Eredivisie Match Preview : Ajax vs Excelsior

Ajax returned to winning ways with a convincing 3-0 victory over title rivals PSV at home.

Excelsior meanwhile visit Amsterdam on the back of a four-game losing streak.

Team News

Ajax – Marcel Keizer is expected to make one change from the side he deployed against PSV with midfielder Lasse Schone suspended, though Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is pushing for a recall. Today’s Games on NaijaBet

Excelsior – Alessandro Damenis is joined on the sidelines by Desevio Payne and Shane O’Neill.

Match Facts

There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Ajax’s last 13 home games (Eredivisie).

Manchester City hailed as Premier League greats

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are being widely hailed as one of the best sides in Premier League history after they set a stunning new record of 15 straight wins.

In its 25-year history, the Premier League has boasted a series of outstanding sides including Manchester United’s treble-winners, Arsenal’s “Invincibles” and Jose Mourinho’s powerful Chelsea side in his first stint at the club.

But Guardiola’s team — even though they have not won any silverware yet — are smashing record after record as they sprint towards the Premier League title, leaving allcomers a distant speck in their rear-view mirror.

Wednesday’s 4-0 win at Swansea took them clear of Arsenal’s 14 consecutive victories under Arsene Wenger between February and August 2002.

Their 49 points from 17 games is the best-ever start to an English top-flight campaign, bettering the record of Tottenham’s great double-winning side of 1960-61 — when a win was worth just two points. Naija and Bet

Jonathan Pearce believes the current City side is at the top of the tree.

“There have been great teams in the modern era but, in terms of fluent football and as an irresistible force, Manchester City are the best the Premier League has ever seen,” he said. Continue reading “Manchester City hailed as Premier League greats”

Mourinho reveals Bailly could be out for season

Jose Mourinho admitted he is not certain if Manchester United defender Eric Bailly will play again this season after revealing he may need surgery on a persistent ankle injury.

Bailly, 23, has not played for United since a defeat at Chelsea at the start of last month, having sustained the injury while on international duty with the Ivory Coast.

And United manager Mourinho, who signed the centre-back from Villarreal last year, admits he is concerned by the lack of progress. Place bet on today’s game on NaijaBet

Speaking after Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over Bournemouth, Mourinho said: “I think it’s serious. I don’t know. It’s an injury that comes from last time he went to the national team.

“Since then we were trying a conservative treatment but if that conservative treatment is not resulting how we want, he will either have surgery or a procedure. Let’s wait a little bit more. Continue reading “Mourinho reveals Bailly could be out for season”

Bale’s goal help Real Madrid to sink Al Jazira

Not even a minute had passed between Zinedine Zidane replacing Karim Benzema with Gareth Bale, and the substitute finishing Lucas Vazquez’s cross with a first-time side-footed effort into the net.

Cristiano Ronaldo was lurking at the back post ready to make sure, but no extra touch was necessary. Naija and Bet

The Welshman’s goal put Real Madrid 2-1 in front and soothed the Spanish club’s worries against Al Jazira following some poor finishing in the first half of the second semi-final at the Fifa Club World Cup UAE 2017.

“Well, you could say it was a difficult game but if we’d finished off all our chances to score it would’ve been an easy one,” Bale told FIFA.com as his team’s kitmen bustled around him, having just emerged from the Real Madrid changing room where music was still blaring out.

“In the end it was tough because we didn’t score. The most important thing is that we won, and it doesn’t matter if it was 6-0 or 2-1.” Continue reading “Bale’s goal help Real Madrid to sink Al Jazira”

PL Match Preview : Manchester United vs Bournemouth

Manchester United will look to bounce back from Sunday’s 2-1 defeat in the Manchester derby when they host Bournemouth on Wednesday night. Jose Mourinho’s side are 11 points adrift of Manchester City at the top of the table and must now try and consolidate second place.

Bournemouth have only lost one of their last six in the Premier League and are unbeaten in their last four away from home. Eddie Howe’s side can take confidence from the fact they held United to a 1-1 draw on their last visit to Old Trafford, but it will be difficult to match that result here.

Team News

Manchester United – Marcos Rojo was forced off at half-time in Sunday’s Manchester derby and may not recover in time to feature here. Naijabet

Phil Jones, who returned to the bench at the weekend, and Victor Lindelof will battle for Rojo’s starting spot if he can’t feature.

Paul Pogba serves the second of his three-game ban here, while Marouane Fellaini is still a doubt. The Belgian will start if he overcomes a knee injury in time.

