Crouch happy with performance but not result

New Liverpool striker Peter Crouch revealed that Liverpool weren’t totally happy with just a point in yesterday’s clash with Manchester United. Liverpool kept their fourth clean sheet out of four in the league this season – but still have only one goal to their name. Crouch said that at home Liverpool would like to come away with the victory: "We’re slightly disappointed with the result because at home you’re always looking for three points. At the same time, it’s no disgrace drawing with Manchester United because they’re a big threat. But we’re setting our standards high. We feel we could have won, but at least we didn’t lose."

The flavour-of-the-month for the national media is criticism of 4-5-1 formations. As soon as England struggled with that formation against Wales it was always going to be criticised, and with yesterdays game seeing two variations of 4-5-1 producing a goalless draw, they had more weight to their arguments. Crouch said that he didn’t see the game as boring: "It didn’t feel a low key game out there. There were a few tackles flying about. Both sides wanted to win but a draw was fair. It’s frustrating to have had three 0-0 draws, but we’re sure goals will come. On the plus side we’re solid at the back and keeping clean sheets."

Liverpool now get almost a whole week to prepare for their next game, against Birmingham, which is quite a luxury this season. Last season Liverpool were beaten twice by Birmingham, who feature a former Liverpool striker in Emile Heskey, but Crouch is confident that Liverpool can improve on that this season: "We’ve taken points from good teams and now we’ll be looking to take three from those teams we know we should beat so we can close the gap. We’ll be looking towards Birmingham now. We can get a result there."
Visiting United fans had very little to go on for criticism of Liverpool yesterday, after all they were trophyless last season and were up against the European Champions. The best they could find was to taunt Liverpool with chants of "Wimbledon", suggesting Liverpool had adopted the long-ball game. In fact United are closer to Wimbledon than Liverpool – after all both Wimbledon and United fans were so outraged at the actions of their clubs owners that they decided to form their own clubs (AFC Wimbledon and FC United). Crouch explained how they were wrong on the long-ball jibes too: "The United fans are always going to take the mickey, but we know we don’t play like that.When you’ve got Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso, who are great ball players, we can play a good style. We know we can mix it up too, and sometimes you need to hit a long ball and feed off the seconds."

Crouch also managed to wind Rio Ferdinand up somewhat yesterday, the former West Ham and Leeds defender clearly seen on replays swearing abuse to Crouch after he’d felled the striker. Crouch was happy enough: "I take a lot of the stick as a compliment. I wasn’t going to let Rio Ferdinand have an easy time. When you play against world class players like that you want to unsettle them and that’s my job done. I thought I did that well."

Crouch had his own views of Liverpool’s performance yesterday, and no doubt that will be shared by the coach: "Maybe we were a touch deep at times. It worked well against Betis but not so well yesterday in the final third. But the result in Betis shows there’s no problem. There’s enough quality to get goals." 

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Missing Liverpool fan – can you help?

Steven Cook - missing Liverpool fanA new website has been launched by the family of a missing Liverpool fan.

Steven Cook has been missing now since the 1st of September. He was on a night out during a holiday in Crete when he disappeared.

Steven is 20 years old from Sandbach in Cheshire. He is due to start his third and final year at Liverpool University.

Steve was with a group of former school
friends on the holiday, and he arrived in Malia on August 31st. The night out started that night and it was in the early hours of the following day, 1st September, that he was last seen. There’s no evidence that anything bad has happened to Steve, but his disappearance is totally out of character. The one bank account he had a card with him for hasn’t been used since he disappeared, and he didn’t have a great deal of cash with him that night. His mobile phone was left in the hotel room that he failed to return to.

If you feel you can help in  any way, or would like to find out more information, please visit the new website at

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Giggs hated Liverpool getting Euro glory

Seeing Liverpool become European Champions was hard to take, according to Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs.

Giggs has just released his autobiography and in it he reveals how much the rivalry between the two clubs still means to him. Giggs was at Manchester Airport, still stinging from being on the losing side in the FA Cup final against Arsenal. Whilst there some Liverpool fans, on their way to Istanbul, spotted him and couldn’t resist a dig. His answer was to tell them he’d be "made up" when AC Milan beat them in Istanbul.

No doubt by half-time on the 25th of May the Welsh veteran was celebrating with AC Milan 3-0 in front. The smile was wiped off his face in the second half though as Liverpool acheived their victory in the fashion that will never be forgotten.

