The Africa Cup of Nations has been really enjoyable thus far, which is a good sign, given that we’re still in the very early stages of it. Many nations are still trying to find their feet, with a few having not even played a single minute of football at the tournament yet. We aren’t convinced that we’ve seen the eventual champions step out on the pitch up to this point, but even if we’re wrong, it’s exciting to debate about it all.
The international break isn’t the best thing in the world, and we promise that we’re going to stop going on about it sooner rather than later. A lot of fans just aren’t that interested in what their nation is going to do unless it’s at a major international tournament, and even then they can be pretty fickle after one or two bad results. Nonetheless, despite being quite negative about the whole process ourselves, we’re choosing to look on the positive side of things – especially in the wake of a few really important performances from Arsenal stars.
According to the Independent, Nigerian international winger Alex Iwobi is set to sign a new four-year deal with Arsenal. Gunners boss Unai Emery has confirmed that he has been told that Iwobi will sign a new deal with the north London club.
The 22-year-old has two years left on his Gunners contract to run, so the north London club look set to avoid another contract stand-off.
The club from north London has got themselves in a mess on numerous occasions when it has come to players running down their contracts. Even as we speak Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey has yet to agree on a new deal, despite the fact he is in the last year of his contract.
Verdict: Argentina win
Best odds: 11/20
On Tuesday night, the complicated Group D of the World Cup reaches matchday three, as Nigeria and Argentina go head-to-head Saint Petersburg. A draw could be enough to see the African side make the knockout stages, while nothing but a win will see the South American giants make the last 16.
Following an opening game 2-0 defeat against group leaders Croatia, Nigeria recorded a 2-0 win over Iceland in their last outing to put their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages back in their hands.
Best Odds: 21/10
The variety act that is the World Cup often throws up a handful of surprises, and when it comes to Group D, we’ve already seen our fair share. It was considered to be the Group of Death from the word go and it’s lived up to that reputation thus far, with four more games scheduled to come that will shape the immediate future of all four nations. In this encounter, Nigeria will take on Iceland, in a battle between the two teams who were considered to be the underdogs behind Argentina and Croatia at the start of the tournament.
Best Odds: 12/5
On Thursday night, Argentina and Croatia clash in a potentially crucial clash in Group D of the World Cup. A win for either side could be pivotal in deciding who makes the knockout stages of the group.
Both sides head into this clash unbeaten in five World Cup games, including qualifiers, so this could be a tight encounter.
Argentina headed into World Cup 2018 with a number of concerns surrounding their team. Many of those concerns were confirmed in their opening match, as La Albiceleste drew 1-1 with Iceland after Lionel Messi saw a penalty saved.
Prediction: Croatia win
Best odds: 3/4
Croatia and Nigeria open their World Cup campaigns against each other. The game should be an interesting clash of European and African football, though a lot of Nigerians also play in Europe. The two teams play in group D of the tournament, which also contains one of the title favourites Argentina and Iceland, one of the nicest surprises of Euro 2016.
The strength of the group’s remaining two teams will certainly represent strong motivation for both sides, and the fact that both Croatia and Nigeria like to play attacking football is also promising.
According to a report in the Evening Standard, Alex Iwobi is excited about working with the newly appointed manager Unai Emery.
The sudden departure of Arsene Wenger after 22 years in charge came as a bit of a shock for the young Nigerian. The Frenchman represented a huge figure in his development. Iwobi has been with Arsenal since he was six, and to play for the Gunners’ first team now is a life-dream come true.
Now, with Wenger gone and Emery about to take charge, the attacker is keen to see what working with the Spaniard will be like.
Arsenal’s young winger Alex Iwobi would reject a move to Barcelona, according to his father Chuba. The 20-year-old has been a first-team regular for the Gunners this season and looks to have bright future with the team from north London.
Iwobi has missed just two Premier League games and both of those were through injury. The youngster has now also established himself in the Nigeria team, having made his debut last season for the Super Eagles.
Would reject Barcelona
According to the Metro, Nigerian forward Samuel Chukwueze is set to sign for Portuguese giants FC Porto this summer after snubbing interest from Arsenal. The youngster looked set to follow Kelechi Nwakali through the Arsenal door, but has had a change of heart and could be confirmed a Porto player in the coming days.
“Chukwueze is going to FC Porto not Monaco. They are waiting for him to sign the papers but he couldn’t travel because he is with the Flying Eagles. We don’t know the length of contract he will sign until we get to Portugal,” said the Diamond Football Academy president Martin Agupo. Nwakali recently signed a five-year deal with Arsenal, and U17 World Cup winner Chukwueze was supposed to join himat the Emirates Stadium.