Kenya get surprise draw in Egypt as Algeria sink Zambia with five-goals

Kenya held Mohamed Salah-less Egypt 1-1 and defending champions Algeria buried Zambia under a five-goal avalanche on Thursday as 2021 Africa Cup of Nations matchday one qualifying continued.

Debutant Mohammed Kudus clinched victory for Ghana over South Africa while Mali and Guinea ended 2-2 after four goals in 19 minutes.

In other matches, Comoros upset Togo, a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang-inspired Gabon held the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique were too strong for Rwanda.

Even without injured Liverpool goal poacher Salah, Egypt were expected to overcome traditional poor travellers Kenya at the vast 87 000-capacity Borg el Arab Stadium near Alexandria.

But after starting anxiously with every player behind the ball, Kenya had chances to score before they gifted Egypt the lead three minutes before halftime in the Group G clash. Bet Now on today’s AFCON Games on NaijaBet

A back pass from Erick Ouma in the centre circle to goalkeeper Ian Otieno was too weak and Mahmoud Kahraba took advantage to tap into the net.

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Who has qualified… Who can still qualify for Euro 2020?

We look at how the qualifying groups stand, who is through and who could join them.

Top two in each group qualify directly for Uefa Euro 2020

QUALIFIED FOR UEFA EURO 2020

  • Belgium
  • Italy
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Ukraine

Please note that elimination and contention refers only to European Qualifiers group stage; teams may still be able to qualify via the UEFA EURO 2020 play-offs.

Group A

Standings: England (15 pts), Czech Republic (12), Kosovo (11), Montenegro (3), Bulgaria (3)

Matchday 9: 14 November – England v Montenegro, Czech Republic v Kosovo Various betting options are available on NaijaBet

England: will qualify with a draw against Montenegro, or if Kosovo lose to Czech Republic; guaranteed play-off place if required as UEFA Nations League Group A4 winner

Continue reading “Who has qualified… Who can still qualify for Euro 2020?”

Salah out of Egypt AFCON games due injury

Egypt’s Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has been ruled out of their African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Kenya and Comoros with an ankle injury.

Egypt released a statement on their official Twitter account on Tuesday confirming Salah will miss the games, along with a picture of the striker with a protective boot on his left ankle.

Egypt host Kenya in their opening Group G qualifying match on Thursday and visit Comoros on Monday.

Salah has scored six goals for Liverpool this season and was on target in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Manchester City which took his side eight points clear at the top of the Premier League. Bet Now

But the 27-year-old has had niggling injuries since twisting his ankle against Leicester City at the start of October, which forced him to miss the 1-1 draw at Manchester United, the only Premier League game Liverpool have failed to win this season.

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NIGERIA VS BENIN MATCH PREVIEW

Super Eagles will be striving to make a strong start to their qualifying campaign against Benin who will have gained great confidence from how they competed at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals where they reached the quarter-finals.

Benin proved to be stubborn opposition during that run to the last eight but they may lack the firepower to respond if Nigeria get ahead. The home team should have enough calibre to ensure a hard-fought, narrow victory.

Team News

NIGERIA are back in competitive action for the first time since their third-placed finish at the 2019 AFCON as they begin their qualifying campaign for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations with a home game against Benin, followed by an away match against Lesotho four days later.

Although this is their first competitive game since June, they have earned creditable draws in friendly matches against Ukraine and Brazil within the last couple of months. Bet Now

Coach Gernot Rohr has named a 23-man squad for the double-header of matches and has recalled Ahmed Musa and Daniel Akpeyi along with Samuel Kalu, Mikel Agu and Kenneth Omeruo.

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Premier League Top Scorers returns to Africa as Afcon qualifying begins

English Premier League sharpshooters Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah flew to Africa this week, seeking goals as 2021 Cup of Nations (CAN) qualifying kicks off.

New Arsenal captain Aubameyang has claimed eight league goals this season and Liverpool duo Mane and Salah seven and six respectively, putting the trio among the top 10 scorers.

