Best Left Backs Ever

The Left Back position has been graced by some of the finest names in the world game. A position that requires, in the modern game, not only pace, toughness and ability by also the flexibility to be a prominent attacking forces as well as a defensive lynch pin. These players all matches that criteria and more and hence must be considered as some of the Top Left Backs of all time.

Denis Irwin

For any footballing fan who followed the rise of the Manchester United team under Alex Ferguson, there were many ever present figures who Ferguson crafted his team around and one such figure was the ever reliable and dependable Denis Irwin. Throughout his career Irwin became one of the most consistent and prolific performers in the left back position.

Irwin won 56 caps for republic of Ireland, playing in the 1994 World Cup, where he continued to show his quality but the side struggled and it will always be his club career for which Irwin is remembered. Irwin was at Manchester United for 12 years and nailed down the left back position for his own. Being involved in the team at that time Irwin won trophy after trophy including 7 Premier League titles, 3 FA Cups and the Champions League. He was vital during United’s 1999 Treble winning season.

His strengths lay in his defensive prowess and his ability to remain tough to beat despite his size. Going forward Irwin offered pace, could easily beat a man, had an eye for goal and was a deadly crosser. He also was a deadly set piece taker scoring some breathtaking free kicks. In essence Irwin was the perfect modern Left Back. Once retired he relaxed with online casinos usa seeking great fun from his new career.

Roberto Carlos

Fans tend to remember Roberto Carlos for his free kick ability and in particular the free kick he scored against France in 1998…still one of the most impressive free kicks of all time. Roberto Carlos loved to shoot and this often frustrated fans but it frustrated opposition even more when he nailed a screamer and he made a habit of scoring wonder goals. He dominated the left back position during his international career and played for some of the finest clubs in the world. He revolutionised the position and spent more time attacking than defending. He was pacey and fast making him tough to beat but what he offered going forward was unrivaled.

More of a winger than a left back Carlos breezed past the opposition, could put in a killer cross and of course score goal  after goal. Four times La Liga champion, 3 times Champions winner and several accolades in his home nations was testament to the difference Carlos could make to a team. 125 caps for Brazil were peaked when he lifted the 2002 World Cup and he was a main stay in one of the most successful eras for the country. Carlos redefined what it meant to be an attacking left back and set the mould for the rest.

Paolo Maldini

A master of the Italian defensive style of play Paolo Maldini is one of the finest footballers ever to grace the game. Not only was Paolo Maldini a great leader, a class act and an impenetrable defender, he was a model professional and inspired a generation.

His entire career, spanning over 25 years, was spent with AC Milan where he ranks at the very top of their all time greats. Dedicated to the club, adored by the fans and respected by all, Paolo Maldini was a defensive master with an eye of reading the game, winning aerial battles, delivering deadly crosses and being  stable and reliable defender who was tough to beat. Testament to this is his trophy cabinet which includes 7 league titles and an astonishing 5 European Cups. In fact Maldini has played in 8 European Cup/Champions League finals, a record. He won 126 caps for Italy and played in the 1994 runners up side and Euro 200 finalists.

In essence Paolo Maldini was a model professional and any left back wanting to improve his game needs only look at the style and technical ability of one of the finest defenders in the history of football.

Andres Brehme

Andres Brehme will forever be remembered for scoring the winning goal in the 1990 World Cup Final. Over his 86 game career for Germany he netted 8 times, but the scenes of him scoring that goal in Italia 1990 will always spring to mind above all else. But lest not forget that Brehme was not only a left back, but perhaps one of the finest left backs in the European game.

Oppositions hated playing against Brehme as getting round him was nigh on impossible. His blistering pace and tackling timing made him a master at winning the ball and even though he size dictated otherwise, he was difficult to beat in the air. Brehme was also a nightmare for opponents as with the all at his feet he was handful. Like playing online slots for real money and football at the same time! Whether it was taking a monstrous free kick or hitting  40 yard pass onto the head of an opponent Brehme typified the attacking left back and was years ahead of his. 

Giacinto Facchetti

In terms of setting new trends in the position of Left Back, the Italian Giacinto Facchetti made strides in the 1970s. Rightly considered to be one of the very first truly “attacking”  full backs, he played his entire career at Inter Milan where fans still sing his name. Indeed, after his death the club retired the number 3 shirt in honour of a man who was the perfect defender.

Giacinto Facchetti began by concentrating on his defensive game making him hard to beat, a tough tackling dynamo and one of the best readers of the game in history. As his game progressed he became an attacking force and his crosses, goals and assist lead his team to 4 league titles, 2 European cups and winning him 94 caps for Italy.

Worlds Greatest Centre Backs

The Centre Back position is the lynch pin of successful teams. Without a solid partnership of defenders able to stop the finest strikers in the world, teams struggle to make an impact and taking a look at any of the greatest sides in footballing history, there is always a world class centre back at the heart of the team. Here are the finest 5 centre backs to grace the football field.

Franco Baresi

The Italians are noted for producing world class defenders and priding themselves on a defensive style of football and Franco Baresi epitomised that ethos. Like many legendary Italian players, Baresi played for AC Milan throughout his career and helped them become one of the finest teams the world has ever known. 6 Serie A titles, three European Cups and multiple time Player of the Season Baresi dominated domestic footballer with his impenetrable defence.

Baresi was a wise, intelligent player who often saw what the striker was going to do before he knew he was going to do it! A master reader of the game and tactician Baresi understood the game and used this to shut down all attacks. He has pace, technical skill and power but his brain was his main weapon. Rarely was he beaten on the air or indeed on the ground and he held together the back line throughout his 81 caps for Italy which involved victory in 1982.

Bobby Moore

It is rare than a tackle goes down in history as a classic footballing moment but that is exactly what happened in the career of Bobby Moore. In 1970, at the World Cup, Pele in full flight encountered Moore who carried out the finest tackle seen in the game. This was typical of Moore who built his career at West Ham, proving impossible for attackers to beat.

His crowning moment came when England, under his leadership were crowned Champions of the World in 1966. The image of him receiving the Jules Rimet trophy from the Queen herself is forever ingrained in the minds of England fans. He led the team throughout the tournament, like uk online casinos and helped pick them up in extra time. The great Pele says Moore is the finest defender of all time and who are we to disagree. With pace, power and stamina Moore displayed everything a defender needs.

Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer is without doubt not just one of the finest centre backs in football history, but simply put he is one of the finest players of all time. A leader, a winner, a professional and a warrior Franz Beckenbauer epiglottises footballing greatness. As a leader he is unrivaled and led many great teams and like all great leaders he led by example. Faultless throughout his career Franz Beckenbauer was a model of consistency and professionalism.

He was a vital cog in the 1970s Bayern Munich team that dominated proceedings and proved an ever present lynch pin in the defence keeping the team organised and disciplined. He won 4 league titles, 4 domestics cups and 3 consecutive European Cups. Without Franz Beckenbauer the Bayern Munich side would have struggled to keep up this winning rate but his defensive skill helped the team with their impeccable defensive records.

Franz Beckenbauer also made his name on the national stage winning the World Cup in 1974 as captain and then managing the team to success proving his tactical knowledge of the game. He won the Ball D’Or on two occasions and is respected as much among professionals as he is among fans. The greatest German footballer of all time and one of the finest players to enter the football pitch, Franz Beckenbauer is a true legend of the sport.

Ronald Koeman

It is quite easy to forget that the great Dutch master Ronald Koeman was actually a centre back as he scored more goals than many of the strikers who played on his teams. Indeed in 503 matches in domestic leagues he score 103 goals, unprecedented for a centre back but that is what makes Komen  a unique and worthy of a place on any list ranking the world’s finest players in the positions.

