Ireland leave out West Ham youngster Rice

MARTIN O'NEILL has selected a 31-man provisional squad for Ireland's Nations League opener against Wales next month but has omitted West Ham youngster Declan Rice, who is considering switching his international allegiance to England.

Rice has featured three times for Ireland but it yet to play for them in a competitive match.

O'Neill said: "He has done brilliantly for us. I'm giving him a little bit of time."

Paddy Power belive Rice may be tempted to declare for the Three Lions and quote him at 8-11 to plump for England and evens to stay with Ireland.

Preston striker Callum Robinson and Kristiansund goalkeeper Sean McDermott have received their first call-ups but Robbie Brady, Scott Hogan, Sean Maguire and James McCarthy miss out due to injuries.

Scotland manager Alex McLeish has selected uncapped Hearts defender John Souttar in his 23-man squad for next month's matches at home to Belgium and Albania - the first game is a friendly and the second a Nations League tie.

Midfielder James McArthur (back) will not be considered for the time being and Robert Snodgrass and Matt Ritchie have been overlooked.

Stuart McCall has returned to management after being handed the reins at Sky Bet League One strugglers Scunthorpe. The Iron are 14-1 to be promoted and 6-1 to be relegated.

The 54-year-old had been out of work since he was sacked by Bradford in February this year.

McCall replaces Nick Daws, who was dismissed after Scunthorpe's 5-0 loss at home to Fleetwood last Wednesday.

Match in Focus

15:00 Mo 27May SKY

Aston Villa v Derby

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Key stats
  • Tammy Abraham has scored in five of his last seven starts for Aston Villa.
Expert verdict
Aston Villa have lost just two of their last 15 matches and valid excuses can be made for both defeats. Dean Smith made wholesale changes with the playoffs in mind for their 2-1 loss to champions Norwich on the final day, while they lost the second leg of semi-final at West Brom despite having 73 per cent possession and winning the shot count 24 to ten. They are full of confidence and should be more determined than ever after last season’s playoff final heartbreak.



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