Spurs are Premier League’s dark horses

Stamford Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  flickr soccer stadiumby  OliverN5 

There have been some pretty big moves in the transfer market this summer – mainly affecting the big five English clubs considered to have a realistic chance of topping the tale at the end of the season.

Chelsea have brought in Diego Costa and Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid, Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona, and returning hero Didier Drogba from Galatasaray – whilst David Luiz has gone to Barcelona and old stalwarts Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard have gone – along with Demba Ba.

Reigning champions Manchester City, meanwhile, have bought Fernando from Porto, and Bacary Sagna from Arsenal on a free and made a few other moves, but it’s been relatively small beer so far.

Arsenal have signed Alexis Sanchez from Barca and Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle, whilst Liverpool have brought in Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert from Southampton along with Lazar Markovic from Benfica, and Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen. But the really big move at Anfield has been the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona of course.

Manchester United, on the other hand, have also made relatively small moves so far, signing Luke Shaw from Southampton and Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao – and shipping out Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Alexander Buttner. But there are surely more transfers to come at Old Trafford before the close of the transfer window at the end of August.

So these are the main moves made so far by the only five clubs given a chance by the betting market. But what about Tottenham Hotspur? They’ve made fewer moves than anyone so far, but this time last year, they’d made a lot of signings, so it’s understandable if Chairman Daniel Levy is reluctant to spend more without seeing what the squad can do under new manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Just to give you some understanding of how remote Spurs’ chances are seen of lifting the Premier League trophy; they’re currently 66-1 shots with major bookies 32Red, Sportingbet and others, and 50-1 with Paddy Power and Betway.

The market sees the title being fought out between holders Man City and Chelsea who are marginal favourites. These two are followed by Man United who won’t have a Champions League campaign to distract them and, of course, have Louis van Gall at the helm, then Arsenal and Liverpool.

So Spurs are basically given no chance at all. And this may be fair. But then again – it may not. Spurs are very much the dark horses of this year’s Premier League campaign as non-one really knows quite what to expect. They’ll be a completely different proposition with Pochettino in charge – but how quickly he can work the same kind of magic he did at Southampton remains to be seen. He does, however, have an extremely strong squad to work with and he’s already demonstrated his ability to get the best out of players at Southampton.

He’s Spurs’ ninth manager in 13 years, but surely none has been more exciting than the latest appointment? And Daniel Levy will want the best from the squad which already cost a small fortune under AVB. Spurs still managed sixth place last season under Tim Sherwood and it wouldn’t take too much of a leap of faith to see them doing a whole lot better in the season in prospect.

So whilst we don’t know quite what we’ll get at The Lane this season – you can bet it will be a lot different and it will also be exciting. So that 66-1 could be looking very generous by Christmas.

What’s more – with sites like 32Red, Skyvegas and others that run both sports books and casinos, it’s possible to get a free bet if you get lucky;. If, for example, you go to the 32red mobile casino and you haven’t previously signed up to play, you should qualify for up to £160 free of charge via £32 for each £10 deposited.

You’re then obliged to play though a few games, but you can transfer the cash to your sports book account after a while and it may just be worth having a small punt on Spurs for a top three finish?

This would be a good value bet as Tottenham truly are the unknown quantity this season. This is Pochettino’s first job at a really big club and you can bet your bottom dollar he’ll be doing everything he possibly can to make a name for himself. And we’ve already seen just how much he can shake things up at the highest level with a pre-existing squad and on a tight budget – so watch this space.

New Player Quiz: Cesc Fabregas

Spain International and Arsenal legend Cesc Fabregas returns to London to join the Gunners rivals Chelsea. Arsene Wegner passed up the opportunity to sign his one time captain allowing Chelsea to pounce!

Has Wenger boobed? The last time Cesc ‘strutted his stuff’ in the Premiership he was arguably the leagues best midfielder. Wenger clearly has plans and the signing of Alexis from Barcelona indicates that he had his reasons for passing up Fabregas.

In any event the net winners are EPL fans who will see the Spanish Maestro competing once again in England top league.

Cesc-Fabregas-Quiz

 

So how much do you know about Cesc Fabregas?

