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Bale only Brit shortlisted for world's best player title

Gareth Bale has been shortlisted for FIFA's world's best player award.

The Wales winger played a starring role as Read Madrid claimed their 10th Champions League title. Credit: PA Wire

The Real Madrid and Wales star is the only British-born player to make the 23-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale's teammate at Real Madrid, is the bookmakers' favourite for the award, just ahead of four-time winner Lionel Messi.

The winner will be announced on 12th January.

'There's no reason we can't win' says Monk

Swansea take on Liverpool in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup. Credit: Lynne Cameron/EMPICS Sport

Swansea manager Garry Monk says there's no reason his side can't win tonight's cup clash against Liverpool, but concedes it will be 'extremely tough.'

Monk, who was club captain during now-Liverpool manager Brendan Rodger's two-year stint at the helm of the Swans, believes his players can upset the odds at Anfield tonight.

They've stuttered a little bit but they're still a good team, you go through periods of form like that in your career as teams but they're more than good enough to bounce back.

It will be difficult to give the players the best detail we can. We have to get enough over to them so they understand what we want and go there with a plan to give a good go of it.

There's no reason we can't win but it's going to be extremely tough. It's Anfield, we haven't got as big a squad as them or as a number of teams in this league.

– Garry Monk

Swansea won 3-1 at Liverpool in the same round of the Capital One Cup two seasons ago and went on to claim the club's first major trophy at Wembley.

Slade looks for Cardiff reaction after Millwall defeat

Cardiff City manager Russell Slade says he is looking for a reaction from his players following their 1-0 defeat at Millwall.

Russell Slade has called for a reaction from his players against Leeds United. Credit: PA Wire

The loss was Slade's first since replacing Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, and he has urged his players to show a tougher mentality when they take on Leeds United on Saturday.

"When you go a goal down there is a need to be mentally tough and what cost us against Millwall was the immediate spell after that goal," Slade said,

“It took a little bit of time to get a reaction after we went behind. We need a reaction against Leeds on Saturday now.”

Gareth Bale will miss Real Madrid's Liverpool clash

Gareth Bale has been left out of Real Madrid's squad for Wednesday's Champions League clash against Liverpool as the Wales international battles a muscle injury.

Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Bale was unlikely to feature at Anfield after Madrid announced on Monday that the forward was suffering from a gluteal injury, and on Tuesday the world's most expensive player was a confirmed absentee from Carlo Ancelotti's 20-man squad for the trip to Anfield.

The 25-year-old was an unused substitute in Saturday's Primera Division win over Levante on his return from international duty, having played the full 90 minutes in both of Wales' Euro 2016 qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus.

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Referees chief will contact Garry Monk this week

Referees chief Mike Riley will contact Swansea manager Garry Monk this week, although a letter and DVD from the Welsh club only arrived on his desk earlier on Monday.

Monk was vitriolic in his criticism of Riley after the defeat at Stoke on Sunday, claiming the head of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) has been "very poor" in not responding to a list of what he felt were bad refereeing decisions he had sent him.

Credit: PA

The Swansea manager was speaking after blasting match official Michael Oliver for a "disgusting" decision in awarding a penalty for a foul on Stoke's Victor Moses, which he claimed was a blatant dive.

Football Association disciplinary officials are understood to be studying Monk's comments about the referee to see if the Swansea manager should face any action, the Press Association reports.

Stoke 2-1 Swansea (FT)

Swansea were unable to keep hold of their early lead losing 2-1 away to Stoke in the Premier League. The Swans were drawing at half-time, but a 76th minute goal from Jonathan Walters sealed the win for the Potters.

Stoke 1-1 Swansea (HT)

Wilfried Bony opened the scoring in the first half for the Swans. Credit: Lynne Cameron/EMPICS Sport

A Wilfried Bony penalty put Swansea ahead in the first half against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium. Charlie Adam made it 1-1 just before half time.

You can follow the match live on ITV Sport.

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