Germany eyes back-to-back World Cup titles

Joachim Loew believes Germany will be hunted “like never before” when they attempt to become the first team for 56 years to successfully defend the World Cup in Russia.

Brazil, who lifted the Jules Rimet trophy in 1958 and 1962, were the last team to win back-to-back titles, but Germany’s head coach Loew says his squad must show the necessary hunger to repeat their Brazil 2014 triumph.

“Germany will be hunted like never before, and near-superhuman forces will be needed if we want to end up becoming world champions again,” warned Loew.

Loew sees Brazil – who beat Germany 1-0 in a friendly in Berlin in March, – Spain, England, France and Argentina as Germany’s main threats at Russia 2018. Special #WorldCup2018 Betting Options are Available on NaijaBet

“Only us, as world champions, have anything to lose.”

Germany has reached at least the semifinals of every major tournament since the 2006 World Cup finals with Loew in charge. Continue reading “Germany eyes back-to-back World Cup titles”

Halep, Kvitova, Svitolina reach French Open third round

World No 1 and top seed Simona Halep recovered from a disastrous first set to reach the French Open second round on Wednesday with a 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 win over Alison Riske of the United States.

Halep, the runner-up in Paris in 2014 and 2017, slumped 0-5 down in the opening set to world No 83 Riske whose only win at the tournament came in 2014.

The Romanian committed 16 unforced errors in the set but stepped up a gear from that point on to book a second-round match against Taylor Townsend of the United States.

“It’s always difficult in the first round of a Grand Slam, you are always nervous,” said Halep whose opening round match had been cancelled on Tuesday due to torrential rain. Place bet on today’s fixtures on NaijaBet

“But I started to run more, played better and kept more balls in play.”

Halep needs to reach the semifinals or better if she is to retain the world top spot. Continue reading “Halep, Kvitova, Svitolina reach French Open third round”

Lampard appoint as new Derby County manager

Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has been appointed as manager of Championship side Derby County, with the second-tier side announcing the 39-year-old had agreed to a three-year deal on Thursday.

Lampard, who was capped 106 times by England between 1999 and 2014, won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and one Champions League with Chelsea and will be taking his first steps into senior management.

“I’ve always wanted to manage a club with a big tradition and history like Derby County, so this is a huge opportunity,” Lampard said on the club’s website. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet 

“We want to build on the club’s top-six finish in the Championship last season, while at the same time bringing through some of the excellent youth and academy talent we have at Pride Park.”

Lewandowski might move to Real Madrid

Bayern Munich’s star striker Robert Lewandowski wants to leave the Bundesliga club this summer to seek “a new challenge”, his agent said on Wednesday.

“Robert feels that he needs a change and a new challenge in his career,” Pini Zahavi told the weekly.

“The managers of Bayern know about it.” Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

Lewandowski, 29, whose Bayern contract runs until 2021, has been linked with Real Madrid while Qatari-backed Paris Saint-Germain and Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester United are also understood to be interested.

He was the Bundesliga’s top scorer in the just-completed season with 29 goals.

Continue reading “Lewandowski might move to Real Madrid”

Victor, Mikel Obi will return for England friendly – Rohr

Victor Moses, Mikel John Obi and Odion Ighalo are likely to be in the Nigeria line-up to face England in a World Cup warm-up match this weekend, coach Gernot Rohr said.

“We will have Victor Moses, Mikel and Ighalo for the England match,” he said after Monday’s friendly against DR Congo, which ended 1-1.

Midfielder Obi, of Tianjin TEDA, and Changchun Yatai forward Ighalo, were rested for the match in Port Harcourt after they joined the squad from China. Bet Now on NaijaBet

Moses, of Chelsea, will join up with his teammates in England after being granted an extended break.

Rohr has already said Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi will be fully fit for Saturday’s match at Wembley. He is recovering from a hamstring injury.

Continue reading “Victor, Mikel Obi will return for England friendly – Rohr”

Salah out for up to four weeks, tries to recover for World Cup

Egypt’s Mohamed Salah’s shoulder injury will keep him out of action for three to four weeks, Liverpool’s club physio said, as the forward tries to recover in time for the World Cup.

The 25-year-old winger is desperate to play for Egypt in only their third World Cup and their first for 38 years.

“He is sad about what happened but is totally focused on recovery, seeing when he can be ready,” physio Ruben Pons said about Salah’s injury during Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

“In principle, it will be between three and four weeks but we will try to reduce those dates, that’s the big goal,” he added.

