All the day's best sports news, reaction and debate. Join the discussion at #SST
BRENDAN: WE NEED STURRIDGE
Brendan Rodgers has touted the imminent return of Daniel Sturridge as the injection his side needs to climb up the table. His side remain 11th in the Premier League after a 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Sunday. Here's what he had to say to our cameras after the game:
THREE CENTRE-BACKS YOU SAY?
What do you think about playing three centre-backs and wing-backs, as so many managers seem to be doing in the Premier League this season?
Gerry Francis was on the Morning View a short time ago and believes it poses a problem. Liverpool have reverted to it recently and only one team playing three defenders (Southampton) out of five managed to win at the weekend.
"The problems with three at the back is that if the opposition plays with a winger and a full-back that bombs on all the time, then the wing-back gets overloaded and it can drag one of the centre-halves out too. Also, if a team plays one up-front, you've got three players marking one so there's more area in midfield for the opposition to dominate possession. "
"I think it's about looking at the team you've got and working out the best system, but being able to change in games and adapt to different situations."
GET IN TOUCH
We want to hear from you on Twitter about Liverpool.
Gerry Francis believes Liverpool were unlucky not to beat Arsenal. Do you agree? We want your views #SSNHQ pic.twitter.com/84onufrJoq— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) December 22, 2014
Gerry Francis believes Liverpool were unlucky not to beat Arsenal. Do you agree? We want your views #SSNHQ pic.twitter.com/84onufrJoq
ENGLAND STARS AT THE DARTS
Alastair Cook may be nursing his pride after being stripped of the England ODI captaincy at the weekend but he is going to take his mind off things by competing in the one-dart challenge at the World Championships tonight. He's taking on England teammate Jimmy Anderson and it's live on Sky Sports 3HD from 7pm!
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The live Big Bash cricket on Sky Sports 2HD is over and Adelaide Strikers have beaten Perth Scorchers with a thrilling finish. England batsman Michael Carberry struggled on his Big Bash debut and with Perth needing two wickets from the final over to win, Adam Zampa smashed a huge six to win the game with a ball to spare instead! Check it out right here:
SKY BET ODDS
Sky Bet only give interim Rangers manager Kenny McDowall a 7/4 chance of still being in charge for the first game of next season, with Billy Davies considered more likely to be in the hotseat. Bet on Sky Bet's manager specials here.
RANGERS FANS REACT TO AGM
Three Rangers fans have had the following to say to Sky Sports:
“I can’t be bothered listening to any more lies and bumbling
nonsense from the chairman. I thought he was condescending and patronising in the
extreme, both to the support and the shareholders. We’ve got no clarity
“Last year I wouldn’t believe a word any of them would say
and they just repeat themselves. I’m disappointed and until we get some clarity
and transparency from the club, nothing is going to change."
“They’re saying they cannot answer this or that because of
corporate legalities. I don’t think we’re any further forward in terms of
clarity, nor do we have a statement of intent from Mike Ashley so we really don’t
know what’s going to happen with funding. That’s the concern."
NO MORE ADMINISTRATION - MURRAY
The Rangers AGM has been a stormy affair to say the least we understand, with fans shouting down board members. Former chairman at Ibrox Malcolm Murray has given us an update from outside the ground after attending the AGM himself.
"It seems to me, as a Scottish mathematician, that coincidences do not happen.It’s not rocket science to see that Ally
McCoist leaving as manager the day before an AGM was not a coincidence. Mike Ashley will not let the club go into administration. He will
fund it, which is good news for some. I would rather hear that investment was
coming, not cost-cutting. This great stadium needs to full and back in Europe.
YEDLIN TO JOIN SPURS IN JANUARY
Some news on Tottenham; DeAndre Yedlin will join up with the club in January after securing
a work permit, according to Sky sources. Spurs signed Yedlin on a four-year deal in August after agreeing a transfer worth £2.5m with Seattle Sounders, but he did not
meet the requirements to work in the UK. Yedlin, 21, subsequently pursued a Latvian passport due to
heritage in his family but Sky Sports understands the player has been granted a
Governing Body Endorsement and will not need the Latvian passport.
FRANCIS: QPR HAVE TO KEEP AUSTIN
Former QPR boss Gerry Francis is on the Morning View and this is his reaction to the news of Charlie Austin's contract talks....
"He's really important to QPR. Harry Redknapp has been talking about signing a new striker but they will also want to make sure they keep hold of him. I would imagine a number of people would be interested in him at the moment."
