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AC Milan set to reward Gattuso with new contract

AC Milan have confirmed that coach Gennaro Gattuso will be rewarded with a new contract this Easter.

Gattuso, the club’s former youth team coach, took over the seven-time European champions from Vincenzo Montella on a caretaker basis last November and has rekindled the club’s season as they sit within the Europa League spots and with hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

“When we open our eggs this Easter, we’re going to find Gennaro Gattuso’s renewal inside,” the club’s sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli told journalists. Place bet on Today’s game on NaijaBet

“I’ve been telling you for some time, although perhaps you only know him as a player, that Rino (Gattuso) is already an important coach and in the future will be one of the best in the world, so it’s only right that Milan keep hold of him. Continue reading “AC Milan set to reward Gattuso with new contract”

Salah on course to beat PL record goal total

Mohamed Salah heads into Matchweek 32’s opener at Crystal Palace on course to beat the Premier League record for the most goals in a 38-match season.

The Liverpool winger’s 28 goals this campaign have him only three short of the 31 scored by three players: Alan Shearer (1995/96), Cristiano Ronaldo (2007/08) and Luis Suarez (2013/14).

Indeed, if Salah were to keep up his current ratio of 0.93 goals per match, the Egyptian would finish the season on a total of 34. Bet Now NaijaBet

That would also equal the record for the most goals by a player in a 42-match season, jointly held by Andrew Cole (1993/94) and Shearer (1994/95).

If Harry Kane, on 24 goals, can make a swift recovery from an ankle injury to resume his chase of Salah, he and the Egyptian could also set a first in Premier League history. Continue reading “Salah on course to beat PL record goal total”

Spain sink Messiless Argentina 6-1

Argentina’s Lionel Messi looked on from the stands for as long as he could, but with 10 minutes remaining he had seen enough.

Cameras captured the injured captain leaving his seat, presumably to head for the dressing room to console his distraught teammates, but the image was symbolic as his struggling team were humiliated 6-1 by a rampaging Spain side.

“They’ve really given us a slap in the face,” was how stunned Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli summed up the humiliating World Cup warm-up defeat in his post-match news conference. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

“I feel bad for the boys, I take the responsibility. In the second half we didn’t have balance or solidity and we were all at sea.”

Argentina may have swept Italy aside 2-0 on Friday without Messi, who has a muscle injury, but context is required given that the Italians failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958 after a 1-0 playoff defeat by Sweden.

Granted, there was no Angel di Maria or Sergio Aguero for Argentina on Tuesday either but when it came to the crunch, the players wilted. Too often they rely on their Messi ‘get out of jail’ card.

Continue reading “Spain sink Messiless Argentina 6-1”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic ready to win at LA Galaxy

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he is ready to win silverware with Los Angeles Galaxy after a full page advert in Friday’s LA Times confirmed his move to the MLS club from Manchester United.

The advert, in which Ibrahimovic was pictured in the white Galaxy kit, carried a message from the 36-year-old saying “Dear Los Angeles, you’re welcome”.

The Swedish striker left United on Thursday when the Premier League club agreed to terminate his contract.

“After being in Europe, winning 33 trophies, playing in the best teams in the world, playing with the best players in the world, I wanted to come to the US and play my game there,” Ibrahimovic said in an interview in the LA Times.

“I wanted people to enjoy my game there and to win. And I chose the Galaxy to do that.” Bet Now on NaijaBet

Dan Beckerman, the president of entertainment giant AEG, the Galaxy’s parent organisation, said Ibrahimovic would become one of the biggest stars in the Hollywood city. Continue reading “Zlatan Ibrahimovic ready to win at LA Galaxy”

Gundogan delighted with Man City’s winning form

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan believes he is close to finding his best form after a injury-ridden start to his spell at the Premier League club.

The German international joined City in July 2016 but his debut was delayed after he suffered a dislocated kneecap earlier that year. Gundogan went on to make 16 appearances in the 2016-17 season before sustaining a serious knee ligament injury.

After being sidelined for eight months, the 27-year-old returned in September’s league win over Watford and has featured 38 times for City across all competitions this season. Bet Now NaijaBet.com

“I just think about now, about being part of the team, about training well and playing well, about doing what the manager and the staff want me to transport into the team,” Gundogan said.

“I have my own impact and during the last months I was still on my way to my best. Now, I feel nearly or already there, and I am having fun and I’m happy.” Continue reading “Gundogan delighted with Man City’s winning form”

Buffon happy to be part of Italy’s new generation

Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon insisted Thursday that he still has a role to play in Italy’s future despite already having passed his 40th birthday.

