Bernardo Silva says Manchester City’s squad is approaching full strength at the right time as they mount a four-pronged trophy assault
Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy have missed large chunks of the campaign through injury, while David Silva, Fernandinho, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan have had spells out recently.
But the Premier League champions are now getting close to full strength, with Mendy the only key player sidelined with a serious injury, and there are hopes he could be back in action before the end of the month.
City illustrated the depth of their squad as they named De Bruyne, Aguero and Riyad Mahrez on the bench for Monday’s clash with Wolves and still eased to a 3-0 win.
“It feels like we have all the squad, which is important because we need all of them,” said playmaker Silva. “It is good finally to be back together.
“Of course until this moment of the season we have had so many injured players, we never played with the whole squad. To have almost the whole squad available is fantastic for us and it is very good to try and go for all the competitions.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Silva, 24, has no issue with the fact that means increased competition for his own place. Continue reading “Silva welcomes the return of Man City big guys”
Chelsea are facing disciplinary action over alleged anti-Semitic chanting by their supporters during a Europa League match against Vidi FC in Budapest last month, Uefa said in a statement on Tuesday.
The European soccer body said it had completed an investigation and that “in relation to the alleged racist incidents that occurred at the…. match, Uefa has announced that disciplinary proceedings have been instigated against Chelsea FC.”
The hearing will take place on February 28., Uefa added.
Media reported some Chelsea supporters chanted offensive songs about Tottenham Hotspur fans early in their 2-2 draw in Hungary.
Chelsea issued a statement following the game describing anti-Semitism as “abhorrent to this club and the overwhelming majority of our fans.” Continue reading “Chelsea face Uefa disciplinary action over racist chanting”
David de Gea produced a goalkeeping masterclass on Sunday as Manchester United beat Tottenham 1-0 to prove their recovery under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is no flash in the pan.
Marcus Rashford scored the only goal in the 44th minute of an open, exciting match at Wembley but the performance of the Spanish goalkeeper will live long in the memory.
He made 11 saves – the most saves he has made in a top-flight league match without conceding a goal – leaving Spurs players holding their heads in disbelief on multiple occasions. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
United were eight points behind Arsenal when Solskjaer became their caretaker manager on December 19 but are now level on points with the fifth-placed Gunners as they hunt down a Champions League qualification spot.
But the result is a devastating blow for Mauricio Pochettino’s title-chasing Tottenham, who again came up short when the pressure was on and remain nine points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool.
“We won the game against a top team, we controlled the first half but in the second half they had chances,” De Gea said . “I was feeling very well with the first two saves, it was a great game. Continue reading “Rashford and De Gea shine as United sink Spurs”
Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola has urged Eden Hazard to reject a potential offer from Real Madrid and focus on becoming the Blues’ all-time greatest player.
Hazard has been strongly linked with Real for several months after the Belgium star refused to rule out a move to the Bernabeu and admitted playing for the Spanish giants would be a dream come true.
The 27-year-old’s current contract with Chelsea expires in June 2020 and he is yet to agree to an extension as he weighs up his future.
Chelsea have reportedly offered to make Hazard the highest paid player in the club’s history in a bid to keep him.
But, ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against Leicester, Zola made a persuasive argument that was aimed to appeal to Hazard’s ego rather than his bank balance. Various betting Options are available on site for today’s games
Zola was voted the best player in Chelsea’s history in 2003 after serving the club with distinction as a gifted playmaker with similar skills to Hazard.
The Italian, now back at Chelsea working for boss Maurizio Sarri, believes Hazard is capable of stealing that cherished title from him if he stays at Stamford Bridge. Continue reading “Hazard can be Chelsea’s all-time great player – Zola”
Tottenham Hotspur must overcome another London rival to reach the League Cup final after being drawn against Chelsea in the last four on Wednesday, while third tier Burton Albion will take on holders Manchester City.
Tottenham, who beat fierce local foes Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium to reach the semis, have also played London clubs Watford and West Ham in this year’s competition.
“A very difficult draw, another London derby,” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said.
“We shall see, Chelsea are a great team but we are excited. To be in the semifinal is fantastic for us.” Bet Now
Chelsea booked their spot in the last four with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth thanks to Eden Hazard’s deflected winner. Continue reading “Tottemham to face Chelsea in EFLCup semis”
Jose Mourinho said on Wednesday he is “immensely proud” of his time at Manchester United but refused to delve into the issues that played a part in his Old Trafford exit.
