Connect with us

SPORTS

WEEKEND FOOTBALL PREVIEWS: Liverpool Seek Revenge Against Chelsea, Can Mourinho, Pogba Control Their Egos And Deliver At West Ham? PLUS La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1

Published

on

Premier League
2:30 West Ham vs Manchester United
5:00 Everton vs Fulham
5:00 Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Southampton
5:00 Huddersfield vs Tottenham
5:00 Manchester City vs Brighton
5:00 Newcastle United vs Leicester
5:00 Arsenal vs Watford
7:30 Chelsea vs Liverpool
Sunday
6:00 Cardiff vs Burnley
Monday
10:00 Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace

West Ham United v Manchester United
Things change quickly in football. Just ask West Ham, who were in full doom-and-gloom mode at the start of the month after starting the season with four straight losses. But they shook off the dust with a stirring win away to Everton, were unlucky to follow it up with a win over Chelsea, and put eight goals past Macclesfield in midweek. Suddenly, the mood is altogether improved.
It would be misguided to read too much into the Macclesfield result, of course, but it was a handy confidence booster for a few squad players. The return of Marko Arnautović, who has missed the last couple of games, is also great news; he should lead the line, with Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko also returning to the attack at the London Stadium.
But arguably it’s the midfield that has been the key to West Ham’s improvement. Jack Wilshere’s injury prompted a switch to a three-man engine room, and Pedro Obiang and Declan Rice have added energy and subtlety since breaking into the team. They could shape a key battle against Manchester United.
Paul Pogba and José Mourinho. José Mourinho and Paul Pogba. It’s a dance as old as… well, it’s only been going for a few months, to be honest, but it already feels like a fixture. A weirdly inconsequential one, at that: two giant egos arm wrestling on the lookout deck of the Titanic as the whole thing goes under. Who will win? And what will be left when he does?
That is perhaps a bit too negative given United are unbeaten since August and won three games on the trot prior to last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Wolves. But they were outplayed in that game and weren’t much better against Derby in midweek, and the feeling that the Red Devils are only ever a game or two away from crisis grows ever stronger. That cannot be a good thing.
There are positives heading into this one. Nemanja Matić is available after serving a ban in the league, while Anthony Martial showed some good form on Tuesday night. He, surely, would be a better pick than the woefully out-of-form Alexis Sánchez, although you’d never bet on Mourinho agreeing with that assessment.
West Ham have won only one of their last 19 Premier League matches against Manchester United, failing to score in both meetings at the London Stadium over the last couple of seasons.
Yet that doesn’t quite reflect the mood music heading into this game. West Ham are not as good as Wolves, but they do have a spring in their step, particularly after the performance against Chelsea. Add the excellent Arnautović to that mix, and there’s no real reason they shouldn’t be hopeful of getting something from this game. The draw, at 3.80, therefore tempts.

Arsenal v Watford
Arsenal were given a tough start under new manager, Unai Emery. They hosted the champions, Manchester City, on the opening Premier League weekend before making the short trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea a week later and they drew a blank in both games.
City outclassed them 2-0 as the Gunners tried to get to grips with Emery’s style of play and Chelsea eventually came out on top in a rollercoaster affair in which Arsenal had fought back from being 2-0 down when a late Marcos Alonso strike pinched all three points, but they’ve had a 100% strike-rate since, winning four times in the Premier League, once in the Europa League and also in the League Cup.
The Gunners are up to sixth in the Premier League and everything looks rosy. They’ve only failed to score at the Emirates twice in their last 36 Premier League ties (against Manchester City on both occasions), their two main strikers, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, are on form.
Lacazette has scored in each of his last four Premier League starts and only Mo Salah (16) has scored more than Aubameyang (12) since the Gabonese star made his Premier League debut – and they’ve won eight of their last ten at home to Saturday’s opponents, Watford. That all points to a straightforward three points on Saturday but I’m not convinced it’s that going to be that simple.
In contrast to Arsenal, after a brilliant start to the season, which saw them progress in the League Cup away at Reading, as well get the maximum 12 points from their first four in the league, Watford have hit the buffers. Victories against Brighton, Crystal Palace and Spurs at home and Burnley away in the Premier League have been followed by a home defeat to Manchester United, a draw at Fulham and a defeat on penalties to Spurs on Wednesday night in the Cup.
They may have lost their way a bit but assuming Javi Gracia’s charges have deteriorated significantly would be a big mistake. United were hanging on at Vicarage Road a fortnight ago, the Hornets should have at least doubled their early lead at Fulham before getting pegged back last Saturday and they were leading against Spurs until the 82nd minute on Wednesday night before eventually going out on penalties.
Had David de Gea not produced a magnificent save at the death, Watford would be travelling to the Emirates having not lost a match in 90 minutes all season.
Watford’s record at Arsenal doesn’t look great at first glance but they’ve actually won two of their last three against the Gunners in the Premier League (one at home and one away) and if we include their 2-1 win at the Emirates in the sixth round of the F.A Cup in 2016, they’ve won three of their last six.
Although Arsenal have been winning, they haven’t necessarily been convincing.
They came from behind to beat an out-of-form West Ham at home, needed a late winner to get the better of Cardiff 3-2, and victories against Newcastle, Ukrainians Vorskla Poltava and Brentford aren’t anything to write home about – especially the latter, given the Bees enjoyed the majority of the possession and the tie was only put to bed in injury time. And the Gunners were second-best for much of the first half last week at home to Everton.
They eventually ran out 2-0 winners, thanks to one apiece from the aforementioned Lacazette and Aubameyang, but it was a far from convincing display with keeper, Petr Czech, keeping them in the game early on.
The early signs are good for Arsenal under Unai Emery, results wise, but it’s probably going to take time and a couple of transfer windows for the club to shift wholeheartedly to his philosophies.

