Sportsday - Wednesday 6 February as it happened

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland friendly build-up, Six Nations team news, plus the breaking sports news.

6 February 2013 Last updated at 18:06 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1805: 

    That is it for Sportsday but the BBC Sport website is running a live text commentary which will bring you all the action from the evening's international games.

    Tom Rostance is the man who will keep you up-to-date as England face Brazil, Scotland play Estonia in Gordon Strachan's first game as manager, Wales meet Austria and Northern Ireland travel to Malta.

    If that is not enough for you, Saj Chwodhury is running the live text commentary for the Africa Cup of Nations as Ghana face-off against Burkina Faso for a place in the final against Burkina Faso.

    Sportsday returns tomorrow morning at 0800 GMT, have a good night.

  2. 1759: 
    FOOTBALL

    Gordon Strachan has never won his opening game as manager at any of his previous teams and he will be looking to buck that trend as he debuts with Scotland.

    Scott Brown takes up the captaincy and Birmingham's Chris Burke gets his first cap since 2006.

    Scotland team to face Estonia: Allan McGregor, Alan Hutton, Charlie Mulgrew, Christophe Berra, Andy Webster, Charlie Adam, Shaun Maloney, Scott Brown (c), Steven Fletcher, Chris Burke, Steven Naismith.

  3. 1750: 
    FOOTBALL

    Yaya Toure says he is determined to help drag Manchester City back into the Premier League title race after returning from international duty.

    The midfielder came back to Manchester earlier than anticipated after Africa Cup of Nations favourites Ivory Coast's shock quarter-final defeat to Nigeria.

    "We are further behind than we'd like, of course, but all we need to do is think about last season to know what is possible," he tells his club's website.

    "United have a strong squad and on paper, they have an easier run in than we do but the title race is a long way from finished. It only takes a couple of results to go our way and we're right back in it - I'm sure we'll come back."

  4. 1745: 
    FOOTBALL

    Hull City defender Alex Bruce will make his Northern Ireland debut in Wednesday's friendly against Malta in Valletta.

    Bruce, who previously played twice for the Republic of Ireland, is the only debutant in Michael O'Neill's starting line-up.

    O'Neill, still searching for his first win as Northern Ireland boss, was tipped to hand a debut to Billy McKay but the in-form Inverness striker is on the bench with Walsall's Will Grigg starting in attack.

    Northern Ireland team: Mannus, D Lafferty, McAuley, J Evans, Davis, Grigg, Brunt, McGinn, Bruce, Ferguson, Hughes.

  5. 1739: 
    WINTER SPORTS

    Lindsey Vonn says she will do everything possible to return for next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi after her season-ending crash on Tuesday at the World Championships in Schladming, Austria.

    The 2010 Winter Olympics gold medallist tells usskiteam.com: "I can assure you that I will work as hard as humanly possible to be ready to represent my country next year in Sochi."

    The 28-year-old was airlifted to hospital after rupturing cruciate ligaments in her right knee.

  6. 1730: 
    FOOTBALL

    Klaas Jan Huntelaar receives treatment by a German eye specialist after a burst blood vessel in his eye forces him out of the Netherlands's friendly against Italy.

    The 29-year-old - who signed a new contract recently to end links with Premier League clubs - needs to see the specialist again before he can return to Bundesliga duty with Schalke 04.

  7. 1723: 
    RUGBY UNION

    Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll says his physical condition will decide his retirement date after previously suggesting that this season's Six Nations could be his last.

    "I hadn't intended causing a stir, [in reference to his his previous statement to BBC Wales] I was just being honest in answering a question," he says.

    "I haven't really allowed myself to think about it. If you start thinking about retirement in six months time you're already there.

    "It will all evolve. The situation will unfold. I'll have to listen to my body."

  8.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Here are some more of your thoughts on Brazil star Neymar's claim that England can't win the World Cup, and that Wayne Rooney is their only match-winner.

    Richard Boudier on Twitter: "People who say Jack Wilshere is a match winner are just proving Neymar right. He's only 21, England shouldn't be depending on him!"

    Ram Chandra on Twitter: "Spot on Neymar. Rooney plays good, England win. Rooney plays bad, England lose or draw. England, over reliant on him."

    Paddy Maher on Twitter: "Neymar has a point. It's a lack of young English players in any top league which puts stupid pressure on the few we have."

  9. 1705: 
    FOOTBALL

    With kick-off at Wembley fast approaching, and Ashley Cole set to make his 100th appearance, an interesting statistic shows that England have lost just 13 times when the left-back has played.

  10. 1658: 
    CRICKET

    Kent head coach Jimmy Adams says the side will benefit in the long-term from losing captain James Tredwell to international duty. The 30-year-old off-spinner has been a fixture in England's one-day side in India and New Zealand this winter. Adams told BBC Radio Kent: "I am sure it will be something he will apply positively; not just to his captaincy but his cricket as a whole."

