Friday, 24 October 2014

Manchester United Vs Chelsea Preview: Di Maria Vs Matic And The 5 Key Battles Expected

Radamel Falcao v John Terry

With captain Wayne Rooney suspended and Robin van Persie continually struggling to find form, most of the pressure will fall on AS Monaco loanee Falcao’s shoulders.

The Colombia international is yet to truly show what he is capable of in the box and up against Terry he is sure to have an afternoon of physicality.

Angel di Maria v Nemanja Matic

As shaky as United’s start to the season has been this British record £59.7m signing has been brilliant since his move from Real Madrid.

Despite picking up a knock against West Bromwich Ablbion on Monday, di Maria will be fit to play and Matic will have to prove he is the best defensive midfielder in the division.

Cesc Fabregas v Daley Blind
Something of a role reversal now as the Blues’ own summer import from La Liga – Fabregas joined from FC Barcelona for £30m – will come up against Blind.

The Netherlands international has looked solid in the holding role, but with seven assists to his name the Spaniard will be his toughest opponent yet..

Eden Hazard v Rafael

Although Fabregas and Diego Costa have stolen many of the plaudits for their performances – the latter is likely to be missing at the Theatre of Dreams due to injury – Hazard has also been in outstanding form.

The Belgium international will come into the game on the back of having netted a midweek brace in the Champions League and Rafael’s often dubious defensive capabilities will be firmly tested

Louis van Gaal v Jose Mourinho
However, one of the greatest battles could be between the two dugouts as two of the best managers of the modern game go head-to-head once again.

Mourinho’s team are in better form and will therefore be the favourites, but van Gaal will want to take revenge from the last time these two bosses met when Inter Milan beat his Bayern Munich team in the 2010 Champions League final.

Player Profile: Meet Mfon Udoh, Nigerian Professional Football League Top Scorer

Just as the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Sergio Kun Aguero, Diego Costa dazzle Europe with goals with reckless abandon, a certain Nigerian is just as well getting in the goals for his club here in Nigeria. 

He's the current highest goal scorer in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), he plays for the Aba war lords Enyimba FC. 

Here I profile Enyimba's Mfon Udoh, the highest goal scorer in the NPFL with 17 goals thus far.
Mfon Udoh formerly played for Akwa United. He's from Akwa Ibom, a state in the coastal
South-Southern part of the country.

On the 31st of March 2013, Udoh scored his first ever goal at top level of Nigerian football for Akwa United.

He is a goal poacher, a fox-in-the-box kind of striker, a clinical finisher who has got good sight for goals, he very often benefits from scrambles and goal mouth melee after corner kicks because of his persistence and presence always in the opposition box.

He's also pace with decent ball control and dribbling abilities. His 17 goals so far this season for his new team Enyimba, two more than his total last season with Akwa United, definitely shows he is a natural goal scorer.

The youngster is now just three goals from equaling the record record in the Nigeria league with the all-time Nigeria league goals record still standing at 20 goals scored by Jude Aneke three seasons ago.

And according to him "I am happy that I am getting closer to my target of 20 goals. I am not thinking of setting a new goal record but if it comes, I will be happy about it, but I am not desperate about it," he said when asked about breaking and setting a new goal record in the NPFL.

With just 4 more games to the wrap of this season Uduh should be able to get three, if not more goals to his credits.

Other Top Goalscorers
Enugu Rangers Osaguona Ighodaro has 15 Goals

Gbolahan Salami of Warri Wolves had claimed he has also scored 15 goals, but the league have insisted he has 14 goals to his credits

Peter Ebimobowei of Bayelsa United boast 14 Goals and Christian Pyagbara of Sharks FC has also scored 14 Goals so far this season.

VIDEO: Watch Erik Lamela’s Amazing "Rabona Goal" In The Europa League

Take a bow son! Tottenham's routine Europa League victory against Asteras Tripolis was brought to life when Erik Lamela scored a wonderful 'rabona' goal at White Hart Lane.

Leading 1-0 at the time, the Argentine pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the area and hit it first-time with an unorthodox finish, wrapping his left foot behind his right and curling the ball into the top corner to send the north London faithful into raptures.      


