Darts - Lewis has treble on his mind
Two-time defending champion Adrian Lewis, who is 9/1 with bet365 to retain his title, is confident of winning the PDC World Darts Championship for the third time in a row. Lewis faces a tough quarter-final test against rising Dutch star Michael van Gerwen, but is in an upbeat mood after seeing off Kevin Painter 4-2 to reach the last eight at Alexandra Palace. He said after his 15th straight World Championship match victory: "We're now into the business of the tournament and I've proved over the last two years that I know how to get the job done. "I'm really looking forward to playing Michael in the next round. The bookmakers may well make Michael favourite, but I'm the one who has won the big matches in this competition." Van Gerwen represents a major hurdle for Lewis, with the quickfire Dutchman having dropped just one set in the tournament so far.
Soccer - Promotion the target for Forest
New manager Alex McLeish has been charged with helping Nottingham Forest gain promotion to the Premier League after taking charge at the City Ground. McLeish has taken over at Forest following the sacking of Sean O'Driscoll, with the Midlanders one point outside the play-off places and 6/1 with bet365 to be promoted this season. Chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi is confident that McLeish is the man to take the club forward, having top-flight experience from spells in charge of Aston Villa and Birmingham City. He told the club's official website: "Alex took Birmingham to promotion from the Championship and has great experience of working in the Premier League. "He's hungry for more success and I believe he's the man who can help us fulfil our ambition of making it to the Premier League." McLeish's scheduled first game in charge of Forest, at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday, is subject to a morning pitch inspection.
Cricket - Root steps in for Bairstow
Batsman Joe Root has been handed a chance to impress in England's upcoming one-day international series in India after Jonny Bairstow pulled out due to family reasons. Bairstow returned home early from the subcontinent shortly before Christmas, missing the T20 internationals after playing in only one of the four Test matches and will now spend further time away from the game. The 23-year-old, who has played in seven one-day internationals to date, had been expected to act as back-up to first-choice wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter in the ODI squad. That role passes to Jos Buttler, who donned the gloves in the recent T20 internationals, with the Somerset man having been drafted in alongside Chris Woakes when England opted to rest Jonathan Trott and James Anderson. England, who have also decided to give Kevin Pietersen a break for the five-match ODI campaign, are 7/4 with bet365 to win the series.
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