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Guardiola Wary of ‘Best Title Contenders’ Liverpool At ‘Toughest Stadium’ Anfield

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that the Citizens’ Premier League clash with leaders Liverpool this Sunday is one against the ‘best title contenders’ at Anfield – one of the toughest stadiums in Europe today to play as an away team, in his reckoning.
Champions Manchester City are six points behind Liverpool going into this matchday-12 clash.
Guardiola’s men drew goalless with the Reds at Anfield and won 2-1 in the reverse fixture at the Etihad on the way to beating Jurgen Klopp’s team to the Premier League title last season with one point difference.

But the Champions League kings are not only unbeaten in the Premier League this term, they are also unbeaten in 45 consecutive games at Anfield. And Guardiola is at alert.
“As a manager, I said last season when we won the league, they [Liverpool] are the best contender ever faced in my career to win this league,” Guardiola told reporters in his prematch press conference on Friday.
“It was the biggest achievement, or one of the biggest achievements, as a club. It remains the same. Probably right now they’rethe strongest team in the world.
“They are an exceptional team. Of course, the history is there for itself. It’s something special, I think more for the quality of the team of what they do, quality of players theyhave, quality of manager they have, I believe more in that, in the team, than the scenario atmosphere at Liverpool].
Guardiola added: “Right now it’s [Anfield] one of the toughest ones [stadiums] right now in Europe.”
Guardiola also weighs his teams chances of deposing the Klopp’s army in the current title race.
Also Read: Lampard Named Premier League Manager Of The Month For October
“I don’t know to be honest, I think inNovember it never ends. I think we have a lot of games still to play” he said.
“My experience in sport is you have to play until the end, are we going to win Champions League? Your favourite question! I don’t knowthe answer.
“They lost one game last season, this season they are unbeaten, so I think they won’t lose many, but the season is long.”
Asked about the ‘diving’ comment he made about Liverpool’s Sadio Mane that attracted a counter reaction from Klopp, Guardiola responds tartly.
He said: “I said in Italy, no comment.
“Ask the other managers. I know exactly what I said to my players in the last 11 years about what we have to do. I know exactly.”
Guardiola also shrugs off suggestion that the rivalry between him and Klopp could be likened to that of Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger as Manchester United and Arsenal managers respectively earlier in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“Well, I will wait [to see] if my hair grows in the next 20 years because they were more than 20 years together,” he stated
“I think we cannot compare anyone with the rivals of Ferguson and Wenger. Absolute legends in their clubs, they were more thanone or two decades there.”
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Rohr: No Truth In Ejaria, Eze Comparison Reports

Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has denied reports that he rated Ovie Ejaria better than  Ebere Eze and that he has mandated the Nigeria Football Federation to get the former into his team immediately, reports

Ejaria and Eze, born by different  Nigerian parents are still eligible to play for the Super Eagles though they have both featured  for England at the U-20 and U-21 levels.

The duo are been courted by the NFF to switch allegiance and feature for the Super Eagles at the senior level.

However, reports emerged recently in some section of the media that Rohr would prefer to have Ejaria in his team  instead of Eze.

The German tactician has however come out to deny the claim in strong terms and insists it is not his tradition to compare players.

 “My attention has been drawn to some statements online that I have described Reading FC player Ovie Ejaria as a better player than Queens Park Rangers’ Ebere Eze and so the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) should get him in the team immediately,”reads a quote credited to Rohr on the official Twitter handle of the NFF on Wednesday.

“This is totally false and very disrespectful to both players. I never compare players and I have not asked the NFF to make any approach for the player in question.

“I will never ask the NFF publicly to approach any player for our team. We have our processes and it certainly doesn’t include sharing such information publicly.

“Furthermore I think there must be restraint in press statements purportedly quoting me and my person in terms of interviews.

“I share a very good relationship with the media in Nigeria but this must not be abused to the extent of misquoting me and making wrong claims about my person.”

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Undefeated Ajagba Faces Georgia’s Kiladze in Heavyweight Boxing Bout December 21

Nigerian heavyweight boxer Efe Ajagba will hope to maintain his unbeaten record and his march towards the world Heavyweight boxing Championship when he clashes with Georgia’s Lago Kiladze, reports.
The fight is billed for the Toyota Arena, Ontario, California, USA, on December 21st, 2019.
Nicknamed “The One and Only”, and standing at 6 foot 6 inches tall, with a reach of 85 inches (216 cm), this will be Ajagba’s 12th bout since turning professional.

In his last fight against Turkey’s Ali Eren Demirezen on July 20th, 2019, Ajagba was declared winner via an unanimous points decision.
It was the first time Demirezen will taste defeat as a professional boxer after initially winning all of his 11 fights, with 10 coming via knockouts.
For 33-year-old Kiladze, who stands at 6′ 3 1/2, with a reach of 79 inches (201), he will be looking forward to his first win since November 2017.
With a record of 26 wins, 18 coming via knockouts, Kiladze, a former World Boxing Association (WBA) Inter-Continental cruiserweight title-holder, has lost four of his professional fights.
Efe Ajagba outboxing Amir Mansour Ronnie
He has not won any of his last four fights going into his clash against his 25-year-old Nigerian opponent.
In his last fight against unbeaten Robert Alfonso on May, 2019, the contest ended in a draw.
Prior to the fight against Alfonso, he lost all his three fights in 2018, suffering knockouts in all of them.
Kiladze started 2018 with a loss to Adam Kownacki and was floored by Michael Hunter in June before another knock down defeat to Joe Joyce in September.
Will Ajagba continue his unbeaten streak or suffer his first ever defeat as a professional boxer? The answer will be known come December 21st in Ontario.
By James Agberebi
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Joshua Hits Back At Wilder Following Criticism Over His Performance In Ruiz Victory

Anthony Joshua has defended his cautious and tactful display against Andy Ruiz Jr, which saw him become a two-time heavyweight world champion on Saturday night in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
Joshua outfoxed and outboxed Ruiz Jr in their rematch fight to claim a unanimous points win and revenge for his shock defeat six months ago.
The fight was devoid of spectacle and although Joshua mostly received praise for executing his game plan from those inside the sport, there were some who critcised the Brit.

WBC champion Deontay Wilder was unimpressed by Joshua’s performance and blasted his ‘jab-and-grab’ technique in the hours after his victory.
Wilder told The Athletic: ‘Joshua did what he had to do to get the win. He ran around the ring and was on his bike all day.
‘You want to dominate guys, man. I’m not coming in, after losing to this guy, to just dance and grab and jab and hold. I’m going to show the world and convince them I am the very best and that no one is close to me.’
AJ hit back at his rival’s comments, insisting that he deserves credit for showing the discipline to box smart and prise back the heavyweight world titles.
‘That’s Wilder’s opinion,’ Joshua said. ‘A lot of people don’t have a good bone in their body to say a positive thing anyway. I outboxed the heavyweight champion of the world for 12 rounds. I don’t think I lost a round. Maybe one.
‘I come in there with a great game plan, I’m successful. Isn’t that good enough?
‘You can’t box to keep everyone happy; you have to box for the win. And I feel like when I’m at home celebrating, he’s there talking about negativity. Negative energy breeds failure so I’m just going to keep a positive mindset and build on that victory.’
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