Six months after a stunning knockout loss, Anthony Joshua used his size and feet to regain control of the heavyweight division and put both his career and status as a global boxing superstar back on track. Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs), who came in 11 pounds lighter than his upset loss in June, outboxed Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saturday’s rematch and avoided trouble to regain his WBA, WBO and IBF titles via wide unanimous decision.
All three judges in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, by scores of 118-110 (twice) and 119-109. CBS Sports also scored the fight 118-110 for Joshua, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Great Britain who put his seventh-round TKO loss during his U.S. debut in the rearview mirror.
Ruiz (33-2, 22 KOs) showed plenty of heart by getting up off the canvas in their first fight to floor Joshua and become the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent. But the robust native of Imperial, California, was never able to land more than one punch at a time after weighing in 15 pounds heavier than he did in the first fight.
Instead of looking to slug with Ruiz, Joshua relied on his athleticism and advantages of four inches in height and eight inches in reach to keep his opponent at the end of his jab and constantly circle out of trouble. Joshua held strategically at times and responded well anytime Ruiz did land clean power shots.
“I make no excuses. My boy [Dereck] Chisora said I could do this if I was willing to d-i-e [but] this is boxing,” Joshua said. “I gave [Ruiz] his credit in the first fight. There is no excuses. I respect Andy and his trainer so much but I wanted to put on a great master class and show that the sweet science of this sport is about hitting and not getting hit.
“As I always say, I’m not perfect but I’m trying. Never a change in mentality. You know the saying — stay hungry, stay humble. I’m hungry, I’m humble in defeat and I’m going to remain humble in victory.”
Joshua was visibly thinner after shedding 11 pounds of muscle from the first fight to the rematch. It helped the 6-foot-6 slugger look much quicker on his feet while Ruiz, whose stomach was noticeably larger than June, was never able to consistently cut off the ring.
Not only was Joshua smart to avoid exchanging for long periods of time, he outlanded Ruiz 107 to 60, according to CompuBox, over the 12 rounds.
“It was his night. I don’t think I prepared how I should, I gained too much weight. But I have no excuses,” Ruiz said. “But if we do a third fight, I’m going to get in the f—ing best shape of my life. I thought I was going to feel stronger and be better but next fight I’m going to be prepared. I tried to train myself for this preparation but I don’t want to give no excuse. Anthony Joshua did a hell of a job.
“I think I was chasing him too much instead of cutting off the ring. I know next time I will do better. Who wants to see the next trilogy fight here in Saudi Arabia?”
Both fighters talked up the idea of a trilogy fight although it’s one that would seemingly be a hard sell considering Ruiz’s poor performance and how wide Joshua’s victory was.
“It’s all about preparation,” Joshua said. “One day when I release a book on my career, I’ll talk about my experiences. Anyone can do it, life is a roller coaster. I took my L and came back. “If you heard, we are going to do it a third [fight].”
As former Heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua looks to capture his three belts back from his conqueror, Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, history does not favour Joshua. If we are to go by history, Joshua has 70 percent losing to Ruiz, but history are meant to be broken and re-written.
Ruiz had stunned the British title-holder Joshua in the seventh round of their fight in New York on Saturday, June 2, 2019 to become the first Mexican-American heavyweight world champion.
Joshua, previously undefeated, was defending his IBF, WBA and WBO titles but was knocked down four times before underdog Ruiz was awarded a technical knockout.
The loss at the Madison Square Garden was Joshua’s first in his stellar career. It was more stunning as the as the American-Mexican Ruiz, only took the fight at six week’s notice. He is now the owner of Joshua’s IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO world titles. Ruiz was an outsider in the match that bookmakers gave to Joshua 25-1.
Now, the die is cast for the rematch in Saudi Arabia where Joshua is aiming to get his three belts back, but Ruiz has told anyone who cared to listen that he is not letting the three belts slip from his grip. He has tasted opulence and fame since he shocked the world in brutal knockdown of Joshua.
Looking at history, some former heavyweight champions had attempted to regain their belts immediately they were defeated. Records show that in such 10 attempts, only three had succeeded, five lost and two draws. Joshua and Ruiz’s fight in Saudi Arabia is the 11th attempt to recapture a lost title by former champions. Is Joshua going to succeed?
