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Watford sign defender Navarro from Espanyol

(Reuters) - Watford have signed defender Marc Navarro from Spanish side Espanyol on a five-year contract, the Premier League club said on Friday.


France ponder offensive options, Australia shore up defence

KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - The Group C opener between France and Australia at the Kazan Arena on Saturday pitches some of the best young attacking talent at the World Cup against a team which has often struggled to find the net in recent years.


Peru braced for Eriksen challenge on World Cup return

SARANSK, Russia (Reuters) - Peru's long-awaited return to the World Cup could turn sour at the Mordovia Arena against Denmark on Saturday if they cannot keep playmaker Christian Eriksen in check and fail to nullify their opponents' height advantage.


Congo cancels passport of exiled opposition leader

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Congolese authorities cancelled the passport of opposition leader Moise Katumbi, his office said in a statement on Friday, just days after the exiled politician gathered thousands for an opposition rally in the capital Kinshasa.


Spain still confident but opener key to Cup hopes

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Spanish fans arriving in Sochi for their opening World Cup match against Portugal are split on whether their managerial turmoil will affect the side's chances in Russia but they are unanimous in believing Friday's game will provide quick answers.


Egyptians upbeat despite painful loss to Uruguay

CAIRO (Reuters) - Despite a heart-wrenching last-gasp loss to Uruguay on Friday in their first World Cup appearance in 28 years, Egyptians were optimistic about their chances after nearly forcing a draw without talismanic forward Mohamed Salah.


Midfielder Xhaka signs new Arsenal contract

(Reuters) - Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has extended his two-year stay in North London by signing a new long-term contract, the Premier League club said on Friday.


Unified, disciplined Nigeria avoid chaotic build-up

KALININGRAD, Russia (Reuters) - No news is good news as far as Nigeria are concerned with captain John Obi Mikel happy to report trouble-free preparations ahead of their opening game at the World Cup against Croatia on Saturday.


Argentina's Sampaoli to start Aguero over Higuain against Iceland

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli took the surprising decision to reveal his starting line-up for his side's World Cup Group D opener against Iceland in a news conference ahead of Saturday's game, picking Sergio Aguero ahead of Gonzalo Higuain.


Nacho in at fullback for Spain in Iberian derby

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Spain will start Friday's Group B encounter against Portugal with Diego Costa leading up front and backed up by midfielders Andres Iniesta, Isco and David Silva.