From the back he delivered sweeping passes to assist his teammates, he scored stunning free kicks, was a masterful crosser and a penalty master. Defensive wise he was pacey, read the game well and tackled tough. Koeman was hard to beat and difficult to stop. 78 caps for Holland including winning the 1988 European Championships were matched with 13 goals for the national side and a bid for cancasinos online casino ensued. Koeman was unique as a centre back and we have never seen the likes since!

Daniel Passarella

Often overlooked when drawing up lists of the greats of World Football, Daniel Passarella quite simply can match any centre back in terms of success, ability or skill. In fact Daniel Passarella is considered by some as the finest centre back of all time. He won 4 domestic league titles in his home nation but rose to fame as a member of the Argentinean national team where he captained the team to the 1978 World Cup and his leadership drove the team to success.

Daniel Passarella game after game withstood attacks from the finest players of the decade and with his back to the wall he was unbeatable. Watching matches back from the 1978 tournament Daniel Passarella was never beaten in the air, rarely beaten on the ground and held the attacking play together with his accurate passing.

But Daniel Passarella also did something else a lot of centre backs didn’t…score goals. 181 goals in 556 matches is an impressive record for anyone let alone a centre back making him as much of a goal threat as a goal stopper.

Greatest Ever Midfielders

B-Charlton

The Centre Midfield birth is one of the heart beats of any footballing team. Whether a tough tackling ball winner or a creative goal scorer the position is home to a diverse range of individuals and some of the finest players to have ever laced up a pair of boots have played there. Let us take a look at the top 5….

Zico

No list of the finest players in any position can be completed with a Brazilian or two, and centre midfield is no expectation. Nicknamed “the White Pele” Zico is often ranked amongst the finest players to have ever donned the famous yellow shirt. He drove the national side forward through his illustrious career and led by example, consistently dominating games and controlling entire oppositions.

Although many will remember his stunning long range goals and devastating free kicks, which were key part of his game, he was an all round world class player with the eye to pick out a crucial pass and virtually impossible to push off the ball. His record of 66 goals in his 88 caps for Brazil is evidence enough for his box to box approach, he also had a love for real money casino games and he is one of the most clinical finishers to have emerged form a midfield position.

Michel Platini

Technically gifted, stylish, professional and reliable….words cannot describe just how good Platini really was. He possessed that rare quality of being able to make an average team a dangerous one just purely for the fact that he was in it. Any midfield boasting Platini at its centre was difficult to beat and difficult to contain. This Frenchman had it all!

Platini is one of the best passers the game has ever seen. His percentages speak for themselves but just watching the man, the way the ball stuck to his feet, the way his passes always hit their targets and ripped open defences made him a joy for fellow professionals to play with. From free kicks, corners and in terms of crossing he was unrivaled during his career. Winning titles across the continent, Platini was a winner and would drive his teams on throughout every moment of the match. In 1984 this reached his peak as not only did he win the European Player of the Year award but also led France to the 1984 European Championships title.

Alfredo Di Stefano

Perhaps the greatest player ever to have played football, Di Stefano graced the centre midfield spot like no other before or since. An icon, a leader and a devastating opponent, Di Stefano ranks among the most famous sportsmen of all time and rightly so.

De Stefano controlled the game from the midfield and although he often lined up as a striker his box to box play makes him more accustomed to this position and a more accurate description of his position on the field of play. He would drive through the heart of any team, combination passes, skills to beat men, long shots that rasped in the corner. His ability to dominate a game from whistle to whistle and from box to box was a key reason in Real Madrid’s 5 consecutive European Cups. Never one to go missing, never one to let his performance drop and certainly never one to fail, Di Stefano was an utterly dominating player with the ability to control a game and win matches on his own.

The greatest.

Zinedine Zidane

The image the world should remember of Zidane should not be the infamous heat but, the the simple fact that Zidane was one of the finest players to grace the game and simply one of the best central midfielders of all time. Genius is a word that is often overused but that does not come close to describing what Zidane was all about. He dominated world football for many years even trying online casinos canada and winning the Ballon d’Or in 1998 was backed up with a record-equaling 3 European Footballer of the Year wins. Respected by fans and critics Zidane had that rare quality of being universally admired.

In 1998 he drove France through the world cup on home soil, capped off my two goals in the final to lift the trophy. His absence four years later was sorely missed but again he was the maestro in taking them to the final in 2006. Never has a player had so much influence on a team. Zidane could pass, score, tackle, head and retain position, all with an unrivaled quality. He scored stunning goals, took accurate free kicks and could perform devastating passes with clinical precision. He has his own unique style, his own unique footballing intelligence and quite simply he was THE player of his era.

Bobby Charlton

England fans still rank Charlton, who as of 2015 remains the nations highest scorer in international football. Charlton was a lynch pin of the 1966 World Cup Winning side and the Manchester that that recovered from the Munich Air crash to in the European Cup 2 years later. He was a box to box dynamo with every possible quality needed for a centre midfielder. Most of the footage you will see of Charlton shows his thunderous strikes and scoring ability but there was much more to his game.

He was a tough tackler, a precision passer and an inspirational leader. Defensively he was hard to pass and made sure his midfield was organised and efficient. Charlton also had one of the best engines in the game, despite running box to box for 90 minutes, he would still be as fresh and raring to go in the final few moments of matches as he was at the start.  A true match winner and an icon of the English game, Charlton typified the box to box, free scoring style that often thrives in this position.

Every 2020-21 Premier League side’s oldest player

The 20 Premier League clubs have now submitted their 25-man squads for the 2020/21 season. And, the announcements didn’t go down without a stir. Arsenal left out Mesut Özil, whilst Chelsea, who are often the favourites when betting with Paddy Power, included veteran goalkeeper Petr Čech, who is now the club’s technical director, as emergency cover.

Everton – Séamus Coleman – 32 years old

Séamus Coleman arrived Everton in 2009, and the 32-year-old, who also captains the Merseyside team, has featured in all five of his side’s games so far this season.

Aston Villa – Tom Heaton – 34 years old

Tom Heaton joined Aston Villa last season and made 20 Premier League appearances for the Midlands side last term but is yet to feature this season.

Liverpool – James Milner – 34 years old

James Milner has consistently appeared in the Premier League since he made his debut for Leeds United way back in 2002. Now, he’s plying his trade for Liverpool, and still featuring for the Reds at 34, as they defend their title.

Leicester City – Wes Morgan – 36 years old

Wes Morgan is currently in his 10th season at Leicester City, who he led to Premier League glory in 2016. However, at 36 years old, his appearances for the Foxes are now limited.

Arsenal – David Luiz – 33 years old

After two separate stints with Chelsea, David Luiz is now in his second season with London rivals Arsenal, and, at 33, he still often features in the Gunners back four.

Wolverhampton Wanderers – João Moutinho– 34 years old

Since arriving in the midlands in 2018, Portuguese midfielder João Moutinho is yet to miss a Premier League game for Wolverhampton Wanderers. Not bad for a player in their 30s.

Tottenham Hotspur – Hugo Lloris – 33 years old

A regular between the sticks for Tottenham Hotspurs, 33-year-old Hugo Lloris is now in his ninth season at the North London club.

Chelsea – Willy Caballero – 39 years old

At 39 years old, Chelsea’s reserve keeper Willy Caballero isn’t just the oldest player at Stamford Bridge, but the in the Premier League itself.

West Ham United – Łukasz Fabiański – 35 years old

Yet another goalkeeper on the list, West Ham’s number one shot-stopper Łukasz Fabiański is the oldest player at the London club.

Leeds United – Pablo Hernández – 35 years old

Since he arrived at Leeds in 2017, Pablo Hernández has become a fan favourite. However, at 35, he’s appeared just once so far this term.

Manchester City – Fernandinho – 35 years old

Captain Fernandinho is Man City’s oldest player. Now in his eighth season at the club, the Brazilian has played almost 230 times in the Premier League.

