Dennis, Ekong, Etebo, Kalu suffer relegation with Watford

Watford football club have been relegated from the Premier League after a narrow 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. 

Watford football club have been relegated from the Premier League after a narrow 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. 

After losing to Burnley last week, Roy Hodgson’s side were 12 points from safety and knew that anything less than the maximum three points would not be enough.

Crystal Palace had gone undefeated in their last six home games, securing a goalless draw against Manchester City and thrashing London rivals Arsenal 3-0 at Selhurst Park.

Watford’s challenge of beating Crystal Palace proved even more difficult after Wilfried Zaha’s first-half penalty put the hosts up 1-0.

Hornets have 22 points from 35 Premier League games, one point ahead of Norwich, who have 21 points from 34 games.

Watford’s manager commented after the game that surviving the relegation battle was difficult.

NFF President, Amaju Pinnick alongside Nigerian players in Watford

“I think only someone who has got no idea of what football is about would’ve believed we’d still survive” says the 74-year-old gaffer.

Watford’s Nigerian contingent will now ply their trade in the Sky Bet Championship come next season.

Emmanuel Dennis, William Troost-Ekong, Samuel Kalu and Etebo Oghenekaro have all followed the Hornets down the drain.

However, Maduka Okoye and Tom Dele-Bashiru will return from their loans at the end of season. 

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Leeds United line up move for Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis

The Whites could attempt to recruit Emmanuel Dennis from Watford ahead of next season.

Leeds United line up move for Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis

Leeds United are on the verge of beating the drop from the Premier League and are aiming to bolster their attack that has struggled this season.

The Whites could attempt to recruit Emmanuel Dennis from Watford ahead of next season, according to Leeds-transfer Live’s insider Dean Jones.

Leeds haven’t had a bad start to life in the English Premier League, and the Yorkshire club is certain to keep their top-flight status if they win two of their remaining six league games.

However, the Whites’ first season back in the top flight has not been a pleasant experience.

Asides having the poorest defense in the league, Leeds have a mediocre forward line that has only outscored seven other clubs in the division, with only Raphinha scoring in double figures.

When the transfer market opens, the club’s first objective will be to bolster the defense and attack, and transfer analyst Dean Jones feels Emmanuel Dennis is one player Leeds might sign to help them improve their production in the future.

The Nigerian international has had a good start in England, scoring 10 goals and providing five assists for the relegation-threatened Hornets.

Dennis can play everywhere in the offensive, he’s quick and deceptive, and was recently named the Premier League’s nutmeg king.

The Belgian league winner costs Watford just €4 million but he is already worth twice of that amount (Transfermarkt) following his brilliant showings.

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Emanuel Dennis scores as Watford fall to a crushing against Brentford

Emmanuel Dennis scored his tenth Premier League goal of the season.

Emmanuel Dennis goal vs Brentford

Emmanuel Dennis scored his tenth Premier League goal of the season as Watford fell to a stoppage time defeat. A crushing blow in their fight against relegation.

Oghenekaro Etebo was an unused sub for Watford. Samuel Kalu, William Troost-Ekong & Frank Onyeka were not in their respective matchday squads.

Watch the goal below

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Eagles Abroad: Matchday Review (March 6, 2022)

We tracked 78 matches across 36 different leagues on Sunday. There were 37 Nigerian players in action and here are some of the top stories.

Nigerians In Europe Sunday Review

We tracked 78 matches which could potentially feature Nigerian players across 36 different leagues on an exciting Sunday of action. There were 37 Nigerian players in action and here are some of the top stories.

Rasheedat Ajibade (Athletico De Madrid – Primera Iberdrola)

Rasheedat Ajibade of the Super Falcons was among the scorers as Atletico Madrid cruised to a 4-1 victory over Granadilla Tenerife at home.

The 22-year-old scored the Spanish giants’ third goal of the afternoon and her tenth of the season to help them climb to third place in the league table.

She is currently having her best season since moving to Europe with 10 goals in 18 appearances. She scored 4 goals and 7 goals in consecutive seasons woth Avaldsnes before scoring 1 goal for Atletico Madrid last season.

