The Morning Sports Briefing

Real injury crisis ahead of Madrid derby, Bayern stun Porto, Matt O’Connor questions IRFU as O’Brien questions Armitage, Sky renew GAA deal and what to watch out for

Soccer: Champions League

Real Madrid's chances of a first win over neighbours Atletico in eight matches, and progressing to the Champions League semi-final stages have been rocked with an injury crisis hitting the club.

Two of the team’s front three, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema are likely to miss out, as is playmaker Luka Modric.

Bale is struggling with a calf injury, Modric his knee, and Benzema likewise; he has not recovered from a knee ligament injury that led to him missing their last game against Malaga.

If tonight's quarter finals can live up to the standard set on Tuesday there'll be no shortage of entertainment - Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich reversed their 3-1 first leg deficit well within the first half against FC Porto.

Robert Lewandowski was the main man as they led by five at the interval and ended up winning 6-1(7-4 on aggregate) to the delight of the Allianz Arena.

Barcelona then put on a majestic display, led by Brazilian attacker Neymar to beat PSG 2-0 and easing them into the last four.

Meanwhile Kevin Grealish, Aston Villa teenager Jack's father, says that the winger is likely to resume his Irish Under 21 duties in September but he is unlikely to decide upon his senior commitment to either England or Ireland anytime soon: "Jack will ultimately make the decision on his international future, but nothing has changed since he made that statement last month".

Rugby: Pro12

Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor says he has had access to his best players for just 30 per cent of the season, and Leinster's Pro12 league positioning reflects that. The Australian is not happy with the IRFU player management systems as a lack of leadership has cost his team dearly.

Ahead of their upcoming clash with Ulster flanker Sean O'Brien is relishing the ground war with Chris Henry - a sector which has left him with a sour taste in his mouth following the defeat to Toulon.

O’Brien isn’t happy with the play of Steffon Armitage who he says is illegaly supporting his own body weight to seal off the ball;

“Arms on the ground probably is one of the things he uses a lot. He’s short and even looking back on the video, the picture the referee sees is a good one in his vision, but when you slow it down and look at exactly what he does, it is illegal.”

GAA: TV deal

There will be no change in the packaging of this summer’s live GAA championship matches broadcast by RTÉ and Sky Sports - the British broadcaster will again have 14 exclusive matches while RTÉ will show 31 in total.

Meanwhile jockey Tony McCoy is set to bring an 18,000 sellout crowd to Sandown Park for his final ride, and the clerk of the Surrey racecourse is urging patrons to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

What to watch out for:

The Snooker World Championship continues in Sheffield today and there's three early showings on BBC with Eurosport resuming coverage from 7pm to 11.30pm.

The minor Munster football championship play-off between Limerick and Waterford is on at 7pm in Newcastlewest.

The Champions League quarter final second leg between Real and Atletico Madrid from the Bernabeu.

RTE 2 from 7.30pm

While Juventus travel to AS Monaco in the final last eight tie with kick off at the same time; 7.45pm.

Setanta from 7.30pm

Latest Stories