Uefa Europa League : Liverpool vs Borussia Dortmund Preview

The second leg of the ‘Jürgen Klopp derby’ starts all even, though an away goal in Dortmund may have left the manager’s current club Liverpool with a slender advantage.

The ‘Jürgen Klopp derby’ concludes at Anfield, with the manager’s current club Liverpool FC eager to finish off his old side Borussia Dortmund in the Uefa Europa League quarterfinals.

Divock Origi’s first-half strike gave Liverpool a priceless away goal in last week’s Europa League quarter-final first leg against the tournament favourites at Signal Iduna Park.

But the Reds manager has vowed to treat the second leg against in-form Dortmund at Anfield like a completely new game as Liverpool try and reach the last four of the competition.

Liverpool are unbeaten in seven European home matches – four wins (only one of them by a margin of more than one goal) and three 1-1 draws, which suggests a tense night in prospect against Dortmund.

Liverpool are the only club to make it from the start of the group stage to matchday 11 unbeaten, with four victories and seven draws – more than any other side in the 2015/16 tournament. Naija and Bet Continue reading “Uefa Europa League : Liverpool vs Borussia Dortmund Preview”

Tottenham reject Leicester City fan referee from officiating their game

The Premier League have replaced self-confessed Leicester City fan Kevin Friend with referee Neil Swarbrick for Tottenham Hotspurs’ clash with Stoke City, following an outcry on social media.

Spurs are second in the table, seven points behind leaders Leicester City ahead of the North London club’s visit to Stoke on Sunday.

Leicester will seal their maiden top-flight title if they win three of their next five games, while Spurs are chasing a first league title since 1961.

The Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) do not pick Friend, who lives in Leicester, to oversee Foxes’ games, but do not usually consider factors such as a referee officiating a game that could have implications for the club he supports.

“Kevin Friend, initially selected for the game, is from Leicester and has attended matches at Leicester City in a personal capacity,”.

“Given the context of this match, it was felt unnecessary to add extra scrutiny on the refereeing appointment.” Naijabet.com

Bayern reach fifth semifinal in a row,Barca crashed out of Champions League

Bayern Munich drew 2-2 at Benfica on Wednesday to reach the Champions League semifinals for the fifth consecutive season with a 3-2 aggregate victory and remain on track for a treble of titles.

Arturo Vidal’s 38th-minute goal cancelled out the hosts’ early lead through Raul Jimenez’s header.

Bayern added another goal through Thomas Mueller’s volley from a Javi Martinez header in the 53rd minute to knock out the Portuguese side who managed a late equaliser through Talisca.

Former European champions Benfica were vying for their first semifinal appearance in more than a quarter of a century but suffered their fourth elimination in their fourth European tie against Bayern.

Holders Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League after being stifled by a brilliantly well-organised Atletico Madrid and undone by two goals from Antoine Griezmann in a 2-0 quarterfinal, second leg defeat on Wednesday.

Griezmann headed home from Saul Niguez’s exquisite cross to give the home side a deserved lead in the 36th minute and provide them with a platform from which they comfortably contained their uncharacteristically limp opponents. Naija and Bet

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Chelsea will fight for trophies again next Season

Chelsea will be fighting on all fronts next season and will look to win their remaining Premier League games as a disappointing campaign for the champions nears its end, defender Cesar Azpilicueta has said.

Despite losing just once in their last 16 league games, Chelsea’s early season form under former manager Jose Mourinho, which saw them lose nine games and dwell dangerously close to relegation has cost them dearly.

The Blues, who have already exited both European and domestic tournaments, are 10th in the table with just six games left, and Azpilicueta felt a club of Chelsea’s stature should not be languishing in such a position. Naija and Bet

“We have Premier League games to win and our motivation is to finish as high up the table as possible because for Chelsea it’s not enough to be fighting in mid-table,” the Spain international told the club’s website.

