18 May 2018

Nigeria: 4 Matches to Watch - Nigeria Hosts Guinea Bissau

The Paul Aigbogun-tutored U-20 side were cruising in Bissau last Saturday courtesy of two first half goals from Enyimba's Wasiu Alalade hosts scored two quick goals in the 54th and 63rd minutes to give themselves a lifeline, coming into the second leg in Calabar.

Coach Aigbogun will show wisdom to rest his captain, Ikouwem Udoh, who was part of the Enyimba team trounced 3-0 in the CAF Confederations Cup on Wednesday. That is despite the captain's boast to Vanguard that, "We believe in our team and in ourselves and we will beat them in Calabar to advance to the next round." They have to win or ensure a scoreless draw to advance.

Current Form: Nigeria [D-L-W-W-W], Guinea Bissau [D-D-W]

Head to head:

12/05/18 AUC Guinea-Bissau 2 - 2 Nigeria

Prediction: Nigeria 3-1 Guinea-Bissau

Chelsea v Man. Utd @Wembley Stadium @5:15pm on May 19

What is the prize at stake? The prestige of winning the 137th FA Cup, or pride, or would it be a trophy to gloss over a bad season? The main talking points will be on whether Romelu Lukaku, who has missed United's last three matches after an ankle injury will be fit to start and whom Antonio Conte will prefer between Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata.

There are other subplots - Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford drew Jose Mourinho's ire by not leading United's attack well while Conte has looked withdrawn and disconsolate of late. And it could be the last match for Conte and Eden Hazard, who if he helps Chelsea to a win would have won all domestic titles in England. "If I win The FA Cup, I've won everything here, so for me, it's a big target but we know the Final will not be easy," Hazard said. But, really, what is the prize at stake?

Current Form: Chelsea [L-D-W-W-W]; Man Utd [W-D-L-W-W]

Head to head

25/02/18 PRL Man. Utd 2 - 1 Chelsea

05/11/17 PRL Chelsea 1 - 0 Man. Utd

16/04/17 PRL Man. Utd 2 - 0 Chelsea

13/03/17 FAC Chelsea 1 - 0 Man. Utd

23/10/16 PRL Chelsea 4 - 0 Man. Utd

Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Man. Utd

Lazio v Inter Milan @Stadio Olimpico @7:45pm on May 20

It is an $80 million shoot-out. The UEFA Champions League is the prize on offer when Lazio host Inter on Sunday at the Olimpico. Lazio lead Inter by three points and have a superior goals advantage but Serie A positions are determined by head-to-head records when there is a tie on points. So Inter have to win, having drawn their meeting at the San Siro last December while Lazio just have to avoid defeat. The other pertinent question is whether Lazio manager, Simone Inzaghi will field [risk] defender, Stefan de Vrij, who has already signed for Inter? Inter will be hoping Mario Icaardi is at his unplayable best while Ciro Immobile struggles to be fit for the encounter - this should be an end-to-end encounter.

Current Form: Lazio [D-D-W-W-W]; Inter Milan [L-W-L-W-W]

Head to head

30/12/17 SEA Inter Milan 0 - 0 Lazio

21/05/17 SEA Lazio 1 - 3 Inter Milan

31/01/17 COI Inter Milan 1 - 2 Lazio

21/12/16 SEA Inter Milan 3 - 0 Lazio

01/05/16 SEA Lazio 2 - 0 Inter Milan

Prediction: Lazio 2-3 Inter Milan

Bayern v Eintracht Frankfurt @ Olympiastadion Berlin @7pm on May 19

Interim coach versus the incoming coach is the real scenario when Bayern Munich confront Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday with Jupp Heynckes facing his successor, Niko Kovac, who has done amazingly with Eintracht this season though their form tailed off towards the end of the season. They lost four of their last five league games and finished eighth, but a win in the DFB Pokal final will guarantee their entry into the UEFA Europa League. It is also an evening to impress his new employers. This match could also see the return of Manuel Neuer though he is sure not to start.

Current Form: Bayern [L-W-D-W-L]; Eintracht [L-W-L-L-W]

Head to head

28/04/18 BUN Bayern Munich 4 - 1 Eintracht Frankfurt

09/12/17 BUN Eintracht Frankfurt 0 - 1 Bayern Munich

11/03/17 BUN Bayern Munich 3 - 0 Eintracht Frankfurt

15/10/16 BUN Eintracht Frankfurt 2 - 2 Bayern Munich

02/04/16 BUN Bayern Munich 1 - 0 Eintracht Frankfurt

Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 Eintracht Frankfurt


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