Match Preview : Hull City v Manchester United

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Hull City and Manchester United put their 100 per cent records on the line when the meet in Saturday’s late Premier League clash.

United have got off to a flying start under the charismatic Portuguese, storming to victories against Bournemouth and Southampton from their first two top-flight fixtures.

Many expected United to improve this season following the arrival of Mourinho and a number of high-profile summer signings – chiefly Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba – and, even at this early stage of the season, that appears to be the case.

If United’s start under Mourinho has been impressive, Hull’s adaptation to life in the top-flight has been nothing short of remarkable.

The newly-promoted Tigers have won their opening two Premier League fixtures despite having only 13 first team players available, including a 2-1 victory against champions Leicester.  Naijabet.com

Understandably, Hull interim manager Mike Phelan – who was Manchester United’s assistant manager between September 2008 and May 2013 – isn’t aiming to change his side too much against his former club.

Team news

Harry Maguire returned to action for Hull in the midweek EFL Cup win over Exeter, and Phelan will have to decide whether to start him this weekend.

He made seven changes in midweek and the likes of Abel Hernandez, Adama Diomande, Robert Snodgrass, Tom Huddlesstone and Andy Robertson will all return, but Greg Luer is sidelined for several weeks with a knee injury.

However, the Tigers remain without the likes of Michael Dawson, Moses Odubajo, Alex Bruce and Allan McGregor for the foreseeable future.

Mourinho looks set to have a full squad to choose from for Saturday’s trip to Humberside.

Midfielder Jesse Lingard has missed the last two games, but confirmed via Twitter on Tuesday that he was back in training after his injury.

Defender Chris Smalling made his first appearance of the season by coming off the bench in the 2-0 win over Southampton last Friday and will be hoping for a return to the starting line-up.

Opta stats

Hull City have lost 10 and won none of their last 11 contests with Manchester United in all competitions. The Tigers’ last victory over United came back in November 1974 (2-0).

Man Utd have won three of their four previous Premier League visits to the KC Stadium (D1) but have had a player sent off in the last two.

Wayne Rooney has scored seven goals in his last five Premier League games against Hull City. Overall, Rooney has been involved in 10 goals in six league appearances against the Tigers (seven goals, three assists).

Hull City have won their opening two Premier League games of 2016-17 – the only newly-promoted side to have won each of their first three games in a Premier League season are Bolton Wanderers in 2001-02.

Ibrahimovic has scored three goals in his first two Premier League appearances. The record for goals scored in a player’s first three Premier League appearances is five – Pavel Pogrebnyak – while eight players have scored four goals in their first three PL games.

Only eight players have scored in each of their first three Premier League appearances: Michael Ricketts, Brian Deane, Adrian Mutu, Dalian Atkinson, Mick Quinn, Diego Costa, Pavel Pogrebnyak & Michu.

Forty-nine of Jose Mourinho’s 58 league defeats as a manager have come away from home (84%).

Mike Phelan was Manchester United assistant manager between September 2008 and May 2013 – during this time, United won three Premier League titles.

Ahmed Elmohamady has appeared in every one of Hull City’s 78 Premier League matches since the start of 2013-14.

NaijaBet Odds

As at this post Hull City has 7.96 odd to win the match on NaijaBet while Manchester United  has 1.40 odd to win the match also, while the odd to draw the match is 4.39

Real Madrid v Celta Vigo preview

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Isco will be sidelined for Real Madrid’s opening La Liga fixture at the Bernabeu when they host Celta Vigo on Saturday evening.

The 24-year-old midfielder has picked up a knock on his ankle and will not feature in the game live on Sky Sports 3, while manager Zinedine Zidane reiterated the importance of all members of his squad.

Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo – who won the UEFA’s Best Player in Europe award for the 2015/16 season on Thursday – also remain unavailable, while rumours continue to swirl about the future of James Rodriguez and Raphael Varane.

“He’s got some discomfort in his ankle. Last week he took a knock on his ankle and he’s still not recovered. He left the training session and he won’t be with us tomorrow,” he told a pre-match press conference.

“Anything can happen until the 31st. Nobody is coming in, that’s certain, but it’s possible some may leave. This is the squad I’ve got and I’m happy with the players I have.

“There are injured players and some who still haven’t come back yet. There’s good depth, the season will be tough and we’re going to need all of our players.

