Bayern, as always, are heavy favourites to win the Bundesliga and have added significant depth to their already strong squad.
It remains to be seen though, if manager Carlo Ancelotti’s side are able to compensate for the losses of Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso, who both retired this summer, to make another strong Champions League run.
Leverkusen want to get back on track after a disappointing season. New manager Heiko Herrlich is expected to improve the talented team’s mentality together with new signing Sven Bender, but it remains to be seen if this is enough for the club to reach the desired top-six spot at the end of the campaign.
Expect Bayern to try to dominate this game from the outset and make a first statement at home. NaijaBet
Bayern Munich – Sven Ulreich will start in goal as Carlo Ancelotti does not want to risk Manuel Neuer just yet.
New signing Niklas Süle should start at centre-back, with Jérôme Boateng and Javi Martínez both out.
Continue reading “Match Preview : Bayern Munich vs Bayer Leverkusen”
Spain’s La Liga returns on Friday under the shadow of terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils that left 14 killed and more than a hundred injured.
The league’s authorities still plan for all 10 La Liga fixtures to take place, including Barcelona’s match at home to Real Betis on Sunday.
All games across the top two divisions will be preceded by a minute’s silence. Predict and Stake on Weekend Matches on NaijaBet
“LaLiga has asked the RFEF (Spanish Football Federation) to hold a minute’s silence in all matches of the first day of the competition in LaLiga Santander and LaLiga 1l2l3,” La Liga said in a statement.
Barca’s players held a minute’s silence before training on Friday, while the club published a picture of the players and coaching staff with the hashtag “TotsSomBarcelona” (“We are all Barcelona”) on its social media channels. Continue reading “La Liga season resume Today”
After a first week in the Premier League that saw the champions Chelsea toppled and 31 goals flying in, the victories by Manchester’s clubs on the opening weekend suggested they could be the teams to chase this term.
The rivals are book-ending week two, with United at Swansea City in Saturday’s lunchtime game and City testing Everton’s new big-spending resolve on Monday. That should provide an even better feel for their credentials.
Jose Mourinho’s United put four past West Ham United and Romelu Lukaku quickly demonstrated his intent to be crowned the league’s top scorer, after just missing out last year, with an accomplished double.
Just as impressive was the performance of Pep Guardiola’s City, who broke down the newcomers Brighton & Hove Albion with the pairing of Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus promising much. NaijaBet
German international Ilkay Gundogan is back in the frame for them, too, after a long-term injury as the summer’s 200 million-pound big spenders face an Everton side who have been splashing out again themselves by signing Gylfi Sigurdsson. Continue reading “Man City are ready to show why they’re PL favourites”
Having qualified for the Champions League in May, Liverpool’s next challenge is to win their first major trophy under Jurgen Klopp, but whether they are equipped to fulfil that aim is the source of much debate at Anfield.
Many Liverpool fans are worried their club have done relatively little in the transfer market, signing only three players, and so far failing to land their two most significant targets — RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita and Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.
Van Dijk may yet join Liverpool, having submitted a transfer request on Monday, but the club have acknowledged they will not be signing Keita in this transfer window. Bet Now on NaijaBet.com
The gloomier elements of Liverpool’s support have hardly been cheered by the pre-season thigh injury that will keep England midfielder Adam Lallana out until November.
Yet there are grounds for optimism too as Klopp’s side begin their Premier League season at Watford on Saturday. Continue reading “Liverpool aim high as Premier League Resume”
Cristiano Ronaldo told a Spanish court he “would like to return to England” due to his tax troubles in Spain, Spanish radio station Cadena Ser reported on Saturday.
The Real Madrid star was called to testify in court on Monday over accusations he evaded 14.7 million euros ($17.3 million) in tax on his image rights via a complicated web of shell companies based in the British Virgin Islands and Ireland.
However, Ronaldo has insisted he did not create a “special structure” to manage his image rights when he moved to Real in 2009 but simply maintained the one set up in 2004 while he was at Manchester United.
That structure had been recommended to the Portuguese captain by United via their specialist sports lawyer Chris Farnell. Play Bet on Today’s Match on NaijaBet
“Chris told me it was what all the footballers did and I didn’t want to be an exception,” Ronaldo added in court. Continue reading “Ronaldo wants to return back to England”
Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho can collect the one European trophy he lacks when his side face Real Madrid in the Uefa Super Cup on Tuesday in his first competitive meeting with the Spanish giants since an acrimonious split in 2013.
Mourinho, whose team won the Europa League last season to salvage an otherwise disappointing first campaign under the Portuguese, led Real to the Liga title with a record 100 points and won a King’s Cup in an eventful stay between 2010 and 2013.
