Guardiola warn City to step up ahead of UCL task in February

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are sweeping all before them again in the Premier League but the Spanish coach acknowledged on Tuesday that they perhaps still have some way to go if they are to win the Champions League for the first time.

City had to come from behind twice to draw 2-2 at Olympique Lyonnais and often found themselves on the back foot against the only side to have defeated them this season, with the French club winning 2-1 in the first group F match in September.

The English champions still secured their progression to the last 16 for the seventh straight season but Guardiola conceded his team were finding it much tougher in Europe than back home.

“Today the Champions League showed me again that it’s a different competition,” he said. “The players are better. Here when you press they don’t lose the ball. The demand is so high. Bet Now on NaijaBet

“When people say it’s easy in the Champions League you cannot imagine how confused they are about that. We’ll be there again in February: one more year for City is good news.”

Continue reading “Guardiola warn City to step up ahead of UCL task in February”

UCL Match Preview: Juventus vs Valencia

Juventus suffered a shock home defeat to Manchester United in the Champions League last time out but are still on course to top Group H and will book their name in the next round if they beat Valencia on Tuesday.

With United due to play group minnows Young Boys in the group’s other match, Valencia really have to beat Juventus to remain in contention for a top-two finish.

Valencia, however, have only won three of their last nine Champions League away matches. They may have to settle for third in the group and Europa League knockout football next year.

Team News

Juventus- Alex Sandro will miss Juventus’ final Champions League group game if he is booked against Valencia on Tuesday. Bet Now

Juventus may opt to stick with a 4-4-2 formation they twice used against Manchester United, with Blaise Matuidi on the left wing and Mario Mandzukic dropping to the bench. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Juventus vs Valencia”

UCL Match Preview: Manchester United vs BSC Young Boys

Manchester United could only manage a 0-0 draw at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday, which led to Jose Mourinho questioning the heart of his players.

United have only won three of their nine home games in all competitions this season and have not won any of their last three Champions League home matches, failing to score in their last two.

United recorded a rare big win away to Young Boys in the reverse fixture earlier this season and will secure a place in the next round if they win on Tuesday and Valencia fail to beat Juventus in the group’s other game.

Young Boys are bottom of Group H with one point from four matches. They can technically still finish third but that would require beating United and Juventus, which is unlikely.

United have largely been abysmal this season but should try and use this match to get some confidence in front of goal. Anything other than a comfortable victory would heap further pressure on Mourinho. Place on today on Games on NaijaBet

Team News

Manchester United- Jose Mourinho will make wholesale changes from the side that played at the weekend after questioning the heart of his players. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Manchester United vs BSC Young Boys”

Newcastle revival continues with a 2-1 victory over Burnley

Newcastle United surged clear of the Premier League relegation zone after a Ben Mee own goal and Ciaran Clark’s header in the first half helped them to a 2-1 win at struggling Burnley on Monday.

Newcastle celebrated a third successive league victory after failing to win any of their opening 10 fixtures and moved up to 13th place on 12 points from 13 games.

The Magpies are four points clear of the relegation zone and three points ahead of 17th-placed Burnley, who stretched their winless league streak to six games.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez praised his team after a solid performance.

“We had an idea of how to play, we knew crosses would come from everywhere, we defended well, our effort and attitude was great,” the Spaniard said. Naija and Bet

“We suffered a bit at the end but we could have scored a third goal. Our defenders did well because the (Burnley) strikers are big and then they put another big lad up front.” Continue reading “Newcastle revival continues with a 2-1 victory over Burnley”

UCL Match Preview: Lyon vs Manchester City

Lyon will hope to do the double over Manchester City in the Champions League after their 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the year. They sit three points behind City in group F and will have been boosted by their 1-0 derby win over Saint-Etienne on Friday night ahead of this clash.

City’s sole defeat this season came at the hands of Lyon, yet since that loss, they have failed to win only one of their last 13 competitive matches, that coming in a 0-0 draw with Liverpool, a match they could have won late on. They’re yet to lose an away match this season, so should be confident of prolonging that unbeaten streak.

