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Euro 2020: Use your pace more effectively, Southgate tells Rashford

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Euro 2020: Use your pace more effectively, Southgate tells Rashford

Marcus Rashford has been encouraged by England’s coaching staff to modify his style and make better use of his speed in an attacking trio that Gareth Southgate now believes is as accomplished as any strikeforce in international football.

 

Southgate and his colleagues believe the Manchester United forward could be more effective if he spends less time dropping back to look for the ball and concentrated instead on using his phenomenal pace to get behind opposition defences.

 

The England manager was full of praise for the impact of his three-pronged attack, with Harry Kane flanked by Rashford and Raheem Sterling, in Saturday’s 4-0 defeat of Bulgaria but there was also some constructive criticism for a player who, by Southgate’s own admission, is not perhaps best deployed as an orthodox centre-forward.

 

“Although we have, for a long time, almost wanted Marcus to be that option as a [No] 9, I’m still not certain that that is where he is happiest and where he does his best work,” Southgate said. “A lot of his development at United was as a wide raider and he isn’t as strong as Harry with his back to goal and holding play up.

 

“A lot of his best work is in that inside-left channel, coming in off the line, and I don’t think that’s a problem. I just think we have to be aware that’s probably his profile and to get the best out of him they are the areas of the pitch that we need to get him into regularly.

 

“I think he can threaten teams in behind more. When he opens his legs and he runs in behind defences that’s the last place they want to be. What happened with the penalty [for England’s second goal], that’s what you want to see. Sometimes he wants to come to the ball [when] I’d be happy with that as a defender. We are encouraging our players to use their strengths.”

 

The emphasis, according to Southgate, is for Rashford to think more about his game positionally, taking up parts of the pitch where he can take advantage of his speed, rather than working on the areas where he is not necessarily so strong.

 

“I can remember Kevin [Keegan] trying to get Michael [Owen] to come to the ball and hold it up,” Southgate said. “It was throwing Michael a little bit because his game was to get in behind teams and that’s where his goals had come from.

“It’s hard because a player’s attributes are formed relatively early. You can work on things and improve things, for sure. But, by 18, 19 or 20 their super strengths are there. The other bits, you can hone a bit, or polish a bit, but their outstanding attributes have already developed.”

 

Kane’s hat-trick against Bulgaria puts him 14th in England’s all-time list of scorers, with 25 goals, while Sterling has scored seven times in his last seven appearances for his country, reports The Guardian.

Southgate was asked whether any other nation had a better strikeforce and replied: “I think they’re as exciting as anything. They possibly don’t because they sometimes don’t view themselves as others do. They have great humility. But we have to remember, as a coaching team.

“Very often it’s easy to work with the team and find what they can’t do well and, whenever we’re judging games, all of us look at what hasn’t gone well. Sometimes you can overlook the brilliant things that they do, that maybe other countries don’t have. And we have [Jadon] Sancho and [Callum] Hudson-Odoi who are going to push, and really push, so I think it is exciting.”

Southgate, preparing for Tuesday’s game against Kosovo in Southampton, also confidently expects Kane to overhaul Wayne Rooney’s record total of 50 goals for England. “It will just be about fitness and avoiding lengthy injuries – things that are out of your control – but everything else is there for him to challenge it.
“There’s a reason that only Bobby [Charlton] and Gary [Lineker] and Wayne have got there [about 50 goals], because it’s such a hard challenge to stay fit, the number one choice, focused and motivated for the long period that you need to be able to get the g

 

ames and get those goals. But if anybody has that strength of mentality, it’s Harry.”

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CAP: The Nigeria delegation with hotel staff on arrival in Gioania on Tuesday

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CAP: The Nigeria delegation with hotel staff on arrival in Gioania on Tuesday

Five-time world champions, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria have landed in the city of Gioania, Brazil, where the team will tackle Hungary at the Estadio Olimpico in the opening game of Group B of the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup finals on Saturday.

Players and the officials were received by FIFA and local organising committee officials at the airport and they were ushered into the bus that took them to their hotel at the Metropolis area of the city.

The Eaglets have been in the football-passionate South American country since October 10, in the city of Sao Paulo, where the team had their training camp and played three warm up games against Sao Paulo U 17 side, which they lost 1-2, before defeating South Korea 4-2 and then losing by the odd goal to Japan.

