Liverpool’s Transfer Plans

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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

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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?

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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

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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.