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Summary

  1. Everton, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Burnley, Southampton, West Brom, Villa team news
  2. England lock Joe Launchbury ruled out of Six Nations
  3. Khan wants Mayweather fight
  4. GET INVOLVED: Who is your favourite ever playmaker? #favouriteplaymaker

Live Reporting

By Andy Cryer and Richard Winton

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That noise you hear is Sportsday wheezing and spluttering towards a conclusion.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 GMT but, in the meantime, don't forget you can listen to Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton examining the mental demands of being a top cyclist. That's at 20:00 GMT on

BBC Radio 5 live.

Keep fit and we'll hopefully see you again in the morning.

Breno back in Brazil after release

Football

Breno
Getty Images

Former Bayern Munich defender Breno has returned to Brazil and is expected to join his first club, Sao Paulo, after serving more than two years in prison for arson.

The 25-year-old was convicted of starting the fire which gutted his Munich home in September 2011, but he was granted parole last week. He had until December 20 to leave Germany, but can not return for a minimum of three years.

"I am returning to Brazil with my head held high and I am taking it as a new start to my career," said Breno.

Villa down to bare bones - Lambert

Football

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says his squad is "down to the bare bones"

ahead of four games in the space of 12 days.

Suspended trio Tom Cleverley, Kieran Richardson and Alan Hutton will miss Saturday's visit of Manchester United. Joe Cole (hamstring), Ashley Westwood, Nathan Baker (both knee) and Philippe Senderos (calf) are all also sidelined, as is long-term absentee Libor Kozak.

"One of two of the kids might make the bench," Lambert told

BBC WM 95.6. "But we'll still have quite a strong side."

Get involved

#favouriteplaymaker

Callum Hatsell: "Pirlo, Bergkamp, Gazza, Iniesta, Scholes, Zidane, Okocha... too many in my lifetime to pick one!"

VB: "Zico or Roberto Baggio. Both ludicrously gifted and proof of how feeble current "world class player" proclamations are."

Ian: "Jari Litmanen, footballing genius and utter legend."

Chelsea eager to sign Ramos?

Latest gossip

Sergio Ramos
Getty Images

The Daily Express reports Jose Mourinho has made contact with Sergio Ramos to let the Real Madrid defender know he has a place at Chelsea if contract negotiations do not go well at Real Madrid.

Do you not have enough good players Jose?

European 400m hurdles champion

Eilidh Child tweets: Horrible moment when your recovery drink tastes of fairy liquid because you haven't rinsed the bottle properly #athleteproblems

I'd have thought that would improve the taste...

Hasselbaink wants small Burton squad

Football

Burton Albion manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says signings in January will lead to departures as he focuses on

working with a small squad.

The Dutchman has a squad of 20 fit first-team players, with four loan players also at his disposal.

"I want a quality squad," Hasselbaink, 42, told BBC Radio Derby. "If you have too big a squad, you lose your focus at times because there are just too many people. If I bring people in, then certain players will go out."

Management 'not like computer game'

Football

Carlisle United manager Keith Curle says the management process cannot be "switched on and off" like a computer game.

Curle won his first three league games in charge

following his September arrival, but six defeats in the last eight see the Cumbrians sit in League Two relegation zone.

"You can't just walk in, wave a magic wand and turn it round," Curle told

BBC Radio Cumbria. "It's not like Fifa 14. When things aren't going your way you can't switch it off and start again, turn it back on and be Barcelona, get this player and that player - that isn't reality."

Ben Arfa will not play for Hull again - Bruce

Football

Hatem Ben Arfa
Getty Images

Hatem Ben Arfa has played his last game for Hull, manager Steve Bruce has confirmed.

The French attacker has played just nine times for the club since his loan move from Newcastle United and had reportedly returned to Paris. On Thursday, Bruce admitted that the relationship between player and club had almost certainly run its course.

"If he decides to stay in France that's up to him, there's only 10 days until the window opens and I think it's fair to say he's probably played his last game for Hull," Bruce said.

Get involved

#favouriteplaymaker

James Jackson: "Right now Fabregas, by a mile. In history, a man known on Teesside as "The little fella" #Juninho #legend"

Kit Marsden: "Wes Hoolahan. #NCFC"

Miles Evans: "Ricardo Bochini was surely one of the best. Throughballs behind the defence are still referred to as a pase bochinesco"

For the uninitiated, Bochini was an Argentina international from 1973-86 (it says here). An outrageously hipster suggestion, Miles.

On this day

Football

Liverpool v Sao Paulo
Getty Images

In 2005, Liverpool were beaten 1-0 by Sao Paulo in the final of the Club World Championship in Yokohama.

Sedgefield fined for track error

Horse Racing

Cornelius Lysaght

BBC horse racing correspondent

"Sedgefield racecourse has been fined £5000 by the British Horseracing Authority after an error by a track official forced a race there last month to be declared void, and bets returned, amid chaotic scenes.

"Instead of displaying a signal telling jockeys to bypass a fence, a 'halt the race' flag was waved.

"Despite the mistake the riders, who ignored the instruction, received bans for not complying."

BBC Radio 5 live

Bradley Wiggins
BBC

Not much on the television this evening? Well you are in luck.

On BBC Radio 5 live from 20:00 GMT this evening, you can listen to Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton examining the mental demands of being a top cyclist. Featuring interviews with Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins; Olympic track medallists Sir Chris Hoy and Wendy Houvenaghel; and former GB team psychiatrist Steve Peters.

She also examines how mental strength can make the difference at the top level, how cyclists deal with pain, pressure and the emotions of competition.

Do not miss it.

Ross signs on at Leinster

Rugby Union

Ireland prop Mike Ross has signed a one-year extension to his contract, committing him to Leinster until June 2016.

The 35-year-old has made in excess of 100 appearances since 2009 and has won 44 caps for his country.

"There is a huge amount of talent in the squad and it is an exciting time to be involved with both Leinster and Ireland," Ross said.

Get involved

#favouriteplaymaker

We asked who is your favourite playmaker of all time. Have you got any better suggestions than these?

Lloyd Evans: "Kris Commons or Stefan Johansen for Celtic. Both can provide plenty of assists or grab goals for themselves."

Attoe Aribiah: "My favourite playmaker's Jay Jay Okocha....so good they named him twice."

Halim Oscar Junior: "My #favouriteplaymaker has to be Juan Roman Riquelme and currently Oscar."

Jak Alnwick
Getty Images

Hull City's former Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper has offered his support to young St James' Park custodian Jak Alnwick after he

conceded four goals at Tottenham on Wednesday.

"Rather than criticism, Jak Alnwick needs a proper Geordie reception when he runs out on Sunday lunchtime to give him a lift before the game,"

Harper tweeted. "Get behind the young lad by singing his name to pick him up & watch him grow in response to it #toonarmy."

Rudolph leads the way

Cricket

Glamorgan have named Jacques Rudolph as their captain across all forms of the game. The South African, who scored almost 2,000 runs for the county this year, replaces Mark Wallace.

"I'm very honoured and privileged to accept the invitation," the former Yorkshire batsman said. "Next year is a new challenge and I'm really looking forward to some exciting times ahead."

Reus fined for driving offence

Football

Marco Reus
Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund and Germany winger Marco Reus has been

fined more than £500,000 for driving without a licence.

The 25-year-old has been advertising his club's car sponsor and has also appeared in adverts for petrol.

Reus also received speeding tickets on at least five occasions from 2011 before authorities realised he had been driving without a licence. "The reasons I did it are something I cannot really understand," he said.

Hull City news conference

Hull v Swansea (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Hull defender Michael Dawson is out for three to five weeks with a hamstring tear.

Hull boss Steve Bruce said: "I have a big belief the squad is big enough to cope, we are stretched to the limit at the moment but we can't make that excuse."

