Tag Archives: bennett

Manchester City 2 Aston Villa 4 (aet): Gabriel Agbonlahor scores twice

Man City 2 Aston Villa 4 (aet): Gabby's double heaps pressure on Citizens

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UPDATED:

22:32 GMT, 25 September 2012

The new season gets no better for Manchester City. A faltering start to their defence of the Premier League title and a heartbreaking Champions League defeat in Madrid were on Tuesday night followed by an early exit from the only competition Roberto Mancini has yet to win in English football.

Defeat left City with just two wins from seven games in all competitions. Worryingly for Mancini, they have conceded 14 goals.

At the double: Agbonlahor netted twice

At the double: Agbonlahor netted twice

MATCH FACTS

Man City: Pantilimon; K Toure, Lescott (Dzeko 74), Nastasic; Milner, Razak (Helan 106), Barry, Kolarov,; Suarez (Sinclair 62); Tevez, Balotelli.

Subs not used: Wright, Zabaleta, Evans, Scapuzzi.

Booked: Tevez, Razak, K Toure.

Goals: Balotelli 27, Kolarov 64.

Aston Villa: Given; Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett (Lichaj 86); N'Zogbia, El Ahmadi (Herd 72), Delph, Agbonlahor; Weimann (Albrighton 66), Benteke.

Subs not used: Guzan, Baker, Bannan, Bent.

Booked: Delph, Vlaar, Albrighton, N'Zogbia.

Goals: Barry (OG) 59, Agbonlahor 70 & 113, N'Zogbia 96.

Referee: Phil Dowd.

Attendance: 28,015.

No wonder the Italian was an unhappy
man, although his mood owed as much to a spat with Paul Lambert that
left the City boss feeling as though he is being victimised in England.

Lambert is by no means the first to fall
out with Mancini on the touchline. He joins a club that includes David
Moyes, Sir Alex Ferguson, Mark Hughes and Tony Pulis.

Some of them have complained at his knack of waving an imaginary card,
and it was Mancini's inquiry to the fourth official over a challenge by
Villa defender Joe Bennett that upset Lambert on Tuesday night.

Mancini denied waving a card on this occasion and suggested that Lambert
would not be so bold as to confront Ferguson at Old Trafford.

'I'm tired of some managers doing this,' said Mancini. 'Maybe they do it because I'm Italian. It's better that they shut up.

'I didn't say anything to him (Lambert). I asked the fourth official if
it was a yellow card without using my hands because I thought the
referee had left his yellow cards in the dressing-room.

Super Mario: Balotelli beats Vlaar and Lowton to fire home

Super Mario: Balotelli beats Vlaar and Lowton to fire home

'He came over every time. There are some managers like this. But when
they go to Old Trafford for example they never say anything.'

Lambert
refused to take the bait. 'It wasn't a spat,' he insisted. 'I respect
him as a manager and an ex-player.'

Own goal: Barry (centre) gave his old club a helping hand

Own goal: Barry (centre) gave his old club a helping hand

In fairness to Mancini, he made 11 changes to his line-up before having
to recall Joleon Lescott because Jack Rodwell was injured in the
warm-up.

But he still had access to 187million worth of talent and City finished
the game with Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko leading the
attack as they succumbed to a Gabriel Agbonlahor-inspired Aston Villa.

One for the future: Denis Suarez (right) started for City

One for the future: Denis Suarez (right) started for City

City went ahead with just about their first effort on goal in the 27th
minute. James Milner swung a low pass in from the right and Balotelli
took control of the ball with one touch before turning to hammer it past
ex-City goalkeeper Shay Given.

Villa were level in the 59th minute when goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon
tried to punch Andreas Weimann's cross from the right but succeeded only
in diverting the ball straight at Gareth Barry. The former Villa
midfielder instinctively tried to control it but deflected it into his
own net.

Gimme Shelter: Mancini takes cover on a rainy night at the Etihad Stadium

Gimme Shelter: Mancini takes cover on a rainy night at the Etihad Stadium

Aleksandar the great: Kolarov puts City back in the lead

Aleksandar the great: Kolarov puts City back in the lead

High hopes: City's Matija Nastasic is challenged by Christian Benteke

High hopes: City's Matija Nastasic is challenged by Christian Benteke

City were ahead again within five minutes when Aleksandar Kolarov
punished Ron Vlaar's foul on Balotelli on the edge of the box by
stepping up to send a trademark freekick swerving over the defensive
wall and inside Given's left-hand post.

Again Villa hit back, however. Agbonlahor played a neat one-two with
Christian Benteke and swept into the area unopposed before steering the
ball past a helpless Pantilimon.

Flashpoint: Lambert and Mancini clash

Flashpoint: Lambert and Mancini clash

Tevez clipped the top of the bar with a freekick towards the end of
normal time but N'Zogbia fired into an empty net in the 123rd minute
after Agbonlahor's shot had been well saved, and then Agbonlahor surged
forward to score the fourth late on when his shot took a slight
deflection off Jeremy Helan and looped over City's Romanian keeper.

King Charles: N'Zogbia (second left) celebrates his strike in extra-time

King Charles: N'Zogbia (second left) celebrates his strike in extra-time

Huddersfield 1 Derby 0: Danny Ward scores winner in 47 seconds

Huddersfield 1 Derby 0: Quick-fire Ward takes just 47 seconds to net winner

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UPDATED:

17:15 GMT, 15 September 2012

Football League blog

Danny Ward scored after just 47 seconds as Huddersfield beat toothless Derby to continue their encouraging start to life in the npower Championship.

The former Bolton winger caught the Rams cold when he turned in Adam Hammill's cross and that proved to be enough to give the Terriers their second win of the season.

After a terrible start, Derby played some attractive football but they lacked a cutting edge and were unable to rescue a point which would have been no more than they deserved.

Gone in 47 seconds: Danny Ward celebrates his early winner for Huddersfield

Gone in 47 seconds: Danny Ward celebrates his early winner for Huddersfield

Match facts

Huddersfield: Smithies, Hunt, Peter Clarke, Lynch, Dixon, Hammill (Arfield 86), Ward (Novak 67), Norwood, Clayton, Southern, Vaughan (Scannell 89). Subs not used: Bennett, Woods, Gerrard, Lee.

Booked: Dixon, Hunt, Lynch.

Scorer: Ward 1.

Derby: Fielding, Brayford, Keogh, O'Connor, Roberts (Buxton 90), Hughes, Bryson, Hendrick, Doyle (Jacobs 64), Ward, Sammon (Robinson 78). Subs not used: Legzdins, Tyson, Gjokaj, Freeman.

Booked: Ward.

Referee: Trevor Kettle.

Attendance: 15,265.

Huddersfield have lost just once since returning to the second tier and look very much at home at this level, with Simon Grayson having blended together a well organised side.

The Derby coach was late arriving after being held up in traffic and Nigel Clough's side were caught napping after just 47 seconds when Huddersfield took the lead.

Hammill was the architect, with the on-loan winger making an instant impact on his home debut as he raced down the right unchallenged and was allowed to pick out the on-rushing Ward, who got in front of his marker and diverted the ball past Frank Fielding with a neat right-foot finish.

The Rams were guilty of some sloppy passing and continued to create problems for themselves but started to get into their stride with some slick passing and movement.

Delighted: Huddersfield manager Simon Grayson

Delighted: Huddersfield manager Simon Grayson

And it needed a great last ditch tackle from Terriers captain Peter Clarke to get team-mate Paul Dixon out of jail after the full-back's poor pass let in Jamie Ward, who laid the ball off to Connor Sammon. Clarke stepped in with a brilliantly timed tackle to deny the big striker as he was seemingly poised to equalise.

Derby continued to dominate possession
but Huddersfield looked dangerous going forward and Craig Bryson
breathed a sigh of relief when he headed a free-kick wide of his own
goal.

Rams boss Clough
clearly had a few words to say to his players at half-time as they made a
bright start to the second half, but Huddersfield almost doubled their
lead when Adam Clayton's drive was tipped around the post by Fielding.

But
the Terriers were struggling to keep hold of the ball and Conor Doyle
spurned a great chance to equalise when he fired over the crossbar at
the far post after a good run from the lively Jamie Ward.

Former
Terriers striker Theo Robinson was given a warm ovation when he
replaced Sammon with 12 minutes remaining with Derby still enjoying
plenty of possession but lacking quality in the final third.

Huddersfield sat deeper as the clocked ticked down and the Rams had a big shout for a penalty deep into stoppage time.

Referee Trevor Kettle waved play on when Jeff Hendrick went down in the area after a strong challenge in the air and the Terriers held on for all three points.