He reveals that he felt much the same as most Liverpool fans felt in 1999 when United somehow managed to score two goals in injury time to win the Champions League. He couldn’t bear to hear any more about it. “I didn’t buy a paper for a week,” he wrote.

In fact speaking even now about that night, Giggs admitted he was under a self-imposed news blackout for some time after. Liverpool’s win hurt, especially in light of another season without a trophy for United. Speaking this week he said, “I didn’t watch the TV or buy a paper. It was unbelievable. You don’t like to say it, but you have to give them credit for coming back from 3-0 down."  

Even now it’s hard to take for him: "To be honest I don’t like to think about it.”

As we said yesterday, the mutual dislike between the two clubs is as big as ever. On an individual level many from each camp get on well with each other. Benitez spoke this week of Alex Ferguson’s congratulatory letter after Istanbul, and their recent trip to Europe together recently for a conference. Many a Liverpool fan has a colleague or friend that supports Manchester United, and they will get on well together and keep taunts light-hearted. Ask that same Liverpool fan what he thinks of United as a whole though and you’ll get an answer that shows the rivalry is still strong.

Giggs underlines just how important this match is to them: “For a Manchester United player, going to Anfield is still the biggest test. We have Chelsea and Arsenal, which are huge matches in their own right but there is something different about Liverpool. There is this fierce rivalry and the history of the two clubs. It is the one game in a season where you have to handle the pressure and everything else that goes around the game."

Giggs then shows why he became a footballer and not a mathematician: "The rivalry has been intense for as long as I can remember. Thirty years ago, they had the best of everything; the European Cups, the league titles, the best players and the best team. Since the Premiership started those roles have been reversed, which has just increased the passion." So according to Giggs the Premiership started in 1975? And United have won European Cups (plural)? We know what he means though – just before the Manchester United revival started t-shirts were on sale outside Anfield celebrating the 25th Anniversary of a United league title win. Liverpool haven’t won a title themselves since then, with just a smattering of silverware in between until May.

United are aiming to make it four wins in a row at Anfield today. Giggs himself won the game for United two seasons ago, scoring twice as Liverpool went down 2-1.

Steven Gerrard complained this week of being "outside the top three", as Liverpool are no longer considered a team with any chance of the title. Gerrard wants to put that right, but as Giggs says the standards have got tougher and tougher in the last couple of season. Giggs refers only to Chelsea and Arsenal as challengers for the title with his own team, saying: "It is hard to think people are saying we cannot afford to lose at such an early stage but Arsenal did not lose a game two years ago and Chelsea only lost one last year so it is getting that way. You can’t afford to drop points at any time in the season. You have to be focussed all the way through.”

And although we doubt he’ll be reading this, Giggs may not have realised it but today he’s got a chance to remember that night in 1999 when he got his European Cup winners medal. The trophy that United won that year is now on display at its permanent home in Liverpool. After winning it five times Liverpool got to keep the trophy, meaning that United fans and players can come and have a look at the cup any time they like, and just a one-hour drive away from Old Trafford.

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Rafa: Rooney should follow Raul’s example

Controversial Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will arrive at Anfield tomorrow still under a cloud after his sulky temperament got the better of him on Wednesday and he saw red. Last season Rooney scored at Anfield and immediately went over to the Kop to taunt the fans, risking punishment for crowd incitement. He got away with it (as expected) but now everyone seems to be expecting him to be easily upset tomorrow.

Not Rafael Benitez though. Rafa will have ensured his players are aware that players often answer criticism with match-winning performances. Rooney will be carefully watched tomorrow to prevent him from having another chance of taunting the Liverpool fans.

Rooney’s motto used to be "once a blue always a blue", until he moved to United from Everton and became a Red Devil. Rooney’s pledge never to leave the club he’d supported as a boy went out of the window when Manchester United came calling with their cheque book. Benitez was asked about Rooney by reporters, and compared him to a player who was also a big name very young – Raul. Raul stayed loyal to Real however, and still plays there now after all of this time. Of course it’s easier to stay loyal at a big club like Real rather than a club that wants to be big like Everton.

