Test Your Footie Knowledge and WIN £250 of Liverpool Merch!

Liverpool fans have the chance to celebrate the club’s title win in style with a new competition offering £250 in merchandise!

WhichBookie have teamed up with leading Liverpool fan site Anfield Index to offer the fans the opportunity to win £250 of credit to spend in the Anfield Index store, including the fantastic Champions range. All fans need to do is answer a simple question.

It’s the club’s first top flight title since 1989-90 and what WhichBookie are asking fans is who was in the dugout for Liverpool during that famous season?

Who was the Liverpool manager when the club won the league title in 1989-90?

  1. Bob Paisley
  2. Graeme Souness
  3. Kenny Dalglish
  4. Roy Evans

To enter fans must visit the site and fill out the competition form.

The competition closes on 17/09/2020 and players must be over the age of 18 to enter.

Which Bookie are among the leading bookmaker comparison sites in the UK, with full reviews and free bets for all the top brands.

The brand have a team of experts which analyse the offering of all the most respected bookmakers as well as top new brands entering the market. You’ll also find a range of betting tips from top tipsters across the football season.

The Curious Story of Serge Gnabry: From “Not At The Level” at West Brom to the Main Man at Bayern Munich

It is strange to think that it took less than a year between being deemed “not at the level” to play for West Bromwich Albion by Tony Pulis, and becoming the first player in 40 years to score a hat-trick for the German International team on their début. A year later, Bayern Munich would activate a clause in his contract with Werder Bremen in order to sign the winger on a three-year deal for €8 million.

Following this, a year long loan spell spell with 1899 Hoffenheim in order to gain more experience would see the Stuttgart born man return to Die Bayern, where he wasted little time in catching the world’s attention. Following his recent performances for both Bayern Munich and the German international team, it is no surprise to see many football betting experts tip Gnabry to lead the line and be on the score-sheet on a regular basis.

So the question is, how did Gnabry move so effortlessly from a nightmare loan spell in the West Midlands of England to being one of the most talked about players in world football?

Where Did Gnabry Start His Career?

Under Arsène Wenger, Arsenal Football Club developed a reputation for scouring the world for the brightest young talents on offer. At the age of 15, Arsenal agreed to sign Gnabry from VfB Stuttgart in 2010 for a mere £100,000. After turning out some impressive displays for the under-18s, the former VfB Stuttgart man was soon promoted to the reserve team, before making his first-team début in 2012.

Why Did Gnabry Leave Arsenal?

It was the 2013/14 season in which Gnabry began to demonstrate his true ability, making 15 appearances and scoring 1 goal. It proved to be a serious knee injury that resulted in Gnabry missing the majority of the 2014/15 season, which ultimately halted his progress before leading to a disastrous loan spell at West Bromwich Albion.

Firstly, without the injury, Gnabry would have likely continued his development with Arsenal. Secondly, sending Gnabry to play, under the pragmatic guise of Tony Pulis, at West Brom did nothing to help his confidence when attempting to regain full fitness. Arsenal recalled the German just 6 months into a 12 month loan deal after a lack of playing time, but it seemed Gnabry had made up his mind and soon returned to his homeland.

The Turning Point

He signed for Werder Bremen for a reported £5 million, in a deal that was reportedly funded by Bayern Munich with the plan being to sign him the following season. It was in Germany, and at Munich, where the former Gunners player has quickly transitioned from a one with potential to a world class midfielder. The 2019/20 season has truly secured Gnabry as one of the best players in the game, scoring nine goals in nine matches in a triumphant Champions League campaign, which included four goals in a 7-2 away win against his former North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Five tips to help you succeed with football betting in 2020

For many football fans, having a bet is a big part of the enjoyment of watching games. Those last-minute goals taste even sweeter when you’ve had a flutter on the winning team, and goalscorer wagers can also bring plenty of joy – provided VAR doesn’t get involved.

However, success is not always the outcome, and making consistent profit from football betting is far from easy. It requires discipline, research, and the ability to understand probability and value.

An almost infinite number of factors must be considered when using football betting sites, but lots of punters make the same mistakes, and the five tips below should help you avoid making those errors going forward.

1) Make sure each bet represents genuine value

You should take your time with pre-match bets, and don’t just put your money on anything that looks good value at a glance. If a left-back is 5/1 to receive a yellow card, check how many times they’ve been booked in the season and also how often the opposing right winger attempts dribbles and gets tackled.

If you can work out a rough percentage chance based on actual data, and the betting odds imply a smaller percentage chance than you think it should be, then it might be worth a bet.

It can be trickier with live betting as there is less time to weigh up the probabilities, but you should still try to assess the value of the bets offered.

2) Shop around for the best odds

By being registered with multiple bookmakers, you are giving yourself more opportunities to get the best odds. If you are only looking at the prices on one betting site, you might be taking a 4/1 that could be 8/1 elsewhere.

The best betting sites in the UK can be found on https://mybettingsites.com/ where you will find reviews and ratings for the top bookmakers.

For the main markets such as the match winner and total goals, the odds will largely be the same across the board, but for alternative markets such as player shots on target and total booking points, you are likely to find more variation.

3) Keep track of your profit/loss

It is a good idea to keep a record of your bets so that you can see what is working for you, where you’re going wrong, and whether you need to change your staking plan or alter your approach.

This can help keep reckless betting to a minimum and ensure that you stick to sensible wagers and stakes. When you go back and analyse your results for the past month, you might see that you are losing a lot of money on accumulators, but making a good return on investment with your corners bets.

4) Don’t bet on every game

For some football matches, you simply won’t be able to find value anywhere. In this instance, just watch the game and take notes, thinking about future bets that you might want to place based on what you’ve learned about the teams.

You don’t want to get into the habit of forcing bets, as in the long run, this will have a negative impact on your profit/loss.

5) Keep it fun

Betting should always be enjoyable and if you ever get into a situation in which you feel like it is becoming hard work, or you can’t afford to keep losing, then take a break.

Everybody goes on losing runs, but in these instances, it is important to stay disciplined, keep a positive mindset, and don’t chase your losses.

There is no need to worry about potentially missing out on betting on matches, as of course, with football, there will always be plenty more where that came from!

An Opportunity In Football Betting

To the dismay of many, football had been sidelined for almost three months as the spread of the coronavirus brought a halt to sporting events across the world – fortunately, the green light has been given by the UK government and the Premier League is now back on track alongside other events across Europe, it also provides a unique opportunity punters looking to indulge once again.

(Image from premierleague.com)

There have been important changes to note within the UK, however, as recently a credit card ban was issued for online gambling and betting which may change how a few of your favourite sites may operate. Additionally, the Gamstop initiative has also been updated, it is now mandatory for all UK operators to register with the scheme or be at risk of losing their gaming license privilege – there are a growing number of sites who choose to register outside of the UK as a work around to Gamstop, and a full review of all sites not on gamstop is available for those looking for somewhere to bet on football now it has returned to our screens.

With so many leagues returning at once, a unique opportunity is presented as there is now a growing schedule of games to be played – as we look at the current schedule for the Bundesliga and Premier League, the same can be expected from La Liga and Ligue 1 in Spain and Italy – that schedule is looking to be up to eighteen games per week,  which in complete could be on the busiest week up to 70 games per week. Fans can catch up on the lost time missed over the past three months and punters can get plenty of bets in over the coming weeks – the schedule is laid out in order to bring the current season to a finish before September so steps can be taken to get the 20/21 season underway as soon as possible – it’s likely that some changes such as no fans in attendance will remain in the short term but other sports are already looking at options to change this, granted it ofcourse fits into health and safety guidelines as the current situation is ongoing.

There may also be a bigger push here – betting companies are gaining a lot of prominence as sponsors and now half of the teams in the League can be seen wearing a betting sponsor on their jerseys, this may lead to a very renewed focus on pushing football betting as much as possible in the coming weeks as these betting companies also look to recover on what had been lost since March – this could mean better offers or odds, as well as more attractive bonuses. Either way, it’s going to be a busy few weeks for Europe’s favourite sporting event, make sure to capitalize on the enhanced schedule but as always ensure you bet responsibly and safely during this time – it may be enticing to do a little more than you usually would, but moderation will be key to longevity, there’s a lot of football coming over the next year, as such there’s no need to go all in for just this season!

The five best players in The Championship right now

The Championship has developed a reputation as one of the toughest leagues to master, and with good reason. Each season a new set of teams throw their all at yet another 46-game slog, with only three sides eventually rewarded with promotion to the Premier League. Though a step down from the Premier League, some of the stars of the future are currently cutting their teeth in the second tier. Who are the best five, though?

5. Matty Cash

Nottingham Forest are two-time European Cup winners, yet it was still a shock to see one of their players linked with AC Milan in January, considering the East Midlands side are currently languishing in the second tier. Cash is no ordinary player though, and has proved his worth time and time again this season. Solid defensively, he is also a real threat going forward, and scored a vital last-minute goal for Forest in the 2-2 draw at West Bromwich Albion earlier in the season.

4. Ollie Watkins

Brentford are one of the best attacking sides in the division, and with 22 goals and three assists, Watkins is the pick of the bunch from the Bees’ terrifying ‘BMW’ front three. Watkins was originally known more as a wide player, yet has shone as an out and out centre-forward in the promotion push this season. Brentford still feature prominently in the promotion picture in the latest Championship betting odds, and Watkins is a key reason for that.

3. Matheus Pereira

On-loan from Sporting Lisbon, it has become commonplace this season to see Pereira terrorising opposition defences. Born in Brazil, Pereira is at the heart of most good things that Slaven Bilic’s side do and, when on form, he can be nigh on impossible to stop. With a fantastic touch, electric pace, and great vision, Pereira will surely grace a top league next season, with or without West Bromwich Albion.

2. Aleksandar Mitrovic

Fulham fans have been scratching their heads all season and asking the same question – how on earth have we managed to keep hold of Serbian frontman Aleksandar Mitrovic for a full season in the Championship? Put simply, Mitrovic is too good for this league. With 23 goals he is the league’s top scorer, made all the more impressive considering Fulham’s altogether patchy form for the majority of this campaign.

1.Kalvin Phillips

Marcelo Bielsa has utterly transformed Leeds United from a mid-table side to genuine promotion challengers, and you can see his influence most clearly on Kalvin Phillips. Eyebrows were raised when Bielsa announced that Phillips would play in a defensive midfield position at the start of last season, yet the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ hasn’t looked back since. His aggression and reading of the game allow him to break down opposition attacks frequently, and his range of passing sets his team into action time and time again. Put simply, he has Premier League quality. Leeds United fans just hope that he can demonstrate it at Elland Road for years to come, rather than for a rival team.

Football Betting 101: How to Get Free Bets and Bonuses

One of the things that avid football bettors look forward to is getting free bets or bonuses. Every bookmaker offers their version of their best free bets to attract all kinds of bettors.

However, despite it being free, there will be some requirements or limitations on gaining or using these special offers. For example, the amount of some free bets may be too low and thus may not be that significantly valuable, or there may be certain requirements to fulfill before availing it. Oftentimes, bettors cannot also withdraw the bonus amount immediately. Knowing and understanding these requirements or limitations

With this in mind, here are the different kinds of free bets and bonuses most bookmakers offer, and how to get them.

Welcome bonus

Most, if not all, bookmakers offer a welcome bonus to bettors upon sign up. This could either be a percentage of your first deposit, or a certain amount of cash that the bettor can use at any time. Bookmakers provide this to encourage new bettors to start engaging with them, thus it is also the easiest to get since it’s practically given.

Reload bonus

One of the most popular kinds of bonuses, reload bonuses are given to bettors after getting the welcome bonus and can be used in your next deposits. Unfortunately, as popular it may be, only several bookmakers offer reload bonuses. If you’re interested in getting one of these, check if your bookmaker provides this kind of bonus.

Free bets or ‘no deposit’ bonus

Some bookmakers offer a ‘no deposit’ bonus meaning one can place a bet for free for their first bet. This is often part of the welcome bonus, but it is usually quite a small amount. Despite this, it is still a popular kind of bonus since there’s no risk of losing your money. It’s also a safe way for new bettors to try betting on the bookmaker for the first time.

Match play bonus

Match play bonuses are more commonly offered in online casinos, but some sportsbooks offer them once in a while. Most of the time, these bonuses refer to certain sports events and can be claimed depending on how the event would finish.

Bonus on a loss

Since it’s more common for bettors to lose than to win, some bookmakers offer a bonus when you lose a bet to provide bettors an incentive for playing and to encourage them to continue playing. This bonus is usually a certain percentage of your loss.

Loyalty bonus

This bonus applies to existing or long-time bettors. Some bookmakers offer this bonus to reward and retain loyal bettors on their site. The most common way to earn and avail a loyalty bonus is via a point system where bettors gain points for every bet and can use a certain amount of points to avail free bets or bonuses.

The best way to get the most out of your football bets is by using these bonuses wisely. No matter how small a free bet or bonus may seem, using it accordingly can make a difference with its value. To effectively use your free bets or bonuses, always consider the wagering requirement, amount, and the odds.

The advancement of Slots

Online slot games are fun, easy to learn, and super stimulating when you become a winner! Slot machines could be found around one hundred years back, but with time they went through several changes.

Originating in 1891, the first mechanical slot machine evolved in Brooklyn, NYC, by Charles August Fey. This was named the Liberty Bell. The popularity of this machine leads to the prevalence of the electric Slot and the loss of the infamous lever. Fast forward to 1964 when the slot machine advanced to an electronic version, the Money Honey.

In 1972 the video slot was created in California and evidently took over, and the very first one was sold to the Hilton hotel in Las Vegas. The very first model used a television screen that was modified in place of the monitor. And after that version of slot machines, this game really got pomp popularity in casinos. Slot machines in land-based casinos didn’t undergo many changes in comparison to online casino machines.

The arrival of the internet in 1991 enabled online casinos to be introduced in 1996. Naturally, this changed the slot evolution immensely and made it much more convenient for gamblers to peruse and get their fix!  3D slots were the point of attraction for gamblers in the 19th century. The jackpots on online Slot attracted more and more new players. The first online jackpot was a cash splash with moderately high payouts. Megabuck was the first slot machine in 1986, offering multibillion jackpots.  Earlier released Slot was not compatible with mobile software, but now slot developers are successfully launching new versions at regular intervals. 

The mid-2000s was another era of slot inventions with the community- stylo slots that allowed both players to win. The top gun was one more remarkable advancement of Slot. With the advancement of HTML5, it has been possible to enjoy more fun by interacting online games on the market today. Virtual Reality Slot Games is the new development that has come up with real fantasy. Different online casino companies have already launched their range of VR for slot games. Because of the evolution of gaming technology, now casino video slots can be enjoyed using only a VR headset.

Gamification with online slots is another novel concept in the experience of the adventure of online slot casinos. Now players can sign up, compete, and enjoy fast stream slot games. The typical features of gamification within online slots include contests, progress bars, and many more events of interaction through unbelievable technology.

Besides, online slot machines are being adored by animation and graphics, excellent programming, security, multi-player functionality, and music soundtracks. These features are helping in inviting new visitors to come up for fun and money-making.

So it is safe to say, with many websites and copious amounts of games available – the slot world is bound to get a slot more fun!! No one can tell what can be introduced in the future because manufacturers are continuously working on it to make it more convenient, entertaining, and fascinating.

The Casino Evolution

Gambling is one of the oldest sports in history and still being entertained all over the world. Proof of gambling was found in china back in 2300BC.  Egyptian dice were another proof of gambling in 1500 BC. The birth of the very first Casino originated in Italy in the 16th century; yet then, they were known as Gambling houses. Casinos then started to pop up all over Europe throughout the 18/19th century. Although unlike the original ‘Gambling houses,’ they evolved to be more upper class and were built like palaces.

America soon followed the casino trend, opening its first Casino in 1906; before this time, the gambling scene was far less glamorous. In North America, gambling started with the arrival of saloons. Before this, the US had a gambling ban imposed on every state; this was first lifted in the state of Nevada in 1919.

The first legal Casino was founded in the Hotel Nevada and was named the Golden Gate Casino. This was around the time Las Vegas was also established as a city, which is today one of the world’s biggest casino hotspots.

In the UK, gambling was never made legal, but the government passed several legislations to regulate and control casinos. For example, the gaming Act of 1968 and 2005 are regulating and monitoring gambling in the UK. Today in the UK, as of March 2016, there are 148 land-based casinos, mostly in England.

Casino games have an amusing history, including slot games, Roulette, blackjack, and many more. Like Roulette is the oldest game invented in 1675 and slot in 1887. Casino attendance got an immediate success in recent years as in the UK, 3.7 million visitors visited casinos in the last four years. The most important revolution in the history of casinos is the development of online Casinos. Spin Palace Casino is one of the fantastic experiences in this regard.

In past casinos used to be considered limited location thing but with the arrival of technology of online gambling, people can enjoy it anytime, anywhere. Luckily the online casino industry hasn’t wiped out the land-based Casinos – I mean, you can’t beat watching the action and atmosphere at the roulette table! Still, people used to go casinos in leisure time to enjoy both companies of friends and gambling. But as technology is progressing day by day, online casino games will get more liking. Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are the new revolutions of the internet, which will change the online Casino.

Coming towards the conclusion, it would be right to mark that evolution of history is vivid and enchanting. People all over the world used to entertain themselves for years and still doing the same with more advancement. Looking toward the future could be more exciting as casino games are being evolved and transformed with time. Moreover, casino games are not only for enjoyment but also for the game of winning and losing money. On the whole, casino games have become part of a vast industry.

Famous European Leagues’ Players in Major Soccer League

Famous European Leagues’ Players in Major Soccer League

1.   Kaka, Orlando City

European Career

Kaka played top-flight European football for more than ten years. He started his career from AC Milan, where he won Serie A 2004, Champions League 2007, and FIFA Club’s World Cup 2007. Later he joined Real Madrid on a record 65 million euros where he became Spanish Champion in 2012. He won Ballon d’Or in 2007. Kaka was a versatile player with fantastic ball control and dribbling skills. Milan’s legend returned to the home club from Real Madrid in 2013 and played a season in Italy.

MLS Career

Kaka joined Orlando City in 2014 on a free transfer from AC Milan. Brazilian forward played three years in MLS and scored 24 goals and made 21 assists. So it was Betting in the us for the legendary Brazilian! Orlando City was founded in 2013, and Kaka was its first-star player. Kaka became captain of the Club and helped to expand the Club. Kaka retired at Orlando City in 2018.

2.   Wayne Rooney, Derby County

European Career

Wayne Rooney played his whole life in England in the Premier League. English Winger is Manchester United Legend. He joined United in 2004 from Everton and played under Sir Alex Ferguson. He scored 253 goals for Manchester United and held the record of scoring 153 Premier League goals for a single club. Rooney won 5 league titles and a Champion League Title alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. He is the most successful Manchester United Player. Rooney returned to Everton in 2017.

MLS Career

After playing a season with Everton, Rooney joined DC United and scored 23 goals in 48 appearances.  Rooney made an assist on his debut. English legend scored his first MLS hat-trick against Real Salt Lake with an assist.  Later Rooney left the Club and joined Derby County in 2020.

3.   David Beckham, LA Galaxy

European Career

The freekick genius spent his career in Manchester United and Real Madrid. He was an excellent midfielder with incredible passing accuracy and freekick goal-scoring ability. He won six league titles and a Champions League with United. He also won La Liga 2006-07 with Real Madrid. He moved to PSG and won a Ligue 1 title in France.

MLS Career

Beckham signed for LA Galaxy in 2007 from Real Madrid. He scored 98 goals for LA Galaxy and won back to Back League titles with the Club in 2011 and 2012. On May 15, 2011, Beckham scored a brilliant freekick from 30 yards. This is one of the best goals of his career. LA Galaxy made a statue of Beckham to thank him for what he did for the Club.

4.   Zlatan Ibrahimovic, LA Galaxy

European Career

For Zlatan, age is just a number; at the age of 38, he is still in the starting XI of AC Milan. He played for Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, FC Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG, and Manchester United in Europe. He scored 268 goals for the clubs mentioned above. Not bad, just imagine if you had used 1xbet pomo code to back those stats. Here are the achievements of Swedish giant, 4 Serie A titles, 3 with Inter, and one with AC Milan. He won 2 Serie A titles with Juventus, but those were annulled due to some issues. 1 LaLiga with Barcelona and 4 Ligue 1 titles with PSG. He won Europa League with Manchester United. One of the most decorated players misses the Champions League in his trophy cabinet.

MLS Career

Zlatan signed for LA Galaxy in 2018 from Manchester United. Zlatan scored 53 goals in 55 appearances for LA Galaxy. He scored incredible goals there, including the bicycle, back heel, and long-range volleys. LA Galaxy also made a statue of Swedish forward in Malmo.

5.   Thierry Henry, New York Red Bulls

European Career

Thierry Henry is an all-time leading goalscorer for Arsenal. He won 2 Premier League titles with Arsenal, including the invincible title 2003-04. He scored 228 goals in all competitions for Arsenal. Later he joined Barcelona and played with Ronaldinho, Puyol, Etto, and Lionel Messi and won 2 La Liga Titles. He is also Champions League winner for FC Barcelona. He won the historic treble with Barcelona under Pep Guardiola is 2009.

MLS Career

Henry moved to New York Red Bulls from FC Barcelona in 2010. The French World Champion became captain of Red Bull and scored 52 goals in 135 appearances. He provided 38 assists in his MLS career.  ­­

Love MLS? Then why not try our MLS Quiz ?

Bundesliga, Top 5 players of the season

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Football fans were desperate to watch football, and Bundesliga was the first major European league to return after the suspension of leagues due to COVID-19. Here are the top 5 Bundesliga players of the season so far.

Jadon Sancho, Winger at Borussia Dortmund

Sancho is a tremendous young talent, at the age of 20 he made his place in the starting 11. Sancho plays as a winger, the incredibly talented English player, not just scores goals but also makes assists. He currently holds the highest number of goals and assists this season in Bundesliga. His statistics are just astonishing; he scored 17 goals in 27 appearances and made 16 assists. His style of play, finishing, and pace makes him the best player in this season. He scored a brilliant hat-trick against Paderborn in 6-1 away game victory. He was the named player of the match. He has 1.6 shots per game that show his hunger for goals. Sancho is a brilliant player maker, and he created 17 big chances. He holds 7.68 rating this season.

Robert Lewandowski, Striker at Bayern München

It’s hard to find a more elegant striker than Robert Lewandowski.  31 years old Polish is proving age is just a number, and he is destroying the opponents in every match. He netted the ball 29 times in 27 games, with an average of 1.1 goals per game. He is the most consistent striker in the top 5 European leagues.  Lewandowski has 3.7 shots per game, absolutely crazy. Bayern’s number 9 scored a brace against Fortuna Dusseldorf this Saturday. He has incredible goal finishing ability, and we can compare him with Brazilian Ronaldo. He made 3 assists this season. He is involved in 32 goals this season, only one less than Jadon Sancho.  His 29 goals make Bayern top of the table with 7 points clear from Borussia Dortmund. He holds 7.66 rating in this Bundesliga Season.

Timo Werner, Winger at RB Leipzing

Timo Werner is pushing Leipzig forward, with his incredible 25 goals in 29 matches, he is the top scorer for Leipzig and 2nd in Bundesliga. He also made 7 assists in 29 games and created 12 big chances. The number 11 scored a hat-trick against FSV Mainz 05 and proved his haters wrong. When Raheem Sterling said, “we need months of training to get back into form.” The German winger proved him wrong by scoring a hat-trick on his second match after the continuation of the league. He is involved in 32 goals in total equal to Robert Lewandowski. The German club will qualify for Champions League for sure; currently, it’s on number 3rd only 2 points behind Borussia Dortmund. Three shots per game show his attacking style of play. His rating is 7.57 this season. With such form what are the chances of him joining Liverpool Bethard promo code ?

 

Thomas Muller, Midfielder at Bayern München

World Champion of 2014, Thomas Muller is driving the midfield of Bayern München. He is the king of assists in Bundesliga this season with 18 assists, who plays attacking football like Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City. He created 26 chances in 29 games. German offensive midfielder is a true icon player of Bayern München after Frank Ribery. His confidence is clearly through the roof. His possession, pressing, passing, and goal hunger makes him a perfect midfielder. He netted ball 7 times, and in total, he is involved in 25 goals. Muller’s passing accuracy is 79.5 %, and he provides 90 crossed from open play that shows his versatility as a midfielder. His rating in this season is 7.40.

Serge Gnabry, Midfielder at Bayern München

Gnabry spent the early years at Arsenal, then moved to Werder Breman and finally signed for Bayern München in 2017. Soon he secured his place in the starting eleven by showing his real talent. He scored 11 goals in 27 matches and made 10 assists so far. His passing accuracy and chance creating ability are outstanding. Look out for offfers via mypromocode.co.uk to back Serge! His passing accuracy is 83%. 24 years old German is good at defending, and he has one tackle per game. He is directly involved in 21 goals, and he created 22 big chances. Gnabry has scoring frequency after every 172 minutes. He attacking football is underlines by 2.6 games per 90 minutes. He has a 7.52 rating in the 2019/20 season.

His passing accuracy and chance creating ability are outstanding. His passing accuracy is 83%. 24 years old German is good at defending, and he has one tackle per game. He is directly involved in 21 goals, and he created 22 big chances. Gnabry has scoring frequency after every 172 minutes. He attacking football is underlines by 2.6 games per 90 minutes. He has a 7.52 rating in the 2019/20 season.

My Greatest England Team

Bobby Moore

Having followed the ups and downs of England over the years, the heartaches, the misery and the occasional joy. Here is My Greatest Team of the Three Lions.

Greatest England Team

Goalkeeper – David Seaman

Sadly, whenever you mention David Seaman to fans nowadays the abiding memory will be him tumbling back into the net in the 2002 World Cup as a free kick from Ronaldiho flies over his head. However, prior to his error-ridden decline, when he was at the top his game David Seaman was untouchable. An imposing figure who inspired confidence in the defence, penalty saving maestro and an experienced set of hands gave England a number 1 to be proud of. The troubles at finding his replacement is evidence enough that Seaman remains the safest pair of hands England have ever had.

Right Back – Gary Neville

Love him or hate him one thing is clear – Gary Neville has been the most trustworthy and dependable right back in the history of England. Since cementing the position in the late 1990s Neville provided stability and class to the position he made his own. Always one of the first names on the team sheet Neville was as solid at the back as he was going forward and produced a partnership with David Beckham that led England to many a victory. In latter years he became a great leader and yet again England have trouble replacing him since.

Left Back – Ashley Cole

Always a controversial figure, even those who loath Ashley Cole for his off the field antics or “car-stopping” wage demands have to admit that for a number of years he was the only World Class player in the England side. Pacey, intelligent and persistent Cole had an engine like no other and even in the dire minutes of matches would still be pacing up and down the left hand flank long before others had given in. Cole was a danger going forward, easily able to beat a band but was also tough to beat at the back. Solid, reliable and tough. He finished his career in the USA being attracted to americancasinosites.com

Centre Back – Bobby Moore – (Captain)

Bobby Moore will always be remembered for two things 1) lifting the 1966 World Cup at Wembley and 2) that Pele Tackle. But beyond that Moore was one of the best, most intelligent and most effective defenders ever to grace the pace. Not many men beat Moore to the tackle and his leadership qualities inspired a generation. Dependable, as good in the air as on the ground and an all round world class defender, Moore captains My Greatest Team and leads by example.

Centre Back – Sol Campbell

At his peak Sol Campbell was unbeatable. Physically dominating, aerially superb and great with the ball at his feat any England team with Campbell at the back knew they had a last line of defence that was tough to beat. A threat offensively in the air as well as a leader on the pitch, Campbell was the perfect centre back.

Right Midfield – David Beckham

His one man show to lift England from the depth sof despair to qualification for the 2002 World Cup is prove enough that England runs through this mans blood. The heart and engine of a tru warrior (a real jeux casino argent reel )on the pitch Beckham also possessed a crossing and dead ball ability second to none. His free kick ability alone is enough to make im worthy of a place in My Greatest Team but as an all round footballer, Beckham had it all.

Left Midfield – Stanley Matthews

Always a troubled spot for England but Stanley Matthews could play anywhere and with his tricery, ability to beat a man time after after time and his ingenious skills with the ball, Matthews would add unpredictability and excitement to the left flank and trouble anyone who dared come near!

Centre Midfield – Bryan Robson – Vice Captain

Captain Marvel himself. Bryan Robson was a tough talking, inventive and creative footballer with the ability to score from anywhere on the pitch. Every team needs a man like Robson at its heart to drive forward play, get stuck into opponents and pop up in both boxes. Robson never got the England career he deserved for one reason or another but he coasts into My Greatest Team.

Centre Midfield – Bobby Charlton

Another easy choice. One of the Englands most profilic scorers with many of is goals coming from outside the area, when the ball was at Bobby’s feat anything could happen. Genuinelly World Class over most of his career Charlton was the driving force in the centre of the England team that won the World Cup and although clips these days show mainly his 30-yard screamers, Charlton also offered creative passing, tough tackling and a never say die attitude that is at the core of My Greatest Team

Striker – Gary Lineker

For the sheer amount of times Lineker popped up in the box and scored out of the blie he deserves a place in the side. Never have the Three Lions had a more profilic poachers in the 18 yard box than Linker. Whether it was dealing with crosses, heading goals, using his pace to chase down long balls…Lineker was n effective and ruthless figure and if I want the ball to fall to anyone in the 18 yard box, it would be Lineker every time

Striker – Michael Owen

For the sheer way he burst onto the scene with the wonder-goal in the 1998 World Cup through to the years of terrorising defences, Michael Owen completes the line up. His pace caused fear in even the most experienced back fours and his ability to find the net was unrivalled. At his peak Owen was amongst the worlds greatest strikers and with the likes of Beckham and Charlton to supply him, the Greatest Team would have a potent threat.

Subs

Nobby Stiles – Able to play anywhere along the back four and experience of the big matches. Could be crucial if we need defensive back up

John Barnes – Tricky, able to find the net under any circumstances and a player who no defender would like to see warming up, Banres gives that flair and extra danger that could be needed during the match.

Geoff Hurst – Who better to bring on in big matches when in need of a goal? Been there, done that and got the t-shirt!

My Greatest Premier League Team

Inspired by our sister site My Greatest Teams we run through who would make a Footie Quiz greatest ever EPL team.

GK – Peter Schmeichel

At the heart of the Manchester United team in its most successful era, Schmeichel was a commander of the goal. Rarely beaten, the Dane commanded his penalty box and gave the defence the confidence they needed to make United a hard team to break down. A great leader on the pitch and a model professional, Schmeichel made world class saves on a weekly basis and United have never truly been able to find a replacement to match.

RB – Lee Dixon

Part of the famous Arsenal back 4 that proved impossible to break down, Dixon was a perfect Right back. Tough tackling, pacey and great a closing down play, Dixon was not only hard to beat but provided an option going forward with great crossing abilities and a habit of beating players with ease. Reliable, dependable and able to work hard from whistle to whistle, Dixon is a shoe in this position.

CB – John Terry – Vice Captain

For all the controversy, behind the headlines is one of the finest defenders in Premier League history. Few strikers get the better of Terry who has the ability to dominate in the air and on the ground. His passing range surpasses most rivals and spins were better than rivernilecasino casino and he ranks at the top of high scoring defenders making him a threat in both boxes.

CB – Tony Adams

During Arsenal’s finest season, Adams was there leading the famous back line. Experienced, dominant and tough, Adams took no prisoners and consistently denied the world’s finest strikers. Vital to keeping the defence together in any team, Adams is unrivalled in what he brings to the side.

LB – Graeme Le Saux

Le Saux was a crucial factor in the Blackburn team that won the Premier League. His domination of the left back position gave stability to the team as he used his pace, ability and skill to deny all comers success down the flanks. With the ball at his feet Le Saux also delivered killer passes and dangerous crosses, not to mention set plays, which created changes. Le Saux therefore walks into My Greatest Team!

RW – Steve McManaman

Perhaps one of the most underrated players in the Premier League. McManaman went on to be a star at Real Madrid, but prior to that he was vital in the success of Liverpool. Able to beat a man with ease, a master of the cross and a genuine goal scoring threat McManaman instilled fear in any who played against him and many world class defenders rank him as the finest winger they have ever played against.

CM – Steven Gerrard – Captain

Loyal to the end, Gerrard was part of a Liverpool team that conquered Europe. One of the finest passers of modern times, Gerrard could seek out a pass from anywhere on the pitch and hit his target with pinpoint accuracy. Prolific at scoring and deadly from set pieces Gerard’s box to box drive makes him an essential part of any team.

CM  – Frank Lampard

Prolific scorer, reliable passer and inspiring leader Frank Lampard deserves his place at the centre of any team. One of the top scoring midfielders in English football history Lampard will be remembered for the long range strikes he made his trademark. He popped up in the box too with crucial goals and his passing range was second to none. Lampard is a match winner and hence a vital cog in any team in which he played.

LW – Ryan Giggs

Who else but Giggs? Record appearance maker in Premier League history Giggs terrorised defences with his pace, skill and brilliance. An essential part of the team Alex Ferguson turned into World beaters, Giggs not only provided assists but scored some truly memorable goals. Giggs gave the world’s best defenders nightmares and is unquestionably one of the first names of the team sheet for the Greatest Premier League XI.

ST – Eric Cantona

Mad? Genius? However you describe Eric Cantona, no true football fan can deny that he was one of the finest players ever to grace the Premier League. With vision, skill and genius he led the United team to glory and provided some of the most memorable moments in Premier League History. There has never been, and will never be a player quite like Cantona. A true one of a kind!

ST – Alan Shearer

For the sheer number of goals scored over a prolonged period, Alan Shearer is worthy of a place in Any “Greatest Team” looking at the Premier League era. His goals drove Blackburn to the title and after a World Record Transfer to home club Newcastle, he transformed the fortunes of the Toon Army, taking them into the Champions League and beyond their wildest dreams. As dangerous with the ball at his feet as he was with his head, Alan Shearer is the man you want lining up with the Number 9 shirt in any team! If only he had been in his prime for the World Cup in South Africa where we could have got the best payout casino South Africa

Subs

Ian Wright

Able to nip up with a goal from nothing, Wrighty had the habit of being in the right place and the right time.

Roy Keane

Under pressure Keane always held his nerve and held together a United team that went on to dominate the globe.  One of the finest box to box players of all time.

Rio Ferdinand

Pacey, reliable and great in the air Ferdinand was always tough to beat.  Helped take Leeds to new heights before proving his quality at a European-Conquering Manchester United

Worlds Greatest Strikers

Strikers often grab the headlines and the glory and deservedly so. They are often entrusted with the task of scoring the crucial goals needed to win matches and football fans and critics rightly lavish praise on the finest examples. Here are 5 of the top strikers of all time….

Romario

Although the Brazilians are often noted for flair and outlandish skill, Romario, who led the attacking line for the national side for the best part a decade was a different kettle of fish. He was a goal scorer, a poacher and a lethal weapon on the box. With an outstanding 1000 plus goals to his name Romario’s record speaks for itself and never has the term “Knows where the net is” been more apt. Diminutive in size but not in stature. He muscled his way through defences when he feed of through balls and crossed and could beat a man easily if he stood between him and a goal scoring chance.

During his 85 caps for the national side he scored an impressive 71 goals and was one of the stars of the 1994 World Cup which was won by Brazil. In this ever so successful year he was awarded the Golden Ball for Player of the Tournament and named Fifa world Player of the year, better odds could be found here at bestunitedstatescasinos casino online .Every time Romario bared down on goal there truly was only one outcome.

Marco van Basten

The fact that a player who had to cut his career short due to injury at the age of only 27 is consistently ranked amongst the greatest strikers that the game has ever known is testament to the impression van Basten made. In the post-total football era of Dutch football he continued the spirit of flamboyant, skillfull and ultimately successful styles of football and his goals lead teams to many trophies including 3 Dutch Titles, 2 European Cups and 3 league titles in Serie A.

The volley he scored in the 1988 European Championship Final is perhaps what Van Basten will be remembered for and his indeed typical of the man himself. On that night he scored one of the all-time great goals and drove his team to international glory. Something he did week in week out for his club sides. Whether hitting in curling long shots, powering headers past opponents or scoring for impossible angles when the ball was with Van Basten a goal was never far off. A truly class act and a dangerous goal scorer!

Gerd Muller

 The bomber, the greatest German player of time and a record breaking scoring are just some ways of describing the legendary Gerd Muller. In the eyes of many there has never been a striker like him and he led the front line at both Bayern Munich and for Germany during the most successful times for the teams. He was at the helm of a team of class players who provided him with the kind of service he revelled in and produced some truly outstanding scoring feats to turn the domination of the games into success. Without Muller scoring time after time (especially against the frenach casino en ligne) and without his level of consistency the teams he played in would not have approached the level of dominance that they did.

Pele

You knew it was coming didn’t you? The first name that comes to people’s minds when discussing great footballers, an icon of the world game, an undoubted legend of the sport….there will never be another Pele. Leading the line of one of the finest eras of Brazilian football, Pele was the perfect striker. Pace, power, precision and a footballing brain, Pele dominated his era and there was, and perhaps never has been, anyone who can compare to the genius of this man.

Pele remains the only player to have won three world cups and his influence in each of these winning campaigns has been paramount to the success of the national side. Yes, he played with extremely talented team mates whose contribution should not be forgotten but Pele was the glue that held the team together. He was a leader, an example setting striker and above all else a clinical finisher. Whether it was with the ball at his feet, or making a darting run or looming onto the end of a cross goals followed wherever Pele may be.

Sit down a second before I tell you Pele’s professional record….1281 goals in 1363 games. In terms of professionals playing in Fifa recognised sports that is by far a record and hence I need not say more. Pele was truly great and is unlikely ever to be matches.

Diego Maradona

And to end the list….one of the most controversial footballers of all time. Diego Maradona. For every memory of Diego Maradona that is a positive one, of him skipping round defenders and scoring wonder goals there is a negative one to back it up…the cheating, the drugs, the bans. As an Englishman, considering what occurred in 1986 when Diego Maradona for a brief moment became a basketball player, it pains me slightly to say it but Diego Maradona is simply one of the finest footballers to grace the world.

Diego Maradona was never supposed to make it. For one thing his size held him back in his younger days but as soon as he had the ball at his feet he was unstoppable.  Diego Maradona is one the finest natural dribblers to ever grace to game and the term “sticks to feet like glue” is never more apt that when using to speak of this Argentinean legend.

Diego Maradona would pop up all over the pitch making decisive runs, supplying match winning assists and scoring crucial goals. Diego Maradona was an all-round footballer.

Worlds Greatest Goalkeepers

Peter-Schmeichel-of-Manchester-United-pleads-to-his-teammates

Behind every great team is a great goalkeeper. Start to analyse the success of World Cup winning National Teams and Champions League winning squads and you will start to notice a common trend. There is always a world class goalkeeper between the sticks. Inspiring teams, saving matches and intimidating opponents is all part of the day job. Here are the five best goalkeepers to ever have taken to the field

Lev Yashin

Earning the nickname “The Black Spider” Lev Yashin held the Number 1 position for the Soviet-Russian national team throughout his career. Often topping lists by fellow players, pundits and journalists alike, Yashin is undoubtedly one of the finest players of any generation. Born in Moscow in 1929 Yashin not only played everyone of his 326 club games for Dynamo Moscow over a 20 year period, but also made 78 appearances for the national side in an ear of great success for the Soviet Union.

Known largely for his acrobatic saves, flexibility, unnatural defiance of physics and reflexes, Yashin was an imposing figure for any striker brave enough to take him one. Rarely beaten one on one or from the penalty spot, it took something truly spectacular to beat Yashin. Barking orders at defenders and making himself known, Yashin rose to fame during his commanding performance at the 1958 World Cup and his four world cup appearances earned him a place in Fifa’s World Cup All Time XI. With Olympic Gold, European Championship medals and multiple league titles Yashin was never short of silverware but perhaps his crowning achievement was winning the European Footballer of the Year award in 1963. The only goalkeeper ever to do so.

Dino Zoff

Perhaps the first name on many people’s lists when discussing the legends of the game, Dino Zoff lead the Italian team in an era when they came to dominate the world. When he captained the Italian team to victory in the 1982 World Cup he became the oldest man ever to win the tournament at age 40. The fact he was chosen to lead the team, perhaps the finest team in Italian history, is testament to the respect, quality and trust a nation placed in this man’s hands.

One of the most decorated goalkeepers in history with 6 Serie A Title, 2 Coppa Italias, European Championship and World Cup medals, Zoff was undoubtedly an inspiration to any team he was a part of. Beginning at Udinese Zoff made over 100 appearances for both Mantova and Napoli before moving to Juventus where he spent 11 years and playing over 330 times.

Zoff still holds a record which ranks him above his peers and successors….between 1962 and 1974 he went 1142 minutes without conceding a single goal in international football. A record unlikely to ever be broken. Maybe only at a online casino australia roll?

After retiring as one of the greats, Zoff turned his attention to coaching and inspired as much from the side of the pitch as one it. A true legend, any team with Zoff between the sticks was instantly harder to beat.

Gordon Banks

Gordon Banks is often remembered for one save in particular. The World Cup. Pele, at the height of his career sends a header downwards in a place impossible for a goalkeeper to score. Pele thinks he has scored the entire England tea, think he has scored but dashing across the goal, not only stopping the ball but sending it to safety was Gordon Banks. That save will be shown 1000 years from now as one of the finest pieces of goalkeeping of all time.

But to judge Banks on just one save would be grossly unfair. Fans of the many clubs Banks played for week in week out, including Stoke City, Leicester and Chesterfield saw the great man pull off saves of this calibre on a regular basis. His 73 appearances for England came in a period in which they were crowned Champions of the World and his role in the 1966 victory is never forgotten.  Quick, efficient, determined and brave, Banks epitomised the English game.

Peter Schmeichel

In 1992 Peter Schmeichel was voted as the Best Goalkeeper in the World and in fact during the 1990s very few people would disagree with that claim. Peter Schmeichel lead the Manchester United team that dominated the English Premier League in the 1990s and won the 1992 European Championships with Denmark. Anyone who followed the Premier League during Peter Schmeichel’s era will always remember his fantastic saves, match winning moments and above all else, his command on the defence.

Alex Ferguson ranks is 1991 purchase of Peter Schmeichel as the greatest bargain of his career and indeed Peter Schmeichel remained with club making over 292 appearances winning multiple Premier League titles and captaining the club in the era when they won the treble. One night in Munich in 1999 he made a number of saves which kept United in the game and allowed them to score the dramatic late winners that gave them Champions League success. For real money casinos for further information.

Three images come to mind about Peter Schmeichel.

  1. Popping up in the opponents box to try and score late goals when United were in trouble
  2. Shouting at defenders who dare put a foot wrong
  3. Being one of the finest goalkeepers of all time

Sepp Maier

“The Cat from Anzing”

Any player who held the number 1 jersey at Bayern Munich for over 17 years and the German national side for 13 years deserves a place on any list of the greatest keepers of all time. Sepp Maier did just that. In fact, amongst the names of the greatest keepers of all time Maier is often overlooked but the records speak for themselves.

Maier was a crucial part of the legendary era of Bayern Munich playing alongside legends such as Gerd Muller and Franz Beckenbauer. The three European Cups the team won back to back in the 1970s is testament to how this team grew to dominate European Football. His 442 Consecutive appearances for the team is still a German record and fellow players speak of how Maier was the backbone of the team. On home soil he kept goal as Germany won the 1974 World Cup, another feat that is difficult without a great player between the sticks.

Often overlooked yet impossible to ignore, Sepp Maier has achieved the success most goalkeepers can only dream of and he deserves his place in history as one of the finest of all time.

Throwback: Our Three Favourite UEFA Cup Winners of the 1990s

Let’s face it: Clubs, certainly the elite clubs of European football, don’t love the Europa League with the same passion as they once showed for the UEFA Cup. Sure, winning the thing is pretty desirable, and players aren’t faking the unbridled joy evident in the celebrations. But, sadly, for many clubs and, indeed, fans, the most important thing about winning the Europa League is that it offers a gateway to the Champions League for the next season.

It wasn’t always thus, and we would argue that the golden era for UEFA Cup greatness was in the 1990s. The format of the European Cup and early years of the Champions League meant that fewer teams took part in the premier competition, and there wasn’t the big league bias for places that we see today. If you didn’t win your domestic league, you missed out on the Champions League – a concept that feels almost alien today. The upshot of that was that some genuinely great teams would be vying for the UEFA Cup.

Below we are going to look back at three of our favourite UEFA cup winners of the era. If you fancy stretching your trivia muscles by naming all the UEFA Cup/Europa League winners in history, then you can check out this weekly football quiz that can test your knowledge on that. For the moment, though, let’s look back on some cracking 90s UEFA Cup winners:

Inter Milan – 1998

Inter’s late 90s vintage was far from being a one-man team, but the final was all about one player – Ronaldo. O Phenômeno was just 21-years-old at the time but had already collected a Balon D’Or and two FIFA World Player of the Year awards (they used to be separate prizes).  It was the first UEFA Cup Final to be played over one leg, and Ronaldo and Inter battered an excellent Lazio side 3-0 to lift the trophy.

Goals from Ronaldo, Ivan Zamorano and Javier Zanetti sealed the victory for Inter, but it was Ronaldo’s powerful runs from deep in his own half that live long in the memory. The Lazio defence marshalled by Alessandro Nesta – one of the best centre backs in the world – simply could not handle the Brazilian, who powered through into the box time and time again. It was like watching a caged bull unleashed on that Lazio defence. Incredible, and a stark reminder that one of the greatest strikers in history had more than goals in his game.

Bayern Munich – 1996

Bayern might have the largess from being perennial Champions League contenders these days, but the team had to make do with UEFA Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup action for a lot of campaign in the 1990s. Indeed, Bayern had just scraped to a qualifying spot for the 1995/96 UEFA Cup after finishing sixth in the Bundesliga the season previously. However, a team containing Jurgen Klinsmann, Lothar Matthaus, Jean-Pierre Pain and Oliver Kahn would soon show its true class. Munich’s experience and nous allowed the team to dominate the two-legged final against a handy Bordeaux side, running out 5-1 aggregate winners.

Eight members of Bayern’s squad would go on to lift the Euro 96 trophy at Wembley that summer, but we would soon see many of the players leave Bayern. Goalkeeper Oliver Kahn and midfielder Mehmet Scholl were the only players to play in the successful Champions League campaign of 2000/2001. As such, there was an end of an era feel about the match, even if some like Matthaus held on for a few years. A great team, though, and one that was capable of outthinking its opponents even if the players did not have the legs to outrun them.

Parma – 1999

If you were a 90s football hipster and you did not support Parma, then you weren’t worth your salt. Just look at some of the names in the line-up for the 1999 UEFA Cup Final against Marseille: Buffon, Thuram, Cannavaro, Sensini, Baggio (Dino), Veron, Crespo, Chiesa. An incredible team that would sadly be broken up soon after as players were enticed to join Italy and Europe’s biggest clubs.

As for the final, it was no contest between Parma’s wizards – Veron orchestrating the midfield was a thing of beauty – and a rather lacklustre Marseille side. Hernan Crespo, in particular, was a thorn in the side of the French side, opening the scoring after 25 minutes and making a nuisance of himself in the Marseille box. A well-deserved man of the match award came after. But this Parma side oozed class, and it’s something of a pity the team wasn’t kept together a few years longer as it was good enough to land a Champions League title.

Unpopular opinion…… Bingo is cool!

                      

It is true, Bingo really is cool once again. No longer is it the game typified by old ladies with ‘Bingo Wings’ played in smoked filled gala halls. Let look at the facts if you don’t believe us! Twenty years ago, there was around 1200 commercial bingo clubs within the UK. This was decreased by half pretty much as soon the smoking ban was implemented in 2007 within the UK. Bingo Halls also declined as a result of the introduction of the UK and Euro lotteries who’s initial popularity largely came at the expense of bingo. Then there were scratch cards! Instant affordable gambling ‘hits’ that could be purchased at newsagents, superstores and corner shops. While initial scratchcard offerings were relatively basic it didn’t take long for them actually replicate Bingo games themselves.  By January 2014 there was only less than 400 remaining throughout the UK. Quite a fall from grace from it halcyon days.

Over the years, Bingo was always considered a game most enjoyed by the bus pass generation! However, this has changed with the proliferation of online gaming and gambling platforms. With high end interfaces and instant connectivity, the number of younger generation Bingo players is on the rise! This was further aided with the advent of the Smartphone and the ability to play high end ‘games’ on peoples phones. It is now fair to say that online Bingo is now considered one of the most popular games in the online gambling world!

The latest data from statistics collated in 2017, clearly indicates a steady increase in the younger sector of the overall Bingo players. The 18-34 age group show an increase of 25% in comparison to 2016 figures. But what is behind this trend? Well it has been suggested that unlike the generations before them this particular generation do not enjoying going out as much and prefer to stay in and games like Bingo allow them to socialise and play a game all from the comfort of their home. Will this trend continue? Certainly in the short term it will provide a welcome distraction from the problems with Covid-19 and fill a hole where many would consider online sports betting as their go to place to spend their betting pound.         

So, has the advent of online line Bingo killed the mother that gave it birth? Here the answer is no, quite the opposite! In 2017 the number of purpose-built Bingo halls actually increased for the first time in many years! Driven not by a boom in demand for the sherry drinking over 60s but from a new wave of Bingo lovers. If going to Bingo is not for the socially shy millennials then who is driving this demand for Bingo halls? Well it is hen parties and work social evenings that have brought a new clientele into Bingo halls and  breathed a welcomed breath of fresh air to the ailing leisure sector.

So would I go as a 41 year old male? Yes, I would so Pick a Mate’ (68) and get down there!   

The big battles in the Bundesliga as the season resumes

Football fans finally have something to get excited about, with the Bundesliga resuming this weekend after its postponement as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. With eight (or in a couple of cases, nine) matches remaining, it’s all to play for at both ends of the table and as we gear up to the long overdue climax of this campaign, let’s take a look at some of the battles teams and players are facing.

The title race

This prolonged Bundesliga season has been closer than most in recent years. Of course, there’s no surprises as to who is top of the table – Bayern Munich. The current reigning champions have won the league for the last seven years and are four points ahead of their nearest rivals, Borussia Dortmund. Understandably, you’ll find Bayern the favourites in the latest Bundesliga odds from Paddy Power. But it’s also tight between the other sides within the top four – with RB Leipzig in third on 50 points, and Borussia Mönchengladbach, a further point behind them, in fourth. Bayer Leverkusen could also finish in the Champions League places, as they are two points behind in fifth – but all teams in the top six have played an equal number of games

The relegation scrap

As things stand, Werder Bremen and new boys Paderborn occupy the two relegation places, with Fortuna Düsseldorf sitting in 16th, which is the relegation play-off spot. Bremen have a game in hand over their rivals, but are four points away from that play-off and a further four points off safety. The two bottom clubs boast the worst form in all of the division – failing to win any of their last six matches. In fact, both clubs have won just one game since the turn of the year – and have won four times all season.

As things stand, Düsseldorf would face Hamburg, who currently sit third in the 2. Bundesliga, in that play-off decider. The club were relegated in 2017-18 and failed to bounce back at the first time of asking, having finished fourth. But the second tier of German football is equally as tight, and any of five teams could easily nab that coveted third place.

The battle for Europe

As we mentioned, the top of the table in the Bundesliga is tight and there are a number of teams tussling for a top six finish and a place in Europe next season. As things stand, Gladbach are fourth and currently hold the final Champions League spot. They’re on 49 points, and Bayer Leverkusen are just two behind them. With six points separating the top four, it’s all to play for and the table could easily change before the end of the season.

Further down, Leverkusen are in fifth – which would secure qualification to the Europa League. There’s a massive 10 points between them and Schalke who sit in sixth – consigning them to a place in the second round of qualifying for the same competition. But here’s where things get interesting. Mid-table is equally as tight as the top, with about six teams battling for that sixth place – and anyone from Wolfsburg in seventh (36 points) to Union Berlin in eleventh (30 points) are in with a shout. Prior to the league being suspended, of all the clubs vying for that place in Europe, Wolfsburg boast the best form with three wins in their last five. But with the season being so heavily disrupted, and teams effectively on a level playing field, it’ll all be down to who regains momentum quickest in these final matches. It’s sure to be a thrilling finish.

The Golden Boot

Like the top of the league, there’s no surprises when it comes to who leads the way for the Torjägerkanon. Robert Lewandowski is a four-time winner of the Golden Boot (with three of those accolades coming with current club, Bayern) and he’s scored 25 goals this campaign – more than he amassed last term. Lewandowski has been the most-feared frontman in German football for a decade now and his record speaks for itself.

However, hot on his heels is Leipzig’s Timo Werner, who is four goals behind with 21 scored. The striker is wanted by a number of clubs including Liverpool and while there are a few matches remaining, he could well leapfrog Lewandowski to win the Golden Boot. It’s fair to say it’s a two-horse race for the Torjägerkanon, with Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho sitting in third place on 14 goals. 

Smaller Clubs Facing Uncertainty

We’re seeing businesses of all shapes and sizes across the country struggle as the spread of the coronavirus has required many workers to stay at home – our favourite restaurants have closed and some many struggle to re-open, our schools and universities have followed suit with some offering online classes as an alternative where available, betting websites have had to turn to their online casinos not registered with gamstop counterparts as an alternative, and our favourite sporting events are finding either postponements or cancellations, often times with no scheduled date for things to start again in sight. 

One thing that many forget from time to time, however, is that the clubs we support and follow are also the very same businesses that are struggling to stay afloat during this time of uncertainty – efforts have been made to help and curb the losses as many players, especially in the bigger clubs, have voluntarily had their wages cut by up to 25% with additional donations being made toward the NHS – we’ve even seen in some countries that were a little harder hit such as Spain, the Barcelona team had cuts of up to 70%, but as we approach what would be the regularly scheduled off-season worries continue to grow. Richard Masters, the chief exec. of the Premier League has stated that if the season is unable to reach completion, they could face losses of up to £1 billion, and even more if further delays are caused, and as it stands it seems almost inevitable that further delays will come.

(Image from sportinglife.com)

The problem sits a little heavier on the smaller teams, and the lower leagues, however, as the options available to them aren’t as plentiful. The bigger teams have been able to issue these wage cuts and furlough non-playing staff and still keep enough in the bank to be mostly safe when all this is over – the smaller teams however do not have that luxury and many risk seeing closure in the coming weeks and months. Oftentimes, the players are on a low salary with many taking up a second job with their careers in football being more of an amateur-hobby, rather than their professional career, and the club owners simply don’t have the level of capital of their larger counterparts – the lower leagues themselves too face risk as game cancellations mean no fan attendance and no participation from teams, some have said that we depending on the length of the postponements some of these may not return at all.

With uncertainty still around just how much longer we could see lockdowns in place within the UK, there’s no surefire way to know just how far reaching the impact could be, an expert analysis is understandably not as comprehensive as many would like. News may start coming through in the coming weeks for those who are feeling the effects much harder than others, and it may not be long before we start seeing the real impacts of this on our smaller sporting favourites.

Top Three contenders to land the European Championships

Source: https://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro-2020/news/0255-0d9f2f2c93bf-ad932fd5ee55-1000–all-you-need-to-know-about-uefa-euro-2020/

The European championships are now set to take place next year following postponement, as all the major sides have already guaranteed their participation. It appears very open at this stage, with a number of sides going in having produced impressive qualification campaigns. With sports all being cancelled, punters have been moving to use Energy Casino promo code, but will all be looking forward to the return of sports to our screens.

Here we cover the three leading sides in the betting markets to go on and land the title.

Amazingly enough, it is England who are now the general outright favourites to go on and win the European championships. This follows on from their impressive run to the semi-finals of the World Cup two years ago.  England are around 9/2 for the title, and produced an impressive qualification campaign. This saw them top Group A, ahead of the likes of Kosovo and the Czech Republic. The latter have also been drawn in the same group against England in the finals. England finished having picked up 21 points from a possible 24, winning seven and lost once. They now go in looking to win the tournament for the first time and just their second major trophy, the first coming via the 1966 World Cup success.

France are also amongst the favourites and can be supported at around 6/1 in the betting markets. They enter in flying form, coming off the back of winning the 2018 World Cup in Russia. France are also one of the most successful sides in World football, with two World Cup wins and two victories at the European championships. They were also beaten finalists in this competition back in 2016, when losing to Portugal. France were another side to produce an impressive qualification campaign. They topped Group H, against the likes of Turkey and Iceland. However, they could only take a point from the two fixtures against Turkey, which was a surprise. France finished having picked up 25 points from a possible 30, winning eight, drawing one and losing one.

Belgium are then next in the markets and can be supported at around 11/2. Belgium remain amongst the top sides in the world at present and have a squad full of some of the world’s top players. They recently finished third at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and will now be looking to improve further and land the title last this year. Belgium will also be looking for their first major title, with their best finish coming as runners-up in the 1980 European championships. Alongside Italy, they finished their qualification campaign as the only two sides to take maximum points. They topped Group I, against the likes of Russia and Scotland. Belgium won all ten fixtures and now head in as one of the teams to beat.

The Best African Players in the Premier League

Since football truly became global, and the Premier League became one of the most in demand places to play, there has been an influx of African talent into the division. But just who stands amongst the greatest players to have graced the pitch in the Premier League? Let us take a look

Didier Drogba

Few can argue that Didier Drogba is not only one of the finest Africans to grace the game, but one of the top strikers. Powerful, demanding and full of creativity, Drogba was the ultimate modern striker. He led the line at one of the most powerful teams to have graced Premier League pitches, and was a vital cog in the Chelsea side that won two back to back Premier League

Riyhad Marhez

Vital when Leicester produced the shock of the century and took the title and went on to prove his class at Man City. Mahrez was picked out of obscurity to become one of the most feared wingers and ball runners in Premier League history. Pace, trickery and an ability to finish from anywhere….Mahrez drove Leicester to new heights!

Tony Yeboah

Surely, for those two goals alone? You know what I am talking about….

Yakubu

Yakubu is perhaps one of the most under rated African players to hit the Premier League but he had a knack of scoring goals and terrifying defences that makes him hard to ignore in a list like this! Click here for an updated list of the best gambling sites in the UK. He had a decade in the division running from 2002-2012 and every club he played for he scored goals….95 goals for four clubs…..several hat tricks and a true match winner!

Jay Jay Okocha

True Jay Jay didn’t have a great deal of success in terms of wins and trophies….but can you name a player who is more enjoyable to watch?

Mo Salah

When the history of the Premier League is written, this man cannot be ignored. His career seemed over when he failed at Chelsea, but Jurgen Klopp saw something when he took him from Roma, and Salah turned into a goal machine. A player who inspires genuine fear, a match winner and a natural born finisher.

Kanu

Tall, gangly, skinny…..but super talented Kanu is one of the most unlikely Premier League heroes of all. Can you remember a player who had such natural craft that he could trick even the greats of the game? A legend at every club he played at!

Michael Essien

A true powerhouse and a vital cog in the Chelsea machine. Essien was a power horse, impossible to dribble past and equally as likely to storm into the opposition box and score an absolute screamer!

The Toure Brothers

And what better place to end than with the most decorated African brothers in Premier League History. Kolo was a defensive lynchpin who was the backbone of every team he played in. Yaya is one of the most gifted midfielders to grace the game! Together both they, and all the other players on this list, have been a blessing to the Premier League!

Most Popular Football Leagues In the World

Football is one of the most followed and entertaining sports in the world. It generates excitement and heightened emotions, especially during big games. In recent years, various European leagues have gained attention from fans and the media. Many football pundits have had a hard time deciding which are the most popular leagues.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll review the most remarkable football leagues in the world. These choices are based on the presence of top players, TV views, social media buzz generated from games, as well as the achievement of clubs from many continental tournaments. Without any further delay, let’s have a quick look at them!

La Liga

The Spanish domestic football group boasts some of the top football teams on the planet. As per the UEFA 2019 ranking, La Liga is ranked the top league in Europe. The league had over 75 million watchers throughout the 2018/19 season. It also features some of the most anticipated football games, such as the El Classico. Founded in 1929, many clubs in La Liga have won the UEFA Champions League several times, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.

English Premier League

Did you know that the EPL is one of the most powerful leagues across the globe? All its games are broadcasted in 212 countries and reach around 4.5 billion watchers. Actually, the EPL is ranked the second-best league in Europe according to UEFA 2019 league’s ranking. Founded in 1992, it is also the second football league with the most average attendance during the 2018/19 campaign. The Premier League has top players, such as Sadio Mane, Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane.

Bundesliga

The German domestic football federation is currently ranked the fourth in Europe by UEFA. Bundesliga is without a doubt, one of the toughest football leagues. Founded in 1962, it has 56 clubs playing in it with the most average league attendance. Some of its clubs are also very successful at continental tournaments. Bundesliga is home to special football players, such as Robert Lewandowski, Manual Neuer, Marco Reus and Gerd Muller.

