SPORTS

FOOTBALL

Champions League: Lionel Messi’s toughest task as Barcelona face up to Bayern Munich –

Lionel Messi might never have been faced with a more daunting task at Barcelona than engineering a victory against Bayern Munich here on Friday.

The only surviving former winners of European club football’s greatest prize — with five titles each — meet in a heavyweight Champions League quarterfinal behind closed doors at the Estadio da Luz.

It is not often that Messi’s Barcelona comes into such a big European tie as the underdog, but it has this time, with Quique Setien’s team having lost to Real Madrid in the Spanish title race while Bayern appeared flawless on the way to winning a German league and cup double.

Messi is now 33, yet Barcelona appears more reliant on him than ever.

CRICKET

Australia’s tour of England to end on September 16, IPL-bound players can only play from September 26 –

England and Australia’s IPL-bound players are likely to miss the first week of the Indian Premier League after it was announced that the two teams will play six white-ball games from September 4-16 at Southampton and Manchester respectively.

England and Australia will be playing three T20 Internationals at the Ageas Bowl on September 4, 6 and 8 while the ODIs will be held on September 11, 13 and 16 at Old Trafford.

The latest that the players can touch base in UAE is September 17 or 18 and as per the IPL SOP, will be quarantined for six days with RT-PCR tests on days 1, 3 and 6. On the seventh day, they will be entering the bio-bubble provided they test negative on all three occasions.

TENNIS

Novak Djokovic to play the U.S. Open- Novak Djokovic confirmed on Thursday he will play at the US Open, ending speculation about his presence at the first Grand Slam tournament since the coronavirus restart.

It is preceded by the Western and Southern Open, which is normally played in Cincinnati but has been moved to New York this year.

Djokovic’s decision to take part in the US Open is a major boost for the tournament after a host of headline names pulled out.

The list of absentees includes four-time champion Rafael Nadal and woman’s world number one Ashleigh Barty.

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