Football: Norway for England

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ENGLAND will play Norway at Wembley this spring. A match against John Toshack's Wales is also on the cards - the first game against the Principality for a decade. The Football Association has yet to finalise the visit of the Welsh on 17 May but confirmed yesterday that the Norwegians - the bane of Graham Taylor's reign - will be coming on Sunday, 22 May.

Terry Venables meets his England players for the first time tomorrow and already his plans for next week's debut friendly against Denmark are under threat. The Manchester United defender, Gary Pallister, has a neck injury, while the Queen's Park Rangers striker, Les Ferdinand, is struggling to be fit for the game at home to Manchester City.

'He has picked up a foot injury and there has to be some doubt. He will continue to have treatment,' Gerry Francis, the Rangers manager, said.

If he is ruled out, Venables may promote Newcastle's 33-goal Andy Cole to join Peter Beardsley; the youngster is now too old for the Under-21 game at Brentford on Tuesday. 'Terry has not discounted either of them at this stage,' David Davies, the FA's new director of public affairs, said. The Denmark game is building towards a 75,000 sell-out.

Meanwhile, Venables will go into his first match as England coach facing fresh allegations about both his personal finances and his financial dealings during his time at Tottenham Hotspur.

A biography to be published next Monday, Venables: The Inside Story, by Harry Harris and Steve Curry, gives a detailed account of the dealings which at one stage appeared to threaten his appointment by England and also makes potentially damaging allegations about his relationships with agents.

A spokesman for the Football Association said the FA would make no comment until it had examined the allegations.