Reuters Sports Schedule at 0001 GMT on Saturday

Reuters sports schedule at 0001 GMT on Saturday:

SOCCER

2018 World Cup qualifying

Europe

Group A

Sweden v Luxembourg (1600)

Belarus v Netherlands (1845)

Bulgaria v France (1845)

Group B

Faroe Islands v Latvia (1600)

Andorra v Portugal (1845)

Switzerland v Hungary (1845)

Group H

Bosnia v Belgium (1600)

Gibraltar v Estonia (1600)

Cyprus v Greece (1845)

France and Switzerland aim to clinch World Cup spots

France and Switzerland can claim places at next year's World Cup, with the French able to secure a spot if they win away to Bulgaria and Sweden lose at home to Luxemburg, while the Swiss will win their group if they beat Hungary at home and Portugal fail to beat Andorra away.

We will also bring you all the build-up to the rest of this week's World Cup qualifiers, including news conferences with players and managers, as teams jostle for places at next year's tournament in Russia. (SOCCER-WORLDCUP/TEAM, expect throughout)

North and Central America

U.S. host Panama in crucial game

United States face Panama in a crunch World Cup qualifier while Costa Rica could confirm their place in Russia with a win over Honduras on a night of tense encounters in the penultimate CONCACAF round of games. (SOCCER-WORLDCUP-USA-PAN/ (PIX), expect by 0300 GMT/11 PM ET, 350 words)

Africa

Group A

Guinea v Tunisia (1700)

Libya v DR Congo (1700)

Group B

Cameroon v Algeria (1600)

Nigeria v Zambia (1600)

Group C

Morocco v Gabon (1900)

Group D

South Africa v Burkina Faso (1300)

Cape Verde Islands v Senegal (1730)

Group E

Uganda v Ghana (1300)

Nigeria have a good chance to become the first African country to qualify for the 2018 finals. We will wrap all the matches and provide match coverage on merit. (SOCCER-WORLDCUP/AFRICA, expect by 2200 GMT/6 PM ET, by Mark Gleeson, 500 words)

Russia play friendly against South Korea

MOSCOW - Russia will gauge their strength in a friendly against South Korea as they prepare to host the 2018 World Cup. (SOCCER-FRIENDLY-RUS-KOR/, expect by 1600 GMT/12 PM ET, by Gabrielle Tetrault-Farber, 300 words)

MOTOR RACING

Japanese Grand Prix (8)

SUZUKA, Japan - Lewis Hamilton and title rival Sebastian Vettel battle for pole position in qualifying ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka. (MOTOR-F1-JAPAN/ (PIX), expect by 0700GMT/3 AM ET, by Abhishek Takle, 400 words)

We will also have stories from around the paddock.

RUGBY UNION

Rugby Championship

South Africa v New Zealand

CAPE TOWN - New Zealand have already secured the Rugby Championship but will look to complete a clean sweep as they play a Springbok side who they thrashed in a record 57-0 drubbing last month. (RUGBY-UNION-CHAMPIONSHIP-ZAF-NZL/ (PIX)expect by 1700 GMT/1 PM ET, by Mark Gleeson)

CRICKET

South Africa v Bangladesh, 2nd test

South Africa out to pile on the runs against Bangladesh

BLOEMFONTEIN - South Africa will resume on 428 for three wickets in their first innings after rookie opener Aiden Markram scored his maiden test century as they piled on the runs against Bangladesh. (CRICKET-TEST-ZAF-BGD/, by Mark Gleeson, 400 words)

India v Australia, first T20 international

RANCHI - India and Australia meet in the first of the three-match Twenty20 international series. (CRICKET-IT20-IND-AUS/ by Sudipto Ganguly, 300 words)

TENNIS

China Open

Nadal faces Dimitrov in semi-finals

BEIJING - World number one Rafael Nadal meets Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios takes on Alexander Zverev in the last four. (TENNIS-BEIJING/MEN (PIX, TV), 300 words)

Halep plays Ostapenko in French Open rematch

BEIJING - Second seed Simona Halep has an opportunity to gain revenge over Jelena Ostapenko, who beat her in this year's French Open final, while Petra Kvitova faces Caroline Garcia in the other semi-final. (TENNIS-BEIJING/WOMEN (PIX), 400 words)

GYMNASTICS

World Artistic Gymnastics Championships (to 8)

Women's all-around title wide open

The women's all-around title is up for grabs in Montreal in the absence of several stars, including Olympic gold medallist Simone Biles and injured Romanian Larisa Iordache. Japan’s Mai Murakami was the top qualifier while others who could challenge include American Ragan Smith and Canadian Ellie Black. (GYMNASTICS-WORLD/ (TV), expect by 0300 GMT/11 PM ET, 350 words)

GOLF

PGA Tour: Safeway Open (to 8) Napa, California

Second round wrap from the opening event of the 2017-18 PGA Tour season at Silverado Resort. (GOLF-SILVERADO/SAFEWAY, expect by 0300 GMT/11 PM ET, 400 words)

BASEBALL

National League Division Series begins

The Washington Nationals host the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs in Game One of the National League Division Series, before Clayton Kershaw takes his miserly 2.31 ERA to the mound as the Los Angeles Dodgers host the Arizona Diamondbacks in the nightcap. In the American League, the Houston Astros seek to turn the screws on the Boston Red Sox in Game Two of their series, while Corey Kluber (Cleveland) and C.C. Sabathia (New York) are scheduled to start in Game Two as the Indians and Yankees continue their series. (BASEBALL-MLB/PLAYOFFS, expect by 0530 GMT/1:30 AM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 800 words)

NHL

Expansion team Knights make league debut

After winning three Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins, veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury begins a new phase of his career with the Las Vegas Knights as the league’s newest expansion team debuts with a visit to the Dallas Stars in one of three games on the National Hockey League schedule. (ICEHOCKEY-NHL/HIGHLIGHTS, expect by 0500 GMT/1 AM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 300 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 The Sports Xchange, 500 words) (Asia desk editor: Peter Rutherford)

10/06/2017 20:01

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