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Nigeria coach Keshi to name 35-man squad with Odemwingie in, Uche out

Odemwingie has resolved his problems with the Nigeria FA

Odemwingie has resolved his problems with headcoach Stephen Keshi

Stoke City striker Osaze Odemwingie is set to be named into the Nigerian squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Ikechukwu Uche said to be ignored.

Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi would tomorrow in Abuja list his 35-man provisional list for the World Cup,and would be defending it before the technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF).

Going by the report,with the exception of Villareal forward Ikechukwu Uche,all other players who were part of the victorious 2013 African Nations Cup were all listed. Six local based players from the Nigerian league who participated at the 2014 African Nations Championship(CHAN) were included.

Leon Balogun as expected is equally part of the provisional list,having impressed the technical crew since he made his debut against Mexico in March.

Last week,Osaze Odemwingie while speaking to Skysports said he was optimistic of making the Nigerian team to the World Cup.

“There have been some issues (keeping me out of the team) but they’ve been resolved. As it is, I just have to work hard everyday and perform well for my club, and I’ll be back in the frame (for the World Cup).

“Everything looks good, but I have to play well and, hopefully, I’ll have the chance (to rejoin the team).

“I’ve made myself available and I’ve been in touch with the federation and the coach; everything looks good.”

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Performance of African players in Europe

Bony increased his goal tally for Swansea

Bony increased his goal tally for Swansea

Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony took his season goal tally from all competitions to 19 with a brace as Swansea defeated Newcastle 2-1 at the weekend.

Bony gave the Swans breathing space in the fight against relegation after Nigerian Shola Ameobi had put the Magpies ahead in the English Premier League match.

Malian big man Cheikh Diabate was the toast of Bordeaux, scoring his first hat-trick in a 5-2 drubbing of French Ligue 1 strugglers Guingamp.

Also in France, Cameroon and Lorient attacker Vincent Aboubakar scored twice in stoppage time in a 4-4 draw against Montpellier.

 

ENGLAND

SAMUEL ETO’O (Chelsea)

Cameroon star Eto’o scored his 12th goal in Chelsea’s colours in the 12th minute of their home game with Sunderland, volleying home a corner from Willian. He was to finish on the losing side, however, as goals from Connor Wickham and Fabio Borini gave Sunderland a shock 2-1 win and condemned Jose Mourinho to his first home league defeat as Chelsea manager.

WILFRIED BONY (Swansea City)

Bony scored twice in a 2-1 win at Newcastle United that lifted Swansea six points clear of the relegation zone. The dreadlocked Ivorian striker cancelled out Shola Ameobi’s opener with a header in first-half injury time and then netted a stoppage-time winner from the penalty spot.

SHOLA AMEOBI (Newcastle United)

Nigeria international Ameobi had put Newcastle ahead in the 23rd minute at St James’ Park with his first goal since December 2012. The 32-year-old flicked on a high ball to strike partner Luuk de Jong and then collected the Dutchman’s pass before steering a left-foot shot past visiting goalkeeper Michel Vorm.

PETER ODEMWINGIE (Stoke City)

Odemwingie found himself at the centre of controversy after winning a penalty against former club Cardiff City in a 1-1 draw. The Nigerian forward went down after a challenge from behind by Kim Bo-kyung in first-half stoppage time, with Marko Arnautovic scoring from the spot, but Peter Whittingham equalised with a penalty of his own in the second half. Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his players had been “incensed” by the penalty won by Odemwingie.

SPAIN

STEPHANE MBIA (Sevilla)

Cameroonian midfielder Mbia scored his third goal for the club as the Andalusians continued their fine form with a 4-0 thrashing of Granada. Sevilla are just three points behind Athletic Bilbao in fourth place and the sides meet this weekend.

ALEX SONG (Barcelona)

Cameroon midfielder Song played the full 90 minutes as Barcelona maintained their La Liga title hopes by coming from behind to beat Bilbao 2-1 at Camp Nou.

ITALY

GERVINHO (AS Roma)

Roma maintained their slim hopes of challenging leaders Juventus for the title with a 1-0 win at Fiorentina, but Ivorian Gervinho wasted a great opportunity to score before Radja Nainggolan’s 26th-minute winner when he side-footed wide of the open goal after being set up by Adem Ljajic’s counter-attack.

