Messi subbed in the first half

Lionel Messi has had a lengthy adjustment period in Paris as the Argentine has yet to register a single goal for PSG in the league.

After another disappointing start, Messi was subbed off at halftime in their game against Lille, a game they were trailing. Mauricio Pochettino felt Messi was not benefiting the team due to him not being on top of his game because of muscle pains. He was replaced with Mauro Icardi. PSG would go on to win the game without the help of Messi in the second half.

Messi joined PSG in a shocking move after Barcelona found themselves in financial troubles. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner hasn’t kicked off at PSG domestically. Many questioned how Messi would perform outside of Barcelona, unfortunately so far it’s been not good.

Nicolas Anelka has criticised the 34-year-old stating “Today we demand from Neymar, but we can do the same with Messi. Since the beginning of the season, it is not extraordinary either. There is a player who has six Ballon d’Ors and finally is not so extraordinary,”.

His reunion with former Barca star Neymar has not gone to play, everyone involved with PSG would surely want to see a glimpse of their Barcelona days but the link-up has been slow. He has other familiar faces at the club like long time international teammate Angel Di Maria but still, his transition has not been smooth. Messi finds himself playing through the middle with Neymar and Mbappe supporting him on either side. That’s where he has always played and thrived in so that could mean that the tactics are not helping him.

Messi was shocked at his sudden move from Barcelona stating in an interview after signing for PSG “I had to find another club because Barca could not afford to extend my contract. That changed my plans”. Even though he did plan to leave the season before but decided not to. Could this sudden change be the best online casinos reason why one of the best of all time is struggling to perform in the French league, a league where his current club dominates every year? Messi’s family still live in Barcelona and he stated that it has been a hard adjustment for him this is a contributing factor towards his current form.

Messi could still be under pressure despite being a 6 teams Ballon d’Or winner because he would want to prove that he can still get things done at another club. Add that to an annual salary of around $41 million a year and you have a player with a chip on his shoulder struggling to get results.

When we talk about players like Messi the old saying comes to mind “Form is temporary but class is permanent”. Messi has started slowly in Ligue 1 but has had an excellent champions league run. It’s only a matter of time before he gets back to his best and silences the critics.

Why not try our Messi Quiz

Infographic – Best 11 at the World Cup

So we’re a few games into the World Cup now and as expected, it’s been really hard to predict the outcomes, as it usually is, going massively against the expected predictions. We’ve seen Argentina really struggle against a resolute Iceland, Germany bested by a rampant Mexico and as expected and England struggle to come through a game they should have breezed through.

Big tournaments throw up some surprises but even before this World Cup there were a few when it came to the players going into the tournament. Most fans and pundits would have selected a team they thought would have done well but what they probably didn’t know is the exact form of the players coming in to the tournament. WhoScored.com has a unique system for rating players and based upon these, the best 11 at the World Cup looks completely different to what would be expected.

If you’re as intrigued as we were, see our infographic below and try not to be too shocked at some of the players. Spain to win world cup odds are 9/2 which comes as no surprise as they continue to play some of the most attractive football in the tournament and have all but secured there progression to the knock out stages.

The Best 11 at the World Cup

What Allegri should change for second leg

By Joe Short

AC Milan shocked the footballing and betting world on Wednesday night with a convincing and controlled 2-0 victory over Barcelona in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.

Kevin-Prince Boateng opened the scoring before a magnificent strike from Sulley Muntari sealed the tie for the Rossoneri, who must now go to the Nou Camp and defend for their lives against arguably the best attacking unit in football.

But who really ran the show for Milan on Wednesday? Footy Quiz fans who like to bet on football may be aware Barca had more possession, but which team had the most shots?

Milan did, 8-6, proving that for all Barca’s ball work they struggled to penetrate the Italian back line.

Barca certainly tried to attack but were caught offside just twice as the Milan defence stood firm around their own box. One would expect the twinkle-toed Lionel Messi or eagle-eyed Andreas Iniesta would feel much of the brunt of Milan’s strong defenders, but who was involved in the most fouls over the match?

Not Messi, not Iniesta, not even the wily Xavi. No, Kevin-Prince Boateng played his part up front for Milan, holding the ball up well and leading Barcelona’s defenders into silly tackles.

Boateng was involved in seven fouls – committing four himself – which shows just how much the ball went through him as Milan built up attacks.

Meanwhile Giampaolo Pazzini – Milan’s exiled centre-forward since Mario Balotelli’s arrival this winter – was largely left alone by the Barca defenders and was recognised as a meagre threat in comparison with Boateng.

He didn’t contribute to any of Milan’s four major attacks, while Muntari and Stephan El Shaarawy proved central figures in the team going forward.

What coach Massimiliano Allegri may do at the Nou Camp therefore is stifle his midfield and play Boateng up front on his own. Clearly his Milan side can handle Barca and sting them on the break, and with Pazzini offering no value whatsoever his place in the team is questionable.