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ECB announce 2013 Ashes dates and venues

England to start 2013 Ashes defence at Trent Bridge with Old Trafford another returning venue

PUBLISHED:

11:03 GMT, 1 June 2012

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UPDATED:

13:01 GMT, 25 April 2013

The England and Wales Cricket Board have released the itinerary for next year's international fixtures, with Trent Bridge playing host to the first Ashes Test.

It is another packed schedule for England, with series against New Zealand in all three formats between May 16 and June 27 before the world's top-eight teams contest the Champions Trophy.

The Oval, Cardiff and Edgbaston are the home grounds for that tournament but, as ever, the focus will be on the arrival of Australia.

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Ashes heroes: England will begin the defence of the Ashes at Trent Bridge

Ashes heroes: England will begin the defence of the Ashes at Trent Bridge

They will play two four-day warm-ups, against Somerset and Worcestershire, before the opening Test in Nottingham on July 10.

The second Test, at Lord's, follows immediately on July 18 before Australia face Sussex in another tour match at Hove.

The next two Tests are also back to back, with Old Trafford the venue for the third match, as it was in the memorable 2005 series, and Durham's first taste of Ashes cricket coming in the penultimate match of the series, starting on August 9.

The tourists then have a two-day fixture at Northampton before the sides meet again at The Oval, where England have clinched the urn for the last two home series.

Having announced his shock retirement from limited-overs cricket, Kevin Pietersen's international commitments will end on August 25, while his colleagues contest two Twenty20s and five one-day matches against the old enemy as well a stand alone trip to Malahide to face Ireland.

Happy memories: The England team celebrate winning the Fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in 2005

Happy memories: The England team celebrate winning the Fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in 2005

The final match on the calendar, a 50-over clash with Australia, takes place at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl on September 16 – four days later than its 2012 equivalent.

ECB chief executive David Collier said: 'The prospect of England defending the Ashes on home soil, the world's top eight teams competing in the ICC Champions Trophy, and a full programme of 50-Over and T20 International cricket will provide rich pickings for cricket fans next summer.

'Last season's international programme attracted a record aggregate attendance of more than 850,000 spectators and we would urge all fans to purchase their international tickets early for 2013 to avoid missing out on what promises to be a memorable summer.'

Collier also referred to the decision to hand Lord's the first Test of the summer against New Zealand, having initially awarded the fixture to Cardiff.

Australia announce Ashes squad

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Ticket sales for last summer's Test against Sri Lanka were disappointing and a compromise deal was reached which saw Glamorgan trade their Test for the Champions Trophy fixtures.

'Wales has earned an outstanding reputation for its ability to deliver world-class sporting events and we are delighted that Cardiff will be used as a host venue for the ICC Champions Trophy and stage a semi-final,' said Collier.

'Cardiff was originally scheduled to stage next summer's first Investec Test match against New Zealand and following further discussions between ECB, Glamorgan CCC, and MCC, this match will now be played at Lord's. We are grateful to both parties for their co-operation in this matter.'

2013 SUMMER DATES FOR NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA

New Zealand tour itinerary

May 4-6 v Derbyshire

May 9-12 v England Lions (Leicester)

May 16-20 v England (First Test, Lord's)

May 24-28 v England (Second Test, Headingley)

May 31 v England (First One-Day International, Lord's)

June 2 v England (Second ODI, Ageas Bowl)

June 5 v England (Third ODI, Trent Bridge)

June 22 v Kent (T20 warm-up, Canterbury)

June 25 v England (First T20 international, Oval)

June 27 v England (Second T20 international, Oval)

NB. T20 tour match at Canterbury on 22 June cancelled if NZ in Final of ICC Champions Trophy.

