Vautour will make amends for Faugheen’s failure
Reading manager Steve Clarke has confirmed that he has held talks with Fulham about the managerial vacancy at Craven Cottage but is happy to stay with the Royals. The 52-year-old, who has been in charge of Reading since December 2014, managed West Brom between June 2012 and December 2013 having previously been an assistant boss at Newcastle United, Chelsea, West Ham United and Liverpool. “It’s been a strange week but I know I’ve made the right decision. I just want to get back on with the work we’re doing here at Reading,” said Clarke. Reading are eighth in the Championship table and are 9/2 with bet365 to be promoted this season. They are also available at 6/1 to beat relegation-threatened Bolton 2-0 on Saturday.
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Soccer – Reading stay suits Clarke
After a run of only one Premier League victory in eight games, Swansea boss Garry Monk finds himself under increasing scrutiny.
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Does Monk deserve to be under pressure at Swansea?
Tiger Woods is excited about his prospects for the 2016 Ryder Cup, whether he makes the team or acts as one of the USA’s vice-captains. Woods has been named as one of the four men to assist US captain Davis Love III for the showdown with Europe at Hazeltine next year, being joined by Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk and Tom Lehman. However, Woods is still hoping to rediscover his form and fitness to challenge for a playing role, as the United States aim to end a run of three straight losses to their European rivals. He told reporters: “Once I’m fully healthy, I’d like to try to make the team too, but either way, I’m very excited to work with Davis, the other vice-captains and the players to get a US victory.” The United States, who have lost six of the seven Ryder Cup matches played so far this century, are 5/6 with bet365 to secure outright victory on home soil next year.
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Golf – Woods keen on playing role
Ian Bell has been backed to return to the fold after being left out of the England squad for the upcoming Test tour of South Africa. The 33-year-old right-hander has been axed after a run of poor scores in recent months, with Yorkshire left-hander Gary Ballance handed a recall and Nick Compton back in the fold for the first time since the summer of 2013. However, National Selector James Whitaker has refused to write off Bell, who has played in 118 Test matches to date. He told the official ECB website: “Ian Bell has been an outstanding player for many years and undoubtedly still has plenty to offer England in the future. “It was clearly a difficult decision, but he has struggled for runs in recent series and we felt that it was the right time for him to take a break and spend time working on his game out of the spotlight.” The first Test of four in South Africa starts on Boxing Day at Kingsmead in Durban, while England can be backed at 10/1 with bet365 to win the 2016 World Twenty20.
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Cricket – Axed Bell tipped to return
Southampton striker Graziano Pelle has admitted he is missing life in Italy and hopes to return to Serie A in the future. The 30-year-old Italy international, who joined Ronald Koeman’s side from Feyenoord in the summer of 2014, is contracted to Saints until the end of the 2016/17 campaign. He has scored 18 goals in 50 Premier League appearances for Southampton, but said: “Italy is the most beautiful country and it is that beauty which I am missing. “Nostalgia is always there with Italy and I’m nostalgic. Of course, I’m happy in England right now, but only time will tell.” Southampton face Stoke City on Saturday and are 14/1 with bet365 to win the encounter 3-1, with Pelle available at 13/10 to score at any time.
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Soccer – Pelle open to Serie A return
The Premier League returns following an international break with six fixtures kicking off at the traditional time of 3pm, and our regular previewer Mike Norman believes Chelsea could be the best bet if bouncing back to form…
Saturday Premier League Tipsheet: Blues to find their stride
West Ham United co-chairman David Sullivan is keen to make loanee Manuel Lanzini’s move to the club permanent. The 22-year-old Argentinian forward moved to the Boleyn Ground in the summer on a season-long loan deal from Al Jazira and has gone on to score three goals in ten Premier League appearances for the Hammers. Sullivan told the Metro: “I know there have been some reports in the media over the weekend surrounding the future of Manuel Lanzini. We have an unbreakable option with both Lanzini and his club, so any other team’s interest is irrelevant. “Manuel has been a fantastic signing for the club and we all hope he can maintain this superb run of form for the rest of the season.” Lanzini can be backed at 15/4 with bet365 to score at any time in the clash with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday, and at 5/1 to score the first goal of the game.
Soccer – Hammers eye permanent Lanzini deal
Justin Rose, 15/2 with bet365 to win the tournament, expects himself, Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson to be the men to beat at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Rose has finished as runner-up in the European Tour finale twice in the last three years, while McIlroy took the honours in 2012 and ended in a tie for second place 12 months ago. However, it is Stenson who has the most impressive record, having won the DP World Tour Championship in each of the last two years. And Rose is expecting the players with previous form to impress again at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, with the Englishman one of seven players who are in the running to win the Race To Dubai this weekend. He told the European Tour website: “There’s a pretty fair chance that one of us is going to be there on Sunday and obviously we are all hoping it’s going to be the right guy from our own point of view. “But there’s definitely going to be a lot of challengers this week. Whoever wins is going to still have to play their best golf.”