Southampton – Shane Long – 33 years old

Now seven years deep into his Southampton career, at 33 years old, striker Shane Long is the club’s oldest player.

Newcastle United – Andy Carroll – 31 years old

At just 31 years old, Newcastle striker Andy Carroll is the youngest player to feature on our list. It’s a close encounter at St James’ Park, as Carroll is just nine days older than goalie Martin Dubravka.

Crystal Palace – Gary Cahill – 34 years old

After a trophy-laden eight years with Chelsea, Gary Cahill joined Crystal Palace last season, and he now holds the status as the most senior player at the club.

Manchester United – Lee Grant – 37 years old

Lee Grant is now in his third season with Manchester United, and is yet to make a Premier League appearance for the Red Devils.

Brighton & Hove Albion – Adam Lallana – 32 years old

After six injury-stricken years with Liverpool, Adam Lallana swapped Merseyside for the south coast this summer, and, at just 32, the Premier League and Champions League winner is the Seagulls’ oldest player.

West Bromwich Albion – Branislav Ivanović – 36 years old

After leaving Chelsea for Zenit Saint Petersburg back in 2017, Branislav Ivanović made a shock return to the Premier League this summer, and, in doing so, became West Brom’s oldest player.

Burnley – Phil Bardsley – 35 years old

Now with his fourth Premier League, Phil Bardsley’s in his fourth season with Burnley, and at 35, he is the oldest player at Turf Moore.

Sheffield United – Phil Jagielka – 38 years old

After 12 years with Everton, Phil Jagielka moved to Sheffield United last season. However, he has made just six appearances for the Blades so far.

Fulham – Tim Ream – 33 years old

United States international Tim Ream is the oldest player at Craven Cottage. The centre-back has been at the club since 2015 but has featured just once so far this season.

Will the signing of Diogo Jota motivate Liverpool’s front three to perform even better?

Many of Liverpool’s supporters had been crying out for a forward player to be brought to Anfield to bolster the team’s attacking options. When the proposed transfer of RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner fell through due to differences in valuation, many fans felt like Liverpool had missed the trick, with the German ultimately ending up at Chelsea. Watford’s Ismaila Sarr was touted as a possible alternative, but again the club were reluctant to strike a deal given the Hornets’ high asking price.

In the end it’s Diogo Jota who has joined the Reds from Wolves in a deal which could potentially rise to a reported £45m. The Portuguese forward is exactly the kind of player to slot neatly into Jürgen Klopp’s system, with pressing one of his greatest attributes. The 23-year-old is a hard worker, energetic both on and off the ball, and possesses a goal threat too – aspects which will all contribute greatly to Liverpool’s defence of the title.

There has been a growing concern that Liverpool’s front three of Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino are in danger of growing stale in their performances, or that other teams will figure out the best way to defend against them and thus render them less effective. The arrival of Jota by no means suggests that one of the front three will be dropped, but it will be an important reminder that other quality players are waiting in the wings should one of them let their standards slip.

Indeed, both Salah and Mané have started the season in exquisite form, with the former scoring a hat-trick on the opening day against Leeds United, and the latter bagging two vital goals to help Liverpool defeat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Despite concerns that they may be passing their peak, the Reds’ star attackers seem sharper than ever. You only need to look at the odds on any bet exchange to see that one of Mané or Salah is so often the player tipped to open the scoring.

It could prove that the arrival of a player like Jota, who has experience of playing and scoring goals in the Premier League, could well spur Liverpool’s front three on to perform to even higher standards. While Divock Origi has been a loyal backup option for Liverpool’s attack, it has always felt as though his presence in the squad has threatened Firmino, Salah or Mané. Even subconsciously, the level those three perform at each week can breed a sort of complacency, but having Jota around as a new player eager to make a big impact should provide them with even greater motivation to score goals and make assists.

Klopp may well view Jota as an eventual successor to one of those aforementioned forwards. After all, they can’t keep up their scoring figures forever, and the plan might be for Jota to be hitting his peak just as one of Salah or Mané is starting to regress. Klopp is contracted to Liverpool until 2024, and at some stage there will need to be a rebuilding project as the players who brought him so much success are gradually phased out.

Perhaps the reason Liverpool plumped for Jota in the end is that he is a player of immense ambition. This is evident on the pitch as he chases down lost causes, hunts defenders to try and win possession high up the pitch, and gives every iota to bring his team closer to victory. They are qualities Wolves supporters will miss greatly, but those very qualities might just help Liverpool maintain their remarkable standard of domestic performance for a third successive season.

Bayern Munich set to Continue their Domestic and European Dominance

After lifting five trophies in 2020, there is no stronger club in European football right now than Bayern Munich. They won the 2019-20 Bundesliga comfortably by 13 points, claimed the DFB-Pokal with ease, then achieved the crowning glory of winning the Champions League. Starting the new season with yet more silverware, the Bavarian giants have since claimed the UEFA Super Cup and the domestic DFL-Supercup.

Considering that Bayern Munich have won eight Bundesliga titles in a row, not to mention a remarkable European treble last season, it’s likely the team will enjoy yet more trophies. Essentially, any team with ambitions of winning the league must finish above them, which has proven impossible for years.

Such is their utter dominance in Germany, the latest Bundesliga betting odds for Bayern Munich have them priced at 1/8 odds for the title. By comparison, Borussia Dortmund are priced at 7/1 as the most likely potential challengers, while RB Leipzig are 18/1 and considered as outside candidates to make a serious push.

The last team to finish ahead of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga was Borussia Dortmund, and they have most consistently been the nearest title challengers since then. However, even with the impressive scoring power of Norwegian striker Erling Haaland, they just aren’t packed with the same depth of quality the reigning champions have at their disposal.

It wasn’t all that long ago that Schalke 04 were considered genuine title contenders, yet on the opening day of the 2020-21 Bundesliga campaign, they were completely demolished by the rampant Bayern Munich in an 8-0 rout. That defeat spoke volumes of just how strong the side managed by Hans-Dieter Flick is.

Nevertheless, football wouldn’t be as fun without the occasional surprise. After a gruelling encounter with Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup that went into extra-time, before the German side could secure the European trophy, they had little time to prepare for the next Bundesliga encounter.

The tiredness was more than evident when Bayern Munich travelled to Hoffenheim, who crushed their illustrious opponents 4-1 at the PreZero Arena. Although being jaded from their European exploits was always going to be possible, nobody expected the reigning champions to be humiliated in such a way.

That defeat at Hoffenheim was proof, if ever any was needed, that even the mightiest team in the Bundesliga can stumble. Although, it’s hard to imagine such results being a regular feature of the 2020-21 campaign. Indeed, Bayern Munich went on to pass a significantly challenging test in their next game, taking on Borussia Dortmund in the DFL-Supercup.

Despite blowing a 2-0 advantage, as Borussia Dortmund refused to quit and tied the Supercup duel at 2-2, Bayern Munich had their tireless defensive midfielder Joshua Kimmich to thank, capping his excellent display with the winning goal. Another trophy in the bag and continued expectations of further triumph during the season to come. There will be the occasional blip, of course, but this team tends to bounce back better every time.

Which team will win the Premier League this season?

https://unsplash.com/photos/bVc6IfdTF1k

The Premier League is back underway with most teams now having played three games. Four clubs currently sit with a 100% win rate, two of which (Leicester City and Liverpool) have been recent winners of the Premier League.

Other clubs, including Arsenal and Manchester City, are also looking strong, despite not having the best of starts to the season.

Many fans are beginning to make futures bets on the Premier League on sites like https://www.stsbet.co.uk. If you’re one of these, you’ll be wondering, which team will win the Premier League this season?

