Liverpool to face Napoli in Champions League group stage

Holders Liverpool received a relatively kind draw for this season’s Champions League group stage but 13-times European champions Real Madrid were pitted against Kylian Mbappe and Paris St Germain.

Jurgen Klopp’s side, who beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in June’s final to win their sixth European Cup, will face Serie A’s Napoli, Austria’s Salzburg and Belgian side Genk.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will return to his homeland France for a clash with PSG in Group A which also features Club Brugge and Galatasaray.

The draw produced two fascinating groups which should deliver a real battle for qualification with Barcelona facing Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan and Slavia Prague in Group F.

Group D is also a mouth-watering prospect with Italian champions Juventus taking on Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow. Bet Now on

Last year’s runners-up Tottenham Hotspur face German champions Bayern Munich as well as Greek side Olympiakos and Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade in Group B.

Continue reading “Liverpool to face Napoli in Champions League group stage”

Celtic cruise into Europa League group draw in styles

Celtic cruised into the Europa League group stage on Thursday, the Scottish champions crushing Swedish club AIK 4-1 in their play-off second leg.

James Forrest opened the scoring after a one-two with Odsonne Edouard as Celtic comfortably secured their place in Friday’s draw 6-1 on aggregate.

That was Forrest’s seventh goal in his last eight games.

Sebastian Larsson then gave AIK a glimmer of hope from the penalty spot but a minute later Mikey Johnston had his low cross fumbled over the line by AIK keeper Oscar Linner.

Late goals from Christopher Jullien and Lewis Morgan rounded off a good night’s work by Neil Lennon’s side in the Solna Arena.  Start forecasting your Weekend Games Now on NaijaBet

But Lennon was left worrying over the fitness of Kristoffer Ajer, who went off injured early to make him a major doubt for Sunday’s visit to Rangers.

Continue reading “Celtic cruise into Europa League group draw in styles”

All you need to know about Champions League group stage draw

The 26 teams given direct entry to the group stage under the competition system introduced in 2018/19 are joined by the six winners of the play-off ties.

No team can play a club from their own association and, based on decisions taken by the UEFA Executive Committee, clubs from Russia and Ukraine must not be drawn in the same group.

In the case of associations with two or more representatives, clubs will be paired in order to split their matches between Tuesday and Wednesday.

If a paired club is drawn, for example, in Groups A, B, C or D, the other paired club – once drawn – will automatically be assigned to one of Groups E, F, G or H.

Continue reading “All you need to know about Champions League group stage draw”

Spurs need winning run to keep up with City, Liverpool – Kane

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane does not expect Premier League champions Manchester City and runner-up Liverpool to step off the gas this season and said the London side have to match the relentless approach of the top two to keep up.

City clinched the league title with 98 points to Liverpool’s 97 as part of a domestic treble last season while the Merseyside club won their sixth European championship.

Asked by the British media if Tottenham were best equipped to compete with the dominant duo this season, Kane said: “Yes hopefully, but it’s still going to take a lot of hard work.”

Liverpool lead the league with three wins from as many games while City are second, two points behind them.

“As you’re seeing … there’s no letting up from them,” said Kane, whose team lost 1-0 to Newcastle United on Sunday. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet for today’s games

“I said before the start of the season that if we could put a run together … maybe winning for two-three months on the spin without dropping points, then that’s what it’s going to take.

Continue reading “Spurs need winning run to keep up with City, Liverpool – Kane”

Lukaku scores on debut as Conte’s starts serieA in style

Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku scored on his Inter Milan debut as new coach Antonio Conte’s reign got off to a perfect start with a 4-0 win over promoted Lecce on Monday.

“There was a spark, but now we must become dynamite,” said Conte as he begins his campaign to topple eight-time holders Juventus.

Lukaku – a €65-million summer signing from Manchester United – scored the third goal on the hour mark at the San Siro.

A blunder by Lecce goalkeeper Gabriel parried the ball into the path of Lautaro Martinez allowing Lukaku to finish off.