The record holders of the title had their first training in Gioania Tuesday evening by 4.00pm local time.

Nigeria, champions in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015 will tussle with Hungary, Australia and Ecuador in Group B of the three-week, 24-nation finals.

FIFA U17 WORLD CUP BRAZIL 2019 GROUPS

GROUP A: Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Angola

GROUP B: Nigeria, Hungary, Ecuador, Australia

GROUP C: Korea Republic, Haiti, France, Chile

GROUP D: USA, Senegal, Japan, Netherlands

GROUP E: Spain, Argentina, Tajikistan, Cameroon

GROUP F: Solomon Islands, Italy, Paraguay, Mexico

 

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UEFA League: Salah fit for Genk clash, Matip, Alexander-Arnold miss out

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UEFA League: Salah fit for Genk clash, Matip, Alexander-Arnold miss out

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has recovered from an ankle injury and has returned to the squad for Wednesday’s Champions League match at Genk, the club said on Tuesday.

 

Salah has not played since injuring his ankle in a 2-1 win over Leicester City in the Premier League earlier this month. The Egyptian missed the 1-1 draw at Manchester United over the weekend, which ended the Anfield side’s 17-match winning streak in the league, reports Reuters.

 

Centre back Joel Matip (sore knee) and full back Trent Alexander-Arnold (virus) did not make the trip to Belgium with defenders Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez expected to replace them in the starting lineup.

 

Defending champions Liverpool have three points after two games and are a point behind Group E leaders Napoli while Belgian champions Genk are bottom with one point.

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NWPL Super 4 holds in Lagos Oct. 29 to Nov. 3

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The 2018/2019 Nigeria Women Premier League Super 4 has been scheduled by the Nigeria Women Football League (NWPL) to begin in Lagos next Tuesday, October 29 at the Soccer Temple, Agege Stadium, Lagos.

According to the Chief Operating Officer of the NWFL, Alhaji Ayo Abdulrahman, the four participating clubs: Adamawa Queens, Bayelsa Queens, Confluence Queens and Rivers Angels, are expected to arrive in Lagos on the same day.

The pre-match meetings/press conference for the four teams come up on Wednesday, while the official warm up by the clubs has been fixed for Thursday, October 31.

The matches will begin on Friday, November 1 with two games to be played.

The following day will be a rest day for all clubs, while the third place game and the final match will come up on Sunday, November 3.

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Seven Liverpool players on Ballon D’Or shortlist; Bronze, White nominated

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Seven Liverpool players on Ballon D’Or shortlist; Bronze, White nominated

Liverpool’s Champions League winners dominate the nominations for the Ballon d’Or after seven of Jürgen Klopp’s men were included on the 30-man shortlist.

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker, defenders Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and strikers Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino all featured amongst the candidates when they were announced by France Football and L’Equipe on Monday evening.

In all, 15 Premier League-based players were named alongside five-times winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, reports PA Media.

Manchester City quintet Sergio Agüero, Bernardo Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez made the list, as did Tottenham duo Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min, while there was a place too for Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

There were also four spots for Barcelona players Marc-André Ter Stegen, Frenkie De Jong, Antoine Griezmann and Messi, while Ronaldo was joined by Juventus team-mate Matthijs De Ligt, who was also nominated for the young players’ award.

Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema were Real Madrid’s only representatives, while World Cup winner Kylian Mbappé and Brazilian defender Marquinhos made it for Paris St Germain.

England international Jadon Sancho was nominated for the Kopa Trophy for young players along with Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, Everton striker Moise Kean and Atletico Madrid’s João Félix, who like De Ligt also made the senior list.

Goalkeepers at four English clubs were nominated for the Yashin award as Liverpool’s Alisson, Ederson of Manchester City, Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and Lloris were selected alongside Manuel Neuer, Samir Handanovic, Jan Oblak, Andre Onana, Wojciech Szczesny and Ter Stegen.

World champions the United States and Champions League winners Lyon dominated the nominations for the women’s award, with England’s Lucy Bronze and Ellen White in the running.

USA’s Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath and Rose Lavelle all made the shortlist, while Bronze was one of six Lyon players to join them along with Ada Hegerberg, who claimed the award last year, Amandine Henry, Sarah Bouhaddi, Dzsenifer Marozsan and Wendie Renard.

