United wouldn’t be happy with top-four finish – Carrick

The Red Devils midfielder says only winning silverware will make the Old Trafford squad happy and allow them to attract “the best players” to the club.

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick insists a top-four finish in the Premier League would be no reason to celebrate.

Despite a 15-match unbeaten league run, Jose Mourinho’s men are sixth in the table, albeit just two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.

With Chelsea seemingly running away with the title, as many as six clubs are fighting for the three spots behind Antonio Conte’s team. NaijaBet

But Carrick – a five-time league winner whose future at United is uncertain – said no celebrations would be had if Mourinho’s side secured a top-four spot.

“It’s not something we’d celebrate, if we finished third, fourth or even second,” he told said.

Continue reading “United wouldn’t be happy with top-four finish – Carrick”

Drogba helped me to settle down at Chelsea – Costa

The Spain striker has praised the former Blues star for helping him settle in when he arrived at Stamford Bridge.

Diego Costa has credited club great Didier Drogba for helping to make his Chelsea career a success.

Drogba won 10 major trophies in his first spell at Stamford Bridge, culminating in him scoring the decisive penalty as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on spot-kicks in the 2012 Champions League final. NaijaBet

He returned for the 2014-15 campaign following brief stint with Shanghai Shenhua and Galatasaray, alongside Costa – a £32million arrival from Atletico Madrid who consigned the veteran to bench duty as he added League Cup and Premier League medals to his collection.

In an interview, the Spain international detailed how Drogba showed no ego and offered plenty of advice when it became clear he would be cast in a supporting role, leaving him to revel in the company of a player he had long admired. Continue reading “Drogba helped me to settle down at Chelsea – Costa”

Wenger calls for unity among Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has urged everyone connected with the Gunners to remain “united” despite seeing the club slip further behind in the Premier League title race.

Successive defeats by Watford and leaders Chelsea have left Arsenal 12 points off the summit and only one point ahead of Liverpool in the race for the fourth and final Champions League qualifying position.

Arsenal last won the Premier League in 2004 and with the title once more looking beyond their grasp, speculation over the future of Wenger, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has intensified.

But this is not the first time the veteran French manager’s Arsenal position has been called into question since he arrived at the north London side in 1996, and Wenger said on Thursday it was vital that the Gunners remember their “special strength” of unity. NaijaBet.com

“Ideally you want everybody to be happy,” Wenger said when asked what factors would help him decide whether or not to sign a new contract. Continue reading “Wenger calls for unity among Arsenal”

Slaven Bilic sweats over Carroll fitness

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic said Andy Carroll may miss Satur- day’s Premier League clash with West Bromwich Albion as the striker has not trained this week due to a minor groin injury.

Carroll, who was injured from mid-August to December, has helped West Ham recover from a tough start since returning to fitness, scoring four goals in his last four games to help them climb to ninth in the table.

Bilic said the injury Carroll picked up in last weekend’s 3-1 win at Southa- mpton was not of serious concern, but suggested that he may rest the striker given his fitness struggles.

“It is not anything major,” Bilic told a news conference on Thursday. “Andy felt something similar to what he had at Middlesbrough and hopefully he will be OK for Saturday.” NaijaBet.com

“Players have to train to maintain fitness and it is about finding a balance, especially with a history of injuries. But if there is a niggle it is not a problem to rest, even for a whole week, and with Andy that is the case.” Continue reading “Slaven Bilic sweats over Carroll fitness”

Liverpool must find the ability to get good results

Liverpool can learn a thing or two from Chelsea such as the Premier League leaders’ ability to grind out results even when they are not playing at their best, midfielder Adam Lallana has said.

Liverpool’s bid for the title has collapsed in recent weeks as a five-game winless run in the league has seen them drop to fifth, 13 points behind Chelsea.

“You can see they (Chelsea) have a lot of experience and that they are used to winning. They know how to win games even when not at their best. You don’t have to always win by scoring five or six,”Lallana said. NaijaBet.com

“Maybe that’s an area we need to improve on. We maybe need to realise how good we are at times.”

In contrast, Chelsea appear to be running away with the league title as they hold a comfortable nine-point cushion over the chasing pack after 24 games. Continue reading “Liverpool must find the ability to get good results”

Bournemouth will survive relegation – Redknapp

The lack of egos in Bournemouth’s dressing room will help the south-coast club in their bid to steer clear of relegation from the Premier League, their ex-manager Harry Redknapp has said.

