Egypt vs Nigeria Match Preveiw

The Super Eagles  go into Today’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Cup qualifier with Egypt knowing only a win will reinvigorate their chances of making the finals.

Nigeria we held to a 1-1 draw by Egypt last Friday at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, a set back of sorts considering the Pharaohs were two points ahead and the Eagles needed the three points to leapfrog Egypt into first place.

Another twist popped up when 48 hours after Nigeria’s draw, Chad announced her withdrawal from the qualifying series.

That was a huge setback for Nigeria because with three games left, more points were up for grabs but as it is, the Eagles must win in Alexandria or worse case scenario avoid defeat and hope the Egyptians falter in the last Group G game

Consequent of Chad’s withdrawal, all games and goals scored from matches involving them have been cancelled which means Nigeria are still on two points from two games.

Egypt still lead the pack with four points from two matches and a win against Nigeria on Tuesday will see the seven time champions make a return to Africa’s number one football show piece.

 

Consequent of Chad’s withdrawal from the qualifiers, all points and goals scored against then are null and void. Naijabet.com

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Jurgen Klopp’s 5 big successes at Anfield

 

Since Klopp took the reins at Liverpool in October, his Premier League record reads: played 21, won nine, drawn five, lost seven. Goals scored in that time are a healthy 37, goals conceded a concerning 30.

At an average of 1.52 points a game, it is way off title form, with both Leicester and Spurs chalking up better than two points a game in that time.

The good times for Klopp have included a comeback win at Stamford Bridge, winning home and away versus Manchester City in the league, scoring six at Southampton and Aston Villa, five at Norwich and, of course, dumping Manchester United out of Europe.

The Europa League dream is still alive and an outside chance of top four remains, what has Klopp got right at Liverpool? Here are five factors keeping the feel-good flying:

1. The work-rate – If there’s one thing that hasn’t been lacking from Liverpool’s performances since Klopp took charge, it is hard work. From the off at White Hart Lane in his first game in charge versus Tottenham the drive to win the ball back as soon as it was lost was clearly evident.

Adam Lallana was a case in point that day. The England man almost collapsed into his manager’s arms with exhaustion when he left the pitch such was the effect of his exertions. We’re now watching a fitter set of players more prepared to roll their sleeves up for success.

And with a pre-season conditioning campaign to come, there is hope this will be even more evident come August. Hard work allied to quality will be tough to beat. Naijabet.com

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I’m always committed to give my best as long as I am at the club,” Wenger

Arsene Wenger has “no doubt” he will still be the manager of Arsenal next season despite pressure from the club’s supporters to end his 20-year stay with the north London side.

A run of just two wins from their last nine games in all competitions has seen the Gunners knocked out of the Champions League last-16 for a sixth successive season and exit the FA Cup in the quarterfinal, losing to Watford at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal’s dismal form has severely dented their hopes of ending their 12-year wait for the Premier League title, as they trail leaders Leicester City by 11 points with a game in hand.

“I have no doubt because I am committed. When I do something, I do it 100 per cent. I’m always committed to give my best as long as I am at the club… That’s all I focus on,” Wenger told British media when asked if he would be Arsenal manager next season.

“What is the most important is that I give my best every day… I don’t worry too much about all the rest, what people say. My future is my future. I don’t master that more than you.”

Wenger, who has a year left on his contract, will hope his side can pick up back-to-back league victories for the first time since mid-February when they host Watford on Saturday, Naijabet.com.

 

Argentina come from behind to sink Chile

Lionel Messi’s return sparked Argentina to a 2-1 win over Chile in Santiago on Thursday, breathing new life into their South American qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup.

Messi, who had missed the first four games last year with a knee injury, laid on the 24th-minute winner for defender Gabriel Mercado after Angel Di Maria had cancelled out Felipe Gutierrez’s opener for Chile.

Argentina, beaten finalists at the last World Cup in Brazil, moved up to fourth in the 10-team group on eight points from five games. The top four qualify automatically for Russia with the fifth-ranked team going into an intercontinental playoff.

“We had to win in whatever way we could, I was glad to be back to help this group of players who fight for every point to the death” Messi said.

Chile, who had beaten Argentina in the Copa America final in Santiago last July, took the lead after 10 minutes when Gutierrez took advantage of poor defending at a corner to head past goalkeeper Sergio Romero. Naijabet

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Nigeria v Egypt Match Preview

The Super Eagles trail group leaders the Pharaohs of Egypt by two points which make the game more important considering the Eagles cannot afford to drop more points.