His achievements at the Santiago Bernabeu were overshadowed, however, by his falling out with key dressing room figures such as Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas as well as confrontations with referees and opponents plus a failure to win the Champions League, as Real lost in the semifinals each year.
Mourinho’s legacy has been upstaged by the Spanish club’s three Champions League triumphs in the four years since his departure, although in a recent interview the Portuguese claimed he had “to beg” Real’s board to let him leave for Chelsea.
Champions League holders Real will be without talisman and former United forward Cristiano Ronaldo in Skopje, Macedonia, as the Portugal international was allowed to report late for pre-season training after he played in the Confederations Cup. Continue reading “Mourinho target first Super Cup win against Real Madrid”
The Chilean has been linked with a Gunners exit but Arsene Wenger is confident he will be able to keep his star man despite his contract situation.
Alexis Sanchez has returned to Arsenal training with uncertainty continuing to surround his long-term future.
The 28-year-old, whose contract with the Gunners expires in 2018, has been linked with a big-money move to both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. NaijaBet
PSG had held talks with the Chilean over a €50 million transfer , with City also retaining a strong interest despite being aware of Arsenal’s reluctance to sell.
The north Londoners remain convinced that the player will be staying at Emirates Stadium, despite Alexis having openly admitted he wants to be playing in the Champions League. Continue reading “Sanchez returns to training with Arsenal”
The Spain international winger is back where it all began for him after four seasons in England which delivered Premier League and League Cup wins.
Jesus Navas has linked up with Sevilla for a second spell following his release by Manchester City, penning a four-year contract with the Liga club.
The Spain international winger has returned to his roots as a free agent, four years after leaving for England. To place Bet on today’s game Click
Sevilla pulled in close to £15 million when offloading Navas to City, but have brought him back without having to pay a fee. Continue reading “Jesus Navas return to Sevilla from Man City”
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Chelsea will open the defence of their Premier League title at home to Burnley when the season kicks off on the weekend of August12-13.
The full list of fixtures was released on Wednesday with Antonio Conte’s side also slated for a follow-up game at Tottenham Hotspur, who will play all their home fixtures at Wembley while White Hart Lane is being redeveloped.
Manchester City travel to newly promoted Brighton and Hove Albion on the opening weekend, while Manchester United play West Ham United at Old Trafford.
Liverpool take on Watford, under the new management of Marco Silva, at Vicarage Road, while Spurs travel to Championship (second tier) champions Newcastle United. Play Bet on today’s match on NaijaBet.com
The other Premier League newcomers Huddersfield Town will play their first top-flight game in 45 years at Crystal Palace as Arsenal open at home to Leicester City . Continue reading “Chelsea host Burnley in 2017/18 PL opener”
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo remained atop Forbes magazine’s list of 100 highest-paid athletes, with Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James moving up to second on a list heavy on NBA players.
The 32-year-old Portugal forward is estimated to have earned a total of $93 million between his football salary of $58 million and $35 million in endorsement income. Place Bet on today’s match on NaijaBet.com
It’s the second straight year Ronaldo has topped the list, released Wednesday just days after he spearheaded a 4-1 victory over Juventus that made Real Madrid the first team to retain the Uefa Champions League title.
James, with estimated earnings of $86.2 million, was one of 32 NBA players who made the top 100 — up from 18 last year.
He took over second place from the Argentine footballer Lionel Messi, now third with $80 million. Continue reading “Ronaldo top Forbes list of world richest athletes”
Midfielder Yaya Toure has signed a new one-year contract with Manchester City, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.
Toure joined City from Barcelona in 2010 and has made 299 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring 81 goals, but missed a chunk of the season after a public spat between his agent, Dimitri Seluk, and manager Pep Guardiola.
Seluk criticised Guardiola for leaving his client out of City’s Champions League squad, resulting in Toure being frozen out by City at the start of September, only to be welcomed back a month later after issuing a public apology. Place Bet on UCL Final Match on NaijaBet.com
“I’m delighted. I told myself the journey at City is not done,” the 34-year-old Ivorian said in a statement on City’s website on Thursday. (www.mancity.com) Continue reading “Toure will stay with City for another one-year”
Arsene Wenger has told Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke he will accept the Premier League club’s offer of a new two-year contract, according to reports on Tuesday.
Wenger met Gunners majority shareholder Kroenke and chief executive Ivan Gazidis on Monday to discuss his future before his contract expires next month.
The 67-year-old has been heavily criticised this season, with Arsenal fans calling for his resignation after their team failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.
Suggestions that Arsenal may insist on hiring a director of football to work with Wenger had sparked claims the Frenchman was considering ending his 21-year reign. NaijaBet
But after leading Arsenal to an impressive 2-1 FA Cup final victory over Premier League champions Chelsea with Kroenke watching from the stands on Saturday, Wenger had hinted he was willing to stay. Continue reading “Wenger set to extend Arsenal contract”
Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has said he is delighted to be given a new one-year contract that will take him into a 12th season with the club.
