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Liverpool back on top as late own goal secures win

Liverpool moved back again top of the Premiership League in remarkable trend as Toby Alderweireld’s last minute own goal defeated Tottenham 2-1 at Anfield on Sunday.

As it happened: Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur 

Liverpool’s hopes of ending a 29-12 months hold out to win the title seemed set to be dealt a huge blow as Lucas Moura’s strike 20 minutes from time cancelled out Roberto Firmino’s early opener.

However, Hugo Lloris could only palm Mohamed Salat’s header into the route of the unfortunate Alderweireld to condemn Tottenham to a fourth defeat in five Premier League games.

Spurs are now in serious danger of crashing out of the top 4 as they stay level on points with Manchester United and could be usurped by north London rivals Arsenal into third must the Gunners beat Newcastle on Monday.

And the visitors will be still left to regret a massive skipped chance by Moussa Sissoko 5 minutes from time when Liverpool had been wobbling.

The hosts got off to the best start when Firmino headed home the opener on 16 minutes from a pleasant Andy Robertson cross.

That was Robertson’s 12th assist of the season from still left-again and the Scotland skipper was concerned again in a flowing move moments afterwards as he forged down the remaining and neat touches from Salah, and Georginio Wijnaldum teed up Sadio Mane to curl just wide.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was serving the last of a two-game sideline ban and without the need of the guiding hand of the Argentine, they lacked inspiration in the closing third.

However, Liverpool were generally causing their possess issues by gifting away possession inside their very own 50 % and Dele Alli pounced on a slack move by his England teammate Jordan Henderson to ability a volley that dipped just over the bar with Spurs’ most effective effort of the 1st-50 percent.

Virgil van Dijk experienced a great chance to double the hosts’ lead at the commence of the next period, but the Dutch defender headed above soon after a effectively-worked quick corner in between Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Milner.

On the other hand, Liverpool have been thankful once again to Robertson at the other conclude as he made a very important block to protect against Christian Eriksen firing home the rebound just after Alisson Becker was compelled into his first save of the afternoon by Harry Kane.

When these two sides achieved at Anfield final season, Salah scored lots of goal of the season candidates amidst an extraordinary 44-goal campaign.

The Egyptian even now has a respectable 20 this season, but only a person of those has appear in the previous 11 games and he passed up a great opportunity to give Liverpool some terribly needing respiration place when his shot was blocked by Alderweireld with Mane superior put and begging for a pass.

That missed possibility seemed pricey as Tottenham struck again.

Kane’s quick wondering and exceptional long-array go picked out Kieran Trippier, who fed Eriksen and his scuffed shot fell beautifully for Moura to turn home.

As Liverpool surged ahead in look for of a winner, Spurs could have picked them off as Sissoko blazed more than with just Alisson to conquer ahead of Alli clipped a shot inches wide.

In its place, there was delirium in front of the Kop finish as Lloris need to have handled Salah’s header, but rather parried the ball into Alderweireld and the ball ricocheted around the line to breathe refreshing lifetime into Liverpool’s title problem.

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Chelsea’s Leading 4 hopes dented after Everton defeat

Maurizio Sarri endured a discouraging afternoon as his Chelsea side’s second half
collapse observed them put up with a 2- EPL League defeat at mid-table
Everton.

Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson, changing right after his very own saved penalty kick, scored the goals at Goodison Park on Sunday that halted Chelsea’s good form and weakened their bid to safe a top-four
finish.

Brazilian Richarlison struck in the 49th minute, right after Sigurdsson’s corner had been met by a potent header from Dominic
Calvert-Lewin which Kepa Arrizabalaga saved well on his goal-line.

But the Everton forward reacted initial to pressure the rebound in excess of the
line from close array, a goal that came mostly against the run of play.

Arrizabalaga experienced saved a great effort from Andre Gomes seconds previously and did likewise in holding out Sigurdsson’s 71st-minute spot kick,
awarded right after Marcos Alonso stood on the foot of Richarlison.

But the Iceland worldwide saved his composure from the rebound,
completing the schedule endeavor of tapping the ball into the open up goal.

It was a main turnaround following a initially 50 % of just about complete Chelsea domination.

Eden Hazard was regrettable not to give the readers an early lead in
a dominant opening 45 minutes against an Everton aspect who have struggled for form and effects in the latest months.

Following 6 minutes, Ross Barkley and Gonzalo Higuain mixed neatly
to set up the prospect which Hazard curled against the right-hand post,
with the ball rebounding to security.

When Higuain was presented
with another glorious possibility just seconds later on, denied by Everton
sweeper Yerry Mina producing a late transfer to place off his opponent,

Chelsea appeared effectively in control.It remained that way for the vast majority of the opening 50 percent with
Barkley, booed lustily by Everton supporters each individual time he touched the ball, clearly relishing a return to his former club.

Barkley’s protracted departure from Merseyside, and his refusal to
sign a new contract as a move to Chelsea neared, has obviously tarnished
the England midfielder’s popularity with Everton fans.

But his influential very first-half show, and Chelsea‘s preliminary superiority, recommended he would love a profitable return, for half the game at the very least.

Hazard experienced presently drawn a good stop from Jordan Pickford inside of the opening handful of times and Higuain and Barkley the two forced the England
goalie into regimen will save prior to Pedro finished the fifty percent by sending a
shot just wide.

The next 50 %, on the other hand, rapidly turned a different story with Chelsea forced to react to the game’s 1st goal and Pedro’s cross shortly buying out Alonso who drove the ball into the facet-netting.

Everton, exhibiting far far more belief than in the opening time period, virtually
scored a 2nd goal when Calvert-Lewin came in inches of assembly
Lucas Digne’s remaining-wing cross but Chelsea still had the firepower to
threaten an equaliser.

David Luiz’s 59th-minute go was cushioned by N’Golo Kante for Higuain whose crisp 25-yard strike pressured Pickford into an fantastic, 1-handed diving save.

Sarri rang the modifications, using off Barkley amongst others – a lot to
the delight of the home supporters – though Everton continue to looked the
extra likely scorers.

Substitute Theo Walcott found himself clear but noticed his angled shot
very well saved after a lot more by Arrizabalaga just before opposite number Pickford continued an fantastic screen by tipping around a effective shot from Chelsea replacement Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Premiership Live Scores

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Villarreal 3-0 Sevilla: Hosts take advantage of visitors’ tiredness

Villarreal did their relegation struggle a complete whole lot of superior as they defeat Sevilla 3- on Sunday afternoon.

The home team have been in dreaded type this season which has remaining them sitting down 19th in the league standings prior to this game.

Aside from their bad type, the sacking and re-employing of manager Javi Calleja – now has the previous B coach in cost of maintaining them in La Liga

And, they did that ambition superior as they defeat Sevilla at the Estadio de la Ceramica thanks to goals from Alvaro, Karl Toko-Ekambi and Alfonso Pedraza.

Sevilla arrived prepared for their 41st game in all competitions this season and their tiredness was all to distinct to see as Alvaro took complete edge in the twentieth minute pursuing a Santi Cazorla assist.

Pablo Machin’s visitors did have probabilities but owning failed to make them count – Ekambi connected with strike partner Carlos Bacca, before netting his side’s next just moments before the 50 percent time break.

Although Villarreal realized that a win would not see them out of the bottom 3, they seemed determined to use the next 50 percent as a stepping point to probably establish on and they acquired a more reward when Pedraza acquired himself a very well deserved goal to match his effectiveness.

The result leaves Sevilla owning been title contenders to now sitting down in fourth place, 8 points off Real Madrid in 3rd.

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City hit humiliated Chelsea for six to go top

SergioAguero grabbed a hat-trick as Manchester Town scored four times inside oftwenty five minutes to thrash Chelsea 6- and leapfrog Liverpool again to top
place in the EPL League on goal variance on Sunday.

Aguero ought to have experienced even more than a few as the Argentine skipped a
wonderful early likelihood and hit the bar in the second-50 percent in a
humiliating afternoon for Maurizio Sarri’s men.

Raheem Sterling started out and finished the scoring and Ilkay Gundogan also
netted in the initially quarter of the game as City finished what could have
been a tests week with a vacation to Everton in between the visits of
Arsenal and Chelsea with optimum points.

Jurgen Klopp’s men keep the advantage of a game in hand, but
handed a reprieve by Liverpool‘s attracts against Leicester and West Ham in
modern months, City glance established to develop into the initially aspect in a 10 years
to keep the EPL League.

Chelsea on the other hand slip to sixth with the scale of the defeat confident to increase further more doubts over Sarri’s potential.

A 4- defeat to Bournemouth in their past away game was Chelsea’s heaviest league defeat considering that 1996.

And this was their worst reduction in any levels of competition considering that 1991 following failing to recover from Sterling’s fourth-minute opener.

Eden Hazard went to sleep from Kevin de Bruyne’s swiftly taken
free-kick and Bernardo Silva experienced acres of room to cross for the England
international to fire home.

Pep Guardiola experienced described this match as a “ultimate” for his team
given that Chelsea experienced a week to get ready, while City floor out a 2-
win at Everton on Wednesday.

Guardiola fell to the ground in exasperation when Aguero in some way
aspect-footed extensive with his easiest likelihood of the game moments afterwards.

But the Catalan coach require not have nervous that would show a costly
miss as Aguero made amends in spectacular style by blasting into the top
corner from twenty five yards to double City’s following just thirteen minutes.

Aguero experienced a easy activity to make it 3- six minutes afterwards when he pounced on Ross Barkley’s slack header to his have goal.

And Gundogan’s shot from the edge of the area then experienced too a great deal electricity
for the world’s most high-priced goalie Kepa Arrizabalaga to compound
Chelsea’s woes.

These kinds of was the defensive collapse at the other end, Gonzalo Higuain experienced
small likelihood to glow but the Argentine attacker was unfortunate not to
score his third goal in as lots of league starts off for Chelsea when Ederson
turned over his dipping volley 5 minutes right before the crack.

That was as a great deal of a response as Chelsea mustered, nevertheless, and it
only obtained worse for Sarri’s odds of holding his career in the second
period of time.

Aguero skipped his initially likelihood to seal a second hat-trick in two games when he headed against the bar.

But when Sterling was too swift for Cesar Azpilicueta and chopped
down by the Spaniard inside of the area, Aguero coolly slotted home from
the spit kick place to shift level with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah as the
EPL League’s top scorer on seventeen for the season.

Even following Aguero went off to a standing ovation, City’s toughness in
depth shone by way of as Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez and David Silva came
off the bench.

And Silva’s pass opened the visitors up again for the sixth as he
picked out Oleksandr Zinchenko who crossed for Sterling to tap home.

Live Premiership Scores

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Klopp talks up ‘world’s best’ Man City

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claims Manchester City are the finest team in the world ahead of his Premiership League leaders’ top-of-the-table clash at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

Klopp’s unbeaten facet go into the meeting with a 7-point lead over City, who have slipped to third place after a pair of shock defeats, but is keen to play down the hoopla bordering his facet and put the concentration on Pep Guardiola’s pre-season title favourites.

“A extremely complicated a single of the most complicated games you can play in the fashionable football world,” he instructed reporters on Wednesday.

“We have to be geared up as fantastic as doable, we have to be courageous, we have to be total of need, indignant … but with the understanding the opponent is, for me, even now the finest team in the world.”

Klopp and Guardiola have each talked up the power of their opposition ahead of the clash, with the City manager returning the compliment by hailing Liverpool as the world’s top team.

Liverpool have dropped just six points this season, and go into the match on a nine-match winning streak in the league.

The Reds have gained three of their past 4 meetings with City but their past league vacation to the Etihad ended in a 5- defeat in September 2017.

