PSG leave Neymar out again amid Barcelona links


Neymar remains out of the Paris Saint-Germain squad after being overlooked yet again by the French champions for the Ligue 1 match against Toulouse amid talks of the Brazilian forward leaving the club and making a return to Barcelona this summer.

The 27-year-old has found himself in the middle of a transfer saga which has seen the relationship between him and PSG become worse since the end of last season, yet PSG have turned down every offer made by Barcelona to bring him back to Camp Nou.

In the continued absence of Neymar, PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel has started Edinson Cavani upfront with Kylian Mbappe and new signing, Pablo Sarabia, either side of the Uruguayan striker, while Idrissa Gueye has been handed a first start since joining the Ligue 1 giants from Everton.

PSG will be looking to get back to winning ways after relinquishing a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 at Stade Rennes last weekend, with Rennes going top of the league earlier on Sunday thanks to a 2-0 win at RC Strasbourg in a game which saw Senegal international M’Baye Niang score his second goal in as many games.

How about this @PSG_English team goal against Toulouse

Will @KMbappe score again this evening…?

pic.twitter.com/KPboASn8FP

— Dugout (@Dugout) August 25, 2019

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Flying Eagles qualify for semi finals of 12th African Games

Nigeria’s U20 boys, Flying Eagles, qualified for the semifinals of the men’s football event of the 12th African Games after a hard fought 2-2 draw with hosts Morocco on Friday evening at the FAR Sports Complex Rabat.

The result meant the Flying Eagles garnered five points from three games behind Burkina Faso who topped the group, and ahead of Morocco and South Africa.

The Flying Eagles fell behind after Morocco profited from some slack defending to allow Mohsinne Abba to head home the opener in the 12th minute.

Morroco looked the better side for much of the first half but Nigeria came back strongly towards the close of the first period and were duly rewarded when Ahmad Ghali was brought down in the box.

Team captain Ibrahim Abubakar stepped forwarded and slotted home the spot kick at the second time of asking, after the Moroccan goalkeeper saved his initial effort.

The first half ended 1-1 but Morocco were soon back in the saddle from another spot kick as the referee ruled that Habibu Yakubu had handled in the box.

The hosts scored to lead 2-1 after 72 minutes as Nigeria faced elimination.

Coach Paul Aigbogun threw on lanky striker Chinonso Emeka and it proved a good decision, as the striker scored with just a minute left of regulation time to put Nigeria through to the last four.

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Barcelona To Make Loan Offer To PSG For Neymar


Spanish giants, Barcelona will make a loan offer to Paris Saint-Germain for Brazilian star, Neymar with an obligation to buy him, according to sky sources.

Neymar has been linked with a return to Barcelona this summer despite the arrival of Antoine Griezzmann from Atletico Madrid, but Sky Sports News understands no formal offer has been made by the Spanish champions.

The 27-year-old was left out of PSG’s squad that lost 2-1 to Rennes last weekend, the second time in a row this season amid speculation over his future.

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Rashford should learn ONE thing from Ronaldo to help Man United this season


Manchester United star Marcus Rashford needs to demand goals like Cristiano Ronaldo so that he can help the Premier League club enjoy a great season.

Kleberson, who played for United between 2003 and 2005, believes that Rashford is an “unbelievable” player that can become the team’s leading goalscorer this term if he can pick a thing or two from club legend, Ronaldo.

Rashford became a household name in English football when he burst to the scene as a youngster at Old Trafford in 2015 under Louis van Gaal.

The England striker scored two goals on both his first-team debut against Midtjylland in the UEFA Europa League in February 2016 and his Premier League debut against Arsenal three days later.

He also scored in his first Manchester derby match, his first League Cup match and his first UEFA Champions League match. Rashford scored on his England debut in May 2016, becoming the youngest English player to score in his first senior international match.

