The fight for Champions League qualification from the Premier League intensifies, with top-four candidates Liverpool hosting Tottenham and Arsenal also in action against last-place Leicester. There are four matches in total to start a full round of midweek fixtures. By Steve Douglas. UPCOMING: 600 words by 2300 GMT/6 p.m. EST. With photos
SAO PAULO -- Brazil is dealing with another wave of fan violence just weeks into the new football season, exposing the continued failure of club officials and local authorities to eradicate the decades-long problem. By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 750 words by 1500 GMT.
SOC--COPA DEL REY PREVIEW
BARCELONA, Spain -- A resurgent Barcelona hosts a fearless Villarreal in the opening leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal on Wednesday. Lionel Messi has exploded for 10 goals in a nine-game winning streak for Barcelona, and will face a talented and attack-minded Villarreal side that twice led Barcelona before falling 3-2 at Camp Nou two weeks ago. By Joseph Wilson. SENT: 520 words, photo.
-- SOC--2018 WCUP-ASIA QUALIFYING -- SENT: 200 words.
DUBLIN -- World Rugby exonerates Wales for failing to notice George North lost consciousness on the field and allowing the winger to play out the Six Nations loss to England. But World Rugby says it will promote new rules to help medical officials at games. SENT: 370 words, photos.
MOSCOW -- Russia's anti-doping chief cites evidence of systematic doping among the country's Olympic champion race-walkers and compares the case to that of Lance Armstrong. Five Russian walkers, including three Olympic champions, were banned for doping last month. Five world championship gold medals from 2009 and 2011 look set to be re-awarded. SENT: 310 words, photos.
-- ATH--ISINBAYEVA COMEBACK -- Isinbayeva to come back ahead of Rio Olympics. SENT: 130 words, photos.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Brendon McCullum has enjoyed unprecedented success since his appointment as New Zealand cricket captain in 2012 -- winning five of his last seven tests. Perhaps his greatest success in that time, though, has been in winning the approval of the New Zealand cricket public. His appointment was initially met with criticism from fans. By Steve McMorran. SENT: 705 words, photos.
-- CRI--WCUP-WARMUPS -- Welcome to the big time: India easily beats Afghanistan. SENT: 480 words.
-- CRI--WCUP-OLDEST PLAYER -- Airline purser ready to fly for UAE at Cricket World Cup. SENT: 330 words, photo.
-- CRI--ICC-BAT SIZES -- SENT: 120 words.
PARIS -- The ATP drops its investigation into Tunisian player Malek Jaziri's withdrawal before a possible match against an Israeli opponent, saying it is "fully satisfied" he had a legitimate injury.By Samuel Petrequin. SENT: 250 words, photo.
-- TEN--MEMPHIS OPEN -- By Clay Bailey. SENT: 270 words.
-- TEN--THAILAND OPEN -- SENT: 120 words.
-- BKN--NBA ROUNDUP -- Popovich earns win No. 1,000 as Spurs pass Pacers 95-93. SENT: 490 words, photos.
-- HKN--NHL ROUNDUP -- Yakupov scores winning goal, Oilers beat Devils 2-1. SENT: 430 words, photo.
-- OLY--GERMANY-2024 OLYMPIC BID -- Satirical 'Nazi' ads anger Berlin Olympic bid officials. SENT: 130 words.
-- OLY--ROME 2024-MONTEZEMOLO -- Ex-Ferrari chief to lead Rome 2024 bid. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 630 words, photos.
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