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Ranieri refuses to accept Leicester City are now Premier League title favourites

Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri. Credit: PA

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri refused to accept his team are now title favourites after their sensational 3-1 win at Manchester City.

The surprise Premier League leaders opened up a six-point lead over Manuel Pellegrini's men - the side many expect to take the crown - with a near-perfect display at the Etihad Stadium.

One leading bookmaker immediately made Leicester - 5,000/1 outsiders at the start of the season - the new 7/4 favourites for the title.

But Ranieri, aware he was the one-time hot favourite in the 'sack race', said: "I don't believe the bookmakers. At the beginning of the season the bookmakers said, 'sack Ranieri'. I hope one time they are right!"

Midlands Match Day Live: Half-time scores

Premier League:

  • Aston Villa 1 - 0 Norwich
  • Newcastle 1 - 0 West Brom
  • Stoke 0 - 3 Everton

Championship:

  • Birmingham 1 - 0 Sheffield Wednesday
  • Fulham 1 - 1 Derby
  • Leeds 0 - 0 Nottingham Forest
  • Reading 0 - 0 Wolves

League One:

  • Burton 1 - 0 Bradford
  • Chesterfield 0 - 0 Peterborough
  • Walsall 0 - 0 Millwall

League Two:

  • Mansfield 2 - 1 Morecambe
  • Northampton 1 - 0 York
  • Notts County P - P Hartlepool

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Notts County's game with Hartlepool postponed because of heavy rain

Nottingham County's game against Hartlepool at Meadow Lane has been cancelled because of heavy rain.

The club tweeted earlier this morning to say the pitch had been called in for an inspection.

The club is yet to announce when the match will take place.

Midland stars impress as England beat South Africa by nine wickets

England's Danielle Wyatt in 2012 Credit: Paul Thomas / PA Archive/Press Association Images

England Women got off to a winning start in South Africa, after beating their hosts by nine wickets.

In the 50-over warm-up match, taking place at Mamelodi Cricket Club, South Africa Women Emerging XI won the toss and elected to bat.

Danielle Wyatt, who plays for Nottinghamshire, ripped through the middle-order as she took 3-7.

22-year-old Warwickshire batter Amy Jones also impressed, making an unbeaten 44 from 35 balls.

England made light work of chasing a total of 63 and did so with 39.5 overs to spare.

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Aston Villa appoint King to board of directors

Mervyn King, right, is now on the board. Credit: PA

Aston Villa have appointed former Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King to their board of directors.

The club are currently bottom of the league and made no signings in January, putting manager Remi Garde's future under question but they have added to their board.

I was delighted when Mervyn agreed to join the Board. His dedicated support for the Club is well known.

Mervyn successfully steered the Bank of England through the most turbulent economic headwinds in living memory and his appointment to the Board is a huge boost as we plan our path back to more successful times.

– Chairman Steve Hollis s

King is a life-long Aston Villa supporter and plans to make it one of the best clubs in the world.

It is a privilege to be asked to serve as a director of this great Club. I watched my first match at Villa Park more than 55 years ago, and have experienced the highs and the lows since then.

I shall do my best to help the rebuilding of Aston Villa Football Club as together we return it to its position as one of the top clubs in the world.

– Mervyn King
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Richards: Aston Villa not down yet

Micah Richards lives in hope. Credit: PA

Micah Richards is refusing to throw in the towel, despite Aston Villa's deepening relegation worries.

Villa's 2-0 defeat at West Ham on Tuesday night left them rooted to the foot of the Premier League table, 10 points adrift of safety.

But skipper Richards saw enough at Upton Park - where his side had to play for 73 minutes with 10 men after Jordan Ayew was sent off - to suggest Villa are up for the battle.

We have the fighting spirit. We have 14 games now and we will give 100 per cent until the end.

Until it's mathematically impossible, I will not rule us out. We know it will be hard. I am a realist too. I think we need three wins on the bounce and then things start to change.

Norwich is next up - a tough game at the weekend - and if we get three points there it will be a nice start.

A lot of people have said that the players don't care. I think we showed at West Ham that we fight until the end - whether we have 11 or 10 men on the pitch.

We did that. But unfortunately we didn't get anything out of the game.

– Micah Richards
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Vardy eyes Leicester stay after stunner against Liverpool

Jamie Vardy insisted he plans to stay at Leicester after his wonder goal inspired the Foxes to a 2-0 win over Liverpool.

The forward is in talks over a new deal and marked the discussions with a stunning opening strike before wrapping up a comfortable win with his 18th goal of the season.

Vardy celebrates his stunning goal against Liverpool. Credit: PA

Before the match it emerged talks had begun over a deal until 2019, and Vardy said he intends to stay.

He told Sky Sports: "It's nothing people don't know, I'd like to be here for a long time.

"I don't (think I've scored better). I had been looking all game and he (Simon Mignolet) was quite far off his line. As soon as Riyad (Mahrez) had played it through it's bounced quite high and I've got no support so I just took my chance and luckily it's gone over the top of him."

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