England U21 1 Norway U21 0: Connor Wickham strikes

England U21 1 Norway U21 0: Wickham pounces to earn Pearce play-off seed spot

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UPDATED:

20:18 GMT, 10 September 2012

Connor Wickham's first goal for the Under-21s saw England finish top of group eight as nearest rivals Norway were beaten at Chesterfield's Proact Stadium.

Results earlier in the day meant both sides had already booked their places in next month's knock-out double-headers.

But the group – and in theory a more favourable draw as one of the seeded teams in Friday's draw – was up for grabs in north east Derbyshire, and Stuart Pearce's side won it courtesy of Wickham's strike two minutes before half-time.

Roar of delight: Connor Wickham scored the only goal of the game

Roar of delight: Connor Wickham scored the only goal of the game

It was one of few chances England
created in a lacklustre contest and in the end the Young Lions made hard
work of the victory, with Norway having the better of the second half
and unlucky not to equalise when Havard Nielsen's effort struck the
underside of the crossbar and rebounded to safety.

Pearce made five changes from the side that started Thursday's 2-0 win over Azerbaijan.

Jason Steele returned in goal after missing out through illness in Baku, meaning Ben Amos replaced Declan Rudd on the bench.

Ryan Bennett came in at centre-half
for the suspended Craig Dawson while midfielder Ben Marshall made his
full debut in place of the injured Jason Lowe.

Mission accomplished: Wickham helped England top the group

Mission accomplished: Wickham helped England top the group

Wickham and Martyn Waghorn were
preferred in attack ahead of Wilfred Zaha and Marvin Sordell, who were
both among the substitutes.

Waghorn saw a thunderous left-foot
shot pushed away by Norway goalkeeper Arild Ostbo in the sixth minute
before Bennett headed over from the resulting corner.

Tussle: Jordan Henderson fights for the ball

Tussle: Jordan Henderson fights for the ball

Tom Ince looked like he would put
England ahead when he sneaked in between the Norwegian defence and
keeper on the half-hour mark. The Blackpool midfielder managed to clip
the ball goalwards past Ostbo but it rolled off target.

Wickham showed Ince how it was done after 43 minutes.

The Sunderland striker latched onto a defensive mistake and, bearing down on goal, tucked away his chance well from close-range.

It was the 19-year-old's first goal since October last year.

It's mine: Connor Wickham battles with Thomas Rogne

It's mine: Connor Wickham battles with Thomas Rogne

Norway started to come into the game
after half-time and substitute Yann-Erik de Lanlay shot narrowly wide on
the hour and ten minutes later Nielsen rattled Steele's crossbar.

Norway almost caught England out again
in the 73rd minute. Omar Elabdellaoui broke clear and flicked the ball
wide to Mushaga Bakenga but his cross-shot was diverted over for a
corner.

Thomas Ince

Stuart Pearce

Focus: Thomas Ince played well after being selected by Stuart Pearce (right)

With nine minutes remaining, a strike
at goal from Harmeet Singh 25-yards out had Steele stretching but the
Middlesbrough keeper grabbed the ball at the second attempt.

Man of the match Danny Rose joined
Shelvey in collecting a needless yellow card after kicking the ball away
as England withstood some more late pressure to hold on for the win.

But Scotland's dream is over…

Austria U21 3 Scotland U 21 2

Scotland Under-21s lost in injury-time in Austria as their European qualifying hopes ended with their first defeat of the campaign.

Johnny Russell had put Scotland ahead in the 74th minute after Tony Watt cancelled out an early opener but Billy Stark's side could only hold on to their lead for 90 seconds.

And Raphael Holzhauser scored on the counter-attack as Scotland threw men forward in a bid to secure a last-gasp winner at the Cashback Arena in Altach.

Scotland had gone into the game assured of second place behind Group 10 winners Holland but only the four best runners-up join the top teams in the play-offs for next summer's finals in Israel and they had to throw caution to the wind in the final stages as a draw would not have been enough.

Stuart Pearce wants Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back in U21 squad

Pearce set to ask Hodgson about reclaiming Oxlade-Chamberlain for U21 duty

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 9 September 2012

Stuart Pearce will ask Roy Hodgson if he will consider releasing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to give England’s Under-21s quest to reach Euro 2013 maximum assistance.