Liverpool

Liverpool finally won the Premier League last season after coming painfully close the year before. This ended a painful 30-year wait that had been tormenting many fans. However, as soon as they’d lifted the trophy, attention turned to whether the Reds would be capable of retaining the crown for a second year.

After a shaky first game which almost saw them lose to newly-promoted Leeds United, Liverpool have returned to their form from last year with victories against Chelsea and Arsenal.

This shouldn’t be too surprising as Jurgen Klopp has made only a handful of changes during the transfer window, a sharp difference to the huge wholesale changes made by other clubs.

Most bookmakers are giving them strong odds, though most only rank them as the second favourite at present.

Manchester City

The club ahead of Liverpool is Manchester City. The Sky Blues have been the strongest challenger to scouse dominance in recent years, though they struggled to match them last year.

With the stress and distraction of their Champions League ban and appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport being decided in their favour, City are looking a lot stronger in 2020/21.

There’s been a major clear out of players during the summer though, with 15 leaving and a further 19 being acquired to take their place. Pep Guardiola appears to be looking for sweeping changes across the squad, with new talent coming in every area.

This will likely mean they’ll need a few games to settle in as a new squad though, so we may not see their best performances until later in the season. This was evident in their 5-2 thrashing by Leicester City, despite controlling two-thirds of the possession in the game.

Chelsea

Chelsea are a club that can never be discounted, though they’ve struggled a bit in the last couple of years. With Frank Lampard now entering his second full season with the Blues, he’s hoping to end this season with at least some silverware.

Getting back into the Champions League this season was important for the club as it brings significant financial benefits. Now they’re there, they need to capitalise on the opportunity.

Like City, there has been a revolving door at Chelsea over the summer, with 23 new players signing with the club and another 13 leaving. They too will likely need a few more weeks to properly bed in.

Bookmakers are giving them good odds, though they’re quite a way off City and Liverpool. The gulf will likely only get bigger if they can’t pick up some good results in the next few games.

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

1200px-Bundesliga_logo_(2017).svg

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

Jose M

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

Liverpool FC – Record Breaking Season

liverpool-dortmund-200719n

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!

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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!

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?

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.

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.

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

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.

FIFA World Cup – Win or Lose

As the football calendar is quickly ticking off the passing days towards the summer event of the year, we going to take a cheeky little look at the ways to make this cold Russian hosted tournament a little more heated.

We take a look at the ways of betting inside an online casino because when the tournament kicks off the TV will be littered with hundreds of casino adverts with offers of free bonuses and betting ways to win extra cash, which is a good thing, right? So where to begin? Well, the big companies will pay top dollar to get their voice out there but they may not be the best deals so always begin with a comparison site that offers you several casinos with sports betting options, the best ones are often the British and Canadian online casino sites which the latter may surprise you but it’s testament as to how nuts the Canadians are for their sports, so credit where credit due. Now the Canada team may be out of the tournament but their casinos won’t stop giving you a huge deluge of betting options when the event kicks off!

Tactical Betting for Hot Summer Wins 

Now, predicting outcomes in these events is possible the hardest gamble, teams across the groups are very much unknown as most punters follow their own national leagues, so it’s very hard to grasp an understanding of the teams and how they perform, even England have seemed to turn the corner recently of actually scoring in the first half of games. During the qualifying rounds, the number of 0-0 draws at half time would have brought back a pretty penny if you had betted on the consistent trend of England’s first-half performances.

Outright win bets will come with very minimal returns when you have the likes of Germany, Brazil, Spain, and Argentina all playing teams with less experience and, arguably less talented players. When it comes to the games you need to be entertaining the idea of in-game bets. Options of total corners where, for example, you can select a total of over 8 corners before the kickoff and double your money with a 2.00 odd. Even during the game, you can gauge the total corner amount. Now with these high odds better than selecting a 1.50 winner, imagine the return if you select 6-9 games with a £$5 bet. With mighty teams playing minnows, it’s a guarantee the box will be bombarded and thusly increasing the corner count.

The penalty choice always comes in high, to score a penalty in a game carries anything between 8.50 to 10.00 odds. Again with clever players out on the pitch, the invisible sniper will be out to pick off players as they display acrobatic twists and turns mid-air to win a chance at an easy goal.

World Cup

Fact or Fiction 

Knowing your facts about a team can assist your betting, being a quiz site, those more attune to the facts of football often come up trumps when betting. Learn about certain player behaviours, for example, did you know Lionel Messi averages a goal a game for Argentina? However, did you also know only 5 have been scored in World Cup tournaments? Now the bookies will trick you into putting money down on him to be top scorer this year, opt for a less conventional bet that Messi will get less than 3 goals and let the fact pay off.

Don’t thing outright and look at the game pattern to select your ways of winning this summer so you can lift you bank balance whilst the teams fight to lift the trophy.

The England Outsiders Who Could Still Make The World Cup Squad

Gareth Southgate’s recent England squad caused quite the stir among Three Lions fans and pundits alike. There were a few surprise additions to the team and some faces missing that really didn’t warrant the snub.

It’s all making for an interesting end to the Premier League season as Southgate looks to pick his final 23-man squad. His side didn’t do themselves any harm against the Netherlands on Friday night, with the likes of Jordan Pickford, Harry Maguire and Kieran Trippier all getting ever closer to booking their spots on the plane. But who’re missing? And who could be the outside shots to make it to Russia 2018?

Jack Wilshere

 It was a huge shame for Jack Wilshere, who had to pull out of the recent squad due to injury. He’s worked so hard to get back into both the Arsenal and international fold and fully deserved to get a start in the heart of England’s midfield.

He’s certainly one of most pundits World Cup tips to go still if he’s fit as almost every England manager he’s played under has appreciated his quality with the ball. It’s something they could very well need, with Eric Dier, Jake Livermore and Jordan Henderson the other likely contenders for that central midfield spot.

Gary Cahill

While Gareth Southgate said he’d only pick players who were playing, it was still a surprise to see Chelsea’s Gary Cahill miss out on a place in Southgate’s recent squad. He’s struggling to get a game at Chelsea but his leadership and experience could be a valuable asset to England.

Managers of the nation do usually pick an experienced man within their squad and with only Joe Hart having more than caps than in and around the England set-up, Cahill could be the likely choice.

Glenn Murray

 A lot of fans were hoping to see Glenn Murray put on an England shirt in the recent friendlies but instead Southgate opted for Danny Welbeck. What Murray offers is something different, but it will now take great courage from the manager to drop someone in place of a player who is yet to be tried or tested at international level.

The England strike force does currently look a little one dimensional though. They have Kane as an all-round talent and then on top of that just a number of pacey forwards who like to get in and behind defenders. What happens when England need to go direct? Or Southgate needs someone to hold the ball up at the other end of the pitch? It’s a worry and Murray could be the answer.

Ben Mee

 James Tarkowski was given a call up in the recent squad by Gareth Southgate and it can be argued Ben Mee deserves one just as much. The centre half places are well and truly up for grabs in this squad and Mee could be an outside bet if he continues to shine.

He’d be an ideal replacement should any injuries occur as he’s been a shining light at the heart of Burnley’s defence all season. We’re sure many would love to simply pluck both Mee and Tarkowski from the Clarets back line and place them straight into the England team they’ve been that sound defensively. Of all the players England fans may argue about being in or out of the squad, we doubt any would argue against Mee warranting a place.

Where now for Liverpool?

LFC

Liverpool fans will be waking up after a weekend which saw them firmly put in place by a Manchester United team driven, motivated and with a returning Marcus Rashford to punish a lacklustre defence. Jurgen Klopp must be heading to training this morning frustrated that he was unable to make up a plan to break down a resilient Untied defence and that the free flowing, heavy scoring football of recent weeks just did not click. United have presented a blue print of how to deal with the feared front line of Liverpool and made Mo Salah, who has not been able to stop scoring, nullified into a passenger.