Lyon weren’t convincing on Friday night and while they’ll hope to maximise home advantage, City may eke out a narrow win.

Team News

Lyon- Amine Gouiri is a long-term absentee for Lyon. Various Betting Options are available on Site

Rafael may miss out with a shoulder complaint, though he’ll hope to be fit to start after his red card in the 1-0 win over Saint-Etienne on Friday night.

Bruno Genesio is likely to start with Memphis Depay in the attack, however, Moussa Dembele is pushing for a start. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Lyon vs Manchester City”

UCL Match Preview: Roma vs Real Madrid

Roma and Real Madrid are locked on nine points ahead of their encounter on Tuesday. Both teams will go through to the next round if CSKA Moscow fail to win at home to Viktoria Plzen in the group’s other game.

Madrid arguably produced their best performance of the season in the reverse fixture against Roma, running out 3-0 winners at home. They can expect a much tougher affair on this occasion, however.

Neither side has been consistent this season and both come into this match off the back of shock defeats. Roma lost 1-0 away to Udinese, while Madrid were thumped 3-0 away to Eibar.

Roma have won five of their six Champions League matches at home and have a great chance to spring a huge shock in Group G in midweek.

Team News

Roma- Roma have some injury concerns ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League encounter with Real Madrid, with centre-back Kostas Manolas chief among them. Predict, Stake & Win Big

Eusebio Di Francesco is hopeful Diego Perotti and Kostas Manolas can recover in time, but Daniele De Rossi is ruled out until at least the weekend. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Roma vs Real Madrid”

Brazilian forward Firmino ends goal drought earn Klopp praise

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has praised “unbelievably valuable” Roberto Firmino after the Brazil forward ended his two-month Premier League goal drought in the 3-0 victory against Watford.

He also had a hand in Mohamed Salah’s opener on Saturday and won the free-kick for Trent Alexander-Arnold to make it 2-0.

Firmino, who is playing a deeper role, has just six goals for club and country this season – and only two in his past 15 outings – but Klopp is in no doubt about the player’s quality.

“In the game against Fulham, 20 German coaches were in the stadium,” said Klopp. “I’m not sure how the critics were but when I saw them and we had a drink together, they were saying ‘Bobby Firmino. What a player.’

“Because of the small things he’s doing, he’s working so hard, he’s here, he’s there, he’s got six goals but he opens 5 000 gaps for everybody.” Place bet on LIVE MATCHES 24/7

“He’s doing the job,” added Klopp. “That makes him so unbelievably valuable for us. I’m really happy for him.” Continue reading “Brazilian forward Firmino ends goal drought earn Klopp praise”

Sevilla sit on top of La Liga after narrow win over Real Valladolid

Sevilla moved back to the top of La Liga on Sunday as they capitalised on the stuttering form of their rivals by beating Real Valladolid 1-0.

Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona all failed to win on Saturday as Real were shocked 3-0 by Eibar before Atletico and Barca played out a 1-1 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The way was open for Sevilla to take advantage and they made no mistake, Andre Silva continuing his excellent form this season by heading in the winner at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

“Nobody expected us to be in this position of course,” coach Pablo Machin said. “But we are going to fight. We deserve to have all these points and that is why we are first.”

Hosts Sevilla certainly rode their luck, twice needing VAR to deny Real Valladolid an equaliser, with the first cancellation particularly fortunate. Enes Unal’s strike was ruled out as the offside Toni Villa was deemed to be obstructing the goalkeeper’s view. Various Betting Options are available on NaijaBet for today’s games

The victory puts Sevilla one point above Barcelona at the summit, two clear of Atletico and six ahead of Real, who are languishing in sixth. Continue reading “Sevilla sit on top of La Liga after narrow win over Real Valladolid”

Aubameyang shine again as Arsenal extends unbeaten run

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang extended Arsenal’s unbeaten run to 17 matches with the goal that sealed a 2-1 win at Bournemouth on Sunday.

Unai Emery’s side took the lead through Jefferson Lerma’s bizarre own goal before Josh King equalised on the stroke of halftime at Dean Court.

