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Young football fans used as 'Flare Mules'

A new campaign, highlighting the dangers of bringing flares and smoke bombs into football grounds, claims children as young as eight have been used to smuggle the pyrotechnic devices into stadiums.

The Premier League, Football League and the FA are working in unison in light of the growing number of incidents in recent months. Earlier this year, a 15-year-old boy suffered lung damage from a smoke bomb thrown during Wigan Athletic's match against Aston Villa.

Pyrotechnics are illegal in football grounds, carrying the risk of jail sentences... Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

The Premier League said:

"A disturbing element of increased pyrotechnics has been the involvement of children, whereby it is not uncommon for 'mules' to bring the pyrotechnics into a ground on behalf of others."

Fireworks are illegal at football matches, but more recently a linesman was struck by a smoke-bomb during Tottenham Hotspur's encounter at Aston Villa in October this season.

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Ex-Stoke boss Tony Pulis new Crystal Palace manager

Tony Pulis Credit: PA

Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace have named Tony Pulis as their new manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal.[

](http://www.itv.com/news/central/2013-05-22/tony-pulis-disappointed-with-stoke-exit-but-proud-of-legacy/)Pulis left Stoke by mutual consent in May after the club failed to make much progress in the 2012/13 season.

Read: Tony Pulis disappointed with Stoke exit but proud of legacy

For more on his new appointment go to the ITV Football site.

Nikolas Anelka to resume West Brom training

Nikolas Anelka had been excused on compassionate grounds Credit: PA

West Bromwich Albion have confirmed striker Nicolas Anelka will resume first-team training tomorrow.

He had been excused from club duty for matches against Everton and Newport on compassionate grounds. After meeting with head coach Steve Clarke earlier today, Anelka will now be available for Sunday's game against Swansea.

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Stoke City defeated in first league game at Liverpool

Stoke City have lost the first game of the new Premier League season, succumbing to a 1-0 defeat by Liverpool.

Mark Hughes on the touchline at Liverpool Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Jonathan Walters had a marvellous chance to earn a point for the Potters in the final minutes, but his penalty was saved by Liverpool goalkeeper, Simon Mignolet, who also saved the rebound.

Liverpool took the lead in the first half through Daniel Sturridge, to send Mark Hughes' side to defeat in his first Premier League game in charge.

Team news: West Brom v Southampton

Nicolas Anelka has impressed in pre-season. Credit: PA

Nicolas Anelka is set to make his competitive West Brom debut in Saturday's Premier League clash with Southampton at The Hawthorns.

The 34-year-old, scorer of seven pre-season goals for Albion since joining in July, is one of three new faces added to the squad this summer along with fellow striker Matej Vydra and defender Diego Lugano, both of whom could also be involved in the campaign-opening game.

CLICK HERE for more team news on West Brom's opening Premier League game

West Bromwich Albion Premier League preview

Steve Clarke will be hoping to build on his first season in charge Credit: PA

Much like Newcastle the season before, the Baggies livened up the Premier League last season with a successful campaign that harvested an extremely impressive eighth finishing position.

They came out the traps like a thoroughbred greyhound to shock the establishment, however a mid-season lull ruined their chances of Europa League football leading into a strong finish.

Can West Brom have the strong start they managed last year but keep up the momentum?

CLICK HERE to read West Bromwich Albion's full Premier League preview

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