Guardiola has presently labelled the match a need to-not-lose game for his team, stating the title race would be concluded ought to City slip 10 points adrift.

Klopp expects the situation to hearth up City, indicating: “If we would be 10 points behind, would the initially factor I say be, ‘We’ll catch them’? Of program not — it can be complicated with the features all the groups have.

“But it can be January 3. It is a extremely, extremely essential game for each groups, naturally … They will be prepared and we have to make confident we are prepared.”

Klopp reported his team’s operate to past season’s Champions League closing, which they lost to Real Madrid, was the instant a switch flicked.

“I assume we got rid, finally, of the backpack when we reached the Champions League closing,” he reported.

“That was the instant when we did anything truly distinctive. Since then it feels different.”

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Germany vs. Mexico: FIFA World Cup Group F – possible line Ups

World champions Germany get the defence of their title underway against Marco Fabian’s Mexico at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday (kick-off: 5 pm CEST/4pm BST/11am ET) with captain Manuel Neuer returning to form and physical fitness at just the correct time.

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The Bayern Munich shot-stopper broke his foot two times in the 2017/18 campaign and was restricted to just three Bundesliga appearances – each and every one of them clean sheets – as the champions sealed their 28th German major-flight title. Getting played a put together 135 minutes in Die Mannschaft’s latest friendlies with Austria and Saudi Arabia, the 32-year-old will guide his team out against Mexico with Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen acting as the 1st understudy. Leroy Sane was perhaps the most surprising omission when coach Joachim Löw announced his ultimate 23-man squad for the match, but with Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus – like Neuer – again to his finest, the Manchester City winger’s absence could perfectly prove to be negligible.

If Germany had been impressive in winning all 10 of their games in UEFA qualifying portion, Mexico had been not far behind. El Tri only missing a single of their twelve games in the CONCACAF zone – their ultimate a single, against Honduras, when qualification was already assured. In Fabian and Carlos Salcedo, Mexico boasts two players who lifted the DFB Cup with Eintracht Frankfurt, at Bayern’s expenditure, in May. The pair is anticipated to begin, with previous Bayer Leverkusen favourite Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez primary the line.

Possible line-ups

Germany: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector – Kroos, Khedira – Müller, Özil, ReusWerner
Subs: ter Stegen, Ginter, Plattenhardt, Rüdiger, Süle, Brandt, Draxler, Goretzka, Gündogan, Rudy, Gomez, Trapp
Absentees: N/A
Mentor: Joachim Löw

Mexico: Ochoa – Salcedo, Reyes, Moreno, Layun – Marquez, Guardado (c) – Vela, Herrera, Fabian – Chicharito
Subs: Telavera, Alvarez, Ayala, Gallardo, Aquino, G. dos Santos, J. dos Santos, Corona, Jimenez, Lozano, Peralta
Absentees: N/A
Mentor: Juan Carlos Osorio

Match stats

  • Bayern forward Thomas Müller has 10 World Cup goals to his title, the most of any lively player.
  • Germany has played Mexico 13 times, winning 6, with 6 attracts and just a single defeat.
  • The last time the sides satisfied was in the Confederations Cup semi-finals in Russia past June. Germany gained 4-1, with Fabian scoring Mexico’s consolation.
  • The teams have satisfied when just before at the World Cup, with Germany prevailing 2-1 at France ’98, previous United States of America coach Jürgen Klinsmann and latest Germany Team Manager Oliver Bierhoff scoring in Montpellier.
  • This is Germany’s 19th World Cup and they have reached at the minimum the quarter-finals in each and every of the earlier 9 editions, producing it to at minimum the semi-finals at each and every opposition as of 2002.
  • Previous Leverkusen ahead Chicharito is Mexico’s all-time primary goalscorer with 49 goals.
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    Deportivo La Coruña vs. Barcelona – Football Match Report – April 29, 2018

    Lionel Messi set the icing on the cake as Barcelona clinched the La Liga title with a 4-2 victory more than Deportivo La Coruna, who ended up relegated.

    Barca went into the match knowing a point would be ample to see them get back the trophy with 4 matches however to play.

    They did not have items all their way against a spirited Depor, who fought back to the stage by means of Lucas Perez and Emre Colak after Philippe Coutinho and Messi experienced set Barca 2- up.

    Depor ended up pressured to force ahead knowing only victory would be ample to preserve their survival hopes alive and they paid out the rate as Messi included two late goals to comprehensive the 46th hat trick of his vocation.

    The on-pitch celebrations ended up muted, probably out of regard for their dejected opponents, but Barca, who keep on being unbeaten in the league, can’t be denied a seventh title in 10 seasons.

    The Depor players gave them a guard of honour as the groups took to the pitch, with Ernesto Valverde’s men possessing received the Copa del Rey previous weekend before switching their focus to wrapping up the league.

    It took only seven minutes for the people to choose the direct as Ousmane Dembele set up Coutinho for a pleasant clip into the top corner.

    But if Barca considered this was going to be a procession, they ended up mistaken. Depor has proven an improved form of late and they experienced the ball in the net in the seventeenth minute only for it to be dominated out.

    Marc-Andre Ter Stegen pushed absent Raul Albentosa’s header and Perez tapped in but, after a lengthy hold-off and with Depor celebrating, the officers resolved Fabian Schar experienced interfered from an offside position by leaping in front of the keeper.

    Former Barca keeper Ruben experienced to be at his best in the thirtieth minute to preserve out a Messi free-kick after he experienced been fouled by Schar, who was a contact lucky not to decide up a next yellow card.

    Dembele and Coutinho then pretty much mixed for a next, the Brazilian sending a shot just extensive. But Barca ended up far significantly less convincing at the back and Depor experienced two excellent likelihood to equalise.

    1st Borja Valle acquired among two defenders to fulfil a Colak cross but could only poke the ball extensively, and then Schar headed more than from 6 yards when he should really have scored.