Continue reading “PL Match Preview : Manchester United vs Bournemouth”

I will carefully manage Salah’s workload – Klopp

Liverpool’s in-form striker Mohamed Salah has a minor hamstring issue and manager Jurgen Klopp said he could rest the Premier League’s top scorer during the busy festive period to avoid aggravating the problem.

Salah, who has scored 13 league goals, was substituted after 67 minutes in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Everton and is contention for Wednesday’s fixture against West Bromwich Albion. Klopp, however, is keen to manage his resources with six games coming up in the next 18 days.

“I took Mo Salah off because he had a hamstring a little bit,” the German said. “Then everyone said ‘how can you take him off?’ I do not go out and say ‘yeah, but he is close to being injured’. He is not at the moment, thank God.” Naija and Bet

Brazil internationals Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho did not start the Merseyside derby and came on in the second half and Klopp revealed the duo were left out of the team as a precaution. Continue reading “I will carefully manage Salah’s workload – Klopp”

PL Match Preview : Newcastle United vs Everton

Newcastle have only won once since the start of October and have lost six of their last seven. The Magpies are only two points above the bottom three and need to arrest their slump as quickly as possible.

Everton’s revival under Sam Allardyce continued at the weekend after managing an unlikely draw in Sunday’s Merseyside derby. The Toffees are now are now 10th and in the league and unbeaten in four, winning three of those. Place on your favorite sport on NaijaBet

Everton have won five of the last six meetings between the two sides and have scored exactly 3 goals in four of those matches. Momentum would certainly favour the away side on Wednesday.

Team News

Newcastle United – Jamaal Lascelles and Christian Atsu were both named on the bench against Leicester at the weekend and will push for starts against Everton in midweek.

Everton – Sam Allardyce isn’t expected to recover any of his injured players in time for the trip to Newcastle on Wednesday.

Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka are available again and one could be called upon here if Ashley Williams is not fit enough to play twice in a short space of time. Continue reading “PL Match Preview : Newcastle United vs Everton”

LFP hit Lille with transfer ban

Ligue 1 strugglers Lille, who recently suspended coach Marcelo Bielsa, have been slapped with a transfer ban, the French league (LFP) announced on Tuesday.

A brief statement said that Lille were “banned from recruiting” following a hearing before French football’s financial watchdog, the DNCG, in Paris into their financial situation. Today’s  games on NaijaBet

While the length of the ban was not made public, it does at least mean Lille will be unable to strengthen in the January transfer window.

That is a major blow to a club who currently lie in the relegation play-off place in France’s top flight.

Bought earlier this year by Gerard Lopez, a Luxembourg-born businessman of Spanish origin, the 2011 French league and cup double winners spent big in the last close season and appointed Bielsa as coach in the hope of challenging towards the top of the table again. Continue reading “LFP hit Lille with transfer ban”

PL Match Preview : Swansea vs Manchester City

Swansea ended a winless run of seven matches to beat West Brom 1-0 at the weekend. Paul Clement’s side are now only one point adrift of safety but will do extremely well to get anything from this match.

Manchester City are 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League after stringing together a record 14 wins in a row at the expense of nearest challengers Manchester United on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola’s side have as good as won the title and are on course to wrap things up in record time. Their performances have dipped in recent weeks, churning out four 2-1 wins in a row in the league. Latest odds on NaijaBet

Swansea will certainly be more confident after winning at the weekend, but will return to losing ways here.

Team News

Swansea- Federico Fernández was named on the bench at the weekend and Paul Clement may hand a start to the defender here.

The Swansea manager will be reluctant to make wholesale changes after their 1-0 win over West Brom at the weekend.

Continue reading “PL Match Preview : Swansea vs Manchester City”

Guardiola keen to strengthen City defence

Premier League leaders Manchester City plan to strengthen their defence in the January transfer window to avoid a lack of squad depth as they compete on multiple fronts, manager Pep Guardiola has said.

Injured defenders John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Benjamin Mendy are all expected to return next year, leaving Guardiola with limited options as his team target domestic league and cup honours, along with the Champions League. Naija and Bet

“In that department we have too few players and to handle all competitions we are in trouble, real trouble if this is the case. But I can’t assure anything. We’re going to see what will happen in January,” Guardiola told a news conference on Tuesday.

