Arsenal’s preparations for a return to Premier League action following the international break are once again dominated by uncertainty over the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
Manager Arsene Wenger has openly admitted for the first time that he could now sell the pair in January rather than allowing them to leave at the end of their contracts next summer.
Although optimistic that they will extend their stays at the club, when asked if he had placed a deadline on the matter, Wenger said on Thursday: “No not at the moment. Once you are in our kind of situation we have envisaged every kind of solution, yes.” Naija and Bet
And when asked if that meant they could leave in January he said: “Yes, it’s possible. I always said that the fact that we didn’t find an agreement last year doesn’t mean the player will necessarily leave.
“Both players look happy here and overall I hope that the situation can be turned around. At the moment, we are not close enough to announce anything.” Continue reading “Arsenal distracted by Sanchez and Ozil transfer talk”
Liverpool are seven points behind Manchester City and Manchester United and cannot afford to lose more ground here.
United are in great form but this is their first real test of the season, with injuries to key players making this an even more interesting fixture.
Jose Mourinho’s side have failed to score on their last two trips to Anfield, while the last three encounters have ended as draws.
Jurgen Klopp has only lost one of seven matches against Mourinho sides, but his side will need to find their shooting boots if they are to beat United.
Sadio Mane is out for six weeks with a hamstring injury sustained during the international break, providing Liverpool with a huge blow. Check out Latest Weekend Fixtures Odds on NaijaBet.com
Dejan Lovren continues to struggle with injury and remains a doubt for the home side here, with Ragnar Klavan on standby to step in and partner Joel Matip at the back.
With Adam Lallana, Adam Bogan and Nathaniel Clyne all still injured for the home side, few changes are expected to Jurgen Klopp’s usual starting XI.
Continue reading “Match Preview : Liverpool vs Manchester United”
Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard could make his first league start of the season, while Pedro is likely to play after being rested in midweek.
David Luiz must complete a three-match domestic ban and Danny Drinkwater remains out because of a calf injury.
Manchester City seem certain to be without Sergio Aguero, who was injured in a car accident on Thursday.
Benjamin Mendy is sidelined with a ruptured cruciate ligament and Vincent Kompany is nursing a calf problem. Place Bet on Today’s Matches on NaijaBet.com.
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
Jonathan Pearce: “The biggest game of the season so far, and what a juicy one.
“Chelsea’s win at Atletico was one of the best recent results by any English team in Europe.
“It’s 10 league wins in 12. Alvaro Morata has 10 goals in 10 matches for club and country. Hazard is nearing full sharpness. Continue reading “Stamford Bridge quakes for Chelsea vs City clash”
NIGERIA-born Arsenal forward Chuba Akpom has revealed that Alexis Sanchez is still receiving stick over his failed move to Manchester City in the final hours of the summer transfer window.
Sanchez, 28, who is out of contract at the Emirates next summer, looked set for a £60million transfer to the Etihad on deadline day but the Gunners pulled the plug on what would have been sensational switch.
The Chilean is yet to score in the Premier League this term and his team-mate, Akpom, has lifted the lid on the squad’s reaction to him remaining in north London.
Akpom told The Sun: ‘We do banter about it to be fair but at the end of the day, he’s still at Arsenal. Place Bet on Today’s Matches on NaijaBet.com
‘Everyone is happy, the fans are happy and he’s happy. I think with a player like Sanchez he just blocks it out because all he wants to do is play football.
‘He’s so focused on football, he blocks out a lot of negativity and transfer rumours.’
Akpom claims he is constantly in contact with Sanchez and looks up to the ex-Barcelona attacker.
He said: ‘I’m always taking to Alexis, he’s like a mentor to me.
‘He’s always telling me to believe in myself and he told he believes in me a lot and I should keep working hard.
‘When you’re talking to one of the best players in the world and he’s saying he believes in you then that’s going to give you a boost.
‘I’m just trying to emulate everything he does.’
Manchester United and French midfielder, Paul Pogba is known for his sense of style and fondness for eye-catching haircuts, but the 24-year-old has really pushed the boat out now.
