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Bayern Munich and Hoffenheim seem to set the tone for rip-roaring Bundesliga campaign to come

The new Bundesliga season arrives alive with a dramatic clap of thunder as champions Bayern Munich seem to make a lightning begin against a substantial-traveling Hoffenheim team who arrive in Bavaria issuing a weather conditions warning.
In pre-match text strong sufficient to whip up a going to storm, Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann declared, “I often attempt for the greatest, and the greatest is the title.” His reverse in the Bayern dugout, Niko Kovac, shipped a steadying reply: “The competition will promote us,” he explained.

Yet who will emerge from this Friday evening cyclonic coming with each other at the Allianz Arena acquiring ideal braved the footballing whirlwind? Searching at the numbers, the forecast points to an unpredictable traditional to get the Bundesliga rolling for 2018/19.

“We have to test to deliver joy, passion, team spirit and harmony,” the a short while ago appointed Kovac explained in advance of his initially Bundesliga match as Bayern coach. The Berlin-born, ex-Croatia intercontinental, brought all of the higher than to Eintracht Frankfurt, the club he led to DFB Cup glory against his recent companies very last May.

Kovac built these defensive balance at the Eagles that the 100 goals they conceded through the 77 top rated-flight games underneath his tenure made him statistically their ideal tactician in that component. Intriguingly, on the other hand, through that run, the former Bayern midfielder unsuccessful to oversee a win against Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim in five games, Eintracht getting rid of two and drawing 3.

“The only possibility you have against Bayern is if you play boldly. It will be tough, but we are optimistic,” Nagelsmann explained in advance of Hoffenheim’s initially at any time look in a Friday evening Bundesliga opener. The division’s youngest-at any time coach when he arrived on the Hoffenheim scene as a 28-year-old in February 2016, Nagelsmann has managed to win twice and draw one particular of his four matches against the history champions.

Hoffenheim even raced into a 2- guide in just the opening twelve minutes of the teams’ very last come across – a setback on home soil Bayern hadn’t endured for 40 several years. Yet on that occasion very last January, the Bavarians responded with five goals to win easily, an consequence Kovac and his expenses would delight in repeating on opening evening.

Concerned in two of the five goals in that aforementioned triumph, Robert Lewandowski  – who turned 30 on Tuesday – ominously declared this 7 days, “I want to go outside of my boundaries and win even much more titles.” The warning will echo loudly with Hoffenheim, their Polish tormentor acquiring netted seven times in 14 meetings against the team from Kraichgau. Extra to that, the 3-time Bundesliga top rated-scorer has struck thirteen goals earlier recent Hoffenheim custodian Oliver Baumann and has even netted in his very last 3 Matchday 1 openers for Bayern.

The ball again in Nagelsmann’s court docket, Hoffenheim’s Mr. Motivator discussed, “(Bayern) are extremely good tactically underneath Niko Kovac and they are rough to conquer. (On the other hand), a win is in just the realm of possibility.” The Sinsheimers’ general Bundesliga history since Nagelsmann’s arrival is bettered only by Bayern and Borussia Dortmund. Friday night’s guests will know they will need to develop one particular much more monumental general performance if they are to gain what would be a initially at any time win against these colossal opponents at the Allianz Arena.

As they aim for an unprecedented seventh-straight title this time period underneath the decided gaze of a new man in cost, Bayern are braced for an opening onslaught against very last term’s third-placed finishers, themselves decided to light-weight up their youthful tactician’s very last campaign in cost. A storm is brewing in the environs of Bayern’s wonderful Allianz Arena, so baton down the hatches and be geared up.

Simply click listed here for the hottest Bayern vs. Hoffenheim team news!

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SuperSport’s Clayton Daniels: We should be proud of CAF campaign – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Clayton Daniels of Supersport United challenged by Louis Amake Autchanga of CF Mounana during the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup match between Supersport United and CF Mounana at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville South Africa on 08 July 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 21:00


SuperSport United defender Clayton Daniels believes his team should be proud of their CAF Confederation Cup campaign despite losing to TP Mazembe in the final.

United ended runners-up in the continental competition after losing 2-1 on aggregate to the DR Congo giants, who defended the trophy they won in 2016.

With their long African campaign now at an end, Daniels believes Matsatsantsa should turn their attention to trying to win South Africa’s top flight league.

“Well we are also proud we could make it that far [in the Confed Cup],” Daniels told Kick-Off.

“We should take out all the positive out of our journey in Africa which is never easy, travelling for days back and forth, sacrificing a lot away from the family.

“But we grew stronger as a team as time went, so we are looking forward now to the league because that’s our next objective.