“We haven’t won any trophies this season but we want to win as many games as we can and prepare to lift trophies again next season.

“I think we will improve and for Chelsea the only target is to win. For the big clubs, if you have one bad season where you don’t win trophies, you have to bounce back. We are in a big club here and we have to fight again for trophies next season.”

Chelsea host fourth-placed Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in the league on Saturday.

Menchester City are ready to face any team in semifinals – Aguero

Manchester City are ready to face the best players in Europe, striker Sergio Aguero said after a 3-2 aggregate Champions League quarterfinal victory over Paris St Germain booked their place in the next round.

Aguero missed a first-half penalty but Kevin De Bruyne’s 76th-minute strike saved the Argentine’s blushes as it ensured City beat PSG to qualify for the semifinals of Europe’s elite club competition for the first time.

City will be joined by 10-times European champions Real Madrid and with Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich and Benfica all vying for places in the semifinals, Aguero knows there is no easy route to win the Champions League.

“At this point you cannot choose. To win the Champions League you have to play against the best and we were up against one of those, a favourite,” Aguero said.

“This was our goal, to be among the four best teams in the Champions League and now we want to keep growing. The confidence is there, we are in semis and anything can happen.

“We will be at our maximum, depending on who we play against, but we will be going all out to win it.”

The draw for the semifinals will be held on Friday after which City, who are fourth in the Premier League, will turn their attention to Saturday’s trip to face 10th-placed Chelsea as they look to clinch the final Champions League spot. Naijabet.com

Champions League : Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona Preview

Atlético Madrid took the lead at the Camp Nou but two Luis Suárez goals have given Barcelona the edge as they travel to the second leg at the Vicente Calderón.

Atlético are looking to repeat their 2014 Uefa Champions League quarterfinal win against FC Barcelona when the teams meet for the second leg at the Vicente Calderón.

Diego Simeone’s side must come from behind, however, having gone down 2-1 at the Camp Nou despite taking the lead through Fernando Torres. Torres was sent off before halftime and two Luis Suárez goals gave holders Barcelona their seventh successive win against Atlético.


This is the third season running that Atlético have reached the Uefa Champions League quarterfinals – and they have faced Spanish opposition on each occasion.

Having got the better of Barcelona in 2014, Atlético lost out to neighbours Real Madrid CF in the last eight 12 months ago, Madrid’s Javier Hernández scoring the only goal of the tie with two minutes left of the second leg at the Santiago Bernábeu.

Madrid had also got the better of Atlético in the 2014 final, running out 4-1 winners after extra time in Lisbon.

Atlético have hosted Barcelona 109 times before in all competitions with a record of 50 home wins, 36 Barcelona victories and 23 draws.

The Rojiblancos are in the quarterfinals of the European Cup for the eighth time and are seeking a fifth place in the semifinals.


In the quarterfinals for a record ninth season in a row, Barcelona have won two and drawn two of their away games in this season’s competition. They were 2-0 victors at Arsenal FC in the round of 16 first leg, going on to win 5-1 overall. Naijabet

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Goal Specialist Ronald help Real Madrid Fight Back in Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo revelled in the glory of scoring a hat-trick to inspire a stunning Real Madrid comeback to reach the Champions League semifinals with a 3-2 aggregate victory over Wolfsburg.

Ronaldo struck twice in just over 60 seconds early on before sealing the comeback with a trademark free-kick 13 minutes from time for a 3-0 victory on the night.

“It had to be a magic night and it was. It was the perfect game in the end,” said Ronaldo.

“We had to be patient for an hour but it was the perfect night in the end.”

Ronaldo has now struck 46 goals in all competitions this season, meaning he has 45 or more in each of his last six seasons for Madrid.

“Goals are in my DNA and I want to keep scoring them for the team,” he added.

However, the three-time World Player of the Year had still received criticism earlier in the campaign for not performing in Real’s biggest games as Barcelona rival Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or to crown the world’s best player in January.