The Young Lions secured a place in next month’s play-offs by beating Azerbaijan 2-0 in Baku last week but they need a draw from Monday night's final game against Norway in Chesterfield to finish top of Group 8.

Should they clinch that point, England will not be paired with heavyweight nations France, Germany, Spain and Holland when the draw is made in Switzerland on Friday but, even still, there is potential for them to receive an awkward assignment against nations such as Serbia or Russia.

Wanted: Stuart Pearce would love Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back

Wanted: Stuart Pearce would love Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back

With that in mind, Pearce will hold discussions with Hodgson about who he will be able to include when naming his squad, as full internationals like Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kyle Walker, Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck are eligible for selection.

ENGLAND v Norway

Predicted (4-2-3-1): Steele; Kelly, Bennett, Caulker, Rose; Henderson, Lowe; Zaha, Shelvey, Ince; Sordell

Arsenal’s Oxlade-Chamberlain played a key role helping the Under-21s get this qualification campaign off to an impressive start but he has made rapid strides since then and starred in the 5-0 win over Moldova on Friday.

Given England face World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland on the same dates as the Under-21 play-offs, his services could be required elsewhere.

‘That call comes from Roy,’ said Pearce. ‘If somewhere down the line the England manager says he isn’t going to use this player or that player, and he could be of use to you, my conversation and relationship with Roy is going to be paramount.

‘Oxlade-Chamberlain is with the seniors, so too is (Jack) Butland. Kyle Walker can still play, so can Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck. When you go through the pool, you will see it is pretty good.

Hopes: Pearce (left) wants to steer England to the 2013 U21 Euros

Hopes: Pearce (left) wants to steer England to the 2013 U21 Euros

‘But Roy giving the chance to Chamberlain to go and play, along with Welbeck and the others. If they play well, they stay in the seniors. That is how it works.’

Pearce has been without Butland for these games but that decision came after Pearce and Hodgson spoke about what would be more beneficial for the highly-rated Birmingham to gain an understanding of the senior set up.

‘We have spoken about Butland, his future and where we see him,’ said Pearce, who has described his fledgling relationship with Hodgson as being “very good”.

‘The closer I can work with Roy is going to be vital. It will not only be of benefit to the team, but also to the players.

Discussions: Jack Butland's (right) future has been talked about by Pearce and Roy Hodgson

Discussions: Jack Butland's (right) future has been talked about by Pearce and Roy Hodgson

‘Butland is a case in point. He has played a lot of football at international level but not much club football. I spoke to Roy about that a week ago. I told him I wanted to start Jason Steele against Azerbaijan. I had no intention of playing Jack in that game.

‘Between us we decided that he stayed with the seniors where his experience would be better suited. October might be completely different. The players here should have an expectation of getting into the senior squad.’

First, however, the squad’s expectations are to win Group 8. England have been almost foot perfect in qualifying, with six victories – including a 2-1 verdict over Norway in Drammen last October – from seven matches. The only defeat came in Mons against Belgium in November.

‘It’s vital that we top the group,’ said Pearce. ‘If that’s not the case, then we’ll assess the situation again. The powerhouses of Europe are looking as though they are going to finish top of their groups. So if you are going to be involved Pot B, you are going to have a tough game on your hands.

‘We had a great win in Norway. We need another one now.’

Paul Lambert says young players will keep Aston Villa away from relegation battle

My kids won't drop us in it, says Lambert who is confident of avoiding relegation scrap

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UPDATED:

23:04 GMT, 31 August 2012

Paul Lambert insists his kids are all right and dismissed suggestions Aston Villa are doomed to a relegation struggle this season.

Lambert has leaned heavily towards youth in his early-season selections, handing Barclays Premier League starts to Nathan Baker, Fabian Delph and Nathan Delfouneso.

In addition, he has bought youngsters Matthew Lowton from Sheffield United, Joe Bennett from Middlesbrough and Chesterfield’s Jordan Bowery.

We'll be fine: Paul Lambert is confident his young squad can do well in the Premier League

We'll be fine: Paul Lambert is confident his young squad can do well in the Premier League

Further moves in the past week for Charlton Athletic’s Dale Stephens and Genk striker Christian Benteke — for whom Villa made another late attempt on Friday night — have reinforced the notion that Lambert is deliberately targeting youth.

Of that crop, only Lowton has celebrated his 23rd birthday. Despite this, Lambert is confident there will be no repeat of the club’s woes under Alex McLeish last season, when Villa finished just two points above the drop zone.