Serie A

Since the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Serie A has gained increased media attention. When Ronaldo made his debut for Juventus, there were around 2.3 million watchers who tuned in to watch him perform his magic. The league was founded in 1898 and is currently ranked fourth in Europe by the UEFA. Apart from Ronaldo, Serie A has many skilful players such as Lorenzo Insigne, Paulo Dybala, Romeo Lukaku and Christian Eriksen.

Ligue 1

Ligue 1 is one of the football leagues which cannot be underestimated. The presence of a series of world-class players makes it entertaining and exciting. The French domestic association has been around since 1932. It has also seen many clubs emerge to be as dominant as ever. In Europe, it currently sits in fifth place for the best league. Some of the most talented players who play in Ligue 1 are Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani, Neymar and wonder boy Kylian Mbappe.

Which of these football federations do you watch most? And what if you were to create your own league one day? Regal Wins Online Casino lets you do so, thanks to its plethora of football-themed games. Drop by the site and explore the likes of Home and Away, Supreme Football, Football Star and Football Scratch. Be the champion of your own league right here!

Football Managers – Never Go Back

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They say in football that a manager or indeed even a player should never go back to an old club where they once had success as the only way it will end….is in disaster and a tarnishing of legacy. Let us look at some of the reasons why this is the case, and examples of the managers who really should never have went back!

Kevin Keegan – Newcastle

Who can forget the first run of Kevin Keegan at Newcastle! Returning to the club where he was an idol on the playing pitch, Keegan carried on his legacy, guiding Newcastle to the Premier League for the first time. Once there, he unleashed a brand of attacking, high risk and high pace football. They were known as the entertainers and beloved by many. Neutrals were urging them on to take the title when in 1996 they held a 12 point lead in the table. It was a glorious period that saw Newcastle even make the Champions League the stats were great and can be found on this website . But the return in 2008 wasn’t so great! Newcastle were in decline heavily, the St James faithful called on King Kev to restore faith, but disagreement with the boards, a stagnant transfer policy and a club that has changed from the club he knew….meant it all ended in tears.

Kenny Dalglish – Liverpool

Liverpool were indeed the team of the 1980s and during the second half of that decade it was King Kenny on the throne. He majestically guided Liverpool to a League and Cup double in his first season, 2 more titles were added and he confidently knew he had the best team in the land had his hands. After a successful and iconic playing career with the club, his status grew even more. But Liverpool suffered in the 1990s and 2000s. Not winning a Premier League title, looking like a faded giant. With a huge fanfare Kenny returned to save the day in 2011 but it all ended in a damp squid when 8th place was the best he could achieve!

Jose Mourinho – Chelsea

When his career is all said and done, I assume the Special One will have returned to other of his former clubs, given that his appointment usually means initial success. He worked his magic at Stamford Bridge, placing the team into a dominant run and winning back to back Premier League titles by some distance. Easily the best side in England, The Special One was untouchable. However, tensions with the owner led to a departure at the start of a 4th season. But the story was resumed in 2013 after Jose had won titles with both Inter Milan and Real Madrid.  He won the league again but this time the story was less of a happy ending as those tensions came back, he walked out and is now booed every time he returns to the Bridge.

So three very good examples to any current managers who have achieved success…..never go back as more often than not, it ends in tears

Europa League Main contenders

It is not just about the Champions’ league when it comes to Europe, with the Europa league having also now reached the knockout stages. Much anticipation is already building ahead of the next round of fixtures taking place later this month. So here we cover the five sides most likely to be battling it out for the title.

Source: https://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/025a-0e9f7aaa6274-354c80d3e326-1000–europa-league-round-of-32-ties-meet-your-opponents/?referrer=%2fuefaeuropaleague%2fnews%2fnewsid%3d2635721

Sevilla

Spanish side Sevilla are the general favourites for the title and proving popular with punters using the offers available at match-bonus-code.co.uk. This will come as no surprise when you look at their incredible history in the competition. They are five time winners, that includes them winning three in succession between 2013 and 2016. Sevilla are also battling it out near the top of the Spanish top flight and will be hopeful of securing a Champions league spot for next season. They have been drawn against CFR Cluj in the next round of fixtures and will be the very strong favourites to progress through.

Manchester United

Another of the sides at the top of the market are Premier league outfit Manchester United. They have an incredible European pedigree with three Champions league titles in their history. United have also won the Europa league back in 2017. They appear to have a tough task on their hands if they are to finish in the top four domestically, so this will be seen as a great opportunity to qualify for the Champions league next season. They have drawn Club Bruges in the next round and will also be expected to progress through.

Inter Milan

They were surprisingly knocked out of the Champions league, so are now without a doubt one of the key sides to beat in this competition. They continue to battle it out at the top of the Serie A table, so it will be interested to see how much importance they put into this competition now. Inter Milan are also three time winners of this competition and three time winners of the Champions’ league. They have been drawn against Ludogorets in the next round of fixtures.

Ajax

The Dutch side are another team to have surprisingly been knocked out of the Champions league. They are flying domestically, so will also be expected to challenge in this competition. Ajax won the Europe league back in 1992 and are also four time winners of the now Champions league. They have been drawn against Getafe in the next round and will also be strong favourites to progress through.

Arsenal

The final side to make the select list are last season’s defeated finalists Arsenal. This competition will also be of much importance to them if they wish to play in the Champions league next season, as they appear unlikely to finish in the top four domestically. Arsenal are usually very dangerous in this competition, so must enter calculations. They have been drawn against Olympiacos in the next round and will be expected to progress through.

Liverpool FC – Record Breaking Season

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Always the butt of the long running joke…”Next Year is our year”….the long title drought at Anfield seems all but over.  After spending a number of season crafting a team worthy of Champions League glory, Jurgen Klopp has finally mastered the Premier League, and done so with a bang. Liverpool’s brand of football is not only scintillating to watch and virtually unplayable as opposition, but along the way they have smashed record after record to get to where they are, the cusp of Premier League glory. Lets take a look at some of the key stats that have helped to establish this season (that not even the most biased Liverpool fan could imagine…even in their wildest dreams!)…

  • Firstly, to get a serious title bid underway this season, you had to agree, that Liverpool would need a good start. And by did they do that! 61 points in the first 21 games eclipsed the previous record set by Manchester City. With rivals dropping points left right and centre, the 61 points was the set up for pure domination of the league!
  • Being unbeaten in 38 games is also a fact that still stands out amongst all. In the modern Premier League, one of the attractions and reasons that the league is so popular across the continent, is that it has a level of unpredictability meaning anyone on any given day can beat anyone else! Not in this case….38 games, or a full season of games, without a loss is unmatched in Premier League history, placing this current Liverpool team as perhaps one of the best ever!
  • Those first 21 games also produced a record that again, staggers belief….for a team that play such open attacking football they have conceded only 14 goals with 6 clean sheets. This is perhaps why Virgil Van Dijk is considered to be such a key figure in the side. Without the solid defence, the 38 games unbeaten certainly wouldn’t have happened!
  • Liverpool are on target for well over 100 points, the current record set by Manchester City in 2017-2018. Surely if that happens, there can be no argument about the Premier League finest?
  • Are Liverpool the new invincible? Arsenal went 47 games without loss….would you bet against Liverpool of 2019-2020 breaking this? I certainly wouldn’t! And who will eventually end it?
  • Liverpool are also on course to break Manchesters record of 16 away wins in a given season! If they go anywhere near that total of 16 then it wont be long before the 100 point barrier is broken!
  • The record for most wins in a season is 32….Liverpool are well on track to achieve this! Barring a major slip up, 32 wins should be well within the grasp!

What other records may they break? Most goals? Longest time at the top? Largest points gap between 1st and 2nd? Whatever happens the Jurgen Klopp revolution at Anfield will set some records that may take a very very long time indeed. 2019-2020 will go down as a season to remember!

Deadline day drama: Which five Premier League transfers stand out the most?

The transfer window is a period of excitement and exasperation and it has now become a staple of the footballing season. Deadline day, in particular, is celebrated up and down the nation with live cameras outside stadiums following the progress of potential rumours and moves.

Some transfers, though, hit the headlines for their suspense, shock and even downright hilarity and now betting sites like https://www.betandskill.com even odds and even tips on likely transfers throughout the window.

Wayne Rooney – Everton to Manchester United

Wayne Rooney is now a household name in football, but it was his bursting onto the scene as an 18-year-old youngster with boyhood club Everton and his performances in the 2004 Euros that sent the rumour mill in overdrive.

Manchester United won the race ahead of Newcastle United for the Merseyside rookie on the last day of the 2004 summer transfer window, in fact, just four hours before it closed. The rest, as they say, is history and, having scored 253 goals in 559 appearances, Rooney left Manchester as a club legend in 2017.

Luis Suarez – Ajax to Liverpool

With Fernando Torres’ move to Chelsea confirmed in January 2011, Liverpool desperately needed another star striker. That striker came in the shape of Uruguayan Luis Suarez whose prolific form at Eredivisie side Ajax gave the Kop plenty of hope that Torres wouldn’t be missed.

His first season ended with League Cup victory and 17 goals in all competitions, before 30 and then 33 goals in the Premier League in his next two seasons underlined his credentials and brought in a lot of money for bettors as Liverpool narrowly missed out on the title.

A three-and-a-half-year career on Merseyside was blighted with controversies and Suarez earned a £75 million move to Barcelona in 2014.

Carlos Tevez – Corinthians to West Ham

In one of the most bizarre transfers in Premier League history, Carlos Tevez joined Javier Mascherano in London to help West Ham stay in the top flight under Alan Pardew. The move was incredibly surprising given that both had been touted by major European clubs at the time.

Tevez did what he does best – scoring seven goals in 27 appearances and helping the Hammers survive in the Premier League for another year. The striker left for Manchester United at the end of the 2006/07 season.

Claude Makelele – Real Madrid to Chelsea

In an era where Real Madrid couldn’t stop winning, Claude Makelele’s transfer to recently-rich Chelsea in 2003 provoked a lot of surprise. Yet, he became a dynamic figure in the heart of the Blues’ defence, playing a key role as Chelsea won back-to-back titles under Jose Mourinho.

Makelele’s influence was so great that he has often been credited as redefining the defensive midfielder role as he helped the Blues establish themselves as one of the leading English football clubs once more. The Frenchman left in 2008 after playing 217 times for Chelsea.

Ashley Cole – Arsenal to Chelsea

One move surrounded in controversy due to claims of tapping up, but Ashley Cole’s £5 million move from Arsenal to London rivals Chelsea has perhaps been one of the most value-for-money signings in Premier League history.

Left-back Cole helped Chelsea win nine major trophies after joining in 2006 and going on to make 229 appearances.

10 Great Ways to Learn Stock Trading in 2020

Gaining the knowledge needed to trade on the stock markets, can be the start of an exciting and indeed profitable path. With the amount of information currently out there, it can get confusing, especially if you are just starting out. Stock trading can be intimidating so here are 10 ways to learn stocking trading in 2020.

  • Books

Reading is your best friend when it comes to any issues and when it comes to stock trading this is certainly the case. Heading over to your local library or indeed an online book store, you should find a wealth of information from the very beginner texts to books aimed at more advance traders.

  • Open a stock broker account/virtual trading

Getting straight into the mix of stock trading could be the best idea. Some people learn best from simply acting on their chosen goals, and with the opportunity to take out virtual accounts, practice accounts and free stakes to play with, learning how to play the market is more accessible than ever.

  • Read Articles

Maybe you aren’t ready to tackle a full book on such a deep subject, but fear not as there are plenty of articles around online to combat this! A quick google search and you can spend an evening ready texts on all sorts of stock trading topics

  • Friends

Anything new is better experienced with friends. Get a friend involved, learn together or even better find yourself a mentor to guide you through the process! As with all goals, they are easier to achieve if you have a partner in crime!

  • Find Successful people to emulate!

When you are doing research, look at individual cases, perhaps similar to your own. Look at what they did, how they planned, what they achieved and see how you can set about mimicking success. Advice is even better when it comes from someone who has played the game themselves!

  • Make it daily!

Simply….follow the stock market daily. That’s a key way to learn, don’t dip in and out when you have five minutes spare. Set yourself dedicated time every day to study the market and try and analyse patterns.

  • TV stations

Many TV stations have dedicated shows….find out when they are and tune in. They can be very useful ways to learn and give you a break from simply text based learning. Stock trading is covered on many news channels so keep an eye out!

  • Find local classes!

Some people may require structure to learning and many of the points mentioned above will be assisted if you take a class. Local colleges often provide cheap or even free services and some may be as short as a couple of sessions to get you started!

  • Use Simulators

If you want to gain practice without risk….try using simulators to gain an idea of how get involved in stock trading

  • Keep a diary

Whenever I am learning something I like keeping some sort of diary or log to keep a track of what I am learning. Stock trading is no different.  Keep a daily or weekly log and reflect back on it to see how far you have come!

Can Rhian Brewster reignite Swansea’s season?

The January transfer window brings the chance for Championship clubs to bolster their ranks ahead of the second half of the season. With so little to choose between many of the clubs in the top half of the table this season, it’s vital that teams are shrewd in bringing in new players to give them an edge when push comes to shove at the end of the campaign.

Swansea City, who were early frontrunners in the Championship this season but have since dropped down to sixth place, have acted by signing Liverpool youngster Rhian Brewster on loan until the end of the current campaign. If the young striker can hit form then Swansea may be more highly fancied when it comes to the latest English Championship betting odds.

The 19-year-old has bags of talent and potential, has made a few first-team appearances for Liverpool this season, and this loan move offers the 19-year-old a chance to find his feet in senior football. It’s a good match for player and club, as Swansea were in need of forward reinforcements following Bournemouth’s decision to recall Sam Surridge from his loan spell at the Welsh club.

Although Swansea have maintained their position in the play-off spots, their form has been somewhat up and down in recent weeks. There have been some poor performances and results against their promotion rivals in the league – a 5-1 loss to West Bromwich Albion and a 3-1 reversal away at Brentford – while the club’s FA Cup campaign ended in humiliation with a 5-1 hammering by QPR in the third round.

Goals have been a concern for manager Steve Cooper in recent times as, excepting the 3-1 win over Middlesbrough, the Swans have struggled to score more than one goal per game over the last couple of months. It is hoped that the arrival of Brewster will give the team a bit more bite going forward, as the youngster is a naturally talented finisher with bags of pace to go with it.

There is also a connection between Cooper and Brewster from the coach’s days as England U-17 manager. The team famously won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017, a tournament in which Brewster won the Golden Boot with eight goals. It’s clear that Cooper knows how to get the best out of Brewster, but replicating that form in the competitive dog-fight that is the Championship will be another challenge.

“It helps when you know the head coach and have worked under him before,” Brewster said on linking up with Cooper once again. “Right now, this move is the best option for me. To work with him again at club level is going to be very different, but I’ve just got to work hard on the training pitch and, hopefully, get picked for the games and help the team by scoring goals.”

One thing Brewster brings with him is the winning mentality that Jürgen Klopp has instilled at Liverpool, a confidence that seems to have trickled down through all levels of the club’s players. We saw evidence of this in the Reds’ recent 1-0 win over Everton in the FA Cup, a game in which Klopp fielded a youthful line-up while Everton went full-strength.

Swansea will hope that this standard of success that Brewster brings with him will rub off on the rest of the squad. To gain promotion from the Championship requires momentum, and if Brewster can go on a scoring streak and get Swansea winning and scoring consistently once again, then a return to the Premier League may well be on the cards.

Ballon D’Or 2019

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world. Every year, the best players of the game receive accolades for their spectacular performance on the pitch. One of the most competitive and anticipated awards is the Ballon d’Or. The 2019 ceremony took place in Paris, France. Megan Rapinoe and Lionel Messi walked away with the best prizes.

The ceremony was held at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, on the 2nd of December 2019. Hundreds to players, fans, coaches and journalists attended the event. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi made history by clinching the award for a record sixth time. He became the only football player to achieve that feat. Messi held off the challenge of Virgil Van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Argentine ace scored 54 goals for country and club in the 2018-19 campaign. That saw him lead the scoring charts in Champions League and La Liga. The player also guided Barcelona to the Spanish League glory. However, he finished third with his country in the Copa America.

On the other hand, Van Dijk finished second. The defender helped the Reds win the Champions League. Ronaldo settled for third after playing an important role to Juventus’ Serie A glory.

The attacking duo of the Reds Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah ranked fourth and fifth respectively. PSG’s Kylian Mbappe ranked sixth ahead of Alisson Becker. On the eighth position, you have Robert Lewandowski. Manchester City duo Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez settled for ninth and tenth positions respectively.

In the Women’s category, Rapinoe won the Ballon d’Or. She was also named player of the FIFA women’s World Cup this year. Being the joint-top scorer with six goals, she has an excellent season. Lucy Bronze was the runner-up after guiding Lyon to the women’s Champions League title. Alex Morgan came third in the ranking although she finished second in the FIFA Best Women’s award.

Top 10 Women’s ranking

  • Megan Rapinoe
  • Lucy Bronze
  • Alex Morgan
  • Ada Hegerberg
  • Vivianne Miedema
  • Wendie Renard
  • Sam Kerr
  • Rose Lavelle
  • Ellen White
  • Dzsenifer Marozsan

The ceremony has also seen other players won awards. Juventus Matthijs de Ligt took home the Kopa Trophy. It is all about the best young player in European football. The former Ajax defender defeated Jadon Sancho and Joao Felix. Last year, it was Mbappe who won it.

The inaugural Yachine Trophy went to Alisson Becker. It is normally awarded to the best goalkeeper in the world. He won it against the likes of Manuel Neuer, Hugo Lloris and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Football brings joy to thousands of fans across the globe. The Ballon d’Or is held to congratulate the best players for their performance. They work hard and feature in many tournaments each year to entertain everyone. Do you fancy some football actions? Football Champions Cup Slot at Lucky VIP Casino could be of your interest. Drop by the site and take a few spins!

The focus now shifts on the 2020 Ballon D’Or award. Do you think Messi and Rapinoe will be able to defend their accolades? Let’s see…

Famous red cards in club football

All football fans love a game with plenty of action – a 0-0 barely fought draw doesn’t seem like a decent reason to get out of bed on the weekend. When players head out onto the pitch with grit and determination, they gain respect. But what happens when all that effort fails and turns to frustrations? With temperaments running high, players start to lose their heads and make crucial mistakes.

The red card. Something that can change an entire game. Not only will it send a team down to 10 men, but it can also leave another player injured for several weeks. Let’s take a look at some of those famous red cards that have ended in tears.

Zlatan Ibrahimović – Paris Saint-Germain

The Swedish striker is quite the prolific personality in football. Regarded as one of the best goal scorers of his generation, with over 600 goals in his career to date. But there is one particular moment in his fine career that overshadows some of his success.

Whilst playing at PSG in Ligue 1 during the 2012-13 season, Ibrahimović found himself receiving a red card. After Saint-Etienne managed to take the lead after an own goal from Mamadou Sakho, Ibrahimović turned to desperation after repeatedly being denied a goal.

As the ball bounced behind the striker, he locked his eyes onto it to ensure he didn’t miss his next opportunity. Unfortunately for Ibrahimović, he didn’t realise the goalkeeper had come out of the net to collect the ball. As the striker flew through the air, boot aloft, his studs met the keeper’s chest. There was no denying his high boot, and his actions forced him from the pitch with a red card.

Eden Hazard – Chelsea

Possibly the most unforgettable red card in recent history, but took place on the side lines. In recent Premier League odds, Chelsea have been looking favourable to finish in the top four with plenty of success. In the 2012-13 season, they also had a promising start, but as things started to unravel after Christmas, players became desperate to make a difference.

In their League Cup semi-final match against Swansea City, Chelsea were frantically searching for a goal after losing the first leg 2-0. Time was running out, and Hazard felt the pressure to score. When the ball went out, he and a ball boy seemed to become tangled down one end of the pitch. Cameras showed Hazard kicking the ball boy, who seemed to be laying on the ball, the ref had no decision but to send Chelsea down to 10 men.

Roy Keane – Manchester United

The hot-headed Irishman was bound to make this list. During his time at Old Trafford, he accumulated 11 red cards, with a total of 13 in his career. Although there are plenty of occasions to choose from, his red card against Alf-Inge Håland is a standout. Not only did it remove him from the pitch, but it also inevitably ended the Norwegian’s career.

In a Manchester derby, Håland’s tackle prevented Keane scoring a goal. There seemed to be some tension between the two players at the time, but ultimately it was quashed. Although Keane wasn’t keen to forgive, and no doubt was seeking his revenge at the next opportunity. As Håland kicked the ball, Keane arrived with a very late high foot which landed straight onto Håland’s knee. Not only did Keane seem unfazed by the accident, but he also accepted his red card with grace and walked off the pitch.

Remember These Managers Who Coached Chelsea and Tottenham?


Jose Mourinho” (CC BY 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald

Jose Mourinho is not alone in managing both London clubs, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

The Special One’s return to the capital after almost a year out of coaching (and prior to that an unhappy spell at Manchester United) got us thinking about those who also coached both the Blues and Spurs. There are two others to take these two jobs on in the same order.

Andre Villas-Boas


DG1_1616” (CC BY 2.0) by Web Summit

There is a certain irony in Mourinho protege Andre Villas-Boas, henceforth referred to as AVB, being a predecessor of his mentor in North London.

In-between Mourinho’s two stints with Chelsea, his fellow country also took to the Stamford Bridge hot seat. Once he left the backroom role to strike out on his own in management, AVB came to the Blues with a great reputation after guiding Porto to a Europa League, Taca de Portugal, and Primeira League treble in 2011.

That meant he arrived at Chelsea lauded almost as a new Mourinho. However, AVB was scarcely older than some of the senior players in the Stamford Bridge dressing room and, before the following the season was over, was soon sacked.

The Blues went on to unlikely Champions League glory with AVB’s assistant, Roberto Di Matteo, in caretaker charge. Chelsea are now managed by Frank Lampard, who played under both apprentice and master Mourinho, with him being 33/1 in current football betting markets to steer them to another European Cup.

AVB had a season-and-a-half in charge of Spurs from the summer of 2012. After taking them to fifth in the Premier League, he was at the helm when Gareth Bale was sold to Real Madrid in 2013. 

That disastrous scattergun recruitment policy used to try and replace the Wales winger ultimately cost AVB his job. He has since had spells with Zenit St Petersburg in Russia and Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG, and is currently the Marseille manager. 

Glenn Hoddle


Glenn Hoddle” (CC BY 2.0) by Doha Stadium Plus

Boyhood Tottenham fan Glenn Hoddle also coached Chelsea first like Mourinho and AVB. This Rolls Royce of a midfielder began his playing career at White Hart Lane and spent 17 years, man and boy, with Spurs before moving abroad with Monaco in 1987.

Hoddle was signed for the Principality outfit by a then-young manager called Arsene Wenger. The irony of a future Arsenal icon working with a Tottenham hero shouldn’t be lost on anyone.

Given his talent on the pitch, Hoddle returned to England to be a player-manager of Swindon Town and then Chelsea. He moved to Stamford Bridge mere days after getting the Robins into the Premier League via the play-offs – a match in which Hoddle himself scored.

With the Blues, Hoddle attracted a number of high-profile foreign players and brought in old Spurs boss Peter Shreeves as his assistant. They guided Chelsea to the 1994 FA Cup final but lost handsomely to Manchester United.

His time as player-boss at Stamford Bridge attracted interest from the FA as a replacement for Terry Venables as England manager following Euro ’96. Although the top job brought controversies with it, Hoddle would return to club coaching – first with Southampton and then a homecoming at Tottenham where he replaced ex-Arsenal boss George Graham in 2001.

During two-and-a-half years at White Hart Lane, he again reached a cup final. Spurs lost out on the 2002 League Cup 2-1 to Blackburn Rovers, however, and Hoddle later ended his coaching career with Wolves without picking up a trophy.

Best Players Never to win International Caps

Having previously looked at the England players who never received an international call up, and seeing some shocking exclusions such as Steve Bruce and Howard Kendall, its time to widen the net and take a look at some of the players  from other footballing nations who we all know and are familiar with who never managed to win an international cap!

Paulo Di Canio – The Italian, who has scored more goals in the Premier League than any other Italian, was a hit everywhere he went, scoring goals, lighting up every single pitch he went on and providing match winning moments. But despite all the problems the national team had in the striking position, they never called on Di Canio. Maybe his reputation was just too great or his love of real mone pokies was too much for successive Italian managers

Mikel Arteta – Now seen in assistant managers roles and likely to be one of the managers to watch in the future, Mikel  Arteta never lined up in a national shirt for Spain. Everton benefited from his play making to the point he took a big money move to Arsenal where he continued to thrive. But with the Spanish tea winning trophies left, right and centre there was no room for a player with the skill of Arteta.

Carlo Cudicini – Perhaps the best keeper of his time in the league when at his peak? A top 10 contender for the best goalkeepers to grace the Premier League? Yet still no call up. Cudicini must consider himself unlucky as during his tie the national team were experimenting with various keepers yet he never had the opportunity to stake his claim.

Stefan Klos – What does it take to get a call up for the German national team? Obviously 13 major trophies and playing a pivotal role in the 1997 Champions League doesn’t count for much! Klos was superb and if you take a long look at that 1997 Dortmund team he played key roles at key moments. Deserved a shot ad could have helped Germany during an era in which they struggled!

Steed Malbranque – Steeeeeeed as the chant would go deserved better both in his club and international career. He drove a Fulham side to promotion, he shone in one of the worst Sunderland sides in history and he always popped up with a moment of genius and match winning goals. What more could you need! Obviously the French team managers during his career thought otherwise!

Dario Hubner – Had the choice of playing for either Germany or Italy, made a career bagging over 250 goals in the toughest league in the world to rack up these totals but was never taken seriously at international level!

John McGovern – Yes…a Scotsman makes the list. As baffling as Steven Bruce never playing for England! Did everything (although he did like online casino in his spare time) domestically yet ignored by the Scottish FA!

Is there someone we have missed? Is there a player who never got a shot despite showcasing great league form? Then let us know!

Worst Ever Football Songs

Football and Music should never mix. If you want proof and want to remind yourself of some of the horrors that have been inflicted on fans over the years  then read on. Outside of Three Lions, has there genuinely been a football song you could even remotely suggest of as being “good”. The evidence underneath will suggest otherwise!

Kevin Keegan – Head over Heels  – Do not, I repeat do not google this whilst thinking “Ive never  heard this….”. You don’t want to. In the 1970s and 1980s, when pop music was at its pinnacle, music executives, who were obviously seeking nothing more than to inflict pain on the nations ears thought to cash in on the football boom! And this was the result….you will never be forgiven.

Andy Cole – Every rap song he tried – Andy Cole was superb, a natural, one of the very best….but that applies only to football and not rapping. In fact, I wouldn’t even use the word rapping to apply here! Again, avoid googling and imagine Andy Cole’s post-match interviews with a beat added. And there you have it! Leave rap to the US stars and stick to finding the back of the net Andy https://www.bestussportsbetting.com/ Cole.

Ian Wright – Do the Right Thing? – What is it with footballers wanting to start rap careers? It has never worked, probably never will and even good old John Barnes knew that it was best to get out at the top after World in Motion. Ian Wright, perhaps even outdoes Andy Cole, in terms of “Lets just talk and pretend it’s a rap”.

Del Amitri – Don’t Come home too soon – This I would file under ….what? For some reason Del Amitri decided not to right a funny song, a catchy one or even an upbeat one and inside made a lament, a plea even to the Scottish team that was about as miserable as their performance in that years world cup!

Middlesbrough FC, Chris Rea and Bob Mortimer – I hate to cast any negative comments in the direction of Bob Mortimer, but this was a crime against the senses. Most people reading this will probably never have had the misfortune of hearing this assault on the sense. But if you have……I afraid to say mind altering technology is not yet available!

Ant and Dec – We’re On the Ball – Ready to Rumble, lets face it, is an all time classic that will still be getting played in 100 years time when the Geordie duo are long gone. I’d rather try au sports betting . We’re on the ball certainly won’t be! Another obvious attempt at cashing in on that years world cup! A mess of a song and one which should never ever be played!

Vinnie Jones – Big Bad Leory Brown – Simply needs to be heard to be believed. Vinnie Jones to be fair made a stellar post-football career in acting but his singing “career”  should be avoided at all costs.

And we can’t go a full article without mentioning the one and only….Anfield Rap! A delight of horrors!

Think you have heard worse? Has your club released something that we have missed? Let me know!

England’s One Cap Wonders

For a professional footballer….what is worse? Being ignored by the England national team all of your career and never getting chance to shine in the three lions shirt OR getting one called up, winning a cap and then never winning another? Having looked at the likes of Steve Bruce who were unjustifiably and unexplainably denied a chance in the three lions shirt, we now take a look at those players who earned just one cap, before being shunned the rest of their careers…(believe it or not we have over 350 to chose from).

Chris Sutton – Had he played in a different era, or not refused to play for the B team, Chris Sutton could have shone as bright as the likes of Teddy Sheringham who played ahead of him. But with Alan Shearer un-droppable during Suttons time, he had hefty competition and once he shunned the call up for the B tea his career was over after 1 cap!

Kevin Davies – A cult figure during his career, a line leader and a man who a plethora of England defenders said was the hardest player to play against, Davies was never quite fashionable enough to fit in with England style and thus never got the chance he deserved. One cap, that seemed more of a token gesture for a man who deserved far more.

Joey Barton – On skill alone he should have won more…let us just leave it at that! However he would rather be playing best online casino than football – such a waste of talent!

Lee Bowyer – See above.

Michael Ball – In 2001 Michael Ball finally got the England call up he so richly deserved. This was it, the start of one of the brightest talents in the Premier League being able to ply his trade in the three lions shirt. Everton fans knew it, people who had ever seen him play knew it….but the management obviously didn’t. One and done…Ball never got the chance again!

Alan Thompson – England have always struggled, especially during the 2000s, for wingers who can play on either win with genuine pace, trickery and the ability to beat a man one on one. Alan Thompson had all that and to be fair should have been called up long before he got his chance in 2004 whilst at Celtic but he was more interested in how to bet on sports Although his debut was a mini disaster, the fact that he produced consistent form elsewhere over a long period suggests he deserved more!

David Dunn – In 2002, I was 16-17 and David Dunn was a personal favourite. A dream team pick of choice, the goals he scored were crucial and he had a genuine Gazza-esque skill that made even the best defenders look baffled. But when the golden generation had its peak, there was no space in the squad for Dunn, which feels like a bit of a missed opportunity.

Have we missed someone? Is there another player who won just the one cap and never got his second chance (or ever her chance!). Let us know. Englands One Cap Wonders on You Tube

The Greatest Players Never to Win an England Cap

Greatest England Team

In the days of 23 man squads, friendlies with multiple substitutions and an ever increasing  calendar of fixtures, then a modern day English player with an sort of Premier League can be almost guaranteed at least a run out for the England national side at some point to see if they can cut the mustard. But over the years there has been a vast array of players, who one would assume would get the national call up at some stage who never did. Let us take a look at some of those familiar names…

Steve Bruce – The first name that comes to mind and one I still cannot get my head around today. A player who had it all…strength, a bit of pace, leadership, success and a way of reading the game that made him the lynch pin of Manchester United’s early Fergie success. The partnership he formed with Gary Pallister should have transferred to the International stage but it never did. Why? I have no idea!

Ruel Fox – A winger with pace, scoring ability and genuine trickery who lit up the side lines wherever he played, including having a starring role when Newcastle were topping the Premier League. But 3 England managers overlooked him and poor Ruel never got his chance to wear the three lions shirt.

Matthew Etherington – Originally from New Zealand where they p[lay online casino nz During the 2-3 seasons he peaked,  Matthew Etherington terrorised Premier League defence on the wing with his devastating pace and his ability to beat a an one on one, no matter who he is! However, as this coincided with the emergence of the “Golden Generation” he never really stood a chance!

Tony Coton – During Tony Coton’s long and illustrious career at the top of the English game, the fact his reliability and consistency never resulted in a national cap is rather baffling to say the least!

Michael Bridges – Although his career was ravaged by injury, Bridges has a 18 month run where he was one of the top strikers in the Premier League, scoring goals for fun and leading the line with the sort of presence and success that usually results in a national cap. This never happened and his latter injures ensured it never would

Howard Kendall – See Steve Bruce. Perhaps alongside Bruce, this is the most baffling. Did he upset a member of the FA? Was he awkward to deal with? Why Kendall never donned the three lions shirts on multiple occasions will always remain a mystery! Sometimes life and football selection is a lottery and you would have more luck guessing at a casino https://www.casinojoka.com/fr

Matty Taylor – Two footed! Able to play on the left! England needed a left sided player at the time? Surely Taylor was the man to call. Obviously not!

So as you can see from the list, there were a lot of players who missed out on International careers as they were never given that chance to prove themselves. Who is next on the list? Will we ever see a player with the domestic dominance and class of Steve Bruce ignored? Only time will tell.

Europa League – 2019-2020 Draw

The Europa league still has an odd place in the minds of football fans and there are few competitions in world football in which half the teams will be overjoyed to be in it, and half will consider it a bogey prize for not making the Champions League.  This certainly applies to the British teams taking part this year and after an All English final last year, are we in line for another successful season in the Europa League? Let us take a look at how the draw panned out for the British teams…

Unai Emery must be pleased with the outcome for Arsenal, and in a season in which the Premier League looks out of reach and a Top 4 birth not guaranteed, the Gunners could see this a good route into the Champions League next season. The group stage should not prove too much of an issue with a poor Standard Liege team and Vitoria from Portugal unlikely to causes a scare. Even Eintracht Frankfurt, although stronger than the others, are weak opposition considering Arsenals reserves so they should have no issues in taking 1st place. Prediction: 1st. See this great bet calculator for UK for the odds on this

Nothing seems to be going right for Manchester United at the moment. A lack of strikers, players leaving left right and centre and an under fire Pogba have created a start in the Premier League that is nothing but a disappointment for the Old Trafford faithful. And although the Europa League draw will be easy to navigate on the pitch, the horrid travel to Astana and Belgrade won’t be appreciated in a busy calender. AZ should prove easier but United should win the group, but the effect of travel may take its toll later in the season. Prediction: 1st

Whilst Arsenal and United may see the Europa League as a consolation for not making the Champions League, Wolves are overjoyed to be back in Europe but have been handed a tough tough group and with no wins in their first 4 Premier League games, its hard to see success coming in Europe. Besiktas are a solid side and will top the group with Braga likely to be Wolves’ main challenger for second. Slovan Bratislava will be a tough away gig. Prediction: 3rd

Rangers have been dealt a tough hand too in their return to Europa and Steven Gerrard will have a job and a half to overcome Porto and Feyenoord to get out of this group. Even Young Boys looked good in their Champions League qualifiers so Rangers are facing an uphill task. Prediction: 4th

And the luck doesn’t get better for Celtic. A very good Lazio side await in the Group stages as well as a Rennes side who have hit form this season. If those two weren’t bad enough, Celtic also have Cluj to face again who defeated them in the Champions League qualifiers. A nasty draw, not impossible but unlikely.  Prediction: 3rd

The Europa League is a long haul, and the first step will be to navigate the group. 5 British teams begin the group stage but as little as 2 could remain by the time we get to the next phase. Time will tell.

In The Tall Grass Ending Explained!

In The Tall Grass is Netflix’s latest addition to its horror collection. For those who have never heard the name before, it is based on the hugely popular novel by Stephen King. Obviously, if you’ve read the book, you might think, “Did they really miss such a great climax?” So, even if you are familiar with the novel, you may be left scratching your head throughout the climax.

Before we reach the ending, you need to go through the grass! The movie is based on siblings Becky and Cal, who are driving to San Diego. Becky is pregnant and her boyfriend Travis wants nothing to do with the baby. Poor Becky is forced to retreat to San Diego where she intends on giving the baby for adoption after birth.

But things don’t go according to plan when they stop at a church. They begin to hear the mysterious screams of a boy coming from the tall grass next to the compound and decide to venture to find the source. As if they had nothing more important to do…

We are then introduced to a series of time lapses, with Becky dying but returning back in an alternate timeline, Travis chasing Becky and dies… yes, he returns as well… anyways, there’s lots of death, twists and turns of events. But the main plot of the movie revolves around something more than grass… we’re talking about a rock!

On numerous occasions, we see the characters being instigated to touch the rock. And when they do, they get some kind of revelation which leads them to take extreme measures, in both good and bad ways. Not much background is provided on the rock… maybe it was meant to leave the audience in mystery… Is that room for a sequel? After all, Stephen King’s book adaptation of It also got one!

The mystery boy gets the name of Tobin and his parents seemed to look for him in the tall grass as well. But as the films rolls, we discover that Tobin’s father, Ross, touched the rock. And he got more than some dirt on his hands! He became extremely violent, killing Becky and Cal.

At the end of the movie, Travis drops Tobin into a hole that sends him back to the time when Cal and Becky were entering the grass. He urges him to stop the siblings at all costs. Tobin is successfully sent back in time, where he manages to stop Cal and bring an end to the carnage they were meant to suffer. Travis then dies…

We might think that the rock acts like a relic that taps onto your deepest fears… or greatest desires. Ross wanted to achieve religious salvation, and by touching the rock, he managed to get it… only to proceed to bloodlust for those refusing to touch the rock.

As for Travis, he feared the responsibility of fatherhood. The rock showed him his fears and he overcomes them by helping Tobin escape the vicious cycle. Becky was pregnant and feared giving away, so she dreamt of eating her stillborn baby. Of course, these remain as mere assumptions… unless they are confirmed through a sequel!

Netflix has been supporting many entertaining movies and series. Such is the popularity of Netflix series that they are even turned into slot games! You might have heard of Vikings. Did you know that this was adapted into a slot game named Vikings Slot by NetEnt? Try your luck on the game at Magical Vegas. Play table games online and slots whenever you want, via mobile!

Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool FC: The Perfect Match

Jurgen Klopp is a charismatic German professional football manager of the Premier League club Liverpool. His Gegenpressing football philosophy, management skills and character has propelled him to become one of the best managers in the world. Not surprising that Liverpool FC is striving to win the Champions League and English Premier League once more!

This former hard-working striker who ended his career as a defender has not lost his vigor and enthusiasm for the game. Klopp is always energetic on the side-lines, urging on his team while running back and forth. He states that he’s the reserve tank for the boys and when he feels the energy is running out…, he can give them a kick up the backside when needed or offer whatever is needed at that particular moment.

Liverpool’s boss has always been about the collective rather than individual. As a coach and manager, you can only be good as your team. Together with his star players: Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah, he led Liverpool to their first UEFA Champions League title in 14 years.  

In an interview with Daily Mirror, when asked why he chose Liverpool over other offers, he said in a nonchalant voice: ‘’ I loved the color…… Red, have never had a Red Club before. That’s the first thing, it’s not very important. I loved the history, am really a football romantic. I knew I probably could help…. Liverpool is a world-class brand, it’s big big big…’’

Over the last 4 years with the help of Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have gone from strength to strength, continuing a legacy that is waiting for a new chapter to be written. Currently topping the table and leading the pack with back to back wins, Klopp’s magic is undeniable. He lifted the club off the canvas and has taken it to where it is now! This season Klopp collected the Men’s Coach of the Year at the Best FIFA Football Awards in Milan. His perfect start to the season has left all other managers fighting it out for all remaining places!

Every Liverpool match is a major event. They tackle each game as if it’s a final. It’s safe to say that ever since the Reds have made their mark on the map of Football greatness, they’ve been a big favourite amongst sports bettors. Nowadays, Liverpool fans around the world can browse the odds for all Liverpool’s upcoming matches. If you feel like taking a chance on Klopp’s men, place your Liverpool bet using the wide range of betting markets online. There are tons of sports betting sites like Ruby Bet that are offering the best in online sports betting.

The Reds could be on their way to the next Champions League title. They’ve been a good watch and promise to prove their doubters wrong.  Klopp didn’t fail in his saying. The ‘’normal one” changed the doubters into believers.  It will be a challenge, but they’ve got the fire to stay consistent. After 4 years under Klopp, Liverpool has been turned into a powerhouse both in Europe and domestically. Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool FC, are undoubtedly stronger with each other.

Stoke City: where has it all gone wrong?

Stoke City

On losing to fellow Championship strugglers, Huddersfield Town earlier this month, Stoke City were consigned to a tenth match without a win this season. An unwanted record that extended to the back end of last campaign – the Potters failed to win any of their final six games, claiming a measly four points from a possible 24. Last weekend saw Stoke win their first game of the season, against Swansea City, but they are still rooted to the foot of the table.

It was less than a decade ago that Stoke made the final of the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history, eventually losing to Manchester City by a narrow 1-0 scoreline. That achievement won them a place in the Europa League – their first appearance since the 1974-75 UEFA Cup. They had a good run, making it through two qualifying stages, finishing second in group E to Beşiktaş, before losing in the Round of 32 to Valencia. From five seasons of sitting comfortably in mid-table of the Premier League (including three successive ninth-place finishes), the 2017-18 campaign saw Stoke relegated in nineteenth position with just 33 points.

Championship odds (https://www.betfair.com/sport/football/english-championship/7129730) don’t favour the Potters to do well this season, or even avoid the drop at this early stage. But where has it all gone wrong?

Goals… or lack of

It’s a well-known fact that goals win games and having a world-class striker can obviously improve your side somewhat. But over the course of the last two seasons, Stoke have struggled up front. In their relegation season, they scored just 35 goals (averaging less than a goal per game) and their top scorer was Xherdan Shaqiri who bagged eight of them. Last season, they didn’t fare much better – scoring 45 goals (again, less than a goal per game) and nine of those were scored by top scorer, Benik Afobe.

So far this campaign, the Potters have scored 11 goals, which isn’t the lowest in the division, but in their opening games, they’ve conceded 22 times, more than any other club.

The club’s top scorer last season is yet to make an impact this campaign, with Afobe featuring just once in the Championship so far. Fellow strikers Lee Gregory and Sam Vokes hardly boast admirable returns, with one goal to Gregory’s name and none for Vokes. The squad are clearly crying out for a proven goal scorer.

Managerial woes

Since Tony Pulis left for the second time back in May 2013, and the sacking of Mark Hughes in January 2018, there’s been something of a revolving door for managers at the bet365 stadium.  

To some extent, Hughes steadied the ship, guiding Stoke to three-successive top-10 finishes, as well as cup runs that saw them reach the fifth round of the FA Cup and semi-finals of the League Cup. Prior to his departure, the club had the worst defensive record in the Premier League and occupied the final relegation place.

Hughes’ replacement, Paul Lambert, wasn’t able to keep the Potters up. Despite improving their defence, Stoke remained a weak attacking threat, winning two and losing seven of their final 16 games. Lambert left in the close season to be replaced by Gary Rowett. Once again, in a results-driven business, the club weren’t winning games, and after a poor return from less than 30 games in charge, Rowett was dismissed.

Nathan Jones had already guided Luton Town to promotion and the club were on course for a second success in as many seasons, but Jones jumped ship to manage Stoke. In his debut season, Jones won just three of 21 games, but in the transfer window, was given the funds to assemble his own squad, signing 10 new players. Despite the recent win over Swansea, Jones has previously admitted he’s resigned to losing his job, claiming it’s ‘not worked out’; while the fans are understandably frustrated and calling for his head. 

Will Jones be able to mastermind the turnaround, or who will come in and change the Potters’ fortunes?

Could Liverpool make it three Champions League finals in a row?

After Liverpool’s night of disappointment in Kiev at the end of the 2017/18 season, it was hard to see them bouncing back so quickly. They had just lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in the Champions League final, a match in which goalkeeper Loris Karius had committed two blunders and talismanic forward Mohamed Salah had been forced off with a shoulder injury early in the game.

It was a night where everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong, but that agony would only serve to add to the ecstasy Jurgen Klopp’s men would feel twelve months later as Jordan Henderson lifted the Champions League trophy aloft, having defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in Madrid. The triumph was a testament to the idea of using past hurt as a key motivating factor, and the jubilant scenes on Merseyside as Liverpool’s players paraded through the city were images of unbridled joy.

As another Champions League campaign rolls around once again, it will be interesting to see how Liverpool fare now that Klopp has finally tasted silverware as Anfield boss. Will there be something of a lull in the Reds’ European performances, or will last year’s success only inspire this squad to seek further glory, to break records and surpass the feats of last season, where their Champions League victory was complemented by a remarkable 97-point Premier League campaign?

The current Champions League winner odds place Liverpool among the favourites to lift the famous old trophy, but to make it to three finals in a row would be a stunning achievement for the Reds given the competitive nature of Europe’s premier club competition.

That said, Real Madrid won the tournament three years running before last season, so to say it cannot be done in the modern game would be remiss. Liverpool have a special relationship with the Champions League just like Real Madrid, and it seems that this European pedigree plays a part on those big nights in the latter stages of the competition.

On that special night in April against Barcelona at Anfield, you could almost feel the history of the club swelling up around the famous stadium, the memories of past glory summoned forth by the roar of the crowd to the extent that Barcelona could do nothing but crumble.

The ‘big European night at Anfield’ has become something of a cliché, but that is only because few grounds have witnessed the drama that Anfield has, and few grounds can generate the same atmosphere. If Liverpool are to continue their Champions League success of the last couple of seasons in this campaign, they must continue to harness the power of their support.

Some might point to Liverpool’s lack of big-name acquisitions in the summer transfer window as a reason why they might get left behind in Europe this season. Jurgen Klopp refused to splash the cash over the summer months, content with the quality of his squad, eager to build on the unity developed through last year’s achievements. Only time will tell us if this was the right decision.

Perhaps more important for Liverpool was retaining their key players, keeping the core of that team together to go again. It possibly would have been foolish to bring in another attacker and disturb the front three that has terrorised defences domestically and in Europe. In Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino, Liverpool have a winning combination, three players who perfectly complement each other’s games, who create and provide for one another, and whose unpredictability is their greatest asset.

Liverpool’s full-backs too could stake a claim to be Europe’s finest at the moment. The pin-point accuracy of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s deliveries have rightly earned the young Englishman many plaudits, while Andy Robertson’s tenacious athleticism means he is a constant threat on the left side of the pitch. The only question is whether those two can maintain such high levels of performance across another lengthy campaign.

The group stage draw has been to kind Liverpool, placing them in Group E with Napoli, Red Bull Salzburg and Genk. It’s easy to forget that the Reds barely made it out of their group last season, edging through after beating Napoli on the final matchday. This group should see progress secured more comfortably, but complacency must be avoided at all costs.

The reality is that nothing lasts forever, but Jurgen Klopp will be hopeful that the winning machine he has created can continue rumbling on, grinding down opponents through their breathless attacking and ice-cool defensive nous. This year’s Champions League final returns to the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul, the scene of Liverpool’s most famous night in European history. It would be fitting if the Reds were to walk out there again next May, 15 years on from that joyful night, to fully assert themselves as the dominant force in European football once more.

Manchester City Defender Injured: Will This Prove to be a Title Boost for Liverpool?

The Premier League is back and once again, Liverpool certainly does not want to end up in the same runners-up position for the second year in a row. After forfeiting the Premier League title last year by only one point, the Reds are off to a great start to avoid any draws or defeats in matches before the international break to avoid the same situation.

Jamie Carragher, an ex Liverpool defender, claims that neither Liverpool or Manchester City can afford to drop any points in the race for the Premier League title. Critics, pundits and fans alike are expecting the Reds and the Blues to compete once again at the top of the table this term.

“Any drop off now in a three or four-game period before the next international break, you can find yourself behind City, so every game is so vital. It almost feels like a draw is a defeat now if you’re Liverpool or City.” After the international break, Liverpool host Newcastle United, with City visiting Norwich City later in the day.

However, Liverpool may have gained a title boost in Man City defender Laporte being stretchered off. Aymeric Laporte was stretchered off the field in a clash against Brighton and this could significantly improve Liverpool’s chances at the title. The central defender was one of the reigning champions’ best players last season, proving to be the most consistent of Pep Guardiola’s defensive options.

The 25-year old went down after colliding with Brighton’s Adam Webster and was withdrawn on 35 minutes for Fernandinho, with the Frenchman receiving treatment to his knee. Although it isn’t morally right for Liverpool to see this as a positive development, the Reds could find that they benefit from Laporte’s absence, given the positive impact he often has for the Sky Blues.

All in all, both sides wish the defender a speedy recovery but from an objective point of view, it does appear to be a boost for the club. City are a dominant side, and any potential chink in their armour can prove to be beneficial to those looking to keep up with them in the Premier League title chase.

Liverpool are quite the dangerous side themselves, with or without chinks in Manchester City’s armour. Their attacking department which includes the best strikers such as Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane proves that with such talented players, anything it possible.

It is Mo Salah who usually takes the most plaudits of Liverpool’s lethal attacking trident, understandable considering that he has 55 Premier League goals and two golden boots to show for his 76 league games for the Reds so far. However, it seems this year it is Sadio Mane who been Liverpool’s greatest attacking threat. The Senegalese star has notched 15 Premier League goals in 2019, the most in the division, and 20 in all competitions which is the same as Mo Salah (12) and Roberto Firmino (8) combined.

5 of the best foreign signings the EPL has ever seen

Over the years the Premier League has been fortunate enough to be graced by a plethora of talent. British stars like all-time leading goal scorer Alan Shearer, midfield maestros like Paul Scholes, the list is endless.

However, England’s top division wouldn’t be the mammoth attraction it is today without the influence of some truly special imports.

With yet more highly-rated foreign talent headed to the EPL this summer transfer, football tips and predictions on how they will fare are mixed but whatever happens, expect some to make a big impact for their respective clubs.

With the transfer window slamming shut and the new campaign upon us we’ve been inspired to take a look at 5 foreign stars that have lit up England’s Premier League.

Patrick Vieira

Strong, mobile, exceptional on the ball and a real competitor; regardless of what club you support it would be hard not to admire the exploits of Patrick Viera during his time in England with Arsenal.

He was an integral part of the legendary Arsenal ‘invincibles’ side and he was a true leader on and off the pitch. He finished his stint at Arsenal with 31 goals and 34 assists in 3017 appearances, but his legacy will live on for many years to come.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Alongside Lionel Messi, Cristiano has consistently been one of the best players in the world for the best part of a decade and his talents first really started coming to the fore under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United after he was snapped up from Sporting Lisbon.

Quick, dazzling fee and the epitome of the modern, athletic footballer, Ronaldo was truly a one off and the Premier League was lucky to be graced with his presence before he made a mega-money move to Spanish giants Madrid.

CR7 departed Manchester having netted 84 times in 196 games, winning 3 Premier League titles along the way.

Didier Drogba

As far as all-rounded forwards go, you’d find it hard to come up with a list of names that could even rival Ivorian Didier Drogba.

During his peak at Chelsea the big man was at times unplayable, scoring 104 goals in over 250 appearances and bullying many EPL defenders for years.

His defining moment came when he scored the equaliser and subsequent final penalty in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph in Munich but he will forever be remembered as one of the EPL’s greatest ever strikers.

Peter Schmeichel

Every successful team needs a truly outstanding keeper and in Schmeichel United and Fergie got that and then some.

He was an integral part of the Man United team that dominated around the 90s and he has been credited with revolutionising goalkeeping in this country.

Agile, decisive and a great defensive organiser- Schmeichel was some buy.

Nemanja Vidic

Given the amount of superb foreign defenders to grace the EPL over the years, choosing the best foreign stopper was always going to be a tricky task but we’ve punted for the brutal Serb Vidic.

His partnership with Rio Ferdinand is regarded as one of the best the top- flight has every seen and Vidic was every strikers nightmare. He was uncompromising, read the game brilliantly and led by example, particularly when the chips were down.

The Champions League Draw – 2019-2020

Once the season has kicked into place and the transfer window has closed its door, then the next major event on the calendar of the regular football addicted fan is the draw for the Champions League. Although the event itself does not make for the most exciting of television, the outcome is always fascinating as we can ponder at the fixtures that lie ahead. With 4 English teams competing again this season, let us take a look at who got the better end of the deal… bet-promo-code.co.uk

After victory in last years competition, Liverpool have been handed a group that on paper looks straight forward enough but could prove tricky. Although they have started the season with 4 wins from 4, the defence has looked shaky and other than a sub-par Arsenal, they haven’t encountered any in form sides. Napoli beat Liverpool last year and will fancy their chances again, and Salzburg are a team looking to make their mark and play a brand of football that could well cause problems for the Kop. Genk should be a pushover but Liverpool need to be careful…. Prediction: 1st

Now what about last years runners up? Look at totepromocode for the odds. After a mixed start to the season there are huge question marks hanging over the Spurs team and they have been handed a tricky draw for their group stage. Bayern Munich will be favourites to win the group, although fading from what they once were, they are still formidable enough to present Spurs with a handful. Then there are tricky away ties to Red Star Belgrade and Olympiakos which are never straight forward. The key fact remains that Spurs need to improve on their Premier League start, and if they do, they should be able to make it through this group. If they don’t….this could prove very tricky indeed! Prediction: 2nd

Is this finally the year that Manchester City make a Champions League final? The group stage should prove no problem as they face Atalanta, Dinamo Zagreb and Shakatar. Yes, the trips to Ukraine and Croatia may prove tricky but City have so much fire power, depth and are so good at winning the crunch games, that this group should be something of a walkover. Prediction: 1st at a canter

Last but not least, Chelsea have been perhaps given the hardest draw of all. With the transfer ban in place and a new manager blending a young side, the Champions League looks like a daunting prospect and of all the English teams, Chelsea are the ones who are looking least likely to progress. Valencia are a top side and have quality all over the pitch and should top the group and even though Ajax have lost the crux of the great team that stormed this contest last season, they still possess enough to repeat last years feat. Even Lille is not an easy game and the French side may prove tricky to break down if Chelsea aren’t firing on all cylinders. Prediction: 3rd

Whether this will be another successful season for English clubs in Europe remains to be seen but with the brand of football Liverpool and Manchester City are currently playing, it would be a brave man to bet against an English winner of the contest again!

Is the Current England Squad Experienced Enough to Win Euro 2020?


Gareth Southgate” (CC BY 2.0) by Ben Sutherland

Gareth Southgate has continually promoted youth over experience during his time as England manager, and there’s a similar flavour to his first 25-man squad of a season which culminates in Euro 2020.

Given the Three Lions were World Cup semi-finalists in Russia last summer and third-place playoff winners in the UEFA Nations League since then, everyone expects them to breeze through qualifying.

A youthful setup has only taken Southgate so far though – to the penultimate hurdle of tournaments. His latest roster has just three players older than 28 on it, and one of those is new Aston Villa goalie Tom Heaton.

Fellow recent Villa Park recruit Tyrone Mings is one of two first-time call-ups for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo. It’s something of a Cinderella story for the former Ipswich Town defender whose time with Bournemouth was wrecked by a serious knee injury.

The other maiden call-up Southgate opted for was Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who joined Manchester United for a reported £50,000,000 from Crystal Palace over the summer. It’s not so much his selection that is surprising, but the player omitted so the 21-year-old can have a chance.

Kyle Walker is a couple of caps short of his half-century for England. His decision to leave Tottenham – the club that has developed a substantial core of players used by Southgate – for Manchester City is entirely vindicated by subsequent trophies and winners’ medals.

Since Walker swapped North London for the Etihad in the summer of 2017, Man City have won five of a possible six major domestic trophies on offer in English football. He helped them to a Premier League, FA Cup and EFL Cup treble last season, but finds himself out of international contention all of a sudden.

Can England afford to ignore a proven winner who has obviously improved under Pep Guardiola? Not if they are to live up to their status as 9/2 second-favourites to win the Euros in the international football betting markets on offer at bet365.


Kyle Walker” (CC BY 2.0) by five til noon

This may be a storm in a teacup. Southgate could just be resting right back Walker who played in England’s UEFA Nations League finals campaign over the summer.

Being kicked by uncompromising Eastern European footballers looking to curb his natural instincts to get forward isn’t particularly appealing. Why then is former Spurs teammate Kieran Trippier, who by his own admission had a poor campaign last term despite a run to the Champions League final, still in the squad?

Surely, it’s Trippier who would benefit from being rested. He too has left Tottenham for Atletico Madrid and is adjusting to a new life in Spain and football culture in La Liga under passionate, demanding Argentine coach Diego Simeone.

Without Walker, no England defender selected has more than 30 caps. Only two have 20 or more, and just three have over 10. There is a massive lack of experience at the back with first-choice keeper Jordan Pickford on 19.

Going into the September international break, only Raheem Sterling – the joint-most experienced Three Lions player selected – had scored more Premier League goals than Burnley striker Ashley Barnes.

Austria don’t seem interested in offering him a belated senior international career having once played for their Under-20 team, but it appears he’s the somewhat unfashionable age of 29.

Barnes’ claims of an England call-up have been ignored by Southgate. Why? Well, he doesn’t fit the profile of younger players preferred by the Three Lions boss.

Exciting up-and-coming talents throughout the squad in Wan-Bissaka, Jadon Sancho, Declan Rice, Mason Mount, James Maddison and Ben Chilwell are all well and good, but the best teams often blend youth and experience.

Southgate is gambling on the old sporting adage: if you’re good enough then you’re old enough for England.

EPL Matchday Two Round-Up

Author: Alex Dudley

The Premier League is well underway for the new season, and we can already get a better understanding of which teams are in the best position to achieve their goals for the coming season.

Punters would have been disappointed with the latest round of results which saw Chelsea and Aston Villa both fail to win at home, but gamblers should be quick to take advantage of the sign-up with bet365 bonus code ahead of the next round of fixtures to maximise their returns.

Arsenal 2-1 Burnley

The Gunners made it two wins from two to begin a Premier League season for the first time in ten years with a win over Burnley at the Emirates. Alexandre Lacazette put Arsenal ahead before Ashley Barnes scored his third goal in two games to equalise. However, the Gunners weren’t to be denied, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winner for the home side in the second half.

Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

There was one big story following this game, and that was VAR. The technology disallowed what City believed to have been the winning goal, as the ball ricocheted off the hand of Aymeric Laporte en route to Gabriel Jesus’ foot. Under the new FA rules, no goal can be awarded if a hand is involved, but City would have felt they did enough to win the game after dominating throughout. Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero twice put the Citizens ahead, but equalisers from Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura twice pegged them back.

Aston Villa 1-2 Bournemouth

Aston Villa would have been lamenting their slow start to the game as they were 2-0 down after 12 minutes. A Josh King penalty and a debut goal for Harry Wilson meant it was the Cherries to lose. There was a late goal from Douglas Luiz, but it was too little too late for the Villa on their first home game back in the top-flight.

Everton 1-0 Watford

It was a welcome return to Goodison Park for Everton as they won their first game of the new season. Bernard scored the only goal of the game after ten minutes. Moise Kean came on to make his home debut and missed two great chances to cap his cameo with a goal.

Southampton 1-2 Liverpool

The Reds had only been back in England for less than 48 hours, but that didn’t stop them from taking their place at the top of the table. Sadio Mane scored on his return to St Mary’s before Roberto Firmino scored the second. There was late drama as a mistake from Adrian allowed Danny Ings to score, but Liverpool held on for the win.

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 West Ham United

Leandro Trossard thought he had scored his first goal for his new club in the opening 45 minutes, but VAR overruled the decision after Dan Burns was in an offside position before crossing the ball. However, he did find the net again in the second half to salvage a point for the Seagulls after Javier Hernandez had given the Hammers the lead.

Norwich City 3-1 Newcastle United

The miserable start to the season continued for Steve Bruce, as Teemu Pukki scored the first Norwich top-flight hat-trick for 26 years. The travelling side did grab a late consolation, but these are worrying times for Newcastle fans.

Sheffield United 1-0 Crystal Palace

The Blades celebrated their first home game back in the Premier League with a deserved win against Crystal Palace. The only goal of the game was scored by John Lundstram two minutes into the second half.

Chelsea 1-1 Leicester City

Frank Lampard’s wait for a first win as Chelsea manager continued as his side were held to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge. Mason Mount put the Blues ahead with his first goal for the club before Wilfred Ndidi made up for his error by scoring the equaliser with just over 20 minutes remaining.

Greatest Games of the 2018/2019 Season

As the days and weeks count down to the start of the new Premier League season, as fans eagerly await what is to come, a countdown of the greatest moments from the previous season will get you in the mood for the drama that surely lies ahead…

Manchester City 4 v Brighton 1

The title race, which involved the highest ever points total for a second place team, came down to the wire and this game had it all! Although it was an emphatic victory in the end, what makes it memorable is those moments of hope that gave Liverpool fans a dream that the title was heading their way. For 20-30 minutes anything seemed possible….

Manchester United 3 v Newcastle 2

The reign of Jose Mourinho seems so long ago in this optimistic era of Ole, but there were glorious moments for the special one at Old Trafford, including this comeback against a rampant Newcastle. 2-0 at half time, the season was a mess and the crowd were turning. Cue a comeback of all comebacks….from the ridiculous to the sublime including a fergie time winner. Was this the start of a new dawn from Jose? We all know the answer….

Manchester City 2 vs Crystal Palace 3

The game that showed that Pep’s side were beatable after all. These are the best kind of games, they start with what you feel will be a routine City win, taking an early lead, yet blaze into action. City were shell shocked and found themselves 3-1 down and were unable to come back. A season shaping win for Palace and a game nobody at the Ethiad will forget in a hurry!

Manchester City 2 v  Liverpool 1

Seven points behind and needing a win, Liverpool new the post-Xmas game with City was vital. The quality was high, the nerves were on display and the game could have went either way but a managerial duel that was fought to the bitter end was won by Pep, and at this stage it looked the climatic end to the season we got, would not arrive

However my personal favourite would be:P

Wolves 4 v Leicester 3

On their return to the Premier League, Wolves gave us plenty of entertainment with some glorious football and memorable moment, and none perhaps more so that this clash with the Foxes. What remier league betting offers would you get this season for a 7 goal thriller including an injury time winner to complete a Diego Jota hat trick. Wes Morgan though he had sealed a titanic game after his 87th minute equaliser but Wolves had other plans…

Chelsea  3 v Arsenal 2

Every season, there is always a edge of your seat thriller involving Arsenal in the earlier weeks, and last season it was this.  Chelsea stormed to a lead, but then proved incapable of defending and Arsenal should have scored half a dozen times but only managed the two. End to end stuff, especially in a pulsating first half, did fade slightly but we still got a dramatic ending with Alavaro Morata netting in the 80th minute to take the 3 points.

If we can get 5 games half as good as this selection in the upcoming season, which I am sure we will, then 2019/2020 will be yet another memorable Premier League Campaign.

It’s Man City’s Title To Lose: Can Anyone Stop Guardiola’s Men?

Premier_League_Logo


Pep Guardiola” (Public Domain) by Terry Kearney

In what turned out to be one of the best Premier League seasons ever, Man City eventually triumphed after being pushed all the way by Liverpool. Will it be a case of new season, same result in 2019-2020? Or will the blue side of Manchester have some competition on their hands?

You only have to read the latest betting tips from Betfair to know Pep Guardiola’s men are strong favourites to defend their Premier League title. At 1/2, City are well-fancied. Liverpool at 3/1 are expected to offer the biggest threat with the other Big Six teams looking on from a distance.

While little weight might be attributed to pre-season results – after all, Man Utd have won every game they’ve played and remain an unfancied 39/1 for the title – Liverpool’s lacklustre warm-up schedule has shown frailties. The side has been leaking goals, losing to Borussia Dortmund 3-2, Napoli 3-0 and Sevilla 2-1, while drawing 2-2 with Sporting Lisbon.

Do Jurgen Klopp’s men have a hangover from last season; their exertions to win the title, and the eventual disappointment of losing out, playing on the minds of their talented squad. And while Arsenal and Manchester United have spent millions on new recruits, Liverpool have stayed relatively quiet in the transfer market.


Project 365 #153: 020619 Like The Murphy” (Public Domain) by comedy_nose

The Anfield faithful will argue the Merseysiders have no reason to add to an already stellar squad. But United aren’t the only Manchester club to spend big during the summer. City have almost matched their bitter cross-town rivals by spending in excess of £100 million.

Does that mean Manchester City are readying themselves to disappear off into the sunset? United and Arsenal will hope they have at least closed the gap, each having addressed two key issues that will make them better in 2019-2020.

By breaking their transfer record with the purchase of Nicolas Pepe from Lille, the Gunners add a new dimension to their already star-studded frontline. The goal-scoring winger has a directness and keen eye to shoot that’ll complement the talents of Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Similarly, the Red Devils, who conceded over 50 Premier League goals last year (worse than Wolves, Everton, Leicester City, Crystal Palace, and Newcastle as well as the teams that finished above them), have addressed their frailties with approximately £130 million spent on the defence alone. If centre-half Harry Maguire and right-back Aaron Wan Bissaka live up to their billing, United will undoubtedly be in the mix for the top 4 too.

Yet, despite the expenditure of the teams desperately seeking improvement over their 2018-2019 exploits, there’s still a clear gulf between them and Guardiola’s men. Spurs’ squad lacks depth, Chelsea have lost Eden Hazard and United and Arsenal appear to have too much ground to make up for a title push this year. Unless Liverpool rediscover the form that led them so close to a first Premier League title, there are few reasons to think the blue side of Manchester won’t be celebrating again.

Paul Pogba’s Future – Where does it lie?


Love him or loathe him, there can be very little doubt that when on top form Paul Pogba is one of the best pure footballers in the world game. He is often criticised for having little impact on games and appearing out of motivation and disinterested, which is fair, but as with all the greats when the occasion is big he shows up! Look at the vital games for France in the World Cup including the 2018 Fifa World Cup Final, look at the Europa League Final and you will see commanding displays that rival the greats of the game.

Many within the game were surprised at Pogba’s initial move to Manchester United when he was playing crazyvegas football. The club that let him go as youngster, claimed he did not have what it takes to make it at the top level and to be fair, a club in a huge transition and unlikely to challenge for the elite honours for a season or two whilst they rebuild. Perhaps Pogba went back to prove a point? To show the club first hand who dismissed his skills that he was an elite level player?

But now with new management, a new regime and a new era starting from  Old Trafford, Pogba could be one of the many who looks at other options as they rebuild the team. Paul Pogba is not short of options but the size of the transfer fee mixed with the wage demands, and the reputation he seems to have build up may seems like a stumbling block.

But where would he go?

There have been talk of big money moves to China, but Pogba isn’t the sort of player to chase big money for the sake of it, and that option will always be there so at this stage in his career that’s a no.

In addition, the Premier League is short of options. Pogba has lit up the league but only in flashes and Man United wouldn’t be elated to sell him to a rival. He doesn’t fit in with City’s style, nor is a Jürgen Klopp style player so the chances of him moving anywhere in the Premier League seem slim.

A return to Italy is not out of the question according to sports betting new zealand, and there has been serious talk about interests from Juventus where he made his name. With Ronaldo already there, combining the two could be a wonderful thing for fans!

But the most serious chat and links is relating to a move to Spain and one of the big two. Barcelona and Real Madrid have a history of making big name signings in the summer to keep fans interested, whether they need them or not!, and Pogba would fit the bill perfectly. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid need something to boost their aging and tired midfields and Pogba would be an ideal fit on all accounts.

Pogba may surprise everyone and stay at Old Trafford, but I for one would expect him to be lining up in La Liga next season.

Liverpool’s Transfer Plans

liverpool-dortmund-200719n


Now that the dust has settled after Champions League victory and a league campaign that took them painfully close to the League Title, Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp now look to solidify the team and try to capture that elusive title. But who will come, who will stay, what do they need? Klopp has a habit of slow and steady builds so rule out for now the possibility of big sales, half a dozen new major arrivals or risky business. The side Klopp has built at Anfield is solid, with no major weaknesses and could well contend for major honours again without any input (see the example of Spurs!). But who will they be likely to go for?

Junior Firpo is one name on the list that simply won’t go away and this is would be a wise singing. Firpo is a tough defender, great in the air and comfortable with the ball at his feet. He has impressed in major games for Real Betis and coped with the best La Liga has to offer. He would make an ideal partner for Van Dijk and vital cover if anything happened to the Dutchman. £50 million would be the rough asking price, but the investment would certainly give Liverpool fans that added defensive security!

Kalidou Koulibaly is another name linked with Anfield. This would be a more pricey option at £100 million plus as he is considered one of the finest defenders in the game and without doubt if he became available the problem Liverpool would have is stiff competition from the biggest clubs in the world!

One name that would certainly excite fans is that of free-coring midfielder Bruno Fernandes who certainly has something of a Ronaldo esque feel about him. Playing for Sporting Lisbon at present, he broke the record for a midfielder last season knocking in 31 goals….and these were goals from everywhere, inside and outside the box, free kicks, headers…you name it he scored it. Man Utd seem to be front runners at the moment but Liverpool are said to be keen and going to the reigning European Champions rather that  a rebuilding Man Utd may be a more appealing option!

And finally, a more familiar name that would certainly show Liverpool’s ambitions is that of Ryan Sessengon. A true shining light in a truly awful Fulham team last season, Sessengon deserves to be in a team that compliments his ability and where he can showcase himself with and against the elite. Him staying in the Premier League is a must, and where better than Liverpool! He is a Klopp style player, has lots to prove, has great attacking flair, is team-minded and has a work rate second to none! Fulham will ask for big money but given his age and his potential, as well as the fact that he has already proven himself in the English game, means he could well be one of the best options for Anfield!

Copa America success can be a shot in the arm for Brazilian football

For a while it seemed as though malaise and misfortune were following Brazil around every major international tournament. Since Dunga’s Brazil side of 2007 swept away Argentina to win the Copa America, Brazil’s performances in major competitions have been a tale of woe, of squandered potential.

The limp defeat to a better motivated Dutch side in South Africa 2010. The disheartening penalty exit at the hands of Paraguay in the 2011 Copa America. The unforgettable and harrowing 7-1 demolition by Germany in 2014. The pair of weak, insipid performances that led to early exits in both the 2015 and 2016 Copa Americas. These were the signs of a Brazilian national team in crisis.

But as Tite’s side reclaimed their South American kingship on home soil earlier this month, more than a decade of international failure was washed away. Dani Alves, who was a part of the 2007 Copa winning side, seemed the perfect man to lift the trophy, to bookend a painful decade with sweet success once more. This was a Brazil side recharged, spurred on by the home support that ultimately caused them to choke in 2014, harnessing their talents effectively to sweep away all opponents. This was a call-back to the glory years, as Brazil did not concede a single goal before the final.

It may seem melodramatic to present this as some kind of redemptive success. For many of us, twelve years without a major international title is not a long time. For England fans indeed, over 50 years of hurt have not yet been healed by a repeat of that 1966 World Cup triumph.

But then, Brazil are different from any other footballing nation. For decades, the mood of the nation has so often hinged on the prospects of their football team, those yellow shirts the beacons to which so many Brazilians pin their hopes and dreams. The 2014 World Cup disaster on home soil presented the kind of humiliation Brazil had never experienced. So used to success, so acquainted with glory, it felt as though a nation, never mind a football team, had crumbled into the sea, each German goal another wave crashing against the side that was once feared by all.

That wound has undoubtedly taken time to heal, and perhaps it will never heal fully, but this recent success provides a boost to every level of football in Brazil, from those kicking balls around the streets of Rio right up to the Série A. Perhaps now is the time for Brazilians to fall in love once more with their domestic game, the league that once boasted legends like Pele and Romario.

Indeed, Everton, who scored the opening goal in Brazil’s 3-1 win over Peru in the Copa America final, plies his trade with Grêmio, proving that the domestic league can still provide the national side’s heroes. As the Série A gets underway once again after breaking up for the Copa America, expect there to be a new spring in the step of many players, an added buoyancy to the crowds, all now reacquainted with that sweet taste of international glory.

If you think you can predict who will win this year’s Brazilian Série A, then check out https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/football/competition/13. 

European Super Cup

European-Super-Cup

Since the early 1970s, the European Super Cup has served as a curtain raiser to the European season and this year will again be contested by two English teams. Last season was a unique occasion on which both the Europa League and Champions League final was contested by English teams. Chelsea overcame Arsenal at a canter to win the Europa League and Spurs fell to Liverpool on the bigger Champions League stage. But what does the European Super Cup mean? Does it mean anything at all? Let us take a look in this article and also consider the odds on the eventual winner by visiting sports betting nzd

This year, the winners of the European Super Cup, will be decided in Istanbul Turkey. Another fair trek for English fans after last summers finals. The cup itself used to be a two legged affair, with home and away ties, giving chance for both teams fans to witness the occasion. Back in the pre-Champions League days, before the big money flooded in, the European Super Cup was certainly more appealing but now for the European Super Cup has passed into being a game people barely realise still takes place. In fact, had it not been for the fact that this year sees Chelseas lining up against Liverpool, would we even be talking about it in the UK…probably not?

Sadly, European Super Cup, despite its name can only ever be considered on par with the community shield. With the eyes of the world being on the game more than the community shield, and the fact that it is a European style prize, the clubs may take it more seriously, but this certainly won’t be treated with the level of the times these clubs have met in Champions League, FA Cups or even Premier League games. As it simply doesn’t warrant its place…

Yes there is a minimal cash prize, yes the bragging rights prior to the season are important and its another medal on the neck and another trophy in the cabinet, but it would be interesting to see how many teams would compete in the European Super Cup if was optional! Travelling all the way to Turkey, playing a game in those conditions and then flying back for a Premier League game seems to be excess and I can imagine the main priority of all managers will be getting through the game without any major injuries.

The European Super Cup cannot compete with the Champions League. Because the status of the Europa League, in the minds of most, is way way behind the Champions League, the game seems unnecessary. We all know that regardless of what happens in the Super Cup that the team who win the Champions League will always be considered the best team in Europe and the European Super Cup is merely nothing but a curtain raiser to get the season off to a flyer. Something relected in the odds on betting sites in sa .The only good purpose served by the European Super Cup is that it can give fan who can afford it, a chance to watch their team in pastures new. Klopp and Lampard will all just be hoping for an injury free trip!

Fantasy Football for Beginners

I got hooked on Fantasy Football in the same way many did….via the Dream Team competitions in the national newspaper. Hours I would spend pouring over the prices, stats and assembling a team only to find out that I had too many Arsenal players or I had miscalculated and was £1 million ver spend. After the team was picked, the excitement was quickly nullified when half my team were injured and the other half didn’t start. The pre season optimism of a run to the top of the dream team board ended sharpish!

For most, the Fantasy Football season is not about a run for the top prizes on offer, but simply beating your mates in the leagues you have organised. Many season I have topped the table with glory taking home bragging rights or even the kitty for the more risky players. Whether you are new to fantasy football or an expert here are some vital tips to go with these sports betting picks

Tip 1 – Never Submit Too Early – I have fallen foul of submitting my teams too early, only for players to go down injured, fall out with managers or be transferred to the far end of Russia. Always wait, until the last possible moment, especially if you are playing a version of the game where changes aren’t allowed to be made

Tip  2 – Check who will be away – I have a feeling you are safe this season, but always be aware of players who are called away to Asian ups, Africa Nations and Such like as they could missed 4-5 games, maybe more and that could be vital to your stats!

Tip 3 – Who is on penalties? – Let me be nostalgic for a moment…back in the day my first ever pick on the team sheet would be David Unsworth. Everton were always likely to be top 10 and have a decent defensive record, but the main reason Unsworth was always first on my list was that he took the penalties giving extra chances to earn points. Defenders are never selected because they score goals but if you can get someone who may net 5 goals a season from the spot, or indeed the likes of free kick taking defenders who may end up netting a few free kicks, the value is immense!

Tip 4 – Promoted Gems – Every season, there are 1-2 players in each of the promoted teams who will be scoring high points. They are cheap, reliable and usually play every game as they are needed to help their team. Therefore, hunt down last seasons stats, look at who is likely to start and if you can get a creative midfielder who can chip in with 10 goals or so, that’s the aim. They will cost you virtually nothing and mean you can go for one of the big boys in your team!

Tip 5 – Ignore last seasons points – Forget about the listing that show you how much the player earned last season…that means nothing! People get too easily distracted but form dips and players are far too often one season wonders.

I hope those 5 tips help you out in your hunt for fantasy football success and if you happen to win this season, taking home the kitty from your mates, then you owe me a pint! Unless you live in Canada where best sports betting sites canada will provide you with far greater insight than I can with my 5 basic hints and tips.

PS One last free tip – Take a look at Norwood at newly promoted Sheffield United – in the new VAR era set piece takers like him should provide excellent value.

Why Liverpool Don’t Need to Spend?

liverpool-dortmund-200719n

After a season in which the Champions League trophy was returned to Anfield and the club ended up with the highest points total ever for a second place finish, the summer is a key time to decide how they can retain their European status and make that one last push to bring the league title home. Do Liverpool need to spend? Is a big name needed to keep morale going? Or is “not selling” better than “spending”?

Look no further than last seasons example of Spurs…..in the summer there was tensions over at White Hart Lane as the club failed to secure any big name signings and instead relied on the team that had produced success the previous season. Fast forward to the end of the season and 3rd in the league and a Champions League final……justified!

So as Jurgen Klopp sits down with his squad sheet heading into the new season, why could the best idea be not spending at all? The simple fact of the matter is that Liverpool won the champions league last season with relative ease. They cruised through every stage including the final and had the greatest comeback in Champions League history to make the final. They have a squad that includes the best defender in world football, one of the finest keepers currently in the game and an attacking trio ANY club in Europe would relish having. The team flows well, has great balance and has no obvious weaknesses with a strength in depth that most clubs would die for! So why improve for the sake of it? The major blow as we are seeing with their US tour is that the youngsters look really good, particularly Brewster. Provided he can concentrate on his football and avoid the bright lights of Vegas and online casinos usa when he is out in the States.

More pessimistic people may point to the fact that Liverpool still did not end the long long drought of league title success last season…..but they were desperately unlucky. They acquired the highest ever points total in league history to end up 2nd, and in 99% of league season they would have been champions. They just happened to be up against a Manchester City side under Pep Guardiola that has to be considered as “peak Pep”. Man City played well throughout the season, but can they continue that? Will Liverpool’s quite frankly, amazing points total, ever fail to win the league again? True, both sides have to keep the form from last season, but Liverpool are in a good position, with a settled squad and should consider giving this team another run at the title before giving up.

Compared to great rivals Man Utd who are currently on the other side of the world in Australia, (who incidentally are likely to come back with a new online sports betting australia sponsorship deal as part of their relentless commercial drive!) the Reds don’t need so much work done to the squad.

In this transfer heavy, headline grabbing, big money modern game it is indeed all to easy to spend money for the sake of it on a big name or someone who becomes available. But as Spurs proved last season, all too well, then success can be achieved and maintained without the need for big investment. Klopp needs to keep the champions of Europe motivated, playing on form and making sure he keeps the team focused and then that is surely far better than any investment for the sake of it!

Man United Tour of Australia

Man-Utd-in-Australia

It seems to be that the complaining and negativity regarding Premier League clubs playing overseas tour as a pre-season war up has ended, not for the fact fans are now happy about it but simply because it has became an accepted fact that if you are a Premier League club then a pre season tour to raise revenue, sell shirts and get new fans is part and parcel of 21st century football.

Manchester United have headed down under for the preparation for the 2019/2020 season, as far as you could possibly go. Many fans obviously won’t and can’t travel that far, there are no prizes at stake but plenty be won and lost in all departments. Is it worth the travel? Worth the injury risks? The money would say yes, but you can’t help but feel that if Ole Gunnar Solksjaer had his own way, the trip wouldn’t be happening.

This is indeed a huge summer for Ole and his new set up at Manchester United. He has his first real crack of the whip after a positive start to life at Old Trafford, on the other side of the desk, last season.  He has this summer to start getting a team in order, deal with transfers and then sort out the problems that seems to be developing with the likes of Paul Pogba! What will the Australian tour help him decide? Would be been better off on the australian online pokies than trying to fix the enigma that is Pogba?

There are a lot of questions that he can really get to grips with on this tour. Paul Pogba, and the saga of will he stay or will he go, is likely to rumble on way past the Australian Tour but hopefully some time on the other side of the world will help him get a good grasp on whether he will have one of the worlds best players at his hands or not.

Questions remain over two key players… Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial. Sanchez has perhaps been one of the most disappointing acquisitions in the history of Old Trafford transfers. He has looked like a shell of his former self and a player who isn’t fit to wear the shirt! If Ole can use the trip to Australia to reinvigorate the Chilean and if he can capture even 70% of the form he once had…he will be a huge asset. The same for Martial, Australia  is the perfect chance for him to try out the French star in new roles and find how best to fit him in.

And two words that will excite all United fans…..Mason Greenwood. This is the chance for him to star and for United fans, players and staff to see what he is all about! If the tour of Australia brings him into the first team, then this will be surely all worth it! Greenwood look a sure fire better to save United a fortune- the type they could have made with online slots for real money . One hope is that is that he doesn’t’ follow the Jesse Lingaard route of bursting on the scene but never quite living up to the initial promise. Time will tell but for now the signs look good for the 17 year old

What is “Sarri-ball” and is it coming to Juventus next season?

Despite guiding Chelsea to Europa League title success and a third-place Premier League finish, Maurizio Sarri has traded The Blues for Juventus. The Italian manager has left Chelsea and signed a three-year deal to become manager of Juventus; both clubs confirmed the signing of the contract on Sunday the 16fh of June. Chelsea announced on Thursday that they had agreed a compensation fee of over £5 million for the Italian who told he wanted to return to Italy to be closer to his family.

Sarri’s reign at Chelsea has not been without it’s criticisms and the Italian manager’s tactical choices – often called “Sarri-ball” – have been under fire more than he would have wanted. Sarri has always claimed the criticism of his Sarri-ball system is a “false problem” as he vowed to stand by his tactics while his job was often hanging by a thread.

Former Liverpool-player, currently working as an analyst, Danny Murphy has been an outspoken critic of the system claiming he never understood the whole Sarri-ball thing and it has always bemused [him]. Murphy went on to say that Sarri-ball is like trying to put square pegs in round holes and claims Sarri is refusing to accept his mistakes and change his tactics.

Now with Sarri returning to Italy, the question is if his Sarri-ball tactical play is coming back to the Italian peninsula too. But first, what is Sarri-ball exactly?

The concept of ‘Sarri-ball’ – or also called ‘Sarrismo’ – is essentially a fast-paced, possession-based style of attacking football often likened to a vertical tiki-taka. Comparable to the style of football Pep Guardiola introduced during his reign at Barcelona, Sarri-ball incorporates short and quick passes with the objective to move the play as far up the pitch as fast as possible. Sarri has received a lot of criticism for his style of play but has also been hailed being a tactical genius bringing attractive football to Napoli, with short quick passing and rapid counter attacks.

Now that Sarri is coming to Juventus next season, is Sarri-ball coming with him? All signs show that the Italian has not given up on his approach and is stubborn to continue playing the style he has become famous with. For one, Sarri has demanded that Juventus bring the Chelsea duo Gonzalo Higuain, who Sarri previously worked with at Napoli, as well as full-back Emerson Palmieri to Turin. The Italian manager clearly is planning on continuing playing similar football as he did with Napoli and later on with Chelsea.

Sarri-ball is coming back to Italy; everything is pointing in that direction. And according to Italian newspaper Tuttosport, Ronaldo is excited by the prospect of Sarri-ball coming to Turin and is hoping he can benefit from the change in approach. Winning the championship with Juventus will be the minimum for Sarri. The 60-year old will also need to perform well in the Champions League, possibly winning the ‘trophy with the big ears’. Only if he achieves in doing this, his passage in Turin will be seen as a success.

Women’s World Cup – The Good, the bad and the ugly

As we reach the knockout stages of the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup, we can reflect back on what has been a tournament filled with talking points, both positive and negative. In actual fact, let us just start with the negatives and that has been the conduct of one team in particular.

The Round of 16 game at the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup quickly descended into farce as the fun, free flowing positive football of England was thwarted by an aggressive, spoiling tactic from Cameron. It was sad to see the Women’s game, on such a big stage, descend into such a fashion that it became awkward to watch. The delaying tactics actually meant the match itself lasted for 2 hours of play time! VAR was disputed, Cameroon were on the verge of quitting and fouled England to the extent that the game was ruined! A shambles all round and the referring display did not help matters!

But let us not dwell on the negatives too long as the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup has been on the whole a shining beacon of how the sport should be played. The Women’s teams all seem to have set out to prove a point, to set an example and to truly inspire the next generation of females to take up the game. The conduct on the whole has been exemplary, and the game has been played in great spirits! There has been very little diving, play acting or poor sportsmanship (except the Cameroonians last night!) and the respect for officials and opposition has been high. What are the odds on this being a cleaner world cup than the mens? Have a look at Bettingoffers.Cash to see.

The games have been entertaining at the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup as the teams have focused on attacking play, creative football and an attitude of presenting football as it should be….entertainment. Often games in the men’s side of things, when tension is high and millions of pounds are at stake can descend into bore fests with both teams trying to be too negative, but based on pure entertainment value…..the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup has certainly outdone last year’s men’s efforts!

The quality of football has also been high. Too many times, especially on social media, comments about Women’s football will always revert back to how inferior people perceive the game in comparison to the men’s game. I suggest that these comments derive from people who have not watched a single moment of the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup as if they had if would have taken a very stubborn person not to see how the quality has risen.

At the end of the day, the 2019 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup has got the respect it deserves from press and TV coverage…..That’s what the game needs to grow. Not treated a side show, or a PC exercise, but as what it should be and that is a high quality, entertaining and competitive sport played in the way that the game really should be!

Top earning footballers around the world

Gone are the days when players stayed at one club for their entire career, and in recent years many footballers have turned into hired mercenaries, ready to perform for the highest bidder. Many players leave home comforts in the search for higher wages, and of the Top 20 earners, according to https://www.findbettingsites.co.uk , only 2 players are still playing in the country of their birth. Of these, Gerard Pique has played abroad previously in England with Manchester United before returning to Spain.

The fact that both of these players, Spaniard Pique and Kylian Mbappe from France, are European helps them massively to earning big money in their own countries as 75% of the top 20 earnings are plying their trade in Europe. This shows that the biggest money to be made in Football is to come from Europe, with the remaining players currently playing in China and America. These later countries are really tapping into the market in terms of money being paid to players, as previously these countries were seen as leagues where older players go to prolong the end of their career. Now the football associations in these countries are noticing the vast population that they have and using it to drive money into the game, especially China. They have now been able to attract younger players to their league, including 27 year old Oscar, number 6 on our list, and 15th place Hulk, who moved to the Chinese Super League at age 29.

Where you are born also seems to indicate whether you could be one of the higher paid players as 19 of the top 20 hail from either Europe or South America, with only Ivory Coast international Yaya Toure coming from any other continent. The most common country in the top 20 was Brazil with Neymar Jr, Oscar, Thiago Silva and Hulk all appearing in our list. All these players made the move into Europe very early on in their careers and are now reaping the benefits. The two next highest countries both had 3 appearances on the list with France and Argentina sharing second place. With Uruguay and Colombia also appearing on the list, South America really is a hot bed of football talent with exactly half of the top 20 hailing from the continent.

Recent international successes may lead to improved financial deals at club level, as out of the 9 European players on the list, 3 hail from France who have just become World Champions by winning the coveted FIFA World Cup. It may well be that increased interest in these players have lead clubs to move and try to secure them on longer and better deals.

Infographic source: https://www.betting-sites.uk.com/soccer-earnings/

Splitting the Premier League – A positive step or a daft idea?


As another season of the Premier League unfolds, and the usual pattern emerges with three leagues in one…The top 6, the middle 4 and the 10 clubs scrapping to stay above the drop zone. This had lead to the re-emergence of a long standing debate about splitting the league up into mini divisions at a certain stage of the season.

I for one am a fan of this idea. What it would essentially mean is that for the final 12 games or so, the top 6 teams would only play each other, the bottom  6 would compete for survival and the middle tier would battle for bragging rights. I do realise that under this system the battle for the middle positions would not be too exciting, but the rest of it….its the future.

Can you imagine 10 weeks of the season in which the top 6 battle it out week after week? The rivalries, the drama, knowing that every point is vital to keep pace. The league would tighten up as teams would be dropping points and not steam rolling over lowly rivals. Ticket demand for Man City v Man Utd would certainly exceed Man City vs Cardiff and TV viewers would lap it up!

The same for the Bottom 6 clubs…..Look at Huddersfield, getting cut adrift in the season with games away to the big boys to come. But imagine if they knew their last 10 games would be against fellow rivals? The drama would begin….Constant games week after week of teams knowing that a loss could edge them closer to relegation whereas a win would inch them to another season of Premier League glory…..all makes for better drama than constant 11 men behind the ball displays against teams they are fully and rightly expected to, and often do, loose against! Imagine also how it would impact Betting Deals for EPL and Championship clubs!

I know what you are going to say? Why fix something that is more popular than ever and is not broken? Well the argument I would give you is that if an idea exists that could increase Premier League viewership, attendances and drama….then why not take advantage of it?

Will Juventus win Serie A again next season?

Serie A is a very entertaining and exciting domestic league, if you are not challenging for the title. The relegation battle, fight for the Europa League spots and the contest to finish in the Champions League places are hugely enthralling. However, when it comes to the Scudetto, it has pretty much been a one-horse race.

Juventus have won Serie A for the past eight seasons, as the Bianconeri have established themselves as the team to beat in Italy. Not only do Juve play the best football in the country, but they also dominate matches and pretty much steamroll every team that stand in their way. This season, at one stage, it looked like Napoli were going to give them a run for their money, but Juventus ended up winning the championship by 11 points.

A lot could happen this summer during the transfer window, but at this point in time, it is hard to see anyone aside from Juventus winning the Serie A title during the 2019-20 campaign. The Turin giants have the best squad in Serie A, and in Cristiano Ronaldo, they have one of the greatest ever goalscorers. Then, there are midfielders Miralem Pjanic and Sami Khedira, forward Paulo Dybala as well as defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. There is no doubt that Juventus will be favourites for the Serie A betting outright markets for the upcoming season

There is one club who will be determined to put an end to Juventus’s winning run who also have the resources and personnel to challenge them, and that is Inter Milan. While Juventus are still looking for a new manager following the departure of Massimiliano Allegri, Inter have appointed Antonio Conte as their boss. It was Conte who started the Bianconeri’s total domination of Italian football, and perhaps it will be Conte who will put an end to it.

Inter have not been great in recent years, but the 2010 Champions League winners are back in Europe’s premier club competition after finishing fourth in Serie A this season. Conte would not have taken charge of Inter had he not been given assurances of the club’s transfer budget and had they not had grand plans for the future. Inter’s appointment of Conte as their manager suggests that the Milanese club mean business. Players such as Mauro Icardi, Milan Skriniar, Radja Nainggolan and Ivan Perisic are superb footballers, and if Inter are able to bolster their squad this summer, then there could be a genuine title challenge on.

Elsewhere, Napoli will continue to challenge for the title, although one suspects that the Neapolitan club will be happy to finish in the top four yet again. In recent years, following the slide down the table of Inter Milan and AC Milan, it is Napoli who have taken upon themselves to give a fight to Juventus, but they always seem to fall short, and next season is unlikely to be any different.

2018/19 Champions League Final

As another domestic season draws to a close, we look ahead to what feels like a domestic game. An all English Champions League Final. In a season in which the quality of the top flight of English football has been so high, it is only fitting that the elite competition in Europe is contested by two of the teams who finished in the Top 3 of the Premier League.