Egypt begins their campaign in World Cup Group A against Uruguay on June 15, before facing hosts Russia on June 19 and Saudi Arabia on June 25, meaning if Salah takes four weeks to recover he could be fit in time for the knock-out phases. Continue reading “Salah out for up to four weeks, tries to recover for World Cup”

Halep kicks off French Open campaign on day four

World No 1 Simona Halep, chasing a maiden Grand Slam crown, will begin her French Open campaign against American Alison Riske on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Romanian’s first-round match was postponed on Tuesday because of a rain-affected schedule on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Halep, twice runner-up at Roland Garros, will likely face the daunting prospect of playing for two days in succession to catch up with the rest of the women’s draw. Place bet on today’s tennis matches on NaijaBet

Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki is up against Spain’s Georgina Garcia Perez in the second round, while fourth seed Elina Svitolina takes on Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia. Continue reading “Halep kicks off French Open campaign on day four”

Messi ready for world cup as Argentina sink Haiti

Argentina showed once again how reliant they are on Lionel Messi as the Barcelona forward scored a hat-trick in their 4-0 World Cup warm-up win over Haiti on Tuesday.

With Javier Mascherano making his 143rd appearance to put him one ahead of Javier Zanetti as Argentina’s most capped player, Messi got the opener from the penalty spot after 17 minutes.

He doubled their lead 12 minutes into the second half with a simple tap-in after the goalkeeper could only parry a header, scored Argentina’s third after 65 minutes, and then set up Sergio Aguero to make it four just two minutes later. Place bet on latest International friendly matches on NaijaBet

Argentina failed to add to their tally but should have been further ahead against Haiti, whose sole appearance at the World Cup finals came in 1974 and are ranked 108th in the world, 103 places below them in the world rankings.

“More than the result we were able to say goodbye to our fans and show that we are going to Russia with hope,” Messi said.

Continue reading “Messi ready for world cup as Argentina sink Haiti”

Nadal begins french open title defense against Bolelli

World No 1 Rafael Nadal begins his French Open title defence on Monday with a clash against Italy’s Simone Bolelli on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Novak Djokovic, looking to get back to winning ways on the biggest stage following elbow surgery, takes on unseeded Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva.

Dominic Thiem, one of the players capable of denying Spaniard Nadal a record-extending 11th title at Roland Garros, opens his campaign on Court One against Ilya Ivashka of Belarus.

Five-time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova is also in action, with the Russian taking on Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

Click this link to place bet on Live Tennis matches 

‘Son must step up his game to become World Cup great’

Son Heung-min needs to overcome his status as a marked man after an impressive season for Tottenham Hotspur if he is to establish himself among the game’s elite at the World Cup in Russia, says South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong.

Son has emerged as a leading light of Asian football since moving to Tottenham from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015, becoming an integral part of Mauricio Pochettino’s exciting and dynamic team over the last three seasons.

The 25-year-old scored 12 times in 27 starts for Spurs in the past season as the north London club finished third in the Premier League, however Son has yet to make a similar impact for his country.

And Shin believes the former Hamburg SV winger has become a victim of his own success. Bet Now Naija and Bet

“He’s done well with Tottenham and he’s one of our best-attacking options,” Shin said.

“He enhances our team totally with his attacking ability.

“Honestly speaking, when he plays for Tottenham, Son Heung-min has great attacking partners like Harry Kane and Dele Alli and there’s a synergy between them when they play.

“In our team, Son’s partners are maybe at a little bit of a lower level and that makes it a little bit harder for him to show his ability when he plays for the national team.” Continue reading “‘Son must step up his game to become World Cup great’”

Salah ‘confident’ of being fit for World Cup

Egypt’s Mohamed Salah is “confident” of being fit for the World Cup despite suffering a shoulder injury in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid.

Salah was forced off in tears during the first half of the 3-1 loss in Kiev on Saturday, sparking fears he wouldn’t make it to next month’s World Cup.

The 25-year-old sustained the problem when he was dragged awkwardly to the turf following a challenge with Sergio Ramos, leading some to claim the Madrid defender had deliberately tried to injure Liverpool’s star forward.

Speaking after the final, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had described the injury as “serious” amid fears Salah had suffered a dislocated shoulder.

That would have ruled him out of Egypt’s first appearance in the World Cup since 1990. World cup group stage betting options are available on NaijaBet

Salah was pictured with his shoulder in a sling when he got off Liverpool’s plane at John Lennon Airport on Sunday. Continue reading “Salah ‘confident’ of being fit for World Cup”

Egypt get ball rolling in preparation for World Cup

Egypt face Kuwait on Saturday in the first of 15 warm-up matches the five African qualifiers for the World Cup will play ahead of the 14 June kick-off in Russia.