He played at the UEFA Euro 2016 as the tournament’s youngest player, and at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The 21-year-old has since only managed to score 47 goals in 171 matches across all competitions, showing a lack of composure in the final third despite being trusted by Van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, with Romelu Lukaku’s departure from the club, Rashford has been tipped to get a lot of goals this season.
Rashford contributed a modest 10 goals and six assists to United’s cause in 33 Premier League appearances last season, but he already has two goals to his name in the 2019-20 campaign.

The England international netted a double in a 4-0 home victory over Chelsea on Sunday, helping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side open their account in style.
Kleberson who won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 believes that Rashford can become like Cristiano Ronaldo, who hit 118 goals in 292 games during his time with the Red Devils.“If Rashford plays like he did last weekend, he’ll score at least 18 goals this season,” told us-bookies.com.

“He’s unbelievable and he only needs one opportunity to score. He’s had a great start and now has the confidence to continue. Now he has to take his chance and demand goals like Cristiano Ronaldo did at Man United. He has to look at his goals last season and say ‘I want to score more this year.”

Kleberson also revealed that he has been impressed by the new signings made by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this summer. The World Cup winner particularly highlighted Wan-Bissaka and James in particular, as he added: “I think Aaron Wan-Bissaka has still got things to improve on but he’s a solid defender, you can see he has quality, but it was his only his first game.”

“A lot of players prepare well for their first game but we need to see how he does for the upcoming games. Daniel James has impressed me. It’s good to see a player like that who is very fast in the Premier League,” Kleberson added.

“If you are direct and quick in this league, you can help the team pick up a lot of points. That’s how the Man United fans want their team to play, direct in attack and creating plenty of opportunities.”

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Player to ‘replace’ Eden Hazard at Chelsea as legend speaks up


Former Chelsea star Tony Cascarino has revealed that Christian Pulisic could be the one Chelsea player who can replace Eden Hazard at Stamford Bridge in the years to come.

The former Borussia Dortmund star impressed for the Londoners during Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup match against Liverpool and also emerged as one of Chelsea’s biggest talking points despite losing the match eventually, on penalties.

“Christian Pulisic looks like he will be a very dangerous player for Chelsea,” Cascarino said, before adding:
“Jurgen Klopp [Liverpool’s manager] had been interested in the young forward and you could tell he was wary of his threat as he changed his defence to counter him, selecting Joe Gomez at right-back instead of Trent Alexander-Arnold.”
Gomez is a better defender than his team-mate but it still wasn’t enough to stop the United States international at times.”

I don’t remember a young Eden Hazard being as quick and direct and there’s no reason Pulisic can’t develop into a player of Hazard’s standing. He reminds me of Arjen Robben, you cannot stop him one-on-one because you don’t know which way he’s going to go and his pace is devastating.

He will be a massive asset for Frank Lampard this season,” Cascarino concluded.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard and his boys – including Pulisic himself – will now take on Leicester City at the Stamford Bridge on Sunday, in what will be their second Premier League game of the new season.

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Lampard Proud Of Chelsea Despite Super Cup Defeat To Liverpool


Frank Lampard has labelled himself the worst loser in the world after watching Chelsea lose to Liverpool on penalties in the UEFA Super Cup.

A 2-2 draw in Istanbul in the first all-English encounter saw the game go to a shoot-out, with the Reds coming out 5-4 winners.

Liverpool converted all five of their spot-kicks and Tammy Abraham then failed to score his effort, with Adrian making the decisive save on his starting debut for the Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Chelsea, though, put in a vastly improved performance from their competitive bow under new head coach Lampard, who saw his side taken apart 4-0 away to Manchester United in the Premier League.

While content with his side’s performance, Lampard conceded he’s not someone to take defeats lightly.

“My overall feeling is one of pride. I’m a terrible loser, one of the worst in the world, but I’m happy with the team performance because we were very unfortunate,” Lampard told BT Sport.

“After Sunday, tonight was another level, and we were unlucky not to win. We’ve got three games now till the international break and we’ll try to win them all.

“Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham added an extra dimension when they came on, and were unlucky not to score.”

