Coppa Italia Match Preview : Juventus vs Atalanta

Juventus could take advantage of the unexpected rest from Sunday in the short term, but adding a game later in the year and possibly losing rhythm might have a negative effect. They will be able to keep concentration levels high despite not playing at the weekend, however.

Atalanta are on the verge of building on an already incredible previous season. Now that the Europa League is over for them and they’re aware of the strength of their rivals in the league, reaching the Coppa Italia final will be their number one target. Place bet on today’s games NaijaBet

Seeing Juventus lose at home and throw away 1-0 lead from the first leg would be a surprise. The Bianconeri have the tools to control the game, but Atalanta have been scaring big teams over the last 18 months.

Team New

Juventus- The postponement of the Serie A encounter against Atalanta granted Juventus some rest in an otherwise busy period, which might be crucial in order to avoid further injury issues in attack.

With the trio of Juan Cuadrado, Gonzalo Higuain and Federico Bernardeschi still out, Massimiliano Allegri will not have too many options up front. Continue reading “Coppa Italia Match Preview : Juventus vs Atalanta”

Neymar out ‘at least six weeks’ out of UCL return Leg

Neymar’s broken foot and sprained ankle will keep him out of action for at least six weeks, his father said on Tuesday, but no decision has yet been made on whether surgery will be required to repair the damage.

The world’s most expensive footballer suffered the injury during Sunday’s 3-1 Ligue 1 win over Paris Saint Germain’s arch-rivals Olympique de Marseille and the Brazilian was in tears as he was carried off the pitch at Parc de Princes.

His father said the damage was such that Neymar would definitely miss next week’s Champions League encounter against Real Madrid. Place bet on Basket fixtures on NaijaBet

“PSG know that they won’t have Neymar in the next few games and that they won’t have Neymar for the next six weeks at least,” he told ESPN Brasil.

“Because this treatment is going to take six to eight weeks, we know that, whether it is surgery or conventional, it will be six or eight weeks.”

Neymar Senior said his son and the French club were waiting to see the Brazil’s national team doctor before deciding whether or not the forward needed surgery. Continue reading “Neymar out ‘at least six weeks’ out of UCL return Leg”

Man City a painful reminder of Arsenal’s past

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger faces the might of Manchester City for the second time in five days on Thursday as the Gunners seek salvation after an abject display in losing the League Cup final 3-0.

City’s victory on Sunday delivered the first trophy of the Pep Guardiola era and underlined the sense that the two clubs are on radically different trajectories.

Guardiola’s men also enjoy a 13-point lead at the top of the Premier League and are virtually assured of their place in the Champions League quarterfinals, thanks to a 4-0 last-16, first-leg win in Basle. Check out today’s games betting odds on NaijaBet

Arsenal, by contrast, face a huge challenge just to make it back into the Champions League next season. Sixth in the league, they trail north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, in fourth place, by 10 points.

Even the emergency route of a Champions League return via winning the Europa League looks a big ask after Arsenal were paired with Italian giants AC Milan in the last 16.

What is galling for Wenger and Arsenal is that in many ways Guardiola is the modern-day incarnation of what the Frenchman used to be in his first decade at the club. Continue reading “Man City a painful reminder of Arsenal’s past”

‘Kane must leave Tottenham to win trophies’ – Andres Villas-Boas

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane must eventually leave the Premier League club if he wants to win trophies, former manager Andres Villas-Boas has said.

Kane won the league’s Golden Boot award for the last two seasons and is chasing a third as he sits atop the charts with 24 goals in 27 matches.

“If he has a hunger for trophies and for notoriety he would have to leave Spurs, if he has no hunger for that, but (wants) recognition and stability, he would stay at Spurs,” Villas-Boas, who managed Tottenham from 2012 until December 2013, said. Naija and Bet

“Spurs are in that breakout moment of becoming a great football team – the (new) stadium, infrastructure, training ground is there, the team is building up, very well managed.

“The trophy cabinet is still what is missing for this great club. That is in the end what footballers chase – glory, winning. I think for Harry, one or two more years at Spurs wouldn’t be bad and then see how the club develops…” Continue reading “‘Kane must leave Tottenham to win trophies’ – Andres Villas-Boas”

Coman injury is a big blow to Bayern

Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman has undergone ankle surgery and is expected to be out for “several weeks”, the runaway Bundesliga leaders confirmed on Monday.

The French international ruptured a ligament in his left ankle in Saturday’s goalless draw at home to Hertha Berlin.

Bayern have only said Coman will be out for “several weeks”. Play bet on today games NaijaBet

However, French sports daily L’Equipe claim he could miss at least two months, potentially hindering his chances of playing at June’s World Cup in Russia.