Liverpool will look to curb the disappointment of the highest ever points total to end up only second in the Premier League, as well as last years Champions League final defeat, and overcome Tottenham Hotspur who have produced some outstanding performances to reach the final in a year in which they never seriously contended for the Premier League crown.

What will happen on June 1st? Will we see a classic attack of free flowing football or a cagey defensive affair? Will Salah and Ali show up or will someone unexpected steal the show? There is not long to find out…Let us take a look at a few key facts about this tie…

  • Spurs have never reached this stage of the competition before and face Liverpool, 5 times winners and last season runners up
  • Both teams came back from unprecedented levels in the Semi Finals to reach this stage
  • This will be the 7th Champions League Final to be contested by clubs from the same country and the second English affair.  Spanish clubs have most regularly appeared in these domestic final
  • The last All English affair was 11 years ago when Manchester United defeated Chelsea on penalties in the rain soaked city of Moscow
  • Spurs become the 8th English club to appear in a European Cup Final…more than any other country
  • This is the 5th final to have taken place in Madrid, the last being in 2010
  • In total Spurs have lost 79 times to Liverpool in 170 games with 43 draws
  • Only 22 teams have won the European Cup….Spurs would make it 23
  • Spurs have a good European pedigree outside of the Champions League and were the first English winners of the now defunct European Cup Winners Cup
  • Spurs would indeed become only the 5th club to have won the Champions League, UEFA Cup and Cup Winners Cup if they triumphed in Madrid
  • Liverpool have won 5 of 8 European Finals
  • Liverpool have reached back to European Finals on 2 previous occasions and have always won at least one of them
  • Spurs have never ever won a game in Spain
  • Liverpool have lost on 4 of their previous 5 trips to Spain
  • The sides previously met in the Semi Final stage of the 1973 UEFA Cup when Liverpool overcame Spurs on away goals
  • In the last 14 meetings between the two sides, Spurs have beaten Liverpool only once
  • Liverpool won 2-1 on both occasions that the two sides met in this years Premier League
  • The sides met in a domestic final in 1982 when Liverpool won 3-1

I hope that has got your appetite wet for what should be a titanic and historic clash in Madrid tomorrow night!

The leading contenders for PFA Player of the Year award 2019

As one of the most exciting Premier League seasons in recent memory comes to a thrilling climax, it’s almost time to recognise the players who have lit up England’s elite throughout 2018/19. This year, football fans have been treated to some stunning individual performances and there’s some truly talented footballers who are in the reckoning for the PFA Player of the Year award.

Before we have a look at the frontrunners, don’t forget to bet on Premier League winner as Manchester City and Liverpool engage in a two-horse race for the title, with the Citizens leading the way at 4/5 currently. If you think the Reds will end their Premier League hoodoo, you can back Jurgen Klopp’s men at evens.

Virgil van Dijk @1/4

If Liverpool are to secure their first ever Premier League success, much will be owed to the herculean displays of Virgil van Dijk. The Dutch centre-back has been nothing short of class throughout the whole campaign, and is yet to be successfully dribbled past in the last 12 months. The Reds paid a world-record fee for Van Dijk in January 2018 and he has absolutely revolutionised a previously leaky defence. The former Southampton star has transformed the Merseysiders into genuine title contenders and it’ll be something of a surprise if he doesn’t win.

Raheem Sterling @11/4

If Van Dijk is unsuccessful, then it’ll likely be due to the continued excellence of City’s Raheem Sterling. The 24-year-old has enjoyed a stellar campaign to date and has 17 goals and 11 assists to his name, and his vast improvement hasn’t gone unnoticed. Sterling’s end product over the past two years has seen him become one of the league’s best players, and he’s certainly one of City’s most valuable assets. Manager Pep Guardiola has really transformed the England star and it would be hard to begrudge Sterling of the win.

Sergio Aguero @16/1

It still seems a travesty that City’s all-time record goal scorer hasn’t picked up the award, but Sergio Aguero continues to exercise his right as one of world football’s most exciting strikers. Since signing in 2011, the Argentine superstar has recorded 162 Premier League goals of which 19 were scored this season. In February, Aguero broke the record for most league hat-tricks when he scored consecutive trebles against Arsenal and Chelsea – bringing his total to 11. It’ll be hard for Aguero to pip the two favourites but if he continues to bang in the goals, his 16/1 price provides plenty of value.

Sadio Mane @25/1

Although much of the focus would have been on Mohammed Salah this season, Sadio Mane has taken over the reins and has proven himself as Liverpool’s main goal threat. The Senegalese winger-come-attacker has demonstrated his importance to Klopp’s men time and time again, and his goal and assist return this year has seen him listed as one of the main contenders. Mane’s slick style of play and brilliant attacking prowess have made him a nightmare for Premier League defenders, and he’s averaged a goal every 151 minutes this season.

Bernardo Silva @50/1

Statistics-wise, Bernardo Silva looks a questionable frontrunner for the PFA Player of the Year award but watching him strut his stuff at the Etihad suggests otherwise. Six goals and eight assists is hardly poor, but it isn’t on the same level as some of the other nominees but Silva’s all-round play is something to admire. Cool, calm and collected, Silva has proven to be a very important cog in the City juggernaut and he has gained a whole host of admirers this season and rightfully so; and could even be a natural replacement for namesake David. At 24, Silva has his best years ahead of him and he has certainly cemented a place in Guardiola’s starting XI. 

Eden Hazard @ 50/1

It’s hard to believe that Eden Hazard is all the way out at 50/1 after the season he has had, but he’ll provide excellent value for money for those who may be tempted. The Belgian winger has 16 goals to his name currently, the joint best since he signed for Chelsea in 2012. Alongside his 12 Premier League assists, it really has been Hazard’s strongest campaign and it’s no surprise that Real Madrid have demonstrated a keen interest. More often than not, Hazard is the main attacking threat and his sheer pace and close-knit dribbling make him one of the best players in the world. It’s hard to see Hazard winning but if he does, it’ll be his second award after winning in 2015.

Fernandinho and Mo Salah also at 50/1.

Facts About Manchester United


Everyone who watches soccer has heard about Manchester United. This is because this is part of the most popular teams in the world. Furthermore, with a history that dates back to the 1800, it would be a shock if you did not know them. We are sure that even those who do not watch soccer have surely heard about the Red Devils and the betting odds that come with the team. However as much as you might know about the team, allow us to give a few facts about Man United that will blow your mind away. 

Shocking Facts About Manchester United

The Teams Managers

Man United has a very long and winding history as we have mentioned about. And in that history, they have had 22 team managers. The amazing fact is from those 22 team mangers, Manchester United have only had 2 non-British managers. These two were Louis Van Gal and Jose Mourinho. 

The Goal Scorer

In the history of the UEFA, there have been many top scorers. With Ronaldo being among the names of the top goal scorers. What you might not have known was that Wane Rooney is the highest goal scorer. An Englishman in the league with an amazing 29 goals to brag about. 

We do know that the team features in the EU Sports FIFA game, what we do not know is if there are any online casino games in honour of this team. However with such a long history, there must be an online casino game at houseofjack that has the Red Devils, don’t you think so?

Their Name

We all know the name of the team is Manchester United, and we are also ware of their nickname, the Red Devils. Allow to know tell you were the nickname from. The team was first known as Newton Health and renamed to Manchester United in 1902. As for their nickname, under the management of Sir Matt Burly, United took the name from Red Devil from Salford rugby club. A club in France who were also known for their love of red jerseys. 

A day in the Life of a Manchester United Fan

Ole


The life of a soccer fan is one that is not easy. It is full pain, anger, relief and joy. However all these emotions have nothing to do the fan, but everything to do with the team that they support. On that note, allow us to take a few minutes to look at a day in the life of a typical Manchester United Fan.

The Emotions

Each and every soccer fan’s day is so full of emotion. All these emotions are those that they fail to control. On lookers may wonder what is troubling a Man United fan only to find out they are worried about the outcome of the next game. The emotions that fans a go through, words cannot even express. Even the beloved online gambling games cannot comfort a Red Devils fan who is distraught. When their team losses, they lose with it and when it wins, they rejoice with it. All this for the love of Manchester United. 

The dedication

What may seem to many as a day too hot or as a day too cold, to Manchester United fan, it is just another day. This is especially true if there is a match to be played. Be it in the rain, be it in the sun, if there is a game, they will be there. Despite the cost, a soccer fan is one who is dedicated to their team will always make sure that they watch them play. 

The lessons

According to sports betting and casino games reviewers at www.bestusaonlinecasinos.com, they say each and every soccer match comes with several lessons. These lesson for both the player and the fans. For the Manchester United players, they have learnt that they should never give up. By watching their favourite fall and rise to challenge countless times, they too have taken this lesson in their day to lives. Troubles may come their way, but just like the Red Devils, they will take each challenge as it comes. 

That being said, a day in the life of a Manchester United fan is one that you will never be able to understand. The only way that you will be understand all they go through is to be a Manchester United fan yourself. 

What makes a good Football Quiz App?


The app stores are littered with Football Apps and one subject that comes up time and time again are Football Quizzes. Every Tom, Dick and Harry in the app creation world has cottoned on to the fact that if you combine two things that people love….Football and Quizzes, then you have a recipe for success. But this doesn’t ensure quality and only around 10% of the Football Apps on the store are worth even five minutes of your time. Are you thinking of making an app? Here are some useful tips…

  • Avoid picture games. There is nothing more boring than a hangman style game with a footballer pictured and guessing letters to unveil who it is. These games have been done to death, and that reminds me..
  • Avoid Logo games. Way too many, making a truly great Logo game for football takes time and its no good littering the market any more
  • Avoid too easy. The one problem many football apps do have is that they are not made by people with a good knowledge of football and hence it all tends to be too easy with questions galore on the same narrow subjects.
  • The type of games that are really working at the moment in the world of app quizzing are head to head games…Quiz Up, Quiz Planet etc. So invest time and money and making it a more competitive element to it, where rival fans can play and friends can show off their knowledge. The quiz games of just playing for your own personal score are long dead and player interaction is the way forward!
  • Invest in a quality writer. As an experienced quizzer and writer myself, I see so many awful apps with questions that have been cobbled together. The quality of questions will keep players coming back and if your app is advert reliant then that is what you want. Spend time finding a good writer, get questions updated all the time and always upload them. 100,000 questions should be the very basic base line you should be looking at when launching an app about football.

So, don’t waste your time reinventing the while, get a good interactive format mixed with solid questions and you will be laughing all the way to the bank! Also check out Best Football Apps for all the best football related apps out there.

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer – How can he not….?


Even the most ardent Manchester Untied fan who is loving live at the moment under Solksjaer  must admit that when he returned to the club in the wake of what will forever be known as “The Mourinho Years”, there was an initial excitement at seeing an old face but a longer term view of….who is next? Even in the initial few games when Solksjaer had made a positive impact, still all the talk was about the next manager? Time went on……the wins kept on coming….has Solksjaer now put himself in a position where the job is his to lose? How can Solksjaer secure the job? What will the end of the season need to look like for him to handed a full time deal….

Top 4 looked far beyond the team under Mourinho, far beyond it….and in free fall United fans feared the worst. But a string of solid wins under Solksjaer has paved a path to 4th place and the all-important Champions League qualifying positions.  Solksjaer has shown he can take the team into the Top 4 so now his job is to remain there. The very basis for Ole having a leading role in the running for the next permanent manager must surely come down to this? Remain in the Top 4 in a season where this looked impossible and it’s an achievement very few managers could have reached. Yes, in a normal season 4th place would be a disappointment, but if in May 2019 United are still there…it will feel like the biggest of victories!

Slipping out the Top 4 now he has achieved it may prove decisive. Again, even a 5th place finish with a stable team and good performances would be a massive improvement on what went before, but if we are talking about handing over the keys of the biggest club in world football to someone….then Top 4 is a must.

But what about this seasons Champions League? Solksjaer inherits one positive thing from his predecessor……knockout Champions League football. Strange things happen when we get to this stage of the worlds most lucrative competition and although the PSG game looks daunting, would you bet against a Solksjaer inspired Man United? Most expect PSG will have a little too much for United….their attacking might combined with the still questionable defence of United may prove a combination too much.

Beating PSG would help Solksjaer’s case no end, a run to the final and a Top 4 inish would surely mean the job is his?

United on the mend as Sanchez’s woes continue

While Manchester United’s season goes from strength to strength under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, one player at Old Trafford who continues to struggle is their Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez.

Since joining the club in January 2018, when Jose Mourinho was still in charge, Sanchez has hit the back of the net just five times. Only three of these goals have come in the Premier League, all at home and against teams in the bottom half of the table, with the other two netted in FA Cup matches in the capital.

And an injury against Southampton at the beginning of March meant he played no part in United’s dramatic – albeit slightly fortuitous – success over Paris St Germain in the Champions League a few days later.

Source: “Ole Gunnar Solskjær” (CC BY-ND 2.0) byArbeiderpartiet

While the Reds were edging to an away-goals success over PSG in Paris, the 30-year-old could only watch in the knowledge that he is likely to be out of action until mid-April.

United are now 10/1 to win the Champions League in the football betting and Sanchez may not even be available for the second leg of their quarter-final tie, which will take place on either April 16 or 17.

Speaking ahead of the second leg game against PSG, Solskjaer said Sanchez’s knee injury was a major concern for United and that he expects his forward to be sidelined for around “four to six weeks.”

The Sanchez story so far

As for Sanchez, his Old Trafford career does not make good reading – at the momemt.

During the final few months of last season, Sanchez could only score twice in the Premier League – in 12 appearances – with these goals coming at home to lowly Huddersfield and relegated Swansea.

The only other time he found the net for United during 2017/18, was a semi-final effort against Tottenham at Wembley, which was arguably his only significant contribution for Mourinho’s men last season.

Source: “Alexis Sánchez” (CC BY 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald

Matters have not improved much this season either. So far, there has only been one goal in the league – a last-minute winner at home to Newcastle in October – and another in the FA Cup at former club Arsenal in round four.

He did manage one goal each against those footballing powerhouses of Costa Rica and Honduras, during international matches for Chile, but his dreadful goal tally for United was ultimately one of the reasons why Mourinho lost his job in December.

But while United’s fortunes have improved dramatically under Solskjaer, Sanchez’s have not and this injury is another setback for a player who is reportedly earning over £300,000 a week at Old Trafford.

Arsenal and Barcelona

All this is a far cry from his form during his three and a half seasons at Arsenal, and his three years with Barcelona before that.

With the Gunners, he netted 60 times in the Premier League, including 24 during the 2016/17 season alone. He also scored in two winning FA Cup finals for the north Londoners, when Arsene Wenger was manager.

Source: “Alexis Sánchez” (CC BY 2.0) by Ines11thiago

At Barcelona, it was a similar story scoring, on average, almost one goal every two games as he enjoyed La Liga honours with the Catalan club in 2012/13, one year after collecting a winners’ medal in the Copa del Rey.

As for his United legacy, that is yet to be decided but first, he must overcome the knee injury which has left him a spectator at a rejuvenated Old Trafford.

Everton – Is mediocrity enough?


Everton hold several records regarding their duration in the top flight of English football, being one of the few long standing members of the top division and of the Premier League. But of those seasons, despite the one or two flirts with relegation, they have never been serious contenders for the title and only once managed to earn a Champions League place, which they then failed to act on in the qualifying round. World class players have graced the turf at Goodison Park, talented managers have come and gone and memorable moments have been had. But as Everton fans watch their Anfield rivals claw their way to the top of the tree and challenge for the title, d they feel left behind? Is constant mid table finished enough? What more do you crave?

As a fan of Sunderland, I know all too well the pain of relegation, and the fight for survival. But those season were always full of drama, late wins, vital points and shock comebacks. I would not exchange the scraps for survival and “the great escapes” for 10 seasons of finishing 15th. The problem being for Everton fans that once the pre-season optimism has died down the usual top 6 take a stranglehold, and it has became clear that relegation is not a worry, then the season fades out into nothingness. Battling Wolves for 7th place, scraps with Newcastle for 12th……not the most exciting of seasons.

The money men of course may argue otherwise and the fact that Everton have been backed with huge wages, huge transfer fees and all the financial support they need it is evident that a lifetime eof 8th place finished would please everybody.

I am jot for one minute suggesting that relegation is an interesting or preferable option for the club…but what about the cups? Everton are one of many mid table Premier League clubs, who are unlikely to get relegated, but persist in playing weakened teams in the cup games? I do not understand the logic! The fans would relish a day out or two at Wembley, the excitement of a cup final….they don’t want to watch a second string side loose to Hull City one week before an away draw with Wolves in the battle for the 8th place with a full team.

Everton have tried everything to break into that top 6 but teams who were previously below them have now risen above and they run a risk of moving further away. Big money transfers  haven’t worked so far so is a new approach needed?

The Greatest FA Cup Finals of the 1990s


The 20th Century was a time when the FA cup was still at its peak. Still the end of season fixture. Still a competition teams took seriously. The decline would soon start to set in as the 21st Century entered its first decade but the 1990s was a time when the FA Cup mattered and the FA Cup Final was one of the biggest games of the year….let us take a look at the 5 best finals.

  1. Manchester United 4 – 0  Chelsea – 1994

The first Ferguson double was capped off with a display that showed this era of Manchester United at their very finest. Cantona’s majesty, Kanchelkis ripping defences apart, Hughes potency and Paul Ince running the midfield. Glenn Hoddle ripping off his tracksuit to enter the field of play remains a memorable moment of a game in which one of the finest managers of all time had a team that felt they could never lose.

  • Crystal Palace 3  – 3 Manchester United

Forget the replay, the original game between two sides eager for silverware was a thriller. No hot prediction site could have predicted this drama. This is just before “peak Ferguson” and you could already see the team Manchester United would become kicking into gear. Both teams lead at some stage when the game ended 2-2 and both teams scored in extra time. Ian Wright almost thought he had the cup won for Palace but a dramatic late equaliser for United took the game to a replay. Goals, drama and quality…what a final!

  • Liverpool 2 – 0 Sunderland

Plucky Sunderland had fought to their first final since the dramatic upset of 1973. Liverpool, faints of the game without a League title in the 1990s, still had a squad bursting with talent and although Sunderland under Malcolm Crosby gave their all, they didn’t have the quality to match Liverpool on the day. But the drama, the hope of another Wimbeldon-esque upset and the occasions itself made this a memorable final for all the right reasons.

  • Liverpool 0 – 1 Manchester United

There is something special when two genuine rivals meet in the FA Cup Final and what bigger rivalry than Liverpool vs United. Everything about the game from the wide suits to the Cantona winner was edge of your seat stuff. A game Manchester United fans will remember for a long time and one Liverpool faithful will be quick to forget…

  • Chelsea 2 – 0 Middlesbrough

Di Matteo left little time to sit down when he scored a 33 second goal to fire this Final into life, but the real story was Bryan Robsons team. Assembled with global superstars, a season of promise had ended in relegation but 2 cup finals had been rwached given hope of an upset. All the flair of Juninho, the potency of Ravenelli and Emerson passion could not stop a rampant Chelsea but whilst there was hope, this final remained gripping!

Ways to Pay for Online Sports Betting


Technology is constantly revolving as has the world of sports betting. No longer do you need to trek all the way to your local bookmakers to place your football coupon – you can now do this online! Not only that but on the best sports betting sites – you can do this via your mobile phone. The theme these days is definitely convenience – and unlike when you visit the bookmakers where you need to bring cold, hard cash – there are other faster ways of paying that could be more suitable for you. We’ve outlined some payment methods that you may want to use should you wish to visit an online sports betting site. 

Debit or Credit Card

This is the most obvious method of payment and still the most convenient for some. Pretty much all online casinos allow you the option to make a deposit using your debit or credit card. They also tend to affiliate with the biggest merchants out there. So, if you have a Visa, MasterCard, Maestro etc. – the reality is the betting brand has you covered! Depositing this way will ensure the money comes off your bank account pretty much instantly.

PayPal

This is one of the most famous e-wallets around and probably made famous by the likes of eBay. With PayPal the advantage is that you don’t need to enter your bank details online all the time – you can simply use your PayPal login details. PayPal is an entirely safe and secure method of payment, so there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to the transaction itself.  The fact that PayPal is widely used amongst other types of e-commerce sites also puts a further element of trust in the users’ mind when they are making a deposit.

Mobile Phone

This is the most convenient way to make your deposit on site. Think of contactless, but for mobile sports betting sites. The beauty of using this method is that the amount you have deposited will simply be added to your phone bill if you are part of a mobile phone contract. If you have a Pay As You Go phone – then the amount will simply be taken off your credit. This completely takes away any hassle or fuss from depositing on an online gaming site.  The only thing with this however is that just like when you use contactless, it can seem as if you aren’t really playing with your own money – as you can’t see it leave your bank account straight away. Bear that in mind and make sure you gamble responsibly. 

Skrill

Skrill is a payment method that has been created and developed specifically for iGaming websites and has proven to be incredibly popular with players. They have over 10 years of experience and allow instant balance transfers. It’s accepted at the majority of online casinos, bookmakers and poker rooms – and you can register any of your bank accounts with them. Your transactions are also completely safe and secure – so there’s nothing you need to worry about on that front. If you use this payment option a lot – then you can also get rewarded as a Skrill VIP.

Paysafecard

Paysafecard can be used across gaming, social media communities and film and entertainment. It works as a prepaid card and is so simple to use. You don’t need your debit or credit card, all you need to do is head to your local venue and top up your Paysafecard account. You will have a PIN that is 16 digits long, and all you need to do is enter that pin when you head to your favourite online gaming site. There is also an exclusive rewards scheme and loyalty scheme you can take advantage of. Make sure you take care of your PIN numbers though so it’s easy enough to make your deposits. 

Neteller

The primary attribute of Neteller is that it’s fast and simple. It’s accepted across a lot of iGaming sites such as Stakers – and is popular with players. All you need to do is sign up for your free Neteller account, add funds to it via various methods – and then make your fast and secure payment.  Again, it means that you don’t need to enter your credit or debit card details online which is a positive for a lot of players.

Zimpler

With Zimpler all you need is your mobile phone. All you need to do is select Zimpler as your chosen payment method and then enter your mobile phone number. Once you do this – Zimpler will send you your unique code. This option is also great in terms of responsible gambling as you can set budgets – so you can make sure that you spend within your means. These guys also have a fantastic customer services team; they have 24/7 support waiting for you.

ecoPayz

With ecoPayz – you can have an online account set up within minutes. It’s completely free to use – and there are no credit checks involved. You can top up your account whenever it suits you, and your cash will be available whenever you need it. You can rely on them for total safety and security of any online payment – and they make your personal information their priority.

As you can see there are loads of ways to deposit on betting sites these days – you aren’t limited to just debit and credit cards. You can make your deposits swiftly, securely – and are sure to find something that will suit your individual needs. Be sure to check out the payment methods that are available on the sports betting site that you join before parting with your hard earned cash. The processing and withdrawal requirements can also change depending on the method you choose – so be sure to read the small print.

When you go onto a sports betting sites their payment methods are usually outlined at the very bottom of the site.  Now hopefully you will have a clearer idea as to what all of them mean. 

9 Great Online Slots For The Footie Fan


Mahrez free kick 1” (CC BY 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald

If you’ve ever played online slots, you’ll know there’s a themed game for just about everyone. And for footie fans, there’s not just one but an abundance of online slots based on the beautiful game.

Foxin Wins Football Fever

Created by NYX Gaming, this video slot gives its players a playful hero in the guise of a fox to play football in the slots environment with 25 paylines along with free spins, a random bonus and, when you access the superbet option, a chance to really win big.

Football Star

Full of twists and turns, Football Star brings the game to life via the spin of the wheel with the chance, for example, to win a free kick for the Striking Wild Bonus or take a shot into the reels to turn either reel 2, 3 or 4. To see Betway’s offer of up to £1000 in bonuses, which can be played on this game at its online casino, check out Bonus Source.
 

The Champions

Created by Pragmatic Play, The Champions captures football better than most slots games as its progressive play provides momentum akin to a real match. You score goals and shoot penalties as you hope to move towards the 20x multiplier. You can even achieve a 100x multiplier if you score all your penalties.

Top Strike Championship

20 paylines make this football themed online slots game attractive with an exciting knockout stage bringing the excitement of tournament play to the slots environment. Top Strike Championship, like Foxin Wins Football Fever, was created by NYX.

The Cup

Boasting free spins, multipliers and wilds, this 11-payline video slot is a fairly simple game that while lacking some of the extravagances of other football-themed slots can provide some potential big wins.

Soccer Safari

A new slots game from Micrograming boasts free spins with multipliers, wilds, and a second scatter which triggers the bonus of a penalty shootout round.


Arsenal vs Chelsea” (CC BY 2.0) by wonker

Soccer Babes

The attraction is in the title, at least for some. Football is combined with beautiful women to offer a slots game featuring wilds, multipliers and free spins combined with the excitement of “reading” an FHM top 100 issue.

Goool

Now considered a classic, Multislot’s soccer-infused game is simple, easy to play and fun with its 25 paylines and a RTP of 97.01%. The bonus round offers only free spins and a wild but that’s why this game is great for straightforward satisfaction.

Euro Golden Cup

Created by Microgaming, Euro Golden Cup offers players the chance to tackle different levels as they navigate through the game beginning with level one’s Trophy Collection which, by collecting trophies, unlocks further levels. Hit a flag simultaneously on the first and fifth reels and you earn a trophy. That moves you to free spins featuring stacked wilds. You can move to level two with ten free spins before the last level offers Striker, Play Maker or Penalty Shootout options.

The attraction of online slots and football is obvious. It combines the passions of its target audience with the thrill of the spinning wheel. For footie fans, there’s probably no better slots games than these.  

4 years to go…..Qatar’s Winter World Cup


December 18th marked four years until the World Cup Final in Qatar. The most controversial tournament in recent years, a tournament many think either should not, or will not happen. Particularly given the objection from the Premier League. But as we already begin to dream of the Three Lions lifting the trophy, there are other positives to consider about this tournament that has been awarded to a country in the most controversial of circumstances. Unbeknown to many Qatar’s involvement in sport is not new which the tiny nation having a passion for Horse-racing. In fact it is estimated that per capita per head they will spend more on Grand National Betting 2019 than any other nation! Anyways, back to the World Cup

Whether or not you believe this was a fair victory for Qatar, pitting aside the questionable aspects of the country itself and the suitability of such a small, hot nation to host the tournament, the more the weeks tick by the more we are going to have to get used to the fact in 2022 we are facing a winter world cup for the first time in history. Yes, I am one of many who agree that this World cup being changed as late as 2021 to be held in another country would not be a total shock. But there are some positives to this…

Travelling fans for one….if you are one of the fans lucky, or shall we say brave enough, to get to travel to the world cup, the size of Qatar means that this will be a fans dream as walking between games is a realistic option and being able to see 2-3 games per day in person is possible for the first time in World Cup History.

This will also help the players as there won’t be long travelling to games. They can get rooted in one location knowing that there next game isn’t too far away. Remember all the negativity about the distances needed to travel across Russia? Qatar won’t have that issue.

For the arm chair fan, one positive is that the kick off times will be perfect for fans in the UK with 7pm, 10pm and 1am kick offs. Yes the 1am games will be a stretch, and town centres will be packed if that involves England, but two games in Prime Time…yes please.

And above all else, maybe it is just me being selfish, but that fact that we have a winter world cup with a final 7 days before Xmas….what a Xmas that will be. Instead of the hustle and bustle of the Xmas rush, the Mariah Carey songs and the overall hype of the season…a few beers, lots of food…and World Cup Football. I say roll on Qatar 2022! And while you wait check out our World Cup Quiz page!

Top 5 England Moments….

Platt 1990


As we eagerly await this years Grand National we preview the Semi Finals of the first ever Nations Cup, with England involved and tipped to go all the way, creating a possible moment for the ages…what are the top 5 moments for England fans? Which 5 stand out above the rest……Here is a countdown…..

5. Owen 1 – 0  Brazil – I will start with something very selfish and something that will probably not appear on many lists…but in 2002 I believed.  I believe harder and stronger than I have ever believed. Sailing through to the Quarter Finals England met Brazil. Everyone said we couldn’t do it. Every one said I was crazy for planning a day off when England were in the Semi. But for that brief moment, when Lucio missed the ball and Owen nipped in to score…I was on top of the World

4. Shearers Header –  Ignore what followed. The nation collectively jumped up and down when, at Euro 96, facing the old enemy of the Germans Alan Shearer snuck in from a corner to head home an opening goal. The dream seemed more alive than ever…

3. David Platt – Belgium. Last 16. World Cup….the sweetest of last minute volleys. Need  I say more?

2. Colombian Penalty Win – 2018 was a fine summer. Yes we had the easy route, yes we lost 3 games and lost every time we played someone good but who can ever take away that moment, late into the night, when the pattern of classic England defeats occurred. Penalties loomed, we all feared the worst, but, and Ill say this quietly. We won. After the tears of Italia 90, the pain of Portugal, the Southgate miss, Batty and Ince in Argentina…..this was the moment and boy did it feel so darn good!

1.1966 – It can only be. The moment that is mentioned constantly by the England fans and the media, often wondering when it happened again. Yes it happened in our own back yard, and yes there is the whole “was it over the line” debate, but 4 glorious years we were champions of the world and even better we defeated the Germans on the way to doing it. If the hairs on the back of your neck do not stand up when you heard “They Think Its All Over….” Are you even an England fan? So as we await the newly formed competition why not relax and focus on the British sporting institution that is the Grand National and 2019 Grand national betting offers . Nothing can replace football in our national physch but the national provides a welcome distraction.

The Championship – Race to Promotion

Championship


The third best attended league in the world with the fifth highest wage bill……what can it be? The English Championship of course. One of the most competitive, fierce and unpredictable divisions in any country anywhere in the world. With the ultimate prize of the riches of the Premier League at stake, every game is a dog fight and every point is scrapped for! With 2019 beginning and the table shaping up let us take a look at some of the contenders for the crown!

Leeds United – At the time of writing Leeds are top of the tree and in all fairness have looked the tidiest side all season, with the most consistent performances and the best football on the pitch. Given the investment made in a world class manager and a team he wants, there can be little doubt where the success has came from and Lees are likely to be playing Premier League football next year.

Norwich – Fans may disagree but it is perhaps fair to label Norwich, in the bracket with the likes of West Brom, as a yo yo club who will spend the odd season or two in the top flight before plummeting back to a few seasons in the second tier. It seems their time to rise has come again and consistent performances, genuine goal threats and a solid back line leave them in a steady place to be a real contender for the top 2.

