Liverpools Transfer Dealings

lfc-transfers

It would be more than fair to say that Liverpool’s transfer kitty has been splashed around, wasted and splashed around again over the past decade in a quest to help them climb back to the top of the Premier League tree. Many an expensive player has been bought and sold on for a loss without making an impact. But what of their Transfer Dealings in the 2016 window. Is it enough to drive Jurgen Klopp’s team into that top 4 where they feel they belong or will it result in another season of frustration at Anfield? According to the TransferMarkt Liverpool have only spent £501,000 on a net basis!

Sadio Mane arrived for £35 million in the latest of a long line of players to make their way from the South Coast to Merseyside. The Price beggars belief in certain extents, but with Mane’s potential to up his game, and his proven track record in the Premier League, it may be worth the gamble. I suspect he will beat his tally of 11 goals last season. Check here for other football betting tips

But one transfer everyone, especially those in the North East questioned, was the £23 million splashed out on Georginio Wijnaldum from Newcastle. In one or two game last season, he shone in a bad team but to justify that price tag is bizarre. If one transfer this season showed there was far too much money kicking around in the Premier League it is perhaps this one!

Are these signings to inspire the Anfield faithful? Do they get you dreaming of title glory and booking tickets for Europe next year? Or does the lack of ambition and high prices played for these places resign you to another season of “also rans”?

However, Liverpool accountants can justify themselves by pointing to the £15 million taken in for Jordan Ibe. When I first saw this story, I was convinced it was a misprint and was supposed to be £1.5 million…but now. Bournemouth, a team who were several leagues lower only a matter of years ago, paid a whopping £15 million for an unproven player who Liverpool were glad to see the back of. Now you have to say…that’s good business. In fact, the £13 million for Joe Allen and the £26 million received for Christian Benteke, despite being a total flop, were very smooth bits of business on Liverpool’s behalf and meant that, rather shockingly, despite all the new TV money coming in and available to spend, and despite the over inflated figure they paid for their transfers coming in, they ended up making a profit at a time when most clubs cannot spend their money quick enough! Even the £3 million gained for the unknown Brad Smith is a figure that you have to stop and look at twice. Football has officially gone off the wall in insanity!

It would take a betting man to make any sort of bold predictions for or against the likely success of Jurgen Klopp this season, but it sure will be an interesting ride. Champions League contenders or battling for 5th? Who knows where the Kop will be taken this season…

 

Man City Destined For Glory – Bet On It!

Man City Quiz

Man City Destined For Glory – Bet On It!

We are only a month into the 2016-17 Premier League season and have already seen some fantastic matches. The league table is starting to take shape and it looks like Manchester City is the team to beat. Can anyone stop Manchester City from winning their third Premier League title in six season?

Let’s take a look at the frontrunners for the Premier League title, while dissecting the performances of a few teams we believe, based on the opening handful of matches, will be entrenched in the unenviable relegation battle.

Manchester City: -145 (7/10) to win the Premier League

Man City Quiz

Have you watched any of Manchester City’s games this season? They are a phenomenal team, right? While it is true that City have had an easier start to their campaign, take nothing away from their five wins from five games, in which they’ve scored 15 goals while only conceding four.

Man City’s 66-point haul from the 2015-16 campaign was their lowest since the 2008-09 season, which ultimately cost Manuel Pellegrini his job as manager. Pep Guardiola was appointed as City’s manager and the Spaniard has visibly reignited the passion that was missing from City last season.

Sergio Aguero looks like he’s in the form of his life, while Guardiola heaps praise on Kevin De Bruyne, claiming only the great Lionel Messi is currently better than his young Belgian star. We can see why he’s touted so highly.

City are odds-on favourites to win the league this season, and we think it goes without saying that whoever finishes above them will be crowned 2016-17 Premier League champions. That’s doesn’t look like happening, though.

Prediction: Champions

Liverpool: +550 (11/2) to win the Premier League

LFc Quiz

Liverpool has won English football’s top-flight title 18 times in its history, but you’ll need to peer all the way back to the 1989-90 season to find when that last occurred, which is far too long for a club the size and stature of Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp has injected the team with confidence, belief and a childlike sense of exuberance and, at times at least, look like they could be genuine title contenders. Liverpool were awesome going forward when they beat Arsenal 4-3 on the road and scintillating in the 4-1 demolishing of defending champions Leicester in front of 53,075 fans — Liverpool’s highest attendance since 1977. Oh, and let’s not forget about Liverpool’s last performance, a 2-1 away win at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool, with a few more additions including a direly needed left back, will be set to challenge for the title. Unfortunately, they’re not quite there yet. Not playing in Europe is going to help keep Klopp’s squad fit, but we can’t see them, or anyone for that matter, pipping City at the top. It’s an exciting time for Liverpool fans, though. Look out for Liverpool in the F.A. Cup.

