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”

City will fight for Premier League title to the end : Guardiola

The Citizens boss believes that the gap to Antonio Conte’s side is “too big” but says that his team will keep fighting.

Pep Guardiola insists the Premier League title is almost certainly beyond Manchester City and firmly in Chelsea’s hands despite his side’s magnificent 4-0 win away to West Ham.

Gabriel Jesus shone with a goal and an assist in the first half on Wednesday as the visitors cruised to an emphatic victory less than a month after they had won 5-0 at London Stadium in the FA Cup.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was in the stands to watch the game, but Guardiola claims his managerial rival has nothing to be concerned about despite seeing City move to within 10 points of them. NaijaBet.com

“He doesn’t have to be too worried because Chelsea are nine points ahead [of anyone else],” Guardiola said at his post-match media conference.

Continue reading “City will fight for Premier League title to the end : Guardiola”

Arsenal need to concentrate and focus – Cech

Arsenal’s Petr Cech said Tuesday’s shock loss to Watford was a “huge setback” to the Gunners ahead of their meeting with the Premier League leaders this weekend.

First-half goals from Younes Kaboul and Troy Deeney gave visitors Watford a quick-fire 2-0 lead in Tuesday’s Premier League game and although Arsenal pulled one back through Alex Iwobi, the Hornets held on for three away points.

Defeat left Arsenal nine points behind Chelsea ahead of their trip across London to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

“This was a huge setback,” said Cech. “We wanted to put ourselves in a better position going into the weekend. Naija and Bet

“I always say that at this level you cannot play 80 minutes, or 85. You have to play 90 minutes with full concentration and everybody on top of their game.

“We were second best in the first half. We made so many bad passes, we lost every challenge, we were simply second best, as I said.” Continue reading “Arsenal need to concentrate and focus – Cech”

I can never be friends with Costa – Klopp

The Liverpool boss was not impressed with the Chelsea’s striker’s antics during Tuesday’s clash, but still revealed his admiration for his qualities.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he could never be friends with Diego Costa if he had to face him on the pitch, but acknowledged his “warrior” attitude has been crucial to Chelsea’s success.

Costa has not been far from the headlines and found himself the talking point again in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with the Reds at Anfield, with some feeling the Spain striker went to ground too easily under a challenge from Joel Matip in the penalty area.

The former Atletico Madrid star assumed responsibility for the penalty, but saw his effort denied by Simon Mignolet 14 minutes from time.

Referee Mark Clattenberg’s decision to award the spot-kick was one of the main talking points, but while Klopp admits he would not enjoy a friendly relationship with Costa, he refused to condemn the striker without seeing the incident again.  Continue reading “I can never be friends with Costa – Klopp”

Martial must improve to earn United starting role

The Portuguese manager says he cannot justify leaving Henrikh Mkhitary- an out of the starting XI in order to field the France international.

Anthony Martial has been challenged to”perform better” by Jose Mourinho  if he wants to be a regular starter at Manchester United. NaijaBet.com

The France international has been in and out of the team under Mourinho this season and has started just nine games in the Premier League.

He was given an opportunity in the FA Cup fourth-round tie against Wigan Athletic last weekend and provided two assists in the 4-0 home victory.

However, Martial looks likely to return to the substitutes’ bench for Wednesday’s Premier League game against Hull City at Old Trafford as United seek to boost their top-four aspirations. Continue reading “Martial must improve to earn United starting role”

Match Preview : Manchester United vs Hull

Manchester United have won each of their last five home matches against Hull and haven’t lost at Old Trafford in any competition since September.

Hull have lost each of their last nine away matches in all competitions and have only scored in two of those fixtures.

The Tigers did pull off a surprise win over United in a meaningless second leg EFL Cup semi final clash last Thursday but this is a completely differe-nt match. Place you Bet on United to win on NaijaBet.com

Jose Mourinho has successfully rotated his squad through what has been a busy period for the club and their best players should be fresh and ready to go here.

Team News

Manchester United – Jose Mourinho has confirmed Eric Bailly will play against Hull despite the fact he only injured his ankle playing for the U23s on Monday following his early arrival from Africa Cup of Nations.

The Manchester United manager made wholesale changes to the side that thrashed Wigan 4-0 on Sunday and will recall the likes of Michael Carrick, David De Gea, Paul Pogba, Antonio Valencia and Zlatan Ibrahimovic here. Continue reading “Match Preview : Manchester United vs Hull”

Sakho join Palace on loan from Liverpool

Crystal Palace have signed Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho on loan until the end of season, the London club said on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at Liverpool since being suspended by Uefa last April for failing a drugs test, although the case was dropped after his lawyers argued that a fat-burner he used was not on the banned list.

Several Premier League clubs had reportedly shown interest in the player over the last six months but were put off by Liverpool’s 20 million pounds ($25.16 million) valuation.

Sakho said in an interview with Palace’s official website that he was happy to complete the move after a long day and that he was excited about the challenge. Naija and Bet

“Right now it’s a new page for me,” he said. “When I have a new shirt I always give my best. Continue reading “Sakho join Palace on loan from Liverpool”

Wenger not happy after Watford sink Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was at a loss to explain his side’s appalling first-half display during their surprise 2-1 defeat by Watford at the Emirates Stadium.

His side mustered just three wayward efforts on goal in the opening 45 minutes as they allowed Watford to canter into a two-goal lead and damage further their tilt at the Premier League title.

“It was not good in the first half, especially in the first 20 minutes. We were beaten in the duels and Watford were sharper than us,” Wenger admitted after Tuesday’s match. Naija and Bet

“Did we think subconsciously that we just had to turn up? I don’t know. Honestly we prepared well for the game. Looking at the preparation, I have no basic regret.

“We knew that Watford would make it very physical and we prepared for that. Continue reading “Wenger not happy after Watford sink Arsenal”

Match Preview : West Ham vs Manchester City

West Ham have found some form at the right moment and are now 12 points adrift of the bottom three after winning five of their last seven in the league.

Manchester City have only won one of their last four in the Premier League but performed well in their draw against Tottenham before comfortably beating Crystal Palace in the FA Cup at the weekend.

They are two points adrift of fourth place Liverpool ahead of the midweek fixtures and cannot afford to drop many more points in their bid to finish in the top four.

Pep Guardiola’s side only recently won 5-0 at West Ham in the FA Cup third round but they can expect a tougher contest here. These games are usually high scoring so goals can be expected again on Wednesday night.

Team News

West Ham – Cheikhou Kouyate has returned from Africa Cup of Nations duty with Senegal but is unlikely to feature on Wednesday, while Andre Ayew is still at the tournament. Place your Bet on NaijaBet.com

Jose Fonte will be handed his West Ham debut with Angelo Ogbonna out for the season. Robert Snodgrass, another January arrival, may have to wait until the weekend for his West Ham bow after arriving with a slight injury. Continue reading “Match Preview : West Ham vs Manchester City”

The level of Liverpool intensity have dropped – Luis Garcia

The Champions League winner feels opponents have worked out how to tame Jurgen Klopp’s side, as they prepare to face Chelsea at Anfield on Tuesday.

Liverpool’s slump in form has come after a drop in intensity, claims former Reds forward Luis Garcia.

Jurgen Klopp’s side entered the new year in a positive frame of mind, having claimed a notable victory over Manchester City and progressed into to the semi-finals of the EFL Cup. Naija and Bet

They have, however, secured just one victory in their last eight fixtures, which came against League Two outfit Plymouth Argyle in a FA Cup third-round replay.

Liverpool have since tumbled out of that competition, while failing to make Wembley in the League Cup and dropping precious points in the Premier League. Continue reading “The level of Liverpool intensity have dropped – Luis Garcia”

Sunderland signed two players from Everton

Sunderland signed Costa Rica left back Bryan Oviedo and Ireland midfielder Darron Gibson from manager David Moyes’s former club Everton on Monday.

The Premier League strugglers announced that Oviedo had signed a contract to 2020, replacing Patrick van Aanholt who completed his switch to relegation rivals Crystal Palace earlier in the day.

Moyes signed the 26-year-old for Everton while boss of the Merseyside club before an ill-fated move to Manchester United in 2013 as Alex Ferguson’s short-lived successor.

Gibson, 29, also played under Moyes at Goodison Park and has been reunited with the Scot on an 18-month deal. No financial details were given. Place with champions NaijaBet.com

“Bryan is a very good player and he’ll help us get forward,” Moyes told the Sunderland website (www.safc.com). Continue reading “Sunderland signed two players from Everton”

Fernandinho return will be more significant for City

Kevin De Bruyne believes Fernandinho’s return from suspension will provide  the foundation for Manchester City to get their spluttering Premier League campaign back on track at West Ham on Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola’s side have dropped out of the top four and trail leaders Chelsea by 12 points after winning just one of their last four league games.

Guardiola wrote off City’s titles hopes during that unexpected slump, but a comfortable 3-0 victory at Crystal Palace in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday was a much needed tonic and De Bruyne anticipates the return of Brazil midfielder Fernandinho will be even more significant.

Fernandinho has served a four-match ban after receiving his third red card in six games in a win against Burnley on January 2. Naija and Bet

During Fernandinho’s absence, City looked alarmingly vulnerable and were thrashed 4-0 at Everton in Guardiola’s heaviest league defeat as a manager. Continue reading “Fernandinho return will be more significant for City”

Match Preview : Liverpool vs Chelsea

Liverpool have struggled in 2017, with just one win to their name from eight this calendar year.

A 2-1 loss to Wolves at the weekend means they crashed out of two competitions in the space of four days after their EFL Cup loss to Saints and the will look to bounce back with the welcome of Chelsea.

The Blues have lost just one of their last 15 competitive outings, winning the other 14. This is an ideal chance to exact revenge on Liverpool after the fell to a 2-1 loss in the reverse fixture this season, that just one of Chelsea’s four competitive defeats this term. NaijaBet.com

The return of Sadio Mane is a boost to Liverpool, but Chelsea could continue the hosts’ poor start to the year in this one.

Team News

Liverpool – Danny Ings and Mark Grujic are both ruled out for the Reds for Tuesday’s welcome of Chelsea. Continue reading “Match Preview : Liverpool vs Chelsea”

I’ve been hoping to play EFL Cup final – Mata

The Spain international is looking forward to taking in another trip to Wembley, with Jose Mourinho’s side readying themselves for the EFL Cup final.

Juan Mata says he “can’t be more motivated” as Manchester United take aim at the EFL Cup, a trophy that has so far eluded him during his time in England.

The Spain international has tasted FA Cup success in the recent past, while also claiming Community Shield, Champions League and Europa League crowns. NaijaBet.com 

He has never got his hands on the League Cup, though, with Chelsea and United unable to get him over that particular line.

Mata is, however, now just one game away from adding to his silverware haul, with the Red Devils set for a Wembley showdown with Southampton on February 26. Continue reading “I’ve been hoping to play EFL Cup final – Mata”

Match Preview : Sunderland vs Tottenham

Sunderland have lost four of their last five Premier League fixtures and now foot the table. The welcome of Tottenham is not what they will have wanted as they look to haul themselves out of the relegation zone.

Tottenham secured their spot in the next round of the FA Cup with a 4-3 win over Wycombe and have now failed to win one of their last nine com- petitive fixtures, that coming in a 2-2 draw with Manchester City.

Spurs have won five of their last six meetings with the Black Cats and have the means to continue their good form at the Stadium of Light. NaijaBet

Team News

Sunderland – Papy Djilobodji is suspended for Sunderland, but Lamine Kone is available following AFCON duty and he, along with Didier Ndong, could both feature. Continue reading “Match Preview : Sunderland vs Tottenham”

Payet join Marseille from West Ham for £25m

The France international has completed his return to his former club and will be unveiled to the media at their training ground on Monday.

Marseille have signed Dimitri Payet from West Ham for a fee of £25 million, the French side have confirmed.

The France international, who left OM to join the Hammers back in 2015, has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal after successfully completing a medical on Sunday.

Payet joined West Ham from Marseille in 2015 and starred in his first season in England, earning a place in France’s Euro 2016 squad and scoring three goals in a run to the final. NaijaBet.com

Despite signing a bumper five-year deal in February last year, Payet became unsettled with West Ham struggling for form this term and an exit had been on the cards ever since manager Slaven Bilic revealed he was refusing to play midway through January. Continue reading “Payet join Marseille from West Ham for £25m”

My Critics want me to be punish in jail – Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger joked on Sunday that his critics would only be truly happy if he was sent to prison as punishment for pushing a fourth official.

The Frenchman was handed a four-match touchline ban for verbally abusing and shoving Anthony Taylor during his side’s 2-1 win over Burnley earlier this month and he was forced to watch from the stands as Arsenal beat Southampton 5-0 in the FA Cup on Saturday.

“Those who don’t like me, any sentence will be too lenient,” said Wenger.

“They would like to put me in jail somewhere without anything in the middle of winter – and that will still be lenient. Continue reading “My Critics want me to be punish in jail – Wenger”

Match Preview : Arsenal vs Watford

A 5-0 win at Southampton on Saturday means Arsenal have failed to win just one of their last seven competitive outings. The welcome of Watford provides them with the ideal chance to continue their good form ahead of Saturday’s trip to Chelsea.

Watford crashed out of the FA Cup at the weekend and now have won just once in their last nine outings. The Hornets have lost just one of their last six meetings with the Gunners and are expected to struggle at the Emirates on Tuesday night.

Arsenal come into the fixture as overwhelming favourites and should win here.

Team News

Arsenal – Mohamed Elneny is unavailable due to his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt. Naija and Bet

Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Debuchy and Yaya Sanogo are all ruled out for the Gunners, while Granit Xhaka serves the second of a four-match ban. Continue reading “Match Preview : Arsenal vs Watford”

Liverpool manager seeks to end club slump

For the first time since he arrived at Liverpool Jurgen Klopp is in the midst of a crisis to the extent that a win on Tuesday at home to Premier League leaders Chelsea is obligatory.

The 49-year-old charismatic German – who replaced Brendan Rodgers in November 2015 – has seen his side knocked out of two Cup competitions inside a week and a further loss to Chelsea would be the first time since 1923 they have lost four successive games at Anfield and only the second time in their 125-year history.

However victory over Antonio Conte’s side would reduce the gap between them to seven points while should Arsenal beat out of form Watford and their north London rivals Spurs beat bottom side Sunderland they would be just five and six points off the leaders respectively.

Klopp, though, accepts some confidence has seeped away from his side with just one win in eight games in January and the free-flowing, eye-catching football they were playing seems a distant memory.

“We spoke about confidence a few months ago and I said it’s a little flower,” said Klopp after his side had been knocked out by second tier Wolves from the FA Cup on Saturday.

“If something bounces on it, then it’s away. Obviously, that happened kind of, but it’s not that we play without confidence. Continue reading “Liverpool manager seeks to end club slump”

FA CUP Match Preview : Manchester United vs Wigan

Wigan might be in a relegation scrap at the bottom of the Championship but they have hit their best form of the season at the right time.

They have won three games in a row for the first time this season, having only managed four wins all season prior to the start of their current run. They have also only lost two of their last nine away matches.

Manchester United’s 17-match unbeaten run in all competitions came to an end on Thursday night, depite Jose Mourinho’s comments, after they toiled to a 2-1 defeat away to Hull City in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi final.

That scoreline was still enough for them to progress to the final, where they will meet Southampton, but they must now focus their attentions on Sunday’s clash with Wigan in the FA Cup fourth round.

United have won 17 of their 18 previous matches against Wigan and have only ever conceded in five of those matches. Even though Mourinho’s side have struggled in their last few matches they should have enough to overcome Wigan, although it could go down to the wire due to the fact United have only scored four first half goals in their last nine matches.

Continue reading “FA CUP Match Preview : Manchester United vs Wigan”

Wolverhampton knock Liverpool out of FA Cup

Richard Stearman and Andreas Weimann got the goals for the visitors, with a reply from Divock Origi unable to shake the Reds from their 2017 struggles. Place your Bet on other matches to come up on NaijaBet.com

Wolverhampton Wanderers claimed a notable scalp in the FA Cup fourth round as they left Liverpool reeling with a 2-1 victory at Anfield.

