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World Cup 2010 podcast – day 7

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Join Mike Collett, Mark Gleeson, Simon Evans and Kevin Fylan for a little night’s look back on a long day of excellent football at the World Cup in South Africa.

More points for opening matches, less yawning

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SOCCER-WORLD

The World Cup is under way and with it the traditionally lifeless opening group matches with teams happy to settle for a draw, fearful all could be lost in only the first encounter.

But that could change for ever with one magic swipe. Teams that win their first match in the group phase should be awarded four points for victory compared to the current three, and all but make sure of a spot in the second round. That would give teams a great incentive to play entertaining, attacking football instead of the drab game we saw between Uruguay and France in Group A on Friday. After all this is the World Cup.

France to host Euro 2016

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Favourites France have been chosen to host Euro 2016 after beating Italy and Turkey.

UEFA President Michel Platini, a proud Frenchman, whipped round the card in Geneva to reveal France’s name.

World Cup squad news: Capello calls on Carragher, Ronaldinho left out

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/Fabio Capello has announced his provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup and the big news is that Jamie Carragher is back, while there is no place for Bobby Zamora or Owen Hargreaves.

Meanwhile Brazil have omitted Ronaldinho as expected and Italy coach Marcello Lippi has decided to leave Francesco Totti at home. Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas are in Spain’s squad despite injuries.

Istanbul heads list of Games of the Decade

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SPORT SOCCER CHAMPIONS

Here’s a total random idea: go and choose the best five matches of the last 10 years – a lot easier said than done.

Where do you begin? Do you only pick matches you have seen yourself ? As I am based in England, do I pick only matches played in England, or as I am lucky enough to travel round the world and watch football, do I go for international matches too?

Live World Cup draw blog on Friday – please join in

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Just a heads up we will be running a live World Cup draw blog on this site from around 1630 GMT on Friday so feel free to join in the fun.

Which seeded teams will be the unlucky ones to get France or Portugal? Will hosts South Africa get a fortunate draw?

France miss out on being World Cup seeds

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France, winners in 1998 and finalists last time, will not be one of the eight top seeds at next June’s World Cup.

FIFA said the decision was based on world rankings and had nothing to do with Thierry Henry’s handball.

UPDATE: Ireland plead for World Cup slot as the 33rd team

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Sepp Blatter revealed this morning that Ireland┬áhave appealed to FIFA to be allowed to compete as a 33rd team in next year’s World Cup.

“I will bring it to the attention of the Executive Committee,” Blatter told (stunned) journos. “I cannot confirm what will happen, but I will report it.”

Settled Anelka making the difference for Chelsea

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Nicolas Anelka’s arrival at Chelsea in January last year hardly had the fans buzzing amid all the big-money signings since Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich transformed the fortunes of the west London club.

The peripatetic France striker seemed like a stop-gap and few expected him to be part of Chelsea’s long-term future.

UPDATE: No replay hopes here … the score predictions are back

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Monday morning update 2: Mike Collett claims, with some justification it must be said, to have altered his predictions on Friday afternoon. I do indeed have an email from Mike asking me to change them, so I guess we’ll have to give him credit for getting Liverpool v Man City, the double pointer, bang on at 2-2. OK, Mike … but next time, one shot please.

I also decided to give Mitch a one-point bonus for his 5-0 prediction in the Spurs game (closer than anyone else), making him one of the week’s big winners with 18 points. Martyn Herman would have got 20, including a two-point bonus for being the only person to predict an Arsenal defeat, but I docked him two for trying to sneak in a 2-2 prediction on the Anfield game … after the final whistle.

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