The French midfielder posted two snaps on his Instagram account giving followers a detailed look at his new barnet, complete with intricate shaving designs on either side of his head. Place Bet on Today’s Matches on NaijaBet.com
Pogba has gone for a lightning bolt on the left side and opted for a flame emoji on the right, with a severe fade and a splash of orange and yellow colour on top to complete the look.
The United star is obviously having to find new ways to entertain himself as he continues his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury sustained against Basel.
The Chilean has been linked with a Gunners exit but Arsene Wenger is confident he will be able to keep his star man despite his contract situation.
Alexis Sanchez has returned to Arsenal training with uncertainty continuing to surround his long-term future.
The 28-year-old, whose contract with the Gunners expires in 2018, has been linked with a big-money move to both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. NaijaBet
PSG had held talks with the Chilean over a €50 million transfer , with City also retaining a strong interest despite being aware of Arsenal’s reluctance to sell.
The north Londoners remain convinced that the player will be staying at Emirates Stadium, despite Alexis having openly admitted he wants to be playing in the Champions League. Continue reading “Sanchez returns to training with Arsenal”
Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard believes the club are inching ever closer towards the Premier League title but remains wary of getting too carried away as there are still plenty of points up for grabs.
Chelsea, who lost to Crystal Palace last weekend, made a swift return to winning ways with a 2-1 home win over fourth-placed Manchester City on Wednesday, with Hazard scoring both goals for the hosts.
The win helped the league leaders retain a seven-point cushion over second-placed Tottenham Hotspur with eight games remaining.
“We are nearly there but there is a long way to go,” Hazard said.”We have some difficult games but we are ready for everything. We have eight games to play. We want to finish top. That’s the target.” NaijaBet.com
Following an entertaining first half at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea opted to sit back on a one-goal lead in the second half and Hazard said the result was more important than the display. Continue reading “Hazard warns Chelsea of dangers ahead”
This is a testing period for West Brom. They have already secured their top flight status but are at risk of being one of those sides that now have little motivation and finish the campaign terribly.
They have lost each of their last two matches without even scoring and things don’t get much easier with a trip to Manchester United following this match.
Arsenal are into the FA Cup semi final and must now try and consolidate a spot in the top four. They start the weekend five points adrift of fourth place Liverpool but Arsene Wenger’s side do have two games in hand.
The Gunners have actually only managed to win one of their last four matches against West Brom in regular time and aren’t in particularly great shape even after thrashing Lincoln last time out. Naija and Bet
West Bromwich Albion – Matt Phillips is still an injury concern for West Brom ahead of Saturday’s match against Arsenal, while an ankle injury picked up in the week means James Morrison may miss out as well. Continue reading “Match Preview : West Bromwich Albion vs Arsenal”
Manchester City are now unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions and are playing some great football again following their blip in the middle of the campaign.
Stoke got back to winning ways at the weekend but their form away from home has been poor this season. The Potters have lost five of their last six away league matches and have conceded four goals to Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham in that run, while Arsenal also scored three.
Another comprehensive scoreline could be on the cards for City here as they look to cement their place in the top four. Predict today’s Matches and win big on NaijaBet.com
Manchester City – Kevin de Bruyne will come back into the starting XI for Wednesday’s reception of Stoke after starting their 2-0 win over Sunderland on the bench on Sunday.
Nicolas Otamendi was also given a rest at the weekend and may return to the heart of the defence here, while Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna could continue to rotate at right-back.
It remains to be seen whether David Silva or Yaya Toure will both start two games in the space of three days. Continue reading “Match Preview : Manchester City vs Stoke”
West Ham have only lost one of their last six matches and will be looking to pull off another win at home to Chelsea like they managed in the EFL Cup earlier in the campaign.
Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table could be cut to seven points by the time they travel to West Ham on Monday night and they will be looking to restore their advantage in this London derby.
West Ham – Andy Carroll is still struggling with a groin injury that kept him out of their 1-1 draw with Watford last time around and Slaven Bilic will be desperate to have him available for the reception of Chelsea on Monday. Predict correct score of this match on NaijaBet.com
West Ham have already been served a blow by the absence of Michail Antonio, who is suspended after being sent off against Watford. Andre Ayew is on standby to lead the line if Carroll is not fit enough to start.