Carrick, 35, signed from Tottenham in June 2006, winning one Champions League and five Premier League titles.
He was part of the squad that won the Europa League last week and the trophy will be shown off at his testimonial match next Sunday.
“I am delighted that my journey with this great club is going to continue,” Carrick told the club’s website.
Spanish coach Ernesto Valverde is the man charged with reviving Barcelona’s fortunes after being confirmed as the Catalan giants’ new boss on a two-year deal on Monday.
“Valverde has the ability, the judgement, the knowledge and the experience. He promotes the youth players and he has a Barça way,” club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said at a press conference.
Valverde, whose contract will include an option for a third season in charge, will be officially unveiled on Thursday.
Valverde, 53, a former Barca player who left Athletic Bilbao after four years in charge last week, replaces Luis Enrique with the task of getting the most out of a star-studded squad containing Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez. Naija and Bet
Luis Enrique signed off his three seasons in charge with a ninth trophy of his reign in Saturday’s Copa del Rey final against Alaves. Continue reading “Valverde hired as new Barcelona new Coach”
All-time top-scorer Wayne Rooney was Thursday left out of the England squad for next month’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland and a friendly against France.
The 31-year-old striker has lost his place at Manchester United and was similarly omitted from Gareth Southgate’s England squad announced in March, although he was carrying a knee injury at the time, but is now fit.
Rooney, who made a brief appearance in Manchester United’s Europa League final win over Ajax in Stockholm on Wednesday, had hoped to end his international career by captaining England at next year’s World Cup in Russia. NaijaBet
But this now looks an increasingly forlorn hope for Rooney, England’s record goalscorer with 53 goals and their most capped outfielder with 119 appearances for his country. Continue reading “Rooney left out of England WC qualifier squad”
La Liga club Barcelona have expressed their support for Argentine striker Lionel Messi and his father after the Spanish Supreme Court upheld their prison sentences over tax fraud charges, although neither are expected to go to jail.
Five-time World Player of the Year winner Messi, who has been at Barcelona since the age of 13, was handed a 21-month prison sentence and fined 2 million euros ($2.25 million) for three counts of tax fraud between 2007 and 2009.
“The club reiterates, once again, its full support for Leo Messi, his father Jorge Messi, and his family,” a statement on the club’s official website read. Naija and Bet
“FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu contacted the player’s family to communicate this support. Continue reading “Messi get Barcelona’full support’”
Paul Pogba propelled Manchester United towards a 2-0 victory over Ajax on Wednesday in a Europa League final rendered heavy with emotion by this week’s terror attack in Manchester.
A night that began with a moment of silence, then applause, in memory of the 22 people who died at Manchester Arena on Monday ended with United completing their trophy collection through goals from Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Reminders of the attack were everywhere at Stockholm’s Friends Arena, from United’s black armbands to the chants of “Manchester!” from their fans, while Pogba, too, was grieving, following the recent death of his father. NaijaBet.com
Victory enabled United manager Jose Mourinho, who said prior to the game that he and his players were struggling not to think about the tragedy, to bring his maiden Old Trafford season to a successful conclusion.
He had already guided United to glory in the League Cup and despite a sixth-place finish in the Premier League, success in the Europa League means his side will return to the Champions League next season.
United became only the fifth club – after Juventus, Ajax, Bayern Munich and Chelsea – to have won the Champions League, the Europa League and the now defunct European Cup Winners’ Cup. Continue reading “Man United are Europa League Champions”
Spain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi and stood by a Catalan regional court’s 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud, court documents showed.
The five-times World Player of the Year is unlikely to go to prison, however. Play Bet on tonight’s Europa League Final on NaijaBet.com
Messi and his father Jorge were found guilty by a Catalan court last July on three counts of tax fraud between 2007 and 2009 to the tune of 4.1 million euros on image rights and were also fined 2 million euros ($2.24 million).
The court reduced Jorge Messi’s sentence from 21 months to 15, however, for returning the defrauded amount to Spain’s tax authority.
Neither Messi nor his father are expected to serve time in jail, as under Spanish law sentences under two years can be served under probation.
A court statement said Messi “unequivocally understood his obligation to pay tax on income obtained from exploiting his image rights…therefore it is not logical that he should ignore his duty to pay tax on them”. Continue reading “Messi loses appeal Spain tax fraud trial”
Arsenal are disappointed with their fifth-placed Premier League finish but focused on winning the FA Cup final against Chelsea on Saturday, striker Danny Welbeck has said.
