Sport Christmas and football go hand in hand. But for once I can take a back seat this year

After an early lesson, I’ve monitored my food and drink every Christmas for 48 years - until now

League Two preview: Back a basement blockade

Goals were at a premium in League Two on Tuesday with eight out of 11 matches finishing under 2.5 goals and we fancy more of the same on Saturday with our focus fixed on a couple of interesting tussles in particular. Let's start with Morecambe v Barnet at the Globe Arena.

Former Chesterfield boss Lee Richardson

Martin Hardy: Lost your job as a manager? Think about psychology

Life Beyond The Premier League: Psychology and football have not hit it off. There has been mistrust

Accrington Stanley appoint Leam Richardson as manager

Accrington have appointed Leam Richardson as their new manager.

Referee Mark Clattenburg

Mark Clattenburg: Factfile of the referee accused of racial abuse

Mark Clattenburg has been accused of using 'inappropriate language' during the match between Chelsea and Manchester United. Here, we take a closer look at the referee.

Standing in: Chris Hutchings took caretaker charge of Ipswich yesterday

League round-up: Palace flourish after Freedman but Hutchings can't arrest decline at Ipswich, who are walloped by Wednesday

Lennie Lawrence and Curtis Fleming continued their caretaker duties as Crystal Palace beat Leicester to move within a point of the automatic promotion places, despite speculation linking the pair with a move to Bolton. Palace co-chairman Steve Parish expects assistant manager Lawrence and first-team coach Fleming to join former manager Dougie Freedman at the Reebok following his appointment this week.

Edgar Davids

League Two preview: Edgar Davids has created buzz around Barnet

The favourites are getting heavy in League Two, presenting us with a weekend when the preferred course of action is to dabble on a couple of speculative long shots in the absence of a single solid wager. Naturally, the caveat is that the league table offers little encouragement.

Pennant answers call from Wolves

Jermaine Pennant has joined Wolverhampton Wanderers from Stoke on a three-month emergency loan. The winger, 29, has found first-team opportunities at the Potters limited of late but has played 77 times in the top flight for Stoke since he joined from Real Zaragoza, initially on loan, in August 2010.

Aston Villa sign Jordan Bowery from Chesterfield

Aston Villa have confirmed they have completed the signing of Chesterfield striker Jordan Bowery for an undisclosed fee on a three-year contract.

<b>In the mix </b><br/>
It looks certain that Fulham's attacking midfielder <b>Clint Dempsey</b> will be leaving Craven Cottage before the transfer window shuts, after being left out of Fulham's opening two games, and Arsenal are one of the favourites to sign the American.

Aston Villa join Liverpool and Sunderland in chase for Fulham forward Clint Dempsey

Aston Villa have joined the race to sign Fulham striker Clint Dempsey but the player would still prefer a move to Liverpool, Press Association Sport understands.

Paul Lambert teams are about hunger. He likes lower-league experience, hard workers, unproven players desperate to make a name for themselves

Paul Lambert hoping to add two new strikers to Aston Villa attack

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert hopes to bring in two new strikers before the transfer window shuts tomorrow, Press Association Sport understands.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made a short appearance after replacing Lukas Podolksi in the 72nd minute

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Butland set for senior England call-ups after under-21 omissions

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Butland looked set to continue as senior players for England at the start of their World Cup qualifying campaign after being left out of the Under-21 squad today.

The Sporting Week Ahead (25/03/12)

Today

Mata: Torres turned down chance to take penalty

Juan Mata yesterday revealed that Fernando Torres had turned down a chance to end his long search for a Chelsea goal against Birmingham City on Tuesday because he wasn't "first on the list" to take penalties.

Negotiations with Robbie Fowler have stalled, says Blackpool boss Ian Holloway

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway admits talks to bring former England striker Robbie Fowler to Bloomfield Road have hit a stumbling block.

Dave Edwards injury adds to Wolves' woes

Wolves' midfield problems have increased with Dave Edwards rated “very doubtful” for Saturday's Barclays Premier League relegation battle with Blackburn at Molineux.

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable