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FOOTBALL NEWS: Mourinho Could Quit Over Woodward Frustration, Arsenal’s £30m Plan, Pogba In Swap Deal, Liverpool Target Fekir Speaks Out + MORE…

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MANCHESTER UNITED boss Jose Mourinho could leave the club if they make a poor start to the season. That is according to former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince. Mourinho has been a disgruntled figure during United’s pre-season campaign, which has seen them lose three times.
After signing three players early on in the window – Diogo Dalot, Lee Grant and Fred – Mourinho has been keen to make at least two more additions but now appears resigned to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward bringing in just one new player before Thursday’s deadline.
The big spending by United’s rivals has also rattled Mourinho, who fears for their chances of competing for trophies this season.United begin the Premier League season against Leicester before facing Brighton, Tottenham and Burnley.
And Ince reckons Mourinho’s frustration with Woodward and a slow start to the season could lead to the Portuguese leaving or the club sacking him. Ince told Paddy Power: “Jose has said that he wants to stay at United for life. To be fair, most managers would say that.
“But managers do get frustrated. They want to take the club forward, they want to build and bring players in. He sees Liverpool spending big and he wants to compete.“If he feels he’s not getting that from Ed Woodward and the Glazers, he’s going to be grumpy.
“The start of the season is so important for United, they’ve got to get off to a good one. “If not, it’s going to go back to the same situation as last season, where the fans were on his back. “If it does, he’ll say enough’s enough and walk out – or the board might say the same and make a change.”

Courtois AWOL, Butland in
Thibaut Courtois has gone AWOL as he tries to force a move away from Chelsea. Courtois wants to join Real Madrid and is hoping a deal can be struck before Thursday.
The goalkeeper has not turned to up training at Chelsea today and the Daily Mail reckon that’s because of his determination to secure a move to Spain.
He will likely cost £35m if terms can be agreed. Meanwhile, Sky Sports say that Jack Butland is Chelsea’s top target to replace Courtois if an agreement with Real can be met. An error by Butland that led to a goal aided Stoke’s 3-1 defeat to Leeds in the opening game of their Championship campaign on Sunday.

Fekir open to transfer
Nabil Fekir admits he could still leave Lyon after almost joining Liverpool earlier this summer. Lyon appear open to selling Fekir at the right price and had agreed a £53m deal with the Blues before the World Cup – only for the transfer to fall through.
Liverpool are not expected to renew their offer for the France international this summer. But the World Cup winner says he could still leave the Ligue 1 side before the French transfer deadline on August 31.
“As you can see, I am in Lyon. I am very happy here,” Fekir told Lyon’s official club TV station. “But the transfer window is still long and everything goes very quickly in football. “We don’t know what will happen in the future but I am very happy at Lyon. I feel brilliant in this squad.
“We have very good players, a great atmosphere. It is a bit like the French national team: a mixture of youngster and older players, with some players more experienced than others.
“We have a good group, very homogeneous. We feel good together and I hope that Lyon will have a very good season.”

Man Utd deal backed
Manchester United can go head-to-head with Premier League champions Manchester City if they bolster their defence with a centre-half, says Peter Crouch.
“Looking in from the outside, you don’t need to be a genius to realise this summer has not gone as they would have wanted,” said Crouch.
“A word of warning, though, to anyone who feels they are in trouble: never write off a Jose Mourinho team.
“When all the players are back, look at the depth of their squad. Tell me how a team with Paul Pogba in midfield and Romelu Lukaku up front won’t win loads of matches? Pogba is someone I’m very keen on watching over the next 12 months.
“He should come back from the World Cup full of confidence and I want to see him stamp his authority on the biggest games, like he did in April’s Manchester derby. If United add a central defender, they have the quality to push City all the way.”

Real Madrid transfer worry
Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos admits the club will find it hard to replace Cristiano Ronaldo. Real sold Ronaldo to Juventus earlier this simmer and the club are seeking a new superstar to stand in the Portuguese’s place.
But Kroos concedes that may not be possible. “When you lose 50 goals over a season, it is really tough to replace,” Kroos said.
“Cristiano was hugely important to us over the years and he has been decisive for us in all of our success but I have no doubts we will be very hard to beat again.”

