The Barca boss has admitted that his side not only rely on the Argentine forward, but that they will need him for many more years.
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique claims it would be “naive” to suggest that his side are not reliant to a certain extent on the form of Lionel Messi.
The Argentina star has scored three goals in his last two La Liga matches to ensure maximum points from difficult games against Leganes and Atletico Madrid.
Messi, who has scored 35 times in as many appearances this season despite dropping deeper into midfield at times, is one of the few Barca players who has maintained form throughout an inconsistent campaign.
Suggestions of ‘Messi dependencia’ have consequently reared their heads once more – especially with the 29-year-old’s future unclear – but Luis Enrique is glad to be able to rely on the player he considers to be the world’s best. Naija and Bet
“It would be naive to think that we do not depend on the best player in the world,” the Barca boss told a news conference. “I hope we can depend on him for many more years. Continue reading “Barca need Messi for many Years – Luis Enrique”
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hopes Jese Rodriguez rediscovers the form that once made him the star of Madrid’s academy, but only after his return to the Santiago Bernabeu with Las Palmas on Wednesday.
Jese left Madrid for French champions Paris Saint-Germain on a five-year deal in August for a reported €25 million.
However, he scored just twice in 14 appearances and quickly fell down the pecking order for PSG’s Spanish coach Unai Emery before joining home town club Las Palmas on loan in January. Naija and Bet
“I like him a lot as a player and a person, and I hope that from Thursday it goes well for him at Las Palmas,” Zidane said on Tuesday.
When the Canary Islanders pushed the boat out to bring the 24-year-old forward back to La Liga at the end of January, qualifying for Europe was the aim. Continue reading “Zidane hopes Jese doesn’t haunt Real”
Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane believes he is one of the best strikers in the world after his hat-trick in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Stoke City took him past 20 goals in all competitions for a third successive season.
Kane, who scored his second hat-trick in a week and third in nine games in Sunday’s match, is level with Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku on 17 goals as the top flight’s leading scorer this season as he seeks to retain the golden boot. Naija and Bet
“I feel that if you look at my stats, my goals, then I’m up there. If you guys want to print that (I’m one of the best in the world), I’m more than happy to have that,” Kane said.
Kane missed seven weeks with an ankle injury earlier this term, but the England international believes the time on the sidelines has put him in his best possible shape. Continue reading “I’m among the best strikers in the world – Kane”
The Dutchman says that the England striker would be “welcome” at Goodison Park amid ongoing speculation regarding a summer transfer.
Everton boss Ronald Koeman has suggested he could attempt to sign Wayne Rooney from Manchester United at the end of the season.
Rooney stated last week that he has rejected approaches from other clubs – reportedly from the lucrative Chinese Super League – in order to stay at Old Trafford.
The club captain’s long-term future remains the subject of speculation, however, with the 31-year-old last starting a Premier League match in December and having watched the EFL Cup final win over Southampton on Sunday as an unused substitute. NaijaBet.com
Rooney has been linked with a return to his boyhood club in the past and Koeman admitted that he would welcome the chance to sign the England skipper. Continue reading “Everton coach drop hints about Rooney move”
Struggling Deportivo La Coruna unveiled former Real Betis and West Bromwich Albion coach Pepe Mel as their new manager on Tuesday until the end of the season in a bid to steer clear of the La Liga relegation zone after a winless start to 2017.
La Liga winners in 2000 and Champions League semifinalists in 2004, Deportivo are battling against a third relegation in seven years after losing four games in a row which led to Gaizka Garitano being sacked after Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of fellow strugglers Leganes.
Deportivo are 17th in the standings, two points above Sporting Gijon who occupy the final spot in the relegation zone, although the Galicians have a game in hand. Mel is the seventh manager they have appointed in six years.Place bet on live Matches on NaijaBet.com
A journeyman striker and crime fiction author, Mel has been a coach since 1998, including two spells with Real Betis as well as a brief stint in the Premier League with West Bromwich Albion in 2014, who he led to safety before being sacked.