Champions Trophy

June 6-17 ICC Champions Trophy Group Stages

June 19-20 ICC Champions Trophy Semi-Finals

June 23 ICC Champions Trophy Final (Edgbaston)

Australia tour itinerary

June 26-29 v Somerset

July 2-5 v Worcestershire

July 10-14 v England (First Test, Trent Bridge)

July 18-22 v England (Second Test, Lord's)

July 26-28 v Sussex

Aug 1-5 v England (Third Test, Old Trafford)

AuG 9-13 v England (Fourth Test, Emirates Durham ICG)

Aug 16-17 v Northamptonshire

Aug 21-25 v England (Fifth Test, Oval)

Aug 29 v England (First T20, Ageas Bowl)

Aug 31 v England (Second T20, Emirates Durham ICG)

Sept 3 v Scotland (Edinburgh)

Sept 6 v England (First ODI, Headingley)

Sept 8 v England (Second ODI, Old Trafford)

Sept 11 v England (Third ODI, Edgbaston)

Sept 14 v England (Fourth ODI, SWALEC Stadium)

Sept 16 v England (Fifth ODI, Ageas Bowl)

Sept 3 Ireland v England (ODI, Dublin)

Lionel Messi Tokyo Madame Tussauds with David Beckham

Beckham and Messi the stars of the show in Tokyo Madame Tussauds

By
Bill Rungay

PUBLISHED:

16:31 GMT, 13 March 2013

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UPDATED:

16:54 GMT, 13 March 2013

When Cristiano Ronaldo claimed that God sent him to earth to play football, Messi said: ‘I didn’t send anybody’.

We all thought that was a joke; however it appears that the Argentine was in Tokyo pointing to the skies last night at the same time as he was in Barcelona scoring twice to help his team progress in the Champions League.

Is he really God Can he be in two places at once Sadly not.

Lifelike: A Lionel Messi waxwork is unveiled at Madame Tussauds in Japan this week

Lifelike: A Lionel Messi waxwork is unveiled at Madame Tussauds in Japan this week

Matchwinning performance: Messi scored twice as Barcelona beat AC Milan 4-0 on Tuesday night

Matchwinning performance: Messi scored twice as Barcelona beat AC Milan 4-0 on Tuesday night

A visitor poses with the wax figure of Lionel Messi at the Madame Tussauds exhibition in Tokyo, Wednesday, March 13, 2013.(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Madame Tussauds in Tokyo, Japan are reopening this Friday, exhibiting 60 wax figures of Japanese and worldwide stars. These include Messi and England’s finest patriot, Mr David Beckham.

Beckham, now of Paris Saint-Germain, can be seen in his LA Galaxy kit doing sit ups on a bench.

Laid Beck: A David Beckham model can also be found at the museum

Laid Beck: A David Beckham model can also be found at the museum

TOPSHOTS Paris Saint-Germain's English midfielder David Beckham

Many tourists and fans will be at Friday’s reopening in Tokyo, however Messi and Beckham will both have their eyes on the Champions League quarter-final draw, where their sides could possibly meet each other.

David Beckham makes Paris Saint-Germain debut in 2-0 win over Olympique Marseille

PSG 2 Marseille 0: Winning start for Beckham as English star has a hand in second goal during 15-minute debut

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

22:01 GMT, 24 February 2013

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UPDATED:

22:10 GMT, 24 February 2013

David Beckham made a winning debut for Paris Saint-Germain as they took a big step towards the French championship with a 2-0 win over bitter rivals Marseille.

The former England captain came on with 15 minutes remaining and had a hand in his new team's second goal, scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Earlier, Lucas Moura's shot was deflected off Joey Barton and Nicolas N'Koulou to give the hosts a 10th minute lead.

Debut: David Beckham came off the bench in the 76th minute to make his first appearance for new club Paris Saint-Germain in their 2-0 win over rivals Marseille

Debut: David Beckham came off the bench in the 76th minute to make his first appearance for new club Paris Saint-Germain in their 2-0 win over rivals Marseille

First start: Beckham started on the bench and came on for Javier Pastore in the closing stages

First start: Beckham started on the bench and came on for Javier Pastore in the closing stages

Helping hand: In blizzard-like conditions in Paris, Beckham played a part in PSG's second goal, scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Helping hand: In blizzard-like conditions in Paris, Beckham played a part in PSG's second goal, scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Barton played from the start for Marseille, but Beckham had to make do with a start on the bench in snowy Paris.

He completed two warm-ups during the
second-half and replaced Javier Pastore in the 76th minute. Beckham's
passing looked as sharp and reliable as ever, as he connected with
teammates Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jeremy Menez, Ezequiel Lavezzi and others.

