England manager Gareth Southgate is set to restore axed star Raheem Sterling to the starting line-up for Sunday's Euro 2020 qualifying trip to Kosovo following his altercation with Joe Gomez.

Sterling will miss Thursday's fixture against Montenegro at Wembley as punishment for his confrontation with England team-mate and Liverpool defender Gomez.

The pair clashed during Sunday's Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool and were involved in an incident in a private area of England's St George's Park training base.

While Sterling will sit out England's 1,000th match in London, the City forward is poised to return to the fold against Kosovo in Group A.

"Yes," Southgate said when asked if Sterling will start on Sunday. "Without knowing what might happen in tomorrow's game and everything else, but I can see that being the case.

"His reaction has been brilliant. He spoke to the team really well and he's trained really well and I can't fault his reaction at all.

"So, there might be observation about where he might be in terms of me and giving you an honest answer of what I think he's likely to be thinking. But in terms of how he's trained and how he's been around the guys and with us, I'm happy."

While Sterling is expected to return, it remains to be seen whether Gomez will feature as he vies with the likes of Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings and John Stones for a place in Southgate's XI.

Southgate added: "I'm not going to pick the whole team for the next two games, but whatever decision I make, what happened last Monday won't have any bearing on selection for the next two games.

"He is up against three outstanding, experienced centre-backs at his club. But he's a young defender and we've always thought highly of him as a player and as a character. So he's developing well.

"I know he'll want to play more with us, but he's already proved to us against the likes of Brazil and Germany that he can cope at the highest level and thrive at the highest level.

"Of course, when you're not getting a number of games at club level it's more difficult to come straight into the national team. But that doesn't mean we've lost faith in him because that's why we've kept him in the squad."

Raheem Sterling will sit out of England's Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday after a bust-up with international team-mate Joe Gomez.

Sterling admitted his emotions got the better of him when he confronted Gomez, after the pair also clashed on the field during Liverpool's 3-1 win over Manchester City on Sunday.

Gareth Southgate has sought to act quickly and decisively to draw a line under the matter, but the England manager can at least take comfort from the fact he is far from the first boss to have to try to defuse a team-mates' tiff.

Here we look through some examples of when presumed footballing friends became – however briefly – the best of enemies.

Neymar v Nelson Semedo

Neymar's world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain dominated Barcelona's preparation for the 2017-18 season, and all was not well on the training ground in the weeks leading up to the €222million switch.

Recent arrival Nelson Semedo became involved in a skirmish with the wantaway star in what proved to be an unseemly coda to his time at Camp Nou.

"I just arrived and one of the most important players in the team got in a fight with me," Semedo told Sport five months on from the July 2017 fracas. "It annoyed me at the time, but I also understood he was in a difficult moment, he wanted to leave."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic v Oguchi Onyewu

Never a shrinking violet, Zlatan Ibrahimovic boasts a career of confrontation in football. The taekwondo black-belt seemingly came close to meeting his match in USA defender Oguchi Onyewu when both played for AC Milan.

"I head-butted him, and we flew at each other," Ibrahimovic wrote in his autobiography. "We wanted to tear each other limb from limb. It was brutal. We were rolling around, punching and kneeing each other. We were crazy and furious – it was like life and death.

David Beckham v Alex Ferguson

Many a Manchester United player felt the heat of Alex Ferguson's infamous 'hairdryer' during the Scot's historic Old Trafford reign but – as far as we're aware – his ferocious words never actually drew blood.

The same could not be said for a stray boot in the United dressing room, though, when David Beckham was given a rocket by his boss in the aftermath of a February 2003 FA Cup defeat to Arsenal during the midfielder's final season at the club.

"He was around 12 feet from me. Between us on the floor lay a row of boots. David swore. I moved towards him and, as I approached, I kicked a boot. It hit him right above the eye," Ferguson explained. The resulting cut and butterfly plaster predictably dominated as the UK tabloids gorged on the fallout. 