Manchester City’s White and Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema also made the top 20, as did Brazil star Marta.

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Seven Liverpool players on Ballon D’Or shortlist; Bronze, White nominated

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Seven Liverpool players on Ballon D’Or shortlist; Bronze, White nominated

Liverpool’s Champions League winners dominate the nominations for the Ballon d’Or after seven of Jürgen Klopp’s men were included on the 30-man shortlist.

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker, defenders Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and strikers Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino all featured amongst the candidates when they were announced by France Football and L’Equipe on Monday evening.

In all, 15 Premier League-based players were named alongside five-times winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, reports PA Media.

Manchester City quintet Sergio Agüero, Bernardo Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez made the list, as did Tottenham duo Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min, while there was a place too for Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

There were also four spots for Barcelona players Marc-André Ter Stegen, Frenkie De Jong, Antoine Griezmann and Messi, while Ronaldo was joined by Juventus team-mate Matthijs De Ligt, who was also nominated for the young players’ award.

Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema were Real Madrid’s only representatives, while World Cup winner Kylian Mbappé and Brazilian defender Marquinhos made it for Paris St Germain.

England international Jadon Sancho was nominated for the Kopa Trophy for young players along with Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, Everton striker Moise Kean and Atletico Madrid’s João Félix, who like De Ligt also made the senior list.

Goalkeepers at four English clubs were nominated for the Yashin award as Liverpool’s Alisson, Ederson of Manchester City, Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and Lloris were selected alongside Manuel Neuer, Samir Handanovic, Jan Oblak, Andre Onana, Wojciech Szczesny and Ter Stegen.

World champions the United States and Champions League winners Lyon dominated the nominations for the women’s award, with England’s Lucy Bronze and Ellen White in the running.

USA’s Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath and Rose Lavelle all made the shortlist, while Bronze was one of six Lyon players to join them along with Ada Hegerberg, who claimed the award last year, Amandine Henry, Sarah Bouhaddi, Dzsenifer Marozsan and Wendie Renard.

Manchester City’s White and Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema also made the top 20, as did Brazil star Marta.

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Dennis set to haunt PSG in Champions League

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Dennis set to haunt PSG in Champions League

Super Eagles forward, Emmanuel Dennis, will be aiming to add Paris Saint Germain to the list of big teams he has scored against as Club Brugg welcome the French club in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League.

Dennis, who netted a brace in matchday 2 of the Europe competition against Real Madrid in their 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on October 1, will be hoping to re-enact the performance against PSG.

A win for the Belgian club against a PSG side that would be aiming for the maximum point could brighten their chances of qualifying from the group.

Indeed, Brugge are now 10 Champions League games unbeaten including those qualifiers, while in the competition proper you have to go back to matchday two last season for their last defeat – a run of six games.

Five of those games, including both so far this season, have ended all square, though, while stretching even further back Brugge have only won three of their last 20 outings in the Champions League proper.

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Pascal: Eagles’ll be ruthless against Benin, Lesotho

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Pascal: Eagles’ll be ruthless against Benin, Lesotho

Team Coordinator of the Super Eagles, Patrick Pascal, has said the Nigerian team will be ruthless when they face off with Benin and Lesotho in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers scheduled for November.

Pascal said nothing short of victory should be expected when the Super Eagles play Benin Republic and Lesotho.

It would be recalled that the draws for the 2021 AFCON paired Nigeria alongside Benin, Lesotho and Sierra Leone with the Super Eagles starting their campaign against Benin in November before taking on Lesotho few days later.

Speaking with New Telegraph, Pascal said that the players had learnt how to play against African opposition despite some of them not starting their career back home in Nigeria.

“Nothing short of victory against Benin and Lesotho in November,” he said.

“Football has changed to what it used to be. We have the likes of Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina and others who have never played back home in Nigeria but were at the last AFCON and did very well.

“They have learnt how to play against African oppositions; they have them as team mates and opponents too in their various clubs.

“Imagine, the average ages of these players are between 22 and 23, they are very young players. In the past, we don’t usually have such young players in the team, which is to tell you that we are making good progress.”

Meanwhile, the ex-international has said the team has endeared themselves to Nigerians and now people look forward to watching them.