  11. 1651: 
    FOOTBALL

    Sam Allardyce is fined £8,000 by the FA for media comments he made after his side's FA Cup Third Round replay against Manchester United on 16 January 2013. The West Ham United manager was charged for a breach of FA Rule E3 in that he questioned the integrity of the match referee and/or match officials in general, and/or implied that the match referee and/or match officials in general were motivated by bias; and/or brought the game into disrepute.

  12. 1642: 
    FOOTBALL

    Goran Popov makes an official apology to all fans after his red card in Sunday's 1-0 defeat by Tottenham. He also plans to say sorry to the coaching and backroom staff and his team-mates when they return to training tomorrow - and also to Spurs' Kyle Walker, who he spat in the direction of, which led to the red card just three minutes into the second half.

  13. 1634: 
    FOOTBALL

    Nottingham Forest confirm that Rob Kelly will be in charge for Saturday's Championship meeting with Bristol City at Ashton Gate following the departure of Alex McLeish. It is the second time this season that the former Leicester boss has been placed in caretaker charge after he also stepped in after Steve Cotterill was sacked in July. He was also in temporary charge last season when Steve McClaren resigned.

  14.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Daniel Edwards on Twitter: "Neymar incorrect England have 1 world class player Wilshire the rest wouldn't get near a top team -Rooney overrated."

    Dominic Chapman on Twitter: "Neymar makes no sense, I can remember one time Rooney has scored a winner, he never performs for England."

    Alberico de Nardis on Twitter: "Neymar is just having a dig at the England players. That said, Gerrard and Lampard are bigger match winners than Rooney is."

  15. 1617: 
    FOOTBALL

    Liverpool are hopeful Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling will be fit to face West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on Monday night, according to first-team coach Mike Marsh. The duo were forced to pull out of international duty with England and England U21's after suffering the injuries during Sunday's 2-2 draw with Manchester City.

  16. 1608: 
    CRICKET

    Essex and England all-rounder Ravi Bopara will play for South African side Dolphins in their Twenty20 campaign. The 27-year-old, who missed out on an Indian Premier League club, is currently representing Chittagong Kings in the Bangladesh Premier League.

  17. 1558: 
    FOOTBALL

    Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill looks likely to hand debuts to a number of players in Wednesday's friendly against Malta in Valletta. O'Neill, still searching for his first win as Northern Ireland boss, is being tipped to name in-form Inverness striker Billy McKay in attack. O'Neill has an attacking berth to fill with Kyle Lafferty not in Malta. Tranmere's Adam McGurk and Hull's Alex Bruce are among others who could make their debuts in Valletta.

  18. 1549: 
    FOOTBALL

    Nigeria go 3-0 up before the break in their Africa Cup of Nations semi-final against Mali. Emmanuel Emenike thought he had scored his fourth goal of the tournament with a low free-kick from 20 yards out. The ball took a deflection off Momo Sissoko and the goal goes down as an own goal. You can follow all the action with live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and the live text on the BBC Sport website.

  19. 1541: 
    FOOTBALL

    A second-half penalty from Celtic striker Tony Watt earns Scotland's U21's a draw in Greece. Nikos Karelis headed the hosts in front after 20 minutes at the Municipal Stadium in Korinthos. But the visitors were awarded a spot-kick on 58 minutes when Kilmarnock forward Rory McKenzie was bundled over.

  20. 1536: 
    FOOTBALL

    It's now 2-0 to Nigeria in their Africa Cup of Nations semi-final against Mali. Just minutes after Elderson Echiejile gave Nigeria the lead, Brown Ideye doubled it when he bundled home from close range. You can listen to full commentary of the game on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  21. 1532: 
    FOOTBALL

    Nigeria take the lead in the first of the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals . Elderson Echiejile has opened the scoring after some excellent play from Chelsea's Victor Moses. Mali 0-1 Nigeria. You can follow all the action with the live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

  22. 1526: 
    FOOTBALL

    Chelsea striker Demba Ba has tweeted that he is on his way to Italy to get fitted for a protective mask, after a broken nose looked set to rule him out of the weekend's game with Wigan. Ba suffered the injury during a collision with former team-mate Fabricio Coloccini during Chelsea's 3-2 defeat to Newcastle last weekend.

  23. 1515: 
    GET INVOLVED

    James Aubrey on Twitter: "Hopefully Neymar's comments should motivate some England players. Cleverly to win it in the last minute.

    Joe Woods on Twitter: "Wanna see Neymar's face once Gerrard or Wilshere bangs one in."

    David Vernalls on Twitter: "Its fair to say that England don't have many truly world class individuals. But neither do Brazil or many other national teams."

  24. 1506: 
    CRICKET

    Northants paceman Olly Stone has registered the best ever bowling figures for England in a youth Test. The 19-year-old from Norwich took 11 wickets for 79 from 44 overs across two innings against South Africa Under-19s in Paarl.

