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”

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”