The form of Gabonese Aubameyang, Senegalese Mane and Egyptian Salah will encourage their nations as they face two matches each between this Wednesday and next Tuesday.

Mane, who is looking good to succeed two-time winner Salah as African Footballer of the Year, will be first into action with Senegal hosting Congo Brazzaville in Thies Wednesday.

Having scored for Liverpool in a 3-1 triumph over reigning champions Manchester City Sunday and travelled to Dakar Monday, Mane will have little time to prepare for the Group I clash. Various international break odds are available on NaijaBet

Fortunately for 2019 Cup of Nations silver medallists Senegal, whose defence is marshalled by Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, Congo have not impressed recently.

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Premier League Match Preview: Liverpool vs Manchester City

Liverpool are six points clear of Manchester City and know a win over their main title rivals would put them in a very commanding position. Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 45 Premier League home matches, last losing in April 2017. Jurgen Klopp’s side have, however, conceded in each of their last five league matches at Anfield.

Manchester City know they simply have to win on Sunday. There is still a long way to go in the season but Liverpool have already shown they rarely drop points and City have to take advantage of when they play Klopp’s side. Their preparations in midweek couldn’t have gone worse and the absence of Ederson is a major blow for Pep Guardiola.

City have actually failed to score in four of their last five visits to Anfield but Liverpool are not as strong at the back at the moment as they have been recently. City will have to go for it at some point but whether they will have enough to the result they crave remains to be seen.

Team News

Liverpool-Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain must be seriously knocking on the door for a start after a few eye-catching displays for Liverpool.

Jordan Henderson missed out through illness in midweek and could make way for Oxlade-Chamberlain if he fails to recover in time. Bet Now NaijaBet.com

Fabinho is on four yellow cards and was not risked last weekend ahead of this match. He will return to the starting XI on Sunday.

Dejan Lovren will once again get the nod ahead of Joe Gomez at centre-back with Joel Matip still sidelined with a knee injury.

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Dortmund look to add more misery on embattled Bayern

Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre says his side have “nothing to lose” as they look to inflict more woe on crisis-hit Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Niko Kovac was sacked last Sunday as Bayern coach after a 5-1 drubbing at Eintracht Frankfurt, with Hansi Flick taking over as interim boss for two games.

The former Germany assistant coach oversaw a 2-0 midweek win over Olympiakos which sealed a Champions League last-16 place with two matches to spare.

But Bayern sit fourth in the Bundesliga, one point behind second-placed Dortmund and four adrift of leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Dortmund beat Bayern 2-0 at Signal Iduna Park in the German Super Cup in August, but Dortmund have unfinished business in Munich after suffering a 5-0 thrashing in April before their rivals went on to pip them to the title by two points. For high odds, Play bet on NaijaBet.com

“In the last five years, it has been hard to win there,” said Favre. “But, we have nothing to lose. We respect Bayern – we don’t fear them.”

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Marseille and Lyon clash in Ligue1 as PSG hail Navas

If Paris Saint-Germain have been held back in recent years by their lack of a truly top-class goalkeeper, Keylor Navas showed just why they were so keen to bring him to the French capital with his midweek performance in the Champions League.

The Costa Rican joined PSG in September from Real Madrid as Alphonse Areola moved in the other direction, and on Wednesday his late penalty save helped secure a 1-0 win over Club Brugge that clinched his side’s place in the last 16.

The last line of defence for Real as they won three successive Champions Leagues between 2016 and 2018, Navas is yet to concede a goal in Europe since arriving in Paris.

Indeed, the 32-year-old has let in only five goals in 12 matches for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

“He is an extraordinary goalkeeper. He won three Champions Leagues with Real Madrid in a competition where goalkeeper is such an important position. They can change the outcome of a game,” remarked midfielder Marco Verratti after Wednesday’s game, in which Mauro Icardi scored the winner. Start forecasting your Weekend games Now

“He will bring so much experience and calmness to the side,” said sporting director Leonardo.