  25. 1457: 
    FOOTBALL

    Former Manchester United and Everton striker Louis Saha is set to sign for Italian side Lazio on a free transfer after leaving Sunderland during the transfer window. The 34-year-old is reported to be unveiled by the club at a press conference at 1800.

  26. 1449: 
    FOOTBALL

    Barcelona will come up against former coach Pep Guardiola in a friendly in July. "Barcelona will play a pre-season friendly match in Munich against Bayern on Wednesday July 24," said a statement on Barca´s website. It was announced last month that Guardiola would take charge of Bayern Munich from from the start of next season.

  27. 1443: 
    COMING UP

    As well as live text commentary from Mali versus Nigeria (kick-off 1500) and Burkina Faso v Ghana (kick-off 1830), in the Africa Cup of Nations, Radio 5 live sports extra has live commentary from 1445.

  28. 1436: 
    FOOTBALL

    The Ghana Football Association have announced their starting line up for their semi-final against Burkina Faso. Just one change from the starting line-up that began the quarter-final with Cape Verde. With Mubarak Wakaso, who scored both goals in that game, starts ahead of Bristol City's Albert Adomah, who had started all four games for the Black Stars' in South Africa. You can follow all the action from the Africa Cup of Nations on the BBC website now.

  29. 1427: 
    HORSE RACING

    BBC Sport's Frank Keogh on Twitter: "BHA to hold an inquiry, Thursday, after sample taken in November at Kempton from hurdler Bold Chief, trained by Harry Fry, contained ketamine."

  30. 1419: 
    FOOTBALL

    BBC's Matthew Kenyon in Durban: We've got the team news. As predicted, Nigeria are unchanged - so Joseph Yobo, who's been injured and came on as a late, late sub in the game against Ivory Coast, remains on the bench, and there's no place for Fegor Ogude in the midfield, even though he's back from suspension. For Mali though, lots of changes - four in total. As the coach told us, Mamadou Samassa comes back in goal - despite Soumaila Diakite's heroics in the penalty shoot out against South Africa. Adama Coulibaly has lost his place in defence, with Mahamadou N'diaye replacing him. And in the midfield Samba Diakite and Samba Sow are replaced by Kalilou Traore and Mahamane Traore.

  31. 1410: 
    FOOTBALL

    Reading manager Brian McDermott and striker Adam Le Fondre have been named Premier League manager and player of the month. Le Fondre scored seven goals for the Royals in January as they picked up seven points and made it through to FA Cup fifth round.

  32. 1403: 
    FOOTBALL

    BBC commentator Guy Mowbray on Twitter: "Always excited before an England game - even though experience tells me not to be. Extra special when it's Brazil."

  33. 1400: 
    QUESTION OF SPORT

    Earlier today, we posed this #QSTeaser from @QofS_Official

    Name the 11 players who have a full cap for Brazil and have played in the Premier League this season?

    The players are Anderson, Julio Cesar, Fabio, Lucas, David Luiz, Maicon, Oscar, Rafael, Ramires, Sandro and Andre Santos.

    Sue Barker hosts A Question Of Sport on BBC One tonight at 2235 GMT. Captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell are joined by guests Peter Schmeichel, Gordon Greenidge, Laura Davies and John Regis.

  34. 1356: 
    SWIMMING

    British Swimming has paid tribute to 16-year-old Olympic hopeful Chloe Waddell, from Altrincham, who died last weekend.

    "Sixteen-year-old Chloe was one of the squad's most promising young stars and had gone from strength to strength since joining the squad several years ago," a statement read.

  35.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Davey Sloan on Twitter: "Not had a tweet about Northern Ireland yet. How about a shout out to the Green and White Army as we try to get our first win in yonks?"

    Adam Priestley on Twitter: "The Le Tissier and Cortese scrap is getting tedious now. For the sake of the club (which you both really love, you say) - sort it."

    Ian Stoddart on Twitter: "Re: 1314. Can only think the ref in the Coventry game has a second job as a traffic warden, more than my... You know the rest."

  36. 1346: 
    FOOTBALL

    Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes hopes to help end Michael O'Neill's seven-match winless start as manager against Malta in Valletta tonight (1830 GMT).

    "Friendlies are all about getting a chance to see new players, work on the shape of the team and maybe try new things, but it would be nice to get a win — then we wouldn't have to talk about it again," Hughes tells the Belfast Telegraph.

  37. 1341: 
    TENNIS

    BBC Sport's Piers Newbery reports: "Great Britain's Fed Cup team must wait another day to start their Euro/Africa Group I campaign after rain postponed Tuesday's opening tie against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Eilat.

    "There are 16 teams competing for two promotion places in Israel, and Judy Murray's squad now face group ties over the next three days followed, they will hope, by a play-off on Sunday.

    "Anne Keothavong and Heather Watson had been named for the opening singles on Wednesday, with Laura Robson and Johanna Konta also in the team."

  38. 1338: 
    FOOTBALL

    Southampton executive chairman Nicola Cortese has cancelled clear-the-air talks with Matthew Le Tissier.