Prediction: Top four and a Champions League place

Manchester United: +1200 (12/1) to win the Premier League

MUFC

What a difference a week makes. Manchester United were, with odds of around +500, second favourites for the Premier League title last week. But after being outclassed at home to Manchester City and losing to Feyenoord in the Europa League, followed by a dismal 3-1 away defeat at the hands of Watford, United’s odds have drifted to +1200.

Self-proclaimed “Special One” Jose Mourinho has now lost a staggering 14 of his last 32 games; it previously took 105 games for Mourinho to lose as many games, a quite telling statistic.

The odds of a United title have drifted so wildly in the last week, but we have to remember that only a month of the season has transpired so the +1200 odds still represents decent value. Mourinho, though, has to fix whatever is wrong at Old Trafford very quickly.

With so much talent in the Man United squad, and the board’s willingness to support Mourinho in the transfer market, we think this latest blip in form is exactly that, a blip. Manchester United will qualify for the Champions League this season but fall short of their title aspirations.

Prediction: Top four finish and a Champions League place

footy

Relegation Predictions:

At the other end of the table, the bookmakers have Burnley as hot favourites (-137 or 8/11) to be relegated back to The Championship. Burnley has absolutely no attacking threat, which is cause for grave concern.

Sunderland already look doomed. They can’t rely on Jermain Defoe to score all their goals and don’t have a strong enough defense to keep enough clean sheets. David Moyes has an extremely difficult task on his hands to keep the Black Cats in the top flight.

Finally, keep an eye on Stoke City, currently +200 (3/1) to be relegated after their dreadful start to the campaign. Mark Hughes guided Stoke to a respectable ninth place last season, but they only have one point this season and have already conceded a staggering 14 goals.

They should have enough talent to stay up, but if the slump continues and Hughes loses his job, Stoke could find themselves in a real relegation scrap.

Prediction: Burnley, Sunderland & West Brom Relegated

Can Sunderland pull off the Great Escape again?

sunderland-afc

As a Sunderland fan, still fresh in my mind, is that glorious night at the Stadium of Light in April when victory over Everton confirmed Premier League status for another year (and lest not forget condemned arch rivals Newcastle to a place in the Championship). The mood amongst fans was the most positive I can remember, Big Sam Allardyce dancing around the pitch, a promise of new signings to build on the sturdy deals done in January and the realistic hope that at long last the days of last minute survival were behind the club.

Roll on the start of the 2016-2017 season and how things have changed. England crashing out at the Euro’s was doubley bad news for Sunderland fans as it resulted in the loss of the most popular manager the club has had since Peter Reid. The merry go round continued and David Moyes, with a point to prove, became the latest addition to the managerial ranks. Transfers failed to materialise and Moyes brought in questionable players for his United days. Suddenly, all those hopes had dashed.

When it comes to Sunderland the pattern has been the same for years…..struggle throughout the season – sack manager – survive. Its worked for Di Canio, Poyet, Advocaat….Allardyce left of his own accord but the trend is worrying. Surely, there comes a time when these last minute acts of great escape will run out! I remember as a young boy Southampton and Coventry always “just” survived and eventually they fell away. Is it the turn of the Black Cats?

A lot will rest of the fitness and form of Jermain Defoe. Without his goals last year Sunderland will have started this year playing in the Championship and with no real back up/partner to assist him, an injury or loss of form would be very worrying. Can he rescue the team again? Form suggests he may well, but teams at the lower end of the league relying on an ageing striker…..could be a recipe for disaster. It would take a gambling man to bet against Defoe! have a look at the odds on Free Super Tips

Kone is another vital tool in the cog as without him, considering the departure of Kaboul, the defence looks a little tame with an aging John O’Shea and a lot of unproven talent. Sunderland also need to ensure the core that drove the team last year, with Cattermole and Kirchoff (and hopefully a returning M’Vila) can power the team through. But, a wise betting man would look at the squad and see the lack of depth and quality to drive the team onward. You wonder where the goals will come from, where the creativity will emerge from and how they can get those much needed wins.

It would take a betting man to gamble against Sunderland escaping from relegation no matter how far they fall behind  but it looks likely to be a very long season on Wearside and potentially the season in which Sunderland finally give up their Premier League status.

Turning football into your second income

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goal-app

Image: bucurestifm.ro

There’s lots of advice about how to turn a hobby into a second income but what about us football fans who spend too much of our free time consumed by events surrounding our clubs?

It had never occurred to me, until reading about making money on Matched Bets, that I could actually indulge in my favourite pastimes and earn enough to fund the cost of my hobbies and more.

Earn a second income from matched betting

Like most supporters, I love following my team and enjoy a harmless flutter on the weekend fixtures and live televised games.

Now that I understand matched betting and have access to the special tools, I’m making enough profit every month to pay for my season ticket, away days and recover the losses on accumulators and my woeful live match predictions.

Putting some thought to it, there are other things football nuts can do to top up their income while indulging in this lifetime passion. Who is better placed to review and talk about matches, players or the running of the club than we fans who follow every word printed, tweeted or posted on Facebook?

Make money writing about your hobby

There is money to be made writing articles for websites and blogs, and informed content from experts in the field is much sought after.

You could create your own fanzine but that could be a risky venture as it requires start-up capital and running costs. With most people devouring content on the web and social media these days, you might be better served starting your own blog or forum. These can be monetised by a variety of advertising methods and don’t require such a big initial outlay.

Make money from your hobby on social networks

Popular twitter handles and Facebook pages can also make money. If you have the social network skills to make friends and gain lots of followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or other large social platforms you may be sitting on gold.

Do you ever rant and rave about events after the match? Capture your passion on video and set up a YouTube channel. Successful Vloggers are coining it in from ads, sponsorship and re-selling merchandise to their subscribers, so why not you?

Create and sell handmade items on eBay and Etsy

I’ve seen some imaginative use of football paraphernalia, from beautifully framed items like old programs and photos of past glories to t-shirts with screen prints of slogans and imagery closely associated to the club. This type of thing proves popular on online auction sites like eBay and along with other club collectables, can fetch enough to make the effort worthwhile.

Club shops sell some fairly generic badged merchandise like mugs, coasters, mouse mats, key fobs, wallets and wall art. You’d have to be careful not to breach copyright, but those with a talent for handmade crafts, and can do better, will find a ready made market place on Etsy where people buy and sell all manner of unique handmade items.

Sell your photos of your match day experience

Photographers who enjoy chronicling the match day experience through their lens’ can submit photos for resale to sites such as iStock photo, Stockxpert, Fotolia, Dreamstime and even Getty images via their Call For Artists Group on Flickr.

While it may not offer a breakthrough into full-time professional photography, you can pick up royalties based on the number of times your images are downloaded.

If you ever feel like following your club is too big a drain on your time and bank balance, and most of us do at some point, turn your talent to making money from your favourite pastime and it will make the inevitable disappointments much easier to swallow.

 

Germany & Denmark get off to winning starts in World Cup qualifying

World Cup Quiz

This week saw the start of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign across Europe, with four times winners Germany among those to claim an opening victory in their respective group. Bayern man Thomas Muller found the net twice for Joachim Low’s side during a comfortable 3-0 win over Norway, with fellow Group C contenders the Czech Republic and Northern Ireland playing out a goalless Prague.

As the reigning World Cup holders, Germany are unsurprisingly the favourites at Betser to finish at the top of the group, securing an automatic passage to the finals in Russia, with Euro 2016 participants Northern Ireland hoping to earn a second successive spot at a major tournament. Elsewhere in the group, Azerbaijan claimed an opening victory over minnows San Marino, with Pierangelo Manzaroli’s men having lost 13-0 to Germany back in 2006.

Meanwhile, in Group E, Denmark narrowly saw off Armenia thanks to single goal from Tottenhams’s Christian Eriksen, while there was late drama in Kazakhstan. Despite holding a two goal half-time advantage, thanks to goals from Robert Lewandowski and Leicester City’s Bartosz Kapustka, Poland conceded two goals during the second period to allow the home side to claim a famous point. Elsewhere in the group, Romania and Montenegro both found the back of the net in the closing stages to secure what could be a valuable point. Former Manchester City man Stevan Jovetic cancelled out Adrian Popa’s striker, with Nicolae Stanciu dramatically missing a penalty for the hosts in the seventh minute of added time. If the first round of fixtures is anything to go by, Group E looks set to be one of the most competitive in Europe.