Yet, having also scored the winner in El Clasico against Barca just 10 days ago, Ronaldo was quick to turn on his critics.

“Considering this has been a bad season for me it has not been that bad.

“People can criticise me, but I just keep on going and the numbers are there for all to see.

“I am very happy and with a month left of the season I can get even better.” Naija and Bet

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Gianluigi Buffon welcomes Leicester City to Europe

Italy and Juventus goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon has welcomed Leicester City and his former manager Claudio Ranieri to the Champions League.

The Foxes secured their place in Europe’s top competition for the first time at the weekend and need three more wins to guarantee the Premier League title.

Leicester, who this time last season were fighting relegation from England’s top flight, are seven points ahead of second-placed Tottenham.

“Leicester is no more a fairy tale, now is reality. Welcome in Europe Mr Claudio Ranieri,” said Buffon, who was coached by his fellow countryman at Juventus from 2007-09.

The 64-year-old last managed in Italy in 2012, when he was sacked by Inter Milan, prior to that he resigned after a two-year spell with Roma and was also dismissed by Juventus. NaijaBet


Manchester City vs Paris Saint – Germain Champions League Match Preview

A 2-2 away draw has left Manchester City well placed to reach the semifinals for the first time, although Paris Saint-Germain have already won in England this season.

While Paris Saint-Germain are in a fourth successive Uefa Champions League quarterfinal, Manchester City are making their first appearance – and they hold a slight advantage in the tie.

The first leg at the Parc des Princes finished 2-2, Kevin De Bruyne giving the visitors the lead before Zlatan Ibrahimovic – who had earlier had a penalty saved by Joe Hart – and Adrien Rabiot put Paris in front. Fernandinho’s 72nd-minute equaliser, however, ensured Manuel Pellegrini’s side return to Manchester on level terms.

Previous Meetings

Paul Le Guen’s Paris earned a goalless draw against a Manchester City managed by Mark Hughes at the City of Manchester Stadium in the 2008/09 Uefa Cup group stage – their only previous meeting before the first leg and City’s only prior tie against a French side.


City finished first in Group A with Paris third, both sides progressing to the round of 32. Both eventually lost in the quarter-finals, City going down 4-3 on aggregate to Hamburger SV while Paris were beaten 3-0 over two legs against FC Dynamo Kyiv. Naija and Bet Continue reading “Manchester City vs Paris Saint – Germain Champions League Match Preview”

Champions League return leg,Can Real and Barca still qualify?

At a time when the established powerhouses of the continent are apparently keen to change the format of the Champions League, there is just a possibility that the semifinal order might be greatly shaken up this season.

The quarterfinal, second legs this Tuesday and Wednesday see Real Madrid up against it and both holders Barcelona and Bayern Munich defending narrow leads while one of Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain will break into the last four.

Bayern and Barcelona have each reached the semifinals at least in five of the last six seasons, while Real Madrid are targeting a sixth consecutive appearance in the last four.

However, Zinedine Zidane’s side must overcome a 2-0 first-leg deficit when they entertain German side Wolfsburg, who are halfway to a shock victory in their first ever quarter-final at this level.

There have been some famous Madrid wins in Europe after defeats in the first leg, but none in recent times, and Zidane knows the size of task facing his side.

“We know we are going to have an exciting game, a great game to play, but we also know the difficulty in overcoming a two-goal deficit,” said the Frenchman.

“We are capable of anything, we have been capable of doing this less well this season, but we are also capable of doing great things.”

Meanwhile, Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking fired a warning shot to his players, saying: “If it was the case that Real had underestimated us in the first leg, they definitely won’t do that again.” Naija and Bet

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Leicester City close in on title,Qualify for Champions League

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri played down his emotional response after the Foxes took their latest big step towards the English Premier League title.

Ranieri left the pitch in tears after Jamie Vardy’s second-half double sealed a hard-fought 2-0 win at relegation-threatened Sunderland on Sunday.

Leicester ended the day seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, with the 5,000/1 pre-season outsiders’ fairytale journey towards the title showing no sign of ending any time soon.

Now, if City win three of their five remaining league games they will be crowned champions of England for the first time in the Midlands club’s 132-year-history, regardless of what Spurs, or any of the chasing pack, do in the closing stages of the campaign.

“It’s difficult to express what I feel inside,” said Ranieri who, after his initially teary response, dedicated the Foxes’ fifth consecutive victory to Leicester’s 2,500 travelling fans at the Stadium of Light.

“I really want to thank our fans. Today, when we arrived at the stadium, it was like we’d moved Leicester to Sunderland,” the Italian added.

“For me I don’t think I showed any more or any less emotion today, but I’m just so happy with this victory against a very tough Sunderland side who made it hard for us.” Naijabet.com

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Cristiano Ronaldo break another La Liga record

Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed another record Lionel Messi doesn’t own in Real Madrid’s four goal thrashing of Eibar and made history yet again on Saturday.

In Real Madrid’s four goal thrashing of Eibar, Ronaldo notched his 30th goal of the season becoming the first player to tally 30 goals in six straight La Liga campaigns. The Portuguese star stands alone when it comes to prolific goal-scoring consistency in Spain. Even Lionel Messi’s best is four seasons of 30. Naija and Bet

 Ronaldo’s lowest scoring season in the league came in his first with Real Madrid. He only scored 26 times in La Liga but rippled the net on seven     more occasions in the UEFA Champions League.

Ronaldo has been dominant since obtaining the No. 7 shirt at Real Madrid. Over the course of six not-yet-completed seasons, Ronaldo has scored 229 goals. And although he may not possess the skills at 31 years old that he showcased at 26 years old, Ronaldo still has a knack for electrifying 80,000 Madridistas at once.

Federal High Court has invalidates NFF election that brought Pinnick into Glass House

A Federal High Court sitting in Jos,has nullified the election that brought Amaju Pinnick’s board into office of  Nigeria football federation close to two years into its tenure.

Justice Musa Kurya restored the reliefs of the plaintiffs, Senator Obinna Ogba and Yahaya Adama, on Friday after both men approached the court to re-list the case against the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

In October 2014, the same Federal High Court sitting before Justice Ambrose Allagoa had ruled against the election that brought the Pinnick board into the football federation saying “I have set aside all the proceedings and decisions of the Warri Extra Ordinary meeting of the 20th September and the Elective Congress of 30th September which were direct contravention of the orders of this court as granted on the 19th September.”

Days later in the same month of that year, the case was struck out following an out-of-court settlement in which former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan presided over in the face of a an impending Fifa suspension at that time. Naija and Bet 

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Manchester City can’t afford to relax but Improved their Game to overcome PSG

Manchester City have edged closer to a place in the Champions League semifinals but Jesus Navas has warned they can’t afford to relax when they return to Premier League action on Saturday.

City’s 2-2 draw at Paris St-Germain in the first leg of their quarter-final has made them favourites to progress to the last four following next Tuesday’s return meeting at Eastlands.

But before that, City face a visit from West Bromwich Albion as they look to make sure they are not reliant on winning the Champions League to guarantee playing in the competition again next season.

And City know they can’t afford any distractions as they look to secure a top-four finish – regardless of whether they go on to win Europe’s elite club competition for the first time.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are currently in fourth place, but only one point ahead of Manchester United and three in front of West Ham.

Their 4-0 win at Bournemouth last Saturday was only their second victory in seven league games and, remarkably, the 2014 champions have not won a home league fixture since mid-January. Naijabet.com

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Liverpool hold Dortmund, Liverpool secures vital draw in Europa League


Liverpool claimed an excellent 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal on Thursday as Jurgen Klopp made an emotional return to the Westfalenstadion.

The game marked Klopp’s first coming together with his former club since his departure last summer and subsequent appointment by Liverpool back in October.

