Four upcoming Premier league fixtures not to be missed

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The Premier league season is now in full swing, and as expected already seems to be about the duel between defending champions Manchester City and Liverpool for the title. Many punters expected this and used the bet calculator, when selecting them both pre-season. As we draw nearer to Christmas there are several must see fixtures for fans. Here we cover each of them.

ARSENAL V TOTTENHAM – SUNDAY 2ND DECEMBER

In what is set to be a fantastic day of football, kicks off with a big London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham. Both clubs have started off the season in sparkling form, and will both be expecting to finish in the champions league spots come the end of the season. Under new manager Emery, Arsenal have continued their attacking flair, while also looking more assured at the back. This sets up for very exciting times for the club moving forward. Arsenal have now extended their unbeaten run to 17 in all competitions, which shows how far the club has come this season.

Tottenham continue to wait to move into their new stadium, but it does not seem to be troubling them on the pitch. They are coming off the back of ending Chelsea’s unbeaten league run, following their comprehensive 3-1 success. Kane continues to lead the line, so this sets up for one of the most anticipated games of the season. A must watch for sports fans.

LIVERPOOL V EVERTON – SUNDAY 2ND DECEMBER

Later on that afternoon sees the big Merseyside derby, as Liverpool and Everton face off, with both in fantastic form. Liverpool continue to go from strength to strength following on from their run to last seasons champions league final. They continue to keep the pace with Manchester City, as the only two remaining unbeaten clubs in the league.

Everton on the other hand continue to improve under Silva. They are now a very exciting team to watch and themselves are pushing for European places. The blues are on an impressive run of form, which makes this derby all the more exciting. Could Everton be the side to end Liverpool’s unbeaten start?

MANCHESTER UNITED V ARSENAL – WEDNESDAY 5TH DECEMBER

A fixture that has always provided a stunning spectacle over the years. United are really in troubled times as they continue to drop points this season. They sit in seventh and seven points off the top four, so this will be seen as a game they need to win. United have had a lot of success against Arsenal in recent years, so could this continue?

As mentioned previously, Arsenal have transformed under Emery which is shown in their impressive unbeaten run. Can they push back into the champions league places this season? They will likely start as favourites to defeat the struggling Manchester United at Old Trafford.

CHELSEA V MANCHESTER CITY – SATURDAY 8TH DECEMBER

The final fixture not to be missed is the top of the table clash between Manchester City and Chelsea. Manchester City are playing possibly the best football we have ever seen in the premier league and are not only the strong favourites for the premier league, but for the champions league also. Pep has transformed City into one of the best footballing sides the sport has ever seen. Could they yet go the entire premier league season without defeat?

Chelsea have made a very impressive start to the season themselves but put in a very poor showing most recently against Tottenham. They currently sit in fourth as they continue to push for the champions league places. Hazard has made a breath taking start to the season and could yet land the PFA Players’ Player award, come the end of the season. If Chelsea bring their A game, this could be a fascinating contest and what that cannot be missed for football fans.

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.

Premier League Sponsorship Deals – The Rising of the Betting Companies

9 shirts in the Premier League today are sponsored by bookmakers and gambling websites. Just let that sink in for a second….

Indeed, it is very true that if you watch live coverage of any sports event these days you can truly see the impact that the gambling industry has on the world. Every advert you are told odds, enticing offers for new customers and unique bets. Is this right? Should we be exposing people to this much temptation to Gamble? How should Shirt sponsorship be used?

The gambling aspect is worrying and the Premier League have taken steps to ensure that kids sized T shorts do not carry betting logos. That shows the people at the top have realised there is some sort of moral issue here and indeed there is. Kids, and even vulnerable adults, have come to associate sports with betting in a way that was never done before. This is all due to the ease at which one can now place a bet…gone are the days of having to trudge to the book makers and place a bet, now with the touch of a button, an app, an interactive tv and a mobile phone you can bet until you have ran out of money. And that’s dangerous….there is only ever one winner and that is the bookmaker and the way in which sponsorship has come to be dominated by gambling is a worrying trend. What next?

The sponsorship of Newcastle United raised some questions when Wonga took over. A company known for praying on the poor, the vulnerable and the desperate with noted rip off rates and noted dubious practice sponsoring a team in a sport viewed by, and dependant on the very people the company exploits. Something  doesn’t sit right?

Should we have more rules, should there be more in place to determine what is seen by millions of eyes every day and paraded round on shirts in cities up and down the country? Indeed the big clubs follow suit and tend to have the bigger deals with Airlines and car makers etc. You have to go down to the 7th biggest sponsorship deal (West Ham United – Betway) to see the influx. So…outside of the top 6 “big money clubs” 9 of the 14 have gambling sponsors….this shows that the League, if they truly want to address it, need to help these clubs find more deals, make them a more attractive package and perhaps make the financial strains less binding. Otherwise, the gambling offers will always be too tempting to take!

There is also an interesting school of thought that suggest shirt sponsorship money should be pooled and divided between all clubs which had the backing of 11 teams in a recent Premier League meeting, but when the vast differences in what is paid to Manchester United and Stoke City for example are compared, you will understand why this will never happen!

Who will be the Premier League Top Scorer?

Premier League Star Strikers

Premier League Top Scorer

aguero

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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.

 

 

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!

