Reuters Sports Schedule at 1400 GMT on Wednesday, October 9

Reuters

Reuters sports schedule at 1400 GMT on Wednesday:

SOCCER

Spain can close on qualification with win at home to Belarus

MADRID - Holders Spain can pull three points clear of World Cup qualification Group I rivals France with one match to play with a win against bottom team Belarus in Palma de Mallorca on Friday. (SOCCER-WORLD/SPAIN (PREVIEW), moved, by Iain Rogers, 500 words)

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We have also moved previews for England v Montenegro, Denmark v Italy, Croatia v Belgium and Portugal v Israel. We will have all the latest news as the countdown begins for Friday's World Cup qualifying matches. (SOCCER-WORLD/)

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MOTOR RACING

Japanese Grand Prix

Vettel on the brink of fourth successive title

SUZUKA, Japan - Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel can take his fourth successive Formula One crown with four races to spare if he wins this weekend and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso fails to finish in the top eight (MOTOR RACING-PRIX/ (PREVIEW, PIX), moved, by Alan Baldwin, 500 words)

We have also moved a drivers' form sheet and statistics.

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CRICKET

Williamson leads New Zealand charge with century

Kane Williamson hit a fourth test hundred to put New Zealand on top on the first day of their opening test against Bangladesh. (CRICKET-ZEALAND/, moved, 200 words)

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TENNIS

ATP: Shanghai Masters, China (to 13)

Djokovic canters as Federer makes winning return

Top seed Novak Djokovic launched his Shanghai Open title defence in fine style, breezing past Spain's Marcel Granollers 6-2 6-0 on Wednesday. (TENNIS-MEN/CHINA, 300 words, moved)

WTA: Japan Open, Osaka (to 13)

Linz Open, Austria (to 13)

Copy on merit

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BASEBALL

Pirates, Cardinals clash in do-or-die showdown

The Pittsburgh Pirates, seeking their first berth in the National League Championship Series since 1992, visit the top-seeded St. Louis Cardinals in a decisive fifth game of their Division Series. (BASEBALL-PLAYOFFS/CARDINALS (PIX), expect by 0345 GMT/11:45 PM ET, 400 words)

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NHL

Blues try to extends perfect start versus Blackhawks

The St. Louis Blues will try to extend their perfect start to the season when they host the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in one of Wednesday's three regular season National Hockey League action. (NHL-HIGHLIGHTS/ (PIX), expect by 0330 GMT/11:30 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 300 words)

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NORTH AMERICAN SPORTS

Roundups of off-field developments in the major North American professional sports leagues. (expect by 0001 GMT/8:01 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 400 words) (Duty editor: Justin Palmer)

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