He saw Divock Origi put the Premier League side in front in the 36th minute before Mats Hummels equalised for the hosts three minutes into the second half.

However, that away goal means Liverpool have the upper hand ahead of next Thursday’s second leg at Anfield and Klopp will be confident his side can progress to the last four after an encouraging display in Germany.

“Dortmund’s a pretty good side. Everybody could see that but we had our moments and we could have won the game, I’m pretty sure a lot of people thought we’d lose 2, 3, 4-0- we had them in some moments. Around our goal we were brilliant,” Klopp. Naija and Bet

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Europa League : Borussia Dortmund VS Liverpool Preview

Borussia Dortmund seem to have the wind in their sails in the Europa League as they welcome their former coach’s Liverpool FC side in what has been dubbed the ‘Jurgen Klopp derby’.

After the draw, Klopp said of meeting his old club: “I am really happy to introduce my new team to Dortmund. I am really happy to show the boys this wonderful stadium and a great city. It’s a story only football can write.”


Dortmund’s overall record in 21 competitive matches against English opposition is W11 D4 L6 (W6 D3 L1 in Dortmund – W4 D1 L5 in England). They eliminated Tottenham Hotspur FC with back-to-back victories in this season’s round of 16.

Liverpool’s record in 34 games against German sides is W16 D12 L6 (W12 D3 L0 at home – W2 D8 L5 in Germany – W2 D1 L1 on neutral territory). They landed their first European trophy by beating VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 1973 Uefa Cup final and overcame the same opponents in the 1977 European Champion Clubs’ Cup decider.

Dortmund have won all four of their Europa League fixtures since the start of the knockout phase, conceding just once in the process. They have won six of their seven European home matches this season, the lone defeat a 1-0 reverse at home to PAOK FC in their closing group stage game. Naijabet

Dortmund have won seven of their ten fixtures since the start of the group stage; one more than any other team in this season’s competition.

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Leicester need four wins to be crown ‘Premier League Champions’

When Leicester City faced Sunderland on the opening day of the season, even their most optimistic fans were expecting another testing struggle to avoid relegation.

As they prepare to visit Sam Allardyce’s side in the return fixture on Sunday, some of those supporters are now pre-emptively buying scarves emblazoned with the words ‘Premier League Champions’.

While many are no doubt steering clear to avoid tempting fate, four victories from the remaining six games of the season will hand Leicester a maiden top flight title and complete one of the most remarkable fairytales in English soccer history.

Leicester lead second place Tottenham Hotspur by seven points heading into Sunday’s game and need 12 more to put themselves out of sight.

For the Leicester side that plunged to the foot of the table last season, four wins in six games might have seemed like a daunting task.

Yet such has been the collective sense of calm that seems to encircle Claudio Ranieri’s side this year that few are now expecting a collapse in the home straight, 9ja sport bet predict.

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Real Madrid suffers shock defeat by Wolfsburg

Real Madrid suffered a shock 2-0 Champions League defeat at Wolfsburg in Wednesday’s quarterfinal, first-leg to leave them on the verge of a European exit.

Just five days after ending Barcelona’s 39-game unbeaten run with a 2-1 away win in El Clasico, Real were humbled as Wolfsburg ignored their struggling mid-table form in Germany’s top flight.

Real never recovered as first-half goals from Swiss defender Ricardo Rodriguez and Maximilian Arnold put the hosts 2-0 up at the Volkswagen Arena with 25 minutes gone.

“I’m not happy, above all with the first-half. This can happen If you don’t play with intensity from the start,” said Zidane.

“Despite everything I’m proud of the team, we have to think about resting well and think about the return because we have the chance to change this in the return leg.”

Real’s six-game winning streak was ended as Wolfsburg picked up their first win in four games since beating Gent in the last 16 of the tournament.

