Juve has won all of their seven official games so far, but they have only met two opponents that could actually cause them some trouble.
This will be a further test for this Juventus side, which is somehow different from the old one both given the new arrivals, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, and some players that seem to have stepped up in the summer, like Federico Bernardeschi.
Napoli has improved after some initial setbacks, and have only dropped points in the league to Sampdoria. While the performance in Belgrade may not have been brilliant, the Partenopei seem to be focused once again in the domestic league.
The gap between the two sides in the table is just three points, but Napoli cannot afford to let Juve get further away. Juventus do not need to win this match as they always aim for the end prize, and a draw would keep them on top of the table and unbeaten this campaign. Bet Now
But settling for the draw is not really in Juventus’ tradition, and they will surely want to send an early message to Napoli, who once again seem to be their only title contenders.
Juventus- Paulo Dybala has played in consecutive games, while Mario Mandzukic featured on the bench against Frosinone. Continue reading “Serie A Match Preview: Juventus vs Napoli”
After having lost their opening three matches, Leverkusen got back on track with back-to-back wins in recent days. They could make a huge step forward with a further result against BVB.
Dortmund are full of confidence after a 7-0 win against Nürnberg on Wednesday, which saw them move up to the second spot. They are yet to win away from home, however and will meet a dangerous Leverkusen side here.
Expect this to be an open game from the outset with several chances at both ends of the pitch. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Bayer Leverkusen- Mitchell Weiser could rotate back in at right-back, with Tin Jedvaj probably dropping to the bench.
Julian Brandt should return to the starting XI as well, with Issac Kiese Thelin expected to drop to the bench and Kevin Volland possibly switching to the position up front. Continue reading “Bundesliga Match Preview: Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Dortmund”
Chelsea knocked Liverpool out of the Carabao Cup with a 2-1 win at Anfield on Wednesday night and they’ll hope to repeat that victory in Saturday’s evening kick-off at Stamford Bridge.
Their 100% record ended at West Ham last week and a return to winning ways against Liverpool would send out a strong statement of intent.
The Reds were understrength against Chelsea in midweek, yet a host of regular starters are expected to return to the first team fold, including former Chelsea man Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Georginio Wijnaldum, Alisson and Joe Gomez, to name five.
Liverpool has won two of the last three league meetings between these two at Stamford Bridge and the table toppers will hope to capitalise on any centre-back uncertainty in the hosts’ camp. Start forecasting your weekend games now
This is a tough game to call and while Chelsea will have been buoyed by their Carabao Cup win on Wednesday, with the two teams reverting to their stronger XIs, we could see a draw here.
Chelsea- Marco van Ginkel is ruled out for Chelsea, while Maurizio Sarri is sweating on the fitness of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen for the welcome of Liverpool. Continue reading “EPL Match Preview: Chelsea vs Liverpool”
Cristiano Ronaldo will be able to face his old club Manchester United in the Champions League next month after Uefa handed the Juventus forward a one-game ban on Thursday.
The Portuguese superstar was sent off in the first half of Juve’s 2-0 win away to Valencia last week after a clash with Jeison Murillo.
He risked a potentially lengthy suspension, but instead the 33-year-old will only sit out his team’s game at home to Swiss champions Young Boys next week.
Juve then plays Jose Mourinho’s United at Old Trafford on Tuesday, October 23, before hosting the English club in Turin on November 7 in Group H. Continue reading “Ronaldo gets one UCL match ban, ready to face United”
Video Assistant Referees will be used in the Champions League from the 2019-20 season and will also be introduced at the 2020 European Championship, Uefa said on Thursday.
European football’s governing body revealed a decision had been taken at a meeting of their executive committee to bring in the technology, which will be used from the playoff round preceding the group stage of the Champions League.
It will also be used in next year’s Uefa Super Cup and in the Europa League from the 2020-21 season.
In addition, it will be used in the finals of the new Nations League competition, although only from 2021. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Uefa’s move follows the use of VAR at the Fifa World Cup in Russia when it was deemed largely to be a success. Continue reading “UEFA confirms that VAR will be used in UCL from next season”
Barcelona conceded twice in 68 seconds and Real Madrid was three down at halftime as La Liga’s two title favourites were each stunned by surprise defeats on Wednesday night.
Barca’s 2-1 loss to relegation fighters Leganes was the greater shock but Madrid’s beating was more emphatic, blown away 3-0 by Sevilla after a torrid 39 minutes at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
For both, it was their first defeat of the season and for both, defensive fragility was the key factor, which will be a major concern with the second round of Champions League games to come next week.