Rafa says that Raul had as much pressure to contend with as Rooney, probably more, but the Spaniard had a better temperament than Wayne: "The difference between players is not always the quality but their mentality. Raul was with me when he was 16 years old. I remember Raul working really hard in training sessions and working really hard in the games. And he had a lot of control in terms of pressure, like talking to newspapers and the media. Rooney is no different to Raul in the amount of pressure he faces."

Rafa wasn’t having a dig at Rooney as such – it was more a case of offering advice that Rooney can’t keep hiding behind the "pressure" excuse. He was Raul’s mentor during his time in charge of Madrid’s youth set-up. He continued: "When you are talking about good players, they are always in the spotlight."

In fact during Rafa’s early days as a coach he paid a visit to see United in training, as he recalls: "I went to Manchester United for one week to watch them train. Sir Alex had some problems with Roy Keane about his contract so Steve McClaren was taking training. I saw Sir Alex once to say hello, but it was okay as I learnt a lot about new systems."

He also remembers that he was impressed with the United squad at the time: "I remember they had fantastic players. They played nine against nine on a half pitch and the tempo was amazing."

Meanwhile Reds attacking midfielder Luis Garcia is hoping for a better game against United than the one he was involved in a year ago when he featured in his first match against them. Liverpool lost 2-1 and Garcia says that when he looks back to that time he can see the mistakes he was making. He had only just arrived in England and hadn’t yet adjusted to the differences between the games here and in Spain. He says that he’ll have a better season this time out, and this despite finishing joint top scorer with 13 goals last season. He says: "This is going to be a good season for me because this is my second one. In my first season in England I was learning about English football in a new team with new team-mates. I will always do my best and try to do much better than last season. I know what I have to do and I have changed some things to my game. I think this season will be much better for me."

Garcia was used on the right side of midfield last season, but Rafa prefers to play him more centrally, just behind the main striker. Garcia is hoping that this will help him increase his scoring tally: "I scored 13 goals last season, which wasn’t bad, but I think I can do a lot better this season. Everyone can do more and this season I will try to be better, and I will do it." Speaking of his midweek Champions League goal against Real Betis, Garcia says: "It is always good to score goals and it was a nice goal. I know that Bolo Zenden always likes to cross early and I just tried to arrive before the defender which I managed to do. It gave us the opportunity to control the game."

He’s also pleased to hear his name sung by the supporters, saying: "I like it, it’s nice. When you are on the pitch and you hear the supporters singing it is is good for you because you know the supporters are there for you and right behind you."
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Rafa respectful but confident for Sunday

Ahead of the big game at Anfield on Sunday, Rafael Benitez played down the rivalry between the two clubs, revealing that he even went away on business with his opposite number last week: “I travelled to Geneva with Sir Alex Ferguson for the UEFA coaches conference last week. He’s a nice person.”

Nice person? How many Liverpool fans would say that about the Scot? Maybe we just don’t know him. Maybe what Rafa said next gives away the reason why Fergie was acting so nice: “We didn’t speak about the game this Sunday, but we were talking a lot about the Champions League. He wanted information on Villarreal.”  Did Rafa give him useful information? Maybe not – Manchester United didn’t manage to get the victory they wanted in Spain, although the red card for the hot-headed Rooney was perhaps the main reason for that. Rafa recalls though that the United manager has been nice to him before, saying: “I remember Sir Alex sent me a letter of congratulation when we won the Champions League, praising the tactical changes we made at half-time. He was saying it was a fantastic move to put Didi Hamann on.”

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We still don’t like United

Liverpool’s clash with Manchester United on Sunday sees the Reds up against their fiercest rivals of recent years. Or at least they were fiercest rivals.

The bitterness of Evertonians towards Liverpool and their fans is getting stronger and stronger every year. Howard Kendall pops up from time to time to blame Liverpool for all of Everton’s problems – not some of their problems, all of them. His views are blindly followed by more and more supporters of the blues every time he speaks. Many Liverpool fans used to feel sorry for Everton – not any more. Now Liverpool fans are enjoying the over-confidence of the blues and the undoubted disappointments that will follow if they continue to believe their own hype. Last night’s 5-1 defeat in the UEFA Cup is a sign of upcoming troubles. Unable to qualify for the Champions League they are now set to exit UEFA’s secondary club competition. They’ve played four league games but  have lost three of them.  David Moyes, last season’s blue hero, should be sacked, according to many of those that follow the team from across Stanley Park. With a little less bitterness and spite towards the Reds, perhaps we’d have felt sorry for them at this time, but it’s difficult to do so now.