The winners of the group pick the sole ticket for Gabon 2017 which adds more importance to the game.

Preparations for the game have not exactly been top-stacked considering Nigeria will be having a third coach and a third captain less than a year after the qualifiers started.

Nigeria and Egypt have had a long history between the two sides across all levels of football over the years. Naijabet.com

The first time the two sides met at full international level was in January 1960 with Nigeria edging the Egyptians 2-1.

There has been 16 other matches since then with Nigeria winning six times, losing five and drawing five in a 56-year period.

Egypt, like Nigeria, missed the last edition and will try to make up for lost time.

Group G results so far Continue reading “Nigeria v Egypt Match Preview”

Paul Pogba “highly likely” to stay with Juventus

Paul Pogba will reject big-money moves and stay with Juventus this summer, according to the club’s director general Giuseppe Marotta.

The French international, 23, is wanted by Manchester City as Pep Guardiola plots his Etihad revolution, while Paris Saint-Germain are also keen to take him back to his homeland.

The former Manchester United youngster has been linked with an £80million move away from Turin, having already won three successive scudetto titles since his free transfer arrival in 2012. Naija and Bet

But with the Old Lady seemingly on the verge of winning another Serie A title this term, club chief Marotta has suggested that Pogba will remain at the Juventus Arena for another season at least.

“Pogba is a Juventus player and still has an ongoing contract with us,” Marotta said.

“Plus he has also told us about his intention to stay with us. All the conditions are there for him to continue with Juventus for the upcoming years.

“The Juventus jersey is something you honour right until the end. It is not a foregone conclusion yet that he will stay at Juventus, because nothing is ever guaranteed in football, but it is highly likely that he will stay put.”

Pogba’s contract runs until 2019.

Netherlands great Johan Cruyff dies at aged 68

Netherlands footballing great Johan Cruyff has died of cancer aged 68, his official website has announced.

Cruyff, who made his name as a forward with Ajax and Barcelona, won the Ballon d’Or three times.

He won three consecutive European Cups with Ajax and went on to manage Barcelona to their first European Cup win in 1992.

Cruyff helped his country reach the World Cup final in 1974, where they lost to West Germany.

In February, Cruyff said he felt he was “2-0 up in a match” against lung cancer and he was “sure I will end up winning”.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Cruyff had double heart bypass surgery in 1991.

Barcelona won four consecutive La Liga titles from 1990-91 to 1993-94 under his guidance. Naijabet.com

Musa Hand over Eagles Captain to Mikel

Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel, has been announced as the new skipper of super eagles on Thursday.

Mikel, who is the longest-serving member of the current squad having made his début in 2006 will now lead the team against Egypt in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on March 25.

The announcement was made at a press conference,Musa who was made captain by Sunday Oliseh after Vincent Enyeama’s retirement, relinquished the armband to the Chelsea midfielder.

Musa revealed that it is an anomaly for him to be captain of the team when Mikel, who is the most senior member of the squad, is still with the team.

The Chelsea midfielder promised he will be a good leader to the team and thanked his teammates for the opportunity. Naijabet.com

“I want to thank Musa and the team. It will be a new Super Eagles with a new approach,” he said after the announcement.

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South American qualifying campaign for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia

 

The South American qualifying campaign for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia is set to return to action following the hiatus at the end of last year.

Unbeaten leaders Ecuador, who have earned maximum points so far, will be intent on cementing their place at the summit, while Brazil and Uruguay go head-to-head in a classic encounter steeped in history, with both eager to stay near the top of the standings.

Chile and Argentina will meet again as they eye all three points to stay in touch with the front-runners.

Brazil-Uruguay

The hosts, buoyed by victory over Peru in their last qualifier, have their sights set on a win that would consolidate their place near the top of the table. Coach Dunga has put his faith in many of the players who began the qualifying campaign, such as talisman Neymar, as well as Dani Alves, Willian and David Luiz. Naijabet.com

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Belgium vs Portugal friendly match move to Portugal

Belgium’s friendly against Portugal next week has been moved from Brussels to the Portuguese city of Leiria after more than 30 people were killed in attacks in the Belgian capital.

The match was called off for security reasons before Portugal’s football association offered a alternate venue.

The Belgium team will train at the King Baudouin Stadium, where the match was originally to be staged, on Wednesday.

The game will be played next Tuesday (19:45 GMT), as initially scheduled.

Captain Vincent Kompany was “horrified and revolted” by the incidents.