“Maybe we are thinking of looking at another central defender because of Vincent’s problems, John Stones is four or five weeks out. And we miss an important player like (Benjamin) Mendy.” Continue reading “Guardiola keen to strengthen City defence”

Fifa has punished Nigeria for using an ineligible player in a World Cup qualifier

Fifa has punished Nigeria for using an ineligible player in their final World Cup qualifier against Algeria in November.

The match in Constantine originally ended in a 1-1 draw but that has now been overturned and Algeria awarded a 3-0 win.

The sanction does not affect Nigeria’s World Cup qualification as they had already clinched a place in Russia before the Algeria tie.

Abdullahi Shehu played the whole match against Algeria even though he should have been suspended for picking up yellow cards in two previous qualifiers. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet.com

The defender was cautioned in the Super Eagles 1-0 win over Zambia in October that sealed Nigeria’s spot in Russia, having been shown a yellow card in the first leg of their second round tie against Swaziland in November 2015.

The Nigeria Football Federation has also been fined US$6,000 for the oversight.

It means that Nigeria still finish top of Group B but with 13 points instead of 14 while Algeria’s total at the bottom is now four rather than 2 points.

Guardiola defends City celebrations against Man U

Pep Guardiola has defended Manchester City’s celebrations after the Premier League leaders beat fierce rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford, saying they were “definitely not” over the top.

The Football Association has given both clubs until Wednesday to reply to a request for observations following reports of a tunnel brawl sparked by City’s celebrations after their 2-1 win on Sunday, which took them 11 points clear. Naija and Bet

However when asked if City behaved improperly, Guardiola, speaking in Manchester ahead of the club’s visit to Swansea on Wednesday, told reporters: “No. Definitely not. We were happy.

“We won a derby against Manchester United, one of the best rivals we have. We celebrated. I think if United win a derby, they celebrate. But where? Inside the locker room. That’s what we tried to do and we did. Continue reading “Guardiola defends City celebrations against Man U”

PL Match Preview : Burnley vs Stoke

Burnley are now only two points adrift of the top four after other results went their way at the weekend. The Clarets have won five of their last seven and kept three clean sheets from their last four at home.

Stoke are only three points above the bottom three and have now conceded the most goals in the Premier League after their 5-1 defeat at the weekend.

Mark Hughes’ side have only kept one clean sheet away from home all season and it’s hard to see the Potters getting a positive result on Tuesday.

Team News

Burnley – Matthew Lowton is unlikely to recover from his injury in time for Tuesday’s clash with Stoke, but Ben Mee is expected to return after missing out at the weekend with a leg injury. Naija and Bet

Ashley Barnes and Sam Vokes will push for starts given the sharp turnaround between matches.

Continue reading “PL Match Preview : Burnley vs Stoke”

Donnarumma wants to cancel Milan deal

Teenage goalkeeping sensation Gianluigi Donnarumma is claiming he suffered “moral abuse” at the time of renewing his AC Milan contract last summer and wants to cancel the deal, according to Italian press reports on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old’s agent Mino Raiola has reportedly asked Milan bosses to cancel the contract on the grounds of “psychological pressure” suffered by Donnarumma to renew last July, Corriere della Sera reported.

Raiola and the player’s lawyers were reportedly not present in the room at the time of the signature.

And the newspaper claims that the teenager — regarded as one of the best young goalkeepers in Europe and a successor to Gianluigi Buffon on the Italian national team — has sent a letter to Milan bosses outlining his demands. Naija and Bet

If the agreement is cancelled, Donnarumma would return to his former contract which expires on June 30, 2018 and would be free to join another club. Continue reading “Donnarumma wants to cancel Milan deal”

PL Match Preview : Huddersfield vs Chelsea

Huddersfield ended a four-game losing streak with a 2-0 win over Brighton on Saturday and the Terriers are now five points above the bottom three.

Chelsea missed the chance to draw level with Manchester United in second after slipping to a shock 1-0 defeat to West Ham last season. That ended a seven game unbeaten streak for the reigning Premier League champions.

Antonio Conte will demand a response from his players but this will be a difficult match for Chelsea. Huddersfield have already beaten Manchester United at home this season and will look to cause another upset here.

Chelsea have only won two of their last five away from home in the league, while Huddersfield have won three of their last four at home. Can Huddersfield inflict further misery on Chelsea? NaijaBet

Team News

Huddersfield – Kasey Palmer is ineligible to face off against his parent club in midweek, but Rajiv van La Parra returns from suspension.

