Gareth Bale has been named in the Wales squad for the crunch Euro 2016 qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Andorra.The striker has missed Real Madrid’s last three games with a calf injury but is set to return against Atletico Madrid on Sunday.Wales manager Chris Coleman will be hoping the world’s most expensive player comes through the Madrid derby unscathed as his side need one point from their final two Euro qualifiers to end a 58-year wait to play at a major tournament – something they last did at the 1958 World Cup.Liverpool’s Joe Allen is available again after missing last month’s double-header against Cyprus and Israel with a hamstring injury, as is Crystal Palace midfielder Joe Ledley who was also sidelined for both those games with a similar problem.Wolves’ David Edwards, who started against both Cyprus and Israel, is included after recovering quicker than expected from a knee injury, while midfielder Emyr Huws features for the first time since last November following ankle trouble.Wales face Bosnia in Zenica on October 10 before hosting group minnows Andorra in Cardiff three days later.Wales squad: Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Fon Williams (Inverness), Ward (Liverpool); A Williams (Swansea, capt), Chester (West Brom), Gunter (Reading), Taylor (Swansea), Davies (Tottenham), Collins (West Ham), Henley (Blackburn), Richards (Fulham), Vaughan (Nottingham Forest), Huws (Wigan), Allen (Liverpool), Ledley (Crystal Palace), Ramsey (Arsenal), King (Leicester), Edwards (Wolves), J Williams (Crystal Palace), Cotterill (Birmingham), Robson-Kanu (Reading), Lawrence (Leicester), Bale (Real Madrid), Church (MK Dons), Vokes (Burnley). 1 Gareth Bale
Jose Mourinho faces a ‘big problem’ because he has lost the faith of his Chelsea players, claims former Blues midfielder Andy Townsend.Chelsea have endured a torrid start to the season, losing half of their 12 games in all competitions and languishing in 16th place in the infant Premier League table.The 52-year-old was charged with misconduct by the FA after comments regarding referees in the wake of their defeat to Southampton at the weekend, just hours after he was given the dreaded ‘vote of confidence’ by the Blues’ board.Mourinho has publicly blasted a group of his senior squad members, threatening to introduce youth players at the expense of some of his more established stars, and Townsend believes the disharmony at Stamford Bridge is unprecedented compared to their previous years of success.“Clearly Jose is rattled. There doesn’t seem to be a tremendous amount of harmony at the moment in the squad,” Townsend told the Sports Bar.“One of the greatest strengths he’s always had – I remember speaking to players who weren’t playing under him and they always said he was top class, even those who weren’t getting the game time, they always conceded he was the best.“Now, I’m looking at this group and their relationship with the manager and I don’t see that.“Jose has a problem and the Chelsea players don’t believe in him as much as they used to. That is showing in both the results and the performances.”Despite Chelsea’s abject form, Townsend has backed his former side to turn their campaign around and secure a top four finish.He added: “I still think they can finish top four because I believe he [Mourinho] can still rein them in, but he has to start doing that pretty quickly.”
Simon Clare joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.The Coral PR manager brings us the betting fallout from another dramatic weekend of Premier League football, with Jose Mourinho’s future at Chelsea hanging in the balance after the Blues suffered an eighth defeat of the season against Bournemouth on Saturday.The sack race dominated Monday morning’s headlines and Mourinho is now even money to be sacked by January 1 and 8/11 to still be in charge following Chelsea’s latest setback.Meanwhile, the Blues are odds AGAINST (6/5) to finish in top six.Simon also brings us the latest odds on this week’s Champions League action, with it 7/1 for all four English teams to make it through to the knock-out stages.Man City and Chelsea are, of course, already through and Arsenal are 2/1 to join them, while Man United are 8/11 to go through to the last 16.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast
1 Desperate times call for desperate measures, according to some Liverpool fans.So that is why the club have signed QPR defender Steven Caulker on loan for the rest of the season.In July, Southampton snapped up the centre-back on a season-long loan, but has not played for the club since 2 December when they were thrashed 6-1 by Liverpool in the Capital One Cup.However, with the Reds losing a number of senior defenders to injury, manager Jurgen Klopp is looking for reinforcements.Here is a selection of tweets from football fans responding to the rumour before the club confirmed he was a Liverpool player. Steven Caulker has not played for Southampton since December when the Saints were thrashed 6-1 by Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp What an utterly ludicrious game.Both defences left more than a little to be desired, but Liverpool’s miraculous 5-4 win at Norwich really was pure entertainment.Goals from Roberto Firmino, twice, Jordan Henderson, James Milner and substitute Adam Lallana in the dying seconds were enough to spark wild celebrations from the visitors at the final whistle.That was after Dieumerci Mbokani, Steven Naismith, Wes Hoolahan and Sebastian Bassong looked to have earned the Canaries at least a point, if not all three after establishing a 3-1 lead at one stage.The internet, understandably, went crazy at the result and some of the best reactions are below: 1 [View the story “Twitter reacts to Liverpool’s mental win at Norwich” on Storify]
