Mings will give fans nervy summer with Sancho and Phillips hoping to have done enough for starting spot - Godz
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Mings will give fans nervy summer with Sancho and Phillips hoping to have done enough for starting spot



ENGLAND narrowly beat Romania 1-0 at the Riverside in their final friendly before Euro 2020.

And based on the showing, Three Lions fans are in for a nervy summer if Tyrone Mings starts every game while Kalvin Phillips and Jadon Sancho will hope to have done enough to get in the team.

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Ryan Browne-The Guardian

England fans can expect a nervy summer if Tyrone Mings plays for the Three Lions[/caption]

Several ‘fans’ were heard booing as the players took the knee ahead of kick-off before it was quickly drowned out by the majority of the crowd applauding.

And jeers were heard again as the players went in at half-time with the game still goalless after Romania were allowed a few big chances.

But captain for the night Marcus Rashford helped put any negativity to one side when he scored a penalty won by Jack Grealish in the 68th minute.

Jordan Henderson came on at half-time and proceeded to miss a spot-kick after Rashford had been replaced by Jesse Lingard on 75 minutes but England held on.

Sancho started and was subbed for Jude Bellingham on 65 minutes. Phillips was replaced by Henderson and Mings played the whole game.

And here’s what SunSport’s Oscar Paul made of the trio as the Three Lions finalised their preparation for this summer’s tournament.


At least there was no brain dead forearm smash this time.


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Otherwise it was the sort of performance from Mings – and the whole defence – to leave the nation on edge on the eve of the tournament.

Given another chance to nail down a starting berth in place of the crocked Harry Maguire, it was a mixed evening.

A shaky start gave Romania a couple of openings when jumping out of defence.

The back four were hardly under the pump but that didn’t stop the eastern Europeans opening the Three Lions up time and time again.

Mings was hollering and marshalling throughout but the way Romania got at the Three Lions was worrying.

Quick and strong, the Aston Villa man was able to recover some dodgy situations and made a couple of important blocks.

Even though Ben White looked the more assured of the two, the left-footed option Mings provides looks set to see him start on Sunday.


Mings is set to start against Croatia despite his Romania showing[/caption]


Composed, neat and tidy, and no lingering effects from the shoulder injury picked up on the last day of the season.

If Gareth Southgate wants two holding midfielders against Croatia then it looks a shootout between Kalvin Phillips and Jude Bellingham for a spot alongside Declan Rice.

James Ward-Prowse is not in the 26-man squad but seized his chance and will fancy that last spot following Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury.

The ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’, 25, was only making his eighth Three Lions appearance but that little bit more experience might just get him the nod over the 17-year-old sensation.

On the ball Phillips kept things simple and recycled possession well – even if it was all a bit sideways and never threatened to unlock the Romanians.

Got stuck in as he always does and dropped into the back line when needed.

The Leeds midfielder was replaced by Jordan Henderson at the break and will now be praying this steady Eddie showing will be enough.


Leeds ace Kalvin Phillips was replaced by Jordan Henderson at half-time[/caption]


If it’s between Sancho or Rashford to start the opener then the Borussia Dortmund star may have to settle for a place on the bench.

Starting on the right of the front three, Sancho started quietly with little coming off.

An early shot was screwed over before a couple of dribbles in good positions came to nothing.

He then burst into life 38 minutes in, playing a superb one-two with Jack Grealish before bending a shot off the bar.

That was the highlight and an uneventful first 20 minutes of the second-half followed before the Dortmund star was subbed.

Hardly a bad day at the office, but Rashford was more dangerous throughout and capped a stellar showing as captain with the winner from the penalty spot.

An impact sub looks like Sancho’s lot for now, but don’t bet against the 21-year-old exploding into life at some point.


Jadon Sancho played for just more than an hour against Romania[/caption]

Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds


Why are France, Portugal and Germany in the same Euro 2020 group?




EURO 2020 is underway and it’s the turn of the group of death to swing into action.

All of the past three tournament winners have been drawn together in possibly the toughest group in the history of the European Championship.


World Cup winners France are in the group of death[/caption]


Cristiano Ronaldo has his work cut out to reach the last 16 with Portugal[/caption]


Germany boss Joachim Low has been set a tough test in his final tournament[/caption]

The group sees 2014 world champions Germany, European champions Portugal and current world champions all face off.

Hungary are the other team in the group and the government in Budapest has announced a full capacity crowd for all games in the city.

And they’ll need every one of their Hungarian supporters if they are to cause an upset in this group.

Why have Portugal, France and Germany been drawn in the same group?

When the draw for the Euros was made back in 2019, Uefa decided on a new system which would seed teams based purely on qualifying performance.