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Europa League Match Preview: Manchester United vs Partizan Belgrade

Manchester United return to Old Trafford after a run of three straight away games. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have scored exactly one goal in each of their six home matches since beating Chelsea 4-0 on the opening weekend of the season.

Partizan Belgrade have only won two of their last six matches in all competitions, losing the other four. Those two victories were both 4-0 wins. They have lost back-to-back away matches heading into Thursday’s match in Manchester. A low scoring game is expected here.

Team News

Manchester United-Ole Gunnar Solskjaer isn’t expecting any of his injured players back until after the international break.

Victor Lindelöf has been carrying a back injury in Manchester United’s last two matches and has been ruled out on Thursday to add to Solskjaer’s woes.

As Ashley Young is suspended at the weekend, expect the veteran to start at left-back on Thursday to have Brandon Williams fresh for their home match with Brighton. Bet Now on NaijaBet

Other youngsters like Mason Greenwood and James Garner will hope to get game time against Partizan Belgrade on Thursday.

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My game won’t change because of Guardiola’s diving claims – Mane

Sadio Mane says he will probably be watched more carefully by Sunday’s referee because of Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola’s “diving” comments but the Liverpool forward has no intention of changing the way he plays.

Guardiola said last weekend that Mane dived sometimes, after the forward was booked in the first half against Aston Villa for simulation, though the City boss has since walked back his comments.

Leaders Liverpool host champions City in a Premier League showdown on Sunday and Sane said the timing of Guardiola’s accusation was no coincidence.

“I think it’s a bit clever from him to get the attention of the referee but I will just play my football like I’m always doing,” Mane said. Various Europa League betting options are available on NaijaBet

The Senegal forward added that the comments mattered little to him.

“I don’t pay attention to what he’s saying because it’s part of football,” he added. “If the ‘dive’ will give me a penalty then I will do it. Why not? But what coach Juergen (Klopp) said is correct. I do not dive.”

Hummels says belief helped Dortmund seal stunning win against Inter Milan

Mats Hummels said a frank halftime team talk helped Borussia Dortmund come from two goals down to beat Inter Milan 3-2 in the Champions League on Tuesday thanks to Achraf Hakimi second-half double.

Antonio Conte’s Inter dominated the first-half at Signal Iduna Park as Lautaro Martinez put the Italians ahead after just five minutes before Matias Vecino added a second just before the break.

However, Dortmund made their superior possession count after the break as Hakimi, who turned 21 on Monday, led the charge with two second-half goals either side of Julian Brandt’s equaliser.

“Inter were very clinical in the first half. They scored twice from two chances, unlike us,” said Hummels, who was beaten for pace by Martinez for the opening goal.

“We left them little room to breathe after the break and were really strong in the second half. Various Champions League Odds are available on NaijaBet

“At the interval, we said that we needed to continue with the ball the way we had done so before, but we had to create more chances.”

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Valverde accepts Barca under pressure after Slavia stumble

Ernesto Valverde admitted Barcelona are in a rut after they followed up their La Liga defeat by Levante with a goalless draw at home to Slavia Prague on Tuesday in the Champions League.

Lionel Messi hit the crossbar in the first half but that was as close as Barca came during a disjointed display that risks dragging Valverde’s team back into the fight for qualification from Group F.

“The other day we lost against Levante and we know this was not one of our best games either,” Valverde said. “We haven’t been convincing either on Saturday or today and we know there is a lot of pressure now on the team. We have to respond.”

Barcelona play Dortmund at home next and will hope progress is secured before their final game against Inter Milan at the San Siro.

The likelihood is they have already done enough to make the last 16 but Valverde will face scrutiny, this blunt performance coming only three days after his side were beaten 3-1 by Levante in La Liga. Place bet on Live Event and Virtual 24/7 on NaijaBet

If that loss was defined by three goals conceded in seven mad minutes, this one was far less dramatic, a story of stodgy possession in front of their own fans, whose displeasure made for an increasingly sour atmosphere at Camp Nou.

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Champions League Match Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs Inter Milan

Borussia Dortmund and Inter are locked on four points after three matches in Group F. The winner of this match will expect to go on and secure a top-two finish.