Luiz on Willian
David Luiz has revealed that his close friend Willian told him he wanted to stay at Chelsea – and he did not need any persuading.
The Brazilian winger has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United and Barcelona but Luiz is confident his team-mate will stay in west London.
Luiz said: “We never talked about him leaving. We are friends for a long time. “Since the beginning, he told me he loved Chelsea. To leave Chelsea, would be something totally out of the reality – if he really wanted to leave or if Chelsea really wanted to kick him out.
“This is not the reality. Chelsea loves Willian, Willian loves Chelsea, so that’s great. “He’s a fantastic player and a fantastic friend. I’ve known Willian since I was eight, so a long time. Willian loves Chelsea. He played on Sunday after coming back after the World Cup, and he has already shown his quality. I wanted him to stay.”

Man Utd’s Maguire bid
Manchester United will reportedly launch a bid for Harry Maguire despite claims they are closing in on Toby Alderweireld. Manchester United have been linked with both Maguire and Alderweireld as they target a successful end to the summer transfer window.
Having dropped their interest in Barcelona powerhouse Yerry Mina because of his agent’s financial demands, claims have circled they are closing in on Alderweireld.
But Sky Sports say United will launch a bid for Maguire before the transfer window shut on Thursday. And Sky Sports say United are aware they will have to pay more than the £75million Liverpool paid Southampton for Virgil van Dijk back in January, while the Daily Star claim Leicester want £80m for his services.
Should the Red Devils land Maguire, then Rojo is expected to leave.
Wolves and Everton have both been linked with the Argentina international, who signed from Sporting Lisbon four years ago.

Chambers medical
Calum Chambers is set to have a medical today at Fulham ahead of a season-long loan. Chambers signed a new four-year deal in July and looked set to play a prominent role under new manager Unai Emery.
The 23-year-old defender has played an active role in pre-season and started Saturday’s 2-0 win over Lazio. But according to the Daily Mail, Chambers is set to move to the newly promoted Fulham.
The report says Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic wants experienced defenders because new signing Alfie Mawson is not expected to be fully fit until September.

Paul Pogba swap deals
Manchester United star Paul Pogba will hold talks with his agent this week as he looks to seal a move away from the club, according to reports.
Jose Mourinho could also receive offers from Juventus and Barcelona with the Portuguese getting a player in return if the club decide to sell. Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo claim he has decided to leave United.
Barcelona and Juventus are the two clubs battling for his signature with Pogba thought to be open to a move to both. In a bid to convince United to part with the Frenchman, who they paid Juve £89m for in the summer of 2016, both teams are considering offering a player in any potential deal. Mundo Deportivo claim the Italian side will offer Miralem Pjanic, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea, to the Portuguese boss.
But the former Chelsea boss will also be alerted to Barcelona’s proposed offers. The report claims defender Yerry Mina and midfielder Andre Gomes could enter the equation if Pogba opts for the Nou Camp.

Courtois ultimatum
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has ordered Real Madrid transfer target Thibaut Courtois to make his plans clear to him after dismissing quotes from the goalkeeper’s agent, suggesting his future remained unclear.
speaking after Chelsea’s Community Shield defeat to Manchester City on Sunday, Sarri delivered an ultimatum to the 26-year-old – who has 12 months to run on his contract.
Sarri said: “I have no reaction on the agent. I am not interested in the agent. I want to hear from Courtois. “If Courtois says the same tomorrow I have to speak with my club of course, because I want only players with a very high level of motivation. But I have nothing to add to the agent.”

Arsenal’s £30m plan
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has reportedly decided who he wants to sign as he faces a defensive crisis. Arsenal have problems at left-back with Sead Kolasinac set for two months on the sidelines having picked up a knee injury in the recent friendly against Chelsea.
Nacho Monreal hasn’t featured in Arsenal’s preparations for the new season having returned from the World Cup with a knee injury. And the Daily Mail report the new boss will target AC Milan full-back Ricardo Rodriguez before the transfer window closes on Thursday (5pm). It’s claimed that Milan are keen to keep hold of the 25-year-old and it may cost Emery £30million to get his man.

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Uganda Cranes To Bank On Onyango’s Brilliancy Against Tanzania

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AFCON 2019 Qualifier Group L:

Sunday, 24th March 2019

Tanzania Vs Uganda Cranes,6:00

CRANES SKIPPER Denis Onyango, currently alias Mr. Clean Sheets in the Africa Cup qualifiers will be determined to extend his record as they take on Tanzania in the last game.

Cranes qualified in November with Patrick Kaddu’s goal ate Namboole and Sebastien Desabre is expected to experiment with some few young players as he prepares for CHAN.

“We have already qualified and one of our tasks is to take a clean-sheet to Egypt but I give a lot of respect to Tanzania,” Onyango said.

Cranes had a week-long camp in Ismailia Egypt and Farouk Miya was the last professional player to arrive in camp from HK Gorica were he does his professional duties. The game will take place on Sunday.

They are 15 foreign-based players summoned by the French tactician Sebastien Desabre.

What Tanzania need;

Tanzania, the hosts only need to beat Uganda and hope Lesotho falter in Cape Verde to qualify.

Lesotho are second in Group L on five points, same as Tanzania but have a better head-to-head record. The two are a massive eight behind Uganda. All three – Lesotho, Tanzania and Cape Verde – can still qualify on the final day.

“All I am asking for is for Tanzanians to continue to supporting Taifa Stars with prayers for the team to down Uganda Cranes and sail through,” chairman of a special committee formed to ensure the Taifa Stars qualify for the finals Paul Mukonda said.

Head To Head:

Uganda      0-0 Tanzania                

Uganda      1-1 Tanzania                

Tanzania 0-3 Uganda           

Uganda      2-2 Tanzania                

Uganda      3-1 Tanzania                

Tanzania 0-1 Uganda           

Tanzania 0-3 Uganda

Players in camp: Defenders: Murushid Jjuuko (Simba, Tanzania), Timothy Awany (KCCA, Uganda), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers, Uganda), Geofrey Walusimbi (Free Agent), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Kirizestom Ntambi (Ethiopian Coffee), Nico Wakiro Wadada (Azam, Tanzania)

Midfielders: Khalid Aucho (Churchhill brothers, India), Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (Free Agent), Tadeo Lwanga (Vipers, Uganda), Ibrahim Sadam Juma (KCCA, Uganda), Moses Waiswa (Vipers, Uganda), Moses Opondo (Vendsyssel FF, Denmark)

Forwards: Faruku Miya (Gorica, Croatia), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Simba, Tanzania), Allan Kyambadde (KCCA, Uganda), Allan Okello (KCCA,Uganda), Edrisa Lubega (SV Ried, Austria), Muhammad Shaban (Raja Casablanca, Morocco), Henry Patrick Kaddu (KCCA, Uganda), Milton Karisa (MC Oujda, Morocco).

Betting Tips:

Saturday:

Senegal vs Madagascar-‘over’

Burundi vs Gabon-1/gg                 

Cameroon vs Comoros-1              

Niger vs Egypt-2

Zambia vs Namibia-2           

G.Bissau vs Mozambique-1 

Côte d’Ivoire vs Rwanda-1  

Ghana vs Kenya-1

Mali vs South Sudan-1

Sunday:

Zimbabwe vs Congo-GG                

Congo DR vs Liberia-GG                

Central Africa vs Guinea-X1

Benin vs Togo-‘over’/gg info

Tanzania vs Uganda-‘over’  

Cape Verde Islands vs Lesotho-GG                  

Libya vs South Africa-‘over’/gg

Betting Tips

Saturday:

Georgia vs Switzerland-‘over’       

Gibraltar vs Republic-2

Sweden vs Romaia-X1/GG

By Senior Reprter, Kussam Kalema

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AFCON QUALIFIERS: Who Occupies The Last 10 Slots?