On this day

Cricket

Australia win the Ashes
Getty Images

In 2006, England surrendered the Ashes after losing the third Test in Perth by 206 runs to hand Australia an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

Khan wants Mayweather chance

Boxing

Will he or won't he? Floyd Mayweather, the WBC and WBA champion, is talking up a super fight with Manny Pacquiao but Amir Khan wants his chance.

He said: "I want the fight, but is Floyd going to take the fight? Is Floyd going to give me that chance? That's something we're all waiting to hear from Floyd Mayweather.

"I've been asking for the fight for the last two or three years. Now he needs to come back to the press and say, 'I want the fight with Amir Khan'.

"I know I'm touching distance away from that super fight. I think I've proven myself many times and I think this time I've proved myself in the biggest way so he has to take the fight. What else do I have to do?

Aston Villa news conference

Aston Villa v Manchester United

The Sun
The Sun

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert confirms his former assistant Roy Keane turned up at midfielder Tom Cleverley's house this week.

However, the Villa boss insists Cleverley said the incident was blown out of proportion by the media, who reported that the fiery Irishman stood ringing the player's doorbell for 15 minutes seeking an argument.

Lambert said: "I spoke to Tom this morning really briefly and he assures me that what is being portrayed is certainly not what happened. That was it, really.

"I've probably spoken about Roy more since he's left than when he was here. I think you [should] give the guy a break. From the brief chat I had with Tom, it certainly wasn't how it was portrayed."

Bournemouth on Twitter: Just to confirm, Baily Cargill was wearing a bandage last night for a cut sustained in training, not a hairpiece!

Aston Villa news conference

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert: "I have spoken to Roy Keane, we are good pals. That will always be the same. He is concentrating on the Ireland thing. There is no problem there."

Since Roy Keane's departure as Aston Villa assistant boss, there has been speculation about him falling out with players at the club.

Football

BBC Radio 5 live

BBC Sport's Mike Keegan: Scunthorpe United goalkeeper Sam Slocombe, who emerged victorious from last night's epic 14-13 FA Cup penalty shootout victory at non-league Worcester City, has been speaking to BBC Radio 5 live's Afternoon Edition.

"The atmosphere was quite intense and you kind of felt like you spoiled the party," he said of the dramatic win over the lowest ranked team left in the competition.

"But we were there to do a job - I'd love Man United if we beat Chesterfield next," the Scunthorpe-born stopper added.

London Welsh want funding rethink

Rugby Union

London Welsh are in talks with all Premiership clubs, some Championship teams and the Rugby Football Union to try to create a "level-playing field" next term over central funding worries.

The Exiles currently get in the region of £2m less than clubs who have been in the Premiership since its inception.

A club statement said they were sure of "our case for fair and equal funding".

Welsh, bottom of the Premiership after promotion last year, also have concerns over a lack of time between seasons.

A bit of a card

Formula 1

Bernie Ecclestone
Getty Images

Remember earlier this year when Bernie Ecclestone

paid $100m to prosecutors to end a bribery trial against him in Munich?

Well, the Formula 1 chief has apparently been sending out mischievous Christmas cards depicting himself handing over that weighty sum to a masked highwayman. The cartoon figure is shown brandishing a pistol and saying: "This is not a robbery. I am collecting for the Bavarian state."

Inside the card, which was sent to Reuters, is the message: "Maybe now we can have a Formula One race in the really nice city of Munich, Germany."

Get involved

#favouriteplaymaker

Christian Eriksen can become one of the Premier League's best playmakers and go down in Tottenham folklore, according to team-mate Jan Vertonghen.

But who is your favourite playmaker? Any club, any league, and country...

Early shouts for Bristol City's Dariusz Dziekanowski and Ralph Milne of Dundee United from the Sportsday team.

Leicester City news conference

West Ham v Leicester (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

More from Leicester boss Nigel Pearson: "West Ham are a side in form and it's always a good atmosphere there. They can mix their game up. We'll have to deal with that.