Continue reading “Match Preview : West Ham vs Chelsea”
A 2-0 loss at Everton means Sunderland have won just one of their last six league games and are currently three points off safety. The Black Cats have lost their last five league meetings with Manchester City, conceding 14 goals in the process.
A 5-1 win over Huddersfield in midweek means City are now unbeaten in their last eight competitive fixtures, winning six. Having won nine of their 13 away league games this season, Pep Guardiola’s side come into this fixture as favourites.
And one would expect them to live up to that tag at the Stadium of Light, with a City win on the cards.
Sunderland – Papy Djilobodji is available following suspension and should slot back into the starting XI alongside John O’Shea and Lamine Kone should David Moyes revert to a three-man defence.
Paddy McNair, Lee Cattermole, Duncan Watmore and Victor Anichebe are all sidelined through injury, while Moyes is sweating over the fitness of no fewer than seven players.
Jordan Pickford and Vito Mannone are both doubts, though the former should be fine to feature. Continue reading “Match Preview : Sunderland vs Manchester City”
Tottenham bounced back from their Europa League exit to Gent with a resounding 4-0 win over Stoke and will look to carry that momentum into the welcome of Everton on Sunday. Spurs are unbeaten in their last six home league meetings with the Toffees, though have drawn three of those.
Everton have the best form in 2017 having taken maximum points in five of seven games, drawing the other two, this calendar year. They have, though, drawn two of their three away games in 2017, dropping points at Stoke and Middlesbrough in recent weeks.
With Spurs and Everton sharing the spoils on three of the last six occasions at White Hart Lane, a draw could be on the cards in what promises to be one of the more entertaining games of the weekend. NaijaBet.com
Tottenham – Mauricio Pochettino is sweating on the fitness of duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen after both came off against Stoke at the weekend.
The Spurs boss, though, will definitely be without Danny Rose and Erik Lamela.
Barring the fitness of the Belgian defensive duo, Pochettino could name the same XI that secured a 4-0 win overStoke last Sunday. Continue reading “Match Preview : Tottenham vs Everton”
Liverpool need a response after losing to Leicester on Monday. Defeat here could see them drop down to sixth if Manchester United beat Bournemouth earlier in the day and that would be a disaster for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Arsenal have not played in two weeks and will be well rested here, although that could also go against them here. Arsene Wenger needs a win here to relieve some of the pressure from the Arsenal fans.
The last two matches between the sides at Anfield have ended in a draw and another stalemate could be on the cards here, although that result would only suit United. NaijaBet
Liverpool – Jordan Henderson is unlikely to recover from a foot injury in time to face Arsenal on Saturday, but Dejan Lovren has been cleared of a knee injury and could return to first-team action this weekend.
Marko Grujic has returned to training but isn’t expected back soon having not featured since November.
Continue reading “Match Preview : Liverpool vs Arsenal”
Manchester United lifted the first trophy of the season after they beat Southampton 3-2 last weekend and now they finally have the chance to move up a place in the Premier League on a permanent basis after Liverpool lost 3-1 to Leicester on Monday. With Jurgen Klopp’s side due to face Arsenal this weekend, United can move up into fifth with a win here.
Bournemouth have been poor in 2017 and are still looking for their first league win of 2017. The Cherries have lost each of their last four matches and haven’t won since New Year’s Eve. Eddie Howe’s side lost 3-1 on their first trip to Old Trafford last season and the odds are stacked against them here. Place Bet on NaijaBet.com
United played terribly in the EFL Cup final and Jose Mourinho will need to ensure the players don’t get complacent this weekend as they plot their way up the table and into the top four.
Manchester United – Phil Jones has revealed he is fit and ready to return to first-team action but he may have to wait until the Europa League on Thursday to start.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is still a doubt after missing the EFL Cup triumph over Southampton on Sunday. Continue reading “Match Preview : Manchester United vs Bournemouth”
Neither side wanted this replay but Manchester City will again be favourites to advance when they host Championship promotion hopefuls Huddersfield on Wednesday.
City didn’t play at the weekend due to the EFL Cup final and Pep Guardiola’s side will be well rested for this match even if changes are made to their usual starting XI.
Guardiola’s side are unbeaten in their last seven matches and have only lost one game at home all season. They should really win this match comfortably.
Manchester City – Ilkay Gündogan and Gabriel Jesus are the only players sidelined for Manchester City, who will be well rested having not featured at the weekend.
Vincent Kompany was meant to play in the first fixture involving these two before pulling out due to injury and the replay may come too soon as he enters the final stage of his rehab. Continue reading “Match Preview : Manchester City vs Huddersfield”
Leicester are only one point above the bottom three and the board have made the decision to sack Claudio Ranieri less than 12 months after they had won the Premier League title.
They have lost seven of their last nine matches in all competitions and now have 13 league games to stay in the Premier League.
Liverpool have had two weeks to prepare for this fixture and they should be ready to go following their 2-0 win over Tottenham last time out. Jurgen Klopp will hope their slump is over and they can get their season back on track and finish inside the top four. Predict on NaijaBet.com
It remains to be seen how Leicester will react to Ranieri’s sacking, but Liverpool should still have enough to win this match.
Leicester – Managerless Leicester City take on Liverpool after sacking Claudio Ranieri on Thursday and some changes are expected to the side. Demarai Gray is one of those that should be reinstalled into the starting XI in favour of Ahmed Musa. Continue reading “Match Preview : Leicester vs Liverpool”
Tottenham crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday night and attention now turns to Premier League duties. Spurs have won just one of their last four competitive fixtures, though have lost just one of their last 10 Premier League outings and have dropped points just twice at home England’s top tier this term.
Stoke have lost their last two league meetings with Spurs 4-0, but have lost just one of their last five Premier League visits to White Hart Lane.
The Potters have lost four of their last five away league games, with their solitary win on the road in that time coming at relegation fodder Sunderland. NaijaBet.com
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino will demand an instant response from his players and they could return to winning ways in the league here.
Tottenham – Erik Lamela and Danny Rose are again Mauricio Pochettino’s only injury concerns ahead of the welcome of Stoke. Continue reading “Match Preview : Tottenham vs Stoke”
Everton are unbeaten in eight Premier League matches and should be looking to secure a big win over relegation threatened Sunderland this weekend.
Sunderland are rock bottom in the table and two points adrift of safety and David Moyes’ side will look to draw on the fact they won 4-0 the last time they played on the road. Place bet on weekend matches on NaijaBet
However, given Sunderland have lost nine of their 12 league away matches this season it looks like Everton will run out comfortable winners on Saturday. A repeat scoreline of 6-2 when the sides last met at Goodison Park may not actually be far off the end result.
Everton – Yannick Bolasie, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Muhamed Besic are still sidelined for Everton this weekend.
Ronald Koeman has confirmed Kevin Mirallas, James McCarthy and Romelu Lukaku are fit to feature this weekend. Continue reading “Match Preview : Everton vs Sunderland”
Chelsea have the chance to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 11 points when they kick off the weekend’s Premier League fixtures at home to Swansea.
They have won 16 of their last 19 in the Premier League and are favourites to continue their surge towards the title here.
Swansea have enjoyed a resurgence under Paul Clement and are now four points clear of the bottom three after winning three of their last four. The long break may actually disrupt Swansea’s momentum and make this an easier fixture for Chelsea. Predict and Win Big on NaijaBet.com
Chelsea – Thibaut Courtois pulled out of a television interview at the weekend after contracting an illness and his availability for Saturday’s clash with Swansea remains in doubt. Other than that Antonio Conte has a full squad to pick from this weekend and has no reason to make any real changes.
David Luiz, Nemanja Matic and Marcos Alonso were among the players to be given a rest last weekend and they will all be recalled here.
Continue reading “Match Preview : Chelsea vs Swansea”
As Manchester United continue to battle on four fronts, wracking up too many air miles is proving a concern to manager Jose Mourinho.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored the only goal of the game away to Saint Etienne on Wednesday after just 16 minutes, effectively killing off any suspense in the Europa League last 32 tie that the Red Devils won 4-0 on aggregate.
United would need to negotiate three more two-legged ties if they are to reach the final in Stockholm on May 24, but Mourinho’s biggest concern is over how far his team will have to travel, given they will be playing twice a week most weeks to the end of the season with the battle for a top four finish in the Premier League sharing the spotlight with runs in three cup competitions.
Ideally, Mourinho would like a return to France.
“I’m used to difficult draws, sometimes I think some balls are cold and some balls are hot,” said Mourinho, cryptically. NaijaBet.com
“If I could choose, I would choose not to travel a lot because in the next (Europa League) round we have Chelsea (in the FA Cup) in between the two matches. Continue reading “Mourinho worried about distant UEL matches”
Sutton have lost both matches since booking their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup but they have only lost one of their last 14 matches at home soil in all competitions.
Arsenal have endured an awful few weeks and defeat here would really ramp up the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger. He is expected to field a strong side here in order to avoid further embarassment.
Sutton have a real chance to create history here and should try and get at Arsenal as early as possible. The Gunners have lost three of their last four in all competitions but should manage to overcome some hairy moments to come through this tie. Naija and Bet
Sutton United – Sutton have four former Arsenal players on their books and each of them will be looking to make a statement on Monday night. Craig Eastmond is free to play against his former club after completing his three-game ban in midweek. Continue reading “FA Cup Match Preview : Sutton United vs Arsenal”
Wolves’ form has tailed off since beating Liverpool in the last round of the FA Cup. Paul Lambert’s side have lost each of their last three, although their last two have only ended in 1-0 defeats.
Chelsea are unbeaten in seven matches since losing to Tottenham at the start of January and should have more than enough to overcome Wolves on Saturday despite the fact Antonio Conte is expected to make wholesale changes once again. NaijaBet.com
Chelsea won 6-0 the last time these two sides met back in 2012 and a repeat scoreline may not be far off this weekend.
Wolverhampton Wanderers – Wolves manager Paul Lambert could make changes to his normal XI here and reward some of the players that helped them beat Liverpool in the last round.
Continue reading “FA CUP Preview : Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Chelsea”
Huddersfield are in tremendous form having won each of their last six. In fact, David Wagner’s side have won 12 of their last 14 in all competitions.
Manchester City have won each of their last four but have been rocked by Gabriel Jesus’ long-term injury.
Depending on the strength of the two sides fielded by either manager there could be a real chance of a cup upset for Huddersfield this weekend.
Huddersfield – Huddersfield manager David Wagner has rotated his squad in the previous rounds of the FA Cup and could do so again here with the club only four points adrift of second place in the Championship. NaijaBet
Aaron Mooy is ineligible due to the terms in his loan agreement with his parent club Manchester City. Continue reading “FA CUP Match Preview : Huddersfield vs Manchester City”
Manchester City are back in the top four after Gabriel Jesus’ late striker earned them a 2-1 win over Swansea. The summer signing has made a real impact since finally linking up with his teammates last month and City look in the groove, which is not good news for a struggling Bournemouth side.
Bournemouth are winless in six matches in all competitions and they are in slight danger of being dragged into the relegation fight if they are not careful. They are six points clear off the bottom three but need to get their act together quickly.
City have scored at least four goals in each of their last three meetings with Bournemouth and travel to the south coast with the Cherries really struggling for form. The signs suggest this match will only end one way.
Bournemouth – Simon Francis came off at half time in Bournemouth’s 6-3 defeat to Everton with a hamstring injury and isn’t expected to recover in time to feature against Manchester City on Sunday. With Charlie Daniels and Adam Smith also huge doubts Howe could have a real selection headache at the back this weekend. NaijaBet.com
Bournemouth started with a back three against Everton but Howe may scrap that formation after they went in at half-time 3-0 down before changing to a back four after the break. Continue reading “Match Preview : Bournemouth vs Manchester City”