    And they paid out for individuals misses in the 38th minute when Barca netted a luxurious next. Dembele drove ahead before actively playing in Luis Suarez, who clipped a cross with the outside of his foot that Messi met with a side-foot volley.

    Nevertheless, they ended up pegged back only two minutes later as Depor acquired the goal they deserved, Guilherme’s cross properly concluded by Perez.

    Immediately after half-likelihood for both equal sides in the early phases of the next half, Depor surprised Barca by obtaining an equaliser. Borja Valle did brilliantly to hold on to the ball after breaking absent down the appropriate before crossing for Celso Borges, whose pull-back was tucked in by Colak.

    For the next 10 minutes, Barca ended up rocking but they regained their composure and commenced pushing really hard for the winner.

    The quick passing in and all around the box that has been their trademark gained them the breakthrough, with substitute Suarez seriously associated not the moment but twice as Messi supplied the ending touches.

    That proved the suitable minute for the introduction of Andres Iniesta at the conclude of 7 days exactly where he emotionally announced he would be leaving the club.

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    Celtic vs. Rangers – Football Match Report – April 29, 2018

    Celtic clinched their seventh successive Scottish Premiership title in an amazing match with a 5- thrashing of ragged rivals Rangers at Parkhead.

    Odsonne Edouard, the 21-year-old French striker on financial loan from Paris Saint-Germain, scored a very first- half double with James Forrest adding a 3rd prior to the crack to ship Celtic fans into a half-time frenzy.

    Celtic’s existing dominance more than their city rivals was underlined after the crack as midfielders Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor included more goals to spark off the common celebrations with three fixtures remaining.

    Boss Brendan Rodgers is now unbeaten in eleven games against Rangers because he took more than in 2016, 9 wins and two draws, and his Celtic aspect is in a Scottish Cup ultimate win against Motherwell away from an unprecedented successive treble.

    Celtic’s most important win more than Rangers was 7-1 in Oct, 1957 and it could have very easily be beaten.

    If previous England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is to just take more than from Graeme Murty as the manager of Rangers — and he is the front-runner — then he will have his work minimize out to enhance this Ibrox aspect who glance bereft of perception when they face green and white hoops, not to say just inferior.

    As always there experienced been lots of speculation ahead of the midday kick-off pertaining to team selections.

    With Rangers’ No. 1 keeper Wes Foderingham continue to carrying a shoulder harm, Jak Alnwick made his Outdated Company debut with midfielder Andy Halliday requested to play at still left-back thanks to Declan John’s damaged hand.

    With Moussa Dembele wounded, Rodgers opted to go with Edouard as his principal striker as an alternative of Leigh Griffiths who started on the bench, together with Jack Hendry who was changed by appropriate-back Mikael Lustig.

    The home aspect piled on relentless stress from the start out and an unsure searching Alnwick made two early will save from Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham.

    Having said that, it was teammate Edouard who converted a Kieran Tierney minimize-back from 5 yards to get started an afternoon of abject misery for the Govan aspect.

    Celtic experienced finish command of the game searching fitter, quicker and much more concentrated.

    Having said that, in the twenty-seventh minute Gers midfielder Jason Holt broke ahead and drew a respectable save from Hoops keeper Craig Gordon with his still left-footed travel and Tierney accomplished the clearance.

    Attacker Josh Windass failed to select out Jason Cummings on yet another Gers crack but in the forty-first minute when midfielder Graham Dorrans lost possession in a Rangers assault, Forrest sent Edouard functioning crystal clear into the opposition box and he drove very low previous Alnwick and into the far corner.

    It soon acquired even worse for the visitors.

    Just prior to the crack, with the Light Blues in finish disarray, Forrest rattled in number three on the angle from 10 yards.

    Rogic swept in number 4 from the edge of the box with the 2nd half just less than way prior to McGregor slid in an Edouard pass for the fifth after 52 minutes and the file textbooks were being currently being looked at.

    Windass experienced strike the post with an exertion prior to he was changed by Alfredo Morelos, his introduction mocked by ecstatic Celtic fans.

    Alnwick made high-quality will save from Forrest and Rogic amid much more mundane ones as the home aspect threatened continually, somehow failing to increase to the anguish of their battered and bruised city rivals.

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    PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Faouzi Ghoulam – Algerian to miss crunch match against Juventus


    Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam

    by
    Graeme Jackson

    Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 19:00


    The knee injury suffered by Algerian star Faouzi Ghoulam means he will continue to miss Napoli’s big matches, including this weekend’s showdown with Juventus.

    The match at Stadio San Paolo kicks off at 21h45 CAT and sees ‘Partenopei’ host the ‘Old Lady’ in one of Italian football’s classic rivalries.

    The match also has significance in terms of the Serie A title race. Napoli currently top the log on 38 points, while defending champions Juve are four points behind in third place.

    Ghoulam, sadly, will have to watch the game from the stands due to his long-term absence, but his future with the club remains headline news.

    Though reports of a contract extension with Napoli have been prominent in the last couple of weeks, the Algerian remains a transfer target for the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.



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    Zambia and Zimbabwe renew rivalry in ‘celebratory’ match


    by
    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Monday Nov 27, 2017. 15:00


    The Chipolopolo of Zambia are set to face Zimbabwe in an international friendly as the country celebrates the new dawn in the government.

    The Zimbabwean Football Association has confirmed the match is set to be a celebratory friendly on December 23 at National Sports Stadium, Harare.

    Zimbabwe will celebrate their new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over from Robert Mugabe, the long serving president who held the seat for over three decades.

    Furthermore, a legends match involving Zimbabwe and South Africa will curtain the international friendly.

    “As the custodians of the nation’s most popular sport code, ZIFA duly appreciates the sincere call by His Excellency for every citizen regardless of political orientation, tribe, gender, colour or creed to positively contribute towards the building of our nation,” said ZIFA.

