Real Madrid’s 3-0 home defeat in the semi-final stages of the Copa del Rey will have rocked Los Blancos slightly ahead of what is a very important game in the context of La Liga’s title race this season.
The hosts have lost their last two competitive outings at the Bernabeu, the latter of which was Wednesday’s El Clasico, but the former saw Solari’s men throw away a lead in a 2-1 defeat to struggling Girona.
Barcelona are unbeaten in their last nine games, stepping up to the plate well in the last two games to see off both Sevilla and Real Madrid. The away side didn’t need to be at their best to win in the first El Clasico of the week, but the second is set to be more fiery.
Real Madrid- Sergio Ramos is available in the league once again for the home side after sitting out versus Levante due to suspension.
Nacho is absent due to a ban, however, with a yellow card that the Spain international picked up last weekend ruling him out due to an accumulation of bookings. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Despite a heavy defeat midweek in the Copa del Rey against Barcelona, the only change which is expected from Santiago Solari is to restore Thibaut Courtois in goal. Continue reading “LaLiga Match Preview: Real Madrid vs Barcelona”
Real Madrid got back to winning ways last time out against Levante, after a surprising 2-1 defeat against struggling Girona, and should be in better spirits heading into a second leg where they will be confident of getting a result at home.
The first leg between these two sides ended 1-1 at Camp Nou, as an early goal from Lucas Vazquez was cancelled out in the second half by Malcom. Lionel Messi was not deemed fit to start by Ernesto Valverde, however, and should have a greater say on Wednesday evening.
Lionel Messi struck with a hat-trick at the weekend to help Barcelona come from behind against Sevilla, but the Blaugrana have drawn four of their last six competitive games heading into midweek.
Real Madrid- Keylor Navas will rotate in between the sticks for the home side, as the designated Copa del Rey goalkeeper for Real Madrid’s cup campaign.
Santiago Solari went with Marcelo at left-back during the first leg at Camp Nou, but given the Brazilian’s poor performance Sergio Reguilon could be deployed instead. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Lucas Vazquez is expected to get a start on the right-hand side for the hosts, with Gareth Bale likely to get a chance to make an impact from the bench later on. Continue reading “Copa Del Rey Match Preview: Real Madrid vs Barcelona”
Barcelona will be high on confidence in the Copa del Rey after coming from 2-0 down on aggregate against Sevilla to win 6-1 in the second leg at Camp Nou.
Ernesto Valverde’s side did, however, drop points at home in La Liga this weekend against Valencia. Despite Messi’s injury, the Blaugrana did dispose of Real Madrid quite easily without him back in their first meeting of the campaign.
Real Madrid have won their last five games in all competitions, last losing 1-0 in their away leg of their quarter-final tie against Leganes.
Barcelona- Lionel Messi is in the squad but won’t start after picking up a minor thigh problem against Valencia at the weekend.
This could see the Argentine star deployed on the bench to call upon if needed. Carles Alena may be asked to start wide, as Ousmane Dembele also has an injury complaint and won‘t be risked.
Jordi Alba will definitely start at left-back as he is suspended for league action this coming weekend. Continue reading “ElClasico Match Preview: Barcelona vs Real Madrid”
Lionel Messi collected a record fifth Golden Shoe award on Tuesday for finishing last season as the top goalscorer in Europe.
The striker scored 34 goals in 68 games for Barcelona, putting him ahead of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won the award four times, hit 26 goals in 52 matches for Real Madrid.
After being presented with his latest prize in Barcelona, Messi said: “The truth is I had no idea this would happen when I started. I dreamt of playing professional football and enjoying success, I love the game, but I never imagined I would have so much.
“I enjoy the work, the effort, I’m at the best team in the world and play with the best teammates in the world, so everything is easier.”
The ceremony was attended by Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, as well as fellow players like Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto. Continue reading “Still in the business of Breaking Record,Messi claims 5th Golden Shoe”
Gareth Bale ended a run of 802 minutes without a goal in La Liga as Real Madrid won 1-0 at bottom side Huesca on Sunday to climb back to within five points of leaders Barcelona.
The Welshman struck his first goal in the league since the start of September to lift Real to a fourth win in five matches and move the European champions up to fourth place.
