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Premier LEague

Guinea vs Gambia: 3 key battles to watch

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Gambia’s fairytale ride at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations could take a whole different shape on Monday, January 24, when they play Guinea in their last 16 tie at the Kuoekong Stadium.

Both teams finished as runners-up in their respective groups setting up an intriguing fight for a place in the next round of the competition.

While both teams have had different heroes in their respective games, Premier League News Now takes a look at some key battles that could determine the outcome of the encounter.

ALY KEITA vs MODOU JOBE

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In a battle of the shot-stoppers, both goalkeepers will look to play a key role in ensuring qualification for their respective countries. Aly Keita had his best game at the tournament in the last group game against Zimbabwe, where he conceded two goals in 90 minutes. Keita has recorded two clean sheets in three games against Malawi and Senegal. The 35-year-old was didn’t have much to do against Senegal with his best game coming against Malawi. Keita will look to put the last game behind him and put out his quality against Gambia.

Compared to his rival, Modou Jobe is 2 years younger than Keita. The 33-year-old is having a tournament to remember with Gambia’s debut at the continental showpiece. He may have kept just one clean sheet but Jobe has been a top performer for the Scorpions all tournament. The shot-stopper was rested for the final group game against Tunisia for Baboucarr Gaye. Jobe has managed 3.0 saves per game in the two games he has played in. He will need to come out best if Gambia are to sail through to the next round.

JOSE KANTE vs MUSA BARROW

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Jose Kante is yet to register a goal in the ongoing tournament but the forward has been a good addition to the Guinean side. The Kairat Almaty veteran has given his side the needed presence upfront anytime his side surged forward in the games he has featured. His assist in the opening game against Malawi was crucial but he has not had any attacking return since that game.

Musa Barrow on the other hand squad from the spot in Gambia’s 1-1 draw with Mali while he also played a role in helping his country beat Tunisia to finish top. With three-goal involvements in his first three games in the competitions, Barrow is definitely a player to keep an eye on. It will be the battle of which player turns up for his country in attack to secure a quarter-final berth.

ILAIX MORIBA vs SULAYMAN MARREH

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Looking at it from the perspective of popularity, Moriba stands out top ahead of Marreh. However, this tournament has shown that football is far from just the big names. Moriba has aside the opener, has played in all of Guinea’s games and he will look to orchestrate the midfield against Gambia.

Marreh on the other side proved vital for Gambia in the last game he featured. The Gent midfielder could be the answer to the Scorpions winning the midfield battle against Guinea. A lot will have to go into it though as Guinea prefer to play with a middle four compared to Gambia’s three in the middle.

Considering the surprising results in the first two games of this stage, Gambia will obviously give themselves a good chance against Syli Nations.

MUST READ: Guinea vs Gambia – Match Preview | AFCON 2021












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Premier LEague

Brighton vs West Ham: Match Preview

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It’s the last matchday in the Premier League with still a lot to play for with the title race, UCL places, UEL places, Conference League places and the relegation places yet to be decided. As the league heads into its final fixture, West Ham travels to the South coast to take on Graham Potter’s Brighton & Hove Albion.

Brighton are having a blistering end to their season with the Seagulls losing only once in their last 8 games having defeated Arsenal, Tottenham and Man United in this unbeaten streak. They are on course for a 10th placed finish this season and a win or a draw against David Moyes’ Europe chasing Hammers will do the job for them. West Ham United on the other hand are 2 points behind Manchester United in 6th and will look to take all 3 points from Brighton to clinch a Europa League berth sending the Red Devils to next season’s Conference League.

The clash at the Amex Stadium has really all the ingredients to be an interesting watch with both the home team looking to finish the campaign with a win in front of their supporters while the visiting team looking to play in the Europa League once again next season.

When and Where?

Date: 22nd May 2022.
Time: 3:00 PM (GMT).
Venue: Amex Stadium, Brighton.

Team News

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Graham Potter will be without Jeremy Sarmiento and Jakub Moder who are out with injuries. Tariq Lamptey, Adam Lallana and Adam Webster made a cameo in the last match off the bench and could be in contention to start for the Seagulls. Enock Mwepu is expected to return from injury and also be in contention to start on Sunday.

Michail Antonio was subbed off in West Ham’s last game against Manchester City and is set to remain on the sidelines for the game at Brighton. Benrahma is expected to be back in the starting XI having missed the game against Man City due to an injury. Moyes is expected to field a strong XI to do the job and hopefully secure a Europa League spot for next season.

Match Analysis

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Brighton have deployed a 3 at the back system for the majority of the season with yet another impressive season in the top flight. Graham Potter has played an integral role in his team’s improvement this season with the Seagulls set to finish 10th  (depending on Brentford and Newcastle’s result )or 11th, their highest finish since their promotion to the top flight in the 2019/20 season. Unexpected wins against Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United have proved that the Seagulls are capable of defeating the big boys in the league. The rampant 4-0 win against Manchester United was certainly the best performance under Graham Potter. Ralf Rangnick’s men had no answers to the problems Brighton caused them which saw the Red Devils put their Europa League qualification into further jeopardy. Potter’s men haven’t been at their best at home with only 1 win in their last 9 games.