Asked whether they would be in a survival scrap again, Lambert said: ‘No, no,’ before adding that his crop of youngsters would come good.

Young hope: Matthew Lowton is highly thought of at Villa

Young hope: Matthew Lowton is highly thought of at Villa

Getting his chance: Fabian Delph is one of the young stars at Villa Park

Getting his chance: Fabian Delph is one of the young stars at Villa Park

‘I had exactly the same question last year and the Norwich lads surpassed everything,’ he said. ‘It’s my decision. I am comfortable with what I’m trying to do. I don’t have any fears about them. I’m trying to give them the confidence to do as well as they can. That’s what I’m looking for.

‘I know that when you get really hungry players they can take you a long way, that’s what we will try to do.

‘If you don’t have that hunger as a footballer, there’s no point playing the game. You need that enthusiasm, so we will see how it goes.’

Lambert added that he had been put under no pressure to pursue this policy by Villa’s American owner Randy Lerner, who is slashing the club’s wage bill.

The Scot said: ‘These have all been my decisions. The football decisions are mine. I’ll take full responsibility for that.

‘But I think the importance of transfer fees can get blown out of proportion. How do you put a price on someone

‘It’s whatever we think can help us and we will look at them.

‘How do you know they are not good enough You won’t know until you give them that opportunity. I like to do that.

‘It gives me great satisfaction knowing people can do well for themselves and the team.’

Jordan Bowery joins Aston Villa from Chesterfield

Now then young man… Villa sign striker Bowery (whose father played for Cloughie)

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UPDATED:

12:29 GMT, 31 August 2012

Moving on: Jordan Bowery has signed for Aston Villa from Chesterfield

Moving on: Jordan Bowery has signed for Aston Villa from Chesterfield

Aston Villa have confirmed they have completed the signing of Chesterfield striker Jordan Bowery for an undisclosed fee on a three-year contract.

Bowery becomes the sixth new signing at Villa this summer following defenders Ron Vlaar, Joe Bennett and Matt Lowton, and midfield duo Brett Holman and Karim El Ahmadi.

His father Bert Bowery was also a striker who played for Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough before moving to the North American Soccer League in 1976.

Villa boss Paul Lambert said: 'Jordan is a good player. The hunger will be there for him and he could surprise a few people.

'He's a good lad, he's strong and powerful. He's played over 100 games in the Football League and cup football, so he's battle-hardened.

'He's one for the future but if he steps up to the plate like I think he can then I would have no hesitation in throwing him in, none whatsoever.'

Bowery played 40 games for Chesterfield in League One last season and also made eight appearances in Cups, scoring 12 goals in all competitions.

He said: 'This is a Premier League club with so much history, a massive club, and I'm really excited.

'Paul Lambert talked about wanting to bring in young, raw, hungry talent, players who want to improve here and want to get to this level and stay at this level.

'I think that's what he's looked at in me.'

Joe Bennett joins Aston Villa from Middlesbrough

Villa get their man as Bennett signs on four-year deal from Middlesbrough

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UPDATED:

18:22 GMT, 29 August 2012

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of Middlesbrough defender Joe Bennett, on a four-year-deal, for an undisclosed fee.

More to follow…

Thumbs up: Joe Bennett completes his medical at Aston Villa

Thumbs up: Joe Bennett completes his medical at Aston Villa

Aston Villa move for Middlesbrough defender Joe Bennett pushes Stephen Warnock towards exit

Lambert move for Boro defender Bennett pushes Warnock towards Villa exit

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UPDATED:

21:36 GMT, 28 August 2012

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is paying 2.75million to snap up Middlesbrough left back Joe Bennett.

The 22-year-old is due at Villa Park on Wednesday for talks.

Talks: Joe Bennett

Talks: Joe Bennett

His arrival will pave the way for former England defender Stephen Warnock to quit the Midlands club.

Norwich 1 QPR 1: Booby Zamora equaliser cancels out Simeon Jackson goal

Norwich 1 QPR 1: Zamora equaliser cancels out Jackson opener

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UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 25 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Bobby Zamora's equaliser earned QPR a point at Carrow Road as both Mark Hughes' side and their hosts Norwich recovered from 5-0 maulings on the opening day.

Simeon Jackson had given Norwich the lead early on but Zamora pounced after Djibril Cisse's penalty had been saved by John Ruddy.

