Nothing probably underlines the peculiarity of the times we are in other than the fact that we are about to experience the Euro 2020 in 2021.
It’s been a year where ‘normal’ was redefined, and the only thing that would probably have been more shocking would be Arsenal winning the Champions League…
Well, here’s a cool fact for you, you can watch the Euro 2020 showing from 11 June – 11 July on Startimes across its five Sports Channels in HD picture format.
To catch all the action starting tomorrow live via ST World Football HD, Sports Premium, ST Sports Focus, ST Sports Arena and ST Sports Life, renew your TV subscription and pay your electricity bills to keep the lights on.
BIG news making headlines on top English sports papers is; Frank Lampard sacked by Chelsea.
The Chelsea legend that took over managerial duties at the club in 2019 has been relieved of his duties just after 18 months.
In a statement following the sack, Chelsea said, “results and performances have not met the club’s expectations, leaving the club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement”.
After enjoying a successful spell in his first season as manager, Lampard’s Chelsea has underperformed this season. They sit 9th on the EPL table following 5 defeat out of their last 8 matches.
Lampard, who remains Chelsea’s all-time highest goalscorer led the London club to FA Cup glory in his first season as well as securing them a Champions League spot.
Expectation rose high this season after Chelsea spent over $292 million on signings the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, and Édouard Mendy; but the big names signings have been unable to link well on the pitch.
Who’s next in for the Hot Seat?
Chelsea is known to fire managers in split-seconds show of underperformance. The BIG question after Frank Lampard’s sack remains, “who’s next in line to take the hot seat at the Blues?”
Rumors have it that formal PSG and Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel is the only candidate on Chelsea’s list to take over from Lampard. While the German is yet to be contacted hours after the sack, papers report that his appointment is a strong possibility.
Discussions are all over the internet regarding the sack. Some fans had called for Chelsea to be patient and give managers time to build teams. Others seem to agree with the sack and Chelsea’s underperformance under Lampard.
What do you think? Has Chelsea been unfair to a legend in his right, and an all-time goalscorer for this club? Has Lampard truly shown his lack of top football managerial experience?
2020 has certainly not been the best year for football lovers as tournaments and fixtures had to be shifted. Nevertheless, the return of AFCON Qualifiers is enough to lift spirits, especially in African football where fans relish the sport.
AFCON Qualifiers began on 11th November 2020 with Guinea beating Chad in the opening match and Senegal punching a 2-0 blow on Guinea-Bissau.
Yesterday, 12th November was a goal feast for AFCON fans as Cameroon chunked out 4 goals against Mozambique’s 1. Current reigning champions, Algeria, walked over Zimbabwe easily with a 3-1 victory.
Nigeria takes the pitch today, 13th November 2020 against Sierra Leone by 17:00 CAT; and at 20:00 CAT, bafana bafana of South Africa would clash with Sao Tome and Principe. But the most exciting clash of the week rests on the match between Egypt and Togo, Saturday 14th November!
That said, here are our AFCON Qualifiers predictions. Prediction of teams who would make it to AFCON 2021.
2021 AFCON Qualifiers Predictions | Teams to Qualify
A tournament graced by 24 teams all competing for Africa’s Champions Crown would definitely be fierce, but you can expect to see these 12 juggernauts on the pitch come 2021:
Algeria: The current Champions are fast and deadly, recently taking the throne, and wouldn’t be giving it anytime soon.
Egypt: The Pharaohs are AFCON’s most successful champions with 7 titles to their name. Of course, they would make a show.
Senegal: With players like Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy, and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Senegal is expected to make it.
Nigeria: Super Eagles of Nigeria have qualified for AFCON year-on-year, 2021 shouldn’t be different. Among them, a gang of young stars.
South Africa: Africa’s most exciting flags to watch wouldn’t miss it. The bafanas are composed of bright players home and away.
Cameroon: Not very consistent over the last few years, Cameroon is yet deadly enough to secure a spot.
Ghana: Nothing short of strength is to be expected of the Black Stars of Ghana.
Morrocco: Another brilliant team from northern Africa. Last competition, they put up a fight. 2021 shouldn’t be any different.
Rwanda: This might come as a surprise to many but Rwanda has been undergoing major sporting changes. Experts predict the result of their sporting project to show in AFCON 2021.
Ivory Coast: They are not called Elephants for nothing! Besides, the orange shirts make a colorful divergence from all the greens and yellows.
Kenya: When a squad of strong legs is on the ship, you just know they would roll through. Kenya would make 2021 AFCON.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, there is still the qualifiers to play after all. So put on your football socks, subscribe your GOtv, DStv, or Startimes, relax into the games, and enjoy the matches!
On Tuesday 29th October, and Wednesday 21st October, the first leg of the 2020/2021 UEFA Champions League season playoff. We witnessed the return of Europe’s most thrilling football competition and the art of top soccer athletes.
The group stages of the tournament began with surprises and might just end with some more. In this article, we go over some of the unexpected match results from the UEFA champions league 2020/21 opener and matches to watch out for in the group stage:
Paris Saint Germain vs. Manchester United
Perhaps the only surprise from this encounter was the fact that PSG could still lose to Manchester United after their performance last season. The men from Paris made it to the finals last season but fell behind to Bayern Munich in a 1-0 contest.
Two seasons ago, Manchester United beat PSG 1-3 at the Parc des Princes stadium; everyone thought the Parisians would make a statement in this match with a win. But they fell behind 2 goals to 1 to the Reds.
Chelsea vs. Sevilla
Ok, not much surprise, but here is a match where a 300 million Euro Chelsea squad faces a firepower Sevilla and it ended 0-0. Fans were left a bit disappointed and so are we.
Real Madrid vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Real lost 0-1 to newly-promoted Cadiz last week in La Liga Santander; so it came more like a shock when Shakhtar put them 2-3 to the sword again at home.
Fans all over social media brought Real Madrid’s manager Zinedine Zidane under fire. But we feel the manager can only do much. With these results, Real Madrid needs a total squad rethink.
Pretty much every other game produced expected or near results, especially Bayern Munich who pounded Athletico Madrid 4-0 as a warning of their intent to retain the European Champions crown.
Now, let’s see the top group matches that you can’t afford to miss:
Barcelona vs Juventus: The long-awaited Messi vs. Ronaldo meeting after 3 years since Christiano Ronaldo left La Liga would finally happen. Twice!
Athletico Madrid vs Bayern Munich: The Germans already drew first blood with their 4-0 victory over their Spanish rival. But all roads lead to the Wanda Metropolitano for the return leg.
Manchester United vs PSG: Neymar and Mbappe have still got a chance to prove to Europe that Manchester United is not superior to the entire French football.
Sevilla vs Chelsea: The return leg of this encounter would hold at Seville and we can’t wait to see it! Perhaps, this is one of the most anticipated encounters after Barcelona vs Juventus.
Real Madrid vs Inter Millan: These two giants would meet in the third week of the tournament. A big one. We would get to finally see Zidane take on Conte in a European competition.
To catch all these actions live on your television, subscribe your GOtv or DStv with VTpass, either on the web or mobile app. We’ve got you covered!
New seasons of the English Premier League (EPL), Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga, Italian Seria A and French Ligue un are back.
Just last week, Crystal Palace knocked Manchester United 3-1 at Old Trafford, bringing back the ‘anything can happen’ tingles of the premier league.
In Germany, current UEFA champions and Bundesliga winner, Bayern Munich kickstarted their new season with an 8-0 slaughter of Schalke. Jeez!
Christiano Ronaldo pulled in a late one on the 88th minute as Juventus cruised 3-0 over Sampdoria in Seria A season opener. Guess the race for who’s best between him and his long time rival, Lionel Messi has just begun.
Speaking of Messi; he is yet to record a goal this season as FC Barcelona is just concluding pre-season ahead of 2020-21 La Liga.
Something to look out for, right? Or perhaps, we should look with awe into Ligue Un where Paris Saint Germain sits 8th on the league table haven lost two early matches. Hmmm. . .
With so much cooking up in Europe’s top 5 leagues, here are 5 things to look out for as the 2020-21 season unfolds:
The over-broadcasted news about Messi leaving FC Barcelona would most likely be felt all season long. Every move made by the Argentine would surely be scrutinized in the light of this.
Although reports state that Messi is willing to play one more season with Barcelona, all eyes are on him. Would he punish Barca for refusing to let him go or would he deliver yet another stunning result this season?
Bayern for another UEFA title?
Following a strong year for Bayern Munich last season, experts are predicting the German against might bag themselves yet another UEFA Champions League title; that is if they continue playing as they are currently.
The early 8-0 trashing of strong rivals, Schalke last week already shows Bayern’s intent. And with a solid squad of young talents, an ambitious coach and passionate fans, those predictions might just come true.
Liverpool on the hot seat
Current EPL champions are starting the season in a position all previous EPL winners do find themselves; – defending the title. Jurgen Klopp managed to pull a stunt for the reds last season by winning the title for Liverpool’s after a 30-years old title draught.
Now, he finds himself defending the title against strong contenders; the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea; a team that just spent $300 million on boosting their squad.
Another UEFA, Another Barca, Another Drama?
Barcelona has become the object of mockery in UEFA Champions League following 4 consecutive humiliating exists. The latter being an 8-2 trashing at the hands of Bayern Munich.
The club has shown spirit, however, in starting a new sporting project; signing new talents, urging old legs out, bringing in a more fitting manager, shifting some powers is management, etc; but fans around the world would never forget Barca’s UEFA Champions League woes.
Another UEFA, another Barca!
New Phase for Juventus?
When Christiano Ronaldo joined Juventus, it was solely to help them win the UEFA Champions League. 3 years down the lane, that is yet to happen.
Juventus had to sack Maurizio Sarri following a disappointing season in 2019-20 UEFA and appointed Andrea Pirlo as new manager. Is this the new face to lead Juventus into European glory once again?
To catch all of the footballing action this season, simply subscribe your GOtv, DStv or StarTimes. Non-stop entertainment waiting for you! Renew TV subscription with VTpass.
When major football leagues (EPL, La Liga, Seria A, and Bundesliga) resumed; fans got their tint of hope of possible Champions league resumption. Although the date of resumption was announced by UEFA 3 months ago, the feeling of ‘it’s finally here!’ can’t be really shaken off.
After a five-months hiatus due to the global pandemic, the UEFA Champions League and Europa League resume August 7th, 2020 in order to play out the pending matches of this troubled season.
However, things would take a different shape. UEFA set out two mini competitions to solved the puzzle of travelling amidst the pandemic. Uncompleted round of 16 matches would be played out in host stadiums on 7th and 8th of August. Then from 12th August, all roads lead to Lisbon, Portugal where quarter-final matches would be played in knockout form. Oops, no home and away.
Here’s a timeline of UEFA Champions League activities:
7-8 August: Round of 16-second legs (host home stadiums)
12-15 August: Quarter-finals (Lisbon)
18-19 August: Semi-finals (Lisbon)
23 August: Final (Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Lisbon)
So put on your soccer shoes, yank out the popcorn and enjoy. Major round of 16 ties includes:
Barcelona vs Napoli: It was honors when this two first met in a 1-1 draw at Naples. The Spanish giants would be at home advantage when they host Napoli at the Camp Nau
Manchester City vs Real Madrid: Current Spanish champions fell at home to City in the firs encounter. They face an uphill task coming back against Gurdiola’s men at the Etihad.
Juventus vs Lyon: Lyon leads 1-0 in this encounter. The men from Turin would be better prepared to host their opponent who play away this time around.
Bayern vs Chelsea: This is perhaps the center of attention. With Chelsea trailing 3-0 from the first leg; it’s looking bleak for the Blues when they finally face Bayern in Germany.