Antoinio Conte’s side hold a healthy 10-point lead at the summit of the Premier League and the Belgian is sure that they will win the title.
Eden Hazard has warned Chelsea’s title rivals that they have the experience needed to stay top of the Premier League until the end of the season.
Antonio Conte’s side are 10 points clear of second-place Tottenham thanks to their 3-1 win over Swansea City at the weekend – their 20th victory in 26 league matches.
Manchester City can close the gap to eight points if they win their game in hand, and Conte has already claimed that another 29 points are needed for Chelsea to guarantee a second title in three seasons. NaijaBet.com
But Hazard, whose inspiring form helped them to triumph in 2014-15, does not believe his side will stumble in the closing weeks of the campaign.
“We are professional. We won the league two years ago so we know what to do,” the winger said. Continue reading “Hazard confident in Chelsea to win the league”
The Catalans are hoping to capitalize on the 24 year-old awareness that he may never achieve his full potential at Real Madrid and get him to leave.
Barcelona are hoping to poach Isco from Real Madrid in 2018 by attempting to convince him not to extend his contract in the Spanish capital.
The midfielder is currently negotiating an extension at the Bernabeu, even if he has yet to fully convince Zinedine Zidane. NaijaBet.com
Barcelona are hoping to capitalise on uncertainty regarding his place as a starter by promising to make him the heir to Andres Iniesta in the heart of their midfield.
Luis Enrique is hoping to persuade the 24-year-old to follow in his footsteps, with the Barca boss leaving Madrid during his playing days to join Barcelona as a free agent in 1996. Continue reading “Barca set to persuade Isco to leave Real”
Nigerian defender Efe Ambrose has made a return to Scottish champions Celtic following the collapse of his move to English second tier side Blackburn Rovers.
The 28-year-old was holding out for a move to the English Championship in January before the deal fell through due to work permit issues.
Ambrose stated that he is ready to continue “working hard and training hard.” NaijaBet.com
The former Kaduna United man claimed he has held talks with Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers who has assured him that he needs to start playing to get a look-in. Continue reading “Ambrose set to returns to Celtic”
Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy is hoping to fire regularly after his brace in Monday’s 3-1 victory over Liverpool helped the struggling champions end their five-game losing streak in the Premier League.
Vardy, who scored 24 league goals during Leicester’s title-winning campaign last year, has been far from his prolific best this season, managing nine goals across competitions so far.
The 30-year-old also scored in back-to-back games for the first time since September, having netted in Leicester’s 2-1 Champions League loss at Spanish side Seville last week. Naija and Bet
“I’ve been very frustrated with the amount of goals I’ve got this season but hopefully those two can push me on and hopefully there will be a lot to follow,” Vardy said.
Leicester have been in a turmoil after media reports suggested a players’ revolt led to Claudio Ranieri’s sacking on Thursday, nine months after the manager led the club to the league title.
Continue reading “Vardy ready to build on Liverpool display”
Fiorentina are a long way off potential a potential European qualification spot and any hopes of making the Champions League next season were squashed on Thursday after they threw away a three-goal aggregate lead against Gladbach in the Europa League. Manager Paulo Sousa might not be at the club at the end of the season
Torino are even further away from the top 6 but they could still catch Fiorentina and a positive result here would help them do that. Morale will be down in the Fiorentina camp and this is the time to capitalise for Torino. NaijaBet.com
Fiorentina – Matias Vecino’s suspension will force Borja Valero to play in midfield, thus leaving room for both Josip Ilicic and Federico Bernardeschi behind the lone striker.
Nikola Kalinic is set to start up front, despite playing the full game against Gladbach on Thursday. Continue reading “Match Preview : Fiorentina vs Torino”
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has warned against complacency when the Turin giants host ‘angry’ Napoli in the first leg of their Italian Cup semifinal on Tuesday.
Napoli’s hopes of staying in the title hunt were dented by a humiliating 2-0 home defeat to 10-man Atalanta on Saturday which left them 12 points off the top.
