Rohr set to unleash new players against Ukraine

first_imgRelatedPosts Rohr lists Musa, Ekong, 23 others for Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia friendlies Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking FIFA ranking: Nigeria moves up by two spots, now world 29th Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, has revealed that he is prepared to test new players in Tuesday’s friendly game against Ukraine. The Franco-German, who was not in any way despondent, stated this when he addressed the pre-match press conference on Monday. He stated: “This game is a big opportunity for us to begin our build-up towards the 2021 AFCON and the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. “Some of our key players retired from the team after the last AFCON in Egypt and some others are not here owing to injuries and other issues. “We have some new and young players here so it is a good opportunity to see what they can bring to the team. “We hope for a good game against a very solid team playing at home.” Stand-in captain William Ekong said: “Ukraine is a strong team with a lot of very good players across Europe. “I know a few of those in Italy where I play. “This game is definitely going to be very tough but we will give our best and also make it very difficult for them. “I believe it will be a very good game.” A camp source hinted that the young guns are, however, rearing to go, seeing the situation as an opportunity to win the heart of Coach Rohr and be considered part of the mainstream going forward. Germany-based goalkeeper Maduka Okoye is in camp to give Francis Uzoho and Ikechukwu Ezenwa a stiff fight for the number one shirt, while usual suspects Olaoluwa Aina, Chidozie Awaziem, Leon Balogun, Jamilu Collins and William Ekong will try to ward off the challenge of Semi Ajayi (listed as defender) and returnee Bryan Idowu at the rear. In the middle, Oghenekaro Etebo and Alex Iwobi should be ahead of returnee Anderson Esiti and new boy Joseph Aribo. It remains to be seen how Kelechi Iheanacho will fit into the middle equation. The fore is brimming with youth and vitality with Victor Osimhen, Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Paul Onuachu and Samuel Kalu all available, alongside new birds Joshua Maja and Emmanuel Dennis. Italian referee Paolo Valerie will take charge of proceedings at the 31,000-capacity arena, with his compatriots Alessandro Costanzo and Stefano Alassio assisting, while Ukrainian Vitaliy Romanov will serve as fourth official. Ukraine, like most jurisdictions of the former Soviet Union, broke off from the collapsed mother nation in 1991. Both the Ukraine Football Association and the country’s senior team came into existence also in 1991. Nigeria and Ukraine have never met at senior level, but a group phase clash at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland earlier in the summer ended 1-1. Ukraine eventually won the championship.Tags: 2021 AFCONAFCONGernot RohrSuper Eagleslast_img read more

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Laudrup angered by email U-turn

first_img Press Association Less than a year after he led them to their first major trophy, the Capital One Cup, the south Wales club decided to part company with the Dane earlier this month. Swansea had just one win to show from their previous 10 top-flight matches when Laudrup exited the Liberty Stadium, much to the manager’s surprise. Michael Laudrup claims to have seen his time at Swansea ended by an email just hours after agreeing to stay on as manager – an experience that may leave a sour taste in the mouth but will not stop him returning to the Premier League. The Dane was unable to elaborate on such matters due to the fact legal proceedings are ongoing, although was more forthcoming on other matters during a lengthy press conference. Laudrup confirmed he had written to Swansea’s players after being stopped from saying goodbye to them and had received messages of support from the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Gary Lineker. The well-travelled manager also confirmed he would welcome a return to the Premier League, despite the acrimonious manner in which he has departed Swansea. “It wouldn’t be fair to judge the UK on just this,” Laudrup said. “I would of course like to work again in the Premier League. It would be nice to win more trophies here.” The former midfielder thought an agreement had been reached with Huw Jenkins for him and his coaching team to stay on, although claimed in an unusual press conference at Heathrow that the Swansea chairman quickly reneged on his promise. “We ended up saying we have to stay together, we shook hands and he says ‘thank you very much because you want to help the club’,” Laudrup said of February 4, the day he departed. “Later that afternoon, while I’m talking on the phone, I receive a mail where it says that due to breach of contract, with immediate effect, my deal is terminated. “It was just a few hours after we shook hands and, of course, I’m very, very confused. “I called and I said ‘what is going on?’ after we shook hands and everything, but he said ‘yeah, after thinking’ – it was a little difficult to hear what was said. “I said ‘by the way, what does ‘breach’ mean?’ and he couldn’t explain that. He didn’t really know. “While I’m on the phone, my wife is saying that things are already on the internet, that I’ve been dismissed.” Laudrup had to wait nine days to find out the reasons for his departure and has yet to respond to Swansea, claiming the allegations were “silly” and “incredible”. last_img read more

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The stats that prove ‘unplayable’ Thomas Partey bossed Liverpool in midfield

first_imgThomas Partey’s brilliant display in Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 win over Liverpool is the talk of town today.The Ghanaian midfielder put in a truly dominant display as Atleti set up a mouthwatering second-leg match at Anfield.Although he missed out on the official Man of The Match Award to teammate Renan Lodi, a number of people felt that it would not have been surprising if Partey had been given the prize instead.And looking at his stats from the game, it’s hard to argue with that idea.PassesPartey usually a decent passer of the ball, made 72 percent of his 36 passes against Liverpool. Overall he had 53 touches. He also made two key passes and launched seven long balls forward, finding his teammate with three of those. At least one of the three that didn’t find their mark initially still caused the Reds defence issues, with one, in particular, leading to a good chance for Alvaro Morata.Passes – 36Pass success –  72%Key passes – 2Touches – 53Long Balls – 7Accurate long balls – 3 DribblesPartey is not known as a prolific dribbler but he has bursts where he absolutely flies past markers. Against Liverpool, he attempted two dribbles and was successful with both.Dribbles attempted – 2Dribble success – 100% Aerial duelsPartey put all 1.82 m of his frame to good use on Tuesday winning all three of the aerial duels he contested last night. Nothing went past him in the air at the Wanda Metropolitano.Aerial duels contested – 3Aerial duels won – 100% TacklesWith the skies so well-protected by the Ghanaian in midfield, Liverpool would have been hoping for an easier time on the ground.However, the tenacious Partey was in no mood to let them have it.Of the six tackles he attempted on Tuesday night, he was successful with five of them. He made no errors and, despite his tough tackling, committed no fouls.He also managed one interception.Tackles attempted – 6Tackles won – 5Tackle success – 83%Recoveries – 13Errors – 0Fouls – 0Interceptions – 1 ShotsShooting was certainly the weakest aspect of Partey’s game last night. He has been known to smack them in from different ranges over the course of his career but his shooting boots took a break on Tuesday.He took three shots against Liverpool but failed to hit the target with any of themlast_img read more

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