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Emmanuel Dennis, Samuel Kalu and Oghenekaro Etebo (Watford FC – Premier League)

Emmanuel Dennis, Watford’s top scorer, was a threat from start to finish, but his electrifying performance could not prevent them from a 3-2 to Arsenal at Vicarage Road.

As the Golden Boys searched a late equalizer, compatriot Samuel Kalu, signed in January from Girondins Bordeaux, made his Watford debut in the 89th minute. 

His first move of the game almost resulted into a goal but Aaron Ramsdale was there to make the save.

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Oghenekaro Etebo, a fellow Super Eagles player, was named to the Hornets’ bench for the second consecutive game. William Troost-Ekong was unable to play due to injury. 

Moses Simon (FC Nantes – Ligue 1)

In the French Ligue 1, Moses Simon was impressive in 90 minutes for Nantes as they defeated Montpellier 2-0 at home.

With the win, the Canaries moved up to sixth place on the log, four points off a European spot.

Simon’s penalty kick clinched Nantes’ spot in the Coupe de France final for the first time in 22 years only last week.

Moses SIMON of Nantes during the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between Nantes and Montpellier at Stade de la Beaujoire on March 6, 2022 in Nantes, France. (Photo by Franco Arland/Icon Sport via Getty Images)
Moses SIMON of Nantes during the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between Nantes and Montpellier at Stade de la Beaujoire on March 6, 2022 in Nantes, France. (Photo by Franco Arland/Icon Sport via Getty Images)
Anthony Nwakaeme (Trabzonspor – Super Lig)

The 32-year old can’t stop scoring at the moment. He once again found the back of the net with an outstanding goal in Trabzonspor’s a 1-1 draw against Fenerbahce.

Nwakaeme scored the game’s first goal in the 22nd minute, giving Trabzonspor a 1-0 halftime lead.

In 22 appearances this season, Nwakaeme has ten goals and nine assists.

Embed from Getty Images

Who was your best Nigerian performer on Sunday March 6 ? Leave a comment or reaction below.

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Odion Ighalo heaps praise on Emmanuel Dennis, tips Watford to beat the drop

Ighalo was fantastic at Watford, but Dennis, who only arrived last summer, could overshadow him if he keeps up his current form.

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Odion Ighalo heaps praise on Emmanuel Dennis, tips Watford to beat the drop

Ighalo was fantastic at Watford, but Dennis, who only arrived last summer, could overshadow him if he keeps up his current form.

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Odion Ighalo praised Watford striker and compatriot, Emmanuel Dennis for his outstanding efforts for the Hornets this season.

Dennis moved to Vicarage Road from Club Brugge last summer, and he has been nothing short of outstanding so far.

He has made no mistake in establishing himself as the team’s major outlet, as the 24-year-old has been involved in 14 of Watford’s 24 goals this season.

Dennis needs one more goal to become the fourth Watford player to score 10 or more Premier League goals in a single season.

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Ighalo is one of Watford’s all time top strikers in the premier league as he was a standout performer during his time at the club. 

He has however been impressed with Dennis’ performances thus far.

“He’s a very good player, with good technique, he’s fast, he can score goals, he’s very intelligent,” Ighalo told Watford TV

“He just needs to keep fit and keep taking his chances and scoring goals.

I think if the season is going to turn around, and they are going to be safe, then they have to keep Emmanuel Dennis, Sarr, and King firing. Get a couple of goals home and away; then I think the team can escape relegation.” He added.

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Watford are currently 19th in the Premier League, four points from safety. Dennis, on the other hand, has put on some excellent performances this season, so it would be surprising if he went down with them.

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Emmanuel Dennis goal vs Aston Villa

Emmanuel Dennis was on target to earn a narrow victory for Watford over Aston Villa.

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Emmanuel Dennis goal vs Aston Villa

Emmanuel Dennis was on target to earn a narrow victory for Watford over Aston Villa.

Watch the goal below.

