TOP STORY:

SOC--ENGLISH PREVIEW

MANCHESTER, England — Despite being guaranteed top spot at the Premier League's halfway point, Manchester United's leaky defense could thwart its quest to regain the trophy from Manchester City. Moved. By Rob Harris.

NEW/DEVELOPING:

CRI--AUSTRALIA-SRI LANKA

MELBOURNE, Australia — Captain Michael Clarke, the top batsman in test cricket this year, hopes to overcome a hamstring injury to take his place in the Australia side for the second test against Sri Lanka. First match copy by 0200 GMT. By Neil Frankland.

TEN--NADAL VIRUS

MADRID — Rafael Nadal announced that doctors have ordered him to pull out of what was to have been his first comeback tournament after a seven-month hiatus nursing a knee injury. Moved. By Harold Heckle.

FOOTBALL:

SOC--ENGLAND-PENALTIES

LONDON — England coach Roy Hodgson believes using penalties to settle deadlocked friendlies could help reverse the country's dismal record in tournament shootouts. Moved.

ALSO:

CRICKET:

CRI--INDIA-PAKISTAN-CRICKET DIPLOMACY

BANGALORE, India — Four years after Pakistani gunmen laid siege to India's financial capital of Mumbai, South Asia's bitter rivals are meeting again on the cricket ground, marking a gradual thaw in their decades-old rivalry. Moved. By Nirmala George.

GOLF:

GLF--TOUR TALES

Read about the 2012 edition of "Tales from the Tour," the obscure moments that keep golf so interesting and entertaining. Moved. By Doug Ferguson.

ALSO:

BC-GLF--CHOI'S REMARKABLE YEAR. Moved. By Doug Ferguson.

SAILING

SAI--SYDNEY-HOBART

SYDNEY — Favored Wild Oats XI and last year's winner Ragamuffin Loyal are among 77 yachts setting sail Wednesday from Sydney Harbour in the annual Sydney to Hobart race, with weather conditions suggesting a possible race record. By 0400 GMT.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL:

FBN--YEAR OF THE COMEBACK

DENVER — From Peyton Manning overcoming four neck surgeries to Adrian Peterson's rebound from a shredded knee to Chuck Pagano's fight with leukemia, this has been the Year of the Comeback in the NFL. Moved. By Arnie Stapleton.

YOUR QUERIES: Questions and story requests are wecome. Contact your local AP bureau or the AP International Sports Desk in London by telephone at 44-207-427-4105 or email lonsports@ap.org.

 

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