Mario Balotelli v Micah Richards

Mario Balotelli was rarely far away from behind-the-scenes controversy at Manchester City, allegedly throwing darts at youth team players and once even grappling with his manager and mentor Roberto Mancini.

However, things reached boiling point in 2011 due to the unexpected multi-lingual talents of one of his team-mates.

"We were playing five-a-side and we were losing because he didn't work, which is evident,' Micah Richards told Sky quiz show 'A League of Their Own' in 2016. "He swore at me in Italian and he thought I didn't understand. But I know a bit of Italian lingo, so I said, 'Who you talking to?' He said it again, so we squared up and I offered him out. But he said no."

Craig Bellamy v John Arne Riise

Balotelli's arrival at City in August 2010 came around the same time as Craig Bellamy was tying up a loan move to Cardiff City, leaving us all to wonder what might have happened had the combustible duo shared a dressing room for any period of time. John Arne Riise, perhaps, has a fair idea.

In an infamous incident before a Champions League game at Barcelona in 2007, where both players went on to score in a Liverpool win, Riise drew Bellamy's terrifying wrath when he refused demands to sing karaoke on a team night out.

Later on, Riise found an unexpected visitor in his hotel room. "Craig Bellamy at the foot of my bed with a golf club in his hands," he reported in his autobiography. According to the Norway full-back's version of events, he managed to avoid Bellamy striking his shins by jumping out of bed but took blows to his hip and thigh.

Aboubakar Kamara v Aleksandar Mitrovic

While the risks of a rowdy team karaoke session might seem obvious in hindsight, sometimes even yoga isn't safe.

Aboubakar Kamara had not appeared particularly zen when he grabbed the ball off Aleksandar Mitrovic to take and miss a penalty during Fulham's December 2018 Premier League game against Huddersfield Town.

A fight then reportedly broke out between the pair at a yoga session and an eventful few weeks for Kamara concluded with him being arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm and criminal damage after an incident at Fulham's training ground.

Alan Shearer v Keith Gillespie

Famously incisive in front of goal, the Premier League's all-time record goalscorer Alan Shearer once became involved in an argument about dropped cutlery with Newcastle United team-mate Keith Gillespie that escalated sharply.

"We ended up going outside, and I took one swing and missed, and he hit me - and that was goodnight," Gillespie told talkSPORT of the scrap during a 1997 team trip to Dublin. "I did actually spend a night in hospital. Because when he hit me, I fell and hit my head on a plant pot. I was unconscious."

Apparently, Shearer visited his stricken team-mate and they "had a laugh about it". They weren't the only ones.

Stig Tofting v Jasper Gronkjaer

A tough-tackling midfield enforcer, you might expect any training ground row featuring Stig Tofting to have followed a bone-crunching challenge. However, there was more shivering than shuddering when a pre-2002 World Cup jape involving Jasper Gronkjaer got out of hand.

During some stretching exercises, Tofting and partner-in-crime Thomas Gravesen sprayed the then-Chelsea winger with water bottles and put ice cubes down his shorts. Gronkjaer hurt his eye during the prank, which concluded with him wrestling Tofting and being grabbed by the throat.

Danish FA official Jim Stjerne-Hansen told reporters: "These players need a kindergarten teacher to sort them out."

Eddie Jones fended off reports he interested in an NRL coaching role but is unsure how long he will remain England boss.

Jones has been linked with a switch to rugby league to take over at South Sydney Rabbitohs following England's Rugby World Cup final defeat to South Africa.

Rugby Australia expressed an interest in appointing Jones for a second spell as Wallabies head coach, but it was told he is unavailable.

Jones is contracted to England until 2021 but the canny Australian gave little away when asked about his future as he prepares to coach the Barbarians against Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday.

Asked about a potential move to the NRL, he told Sky Sports News: "There's all sorts of stories at the moment.

"I saw a story about me going to France, stories about going to Fiji - which is definitely a lot warmer than it is here."