Although Everton is the local derby, the games against Manchester United always define where Liverpool are and even the most hardened fan of the Reds must admit that at the weekend, they were a long way behind Manchester United in terms of tactics, clinical finishing and big match experience. Salah and Mane have excelled at ripping apart lesser teams, but faced with a well organised defence and a tactic aimed at stopping them, they failed to shine. The rest of the team lacked inspiration and did not look like a patch on the team that could be considered one of the most attractive in world football. Klopp must take some responsibility…arguable the biggest match of his 2018 went with a whimper and now he must look to settling for 3rd at best.

The question lingers after the performance at the weekend, will a 3rd place finish and no trophies represent a success for Liverpool. Of course, a good run or unlikely win in the Champions League would change the season altogether, but in realistic terms it looks like the 3rd place finish is the best they can hope for?

In a season where 6 teams began with Champions League qualification hopes, it must be outlined that the 4 teams who manage to qualify have at least achieved the minimum. As March began, the league title was sown up, Arsenal looked to have dropped from contention and baring a disaster Liverpool are safely in.

Surely fans must expect more? Selling your finest player is never going to produce immediate returns, but the emergence of the attacking line has been a revelation but for all the positives that are talked about the Klopp revolution and the Klopp way, the simple fact remains that Liverpool are as far away from the title as they have ever been. They can easily dominate the teams below them, they can score freely when the game is going their way but when their backs are against the wall and they come up against a resilient defence,  there is no Plan B and they team fizzles out.

If the season ends with Liverpool lifting the Champions League trophy Klopp and this team will be hailed as legends and talked about in the same manner as the 2005 team who failed in the league yet won the biggest prize. If they remain trophiless and 3rd, questions will be asked. Can they accept another season of getting no closer to the league title?

Who will finish in the top 4?

If someone would have told me at the start of the season when writing this article that one team would be running away with the title, I wouldn’t have believed it. But here we are with 2018 beginning and every football fan with any common sense must sense that the league title race is over. Manchester City are not only picking up the points, but doing so in a style that suggest they will never be stopped. I hear fans from time to time hark back to the days when Newcastle, in the 1995-1996 season, where 12 points clear at this stage only to lose out to Man United……we are talking about different teams. Keegan’s Toon Army were a attacking machine but lacked the quality Manchester do. Newcastle got results by outscoring, not necessarily outplaying, teams whereas Manchester City are dominating every game from the first to the last moment. It would take a brave betting man to think they will blow it from here!

In a nutshell, assuming it is over let us take a look at the 5 teams aiming to fill the other 3 places in that top 4…

Manchester United – Somewhat a fall from grace as 2017 came to a close. As the season began it was United getting the rave reviews and plaudits and many predicting they would run away with the league but it simply hasn’t happened, and with several players form up and down, unless something major clicks they are going to struggle to hold on to second. Still, I believe they have enough firepower to secure that Top four place. Prediction – 2nd

Arsenal – Amidst all the Wenger out chants and contract disputes, Arsenal have kept on winning game, including some against top 4 rivals. Quietly, but surely, Arsene Wenger has got his side singing off the same hymn sheet and it all seems to be going well. Although the extensive demands of the Europa League may play into matters, Arsenal look good and if they hit form at the right time of the season could have a very happy fan base when the season ends . Prediction – 3rd

Chelsea – Solid, secure and pick up wins when they need to. Without having that X factor that City and United possess they are vulnerable to the odd shock but Conte should find himself in the Champions League next season. Prediction – 4th

Salah

Liverpool – Free scoring and fun to watch but the rate of goals and impressive results will fade. The champions League will take a toll and Van Dijk is not enough to make that defence work. Prediction – 5th

Spurs – Anything is possible when Harry Kane lines up in your side, but Spurs stuttered at the start of the season and have stuttered ever since. Already playing catch up, the fixtures don’t look kind to Spurs and they will have to endure another season without Champions League football next year…let us just hope thus doesn’t turn Harry Kane’s head

Is Van Dijk the answer for Liverpool?

LFC

One of the longest running, and lets face it, most tedious transfer sagas of the Summer has dragged over into the January Transfer window and it appears that finally, Jurgen Klopp has his man and Virgil Van Dijk is on his way to Anfield and boy it is one hell of a big bet www.mybestbettingsites.co.uk. Whether it has became a matter of pride and Liverpool have paid over the odds to make a point and get their man, or whether Virgil Van Dijk is going to be the man to transform Liverpool…..only time will tell!

Liverpool ‘s problem this season has been two fold….the defence and the goalkeeper. They have had no issues scoring goals and tearing teams apart with their attacking might. Indeed, Salah, Firmino and Mane provide a front three to rival any team in the world, and add Coutinho into the mix an you have one of the most potent attacking forces in world football. Indeed, the midfield has ben able to provide the support the front line needs and watching Liverpool you always get a feeling they are moments away from scoring. However….the defence is another story.

The very first game of the season set the standard, with shoddy defending and marking being a feature of the campaign since. Is it just down the players? Is it bad management? Whatever the story Jurgen Klopp has no excuses now as to why his team are leaking goals. He has Virgil Van Dijk, his world record defensive purchase, and he has the man he has touted for almost a year…..if they still fail with arguable one of the worlds bets centre backs at the core of the team, then it has to be the coach to blame.

But that is not the only problem they have. It is all well and good splashing out bug bucks for but the issue a lot of fans, and pundits see, as much deeper than that is the man between the sticks. Many teams have struggled over the years with goalkeepers and any defence is only as good as the keeper, and Liverpool are finding this out the hard way. Constant errors and mishaps….as well as the comment you here time and time again watching Liverpool games “he should have saved that” are a worry for all concerned. Will Klopp dip into the transfer market and reinforce the goalkeeping position? Who is actually available and with the £75 million already spent on Virgil Van Dijk is there any more money in the transfer fund!

Only time will tell, and January will be a very interesting month to see if Liverpool are going to put all their defensive woe eggs into one basket and hope Virgil Van Dijk is the answer. But then the bigger questions will come….how will Virgil Van Dijk cope under the new pressure he will find himself under? Being the worlds most expensive defender he is going to have to quickly get used to the fact that every single move he does in every single game will be under the microscope. Can Virgil Van Dijk take Liverpool back into the champions league and beyond? It is going to be interesting to find out…

Test your knowledge of Premier Leagues Top Scorers

Delli Ali Spurs Quiz

Since the inception of the league in 1992, the Premier League has been home to some sensational and clinical goal scorers. English striker Alan Shearer currently leads the way with the most Premier League goals, but there have been multiple players that have made it into the ‘100 Club’. The performances of these goal scorers competing in the league means that many Premier League odds bookmakers now allow betters to guess what players will score during a match.

Football is not an easy game to predict, so it can be quite difficult to guess who will score during a match. However in certain scenarios it can be quite easy to make a calculated guess on who will score. By trying this quiz, you can test out your knowledge on Premier League goal scorers and whether each player has scored more or less goals than the number given?

Check out the Quiz here.

Which team will in this year’s Champions League

As investment in the game rises and new clubs come to the fore, the influx of world class players and clubs previously not deemed contenders for the Champions League, the elite competition in Europe, and interest in the game reaches fever pitch….the Champions League becomes more important than ever. The qualification is over; the group draw is done and after the international break the competition itself. Each year there are shocks, surprises, classic games  and world class football….but the questions is, in one of the most competitive seasons in living memory, just who will win the Champions League.

I think it is fair to say that the Champions League winner this season is likely to come from only a handful of countries so let us look at each nation step by step and see what they can offer. Also, on the off chance you’re a gambling man and you enjoy betting on the Champions League then a great site to take a look at is Footy Accumulators as they offer daily football tips for all of the biggest games.