Former undisputed Heavyweight Champion, Lennox Lewis after he was defeated by Hasim Rahman in South Africa in 2001 attempted an immediate rematch after seven months. He knocked out Rahman in the fourth round to regain his title. Joshua will hope that luck shines in his favour for the fight to go the way of Lewis-Rahman rematch.
Another attempt to regain a lost time was in 1964 when Sonny Liston lost his world tittle to Muhammed Ali, who was then Cassius Clay. Three months later, Liston’s attempt to recapture his belt from Ali was met with a brutal knockdown in the first round.
Also, Ali had his share after he shockingly lost his heavyweight title to Leon Spinks in 1978. The 10–1 underdog Spinks ended up winning two of the scorecards 145–140 and 144–141, while the third was 142–143 giving him a split decision win. Spinks became the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion after only eight professional bouts, and the only man ever to take a world title away from Ali in the ring, as Ali’s other losses were either non-title bouts or world title fights where Ali was the challenger.
September 15, 1978, Ali challenged Spinks for his title and he regained it by unanimous decision. Ali entered the rematch as a 2½ to 1 favourite. ABC televised the fight live in the United States. The network paid $5.3 million for the rights. An estimated audience of 90 million viewers watched the main event in the United States.
Pat Putnam of Sports Illustrated wrote: “The plan was simple. Ali would jab, jab, throw a right and grab. When Spinks came flailing in, Ali would hook his left hand around the back of Spinks’ head and pull him into an embrace, effectively limiting Spinks to one or two punches or pulling him off balance. And Ali would dance, baby, dance. He would tie up Spinks and then dance away from him on the break, circling to the right, circling to the left. And the fight went as plotted.” Referee Lucien Joubert took the fifth round away from Ali for holding. The Associated Press scored the fight 12-3 for Ali, while the three judges had the bout 11-4, 10-4-1 and 10-4-1 all in favour of Ali giving him a unanimous decision win.
According to Boxing Scene, in 1960, Floyd Patterson had faced Ingemar Johansson, who had produced a big shock to take the title from him the previous year. Patterson won the rematch with a fifth-round knockout and one year later, Johansson became the second former champion to get a straight return fight, but he could not claim his belt back from Patterson, as the American won again, this time in the sixth round.
No boxer could have felt more humiliated by a loss than when Patterson lost the title to Sonny Liston in 126 seconds in 1962. So ashamed was he that he wore a false beard, mustache and dark glasses so he could sneak out of the stadium unnoticed and drive home to New York from Chicago. He was still wearing the disguise when he was stopped by the police for speeding two states away.
Once again, Patterson got a direct rematch, ten months later at the Convention Center in Las Vegas, the first heavyweight title fight to take place in what was to become the world’s boxing capital. Patterson lasted only four seconds longer than the first fight, being knocked down three times in the process.
More so, Michael Dokes in 1982 lost his tittle to Mike Weaver. He got a rematch five months later. The second time, the fight ended in a draw.
Larry Holmes only held the IBF title when he lost a close points decision to Michael Spinks in 1985, a defeat that cost Holmes the chance to equal Rocky Marciano’s 49-fight unbeaten record. They met again seven months later and Spinks repeated the win in another close fight.
Another rematch took place in 1997 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, as Mike Tyson attempted to gain revenge over Evander Holyfield, who had stopped him in the eleventh round seven months before. The return went down in boxing history but not for good reasons as Tyson was disqualified in the third round after biting off part of Holyfield’s ear.
The month after Lewis had regained revenge over Rahman, Holyfield was seeking to regain the WBA title in an instant rematch with John Ruiz. It was actually their third fight in a row. Holyfield had won the vacant title in their first fight, Ruiz won the return. But Holyfield would be denied as he tried to win back the title again, as it ended in a draw.
These are some of the fights. How prepared is Joshua to reclaim his belts from a hungry Ruiz? Joshua says he has been forced to make “drastic changes” to his lifestyle in a bid to win back the heavyweight titles he lost to Ruiz.
“There will be no aftershock after the first fight. I will be smarter. Getting knocked down was good. If I am smarter, I know I can pull it off. I don’t want to say it will be ‘Joshua 2.0 – I know what I was doing before was working, I just have to tweak little things and I will be perfect. Losing speeds up that process.