“I have 23 or 24 players and they’re all going to get a game. Cristiano and Karim aren’t playing and there are other players who have done well. When everyone is back, I’ll make the decisions about who will play, that’s not going to change. Naija and Bet

“I want to be clear, every player is important and it’s no surprise that they’re all here. If they’re playing for Real Madrid, it’s because they’re very good footballers.”

Gareth Bale made a goalscoring return to the squad in their opening La Liga fixture of the season – netting twice as Los Blancos beat Real Sociedad 3-0 last weekend – and Zidane is looking forward to being back on home turf.

“It’s exciting, it’s the first home game and we want to play as well as we can,” the former France international added.

“We started very well in La Liga at a difficult ground. Now we’re up against a very good opponent, we know all about their quality and we’re ready to play tomorrow. The fans will come to the ground and it’s great for us to see a full stadium.

“We’ve got another tough opponent who play some good football, but our plan is the same as ever. It’s our first game at home in front of our fans and we’ve got to come out the blocks well to try and get the three points.”

Celta Vigo lost their opening La Liga fixture to new boys Leganes at the Balaidos Stadium, with Marcelo Diaz, Claudio Beauvue and goalkeeper Ruben Blanco Veiga injured for the trip to the Bernabeu.

NaijaBet Odds

 

Chelsea vs Burnley preview

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Willian has returned to training with Chelsea ahead of their Premier League clash with Burnley on Saturday.

The midfielder had been struggling with a calf injury at the start of the season, and will have his fitness checked ahead of the Stamford Bridge meeting.

Blues boss Antonio Conte has also warned his side to be wary of the counter-punches the Clarets used so effectively in beating Liverpool last weekend.

“It’s incredible as only one year ago people were paying attention to the possession ball. But against Liverpool Burnley had 25 per cent and Liverpool had 75 per cent, and yet the result is 2-0 to Burnley!

“So for this reason I told my players to pay attention. I hope the team will push to win. This is the English league and every game is very tough.” Naijabet.com

Burnley were the surprise package in the Premier League last Saturday with their 2-0 victory over the Reds last weekend, but crashed out to Sky Bet League Two side Accrington Stanley in the EFL Cup on Wednesday.

However, the Clarets know they can compete at Stamford Bridge, picking up a late 1-1 draw there on their last visit in a stormy encounter that saw Nemanja Matic sent off.

Team news

Chelsea centre-back Kurt Zouma remains sidelined with a knee problem while boss Antonio Conte also has another injury worry, but he would not name the player concerned.

Thibaut Courtois, John Terry, Oscar, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa should return to the starting line-up after dropping out for the midweek EFL Cup win over Bristol Rovers.

Burnley are expected to be back at full strength after the midweek loss to Accrington Stanley when Sean Dyche made 10 changes to the team that drew with Liverpool.

Tom Heaton, record signing Steven Defour and Andre Gray will be among those coming back in, although Ashley Barnes (hamstring) will remain out alongside Liverpool loanee Jon Flanagan, who is not ready to play a full game so soon after completing 120 minutes on Wednesday night.

Opta stats

Chelsea are unbeaten in their four Premier League meetings with Burnley, winning three and drawing one.

Burnley have found the back of the net in all but one of their last eight clashes with the Blues in all competitions (a 3-0 top-flight defeat to Chelsea in August 2009).

Branislav Ivanovic scored in both league meetings in 2014/15, the last season the two sides met.

Chelsea have won the Premier League title in both of the previous seasons Burnley were in the division.

Burnley have conceded just one goal in their last five Premier League matches (three of which were in May 2015, the other two in August 2016).

The Blues have lost just one of their last 45 Premier League home games against newly-promoted opposition, but this came last season versus Bournemouth (0-1).

Diego Costa has scored seven goals in nine Premier League appearances for Chelsea in the month of August.

Burnley have picked up just two points from 11 previous visits to London in the Premier League (W0 D2 L9), scoring six times and conceding 28 goals.

Antonio Conte is currently unbeaten in 29 successive league home matches as a club manager (W27 D2 L0), last suffering a home defeat in January 2013 (Juventus 1-2 Sampdoria).

George Boyd has run the furthest (24.9km) and made the most sprints (166) in the Premier League so far this

season.

NaijaBet Odds

As at this post Chelsea has 1.19 odd to win the match on NaijaBet while Burnley  has 14.33 odd to win the match also, while the odd to draw the match is 6.21

 

Match Preview : Watford vs Arsenal

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Watford fell to a 2-1 home loss to Chelsea last weekend and followed that up with an extra time defeat to Gillingham in the EFL Cup on Tuesday. The players are still adhereing to Mazzarri’s demands and play Arsenal at perhaps the wrong time.

