Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere was told by manager Arsene Wenger that he was free to leave the Premier League club before the start of the season but the 26-year-old opted to fight for his place.
The England international has struggled to hold down a starting place in recent years after battling serious injuries and spent the last campaign on loan at Bournemouth before sustaining a season-ending leg fracture in April.
Wilshere was told he could leave with around a month remaining in the summer transfer window but felt offers from other clubs were not enticing enough and he had yet to regain full fitness. Naija and Bet
“It was an honest conversation,” Wilshere said. “He (Wenger) said, ‘I am going to be honest with you and at the moment we are not going to be offering you a contract, so if you can get a contract somewhere else, you can go’.
“Obviously, I was not happy with that but at the same time I was happy he was being honest.
“He also said at the same time that if I did stay I had an opportunity to fight for my place, and if I performed well in the League Cup and Europa League, I had a chance.” Continue reading “Wilshere fought for Arsenal place, earning England call-up”
Diego Costa has told teammate Antoine Griezmann he is best off staying at Atletico Madrid. Griezmann has scored 23 goals in 38 appearances for Atletico this season and said on Wednesday he wants his future sorted before the start of this year´s World Cup.
The French forward told L´Equipe he hopes “to travel to Russia without concern” after Barcelona were forced in January to deny they had already struck a deal to sign the player. Manchester United were also credited with a strong interest last summer.
Costa, however, who left Atletico for Chelsea in 2014 only to return to the Spanish club earlier this season, believes his current striker partner should stay put. Place on today’s games on Naijabet
“He knows that we want him, that he is a very important player. He is still with us and he has not told me he is going yet,” Costa said on Wednesday.
“I would be happy for him to stay, everyone has to look for the best for themselves but, in my opinion, the best for him is to stay.”
Costa added, with a smile: “He called me every day to tell me to return to Atletico and now he’s not going to leave me. That cannot be, he is going to stay.” Continue reading “‘Best for Griezmann to stay at Atletico’ – Costa”
Joseph Parker’s father Dempsey is confident his son is fighting fit for his showdown with Anthony Joshua in Cardiff.
Anthony Joshua’s trainer has insisted they aren’t underestimating Joseph Parker, fearing they would “come unstuck” if they did.
Rob McCracken, the man who guided Joshua to 2012 Olympic glory and has been in his corner for a run of 20 consecutive knockout wins, paid a compliment to Parker ahead of their world heavyweight unification fight.
WBO champion Parker and IBF and WBA champ Joshua clash in Cardiff on March 31 . Bet Now on NaijaBet.com
“He’s busy, he’s unbeaten, he’s got quite quick hands, he believes in himself and he’s got a decent game,” McCracken said about Parker.
“If you underestimate boxers like Joseph Parker, you could come unstuck, but there’s none of that going on here – Anthony will take it deadly serious and get the win against Parker and then in the future, potentially box Wilder. Continue reading “Anthony Joshua Vs Joseph Parker 31.3.2018”
Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said on Tuesday that Neymar’s recovery from foot surgery “is going well”, as the star forward bids to be fit for the World Cup in Russia.
Lasmar, who operated on Neymar on March 3, said he speaks “two or three time a day” with the physiotherapists working with the Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain player.
“For now, everything is going well, they tell me every detail of Neymar’s recovery,” Lasmar said. Place bet on today’s game on NaijaBet
“They are working hard and in a very professional way so that he can return as quickly as possible and, above all, so there won’t be any further problems for his foot or posture.”
He added that he planned to reassess the injury in mid-April.
Neymar, who missed Brazil’s 7-1 semifinal thrashing on home soil by Germany through injury four years ago, is key to his country’s hopes at this year’s World Cup, which starts on June 14. Continue reading “‘Neymar’s recovery is going well’”
Lionel Messi joined up with his Argentina teammates on Tuesday as they trained at Manchester City ahead of their World Cup warm-up against Italy.
Messi’s side are based at the Football Academy of Premier League leaders City while they prepare for the friendly at Eastlands on Friday.
The Barcelona forward arrived to start working with the rest of the squad on Tuesday and was present at a training session open to media in the afternoon. Latest international friendly Odds are Available on NaijaBet
Also present but not participating was City striker Sergio Aguero, who has been sidelined with a knee injury recently.
Another City player, defender Nicolas Otamendi, was involved along with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Javier Mascherano and Marcos Rojo.
Cristiano Ronaldo says the key to his staggering success is believing nobody is better than he is – and he advised his Portuguese teammates to adopt the same attitude.
The Real Madrid star made the comments as he accepted the Portuguese player of the year award in Lisbon.
