Sportswoman of the Year 2018; Klopp knows Liverpool must keep firing

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

Santa Claus with Brian Peters and Katie Taylor at the County Club in Dunshaughlin yesterday. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Santa Claus with Brian Peters and Katie Taylor at the County Club in Dunshaughlin yesterday. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

The Christmas season is now well upon us and with it we can look forward to endless amounts of football, racing and rugby over the next 10 days or so, all of which you will be well covered for with The Irish Times. However, this timely morning email needs a break so, with that, many thanks to all of our readers and subscribers over the year and may you all have a happy Christmas and New Year. This morning companion will be back in the new year, but not without one final instalment of 2018 so let’s get on to the important stuff. Today The Irish Times/Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year for 2018 will be crowned and what a selection there is to choose from after what has been without doubt the most successful year in Irish women’s sport ever. For profiles of all the nominees from the year you can look here. The winner will be announced around lunchtime. One of those nominees is indeed Katie Taylor who recently defended her lightweight crown once again when she beat Eva Wahlstrom and now she has to unification of the division in her sights. However, a slated March date against WBO champion Rose Volante looks to have hit some choppy waters with manager Brian Peters yesterday saying that Taylor “wouldn’t get out of bed” for the type of money that is on offer.

On to soccer and Liverpool take a trip to face Wolves this evening in a game that manager Jürgen Klopp knows there is no margin for error if they are to keep pace with Manchester City. Liverpool currently sit a point clear of the defending champions and can make it four this evening before Pep Guardiola’s side go into action at home to Crystal Palace tomorrow. One of the weekend’s matches with the most scrutiny however will be the meeting of Cardiff City and Manchester United where club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will take charge of his first game with the 20 times champions. The Norweigan will give his first press conference as United manager later this morning but yesterday he told MUTV that he hopes to give every player a ‘clean slate’ and wants them to throw the shackles off and play some flamboyant football.

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