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Bulgaria v England: Tyrone Mings in line to make England debut

Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings is in line to make his England debut on MondayBulgaria v EnglandHow to follow:Listen on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC local radio; text commentary on the BBC Sport websiteEngland manager Gareth Southgate is set to hand an international debut to Tyrone Mings as one of several changes to his…

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Bulgaria v England: Tyrone Mings in line to make England debut

Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings is in line to make his England debut on MondayBulgaria v EnglandHow to follow:Listen on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC local radio; text commentary on the BBC Sport websiteEngland manager Gareth Southgate is set to hand an international debut to Tyrone Mings as one of several changes to his starting line-up for the Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria.Aston Villa defender Mings is poised to get the nod ahead of Liverpool’s Joe Gomez to replace Everton’s Michael Keane, who struggled against Kosovo last month and in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic.Leicester’s Ben Chilwell was already in line to replace suspended left-back Danny Rose but Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold is also a strong contender to replace Kieran Trippier at right-back.West Ham’s Declan Rice missed training through illness on Monday, increasing the chances of Tottenham’s Harry Winks coming into a central midfield berth.Southgate has always been against making wholesale changes but Chelsea’s Ross Barkley may come in for team-mate Mason Mount, who had a quiet full debut in Prague, while in attack he must decide whether to rest teenager Jadon Sancho and bring in Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford.Bulgaria coach believes England has ‘bigger’ racism problem

Skipper Harry Kane and manager Gareth Southgate spoke to the media in Sofia on Sunday’When you lose you reflect on everything’England’s defeat in the Czech Republic has forced them to re-evaluate and re-focus as they look to bounce back in Bulgaria, says skipper Harry Kane. Southgate’s side could clinch qualification for the Euro 2020 finals if they win in Sofia and third-placed Kosovo fail to beat Montenegro.”When you lose you reflect on everything, your own performance and the team’s,” Kane said.”It definitely opens up your eyes a little bit more.”England’s loss to the Czech Republic ended a 43-match unbeaten run in World Cup and European Championship qualifiers stretching back to October 2009.Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Tottenham striker Kane added: “Whenever you are winning you kind of just move on to the next game and maybe you don’t see the whole picture and what we can improve on. “When you lose you start looking back at other games, or maybe that’s been happening for a few games now.”It’s important to turn that into a positive and make sure we learn from that and take that into the Bulgaria match.”

How Group A stands going into Monday’s matchesSouthgate echoed Kane’s words by saying his team “have to deliver” a positive reaction against a Bulgarian side which they beat 4-0 at Wembley last month.”It’s an unusual feeling for this group of players because they haven’t had a really disappointing, unexpected disappointing result,” he told 5 Live.”We have had disappointing results in some big matches against high-calibre opposition, but against the slightly lower ranked teams, that’s our first experience of that. “I had a couple as a player when we travelled away and difficult games remind ourselves about playing away from home at any level, it is tough.”Southgate says the possibility of returning to a system playing three centre backs in Sofia – which served England well during their run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals – would not be sign his team has gone backwards.”I think when you’re looking at your team you’re always assessing, especially given the availability of players for each get together. What’s the best way forward, what are the best tactics for this match, what might be the best tactics moving forward?” he added.”I think we should always be reflecting upon what is the best system to get our best players on the pitch and in the areas of the pitch were they can be most effective. I think that’s been a strong point of what we have done over the last three years. “Although we attempted something on Friday, because of the way we played, we would say it didn’t work, that doesn’t necessarily say it was the wrong decision, we just didn’t execute it.”‘England need a Plan B’ – WaddleSouthgate needs to develop a tactical Plan B and help some of his confidence-shorn players, according to former England winger Chris Waddle.”When we are up against better teams, you have to find a way to beat them,” said Waddle, who is part of the Radio 5 Live’s commentary team in Sofia.”If we want to kick on and win something, we’ve got to have that Plan B.”We go out and play and he might tinker a little bit with the system but it’s not big changes. We haven’t got that ‘it’s not working, what do we do?’ It’s just change a player for a player, rather than thinking let’s go three at the back, or an extra man in midfield or two up front. We haven’t got that yet. “When we are up against better teams, you have to find a way to beat them.”It should be a system where you click your fingers and Plan B, Plan C. Gareth is still learning. He’s done a marvellous job. The next level for him – as much as the team – is having a system where he can see this is not working. If it means taking two off at half-time, so be it.”