Coman, a second-half substitute against Hertha, had to stay on the pitch after suffering the injury in a challenge with Mathew Leckie because Bayern had already made their three substitutions. Continue reading “Coman injury is a big blow to Bayern”

Match Preview : Manchester United vs Chelsea

Manchester United are on the decline just as the season enters the business end of the competition. They have only won two of their last five and their performances have generally been poor.

Rumoured tension between Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho is not helping matters. United could drop down to third at the end of the weekend.

Chelsea appear to be on there way out of their own decline. Antonio Conte’s side are now unbeaten in three and deserved more than a 1-1 draw at home to Barcelona on Tuesday night. Forecast your weekend games Now and Place bet on NaijaBet

The defending Premier League champions have a superb recent record against United, losing only one of their last 14 encounters with the Red Devils.

United have only lost one league game at home all season but are currently entering a defining period in their season. They appear on the way down just as things are looking better for Chelsea. Will United’s woes continue

Team News

Manchester United- Ander Herrera faces a long spell on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring injury against Sevilla on Tuesday night. Continue reading “Match Preview : Manchester United vs Chelsea”

Willian puts Mou friendship aside ahead of Man Utd clash

Chelsea midfielder Willian is good friends with former manager Jose Mourinho but will be focused solely on winning when he faces the Portuguese boss’ Manchester United team in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Brazil international joined Chelsea in 2013 under Mourinho, who was sacked two years later before taking over at United in 2016.

The 29-year-old Willian has scored four goals and provided seven assists in 26 league appearances for Chelsea this campaign and Antonio Conte’s team sit three points behind second-placed Manchester United in fourth position. Place bet on various sport event on NaijaBet

“He (Mourinho) is my friend. I had a great time with him, but I am at Chelsea and he is now at Manchester United,” Willian told British media.

“They are difficult games. It is totally different to play in the Premier League to the Champions League. I think we can stay at this level and we can go to Old Trafford on Sunday and play another great game.”

Chelsea drew 1-1 with Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday and Willian believes his teammates must emulate their performance if they are to beat United and leaders Manchester City. Continue reading “Willian puts Mou friendship aside ahead of Man Utd clash”

Ronaldo, Messi deliver again in Europe

As the stakes mounted in the Champions League, the usual suspects once more rose to the occasion with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski starring in the last 16, first legs.

Season after season, these pre-eminent performers deliver on the biggest stages and administer severe punishment to striving title contenders – including Neymar’s aspiring Paris Saint-Germain.

A Ronaldo double propelled holders Real to a 3-1 advantage over PSG in Spain, while Messi grabbed a vital away goal for Barcelona in a 1-1 draw at Premier League champions Chelsea. Place bet on today’s game on NaijaBet

Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller also scored twice apiece as Bayern Munich demolished knockout stage debutants Besiktas 5-0.

But it came as no surprise to Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, who warned PSG repeatedly of the danger posed by Ronaldo in the weeks leading up to the encounter.

“Careful with Cristiano,” was Zidane’s refrain, and Ronaldo, the five-time world player of the year, didn’t disappoint as he increased his record Champions League goals haul to 116, 11 of which have come this season. Continue reading “Ronaldo, Messi deliver again in Europe”

UCL Match Preview : Sevilla vs Manchester United

Vincenzo Montella has endured a rocky start to life as Sevilla manager but the Spanish side are now in a better place compared to when he took over at the end of 2017. Sevilla have only lost one of their last nine, albeit that was a 5-1 defeat away to Eibar.

Manchester United have also struggled recently, but did at least win away to Huddersfield 2-0 on Saturday. Jose Mourinho’s side have only won two of their last 11 matches against Spanish sides, if you include their Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid at the start of the season.

Sevilla have only lost one home game all season and will prove difficult to beat for United, who would certainly take a draw if they can get on the scoresheet. Place bet on Ice hockey on NaijaBet

Team News

Sevilla- Joaquín Correa sustained a reported hamstring injury for Sevilla at the weekend and is a major doubt for the first leg.

January signing Miguel Layún is ineligible for the home side after featuring in the group stage for Porto. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview : Sevilla vs Manchester United”

Ranieri ready to become Italy new coach

Claudio Ranieri, who led Leicester City to an unlikely English Premier League title, has revealed he is ready to quit French Ligue 1 club Nantes if he is asked to become Italy coach.

The 66-year-old has been one of the names touted as a possible replacements for Gian Piero Ventura who was forced to resign after Italy’s shock failure to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

“Any Italian coach would love to be in charge of the national side,” Ranieri, who guided Leicester to their first ever Premier League title in 2016, said in Italia. Naija and Bet

“I have a contract with Nantes for two years and I have not received any messages, so I can’t say anything.