“He (Bale) and the rest of the team were all fantastic. He scored a great goal and it was enough to get the win,” said Real coach Santiago Solari.
“His goal and the general character of the team were crucial in taking all three points.”
“It wasn’t a game to remember, but if you want to win La Liga, you have to win these matches,” the Argentine added. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Bale put a halt to his longest spell without scoring in the league since joining Real as he expertly cushioned in a volley from an arcing cross by Alvaro Odriozola on eight minutes. Continue reading “Bale goal gave Madrid victory over struggling Huesca”
Sevilla will be feeling confident after their 6-2 thrashing of Levante most recently, as Pablo Machin’s continue to try and find some consistency in the early weeks of the campaign.
The hosts have scored 11 goals in their last two competitive matches, with the likes of Ben Yedder and Pablo Sarabia in very dangerous form.
Real Madrid has only dropped two points in La Liga so far, with Julen Lopetegui’s side looking very dangerous at present.
Sevilla- Wissam Ben Yedder should lead the line after netting a hat-trick last time out. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Roque Mesa should return to the starting line up, offering further energy in midfield.
Guilherme Arana should get the nod ahead of Aleix Vidal at left wing-back after the latter’s shaky showing against Levante. Continue reading “La Liga Match Preview: Sevilla vs Real Madrid”
Athletic are still unbeaten in La Liga under Eduardo Berizzo, but were robbed of the chance to extend their form when Rayo’s stadium was closed for match day three.
Los Leones have scraped their way to their first four points of the season, but already looked much improved in comparison to last season under Kuko Ziganda.
Real Madrid have cantered to victory in their first three league outings, with Lopetegui’s side definitely taking on his ideas well so far.
Athletic Bilbao- Aritz Aduriz is back fit to lead the line for the home side this weekend. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Inigo Martinez is back fit and got some minutes for Spain recently, which could see Peru Nolaskoain drop to the bench.
Inaki Williams should return to the left wing, with Raul Garcia set to offer an edge in midfield. Continue reading “Laliga Match Preview: Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid”
Barcelona has swooped to sign Brazilian forward Malcom on a five-year deal from Girondins Bordeaux for an initial $47.89 million in a surprise move after AS Roma had struck a deal with the French club.
The 21-year-old was set to join the Italians this week but media reports in Spain and Italy said Spanish champions Barca’s 11th-hour offer had changed Malcolm’s mind and he has become their third signing of the transfer window.
“This is a unique feeling, a unique feeling,” he said at Barca’s Nou Camp offices on Tuesday. “I’m delighted. It’s a dream I’ve had since childhood. I’m part of the best club in the world and I hope to give the fans a lot of joy.”
In an interview on Roma’s website, Sporting Director Monchi explained that after the Serie A club had reached an initial agreement with Bordeaux on Monday Barcelona entered the bidding, leading Roma to submit an improved offer for the player. Various betting options are available on site for today’s games
Bordeaux then met with Malcom’s representatives on Tuesday to discuss the transfer which is when Roma pulled out, with the club looking to see if they have a case for legal action.
“After that meeting, I was surprised to be told that the agents and Bordeaux wanted another improved offer, as Barcelona were still pushing for a deal,” Monchi said.
“I told them enough, because we did not want to enter an auction: we could not continue like that, and yesterday we had only raised our offer because of the willingness and desire of our president. So that was how everything ended. Continue reading “Malcom join Barcelona from Girondins Bordeaux”
Real Sociedad have won back-to-back games and kept consecutive clean sheets in recent weeks, with the Basque club looking to turn a corner in terms of confidence.
The hosts have kept three clean sheets in a row now in La Liga, with the balance being struck between creativity in attack and solidity at the back.
Atletico Madrid got back to winning ways against Levante last time out, and Antoine Griezmann continues to look in excellent form ahead of facing his former club. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Real Sociedad- Tono is expected to be preferred to Geronimo Rulli in goal, due to Miguel Angel Moya’s absence.
Diego Llorente is set to partner Raul Navas at the heart of the defence.