The 26-year-old turned and took a bow in front of the jubilant Inter fans among the 65 000 crowd.

“Lukaku entered the world of Inter in the best way, with great humility,” said Conte. Various bet options are available on site

“He’s a gentle giant, a giant with a smile. He is ready to work for the team. But not only Romelu, Lautaro also played very well.”

Continue reading “Lukaku scores on debut as Conte’s starts serieA in style”

Griezmann scores twice as Barca sink Betis 5-2

Antoine Griezmann proved Barcelona can win without Lionel Messi and do without Neymar too after he scored twice in a 5-2 demolition of Real Betis on Sunday.

Griezmann tossed confetti into the air as he celebrated his second at Camp Nou, where he was the star performer, if only for a night in the absence of Messi, who is still short of fitness.

A brilliant Barcelona performance delivered a resounding response to the doubts from their defeat to Athletic Bilbao last weekend, among them a reliance on Messi, the need for Neymar and the future of Ernesto Valverde as coach.

But as Carles Perez, Jordi Alba and Arturo Vidal made it three, four and five, the gloom was forgotten, along with Nabil Fekir’s opener in the 15th minute, that had Betis level at halftime. Various betting options are available on Site 

Loren Moron slammed a stunning strike into the top corner for Betis late on but by then the game was up as Barca ensured no more ground was lost on Atletico Madrid, who beat Leganes 1-0 earlier on Sunday, or Real Madrid, who were held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday by Real Valladolid. Continue reading “Griezmann scores twice as Barca sink Betis 5-2”

Premier League Match Preview: Liverpool vs Arsenal

Liverpool and Arsenal are the only sides with 100 per cent records in the Premier League after two matches.

Arsenal do not have fond recent memories of Anfield but are at least in a better place heading into Saturday’s meeting.

Liverpool have scored 22 goals in their last six home matches against Arsenal and are the favourites heading into this match.

Liverpool –  Adrian recovered from an ankle injury to start against Southampton last weekend and will continue here with Alisson still sidelined.

Dejan Lovren and Naby Keita are still doubts for Liverpool but neither would have started anyway.

Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are in competition for a starting berth alongside Virgil van Dijk. The latter could get the nod here to combat Arsenal’s pace in attack.

Fabinho and Jordan Henderson will return to the starting XI after dropping to the bench against Southampton. Various betting options are available for this weekend games on NaijaBet

Georginio Wijnaldum, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner are in competition for the final spot in midfield.

Continue reading “Premier League Match Preview: Liverpool vs Arsenal”

Challenging Messi made me a better player – Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo admitted on Wednesday his long-time rivalry with Lionel Messi has made him “a better player” and that he enjoys a “healthy” rivalry with the Argentine great.

However, Portuguese star Ronaldo, whose influence at Real Madrid mirrored that of Messi at Barcelona before he left for Juventus, admitted that the pair have never socialised together.

“I really admire the career he has had and from his side, he has already talked of the disappointment when I left Spain because it was a rivalry that he appreciated,” Ronaldo said. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

“It’s a good rivalry but it’s not unique – Michael Jordan had rivalries in basketball, there was Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in Formula 1. The thing they all had in common is that they were healthy rivalries.”

Continue reading “Challenging Messi made me a better player – Ronaldo”

Ajax move closer to UCL group stage with a goalless draw in Cyprus

Ajax finished with 10 men on Tuesday but moved closer to the Champions League group stage with a 0-0 draw away to Apoel in Nicosia in a playoff round first-leg match.

The game was goalless but packed with incident.

Ajax, a four-time winner of the competition and a semifinalist last season, dominated possession and created a string of promising situations.

But the lively home attack, with 22-year-old Jordanian Musa Suleiman showing some eye-catching form, created the most dangerous chances.

Ajax conceded a string of free kicks in the second half and Noussair Mazraoui paid the price when a flailing tackle on Uros Matic earned him a second yellow card with 10 minutes to play. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet 

Veteran striker Klass Jan Huntelaar, who came on with 12 minutes left, had a clear opportunity to win the game in added time, but the 36-year-old’s tame chip was cleared.

Continue reading “Ajax move closer to UCL group stage with a goalless draw in Cyprus”

When people question your honour, it hurts,’ – Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo told Portuguese television on Tuesday that “2018 was the most difficult year on a personal level.”

Ronaldo had to deal with rape allegations last year after former model Kathryn Mayorga filed a complaint in September alleging she was sexually assaulted by the footballer in 2009 in a Las Vegas hotel room.

The case was dismissed in a Nevada court in June, though the filing did not say if Ronaldo had agreed a settlement.

He denies the accusation, although he has reportedly acknowledged that he paid Mayorga in an earlier settlement.

Continue reading “When people question your honour, it hurts,’ – Ronaldo”

Sarri set deliver another Serie A title Juve with new style

Juventus begin their Serie A campaign this weekend under new coach Maurizio Sarri as the multiple Italian champions gamble on the veteran delivering another style of Serie A title.

The Turin giants start their quest for a ninth consecutive title in Parma on Saturday but could be without Sarri on the bench after the 60-year-old was diagnosed with pneumonia on Monday.

Sarri returns to Italy after one turbulent season in the Premier League with Chelsea, having previously coached his hometown team Napoli for three seasons.

Chain-smoking Sarri’s appointment, in place of the clean cut Massimiliano Allegri who had delivered the last five of their Serie A titles, is a break in tradition for Juventus.

But after also ditching their iconic black and white striped jersey last season, the club are looking for a change in direction. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet 24/7

Despite their success Juventus have often been criticised for their boring defensive style of play.

Club bosses want a more attractive eye-catching style of football in an attempt to increase their fan base outside of Italy.

Continue reading “Sarri set deliver another Serie A title Juve with new style”

Premier League Match Preview: Wolves vs Manchester United

Wolves drew their opening league game of the season 0-0 with Leicester, while Manchester United thumped Chelsea 4-0.

Wolves were a revelation in the Premier League last season and took more points off the top-six than any other side outside the elite clubs.
Wolves were unbeaten in three matches against United last season and beat them twice in that time.

Fatigue could prove a slight issue for Wolves after playing in the Europa League on Thursday but they should more than fancy their chances of causing United problems on Monday tonight.

Team News

Wolves- Wolves were involved in Europa League action on Thursday but expect a much-changed team here to the side that faced Pyunik in midweek despite some impressive performances.

Nuno’s side started their Premier League campaign with a 0-0 draw with Leicester and are expected to go with much of the same side here. Bet Now on NaijaBet

Summer arrivals like Patrick Cutrone and Jesus Vallejo will not be rushed in the starting XI, meaning both will likely have to settle for a place on the bench on Monday night. Continue reading “Premier League Match Preview: Wolves vs Manchester United”

Coutinho join Bayern Munich from Barcelona on loan

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have signed Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho on loan for the season, the two clubs confirmed on Monday.

Bayern will pay a loan fee of 8.5 million euros and pay his wages. They have the option of making the deal permanent for a fee of 120 million euros.

Coutinho, who joined Barcelona in January last year for approximately 142 million pounds, was the third most expensive transfer in history but he failed to hit the same heights at the Camp Nou as he did with Liverpool.

“FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich have reached an agreement for the loan of the player Philippe Coutinho to the German club for the 2019-20 season,” Barcelona said in a statement. Various Live Matches / Virtual betting options are available on NaijaBet

“Barcelona would like to publicly thank Philippe Coutinho for his commitment and dedication and wishes him all the best in this new stage of his career.”

Continue reading “Coutinho join Bayern Munich from Barcelona on loan”

Dani Alves scores the winner on his returns to Brazil debut

Brazil veteran Dani Alves scored the winning goal on his debut for Sao Paulo on Sunday, weeks after signing a three-year deal with the club.