It took just 52 seconds for the Championship outfit to inflict more misery on Jurgen Klopp’s out-of-sorts side, with a free-kick whipped beyond a statuesque Reds back line allowing Richard Stearman to nod home.

Things got even worse for the hosts four minutes before half-time when a Wolves breakaway freed Andreas Weimann to waltz around Loris Karius and fire into an empty net. Continue reading “Wolverhampton knock Liverpool out of FA Cup”

Welbeck can make up for lost time – Wenger

The England international has suffered with injuries during his Gunners career but is determined to earn himself a regular place in the team.

Nine months is a long time in football, just ask Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck who spent almost a year on the sidelines recovering from a gruelling knee injury.

The 26-year-old joined the Gunners during the final hours of the transfer window in 2014 after then-Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal deemed him not up to the standards of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Falcao.

While van Gaal announced his managerial retirement earlier this week, Welbeck is set for his first start since May when Arsenal take on Southampton in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.

Welbeck’s Arsenal career has had its fair share of ups and downs so far. His first professional hat-trick in the Champions League against Galatasaray, to scoring the winner against his former club United in the FA Cup quarter-final, there have undoubtedly been memorable moments to emphasise his attacking qualities.

Continue reading “Welbeck can make up for lost time – Wenger”

Match Preview : Chelsea vs Brentford

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Chelsea have won each of their last three since losing to Tottenham at the start of January. Antonio Conte’s have scored nine goals and conceded just one goal in that time.

Brentford have lost two in a row ahead of this fixture, while they have only recorded four away wins all season.

This is the second time Brentford have been drawn to play Chelsea in the FA Cup since 2013 and they managed to earn a replay on that occasion. They drew 2-2 at home on that occasion before being thrashed 4-0 at Stamford Bridge. Place your Bet on NaijaBet.com

Chelsea should have no trouble turning Brentford over, particularly if they are unable to call upon star striker Scott Hogan.

Team News

Chelsea – Antonio Conte has a full squad to pick from but may turn to some of his fringe and youth players for the reception of Brentford on Saturday. Continue reading “Match Preview : Chelsea vs Brentford”

Ranieri hail Leicester’s character against Derby

The Italian was pleased with the effort the Foxes showed in their draw with Derby and insists he isn’t stressed about the difficult upcoming schedule.

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri “loved” the character his side showed as the Foxes came from behind to draw 2-2 at Derby in a thrilling FA Cup fourth round tie on Friday night.

The Premier League champions took the lead courtesy of Darren Bent’s comical own-goal, but the former England striker made amends shortly after as he netted an equaliser for the Rams before Craig Bryson added a second just before half-time.

Ranieri’s charges dug deep in a fascinating cup clash though and their efforts were rewarded when Wes Morgan’s 86th minute leveller secured a replay.

The additional fixture means Leicester have quite a build-up of matches to play, with Champions League football set to return to the King Power Stadium in February. Naija and Bet

When asked about that difficult schedule, Ranieri told his post-match press conference: “Stress? No. I think it was more stressful to lose tonight. There is an opportunity for the [players] to show their quality. Continue reading “Ranieri hail Leicester’s character against Derby”

Match Preview : Tottenham vs Wycombe

tottenham vs wycombe

Tottenham were made to work for their place in the next round of the FA Cup, but secured their meeting with Wycombe courtesy of a 2-0 win over Aston Villa.

Spurs have lost just one of their last 11 competitive fixtures and will look to return to winnings ways after holding Manchester City to a 2-2 draw at the weekend.

Wycombe, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their last 15 competitive outings with a 2-1 win over Stourbrdge guaranteeing their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

They have never met Spurs in any competition, but come into this fixture as huge underdogs. Naija and Bet

While the League Two side will put up a fight to land an unlikely result, Spurs should comfortably overcome the Chairboys at White Hart Lane.

Team New Continue reading “Match Preview : Tottenham vs Wycombe”