Sunday, March 18, 2018

Iheanacho, Ndidi, 13 Others Expected To Hit Super Eagles Camp On Monday

Iheanacho, Ndidi, 13 Others Expected To Hit Super Eagles Camp On Monday
The duo of Leicester City of England’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfried Ndidi are expected to lead 13 other Super Eagles players into the national team camp in Wroclaw on Monday ahead of next Friday’s  international friendly against Poland has gathered.
Belgium’s Cercle Brugge defender, Elderson Echiejile and Hapoel Beer Sheva of Israel midfielder John Ogu both confirmed to CSN their arrival date to the Super Eagles camp.
“Hopefully by Monday I will be in camp,” Echiejile told CSN.
Ogu also confirmed: “Immediately after our game I’m off to Poland to arrive on Monday.”
Also expected in camp on Monday, are Kenneth Omeruo, Leon Balogun, William Troost Ekong, Shehu Abdulahi.
Other Monday arrival include Chidozie Awaziem, Ahmed Musa, Brian Idowu, Junior Ajayi and Stephen Eze.
The pair of Obi Mikel and Odion Ighalo may arrive in Poland in the early hours of Tuesday ahead of the game.
Both players will be in action for their respective teams in the Chinese Super League on Sunday before joining up with the rest of their colleagues Poland.
Meanwhile, the home-based duo of Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Okechukwu Gabriel will join the Nigerian contingent which comprise the coaches and officials on Monday.
Meta: The Super Eagles camp for the friendly international against Poland is expected to come to life with the arrival of 15 players on Monday after playing the weekend round of matches for their respective European clubs
Nigeria will face Poland on March 23rd before departing for England to take on Serbia four days later at the Hive stadium.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Balogun, Ujah Can’t Save Mainz; Super Eagles Defender Laments Frankfurt Defeat

Balogun, Ujah Can’t Save Mainz; Super Eagles Defender Laments Frankfurt Defeat
Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun says he and his Mainz teammates have themselves to blame for their 3-0 away defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Bundesliga on Saturday.
Balogun and his Nigerian teammate Anthony Ujah were in action for Mainz but could not prevent them losing their second game in their last two league games.
Three first-half goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng, Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic in the sixth, 23rd and 41st minutes respectively gave Frankfurt the comfortable win.
Balogun, who is expected to play for the Super Eagles in next week’s friendly matches against Poland and Serbia, said in an interview posted on Mainz’s Twitter account: “It was a different performance from the Pokal game, but the result was the same.
“We gave away those goals far too easily. We need to analyse this one hard and draw the conclusions from it.”
 Mainz remain in the relegation play-off zone on 25 points after 27 games with just seven games left.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Karembeu: Nigeria, Other African Teams Should Copy Past Champions’ Methods To Win World Cup Too

Karembeu: Nigeria, Other African Teams Should Copy Past Champions’ Methods To Win World Cup Too
Former France international midfielder Christian Karembeu believes that African teams need to learn from past winners of the FIFA World Cup if they too want to win the much coveted trophy. The 1998 FIFA World Cup winner believes that African teams possess the talent to win the tournament but that football Federations on the continent must provide their players with the enabling environment to fulfill the continent’s enormous potential.
Karembeu was in Lagos over the weekend for the FIFA Trophy world tour, and he spoke to Complete Sports radio show, Sports Planet anchorman, BATUNDE KOIKI,  in an exclusive interview graciously arranged by the BBC in their Lagos office. 
“African football federations need to give their players all the conducive conditions that can transform them into winners. All you need to do is to observe how the great European and South American teams that have won the
tournament that gave them success and copy that. This is how we were educated in Europe; to copy what successful teams
did and improve on it,” Karembeu begins in the interview with Complete Sports’ Sports Planet.
Karembeu with former Nigeria international, Femi Opabunmi, during the World Cup trophy tour in Lagos
“Africans have won the world Cup before but they did it in the colours of France and Germany. But i hope that one day an
African team can actually win the tournament. You have good players but you need to support them and push them to be
consistent and play at the highest level throughout their career. Its not for them to have one or two good years but as
many years at the top as possible.”
The Super Eagles will contend with Euro 2016 surprise packages Iceland, 1998 FIFA World Cup bronze medallists, Croatia,
and two time world champions, Argentina, in Group D of the 2018 World Cup and if they claim either of the top two spots,
will possibly face 1998 champions France in the Round of 16.
France are favourites to top an easy looking Group C which pits them against Denmark, Australia and Peru. Paul Pogba and a Joseph Yobo own goal helped France beat Nigeria 2-0 in the Recond Round at the 2014 tournament in Brazil, but Karembeu believes if both teams clash again in Russia, his homeland won’t
have it so easy again.
Karembeu,  an European Championship winner with France in 2000 explains:
“France and Nigeria are two great footballing nations with great experience and so it will be a tough game. Didier Deschamps knows his team quite well, but the squad is struggling offensively at the moment. Karim Benzema is not in the team, Olivier Giroud and Alexandre Lacazette are not playing regularly, so Deschamps might be forced to play Antoinne Griezemann and another attacking midfielder upfront. But your team is good offensively and looks complete and Gernot Rohr knows the French team quite well so it will be tough for us.”

Rohr Hopes Eagles Avoid Injuries Vs Poland, Serbia; Happy Ezenwa Is Fit

Rohr Hopes Eagles Avoid Injuries Vs Poland, Serbia; Happy Ezenwa Is Fit
By Bamidele Boluwaji: Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr says his players will play with caution when they face both Poland and Serbia in the two international friendly matches billed for this month in Warsaw and London respectively, reports.
The German manager, who arrived in Lagos on Thursday ahead for the Coca Cola World Cup trophy tour, said the international friendly matches are expected to prepare the Super Eagles for the World Cup and they will try to avoid unnecessary injuries in the games.
“We are playing Poland, Serbia to prepare for the World Cup and we don’t pray for injuries,” the former OG Nice of France manager told CSN.
“We have to play with caution and prepare well for the World Cup.”
Rohr however said it was good news for him to see goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa returning to the pitch.
“It is good that he is back, I am happy and that is the reason for the call-up.”
Ezenwa, who got injured during the 2018 CAF African Nations Championship in Morocco, could not play the final match and was out for several weeks before he announced his return.
The new Enyimba goalkeeper is one of the players Rohr invited for the two international friendly games against Poland and Serbia on March 23 and March 27 respectively.

Iheanacho: Leicester Will Be Ready For “Strong” Chelsea In FA Cup Clash

Iheanacho: Leicester Will Be Ready For “Strong” Chelsea In FA Cup Clash
By Johnny Edward: Leicester City’s Nigerian forward Kelechi Iheanacho is looking forward to this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup quarter-final clash against Chelsea having opened his goal account in the English Premier League on Saturday.
The 21-year-old has scored four goals in the Emirates FA Cup competition and will be aiming to add to his tally against the Blues.
The former Manchester City forward told Leicester City’s official website that he is wary of the threat the outgoing English Premier League champions pose to his side’s ambition.
“We’re back to winning ways now,” Iheanacho told LCFC.
“We just have to keep winning, keep strong and keep working hard to make sure we stick to those wins.
We’re looking forward to playing against Chelsea. They’re a good side, a strong side. We’ll just keep working hard in training and we’ll be ready for them.
“We’ve had a hard time getting some draws. This win will give us a boost for the next game against Chelsea.”

Kane and Aguero injuries force Fantasy rethink

The Scout 12 Mar 2018
Kane and Aguero composite

The Scout on how knocks to the two strikers put the FPL market in a spin and who is being bought as a replacement

The injuries suffered by the top two forwards in Fantasy Premier League have given managers a major dilemma for the forthcoming Gameweeks.
Both Harry Kane (£12.9m) and Sergio Aguero (£11.9m) were going to miss Gameweek 31 regardless, because of their teams' involvement in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
But there are now also early doubts about whether they will resume FPL action in Gameweek 32, after the international break.
FPL managers have already acted to make changes.
More than 69,000 have not waited for the prognosis of Kane's ankle injury, suffered during Tottenham Hotspur’s win at AFC Bournemouth, and have sold the striker.
The sales of Aguero have already exceeded 50,000 since the news broke on Sunday afternoon of his knee problem, which has forced him out of Manchester City’s trip to Stoke City on Monday night.
Firmino the go-to option
Roberto Firmino (£9.4m) has proved the most popular replacement.
With Liverpool being one of only eight teams with fixtures in Gameweek 31, the Brazilian is a clear favourite to replace Kane or Aguero in squads.
But what about those managers already with Firmino?
Some short-term options with Gameweek 31 in mind are Steve Mounie (£5.8m), Cenk Tosun (£6.7m) or Christian Benteke (£7.6m), who are all in action next weekend.
Lukaku for long term?
But in the long term, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.4m) and Romelu Lukaku (£11.2m) could emerge as the main alternatives, particularly as replacements for Aguero.
With Gabriel Jesus (£9.9m) back in contention for City, Aguero’s minutes are likely to be managed by Pep Guardiola over the remaining Gameweeks.
Wait for Kane clarity
The Kane situation is more problematic for managers.
Spurs will have at least one Double Gameweek - two fixtures in a single Gameweek - later in the season, with a fit-again Kane sure to be a target as captain.
With that in mind, those managers without a Wildcard left to play should consider holding the striker until there is clarity on his length of absence.
Gameweek 31 fixtures 
AFC Bournemouth v West BromHuddersfield Town Crystal PalaceStoke City v EvertonLiverpool v Watford

