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Summary

  1. Johnson guilty plea a shock - Allardyce
  2. Spurs squad does not feel pressure - Pochettino
  3. Oscar Pistorius denied leave to appeal against murder conviction
  4. SheBelieves Cup: England women v USA women (00:45 GMT)
  5. West Brom and Northern Ireland's Chris Brunt to miss Euro 2016

Live Reporting

By Jamie Lillywhite and Alan Jewell

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Farewell

And that is where we leave you for today, many thanks for being with us. Now the Shearer-Savage 5-a-side marathon is still in full swing away to my right (Sav is hobbling a bit it appears, but battling on gamely). The live text continues, with the dedicated follower of football fashions, Jonathan Jurejko, currently in the hot seat. Join him for all the fun - and the important message behind it all - and Sportsday will return at 08:00 on Friday. Cheerio now.

5 live Sport

BBC Radio 5 Live

Tonight's 5 live Sport with Will Perry from 19:00 BST features special guest Victoria Pendleton, who will talk about the World Track Cycling Championships that will be live on the BBC, plus her new career as a jockey.

There is also news of the Sport Relief 5-a-side charity matches that are taking place here at Media City, there is an extensive F1 report and from 20:00 Russell Fuller previews the start of Great Britain's Davis Cup defence against Japan in Birmingham.

Flanagan plays down Sterling challenge

Football

Jon Flanagan with Raheem Sterling during their Liverpool days
AFP

Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan described his crunching challenge on former team-mate Raheem Sterling as "just business." Only 30 seconds into Wednesday's 3-0 victory for Liverpool over Manchester City, Flanagan knocked the £49m signing off his feet with a strong but fair tackle. 

"It was something I had to do to get the crowd up," the 23-year-old said."The crowd have been fantastic, always right behind me even in the dark days. Me and Raheem were good mates at Liverpool but now he's gone to City it is just business on the pitch." 

GB's team pursuit can only aim for bronze

Track Cycling

Great Britain women's team pursuit squad
ge

Great Britain's women's pursuit team can finish no better than third at the Track Cycling World Championships after a poor qualifying ride in London.

The quartet of Laura Trott, Elinor Barker, Ciara Horne and Joanna Rowsell Shand clocked four minutes 21.034 seconds - the fifth-fastest time.

Britain have won six of the previous eight world titles in the event, but they can now only ride off for bronze.

The USA qualified fastest, followed by Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Chastain to donate brain for medical research

Football

Brandi Chastain celebrates winning the 1999 Women's World Cup
Getty Images

Brandi Chastain, famous for her winning penalty for the USA in the 1999 Women's World Cup final, has announced that she is going to donate her brain for medical research.

Chastain, now 47 and a coach, has agreed to donate her brain to researchers at Boston University, pioneers in the study of concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease.

CTE has been found in the brains of dozens of former American football players and ex-West Brom and England striker Jeff Astle, who died in 2002.

She told the New York Times she hoped to leave a "substantial legacy - something that could protect and save some kids", adding: "That was the impetus for saying yes. If we can learn something, we should. And I won’t need it."

Jenas makes Question Time debut

BBC Question Time, Thursday, 22:45 GMT

Former Tottenham and England midfielder Jermaine Jenas is diversifying this evening. The Match of the Day pundit will be a guest on the panel of another iconic BBC production, the political discussion programme Question Time at 22:45 GMT.

Celtic to have 'clear-the-air' meeting

Football

Ronny Delia
Getty Images

Celtic manager Ronny Deila and his players will be having a clear-the-air meeting after Aberdeen narrowed the gap at the top of the Scottish Premiership. 

"We need to clean the air and be agreeing with how we go forward," he said after Celtic were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Dundee. "That's my job to do. That's what I'm going to do."

England batting excites Collingwood

ICC World T20

Paul Collingwood
Getty Images

England's "powerful" batting line-up gives them a strong chance of winning the World T20 in India, according to former skipper Paul Collingwood.

The Durham all-rounder, who lifted the trophy in the Caribbean in 2010, will be with the squad as part of the coaching staff and believes recent limited-overs defeats in South Africa were "a bit of a blip".

He told BBC Newcastle: "If they play like they did against Australia or New Zealand (last year) they can beat anyone."

