May 23, 2018 / 12:04 AM / a month ago

Reuters Sports Schedule at 1400 GMT on Wednesday

SOCCER

World Cup preview package

We have moved the first two parts of our World Cup preview package, with pieces on the teams in Groups A, B, C and D.

For each of the teams we will be sending:

A 400-word piece on their prospects: SOCCER-WORLDCUP-XXX/PROSPECTS

A 300-word story on a star player: SOCCER-WORLDCUP-XXX/STAR

A Factbox slugged SOCCER-WORLDCUP-XXX/FACTBOX — to include FIFA ranking, previous tournaments, coach, three key players, form guide, how they qualified and brief prospects.

Champions League

Zidane on cusp of European record, but how good is he?

KIEV - Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will equal Carlo Ancelotti and Bob Paisley on a record three European Cup triumphs if his side beat Liverpool in the Champions League final. We assess his strengths and weaknesses as a coach. (SOCCER-CHAMPIONS-FINAL/ZIDANE, expect by 1700 GMT/1 PM ET by Richard Martin)

Neutral venue could work against Liverpool, says McAteer

HONG KONG - Jason McAteer believes his former club Liverpool would have a greater chance of winning the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid if the game was played over two legs (SOCCER-CHAMPIONS-FINAL/MCATEER, moved, by Michael Church, 500 words)

Women’s Champions League

Women’s Champions League final will shine brighter on its own - UEFA chief

The Women’s Champions League final will become an unmissable event when it separates from the men’s contest next year, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said ahead of this week’s showpiece in Kiev between VfL Wolfsburg and Olympique Lyonnais. (SOCCER-CHAMPIONS-FINAL/WOMEN, moved, by Christian Radnedge)

Lieke Martens interview

BARCELONA - Reuters speaks to FC Barcelona’s Dutch women’s international Lieke Martens. The Barca midfielder won the FIFA women’s player of the year award in 2017. (SOCCER-SPAIN-FCB/MARTENS (PIX, TV), moved, by Richard Martin)

Jeonbuk face Suwon in all-Korean AFC Champions League tie

HONG KONG - Two-time champions Jeonbuk Motors will take on fellow South Koreans Suwon Bluewings in the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League when the continental club championship resumes in August. (SOCCER-AFCCHAMPIONS/, moved, 300 words)

TENNIS

French Open preview package

Osaka on the climb, aiming high in Paris

LONDON - Naomi Osaka was ‘freaking out’ when she bumped into Spider-Man actor Tom Holland in a Tokyo hotel gym recently but while still admittedly starstruck off the court, the 20-year-old is no shrinking violet on it. (TENNIS-FRENCHOPEN-WOMEN/OSAKA, moved, by Martyn Herman, 700 words)

Returning Serena Williams ready to deny Paris convention

LONDON - Convention would have it that to succeed on the gruelling clay courts of Roland Garros requires playing a stack of matches and having miles in your legs. (TENNIS-FRENCHOPEN-WOMEN/SERENA, moved, by Simon Cambers 600 words)

French Open organisers launch assault on tardy diners

PARIS - The French Open is mostly a picture of elegance — well-dressed spectators in Panama hats watching the ball sizzle across the red clay in searing sunshine. The problem is when most of the crowd disappears for a long Mediterranean lunch. (TENNIS-FRENCHOPEN/CROWDS, moved, by Luke Baker, 450 words)

From red carpet to red dirt, Muguruza the warrior

Being the reigning Wimbledon champion and former French Open winner has its perks for Garbine Muguruza, like being invited to walk the red carpet at this year’s Oscars in Hollywood. (TENNIS-FRENCHOPEN/MUGURUZA, moved, by Martyn Herman, 580 words)

Lyon Open

Isner takes on Albot in second round

LYON - Second seed John Isner will meet Radu Albot in the second round, while Frenchman Gilles Simon is also in action(TENNIS-LYON/MEN, 300 words)

Strasbourg International

Stosur to face Gavrilova in an all-Australian clash

STRASBOURG - Defending champion Sam Stosur will face second seed Daria Gavrilova in an all-Australian second round match. (TENNIS-STRASBOURG/, 300 words)