Aubameyang netted his eighth league goal of the season midway through the second half to lift the fifth-placed Gunners within a point of the top four in the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

The north Londoners have been revitalised since Emery replaced Arsene Wenger in the close-season and this was another test passed by the Spaniard.

After three successive home draws against Liverpool, Sporting Lisbon and Wolves, it was essential Arsenal got back to winning ways.

Emery left German playmaker Mesut Ozil on the bench and was without French striker Alexandre Lacazette due to a groin injury. Continue reading “Aubameyang shine again as Arsenal extends unbeaten run”

NaijaBet open betting options on if Buhari will attend 2019 Presidential Eelection Debate YES OR NO?

While next year’s election, scheduled for February 16, 2019, is expected to be a keenly contested two-horse race between Incumbent President Mohammadu Buhari and the Presidential Candidate of the PDP former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, it has been a season of media battle amongst all the aspiring candidates, with most of them releasing their economic plans and campaign manifestos, with the citizens greatly anticipating the Next Presidential Debate.

The Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) have announced the dates for 2019 presidential and vice-presidential election debate.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Election Debate Group, Mr John Momoh, told news journalists in Abuja on Thursday that the group had fixed January 19, 2019 for a debate for presidential candidates of different political parties taking part in the 2019 elections. Continue reading “NaijaBet open betting options on if Buhari will attend 2019 Presidential Eelection Debate YES OR NO?”

EPL Match Preview : Tottenham vs Chelsea

Tottenham bounced back from their 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Manchester City with back-to-back wins over Wolves and Crystal Palace. On home turf, though, Spurs have struggled, with two wins and two defeats at Wembley this season, those losses coming at the hands of top-six rivals Liverpool and City.

No less, they sit just one point behind Chelsea, who are one of three unbeaten teams in the Premier League this season. The Blues have won three of the last five competitive meetings between these two, including a 2-1 win in this game last term, and have earned 13 of 15 available points on the road thus far.

Two teams in good form meet for this London derby, in what could be a entertaining meeting. The duo, though, could cancel themselves out with a draw on the cards.

Team News

Tottenham- Kieran Trippier is a doubt having been forced off in the first half of the 1-0 win at Crystal Palace before the international break, with Serge Aurier in line to start. Place Bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

Despite returning to full training, Jan Vertonghen is not expected to start this weekend with one eye on next week’s clash with Inter in the Champions League. Continue reading “EPL Match Preview : Tottenham vs Chelsea”

Laliga Match Preview: Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona

Atletico Madrid has won four of their last five competitive games, but their defensive record has been a little bit patchy in recent weeks.

Aside from a defeat in the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund, Atleti haven’t suffered a loss since matchday three in La Liga.

Barcelona will be keen to get back to winning ways after drawing 1-1 with Inter and losing 4-3 at the hands of Real Betis just before the international break.

Team News

Atletico Madrid- Diego Godin is expected to miss out due to injury for the home side.

Jose Maria Gimenez is also a doubt with a hamstring injury, meaning Lucas Hernandez and Stefan Savic could line up at centre-back. Bet Now

Juanfran is expected to get the nod ahead of Santiago Arias at right-back.

Continue reading “Laliga Match Preview: Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona”

EPL Match Preview: Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

The international break came at a good time for Manchester United after losing the Manchester derby 3-1, which ended a run of three straight away matches in all competitions. This is their first match at Old Trafford in almost a month.

The break also came at a good time for Crystal Palace, who are winless in seven matches (D1, L6). Although, Roy Hodgson now has fresh injury concerns to contend with ahead of their trip to Old Trafford, where they have failed to score in their last five attempts.

United have never lost a Premier League match against Palace home or away and you have to go back to 1991 to find their last league defeat to the Eagles. Neither side are in great form but anything less than three points would be a huge disappointment for Jose Mourinho’s side.