To give the result context, Wolfsburg needed a 93rd minute equaliser to seal a 1-1 draw with relegation-threatened Darmstadt on their last home league appearance.

There was no hint they would bother Real when they crashed 3-0 at Bayer Leverkusen last Friday in Germany’s top flight.

But having also beaten Manchester United 3-2 at home in the group stages, Wolfsburg now have the upper hand ahead of Tuesday’s return leg at the Bernabeu – But goal-scorer Arnold insists nothing has been decided yet. Naijabet.com

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Champions League Big Match:Paris Saint-Germain VS Manchester city Preview


Paris Saint-Germain are in a fourth successive Uefa Champions League quarterfinal, Manchester City FC are making their first appearance.

Laurent Blanc has dismissed talk of Paris Saint-Germain receiving a favourable draw against Manchester City, saying “their squad overall has much more quality than ours”.

Match Background

Paris have won their last four Uefa Champions League matches, including home and away 2-1 wins against Chelsea FC in the round of 16.

Paris are in the quarterfinals for the fourth year in a row, having lost to Barcelona in 2013 and 2015 and Chelsea in 2014.

Overall, their European Cup quarterfinal record is W1 L3. They beat Barcelona 3-2 on aggregate in 1994/95, subsequently losing to AC Milan in the semifinals.

The 3-1 home defeat by Barcelona in the 2014/15 quarterfinal first leg was Paris’ only home reverse in 38 games in European competition (25 wins, 12 draws) since Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC beat them in the 2006/07 Uefa Cup group stage. Naija and Bet

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Ronaldo hunts to score more goals in Champion League


Cristiano Ronaldo, the Champions League’s top scorer this season with 13 goals, can add to his tally and extend his record against German clubs in the knockout stages at Wolfsburg.

The 31-year-old is currently four short of matching his record in a Champions League season ahead of Wednesday’s quarterfinal, first leg, at the German league club with the return next Tuesday at the Bernabeu.

The Portuguese star is on a rich run against Bundesliga sides and has found the net in all of the last six knockout ties played against German clubs in the Champions League.

It started back in the 2011/12 semifinals when he bagged a brace against Bayern Munich as the Bavarian giants went on to suffer heartbreak in the final at home to Chelsea.

In the 2012/13 campaign, he netted against Borussia Dortmund as the German side reached the final at Wembley when they lost to Bayern.

But in the 2013/14 campaign, when Real achieved ‘La Decima’, he notched a total of seven goals across the home and away meetings with Schalke, Borussia and Bayern.

Then last season, he claimed three goals in the last-16 tie against Schalke in a 5-4 aggregate win, netting twice in the shock 4-3 defeat in Madrid having also scored when Real won 2-0 in Gelsenkirchen. Naijabet

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Suarez strike gives Barcelona edge against 10 Men Atletico Madrid


Luis Suarez  converted Barca’s relentless second-half pressure into a 2-1 lead as he struck twice in 12 minutes. Atletico were enraged as unlike Torres, Suarez escaped punishment for a kick out at Juanfran and an off-the-ball incident with Filipe Luis.

Fernando Torres raged that Atletico Madrid are not treated equally to Barcelona by referees after his early red card turned their Champions League quarterfinal, first leg around on Tuesday.

“They shouldn’t have been cards. If it had been the other way around then they wouldn’t have been given, With 11 (men) we would have won without any doubt.” Torres

The former Liverpool and Chelsea striker claimed Uefa have their priorities wrong after making both sides play in their away kits to avoid a colour clash.

“Uefa worry about making us change shirts, but they didn’t appoint a referee that is up to the level of the Champions League quarterfinals.”

Luis went even further by implying Uefa are scared of Barcelona not reaching the final.Naija and Bet

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Thiago Silva wants Zlatan Ibrahimovic to stay at PSG

Ibrahimovic’s contract at PSG is expiring this summer and has been linked with a move to the Premier League, but Silva wants his team-mate to stay.