    “Sports in general and football in particular are a proven catalyst for unity, peace and social cohesion.

    “We are confident that the new start that the nation has been granted in the hands of His Excellency Mnangagwa will lead not only to the revival but flourishing success of sport.”



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    Kevin Akpoguma an excellent match for Nigeria – Gernot Rohr – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


    by
    Graeme Jackson

    Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 11:30


    Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has described Hoffenheim defender Kevin Akpoguma as an “excellent match” for the Super Eagles.

    The coach embarked on a scouting trip to Germany this past weekend after overseeing Nigeria’s recent matches against Algeria and Argentina.

    Rohr was able to watch a Akpoguma, a long-term target for the Nigerian Football Federation, in action for his club side and has become an admirer of the 22-year-old.

    “I watched him play for Hoffenheim against Frankfurt on Saturday. Kevin is an excellent match for the players we are on the lookout for,” Rohr told SWR.

    “But he’ll have to decide soon whether he wants to wear the colours of Nigeria and I’ll call him in the next few days.”

    When asked about Rohr’s plans to cap him, Germany-born Akpoguma pledged loyalty to the country of his birth: “That honors me, of course, but I’m German, I was born here, so I should play for Germany too.”



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    Algeria coach: We had a very good match – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


    Algerian head coach, Rabah Madjer during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying soccer match between Algeria and Nigeria at Chahid-Hamlaoui stadium in Constantine, Algeria, 10 November 2017.

    by
    Graeme Jackson

    Wednesday Nov 15, 2017. 15:30


    Algeria coach Rabah Madjer was a happy man after watching his team defeat Central African Republic 3-0 in an international friendly at the 5th of July Stadium in Algiers on Tuesday evening.

    Two goals from Yacine Brahimi and a late strike by Islam Slimani secured a comfortable victory for the Fennec Foxes in Madjer’s second game in charge since succeeding Lucas Alcaraz.

    It followed a few days on from their 1-1 draw with Nigeria in Constantine in their final 2018 World Cup qualifier.

    “We had a very good match. We were tactically strong. We have created many opportunities. We dominated the opponent who was solid, especially on the physical level and even in the middle of the field. We scored three goals, it’s a good thing for morale,” said Madjer after the match.

    The new coach added, “Honestly, I’m happy with the victory because we played attractively, and also for the reaction of the players because they have suffered a lot of pressure lately, but I can tell you that I am not 100 percent satisfied. We still have to work to do.”

    Madjer also pointed to Nigeria’s victory over Argentina, and the fact that his team held the Super Eagles, as evidence of progress. He also wants the team’s critics to remain silent for now.

    “Nigeria’s result in the friendly match against Argentina shows that we are on the right path. We tied against Nigeria after we were led,” explained the coach.

    “We had a good match and today’s result proves that we are progressing well. It’s enough to help us. Even those who are against us must help us by their silence.”



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    Christian Atsu to miss Ghana v Egypt, doubtful for Newcastle’s next match – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


    by
    Graeme Jackson

    Sunday Nov 12, 2017. 12:00


    Christian Atsu has been ruled out of Ghana’s final 2018 World Cup qualifier against Egypt later today due to a thigh injury, and is a major doubt for Newcastle United’s next Premier League assignment.

    The Black Stars will host the already-qualified Pharaohs in a dead-rubber clash in Kumasi, but they will do so without their flying winger.

    Atsu picked up a thigh injury and pulled out of Ghana’s training in Kumasi on Wednesday. Further tests have confirmed that the 25-year-old has suffered a thigh muscle tear and is definitely out of contention for match against Egypt.

    This is bad news not just for the Black Stars, but also for Newcastle United. Atsu has been one of manager Rafa Bentiez’s more potent attacking players but looks set for a spell on the sidelines.

    Atsu is a major doubt for the Magpies’ next Premier league match, a high-profile trip to old Trafford to face Manchester United on Saturday 18 November.

    In other Ghana news, captain Asamoah Gyan has also been ruled out of today’s match due to injury, while Patrick Twumasi is doubtful after taking a knock to the ankle in a warm-up match against Glow Lamp Academy.



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    Ghana FA opens formal investigation into match fixing


    by
    Graeme Jackson

    Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 18:00


    The Ghana Football Association’s (GFA) Ethics Committee has opened a formal investigation into allegations of corruption, bribery and match fixing in the country’s domestic game.

    GHANASoccernet reports that, “Club officials have been trading accusations in the media with some brazen with their claims that match fixing, bribery of referees and corruption is rife in the game.”

    In response, the Ethics Committee has promised to investigate the claims and tackpe any untoward behaviour in Ghanaian football.

    “The formal investigation will be swift and thorough as those in authority who have made public and private statements about the issue will be invited to assist in the investigation,” the statement from the Ethics Committee read.

    “Officials who have made general and specific corruption and match fixing allegations will be invited while accused individuals will also be invited.

    “The media and the general public are highly encouraged to assist the Committee with valuable information even on the condition of anonymi



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    Mali coach expects ‘great match’ against Iraq – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


    by
    Graeme Jackson

    Tuesday Oct 17, 2017. 14:30


    Mali coach Jonas Komla says that he expects a “great match” against Iraq in the last 16 of the U-17 World Cup later today.

    The Africans champions will face the Asian side at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao this afternoon, kick-off at 16h30 CAT, in a match which will be covered live by AfricanFootball.

    “The fact that we [Mali] did so well in Chile [the 2015 edition of the U-17 World Cup, where Mali were runners-up to Nigeria] and also because we are the African champions, it’s a positive pressure on the team. It influences our work in a positive sense. Our ambitions are still the same,” said Komla on Monday.

    “I’m expecting a great match. From now on it’s all or nothing. Both teams fully deserve to be here in the round of 16. We respect Iraq but we wish to win tomorrow,” he added.

