LiveScore Daily: The latest football news in bite-sized chunks
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UK and Ireland set to land Euro 2028
UK and Ireland’s football associations are confident of being made joint-hosts of Euro 2028 in the coming days.
The deadline for nations to lodge their "expression of interest" is on Wednesday and it is thought that no rival bids have currently been launched.
UEFA will announce the bidders on April 5 but if the UK and Ireland are the only applicants, they will be given the seal of approval just two days later on April 7.
The direction of the contest changed rapidly after a long anticipated bid from Russia became a non-starter due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Italy were also thought to be strong contenders but are now said to have turned their attention to Euro 2032 instead, leaving Turkey as the only feasible competitor.
However, UEFA have received no indication that a bid is incoming from the Turkish Football Federation, appearing to make the UK and Ireland’s application a formality.
The tournament is expected to see 32 entrants for the first time in European Championship history, which will likely mean mirroring the current World Cup format.
A bit too Frank
Ex-Chelsea forward Chris Sutton says Everton boss Frank Lampard may regret publicly lambasting his playing squad.
Lampard questioned his players’ mentality after the Toffees were trounced 4-0 by Crystal Palace in Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final.
But former Premier League winner Sutton is not convinced those words will have the desired effect.
Sutton told BBC Radio 5 Live: "The team are in an absolute mess but his language was extremely strong, questioning the side's courage.
"He talked about [how] he doesn't have a magic wand to get inside people's heads and change resilience across the whole squad. Well, is that not his job?
"He's come out and slaughtered his players and yet he needs these players to keep him up, so what he said is very, very dangerous in my book.
"It's a big gamble what he said and let's see whether the players react."
Chelsea icon Lampard, who has overseen five defeats in seven top-flight outings since taking the reins at Goodison Park, will hope for a response when his side visit West Ham after the international break.
Ebosele exit concerns Roo
Derby boss Wayne Rooney has questioned defender Festy Ebosele’s decision to join Serie A side Udinese.
The 19-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign with the cash-strapped Rams, making 30 Championship appearances so far as they desperately bid to avoid relegation to the third tier.
But it was announced last night that Ebosele is bound for Italy at the end of the season — a move which Rooney, 36, is unconvinced by.
The ex-England captain said: "If you are asking me whether I think it is the right move for him, then no, I don’t.
"I think he should stay in England. Whether it is a move where he goes there to then go back to England, we don’t know. Obviously, we know Udinese are a sister club to Watford.
"I think he should have stayed in England, kept learning to play the game here then he really has a chance. It is always difficult for a young player to go abroad."
Having been deducted 21 points for financial irregularities earlier in the season, Derby sit rock bottom and are eight points from safety with just seven games remaining.
Zlatan hails United’s super Swede
Manchester United winger Anthony Elanga has all the tools to be a Swedish great, according to his countryman Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Evergreen marksman Ibrahimovic — now 40 years old — netted 29 times in 53 games for the Red Devils between 2016 and 2018 and is his nation’s all-time top scorer with 62 goals.
Though United starlet Elanga, 19, was not born when Zlatan made his international debut in 2001, both players are in line to feature in Sweden’s crucial one-legged World Cup play-off with Czech Republic on Thursday.
Asked about his teenage team-mate, Ibrahimovic said: "He is a great talent, we are proud and happy that he comes from Sweden. That he can represent Sweden now makes it even bigger.
"He has all the future ahead of him, and if he continues just as he has done, it looks positive.
"It's just fighting, never being happy, striving for more. It depends on him, how far he can develop."
Elanga has netted seven goals in eight Under-21s appearances for his nation but is yet to be capped at senior level — though his recent Old Trafford exploits should see that change quickly.
The winger, who has featured in all of United's Premier League matches in 2022, was also eligible to represent England or Cameroon.
But Elanga insists it was a straightforward decision, saying: "I was born in Sweden, I spent 75% of my life here and Sweden means a lot to me. Everyone knows that I could have represented Cameroon and England but, for me, it was always Sweden."