The talk of Sky Sports

Last Updated: 08/02/13 4:37pm

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For the best in up-to-the-minute sports analysis, look no further than skysports.com, your online home for expert opinion.

Whatever your sport, our team of pundits, columnists and bloggers are here every week to bring you the sharpest views and the shrewdest comments on the latest developments.

Some of the most respected names in the business, including Jamie Redknapp, Stuart Barnes, Stevo and Paul Merson deliver their views with their expert columns, while we also have blogs from the likes of David Lloyd and Jeff Stelling.

Here's a snapshot of what the experts have been saying over the last seven days...

"Bowling in T20 cricket is a very, very difficult art - anyone can be hammered on their day - but I have more faith in both of the sides' batting line-ups than I do their attacks. Poor old Jade Dernbach seems to disappear at a rate of knots every time he puts on an England shirt and it's going to be difficult for England to keep New Zealand's big-hitters quiet. But what total can England defend? They couldn't protect 170 today, which looked a pretty good score. That's what I'm most worried about, from an England perspective, and that's why I'd make New Zealand slight favourites in the T20 series."
Bob Willis says England's batsmen are doing just fine - but what total can their bowlers defend?
Taken from 'Pulling their weight'

"With millions of pounds being waged on our domestic game every week, it's perhaps surprising that more matches here are NOT under scrutiny. Take last week for example, I noticed the purse for an average Super Sunday match pushing to £9m on a well-known bet trading website. That's £9m traded on the outcome of one single Premier League match. Now imagine if you had control of individuals involved in the heart of the action: how easy it would be to line your pockets? Surely we're talking hundreds of millions of pounds across so many matches?"
How rife is match-fixing in football? David Jones fears Europol's findings have just scratched the surface...
Taken from 'Is the fix on?'

"Phil is 42 now but he will always give himself chances to win the big titles because he rarely plays with the safety catch on - and, as funny as it sounds, he makes more mistakes when he does. Mickelson has been on the range with Harmon a myriad of times, hit solid, controlled drives and been told by Butch: 'Great, now take it out on the course'. Phil's response, however, is: 'We both know that's not going to happen!' He always wants to hit hard, hit long and win in style and it's hard to argue with that ploy which has earned him 41 victories on the PGA Tour, four Majors - he has one USPGA as well as his trio of Green Jackets - and pot-loads of money."
Rob Lee explains why Phil Mickelson is itching to get to Augusta to try and win his fourth US Masters trophy.
Taken from 'Alright for Lefty'

"It seems foreign owners often care little for the heritage, history and tradition at the clubs they treat like toys and turn their nose up at the fans, and whether the Al Hasawi family are the same or do have the best interests of Forest at heart, they are showing a naivety and lack of knowledge almost, but not quite, on par with that of the Venky's at Blackburn. To sack Sean O'Driscoll with the club one point adrift of the play-offs after a resounding Christmas-time home win over Leeds live on Sky Sports was ludicrous and to axe McLeish after just seven games in charge was just insanity, even though Alex was not a popular choice and the fact that one win from his septet of games did little to convince the Forest faithful he was the right man for the job."
Peter Beagrie says Nottingham Forest are 'insane' to sack manager Alex McLeish.
Taken from 'Nott a pretty sight'

"Lollipop ladies, landscape gardeners and lab technicians all know their rugby in this part of the country. You only need to walk down the street to hear someone's view of Super League and who the half-back partnership for England should be. I'm also lucky that I have two of the best rugby brains in the Royal Mail delivering my post. Their blood type is 'rugby league' and they usually know what they are talking about. Picking Sam Tomkins at scrum-half created some debate in the Wigan GPO sorting room: is it lunacy now that he's been voted the best player whilst playing at full-back? Has Pat Richards had his best days?"
Phil Clarke asks Wigan's Royal Mail sorting office to pick their Super League dream team...
Taken from 'Going postal...'

"The joint-favourites for the Six Nations, France, were well beaten with Italy strong as ever up front, sharper than France at the breakdown and inspired by the mighty Sergio Parisse. But these are components often put in place in Rome and frequently they prove insufficient. The stunning difference between noble defeat and glorious win was the great problem position of Italian rugby - fly-half. Since they lost Diego Dominguez they have rarely had a fly-half of professional quality, let alone Test standards but on Sunday Luciano Orquera rose to the challenge."
Stuart Barnes has high praise for Italy after their memorable Six Nations win over Les Bleus.
Taken from 'All hail Rome'

"For the second year in a row, the Super Bowl has been won by a quarterback who genuinely believes he is one of the best in the business and has received criticism for that confidence. Last year it was Eli Manning and this time around it was Joe Flacco, of the Ravens. Flacco made a collection of big-time throws and blew me away with his accuracy as he threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns. Those numbers moved his playoff totals to 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in wins over Indianapolis, Denver, New England and San Francisco."
Neil Reynolds picks six stand-out moments from an unforgettable Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
Taken from 'One to remember'

"Molina was a pretty safe option as he was lighter than Amir and not much of a puncher, but there would have been plenty of mental scars in Khan's head after the defeats to Garcia and, before that, Lamont Peterson, so he did well to come through. However, I don't think all the question marks he had against him have been lifted and it will be interesting to see if he can box as tactically as he did in December when he is up against a genuine threat, someone like a Garcia or a Victor Ortiz."
Amir Khan boxed with control against Carlos Molina, says Glenn McCrory, but can he do it regularly?
Taken from 'Mind the machismo'

"Carragher was also a great organiser on the pitch. Going to watch him play is an education; you can always hear him bellowing instructions to his team-mates and demanding more from them. Liverpool are going to find it so hard to replace him, both on the field and in the dressing room; even in the past couple of weeks when he returned to the side to play Man City and Arsenal he was their best defensive performer. I'm sure that in whatever he goes on to do next, whether it's management, coaching or media, he'll be a success."
Top four-chasing Everton could deny Jamie Carragher a dream finish to his career, says Jamie Redknapp.
Taken from 'Euro vision'

"Given the ferocity of Ireland's defence England won't have anything like the time on the ball that they enjoyed in round one, and they'll have to be tighter to deny Ireland the same opportunities that brought Scotland two long-range strikes. England have a very exciting momentum with them at the moment but I can't escape Ireland's air of desperation - driven by O'Driscoll's pending departure from centre stage. For so long he has been the danger man in this fixture, having not lost to England since 2003, and in the last four match ups in Dublin he's come away with three tries and a drop goal."
Alex Payne says Ireland stalwart Brian O'Driscoll can guide his side to victory over in-form England.
Taken from 'Brian mighty'

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