Premier League stats: Rooney, Mahrez, Willian, Mourinho, Gayle

Wayne Rooney
Another missed Wayne Rooney penalty, Huddersfield play 'keep ball' and West Ham suffer another heavy defeat.
Here are the best stats from Saturday's Premier League matches.
  • Manchester United's 2-1 win over Liverpool means Jose Mourinho's side have won four of their eight games against fellow 'big six' sides in the Premier League this season (won four, drew one, lost three), twice as many as they managed in the whole of last season (won two, drew four, lost four).
  • Liverpool have won only one of their seven Premier League games on the weekends immediately after a Champions League game this season (won one, drew four, lost two).
  • Wayne Rooney's missed penalty in Everton's 2-0 win over Brighton was his third missed spot-kick in the Premier League this season. It is only the eighth time a player has missed this many in a single Premier League season.
  • Anthony Knockaert's red card was the first Brighton have received in the Premier League.
  • Huddersfield's possession figure of 80.84% in their 0-0 draw with Swansea is the second highest in a Premier League game since 2003-04, after Manchester City's 82.28% against QPR in May 2012.
  • Swansea became only the third side to fail to have a single shot in a Premier League match since the start of the 2003-04 season.
  • Matt Ritchie's strike for Newcastle in their 3-0 win against Southampton was the 12th goal the Saints have conceded from outside the box in the Premier League this season, more than any other side.
  • After 10 Premier League games without a goal or assist, Dwight Gayle has had a hand in four goals in his last four matches in the competition (two goals, two assists).
  • West Brom have dropped a league-high 21 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season as they lost 4-1 against Leicester. The Baggies have only gained one point when they have fallen behind.
  • Riyad Mahrez has been involved in 18 Premier League goals this season (10 goals, eight assists) - twice as many as last season (nine - six goals, three assists).
  • West Ham's 3-0 loss to Burnley means the Hammers have lost three league games in a row by a margin of three or more goals for the first time since March 2008.
  • Burnley have now recorded their highest points tally in a single Premier League season (43), with eight games still to spare.
  • Willian has scored 13 goals for Chelsea in all competitions this season - his best ever return in a single campaign for the club

Cherchesov: Come to Russia with an open heart

  • Only 100 days to go until the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off
  • Sbornaya coach Stanislav Cherchesov has some tips for visiting fans
  • He also spoke about Russia's preparations ahead of the tournament
Only 100 days remain until the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ gets underway. And, as the finishing touches are being applied to tournament preparations, it is time to get to know the Host Nation better.
Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov spoke with at the Team Workshop in Sochi last week. He updated the watching world on the country's preparations and his team's form leading up to the World Cup. He also gave some useful tips to those planning on coming to Russia in June and July. With 100 days to go until the start of the World Cup, how ready is Russia to host the competition?
Cherchesov: I can assure you that in June the whole world will see that Russia has what it takes to organise such large-scale events. We want to, and we can, host tournaments of this nature. We've already played at some of the World Cup stadiums, at the Confederations Cup for example. The other venues are in the finishing stages of construction. It's great that all the infrastructure which has been built - stadiums, airports, hotels and so on - will remain in use after the World Cup. However, my area of responsibility is the team, so I am concentrating on getting the Sbornaya ready for the tournament.
Fans from many countries are already planning their trips to Russia. What advice can you give them: which three attractions simply must they see?
I'd like to invite everyone to my native Ossetia, so the fans could see the most beautiful mountains in the world, but it's quite far away from any Host City. Therefore, I'd advise people to visit the most beautiful places in Moscow: Russia's spiritual heart in the Kremlin, the amazing Red Square, and the famous Bolshoi Theatre. The most important thing is to come to Russia with an open heart and try to understand our country and the places you're visiting. As we say in Russia, better to see something once than to hear about it a hundred times.
Describe Russia in three words.
Huge, hospitable, and joyful!
Image result for Cherchesov: Come to Russia with an open heartHow ready are the Russian national team 100 days from the Opening Match?
I spoke to the players when they were preparing for the domestic season to start up again in Russia and I gave them some words of advice. Firstly, that they have to be fit, and secondly, they need to be ready. If you're not physically prepared, you have no chance of making progress. And the players are doing their jobs, getting into shape at their clubs. We're keeping an eye on a few potential candidates, at the moment. Unfortunately, two of our starting central defenders, Viktor Vasin and Georgi Dzhikiya, have been ruled out for long spells through injury. At the same time, we're gathering information on our opponents.
What can you tell us about Russia's opposition in the group stage - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Uruguay?
We're learning about Saudi Arabia gradually. This team has a new coach, which means overanalysing their matches from last year would be pointless because there may have been a lot of changes. We're observing how they're playing in warm-up matches.
I recently travelled to England to watch some of Egypt's leading players in action: Mohamed Salah at Liverpool, Mohamed Elneny at Arsenal, and the pair at West Bromwich [Albion]. I'm sure that they too will have changed a lot compared to last year.
Uruguay are one of the best teams in South America. They're always at the World Cup and their top stars play for clubs like Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.
Let's fast-forward 100 days: it's 17:59 in Moscow, just seconds before the Opening Match against Saudi Arabia, what is going through your head in this moment?
My experience as a player and a coach suggests that in these moments, you have to think about one thing only: concentrating on the game. Thinking about anything else really doesn't help. But it's an honour for me to be the head coach of the national team at the World Cup on home soil. I treat it as a special privilege and I'll do everything possible to ensure the team are thinking about what they need to do, but I can't tell you what we'll be feeling at that moment. Until you've experienced the atmosphere yourself, you don't know.

