Captain John Obi Mikel retired from international career

Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel on Thursday called time on his international football career after helping the Super Eagles to third place at the Africa Cup of Nations.

“At the age of 32 it’s time for me to retire from the national team and let the youth take over, who’ve done an amazing job securing a bronze medal at Afcon 2019,” the former Chelsea midfielder announced on social media.

“Egypt is a country where I’ve started and have finished my national career. In 2006 I played my first official championship for my country.

“The 2019 African Cup of Nations marks my last championship for national team with Super Eagles.” Place Bet on Live Events 24/7

Mikel won 89 caps and scored six goals between 2005 and 2019 for the Super Eagles during which he won a winners’ medal at the 2013 Africa Cup in South Africa.

Continue reading “Captain John Obi Mikel retired from international career”

AFCON Match Preview: Senegal vs Algeria

Algeria have outscored every team in the tournament so far and beat Senegal 1-0 in the group stage.

Senegal have won four straight games since their loss to the Desert Foxes. The Teranga Lions have kept five clean sheets from six games, but will be without star defender Kalidou Koulibaly this weekend.

Algeria are heavy favourites but Senegal cannot be ruled out with Liverpool forward Sadio Mane in their ranks.

Team News

Senegal- Kalidou Koulibaly is suspended for the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and his absence is a huge blow for Senegal. Salif Sané will make his first appearance since Senegal’s opening game of the tournament as a result. Various Betting Options are Available on site for today’s games

Ismaila Sarr could start after an impressive substitute appearance in Sunday’s semi-final victory over Tunisia. Continue reading “AFCON Match Preview: Senegal vs Algeria”

Matthijs De Ligt becomes the world’s most expensive defender

Dutch central defender Matthijs de Ligt, one of the most coveted young players in world football, signed Thursday for Juventus from Ajax for a fee of 75 million euros ($84.2 million) plus add ons.

The 19-year-old agreed a five-year contract with the Italian champions.

Juventus said in a statement the fee would be paid over five financial years, with “additional costs” of 10.5 million euros.

The combined fee makes De Ligt the world’s most expensive defender, surpassing the 84 million euros Liverpool paid to sign his Netherlands teammate Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton in 2018.

De Ligt is Juventus’ third most expensive signing after the 105 million euros they paid to buy Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in 2018 and the 90-million-euro transfer of Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli in 2016. Bet Here 

De Ligt had also been linked with Manchester United, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain after his impressive performances for a young Ajax side that reached the Champions League semifinals last season.

Continue reading “Matthijs De Ligt becomes the world’s most expensive defender”

Super Eagles road to the Afcon third-place playoff

Three-time champions Nigeria wished to add a new star on their green jersey, but their campaign was cut short at the semifinal stage.

Now they will play for the bronze against Tunisia on Wednesday at Cairo’s Al Salam Stadium.

Nigeria started their campaign in the Alexandria-based Group B defeating Burundi 1-0. Odion Ighalo scored after 77 minutes to hand the Super Eagles their first three points.

They then defeated Guinea with the same result, with Kenneth Omeruo scoring the game’s lone goal after 73 minutes.

But they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to Madagascar in the final group game to finish in second place with six points, one shy of leaders Madagascar. Place bet on Virtual Games 24/7 on NaijaBet

Chelsea will be successful without new players – Lampard

Chelsea are facing a transfer ban but new manager Frank Lampard is confident the Premier League club do not need to bring in new players to taste success.

Lampard, who is the club’s record goalscorer from his time as a player, was appointed Chelsea’s new manager this month.

With Chelsea unable to add new players to their squad following a FIFA ban, Lampard has been tasked with improving the players he inherited from predecessor Mauricio Sarri and promoting young players from the club’s academy.

Speaking shortly after arriving in Yokohama on Tuesday for the Japan leg of the club’s pre-season tour, Lampard said he was impressed with the attitude of his new charges.

“I think I have inherited very good players,” Lampard said ahead of Chelsea’s pre-season friendly against Japanese champions Kawasaki Frontale on Friday. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

“We can’t bring in any new players, we know that this year. But I don’t need new players. I am very happy with the squad and determined for us to be successful.