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AFCON QUALIFIERS

Friday games:

Malawi vs Morocco, 4:00

Nigeria vs Seychelles,6:00

Burkina Faso vs Mauritania,8:00

Botswana vs Angola,8:00

Sudan vs E.Guinea,8:00

Tunisia vs Swaziland,9:15

Algeria vs Gambia,10:45

Saturday games:

Burundi vs Gabon,4:00

Cameroon vs Comoros,6:00

Niger vs Egypt,6:30

Guinea-Bissau vs Mozambique,7:30

Zambia vs Namibia,7:30

Ivroy Coast vs Rwanda,8:00

Ghana vs Kenya,9:00

Mali vs South Sudan,10:00

Sunday games:

Senegal vs Madagascar,5:00

DR Congo vs Liberia,4:00

Zimbabwe vs Congo,4:00

C.A.R VS Guinea,5:00

Cape Verde VS Lesotho,6:00

Tanzania VS Uganda,6:00

Benin VS Togo,6:00

Libya VS South Africa,8:00

AS the last Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers take place this weekend, the Grapevine breaks down all the games of the teams that are fighting for the last 10 slots.

Cameroon will look to secure a place at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations when they host the Comoros for their final Group B qualifier. The match is set to be staged at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde on Saturday.

Cameroon come into the match in second place in the standings with eight points from five matches, and they hold a three-point lead over the Comoros.

The Indomitable Lions, therefore, need only a draw to secure a place at the 2019 finals. Cameroon coach Clarence Seedorf says he is working hard at ensuring his team takes full advantage of their strengths and improve their attacking potency.

“Scoring goals comes and goes with time but the most important thing is that we continue creating chances. The entire team must work and we then we have to score goals,” Seedorf told reporters in Yaounde earlier this week.

“We have to improve on our free-kicks and corners. We have to take advantage of our great physical power and the height in the team. This is something we’ve analysed and are keen on improving.”

Comoros coach Amir Abdou has done credible work with his team, he was recently rewarded with a new contract. The very fact that the minnows still have a shot at qualifying heading into the final round of matches is a highly creditable achievement.

Can Aubameyang Save Gabon?

Burundi and Gabon will battle it out for a ticket to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations when they lock horns at the Prince Louis Rwagasore Stadium in Bujumbura on Saturday afternoon. Two points separate the two nations in Group C heading into this weekend’s round of fixtures, with first placed Mali having already booked their place at this year’s showpiece in Egypt.

Burundi head into Saturday’s fixture as clear favourites to confirm their place at a first ever Africa Cup of Nations tournament. The hosts sit two points clear with the Panthers in third and nine ahead of winless South Sudan – who have already been eliminated from qualification contention.

The Swallows will advance to this year’s continental showpiece with either a draw or win, while Gabon need nothing but victory if they are to pip their hosts and join Mali in Egypt.

Joint top-scorer in qualifying Fiston Abdul Razak scored four goals for Burundi in a 5-2 win over South Sudan last time out, to fire his nation onto the cusp of qualification.

Battle For Top Place As Ghana Hosts Kenya

Kenya and Ghana will battle for top spot in 2019 Africa Cup qualifiers slated to take place in Ghana Accra on Saturday.

Both nations have already qualified for the tournament in Egypt, following a qualifying campaign that included the disqualification of Sierra Leone.

The Harambee Stars currently top the group with seven points from three fixtures. Kenya beat Ghana 1-0 in Nairobi lasy year thanks to an own goal from Nicholas Poku in the first half.

By Kussam Kalema, Senior Reporter

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Villa’s Bamweyana Hasn’t Won A League Game In 5 Games, Fans Bitter

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HAVING drawn his fifth game in nine games, coach Douglas Bamweyana may be sacked at SC Villa who are fighting relegation in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League.

Bamweyana took the SC Villa job in November last year. He has only managed to win two games, lost two and drawn five.

Angry Villa fans threw tables at Namboole and called for his sacking. “Banweyana may lead us into problems like he did at Express so management must be careful we are tired of his dull tactics,” one angry fan said.

Bashir Mutanda scored for SC Villa and Alfred Onek got an equalizer for Bright Stars who put up a wonderful display as the game ended 1-1. Villa are 12 and three points off the relegation zone which is worrying Jogo fans. Villa have not won a game in the last five games of the league. They take on Vipers, tomorrow a game that is anticipated by many as a cracker on and off the pitch.

 

Last five games played by Villa:

Paidha 0 – 0 SC Villa

Villa 0 – 1 BUL              

Police 2 – 2 SC Villa             

Nkambi Coffee 2 – 0 SC Villa

URA 1 – 0 SC Villa        

SC Villa 1 – 1 Bright Stars

 

By Kussam Kalema, Senior Sports Writer




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