    Former Southampton forward Le Tissier, who criticised the decision to sack manager Nigel Adkins and bring in Mauricio Pochettino, had called for a meeting with Cortese, and revealed that talks had been scheduled for next month.

    "Both parties had agreed that it would be a private meeting with no publicity surrounding it, yet within 24 hours this matter was put in the public domain and further negative comments attributed to Mr Le Tissier have appeared this morning," a Southampton spokesman said, explaining the cancellation.

    Le Tissier wrote on Twitter: "Meeting with our wonderful exec chairman been cancelled #surprisesurprise #somethingtohidenicola."

  39.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Keep your thoughts coming, please, on Brazil star Neymar's claim that England cannot win the World Cup, and that their only match-winner is Wayne Rooney. #bbcsportsday

    Mike O'Callaghan on Twitter: "Neymar should aim on cracking it in one of the top European leagues rather than making bold statements like that."

    Simon Daly on Twitter: "Neymar isn't wrong, he's explaining how the best footballing nations see England! Not a major contender at top level!"

    Gary Wood on Twitter: "To Carl Neville (see 'Get involved' between 1134 and 1145). I would've never expected Denmark or Greece to win Euros in my lifetime. Things happen!"

  40. 1324: 
    FOOTBALL

    BBC's Matthew Kenyon reports from the Africa Cup of Nations in Durban: "Two hours before kick-off in the first semi-final of the Africa Cup of Nations, between Mali and Nigeria. Not the buzz when South Africa played here at the weekend, but a first-class match-up to look forward to.

    "Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi used to be the boss of Mali, so he knows all about his old charges (and they know about him). Word from the Nigeria camp is that they'll be unchanged from the side which beat Ivory Coast in the quarters."

    Commentary on both semi-finals is available on BBC World Service across sub-Saharan Africa and on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  41. 1323: 
    FOOTBALL

    It's semi-finals day at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.

    Mali face Nigeria at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium at 1500 GMT, before Burkina Faso take on Ghana at Nelspruit's Mbombela Stadium at 1830 GMT.

  42.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Oli Ward on Twitter: "Eden Hazard gets a red card for kicking a ball boy, how does Christie get a yellow for tripping a pitch invader? Where's the logic?"

  43. 1314: 
    FOOTBALL

    Coventry manager Mark Robins admits to being confused after defender Cyrus Christie was booked for tripping a pitch invader during last night's Johnstone's Paint Trophy northern final first leg against Crewe.

    "He stopped him [the fan] in his tracks and waited for the stewards to remove the supporter," Robins tells BBC Coventry & Warwickshire. "To produce a yellow card for that was strange to say the least."

  44. 1307: 
    OLYMPIC LEGACY

    What is the future for school sport in the wake of the London Olympics?

    BBC Radio 5 live's Eleanor Oldroyd will speak to Olympian Gail Emms, Paralympian Hannah Cockcroft, UK Sport chairman Baroness Sue Campbell and a host of teachers from primary and secondary schools to find out whether the Olympic sporting legacy has filtered down to the nation's youngsters.

    The Future Of School Sport will go out on BBC Radio 5 live at 2000 GMT on Thursday.

  45. 1256: 
    FOOTBALL

    Oyston confirms that Sean O'Driscoll is the only person who has been offered the Blackpool job since Michael Appleton left to take charge at Blackburn last month.

    "It has been well documented that we have approached a number of people regarding our managerial vacancy, in order to conduct preliminary discussions and ascertain interest from either party," Oyston tells Blackpool's website.

    "We will continue with this process and we will continue to do so in the correct manner. However, we have only offered the position to one person and, unfortunately, that person decided to accept a position at Bristol City."

  46. 1253: 
    FOOTBALL

    Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston confirms that he held talks with Billy Davies over the vacant manager's job at Bloomfield Road earlier this week.

    "I would like to place on record that the club met and discussed the manager's position with Billy Davies on Monday evening," Oyston tells Blackpool's website.

    "Contrary to speculation, I can confirm that the meeting concluded with both parties agreeing to speak again on Tuesday.

    "I spoke with Billy on two occasions yesterday and he has decided to follow another opportunity, which is a decision we fully appreciate and understand."

  47. 1248: 
    FOOTBALL

    Peter Odemwingie takes to Twitter to respond to the Daily Mirror's report that he won't be fined for driving to QPR on transfer deadline day even though there had been no deal agreed between the clubs.

    He tweets: "If true, I am happy."

  48. 1244: 
    CYCLING

    The Great Britain squad for the Track Cycling World Championship in full:

    Sprint: Matt Crampton, Kian Emadi, Becky James, Jason Kenny, Phil Hindes, Vicky Williamson.

    Men's endurance: Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Sam Harrison, Andy Tennant, Simon Yates.

    Women's endurance: Elinor Barker, Dani King, Laura Trott.

  49. 1237: 
    CYCLING

    British Cycling confirms that 16-strong squad to represent Great Britain at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Minsk, Belarus, from 20 to 24 February.