ADEL TAARABT (AC Milan)

Milan’s resurgence under Clarence Seedorf continued with a fourth straight win from a 3-0 home rout of Livorno and Moroccan international Taarabt fired an early warning to the Serie A strugglers with an audacious long-range strike that inched just over the crossbar. Taarabt finally grabbed his first goal at the San Siro when he combined with Mario Balotelli to dribble through the defence and beat Francesco Bardi from seven yards.

KWADWO ASAMOAH (Juventus)

Juventus ground out a 1-0 win at home to Bologna to edge closer to a third consecutive scudetto. It was a cagey win and Ghanaian Asamoah was given little opportunity to express his offensive skills to the full. At the end of the first half he saw one delivery for striker Sebastian Giovinco go amiss and did little else of note in a win which kept Juve eight points ahead of second-placed Roma with four games remaining.

FRANCE

CHEIKH DIABATE (Bordeaux)

It was a red letter day for the Mali international as he celebrated his first hat-trick in Bordeaux’s 5-2 drubbing of Guingamp. In fine form after injury, the 25-year-old striker’s treble came in the first half to bring his tally for the season to 11. With justification he took home the match ball.

ABOUBACAR DEMBA CAMARA (Ajaccio)

The Guinea teenager scored in the fourth minute, but that was the only bright point as the striker’s side went on to lose 2-1 at Corsican rivals Bastia to condemn Ajaccio to life in the second division next season.

VINCENT ABOUBAKAR (Lorient)

The 22-year-old Cameroon attacker played the role of super sub. Introduced late on against Montpellier with his side trailing 2-1 they were set for a 4-2 defeat before his 90th and 93rd-minute goals produced an improbable draw. That took his haul for the campaign to 16, with only PSG’s mighty Zlatan Ibrahimovic on 25 above him.

GERMANY

DIDIER YA KONAN (Hanover 96)

The Ivory Coast forward scored what proved the winner in Hanover’s 3-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt to help keep them out of danger in the Bundesliga relegation battle. Playing as Hanover’s lone striker, Ya Konan slammed home his second goal in as many games when he hit a 29th-minute goal from the edge of the box which gave the diving Eintracht goalkeeper Kevin Trapp no chance.

IBRAHIMA TRAORE (VfB Stuttgart)

The Guinea international weighed in with an assist in Stuttgart’s 3-1 romp against Schalke 04, which was a huge boost for the hosts’ survival chances. Traore fired in a cross from the right wing which Germany striker Cacau headed home on 54 minutes to make it 2-0.

RUSSIA

CHRISTOPHER SAMBA (Dynamo Moscow)

The Congo Brazzaville defender had a good chance to double the lead against FC Krasnodar midway through the second half, but his header was parried and the visitors went on to win 2-1 against a tiring 10-man Dynamo side.

SEYDOU DOUMBIA (CSKA Moscow)

The Ivory Coast striker missed a clearcut early chance, converted a late first-half penalty and set up the final goal in a 4-0 triumph at Kuban Krasnodar before being substituted eight minutes from time.

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Eto’o out of Chelsea Champions League semis tie against Athletico Madrid

Eto'o will miss Chelsea's match against Athletico Madrid

Eto’o will miss Chelsea’s match against Athletico Madrid

Chelsea’s leading goalscorer Samuel Eto’o has been ruled out of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg clash at Atletico Madrid due to injury.

The Cameroon international has a “minor knee irritation”, according to the London club’s official website.

Making the trip to Madrid however are Senegal striker Demba Ba and Nigeria midfielder Mikel Obi whiles Egypt star Mohamed Salah also remains in London as he is cup-tied.

Eto’o, 33, has been Chelsea’s main striker on big days this season and his absence would represent a significant blow to manager Jose Mourinho’s plans.

In his time in Spain with Real Madrid, Real Mallorca and Barcelona, Eto’o scored seven goals in 12 appearances against Atletico.Jose Mourinho enjoys a healthy record against Diego Simeone’s men.

Mourinho’s record in nine games against Atletico over three seasons with Real Madrid was eight wins and one defeat.

The only loss was in last season’s Copa Del Rey final.

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Roma not the only Italian club after Ivorian striker Drogba, Juve likely to make a move

Drogba could move to the Serie A

Drogba could move to the Serie A

Juventus won’t give AS Roma a clear run at Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba.

The Chelsea legend is off contract in June and his camp has entered talks with Roma.

However, Sportmediaset says Juve are also interested in Drogba and have held a round of negotiations themselves.

Drogba is seen at Juve as a replacement for Dani Osvaldo, who will be sent back to parent club Southampton at the end of the season.