Abraham earlier won the penalty Jorginho converted to make it 2-2 and take the game to a shoot-out but the 21-year-old’s tame effort from 12 yards was saved by Adrian’s right leg, sparking wild Liverpool celebrations.

“I’ve told him not to worry,” Lampard said of the striker.

“I’ve missed penalties before, anyone can miss, but what I want to see is the confidence of a young player to step up.

“But people keep talking about the young players at Chelsea. Let’s talk about Jorginho and [N’Golo] Kante, and I could name a few others.

“We’ve got a quality bunch in there, a really good group, and we’re working hard. I’m trying to instill the way I want to play and there were so many good things tonight.”

The Blues must pick themselves up quickly ahead of a Premier League clash against Leicester City on Sunday with Lampard out to avoid a third straight defeat.

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Nigerians celebrate Austin Jay-Jay Okocha


The Super Eagles of Nigeria has seen a number of talented players feature for the team over the years and on this day in football, Nigerians celebrate arguably the most talented one to ever wear the national side’s jersey.

Born on this day in 1973 in Enugu, Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha, who made 73 appearances for the Super Eagles between 1993 and 2006, was described as a player so good that no new Super Eagles star would be able to fill their shoes.

While many have become accustomed to referring to him as ‘Jay Jay’, the nickname was initially his elder brother’s, James, before it passed on to him and his other elder brother, Emmanuel, who was known as Emma Jay Jay, though, the nickname would stick with Austin eventually.

Known to have scored only 14 goals during his career with the Nigeria national team, he was known more for his incredible dribbling skills and revered for being among the fabled 1994 side which won the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title.

Okocha was also a star of the Nigeria team which made history as the first African nation to win the football event of the 1996 Olympics, scoring two goals in the competition as the Dream Team shocked the world and beat South American giants, Brazil and Argentina, on the way to winning gold medal in Atlanta.

The midfielder’s talent had already been on display for years, with Okocha winning the Bundesliga’s Goal of the Season in 1993 for the audacious effort for Eintracht Frankfurt against Karlshure which saw him dribble past legendary German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn and his defenders multiple times before scoring.

Okocha went on to be named Nigerian Football of the Year seven times between 1995 and 2005 while also winning the BBC Africa Footballer of the Year award two times in 2003 and 2004.

However, Okocha never won the official version by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as the closest he came to being named African Footballer of the Year was in 1998 when he finished as runner-up to Morocco’s Mustapha Hadji by only two points.

The Super Eagles legend also finished third behind Samuel Eto’o and Didier Drogba in the running for the award in 2003 and 2004, despite winning the Golden Boot and Best Player awards at AFCON 2004 and leading Bolton Wanderers to a first cup final in nine years before losing to Middlesbrough in the League Cup that year.

Okocha ended up as Bolton’s Player of the Year the following year before leading the Super Eagles to a third successive bronze medal finish at AFCON in 2006 which turned out to be his last major involvement with the Nigeria national team.

Along with the Super Eagles, Frankfurt and Bolton, Okocha also left fond memories at Fenerbahce and Paris Saint-Germain were he scored one of the club’s most memorable goals ever.

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Former Super Eagles captain reveals how Iwobi’s move to Everton will help Nigeria

Former Super Eagles captain, Joseph Yobo has revealed that Alex Iwobi’s move to Everton on Premier League transfer deadline day would be an advantage to the Nigerian Football team.

The former Nigerian defender spent ten years at Everton and established himself as a legend of the Toffees and the Premier League.

Yobo believes that Alex Iwobi will improve and develop individually at a more rapid rate at Everton than he would have had he stayed at Arsenal. The former Fernabache defender believes the Toffees’ new signing will fit in perfectly in Marco Silva’s squad and will experience a rapid development which will benefit the Super Eagles in the nearest future.

