Alaba, Tolisso might miss UCL match against Real Madrid

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes will decide at the last minute if full back David Alaba and midfielder Corentin Tolisso can play in Wednesday’s Champions League semifinal first leg at home against Real Madrid, he said on Tuesday.

The German champions, itching for revenge after last year’s elimination to Real in their fourth successive exit in the competition to a Spanish opponent, are already without Chile international Arturo Vidal, sidelined for the rest of the season following surgery.

“For David Alaba and Corentin Tolisso it will be decided tomorrow morning if they will be included in the squad,” Heynckes told reporters. Naija and Bet

Austria international Alaba has been nursing a back injury for some weeks and missed their final training session earlier on Tuesday while Frenchman Tolisso has just recovered from a shin injury.

“Teams in the last four of the Champions League have to deal with injuries,” Heynckes added. “Arturo is for me a very important player for example. But we need to compensate for that loss.” Continue reading “Alaba, Tolisso might miss UCL match against Real Madrid”

Champions League Match Preview: Liverpool vs Roma

Liverpool have kept clean sheets in each of their last four Champions League home matches, their best run in the competition’s history.

Roma have lost their last three away matches in the Champions League, falling to a 4-1 defeat against Barcelona most recently.

Liverpool have lost two of their last three home matches against Italian opposition but are expected to take a first leg lead to Rome.

Team News

Liverpool- Jordan Henderson is available again after missing their last Champions League game and will slot straight back into midfield. Bet Now on NaijaBet

Roberto Firmino, Andrew Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain will be recalled to the starting XI after being held back at the weekend. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Liverpool vs Roma”

Mendy hope for more starting spot at City

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy is keen to reclaim his place in the Premier League champions’ starting line-up after making his comeback from a lengthy injury layoff in last weekend’s 5-0 win over Swansea City.

France international Mendy, who was sidelined since September with a knee ligament injury, came on as a second-half substitute as Pep Guardiola’s side registered a commanding victory in their first match since sealing the title.

Midfielder Fabian Delph has been impressive at left back in Mendy’s absence but the injury-free 23-year-old is eager to reclaim his spot.

“It has been a very long time, but every day I worked hard… I knew with this injury we had to wait and work, but seven months on I am strong,” Mendy said. Place bet on today’s Champions League match and Other matches.

“Maybe he (Delph) will take my place… I need to work hard for my comeback but he has done great for the team this year, and (Oleksandr) Zinchenko the same. Continue reading “Mendy hope for more starting spot at City”

Jupp Heynckes chasing another treble with Bayern

Jupp Heynckes plans to down his ex-club Real Madrid in Wednesday’s Champions League semifinal, first leg, and take the next step to leaving Bayern Munich with another treble.

Heynckes, 72, has already won the Champions League as head coach of both clubs.

He steered Real to the title in 1998, then Bayern in 2013, a season the Germans finished with a treble. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

At an age when his contemporaries are busy playing bingo and looking after the grandkids, Heynckes is relishing a high-pressure European showdown.

“It’s a cracker – a gigantic meeting in a positive sense,” said Heynckes.

“These are two teams with a great tradition in European football, who play and love attractive football. It’s a difficult draw for both sides.”

Bayern are the only club left in the Champions League who can still win a treble. Continue reading “Jupp Heynckes chasing another treble with Bayern”

I have no problem with Mourinho – Pogba

Paul Pogba insisted on Sunday that he has no problems with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho despite a difficult season which has seen the French star dropped on several occasions.

Pogba, who has even been linked with a summer move away from Old Trafford, said that he always accepts Mourinho’s decisions and that the best response he can make to being snubbed is to improve on the pitch.

“I have no problem with Mourinho,” Pogba said NaijaBet on Sunday.

“I also believe that he has no problem with me. He is the coach, he makes the decisions. Me, I am a player, I accept it and I have to respond on the pitch, that’s all.” Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

Midfield star Pogba revealed that Mourinho never explains why he is getting dropped or substituted in a match.

“No, it all depends on the coach. There are some who like to talk to the players. Mourinho, when he makes a choice, you have to accept it.” Continue reading “I have no problem with Mourinho – Pogba”

Gomez, Lovren are ready to return for Liverpool – Klopp

Liverpool defenders Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren will return to the squad for Saturday’s Premier League trip to basement club West Bromwich Albion, manager Jurgen Klopp said.