QPR OPEN CONTRACT TALKS WITH CHARLIE AUSTIN
Sky sources understand talks have begun between Charlie Austin and Queens Park Rangers over a new contract. The striker has been in fine form, scoring a hat-trick in dramatic win over West Brom on Saturday.
MURRAY: 'THIS IS DEJA VU'
Former Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray has been attending the AGM and he is less than impressed with what he's seen at the club recently....
"Unfortunately it's a bit more like deja vu. This time last year we wanted transparency and honesty so that new investors could see what to come in for. We still don't see it and now we have the looming conflict of interest with Sports Direct. The poor Rangers fans went through a decade of conflict of interest with Money International and they've now got SDI. This board needs to tell us how to control Mike Ashley's and Derek Llombias's men. New shareholders won't come in until we have that and believe me I know the city - we have to get them in."
Sky Sports reporter Luke Shanley has the latest from Ibrox and the Rangers AGM...
"We heard from fans earlier who said this would be a frosty morning for the board and it's proving to be the case. There have been a lot of boos and jeers from fans,who shouted down PLC chairman David Somers and told him to resign. Derek has been addressing the AGM and said 'it's a privilege to be the CEO. We need patience and open minds. The recipe for the future is simple; financial stability off the pitch and great football on it.'"
SINCLAIR: CITY FIGHTING FOR TITLE
Former Manchester City, West Ham and QPR midfielder Trevor Sinclair is in the studio discussing all things Premier League with Gerry Francis and Rob Wotton on the Morning View. At the moment they're discussing the title race, with Chelsea in action against Stoke on Monday Night Football tonight. Here's Sinclair on his former club:
"City aren't giving up this title without a fight, They were slow starting the season but they've really stepped it up recently and they're in the slip stream of Chelsea at the moment. That eight points has been cut down to zero - so it's down to Chelsea tonight."https://twitter.com/SkySportsNewsHQ/status/546981896245506048
Gerry Francis says he thinks #MCFC will be top of the league after this run of games. What do you think? #SSNHQ #CFC pic.twitter.com/scY1uxEIi6— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) December 22, 2014
Gerry Francis says he thinks #MCFC will be top of the league after this run of games. What do you think? #SSNHQ #CFC pic.twitter.com/scY1uxEIi6
A good bit of news for Newcastle fans and anyone with a heart.
Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez, who recently recovered from cancer, will turn out for the club's Under-21s side today. They play West Ham.
Magpies boss Alan Pardew stated recently Gutierrez would get a fair shot at the first-team and had been improving in training.
For the latest transfer rumours, head over to the Sky Sports Transfer Centre live blog here!
INTER DISMISS LENNON SPECULATION
A bit of transfer news for you... Internazionale's sporting director Piero Ausilio has told Sky Italia the club are not interested in signing Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon.
Inter's new(ish) boss Roberto Mancini recently spoke of the need for more quality in his team, who are 11th in Serie A, and spoke of Aaron Lennon as being the profile he wants.
But Ausilio has said he's not the right profile and the club are unlikely to part with Fredy Guarin. "Guarin for Lennon? We're not interested in the Tottenham man, he's not the sort of player we're looking for. Guarin is also an important player, as seen by how often he's played under Mancini."
ITALIAN SUPER CUP FINAL
....is live on Sky Sports 5HD tonight! Juventus take on Napoli and we've got a full preview of the game right here.
Juve head into the encounter in Qatar in buoyant mood. They're on course to win their fourth straight Scudetto and beat Cagliari to stay top of Serie A at the weekend.
AGM SET FOR 10.30AM
Here are the main points to be discussed at the AGM at the Rangers 10.30am, raised in a statement to the Stock Exchange this morning.
GORAM: SAD DAY FOR RANGERS
An update from Rangers: Members of the board including chairman David Somers, chief executive Derek Llombias and the Easdale brothers have arrived at Ibrox for the AGM.
Meanwhile our reporter Charles Paterson has been speaking to former Rangers and Scotland goalkeeper Andy Goram, and this is what he's had to say:
LIVE BIG BASH
Head over to Sky Sports 2HD right now for live Australian Big Bash cricket between Perth Scorchers and Adelaide Strikers.
It's started and you're missing it!https://twitter.com/StrikersBBL/status/546945459776811008
Carberry goes at one outside off, misses and his bat ends up at square leg! Sweaty gloves Michael? #BBL04— Adelaide Strikers (@StrikersBBL) December 22, 2014
Carberry goes at one outside off, misses and his bat ends up at square leg! Sweaty gloves Michael? #BBL04
STOKE TEAM NEWS
After sustaining a hip injury in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace, Bojan has been training this week and looks as though he will be fit. Defender Marc Muniesa has also recovered from the hamstring complaint which prevented him from being involved in the Palace game.
