Chelsea new manager clear of sporting fraud charges.

Italy coach and future Chelsea manager Antonio Conte on Monday welcomed the end of “a nightmare” after being acquitted of sporting fraud charges.

“Four years ago when they came to search my house at five o’clock in the morning it was the start of a nightmare period that seemed never to end,” Conte said in a statement on his Facebook page after the decision by a tribunal in Cremona.

“Today, finally, it’s the end of this horrible story.”

Prosecutor Roberto di Martino had requested a six-month suspended sentence and a fine of 8 000 euros ($9 063) for Conte, as well as similar sanctions for his former assistant at Siena, Angelo Alessio, following accusations they failed to report episodes of match-fixing while in charge at Serie B side Siena in 2011.

On Monday, the Cremona court acquitted Conte of the charges because of his “lack of involvement in the facts”, allowing the 46-year-old to lead Italy into this summer’s Euro 2016 before he takes over as Chelsea manager following the tournament.

Continue reading “Chelsea new manager clear of sporting fraud charges.”

Liverpool stand between Sevilla and Europa treble

Liverpool midfielder Emre Can believes the Reds’ legendary battling qualities can help end their 11-year wait for a continental trophy against treble-chasing Sevilla in Wednesday’s Europa League final.

In their first European final since defeat to AC Milan in the 2007 Champions League, Liverpool are bidding to scupper the Spanish side’s bid for an unprecedented third straight Europa League title at Basel’s St. Jakob-Park. Naijabet

It brings Liverpool’s breathtaking journey through the competition under new manager Jurgen Klopp to a thrilling climax, following dramatic wins over Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Villarreal in recent months.

After seeing his side sink Villarreal brilliantly to reach the final, Klopp declared: “To go to a final you need a little bit of luck in decisive moments, but most of the time you need outstanding performances.

“Now we are there, and it’s a great opportunity and we will take it.”

Continue reading “Liverpool stand between Sevilla and Europa treble”

Musa shine as CSKA Moscow beat FC Krasnodar

Super Eagles assistant captain, Ahmed Musa, scored on Monday to help Russian club, CSKA Moscow beat FC Krasnodar 2-0 and maintain a strong grip on top spot in the Premier League.

The forward netted in the 17th minute of the game decided at Arena Khimki.

He latched onto Roman Eremenko’s pass and finished with aplomb to give the ‘Army Men’ a 1-0 advantage. Naijabet

Eremenko was to complete the scoring, two minutes after the restart to seal maximum points.

Musa’s league goals for the season is now 13.

He has also scored once in the Russian Cup and once in the Uefa Champions League.

CSKA have now amassed 62 points from 29 matches.

Five reasons why Spanish clubs dominating Europe

Sevilla look to continue the reign of Spain in European competition when they face Liverpool in the Europa League final on Wednesday aiming to win the competition for a third consecutive season.

An all-Madrid Champions League final for the second time in three years between Real and Atletico Madrid on May 28 will ensure a Spanish winner of Europe’s premier club competition for a third straight year.

Indeed, until Villarreal’s defeat to Liverpool in the Europa League semis, Spanish clubs had won all 17 of their knockout ties against non-Spanish opposition this season.

Here, we look at five reasons for Spain’s prolonged domination of European competition.

1 – Top two raise the bar

Barcelona and Real Madrid’s sustained success is the easiest to understand. They are the two richest clubs in the world with the capacity to continually invest the world’s best players. Naija and Bet

Continue reading “Five reasons why Spanish clubs dominating Europe”

Yobo will be giving 100-gift to fans ahead of his Testimonial game

Former Super Eagles captain and defender, Joseph Yobo will be giving away hundreds of signed football items and tickets as part of preparations for his upcoming testimonial game.

The game will takes place at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt on Friday, May 27.

Yobo who played 100 games for Nigeria will give away signed shirts, boots, balls and tickets in the 10-day period leading up to the game.

“I know lot of people want to attend the game and I am grateful to everyone. This is a very important time for me and I feel that the fans should share in this too.

“The upcoming match marks my 100 games for Nigeria I want to give out 100 items each. So there will be 100 balls, 100 jerseys, 100 balls and 100 tickets for fans.

“We want to encourage everyone to be part of this so we will also run a competition for the kids who will walk the stars out to the pitch.

“Details will be available on our website and social media pages,”he said.

Yobo’s official social media handles are @jyobo234 on Twitter and Instagram and on Facebook, it is Official: Joseph Yobo.

