LONDON — Grappling with injuries, suspensions and departing players, Arsenal faces a tough early challenge in its Premier League campaign with the visit of Liverpool on Saturday. Moved.
BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona and Real Madrid won't know the extent of any sanctions resulting from the Spanish Supercup brawl until next week but Jose Mourinho is likely to escape punishment. Three red cards were shown after players clashed at the end of Barcelona's 3-2 win Wednesday to clinch its record 10th Supercup 5-4 on aggregate following a 2-2 draw in the first leg. But the lasting image will be of Mourinho putting his finger into the eye of Barcelona assistant coach Tito Vilanova, who then slapped the Madrid coach on the head. Moved. By Paul Logothetis.
FRANKFURT, Germany — Only two games into the season, Bayern Munich is already feeling the pressure. Bayern has one win and one loss so far going into Saturday's Bundesliga match against Hamburger SV. And Jupp Heynckes' team showed little flair in a 2-0 methodical win over Zurich in a Champions League qualifying match on Wednesday. Moved. By Nesha Starcevic.
MILAN — Inter Milan resumes negotiations with Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala for the transfer of Samuel Eto'o in a deal that could make the Cameroon striker the highest paid footballer in the world. Moved.
LAGOS, Nigeria — A management firm representing Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel says kidnappers have been in touch with his family over the abduction of his father and have made a 'sizable' ransom demand. London-based Sport Entertainment & Media Group issued a statement Thursday morning saying negotiations have begun for the release of Michael Obi. Moved.
LONDON — The Malaysian businessman who runs budget airline AirAsia and Formula One's Team Lotus completed his takeover of English Premier League club Queens Park Rangers on Thursday. BC-SOC--QPR-TAKEOVER. Moved. By Rob Harris.
— ROME — BC-SOC--ROMA-OWNERSHIP. Moved.
— PARIS — BC-SOC--FRENCH PREVIEW. Moved. By Trung Latieule.
— MEDELLIN, Colombia — BC-SOC--U20 WORLD CUP RDP. Moved. By Stephen Wade.
— KANSAS CITY, Kansas — BC-SOC--MLS ROUNDUP. Moved.
TEN--WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN
MASON, Ohio — Serena Williams dropped out of the Western & Southern Open because of a sore toe Wednesday, her latest setback after nearly a year away from the court. Moved. By Joe Kay.
RGU--SOUTH AFRICA-NEW ZEALAND PREVIEW
PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa — World Cup favorite New Zealand will field a string of fringe players in its last match before it announces its squad for the tournament, a clash against a desperate South Africa team still without a win in the run-in to its title defense. By 1600 GMT.
PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa — New Zealand made 11 changes to its starting lineup for the weekend's Tri-Nations test against South Africa, recalling a string of players on Thursday who are in the reckoning for its World Cup squad. Moved.
JOHANNESBURG — Flanker Juan Smith has withdrawn himself from contention for South Africa's World Cup squad after failing to recover from an Achilles' tendon injury. Moved.
— WELLINGTON, New Zealand — BC-RGU--WCUP-FIJI-SANCTIONS. Moved.
— SYDNEY — BC-RGU--WCUP-AUSTRALIA-GITEAU. Moved.
— WELLINGTON, New Zealand — BC-RGU--WCUP-TROPHY. Moved.
LONDON — Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook guided England to 75-0 without loss at lunch Thursday on day one of the fourth and final test against a sluggish India side. Having won the toss at The Oval, Strauss opted to bat in overcast conditions and reached 38 from 74 deliveries from a lethargic attack lacking penetration. Moved. By Stuart Condie.
— COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — BC-CRI--SRI LANKA-AUSTRALIA. Moved.
AIGLE, Switzerland — International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid belives his sport is emerging from its dark period, clouded by doping scandals, into a potentially golden era. McQuaid tells The AP that a successful Tour de France, the prospect of huge crowds at the 2012 London Olympics and new races around the world are bringing back sponsors to a sport that is regaining its credibility. By 1430 GMT. By Graham Dunbar.
HARRISON, New York — U.S. captain Fred Couples wants Tiger Woods on the Presidents Cup team, provided Woods plays tournaments before he shows up at the Australian Open a week before the matches. Moved.
— NEW DELHI — BC-CAR--F1-INDIA. Moved.
— ALICANTE, Spain — BC-SAI--VOLVO OCEAN RACE. Moved.
— BOSTON — BC-BBA--AL ROUNDUP. Moved.
— PHILADELPHIA — BC-BBN--NL ROUNDUP. Moved.
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