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Danny Higginbotham declares for Gibraltar national team

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Chester defender Danny Higginbotham, who had stints at Manchester United, Sunderland and Stoke City, among other clubs, said on Wednesday that he will represent Gibraltar, UEFA’s newest member association. He made the announcement on Twitter nine days after Desmond Reoch took charge as the Gibraltar FA president.

The tiny nation off the coast of Spain became UEFA’s 54th member on May 24 after repeated efforts and despite Spain’s dissent. Gibraltar will begin its first official competition as a sanctioned soccer nation when Euro 2016 qualifying kicks off after the next World Cup.

(MORE: Minnows Gibraltar officially join UEFA… but why are Spain mad?)

Higginbotham’s qualification for Gibraltar seems somewhat convoluted, but the 34-year-old (pictured, right) jumped at his first opportunity for international competition:

The BBC reported that “Higginbotham’s mother is Spanish but was married in Gibraltar, while his grandmother also has connections there, and his uncle, Allen Bula, is head coach of the national side.” In any case, Higginbotham will join the nation with a population of 30,000 and a top-flight league of eight teams.

Because of their political differences, Gibraltar and Spain will be kept apart in any UEFA competition groups, just as Armenia is separated from Azerbaijan and Russia from Georgia.

Higginbotham has made nearly 400 appearances in a 16-year professional career in England, with a one-season loan to Royal Antwerp in Belgium. After spending most of it in the Premier League, he now plays for Chester in Conference Premier, having joined from League One’s Sheffield United in late August.

Miss of the season candidate as Correa whiffs for Sampdoria

GENOA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 23:  Jaoquin Correa of UC Sampdoria disappointed during the Serie A match between UC Sampdoria and AS Roma at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on September 23, 2015 in Genoa, Italy.  (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
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21-year-old Joaquin Correa may be young and inexperienced, but he may have grown today.

Painful growth.

The young Sampdoria attacker will not want to watch the highlights of today’s 1-1 draw with Inter Milan in Serie A play knowing he could have given his side all three points.

Could have, had he – you know – hit an open goal from less than three yards out. Spoiler alert: he didn’t.

Correa rounds Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic thanks to a fruitful rebound after his initial shot was smothered, but as he turned to face the wide open net, he scuffed his shot and it trickled embarrassingly wide.

Not much more to say about this one than try to put it behind you, Joaquin. It’s an ugly one.

Watch Live: Swansea City vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Lineups & Live Stream)

MONACO - OCTOBER 01:  Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur gestures during the UEFA Europa League group J match between AS Monaco FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Stade Louis II on October 1, 2015 in Monaco, Monaco.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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Tottenham can go third in the table with a road win today at one of the toughest places to play in the Premier League at the moment as they visit the Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea City at 11 a.m. ET live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

Spurs are coming off a massive win over Manchester City last weekend – their third straight victory in league play – but will be without bright new signing Hueng-min Son for the forseeable future after he suffered a foot injury in the victory. Spurs then managed a stout 1-1 draw with Monaco in Europa League play.

They are also without Danny Rose from an injury in that midweek meeting and Nabil Bentalib misses his fourth straight match due to injury, but Deli Alli is fit while Moussa Dembele makes the bench. Erik Lamela is in the starting lineup as he finds himself in fine form the last few weeks.

WATCH LIVE: Swansea City vs. Tottenham Hotspur live online at NBC Sports Live Extra

Swansea, meanwhile, have a fully fit squad eight matches into the Premier League season, and they would move into the top half of the table with a win.

Bafetimbi Gomis starts up front with four goals on the season, but he has not scored in his last three appearances, and conversely the Swans have picked up just one point over that span.


Swansea City: Fabianski, Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Ki, Shelvey, Ayew, Sigurdsson, Montero, Gomis.
Nordfeldt, Tabanou, Bartley, Cork, Barrow, Routledge, Eder.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Alli, Dier; Chadli, Eriksen, Lamela; Kane.
Vorm, Trippier, Wimmer, Carroll, Dembele, Townsend, Clinton.