Man City v Brighton
City have bounced back from their 2-1 home defeat by Lyon in the Champions League with crushing wins over much lesser opposition (5-0 at Cardiff and 3-0 at Oxford in the midweek EFL Cup tie).
Their next Champions League match is away to Hoffenheim on Tuesday and Pep Guardiola may well revert to the side that won 3-0 at home to Fulham before the Lyon tie, which would mean David Silva replacing Ilkay Gundogan as the only change from the starting line-up at Cardiff.
Having snatched a point with comebacks against both Fulham and Southampton, Brighton lost 2-1 at home to Tottenham last weekend and now sit 13th with five points. The only win for Chris Hughton’s side this season was against Manchester United in their first home game.
Pascal Gross has missed the last two matches against Southampton and Spurs but may be ready to return from an ankle injury, while striker Florin Andone could be set for his debut after being named on the bench for the first time last weekend.
This is the best home team in the Premier League last season against the worst away side, with little having changed this season. City have won three out of three at home with 11 goals for and two against, while Brighton have lost two and drawn one of their three away games.
More specifically, Brighton have lost all seven away games against the big six since joining the Premier League and their only goal in those matches came in last season’s 3-1 defeat against City.
They also lost 2-0 away to Manchester United in last season’s FA Cup, which makes it seven out of eight without scoring away to the big six, and City won to nil (2-0) when they visited the Amex at the start of the season.
Brighton’s only heavy defeat away to a big-six team was 4-0 at Liverpool on the final day of last season and the usual margin of defeat is two goals (five times out of eight, including the FA Cup match).
That suggests they might limit City to a respectable scoreline, although the fact that Guardiola’s team scored three at home to Brighton last season indicates they have the capability to open a wider gap this time.
Two of City’s three wins at home this season against teams outside the big six have been by at least three goals, although their strike-rate in that category last season was only 50%, so it is far from assured that trend will continue, especially against Hughton’s well-organised team.

Chelsea v Liverpool
The Premier League title race will move up a gear on Saturday evening when two of the pacesetters test each other’s mettle.
Defeat will hardly be catastrophic for either side – there are 31 games to play after this one – but there is little doubt a win here would be a huge boost psychologically going forward.
Certainly it would give Chelsea real belief. Having had a near-perfect run of fixtures with which to start their campaign, the jury remains out on them – indeed their title odds have barely changed. They have taken 16 points from a possible 18 but four of their wins have come against the sides currently in the bottom four. The only ‘Big Six’ side met – Arsenal – were beaten on home soil.
This is their first test against top quality and victory in it would surely energise a squad which suffered badly at times last season.
For Liverpool, winners of all six games they’ve played so far in the league, the need for victory is probably not so great and so maybe the pressure on them will be lower.
Having reached last season’s Champions League final and since added quality to their squad, you sense they know they are capable of a serious title challenge. The problem for them will likely come in the latter stages of the campaign when they (and their perennial runner-up of a manager) will need to prove they can finally get over the line. The weight of a 28-year period without the title will also be heavy come April.
That said, victory here would still be significant, more so in sending out a message to Manchester City that they are genuine rivals this season.
While Chelsea will try to take something from their come-from-behind 2-1 win at Anfield in the Carabao Cup, they’ll know deep down this is a different test.
Jurgen Klopp’s post-match analysis, saying his side didn’t get tight enough in midfield, sounded genuine and spot on, rather than a manager searching for excuses.
Liverpool may well have won had it not been for the wastefulness of Daniel Sturridge but for this rematch the Reds will have their famous front three back together.
Siding with the visitors looks the best plan of attack. Chelsea’s start points-wise has been impressive but I remain to be convinced that they are playing the sort of football which can compete with the best and, with their tightened defence, Liverpool are that right now.
The Reds have won two of the last three renewals of this fixture and last season’s loss came just days after their Champions League semi-final success.
Overall, they have won six, drawn three and lost six at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League in the Roman Abramovich era – that is an envious record.
With the sides having moved away from the more defensive-based tactics of Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez, that’s no great surprise and expect the more recent trend to be followed here with so much attacking talent on display.
Liverpool have an attack of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, but at the other end there’s the red-hot Eden Hazard and the consistently under-rated Olivier Giroud, who has scored in five of his last six starts against Liverpool.
Ten of their 14 goals this season have come before the interval, as have three of the four Chelsea have conceded. Arsenal struck twice here – both in the first half.


