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TODAY’S HOTTEST FOOTBALL NEWS: Paul Pogba Wants Zinedine Zidane As Boss, Man City Will Win The Premier League, United Will Be Second And Chelsea 3rd – Neymar

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Man Utd star Paul Pogba wants to play under Zinedine Zidane.
Pogba has spent the last two years floundering for Manchester United and clashing repeatedly with Jose Mourinho along the way.
The France international is understood to want out, with Juventus now his No 1 destination because of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Manchester United are so far, however, holding firm. They insist the 25-year-old is going nowhere despite his ongoing power struggle with Mourinho.
And The Sun say Pogba is hellbent on playing under Zidane, who has emerged as the leading candidate to succeed Mourinho.
Should Mourinho fail to arrest their slump, a parting of the ways would be on the cards.
United have axed David Moyes and Louis van Gaal in the years since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
And they are likely to do the same should Mourinho fail to land them a place in the Champions League.
The Sun say Pogba is keen to play under Zidane, who he idolised growing up.
A club insider is quoted as saying: “Paul grew up with Zidane as his hero and would like to play for him at some stage in his career.
“He could have back at Real, but he felt he had unfinished business at United and their interest only came along very late in the day.
“Paul has a similar all action style to Zidane and a lot of what he days was off the back of watching him and learning from him.”
Should Zidane take over at United, it may be enough for Pogba to stay.

Luis Suarez makes Paul Pogba to Barcelona transfer claim

Paul Pogba would like to be battling on more fronts than he currently does for Manchester United – and would be welcome at Barcelona.
That’s the view of Barcelona star Luis Suarez who believes the Frenchman would be a hit at the Nou Camp.
Pogba has struggled at United since returning to Old Trafford from Juventus in 2016 with there being plenty of talk regarding his future over the summer.
Barca, Juventus and PSG were all believed to be interested but the midfielder stayed put and was even named captain by Jose Mourinho for the opening two games of the Premier League season.
United have already suffered two defeats this campaign and are not expected to fight for the title with Liverpool tipped to be Manchester City’s closest rivals.
United are also unlikely to be in the running for the Champions League crown and Suarez believes Pogba would want to be more competitive having won the World Cup this summer.
“He [Pogba] is a part of the elite and has a lot of quality,” Suarez told RAC1.
“I think he would like to compete for more than he is now. He is not a player that belongs to Barca, but quality players would always be welcome.”
Pogba was the subject of a cheeky £45m bid from Barcelona that included Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes – who have since joined Everton – in the deal.

Man City will win the premier league, United will be second and Chelsea 3rd – Neymar

Neymar, 26, has tipped Pep Guadiola’s Man City to win this seasons’s premier league.
The PSG star when pressed on who would take the other top four places his chin before saying: “Second will be United, third is Chelsea.”
The Brazilian then paused before adding: “Fourth is Tottenham.”
Neymar was joined at the Pokerstars event by his former Barcelona team-mate Gerard Pique, who was close by listening to Neymar’s predictions.
Pique reacted in shock as Neymar dubbed Spurs as fourth-place finishers – handing a snub to Liverpool.
But Neymar confirmed “no Liverpool” – despite the Reds sitting top of the pile after four games of the Premier League.
NEYMAR’S TOP FOUR PREDICTION
1) MANCHESTER CITY
2) MANCHESTER UNITED
3) CHELSEA
4) TOTTENHAM
City’s squad include a host of Neymar’s Brazil team-mates including Ederson, Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho.

