Midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura said AC Milan are primed and ready to finally taste victory over Juventus when the sides meet in an enticing San Siro clash on Saturday.
Eight games into the season Juventus look to be on their way to a record sixth consecutive Serie A crown after opening up significant gaps on key title rivals Napoli and Roma.
Roma, at home to Palermo on Sunday, are second at five points adrift while Napoli travel to rock-bottom Crotone looking to end a two-game run of defeats in the league that has left them seven points off the pace.
Milan’s surprising purple patch of late saw the Rossoneri hand Chievo their first home reverse of the season Monday in a 3-1 win that moved them up joint second. Naija and Bet
Bonaventura credits new coach Vincenzo Montella with helping to “end the chaos” that has reigned over the seven-time European champions in recent seasons.
Continue reading “AC Milan can defect Juventus – Bonaventura”
Goalkeeper Loris Karius will be able to produce his best form once he has adapted to the rigours of the Premier League, manager Jurgen Klopp has said ahead of Saturday’s clash against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield.
The 23-year-old Karius, who joined from German side Mainz 05 during the close season, has usurped Simon Mignolet in the starting line-up but is yet to win over Liverpool fans following a string of erratic performances.
“He is still a young boy but this is something different. The Premier League is a different style of play, generally and in a specific case,” Klopp.
“It is not perfect. He can improve. As a keeper you take a risk sometimes because the ball is bouncing.”
Klopp infamously celebrated a last-minute equaliser against West Brom at Anfield by leading his players to bow in front of The Kop and the German said it was unlikely there would be a repeat of the scenario. Naija and Bet
“I celebrated the point and it was a little bit surprising for most people. I don’t know at this point if I would celebrate a point again,” he said.
Continue reading “Klopp support Karius to adapt quickly”
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said Paul Pogba needs time to fulfil his full potential in England after the French midfielder scored twice in a 4-1 win over Fenerbahce.
Pogba, a world-record €89 million signing from Juventus, scored a penalty and a long-range effort in Thursday’s Europa League group game at Old Trafford.
The 23-year-old is yet to hit the heights since returning to United after four years in Turin, but Mourinho believes such performances will help expedite the bedding-in process.
“First of all, in some of your mouths, he goes from the worst player in the Premier League to a great player in 48 hours,” Mourinho told reporters.
“I am not specifically saying it is you. I say media, especially the Einsteins. We know he is a very good player. Naija and Bet
“We know he needs some time to show his potential. I know Italian football very well. I know teams play completely different from the Premier League.
Continue reading “Pogba still needs more time – Mourinho”
Super Eagles captain, Mikel John Obi, believes Nigeria will be one of the five African countries that will qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.
The Super Eagles got their World Cup qualifying campaign off to a flyer with a 2-1 win over Zambia in Ndola on October 9 to move to the top of Group B.
A win over Algeria in Uyo in November in Nigeria’s next game will put the three-time African champions firmly in the box seat and Mikel seems to know where the positive vibes are coming from.
“It’s all about being together. I think when you look at this team, there are so many new, young and talented players coming through.
“These players all want to work for each other and that is the most important thing. Naija and Bet
“There is fresh energy in the team which is provided by the young players and when you add that to the experience which some of the older players bring,” Mikel said.
Continue reading “Super Eagles will qualify for 2018 WCup – Mikel”
Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich bid to claim a rare win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday as the Bundesliga leaders look to get back to winning ways in Germany’s top flight.
Having won their first eight games under Ancelotti in all competitions, Bayern then went three matches without a win but got back on track with a 4-1 thumping of PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday in the Champions League.
The Bavarians now return to domestic business, where they have slipped up in recent weeks with draws against Cologne and Eintracht Frankfurt.
Bayern are two points clear at the top of the table but need to build on their emphatic win over PSV when Arjen Robben was outstanding with two assists and a goal. Naija and Bet
“I think we absolutely took a step forward, and we have to build on that,” skipper Philipp Lahm said after Wednesday’s match.
Continue reading “Bayern going for win over Gladbach”
Six of the top seven face off, while Barcelona face a treacherous trip to Valencia in a blockbuster weekend of La Liga action.