Gomez featured in training this week for the first time since sustaining an ankle injury on international duty with England last month, while Lovren returned from a knock he suffered during last weekend’s league win over Bournemouth.

However, Klopp confirmed that right-back Nathaniel Clyne is expected to miss the match at the Hawthorns due to an injury. Bet now on week -end games on NaijaBet 

“Clyney struggled a little, he had a little muscle issue – unfortunately after a completely normal session. He is probably not available for tomorrow,” Klopp told a news conference on Friday.

“All the rest are available. Joe is back in full training, Dejan had only a little bit longer recovery but he trained yesterday as well.” Continue reading “Gomez, Lovren are ready to return for Liverpool – Klopp”

Wenger to leave Arsenal at of the Season

Arsene Wenger will finally bring his 22-year stay as Arsenal manager to a close at the end of the season, the Frenchman announced on Friday.

“After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” Wenger said in a statement posted on the club’s website.

“I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.”

Wenger, 68, won three Premier League titles, leading the only side to go a full league season unbeaten in 2003-04, and lifted seven FA Cups during his tenure. Start forecasting your weekend games Now  on NaijaBet

However, he has been under increasing pressure to step down from the club’s fans for several seasons as Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League for 14 years and risk missing out on Champions League qualification for the second consecutive season.

Arsenal’s only realistic chance of making the Champions League next season is by winning the Europa League where the Gunners face Spanish giants Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals on April 27 and May 4. Continue reading “Wenger to leave Arsenal at of the Season”

Match Preview : Burnley vs Chelsea

Burnley will leapfrog Arsenal into sixth if they beat Chelsea on Thursday, albeit having played a game more. The Clarets have won their last five on the bounce and will fancy their chances of beating Chelsea.

Chelsea survived a scare at the weekend after coming from 2-0 down to beat Southampton 3-2. They can pull to within four points of fourth place Tottenham with a win here, albeit having played a game more than their London rivals.

Chelsea have an FA Cup semi-final on Sunday and this is exactly the type of opponent Antonio Conte would prefer to avoid just days before their trip to Wembley. Burnley’s winning streak could well continue here. Bet Now on Naija and Bet

Team News

Burnley- Kevin Long has performed well in Ben Mee’s absence and may be rewarded with another start at the heart of Burnley’s defence here.

Sean Dyche has no reason to make any changes to his starting XI as Burnley close in on sixth place Arsenal. Continue reading “Match Preview : Burnley vs Chelsea”

Sterling hungry for more trophies after City PL win

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling says he is hungry to win the Premier League again, warning the champions against complacency as they chase more glory.

Pep Guardiola’s men were confirmed as champions with five matches still to play on Sunday when Manchester United were beaten by West Brom.

“This is my first Premier League title so who cares how you win it, whether it was on the pitch or on my sofa, I’m just delighted to win the title,” said the England international.

“It’s been a dream ever since I was a kid growing up playing football with my mates and winning it means everything.

“It’s important we don’t get complacent though. It’s amazing to win it, but now it’s about the next one.” Bet Now

The England international, who joined City from Liverpool in 2015, has progressed rapidly this season and Guardiola said at the weekend the 23-year-old could become one of the best players in the world. Continue reading “Sterling hungry for more trophies after City PL win”

Laliga Match Preview : Real Sociedad vs Atletico Madrid

Real Sociedad have won back-to-back games and kept consecutive clean sheets in recent weeks, with the Basque club looking to turn a corner in terms of confidence.

The hosts have kept three clean sheets in a row now in La Liga, with the balance being struck between creativity in attack and solidity at the back.

Atletico Madrid got back to winning ways against Levante last time out, and Antoine Griezmann continues to look in excellent form ahead of facing his former club. Bet Now on NaijaBet

Team News

Real Sociedad- Tono is expected to be preferred to Geronimo Rulli in goal, due to Miguel Angel Moya’s absence.

Diego Llorente is set to partner Raul Navas at the heart of the defence.

No changes are expected in the forward line, with Real Sociedad kicking on well since Eusebio’s sacking. Continue reading “Laliga Match Preview : Real Sociedad vs Atletico Madrid”

Match Preview : Leicester vs Southampton

Leicester have nothing left to play for this season after falling nine points behind seventh place Burnley. They must now try and cement a top half finish with five games left to play.

Southampton blew a 2-0 lead at home to Chelsea on Saturday and ended up losing 3-2. It’s their second consecutive 3-2 defeat where they have been ahead at some stage of the match.

