ESPN FC’s Sid Lowe addresses the concerns surrounding Barcelona’s worst La Liga start in over 10 years.
ESPN FC’s Steve Nicol isn’t too concerned with England’s poor play given they secured an important point in World Cup qualifying.
Here are the latest stories for Wednesday.
BARCELONA: Lionel Messi returned to training on Wednesday and is expected to make his comeback from a groin injury against Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday
– Authorities in Colombia have opened an investigation into an alleged death threat received by Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez and his mother.
LA LIGA: The first Clasico of the 2016-17 campaign between Barcelona and Real Madrid will be played on Dec. 3 at 4:15 p.m. CET, La Liga president Javier Tebas has announced, a kickoff time intended to compete directly with the Premier League in the Far East television market.
– Gareth Southgate acknowledged England could have done better following a goalless draw against Slovenia.
WCQ – UEFA: England needed a fine display from goalkeeper Joe Hart to scrape a goalless draw away to Slovenia, while Germany eased to victory a home to Northern ireland. Azerbaijan continued their impressive unbeaten start to qualifying with a goalless draw away at Czech Republic, while Poland beat Armenia. Montenegro moved to the top of Group E with a 1-0 win at Denmark. FULL REVIEW
WORLD CUP QUALIFYING: Paraguay shocked Argentina in Cordoba, running out 1-0 winners, while Brazil made relatively short work of Venezuela. Colombia and Uruguay drew 2-2, as did Bolivia and Ecuador. Chile earned a huge 2-1 win against Peru. FULL REVIEW
SCOTLAND: Gordon Strachan still believes Scotland can finish second in their 2018 World Cup qualifying group despite losing 3-0 in Slovakia.
PREMIER LEAGUE: The decision to appoint Anthony Taylor as the referee of Manchester United’s match at Liverpool next Monday is “grossly unfair” on the official, according to former referees’ chief Keith Hackett.
– Manchester United’s Class of ’92 contained players who were a “slave army” to “control freak” Sir Alex Ferguson, according to the club’s former youth player Mads Timm.
– Chief executive officer Ian Ayre has said it would cost over £60 million to redevelop the Anfield Road end of the ground.
ARSENAL: Werder Bremen captain Clemens Fritz has talked up a possible return for Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker to the Bundesliga side.
JUVENTUS: Agent Mino Raiola has said he will do “everything possible” to move midfielder Blaise Matuidi from Paris Saint-Germain to Juventus in January.
UNITED STATES: Julian Green scored his second goal in two matches, before Monty Patterson’s equaliser forced the United States to settle for a 1-1 draw in a friendly against New Zealand on Tuesday night.
– Jurgen Klinsmann said Julian Green left a “strong impression” on the U.S. national team coaches in camp and at a pair of friendlies over the last 10 days.
MLS: Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley says he will decide his future at the end of the season amid reports linking him to a return to Serie A.
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