The Juventus star quit international football after Italy stunningly failed to qualify for the World Cup finals.

However, he has since reversed his decision and will play against Argentina on Friday, also retaining the captain’s armband.

“Everyone knows the truth. My role in the squad has always been positive and I’ve always brought people together. I’ve always put us before me,” Buffon, who holds a European record 175 international caps, told reporters at the Etihad Stadium. Latest market are available for today’s game on NaijaBet

“I’m not here to showcase, to show myself off. I can still be useful. I might be 40 but I’m the goalkeeper of Juventus.

“Italy is a funny country where people enjoy controversy but any controversy about me is just sensationalism. After a while all this controversy will just fall away.” Continue reading “Buffon happy to be part of Italy’s new generation”

Ramos eyes Spain most capped player record

Spain captain Sergio Ramos has spoken of his desire to become Spain’s most-capped player of all-time as he prepares to make his 150th appearance for La Roja against Germany on Friday.

The record, held by Iker Casillas, stands at 167 caps but Ramos has that number in his sights and hinted he is ready to prolong his international career beyond this year’s World Cup.

“It’s a special moment for me. In this game everything happens so fast and perhaps we don’t enjoy things as much as we should,” Ramos told a news conference on Thursday. Place bet on today’s international friendlies matches on NaijaBet

“I still love representing my country, which is one of the most beautiful things a footballer can do. You look back and see what you’ve achieved and that’s great, but I’m not going to rest on my laurels.

“I still want to carry on winning and achieving new goals. Hopefully I can stay here a while longer and go on to become the all-time appearance holder for Spain.” Continue reading “Ramos eyes Spain most capped player record”

Wilshere fought for Arsenal place, earning England call-up

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere was told by manager Arsene Wenger that he was free to leave the Premier League club before the start of the season but the 26-year-old opted to fight for his place.

The England international has struggled to hold down a starting place in recent years after battling serious injuries and spent the last campaign on loan at Bournemouth before sustaining a season-ending leg fracture in April.

Wilshere was told he could leave with around a month remaining in the summer transfer window but felt offers from other clubs were not enticing enough and he had yet to regain full fitness. Naija and Bet

“It was an honest conversation,” Wilshere said. “He (Wenger) said, ‘I am going to be honest with you and at the moment we are not going to be offering you a contract, so if you can get a contract somewhere else, you can go’.

“Obviously, I was not happy with that but at the same time I was happy he was being honest.

“He also said at the same time that if I did stay I had an opportunity to fight for my place, and if I performed well in the League Cup and Europa League, I had a chance.” Continue reading “Wilshere fought for Arsenal place, earning England call-up”

‘Best for Griezmann to stay at Atletico’ – Costa

Diego Costa has told teammate Antoine Griezmann he is best off staying at Atletico Madrid. Griezmann has scored 23 goals in 38 appearances for Atletico this season and said on Wednesday he wants his future sorted before the start of this year´s World Cup.

The French forward told L´Equipe he hopes “to travel to Russia without concern” after Barcelona were forced in January to deny they had already struck a deal to sign the player. Manchester United were also credited with a strong interest last summer.

Costa, however, who left Atletico for Chelsea in 2014 only to return to the Spanish club earlier this season, believes his current striker partner should stay put. Place on today’s games on Naijabet

“He knows that we want him, that he is a very important player. He is still with us and he has not told me he is going yet,” Costa said on Wednesday.

“I would be happy for him to stay, everyone has to look for the best for themselves but, in my opinion, the best for him is to stay.”

Costa added, with a smile: “He called me every day to tell me to return to Atletico and now he’s not going to leave me. That cannot be, he is going to stay.” Continue reading “‘Best for Griezmann to stay at Atletico’ – Costa”

Anthony Joshua Vs Joseph Parker 31.3.2018

Joseph Parker’s father Dempsey is confident his son is fighting fit for his showdown with Anthony Joshua in Cardiff.

Anthony Joshua’s trainer has insisted they aren’t underestimating Joseph Parker, fearing they would “come unstuck” if they did.

Rob McCracken, the man who guided Joshua to 2012 Olympic glory and has been in his corner for a run of 20 consecutive knockout wins, paid a compliment to Parker ahead of their world heavyweight unification fight.