Those two defeats have left Southampton five points adrift of safety and running out of time to save their top-flight status.

To make matters worse, Southampton have failed to score on their last three visits to the King Power Stadium. Latest Odds on NaijaBet 

Team News

Leicester- Leicester welcome back Wilfred Ndidi from suspension and he will slot back into midfield to ease Claude Puel’s woes in that position.

Kasper Schmeichel was forced off towards the end of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Burnley and may need replacing in goal here.

Marc Alrbighton and Christian Fuchs will push for recalls against the Saints. Continue reading “Match Preview : Leicester vs Southampton”

Napoli keep hopes alive, Crotone held Juve

Napoli kept their title hopes alive with a 4-2 win over Udinese on Wednesday as champions Juventus’ path to a seventh consecutive Serie A title was stalled 1-1 at Crotone.

Nigerian forward Simy grabbed the equaliser for relegation-threatened Crotone after 65 minutes with a spectacular overhead bicycle kick with shades of that scored by Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League in Turin last month.

“We didn’t do so well tonight, even though the guys did everything possible,” said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“Tonight was decisive for the Scudetto. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

“These are the games you need to bring home. The thing to do is stay calm, and play this championship until the end.”

Napoli came from behind twice to cut the gap on Juventus to four points with five games remaining including next Sunday’s top of the table clash between the two teams in Turin. Continue reading “Napoli keep hopes alive, Crotone held Juve”

Mourinho backs Pogba after Scholes tag him ”disrespectful”

Jose Mourinho has defended Paul Pogba after the Manchester United star was branded “disrespectful” by Paul Scholes.

United legend Scholes claimed Pogba’s lacklustre display in Sunday’s shock defeat against lowly West Bromwich Albion showed a lack of respect for Mourinho.

Scholes’ criticism came amid growing speculation that Mourinho is ready to sell Pogba following the France midfielder’s inconsistent form over the last two seasons.

But Pogba produced one of his better performances in United’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth on Wednesday as he set up Romelu Lukaku for the second goal at Dean Court.

Asked to comment on Scholes‘ criticism of Pogba, Mourinho said: “I don’t agree. I agree that it wasn’t a good performance at all (against West Brom); with that I agree.”

Mourinho made seven changes from the West Brom loss as he axed some of his under-performing players and rested others for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham. Continue reading “Mourinho backs Pogba after Scholes tag him ”disrespectful””

Laliga Match Preview: Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao

Real Madrid have lost just one of their last 14 league matches, with Zidane’s men riding high on confidence after getting into the Champions League semi finals too.

The hosts have also won five of their last six La Liga matches at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, with only Atletico Madrid able to grind out a point.

Athletic have won just one of their last seven away games in La Liga, with Kuko Ziganda’s men failing to score in four of their last five games on the road.

Team News

Real Madrid- Nacho is Zinedine Zidane’s only selection concern heading into this game.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were rested at the weekend and should be fresh to start up front. Bet Now NaijaBet

Isco is expected to feature in behind the front two after some great recent form. Continue reading “Laliga Match Preview: Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao”

Bayern Keeps treble hope alive, crush Leverkusen to reach final

Thomas Mueller shone as Bayern Munich romped to a 6-2 semifinal win at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday to reach the German Cup final and keep their treble dreams alive.

Leverkusen are up to third in the Bundesliga, but trail champions Bayern by a massive 24 points and the gulf in the league table showed up clearly in this semifinal.

“We were very effective and the team worked really well together,” beamed Mueller after Bayern’s masterclass in attacking football. NaijaBet

“We really deserved it, the team performance was great.

“Of course we want more (titles), we can feel that something is possible this season,” he added as Bayern eye winning the Cup for the 19th time in the club’s history.

Mueller, the man of the match, scored twice and helped set up the visitors’ first goal for Javi Martinez after only three minutes.

Robert Lewandowski added a second, his 36th goal in 40 games this season, when left unmarked in the area as Munich raced into a 2-0 lead after just nine minutes at the BayArena in Leverkusen. Continue reading “Bayern Keeps treble hope alive, crush Leverkusen to reach final”

Match Preview : Bournemouth vs Manchester United

Bournemouth have only lost four of their last 17 matches in all competitions but have drawn eight games in that spell.

The Cherries have only lost one of their last nine home matches but haven’t kept a clean sheet at Dean Court since November.

