Daily Digest: Valtteri Bottas sets pace for Mercedes at Abu Dhabi GP practice

Sport360 staff 10:42 24/11/2018
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Good morning!

David Cooper here with our key sports headlines on Saturday.

As ever, get in touch with us via Twitter and Facebook throughout the day.

TOP STORY

Valtteri Bottas topped the times, but it was Red Bull who were happiest yesterday after a surprisingly tense day of opening practice for Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

After a so far winless season, Bottas is desperate to repeat his victory of 2018 for Mercedes at the Yas Marina Circuit and proved his speed and determination with a strong showing under the lights in the second session.

His best lap of one minute and 37.236 seconds was good enough to lift him 0.044 seconds clear of Max Verstappen with Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo third-quickest in the second – a performance that endorsed their morning practice showing when they were the two quickest.

Action continues at Yas Marina today with free practice three at 14:00. Qualifying will start at 17:00.

FOOTBALL

Real Madrid have launched a staunch defence of captain Sergio Ramos after it was alleged he was involved in a breach of anti-doping regulations.

A report from Der Spiegel last night said the Madrid captain returned a positive test for the glucocorticoid dexamethasone after the 2017 Champions League final in Cardiff, but that no action was taken as it was deemed to be due to an ‘administrative mistake’.

Elsewhere, Pep Guardiola insists champions Manchester City will not be adding to their squad in the January transfer window.

That rules out the prospect of City moving for another defensive midfielder after losing out on Jorginho to Chelsea last summer.

In the pick of today’s games, Man United take on Crystal Palace, Man City are away to West Ham, Tottenham entertain Chelsea and Watford are home to Liverpool.

CRICKET

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bat in the second Test against New Zealand in Dubai today.

Both the teams are the same as in the first Test, which New Zealand won by a narrow four-run margin in Abu Dhabi.

Follow the action with our live ball-by-ball coverage here.

FEATURE OF THE DAY

Ousmane Demeble is a risk not worth taking for Liverpool, writes our man Brendon Netto.

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