Super Eagles Star Player Says 2015 Nations Should Be Cancelled! [SEE WHY]

Vincent Enyeama is adamant that the Africa Cup of Nations should not go ahead due to the threat of the deadly Ebola epidemic spreading.

The Nigeria and Lille keeper was forthright in his assessment of the situation and pleaded with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to cancel the tournament in Morocco.

Speaking after his club side drew 0-0 with Everton in the Europa League on Thursday, the 32-year-old stopper said: 'I really wish it doesn't happen with all the people that will be moving around.

'But I'm not CAF. I'm not the one who calls the shots.'

Enyeama confirmed that he was fearful of the spread of the Ebola virus, which has killed almost 5,000 people across west Africa, and added: 'It's risky for everyone because you go to Africa and then everyone is hugging you and shaking you, and what can you do? You're at risk.

'But if it happens I will play, if we qualify.'

Nigeria are currently third in Group A in their qualification pool for the tournament - only the top two and the best third-placed teams will make the tournament.

SOURCE: DailyMail

Nigeria Slide Down Yet Again In Latest FIFA Rankings

The Super Eagles have gone down five steps on the latest FIFA rankings realeased on Thursday by the world football governing body.

Previously ranked 37th in the world, the reigning African champions have now dropped to 42nd in the October edition of the monthly rankings. The Eagles played two matches in the period under review which is double header against Sudan in which they lost the first leg by a lone goal in Khartoum before rallying to a 3-1 win in Abuja in the reverse fixture.

While the Eagles struggle on the rankings, the Desert Foxes of Algeria have continued to soar as they have now moved to 15th place on the log. The North Africans are 10 places ahead of the next African team Ivory Coast.

On the the global ranking, Germany, Argentina and Colombia occupied the top three spots in the world. While Belgium, Netherlands, Brazil, France, Uruguay, Portugal and Spain completed the top 10.

The next ranking will be released on November 27, 2014.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Mario Balotelli Faces Club Punishment After Swapping Shirts With Pepe

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has stirred up more controversy tonight after swapping shirts with Real Madrid defender Pepe, as the players walked off the pitch for half-time in their Champions League clash.

The Daily Express reports that The Liverpool striker had few opportunities to impose himself on the game, and cut a forlorn figure at the break.

He then exchanged shirts with Pepe as the pair walked down the Anfield tunnel, leaving many Liverpool fans outraged at his lack of fighting spirit. In his post-match interview Rodgers denied knowing anything about the incident, but has vowed to ‘deal with it’ at a later date.

As the source explains, this isn’t the first time Rodgers has reacted angrily to his players swapping shirts. The Liverpool boss was left fuming after learning two of his players, Mamadou Sakho and Philippe Coutinho, swapped shirts with Chelsea stars at half-time in their 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge in 2013.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Wednesday UCL Match Day 3 Review: Madrid Clubs Secure Wins, Arsenal Fights Back Plus More!

There were some upsets on the radar to go with some of the usual expected blowouts as the group stage of the UEFA Champions League danced its way through Wednesday night in Europe.

Real Madrid trounced Liverpool, while their crosstown neighbors throttled Malmo and Borussia Dortmund went nuts on Galatasaray.

As for Arsenal? Read on.

We are at the halfway point in Groups A-D, and some English clubs are concerned about their fortunes to be sure.


Atletico Madrid 5-0 Malmo

A sleepy first half for the hosts was quickly awakened by Koke in the 48th, followed Mario Mandzukic and Antoine Griezmann goals two minutes apart in the 61st and 63rd. 

Atleti is second to Olympiakos on head-to-head, as both clubs have six points.

Olympiakos 1-0 Juventus

Former Fulham hitman Pajtim Kasami scored 35 minutes in, and that goal held up. Juve and Malmo each have three points, and sit a win behind Olympiakos and Atleti.


Liverpool 0-3 Real Madrid
Liverpool could not conjure up a magical European night and result at Anfield as they slipped to a chastening 3-0 defeat against reigning European champions Real Madrid.

