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Get exclusive match previews, reviews, off-the-pitch and on-the-pitch news & videos curated by My11’s trusted pundits in Nigeria.




Match of the Week

Leicester V Man Utd

Leicester City v Manchester United - 26/07/2020 17:00
MY11 SAY 2-1

The King Power Stadium will be the venue for the decider of the UEFA Champions League slot between Wilfred Ndidi’s Leicester City v Kelechi Iheanacho’s Manchester City.

 

In 27 Premier League meetings between these two teams, Leicester have won just 2 games while Manchester United have won 18 matches. The Red Devils have won 4 of their last 5 clashes, the other one ending in a 2-2 draw.

 

Leicester will be without 3 of their best 4 defenders, Ben Chilwell, Çağlar Söyüncü and Ricardo Pereira, as well as midfielder James Maddison. Man United will monitor the fitness of Luke Shaw ahead of the tie.

 

Both teams need this match as a win for either of them will secure a top 4 finish. They can both still finish in the top 4, this depends on Chelsea’s result. It will be a very close game and likely going to end in a draw or Leicester may just edge it with a narrow win

 

24/07/2020 10:53

Match of the Week

Chelsea V Wolverhampton

Chelsea v Wolverhampton Wanderers - 26/07/2020 17:00
MY11 SAY 2-2 DRAW

The Stamford Bridge will host the fierce encounter between Chelsea, who’s aiming to qualify for the Champions League, and Wolverhampton Wanderers, who want to secure qualification for the Europa League.

 

In 11 Premier League meetings between these two teams, Chelsea have won 8 games while Wolves have won only 2. The Blues have won 3 of their last 5 clashes, the visitors have picked up only 1 point from their last travel to the ‘Bridge'.

 

Chelsea will be without injured Ngolo Kante and Billy Gilmour.  Wolves, on the other hand, have all their players available.

 

This is definitely going to be an entertaining clash with two good attacking sides. Chelsea need at least a draw to secure Champions League spot, Wolves need a win to qualify for Europa. A draw may be enough but it will depend on the result of Tottenham Hotspur. This could end in a draw or the visitors can capitalize on Chelsea’s poor defence and nick a win.

 

24/07/2020 10:52

Review

Liverpool V Chelsea

Rampant Liverpool edge Chelsea in an 8-goal thriller - RESULT: 5 - 3

Premier League champions Liverpool ended their last home game of the season with a bang, by defeating Chelsea 5-3 in all attacking game at the Anfield Stadium.

 

Liverpool took the lead in the 23rd minute with a thunderous shot from Nabil Keita. Trent Alexander-Arnold made it 2 from a freekick in the 38th minute. Georginio Wijnaldum scored the 3rd goal of the game 5 minutes later before Olivier Giroud pulled one back for the visitors just before the break.

 

 

Roberto Firmino scored his first Anfield goal for the season by making it 4-1 in the 55th minute before Tammy Abraham scored Chelsea’s 2nd goal 6 minutes later. Christian Pulisic scored the 3rd goal for the Blues in the 73rd minute, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s late goal ended Frank Lampard’s hope of a comeback.

 

Liverpool were given their Premier League title and medals after the game, but Chelsea will have to avoid a defeat in their last match against Wolverhampton Wanderers to secure qualification for the UEFA Champions League.

23/07/2020 08:32

 

No Ballon d’Or for 2020: right or wrong decision?

The 2020 edition of the prestigious Ballon d’Or award has been cancelled, after organisers of the award Group L’Equipe confirmed it, but was the decision to cancel the award a right decision or a wrong one?

 

The major excuse for cancelling the award was because professional football matches had stopped for a while due to the Coronavirus. Even though 4 of the major leagues (Spain, England, Italy and Germany) resumed, the stakeholders still believed the conditions under which giving the award could not be met.

 

A statement from the organisers says: “As the organisers of the Ballon d’Or, the Group L’Equipe, to which France football belongs, decided not to award the most prestigious individual trophy there is in 2020”.

 

This is the first time when neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi is favourites to win the award, with Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos tipped for the award.

 

The winners of the award have always come from the major leagues, and the major leagues resumed football, so, there was no reason why the award should not have been given. This is because Spain and Germany already concluded their season, while England and Italy will finish soon, and the new season will kick off from September, this alone is a good enough reason to end the season.

 

Before COVID-19, clubs always go on 3 months break from May to August, and now they went on about 3 months forced break before resuming. If players can finish the season against all odds, L’Equipe should have awarded the trophy against all odds.

 

The award is given to the best players, according to votes, and the best players are the players that did better than others in the season. Since the season is concluded or will be concluded, we believe they 2020 Ballon d’Or should not have been cancelled.

 

Should they have cancelled the Ballon d’Or?

