Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has been charged with misconduct for his behaviour during Monday’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Burnley, the English Football Association said.
The Chelsea coach was sent to the stands by referee Kevin Friend after becoming embroiled in a scuffle among players on the touchline in the dying moments of the game at Stamford Bridge.
Sarri did not carry out his post-match media duties, sending assistant coach Gianfranco Zola to fill in for him instead.
Zola told reporters at the time that Sarri had sought to get his players out of the scuffle but the referee had “misinterpreted” his intentions and that the Chelsea manager had been offended by a comment from the Burnley bench.
“Maurizio Sarri has been charged with misconduct in relation to his behaviour in the 94th minute of Monday’s Premier League fixture between Chelsea and Burnley,” the FA said in a statement.
The Chelsea manager has until 1700 GMT +1 on Friday to responded to the charge, the governing body added.
Manchester United were humilated 4-0 by Everton on Sunday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have lost six of their last eight matches in all competitions.
Manchester City have won 10 matches in a row in the Premier League and four in a row on the road.
Pep Guardiola’s side are unbeaten in their last three league games at Old Trafford and will run out comfortable winners in midweek.
Manchester United- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be well within his right to make 11 changes from the side that lost 4-0 to Everton on Easter Sunday.
The Manchester United manager is at least bolstered by the return of Luke Shaw, who is back from a two-match ban.
Ander Herrera has missed United’s last five matches but has returned to training and could be thrust into the starting XI in midweek.
Alexis Sanchez is also back from injury and could make his first start for United since the beginning of March. Juan Mata or Jesse Lingard should also come into the frame here. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford could have no defence if they are dropped for the derby. Continue reading “Premier League Match Preview: Manchester United vs Manchester City”
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino described Christian Eriksen’s contract talks as a “special situation” on Tuesday after the Dane scored a crucial late goal to give his side a 1-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.
The 27-year-old has only one more season left on his contract and is widely-admired by some of Europe’s biggest clubs, prompting talk of a big-money summer move.
He was not at his best on Tuesday as Tottenham endured a frustrating night battering away at Brighton’s barricades.
But his 88th-minute strike was the moment of quality Tottenham required to put them in a strong position to finish the season inside the top four.
Eriksen has made a habit of scoring crucial late goals – also earning his side a 1-0 win over Burnley this season with a 90th minute strike and scoring the 80th-minute goal against Inter Milan that kept Spurs in the Champions League.
Pochettino said he hoped Eriksen would still be at the club he joined from Ajax in 2013 next season.
“It’s a very special situation. Christian is a special person and we’re all different,” he told reporters. Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet
“Timing for him and the club and agreeing something are maybe different to other players. I hope he will be here in the future. Christian and us are so close and it’s not long until the end of the season.
“Now it’s about being focused on the end of the season.” Continue reading “Pochettino described Eriksen’s Spurs future a ‘special situation’”
Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne has been ruled out of Wednesday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford by manager Pep Guardiola.
The Belgium midfielder suffered the latest of several injuries this season when he was forced off in the champions’ Premier League win at home to Tottenham on Saturday.
“It is a muscular problem,” Guardiola told reporters on Tuesday. “We will see in the next days but tomorrow he is not available.”
Man City can move one point clear of title rivals Liverpool at the top of the table heading into their final three games of the season with victory over United.
Chelsea accused Burnley of time-wasting and playing “anti-football” after Blues boss Maurizio Sarri was sent off before a touchline skirmish marred their frustrating 2-2 draw on Monday.
Sarri’s side fell behind to Jeff Hendrick’s fine finish before N’Golo Kante equalised moments later.
In a frantic opening 24 minutes at Stamford Bridge, Gonzalo Higuain put Chelsea ahead, only for Burnley’s Ashley Barnes to punish more dismal defending from the Blues.
Without a win in their last two league games, Chelsea will take only slender comfort from climbing one point above fifth-placed Arsenal into fourth place, level on points with third-placed Tottenham.
Chelsea would have gone third with a victory, but instead they have now played a game more than top-four rivals Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United, who are three points behind in sixth.
It was a missed opportunity after defeats for Tottenham, Arsenal and United at the weekend and Chelsea were booed off at fulltime. Bet Now on NaijaBet
In a fitting coda to a damaging evening, Sarri was sent to the stands for protesting in the final seconds before several members of the Blues bench were involved in a tetchy touchline clash with their Burnley counterparts. Continue reading “Chelsea move to fourth on the table after frustrating Burnley draw”
Napoli are 2-0 behind on aggregate and may rue not scoring an away goal in London. Carlo Ancelotti’s side ended a three-match winless run at the weekend with a 3-1 victory over Chievo.
Arsenal kept their first Premier League clean sheet away from home of the season in Monday night, which will give them confidence heading to Naples.
The Gunners have only won three of their last 13 away matches in all competitions and have both their last two on the road in the Europa League.
Napoli- Napoli will continue to be without Raul Albiol and Amadou Diawara as they bid to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg.
Arkadiusz Milik may get the nod over Dries Mertens on Thursday after starting the first match on the bench. Place bet on today’s Europa League Matches
Kevin Malcuit will hope to start against the Gunners after Elseid Hysaj started at right-back at the Emirates. Continue reading “Europa League Match Preview: Napoli vs Arsenal (Agg 0-2)”
Pep Guardiola bemoaned VAR’s failure to rule out Fernando Llorente’s decisive goal for Tottenham as Manchester City’s quadruple bid was shattered by a “cruel” Champions League quarterfinal exit on Wednesday.
Guardiola’s side were closing in on a place in the semifinals after staging a thrilling comeback to lead 4-2 in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium.
But Tottenham striker Llorente bundled home in the 73rd minute via a combination of his arm and hip, with VAR allowing the goal on review despite City’s appeals for handball.
Guardiola could be seen gesturing for handball while the VAR check was made, but his protest was in vain.
Adding to the City manager’s frustration, Raheem Sterling appeared to have scored what would have been the winner in the final seconds of stoppage-time, only for the goal to be ruled out by VAR for offside against Sergio Aguero. Place bet on Live events on NaijaBet24/7
“I support VAR but maybe from one angle Fernando Llorente’s goal is handball, maybe from the referee’s angle it is not,” Guardiola said.
“I watched the action and the people from above decided it (City’s disallowed goal) was offside. Continue reading “Guardiola misery continues as City crash out of Champions League”
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Manchester City have a one-goal deficit to make up having lost the first leg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 1-0. City smashed Spurs 4-1 in their last welcome of the north London to the Etihad Stadium and supporters would welcome a repeat of that result and having won their last 12 home matches, they’ll be confident of securing the necessary result here.
Conversely, Tottenham have lost six of their last seven away matches, with their only win in that run coming at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. Spurs, to their credit, have won five of their last six Champions League matches, but have their work cut out if they are to secure a semi-final spot.
Indeed, Spurs will make things difficult for City, but the home side have what it takes to secure the win required to earn their spot in the next round of the competition.
Manchester City- Pep Guardiola is without only Claudio Bravo for Wednesday’s welcome of Tottenham, with the Chilean goalkeeper still struggling for match fitness, though he wasn’t expected to start anyway, while Fernandinho will be assessed.
The Manchester City boss is expected to make a couple of changes from the first leg loss in north London for this must-win match. Live Bet on NaijaBet
Oleksandr Zinchenko is available following injury and could come in for Fabian Delph at left-back, while Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus are expected to start.
Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Manchester City vs Tottenham (Agg 0-1)”
Ajax Amsterdam basked in widespread praise after their Champions League heroics but their young players believe the 2-1 away win over Juventus in the second leg of the quarterfinal should have been more emphatic.
“We could have scored a few more in the second half,” said midfielder Frenkie de Jong, one of the heroes of their triumph in Turin which was characterised by some sweeping passing play.
The 3-2 aggregate win ensured unlikely semifinal qualification for the Dutch club who have come all the way through the preliminary rounds of the competition.
“In the first half they had a bit more control,” De Jong said of Juventus’ early showing as Cristiano Ronaldo put his side ahead in the 28th minute but Donny van de Beek levelling six minutes later.
“Their 1-0 lead was not exactly undeserved but luckily for us we were able to get back to 1-1 quickly after that. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7
“But after the halftime break, we were so much better than them. We wasted a lot of good chances and we should have been much more in the lead,” the Barcelona-bound 21-year-old said.