La Liga
2:00 Real Sociedad vs Valencia
5:15 Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao
7:30 Eibar vs Sevilla
9:45 Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid
Sunday
1:00 SD Huesca vs Girona
5:15 Villarreal vs Real Valladolid
7:30 Levante vs Deportivo Alaves
9:45 Real Betis vs Leganes
Monday
10:00 Celta Vigo vs Getafe


Barcelona v Athletic Club
Barcelona set the tone for a wild Wednesday night in La Liga by tossing away a lead and losing to struggling Leganés. It was never going to be as easy as some probably assumed at Butarque, yet the Catalans were still probably expecting to go on and win after Philippe Coutinho’s early opener.
But the game got away from them in two second-half minutes, raising a few uncomfortable questions for Ernesto Valverde. Probably the most pressing is over his squad players: do the likes of Munir El Haddadi and Thomas Vermaelen really represent such a drop off that the side’s overall performance dips like it did in midweek?
At any rate, there’s no time for Barça to feel sorry for themselves. They now enter a gauntlet of fixtures, with this game against Athletic Club followed by matches against Tottenham, Valencia, Sevilla, Internazionale and Real Madrid. With a trip to Atlético Madrid also coming up before the end of November, it’s going to be a critical couple of months in their season.
Athletic are without a win since opening day, much of which has to do with their defence. The Basques threw away leads in every one of their first four games (they got away with it against Leganés by scoring in injury time) and were well beaten by Villarreal in midweek, leaving them just two points above the drop zone at the start of the weekend round.
The play here is to back most goals in the second half – a bet would have paid off in five of seven Barcelona games so far (all competitions). Eight of the nine goals conceded by Athletic have come after the break, so the hosts could eventually make hay even if they’re frustrated early on.

Real Madrid v Atlético Madrid
“Think that’s a performance to get the fans worried? Hold my beer.” That was (roughly) the internal monologue of this Real Madrid side in midweek, as the chance to go top of the table disintegrated in a blitz of Sevilla goals. Three times the defence was pierced in the first half, making a fightback impossible.
“It’s simple: we gifted them 45 minutes,” offered Casemiro by way of explanation, but you imagine there has been a more complete post-mortem since. The forwards were wasteful (21 shots, but Tomáš Vaclík made just three saves) and the defence was more porous than a sponge cake. Major improvements will be needed.
Atlético Madrid were of course the major winners of Jornada 5, cruising past Huesca and watching both major rivals crumble. The gap is back to two points for them, which feels like a huge let-off after their own wobble a couple of weeks back. Atleti haven’t really found top gear yet, but they’re still there or thereabouts – and they absolutely love a derby.
Los Rojiblancos are unbeaten in the last four games against Real, including the UEFA Super Cup, and when you zoom out, you can see the extent to which Diego Simeone has brought parity to the capital: since he took charge of Atleti, there have been in nine wins apiece (excluding penalties) and nine draws.
That, plus the fact that Real have won precisely none of the last five league derbies at the Bernabéu.


