex Features

Oli in Hull:  Hull players keep getting overlooked, Maguire should be an England player. Maybe if he moves clubs people will realise, like Livermore. Who was the last Hull player to play for England?!  

Jamie Moss: What does Craig Dawson have to do to get a call up??

Ireland 'here to win' - Keane

Rep of Ireland v Wales (Fri, 19:45 GMT)

Roy Keane
Rex Features

This is an big match for both sides, but the onus is on Wales to win as they aim to close the four-point gap between themselves in third place and the Republic of Ireland at the top of Group D.

Only the group winners secure automatic qualification for the 2018 World Cup, while the eight best of the nine second-placed teams must enter the play-offs.

With three wins and a draw from their opening four fixtures, Ireland are in a commanding position.

A draw would be enough to keep a sizeable gap between themselves and Wales, but the Republic's assistant manager, Roy Keane, is not entertaining that notion.

He said: "I know from working with the manager and the staff and the group of players we have, if you think our mindset going into the game on Friday night at the Aviva is a draw, then you are sadly mistaken. We're here to win."

Given says Ireland fans can play huge part

Republic of Ireland v Wales (19:45 GMT)

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Clinton in Dublin

Rep of Ireland v Wales (Friday, 19:45 GMT)

Dafydd Pritchard

BBC Wales Sport in Dublin

Thousands of Wales fans have been lining the streets of Dublin as the build-up continues for tonight's enormous World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland - and there are some famous faces among the crowds too.

Bill Clinton, the former president of the United States, has been in the Irish capital today, having attended the funeral of Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness on Thursday.

Judging by this Wales fan's picture of Mr Clinton holding a bunch of daffodils, might the former president be backing Chris Coleman's men tonight?

Bill Clinton
@BuzzBoncath on Twitter

'All we ask is that fans support us in the right way'

England v Lithuania (Sunday, 17:00 BST)

Eric Dier
Rex Features

Eric Dier was asked what he made of the chants from England fans in Wednesday's defeat against Germany in Dortmund.

"When you're on the pitch you don't hear anything really. I only heard about it afterwards, I didn't hear anything whilst I was playing," he said.

"In general the fans have been fantastic wherever we go. The support they give us is amazing but all we ask is that they support us in the right way.

"With the dreadful things that have happened in London we ask fans to respect that, and we as players will do our best to honour the people that passed away this week."

'We can't play the age card forever'

England v Lithuania (Sunday, 17:00 BST)

Eric Dier
Reuters

Eric Dier was asked when is a realistic target for the current England squad to peak, and if he thought the 2018 World Cup in Russia might be too soon.

He said: "We might be quite young but I don't think we can play the age card forever. I'm 23 now and I don't think that's very young. We've all played a lot of games and age isn't everything.

"I like to go on a game by game basis and football goes up and down. There's no point putting a target on it because in football anything can happen."

Dier would like to captain England

England v Lithuania (Sunday, 17:00 BST)

Dier is asked about Gareth Southgate's suggestion that the England captaincy could be rotated among the players and whether it's an honour he would like:

"It's an ambition of mine, I would love to do that one day. I think I can do that job but it's up to the manager to decide."

'We want to be part of something special'

England v Lithuania (Sun, 17:00 BST)

Eric Dier
Rex Features

Eric Dier talks about manager Gareth Southgate and how he relates to the players.

He says: "Gareth has been around the England set-up for a while. I don't think he's eager to change everything, it's just little things here and there.

"He was a player not too long ago so he knows what we think and what's on our minds.

"He wants a camp where we enjoy ourselves and express ourselves.

"We are a very young team and we want to be part of something with him that's something special.

"He can relate to situations that we've been in. He has a lot of experience and hopefully young players like me can learn from him."

Iceland a painful reminder that no game is easy, says Dier

England v Lithuania (Sunday, 17:00 BST)

Eric Dier
Reuters

Speaking before Sunday's World Cup qualifier at Wembley, Eric Dier says it will be a tough game:

"In all internationals now there's no easy game and every team sets up to try and stop us, especially here at Wembley. We want to play quick, exciting football and hopefully they won't be able to handle that. We have to be aggressive with the ball and move it quickly.

"Whenever you're in an England squad now we will think of that [Euro 2016] Iceland defeat. It's a painful reminder but it's a good lesson for the future."

When asked about the different systems manager Gareth Southgate is experimenting with, Dier said he doesn't have a preference.

"I've played both systems at my club now and both with England. Both have positives and it's up to the manager. It's a big thing for the squad to be adaptable. I just enjoy to play really, no matter where it is."

