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Summary

  1. Liverpool are rudderless - Lawrenson
  2. England beat Sri Lanka by five wickets to win the fifth ODI
  3. McLaren confirm Button & Alonso
  4. Tottenham, Everton and Celtic in Europa League action
  5. GET INVOLVED: #myclpredictions

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose & Saj Chowdhury

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Thanks and goodbye

That's all for Sportsday but pop on over to our Europa League coverage, which you will be able to find

on the football section of the website shortly.

We'll be back, as always, at 08:00 GMT on Friday. Cheers.

Ebanks-Blake given time to earn Preston deal

Football

Former Wolves striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake will be given time to earn a contract with League One side Preston North End,

says manager Simon Grayson.

Ebanks-Blake, 28, has been without a club since being released by Ipswich in May and has so far failed to win a deal after trial spells at other Football League clubs.

"We have said 'you can stay as long as you want because we want a striker and you are looking for a club'," Grayson told BBC Radio Lancashire. "He is a good player. If we can get him fit and see enough about him, then we could have an excellent signing on our hands."

Football

Hereford United suspension from football lifted by FA

Hereford United's suspension from all football activity has been lifted by the Football Association.

Chairman, and new majority shareholder, Andy Lonsdale confirmed on Thursday the FA have received the necessary documentation - including the transfer of shares in the club to Lonsdale.

"I did say it was only a paperwork exercise and the ban would be lifted," said Lonsdale. "I hope people can see I am telling the truth. The FA are happy."

Wolves news conference

Football

Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett again has a weakened squad to select from for Saturday's trip to face Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, reports BBC WM's Mike Taylor.

Nouha Dicko, Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Scott Golbourne are still out injured, while Matt Doherty begins a three-match suspension for his straight red card in last Saturday's 2-1 home reverse to Bournemouth - Wolves' fifth straight defeat.

But Jackett hopes that striker Danny Graham, despite missing training this week with a stomach problem, will be fit to face the Owls, managed by former Wolves number two Stuart Gray.

Oxford triumph in Varsity match

Rugby Union

Oxford have

won the Varsity match for a fifth year in succession, thrashing Cambridge 43-6 at Twickenham. It is the first time Oxford have won the annual fixture five times in a row.

Besiktas v Tottenham (18:00 GMT)

Football

Kyle Walker's Tottenham shirt
Tottenham

Tottenham: This is @kylewalker2's first start since March 13.

There will be live text commentary of the match on the BBC Sport website.

Keepers' union

Football

Siobhan Chamberlain
Siobhan Chamberlain

How many England stars can you fit into a photo booth?

Goalkeepers -

Arsenal's Siobhan Chamberlain (with wig), Southampton's Fraser Forster (with tongue out), West Brom's Ben Foster and non-keeper Gemma Bonner of Liverpool.

Get involved #bbcsportsday

Ex-Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson said the Reds are rudderless at the moment, following their Champions League exit. What do you think?

Jazz Vo: Mark Lawrenson hit the nail on the head

Jay Nielsen: Agree with Lawro. Benitez started doing the same thing with squad rotation and we saw negative results

Pearson charged by FA

Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson has been charged by the FA in relation to his side's game against Liverpool on 2 December 2014.

"It is alleged that during the fixture Mr Pearson used abusive and/or insulting words towards a spectator,"

the FA says in a statement.

Pearson has until 18:00 GMT on 16 December to respond to the charge.

Spurs fined £11,870 by Uefa

Football

Tottenham have been fined 15,000 euros (£11,870) following pitch invasions during the Europa League tie against Partizan Belgrade at White Hart Lane last month, Uefa announces.

Besiktas v Tottenham (18:00 GMT)

Football

Besiktas v Tottenham
Tottenham

Tottenham: We're at @Besiktas for our final @EuropaLeague group stage game. A draw or better sees us top Group C. Team news soon

Wigan's Christmas gift

Wigan players are to 'go halves' with supporters on the first 500 away tickets sold in advance for the Boxing Day game at Leeds United.

Tickets for the game are charged at £36 for advanced sales, and £41 on the day.

"Christmas is an expensive time of year for everyone, especially football fans, and we want to show our appreciation to the fans who follow us week in week out by making this gesture,"

says captain Gary Caldwell.

