Sport In a stew: Downing is counting on a Cup win to build confidence

Being known as a "Cup team" is a mixed compliment, implying the ability to raise your game for one-off occasions, but never to sustain it. If Wigan Athletic, FA Cup winners relegated within a week, are newcomers to the genre, West Ham United have been at it rather longer.

<b>Long, long shot </b><br/>
Interestingly enough, there have been quiet mutters that <b>Stewart Downing </b>could return to Villa Park after just a season at Anfield, most likely as a loan move. After forming a superb understanding with Bent in the second-half of the 2010/2011 season, he could provide Villa with some much-needed width. Whether fans would welcome him back after his £18m move last summer remains to be seen.

Liverpool set to make changes for Capital One Cup tie against Swansea

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will make a number of changes for the visit of former club Swansea in the Capital One Cup.

New direction: Brendan Rodgers is teaching his passing game to Liverpool while also waiting for some promising youngsters to come through

Brendan Rodgers talks up fitness of Liverpool team ahead of Everton clash

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers spoke of his confidence in the physical condition of his players after the strong side he opted to pick ahead of this weekend's Merseyside derby defeated Anzhi Makhachkala 1-0 at Anfield.

Daniel Agger and Luis Suarez, of Liverpool, put pressure on Anzhi last night

Downing strike puts Liverpool on top of the table

Their shirts were bright yellow but that is as far as Anzhi Makhachkala came to providing Liverpool with a banana skin. The boys from Dagestan, the strangest and probably wealthiest club in the world, produced just one shot for Liverpool's reserve keeper, Brad Jones, to save.

Daniel Agger and Luis Suarez, of Liverpool, put pressure on Anzhi last night
Luis Suarez of Liverpool failed to hit the target
Jose Reina fails to save a shot from Udinese's Antonio Di Natale

Di Natale leads Italian comeback to stun Liverpool

Liverpool 2 Udinese 3

Joe Allen was hugely impressive for Swansea last season

Joe Allen won't come cheap, says Swansea manager Michael Laudrup

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has warned Liverpool that Joe Allen will not be sold on the cheap.

Stewart Downing scored the winner for Liverpool last night

Brendan Rodgers plays down Joe Cole injury after Liverpool secure Europa League victory

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has played down Joe Cole's injury after the playmaker was substituted during the Reds' 1-0 Europa League third qualifying round victory over Gomel.

Joe Cole has impressed since making the switch to Lille

Joe Cole features in Liverpool plans says Brendan Rodgers

After meeting with the Liverpool coaching staff, Brendan Rodgers has said he is keen to fully assess his entire first team squad.

Karim Benzema scored two of France's four goals

Wingers must track fluid French forwards

Roy Hodgson's great strength as a manager is his ability to organise a team. The question which will be answered tonight is whether a handful of training sessions are enough for him to organise a unit that can frustrate one of international football's most talented and fluid frontlines?

Is Bastian Schweinsteiger that much better than Steven Gerrard?

Kevin Garside: Only narrow thinking keeps England so dull

The Way I See It: The full-backs rip forward in support of inflexible wingers in a grim reprise of Seventies football dystopia

Roy Hodgson at training yesterday

Glenn Moore: Roy Hodgson's England wing men must track the fluid French forward line

Talking Tactics: The keys for England will be concentration, communication and decision-making

John Terry: Roy Hodgson will be concerned that the Chelsea captain failed to train again yesterday

Terry and Cole in race against time for France

Hamstring and ankle injuries trouble key defenders while Downing looks set to start

England players pass through crowds in Krakow

Nine players miss England's open-doors training session in preparation for Euro 2012

England's open-doors policy to their Euro 2012 quest continued this morning with a public training session at their base on the outskirts of Krakow.

Stewart Downing neither scored nor made an assist this season

No assists? It's not my fault strikers miss their chances, says Downing

If we're talking disgruntled England internationals left at home, imagine how Manchester City's Adam Johnson must feel. The player who has taken the squad position he coveted has just completed a season with neither a goal nor an assist for his club side.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project