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.

Man United Tour of Australia

Man-Utd-in-Australia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

Man United V Liverpool Post Match Analysis

Liverpool v Man Utd

The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United takes on an especially more reverent tone when the two teams are within close proximity in the league. With the league title out of reach, and both teams looking secure in the top four, the match up on Saturday was perhaps the biggest domestic game the teams had left.

Prior to the game, the focus had been on the tactics of Jose Mourinho…what approach would he take? Would he park that ever popular bus? He surprised everyone from the off by giving Marcus Rashford his first start of 2018 and boy, did that pay off!

Manchester United see Liverpool as their main rivals, and the Old Trafford faithful seem to have really played this up the further Manchester City become out of reach, and hence Old Trafford was louder than it has been for some time. It can be quite demotivating to a fan base, used to winning, to be so far behind their city rivals in second,  but to beat Liverpool is a must for any Manchester United Manager.

United looked strong throughout and Liverpool rarely threatened, evidenced by the fact that it took a rather comical own goal from Eric Bailly to give them hope. Mo Salah, prolifically free scoring all season, was marked out of the game and Mane, Firmino and Milner failed to get control. Liverpool looked out of ideas and the fast, free flowing fizzing football they have been playing under Klopp was attempted, but had no chance of breaking down a resilient United.

The pressure applied to the known weakness of Dejan Lovren paid off and the ever imposing threat of Roman Lukaku bullying the back for was just too much. The goals United scored showed a tactical awareness of these defensive weakness and both goals emerged from long balls aimed at the weak centre backs, of which Rashford was able to take control.

With England manager Gareth Southgate watching on, his eyes must surely have lit up seeing the electric form of Rashford, causing problems for the defensive, clinical finishing and an eye for goal.  If this form continues, surely he has to be in the world cup plans as a starter? You can check out his odd with Mobilebet Voucher Code 2018 An on for Rashford may also be the key to United sticking with 2nd place.

But will 2nd place be satisfying to United fans? Even the most hardened pro-United anti-City resident of Old Trafford must admit that they are by far the second best team in the league this season, and that coming 2nd is an achievement. With 6 teams now competing for the top 4 spaces, United remain ahead of everyone who-is-not-Man-City. The worry will be how they can move on an breach that gap? Seville come to Old Trafford in the Champions League this week in what will be another test for this emerging team. Could a run to the final of the Champions League be the spur to set United up for a title challenge next season? Only time will tell…

 

Who has done the best business in this transfer window?

Transfer Window

The mad rush of the summer transfer window is finally over and we can now start to assess which teams have had the greatest of successes in the transfer window. Clubs will never be able to please all of the fans all of the time, and hence you may disagree with the choices, but these are the 5 Premier League clubs who have had the best transfer window –

  1. Manchester United – Jose was sitting relaxed on transfer deadline day as all his business was done early and done well, as proven by their thumping start. Lukaku is a goal machine, a striker with a proven hit record and a game changer. But the most important signing may well prove to be Matic who completes the United jigsaw and will be there in the engine room to drive the team onwards to glory on many fronts.

 

  1. Everton – Not only can you class the return of a motivated and England-free Wayne Rooney as one of the best singings of the summer, but bringing in someone with proven premier league experience such as Mr Sigurdsson and you have a team who are solid from 1-11 and with good back up. Holding onto Ross Barkley may also prove to be a useful move once the later stages of the league and Europa League hit.

 

  1. Liverpool – Staying on Merseyside and with Mo Salah and the Ox firming up the team they have improved in the quality of their attack. Holding onto to Coutinho may prove to be handy should he start to be included in the team, but Mo Salah creates a front line three with Firmino and Mane that looks unstoppable. Yes not tempting VVD away from St Marys is disappointing and there are defensive questions, but Liverpool should be pleased with the window.

  1. West Brom – Not the most fashionable of clubs but look at who they have brought in and you will see why WBA are being talked about as contender’s for a Top 10 finish. Proven Premier League players such as Gibbs and Barry to add to the new blood in the team makes for an exciting prospect indeed.

 

  1. Chelsea – Finally landed Llorente to add to the fire power provided by the arrival of Morata gives Chelsea chance to move away from reliance on want away Diego Costa. But one of the best signings of the window may indeed prove to be Danny Drinkwater. Reunited with Kante the Chelsea midfield, with Bakayoko involved in the mix, makes a solid team who will be hard to beat.

What about the worst business? One of the contenders must be Newcastle United who have not invested to match the ambition of the fans or indeed Rafa Benitez. With a lack of proven premier league quality and a slow start to the season, nerves must be shaking at St James Park and without a huge recruitment in January, they will have a long season.

What has though been odd about this window is the battle for players to leave clubs, and their insistence to stay…never before have we seen such sagas together as Coutinho, VVD and Sanchez. It has made for a rather uncomfortable and, at times, dull series of events,

So the transfer talk can subside for the time being and we can look forward to the start of the Champions League, the Premier League to start taking shape and all the usual dramas that come with a football seasons. Buckle your seat belts as its going to a bumpy ride…

 

A look back at Cristiano Ronaldo’s records at Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo’s relentless scoring has added a few more records to his magnificent résumé this year, including becoming the all-time top scorer across the top five leagues in Europe.

The man, who many consider to be the greatest player in the world, and one of the greatest in the illustrious history of the sport, now has a record of nearly 600 goals and over 200 assists for three clubs that feature in three different leagues and Portugal.

‘Christiano Ronaldo’ – Ludovic Peron via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Having played in three games, sealing one assist, in the 2002/03 season for Sporting Lisbon, then-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson signed the Portuguese winger for – what now looks to be one of the deals of the century – just £16.15 million. Cristiano Ronaldo then used Old Trafford as his stage to set the world on fire; his slick feet, speedy runs, elegant shooting, and lightning free kicks securing his fate as a Manchester United legend.

In 2009, Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid for a world-record fee, but now he might be on his way back. To the excitement of many United fans, Ronaldo is 3/1 to link back up with the Red Devils (second-favourite behind staying) following reports of his displeasure at being the focus of a tax scandal. So, let’s take a look at the records that Ronaldo set in Manchester – a list that he could be adding to if a transfer comes to fruition.

Ronaldo’s records from his time in England

‘57457319’ – Yoca91 via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Cristiano Ronaldo holds the ‘first and only’ title for a Manchester United player with many FIFA awards. In 2008, he won the European Golden Shoe with his 31 league goals. He beat Klass-Jan Huntelaar and Rhys Griffiths by virtue of the value of Premier League goals.

He also won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in the same season, as well as the FIFA Puskas Award in the following campaign for this goal against FC Porto in the Champions League:

In 2007/08, Ronaldo scored the joint-most goals to earn the Premier League Golden Boot award in a 38-game season at 31 goals; tied with Alan Shearer (Blackburn 95/96), and Luis Suarez (Liverpool 13/14). The Portuguese marksman blazed past Fernando Torres and Emmanuel Adebayor, who came second with 24 goals each. That also marks a Manchester United record for goals in a single 38-game Premier League season.

He’s also the first player to win all four of the major Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Writers’ Association awards. Ronaldo was the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2006/07,  the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year in 2006/07 and 2007/08, the PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2006/07 and 2007/08, and won the FWA Footballer of the Year in 2006/07 and 2007/08.

Finally, the transfer fee of £80 million which took Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid obliterated the former record transfer fee of £46 million for Zinedine Zidane from Juventus to Real Madrid. Despite being 32 years old, a potential transfer of Ronaldo could very well demand a fee close to the record-breaking one which moved him to Spain.

He’s still got a few more years left of playing in him, so there’s no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo will continue to add to his remarkable stash of footballing records, be it for Manchester United or Real Madrid next season.

World’s Top 4 Richest Football Clubs

Football, the king of the sports, has witnessed quite a fortune during its long reign. Staggering amounts of money are passed between clubs and players alike, as transfers are a common phenomenon in this sport. Along with other income from the live matches, the TV broadcasts and the ad campaigns, these clubs hold a world’s treasures in their footballers’ leg techniques.

Still, there are distinctions among teams as total revenues are counted at the end of each season. The Deloitte Football Money League has published their annual ranking according to the three primary income criteria mentioned above. Results may be surprising for sports fans, but they are definitely shocking for normal, middle class people.

#4 – Bayern Munich (€592.0m)

Going one place upwards, the German team from Munich made it to the fourth place on the Deloitte charts. This is mainly due to their 25% rise in annual income as opposed to last year.

Due to recognitions about their professionalism in Germany, this team has managed to win yet another Bundesliga title and DFB-Pokal Final. They even reached the semi-finals in the Champions League, facing some of today’s best football players.

#3 – Real Madrid (€620.1m)

After an 11-year streak of holding the top position on the aforementioned Deloitte ranking, this team fell to third position. They were ultimately toppled by their well-known rivals, but a tenth fraction of a million Euros kept them from keeping a strong second position.

In any case, the 11-year streak is still on when speaking about the European Cup. In all regards, a positive season for ‘Los Blancos’ still got them a positive revenue gain of 7%, enabling them to finally break through the €600m limit which remained unreachable up until now.

#2 – Barcelona (€620.2m)

Holding the firm second position on the Deloitte Football Money League, the Spanish team has kept its nation proud. Along with some of the world’s most loved football players, they maintain an impeccable public image.

What kept them in second place was their 11% revenue growth, in part due to their frequent advertisement appearances and improved attendance to their games. However, the main reason for such progress had been noted due to Bruce Springsteen’s two concerts held at their stadium Nou Camp. As part of ‘The River Tour’, the singer brought the club a staggering €8m in just two nights.

#1 – Manchester United (€689m)

With a strong return to the Champions League, the football team Manchester United finally climbed the top position on the list of wealthiest football clubs. Being used to the spotlight, they barely handled the 11-year long dominance of their Spanish rivals Real Madrid.

In any case, a strong ad campaign benefited The Red Devils just like any other football club, especially their deal with the brand Adidas.

After this preview, all we can do is use our instant sports money from the many betting bonuses and try to topple their record. Careful analyses and a little luck might get you a long way, who knows.

The Title Race

EPL

The Title Race

The Premiership season is now in full swing and heavyweights Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea have all got off to a flying start, making them the three favourites to lift the famous trophy in May. The betting odds on all three have drifted in after each won both their opening games, while the odds on rivals like Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Leicester have grown longer after less assured starts.

The 2016/17 season promised to showcase the most open and fascinating title in recent memory. Last season’s top three – surprise champions Leicester, Arsenal and Tottenham – were set to challenge once more. Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea had all slipped down the table and invested heavily in highly coveted new managers and some of the best players from across Europe, while Liverpool were tipped as a force under Jurgen Klopp and the likes of West Ham were even seen as being in with a chance.

That fabulous open race with eight teams vying for the title might still happen. But the early signs are ominous for all but City, Utd and Chelsea. Arsenal started as third favourites at 6/1 in the betting odds behind Man City and Man Utd. But a disastrous transfer window followed by a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Liverpool and a 0-0 draw with Leicester has seen them five points off the pace and drift out to 11/1 fourth favourites. Liverpool followed up that win with a miserable defeat by newly promoted Burnley and are 12/1 themselves. Tottenham have taken four points from their first two games, but they are out at 14/1 having not spent a great deal of money themselves in the summer.

Last season Leicester were 5000/1 to win the league but they pulled off a miracle and bet their big-spending rivals to the title. Nobody expected them to repeat the feat, especially after losing N’Golo Kante to Chelsea and having to cope with the added pressures of playing Champions League football. They started the season with odds of 33/1 and a crushing opening day defeat at the hands of crisis club Hull and that 0-0 bore draw with Arsenal has seen them drift out to 66/1 with Bet365, Sky Bet and various other bookmakers.

While it is early days it seems like those teams may find themselves vying for fourth place if Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea keep up the good work. City have been a revelation under Pep Guardiola, who has won six titles in seven seasons with Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Striker Sergio Aguero is in red hot form – and a good bet at 5/2 with 888 Sport for the Golden Boot if he can stay fit – and the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva seem to enjoy playing Guardiola’s brand of possession football. They started the season with betting odds of 5/2 and were favourites to win it, despite only finishing fourth last season, and that is a reflection of the esteem in which Guardiola is held among the footballing community. They have since gone into 7/4 with Betfred, Bet Victor and Paddy Power after winning both their opening games and steam rollering Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League.

The betting odds on them would probably be even shorter were it not for the resurgence taking place at local rivals Man Utd. In Jose Mourinho they have another born winner with a fantastic track record, and they have broken the world record transfer fee to sign Paul Pogba for their midfield, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a force to be reckoned with up front and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be a much needed source of creativity. They have gone in to 9/4 with some bookmakers, but you can still get 3/1 at Betway.

Finally Chelsea, who have also started with a 100% record, although they have looked the least comfortable in doing so as they have twice had to rely on last ditch Diego Costa strikes to win 2-1 at the death, and many have suggested he shouldn’t have even been on the pitch to score their last winner due to his persistent fouling. They are now 11/2 and third favourites in the betting odds chart, and of the three they look the one most likely to be sucked back into the battle with Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool et al.

It should still prove to be a thrilling battle, but right now it is hard to look past City and Utd, and if pushed you would have to say City have enough about them to finish top of the pile come May.

 

 

Why has van Gaal abandoned a successful formula?

Man Utd Badge
 He tried it once, it was remarkably successful and yet he hasn’t used it again, amazing!
Instead he has resorted to boring football whereby the fans, the ones who are still awake at least, have taken to calling him nasty names and wanting him to find alternative employment. Is this what it has come to?This is how it all came about.Aloysius Paulus Maria van Gaal fancied a shorter, more memorable monicker. He decided that what he needed to do, quite wisely, was to drop the Maria bit, not advertise too much the Paulus bit and shorten the Aloysius bit to Louis. Thus the transformation to Louis van Gaal was complete and so began his success.

Wholesale changes hadn’t been required here. This was not a case of being christened Marion, for example. Any male christened Marion should immediately, (or as soon as they are old enough, at least), change his name to John. Why he should then feel the need to change his surname from Morrison to Wayne is beyond me, but it worked out OK for him..

So obviously, the thing to do to ensure success at Manchester United was to try the name change method with his players.

The guinea-pig, it was decided, would be Chris Smalling.

Louis had deemed the name “Chris” to be ambiguous and more suitable for a girl, not a rugged centre back who plays for Manchester United and England. So, from now on, he was to be known as Mike.

If the truth be known, this experiment had been underway for quite a while. Indeed van Gaal trialled it at a press conference on the pre-season tour, but, when he referred to Smalling as “Mike”, everybody just thought he was an ageing manager with a terrible memory for names.

The fact that they have one of the best defensive records in the division is down, in no small way, to Mike Smalling. Yes, De Gea has helped, as usual, but it has been mainly through the efforts of Mike that this proud boast can be made.

So why has he now stopped? Just when everything was going so well, he capitulated and left the rest of the players with their own names! How can he expect to be successful like that?

Since reverting to type, United have gone out of the Capital One Cup and out of the Champions League. He needs to start renaming players and quickly.

If this is to happen then any new players signed by United will have to agree, contractually, to Louis being allowed to give them a new name of his choice, (usually Mike), should he think that it will be of benefit to the team. This is because, with the exception of continually selecting Wayne Rooney, everything Louis does is for the team, which is forever more important than ANY individual, (except Rooney).

Not only will this make United a shoe-in for the title but it will also mean that van Gaal will never again get a player’s name wrong, not that he did before.

So, assuming the unmitigated success of this process, (or is it a philosophy?), next year expect Mike Smalling to be playing in front of Mike De Gea and alongside Mike Blind and Mike Rojo. In front of him will be the likes of Mike Mata and Mike Schweinsteiger with Mike Herrera and Mike Depay vying for places in a packed midfield.

There will be two problems that van Gaal will face and that he needs to overcome. One is that Carrick is already called Mike, so it won’t work for him and may even destroy the collective bond the rest of the team will have built up through all being called Mike.

Carrick will need to be known as “John”. This is the only way the equilibrium of the team can be maintained.

In fairness to Aloysius and Chris, this renaming process was producing results. Louis van Gaal’s team rose to fourth in the Premier league table, only four points off the lead and they have one of the best defensive records in the division.

The other problem is Wayne Rooney. I have watched his decline for the last three seasons or more and changing his name, even if it’s to Cristiano Ronaldo Quiz or Lionel Messi, just will not work. He’s gone too far past redemption for something as simple as a name change to make any difference.

Iain Anderson

Top 4 Premier League Predictions by Footie Quiz

EPL Quiz

As per last year I am going to put my neck out and tell you who I believ will be the winners and the losers of the 2015/16 Premier League Season in the race for the top 4.

Winners – Man City

Given the ease with which Chelsea secured the title last year many may feel this a surprise prediction. But Chelsea had an almost perfect season last year out with top class additions in the form of Fabregas and Costa hitting the ground running and improving the level of an already very good team. I don’t believe the same is likely to happen again this year and with question marks remaining over Costa’s fitness I feel Chelsea will find this seasons EPL Quiz campaign much harder. City on the other hand in my opinion can only improve on last year’s performance. The addition of Sterling will have many critics but he is after all one of the best young players in Europe, this will the likely arrival of De Bruyne will improve City offensively. If Auergo stays fit and Silva continues to weave his magic I think the title will be heading to the Blue Camp.

Runners Up – Chelsea

Despite tmy reservations above Chelsea are still a very good side with a great deal of strength in depth. I see them finishing second and possibly getting into the semis of the Champions League – something that will distract them from their League campaign. Jose is too good a manager to bet against.

Third – Arsenal

On paper the Gunners (bar one exception up front) have a potentially title winning team. They proved in the Charity Shield this year and last that they can beat the league winners on their day. However doubts remain for me. Giroud is good but not in the same mould/level as Aguero or Costa. The midfield is still missing that ‘bite’ that Toure or Matic bring City and Chelsea respectively. Two excellent spells broken up with a dreadful run will see them third.

Fourth – Liverpool

In disclosure I am a Liverpool fan! My view is that as things stand Liverpool can only ever be better than last season and the signings brought in by Rodgers indicate as such. A lot will depend on two things:

1. If Rodgers still has a job after 10 games given how unkind the fixture list has been to Liverpool with regards to away games early on.

2. How Liverpool fare against United in the North West Derbies.

United have also strengthened but as things stand they only have one recognised striker in Rooney. An injury to him and what then? United were worthy of their fourth place last year but they also had no European football to contend with. I see this as a rocky challenging season for the Red Devils. The Premier League odds don’t agree with my views but whose would have foresaw Liverpool nearly winning the league in 2013/14? Odds eh?

The massive influx in TV money from the Sky deal will see all EPL teams improve in quality making the race for the Top 4 even harder than ever before. A couple of years ago who would have thought that Stoke City  would be able to sign former Bayern starlet Shaqiri? The EPL is the league to be in as it pays and as a result it will mean that those challenging for the top 4 not being able to take any team for granted.

Lets the games commence!

Football Rivalries: Liverpool and Man Utd

Liverpool v Man Utd

One of English footballs most notorious and passionate rivalries, unlike the others, is based not on location but on success. The annual fixtures between Liverpool and Manchester United are infused with a passion not derived from locality, but form the size of the trophy cabinet. Indeed, this rivalry is more of a modern development as, although major clubs compete fiercely with each other across the land, the fight to be crowned as the most successful club in England has fused this rivalry.

Post War Top Flight Finish comparison

Man U Liverpool Post War League Poitions

Anfield was home to some of the finest teams of the 1970s and 1980s and with total domination in the league and European success they were the undeniable kings of Europe. Keegan, Souness, Dalglish, Hughes……the names that are drip off the tongue. Whilst the Kop was awash in success and silverware. Down at Old Trafford United were having mixed fortunes. Still one of Englands biggest clubs success was thin on the ground, with an unexpected relegation and inconsistent form. Then the turn around came…

Just as Liverpool’s grip on the English game began to loosen, United started to emerge. Alex Ferguson’s appointment in 1986 was the key moment and despite the initial struggle Ferguson began to build a dynasty which would make United the most dominant team in the Premier League. Indeed, with the coming of the Premier League in 1992 United surpassed all records. League title after league title, cup after cup, Champions League success and a place at the very highest spot in world football. Liverpool fans had to watch has their crowns were taken, records were smashed and United were the team everyone talked about.

During the Premier League era Liverpool could not muster together the form or quality to win the division. Although always in and around the top 5 Liverpool never mounted a serious challenge until the arrival of Brendan Rodgers and United had it all their own way. Liverpool did have success in Europe and domestic trophies but the domination of United in the league, that Liverpool once dominated, was a bitter pill to swallow.

Liverpool fans clung onto the past, citing figures and statistics of how they were still England number 1 team. United fans teased and hunted records, making a big deal about every Liverpool record that was beaten.

This success rivalry led to the games between the pair being tinged with venom, passion and excitement. United, although involved in their own city derby, looked to the Liverpool game as the marker for their season. Liverpool looked to the United game for a chance to take the champions down a peg.

The hunt for success by two of the world’s biggest clubs will continue and the rivalry that goes with it will continue to entertain neutrals season after season.

Major Honours Comparison and Footie Quiz Scoring Matrix

LFC V MUFC Titles Success

So who do you think are the biggest and the most successful of the two?

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Is Van Gaal the answer to Man United fans’ prayers?

He has won prizes with every team he’s managed, including league titles, national cups, a Champions League title, a UEFA cup and a World Cup for Clubs, and additionally led the Dutch national team to take the third place in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Impressive indeed, and it explains why Louis Van Gaal is considered one of football’s most successful managers ever. But, is Van Gaal the right manager to lead Manchester United, who have been struggling ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired as their manager, to new glory?

A guarantee for success?
Ferguson had an extremely successful run with Man United, but the generation of players he had the privilege to manage already ended their careers – at least most of them have. And the players that make up the team today do not live up to the expectations, so far. David Moyes, last year’s United manager, had a hopeless season with the team and was replaced by Van Gaal, of whom the fans had high expectations after his great performance with Holland’s national team in Brazil. However, with Van Gaal behind the wheel, Manchester United had their worst start of the season since 1986-1987, when Ron Atkinson was United’s manager. By now, the situation has improved a lot and United is in 3rd place now, but will United be a serious contender for this year’s premier league title?

Van Gaal

Footie Quiz Club Profile: Manchester United

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Glory Years

With 20 league titles to their name, Manchester United are one of the most successful clubs not only in England, but in World football. Success has always come naturally to United who have both attracted and produced some of the finest players in the history of the game. The tragedy of the 1958 Munich air crash was followed by years of success including a European Cup win in 1968, the first English side to achieve such a feat. United stumbled through the following decades, involving an unexpected relegation but bounced back into the top flight with immediate effect.

It was however the appointment of a young Scottish manager named Alex Ferguson that heralded the arrival of a new era of dominance at Old Trafford. Ferguson moulded United into the dominant force in British football and United won 13 Premier Leagues from its adoption in 1992. The five FA Cups won in the Ferguson era turned United into the most successful Cup team in British football history. With four league cups and 11 Community Shields to boot, the Ferguson era had its fair share of silverware. But the prize of the Champions League eluded Ferguson until one famous night in the Nou Camp in 1999, when United scored twice in stoppage time to defeat Bayern Munich and be crowned Champions of Europe. The side repeated the feat in equally dramatic fashion in 2008 defeating rivals Chelsea on a penalty shoot out on a rainy night in Moscow. When Ferguson retired it signalled the end of an era for United and after a rough spell with David Moyes in which the club missed out on Champions League qualification, Louis Van Gaal seems to be well on his way to restoring United to the glory days of old.

To see how much you know about Man U then try our free Quiz.

Players on Footie Quiz

Notably players and former players who have specific quizzes on our site include:

George Best

Bryan Robson

David Beckham

Eric Cantona

Michael Owen

Paul Scholes

Roy Keane

Ryan Giggs

Wayne Rooney

Sir Alex Ferguson

and the legendary Dion Dublin

Footie Quiz Stats

At the time of writing there are currently 1803 fans registered on the site making them the most popular supported club amongst our members.

There are currently 547 questions about the Reds in our databank.

 

 

NASH’S PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEW WEEK 11

The opening half of the Premier League season has thrown a ton of tight match-ups and week 11 assures to be no different. BLOCKBUSTER ALERT: Table topper Arsenal would be facing current champions and an old time foe Manchester United on Sunday evening, before that match takes place, there are plenty of tricky contests to look forward to. Here is the full round ups of all the games taking place.

ASTON VILLA V CARDIFF CITY @ Villa Park

Cardiff are siting one point clear of Villa in the league table. Cardiff would be high on confidence after last week’s derby win against Swansea. For Villa, they have had a disappointing start to the season, when Benteke scores, they look a whole different team. Agbonlahor and Delph should be available for Villa to play on Saturday. I predict Villa to win it, but only so narrowly.

PREDICTION 1-0

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Cristian Benteke: Without him scoring Villa just look like an ordinary side, it is about time he scores and Cardiff should provide him an easier match-up, to get up and running.

CHELSEA V WEST BROM @ Stamford Bridge

The Apprentice V the Master, this could be an exciting encounter especially with Chelsea’s wobbling start to the season, West Brom themselves have made a poor start compared to last season. Chelsea would love to take the momentum from midweek’s 3-0 over Schalke and many would expect them to win, BUT Steve Clarke is a clever manager, West Brom can get a result here.

PREDICTION  2-2

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Eden Hazard: currently looks out of sorts with all the rotation going around him, but is an impressive player and should be the to keep an eye out on all season

Sessegnon: He has had an impressive start to his West Brom career and for West Brom to have any chance in getting a result, he would be the key.

CRYSTAL PALACE V EVERTON @ Selhurst Park

Everton have been consistently good this season and they are playing against Palace, a side who is literally struggling in the Premier League. It would be an easy day out for Everton and another clean sheet to add to the tally. I don’t see a better fortune for Palace in the near future, if they lose against Everton, it would be their seventh consecutive loss.

PREDICTION 0-2

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Lukaku: He is a power forward, already scored 5 goals and this couldn’t be an easier match-up for him to increase his tally. Watch out Palace defence.

LIVERPOOL V FULHAM @ Anfield

Liverpool just didn’t start their engines against Arsenal last week, they would be raring to go and get that set back off their backs against Fulham. A loss for Fulham potentially means the last game for Martin Jol. Fulham have just haven’t clicked as a team. Liverpool are too strong a team. Expect another drubbing at Anfield.

PREDICTION: 4-0

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Suarez/Sturridge: They can disregard the Arsenal game, for them to be a Champion team, they need to score against tough opponents, but against Arsenal, Liverpool were not working it out as a team. But now Fulham awaits and should be a tough competition in who will score more goals? Suarez? Or Sturridge?

SOUTHAMPTON V HULL CITY @ St. Mary’s Stadium

It is no fluke for both the teams, in where they sit in the Premier league table. Both teams look promising and play compact football. Southampton have the best defensive record in the premier league, allowing only four goals and the second best in Europe. Hull would find it difficult to crack the Saints defence. It would be a tough midfield battle between both teams but the Saints would eventually come out winning.

PREDICTION: 1-0

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Jay Rodriguez: He is still the player to watch out for this Premier League season, as the season progresses, he will do wonders. Look out for him.

NORWICH V WEST HAM UNITED @ Carrow Road

Norwich have always struggled defensively and very look bleak. The play West Ham a team who struggles to score (they don’t play a striker, you see). This equals the odds, but Norwich would wish to bounce back after last week’s 0-7 drubbing by City. Expect to be a dull game, with plenty of long balls and defensive errors and Norwich might sneak in a goal.

PREDICTION: 1-0

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Van Wolfswinkel: He is hopeful to make a return, if he plays Norwich chances of winning skyrockets. Norwich need his services up front.

TOTTENHAM V NEWCASTLE UNITED @ White Hart Lane

Spurs have had a decent start to the season, with all the new signings, it’s difficult to gel as a team so soon, still they are sitting 4th in the table. They can only get better. Newcastle had an impressive win over Chelsea last weekend and would be hoping to capitalise on that against the Spurs as well. Spurs are not a scoring team, so they would hold down the Magpies offensively as well as defensively. It would be a well fought encounter, ending in a draw.

PREDICTION: 1-1

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Loic Remy: he has been the signing of the season for Newcastle, without him the Magpies season would have been disaster, expect him to bother the Spurs defence all day.

SUNDERLAND V MANCHESTER CITY @ Stadium of Light

Well history suggests, City have always struggled at the Stadium of Light losing 1-0 for the last 3 years. Will this time be different? Well the Black Cats have found some resurgence, and winning against the Saints midweek in the Capital One Cup would have helped. City on the other hand, have been in prolific scoring form. And Negredo and Aguero are proving to be a deadly combo. This is to me is going to be an upset of the week, going with the history.

PREDICTION: 2-1

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Steven Fletcher: for Sunderland to do well, Fletcher needs to be scoring, he is the most experienced and a stable personality that can guide the whole team together.

Sergio Aguero: he has scored eight goals in the season and is looking in ominous form, any defensive lapse by the Black Cats and he’ll pounce upon it.

MANCHESTER UNITED V ARSENAL @ Old Trafford

Arsenal looking like The Invincibles, for which they were known for before. They are one of the best teams in form around the world. Playing world class football and on Sunday they travel to Old Trafford, the home of the current league champions; Manchester United. United have had a horrendous start to their season, Januzaj being the only saving grace. A win here for United and it can lift their whole season and David Moyes would be know that. But for United to beat Arsenal, they have to play like a Champion team that they are. Going for a United win, just to make the premier league and the league table more interesting.

PREDICTION: 3-2

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

RVP: Do I even have to mention him. He would be the focal point for both sides.

Ramsey: He is in brilliant form, is running high on confidence and he tends to find gold in whatever he does nowadays.

SWANSEA V STOKE CITY @ the Liberty Stadium

Swansea usually don’t play well on premier league weekends when they are playing in the Europa League midweek. They have been very inconsistent and the form of MICHU has had so much to do with it. Stoke on the other hand are just finding it tough to play a certain type of football, which they could stick to it. Scoring goals has been tough for Stoke, they have just scored seven times this season, out of which one goal came from the goalkeeper. Going by Swansea’s inconsistencies after playing the Europa league game midweek. A draw is on the cards.

PREDICTION: 0-0

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Michu: He plays a vital role in how his team performs as a whole, his current drought of goals, has affected Swansea as well. He is too important a player for Swansea.

 

 

The Miracle of Istanbul, United’s Late Show and Gunners hit Reading for 7

Matthew Glazier of www.bettingpro.com looks at some of the best football comebacks of the past few years

Two English teams have produced a stirring comeback to win the Champions League in recent memory; while there have also been some fantastic performances in the Premier League which have seen losing teams rally to get a draw or better.

1) The Miracle of Istanbul

Liverpool were staring down the barrel in the 2005 Champions League final as Milan ran rings around Rafael Benitez’s team and stormed into a 3-0 lead, with Paolo Maldini scoring in the first minute before a late first-half brace from Hernan Crespo looked as though the cup had been won for the Rossoneri.

However, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard had other ideas and his 54th minute goal set the Reds on the path to recovery. Amazingly, they were level on the hour mark thanks to goals from Smicer and Alonso, with Jerzy Dudek producing an amazing save to deny Andriy Shevchenko and the final went to penalties. Converted spot kicks from Hamann, Cisse and Smicer were enough to claim victory.

2) Sheringham and Solskjaer party like its 1999

Liverpool’s success came six years after another famous Champions League win for an English club, with Manchester United spending 84 minutes trailing to a Mario Basler effort until the most dramatic of finishes which saw the Red Devils score two injury-time goals.

In fairness, it was a poor performance from Sir Alex Ferguson’s team at the Camp Nou and Bayern could have been out of sight before Teddy Sheringham looked as though he had sent the game into extra-time, although Solskjaer’s goal in the third minute of injury-time meant that UEFA quickly changed the ribbons on the trophy before it was held aloft by Peter Schmeichel.

3) Arsenal come from 4-0 down to win 7-5 at Reading

During the 2012/13 season, the Gunners and the Royals exchanged 24 goals in three matches although it was the League Cup clash at the Madejski Stadium which was the most dramatic by far, with Arsene Wenger’s team going 4-0 down after 37 minutes as Reading ran riot.

Just as Wenger was about to read the riot act at half-time, Theo Walcott’s 45th minute strike threw the visitors a lifeline and Olivier Giroud’s goal just after an hour created lots of tension among the home side. However, Laurent Koscielny’s 89th goal looked like being a mere consolation before Walcott poached a fourth a minute later to take the game to extra-time.

The momentum was with Arsenal and Chamakh put the visitors ahead for the first time although Pogrebnyak looked to be taking the tie to penalties when scoring for 5-5 before Walcott and Chamakh scored at the death.

Matthew Glazier is the Managing Editor of an award-winning sports, news and betting website.

Horseracing Provides New Challenge For Sir Alex Ferguson.

He’s one of the most admired and respected managers in football history and with the announcement of his retirement after 26 years as manager of Manchester United the question has to be – just how will Sir Alex fill his time now?

Former Scotland international and football legend, Alexander Chapman Ferguson began his football management career with East Stirlingshire and St. Mirren, going on to successfully manage Aberdeen and for a brief period Scotland’s national squad. He was appointed manager of Manchester United in 1986 and is both United’s and football’s longest serving manager. He holds a number of records including becoming Manager of the Year more times that anyone else and is only the third British manager to win the European Cup more than once. He’s been awarded the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen, has a couple of honorary degrees from a Manchester university and in 1999 was knighted by the queen for his services to football.

On 8May 2013 Sir Alex announced his retirement as manager of Manchester United. In his 26 years at the club he led the team to win 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League and two UEFA Champions League titles. With so much already achieved and a long career in football behind him, will Sir Alex now – at the age of 71 – pull on his slippers and slip permanently into his armchair? Well, anyone who knows even a little about Alex Ferguson will answer a resounding ‘NO’ to that. He has a variety of interests outside of football which should keep him as fully occupied as ever.

His love of vintage wine – he keeps a very fine cellar- will take up some of his free time as will his piano playing. His staunch socialist beliefs, a reminder of a time when he worked in a Glasgow shipbuilding yard, could even lead him into politics. Or maybe Sir Alex will rekindle his culinary ambitions; Paisley council once turned down his application to open a restaurant in the town, so instead, Sir Alex, who had trained as a chef, settled for becoming a football manager. Yes, Sir Alex is a man of many talents and interests, both personal and business, but none he enjoys as much as his other favourite sport – horseracing.

Racing has been a passion for many years; a love passed down by and shared with his shipbuilding father, Alexander. Ironically, on the day of the announcement of Sir Alex’s retirement, he was forced to cancel a day at Chester races to avoid a press invasion of the track and missed seeing his horse, Butterfly Queen, coming home second. Sir Alex has an interest in around 20 racehorses, on both the flat and jumps, including his 2013 Epsom Derby hope Telescope. You’ll often find Sir Alex at the racecourse. He recently commented that one of the reasons he enjoys going to the races so much is that: “Largely, people leave me alone and when they do talk to me, it is likely to be about what is going to win the 3.30 rather than football.”

It was pure luck that led Sir Alex to an alliance with Ged Mason when they met at a Manchester function. The pair spent the night exchanging track stories and a racing partnership was born. At that time Mason favoured jumpers and Sir Alex – who’d already won seven Group Ones in a row, including the 2000 Guineas – had flat horses. After a while, they decided to share their horses, keeping the jumpers with trainer Paul Nicholls and the flat horses with Richard Hannon and Andrew Balding. Ged says that Sir Alex’s knowledge of racing is as good as his knowledge of football. “His knowledge of racing is better than mine but we discuss all aspects of each horse, when they are running, who’ll ride and it’s a three-way conversation usually with Paul (trainer Paul Nicholls)”. He went on to say that if they we have a winner: “We’ll have a good glass of wine to celebrate and we’ve made a pact that when we have big winners we donate part of the winnings to charity as we are both in it for the fun.”

Racing hasn’t always been fun for Sir Alex, although he’s managed to keep his enthusiasm for it despite the way his friendship ended with Irish racing legends John Magnier and JP McManus. Back in 2003 Sir Alex became locked in a bitter dispute with the co-owner of Rock of Gibralter, Irish racing tycoon, John Magnier who was at that time a Manchester United shareholder. Sir Alex and he became friends after they were introduced in 1999. Magnier offered to register Sir Alex as part-owner of Rock of Gibralter; which was worth around £5million having set a world record of seven consecutive Grade/Group 1 wins. Sir Alex believed that with his half share of the horse came automatic ownership of half the horse’s lucrative breeding rights. Magnier did not agree and this was what caused the upset.

The bitter row was finally settled when Magnier offered Sir Alex four stud nominations a year for the rest of the horse’s life. If Sir Alex had agreed to this offer he would have made a fortune – one filly sired by ‘Rocky’ was sold in Ireland for more than £600,000. With those enormous fees Sir Alex would probably have made about £2m a year for ten years at least. Unfortunately Sir Alex declined the stud offer and opted instead for a one-off payout of £2.5m.

Despite all of this, Sir Alex continues to be a major player in the racing game, entering the Grand National with Harry the Viking in 2013. He owns Harry with three others, including Ged Mason, with whom he also shares What a Friend. There’s no doubt that with his football career coming to an end Sir Alex will go continue to enjoy his racing and will spend much of his time at the races. Ownership of racehorses is not only a sign of wealth and status, the thrill of seeing a horse you own win a big race is something that’s hard to beat. As Sir Alex says, he’s in it for ‘the fun’, and long may that fun continue.

Simone Wright-Eddison is the content editor and leading authority on the Grand National Runners. Fans of National Hunt racing can connect with her on Google Plus.

Rio’s Feature with Manchester United

Watching Manchester United Live is an experience that you will leave to remember for the rest of your life if you’re a United fan. Thus, it is essential that you purchase the tickets which will see you watch Manchester United matches live. This write up will focus on Rio Ferdinand and his future as a United player. Read on.

As the season is almost coming to an end, Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson is working tirelessly to ensure that he does not only go trophy less this season but he as well maintain his key players at Old Trafford. One of the players that the boss is already targeting to break discussion with is the Rio Ferdinand. Rio Ferdinand who is among the best defenders in the world still believes he has more time to impress Manchester United fans.

Although Rio is yet to start discussions over another contract at Old Trafford, the defenders’ decision of refusing to be included in the England squad so that he can focus on duties of his club for the remaining period of the season has brought hopes of his likelihood to strike a new deal that might see him spend another season at Old Trafford.

On Sunday evening the defender refused meeting the England coach Roy Hodgson. Ferdinand has not been selected in the England squad since World Cup qualifiers in Montenegro and San Marino in June 2011. The defenders’ recent form has seen him become a regular starter for Manchester United and he is determined not to compromise a detailed conditioning program of his club.

On Friday United boss said that the central defender may be pulled out of the United start up line up since there is high likelihood of Rio’s fitness getting disrupted if chooses to join the England squad. If the defender refuses to be included in the squad and thus remain with Manchester United, the decision will definitely please the boss. This is a very critical time for Manchester United since the team is determined to win the FA Cup

as well as the English Premier league. Thus, any player leaving the team in order to participate in the international games is likely to be a major setback for United.

Currently Rio Ferdinand who is 34 years old earns approximately 130,000 pounds a week on a deal which will expire in the summer. Despite the decision of Ryan Giggs of agreeing a new one year contract that will see him remain a united player the next season, Ferguson is focused to target discussions with Rio Ferdinand very soon.

However, Ferdinand together with his advisors are very relaxed about the prospect and are not hurrying to start any discussions since they are as well considering other options, although his first choice in principle is to see himself remain at Manchester United.

The defender has not only attracted interest in China but in America as well. These places are as well ideal since they will also attract him a salary that will match his current one. This season has been great for Rio since out of 29 league matches he has featured in 22 of them. The defender has been in the starting lineup in most of United’s games a form that has seen him been targeted by the England coach.

Recently, Fergusson was asked about the possibility of Ferdinand extending his contract and he said he had no doubt about it. The coach believes that the defender will renew his contract before the season ends.

Last but not the least; if you’re a Manchester United fan it is essential that you purchase their 2013 tickets in order to view their matches live.

Premier League Predictions

FootieQuizes Gordon Kearney gives his predictions for 2012-13

Premier League top six: Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham.

Premier League bottom three: Southampton, Wigan, Notts Forest

Leading Prem scorer: Sergio Aguero – Manchester City.

First Prem manager to be sacked: Steve Clark WBA

Biggest Prem flop: Giroud- Arsenal.

FA Cup winners: Arsenal

Capital One Cup winners: Arsenal

Champions League winners: Real Madrid.

Europa League winners: Liverpool

Championship top six: Bolton, Cardiff, Middlesbrough, Blackburn, Nottingham Forest, Birmingham .

Leading Championship scorer: Kevin Doyle – Wolves

League One champions: Sheffield United

League Two champions: Rotherham.

What do you think about Gordon’s predictions for the forth coming football season? If you think you could do better and make some cash of your own at freebets.org.uk

English Football Ups and Downs 2012

We have rejigged the league categories so time for a recap of exactly what happened last season:

Manchester City left it late, very late, but they finally clinched the Premier League title in dramatic fashion away from their neighbours, Manchester United. Arsenal finished in third place, an improvement on last season.

Fourth-placed Spurs, who would normally have been awarded with Champions League football, will have to wait and see if Chelsea (who finished sixth) win in the Champions League final – only four English clubs are allowed in to the competition.

Fifth-placed Newcastle United will play in the Europa League next season along with Carling Cup winners Liverpool.

Relegated from the Premier League, and playing Championship football next year were: Wolves, whose relegation was confirmed back on 22nd April, Blackburn Rovers, who joined them on 7th May, and Bolton, whose point on the final day of the season meant QPR maintained their Premier League status.

In the Championship, Reading were crowned champions – making it back to the Premier League at the fourth attempt – whilst Southampton finished as runners-up – their second successive promotion. West Ham and Blackpool will contest the play-off final in search of the third promotion place.

Relegated to the Football League were: Doncaster Rovers, Portsmouth and Coventry City.

…more coming soon… and …

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English Football Ups and Downs 2011

Manchester United won the league title for a record 19th time, clinched with a 1-1 draw at Blackburn on May 14th. They will enter the Champions League group stages next season along with Premier League runners-up Chelsea and third-placed Manchester City. Fourth-placed Arsenal will enter in the qualifying rounds.

Carling Cup winners Birmingham City were the first team to book their place in Europe. They will play in the Europa League, despite being relegated from the Premier League, after being granted a licence by UEFA because of earlier fears about their financial situation.

Because Manchester City had already qualified for the Champions League ahead of their FA Cup final win over Stoke City, the beaten Potters qualified for the Europa League (a decent consolation prize). Tottenham Hotspur clinched fifth place on the final day of the season meaning they will also play in the Europa League next season.

England earned an extra Europa League place through being one of the top three countries in Uefa’s Respect Fair Play league. The highest-place team in the Premier League’s Fair Play table that has not yet qualified for Europe – Fulham – will enter the Europa League first qualifying round.

The bottom three teams (relegated to the Championship): West Ham United (whose fate was confirmed on 15th May), Blackpool (who ensured an instant return to the Championship) and Birmingham City (after they were beaten 2-1 by Spurs on the final day of the season).

In the Championship, QPR made it back to the Premier League for the first time since 1996. Norwich City took the runners-up spot and Swansea City made it to the Premier League through the play-offs, after a 4-2 win over Reading in the final.

Relegated to League One were: Preston North End, Scunthorpe United and Sheffield United.

Brighton & Hove Albion were promoted from League One as champions. Southampton ended a two-year spell in League One by clinching the second automatic promotion place. Peterborough Utd were promoted as winners of the League One play-offs.

League One relegations: Swindon Town, Plymouth Argyle (their second successive relegation – they had suffered a 10-point deduction earlier in the season for going into administration), Bristol Rovers and Dagenham & Redbridge.