Team News

Manchester United- Luke Shaw serves a one-match ban for Manchester United after picking up his fifth booking of the Premier League season before the international break. Latest weekend games are available on Site

With Ashley Young expected to start at left-back, Antonio Valencia could make his first appearance for United in almost two months. Alternatively, summer signing Diogo Dalot is available again and could make his league debut at right-back. Continue reading “EPL Match Preview: Manchester United vs Crystal Palace”

Liverpool have more to offer before the season end – Klopp

Liverpool have made their joint-best start to a Premier League campaign since it was launched in 1992, but manager Jurgen Klopp sees no reason why they cannot improve further heading into the packed English festive fixture schedule.

The unbeaten Merseyside club are second after 12 matches on 30 points, two behind defending champions Manchester City.

Klopp, however, has demanded more from his players as they look to deliver a first piece of silverware at Anfield since the League Cup triumph in 2012.

“We can improve… we have to and we will,” the German said at a gala dinner in support of the LFC Foundation. Start forecasting your weekend games Now on NaijaBet

“But between our best football and now, we have to win football games. That’s how it is and that’s what we’ve done already.” Continue reading “Liverpool have more to offer before the season end – Klopp”

Djokovic sets sights on 2019 after Alexander Zverev painful defeat

Novak Djokovic set his sights on the Australian Open on Sunday after a painful defeat in the ATP Finals at the hands of Alexander Zverev took some of the gloss off an incredible season.

The Serbian world No 1 looked unbeatable heading into Sunday’s final, winning all four of his matches in London in straight sets and not dropping serve once.

But his 21-year-old opponent showed no fear at a packed O2 Arena, trading heavy blows with his illustrious opponent from the back of the court and outlasting him in long rallies to win 6-4, 6-3.

A sanguine Djokovic was eager to put the defeat into context after a memorable second half of the season, during which he has clambered back to the top of the men’s game from the lowly ranking of 22 he found himself in as recently as June.

“Obviously no one likes to lose a tennis match,” he said. “You try your best. But at the same time, as I said on the court, you put things in a larger perspective, see things a bit differently. Bet Now on NaijaBet

“When you get out of this feeling of a little bit disappointment that you lost, I mean, all the positive things that I have to reflect on and also take from this season, especially the last six months.” Continue reading “Djokovic sets sights on 2019 after Alexander Zverev painful defeat”

PSG nervous over Neymar, Mbappe injuries

Paris Saint-Germain were anxiously waiting Wednesday for the results of scans on injuries to Neymar and Kylian Mbappe just days before their crucial Champions League clash with Liverpool.

Neymar limped off after just eight minutes of Brazil’s 1-0 friendly win against Cameroon on Wednesday.

The Brazilian forward had treatment for an apparent groin problem after just five minutes and collapsed to the turf soon afterwards to boos from the crowd in the central English town of Milton Keynes.

In Paris, Mbappe hurt his shoulder in a nasty fall as World Cup winners France ended their year on a high note with a 1-0 win over Uruguay at the Stade de France.

But the victory was overshadowed when Mbappe was hurt after falling awkwardly as he challenged the diving Uruguay goalkeeper Martin Campana for the ball.

France coach Didier Deschamps said the news on Mbappe, the 19-year-old forward who shot to global prominence at the World Cup, was “not necessarily reassuring, but not worrying either. Continue reading “PSG nervous over Neymar, Mbappe injuries”

VAR might be introduce in UCL this season – Ceferin

Uefa will consider fast-tracking the implementation of video assistant referees (VAR) for the Champions League knockout stages this season, according to the European governing body’s president Aleksander Ceferin.

The organisation opted against using VAR this season, despite the technology being used by major European leagues in Spain, Italy and Germany, and the World Cup in Russia earlier this year.

Speaking at a news conference in Brussels on Tuesday, Ceferin said a referee report next week could allow Uefa’s Executive Committee to revise their stance at a December 2-3 meeting in Dublin.

“(Uefa referees chief) Roberto Rosetti and his team are very good. There are important points of view – the referees and all the technical aspects,” Ceferin said. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7

“I expect the report in a week or so and then we will see when we can implement it. At the latest next season.” Continue reading “VAR might be introduce in UCL this season – Ceferin”

Seferovic hat-trick helps Switzerland to sink Belgium

Haris Seferovic starred with a hat-trick as Switzerland staged a sensational comeback to thrash Belgium 5-2 in Lucerne on Sunday and qualify for the Nations League finals in dramatic fashion.