    Ed Clancy's experiment with team sprint riding has been put on hold, as he is in the endurance squad.

    There will be World Championship debuts for Kian Emadi, Vicky Williamson (both sprint), Jon Dibben, Ouain Doull, Simon Yates (all men's endurance) and Elinor Barker (women's endurance).

  50.  
    GET INVOLVED

    BBC Sport reports that Billy Davies is the overwhelming favourite to be named Nottingham Forest manager within the next 48 hours, and that has got you talking on Twitter. #bbcsportsday

    Ken McDermott on Twitter: "Most Forest fans want Billy Davies but on right terms. That means reassurance about finances of owners and no interference in team selection."

    Andy Pearce on Twitter: "Billy Davies will bring passion and commitment back to the club for both players and fans alike. However, personalities could clash."

    Tom Clazie Flynn on Twitter: "Forget Father Ted, Blackadder and Peter Kay, Nottingham Forest are comedy gold!"

  51. 1225: 
    RUGBY UNION

    Worcester have signed Argentina international Ignacio Mieres for next season.

    Fly-half Mieres will head to Sixways next season from Worcester's Premiership rivals Exeter.

    Head coach Richard Hill says: "Ignacio is a superb goalkicker with a very high percentage of success who is very ambitious and keen to join us."

  52.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Some more of your thoughts on Brazil star Neymar's claim that England can't win the World Cup, and that Wayne Rooney is their only match-winner.

    Heather Campbell on Twitter: "Neymar is right, England always make some big hype about how they're going to win a tournament and fail miserably."

    Lewis Thompson on Twitter: "As a Manchester United fan, I have to say that Gerrard is a lot more influential and more of a goal threat that Rooney."

    Will Brooks on Twitter: "Of course Neymar is wrong, England don't have ANY matchwinners!"

  53. 1210: 
    FORMULA ONE

    Felipe Massa believes the new Ferrari F138 is on "a completely different planet" to last year's car after encouraging early testing at Jerez.

    "Last year I remember I was struggling a lot to drive the car," the Brazilian says. It was difficult to keep it on the track.

    "I would say the difference compared to last year is huge. It's a completely different planet."

    There's live text commentary on the testing sessions in Jerez, Spain, on the BBC Sport website.

  54.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Toby Maxtone-Smith on Twitter: "Billy Davies is definitely the right choice for Forest, although I can't see him getting along with the ridiculous owners."

    Olly Bausor on Twitter: "Billy Davies should never have been sacked, need stability and he has unfinished business and passion for Forest!"

    Sunil Parmar on Twitter: "It's the owners that need changing at Forest, not the manager. But as a Leicester fan, they can stay for a while!"

  55. 1155: 
    RUGBY UNION

    Centre Guy Armitage has signed a two-year deal with London Irish.

    The 21-year-old, brother of England internationals Delon and Steffon Armitage, rejoined Irish on loan from Toulon earlier this season.

  56.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Is Billy Davies the right man for Forest? Can he guide them into the Premier League? What do you make of the City Ground managerial merry-go-round?

    Let us know your thoughts via Twitter, using the hashtag #bbcsportsday, and we'll publish a selection right here.

  57. 1149: 
    FOOTBALL

    Billy Davies is the overwhelming favourite to be named Nottingham Forest's new manager within the next 48 hours, reports BBC Sport.

    Davies, who managed Forest between January 2009 and June 2011, twice led the club to the play-offs.

  58. 1145: 
    FORMULA ONE

    An update on Twitter from Mercedes regarding the condition of their car after Lewis Hamilton crashed on the first day of testing in Jerez, Spain.

    "We have traced the problem to the hydraulic brake line connecting to the right-rear caliper. The impact with the barrier also damaged the front left corner (suspension and associated aero parts). No news yet as to when we will be back out on track."

    Hamilton walked away from the accident unscathed. We've got live text commentary on pre-season testing here on the BBC Sport website.

  59.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Brazil star Neymar has claimed ahead of tonight's friendly at Wembley that opponents England won't win the World Cup and have only one match-winner - Wayne Rooney. What do you think? #bbcsportsday

    Jamie Lang on Twitter: "Not the first time Neymar has been caught talking rubbish."

    Carl Neville on Twitter: "Neymar is 100% right. I'm in my mid-thirties, England will not win the World Cup in my lifetime!!"

    Sam Marshall on Twitter: "Neymar has clearly never heard of Emile Heskey."

  60. 1134: 
    QUESTION OF SPORT

    A quick reminder of Wednesday's #QSTeaser from @QofS_Official

    Name the 11 players who have a full cap for Brazil and have played in the Premier League this season?

    Plenty of guesses already coming in. We will have the answer on here and on Twitter at 1400 GMT.

  61. 1128: 
    FOOTBALL

    England captain Steven Gerrard says Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere can become a world-beater.

    Wilshere, 21, is expected to make his first England start for 17 months in the friendly with Brazil at Wembley.

