Football Local Scene
Super Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr has reiterated that he will prepare the squad with the best of his ability and knowledge for this year’s World Cup, but admits it would take a miracle for Nigeria to win the competition.
However, while admitting how difficult it would be for the Eagles to make history at Russia 2018, by becoming the first country outside Europe and South America to snatch the global soccer showpiece’s diadem, Rohr says he is encouraged by the fact that miracles still happen. The Eagles are in Group D alongside Argentina, Iceland and Croatia at the Mundial and would clash against their South American foes in their final group game in Saint Petersburg on June 26.
Las Palmas of Spain midfielder, Oghenekaro Etebo has parried any talk about a possible long spell out on the sidelines, following his apparent injury in action against Villarreal last weekend. Although he was substituted in the match, with pan appearing to be registered on his face, the former Warri Wolves star, who is on loan from CD Feirense, insists he will be back in training soonest and stressed that his substitution at the weekend was just a precaution by his coach.
Las Palmas manager, Paco Jémez also said the substitutions of Erik Exposito and Etebo at half-time was a tactical decision as Villarreal had been winning the midfield battle in the opening 45 minutes.
In Other News,
Enyimba of Aba goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa has thrown a challenge at Barcelona megastar, Lionel Messi, as the shot-stopper says he will not be scared of taking on the Argentine captain if he is fielded for the Super Eagles’ final group match at this year’s World Cup.
Nigeria and Argentina will do battle for the fifth time in a World Cup group match on June 26 and, though, Ezenwa is yet to cement a spot as first choice for the global soccer showpiece, the home-based Eagles captain says he is not scared of facing Messi. Ezenwa stressed that he can hold his own if fielded to man the sticks against The Argies, who are rated among the top favorites to claim the ultimate prize at Russia 2018.
On The International Scene,
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is hoping his side does not suffer another Monday hangover as they look to edge ever closer to the Premier League title at relegation-threatened Stoke.
Two of City’s rare slip-ups this season have come on Monday nights as hopes of an unprecedented quadruple were ended by a shock FA Cup defeat at third-tier Wigan last month, while Everton escaped with a 1-1 draw from the Etihad Stadium back in August. And Guardiola said he would have preferred to play over the weekend as Manchester United cut their city rivals’ lead at the top of the table to 13 points with victory over Liverpool on Saturday.
Manchester United are uncertain about midfielder Paul Pogba’s availability for Tuesday’s Champions League last 16 clash with Sevilla, after the Frenchman missed their 2-1 Premier League win over Liverpool at the weekend. Pogba was ruled out after picking up an injury in the team’s final training session before the match and Mourinho is awaiting information on whether he can shake off the knock in time for the visit of the Spanish side.
United’s record signing Pogba has been criticized for his performances this season and Mourinho benched the 24-year-old for their goalless draw at Sevilla in the first leg last month.
In Other News,
Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has confirmed that he will bring an end to his illustrious career at the end of the current season at the age of 36. Carrick has won 18 trophies in 12 years at United, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2008.
However, he has featured in just four games this season having had a procedure to treat an irregular heart rhythm detected in a League Cup game against Burton Albion in September.
Finally In Golf,
Tiger Woods fell short of an 80th PGA Tour title on Sunday but still gave adoring fans a thrill late in the final round at the Valspar Championship. With victory apparently out of his grasp, Woods stroked a 43-foot birdie putt that broke perfectly into the middle of the 17th hole and took him to the last with a chance of a playoff.
His bid to force eventual winner Paul Casey to extra holes also petered out when his long birdie putt stopped a couple of feet short at the par-four 18th.Do you ever witness anything interesting or exciting? Just take out your phone and send us the exclusive pictures or video and we will pay you cash. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include location, date, involved persons or why it is important and other details.