Alves, 36, found the back of the net in the 40th minute to score the only goal of the game against Ceara.

Alves and Spanish international Juanfran, 34, are the stars for Sao Paulo, who snapped up both players after their contracts with European clubs expired.

Alves’ return to Brazil after 17 years playing for top clubs in Europe has had a big impact on his home country. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet

The right-back played for Sevilla before going on to play for Barcelona, Juventus and PSG, collecting nine national league titles along the way – six in Spain, one in Italy and two in France. Continue reading “Dani Alves scores the winner on his returns to Brazil debut”

Bundesliga’s Champion Bayern host Hertha begins in 2018/19 Season opener

In keeping with tradition, the reigning Bundesliga champions host the curtain-raiser as FC Bayern München welcome Hertha Berlin to the Allianz Arena on Friday.

Coach Niko Kovac will be confident that Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry can plug the gaps left by Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben out wide, while Robert Lewandowski remains the focal point of the record champions’ attack as he targets a third straight top scorer’s cannon.

Ivan Perisic will be unable to make his Bayern debut due to suspension carrying over from Serie A last season. Hertha boast a solid recent record against Bayern and beat them at home last season, and first games for a head coach don’t get much bigger than this this for the visitors’ new coach Ante Covic.

Borussia Dortmund came mighty close to unseating Bayern last season and claiming a first Bundesliga crown since 2012, and Lucien Favre has declared that they are all in for the title in 2019-20. Predict, Stake and Win Big on NaijaBet

The club have made some tasty signings – Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard and Nico Schulz – while Mats Hummels is back from Bayern and Paco Alcacer’s move has been made permanent.

Continue reading “Bundesliga’s Champion Bayern host Hertha begins in 2018/19 Season opener”

Laliga Match Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona

Athletic Club have endured a mixed pre-season, ending a four-game winless run with a 2-1 victory over Mirandes in their last friendly before the start of the 2019/20 LaLiga campaign.

Athletic Club are unbeaten in their last 14 home games in the Spanish top-flight, a key reason why Gaizka Garitano’s take-over at the helm proved to be such a success last season.

Barcelona have picked up some momentum with four consecutive wins at the end of their pre-season preparations. After winning consecutive league titles, Barcelona will have their eyes on number four.

Team News

Athletic Bilbao- Gaizka Garitano is not expected to make any alterations to his usual style or system despite facing the reigning league champions on the opening day. Start forecasting your Weekend games Now

Inigo Cordoba and Inigo Martinez both have knocks, but should feature from the start at San Mames. Unai Nunez could deputise alongside Yeray at centre-back if required. Continue reading “Laliga Match Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona”

Dortmund ready to break Bayern’s Bundesliga stranglehold

Champions Bayern Munich are preparing for their toughest Bundesliga season in years with title rivals Borussia Dortmund looking to avoid another mid-season slipup and break the Bavarians’ seven-year Bundesliga stranglehold.

Bayern, who last failed to win the title when Dortmund were champions in 2011-12, kick off the season against Hertha Berlin on Friday, having bolstered their defence with World Cup-winning French duo Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard.

Overall, though, they have been less successful than Dortmund in the transfer market, having failed to sign several players of their choice, including Manchester City‘s Leroy Sane.

The arrival this week of 30-year-old winger Ivan Perisic as a replacement for departed veterans Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben was seen by many as a desperate Plan B before the transfer window closes on September 2.

Coach Niko Kovac, who led Bayern to the domestic double in his first season, knows very well what it is like to be considered second rate. Various Betting Options are available on site on NaijaBet

His arrival last year as a relatively young coach after big names, including Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti, had led Bayern over the previous seasons was seen by many as a cheap option.

Continue reading “Dortmund ready to break Bayern’s Bundesliga stranglehold”

Lampard can only see positive Chelsea after Super Cup defeat

Coach Frank Lampard took great encouragement from Chelsea’s display in the Uefa Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday, despite the disappointment of losing on penalties to English rivals Liverpool.
“I think we can get better, there are things I still want us to improve on in terms of how we play slightly, but I am really happy with the performance,” said Lampard after Chelsea held the European champions to a 2-2 draw after extra time, only to lose 5-4 in the shootout.
Chelsea took the lead in Istanbul through Olivier Giroud, but Sadio Mane’s equaliser meant the match at the home of Besiktas went to extra time.
The Senegal star then put Liverpool in front in the 95th minute, only for a Jorginho penalty to restore parity again. Place bet on various today’s events on NaijaBet
The decisive moment came after nine successful spot-kicks when Tammy Abraham’s effort was saved by Adrian. Predict, Stake & Win Big
However, Chelsea were a match for Jurgen Klopp’s team for long spells and Lampard believed they were moving in the right direction after his first competitive game at the helm ended in a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United.

Continue reading “Lampard can only see positive Chelsea after Super Cup defeat”

Super Cup Match Preview: Liverpool vs Chelsea

Liverpool started their season with a 4-1 win over Norwich on Friday, though they looked unusually vulnerable at the back. Now they have also lost first-choice goalkeeper Alisson for up to two months through injury.

Frank Lampard started life as Chelsea manager with a 4-0 defeat away to Manchester United and life doesn’t get any easier for the 41-year-old in midweek. Chelsea have also had two days fewer recovery for this match.

Chelsea have only lost one of their last six encounters with Liverpool but it would be a shock if they lifted the European Super Cup on Wednesday night.

Team News

Liverpool- Alisson has been ruled for a number of weeks with a calf injury sustained in Liverpool’s 4-1 win over Norwich on Friday. Summer signing Adrian will deputise.

Sadio Mane was only deemed fit enough for a place on the bench in Liverpool’s Premier League curtain-raiser but may come into the starting XI in midweek. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet

With Saturday’s league match with Southampton in mind, Jurgen Klopp is expected to rotate in defence and midfield. Continue reading “Super Cup Match Preview: Liverpool vs Chelsea”

Ajax sinks PAOK 5-3 on aggregate to make UCL playoffs

Ajax reached the Champions League playoffs on Tuesday after seeing off PAOK Thessaloniki 3-2 in a tense encounter in Amsterdam that saw last year’s semifinalists through 5-3 on aggregate.

A Dusan Tadic penalty in each half and Nicolas Tagliafico’s late header were enough to give Erik ten Hag’s side a chance to make the group stage and relive the dream of last season, when they seduced Europe with a thrilling run to the last four.

Serb Tadic, who had already missed once from the spot for Ajax, slotting home the equaliser two minutes before the break after Diego Biseswar had silenced the Johan Cruijff Arena with a fine strike for PAOK midway through the half.

Tagliafico left the Greeks needing to score twice to go through with 11 minutes to go when he met Ziyech’s corner with a powerful header, and shortly after Tadic ensured a playoff clash with Apoel Nicosia before September’s group stage, despite Biseswar’s stoppage time strike. Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet

Apoel will face the Dutch giants after overturning a 2-1 deficit from the first leg to win 2-0 at Qarabag thanks to goals from Tomas De Vincenti and Urosh Matich.

Continue reading “Ajax sinks PAOK 5-3 on aggregate to make UCL playoffs”

Report: Barcelona officials head to France for Neymar move

Barcelona officials headed to France on Tuesday for talks with Paris Saint-Germain to seal a return to the Spanish club for Brazilian star Neymar, reports said.

The club’s director for football, retired French international Eric Abidal, and two other top club officials few to Paris to meet with their Paris Saint-Germain counterparts, Catalan radio Rac1 and Catalan television TV3 reported.

“The breakthrough is significant as PSG had up until now refused to meet with Barcelona emissaries but it does not mean that the deal is close,” Rac1 wrote on its website.

