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Oddballs: It’s big, it’s (still) round and balls to the critics

NIKE has unveiled next season’s Premier League ball and, guess what? It’s still round.

Fair’s fair, the good people at Nike – who call it a ‘game-changer’ — have again innovated, with ridges on the Flight ball that prevent free-kick takers getting the unpredictable movement they love.

Some critics say it looks more like a golf ball but Metro can exclusively reveal it will be used solely for football at this stage. Its makers claim the Flight (pictured) is more consistent when kicked, thus reducing the chances of long balls going to waste, set-pieces going astray or wayward.

Overall, great news for ball boys and girls.

■ YOU can’t blame Steve Bruce for trying. Things may — or may not — be looking up for the Newcastle boss as he waits to find out if he will get a Saudi transfer kitty. But for now the Toon gaffer is setting his sights on the very best. Gatecrashing City star Kevin De Bruyne’s interview before the Magpies’ FA Cup tie with Manchester City on Sunday, Bruce joked: ‘He’s had enough of Manchester City and he’s gonna come and play for Newcastle.’ No news yet on how the Belgian — who opened the scoring in City’s 2-0 win — feels about that.