"Ben Hamer has come out of both of his Leicester performances so far with a lot of credit. I'm pleased for him. He's very capable"

Stoke City news conference

Stoke v Chelsea (Monday, 20:00 GMT)

Bojan Krkic
Getty Images

Hughes also revealed that Bojan Krkic has trained, so should be available to face the league leaders. So, too, should Stephen Ireland despite suffering a bang on his knee.

Stoke City news conference

Stoke v Chelsea (Monday, 20:00 GMT)

Hughes on the prospect of facing Chelsea: "When we go up against so called bigger teams who are prepared to take chances against us, we have been able to exploit them. We have found it difficult against teams who come here and sit back.

"My view is that they are the top team in the league at the moment. I think their mentality is strong and they have outstanding ability. They believe in themselves."

Stoke City news conference

Stoke v Chelsea (Monday, 20:00 GMT)

Stoke manager Mark Hughes on striker Peter Crouch, whose contract expires in the summer: "Crouchy has done well. He has been in and out of the team, but he has been tremendous recently. We are pleased with what he is doing.

"Peter knows were are keen to keep him. It would be difficult to replace him. He is a big part of what we do here."

Leicester news conference

West Ham v Leicester (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Nigel Pearson
PA

Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson at his pre-match news conference:

"I think we played well against Man City. I don't have many complaints in terms of our players' application. David Nugent trained with us today, but we've no further injury updates. It's a relatively fit squad.

"I've worked with Sam Allardyce. His team are doing very well and it's important that we use that as an example.

"Our fans got behind the team in a very positive manner in the last game and they've stayed behind the team, which is great."

Southampton news conference

Southampton v Everton (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

More from Southampton boss Ronald Koeman at his news conference: "If somebody told me in pre-season that in the middle of December we'd be fifth, I'd say give me the paper and I'll sign it now.

Koeman on links with Wesley Sneijder: "I'm interested, but I know we can't pay him. There's nothing in it."

Tottenham v Burnley (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has confirmed that Sam Vokes will again play for the development squad on Monday as he continues to build up to full fitness.

QPR v West Brom (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Football

West Bromwich Albion boss Alan Irvine has also been giving an injury up-date before his side's crucial game away to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

The Baggies report that Jonas Olsson and Georgios Samaras are the only definite absentees. Victor Anichebe will be assessed, while Chris Brunt is back in training.

Sneijder out of reach for Southampton

Football

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman rules out a January move for Galatasaray midfielder and fellow Dutchman Wesley Sneijder, 30.

"I am interested. We can't pay him. I know that because his agent is my agent," said Koeman.

Wesley Sneijder
EPA
Wesley Sneijder would be too costly for Southampton

Injury worries for stuttering Saints

Football

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman reveals that midfielder Dusan Tadic will miss their home game against Everton on Saturday as the Saints look to end a five-match losing run. Teenager Jake Hesketh is also out with the knee injury he sustained at Burnley last weekend.

Steven Davis and top scorer Graziano Pelle are also doubtful as the Saints' recent workload takes its toll.

Howe positive despite Liverpool loss

Football

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says their League Cup defeat by Liverpool on Wednesday

should not be seen as a setback for the Championship club.

"I think it can make us more hardened to the atmosphere in these games," he told

BBC Radio Solent.

Howe was bemused by an incident in which a whistle from the stands prompted skipper Tommy Elphick to stop playing in the build-up to Liverpool's second goal.

"It's a bizarre one and Tommy has obviously genuinely believed it to be the referee's, but there you go. I'm sure the person who has done it wouldn't have meant it to have cost us a goal," he added.

Amla helps himself as West Indies toil

Cricket

South Africa will be hoping to get the chance to bowl at the West Indies after tea on the second day of the First Test at Centurion.

The home side

declared on 552-5 after Hashim Amla had taken a double hundred off an injury-hit and depleted West Indies attack.

Rain delayed a resumption to give the beleaguered tourists some relief.