Thorgan Hazard’s early double left Switzerland needing to win by two goals to qualify from Group A2 but the hosts quickly fought back, with Ricardo Rodriguez’s penalty and Seferovic’s first two goals seeing them into a 3-2 halftime lead.

Nico Elvedi nodded home a Xherdan Shaqiri cross in the 62nd minute, and Vladimir Petkovic’s men sealed a stunning win when Seferovic completed his treble late on.

“I want to congratulate each player, there was a big mental reaction, the players never gave up, they always believed,” said Swiss coach Petkovic. “They played with will, intelligence and with their heads.”

After a thrilling match that continued a trend of goal-filled encounters in the inaugural edition of the Nations League, Switzerland will play at the finals in June next year, alongside European champions Portugal and England, with the final spot going to either France or the Netherlands on Monday. Place bet on LIVE Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet.com

Roberto Martinez’s men saw their six-match unbeaten run since reaching the World Cup semifinals brought to an shuddering halt. Continue reading “Seferovic hat-trick helps Switzerland to sink Belgium”

Rooney says farewell as England sink United States

Wayne Rooney brought down the curtain on his England career, but a youthful Three Lions proved the future is bright by sweeping aside the United States 3-0 at Wembley in a friendly on Thursday.

Jesse Lingard, Trent Alexander-Arnold and debutant Callum Wilson grabbed the goals in a dominant England display despite Gareth Southgate fielding a very inexperienced side.

“It’s my opinion that England are in very safe hands from what I’ve seen this week,” said Rooney, who came out of international retirement for his final farewell.

“The way they are being coached is brilliant, it’s a great group of young players who have a bright future.

“They will go close to being the next team to bring a trophy back for England.” Play Now on NaijaBet

The biggest cheer of the night was reserved for Rooney’s introduction just before the hour mark to win his 120th cap. Continue reading “Rooney says farewell as England sink United States”

Batshuayi shines as Belgium beat Iceland 2-0

Stand-in striker Michy Batshuayi scored twice as Belgium laboured to a 2-0 victory over Iceland on Thursday to propel them to the top of their Uefa Nations League pool.

The hosts, No 1 in Fifa’s world rankings, were missing several players due to injury, with striker Romelu Lukaku ruled out a day before the match to bring Batshuayi into the starting line-up.

Belgium had the vast majority of possession, but struggled for over an hour to break through a dogged and organised Iceland back line in a game shrouded most of the time by thick mist.

Eden Hazard, who played alongside his brother Thorgan on the left, finally unpicked the visitors’ defence in the 65th minute when his perfectly-weighted cross found Thomas Meunier, who only had to stroke the ball across to Batshuayi in front of an open goal. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

Iceland, who knew they were relegated before Thursday’s match, showed more intent in the second half and might have equalised, but Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois saved Albert Gudmundsson’s shot with his legs. Continue reading “Batshuayi shines as Belgium beat Iceland 2-0”

Return of home fans will help in Spain clash – Luka Modric

Croatia captain Luka Modric has welcomed the return of home fans for Thursday’s difficult Nations League meeting with Spain in Zagreb.

The World Cup finalists have been forced to play their last two competitive home matches behind closed doors as part of their punishment imposed by Uefa after a swastika was marked on their pitch before a Euro 2016 home qualifier against Italy.

That was just the latest in a litany of offences for racism that has seen Croatia consistently punished.

“We are facing a very difficult match,” Modric told reporters on the eve of the game at the Maksimir stadium.

“We need to be patient, wise and not to rush,” added the 33-year-old Real Madrid midfielder. Bet Now on NaijaBet

“Playing in front of full stands is an additional motivation. The fans will certainly be of major importance for us, we will give our best and try to win.”

Croatia certainly needs a win if they are to press their hopes in the nascent Nations League. Continue reading “Return of home fans will help in Spain clash – Luka Modric”

Nigeria vs South Africa, Rohr wants quick AFCON qualification

The Bafana Bafana squad is shaping up well ahead of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Nigeria on Saturday.