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NFL game postponed over Covid-19 cases

Tennessee Titans’ long snapper Beau Brinkley (left) and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (right) have been put on the reserve/Covid-19 listThe NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday has been postponed because of Covid-19 cases.The game will be rescheduled for Monday or Tuesday after the outbreak among Titans players and staff.On Tuesday,…

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NFL game postponed over Covid-19 cases

Tennessee Titans’ long snapper Beau Brinkley (left) and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (right) have been put on the reserve/Covid-19 listThe NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday has been postponed because of Covid-19 cases.The game will be rescheduled for Monday or Tuesday after the outbreak among Titans players and staff.On Tuesday, defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley and practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson were put on the reserve/Covid-19 list.The NFL has since shut down the team facility.According to the NFL network, a fourth player also returned a positive test on Wednesday.The Titans played the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis last Sunday.The Vikings’ facility was also closed on Tuesday and Wednesday and it is unclear whether their scheduled game with the Houston Texans will take place on Sunday.
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Pliskova survives scare at French Open

Karolina Pliskova reached the Italian Open final earlier in SeptemberCzech second seed Karolina Pliskova came from a set down to avoid an upset against Egyptian qualifier Mayar Sherif in the French Open first round.World number four Pliskova, 28, had eight set points in the opener, before losing to Sherif – ranked 172nd in the world…

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Pliskova survives scare at French Open

Karolina Pliskova reached the Italian Open final earlier in SeptemberCzech second seed Karolina Pliskova came from a set down to avoid an upset against Egyptian qualifier Mayar Sherif in the French Open first round.World number four Pliskova, 28, had eight set points in the opener, before losing to Sherif – ranked 172nd in the world – in a tie-break.The 2017 semi-finalist wrapped up a quick second set against the 24-year-old after winning four games in a row.Pliskova came through a tense decider to claim a 6-7 (9-11) 6-2 6-4 victory.”It was super tough,” she said. “Especially after losing the first set after having set points.”She played a great game, especially in these conditions.”Sherif kept up an impressive level throughout and the pair exchanged breaks at the start of the second set.But Pliskova then won four games in a row, eventually holding serve to level things.The Czech was made to work much harder for the final set as she failed to convert five break points before winning the sixth to go 4-3 up.She held serve and wrapped up the match after two hours and 15 minutes with an ace down the middle.Pliskova, who has never won a Grand Slam, will face Latvian world number 43 Jelena Ostapenko in the second round.Live scores, results and order of playAlerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone
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Williams overcomes slow start to win

Serena Williams is a three-time champion at Roland Garros, having won the 2002, 2013 and 2015 titlesSerena Williams began her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title with a hard-fought win over fellow American Kristie Ahn in the French Open first round.Sixth seed Williams, who turned 39 on Saturday, overcame a rusty start to win…

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Williams overcomes slow start to win

Serena Williams is a three-time champion at Roland Garros, having won the 2002, 2013 and 2015 titlesSerena Williams began her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title with a hard-fought win over fellow American Kristie Ahn in the French Open first round.Sixth seed Williams, who turned 39 on Saturday, overcame a rusty start to win 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 in Paris.Once she came through a 74-minute opener, Williams began to play with more belief and clarity as she swept Ahn aside in a one-sided second set.Williams will play Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round.Pironkova, 33, was handed a wildcard by Roland Garros after a memorable run to the US Open quarter-finals – where she lost to Williams – in her first tournament since 2017 after giving birth.More to follow.Live scores, results and order of playAlerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone
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