The Egyptians, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia have three fixtures each to iron out chinks in their armour and fine-tune tactics ahead of the global football showpiece.

Egypt must do without talisman Mohamed Salah in Kuwait City as he will be playing for Liverpool against title-holders Real Madrid the same day in the Uefa Champions League final. World Cup group stage matches are available on NaijaBet

Another potential World Cup star, Sadio Mane of Senegal, will also be in Liverpool colours as they try to prevent Real winning a third consecutive Champions League title.

After Kuwait, an Egyptian squad coached by Argentine Hector Cuper head for Europe to meet Colombia in Milan and star-stacked Belgium in Brussels

Morocco, back at the World Cup after a 20-year absence, tackle non-World Cup qualifiers Ukraine and Slovakia in Swiss city Geneva before taking on Estonia in Tallinn. Continue reading “Egypt get ball rolling in preparation for World Cup”

French Open organizers are punishing Serena Williams for having a baby

The decision by French Open organisers not to grant Serena Williams a seeding on her long-awaited Grand Slam return has prompted renewed focus on the sport’s policy towards female players and parenthood.

“French Open is punishing Serena Williams for having a baby” read a USA report headline, arguing an exception for the 23-time major winner should be made for Thursday’s draw.

At 36, the American is looking to regain her top form following the birth of her daughter last September. After sitting out of competition for over a year, she no longer had a ranking upon her return to the WTA circuit in March. Place bet on NaijaBet Virtual games online

She has played just four matches this season across appearances at Indian Wells and Miami. But her results, far from convincing, have only been good enough to climb to 449th in the world rankings.

With a ranking so low, no player would typically even be able to take part in qualifying for the main draw. That is unless benefiting from a wildcard or using a protected ranking, which has at least allowed Williams direct entrance into the field. Continue reading “French Open organizers are punishing Serena Williams for having a baby”

Andres Iniesta moves to Japanese club Vissel Kobe

Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta has signed with Japanese side Vissel Kobe, kicking off a new chapter in his career after a storied 16 years with Barcelona, the J.League club said on Thursday.

The 34-year-old former Barcelona captain, who had spent his entire career with the Spanish giants, was introduced at a news conference in Tokyo by Kobe owner Hiroshi Mikitani. Bet Now

Ahead of the official announcement, Iniesta had posted on Instagram a photo of himself and Mikitani with a message that he was “heading to my new home”.

Iniesta, who famously scored the winning goal for Spain against the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup final, was top of Mikitani’s wishlist. Continue reading “Andres Iniesta moves to Japanese club Vissel Kobe”

UCL Final Match Preview : Real Madrid vs Liverpool

Real Madrid are looking to land a third successive Champions League success when they face Liverpool in Kyiv in a repeat of 1981 final in Paris. That was the last time Real Madrid lost at this stage of the competition as they look to land a 13th European cup, but their form coming into this one has been a tad iffy.

Los Blancos have won only one of their last five competitive outings, yet have won five of their six away Champions League matches away from the Bernabeu.

Liverpool will face Real Madrid for the sixth time in the competition on Saturday and have won three of the last five meetings between the two. However, Real Madrid have won their last two Champions League meetings between the two sides, both of which came in the group stages in the 2014/15 season. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet

The Reds have also won only one of their last four competitive outings and have kept just two clean sheets in their last six outings.

Considering both sides’ fluid attack, yet indifferent defence, goals are expected in this one, yet Real Madrid’s final experience should see them over the line here.

Team News

Real Madrid- Zinedine Zidane has a fully fit and available squad for the Champions League final. Continue reading “UCL Final Match Preview : Real Madrid vs Liverpool”

Emery : A new dawn. A new era. A new chapter for Arsenal

Arsenal have appointed former Paris St Germain coach Unai Emery as their new manager, the Spaniard succeeding the long-serving Arsene Wenger, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

Emery, who joined PSG in June 2016, left the French club at the end of this season, having led them to a domestic treble. The 46-year-old had previously guided Spanish side Sevilla to three Europa League titles.

“Unai has an outstanding track record of success throughout his career, has developed some of the best young talent in Europe and plays an exciting, progressive style of football that fits Arsenal perfectly,” Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said in a statement. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

“His hard-working and passionate approach and his sense of values on and off the pitch make him the ideal person to take us forward.” Continue reading “Emery : A new dawn. A new era. A new chapter for Arsenal”

Hazard targets more titles at Chelsea

Eden Hazard dropped a hint he is willing to stay at Chelsea next season as the FA Cup winner set his sights on more silverware.

