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FIFA releases Nigeria’s latest ranking in world football [Full list]

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Nigeria’s Super Eagles is now placed fourth in Africa and retains her 44th spot in the world with 1,427 points, as against October’s 1,431 points, in the FIFA/Coca Cola Rankings.

The latest ranking was released on Thursday on the website of the world football governing body.

Tunisia who led the continent’s teams in the last rankings dropped to second place behind Senegal, with the North Africans dropping four places to 26th in the world with 1,493 points.

Senegal now top the CAF teams with 1,505 points and places 23rd in the world.

Morocco rests in third place, with Congo DR in fifth, after garnering 1,440 and 1420 points as world 40th and 49th respectively.

Belgium, France and Brazil remain unchanged as the highest ranked with 1,727, 1,727 and 1,676 points respectively.

According to a report on the FIFA website, defeats for the leading duo in the UEFA Nations League resulted in both dropping six ranking points.

Brazil , though still 50 points behind France, added seven after wins over Uruguay, who is seventh-ranked and 55th-placed Cameroon.

Meanwhile, the big climbers include African quintet of Mozambique (117th, up 5), Angola (125th, up 5), Sudan (127th, up 8), Comoros (143rd, up 5) and Gambia (166th, up 7).

The rise of Kosovo (131st, up 6) was also notable as it took them to their highest ranking position till date.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on Dec. 20.

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Owen compares Nigerian-born forward, Bukayo Saka to Ronaldo

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Following the Gunners’ 1-0 victory over Qarabag in the Europa League encounter played on Thursday night, Former Liverpool striker, Michael Owen has compared Nigerian-born and Arsenal forward, Bukayo Saka to Juventus ace, Cristiano Ronaldo, uniquesports.com.ng reports.

Saka made his first start for Unai Emery’s side against Qarabag on the left wing and showed plenty of confidence, as he tested goalkeeper, Vagner, with an early strike from the edge of the box and tried to take on defenders.

The 17-year-old also missed a good chance to score his first Arsenal goal in the second half against the visitors.

Owen has now suggested that Saka already has similarities with Ronaldo.

“He [Saka] looked really nervous at the start of the game, myself and Martin [Keown] were both talking about it,” Owen was quoted by Metro UK as saying.

“But he certainly grew into the game. Just him having the courage to run at players was really refreshing to see.

“Some of the skill… I watched Ronaldo doing this the other day for Juventus.”

“He’s just different class and by the end of the game, his confidence was oozing.”

Saka will hope to feature for Arsenal when they tackle Southampton this weekend in the Premier League.

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Mourinho gives injury update on nine Man United players ahead of Liverpool clash

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Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho has provided latest injury update on nine of his players ahead of Red Devils’ Premier League clash against Liverpool on Sunday at Anfield.

The likes of Marcos Rojo, Scott McTominay, Victor Lindelof, Alexis Sanchez, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian, Anthony Martial and Diogo Dalot are all injured ahead of United’s clash with Jurgen Klopp’s men.

Mourinho said some of United’s nine injured players are certain to miss Liverpool clash.

Providing injury update on his players, Mourinho reiterated as quoted by Manchester Evening News on Friday at a pre-match conference: “The latest is to tell you again that in Valencia only De Gea and Matic were available to play and didn’t travel by decision.

“Apart from that, the players that didn’t travel were not fit to play in Valencia, all of them had injuries and they were not ready.

“All of them didn’t train yesterday again and today they will be a little, I don’t want to say [a] test, but a little introduction to training to see the answer, adaptation and to see if we can increase a little bit tomorrow to have them for Sunday.

“But for sure, I hope, is better not to say for sure, I hope some will be available but for sure some will not be.”

“I’m going to try, I’m going to try,” Mourinho added. “I always try and I want to play a team that is capable to be with me on that desire and on that ambition and on that confidence.

“We know that we are going to play against the leader, against a team in a high, but we have our qualities, we have our potential and even with the problems we have and the doubts in terms of team choice, of tactics, of approach, of philosophy, we have doubts about everything.

“But we are going to arrive with the players we have available and going to have a team capable of going there and fight for the victory.”

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Antonio Valencia ready to exit Man Utd in January transfer window

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Manchester United player, Antonio Valencia is set to leave United during the transfer window in January after having a bust out with the club’s manager, Jose Mourinho, according to reports.

The United captain has not featured in a match since September after liking a social media post that called for Mourinho to be sacked.

Valencia publicly apologised immediately and then spoke to Mourinho directly, but still found himself out in the cold under his manager.

According to Daily Mail, West Ham and several Spanish clubs are ready to sign the Ecuadorian in January.

Valencia’s agents sat down with United this week to discuss his future, as the defender continues to wait for a new contract offer.

But it seems the 33-year-old has now accepted his relationship with Mourinho is beyond repair.

Despite his difficulties with Mourinho, Valencia is in line to play against Liverpool on Sunday after United were hit with a host of injury concerns.

Defenders, Diogo Dalot, Matteo Darmian and Luke Shaw are all battling injuries and Valencia is set to keep his place after playing against Valencia in the Champions League mid-week.

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