Gibson a very good player, says Dier

England v Lithuania (Sun, 17:00 BST)

Eric Dier
Rex Features

England midfielder Eric Dier is facing the media to preview Sunday's World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley.

He starts by talking about the call-up for Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson after Chris Smalling pulled out injured.

Of Gibson, Dier says: "i've known him since the under-21s and we get on quite well and he's a very good player. He's been getting a lot of praise for how he's been playing with Middlesbrough this season."

Dier says he does not know the nature of Smalling's injury.

Man City accept FA charge

Football

Man City-Liverpool
Getty Images

Manchester City have accepted a Football Association charge of failing to "ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion" during Sunday's 1-1 draw against Liverpool.

It follows the penalty that led to Liverpool's goal when referee Michael Oliver penalised Gael Clichy for a raised boot on Roberto Firmino.

Both Clichy and David Silva were booked after Oliver pointed to the spot.

The case will be heard by an independent regulatory commission in due course. 

Cyclists use GPS to draw a goat

Cycling

Goat
Ben Jones

Four cyclists in Australia have just made our day. 

They used "GPS art" to turn a 202km (125-mile) ride into the outline of a goat around Perth. 

Why a goat? Because it was "an easy animal to draw" according to Ben Jones.

"Apart from riding 200km, it's relatively simple," he told the BBC.

"You basically drop little dots on the road and it plans directions out."  

Top marks.

Baggies get involved with Red Nose Day

Football

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Tonight's Comic Relief coverage starts on BBC One at 19:00 GMT.

'Great practice sessions, the car felt great'

Formula 1

View more on instagram

So far so good for Lewis Hamilton. He's posted on his Instagram account after dominating the first two practice sessions in Melbourne ahead of Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.

BBC app users may need to select the link the view the photo.

Get Involved - your thoughts on Republic of Ireland v Wales

#bbcsportsday

Martin O'Neill and Chris Coleman
Getty Images

Both Republic of Ireland and Wales are unbeaten in their World Cup qualifying campaigns so far, but Chris Coleman's side are third in Group D. four points behind Martin O'Neill's men who sit top.

With only the group winners gaining automatic qualification to next year's tournament in Russia, tonight is a big game for both sides.

So how are you fans feeling? Is it do or die for Wales? Do they have to win or is a draw acceptable? Or can the Republic record a fourth straight victory to cement their place at the top of the group.

Let us know your thoughts. Tweet us on #bbcsportsday, text 81111, or comment on the Match of the Day Facebook page.

'Weird home comforts'

Athletics

Training in the rain doesn't look like much fun, but for GB's Katarina Johnson-Thompson it provided her with some home comforts on her training camp.

BBC app users may need to select the link to view the photo.

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World Cup qualifying

Football

As the home nations and the Republic of Ireland prepare for their games, we take a look at some of the stories from elsewhere in the world.

Alexis Sanchez was far from happy as Lionel Messi's penalty saw Argentina beat Chile , who sit sixth in the South America qualifying table.

Brazil moved one step closer to qualification thanks to a hat-trick from former Spurs striker Paulinho which helped the hosts came from 1-0 down to beat  Uruguay 4-1.

Read the rest of the round-up here.

Alexis Sanchez
Getty Images

The finest margins

Linares v Crolla, Saturday, 22:00 GMT, Radio 5 live

Luke Reddy

BBC Sport boxing reporter

Anthony Crolla
.

It was a privilege to sit in and watch Anthony Crolla spar ahead of his revenge mission against Jorge Linares.

In baking heat to replicate fight night under the lights he was a picture of athleticism and professionalism. 

Sitting with Crolla's trainer Joe Gallagher, you could almost sense how much is on the line and how fine the margins are. Win and Crolla likely gets a big-money bout in America, lose and it could be a case of rebuilding domestically for two or three fights.

Linares is an odds-on favourite. In their first match he dazzled the judges with fast, eye-catching work when it mattered to nick points. Crolla will try everything to prevent that happening again.

To take a look inside Gallagher's Gym when Crolla did his final big session, click here. And the preview for the fight - which will be on 5 live from 22:00 GMT on Saturday - is here.

Not much in it

Linares v Crolla, Saturday, 22:00 GMT, Radio 5 live

Incidentally, both Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares scaled inside the lightweight limit. 

Crolla (below right) weighed-in at 9st 8lbs 7ozs with Linares at 9st 8lbs 4ozs.

Jorge Linares and Anthony crolla
PA