Emmanuel Dennis goal vs Aston Villa

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Emmanuel Dennis named in Premier League Team of the Week

Emmanuel Dennis performance over the weekend drew Alan Shearer’s attention, and he named him in his Team of the Week.

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Emmanuel Dennis named in Premier League Team of the Week

Following the conclusion of the last round of games last weekend, Newcastle legend, Alan Shearer is back with his team of the week.

24-year old Super Eagles forward, Emmanuel Dennis earns a spot in his latest team of standout performers.

Dennis ended his goal drought in Watford’s 0-1 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday.

FEBRUARY 19: Emmanuel Dennis of Watford FC celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Watford at Villa Park on February 19, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)
FEBRUARY 19: Emmanuel Dennis of Watford FC celebrates after scoring their side’s first goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Watford at Villa Park on February 19, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

The 24-year-old headed home a superb cross from Senegalese Ismaila Sarr for the game’s sole goal.

Dennis scored his ninth league goal in 22 games this season for the Hornets.  He’s now been involved in 58 percent of Watford’s Premier League goals this season (9 goals and 5 assists).

Dennis, Mohamed Salah and Wout Weghorst all make up a three man attack.

Harry Kane is also in the squad, joining Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock in a three-man combination.

Alan Shearer's Matchweek 26 English Premier League Team of the Week
Alan Shearer’s Matchweek 26 English Premier League Team of the Week

Dennis will hope to continue in the same vein when Watford welcome Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road on Wednesday.

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Nigerian Team of the Week (Feb 18-21, 2022)

As the month of February draws to an end, here’s the EaglesTracker Nigerian Team of the Week for this past weekend of action.

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Nigerian Team of the Week (Feb 18-21, 2022)

As the month of February draws to an end, here’s the EaglesTracker Nigerian Team of the Week for this past weekend of action.

Goalkeeper – Jerry Isaac (MFM FC)

Enyimba could not get a win for a dominant and spirited performance as it ended 1-1 against MFM FC at the Enyimba Stadium on Saturday evening. Jerry Isaac was a rock between the post for MFM as he made several saves in the game including a powerful header from substitute Godwin Emmanuel inside the box in the 81st minute. 

Left Centre Back – Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto)

Sanusi had a beautiful performance as he helped FC Porto secure a hard-fought 1-0 victory away at Moreirense.

The win helped the Dragons maintained their lead as table toppers with 63 points, that’s 6 points better than second place Sporting Lisbon.

Zaidu Sanusi of FC Porto in action during the Liga Portugal Bwin match between Moreirense FC and FC Porto at Parque de Jogos Comendador Joaquim de Almeida Freitas on February 20, 2022 in Moreira de Conegos, Portugal. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)
Zaidu Sanusi of FC Porto in action during the Liga Portugal Bwin match between Moreirense FC and FC Porto at Parque de Jogos Comendador Joaquim de Almeida Freitas on February 20, 2022 in Moreira de Conegos, Portugal. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)
Centre Back – Calvin Bassey (Rangers FC)

At the left-hand side of the defence, Calvin was brilliant as his Scottish side Rangers FC came from a goal down to share the spoils away at Dundee United. 

In the 1-1 to draw, Calvin provided the assist to Joe Aribo ‘s equaliser.

Right Centre Back – Ayo Obileye (Livingston FC)

Ayo Obileye equally had a good shift in the Scottish Professional Football League as his side Livingston FC picked up one point at home to St Mirren.

Obileye before being subbed off in the 75th ensured the opposition attack had nothing to feed on.

Left Midfield – Moses Simon (FC Nantes)

The Nigerian international was a delight to watch on Saturday evening as he terrorised the Parisians on the road to a stunning home win

Nantes winger Moses Simon set a new assist-landmark after providing the opening goal in his side’s 3-1 victory over Paris St-Germain yesterday.

Moses delivered his 7th assist of the French Ligue 1 season. 

Centre Midfield – Joe Aribo (Rangers FC)

The 25-year-old Nigeria international rescued a point for the Gers against the Terrors at Tannadice Park after he scored in the 76th minute to cancel out Ross Graham’s 29th-minute opener.

