hello and welcome to sportsday. i'm lizzie greenwood—hughes. here's a taster of what we have coming up on tonight's show. the countdown is on for liverpool — in one of the tightest title races in history. yes, i'm here at anfield, where at 8pm, liverpool take on huddersfield in the first of three must win games for them. and england's greatest striker kelly smith tells us why her old club arsenal can win the title this weekend, as well as looking ahead to chelsea's champions league semifinal. an bulletin on and bolton on the brink. their players threaten to go on strike tomorrow over unpaid wages. also coming up in the programme: could there be another big shock on the cards at the world snooker championship?
the three—times champion mark selby trails gary wilson. and man—hole madness in baku as the street circuit‘s drains stop first practise for the azerbaijan grand prix. so lots for you on tonight, and we're starting with liverpool, where there's bound to be some chewed fingernails across the red half of merseyside because tonight, they begin their final three—match countdown in the hunt for their first title in nearly 30 years. our correspondent andy swiss at outside the ground. apologies, but this is officially squeaky bomb time, and what's the feeling at anfield? as you say, it's a rainy night but it could be a dramatic one for this premier league title race. there is still a huge amount of optimism here at anfield,
they know they need one of manchester city's three remaining opponents do them a very big favour indeed, but pressure can do strange things at this point of the season. really all that herbal can do is just keep on winning and that some thing they've been doing very well in recent weeks —— really all that liverpool can do. they won their last nine matches across all competitions. tonight, frankly, is a night they should win rather easily because of huddersfield are rock—bottom of the premier league. they trail liverpool byjust rock—bottom of the premier league. they trail liverpool by just 7a points, and really if liverpool don't come away with three points it will be one of the biggest shocks of this whole season. you're in club certainly yesterday when he was speaking to the media said he was very calm. he had watched the game to matches —— the game between manchester united and manchester city, hoping manchester united would do liverpool a favour. they did not and he said he was not surprised about that.
we don't only play for being champion at the end of the season. it's a big target. this chimes, and we are pretty close in the moment and we still are at the door to see what happens at the end of the season, but it will... is not the first time, not the last time. the clu b first time, not the last time. the club is waiting for a long time, the people are waiting. it's already rather surprising because last year, we we re 25 rather surprising because last year, we were 25 points behind. this almost feels like the two clubs... how do you think liverpool fa ns clubs... how do you think liverpool fans will rate this season if they finish on 97 points and do not win the title 7 ? obviously they would be very disappointing. it was interesting hearing from juergen club yesterday talking about how he saw the season
really as just the first step, and it is in many weights a huge difference from what liverpool achieves last season. liverpool finished 25 points behind manchester city in the league last season. whatever happens over the next few weeks, it is going to be a lot closer than that. defensively, they've been so much improved unless season they've been so much improved unless season stopped marshalled by virgil van dijk, who for many has been the player of the season. they are very much in the shabby and sleek. they have the first leg of their semifinal against barcelona next week, so really whatever happens over these closing weeks, i think jurgen klopp and liverpool will see this as huge progress on what they did last season. andy swiss, thanks so did last season. andy swiss, thanks so much for us there outside anfield. thanks, andy. you can listen to the match on bbc radio 5live and all the build up from 7pm this evening. and to continue the title race theme —joe lynsky‘s at the touch screen.
and joe, looking at city's run in as well, can you see a potential banana skin? i think liverpool fans are going to be looking for any omen or good news at this stage of the season. they mightjust get it from a couple of things i'm going to show you here. these are burnley‘s results against the reigning champions in each of the four seasons they've been in the premier league. you can see they've beaten them all, including that win at stamford bridge on the first day of last season, and that famous win over manchester united in their first season back in the top flight. those liverpool fans might also be interested to know that sean dyche is on their side. he said earlier in the year that he grew up as a distant liverpool fan in kettering, so he might want more of a say in this title race than you might expect. however, burnley have played city twice already this season and were hammered 5—0
on both occasions. both of those games at the etihad, including this in the fa cup fourth round. burnley have more or less secured premier league safety for next season now, and that's thanks to an upturn of results this calendar year, so the city boss won't underestimate them. we are preparing because this is the end of the season, last games, and everybody feels the pressure to win the games. but today, they are going to rest and tomorrow they're going to rest and tomorrow they're going to prepare what you have to do to ta ke to prepare what you have to do to take the next try to control early and ta ke take the points. i think they're just that little bit tiny beena tiny been a freedom that the game is about them. but it's not from us, we wa nt about them. but it's not from us, we want to take on the game we want to wina game. want to take on the game we want to win a game. we want to prove we can at least challenge the elite and of the market. so this is the equation at the top of the table going into these games. liverpool could go back in front with a win tonight. there's another big game
on sunday in the race to finish in the top four. chelsea, sitting in that coveted fourth spot at the moment, taking on manchester united at old trafford. but united go into this game off the back of seven defeats in their last nine games and increasing speculation now about the future of paul pogba, their record signing. the sun saying pogba has said he doesn't think his manager is the right man for the job, and the times today hinting pogba could be on his way to real madrid in the summer, who are also chasing eden hazard as well. but ole gunnar solskjaer says he's pretty sure the world cup winner is staying. you can't guarantee anything in football, but yes, i think paul is going to be here. i can assure you that he is now very determined to succeed at man united. we want them to do well. he's a leader in that dressing room and in, on the pitch for us. i would say, yes, dressing room and in, on the pitch for us. iwould say, yes, i dressing room and in, on the pitch for us. i would say, yes, i can guarantee, but in life you can
never. he will be here as far as i can answer that. you can make your own mind up about how committed is from solskjaer. it's a big weekend in plenty of divisions with lots that could be settled across saturday and sunday. celtic could seal an eighth straight scottish premiership title if they get a better result than rangers. celtic is going to have to wait until sunday. that is when rangers play. celtic currently nine points in front at the top. in the efl, norwich city couldn't be any closer to going up. they only need a point at blackburn to be promoted to the premier league. sheffield united could join them if they win and leeds slip up against aston villa on sunday. rotherham united could be relegated as well. in league one, luton town could be on their way back to the second tier for the first time in 13 years — that would be a consectuive promotion if they seal it this weekend, while walsall could be relegated to league two. remarkable story at bury this
season, who could go up this weekend despite massive financial problems, and this could be the weekend sol campbell seals safety against the odds for macclesfield town. if they win, then notts county and yeovil could both be relegated. a nervy weekend. indeed come and we have more football coming up but first, the stories of the day. the fa have welcomed uefa's decision to force montenegro to play their next home match behind closed doors after their home fans racially abused several england players last month in a euro 2020 qualifying game. england cricketer alex hales has been suspended following an "off—field incident", according to a spokesman for the batsman. hales missed nottinghamshire's one—day cup games last week for what the county described as "personal reasons". richard johnson rode his 200th winner of the season on his way to winning a fourth
champion jump—jockey title. the englishman reached the rare milestone at perth today with two winners on the eve of the final day of the season. now there's an extraordinary story going on at bolton wanderers. the players are threatening to go on strike for their match tomorrow unless they're paid by the end of the day. i'm joined by bbc radio manchester's jack ra nson, who presents the bbc podcast the wanderer. well, jack it's 6.40pm. are they going to be playing in 21 hours' time tomorrow? the simple answer, we don't know. that is cause for concern. 21 hours or whatever it is until the game and the players in their statement today, they have issued, i've said these are unprecedented circumstances. that's why they're taking this action, why they are saying if they are not paid by the end of today, they won't fulfil the remaining two fixtures against brentford tomorrow and then away at nottingham forest on the last day of the season. it's troubling times. the prospective new owner at bolton has said tonight he
will pay those wages by the end of today come in so we wait and see whether he does know whether that's enough to guarantee the pictures going ahead. but this has been going for some time, hasn't its? this ta keover for some time, hasn't its? this takeover with bolton from and i think what's important to say is this isn't just think what's important to say is this isn'tjust sort of rich footballers throwing their toys out of the pram for stub a thought long and hard about this and have been propping up the club with their own cash for some time. yakima bolton fa ns cash for some time. yakima bolton fans will probably feel a little bit deja vu —— yeah,. the game against ipswich was put into that because the club could not make assurances their game could safely go ahead. we have had players go on strike earlier this month as well, 48 hours they didn't train, so it's not the first time we've seen this kind of question marks come up at bolton. it's the first time we got to the stage where the players have said, enough is enough, and they talked about the emotional strain, the
physical strain, the strain on the yearfamilies physical strain, the strain on the year families financially, not all just rich footballers necessarily. should not happen? what does that mean? does that mean they are thrown out the leak stomach —— thrown out of the league? what does the efl say about this coachella in their guidelines, they said this is a breach of their guidelines, so the clu b breach of their guidelines, so the club will be guilty of misconduct if they don't fulfil fixtures. you would expect some kind of sanction, and also they have all of this in the context of a high court hearing on the 8th of may looming over them, if the takeover doesn't go through, if the takeover doesn't go through, if money isn't found there, the club could face administration or liquidation and that means penalties for next season. there are all these questions and obviously they have had relegation confirmed from the championship. it needs to be sorted.
where can fans find out, can they go to the bbc manchester website? absolutely full to bond twitter. we will keep them updated for some we are waiting to hear from bolton. and the brentford fans as well. thank you. stay with us because still to come on sportsday: we meet the us sports star who's become the only man to be drafted in the first round of both the nfl and major league baseball. i played multiple sports, football, baseball and basketball, but in football i can go out, get angry and do something about it. it's a big weekend in women's football. arsenal will win the league title for the first time in seven years if they beat brighton on sunday. and on the same day, their london rivals chelsea could reach their first champions league final if they can overturn a 2—1 deficit to lyon in the home leg of their semifinal.
well, earlier, i spoke to the former arsenal and england striker kelly smith and started by asking her why arsenal are back to their title winning ways. i think the manager coming in, i think he's done a fantasticjob. there is a new structure, a new understanding with the individual players, their roles, the responsibilities which are probably don't think they had. what i've been impressed most with his they have had injury and responded and played through injuries, when ugly. 0ne player has come back into the fort. jordan, and then came little. even though they have lost key players, they have still had a momentum about them and come through difficult times and obviously could potentially win the league title this weekend. we have to wait and see what happens there. as you say, they've got a very good chance.
let's move onto chelsea now and he champions league. lyon, who they are down to after the first leg, are so prolific in europe. do you think chelsea can turn things around? they've got that way go advantage of. for me, they are still very much in the type. i watched the game yesterday because i'm doing the for on sunday. they were decent in possession. they were not fearful of lyon, which many teams are because of the array of talents and the celebrity names so to speak that they have, and having wendy champions league on a number of occasions. but it just champions league on a number of occasions. but itjust feels as though something is special in this chelsea central to all the pressure is on lyon. they are the champions. they are the ones who have come in here with all the expectations. for me, chelsea need to be better in possession and they have to be clinical in front of goal. i don't think frank kirby had the right amount of service. they played defensive because they wanted to bring it back to their home tie
advantage but they certainly are still in the type and possibly can do it. chelsea have three players in the w sl team, as do arsenal and manchester city as well, what do you think? are there any pogba in the side player from birmingham. you were not inspected goalkeeper from player from birmingham. you were not inspected goalkeeperfrom bristol, no disrespect, to be in the team of the year but she has had a fantastic teaching —— you would not expect a goalkeeper from teaching —— you would not expect a goalkeeperfrom bristol. as i said before, firing on all cylinders. also, up there with the golden boot in the league. it's a strong 11 that i probably would not want to face. kelly smith there. you can listen to arsenal's game
at brighton on the bbc sport website and app, and you can watch chelsea's champions league game on bbc tv from 2pm via the red button. well, amongst the stars in that lyon side going for their fourth champions league title in a row is saki kumagai. the japanese world cup winner is one of the nominees for the bbc‘s women's footballer of the year award. voting is now open and every day this week we've profiled one of the players. today it's kumagai's turn. translation: without football, it is too serious. you always have to laugh, it's life. i take pleasure from football. my name is saki kumagai. i play football for 0lympique lyonnais and japan. # keep on pushing keep on pushing you're stronger than them and you're
better than you know so keep on pushing... # translation: of course, becoming asian champions with japan and european champion with 0lympique lyonnais, my club, they were big tournaments for me and they were the best moments from last year. for me, it was sawa, because when i was little — now it is better — but japanese woman's football was not professional and also we could not imagine a japanese woman leaving to play football abroad. she played in the usa so i always used to watch on tv and, of course, i wanted to be like her. # you're stronger than you think and you're better than you know so keep on pushing... translation: saki.
it's life and it is my passion. without football, life is less interesting and too serious. you always have to laugh. i take pleasure from football. football is joy. it's my life. you can find details of all the nominees for this year's award and cast your vote on our website. head to bbc. co. uk/womensfootball. the vote closes on thursday the 2nd of may. the second round of the world snooker championship in sheffield has produced some more fascinating battles of the baize. hazel irvine is following the action at the crucible for the bbc and can bring us up to date. it has been a day of developing
storyli nes it has been a day of developing storylines here at chatfield. sharing them in the company of steve davis. neil robinsonjust sharing them in the company of steve davis. neil robinson just missed three more frames against sean murphy duke put what will be a fifth place in the court of finals and his fifth since 2015. how likely is that outcome given his performance so far? i think given his performance, very likely. sean murphy is good to transom out when the session 7—2 against a player who seems to be very much informed. there's also probably, he is outplaying sean murphy in the technical department. he can get on a roll. that's his only hope to get off to a fast start and keep the momentum going. but we also have the developments happening, for the two highest cedars left —— highest seeded players left. 0ath cedars left —— highest seeded players left. oath of them have a lot of work to do in their respective second round matches. they are very much on the back foot.
apologies. and i think both of those players have done very well to improve as players coming through the ranks. for a long time, i think they were just making up the numbers but they are starting to cause headaches for the players. 0ath players on back foot. and actually, mark selby closer to the finish line. 7-. .. mark selby closer to the finish line. 7-... we also have a mark selby closer to the finish line. 7-. .. we also have a second session between james cahill, line. 7-. .. we also have a second session betweenjames cahill, the man who because so many headlines against ronnie 0'sullivan. he also is in against ronnie 0'sullivan. he also isina against ronnie 0'sullivan. he also is in a bit of difficulty against mcguire. not the end of the world. he is 5—3 behind in this first of three sessions. a different type of match. that's more, more chance of winning this match against steve maguire in the eyes of his friends and family, and then lester, more to lose. the situation you find it with ronnie 0'sullivan was eons on a free
roll. silica performance to get only 5-3, roll. silica performance to get only 5—3, because he was under a bit. roll. silica performance to get only 5-3, because he was under a bit. he will come back tomorrow morning. and that's it. we shall leave you with the news that you can continue to watch this snooker life on the red button. the first person will be through to the share's quarterfinals by the end of play this evening. today's f1 action ahead of the azerbaijan grand prix will be remembered more for manholes and crashes than racing. let's get staight to baku, wherejennie gow has been watching the action. we will talk about what happened in the sport we will start with the manholes. you would think with all that cash, they would make the manholes nice and flat. you would think. it's a funny old place, we come to azerbaijan and it's only the fourth place we have had here. the
first race, dole is dishwater. the next two, thrillers, so we're hoping for another great race this weekend the manhole cover —— but the manhole cover coming loose is not good. your directional, —— george russell, when they went over it, it lifted and shattered the underside of his car. it must be something like causing half £1 million of damage. a huge amount of damage. ed rode off the day for williams. they could not get george back out again. not the ideal start that they wanted, but of course people are now asking questions about safety, but they have had a good look at it. they understand what happened and hopefully, the problem is now done. williams have not had a great time of late. this is very costly. do they get compensated for that? there is precedence. if we look back to, i think it was malaysia, a manhole
cover if did, and the circuits did have to provide damages. we reckon somewhere in the region of half a million although it was never asked to confirm how much it was. the circuits take precautions. they insure themselves. even if it's decided that the baku circuit have to pay the fia have some liability. as the organising body, safety is their concern. who knows? it is likely williams will get some cash. for a team strapped for cash at the moment, maybe? lets go back to the sport. i guess we need to talk about that as well. first practise has been abandoned. what happened in second practise? charles leclerc showing his potential again. he really is exciting. he is a young ferrari driver, promoted at the beginning of this year to be sebastian vessel's number two. the
tea m sebastian vessel's number two. the team have been open about that. he has no concerns about the fact that he wants to be the number one driver, he wants to be a world champion, and he has it within him to do it. it's fascinating to see what happens. he was fastest in both sessions. session one is almost irrelevant. this is a circuit he loves. he came here the first time in gp to commit days after his father had passed away, and won a race. it was a thing of high emotion. last year, first year of formula 1, came in sixth place. and this year, he could win the race. there is nothing to stop him doing it. apart from the car and his own ability. let's see. he was fastest. this is a circuit that takes no prisoners. you cannot afford to make a civil mistake around here. it will punish you if you do. what about lewis hamilton? he dragged himself away from game of thrones when he
could not race during the break. the circuit need someone like leclerc to push mercedes. we need a good title race this season. absolutely. a lot of the times so for the season, for already could have scored more points to challenge mercedes more but they got caught up almost navel—gazing of what they were doing themselves. let's hope this weekend, for ari about charging and lewis hamilton was at coachella last weekend enjoying himself, and this week, he is watching game of thrones. very chill. jennie gow, thank you very much. history was made stateside last night when kyler murray became jennie gow, thank you very much. the first man to be selected in the first round of both the national football league and major league baseball drafts. and he was the number one overall pick for the arizona cardinals. so what's it like to be so gifted in both sports? well, let's hearfrom him. jennie gow, thank you very much. murray out of the
pocket. i played multiple sports, football, baseball and possible, pocket. i played multiple sports, football, baseballand possible, but for me, football, i can go out, get angry do some thing about it. i don't know if i played anybody, but i don't know if many play like i do. the court a batch i would like to watch tom brady, aaron rodgers, russell wilson. i love the mentality that tom brady has. he has won six super bowls now. russell wasn't being the shortest order back in the league. growing up, my mum had me laced up in the latest and greatest. i had laced up in the latest and greatest. ihada laced up in the latest and greatest. i had a thing for looking good since i was i had a thing for looking good since iwasa i had a thing for looking good since i was a kid. you look good, you feel good, you play good, and so i always will believe that. i like to win on the football field is welcome us of... it's obviously been an exciting day, a long journey. i've come this far. it's not over. i will be ready to go. there's more sport here on bbc news thoughout the evening...
but for me and the rest of the sportsday team, it's good night. good evening. certainly a stormy start to our weekend with the arrival of storm hanna. severe rain and dale's come and that could cause some disruption through the early hours of saturday morning. the gusts of wind in excess of 60—70 mph in places, strong winds will continue to travel steadily east and it will be accompanied by some heavy and persistent rain across north wales the midlands, north of england, across into northern ireland. showers scotland but the north shore braid. factor in the wind, the cloud and the rain, it's going to be a disappointingly cool afternoon. an area of low pressure will start to sweep away off into the north sea
for some little ridge of high pressure will build in behind, quieting things down for the second half of the weekend. there will be a lot of cloud around but it will be drier and as lot of cloud around but it will be drierand asa lot of cloud around but it will be drier and as a result, a degree or so warmer too.
this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at seven: police release new images of the man they believe killed the journalist lyra mckee in northern ireland last week, and ask for help from the public in identifying him. lyra mckee was observing riots in londonderry when she was hit. her death has prompted politicians to step—up their efforts to restore powersharing in northern ireland. lyra symbolised the new northern ireland, and her tragic death cannot be in vain. retailer debenhams confirms plan to close up to 22 of its stores next year, affecting around 1,200 jobs. libya says the brother of the manchester bomber salman abedi was about to be extradited to britain, but that's been halted because of heavy fighting around the capital tripoli. britain's top civil servant demands that ministers co—operate,