The talk of Sky Sports

Last Updated: 27/02/13 4:35pm

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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...

"France had a smile on its face as it poured on the misery for the Southern Hemisphere in the autumn but like last season Philippe Saint-Andre has tightened up in the competition environment of the Six Nations. I thought the quality of their liberated autumn would teach them a lesson that Saint-Andre could not possibly forget but I was wrong. Yes, France has talent currently equal to that of England but it has fear and lethargy where England is flowering with enjoyment and intelligence. We will be reminded how France bounced back from a bad place to almost win a World Cup (I will probably be tempted myself by the time we record the Rugby Club) but the facts all point to an England win and a convincing one. I'll stand by that prediction."
France are a talented team, says Stuart Barnes, but England should not be afraid of playing with flair.
Taken from 'Allaying Les Bleus'

"Iniesta is a genius who just happens to have played all his life for what is arguably the greatest club side in the history of the game, who also have in Lionel Messi , probably the greatest player ever and also for a country that stands, at the moment, above any other footballing nation. Iniesta controls games with an economy of effort, a skill and a guile that combines the passing genius of Xavi and the dribbling wizadry of Messi. While Messi is at Barcelona, Iniesta will never receive the credit he deserves, yet ironically it can be argued that without mercurial input of Iniesta, Messi would not be quite the force he is now."
Guillem Balague explains why he thinks Andres Iniesta is better than Zinedine Zidane.
Taken from 'Superior to Zidane?'

"From England's point of view, there's been plenty of positives from the tour so far, especially for the young players. Joe Root has forced his way into the side and looks like he's going to be around for a long time, plus Jos Buttler has been terrific. He's not a regular wicketkeeper, but has done absolutely nothing wrong. Lots of people say he's just a stopper, but he's been excellent. Alastair Cook came good in the second one-day international, playing very fluently, but I remain a big fan of Jonathan Trott, who is a real glue for England with the way that he plays."
Bumble blogs on how he - and England - are acclimatising to life in New Zealand.
Taken from 'Warmly welcomed'

"Most people will be aware that 'the game' (or should I say the majority of Super League clubs) has decided to replace a meaningful second team competition for Super League clubs with a system that's called Dual-Registration. We haven't had a truly competitive Second Team competition for some time, but this is a giant step backwards. Clubs now have a first team and an under-19 side and are allowed or encouraged to send some of their over-19 players to play for clubs in the Championship, either through an affiliation with a Championship club or via a month-long loan. I thought it was a bad idea when I first heard about it, but never imagined it would go this wrong so quickly."
Phil Clarke believes the dual-registration system will end up chasing players away from rugby league.
Taken from 'Saving our potential'

"The hype in the lead up to this fight was pretty much all Broner as he talked about how good he is and said when Mayweather retires he will be the best. Broner landed left hooks and rights off Rees' head continually which was enough for Rees' corner to throw in the towel just before the fifth round ended to save him from any more damage. Broner had started off slow but got the TKO win at 2:59 of round five and successfully defended his WBC lightweight title in style. Maybe Broner is the real deal after all but did this elite fighter really have to lose at least two rounds and take clean shots before he got rid of Rees?"
Wayne McCullough asks if Adrien Broner is the real deal after spotting some flaws against Gavin Rees.
Taken from 'How good is Broner?'

"Milan made Barcelona look impotent; the visitors never looked like scoring and in the end the game was as comfortable for Milan as a match against Barcelona has been for anyone in the past five or so years. Even allowing for the absence of Tito Vilanova, Barcelona's lack of ideas was surprising. When their intricate passing game didn't find a way through Milan's mass defence there was no 'Plan B'. Milan will play in exactly the same way away from home so we might find out a little bit more about Barcelona's adaptability and versatility in the second leg."
Jeff Stelling blogs on Barcelona's fading Champions League hopes and Arsene Wenger's future.
Taken from 'Spent forces?'

"Harrison's problem is that he has a fear of getting hit and if you were to put him in a 12-round championship match with any decent fighter then he hasn't got it - but the three-round Prizefighter format suits him. Whereas everybody else has to adapt their style to switch from the long distance, Harrison is made for three rounds - as his Olympic gold medal, won in Sydney in 2000, showed. He's also won Prizefighter before, taking the 2009 title, and his size and southpaw stance mean he will be an awkward opponent. He's not going to get into a toe-to-toe battle with anyone but in this tournament you just have to win two of the three rounds and he's more than capable of doing that against the other contenders."
Audley Harrison returns on Saturday night and Jim Watt reckons he could win a second Prizefighter title.
Taken from 'Audley's a force'

"The great pity is that all this experimentation comes at the cost of the world championships themselves, which are considered entirely in terms of the Olympics rather than as a significant event in their own right. While the rainbow jersey awarded to the world road race champion is regarded as the second most prized garment in the sport, the equivalent on the track offers its wearer a fraction of the prestige and accompanying rewards. It is the legacy of neglect. While new velodromes are springing up from Glasgow to Minsk, very little is being done to promote and develop track cycling."
The Track World Championships should be more than just a rehearsal for Rio, says Richard Moore.
Taken from 'Rainbow recognition'

"Carlos Tevez breathed life into them last week in their 4-0 win at Leeds and they really need him to get them going this weekend, because he always sets the tempo for the rest of the side. If he starts then I reckon he can inspire them to a 2-1 win. Chelsea are back performing at a good level - the level a squad of their quality should be regularly playing at - and Eden Hazard showed with his fantastic goal in the Europa League on Thursday the quality they possess. But, at the Etihad, where City have been so strong in recent seasons, the home side need to play like champions and fight to defend their second place."
Carlos Tevez can inspire a tiring Man City to victory over Chelsea on Sunday, says Jamie Redknapp.
Taken from 'Rainbow recognition'

"Opening Batsman is an interesting runner for Harry Fry and trades at 10/1. He is also a novice and is two out of three over fences. He has a host of entries at Cheltenham and could run a big race in this. He jumps well given his relative lack of experience and seems to suit front running tactics. His only defeat over fences came behind Rolling Aces, but he gets a decent weight pull from that runner here. The trip will suit him well, as will the ground and I think he offers value on Saturday. Philip Hobbs likes to target this race and he runs Quinz (14/1) and Duke of Lucca (12/1) with the former the pick of Dickie Johnson. That horse came here as a novice in 2011 and won this race off a mark of 144 and he runs off the same mark this time round."
Alex Hammond says the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton will offer some clues for the Grand National.
Taken from 'A close run out'

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