And while Portugal did qualify comfortably for Euro 2020, they didn’t enjoy a particularly impressive campaign as they finished behind Ukraine.

That led to them being seeded third for the European Championship and primed for a tough group.

It was also thanks to the Ukrainians that France ended up in the group of death.

France won their qualifying group but took just one point from two games off Turkey.

And that meant Ukraine were able to poach the final top seeded spot when Artem Besyedin scored a last minute equaliser in their final game in Serbia.

Meanwhile Germany and Hungary were both pre-drawn into Group F as Munich and Budapest had already been chosen as the group’s two host cities.

Who is hosting the matches and how many fans will be at each game?

As Germany qualified with more points-per-game than Hungary, they will play all three of their games in Munich.

However, they will play in front of just a 20 per cent capacity – the lowest of any host city – after the Bavarian government refused to approve a bigger crowd.

Hungary meanwhile will play France and Portugal in Budapest in front of a full stadium before heading to Munich to face Germany.

France vs Portugal will take place in Budapest, also with no limit on capacity.

How many teams qualify?

The top two teams qualify automatically from the group.

However, there is also a possibility that all three of France, Portugal and Germany could go through.

The four best placed third placed teams will each qualify for the knockout stages at the Euros.

And it was under this system that Portugal emerged winners at Euro 2016.

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Female cricketer blamed sexism over the quality of women’s match balls despite men playing with identical ones




A FEMALE county cricketer blamed sexism over the quality of women’s match balls — despite men playing with identical ones.

Emilia Bartram, 27, used the hashtag #EverydaySexism when she ranted about the pink balls which she claimed had holes in the seam and the surface.

Emilia Bartram/Kennedy News

County cricketer Emilia Bartram, 27, blamed sexism over the quality of women’s balls using the hashtag #EverydaySexism[/caption]

Emilia Bartram/Kennedy News

Emilia slammed officials over the pink balls saying ‘You wouldn’t let the men play with this terrible quality ball, sort it out’[/caption]

She wrote online: “You wouldn’t let the men play with this terrible quality ball, sort it out.”

But the England and Wales Cricket Board said every team gets the same, regardless of gender.

It said: “These same match balls are distributed across different competitions and have been for many years, during which time criticism of the quality has been extremely rare.”

Physio Emilia, who plays for Oxfordshire, branded the balls a joke.

England and Wales Cricket Board hit back saying every team gets the same, regardless of gender

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Today’s free horse racing tips: Our man is back with ITV racing best bets for day one of Royal Ascot including 40-1 shot




IT’S day one of Royal Ascot which means it’s time for a Weekend Punt special.

Our man Jack Keene continued his hot streak at Epsom earlier this month with a 58-1 double – meaning he is £74 in profit to a level £1 stake since the column began last August.


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The St James’s Palace Stakes is a fantastically competitive race this year.

Guineas hero Poetic Flare is the one to beat, but this will be his fifth tough race in a matter of weeks.

You can make a case for several of these, including proven Group 1 performers Battleground and Lucky Vega, but this looks ripe for an upset so I’m going to take a flyer on one at a huge price in BULLACE (4.20 Ascot).

He has made huge progress this season, easily winning a red-hot handicap first time out at Newmarket. That form has proven incredibly strong, with four subsequent winners in behind.

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He then took a step forward when a close third to Mostahdaf and Highland Avenue (who are both considerably shorter in the betting here) at Sandown, where he was too keen in a steadily-run race on deep, testing ground.

He battled all the way to the line and only gave way in the final strides to his two rivals, who were more patiently ridden, but it was a big career-best and he will be much happier back on this faster surface.

He is a strong-traveller with a potent turn of foot who should get a strong gallop to aim at here, so I expect this fast mile around a bend to play to his strengths. Trainer Ralph Beckett doesn’t throw his horses into Group 1 company for the sake of it – he’s a runner they hold in high regard.

Day one will be a pretty quiet betting day for me otherwise, though I will have a few quid on SALDIER (6.10 Ascot) in the lucky last.

He is a top hurdler with plenty of speed as he showed when bolting up over a similar trip to this at Listowel last time out.

The fast ground will be right up his street and Willie Mullins and Ryan Moore have a formidable record when teaming up together.

He carries a penalty for his runaway Listowel success but that won’t stop him making a very bold bid.

There are some mouthwatering betting opportunities coming up later in the week, so don’t use up all your bullets on the first day for the sake of it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint!

Royal Ascot day one selections (advised odds correct at time of writing)


4.20 Royal Ascot – Bullace 1pt EW @ 40-1

6.10 Royal Ascot – Saldier 1pt WIN @ 11-4

  • (Column started August 6) rolling P&L: +74pts


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