Already qualified Nigeria will be aiming to end their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign on a high with victory over Seychelles at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on Friday afternoon, Kick-off is at 4 pm.
The Super Eagles have already booked their spot at this year’s showpiece in Egypt, following a 1-1 draw away to South Africa in Johannesburg last year.
Nigeria lost their opening game of the qualifiers 2-0 at home to Bafana Bafana, but followed the result with three wins in succession. The sequence included back-to-back victories over Libya and a 3-0 win over Seychelles in Victoria.
This fired the Super Eagles to the top of Group E and they will remain in the position with victory over the Island nation this weekend. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Nigeria will be without the injured duo of Ola Aina and Samuel Kalu for the clash, but welcome back top-scorer Odion Ighalo who missed the clash in South Africa.
The Williams sisters have hoisted the Miami trophy 11 times between them and all those victories were celebrated at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne.
But this year the tournament has moved to the suburbs and Hard Rock Stadium is Osaka country with Naomi and Mari growing up three miles away and learning to play tennis almost in the shadow of the Hard Rock home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, who are part-owned by the Williams sisters.
Naomi will be joined in the draw by her 338th-ranked sibling who needed a wildcard to get a place in the tournament. Bet Now
“It is a bit weird that I have to give her advice and she is my older sister,” Naomi told reporters on Wednesday. “But she has been doing like newbie mistakes. Continue reading “Osaka sister act primed for Miami Open spotlight”
The former United striker has transformed the mood and results at Old Trafford, leading the club into the Champions League quarterfinals and lifting them into contention for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
When Solskjaer was given the role following the departure of Jose Mourinho in December it was widely assumed he was merely keeping the seat warm for a bigger managerial name but his success has led to a clamour for the appointment to be made fulltime and midfielder Pogba has now added his voice.
“Of course we want him to stay,” the France midfielder told Sky Sports. “The results have been great. I have a great relationship with him, he has a great relationship with the players. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet
“When a player is happy, he wants to keep being happy. Solskjaer deserves it. He knows the club, he knows everything about the club.
It’s a new dawn for Germany, with coach Joachim Low looking to use this tricky friendly as a means of finalising his tactical plan for what promises to be a challenging qualifying group, potentially utilising a 4-3-3 formation to take some focus off of a lack of depth in the central striking department.
Serbia have enviable attacking options but should they start, the ageing full-backs could be in for a long evening against the hosts rapid wide players.
This should be an entertaining affair with plenty of in-form players on either side, but the hosts should just have the edge.
It’s been a case of out with the old and in with the new for Joachim Low, who told Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller that they would no longer come into consideration, though the long-standing coach has reaffirmed that Manuel Neuer remains his first choice keeper, despite a disappointing season so far.
That said, Marc-Andre ter Stegen may well start this friendly, while Leipzig’s Lukas Klostermann, Hertha Berlin’s Niklas Stark and Werder Bremen’s Maximilian Eggestein are all hoping to make their debuts. Bet Now on NaijaBet.com
The likes of Leon Goretzka (minor injury) and Timo Werner (illness) may not be risked ahead of what already looks like a crucial qualifier against Netherlands at the weekend, though the latter is the only natural striker in the squad, and Serge Gnabry is out of Wednesday’s game through injury. Continue reading “International Friendly Match Preview: Germany vs Serbia”
England’s team spirit under manager Gareth Southgate has helped players from competing clubs to set aside their rivalries when they report for national duty, according to captain Harry Kane. affect
England begins their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign against Czech Republic on Friday at Wembley Stadium and visit Montenegro three days later, with several of Southgate’s players competing for trophies at club level.
Club rivalries have contributed to England’s failure to perform at major tournaments in the past, with former players Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard revealing how factions had formed when players reported for England duty.
“We’ve heard about things happening in the past – people sitting on different tables and teams being divided,” Tottenham Hotspur striker Kane told reporters. Start forecasting your Euro 2020 qualifications Matches Now
“We put that to one side and even with Liverpool and (Manchester) City boys when we are here it is 100 percent England. That has been part of our success.”
The 34-year-old Juventus forward was recalled by Portugal coach Fernando Santos for games at home to Ukraine and Serbia, having not played for his country since the 2018 World Cup.
Ronaldo was rested for the last six Portugal games while he settled at his new club following his departure from Real Madrid last July. Start forecasting your games Now
The reigning European champions, who are through to the Uefa Nations League final in June, kick off their Group B campaign in Lisbon on Friday against Ukraine before facing Serbia on March 25. Continue reading “Ronaldo returns to Portugal camp ahead of Euro 2020 qualifiers”
Loew, who arrived in Wolfsburg later than expected due to a dental operation this week, is hoping to bounce back from a painful 2018, in which Germany suffered an early World Cup exit and were relegated from the top tier of the Uefa Nations League.
The friendly against Serbia is a warm-up for Sunday’s prestigious opening Euro 2020 qualifier away to the Netherlands with the Germans hunting revenge after a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of the Oranje last October at the Amsterdam Arena.
Amid fears that German football is in decline, the 59-year-old Loew is under pressure to show that he can build a new era of success around a younger generation of players.
Yet he has also faced fierce criticism for his decision to strike veteran World Cup winners Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Mueller from the national team set-up, falling offside with their club Bayern Munich in the process. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
The controversial call has been seen as a gamble, which has heightened the pressure ahead of Wednesday’s game. Continue reading “Germany boss Loew ready to face Serbia with New Team”
Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo is facing disciplinary action for his celebration after one of the three goals he scored in last week’s 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Uefa said the Portuguese would face a hearing on Thursday for “improper conduct” during the last-16 second leg match, where Juventus completed a 3-2 aggregate win.
Ronaldo made a similar gesture to Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who celebrated his team’s opening goal in the first leg by turning to the crowd and putting his hands on his trousers. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Simeone was fined 20 000 euros ($22 708) for the incident but escaped a touchline ban for the return match. Juventus face Ajax Amsterdam in their quarterfinal.
Cristiano Ronaldo was rested and Juventus crashed to their first Serie A defeat of the season at Genoa on Sunday following their Champions League heroics, as Inter won a fiery Milan derby clash 3-2 to move into third ahead of city rivals AC Milan.
Ronaldo had fired Juventus into the European quarterfinals with a comeback victory over Atletico Madrid last Tuesday.
Without him the team slumped to a 2-0 defeat but still remain comfortably on track for an eighth consecutive league title.
Juventus’s lead was cut to 15 points by Napoli who got back winning, prevailing 4-2 against Udinese after goalkeeper David Ospina collapsed on the pitch after suffering a head injury.
The on-loan Arsenal goalkeeper was later given the all clear following a CT scan at a Naples hospital. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Juventus had won 24 of their 27 previous matches in Serie A this season with three draws, including a 1-1 stalemate against Genoa in Turin.
Rennes have only lost two of their last 13 matches in all competitions, though both of those defeats were away from home.
Rennes are unbeaten in their last five Europa League matches and have scored exactly three goals in each of their last three in the competition.
Arsenal have won five in a row at home and had to come from a losing position in the last round of the Europa League. Can the Gunners do it again on Thursday?
Arsenal- Alexandre Lacazette’s suspension has been reduced and he is now available to face Rennes on Thursday, having missed the first leg. Sokratis is suspended, however, after being sent off against Rennes last week.
Lucas Torreira is currently in the middle of a domestic ban and has a good chance to start here, with Unai Emery set to shuffle his pack slightly. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Henrikh Mkhitaryan missed the 2-0 win over former club Manchester United at the weekend through injury and remains a doubt here.
Mesut Ozil has surprisingly started Arsenal’s last two matches but could drop down to the bench on Thursday. Continue reading “Europa League Match Preview: Arsenal vs Rennes (Agg 1-3)”
Zinedine Zidane takes charge of his first game since making an astonishing return to Real Madrid on Saturday against Celta Vigo which is set to be a de facto audition for next season for many of the team’s underperforming players.
Having sacked Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari for a series of embarrassing results, Real have decided to turn again to the former midfield great who won an unprecedented three Champions League titles in a row before resigning last May.
But Zidane made it clear in his presentation that sweeping changes must be made for his second coming to be a success, meaning many in his squad will be playing for their futures against Celta and in the other 10 remaining league games.
With Real out of the Champions League and Copa del Rey and sitting third in La Liga, 12 points behind leaders Barcelona, the only purpose for the remainder of the season is for Zidane to assess which players he wants to keep as he plots the team’s comeback in the next campaign.
Veteran defender Marcelo and Wales forward Gareth Bale are the most high profile names whose futures look uncertain under Zidane, while Dani Ceballos, Marco Asensio and Toni Kroos all have points to prove to their returning coach. Bet Now
One player who could benefit from Zidane’s comeback is Isco, who was outcast from the team by Solari, repeatedly left out of the Argentine’s squad for games even when the team was suffering from an injury crisis, as they will be against Celta. Continue reading “Zidane begins second coming with Real this Weekend”
Chelsea hold all the cards from the first leg. Even with a rotated XI here they are expected to win again.
Vitaliy Buyalskiy is now banned for the Ukranian side after picking up a yellow card last Thursday.
Chelsea- Ross Barkley is one yellow card away from missing the next round of the Europa League and Maurizio Sarri may hold him back here. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
With a 3-0 lead from the first leg, Sarri will surely shuffle his pack on Thursday and hand rare starts to the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi. Continue reading “Europa League Match Preview: Dynamo Kyiv vs Chelsea (0-3)”
A Sadio Mane double and Virgil van Dijk’s towering header secured a 3-1 win on the night in Munich and on aggregate to secure Liverpool’s place in Friday’s quarterfinal draw alongside three other English sides.
“The second half (was) very, very mature. First half we should have played a bit more football,” said Klopp.
“It’s absolutely deserved that’s the main news I would say, because it’s so difficult to play away here at Bayern. They didn’t lose a lot of games (here).
“It’s a really big one, I’m so proud of the boys and how they did it.” Various Europa League Betting options on NaijaBet
Defeat may signal the end of an era for a Bayern side that has reached the semifinals in six of the past seven seasons, including when they beat Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund side to win the Champions League in 2012/13. Continue reading “Klopp hails maturing Liverpool after victory Bayern Munich”
Bayern will have been the happier of the two sides with the stalemate at Anfield last month but approach the second leg in worse shape than their visitors as far as injuries and suspensions are concerned.
The Bundesliga champions did record a thumping 6-0 win at the weekend and will be in confident mood, though Liverpool looked back on form in the attacking third themselves with a win over Burnley, so this promises to be an intriguing battle.
The Portuguese superstar added a late penalty to a pair of headers for a 3-0 win on the night and 3-2 on aggregate over Atletico Madrid to seal a place in the quarterfinals.
In 90 minutes the five-time Ballon d’Or winner demonstrated why Juventus splashed out 100 million euros ($117 million) last summer to bring the Real Madrid star to Italy, in addition to his annual salary of 31 million euros.
“That’s why Juventus bought me, to help them in games like this,” the 34-year-old Ronaldo said after the game. Continue reading “Juventus shines after Ronaldo’s Champions League hat-trick rescues”
Barcelona will be hoping their profligacy from the first leg doesn’t come back to haunt them when they welcome Lyon to Camp Nou on Wednesday night. The hosts mustered 25 shots in the 0-0 draw, but have scored in every home game this season.
Lyon will be buoyed by the first leg result, but away from home, they have failed to win in three. That being said, a score draw would see the French side progress to the next round, so if they can nick an early goal, then they’ll be confident of securing a quarter-final spot.
However, Barcelona should secure the result needed to progress.
Barcelona- Rafinha is out for the season for the home side, while Ousmane Dembele and Thomas Vermaelen will be assessed ahead of Barcelona’s welcome of Lyon.
Should Dembele fail to prove his fitness, Coutinho could be handed another chance to impress on the left. Bet Now
Arturo Vidal and Arthur are competing for a starting spot alongside Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets in midfield. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Barcelona vs Lyon (Agg 0-0)”
Liverpool have no intention of sacrificing Champions League progress to boost their chances of winning the Premier League title and will do their best to win both competitions this season, goalkeeper Alisson has said.
The Merseyside club, who face Bayern Munich in the Champions League later on Wednesday, are also in the race for the Premier League title, leading some pundits to suggest they should prioritise domestic glory over European success.
Alisson’s teammate Mohamed Salah said earlier this week that he was willing to put his own Champions League ambitions on the back-burner to help his team win the Premier League. Place bet on tonight’s Champions Leagues Games on NaijaBet
“Our goal is to win the league and everything we’re playing in, the Champions League as well,” Alisson told a news conference on Tuesday. “We can’t choose what we go for. Actually, we can choose, and we choose both.” Continue reading “Liverpool must fight for glory in all competitions – Alisson”
Juventus have a mountain to climb after a 2-0 defeat in the first leg but have dropped points in just three matches at home in all competitions this season and will be confident of turning the tables.
Atletico have not been strong on the road all season, winning just seven matches in all competitions, but their defensive record will mean that this is an incredibly tough task for the hosts.
The hosts really need to score in the first half to unnerve their visitors but Simeone’s side have enough know-how about them to see them through.
Juventus- Alex Sandro is suspended having picked up a third yellow card of the tournament in Madrid, while Blaise Matuidi is one caution away from missing any potential quarter-final first leg.
Leonardo Bonucci and Paulo Dybala were among those rested from kick-off at the weekend, while the likes of Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia De Sciglio, Matuidi, Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo played no part whatsoever against Udinese. Various Betting Options are available on NaijaBet
Joao Cancelo and Miralem Pjanic will also be well rested having been suspended at the weekend, while Juan Cuadrado, Sami Khedira and Douglas Costa are all sidelined. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Juventus vs Atletico Madrid”
Zinedine Zidane said he never had any doubts about returning to Real Madrid after he replaced the sacked Santiago Solari as coach on Monday.
“When the president called me the first thing I thought was: go,” Zidane said at a press conference at the Santiago Bernabeu. “I could not say no, I never had any doubts about going back.”
Zidane has been given a contract until June 2022, just nine months after he resigned at the end of last season, having led Madrid to an historic third consecutive Champions League triumph.
But Zidane coming back, with only 11 games left in La Liga and almost nothing to play for, is a surprise, particularly after he left on the incredible high of yet another European triumph.
“I left because a change was needed at the end of last season, for the good of everyone, after winning so much,” Zidane said.
“I returned because the president called me. I love him and I love this club, so here I am.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Zidane inherits a squad that has evolved even in the short time he has been away, with Cristiano Ronaldo gone and the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius Junior and Sergio Reguilon all enjoying greater prominence this season. Continue reading “I never had any doubts about going back to Real Madrid – Zidane”
Manchester City secured a late 3-2 win at Schalke in the first leg to put themselves in the driver’s seat to secure their spot in the next round of the Champions League. Having won their last nine, Pep Guardiola will demand his side maintain their focus to not lead their lead slip here.
Conversely, Schalke are struggling having failed to win their last six, losing five. On the road, they have won only one of their last nine matches, so it will take a monumental effort to secure their place in the next round of the Champions League.
Indeed, City should make light work of Schalke here.
Manchester City- Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho are both suspended for the home side and with John Stones a doubt, Vincent Kompany should deputise for the former alongside Aymeric Laporte at the heart of the defence.
Claudio Bravo is back in training, but isn’t expected to feature here, while Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero will be assessed, while the latter is one booking away from a ban. Bet Now
Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane weren’t part of the starting XI against Watford, but should feature from the off at the expense of Aguero and Riyad Mahrez. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Manchester City vs Schalke 04”
Manchester United’s Ashley Young has called for greater protection for players after his team’s 2-0 Premier League defeat at Arsenal was disrupted by a fan running on to the pitch and shoving his teammate Chris Smalling.
The incident was one of several involving rogue fans over the weekend, with pitch invasions occurring in the Scottish Premiership, the English Championship (second-tier) as well as the Premier League.
A fan confronted Rangers captain James Tavernier in their 1-1 draw with Hibernian in Scotland on Friday, while Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish was punched in the face by a fan during Sunday’s 1-0 win at derby rivals Birmingham City.
“That’s the third time a fan has managed to get on the pitch (this weekend),” Young told reporters. “What if they are carrying something? The players will be in danger. Bet Now on NaijaBet
“It’s definitely something the FA, the Premier League and Fifa have got to do something about. I don’t know if it’s extra stewarding or what but it’s a concern with the one earlier today and the one on Chrissy. Something has got to be done.” Continue reading “Young called for more protection for players after pitch invasion”
Three goals in two games and another couple ruled out by VAR mean Morata looks a player revived since his January loan move from Chelsea.
Yet there is reason to suspect the early surge at Atletico may be longer-lasting, with a return to Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday offering a reminder of how one of the game’s most enigmatic talents is, aged 26, still to deliver on his potential.
“Alvaro has fantastic assets that suit our game,” said Diego Simeone last month. “Hopefully he can continue the way he has started.” Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Strong in the air, hardly sluggish, good with his feet and, at his best, decisive in front of goal, Morata has still struggled to convince an impressive list of managers he is a striker to rely on. Continue reading “Atletico offers Morata fresh start after finding his feet”
Manchester United will be missing 10 first-team players in Paris and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to play his worst midfield three combinations.
Paris Saint-Germain- Edinson Cavani and Neymar continue to miss out for Paris Saint-Germain.
Thomas Tuchel may go with the same starting XI as the first leg, though Christopher Nkunku could replace Dani Alves on the right flank. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Julian Draxler, Thilo Kehrer, Marco Verratti and Juan Bernet are one booking away from missing their next Champions League game. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester United (Agg 2-0)”
The Argentine, whose side reached the Champions League quarterfinals with a 1-0 win at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, was sanctioned over the incident involving referee Mike Dean after last month’s 2-1 Premier League loss at Burnley.
“Mauricio Pochettino has been fined £10,000 and will serve a two-match touchline ban following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing,” said a statement from the FA.
“The Tottenham manager accepted an improper conduct charge from the FA, which resulted from his language and/or behaviour – both on the pitch and in or around the tunnel area – at the end of the game against Burnley on February 23.”
Pochettino, whose side have slipped out of the title picture after dropping eight points in their past three matches, apologised to Dean after the incident, saying he would accept the charge.