“I wish for Brussels to act with dignity,” he wrote on Twitter. “We are all hurting, yet we must reject hate and its preachers. As hard as it may be.”

Next week’s match is the second Belgium friendly in succession that has not gone ahead as scheduled. Naija and bet

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Messi’s presence is calming, motivating and always necessary : Argentina coach

Argentina coach Gerardo Martino welcomed Lionel Messi’s return to the team and said he was mulling over which of his top two centre-forwards to pick for Today’s World Cup qualifier away to Chile.

Captain Messi was injured for Argentina’s first four qualifiers last year for the 2018 finals in Russia and the team suffered in his absence.

They took just five points from those games to sit outside the qualifying berths in sixth place in the South American group.

“Messi’s presence is calming, motivating and always necessary,” Martino told a news conference on Wednesday before leaving with his squad for Santiago.

He faces a difficult decision in who to pick out of Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain, both in fine club form, to lead the attack in the neighbours’ first meeting since Chile beat Argentina on penalties in last year’s Copa America final. Naija and bet

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Euro 2016’could be played behind closed doors without Spectators because of Terrorism

The EURO 2016 Tournament which is the biggest football tournament for European nations, will be held across 10 stadiums in 10 cities in France with the capacity of the smallest stadium being 33,000 while the largest being 81,000 (Stade de France) making it an easy target for terrorists attack.

UEFA bosses are considering closing stadiums from fans this summer in France as the world is still coming to terms from the shock of the Paris Terror attack in the Stade de France last year and most recently the Brussels airport attack that gulped 34 lives.

The tournament barely 3 months away, UEFA executive committee vice-president Giancarlo Abete has admitted the best option could be to play the matches behind closed doors. Naija and Bet

‘Euro 2016 is the kind of event we can’t delay or postpone,We can’t exclude the possibility of playing behind closed doors as we cannot exclude terrorism. – Abete

In a statement, UEFA said:

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Cristiano Ronaldo Might Join Ancellotti in Bayern Munich next Season

Former Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has spoken in understandably glowing terms of Cristiano Ronaldo, the man who helped him win La Decima for Los Blancos in 2014.

The pair enjoyed an excellent relationship throughout Ancelotti’s two-year tenure in the Spanish capital, during which Ronaldo registered a staggering 112 goals and 35 assists.

Indeed, the Portuguese forward is reported to have openly expressed his sadness at the Italian’s departure at the end of the 2014/15 campaign, and the latest comments from Pep Guardiola’s replacement at Bayern Munich have inevitably served to spark rumours that the two could be reunited in the summer in Bavaria.

“He [Ronaldo] is one of the best players ever, the best forward in the history of football,I have never coached a better player than him.”he said  Naijabet.com

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Nation Cup Qualifiers : Zambia VS Congo

Zambia and Congo-Brazzaville battle for top spot in Group E of the 2017 Africa Cup qualifiers when they meet on today at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

Both sides head into match-day-three unbeaten and tied on 4 points with Congo pipping second placed Zambia to top spot on goal difference.

The match is the first leg of a doubleheader that could just decide the direction in Group E.

Six points are up for grabs over the next five days starting on March 23 in Ndola and later on March 27 in Brazzaville.

That prospective six-point haul will give the beneficiary a massive advantage in the race to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup finals in Gabon heading into the penultimate round of games in June when they would need a draw then to book their flight to Libreville with a match to spare.

Zambia head into the first leg with just one loss against Congo from ten previous meetings and with four wins and a draw since losing 1-0 in November 1996 in a 1998 World Cup qualifying match away in Pointe Noire. Naijabet

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Luis Suarez : I am going to have the same attitude

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez said he will not change the way he plays, but will return to international football with ‘moderation’ when he makes an expected return on Friday from a nine-match ban for biting.

Suarez is set to face Brazil in a 2018 World Cup qualifier after sitting out nine competitive international fixtures for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the last World Cup in Brazil almost two years ago.

The Barcelona player has managed to keep out of trouble for his club since the incident but said he will not change his aggressive style that has helped to make him one of the world’s deadliest strikers. Naija and bet

“I am going to have the same attitude, I will still run, still pressure, still argue because no one is going to change the way I play,” he said.

“But with moderation, like I am doing now at Barcelona, being more intelligent about a lot of things, trying to take advantage of the situations life is putting in front of me…

“The only thing I want to do is play with the national side again and enjoy the warmth of the fans.”