WBO champion Parker and IBF and WBA champ Joshua clash in Cardiff on March 31 . Bet Now on NaijaBet.com

“He’s busy, he’s unbeaten, he’s got quite quick hands, he believes in himself and he’s got a decent game,” McCracken said about Parker.

“If you underestimate boxers like Joseph Parker, you could come unstuck, but there’s none of that going on here – Anthony will take it deadly serious and get the win against Parker and then in the future, potentially box Wilder. Continue reading “Anthony Joshua Vs Joseph Parker 31.3.2018”

‘Neymar’s recovery is going well’

Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said on Tuesday that Neymar’s recovery from foot surgery “is going well”, as the star forward bids to be fit for the World Cup in Russia.

Lasmar, who operated on Neymar on March 3, said he speaks “two or three time a day” with the physiotherapists working with the Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain player.

“For now, everything is going well, they tell me every detail of Neymar’s recovery,” Lasmar said. Place bet on today’s game on NaijaBet

“They are working hard and in a very professional way so that he can return as quickly as possible and, above all, so there won’t be any further problems for his foot or posture.”

He added that he planned to reassess the injury in mid-April.

Neymar, who missed Brazil’s 7-1 semifinal thrashing on home soil by Germany through injury four years ago, is key to his country’s hopes at this year’s World Cup, which starts on June 14. Continue reading “‘Neymar’s recovery is going well’”

Messi joins Argentina training ahead of international friendly

Lionel Messi joined up with his Argentina teammates on Tuesday as they trained at Manchester City ahead of their World Cup warm-up against Italy.

Messi’s side are based at the Football Academy of Premier League leaders City while they prepare for the friendly at Eastlands on Friday.

The Barcelona forward arrived to start working with the rest of the squad on Tuesday and was present at a training session open to media in the afternoon. Latest international friendly Odds are Available on NaijaBet

Also present but not participating was City striker Sergio Aguero, who has been sidelined with a knee injury recently.

Another City player, defender Nicolas Otamendi, was involved along with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Javier Mascherano and Marcos Rojo.

Self-belief is a key factor to success – Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo says the key to his staggering success is believing nobody is better than he is – and he advised his Portuguese teammates to adopt the same attitude.

The Real Madrid star made the comments as he accepted the Portuguese player of the year award in Lisbon.

“We should always believe we are the best,” said Ronaldo, who led Portugal to the Euro 2016 title and who is now turning his gaze to the 2018 World Cup. Latest tonight’s games odds on NaijaBet

“You need to think big. I always believe that nobody is better than me, out on the pitch at least,” he said.

“On a personal and collective level I have had a dream year. I won five trophies (Champions League, Uefa Supercup, World Club Cup, Spanish league title and the Spanish Supercup), the Ballon D’Or and the Fifa ‘Best’ title.” Continue reading “Self-belief is a key factor to success – Ronaldo”

Door remains open for Balotelli – Biagio

Italy’s interim coach Luigi Di Biagio says the door is still open for maverick striker Mario Balotelli who was once again overlooked for this month’s friendlies, despite scoring regularly for Ligue 1 side Nice.

The 27-year-old has scored 22 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions for the French side this season.

“Numbers and goals are important for forwards but they have to be linked to a certain type of performance,” Di Biagio told reporters at the team’s training camp outside Florence. Place bet on today’s matches on NaijaBet

“I have looked, judged and decided… I will continue to follow him and we will see what he does in the next few months.”

Balotelli has not been picked by Italy since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Italy face Argentina in Manchester on Friday and England at Wembley four days later, their first matches since November when they failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Russia. Continue reading “Door remains open for Balotelli – Biagio”

‘Salah bring back confidence like Suarez did’ – Henderson

Mohamed Salah’s goalscoring exploits this season are having a similarly positive impact at Liverpool to that of Luis Suarez had when the Uruguayan was at Anfield, according to club captain Jordan Henderson.

Manager Juergen Klopp said Salah was close to the same level as Barcelona’s Lionel Messi after the Egyptian scored four goals in Saturday’s 5-0 league win over Watford, taking his tally to 36 goals in 41 games in all competitions.

The 25-year-old’s prolific debut season has also led to comparisons with Suarez, who moved from Liverpool to Barcelona in 2014 after helping the Merseyside club come close to winning the league title with 31 goals in 33 matches. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet 

“They are both fantastic players in their own right and you can’t compare them,” Henderson said.

“They are different players. I know they score a lot of goals and both work hard off the ball but it is very difficult to make that comparison.

