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Nigeria beats Iceland; Argentina still alive

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Ahmed Musa scored a pair of terrific goals as Nigeria set up Group D for a thrilling final day with a 2-0 win over Iceland in Volgograd on Friday.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was arguably Iceland’s Man of the Match before he sent a penalty kick over the bar.

Nigeria now has three points, two more than Argentina and Iceland. Nigeria plays Argentina and Croatia faces Iceland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Gylfi Sigurdsson swung a dangerous early free kick over the bar, then produced the game’s second chance. That one was caught by Francis Uzoho, the 19-year-old Deportivo de la Coruna backstop.

Nigeria’s breakthrough came courtesy a lethal counter attack, as Kenneth Omeruo headed a cross clear of the Eagles’ 18. Kelechi Iheanacho collected and found Victor Moses racing down the right flank.

Moses’ cross was collected by Musa with an unorthodox outside of the boot trap, allowing him a second against his surprised mark. Musa lashed home for 1-0.

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The game was delayed for a bit when Ragnar Sigurdsson was waylaid with a head injury.

Wilfred Ndidi had a rip deflected over the bar in the 57th, and Nigeria opted for a short corner.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]

Musa then basically put it to bed when he cut into the 18 and danced around two defenders with the goalkeeper in between before putting a composed finish into the goal.

Iceland got new life through an 81st minute penalty kick awarded via Video Assistant Referee, but Gylfi Sigurdsson blazed it over the bar.

2018 World Cup team preview: Nigeria

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Getting to know Nigeria: Yes, we know their jerseys are selling out, but the team’s pretty good, too.

With Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Victor Moses (Chelsea), and Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City), this may be the best Nigeria side at a World Cup since the 2002 side with Nwankwo Kanu and Jay-Jay Okocha.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

Two of the Super Eagles’ four World Cup berths have ended in the Round of 16, including 2014’s 2-0 loss to France. Remember: this is a nation which has won a pair of U-17 World Cups in the past five years.

For more history on Nigeria, click here.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 


What group are they in? D


Game schedule – Group D – Full 2018 World Cup schedule, here

Saturday, June 16: Croatia v Nigeria, Kaliningrad 3 p.m. ET
Friday, June 22: Nigeria v Iceland, Volgograd 11 a.m. ET
Tuesday, June 26: Nigeria v Argentina, St. Petersburg 2 p.m. ET


Projected lineup (4-3-3) – Check out the 23-man squad list in full

—– Uzoho —–

— Idowu — Troost-Ekung — Balogun — Shehu

—- Ndidi —- Onazi —- Obi —-

—- Iwobi —- Iheanacho —- Moses —-


Star player: Alex Iwobi – It was close, but Iwobi gets the nod over Chelsea’s Victor Moses. The Arsenal attacker is Jay-Jay Okocha’s nephew, and his two goals against Argentina last year served notice that he’s capable of shining on the international stage.


Manager: Gernot Rohr – The 64-year-old German has been around the block, doing club stints with Bordeaux, Nantes, Nice, and Young Boys as well as international duty with Gabon, Niger, and Burkina Faso.


Secret weapon: Wilfred Ndidi —  Just like in the Premier League with Leicester City, Ndidi may not stand out from the XI but he’s a disruptive force. At 20 years old, he’s got a chance to start a journey as an African legend of the World Cup.


Prediction: Man (or woman), is this a tough one. Argentina is one of the tournament favorites, and both Croatia and Nigeria could be considered the top dark horse of the field (lest we forget group mate Iceland’s EURO run). A lot rides on match No. 1 against Croatia, and we think Nigeria just comes up short in a bid to finish second.

Which Premier League players will be at World Cup?

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There are 107 players from the Premier League who are going to the 2018 World Cup.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news

Manchester City have more players going to the tournament (16) than any other club in the world, while the English national team are the only country in the entire competition to have 100 percent of their players from their domestic league.

Belgium have an incredible 11 of their 23-man squad who play in the Premier League, while Senegal and Brazil have six players each from the PL and Argentina, Denmark and France boast five players each in their final rosters.

Below is a breakdown of the PL players heading to Russia this summer, with players from recently relegated teams in 2017/18 and teams coming up to the PL in 2018/19 included.

Here’s a country-by-country breakdown.


Argentina
Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United)
Marcos Rojo (Manchester United)
Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City)
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Willy Caballero (Chelsea)


Australia
Mat Ryan (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town)


Belgium
Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea)
Simon Mignolet (Liverpool)
Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)
Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)
Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur)
Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)
Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion)


Brazil
Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)
Danilo (Manchester City)
Fernandinho (Manchester City)
Willian (Chelsea)
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
Ederson (Manchester City)


Colombia
David Opsina (Arsenal)
Jose Izquierdo (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur)


Croatia
Dejan Lovren (Liverpool)


Denmark
Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)
Andreas Christensen (Chelsea)
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)
Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield Town)
Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield Town)


England
Jack Butland (Stoke City)
Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Nick Pope (Burnley)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur)
Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Gary Cahill (Chelsea)
Phil Jones (Manchester United)
John Stones (Manchester City)
Harry Maguire (Leicester City)
Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur)
Ashley Young (Manchester United)
Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur)
Fabian Delph (Manchester City)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea, on loan at Crystal Palace)
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
Jesse Lingard (Manchester United)
Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)


Egypt
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal)


France
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Olivier Giroud (Chelsea)
N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City)


Germany
Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)
Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)


Iceland
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton)
Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Burnley)


Japan
Maya Yoshida (Southampton)
Shinji Kagawa (Leicester City)


Korea Republic
Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur)
Ki Sung-Yueng (Swansea City)


Mexico
Javier Hernandez (Mexico)


Morocco
Roman Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers)


Nigeria
Wifried Ndidi (Leicester City)
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City)
Victor Moses (Chelsea)
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal)


Peru
Andre Carrillo (Watford)


Poland
Jan Bednarek (Southampton)
Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Brom, on loan from PSG)
Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City)


Portugal
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Joao Mario (West Ham United, on loan from Inter Milan)
Cedric Soares (Southampton)
Adrien Silva (Leicester City)


Serbia
Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace)
Nemanja Matic (Manchester United)
Dusan Tadic (Southampton)
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United, on loan at Fulham)


Senegal
Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Idrissa Gueye (Everton)
Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham United)
Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City)
Alfred N'Diaye (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Badou Ndiaye (Stoke City)


Spain
David De Gea (Manchester United)
Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Nacho Monreal (Arsenal)
David Silva (Manchester City)


Sweden
Victor Lindelof (Manchester United)
Martin Olsson (Swansea City)
Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Swansea City)


Switzerland
Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)
Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City)


Tunisia
Yohan Benalouane (Leicester City)


Chelsea beats Liverpool, keeping Top Four hopes alive

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  • Chelsea creeping on Top Four
  • Giroud scores winner
  • Nothing settled til Championship Sunday

Olivier Giroud‘s first half goal was enough for Antonio Conte‘s Chelsea to top Liverpool 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Chelsea moves to within three points of third-place Liverpool and sits two points behind Spurs. Both London sides have two matches to play while the Reds have one.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

James Milner was fortunate to avoid discipline after a scissor challenge on Eden Hazard hobbled the Belgian in the 10th minute.

Chelsea was better money for an opening goal, and Marcos Alonso stung a shot that Loris Karius caught in the 17th.

Thibaut Courtois made a fine parry on a 30th minute Sadio Mane rip, then collected a weaker second effort from the Senegalese striker.

Giroud put Chelsea ahead in the 32nd minute, and ran into the stands to give David Luiz a hug following the marker. Tiemoue Bakayoko spotted Victor Moses on the right flank, and his cross was turned home by the meaty French forehead (Do I owe Arlo White money now?).

Fabregas’ cross was absent receiver in the 36th minute, as a back post run would’ve had Chelsea ahead by two.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Hazard worked through a hassle to set-up an early second half chance, but Moses’ cross zipped past a herd of Blues attackers.

Chelsea had a second goal ruled offside when Antonio Rudiger was clearly off to head home Giroud’s header off a corner.

Chelsea stayed stout over the final 15 minutes, and Dominic Solanke nodded a late chance wide of the goal.

Swansea City 0-1 Chelsea: Rain Dogs

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  • Fabregas nabs 50th PL goal
  • Swans put one shot on target
  • Chelsea stays alive for 4th
  • Swans one point above drop

Hosts Swansea City didn’t quit, but a Cesc Fabregas first half goal was enough to keep the relegation waters muddled with Chelsea’s 1-0 win at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

On a rainy day with players slipping and the ball was sliding, Swansea just couldn’t get the ball to bound the right way against the favored and visiting Blues.

Chelsea is now six points back of third place Liverpool, with a match-in-hand and another against the Reds. The Blues are two points behind fourth place Spurs, who’ve played one less than Chelsea.

Swansea is a single point ahead of Southampton and three ahead of Stoke City. Swans play both teams, are two points behind Huddersfield Town and West Ham United.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

An Andy King giveaway cued Chelsea up for a fourth minute goal, with Fabregas sweeping a shot around a flying Lukasz Fabianski.

The ensuing play was very feisty, with Andre Ayew picking up a yellow card after a series of shoves and hard tackles between the two sides.

Alfie Mawson flicked a ball over his own goal from very tight, the Liberty Stadium crowd gasping as it leapt the bar.

Swans showed good fight in the next stanza, winning several balls high up the pitch.

Staying in the match allowed Swans their chance to counterpunch on a slippery, rain-drenched pitch. Andre Ayew saw his header deflected over for a goal kick that should’ve been a corner in the 51st.

Emerson carried a dribble close to 60 yards but could neither find a good angle on goal nor an avenue to slip Eden Hazard through as the score remained 1-0.

Swans’ Jordan Ayew looped a header over goal moments before Chelsea’s Victor Moses nearly turned an effort inside the post at the other end.

Andre Ayew swung a shot just around the far post in the 77th, as Swansea really looked good money to level the score.

Things turned nasty in stoppage time, with Jordan Ayew running shoulder first through Gary Cahill‘s back.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]