The 23-year-old attacking midfielder joined the Merseyside team in a deal worth £40 million on transfer deadline day. Iwobi had been at Arsenal since he was six years old. The Nigerian moves on from the Emirates having made 148 appearances for his boyhood club since making his Gunners debut in 2015.
Yobo, who is now a pundit on Supersport believes that the transfer was the right move for Iwobi, and is confident that the Super Eagles international will be an asset for his new club.

“I must commend Alex Iwobi for making that bold move. Everton is a quality team and I’m happy as an Evertonian that we acquired a talent like him,” Yobo told Goal.

“I think the main reason behind this is his playing time, and I’m sure he will get that but he has to work harder than what he does in Arsenal. Apart from that, he’s got everything to succeed and I’m not surprised that huge bid was made for him, the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winning captain revealed.

“In my own opinion, it’s a good move because staying with Arsenal, who brought in [Nicolas] Pepe, will reduce his playing time. Here, he will learn more which will make him grow and more matured in the game.”
Yobo has warned that he’ll have to adapt to life at Everton, but that the attacker is up to the challenge. “Nigeria do not play like Arsenal yet he plays very well and that’s why I say the Super Eagles will benefit from this move because we’ll see a better Iwobi,” he continued.
The former Super Eagles captain explained further that Iwobi would become more disciplined under the management of Marco Silva. “Nigeria will benefit more because we will see a more tactically disciplined and physically fit Iwobi because his talent has always been there. That will make him a more complete player.”
“Although I agree that these teams play a different kind of football, I believe Everton are more structured. Arsenal are a good footballing side and play free-flowing football, but football doesn’t work that way.”

“They have not been disciplined defensively in the past few years and that’s why they haven’t really won anything,” Yobo continued.

“Everton are a growing club, just a little bit behind the top four, we can only wish him good luck and hope he gets the goals which will give him more confidence,” the former defender concluded.

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Man United World Cup winner reveals the plan to destroy Chelsea on Sunday

Manchester United’s World Cup-winning midfielder Juan Mata is confident that his side would be able to secure a victory against Chelsea as the Red Devils begin their Premier League campaign against the Europa League champions.

Man United have not won the Premier League title since 2013 and they are not being tipped to regain their hold on the title yet again this season.

However, former Chelsea star, Juan Mata is hopeful that the Old Trafford faithful will see a fresh intensity in their team as they face Chelsea in their opening fixture of the Premier League season on Sunday.

New manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spent the whole summer working with his side, changing tactics and implementing his own distinct style ahead of his first full season in charge.

Solskjaer is set on building an attacking team full of youth and energy as he attempts to guide United back to the top and fitness levels of the players have improved.

Mata, who just put pen to a new contract is confident this summer’s hard work will show at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon when the Red Devils welcome bitter rivals Chelsea to Manchester.

“Hopefully it will be a good game from us. We will start intense and trying to win from the first moment,” Mata told TalkSPORT. “It’s a big game, first against Chelsea at home we know how we have to start with intensity and willingness and pressing a lot and trying to score quick and as many goals as we can.”

“That’s how I think we should face the season, try to demand from each other in training and in games. That’s the only way to improve and to make our fans proud. By leaving everything on the pitch,” the 2010  World Cup winner with Spain disclosed.

Mata will come up against his former Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard on Sunday after the former England midfielder took the manager’s job at Stamford Bridge this summer. “I think it was meant to happen,” he said. “Sooner or later I thought he would be Chelsea manager because of the way he is.”

“He’s a really nice guy a very good teammate and person and he knows Chelsea and is a legend there. It was meant to happen, he did a great season last year, it’s a very good opportunity for him and it’s very good for Chelsea. I wish him the very best, not in the game against us and when we play against them, I wish him very good,” Mata said.

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Good news for Chelsea ahead of UEFA Super Cup clash with Liverpool

Chelsea have been handed a boost in their quest to win the UEFA Super Cup as Liverpool star Alisson Becker is set to miss Wednesday’s clash with the Europa League winners after sustaining a calf injury against Norwich City on Friday night.