Although Juve’s last reverse at home was a league defeat in September 2015 and they recorded a 30th consecutive win in Turin with a 2-0 victory over Empoli on Saturday, Allegri expects Maurizio Sarri’s men to push them all the way. Naija and Bet
“Now, our focus is on the Cup. We want to reach a third consecutive final and it won’t be easy because we’re up against a team that will still be angry after defeat on Saturday,” Allegri said on Monday. Predict,Play and Win Big.
“Napoli haven’t suddenly become a bad side in the space of three days. Playing at home is crucial for us if we want to keep a clean sheet.” Continue reading “Allegri warns Juve to watch out for ‘angry’ Napoli”
Leicester are only one point above the bottom three and the board have made the decision to sack Claudio Ranieri less than 12 months after they had won the Premier League title.
They have lost seven of their last nine matches in all competitions and now have 13 league games to stay in the Premier League.
Liverpool have had two weeks to prepare for this fixture and they should be ready to go following their 2-0 win over Tottenham last time out. Jurgen Klopp will hope their slump is over and they can get their season back on track and finish inside the top four. Predict on NaijaBet.com
It remains to be seen how Leicester will react to Ranieri’s sacking, but Liverpool should still have enough to win this match.
Leicester – Managerless Leicester City take on Liverpool after sacking Claudio Ranieri on Thursday and some changes are expected to the side. Demarai Gray is one of those that should be reinstalled into the starting XI in favour of Ahmed Musa. Continue reading “Match Preview : Leicester vs Liverpool”
Claude Puel insists his heartbroken Southampton players will use their League Cup final pain as fuel for a strong finish to the Premier League campaign.
Puel’s side were denied only the second major trophy in their club’s history as Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 87th minute header gave Manchester United a 3-2 victory in Sunday’s showpiece at Wembley. Naija and Bet
It was cruel on Southampton as they were the better side for long periods and had battled back from two goals down to move within a whisker of emulating their famous 1976 FA Cup final upset of United.
Puel was especially frustrated because Southampton were denied what would have been the opening goal early in the first half when Manolo Gabbiadini slotted home, only to see his effort harshly ruled out for offside. Continue reading “Puel advise Saints to make up for Wembley pain”
Edinson Cavani bagged his 35th goal of a spectacular season as Paris Saint Germain swept aside Marseille 5-1 on Sunday in “Le Classique” to move second in Ligue 1.
The reigning French champions are three points behind prolific league leaders Monaco and level with Nice, but go second thanks to a better goal difference in what has become a three-way tussle for the title.
A Stade Velodrome record 65 252 packed into the stands in the hopes of seeing a Marseille side buoyed by fresh investment and the return of Dimitri Payet derail their old rival’s title charge. Naija and Bet
But the vociferous home fans were silenced after just six minutes when skipper Thiago Silva rose to powerfully nod the ball back across goal and fellow Brazilian defender Marquinhos headed home unchallenged.
Payet, who forced his way out of West Ham in the winter transfer window for €30 million, had Marseille’s first real chance when he flashed a long-distance strike just wide on the quarter hour. Continue reading “PSG sink Marseille to move second in Ligue 1”
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hailed the impact of Isco and Alvaro Morata off the bench as the European champions came from 2-0 down at Villarreal on Sunday to win 3-2.
Morata completed the comeback after Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo had hauled Madrid level to ensure Zidane’s men move back ahead of Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
Real hold a one-point lead over their title rivals, who won 2-1 at Atletico Madrid on Sunday, but also have a game in hand.
“They deserve (to play) more for sure,” Zidane said of the Spanish international duo. Predict,Play Bet and Win Big on NaijaBet.com
“The did very well, they changed the game. In any case we will need every player between now and the end of the season. Continue reading “Zidane happy with subs impact in Madrid comeback”
Jose Mourinho was overcome with emotion after a thrilling 3-2 win against Southampton in the League Cup final gave the Manchester United manager the first major trophy of his reign.
