Already qualified Nigeria will be aiming to end their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign on a high with victory over Seychelles at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on Friday afternoon, Kick-off is at 4 pm.
The Super Eagles have already booked their spot at this year’s showpiece in Egypt, following a 1-1 draw away to South Africa in Johannesburg last year.
Nigeria lost their opening game of the qualifiers 2-0 at home to Bafana Bafana, but followed the result with three wins in succession. The sequence included back-to-back victories over Libya and a 3-0 win over Seychelles in Victoria.
This fired the Super Eagles to the top of Group E and they will remain in the position with victory over the Island nation this weekend. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Nigeria will be without the injured duo of Ola Aina and Samuel Kalu for the clash, but welcome back top-scorer Odion Ighalo who missed the clash in South Africa.
The Williams sisters have hoisted the Miami trophy 11 times between them and all those victories were celebrated at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne.
But this year the tournament has moved to the suburbs and Hard Rock Stadium is Osaka country with Naomi and Mari growing up three miles away and learning to play tennis almost in the shadow of the Hard Rock home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, who are part-owned by the Williams sisters.
Naomi will be joined in the draw by her 338th-ranked sibling who needed a wildcard to get a place in the tournament. Bet Now
“It is a bit weird that I have to give her advice and she is my older sister,” Naomi told reporters on Wednesday. “But she has been doing like newbie mistakes. Continue reading “Osaka sister act primed for Miami Open spotlight”
It’s a new dawn for Germany, with coach Joachim Low looking to use this tricky friendly as a means of finalising his tactical plan for what promises to be a challenging qualifying group, potentially utilising a 4-3-3 formation to take some focus off of a lack of depth in the central striking department.
Serbia have enviable attacking options but should they start, the ageing full-backs could be in for a long evening against the hosts rapid wide players.
This should be an entertaining affair with plenty of in-form players on either side, but the hosts should just have the edge.
It’s been a case of out with the old and in with the new for Joachim Low, who told Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller that they would no longer come into consideration, though the long-standing coach has reaffirmed that Manuel Neuer remains his first choice keeper, despite a disappointing season so far.
That said, Marc-Andre ter Stegen may well start this friendly, while Leipzig’s Lukas Klostermann, Hertha Berlin’s Niklas Stark and Werder Bremen’s Maximilian Eggestein are all hoping to make their debuts. Bet Now on NaijaBet.com
The likes of Leon Goretzka (minor injury) and Timo Werner (illness) may not be risked ahead of what already looks like a crucial qualifier against Netherlands at the weekend, though the latter is the only natural striker in the squad, and Serge Gnabry is out of Wednesday’s game through injury. Continue reading “International Friendly Match Preview: Germany vs Serbia”
England’s team spirit under manager Gareth Southgate has helped players from competing clubs to set aside their rivalries when they report for national duty, according to captain Harry Kane. affect
England begins their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign against Czech Republic on Friday at Wembley Stadium and visit Montenegro three days later, with several of Southgate’s players competing for trophies at club level.
Club rivalries have contributed to England’s failure to perform at major tournaments in the past, with former players Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard revealing how factions had formed when players reported for England duty.
“We’ve heard about things happening in the past – people sitting on different tables and teams being divided,” Tottenham Hotspur striker Kane told reporters. Start forecasting your Euro 2020 qualifications Matches Now
“We put that to one side and even with Liverpool and (Manchester) City boys when we are here it is 100 percent England. That has been part of our success.”
The 34-year-old Juventus forward was recalled by Portugal coach Fernando Santos for games at home to Ukraine and Serbia, having not played for his country since the 2018 World Cup.
Ronaldo was rested for the last six Portugal games while he settled at his new club following his departure from Real Madrid last July. Start forecasting your games Now
The reigning European champions, who are through to the Uefa Nations League final in June, kick off their Group B campaign in Lisbon on Friday against Ukraine before facing Serbia on March 25. Continue reading “Ronaldo returns to Portugal camp ahead of Euro 2020 qualifiers”
Loew, who arrived in Wolfsburg later than expected due to a dental operation this week, is hoping to bounce back from a painful 2018, in which Germany suffered an early World Cup exit and were relegated from the top tier of the Uefa Nations League.
The friendly against Serbia is a warm-up for Sunday’s prestigious opening Euro 2020 qualifier away to the Netherlands with the Germans hunting revenge after a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of the Oranje last October at the Amsterdam Arena.
Amid fears that German football is in decline, the 59-year-old Loew is under pressure to show that he can build a new era of success around a younger generation of players.
Yet he has also faced fierce criticism for his decision to strike veteran World Cup winners Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Mueller from the national team set-up, falling offside with their club Bayern Munich in the process. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
The controversial call has been seen as a gamble, which has heightened the pressure ahead of Wednesday’s game. Continue reading “Germany boss Loew ready to face Serbia with New Team”
Bayern will have been the happier of the two sides with the stalemate at Anfield last month but approach the second leg in worse shape than their visitors as far as injuries and suspensions are concerned.
The Bundesliga champions did record a thumping 6-0 win at the weekend and will be in confident mood, though Liverpool looked back on form in the attacking third themselves with a win over Burnley, so this promises to be an intriguing battle.
Juventus have a mountain to climb after a 2-0 defeat in the first leg but have dropped points in just three matches at home in all competitions this season and will be confident of turning the tables.
Atletico have not been strong on the road all season, winning just seven matches in all competitions, but their defensive record will mean that this is an incredibly tough task for the hosts.
The hosts really need to score in the first half to unnerve their visitors but Simeone’s side have enough know-how about them to see them through.
Juventus- Alex Sandro is suspended having picked up a third yellow card of the tournament in Madrid, while Blaise Matuidi is one caution away from missing any potential quarter-final first leg.
Leonardo Bonucci and Paulo Dybala were among those rested from kick-off at the weekend, while the likes of Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia De Sciglio, Matuidi, Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo played no part whatsoever against Udinese. Various Betting Options are available on NaijaBet
Joao Cancelo and Miralem Pjanic will also be well rested having been suspended at the weekend, while Juan Cuadrado, Sami Khedira and Douglas Costa are all sidelined. Continue reading “Champions League Match Preview: Juventus vs Atletico Madrid”
Eighteen years after winning his first title in Milan by beating long-forgotten Frenchman Julien Boutter, Federer on Saturday became just the second man after Jimmy Connors to win 100 career singles crowns.
Among that collection are 20 Grand Slams, 27 Masters and six World Tour Finals.
Off court, he is the father of two sets of twins, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva and Leo and Lenny with wife Mirka, a former player he met at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
But his career and life wasn’t always so settled.
As a talented young player, Federer’s hair-trigger temper once threatened to stunt his undoubted ability. Place Live Bet on NaijaBet 24/7
“I had a tough time getting my act together out on court, trying to behave properly. For me that was a big deal,” he once admitted. Continue reading “Roger Federer has come a long way from Mr Angry to Mr Perfect”
Halep moved up a spot as Australian Open runner-up Petra Kvitova dropped two places to fourth, with Sloane Stephens matching her career-best of third despite not playing since losing in the last 16 in Melbourne.
Mertens rose to 16th after the Belgian rallied from a set down to beat Halep 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday to claim the biggest title of her career.
WTA TOP 20
1. Naomi Osaka (JPN) 6 970 pts
2. Simona Halep (ROU) 5 537 (+1) Continue reading “Halep reclaimed to second spot despite Doha final defeat”
“Hey everyone, I will no longer be working together with Sascha. I thank him for his work and wish him all the best in the future,” the 21-year-old Japanese tweeted in a shock announcement.
Osaka, who became the first Asian to hold the top ranking after beating Czech Petra Kvitova in the Melbourne final on January 26, had worked with the German for just over a year.
No reason was given for the surprise decision to part ways, but Japanese media cited Osaka’s management company IMG in reporting that there had been a breakdown in the player’s relationship with the coach since the start of the year.
According to Japan’s Nikkan Sports, some practice sessions with Bajin at the Australian Open lasted just 10 minutes and she sometimes hit without him being present. Play bet on today’s tennis games on NaijaBet
Osaka, who is scheduled to compete in Dubai next week, began sounding out potential replacements late last year, local media reported.
Zamalek will battle with NA Hussein Dey in the CAF Confederation Cup Group D match at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Egypt on Wednesday.
The Egyptian football heavyweights started their group stage campaign with a surprise 4-2 defeat to Kenyan side Gor Mahia away earlier this month.
Zamalek, who have won nine CAF titles including three Super Cups, are placed fourth on the Group D standings – three points behind the leaders, Gor Mahia.
Christian Gross, the Zamalek coach, feels that his side still has a chance of reaching the knockout stages after their defeat on match-day one.
“We made mistakes as a team especially in defence that led to conceding four goals after getting an advantage through an early goal, they deserved to win,” Gross said. Live Bet 24/7
“We’ve absolutely started on a wrong way but we are in the group stage, we still have a chance with five games to go.” Continue reading “Zamalek eyes first Group D win – CAF Confederation Cup”
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After the second matchday in group B at the Caf U-20 Africa Cup of Nations Niger 2019, the Young Lions of Teranga confirmed their place in this year’s world finals after winning their back-to-back matches, defeating Ghana 2-0 at the Stade de Maradi in Niger following a 2-0 win over Mali on 3 February.
The match-winner was Youssouph Mamadou Badji, who scored a first-half brace to lead Senegal to victory and, most importantly, to world finals qualification. Bet Now
The top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals and book tickets to Europe. The third and last matchday will take place on Friday 8 February and Saturday 9 February.
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund resume their Bundesliga rivalry this weekend with both sides looking to avoid slipping up in the title race at home against relegation-threatened opposition.
Dortmund, who are six points clear of defending champions Bayern, host second-from-bottom Hanover on Saturday while VfB Stuttgart, who are 16th and also in the bottom-three, are Sunday’s guests at Munich’s Allianz Arena and are hoping to avoid a fourth straight league defeat.
Bayern coach Niko Kovac has a decision to make about who starts at centre-back for second-placed Bayern with neither 2014 World Cup winners Jerome Boateng nor Mats Hummels, both 30, sure of a starting place.
Kovac has said Niklas Suele is the only centre-back sure of a spot in the 11, leaving the experienced Germany stars to battle for the other berth.
Hummels started last Friday’s 3-1 win at Hoffenheim, with Boateng on the bench, because “Mats was just a tiny bit better – we’re talking a micron” explained Kovac. Start forecasting your Weekend games Now
The race is on to see who can convince Kovac they should start Bayern’s Champions League last 16 away tie at Anfield on February 19.
Bayern are searching for clues as to why they lag behind Dortmund and midfielder Leon Goretzka has revealed they are attempting to find their weaknesses. Continue reading “Dortmund, Bayern resume to avoid slip ups in title race”
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said he has a “good feeling” about Lionel Messi’s possible return to international soccer and will talk to the Barcelona forward about a possible return from his self-imposed exile.
Messi took a sabbatical from the national side after another disappointing World Cup, with Argentina knocked out in the second round after winning just one game in four.
He has not said whether he will return for the Copa America in Brazil in June but the interim coach said at Thursday’s draw he was hopeful the inspiring forward might return for a March friendly. Bet Now
“We will speak with Leo in the days before the March list. When the time is right we will speak,” Scaloni told reporters. “I hope he can be here but more than that, we want him to be happy. I have a good feeling.” Continue reading “Argentina coach hopeful Messi will return from self-imposed exile”
Serena Williams’s bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title was brought to a halt in sensational style at the Australian Open Wednesday by Karolina Pliskova, as Lucas Pouille reached his first ever major semifinal.
The American great had beaten world number one Simona Halep in the fourth round but folded against the tall Czech seventh seed, who saved four match points before winning 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 under the hot Melbourne sun.
Her reward is a clash against Japan’s Naomi Osaka for a place in the final, after the Japanese fourth seed brutally swatted aside the injured Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-1.
Pouille also made the last four after beating power-serving Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, becoming the first Frenchman to do so at Melbourne Park since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2010. Bet Now
Awaiting him is the winner of the night match on Rod Laver Arena between world number one Novak Djokovic and Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
It was a gut-wrenching defeat for Williams, who battled back from a set down and was leading 5-1 in the third and serving for the match, only to throw it away with some wild shots as frustrations bubbled to the surface.
