Manchester United – Real Madrid
The route to qualification for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tournament was different for both sides. While the Super Eagles walloped Liberia 6-1, the Stallions needed a stoppage time goal to edge out the Central African Republic 3-3 on aggregate scores.
But that is where the difference ends, and since their 1-1 draw on January 21, both sides have grown in stature and will now contest the final of the 2013 edition of the Nations Cup with a chance to represent Africa in the Fifa Confederations Cup later this year in Brazil.
On the road to the final, Nigeria scored 10 goals and conceded four while Burkina Faso have scored seven and conceded two. Both have improved but Burkina Faso will be missing in form striker Alain Traore, who equalised against Nigeria and scored three goals during the tournament before picking up an injury. The good news for the Burkinabe is that star player Jonathan Pitroipa has had his red card from their last match against Ghana rescinded after Caf decided that his booking was a mistake.
The Nigerians also have injury concerns for two of their better players – Emmanuel Emenike, who has scored four goals, and the chief instigator against Mali, Victor Moses, who has added two strikes. Burkina Faso will also have to make changes to their line-up, with right-back Koffi a major doubt.
But as Jonathan Akpoborie said, “The Eagles have to continue playing like they did against Cote d’Ivoire.” That is good advice, as nothing has been won yet by either team, and while they are already both commended for coming this far, history will only remember the country that wins the title.
For Burkina Faso, this is uncharted territory and for Nigeria, it is a chance to return to the high standards of previous years.
Panionios out: Peristeridis (gk 18/0), Lampropoulos (df 9/2), Koulocheris (df 8/0), Andralas (df 12/0), Rokas (mf 11/1), Samaris (mf 14/1), Kouros (att 16/0) and Aravidis (att 17/6)
PAS has out Fegrouche (gk 18/0). Back in team is Pantos (df 16/0)
both teams withpout topscorers. Academica has out Edinho (16/10) but also Wilson Eduardo (att 12/3) out and Flavio Ferreira (df 17/1), Makelele (mf 15/1) doubtfull
Rio Ave has out Tarantini (att 17/5)
Santos with full teeam, Neymar, Arouca and Montillo are back from International dutties while Edu Dracena fit for first game of season..
Rafael: Bruno Peres, Edu Dracena, Durval e Guilherme Santos; Arouca, Marcos Assunção, Cícero e Montillo; Neymar e Miralles
Arsenal – Newcastle
pick: 1 / -1AH (probably -1,5) / and i would take over 2,5
Olivier Giroud and Tomas Rosicky have recovered from illness and are in contention to feature for Arsenal against Newcastle on Saturday, Arsene Wenger has revealed.
The Problems Mount Up For Newcastle – Now Williamson Out
More Bad News For Newcastle On Injury Front link
Paul Lambert admits his considerable injury list is frustrating heading into the Wigan clash.
Lambert could be without nine senior players on Saturday, with the treatment rooms filling up these past few weeks.
Ron Vlaar [calf], Gabby Agbonlahor [hip], Darren Bent [hamstring], Charles N’Zogbia [knee], Richard Dunne [groin], Andreas Weimann [calf], Gary Gardner [knee] and Nathan Baker [hamstring] are all set to miss the Latics game.
Fabian Delph will be absent through suspension, after he picked up his fifth booking of the season against Tottenham on Boxing Day.
Manchester United without Rooney (14/7)
Swansea will miss topscorer Michu (att 19/13)
Cheltenham – Bristol Rovers
(no bet for me because of suspicious h2h)
Injury problems mount for Ward on his Whaddon Road return
Ward is without long-term injury absentee goalkeeper Scott Bevan (wrist), club captain Matt Gill (knee) and last season’s top scorer Matt Harrold (knee).
Defender Adam Virgo and midfielder Matt Lund are also out, while forward David Clarkson picked up an ankle injury at Aldershot and will also miss the short trip up the M5.
That is likely to mean a recall for Oliver Norburn in an attacking midfield role ahead of the deeper Seanan Clucas and Tom Parkes.
Joe Anyinsah and Fabian Broghammer will be on the flanks, supplying lone front man Tom Eaves, who will return to parent club Bolton Wanderers after tomorrow’s match.
Chelsea loanee Sam Walker will line up in goal, behind a back four of Michael Smith, Cian Bolger, acting skipper Garry Kenneth and left-back Lee Brown.
Irishman Bolger, on loan from Leicester City, made his comeback from an injury against Aldershot giving Ward a welcome defensive boost. more
Guiseley – Colwyn Bay – Off due to waterlogged pitch.
pick: -1,5 ah guiseley @ 1,94 @ 188bet
big quality difference on home side, in great form (9-1-1), strong at home and away team in problems.
Injury crisis for Guiseley trip Continue reading
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE