Stoke have re-signed winger Oussama Assaidi on loan from Liverpool.The Moroccan international spent last season at the Britannia Stadium and has returned as cover for the injured Peter Odemwingie, with a loan fee of around £1million attached.Potters manager Mark Hughes had been interested in Assaidi earlier in the window but only returned for a player who scored five times in 25 appearances last year after Odemwingie suffered a knee problem in their win over Man City at the weekend. 1 Oussama Assaidi
West Ham are set to renew their interest in Sampdoria midfielder Pedro Obiang, according to reports in Italy.Obiang has been impressive for the Serie A club and continues to be linked with a move into the Premier League.West Ham were strongly linked with a move for his signature during the summer but the move never materialised.Sport Italia are now claiming that the Hammers are ready to come back with a new offer in January and hope to clinch his signature.The 22-year-old has already played for Spain’s Under-21 side and will be looking to break into the senior side ahead of the Euro Finals in 2016. 1 Pedro Obiang
Franck Tabanou 1 Saint-Etienne have no plans to sell Swansea target Franck Tabanou.The Swans are on the hunt for reinforcements during the January transfer window after recouping £28m from the sale of Wilfried Bony to Manchester City.Tabanou is reportedly high on the list of Garry Monk’s transfer targets with the Swansea boss impressed by the attacking midfielder’s performances in Ligue 1.The 25-year-old’s agent, Philippe Lamboley, admitted this week that talks were taking place, saying: “The two clubs are in discussions, but I cannot confirm a bid has been made.”However, Saint-Etienne president Bernard Caiazzo has now hit back over claims a deal will be struck, arguing the club have no plans to part with the former France under-21 international.“Tabanou will not leave this winter. Even if we receive a good offer, he will stay at the club for sure,” Caiazzo told Eurosport.
1 Alou Diarra in action for France Former West Ham midfielder Alou Diarra is on trial with Charlton.The French midfielder has been searching for a new club since the summer after the Hammers released him following a disappointing two years at Upton Park.The 33-year-old started just two Premier League games for West Ham, making a further four substitute appearances.However, Diarra has over 40 caps for his country and Charlton boss Guy Luzon could sign the experienced midfielder if he impresses during his trial with the south London club.
Gor missed a penalty in the 27th minute after midfielder Humphrey Mieno squandered the chance.Omondi repaid the faith shown in him by head coach Dylan Kerr, scoring the opener in his first start since returning to the club while new signing Guikan showed what is expected of him with a thunderbolt barely 30 seconds after coming on.In the least, any kind of draw for K’Ogalo in the return leg in Equatorial Guinea will sail them through to the first round of the continental competition.Gor Mahia midfielder Humprey Miano against Leonne Vegetarianos’ Oje Rafael. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYAGor would have been 2-0 up by half time, but Mieno saw a 27th minute penalty saved by Vegetarianos keeper Manuel Pasunga who turned the ball behind for a corner diving low to his left.It wasn’t a vintage Gor Mahia first half performance as the reigning Kenyan champions put out to a slow start, though they were commanding in possession. Gor were not as fast as they have been known to be in transition.Their first chance of the game came through in the fifth minute when Meddie Kagere’s shot on the half turn from a Geoffrey Walusimbi low cross from the left went straight to the keeper.Four minutes later, Omondi had his first effort at goal, lifting a shot from the edge of the box too high.The hosts came closest in the 15th minute when Vegetarianos skipper Asterio Ondeyi cleared the ball off the line with Shakava advancing in for a header after Wellington Ochieng had flicked on Francis Kahata’s freekick at the near post.Gor Mahia’s Kevin Omondi in action against Leones Vegetarianos’ Jesus Tomasosngong during the first leg of the 2018 CAF Champions League played at the Machakos Stadium on 10th February 2018. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYABut four minutes later and Gor were away in celebration when Omondi slapped the ball home from inside the box.Kagere floated in the ball from the left finding Kahata at the far post, the midfielder nodding the ball down for Omondi to fire home low beating the helpless Pasunga.It should have been 2-0 in the 27th minute when Mieno stepped up after Omondi was brought down inside the box, but he couldn’t do enough from 12 yards out to score his first competitive goal for K’Ogalo.The visitors struggled to create any meaningful chances with Boniface Oluoch reduced to wasting proceedings from the comfort of his 18-yard area.Pedro Mitogo Ondo and Jesus Tomas Nsogo on either wing were attempting to open up the Gor Mahia defense with some runs, but their efforts came to nothing as Walusimbi and Ochieng manning either fullback were astute.Ten minutes to half time, Omondi had another go at goal, this time his effort on the half volley going wide after a little flick got him off his defender.