No changes are expected in the forward line, with Real Sociedad kicking on well since Eusebio’s sacking. Continue reading “Laliga Match Preview : Real Sociedad vs Atletico Madrid”
Real Madrid have lost just one of their last 14 league matches, with Zidane’s men riding high on confidence after getting into the Champions League semi finals too.
The hosts have also won five of their last six La Liga matches at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, with only Atletico Madrid able to grind out a point.
Athletic have won just one of their last seven away games in La Liga, with Kuko Ziganda’s men failing to score in four of their last five games on the road.
Real Madrid- Nacho is Zinedine Zidane’s only selection concern heading into this game.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were rested at the weekend and should be fresh to start up front. Bet Now NaijaBet
Isco is expected to feature in behind the front two after some great recent form. Continue reading “Laliga Match Preview: Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao”
Celta Vigo have lost just one of their last four La Liga matches, with Juan Carlos Unzue’s men right in the mix for a Europa League finish come the end of the campaign.
The hosts are unbeaten in their last seven home outings at Balaidos, with La Celeste also managing to keep three clean sheets in their last four attempts in Galicia.
Barcelona broke La Liga’s record for the longest unbeaten period last time out against Valencia, and they will be looking to add to their impressive run.
Celta Vigo- Hugo Mallo and Pablo Hernandez both miss out due to suspension for the home side. Place bet on tonight’s games on NaijaBet
Nemanja Radoja will partner Stanislav Lobotka in central midfield as a result.
Facundo Roncaglia should slot in at right-back, with Gustavo Cabral in at centre-back. Continue reading “Laliga Match Preview : Celta Vigo vs Barcelona”
Diego Costa has told teammate Antoine Griezmann he is best off staying at Atletico Madrid. Griezmann has scored 23 goals in 38 appearances for Atletico this season and said on Wednesday he wants his future sorted before the start of this year´s World Cup.
The French forward told L´Equipe he hopes “to travel to Russia without concern” after Barcelona were forced in January to deny they had already struck a deal to sign the player. Manchester United were also credited with a strong interest last summer.
Costa, however, who left Atletico for Chelsea in 2014 only to return to the Spanish club earlier this season, believes his current striker partner should stay put. Place on today’s games on Naijabet
“He knows that we want him, that he is a very important player. He is still with us and he has not told me he is going yet,” Costa said on Wednesday.
“I would be happy for him to stay, everyone has to look for the best for themselves but, in my opinion, the best for him is to stay.”
Costa added, with a smile: “He called me every day to tell me to return to Atletico and now he’s not going to leave me. That cannot be, he is going to stay.” Continue reading “‘Best for Griezmann to stay at Atletico’ – Costa”
Las Palmas have kept three clean sheets in their last four league games, with Paco Jemez’s side tightening up as they move towards safety.
The hosts are gaining ground on 17th-placed Levante and will be set on trying to take a share of the spoils from a very tough game in Gran Canaria.
Barcelona are on a 32-game unbeaten run in La Liga, with their great form extending across multiple competitions this season. The gauntlet is set for Las Palmas.
Las Palmas- Gaby Penalba will be out for another week or so with a knee problem for Las Palmas. Place bet on today’s games NOW on NaijaBet
Vicente Gomez and Alberto Aquilani should feature in central midfield due to this and Jonathan Viera’s sale.
Tana, Hernan Toledo and Nacho Gil will battle it out to start on the left wing of the attack. Continue reading “Laliga Match Preview : Las Palmas vs Barcelona”
Barcelona’s Spain defender Gerard Pique has signed a contract extension until 2022 which will take him beyond his 35th birthday, the Liga club said on Monday.
“I am really happy to be celebrating my extension because this is my home and since my return, my desire has been to end my career here,” said Pique, who will have served 14 years with the first team as a professional by the time the contract ends.
Pique started out in Barca’s youth ranks before joining Manchester United in 2004 but returned to the Nou Camp four years later and has since played over 250 league games. Play bet on today’s game on NaijaBet.com
“It’s a special day, Gerard Pique is an experienced player, a Barca fan from birth and let’s hope we can continue to keep winning trophies. The deal was an easy one,” Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu told a news conference.