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Senegalese striker Cisse’s season with Newcastle comes to an end

Papisse Cisse suffered an injury against Swansea

Papisse Cisse suffered an injury against Swansea

Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse’s season is over due to injury.

The Evening Chronicle says the diagnosis of the No 9’s injury picked up against Swansea City proved to be a broken kneecap which is likely to require an operation.

He will now miss games with ArsenalCardiff City and Liverpool and face a summer of rehab.

Cisse discovered the bad news after a scan yesterday.

The news will mean Turkish sides Trabzonspor and Fenerbahçe will have to rethink their early-summer plans in the transfer market with both to make a move for Cisse during the transfer window.

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Besiktas joins race for ace Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o

Samuel Eto'o could leave Chelsea this summer

Samuel Eto’o could leave Chelsea this summer

Besiktas are moving for Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o.

The Cameroon icon comes off contract at the end of this season.

The Daily Mail says Besiktas have sent delegates to London to open talks over contract offers and terms have been discussed at around £6.5million-a-year.

Eto’o's current contract with Chelsea will end this summer  and clubs are keen on acquiring the services of the four-time African footballer of the year.

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Hull City Boss Steve Bruce insists Nigerian Striker Aluko is still a big part of Hull Future

 

Hull City striker Sone Aluko

Hull City striker Sone Aluko

Hull City boss Steve Bruce says Nigerian striker Sone Aluko is a big part of their future.

The Nigeria midfielder has questioned his position at the club recently.

Bruce told the Hull Daily Mail: “I have to try and tell him he’s not quite there. I try to be honest with all of them, but I think most people would say the same thing.

“Sone is a big part of what we’re doing here, but I’ve not seen the real him until he came off the bench last weekend. He looked to have all his movement back and made a great impact.

“In my eyes Sone Aluko is a £6m player. Just because we paid that for Jelavic and Long it doesn’t mean he’s out on his ear. We just need him to get fit and be Sone Aluko again.”

 

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Nigerian striker Ameobi insists morale in Newcastle dressing room is still high

Ameobi denies rift in Newcastle

Ameobi denies rift in Newcastle

Shola Ameobi insists Newcastle United morale remains strong inside the dressing room.

The Magpies slipped to a fifth successive Barclays Premier League defeat for the first time when they went down 2-1 to Swansea at St James’ Park on Saturday.

Asked if everyone was still together within the camp, Ameobi said: “Yes, the dressing room is.

“It’s been tough for us, obviously, but one thing that has remained is that spirit to want to work hard for each other and to fight, to keep on fighting despite the adversity that we have faced in the last few games.

“I thought we showed character there. It was always going to be a tough match – the fans, obviously, were expecting better from us and for the large part, I thought we did that.

“But it’s just again a failure to put teams away and to stop conceding. Essentially we failed again and we lost another game.”

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Ghanaian defender Opare edging close to Standard Liege exit

Opare could leave Standard Liege this summer

Opare could leave Standard Liege this summer

Ghana defender Daniel Opare appears set to sign for an unnamed German Bundesliga side as he remains deadlock in talks to renew his contract with Standard Liege, according to reports.

The 23-year-old will be out of contract at the end of the current campaign is being chased by clubs in Germany.

English giants Arsenal are also said to be interested but are waiting until the summer to take a definitive decision on the move.

Opare joined Standard Liege in 2010 from Castilla, the youth side of Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Talks over a contract renewal at the Belgian club have however dragged on for months – hinting at the Ghanaian’s possible exit.

Opare’s availability as a free agent makes him even more attractive for his suitors who will be spending absolutely nothing to sign him in the summer.

 

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Ivorian striker Bony happy to help Swansea push for Premier League stay

Bony is Swansea's leading scorer

Bony is Swansea’s leading scorer

Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony was delighted with Swansea City‘s win at Newcastle United.

The victory eased Swansea six points clear of the drop zone with three games to play, and that, rather than taking his personal tally for the season to 22 goals, was the most pleasing aspect of the trip to Tyneside for Bony.

Asked if it was his most important contribution to date, he told the Swans official website: “You can say that because it gave us three points that were crucial.

“I was just focusing on two things: one was to score, and the other was looking back at the time on the clock to see how long we had left to play.

“There were no nerves. I practised in training a few days ago and it’s always the same – the only thing that changes is what side to go.

“It’s always good when you score in the last minute, but when the team wins, its fantastic.”

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