Premier League Match Preview: Arsenal vs Manchester United

Arsenal lost 2-1 at home to Chelsea on Sunday after conceding twice in the last seven minutes. Mikel Arteta has failed to win his opening two matches in charge of Arsenal.

Manchester United recorded an impressive 2-0 win away to Burnley on Saturday. The Red Devils kept their first clean sheet in the league since September in the process.

United have won two of their last three matches away to Arsenal, though did lose 2-0 to the Gunners last time out at the Emirates. Nevertheless, they have the momentum heading into their New Year’s Day encounter.

Team News

Arsenal-Reiss Nelson has started Mikel Arteta’s first two league matches in charge of Arsenal, leaving club-record signing Nicolas Pepe on the bench.

Calum Chambers limped off against Chelsea with a knee injury and may play no part here. Shkodran Mustafi could get the nod if Sokratis does not recover from his own injury in time. Bet Now on NaijaBet

Arteta will hope to have Granit Xhaka available after the midfielder missed the defeat to Chelsea on Sunday through illness.

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38-year-old Ibrahimovic set for AC Milan presentation on January

Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be officially presented as an AC Milan player on January 3, the Italian club confirmed on Monday.

Ibrahimovic returns to the side on a six-month deal, promising to help rescue the struggling Serie A outfit’s season.

The 38-year-old will undergo his medical on Thursday, January 2 and will hold his first press conference the following day.

“AC Milan announces that Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s press conference is scheduled for Friday January 3rd at Casa Milan at 10 am local time,” they said in a statement.

The six-month deal is reported to be worth around €3.5 million plus bonuses, with the option of a further year. Start forecasting Premier League New Year Fixtures on

It will mark the Swede’s second stint with Milan, seven years after he left for Paris Saint-Germain.

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Guardiola believes VAR is a ‘big mess’ after Weekend controversies

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola declared the VAR video review system a “big mess” on Sunday after a weekend which saw a series of controversial decisions from the system.

VAR was introduced in the Premier League for the first time this season and there is no sign of the controversies dying down nor of fans warming to the use of the technology.

“Every weekend is a big mess. In other games, it was a big mess. Hopefully next season, it can do better,” said Guardiola after City’s 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Sunday.

It was one of several games which saw a goal overruled for the most marginal of offside calls, after VAR’s geometrical lines had been used to deliver a time-consuming verdict.

The Yorkshire side looked to have grabbed the lead through Lys Mousett in the 28th minute but the goal was ruled out after a VAR review found the slimmest of margins for offside. Place bet on Live Bet 24/7 on NaijaBet

Moments after the incident, both sets of supporters expressed their opposition to VAR in a loud, united chant, while United fans also adopted the ‘It’s not football any more’ anthem that has become a familiar refrain at various games.

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Premier League Match Preview: Arsenal vs Chelsea

Mikel Arteta’s first game in charge of Arsenal ended in a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth in which they went behind.

Chelsea are doing their best to chuck away Champions League football for next season. They have lost five of their last seven in the Premier League.

Chelsea haven’t kept a clean sheet in each of their last nine matches in all competitions. Arsenal, meanwhile, have kept just one in their last 16.

Team News

Arsenal –Calum Chambers is available again after serving a one-match ban. As Sokratis came off against Bournemouth with a knock, Chambers could slot straight into defence here.

Mesut Ozil recovered from injury to start Mikel Arteta’s first game in charge of Arsenal.

Nicolas Pepe and Matteo Guendouzi will hope to benefit from any rotation applied. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet for this weekend games

Gabriel Martinelli missed out on Boxing Day through injury and remains a doubt. Dani Ceballos and Hector Bellerin are also doubts for the Gunners.

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Paradou aim at victory against Enyimba

Paradou AC will face off with Enyimba in a Caf Confederation Cup group D match at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 7:00 pm GMT.

The Algerian side recorded its maiden defeat in the group stage when they were beaten 2-0 by Moroccan outfit Hassania Agadir at home earlier this month.

The defeat left Paradou placed fourth on the group D standings – two points behind second-placed Enyimba with four matches left.

Portuguese coach Francisco Chalo will be looking to guide Paradou to their first victory in this stage of the tournament when they take on their Nigerian visitors. Bet Now on NaijaBet

Meanwhile, Enyimba registered their first win in the group stage when they edged out Ivorian side San Pedro 1-0 at home earlier this month.

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AC Milan and Ibrahimovic set for reunion

Sweden star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has reached agreement to join AC Milan on an initial six-month contract, according to reports in Italy on Thursday.

