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The Sport Matrix: Friday 15 November 2013


Cole no longer automatic choice at left-back

The England manager Roy  Hodgson has indicated that the competition between Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines to be  England’s  No 1 left-back is wide open, after 12 years of Cole (above) having dominated the  position in the team.

Cole will win his 106th cap if he plays tonight against Chile at Wembley, but he was described by Hodgson only as a “potential” left-back, having missed the two final World Cup qualifiers last month through injury.

Baines took his place for those games against Montenegro and Poland, and Hodgson said that he had not decided which of the pair would play in tonight’s game and which would feature on Tuesday against Germany.

Meanwhile, Joe Hart will not play, with the likelihood that John Ruddy will make his first start in goal for England. Hart is likely to return for the match against Germany next week. Hodgson also said Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez will play some part, but Rickie Lambert, Daniel Sturridge and Kyle Walker will miss the game through injury. MORE

Berahino double helps England win

West Bromwich’s Saido Berahino scored twice as England Under-21s defeated Finland 3-0 in a European Championship qualifier. Michael Keane opened the scoring before Berahino found the net in the 37th minute then struck again late on for  Gareth Southgate’s side.

Coleman extends Wales contract

Chris Coleman has signed a two-year extension to his contract as manager of Wales, which will take him through the qualifying campaign for Euro 2016. The former Fulham, Real Sociedad and Coventry City manager had been linked with the vacant position at Crystal Palace. MORE

Top three crucial for United business

Manchester United have underlined the importance of a top-three finish to their business planning. Chief executive Ed Woodward also said he was “excited” by BT Sport’s deal for Champions League coverage, as the club announced record quarterly revenues. MORE

World Cup heroes inspire Lampard

Frank Lampard draws inspiration from World Cup winners Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters as he prepares to captain England to tonight. He said they “carried themselves so well and wore the fact they were World Cup winners very well”. MORE

Prop Cole returns to Lancaster’s side

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has made one change to his team for tomorrow’s Test match against world champions New Zealand at Twickenham, with the Leicester tight-head Dan Cole returning in place of David Wilson. MORE

Armstrong will not be given amnesty

Lance Armstrong will not be granted his wish of an amnesty if he testifies to an independent commission about his history of doping, but his lifetime ban could be reduced to eight years, according to the UCI President, Brian Cookson. MORE

Finn closes on Test spot with fine spell

Steven Finn pushed his claim for a place as the third fast bowler in England’s side for next week’s first Ashes Test after flourishing in the final warm-up match yesterday. Finn finished with 5-103 in the first innings against an Invitational XI. MORE

Stenson on course to top money list

Henrik Stenson remains on course to win the European money list this year after hitting a four-under-par 68 in the first round of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, sitting two shots behind the leader, Alejandro Canizares. MORE

Scott excited by Kiwi challenge

Scotland’s David Scott is relishing tonight’s quarter-final with New Zealand: “They’re world champions and that’s for a reason. But rather than us being worried about them, they should be worried about us.” MORE

Rafael Benitez

Diving became a talking point after Ashley Young (left) won a penalty but cameras are everywhere, it means a player cannot hide. They will be embarrassed because a dive is replayed on TV. MORE