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Gerrard discovers new tension in Mersey rivalry

Alex Ferguson predicts open Premier League title race

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes any one of six teams could win the Barclays Premier League this season.

Macheda delighted to be back at United

Federico Macheda is relieved to be back with Manchester United after a nightmare spell in Italy, and believes he can make the grade for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

Leading article: Faster, higher, stronger – and more Celtic

And that's a fact, as football fans say when they want to brook no dissent. The words were used again yesterday by the president of the Welsh Football Association, Phil Pritchard, loudly protesting that the English FA did not speak for Wales. Unfortunately, international football authorities have decided that this is precisely what it does do – at least when it comes to selecting the home side for the football team in the 2012 Olympics. A Team GB will be chosen from the best of English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish players. No sooner had this been announced than ancient war-cries were issuing from Celtic throats. The non-English teams fear that, if judged a success, it might spell the end of separate home nations sides. The game's governing body, Fifa, denies this, but the Celts fear a dastardly plot by the Continentals.

Stuart Pearce bemoans tough European Under-21 draw

Stuart Pearce claimed England had been "lumped" with the worst possible draw after his side crashed out of the European Under-21 Championship with defeat to the Czech Republic last night.

United front beckons for burgeoning Welbeck

England Under-21 striker has backing of Ferguson as he seeks to break into Old Trafford forward line

Under-17s will fly the flag with Hope

Whatever the fate of the Under-21s tomorrow night, an England age-group team will still be in contention for honours as the Under-17s will be around 30 minutes into their World Cup campaign.

Five problems for Pearce to solve if England are to make progress

After two limp draws, the underperforming Under-21s must beat the Czech Republic on Sunday to avoid an embarrassing early exit. Steve Tongue in Herning asks where they can improve

Ukraine hold Pearce's toothless young Lions

Ukraine Under-21 0 England Under-21 0

Gibbs withdraws from England Under-21 squad

Stuart Pearce's dream of fielding the strongest possible England side at the European Under-21 Championships suffered yet another blow today when Kieran Gibbs pulled out of the squad.

Sturridge: Bolton loan spell made me

The loan system has its critics, notably for encouraging bigger clubs to buy up and keep more players than they need, but do not expect England's Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce to be among them. Of the 40 players he selected in his provisional squad for the forthcoming European Championships, more than a dozen were out on loan from Premier League clubs, gaining invaluable playing time and, in many cases, renewed self-belief.

Pearce's side see off Norway but sterner challenges lie ahead

England Under-21 2 Norway Under-21 0

Michael Owen signs new deal at Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson has sprung a major surprise by handing Michael Owen a one-year contract extension.

England are left feeling light up front

The domestic season is almost over but there is much football to be played – too much of it for many club managers. As well as the final European Championship game of the season against Switzerland on Saturday, England teams are preparing for the European Under-21 and Under-19 tournaments and the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico. Their respective coaches are having to come to terms with seemingly inevitable withdrawals.

Defoe's wrist injury compounds striker crisis for Capello

Fabio Capello's striker shortage for England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland a week on Saturday became more acute yesterday when Jermain Defoe became the latest player to pull out of the squad.

Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll omitted from England Under-21 squad

Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll were today controversially omitted from the England squad for next month's European Under-21 Championship finals.

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Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

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'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
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The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
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The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
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Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

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S Club 7 pose for Children in Need 2001
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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London