Chelsea forward, Willian has insisted that reigning Premier League champions are ‘confident’ of beating Arsenal to reach the Carabao Cup final on Wednesday. The Blues welcome Arsene Wenger’s side to Stamford Bridge this evening for the first leg of the tie and Willian is determined to reach the final. Antonio Conte’s men are enjoying a fine run and Willian says the team is full of confidence with a final against either Manchester City or Bristol City at stake. Willian told Chelsea website, “We are confident. It’s another semi-final for us and a great opportunity to reach the final. “It’s a big game, an important game, and of course we want to get through to Wembley. There are two legs and we have to make sure we’re ready for each match. “If we win at Stamford Bri
Barcelona have agreed a deal to sign Liverpool midfielder, Philippe Coutinho, in a club-record deal. Spanish newspaper, Sport, reports the Reds have settled on an ‘agreement in principle’ for the Brazilian for a fee of €120m (£106.4m), with a further €40m (£35.5m) in add-ons. Coutinho is expected to sign a five-year deal with the Blaugrana. The 25-year-old was left at home, as Jurgen Klopp’s side flew out to Dubai for a mid-season break in Dubai. He was also absent for the Merseyside derby in Friday evening, with the Reds beating Everton 2-1 to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup. Ernesto Valverde’s side play in La Liga on Sunday against Levante, so Coutinho could make his debut in the Copa del Rey vs Celta Vigo on Thursday or the following Sunday at Real Sociedad.
Premier league giants, Chelsea have reportedly begun looking at managers to replace the club’s coach, Antonio Conte. According to The Times, Atletico Madrid manager, Diego Simeone is top of their shortlist to replace Conte. The blues boss, who they expect to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, became an instant hero in west London after he won the Premier League title in his first season in England. The 48-year-old Italian gaffer, who will have one year remaining on his contract come the summer, penned a new contract at Chelsea but did not extend its length. While the club are not looking to sack Conte, there is an expectation that a mutual agreement will be reached over an exit, with the manager clearly unhappy by Chelsea’s transfer activity and structu
Arsenal shot-stopper, Petr Cech is set to become the first Premier League goalkeeper to reach 200 clean sheets when he goes up against former club, Chelsea on Wednesday. The 35-year-old currently sits on 199 clean sheets from 423 appearances and his nearest rival, is former Premier League keeper, David James in second on 169. The Czech International earned 162 of his EPL clean sheets during an 11-year spell with the Blues, winning three of his four golden glove titles at Stamford Bridge, and is currently on 37 for the Gunners. Cech was within minutes of reaching the 200 mark last time out against West Brom but a harsh late penalty converted by Jay Rodriguez saw his wait go on. Arsenal are currently six points behind fourth placed, Liverpool a...
Leicester City manager, Claude Puel wants Kelechi Iheanacho to keep improving. This was after his impressive performance in the Carabao Cup against Manchester City on Tuesday. Iheanacho has been restricted to just 11 games for the first team, scoring once. But the Nigerian international showed glimpses of his talent in the 4-3 penalty shootout loss to his erstwhile club. The Foxes boss praised the youngster but urged him to “work to improve.” “[Iheanacho] tried, he shoot on target. He had a good opportunity in the first half. He gave his best,” Puel told Leicester Mercury. “He’s a young player, he needs to continue to work to improve. “It was important to see him, to give him game-time. It was a good opportunity for him and other players. “I was happy with the squad
Nigeria had a 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw in Algeria last month changed to a 3-0 defeat by FIFA officials after they fielded suspended Abdullahi Shehu. The result did not affect on the final standings with Nigeria finishing five points ahead of Zambia with Cameroon third and Algeria last. Ghana moved above Nigeria to eighth and Algeria rose to 10th with 2015 Africa Cup of Nations title-holders the Ivory Coast falling out of a top 10 headed by Senegal.
A former coach of Croatia and West Ham United, Slaven Bilic has stated that Nigeria is the strongest and most difficult team in the Group D of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Bilic, a Croatian, admitted that the fixtures in the group stage of the World Cup have not been kind to his country. Croatia will face Nigeria in their first group game before tackling Argentina and Iceland. Bilic told Sportske Novosti, “It seems to me that it is not sufficiently recognized the weight of our group and especially the negativity of the schedule. We have a difficult group and the worst possible match schedule. “Nigeria at the start when it is, by tradition, the strongest and most difficult. Argentina have a decisive squad, and it would be better if it was in the third when we might have already
Real Madrid superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo has mocked LaLiga league leaders, Barcelona after winning the FIFA Club World Cup, stating that the Catalan club needs to give his team a guard of honour before the El Clasico clash at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Ronaldo’s second-half free-kick ensured Madrid picked up a fifth trophy of 2017 by beating Gremio 1-0 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday to retain the Club World Cup. “It would be nice and I would like Barcelona to give us a guard of honour,” the Portuguse said in the mixed zone to reporters after the match. “I hope we win that game too so that the league is still alive for Real Madrid. “We have to enjoy every moment because we don’t know what will happen in the future. “I’m happy I scored the goal, very happy,” Ronaldo said. &nb
Argentina captain, Lionel Messi, has said he hopes football “ends up paying” the debt the spot owes him at the 2018 World Cup. Messi has lost three straight finals with Argentina in a three-year span. His national team coach, Jorge Sampaoli, said after Messi’s hat-trick at Ecuador in the 3-1 win in their final qualifier on October 10, that football “owes Messi a World Cup.” When asked to comment on Sampaoli’s remarks, Messi told FIFA: “Yes, I did hear it, and he said it to me too. I hope football does end up paying me!” Argentina will face Nigeria, Croatia and Iceland in Group D of next year’s tournament. But Messi says the 2014 World Cup final defeat to Germany is still an open wound. “It’s going to be there forever,” he said. “I don’t know if they’re ever going
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr is aiming to win the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroun after extending his contract with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for two more years. Three-time champions Nigeria missed out on the 2015 and 2017 edition of the AFCON, and trail leaders Libya and South Africa by three points in Group E of the 2019 AFCON qualifiers. ‘’The verbal agreement was reinforced by an official handshake,’’ said Rohr to football365.fr. ‘’We met in Moscow with representatives of the executive committee of the Federation. We agreed on a two-year extension. ‘’I thank my leaders for this trust. Beyond the World Cup, the goal is AFCON 2019. We want to come back and win.’’ The Super Eagles were due to face Seychelles in their next AFCON qual