“But if I were to be contacted for the Italy job, I’d go to the Nantes president and ask to be released,” said the widely-travelled Ranieri, whose former clubs include Juventus, Napoli and Roma in Italy, Premier League giants Chelsea and Valencia and Atletico Madrid in Spain. Continue reading “Ranieri ready to become Italy new coach”

UCL Match Preview : Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma

Shakhtar Donetsk played their first game of 2018 on Friday and won 5-0. They managed to prevent Fred from joining Manchester City in January, which will only boost their chances of upsetting the odds against Roma.

After a run of seven matches without a win, Roma have now won three in a row heading into the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie. They have only lost away from home two times all season. Bet Now NaijaBet.com

Shakhtar Donetsk won all three of their home group games, even inflicting Manchester City with their first defeat of the season. However, they have only kept one clean sheet in their last 12 matches in the Champions League and an away goal on Wednesday could prove their undoing in the tie.

Team News

Shakhtar Donetsk- Maksim Malyshev is the only injury concern for Shakhtar Donetsk at the moment. Expect few changes from the side that qualified from the same group as Manchester City. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview : Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma”

Mawson return will boosts Swansea

Swansea City have received a boost as defender Alfie Mawson returned to training and is in contention to play in Saturday’s Premier League match at Brighton and Hove Albion.

The 24-year-old, who has played in all 27 of Swansea’s league games so far, sustained a knee injury in the warm-up before last weekend’s FA Cup match against Sheffield Wednesday.

It was initially thought he would be out of action long term, but the club said he had been cleared to resume training. NaijaBet

“After seeing a specialist and undergoing an MRI scan, the influential defender is set to rejoin his team-mates on the training ground ahead of the Brighton clash,” Swansea said on their website.

Swansea are unbeaten in their last five league matches, winning three and drawing two, to climb one point clear of the relegation zone in 16th position.

We must attack Barcelona at Nou Camp – Willian

Chelsea goalscorer Willian said they must go on the attack against Barcelona at the Nou Camp next month to have any chance of reaching the Champions League quarterfinals.

The Brazilian’s fine goal was not enough for victory in a compelling last 16, first leg at Stamford Bridge as Lionel Messi pounced after a defensive mistake by Chelsea to earn Barca a 1-1 draw which has left the fascinating tie evenly poised. Place bet on today’s champion games on Naija and Bet

“It is still open and we have showed that we can compete and we will need another excellent performance at the Nou Camp to go through,” said livewire Willian, who was twice denied by the woodwork in the first half.

“You have to have a lot of personality to play against this team which has 70 percent of the ball. We have to go there to attack and score because 90 minutes defending at the Nou Camp is an eternity, it is a suicide mission.

“We have to play our game.”

Chelsea have knocked Barcelona out twice in the knockout stages — most recently in the semifinal in 2012 when they won 1-0 at home before drawing 2-2 in Spain.

A similar result in the return leg would put them through and Eden Hazard said they must be positive. Continue reading “We must attack Barcelona at Nou Camp – Willian”

UCL Match Preview: Chelsea vs Barcelona

After a run of three defeats in four matches, Chelsea have won their last two matches by an aggregate scoreline of 7-0. The Blues have only lost two of 16 home matches against Spanish sides.

Barcelona are favourites for this season’s Champions League and have only lost one game all season. Ernesto Valverde’s side have kept clean sheets in four of their last five matches and are yet to concede away from home in the Champions League this season.

Lionel Messi has never scored against Chelsea (eight matches), which is his worst record against an opponent. He has only won once against the Premier League giants and that record will have to improve if Barcelona are to progress.

Team News

Chelsea- Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will have to decide whether to recall Alvaro Morata to the starting XI following his return to fitness or stick with an in-form Olivier Giroud. Place bet on tonight game on NaijaBet

Conte has revealed Marcos Alonso will be fine to face Barcelona after a three-game absence, but Tiemoué Bakayoko is unlikely to recover in time.

Gary Cahill and Antonio Rudiger are in competition for a starting berth in Chelsea’s back three on Tuesday.

Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Chelsea vs Barcelona”

Man City have no time to cry over FA Cup defeat

Manchester City’s quest for a historic quadruple is over after a shock FA Cup defeat to Wigan but there is little time to lick their wounds with the League Cup final against Arsenal looming.

Pep Guardiola’s City face Arsene Wenger’s Gunners in Sunday’s Wembley showpiece, trying to win the first trophy of the Guardiola era, with Premier League glory looking certain barring a unforeseen disaster.