A buzzing start from the hosts was not sustained and ultimately, it was the Reds' lack of attacking options in contrast to Los Blancos' embarrassment of riches that proved the difference.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring with a quite brilliant half-volley while Karim Benzema added a smart brace, aided by poor Liverpool defending, before the break to leave Brendan Rodgers' side with a mountain to climb.

Ludogorets Razgrad 1-0 Basel

Bulgarian defender Veselin Minev buried a ball in the 90th minute to lift the hosts, as the visitors nearly waited out a red card for a point. Ludo, Liverpool and Basel are all even on three points to Madrid’s nine.


Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Zenit St. Petersburg
Goals in the 58th and 63rd made it seem easy, but a 73rd minute red card to Wendell meant Bayer was waiting for the bell.

Monaco 0-0 Benfica

No magic from Berbatov for the hosts, who couldn’t score despite a red card to Benfica’s Pereira Dos Santos. Maybe Falcao should’ve stayed.


Galatsasaray 0-4 Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund eased past Galatasaray to continue their 100% record in this season's Champions League group stages.

A brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, followed by goals from Marco Reus and Adrian Ramos, secured the points and took Dortmund three points clear of Arsenal in Group D.

Anderlecht 1-2 Arsenal
Two last-gasp goals from Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski saw an uninspired Arsenal come from behind to beat Anderlecht 2-1 in Belgium and keep alive their Champions League hopes.

Overall it was a pretty gutless performance from the Gunners, who lacked quality without a host of injured first-team stars.

The Gunners came from behind in Brussels to steal a late, vital 2-1 win against Anderlecht, with goals from Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski. Their victory means they stay relatively close to Dortmund, but it is the Germans who look the most fearful in this group.

"Nigeria Is Not A Serious And Focused Football Country"- Disappointed Keshi Lashes Out

Sacked Super Eagles manager Stephen Keshi has thrown a parting shot at Nigerian football, saying the country should stop seeing itself as a serious football nation considering it is still lagging behind in many vital areas needed to attain such levels.

In a chat with ESPN football pundit Colin Udoh, the former Togo and former Mali manager noted, for instance, that but for his intervention, the Akwa Ibom State governor was planning to lay artificial grass on the newly built world-class Uyo Stadium.  That venue will host the decisive clash of the Super Eagles with South Africa next month.

“How many good pitches do we have in this country? Keshi queried. We say we are a football nation and we don't even have good training pitches for the national team, or good field to play on. Instead, there are artificial pitches everywhere, even the new Stadium in Uyo, it was when I heard from the governor that they wanted to use artificial pitch that I had to shout and tell him no way. That is how they used natural grass pitch there. But why should I be the one to say it? Where are the journalists?”

He said he was proud of his achievements during his spell as Nigeria’s manager.

“People keep saying I drew a lot of matches. But how many Nigerian coaches agreed to play friendly matches all the time. Or to use home-based players without fear but people don't see that. Every time it's Keshi this and Keshi that. Then they say I always try to use the President against them. President that I cannot even see!”

He also said he was happy that the drama was finally over, as was his family.

“I am not bitter. I'm just disappointed in some of you,” he pointed out, referring to journalists.  “Now people can stop talking about Keshi.”

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Football Association, responding to reports that Keshi would be in the country this week to finalise a contract to take over their National team, has denied ever approaching Keshi or getting any application from him.

7 Star Bayern Munich Pay Homage To The Pope After Thrashing Roma [PHOTOS]

Following Bayern Munich's 7-1 thrashing of Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday night, one would think they would be less than welcome around the Italian capital.

However, the Bundesliga champions were greeted with open arms in the Vatican City, where they were granted an audience with Pope Francis, a self-confessed football fanatic.

On Wednesday morning, following their impressive showing at the Stadio Olimpico the night before, Bayern gathered at the Pope's famous residence where they handed over a signed shirt.

Reasons Why Liverpool Can Defeat Real Madrid Tonight

Last weekend, Real Madrid beat Levante 5-0. Cristiano Ronaldo bagged two of them, making it an utterly absurd 19 goals in 12 league and cup appearances. 