While the Gunners have failed to win so far this season, they looked in far better shape against Leicester last weekend, holding the defending champions to a 0-0 draw. With Ozil and Giroud now fully fit and available, the duo should make a huge difference in the final third.

Watford’s poor start to the campaign, therefore, could continue with a home defeat this weekend.

Watford : Brice Dja Djedje is sidelined with a foot problem for Watford, while Isaac Success is a doubt for the Hornets ahead of Saturday’s welcome of Arsenal.

New signings Younes Kaboul and Roberto Pereyra are at Walter Mazzarri’s disposal, though may be eased into competitive action slowly following their arrivals.

Ben Watson is available having served his one-match ban.

Arsenal : Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil could both make their first league starts of the season having come off the bench against Leicester last weekend, with Theo Walcott and Francis Coquelin dropping to the bench.

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Chelsea will look to secure their third win in a row on Tuesday when the Blues play Bristol Rovers in the League Cup at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have started off the campaign much better than how they did last season with wins in both their opening Premier League matches, against West Ham and Watford. NaijaBet.com

Roma vs Porto: Preview

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The finale for the Champions League play-off between AS Roma and FC Porto is set at Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday night as both teams resume the tip tied at 1-1

The cagey first leg clash between these two sides at the Estadio Do Dragao finished in a 1-1 stalemate. An own goal from Porto defender Felipe granted the visiting Serie A side a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute. The hosts found result for the fight back in the second half as a penalty from Andre Silva in the 61st minute set an interesting second half clash at Rome on Tuesday evening. NaijaBet.com

Burton Albion v Liverpool: EFL Cup preview

naijabet.comA look ahead to Tuesday night’s EFL Cup second round clash between Burton Albion and Liverpool at the Pirelli Stadium.

Liverpool’s begin their EFL Cup campaign on Tuesday night with an away trip to Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium. Burton’s 2nd placed finish in League One last season earned them automatic promotion to the Championship for the first time in the club’s history. NaijaBet.com

Match Preview: Leicester City v Arsenal

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Leicester and Arsenal will both be looking to recover from opening day defeats when they meet at the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening.

The defending Premier League champions suffered a shock 2-1 loss at newly-promoted Hull while Arsenal were beaten 4-3 at home by Liverpool.

The Foxes, however, have been boosted by the news in midweek that Riyad Mahrez has signed a new four-year deal

Last season’s PFA Player of the Year had been linked with a move to Arsenal, but has committed his future to Leicester. Naijabet

“We have very good players,” said manager Claudio Ranieri. “It’s normal for other managers to look at Leicester players. But we want to continue and stay together.”

There has been no such pick-me-up for Arsenal after their defeat to Liverpool, although manager Arsene Wenger says the club are “ready to spend” this month. “It’s not my money. It’s important to spend money the right way,” he said.

Arsenal beat Leicester both home and away in the league last season.

Team news

The Foxes have no new injury concerns and Robert Huth could return in defence after serving a one-game suspension.

West Brom v Everton Permier league match preview

Yannick Bolasie is in line for debut when Everton travel to West Brom in the Premier League on Saturday.

The winger has signed a five-year deal after joining from Crystal Palace, saying the move was a “no-brainer”.

Everton, who drew with Tottenham on the opening day, have also been linked with moves for Joe Hart and Lamine Kone, although manager Ronald Koeman refused to comment on either when asked in his pre-match press conference.

“What I don’t like is to talk about rumours,” he said. “They could go on for two weeks more, with so many players linked with Everton.” Naija and Bet

West Brom boss Tony Pulis has been talking about potential transfers ahead of the match, saying he wants striker Saido Berahino and defender Jonny Evans to stay.

“Nobody is more keen for Saido to stay than me,” said Pulis.

There has been speculation that Arsenal are interested in Evans, but Pulis said: “The most important thing is that Jonny is with us and we want him to stay because he’s an outstanding player.”

The Baggies beat Crystal Palace 1-0 last weekend thanks to Salomon Rondon’s second-half goal.

Team news

James Morrison is fully fit for West Brom after making his return from injury at Palace last week.

The midfielder suffered a hamstring problem in January but was a late substitute at Selhurst Park and is available again for Saturday’s encounter.