Ibrahimovic has accepted Milan’s proposal and is ready to sign a deal to return to the former European giants within the next two days, Gazzetta Sports News in Italia reported.

Ibrahimovic will reportedly sign a six-month contract worth about three million euros with a renewal option for another year, linked to certain conditions such as goals and appearances.

The 38-year-old striker confirmed his departure from Los Angeles Galaxy last month following the club’s elimination from the Major League Soccer playoffs.

The Swede should be available to coach Stefano Pioli as early as December 30, the date of the resumption of training at Milanello. Place bet on Virtual Games 24/7 on NaijaBet

AC Milan are reeling after a 5-0 thrashing against Atalanta last weekend, their worst defeat in 21 years, and are struggling 11th in the Serie A table.

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Premier League Match Preview: Leicester vs Liverpool

Leicester suffered their first defeat since October on Saturday after slipping to a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City.

Liverpool will be full of confidence after returning to England as world champions. A win here would extend their lead at the top of the table to 13 points with a game in hand.

Leicester have only lost three games this season and one was to Liverpool. Both teams have scored in the last five meetings between the two sides.

Team News

Leicester-Despite losing 3-1 to Manchester City on Saturday, Brendan Rodgers is not expected to change his starting XI against Liverpool.

Harvey Barnes picked up a knock to his ankle against City and will need assessing closer to kick-off. Marc Albrighton and Demarai Gray are on standby to deputise. Get Christmas Bonus on NaijaBet

Rodgers has said he will rest Jamie Vardy over the Christmas period but it’s unlikely to happen on Boxing Day. Potentially in the game after, however.

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Arsenal players needs to be accountable for their Actions – Arteta

Arsenal have a squad that can be improved but the players must take up responsibility and be accountable for their actions on the pitch if they are to be a part of the club’s future plans, new manager Mikel Arteta said on Monday.

In his first news conference last week, Arteta had demanded “passion and energy” from the players and the Spaniard said he was satisfied with what he saw during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Everton.

Arteta, 37, will make his managerial debut when 11th-placed Arsenal travel to Bournemouth on Thursday.

“I think that we have a really good team with a lot to improve,” Arteta told reporters. “I need them all on board. All the meetings we’ve had is to get everyone on board and so far I’m very happy with the reaction.

“What we are going to transmit to the team is accountability to play for this football club. This is the basic… We are much more committed. The body language (in the Everton draw) was much better and they had much more passion, that is non-negotiable.” Place bet on Live / Virtual Games 24/7 on NaijaBet

Arteta confirmed interim boss Freddie Ljungberg, who took charge for six games following Unai Emery’s sacking, will stay on as a member of the coaching staff.

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Liverpool to build on title-winning momentum into 2020

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson hailed their “special” Club World Cup triumph and said that three titles in the calendar year had left them hungry for more success in 2020.

European champions Liverpool overcame Brazil’s Flamengo 1-0 in extra time on Saturday to capture their maiden Club World Cup crown at the Khalifa International stadium in Doha.

Jurgen Klopp’s side also lifted the Uefa Super Cup trophy this year and Robertson hoped the momentum could propel the Premier League leaders towards more silverware.

“That’s three for 2019. In the calendar year we have won the Champions League, Super Cup and now this. To win three in any calendar year is special – and these are big ones,” left back Robertson told reporters.

“The Champions League is absolutely massive. The Super Cup and the Club World Cup are massive. We’re really excited about it but we’ve got to take the momentum into 2020. Bet Now on NaijaBet

“Hopefully there are a couple more of these scenes of us lifting trophies above our head to come … it’s an incredible feeling to win it (Club World Cup) and it makes this week worthwhile.”

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Lazio sink Juventus in Saudi to Win Super Cup

Lazio won the Italian Super Cup for a fifth time on Sunday, defeating Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus 3-1 in a game played in the Saudi Arabia capital of Riyadh.

“We did something magical tonight,” said Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi.

Lazio, the only team to have defeated Juve in Serie A this season, were in front through Luis Alberto after 16 minutes.

Paulo Dybala levelled just before the break after a shot from Ronaldo was parried into his path by Lazio’s Albanian goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha.

Despite boasting the attacking talents of Ronaldo, Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, it was the Roman side who looked more likely the next to score.

Bosnian international Senad Lulic restored Lazio’s advantage in the 73rd minute with an impressive volley. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

Danilo Cataldi added a third in the fourth minute of stoppage time from a free kick after Juve’s Uruguayan midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur had been sent off.

