Must win game
LONDON - After starting the season chasing seven titles, Chelsea are facing elimination from yet another competition.
The European champions must overturn a 2-0 deficit against Swansea to reach the League Cup final tomorrow, or face missing out on a fourth trophy since August. Chelsea's two previous trips to Swansea's Liberty Stadium have ended in 1-1 draws, and a repeat result would send the south Wales club through to its first major final. "It will be tough because it's a hard place to go," Chelsea defender Gary Cahill said. "They're so well organised and play really good football. The key for us will be getting the first goal. If we can do that I'm sure it will be a nervy night for them and that's what we aim to get.
Tennis star out
MADRID - Spain will open the Davis Cup against Canada without injured star Rafael Nadal or regular member David Ferrer. Nicolas Almagro will lead Spain in the first-round tie in Vancouver from February 1-3. Spain captain Alex Corretja has also called on doubles pair Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez, while 51st-ranked Albert Ramos will make his debut for the national team. Nadal hasn't played since last June because of tendinitis in his left knee.
TORONTO - Milos Raonic will lead Canada against Spain in Davis Cup play in Vancouver next month. The 15th-ranked Raonic is coming off a fourth-round loss to Roger Federer at the Australian Open. He, Frank Dancevic, Vasek Pospisil and veteran Daniel Nestor have been the core of the team since 2011. The World Group first-round tie is scheduled for February 1-3 on an indoor hard-court at Thunderbird Sports Centre.
Out for doping
AIGLE - French rider Steve Houanard has been suspended for two years for doping with EPO, and a disciplinary case has been opened against former Lance Armstrong teammate Leif Hoste of Belgium, the International Cycling Union says. The UCI said Houanard accepted his sanction. The 26-year-old rider was provisionally suspended by the governing body last October pending a disciplinary case by the French cycling federation.
Houanard was pulled from the Tour of Beijing by the Ag2r-La Mondiale team when news of his out-of-competition positive test emerged ahead of the stage race. The UCI said it also asked the Belgian federation to open a case against Hoste based on irregular blood values in his biological passport.
OAKLAND, California - The Golden State Warriors came from seven points down in the closing minutes to beat the NBA-leading Los Angeles Clippers 106-99 on Sunday, closing the gap between the Pacific Division's top teams to six games. In other key games, Indiana stayed clear top of the Central Division by pipping Memphis, Brooklyn beat New York to move within a game of their city rivals in the Atlantic Division, and San Antonio were too good for slumping Philadelphia. Golden State's Jarrett Jack had 18 points and 10 assists while Stephen Curry made four three-pointers in the fourth quarter to finish on 28 as the Warriors beat the Clippers for the third time in four meetings this season.