Continue reading “Juventus win margin should have been bigger – Ajax”
Porto are 2-0 down from the first leg and have a mountain to climb in order to stay in the competition. They have kept clean sheets in five of their last seven home games.
Liverpool will be high on confidence after returning to the Premier League’s summit at the weekend. They have won seven matches in a row.
FC Porto- Pepe and Hector Herrera return from suspension for Porto and are expected to slot straight back into the starting XI.
Porto will consider starting Yacine Brahimi in the second leg as they will need to go for it at some stage on Wednesday. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Liverpool- Andrew Robertson returns from suspension to start at left-back on Wednesday. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: FC Porto vs Liverpool (Agg 0-2)”
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde praised Lionel Messi for settling his side down after a nervy start against Manchester United and inspiring the Catalans to a 3-0 victory to reach the Champions League quarterfinals.
Marcus Rashford struck the crossbar for the visitors in the second minute at the Nou Camp but Messi scored twice in the space of five minutes later in the first half to put Barca at ease.
Philippe Coutinho’s stunning strike completed a dominant 4-0 aggregate victory.
“Messi always gets us out of trouble and we’re not going to apologise for having him,” Valverde told a news conference.
“Leo always turns up in the important games, not just in the big moments but throughout the whole game. He is always capable of scoring but he also drives the team’s attack.” Place bet on today’s Champions League games on NaijaBet
Valverde said his side were relieved to finally hurdle the quarterfinal barrier after three successive exits in the last eight, particularly after last season’s 3-0 second-leg defeat to AS Roma after winning the first leg 4-1. Continue reading “Messi gets us out of trouble again – Valverde”
Barcelona hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg and are heavy favourites to make the last four of the Champions League. They haven’t conceded in their last three matches and are unbeaten at home since November.
Manchester United have gone completely off the boil in recent weeks and were fortunate to beat West Ham on Saturday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have lost their last three away matches in all competitions.
You cannot completely write off United here after they overturned a bigger first leg deficit against Paris Saint-Germain in the last round but it would be absolutely remarkable if they managed to knock Barcelona out on Tuesday.
Barcelona- Ousmane Dembele made his first appearance in a month at the weekend and will compete with Philippe Coutinho for a spot in Barcelona’s front three. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Barcelona’s midfield had problems at Old Trafford and Ernesto Valverde may draft in Sergi Roberto or Arturo Vidal here. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Barcelona vs Manchester United (Agg1-0)”
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness ruled out breaking the 100 million euros ($113 million) mark this summer and said he would buy French striker Kylian Mbappe “immediately” if he had the money.
Bayern are planning a major squad overhaul this summer, and have already confirmed the signings of French World Cup winners Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez.
In an interview with German news agency DPA on Tuesday, Hoeness admitted that, in an ideal world, he would love to sign another French World Cup winner, Paris Saint-Germain’s 20-year-old star.
“I would sign Mbappe straight away, he is a top player. But we don’t have the money for him,” said Hoeness. Bet Now
The Bayern president ruled out spending 100 million euros on a single player in the summer transfer window, but suggested that Bayern may break that figure in the future. Continue reading “Bayern won’t pay more than €100m mark for a player – Hoeness”
Juventus are the favorites after drawing 1-1 away to Ajax in the first leg. The Old Lady have only lost one home game in all competitions this season and that was back in November.
Ajax may rue missed chances from the first leg but have nothing to fear after winning away to Real Madrid in the last round.
Juventus are not at their best at the moment but it is hard to see past Cristiano Ronaldo inspiring Ajax through to the semi-finals.
Juventus- Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the starting XI after being given the weekend off but Juventus will not have Mario Mandzukic to call on here.
Paulo Dybala, Douglas Costa or Moise Kean are the options to replace Mandzukic. Place bet on today’s Champions League games
Giorgio Chiellini has not recovered from injury in time to make the squad but Emre Can has been included by Max Allegri. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Juventus vs Ajax (Agg 1-1)”
Arsenal will be looking to win to return to the top four after last Sunday’s defeat at Everton. Watford are aiming for consecutive victories over the Gunners at Vicarage Road.
Watford will be without Jose Holebas (hamstring), Domingos Quina (shoulder), Tom Cleverley (calf) and Adalberto Penaranda (hamstring).
Gerard Deulofeu and Kiko Femenia were withdrawn during extra-time of last weekend’s FA Cup semifinal but have trained all week and are available.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos begins a two-match ban for Arsenal, who will assess Grant Xhaka (groin) ahead of Monday’s match.
Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding (both knee) and Danny Welbeck (ankle) are long-term absentees. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Did you know?
Troy Deeney could become only the third player to score 10+ goals in three different top-flight seasons for Watford after Luther Blissett and John Barnes. Continue reading “Watford to test Arsenal top four target tonight”
President Donald Trump and Barack Obama were among those hailing Tiger Woods on social media after his 11-year major drought was ended by a thrilling and emotional Masters victory on Sunday.
“Congratulations to @TigerWoods,” tweeted the US president Trump, who played a round of golf with Woods earlier this year. “A truly Great Champion!”
“Congratulations, Tiger!” former president Obama tweeted. “To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination.”
As Woods went on a charge on the back nine at Augusta National with birdies at 13, 15 and 16 to win by a stroke and claim his 15th major and fifth Masters, social media lit up in a frenzy of congratulations.
“I am literally in tears watching @TigerWoods this is Greatness like no other,” tweeted 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion Serena Williams.
“Knowing all you have been through physically to come back and do what you just did today? Wow Congrats a million times! I am so inspired thank you buddy.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7
Fellow golfers and former greats of the game were also quick to hail Woods’ achievement in returning to the summit of the sport after multiple surgeries and a string of off-course problems since his 14th major win at the 2008 US Open. Continue reading “All hail Woods! Trump, Serena, Nicklaus congratulate Tiger”
Tottenham forward Harry Kane may have to consider surgery on his injured ankle, a leading surgeon has said.
Kane suffered a “significant lateral ligament” injury to his left ankle during Spurs’ 1-0 Champions League win over Manchester City on Tuesday and is unlikely to play again this season.
The England captain is susceptible to ankle damage – this is his fifth such injury since 2016 and the second to his left joint this year.
Surgeon Mark Davies, a leading specialist at the London Foot and Ankle Centre, who has operated on Premier League footballers, said going under the knife could help restore the strength of Kane’s ligament to what it was before his first injury.
“At some point I think they would think about doing something surgically to stabilise the ligament, which is quite feasible and should restore the problem happening in the long term,” Davies told Britain’s Press Association. Place bet on Live Event 24/7
“He’s not that old, he could do with a stable ankle if he wants to carry on playing long term without it happening again,” he added. “It is a routine operation because the ligament needs to be tightened up and that is fairly easy.
Continue reading “Harry Kane may have to consider surgery – surgeon”
Manchester United host Barcelona for the first time since 2008 when a Paul Scholes screamer was enough to win 1-0. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would bite your hand off for that result.
Barcelona are unbeaten in their 16 matches in all competitions and are heavy favourites heading into this tie. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez should have a field day against United’s defence.
United have gone off the boil at the worst possible moment, losing three of their last four matches.
Manchester United- Manchester United can welcome back Paul Pogba from suspension in the Champions League and their injury woes have eased since they played Paris Saint-Germain last time in the competition.
Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Phil Jones all missed out against PSG but are all back now. Alexis Sanchez, Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian are all expected to miss out for the home side.
Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera both missed training on the eve of Wednesday’s game and are now considered huge doubts. Missing their experience and pedigree would be a huge blow for United.
Marcus Rashford missed United’s last match with an ankle injury but has reported for training and is expected to be fit enough to start against Barcelona. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Manchester United vs Barcelona”
Ajax eliminated defending champions Real Madrid in the last round of the Champions League and will have nothing to fear when they take on Juventus in the quarter-finals.
Ajax have won nine of their last 10 matches in all competitions and average 3.5 goals per game in that time.
A Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick eliminated Atletico Madrid in the last round and Juventus are favourites heading into their quarter-final tie with Ajax.
Juventus have actually lost their last two Champions League away matches but will back themselves at home to overturn any deficit.