-Second half-Gor Mahia’s Kevin Omondi (LEFT) , Godfrey Walusimbi against Leonne Vegetarianos’ Mosso Ngueme during the first leg of the 2018 CAF Champions League played at the Machakos Stadium on 10th February 2018. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYASix minutes into the second half, Joash Onyango had a chance to make it 2-0 but his header unmarked inside the box from an Odhiambo freekick went over.In the 55th minute, Gor came even closer when Kahata tapped a cut back cross from Kagere but the keeper saved. He attempted to go back for the rebound but the shot stopper was quicker off his feet to pick the spills.But Gor were away 2-0 on the hour mark and in superb fashion.Gor Mahia fans rallying behind their team. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYAThe board was lifted up by the fourth official, Odhiambo coming out after an unusual afternoon off and in came Guikan. The Ivorian’s first order of business was to pick up a throw-in from Wellington Ochieng and with two touches to free himself off his markers fired a left foot bullet into the net.It was Gor’s game to lose now as they became more comfortable and goalscorer Omondi was later withdrawn for Samuel Onyango.Guikan almost doubled his tally with another ferocious shot after picking up a long ball at the edge of the box but the Vegeteranios keeper tipped it over for a corner.Gor continued to dominate but could not add on to their tally with Kagere coming close off a glancing header from Francis Kahata’s cross.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Leones Vegetarianos’ Mitogo Pedro against Gor Mahia’s Kevin Omondi during the first leg of the 2018 CAF Champions League played at the Machakos Stadium on 10th February 2018. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYAMACHAKOS, Kenya, Feb 10 – Kevin ‘Ade’ Omondi scored his first goal since returning to Gor Mahia as the record 16-time Kenyan Premier League champions beat Leones Vegetarianos of Equatorial Guinea 2-0 in the first leg of CAF Champions League hosted at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Saturday.Ade found the opener in the 19th minute to see the hosts lead 1-0 at the break before super sub Ephraim Giukan netted the second in the 60th minute with his first touch after coming on for George ‘Black Berry’ Odhiambo.
0Shares0000Liverpool’s midfielder Emre Can (C) celebrates with Adam Lallana (L) and manager Jurgen Klopp after scoring against Watford on May 1, 2017LONDON, United, Kingdom, Mar 6 – Jurgen Klopp says Adam Lallana still has a part to play in Liverpool’s season despite the midfielder having rarely featured this season.The 29-year-old England international has struggled with hamstring injuries this season, keeping him sidelined. The former Southampton star has made just 10 appearances in all competitions, but the Reds Boss expects Lallana to make a strong comeback.Ahead of facing Porto in a last-16, where they lead 5-0 from the first leg, Klopp said: “Adam, absolutely, was an integral part of the team and with the competition we have for Adam it is still usually not a problem for him, because he is important to us.”Klopp admitted that mistakes were made as Lallana attempted to return too early from his injury.“But he needed only time. Life is to learn from your mistakes and we all have to learn,” he said.“We made this mistake – he looked fit. Maybe two little setbacks, not the biggest setbacks, but in and out, in and out, and that makes no sense so now we have to build with him. He is coming close.“But of course he now has no rhythm, which is another thing. We still need him, we will use him still.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Their dominance under Guardiola this season has also drawn comparisons between them and Barcelona.However, the City boss has shrugged off the comparison, stating that the Blaugrana have a rich history of winning both domestic and European titles, while the Manchester outfit are yet to reach the quarter-finals of this year’s Champions League. They will host FC Basel in the second leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday.“We are almost in the quarter-finals,” said Guardiola, according to the Manchester Evening News. “We are almost champions of the Premier League.“But we are not in the quarter-finals and we are not champions – that is why we have to be calm.“That is the best advice I can give to my players. It would be just the second time in our whole history in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.“We don’t have legacy behind us.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Man City have been backed as the odds-on favourites to win this year’s Champions League trophy, while also being on track to cruise to the Premier League title. Their dominance under Guardiola this season has also drawn comparisons between them and Barcelona.LONDON, United Kingdom, Mar 7 – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has played down comparisons with his former team Barcelona, insisting that City need to build a legacy first.Man City have been backed as the odds-on favourites to win this year’s Champions League trophy, while also being on track to cruise to the Premier League title.