CYCLING

Giro d’Italia - Stage 17

Yates set to maintain lead on day for the sprinters

Simon Yates holds an overall lead of 56 seconds heading into a 155-kilometre ride from Riva Del Garda to Iseo that is expected to give the sprinters a last chance before the final day in Rome to claim a stage victory with three days of climbing to come. (CYCLING-GIRO/ (TV), expect by 1700 GMT/1 PM ET, 300 words)

MOTOR RACING

Formula One, Monaco Grand Prix preview

Motor racing-Red Bull can celebrate 250th race with a win

MONACO - Red Bull could scoop the jackpot in Monaco this weekend as they celebrate the team’s 250th Formula One grand prix. (MOTOR-F1-MONACO/PREVIEW, expect by 0100 GMT/9 PM ET, by Alan Baldwin, 500 words)

We will also move statistics and a drivers’ form sheet.

Hamilton and Vettel meet the media in Monaco

MONACO - Mercedes’ Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari title rival Sebastian Vettel face the media ahead of Sunday’s showcase race (MOTOR-F1-MONACO/ (PIX, TV), expect by 1500 GMT/11 AM ET, 400 words, by Alan Baldwin)

CRICKET

Knight Riders face Royals in eliminator

KOLKATA - Kolkata Knight Riders will try to take advantage of their home conditions when they clash with Rajasthan Royals in an eliminator that pits the two-time champions against the inaugural winners at the Eden Gardens. (CRICKET-T20/IPL (TV), expect by 1800 GMT/2 PM ET, 350 words)

Chennai’s ‘retirement home’ show old is gold in IPL

NEW DELHI - Twenty20 cricket is perceived primarily as a stage on which young players perform best but the war horses at Chennai Super Kings have turned that notion on its head by marching into the Indian Premier League (IPL) final for a record seventh time. (CRICKET-T20/IPL-CHENNAI, moved, by Amlan Chakraborty, 400 words)

England with much to prove in home tests

LONDON - A toothless bowling attack, brittle opening batting partnership and callow spin options leave England with much to prove in seven home tests against Pakistan and India starting on Thursday. (CRICKET-TEST-ENG-PAK/PREVIEW), moving at 0200 GMT/10 00 PM ET, by Ed Osmond, 400 words)

RUGBY

Wallabies coach Cheika previews Ireland series

SYDNEY - Wallabies coach Michael Cheika talks to the media ahead of Australia’s three-test June series against European champions Ireland. (RUGBY-AUSTRALIA/CHEIKA, moved, by Nick Mulvenney, 400 words)

Exeter v Saracens is true vindication of playoffs

LONDON - Traditionalists once bemoaned the fact that the table-topper at the end of the regular English rugby season was too often unseated in the final but this year’s Premiership decider between Saracens and Exeter feels absolutely right. (RUGBY-UNION-ENGLAND-EXE-SAR/PREVIEW, moved, by Mitch Phillips, 580 words)

Japan coach squad for Italy, Georgia tests

TOKYO - Japan head coach Jamie Joseph names his squad for the summer test matches against Italy and Georgia. (RUGBY-UNION-JAPAN/ (TV), by Jack Tarrant)

NBA

Rockets out to overcome worst playoff loss

The Houston Rockets try to recover from a 41-point shellacking by the Golden State Warriors when the two teams meet in Game Four of the best-of-seven Western Conference finals, which the Warriors lead 2-1. (BASKETBALL-NBA-GSW-HOU/, expect by 0415 GMT/12:15 PM ET, by Field Level Media, 400 words)

BASEBALL

Red Sox chase first place at Tampa

The Boston Red Sox, battling the New York Yankees for the American League East lead, take on the Tampa Bay Rays in a division matchup and the Colorado Rockies visit the Los Angeles Dodgers in two of the 15 games on the Major League Baseball schedule. (BASEBALL-MLB/HIGHLIGHTS, expect by 0530 GMT/1:30 AM ET, by Field Level Media, 800 words)

NORTH AMERICAN SPORTS

Roundups of off-field developments in the major North American professional sports leagues. (expect by 0000 GMT/8 PM ET, by Field Level Media, 500 words)

OLYMPICS

New cars, foreign drivers swell taxi market ahead of Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO - New taxis have hit Tokyo’s streets in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 showpiece event. As well as new vehicles, foreign drivers are also being increasingly utilised as the Japanese capital prepares to welcome an influx of tourists in the coming years. (OLYMPICS-2020/TAXIS (PIX, TV), by Jack Tarrant) (Europe desk editor: Christian Radnedge)

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