Chelsea-bound Barkley cut for England recall

ROSS BARKLEY has been slashed from 9-2 to 9-4 by Coral and Ladbrokes to make England’s World Cup squad after closing on a transfer to join Chelsea from Everton.

A deal in the region of £15m is expected to be completed imminently to take Barkley from Merseyside to London with the 24-year-old looking to reignite a career which has often flattered to deceive.

The attacking midfielder has missed all this season through injury and was not high up on Gareth Southgate’s list of favourites last term, although a transfer to the champions could be a step in the right direction in terms of a Three Lions recall.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who can’t get in the Chelsea team and moved on loan to Crystal Palace for more minutes, remains a shorter price at 5-4 to be on the plane to Russia later this year.

Arsene Wenger has been handed a three-match touchline ban after the Football Association confirmed the Frenchman admitted “his language and behaviour was abusive, improper and questioned the integrity of the match referee” following last week’s 1-1 draw with West Brom.

The Arsenal boss must watch Sunday’s FA Cup tie at Nottingham Forest from the stands as well as Wednesday’s League Cup semi-final first leg at Chelsea and next Sunday’s Premier League trip to Bournemouth.

Wenger will be one of those looking on eagerly waiting for VAR to be used for the first time in a competitive English fixture when Brighton host Palace in the FA Cup third round on Monday.

Hills are 1-6 that VAR is used for a Premier League fixture in the 2018-19 campaign and it’s 7-2 for referees not to use the help of videos.

It’s also 16-1 a goal is disallowed at the Amex Stadium after a video review. Arbiter Neil Swarbrick is on VAR duty with Andre Marriner the match ref.

Match in Focus

19:30 TODAY BT1

Mainz v Wolfsburg

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Mainz have lost just one of their last ten home games in all competitions
Expert verdict
Mainz earned a much-needed three points against Hertha Berlin last time out and they can add further impetus to their relegation battle with a victory over Wolfsburg, who parted ways with manager Martin Schmidt in midweek. Experienced coach Bruno Labbadia has taken over at the Volkswagen Arena but he's had little time to work with a squad who have won just one of their last 11 matches in all competitions.



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