With the top six separated by just three points, league leaders Atletico Madrid travel to third-placed Sevilla looking to maintain their 11-game unbeaten run this season.
However, should Atletico falter, Real Madrid could retake top spot when they host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Barcelona head to Valencia in high spirits after Lionel Messi’s second Champions League hat-trick of the season ensured a nightmare return for former Barca coach Pep Guardiola to the Camp Nou in a 4-0 rout over Manchester City on Wednesday.
Messi was making his first start in a month after a groin injury, but looked anything but ring rusty in taking his tally for the season to 12 in 10 games. Naijabet.com
“We have seen the calm that Messi has to finish inside the area as if he was in the school yard,” said Barca coach Luis Enrique.
Continue reading “Barca, Real, Atletico face testing in La liga”
Paul Pogba struck twice as Manchester United invigorated their Europa League campaign with a classy 4-1 home victory over Turkish giants Fenerbahce on Thursday.
France midfielder Pogba scored a penalty and curled in from distance to take his tally to three goals since his world-record £89 million return from Juventus.
Anthony Martial, with another penalty, and Jesse Lingard were also on target as Jose Mourinho’s team secured a win that left them level on six points with Feyenoord at the top of Group A.
Fenerbahce replied late on through United old boy Robin van Persie, who tucked in a cross from substitute Emanuel Emenike and was rewarded with applause from all four corners of Old Trafford. Naija and Bet
The result vindicated Mourinho’s decision to make seven changes to the team that had held in-form Liverpool to a 0-0 draw on Monday.
Continue reading “Pogba shine as United sink Fenerbahce”
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Swansea City manager Bob Bradley will take heart from a previous successful relegation struggle as he battles to keep his new club in the Premier League, he said on Thursday.
Bradley, the first American manager in the league, began his tenure with a 3-2 defeat away to Arsenal last weekend.
That left Swansea bottom but one, having taken only one point from their last seven games.
In five seasons in the Premier League they have never finished outside the top 12 but now face a relegation fight.
“It was a big topic in my first year in Norway (with Stabaek), where the goal was to stay up after promotion,” Bradley told a news conference.
“Every expert said we were going down. Naijabet.com
“We started well but them had a dip and the press said ‘here it comes’. I told the team not to listen to them because they don’t watch us train or see what we’re about.”
Continue reading “Swansea can end bad run very soon – Bradley”
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has urged his players to climb to the summit of the Premier League for the first time this season by beating Bournemouth on Saturday, although he has a trio of injuries to worry about.
Spurs, the league’s only unbeaten side after eight games, dropped into third place last weekend after drawing 1-1 at West Bromwich Albion, and trail bitter north London rivals Arsenal and leaders Manchester City by a point.
Pochettino’s men can go top for at least a few hours if they beat Bournemouth in the weekend’s early kickoff, with Arsenal hosting Middlesbrough later on Saturday and City facing Southampton on Sunday.
“It’s a big motivation for us to finish the game and take the three points to be top of the table. Better motivation is impossible,” Pochettino said. Naijabet.com
“For that, today, the motivation was very good on the training ground on the pitch. Our players are very conscious about that and it’s a good opportunity to see us at the top of the table.
“First of all we need to win the game, in front we have a very good team and a great manager like Eddie Howe — it will be a very tough game.”
Continue reading “Pochettino eyes Premiership top spot”
Claudio Ranieri says he is a long way from retirement despite turning 65 ahead of Leicester’s game against Crystal Palace.
Ranieri’s birthday did not disrupt his routine on Thursday as he spent the day scouting Saturday’s Premier League opponents and fulfilling his media duties.
And the Italian, who has seen his champions prosper in Europe while struggling domestically this season, believes he is good for at least another five years as a manager.
“I’m an old man but I continue,” Ranieri said. “I feel good. For me my job is my life, I want to carry on. Naija and Bet
“When I started at 35 I said ‘okay at 50 I finish’. When I arrived at 50 I said ‘why now? 55’ Five by five, step by step, 65, 70.
“Life is fantastic, every job is difficult, but it is important to be strong inside because you don’t know what happens in life. You can go down but if you are strong you can wake up again.