Club bosses sacked the Portuguese manager on Tuesday following a 3-1 defeat at Anfield that left the 20-time champions an embarrassing 19 points behind league leaders Liverpool after just 17 matches.
Former United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was announced as Mourinho’s temporary replacement on Wednesday as the club begins its search for a permanent replacement.
Mourinho lifted the Europa League, League Cup and Community Shield in his first year at the club before finishing runners-up in both the league and FA Cup, but things have unravelled since the start of his third campaign at the helm.
The United boss has made his frustrations about players and some of the club’s decisions clear over recent months but kept his feelings on such matters to himself in a statement released the day after his sacking. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
“I have been immensely proud to wear the badge of Manchester United since the first day I arrived, and I believe all United supporters recognise this,” Mourinho said in a statement released to Britain’s Press Association. Continue reading “I am ‘proud’ of my career at Manchester United”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was on Wednesday named as Manchester United’s caretaker manager until the end of the current season following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
The former United striker will take charge of the first team with immediate effect and will remain in place while the club looks for a new full-time manager.
Mourinho was axed on Tuesday after just two-and-half years in charge at Old Trafford, with the 20-times English champions languishing in sixth place in the Premier League, 19 points behind leaders Liverpool.
Solskjaer, 45, will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach, working alongside Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna.
“Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role. I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club,” said the Norwegian. Various betting options are available on Site for today’s games
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “Ole is a club legend with huge experience, both on the pitch and in coaching roles. Continue reading “Gunnar Solskjaer to take charge as United caretaker manager”
Holders Manchester City will take Tuesday’s League Cup quarterfinal with Leicester City seriously, says manager Pep Guardiola, even though they are in a tight duel with Liverpool for the Premier League title.
Guardiola – whose Premier League champions trail Liverpool by a point – says it is only by winning trophies the club can get better, even if the League Cup is viewed as the third most important domestic trophy in English football.
The 47-year-old Spaniard concedes Liverpool may benefit from no longer being involved in the League Cup – their next match is against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday – and if City progress they will face a two-legged semi-final in January.
“We could say yes,” said Guardiola, answering a question at his press conference over whether Liverpool had an advantage in having a lighter fixture list.
“But I’d prefer to be in the League Cup than not. Place bet on live matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
“I cannot imagine going into a game thinking, ‘Oh, it will be better to lose because then we’ll have more time to rest’. I have never thought in that way. Continue reading “Man City will not sacrifice EFL Cup for Premier League title race – Pep”
Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne are both on the verge of a return to action for Manchester City as a busy December programme gathers pace, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.
Aguero, City’s leading scorer, has missed their past four matches with a groin problem but has been able to train without discomfort and could face Everton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Belgium midfielder De Bruyne suffered ligament damage to his right knee in August and although he returned in October, he then injured his left knee during the League Cup win over Fulham on November 1.
He too has resumed full training and Guardiola will assess both players in the hope that his lengthy casualty list might be about to ease.
The City boss said he was down to 15 fit senior players for Wednesday’s 2-1 Champions League victory over Hoffenheim, and remains without a significant chunk of his squad. Bet Now
Playmaker David Silva, full-back Benjamin Mendy and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo are longer-term absentees, while defenders John Stones and Danilo, plus midfielder Fernandinho, will have late fitness checks before Guardiola makes a decision on whether to include them. Continue reading “Aguero, De Bruyne close to Man City return – Guardiola”
Jose Mourinho faces a quandary as he prepares Manchester United for a trip to Premier League leaders Liverpool while Manchester City will be keen to show that last week’s Chelsea defeat was just a blip.
United have an impressive recent record against Liverpool, unbeaten in eight league games, but away fans will travel with a sense of trepidation to Anfield.
Unai Emery takes his Arsenal side, unbeaten in 21 matches in all competitions, to face struggling Southampton while Chelsea also travels to the south coast to take on Brighton.
Manchester City host seventh-placed Everton while Tottenham, fresh from reaching the Champions League knockout phase, face Burnley at Wembley.
These are some of the main talking points ahead of the weekend fixtures in the Premier League. Start forecasting your weekend games now
Jose Mourinho came under fire last year for failing to attack Liverpool’s then leaky defence, settling for a 0-0 draw that cost his side momentum after a fine start to the season. Continue reading “Liverpool face Man United test, City look to get back into winning”
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba must rediscover his best form and lead by example in Wednesday’s Champions League tie at Valencia, manager Jose Mourinho has said.