Uruguay have enjoyed a good start to their qualifying campaign, winning three out of their four games to sit in second place in the 10-team table, behind Ecuador, the only side to win all of their games so far.

After facing Brazil, Uruguay return home to play Peru next Tuesday.

Leicester to face Barca, PSG in Champions Cup

Leicester City will play Barcelona, Celtic and Paris St Germain in this year’s International Champions Cup (ICC), the Premier League leaders said on Today.

 The pre-season tournament is organised by Relevant Sports whose chairman Charlie Stillitano met representatives of top European clubs this month to discuss changing the Champions League to ensure the elite are always in it and the likes of Leicester are not.

 

Leicester, one of five Premier League teams involved in the 2016 event, begin their campaign against Celtic on July 23 in Glasgow. They travel to Los Angeles to face Paris St Germain on July 30 before taking on Barcelona in Stockholm on Aug. Naijabet.com

“This is the best roster of teams in ICC history and having them start their 2016-2017 campaign playing against each other will be a treat for both fans and the players,” Stillitano said in a statement.

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Fifa open Investigation on 2006 German World Cup

Fifa’s ethics watchdog has started formal proceedings against six individuals, including soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer, over the awarding of hosting rights to Germany for the 2006 World Cup, global soccer’s governing body said.

Other individuals included former German soccer officials Wolfgang Niersbach, Helmut Sandrock, Theo Zwanziger, Horst Schmidt and Stefan Hans. Naijabet.com

“In the cases of Mr Beckenbauer, Dr Zwanziger, Mr Schmidt and Mr Hans, the investigatory chamber will investigate possible undue payments and contracts to gain an advantage in the 2006 Fifa World Cup host selection and the associated funding,” the investigatory chamber of Zurich-based Fifa’s ethics committee said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Beckenbauer denied any wrongdoing in an affair involving the 2006 World Cup in Germany and said he knew nothing of a multi-million payment to a disgraced former Fifa official in Qatar.

Iwobi remains committed to Nigeria

Alex Iwobi, has pledged his international future to Nigeria and he is ready to play against Egypt this Friday.

The teenager missed training on Tuesday morning fuelling rumours that he may be nursing second thoughts amid reports suggesting that the England FA is keen to lure him over following his appearances for them at under-16, 17 and 18 levels.

Iwobi only suffered from traveller’s flu and should be in good condition to join up with the squad in subsequent training sessions ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Egypt in Kaduna this Friday. Naijabet.com

 

The Arsenal man has also made the trip to Kaduna and sat next to Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel, throughout the journey to the Northern Nigerian city.

“Yes Alex Iwobi missed training,” But it was due to traveller’s diarrhea, and he was told to rest. So it shouldn’t be any reason to panic. As I speak Alex is with us. He ate lunch to show he’s fine. If he wanted to play for England, he would not have travelled down to Nigeria or be with us in the team bus now (headed to Kaduna) or even dressed in the green and white colours of Nigeria.” Super Eagles spokesman, Toyin Ibitoye,

 

Liverpool to faces Dortmund in Europa League Quarter Finals

Liverpool manager  has been handed a return to Borussia Dortmund, with the Reds facing the German side in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Klopp left Dortmund last summer after leading them to two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final.

Sevilla, trying to win the competition for the third successive season, face Athletic Bilbao in an all-Spanish tie.

La Liga rivals Villarreal meet Sparta Prague, whileBraga face Shakhtar Donetsk.

The quarter-finals will be played on 7 and 14 April.

Liverpool will travel to Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion in the first leg.

Klopp’s Liverpool playing the club at which he built his reputation is the tie most neutral fans were hoping to see at some stage of the Europa League.

But he said after Thursday’s 3-1 aggregate victory against Manchester United that he wanted to avoid them in the last eight.

“Dortmund – why would I want the world’s strongest team?” said Klopp, when asked whether he would like to face his former club in the next round.

“But if we go there, we try to win. We have to be prepared and hopefully we are. Naijabet.com

Manchester City to face PSG in the quarter-finals of Champions League

Manchester City will face French champions Paris St-Germain in their first Champions League quarter-final.

City, the only English club remaining in the competition, avoided incoming manager Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich and holders Barcelona, who have knocked them out in the past two seasons.

Barca face Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid, Bayern meet Benfica, while Real Madrid take on Wolfsburg.

The quarter-finals will take place on 5-6 April and 12-13 April.