That was still 10 minutes slower than Liverpool’s three-goal salvo at the start of the second half in a 4-3 Premier League win over City in January.And Manchester United took just 16 minutes to turn City’s 2-0 half-time lead into a 3-2 defeat and prevent their local rivals from sealing the Premier League title on Saturday.City still boast a 13-point lead over United at the top of the table.However, City’s tendency to pay heavily for momentary lapses in concentration is a recurring theme of Guardiola’s career.His shots at Champions League glory in his first two seasons at Bayern Munich were also ruined by three goals in quick succession for Real Madrid and Barcelona in the semi-finals.“I drop many times Champions League games for 10-15 minutes and I think a lot about that,” said Guardiola.“In Barcelona (against Bayern in 2015) 71 minutes (it’s) 0-0, (at) 90, 3-0. Happen many times, maybe it is my fault. I have to think about it.”Before United’s second-half revival at the Etihad, City should have been out of sight.Goals from Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan put them in a commanding position, but they were left to rue two glorious missed chances from Raheem Sterling.And in a recurring theme of his near two-year reign at City, Guardiola insisted his side needed to be more clinical rather than changing their style of play.“I came here to try to do what we have done this season and in the first half.“Maybe it is not enough to win (on the) European level or the Premier League. I will recognise I am not good enough or the way we want to play is not able, but I don’t think so.“Because what we have done in this season, in the first half and moments in the second half, I am happy (with).“When you play against Liverpool, United or in Europe when you have your momentums you have to close the door and we didn’t close it.“And when you have to defend you have to really defend because they are good.”Real Madrid and Barcelona have combined to win the Champions League for the past four seasons and both look well on course to reach the last four once more.And Guardiola believes City have to reach the standard set by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi if they are to break through as a European powerhouse.“Football in that level is (what happens in the) boxes,” added Guardiola.“When Madrid and Barcelona are always in front it is because they have players that when they have a half-chance they score two goals. At that level that is the difference.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Guardiola’s sides have often paid a heavy price for momentarily lapses in the Champions League. © AFP / PAUL ELLISMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Apr 9 – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admitted he is at a loss to explain how conceding multiple times in short spells continues to cost his side.City must overturn a 3-0 first-leg deficit when they host Liverpool for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday after being hit by a three-goal blitz in 19 first-half minutes at Anfield last week.
0Shares0000Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona face Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final in Madrid on Saturday © AFP / LLUIS GENEBARCELONA, Spain, Apr 20 – Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde knows victory in Saturday’s Copa del Rey final against Sevilla would go some small way towards making up for the disappointment of their recent Champions League exit.“After a big defeat we want a big victory. We have the opportunity to put that little disappointment behind us,” Valverde said at a press conference on the eve of the game, which will be played at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium. Barca are hoping to lift one piece of silverware this weekend before going on to secure the Spanish league title — they can still complete the entire La Liga season unbeaten.But their domestic success so far this season has been overshadowed by the nature of their Champions League exit. They lost to Roma in the quarter-finals on away goals, capitulating 3-0 in Italy after a 4-1 win at home in the first leg.Barcelona have won the Copa del Rey in each of the last three seasons, including defeating Sevilla 2-0 after extra-time in Madrid in 2016.“It would be something significant for the club because they have won this final in recent years and it is not an easy thing to do,” said Valverde.The last team to win the Cup four seasons running was Athletic Bilbao in the early 1930s.A victory for the Catalans would set them up nicely for their next La Liga outing, when a victory at Deportivo La Coruna would secure the title. That is if they are not crowned champions on Sunday, which will be the case if Betis win away to Atletico.“In La Liga we have five ‘match balls’ left and we just need to take one of them, but we will try to do it as soon as possible,” added Valverde, although he had a warning for his side ahead of Saturday’s final.“We have still not won anything yet. The title is still up for grabs. We were also favourites (against Roma) and we got knocked out. We need to take the final step.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
The 22-year-old is free to concentrate on his international commitments after leaving Portuguese side Feirense in a £6.35 million ($8.5 million) switch to second tier Stoke.Etebo agreed a five-year contract with Stoke, who were relegated from the Premier League in May and are hoping to win promotion from the Championship next season under new boss Gary Rowett.“We’re really excited to have got the deal over the line for Etebo. I’m looking forward to seeing him in a Stoke City shirt as I’m sure our supporters are too,” Rowett said.Etebo spent the second half of last season on loan with Las Palmas in La Liga and will link up with his new Stoke team-mates after the World Cup.He has been capped 14 times by Nigeria and came on as a substitute in last week’s friendly defeat against England at Wembley.Nigeria face Argentina, Iceland and Croatia in the group stage of the World Cup.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Nigeria midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo has joined second tier Stoke © AFP / Ian KINGTONLONDON, United Kingdom, Jun 11 – Nigeria midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo took a break from his World Cup preparations to join English Championship club Stoke on Monday.Etebo will be a member of the Nigeria squad when the World Cup gets underway in Russia on Thursday.