“When I came to Leicester I came with the priority to build a squad to achieve Europe and then the Champions League – the project of my owner. Continue reading “Ranieri targets more five years before retirement”
Having become an integral part of one of the game’s most impressive ever attacking tridents, the Uruguayan wants to see out the remainder of his career at Camp Nou
Luis Suarez has declared his intention to remain at Barcelona for the remainder of his career.
Since joining Barca in 2014, Suarez has scored 93 goals in 108 appearances, winning the league, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble in his first season with the club.
The Uruguayan followed that up with 40 goals in the 2015-16 Primera Division, a haul which earned him the European Golden Shoe award and helped the Catalan giants to defend their title. Naija and Bet
Suarez paid tribute to his team-mates – particularly Lionel Messi and Neymar, with whom he has formed one of the greatest attacking tridents in the history of the game – and stated his desire to finish his career at Camp Nou.
“I want to thank Barca for bringing me here and allowing me to fulfil my goals. My team-mates play a part in all my goals,” said Suarez upon being presented with the Golden Shoe.
Continue reading “Suarez dream of ending is career at Barcelona”
Marseille’s new American owner on Thursday appointed former Roma and Lille boss Rudi Garcia as the club’s coach on a three-year deal.
Garcia replaces Franck Passi and will take charge for the French giant’s clash against arch-rivals Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.
“Rudi Garcia, 52, has signed a three-year contract. He will take up his role” starting Friday, Marseille said in a statement. Naija and Bet
The appointment comes just three days after US tycoon Frank McCourt completed his purchase of the Ligue 1 side from Margarita Louis-Dreyfus.
“When I met Rudi, he told me straight away he wanted to win the Champions League,” said McCourt, who has vowed to restore Marseille to their former glory.
Continue reading “Marseille appoint Garcia as the club’s new coach”
The Denmark captain is pleased to have the chance to perform at Old Trafford and possibly renew old acquaintances with striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the process
Fenerbahce defender Simon Kjaer has outlined his side’s ambition to go to Old Trafford and pick up three points when they meet Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday.
The Turkish side have had a difficult start to their domestic season and the Denmark captain is seeking an improvement domestically as well as a continuation of their positive start in Europe. Naijabet.com
“I have played with big clubs like Roma, Wolfsburg and Lille, where we finished third in France, but there is a special feeling of being at a top side around Fenerbahce – losing is never an option and never accepted,” the centre-back told “I enjoy that ambition and passion.
“We started in the Europa League with a draw in Ukraine, where it is always difficult to play, and then we beat Feyenoord. We’re playing to qualify from the group, obviously. Fenerbahce need to play for the league title and trophies every year, and for success in Europe.
Continue reading “Losing to United is never an option – Kjaer”
The former Manchester United boss has been backed to turn around the club’s fortunes on a long-term basis as he seeks his first Premier League victory in charge
David Moyes has what it takes to revive Sunderland’s ailing form and build a long-term success story at the club, according to chief executive Martin Bain.
The Black Cats are rooted to the foot of the Premier League table, with Moyes yet to taste a top-flight victory at the helm.
His position has come under increasing pressure and last weekend’s 2-0 loss at Stoke City, who were also winless, represented a new low.
But the former Manchester United boss has received backing from the board room ahead of Saturday’s trip to West Ham. Naijabet
“It’s been a turbulent start,” Bain told the club’s website. “From a football perspective we aren’t where we want to be, but from a personal perspective I’ve got a good feel for the people and I had to understand the identity of the club before I could make recommendations.
Continue reading “Moyes can still save Sunderland – Martin Bain”
Lionel Messi scored his second hat-trick in as many Champions League games to give Barcelona a 4-0 win over Manchester City as Pep Guardiola and Claudio Bravo endured harrowing returns to the Nou Camp on Wednesday.
A slip by Fernandinho allowed Messi to round former team mate Bravo and open the scoring in the 17th minute and the keeper completed a miserable night by getting sent off in the second half for handling outside the area after losing the ball.
The magical Messi hammered in his second from the edge of the area after turning two City defenders and pounced on a Luis Suarez lay-off to complete his treble in the 69th minute.
