The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 16 May 2012


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Ferdinand out and Carroll in: Hodgson names first squad

Roy Hodgson is expected to make a number of changes for his first England squad today, with Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand the biggest casualty. The 33-year-old's club manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has expressed doubts over Ferdinand's ability to play tournament football, advice that Hodgson has listened to. The manager also felt he could not select both Ferdinand and John Terry, who faces a July court case for allegedly racially abusing Ferdinand's brother, Anton.

Liverpool forward Andy Carroll is included in the 23-man squad for next month's European Championship, with Stoke's Peter Crouch missing out. Tottenham's Kyle Walker is out through injury, while fellow right-back Micah Richards has not been included either. A number of players, including Everton defender Phil Jagielka, have been put on standby, and will train with the squad next week and travel to Oslo for a friendly in Norway.

Hodgson has also cancelled England's planned training camp in Malaga next week in favour of allowing his players to spend more time with their families before the tournament. MORE

Murray recovers to make third round

Andy Murray reached the third round of the Rome Masters last night, overcoming David Nalbandian in three sets. The Scot, 25 yesterday, sauntered through the opening set, before Nalbandian fought back to level. Murray saw out the match 6-1, 4-6, 7-5. MORE

Polished Prior returns to Lord's

Matt Prior returns to the scene of his England debut tomorrow, seeking to display the skills that have made him the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the world. "I hope I'm a better player," he said. "From a batting point of view, I've had to adapt." MORE

Luiz and Cahill give Chelsea a lift

Chelsea's prospects for the Champions League final have improved after Gary Cahill and David Luiz returned to training yesterday. Both had been out with hamstring injuries since last month; both are in contention to face Bayern Munich. MORE

Celtic trio to join forces for Euro bid

Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland were last night finalising plans for a joint bid to host the European Championship in 2020. Turkey and Georgia are the other likely bidders; last night was the deadline for registering interest. MORE

Lancaster cautious over Flood injury

England coach Stuart Lancaster says the potential severity of Toby Flood's ankle injury may affect his inclusion in the squad to tour South Africa. "There's no point flying with someone [not] ready until halfway," he said. "But if it's only a few days, maybe." MORE

Lara backs Bravo to scale the heights

West Indian legend Brian Lara says Darren Bravo has the ability to emulate his achievements in the game. "Darren is more powerful than I was at his age," Lara said. "He has the potential to go the full way. He has the desire. I am sure he will be world class." MORE

Allardyce begins legal proceedings

Sam Allardyce has begun legal proceedings against Steve Kean, his successor as Blackburn manager, after the latter was alleged to have made disparaging remarks about him. Kean was filmed discussing Allardyce with supporters in a bar. MORE

Huddersfield earn trip to Wembley

Huddersfield progressed to next week's final against Sheffield United, despite losing 2-1 to MK Dons in last night's semi-final second leg. Jordan Rhodes opened the scoring but Daniel Powell and Alan Smith gave the Dons hope. Huddersfield hung on to win 3-2 on aggregate.

Opinion: James Lawton

After a club career that brought Gary Neville eight titles and a Champions League win, he will be ideally placed to draw from the strength of one side of his experience and transfer at least some of it to the other. MORE