Pique also said on the club’s website (www.fcbarcelona.com) that there was never any question of him playing anywhere else. Continue reading “Pique extends Barcelona contract”
Chelsea 1.29 vs Leicester 11.30
A 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Wednesday night means Chelsea have won only two of their last six competitive matches. However, on home turf, the Blues have been in fine form, failing to win only three of their last 12 in all competitions at Stamford Bridge.
Leicester have lost back-to-back away league matches and have lost six of their last seven competitive meetings with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
They recently ended a four-match winless run in the Premier League with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Huddersfield, though, and will look to use that as a platform to spring an upset here.
Leicester may trouble this Blues backline, but Chelsea have the means to wrap up all three points. Latest Odds on NaijaBet
*Chelsea have won their last 7 home Premier League matches.
*Chelsea have won 6 of their last 7 home matches against Leicester in all competitions.
Continue reading “Weekend Match Preview : Premier League,Laliga & SerieA”
Malaga lost their last two La Liga games before the close of the year, with Michel still managing to get the backing of the club’s chiefs.
The home side have turned things around a little at La Rosaleda in recent weeks, but anything less than three points isn’t enough given the relegation battle that Los Boquerones find themselves in. Latest Odds on NaijaBet
Espanyol have won just one of their last five competitive games, with Quique Sanchez Flores under pressure to strike up some consistent form.
Malaga – Roberto Rosales returns from suspension for the home side and will slot straight back in at right-back.
Adrian is still serving the second game of his two-match ban, which means that Manuel Iturra may start in central midfield.
Diego Rolan has an Achilles problem, which should see Borja Baston lead the line with Adalberto Penaranda. Continue reading “Laliga Match Preview : Malaga vs Espanyol”
Espanyol are winless in their last three games, with the Catalan club hovering dangerously close to the relegation zone with only a five-point cushion to spare them for now.
Gerard Moreno has scored over 50% of their league goals this campaign, with the Spanish striker absolutely vital to their attempts to clamber into the top half of the table. Today games latest odds on NaijaBet
Atleti have kept two consecutive clean sheets in the league, with Diego Simeone’s men continuing to scrape narrow results and maintain their unbeaten start to the league campaign.
Espanyol – Changing system last time out seemed to improve some aspects of Espanyol’s play, so few changes are expected here.
Victor Sanchez is suspended for the hosts, so Javi Lopez could return at right-back after injury.
Sergio Garcia and Leo Baptistao should continue in close support of Gerard Moreno.
Continue reading “Laliga Match Preview : Espanyol vs Atletico Madrida”
Eibar have taken 13 points from their last available 15 in La Liga, with the return of Ivan Alejo ushering in a spell of much-improved form.
Recent victories against the likes of Espanyol and Valencia at Ipurua demonstrate that the hosts can break down an organised opponent.
Girona have lost just one of their last five league matches, with two recent 1-0 wins over Getafe and Espanyol boosting their confidence even further.
Eibar – Joan Jordan should continue in central midfield ahead of Gonzalo Escalante for the home side.
Anaitz Arbilla will continue at centre-back, with Ivan Ramis set to miss another few weeks due to injury.
Charles should be preferred to Kike Garcia up front once again.
Continue reading “Laliga Match Preview : Eibar vs Girona”
Not even a minute had passed between Zinedine Zidane replacing Karim Benzema with Gareth Bale, and the substitute finishing Lucas Vazquez’s cross with a first-time side-footed effort into the net.
Cristiano Ronaldo was lurking at the back post ready to make sure, but no extra touch was necessary. Naija and Bet
The Welshman’s goal put Real Madrid 2-1 in front and soothed the Spanish club’s worries against Al Jazira following some poor finishing in the first half of the second semi-final at the Fifa Club World Cup UAE 2017.
“Well, you could say it was a difficult game but if we’d finished off all our chances to score it would’ve been an easy one,” Bale told FIFA.com as his team’s kitmen bustled around him, having just emerged from the Real Madrid changing room where music was still blaring out.
“In the end it was tough because we didn’t score. The most important thing is that we won, and it doesn’t matter if it was 6-0 or 2-1.” Continue reading “Bale’s goal help Real Madrid to sink Al Jazira”
Real Madrid can round off the most successful year in the club’s already glorious history by claiming a fifth trophy in 2017 at the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi this week.