Barca substitute Jeremy Mathieu was then dismissed for two bookable offences. Neymar had a late penalty saved by substitute keeper Willy Caballero but the Brazilian made amends by scoring the fourth goal in the 89th minute.
“It’s difficult to play with Barcelona against 11 men. With 10, it was over,” said Guardiola, while adamant that he would not blame Bravo for the error which effectively ended his side’s night. Naijabet.com
“Mistakes happen. He is sad but he will learn a lot. As long as I’m a coach I’ll keep playing out from the goalkeeper,” the coach added.
Continue reading “Messi treble ruins Pep return”
Gernot Rohr’s men have climbed four places up in the grading released by the world football ruling body, but are eleventh in Africa
Nigeria rose up four spots to 60th place in the Fifa rankings released on Thursday, though are eleventh-ranked African side.
The Super Eagles leap came as a result of their 2-1 victory against Zambia in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier played in Ndola.
One the continent, they are ranked behind reigning African champions, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Algeria, Tunisia, Ghana, Egypt, Congo DR, Congo, Mail and Cameroon. Naija and Bet
Super Eagles’ opponents in next month’s qualifier, Algeria, are unmoved to rank no. 35 in the world and third in Africa.
Continue reading “Nigeria gains more points in October Fifa ranking”
Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery acknowledged that his team are not yet up to the standard expected of serious Champions League contenders despite their 3-0 win over Basle on Wednesday.
Goals from Angel Di Maria, Lucas and Edinson Cavani, with a late penalty, gave PSG an ultimately comfortable victory that keeps them on course to qualify for the last 16 from Group A.
Quarterfinalists in each of the last four seasons, the French champions will likely secure their place in the next round if they pick up a point when they face Basle again in Switzerland next month.
However, Emery knows they must improve upon what was a patchy performance against unlucky opponents who were denied three times by the woodwork at the Parc des Princes.
“It is an important three points but I am not as happy as I’d like to be,” the Spaniard said after seeing his side struggle in the first half and then improve as the game went on. Naijabet
“The first half was not good. That’s true. We were saved by the posts but we scored, and at 1-0 the match opened up for us and we had chances.”
Continue reading “Emery encourages PSG to do more better”
The seedings were approved by the AFCON Organizing Committee at its meeting on Monday, 26 September 2016 at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.
The seeding took into account the performance of the qualified teams during the following competitions.
Some of the potentially interesting clashes could potentially pit the champions (Ivory Coast) against other powerhouses like Cameroon or Egypt, who find themselves in pot 3.
Group winners and runners-up advance to the quarter-finals. Winners proceed to the semis and then the grand finals on February 5 at the venue of the draw. Naija and Bet
Tough Afcon draw for Uganda
Uganda Cranes have drawn Ghana, Egypt and Mali in Group D ahead of Afcon 2017 that will take place in Gabon from January 14 to February 5.
The sole representatives from East Africa will face Ghana in their opener on January 17 at Stade de Port Gentil in the second largest city in Gabon in a repeat of the 1978 final that saw the Black Stars lift the trophy following a 2-0 win in Accra. Continue reading “Final draw of AFCON 2017 in Gabon”
Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti said their 4-1 romp against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League was the reaction he was looking for after a three-match winless streak.
Bayern bounced back in emphatic style on Wednesday at the Allianz Arena with winger Arjen Robben in outstanding form.
Goals by Thomas Mueller and Joshua Kimmich put Bayern ahead before Luciano Narsingh netted for Eindhoven before the break.
But Bayern dominated the second-half with Robert Lewandowski putting them 3-1 up before Robben, who had set up two of their goals, added the fourth. Naija and Bet
The German media had spoken of a ‘mini-crisis’ after Bayern’s Bundesliga draws with Cologne and Eintracht Frankfurt in the wake of their 1-0 defeat at Champions League Group D leaders Atletico Madrid.
Continue reading “Ancelotti delights after Bayern ends winless run”
The Croatian midfielder has yet to experience a domestic title triumph with the Spanish giants and he confirms that asserting dominance in La Liga is his side’s priority
Luka Modric is desperate to end Real Madrid’s domestic title drought after four years without glory in La Liga.
Los Blancos last won the top flight in 2011-12, when they collected 100 points to stay clear of second-placed Barcelona.
Since then, however, the Catalan giants have won three titles and Atletico Madrid the other, meaning that some of Madrid’s biggest stars are yet to experience triumph in the Primera Division. Naija and Bet
“I have not won the league yet and hopefully this is the year,” Modric said.
“You can say that it is our priority because, for a club like Real Madrid to go four years without winning, it is too long. That does not mean we do not want to win the Champions League, Copa del Rey and everything that we play in.
Continue reading “Modric desperate to end Real la liga title drought”
Jose Mourinho will always have a place in the hearts of Chelsea’s faithful but his former charges are hoping to make him suffer when he returns to Stamford Bridge as manager of Manchester United on Sunday.
Two days before being sacked in December a doomed Mourinho spoke of a “betrayal” of his work by some of the players who had propelled Chelsea to the Premier League title the previous season.
Fingers were pointed at Diego Costa, among others, and the Spain striker’s huge dip in form was a contributing factor to the Portuguese tactician’s bitter exit.
Costa has started this season like the marauding forward Mourinho signed from Atletico Madrid, scoring seven goals in eight Premier League games, and he will be relishing the highly-charged atmosphere expected on Sunday – Place your on Naijabet.com and win big.
The visit to Stamford Bridge could hardly have come at a worse time for a United side who have won only one of their last five Premier League games to stall what had been a promising beginning to the Mourinho reign.
Continue reading “Costa ready to ruin Mourinho’s Chelsea return”
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola was defiant he will not change his ways despite a harrowing night for goalkeeper Claudio Bravo on his return to Barcelona as a Lionel Messi hat-trick inspired a 4-0 Barca win on Wednesday.
Bravo was sent-off with City trailing just 1-0 for saving Luis Suarez’s effort when outside his area after gifting the ball to the Uruguayan striker, putting Guardiola’s decision to jettison England No 1 Joe Hart under more scrutiny.
“Until the last day I am a coach I will try to play from the goalkeeper,” said Guardiola. Naijabet.com
“Of course you cannot play all the time, but it was a mistake and it sometimes happens.”
Bravo enjoyed two almost faultless years at Barca before joining City in August, but has endured a shaky start under Guardiola’s firm instructions to build City’s attack from the back.
“He (Bravo) has a lot of experience, he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world for the last 10 years, but he will learn and is the first one in the dressing room to apologise.”
Continue reading “Barca’s defeat won’t change City style – Guardiola”
Inter’s Europa League campaign has been a disaster. They’ve lost both of their opening two matches and will welcome a confident Southampton side having lost each of their last three matches.
Southampton are unbeaten in their last seven matches and have won five of those, only conceding one goal in that time. The Saints are one of just three sides yet to concede in the Europa League group stages.
The Saints could inflict further misery on Inter, although that would mean becoming the first Premier League side in four matches to triumph against Inter in Milan. Naijabet.com
Inter Milan – Geoffrey Kondogbia, Joao Mario, Stevan Jovetic and Gabriel are not included in Inter’s Europa League squad and will not feature here.
Arsene Wenger warned his Arsenal stars not to get carried away after they gave another demonstration of their sky-high confidence with a 6-0 demolition of Ludogorets in the Champions League.
Wenger’s side are in peak form at present and Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets were powerless to prevent their hot streak extending to seven successive victories in all competitions.
Alexis Sanchez scored a sublime opener and Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were also on the scoresheet at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday before Mesut Ozil hit a second half hat-trick.
With Arsenal top of their Champions League group after three matches and sitting pretty in the Premier League, where they are behind leaders Manchester City on goal difference, Wenger and company are finally feeling good about themselves after a troubled time last term.
But the Gunners boss knows over-confidence could be fatal to Arsenal’s chances of winning major silverware and he urged his players to stay humble. Naijabet.com
“Let’s not be too quick on the verdict. We have a strong squad and a strong spirit, but you have to take care of it and keep your feet on the ground,” Wenger said.
Continue reading “Wenger praise Arsenal after sinking Ludogorets”