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Natalie Sawyer fronts the new World Cup podcast from The Times, publishing every night after the final whistle on every matchday. Featuring studio guests and our leading football writers in Russia with the inside line on the England camp and what is really happening on the ground.

Natalie Sawyer fronts the new World Cup podcast from The Times, publishing every night after the final whistle on every matchday. Featuring studio guests and our leading football writers in Russia with the inside line on the England camp and what is really happening on the ground.
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Natalie Sawyer fronts the new World Cup podcast from The Times, publishing every night after the final whistle on every matchday. Featuring studio guests and our leading football writers in Russia with the inside line on the England camp and what is really happening on the ground.




Time for Pep to shine without his biggest star

Natalie Sawyer and James Gheerbrant take a look at the issues dominating the headlines in football ahead of another big Premier League weekend. Paul Joyce joins us to discuss how Manchester City can adapt to losing player of the year Kevin De Bruyne, side-lined for 3 months through injury. Could Phil Foden fill in? Should Emery lean on Leno for Arsenal in search of a better distributor than Petr Cech? They face Chelsea and superstitious Sarri at Stamford Bridge. Son of an architect...


Seamless City unstoppable as Pogba plants seeds with Mourinho

Gab Marcotti and Natalie Sawyer are joined by Matt Dickinson and Oliver Kay after the opening weekend of the Premier League season. And it’s clear the rest of the division should be very worried by Manchester City after their comprehensive victory at the Emirates. There’s no new broom at Arsenal who don’t look any different under Unai Emery. Paul Pogba’s cryptic comments about his manager open up a can of worms at Old Trafford. Are Manchester United and Mourinho acting a bit rich over...


The Game’s Premier League Preview 18/19

The Game is back for the new Premier League season and its double trouble. Gab Marcotti is joined by new co-host Natalie Sawyer. We’ll be bringing you a half-hour show every Monday and from next week a new preview show every Thursday. Alyson Rudd and Matt Hughes join us in the studio to discuss the major talking points ahead of the big kick-off. Are Liverpool the team to provide a title challenge to Manchester City? Are the media bored of Mourinho? And is Sigurdsson set to take centre...


Pogba peaks and Mbappe mesmerises as France are crowned world champions

After 32 days and 64 games, it is France who take home the World Cup after a pulsating 4-2 win over Croatia in Moscow. For our final episode, Natalie Sawyer is joined by Oliver Kay and Matt Hughes to analyse the final. What next for Kylian Mbappe, a player with the world at his feet? And will Paul Pogba be allowed to replicate that level of performance under Mourinho at Manchester United? With Croatia feeling hard done by with VAR after Perisic was penalised for handball, are slow...


England are a mid-table international side

Natalie Sawyer presents the penultimate podcast of this World Cup. England are well beaten by Belgium in a slightly sobering third place play-off. Matt Dickinson joins us from St Petersburg to assess exactly where England are in the footballing pyramid right now and where upgrades need to be made. Should Ruben Loftus-Cheek have played more during this tournament? And did Harry Kane play well this summer? Football may not have come home but Alyson Rudd has. She’s in the studio to preview...


The future's bright…and football could still come home

England’s World Cup adventure ends at the penultimate hurdle as Croatia come from behind to defeat the Three Lions in the semi-finals of the World Cup in Moscow after extra-time. Natalie Sawyer watches the game in the company of Matthew Syed, Tony Cascarino and Martyn Ziegler. Jonathan Northcroft is at the Luzhniki Stadium to heap praise on the world-class Kieran Trippier and the magnificent Mario Mandzukic. There’s tributes paid to the planning of the FA and Gareth Southgate in setting...


England free from the past to make their own history

Natalie Sawyer brings you The Game World Cup Daily with less than 24 hours to go until England take on Croatia for a place in the World Cup Final. Henry Winter joins us from Moscow to preview England’s biggest game in almost three decades, paying credit to Pippa Grange for the run to the last four. Plus we hear how Baddiel & Skinner’s Three Lions represents the antithesis to the mindset of the squad under Gareth Southgate. Student of Croatian football and politics, Dario Brentin gives us...


Saluting the most unified England team in 20 years

The World Cup in Russia continues to give and give to England fans. The Three Lions are through to the last 4 for the first time since 1990 after seeing off Sweden in Samara by 2 goals to nil. Natalie Sawyer, Oliver Kay and Bill Edgar assess how this unexpected rise to the top table of international football occurred under Gareth Southgate. There’s praise for Pickford and debate on whether Raheem Sterling is judged too harshly by his critics. Gab Marcotti watches Croatia progress on...


England empathise with Southgate's squad as players and people

Can Southgate’s side see off Sweden in Samara and soar to the semi-finals? Natalie Sawyer is joined by Henry Winter and Alan Smith to analyse England’s chances in the World Cup quarter-final, as well as examining how the public have learned to fall in love with the national team again. Belgium best the bookies’ boys Brazil as Roberto Martinez looks to add World Cup glory to his FA Cup triumph with Wigan, thanks to the brilliance of De Bruyne, Hazard and Lukaku. They will face...