“I have my own way that I want to work with the players and I have to say, in the one week we have been training, I have been very happy with the attitude and the qualities of the players.”

Continue reading “Chelsea will be successful without new players – Lampard”

Late Mahrez winner sink Super Eagles to fight for to third place

Riyad Mahrez rifled in a stoppage-time free-kick to earn Algeria a dramatic 2-1 victory over three-time champions Nigeria on Sunday and set up a rematch with Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Algeria led through a first-half own goal by William Troost-Ekong before Nigeria equalised with an Odion Ighalo penalty awarded after a VAR review.

However,as extra  time looked necessary, Mahrez blasted in from 20 yards with the last kick of the match to send the Desert Foxes through to their first final since lifting the trophy for the only time in 1990.

Algeria will take on Sadio Mane’s Senegal for the title on July 19, in a repeat of a group stage clash they won 1-0. Various Odds are available on site for today’s Games

An injury to Youcef Atal, who fractured his collarbone during the quarterfinal win over Ivory Coast on penalties, forced Djamel Belmadi to start Mehdi Zeffane at right-back, while Nigeria fielded the same team that overcame South Africa here.

Continue reading “Late Mahrez winner sink Super Eagles to fight for to third place”

Griezmann close to Barca from Atletico

Atletico Madrid’s World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann is nearing a transfer to Barcelona, according to reports on Thursday in his native France and in Spain.

Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo says the Catalans will pay Griezmann’s release clause of €120 million and the 28-year-old has signed a five-year deal at the Camp Nou.

French daily L’Equipe add Barca have already sent the bank transfer to the capital city club.

Griezmann failed to show up for his side’s pre-season gathering on Sunday after he had announced in May he would be leaving the Wanda Metropolitano but could not reveal his destination until his release clause dropped from €200 million to €120 million on July 1.

Continue reading “Griezmann close to Barca from Atletico”

if we get an offer, Neymar can leave PSG – Leonardo

Paris St Germain sporting director Leonardo says Neymar is free to leave the French champions but there have been no offers for him and only “superficial” talks with his former club Barcelona.

The Brazilian forward joined PSG from Barcelona on a five-year deal for a world record transfer fee of 222 million euros ($249 million) in 2017.

“Neymar can leave PSG if there is an offer that suits everyone. But to date, we do not know if anyone wants to buy him or at what price. All this is not done in a day, that’s for sure,” Leonardo Le Parisien.

“It’s clear to everyone (that he wants to leave), but in football, you say one thing today and tomorrow another … It’s amazing but it’s like that. We talked with his entourage too. Everyone knows everything. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

“The position is clear for all participants. But one thing is concrete today: he still has three years of contract with us and since we have not received an offer, we cannot discuss anything.”

Continue reading “if we get an offer, Neymar can leave PSG – Leonardo”

AFCON Match Preview: Nigeria vs South Africa

Nigeria and South Africa qualified for the last eight following hard-fought wins over holders Cameroon and hosts Egypt, respectively.

The Super Eagles, though, are the team that are favourites to win this one due to their formidable frontline. They have scored five goals in four games while Bafana Bafana have found the back of the net twice.

Nigeria, also have a 6-1 advantage with four draws from 11 previous matches against South Africa. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

Team News

Nigeria- Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr is expected to start the same XI that beat Cameroon 3-2 in the thrilling last-16 contest in Alexandria on Saturday.

Right-back Chidozie Awaziem is a booking away from suspension. Continue reading “AFCON Match Preview: Nigeria vs South Africa”

Egypt must learn from AFCON failure – Salah

Egypt star Mohamed Salah said the team would try to learn from their mistakes after the Africa Cup of Nations hosts suffered an embarrassing last-16 exit.

The Pharaohs were billed as chief title contenders on home soil, having won three of four previous editions as hosts, but crashed out on Saturday following a shock 1-0 loss to South Africa.

The painful defeat came a year on from Egypt’s miserable World Cup campaign – their first appearance at the competition since 1990 – in which they failed to get out of the group stage after losing all of their matches.

“Very sad for our early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations. We were hoping to continue together till the end and offer the tournament for our loyal fans to whom I have to address a big thank you for the support we are used to from them,” Salah tweeted late on Sunday.