Aribo has now scored seven top-flight goals for the Gers from 25 appearances, and his latest display has left many fans with mixed feelings.

Centre Midfield – Innocent Bonke (Lorient FC)

Innocent Bonke played 90 minutes of his side’s 0-1 loss to Montpellier. Despite him ending up on the losing side, the Nigerian was superb as he got a 7.0 rating. 

Right Midfield – Ademola Lookman (Leicester City FC)
Ademola Lookman goal vs Wolves
FEBRUARY 20: Ademola Lookman of Leicester City scores their team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City at Molineux on February 20, 2022 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Nigerian winger Ademola Lookman followed up his good outing in the Europa League where he bagged an assist with another impressive display for Leicester City on Sunday in the Premier League.

He scored his club’s sole goal in the 2-1 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers. 

Left Forward – Emmanuel Dennis (Watford)

Emmanuel Dennis’s late header saw struggling Watford win 1-0 at Aston Villa as Roy Hodgson recorded his first win in charge of the Hornets.

The visitors’ hopes of staying in the Premier League had largely been written off by most after a dreadful recent run had seen them lose 10 of their last 12 games in all competitions heading to Villa Park – a sequence of results that had led to Hodgson’s arrival at the club

Right Forward – Anthony Nwakaeme (Trabzonspor)STAR OF THE WEEK

Anthony Nwakaeme returned to scoring form as he netted two goals in Trabzonspor’s 4-0 win away to Chidozie Awaziem’s in the Turkish Super Lig on Sunday. 

Centre Forward – Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria)

Nigeria international Umar Sadiq continued with his goal-scoring form in Spain after he grabbed two goals in Almeria’s 2-1 Segunda Division victory against Mirandes on Saturday.

Sadiq Umar goals vs Mirandes
FEBRUARY 20: Sadiq Umar celebrates his first goal against CD Mirandes. Photo Credit: La Liga Smartbank

The 25-year-old attacker grabbed the opener in the 69th minute before adding the second in the 72nd minute. Though Sergio Camello reduced the deficit for the away side in the added minutes, it was Almeria who held on to pick up their third straight victory in the league.

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Super Eagles lose Osimhen, Dennis from AFCON 2021 squad

Super Eagles forwards, Emmanuel Dennis & Victor Osimhen have both been dropped from the AFCON squad only days to the start of the tournament.

Super Eagles forwards, Emmanuel Dennis & Victor Osimhen have both been dropped from the AFCON squad only days to the start of the tournament.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have announced an updated list with Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis dropped. The Hornets reportedly denied Dennis from representing Nigeria in the AFCON tournament.

Super Eagles AFCON 2021 Squad

A statement from the NFF alleges the Premier League side were “baring fangs” in the matter of Dennis’s release. Watford head coach, Claudio Ranieri has since denied these claims.

Elsewhere and in Italy, Napoli’s Osimhen has also been ruled out from participating in the tournament, with his club side reporting that the striker has returned a positive Covid-19 test.

His latest coronavirus result, in addition to Napoli’s reluctance to let him play at the AFCON tournament led to the player sending an official letter to the NFF about his decision to withdraw from the squad.

Olympiakos winger Henry Onyekuru and Sparta Prague’s Peter Olayinka have both been given a late call up to replace Dennis and Osimhen, while one half of the Oyinbo defence Leon Balogun, and Shehu Abdullahi have also been replaced by West Brom’s Semi Ajayi and Tyronne Ebuehi who plays for Venezia at the Italian Serie A.

Super Eagles lose Osimhen, Dennis from AFCON squad

The Super Eagles will begin their campaign against the Pharaohs of Egypt on the 11th of January.

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Emmanuel Dennis goal vs Brentford

Emmanuel Dennis opened the scoring for Watford in their English Premier League match against Brentford. Watch the goal.

Emmanuel Dennis goal vs Brentford

Emmanuel Dennis opened the scoring for Watford in their English Premier League match against Brentford.

Watch the goal below.

Emmanuel Dennis goal vs Brentford

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