Quizzed whether he would stay in his current role for the 2023 World Cup in France, he replied: "It's not really my decision. As you know, coaches are contracted by either a club or a union and we've got to perform. That's the only thing I'm worried about."

Jones also stated that, in hindsight, he picked the wrong team to face the Springboks.

"To a large degree, it was just one of those games. Some games you get caught. They started the game well. Things came off for them, things didn't go well for us." he added.

"We got on the back foot and couldn't get back on the front foot. If there's one thing I could have done now that I would have done, I would have changed the selection a little bit.

"I continually in the World Cup changed selection from game to game - in hindsight, I probably should have refreshed the squad a little bit.

"I'm not going to talk about individuals now. I just should have maybe changed the order of the 23."

Alastair Cook has full confidence in the ability of new England coach Chris Silverwood to revamp the Test side, starting off with the tour of New Zealand.

England face New Zealand in a two-match series later in November, having already won a five-match Twenty20 series 3-2 thanks to another super over triumph against the Black Caps.

Several of England's star players, such as Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Test captain Joe Root, were not included in the T20 squad, allowing them more time to recover following the World Cup and Ashes.

Silverwood, meanwhile, has replaced Trevor Bayliss, and Cook has no doubt he is the right coach, and Root the right captain, to lead England into a new era of Test cricket after frustrating performances in recent series.

"New Zealand is a good place for Chris Silverwood and Joe Root to start a new cycle," former England skipper Cook told ESPNcricinfo.

"It's only a two-match series, which is a bit of a shame, as their recent history has brought some cracking matches. You feel a long way away from everywhere, it doesn't have the hype of an Australia or India series, but they are a brilliant side, and it's a great but tough place to play cricket.

"Clarity, that is one thing [Silverwood] will bring. He's very clear on what he wants and it's very simple what he wants. The players will know, they'll be very well prepared, they'll know exactly what he demands of them."

Cook also believes Silverwood's "hands-on" approach will benefit Root, whose captaincy was called into question throughout the Ashes.

"He'll be a real helping hand for Joe Root, taking a lot of pressure off Root in terms of off-field stuff," Cook said.

"Trevor was a very hands-off coach, and he had a lot of success, but there are different ways of skinning cats, and you can see that Joe needs that support around him. That's quite obvious, and Silverwood and his team will give a bit more than Trevor did.

"I'm not saying that's right or wrong, but I think that's what will happen. I think we'll see the next stage of Root's England captaincy career.

"Looking back on my [time as captain], I think I took two and a half years to feel totally comfortable in the role, in terms of what you know, what you want from the side, and how you go about all the extra demands.

"Root is at that kind of stage, I think he'll bat at No. 4 again, and I'm expecting another spike from him."

Jonny Bairstow has been reprimanded by the ICC for his reaction to being dismissed in England's series-clinching Twenty20 International win over New Zealand on Sunday.

Bairstow has been given one demerit point for using an audible obscenity after edging Jimmy Neesham behind for 47 in the tourists' run chase at Eden Park.

The batsman admitted breaching 2.3 of the ICC Code of Conduct as he left the field in Auckland.

England won the series 3-2 after coming out on top in another Super Over thriller.

Bairstow was last week called up to the Test squad as cover for Joe Denly, who is nursing an ankle injury.

 

 

Ross Barkley and Tom Heaton have been ruled out of England's Euro 2020 qualifiers due to injury.

The pair will miss the fixtures against Montenegro and Kosovo, it was announced on Sunday.

Sheffield United goalkeeper Dean Henderson – on loan from Premier League side Manchester United – will replace Aston Villa's Heaton.

However, there is no replacement for England and Chelsea midfielder Barkley in Gareth Southgate's squad.

England are three points clear at the top of Group A as they prepare to host Montenegro on Thursday before travelling to Kosovo on November 17.