Mourinho’s side were below par for long periods at Wembley but still ended up with the silverware thanks to the ageless Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Written off by many when he joined United on a free transfer, Ibrahimovic has now scored 26 times this term after striking twice, including the 87th minute winner, to kill off Southampton. NaijaBet.com
Ibrahimovic’s goals allowed Mourinho to celebrate the 19th major prize of his glittering career.
The 54-year-old is the first United manager to win major silverware in his maiden season at Old Trafford. Continue reading “Mourinho hails United’s League cup wins”
Southampton are gunning for their first piece of cup silverware since lifting the 1976 FA Cup final and have had two weeks to prepare for this final, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be better off for it. Claude Puel’s side have only actually won one of their last four matches.
Manchester United are in great form and have only one defeat in their last 25 matches in all competitions. They are clear favourites here but injuries in key positions will make this final more difficult for Jose Mourinho’s side, as they bid to win the League Cup for the first time since 2010.
Mourinho has a sensational record in finals and it’s hard to bet against United. This will be the third time United have been to Wembley in the last 10 months and they triumphed in each of their first two visits. It will be a very tight affair but United should shade it, although might need extra time to overcome Southampton. Naija and Bet
Manchester United – Michael Carrick is available after picking up a slight injury picked up on Thursday night, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan is ruled out. Jose Mourinho has confirmed Wayne Rooney will also be in the squad, while a late fitness test is required for Phil Jones.
Villarreal have lost just two of their last 12 matches at La Ceramica, which has been enough to keep them in the hunt for European football despite not churning out their usual good performances.
The Yellow Submarine have kept just one clean sheet in their last four La Liga games at home, which is something that Real Madrid should look to exploit while trying to get back on song.
A 2-1 away defeat against Valencia is the worst possible preparation for Real Madrid’s weekend excursion, with the pressure mounting on Zidane’s men to not slip up at the top of the table.
Villarreal – Nicola Sansone is struggling with a knock, so Cedric Bakambu and Adrian are expected to start despite Roberto Soldado’s return to fitness. Naija and Bet
Jaume Costa should be preferred to Jose Angel at left-back, with Fran Escriba not likely to make many alterations after winning away against Roma midweek. Continue reading “Match Preview : Villarreal vs Real Madrid”
The Slovenia international goalkeeper says he will stay at San Siro regardless of whether qualification for the Champions League is secured or not.
Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic has sought to distance himself from rumours suggesting a summer transfer could be on the cards.
The Slovenia international has seen his future at the San Siro called into question on a regular basis over recent months. Predict today Seria A matches on NaijaBet.com.
Premier League eyes are said to be monitoring his situation in Italy, with Manchester City and Liverpool both reported to be keen on securing his signature.
Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are being heavily linked with shot-stopping reinforcements having endured struggles in that department at the Etihad Stadium and Anfield this season. Continue reading “Handanovic vows to stay at Inter Milan”
Atletico Madrid have lost just one of their last 28 league games at Estadio Vicente Calderon and the hosts will be hoping to close out their last clash against Barcelona with a win before they change stadium during the summer.
The visitors’ last La Liga trip to this ground ended in a 1-0 win back in 201, and Luis Enrique will be hoping for more of the same this time around to ease the pressure building on his shoulders.
After a resounding 4-0 loss to PSG in the Champions League and an unconvincing 2-1 win over Leganes at Camp Nou, Luis Enrique is under fire as Barcelona boss. Naija and Bet
Atletico Madrid – Jan Oblak was on the bench for Atletico against Leverkusen midweek in the Champions League and should start this weekend.
Diego Godin is likely to be rushed back from injury to start alongside Stefan Savic at centre-back, with Sime Vrsaljko continuing at right-back in Juanfran’s absence. Continue reading “Match Preview : Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona”
Everton manager Ronald Koeman is hoping Manchester United beat his former club Southampton in Sunday’s League Cup final because victory for Jose Mourinho’s team would boost his own side’s chances of qualifying for the Europa League.
