FC Barcelona face Athletic Club Bilbao in the Spanish Supercup final in the 'Estadio de la Cartuja' in Seville on Sunday night.
Barca have a major doubt over the fitness of Leo Messi, who missed Wednesday's nerve-wracking semifinal win over Real Sociedad after a penalty shootout with a hamstring strain.
The Argentinean wasn't even on the bench on Wednesday and didn't train on either Thursday or Friday, to leave his presence very much in doubt.
Less than two weeks ago, Messi scored twice and hit the woodwork as Barcelona beat Athletic 3-2 in their La Liga clash in San Mames and his understanding with Pedri was vital in that game.
If Messi doesn't recover Barca coach Ronald Koeman is likely to field an unchanged side in the final with Ousmane Dembele's pace down both flanks as one of his side's key arguments in attack, while Ter Stegen continues to be a colossus in goal.
Athletic qualified for the final on Thursday after beating Real Madrid 2-1 in Malaga with a performance that showed just how much they have progressed under new coach Marcelino Garcia Toral in the 10 days since their defeat to Barca.
Marcelino has a couple of injury doubts ahead of the game with left back Yuri Berchiche still sidelined, while his replacement, Mikel Balenziaga suffered cramps on Thursday as did Iker Munian.
Inigo Lekue and either Jon Morcillo or Alex Belenguer would be the most likely replacements if Balenziaga and Muniain fail to recover.
Athletic and Barca have met several times in Cup finals in recent history, with Barca beating Athletic in the 2009, 2012 and 2015 Copa del Rey finals while Athletic hammered Barca 5-1 over two-legs in the 2015 Supercup.
Thursday's win was a huge morale boost to the Basques after a tough first half to the season. Even though nobody can travel to the game, fans have decorated their balconies with red and white flags and replica shirts to show their support.
Barca will be favorites, but Athletic will think they have a chance and if Messi isn't fully fit, that belief will only grow stronger.
Wayne Rooney has ended his playing career to become full-time coach at English Championship club Derby County.
The 35-year-old had been acting manager since the sacking of Philip Cocu in November, leading Derby to three wins and four draw in nine league games in charge. The club had taken six points from their first 11 games of the campaign under Cocu's guidance.
The decision to sign a two and a half year deal with the Championship side ends Rooney's playing career after 763 senior appearances for 4 different clubs, during which time he won five Premier League titles, an FA Cup, three EFL Cups, a Champions League, a Europa League and became England's all time maximum goalscorer with 53 goals in 120 appearances for his country.
"To be given the opportunity to follow the likes of Brian Clough, Jim Smith, Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu is such an honor and I can promise everyone in involved in the club and all our fans, my staff and I will leave no stone unturned in achieving the potential I have witnessed over the last 12 months of this historic football club. Despite other offers I knew instinctively Derby County was the place for me," said Rooney after his permanent appointment.
South Africa’s cricket team arrived in the southern port city of Karachi on Saturday to play Test matches in Pakistan for the first time in nearly 14 years.
The Proteas last toured Pakistan in late 2007 when it won the two-Test series 1-0.
Since then, Pakistan has twice hosted South Africa for the Test series in the United Arab Emirates — in 2010 and 2013.
The Pakistan Cricket Board was forced to choose the UAE for its home venue after terrorists attacked a Sri Lanka team bus at Lahore in 2009.
The present tour comprises two Test matches at Karachi (Jan. 26-30) and Rawalpindi (Feb. 4-8), followed by a three-match Twenty20 series at Lahore, starting from Feb. 11.
Also read: Bangladesh team reach Lahore
South Africa squad: Quinton de Kock (captain), Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis, Temba Bavuma, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Anrich Nortje, Wiaan Mulder, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Kyle Verreynne, Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde, Daryn Dupavillon, Marco Jansen.
Former champions Sheikh Russel KC made a good start in the 13-team Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football beating Brothers Union Club by 2-1 goal in their first match at the floodlight Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Friday.
All the three goals of the match were scored in the first half.
In the day's match, M Abdullah put Sheikh Russel KC ahead in the 13th minute by good shot, utilizing a free kick (1-0)
Brazilian Giancarlo Lopez Rodrigues doubled the winner's margin just three minutes later by a header, off a Baktiar cross (2-0).
Also Read: No BPL in 2020: BCB president
S Zunapio reduced the Brother's margin in the 34th minute from a penalty (2-1).
Brothers Union Club played a better brand of football against their superior rivals Sheikh Russel KC, especially in the 2nd half, but failed to take its fruit.
Also Read: BPL Football: Ctg Abahani advance to top slot shocking Bashundhara Kings 4-3
Federation Cup finalists Saif Sporting Club will start their BPL campaign taking on Rahmatganj MFS in Saturday's lone match, will kick-off at 8:pm at the same venue.
Ismail Hossain and Shirin Akhter retained their titles of the country's fastest man and woman on the opening day of the three-day Bangabandhu 44th National Athletics Championship at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Friday.
Bangladesh Athletics Federation organised the national meet on the occasion of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
M Ismail Hossain of Bangladesh Navy retained the country's fastest man crown with a timing of 10.55 seconds while Shirin Akhter, also from Navy, clinched the fastest woman crown for the 11th time in a row in the national and summer athletics with a timing of 11.8 seconds.
Besides, Ritu Akhter of Bangladesh Army made the day's lone new national record in women's high jump, jumping a height of 1.7 meters to better previous national mark of 1.68 meters achieved by Umme Hafsa Rumki of Bangladesh Jail in 2019.
Ritu Akhter of Bangladesh Army set a new national record in high jump. Photo: Courtesy
Although the competition began on Friday, State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russell will inaugurate the meet on Saturday afternoon.
Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Nur Taposh will be the chief guest at the closing function on Sunday.
Twelve events were decided on the first day.
Bangladesh Navy dominated the meet with six gold, four silver and six bronze medals while Bangladesh Army followed with four gold, eight silver and six bronze.
Some 438 male and female athletes from 34 districts and divisions, four universities, one education board and 45 organisations including Bangladesh Army, Navy, Air Force, Ansar & VDP and Jail are competing in 36 events – 22 for the men and 14 for the women.
Athletics Federation will award top three athletes of all the 36 events of the meet alongside national record-breaking athletes.
The champion will get a prize money Tk 3,000, runner-up Tk 2,000 and 3rd place holder Tk 1,000 while the national record holder athlete will receive Tk 5,000.