Gatland set to announce Lions squad; Chelsea will take the game to City in Istanbul

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Chelsea’s Mason Mount celebrates scoring their side’s second goal of the game during the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Chelsea’s Mason Mount celebrates scoring their side’s second goal of the game during the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

So, after much back and forth and doubts and questions and speculation about where this year’s Lions tour would take place, what form it would take and so on, we’ve reached the day when something will, at least, be set down on paper. Just after midday today Warren Gatland will announce the make-up of his Lions squad for this summer’s tour of South Africa. As usual there is plenty of speculation as to who will be on the plane and who won’t be but this morning Gerry Thornley writes that the make-up of the coaching ticket may well work against Irish players and, perhaps most surprisingly, against Johnny Sexton. Down the years Lions squads have proved a moveable feast and historically the Six Nations champions of that year command the highest percentage of the squad selected, writes John O’Sullivan in this morning’s stats column.

On to soccer and Chelsea set up an all-English Champions League final last night with a 2-0 home win over Real Madrid, sealing the tie 3-1 on aggregate. Timo Werner and Mason Mount were on target for the Blues as Thomas Tuchel’s men booked their spot in the Istanbul showdown. Afterwards the Chelsea manager said that they will take the game to Manchester City in the final but, if they are to do so, their finishing will need to be better than it was last night. Elsewhere, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he is worried the passion of Manchester United fans’ protests could hamper the team’s progress. Tonight United meet Roma in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final clash in which they lead 6-2. Speaking yesterday, Solskjaer said “It’s everyone’s right to protest but it has to be in a civilised manner. Unfortunately when you break in, when police officers are scarred for life, that’s a step too far. Then it’s a police matter, it’s not about showing your opinions any more.” In his column today, Dave Hannigan writes that the US cult of the sports owner - which puts the person who writes the cheques above everyone else - is what shaped the Glazers and is the philosophy they take to Manchester United.

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