By the end, Atletico Madrid, who had cruised to victory over Huesca on Tuesday and play Real on Saturday, were the biggest winners. After a stuttering start, Diego Simeone’s side will jump above Real with a win at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Sevilla can be a formidable opponent on their own patch but few expected Leganes to inflict what was only Barcelona’s second league defeat in 17 months. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
“We are in a very difficult moment that was unexpected,” Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said. Continue reading “Leganes thump Barcelona, Sevilla sinks Real Madrid”
Sevilla will be feeling confident after their 6-2 thrashing of Levante most recently, as Pablo Machin’s continue to try and find some consistency in the early weeks of the campaign.
The hosts have scored 11 goals in their last two competitive matches, with the likes of Ben Yedder and Pablo Sarabia in very dangerous form.
Real Madrid has only dropped two points in La Liga so far, with Julen Lopetegui’s side looking very dangerous at present.
Sevilla- Wissam Ben Yedder should lead the line after netting a hat-trick last time out. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Roque Mesa should return to the starting line up, offering further energy in midfield.
Guilherme Arana should get the nod ahead of Aleix Vidal at left wing-back after the latter’s shaky showing against Levante. Continue reading “La Liga Match Preview: Sevilla vs Real Madrid”
Germany head coach Joachim Loew was reportedly blocked from meeting Mesut Ozil at Arsenal’s training ground on Monday to discuss the midfielder’s fiery retirement from international duty.
Loew and Germany’s team director Oliver Bierhoff were in London at the weekend to take part in a Fifa coaching congress and then visited Arsenal’s training ground in Colney, north of London, for clear-the-air talks with Ozil.
According to German daily Bild, Loew and Bierhoff were turned away at the entrance to Arsenal’s training ground, on the orders of Gunners’ head coach Unai Emery, while the squad was put through a recovery session.
The visit had been previously arranged, so Loew and Bierhoff later met the Gunners’ Germany internationals Bernd Leno and Shkodran Mustafi at the club’s visitors centre without speaking to Ozil.
“We would have liked to have spoken to Mesut, but we have to accept that at the moment he doesn’t want to have this conversation with us,” said Bierhoff. Continue reading “Arsenal blocked Germany coach from meeting Ozil”
With Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium not ready due to safety issues and Wembley unavailable, this EFL Cup clash will be hosted at Stadium:MK in Buckinghamshire; given that the venue is closer to Watford, it won’t necessarily feel like a home game for Spurs.
One of the major criticisms that has been levelled at Mauricio Pochettino is that he has not yet won a single trophy as a manager; that’s partly because he hasn’t taken over elite clubs but equally, the Argentine hasn’t always been seen to approach domestic competitions with the professionalism they deserve.
Watford have taken 10 points from a possible 15 in the Premier League; now possessing arguably their best team for three decades, they have a wonderful opportunity to make memories in this competition by reaching their first domestic cup final since 1984.
Tottenham- Dele Alli made his name at Stadium:MK and could relish the return to his old stomping ground; the attacking midfielder marked his return to fitness with a 12-minute cameo at Brighton on Saturday.
Juan Foyth, Vincent Janssen and Hugo Lloris all remain out, while Moussa Sissoko might be fit enough to make the match-day squad. Continue reading “Carling Cup Match Preview: Tottenham vs Watford”
Kick-started in the days of Bill Shankly and Tommy Docherty and sustained by various controversies, Liverpool and Chelsea share a unique, historic rivalry despite the geographical distance; this EFL Cup clash marks the first of two grudge matches in just four days.
Chelsea’s 0-0 draw at West Ham on Sunday was the first match that saw either side drop Premier League points; given that Jurgen Klopp and Maurizio Sarri have made just five changes apiece to their domestic starting XIs thus far, this match might offer us a better idea of the depth these two squads possess.
Liverpool’s excellent recruitment under Klopp means that very good players like Jordan Henderson are now in reserve; Chelsea’s more inconsistent recruitment means that their squad is at a slightly different stage of it’s development, which could become evident when familiar foes meet.
Liverpool- Daniel Sturridge scored against PSG in the Champions League and might be handed a start against the club at which he spent four difficult years. Various betting option are available on NaijaBet
Fabinho hasn’t been able to get into Liverpool’s side due to the form of midfield competitors; this could be an opportunity for the Brazilian ball-winner to prove he’s the same player that won rave reviews at Monaco. Continue reading “Carling Cup Match Preview: Liverpool vs Chelsea”
Derby County manager Frank Lampard piled more misery on his former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho as the Rams beat 10-man Manchester United 8-7 on penalties, while Manchester City cruised into the last 16 of the League Cup on Tuesday.
