McNair perhaps put in his best performance of the season in Sunderland's most recent game.
The West Ham United forward would have plenty of motivation to excel.
Stam has revolutionised Reading, so much so that they're almost unrecognisable - in a good way, too.
The Leeds United winger is far from the only wide option available at the club these days and the others have impressed in his absence.
Tottenham superkid builds on training with England squad.
Former Rangers ace Kris Boyd thinks Darlington Nagbe would be a great signing for Celtic - but he wanted him at Ibrox in 2014.
In Abu Dhabi this weekend Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will – metaphorically at least – touch gloves like a couple of heavyweights as the bell chimes for the final round. The Mercedes duo’s slugfest for the Formula One world championship has endured for eight months and 20 rounds and the Yas Marina Circuit has got what it paid for: the decider.
Rory McIlroy is experienced enough to recognise the territory. He has also developed a useful capacity to ignore what he regards as unnecessary, if incessant, commentary.
Eddie Jones’s all-or-nothing regime is designed to weed out England players who are not where they should be physically. Training is deliberately full-on, with 11 successive wins under Jones this year testimony to a more ruthless collective mindset. Even individuals recently sidelined by injury are expected to keep up or risk getting overtaken.
Conor McGregor is brilliant at promotion, better able to crawl under the skin or in the head of almost any fighter around. But ever since he won the UFC’s lightweight title two weeks ago at UFC 205, refusing to relinquish his featherweight belt as well, he’s been pursued by an unexpected equal at drawing attention – and perhaps a threat to his newly won championship: Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Friendlies always have the capacity to descend into farce, with mass substitutions and some teams more eager to embrace the occasion than others, but there was still plenty here to have Gareth Southgate purring.
The clock was showing 94 minutes and 55 seconds when England’s manager-in-waiting was reminded that trying to bring some sense and order to the national team is going to be anything but straightforward.
In it went, for the last time. Dani Carvajal’s pass was clipped into the area, Isco’s control on the chest was impeccable, and the shot went through Tom Heaton’s legs and into the net.