“We gave it our best in both games [both legs of the final]. The performance was there, the effort was there, the fight was there… not one player didn’t give it their all and we are proud as a team.”

United will begin the process of catching up missed games in the Absa premiership when they host Ajax Cape Town in Nelspruit on Wednesday evening.



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Egyptian legend says Mohamed Salah led the whole World Cup campaign – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Mohamed Salah of Liverpool

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 12:30


Egyptian legend Hazem Emam has praised the Pharaohs and Liverpool player Mohamed Salah, labeling him as s hero after their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification.

Emam helped the North African nation to win the 1998 Nations Cup and earned 87 caps for Egypt.

He says Salah must be credited for the country’s qualification to the global showpiece.

The Reds winger played a crucial role in their penultimate World Cup qualifier as he scored twice to beat Congo 2-1 in October – a result which confirmed their ticket to the tournament.

MAZEMBE TAKE 2-1 CAF CC FINAL ADVANTAGE TO ATTERIDGEVILLE

“Salah is the man behind our qualification to the World Cup,” Emam said to the BBC.

“When we qualified in 1990, it was more of a team effort. This time, Salah was the leader of the whole campaign.

“Nobody in the history of Egypt has reached such a level in world football and been so successful with the national team.”

Meanwhile, Salah had a hand in all seven of the goals that took the Pharaohs to Russia, scoring five and assisting in two as coach Hector Cuper’s men returned to the tournament for the first time since 1990.

The speedy winger also continues to make waves in the English Premier League after netting a brace for the Reds as they beat Southampton 3-0 at home on Saturday.



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Benatia reflects on Morocco’s successful campaign – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Nov 19, 2017. 09:00


Moroccan international Mehdi Benatia says that leading his nation to the 2018 FIFA World Cup is ‘the most beautiful moment’ of his career.

Nicknamed the Atlas Lions, Morocco qualifed for the World Cup for the first time since 1998 after winning their qualifying group last weekend.

Benatia, who has won league titles German giants Bayern Munich and Italian side Juventus, reflected on the Atlas Lions’ qualification.

“It was the most beautiful moment of my career. I told the players that I’d been lucky enough to win titles with Bayern and Juve and this is what we play football for,” Benatia told Sky Italia.

The Juventus defender, who is one of the best African defenders, captained Morocco’s successful qualifying campaign.

“But after so many years of doing this for our country, this qualification for the World Cup means so much. As captain, I feel it even more, and it was a wonderful moment.

“Every morning I get up and think about it and I’m happy because we didn’t really get to celebrate but in six months there will be an incredible party in Morocco because it’s a country that lives for football.

“Unfortunately we’ve had to watch the World Cup on TV for 20 years but now we’re going and it really is something to be proud of,” the 30-year-old concluded.



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Baxter reflects on SA’s disappointing qualifying campaign – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Scent ition

Thursday Nov 16, 2017. 15:00


South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter has reflected on Bafana Bafana’s disappointing FIFA 2018 World Cup campaign which ended with a 2-1 away defeat to Senegal on Tuesday night.

The British tactician admitted the World Cup qualifiers was a difficult campaign adding it is not easy to come in and impose your philosophy there and then and put across your ideas. This is something which is a process and takes time when speaking to the SAFA website.

“The replay against Senegal, a match South Africa had won, didn’t help for the mental part of the game. However, looking back, I think our biggest shortcoming, which has been the country’s perennial problem, has been scoring goals,” he said.

“We need to understand what win games; it is something I have been trying to put across to the players as part of my philosophy.

The trainer however said in trying to inculcate the winning mentality, it was important not to compromise the South African tradition of doing things.

“We need to maintain our philosophy and that is flamboyance and attacking football,” he continued.

The former Kaizer Chiefs coach said while results at most times were disappointing,Bafana showed if the team gets the balance right between efficiency and flamboyance, they can mix with the best there is.

“But we are not consistent enough; we need to produce that type of football on regular basis to stay on top,” he stressed.

The experienced tactician said most of that was caused by lack of scoring prowess but was something he would work on although results cannot be achieved overnight.

“We need to challenge for top slots. We have shown it against top opposition; we have dominated them for long periods with some good football but failed to finish them off. What we need is to be more professional and continue to develop our own type of football that reflects the culture of South Africa,” he explained.

The former SuperSport United coach added that he would like to thank South African supporters whose love for the national team was unquestionable.

“They (fans) play an important role in the development of the game and we hope they continue to be part of this process. They are the most important stakeholder of the game,” Baxter concluded.



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Uganda captain Denis Onyango: We ended the campaign with respect – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Nov 13, 2017. 11:30


After finishing at number two in Group E, Uganda skipper Denis Onyango says they bowed out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with dignity.