“We should always believe we are the best,” said Ronaldo, who led Portugal to the Euro 2016 title and who is now turning his gaze to the 2018 World Cup. Latest tonight’s games odds on NaijaBet
“You need to think big. I always believe that nobody is better than me, out on the pitch at least,” he said.
“On a personal and collective level I have had a dream year. I won five trophies (Champions League, Uefa Supercup, World Club Cup, Spanish league title and the Spanish Supercup), the Ballon D’Or and the Fifa ‘Best’ title.” Continue reading “Self-belief is a key factor to success – Ronaldo”
Italy’s interim coach Luigi Di Biagio says the door is still open for maverick striker Mario Balotelli who was once again overlooked for this month’s friendlies, despite scoring regularly for Ligue 1 side Nice.
The 27-year-old has scored 22 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions for the French side this season.
“Numbers and goals are important for forwards but they have to be linked to a certain type of performance,” Di Biagio told reporters at the team’s training camp outside Florence. Place bet on today’s matches on NaijaBet
“I have looked, judged and decided… I will continue to follow him and we will see what he does in the next few months.”
Balotelli has not been picked by Italy since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Italy face Argentina in Manchester on Friday and England at Wembley four days later, their first matches since November when they failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Russia. Continue reading “Door remains open for Balotelli – Biagio”
Mohamed Salah’s goalscoring exploits this season are having a similarly positive impact at Liverpool to that of Luis Suarez had when the Uruguayan was at Anfield, according to club captain Jordan Henderson.
Manager Juergen Klopp said Salah was close to the same level as Barcelona’s Lionel Messi after the Egyptian scored four goals in Saturday’s 5-0 league win over Watford, taking his tally to 36 goals in 41 games in all competitions.
The 25-year-old’s prolific debut season has also led to comparisons with Suarez, who moved from Liverpool to Barcelona in 2014 after helping the Merseyside club come close to winning the league title with 31 goals in 33 matches. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
“They are both fantastic players in their own right and you can’t compare them,” Henderson said.
“They are different players. I know they score a lot of goals and both work hard off the ball but it is very difficult to make that comparison.
“Luis moved on to Barcelona and is doing fantastically well. He is a fantastic player who I was privileged to play with. Continue reading “‘Salah bring back confidence like Suarez did’ – Henderson”
London club Arsenal will take on CSKA Moscow after being drawn together in a Europa League quarter-final in Nyon on Friday at a time of strained relations between Britain and Russia.
British Prime Minister Theresa May this week expelled 23 Russian diplomats over the nerve agent poisoning of a former spy, and said British royals and ministers would not attend the World Cup in Russia this year.
There was an all Iberian cast in another eye-catching quarter-final draw as capital outfits Atletico Madrid, who many see as the main pretenders to the title, drew Sporting Lisbon. Latest odds on NaijaBet
Former European champions Marseille will take on rising German force RB Leipzig, while exciting Italian outfit Lazio face the draw’s minnows Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg, who knocked out Borussia Dortmund in the last round.
All the matches are played on the same day with the first leg coming on April 5 and the return a week later on April 12.
Manchester City will face Liverpool in a mouthwatering all-English Champions League quarterfinal while Juventus have a chance to gain revenge on holders Real Madrid in a repeat of last year’s final.
Surprise qualifiers Sevilla take on five-time European champions Bayern Munich while Lionel Messi’s Barcelona were paired with AS Roma in the draw made in Nyon on Friday.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side will host Pep Guardiola’s City at Anfield for the first leg, either on April 3 or April 4, as the sides play each other for the first time in Europe. NaijaBet.com
It will also be the first meeting of two English clubs in the last eight of the Champions League since Manchester United overcame Chelsea at that stage in the 2010-2011 season on their way to the final.
City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain said: “We know each other very well, they are a very offensive team, the truth is it is going to be a great couple of games.” Continue reading “Real and Juve in UCL rematch,Liverpool get Man City”
Napoli skipper Marek Hamsik insists his side are still in the Serie A title race as they battle to avoid falling seven points behind Juventus before the international break.
“Napoli aren’t giving up anything,” said Hamsik, after six-time defending champions Juventus pulled four points clear in midweek.
“Anything can definitely happen. The league still gives us opportunities, there are so many points and so many games.”
Massimiliano Allegri’s Old Lady can extend that advantage on Saturday when they visit struggling SPAL. Start forecasting games now, Latest odds on NaijaBet
With 10 games to play this season, Napoli desperately need to return to winning ways at home against Genoa on Sunday.
Juventus’ victory against Atalanta was their 12th consecutive league win, and they have become accustomed to turning the championship into a one-horse race with the arrival of spring.