Group F was certainly not short of drama also, with a 95th minute Adam Lallana goal ensuring that Sam Allardyce got his England tenor off to a winning start in Slovakia. It had looked like being a frustrating evening for England, despite former Liverpool man Martin Skrtel receiving a deserved red card in the second half, however Lallana scored his first goal at international level to secure all three points. England will certainly be favourites to qualify for the finals with Betser, with only Scotland likely to cause any real problems for the Three Lions.

Elsewhere in the group, Lithuania threw away a two goal lead against Slovenia, withformer West Bromwich Albion loanee Bostjan Cesar equalising for the visitors in the final seconds. Gordon Strachan was delighted with his Scotland side’s performance against a potentially tricky Malta outfit, with Hull City’s Robert Snodgrass scoring a hat-trick in a comfortable 5-1 win. The home side finished the game with nine men following two second half sending’s off. Scotland will see this as a good opportunity to qualify for their first major tournament since the World Cup in 1998.

Battle of the Big Gun Managers

Jose

Battle of the Big Gun Managers

The 2016-2017 Premier League season is still well within its infancy, but the focus of the season remains of the big gun managers who have came from all corners of the globe to manager within the Premier League this season. With the flood of investment from the new TV deal and several key positions at major clubs opening, the stars aligned, and arguably, we are left with the finest collection of managers to ever start a Premier League season. But sitting on top of the pile are the Big Guns…the major clubs have major names behind them and what can we expect?

Jose Mourinho will cause controversy, will make headlines and if the early season is anything to go by, will be guiding Manchester United back into title contention. Mourinho is, and always wil be, one of footballs most high profile managers. He built his reputation on success and every club he has been to, he has achieved the highest accolades winning major trophies before departing in the “3rd season blues”. Mourinho takes the heat of his players by grabbing the headlines and when the battle really begins and nerves start to come into play, only a fool would gamble on his next move!

Pep Guardiola comes with perhaps the highest expectation of the lot. Laden with trophies and winners medals, Guardiola was appointed well in advance of the season and the cloud of Pep has been gathering over the Etihad well before he arrived. With a club that invests so heavily in players, and all the trouble that over paid stars bring, the club needs an experienced guiding light with big-club experience to steer the team in a uniformed direction. Pep may well be that man. Already making impressions by dropping the long standing number 1 keeper Joe Hart, Pep has proven that nothing will get in his way of creating the team he wants,

Jurgen Klopp is entering another season with Liverpool and now has had the time to build a squad that he can call his own. It takes time to build a dynasty but Liverpool fans are notorious for having the highest of expectations. The question is if the season starts badly, and the defeat to Burnley showed some worrying signs, how much patience will they have? Klopp is a proven talent but how can he cope with the pressures of the Premier League and perhaps the most expectant fans in the league, have a look at the latest odds on Big Free Bets tip’s.

Then of course we have title winning Claudio Ranieri, will the pressure of defending the title lead to a growth or an implosion? What about Arsene Wenger…when the “Arsene Out” signs start appearing which they inevitably will, will the Frenchman continue to ignore them or will this finally be the season he gives up on the club? Lower down the league we have David Moyes back, dangerous when he has a point to proof and a wealth of managers in the league for the first time!

Either way, with so many personalities and larger than life characters in the dugouts, this season is likely to bring as much drama off the pitch as on it, and football fans are fascinated to see how it pans out!

Early predictions for Championship promotion

Championship

ChampionshipThe 2016-17 Sky Bet Championship is underway, and predictions as to who is likely to make their way to the promised land of the Premier League come May have been made. Coming into the new season, Newcastle United were considered favourites to reclaim their place in the top flight, with many experts declaring them champions elect before the first game was played.

However, once the season started, it quickly became clear Newcastle won’t have it all their own way, and that they may have some unexpected competition for the automatic promotion places, as well as the title itself.

So, let’s take a look at the main contenders for promotion from the Championship this season.