Guardiola’s team are also on course for the Champions League quarterfinals after thrashing Basle 4-0 away in the first leg of their last-16 tie last week.

But, even with the league title apparently in the bag, back-to-back cup defeats would put a dampener on what has been an impressive season of dazzling football.

Ten-man City went down 1-0 to League One Wigan in an ill-tempered FA Cup fifth round tie on Monday, courtesy of a late Will Grigg goal – a repeat of the scoreline in the 2013 FA Cup final. Latest basketball odds on NaijaBet

To make matters worse, Sergio Aguero became embroiled in an ugly post-match altercation with fans while visiting supporters were seen tearing up advertising hoardings and throwing them on to the pitch.

“We’ve got to look at those (other three competitions) and look forward, but we’re disappointed,” said City defender John Stones. Continue reading “Man City have no time to cry over FA Cup defeat”

UCL Match Preview : Bayern Munich vs Besiktas

Bayern Munich have won their last 13 matches in all competitions and are unbeaten at home this season, albeit only keeping one clean sheet in their last seven on home soil.

Besiktas have only lost two of their last 24 competitive matches and are unbeaten in seven ahead of Tuesday’s daunting clash with Bayern.

Converting draws into wins has proved a real problem for Besiktas this season, but they would take that here. Bet Now NaijaBet

Bayern are expected to win on Tuesday but their home defensive frailties should give a Besiktas side that have scored in all but one away game this season hope.

Team News

Bayern Munich- Manuel Neuer is expected to miss out for Bayern Munich here.

Thiago returned to first-team action at the weekend after nearly three months out injured and he will hope to start here. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview : Bayern Munich vs Besiktas”

Boateng fires Frankfurt to victory in first Bundesliga monday fixtures

Kevin-Prince Boateng fired Eintracht Frankfurt to a 2-1 victory over RB Leipzig on Monday in a game overshadowed by protests against the introduction of Monday fixtures in the Bundesliga.

Frankfurt turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead in the space of four minutes in the first half, securing victory over their top six rivals and climbing to third in the table.

“We want to stay up at the top,” Boateng said. “If we get to Europe, it will have been an incredible season.” Tonight’s  Champions League games are available on Naija and Bet

Having started the weekend in second, Leipzig dropped to fifth.

The game was the first of five Monday fixtures to be scheduled this season, a development which has invited fierce criticism from fan groups across Germany. Continue reading “Boateng fires Frankfurt to victory in first Bundesliga monday fixtures”

Salah hail Klopp for goal scoring form

Liverpool’s top scorer Mohamed Salah has credited manager Jurgen Klopp’s tactics for his prolific form, saying a change in his playing position has helped him score more goals.

Salah has netted 30 goals in 36 matches across all competitions in his debut season at Liverpool, and is the league’s second highest goalscorer with 22 goals to his name, one fewer than Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane.

“With the boss here, I play a little bit closer to the goal, more so than at any other club or more than any of my other coaches have asked me to,” Salah told Liverpool’s official matchday programme.

“So I am always in front of the goal to give me the opportunity to score. The manager is always telling me to stay close to the goal in training. Place bet on today’s game on NaijaBet

“I don’t want to say too much because we still have a long way to go in the season and I don’t want to give too much away. But yes, it’s something we have worked on in the training sessions.”

The 25-year-old’s exploits have led Liverpool to third in the league standings and almost guaranteed of a spot in the Champions League quarterfinals after a 5-0 victory over Porto in the first leg of their last-16 tie. Continue reading “Salah hail Klopp for goal scoring form”

UEL Match Preview : Oestersunds vs Arsenal

Oestersunds FK have been one of the surprise packages in the Europa League this season, finishing above Zorya and Hertha Berlin in Group J. They were two months after Arsenal appointed Arsene Wenger their new manager in 1996.

Arsenal are favourites to qualify for the next stage of the competition but have been awful on the road this season. In fact, the Gunners have only won away from home five times in 18 attempts and have lost each of their last three – they haven’t lost four in a row since May 2010.

Oestersunds FK have only played one competitive fixture in more than two months and a lack of match sharpness may really hinder their chances of causing one of the biggest upsets this season. The Swedish side have only lost once at home all season, but will do well to avoid defeat on Thursday.

Team News

Oestersunds- Hosam Aiesh, Smajl Suljevic and Johan Bertilsson are all sidelined for Oestersunds on Thursday. Latest Odds on NaijaBet

Fouad Bachirou and Gabriel Somi would normally have started but both left for pastures new during the winter. Continue reading “UEL Match Preview : Oestersunds vs Arsenal”

Zidane expects tough champions league actions in Paris

Zinedine Zidane warned his Real Madrid players that they can expect to suffer in the return leg of their Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain despite seeing Cristiano Ronaldo inspire a 3-1 comeback victory on Wednesday.