“I have made some drastic changes, lifestyle stuff. Family, circles, what is important, priorities. The effort it takes to stay on the straight and narrow is challenging. I have to understand I am aiming to be a top athlete. Boxing was always the easiest part for me. The struggle was always keeping my life in check. If I can do that, the boxing will fall into place,” he says.
Joshua said his first career defeat at the hands Ruiz Jr. was due to a lack of experience and that he had become a “smarter” fighter ahead of December’s rematch.
“It wasn’t burnout. The issues I faced in the last camp, it’s just down to lack of experience,” he told BBC.
“Even though it was at a high level, we were still finding experience. Andy Ruiz is good but I don’t think he should beat me twice. I used to hear guys say you have to take a loss and I would think ‘why’? Now I can understand it and know what it takes. I have more understanding now and my ears are open to new information so that’s making me smarter as a fighter.
“There are things I have had to do to take me to the next level. I am confident I can be victorious and when I am I will tell everyone of how I went wrong.”
But Ruiz is determined to retain his belts. He said: “It’s been a long three months of camp. I’ve been training really hard for this fight. Like June 1, I made history, and I think the importance is to remake history on Dec. 7 in Saudi Arabia. Not much to say, but I’m ready to rock and roll, I know AJ is going to come in with a different game plan. I know he’s prepared, motivated, being more cautious – I know he’s going to try and box me around. My job is to prepare for whatever comes my way.
“Of course, I don’t want these beautiful belts to go away. Remember I’ve been doing this since I was six, it’s finally paying off, and no way I’m going let these belts go. I’m going to die trying, and do anything that’s possible to get that victory. It’s been a long journey, long roller coaster in my life, and no way I’m going to let these go Dec. 7. Let the best man win.” (PMNEWS)
Jose Mourinho has made the perfect start to his managerial reign at Tottenham and will be confident of picking all 3 points at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. Jose has led Tottenham to three wins out of three and is eager to continue the winning streak against a reeling Manchester United team. So far, we can all agree that Jose has had the desired effect on this Tottenham team and will be the favourite when the two sides meet at the Theatre of Dreams.
For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, this match is one of two crucial games that will decide his future. With both Pochettino and Allegri available, Ole’s reign as Manchester United manager may come to an end before the end of the year 2019. This epic clash will be live on SuperSport 3, you won’t want to miss it.
Over at the Bridge, Frank Lampard hopes to halt the run of poor results when his team welcomes Aston Villa on Wednesday night. The blues endured a frustrating afternoon last weekend against West Ham and even after outplaying the Hammers, the Frank Lampard’s young blues failed to score.
Chelsea aims to avoid a third straight Premier League defeat against a Villa team full of confidence. The game will also pitch Frank Lampard against Chelsea’s most decorated player, John Terry, who is an assistant coach at Villa. SuperSport 5 will broadcast all these Midweek games live on DStv.
Liverpool may not have the same energy as they did last season, but they definitely know how to get results. The Reds have won 5 out of their previous six matches and are out to record another victory over their bitter rivals, Everton. The Toffees are two points above the relegation zone and it is certain that another defeat might see them slip into the red zone, and may also cost their manager Marco Silva, his job. This is more than just a midweek fixture, Everton will be fighting for their lives against their more successful neighbour, Liverpool.
Don’t miss out on this week’s Premier League matches. Stay connected on Supersport DStv!
Lionel Messi won a record sixth men’s Ballon d’Or award at a ceremony in Paris on Monday, beating Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk to take the honours.
Now aged 32, it is Messi’s first Ballon d’Or since 2015 and his sixth overall as he moves one ahead of his old rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who finished third in the voting.
Messi, who attended the ceremony at the Chatelet Theatre in the French capital with his wife and children, succeeds Luka Modric, the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder who won the prize last year.
The Barcelona number 10 previously won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011 and in 2012 before claiming his fifth Ballon d’Or in 2015.
This latest honour comes after he also claimed FIFA’s equivalent award, The Best, in September.
“It is 10 years since I won my first Ballon d’Or here in Paris and I remember coming here with my three brothers, I was 22 and it was all unthinkable for me what I was going through,” Messi said on stage.
“Now ten years on this is my sixth, in a very different time, very special in my personal life with my wife and three children.”
The Argentine added: “I am aware of the age I have but I hope I have several years left to keep enjoying my football and doing this.”
Sadio Mane, another of the stars of the Liverpool side that won the Champions League, came fourth in the ranking for the prize voted for by 180 journalists from around the world.