So has the dislike of Everton overtaken that of Manchester United? No. Manchester United still have Gary Neville playing for them, and his comments about Liverpool – both the club and the city – over the years are echoed by so many United fans that they’ll be ahead of Everton for some time. One of the things most hated about United over the years was the arrogance shown by the club and its supporters.  There’s less of that now, because the success is dwindling for them, but it’s still there waiting to be unleashed at the first bit of success. Stories are legendary of United players in nightclubs in the past burning £50 notes in front of others of the same age, and when asked why saying, “because I can”. Whether these stories are true or not (probably not) isn’t the point – the point is that they are believable. Added to this was the perception that United always got away with more than other clubs when faced with officialdom. Rather than keeping quiet or admitting it, the club often argued they were hard done to.  Alex Ferguson was the main perpetrator of this, ably assisted by Martin Edwards before he took his money for his shares in the football club to spend more time in country clubs.

The club most likely to knock United off top position in any official Liverpool FC polls of “most hated club” is the one that is now the richest club in the country. United fans are up in arms about their club now being owned by one man – Malcolm Glazer – but would be happier if that man were Roman Abramovich. Whilst Glazer is carefully keeping an eye on the purse strings at Old Trafford until he’s got a bit more of an idea how “soccer” works, Abramovich is still splashing the cash at Chelsea. One of his earliest moves was to bring in Jose Mourinho. A self-titled “special one”, the Portuguese coach is not liked by many outside Stamford Bridge. Telling Liverpool fans to “shush” at Cardiff didn’t help him win much love from Reds supporters, and he’s been busily imposing his own over-confidence on his own players. When Liverpool knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League last season the feeling was that justice had been done. Even then though Mourinho claimed the best team lost. As long as he keeps on believing that then Liverpool – and other clubs – can beat Chelsea every time they meet them.

So if anyone thinks Manchester United are liked a little bit more than they used to be by Liverpool, don’t be fooled. Everton and Chelsea have just closed the gap by increasing their own points totals in that particular league. Watch the game on Sunday to see just what we mean!
Continue reading We still don’t like United

Rafa pleased with his planning

England coach Sven Goran Ericsson was sitting in the directors box at Real Betis last night – alongside Rick Parry – and will no doubt have been pleased with the performance of Peter Crouch, getting his first taste of the group stages of the Champions League. As is inevitable with a national press so obsessed with the national team, Reds boss Rafael Benitez was asked how he felt Crouch had performed in front of the England manager. Rafa said: "Peter Crouch played very well in the first half, he has done his England chances no harm. Sven knows he is a good target man, he keeps possession well for us and allows us to play our football much higher up the park rather than in defence."

Crouch was only joined in the starting line-up by one other Englishman last night – defender Jamie Carragher captained the side with club captain Steven Gerrard rested. Temperatures at kick-off were 85 degrees and Rafa felt that the fresher legs of Sissoko and Alonso would fare better than Gerrard’s legs. Gerrard had been thrust into international duty for England after barely having time to recover from injury, and like other players in the squad Rafa felt the heat and the type of game may have been too much for him. Gerrard did come on for the last 20 minutes, but this will ensure he’s fitter for the weekend clash with Manchester United.

Rafa tried to explain his decision: "We tried to protect Steven, there were a few players in the same condition. I felt we needed fresh legs for a very difficult match. Some people were tired, including Steven, and we needed to rest players for this match. We must use all of our squad to compete in the very top competitions." Liverpool’s early start to competitive football this season – on July 13th – is mixed with extra games to fit in for the likes of last month’s Super Cup Final (which they won) and the World Club tournament in December. All in all Liverpool have a heavy schedule ahead, which will include long spells of two games a week.

Rafa used as many players with experience of La Liga as possible in last night’s game. Pepe Reina, Josemi, Luis Garcia, Xabi Alonso and Momo Sissoko were all signed from teams in the Spanish league, Bolo Zenden was a Barcelona player prior to arriving in England. Rafa knew it would be a tough game, and was pleased that the game went to plan – for the first half at least: "We controlled the first half, but the second period was a problem. In fact, when I brought Cisse on for Peter Crouch it changed the game. He had pace and fresh legs and they had to defend against him and always be aware. In the end we finished the stronger side after a difficult spell. Earlier we had controlled the situation and had a very clear idea of when and how we would break."