21/07/2020 11:49

Match of the Mid-Week

Liverpool V Chelsea

Liverpool v Chelsea - 22/07/2020 21:15
MY11 SAY 2-2 DRAW

Anfield will host the highly-anticipated showdown between Liverpool and Chelsea, in a game where the host will want to maintain their pride, while the visitors will want to secure Champions League spot.

 

In 55 Premier League meetings between these teams, Liverpool have won 21 games, while Chelsea have won 20 matches. The Reds have won 2 of their last 5 encounters, while the Blues have won just 1, with the other 2 ending in a draw.

 

Liverpool will be without Joel Matip and captain Jordan Henderson because of injuries, while Dejan Lovren and James Milner are not match-fit. Chelsea will monitor N'Golo Kante’s fitness ahead of the clash.

 

Liverpool have not been impressive since winning their first League title in 30 years, but they are unbeaten at home in 58 games and will want to continue in that form, while a win for Chelsea will be enough to secure a Champions League spot. This will be a close tie that may end in a draw.

 

What are your predictions?

21/07/2020 09:56

Review

Juventus V Lazio

Ronaldo sets new European record as Juventus beat Lazio - RESULT: 2 - 1

Five-tome Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace to set a new record as Juventus defeated rivals Lazio 2-1 at the Allianz Stadium, as the Old Lady go 8 points clear at the top.

 

The first half ended, but it took 6 minutes after the restart for Cristiano Ronaldo to score the first goal of the game from the penalty spot. 3 minutes later in the 54th minute, the Portuguese added the 2nd and his 30th of the season. Ciro Immobile pulled one back for Lazio in the 83rd minute to score his 30th goal of the season, but it was not enough to earn a point.

 

 

With that win, Juventus have now gone 8 points clear of second placed Inter Milan, and need just 2 more wins to win their 8th straight league title, while Lazio remain 4th on the log, 1 win away from securing Champions League place.

 

Ronaldo’s first goal in the game was his 50th in the Serie A, and he became the first player in history to score 50+ goals in the Premier League, La Liga and in the Serie A. he can also become the first player in history to win the top scorer in the 3 leagues.

 

Juventus have once again shown why they are the best team in the division, despite some poor results since the restart, the inconsistency of clubs like Inter, Atalanta and Lazio, means the Turin giants will likely win their 9th straight Scudetto.

21/07/2020 09:54

 

Check out 5 EPL clubs coached by their former players

It is now becoming a common trend for top clubs to appoint their former players as managers of the club. Here we take a look at the Premier League clubs, who have their former players as their managers, ranking them from the oldest to the newest. Has anyone been successful yet? Read more to find out

 

5. Mikel Arteta – Arsenal | Arteta joined Arsenal from Everton in the summer of 2011 and played for the Gunners till his retirement in 2016. He returned to the Emirates as manager on the 20th of December 2019, after working as assistant manager under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

 

 

As an assistant at the Etihad, he won lots of trophies, but for Arsenal, he has a chance to win his first silverware as he has led the team to the FA Cup final. Arteta learnt a lot during his spell under Guardiola, as he has brought balance to the Arsenal team, he just needs to work on the defence, and the Gunners may return to their old glory.

 

4. Frank Lampard – Chelsea | Arguably the greatest player in the Blues history, Lampard played for Chelsea from 2001 to 2014, becoming the club’s highest goal scorer of all time. He was appointed as the manager in the summer of 2019, after a successful first season as Derby County manager.

 

 

This is Lampard’s second season as a manager, and just like Arteta, he also has the chance to win his first trophy, as he will lead his Chelsea side to the FA Cup final. His attacking style is beautiful to watch, but defending, his team is very poor.

 

3. Ole Gunnar Solskjær – Manchester United | The babyface assassin was a super-sub for the Red Devils in his days. He played for the Old Trafford landlords from 1996 to 2007. He was appointed caretaker coach in December 2018 and was appointed as a permanent manager on March 28, 2019.

 

 

Solskjaer is the only one on the list to have won a top-flight trophy but in Norway. The major challenge with Ole’s team is consistency. They can go 10 games unbeaten, and go another 10 matches with struggles. He needs to create a balance in his team ahead of the new season, and the FA Cup semifinal loss to Chelsea is a wakeup call.

 

2. Chris Wilder – Sheffield United | Wilder made his professional debut for Sheffield United in 1986 and left the club in 1992. He returned to the Blades in 1998 and played for just one season. He was appointed manager of the club on May 12, 2016, and has been the one in charge since then.

 

 

Wilder is arguably Sheffield’s greatest manager, after leading them to 2 promotions from the 3rd tier football, and they are close to making the European place. His brand of football to the EPL, with attacking fullbacks is unique, and at this rate, Wilder is meant for the top.

 

1. Eddie Howe – Bournemouth | Howe is in his second spell as the manager of Bournemouth, just like he has 2 spells for the Cherries as a player. He graduated from the club’s academy in 1994 and played till 2002. He returned in 2004 before retiring in 2007. He became the first team coach in 2008 and was sacked in 2011. He returned as manager a year later, and he has been the in-charge since then.

 

 

Following impressive results for Bournemouth, Howe was tipped to coach Arsenal and Manchester United, but with the Cherries’ poor performance in recent games, and a possible relegation, Howe is in for a tough summer.

 

Many of the players to have coached their former teams did not turn out successful, but in recent times, Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane have shown that success is possible, after leading Barcelona and Real Madrid to trophies respectively.

 

Who is your favourite among all of them?

20/07/2020 14:18

 

Zidane: Transition from a great player to one of the greatest coaches in Real Madrid’s history

It is a known fact that most great players don’t turn out to become great managers, Zinedine Zidane however, who is among the all-time greats is changing that narrative by becoming one of the greatest coaches in the history of Real Madrid. As a player, Zidane won 14 major trophies for Bordeaux, Juventus, Real Madrid and the French national team, including the FIFA World Cup in 1998. He also won lots of individual awards, including FIFA World Player of the Year 3 times and the Ballon d’Or in 1998.

 

 

The 48-year-old started his coaching career as an assistant to Carlo Ancelotti in 2013, winning the UEFA Champions League before becoming the coach of Real Madrid Castilla (the team B of the Los Blancos). In January 2016, the Frenchman was appointed as the first-team coach, leading his team to a Champions League triumph in just six months. Real Madrid then won the next two UCL titles, becoming the first team to win the prestigious trophy 3 times in a row in the new era.

 

Zidane resigned after the 2018 victory, and after a series of poor results for Real Madrid in the months following, he returned as head coach on March 11th 2019. His return yielded massive fruit, even though many pundits and writers criticised him for returning to Real Madrid, saying he would tarnish his image and reputation, but trust Zidane ‘ma fo’! He lead the Merengues to two titles in his full season in charge.

 

 

Real Madrid returned from the lockdown break with great form, winning 10 straight games since the return, dropping points only in their last game of the season over Leganes. Zinedine Zidane is now the Real Madrid manager with the 2nd highest number of trophies in the history of the club, with 11 titles, winning the 2019-2020 Supercopa de España (Spanish Super Cup) and the La Liga. He is 3 titles behind Miguel Muñoz, who led the club to 14 titles.

 

No matter what anyone will say about Zinedine Zidane, he will be remembered as one of the greatest players and one of the greatest coaches of all time, with his success at Real Madrid.

 

Do you rate Zidane as part of your ‘Top 5 greatest managers’?

20/07/2020 10:51

 

Blame UEFA not Man City for CAS judgement

Manchester City had the last laugh against the European football governing body, UEFA, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned the ban slapped on the Premier League side. But who is to blame?

 

Many football fans, including Premier League managers Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp, have hit out at CAS for ruling in favour of their rivals, Man City, but truthfully we think UEFA deserves all the criticism not Pep Guardiola side and we will explain why.


UEFA failed on their part, by following allegations made by German newspaper Der Spiegel, who published documents that claimed City had inflated the value of a sponsorship deal and misled UEFA.


CAS has ruled that Manchester City did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the 5 year time period, as most of them were between 2012 and 2016. Therefore, CAS overturned the decision to ban the club from UEFA competitions.

 

Then questions were asked if City did not commit any breach, why was their fine reduced from €30m (£27m) to €10m (£9m)? You don’t pay for fines if you did not commit a crime. Let us answer that very simply, it is because Man City failed to co-operate with UEFA on the investigation and that did not warrant a ban.

 

Last-last, you will agree with us that this drama could have been avoided, if only UEFA had done a thorough investigation, instead of depending on rumours from a magazine. So, the blame should go to the European football governing body and not Manchester City, because according to CAS, they did not commit any crime.

17/07/2020 12:07

Review

Real Madrid V Villarreal

Benzema’s brace gives Real Madrid 34th La Liga title - RESULT: 2 - 1

Karim Benzema was the star at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano, as his 2 goals against Samuel Chukwueze’s Villarreal to hand Real Madrid their 34th La Liga title.

 

Benzema scored the opener in the 29th minute after Luca Modric gave a lovely pass to the Frenchman. The Real Madrid top scorer then scored his second goals from the penalty, after captain Sergio Ramos was brought down in the 18-yard. Ramos initially took the spot-kick by giving a lovely pass to Benzema, but the goal was chalked off due to encroachment.

 

 

The win for Real Madrid means they are now the champions of the 2019-2020 Spanish la Liga season, while Villarreal have secured their place in the Europa League despite the loss.

17/07/2020 10:07

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