“Luis moved on to Barcelona and is doing fantastically well. He is a fantastic player who I was privileged to play with. Continue reading “‘Salah bring back confidence like Suarez did’ – Henderson”

Arsenal will face CSKA in Moscow Europa quarters

London club Arsenal will take on CSKA Moscow after being drawn together in a Europa League quarter-final in Nyon on Friday at a time of strained relations between Britain and Russia.

British Prime Minister Theresa May this week expelled 23 Russian diplomats over the nerve agent poisoning of a former spy, and said British royals and ministers would not attend the World Cup in Russia this year.

There was an all Iberian cast in another eye-catching quarter-final draw as capital outfits Atletico Madrid, who many see as the main pretenders to the title, drew Sporting Lisbon. Latest odds on NaijaBet

Former European champions Marseille will take on rising German force RB Leipzig, while exciting Italian outfit Lazio face the draw’s minnows Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg, who knocked out Borussia Dortmund in the last round.

All the matches are played on the same day with the first leg coming on April 5 and the return a week later on April 12.

Real and Juve in UCL rematch,Liverpool get Man City

Manchester City will face Liverpool in a mouthwatering all-English Champions League quarterfinal while Juventus have a chance to gain revenge on holders Real Madrid in a repeat of last year’s final.

Surprise qualifiers Sevilla take on five-time European champions Bayern Munich while Lionel Messi’s Barcelona were paired with AS Roma in the draw made in Nyon on Friday.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side will host Pep Guardiola’s City at Anfield for the first leg, either on April 3 or April 4, as the sides play each other for the first time in Europe. NaijaBet.com

It will also be the first meeting of two English clubs in the last eight of the Champions League since Manchester United overcame Chelsea at that stage in the 2010-2011 season on their way to the final.

City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain said: “We know each other very well, they are a very offensive team, the truth is it is going to be a great couple of games.” Continue reading “Real and Juve in UCL rematch,Liverpool get Man City”

Napoli will not giving up on Serie A title – Hamsik

Napoli skipper Marek Hamsik insists his side are still in the Serie A title race as they battle to avoid falling seven points behind Juventus before the international break.

“Napoli aren’t giving up anything,” said Hamsik, after six-time defending champions Juventus pulled four points clear in midweek.

“Anything can definitely happen. The league still gives us opportunities, there are so many points and so many games.”

Massimiliano Allegri’s Old Lady can extend that advantage on Saturday when they visit struggling SPAL. Start forecasting games now, Latest odds on NaijaBet

With 10 games to play this season, Napoli desperately need to return to winning ways at home against Genoa on Sunday.

Juventus’ victory against Atalanta was their 12th consecutive league win, and they have become accustomed to turning the championship into a one-horse race with the arrival of spring.

“I see a team that is growing,” said coach Allegri whose side are targeting a historic treble of Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League titles. Continue reading “Napoli will not giving up on Serie A title – Hamsik”

Iniesta hopes to avoid Real ahead of Friday’s UCL draw

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta admits he would prefer not to face Champions League holders and eternal rivals Real Madrid ahead of Friday’s quarterfinal draw in Nyon.

The Spain midfielder, a four-time winner of European club football’s biggest prize, helped Barca progress to the last eight of the competition for the 11th year in a row after a 4-1 aggregate victory over Chelsea.

But Iniesta is hoping his side will not be drawn against Real, despite Barca defeating Cristiano Ronaldo’s team 3-0 at the Bernabeu in the first Clasico of the Spanish league season in December. Place bet on today’s game on NaijaBet

“I do not want a Spanish team, because we know each other too much,” Iniesta said, with clubs at this stage no longer protected from facing others from the same country.

“The thought of winning the Champions League is always a motivation, but it’s difficult. The challenge is minimising errors, because one bad game and you’re out.” Continue reading “Iniesta hopes to avoid Real ahead of Friday’s UCL draw”

UEL Match Preview : Arsenal vs AC Milan (Agg 2-0)

Arsenal are in the driving seat in this tie after pulling off a very impressive 2-0 win in Milan last week. The Gunners have kept successive clean sheets for the first time since December.

AC Milan have only lost one game since Christmas and that was in the first leg against Arsenal. The Serie A giants have won 11 of their last 15 matches but have left themselves too much to do in the second leg.

With the damage done in the first leg, Arsenal just need to see the tie out at home on Thursday. They were almost made to pay for being complacent against Oestersunds FK in the last round and cannot afford a repeat performance against Milan this time around.

