Neville ready for England role

Phil Neville believes the England women's team are "on the verge of something special" after being appointed as their new head coach.

The 41-year-old had been heavily linked with the role in recent weeks and has now signed a contract which will see him remain in charge for next year's World Cup and before expiring at the end of the team's 2021 Uefa Women's Championship campaign.

Neville has previously coached at Manchester United and Valencia, as well as assisting with the England Under-21s.

He takes over from Mo Marley, who was placed in interim charge following the departure of Mark Sampson in September.

Marley led the Lionesses to victories in World Cup qualifiers against Bosnia & Herzegovina and Kazakhstan and will now revert to her previous role with the development sides.

Neville, who won six Premier League titles at United, as well as the Champions League and 59 caps for his country, holds a Uefa Pro Licence but doubts remain over his lack of experience.

The former Everton-man admits he is honoured to have been chosen for the role and is looking forward to leading the team over the next three years.

"This squad's on the verge of something special and I believe I can lead them to the next level," said Neville. "I am honoured to be given the chance to lead England.

"With the new coaching team we are putting in place, we can help the players build on their great progress in recent years.

"There is no greater honour than representing your country and it will be a privilege to do it again."

Meanwhile, the England men's team are 16/1 to win this summer's World Cup in Russia.

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Lennon targets Burnley impact

Aaron Lennon has promised the Burnley fans he still has plenty to offer after completing his move from Everton.

The former England winger has signed on at Turf Moor after finding himself surplus to requirements at Goodison Park following the £20m arrival of Theo Walcott from Arsenal.

Word of Lennon's move to Burnley first emerged on Friday and he has now completed his switch, bringing the curtain down on a three-year spell on Merseyside.

The move, which is for an undisclosed fee, was confirmed on Tuesday and the 30-year-old could make his debut in next Wednesday's trip to Newcastle.

Burnley are 11/4 to win the game, with the Magpies priced at 21/20 and the draw 11/5.

The Clarets currently sit eighth in the Premier League and Lennon's arrival could prove to be a real boost, having not won any of their last eight in all competitions.

Off-field issues hindered the Leeds-born star last season but he looked sharp when given a chance by the Toffees in recent months.

Lennon says Burnley was always his preferred option after being told he could leave Everton and he admits he is looking forward to helping the club rediscover their form.

"Burnley was the club I wanted to come to and I can't wait to get started," he told Clarets Player HD. "I'm looking forward to playing here.

"The club is moving forward and I want to hopefully play a part in that to keep it going in that direction.

"I think I’ve still got a lot to offer. I am only 30 and I still want to play at the highest level."

He added: "The team has done brilliant. There are 14 games to go and hopefully we can kick on and maintain a place in the top half, which would be brilliant for the football club."

It has been a good day for the Clarets, with boss Sean Dyche putting pen to paper on a new contract which will keep him at the club until the summer of 2022.

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Morata and Fabregas absent for Chelsea

Chelsea will be without both Alvaro Morata and Cesc Fabregas for Wednesday's League Cup semi-final second leg against Arsenal.

The pair meet at the Emirates after playing out a 0-0 draw in their original tie a fortnight ago and will go on to face either Bristol City or Manchester City at Wembley.

Morata missed Saturday's 4-0 win at Brighton through suspension and Antonio Conte has now revealed he will again be unavailable for Wednesday's game, while Fabregas will also be absent.

However, there is good news on Andreas Christensen, who has been cleared to play after picking up a head injury against the Seagulls.

Conte said: "Morata and Fabregas are out, they are not available for the Arsenal game. Morata has a problem in his back.

"Then, I have to check a couple of situations, before making the best decision [on selection]."

Despite the furore that has seemed to follow him around since arriving in England, Conte has established an exceptional record, winning the Premier League and Community Shield, as well as reaching the FA Cup final.

The League Cup provides another opportunity for silverware and the Italian admits the chance to further their trophy hopes gives him and his players extra motivation against one of their great rivals.

"For me and the players it is an important target," added Conte. "In my first season and a half I have the opportunity to win the league, to play the final of the FA Cup, and play the Community Shield.

"Now I have the opportunity to play another final in the Carabao Cup."

Chelsea are 31/20 to win on Wednesday, with the draw 5/2 and the Gunners 15/8.

The Blues are 10/3 for the tournament outright.

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Southend turn to Powell

Southend United have named the former Charlton Athletic and Huddersfield Town boss Chris Powell as their new manager.