England's unbelievable opportunity to reach the World Cup Final

Another historic night in Russia. At the World Cup where seemingly anything can happen, England win a World Cup penalty shootout for the first time ever, knocking out Colombia at the last 16 stage. Pickford’s saves keep England in the tournament, the selfless Kane continues to score and Dier displays his confidence with the winning spot-kick. Natalie Sawyer is joined by Matt Hughes and Oli Kay in Moscow to dissect a performance where England showed edge and resolve to progress to the...


England need to end embarrassing knock-out record

It’s time. England take on Colombia in the round of 16 in Moscow with the winner facing an appetising route to a return to the Russian capital in just over a week and a half. Natalie Sawyer brings you a comprehensive preview. Henry Winter discusses the patriotism at play in the England squad and the opportunity to end their embarrassing record in the knock-out stages. Colombian football expert Simon Edwards tells us what Tuesday night’s game means for Pekerman and his players, plus...


Stupid Spain slip out as changing of the guard continues

Natalie Sawyer looks back at the second day of last 16 ties at the World Cup. Two matches, two 1-1 draws, two penalty shootouts and a whole lot of drama. Hosts Russia overturn the rankings and shock the world by beating former champions Spain in Moscow. Jonathan Northcroft debates how Spain manager Fernando Hierro was found out, while paying tribute as Andres Iniesta bows out of the international stage. Matt Dickinson and Bill Edgar discuss whether or not England goalkeeper Jordan...


Modest Mbappe steals the show as Messi & Ronaldo exit the stage

The knockout stage of the World Cup in Russia begins with a bang. Natalie Sawyer reviews the progression of Uruguay and France to the last 8. A stunning display from 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe blows Argentina away. Alyson Rudd joins us from Kazan and is privileged to have witnessed one of the great World Cup games. Giles Smith is in the studio to mourn the loss of Diego Maradona from our TV screens and ponder the pointlessness of beer showers at a VAR tournament. Oli Kay gives his...


England's B team beaten to create Colombia clash

After all the speculation over England's Group G decider with Belgium, two reserve sides face off in Kaliningrad with Gareth Southgate's side losing 1-0 and surrendering top spot. But does finishing 2nd offer an easier route to the World Cup final? Or did defeat damage morale as England's squad players blew their chance of a regular starting berth? Natalie Sawyer is joined by Jonathan Northcroft and Alan Smith to assess England's chances of progressing in this tournament while wondering...


Entitled Germany out as the World Cup continues to shock

For the third World Cup in a row, the holders are knocked out at the group stage. Defeat for Germany against South Korea spelled the end of their reign as world champions and raised major questions over the attitude and atmosphere behind the scenes. Alyson Rudd reports from Kazan on the demise of the Germans and tells us why this tournament could be called the ‘under the radar cup.’ Studio guest Matthew Syed is mystified and left bereft by Germany’s elimination and tries to make sense of...


Messi moves Argentina towards fixture with France…and then Ronaldo?

With the score at 1-1 against the Super Eagles in St Petersburg, Argentina were 4 minutes away from being eliminated from the World Cup. But a Marcos Rojo volley spared Jorge Sampaoli’s blushes and knocked Nigeria out. Natalie Sawyer is joined by Martyn Ziegler and Bill Edgar to review another disjointed Argentine performance that sets up a last 16 tie with France. And should Messi’s men progress, a meeting with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal is possible in the quarter-finals. Martyn has...


VAR rescues Spain to set up Moscow meeting with Russia

Spain lose and then regain top spot in Group B as VAR allows a disallowed Iago Aspas equaliser while simultaneously awarding Iran a penalty to push Portugal down into second place. Natalie Sawyer reviews a crazy couple of minutes in Kaliningrad and Saransk. She’s joined by Henry Winter, who wants VAR to clamp down on Portuguese play-acting, Alex Kay-Jelski who would like Argentina to stay in Russia and Alyson Rudd who admires Uruguay’s intelligent thuggery. Plus we bring you an...


England are better off beating Belgium

After pummelling Panama in record-breaking fashion, England’s attention now turns to the knock-out stages of the World Cup. But with a game to come against Group G rivals Belgium, Natalie Sawyer asks Paul Joyce and Matt Hughes whether Gareth Southgate’s side should seek to finish 2nd and navigate a potentially easier path to the final. Harry Kane is England’s hat-trick hero and the top scorer in Russia but have we seen Tottenham’s Harry Kane at this tournament yet? Oliver Kay suggests...


Kroos takes control but can Loftus-Cheek take his chance?

A sensational finish in Sochi as a 95th minute winner from Toni Kroos keeps Germany’s World Cup hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over Sweden. Natalie Sawyer is joined by Matt Dickinson for his verdict on Saturday night’s drama and to preview England’s lunch date with Panama, as Ruben Loftus-Cheek looks to make a place in Gareth Southgate’s team his own. Martyn Ziegler witnesses the highest scoring game of the World Cup so far as England’s Group G rivals Belgium hammer Tunisia 5-2 in...


Nervy Neymar sheds tears as Southgate sours on the media

Natalie Sawyer reports on another historic day at the World Cup as Neymar sees a penalty given, then rescinded by VAR. Gab Marcotti discusses the world’s most expensive player and what’s going on inside his head after Brazil’s late victory over Costa Rica. Alan Smith dissects a combustible clash in Kaliningrad as Switzerland’s Kosovan contingent complete a remarkable turnaround against Serbia. Plus why Ahmed Musa has been Argentina’s best player. Paul Joyce gives us an insight into...