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Premier League Match Preview: Tottenham vs Chelsea

In four matches, Tottenham have closed the gap between themselves and Chelsea from 10 points to three and Spurs can ensure they sit in the top four on Christmas Day with victory in Sunday’s late kick off.

Four wins from Spurs’ last five has propelled the north London side back into contention for a Champions League finish.

Conversely, a run of four defeats in their last five league matches has Chelsea looking nervously over their shoulder.

Back-to-back away league defeats hasn’t helped their cause in their quest to finish in the top four, while Spurs are unbeaten in their last six at home, winning four.

Mourinho will hope to mastermind a win over his former employers, and may do so on Sunday, leapfrogging the Blues into fourth in the process. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet for this Weekend Games

Team News

Tottenham- Jose Mourinho is without no fewer than five players for the welcome of Chelsea.

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Juve hail the flying Ronaldo Goal that lifted them to top SerieA

Juventus on Thursday applauded Cristiano Ronaldo after his incredible leap to score the winner against Sampdoria pushed the Italian champions top of Serie A.

Ronaldo, 34, defied his age and seemingly gravity on Wednesday when he met Alex Sandro’s looping cross with what the club called “no ordinary header”.

“As he rose up into the air, where he seemingly hung suspended for a split second of time, Ronaldo reached an impressive height of 2.56m (8 foot 4 inches) when his head connected to the ball,” Juventus said on its website.

“He jumped 71cms off the ground to nod in his 11th headed goal since joining Juventus.” Bet Now

The incredible goal just before halftime put Juve on 42 points, three ahead of Inter ahead of their match with struggling Genoa on Saturday.

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Premier League Match Preview: Manchester City vs Leicester City

Manchester City and Leicester are currently battling for second place in the Premier League. Leicester start the weekend in second and are four points clear of City.

City return to the Etihad for the first time since losing the Manchester derby. They have won their last three home matches against Leicester and five of the last six.

Leicester are unbeaten in their last 11 matches in all competitions but have drawn their last two. They even conceded a 2-0 lead at Everton in the cup in midweek before eliminating the Toffees from the League Cup on penalties.

Expect a thoroughly entertaining game on Saturday, with goals on the cards.

Team News

Manchester City-Sergio Aguero returned to training at the start of the week but was not risked in Wednesday’s League Cup quarter-final win over Oxford. It’s unclear whether he is fit enough to start or whether Gabriel Jesus will continue up front. Bet Now

Phil Foden has started Manchester City’s last three matches and will hope to continue in midfield with David Silva still nursing his way back to a full recovery.

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LaLiga action bill on the top and bottom before winter break

Movement at both at the top and bottom of the table is expected as Barcelona and Real Madrid return to action this weekend with some historic clashes among the final round of fixtures before LaLiga Santander takes its winter break.

Barcelona’s first game after Wednesday’s Clasico at the Camp Nou is back at home on Saturday afternoon, against D. Alaves. The Basques famously won on their visit to the Catalan capital in September 2016, but Barça have won all six of their meetings since, five times in LaLiga and once in the 2017 Copa del Rey final.

Real Madrid are in action on Sunday evening when they welcome Athletic Club to the Santiago Bernabeu in a game often known in Spain as El Viejo Clasico – ‘the ‘Old Clasico.’ Athletic’s draw at the Bernabeu two seasons ago is the only time that Los Blancos haven’t taken the three points from this fixture in the past 14 seasons.

The final LaLiga Santander weekend of 2019 starts Friday evening with SD Eibar at home to Granada CF; the Basque side have won all four of the most recent LaLiga Santander meetings between the teams.

Saturday’s programme begins with RCD Mallorca at home to Sevilla FC. Vicente Moreno’s islanders come into the game boosted by a valuable away point at RC Celta last weekend, while Julen Lopetegui’s Andalusians will want to bounce back after losing at home to Villarreal. Place bet on Live Event on 24/7 on Naijabet

That result should mean Villarreal CF’s Yellow Submarine will be buoyant ahead of Saturday afternoon’s welcoming of a Getafe CF team whose tremendous run of four straight victories has lifted them to fourth in the LaLiga Santander table.

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Lampard seeks to outwit his Boss as top 4 battle continues

Frank Lampard will lock horns with former boss Jose Mourinho in a Premier League London derby this weekend as second-placed Leicester seek to take advantage of Liverpool’s absence at Manchester City.

Elsewhere, out-of-form Arsenal travel to Everton and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer takes his Manchester United side to bottom club Watford.

League leaders Liverpool, who have a 10-point lead at the top of the table, are away at the Club World Cup in Qatar.

AFP Sport picks out some of the key talking points ahead of the weekend’s Premier League fixtures.


When Jose Mourinho took over as Tottenham boss last month, his side were 12 points behind Frank Lampard’s Chelsea and looked out of the running for the top four. Start for casting your Weekend Games Now on NaijaBet

But Spurs will leapfrog their London rivals into fourth place in the Premier League if they come out on top on Sunday in a match pitting the grizzled Portuguese veteran against one of his key players during their time together at Stamford Bridge.

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Liverpool reach agreement with Salzburg to sign Minamino on the 1st of January

Liverpool have reached an agreement with Salzburg for the transfer of Japan playmaker Takumi Minamino, the Premier League club said on Thursday.

Liverpool did not disclose the fee but British media have reported that his release clause was 7.25 million pounds ($9.30 million) and that the 24-year-old would officially join from the Austrian club on January 1.

“It has been a dream, my dream to become a Liverpool player. And I’m so excited that the moment has come true,” Minamino told Liverpool’s website in a statement

“To play in the Premier League was one of my targets. I was thinking if my career as a footballer progressed smoothly, someday I would be able to play in the Premier League.

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Mourinho’s Spurs have the momentum heading into Chelsea clash

Tottenham Hotspur have built up a head of steam since Jose Mourinho took over but they face a massive challenge on Sunday as they take on Chelsea with a place in the top four at stake, says striker Harry Kane.

Mourinho took over from Mauricio Pochettino last month with Tottenham struggling in 14th place, but four wins in five league matches under the Portuguese have lifted them to fifth, three points behind Chelsea.

“We have the momentum at the moment. But next weekend is the big one,” Kane told said.

“If we can win and push into the top four, we have fixtures over the Christmas period we feel we can definitely win.”

After Chelsea, Spurs host 13th-placed Brighton & Hove Albion on Boxing Day before a December 28 trip to Norwich City (19th) and a New Year’s Day meeting with Southampton (18th). Place bet on today games on NaijaBet

Kane hailed Mourinho’s impact but said the team cannot take their foot off the pedal having just edged past Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 on Sunday with a winner in added time.

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ElClasico Match Preview: Barcelona vs Real Madrid

Barcelona’s excellent winning run of form came to an end last time out as Real Sociedad were able to snatch a 2-2 draw at their expense at the newly renovated Anoeta.

The hosts are unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competitions and remain unbeaten at home all season.

Real Madrid are on a run of 11 games without defeat across all competitions

Team News

Barcelona-Jordi Alba should be available once again after injury to start at left-back for Barcelona.

Ivan Rakitic is expected to get another start in midfield after helping to stabilise the side recently. Bet Now on Naija and Bet

Sergi Roberto should get the nod ahead of Nelson Semedo at right-back for the hosts.

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Maguire believes Greenwood is a ‘special talent’ for Man Utd

Harry Maguire believes Manchester United are lucky to have “special talent” Mason Greenwood after the teenager scored his seventh goal of the season to rescue a point against Everton.

With the club celebrating reaching 4 000 consecutive matches featuring a youth product in their squad, the exciting 18-year-old came off the bench to seal a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

Greenwood has long been touted as a future United star and underlined his potential with a fine finish, fresh from hitting two goals in a man of-the-match display against AZ Alkmaar in Thursday’s Europa League encounter.

“It’s a great finish again,” said Maguire. “I think it’s pretty similar to his goal in midweek, to be honest. He’s a special talent, he’s a young boy, he’s working hard in training.

“He needs to keep his head down, not get carried away and I’m sure he’s going to have a big future for this club and we’re lucky to have him.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

Greenwood’s performance off the bench against Everton was one of few positives on a frustrating afternoon, with United failing to build on impressive Premier League wins against Tottenham and Manchester City.

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Zidane and Valverde to clash in Clasico battle

Zinedine Zidane and Ernesto Valverde might have been fearing for their jobs if they had lost a Clasico back in October but its postponement means that on Wednesday they can face each other feeling more secure.

Stalling in the autumn, Real Madrid and Barcelona have rolled through the gears in the lead-up to Christmas, meaning the winner of Wednesday’s crunch meeting at Camp Nou will move seven points clear of third place.

More importantly, in what increasingly looks like a two-pronged title chase, the winner will pull three ahead of the loser, with one round Liga matches left before the two-week winter break.

Yet even for the loser, providing defeat is not a humiliation, the consequences will not be so grave.

The gap in the table will be small and considering where both these teams were only a few weeks ago, when every week brought a new name linked with coaching jobs and every goal conceded planted another seed of doubt. Various betting options are available on site for Today’s games on NaijaBet

For Real Madrid, Jose Mourinho was out of work and in the public eye, his increasingly frequent media showings even appearing to irk the usually immoveable Zidane.

“Football forgets what you’ve done in the past,” said Zidane in October.

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UCL Champions Liverpool meet Atletico,Real to face Man City

Holders Liverpool will return to the scene of last season’s Champions League triumph after they were drawn against Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the competition on Monday and Manchester City face 13-time winners Real Madrid.

Jurgen Klopp’s side will travel to the Wanda Metropolitano, where Liverpool lifted the trophy in June, for the first leg of their tie against three-time runners-up Atletico.

“Madrid is the place where we only have fantastic memories, all of us, so that’s great, but this time we play Atletico there and it’s their home ground,” said Klopp.

“It’s a tough one, but if you go through all of the draws, there are pretty much four or five potential finals already in the last 16.”

Pep Guardiola’s City, who are trying to win a first Champions League crown, face a tough task against Real, the record winners of Europe’s top club prize, for a place in the quarterfinals.

The two clubs met in the 2015-16 semifinals, the furthest City have progressed in the tournament. That tie was won 1-0 on aggregate by Real.

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All you need to know about Monday’s UCL round of 16 draw

When is the draw for the first Champions League knockout stage? Who is involved? How does it work?

When is it?

The draw takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, on Monday 16 December. The live stream on Dstv Now will begin at 12:00 pm GMT +1.

Who is involved?

The draw features the eight group winners (seeded) and eight runners-up (unseeded):


Barcelona (ESP: Group F)

Bayern München (GER: Group B)

Juventus (ITA: Group D)

Leipzig (GER: Group G)

Liverpool (ENG, holders: Group E)

Manchester City (ENG: Group C)

Paris Saint-Germain (FRA: Group A)

Valencia (ESP: Group H)

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Premier League Match Preview: Arsenal vs Manchester City

Arsenal came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Standard Liege in midweek to qualify for the knockout round of the Champions League. Freddie Ljungberg has only won one of his first four matches in charge.

Manchester City bounced back from their derby defeat to Manchester United with a 4-1 win over Dinamo Zagreb in the midweek Champions League action. They haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last 10 matches in all competitions.

Arsenal have failed to score in their last three home matches with City but Guardiola’s side are currently very vulnerable at the back and that should at least give the Gunners some optimism this weekend.

Team News

Arsenal-Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are both sidelined for Arsenal, with the latter out for three months.

Granit Xhaka will return next week due to the concussion protocol. Matteo Guendouzi should start as a result. Start forecasting your Weekend Games Now on

Freddie Ljungberg will hope to have Nicolas Pepe available after the winger took some heavy hits on Monday.

Alexandre Lacazette may have to settle for another place on the bench, with Gabriel Martinelli set to start again.

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Real Madrid and Barcelona shift attention to Clasico

Barcelona and Real Madrid could be playing to be first in La Liga over the Christmas break on Wednesday but both are at risk of pre-Clasico defeats if their focus wavers this weekend.

There are few tougher fixtures in the league than Barca’s away at free-flowing fourth-placed Real Sociedad on Saturday or Madrid’s trip on Sunday to a revived Valencia, who have won three games on the bounce and beat Ajax in Amsterdam to win their group in the Champions League.

Already qualified in Europe, Barcelona and Real Madrid had the luxury of rotating key players in midweek but as the emphasis shifts towards their crunch meeting at Camp Nou, the danger is that they underestimate the tasks in front of them.

Both have hit their stride in recent weeks, pulling away from the chasing pack while leaving behind early-season bumps that had placed the futures of their coaches in doubt.

Barcelona have won 13 of their last 15 games and seven out of their last seven, a run that has coincided with the return to form and fitness of Lionel Messi, who has 14 goals and two hat-tricks in his last 11 matches. Various betting options are on for weekend games

Madrid, meanwhile, have won nine out of their last 12. If their own surge has been slightly less consistent than Barca’s in terms of results, their performances have been more convincing. In their last 10 games, they have scored 28 goals and conceded only five.

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