“I see a team that is growing,” said coach Allegri whose side are targeting a historic treble of Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League titles. Continue reading “Napoli will not giving up on Serie A title – Hamsik”
Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta admits he would prefer not to face Champions League holders and eternal rivals Real Madrid ahead of Friday’s quarterfinal draw in Nyon.
The Spain midfielder, a four-time winner of European club football’s biggest prize, helped Barca progress to the last eight of the competition for the 11th year in a row after a 4-1 aggregate victory over Chelsea.
But Iniesta is hoping his side will not be drawn against Real, despite Barca defeating Cristiano Ronaldo’s team 3-0 at the Bernabeu in the first Clasico of the Spanish league season in December. Place bet on today’s game on NaijaBet
“I do not want a Spanish team, because we know each other too much,” Iniesta said, with clubs at this stage no longer protected from facing others from the same country.
“The thought of winning the Champions League is always a motivation, but it’s difficult. The challenge is minimising errors, because one bad game and you’re out.” Continue reading “Iniesta hopes to avoid Real ahead of Friday’s UCL draw”
Arsenal are in the driving seat in this tie after pulling off a very impressive 2-0 win in Milan last week. The Gunners have kept successive clean sheets for the first time since December.
AC Milan have only lost one game since Christmas and that was in the first leg against Arsenal. The Serie A giants have won 11 of their last 15 matches but have left themselves too much to do in the second leg.
With the damage done in the first leg, Arsenal just need to see the tie out at home on Thursday. They were almost made to pay for being complacent against Oestersunds FK in the last round and cannot afford a repeat performance against Milan this time around.
Arsenal- Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal have missed Arsenal’s last two matches but have both trained ahead of Thursday’s second leg with AC Milan. Bet now on today’s games on NaijaBet
Shkodran Mustafi was also in training after picking up a groin problem against Watford on Sunday. All three are expected to start in defence along with Laurent Koscielny, who was rested at the weekend.
Danny Welbeck will lead the line with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette unavailable for the home side. Expect a similar XI to the side that beat AC Milan 2-0 in the first leg. Continue reading “UEL Match Preview : Arsenal vs AC Milan (Agg 2-0)”
Nothing pleases Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri and his players more than a good defensive display.
The Serie A leaders now boast both the best attack as well as the meanest defence in the league but it is the latter statistic which fills Allegri with the most pride.
Juventus, chasing a seventh successive title, beat Atalanta 2-0 on Wednesday to move four points clear at the top of the table and have yet to let in a Serie A goal this year.
Verona were the last team to breach Juve’s rearguard on December 30 and, in all, they have conceded 15 goals in 28 games while scoring 67, one more than Lazio. Bet Now NaijaBet
“Which statistic do I prefer most? Having the best defence,” Allegri told reporters after Wednesday’s win.
Allegri said he was delighted to see goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and defender Giorgio Chiellini celebrate a key intervention as if they had scored a goal, just as they did in the Champions League win at Tottenham Hotspur a week ago. Continue reading “Allegri delights in Juventus defensive mean streak”
Antonio Conte insisted Barcelona’s Champions League win over Chelsea on Wednesday was unfair after his team’s valiant efforts were overshadowed by Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou.
Messi scored twice and set up Ousmane Dembele for the other as the hosts won 3-0 and progressed to the quarterfinals 4-1 on aggregate.
Chelsea, however, were unlucky after they were again denied by the woodwork. Place bet on today’s Europa League games on NaijaBet
Willian had been robbed by the post twice in the first leg while on Wednesday a Marcos Alonso free-kick smacked off the post while Antonio Rudiger headed against the woodwork late on.
“We have no regrets,” said Conte. “If you watch the game, you can see the final result is unfair.
“We conceded a goal, our start was terrible. We hit the post four times, this is very strange. Continue reading “We hit the post four times, this is very strange – Conte”
A defensive mistake in the first leg gave Barcelona a huge away goal that has swung the tie in their favour ahead of Wednesday’s meeting with Chelsea. The Spanish side are unbeaten at home all season, which does not bode well for the Premier League side.
Chelsea are incredibly unbeaten in their last eight matches against Barcelona but are not in great form heading to the Camp Nou.
They have lost their last four away matches and have only won one of three matches since holding Barcelona to a 1-1 draw in the first leg.