Inter are unbeaten in their last five matches, including a 2-0 win over Dortmund last time out in the Champions League.

Borussia Dortmund have only won four of their last 10 matches but did record a confidence-boosting 3-0 win over Wolfsburg at the weekend.

Dortmund have failed to score in their last three home games in the competition but it’s difficult to back Inter, who have lost their last three away from home in the Champions League.

Team News

Borussia Dortmund-Jadon Sancho has been out of favour for Borussia Dortmund over the last month and may have to settle for a place on the bench here. Thorgan Hazard and Achraf Hakimi have done well in his absence and will continue on the flanks here.

Marco Reus’ injury woes continued at the weekend after lasting just 28 minutes before needing to come off in Dortmund’s 3-0 win over Wolfsburg with an ankle problem. He is not expected to recover in time to play here. Bet Now on NaijaBet.com

Paco Alcacer made his first appearance in over a month at the weekend but only got one minute of playing time. It’s unclear whether he is fit enough to start on Tuesday. Marcel Schmelzer is Dortmund’s only other injury concern.

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Who will ends up as Bayern next Coach as Hunt begin after Kovac sacking

Bayern Munich are looking for a new head coach after Niko Kovac was sacked in the wake of their 5-1 drubbing at Eintracht Frankfurt – their worst Bundesliga defeat in 10 years.

Despite his team routing Tottenham 7-2 in the Champions League in early October, Bayern severed ties with Kovac on Sunday night after winning just three of their last six games.

It was no secret that chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was a reluctant supporter of Kovac becoming coach when the former Bayern midfielder succeeded Jupp Heynckes in July 2018.

President Uli Hoeness persuaded Rummenigge that the right man was Kovac, who endured a storm of criticism inside his first three months following back-to-back Bundesliga defeats by Hertha Berlin and Moenchengladbach.

Bayern still won the league and cup double last season, but the writing was again on the wall last month when Hoffenheim pulled off a shock 2-1 win in Munich. Sloppy defending also saw Bayern concede a late goal in their 2-2 draw at Augsburg a fortnight ago. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet.com

An unconvincing 3-2 victory at Olympiakos in the Champions League the following game moved Rummenigge to brand the performance “careless”.

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Champions League Match Preview: Chelsea vs Ajax

Chelsea bounced back from their cup defeat to Manchester United with a 2-1 win over Watford. While the scoreline doesn’t suggest it, they were much better than the Hornets and Frank Lampard would have been pleased with the performance.

Ajax have won both matches played since the 1-0 defeat at home to Chelsea, scoring four goals in each outing. Ajax have won their last four away matches in the Champions League, impressively beating Real Madrid, Juventus, Tottenham and Valencia in that time. Three of those were last season, however.

Chelsea were not expected to go to Amsterdam and beat Ajax last time out in the Champions League and for that reason you must consider them slight favourites here. A win here for Chelsea would be a major step forward to securing a top-two finish in Group H.

Team News

Chelsea –Late decisions will need to be made on Ross Barkley, N’Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen ahead of Tuesday’s welcome of Ajax. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a long-term absentee for the home side.

Christian Pulisic has leapfrogged Callum Hudson-Odoi in the pecking order for places at the moment and is expected to start on the wing on Tuesday. Start forecasting your Champions League games Now

Emerson will hope to keep his place at left-back ahead of Marcos Alonso after returning to full fitness.

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Tottenham consider appeal over Son’s red card in Sunday’s 1-1 draw

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino hinted the club may appeal against Son Heung-min’s red card following the horrific injury suffered by Everton’s Andre Gomes in the 1-1 draw on Sunday.

Pochettino – whose side were denied a first away win in the league since January with a late stoppage time equaliser from Cenk Tosun – blamed VAR for the red card as Son had been initially just booked.

The 26-year-old Portuguese international’s injury – a fracture dislocation to his right ankle which he will have surgery on Monday – occurred as his momentum from Son’s trip saw him crash into Spurs defender Serge Aurier.