Serie A
4:00 Roma vs Lazio
7:00 Juventus vs Napoli
9:30 Inter vs Cagliari
Sunday
1:30 Bologna vs Udinese
4:00 Chievo vs Torino
4:00 Fiorentina vs Atalanta
4:00 Frosinone vs Genoa
7:00 Parma Calcio 1913 vs Empoli
9:30 Sassuolo vs AC Milan
Monday
9:30 Sampdoria vs SPAL 2013

Roma v Lazio
The Serie A weekend starts with the high potential for drama at the Olimpico as Roma and Lazio face off in a game that Eusebio Di Francesco really can’t afford to lose. I know that Roma got back to winning ways in midweek against Frosinone, but that’s such a routine victory that it doesn’t count for much, and certainly doesn’t hide the fact that they have been poor this season so far.
Di Francesco already had his doubters after the way that his team capitulated against Liverpool in the first leg of last season’s Champions League semi-final, and he needed to hit the ground running, rather than limping tamely.
Roma have already lost twice in Serie A, they’ve been brushed aside by Real Madrid in the Champions League, and they have twice been held to home draws, by Atalanta and Chievo. They’ve looked listless and disorganised, and Simone Inzaghi and Lazio must fancy that they can do something significant, given the run of form that they’re currently on.
Lazio could have limped into this season after losing out on the Champions League on the last day of the previous campaign, but after losing their opening two matches against Napoli and Juve, they have now won five in a row in all competitions, never perfect but always doing more than enough.
After failing in those first two cracks at a big name, Inzaghi will be determined to see his team win against one of the division’s giants, and where better to start than against their city rivals. They’re too big, and we should back them.

Juventus v Napoli
The monumental weekend continues with Napoli’s visit to Turin on Saturday evening, and even though a dramatic win here last season remains fresh in the memory, Juventus rightly start as strong favourites.
Napoli have a Champions League game against Liverpool to think about too, while Juve have the relatively easy task of a home fixture against Young Boys, and that further tips the scales in the home team’s favour.

Sassuolo v Milan
Both Sassuolo and Milan were in action on the Thursday of the midweek round, and so they face another game in quick succession, one which I think will provide some serious entertainment.
Sassuolo have now won three of their last four, and when you consider that their only defeat was a gallant one at Juventus, and that they beat Inter on the opening day. Even ex-Milan man Kevin-Prince Boateng was rested against SPAL, keeping him fresh for this reunion.
They’ve won all three of their home games, and face a team that looks unconvincing after fumbling yet another lead to draw at Empoli. The Rossoneri only lost once, away at Napoli, but have now been held by Cagliari, Atalanta and Empoli, and Sassuolo are a far better team at the moment than any of those.
Factor in that Gonzalo Higuain might not be fit in time after a muscular issue, Patrick Cutrone is still not 100 per cent after a sprained ankle and the only remaining striker is Fabio Borini – Milan are in real trouble.


Bundesliga
4:30 Nuernberg vs Fortuna Duesseldorf
4:30 Wolfsburg vs Borussia M.Gladbach
4:30 Hoffenheim vs RasenBallsport Leipzig
4:30 Schalke 04 vs Mainz 05
4:30 VfB Stuttgart vs Werder Bremen
7:30 Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Dortmund
Sunday
4:30 Eintracht Frankfurt vs Hannover 96
7:00 Augsburg vs Freiburg

Bayer Leverkusen vs Dortmund
Bayer Leverkusen have won their last two matches following a very slow start, but their performances continue to be concerning.
They were far from impressive against Mainz in their last home game, winning 1-0, and were very fortunate to win against Fortuna Düsseldorf in midweek.
Defensively Bayer have been very poor, conceding an average of 1.85 xGA per game so far this season, something that is expected to be exposed again in this game.
Dortmund are hot on the heels of Bayern Munich at the top of the table after a good start, winning three and drawing the other two of their five games.
A 7-0 win in midweek over Nürnberg flattered Lucien Favre’s side, but they were deserved winners after a good display.
Dortmund have the capabilities to cause Leverkusen all sorts of problems here, and backing a high-scoring game is the selection.


Ligue 1
6:15 Nice vs Paris Saint Germain
9:00 Angers vs Guingamp
9:00 Strasbourg vs Dijon
9:00 Lyon vs Nantes
9:00 Reims vs Bordeaux
9:00 Caen vs Amiens
Sunday
4:00 Rennes vs Toulouse
6:00 Montpellier vs Nimes
10:00 Lille vs Marseille

