RB Leipzig v Napoli Betting Tips: Latest odds, team news, preview and predictions

Napoli have a mountain to climb when they travel to the Red Bull Arena to take on RB Leipzig in Thursday’s Europa League clash.

Missing a number of key players, Maurizio Sarri saw his side fall to a 3-1 home defeat in the first leg last week.

Latest Odds

With just one win to their name in eight previous visits to Germany, they are 7/2 (4.50) outsiders with to give themselves a chance of progression with a victory here.

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However, Die Roten Bullen have just lost twice in 15 home matches this season, and  make them 8/11 (1.73) favourites to come out on top once again.

Just one of the guests’ last 16 fixtures has resulted in a draw, but you can get odds of 14/5 (3.80) on them playing out a stalemate in this one.

Team News

Ralph Hasenhuttl will be without the ineligible Ademola Lookman and long-term injury absentee Marcel Halstenberg, although Stefan Ilsanker is available after missing the first leg through suspension.

Dries Mertens will return from suspension for the Partenopei, who are still missing Arkadiusz Milik, Faouzi Ghoulam and Vlad Chiriches through injury.

Leipzig worthy favourites

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Although regarded by many as front-runners to lift the trophy when the draw for the last 32 was made, Sarri’s team do not seem particularly invested in European competition this campaign.

With their focus centred on maintaining their position at the top of Serie A as they target a first Scudetto since 1990, the Italians dropped unceremoniously out of the Champions League at the first hurdle.

Preview and predictions

Having rested some key players in their defeat at the Stadio San Paolo, it is hard to see them putting out a particularly strong team for this trip with the tie all but wrapped up.

Instead, those 8/11 (1.73) odds seem generous on RB Leipzig enjoying another victory against a Napoli team that lost all three of their away games in the Champions League group stages.

Betting Banner - Best BetRB Leipzig to win at 8/11 (1.73) with for a 2pt stake

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Azpilicueta: Chelsea must be perfect to beat Barcelona

Cesar Azpilicueta believes Chelsea have to be “perfect” at Camp Nou if Antonio Conte’s men are to triumph against Barcelona in the Champions League.

Willian’s goal had the Premier League title-holders on track to take a 1-0 lead into next month’s second leg of the last-16 tie between the old rivals.

But after Azpilicueta’s defensive colleague Andreas Christensen gave the ball away deep in his own half, Andres Iniesta set up Lionel Messi for a crucial away goal.

With Gary Cahill on the bench, Azpilicueta wore the captain’s armband against Barca and the Spain international wants a flawless display from his side for the second leg on March 14.

“The away goal obviously gives them a small advantage because with a 0-0 they go through, but it is what it is,” Azpilicueta told Chelsea’s website.

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“There is still a lot to play for and it will be an interesting game, we know it’s going to be tough but our performance showed what we are capable of doing and we will try our best to qualify.

“We have to play a perfect game, we know we are playing against very good players in a tough stadium but we are confident and we will try to qualify.”

Before heading to Camp Nou, Chelsea face Premier League away trips to Manchester United and Manchester City, as the battle for Champions League qualification heats up.

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“After two tough defeats a few weeks ago the team responded with two wins against West Brom, and then Hull City in the FA Cup,” the defender added.

“Against Barcelona it was also a great performance from the team, nearly perfect. Now we have a tough game on Sunday and we have to turn our heads to the next target, the Premier League, and try to get as high as possible.

“The next game is always the most important because it’s where you can get the three points. At the moment we are getting closer and closer to the end of the season, so we have to get the points.”

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Barcelona is my club – Sergi Roberto rejects other interest to sign new deal

Sergi Roberto insists he never had any intention of leaving Barcelona after officially signing a new contract with the LaLiga leaders.

The 26-year-old – who started out his career playing in midfield but more recently has been converted into a right-back – revealed he had dismissed interest from other clubs to pledge his future to Barca until 2022.

A regular under head coach Ernesto Valverde this season, Roberto has helped his boyhood club establish a seven-point lead over nearest rivals Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.

“Since I started talking about the renewal, I wanted to be here. It’s my club,” he said at a press conference at Camp Nou.

“It’s true that other teams were interested, but I wanted to be here and I’m happy to have renewed until 2022. And, if I can go on for longer, even better.”

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President Josep Maria Bartomeu praised the loyalty shown by Roberto, who joined Barcelona at the age of 14.

“Sergi’s an example for many players. We are grateful for his patience, his perseverance,” he said.

“He’s had and will have a lot of offers, but we’re thankful that he’s decided to stay here.” 

With his long-term future sorted, Roberto has now set his sights on forcing his way into Spain’s squad in time for this year’s World Cup.

He won the last of his three caps in September 2016, but believes there is still time to impress Julen Lopetegui and secure a place in the party for Russia.

“Of course, it would be a dream to go to the World Cup,” Roberto said.

“It’s really close now and I hope to get lucky and that the coach counts on me, because it’s what every player wants.

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“I hope Julen Lopetegui gives me the chance to be at the World Cup. At the very least, I am going to work hard for it.”

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VIDEO: The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola hits Dubai in style

The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola made quite a splash this week when it arrived in Dubai to take over the night sky.

The Trophy Tour kicked off last month and will visit no less than 91 cities across 51 countries and six continents before settling back in host-nation Russia in May.

And on Wednesday it stopped in the UAE, taking in the world-famous Dubai Frame in Zabeel Park before the day’s events reached a glittering conclusion at Burj Khalifa.