    "I think he's got the potential to become one of the best in the world and I don't want to add any pressure. That's unfair," Gerrard says. "But playing against him recently and in training, he's a one-off."

  62. 1122: 
    FOOTBALL

    Former England international Gareth Southgate is getting excited ahead of tonight's friendly against Brazil at Wembley.

    He tweets: "First time I saw Brazil was Eder, Zico, Socrates, Falcao. Mesmerised. Not as much as Alan Rough, but mesmerised nonetheless. Cue Scots abuse."

    Ah yes, who could forget Brazil's walloping of Scotland at the 1982 World Cup? Just don't mention it to Alan Hansen, Gareth.

  63. 1116: 
    CRICKET

    England and Essex batsman Ravi Bopara has agreed to join South African franchise Dolphins for their Twenty20 campaign.

    Bopara, who missed out on a place in this year's Indian Premier League, is set to start playing for Dolphins late this month.

  64. 1110: 
    FOOTBALL

    Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole will win his 100th cap tonight when England face Brazil at Wembley - and has revealed how he was inspired to be a footballer by a childhood chat with former Arsenal midfielder David Rocastle, who died from cancer in 2001.

    "After he spoke to me for those five minutes, it was all I wanted to be," Cole said. "Now I look back and think what a great career I have had but I will never forget speaking to him."

  65.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Brazil star Neymar has caused a bit of controversy by claiming that Wayne Rooney is England's only match-winner. Here are some more of your thoughts. Keep them coming, please. #bbcsportsday

    Nick Clarke on Twitter: "Has Neymar never heard of Steven Gerrard? I would say he has been an important match winner more than Rooney!"

    Jerome Cox-Strong on Twitter: "Neymar's wrong. England have plenty of matchwinners (Gerrard, Wilshere, etc). It's making them click that's our Achilles heel."

    Strevs on Twitter: "Nonsense from Neymar! Joe Hart proved last year he was a match-winner, not to mention Walcott and Gerrard."

  66. 1101: 
    CRICKET

    Australia defeat West Indies by 39 runs in Canberra after the tourists are bowled out for 290 while chasing 330 for victory in the one-day international.

  67. 1058: 
    FOOTBALL

    Former Republic of Ireland player Alex Bruce accepts that his presence may not be welcomed by all fans as he prepares to win his first Northern Ireland cap against Malta on Wednesday. "Any footballer will tell you that when you walk over that white line, what people do on the terraces, you're quite oblivious to it," said Bruce. "My granny's from Bangor (County Down) so I always knew, when I hadn't played a competitive game (for the Republic) that I was still available."

  68. 1051: 
    FORMULA 1

    BBC Sport's chief Formula 1 writer Andrew Benson on Twitter: "Mercedes say @lewishamilton's crash caused by loss of rear brake pressure. Slowed car with fronts but unable to avoid barrier."

  69. 1048: 
    RUGBY UNION

    Edinburgh back Dougie Fife signs a new contract that will tie him to the club until the summer of 2015. "As a local boy I used to come to the games as a fan and was even ball boy at a couple of games, so to get this chance as a fully contracted player is a dream come true, and gives me the confidence to push on to the next stage in my career," said Fife.

  70. 1044: 
    QUESTION OF SPORT

    Here is Wednesday's #QSTeaser from @QofS_Official

    Name the 11 players who have a full cap for Brazil and have played in the Premier League this season?

    We will have the answer on here and on Twitter at 1400 GMT.

  71.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Is Neymar wrong to write off England's World Cup prospects? The Brazilian talent says Roy Hodgson's side lack match winners with the exception of Wayne Rooney. Let us know your thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #bbcsportsday

    Ike Chikadibia on Twitter: "Neymar is not far from the truth,though that may soon change with some of the new talents coming on like Zaha."

    Kushal Malde on Twitter: "The fact that everyone blames Rooney when he and England play badly surely proves how reliant we are on him."

    John Riordan on Twitter: "England wouldn't have a chance of winning the WC even if it was held in England and all the referees were English."

  72. 1027: 
    FORMULA 1

    The Press Association reports that with repairs required, it remains to be seen whether Lewis Hamilton will make it back out on track later on Wednesday following his crash into a tyre barrier in Jerez, Spain.

  73. 1018: 
    FORMULA 1
    Lewis Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton walks away unscathed after crashing on first day of testing for his new Mercedes team. The 2008 world champion had just set the second fastest time of the day when he slid into the barriers at the hairpin at the end of the back straight in Jerez, Spain.

  74. 1013: 
    FOOTBALL

    The Manchester Evening News reports that Manchester City coach Angelo Gregucci has told a Naples radio station that the club is interested in signing Napoli striker Edinson Cavani. But Gregucci adds: "Edinson is scoring a huge number of goals this season, and it will be difficult for City to take him. The ten biggest clubs in Europe all have Cavani in their sights."