Starting in Spain, look no further than Real Madrid as the odds on favourites. Easily the best team in the contest last season, and deserved winners, Real look solid and have the attacking flair and defensive might to defeat any team on their day. Barcelona have been rocked by the departure of Neymar, breaking up the MSN partnership, but they still have enough quality and experience to make a challenge. They may have missed key transfer targets and lack the “galactico feel” of Madrid but they should never be counted out.

Over in France, with Monaco losing the majority of their top players, the only Champions League winner potentially comes in the form of mega rich PSG who have boosted their attacking might with Mbappe and Neymar and will be irresistible in attack. They still have a lot to prove on the big stage to show they have the steel and grit to compete, but rule them out at your peril.

The only Italian hope is really Juventus who already look solid in the season, with a well-grounded squad, defensively the best set up in the continent and a wonder goal machine in the form of Dybala. They are my outside bet to life the trophy and even the finest attackers around may struggle to penetrate the Old Lady.

In terms of the German teams, I am sorry to say, that Bayern simply have not kept up with rivals. They have not spent big, they have not improved and they risk falling behind the European elite. The Germans always prove us wrong and seeing them in the Semi Final would not surprise me, but I rate their chances of making it all the way very slim.

Finally, the English clubs have 5 teams in this year and the only one I would rule out as contenders are Spurs. Lacking in experience and the poor home form at Wembley mean it could be a very short run. As for the others…Chelsea have been there before and have added plenty of quality, Manchester City are as strong as ever in attack but again need to prove it on the big stage and Liverpool have a front three to rival any in the word. But the one big contender, especially with his second season streak, is Manchester United and the Special One. Deep squad, plenty of goals, solid at the back….I can see Manchester United taking some beating in this year’s Champions League!

 

Prediction: Manchester United

One to Watch: Juventus

What happened to Wimbledon?

I am just about young enough to remember a time when a Wimbledon side, led by Vinnie Jones and a hard hitting squad of English players, was topping the Premier League table. Indeed, the fabled cup win from 1988 is still fresh in the conscious as is their dramatic rise from obscurity to the top flight. But within a few years of that triumphant run to the top of the Premier League Wimbledon had collapsed, were out of business and reformed under the banner of two new clubs! MK Dons are essentially the team Wimbledon were but the AFC Wimbledon club is the one with the heart.

So what happened and can another other teams learn a lesson from this demise?

Wimbledon found them in the Premier League at a time when the money was starting to grow. It was nothing in comparison to what a middling team can earn in the division today, but still the money was flooding in and everyone around was investing in cheap foreign players with a new technique, new skills and a raised standard. The league began to be graced with the finest players in the world and with a push to getting in the Champions League the top half a dozen Premier League clubs began to invest. Wimbledon didn’t….even in the season they looked on for a top 6 finish; they did not spend the money. The club had been built on the premise of hard hitting English players with a certain style of play that worked well in the 1980s but was not compatible with the modern day game. They did not change with the times and that was one of their major issues!

They didn’t learn the earlier lesson from 1988 when they shocked the world and won the FA Cup, taking down Liverpool on their way, and were the talk of the nation. At that point they could have set aside time to build for the future and establish a club that could repeat the feat. They were the most talked about team in England and yet they did not back this up by going after players to improve.

The relocation issues did not help. Crowded in London, being an unfashionable team and not able to draw crowds who would rather flock to the more fashionable and successful clubs, drove the clubs owners into the controversial move to Milton Keynes which killed the heart of Wimbledon.

At the end of the day, a lack of ambition killed Wimbledon. This probably comes from always being the underdog and always being “the little club done well”. But that can only last so long in an industry where money talks and the game moved beyond what Wimbledon were all about.  They failed to adapt to the changing game, stuck to their roots of old fashioned English players and it backfired. There will never be another club like Wimbledon, and the absence of the club is sadly one of the many casualties of the modern game in the Premier League mega-money era of English football.

25 YEARS OF PREMIER LEAGUE: HOW HAS IT EVOLVED?

Premier_League_Logo

25 years ago, a new Era of English football began. At that time, there were still a lot of lapses in the game although it was exciting nonetheless. However, in the last 25 years, English Football has changed beyond recognition and is regarded as the most successful league in the world with the most number of fans spread across the world.

One way where the English Premier League (EPL) has undoubtedly grown is the financial power which it wields as before now, it was on par with the other major leagues across Europe. However, in the last 25 years, its financial might has peaked, and in a recent report by Deloitte, 12 of the EPL’s 20 clubs are featured in Deloitte’s list of top 30 clubs by revenue released in January 2017.

Some other changes which the EPL has witnessed is an increase in the number of teams that participate in the league. The premier league first began with 22 teams in 1991-1992 but was later reduced to 20 teams after three seasons for the start of 1995 to 96 season. Also, there has been a visible increase in the numbers of foreign players, of the 273 players who participated in the commencement of the League in 1992 for the 22 teams only 55 came from countries outside UK and Ireland. However, today, the story is different because in 2017, of the 277 who played in the League only 86 were from England while 191 were from countries outside the UK.

Another area where rapid changes have been noticed is in the number of Foreign Managers coaching in the EPL.  In 1992, 18 of the 23 Managers who were in charge of EPL clubs were from England while in 2017, only four of the 20 managers are English, and this contributes to the competitiveness of the EPL. Expectedly, the number of fans following EPL teams have witnessed a tremendous and steady increase in the number of followers, with fans from across the world showing serious interest in various teams.

The officiating of the EPL has also changed as evidently, referees give stiffer punishment to players who disobeys the rules of the football game. For instance, in 1992 only 23 yellow cards were issued to players with no red card while. In 2017, there were 34 yellows cards in just ten games with ten red cards.

For a League that has been up for up quarter of a century, it will not be devoid of some dramas for instance, in 2013, Luis Suarez a striker who has been known for so many controversies bite Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a match which led to his ten match ban.

Another remarkable event in the Premier League took place on August 3, 1999, when Arsenal signed Thierry who became the best player in the league for years, he spent eight years in the team scoring remarkable goals and winning two League titles. Anyone who has followed the League will forever remember how Ronaldo delivered one of the best free kicks ever seen in the history of Premier League when Manchester United played against Portsmouth in 2008.

Along side this there has been a proliferation of new betting sites tapping into the love of fans to twin football and betting.

A lot has changed in the EPL in the past 25 years, and as we enter into a new era of its existence, there is so much more which is expected to change. We can only fold our hands and enjoy.

1990’s Football Quiz

Coventry City Players

Here at Footie Quiz we like to think of ourselves as the go to place for free football quizzes. However we recently came across a cracking 90s football quiz that a) was a big challenge and b) is worthy of a mention in our blog.

So credit to My Betting Sites for: The Hardest 90s Football Quiz

Being in my late 30s the 1990s was ‘my era’ so to discover this quiz was great and an absolute joy. I found some of them easy, esp my old favourite player Rob Jones.

Rob JonesAs a player his career was cut brutally short due to persistent shin splint problem. However after his move from lowly Crewe Alexandra he spent 4 solid seasons a Liverpool going on to win England caps along the way. In my opinion one of the best right backs of the 1990s.

Other easy ones: Ian Marshall, Julien Dicks (oh why oh why did Souness buy him for LFC?), Choccy, Batty, Sirnicke (sp?),  Stevie Stone, Dublin and Tim Flowers.

While there are some easy ones there are also some really tough ones. I can’t for the life of me remember the chap from Sheff Wed – I think he was Dutch! Or the Arsenal player – think he is also foreign.

Wimbledon’s Dean Holdsworth (possible run close by the Spurs chap) was clearly the best looking chap of 1990s football and the prize for the ugliest footballer went to this chap – no idea who he is:

Bolton FC

Only because there was no Iain Dowie or Beardo in the quiz!