Bournemouth have won one of their last eight league games, a run which has seen them slide from eighth to 14th in the table, just six points above the drop zone after 24 games.

“(Manager) Eddie (Howe) runs a tight ship. They will stick together, that’s what’s made them what they are. They have no big heads,” Redknapp, who managed Bournemouth from 1983 to 1992 said. Naija and Bet

“They look like a great bunch of lads, so there’s no problem there. They probably need four wins – and perhaps a couple of draws – and they’ll be safe. There is enough quality in the team to pick up those results, no doubt.” Continue reading “Bournemouth will survive relegation – Redknapp”

Jesus delighted with extraordinary start at City

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus said on Wednesday he had been “surprised” by his extraordinary start to life in the Premier League.

The 19-year-old rising star arrived in England last month after City agreed a deal with Brazilian side Palmeiras in pre-season.

While some overseas players take time to adjust to the physicality and pace of the Premier League, Jesus has settled in immediately with three goals in four appearances, including a double in Sunday’s 2-1 win at home to Swansea. Place your Bet with the Champions NaijaBet.com

Such has been his impact, he has has kept Argentina ace Sergio Aguero out of the side for the last two matches, which has in turn led to speculation about the Argentine striker’s future at Eastlands.

“Yes, I am very surprised,” Jesus told mancity.com when asked how things had gone since he joined the club. Continue reading “Jesus delighted with extraordinary start at City”

Spurs are eager to inflict more pains to Liverpool’s hopes – Kane

Tottenham Hotspur are eager to land a fatal blow to Liverpool’s slim Premier League title hopes when the sides meet at Anfield on Satur- day, striker Harry Kane has said.

Unbeaten in their last nine league games, second-placed Tottenham have emerged as the most likely contenders to halt Chelsea’s charge but will have to defy the odds as their London rivals hold a nine-point lead at the top of the table. Naija and Bet

“It is a important game for us. We want to build the gap on Liverpool and if we beat them next week then we go seven points clear of them. That is what we want to try to do,” Kane told.

Liverpool’s bid for the title has collapsed in the recent weeks as a five-game winless run in the league has seen them drop down to fifth, 13 points behind Chelsea after 24 games. Continue reading “Spurs are eager to inflict more pains to Liverpool’s hopes – Kane”

We are all behind Ranieri in fight for survival – Simpsom

Danny Simpson has backed Claudio Ranieri, confident Leicester City can turn things around in the Premier League.

Leicester City full-back Danny Simpson denied reports of player unrest, insisting his team-mates are fighting for manager Claudio Ranieri as the Premier League champions continue to struggle.

The fairytale of sport last year, Leicester have failed to reach those lofty heights again, with Ranieri and his players languishing just a point above the relegation zone.

Leicester have lost four consecutive Premier League fixtures following Sunday’s 3-0 defeat at home to Manchester United, sparking speculation that Ranieri might be beginning to lose the dressing room. Naija and Bet

Simpson backed his Italian boss, confident Leicester can turn things around, starting in Wednesday’s FA Cup fourth-round replay against Derby County. Continue reading “We are all behind Ranieri in fight for survival – Simpsom”

I will stay and fight for future at City – Aguero

Striker Sergio Aguero says he is eager to win back his place in Manchester City’s starting line-up and it will be up to the Premier League club to decide whether to keep him once the season ends.

Aguero, who is the club’s top scorer with 18 goals in 26 games this campaign, was left out for the second match in a row in favour of young Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus, who scored a brace in the 2-1 win at home to Swansea City on Sunday.

“No, no, I don’t want to leave. I have to help the team as much as I can in these three months. Afterwards we’ll see what the club wants to do with me,” Aguero said when asked about his future. NaijaBet.com

“In three years, my contract is up – that’s why I say I’m happy at the club. In these last three months that are left I have to help the club and, as I say, the club will decide if I have a place here or not. Continue reading “I will stay and fight for future at City – Aguero”

Ibrahimovic ready to score more goals

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is refusing to rest on his laurels after becoming the oldest player to net 15 goals in a Premier Lea- gue season when he scored in Sunday’s 3-0 win at Leicester City.

The 35-year-old has shrugged off suggestions he may struggle to adapt to the pace and intensity of the English game, scoring 20 goals in all compe- itions since moving to Old Trafford on a free transfer in July.

“I have a target in my head but I will not say it, and we are not there yet,” Ibrahimovic, who is also the first United player to reach the 20-goal mark since Robin van Persie did in the 2012-13 season said. NaijaBet.com

United are unbeaten in their last 15 league games and sit sixth in the table, just two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal,who hold the final Champio- ns League qualification spot, after 24 games. Continue reading “Ibrahimovic ready to score more goals”

Martial trash Man United exit talk

The striker has shot down reports claiming he is unhappy at Old Trafford despite struggling to earn a regular starting berth this season.

Striker Anthony Martial has rubbished reports claiming he is unhappy at Manchester United. Joshua

The forward has failed to make an appearance for the Red Devils since his side’s 4-0 FA Cup win over Wigan Athletic at the end of January, leading to speculation surrounding his future. NaijaBet

Martial has since been linked with a summer switch to Paris Saint-Germain but the 21-year-old has shot down the reports on Twitter.

The marksman wrote: “Dont (sic) listen the papers it’s wrong thanks Come on United.” Continue reading “Martial trash Man United exit talk”

PSG show interest in Alexis and Aguero

The French giants are targeting a mammoth summer move for one of Arsenal and Manchester City’s most important players.

Paris Saint-Germain are in the market for a world-class forward to join Edinson Cavani at the Parc des Princes, with Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero at the top of the French giants’ summer transfer wishlist. Place your Bet with the Champions NaijaBet.com

PSG boss Unai Emery has already added Julian Draxler, Goncalo Guedes and Giovani Lo Celso to his squad but it is now believed that a summer move for one of Alexis or Aguero remains likely as the Parisiens set their sights on becoming one of Europe’s best.

Aguero, who has a contract with City until 2020, admitted on Sunday that his days at the Premier League title challengers could be numbered as he is unsure whether the club will want to keep him beyond the summer.

Continue reading “PSG show interest in Alexis and Aguero”

Man City newly sign Jesus surprised Guardiaola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admits even he is surprised by the stunning start Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus has made to his career in English football.

The 19-year-old scored twice on his full home debut as City recorded a 2-1 victory over Swansea City on Sunday, meaning the youngster has scored three goals on his first two starts in the Premier League.

After arriving in England at the start of last month, Jesus is emerging as one of the most exciting prospects to land in the English top flight for some time.

“Yes, I’m surprised,” said Guardiola, whose side climbed to third place in the table, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea.

“When he came here after he finished the season and won the (Brazilian) championship with Palmeiras, we spoke. Naija and Bet

“The last two or three years he never had a break because Brazil played a lot of games. I said, ‘Take your time, come back when you feel you’re ready. Continue reading “Man City newly sign Jesus surprised Guardiaola”

Mahrez was wrong to stay to Leicester

French midfielder is headed for two titles in two seasons – and a possible player of the year award – while ex-colleague struggles against the drop.

“The last time I sat in this chair, the next day I was sacked,” said the Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho when addressing the press from Leicester City’s media room following his team’s comprehensive 3-0 victory.

Leicester – en route to supplanting Chelsea as Premier League champions fired the final, fatal arrows at Mourinho’s increasingly paranoid regime in December 2015. Because of that season, Mourinho knows all about what it’s like trying to hoist a sagging team who can’t – or won’t – put in the effort which earlier brought them success.

Mourinho’s calmer now; he probably relayed to Claudio Ranieri after this game the lessons he learned from the end of his Chelsea days. Not that it would do much good. It’s clear what’s wrong with Leicester. The qualities which brought them the Premier League title – hunger, togetherness, discipline – have been thrown into the wind. Naija and Bet

Maybe the title win defined too many of these Leicester players’ professio- nal lives. Real champions toss the medal aside and look for the next challe- nge. Too many of these were fattened by one feast.

Continue reading “Mahrez was wrong to stay to Leicester”

Mourinho happy with United victory at Leicester city

Jose Mourinho took a swipe at his old club, Chelsea, as the Manchester Un- ited boss accused the Premier League leaders of lacking style.

Mourinho’s side cruised to a 3-0 victory at Leicester on Sunday and he was quick to highlight the difference between the dominant United display and what he perceives as the more prosaic efforts of Antonio Conte’s men.

Frustrated by criticism of the cautious nature of his teams when he was in charge at Chelsea, Mourinho made it clear that he is unimpressed the way the Blues, currently nine points clear at the top, and also Tottenham and Liverpool, have been praised despite employing safety-first philosophies.

“My team is playing very well but for many years in my career, especially in this country, when my teams were ruthless and phenomenal defensively I listened week after week to people saying that was not enough, despite winning the title three times,” Mourinho said. NaijaBet.com

“This season it looks that being strong defensively and good on the counter attack is art. That is a big change in England.

Continue reading “Mourinho happy with United victory at Leicester city”

Match Preview : Manchester City vs Swansea

Manchester City are level on points with fourth place Liverpool but are outside the top four on goal difference after thrashing West Ham 4-0 on Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola’s side have only lost one home game all season but have only managed to keep two clean sheets in 11 matches at the Etihad in the league.

Swansea have won consecutive matches in the league for the first time this season since Paul Clement took charge but this is a huge test and one they aren’t expected to overcome.

Both teams have scored in each of their last six encounters and it could prove another high scoring affair. NaijaBet.com

Team News

Manchester City – Pep Guardiola has a full squad to pick from other than long-term absentee Ilkay Gundogan.The Manchester City manager perhaps gave a glimpse of the future in Wednesday’s 4-0 win away to West Ham after dropping Sergio Aguero to the bench in favour of 19-year-old Gabriel Jesus. Guardiola has hinted the pair could play together in the future. Continue reading “Match Preview : Manchester City vs Swansea”

Match Preview : Tottenham vs Middlesbrough

 

Tottenham’s winning Premier League run has stalled of late with back-to-back draws with Manchester City and Sunderland. They’ll hope to capitalise on those around them playing one another earlier in the day to consolidate second spot.

Middlesbrough, meanwhile, have failed to win in six, drawing three. Their record at White Hart Lane is also poor, with five defeats from their last six competitive visits to White Hart Lane, though their last meeting with Spurs in the capital was back in 2009.

Nevertheless, Spurs have the means to return to winning ways in Saturday’s late kick off.

Team News

Tottenham – Heung-min Son is a doubt having been forced off in the 0-0 draw with Sunderland in midweek, but Danny Rose is ruled out with Ben Davies in line to replace the left-back Continue reading “Match Preview : Tottenham vs Middlesbrough”

Match Preview : Hull vs Liverpool

Hull gained a valuable point from their trip to Manchester United on Wednesday and are now only four points adrift of safety.

Marco Silva’s side have started a horrible run of fixtures that will now see them host Liverpool before travelling to Arsenal next and they have already done well to get one point from this tricky spell.

Liverpool drew 1-1 with Chelsea on Tuesday night but have only won one of their last nine competitive matches and will have earmarked this fixture as a must win match in order to keep pace with their top 4 rivals.

They are now only in the top four on goal difference and will hope the return of Sadio Mane will kick start their season again.

Silva’s side did well to get a point from their trip to Old Trafford but it seems unthinkable they can get at least another here even if Liverpool are stuttering at the moment. It may not be easy for Liverpool, but an away win should be on the cards. NaijaBet

Team News

Hull – Lazar Markovic is ineligible to face off against his parent club but Hull do have deadline day signings Alfred N’Diaye and Kamil Grosicki available to make their debuts this weekend. Both may be eased into first-team action rather than handed debuts from the off here. Continue reading “Match Preview : Hull vs Liverpool”

Aguero ready to fight for playing slot at City

Gabriel Jesus’ emergence will not lead to Argentina striker seeking a move away to Real Madrid.

Sergio Aguero will not seek a move away from Manchester City at the end of this season and is willing to fight for a starting spot at the Etihad Stadium, according to the Argentina striker’s agent.

Aguero is in the familiar position of being City’s top scorer, with 18 goals in 25 appearances this term, but he has fresh competition for his place as the club’s attacking spearhead in the form of Gabriel Jesus.

Jesus lined up alongside Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling as Aguero looked on from the bench at London Stadium on Wednesday, where the livewire trio proceeded to tear West Ham to ribbons in a 4-0 victory. Naija and Bet

City boss Pep Guardiola praised Jesus’ aggression and pressing after the match – cutting a contrast with his calls earlier in the campaign for Aguero to improve his all-round contribution, around the time he left the 28-year-old on the bench against Barcelona at Camp Nou in October. Continue reading “Aguero ready to fight for playing slot at City”

I went crazy at West Ham : Zaza

The striker says he could not adjust to the training methods with the Premier League side which was why he failed to shine with the Hammers

Simone Zaza has revealed why his West Ham move failed to work out after a difficult spell with Slaven Bilic’s side.