    Mali’s strong showing at the tournament thus far makes them the favourites against Iraq, who will be without key player Mohammed Dawood due to suspension, but Komla is taking nothing for granted.

    “Unfortunately for Iraq, Dawood is not available for tomorrow but this doesn’t change the philosophy of my team. Iraq are a very strong team with or without Dawood,” Komla explained.

    The winners will face either Ghana or Niger (who play each other on Wednesday) in the quarterfinals.



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    FAF to push for Alcaraz dismissal before Nigeria match – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


    by
    Graeme Jackson

    Tuesday Oct 10, 2017. 13:00


    Algeria coach Lucas Alcaraz could well be relieved of his duties by the country’s Football Federation (FAF) even before their final World Cup qualifier against Nigeria next month.

    The Spaniard was set to be allowed to see out Algeria’s failed qualification campaign, but the weekend defeat to Cameroon – the Fennec Foxes’ fourth in succession in Group B – has prompted the FAF to take a more drastic action, according to Le Buteur.

    Alcaraz’s fate as Algeria’s coach was sealed last month when the team lost back-to-back matches against Zambia and was mathematically eliminated from contention for Russia 2018.

    The FAF will have an executive meeting on Wednesday and it is expected that several influential members will petition president Kheireddine Zetchi to remove Alcaraz with immediate effect.

    This would mean Algeria would head to their final 2018 qualifier against Nigeria next month with yet another new coach in charge.

    Alcaraz received support from Cameroon coach Hugo Broos, who claims that the Spaniard should be given until the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations to prove himself.



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    Marc Wilmots: The match against Morocco will be like a final – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


    by
    Graeme Jackson

    Monday Oct 09, 2017. 21:00


    The Ivory Coast v Morocco match in Abidjan match in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers next month has been likened to a final by Elephants coach Marc Wilmots.

    The Elephants dropped off the summit of Group C this past weekend after they were held 0-0 by Mali in Bamako, allowing Morocco to leapfrog into first place with a 3-0 win over Gabon.

    The top two teams will meet in Abidjan in the final round of matches next month, with Morocco needing only a draw to secure a place in Russia 2018.

    Ivory Coast, meanwhile, must defeat the Atlas Lions to reclaim first place and secure a berth at their fourth successive World Cup.

    Wilmots believed his defence did a superb job in keeping Mali at bay, and also cited their injury problems as a contributing factor in their failure to win.

    “Overall, there was a dominance of Mali which is a very difficult team to play at home,” said the Belgian coach, as quoted by Fratmat.

    “The defence was in place but I think it was the whole team that made the effort,” added Wilmots.

    “The attackers participated in this work. Notably Roger Assalé and Maxwell Cornet.

    “We had a lot of injuries before this game. We had to rebuild a team and quickly. This is the first time this midfielder has played together.”

    The Elephants coach concluded, “We took a point on this game. We will have a final in Abidjan that we must win against Morocco.”



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    Match Officials come under scrutiny following Ghana, Uganda clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


    Frank Acheampong of Ghana challenges Nicholas Wadada of Uganda during the 2018 Fifa World Cup Qualifiers Russia on 07 October 2017 at Mandela Stadium, Namboole, Kampala. ©Ismail Kezaala/BackpagePix

    by
    Staff Reporter

    Sunday Oct 08, 2017. 15:00


    South African referee Daniel Bennett and his assistant match officials have come under immense scrutiny in aftermath of Uganda and Ghana’s goalless stalemate in Kampala on Saturday.

    The Black Stars found the back of the net on two occasions during the course of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier, only for the respective attempts to be chalked off with the assistant’s flagged raised for offside.

    Ghana, desperate for victory to keep the heat on Egypt, scored what looked a legitimate goal with the final kick of the game, only for the assistant to cut short their celebrations.

    JAY-JAY OKOCHA BACKS OSCARINE MASULUKE

    While Bennett was not at fault for the offside call, Ghana felt they should have had a clear penalty in the second stanza – with the referee taking a more diplomatic view.

    Kwesi Appiah and his technical team were left fuming at the final whistle and approached the match officials in protest.

    Officiating has been a hot topic of debate over the past 12 months across Africa, especially in aftermath of the charges against now disgraced official Joseph Lamptey.

    Twitter users took to the social media platform to express their discontent following the stalemate in Kampala.



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    CAF move SuperSport-CA match to Sunday


    Club Africain player Saber Khalifa (L) fights for the ball with Kampala City Council FC players Ibrahim Kizza (C) Brian Umony (R) during the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup game between Club Africain and Kampala City Council FC at Stade Olympique Rades in Tunis, Tunisia on 07 July 2017 © BackpagePix

    by
    Graeme Jackson

    Thursday Sep 28, 2017. 17:30


    The CAF Confederation Cup match between SuperSport United and Club Africain has been shifted from Saturday to Sunday.

    The teams’ semifinal, first-leg clash was initially set to be played on September 30 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Tshwane, kick-off at 15h00 CAT.

    However, CAF have since moved the match to October 1, with the venue and kick-off time remaining the same.

    SuperSport released the following statement:

    “CAF CONFEDERATION CUP FIXTURE CHANGE

    “SuperSport United have received a communique informing us that CAF have decided to re-schedule the match between SuperSport United (RSA) and Club Africain (Tunisia) from Saturday, 30 September 2017 to Sunday, 1 October 2017 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium at 15h00.

    “Since SuperSport United have no choice but to comply, we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused to our supporters and other stakeholders.”

    The other semifinal, first-leg match between TP Mazembe and FUS Rabat will be played in Lubumbashi on the same day, kick-off at 15h30 CAT.



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    Mané delighted with FIFA’s decision to replay Bafana Bafana match – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


    Sadio Mane of Senegal Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

    by
    Staff Reporter

    Friday Sep 22, 2017. 16:00


    Sadio Mané has expressed his delight at FIFA’s decision to replay the South Africa vs Senegal 2018 World Cup qualifier due to a match-fixing scandal.