Newcastle United

The overwhelming favourites, Newcastle United seemingly have everything going for them this season. Having spent more than any other club in the division in the transfer market, and with the most high-profile manager in the league in Rafa Benitez, the Magpies have put themselves in a good position to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of as king. Industry experts such as 888 Sports believe anything other than winning the Championship title would be failure for the club.

While Newcastle sold and loaned out a number of key players during the transfer window, the acquisition of Matt Richie, Dwight Gayle, Grant Hanley, Ciaran Clark and other has only strengthened the perception that the club is set to dominate this year’s Championship.

Derby County

Derby County have been among the favourites to win promotion to the Premier League for the last two or three seasons, but have flattered to deceive. However, the Rams certainly have the talent on the field in the form of players such as Will Hughes, Ikechi Anya and Tom Ince, and under the direction of new manager Nigel Pearson, they have a decent chance of finding themselves among the frontrunners at the business end of the season.

Norwich City

Considered by many to be the biggest threat to Newcastle United’s Championship title hopes this season, Norwich City will have been boosted by holding on to the majority of their best players, such as Robbie Brady and Timm Klose, in the transfer window.

While the Canaries have not strengthened as much as they would have hoped, many experts still see them finishing in the automatic promotion positions and reclaiming their place in the Premier League following their relegation last season.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Expected to be fighting for promotion from the off this season, Brighton and Hove Albion are seen as contenders for an automatic promotion position after finishing third last season. The leadership of Chris Hughton combined with the return of striker Glenn Murray means the Seagulls have all the necessary tools to make it into the Premier League for the first time.

Sheffield Wednesday

The Championship wild card this season, Sheffield Wednesday will be gunning for a play-off place after finishing sixth last season, but a top-two finish could prove beyond them.

The Owls picked up attacking midfielder Almen Abdi from Watford in the summer, and will look to get more out of Fernando Forestieri after he refused to play against Norwich City earlier in the season as he pushed for a transfer.

With the club having signed nine new players, how Wednesday fare this season will likely come down to just how well their acquisitions gel as a team.

Who will be the Premier League Top Scorer?

Premier League Star Strikers

Premier League Top Scorer

aguero

Now that the season has began and the battle lines have been drawn, pundits and fans alike are trying to predict all manner of events….Who will win the league? Who will be the first manager to leave? Who will get relegated? One question that is being talked about a lot is who will be the top scorer in the league. Let us take a look at some of the leading contenders…

Sergio Aguero – Given that he is part of one of the most formidable attacking line ups in world football, only a fool would bet against Sergio Aguero netting a hatful of goals this season. Pep Guardiola is a fan of the Agentine and providing he features in most of City’s games, he will rack up the goals. With the service from De Bruyne and Sterling and such like, Aguero must be the odds on o favourite!

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Aged 34, Zlatan heads to the Premier League in the twilight of his career but seemingly with a point to prove. As the leading man at a club with an attacking mentality, Zlatan is going to be given all the chances he needs to win the Premier League golden boot. He has already taken over Penalty duty and with his aerial presence and hunger to go out on a high, Zlatan will, and has already proven to be, a Dangerous option.

Daniel Sturridge – An outside bet maybe, but Liverpool are in for a strong year and with a team focused around good solid ground football, Sturridge, if he stays fit is the perfect man to bag the goals Jurgen Klopp needs to take his Liverpool side to new levels.

Jamie Vardy – Last season taught us to never rule out the underdog and although he is now a proven Premier League and International class striker, Jamie Vardy is still hungry and with a desire of wanting to prove he is no “on season wonder” he could be a very dangerous opponent for defenders once again.

Harry Kane – Whilst all the focus is on the Manchester Clubs and Chelsea, Spurs have been quietly preparing for what they hope will be another great season. Their achievements at coming second in the league went under the radar last season as Leicester shocked the world, but if Spurs are to challenge again, then the multi talented Kane will be sure to bag the goals.

Other than the leading lights there are other contenders…if Arsenal prove to have a good season  Oliver Giroud may lead the line. What about Jermaine Defoe and his current form at Sunderland? The way he ended the season last year who can rule out the veteran. There could be a surprise…Negredo at Middlesbrough has a lot to prove and Roman Lukaku is always a threat.

Let us see what happens and like all football fans, especially those with footy accumulator tips, I wait with baited breath to see who succeeds and who flops in front of goal in the 2016-2017 season!