LiveScore Daily: Today’s football news in bite-sized chunks
LiveScore Daily is here to deliver all the big talking points from the world of football throughout the day. Keep refreshing this page for the latest stories in bite-sized chunks.
Bring it on
Declan Rice is confident England will overcome every remaining hurdle between them and World Cup glory — starting with Senegal on Sunday.
The Three Lions headed to Qatar having been relegated from the top tier of the Nations League after picking up just three points from six games.
But they have turned things around on the biggest stage of them all and Rice insists Gareth Southgate's side will continue to improve.
The West Ham man, 23, said: "The Nations League was tough in the summer, so there was pressure against Iran but we did it.
"The USA was then a tough game. And there was all the noise around facing Wales but that was a complete, controlled performance.
"We're building really well but this step up of quality has arrived. We'll be ready for what comes next."
Luis Suarez refuses to apologise for his handball in Uruguay’s 2010 World Cup quarter-final against Ghana.
As the sides prepare to meet again tomorrow, Suarez has found himself back in the spotlight for the controversial incident that took place 12 years ago in South Africa.
With the score at 1-1, the striker was sent off in extra-time after keeping out a Dominic Adiyiah header on the line with his hands.
Asamoah Gyan hit the bar from the resulting penalty and Uruguay then won the subsequent shootout.
Suarez, 35, has been quick to dismiss suggestions he should say sorry ahead of his side's final Group H match with their old foes.
He said: "I don’t apologise about that because I did the handball, but the Ghana player missed the penalty, not me.
"Maybe I can say an apology if I did a tackle, injured a player and took a red card.
"But in this situation, I took a red card, the ref said penalty. It’s not my fault because I didn’t miss the penalty.
"The player who missed the penalty, he said he would do the same in this situation. It’s not my responsibility to shoot the penalty."
Dani Alves will become Brazil's oldest World Cup captain when he leads the side against Cameroon tomorrow night.
The ex-Barcelona full-back, 39, was included in Tite's squad for Qatar 2022 amid reports it was to act as a minder for close friend Neymar.
Alves, who now plays in Mexico for UNAM Pumas, will wear the skipper's armband in a game Brazil must avoid defeat in to secure top spot in Group G.
He said: "I've been with the Brazilian squad for many years and to be able to wrap up this cycle, playing a World Cup, makes me very happy.
"It’s been 16 years with the national squad and I’ve tried to do my very best.
"Life, I think, always rewards the people who love what they do, who truly do their best in the mission.
"I think I'm reaping what I have planted over those 16 years."
Get ready for a change
Jurgen Klinsmann believes the World Cup knockout phase will bring a change of approach from managers.
The former Germany head coach, 58, said: "We are seeing that the majority of goals are being scored in the second half, including all seven on Wednesday.
"When teams are relying to some extent on the other results in the group they can be very cautious. They especially don't want to go a goal down in the first half and so they are not going at full speed or full risk.
"Then, in the second half, depending on their own quality and the opposition, if they are capable of going in a higher gear then right away they go at the other team.
"You can see there is a cautious approach from quite a few coaches. They don't want to concede in the first half and they open up in the second.
"However, I think after these group stage games we will see a different pattern emerge."
Playing it safe
Luis Enrique will not take any risks tonight when Spain face Japan in their final World Cup group game.
Although the 2010 winners only need a point to qualify for the last 16, all four nations in Group E still have a chance to progress.
Seven outfield players in Spain's 26-man squad are yet to feature in Qatar but their manager will not give them game time for the sake of it.
He said: "Some may end up not playing at all — we all know how it works.
"It is a reality, we have spoken about it with the players. We are here to win seven matches. We want to be winners of this group."
No quick return
Chelsea boss Emma Hayes fears Pernille Harder will be out of action until at least the end of February.
Blues forward Harder, 30, underwent surgery last month after suffering a hamstring injury while on international duty with Denmark.
Speaking ahead of her side's Women’s Super League match at Leicester on Saturday, Hayes said: "The good news is the operation was a success.
"Certainly it was a difficult first week for her, dealing with the realities of how difficult physically that was, but she's been doing her treatment and she’s on the road to recovery, so that’s great news.
"Like any injury, you can have a plan for it and it just changes course. It won't be this side of Christmas, I doubt it will be January. Is February realistic? Maybe. But I think it will be a bit longer than that.
"I think we’re looking at a time away. Hopefully she'll be back some time before the end of the season, but we have to realise there's a lot of work to be done yet."