TEAM NEWS

Arsenal- Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal have missed Arsenal’s last two matches but have both trained ahead of Thursday’s second leg with AC Milan. Bet now on today’s games on NaijaBet

Shkodran Mustafi was also in training after picking up a groin problem against Watford on Sunday. All three are expected to start in defence along with Laurent Koscielny, who was rested at the weekend.

Danny Welbeck will lead the line with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette unavailable for the home side. Expect a similar XI to the side that beat AC Milan 2-0 in the first leg. Continue reading “UEL Match Preview : Arsenal vs AC Milan (Agg 2-0)”

Allegri delights in Juventus defensive mean streak

Nothing pleases Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri and his players more than a good defensive display.

The Serie A leaders now boast both the best attack as well as the meanest defence in the league but it is the latter statistic which fills Allegri with the most pride.

Juventus, chasing a seventh successive title, beat Atalanta 2-0 on Wednesday to move four points clear at the top of the table and have yet to let in a Serie A goal this year.

Verona were the last team to breach Juve’s rearguard on December 30 and, in all, they have conceded 15 goals in 28 games while scoring 67, one more than Lazio. Bet Now NaijaBet

“Which statistic do I prefer most? Having the best defence,” Allegri told reporters after Wednesday’s win.

Allegri said he was delighted to see goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and defender Giorgio Chiellini celebrate a key intervention as if they had scored a goal, just as they did in the Champions League win at Tottenham Hotspur a week ago. Continue reading “Allegri delights in Juventus defensive mean streak”

We hit the post four times, this is very strange – Conte

Antonio Conte insisted Barcelona’s Champions League win over Chelsea on Wednesday was unfair after his team’s valiant efforts were overshadowed by Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou.

Messi scored twice and set up Ousmane Dembele for the other as the hosts won 3-0 and progressed to the quarterfinals 4-1 on aggregate.

Chelsea, however, were unlucky after they were again denied by the woodwork. Place bet on today’s Europa League games on NaijaBet

Willian had been robbed by the post twice in the first leg while on Wednesday a Marcos Alonso free-kick smacked off the post while Antonio Rudiger headed against the woodwork late on.

“We have no regrets,” said Conte. “If you watch the game, you can see the final result is unfair.

“We conceded a goal, our start was terrible. We hit the post four times, this is very strange. Continue reading “We hit the post four times, this is very strange – Conte”

UCL Match Preview : Barcelona vs Chelsea (Agg 1-1)

A defensive mistake in the first leg gave Barcelona a huge away goal that has swung the tie in their favour ahead of Wednesday’s meeting with Chelsea. The Spanish side are unbeaten at home all season, which does not bode well for the Premier League side.

Chelsea are incredibly unbeaten in their last eight matches against Barcelona but are not in great form heading to the Camp Nou.

They have lost their last four away matches and have only won one of three matches since holding Barcelona to a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

Lionel Messi’s 75th-minute equaliser at Stamford Bridge may have killed Chelsea’s chances here as the respective home and away form of both teams favours Barcelona going through to the next round and ending Chelsea’s positive run against them. Bet Now NaijaBet

TEAM NEWS

Barcelona- Lionel Messi missed the 2-0 win over Malaga this past weekend due to the birth of his child but will return against Chelsea on Wednesday.

Nélson Semedo is back in contention after missing the first leg through suspension but may miss out this time around through injury. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview : Barcelona vs Chelsea (Agg 1-1)”

Wolves are move closer to Premier League

Wolves moved a step closer to the Premier League as the Championship leaders crushed Reading 3-0 on Tuesday.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side had won just one of their previous five games to see their lead at the top of the second tier cut to three points.

Hammered 4-1 by local rivals Aston Villa in their previous match, Wolves got back on track in style with a dominant display at Molineux.

Matt Doherty put Wolves ahead in the first half and a 58th-minute goal from Benik Afobe increased the hosts’ lead before Doherty netted again to seal the points. Play bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

Wolves remain three points clear of second-placed Cardiff and 10 ahead of third-placed Villa in the battle for automatic promotion.

Cardiff are also in a strong position to return to the top flight after a 3-1 win at Brentford.

Sol Bamba, Callum Paterson and Kenneth Zohore scored for Neil Warnock’s side after Neal Maupay had opened the scoring for Brentford. Continue reading “Wolves are move closer to Premier League”