Middlesbrough – See above….a yo yo team who can’t quite find the balance of staying in the top flight for a good stretch. Again, like all the teams at the summit of the championship this year Middlesbrough have a great attacking threat and score goals. The odd slip up here and there perhaps down to some questionable team selections, has saw them slump behind the pace and will probably mean a play off pace is their aim.

West Brom – Can I really use YoYo team a third time? Well I am going to! West Brom are the ultimate modern day YoY o team. For whatever reason it is, they can usually conquer the Championships within a few season and return for a brief stay at the top before the inevitable relegation. What can be done to counter this? Maybe the strong squad they have now will be enough to get them promoted via the automatic places….but I think promotion via the play offs is more likely

Sheffield United – Tough years, relegations, squad battles…but its good to see The blades come out of the other end with a glimpse of the big time. Automatic promotion may just be out of reach but there are no reason they can’t put together the form needed to win via the playoffs!

Derby – The players are there, the coach seems to be working but the results won’t flow as consistently as they would like. For derby to get promoted they need a run of form that will leave them in good stead for the play offs. But perhaps Pride Park faithful may need to wait another season.

Prediction: Automatic  – Leeds and West Brom

Play Offs –Norwich City

Should the Premier League follow the NFL?


One of the main differences between the top sports league in the UK compared to those across the other side of the Pond in the USA, is the factor of promotion and relegation. Because the major American sports leagues began the franchise system some time ago, with the NHL, NBA, MLS and of course NFL, follow this method then they do not have the worries of relegation, promotion and can plan ahead knowing where they will be next season.

In recent years, as the money continues to flood into English football, the talk of a franchise system has increased and increased. This is essentially seen as an attempt for the elite clubs to keep onto the money coming into the game and would essentially be a system of the same 20 clubs being in the Premier League season after season with no real punishment for coming bottom. Would you be in favour of this or against? What odds would you get for a good title race? Would it mean a more level playing field where any team/rider could win like the 2019 Grand National ?

My initial reaction to this is one of negativity. As a life long Sunderland fan, the thought of being stuck in a league with no where to go, removing all of those joyous escapes from relegation and the championship title runs disappearing does not sound appealing. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the NFL but not having relegation systems starts to make the league redundant for teams early on and as the season reaches halfway some games become formalities. Imagine watching Wolves vs Crystal Palace with both teams having nothing play for?

But then again, would a Franchise system improve the quality. The teams at the very top level would not be affected as they can plan well ahead knowing that money will flow in, the Premier League payments will be there and they will be playing at the very top level. But what about the middling teams? Knowing there is no threat to relegation teams like Southampton, Wolves, Cardiff, Newcastle etc could throw money at better players and raise the league’s lower end to be more competitive. This would push the bigger clubs to keep improving to get those all important champions league places and all round the money would improve quality.

But then again should  the game be all abut money and quality, or should the passion and drama come first? After all the Premier League is growing at a time when the NFL is fading in attendance numbers and TV viewing figures! The answer remains, don’t try and fix something that isn’t broken!

What could give Ole the job?


It may be an understatement to state that when Ole Gunnar Solksjaer was appointed as the temporary manager of Manchester United there was a sense of joy, largely due to the fact that the controversial and ever declining rule of Jose Mourinho was over. But is Ole Gunnar Solksjaer the man Manchester United would forsee as their long term manager? Would Ole Gunnar Solksjaer being appointed on a full time basis have been met with the same reaction? The answer I would suggest to both would be no……United expect bigger names, with bigger club experience and bigger influence on the world stage…

But as he remains undefeated the question now is….what does Ole Gunnar Solksjaer need to do to make himself a serious contender for the job? If he was to guide United back into the top 4, then that is a starting point. Good results, beating rivals and playing positive is all well and good but at the end of the day should he fail to reach the Top 4, the top job will never go to Ole Gunnar Solksjaer on a permanent basis.

But the Top 4, which looked so out of sight under Jose, now looks possible!

One criticism, or rather one point, that has been made towards Ole Gunnar Solksjaer in the early days was that he had a nice easy start with games that United would, under normal circumstances, have been expected to win. But the Spurs game changed everything. United survived the pressure and showed enough ambition to win. Something that was sorely lacking under the regime of Jose. Yes, United did get outplayed for large parts of the game but they had the team togetherness and bond to be able to withstand it stay United, and bring him the crucial 3 points.

Then there is the Champions League. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer would not be the first manager to win the Champions League and not keep his job, but in this scenario, with the fan support and all the bad times  they club has witnessed in recent months, if he won the Champions League surely Ole Gunnar Solksjaer would deserve a full time contract? You would have to think so but if you need some tipster recommendations on this you can always have a look on www.omegatipsters.com

A lot will also depend on the man over at Spurs. If Mr Pochettino suddenly becomes available and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has lead United to 4th place, a Champions League Semi Final and an FA Cup run…who would your money be on? I for one find it impossible to predict!

Spurs Without Kane?

Kane


January is turning into a month to forget for Spurs as not only did they suffer a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United, thanks to the heroics of David De Gea, but during the game lost Harry Kane until March with an ankle injury. How will Spurs cope without their talisman? Are there title hopes now over? Will Top 4 slip away?

Harry Kane is a vital cog to the Spurs wheel, that is indeed true, and the fact they priced him at £310 million to an interested party this week shows they have no real consideration to sell him. But gone are the days when one truly outstanding player is the difference between Top 4 and a mid table splurge.  Kane will be missed of course, with the experience, the danger, the goal threat and the out and out strike rate he possesses. But in a team packed with the likes of Dele Ali, Eriksen, Song and the supporting cast, there are goals in Spurs and they have been playing well enough to maintain a Top 4 birth.

After all, the game against Manchester United showed how dominant Spurs can be as they carved out chance after chance but just couldn’t take it. Yes, they will need to be clinical in finishing but they would be more worried if the chances simply were not being made!

Were Spurs really in the title race before Kane was ruled out until March? I guess that is the question that you need to ask yourself and even the most die hard Spurs fan must admit that the chances of Liverpool AND Man City falling to the point where Spurs were in with a shout was slim. Even the most ardent Spurs fan wouldn’t put money on them catching them even if they had Free bets. They are that far ahead, in terms of points and the actual on the pitch play, of the Top four rivals that slipping out of the Top 4 is not really feasible either.

The one area in which they will sorely miss Harry Kane is the Champions League. As Dortmund await, they will be rubbing their hands at not having to deal with his threat. Champions League ties, especially with away goals in effect can turn on goals and that’s what Harry Kane gets. Without him, teams will feel more confident and be able to plan around not having to deal with his threat.

In all, yes Kane will be missed but Spurs season will end in the same way with or without him….no trophies, 3rd place and a huge decision to make for the manager….

Can anyone catch Liverpool?

Klopp


As 2019 begins we have a runaway leader in the Premier League….and perhaps not the team many would expect. Liverpool currently sit on top of the pile of the Premier League and they look to be rooted there for a while. Some would say it is hardly a surprise due to the slow revolution Jurgen Klopp has been putting in place whilst others may point to the fact Liverpool have always promised but never really delivered in the Premier League era! But who can catch them?

First let us look at Liverpool themselves. The front line they have is one of, if not the best, in world football…Mane, Firmino and Salah. If they keep fit and on form then it is hard to see them failing! If they lose one or two to injury or they hit a bad patch of form, then it could lead to the old fashioned Liverpool slump.

The nearest contender would be Manchester City who were the pace setters until a bad set of luck including injuries and some shock results. They will hit form again and it all depends on how that form affects the pressure on Liverpool at the top. Manchester City and Pep have been there before and the experience in the title race may well be the key difference. My gut instinct says City have enough quality, enough experience and enough time to be able to topple Liverpool and take the title.

Spurs – Apart from Gooners, I imagine a lot of neutrals would  like to see Spurs have a strong run at the title. They certainly have the players, have the manager and have the most devastating striker in the Premier League. However, the feeling generally is that they lack 2-3 world class players in the squad and are prone to the dodgy results that plague their season.  2nd place would be a better aim!

Arsenal – Despite the post-Wegner resurgence, Arsenal have faded to the back line of title contention due to a start in which they lost key points. All signs are pointing to a successful reign under Emery but battling for 4th place is more in their sites!

Chelsea – Started well and certainly have a squad deep enough to go long into the season , but something about Chelsea always suggests they lack the cutting edge. Whilst Liverpool have breezed past teams and washed them away with their free flowing attacking football, Chelsea have grinded out results and never fully clicked into gear. A top 4 place looks likely but they need to be careful

Manchester united – Optimism is high after Jose’s departure, but the bare facts remain that United are under staffed and too far behind to even perhaps get back into the champions league fold. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer may well restore some faith to Old Trafford, but getting them into title contention will have to wait until the next reign.

Whatever happens, it is sure to be a dramatic season and proof again that the Premier League is the finest league in the world!

England’s Greatest Ever Team?

Greatest England Team

Having followed the ups and downs of England over the years, the heartaches, the misery and the occasional joy. Here is My Greatest Team of the Three Lions. There will no doubt be a lot of debate and you would be hard to find a list of bookmakers uk who would agree on my team!

Goalkeeper: David Seaman

Sadly, whenever you mention David Seaman to fans nowadays the abiding memory will be him tumbling back into the net in the 2002 World Cup as a free kick from Ronaldinho flies over his head.

However, prior to his error ridden decline, when he was at the top his game David Seaman was untouchable. An imposing figure who inspired confidence in the defence, penalty saving maestro and an experienced set of hands gave England a number 1 to be proud of. The troubles at finding his

replacement is evidence enough that Seaman remains the safest pair of hands England have ever had.

Right Back: Gary Neville

Love him or hate him one thing is clear Gary Neville has been the most trustworthy and dependable right back in the history of England. Since cementing the position in the late 1990s

Neville provided stability and class to the position he made his own. Always one of the first names on the team sheet Neville was as solid at the back as he was going forward and produced a partnership with David Beckham that led England to many a victory. In latter years he became a great leader and yet again England have trouble replacing him since.

Left Back: Ashley Cole

Always a controversial figure, even those who loath Ashley Cole for his off the field antics or “car stopping” wage demands have to admit that for a number of years he was the only World Class player in the England side. Pacey, intelligent and persistent Cole had an engine like no other and even in the dire minutes of matches would still be pacing up and down the left hand flank long before others had given in. Cole was a danger going forward, easily able to beat a band but was also tough to beat at the back. Solid, reliable and tough.

Centre Back: Bobby Moore (Captain)

Bobby Moore will always be remembered for two things 1) lifting the 1966 World Cup at Wembley and 2) that Pele Tackle. But beyond that Moore was one of the best, most intelligent and most effective defenders ever to grace the pace. Not many men beat Moore to the tackle and his leadership qualities inspired a generation. Dependable, as good in the air as on the ground and an all round world class defender, Moore captains My Greatest Team and leads by example.

Centre Back: Sol Campbell

At his peak Sol Campbell was unbeatable. Physically dominating, aerially superb and great with the ball at his feat any England team with Campbell at the back knew they had a last line of defence that was tough to beat. A threat offensively in the air as well as a leader on the pitch, Campbell was the

perfect centre back.

Right Midfield: David Beckham

His one man show to lift England from the depth sof despair to qualification for the 2002 World Cup is prove enough that England runs through this mans blood. The heart and engine of a true warrior on the pitch Beckham also possessed a crossing and dead ball ability second to none. His free kick ability alone is enough to make i’m worthy of a place in My Greatest Team but as an all round footballer, Beckham had it all.

Left Midfield: Stanley Matthews

Always a troubled spot for England but Stanley Matthews could play anywhere and with his trickery, ability to beat a man time after after time and his ingenious skills with the ball, Matthews would add unpredictability and excitement to the left flank and trouble anyone who dar ed come near!

Centre Midfield: Bryan Robson (Vice Captain)

Captain Marvel himself. Bryan Robson was a tough talking, inventive and creative footballer with the ability to score from anywhere on the pitch. Every team needs a man like Robson at its heart to drive forward play, get stuck into opponents and pop up in both boxes. Robson never got the England career he deserved for one reason or another but he coasts into My Greatest Team.

Centre Midfield: Bobby Charlton

Another easy choice. One of the Englands most prolific scorers with many of is goals coming from outside the area, when the ball was at Bobby’s feat anything could happen. Genuinely World Class over most of his career Charlton was the driving force in the centre of the England team that won the World Cup and although clips these days show mainly his 30 yard screamers, Charlton also offered creative passing, tough tackling and a never say die attitude that is at the core of My Greatest Team

Striker: Gary Lineker

For the sheer amount of times Lineker popped up in the box and scored out of the blie he deserves a place in the side. Never have the Three Lions had a more prolific poachers in the 18 yard box than Linker. Whether it was dealing with crosses, heading goals, using his pace to chase down long balls…Lineker was n effective and ruthless figure and if I want the ball to fall to anyone in the 18 yard box, it would be Lineker every time

Striker: Michael Owen

For the sheer way he burst onto the scene with the wonder goal in the 1998 World Cup through to the years of terrorising defences, Michael Owen completes the line up. His pace caused fear in even the most experienced back fours and his ability to find the net was unrivalled. At his peak Owen was amongst the worlds greatest strikers and with the likes of Beckham and Charlton to supply him, the Greatest Team would have a potent threat.

Subs

Nobby Stiles

Able to play anywhere along the back four and experience of the big matches. Could be crucial if we need defensive back up

John Barnes

Tricky, able to find the net under any circumstances and a player who no defender would like to see warming up, Barnes gives that flair and extra danger that could be needed during the match.

Geoff Hurst

Who better to bring on in big matches when in need of a goal? Been there, done that and got the t shirt!

Time for Manchester City to Shine in Champions League

Inside the Etihad Stadium” by Sarmad Yaseen (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Manchester City have ticked off the first box in their quest to win the Champions League by winning their group with ease. They topped the group by five points, and that was despite a shock home defeat to Lyon on the opening week. This is far from job done though; City are now required to kick on and perform well in the knockout round. They are in the last 16, but fans will be hoping to reach the semi-finals at least.

After dominating the Premier League last season to win by 19 points, Manchester City put themselves in a position where they had to have European success to keep the fans happy. While it may be enough for now, simply winning the Premier League is not enough for some people, and the ultimate prize is the Champions League trophy. As it turns out this season, they are likely to have a tougher task retaining their Premier League title due to the challenge from Liverpool, but that doesn’t change the fact they need to do well in Europe.

If there is one group of people that fancy City to do well in the Champions League this season then it is the bookmakers. The latest football betting has them as 3/1 favourites to lift the title this season, putting them ahead of huge European names such as Barcelona and Juventus, as well as the current holders Real Madrid. It also makes them England’s best chance of bringing home the trophy that Liverpool nearly did last season.

Champions League Trophy” by KTo288 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The way the Premier League is developing, it seems inevitable that Manchester City and Liverpool are going to battle it out for many years to come. After seeing Liverpool disappoint in the final last season, Manchester City will see winning the Champions League this season as them getting one over on the Merseyside club. Whether it is the Premier League title or the Champions League, don’t be surprised to see these two clubs at the top for many years to come.

When Pep Guardiola was brought into the club, his aim was to take Manchester City to the next level, and part of that was to put them on the map in Europe. They only reached the last eight last season, and the feeling is that even if they win the Premier League this season, anything other than seeing improvement in the Champions League would be seen as a disappointment. This is the stage where City are measured now, and after assembling a wonderful squad of players, it is time for Pep Guardiola to earn his money on the biggest stage of all.

Manchester City have built the foundations and dominated the Premier League. There is one final step for them to take, and that involves winning the Champions League. This is where this team is going to be measured from now on, and they have to show progress this season to keep their expectant fans happy.

Ivan Gazidis, AC Milan’s Best Signing

Ivan

After spending 10 years at Arsenal Ivan Gazidis departed the Emirates to join the San Siro. Gazidis is now AC Milan’s new CEO. He emphasized that after spending so much time in London it is high time he should seek for a new challenge.

However, there are absolutely numerous reasons why the South African born is being labelled AC Milan’s best signing. Even though the club has managed to attract big name players such as Gonzalo Higuaín and Paulo Mauldin. Gazidis arrival is actually fundamental considering his knowledge of the game and transfer deals and will definitely increase the chances to win big at online sports betting.

Ivan Gazidis Role at AC Milan

After making huge profits and securing mega deals for Arsenal, it is very clear why Gazidis was the right man to take over at AC Milan. The Elliot Management Corporation, the owners of AC Milan, opted for the former Gunners CEO because of his ability to transform the finances of the club so that they can comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play. In this regard, the Italian club is in breach of the UEFA Financial Fair Play Rule.

However, the coming of Gazidis was recommended to help the former Italian giant to have a stable and viable plan to make a profit. Ivan is expected to hit the ground running to rescue AC Milan’s financial woes. This has caused the Italian club to lag behind in terms of challenging for big trophies in Europe and in Serie A.

Everyone in the football realms knows that Gazidis is the account magician and to be frank enough the San Siro giant has scooped a jackpot. Even though the jackpot will not be the same as the ones offered at sites such as casinos online south africa, at least they have something to talk about.

Ivan Gazidis Contribution to Arsenal

The South African accounting mastermind contributed massively to Arsenal football club’s growth. During his 10 year tenure at the Emirates. And he presided over many deals that led the club to have a turnover of around £422.8 Million. In the 2016-17 season, the Arsenal website announced that the club had a profit increase of 87%.

Adding to that he secured a sponsorship deal with the Fly Emirates that is worth more than £200 million.

How to Bet on Rugby

The art of gambling has been made so beautiful that you can gamble on anything. Yes, that’s right! Are you a tennis fan, instead of a rugby fan or a fan of both? Now when you are watching your favourite game you can bet on it. Even when you are on the go you can bet on Rugby.

We thank the betting gods that came up with such brilliant ideas. Now keep on reading as we tell you secrets that no one has ever told you about how to win money on rugby betting at either top online casinos or sports betting companies.

Tips on how to take the money home with you. You must;

  • Make sure that you are up to speed with the competition rules. More people have been persuaded to take on a more attacking game by being offered a bonus point. But that is not how to go about it, believe us. Starting with a minimum bet is always ideal.
  • Study the current form and previous history of the teams. We recommend that you focus on the current, though. Because the bad thing about history is that teams improve or if they have been doing great they can fall. That is why looking at the current form is what matters. And know how they are playing before you jump into betting.
  • Take into consideration styles of play. Knowing the type of play can often point towards betting patterns that are worth adopting.
  • You can never go wrong when you try these strategies. The most amazing thing that you can know about this is the fact that when you are betting on rugby you have so many options. Just like when you are betting for any other sport.

And the most amazing thing about betting is the fact that you are guaranteed at least to go away with something. Well, that is if you had time to wait and read our betting tips before you bet. You will thank us one of these days.

At most us casinos online, rugby offers many opportunities for gamblers to profit. But the greatest reward is just the opportunity to bet real. The thrills and the fun of the hobby are their own reward. So never gamble with what you cannot lose. We hope that this article is as useful to you as it has been to others.

West Ham United v Manchester City – Betting Preview

0-2 Rice OG

After a summer that promised so much, West Ham United have failed to live up to their pre-season expectations so far as they welcome Manchester City to the London Stadium on Saturday.

An influx of new signings at a cost of over £100m suggested the Hammers would be pushing for a top six finish, but thus far, are rooted in the bottom half of the table.

City are still one of three teams in the Premier League who remain unbeaten and they’ll be looking to take the game to West Ham in their quest to make it five consecutive league wins.

Here, Sportingly Better dissect the best tips for this weekend’s clash and take a closer look at the players who are likely to impress.

Match Overview

Traditionally, West Ham usually suffer at the mercy of Manchester City and even more so in home games, losing the last two against The Citizens 4-1 & 4-0.


Manager Manuel Pellegrini will know just how tough Saturday’s game will be and it hasn’t been made easier with the number of players in the treatment room.

Up to seven first team players will miss out, although English pair Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll are nearing a return to the starting line-up.
Robert Snodgrass is banned after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Huddersfield Town but skipper Mark Noble is available, returning after a two-game absence for a red card at Leicester City last month.

City manager Pep Guardiola has no fresh injury concerns but is unlikely to risk Bernardo Silva or Nicolas Otamendi, who aren’t quite fully fit from their recent setbacks.

Kevin de Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy will definitely miss out through injury but Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan are in line for a start.
Sergio Aguero will spearhead the attack supported by Riyad Mahrez and either Raheem Sterling or Leroy Sane on the left flank, providing City with plenty of goal scoring options.

Guardiola’s side are as short as 1.27 to record their third successive league win at the London Stadium whereas you can back the Hammers at a whopping 14.0

Verdict:

There’s no hiding from the fact that it’ll be one of West Ham’s toughest fixtures of the season but they do have it in their armoury to cause an upset.

Felipe Anderson is enjoying a fruitful spell in front of goal and Marko Arnautovic is more than capable of causing the City defence problems.
Defensively, Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena will have to be at their very best to stop the expected onslaught of City pressure.
It would take a brave man to bet against City losing as they really are beginning to get into their stride this season.
Even with a European game on Tuesday, don’t expect City to take their foot off the gas and a victory against the Hammers will prepare them nicely for the visit to Lyon.

With that in mind, in Champions League betting, you can back City to lift the Champions League at 4.7 with Betfair and they’re 2.52 just to reach the final itself.

For Saturday’s game however, it’s hard to look past a City win but it should be an entertaining affair with West Ham looking to cause an upset.
Predicted Line-Ups

West Ham: GK – Fabianski; DF – Cresswell, Diop, Balbuena, Zabaleta; MF – Anderson, Noble, Rice, Obiang, Diangana; ST – Arnautovic
Man City: GK – Ederson; DF – Walker, Kompany, Laporte, Delph; MF – Gundogan, Fernandinho, D Silva; ST – Sterling, Mahrez, Aguero
Recommended Football Tips

Manchester City to win 3-0 @ 9.6
Manchester City to win 3-2 @29.0
Over 4.5 goals @ 3.6

Rooney and England

Rooney

The dust has now settled on the final appearance of Wayne Rooney for the England national team. Although controversial, Wayne Rooney was handed the Number 10 shirt for a farewell swan song against the USA, the country in which he now plies his trade. Given that such a ceremonial and high profile send off was carried out, it begins to beg the question of the place of Wayne Rooney in the history of English football. Where does he rank against the greats? Check this site out to see what the internet thinks.

For Wayne Rooney, the lack of real achievements in terms of tournament football in his era will also overshadow his England time. He was very much in focus at the end of the so called Golden Era, when world class players for their clubs failed to produce world class performances for England on the big stage. Yes, the qualification records were impressive and Wayne Rooney did of course end up as England’s all time leading goal scorer….but surely that would be expected by a man of his talent leading a front line against the minor nations we often encounter in the qualification stages?

Indeed, a general poll by a national newspaper asked people what word they would most attach to Rooney’s career and words such as “let down” “overhyped” and “disappointment” came near the top of the poll…and in all honesty it is not hard to see why. When Rooney first burst onto the scene, much like Michael Owen in 1998, there was an optimism that this was the player who would lead us to glory and take us from wannabes to real contenders.

But it didn’t happen….

What did happen though is Wayne Rooney scored goals! Whenever Rooney pulled on the England shirt, he tended to be the biggest goal threat in the team. Without him in the side, would we have scraped the 1-0 or 2-1 wins in which he provided the goals?  On the other hand….when you compare his to the Harry Kane who won the Golden Boot and scored the goals to take England to a World Cup Semi-final, or to the Golden Boot winning Gary Lineker or the Euro 96 star Alan Shearer….can you really rank Rooney in that company?

In a ranking of the overall Top 50 England players of all time, I suggested that Rooney would struggle to be considered other than the very lower ranks. The 1966 team must, nearly all, be considered above him, as well as the pioneers in the early days when England rocked the world and were ranked as the worlds finest! Then throw into the mix the strikers who performed on the big occasions…Shearer, Lineker, Kane and even Owen plus the driving forces behind sides Rooney was in…Beckham, Adams, Terry. What about the genuine players who, during their time, could have been considered the best in the world in their position….Gary Neville, Ashley Cole, Steve Mcmanana, David Seaman.

Hence, although Wayne Rooney should be applauded and recognised for the goals he has scored, his place among the greatest England players of all time remains questionable.

Premier league – 2018/19

Premier league 2018 19

As we near the Christmas period the premier league has continued to provide some stunning entertainment for fans. The Genting sports app makes the defending champions Manchester City the short odds on favourites to do it again. This is no surprise as they ominously look to have improved even further this season. This was again shown as they put on a clinic in the Manchester derby most recently, dominating United to win comfortably by 3-1.

There nearest challengers in both the league and betting are Liverpool, who have been on an upward curve in recent seasons. This was shown in their run to last seasons champions league final before being defeated by Real Madrid. They have one of the most dangerous attacking lines in world football, which was why they were being muted pre season as the big threat to City.

12 games in and Manchester City already have amassed 32 points with ten wins and two draws. This is also backed with an incredible goal difference of plus 31, having scored 36 goals and conceded just five. Liverpool are also unbeaten with 30 points, having won nine games and drew three. They have also conceded just five premier league goals so far but scored 23 putting them on plus 18-goal difference. Both sides are on a remarkable run of form as they continue to dual at the top of the table.

Is it just a two-team race? Chelsea are the only other side yet to taste defeat in the premier league. They currently sit in third and just four points off the top, with a point’s total of 28. This is due to them having won eight of their twelve games. They were held most recently to a 0-0 draw with Everton, who themselves continue to go from strength to strength. Chelsea have transformed their style of play and are a very difficult team to break down, which is why they have conceded so little goals. There passing football under the new manager has enabled them to challenge for the league again so could they surprise the top two?

The other sides in the reckoning are London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal.  Spurs are going through a difficult period with the wait for the new stadium, which now seems it could go on until next season. Arsenal have transformed under Emery following their opening defeats to the league. They are now on an unbeaten run of 16 matches without defeat in all competitions. This all sets up for a fascinating season ahead in not only the title but for the coveted champions league spots.

Will Legal Gambling Benefit the American Economy

Legal gambling is making its way across America and while many people are both for and against this for various reasons, one thing that it will do is bring a much needed boost to the economy. As gambling is legal in some parts of America, this isn’t a guess as to what may happen, but actual facts of how gambling is supporting the economy in America, and how that will grow as more states bring in legal gambling.

1.8 million jobs were supported by the gambling industry in America in 2017, that is a huge amount and something that is putting many people into work that would struggle elsewhere. The industry contributed $261.1 billion to the American economy in 2017 and when you compare that to figures from past year’s this has increased and looks set to further grow as more and more people have gambling available to them.

Casinos are bringing most of that money into the economy but the rise of sports betting is only just beginning and that is another big area that will add further money to the pot. Sports fans only just understand the sports betting industry, and some don’t even have access to it yet. As both of those change in the coming years, more and more people will be placing a wager on the upcoming events and more new betting companies will appear. This will in turn bring even more money into the economy, require more people to work in the industry and help unemployment figures further.

Whether you are for or against the legalising of gambling across the whole of America, one thing that cannot be argued with is the money that it will bring into the American economy, and that is only set to grow further.

What is a Lucky 15 Bet?

If you’ve ever been to the races, the dogs, the football, or even just walked past your local bookies, the chance are you will have heard the term “Lucky 15”, but what exactly is a Lucky 15, why are they so popular?

As the name would suggest, a lucky 15 bet is the name for a bet that has a total of 15 bets inside. To place a lucky 15 bet you need to have four selections picked out, and the 15 bets will give you full coverage on all of those four selections. One of the reasons why a lucky 15 appeals to so many people is because even if you have just one winner out of four, you are going to get a return from your bookmaker. If you currently place accumulators and you are not getting anything back from your bookmaker then a lucky 15 is a different way to bet where you will get something back.

The 15 bets inside a lucky 15 are split as follows:

  • 4 singles, one on each selection
  • 6 doubles, covering every possible combination with the four selections
  • 4 trebles, covering every possible combination with the four selections
  • 1 accumulator on all four

With this full coverage you get the best of both worlds from singles betting to accumulator betting. Those who currently place singles will get a return off any winning bet, but they miss out on the big returns if they have multiple winners. Those who place accumulator bets will get a big win if they land all four winners, but anything less and they get no return which can be frustrating. A lucky 15 combines the best of those, you get the return from one winner, but you also get the accumulator if all four win, and the chance to land winning doubles and trebles with two or three winners.

The general rule with a lucky 15 bet is the more winners you have in your bet, the bigger the returns will be. One winner will give a small return, two winners will give you a slightly bigger return, three will be a nice return and four should give you a very big return, which is what you are ultimately aiming for.

If you are looking for a way to bet that gives you the chance to win big, but also covers you if you have just one winner from four selections then look no further than placing a lucky 15 bet, what’s more some bookies will give you “double the odds” if you get just one winner by means of consolation. This is a very popular horse racing betting offer, but it can be used on any sport you like, so be sure to try one out even if you don’t bet on horse racing. With the pay out for just one winner, and the chance to win a huge amount if you have four winners, a lucky 15 has something for everyone.

Man City and FFP

Man City Owner

Another season, and another Financial Fair Play issue emerges around Manchester City. Manchester City fans accuse FIFA of striving to protect the status quo under pressure from the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, FIFA say they are following the rules! Who is to believe? What is the true purpose of the Financial Fair Play issue? Are Manchester City Innocent? The issue is complex…

Actually, to say that the Financial Fair Play Regulations are complex is the understatement of the century. You may require degrees in Economics, statistics and business just to even get a grasp of what  is actually allowed or denied under the regulations! Even the purpose of the Financial Fair Play are disputed.

One understanding is that the Financial Fair Play rules are there to stop clubs outspending income and going into trouble and then being forced to disappear.  Far too many clubs in recent years have been forced to start again after going out of business and the many feel the basis of the Financial Fair Play rules should be to target these clubs, stop this happening and making sure clubs are only spending within their means, wherever this spend comes from!

However, another line of thought is that the Financial Fair Play rules are there to stop wealthy owners ploughing endless cash into clubs and giving them an unfair advantage in leagues and cup competitions. One argument would be that this is to stop the likes of Manchester City rising to dominance based on having a wealthy owner, but the counter argument would suggest that as long as the money is available to the club and they aren’t crippling with debt, why should they be forced to play by Financial Fair Play?

Manchester City fans have a very very different view of the aims and motives of Financial Fair Play and it was clear that when the latest Financial Fair Play/Manchester City story broke this week. Fans piled online, social media and radio phone ins to express their view that all Financial Fair Play is set out to do is to make sure that no “new” clubs break into the elite and that the interest of the established giants of Europe, assumingly those likely to be part of the all new European Super League when it emerges. Is this fair to say?