Manager Mark Hughes is also optimistic a knee problem picked up by Stephen Ireland will not rule the midfielder out of tonight's game, live on Sky Sports 1HD from 7pm. Here's the Potters boss:
"When we group together against the so-called 'bigger' teams we are prepared to attack and exploit their weaknesses. We back our abilities and on any given day we can beat anyone."
BOJAN: LIFE AT STOKE
Jose Mourinho says he's a threat...
Once upon a time, Bojan was the hottest prospect at Barcelona, but lost his way. He was picked up by Mark Hughes and Stoke in the summer and is beginning to settle very well to life in the Premier League. Our feature writer Adam Bate has taken a closer look at the young attacker's development in England...
CHELSEA TEAM NEWS
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois should be fit to return tonight after missing the last two matches with a muscular injury.Didier Drogba may also be available after overcoming an ankle injury suffered in the Capital One Cup win over Derby, while defender Kurt Zouma is available for selection again after a head collision in that game.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho says he is wary of the threat of former Barcelona star Bojan...
"He is a great player, settling well into the Premier League. He is a threat. I remember when he scored a great goal for Barcelona against Real Madrid when I was manager. He almost gave me a heart-attack, but he was offside."
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Tonight's live football comes from the Britannia Stadium where Stoke face Chelsea in the final game before Christmas. Jose Mourinho's side can ensure a Christmas No.1 with a point but they face a tough game.
Read our full preview here and tune in to Sky Sports 1HD from 7pm to get all the analysis from Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville on the weekend's action,and the match itself. We'll also have live updates on the blog.
RANGERS: THE FULL STORY
From start.... to finish, for Ally McCoist.
KEY POINTS: RANGERS AGM
Rangers have filed a statement to the stock exchange detailing the points of their AGM this morning. Here's Sky Sports reporter Charles Paterson:
"Chairman David Somers will read out this statement to the AGM this morning but in it there is no mention of Ally McCoist. The statement holds confirmation that Rangers will seek permission of shareholders for a new share issue at some point in the new year. It also confirms the drop of season ticket sales and therefore attendances and revenue. But it also confirms a 32% increase in revenue for first year in partnership with Sports Direct."https://twitter.com/skysports_bryan/status/546926858584207361
Rangers chairman David Somers will tell AGM: "One of our biggest remaining legacy issues is weak state of finances." (1/2) More on #SSNHQ— Bryan Swanson (@skysports_bryan) December 22, 2014
Rangers chairman David Somers will tell AGM: "One of our biggest remaining legacy issues is weak state of finances." (1/2) More on #SSNHQ
MONDAY PAPER TALK
One of the Monday newspapers, the Daily Star, claims former World Championship runner-up Gary Anderson's eyesight is SO bad he can't even see the board! Yet - he's through to the second round at Ally Pally.
Here's a few more headlines from the morning papers...
DARTS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
We've got the live darts from day five at Ally Pally tonight from 7pm on Sky Sports 3HD. Here's the best of the action in a recap of day four. We've got our six-dart challenge on the way too - this morning it's Alex Hammond vs Mike Wedderburn!
LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
So, what would you like to watch today now many of you are on your Christmas hols? Bit of live Big Bash cricket? The darts? Or Monday Night Football? There's so much!
Rangers hold their annuel AGM this morning. Last year was a volatile affair - with supporters shouting and jeering the club's board. It's expected to get started around 10am and on the agenda may well be the club's falling attendances...
Here is a look at Rangers' average league attendances since McCoist's first season in charge. #SSNHQ pic.twitter.com/EwxOpTtDNO— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) December 22, 2014
Here is a look at Rangers' average league attendances since McCoist's first season in charge. #SSNHQ pic.twitter.com/EwxOpTtDNO
MCCOIST DEPARTURE 'MAKES SENSE'
Get the full story on Rangers with Sky Sports News reporter Luke Shanley:
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT RANGERS?
This morning's top story is all about the further turmoil at Rangers football club. Here's the latest in brief:
SKY SPORTS TODAY
Good morning all and a Merry Christmas! Just a few days away! Anyone hoping for a dreamy white Christmas in Glasgow will be disappointed though - it's a stormy morning at Rangers Football Club. Ally McCoist has now left the club on gardening leave, with his assistance taking temporary charge instead, and the club will hold what is expected to be a volatile AGM this morning. We'll bring it all to you right here, as well as build up to tonight's Monday Night Football between Stoke and Chelsea.
TODAY'S TOP STORIES