    The South African Football Association (SAFA) has already agreed that the replay go ahead, and Mané is looking forward to the clash with the Lions of Teranga having lost the initial showdown 2-1 in Polokwane.

    The Liverpool attacker believes that Senegal were unfortunate to lose the tie, describing the goals scored by Bafana Bafana as questionable in an exclusive interview with ESPN FC.

    WILFRIED BONY READY FOR PL START – PAUL CLEMENT

    Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey has been found guilty of manipulating the result of the initial clash, resulting in a lifetime ban.

    “Honestly, I am happy because it was not an easy game for us and it was not an easy situation,” Mané told ESPN. ” Everybody who watched the game knows that it was not a normal thing to deal with.

    “The two goals were very, well … you couldn’t understand them, so it is good for us that FIFA has made the decision and we will take this game seriously and try to win,” the 25-year-old concluded.



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    FIFA will pay SAFA R5 million for the Senegal match – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


    by
    Phumzile Ngcatshe

    Friday Sep 15, 2017. 13:00


    Just after FIFA ordered that South Africa must replay their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Senegal, SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble says the world’s football governing body will pay R5 million for the costs.

    The staggering amount is set to compensate the bill for the encounter which was played in November last year in Polokwane.

    SAFA approached FIFA after it was ordered to replay the counter in November this year where it was discovered that referee Joseph Lamptey manipulated the outcome of the match.

    The Ghanaian referee awarded a penalty as Bafana Bafana clinched a 2-1 win over the Lions of Teranga, but was banned for life by the Switzerland-based organisation.

    However, Mumble has revealed that FIFA has vowed to pick up the bill for the match, with the costs set to escalate beyond the minimum R5 million cap.

    “FIFA have confirmed to us that they will pick up the tab of that match that was played on November 12‚ 2016‚ “ Mumble said to TimesLive.

    “They realise that we were not at fault and these are wasted costs for us. FIFA have confirmed that they will pay.

    “For any international match‚ it depends on the venue and the location‚ but it’s a minimum of R5 million that we spend to put a single Bafana Bafana match together.

    “It involves the stadium hire‚ it involves transportation‚ the further out the match goes from Johannesburg we must fly out even the visiting team to that destination.”

    Mumble also explained that according to the rules‚ visiting teams are responsible for flying themselves to Johannesburg, but if the match is in another province‚ then SAFA picks up the difference.



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    Guinea-Senegal CHAN match postponed to Wednesday


    by
    Graeme Jackson

    Tuesday Aug 22, 2017. 20:38


    The second leg of the 2018 African Nations Championship qualifying tie between Guinea and Senegal has been postponed due to inclement weather.

    The match was scheduled to kick-off at 18h30 CAT at the 28 September Stadium in Conakry on Tuesday evening, but incessant rains have forced match officials to abandon their plans.

    An attempt to play the match within 24 hours of its original time, as per the tournament regulations, will be made on Wednesday.

    “It is because of the heavy rains that still run in the Guinean capital that the game has been postponed,” Senegal FA boss Victor Ciss is quoted by APS.

    The Teranga Lions lead 3-1 from the first leg and are looking to become the 16th and final team to book a spot at the finals in Kenya.



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    Ghana v Congo World Cup match set for September 1 – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


    Andrew Kyere Yiadom of Ghana evades tackle from Mohamed Elneny of Egypt during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Egypt and Ghana at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 25 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

    by
    Graeme Jackson

    Tuesday Aug 08, 2017. 17:00


    Ghana will host Congo at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on September 1 for their next 2018 World Cup qualifying match.

    This means the match will be staged on a working day and the Black Stars may struggle to have the same level of support they enjoyed in a 5-0 win over Ethiopia in 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at the same venue back in June. That match was played on a Sunday.

    The return match between Congo and Ghana will be played four days later at the Stade Alphonse Massamba Debat in Brazzaville.

    The Black Stars, now led by coach James Kwesi Appiah, need a strong set of results against the Red Devils to come back into contention for World Cup qualification.

    They are currently placed third in Group E on one point from two matches, trailing leaders Egypt by five points.

    The Pharaohs will face Uganda in a double-header, with their matches set for August 31 in Kampala and September 5 in Alexandria.



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    Al Ahly face Coton Sport in must-win match


    Al Ahly’s player Mossad Awad (L) in action against Bidvest Wits player Gabadinho Mhango (R) during the African Champions League (CAF) match

    by
    Austin Ditlhobolo

    Friday Jul 07, 2017. 13:30


    Al Ahly will square off with Coton Sport in the 2017 CAF Champions League Group D match at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria on Saturday.

    Kick-off is at 21h00 CAT.

    The Egyptian giants were held to a goalless draw by Zambian side Zanaco in their previous group match which was played in Lusaka last weekend.

    The draw left Al Ahly placed third on the Group D standings with eight points. They are three points behind the group leaders Zanaco.

    A victory over Coton Sport in their final group match will be enough to send Al Ahly to the knockout stages if the other result goes their way.

    Meanwhile, Coton Sport were defeated 2-0 by Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca in their previous group match in Garoua last weekend.

    As a result, the Cameroonian giants, who are still winless, remained at the bottom of Group D standings without a single point from five matches.

    Coton Sport have already been eliminated from this year’s tournament, but they will look to bow out on a winning note against Al Ahly.

    Referee Ferdinand Udoh, who hails from Nigeria, will be in charge of the encounter between Al Ahly and Coton Sport.



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    Namibia camping in Ghana ahead of Guinea-Bissau match


    by
    Austin Ditlhobolo

    Tuesday Jun 06, 2017. 12:30


    Namibia are currently camping in Ghana ahead of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Guinea-Bissau.

    The Brave Warriors are set to take on Djurtus in a Group K encounter at the Estadio 24 de Setembro, in Bissau on Saturday.