Liverpool’s win means they go into the clash with Chelsea in a fortnight level on points with the new enemy. Most people believe that the top two will be a straight fight between the two English sides and Betis. To beat Betis means that the Reds have taken points off on of those two main rivals for a place in the next phase. The atmosphere in Seville last night was as close to an English atmosphere as you are likely to come up against on the continent, as Rafa expected: "It was very important that we started this group with a win. Betis are a good side on their own ground, with a very strong support, and if they are able to get forward and attack they will cause other teams in this group many problems. I am always thinking only of winning, whatever game, and that includes our next match at home to Chelsea in this group." 
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A sort of homecoming for Liverpool

Reds midfielder Xabi Alonso says that Liverpool could make history by retaining the Champions League. When the competition was in its original format and still known as the European Cup, Liverpool retained the trohpy when they followed their success in Rome in 1977 with victory at Wembley in 1978. No club has retained the trophy since it changed format and became known as the Champions League in 1992.

Liverpool’s defence of the trophy continues tonight when they play their seventh game so far in the competition this season. For some clubs it’s the first game of the competition as the group games get underway. Liverpool face Real Betis in Seville in Group G.

Alonso says that Liverpool proved last season that anything is possible in the game, so retaining the trophy could happen: "It is possible. We saw last season that you never know what is going to happen. It is the first game in the Champions League proper and it is a long way to the final, but if we want to get to Paris then we have to start well in Seville."

As Champions, Liverpool know that any club they face will be more fired up to win, after all taking the scalp of the holders is always  something to be proud of. The matches against Chelsea will no doubt be the most talked-about games in the group, but Xabi says Betis are a team to be wary of: "The other teams will try harder against us and will be motivated to play against the European Champions, but we are confident. We need to be careful against Betis."

Liverpool are thought of fondly in Spain nowadays: The large Spanish flavour to the side and the coaching staff is part of the reason, but the Reds’ run in Europe last season endeared them to many fans in Spain. Beating AC Milan in the final was also a sweet event for fans of giants Real Madrid and Barcelona. All of this new-found fondness will be put to one side though tonight, when 40,000 Betis fans will be showing Liverpool what it’s like to be on the wrong side of a strong atmosphere. Alonso says that Betis will likely be playing good attacking football tonight: "At home they are a very difficult team. They play very quickly and have very good wingers, and Oliveira scored a lot of goals here last season. When I have played here for Real Sociedad, Betis have always been a strong team. It is their first-ever game in the Champions League and that will be their motivation."

Rafa Benitez is also looking forward to the game tonight and his first return to Spain as manager of the European Champions. He’s delighted that he goes home with that success behind him, but wants to look forward now rather than back: "For me as a manager I am proud. As a foreign manager, I am the proudest possible. Liverpool have the best supporters in the world and to see the supporters in the bars was amazing. I am really proud but you know in football you cannot think about past things."

Back in England the country has been concentrating on cricket as England managed to do well in cricket after a long absence of success. Their Ashes success will be rewarded with an open-top tour bus ride around London, which will bring back memories to Reds of their own open-top tour of Liverpool, watched by an extroadinary number of people. The celebrations from that glorious night in Istanbul will long be remembered, but Rafa isn’t too keen on showing off: "You need to think about new things. I am not worried about things like a trophy parade at Anfield. I see me in a photo sometimes and I don’t like it. I prefer to do my job and have the respect of my players and the supporters. For me that is enough. I don’t even have a photo in my office of Istanbul – the only photo I have is of the first magazine after I joined the club."

Rafa continued: "I have lots of memories instead. At home I have some photos, but not all around the house. I have some replicas of trophies – it’s good that the children can see them and be proud. But I prefer to look to the new season. I don’t think about winning the European Cup again, only about winning the next game and improving my team. I am very happy for example to see my players with the national team because it means they are improving – Jamie Carragher for example."

In fact of all the players in his charge, Jamie Carragher probably bring the most pride to Benitez. When Carragher was playing at full-back under Gerard Houllier, the arrival of Steve Finnan looked set to bring about the end of Jamie’s Liverpool days. Despite Houllier’s desire to let the player move on, Carragher insisted he would fight for his place. Rafa was impressed with Carra as soon as he saw him in training for the first time and quickly turned him back into a centre-back. A centre-back that has since been described as world-class by many. Carragher’s hard work has played the biggest part in turning him into that player, but it’s Rafa’s guidance that has ensured he’s got there.