Lionel Messi’s 75th-minute equaliser at Stamford Bridge may have killed Chelsea’s chances here as the respective home and away form of both teams favours Barcelona going through to the next round and ending Chelsea’s positive run against them. Bet Now NaijaBet
Barcelona- Lionel Messi missed the 2-0 win over Malaga this past weekend due to the birth of his child but will return against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Nélson Semedo is back in contention after missing the first leg through suspension but may miss out this time around through injury. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview : Barcelona vs Chelsea (Agg 1-1)”
Wolves moved a step closer to the Premier League as the Championship leaders crushed Reading 3-0 on Tuesday.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side had won just one of their previous five games to see their lead at the top of the second tier cut to three points.
Hammered 4-1 by local rivals Aston Villa in their previous match, Wolves got back on track in style with a dominant display at Molineux.
Matt Doherty put Wolves ahead in the first half and a 58th-minute goal from Benik Afobe increased the hosts’ lead before Doherty netted again to seal the points. Play bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Wolves remain three points clear of second-placed Cardiff and 10 ahead of third-placed Villa in the battle for automatic promotion.
Cardiff are also in a strong position to return to the top flight after a 3-1 win at Brentford.
Sol Bamba, Callum Paterson and Kenneth Zohore scored for Neil Warnock’s side after Neal Maupay had opened the scoring for Brentford. Continue reading “Wolves are move closer to Premier League”
Jose Mourinho was condemned for his negative tactics after Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League to Sevilla, with Alexis Sanchez anonymous and Paul Pogba’s confidence apparently in tatters.
United, riding high in the Premier League, started the second leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday as strong favourites to progress to the quarterfinals after a goalless draw in Spain but mustered just four shots on target across both legs.
Two late goals from substitute Wissam Ben Yedder gave the home side a mountain to climb and a consolation goal from Romelu Lukaku was far too little, too late, with United exiting the competition 2-1 on aggregate.
Mourinho fielded four forwards — Sanchez, Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard — in an attacking-looking line-up at Old Trafford but United only broke free of the shackles in the desperate closing minutes. Bet Now NaijaBet
A stubborn Mourinho, who has won the competition with Porto and Inter Milan, said his side had not put in a “bad performance” but that contrasted with the sour mood in Manchester after a first home European defeat since 2013 to a Sevilla side only fifth in La Liga.
“If you are a team at home, the onus is on you to go out and attack and make sure you take the game away from the opposing team,” said former United defender Rio Ferdinand, who won the Champions League under Alex Ferguson in 2008. Continue reading “Mou under fire after United’s Champions League exit”
Roma are behind in the tie but will hope to use the away goal they scored in Ukraine to overturn the 2-1 deficit on Tuesday. They have only won two of their last seven home matches in all competitions.
Shakhtar Donetsk have won their last five matches and have only failed to score in one of their last seven away matches – a 3-0 defeat to Napoli. While the goal they conceded on home soil could come back to haunt them, they are still very much in the tie.
Tuesday’s second leg is evenly balanced but anything other than Roma progressing would be a surprise. Shakhtar have lost seven of their previous 10 matches away to Italian opposition. Bet Now NaijaBet.com
Roma- Edin Dzeko and Federico Fazio missed Friday’s 3-0 win over Torino through suspension but will be fresh to return against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday. Rick Karsdorp is still sidelined for the hosts.
Maxime Gonalons ended a two-month period on the sidelines as a substitute against Torino but will have to settle for a place on the bench here.
Diego Perrotti is a booking away from a one-match ban.
Continue reading “UCL Match Preview : Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk (Agg1-2)”
Struggling Premier League club Southampton sacked Argentinian manager Mauricio Pellegrino on Monday with only eight matches remaining in the league season.
Pellegrino took over at St Mary’s on a three-year deal last June, but Southampton announced in a statement that they had parted company with the 46-year-old with the club only one place and one point above the relegation zone. Place bet on tonight’s Champions League Matches on NaijaBet
“The club will look to appoint a new management team as soon as possible, with the search for a replacement already underway,” the statement added.
Assistant coaches Carlos Compagnucci and Xavier Tamarit have also left the club.
A disastrous run of form that has seen the Saints win only one of their last 17 Premier League matches always appeared likely to end in Pellegrino’s demise.
The latest 3-0 defeat at relegation rivals Newcastle on Saturday proved to be the final straw for the Southampton hierarchy, with the club in danger of being relegated from the top flight for the first time since being promoted in 2012. Continue reading “Pellegrino part ways with Struggling Southampton”
Manchester United could only manage a 0-0 draw away to Sevilla in the first leg but will hope to use home advantage to progress to the next stage of the Champions League. Under Jose Mourinho, United have only lost two home matches and both were against Manchester City.
Sevilla enter this match off the back of a 2-0 defeat at home to Valencia on Saturday. Away from home, the Spanish side have only lost one of their last six matches and they have scored in every European match this season.
