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Arsenal vs Mancity: Can Bukayo Saka, Dani Ceballos, Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard make the difference against a tactically strong City?

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Arsenal vs Mancity

It would be a clash of the titans as top of the table Manchester City would be visiting Arsenal at the Emirate stadium in a bid to stay atop the league table by extending their lead comfortably. An interesting fact is that Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta would be hosting his former boss, Pep Guardiola once again. Clinching a 3 point off an unstable Arsenal side who drew 1-1 with Benfica over the week at the Europa League tournament would comfortable be 13 points above the table.

Since Arteta took over as manager of the club, he has conceded just 25 times. Arsenal are on course to let in fewer than 40 Premier League goals for the first time since finishing runners-up to Leicester City in 2015/16. Focusing intently on a structured shape, the Spaniard’s cautious style has been criticised in some quarters for lacking spontaneity. But Arsenal will rely on this type of secure platform as they seek to end a run of seven consecutive league defeats by Manchester City.

Restricting clear-cut chances for the high-flying leaders will be the key to producing an upset. In terms of their positional play, Arsenal take fewer gambles under Arteta. When one full-back pushes into the final third, the opposite full-back tucks inside to protect against counter-attacks. Both central midfielders usually hold their ground too, rather than making runs into the opposition box. This can leave Arsenal light on numbers in advanced areas but it makes them less vulnerable to fast transitions. Due in part to these changes, they are facing significantly fewer shots per match and conceding fewer goals.

During the 4-2 win at home to Leeds United last weekend, Arsenal’s organised pressing was arguably the best it has been this season.

It helped them regain possession inside the opposition half 24 times, while also limiting the quality of service played into Marcelo Bielsa’s forwards.

Arsenal have looked a more effective side when closing down from the front this term, so it will be fascinating to see if Arteta is bold enough to choose that game plan today for Arsenal vs Mancity.

Youngsters Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard have the energy, enthusiasm and intelligence to perform the task well, but if they are bypassed, it could leave the defense exposed. In the likely continued absence of Thomas Partey, Arsenal will need a stellar performance from Dani Ceballos.

The on-loan Spaniard proved he could marry work rate and defensive discipline with technical ability during an outstanding display in last season’s FA Cup semi-final victory against City.

Repackaging his style to become an all-action central midfielder at Emirates Stadium, the 24-year-old has a big part to play on Sunday.

Squeezing the spaces that Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden want to work in will be an extremely demanding job.

Yet Ceballos has consistently shown an appetite to put the hard yards in this season.

It is widely perceived Granit Xhaka and Partey are Arteta’s first-choice pairing, but statistically it is Ceballos who leads the way in the key categories. The Spaniard is the most effective central midfield ball-winner and also the most progressive distributor from that part of the pitch.

Taming City at this moment is seriously difficult, but if Arsenal are well drilled by Arteta, and if Ceballos plays well, they have a chance of ending their poor run in this fixture.

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Breaking: Anthony Joshua Suffers Second Defeat In Career, lose to Oleksandr Usyk

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British-Nigerian boxer Anthony Joshua hasn’t lost to Oleksandr Usyk in an extraordinary match held at the  Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to win the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight world titles.

Usyk dominated from the first bell, outclassing Joshua with a sublime performance in front of 67,000 fans in London.

 

Scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 were just rewarded after a sensational display from the unbeaten Usyk, who became only the third fighter after Evander Holyfield and David Haye to win the world titles at cruiserweight and heavyweight.

 

This is the second defeat Joshua has suffered in his entire career.

 

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FIRSTBANK SPONSORS THE 5TH EDITION OF THE CHIEF OLUSEGUN OBASANJO GOLF TOURNAMENT

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Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria (middle); Mr. Tunde Owolabi, Group Executive, Retail Banking (Lagos & West), First Bank of Nigeria Limited (right) and Mr. Kola Adeneye, Captain of Abeokuta Golf Club (left), following a courtesy visit to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta on Monday, ahead of the FirstBank sponsored 5th Olusegun Obasanjo Open Golf Championship organised by Abeokuta Golf Club, scheduled for this weekend.