Pochettino – whose side remain in the bottom half in 11th place with 13 points from their first 11 games – expressed his sorrow for Gomes but said a visibly distressed Son had not intended to provoke such an injury.

“It was clear it was never the intention of Son to create the problem that happened afterwards,” said Pochettino. Various betting options are available on site for today’s games

“It is unbelievable to see a red card. In that situation we need to help because the decision of the referee was a yellow card but the VAR changed the decision.

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Real cruise as Ramos nets for 16th straight season

Real Madrid registered their biggest win since Zinedine Zidane’s return as coach on Wednesday as they demolished struggling Leganes 5-0 to move up to second in La Liga.

Karim Benzema was the star of the show, the Frenchman rounding off a superb attacking display with a goal from the penalty spot after Rodrygo, Toni Kroos and another spot-kick from Sergio Ramos had already put Leganes out of sight. Luka Jovic added a fifth in injury-time.

“We have not scored five goals for a long time,” said Zidane. “We needed a victory like that. When you start scoring goals, it makes everything easier.”

Gareth Bale was absent as he continues to recover from a calf injury but Madrid hardly missed the Welshman, whose future has again been up for discussion this week after he was pictured returning to London. Various Odds are available on site for today’s games

Zidane said he has spoken to Bale and saw him in the changing room at the Santiago Bernabeu. He was also asked if Bale had permission to leave the game five minutes before fulltime. “I think so,” Zidane said. “If he leaves five minutes before the game finishes, he can get home more easily.”

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Carling Cup Match Preview: Chelsea vs Manchester United

Chelsea have won their last seven matches in a row in all competitions.

Manchester United have won successive away games in all competitions for the first time since March.

United’s 2-0 win away to Chelsea in February was their first victory at Stamford Bridge since 2012.

Chelsea are slight favourites heading into Wednesday’s match and will expect to progress to the next round of the Carabao Cup.

Team News

Chelsea-N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger are all expected to miss out for Chelsea on Wednesday night. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also sidelined. For Boosted Odds, Bet Now on NaijaBet

Christian Pulisic scored a hat-trick against Burnley on Saturday and Frank Lampard may look to pair him with Callum Hudson-Odoi on the flanks in midweek.

Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud will hope to benefit from rotation to get a rare start up front.

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The key is to belief in young players, says Lampard

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said it was important to show belief in his young players after their dispiriting 4-0 defeat by Manchester United in their Premier League opener.

Lampard, Chelsea’s record goalscorer, took over as manager in July with the club under a Fifa transfer ban that prevented them from signing players in the close season.

Lampard started forward Tammy Abraham, 22, and midfielder Mason Mount, 20, at Old Trafford on August 11 and drew criticism from some quarters, including from former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, over his tactics and team selection.

“I joke a bit but there’s a lot of noise, win, lose or draw, whatever 11 I pick,” Lampard told reporters ahead of Chelsea’s return to Old Trafford in the League Cup fourth-round later on Wednesday. Make cool cash with Virtual and Live Games on NaijaBet

“I set out this season to see what these young boys could do… For me to have thrown that away after one game at Manchester United and a few opinions, that would have made me a bit of a flip-flopper.”

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Carling Cup Match Preview: Liverpool vs Arsenal

Liverpool came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 on Sunday. Arsenal threw away to a 2-0 lead with Crystal Palace to draw 2-2 on Sunday.

Arsenal have only lost two of their last 13 matches – a run that includes a 3-1 defeat away to Liverpool.

Liverpool have scored at least three goals in each of their last five home matches against Arsenal.

Team News

Liverpool – Virgil van Dijk suffered a dead leg in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Tottenham and is a doubt.

Nathaniel Clyne and Xherdan Shaqiri are both ruled out for the home side. Bet Now on NaijaBet

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has a good chance of starting against former club Arsenal.

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Lukaku shines as Inter hang on for win at Brescia

A stunning strike by Romelu Lukaku gave Inter Milan a 2-1 win at Brescia on Tuesday although they had to cling on for three points in the face of heavy pressure from the promoted side.

