SOCCER

The Republic of Ireland’s preparations for the World Cup qualifiers suffered a blow last night.

Damien Duff resigned as part of Stephen Kenny’s backroom team.

The former Ireland winger had been working alongside Keith Andrews on Kenny’s staff following his appointment in August.

Ireland’s World Cup campaign begins away to Serbia in March.

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Three goals in a five-minute second half spell helped Liverpool reach the FA Cup fourth round last night.

However, an Aston Villa team comprised of under-23 and under-18 players were level at 1-1 with the Premier League champions at half-time.

Their goal scorer was Louie Barry, who represented Republic Of Ireland in the 2018 Victory Shield in Kerry.

Jurgen Klopp’s side eventually ran out 4-1 winners.

Elsewhere, an Adama Traore goal gave Wolves a 1-nil win at home to Crystal Palace.

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Several Premier League sides will be looking to avoid shocks at the hands of lower league opposition today.

There’s a midday start to Everton’s meeting with Rotherham United at Goodison.

Two Premier League strugglers are on the road, with Sheffield United travelling to League One side Bristol Rovers.

West Brom make the trip to Blackpool.

Burnley welcome MK Dons to Turf Moor

While Fulham make the short hop to Loftus Road to face Queens Park Rangers.

And at 8 Manchester United welcome Watford to Old Trafford.

There’s one all-Premier League affair this evening, with Arsenal entertaining Newcastle.

RUGBY

Leinster ended Ulster’s unbeaten start to the Pro 14 season with a bonus try haul last night.

Robbie Henshaw and Sean Cronin were among the tries in a 24-12 victory at an icy RDS.

Ulster remain top of Conference A, but Leinster are just five points adrift with two games in hand.

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Munster have recalled a host of internationals for this evening’s game away to Connacht.

Conor Murray, Keith Earls, Damien de Allende, CJ Stander and Peter O’Mahony all return.

Kick-off at the Sportsground is at 25-to-8.

RACING

The Welsh Grand National is on today at Chepstow.

The card gets underway at quarter-to-12 with the Welsh National at 3.10.



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