Ajax- Noussair Mazraoui is for Ajax due to an accumulation of bookings in the competition. 21-year-old Rasmus Kristensen will likely get the nod at right-back. Bet Now on NaijaBet
No other changes are expected from Ajax’s usual starting XI. Hakim Ziyech, Daley Blind, Matthijs de Ligt and Nicolas Tagliafico will miss the return leg if they are booked here. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Ajax vs Juventus”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said his team had to “fight again” after beating Porto 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal at Anfield on Tuesday.
Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino struck inside the first 26 minutes to put the hosts in command and Liverpool’s only regret may be not building a more emphatic lead to take to northern Portugal for next week’s second leg.
“We are happy, it is the first leg and it will be an intense second game,” Klopp said. “We scored two goals and controlled the ball most of the time.
“We gave a few too many set pieces away. I think Porto score about 40 percent of their goals from set pieces. We also saw one or two counter-attacks, but the rest of the game we played really well. Place bet on today’s Champions Leagues on NaijaBet Continue reading “Liverpool must ‘fight again’ after Porto win in returns legs”
Tottenham ended their lengthy winless league run with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in their first official match at their new stadium last week and the north London side will hope to build on that success when they welcome Manchester City to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday night.
In the Champions League, they are unbeaten in six, winning four of their last five, which included a hugely impressive 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.
Manchester City will be boosted after they secured their FA Cup final spot as they chase the quadruple. Victory over Brighton extended their winning run to 14 matches and they have a fine recent record against Tottenham, winning their last four meetings with the north London outfit, while their only slip up in their last seven Champions League matches came in a 2-2 draw at Lyon back in November.
There will be a raucous atmosphere at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in midweek, but City have the means to secure a first leg advantage in this one.
Tottenham- Mauricio Pochettino is sweating on the fitness of Fernando Llorente ahead of the welcome of Manchester City, but Eric Dier, Serge Aurier and Erik Lamela are ruled out. Bet Now
Tottenham haven’t been in action since last week, where they faced Crystal Palace, so the north London side should be well rested for this one.
Pochettino has a selection conundrum on his hands in attack, with Son Heung-Min and Lucas Moura both pushing for starts in attack. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Tottenham vs Manchester City”
Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to fitness could be vital to Juventus’s bid to end their Champions League drought going back 23 years as they head to Ajax on Wednesday with uncertainty over whether their superstar will play or not.
Ronaldo hasn’t played for the Serie A leaders – who are just one point away from sealing an eighth Italian league title – since scoring the sensational hat-trick that saw Juve come back from a 2-0 first-leg deficit to knock out Atletico Madrid last month.
He was rested in the subsequent 2-0 league defeat at Genoa and then picked up a thigh injury on international duty with Portugal two weeks ago.
But coach Massimiliano Allegri remains confident the 34-year-old will be ready for Wednesday’s game in Amsterdam.
“He (Ronaldo) always feels ready. We are confident of having him at Ajax on Wednesday,” said Allegri after Saturday’s 2-1 league win over AC Milan.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner joined his teammates for training on Monday and is expected to travel with the team to the Netherlands.
Portuguese teammate Joao Cancelo, himself recovering from a calf strain, believes that Ronaldo will be present. Continue reading “Ronaldo’s return for Juventus vital UCL semi-final success”
Liverpool are the favourites heading into this Champions League quarter-final tie and will have their 5-0 victory over Porto from last season fresh in the memory.
Porto will be out for revenge after failing to score a goal over two legs against Liverpool. The Portuguese side are unbeaten in six matches heading into Tuesday’s game at Anfield.
Liverpool have only lost one match at home in all competitions this season and Porto’s aim will to still be in the tie when they head home. An away goal is therefore essiential for the visitors.
Liverpool- Jordan Henderson and James Milner will almost certainly return to the starting XI after both made important impacts from the bench in Friday’s 3-1 win over Southampton.
Henderson will replace either Fabinho or Naby Keita in midfield, while James Milner may have to adapt to left-back to cover for the absence of Andrew Robertson. Various betting options are available on site
Joel Matip has not looked overly convincing in recent matches and Jurgen Klopp may ponder handing Dejan Lovren his first start since the beginning of January.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Joe Gomez are both closing in on first-team returns following long-term injuries but may miss out on the matchday squad here. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Liverpool vs FC Porto”