Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he is “totally against” international friendlies following injuries to key central defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones on England duty.
Mourinho expects to be without five first-team players against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, including the injured Paul Pogba and suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“I am totally against the friendly matches,” Mourinho told Sky Sports, after Jones had to withdraw from the England squad with a toe injury suffered in a training ground clash with Smalling, who pulled out after sustaining a leg injury in the Germany friendly.
Both defenders missed England’s 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Lithuania, leading Mourinho to question the need for friendlies during the season. Place bet on Live Matches on NaijaBet.com
“I think friendly matches for the national team only make sense before the final phases,” he said. Continue reading Mourinho against international friendly Matches
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes midfielder Mesut Ozil and striker Alexis Sanchez are keen on extending their contracts beyond the end of next season with the Premier League club.
Ozil and Sanchez are holding out for a huge increase in their salary, according to British media reports, while Wenger has previously said that contract talks are on hold until the end of the season.
Sanchez, who has indicated he would like to see out his contract, is the club’s top scorer with 22 goals this season. NaijaBet.com
“I personally believe both of them want to stay. I hope the club will find an agreement with them,” Wenger told reporters on Thursday.
Calls for Wenger to end his 20-year role have grown louder after Arsenal crashed out of the Champions League in the last-16 for a seventh straight season and lost four of their last five league matches to slide down to sixth. Continue reading Ozil, Sanchez want to stay at Arsenal – Wenger
Brazil became the first team to qualify for the World Cup on Tuesday after beating Paraguay to clinch an eighth consecutive victory as Argentina’s campaign stumbled after the shock suspension of Lionel Messi.
Five-time champions Brazil had been left waiting in suspense after goals from Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Marcelo handed them a 3-0 win over the Paraguayans at Sao Paulo’s Arena Corinthians.
But Uruguay’s upset 2-1 defeat to Peru in the day’s final South American qualifier combined with other results meant Brazil are mathematically guaranteed a place at next year’s finals in Russia. Naija and Bet
The qualification completes an astonishing turnaround for Brazil, who less than a year ago were in crisis after taking only nine points from six games.
That run of results had left the Brazilians outside the qualifying places in sixth place.
Continue reading Brazil qualify for Russia 2018, Argentina crash
A rejuvenated France will take on Spain in a gala friendly on Tuesday, with French coach Didier Deschamps suffering a timely embarrassment of riches from which to pick in a bid to extend a seven-match unbeaten streak.
Fresh from a 3-1 victory over Luxembourg in a World Cup qualifier at the weekend, the Euro 2016 runners-up will line up against a Spanish side that has dipped since winning the treble of two Euros (2008, 2012) and the 2010 World Cup, but remains strong on paper.
As for any friendly, falling as it does between World Cup qualifiers and a heavy club schedule, Deschamps will likely rotate his squad, notably with the League Cup final between Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco scheduled for Saturday. Place bet on France vs Spain on NaijaBet.com
“I’ll try to give the maximum number of my players some game time,” said Deschamps.
Spain’s Chelsea striker Diego Costa, scorer of one of the goals in Spain’s 4-1 win over Israel in Friday’s World Cup qualifier, suffered an ankle injury in training on Sunday which could rule him out of the friendly. Continue reading Deschamps ready to rotate for Spain
Real Madrid’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo was the best paid footballer in 2016-17, with €87.5 million in earnings, ahead of his Argentinian rival at Barcelona, Lionel Messi (76.5m), according to figures to appear in Tuesday’s edition of France Football.
Messi’s Brazilian teammate Neymar is third with €55.5 million ahead of Real Madrid’s Welsh forward Gareth Bale (41m) and Argentina’s Ezequiel Lavezzi (28.5m), who plays for Hebei Fortune in the Chinese Super League. NaijaBet.com
Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho is the best paid coach, with income of €28 million, the magazine said.
France Football said it based its figures on salary, bonuses and advertising income for the 2016-2017 season.
Netherlands coach Danny Blind was sacked on Sunday, less than 24 hours after a 2-0 defeat away to Bulgaria left the team floundering in fourth place in World Cup qualifying group A.