The reigning European champions stunned the PSG of Neymar in the last 16, first-leg showdown with two goals in the final seven minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu from Ronaldo and Marcelo. Place bet on today’s europa league games on NaijaBet

Ronaldo had earlier drawn Madrid level with his 100th Champions League goal for the club from the penalty spot on the stroke of halftime, cancelling out Adrien Rabiot’s opener for the French side.

“We can afford to have a bit of euphoria tonight. We have to be satisfied, and enjoy this,” said Zidane.

“But there is a second leg to come where we will need to play with a lot of intensity. We know we are going to suffer.”

Real had already suffered for large spells of Wednesday’s match, before PSG collapsed defensively in the closing stages, unable to adjust after Zidane sent on Marco Asensio. Continue reading “Zidane expects tough champions league actions in Paris”

UCL Match Preview : Real Madrid vs Paris Saint Germain

The Champions League represents the last opportunity for Real Madrid to salvage their season. Out of contention in the league and already eliminated in the Copa del Rey, Zinedine Zidane needs to win an unprecedented third successive European title to have any hope of remaining Madrid boss beyond the end of the season.

Unai Emery will also be judged on his performances in Europe this season. PSG are expected to complete a clean sweep of all domestic trophies in France but the season will still be deemed a disappointment if they do not go far in the Champions League. Bet Now Naija and Bet

Neymar could really announce himself as the world’s best player with an inspired performance over these two legs.

The form shown by both teams this season makes PSG the clear favourites on paper. However, they have struggled to make the transition from a side that dominates domestically to a giant of European football.

Madrid, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their last 18 Champions League home matches since tasting defeat to Schalke in March 2015. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview : Real Madrid vs Paris Saint Germain”

Kane delighted with Tottenham’s away goals

Striker Harry Kane said he was delighted that Tottenham fought back on Tuesday to take two valuable away goals into the second leg of their last 16 Champions League tie with Juventus. Place bet on today’s game on NaijaBet

Kane scored one of Spurs’ goals as the English side fought back from 2-0 down to 2-2 in Turin, giving them an outstanding opportunity to qualify for the quarter-finals when the two sides meet at Wembley on March 7.

The Italian giants will have to outscore Tottenham if they are to go through.

Asked if he feared Spurs were about to sink without trace after the two early goals from Gonzalo Higuain, Kane said: “We could have done, away from home in the Champions League. It showed character.

“It was an excellent performance after that and we take two away goals to Wembley. Great result.” Continue reading “Kane delighted with Tottenham’s away goals”

UCL Match Preview : Porto vs Liverpool

Porto maintained their fine form with a 4-0 win at Chaves over the weekend and have dropped points on just four occasions this season. They won only three of their Champions League matches, however, though two of those three came at home.

Liverpool have won two of their last three matches and came through the group stage of the Champions League relatively unscathed winning three of six matches and drawing the other three.

They landed a 1-1 draw with Porto the last time they faced their Portuguese counterparts in Porto in the Champions League back in 2007. Latest Odds on NaijaBet

This is a tough one to call. Porto have won their last eight at home, but Liverpool are impressive on their day. Indeed, the Reds could edge it.

Team News

Porto –  Felipe is suspended, while Ivan Marcano is a doubt, though should be fit to start alongside Diego Reyes at the heart of the FC Porto defence.

Vincent Aboubakar, Danilo Pereira and Andre Andre will all be assessed ahead of kick off.

FC Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao may start his side in a 4-4-2 formation here. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview : Porto vs Liverpool”

Hazard target top-four finish at Chelsea

Chelsea must strive to finish in the Premier League’s top four and secure Champions League football for next season, playmaker Eden Hazard has said as the London outfit got back to winning ways with a 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Monday.

The champions have failed to replicate last season’s dominance, winning just three of their last 11 matches across all competitions to sit fourth in the league, 19 points behind leaders Manchester City, and eliminated from the League Cup.

Hazard scored a brace to lead Chelsea to a much-needed win over West Brom after consecutive league defeats by Bournemouth and Watford, and the Belgian is keen for the club to maintain their momentum throughout the rest of the campaign. Naija and Bet

“It was a good response to the two losses… We have great players and we need to finish in the top four at the end of the season, that’s our target,” Hazard told the club’s website. (www.chelseafc.com)

“We have 11 games to play between now and then and we have to give everything to achieve that.”

Continue reading “Hazard target top-four finish at Chelsea”

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