Author: Oreva Benedict

Oreva Benedict holds a degree in English Language and Literary Studies. He is a Nigerian who loves to read, has a picky taste in food and hang out with regular folks.

No surprise to see France make nine changes from the 1-0 defeat against Tunisia, with Didier Deschamps starting the same line-up that beat Denmark in their second group game to secure their place in the last 16. Hugo Lloris starts to become France’s joint-most capped player as he makes his 142nd appearance equalling Lilian Thuram’s record. The only players who remain from that Tunisia defeat on Wednesday are Raphael Varane and Aurelien Tchouameni. Unsurprisingly, Kylian Mbappe is one of the nine players restored to the starting line-up. Poland make two changes from Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat to Argentina. Jakub Kaminski and…

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The All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential Campaign Council, has debunked speculations that the United States of America has denied its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu a visa. Festus Keyamo, the spokesman of the Tinubu/Shettima campaign council, argued that the rumour was the handiwork of mischief makers. The Minister of State for Labour and Employment said the rumours that Tinubu was denied a visa were unfounded. Keyamo issued the clarification in a tweet while sharing Tinubu’s international passport. He wrote: “For mischief-makers who peddle unfounded rumours about @officialABAT being denied a visa to the US, you leave us with no option…

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Brazil superstar, Neymar Jr, has offered a positive injury update ahead of their last-16 clash against South Korea. The Paris Saint-Germain forward is in good mood as he recovers from an ankle injury. Brazil are still sweating on Neymar’s fitness ahead of their knockout tie against South Korea after the Paris Saint-Germain forward sustained an ankle injury in his team’s opening win against Serbia. Neymar has missed Brazil’s last two matches but seems to be in positive mood ahead of the last 16 match. Brazil will obviously want to have their talisman back as soon as possible. Tite does not…

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Brazil football legend, Pele, has issued an update about his health from the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo. The 82-year-old has been undergoing chemotherapy for bowel cancer since last September. And there were dire local media reports on his condition earlier on Saturday. However, Pele has now offered an update on his condition and thanked fans for the many messages of support he has received. “My friends, I want to keep everyone calm and positive,” Pele wrote on Instagram. “I’m strong, with a lot of hope and I follow my treatment as usual. I want to thank the entire…

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Argentina will clash with Netherlands in the first confirmed quarter-final tie of the 2022 World Cup. Lionel Messi was the star of the show as Albiceleste beat Australia 2-1 on Saturday. Messi marked the 1,000th senior game of his career with a measured finish for the breakthrough goal late in the first half and Mat Ryan’s error allowed Julian Alvarez to double the advantage early in the second. There were late scares for Argentina after Craig Goodwin’s shot deflected in off Enzo Fernandez and it needed a dramatic tackle from Lisandro Martinez and a fine save from Emiliano Martinez for…

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USA forward, Christian Pulisic, has apologized for their exit from the 2022 World Cup. The Chelsea star also expressed disappointment at how their outing ended. Pulisic was back in the starting XI after injury for the USMNT against the Netherlands at World Cup 2022 on Saturday but couldn’t prevent his team being knocked out of the tournament. Louis van Gaal’s side won 3-1 to progress to the quarter-finals, while the USMNT must now head home after another last-16 exit. “We’re sorry. We wanted it so bad and I hope that we gave you some kind of excitement and showed you…

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England manager, Gareth Southgate, has said they are “mentally and physically” prepared for penalties ahead of the last-16 clash against Senegal on Sunday. The Three Lions have been involved in three shootouts since Southgate took charge in 2016. They beat Colombia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia before overcoming Switzerland in the Nations League a year later. Although their most recent shootout ended in defeat against Italy in the Euro 2020 final last summer, England boss Southgate believes his players are ready to go the distance against the African champions as they target a quarter-final place in Qatar this…

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Argentina make one changes from the side that beat Poland in the last group game. Alejandro Gomez comes in for Angel di Maria. Captain Lionel Messi makes his 1,000th career appearance – 169 for his country and 831 for Barcelona and PSG. Australia also make one change from the side that shocked Denmark to reach the knockout stage. Keanu Baccus comes in for Craig Goodwin. Stoke defender Harry Souttar starts at the back. Australia team news Team to play Argentina: Ryan, Degenek, Rowles, Souttar, Behich, Mooy, McGree, Irvine, Baccus, Leckie, Duke Argentina team news Team to play Australia: Martinez, Romero,…

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Netherlands have become the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup. Denzel Dumfries put in a sparkling perfromance as the Dutch saw off a spirited second half from USA to win 3-1 on Saturay. First-half goals from Memphis Depay (10) and Daley Blind (45+1), swept home in similar fashion from Dumfries crosses, put the Dutch in control. But USA forced both the Inter Milan defender and Cody Gakpo to clear off the line before Haji Wright produced an “impossible” 76th-minute finish to set up a big finale. Standout performer Dumfries ended their hopes of a…

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As Group winners, Netherlands went through to the last 16 to play the USA on Saturday in the first knockout tie. Following their win over Ecuador, Senegal have also reached the knockout stage where they will play the winners of Group B, England. That game will take place on Sunday. So Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal has named an unchanged starting lineup from the side that comfortably breezed past hosts Qatar 2-0 in their final Group A clash last Tuesday. Two changes for USA from the side which beat Iran in that decisive Group B clash on Tuesday, with…