Leicester boss named manager of the year

Claudio Ranieri was named the League Managers’ Association (LMA) manager of the year on Monday after leading 5 000-1 outsiders Leicester City to an improbable Premier League title.

The 64-year-old is only the second non-British or Irish manager to win the accolade after Frenchman Arsene Wenger won it with Arsenal in 2002 and 2004.

The award capped a day of celebration for the Italian as he joined the players in a victory parade on an open-top bus through the streets of Leicester in front of about 250 000 ecstatic fans. Naijabet.com

Under Ranieri’s guidance, Leicester won their first ever top flight title.

The Leicester boss had already picked up three manager of the month awards in the course of his side’s remarkable campaign, and was named Italian manager of the year in his homeland last month.

Thousand of fans turn out for Champions Leicester parade

Leicester City’s incredible Premier League fairytale reached a joyous crescendo as thousands of fans turned the city blue while revelling in the club’s title parade on Monday.

For two weeks since Claudio Ranieri’s side were crowned one of the most unlikely champions in English football history, the city of Leicester hasn’t stop celebrating and the party climaxed beneath sunny skies 24 hours after the Foxes finished their campaign with a draw at Chelsea.

After starting the season as 5 000-1 outsiders for the title, Leicester defied the odds in stunning fashion and being hailed by a crowd of over 100 000 was a fitting finale for Ranieri’s squad and the club’s Thai chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who soaked up the celebrations with his family.

“The city is here. It’s something special. I’m very glad,” Ranieri said.

“This is because the team played with their soul and their hearts. The people understood this.

“It’s unbelievable. I can only say thank you to the people.”

Fans began congregating hours before the scheduled 1700 GMT start of the parade as they packed streets along the route and massed at Victoria Park, where cheerleaders and a gospel choir provided the entertainment on a stage set up to welcome the players at the end of the parade. Naijabet

Continue reading “Thousand of fans turn out for Champions Leicester parade”

Swansea to prepare a good team for next season

Swansea City do not need to make wholesale changes to their squad in order to avoid being part of the relegation battle next campaign, manager Francesco Guidolin has said after Sunday’s draw against Manchester City at Liberty Stadium.

 

The Italian, who signed a new two-year deal on Wednesday after taking charge in January when the Welsh club were flirting with relegation, earlier revealed that chairman Huw Jenkins will have the final say on transfers.

Swansea prepare for their sixth successive season in the Premier League after they secured top-flight safety with a 12th placed finish.

“For this situation, to prepare a good team for next season, I’ll speak with my chairman. But we have a good team and I think we need something more, but not many changes in my opinion,” Guidolin told British media.

“I have my idea of what I would like to change but in front of you (the media) it’s difficult to say. My attitude is to keep private.” Naijabet

Guidolin also refused to rule out the possibility of bringing back striker Wilfried Bony from Manchester City during the summer transfer window, which begins on July 1.

“I don’t know him but I know his characteristics as a player. I like him. He’s a good player and I know he worked very well here. For this, people here like him,” the 60-year-old said.

Five best games in Premier league 2015-16 season

With another dramatic Premier League season at an end, we look back at the five best matches of the 2015-16 campaign:

Manchester City 1 Leicester City 3
Rarely can a goal from Sergio Aguero have been greeted with such apathy, but the sound of the Manchester City star’s irrelevant late strike barely being acknowledged by the chastened home support told the story of a defining day in the title race.

Leicester arrived at Eastlands in February regarded in some quarters as a novelty act, whose time at the top would soon be over once a superpower like City had finished with them.

But by the end of a bravura Leicester display, it was clear Claudio Ranieri’s side were more than capable of completing their fairytale title bid. Robert Huth met Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick to give the Foxes an early lead and Mahrez doubled the lead himself with a cool finish before German defender Huth sealed the points with another header to leave City stunned.

Norwich City 4 Liverpool 5
Arguably the most dramatic match of the season featured Liverpool’s inconsistent attack at its dynamic best and Norwich’s creaky defence at its very worst. Liverpool took the lead through Roberto Firmino before Norwich hit back with goals from Dieumerci Mbokani and Steven Naismith before half-time.

Wes Hoolahan’s penalty gave the hosts a 3-1 lead early in the second half. But back came Jurgen Klopp’s team and three goals in 20 minutes from Jordan Henderson, Firmino and James Milner made it 4-3 with 15 minutes to go. Naijabet.com

Continue reading “Five best games in Premier league 2015-16 season”

Barca celebrating La liga title, Stuttgart relegated

Luis Suarez notched his third hat-trick in five games as Barcelona won 3-0 at Granada to clinch their 24th La Liga title.