Record signing Pogba, who has been on the bench for United’s last two Premier League games, is likely to start the final Group H encounter alongside fringe players as the side have already qualified for the last 16.
Since winning the World Cup with France earlier this year, Pogba has struggled to replicate that form at club level amid media speculation of a rift with the manager. Various options are available on site for today’s games
“I am looking for him (Pogba) to play well and to have a good impact in the game and in the team… a team with many players who don’t have many miles in their legs and some players who are not playing a lot,” Mourinho told reporters. Continue reading “Pogba should lead by example against Valencia- Mourinho”
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville claims Manchester City star Raheem Sterling endured years of “vicious” abuse before the alleged racist slurs directed at him by Chelsea fans on Saturday.
Sterling was subjected to reported racist abuse from Chelsea fans during City’s 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have suspended four supporters while they continue their investigation into the incident.
Neville, who worked with Sterling during his time as the assistant to former England boss Roy Hodgson, says the abuse at Chelsea is far from the first time the City winger has taken the brunt of vitriolic public criticism.
Neville revealed Sterling approached him for advice during Euro 2016 when abuse from fans and media for his poor performances became too much for him to take.
“He came to see me one-on-one in 2016, I think it was three or four days before the Iceland game,” Neville said on Monday Night Football.
“Before the tournament, he was getting so much stick. We were aware of that as a coaching staff that fans were on to him, media were on to him.
“It then continued into the stadium, to the point where there were boos and groans.
“He accepted that he would get criticism playing for England, he accepted he would get scrutinised as an England player, he didn’t want any special treatment. Place Bet on today’s games
“But it was so vicious, he felt so targeted, he didn’t know what to do about it. I saw someone who has a great mentality and is tough, but a level of vulnerability.” Continue reading “Sterling has endured abuse for years – Gary Neville”
Liverpool could finish the weekend top of the Premier League, as current leaders Manchester City are away to Chelsea on Saturday evening.
Bournemouth’s four-game losing streak came to an end in midweek, although they were forced to survive a second-half onslaught against Huddersfield. Fatigue could be an issue for Eddie Howe’s side this weekend.
Bournemouth- Lewis Cook has been ruled out for six-nine months after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament against Huddersfield on Tuesday.
With Dan Gosling also ruled out for Bournemouth, Andrew Surman will start in central midfield alongside Jefferson Lerma.
Eddie Howe will have to assess the fitness of his players after surviving a second half onslaught against Huddersfield in midweek. Various betting options are available on site for this weekend games.
Liverpool- Joseph Gomez suffered a fracture to his lower left leg in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Burnley on Wednesday and is sidelined for up to six weeks. Continue reading “Premier League Match Preview: Bournemouth vs Liverpool”
Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard must make up his mind whether he wishes to commit to Chelsea and extend his contract worth a rumoured £350 000 a week, the club’s manager Maurizio Sarri said.
The 27-year-old – whose present deal runs till June 2020 – was linked with a move to Real Madrid after a stunning World Cup in which he inspired Belgium to their best ever finish of third.
However, Sarri said Chelsea’s offer was on the table and now the ball lay in Hazard’s court.
Hazard, who joined Chelsea for £32 million from Ligue 1 outfit Lille in 2012, has spoken often about the dilemma he faces in re-signing for the Blues or taking his chances at Real.
“The club is available to sign a new contract immediately, but it’s up to him if he wants to renew or not,” said Sarri. Bet Virtual games 24/7 on NaijaBet
“I want Eden here, of course, but I want him here if he wants to stay here.” Continue reading “Hazard must make up his mind over new contract – Sarri”
Manchester City were forced to defend deep in the final stages at Watford on Tuesday but ensured their title-chasing juggernaut kept rolling on with a 2-1 victory that extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points.
The defending champions, who are unbeaten in the league, were again without Argentine striker Sergio Aguero but close-season signing Riyad Mahrez showed his worth by setting up Leroy Sane for the first goal before scoring himself.
Bournemouth moved up to sixth with a 2-1 home win over lowly Huddersfield Town, while there were comfortable wins for West Ham United and 10-man Brighton & Hove Albion.
City were having trouble finding a way past Watford keeper Ben Foster at Vicarage Road but the Englishman will not want to see the replay of him being beaten by the chest of Sane five minutes before the break after a Mahrez cross.