Why not try our quiz on the little Spaniard?

http://www.footiequiz.co.uk/subject/cesc-fabregas

Check out his impressive list of Honours as collated on Wikipedia

 

 

Arsenal FC

Winner

  • FA Cup: 2005
  • FA Community Shield: 2004

Runner-up

  • UEFA Champions League: 2006
  • Premier League: 2004–05
  • Football League Cup: 2007, 2011
  • FA Community Shield: 2005

FC Barcelona

Winner

  • La Liga: 2012–13
  • Copa del Rey: 2012
  • Supercopa de España: 2011, 2013
  • UEFA Super Cup: 2011
  • FIFA Club World Cup: 2011

Runner-up

  • La Liga: 2011–12, 2013–14
  • Supercopa de España: 2012
  • Copa del Rey: 2013–14

Spainish National team

Winner

  • FIFA World Cup: 2010
  • UEFA European Championship: 2008, 2012

Runner-up

  • FIFA Confederations Cup: 2013
  • FIFA U-17 World Championship: 2003
  • UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship: 2004

Third place

  • FIFA Confederations Cup: 2009

Individual[edit]

  • FIFA U-17 World Championship Golden Ball: 2003
  • FIFA U-17 World Championship Golden Shoe: 2003
  • UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship Golden Player: 2004
  • Bravo Award: 2006
  • Golden Boy: 2006
  • UEFA Team of the Year: 2006, 2008
  • Premier League Player of the Month: January 2007, September 2007
  • ESM Team of the Year: 2007–08, 2009–10
  • PFA Young Player of the Year: 2007–08
  • PFA Team of the Year: 2007–08, 2009–10
  • UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament: 2008, 2012

Premier League Opening Day Fixtures

Following the release of the 2014/15 Premier League fixture list, Betfair fans are already gearing up for a fascinating opening weekend of the season. With exciting games across the first weekend of the new campaign, there’s plenty of interesting matches for betting fans to take advantage of. Whether you’re looking at how potential title challengers begin their season or if the newly-promoted clubs can get the new year off to a winning start, the opening weekend could give us all a clue as to what this season has in store.

Kicking off the year will be Manchester United taking on Swansea, with Luis van Gaal taking charge of hisfirst game at Old Trafford after his summer arrival. With the United team expected to look a lot different from last year coming up against a Swansea team tipped by some for relegation, the weekend’s early kick-off is an intriguing game for all Premier League betting fans.

Sunday’s double-header sees Liverpool and Manchester City open their accounts. While new Liverpool signings Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert will come up against their former Southampton team-mates,defending champions City will welcome Newcastle to the Etihad Stadium.

Following their promotion from the Championship, Leicester will open their season against Champions League-chasing Everton, while QPR will look to follow up their play-off success with a win against Hull at Loftus Road. Fellow promoted club Burnley will face a stern test in their first game back in the big-time, coming up against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in Monday’s clash at Turf Moor.

Updated Quiz: Team USA Soccer Quiz

 

Team USA Quiz It is fair to say that in Brazil 2014 Team USA won themselves many new friends and admirers. Good quality technical displays allied with powerful athleticism saw Jurgen Klinsman’s men progress to the last 16 where they were eventually undone by Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’ in extra time.

The Yanks performance at the World Cup in Brazil allowed US Soccer to gain some column inches from the traditional big four sports of gridiron, basketball, baseball and NASCAR. The Wall St Journal reported that TV ratings soared, up 43% since 2010‘.

It is not just Team USA enjoying their time in the spot light- Major League Soccer at the height of its popularity. ESPN recently conducted its annual sports survey where it found For the first time in the 20-year history of the ESPN Sports Poll, Major League Soccer has caught up with Major League Baseball in one significant marker of popularity.’ 

Critics of Soccer in the States, and there are many of them will argue with the findings of the ESPN poll and no doubt dismiss the headlines of Team USAs exploits at the FIFA World Cup as a ‘flash in the pan’. Here at Footie Quiz – the number one soccer quiz website in the world we are not so sure!

So we have taken the time to add more questions to our Team USA Trivia Quiz.

New Player Quiz: Diego Costa

It is debatable but many Chelsea fans feel that if they had had a proven goalscorer last season instead of the ageing Eto and elusive Torres then they may have been in with a chance of winning the league.

With the arrival of Diego Costa Chelsea have again bet big. Mindful that his employers, the reigning La Liga Champions Atletico Madrid were unwilling to sell Chelsea were forced to meet Costa’s £32m buyout clause.

Diego Costa Quiz

At 6ft 2in Costa is a powerful unit and perhaps Jose is hoping to return to days when Didier Drogba battered defences to submission.

Well the juries out for now, only time will tell.

So while you waiting for the EPL to start why not see how much you know about Diego Costa in our quiz.

 

Fifa coins and other premium currency in games

During the rise of the internet new ways to make money have appeared. The developers of games also sought out new ways to improve their revenue. One such idea was the introduction of micro-transactions in their games.