Hazard scored the first-half penalty that fired Chelsea to a 1-0 win over Manchester United in Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley.

The 27-year-old has two years remaining on his current contract with the Blues, but last week the Belgium playmaker admitted he wanted to see who Chelsea signed in the close-season before agreeing to a new deal. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

That sparked renewed talk that Hazard would consider leaving Stamford Bridge, with Real Madrid among the clubs interested in his services, following Chelsea’s failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

But Hazard’s role in Chelsea’s FA Cup triumph — the first time he has won the competition — might have given him pause for thought as he targeted the Premier League title next term.

“We have a lot of top players, players who are used to winning trophies. We will be ready next season,” Hazard said Continue reading “Hazard targets more titles at Chelsea”

Arsenal set to appoint former PSG manager Emery

Arsenal are set to appoint former Paris St Germain coach Unai Emery as their new manager to succeed Arsene Wenger, reported on Monday.

Emery, who joined PSG in June 2016, left the French club at the end of this season, having led them to a domestic treble.

The 46-year-old Spaniard had previously been manager at Sevilla, who he steered to three Europa League triumphs.

The report stated that the recruitment process was led by Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, head of football relations Raul Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and that an announcement and a news conference was expected later this week.

 

Svitolina sinks Halep to win Italian Open

Elina Svitolina underlined her status as a top favourite for the French Open by sweeping Simona Halep aside 6-0, 6-4 to successfully defend her Italian Open crown on Sunday.

In a repeat of last year’s final at the Foro Italico, Ukrainian Svitolina, seeded fourth, was up against Halep a day after the Romanian top seed had ousted Russian Maria Sharapova.

But Halep’s hopes of overturning last year’s defeat to her 23-year-old opponent quickly evaporated in a completely one-sided encounter that saw the Romanian fail to produce a real challenge. Make cool cash on NaijaBet by placing bet on LIVE matches 24/7

Svitolina, the world No 4, has now successfully defended three career titles, in Baku, Dubai and also Rome; she also won in Brisbane and Dubai this season to take her 2018 title total to three.

The win also marked Svitolina’s 12th career title on what was her eighth final in succession.

“It was a really good match, from my side,” Svitolina said. “I dominated. I was trying to put lots of pressure on Simona with my game, tried to really take the ball early and open the court. Continue reading “Svitolina sinks Halep to win Italian Open”

Barca fans says Thank You to “Infinite Iniesta”

La Liga champions Barcelona ended their campaign with a 1-0 win at home to Real SociedadSunday thanks to a sensational distance strike from Philippe Coutinho as the Nou Camp paid an emotional farewell to departing captain Andres Iniesta.

Coutinho drifted inside from the left and held off two defenders outside the area before rattling the ball in off the far post with a venomous shot, breaking the deadlock in the 57th minute.

The league’s top scorer Lionel Messi started the game on the bench but replaced Coutinho in the 67th minute. Iniesta was substituted in the 82nd, hugging most of his teammates as well as some Real Sociedad players and the referee as he left the Nou Camp pitch for the last time as a Barca player.

Barca’s fans held up a mosaic before the game reading “Infinite Iniesta”. They later revealed a banner saying “Thanks for so much” in tribute to a player who came through the club’s academy and spent 16 years pulling the strings in midfield, winning nine Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and six domestic Cups. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

They continued to sing Iniesta’s name long after he had gone off the pitch. The captain returned with his teammates after the final whistle to lift the club’s 25th Liga title and also show off the King’s Cup trophy which they won in April, beating Sevilla 5-0 in the final. Continue reading “Barca fans says Thank You to “Infinite Iniesta””

Iniesta & Torres set to say farewell on LaLiga finale

La Liga’s winners and losers are settled and the European qualification spots decided but for a collection of star players, the final weekend of the season will be anything but a dead rubber.

Zinedine Zidane would appear to have it clear in his mind what does and does not work in Europe. Through Real Madrid’s journey to the final, he has put great faith in the likes of Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio while Gareth Bale, Isco and even Karim Benzema have found their places less secure. Benzema and Isco, however, have proven their coach’s stance can be turned and now Bale must try to follow suit.

His man-of-the-match performance against Celta Vigo last weekend would surely have made an impact on Zidane and another similar display against Villarreal on Saturday might sneak him a starting spot in the final.