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Warm-Up: Blade Gunner 2049 - A Star Wars Story

Manchester City embarrass Arsenal again

Wenger: We put in 'huge performance' in City drubbing

Paul Merson's predictions: Burnley v Everton and Tottenham v Huddersfield

Paul Merson is back with his weekly predictions

Paul Merson is back with his weekly predictions
Paul Merson is back with his weekly Premier League predictions. Who is he tipping this time out?
Merse had a decent week last time out, tipping four correct results and one correct score as Burnley drew 1-1 with Southampton.
This week,he's tipping victories for Tottenham and Liverpool in the race for the top four...

Bulgarian League: Eze Eager To Shine For Lokomotiv Plovdiv In Derby Vs Botev Plovdiv

Bulgarian League: Eze Eager To Shine For  Lokomotiv Plovdiv In Derby Vs  Botev Plovdiv

By David Meshioye: Lokomotiv Plovdiv towering defender, Stephen Eze, says he is looking forward to his first derby clash with arch rival Botev Plovdiv in the Bulgarian top flight league, (CSN) reports.‎
Botev Plodiv are fifth on the log with 32 points from 22 matches with eight wins, eight draws and losing six matches while Eze’s Lokomotiv Plovdiv are seventh in the table with 27 points.
Eze is looking forward to helping his side bag a home win over their rivals at Stadion Lokomotiv on Sunday which will see the Black and White close the gap between them to two points.
In a chat with CSN on Thursday, the home-based Super Eagles defender at 2018 African Nations Championship stated confidently that he and his team-mates were bent on playing out of their skin to ensure Lokomotiv Plovdiv pick the three  points on Sunday.
“We’re looking forward to the game with much anticipation. It’s a derby game and a lot is attached to derbies. This is my first derby here, and am determined to win it by the special grace of God,” Eze told CSN.

The former Akwa United defender also reaffirmed his readiness for Sunday’s derby on his instagram page also on Thursday and lauded the club’s supporters for keeping faith with the team.
“The game on the weekend ended  1-1 draw against #SlaviaSofia. The boys gave their best and we had a wonderful lead until the opponents scored in the last minutes. All in all, a good game and our supporters were wonderful as always!
“It’s time to polish our boots and get ready for the #derby against #BotevPlovdiv.”
Eze joined the Bulgarian side in the January transfer window after a loan stint with Kano Pillars prior to the commencement of the 2017-18 seasons. He had also featured for Sunshine Stars, Lobi Stars and FC IfeanyiUbah in the Nigeria Professional Football League.

Adepoju Congratulates Bakambu Over Record Transfer To Beijing Guoan

Adepoju Congratulates Bakambu Over Record Transfer To Beijing Guoan

Former Nigeria international Mutiu Adepoju has congratulated Democratic Republic of Congo striker Cedric Bakambu for becoming Africa’s most expensive footballer.
Bakambu, 26, completed his move from Spanish Laliga side Villareal to Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan for a record £65 million on a four-year contract.

He usurped Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who moved to Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund for £56m in January.
Adepoju, who won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia for Nigeria, also wished Bakambu as successful time in the Chinese league.
“Congrats Cedric Bakambu on your feat as Africa’s most expensive player ever. That’s a good one and I wish you a great time in China,” the former Real Madrid B, Racing Santander and Real Sociedad star wrote on his Twitter handle.
Bakambu scored 46 times in 101 appearances during his time with Villareal.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Happy New Month in advance

As today mark the end of month of February 2018, So also everything call sorrow, weeping, sickness, and every sign of darkness is ending with today by fire in Jesus name. Amen.
*Happy new month in advance*