The 48-year-old, who succeeds Phil Brown at Roots Hall, has signed a two-and-a-half year-deal with the Shrimpers.

Powell made 290 appearances in a six-year spell with the club during his playing career and also starred for Derby County, Charlton Athletic, West Ham United, Watford and Leicester City before hanging up his boots.

Southend, 7/2 to be relegated this season, are 20th in the League One table and only one point above the bottom four after their game at Rochdale on Saturday was postponed.

Southend placed Brown on gardening leave last week after a poor run of form which included 10 defeats in 14 away games this season and seven losses in their last eight matches.

The 58-year-old former Hull City and Preston North End boss had been in charge of the club since March 2013 and guided United to promotion from League Two via the play-offs in 2015.

Assistant manager Graham Coughlan and football co-ordinator Brian Horton also had their contracts terminated.

Southend are 13/8 to beat Scunthorpe United in their next League One match on Saturday.

Arnold won’t coach Socceroos at World Cup

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold won't be in charge of Australia at this year's World Cup in Russia.

The Sky Blues boss has ruled himself out of contention to be Ange Postecoglou's replacement, though he's left the door ajar to coach the Socceroos in the future.

Arnold was approached late last week by Football Federation Australia to say he was on their shortlist for the vacancy.

Initially he said he would wait for Sydney FC's response before revealing his hand, but now he's confirmed he will be staying with the defending A-League champions for at least the rest of the domestic season.

It's believed the FFA are wanting to appoint a high-profile foreign manager on a short-term contract for the World Cup and then replacing him with a permanent coach – possibly Arnold – after the tournament in Russia.

"I am committed to Sydney FC and 100 per cent focused on seeing out this season and winning two more trophies for this great club," said Arnold. "I can confirm I will not be coaching the Socceroos in Russia."

The Sky Blues don't want to lose Arnold, who led them to the double of Premier's Plate and championship last season and added the FFA Cup to the club's trophy cabinet late last year.

Chairman Scott Barlow said the coach would be remaining until at least the end of the season, adding: "Beyond that, we look forward to continuing our discussions about our long-term plans together. Everyone at the club is focused on winning back-to-back A-League titles and embarking on our most successful Asian Champions League campaign ever."

The FFA have said they aim to have a new coach in place by mid-February, and Dutchman Bert van Marwijk has confirmed he is on their shortlist.

He oversaw Saudi Arabia's qualification for the World Cup in Russia in June but departed the role after a dispute over preparations leading into the finals.

Australia are 3/1 to qualify from Group C at the World Cup.

The Socceroos are 1/1 to finish bottom of their group.

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Joyce hails ‘brilliant’ Budzinski

Marcin Budzinski drew praise from coach Warren Joyce after Melbourne City's 5-0 thrashing of Adelaide United.

The former Poland U-21 international was brought back into the starting side for the first time in eight game and asked to play up front rather than in his usual midfield role.

It was a tactical decision that paid off handsomely for Joyce as Budzinski scored twice in the first half to put his side on the way to victory at AAMI Park, doubling his goals tally for the campaign.

Seven of the marquee's 11 appearances this season have come off the bench but his coach is optimistic that his display against the Reds could be the springboard for him to become a major contributor.

"Brilliant from him. It's not easy you come over the other side of the world, and trying to settle … and he wasn't fit when he first came and has found some of the tempo a little bit quick for him," said Joyce.

"But he's knuckled down, and he's kept having a go and kept trying to work, kept trying to improve."

City will have teenager Nathaniel Atkinson on the sidelines for a lengthy spell after he was confirmed to have suffered ankle ligament damage against the Reds.

Meanwhile, Mark Milligan will remain at Melbourne Victory until the end of the A-League season after the club rejected an offer from Saudi Arabian giants Al-Ahli.

The transfer bid is reported to have been worth $375,000 dollars, but the club's board turned it down even though the Australia international is off contract at the end of the campaign.

Coach Kevin Muscat said: "Mark is a contracted Melbourne Victory player, and, more importantly, a required one. Significant planning, time and effort went into building our squad for this season and Mark's signing was an integral part of that, so the club is not prepared to entertain offers for his services."

Melbourne Victory are 7/1 to win the Grand Final.

Victory are 15/8 to win their next game against Sydney FC, who are 11/8 with the draw 12/5.

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Wenger coy on Aubameyang deal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists he is not close to signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund or anyone else.