Real Madrid boss Lopetegui reveals why Ronaldo Juventus transfer happened

Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus from Real Madrid was unpreventable, according to Los Blancos manager Julen Lopetegi.
Ronaldo stunned the football world earlier this summer by choosing to quit Real Madrid for Juventus.
The 33-year-old decided to call time on his Bernabeu career to embark on a new challenge in Serie A after nine glittering years in La Liga.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus has not been well-received by Real Madrid fans, particularly given the club’s failure to land a replacement.
Lopetegui succeeded Zinedine Zidane in June and was powerless to prevent Ronaldo from jumping ship.
Real Madrid have enjoyed a solid, if unspectacular, start to the new season.
Gareth Bale is now their talisman and, in the post-Ronaldo climate, the Wales international is back to his blockbuster best.
And Lopetegui has now revealed why he was unable to convince the player to stay.
Lopetegui was confirmed as Real Madrid’s new boss on June 12 while Ronaldo officially completed his move to Juve a month later on July 10.
And the Spaniard’s latest comments suggest Ronaldo had already made up his mind prior to the World Cup that he would be leaving Los Blancos.
He said: “I did not speak with him.
“Because when I become Real Madrid coach, he had already chosen to leave.”
Ronaldo has struggled for Juventus so far, failing to score in his first three Serie A outings.
And Old Lady legend Alessandro Del Piero has given the veteran some advice.
“In Italy we defend looking for the numerical superiority and it is complicated for a striker,” Del Piero said.

Koscielny’s agent opens up on offers to leave Gunners

Arsenal star Laurent Koscielny had multiple offers to leave the Gunners last season, according to his agent.
The 32-year-old was reportedly considering a move away from The Emirates, with clubs in France and China interested.
However, his season was cut short during a Europa League semi-final clash against Atletico Madrid, where he suffered a torn Achilles tendon.
This ruled the defender out for a minimum of sixth months, scrapping any plans of a move away from Arsenal.
His departure would have coincided with that of former boss Arsene Wenger, and Koscielny’s agent, Stephane Courbois, revealed his client had felt the time had come to move on.
Speaking to France Football, he said: “At that time, Laurent was playing what might have been his final matches with Arsenal.
“Laurent started to consider a possible move away from Arsenal at the same time as Arsene (Wenger).
“The moment was right, leaving as a new coach arrived. I had already anticipated this and two or three offers were making us think hard.”
Wenger ended his 22 year stay as Gunners boss in May this year, with new manager Unai Emery taking over the reins immediately.

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Messi Is Not God – Pope Francis Warns Fans On Calling Barcelona Talisman God

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Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church believes fellow Barcelona talisman and fellow Argentine Lionel Messi, “is not God”.

Many consider the mercurial South American to be a sporting deity, with his achievements raising the bar of individual excellence.

He is worshipped as a hero by millions around the world and has seen his record-breaking on-field efforts lead to him being showered with praise and major honours – both collective and individual.

A five-time Ballon d’Or winner may not seem human to some, but Pope Francis feels it is wrong to bestow labels of “God” onto those who are mere mortals.

Asked by Spanish television show Salvados on La Sexta whether such a billing for Messi could be considered sacrilegious, as it breaks the third commandment by using the Lord’s name in vain, Pope Francis said: “In theory, it’s a sacrilege.

“You can’t say it and I don’t believe it. I think people say ‘he is God’ just as they say ‘I adore you’. You have to adore only God. “It’s expressions that people use. This is a god with the ball on the pitch. It’s a popular way that people have of expressing themselves.

“Of course, it is a joy [to watch Messi play]. But he is not God.”

Pope Francis is known to be a football fan. He is a member at Argentinian side San Lorenzo, having been born and raised in Buenos Aires, and has mingled with stars of the sporting world in the past.

During the summer of 2013, Messi and the rest of the Albiceleste squad took in a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Barcelona’s superstar forward told reporters the event was “short but beautiful”.

Messi and his international team-mates also sent a signed shirt to Pope Francis on the back of their display at the 2014 World Cup which saw them finish as runners-up to Germany. They are back in the trophy hunt for 2019, with the next staging of the Copa America in Brazil fast approaching.

Messi will be excepted to lead the charge once again for his country in that competition, as he waits on a first senior title with Argentina, but he has recently admitted that the pressure placed on his shoulders and the reaction of those in his homeland to his performances can be difficult to handle at times.

Additional reporting from Goal.com

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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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