And it was Beckham who chipped a ball
over the Marseille defence into the path of Menez in the first minute
of injury time. Menez crossed and Ibrahimovic deflected the ball past
Steve Mandanda with his knee.

In an open and entertaining game, PSG failed to fully capitalise on an early lead gained fortuitously when Moura's shot, which was going wide, deflected first off Barton and then off N'Koulou to wrong foot Mandanda in goal.

Marseille, inspired by the excellent Mathieu Valbuena, created a number of good openings to equalise and PSG keeper Salvatore Sirigu saved smartly on a number of occasions.

The win is significant for PSG, who are chasing a third French title, as it took them back above Lyon, who had beaten Lorient 3-1 earlier in the day.

More to follow…

Contrasting fortunes: Joey Barton can only look on in disappointment as Beckham hugs Ibrahimovic after the second goal

Contrasting fortunes: Joey Barton can only look on in disappointment as Beckham hugs Ibrahimovic after the second goal

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup working hard to end set-piece difficulties

Sloppy Swans must stop set-piece slip ups, admits boss Laudrup after they ship top flight record 12th goal

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 25 December 2012

Michael Laudrup has admitted he is concerned by Swansea's inability to defend set-pieces and has vowed to tackle the issue.

The Swans share with Aston Villa the dubious distinction of having conceded the most amount of set-piece goals in the Barclays Premier League this season.

Patrice Evra’s header from Robin van Persie’s first-half corner in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United on Sunday was the 12th time they have conceded in such a way – accounting more than half the 23 Laudrup’s side have shipped.

Heads, you lose: Swansea have conceded a league record 12 goals from set-pieces this season, with the most recent coming from Patrice Evra

Heads, you lose: Swansea have conceded a league record 12 goals from set-pieces this season, with the most recent coming from Patrice Evra

It continued a worrying trend after Jan Vertonghen volleyed Tottenham’s winner from a Kyle Walker free-kick a week earlier, and Norwich scored two in a similar manner on December 8.

Laudrup pointed in mitigation to the height of three of three of the regular starters in his sleek, passing side – Leon Britton, Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer are all shorter than 5ft 7in – but insisted he is actively trying to address the issue.

He said: ‘We are trying to improve at set-pieces. Obviously players like Leon, Nathan and Wayne have the height they have and they are the type of players we need for our football.

‘It is a price we pay sometimes. But at set-pieces we have problems sometimes and we have to admit that. We want to improve.’

Swansea face basement club Reading on Boxing Day in what will mark the halfway point of the south Wales club’s second Premier League campaign.

They have already racked up 24 points and reached the Capital One Cup semi-final in a season where ‘the objective is survival’ and that is in no small part down to the revelatory form of Michu.

Must do better: Michael Laudrup says he working hard to eradicate the problem

Must do better: Michael Laudrup says he working hard to eradicate the problem

Goals conceded from set-pieces in 2012

Goals conceded from set-pieces in 2012

Spain manager Vicente del Bosque has confirmed the forward will win his first international cap in the February 6 friendly against Uruguay in Doha after going to the top of the Premier League’s scoring charts with his 13th goal of the season against United.

However, Laudrup admitted he fears the 26-year-old will burn out if he is not rested soon.

He said: ‘We have to find that balance because nobody can play 90 minutes in every game. It is my job to make the decision on when to rest people.

‘I said it to my squad a few weeks ago that we need everybody to be ready because in December, January and February because we play in two cups and eight or nine league games in the League. It is the most crucial point of the season.’

Sir Alex Ferguson warns Wayne Rooney over penalty flop

Fergie's spot of advice for Rooney: Don't miss another penalty!

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UPDATED:

22:59 GMT, 9 November 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Wayne Rooney that his success rate from the penalty spot must improve.

The England striker’s failure against Arsenal meant that United had missed four of six attempts this season, with Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez and Nani also flopping from 12 yards.

Rooney made amends when United were awarded another penalty against Braga in midweek, but even assistant manager Mike Phelan admitted that the coaching staff were surprised he took it.