Manchester City fans may feel aggrieved indeed if the club are punished again under Financial Fair Play and there is a suggestion that perhaps they just are less wise to how to play the system than the other teams. Looking at the likes of PSG and their spends, as well as the likes of Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona, its hard to fathom how they would not fall foul of Financial Fair Play yet City would.

Either way, there is no prove, no concrete judgements and with all sorts of issues arising including image right payments, pre-contracts and alike…..it could get very messy before Financial Fair Play and Manchester City are settled.

It would appear that ultimately something has to give. Incidentally have you ever wondered what the difference was between a Private Bookie and a Traditional Bookmaker? I suggest you look for yourselves to see the difference.

 

What we expect to see from online football quizzes

Football Quiz

After originally using the internet to look up the next set of fixtures or place a bet on a tip you’ve picked up somewhere along the way, a lot of people are now using it for entertainment, where they will spend a lot of their spare time testing their wits with online football quizzes. Although it might sound like a waste of time to some, these football brain teasers are extremely addictive, and they always use up any time where you were trying to run down the clock over a boring afternoon, or left waiting for a delayed train.

As the demand continues to grow, more football fans opt to get involved with online football quizzes rather than merely placing bets, and they certainly know what they want from what they’re attempting to identify.

Statistics-based footy quizzes 

In visiting your favourite football betting website for a quiz, it’s likely that you’ll be met by a lot of options that are built on statistics. Not only does this include things like the number of goals in specific competitions and how many goals specific players were able to score compared to others, but also things like having to identify past nominees for the Ballon d’Or, World Cup runners-up, and the current top scorers from all major leagues.

Starting XI or squad 

Despite not appearing on most football sites, the starting XI quiz is a way of pointing out which players featured in a memorable or notably poor team from the past. Online football quizzes come in many shapes and sizes, but this is one that arguably comes as the most difficult, as you need to remember every single player – both obvious and vague – or you won’t be able to successfully complete the quiz. 

Individual players or managers 

Also dipping into the line of statistics-based football brain teasers, the individual players and managers are a factor that most football fans are interested in, so it’s unsurprising to see them covered in so many quizzes. This can include the specific players who’ve scored in a popular fixture over past years, or the managers with the most first division wins throughout Europe, with a lot of top 10s being made to amuse visiting guests. 

Football trivia 

It’s hard to not mention the option of football trivia quizzes, as it’s easily where the concept of online football quizzes first started. Through playing a football trivia quiz, you’ll be pitted with a variety of questions based around Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United managerial career, Steven Gerrard’s playing days at Liverpool, and famous moments that occurred in the last Premier League campaign.

Lampard vs Gerrard: who will fare better?

Gerrard Lampard

As many new football managers begin to get to grips with the challenges facing them in their respective roles, there is high interest in two particular individuals. In their playing prime, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were two of England’s finest; goalscoring central midfielders who performed at the very highest level – the World Cup, European Championships, the Champions League, the Premier League. Two of the finest midfielders of their generation, almost certainly.

In managerial terms however, both men are novices – and the 2018-19 season sees them making their debuts in the dugout (or technical area, if you will). Lampard was appointed manager at Derby County; Gerrard hired at Glasgow Rangers. Two big clubs, in their own right, each with their own demands and challenges. Neither man has any real track record in coaching and management to speak of – though Gerrard had a spell as Liverpool U18s manager prior to arriving at Ibrox – so these are testing assignments for the newcomers. The question is, who’s going to fare better?

Lampard made a great start to life at Derby, when his team beat Reading with a late winning goal on the opening day of the season, but in the immediate matches following that he got a taste of how difficult the Championship can be. Derby were heavily beaten, 4-1, at home by Leeds, before a 2-1 defeat at Millwall that left Lampard under no illusions regarding the size of the task ahead. A 2-0 home victory over Ipswich a few days after helped to redress the balance.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” he told the Independent. “I knew that for a fact, and it will continue not being easy, and that’ll be the fact for every manager in this league this season.”

Against Millwall, Derby were caught out by the fast start made by the hosts. Millwall were positive and strong, and went straight at Lampard’s side, who were 2-0 down and as good as beaten before they even got going. That was a lesson for Lampard and his players; a realisation that they won’t always – or often – be afforded the luxury of settling into a game at their own pace.

Like many new managers, Lampard has a honeymoon period – that stage, at the start of his time in charge, when he’s given time to settle in, to shape his squad, and get his ideas across. He’s seen as a bright, young and ambitious coach although of course, those opinions are based on judgement, not evidence. No-one actually knows what he’s like as a manager. And Derby are not a club merely content with occupying a comfortable place in the Championship league table. A mixed run of results and a midtable finish probably isn’t going to be considered good enough for the Rams, who clearly have intentions of returning to the Premier League.

They’ve fallen short in recent seasons and churned through managers – Lampard is their seventh since Steve McClaren left in May 2015. The club’s previous dealings suggest Lampard may not have a longer shelf life than a season, unless that season is a successful one. That won’t be easy – the Championship is intensely competitive and Derby, according to Betway, are among a large group of clubs tipped to finish in the top six.

At Rangers, meanwhile, Gerrard has a massive task. The Glasgow club has a clearly defined goal – to get back to the very top of the Scottish football summit, and that means toppling city rivals Celtic, who have dominated in recent years. Historically, Rangers have always gone toe-to-toe with Celtic, but were demoted to the third tier of Scottish football in 2012 and have been fighting their way back up again since. You can test your knowledge of Rangers and its history here.

The club has rebuilt and returned to the SPL in 2016. In 2016-17, Rangers finished third, 39 points behind Celtic and Aberdeen. Last season, that gap was 12 points behind Celtic and three behind Aberdeen. At the very least, Gerrard has to push his team much closer to Celtic, and push them harder for the title; leapfrogging Aberdeen and into second place is also surely required.

“I feel as though I have players that want to go out there and give everything,” he told the Sunday Herald. “But I can’t control the expectations of the supporters. Fans are fans and they’re going to get excited. They are supporting a huge football club and are used to seeing success.”

Ultimately, success for Rangers means winning the SPL. Celtic have won the last seven titles straight, so it won’t be easy. For the course of this season, a genuine title challenge from Rangers would certainly give Gerrard some credit in the bank, and if the Gers can score some silverware in one of the cup competitions, he’ll have made a great start.

Five Common Mistakes to Avoid When Betting on Football

If you are new to betting you are bound to make mistakes, yet even experienced punters fall into the same traps, and they could be costly. More often than not, you make these mistakes at a price.

Instead, you can now learn some common mistakes to avoid without costing you too much money.

Loyalty to one bookmaker

We all have our favourite bookie or just a betting site we have got so used to we can’t imagine changing. Firstly, you are missing out hundreds of pounds worth of great betting offers as a new customer.

Secondly, if you use odds comparison services to find the best odds. You will notice the range in which betting sites actually have the best odds for events. You can get more value for money (through betting offers) and the best odds by using more than one bookmaker.

Betfair and Bethard have some of the highest odds for Premier League matches out there. In fact, Betfair even cites the proof on their promotions page.

Placing Bets Without Doing Any Research

A good place to start, but don’t get me wrong. You can win plenty of bets by what you feel could come in. However, it is a sure way to rack up heavy losses over time. Be meticulous in your research and don’t just blindly follow tipsters.

You will still lose plenty of bets, that’s just the way it is. But, it certainly won’t do any harm, and will more than likely increase the chances of your bet winning.

Placing Unrealistic Acca’s

You have just come from Twitter (tip: follow BettingLounge on Twitter) on a Saturday evening. After seeing hundreds of people posting their huge wins from their long-shot acca’s, and naturally, you get jealous.

You try to emulate their big wins by placing a number of six-fold plus acca’s or simply follow the tipster’s that keep retweeting these images. But, what you don’t see is most people who bet on sports, lose.

Bookies are still making disgusting amounts of profit even with these tipsters/people smashing their longshot acca’s. Try stick to manageable, winnable doubles and trebles, and aim for sustainable profit.

It’s fine to place a longshot, high odds acca every now and then for fun. But, do not kid yourself into thinking it’s a good way of making money. Betting just isn’t. Instead, use it to enhance the sporting experience.Chasing Losses

We all know that optimistic feeling as the build-up to kick-off gets closer. “I am going to win big today”. 45 minutes later and everything has gone wrong.

A team that hasn’t won in six matches is smashing the top of the league 3-0, and your bet is losing.

“Oo, I could put a fiver on this team to come back and win, or maybe a half-time acca to try and recover my losses”. Ignore this voice with a passion. Just ignore it. Never attempt to recover losses at any point in your betting life. It just doesn’t work.

Bet with money you are prepared to lose, and take it well if it does. When the fun stops, stop.

Betting Emotionally

This can seem like a straight-forward rule to follow, but sometimes it is hard. I often want to bet on my own team because I feel they could get the win. Just avoid it. It hurts that much more when both your team and bets lose.

The same goes for your betting preferences for who you like or dislike. Emotional thinking will often lead to misjudgement for your bets. Just because you hate Leeds doesn’t mean they are going to lose.

 

 

 

World Cup Quiz

Everyone knows the big dogs when it comes to the World Cup, with teams like Brazil, Germany, Italy and Uruguay winning an incredible 15 tournaments (75% of the competitions) between them. But what about the smaller teams? Underdog nations such as Iceland and Panama are making their debut this year, whilst other nations such as Japan and Iran who’ve never won, have made to another of many World Cups. Whilst most people’s Odds on who will win World Cup 2018 will lie with the bigger teams, remember those champions had to make their debut at some point! Take this quiz to find out who your second pick should be this year!

Share it with your friends and let us know who you got!

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Asian Chances at the Fifa World Cup 2018

Russia 2018

Other than the magical South Korean Semi Final run when they hosted the finals in 2002, Asian teams have always struggled. Yes there have been memorable moments (who will ever forget the Saudi Arabian goal in 1994) but more often than not they fail to make it past the group stage and are home before the serious competition starts. What about this year? Will they fair any better? Let us take a look……

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia have had one shining World Cup moment, when they scored perhaps one of the finest goals in World Cup history in 1994 with a solo effort that you need to check out now on Youtube. However, other than that they have been something of the boys to beat with some heavy score lines against them. Even though in 2018 they have been handed a fairly tame group, they would probably have to beat hosts Russia and get something out Egypt to progress which seems unlikely. 0 points and 0 goals is more likely.

Iran

Saudi Arabia may have a nice draw, Iran have the worst this years Fifa World Cup 2018. There is very little to say about the uninspiring Iran line up, other than that they will likely be on the end of convincing defeats to both Spain and Portugal. Again, they face a battle with Morocco to get 3rd in the group, but even that seems a stretch. Another Asian team who is more likely to get 0 points and 0 goals than anything else.

Australia

….well we may as well include them! With an ever impressive Peru, a robust Denmark and a star studded France, Australia cannot have been happy with the draw they faced. They lack experience, lack quality and they lack a chance.

South Korea

Always remembered for their run in 2002, they can expect little in 2018 as the draw was not kind. Germany will be looking to dish out a beating, and with a Swedish side that seem to hitting form at the right team and an ever robust Mexico, I am struggling to see where these points will come from and sadly for the Korean’s an early exit seems inevitable.

Japan

Always outsiders when it comes to the finals, but with an impressive qualification record, the draw will have pleased Japan. I don’t think they will fear Poland, Colombia and Senegal and this appears one of the most unpredictable groups in the contest. Picking up one win and holding on for a draw elsewhere may be enough to send them in the next round and out of all of the Asian teams, although I think none will qualify, if I had to choose one it would be Japan.

Hence, just like the African nations, I forsee very little hope for the Asian nations and they too could all find themselves down and out of the World cup after the group stage.

Why not check out our free World Cup Quiz?

Infographic – Best 11 at the World Cup

So we’re a few games into the World Cup now and as expected, it’s been really hard to predict the outcomes, as it usually is, going massively against the expected predictions. We’ve seen Argentina really struggle against a resolute Iceland, Germany bested by a rampant Mexico and as expected and England struggle to come through a game they should have breezed through.

Big tournaments throw up some surprises but even before this World Cup there were a few when it came to the players going into the tournament. Most fans and pundits would have selected a team they thought would have done well but what they probably didn’t know is the exact form of the players coming in to the tournament. WhoScored.com has a unique system for rating players and based upon these, the best 11 at the World Cup looks completely different to what would be expected.

If you’re as intrigued as we were, see our infographic below and try not to be too shocked at some of the players. Spain to win world cup odds are 9/2 which comes as no surprise as they continue to play some of the most attractive football in the tournament and have all but secured there progression to the knock out stages.

The Best 11 at the World Cup

African Chances at the World Cup

World Cup

Pele one famously said that he believed an African nation would win the World Cup by the year 2000. That has never really come close to being a reality, and 18 years later we still await the first real African contender. Will 2018 be the year this finally comes through for Pele, or will we see the African nations fail to materialise once again. With a strong duo from South America and 3-4 European nations having their best teams in years it may prove difficult but let us have a look at each team and their hopes…

Egypt

Two words define the chances of Egypt…Mo Salah. If he is fit and playing well, they may stand a chance of getting out of the group. If not….they won’t. It is a rare thing for them to qualify for a World Cup and to be fair they have been handed a group that is passable. Uruguay will be the favourites of course, but if Egypt can counter the home advantage of Russia they may well make it through. The last 16 meeting with Portugal or Spain should see their end…

Morocco

Speaking of Portugal and Spain, Morocco find themselves in the group with the two European giants.  It would take a miracle for them to progress out of this group, but if they do a tame Last 16 may await with Uruguay. Iran are the third team they will face at the group stage and with both teams knowing a 3 point win is what matters in that meeting, it is too lose to call. An exit at the group stage beckons.

Nigeria

Not the force they once were, and looking very week in the build up, Nigeria may also struggle to get past the group stage. Argentina should coast a relatively easy Group D and Croatia have been looking solid enough to clinch second. If Nigeria want to contend they will have to overcome an unpredictable Iceland. Lacking the stars they once had, this will be a tough ask to get out of the group.

Tunisia

Faced with England and Belgium in the group, I don’t imagine Tunisia will be seeing the latter stages. Never looked impressive in qualification and nor have they improved since. A bottom of the group clash with Panama is their only hope of scoring any points.

Senegal

If I was a betting man and had to pick one African team with the best chance of making it out of the groups, my money would be on Senegal. Poland and Japan are not the most intimidating of opponents, and even group favourites Colombia are not the team they were 4 years ago. Senegal have some really player for player quality and a good team ethos.  I don’t see them making it past the Last 16 where England of Belgium will await however.

All in all, 2018 does not mark a high point for the African nations. Anyone of them will be overjoyed to make it past the group and I think it will be nothing sort of a shock if any of them are still around come the Quarter Finals.

A Closer Look at England’s World Cup Opponents

England World Cup

As we have now just passed the 50-day mark until the World Cup, can we officially say it is time to get excited? For England fans, so disheartened by the last few major tournaments, let’s say that any excitement is also mixed with a little trepidation. However, there are some good signs coming from the recent performances of Gareth Southgate’s men that suggest they could leave a more positive impact in Russia.

Before getting into the possibilities of how far England could go, they will, of course, have to navigate the group stage. When the draw was made, Southgate would have been reasonably happy with Belgium, Panama and Tunisia. However, it might be a little trickier than it looks. Here is a quick run-down of those three opponents:

Belgium

They are the favourites (5/6) to top Group G, and even the most ardent England fans would find that difficult to argue against. There is so much to like about this Belgium side: a world class keeper in Courtois; brilliant defenders in Vertonghen and Kompany; the midfield of De Bruyne, Nainggolan and Hazard; the attacking options offered by Mertens and Lukaku. In fact, Belgium’s stock has risen so much in recent years that they are considered the value bet at 12/1 to win the World Cup. You can check out thebookiesoffers.co.uk for the latest free bets to back them, England or anyone else.

Key man: Kevin De Bruyne – it’s his time to stake a claim to be the best player in the world.

Tunisia

England play Tunisia in their opening fixture and they may be in for a tougher game than most believe. The North African side are now ranked as high is 14th in the world, England by comparison are 13th. It would be nevertheless a huge shock if they beat England and went on to qualify from Group G (5/1 odds). However, don’t be completely shocked if the Tunisians come away with a point from that first game. They are hard to break down and could sucker punch England if they are not careful.

Key man: Wahbi Khazri – something of an enigma at Sunderland, but now much improved at Rennes (on loan). He is one of those players who can make a goal from nothing. Beware.

Panama:

Panama have qualified for the first World Cup in their history, so it is likely their biggest aspiration will simply be to avoid being the group whipping boys. Can they cause an upset? Probably not. They are priced around 50/1 to win the group and up to 2000/1 to win the World Cup. However, they will likely draw inspiration from fellow Central Americans, Costa Rica, who confounded the odds to reach the quarter finals in 2014. That, of course, came at the expense of England, so you can guarantee that Southgate won’t take the Panamanians lightly.

Key Man: Gabriel Gomez – 143 caps and counting for the midfielder whose main job will be to screen the defence. He will likely be very busy in Russia.

And a quick note on England:

KaneThis Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-ND

England should qualify with Belgium to reach the Last 16, where one of Colombia, Poland, Japan or Senegal will await them. After that (if successful), they are likely to come up against the likes of Brazil or Germany. The question for many fans is what will constitute success? You could argue that a run to the quarters would give Gareth Southgate’s young side something to build on. 16/1 if you fancy the Three Lions to go all the way.

The World Cup -What would be a “good result” for England?

Russia 2018

Following England at the World cup over the course of my lifetime has been nothing but frustration, pain and disappointment. With the national team on something of a decline, and arguably devoid of any of the World Class players we used to have, the 2018 World Cup has England fans in a mixed frame of mind. In the likes of 1998, 2002 and even 2006, anything short of winning the whole tournament would have been a let down. But what actually constitutes success and failure in the 2018 version?

Obviously, not making it out of the group would be a disaster, Last time around, we had a dicey group and could be partially forgiven for not making the knockout stages. This time however, a failure to progress would surely mean the end of the Southgate era. Belgium provide tricky opposition, and despite being on a 17 match unbeaten run, England should not fear a side who have yet to prove themselves on the biggest of stages. Tunisia and Panama, you would expect without an disrespect, are not on the same playing field as England and anything sort of convincing wins would be a cause for concern.

Then that would leave England in the last 16 possibly with meetings against Senegal, Poland or Colombia (or  Japan if they can cause a surprise). Again, none of these are opposition England should fear, Colombia are not the team that they once were and Poland are something of a one man team. Again, whatever your feelings are on England, you have to believe that, when you look at the teams here, an exit at the Last 16 stage is also something that must be considered a failure. Even if Southgate is “planning for the future”, and I do believe in giving managers a chance, there has to be a line drawn and if he can’t manage this out of the group and past the 4 teams  that are an option in the Last 16, then time for a change.

The Quarter final must be considered  a success. Being one of the Top 8 in the world, and in with the likes of the teams who will be in is a result. A valiant loss to one of the big boys is nothing to be ashamed of. Anyone who reaches the World Cup Quarter Final is a quality side. The Semi Final would be something England have not done for 28 years, and a Final appearance….well, let us not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Either way, this should be a very interesting Summer and with a likeable collection of young, hungry players, playing a likeable style of football, I am sure the nation will be behind the team. What will happen? It is too hard to tell but I for one have a certain degree of optimism that this could be a very happy summer and we may hear those three lions roaring once again. One thing that will happen…..is drama!

Golden Boot Contenders

World Cup Golden Boot

One of the most popular bets placed prior to the World Cup is regarding which player will walk away with the Golden Boot, for netting the most number of goals in the tournament. Usually anyone who nets 5 or more can be hopeful of winning it but let us take a look at some of the leading contenders and assess their chances . Who is your money on?

Lionel Messi – Always likely to lead the betting, and the out right goal machine has a nice easy group to start racking up goals. Although Argentina are happy with a 1-0 win, unlike his club, Messi should be able to push on add to his tally. But will he get enough?

Antonie Grizmann – The closer it gets, the more I am thinking 2018 may just be Griezmann’s year. In an attacking French team, he is the main man and with his current form he is going to be troubling defences. Will France get far enough to allow him to score the 5 or 6 needed though?

Neymar – Proven himself to be one of the worlds best players and almost justifies his price tag, and with a big money move again looming, as well as his desire for revenge on last World cups humiliation, this man may just be the one to watch.

Harry Kane – A goal machine against weak opposition in the Premier League, Harry Kane may just well fill his boots with the matches against Panama and Tunisia. A brace in those games will set him up nicely, and with a price tag of 25/1 in some places, he may well be the man. But you will need to check around and perhaps take a look at football acca tips.

Gabriel Jesus – If Neymar doesn’t deliver for Brazil, then Jesus will be the man too. Whether they both play, and whether there is enough in the team for them both the net enough goals to be contenders. A cheeky bet may have been placed on Jesus by this writer.

Cristiano Ronaldo – A list cannot be a list without the main himself on it. However, as great as he is, carrying this Portugal team to enough wins to make Ronaldo a contender the award may just well be a step too far!

Romelu Lukaku – Similar to the comments on Harry Kane, with a nice easy group, this may play into Lukaku’s hands, a man who traditionally does well against weaker opposition!

If you are betting person, this is going to be a very tough call to make. I don’t see an Italians, Germans  or Spaniards netting enough to contend but all it takes, as happened in 1994, is one hat trick plus in a game and then you are well on your way to nabbing the award. Who are you picking? Who are the outsiders? Any tips for underdogs? Let us know

Will Belgium’s golden generation finally come good?

belgium-world-cup-squad-official

Every so often, a nation unearths a golden generation of footballers – not just one or two talented players but a whole group of them, all peaking at same time in terms of ability, experience and availability.

It’s important to capitalise on a so-called golden generation. Spain did, in winning the 2010 World Cup. Germany did by triumphing in 2014. Further back, France’s best squad of players for a generation won the tournament in 1998. It doesn’t always work out, though. Despite a team that included David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney, England couldn’t get past the quarter-finals in 2006.

Now it’s Belgium’s turn to cope with such lofty expectations. Belgium’s current crop of players have been lauded for some time, and make no mistake, it’s the best squad they’ve had for years. Trouble is, now they have to deliver and make a serious impact on the tournament. In 2014, they reached the quarter-finals (losing to Argentina). Two years later, at the European Championships, it was another quarter-final finish, this time exiting at the hands of Wales.

Surely, this Belgium squad is better than simply reaching the last eight of a tournament? That’s the pressure that sits on the shoulders of team coach Roberto Martinez. He may not get another World Cup from this group of players – some of them definitely won’t be around in four years’ time. This, then, is surely the nation’s optimum time for glory. If you’re betting on Belgium with williamhill.com, 888sport.com, unibet or another online provider, you’re sure to find them among the favourites.

Or at least they should be. Belgium’s big build up to the tournament hasn’t exactly been smooth. Martinez took the controversial decision to omit Radja Nainggolan from his squad, citing ‘tactical reasons’. On the face of it, this could be a mistake. Nainggolan is not a conventional player – he’s a bit of a loose cannon – but he could have given Belgium a vital edge in terms of attacking creativity. He’s exactly the type of wild card player who could win a game with a decisive goal from nowhere, and he’d have gone into the tournament off the back of a successful season with Roma.

That’s a strike against Martinez even before a ball was kicked. Then there’s the omission, from the final squad of 23 players, of Christian Benteke. The big striker had a rotten season with Crystal Palace but has a decent international goalscoring record of 12 goals in 34 matches. Without him, Belgium are light in the centre-forward area, with just Romelu Lukaku and Michy Batshuayi (just back from injury) as recognised strikers, though Dries Mertens, primarily a wide player can add support. Nevertheless, it feels like a gamble from Martinez.

There’s also concern over the fitness of captain Vincent Kompany, who suffered a groin injury in the pre tournament friendly against Portugal. This is nothing new of course; Kompany is the wrong side of 30 years of age and his last few years have been blighted by injury. He’s still in the squad but when Belgium’s other central defenders include Thomas Vermaelen, perhaps the only centre-back in world football with a worse injury record than Kompany, Martinez should be worried.

The group draw has been relatively kind on Belgium, who are odds-on to top their table, though England could push them for that. Other group opponents Panama and Tunisia shouldn’t hold any fears. Once into the knockout stages, opponents will come from Group H – Poland, Senegal, Colombia or Japan. Then, into the last eight – which is the very least Belgium should achieve – a meeting with Brazil or Germany is highly likely.

That’s when we’ll really see how good this Belgium is.

 

 

England at the 2018 World Cup

In my life time of watching football, I am used to pundits, fans and the press hyping up the England teams chances of excelling at a major tournament. But this time around things are different….with new players, a new manager and a long term plan seemingly in place, there is a feeling this World Cup is a stepping stone to greater things. But I assure you not one fan, player or management staff will be thinking that come the big day….just how will England do?

Despite the relative inexperience of the players and manager, England breezed through the qualifiers and whilst never being outstanding, rarely looked troubled. It is the same old story you may say, but the qualifiers can give you a hint. England struggled in the run up games to Euro 2016 and looked vulnerable at times, but not in this campaign.

Gareth Southgate has been to the big tournaments in the modern era and understands what they are all about. The little touches he will bring, as a man of experience, may be the difference in keeping the squad focused. He has quietly built his own system, introduced his own players and got a team functioning as a team. The criticism always levelled at the previous “Golden era” was that we have a collection of individuals rather than a unit….that can no longer.

The wing back system Southgate seems to favour, is one that will be unique in the tournament. Southgate saw that system function superbly under Glenn Hoddle and seems to be set on imitating it. Opposition may not be used to such a style and we say indeed see it work to England’s advantage. The core of the defence remains strong, the wing backs we have offer great potential both defensively and going forward and the system is very flexible.

Even the most pessimistic England fan must sense qualification is likely. Tunisia and Panama are weak sides, and lack the quality and experience to frustrate England for long. The Belgium game will be key and that will tell us all we need to know. Playing against a team unbeaten in 17 matches, with world class players in every position on the big stage will test any team. A victory in that match may allow England to dream big! That will get the nation dreaming and probably thinking about having a flutter perhaps even on NetBet Sport World Cup Betting.

Should the group stage prove passable, Senegal and  Colombia await in the Last 16, both of which England would start as favourites. If that occurs and England earn a Quarter final berth, then that will be mission accomplished for Southgate and company. Anything before the Quarter Finals will be labelled a disappointment, anything after it will be an over achievement.

With Kane, Ali, Sterling and co, along with a solid defence and a dependable set of goalkeepers, any of the opposition who England may face in the latter stages would have to take them as a serious threat.

Will going into a tournament without the hype, as something of an underdog, help the team achieve? Only time will tell

If you have a little time on your hands in the build up then why not check out our England or  World Cup Quiz

Russia as a World Cup venue

Russia 2018

The selection of Russia as a venue for the World Cup 2018 was met with much criticism at the time, and as the political dynamic in the world changes, the criticism continues to grow. Never in my lifetime can I remember as much debate about whether a nation is worthy to host a contest in the run up the finals. Well for now anyhow – l suspect it will equally as controversial in 4 years time in Qatar 2022.

Russia itself is a vast vast country and it goes without saying that there is going to be a lot of travelling involved. Russia is the biggest nation ever to host a World Cup and the distance between the furthest two stadiums is equivalent to a continent. For many players and teams it won’t even feel like playing in the same country. One can’t help but feel some ground rules should have been made about which Stadiums should be used, but alas….fans can expect 14 hour train journeys and multiple flights to get across to games. Not ideal? Part of the fun? And what about the affects on players. If you play into the latter stages the air miles these guys will rack up is going to be huge. Travelling across a country will have wear and tear on the bodies and minds of the players. Perhaps we may be surprised by the mental resilience of some of the smaller nations.

There is no doubt the Stadiums are all high tech, with the first final to played on a plastic pitch due this year, the facilities are second to none. Putin and Russian want to impress, they want to showcase Russia to the world and the best way to do that is going to be how  it looks on TV. I expect a huge spectacle, a lavish opening ceremony and a huge focus on the greatness of Russia.

Concerns have been raised with the LGBT community about their safety fears. The last think Russia wants is to have negative press so I hope that they are prepared!

There has been concern about Russian fans, their hardcore hooligans and crime rings. Russian authorities promise big punishments if they are caught and hopefully that will keep things at bay. But I fully expect come June, to see police battling with drunken fans and riots in the streets….a  sad state of affairs in the modern game.

All that aside my favourites will be the French and if you are interested in their odd at this years World Cup check out: https://www.signupbonuses.co.uk/ – why not get a cheeky bonus!

Who will replace Arsene Wenger?

The day seems to be drawing ever nearer when the whole Wenger In/Wenger Out camps will subside and the great man steps down from his throne. Some will dispute labelling Arsene as a great man, but only a fool would downplay what he has done. No other club has qualified in the number of consecutive Champions Leagues that he has guided Arsenal too….yes, they have more often been out of the title picture than in it, but in this day and age when all the top sides improve regularly, to keep that Top 4 placing was a task no other could have achieved.

Arsenal fans should think about what they wish for….there are not many examples in History of clubs who part from long term managers going straight onto to success, and I can’t help but get the feeling that in 12 months times, whoever is in charge at Arsenal will be subject to the same In/Out debates. But let us take a look at some of the contenders….

Carlo Ancelotti  – This seems to be the name of most Arsenal fans lips and given the players at the club, the style of play and the pressure of the role, he ticks all the boxes. Available and with something to prove in the Premier League, backed up with the wealth of experience he could well be the logical choice

Eddie Howe – Will Eddie Howe suffer for being an Englishman and lacking the top level, continental experience of others? Arsenal would be a fool not to consider this man considering the monumental, almost unbelievable job he has done with Bournemouth. One day, Eddie Howe will be in charge at a top 4 club and managing in the champions league, and perhaps Arsenal will be that team.

Antonio Conte – The more the weeks go by the more it appears that Mr Conte will be the latest in a long time of managers to depart Stamford Bridge. Unable to build on last years success, Conte has had many a controversy and seems unsettled, as do the club seem unsure of him.  Maybe a trip across the capital would be happy, but I cant imagine the Arsenal fans being overawed with this appointment?

Mikel Arteta – One of the bookies favourites at Novibet Sports, but to get rid of a man who has guided Arsenal to all those Top 4 places and trophies and replacing him with a guy who has never managed a club before, let alone one the size of Arsenal, would seem rather foolish and short sighted.

Jochiam Loew – Now we are talking, fresh eyes to the Premier League, a novel approach, a proven winner…what more could you want as an Arsenal fan?

Whatever happens, Wenger’s departure is going to take time to recover from and time to put right. Arsenal fans may have to accept they will suffer similar to the immediate post-Fergie Manchester United (who some may argue are yet to recover fully) but whoever takes the job at the Emirates will have to also accept the pressure and expectations that are going to follow.