They won La Liga, the Champions League, UEFA and Spanish Super Cup in a thrilling fashion after hitting top form in a four-month spell between April and August, but since then the European champions have faded, understandably fatigued by a heavy schedule.
Madrid trail Barca by eight points at the top of La Liga and finished second to Tottenham Hotspur in their Champions League group, which proved costly as they were paired with free-spending Paris Saint-Germain in a blockbuster last 16 tie on Monday.
However, traces of the Madrid that swept aside the likes of Bayern Munich, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona in the spring and summer were back as Real hit five past Sevilla before half-time in a 5-0 rout on Saturday. Play bet on today’s games on Naijabet.com
Until then Madrid had lacked the same killer instinct as last season with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema scoring a combined total of just six times in La Liga, while Gareth Bale has made just one brief appearance as a substitute since September.
“We are improving in every sense,” said Zidane after thrashing Sevilla. “If you play well, you will create more chances. We created plenty of chances.” Continue reading “Real Madrid eye fifth trophy before the end of 2017”
Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo has paid an emotional tribute to his late father.
José Dinis Aveiro died when the Real Madrid superstar was just 20 due to liver failure.
Ronaldo has previously admitted he had a difficult relationship with his father, who battled an alcohol addiction. Place Bet on Today’s Matches on NaijaBet.com.
But the Portuguse paid a touching tribute as he uploaded a picture alongside son Cristiano Jr and his two newborn twins.
The family picture took place in front of a painting of Aveiro.
“You will always be with us,” Ronaldo wrote.
Aveiro passed away in September 2005 during Ronaldo’s time at Manchester United.
The 32-year-old has previously hailed Sir Alex Ferguson’s role in coping with his death.
CR7 spoke openly about his father in 2015, admitting: “I didn’t get to know him for real, from the heart and I don’t know why he drank, maybe he was frustrated with his life.
Alaves have edged two one-goal wins in two of their last three home games in all competitions, with a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Barcelona something of an anomaly.
In their last four league games, the hosts have kept just one clean sheet, but the return of their key central midfielders should promise to shore things up a little more heading into the weekend.
Sevilla have battled their way to five consecutive wins in all competitions, which is a run that is making them candidates for silverware both in La Liga and the Champions League this campaign.
Alaves – Daniel Torres, Alexis and Aleksandar Katai are all missing due to suspensions, as Alaves continue to struggle with disciplinary issues of late. NaijaBet.com
Manu Garcia and Marcos Llorente are both back from bans themselves, which should see the duo come back into the side in a holding midfield two. Continue reading “Match Preview : Alaves vs Sevilla”
Luis Enrique announced on Wednesday that he will step down as Barcelona coach at the end of the season, which could generate a response from his players.
The hosts have won their last four consecutive LaLiga fixtures, but have only kept one clean sheet in that time.
Celta are unbeaten in their last four competitive games, which even saw Eduardo Berizzo’s men manage to get a 2-0 victory away against Shakhtar Donetsk. Predict,Play and Win Big on NaijaBet.com
Barcelona – Luis Enrique could go with another three-man defence for this weekend, with Javier Mascherano having a positive impact against Sporting Gijon.
If not, Jordi Alba should return to the side at left-back and the hosts will go with a more traditional 4-3-3 as a result. Continue reading “Match Preview : Barcelona vs Celta Vigo”
Eibar have scored at least two goals in all but one of their last five La Liga matches, with only Sevilla able to keep the Basque club at bay.
At home, they’ve managed to score seven goals across their last two matches and conceded none in the process as Jose Mendilibar’s men push for a surprise European finish.
Real Madrid’s last two away games have been tight affairs, with Los Blancos losing 2-1 to Valencia and then scraping a three-goal comeback against Villarreal.
Eibar – Florian Lejeune is absent due to suspension for the home side after picking up two bookings against Real Sociedad last time out. Naija and Bet
Anaitz Arbilla could be pushed over to left-back, with Ander Capa available at right-back once again following a ban. Continue reading “Match Preview : Eibar vs Real Madrid”