David Moyes certainly will have to go all guns blazing for this fixture with the chance to once again compete in the Europa League next season. This season’s campaign in the competition saw the Hammers bow out of the semi-finals against Eintracht Frankfurt who went on to win the trophy. The visit to Brighton will not be easy with both the teams sharing the spoils in the reverse fixture in December.

Key Players

Jarrod Bowen

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The Englishman is having his best season in the Premier League with 12 goals and 12 assists this season. The winger has been key to his team’s attack and stepped up remarkably when Michael Antonio was injured for a lengthy period mid season. Bowen has certainly drawn attention from England manager Gareth Southgate and with the World Cup just around the corner, a potential call up for the 25 year old could be on the cards.

Marc Cucurella

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The 23-year-old has been sensational under Graham Potter with the Spaniard winning the club player of the season and players’ player of the season. He has hit the ground running in the Premier League after his move from Getafe in the summer. His versatility has been put to good use by Potter with the 23-year-old playing as a Left Wing Back and Left Center Back for the Seagulls this season. Jarrod Bowen vs Cucurella on the wings would be a fierce battle on the wings and it would be interesting to see who manages to come out on top.

Predicted XIs

Brighton(3-4-3): Sanchez, Cucurella, Dunk, Veltman, Trossard, Lallana, Bissouma, Lamptey, Trossard, Allister, Welbeck.

West Ham(4-2-3-1): Fabianski, Coufal, Zouma, Dawson, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Bowen, Lanzini, Benrahma, Yarmolenko.












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Premier LEague

Twist in the tale for Liverpool’s bid for Fabio Vieira

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The Reds face a major blow in their chase to sign Vieira, as the Portuguese outfit has reported that ‘Liverpool’s first right of refusal with Porto‘ doesn’t exist.

The Porto attacking midfielder has been in sublime form, scoring 6 goals while assisting another 14 goals in the Primeira Liga this season. Vieira was one of the key players in his team’s title winning campaign, this term. So much so, that the 21-year-old Portuguese midfielder caught eyes of the several big European teams.

While Arsenal had been monitoring the player’s development for some time, Liverpool were said to have been in the driving position to land the player at Anfield.  According to the several reports from the Daily Mirror, The Reds reached to an agreement with Porto that allowed them to have the “first refusal” on Vieira.

But, it seems that there is a twist in the tale, as a Portuguese news outfit namely: O Jogo, has provided further more clarity into the whole situation.

According to these reports, Porto FC are not looking to sell either Vitinha or Vieira, in the coming summer transfer market. Moreover, no side have made forward offers for any of the players. This means that, Liverpool have not reached the agreement with the Portuguese side regarding the First refusal of Vieira.

NEW VIEIRA CLAUSE

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Meanwhile, on the contrary to the Daily Mirror claims, O Jogo confirmed Vieira’s actual release clause to be £42.3m and not £12.7million. This could a huge report coming in from Portugal, as the release clause does not look in the budget of Liverpool’s scheme of things.

Having already spent an initial fee of £37m for the purchase of Diaz, it does not look sensible from the Reds point of view to pay more way more than that for a player who has not played outside of Portugal.

VERDICT

Given the recent developments in the saga, I don’t think Liverpool are going to pay this huge sum for the midfielder. And rightly so! Vieira is good, don’t get me wrong, but we do not need to pay a crazy amount like that given there are other players in the same position, of same age group, who will be costing much less.

The Reds have already reached an agreement with Fulham, that would see Fabio Carvalho at Anfield before the start of the next season. Adding to this, the Red Merseysiders are heavily linked to another wonderkid in Calvin Ramsay. So with all of these moves, I think we should not go for any more players, and look to focus on the contract renewal of the players like Keita, Mane, Firmino and Salah- who are into their last year of the contract with the Reds.












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Bet of the Day

Football Betting Tips For Thursday 19th May 2022

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Thursday evening sees Chelsea host Leicester City at Stamford Bridge in the pair’s penultimate game of the Premier League campaign. We have delved through the odds and found our Bet of the Day that comes in at 16/1 on bet365.

Bet of the Day: Chelsea vs Leicester City – Chelsea to win 3-1 @ 14/1 with bet365

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Thursday’s Bet of the Day: Chelsea vs Leicester City

Thursday’s bet of the day comes straight from West London as third placed Chelsea welcome Leicester City to Stamford Bridge with a Champions League spot already secured for the Blues.

Thomas Tuchel is expected to make a flurry of changes for the encounter that could include Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Hakim Ziyech into the starting line-up.

Chelsea have won both of the pair’s last two meetings, most recently in a 3-0 victory at the King Power Stadium in November of last year. Leicester are playing for a top-half finish, but Brendan Rodgers is still also expected to rotate.

We’re backing Chelsea to seal the three points in comfortable fashion and all but secure third place in the Premier League table.

Thursday’s Bet of the Day: Chelsea vs Leicester – Chelsea to win 3-1 @ 14/1 with Bet365

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