Mourinho paid the price for making nine changes in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Old Trafford before spot-kicks with Paul Pogba rested on another day dominated by the Frenchman’s frosty relationship with his manager.
Phil Jones finally missed from the spot after 15 successful penalties in a high-quality shootout.
“The penalties come, somebody has to miss. I knew we were going to be in trouble with Jones,” said Mourinho in a barb at one of his own players.
Mourinho also confirmed Pogba has been stripped of the United vice-captaincy after criticising the Portuguese’s tactics in a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves on Saturday. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet
“The only truth is I made the decision of Paul not to be the second captain anymore,” added Mourinho.
Early on it seemed like the United boss would get a positive response from his much-changed side as one of Lampard’s former Chelsea team-mates Juan Mata slotted home the opener after just three minutes at the end of a fine team move.
However, an unchanged Derby side struck back after the break thanks to a wonderful free-kick from on-loan Liverpool striker Harry Wilson. Continue reading “Lampard’s Derby sinks United, City ease into last-16 of League Cup”
France World Cup star Kylian Mbappe will sit out one further league game for Paris Saint-Germain after losing an appeal against a three-match suspension on Monday.
Mbappe, 19, was handed the sanction for lashing out in retaliation at Teji Savanier during a feisty 4-2 win at Nimes on September 1.
Savanier was handed a four-match ban for his role in the incident, a sanction that was also confirmed following appeals by both players, the French Football Federation (FFF) announced. Today’s games, Bet now on NaijaBet
Mbappe, who is being tipped to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or award in December, notably on account of his performances for Les Bleus in Russia last summer, has served two of his three matches so far.
He sat out a 4-0 home win over Saint Etienne and again on Sunday as PSG beat Rennes 3-1 away to reinforce their lead at the top of the table. Continue reading “PSG star Mbappe loses appeal against three-match ban”
Luka Modric ended Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s decade-long domination of football’s individual awards by being crowned FIFA’s best player of the year on Monday.
The Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder starred for both club and country as Madrid won a third straight Champions League, and he inspired Croatia to reach the World Cup final for the first time.
“The emotion is huge because it is thanks to the work of everyone. So many people have come together and so many have supported me,” said Modric.
Modric beat out Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah and Ronaldo, who along with Messi did not attend the glitzy awards ceremony in London.
Both are in action for Juventus and Barcelona on Wednesday, but their no-show attracted criticism after so many years on top. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet
“Everyone has their own reasons,” said Modric. “Obviously I would have liked them to be here but they aren’t.”
Modric’s success means Ronaldo remains tied with Messi having won FIFA’s award in different guises five times each. Continue reading “Modric crowned world’s best, ends Ronaldo-Messi era”
Tiger Woods was moved to the brink of tears after capturing his first title since 2013 with a two-stroke triumph at the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Sunday that proved he was far from washed up at the age of 42.
Tossing aside five years of career-threatening injury woes, Woods reasserted his status as the best frontrunner in the history of the sport, leading throughout the final round and finishing at 11-under-par 269 at East Lake.
With the massive gallery chanting his name as they stampeded the final fairway in scenes reminiscent of British Opens of yesteryear, Woods moved within two victories of Sam Snead’s all-time record of 82 PGA Tour titles.
“I was having a hard time not crying coming up the last hole,” he said.
“All of a sudden it started hitting me I was going to win the tournament.
“I’ve been sitting on 79 (wins) for five years now. To get 80 is a pretty damn good feeling.”
After carding 71, Woods walked off to a big kiss from girlfriend Erica Herman and a hug from agent Mark Steinberg as security tried to keep the frenzied fans at bay.
The victory capped off a season that started with questions over whether Woods, now 10 years removed from his 14th major title, would even be able to play a full schedule after undergoing spinal fusion surgery in April 2017. Continue reading “Golf News: Tiger Woods win first title in five years”
Paul Pogba launched a blistering critique of Manchester United’s defensive-minded tactics in Saturday’s draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers, which is likely to infuriate manager Jose Mourinho.
The 25-year-old French World Cup winning midfielder said there were no excuses for not attacking in home games.
The draw – played out in front of legendary former manager Alex Ferguson who made his first appearance at a match since undergoing emergency brain surgery in May – left United in seventh, eight points behind leaders Liverpool.
