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Wales team news ahead of USMNT clash

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The Welsh national team will play their first World Cup match since 1958 when taking on the USMNT on Monday, November 21. 

The team originally concluded the UEFA qualifying cycle second in their group behind Belgium, before reaching a playoff knockout match against Ukraine and triumphing 1-0 with an own goal off of a Gareth Bale free-kick.

Now, as Wales prepares for their first World Cup campaign in 64 years, expectations soar. But Gareth Bale maintains he and the team are ready for Group B action. 

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“It’s probably the biggest honor we could have for our country, qualifying for a World Cup, something we haven’t done in 64 years. It’s history in our country. Schools are going to stop to watch our games [the second group game against Iran kicks off at 10:00 GMT]. Kids are going to miss school, fortunately for them,” said Bale.

“It’s a massive piece of history in our country and something we have all wanted for a long time. We have the support of the nation back home, no matter what happens, as long as we give 100% our country will love us for that.”

Bale is coming off of a MLS Cup victory, scoring the extra-time equalizer to lead LAFC to the trophy. But he saw limited time on the pitch prior to the final, nursing an injury in the weeks leading up to the World Cup. 

Now, he insists there are no injury concerns. 

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“I’m right where I want to be – I’m here! I’m ready to go,” Bale said in the pre-match press conference.

“We’ve all been training hard in the last week, adapting to the heat and time zone. We have no excuses now. We’ve put all the hard work in. It’s game time tomorrow and hopefully we can step up and deliver what needs to be delivered.”

Though Bale is available to feature against the USMNT, Wales manager Rob Page confirmed Joe Allen will likely miss out.

The midfielder hasn’t featured for Swansea City since September, after picking up a hamstring injury. 

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“We said from the start we’re going to give every possible chance that we can to get him to play that first game, he’s probably not going to make it,” said Page.

“We could have pushed him but if it breaks down then he’s definitely out of the tournament, let alone the second game. Risk and reward. We’d have liked him for the first game, but we’re not going to push him to the point of completely losing him.”

Wales prepares to face Group B Iran on November 26, and England on November 26 after taking on the USMNT.



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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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EPL

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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