Live cycling on the BBC

Track Cycling

BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

Also tonight there is coverage of the World Track Cycling Championships in London, live on BBC TWO and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra from 19:00 GMT. Also two-time Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton will be offering her thoughts on the event as a special guest on 5 live Sport from 19:00 GMT.

Pistorius denied leave to appeal

Oscar Pistorius
Getty Images

OscarPistorius has been denied leave to appeal against his conviction for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The Constitutional Court has made the ruling, meaning the South African athlete will now be sentenced in April.

Six-time Paralympic gold medallist Pistorius, 29, killed Ms Steenkamp in February 2013 after firing a gun four times through a locked toilet door.

A manslaughter verdict was overturned in December and a murder verdict introduced in its place.

Read the developing story here.

SheBelieves Cup

England v USA (Friday, 00:30 GMT)

A reminder that there is live coverage of England women's opening SheBelieves Cup match with the USA on BBC One. For UK viewers it is an early one, or late one, 00:30 GMT on Friday, and the match can also be seen on the BBC website.

Mauricio Pochettino news conference

Tottenham v Arsenal (Saturday, 12:45 GMT)

[Will the greater experience of rivals Arsenal prove significant in the title race?] "It's difficult to know. If they have players that have the advantage to win the title, what happened against Manchester United or Swansea [both matches that Arsenal lost] "We are capable of beating Manchester City away, against West Ham [the 1-0 defeat] was difficult but sometimes we use a lot of topics in football. Football is simple, not too complicated. 

Mark Hughes news conference

Chelsea v Stoke (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

News on Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given, who celebrates his 40th birthday next month, and has been rehabilitating following knee surgery. 

"He is working with Andy Quy, our goalkeeping coach," said Hughes. "It's early days yet. He's not doing all elements of the sessions with them at the moment but he is back on the grass, which is encouraging for him. 

"It has been a long time but we're hopeful that before the end of the season he will be fit and available." 

Later kick-off for Man Utd v Liverpool

Football

Simon Stone

BBC Sport

"Official confirmation expected from Uefa later but I am told the second leg of Manchester United's Europa League last 16 tie with Liverpool at Old Trafford on 17 March, originally scheduled for 18:00 GMT, will now kick off at 2005 GMT."

Mark Hughes news conference

Chelsea v Stoke (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

An injury update on another Potters defender, Ryan Shawcross. "He's in Germany seeing somebody about his injury. Whether he is available for Saturday remains to be seen.

"We have five fit defenders in the building at the moment and a couple of them aren't fully fit."  

Mark Hughes news conference

Chelsea v Stoke (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

The Stoke boss confirms that defender Phil Bardsley will be sidelined through injury and that Geoff Cameron's fitness will be assessed.

"Phil has pulled his calf and will be out for a few weeks. Geoff is really sore, which we expected. We'll look at him on Friday." 

Shearer v Savage

Sport Relief's Battle of the five-a-sides

Sport Relief image
BBC Sport

Robbie Savage is now over halfway though his 12-hour five-a-side marathon for Sport Relief.

It's all taking place outside our office window and he's still smiling, despite puffing and blowing quite a bit. 

Savage is one of five players, along with opposite skipper Alan Shearer, Danny Jones (of McFly), Josh Cuthbert (of Union) and Rachel Riley (Countdown's number cruncher), putting themselves through a gruelling 12-hour stint in the name of charity.  

What troopers they are.

The whole challenge, which started at 09:00 GMT on Thursday, will last for 57 hours. 

You can watch live coverage of the action, and follow our text commentary, here.

And you can donate to Sport Relief here.

Celtic lose Boyata appeal

Celtic lose their appeal against Dedryck Boyata's red card at Hamilton.

Mauricio Pochettino news conference

Tottenham v Arsenal (Saturday, 12:45 GMT)

"It was not nerves, it is difficult to play every game at the intensity we normally play but I am happy with the effort. Our squad is confident, it was only one defeat. The most important thing is that we had chances in that second half, I don't feel the squad feels pressure. We have 10 games, a lot of points to play for."  

Mauricio Pochettino news conference

Tottenham v Arsenal (Saturday, 12:45 GMT)

[On the defeat at West Ham that denied Spurs the chance to go to the top of the table] "We can see how competitive the Premier League is, it is tough to be at the top, we missed a good opportunity, we didn't play in the way we have shown. We played well in the second half but in the first half we needed to be more aggressive." 

Johnson case a warning to players - Allardyce

Southampton v Sunderland (15:00 GMT)

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has told a news conference that Adam Johnson's conviction on child sex charges is a warning to other players.

He said: "It's a big shock to everybody and a reminder to everybody to make sure you don't put yourself in that situation."

Allardyce added: "Our focus has to be on our football and getting out of [relegation] trouble."

A Question of Sport

Here are the answers. We asked which five players other than birthday boy Inzamam-ul-Haq have scored more than 5,000 Test runs for Pakistan.

The batsmen are Younis Khan, Javed Miandad, Mohammad Yousuf, Salim Malik, Zaheer Abbas.  

We'll have another of these at the same time on Friday.  

Johnson 'let us down'

Southampton v Sunderland (15:00 GMT)

More from Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce, who has told a news conference that he feels "let down" by Adam Johnson. 

He said: "We all feel let down by what has happened and what Adam has done.

"Whatever his punishment is, he has to accept that and we will have to move on." 

Johnson guilty plea a massive shock - Allardyce

Southampton v Sunderland (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has told BBC Newcastle that Adam Johnson's guilty plea on a child sex charge was a "massive shock" to him.

On Wednesday, Johnson was convicted of one count of sexual activity with a girl aged 15.

He had previously admitted grooming the girl and one charge of sexual activity, after which the club sacked the midfielder.

"All I knew was he was pleading not guilty on all charges," said Allardyce. 

"It was a massive shock and the club has obviously given out a statement [about the change of plea and the club’s knowledge of it].

“My position was just what I'd heard from Adam, but him changing his plea was a shock while with the end verdict you can have nothing but sympathy for the victim.

"Justice has been done, he's let everybody down."

Haag lands England role

Rugby Union

Nottingham head coach Martin Haag will leave the Championship club at the end of the season to take on the same role with of England's Under-20 side. The former Bath and England lock will be in charge for the World Rugby Championship in June.

No discharge date for Swans boss

Football

Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin in "comfortable" condition with chest infection but has no hospital discharge date

Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin in "comfortable" condition with chest infection but has no hospital discharge date

Tottenham news conference

Tottenham v Arsenal (Saturday, 12:45 GMT)

Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris
Reuters

We are still waiting to hear from manager Mauricio Pochettino but skipper Hugo Lloris says of the title race: "A lot of things can happen, teams can lose points so we need to be consistent until the end. It's too early to talk about the title, we just try to push to finish as high as possible. 

"The derby is an important game for all the supporters and players, we know how big the impact can be if we win but we are very calm. The target is to finish in the top four, if we can get more we will."

'Southampton still aiming for Europe'

Southampton v Sunderland, (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Ronald Koeman
Getty Images

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman tells a news conference that his side are still aiming to qualify for Europe, despite losing their past two matches to drop to ninth in the Premier League.

"The ambition is still fighting for Europe," he said. 

"Of course everybody needs a good run. We showed that before and after two defeats we need to win. 

"It would be a big achievement because we are Southampton - we don't have the possibilities like most of the teams."

SheBelieves Cup preview

Football

Carli Lloyd
Getty Images

USA international midfielder Carli Lloyd with some thoughts on the opening SheBelieves Cup match with England, that will be live on BBC One and the BBC Sport website from 00:30 GMT on Friday.

"Every team is going to be a challenge. I know [Fran] Kirby is good, Karen Carney, [Fara] Williams, they are quality, they have got good results. 

"It depends how they come out. If they sit in and bunker it will be a different game, if they come out and play us then it will be different again. We really don't know what to expect but if we focus on what we need to do we'll be ok."

Posh players have team meeting

Football

Since Peterborough United took West Brom to an FA Cup fourth-round replay penalty shootout, Graham Westley's League One side have lost all five of their games.

Graham Westley
Rex Features

So what can you do to get yourself out of a slump? Have a team meeting. Westley revealed at his Thursday press conference the Posh players decided amongst themselves to come in early to have a "get together talking about what needs to change and what they feel they can do better".

"I think they're being hard on themselves to be frank, because it's been a ludicrously difficult period losing so many players, having so much disruption and bedding players in new lads. They've had a lot to contend with," Westley told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Saints' Austin 'out for a month'

Southampton v Sunderland (15:00 GMT)

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman confirms that striker Charlie Austin will be out for three or four weeks because of a hamstring injury, while fellow forward Shane Long will also miss Saturday's game against Sunderland.

Koeman said Austin's problem "wasn't the worst hamstring injury".

Koeman says #SaintsFC's @chazaustin9 is out for three or four weeks, while @ShaneLong7 won't feature against #SAFC – snpy.tv/1p1piyV

Stevens backs former club Spurs

Former Spurs utility man and PA announcer Gary Stevens with a message of support following the defeat at West Ham.

My message to Spurs fans: You are second with 10 games to play & the best goal difference in the league, it's a STRONG position to be in 👍😃

Ex-Liverpool owner Moores in hospital after attack

Football

David Moores
Getty Images

Former Liverpool owner David Moores has been attacked during a violent burglary at his home in west Lancashire.

He was taken to Aintree hospital with head and leg injuries after two men forced their way into his house in Halsall on Wednesday night.

The raiders ran off with jewellery and watches, said police, who described it as an "isolated, targeted attack".

Moores, 69, a member of Merseyside's Littlewoods Pools dynasty, sold the Anfield club to American duo George Gillett and Tom Hicks in 2007.

Fenway Sports Group bought the club from them in 2010.

Swans expecting Guidolin release

Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin
PA

Swansea hope manager Francesco Guidolin will be released from hospital on Friday as he recovers from a chest infection

Guidolin, 60, was taken in hours before the Swans won 2-1 at Arsenal to move six points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.  

"I have had a voicemail from him and he is obviously delighted," first-team coach Alan Curtis said. "I'm sure it'll give him a little bit of a lift. He should be released on Friday."

Ferrari test the 'halo'

Formula 1

Ferrari test the 'halo'
Getty Images

Ferrari have tested the 'halo' cockpit head-protection device that will be introduced into Formula 1 in 2017.

Kimi Raikkonen drove with it for two laps on Thursday, at the final pre-season test in Barcelona.

On this day

Football

2000: Stoke stood still for the funeral of football's Sir Stanley Matthews, with more than 100,000 people lining the streets to pay their respects to the cortege as it passed through.

The former England international was born in the city and went on to make 318 appearances for the Potters, scoring 54 goals. He died in 2000 aged 85.

Sir Stanley Matthews statue outside the Britannia Stadium in Stoke
Getty Images
The Sir Stanley Matthews statue outside Stoke City's Britannia Stadium

On this day

Football

1928: Move over, Marcus Rashford. Ronnie Dix had a few years on you. In 1928 he became the youngest player to score a goal in the Football League, aged 15 years and 180 days.

He got on the board for Bristol Rovers in their 3-0 win over Norwich in the Third Division (South).

Ronnie Dix
Getty Images
Ronnie Dix, pictured in 1938 during his time with Derby County

News conferences

Football

Now let us mark your card with the afternoon news conference arrangements. We have Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino discussing the defeat at West Ham plus the crunch clash with Arsenal on Saturday, he is from 14:00 GMT, as is Sunderland's Sam Allardyce and Southampton's Ronald Koeman.

From 14:30 GMT it is the turn of Stoke manager Mark Hughes. Stay tuned.

Your club's season in a book title

Get involved - #bbcsportsday

To mark World Book Day, we have asked you to sum up your club's season so far in a book title. The suggestions are still coming in...

Ben Rabinovich: Arsenal: Don Quixote - about an old man who gradually loses the plot as he clings to old-fashioned, now irrelevant, ideals.

The Tea in Team: Tottenham's season in a book title: No Country For Old Men.

Andrew Neill: Newcastle United would be 'A Survival Guide for Working With Bad Bosses' . Maybe survival is a bit optimistic....

If you've got a suggestion, tweet us on #bbcsportsday, text 81111 or visit theBBC Sport Facebook page.

Murray to open GB's Davis Cup defence

Tennis

Great Britain Davis Cup squad v Japan
Getty Images

World number two Andy Murray will open Great Britain's Davis Cup defence in the first-round tie against Japan, which starts in Birmingham on Friday.

Murray will face world number 87 Taro Daniel.

In the second singles rubber, local lad Dan Evans, ranked 157, will be aiming to upset world number six Kei Nishikori.

Evans beat Nishikori over five sets at the 2013 US Open.

Remember, you can watch all the action over the three days on BBC TV and the BBC Sport website.