“We are at home and we should play much better against Wolves. We are here to attack,” Pogba told the media after the match.
“When we play like (that) it’s easier for us.” Latest odds for today’s games are available on NaijaBet
Asked what is stopping United attacking more, Pogba said: “I can’t tell you because I’m a player. It’s not me.” Continue reading “Pogba blame mourinho, we need more of attacking tactics”
Cristiano Ronaldo erased the frustration of his Champions League red card by scoring the opener and setting up Federico Bernardeschi for a second as Juventus maintained their perfect record in Serie A after five games with a 2-0 win at promoted Frosinone on Sunday.
The Portuguese star had threatened several times at the Stadio Benito Stirpe but finally found a way through nine minutes from time, and then helped substitute Bernardeschi to score Juve’s second four minutes into injury time.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had scored his first goals last week with a double in a 2-1 win over Sassuolo, before the 33-year-old was sent off in tears on Wednesday in a 2-0 Champions League win over Valencia.
Juventus — the only unbeaten team in Serie A — have 15 points from five games, three points ahead of Napoli who beat Torino 3-1 earlier on Sunday.
Seven-time reigning champions Juventus and Napoli, last season’s runners-up, will go head-to-head next Saturday in Turin.
Frosinone had frustrated the champions for long periods but caved in late and have now conceded 12 goals to remain second bottom of the table with just one point. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
“We expected this type of match. Frosinone had conceded five (goals) to Sampdoria and we played with 10 men for 70 minutes against Valencia on Wednesday,” Allegri said. Continue reading “Ronaldo shine as Juventus stay perfect in Serie A”
Liverpool secured a 3-2 win over PSG in midweek to get their Champions League campaign up and running. Jurgen Klopp will have been unhappy in the manner with which they threw away a two-goal lead, but they are unbeaten in their last four home league meetings with Southampton.
Saints, too, threw away a two-goal lead earlier this week as they were held 2-2 by Brighton. They won their last away league game, coming away 2-0 victors at Crystal Palace, yet will be up against it against a rampant Liverpool side.
Liverpool has looked a little shaky at the back of late but should extend their unbeaten home run and maintain their 100% start to the season here. Latest weekend game odds, Bet now on NaijaBet
Liverpool- Dejan Lovren has returned to training, but he is unlikely to start for Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp unlikely to make wholesale changes, despite their Carabao Cup meeting with Chelsea next week.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Adam Lallana are ruled out with knee and groin problems, respectively. Continue reading “EPL Match Preview: Liverpool vs Southampton”
Simona Halep believes this year’s French Open victory has helped justify her position as the women’s world No 1, with the Romanian saying she was now playing pressure-free tennis and motivated to add more Grand Slam titles to her resume.
Speaking to a small gathering of reporters in a phone interview on Friday, the 26-year-old also earmarked US Open champion Naomi Osaka as a huge prospect for the future after the Japanese player made her major breakthrough in New York.
“My dream was to become No 1 and I managed that last year and then my goal was to win a Grand Slam because some consider that a sign of being a true No 1,” Halep, who has topped the rankings for 46 weeks in total, explained.
“So my motivation was to win a major after I reached the top of the rankings and now I feel relaxed after achieving both. I am still motivated to win every match and now the pressure feels off, I can just feel the pleasure of playing.”
Halep knows all too well the pain of losing a Grand Slam final after suffering three failures in as many title matches before she rallied past American Sloane Stephens in Paris to prevail 3-6 6-4 6-1 on her favourite clay surface in June. Continue reading “Grand Slam triumph justifies my No 1 ranking – Halep”
Cristiano Ronaldo picks himself up and gets back to business in Serie A against promoted Frosinone on Sunday after his return to Spain in the Champions League ended in a tearful sending off against Valencia.
The former Real Madrid star collapsed dramatically on the pitch after being handed a controversial red card just days after his first goals for Juventus saw the champions keep their 100 percent record to pull three points clear at the top of the Serie A table.
Juventus beat Valencia anyway thanks to two Miralem Pjanic penalties.
And after securing a winning start to the European campaign which is their focus this season, the Turin giants look to keep their quest for an eighth straight domestic title on track with a trip to Frosinone. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Coach Massimiliano Allegri is confident that Ronaldo, 33, will be back to business against a side from outside Rome who are second from bottom of the league with one point.
