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12 Teams file out in Comrade Fresh Soccer Championship



Twelve teams from several states in Northern Nigeria, split into four groups are participating in the second edition of the Comrade Ahmed Yusuf (Fresh) Inter State Soccer Championship.

Tagged ‘Kaduna 2016’, the championship kicks off on Monday at the Police College, Kaduna.

In Group A, Kebbi United, Jamba Academy  and Jidano FC Kano would be battling for qualification to the next stage.
Group B comprises FC Market Kano, Stallions FC Kaduna and Shinning Stars, while Tornadoes Feeders, Gumel Lions and Star Bombers would be slugging it out in Group C.
Standard FC Zaria, Portsmouth Academy and United Academy make up Group D in the pairings which was made available.
According to the fixtures, all the group matches would be played between 12 to December 15.
Group A’s opening match, which also serves as the kick off for the championship id billed for 4pm at the Police College, Kaduna between Jidano FC and Kebbi United.
On December 13, Kebbi United would face Jamba Academy, while the last match for the group will be played on December 15 between Jamba Academy and Jidano.
For Group B, their opening match comes up on 13 Dec. when FC Market lock horns with Stallion FC.  A day after, Shinning Stars will square up against Stallions, while FC Market battle Shinning Stars on 15 Dec. in the deciding match for that group.
Group C will have its first match between Tornadoes Feeder and Gumel Lions on 12 Dec. by 11am.  On 13 Dec, Star Bombers would look forward to bombing Tornadoes, while Gumel Lions would be seeking to devour their opponents, Star Bombers in the last match for Group C on 14 Dec.
Portsmouth FC and Unity Academy will begin hostilities in Group D on 13 Dec. On 14 Dec, Standard will file out against Portsmouth, while Unity Academy will be hoping to be united when they clash with Standard FC on 15th to end the group contests.
The championship is being organized by Mai Samari Youth Soccer Organisation in honour of Fresh who is an executive committee member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

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Paul Merson predicts Liverpool vs Manchester United clash



Paul Merson

Paul Merson

Former Arsenal, Aston Villa player, Paul Merson has tipped Liverpool to defeat Manchester United during the Premier League clash on Sunday.

Merson was thoroughly unimpressed with United’s 2-1 defeat to Valencia in the Champions League on Wednesday night and expects them to suffer another defeat at Armfield.

Liverpool went above Manchester City with a win over Bournemouth last weekend with Chelsea defeating Pep Guardiola’s side.

Merson is fully expecting Liverpool to roll United over at home, predicting a 2-0 win, although he thinks the Reds will face a new type of pressure now that they are the frontrunners in the Premier League title race.

He told Sky Sports: “I’d be shocked if Liverpool doesn’t get a result, probably like the rest of the nation! I watched United on Wednesday night, and oh my God.

“They play under pressure week in, week out. You wouldn’t understand the pressure they are playing under as Manchester United players.

“They then go to Valencia, a chance for them to express themselves, with nothing to lose, against nowhere near one of the best Spanish teams in the league.

“Go and express yourselves! And what happened? Oh my God.

“I just cannot see where United win this football match. But that isn’t to say there isn’t huge pressure on Liverpool too, as they have to stay in front. It’s a different pressure now they are top.”

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Pires speaks on Dembele leaving Barcelona for Arsenal



Arsenal legend, Robert Pires, has said that Barcelona would be wrong to allow Ousmane Dembele leave the club, with the player linked with a move to The Emirates.

Dembele has been a cause for concern at the Nou Camp this season, leading to speculation that the LaLiga champions could let him go and re-sign Neymar.

Neymar departed Camp Nou for a world record £200million fee last summer and Barca spent half of that figure to land Dembele as his replacement.

But Pires believes Ernesto Valverde’s men are better off working with Dembele.

“I love him [Dembele] very much,” he told Mundo Deportivo.

“We always talk about [Lionel] Messi, but this guy is very good.

“He’s young but what he does we all did as kids. What you must do is self-impose discipline in your life, but he is young and with his quality and talent, he can help Barca to win the Champions League and also the league, as we have seen against Tottenham and Espanyol with great goals.

“If I had to choose, I would not change Dembele for Neymar.

“Ousmane is 21, plays with the left and the right [foot] with a lot of quality with the ball.

“He has a lot of potential, more than what we’ve seen so far.”

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Champions League: Why CSK Moscow defeated us 3-0 – Real Madrid coach, Santiago Solari



Santiago Solari

Santiago Solari

Real Madrid manager, Santiago Solari has explained why his side were defeated 3-0 by CSK Moscow in the Champions League encounter played on Wednesday night at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Three goals from Fyodor Chalov, Georgi Shchennikov and Arnor Sigurdsson ensured the Russian side defeated the Champions League holders.

Solari said Madrid were defeated by Moscow at home because he featured many young players against the visitors.

The 42-year-old made seven changes to his starting XI that defeated Huesca 1-0 in La Liga last weakened.

“I played a team with a lot of young players,” Solari was quoted by First Post as saying at post-match.

“The match was used to give many players time who needed it, some because they started and others because they returned from injury, and to give rest to others to try and stay alive in all competitions.”

“I know it’s not a path of roses, and besides, every rose has its thorns,” Solari added. “We don’t like this result, we wanted to finish with a victory.”

Solari’s men will now tackle Rayo Vallecano on Saturday in their next fixture in the La Liga.

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