“The trophy’s visit to Dubai as part of its global tour confirms the country’s position on the international sporting map,” said Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council.

World Cup Trophy lights up Dubai

 
Posted by Goal.com on Thursday, February 22, 2018

Hareb led a delegation including Victoria Lopyreva, official ambassador of the FIFA World Cup 2018 and Murat Ozgel, General Manager of The Coca-Cola Company Middle East

“Football is the most popular game in the world, uniting global citizens of all walks of life in their shared passion and enthusiasm for the game. Coca-Cola shares that passion,” said Ozgel.

The evening ended in style as the world-famous Burj Khalifa lit up the stunning Dubai skyline.

For more information on the Trophy Tour head to the official FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour Instagram or Facebook page

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Usain Bolt’s football career – how sprinting legend aims to conquer Man Utd & Borussia Dortmund

Usain Bolt is one of the most successful athletes of all time and his exploits during his career have marked him out as the best sprinter in history.

An eight-time Olympic gold-medallist, Bolt set new records for the 100 metre and 200 metre sprint races, dominating the athletics scene for over a decade before retiring in 2017.

Throughout his career in athletics, Bolt often spoke of his desire to eventually make a transition into football and, while it raised a few laughs, it was no joke for the Jamaican.

Recent developments have seen that aspiration evolve into a realistic possibility and Goal brings you all you need to know about Bolt’s foray into football.


Is Usain Bolt a footballer?


The short answer to that question is no – for now, at least.
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Bolt is not a professional footballer, but he has an obvious love for the game and he has played some amateur football, as well as six-a-side matches for fun. 

However, that could be about to change in the coming months, following the news that he will have a trial with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund. 

Should he impress enough in Germany, he is hopeful that he will be able to carve out a career for himself as a professional.

Usain Bolt 2013

“The injury is now fine and I’m back fully fit,” Bolt told the Express. “In March we’re going to do trials with Dortmund and that will determine what I do with that career, which way it goes. If they say I’m good, and that I need a bit of training, I’ll do it.”

The Jamaican revealed that “one of his biggest dreams” is to play for Manchester United and he says that he has even spoken to former Red Devils boss Alex Ferguson about it. 

He clearly believes in himself, once suggesting that he would perhaps be at the same level as Wayne Rooney when it comes to ability, but lining up for Jose Mourinho’s side at Old Trafford is a lofty ambition, to put it mildly.

Usain Bolt

Even Bolt’s own agent, Ricky Simms, doubts the likelihood of a Man United move ever happening, noting his client’s advancing age and lack of professional football training. 

“Can a sprinter who is 30-years-old play in the Bundesliga or the Premier League? Realistically that is a step too far,” Simms told the Daily Star last August. “I think if he had six months or nine months playing and training with a team then he could play at some level whether that is League One or League Two.

“He would hit me on the head for saying he is not going to play in the Champions League, but I don’t know realistically if he has the motivation at this stage of his life to go training with the reserves on a rainy day in Manchester or Munich or somewhere as he is a wealthy guy and has a great life.

“With football though in some form you will see him.”

That said, Simms also revealed that Bolt had around 12 clubs interested in his services and, considering his physical attributes alone, you can certainly see why.


What team does Usain Bolt support?


Usain Bolt Manchester United

Bolt is a massive fan of Premier League giants Manchester United, which would explain why playing for the Red Devils is one of his biggest dreams.

The Red Devils have regularly acknowledged the star’s love for the club, inviting him as their guest to the 2011 Champions League final, as well as having him parade his gold medals in front of the crowd ahead of a 2012 Premier League game against Fulham at Old Trafford.

In 2013, Bolt took part in a promotional video for his sponsors Puma along with Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero (see below) in which he deviously attempts to tire the Argentine out ahead of the Manchester derby.

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As well as being a fan of the club, Bolt frequently rubs shoulders with the top footballers in the world and maintains a friendship with United midfielder Paul Pogba.

Last summer, he explained that he would like to take Pogba for a Nandos and a Guinness in order to celebrate his retirement from sprinting.

“We can go and have dinner at Nando’s,” Bolt said. “And maybe afterwards we can party a little and I might buy him a Guinness… but not too many because I expect him to lead Manchester United to be champions next season!”


Is Usain Bolt on PES 2018?


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While Bolt is not yet a professional footballer in real life, his virtual reality alter ego has already conquered the world of football gaming.

Bizarrely, Bolt is in Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 as a player in the game’s myClub mode, where he is joined by the likes of David Beckham, Diego Maradona and other football legends.

In PES 2018, the commentator refers to the Jamaican as ‘Lightning Bolt’ and he performs his signature celebration when he scores a goal. 

At the beginning of the year, he posted a video on his official Twitter page showing a special edition of PES 2018 with his picture on the cover, along with a controller featuring the Jamaica colours.

Could ‘Bolt 9’ become the new CR7? He certainly has the speed and power, but we’ll just have to wait and see.


What is Usain Bolt’s net worth?


Bolt’s net worth has been estimated at between £24.5m and £45m, with the bulk of those earnings coming through endorsements rather than prize-winnings from athletics.

The chief endorsement Bolt has is with the German sportswear band Puma and that link has seen him cross over into the world of football, as can be seen in the aforementioned Aguero collaboration.

According to Forbes, the Jamaican was the 23rd best paid athlete in the world in 2017, but he was still comfortably behind the likes of Neymar, Messi and Ronaldo. However, he was ahead of Gareth Bale and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

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