The win took Inter back to the top of Serie A, at least for 24 hours until Juventus, who are two points behind, host Genoa on Wednesday. Inter also maintained a 100 per cent away record with five wins out of five.

Inter went ahead midway through the first half with a fortuitous goal from Lautaro Martinez, whose shot deflected off defender Andrea Cistana, before Lukaku score with a stinging drive just past the hour mark.

Milan Skriniar’s own goal in the 76th minute brought a feisty Brescia right back into the game and ensured a nervy finale for the visitors.

“We got the three points and I’m not interested in anything else,” said Inter coach Antonio Conte, who complained about a crowded fixture list. “Sometimes you just have to win while suffering.” Various SerieA Boosted Odds are available on NaijaBet for today’s games

“This terrible sequence of matches continues,” he added. “We will play seven times in 20 days, and I’ve never seen that with any other team. It’s very strange.”

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Zidane trashed speculation over Bale’s future at Real

Zinedine Zidane insists Gareth Bale was given permission by Real Madrid to travel to London on Monday, and claims the Welshman never talks about leaving the club.

Bale has not played since injuring his calf during a game for Wales on October 13 and his trip to England has prompted speculation he will seek an exit from Madrid in January.

But Zidane insists Bale had permission to be absent on Monday and Tuesday morning and that he is not aware the 30-year-old wants to be sold.

“It was a personal issue and he had permission yesterday to go,” Zidane said in a press conference on Tuesday.

“It was a personal issue and he went, that’s it, no story. He also went because he’s not available to play. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

“But I don’t think he ever speaks about leaving. When he is available he plays, that’s all there is to it.”

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LaLiga Match Preview: Barcelona vs Real Valladolid

Barcelona have won their last six consecutive games in all competitions, but did struggle recently against Slavia Prague.

Ernesto Valverde’s side have won every single one of their home games so far this campaign.

Real Valladolid are unbeaten in their last five league outings and have won twice on the road this season.

Team News

Barcelona-Ousmane Dembele is serving his second game of suspension after getting a red versus Sevilla.

Gerard Pique is available after a ban and should return at the heart of the defence. Various betting options are available for today’s games on NaijaBet

Frenkie de Jong and Arthur should flank Sergio Busquets in midfield.

Continue reading “LaLiga Match Preview: Barcelona vs Real Valladolid”

Pogba might be out until December with ankle injury

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is unlikely to play again until December due to an ankle injury, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said.

France international Pogba last featured for United in their 1-1 Premier League draw with Arsenal on September 30.

“I don’t think we’ll see Paul before December. He’ll be out for a while,” Solskjaer told reporters after his team’s 3-1 win at Norwich City on Sunday.

“He needs time to fully recover. I don’t think he’ll be back, maybe for Sheffield United after the international break, but probably it will be December before we can see him. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

“I’m not a doctor but there is an injury there that needs healing. It’s his ankle.”

Continue reading “Pogba might be out until December with ankle injury”

Klopp delighted as Liverpool show resilience against Arsenal

For all their attacking flair, Liverpool showed again on Sunday they have the ability to dig deep and grind out vital victories when things do not go to plan as they recovered from an early setback to beat Tottenham Hotspur.

With their Premier League lead having been cut to three points on Saturday by Manchester City, there were a few worried looks on the Kop when Tottenham’s Harry Kane opened the scoring inside a minute at Anfield.

But Liverpool never panicked, trusted the system and gradually turned the screw.

Second-half goals by captain Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah from the penalty spot ensured Liverpool won 2-1, continuing their stunning start and fuelling belief that this could finally be the season they end their long wait for a first English title since 1990.

Manager Jurgen Klopp praised his side’s response to going behind so early against a team that, while not winning, have caused problems at Anfield in recent seasons. Carling Cup Boosted Odds are available on NaijaBet

“I told the boys at halftime, the only problem in this game so far is the result – apart from that, it’s good,” Klopp said.

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