    Namibia, who are under the guidance of Ricardo Mannetti, are camping in Ghana as they continue their preparations for their clash against Djurtus.

    South Africa-based duo Benson Shilongo, Willem Mwedihanga were expected to join the Brave Warriors in Ghana after their club, Platinum Stars’ CAF Confederation Cup clash with Tunisian giants CS Sfaxien on Sunday.

    Zamibia and Mozambique will meet in another Group K encounter at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on Saturday.

    Namibia full squad:

    Goalkeepers – Virgil Vries, Maximillian Mbaeva;

    Defenders – Willem Mwedihanga, Tiberius Lombard, Chris Katjiukua, Ferdinand Karongee, Riaan Hanamub, Ananias Gebhardt, Larry Horaeb, Edmund Kambanda;

    Midfielders – Ronald Ketjijere (captain), Denzil Haoseb, Oswaldo Xamseb, Dynamo Fredericks, Wangu Gome Batista, Benyamin Nenkavu, Deon Hotto, Petrus Shitembi, Absalom Iimbondi;

    Forwards – Benson Shilongo, Itamunua Keimuine, Hendrick Somaeb, Peter Shalulile, Roger Katjiteo.



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    Zamalek coach Inacio confirms 22-man squad for USM Alger match – 2017 CAF Champions League


    by
    Graeme Jackson

    Wednesday May 31, 2017. 14:00


    Augusto Inacio, coach of Egyptian giants Zamalek, has announced a 22-man squad for their CAF Champions League match against USM Alger.

    The White Knights will host the Algerians at the Borg El Arab Stadium outside of Alexandria on Friday night for their third Group B match.

    Inacio will be without Ayman Hefny and Osama Ibrahim due to injury, while Tarek Hamed is suspended.

    As a result, he has called Mostafa Fathi, Mahmoud Abdel-Rahim Gennesh and Bassem Morsy back into the squad after they missed the clash against Dakhleya earlier in the week.

    Zamalek squad:

    Goalkeepers: Ahmed El-Shennawy, Mahmoud Abdel-Rahim Gennesh, Omar Salah

    Defenders: Mahmoud Hamdy El-Wensh, Ali Gabr, Mohamed Magdy, Hosni Fathi, Mohamed Nassef, Ahmed Aboul-Fotouh

    Midfielders: Moruf Yusuf, Mohamed Ibrahim, Ahmed Refaat, Salah Rico, Ahmed Tawfik, Mahmoud Abdel-Aati Dunga, Mahmoud Abdel-Razek Shikabala, Ibrahim Salah, Mostafa Fathi

    Forwards: Stanley Ohawuchi, Hossam Paulo, Emmanuel Mayuka, Bassem Morsy



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    Our match against Ahly will be a thriller – Wydad’s Yousef Rabih – African Football


    Al Ahly’s player John Antwi (C) in action against an Wydad Casablanca player Amine Attouchi (R) and goalkeeper Mohamed Akid during the African Champions League (CAF) group stage match between Al Ahly and Asec Mimosas at Borg Al Arab stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 16 July 2016. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

    by
    Graeme Jackson

    Tuesday May 30, 2017. 14:00


    Wydad Casablanca’s CAF Champions League clash away to Al Ahly will be a thriller, according to defender Yousef Rabih.

    The teams will meet in a Group D clash at the Borg El Arab Stadium on Sunday night, with Wydad looking to bounce back after suffering a defeat at the hands of Zambia’s Zanaco in the previous round.

    “We played a very good game, yet we couldn’t score the equaliser, especially with the hot weather conditions and pitch’s atrocious state,” Rabih is quoted by KingFut.

    “However, we are ready to face Al Ahly now and I promise we will compensate for our loss and fight until the end. We can’t lose two consecutive games at this point.

    “We have a complete team right now and I am sure we are capable of beating Al Ahly and Cotton Sport at their homes. I expect that our clash against Al Ahly will be very thrilling.”

    The defender added, “Our team needs to be smart when we’re facing Al Ahly.

    “We need to be very cautious, especially in the first half, as it is very important that we don’t concede.

    “We will also try our best to score during the second half and why not the first one?

    “We will not commit the same mistakes that we did against Zamalek last year.

    “We have a very smart coach who knows how to manipulate these type of games and has a major experience in African football.”



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    City target a win in final home match – ABSA Premiership 2016/17


    Lebogang Manyama of Cape Town City goes past Makhehleni Makhaula of Free State Stars during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 game between Cape Town City and Free State Stars at Cape Town Stadium on 5 May 2017 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

    by
    Graeme Jackson

    Tuesday May 16, 2017. 08:29


    Cape Town City will look to win their final home match of the 2016/17 Absa Premiership season when they host Golden Arrows at Athlone Stadium on 17 May 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

    City suffered their second defeat in the space of three league matches when they were beaten 4-2 at SuperSport United on May 9.

    The Cape Town side has claimed 30 points from 14 home matches this season.

    The Citizens are placed third on the Absa Premiership log with 52 points from 28 matches.

    Arrows ended a five-game winless streak by defeating Baroka FC 3-2 at home on May 13.

    The Durban side has claimed 13 points from 14 away matches this season.

    Abafana Bes’thende are placed ninth on the Absa Premiership log with 35 points from 28 matches.

    In head-to-head stats, City and Arrows have met in just one previous top flight league match.

    That encounter took place earlier this season, with Abafana Bes’thende claiming a 2-0 home win in Durban.

    City’s line-up from their 4-2 loss to SuperSport: Walters; Mkhize, Gumede, Mkeke, Seedat (Dove 87′), Putche, Nodada, Manyama, Moseamedi, Masina (Jayiya 77′), Majoro.

    Arrows’ line-up from their 3-2 win over Baroka: Gumede, Mathiane, Mzava, Mthiyane, Phiri, Dlamini, Jooste, Sibiya (Fikizolo 57′), Mahachi, Magubane, Mutizwa.



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