The striker failed to score during his time in East London and managed just eight Premier League appearances for the Hammers.

Zaza has now joined Valencia on loan after less than five months with West Ham and has explained why he struggled to adapt to English football.

“I didn’t feel great in so many ways: environment, culture, training, nutrition,” he said. Naija and Bet

“I was not good physically. I had been through pre-season with Juventus so I was okay. Continue reading “I went crazy at West Ham : Zaza”

Match Preview : Chelsea vs Arsenal

Chelsea managed to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League despite only managing a 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Tuesday and they should all but secure the title if they avoid defeat at home to Arsenal on Saturday.

Arsenal failed to gain ground on Chelsea in midweek after slipping to their home league defeat since August at the hands of Watford and they could finish the weekend outside the top four if they lose at Stamford Bridge. NaijaBet.com

The Gunners recorded their first league win against Chelsea in nine attempts when the two sides met earlier in the season but things have changed dramatically since their September clash and Chelsea are firm favourites to win their fifth home league game in a row against Arsene Wenger’s side, in which Arsenal haven’t even managed to score in their last three attempts.

Team News

Chelsea – David Luiz is still struggling with a knee injury picked up earlier in the season but Antonio Conte cannot risk taking him out of the team just yet. The same is true of Eden Hazard.
Pedro started the 1-1 draw with Liverpool on the bench and could come into the team here at the expense of Willian.

Wenger warn Arsenal to watch out for Fabregas

The Blues midfielder may not be getting as many starts as he likes, but he is still putting in the performances as his side chase their league title.

Cesc Fabregas is making Antonio Conte think harder and harder, with each substitute and FA Cup appearance, to find a way to accommodate him in an already in-form Chelsea side.

The creative midfielder has only started five of his side’s league games, yet ranks seventh in the entire division for assists, finding regular football only in knockout competitions.

He has directly contributed to Chelsea’s points total with a key goal against Sunderland, while his last-minute assist against Watford secured all three points in August. Place your Bet on NaijaBet

Fabregas’ six decisive passes have helped Chelsea forge a nine-point gap at the top of the table, with a 30-yard pass to Diego Costa against Manchester City ranking as the best – and one of the most important – of the lot.

In recent weeks, he has demolished lower-league opposition in the FA Cup, resulting in Conte looking to him before anyone when he is chasing game. The 29-year-old came on against both Liverpool and Tottenham as the Italian threw everything at his rivals in an attempt to claim a victory.  Continue reading “Wenger warn Arsenal to watch out for Fabregas”

Conte urges Chelsea to seize the moment against Arsenal

Antonio Conte says Chelsea must seize the chance to move a step closer to winning the Premier League when the leaders face Arsenal in Saturday’s crucial summit meeting.

Conte’s side are nine points clear at the top with 15 games remaining and victory over title rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge would be a significant moment in the race to replace Leicester as English champions.

Beating the third-placed Gunners would move Chelsea 12 points clear of Arsene Wenger’s side, as well as sending a message to the chasing pack that the Blues are determined to hold onto their lead. Naija and Bet

Conte would dearly love to see off Arsenal after the north Londoners’ 3-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium in their previous meeting this season.

That was the most chastening moment of Conte’s first season at Chelsea and the Italian, whose side have lost only one of their last 17 league games, said: “There are 15 games remaining and 45 points. Now we must focus on Arsenal. Continue reading “Conte urges Chelsea to seize the moment against Arsenal”

Klopp admit that other teams not sleeping

The German coach admitted his side are always playing catch up to their main rivals in the Premier League who are constantly improving.

Jurgen Klopp says it is not easy for Liverpool to challenge for the Premier League title after a number of difficult seasons because of the continual development of their rivals.

Klopp’s arrival at Anfield during the 2015-16 campaign boosted hopes that Liverpool could at last end their title drought, having not won the league since 1989-90.

After finishing eighth in the Premier League last term, Liverpool appeared to be Chelsea’s main rival for the title this year after a good start to 2016-17. However, a poor run of form in January, leading up to their 1-1 draw with the Blues on Tuesday, has seen them drop to fourth place in the table, 10 points behind the leaders. Naija and Bet

Their recent slump has led to criticism of Klopp, yet the Liverpool boss remains optimistic about his side’s chances of winning silverware in the not too distant future.

“You all know better than me about this club and what happened the last few years,” Klopp stated at a news conference. Continue reading “Klopp admit that other teams not sleeping”