Match Preview : Liverpool vs Manchester City

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Liverpool overcame a slight scare at home to Stoke to run out comfortable 4-1 winners in the end on Tuesday night.

They have the current longest unbeaten streak of any Premier League side in all competitions (16 matches) and should be high on confidence when they welcome Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on Saturday evening.

City are only one point behind Liverpool in the league but Guardiola’s side aren’t in the best of shape at the moment.

They are still trying to rediscover the type of performances they started the season with and this would be the perfect opportunity to make a statement against one of their direct title rivals. Naija and Bet

Saturday’s encounter marks the first time Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have faced off since both arrived in England, renewing their rivalry from the Bundesliga when both managers where in charge of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund respectively.

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Cillessen out for two weeks due to injury

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Barcelona’s back-up goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen will be sidelined for around two weeks due to a leg injury, the La Liga giants announced on Friday.

The 27-year-old Dutchman had already missed three weeks in October due to a right ankle injury suffered on international duty. Naijabet.com

Cillessen moved to Barcelona last summer but has played just once in La Liga while making a lone appearance in the Champions League against Borussia Moenchengladbach three weeks ago.

Match Preview : Manchester United vs Middlesbrough

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Aitor Karanka faces off against Jose Mourinho for the first time as a manager, having served under the Manchester United boss during their stint at Real Madrid.

United finally look to be clicking after winning four straight league games in a single season for the first time since April 2015 – where they won six games in a row – and will be looking to extend that run when they welcome Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Middlesbrough have lost three of their last four in the league and are winless away from home in the each of their last eight, although five of those matches have ended in a draw.

Only five teams have conceded fewer goals in the Premier League this season than Boro, so United cannot afford to be wasteful, as they have throughout the season, on Saturday. Naijabet.com

Team News

Manchester United – Wayne Rooney has a thigh injury and will miss United’s game here, as he did on Boxing Day.

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Guardiola ready to unleash Aguero

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has no qualms about unleashing Sergio Aguero against title rivals Liverpool after his suspension, while John Stones could be fit for the Anfield showdown.

Aguero is poised to return to City’s starting line-up after serving a four-match ban for a dangerous lunge on Chelsea’s David Luiz at the start of the month.

The 28-year-old striker was allowed to spend time back with his family in his native Argentina and Guardiola revealed he would not hesitate to throw him straight back into such a big match.

“He is ready,” Guardiola explained. “He has come back good from Argentina. Naija and Bet

“Finally he is back after the ban. And we are happy he is back.”

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Match Preview : Chelsea vs Stoke

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Chelsea made it 12 league wins in a row with a comfortable 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Boxing Day and they will equal the record for the most amount of consecutive wins in a single campaign if they beat Stoke on New Year’s Eve.

Stoke made a bright start against Liverpool but crumbled to a heavy 4-1 defeat. Things don’t get much easier as they travel to Premier League leaders Chelsea next to cap a gruelling run of fixtures on the road, which also saw them lose to Arsenal before Tuesday’s match.

The Potters are actually unbeaten in their last three meetings with Chelsea and the Blues have only managed to score a single goal in four of the last six meetings between the sides at Stamford Bridge. However, it’s hard to see Stoke stopping the Chelsea juggernaut, who could extend their lead to nine points at the top of the table by the end of the weekend. Naijabet.com

Team News

Chelsea – Chelsea are boosted by the return of Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante, who both missed their 3-0 win over Bournemouth through suspension. Pedro, however, is ruled out due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

Continue reading Match Preview : Chelsea vs Stoke

Pochettino want Spurs to be focus

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Mauricio Pochettino is adamant Tottenham must focus solely on Sunday’s trip to Watford rather than the higher-profile meeting with Premier League leaders Chelsea that follows soon after.

Wednesday’s London derby showdown with Chelsea at White Hart Lane is one of the most anticipated fixtures of the season for both sets of fans.

Spurs beat Chelsea 5-3 in January 2015 when the latter were on the way to the Premier League title and Tottenham’s hopes of lifting the trophy last season were ended by a bad-tempered 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in May.

But Tottenham boss Pochettino insists victory over Chelsea would not be half as sweet if it followed a points-dropping performance at Vicarage Road.

“The most important game is Watford,” he said. “It’s important to try to reduce the gap to the top four. Naija and Bet

“We need to be focused on Watford because they are the most important now for us.

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Barkley goal denies Hull crucial win

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Everton’s mercurial talent Ross Barkley’s header secured them a 2-2 draw with struggling Hull in their Premier League clash on Friday.

Barkley, who has lost his place in the England squad and been in and out of the Everton first team under manager Ronald Koeman, allowed the visitors to level for the second time.

Hull skipper Michael Dawson and then Robert Snodgrass, with his eighth of the season, had given Hull the lead on two occasions.

An own goal by Hull ‘keeper David Marshall at the end of the first-half had gifted Everton their first equaliser.

The point sees Hull, who have not won in their last eight, climb off the bottom and go a point ahead of managerless Swansea who play later this weekend. Place your bet on Naijabet.com

“I think it’s a terrific point,” said Hull manager Mike Phelan, who has the daunting prospect of seven games in January with a limited squad.

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Match Preview : Hull vs Everton

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A disappointing 3-0 loss at Manchester City last time out leaves Hull four points off safety and at the foot of the Premier League. The Tigers have won only one of their last 16 top-flight games and they will look to bounce back against Everton.

The Toffees responded to the 1-0 loss to Liverpool with a 2-0 win at Leicester as they strive to secure back-to-back league wins for the first time since September. They have, however, won only one of their last four Premier League visits to Hull. Place your bet on Naijabet.com

Nevertheless, this should be a comfortable away win for Koeman’s side.

Team News

Hull

Mike Phelan is without injured sextet Moses Odubajo, Alex Bruce, Greg Luer, Abel Hernandez, Will Keane and Brian Lenihan.

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Ronaldo is more natural than Cristiano – Ibrahimovic

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The Man Utd attacker was asked what separates the Real Madrid star from Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, and he feels the difference is quite simple.

It’s tough for most football fans to pick a favourite Ronaldo, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes O Fenomeno shades his namesake rivals.

Cristiano Ronaldo has earned his place among the greats, following in the footsteps of the Brazilian icon of the same name at Real Madrid, while the dazzling Barcelona legend Ronaldinho is impossible to ignore.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, however, has pinpointed the differences between the three legends. Naija and Bet

“I think Ronaldo, Il Fenomeno, was the best,” he said. “For me, it was an example of what football is. Everything he did something that made you think ‘wow’. The way he dribbled and the way he ran.
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Mahrez set to return against Hammers

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Danny Drinkwater and Riyad Mahrez are likely to start for Leicester City against West Ham United in Saturday’s Premier League clash, manager Claudio Ranieri has indicated.

The Italian is turning to two of last season’s most influential figures in a bid to arrest the champions’ alarming slide towards the relegation zone.

Drinkwater made his first league appearance in more than a month as a second-half substitute in Monday’s 2-0 home defeat by Everton, a result that dropped Leicester to 16th place, three points above the bottom three.

“Drinkwater could be (in the starting line-up) because he played 45 minutes (against Everton),” Ranieri said. Naija and Bet

“He works well and I think he could start from the beginning.”

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