More to follow…

Equaliser: Zamora (second left) struck for QPR

Equaliser: Zamora (second left) struck for QPR

MATCH FACTS

Norwich: Ruddy, Russell Martin, Bassong, Barnett, Garrido, Snodgrass, Howson, Johnson, Pilkington, Jackson (Chris Martin 87), Holt (Morison 87).

Subs Not Used: Rudd, Surman, Hoolahan, Tierney, Ryan Bennett.

Goal: Jackson 11.

QPR: Green, Traore (Bosingwa 70), Hill (Onuoha 46), Ferdinand, Da Silva, Mackie, Diakite (Derry 86), Park, Hoilett, Cisse, Zamora.

Subs Not Used: Murphy, Johnson, Taarabt, Wright-Phillips.

Booked: Ferdinand, Hill

Goal: Zamora 19.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

Attendance: 26,317.

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Opener: Jackson swoops to put Norwich in front

Opener: Jackson swoops to put Norwich in front

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Returning home: Hoops goalkeeper Robert Green

Returning home: Hoops goalkeeper Robert Green

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Off and running: Jackson celebrates his first of the season

Off and running: Jackson celebrates his first of the season

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Spending spree: Hughes took a new-look QPR squad to Carrow Road

Spending spree: Hughes took a new-look QPR squad to Carrow Road

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Baptism: Hughton took charge of his first match at Carrow Road

Baptism: Hughton took charge of his first match at Carrow Road

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False dawn: Norwich could not hold on to their lead

False dawn: Norwich could not hold on to their lead

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Penalty: Cisse is brought down by Bassong

Penalty: Cisse is brought down by Bassong

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First to react: Zamora nets the equaliser

First to react: Zamora nets the equaliser

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Recovery: Rangers put their 5-0 defeat last week behind them

Recovery: Rangers put their 5-0 defeat last week behind them

Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish confirmed for Tour of Britain

Wiggins and Cavendish to race on home soil after being confirmed for Tour of Britain

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UPDATED:

17:56 GMT, 20 August 2012

Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and world road race champion Mark Cavendish will spearhead Team Sky's line-up for next month's Tour of Britain.

Less than a month after adding Olympic gold to his historic yellow jersey win, Wiggins has been named in the squad for the race which begins on September 9.

He is joined by Cavendish, a two-stage winner in the race last year and the first British rider to win the green jersey in the Tour de France.

A Brit special: Tour de France and Olympic time trial champion Bradley Wiggins

A Brit special: Tour de France and Olympic time trial champion Bradley Wiggins

Cavendish, a key part of Team Sky’s Tour de France triumph with Wiggins, is still set to quit the British outfit after just one year.

Cavendish will hold talks with Sky’s general manager, Dave Brailsford, next week to extricate himself from the remaining two-and-a-half years of his 1.5million-a-year contract.

Sky will not oppose the breakaway by 27-year-old Cavendish, who is seeking an agreement that he can begin negotiations with other teams. As many as six outfits have expressed an interest in taking him on.

As well of taking Olympic time trial and Tour glory, Wiggins has also had success in Paris Nice, the Tour de Romandie and the Criterium Dauphine stage races.

With reigning road race king Cavendish also confirming his participation, the event organisers are naturally looking forward to its commencement, with director Mick Bennett saying: 'To have the reigning Tour de France and Olympic time trial champion, and the current world champion competing in The Tour of Britain is a dream for us.

Sprint king: Mark Cavendish is a former green jersey winner in the Tour de France

Sprint king: Mark Cavendish is a former green jersey winner in the Tour de France

'That both riders are British and such great champions means that there is now unprecedented interest in the event.

'We are delighted that The Tour of Britain will be the first chance for many British fans to see Bradley Wiggins since his Tour de France and Olympic successes.

'We are also very pleased that Mark Cavendish will do the race again so he can show off the rainbow stripes in front of home fans.'

Team Sky have also confirmed Jeremy Hunt in their line-up, along with Bernhard Eisel, Christian Knees and Thomas Lofkvist.

The race, which was reprised in 2004, starts in Ipswich on September 9 and takes in Norfolk, Nottingham, Knowsley, Jedburgh, Dumfries, Carlisle, Blackpool, Stoke, Welshpool, Caerphilly, Barnstaple, Dartmouth and Reigate before ending in Guildford on September 16.