The Gunners have sold Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott already this month and were believed to be lining up a move for the Gabon international.

However, Wenger is unsure whether a deal for the highly-rated 28-year-old will be completed before the end of the month.

He said: "Confident or not confident? I don't know. We are not close to a deal with Aubameyang or anyone else.

"It's one possible movement but we have other things in mind as well. The final decision is not made."

Meanwhile, Wenger is adamant that he wants to keep Danny Welbeck, even though the England international has endured an injury-ravaged time with Arsenal following his transfer from Manchester United.

The Frenchman added: "I want Danny Welbeck to stay here."

Arsenal take on Chelsea in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday, with Wenger saying of the match against Antonio Conte's side: "It's an important game.

"We want to go to the final. The two teams know each other very well. At some stage, the teams will have to open up so it should be much more spectacular than the first one.

"It has always been very tight and it's very unpredictable. Honestly, I don't see any favourite in the tie."

Arsenal are 6/5 to qualify for the final and 9/1 to beat Chelsea 1-0 in the second leg. Wenger's team are 4/1 to win the EFL Cup outright, while Chelsea can be backed at 10/3 to triumph.

In-demand Hernandez seeks move

Mexico international Javier Hernandez is keen to end his six-month stay at West Ham United before the transfer window closes, according to his agent.

The former Manchester United star has scored five goals in 18 Premier League appearances for the Hammers this season but has started only once in the top flight since David Moyes succeeded Slaven Bilic in November.

The 29-year-old came off the bench to score as West Ham hit back to draw 1-1 with Bournemouth on Saturday but his representative, Eduardo Hernandez, says a number of clubs have already expressed their interest in the forward, who moved to London from Bayer Leverkusen for £16million last July.

"There are several clubs interested in his services. He's a player everyone knows," he said.

"Our primary focus is a club in which he can play the most games possible. That's the most important thing.

"Javier has asked personally for it. He's commented, stated and demanded that we look for a club that really needs a player with his characteristics because what he wants is to play and play and play."

West Ham are 31/20 to beat Wigan Athletic in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday and 13/8 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season.

Livid Klopp demands improvement

An angry Jurgen Klopp is determined to learn from Liverpool's shock 1-0 loss to Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

The Reds contrived to lose to the Premier League's rock-bottom side just eight days after they had defeated the runaway leaders Manchester City 4-3 at Anfield.

Alfie Mawson scored the only goal in the first half on Monday but the Swans remain rooted to the foot of the table.

Swansea are now 4/9 to be relegated while Liverpool are 1/3 to finish in the top four of the Premier League and 1/4 to beat West Brom in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

"Last weekend [against City] feels like it was half a year ago, it's not what I'm interested in," Klopp said after the game.

"We're frustrated, I'm frustrated, I'm angry because of what we did. We have to get the points, we have to learn from it.

"We lost the game in the first half. Not only because we conceded the goal – It can happen like this – but because we didn't keep the positions we wanted to be in.

"We weren't that secure or confident in what we were doing in the first half."

Liverpool almost equalised in stoppage time when Roberto Firmino's header struck the woodwork but the defeat ended their 18-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

De Bruyne deal boost for City

Kevin De Bruyne has handed Manchester City a massive boost by signing a contract extension to keep him on board until summer 2023.

The 26-year-old Belgium international has been an integral part of City boss Pep Guardiola's plans this season with six goals and 10 assists in the Premier League as the Citizens sit 12 points clear at the top of the table.

De Bruyne, who joined City from German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg in a record £55million deal in August 2015 having endured a frustrating previous spell in England with Chelsea, was tied to City until 2021.

But he was keen to pledge his longer term future to the club with the side enjoying a fine campaign to date and are still on course to win all four major trophies.

De Bruyne told the City website: "I am really happy to have signed this new deal. As I've said previously, my intention has always been to stay here at City, where I've felt at home from day one.

"Not only are we winning – we are playing great football. It's a pleasure to be a part of and I'm really excited about what we can achieve in the coming years."

Director of football Txiki Begiristain added: "Kevin's new deal is great news for our club.

"He has shown this season how important he is to the team and has been integral in everything we've done so far.

"We are thrilled he has committed his long-term future to Manchester City."

City are 10/3 to follow up their expected Premier League win with Champions League glory, while they are priced at 11/4 to lift the FA Cup and 4/7 to win the League Cup.

De Bruyne is available at 1/2 to win the PFA Player of the Year award.