Eddie Jones is excited to get the chance to return to Japan after it was confirmed Rugby World Cup finalists England will tour there in 2020.

England, who overcame Australia and New Zealand in the knockout stages, lost 32-12 to South Africa in the final last Saturday.

Tournament hosts Japan, meanwhile, impressed many on their run to the quarter-finals, where they eventually went out to the Springboks.

It was announced on Friday that England will go back to Japan next year, with a two-match Test series scheduled for July.

"Japan were fantastic Rugby World Cup hosts and we feel humbled to have been a part of it," said Jones.

"The England squad had a fantastic experience of the country and we are excited to return in July next year.

"The Japan national team have shown again how good a side they are with their performances during the World Cup and I know they will provide a great test for us in July."

England have only played against Jones' former team Japan on two occasions, winning 35-15 at Twickenham in November 2018 having previously met in the inaugural World Cup in 1987.

The first Test will be on July 4 at the Showa Denko Dome in Oita, the venue where England knocked out the Wallabies, while the second will be held in Kobe a week later.

Alastair Cook has no concerns over Jonny Bairstow's ability to rediscover his best form in Test cricket after he was called up to cover for Joe Denly ahead of England's tour of New Zealand.

After an indifferent Ashes series, wicketkeeper-batsman Bairstow was left out of England's Test squad for the two-match series, which starts on November 21 at Mount Maunganui.

Denly has played no part in the ongoing Twenty20 series against the Black Caps, which is tied at 2-2 heading into the final match after David Malan's record-breaking hundred earned the tourists a 76-run win in Napier on Friday.

While Denly, who has suffered ankle ligament damage, is hopeful of being fit for a three-day warm-up match against a New Zealand Cricket XI, which starts on November 15, England have confirmed Bairstow – who has hit just 43 runs from his three innings so far on the tour – will remain in the country as cover.

Despite Bairstow's initial omission from the squad, former England captain Cook, the all-time leading run-scorer in Tests for his country, has backed the Yorkshireman to step up if required.

"He is a world-class player," Cook told Sky Sports. "His white-ball career has flourished, but he has struggled a little bit for form in the Test arena.

"He had such an impact at the top of the order after moving up to opener a couple of years ago – he was opening the batting with David Warner in the IPL – but I think that has probably made him stay a little bit legside of the ball and, as a consequence of that, he is probably getting bowled a little too often in the red-ball game.

"The break will do him good. He got left out of the Sri Lanka tour last year, when he was injured, and he then came back in at number three and got a hundred straight away.

"He has been called up probably for logistics as well. It's a long way to fly someone over to New Zealand when he is already out there as cover.

"It will be good for him to reassess where he's at with Test cricket. When you get dropped, it's that line in the sand and it's about how you respond to that.

"Knowing Jonny and his competitive spirit, it will give him a little kick up the backside and he'll be back scoring runs for England, because good players like him respond."

Cook also hailed Eoin Morgan's decision to stay on as ODI and T20 captain after England's triumph over New Zealand in the World Cup.

"I suppose the tempting thing is to always go out on a high," said Cook. "The pinnacle, standing at Lord's, his home ground, after such an amazing World Cup win. How do you top that?

"But, actually, with the T20 World Cup only 12 months away - they got to the final in 2016 - I think there is some unfinished business there.

"The way he is striking the ball at the moment is fantastic; he has played really, really well over the last two years or so - and the way he leads the team, I would have been surprised had he not carried on."

Tim Southee is praying the deciding game of New Zealand's back-and-forth T20 series against England does not end in a tie after his country's haunting Cricket World Cup final defeat to the same opponents.

England beat the Black Caps to win the showpiece on home soil in July via a super over after the scores were level at the end of 100 gripping overs.

The two sides are now closely matched once again, with the five-game T20 series level at 2-2 after England's 76-run win in Napier on Friday.

Inspired by Dawid Malan hitting England's fastest T20 century (103 not out from 51 balls) and captain Eoin Morgan, who hit 91 from 41 deliveries, the tourists triumphed to set up a decider in Auckland on Sunday.

Asked about the chance of a tie, stand-in New Zealand captain Southee (1-47) said: "We've been there! Hopefully it doesn't come down to that."

Of his side's heavy defeat, with New Zealand only making 165 in response to England's 241-3, Southee added: "That can happen in T20, the guys will learn from it and move on. Good thing is we go again in two days. 

"It's more about guys learning from the experience of being put under pressure by Morgs and Malan - the only way is to take wickets."

Regular skipper Kane Williamson, who is not playing in the series due to a hip injury, has been training with his team-mates and is confident he will be fit for the first Test against England at Mount Maunganui on November 21.

He has only batted four times since that World Cup final defeat and explained to Sky Sports: "It's been an ongoing niggle that comes and goes.

"It is settling, which is nice. A lot of [the last few months] has been rehab to get the hip right. 

"I had a four-dayer recently and there's a gap between this series and the first Test, so it's basically training going into it.

"If you're looking at perfect preparation, gametime can be nice - spending time in the middle - but it'll be tough to come by seeing as there's not a lot of cricket between now and then. 

"So it's just trying to get the mindset right to go on and execute your plans as well as you can."

Women's World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe has called on clubs, officials and fan groups to do more to eradicate racism from football.

Rapinoe highlighted the €75,000 (£65,000) fine given to Bulgaria by UEFA last month following evidence of racist abuse during the Euro 2020 qualifier with England as an example of where the sport is continuing to fall short.

Bulgaria were also ordered to play two games behind closed doors - the second of which is suspended for two years - in a decision Rapinoe branded "an absolute joke".

"We're not going to accept this. This is not something that's going to be in our game," she told BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat.

"So I feel like all of the clubs and the presidents and fan groups and everyone, you know, frankly are failing these players.

"If you're ever caught doing anything racist you should be banned for life. That's just the end of it. I mean £65,000 is an absolute joke.

"For me I'm just like, make it super extreme so it's damaging to the team, to the federation, so it's damaging financially."

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling played in England's recent qualifier in Sofia and has been praised for speaking out about racism.

Rapinoe has urged others to follow his example.

"I need all the players on Raheem's team, all the players in the Premier League and in the leagues abroad to make it their problem because it really is everybody's issue," she said.

Rapinoe won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot as the United States defended their World Cup crown earlier this year, before collecting the Best FIFA Women's Player award in September.

Dawid Malan credited Eoin Morgan with providing him the momentum to break records in England's Twenty20 victory over New Zealand on Friday.

Malan scored England's fastest T20 century by smashing an unbeaten 103 from 51 balls, while captain Morgan raced to 91 off just 41 deliveries in Napier.

The duo shared 182 runs as the tourists reached an imposing 241-3 – England's highest partnership and innings total in the format.

The Black Caps were skittled for 165 in response, Matt Parkinson claiming figures of 4-47, as Morgan's men clinched a 76-run triumph that levelled the series at 2-2 ahead of the final game in Auckland on Sunday.

"The message is always the same, play aggressively and back yourself," said Malan, who hit nine fours and six maximums.

"It's not very often you have days like that when every time you have a hack at one it lands safe or goes for six. It's as good as it gets.

"I felt like I had rhythm today, glad I clicked especially with these short boundaries.

"It helps batting with Morgs as well, he changed the momentum of the game and I piggybacked him a bit. To do it on the biggest stage is a fantastic experience."

Morgan added: "It was quite a clinical performance. Myself and Dawid have played for a long time together at Middlesex and we know each other pretty well.

"It was enjoyable, we had a lot of laughs out there. It was a beautiful wicket to bat on."

Records tumbled as Dawid Malan's unbeaten 103 powered England to a thumping 76-run win over New Zealand in the fourth Twenty20 in Napier on Friday.

Malan hammered nine fours and six sixes on the way to a 48-ball hundred, the fastest by an Englishman in T20 internationals, as the tourists posted a mammoth 241-3, their highest total in the format.

Eoin Morgan added 91 from 41 balls in a rollicking 182-run stand with Malan before Matt Parkinson claimed 4-47 with the ball as New Zealand were bowled out for 165 in a one-sided contest.

The result levels the series at 2-2 going into the fifth and final match in Auckland on Sunday.

Jonny Bairstow's return to the top of England's order lasted just nine deliveries but his exit only brought more trouble for the below-par Black Caps, who won the toss and elected to field.

Tom Banton departed for an enterprising 31 in the eighth over, leaving Malan and Morgan to set about targeting the short boundaries with regularity.

The pair took a liking to Blair Tickner (0-50) and Tim Southee (1-47) and at one point crushed 76 from five overs through the middle of the innings.

Malan alone hammered 28 from a single Ish Sodhi (0-49) over, while captain Morgan made the most of twice being caught from illegal deliveries bowled above waist height.

Southee eventually broke the partnership in the final over, but not before Malan - just the second England batsman to score a T20 hundred - crashed another six off Trent Boult to reach his milestone, which comfortably surpassed Alex Hales' 60-ball effort in 2014 for the quickest made by an Englishman.

Martin Guptill (27) and Colin Munro (30) started well in response until the former chipped Tom Curran straight to Malan at midwicket.

That sparked a succession of wickets as New Zealand crumbled from 54-0 to 89-6, the bleeding only stemmed thanks to Southee's defiant 39 from 15.

Leg-spinner Parkinson trapped the Black Caps skipper in front for his fourth victim after dismissing Munro, Colin de Grandhomme and Daryl Mitchell.

Chris Jordan (2-24) then ran out Sodhi and skittled Boult's stumps to wrap up a convincing victory for Morgan's men.

Dawid Malan broke an England record with a stunning century against New Zealand in the fourth Twenty20 international in Napier on Friday.

The left-hander reached his century off just 48 balls, the fastest ton by an England batsman in T20 internationals.

Malan became just the second Englishman to make a century in the format, but was far quicker than Alex Hales' 60-ball effort against Sri Lanka in 2014.

He finished with nine fours and six sixes, making an unbeaten 103 as the tourists – who trail in the series 2-1 – reached 241-3.

The total was England's highest in the T20 format, surpassing the 230 they made against South Africa in 2016.

Eoin Morgan made a stellar 41-ball 91 as England posted the equal 13th highest total ever in T20 internationals.

The 182-run partnership between Malan and Morgan was also England's highest in T20s.

England manager Gareth Southgate urged James Maddison to become a "high-performance, low-maintenance" player.

The uncapped Leicester City star, 22, was named in England's squad for this month's Euro 2020 qualifiers against Montenegro and Kosovo.

Maddison, who has three goals and two assists in the Premier League this season, was pictured in a casino after pulling out of the last squad due to illness.

Southgate said the attacker needed to remain focused as he tries to cement a spot in the England setup.

"It's not a good situation for a player when we're talking about him in Sofia, and talking about him here and he's yet to get on the pitch for us," he told UK newspapers.

"So, that's the challenge. You want to be high-performance, low-maintenance. I am prepared to work with players who are more difficult but you're more likely to back those players if they've scored a winner for you and sweated blood for you, and that's the bond you build with those players over a longer period of time."

England are top of Group A in Euro 2020 qualifying, sitting three points clear of the second-placed Czech Republic.

Maddison could make his England debut this month, but Southgate revealed he felt no need to call the midfielder before his latest call-up.

"I didn't feel the need to make a special case to call him. I wanted to see whether we would be selecting on form," he said.

"I think it would be dangerous territory for me to go on a moral crusade over something that I don't think was a good decision but was in his own time and we had released him from the squad."

England host Montenegro at Wembley on Thursday before facing Kosovo in Pristina three days later.

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