Conte ‘doesn’t do second place – Buffon

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The Italy goalkeeper believes the Blues have one of the best managers in Europe, who will not settle for being runners-up in the Premier League title race.

Gianluigi Buffon is unsurprised by Chelsea’s form under Antonio Conte because the former Juventus manager ‘doesn’t do second place’.

Juventus legend Buffon won three consecutive Serie A titles under Conte from 2011 to 2014, before the 47-year-old left Turin to manage Italy. Naija and Bet 

After a mixed start, Conte has made his mark on Chelsea, guiding the Blues to the top of the Premier League after eight straight victories, including wins against title rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in their last two matches.

The Old Lady had been without a scudetto since 2006 before Conte’s appointment and goalkeeper Buffon has been impressed by his impact at Stamford Bridge.

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CL Match Preview : Bayer Leverkusen vs Monaco

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Bayer Leverkusen sit only three points ahead of third-placed Tottenham in the group but as a result of their superior head-to-head record with Spurs, have already secured their spot in the next round of the Champions League.

Monaco are four points ahead of Bayer 04 and have progressed as group winners. The Ligue 1 side are, however, unbeaten in their three Champions League meetings with their Bundesliga counterparts and will want to keep this run going. Naijabet.com

These two sides drew 1-1 in the reverse fixture and a similar result is on the cards.

Team News

Bayer Leverkusen – Roger Schmidt is without Karim Bellarabi, Lars Bender, Stefan Kießling, Joel Pohjanpalo and Kevin Kampl through injury.

Continue reading CL Match Preview : Bayer Leverkusen vs Monaco

There is no pressure on Iheanacho – Guardiola

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Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola has dismissed talk of pressure on his Nigerian charge, Kelechi Iheanacho with the teenager set to deputize for the suspended Argentine striker, Sergio Aguero.

Aguero was dismissed in City’s last Premier League game against Chelsea and will now miss upcoming matches against Leicester City, Watford, Arsenal and Hull City.

Iheanacho who scored in City’s 1-1 draw with Celtic in the Uefa Champions League at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night retains the confidence of Guardiola. Naija and Bet

“There is no pressure on Kelechi Iheanacho. He just has to do his job.

“I am so happy for the young players. We played well,” Guardiola said post-match.

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CL Match Preview : Juventus vs Dinamo Zagreb

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Juventus need to win to guarentee top spot in Group H. They really shouldn’t have any problem overcoming a Dinamo Zagreb side that are one of only two teams left in the group stages without a single point.

Dinamo Zagreb have nothing to play for other than pride in the last group game of the Champions League campaign. They have lost all five group games and are yet to even score a goal in the group stages.

Team News

Juventus – With Dani Alves out until next year and Stephan Lichtsteiner not included in Juventus’ Champions League squad, Max Allegri is short of options to play on the right of their back five. Juan Cuadrado is set to deputise in their absence. Place your bet on Naijabet.com

Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci are also ruled out to add further problems to the defence ahead of Wednesday’s meeting with Dinamo Zagreb.

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Real demand respect for Cristiano Ronaldo

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Real Madrid launched a staunch defence of star forward Cristiano Ronaldo on Tuesday, demanding respect for the three-time World Player of the Year amid allegations he hid millions of euros earned from image rights in tax havens.

“Real Madrid demand the maximum respect for a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, whose behaviour has been exemplary during his entire time at our club,” Madrid said in a statement. Naija and Bet

An international consortium of media organisations on Friday claimed that a huge data leak involving 18 million documents showed the Portuguese skipper hid 150 million euros ($160 million) from image rights in the British Virgin Islands.

Ronaldo, 31, has strongly denied the claims in a statement via Gestifute, the firm controlled by his agent Jorge Mendes.

“Cristiano Ronaldo has always acted in good faith in this matter, as the fact that he has never been involved in any conflict with the Tax Authorities from any country where he has lived clearly shows,” said Gestifute.

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CL Match Preview : Lyon vs Sevilla

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Lyon have to beat Sevilla by a margin of two goals or more to steal second place in Group H. However, they have only managed this feat in two of their last 13 matches in all competitions

Sevilla, meanwhile, still have the chance to top the group but would require Dinamo Zabgreb to take points off Juventus, which is very unlikely. The only 3 goals they have conceded in the competition came when they were reduced to 10 men against Juventus.

They have proven to be incredibly hard to break down in the Champions League this season and it would require an almighty effort from Lyon to beat Sevilla, let alone by the requirements they need to get through the group.

Team News

Lyon – Anthony Lopes is a huge doubt for the match after the Lyon goalkeeper was hit by a firecracker thrown from the stands at the weekend. Naija and Bet

This could see Mathieu Gorgelin make just his seventh appearance for Lyon and his first since January.

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Iwobi pleased to get UCL first goal

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Alex Iwobi scored his first goal in the Uefa Champions League for Arsenal on Tuesday as the Gunners beat FC Basel 4-1 in Switzerland.

The Nigerian star reacted well to steer home Mesut Ozil’s low cross in the 53rd minute at a parked St Jakob Park.

Iwobi who scored an own goal in Arsenal’s last Champions League game – a 2-2 draw at home to PSG – was understandably pleased to get off the mark at the right end.

“Pleased To Get My First Champions League Goal But Most Importantly, Good To Finish Top Of The Group,” he said. Naija and Bet

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CL Match Preview : Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund

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Real Madrid need to win in order to secure top spot in Group F. Los Blancos currently sit two points behind Borussia Dortmund, but have won three of their last four home meetings with the Bundesliga side, drawing the other.

Dortmund have just two wins to their name from their last five competitive games away from home, but have won their two away matches in the Champions League this term. Naijabet.com

This promises to be an entertaining encounter at the Bernabeu, with a repeat of the scoreline in the reverse fixture a possibility.

Team News

Real Madrid – Real Madrid are without the injured Gareth Bale, but Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that he is the only absence.

That means Alvaro Morata and Toni Kroos are available following injury.

Continue reading CL Match Preview : Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund

Man City need to earn respect in Europe – Guardiola

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Manchester City’s recent history may be filled with domestic success, but manager Pep Guardiola said his side go into the Champions League knock-out phase as European novices.

City drew 1-1 at home to Celtic on Tuesday in their final group stage match, which maintained their unbeaten home record in the competition this year.

The big-spending Premier League club had already qualified for the knock out phase in second place in Group C behind Guardiola’s former team Barcelona.

“Considering that Man City has for the first time (last season) in their long history arrived in the semifinal, I’m so happy we’re there to compete against the best teams in the world,” Guardiola said. Naijabet.com

“The group was really tough, really, really tough. The Champions League is not easy, especially for a team that’s not experienced in Europe,” he added.

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Leicester reserves team set to play against Porto

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Leicester City will play it safe and field a second-string side in their inconsequential final Group G Champions League match against Porto on Wednesday, manager Claudio Ranieri has said.

The Italian, whose side have already advanced to the knockout stages as group leaders, has chosen to rest a bunch of key players for their visit to Estadio do Dragao. Naija and Bet

“Available are all the players who have travelled with me. Not available are (Islam) Slimani, (Kasper) Schmeichel, Robert Huth, (Jamie) Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and (Andy) King,” Ranieri said.

He said Polish teenager Bartosz Kapustka also did not make the trip to Portugal due to an ankle injury.

“He is very unlucky in this period.”

Continue reading Leicester reserves team set to play against Porto