United are usually very strong at home and Mourinho’s side should do enough, buoyed by Saturday’s win over Liverpool, to make the quarter finals of the Champions League.
Manchester United- Paul Pogba managed to take part in some of Monday’s training session after missing Saturday’s 2-1 win over Liverpool but remains a doubt. Latest Odds on Site on NaijaBet
Jose Mourinho has confirmed Anthony Martial is available again after a two-game absence, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic also returned to first-team training on Monday. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview : Manchester United vs Sevilla (Agg 0-0)”
The England international has been rejuvenated in a defensive berth under Jose Mourinho, but feels he could still do a job further up the field
Ashley Young admits to no longer being sure of his best position after being turned from a fleet-footed winger into a dogged full-back by Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.
The 32-year-old forged his reputation on the flanks, with impressive spells at Watford and Aston Villa catching the eye of those at Old Trafford and within the England international set-up. Make cool cash by placing bet on NaijaBet
Young has, however, seen United spend big on creative influences in recent years, forcing him to reinvent himself in an effort to get regular game time.
He has flourished in a defensive berth, having initially been used to plug a problematic gap, and concedes that he is now torn as to where he offers the most to the Red Devils cause.
Young said on his positional poser: “I don’t know [my best position]. I’m not sure anymore.
Continue reading “I don’t know my best position, I still see myself as a winger : Young”
Antonio Conte has said he will consult his players ahead of Chelsea´s Champions League clash with Barcelona on Wednesday and after the game he might do better to seek out Ernesto Valverde.
Both coaches faced chaotic starting points this season but only Valverde heads into this last 16 second leg at the Camp Nou with his domestic campaign still very much intact.
Each began the campaign at the end of a frenzied summer, in which key players were sold, less wanted ones bought and with the feeling overall of a squad weakened rather than bolstered. Place bet on today’s game on NaijaBet
Asked in September to reflect on the club´s transfer dealings, Conte said: “This question is very difficult to answer. I think we have to wait until the end of the season and then we’ll see.”
Valverde was even less diplomatic. “The best thing about this window is that it is now closed,” he said.
Each had unexpectedly found a gaping hole in attack as Neymar was lured by Paris Saint-Germain while Conte was only too happy to let Diego Costa leave, but then watched Manchester United walk off with Romelu Lukaku, the intended replacement.
Barcelona bought Ousmane Dembele, the club´s most expensive signing, who limped off 55 minutes into his debut and would not return until January. Continue reading “Chelsea are ready to upset Barcelona in Spain”
Stoke have managed to stem the flow of defeats in recent matches, losing just one of their last six in the Premier League. However, four of those have been draws and Paul Lambert needs to start turning them into wins to boost the clubs chances of beating the drop.
The Potters are one point adrift of safety ahead of the weekend’s action but could be as many as four points away by the time they play on Monday night.
Manchester City suffered their first home loss of the season in midweek and Pep Guardiola will demand a response from his players as their lead at the top of the Premier League could be cut to 13 points by the time they play Stoke. Guardiola’s side have only won one of their last four away league games. Bet now on NaijaBet
City triumphed 4-1 the last time they played away to Stoke and they are the overwhelming favourites on Monday night. Expect another three points for Guardiola’s side as they ease their way to the Premier League title.
Stoke- Ryan Shawcross and Peter Crouch were both fit enough to make the bench last time out and will eye recalls to the starting XI on Monday night when Stoke welcome league leaders Manchester City.
Mame Biram Diouf, Lee Grant and Stephen Ireland are all injured for the Potters. Continue reading “PL Match Preview : Stoke vs Manchester City”
Leicester City manager Claude Puel is hopeful that a four-day training camp in southern Spain will be the perfect preparation for Sunday’s FA Cup quarterfinal against Chelsea.
Leicester, who thumped West Bromwich Albion 4-1 in the league at the weekend, will travel to Marbella on Tuesday and Puel told the club’s website the change of scenery would be good for the players.
“It’s a good opportunity for the squad to spend some time together and to make sure we are well prepared both for next weekend’s game and for the final eight Premier League matches of the season,” he said.
“It’s a long season, which can be difficult for the body and the mind, so a different setting, some time together as a squad and a good focus on our work will be good for everybody.” Place bet on Virtual games 24/7 on NaijaBet
“We want to finish the season in the best way possible and good preparation together is very important to give us the best chance,” the Frenchman added.
Sitting eighth in the league, Leicester’s victory over West Brom took them to 40 points from 30 games. They defeated Sheffield United 1-0 in the fifth round of the FA Cup last month to set up the meeting with Chelsea.