Messi has scored 46 goals in 54 matches so far in 2019, and netted 36 times in total in 34 La Liga matches last season as Barcelona won the Spanish crown.
Viewers on DStv and GOtv enjoyed another great weekend of football action, with the continuation of the 2019/20 Premier League, La Liga and Serie A campaigns.
In the Premier League, African stars once again came to the fore, with the most prominent being Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabonese attacker marked the first Gunners game in the post Unai Emery era with a brace of goals in their 2-2 draw at Norwich City, and SuperSport viewers can see the Panthers man in action again twice within the next week: Arsenal first take on Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday 5 December, before their trip to London rivals West Ham United next Monday 9 December.
Other major African stars in the Premier League included Wilfried Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp, who scored the goals for Crystal Palace in their 2-0 win at Burnley, while Nigerian Kelechi Iheanacho showed his value with a late winner for Leicester City at home to Everton – a result which sees the Foxes strengthen their grip on second spot on the log.
In Spain’s La Liga, the big result was Barcelona winning 1-0 away to title rivals Atletico Madrid despite a powerful showing in midfield from Ghanaian Thomas Partey, while Cameroonian Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa was on target for Villarreal in their 2-1 loss at Valencia. SuperSport viewers can see Zambo Anguissa and Villarreal’s other African stars such as Samuel Chukwueze and Karl Toko Ekambi when the ‘Yellow Submarine’ open the next round of matches with a clash at home to Atleti on Friday 6 December.
Italy’s Serie A the top African moment came from Sassuolo’s Ivorian attacker Jeremie Boga, who scored one of two goals for the visitors at the Allianz Stadium as they held champions Juventus to a surprise 2-2 draw. The result allowed Internazionale to leapfrog into top spot with a 2-1 win over SPAL.
SuperSport viewers can see Internazionale when they have the chance to extend their lead at the top of the log on Friday 6 December with a home clash against Roma, before Juventus face a tricky trip to the other capital city team, Lazio, on Saturday night, December 7.
Don’t miss the 2019/2020 football season on DStv and GOtv. Visit www.dstv.com and www.gotvafrica.com to subscribe or upgrade, and join in on the excitement. And while you’re on the move, you can stream matches on DStv Now.
Viewers on DStv and GOtv saw Moroccan midfielder Sofyan Amrabat put in another excellent midfield display in Serie A this past weekend.
The 23-year-old, who was born in the Netherlands, but has represented Morocco at international level since 2017, helped Hellas Verona claim a 1-0 win over Fiorentina on Sunday – courtesy of a goal midway through the second half from Samuel Di Carmine – which lifted them to an impressive ninth place on the log.
Amrabat, who joined the Gialloblu on loan from Belgium’s Club Brugge earlier this season, has become an important part of the set-up under manager Ivan Juric, featuring in all 13 of their Serie A matches thus far in 2019/20.
The midfielder’s defensive nous helps screen his centre-backs, while his composure on the ball is key to Verona building attacks from deep positions. SuperSport viewers can look forward to seeing him in action this coming Sunday night when Roma visit the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.
Aside from his time in Italy, Amrabat has also featured in the Eredivisie with FC Utrecht and Feyenoord, while in 2018 he made the move to Brugge in Belgium’s top flight. His career honours include one Dutch Cup and two Dutch Super Cups – all won while on the books of Feyenoord.
In international football, Amrabat represent the Netherlands at U-15 level, but soon switched over to Morocco (due to his familial ancestry, as he is the younger brother of Atlas Lions star Nordin Amrabat) and featured for the North African country’s junior teams until March 2017, when he made his senior debut in a 1-0 friendly win over Tunisia.
He went on to feature in Morocco’s 2018 World Cup team (as the Atlas Lions made their return to the global tournament finals for the first time in 20 years) though he was not a part of their squad at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt earlier this year.
You can catch him live this weekend when Hellas Verona take Roma at 21:45, LIVE on SuperSport 9 and SuperSport Select Go 5.
Don’t miss the 2019/2020 football season on DStv and GOtv. Visit www.dstv.com and www.gotvafrica.com to subscribe or upgrade, and join in on the excitement. And while you’re on the move, you can stream matches on DStv Now.
Sofyan Amrabat: Profile
Born: 21 August 1996 in Huizen, Netherlands
2014-2017 – FC Utrecht (Netherlands) – 54 appearances / 1 goal
2017-2018 – Feyenoord (Netherlands) – 33/2
2018-present – Club Brugge (Belgium) – 30/1
2019-present – Hellas Verona (Italy, loan) – 13/0
Morocco caps/goals: 8/0
Debut: Morocco 1-0 Tunisia, 28 March 2017, International Friendly
Honours: Part of Morocco’s 2018 World Cup squad
2019-20 Serie A statistics
Appearances: 12 starts, 1 sub
Minutes played: 1107
Yellow cards: 3
Red cards: 0
Shot per game average: 0.8
Passing completion percentage: 86
Tackles per game average: 2.4
Interceptions per game average: 0.8
Fouls committed per game average: 1.9
Clearances per game average: 0.5
Blocks per game average: 0.3
This weekend, subscribers of GOtv will have the chance to watch interesting fixtures in Europe’s two big leagues, the Premier League and LaLiga.
First off is the London derby between Chelsea and West Ham United billed to hold at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, 30th November. The game will be broadcast at 4pm on Supersport Select2.
After a run of six consecutive Premier League games without defeat, Chelsea were eventually brought back to earth following their narrow 2-1 loss to champions Manchester City on Saturday.
For the Hammers, they will hope to halt their run of seven straight Premier League games without a victory and ease the pressure on under fire manager Manuel Pellegrini. On Sunday, 1st December Atletico Madrid will host champions Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano, which will be aired on Supersport Select 4 at 9pm. The game promises to be an interesting one, as Atletico will want to put behind them, the disappointment of dropping vital points following their 1-1 away draw against Granada on Saturday. For Barcelona, the game will provide a stern test on their title credentials as they are currently tied on the point as fierce rivals Real Madrid on 28 points but top the league standings on superior goals difference.
GOtv subscribers will have the chance to watch Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League matchday five fixtures between Tottenham Hotspur and Olympiakos in Group B, on Supersport Select 4 at 9pm, Spurs new manager, Jose Mourinho will be looking for victory with his new club following a win in his debut match in the league. While Wednesday’s Group H clash will be between Lille and Ajax. The game will air on Supersport 4 at 9pm.
Also, on Sunday, 1st December on Supersport Select 5 at 12:30pm, Serie A lovers will watch league leaders Juventus welcome Sassuoloto Allianz Stadium, as the champions top the league table.
Reconnect now on GOtv with as low as N1900 to enjoy these football matches and other programmes. Download the MyGOtv app on iOS or Android store to get started.
- Mane shines in Salah’s absence as Reds retain an iron grip on top spot
SuperSport viewers on DStv and GOtv enjoyed another great weekend of football action, with the continuation of the 2019/20 Premier League, La Liga and Serie A campaigns.
In the Premier League, Sadio Mane once again shone for Liverpool as he opened the scoring in their hard-fought 2-1 win away to Crystal Palace – in the absence of the injured Mohamed Salah – which kept up their iron grip on the top spot.
The good news for Reds fans is that they can see Mane and the likely return of Salah on Wednesday night when Jurgen Klopp’s side host Napoli for a UEFA Champions League clash which will be live on SuperSport, as will their next Premier League engagement on Saturday afternoon when they welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Anfield.
Another major African star in the Premier League was Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez, who scored the decisive goal in Manchester City’s 2-1 home win over Chelsea. While the Citizens remain nine points off the pace of Liverpool, it was a key win for the Manchester club ahead of matches against Shakhtar Donetsk (in the Champions League) and Newcastle United in midweek and the weekend respectively, both of which will be available live to DStv and GOtv subscribers.
The standout African performer in La Liga was Nigerian winger Samuel Chukwueze, who produced a goal-scoring showing in Villarreal’s 3-1 home loss at the hands of Celta de Vigo. The Super Eagles attacker is one of the most exciting up-and-comers in European football today and SuperSport viewers will have the chance to see him in action again when the ‘Yellow Submarine’ head to Estadio de Mestalla on Saturday night to tackle Valencia.
Serie A’s top African from the past weekend was Sofyan Amrabat, as he put in a workmanlike performance in midfield to help Hellas Verona defeat Fiorentina 1-0 on Sunday and rise to an impressive ninth place on the table. The Gialloblu will be back in Serie A action next Sunday night when they host capital giants Roma, for another match live on SuperSport.
Don’t miss the 2019/2020 football season on DStv and GOtv. Visit www.dstv.com and www.
On Supersports, this weekend, the most explosive puncher in boxing since Mike Tyson, Deontay Wilder will defend his WBC heavyweight championship against dangerous Luis Ortiz in Las Vegas in the early hours of Sunday morning. Wilder who has granted Ortiz a second shot at his WBC belt having already beaten him in a thrilling fight in March 2018.
In their first fight, Ortiz rocked Wilder in the seventh, but the champion roared back to force a stoppage in typically dramatic fashion. With a rematch against Tyson Fury coming up early next year, this a high-risk challenge for American Wilder, as a loss could put a huge dent on his fight against the Gipsy King. SuperSport 1 and SuperSport 5 will broadcast the action starting at 03:00 am on DStv.
Fans of professional wrestling will be in for a thrilling Monday night of WWE action. SuperSport will feature the 2019 WWE Survivor Series on the 25th of November 2019 with the legendary Rey Mysterio challenging Brock Lesnar for his WWE Championship belt. The fight which has been dubbed, a classic David v Goliath grudge match is part of an action-packed Monday night Survivor Series.
The WWE Survivor Series is all about the competition between WWE’s three promotional brands: Raw, SmackDown and NXT, with all but two of the matches at the major event being Triple Threat contests, featuring representatives or teams from each of the brands. To enjoy all the live-action and excitement from the Survivor Series, visit www.dstv.com to subscribe or upgrade your DStv package.
After the international football break, European club football will return this weekend on Supersports on DStv with some mouth-watering fixtures in England, Spain and Italy. English champions Manchester City welcome Chelsea to the Etihad Stadium. The match is a must-win for Pep Guardiola’s boys who must remain defensively solid against a very young and creative Chelsea side. After losing 3-1 against Liverpool, City will hope to get back on track with a win at home and reclaim 2nd position should Leicester fail to win at Brighton.
Newly appointed Jose Mourinho will look to halt the run of Tottenham’s bad results as he takes over his first game as manager against a West Ham team that is in dire need of a win. Mourinho promised Tottenham fans’ passion and will hope to begin his reign as manager with a win at London Stadium.
In the English championship, former West Ham and Tottenham midfielder, Scott Parker will lead his Fulham side as they continue their quest for Premier League return when they welcome fellow Londoners, Queens Park Rangers this weekend. Fulham comes into the clash on the back of a 1-0 win away to Birmingham City before the international break, a result which leaves the Cottagers in seventh spot and two points off the promotion playoff zone. Scott Parker, who was named permanent manager in May, will be eager to see his side claim another 3 points and strengthen their hope of an immediate premier league return.
In the Serie A, defending champions Juventus visit high-flying Atalanta who sit fifth on the Serie A table. Juventus will hope to continue their unbeaten run in Serie A and extend their lead on Antonio Conte’s Inter with a win at Atalanta. Juventus will hope that their star player Cristiano Ronaldo, coming off the 4 goals scored for Portugal during the international break will inspire them to another Serie A victory.
Another exciting match to look forward to this weekend is AC Milan vs Napoli. 7th place Napoli travels to the Italian capital to face fellow strugglers AC Milan who occupy the 14th position on the table. Napoli will travel with their “rock solid” Senegalese defender, Kalidou Koulibaly who starred for his national team during the international break.
The Naples-based club was tipped to be a formidable challenger to Juventus and a resurgent Inter at the top of the log this season, however that hasn’t been the case as Carlo Ancelloti’s side is currently 13 points behind leaders Juventus. Napoli’s recent struggles have led to speculation of transfers for some of their top players including their prized centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly. The 28-year-old could be tempted to move to the Premier League with Manchester United and Manchester City being possible destinations.
In Spain, Real Madrid will hope for a full 3 points as they square up against a very tricky Real Sociedad side. The capital club sits 2nd on the table with 25 points and will want to maintain the pressure on leaders Barcelona who travel to Estadio Municipal de Butarque, to face bottom side, Leganes. Real Sociedad is fifth and will be out to claim a major scalp in the Spanish capital and boost their hopes of finishing in the European places. Football fans can watch all the action live on DStv and GOtv Supersports channels.