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England vs San Marino Preview: The Three Lions need just a point to secure their place in Qatar



Credit: @England Instagram

England are expected to complete their qualification for the 2022 Qatar World Cup this evening as they face the lowest ranked team in FIFA’s list, San Marino.

Davide Gualtieri – remember the name?

The Three Lions will be hoping for a comfortable victory without a repeat of the infamous away meeting between the two sides back in 1993. Gualtieri netted the second fastest goal in World Cup qualification history after a defensive slip put him one-on-on with David Seaman.

England went on to win the game 7-1 despite conceding inside 8.3 seconds. The former striker now works in a corner shop.

With just a point needed to secure a place in next years tournament, Gareth Southgate’s side are taking the game “very seriously,” and the manager is expected to name a strong XI on Monday evening. 

It’s the final game in Group I with England expected to qualify as group leaders. The home side have no points from their previous 9 games, conceding 36 goals and scoring just once.

However, Southgate is taking no chances.

“We want a strong performance. We have not qualified yet. Thousands of England fans are travelling and we must put on a performance that underlines those facts.

He added: “We are taking this very seriously.”

Credit @England Instagram

Five players have dropped out of the squad as in-form Connor Gallagher receives his first senior call-up – proving that good Premier League form can get you a spot in the national team. 

Gallagher, who has impressed for Crystal Palace this year, is on loan from Chelsea and will be hoping to replicate his club form if he gets chance to represent the Three Lions this evening. The midfield starlet has helped himself to four goals and two assists already this season as Palace sit in 10th position.

Commenting on his call-up he said: “I’m really happy and excited to be called up to the senior squad. I’m determined to make the most of the experience and know I have a lot of hard work to do.”

The 21-year-old added: “I’d like to thank everyone that has helped me in my career so far and will do my best to make them proud.”

Key names Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish returned to their respective clubs over the weekend to have their injuries assessed. Raheem Sterling will not travel to San Marino on Monday due to a personal matter.

Euro 2020 stars Mason Mount and Luke Shaw are set to miss out despite being called up after the 5-0 victory over Albania at Wembley on Friday evening. Mount is recovering from dental surgery while the Manchester United full-back is missing due to concussion. 

Harry Kane, hat-trick hero from England’s last game, will be hoping Southgate starts him as the Spurs striker hunts down Wayne Rooney’s all-time goalscoring record of 53 goals for his country. 

Kane hasn’t featured in any of the games against minnows San Marino or Andorra during qualification and will be keen to boost his International goals tally. He has scored just once for Tottenham this season and will want to head into the next set of Premier League with some goals under his belt.

His international tally sits on 44, with the 28-year-old overtook Rooney’s record of competitive goals with his hat-trick at Wembley last week. The Spurs man in now eying up Gary Lineker (48) and Bobby Charlton (49).

The game on Monday evening kicks off at 19:45pm in Serravalle. 

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Meet the British Woman Hoping to End F1’s 46-year Wait For a Female Driver



The modern sports industry remains a very male dominated field. Historically motorsport especially being one of the most inaccessible to women.

In its entire 72-year history, only two women have ever driven in a Formula 1 grand prix. The last was the pioneer Lella Lombardi, the Italian who competed in 12 races between 1974 and 1976 for teams including Williams.

Now, Britain’s Jamie Chadwick is aiming to end the 46-year wait for a woman to sit behind the wheel of a car on the starting grid at the very top level of racing.

The 23-year-old from Bath, is the most prominent woman in world the world of motorsport thanks to the strong results she has earned in the early stages of her career across multiple categories.

Chadwick is about to embark on her third season in W Series, an all-female racing championship launched in 2019 which aims to ensure more women are able to make professional careers out of motor racing.

The aim means that, in conjunction with the heated rivalry that understandably comes with battling for the championship on track, the athletes competing in W Series feel they share a common goal to help one another improve and make overall progress for women in motorsport too. Chadwick has won the title in both of W Series’ first two campaigns.

Speaking to Metro she said:  ‘Everyone expects us not to get on [because we are rivals] but we really, genuinely do. The big reason in my opinion is that we’ve all been through such a similar experience in the sport individually. We can share those experiences with each other and push each other to bring one another on, and hopefully leave the sport in a better place for the next generation coming through.’

Do you think she stands a chance of making it?

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Newcastle co-owner says Chelsea’s Abramovich having to sell isn’t fair



Credit: Chelsea FC Instagram

Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staveley “doesnt think its particularly fair” that Roman Abramovich is selling following the Russia-Ukraine war.

The businessman announced he had made the “incredibly difficult decision” in a statement on the Premier League club’s website.

There has been calls for Abramovich to be sanctioned, as Chris Bryant alleges leaked Home Office document from 2019 shows he had links to Russian state as well as to “corrupt activity and practices” – the Guardian reports.

Speaking at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit, Staveley said: “We’re always going to have geopolitical issues.

I’m really sad that someone is going to have a football club taken away because of a relationship he may have with someone.

“I don’t think that’s particularly fair to be honest. But I also think that we have to hold all of our relationships to account.”

In his statement, Abramovich said: “I have always taken decisions with the club’s best interest at heart.

“In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the employees, as well as the club’s sponsors and partners.

“The sale of the club will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process.”

Abramovich has said that he won’t be asking for loans to be repaid.

He added: “I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated. The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine.”

The businessman bought Chelsea back in 2003 for £140m, and has since loaned the club over £1.5bn.

Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss has told Swiss newspaper Blick that he has the chance to buy Chelsea.

However he says that at the moment Abramovich is “asking far too much.”

What are your thoughts?




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Russia’s captain Aleksandr Golovin speaks out on Russian invasion



Credit: Aleksandr Golovin Instagram

Russia’s football captain Aleksandr Golovin has spoke out about the Russia-Ukraine war.

In a post uploaded to Instagram on Wednesday, the footballer said he hadn’t before now because he wasn’t an expert in politics.

However, he said he would now express his opinion, because he has been drawn to this topic from “all sides.”

It follows furious backlash from Ukrainian players Vitalii Mykolenko and Andriy Yarmolenko about Russian players staying quiet about the invasion of Ukraine.

The captain wrote: “War is a frightful thing. But I am shocked by human aggression and hatred, which every day acquires some sort of unprecedented scale.

“I am against discrimination based on nationality. I’m not ashamed that I’m Russian. I am proud to be Russian. And I don’t understand why athletes should suffer now.”

He continued he was “against double standards.”

Golovin added: “Why is it that one can do everything, but all the dogs are hanged on us. Why has everyone always shouted about sports outside of politics, but at the first opportunity, when it comes to Russia, this principle is completely forgotten?”

He expressed that “anger, dirt and bile” is being poured on Russian people, “regardless of their position and profession.”

The Zenit St Petersburg forward concluded: “P.S. And to some colleagues in the workshop who sit on their ass in mansions in England and say nasty things: it cannot offend us, we understand everything! Peace and goodness to everybody!”

On Tuesday in an Instagram post, Everton’s Mykolenko criticised Russia’s international players for remaining silent whilst “peaceful civilians are being killed in Ukraine.”

The 22-year-old wrote: “You will be locked in your dungeon for the rest of your life and most importantly the lives of your kids. And I’m glad.”

West Ham’s Yarmolenko also hit out at Russian players on Tuesday.

In a video uploaded to Instagram, he said: “Guys, why are you sitting like shitheads and not saying anything? In my country they’re killing people, killing wives, killing our children. But you’re saying nothing, you’ve given no comments.”

Russia has been suspended from all competition, Fifa and Uefa have ruled.



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