A micro-transaction in games refers to a person purchasing in-game items (a new character, a new armor, character slots etc.) or premium currency with real life revenue. This was made popular on the consoles through the market of xbox 360, but it existed long before on the pc platforms, especially in mmorpgs (massive multi-player online role-playing game). Even in the pay-to-play form of billing the micro-transactions have appeared and it led to most mmorpgs becoming free-to-play. A good example of this is Aion or Tera Online, especially in the Europe servers where the need for such transactions is much more prominent.

These online stores, done right, can enhance the players’ experience and bring even more revenue to the developers and publishers. But when it is done wrong it becomes a system that players refer to pay-to win, inflation is also a result of a bad organization of the trading market.

FIFA 14
An example where the system seems to have been balanced is in FIFA ’14, where you futcoins in order to purchase packs in which you find new/old players which in turn you can trade in order to receive some compensation. Another example of the same style trading was made by Ubisoft, for their Might & Magic: Duel of Champions, a spin off card playing game from the original Might & Magic series which has drawn fans from all over the world. For this one Ubisoft preferred the free-to-play model while EA Games, the publisher for FIFA and all its series have gone fore the buy-to-play model.

Even so, it is not to say that one model is preferable over the other. This is a comparison over their micro-transactions not their billing system. One thing that these two games have in common is that instead of waiting and having to play for a long amount of time it allows you to purchase their packs (that contain football players for Fifa and Champions and monsters cards for Might & Magic: Dual of Champions). This helps the gamer that does not have the necessary time to play through 100 matches keep up with the one that does. The first is called a casual player and the latter is called a hard-core player. Duel of Champions

Some have argued that the implementation of these micro-transaction driven markets have diluted the feeling of satisfaction that the player gets from his hard work and time spent. But there is a counter-argument for this, as to the frustration that a casual player receives when a hard-core player beats his team in a tournament or crushes his army, only because he has opened more packs and had the luck to receive better champions/monster cards or football players. This, I would say, is a thing to think on!

 

 

Does Brazil’s sporting success extend to the Poker Table?

Brazil Poker

In recent weeks we’ve seen how Brazil remain one of the top soccer nations around the globe but have the South Americans been able to translate this success onto the poker felt? We looked at some of their opponents in both disciplines to see how results have compared.

Against Croatia and Mexico, Brazil enjoyed mixed fortunes over 90 minutes of football but could they succeed in the Full Tilt World Poker Championships against the same nations?

Croatia v Mexico

Before Brazil get involved in this tight group, let us see how Croatia and Mexico fare when they tackle each other in a range of poker competitions. On the soccer pitch, the Mexicans triumphed with a 3-1 victory but as the card games began with Sit & Go, the Croatians were about to exact their revenge.

Things didn’t start too positively for the European side however, as they slumped to an early defeat. An 18th place finish was respectable enough but it was comfortably eclipsed by their opponents who came in second overall to take an early lead.

This version of the World Championships takes in a number of poker playing countries from across the World. Mexico’s second place was therefore an impressive one but they couldn’t maintain that run of form as the tournament progressed.

The battle for the right to qualify from Group A seemed to be over when Croatia returned a 32nd place finish in the MTT tournaments. However, an alarming slump in form saw the Mexicans plummet down to 37th and as the teams headed into the deciding cash games, they were locked at one point apiece.

Sensing an advantage, Croatia’s fortunes improved as they took second place, compared to another woeful 37th position from the Mexicans. Overall, the Croatians had taken the contest by two points to one, leaving Mexico needing a positive result against Brazil in order to progress from this section.

Brazil v Mexico

Honours were shared on the football field between these two near neighbours but in poker, Brazil have a definite edge. The World Championship took stats from a number of tournaments and the outcomes make for interesting reading.

Things started badly for the Brazilians and in the Sit & Go version of the game, Mexico took the early points with a second placed finish. Meanwhile, Brazil could only manage an overall position of 22nd so after the first round, it was an emphatic, 1-0 to the Mexicans.

From here, Mexico’s form started to drift, just as it had done against Croatia in the opening clash. The next round of poker games took in the MTT tournaments where the Mexican’s dismal 37th place was easily overcome by Brazil who finished in 12th to level the scores at one point apiece.

Once again, the contest needed a decider and Mexico’s lack of prowess in cash games let them down for a second time. A 37th placed finish meant that Brazil, who finished in 21st, would progress from Group A, along with a strong Croatian unit.

Brazil are the world’s most successful side when it comes to football but it looks as if Croatia would have the edge when it comes to Poker. Taking into account Sit & Go, MTT and Cash Games, Croatia’s overall finish of 2nd would eclipse that of 19th placed Brazil thereby proving that global success doesn’t always translate from sport to sport.