Sport Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos

English champions may have to wait to sign the German star

Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie (pictured) have struggled to
make an impact in this year's European Championship

Alan Pardew's Euro Zone: England can reign against Ukraine

A look at Euro 2012 with the Premier League manager of the year

'The French team don’t have the same ambitions as Spain or Germany', says Laurent Blanc, France coach

View from France: French in confident mood ahead of England match

Confidence in France is high. A poll taken in France last week by French football daily L’Equipe revealed that 76 percent of those asked believed their team will beat the English tonight in Donetsk.

Rooney signs autographs at Krakow Airport yesterday

Rafael Benitez: England would be best off playing a 4-2-3-1 formation

England's moment is here and I am sensing a lot of pessimism in the country about their chances. Everybody is talking, saying England are not good enough. But I don't understand this. Are Sweden or Ukraine, the other two nations in the group, better than Roy Hodgson's side? No, they are not. And I think tonight's game against France in Donetsk is one that both teams can win. Yes, if England lose, everybody will be saying this and that about them but I do think England have a number of options tactically. The style and ideas they have adopted are not a problem and they are capable of winning their difficult opening game. The talk has been about whether Rio Ferdinand should be with the squad. He is a very good player and with good players around you, you will always be better. He has experience and in tournaments like this experience becomes an even more important quality than ever. It is a short competition, too. It's not as if he would have been there for nine months. But England have Gary Neville to assist Roy Hodgson, which is a very positive thing, and he will have been able to offer his own knowledge on the situation. That decision has been made now, though, and England can only look ahead. The absent player who matters much more than Ferdinand is Wayne Rooney because it is not easy to find a second striker like him, who is so mobile, making runs and doing so many unexpected things. If Andy Carroll is the target man then my idea is that Steven Gerrard would be the better second striker for now. This is partly because he knows Carroll from their work together at Liverpool but it is also because Gerrard will win the second balls around the box. Of all the players Hodgson might choose to play behind the striker, Gerrard has the greater strength to win those second balls.

England manager Roy Hodgson

England manager Roy Hodgson considers taking wife's advice

England manager Roy Hodgson is considering whether to heed the advice of wife Sheila as he eases himself into his new role.

Mario Balotelli is shown red by Martin Atkinson after his stamp on Arsenal's Alex Song

Farce at the Football Association as Balotelli let off but Derry is banned

English football reacted with surprise and dismay yesterday when Mario Balotelli was given a reprieve for his stamp on Alex Song, meaning he will face no retrospective action for the foul, but Shaun Derry's soft red card against Manchester United was allowed to stand.

Derry misses vital Swansea match after FA upholds ban

Shaun Derry yesterday lost his appeal against his controversial sending-off in QPR's Premier League defeat at Manchester United and will miss tonight's game with Swansea.

Mario Balotelli is shown red by Martin Atkinson after his stamp on Arsenal's Alex Song

Farce at FA as Balotelli escapes but Derry is banned

Referee saw striker's tackle so FA powerless while panel finds no error in QPR red card

Ashley Young flies through the air to win a penalty after Shaun Derry’s minimal contact

Scholes class masked by dreadful refereeing

Manchester United 2 Queen's Park Rangers 0: Young's somersault fools the officials but veteran's enduring quality shines through

Nani’s contract extension could put him on £125,000 a week

Nani set to soar up United's pay scale

Manchester United are talking with Luis Nani's representatives about a new deal for the Portuguese midfielder, which is likely to be agreed before the end of the season – and which could make him one of their highest earners.

<b>SCOTT PARKER</b><br/>
Parker has emerged as one of the early favourites to take on the role after his impressive displays this season for Tottenham. But at 31, and with only 10 caps to his name, Parker is yet to prove himself at international level, having failed to make the cut for the last World Cup. <i>Glenn Moore's opinion on chances of becoming England captain:</i> <b>2/5</b>

Comeback king Parker is fans' player of year

The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Scott Parker has been voted the England supporters' player of the year, just 12 months after he returned from an exile from the England team of more than four years.

Rio Ferdinand (left) wants United to win the Europa League so he can avoid in playground stick

United cash balance drops £100m

Manchester United's cash reserves fell by £100m in six months, in part to finance an investment in the squad attempting to win the fight for domestic supremacy with Manchester City.

Chelsea vs Manchester United: Man for man marking

How the players fared in the topsy-turvey game at Stamford Bridge.

Wayne Rooney should be fit to lead the attack against Chelsea

Rooney ready to face Chelsea as United's injury worries start to ease

Wayne Rooney is expected to be back in the Manchester United team for Sunday's match at Stamford Bridge which could extinguish Chelsea's frail title aspirations.

<b>Jonas Olsson</b><br/>
If James Collins is sold to Tottenham or QPR, both of whom are reportedly interested in signing the centre-back, Villa will look to prise Swedish defender Jonas Olsson from neighbours West Bromwich Albion. According to The Sun, Olsson has reportedly failed to agree a new contract with the Baggies. But Olsson may be against joining Villa on the grounds of ambition after he told the Swedish press: 'My dream is to play for a club that fights for titles.'

Aston Villa: Potential January transfer targets

Languishing in mid-table and looking over the shoulders at the relegation zone, it's clear that Alex McLeish's side could do with some investment over the next month.

Phil Jones is taken off at Fulham after catching an elbow in his face

Ferguson relieved after Jones handed fitness boost‎

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he "feared the worst" when Phil Jones had to be replaced at Fulham on Wednesday.

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