His 15 in seven Primera Liga games is the same as Sevilla, currently second in the table, have scored, and it is more than 16 of the division's 20 clubs. Only Barcelona and Valencia have scored more than Ronaldo.

He isn't doing it on his own, either. Karim Benzema has a perfectly respectable five from ten starts, Gareth Bale has five in 13, and Javier Hernandez appears to have rediscovered his scoring touch, netting three despite spending much of his time on the bench.

That victory was Real's seventh in a row in all competitions, games in which they have prevailed by an aggregate score of 33-4. The numbers are scary for their next opponents.

A few hours after Real were putting their league opponents to the sword, Liverpool were bumbling to one of the most ridiculous wins in Premier League history. It's hard to recall a team winning a game while playing quite so incompetently as Liverpool did against QPR, relying on two own goals and throwing their lead away twice on the way to a 3-2 victory.

Add this to Liverpool being without their most potent striker in Daniel Sturridge, and with Mario Balotelli playing so listlessly, it's pretty difficult to see how they could possibly resist the seemingly irresistible force of Real when they visit Anfield in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers spoke about the strengths of their opponents in an interview with Guillem Balague for Spanish newspaper AS, reported by Sky Sports:

They have amazing talents all over the field and they have the technique to play in small spaces and when the space opens up there is no one better on the counter-attack in Ronaldo and Bale because, they are two players that could be in the Olympic 100 metres final.

They are as strong a team now as they have been for many years. They have everything, big experience, big players, speed, technique and a great manager in (Carlo) Ancelotti, a good man who works with players and who is a good person.

However, there are some chinks of light for Rodgers and his team.

For a start, Real actually aren't quite as irresistible as they looked at the weekend. It's easy to forget, among all the mind-boggling statistics from Ronaldo and friends that they have already lost twice in this nascent season, once in a shambolic performance at Real Sociedad and another at home to Atletico Madrid in the early part of the season.

They are potentially vulnerable, as Bulgarian minnow Ludogorets illustrated in their last Champions League game, giving the Spanish giants an almighty scare even though Real eventually ran out 2-1 winners.

In addition, Real will be without two key players for the trip. As reported by Sky Sports, neither Gareth Bale (suffering with an abdominal injury) nor Sergio Ramos (who has a calf problem) travelled to England, while Karim Benzema and one of Ramos' potential replacements, Raphael Varane, missed the Levante game with a fever and so are unlikely to be playing at peak fitness.

Real do not have many weaknesses in their team, but one area that Liverpool might want to target is their full-backs. Dani Carvajal and Marcelo are likely to be the two choices on the flanks of Real's defence, and while both are undoubtedly happy going forward, both have positional issues that Liverpool could exploit.

Rodgers has the players to do this as well. Raheem Sterling has generally excelled through the centre, but he is equally dangerous on the flank, while Adam Lallana is beginning to find his feet in a Liverpool shirt. If both players are told to attack their markers at pace and look for space behind them, Liverpool could find some success in that area.

Additionally, Real do not generally play with a traditional holding midfielder (unless Sami Khedira is recalled), so deploying a 4-2-3-1 with Philippe Coutinho as the central man in the attacking three could exploit the space in front of their defence.

Of course, with Ronaldo in the team, any other weaknesses are potentially moot, so the question becomes how to stop the Portuguese genius. As many managers have concluded over the years, this is virtually impossible, and the best method is to try and cut off service to him.

In Real's case, that service will come from Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in the heart of midfield. This is where Jordan Henderson will be a key man for the Reds, as he will be asked to do the bulk of the work in closing down Kroos and Modric, not allowing the two to create the opportunities for Ronaldo.

Kaka's Beautiful WAG Looking Sizzling Hot And Fit! [PHOTOS]

Caroline Celico, the amazingly beautiful wife of legendary Brazil playmaker Kaka, dazzled her Instagram followers by sharing a photo of herself posing next to a stone wall on Tuesday.

The stunner, who married Kaka in 2005, is easily among the hottest Brazil WAGs of all time, but is she number one?

Scroll down to see some more images of Caroline, before making your decision.