What I also like about the quiz is the array of old kits, as a Liverpool fan I can recall our old kits but over time you forget about other teams. Spurs had some nice kits, so did Chelsea but that Kasey Keller Leicester top is shocking!

If you have 15 minutes spare and are prepared to get frustrated by not remembering ‘what a thingys’ name then you really should play this quiz.

 

 

Trailblazing Tottenham Trivia: Up for the Cups

Delli Ali Spurs Quiz

Admittedly, there is a considerable amount of ground to cover before Tottenham can even dare to envisage equalling Arsenal’s haul of three Premier League titles. However, as key moments in Tottenham’s history will indicate, records are there to be set – and broken. Founded in 1882, the club took only 19 years to rack up its first major achievement, and establish itself as a potential goldmine of trivia and ‘pub ammo’.

1901 – Tottenham become first FA Cup-winning amateurs

In winning the 1901 FA Cup final, just seven years before becoming a professional club, Tottenham became the first amateur team to win England’s flagship knockout tournament. The Lilywhites are still the only team to win the cup as a non-league side, and barring a miracle far greater than Leicester’s title win of 2015/16, they will remain so until the very end of time.

Under player-manager John Cameron, Tottenham’s very first FA Cup match of the twentieth century was played on 23 February 1901 against Bury at White Hart Lane. A 2-1 victory saw Tottenham proceed to the quarter-finals, where another home tie – against Reading – yielded a 3-0 win. West Bromwich Albion awaited Tottenham in the semi-final, but the Baggies were somewhat distracted by a relentless fight to regain the club’s top flight status. A 4-0 win for Tottenham set up a final with first division Sheffield United.

The final was played at what is today known as the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. The Blades had only recently secured mathematical survival against relegation, and appeared jaded against a Tottenham side playing without pressure. Despite taking a tenth-minute lead through Fred Priest, Sheffield United eventually buckled, with a brace of goals from Sandy Brown either side of half time giving Tottenham the lead.

Hence the club motto, Tottenham had dared to do, and with 51 minutes played, could now dare to dream. On 52 minutes, Tottenham dared to dwindle, and paid what could have been the ultimate price. An equaliser from Walter Bennett proved to be the last goal of the match, with Tottenham barely clinging to the hope of becoming FA Cup winners.

At 20 stone, William ‘Fatty’ Foulke proved a towering presence in the Sheffield United goal.

Burnden Park was only closed as recently as 1997, but in hosting the replay, it had the privilege of witnessing a unique piece of history. The second encounter was every bit as gruelling as the first, but a well-conditioned Sheffield United went in as 1-0 leaders at halftime, with Fred Priest once more the opening goalscorer.

One can only imagine the rousing speech uttered by John Cameron, but Tottenham came out as an indefatigable force after the break. High on half-time oranges, Cameron himself scored the equaliser just eight minutes into the second half. Further goals, from Tom Smith and Sandy Brown, sealed victory and an F.A Cup win that would echo through the generations to come.

1963 – Tottenham triumph in Cup Winners’ Cup

Tottenham would set another notable record in 1920, when (as a second division side) the Lilywhites gained promotion with a total of 70 points. In today’s second tier, that tally would barely scrape a playoff place – but this was back when only two points were awarded for a win. Tottenham won 32 games from a possible 42 and scored 102 goals, and like the club’s FA Cup win of 1901, it is a record that is now guaranteed to stand the test of time.

Though crowned English champions in 1951, the dawn of the 1960s truly represented Tottenham’s most recent golden era. In 1960/61, the club became the first to win a domestic double, but it was at the end of the 1962/63 season that Tottenham would accomplish that which no other English club had dared to do.

In Jimmy Greaves, Tottenham boasted a striker very much in the mould of present-day hero Harry Kane, who is surprisingly priced at 3/1 and tipped to once more be the Premier League’s top goalscorer next season. After successfully defending the FA Cup in 1962, a Tottenham side managed by Bill Nicholson found itself making a short journey north. The destination was Ibrox, with Glasgow Rangers awaiting the Lilywhites in what promised to be a ferocious cross-border battle.

Already 5-2 up on aggregate, the Tottenham squad that took to the Ibrox pitch on 11 December 1962 could not rest on their laurels. With Tottenham drawing first blood, all realistic fears of a comeback from Rangers were quashed. Beaten though the Rangers squad must have collectively realised they were, the Scottish Cup winners fought a brave and defiant battle to the last:

Now safely through, Tottenham were drawn against Slovan Bratislava in the quarter finals. In front of a 32,000-strong Tehelne Pole Stadion, Nicholson’s side were stunned 2-0 by the Czechoslovakian heavyweights. Humiliated and wounded, Tottenham would be brutal in their vengeance for the return leg. Jimmy Greaves scored twice en route to a 6-0 win over Slovan Bratislava, and there were also goals from Dave Mackay, Bobby Smith, Cliff Jones and John White.

After a brace of relatively straightforward semi-final wins, yielding a 5-2 aggregate victory over Yugoslavian side OFK Beograd, only Atletico Madrid stood in the way of Tottenham and ownership of an unprecedented piece of history. Though Tottenham only had a 2-1 lead by the hour mark, the navy and white section of the Feijenoord Stadium in Rotterdam erupted three times without reply, with a brace of goals from Terry Dyson sandwiching an obligatory Jimmy Greaves goal to give the final scoreline a deceptively slanted look.

With a 5-1 rout of the Spaniards, Tottenham duly became the first ever British team to win a major European cup.

2010 – Tottenham ‘two good’ under Redknapp

Tottenham would go on to win two more European cups, lifting the UEFA Cup in 1972, and again in 1984. The first of those triumphs saw Tottenham become the first British team to win Europe’s secondary club competition. After remaining one of football traditional giants throughout the 1980s, the 1990s and 2000s saw undulating fortunes for the men from the Lane. After a dismal start to 2008/09, Harry Redknapp took the reins and guided Tottenham to mid-table respectability.

The following season, Redknapp’s side defied the odds and finished fourth, to qualify for the Champions League. Tottenham survived the qualifier, against BSC Young Boys, and proudly took their place amongst the European elite for the first time since the competition’s rebranding in 1992. Nobody expected Tottenham to get anywhere near the final – and they didn’t. However, Tottenham had one more record to set.

5th May 2010 – Tottenham beat Manchester City to fourth place with a win at the Ethiad Stadium.

In a group containing the reigning cup holders Inter Milan, Tottenham were a potent force. The Lilywhites scored ten goals in three home matches, including a famous 3-1 win over the holders. Curiously, Tottenham scored eight times in their away matches, but took just two points from nine. In doing so, Tottenham became the first team in history to score two goals or more in every Champions League group game.

Seven years on, Tottenham fans have every reason to be excited ahead of the 2017/18 Premier League season, with the club having now finished in the top three for a second consecutive year. Nobody is in any doubt as to which record Tottenham want to smash next. Chelsea’s record title-winning tally of 95 points is impressive, and is likely to remain unbeaten forever. Yet, as the famous motto goes: “to dare is to do” – and attempting to become the first Premier League side to hit 100 points is as big a dare as it gets.

Football moments that defied the odds 

Although the bookmakers usually get it right when offering odds on major football matches, the beautiful game wouldn’t be loved by billions around the world if it didn’t produce the odd upset, the odd miracle or its fair share of fairy tales. 

 Here we take a look at just some unlikely triumphs of days gone by that have sent shock waves around the world! 

Leicester City win the Premier League

Leicester City Quiz

Potentially the greatest upset in the history of professional sport. After spending the majority of the 2014/15 Premier League season fighting to stave of relegation, Leicester City started the following campaign amongst the favourites to be relegated. Boasting one of the league’s lowest budget and with the appointment of the much-ridiculed ‘Tinkerman‘, Claudio Ranieri, few expected anything but another relegation dogfight for the Foxes. 

