United can fight for honours again


Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has backed Jose Mourinho’s squad to get back to challenging for top honours, three years since they last won the Premier League.

Since Alex Ferguson retired after winning the league in 2013, United have finished seventh, fourth and fifth, their only major trophy during that time being last season’s FA Cup.

Rashford, who has scored three league goals this season, burst on to the scene in February, netting on his Premier League, Europa League, and senior international debuts.

However, the 18-year-old said personal accolades took a back seat to team honours.

“You don’t think about individual targets until you fulfil team targets,” Rashford said. Naijabet.com

“We have a squad that can challenge for the title and other trophies, so that’s the priority, given what the club has been through over the last few years.

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Match Preview : Tottenham vs Manchester City


This fixture sees second host first in the big match of the weekend before the international break. The last 10 meetings between the sides have seen 44 goals shared.

Tottenham have won the last two matches against City but the away side edge the head-to-head record overall in that period. There have been no draws in the last 10 encounters.

Tottenham have won each of their last four matches, while City are the only team left with a 100% record in the Premier League. Pep Guardiola’s side were made to work very hard for their 3-3 draw against Celtic in midweek, in which they went behind three times.

Brendan Rodgers’ showed how you can get at this City side and Tottenham should have no problems copying it with their high-pressing style of play.

This is arguably the biggest test of Guardiola’s time in England and this may be a hurdle too far for his team at this stage in the season. Naijabet 

Team News

Tottenham – Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Mousa Dembele and Moussa Sissoko did not travel to Russia for their 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow in midweek with one eye on Sunday’s clash with Manchester City and they should all return to first-team action this weekend.

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Match Preview : Manchester United vs Stoke City



Manchester United struggled to a 1-0 win over Zorya on Thursday, which has killed some of the momentum gained from their 4-1 win over Leicester in the league last weekend. Jose Mourinho will want to finish on a high before the international break.

Stoke managed to stop the bleeding last time out but still only managed a 1-1 draw with West Brom. The absence of Jack Butland is really being felt between the sticks, although Xherdan Shaqiri’s return should improve their play going forward.

United haven’t lost at home to Stoke since 1976. They’ve won 15 of the resulting 16 matches at Old Trafford since then and Mourinho will not accept anything else other than three points.

They cannot afford to fall further behind their title rivals before the second international break of the season and should overcome a Stoke side short on confidence. Naijabet.com

Team News
Manchester United – Wayne Rooney overcame a back problem to feature off the bench in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Zorya in the Europa League. Anthony Martial also made his first appearance after missing their last two matches through injury. Luke Shaw is suffering from illness and may miss out here.

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Wenger stays open over Arsenal future


Arsene Wenger’s 20th anniversary celebrations climax with a trip to Burnley on Sunday, but there are still questions over his future with Arsenal beyond the current campaign.

Wenger is out of contract at the end of the season and the Gunners boss has refused to rule out the possibility of taking charge of England in the future following Sam Allardyce’s sudden departure from that role this week.

With Gareth Southgate appointed as England’s caretaker coach for the next four matches, there remains an opening the Frenchman could fill when his contract expires at the end of the season. Naija and Bet

“Right now my priority is to do well here,” Wenger said when asked about the England situation.

“This has always been my club and if I am free one day, why not? I’m focused on my job right now.”

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Crystal Palace hold Everton up to draw


Everton moved up to third place in the Premier League despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Crystal Palace as Belgium strikers Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku both got on the scoresheet in a battling encounter on Friday.

Benteke headed the equaliser for Palace five minutes into the second half after Lukaku opened the scoring in the 36th and remarkably it was the Everton forward’s first Premier League goal from a direct free kick out of the 65 he has scored.

The draw took Everton to 14 points from six matches before their rivals play this weekend with a top-of-the-table clash that sees leaders Manchester City, who have a maximum 18 points, visiting Tottenham Hotspur in second on 14.

“It’s a good point in the end. We defended set plays and second balls well against a difficult team,” said Everton manager Ronald Koeman. “The team performance was outstanding, although we’d like to create more opportunities. Naijabet.com

“We’ve had a good start to the season. The position in the table is not everything at the moment and we need to improve, but we’re doing a good job.”

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Spainish big three to renew title battle


After another stellar week for Spanish clubs in the Champions League, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid resume their three-way battle for La Liga supremacy on Sunday.

Real were the only Spanish side not to win in midweek, but got a creditable 2-2 draw at Borussia Dortmund to remain on course for the last 16.

However, the European champions have now failed to win any of their last three games as draws to Villarreal and Las Palmas have seen their lead at the top of the table whittled down to just a point by Barca.

Zinedine Zidane’s men conceded a late equaliser for the second time in four days in Dortmund, but defender Danilo insisted Eibar will bear the brunt of Real’s frustration when they visit the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend. Naija and Bet

“We drew again, but we are playing well and we’re calm,” said the Brazilian international.

“We are not satisfied with the draws but Eibar will pay for that at the weekend.”

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Guardiola expects City to fly at Tottenham


After a ding-dong 3-3 draw with Celtic in the Champions League, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola anticipates another breathless encounter in this weekend’s Premier League showdown with Tottenham Hotspur.

With six wins from six matches, City are the league leaders and early title favourites, but Tottenham, four points back in second place, are enjoying their best start to a top-flight campaign since 1965.

Guardiola and his Spurs counterpart Mauricio Pochettino employ an aggressive, high-pressing style and the City manager thinks the fans at White Hart Lane on Sunday could be in for a treat.

“What I like is teams who are active and you see that when they play, they want the ball,” said Guardiola, who could become the first manager to win his first seven Premier League matches. Naijabet.com

“They want to keep it and they are so aggressive without the ball. I like to see that and Liverpool and Tottenham are both teams in that way.

“I think it’s fantastic what happened in Glasgow. One attacked, then the other did, it was 3-3 and the fans enjoyed it and the people here watching did too.

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