The deal which the Barcelona officials will propose could include other players such as Philippe Coutinho or Ivan Rakitic, it added. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet for today’s games

Paris Saint-Germain revealed on Saturday that Neymar transfer talks are “more advanced than before” after the Brazilian was dropped for the French champions’ opening Ligue 1 match.

Continue reading “Report: Barcelona officials head to France for Neymar move”

Premier League Match Preview: Manchester United vs Chelsea

Manchester United are unbeaten in their last six home league matches against Chelsea, though four of those games have ended in a draw.

Frank Lampard has already tasted victory at Old Trafford as a manager after his Derby side knocked United out of the League Cup last season.

Team News

Manchester United – Harry Maguire only signed for Manchester United at the start of the week but will make his full debut for the club on Sunday.

Fellow summer signings Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka will also make competitive debuts for the Red Devils when they host top-six rivals Chelsea this weekend.

Anthony Martial was deployed as the central striker in pre-season and the Frenchman is expected to start through the middle here, with Marcus Rashford on the left. Mason Greenwood should feature from the bench. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet

Eric Bailly is a long-term absentee with a back injury, while Alexis Sanchez won’t be considered for the rest of the month following his late return from the 2019 Copa America. Paul Pogba missed United’s final pre-season game with a back problem but it would be a surprise if he didn’t start here. Continue reading “Premier League Match Preview: Manchester United vs Chelsea”

Everton complete deadline-day Iwobi signing from Arsenal

Everton sealed the deadline-day signing of Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi on Thursday for a reported fee of £28 million, completing a busy transfer window for the club.

Nigeria international Iwobi penned a five-year deal which was only announced more than four hours after the transfer deadline.

The 23-year-old, capped 36 times by Nigeria, scored 15 goals in 149 appearances for Arsenal after making his first-team debut in 2015. New season alert, Start forecasting your Weekend games Now

“He is still young but already with a lot of top-level experience –- 100 Premier League matches, more in Europe and many international games,” said Everton manager Marco Silva.

Continue reading “Everton complete deadline-day Iwobi signing from Arsenal”

Lukaku in Milan ahead of probable move to SerieA (Inter)

Manchester United’s Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku arrived in Milan early on Thursday to undergo medical tests ahead of his likely transfer to Inter, Italian media reported.

“Lukaku is ours” chanted Inter Milan ecstatic fans who turned out at the airport to welcome him on his arrival during the night.

The 26-year-old has not played a single minute of United’s pre-season campaign as talk of a transfer to the Serie A intensified, with Inter Milan the hot favourites.

Italian newspapers have said the fee could be 65 million euros ($73 million), plus bonuses of around 10 to 13 million euros. Start for casting your new season games Now on NaijaBet

Sports newspaper Gazzetta Dello Sport said Lukaku travelled to Milan with his agent and friend Federico Pastorello and was to undergo stringent medical tests on Thursday.

Continue reading “Lukaku in Milan ahead of probable move to SerieA (Inter)”

Premier League Match Preview: Liverpool vs Norwich

Liverpool will be keen to quickly move on from their Community Shield penalty shootout defeat to Manchester City on Sunday and lay down an early marker for the coming campaign in Friday’s Premier League curtain raiser.

The Reds are unbeaten in their last 10 league meetings with Norwich, winning eight, so they’ll be confident of coming away with all three points.

The Canaries may have come up as champions, but their lack of movements in the transfer window will be a concern to supporters. They did at least draw on their most recent visit to Anfield, holding Liverpool to a 1-1 draw in 2015, but are huge underdogs for this clash.

This should be a routine home win for Liverpool to start the season.

Team News

Liverpool- Nathaniel Clyne is ruled out for the home side after sustaining a serious knee injury in pre-season, though he was unlikely to have started anyway. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on Naijabet

Sadio Mane has only recently returned to the club following his AFCON duties with Senegal, while James Milner has a minor muscle complaint and will be assessed ahead of Friday’s match. Continue reading “Premier League Match Preview: Liverpool vs Norwich”