Cristiano Ronaldo has shaken off an ankle sprain but the decision is whether to risk the Portugese’s fitness this weekend or, by leaving him out, his sharpness against Liverpool. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

After 674 matches and 22 years associated with the club, Andres Iniesta will bid farewell to Barcelona, who host Real Sociedad on Sunday. A grand clos- ing ceremony is planned, with the Camp Nou crowd set to form the message ‘Infinito Iniesta’ on both sides and Iniesta’s No 8 at either end. Continue reading “Iniesta & Torres set to say farewell on LaLiga finale”

FA Cup Final: Chelsea vs Manchester United

Chelsea was beaten finalists in last season’s FA Cup final and Antonio Conte will hope to go one further on Saturday, in what could prove his final game in charge of the club.

Manchester United have won their last seven cup matches at Wembley and Jose Mourinho will be determined to have the last laugh in his feud with Conte.

It must be said that neither team are playing particularly well ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final. With Mourinho in one of the dug-outs, a cagey affair should be expected on Saturday. Will either team have enough to win it in normal time?  Place Bet on Various sports game on NaijaBet

Team News

Chelsea- David Luiz and Ethan Ampadu are both ruled out for Chelsea ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final.

Willy Caballero has featured in goal for Chelsea during their FA Cup run to the final but Antonio Conte may turn to Thibaut Courtois on Saturday. Continue reading “FA Cup Final: Chelsea vs Manchester United”

Griezmann goals fires Atletico to Europa title

Antoine Griezmann was the hero for Atletico Madrid as the French striker scored twice in their 3-0 win over Marseille in Wednesday’s Europa League final in Lyon, allowing his club to win the trophy for the third time in nine seasons.

It is Griezmann’s first major title with Atletico, and a fitting way to bow out if he leaves at the season’s end, with Barcelona tipped as his next destination.

Griezmann – brought up in Macon, just 70 kilometres from Lyon – scored once in each half, his lethal finishes coming to either side of Marseille losing Dimitri Payet to injury, the French team’s captain coming off in tears.

Griezmann now has 29 goals this season, although it was Gabi’s late strike that sealed the victory. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

“This is a reward for me after I left home aged 14, for all the work I have put in, the suffering,” said Griezmann, who has spent his whole career in Spain but had only previously won one Spanish Super Cup.

Atletico’s triumph comes after agonising defeats to Real Madrid in the Champions League finals of 2014 and 2016. They had previously won the Europa League in 2010 and again in 2012, the latter coming just six months after Diego Simeone’s appointment as coach. Continue reading “Griezmann goals fires Atletico to Europa title”

Messi, Suarez to support 2030 World Cup host bid

Stars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are set to offer their backing to a joint bid from Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay to host the 2030 centenary World Cup, bid organisers told the media.

“Messi will join us in this initiative, and Suarez certainly,” Fernando Marin, the joint bid co-ordinator, told the media on Monday.

“We told him (Messi) about our aims, and he feels it’s doable.”

Argentina’s minister of sport Carlos Mac Alister said “it’s important to know we have the support” of such high-profile players as Argentina’s five-time world player of the year Messi and Uruguay striker Suarez.

“In 2030, we won’t be there any more, Messi will. Bet Now on today’s games on NaijaBet

“He showed great desire to help us. He will surely be the flag-bearer for the World Cup.”

The very first World Cup in 1930 was held in Uruguay and won by the hosts, who beat Argentina 4-2 in a memorable final at the Centenary Stadium in Montevideo. Continue reading “Messi, Suarez to support 2030 World Cup host bid”

Europa League Final : Marseille vs Atletico Madrid

Marseille lost ground in the race for a Champions League finish as they drew 3-3 with Guingamp on Friday night and they now sit three points behind Monaco ahead of the final week of the season. The Ligue 1 side have won just one of their last four competitive outings and just two of their last four Europa League matches.

They also lost their only visit to Parc OL this season, falling to a 2-0 loss to Lyon back in December, while their form away from the Velodrome in the Europa League this season has been poor, with just one win from their seven away games in Europe this term. Bet Now

Atletico Madrid has too struggled on their travels in European action this season, winning only two of seven away Champions League and Europa League matches.

Their form coming into this one, though, has been commendable, with Diego Simeone overseeing three wins in Atletico’s last four matches. However, like Marseille and the Velodrome, the Spanish side have faltered on their travels of late, with a five-match winless run preceding back-to-back wins over Alaves and Getafe, respectively. Continue reading “Europa League Final : Marseille vs Atletico Madrid”