“I’m not just saying this because I’m friends with him, but I can’t imagine PSG without Zlatan,” said Silva, who arrived at PSG from AC Milan alongside Ibrahimovic in 2012.

“Ibra is invaluable for our team, opponents struggle to get him under control. He’s simply too clever and his moves are very intelligent.

“Some argue that he’s getting old, I would rather say he’s experienced. If I were the club president I would extend his contract for one or even two years. He’s like no other, unique. Even at 34 he’s got a huge passion for football.”

Silva was also full of praise for his team-mate Angel Di Maria, who has impressed in his first season in France following his switch from Manchester United last summer.

“We’ve taken huge steps forward this season, we hold the ball better and have improved both technically and tactically,” said Silva. “Much of this is thanks to Di Maria’s transfer. He is strong in one to one situations, provokes the opposition and destablilises them. He’s a goal threat.” Naijabet.com

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Alex Iwobi sign a new deal with Arsenal,to earn £30,000 per week

Alex Iwobi has been handed a new long-term deal by Arsenal following his impressive performance in the past days.

The 19-year-old has agreed a new contract that will see him stay at the Emirates Stadium until 2021.

The new deal for the Nigerian international will see him earn three times his previous wages. Iwobi is now set to net £30,000 per week from the five-year contract.

The teenager has formed a seamless partnership with Arsenal senior players, and it was evident in the Barclays Premier League games at Everton and against Watford in which he combined well with Chilean forward, Alexis Sanchez. Naija and Bet

The youngster, who can play as a wideman or a midfielder, had only signed an improved deal last October worth around £10,000 a week until 2019.

Iwobi has made 15 appearances for the Gunners this season in all competitions. He has scored twice, in the Premier League, and helped with an assist in the FA Cup.


Barcalona vs Atletico Madrid Champion League Match Preview

Long-time opponents in Spanish football, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will transport their rivalry to the European stage for the second time in three seasons when they meet in the Uefa Champions League quarterfinals.

The teams’ sole previous European tie came at the same stage of the 2013/14 competition. Then, as now, the first leg was at the Camp Nou, where Neymar’s 71st-minute strike cancelled out Diego’s 56th-minute opener for Atletico.

Atletico are the only team to prevent Barça from reaching the semi-finals in the past eight seasons and one of only three clubs to have eliminated them in a Champions League quarter-final, along with Paris Saint-Germain in 1994/95 and Juventus in 2002/03.

Barça won both league meetings between the teams this season 2-1. Diego Godín and Filipe Luís were sent off in the game at the Camp Nou on 30 January. Koke opened the scoring for Atletico, but Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez turned the game in the Blaugrana’s favour.

Atletico clinched the 2014 Liga title at the Camp Nou on the final day of the season, Godín cancelling out an Alexis Sánchez strike to give the visitors their first championship since 1996. Naija and Bet

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Chelsea appoint new head coach Antonio Conte,to takeover from next Season

Italian Antonio Conte was named as Chelsea’s new head coach with a three-year contract, the outgoing Premier League champions announced on Monday.

Conte, 46, currently the head coach of Italy, will take up the appointment after the June 10-July 10 European Championship in France. He will replace interim manager Guus Hiddink, who is leaving the club at the end of the season.

Antonio Conte has signed a three-year contract worth £15m to become the newChelsea manager and will join the club after helming Italy’s Euro 2016 campaign.

“I am very excited about the prospect of working at Chelsea Football Club. I am proud to be the coach of the national team of my country and only a role as attractive as manager of Chelsea could follow that,” said Conte.

“I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and the day-to-day challenge of competing in the Premier League. Chelsea and English football are watched wherever you go, the fans are passionate and my ambition is to have more success to follow the victories I enjoyed in Italy.

“I am happy we have made the announcement now so everything is clear and we can end the speculation. I will continue to focus on my job with the Italian national team and will reserve speaking about Chelsea again until after the Euros.”Naijabet.com

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