He said the 1-1 draw against Brazil in a recent friendly game had boosted their confidence and  are ready to take on any opposition.

Pascal added: “This set of players in the team are hungry for success and now endeared themselves to hearts of Nigerians.

“All what they needed from us is support and encouragement.

“If you look at the main Super Eagles, people now have confidence watching the team and we have set of young players doing well for their various club sides.

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CHAN: Bonfrere slams Imama’s ‘kick and rush’ tactics

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CHAN: Bonfrere slams Imama’s ‘kick and rush’ tactics

Former Super Eagles coach Jo Bonfrere has knocked down the long-ball tactics Imama Amapakabo employed in a desperate bid to overturn a heavy loss against Togo and qualify for next year’s African Nations Championships in Cameroon.

The Home-based Eagles won 2-0 in Lagos at the weekend, but failed to overturn a 4-1 loss they had suffered in Togo last month.

This was despite the fact that 10 minutes of additional time were given by the match officials on Saturday.

“The long balls did not help the team because Togo had tall defenders to deal with them,” said Bonfrere, who was at the Agege Stadium to watch the game on Saturday.

They aimed these balls at the No 9 (Nyima Nwagua) but he couldn’t deal with them.

“They should have tried using the wings and crosses to go past the defence.”

CHAN Eagles coach Imama himself admitted “technical blunders” from the first leg with co-ordinator Patrick Pascal also saying the players who played in Lagos would have done a better job than those who were paraded in Lome.

Imama made as many as six changes to the starting XI from the Lome leg of the 2020 CHAN playoffs – Daniel James, Ifeanyi Nweke, Anthony Shimaga, Nyima Nwagua, Ibrahim Olawoyin and Ifeanyi Anaemena.

Last year, Nigeria played in the final of the CHAN in Morocco.

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Eaglets lose final warm up tie

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Eaglets lose final warm up tie

Golden Eaglets of Nigeria lost their last warm up game 1-0 to Japan in on Sunday before the start of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on October 26 in Brazil.

A 22nd minute goal scored by Wakatsuki Yamato clinched victory for the Japanese side in the game played at the Sao Paulo Football Club ground in Coita, Sao Paulo.

The Nigerians fought their way back into the game in search of an equaliser, but the tactical discipline of Japan and the resolute play in the defence frustrated the efforts of Eaglets’ attacking trio of Olakunle Olusegun, Wisdom Ubani and Ibrahim Jabeer in the game.

Nigeria will play her opening game in group B in the 2019 Brazil U 17 World Cup against Hungary at the Goiania Estadio Olimpico on Saturday.

They will also face Ecuador and Australia in the first round of the competition.

In the meantime, the 12 players dropped from the squad in Brazil are due to arrive in Nigeria via Dubai on Tuesday.

They include four players who featured at the U-17 AFCON in Tanzania in April.

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CHAN: Ezeji blasts Imama over Eagles’ ouster

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CHAN: Ezeji blasts Imama over Eagles’ ouster

Nigeria league legend, Victor Ezeji, has questioned the competence of the Home-based Super Eagles coach Imama Amapakabo after the team lost the African Nations Championships ticket to Togo.

The squad, on Saturday, at the Agege Stadium, needed to overturn a three goal deficit but managed to record a 2-0 win over their Togolese counterparts who had won 4-1 in the first leg of the qualifiers.

He said it was shameful that Nigeria missed out on the ticket to CHAN, insisting the country has the capacity to produce squad that can even win the tournament.

Ezeji, who played in the Nigerian league for two decades,  said tactical and technical blunders ensured the squad failed in their bid to make it to the competition which will be hosted by Cameroon.

“I have always said if it comes to materials we have them; what we are lacking is administration. We invited more players to camp to beef up the squad and we saw the difference but we had these players in the first place and  what stopped us from using them in Togo?.”

“At least we have Enyimba, Kano Pillars and Rangers playing on the continent, I would have picked the chunk of the players from these teams, if I were the coach. Players from these squad are still match fit but  he decided to stick with his U-23 players,” he said.

The former Enyimba striker however counselled that the coach should not be sacked but be allowed to continue in his role as the U-23 handler.

He said the Manager had done well as the handler of the Olympics team whom he had guided to the U-23 Nations Cup qualification.

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