Cheyenne on top of the world

Cheyenne Woods
Getty Images

Cheyenne Woods, Tiger Woods' niece, poses for a picture on the helipad on top of the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai after her second round of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters

Dubai
Getty Images

Get involved #bbcsportsday

Steven Todd: Lawro is right - Rodgers needs to pick 14 key players and stick with them...

Europa League

Everton boss Roberto Martinez intends to "celebrate" the club's progress into the Europa League knockout phase by naming an experimental line-up against Russian side Krasnodar.

The Toffees have secured their place in Monday's last-32 draw after sealing top spot in Group H with a game to spare.

Defender Tyias Browning, 20, full-back Luke Garbutt, 21, and forward Conor McAleny, 22, are all set to feature.

We will have live Europa League coverage online from 17:30 GMT.

Liverpool are "rudderless"

Brendan Rodgers
Getty Images

Liverpool are "rudderless" and "going backwards just as fast as they went forwards last season",

according to former player Mark Lawrenson.

Lawrenson says he is baffled by some of the team selections and accuses manager Brendan Rodgers of changing his side "like he does his socks". The BBC Sport pundit also says Daniel Sturridge will not prove to be the "saviour" of the Anfield club.

"To be frank, Liverpool are all over the place at the moment. They are rudderless, low on confidence and do not seem to have a definitive way of playing," Lawrenson says.

Do you agree with Lawrenson? Let us know via

#bbcsportsday

Stoke news conference

BBC Sport's Luke Reddy: "What then to make of Mark Hughes on this cold Thursday? He was warm, relaxed and cut the jib of a man whose position in mid-table perhaps allows him to sleep at night.

"Coy on reported moves for Steven Nzonzi to Napoli, Charlie Adam to Real Sociedad and Ryan Shawcross to Roma, Hughes didn't bite on players leaving and stressed the Potters do not need to sell in January. On Adam he said he "understands" frustrations at not starting games, on Bojan he highlighted a settled 24-year-old, who has had his fair share of clubs to date.

"Can the Potters beat Palace on Saturday? Hughes seems pretty chilled about life. That may change when he's stood next to Neil Warnock on the touchline."

Stoke news conference

Mark Hughes
Getty Images

BBC Sport's Luke Reddy: "Mark Hughes is asked about some harsh old comments made by Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock last year. After leaving Leeds United, Warnock cheekily said he hoped Hughes replaced him so he could 'wreck another club of mine'.

"Hughes had succeeded Warnock at Queens Park Rangers in 2012, but won't revisit Warnock's words ahead of their meeting on Saturday.

"'Neil sometimes says things he knows will get picked up,' says Hughes. 'I have an opinion on it but I won't go into it.'"

Get involved #myclpredictions

The Nayak: Chelsea to reach the Semi-Final for sure. Barcelona to win it. Messi to be top scorer.

Triumphant City homeward bound

Manchester City
Manchester City/Twitter

It is a happy flight home for one Premier League team after their Champions League exploits, as Manchester City

tweets: HOMEWARD BOUND: Next stop, Manchester!

Man City
Manchester City/Twitter

Title challenge tough - McNamara

Jackie McNamara

admits it will be tough for Dundee United and Aberdeen to challenge Celtic for the Scottish Premiership title this season.

But the Tannadice manager, whose charges entertain the Dons on Saturday, remains hopeful that a team can run Ronny Deila's side close.

"Everybody wants to see a potential challenge to Celtic, which is a big ask with the finances and all the resources," McNamara says. "But both teams would love to do that."

Gillingham sign former Hibs winger

Football

Gillingham have

signed former Hibernian winger Danny Galbraith on a short-term contract to the end of the season.

The 24-year-old, who left Hibs last year following injury problems, has spent the past fortnight on trial with the League One club.

Stoke news conference

Football

Stoke manager Mark Hughes
BBC

Stoke manager Mark Hughes: "Back to back wins in the Premier League is huge and the fact we haven't got them is surprising to us. I think a number of clubs look at their positon to this point and I think the international breaks have affected us and others - maybe we should have got points here or there but I think other clubs will be looking too that they are in a false position like us."

Leicester team news

Football

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson: "Unfortunately Kasper Schmeichel will be having an operation on a broken metatarsal. The optimistic view is 4-6 weeks out."

When it rains...

Stoke news conference

Football

BBC Sport's Luke Reddy at the Britannia Stadium: Manager Mark Hughes says there is a doubt over Marc Muniesa, he has a hamstring issue. Jon Walters is a bit sore in his knee.