It’s really juicy as it sounds, we can’t wait! You can latch unto the action by subscribing yourGOtv, DStv, or Startimes now. Don’t be told of what’s going down. And when you’re not watching football, relax into the drama of the on-going Big Brother Naija Season 5!
Fans of the Barclay’s Premier League are in for a treat tonight as the league official resumes; after 100 days hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 92 games left to play would be packed into 40 days which would see the current season end by 26 July. Aston Villa v Sheffield United will kick off the English top-flight’s return; however, it’s the match between Manchester City and Arsenal tonight that got fans in a frenzy.
Here are a few things you need as the action returns:
No 12th man
As with Bundesliga and La Liga, all matches would be played behind closed doors. Not more than 300 people (staff, players, tech crew, etc.) would be allowed into stadiums. However, teams are setting virtual fans in place to ensure TV viewing isn’t boring at all.
The Reds sits 25 points clear off second-place Manchester City and are 3 wins away from been crowned EPL Champions 2019/2020 season. Liverpool would most definitely be full of action as they campaign to clinch the trophy for the first time since 1990.
Fight for Top-4
All eyes would be fixed on Manchester United and Chelsea as each battle for a place in the top four. Ahead of both is Leicester City and Manchester City and below them, just 2 points under United is the formidable Wolves.
Social distancing and other hygiene
Players would have to maintain social-distancing during goal celebrations. They are not to spit, shake hands, or come near referees. Coaching staff on the sidelines are equally under instruction not to come within two meters of the fourth official.
The German football league, the DFL, recently resumed on May 16, 2020, after more than two months on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic; which was bad news for StarTimes subscribers.
As a strategic partner, StarTimes resumed broadcast of all Bundesliga matches live and exclusive in Africa right from the first re-opener between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke.
According to StarTimes Sports Director, Shi Maochu; “It has been a very tough period for football around the world. We are very happy to have StarTimes bring back live football in Africa, and even more, as Bundesliga is one of the best leagues in the world.”
He also noted that the league had been halted since early April due to the coronavirus pandemic and Bundesliga is the first and only major football league to be back in action.
Fans know to expect goals from Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski who has been exceptional this season with over 40 goals to his name, and Dortmund’s 19 years old sensation, Erling Haaland, widely regarded as a goal machine.
Premier League clubs-target Timo Werner remains in sterling form for RB Leipzig and would continue to disrupt the transfer market if he continues to score goals.
Barcelona’s loanee, Philippe Coutinho is set to miss some actions for his side, Bayern Munich, due to injury. All eyes would be watching Jadon Sancho perform his magic for Dortmund.
Where to watch Bundesliga on StarTimes
Catch all matches live and in HD on StarTimes’ 5 sports channels. Subscribe your StarTimes decoder now to never miss any minute of the live-action!
Top Bundesliga action going down tomorrow includes:
Leverkusen vs Bayern Munich (2:30 PM) and Borussia Dortmund vs Hertha Berlin (5:30 PM).
It has been 82 days since La liga suspended fixtures due to the coronavirus pandemic with 11 games left to play. We are all curious about where to watch the games to be played.
LaLiga announced the Spanish top-flight would resume on June 11 starting with a derby match between Sevilla and Real Betis. Matches would take place every day across five weeks so that the season can come to an end by the 19th of July.
DStv and GOtv sports channels would resume the league’s live broadcasts on SuperSports 7 for DStv and SuperSports 4 for GOtv. Subscribe your DStv and GOtv now to catch the action as e dey hot!
In the spirit of footballing excitement, here’s what to expect from the return of La Liga Santander:
Tight Race for the Title
It’s not over yet at the top of the table as Barcelona sits only two points away from Real Madrid. The men in white beat their long time rivals 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu to climb on top of the table; only to lose their position again to Barca when they lost to formidable Real Sociedad.
Sevilla remains in hot pursuit with only 9 points behind Madrid and one point away from Real Sociedad. 3 straight losses for any of Barcelona or Madrid within 11 games could hand the trophy to teams in third or fourth position.
The race is on! Anything can happen.
Games would very much be played behind closed doors and this would greatly transform the usual electrifying atmosphere of Spanish football.
For clubs with 60,000+ capacity like Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Athletico Madrid, the quite grounds would tell on players’ mentality as well as clubs’ finance.
For clubs with smaller capacity but powerful fan-pulled atmospheres like Real Betis and Athletico Bilbao, home games might be a bit boring to watch; not counting how badly this would affect players’ spirit.
Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard who underwent surgery on a broken foot in March and Barcelona’s top ace, Luis Suarez who operated his right knee in January are both set to return fully for the rest of the games.
The injuries would have seen them out for the rest of the season had it been the suspension never happened. Now they would play out the season with their teammates. The question remains: how would these heavyweights players influence the game for their respective clubs?
The past three months have been horrible for the world of football due to the global pandemic. The king of sports was suspended in many leagues globally, pending the die down of Coronavirus, and fans just can’t wait for its resumption.
Our fight over Covid-19 took a winning edge two months back, enough to allow the resumption of minor economic activities as well as sports world over. Since then, football fans have been looking over their shoulders expectantly.
Major leagues are officially scheduled to resume at several dates in the month of June! German Bundesliga officially resumed on May 16 and gave everyone a headstart of what to expect from post-pandemic football:
How Football might be different post-pandemic
No fans in the stands. Football resumption would see matches been played behind closed doors. Only players, team staffs, technical people, news crews, police, stadium workers, and a few others would be allowed into stadiums on match days.
Sanitization before substitution. It’s weird but players coming into an on-going game might have to sanitize themselves before stepping on the pitch. The usual hand-claps or embraces between the out-going and incoming players would stop for now.
Wearing face marks. The opening derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke had players on the bench putting on face masks and sitting two feet away from each other. This protective measure can equally apply to other leagues upon resumption.
Solo goal celebration. Goals make football and celebrating them adds to the fun. However, players may be advised to keep from touch/contact styles of celebration as seen from Haaland’s goal against Schalke.
Official Resumption dates of Major Leagues
Now to the main gist, here are dates of football resumption for the top 3 European leagues:
Known as the king of European football, the EPL is set to return on June 17 with a heavyweight match in the offing: Manchester City Vs Arsenal! Eyebrows are raised as to how the first EPL match after over 90 days would look like.
Liverpool FC is top of the table and with just 3 wins away from the trophy, the famous league action is set to focus more on the adrenaline run among clubs for top four Championship League qualification!
Spanish La Liga Santander
Favorite among lovers of technical gameplay, La Liga would make an earlier return than the EPL. The famous, hotly contested derby match between Real Betis and Sevilla would restart the league on June 11.
Defending champions Barcelona are two points ahead of Real Madrid at the top of the table with 11 matches remaining.
The top-4 quest is tighter than ever this season with Real Sociedad, Sevilla, Getafe, and Athletico de Madrid all punching hard for a place in 2021 Champions League!
Italian Seria A
Everyone would understand if Seria A authorities decide to terminate the unfinished 2019/20 season, but that’s not the case. Lovers of tactical defensive football can smile with relief as Seria A action would return on 20th June.
The announcement was made by the country’s sports minister, Vincenzo Spadafora. With leaders Juventus just one point clear second-placed Lazio, there are still a lot of title-claiming actions to see.
UEFA Champions League
We decided to save the best for the last. While fans of different leagues are excited at the return of their favorite football, all eyes are itching to see the completion of the top-flight competition.
When Athletico de Madrid performed a stunt against Liverpool at Anfield in a match that saw them win 3-2, fans simply knew the 2019/2020 Champions League was set to provide top entertainment in the final rounds.
We would have to wait longer as UEFA announced that the Champions League would likely resume on August 7-8.
The French Ligue Un was ended with PSG announced winners while the Dutch Eredivisie was named null: no winners, no relegations.
To catch all of the footballing actions returning, subscribe your GOtv, DStv, or StarTimes decoder. Don’t wait to be told of the showdowns.