Manchester United followed up their amazing Manchester derby victory with a dismal 1-0 defeat to bottom side West Brom on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho will demand a response from his players on Wednesday night but whether he gets one is far from certain.

Team News

Bournemouth- Callum Wilson should return to the starting XI after only making the bench against Liverpool on Saturday. Bet Now on NaijaBet

Adam Smith and Junior Stanislas are injury concerns for the home side, while Tyrone Mings lack match fitness. Continue reading “Match Preview : Bournemouth vs Manchester United”

City’s players dominate PL team of the year

Playmaker Kevin De Bruyne and his Manchester City team-mates made up almost half of the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Premier League team of the year revealed on Wednesday.

Right-back Kyle Walker, centre-back Nicolas Otamendi, midfielder David Silva and striker Sergio Aguero were also named in the XI.

Tottenham were the only other team to have more than one representative, boasting three players in defender Jan Vertonghen, midfielder Christian Eriksen and striker Harry Kane. Place bet on today’s games

Manchester United’s only inclusion was goalkeeper David de Gea, while left-back Marcos Alonso was the sole player from dethroned champions Chelsea.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, with 30 league goals this season, was also included. Continue reading “City’s players dominate PL team of the year”

Neymar vows to be ready for World Cup in Russia

Injured Brazil striker Neymar has targeted May 17 for a return to training and vowed to work harder than ever to be ready for this year’s World Cup in Russia.

The Paris St Germain player, who became the world’s most expensive footballer when he joined the club from Barcelona in August, had an operation on his foot after being injured in a French league game against Olympique de Marseille on February 25. Place bet on world  matches

He has been receiving treatment in Brazil and said he expects to be training exactly a month before the five-time champions play their World Cup opener against Switzerland on June 17.

I get my final exam, if I’m not mistaken, on May 17 and then I’ll be free to play,” he told reporters at a news conference in Sao Paulo.

“I had an exam last week, it is all perfect, evolving well, so I hope that continues so I can get back as soon as possible…

“I am having treatment every day, and from the moment I start training I am going to work harder than I ever worked because this is a dream that’s coming up, it’s a World Cup. I’ve waited four years for this chance, it’s close and I hope to get there in great shape.” Continue reading “Neymar vows to be ready for World Cup in Russia”

Laliga Match Preview : Celta Vigo vs Barcelona

Celta Vigo have lost just one of their last four La Liga matches, with Juan Carlos Unzue’s men right in the mix for a Europa League finish come the end of the campaign.

The hosts are unbeaten in their last seven home outings at Balaidos, with La Celeste also managing to keep three clean sheets in their last four attempts in Galicia.

Barcelona broke La Liga’s record for the longest unbeaten period last time out against Valencia, and they will be looking to add to their impressive run.

Team News

Celta Vigo- Hugo Mallo and Pablo Hernandez both miss out due to suspension for the home side. Place bet on tonight’s games on NaijaBet

Nemanja Radoja will partner Stanislav Lobotka in central midfield as a result.

Facundo Roncaglia should slot in at right-back, with Gustavo Cabral in at centre-back. Continue reading “Laliga Match Preview : Celta Vigo vs Barcelona”

Zidane dismisses having problem with Bale

Zinedine Zidane insists he has no problem with Gareth Bale despite substituting him at half-time during Real Madrid´s Champions League clash against Juventus last week.

A source said that Bale was surprised and angry at Zidane´s decision to take him off at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Real trailing 2-0 in a match they went on to lose 3-1. The defending champions progressed 4-3 on aggregate

Bale was then not included in the squad for Sunday´s 2-1 win over Malaga in La Liga but Real insisted the plan had always been to rest players for the match.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Raphael Varane were also spared the trip to La Rosaleda. Naija and Bet

Real host Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday and Bale will be hoping for another chance to state his case ahead of the first leg of their Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich next week.

Against Juve, Karim Benzema made way for Bale by dropping to the bench, but Zidane says neither player feels sidelined by recent selections.

“No I don´t think so, this is football,” Zidane said on Tuesday. “I don’t see either of them looking sad, they are training well. Continue reading “Zidane dismisses having problem with Bale”

Match Preview : Brighton vs Tottenham

Brighton fell to a 3-2 defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday, yet remain seven points above the relegation zone after Southampton’s 3-2 loss to Chelsea. The Seagulls, though, have failed to win their last four league matches, losing three.

Tottenham too lost over the weekend, succumbing to defeat to champions Manchester City at Wembley. They have, however, lost only two league games since December, both against City, and secured a 2-0 win over Brighton in the reverse fixture.

Brighton appear to be limping over the finish line, while Spurs are still battling to secure a top-4 finish. The visitors should return to winning ways here, but it won’t be easy for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Team News

Brighton- Davy Propper is suspended for the home side, with Beram Kayal expected to continue alongside Dale Stephens in midfield.

Steve Sidwell is sidelined and is Chris Hughton’s only other absentee ahead of the welcome of Tottenham. Bet Now NaijaBet

Anthony Knockaert could come in for Jurgen Locadia from the side that lost 3-2 to Crystal Palace Continue reading “Match Preview : Brighton vs Tottenham”

Boateng eyes revenge against Schalke in German Cup semifinal

Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng says his departure from Schalke felt “like a punch in the face” with the clubs to clash in Wednesday’s German Cup semifinal.

Boateng, 31, still carries bad memories after being released by Schalke in December 2015, six months after he was suspended over a “lack of mutual trust”, as the club put it. Latest cup Odds are Available on Site

Boateng did not see eye-to-eye with Schalke’s then-coach Roberto Di Matteo.

Now he has the chance to avenge his departure with a win at Gelsenkirchen in Wednesday’s semi.

“It’s the place I have thought the most about – it was like a punch in the face,” he said.

“It showed me the reality that everything is wonderful when it runs smoothly. And if not, you will be dropped. Continue reading “Boateng eyes revenge against Schalke in German Cup semifinal”

De Bruyne backs City to build on success next season

Manchester City’s young squad can help the newly crowned Premier League champions build on their success in the coming years, playmaker Kevin De Bruyne has said.

After a trophyless debut season in England, manager Pep Guardiola oversaw the exits of several older players and brought in younger replacements.

City, who have 11 players below the age of 25 in their current squad, have been rampant this season, winning 28 of their 33 league matches to seal the title and add to February’s League Cup triumph. Bet now NaijaBet

“It’s no coincidence that the type of players brought in over the last year or two have all been of a similar age and we will look to build as a group together,” De Bruyne, 26, said.

“The feeling among the squad is great. We have enjoyed the season a lot, but there is work to do if we want to achieve more in future. Continue reading “De Bruyne backs City to build on success next season”

Pochettino hails Spurs players despite City defeat

Mauricio Pochettino said Tottenham’s performance against Manchester City gave him confidence for the future despite a heavy defeat that ended his side’s long unbeaten Premier League run.

Spurs were beaten 3-1 at Wembley on Saturday before Manchester United lost to West Brom the following day, confirming City as Premier League champions for a third time.

It was Tottenham’s first taste of defeat in the league since losing to Pep Guardiola’s side in December’s reverse fixture, a run of 14 league games, but Pochettino, whose side are in fourth spot, saw the positives.

“After 14 games unbeaten, it was a massive, massive run for us,” he said. “We played Liverpool, United, Arsenal, Chelsea and 14 games unbeaten I think the players deserve full credit. Today games are Available on Site

“We are disappointed but not frustrated or sad because when we increased our level and showed our real quality we showed we can compete against Manchester City – the best team in England.

“That is why I am not concerned about the future. Yes, it was 20 minutes where we were really poor but I am not worried because I think the team competed really well.” Continue reading “Pochettino hails Spurs players despite City defeat”

Neymar can lead Brazil at the 2018 World Cup – Pele

Brazilian legend Pele says he is confident about Brazil’s chances at the upcoming World Cup and expects injured star Neymar to be fully fit to lead the side in Russia.

Speaking to AFP in Dubai, the 77-year-old, who has been in ailing health recently, put his faith in Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar’s ability to recover from a fractured foot in time to lead Brazil to a possible sixth global football title.

“We don’t know exactly what is going to happen, but I think for the World Cup he’s going to be in shape because his injury is not so bad,” said Pele, the only person to have won the World Cup three times as a player. Place bet Now on today’s game on NaijaBet

“I wish he has the same luck I had in the World Cup.”

PSG’s Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, has not played since breaking a metatarsal bone in his right foot on February 25 in a Ligue 1 match against Marseille. He said last week he is still recovering following surgery but expects to be fit in time for the World Cup from June 14 to July 15. Continue reading “Neymar can lead Brazil at the 2018 World Cup – Pele”