And on defender Ryan Shawcross for England?

"Hughes says, 'We have all had a view on this and thankfully Roy was at the game against Arsenal and would once again have seen a good performance from Ryan. That will help his case - he's been seen in a high profile game. In our point of view he can't do any more. An accomplished Premier League player for a very long time. I see him every day and I think his development has progressed year on year."

Stoke news conference

Football

Stoke's press room
BBC

BBC Sport's Luke Reddy at the Britannia Stadium: "Expect him to field questions on an in-form Bojan, inconsistent form and some reports today linking Charlie Adam with a move to Real Sociedad to join up with David Moyes."

Button sympathy for Magnussen

Formula 1

Jenson Button: Feeling for my buddy @KevinMagnussen such a talent and great guy, he'll be back in F1 before we know it.

Would it be Button or Magnussen confirmed for the other seat alongside Fernando Alonso. It remained with Button. Read the story on

BBC's F1 page.

Leicester City news conference

Football

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson: We've been in a difficult run for a while, so we certainly won't be dwelling on that against Manchester City. We deal with things when they happen, but I will always be as supportive as I can be of my players. We have to look at each game in terms of what we know we are capable of. I'm asking the players, to a man, to give themselves the best chance of winning the game. We need to get our performance right."

West Brom news conference

Football

West Brom: Midfielder Chris Brunt remains sidelined through injury. Jonas Olsson will also miss the Aston Villa game as he continues recovery

Stoke news conference

Football

Stoke striker Peter Crouch
BBC

BBC Sport's Luke Reddy at the Britannia Stadium:

"Stoke City boss Mark Hughes will glare from his seat at his news conference straight at an image hung proudly on the wall of Peter Crouch. The giant striker scored against Arsenal last weekend then attended a Kasabian gig in London.

"He was filmed crowd surfing at the concert with a huge grin on his face. Back to London - the scene of the crime - this weekend to face Crystal Palace. Who knows, he may jump into the Potters' fans if he nets."

Aston Villa team news

Football

Aston Villa: "Paul Lambert hoping to have midfielder Fabian Delph and defender Ron Vlaar in contention for the West Brom game. Midfielder Tom Cleverley's fitness will also be assessed on the eve of the West Brom match. He has a bruised foot."

Haye v Klitschko (at breakfast)

Boxing

Vitali Klitschko and David Haye
David Haye
Vitali Klitschko (left) and David Haye

Remember these two?

Here is what former British world heavyweight champion

David Haye tweeted: "Breakfast with [former world heavyweight champion] Vitali talking all things family, politics & BIG FIGHTS 2015/16 [followed by a wink]."

Stoke news conference

Football

Luke Reddy at the Britannia Stadium: Stoke City, buoyed by a win over Arsenal last weekend, travel to Crystal Palace this Saturday. The Potters are yet to record back to back wins in the Premier League this term. We will hear from gaffer Mark Hughes shortly.

Southampton news conference

Football

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: "Midfielder James Ward-Prowse is back in training with the group. He needs more time, but will be in the squad for the next two games. Defender Toby Alderweireld is back in training and will be fit for Saturday, while Morgan Schneiderlin has a chance for Tuesday."

Uefa marks Christmas Truce centenary

Football
Uefa

As part of Football Remembers, Uefa unveils its memorial close to the Christmas Truce site at Saint Yves, near Ploegsteert, during a ceremony attended by Uefa president Michel Platini.

The Christmas Truce was an unofficial ceasefire saw British and German soldiers across the Western Front play football together in December 1914.

"All those years ago, football provided a vital bridge for the spontaneous expression of humanity. So it was perfectly normal for European football to pay a glowing tribute to them now, to all those who decided on that evening to think about something positive and play the game they loved," says Platini.

Burnley news conference

Football

Burnley: Manager Sean Dyche confirms that striker Sam Vokes will not feature in his thoughts for the weekend as the striker continues to work towards full fitness.

Not a Schurrle thing

Football

Andre Schurrle says he will not be leaving Chelsea next month.

The 24-year-old has struggled to hold down a regular first team place, and started for the first time in five weeks against Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday night.

"I can just laugh all the talk of leaving off. I am not going to change the club in the transfer window,"

Schurrle tells the London Evening Standard.

Sports Personality of the Year

Sports Personality
BBC

BBCSPOTY: Hot off the press, our #SPOTY2014 official programmes have arrived!