“He was upset and he needs time to calm down. He needs to rise above it and focus on Sunday, even if these things leave a bitter taste in the mouth,” said the coach. Continue reading “Crying Ronaldo picks himself up for SerieA trip to Frosinone”
Unai Emery is not going to prioritise the Europa League over the Premier League and has a track record of winning the competition. The Gunners should be considered one of the favourites this season. After a difficult start to the season, they have won three in a row.
Vorskla are big underdogs heading into this fixture but the Ukranian side at least has some momentum heading into this clash with three wins in a row. In the Europa League, however, they have only won one of their last 10 matches.
Vorskla has failed to score in four of their last five away games in the Europa League and Arsenal should have their eyes on a comprehensive victory on Thursday evening.
Arsenal- Three-time Europa League winner Unai Emery has already revealed he wants to win the competition with Arsenal, suggesting they will they field fairly strong teams.
Lucas Torreira has been eased into life at Arsenal since joining over the summer and is expected to make his full debut for the club on Thursday. Bernd Leno could also debut for the Gunners. Continue reading “Europa League Match Preview: Arsenal vs Vorskla”
PAOK have picked up some impressive results so far this season, eliminating FC Basel from Champions League qualification and even drawing away to Benfica before being humbled 4-1 at home to the Portuguese side. That remains their only defeat in nine competitive games this season.
Chelsea has made a 100 percent start to the season but expect a disjointed performance on Thursday if Maurizio Sarri goes down the route of making wholesale changes. There could be a lot of players picked that haven’t played a great deal this season but the Blues are favourites regardless.
PAOK Thessaloniki FC- Right-back Leo Matos is suspended after being sent off against Benfica in their last European game.
Former Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom could line up against Chelsea on Thursday. Bet Now
Ex-CSKA Moscow midfielder Pontus Wernbloom is another Chelsea will have to keep an eye on.
Fernando Varela played both legs against Benfica at centre-back and could join former Aston Villa defender Jose Crespo at the heart of PAOK’s defence.
The Greek side also has former Wolfsburg defender Vieirinha in their ranks ahead of the Chelsea clash. Continue reading “Europa League Match Preview: PAOK Thessaloniki FC vs Chelsea”
Etoile du Sahel and Esperance de Tunis will lock horns in an all-Tunisian 2018 Caf Champions League second-leg quarterfinal clash at the Stade Olympique de Sousse on Friday.
The hosts will be eager to overturn a 2-1 deficit following defeat to their rivals in Radès this past weekend.
All the goals at the Olympic Stadium on the outskirts of Tunis came from defenders in a weekend were only four goals were scored in four Caf CL quarterfinal games across the African continent.
Chamseddine Dhaouadi fired Esperance ahead after only two minutes before Ammar Jemal equalised to make it all square at the break. Sameh Derbali snatched the 77th-minute winner for the two-time (1994 & 2011) champions. Place bet on today’s Europa league matches on NaijaBet
The narrow win leaves the tie in the balance heading into the match in Sousse with Jemal’s away goal in the first leg likely to have a say in the outcome of the match. Continue reading “Tunisian giants battle CAF CL quarterfinal clash”
Real Madrid and Roma were both held to draws at the weekend but Roma’s result was more of a shock as they were 2-0 up against Chievo.
Julen Lopetegui has made an unbeaten start to life as the manager and is expected to win his first Champions League game in charge of the reigning champions.
Roma, meanwhile, has struggled so far this season and throwing away a 2-0 lead would have impacted their confidence even more.
The Serie A side has only won one of their opening four competitive matches this season and lost 2-0 on their last visit to the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid- No surprises are expected from Real Madrid when they host Roma on Wednesday.
Isco and Casemiro made a difference off the bench against Athletic Club on Saturday night but only the latter is expected to start. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Real Madrid vs Roma”
Young Boys have won only two of their last 10 European games (D4, L4)
Manchester United have lost only three of their last 20 European matches (W13, D4).
United are the overwhelming favourites in this match and their quality should eventually show. Bet Now on NaijaBet
BSC Young Boys– Young Boys have four injury concerns ahead of Wednesday’s welcome of European giants Manchester United: Pedro Teixeira, Jordan Lotomba, Gregory Wuthrich, and Sandro Lauper.
The home side were pushed all the way to extra-time on Saturday night in the Swiss Cup and fatigue could prove an issue here.
Wuthrich, usually at center-back, missed out through injury and would be a big loss for Gerardo Seoane’s side.
Manchester United– Luke Shaw was not risked against Watford on Sunday but Jose Mourinho afterward confirmed he would start against Young Boys on Wednesday. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: BSC Young Boys vs Manchester United”