Continue reading “PL Match Preview : Huddersfield vs Chelsea”

Real Madrid eye fifth trophy before the end of 2017

Real Madrid can round off the most successful year in the club’s already glorious history by claiming a fifth trophy in 2017 at the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi this week.

They won La Liga, the Champions League, UEFA and Spanish Super Cup in a thrilling fashion after hitting top form in a four-month spell between April and August, but since then the European champions have faded, understandably fatigued by a heavy schedule.

Madrid trail Barca by eight points at the top of La Liga and finished second to Tottenham Hotspur in their Champions League group, which proved costly as they were paired with free-spending Paris Saint-Germain in a blockbuster last 16 tie on Monday.

However, traces of the Madrid that swept aside the likes of Bayern Munich, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona in the spring and summer were back as Real hit five past Sevilla before half-time in a 5-0 rout on Saturday. Play bet on today’s games on Naijabet.com

Until then Madrid had lacked the same killer instinct as last season with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema scoring a combined total of just six times in La Liga, while Gareth Bale has made just one brief appearance as a substitute since September.

“We are improving in every sense,” said Zidane after thrashing Sevilla. “If you play well, you will create more chances. We created plenty of chances.” Continue reading “Real Madrid eye fifth trophy before the end of 2017”

Chelsea must secure top-four finish – Conte

Premier League champions Chelsea are targeting a top-four finish this season, manager Antonio Conte said after conceding that his side were out of the title race following their defeat at West Ham United on Saturday.

The 1-0 loss at the London Stadium left Chelsea 14 points adrift of league leaders Manchester City in third position after 16 games, with Liverpool two points behind in fourth and Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur fifth and sixth.

“There is a problem in this league: there are six top teams and only four places for the Champions League,” Conte said. Naija and Bet

“You have targets… you have an important target to try to go in the first four and to play Champions League.

“To reach this target is not simple. It’s very important for me, the players, for all of us. This league is not simple to reach the top four positions.”

Continue reading “Chelsea must secure top-four finish – Conte”

Gattuso angry at Europa League ‘burning’ defeat

Angry AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso singled out forward Andre Silva for criticism after his side suffered a “burning” 2-0 defeat to Croatia champions Rijeka in the Europa League on Thursday.

Milan had already qualified for the knockout stages and rested a number of regulars, but that did not stop the famously combative former midfielder from letting rip at his players — in particular the new signing from Porto.

“It’s a burning defeat. I take full responsibility for the choices I made, which are only mine,” Gattuso said. Naija and Bet

“AC Milan’s shirt deserves respect. This bothers me a lot. We didn’t come here to lose. We made some pretty clear choices, trying to start those who needed more playing time.

“But we need to turn things around and a change in mentality. We need more intensity and desire and all these things weren’t there today. Continue reading “Gattuso angry at Europa League ‘burning’ defeat”

Pochettino hope for his team’s to improve PL form

Mauricio Pochettino will hope Tottenham Hotspur’s success in topping their Champions League group will fire up a faltering Premier League campaign.

The 3-0 victory over Apoel Nicosia on Wednesday ensured Pochettino’s side ended the group stage three points clear of Real Madrid.

By contrast, their efforts to improve on their domestic title challenges of the last two seasons have stalled badly and Spurs welcome Stoke City to Wembley on Saturday searching for their first win in five Premier League games.

Last weekend’s draw at Watford came on the back of defeat at Leicester City while Pochettino’s side continue to struggle to make Wembley feel like home.

They head into the weekend round of fixtures in sixth place, 18 points adrift of leaders Manchester City with their main focus now trained on closing the four point gap to fourth place. Place bet on weekend’s games on NaijaBet

Dele Alli’s struggle to find his form of last season has been just one of the factors in Spurs inconsistent campaign.

Continue reading “Pochettino hope for his team’s to improve PL form”

United can copy without Pogba – Mata

Manchester United have the talent to cope with Paul Pogba’s absence during their top-of-the-table showdown with Manchester City, fellow midfielder Juan Mata said ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash.

Pogba, who has scored three league goals and provided five assists in eight appearances for United this season, impressed in the 3-1 win at Arsenal last weekend but was dismissed in the second half for a reckless tackle on Hector Bellerin.

As the Frenchman serves the first of his three-match suspension, Spaniard Mata is confident his teammates can step up and help second-placed United reduce the eight-point gap to their local rivals atop the table.

