Nigeria has provided a hotbed of Premier League talent over the years, but it is a pair of rising stars that are leading the attack for the Super Eagles’ new generation.
Nwankwo Kanu, Jay-Jay Okocha and Celestine Babayaro were the headline of previous Nigerian sides that lit up World Cups with flair and imagination.
But following years of decline after their triumph at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, the new standard bearers have been found to follow in their predecessors’ footsteps.
With the first anniversary of his appointment fast approaching, Jurgen Klopp’s reign at Liverpool is approaching the giddy heights he promised in his first press-conference.
He stated his ambition to ‘turn doubters into believers’ at Anfield and revitalise the fortunes of a club that had gone stale under Brendan Rodgers and the expectations of a fan base that had become increasingly disillusioned.
Two cup final appearances last season suggest the German had little trouble injecting his ‘heavy metal’ style of football into the club.
With 12 goals in his last 13 appearances Islam Slimani is a man bang in form and one that will be giving Jose Mourinho nightmares as Manchester United look to arrest their Premier League slide.
United stopped the rot with a 3-1 EFL Cup win away at Northampton on Wednesday night, but once again failed to impress.
After successive league defeats against Manchester City and Watford, the sight of the buoyant champions – and their new £30million striker – rocking up at Old Trafford will be an unwelcome sight for the already under-pressure Portuguese.
Over the past decade, Liverpool and Chelsea have developed one of the most unlikely yet fierce rivalries in the Premier League.
While attention has been dominated by the 22 players on the pitch, and match-ups that have seen the likes of Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez do battle with Frank Lampard, John Terry and Didier Drogba.
But when they go head-to-head once again on Friday night at Stamford Bridge, you would be forgiven for allowing your attention to drift to the touchline as the two most animated and excitable managers in the Premier League meet for the first time.
Marcus Willis admits that the last few weeks have been ‘surreal’, but he does not plan on making it a one-off as he looks to build on his success at Wimbledon.
The 25-year-old leapt to national attention after winning six qualifying matches to reach the main draw and disposed of Ricardas Berankis in straight-sets to set up a Centre Court meeting with Roger Federer.
Though the world No 772 was beaten 0-6, 3-6, 4-6, his boyish enthusiasm and positivity won over the 15,000 strong-crowd and the watching nation.
t has been a curate’s-egg of a season for Liverpool that has encompassed a change of manager, a Wembley final and a run to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
While the Reds have proved excellent in the cups and in one-off cup games, they have struggled to find rhythm and consistency throughout a disappointing league campaign.
The 3-2 defeat by Southampton on Sunday betrayed a soft-underbelly from a side who squandered the chance to record four consecutive league wins and reigniting their charge towards the top four by blowing a two-goal lead in the second-half.
Philippe Coutinho showed quick feet and a deftness of touch to race past Guillermo Varela before supplying a delightful dink over David de Gea to finish off Manchester United’s hopes of a remarkable Europa League fightback on Thursday.
Liverpool had been outplayed for much of the first-half at Old Trafford and had wasted golden opportunities to score a crucial away goal.
But when it mattered most the Brazilian magician stepped up and delivered, and he’s made a habit of doing exactly that since joining the Anfield club in 2013.
Wednesday night will see the conclusion of an epic Champions League double-header, with Bayern Munich and Juventus locked at 2-2 following a thrilling first leg in Turin in February.
Though many eyes will be trained on Arsenal’s attempts to overturn a 2-0 deficit away at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola and Massimiliano Allegri will be locking horns in a tie with huge ramifications at the Allianz Arena.
The incoming Manchester City boss needs a win to keep alive his dreams of a maiden – and final – Champions League triumph in Germany, but standing in their way are one of the form teams in Europe…