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its sponsorship of the 5th edition of the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo golf tournament, organized by the Abeokuta golf club. The competition, which is scheduled to hold on Saturday, 14th August 2021 will have Chief Obasanjo perform the ceremonial Tee-off to the glamour of the 150 golfers participating from across Nigeria. 

Speaking on the competition, Kola Adeneye, the Captain of the Abeokuta golf club, said; “Abeokuta golf club is putting up this tournament, fully sponsored by First Bank of Nigeria Limited to celebrate Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, whom we all know to be an icon, a patriotic Nigerian and an entrepreneur. He is worthy to be celebrated and it’s not only when somebody dies that you celebrate him.

“So, Abeokuta golf club has put this tournament together to celebrate him and this is the fifth edition and we want to sincerely thank FirstBank for the support… It’s going to be a wonderful experience, a nice outing for golfers all over Nigeria to come and celebrate Baba Olusegun Obasanjo”, the captain emphasised.

Highlighting the Bank’s contribution to sports development in Nigeria, Mr. Tunde Owolabi, FirstBank’s Group Executive, Retail Banking (Lagos & West) said “we are delighted to join The Abeokuta Golf Club to honour Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for the indelible roles he has played to the socio-economic and political development of the country. The Bank’s influence in the development of sports in Nigeria is under its [email protected] initiative.

“In over a century, FirstBank has sponsored various sporting events known as its legacy sport. These events include the Georgian Cup of Kaduna Polo Club, for over 100 years; the Dala Tennis Hard Court in Kano Club for over 30 years; the FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship in Ikoyi Club which will be in its 60th year this November and the Obasanjo Pro-Amateur tournament of Abeokuta Club now in its 5th year”, he concluded.

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Heritage Bank Praised for supporting Ibadan Golf Club 

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Heritage Bank Plc has been commended for its continued supports of Nigeria’s sports sector, especially backing the Ibadan Golf Club’s 30th-anniversary event. 

The event that attracted dignitaries and stakeholders from various parastatals also had the presence of the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Oluseyi Makinde and over 150 golfers participated in the tournament during the weeklong celebration.

In a speech during the grand finale of the 30th anniversary of the club, the Captain of the Ibadan Golf Club, Oladiran Ibironke commended one of Nigeria’s most vibrant financial institutions, Heritage Bank and others for providing financial support to ensure the success of the event.

“Special thanks to Heritage Bank Plc., the anniversary’s major sponsor for enlarging our coast financially in order to make the anniversary elaborate and eventful. You will forever be remembered in the history of Ibadan Golf Club,” he stated.

Ibironke also praised the efforts of the founding fathers of the club while tracing the history of how the sporting club has continued to blossom.

He stated that tremendous transformations had occurred within the club since its inception 30 years ago.

“We are celebrating 30 years today because some great minds came together and established what we are celebrating today.

“From the history that we heard,   they started from Ibadan Recreation Club before moving over to where we are today in 1990,” Ibironke said.

Speaking on the 30th anniversary, the Ag. Group Head, Corporate Communications, Heritage Bank, Ozena Utulu noted that the Bank is delighted to be the lead sponsor and to be associated with Ibadan Golf Club, stating that the sponsorship is hinged on its brand’s passion to support sports, especially golf in promoting health, wellbeing, and nation-building.

She stated that Heritage Bank, as the sponsor of Ibadan Golf Club’s 30th anniversary, is working assiduously towards achieving its vision of becoming a bank known for promoting healthy lifestyles and the general wellbeing of the society at large.

“Heritage Bank believes in development. We have the tenacity to develop and sport is a way of developing Nigerians both young and old. We want to encourage the golfers; I believe that this type of games is capable of helping them to keep healthy and fit,” Utulu stated.

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