Spot the difference: Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney missed against Arsenal (right) but scored in the Champions League (left) from 12 yards

Spot the difference: Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney missed against Arsenal (right) but scored in the Champions League (left) from 12 yards

Spot the difference: Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney missed against Arsenal (right) but scored in the Champions League (left) from 12 yards

Now Ferguson has told Rooney he cannot afford any more slip-ups.

‘Wayne has to accept he has to have a better strike rate with penalties,’ said the United boss. ‘He has to produce better, but he’s capable.

‘His penalty the other night, even though he slipped, hit the target and that’s important.

‘You need to make sure the keeper has to make a great save. If he does, full marks to him. The one thing about Rooney is that it wouldn’t matter if it was a World Cup final or a League Cup first round game against an amateur team, he would still want to score.

‘And his temperament is that, if he misses, it won’t affect him. That’s important for a penalty taker.’

Asked if Rooney would ever ask to hand over the penalty-taking duties to someone else, Ferguson replied ominously: ‘No chance. But he will not want to miss another one.’

Rooney has converted 74 per cent of his penalties in the League and Champions League in the last nine years, missing six out of 23.

Van Persie’s success rate with Arsenal
and United is slightly better at 80 per cent — four misses from 20 —
and Ryan Giggs’s perfect record from three attempts does not include
two he missed in other competitions.

‘I think our best penalty taker is
probably Giggs,’ added Ferguson. ‘But Ryan doesn’t play every week, so I
would have to bring him on like in those American Football games!’

Warning: Sir Alex Ferguson wants improvement from 12 yards

Warning: Sir Alex Ferguson wants improvement from 12 yards

Hot shots: Van Persie and Rooney

Hot shots: Van Persie and Rooney

Rooney’s strike in Braga took his total for United this season to three — a disappointing return by his standards, but he has often played in a deeper role to accommodate Van Persie.

And Ferguson is confident Rooney will hit the 20-goal mark and that a spread of 15 different scorers already means United can score 100 Premier League goals for the first time.

‘Last season we lost the title on goal difference and I don’t expect us to do that again,’ he said. ‘Robin may make that difference. Wazza will get there too. He will get to 20 goals plus this season.

‘It would be nice to think we could reach 100. In 2000 we were three short and the last game was at Villa Park, but we didn’t quite make it.’

United have not lost at Villa since August 1995 and return there today looking to extend their advantage at the top of the table over Chelsea and Manchester City, who play on Sunday.

They will be without Nani, ruled out for 10 days with a hamstring strain, and Jonny Evans is a doubt with a groin injury.

Rovers row: Blackburn fan keeps revealing Henning Berg"s team… The Ewood Park manager is NOT amused

Rovers row: Blackburn fan keeps revealing Berg's team… The new boss is NOT amused

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UPDATED:

16:57 GMT, 8 November 2012

Blackburn boss Henning Berg has been left fuming – by a fan that keeps revealing his team selections.

The new Rovers manager is keen to keep his line-ups under wraps to try and catch opponents by surprise.

But a supporter who lives near their training ground in Brockhall has been revealing the starting 11 the day before matches.

Plea: Blackburn Rovers manager Henning Berg is fed up that his team selections keep getting revealed

Plea: Blackburn Rovers manager Henning Berg is fed up that his team selections keep getting revealed

Sneak peak: Liverpool fans use wheelie bins to py on their team training (file pic)

Sneak peak: Liverpool fans use wheelie bins to py on their team training (file pic)

Now Berg wants the fan, who goes under the name ‘Rovers4Good’ on the BRFCS website, to stop.

He said: 'Wait until an hour before kick-off, or even an hour and 10 minutes so they have it 10 minutes early.

'It could be that extra one per cent and we need to get people to understand that.

'The more we can keep back from our opponents will be a good thing and we’re aware of things coming out from the outside.

Ahead of the game: Grant Hanley (left) celebrates his goal against Sheffield Wednesday this season

Ahead of the game: Grant Hanley (left) celebrates his goal against Sheffield Wednesday this season

Welcome aboard: Berg(left) unveiled as the new Rovers boss Shebby Singh, the club's global advisor earlier this month

Welcome aboard: Berg(left) unveiled as the new Rovers boss Shebby Singh, the club's global advisor earlier this month

'We’ll have to look into it and see what we can do to make sure what we do on the training pitch is not put on the Internet.