Rafa also spoke of how well-loved Liverpool have become in Spain, saying: "Most of the people in Spain now have two teams – the first team is Betis, Seville or Madrid, or whatever the team of the town is, and the second is Liverpool. We have a lot of supporters now in Spain."

One of Liverpool’s opposing numbers tonight is right-winger Joaquín, who’s hoping to overcome a knee injury. He spoke over the weekend of a desire to play for the Reds, saying: “I’d love to play there if they want me.” Rafa though said it’s not something that would be easy to make happen: "The problem is, Seville is a nice town, the chairman has a lot of control and it is not easy to leave. Also, there is a clause in Joaquín’s contract which means you will probably have to pay €30 or 40 million for him.” 
Continue reading A sort of homecoming for Liverpool

Have LFC still got too many strikers?

After claiming all through the summer that Liverpool FC have more than enough strikers, Rafa Benitez will arrive at Melwood today wondering if he’s got anywhere near enough.

Fernando Morientes will undergo assessment by Liverpool’s own medical staff to see how bad the muscle tear is that he sustained on internation duty with Spain, but he certainly won’t be playing this weekend. Djibril Cisse was doubtful for France last night, and although he did come on for the final quarter of an hour against Ireland, he’ll also be getting assessed at Melwood. Cisse had suffered a twisted ankle. Peter Crouch has only had a brief run-out in the reserves since suffering a hamstring injury. Neil Mellor will be out until December and Harry Kewell is still not back from surgery.

Milan Baros was sold in the summer, with Anthony Le Tallec allowed to go on loan to Sunderland. Liverpool failed in their bid to bring Michael Owen back to Anfield, meaning that Florent Sinama-Pongolle is the only striker available for the Reds.

This mini injury-crisis will upset some Reds fans who were already disappointed at Liverpool’s lack of success towards the tail-end of the transfer window. In many ways though any injury crisis this season could see the chance for one of Rafa’s rookies to make a name for themselves.

Continue reading Have LFC still got too many strikers?

Reds continue international duties

Spain play Serbia & Montenegro in a Group 7 World Cup qualifier on Wednesday, and Liverpool’s Fernando Morientes is hoping that he can help Spain become the first team to score against them in this World Cup qualifying campaign. Morientes is expected to line up alongside skipper Raul up front and said: "They are very difficult opponents and it is no accident that they haven’t conceded a goal because they are very well organised in defence. But that only gives us even more incentive to see if we can be the first team to break their run. What we want is to score in order to win and not score only to end up drawing the game."

Reds midfielder Xabi Alonso is hopeful that the Spanish fans can emulate the kind of atmosphere he’s grown to enjoy in England. Xabi said: "In England every game the national side plays is a big event and the stadiums are always full there. There they live football in a different way altogether, but the atmosphere at the Calderon will be fantastic and we will have to nothing to envy them this time. If we can win and play well then it will give the national team the sort of boost it needs." Pepe Reina is likely to be back on the bench for the game.

John Arne Riise is hoping for a chance to shine for Norway when they host Scotland tomorrow night in their World Cup clash. Riise has found himself behind Stephen Warnock so far in league games for Liverpool and was suspended for Norway in their last qualifier. If he’s selected then Scotland will be wary of John’s crosses to another John: Gerard Houllier’s latest signing, John Carew. Coach Aage Hareide gave hope to Riise that he’ll be given his chance, saying that he’ll be naming a very different team for this game: "We will change around 50 per cent of our team, although I don’t think Scotland will change that much. I do not want to say what the changes will be at the moment, but we have Jon Arne Riise back after his suspension against Slovenia."

Djibril Cisse is rated doubtful for France’s visit to Ireland tomorrow night. Djibs scored twice for France at the weekend but ended the game with a badly twisted ankle. Remember though that Djibs wasn’t even expected to back from his broken leg until around now, so don’t be surprised if he’s on the Landsdown Road pitch tomorrow night.

England are expected to include Reds midfielder Steven Gerrard and defender Jamie Carragher in their starting line-up, with Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland – currently on loan at West Brom – on the bench. Stephen Warnock wasn’t selected for the team on Saturday but may get a place on the bench on Wednesday.
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