  75. 1003: 
    FORMULA 1

    Mercedes on Twitter: "Lewis is back in the garage, we're waiting for the car to return to find out what happened."

  76. 1000: 
    FORMULA 1

    Lewis Hamilton's first day of testing for his new Mercedes team gets off to a bad start when he crashes the car after just 15 laps. The 2008 world champion had just set the second fastest time of the day when he slid into the barriers at the hairpin at the end of the back straight in Jerez, Spain. Hamilton was unhurt after ploughing across a gravel trap into a tyre wall. Mercedes had had a troubled first day on Tuesday when the car caught fire after 11 laps with Nico Rosberg at the wheel. Keep up to date with the very latest with our live text commentary.

  77. 0957: 
    FORMULA 1

    Lewis Hamilton walks away after crashing his new Mercedes in pre-season testing in Jerez, Spain. Hamilton ploughs straight across a gravel trap and into tyres at Dry Sack hairpin. The cranes are on the scene to get his car taken away.

  78.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Brazilian Neymar, speaking ahead of Wednesday's prestigious friendly at Wembley, says England have no chance of winning the World Cup as Wayne Rooney is their only match winner. Is he right? Let us know on Twitter using the hashtag #bbcsportsday

    Mata's Left-foot on Twitter: "Neymar said Rooney is England's only match winner? Well, I disagree. Rooney isn't a match winner for England. Not at all."

    Rich Atkins on Twitter: "We are that poor as a collective that against the bigger teams we barely have a match winner at all."

    Ollie Hicks on Twitter: "We've had no match winners or one outstanding performer recently. But if anyone it would be Gerrard - not Rooney."

  79. 0942: 
    FOOTBALL
    Mbombela Stadium

    A close up of the pitch at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit that later on Wednesday hosts the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final between Ghana and Burkina Faso. Ghana's Black Stars' have not even been able to train or see the pitch first hand yet while the Stallions of Burkina Faso have already played four matches and extra time on the surface.

    Ghana say there is no problem and that they are used to playing on poor surfaces across Africa. There has been some heavy rain in Nelspruit since the quarter-final, but the sun was out early on Wednesday which may help the surface dry out.

  80. 0933: 
    FOOTBALL

    England manager Roy Hodgson says it is important not to forget the Munich air crash, 55 years on from tragedy. "I remember that night extremely well," said 65-year-old Hodgson. "I remember sitting at home and hearing the news and being absolutely devastated. So many great players, and a footballing generation in Manchester lost their lives. It is a sobering thought but it is important to remember those things."

    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has also described how he is still affected by the Munich air crash in a BBC Sport interview.

  81. 0927: 
    FOOTBALL

    Some stories from around Europe picked up by BBC Monitoring.

    Germany "is deeply involved in the betting swamp" according to Bild, which reports that 151 of those suspected of widespread match rigging are resident in the country. It reports that 70 of the 380 games said to have been rigged took place in the German lower leagues."

    Arsenal's Bacary Sagna will return to France's international set-up after 18 months out in Wednesday's friendly against Germany, report L'equipe. Manchester United's Patrice Evra and recent Newcastle signing Moussa Sissoko are also expected to be part of the starting line-up.

    Barcelona's Eric Abidal has returned to training after a spell in hospital for tests related to the liver transplant he underwent last year, report Marca.

  82. 0916: 
    FOOTBALL

    BBC Sport's Giles Goford in Durban at the Africa Cup of Nations: "It is semi-final day in South Africa. First up, Nigeria play Mali in Durban (1500 GMT) followed by Ghana versus Burkina Faso in Nelspruit (1830 GMT). History suggests it will be a Ghana v Nigeria final. Burkina Faso have beaten Ghana just once in their seven meetings. Ghana have a perfect record in previous Cup of Nations encounters, winning all three matches - the last being a 1-0 win in 2010.

    "As for Nigeria v Mali, Mali have never beaten Nigeria in six matches, and have scored just two goals in those games. They have met four times at the Cup of Nations, most recently in 2008, a goalless draw in the group stage."

  83. 0911: 
    FOOTBALL
    Garry Monk

    Swansea City announce captain Garry Monk has signed a one-year contract extension. The 33-year-old defender, who has captained the Swans in all four divisions, has struggled for playing time this season but has ended speculation about his future by agreeing a deal that commits him to the club until the summer of 2015.

  84. 0902:  
    BBC Radio 5 liveFOOTBALL

    Former Scotland manager Craig Brown, speaking on 5 live, on Gordon Strachan's first match in charge against Estonia: "It's a special night in Aberdeen and a special night for the nation because there's keen anticipation of a new year with Gordon Strachan in charge and Mark McGhee and Stuart McCall at his side. Everyone is upbeat about the national team's success.

    "There's a feeling that it will be a more adventurous team, more attack minded team. I think there is a great amount of good will towards the team and towards Gordon Strachan and that is a big help. "

    Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary on BBC Sport website; highlights on BBC One Scotland.

