Sunderland land Chris Coleman as manager as he leaves Wales job

• Coleman set to be confirmed in post over the weekend
• Sunderland are bottom of the ChampionshipChris Coleman has agreed to become the new Sunderland manager. The 47-year-old is expected to be confirmed as Simon Grayson’s successor over the weekend in what will be a major boost for Sunderland and a huge blow for the Football Association of Wales, which had hoped to persuade Coleman to sign a new contract. The FAW held a board meeting on Friday to discuss his position, with both parties previously involved in lengthy talks about extending the deal that expired at the end of this month, but Coleman has decided that the time is right to return to club management and has agreed to take the plunge with Sunderland. Continue reading...

Granit Xhaka: ‘My dad’s first few months in jail were OK, then the beatings started’

Arsenal midfielder on Saturday’s derby clash with Tottenham, why Camden market reminds him of his childhood and why he believes his mental strength comes from his father’s time as a political prisoner in the former YugoslaviaIt is the story that has shaped Granit Xhaka and fuelled the fires that rage inside him. The details are savage, barely comprehensible, and it is a wonder that the Arsenal midfielder can articulate them. Then again, like his father, Ragip – who spent three and a half years as a political prisoner in Yugoslavia – Xhaka is not a man who runs or hides. “As far as I know, his first few months in jail were OK,” Xhaka says. “But then the beatings started.” Continue reading...

Leicester City v Manchester City: match preview

What chance a repeat of last season? Leicester beat Manchester City 4-2 on that occasion, with Jamie Vardy scoring a hat-trick as Pep Guardiola’s side somewhat naively played into the hands of the then Premier League champions. Now City are an entirely different proposition and it is hard to see how anyone can stop a team that is unbeaten in 23 matches and scoring goals at a ridiculous rate. City will, however, have to make do without the suspended key defender Nicolas Otamendi at the King Power Stadium. Stuart James Kick-off Saturday 3pm Continue reading...

Fifa’s World Cup debacle isn’t just about money – there’s horror and death too | Barney Ronay

It is tempting to call Fifa’s corruption debacle a gift that just keeps on giving. Except it feels like something else by now, a gift that has, frankly, given too muchAre you feeling it yet? The Fifa corruption fatigue? It has, after all, been seven years in the making, from the oddly homespun excesses of the whistleblower Chuck Blazer, football’s own mobility scooter Liberace; to the cold, gangsterish disdain of the Grondona-Teixeira-Leoz axis, the kind of Fifa men who would carve out your liver with an ivory-inlaid oyster knife if it meant getting a step closer to a secret six-figure TV rights access sweetener. This week the US justice department court case sparked into life in New York. Its first few days provided such a vivid dose of toxic colour it is tempting to call Fifa’s continuing corruption debacle a gift that just keeps on giving. Except it fees Continue reading "Fifa’s World Cup debacle isn’t just about money – there’s horror and death too | Barney Ronay"

Manchester United v Newcastle United: match preview

After just 11 matches Manchester United trail the leaders, Manchester City, by eight points and are already playing catch-up. Their last outing was the defeat at Chelsea and, given how shrewd Rafael Benítez is, Newcastle United may provide a real test at Old Trafford. But Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo are all back in the match-day squad to give United a considerable boost and if they are to genuinely challenge for the title, José Mourinho’s side really have to win. Jamie Jackson Kick-off Saturday 5.30pm Continue reading...

Burnley v Swansea City: match preview

Only Manchester City have managed to beat Burnley in their past nine league games, a run of results that has taken the Clarets to within goal difference of the top six. That sort of form has brought Sean Dyche to the nation’s attention and ought to be enough to see off struggling Swansea, though the Welsh side have to be looking to take points from Burnley and should have Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony back after injury. Paul Wilson Kick-off Saturday 3pm Continue reading...

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea: match preview

Tony Pulis will have welcomed the international break to give him time to mastermind an upturn in form but, with the champions in town, one wonders whether the Welshman needed longer to prepare. Antonio Conte has fond memories of the Hawthorns after Chelsea secured the title there last season and the Italian will be demanding another win to stay in touch with Manchester City. Graham Searles Kick-off Saturday 3pm Continue reading...