Manchester United have been put on red alert after reports suggested that Paris Saint-Germain full-back Gregory van der Wiel is planning to leave at the end of the season.The Dutchman has made just 15 appearances for the French champions this term and is said to be unhappy about a lack of playing time.Following the suspension of first-choice right-back Serge Aurier last week, Van der Wiel spoke to manager Laurent Blanc to seek assurances that he would now get a regular starting berth.However, Blanc refused to rule out alternative options to Van der Wiel and now the defender has asked for a summer move.According to France Football, Van der Wiel has ordered his agent to begin the search for a new club and the 28-year-old is understood to be keen on a move to Old Trafford. 1 Gregory van der Wiel
1 Ruben Loftus-Cheek Chelsea starlet Ruben Loftus-Cheek has penned a five-year contract, the Premier League club has announced.The 20-year-old has only made 13 appearances for the Blues, despite making his debut in December 2014.But now the midfielder has penned a fresh deal to stay with his boyhood club through to 2021.The England Under-21 international delighted to secure his future at Stamford Bridge.‘The club have done so much for me since I started here as an under-eight and now I want to repay the faith they have shown in me with my performances on the pitch,” he said.
SEATTLE – Microsoft Corp. said its fiscal first-quarter profit rose 23percent as brisk sales of the new “Halo 3” video game, Windows and Office helped the software maker breeze past Wall Street’s expectations. Investors cheered, sending shares up from $31.99 to $35.16, about 10percent, in after-hours electronic trading. For the quarter ended Sept.30, the software maker’s profit climbed to $4.29billion, or 45cents per share, from $3.48billion, or 35cents per share, during the same period last year. The results handily beat Wall Street’s predictions. Analysts, on average, had forecast a profit of 39cents per share, according to a Thomson Financial poll. Revenue grew 27 percent to $13.76billion from $10.81billion in the year-ago quarter, beating analysts’ forecast by more than $1billion. Sales of the “Halo 3” video game and the Xbox 360 consoles it is played on pushed the company’s entertainment and devices division to a profit of $165million in the quarter – the Xbox division’s second time in the black. Revenue rose to $1.93billion, nearly twice last year’s quarterly sales. The division responsible for online advertising posted a loss of $264million, hurt by the company’s acquisition of aQuantive in the quarter, as well as heavy investments in Web search, premium content and data centers.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Microsoft has sold 85million copies of the Windows Vista operating system since the newest operating system went on sale in January – and 25million since the end of July – said Colleen Healy, general manager of investor relations for Microsoft. The business unit responsible for Vista contributed $4.14billion in revenue in the quarter, 25percent more than a year ago. Healy said Microsoft booked 27percent more annual license agreements for Windows than in the year-ago quarter, a sign businesses are committed to following Microsoft into the Vista era. Sales from the unit that makes the Office 2007 software suite rose 20percent to $4.11billion. Strong personal computer sales worldwide in the quarter boosted both operating system and productivity software sales, but Healy said those divisions also benefited from customers choosing higher- priced premium versions of Vista.
Butler left the YMCA a year ago after working about five years at the Sepulveda Boulevard facility, where he ran sports leagues, worked with officials and coaches and organized schedules. He left as a walk-on coach at the Torrance Unified School District in February when the basketball season ended. [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Denise Nix Staff Writer Former South High School boys basketball coach Leonard Butler pleaded no contest Monday to criminal charges arising out of sexual relationships with two teenage girls. Butler, 48, will return to court Dec. 13 for sentencing by Torrance Superior Court Judge Mark Arnold. He could be sentenced to probation or up to three years in state prison, according to Deputy District Attorney Christine Von Helmolt. Butler pleaded no contest to one count of oral copulation with a person under the age of 16, and one count of oral copulation with a person under the age of 18. Butler was originally charged in May with the acts against a 16-year-old, whom he met when he was a youth sports director at the YMCA in Torrance. A second victim came forward after his arrest and additional charges were added. Neither girl attended South High.