  85. 0857: 
    CRICKET

    Batsman Michael Lumb says England cannot afford to take New Zealand lightly ahead of the forthcoming series, especially after Wednesday's defeat to a New Zealand XI in a Twenty20 warm-up game.

    "A lot of people have written them off, but you can't take them lightly," said Lumb. "It would be foolish to do that - they've just beaten South Africa in a one-day series over there. They're a proud nation, and they'll come really hard at us."

  86. 0851: 
    CRICKET

    New Zealand's record wicket-taker Richard Hadlee warns that factions remain inside the current team's dressing room ahead of Ross Taylor's return for England's tour. Taylor has been recalled for the upcoming limited overs series for the first time since he was controversially dropped as captain.

    Although Taylor has been named to play when the three-match Twenty20 series begins on Saturday, Hadlee is unsure the divisions in a team now led by Brendon McCullum have been completely smoothed over. "It is going to be an uneasy time," Hadlee, who took a New Zealand record 431 wickets in his 86-Test career, said. "Clearly there have been different factions, those supporting Taylor and those supporting another captain."

  87. 0846: 
    FORMULA 1

    BBC Sport chief Formula 1 writer Andrew Benson at day two of pre-season testing in Jerez, Spain: "Lewis Hamilton gets his first proper taste on Wednesday of his new Mercedes, after a first day for the car that started even less auspiciously than McLaren's. Nico Rosberg managed only 11 laps before a problem with a wiring loom caused a small electrical fire and the car did not run again all day while the team worked on a fix. Hamilton will be hoping for better reliability on his first day's testing."

    You can keep up to date on all the latest from Jerez with our live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

  88.  
    GET INVOLVED

    You are letting us know what you think of Neymar's remarks after the Brazilian claimed Roy Hodgson's England have no chance of winning the World Cup as Wayne Rooney is the only match-winner. Keep your thoughts coming on Twitter using the hashtag #bbcsportsday

    Sean Power on Twitter: "With Hodgson, England don't have a chance. But Neymar's saying that when he hasn't achieved half of what the English players have."

    Amy Ottaway on Twitter: "I think Neymar is harsh but he actually has a point. England have a lot of great individuals who don't seem to always work as a team."

    Tom Childs on Twitter: "Rooney has not found his form for his country since '04. I still think Lampard is our biggest threat going forward."

  89. 0829: 
    RUGBY UNION
    Matt Kvesic

    Gloucester announce the signing of Matt Kvesic from Worcester for next season. The 20-year-old is considered one of the brightest prospects in the game, and was recently brought in to train with the senior England squad for the Six Nations.

  90. 0824: 
    FOOTBALL

    Ahead of Wednesday's home friendly against Austria, Wales manager Chris Coleman is excited at the prospect of pairing Craig Bellamy with Gareth Bale for the first time during his time in charge. "They are such an offensive threat. With Craig and Baley in the same team then you've always got a chance to create the opposition problems."

    Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and online. Highlights on Match of the Day Wales, BBC Two Wales at 2320 GMT.

  91. 0819: 
    FOOTBALL

    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has described how he is still affected by the Munich air crash, 55 years on from the disaster. Ferguson was 16 and unconnected to the club when eight United players and 15 others died as a result of a failed take-off on a slush-covered runway.

    "For many it's probably long forgotten but for someone like me who remembers the day, you won't forget it," said Ferguson. "I've been affected since a young boy. It was a sad time."

  92. 0814: 
    CRICKET

    Jos Buttler hit a second successive half-century but England still suffered a three-wicket defeat in their final Twenty20 warm-up game. "I wouldn't say we lost it," said batsman Michael Lumb. "The nature of this game is guys can play well, and I thought they did. We dragged it back to take it deep and get that close. You've got to give them a bit of credit. I think it was a good score. But one of their guys got in and batted really well."

  93. 0808: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Brazil talent Neymar has delivered a damning verdict on England ahead of Wednesday's international at Wembley. The 21-year-old claims Roy Hodgson's side have no chance of winning the World Cup and that England are a one-man team with Wayne Rooney the only match-winner. Is he right? Or is Neymar being harsh? Let us know on Twitter using the hashtag #bbcsportsday

  94. 0804: 
    LATEST GOSSIP

    We start with three stories making Wednesday's football gossip column.

    Santos striker Neymar, 21, will move to England following next summer's World Cup with Chelsea ready to bid. (Daily Star)

    Liverpool will consider a move for Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa, 25, in the summer. (Guardian)

    Chelsea are considering a fresh move for Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp, 45, as they continue their search for a manager. (Daily Telegraph)

  95. 0800: 
    SPORTSDAY LIVE

    Good morning and welcome to Wednesday's Sportsday Live. The big news overnight is England have suffered a last-ball defeat to a New Zealand XI in their final Twenty20 warm-up game before Saturday's opening match of the series in Auckland. We will have reaction from that as well as the build-up to a packed programme of international friendlies, including England versus Brazil and Scotland against Estonia.

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