PSG, who have won their Ligue title with two months to spare, will welcome City to the French capital in the first leg. Naijabet.com

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Uefa chargesManchester United and Liverpool after Old Trafford trouble

Manchester United and Liverpool have been charged by Uefa following crowd trouble during the Europa League last-16 second leg at Old Trafford.

Rival fans were seen fighting in the stands, seats were thrown and flares were lit at Thursday’s 1-1 draw, during which five men were arrested.

Both clubs have been charged with crowd disturbances and throwing of objects.

Liverpool, who won 3-1 on aggregate, have been charged with illicit chants and the setting off of fireworks.

The case will be heard by Uefa’s control, ethics and disciplinary body on 19 May, the day after the Europa League final in Basel. Naijabet.com

Greater Manchester Police superintendent Jim Liggett said the force was investigating a “handful of concerning incidents” after Thursday’s game.

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Bayern focus on Bundeslida after Juve win

Pep Guardiola will be hoping Bayern Munich suffer no Champions League hangover when they return to Bundesliga action at Cologne on Saturday on the back of their stunning victory against Juventus.

Bayern came from two goals down to beat Italian champions Juve 4-2 after extra time in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Wednesday and advance to the quarter-finals 6-4 on aggregate.

The Bavarians, who are in the last eight of Europe’s elite club competition for the fifth campaign running, have won all seven of their league fixtures immediately after European matches this season, often running up big scores in the process. naijabet

“Juventus is history, now our focus is on Cologne,” said Guardiola as he oversaw Bayern training on Thursday.

With eight games left, second-placed Borussia Dortmund are just five points behind the leaders and Guardiola went for the old cliche of “every game is a final now” with Bayern looking to become the first team to win four successive German titles.

Centre-backs Javi Martinez, Holger Badstuber and Jerome Boateng are all still sidelined for Bayern against a Cologne side on a high after beating Hanover 2-0 last weekend.

That was their first victory in five league games and their first clean sheet since November. Naijabet

Mesut Ozil says Arsenal have to fight and win the Premier League

Midfielder Mesut Ozil says Arsenal have a fight on their hands to overtake Leicester City at the top of the standings and win the Premier League after exiting two cup competitions in the space of four days.

Arsenal were beaten in the FA Cup by Watford last Sunday and lost 3-1 at Barcelona on Wednesday to exit the Champions League at the last-16 stage for the sixth season in a row.

Manager Arsene Wenger’s team trail Leicester by 11 points, having played a game less, and the Premier League represents their last hope of silverware this season.

“We have to concentrate now and give everything on the pitch. We have to fight,” Ozil.

“I know the teams playing us will fight to take the points against us, so the games will be tough. We have to work harder than before.”

Defender Laurent Koscielny spoke of the frustration and fragile confidence of a team that has failed to win a league game in their last three outings to go alongside their dispiriting losses to Barcelona and Watford.

“We haven’t been fighting like we did in the last six months because we lost a little confidence in ourselves and it is harder to win some games,” he said.

“We need to come back to our basics, be simple and then the confidence will come back.”Naija and bet

Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Athletic Bilbao cruised into the Europa League quarter-finals

Liverpool were protecting a two-goal lead from the first leg at Anfield but Anthony Martial’s 32nd-minute penalty offered United brief hope after he was fouled by Nathaniel Clyne.

Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata had missed clear opportunities for United but Liverpool were also a threat as David de Gea saved superbly from Coutinho while Daniel Sturridge hit the bar with a free-kick and Jordan Henderson missed an open goal.

The away goal Liverpool threatened, and which left United needing four on the night, came right on half-time when Coutinho beat Guillermo Varela with ease before lifting a near-post finish past De Gea.

It ended the game as a contest with United unable to rouse themselves again as Liverpool completed the formalities to win the first European meeting between the two clubs.

Borussia Dortmund cruised into the Europa League quarter finals Trailing 3-0 from the first leg, Spurs needed to score at least five times when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s swerving shot flew into the far corner. Naijabet.com

Continue reading “Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Athletic Bilbao cruised into the Europa League quarter-finals”

Jose Mourinho Agree that Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar can make a difference.

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has stated that Barcelona’s success comes firstly from their team ethic – and not their individual superstars.

“First of all it’s about individual players. Just to give you an example, Messi won the Champions League with three different managers.

“I think it’s easier to win with him, than against him. I am a football manager. I know that sometimes people think that the individual is more important than the team.

“But when I feel that it is time for me to take a permanent holiday—I still think that the team is more important than anything.

“But the obvious reality is that there are some players who can make a difference. Naijabet.com