Arsenal’s five-game winning streak at the end of the season was not enough to grab a Champions League spot as the club stuttered in the second half of the season, losing six and drawing one of the previous 11 games before the unbeaten run.
“As a club, with the way the season’s panned out, it’s not a (league) position we want to be in at all,” Welbeck told the club’s official website.
“We know that we’ve got the opportunity of playing in the FA Cup final and it’s something we really want to do our best in.” Naija and Bet
Welbeck missed the FA Cup final in 2015 through injury as Arsenal won the competition for the second time in as many years, but the England international is looking ahead to Saturday’s showdown against the newly crowned Premier League champions. Continue reading “Welbeck hopes FA Cup victory will lift Arsenal”
Real Madrid’s magical midfielder Isco has finally found his place in Zinedine Zidane’s side as he tries to drive them towards a La Liga and Champions League double.
Isco set up Cristiano Ronaldo’s second-minute goal against Malaga on Sunday as Madrid won 2-0 to earn the Spanish title.
After months of uncertainty over his future and reports that he was considering leaving after failing to start on a regular basis, the tide has turned at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Gareth Bale’s injury problems prompted Zidane to shuffle his pack and Isco has been the winner of the situation, with the coach shifting to a 4-4-2 formation. Naija and Bet
Isco plays as an attacking midfielder at the tip of a central diamond, his ideal position. The new set-up has helped Madrid win their first title since 2012 and reach the Champions League final against Juventus. Continue reading “I am not considering leaving Madrid – Isco”
Arsenal must respect the Europa League next season and take the tournament seriously if they fail to qualify for the Champions League, goalkeeper Peter Cech has said.
Arsenal’s 2-0 win over relegated Sunderland on Tuesday moved them within a point of fourth-placed Liverpool and gave the London side an outside chance of qualifying for the Champions League if results go their way on the final day of the season. Naija and Bet
English clubs have become more prominent in the Europa League in recent years with Chelsea winning the competition in 2013, Liverpool finishing runner-up last year and Manchester United set to play the final next week.
“A European trophy is a European trophy,” Cech said.
“I have to say you want to have the Champions League one rather than the Europa League one but you can see more and more, big teams are treating the Europa League with respect because it is a European trophy. Continue reading “Cech – Arsenal must respect UEL”
Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur each have three players among the eight nominations for the Premier League Player of the Season, while the coaches of both teams have also been shortlisted for the Manager of the Year award.
Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is the favourite for the players’ prize, having already been named the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) Player of the Year and the FWA (Football Writers Association) Player of the Year. Naija and Bet
Belgium international Eden Hazard and Spain full back Cesar Azpilicueta are the other Chelsea players on the list, while Tottenham are represented by striker Harry Kane, midfielder Dele Alli and defender Jan Vertonghen.
Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez has also been included, along with Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, who currently leads the league’s scoring charts with 24 goals. Continue reading “Chelsea, Spurs Players dominate PL nominations”
Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s 4-0 rout of West Ham proves they can cope with the pressure of fighting for Champions League qualification, but he warned his stars to guard against complacency.
Liverpool’s destiny is in their own hands after a dominant display at the London Stadium and victory over relegated Middlesbrough next Sunday will secure a top-four finish in the Premier League.
If Arsenal drop points against Sunderland on Tuesday, Liverpool will make it back into Europe’s elite club competition before the last weekend of the season. NaijaBet
“Part of our life is to handle pressure, to ignore the bad part of pressure and to use the good part of pressure,” Klopp said.
“We drew in the last game with Southampton, we didn’t score with a penalty and maybe people say then: ‘They can’t deal with pressure.’
Continue reading “Klopp urges Liverpool to keep fighting for UCL spot”
Gonzalo Higuain scored both goals as an imperious Juventus beat Monaco 2-0 in their Champions League semifinal first leg on Wednesday to take a huge step towards next month’s final in Cardiff.
Both of Higuain’s goals came from Dani Alves assists, with the Argentine hitman rounding off a breathtaking team move to open the scoring just before the half-hour mark and converting the second from close range after the break.
While the second leg in Turin next Tuesday will be no formality, Juventus have never lost a two-legged European tie to French opposition and so impressive were they at the Stade Louis II that it is hard to imagine Monaco recovering.
Higuain, who now has 31 goals this season, received applause from all around the ground as he came off to be replaced by Juan Cuadrado late on after a clinical display that showed just why Juve paid 90 million euros ($98m) to sign him from Napoli last year. NaijaBet.com
In contrast Monaco, having won their previous 13 matches at the Stade Louis II and been so thrilling going forward all campaign, could not find a way through the brilliant away defence.
They will now need something very special next week if they are to make it to a first Champions League final since 2004. Continue reading “Higuain brace assist Juve to sink Monaco”