Koeman, who spent two seasons in charge of Southampton, also wants one of the league’s top-four finishers to win the FA Cup so that Everton make it to the Europa League qualifying rounds if they manage to end the season in seventh place. Predict who win this Match on NaijaBet.com
Both trophies come with the added bonus of European football if the winners finish the domestic league season outside the European places.
“It is true you need help from which team will win the League Cup or the FA Cup,” the Dutchman told reporters.
“In that way we hope United will win at the weekend and one of the biggest clubs wins the FA Cup, because then it’s possible seventh in the table can play a qualification for the Europa League.” Continue reading “Koeman want United to win Cup final”
Tottenham crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday night and attention now turns to Premier League duties. Spurs have won just one of their last four competitive fixtures, though have lost just one of their last 10 Premier League outings and have dropped points just twice at home England’s top tier this term.
Stoke have lost their last two league meetings with Spurs 4-0, but have lost just one of their last five Premier League visits to White Hart Lane.
The Potters have lost four of their last five away league games, with their solitary win on the road in that time coming at relegation fodder Sunderland. NaijaBet.com
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino will demand an instant response from his players and they could return to winning ways in the league here.
Tottenham – Erik Lamela and Danny Rose are again Mauricio Pochettino’s only injury concerns ahead of the welcome of Stoke. Continue reading “Match Preview : Tottenham vs Stoke”
Jose Mourinho confirmed Wayne Rooney will be in Manchester United’s League Cup Final squad against Southampton after the club’s record goal scorer declared he will remain at Old Trafford for the rest of the season.
United manager Mourinho was impressed with the way England forward Rooney handled rumours of a possible lucrative move to the Chinese Super League.
And, after revealing that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss Sunday’s Wembley showpiece due to an injury suffered at Saint Etienne in midweek, Mourinho opened the door for Rooney to play against Southampton.
“Yes,” said Mourinho when asked on Friday if Rooney is in the Wembley squad. “I think he did, in the right moment, in the best moment, he did his declaration, his statement. NaijaBet.com
“I told you at my last press conference that the questions you are asking me were questions for him. Only he could answer the questions and he did it exactly in the right moment.
“Your question is the last question about Wayne Rooney and should be the last until the end of the season. He says he stays and helps the team to fight for the trophies. Continue reading “Mourinho hail Rooney’s decision to stay”
The Italian was dismissed by the Foxes less than a year after winning the title, and the former Arsenal star has hit out at the “crazy” decision.
Thierry Henry has hit out at Leicester for sacking manager Claudio Ranieri.
The Italian famously guided the Foxes to a fairytale Premier League win in season 2015-16, but with the champions now flirting with the relegation zone, he has been relieved of his duties at the King Power Stadium.
It is a decision that Arsenal great Henry does not understand.
“Everything is wrong. Is he not allowed to have a bad moment?” the Frenchman said. Predict,Play and Win on Naijabet.com
“I hear that his signings weren’t good enough or there are problems with the coaching staff. Behind closed doors, a lot of stuff must be happening. It doesn’t mean he has to go. Continue reading “Everything is wrong with Ranieri sacking – Henry”
The toughness and guile that made Diego Simeone a great player has been there for all to see in his time as manager of Atletico Madrid, and the Argentinian marks his 300th game at the club with a major challenge on Sunday against Barcelona.
Simeone’s team has yet to beat Barca in domestic competition, but they broke the 10-year duopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid in La Liga in the 2013-14 campaign – the club’s first league crown for 18 years.
Atletico had won only two trophies in the 15 years before Simeone’s arrival and since he became manager in 2011 the outfit has won five.
He has also steered the club to titles in the Europa League, Uefa Super Cup, King’s Cup and Spanish Super Cup, and has presided over two home victories over Barcelona in the last three seasons to reach the Champions League semifinals. NaijaBet.com
But Barca has lost all 16 domestic matches.The club did however win La Liga with a 1-1 draw against Barca, arguably Simeone’s greatest accomplishment, and they have won 187, drawn 61 and lost 51 of 299 games with him in charge. Continue reading “Simeone eyes first la Liga win over Barca”