The Dutch FA (KNVB) announced the decision in a statement after Blind, had been called in for crisis talks. NaijaBet.com
The 55-year-old had questioned his own future following Saturday’s loss in Sofia, which left the Dutch six points off the pace at the halfway stage of the European qualifying campaign for the 2018 finals in Russia.
But Blind bemoaned the decision in a statement on Sunday.
“We were on the right track but the Bulgaria loss was a setback. I gave everything I had and I’m really sorry that it ends this way,” said the former Netherlands defender. Continue reading Netherlands sacked Blind after defeat
Nigerian Coach Genoit Rohr was impressed with the outcome of the friendly match with Senegal in London. In his post-match press conference inside the bowels of the Hive Stadium he spoke on a wide range of questions arising from the match.
“We chose to play Senegal because of their physicality as we will be playing Cameroon in our next qualifiers. It was great to see how our players stood up to the challenge of playing teams like these. I was happy with them in that respect”.
On the subject of Cameroon who are now African Champions and whether that factor changes the dynamics going into that qualifier “most definitely” Rohr said. Predict today’s World cup qualifiers Matches on NaijaBet.com and Win Big
“Now they have more confidence. They have players who have the belief that being champions brings but we know that if we are to win in Cameroon it will give us a great chance of being at the World Cup”.
Rohr also provided updates on the state of Ogenyi Onazi who was taken off injured. Continue reading Rohr Satisfied with draw against Senegal
Speculation continues to mount over the France star’s future, with Manchester United among the clubs linked with the attacker.
Diego Simeone is worried about the possibility of losing star man Antoine Griezmann as Atletico Madrid have “no security”, with a long line of suitors eyeing a move.
Griezmann is one of the most in-demand forwards in the world and he declared this week that it would be “a dream” to play for the likes of Bayern Munich, Barcelona or even rivals Real Madrid. NaijaBet.com
Despite also insisting that his immediate future was with Atletico, speculation persists and Manchester United have been heavily linked with a swoop for the France international.
Asked by reporters if there was a risk of the 26-year-old leaving, Simeone replied: “Yes, because there is a termination clause. There is no security. Continue reading Simeone : Griezmann could leave at any time
Manchester United should focus on winning the Europa League this season, which would bring the club a trophy they have never won and secure qualification for next season’s Champions League, former manager Alex Ferguson has said.
United are fifth in the Premier League and sit four points behind fourth-placed Liverpool, though they have two games in hand on the Merseyside club.
A top-four finish would ensure Champions League qualification but Ferguson, who was in charge at Old Trafford for some 27 years, believes United have a great opportunity to qualify by winning Europe’s second-tier club competition.
“The thing is, we’ve never won the Europa League,” he said. “We’ve never won Uefa Cup, what it used to be. And we’ve got a great draw. I’m not saying it’s a certainty, but they’ve got a great chance. NaijaBet.com
“It’s still a European trophy. And if you win it, you get into the Champions League. The incentive is greater to do that.” Continue reading Fergie urges Mourinho’s Men to win Europa
The unthinkable prospect of a World Cup without Argentina or Lionel Messi could move a step closer to becoming reality on Thursday as the South American giants prepare to face arch-rivals Chile in a crucial battle on the road to Russia 2018.
Argentina, who last failed to qualify for the World Cup in 1970, saw their progress towards next year’s finals go awry in 2016 when back-to-back draws with Venezuela and Peru were followed by defeats against Paraguay and Brazil.
Although they bounced back to beat Colombia 3-0 in a home qualifier last November, they remain outside the automatic qualifying places in fifth place, with 19 points from 12 games. Naija and Bet
A defeat against fourth-placed Chile on Thursday in Buenos Aires would leave Argentina further adrift of the automatic qualifying spots. And if Colombia beat lowly Bolivia in their home game, as expected, Argentina could even finish the day further down the pecking order, outside of the fifth-place playoff berth they currently occupy.
With a trip to face Bolivia in the thin air of La Paz awaiting them next Tuesday – where Argentina have rarely performed well – it means the two-time World Cup-winners can ill afford to slip up against the Chileans.
Argentina defeated Chile in Santiago earlier in the qualifiers, winning 2-1 in March last year. Continue reading Argentina face Chile test in World Cup qualifier race