“There’s nothing I did wrong on those match points. I stayed aggressive. She just literally hit the lines on some of them,” said the dumbfounded 37-year-old, who rolled an ankle but refused to blame it for the defeat. Continue reading “Pliskova sent Serena out as Pouille reaches first ever Slam semi”
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.
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”
Arsenal will top Group E regardless of what happens on Thursday due to their superior head-to-head record over Sporting. The Gunners haven’t lost at home since August.
Qarabag has scored 11 goals in their last two matches but have lost four of their first five Europa League group games.
Arsenal- Laurent Koscielny is in contention to make his first Arsenal appearance of the season after recovering from a long-term injury in the last few weeks.
Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey have both resumed full training and will be part of Arsenal’s matchday squad, though it remains to be seen whether they will start. Bet Now
Nacho Monreal made his comeback from a two-month injury in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Huddersfield and he will continue to build his match fitness on Thursday, although potentially as a substitute. Continue reading “Europa League Match Preview: Arsenal vs Qarabag FK”
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Lyon will hope to do the double over Manchester City in the Champions League after their 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the year. They sit three points behind City in group F and will have been boosted by their 1-0 derby win over Saint-Etienne on Friday night ahead of this clash.
City’s sole defeat this season came at the hands of Lyon, yet since that loss, they have failed to win only one of their last 13 competitive matches, that coming in a 0-0 draw with Liverpool, a match they could have won late on. They’re yet to lose an away match this season, so should be confident of prolonging that unbeaten streak.
Lyon weren’t convincing on Friday night and while they’ll hope to maximise home advantage, City may eke out a narrow win.
Lyon- Amine Gouiri is a long-term absentee for Lyon. Various Betting Options are available on Site
Rafael may miss out with a shoulder complaint, though he’ll hope to be fit to start after his red card in the 1-0 win over Saint-Etienne on Friday night.
Bruno Genesio is likely to start with Memphis Depay in the attack, however, Moussa Dembele is pushing for a start. Continue reading “UCL Match Preview: Lyon vs Manchester City”
While next year’s election, scheduled for February 16, 2019, is expected to be a keenly contested two-horse race between Incumbent President Mohammadu Buhari and the Presidential Candidate of the PDP former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, it has been a season of media battle amongst all the aspiring candidates, with most of them releasing their economic plans and campaign manifestos, with the citizens greatly anticipating the Next Presidential Debate.
The Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) have announced the dates for 2019 presidential and vice-presidential election debate.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Election Debate Group, Mr John Momoh, told news journalists in Abuja on Thursday that the group had fixed January 19, 2019 for a debate for presidential candidates of different political parties taking part in the 2019 elections. Continue reading “NaijaBet open betting options on if Buhari will attend 2019 Presidential Eelection Debate YES OR NO?”
Atletico Madrid has won four of their last five competitive games, but their defensive record has been a little bit patchy in recent weeks.
Barcelona will be keen to get back to winning ways after drawing 1-1 with Inter and losing 4-3 at the hands of Real Betis just before the international break.
Atletico Madrid- Diego Godin is expected to miss out due to injury for the home side.
Jose Maria Gimenez is also a doubt with a hamstring injury, meaning Lucas Hernandez and Stefan Savic could line up at centre-back. Bet Now
Juanfran is expected to get the nod ahead of Santiago Arias at right-back.
Novak Djokovic set his sights on the Australian Open on Sunday after a painful defeat in the ATP Finals at the hands of Alexander Zverev took some of the gloss off an incredible season.
But his 21-year-old opponent showed no fear at a packed O2 Arena, trading heavy blows with his illustrious opponent from the back of the court and outlasting him in long rallies to win 6-4, 6-3.
A sanguine Djokovic was eager to put the defeat into context after a memorable second half of the season, during which he has clambered back to the top of the men’s game from the lowly ranking of 22 he found himself in as recently as June.
“Obviously no one likes to lose a tennis match,” he said. “You try your best. But at the same time, as I said on the court, you put things in a larger perspective, see things a bit differently. Bet Now on NaijaBet
“When you get out of this feeling of a little bit disappointment that you lost, I mean, all the positive things that I have to reflect on and also take from this season, especially the last six months.” Continue reading “Djokovic sets sights on 2019 after Alexander Zverev painful defeat”