'If I wanted to make big changes for a game, it could have an effect.

'It’s good that they’re interested in the team – but they don’t have to put it out!'

LIVE: Reading v Arsenal and more Capital One Cup fourth round action

CAPITAL ONE CUP LIVE: The fourth round action from around the grounds as it happens

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UPDATED:

19:55 GMT, 30 October 2012

Reading v Arsenal tops the bill as the Capital One Cup resumes on Tuesday night. Elsewhere Southampton visit Leeds, Sunderland host Middlesbrough in a North East derby, Aston Villa travel to League One Swindon and Wigan welcome League Two Bradford. Follow all the action live with Sportsmail as the 10 clubs do battle to try and reach the quarter-finals. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Capital One Cup live scores (7.45pm)

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Leeds 0-0 Southampton

Reading 0-0 Arsenal

Sunderland 0-0 Middlesbrough

Swindon 0-0 Aston Villa

Wigan 0-0 Bradford

19.54: Great play again from the Royals. Robert's lay off enables Jay Tabb to sneak through the Arsenal defence, but from an angle the midfielder sees his shot blocked behind by Martinez.

19.51: Another side on the front foot is Reading and the Royals go even closer to taking the lead.

Sean Morrison's header from a corner comes back off the post and Damian Martinez before somehow being cleared by the Arsenal defence.

19.48: Fast start from Sunderland as Middlesbrough fail to clear their lines leading to Louis Saha firing over the bar for the hosts.

19.45: Away we go folks.

19.42: The teams are out across the country. Remember we don't do draws in this competition, extra-time and penalties will be played if needed. If that doesn't find a winner then we have a mini-crisis on our hands.

19.39: Full line-ups from Elland Road:

Leeds v Southampton
Leeds: Ashdown, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, White, /10/30/article-2224371-15B65597000005DC-31_306x423.jpg” width=”306″ height=”423″ alt=”On the ball: Andreas Weimann starts in Aston Villa's attack” class=”blkBorder” />

On the ball: Andreas Weimann starts in Aston Villa's attack

19.36: Full line-ups from the County Ground:

Swindon v Aston Villa
Swindon: Foderingham, Devera, McCormack, Flint, McEveley, Ritchie, Miller, Ferry, Roberts, Benson, Collins. Subs: Bedwell, Archibald-Henville, Nathan Thompson, Williams, Louis Thompson, Storey.

Aston Villa: Given, Lowton, Herd, Vlaar, Lichaj, Weimann, Ireland, El Ahmadi, Bannan, Agbonlahor, Benteke. Subs: Guzan, Bent, Albrighton, Holman, Delph, Stevens.

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

19.33: Marouane Chamakh makes his first start for Arsenal since January in tonight's Capital One Cup clash with Reading.

It is only the Moroccan striker's second appearance since last season with Gunners manager Arsene Wenger making 11 changes to the side that defeated QPR on Saturday.

Theo Walcott, who is locked in contract talks, starts, as does Andrey Arshavin.

Reading make six changes to the team that drew 3-3 with Fulham with starts for Garath McCleary and Hal Robson-Kanu, who scored as substitutes on Saturday.

19.30: Full line-ups from the Madejski Stadium:

Reading v Arsenal
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Gorkss, Morrison, Shorey, Tabb, McCleary, Leigertwood, Robson-Kanu, Roberts, Hunt. Subs: Stuart Taylor, Pearce, Pogrebnyak, Le Fondre, McAnuff, Church, Harte.

Arsenal: Martinez, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Djourou, Miquel, Arshavin, Frimpong, Coquelin, Walcott, Chamakh, Gnabry. Subs: Shea, Giroud, Squillaci, Bellerin, Eisfeld, Meade, Yennaris.

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

Staying between the sticks: Ali Al Habsi (right) keeps his place in the Wigan goal

Staying between the sticks: Ali Al Habsi (right) keeps his place in the Wigan goal

19.27: Full line-ups from the DW Stadium:

Wigan v Bradford
Wigan: Al Habsi, Ramis, Watson, Lopez, Stam, Fyvie, Jones, Redmond, Gomez, Boselli, McManaman. Subs: Pollitt, Kone, Maloney, Beausejour, Golobart, Kiernan, Orsula.

Bradford: Duke, Darby, McHugh, McArdle, Meredith, Hines, Thompson, Doyle, Atkinson, Wells, Hanson. Subs: McLaughlin, Connell, Gary Jones, Baker, Brown, Bass, Swain.

Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire)

19.24: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert makes five changes for the Capital One Cup fourth round tie with Swindon at the County Ground.

But there is again no place in the starting line-up for Darren Bent with Andreas Weimann preferred to the England striker.

Swindon midfielder Troy Archibald-Henville has recovered from illness and is named among the substitutes while up front is former Villa youth team player James Collins.

19.21: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill makes five changes from the side that drew 0-0 against Stoke for tonight's Capital One Cup fourth-round tie against Middlesbrough.

Phil Bardsley makes his first start of the season at right-back in front of goalkeeper Keiren Westwood, while midfielders Stephane Sessegnon and David Vaughan take to the field along with striker Louis Saha.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray also makes five changes and hands a start to Scott McDonald, who scored both goals in last weekend's win over Bolton, while Marvin Emnes is one of those to miss out after he failed a late fitness test.

19.18: Wigan boss Roberto Martinez makes nine changes to his first XI for this evening's Capital One Cup fourth-round clash with Bradford at the DW Stadium.

Goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi and defender Ivan Ramis, who has the captain's armband, are the only survivors from Saturday's Barclays Premier League win over West Ham, with first-time Latics starters Fraser Fyvie and Danny Redmond among those coming into the team.

Arouna Kone, Shaun Maloney and Jean Beausejour are all named as substitutes, while the visitors' side also showed a considerable reshuffle, manager Phil Parkinson making six adjustments from their npower League Two defeat to Burton.

Welcome back: Phil Bardsley (right) returns to the Sunderland team

Welcome back: Phil Bardsley (right) returns to the Sunderland team

19.15: Full line-ups from the Stadium of Light:

Sunderland v Middlesbrough
Sunderland: Westwood, Bardsley, O'Shea, Cuellar, Colback, Johnson, Cattermole, Vaughan, Sessegnon, Fletcher, Saha. Subs: Mignolet, Campbell, Wickham, McFadden, Kilgallon, Meyler, McClean.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Hines, Bikey, Friend, Ledesma, Leadbitter, Bailey, Haroun, Miller, McDonald. Subs: Leutwiler, Zemmama, Halliday, Parnaby, Park, Reach, Smallwood.

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

19.12: Whatever way you look at it, with players being rested or other squad players given a chance, it looks like changes (and lots of them) are on the menu this evening.

Southampton, Arsenal and Sunderland (line-ups on the way) have contrasting squads from the weekend and that can only mean upsets…well at least in name.

19.09: Southampton manager Nigel Adkins names an entirely new team for his side's fourth round Capital One Cup clash at Championship side Leeds tonight.

All 11 players to have started Sunday's league loss to Tottenham are left out, with the likes of veteran goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, defender Jos Hooiveld and forwards Guly do Prado and Steve De Ridder all coming in, while Emmanuel Mayuka makes his debut.

Leeds omit eight-goal leading scorer Luciano Becchio after a three-game barren run, with the Argentinian one of four alterations by manager Neil Warnock from the loss to Birmingham. Goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown, defender Aidy White and midfielders Michael Brown and Luke Varney are drafted in.

19.06: From OptaJoe:

9 – Reading have faced Arsenal on nine occasions in all competitions and have lost every one of them. Delayed.

19.03: Arsenal starting XI:

Martinez, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Djourou, Miquel, Coquelin, Frimpong, Walcott, Arshavin, Gnabry, Chamakh.

19.00: So when do we start taking the Capital One Cup seriously Well if you haven't already then now is a good time to start as fourth round victory tonight means the winning sides will be just three steps away from Wembley.

It's not to be sniffed at and a fair few teams will fancy a run out at football HQ in a few months' time to grab some 'overdue' silverware…team news on the way.

Key man: Arsenal's Mikel Arteta scored their winner at the weekend

Key man: Arsenal's Mikel Arteta scored their winner at the weekend

I"m so happy Kevin Pietersen is back for England, says Alastair Cook

I'm so happy Pietersen is back in England fold, says Cook ahead of departure

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UPDATED:

20:11 GMT, 24 October 2012

England set off for Dubai determined to show they are in total harmony with the only member of the squad who will be missing from the plane taking them to their pre-India tour training camp.

Kevin Pietersen has been a man apart for two months and it is not without irony that he should be competing for Champions League riches with Delhi Daredevils while the England team he has rejoined take the first steps on one of the toughest assignments in world cricket.

It will be the success or otherwise of Pietersen’s quest to prove to Alastair Cook and Andy Flower that England really do still mean more to him than the Indian Premier League when he eventually joins them either on Friday or in Mumbai on Monday that will decide whether his ‘reintegration’ is complete.

New start: Kevin Pietersen, in action this week for the Delhi Daredevils, has been welcomed back by Alastair Cook

New start: Kevin Pietersen, in action this week for the Delhi Daredevils, has been welcomed back by Alastair Cook

Four key areas for England
Alastair Cook must ensure the whole team put the KP saga behind them and unite.Decide quickly who will open with Cook. Jonathan Trott wants to remain at three, leaving Nick Compton and Joe Root to battle it out in the three warm-up games.Use the training camp and warm-ups to work out how to combat the sub-continental problems with spin. England must find balance, probably with Samit Patel as a fifth bowler.

Pietersen’s rapid return after the crisis that ripped the team apart is a calculated gamble by England but it is one the new Test captain has been integral to. If Cook has a mighty difficult task in stepping into Andrew Strauss’s shoes for this four-Test series then at least he wants his best players with him.

‘For me as captain this is the best possible outcome because we have a world-class player back in our team,’ said Cook at Lord’s. ‘It’s been a difficult two months for Kevin but he’s contrite and he’s determined to get back to what he does best, scoring runs for England. As a captain that’s all I want.’

Cook would not say whether he felt Pietersen would have been added to England’s squad if Strauss, the subject of his ‘provocative’ texts, had still been in charge but clearly it would have been more difficult to welcome him back.

Tough tst: Cook is bidding to become the first England captain to win in India in 27 years

Tough tst: Cook is bidding to become the first England captain to win in India in 27 years

As it is there is the feel of a marriage of convenience about Pietersen’s return, with Cook needing as many potent weapons in his armoury as possible as he attempts to become the first England captain to win a Test series in India since David Gower almost 30 years ago. Pragmatism has won the day.

‘We are confident he can fit in again otherwise we would not have put him in the squad,’ said Cook.

‘Now Kevin is back we do have to draw a line under what’s happened.

‘Andy Flower and I have worked closely on this issue and I’m just delighted we have ended up where we are.’

Shake on it: Cook (right) is glad to have Pietersen back in the England side

Shake on it: Cook (right) is glad to have Pietersen back in the England side

But would it not have been better had Pietersen been with England at Heathrow today rather than in South Africa playing for Delhi in their Champions League semi-final against the Lions

England Test schedule

Oct 26-28: Training in Dubai at the ICC Global Cricket Academy
Oct 29: Arrive in Mumbai
Oct 30-Nov 1: Tour match, Mumbai, CCI
Nov 3-5: Tour match, Mumbai, BKC
Nov 8-11: Tour match, Ahmedabad, Motera ‘B’ Ground
Nov 15-19: 1st Test, Ahmedabad, Motera
Nov 23-27: 2nd Test, Mumbai, Wankhede Stadium
Dec 5-9: 3rd Test, Kolkata, Eden Gardens
Dec 13-17: 4th Test, Nagpur, Jamtha VCA Stadium

‘In an ideal world it would but we knew about the Champions League before we settled this,’ said Cook. ‘It would have been the same for Joe Root had Yorkshire got through to the semi-finals. Kevin will come back with a clean slate.’

This is an intriguing first challenge for Cook as he looks not only to reintegrate Pietersen but also arrest a decline in England’s results during a miserable 2012 after the high of becoming the best in the world last year.

It will be far from easy but a man who appears to share many of Strauss’s qualities is determined to do the job his way. ‘I will be a different captain because we’re different people,’ said Cook, who would not confirm that Stuart Broad will be his vice-captain.

‘Clearly we are similar in a couple of ways but I just have to be true to myself. Yes he was a fantastic leader but it’s a different side now. I believe we can do something special.’

Alan Pardew set to start Shola and Sammy Ameobi for Newcastle

Newcastle boss Pardew calls in SAS to deal with Belgian dangermen

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UPDATED:

21:39 GMT, 24 October 2012

Alan Pardew will create history by calling on the SAS to power Newcastle United a step closer to the knock-out stages of the Europa League.

Shola Ameobi and his brother Sammy are being lined up to start together for the first time in the Magpies' Group D fixture with Belgium league leaders Club Brugge at St James' Park.

If Newcastle can make it nine points from nine at the half way stage then they will already be within touch of securing a place in the next round.

Brothers in arms: Shola Ameobi and his brother Sammy are set to start together for Newcastle

Brothers in arms: Shola Ameobi and his brother Sammy are set to start together for Newcastle

PROBABLE LINE-UPS

Newcastle (4-4-2): Harper; Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Ferguson; Obertan, Tiote, Cabaye, Sa Ameobi; Sh Ameobi, Cisse.

Club Brugges (4-4-2): Jorgacevic; Hoefkens, Figueras, Engels, Buysse; Blondel, Vazquez, Odjidja-Ofoe, Lestienne; Vleminckx, Bacca.

The Ameobis – who have played together a number of times – have never been in the starting line-up since Sammy, 20, emerged on to the first team stage at Chelsea in May last year when he came off the bench.

Shola, 30, said: 'My parents have mentioned it in the past, and I'm sure seeing both of us on the pitch at the same time will bring them tremendous pleasure. It's no different for me.

'There's nearly 11 years between us, so when we were growing up, I think he was maybe a little bit intimidated by me, which is normal. He's trying to go through what I've been through.

Chance: Sammy Ameobi looks set to start for Newcastle

Chance: Sammy Ameobi looks set to start for Newcastle

'But we've got a great relationship now.
I'm sure he's well aware of how hard it's going to be, and what he has
to put in to make it to the very top. But I want to see him surpass
anything I've ever done in this game.'

It will be the first time two brothers have started for Newcastle in major European competition – although George and Ted Robledo did play together in the league in 1952 while Richie and Matty Appleby played in an Anglo-Italian Cup tie 40 years later.

Key midfielder Cheick Tiote is set to face Brugge just days after he was sent off in the Wear-Tyne derby draw at Sunderland, but skipper Fabricio Coloccini will not be risked with calf trouble.

It was the second red card of Tiote's Newcastle career and he has also racked up 27 cautions from his 54 matches since joining from Twente.

And Newcastle boss Pardew said: 'I spoke to Cheick about his disciplinary record and his responsibility to Newcastle. I think he responded well to that.

'Yes he will play and the next Europa League game too because we need to keep him up to speed. This is a lifeline for him because he can't play in the league.'

Speed skating World Cup silver for Elise Christie

Brit speed skater Christie claims World Cup silver… and now she's No 1 too

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UPDATED:

12:24 GMT, 23 October 2012

Livingston short-track star Elise Christie is celebrating becoming the new world number one after winning a silver medal in the first World Cup of the new season in Calgary.

Christie reached both 1000metres finals in the inaugural competition, recovering from a collision to finish second in the first race behind South Korea's Soyoun Lee, before crashing out in the second final.

Ice cool: Elise Christie has claimed the world No 1 spot in short track

Ice cool: Elise Christie has claimed the world No 1 spot in short track

Christie said: 'There have been some ups and downs. Because it's been the double 1000m I've had to race a 10,000m in total, which is really tough. But I'm happy with how I've raced.'

GB short-track performance director Stuart Horsepool said: 'Elise has committed to each race and she will be able to take a lot of confidence away from the weekend, in terms of both her race strategies and her ability to cope with the high workloads of competition.'

The second World Cup of the season begins in Montreal on Friday.