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Southgate recalls Rashford to England squad

England caretaker coach Gareth Southgate has named his first squad and have recalled Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford and Stoke City defender Glen Johnson handed recalls to the senior side.

The Three Lions face World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia in October with the national team having endured a turbulent week following the departure of Sam Allardyce after just 67 days and one game in the job.

Southgate, who has agreed to take charge of the next four games, has named a 23-man squad with Malta the visitors to Wembley on Saturday with England facing Slovenia in Ljubljana on 11 October.

Rashford returns to the squad after featuring for the Under-21s last time out, scoring a hat-trick on his debut, in a 6-1 win over Norway in September.

Also back in the squad is Johnson, for the first time since World Cup 2014 while uncapped Jesse Lingard and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are also called-up.

“We’ve tried to keep some continuity from last month because my view would be that there are a lot of things that have been going right,” Southgate told the FA’s official website.

“We’ve had a few people unavailable through injury like Harry Kane and Jack Butland and we’ve lost a couple over the weekend in Danny Drinkwater, Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne, while Luke Shaw isn’t quite back fit yet. That’s had a bearing on the squad.

“There are obviously a couple of players that I’ve worked with in the Under-21s with Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, who we think are exciting young players who we wanted to put in this squad.

“It’s obviously been a difficult week in a number of ways, however we are in a position now where it’s important to get the squad named.

“I’m looking forward now to working with the players because it’s important that we build on the performance and the result against Slovakia.”

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Torino, loan from Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley)

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Stoke City), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders: Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Michail Antonio (West Ham United), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)

Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

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Barcelona, Lionel Messi gives me Sleepless Nights – Antonio Conte

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Barcelona, Lionel Messi gives me Sleepless Nights - Antonio Conte

Barcelona, Lionel Messi gives me Sleepless Nights – Antonio Conte

Chelsea coach Antonio Conte has revealed that the thought of playing against Barcelona and Lionel Messi gives him sleepless nights.

The Italian’s men will host the Catalan giants in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday. According to him;

“In these days after the game in the FA Cup, I must be honest, it was a bit difficult to sleep well,” he said.

“When you have to play this type of game, you have to prepare. You have to prepare everything. You have to prepare big things, but the smaller details too.

“They can move a result a lot of the time. We have an idea. We have a plan in our heads. I think that, in this specific moment, it’s very important to pick the players who are at the top of their form and then try and do our best to win the game.”

Barcelona vs Chelsea meetings is best remembered by their semi-final meeting in this competition in 2012 when they surrendered a two-goal lead to crash out at the Nou Camp as Roberto Di Matteo’s side went on to lift the Champions League for the first time.

Lionel Messi will be hoping to score his first goal against Chelsea, having drawn a blank in his previous eight outings in this fixture.

Anthonio Conte however knows it will be difficult to keep Messi quiet. According to him,

“We are talking about the best player in the world,” he said when asked about a plan to cope with the Argentina ace.

“Messi has the capacity to solve the situation and create a chance when you are not seeing the chance to score.

“We are talking about a fantastic player. We have to pay great attention, but not only to Messi.

“We have to know that, during the game, we must be prepared to suffer. But, at the same time, we must have the idea to go and score at any moment.”

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Wigan Athletic Eliminates Manchester City from the FA Cup

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Wigan Athletic Eliminates Manchester City from the FA Cup

Wigan Athletic Eliminates Manchester City from the FA Cup

League 1 side Wigan Athletic stunned a 10-man Manchester City’s hopes of a quadruple with a shock 1-0 win in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday.

Will Grigg scored the winner for the underdogs in the 79th minute when he finished brilliantly from the edge of the box.

Manchester City dominated the match, having 29 shots and 83 per cent of the possession, despite Fabian Delph’s Red Card at the end of the first half for a high tackle on Max Power.

The defeat is City’s third of the season who had created enough good chances to win the game, especially in the first half, despite Wigan looking dangerous on the break.

 

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Romelu Lukaku Leads Manchester United into FA Cup quarter-finals

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Romelu Lukaku to appear in Los Angeles court today over July arrest

Romelu Lukaku Leads Manchester United into FA Cup quarter-finals

Manchester United has booked their place  in the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 win at Huddersfield on Saturday night.

It was more of a “Monkey working while the baboon eats” and a night of VAR controversy after Juan Mata’s goal was ruled out .

Romelu Lukaku found the back of the net  just three minutes after kick off and the second just after the break (55) – but it was Mata’s disallowed effort for which the game will be remembered for.

Romelu Lukaku Leads Manchester United into FA Cup quarter-finals

With VAR in use, Mata thought he had made it 2-0 just before half-time when breaking in behind and finishing past Jonas Lossl. However, after a big delay and confusion with the VAR pictures, Kevin Friend ruled out the goal as Mata’s knee was marginally offside despite the lines used by VAR not looking straight.

Huddersfield enjoyed plenty of possession and registered 19 shots on goal but United’s defence – marshalled by the excellent Chris Smalling – kept their eighth clean sheet from their last 10 matches.

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