Football: Blake back in business

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The Independent Online
Nathan Blake has been recalled from the international wilderness to lead the Welsh attack against Turkey today.

The Bolton striker, who has never played at World Cup level, was involved in a row with Bobby Gould, the manager of Wales, last season over alleged racist remarks made by Gould. Now, though, he is back in the fold and has been rewarded with his big chance against Turkey in the Group Seven game at Galatasaray's ground in Istanbul.

Blake at one stage vowed never to play for Gould again and the Football Association of Wales held a meeting to discuss their manager's position after the embarrassing affair. Gould apologised, Blake relented and, after being unavailable through injury for the friendly against Scotland in May, the big striker was named for the trip to Turkey.

Blake will partner Dean Saunders - back at the stadium where he was a big favourite with the local fans a couple of years ago. Mark Hughes will be used in a midfield role to accommodate both strikers, while Ryan Giggs will play on the left as a wing-back. Wimbledon's Ceri Hughes and Leicester's Robbie Savage both make their World Cup debuts.

WALES TEAM (World Cup qualifier v Turkey, Istanbul, today): Southall (Everton); Jenkins (Huddersfield), Melville (Sunderland), Speed (Everton), Page (Watford), Giggs (Manchester Utd), Savage (Leicester), M Hughes (Chelsea), C Hughes (Wimbledon), Saunders (Nottingham Forest), Blake (Bolton). Substitutes: P Jones (Southampton) or Marriott (Wrexham); Symons (Manchester City), Edwards (Bristol City), L Jones (Tranmere), Trollope (Derby).

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