The bookies got this one completely wrong! Offering pre-season odds of 5,000/1 cost them millions when Leicester lifted the Premier League trophy aloft at the end of one of the most unbelievable seasons ever witnessed. 

Greece win Euro 2004 

Greece had only taken part in a major football tournament twice before, losing every game in both the 1980 European Championships and 1994 World Cup. In the build-up to Euro 2004, many experts had predicted the Greeks to suffer a similar fate in Portugal, especially after being named in the same group as the hosts and European giants, Spain. 

The signs were there that an upset could be on the cards when Greece beat Portugal 2-1 in the opening game of the tournament. Despite not scoring more than one goal in any other game throughout the competition, Greece made it past France, the Czech Republic and then Portugal in the final to seal a famous triumph. 

 Denmark – 1992 Kings of Europe 

Incredibly, Denmark won the European Championships in 1992 despite failing to qualify for the tournament. The Danes were late replacements for Yugoslavia who were disqualified due to the ongoing conflict in the country.  

Euro ’92 was dominated by the ongoing turmoil affecting the political landscape across Europe. As well as the disqualification of a war-torn Yugoslavia, the tournament welcomed a CIS football team (Commonwealth of Independent States) to replace the recently dissolved Soviet Union and also saw a unified Germany compete in a major tournament for the first time in their history.  

After failing to win either of their first two games, Denmark escaped from the group by beating the 1984 champions, France. After beating hosts, Sweden, in the semi-finals, the Danes pulled off a huge shock to beat world champions, Germany in the final by two goals to nil.  

Wimbledon win the FA Cup 

Liverpool, the dominant English side of the 1980’s arrived at Wembley in 1988 with their sights set firmly on a second league and cup double in three seasons. Their opponents that day, the Wimbledon ‘Crazy Gang’. 

The final came just eleven years since Wimbledon were playing in the Southern Football League – the seventh tier of English football. In their second season in the top flight, Wimbledon’s seventh place finish was deemed to be a major over achievement and few gave them a hope of toppling giants, Liverpool at Wembley. 

Vinnie Jones’ crunching challenge on Steve McMahon early in the game set the tone and a solitary Lawrie Sanchez goal was enough to see Wimbledon lift their first ever major trophy in one of the FA Cup’s greatest ever shocks. 

Whether you’re a favourite-backer or believe in the underdog, visit Free Bets where you can sign up and start betting online today.

The greatest ever football comebacks 

 
With less than one month to go until the start of another football season, we take the opportunity to delve into the archives of some of the sport’s greatest comebacks, highlighting why so many of us love the beautiful game.  

 Manchester United vs Bayern Munich – 1999 UEFA Champions League final  

On one famous night in Barcelona, Sir Alex Ferguson and his Manchester United team etched their names into English football history as they completed an unprecedented treble in the most dramatic fashion.  

With yet another Premier League and FA Cup double already secure, United arrived at the famous Nou Camp aiming to become the first English club to win Europe’s premier competition since 1984. With 90 minutes on the clock, United were 1-0 down and looked destined to fall agonisingly short. Two stoppages time goals from Teddy Sheringham and then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turned the game on its head and sealed a famous win for The Red Devils.  

Liverpool vs AC Milan – 2005 UEFA Champions League final  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl-_NuDxiFQ

That famous night in Istanbul – another magical European night for an English team. Milan were sensational in the first half. A first minute goal from defender, Paolo Maldini and a brace from Hernan Crespo saw the Italians race into a 3-0 half-time lead.  

However, in six crazy second half minutes, Liverpool scored three goals to level the match. The Reds managed to hold on heroically in extra-time before emerging victorious after a penalty shootout to seal a fifth European Cup triumph.  

Barcelona vs Paris Saint Germain – 2017 UEFA Champions League quarter final, second leg  

In one of the most one-sided defeats in Barcelona’s illustrious history, PSG eased to a 4-0 win in the first leg of their quarter final clash. Few believed Barcelona manager, Luis Enrique, when he insisted his side could still qualify for the next round.  

With 50 minutes gone in the second leg, Barcelona had reduced the aggregate deficit to 4-3, but a goal by Edison Cavani against the run of play seemed to end the Spaniards’ hopes of qualification.   

Goals by Neymar (88), (90+1) and Sergi Roberto (90+5), gave Barcelona a 6-5 aggregate win and capped one of the greatest comebacks ever witnessed.  

Manchester City vs Queens Park Rangers – 2012 Premier League final day  

With Manchester United locked in a battle for the Premier League title with rivals, Manchester City, the ‘Noisy Neighbours’ knew they would be champions if they could match United’s final day result.  
 
Manchester United, in a professional manner, left Sunderland’s Stadium of Light with a 1-0 win, meaning City needed three points at home to QPR.  

As the full-time whistle went at Sunderland, news came through the City were trailing 2-1 at home and United players and fans knew they were on the verge of winning the title.  

Ironically, in a never-say-die attitude that had become the ‘United way’, City scored twice in ‘Fergie Time’ to win 3-2 and seal a first ever Premier League title.  

If you wish to predict the next big payout, why not explore the many in-play deals online bookies have to offer? Access and compare betting sites and promotions through Betting Sites today and place your bets! 

Alexandre Lacazette Signing Makes Frenchman Arsenal’s Highest Earner

Alexandre Lacazette Signing Makes Frenchman Arsenal's Highest Earner

 Alexandre Lacazette Signing Makes Frenchman Arsenal's Highest EarnerSource: Arsenal via Facebook

It has been one of the most anticipated deals of this year’s transfer market, and Arsenal fans can now officially celebrate as their side have completed the signing of French forward Alexandre Lacazette.

The club stated that the 26-year-old striker had agreed to a “long-term contract” for an undisclosed fee, which was later revealed as a five-year deal and a record signing for the club, worth £52m. This smashes the previous record of £42.5m set back in 2013 when Mesut Ozil made the jump from Real Madrid.

Not only that, but the French forward will become the club’s highest earner, with his contract worth a reported £200,000 per week.

Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “I am of course delighted and very proud too because Arsenal is a legendary club. Throughout my childhood, thanks to Thierry Henry and other French players, I always dreamed of playing for this club so today that dream has been fulfilled.”

With Arsenal last tasting league success back in 2004, Arsene Wenger will be hoping that this new addition can help bring back the glory days to the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 20 seasons last year, which will also be a major driving force for them in 2017/18 – the side are currently placed at evens in the football betting markets to secure a berth into Europe’s elite competition.

Many are saying that with the explosive attacking trio of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and now Alexandre, this could be the year for the Gunners.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=gI6YOhbT6H0

Sanchez still has one year on his contract at the Emirates and there has been much speculation surrounding the player and his desire to remain at the London club. He was most definitely the standout player for the Gunners last season, with a very impressive tally of 24 goals and 11 assists. This latest addition to the squad could be the deciding factor in the Chilean’s decision to stay. Everybody is well aware of his hunger for trophies and thirst for success, and Lacazette is certainly the kind of player that can help make those dreams a reality.

Arsenal secured the FA Cup and took the club’s only trophy of the season, defeating Premier League champions Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley. It was a testament to the resilience of the team after heavy criticism from the supporters for both manager and players. Arsene Wenger described the wins as one of the proudest moments in his career. The win saw him lift his seventh FA Cup and become the most successful manager in the competition’s history.

Lacazette scored 37 goals in all competitions in his final season at Lyon and has become one of Europe’s most prolific goal scorers. Now the real question is, can he bring that unique touch and blistering pace to the Premier League and use it to bring the title home for the Gunners?