Archive for June, 2015

Chile – Uruguay Preview: Copa America hosts dodge tough ties

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Chile-vs-Uruguay-Quarter-Final-Preview-2015-Copa-AmericaArgentina and Brazil cannot be faced until the final of the tournament but first Jorge Sampaoli’s side must beat the reigning champions after finishing top of Group A

Chile will be relishing the relatively straightforward path to the Copa America final they have been handed ahead of Wednesday’s quarter-final against Uruguay.

Should La Roja defeat the Celeste – who do not look like the side who conquered the competition four years ago – then they would face Bolivia or Peru in the last four, dodging Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay until at least the final.

Host nation Chile are the competition’s top scorers with 10 from their three games as Jorge Sampaoli’s side booked their place in the last eight by topping Group A.

Having taken four points off Ecuador and Mexico, Sampaoli’s men hammered Bolivia 5-0 to set up a quarter-final tie with a Uruguay team yet to hit such heights, claiming just four points in their group campaign.

The defending champions have only scored twice – the long-term absence of suspended striker Luis Suarez undoubtedly a contributing factor – although captain Diego Godin returns from suspension for the match in Santiago.

While Tabarez can welcome back influential skipper Godin into his back line, full-back Alvaro Pereira will serve a suspension after accumulating two yellow cards.

It is up front where Tabarez has problems, with Edinson Cavani struggling to fire in a central position. Reports suggest that the Uruguay boss could opt for a three-man defence with Cristian Rodriguez used as one of two full-backs.

The city of Santiago was shut temporarily on Monday due to smog concerns, although things have since improved in the capital, with Godin playing down any fears over the pollution.

“We saw on TV about the pollution but we have not discussed anything with the doctor,” Godin said, before turning his attentions to the pressures that Chile may face.

“Chile are favourite. They are local and want to win the title for the first time, they are with their people and have that pressure. We know it is their opportunity to earn a historic title.”


As at this post Chile has 1.76 odd to win the match on NaijaBet while Uruguay  has 5.07 odd to win the match also, while the odd to draw the match is 3.57.

England U21s – Italy U21s Preview

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

England-vs-Italy-702x336The Young Lions looked lethargic against Sweden despite securing a 1-0 win that puts them close to qualification, and their manager admits he wants to see more from his team

England Under-21s manager Gareth Southgate admits his side must improve as they strive to secure a place in the semi-finals with a positive result against Italy.

The Young Lions lost their opening game to Portugal and then narrowly overcame Sweden thanks to Jesse Lingard’s late volley.

Despite claiming an important three points, England looked unconvincing and struggled to break down Hakan Ericson’s resolute and well-organised side for long periods.

Southgate praised his team for ultimately getting the job done, but he believes they are capable of much more.

“We had faith that we had the players on the field that could get the goal. We started to create more chances as the game went on and we had to hold our nerve,” he told reporters.

“In the end it was a wonderful piece of skill that wins us the game, but we had dominated possession.

“Sweden are always a threat because of the way they work, but today I thought we deserved the victory, although maybe we weren’t as fluid as we were the other night.

“We take it to the third game now and after the game against Portugal that was the first objective – now it is in our hands. We can be better, but it has given us a good chance of going through.”

Alex Pritchard was forced off 10 minutes into the second half after picking up an ankle injury and will play no further part in the tournament, but John Stones looks to have recovered from the head injury he sustained in training last week.

Italy boss Luigi Di Biagio, meanwhile, believes his side can still progress to the last four despite currently sitting at the bottom of Group B.

The Azzurrini battled back from an opening game defeat to Sweden to draw 0-0 with Portugal, a result that still gives them a chance of finishing in the top two.

Whereas a draw could be enough to see England advance, though, Italy must claim all three points from their final encounter to stand any chance of making the semi-finals.

Di Biagio nevertheless remains upbeat about his team’s chances, and has praised the attitude shown by his players.

“We played a good game but we didn’t score. The team had the right mentality, and they did exactly what we prepared over the last few days. I can’t blame them for anything,” he told reporters.

“Portugal are a team that let us play more than Sweden did, and this aspect was better for us. But we missed chances and that’s our regret, as it was against Sweden when we didn’t kill the game.

“It’s time to focus on England now. We have to stay hopeful because we still have a chance of going through. I’m always confident, even when something is impossible to pull off. I’ll be confident ahead of our last game.”

Stefano Sturaro is Italy’s only absentee, the Juventus midfielder serving the second game of a three-match ban following his sending off against Sweden.

NaijaBet Odds

As at this post England has 2.45 odd to win the match on NaijaBet while Italy has 3.09 odd to win the match also, while the odd to draw the match is 3.19.