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Gerardo Martino reveals expectations ahead of ‘decisive’ Poland match

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Mexican national team head coach Gerardo Martino will use the recent friendly against Sweden as reference when preparing to face Poland on Tuesday in their inaugural 2022 World Cup match, insisting it was a game ‘that could be repeated tomorrow’.

El Tri fell 2-1 to Sweden in Girona, Spain on November 16, in their last friendly before heading to Qatar. The European side opened up the scoring in the second half, before Alexis Vega quickly found the equalizer when connecting with veteran Hector Herrera. But ultimately, Mattias Svanberg sealed the victory for Sweden by heading home a corner kick.

Martino previously warned Mexico of the lethality of set pieces, given Poland’s ability to win previous games that way. The Polish side recently defeated Chile 1-0 with a free-kick goal, after only managing a shocking 27 percent possession throughout the game. 

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“Poland position themselves well. I’ve also said that for the most part, they have only one way to play: wait and go into space. The Sweden game for me is something that could be repeated tomorrow,” he said.

“Against Sweden we had the ball and the rival didn’t hurt us in the transitions, the first goal that ended up going into space, we solved that well. I would even dare to say that on a set piece. The elements that Poland has without separating us from the game idea, take it forward.”

Martino went on to reveal the expectations heading into the group stage, before labeling the match against Poland as ‘decisive’.

“The expectation is to play all three games in the same way. That does not depend exclusively on us, but on what the rival does. If we have supremacy regarding the way in which the party is going to develop.We must deal with Poland,” he said.

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“Due to the characteristics of the group, this first game is likely to be decisive. You have to see if these tactical systems change the shape of a team. Neither changes Poland’s position in a match. What we have to do is recognize that the players know that the opponent is comfortable playing different tactical systems and know the solution. But the style of Poland is one and on that we prepare the match.”

Mexico kicks off against Poland before facing Group C rivals Argentina and Saudi Arabia. Though El Tri has historically qualified for the round of 16, reaching this phase in their last eight World Cup appearances, the pressure is on for Martino’s side given their opponents.



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Football

Rangers appoint Michael Beale as new manager

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Rangers have confirmed the appointment of Michael Beale as the club’s new manager, following Gio van Bronckhorst’s sacking.

The former QPR manager has signed a contract which runs until 2026 at Ibrox, returning to the Gers having previously worked as an assistant manager at the club under Steven Gerrard.

90min revealed on Sunday that Beale’s appointment was imminent, and a club statement has confirmed his return to the club: “Michael Beale is the 18th manager of Rangers with the club delighted to confirm his appointment today.

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Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

“Signing a contract to 2026, the 42 year-old joins from his role as manager of Queens’ Park Rangers in West London having previously worked as first-team coach at Ibrox from 2018 to last November. It is an exciting appointment for the club, with Beale undoubtedly one of the most sought-after young managers in British football.”

Speaking about his return to Rangers, Beale said: “It is fantastic to be back and to see everybody this morning, there are some new faces but some people that I know really well so it is great to see everyone. 

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“I am hugely proud, it is a wonderful, wonderful football club, it is an institution. For everyone that works here it is a huge privilege, but to be the manager of this football club, that is extremely special. Some wonderful people have sat in this chair prior to me, and I am hugely proud to be the person sat here now.”



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Portugal vs Uruguay: Confirmed lineups

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By defeating Uruguay in Lusail, Portugal will be hoping to advance to the World Cup’s last 16 in 2022.

During their first match, Cristiano Ronaldo and company defeated Ghana in a five-goal thriller, while Uruguay and South Korea drew 0-0.

Line-up

Portugal XI: Diogo Costa, João Cancelo, Pepe, Rúben Dias, R. Guerreiro, Rúben Neves, William, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, João Félix, Ronaldo.

Uruguay XI:

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Conor Coady responds to ‘daft’ question about Liverpool allegiance

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Conor Coady has told England teammate Jordan Henderson to do better in his goading after the Liverpool captain taunted him over his Everton connection.

Coady was a product of the Liverpool youth system and made a solitary appearance for his boyhood club in the 2012 Europa League. He has since moved on to Huddersfield Town and Wolves before joining Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton on loan last summer.

Speaking on the latest episode of Lion’s Den from England’s World Cup camp, though, Henderson could not resist trying to wind up Coady by quizzing him on his allegiances.

“Conor, we are all England here,” Henderson said. “But what I really want to know is: are you blue or red?”

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Henderson then started laughing, which prompted a similar response from Coady, who appeared both irritated and amused by the question.

“It’s so poor from him,” Coady said while smiling. “We have banter all the time. Of course, I am playing for Everton. He knows deep down.

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

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“So, for him to come out there and ask that question is daft. Of course, I am blue. Of course, I am blue, without a shadow of a doubt.

“For him to say that…you know what I am going to go back there sit down and have a coffee with him. I will give him a bit. That’s nowhere near good enough from the big fella. Blue all day long.”

Everton have a clause allowing them to sign Coady permanently from Wolves this summer for a fee of just £4.5m.



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