Continue reading “Egypt must learn from AFCON failure – Salah”

Official: Lampard becomes Chelsea’s new head coach

Chelsea appointed Frank Lampard as their new manager on Thursday, as owner Roman Abramovich turned to a familiar face rather than an experienced hand to replace Maurizio Sarri and lead the club into a new era.

Lampard, adored by Chelsea fans as the heart and soul of the club’s midfield during a trophy-laden 13 years at Stamford Bridge, was handed a three-year contract having left second tier Derby County.

“I am immensely proud to be returning to Chelsea as head coach,” Lampard told the club website.

“Everyone knows my love for this club and the history we have shared, however, my sole focus is on the job in hand and preparing for the season ahead.

“I am here to work hard, bring further success to the club and I cannot wait to get started.”

A relative rookie as a manager, the 41-year-old Lampard earned plaudits for taking Derby into the Championship playoff final in his first year in the dugout – even if they just missed out on promotion to Aston Villa.  Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet

His rebuilding efforts at Chelsea will also be hampered by a Fifa transfer ban.

Continue reading “Official: Lampard becomes Chelsea’s new head coach”

Argentina players angry as VAR stays out of the spotlight

Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero lashed out at the officiating after their 2-0 Copa America semifinal defeat to Brazil on Tuesday and questioned why video technology was not consulted in two penalty appeals that were waved away.

The video assistant referee (VAR) system has been used heavily at the tournament, to such an extent that organisers CONMEBOL had to defend its use with fans complaining about lengthy stoppages.

The system has had a huge impact on results, ruling out three Uruguay goals in their quarterfinal exit to Peru as well as strikes for Chile in their last eight game with Colombia.

The group stage also saw numerous goals chalked off after lengthy stoppages for reviews, while several penalties were awarded even when there had been no appeals for a foul.

On Tuesday, however, VAR was conspicuous by its absence and Messi, who is not known for verbal outbursts, was furious that it was not used. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

“Referees gave so many stupid fouls in this Copa America but today VAR wasn’t consulted once,” he told reporters.

“This should be looked into and I hope CONMEBOL do something with these referees who unbalance the pitch by favouring a team.

Continue reading “Argentina players angry as VAR stays out of the spotlight”

Rashford Determined to help United compete for titles

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has said his main motivation is to get the storied club back to fighting for the Premier League and Champions League titles.

United said on Monday the 21-year-old has signed a new four-year contract which will keep him at the club until 2023, with the option to extend a further year.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but British media reported the new contract could see Rashford earn around 250 000 pounds ($316 550) a week as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer plans to build his attack around the academy graduate.

“There’s nothing I want more than to see the club winning the Premier League again, winning the Champions League again,” Rashford told The Times. Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet

“Everybody here deserves much, much more than what we’re giving them right now, not only the fans, the club itself. They don’t deserve to be where they are now. Continue reading “Rashford Determined to help United compete for titles”

Derby excused Lampard from pre-season to conclude Chelsea return

Derby County have excused manager Frank Lampard from the start to the Championship club’s pre-season training programme with the former midfielder expected to complete a return to Chelsea this week.

Lampard was last week given permission to speak to the Blues, with whom he won 13 trophies in 13 years as a player at Stamford Bridge.

“Derby County Football Club has excused Frank Lampard from reporting back for pre-season training on Monday and Tuesday to allow his discussions regarding a potential move to Chelsea to be concluded as soon as possible,” Derby said in a statement on Monday. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet 

“On the assumption that Frank will reach an agreement with Chelsea to become their new manager, the club shall step up its efforts to find a replacement manager.”

Continue reading “Derby excused Lampard from pre-season to conclude Chelsea return”

AFCON Match Preview: Madagascar vs Nigeria

Nigeria have qualified but will look to finish top of the group to avoid a stronger opponent in the last 16. They need a point here to secure the top spot in group B.

Madagascar have four points and will qualify for the round of 16 if they avoid defeat against Super Eagles.

Team News

Madagascar- Madagascar earned their first ever win at the Africa Cup of Nations against Burundi after switching from 4-1-4-1 to 4-3-3.