“He’s a fantastic player… He’s a very complete midfielder, he can do all things. He will be a big miss but another player will play and try his best,” Mata said. Naija and Bet

“I think we have a good squad and have good players to replace any other player. Hopefully we can win for him.” Continue reading “United can copy without Pogba – Mata”

Europa League Match Preview : Arsenal vs BATE Borisov

Arsenal have already qualified as group winners but will be looking to bounce back from their incredible 3-1 defeat to Manchester United at the weekend.

BATE Borisov are currently bottom of Group H but will qualify with Arsenal if they can beat the Gunners on Thursday and FC Cologne and Red Star Belgrade draw in the group’s other match. Naija and Bet

The away side have only lost one of their last 10 matches but have left themselves too much to do here. Arsenal should finish the group stage with a comfortable three points on Thursday.

Team News

Arsenal – Shkodran Mustafi is ruled out on Thursday and a doubt for the weekend’s match against Southampton, so Arsene Wenger may rest Per Mertesacker here in case he is needed against the Saints.

Illness has kept Theo Walcott out of Arsenal’s last six matches but Wenger has confirmed he will start with Jack Wilshere on Thursday.

Continue reading “Europa League Match Preview : Arsenal vs BATE Borisov”

Hoffenheim eyes to start winning run

Hoffenheim had high expectations at the start of the season as they prepared to competed in the Champions League qualifying round for the first time.

Four months on and Julian Nagelsmann’s team has long bid farewell to Europe’s top club competition and is also out of the second-tier Europa League after a disappointing campaign. Place Bet on today’s games on NaijaBet.com

Following a good start to the season they struggled to replicate last year’s winning form that saw them finish in fourth place, their best finish ever.

A string of injuries and, for European first-timers Hoffenheim, an unusually busy match schedule looked to have taken its toll on the players.

But last week’s 4-0 demolition of second-placed RB Leipzig, including a sensational long-range strike by Serge Gnabry, lifted Hoffenheim to fifth and looks to have given them renewed hope as they prepare to face Hanover 96 on Sunday. Continue reading “Hoffenheim eyes to start winning run”

Zidane struggling to shore up Real defence due to injuries

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane admitted injuries will force him into patching up a makeshift defence for Saturday’s visit of Sevilla after Raphael Varane joined an increasing list of absentees.

The French international limped off holding his left leg as Madrid edged out Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in a Champions League thriller on Wednesday.

However, with the defending champions already having secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League behind Tottenham Hotspur in Group H, Zidane was more concerned with how Varane’s absence could affect a busy end to the year for Real.

After Sevilla, Zidane’s men jet off to Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup before hosting Barcelona in the Clasico on December 23. Naija and Bet

Saturday is the French coach’s primary concern, though, with Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Casemiro all suspended, while Jesus Vallejo is also sidelined by injury leaving Nacho as Real’s only fit centre-back.

“With Rafa he has done some damage to himself, but we will see tomorrow when we do the scans as always,” said Zidane. Continue reading “Zidane struggling to shore up Real defence due to injuries”

UCL Match Preview : Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund

It’s a shame a game contested between two European giants is now a dead rubber.

Real Madrid are unbeaten in six but are still looking to rediscover their best form.

Borussia Dortmund, meanwhile, are winless in seven and haven’t beaten a top-flight side since September. It’s hard to see that run ending here.

Team News

Real Madrid – Gareth Bale is in contention to make his first Champions League appearance since September.
Real Madrid have no other injury concerns, but Zinedine Zidane may shuffle his pack now everything is settled in Group H. Naija and Bet
Marco Asensio, Mateo Kovacic, Nacho and Achraf Hakimi will look for game time on Wednesday night.

Continue reading “UCL Match Preview : Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund”

Pep v Jose – this time it’s for real,who will laugh last?

After the phony war of their first season in Manchester, the rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola will resume for real in Sunday’s seismic derby showdown at Old Trafford.

The two managers renewed acquaintances at the beginning of last season after Mourinho took the reins at Manchester United and Guardiola set up shop across town at Manchester City.

Guardiola claimed first blood, leading City to a 2-1 win at Old Trafford in September 2016, but both teams fell by the wayside thereafter, finishing the campaign well adrift of Premier League champions Chelsea. Play bet on different sport on NaijaBet.com

Fifteen games into the new season, City are eight points clear of United at the head of the table and Sunday’s game is being billed as Mourinho’s big chance to stick a spoke in Guardiola’s wheels.

“We have a big week, with Swansea and Tottenham following the United game,” says City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.

“If we lost two out of three and they win everything, they are there. Continue reading “Pep v Jose – this time it’s for real,who will laugh last?”