Coach Stuart Baxter was more than happy following Wednesday’s practice game at Steyn City School in which he tried what might be his preferred starting 11.

Without giving much away with three days to go before the crunch game against the Super Eagles of Nigeria, the Bafana Bafana coach said he had an idea of his starting lineup although one or two changes might still come to mind.

“I have an idea of what I need to do although there might be one or two changes and I also need to fine-tune a few areas ahead of Saturday’s game. But I must say that I was very happy with the training today,” he told journalists on Wednesday.

He said Thulani Serero who carries a lot of the home crowd’s expectation on his shoulders had been very comfortable on the ball although he was tentative in the beginning. Place bet on today matches on NaijaBet

“As I said earlier, we have not yet picked the final team for Saturday’s game but Thulani is doing well and as the match progressed during the practice game, he became very comfortable on the ball.”

With Dean Furman and Kamohelo Mokotjo, the regular pairing in the field of play, all out injured, the team will pick a new pairing and are confident that whoever is picked will rise to the occasion. Continue reading “Nigeria vs South Africa, Rohr wants quick AFCON qualification”

Claudio Ranieri set to rescue Fulham from relegating

Fulham appointed Italian veteran Claudio Ranieri as manager on Wednesday after sacking Slavisa Jokanovic in a bid to beat the drop from the Premier League.

Jokanovic led Fulham back into England’s top flight in May 2018 but the 50-year-old Serbian has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League.

After 12 games, Fulham sit bottom of the pile with just five points and one win from 12 games.

Ranieri, who famously led Leicester to a fairytale Premier League title in 2016, was a free agent after being sacked by French Ligue 1 club Nantes one game before the end of last season.

He has been given a “multi-year” contract by Fulham chairman Shahid Khan.

“It is an honour to accept Mr Khan’s invitation and opportunity to lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history,” Ranieri told the club’s official website. Play Now on NaijaBet

“The objective at Fulham should never be to merely survive in the Premier League. We must at all times be a difficult opponent and should expect to succeed.” Continue reading “Claudio Ranieri set to rescue Fulham from relegating”

Croatia keen to avoid another defeat from Spain

Having finally shaken off their World Cup hangover, finalists Croatia are aiming for their first Nations League victory when they face Spain on Thursday, the side who inflicted a 6-0 drubbing in September.

Coach Zlatko Dalic has named a 25-man squad, including three new faces, to face Spain at Zagreb’s Maksimir stadium and England on November 18 at Wembley.

“I’m focused on the match against ‘La Furia (Roja)’, we need that victory,” Dalic said earlier this month.

“I know that many people do not believe that our team is capable of winning both games but I reply – we will do now as we did in Russia, step by step.

“First, Spain,” he told the Jutarnji List newspaper. Place bet on LIVE EVENTS 24/7 on NaijaBet

Croatia, a country of 4.2 million people, reached the World Cup final for the first time, inspired by playmaker Luka Modric, and despite losing 4-2 to France Dalic and his players were welcomed home as heroes. Continue reading “Croatia keen to avoid another defeat from Spain”

Higuain apologises for sending off against Juventus

AC Milan forward Gonzalo Higuain has apologised for getting dismissed against Juventus, the club that sent him to San Siro on loan this season, during a 2-0 defeat on Sunday in which he also missed a first-half penalty.

Enraged after being penalised following a collision with Juventus defender Medhi Benatia, the former Real Madrid and Napoli forward was booked for dissent, then given another yellow immediately afterward for continuing to protest.

“First of all, I want to apologise to the team, the coach, the supporters and the referee for my reaction,” Higuain said.

“I take responsibility for what happened. Obviously, I hope that it doesn’t happen again. It was one of those moments — we were losing, I missed a penalty and we aren’t robots but people. But I don’t want to try and justify my actions.” Bet Now on NaijaBet

Juventus loaned Higuain to Milan for one year — with an option to buy — in August after signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid, and the Argentine reiterated that it was not his decision to leave. Continue reading “Higuain apologises for sending off against Juventus”