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The Independent's Martin Hardy analyses today's January transfer window stories and separates the reality from the rumour

<i>Les Bleus</i> on the brink after Mexican defeat

France 0 Mexico 2

Domenech puts faith in Malouda to contain French revolution

France v Mexico; Today, 7.30pm, BBC1

Matt Gatward: Losing streak (17/06/10)

Today's bets

Faltering France frustrate Malouda

Chelsea forward is unhappy to warm the bench but Domenech's men find the 'new Vieira' in Arsenal's Diaby

Ribéry fails to build on Diaby platform

On the side of a flyover in Cape Town, as the motorway slithers down to one of the world's great waterfronts, is an electronic tally of the number of goals scored in what in South Africa they refer to as the "Mother City". The day after the opening game at Green Point, it was still reading zero.

Domenech struggles to fight off French revolution over Henry

The France manager, Raymond Domenech, is facing a revolt from within his squad, the players demanding that he reinstate Thierry Henry for their opening World Cup fixture against Uruguay.

Cole's flashes of finesse are enough to sway Capello

Despite a poor season, Chelsea man is still the one who can produce the unexpected

Utaka ready to accept mission impossible

Portsmouth haven't beaten Chelsea for 50 years but their Nigerian forward says the underdogs can cause a shock in the FA Cup final

James Lawton: Ferguson's words fall on deaf ears as Chelsea sound their title charge

Drogba's brilliance and Lampard's rediscovered taste for battle offer the perfect riposte to United manager's verbal sparring

Holders Chelsea book place in FA Cup final

Aston Villa 0 Chelsea 3

James Lawton: Technology can halt another title travesty

Drogba's almost laughably illicit goal might be the decisive factor in a season-long battle

Thrillers from history teach us to always expect the unexpected

The focus is on Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba and Cesc Fabregas, but the key man in the title race may prove to be one of the supporting cast. That was the case the last time the Premier League title was this closely contested with seven games to go.

Ancelotti demands focus from Chelsea

Carlo Ancelotti believes his Chelsea side must prepare for their remaining matches like they are cup finals if they are to end the season as Barclays Premier League champions.

Chelsea stumble in title race after draw at Blackburn

Blackburn 1 Chelsea 1

Ancelotti claims style advantage over predecessor

Italian says Chelsea have found the elegant 'identity' demanded by Abramovich
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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible