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

La Liga to introduce video refs in 2018

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Video referees are expected to be used in Spanish soccer by the 2018-19 season when they are fully approved by Fifa, La Liga president Javier Tebas has said.

Tebas was speaking after Sunday’s 1-1 draw between Barcelona and Real Betis, a game in which champions Barca appeared to have been denied a clear goal.

Video replays showed that after Betis’ Cristiano Piccini diverted Aleix Vidal’s pass towards goal the ball crossed the line by around a metre before defender Aissi Mandi slid in and scrambled the it away. Naija and Bet

“The tests are already underway. We have been working on video referees for the last eight months,” Tebas said.

“We will be testing it from next season in La Liga,” he added.

Continue reading La Liga to introduce video refs in 2018

The level of Liverpool intensity have dropped – Luis Garcia

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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

Ghana set eyes on winning AFCON 2017

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The Black Star says the team must beat the Indomitable Lions in the semi-finals on Thursday to get closer to their ultimate target.

Deputy Ghana captain Andre Ayew has urged the outfit to maintain focus ahead of their semi-final clash with Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

The Black Stars seek to make the final for the second consecutive time in Thursday’s fixture in Franceville, but with an ambition to win the cup this time around. Place your bet on Ghana to win both remaining match on NaijaBet.com

Ayew netted the winner in the 2-1 quarter-final triumph over DR Congo on Sunday, becoming Ghana’s joint-all-time scorer at the Afcon with eight goals.

“Cameroon is a tough team,” Ayew said.

“We know the kind of opponent we are going to face, and so we have to prepare ourselves very well. Continue reading Ghana set eyes on winning AFCON 2017

Sunderland signed two players from Everton

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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 more significant for City

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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 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

Burkina Faso look to upstage Egypt

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Alongside a trio of the continent’s most successful teams in the African Nations Cup semifinal line-up, Burkina Faso’s ambition burns brightly as they seek another chance to win their first major title.

Four years ago, Burkina Faso were surprise runners-up at the Nations Cup in South Africa and have confirmed that potential with a place in the final four at the tournament in Gabon.

Now they are looking to book another place in the final when they meet Egypt in the last four on Wednesday. Naija and Bet

“We dream of doing better than in 2013. It will not be easy. We cannot know what the future will be, only God knows,” said their coach Paulo Duarte.

“The important thing is that the players do not lose their humility.” Continue reading Burkina Faso look to upstage Egypt

I’ve been hoping to play EFL Cup final – Mata

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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

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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