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Hello and welcome to The Athletic’s coverage of today’s football news.

The Athletic reported on Saturday evening that Norwich City have reached a verbal agreement with Dean Smith to become the club’s new head coach.

Norwich are expecting to announce Smith’s arrival in the next 24 hours.

Elsewhere, Giovanni van Bronckhorst is a strong contender to become the new Rangers manager, as reported by The Athletic on Thursday night.

On the international stage, France and Belgium secured automatic qualification for the 2022 Qatar World Cup after their victories over Kazakhstan and Estonia respectively.

Meanwhile, Wales defeated Belarus 5-1 on a night in which Gareth Bale made his 100th cap. That means Wales sit second in Group E, three points ahead of the Czech Republic. Wales are already guaranteed a play-off place having won their Nations League group last year.

If they want a home draw, however, they must finish second in their qualifying group.

(Photo: Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images)
November 14, 2021 at 5:07 PM EST
Thank you for tuning into today's news live blog.

We will be back tomorrow with all the latest on Dean Smith to Norwich, Rangers ongoing managerial search and all the build-up to England's final World Cup qualifier match against San Marino.

Have a lovely evening!
November 14, 2021 at 4:26 PM EST
Pat Nash was just 15 when he was told the news no young hopeful ever wants to hear.

After seven years in the Reading academy, he was deemed too small to make it at the top level of the professional game and released.

It was the sort of rejection that can kill a career. For every teenager who bounces back to make the grade, there are countless others who fade into obscurity. Nash, with the help from some Youtubers, signed a one-year professional deal with Everton.
GO FURTHER
How Youtubers helped Pat Nash go from Reading rejection to Everton pro
November 14, 2021 at 3:12 PM EST
There is a top-of-the-group clash between Portugal and Serbia taking place right now.

Going into the game, Portugal and Serbia were tied on points. A disappointing draw against the Republic of Ireland has made tonight's match a must-win for Fernando Santos and his side.

It is currently 1-0 to Portugal through a Renato Sanches goal in the second minute.
November 14, 2021 at 12:57 PM EST
Exciting games and even more exciting results!

It's been an amazing end to the Women's Football Weekend as Chelsea hammer Manchester City and Reading crawled back from a 2-0 deficit to draw 2-2.

Here is the full list of results from the past two days.
That’s a wrap for #WomensFootballWeekend! ✅

All the results from the #BarclaysFAWSL ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/RIr54Gn5iD
November 14, 2021 at 12:02 PM EST
Wow. Champions Chelsea win 4-0 away at Manchester City, thanks to goals from Jessie Fleming, Sam Kerr, Fran Kirby and Magda Eriksson.

That result sees Chelsea once again move a point behind unbeaten Arsenal.

Elsewhere, West Ham and Reading played out a 2-2 draw.
What a header! 😍

Well in, @MagdaEricsson! 🙌#CFCW pic.twitter.com/IIMomE9zb0
November 14, 2021 at 11:58 AM EST
Croatia have qualified for the World Cup, courtesy of an 81-st minute own goal from Russia's Fyodor Kudryashov.

The two sides occupied the top two spots in Group H coming into the match, with Russia leading their opponents by two points.

But that own goal consigns Russia to the play-offs, with Croatia, the 2018 finalists, guaranteeing their spot in Qatar.
GO FURTHER
The timeless brilliance of Luka Modric
November 14, 2021 at 10:41 AM EST
Her opening goal against Manchester City is Jessie Fleming's third in as many games, after the midfielder was on target in the 7-0 demolition of Servette in the Champions League and scored the winner at Aston Villa in her last WSL game.

Not one that Karima Benameur will want to see again, however…
Chelsea's pressure pays off as Man City's defence crumbles and Jessie Fleming bags a very early goal!

Man City 0-1 Chelsea

📺 Watch live on Sky Sports Premier League
📲 Follow match updates in our live blog ⬇ pic.twitter.com/jVUMaQ9TSD
November 14, 2021 at 10:06 AM EST
It's half-time in the WSL 2pms, with Aston Villa leading 1-0 at Birmingham City and no goals between Brighton and Leicester.

In the earlier game, Everton came back to draw 1-1 against Manchester United.

Manchester City against Chelsea, meanwhile, has just kicked off but already the west London side lead, courtesy of a Jessie Fleming goal. Having also just got underway, West Ham and Reading are goalless.
Rising highest in the box! 💥@NicenNeetz gives @AVWFCOfficial the lead in the #SecondCityDerby! #BarclaysFAWSL #WomensFootballWeekend pic.twitter.com/Oa9AbPX1SB
November 14, 2021 at 10:01 AM EST
It was, to put it mildly, a comfortable game for France last night as they qualified for next year's World Cup with an 8-0 win over Kazakhstan.

Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick, with Adrien Rabiot and Antoine Griezmann also on the scoresheet.

But is was Kylian Mbappe who stole the show, with the PSG man scoring four goals, including a hat-trick in the opening 32 minutes of the match.

The Athletic's Nick Miller wrote about the forward's evergrowing pedigree last month.
GO FURTHER
Kylian Mbappe: Genius
November 14, 2021 at 9:28 AM EST
Belgium's 3-1 victory over Estonia saw them book their place in next winter's World Cup in Qatar.

The side are ranked No 1 in the world, but have yet to really impress at a major tournament.

So has Roberto Martinez's tenure been a success? The Athletic's Nick Miller investigates.
GO FURTHER
No 1 team in the world but no trophies: Has Martinez been a success with Belgium?
November 14, 2021 at 9:00 AM EST
Scotland will again be without the versatile Scott McTominay when they face Denmark tomorrow, with the Manchester United man still suffering with an illness.

QPR striker Lyndon Dykes, meanwhile, is a doubt for the game but has not yet been ruled out.

Manager Steve Clarke said: "Scott is definitely out. Scott hasn't recovered enough from his virus.

"Lyndon didn't do very much this morning. Lyndon, I would put at 50-50."

Scotland are not playing for a finishing position in their final World Cup qualifier, with the side already guaranteed to finish second behind Denmark, but a win would make in more likely they are seeded for the play-offs.

November 14, 2021 at 8:24 AM EST
After the opeming 45 minutes, Everton are a goal down at home to Manchester United in today's early Women's Super League game, with Ella Toone on the scoresheet.

Later today, Birmingham host Aston Villa in a West Midlands derby, while there's a top of the table clash as Chelsea visit Manchester City. As well as those games, Brighton face Leicester and West Ham play Reading.

GO FURTHER
Ella Toone is the ‘nine and a half’ that keeps Manchester United’s opponents guessing
November 14, 2021 at 8:14 AM EST
Asked about Conor Gallagher's call-up to the senior England squad this morning, Gareth Southgate said: "We have tracked Conor for quite a long time, his loan spells at Charlton and Swansea, West Brom and Crystal Palace.

"At each loan he has done really well. We talked about him when we named the original squad of who we wanted to keep an eye on."

Will Southgate give Gallagher a debut tomorrow against San Marino?
GO FURTHER
Palace rise up table thanks to tenacity of Conor Gallagher – England call can’t be far away
November 14, 2021 at 8:02 AM EST
Ben Mee and his wife Sarah have opened up to The Athletic's Oliver Kay about the premature birth of their daughter last year.

Olive was born 16 weeks early: “She was 1lb 2oz. Just slightly bigger than your hand.”

Be sure to read the full interview below.

GO FURTHER
‘Just slightly bigger than your hand’: Ben Mee on daughter’s premature birth, paternity leave and love for the NHS
November 14, 2021 at 6:30 AM EST
Celtic full-back Anthony Ralston has been handed a first call-up to the Scotland senior side after Nathan Patterson's suspension ruled him out of tomorrow's match against Denmark.

Ralston has started the season very well under Ange Postecoglu, and was rewarded with a new contract last month.

GO FURTHER
Ralston shines again but Celtic still have room to improve on Postecoglou’s inverted full-back plan
November 14, 2021 at 6:04 AM EST
Former Manchester United winger Nani has spoken exclusively to The Athletic's James Horncastle about wanting to extend his contract with Orlando City, persuading Bruno Fernandes to join United over Spurs, and his conversation with Phil Neville.

Check it out below.
GO FURTHER
Nani exclusive: Wanting to stay at Orlando, his playoff hopes and pushing Bruno Fernandes to join United
November 14, 2021 at 5:27 AM EST
The Athletic reported that Norwich have reached a verbal agreement with Dean Smith to become their new head coach.

Smith, who only left Aston Villa last weekend, is expected to sign a two-and-a-half-year deal.

More on that here.
November 14, 2021 at 4:51 AM EST
Crystal Palace midfielder Conor Gallagher has been called up to the England squad for the first time.

Gallagher has impressed while on loan at Palace from Chelsea, scoring four goals already this season.

Mason Mount, Luke Shaw, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish, however, will not link up with the squad as they prepare to face San Marino tomorrow.

More on that story here.

(Photo: James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images)
November 14, 2021 at 4:29 AM EST
Welcome to our coverage of today's football news!

Stick with us as we bring you the latest on Norwich and Rangers' managerial hunt and all the news from around the globe as side's race to book their place in next year's World Cup in Qatar.

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