The Cranes goalkeeper has credited his teammates for bravery throughout the World Cup qualification campaign.

Onyango, who plies his trade with South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns, tweeted moments after their 1-1 draw away to Congo on Sunday.

“Great fight from the boys ending the campaign with respect despite not qualifying,” said Onyango.

Under the guidance of Moses Basena, the Ugandans rallied from a goal down to earn a point in Congo through Milton Karisa’s strike.

The Cranes finished second in the group with nine points, four behind the group winners Egypt whilst the Ghana ended third with eight points and Congo ended the campaign with two points.

Uganda will start planning for the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, CHAN 2018 in Morocco as well as the AFCON 2019 Qualifiers.



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SuperSport, Sundowns open PSL campaign with Tshwane derby – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns challenges Onismor Bhasera of Supersport United during the Absa Premiership match beween Supersport United v Mamelodi Sundowns on 19 April 2017 at Lucas Moripe Stadium ©Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Aug 18, 2017. 09:00


SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns will open their 2017/18 Absa Premiership campaign with a derby clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on 19 August 2017, kick-off at 15h00.

SuperSport had a mixed campaign in 2016/17: they looked capable of challenging for the league title (even going on a 19-game unbeaten run) but they ended up a disappointing fifth after losing five of their last 10 matches. However, they won the Nedbank Cup and finished as runners-up in the Telkom Knockout.

As for Mamelodi Sundowns, they relinquished their PSL title to Bidvest Wits, losing out in a tough battle to Gavin Hunt’s side. Yet their triumph in the 2016 CAF Champions League underlined their status as one of the continent’s finest teams and they will enter this new campaign determined to reassert domestic dominance.

Both sides have seen some significant changes in the offseason: United have Eric Tinkler as their coach following Stuart Baxter’s move to become Bafana Bafana boss, while ‘Downs have made waves by signing Oupa Manyisa from Soweto giants Orlando Pirates.

In head-to-head terms, United and Sundowns have clashed in 52 league matches since 1990. The Brazilians have dominated the rivalry, claiming 27 wins compared to 14 for Matsatsantsa. The team in blue and white have managed just five wins from 26 home league matches against their rivals, the last of which arrived in the 2012/13 season.

Last term the Brazilians claimed a league ‘double’ over their fellow Tshwane club: ‘Downs claimed an emphatic 5-0 home win in the first half of the campaign, while the return game saw Pitso Mosimane’s side triumph 1-0. It was Sundowns’ seventh successive league win over Matsatsantsa.



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Andre Ayew relishes 2017/18 campaign – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


West Ham’s Andre Ayew celebrates his goal against Swansea City

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Jul 31, 2017. 10:00


Ghana international Andre Ayew says he was close to regaining his old form towards the end of the 2016/17 English Premier League (EPL) campaign.

The West Ham United midfielder netted five goals in 13 EPL appearances after returning to the club from the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Gabon.

Ayew, who joined West Ham from fellow EPL side Swansea City prior to the 2016/17 campaign, is hoping to continue his good form in the new season.

“I think I was getting there [to my best form],” Ayew told Ghana Soccer Net.

“It was not my optimum, but I was getting there bit by bit by playing games,” the 27-year-old player continued.

“For me, it was a shame the season came to an end because I was starting to feel better after my injury.

“I will be hoping to continue from where I left from.”

West Ham’s first EPL match in the new season will be against Manchester United at the Old Trafford on Sunday, 13 August 2017.



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Ghanaian Andrew Ayew ready for the 2017/18 English Premier League campaign


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sunday Jul 30, 2017. 10:09


Ghana and West ham striker Andrew Ayew says he feels good and is looking forward to the 2017/18 English Premier League season.

The Hammers forward is hoping a full pre-season will help him pick up where he left off when the Premier Leagaue campaign begins.

Ayew ended the 2016/17 season in fine form, scoring five goals in the 13 appearances after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations in mid-February.

However, he admits the pre-season is very important and says he wants to ensure he prepares well this time around.

“I’m feeling good and working hard. We had long days in Austria and now we’re just at the beginning in Germany and we have a few games to come,” he told West Ham TV.

“We’re working hard here, trying to get fit, working together and getting to know each other, so it’s sweet.

“Pre-season is something which is very, very important and, for me, I’ve not been able to have a real pre-season for a long time because of the international games.

“I have always been coming back later, so to start the pre-season with the squad is quite good.

“I think I’m going to have a month or more with the squad before the pre-season starts so it’s a good opportunity for me to get myself back together and to feel good before the season.

“I think I was getting there [to my best form]. It was not my optimum, but I was getting there bit by bit by playing games. For me, it was a shame the season came to an end because I was starting to feel better after my injury.”



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