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Brazil football legend, Pele, is no longer responding to chemotheraphy and has reportedly been moved to palliative care in hospital. This was reported by Brazilian outlet Folha. The latest official medical bulletin from the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, where Pele was re-admitted on Tuesday, said he was in a stable condition and had responded well to his treatment. However, Folha have reported that the 82-year-old is no longer responding to the chemotherapy he has been undergoing for bowel cancer since last September, and he will not undergo any further invasive tests or treatment as he is in end-of-life…

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Uruguay striker, Luis Suarez, has slammed FIFA after they were eliminated from the 2022 World Cup. Giorgian De Arrascaeta scored twice as the South American beat Ghana 2-0 at the Al Janoub Stadium. But South Korea 2-1 comeback victory over Portugal left both teams tied on four points and the same goal difference, but Uruguay had scored two fewer goals – so were eliminated. Uruguay’s players were left furious with the officiating in their match with Suarez’s teammate Edinson Cavani denied a penalty in a hugely contentious decision late on with referee Daniel Siebert surrounded by a swarm of angry…

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Portugal captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, has explained the heated spat he was involved in during their 2-1 defeat to South Korea. The 37-year-old was substituted in the 65th minute of the match and was told to leave the pitch quickly by Korea’s Cho Gue Sung. The pair clashed as Ronaldo left the pitch. But the former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward played down the incident afterwards. “Before my substitution, one of their players was telling me to leave quickly,” said Ronaldo. “I told him to shut up, he has no authority, he doesn’t have to say anything. “I would speed…

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Ghana captain, Andre Ayew, has said he is disappointed after he missed from the penalty spot in their 2-0 World Cup defeat against Uruguay on Friday. The Black Stars’ best opportunity in the first was in the 21st minute when Mohammed Kudus was fouled inside the box and the referee awarded a penalty. The 32-year-old Ayew stepped up to take the kick but his weak effort could not beat Sergio Rochet. The Black Stars went ahead to lose 2-0 and exit the competition in the group stage. Ayew has talked for the first time about how he felt missing from…

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South Korea will have two things to offer when they face Portugal in their must-win final Group H game at the World Cup – collective dedication and passion – as they hope for a miracle to qualify for the last 16. The Koreans are third in Group H with one point and must beat Portugal to have a chance to progress to the knockout stage for the third time after 2002 and 2010. Portugal have already qualified but still need a point to guarantee top spot so have not fielded a reserve team at the Education City stadium. South Korea…

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Ghana have made two changes from their 3-2 win against South Korea. Alidu Seidu and Baba Rahman come into the XI with Tariq Lamptey and Gideon Mensah dropping to the bench. Uruguay make three changes – with Ghana’s old nemesis, Luis Suarez, back in the starting XI. Giorgian de Arrascaeta and Facundo Pellistri round of the players back in the XI, with captain Diego Godin, Matias Vecino and Edinson Cavani dropping to the bench. Uruguay team news Uruguay XI: Rochet, Varela, Gimenez, Coates, Olivera, Pellistri, Valverde, Bentancur, De Arrascaeta, Suarez, Nunez. Subs: Muslera, Godin, Vecino, De la Cruz, Sosa, Torreira,…

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Former Manchester United midfielder, Paul Scholes, has suggested that the club should look at signing Christopher Nkunku and Cody Gakpo to replace Cristiano Ronaldo. The Premier League heavyweights from Old Trafford find themselves an attacker light after taking the decision to rip up Ronaldo’s contract and release him as a free agent. There is still plenty of firepower on their books – with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Antony and Jadon Sancho competing for minutes – but the expectation is that the Red Devils will dip back into the transfer market at some point in order to acquire…

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A former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has said the country has not lived up to its label as the giant of Africa. He also said Nigerians should not blame God for their problems but themselves. Obasanjo spoke on Thursday at the launch of ‘The Letterman’, a book authored by Musikilu Mojeed, Premium Times editor-in-chief. The book focuses on letters written by Obasanjo. He said when Nigeria gained independence, the expectation was for the nation to be known as “a giant in the sun” and not the “giant of Africa” as it is being referred to now. He, however, said…

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Arsenal spend at least £150million less than Premier League rivals Manchester United on wages. The Gunners’ annual wages have decreased by £34m in 2021/2022 from the previous year – as well as the number of employees also falling. This is positive news for the Gunners as, despite forking out less money this season, the club are having their best ever start to a Premier League campaign. Arsenal are currently spending £205,482,000 on staff wages per year compared to the £239,830,000 last season but this has not shown on the pitch. Mikel Arteta’s men have surpassed all expectations so far as…

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Graeme Souness has asked FIFA to produce conclusive evidence that the ball stayed in play in the buildup which led to Japan’s dramatic winner against Spain and knocked out Germany. Ao Tanaka finished off Kaoru Mitoma cut-back, although the ball initially appeared to have gone out of play. A lengthy VAR check followed the goal, but it sensationally ruled in favour of Japan, the full curvature of the ball not deemed to have crossed the line. Japan’s victory meant they finished top of Group E, with Spain second and Germany, who beat Costa Rica 4-2 in a thriller, sent packing.…

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