Algerian Mahrez then fired home himself shortly after halftime to set Pep Guardiola’s marauding side on the way to what looked like an easy victory. Latest odds are available on site for today’s games on NaijaBet
Watford did not give up though and Abdoulaye Doucoure fired in from close range five minutes from time. The hosts, without a win since October, pushed City deep into their half but could not stop them claiming a 13th win in 15 league games this term. Continue reading “Man City sinks Watford to extend EPL lead, Bournemouth up to sixth”
Arsenal’s record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was compared to the club’s all-time great striker Thierry Henry after his double set the stage for his side’s pulsating 4-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby on Sunday.
The Gabonese, who signed from Borussia Dortmund in January for £56 million, put Arsenal ahead with a 10th-minute penalty and in the second half pulled them level with a dazzling strike after they had gone 2-1 behind.
Aubemayang’s performance, which made him the Premier League’s leading marksman for the season with 10 goals, prompted the highest of praise from his teammate Aaron Ramsey, who was reminded of Arsenal’s all-time record scorer Henry.
“It was unbelievable but he does that in training all the time,” said Ramsey of the first-time strike that made it 2-2.
“He just eases the ball into the corners but with pace as well. It reminds me of Thierry Henry’s finishes,” Ramsey added on Arsenal’s official website. Place bet on today’s game on NaijaBet
“After the first goal we conceded, we had a moment where we were a bit down. At halftime we were confident. We spoke and we knew that we could do it in the second half, to come back,” Aubameyang himself noted. Continue reading “Aubameyang compared to Henry after scoring twice against Tottenham”
Liverpool faces a derby clash against Everton as they lick their Champions League wounds while Tottenham travels to Arsenal with a spring in their step on a weekend of big-city derbies.
Jurgen Klopp’s team lost 2-1 to Paris Saint-Germain in midweek, meaning their bid to reach the knockout stages in Europe will go to the last game against Napoli, while Spurs face the daunting task of beating Barcelona to progress.
But both clubs will have to put their continental ambitions to one side as they attempt to stay on the coat-tails of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the Premier League.
Chelsea take on Fulham and one of their former managers in another London derby but Claudio Ranieri’s side will travel the short distance to Stamford Bridge with new-found confidence after arresting a run of six Premier League defeats.
Jose Mourinho’s misfiring Manchester United play Southampton away after edging past Swiss side Young Boys into the Champions League knockout phase. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet
Third-placed Spurs head to the Emirates stadium buoyed by last week’s 3-1 victory against Chelsea and their 1-0 win against Inter Milan in midweek, which keeps alive their hopes of reaching the Champions League knockouts. Continue reading “Liverpool face Everton this weeked as Spurs play Arsenal on derby day”
Jose Mourinho once again stole the show from his players, smashing drinks crates to the ground after Marouane Fellaini’s late winner took Manchester United into the Champions League knockout stages and eliciting headlines on Wednesday such as “Bottle of Red”.
The volatile 55-year-old Portuguese — whose mood swings and barbed remarks about virtually all his players and the transfer policy of the board have cast a pall over the club this season — said the violence of his reaction was the product of several factors.
Fellaini’s winner against Young Boys and Valencia’s defeat by Juventus ensured the ‘Red Devils’ progress, though it is likely as runners-up which will pit them against a group winner in the last 16.
“Relief,” Mourinho said of his celebrations.
“Frustration before that and relief with the goal. Place bet on Live matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
“We didn’t play to be in trouble until the last minute, so frustration.”
Along with his team, Mourinho has been consistently criticised this season, largely for United’s turgid style of play. The late victory might have toned down the headlines on the British sports pages on Wednesday, but they were still far from positive. Continue reading “Mourinho hits back at critics after reaching UCL knockout stages”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
In a bid to deal with Brexit and boost the number of homegrown players, the English Football Association (FA) is planning to reduce the number of overseas players in Premier League squads to 12 from 17, the Times newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The proposal, to be put to the clubs this week, would mean significant changes to a number of sides. Thirteen clubs have more than 12 overseas players in their first team squads this season.
The FA did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
The FA would in return agree to give a governing body endorsement, usually issued for a non-EU/European Economic Area elite player to help the development of football in England, for a work permit for every foreign player who gets a contract with a Premier League club, the report said. Continue reading “English FA to reduces foreign players in EPL squads”