Suarez finished the season as La Liga’s top scorer with 40 goals, breaking Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s grip on the honour since 2009.

Barca ended with 91 points, one ahead of Real Madrid.

At the other end of the table, Sporting Gijon beat Villarreal 2-0 to prevail in a gripping three-way battle to avoid relegation as Getafe and Rayo Vallecano dropped into the second tier. They joined Levante, who had been relegated two weeks previously and finished bottom on 32 points.

ENGLAND

Manchester City secured fourth place in the Premier League and Arsenal leap-frogged their arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur to finish second on the final day of the season.

City drew 1-1 at Swansea City to earn the point they needed to book the last Champions League qualifying spot, Arsenal crushed Aston Villa 4-0 and Spurs were routed 5-1 at relegated Newcastle United. Naijabet

Champions Leicester City drew 1-1 at Chelsea to end the campaign 10 points clear at the summit with only three league defeats all season.

The game between Manchester United and Bournemouth was abandoned after a security alert at Old Trafford.

Continue reading “Barca celebrating La liga title, Stuttgart relegated”

Benitez’s might remains with relegated Newcastle

Rafael Benitez admits his ‘heart says yes’ to staying at Newcastle as he leans towards pledging his long-term future to the club despite their relegation from the Premier League.

Benitez held talks with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley after the 5-1 victory over Tottenham on Sunday that denied the visitors a second place finish on an emotional final day as St James’ Park bade farewell to the top-flight for at least 15 months.

Fans serenaded Benitez for the 90 minutes, urging him not to trigger the relegation clause in his three-year contract and to instead remain to lead the bid to seal an immediate return from the Championship next season.

The 56-year-old Spaniard spoke in glowing terms about the club afterwards, before holding face-to-face talks with sports retail billionaire Ashley, who watched from the directors’ box for the first time this year.

“The game was emotional,” Benitez said. “It’s not easy to leave a club like this, and I think my heart is saying yes. It was a great atmosphere and I could really feel it.

“I was open to talk before this and I’m even more open to talk now. I’m flattered and really pleased.

“I’ll talk, I’ll analyse and try to do the best for me and the best for Newcastle. If we go together it has to be the best for both of us.

“I expected a great atmosphere but this was amazing, so it’s even more positive but we still have to sit down.” Naijabet

Continue reading “Benitez’s might remains with relegated Newcastle”

England named squad for EURO 2016,Rashford made the list

Manchester United’s teenage forward Marcus Rashford was the one surprise in England manager Roy Hodgson’s provisional 26-man squad for the European Championship named on Monday.

Rashford, 18, made his United debut in February and ended the season with seven goals from 16 appearances, including two on his Premier League debut.

Hodgson selected five strikers in his provisional list which will be reduced to 23 before the tournament in France, with Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge the others.

“Marcus Rashford is one of the contenders,” Hodgson told a news conference.

“Competition is strong and he deserves to be selected for the main squad but I am pleased someone who has had an outstanding end to the season has a great future. He will have the chance to knock someone off their perch.” Naija and Bet

FULL SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Fraser Forster, Tom Heaton.

Continue reading “England named squad for EURO 2016,Rashford made the list”

Liverpool Manager focuses on Europa League final

Jurgen Klopp is ready to turn his full attention to Liverpool’s first European final for nine years after the Reds finished their Premier League campaign with a 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion.

Liverpool boss Klopp admitted his senior players were already thinking ahead to Wednesday’s Europa League final against holders Sevilla in Basel before Sunday’s domestic finale.

So Klopp made 11 changes at the Hawthorns, with most of the men likely to start the final left on Merseyside to rest while Liverpool’s understudies collected a point thanks to Jordon Ibe’s fine equaliser after Salomon Rondon’s opener.

“We made a few changes – 11,” smiled Klopp. “It absolutely made sense because it’s perfectly clear you cannot play here with 50 per cent concentration.

“I know about playing finals and it would have been quite difficult for the players. It was clear it was going to be quite intense.

“The young boys did really well and we played football.

“The problem would be if we came with other players and they were already with their mind on the next game. That would be absolutely normal, we cannot change this.” Naijabet.com

Continue reading “Liverpool Manager focuses on Europa League final”

Wenger is not happy despite second spot

Arsene Wenger admitted Arsenal endured a disappointing campaign despite securing the runners-up spot, behind champions Leicester, for the first time since 2005.

Arsenal’s 4-0 victory over Aston Villa combined with Tottenham’s disastrous 5-1 defeat at Newcastle on Sunday ensured Wenger’s side finished above their local rivals, who had seemed certain to take second place for several weeks.

The Gunners have now finished above Tottenham every year since 1995 and the significance of unexpectedly maintaining bragging rights over their hated neighbours was evident from the gleeful reaction of the home supporters.

But while Arsenal’s season ended on a high, Wenger admitted it was impossible to disguise the disappointment at not challenging Leicester more closely.

“We are not happy by being second but 18 other teams behind us would be happy to be in our position,” Wenger said. “But of course our target was to be first and for a while we believed we could do it.

“I knew our position at the end would depend on us getting through some difficult away games without damage, and on Leicester as well dropping some points. Naija and Bet“That was not only us, it was Tottenham as well who were in a better position than us for a long, long period, and Manchester City as well.

“I think we kept going when we had a period that was very difficult for us, we kept togetherness and we have now not lost for nine games and that mental strength in the dressing room got us through that period.”

Continue reading “Wenger is not happy despite second spot”

Pellegrini backs Pep Guardiola to be successful at City

Manuel Pellegrini might be unsure about his own future but he is certain Pep Guardiola will be successful when he takes over as Manchester City manager.

Pellegrini’s side ground out a 1-1 draw at Swansea City on Sunday to ensure they pipped neighbours Manchester United to the Premier League’s fourth and final Champions League qualifying berth.

Pellegrini’s parting gift means his successor will be able to look forward to competing in Europe’s elite club competition when Guardiola arrives at Eastlands during the close-season following his departure from Bayern Munich.

“I don’t like to talk about what will happen in the future but I am sure that Guardiola will be a very successful manager,” Pellegrini said.

“I have not spoken to Guardiola and I don’t think I have any need to do that. He knows perfectly well what is happening at this club because he has friends here.

“Guardiola will receive a club that deserves to be in the Champions League and I am sure it will continue to improve in the future.

“I don’t think he is especially lucky because in the last five seasons this team has always been in the Champions League and it was important this continued next season.” Naijabet

Continue reading “Pellegrini backs Pep Guardiola to be successful at City”

West Brom paused over Ighalo bid

English Premier League club, West Bromwich Albion, are mulling a move for the Nigerian striker, Odion Ighalo.

The 26-year-old has scored 17 goals in his first top-flight season for Watford.

He was on target as the Hornets lost 2-4 to Norwich City in a Premier League game at Carrow Road on Wednesday.

Ighalo is expected to cost less than £15 million.

Arsenal were interested in him during the last window but Ighalo has failed to replicate his electric form from the first half of the season and so the Gunners’ interest has now cooled. Naijabet

Watford have reportedly received a £10 million bid from an unnamed Qatari club, but Ighalo is keen to remain in the Premier League.

He turned down a £300,000-a-week deal in China last summer in order to stay in England, and instead signed a five-year deal at Watford.

While it may prove difficult to tempt Ighalo away from London, the striker is believed to be open to a move away from Vicarage Road to another top-flight club.

The West Bromwich Albion manager, Tony Pulis, has a track record of buying proven Premier League players and Ighalo’s current £30,000-a-week deal at Watford is within Albion’s wage budget.

Express and Star report that the WBA chairman, Jeremy Peace, met up with Pulis and technical director, Nick Hammond, at the training ground this week to go over the club’s summer plans.

The Baggies want to buy two new forwards in the window to replace Saido Berahino, who will probably be sold, and Victor Anichebe, whose contract will not be renewed.

Chelsea offer Terry a new one-year contract

Chelsea captain John Terry, who feared he had played his last game for the club, has been offered a new one-year contract, interim manager Guus Hiddink said on Friday.

Hiddink, who is preparing for his final Premier League match at home to champions Leicester City on Sunday, told a news conference Terry was considering the offer. Naijabet

The former England defender is out of contract at the end of the season and said earlier this year he expected to leave.

The 35-year-old made his debut for his only club in 1998 and has played more than 700 games for the west London side.

Arsene Wenger has not yet decided on his future

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has not yet decided on his future, with his contract due to expire at the end of next season, the Frenchman said on Friday.

He denied any knowledge of British media reports that he would be offered a new deal.

The Times said on Friday that the club’s American majority shareholder Stan Kroenke had prepared a new two-year deal.

“I don’t know where the information has come from, you can treat that as an invention,” Wenger told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s final Premier League game at home to relegated Aston Villa.

The experienced Wenger, 66, who joined the north London club in 1996 and has led them to a top-four finish in every full season, indicated he would at least see out the remaining year of his contract. Naijabet.com

“I am committed with integrity for as long as I am under contract,” he said. “I will see where I am personally and where the club stands.”

Continue reading “Arsene Wenger has not yet decided on his future”

Zidane dreaming of Madrid winning La liga title

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane believes his side can dream of pulling off an incredible comeback to usurp Barcelona and win La Liga on Saturday.

Madrid need to win a 12th consecutive La Liga game at Deportivo la Coruna and hope that Barca slip up away at Granada to deny their eternal rivals the title.

Zidane has fared remarkably well in his first senior managerial role after being promoted from coaching the club’s youth team in the third tier of Spanish football to replace the sacked Rafael Benitez in January.

Under the Frenchman’s tutelage, Madrid have fought back from a 12-point deficit in March to close to within a point of Barca heading into the final game, while also reaching the Champions League final, where they face Atletico Madrid later this month.

“That is the dream. I have been at this club for a long time as a player, then in many different roles and now finally as coach,” Zidane said on Friday. Naijabet.com

“The president has given me this opportunity to coach at this club and I want to do my upmost to ensure we win matches.

Continue reading “Zidane dreaming of Madrid winning La liga title”

Iheanacho wants new deal worth £150,000-a-week at city

Manchester City forward, Kelechi Iheanacho, wants reward for a stunning 2015/16 season in the shape of a new deal worth £150,000-a-week.

The striker’s advisers believe he has earned parity – at least – with teammate Raheem Sterling, on the basis that Iheanacho’s emergence has saved the Blues from having to spend big on a new young frontman this summer.

They also feel rising-star Iheanacho has proven himself superior to Wilfried Bony, who has flopped since his £28 million move to the Etihad from Swansea 17 months ago.

Sterling, who signed from Liverpool for a package totalling £49 million last summer, has netted 11 times in his first season with the Mancunian Blues while Bony, who earns £100,000-a-week plus a £20,000-per-game bonus, has managed only eight goals this season and a total of ten in all competitions since being signed in January last year. Naijabet 

Iheanacho currently earns £15,000-a-week but the www.mirror.co.uk reports that City will offer him an improved contract but want a wrangle over his representation resolved.

Continue reading “Iheanacho wants new deal worth £150,000-a-week at city”

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy named EPL Player of the Season

Leicester City’s England striker Jamie Vardy has been named Premier League Player of the Season after his pivotal role in the club’s remarkable title-winning campaign.

The East Midlands club, which announced the award in a tweet on Friday, defied the odds to lift their first top-flight crown having begun the season as 5 000-1 outsiders.

The prolific Vardy is also in the race for the golden boot awarded to the league’s top scorer, having netted 24 goals so far, one behind his international teammate Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur with one round of matches remaining on Sunday.

Leicester visit last season’s champions Chelsea, while Spurs travel to relegated Newcastle United,Predict on Naijabet.com

The 29-year-old’s Vardy’s phenomenal form this season led to him winning his first England cap and he is certain to be included on Monday in Roy Hodgson’s squad for next month’s European Championship in France.

Vardy beat Leicester teammates Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante, Kasper Schmeichel and Wes Morgan, as well as Spurs trio Kane, Dele Alli and Toby Alderweireld, Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and West Ham United’s Dimitri Payet for the Premier League award.

He was also voted Player of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association (FWA), an award he received at a dinner in London on Thursday attended by manager Claudio Ranieri.

Vardy was named in the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) team of the year but Leicester’s Algeria international winger Mahrez won the PFA Player of the Year award.

Barca eye sweet title victory in final day showdown

Barcelona have the upper hand in a final day showdown with Real Madrid for the Spanish title on Saturday as they know a victory at Granada will ensure them a 24th La Liga crown.

Madrid are a point behind and have to stretch their winning La Liga run to 12 games at Deportivo la Coruna and hope for a Barca slip up to land the title.

The battle between the two richest clubs in the world has come down to the final day thanks to Barca’s incredible slump of three consecutive league defeats in April, the first time in 13 years they had gone on such a run.

However, the world champions have bounced back in style with four straight victories by a combined 21-0 scoreline to take them to the brink of a sixth Spanish title in eight seasons.

“It is essential for us to keep a clean sheet because we know from middle to front we can make the difference,” Barca striker Luis Suarez said on Thursday.

“Mentally we have to be very strong and be aware of the fact that it is in our own hands.

“We have 93 or 94 minutes to win one match and we have already won a lot this season.”

Suarez has come up big when Barca most needed him with 11 goals in his last four games to get the Catalan giants back on track. Naijabet

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Borussia Dortmund new home kit “Pure Emotion”

Puma revealed the new Borussia Dortmund home kit for the 2016/17 season, inspired by the motto “Pure Emotion”. The passion shared by the players and fans is a feature of BVB that sets them apart from many in football, with every season kicking off a new emotional adventure.

The new home shirt aims to inspire courage and confidence on the pitch and terraces, to draw on the successes of the past and to look to the future.

In traditional yellow, the shirt has a fashionable eye-catching look through its dynamic black block stripe design. The contemporary feel is complemented by additional stripes in a dot pattern and a black, offset Puma formstrip on the shoulder. The modern round neck collar completes the look and the extended back ensures a better fit.

Additional details include the embroidered club emblem, the Puma Cat logo as well as the jersey sponsor displayed on the front. The traditional “Dortmund” lettering is emblazoned on the rear.

The BVB players will be well-equipped on the field a functional level – high-quality polyester material ensures exceptional comfort. Mesh inserts integrated on the sides, and the drycell technology developed by Puma reliably transport moisture outwards and guarantee optimum breathability.

BVB’s exciting winger Marco Reus said: “I think what Puma has developed is absolutely fantastic. I am a big fan of the design with the stripes. I have also talked to some of the boys from the team and they are all very happy with the jersey. We are looking forward to the new season and we will give everything we can.”

EURO 2016 : Lewandowski leads Poland squad

Poland coach Adam Nawalka on Thursday unveiled his provisional 28-man squad for Euro 2016 led by Robert Lewandowski, the top scorer with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Poland compete in their third straight European Championship in France from June 10 to July 10 where they are drawn in Group C alongside Germany, Ukraine and Northern Ireland. Naijabet.com

Nawalka rewarded players who proved themselves during qualifying where Poland scored 33 goals, finishing just behind Germany, who they beat for the first time 2-0 in Warsaw.

Nawalka will cut his squad to 23 on May 30.

Goalkeepers: Artur Boruc (Bournemouth/ENG), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City/ENG), Wojciech Szczesny (Roma/ITA), Przemyslaw Tyton (VfB Stuttgart/GER)

Defenders: Thiago Cionek (Palermo/ITA), Pawel Dawidowicz (Benfica/POR), Kamil Glik (Torino/ITA), Artur Jedrzejczyk, Michal Pazdan (both Legia Warsaw), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Bartosz Salamon (Cagliari/ITA), Jakub Wawrzyniak (Lechia Gdansk)

Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (Fiorentina/ITA), Kamil Grosicki (Rennes/FRA), Tomasz Jodlowiec (Legia Warsaw), Bartosz Kapustka (Cracovia), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Sevilla/ESP), Karol Linetty (Lech Poznan), Krzysztof Maczynski (Wisla Krakow), Slawomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Maciej Rybus (Terek Grozny/RUS), Filip Starzynski (Zaglebie Lubin), Pawel Wszolek (Hellas Verona/ITA), Piotr Zielinski (Empoli/ITA)

Strikers: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/GER), Arkadiusz Milik (Ajax/NED), Artur Sobiech (Hanover/GER), Mariusz Stepinski (Ruch Chorzow)

Lack of energy and injuries cost Arsenal title – Cech

Overall fatigue and long-term injuries to key players combined to end Arsenal’s pursuit for the Premier League title this season, goalkeeper Petr Cech has said.

Arsenal, who won their last league title in 2004, made a strong start to the season and were top of the division at the end of December, but lost out to champions Leicester City and are currently third in the table behind Tottenham Hotspur going into the last match of the campaign.

“It was a very strange season in a way,” Cech, who signed from Chelsea in the close season, told the club website (www.arsenal.com).

“If you look at the number of injuries we had, it is not a big number compared to previous years or compared to other clubs. It’s not a big difference but unfortunately for us, every time we’ve had an injury, it’s been long-term.” Naijabet.com

Midfielders Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have all had long spells on the sidelines, while striker Danny Welbeck, who made his first appearance of the season in February, faces nine months out after suffering a second serious knee injury against Manchester City on Sunday.
Continue reading “Lack of energy and injuries cost Arsenal title – Cech”