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Real Madrid favourable in excess of Cristiano Ronaldo but will he be in shape enough for UCL closing?

MADRID — Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane‘s is certain that Cristiano Ronaldo‘s restoration skills indicate he will be “150 p.c” ready for the Champions League closing against Liverpool on May 26 should ease problems between fans who saw their team’s talisman substituted at half-time of the weekend’s Clasico

On the other hand, Zidane’s vagueness about regardless of whether Ronaldo will be equipped to face Villarreal in his team’s closing 2017-18 game in La Liga a week prior to the Champions League showpiece indicates that the Portugal captain could very well begin in Kiev obtaining not kicked a ball competitively for a few weeks.

Madrid have but to supply any make any official club assertion on the extent of the ankle injury picked up as Ronaldo scored for Madrid immediately after just fifteen minutes of the 2-2 draw against Barcelona, and which he carried or the remainder of the first fifty percent prior to leaving at the break.

Zidane admitted immediately after that game at Camp Nou that the 33-year-old was “concerned” about the injury, as the ankle joint experienced swollen up, and that checks would take place back in the Spanish club on Monday.

No specifics of these exams have been made the community, despite the fact that local media have been briefed that the challenge is not too really serious. Madrid is ordinarily cautious of providing away too substantially details with their official clinical statements and had been usually not likely to make any concrete predictions in this scenario.

At Tuesday’s post-schooling news conference, Zidane was keen to speak up Ronaldo‘s “commitment” and “ambition,” and said it was “amazing” that he was now going for walks on the afflicted joint.

A probable problem is that Ronaldo has experienced hassle with his right ankle prior to, like an operation in July 2008 when he was still a Manchester United player. After moving to Madrid the following summer months, he hurt the exact joint in a Champions League team game against Marseille, rushed back to play a crucial World Cup qualifier for Portugal, but experienced to be substituted and then skipped his country’s playoff win against Bosnia; Herzegovina. He did not play again right up until returning in a Clasico two months afterwards.

This time, it is the summer’s World Cup which is looming and Portugal’s opening Team B game is on June fifteen against Spain in Sochi.

Ronaldo was usually most likely to be rested for Wednesday’s La Liga vacation to Sevilla, in line with a policy agreed with Zidane which has seen the No. 7 play just two of the team’s very last six away fixtures in La Liga. But he will want to attribute in at minimum a person of their very last two domestic matches — at home to Celta Vigo on Saturday night, and on the closing day at Villarreal on May 18 or 19 — to get him physically ready for the Champions League closing.

Managing Madrid’s report all-time scorer’s minutes domestically has paid out off in the Champions League: Ronaldo has fifteen goals in his 10 games so far this season, like a few strikes in the round of sixteen against Paris Saint-Germain, and a further a few in the quarterfinals against Juventus — like that amazing overhead kick.

People displays against PSG and Juve again underlined Ronaldo’s worth to Madrid on the greatest occasions, particularly with the ahead now ordinarily actively playing substantially nearer to goal, and focusing on changing probabilities created by his teammates somewhat than environment them up himself.

On the other hand, Zidane’s facet still progressed earlier Bayern Munich in the semifinals devoid of Ronaldo obtaining the net. In its place, it was Marcelo, Asensio and Karim Benzema who stepped up on those people occasions.

Really should Real Madrid‘s worst fears be realised and Ronaldo is ruled out of the closing against Liverpool, Asensio is the most likely to profit with a starting up spot. Benzema’s modern return to variety indicates he is also absolutely sure to be in the XI in Kiev.

Bale’s equaliser against Barcelona on Sunday was a further reminder of the Welshman’s quality still left boot, however, Zidane appears to have made a decision that tactically the team is greater devoid of him starting up large games. Isco has not performed because a shoulder injury picked up in the first leg in Munich, but should return to motion in La Liga this week and will most likely play as a fourth midfielder against Klopp’s men.

Zidane’s responses on Tuesday had been plainly built to nix any concept that Ronaldo will not make it to the closing in Kiev. And it does appear to be most likely that only a truly serious setback will now end Ronaldo from starting up against Liverpool. But regardless of whether Madrid’s top scorer and an essential player will be capable of firing on all cylinders by that point is something only time will notify.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Vincent Aboubakar – Cameroonian’s club still fighting for UCL progression – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Porto’s striker Vincent Aboubakar

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 13:00


Vincent Aboubacar’s Porto are still fighting to secure progression in the UEFA Champions League after drawing 1-1 with Besiktas in midweek.

The Tuesday evening clash at the Vodafone Stadium in Istanbul saw Porto claim the lead through Felipe, only to be pegged back by Talisca. Aboubacar played the full 90 minutes, as did fellow African star Yacine Brahimi.

The result saw the Turkish side secure top spot in Group G and a place in the knockout rounds, but the Portuguese giants were left level with RB Leipzig on seven points in the battle for second place.

The fate of Aboubacar’s side will rest on their final group stage clash at home to Monaco on December 6, where they will need to equal or better Leipzig’s result at home to Besiktas.

In the meantime, Aboubacar will ready himself for Porto’s next domestic league match, as they travel to Desportivo Aves on Saturday night and look to maintain their place at the top of the Primeira Liga standings.



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Vincent Aboubacar – Cameroonian fresh from UCL victory – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


FC Porto’s Vincent Aboubakar scored twice at Boavista

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 02, 2017. 13:00


Cameroonian forward Vincent Aboubacar helped Porto claim a 3-1 home win over RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night.

The Indomitable Lions attacker played the full 90 minutes for Sergio Conceicao’s team at the Estadio do Dragao and provided an assist for the final goal of the night, scored by teammate Maximiliano Pereira in injury time.

The result is a major boost to Porto’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout rounds of the competition, seeing them move up to second place on the Group G log with six points.

They trail leaders Besiktas by four points and enjoy a two point and four point lead over RB Leipzig and Monaco respectively.

Aboubacar’s side will next be in European action on November 21 when they travel to Istanbul to take on Besiktas.

Meanwhile, the Cameroonian will turn his attention to domestic matters, with Porto set to play Belenenses at home on Saturday night, followed by the international break.

Aboubacar is expected to be named in Cameroon’s squad for their final, dead-rubber 2018 World Cup qualifier against Zambia in Ndola on November 11.



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Africans to watch in tonight’s UCL matches – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Sep 26, 2017. 11:00


AfricanFootball picks out some of the continent’s likely stars when Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) kicks off on Tuesday night with eight matches across Europe.

The pick of the games comes from Group H, where Borussia Dortmund will host Real Madrid. The match see Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang come up against a team he has made no secret of his admiration for, and he could view this as an opportunity to convince the Spanish giants that he should be their next ‘Galactico’.

The Panthers attacker is in sublime form, having netted a hat-trick for BVB in their 6-1 demolition of Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga this past weekend.

The group’s other match will see Serge Aurier hoping to make amends for Tottenham Hotspur when they play away to APOEL. The Ivorian was sent off in his first Premier League start this past weekend and could do with a strong showing in Cyprus to win over the Spurs faithful.

Liverpool will look to Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to use their speed in attack when they head to Russia for tricky Group E match at Spartak Moscow, while the African trio of Amadou Diawara, Kalidou Koulibaly and Faouzi Ghoulam could feature for Napoli in their must-win match at home to Feyenoord in Group F.

Group G’s matches will see Naby Keita’s RB Leipzig looking to claim a win in Turkey against Besiktas, while Keita Balde and Vincent Aboubacar could feature in attack for Monaco and Porto respectively – a match which could also see Algerians Rachid Ghezzal and Yacine Brahimi cross swords.

UEFA Champions League Matchday 2 fixtures, 26 September

All matches kick-off 20h45 CAT

Group E

Sevilla v Maribor

Spartak Moscow v Liverpool

Group F

Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk

Napoli v Feyenoord

Group G

Besiktas v RB Leipzig

Monaco v Porto

Group H

APOEL v Tottenham Hotspur

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid



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Unforgettable UCL action awaits Coetzee, Ndlovu – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Bongani Zungu and Rivaldo Coetzee of South Africa during the Bafana Bafana training on the Peoples Park training fields at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa on June 08, 2015 ©Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Saturday Aug 26, 2017. 17:00


South African duo, Rivaldo Coetzee and Dino Ndlovu, are set for an unforgettable UEFA Champions League campaign with Celtic and Qarabag respectively.

No matter how far their club side’s progress in this season’s premier European competition, it is destined to be a memorable campaign for both players with trips to some of the world’s best club teams.

It was this week confirmed that Coetzee, 20, would be joining Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic with the ‘Hoops’ to come up against Bayern Munich, Paris-Saint Germain and Anderlecht in this season’s UEFA Champions League group stages.

Ndlovu, who played in integral part in leading his Azerbaijani side to a first UCL campaign, will come go head-to-head with Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Roma in Group C.

In contrast, things are a bit easier for the likes of Bongani Zungu, Thulani Serero and Amajita ace Luther Singh, who will play in the Europa League this season.

This is who the South African stars’ will come up against in Europe’s second tier competition:

Zungu’s Vitória Guimarães: Red Bull Salzburg, Marseille and Konyaspor.

Thulani Serero’s Vitesse: Lazio, Nice and Zulte-Waragem.

Lither Singh’s Braga: Hoffenheim, Ludogorets and İstanbul Başakşehir.



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