But manager Olivier Niyungeko could revert to the 4-1-4-1 formation to frustrate Nigeria’s attack, as they did in the first game against Guinea. Various Betting Options is available on NaijaBet

Nigeria- Manager Gernot Rohr will likely rotate his starting line-up against Madagascar to give rest to some of his key players, having already sealed qualification for the knockout phase.

Continue reading “AFCON Match Preview: Madagascar vs Nigeria”

AFCON Match Preview: Nigeria vs Guinea

Nigeria got their campaign off to a winning start against Burundi, but they struggled. That was their easiest match on paper, which means they must improve.

Guinea, on the other hand, drew 2-2 with Madagascar in their group opener and that was supposed to be their least daunting fixture. Now they have to defend against the likes of Odion Ighalo and Alex Iwobi.

Team News

Nigeria- Gernot Rohr is likely to make changes despite his side winning their opening match against Burundi.

Odion Ighalo, who came off the bench to score the match-winner on Saturday, is expected to start while captain Mikel Obi’s place in the line up is in doubt following a below-par performance on Saturday.  Bet Now on NaijaBet

Full-backs Shehu Abdullahi and Jamilu Collins have been ruled out of the game due to injuries.

Continue reading “AFCON Match Preview: Nigeria vs Guinea”

Nigeria’s Kalu ‘100% ready’ after collapse for Guinea

Nigeria forward Samuel Kalu, who collapsed during training last week due to severe dehydration, is fully fit to play in Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations game against Guinea, coach Gernot Rohr said on Tuesday.

“The very good news is that Kalu did again yesterday in Cairo an MRI and it is now 100% sure that he is fit and he will be available for the game,” he said.

“He already started training with the team so we are happy about that because everybody was a little bit scared when this happened.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on Naijabet

The Bordeaux player was rushed to hospital Friday suffering from severe dehydration due to severe heat. Temperatures expected to hover between 35 and 38 Celsius (95-100.4 Fahrenheit) over the next month in Egypt.

Continue reading “Nigeria’s Kalu ‘100% ready’ after collapse for Guinea”

Senegal lose Sane for rest of AFCON2019 group stage Fixtures

Giant Senegalese defender Salif Sane will miss at least his team’s next two Africa Cup of Nations matches after hurting his ankle in the 2-0 victory over Tanzania.

The 1.96m centre-back injured his left ankle during Sunday’s Group C opener in Cairo and will miss “between 10 and 15 days” with a sprained ligament, the Senegalese FA said Monday.

Sane, who was expected to partner Napoli standout Kalidou Koulibaly in a strong Senegalese defence, will miss Thursday’s heavyweight clash with Algeria as well as the July 1 meeting with Kenya.

Senegal will however be boosted by the return of star forward Sadio Mane, who was suspended for the opener after picking up a one-match ban during qualifying. Various AFCON betting options are available on site.

Koulibaly, reportedly coveted by a number of Europe’s top sides, said Sunday he wasn’t prepared to talk about his Napoli future with Senegal attempting to win the tournament for the first time.

Continue reading “Senegal lose Sane for rest of AFCON2019 group stage Fixtures”

AFCON Match Preview: Nigeria vs Burundi

The Super Eagles are heavily tipped to top Group B upon their return to the Nations Cup, after failing to qualify for last two editions. To achieve that, they will need a positive start against Burundi.

Burundi are making their debut at this year’s championship. They finished second in their qualifying group behind Mali having remained unbeaten, winning two of six.

Team News

Nigeria- Head coach Gernot Rohr has no injury worries going into Saturday’s must-win encounter.

Striker Odion Ighalo is expected to lead the line after scoring seven goals in six matches during qualifying. Various betting options are available on site

John Obi Mikel is also in line to start after returning to the squad despite missing the entire qualification process. Continue reading “AFCON Match Preview: Nigeria vs Burundi”

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Copa America: Messi rescues Argentina as Paraguay pay penalty

A Lionel Messi penalty salvaged a 1-1 draw for Argentina against Paraguay on Wednesday as the two-time world champions once again struggled at the Copa America.

Messi swept in a 57th-minute spot-kick at Belo Horizonte’s Mineirao Stadium to cancel out a first-half opener from Paraguay’s Richard Sanchez.

Argentina also had goalkeeper Franco Armani to thank for a second half penalty save that prevented Paraguay from taking a 2-1 lead in the Group B battle.

The draw left Argentina with one point from two games and on the bottom of the table with one game remaining.

However with the two best third placed teams advancing to the quarterfinals, Argentina can still reach the last eight with a decisive win over Qatar in their final group game. Place bet on Live Mathes 24/7

“We have to win,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said of his team’s date with Qatar. “We will take stock of what we did well and what we did not do well and we will make decisions. We are lucky that we are still alive in this tournament,” added Scaloni, singling out goalkeeper Armani for special praise. Continue reading “Copa America: Messi rescues Argentina as Paraguay pay penalty”

Namibia coach confident his team ahead of Nations Cup

Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti says his side is a well-oiled machine heading into their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations opener against Morocco on Sunday.

The Brave Warriors have enjoyed a smooth build-up to the tournament in Dubai, which included a 1-0 victory over Ghana, and although they are considered the minnows in a pool that also includes Ivory Coast and South Africa.

“Everyone understands their role in the team, in how we can play and where we want to be,” Mannetti said. “The selection of the final 23 players says it all in terms of tactical harmony.

“We have not beaten Morocco in about six games now and we have a lot of hope because of our preparations. It’s a once off match and it’s will be tricky, and different and a draw or victory against Morocco will be key.” Bet Now on NaijaBet.com

Mannetti added that his side are primed to handle the weather conditions, with the temperatures set to hit close to 40 degrees Celsius.

Continue reading “Namibia coach confident his team ahead of Nations Cup”

Egypt set to kick off for AFCON despite security issue

The Africa Cup of Nations(Afcon) is set to kick off in Egypt on Friday against a backdrop of terror attacks and only days after the death of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

With opening and closing games held at Cairo Stadium, it will be the fifth time that Egypt has hosted the regional tournament, which has expanded this year to include 24 teams.

Cairo last welcomed African teams in 2006, before the country’s political landscape was rocked by the Arab Spring of 2011.

This time, Egypt plays host after Morsi, its first democratically elected president, was buried on Tuesday following the ousted and jailed leader’s collapse in court and death the previous day.

Authorities are confident the infrastructure is in place to host the continent’s largest football contest, but they are on high alert after attacks on tourists near the pyramids and an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.

A roadside bomb near the pyramids last month left 17 people wounded, just months after a similar attack in December killed three Vietnamese holidaymakers and an Egyptian tour guide. Various Betting options are available on site

The interior ministry in June announced extra security forces would be deployed to maintain “public order” for the competition.

Egyptians were expected to be a major driver of the tournament’s reach, but local fans have been up in arms over the cost of watching a game – either in stadiums or on television.

Set to run well into the scorching month of July, it will mark the first time Egypt has hosted a major sports tournament since longtime autocrat Hosni

Continue reading “Egypt set to kick off for AFCON despite security issue”

Suarez, Cavani shine as Uruguay crush Ecuador in Copa America

Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani were on target as Uruguay thumped 10-man Ecuador 4-0 in their opening Group C match at the Copa America on Sunday.

Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring after just six minutes before Ecuador full-back Jose Quintero was dismissed for a flailing arm.

With a numerical advantage, Uruguay ran riot at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte as Cavani and Suarez netted before the break. The rout was completed 12 minutes from time with an Arturo Mina own goal.

“We had chances in the first half, we managed to take them and that gave us the tranquility to manage the game,” said Cavani, who finally scored his first Copa America goal in his fourth participation.

“It was an important step.” Start forecasting your AFCON games Now

It was the ideal beginning for Uruguay in a tough Group C alongside champions Chile and guests Japan, who meet on Monday in Sao Paulo.

“We’re not as bad as that,” lamented Ecuador’s Colombian coach Hernan Dario Gomez.

“It was a match that got away from us, especially in the first half when it got away from us in every aspect.”

Continue reading “Suarez, Cavani shine as Uruguay crush Ecuador in Copa America”

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