Nice v PSG
PSG are serial record collectors and the opportunity to equal one dating back more than 80 years should inspire them to victory at the Allianz Riviera on Saturday afternoon.
Lille started the 1936-37 with eight straight victories and PSG will match that tally if they claim all three points on the Cote d’Azur this weekend. It would be madness to back against Thomas Tuchel’s side right now given how they’re playing: they’ve scored at least three goals in each of their seven Ligue 1 games, reserving their best performance of the season for their 4-1 victory over Reims on Wednesday night.
Even more frightening for Nice is the prospect of a hungry and determined Kylian Mbappe returning here after a three-match suspension. The World Cup winner will have had fidgety feet watching his team-mates from the touchlines so expect a turbo-boosted performance from him as he reminds us what we’ve missed over the past month.
Nice’s W3-D1-L3 record sums up their inconsistency and their W1-D0-L2 home stats underline the problems they’ve had in front of their own fans. To make matters worse, flyer Allan Saint-Maximin – their best player this season, and the nearest thing they have to Mbappe – has nursed an ankle knock over the past 48 hours so may be less fleet-footed than usual.

Lyon v Nantes
Nantes manager Miguel Cardoso’s status as a dead man walking makes Lyon firm favourites to record a convincing win this weekend.
The Portuguese boss was appointed only this summer but well-informed local media sources believe this will be his final game in charge. Nantes’ poor results (W1-D2-L4) and apparent confusion among the players about some of Cardoso’s tactical decisions mean that a new manager will almost certainly be in charge by the time Nantes’ fixture against Bordeaux kicks-off next weekend.
Volatile Nantes president never seemed convinced of Cardoso’s qualities – which is bizarre, given that Kita appointed him – and has taken every opportunity to criticise the manager publicly during the opening two months of the season. Given the lack of authority Cardoso has going into the game this weekend it’s hard to see Nantes producing a coherent, effective performance.
Lyon are the last team (bar PSG) you’d want to face right now. The hosts go into this game on the back of three fantastic victories – 2-1 at Manchester City, 4-2 at home to Marseille, 3-0 at Dijon on Wednesday night – and have the class and variety to take Nantes apart at will. With six high-calibre attackers – Maxwel Cornet, Moussa Dembele, Memphis Depay, Nabil Fekir, Martin Terrier, Bertrand Traore – manager Bruno Genesio can maintain the standard and freshness of the front line from kick-off to the final whistle.


Eredivisie
7:30 SC Heerenveen vs ADO Den Haag
7:30 NAC Breda vs PSV Eindhoven
9:45 Excelsior vs VVV-Venlo
9:45 Fortuna Sittard vs Ajax
Sunday
1:15 Heracles vs FC Emmen
3:30 FC Groningen vs FC Utrecht
3:30 De Graafschap vs Willem II
3:30 AZ Alkmaar vs PEC Zwolle
5:45 Feyenoord vs Vitesse


Super Lig
4:00 Trabzonspor vs Kasimpasa
4:00 Alanyaspor vs Akhisarspor
7:00 Besiktas vs Kayserispor
Sunday
1:30 Sivasspor vs Bursaspor
4:00 Goztepe vs Konyaspor
7:00 Rizespor vs Fenerbahce
Monday
8:00 Ankaragucu vs Antalyaspor
8:00 Istanbul Basaksehir vs Yeni Malatyaspor


Premiership
5:00 Kilmarnock vs Motherwell
5:00 Celtic vs Aberdeen
5:00 St. Mirren vs Hibernian
5:00 Hearts vs St.Johnstone
5:00 Hamilton Academical vs Dundee FC


Liga NOS
6:30 Moreirense vs Feirense
9:00 Rio Ave vs Boavista
11:00 Sporting CP vs Maritimo
Sunday
6:00 Nacional vs Santa Clara
8:30 Vitoria de Guimaraes vs Vitoria de Setubal
10:30 Belenenses vs Braga
Monday
10:15 Aves vs Portimonense


Premier League
09:30 Ural vs Arsenal Tula
4:30 FC Ufa vs FC Yenisey Krasnoyarsk
7:00 Lokomotiv Moscow vs FK Akhmat
Sunday
2:00 Anzhi Makhachkala vs Zenit St. Petersburg
4:30 FC Krasnodar vs Dinamo Moscow
7:00 Spartak Moscow vs FC Rostov
Monday
7:30 Rubin Kazan vs Krylya Sovetov Samara

NOTE: Time converted to East African Time…

Comments

SPORTS

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

Published

on

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

Comments

Continue Reading

SPORTS

Uganda Cranes To Bank On Onyango’s Brilliancy Against Tanzania

Published

on

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

Comments

Continue Reading

SPORTS

AFCON QUALIFIERS: Who Occupies The Last 10 Slots?

Published

on

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

Comments

Continue Reading

like us

TRENDING

error: Content is protected !!