The Brazilian goalkeeper was forced from the field after 38 minutes of the Reds’ 4-1 win over the Canaries in the opening game of the 2019-20 Premier League season. Alisson was replaced by new signing Adrian between the sticks and will undergo a scan to determine the extent of the issue in the coming days.

However, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed the Brazilian will be ruled out of the trip to Istanbul next week. The German tactician told his post-match press conference: “There is actually nothing bad to say about the game apart from Ali’s injury. That is, of course, not good for us, but we have to see how serious it is and then we have to deal with it.”

“It’s the calf and that’s it. He couldn’t carry on, that’s not a good sign. We have to see. Wednesday [in the Super Cup], he will not play – with all my experience, I can say that already. He is injured, for sure, so we have to see how much.”

Alisson’s injury presented Adrian with a debut for Liverpool, having tied up his free transfer to the club on Monday following Simon Mignolet’s departure. Klopp is confident the Spanish ‘keeper has the necessary attributes to step up in the absence of the Reds’ No.1.

“He is a very confident guy and he came in and I don’t think he wanted to sit only on the bench for the next couple of years,” the manager continued.

“He made himself ready. It is a situation, but if you are in a situation like this you want to have somebody who has played the league and who is experienced,” Klopp said.

“He is 32, a calm guy, emotional as well, good with his feet – how we saw – and that’s really important for us. There are a lot of good things, but you still don’t want to have a situation where one goalie is fit. That’s how it is, but we have to see.”

Liverpool are likely to turn to Caoimhin Kelleher as Adrian’s understudy for the Super Cup fixture, with the youngster having recently returned to training following a broken wrist.

Klopp said: “Caoimhin is not [injured], he is back in training but not at 100 per cent. We have to see how he reacts now. “One of the very young ones is not even allowed to play, he is only 16 [Jakub Ojrzynski], and the other one [Vitezslav Jaros] had an elbow injury early in the pre-season, so we’re a bit short in that position.”

Liverpool began their season in emphatic fashion with a 4-1 win over Norwich and would be hoping to bring their incredible form to Istanbul on Wednesday when they take on Chelsea at the Vodafone Arena. The UEFA Super Cup would kick off at 9 PM (Nigerian Time).

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See what Man United boss said about Sanchez after Lukaku’s exit

Manchester United are resigned to keeping Alexis Sanchez as they approach the final weeks of the European transfer window.

The Premier League giants sold star striker Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan on the deadline day of the English transfer window but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side did not make another addition to their ranks as they prepare for the first game of the season.

Alexis Sanchez has failed to make an impact at Old Trafford since he made the switch from North-London as his career has been punctuated with injuries. Sanchez, 30, returned to the club’s Carrington training complex last week but did not participate in either of their friendlies against Kristiansund in Norway or the penalty shootout win over AC Milan in Cardiff.

The former Arsenal man played 65 minutes in a behind closed door friendly against Blackburn but is highly unlikely to be considered for selection in the Premier League opener against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday.

In his pre-match press conference ahead of the Chelsea clash, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed that he expects the attacking players currently at the club to come up with the goals needed and he made a declaration concerning Alexis Sanchez as well.

“Alexis has come in and trained well, he is, of course, four or five weeks behind the boys,” Solskjaer said. “And he has not played apart from the one behind closed doors here, so I think he’ll see this as an opportunity as well to make his mark. I do expect him to stay yeah, there’s a striker there we think is going to be able to score some goals.”

”Of course, Rom [Lukaku] has a good record and good stats,” Ole admitted. ” He’s one of the top number nines around when you want to play with that kind of striker, and he’s that target man.”

“For me, I’m very confident that we’ll get goals from Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford. Dan James will come in and create. I’m sure Jesse Lingard will get more goals, so we do have a different attacking set-up this season,” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“You do have players that you think are going to make an impact and Mason Greenwood’s pathway would have been a lot more difficult, of course, if we had another forward there.”

“So, for me, I believe that Mason’s going to be playing and involved a lot, and, when he is, he’ll score goals,” the Manchester United boss concluded.

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