Sterling returns for England against Kosovo as Pope makes first start

By Sports Desk November 17, 2019

Raheem Sterling has been restored to England's starting XI against Kosovo after being dropped following a bust-up with Joe Gomez, while Nick Pope will make his first start between the posts.

Sterling was left out of the squad for the 7-0 thrashing of Montenegro on Thursday as punishment for an incident that occurred in a private area of England's training base.

The two players had clashed in last Sunday's Premier League meeting between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield, and Sterling is reported to have reacted poorly when greeted by Gomez the following day as the England squad met up.

Gomez came on as second-half substitute in the win over Montenegro but was jeered by some at Wembley Stadium as he entered the pitch, leading to Gareth Southgate and Sterling condemning the fans for the frosty reception.

The Liverpool defender has since returned to his club due to injury.

Sterling's restoration is one of five alterations to the team from Thursday, with the City star coming in for Marcus Rashford, while Jadon Sancho moves to the bench in favour of Callum Hudson-Odoi.

In midfield, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Harry Winks retain their places, with Declan Rice coming in, while Tyrone Mings and Pope also enter the starting XI.

England have already secured a place at Euro 2020 before the contest in Pristina, the final outing of the qualifying campaign for both nations.

Related items

  •  ‘Grass will never grow there again, he told me’ – England bowler Malcolm recalls aftermath of claims he had formula for Sir Viv  ‘Grass will never grow there again, he told me’ – England bowler Malcolm recalls aftermath of claims he had formula for Sir Viv

     Former England quick, Devon Malcolm, recently recalled the result of reports he had the found the formula for legendary Windies batsman Viv Richards making their way to the ears of the batsman, during England's 1990 tour of the Caribbean. 

    The Jamaica-born pace-bowler created shockwaves, at Sabina Park, after effecting the run-out of Gordon Greenidge and dismissing Richards twice in a crushing 9-wicket win for England, at the start of the series. 

    The then 27-year-old bowler figured, he might be on to something, first dismissing the iconic batsman lbw and then having him clean bowled in the second innings.  A confident answer at a post match press conference had seen the young bowler dubbed 'the chemist' in the following day's reports.  With the second Test abandoned, Malcolm continued his good form in the third Test after claiming six wickets in a drawn match, which Richards missed.  But then, Richards returned for the fourth Test.

    “When Vivy walked out on that field, I knew Vivy meant business,” Malcolm recalled on the Mason and Guest radio show recently.

    “The very first ball I bowled to Viv Richards he put me out the park for six.  The second ball met the same fate, to be honest,” he added

    “The first two he hit me for six, I thought, right, maybe a half a chance because it was the short boundary, Alex Stewart was under it and I thought straight down Alex Stewart’s throat, but they went just over his head, six, six," Malcolm said.

    "As a young fast bowler, Viv Richards actually knew what the third ball was going to be.  So, I like a fool ran up and just pitched the ball up a little bit further.  It wasn’t a short ball I bowled, I pitched it up outside of off stump, a bit wide, and I tell you Viv Richards climbed into that ball so hard it hit off the cover boundary and bounced some 20 yards back on the field.  He actually said to me grass will never grow there again.  

    “That over I remember he took me for about 18.  It was 18 so far and the final ball of the over, I pitched one up and Vivy just knocked it to extra cover run past me and said ‘that one should be another four man, but I hope the captain keeps you on.”

    Malcolm did stay on, ending the match with disastrous figures of 0 for 142 in 33 overs, as the West Indies won the match by a crushing 164 runs and later claimed the series 2-1.  The bowler, however, has fond memories of the incident.

    “That was one of the most expensive overs I have ever bowled in international cricket, but that was one of my most exciting overs because I thought I could have had Viv Richards out three times in the over.  Viv Richards wasn’t going to back down, I wasn’t going to back down.”  

     

     

  • Guardiola hopes Messi stays at Barcelona Guardiola hopes Messi stays at Barcelona

    Pep Guardiola has reiterated he wants to see Lionel Messi stay at Barcelona.

    Barca talisman Messi is out of contract in 2021 and there is fresh speculation the six-time Ballon d’Or winner may wish to leave the club, who have not won the Champions League since 2015.

    The forward has often been linked with a move to Manchester City to play under his former Camp Nou coach Guardiola.

    But the City boss was reluctant to discuss transfers ahead of Wednesday's Premier League home match against Newcastle United.

    He also stressed his stance on Messi has not changed, having previously expressed his hope the Argentine remains with Barca when questioned on the topic.

    "I'm not going to speak about transfers until the end of the season," he said. "My wish is that Messi is going to stay in Barcelona."

    Asked if a new centre-back was in his plans, he added: "At the end of the season. We still have incredible targets to fight for."

    Meanwhile, Guardiola insisted he had no influence on where City's Champions League last-16 second leg against Real Madrid will be played, with a decision due this week.

    City lead the tie 2-1 after a win at Santiago Bernabeu before the coronavirus lockdown and reports suggested Guardiola had lobbied UEFA over playing the return leg in Manchester rather than at a neutral venue.

    "I am not strong enough to have this impact," he said.

    "I am not a president. They have protocols. I have never spoken with UEFA. I have said many times that we want to play in Manchester but we are going to accept wherever UEFA decide to play.

    "What I want is to play against Madrid. This is what I want but I didn't make phone calls, I don't have this power."

    The club are also getting closer to finding out the verdict from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as they appeal against their two-year Champions League ban.

    "On July 10 it is the [Champions League quarter-final] draw and [July] 13 will be the sentence," Guardiola added.

    "After that, I will give my opinion. We wait for the resolution from UEFA. This season is not going to change. It is so beautiful what we have in front of us."

  • FIFA agrees to mediation in dispute with TTFA FIFA agrees to mediation in dispute with TTFA

    FIFA has agreed to settle their dispute with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) through mediation.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.