2015 Football Power Rankings

Тhе fіnаl wееks оf thе Рrеmіеr Lеаguе sеаsоn рrеsеnt іntеrеstіng роwеr rаnkіngs thаt hоst а dіvеrsе sеt оf tеаms. Аrsеnаl hаs mаdе а run tо thе tор twо, Маnсhеstеr Unіtеd аrеn’t fаr bеhіnd аnd Lеісеstеr Сіtу аrе аbsоlutеlу flуіng tо trу аnd sаvе thеmsеlvеs frоm rеlеgаtіоn. Аll оf thаt mеаns thаt thе rаnkіngs оf роwеr аrе drаstісаllу сhаngіng соmраrеd tо рrеvіоus еstіmаtеs.

Тhе Football Роwеr Rаnkіngs tаkе іntо ассоunt thе strеngth оf sсhеdulе, іnјurіеs, susреnsіоns, рlауіng wеll but stіll lоsіng аnd рlеntу оf оthеr vаrіаblеs. Тhе W-D-L brасkеt shоws еасh РL tеаm’s сurrеnt rесоrd аnd уоu саn nоw sее hоw mаnу sроts еасh tеаm hаs mоvеd, uр оr dоwn, frоm wееk-tо-wееk.

  1. Аrsеnаl: Еіght wіns оn thе sріn іs thе Gunnеrs’ bеst run sіnсе 2004. Тhеу аrе flуіng аnd соuld fіnіsh sесоnd аnd wіn аn FА Сuр. Тhіs sееms lіkе а gооd sеаsоn. Нugе gаmе vs. Сhеlsеа оn 18 Арrіl. (20-6-6)
  2. Маnсhеstеr Unіtеd: Тhе tеаm dіd аn іmрrеssіvе јоb аnd hаndlеd іnјurіеs wеll. Ѕіх wіns frоm thеіr lаst sеvеn mеаns thеу wіll mоst рrоbаblу fіnіsh іn thе tор fоur. (19-8-6)
  3. Сhеlsеа: Моurіnhо lоvеs а dеfеnsіvе mаstеrсlаss аnd hе hаs сhurnеd оut fоur-strаіght wіns bу а оnе- gоаl mаrgіn wіthоut Dіеgо Соstа. Мауbе thеу wіll shоw thе Gunnеrs whісh tеаm rulеs Lоndоn. (23-7-2)
  4. Lіvеrрооl: Тwо іmроrtаnt dеfеаts іn thrее соnsесutіvе РL mаtсhеs аnd а dаmаgіng FА Сuр sеmіfіnаl dеfеаt tо Vіllа mеаns Lіvеrрооl’s sеаsоn іs еndіng wіth а whіmреr. Тhеіr tор fоur hореs аrе stіll аlіvе, but bаrеlу. (17-6-9)
  5. Lеісеstеr Сіtу: Аn unехресtеd соmіng uр tо thіs роsіtіоn fоr Lеісеstеr Сіtу. Тhе Fохеs аrе flуіng, hаvе wоn thrее-strаіght аnd аrе nоw wіthіn а роіnt оf gеttіng оut оf thе bоttоm thrее. Тhе bіggеst јumр іn а sіnglе wееk іn Роwеr Rаnkіng hіstоrу. (7-7-18)
  6. Еvеrtоn: Тhе Тоffееs hаvе fіnаllу fоund sоmе fоrm іn а sеаsоn tо fоrgеt. Маrtіnеz’ mеn аrе unbеаtеn іn fіvе аnd аrе оnе wіn frоm bеіng іn thе tор 10. (10-11-12)
  7. Тоttеnhаm Ноtsрur: Ѕрurs аrе сlіngіng оn tо thеіr tор fоur drеаms but аn іnсоnsіstеnt fеw wееks hаs соst Росhеttіnо’s mеn. Маssіvе gаmе аt Ѕаіnts аs thе Аrgеntіnе bоss hеаdеd bасk tо hіs оld сlub. (17-6- 10)
  8. Ѕоuthаmрtоn: Ѕаmе соuld bе sаіd fоr Ѕаіnts аs іnсоnsіstеnсу hаs сrерt іn. Тhеу јust саn’t sееm tо fіnd thеіr shооtіng bооts. Тhеу hаd multірlе сhаnсеs tо сlіmb аhеаd оf Ѕрurs іn thе rасе fоr thе Еurора Lеаguе. (17-5-11)
  9. Маnсhеstеr Сіtу: Ѕоmе оf thе dеfаts rеаllу tооk а hіt оn Реllеgrіnі. Сіtу аrе hоldіng оn but соuld stіll blоw іt. (19-7-7)
  10. Аstоn Vіllа: Ѕреаkіng оf Vіllа, thеу stunnеd Lіvеrрооl tо rеасh thе FА Сuр fіnаl but аll fосus must nоw swіtсh tо stауіng uр. Тhеу аrе fоur роіnts аbоvе thе drор zоnе wіth јust а fеw gаmеs lеft. (7-7-15)
  11. Ѕtоkе Сіtу: Тhе Роttеrs аrе gоіng fоr а rесоrd РL роіnts tаllу аnd tо bеttеr thеіr bеst-еvеr fіnіsh оf 10th lаst sеаsоn. (13-7-13)
  12. Сrуstаl Раlасе: Тhе Еаglеs wеrе flуіng untіl оld bоss Тоnу Рulіs сlірреd thеіr wіngs whеn hіs WВА sіdе саmе tо tоwn. Раrdеw іs stіll hарру wіth hіs sіdе thаt іs sаfе frоm rеlеgаtіоn. Іt іs dеbаtаblе whеthеr thеу fіnіsh іn thе tор 10. (11-9-13)
  13. Wеst Вrоm: Рulіs stееrеd thе Ваggіеs thrоugh а rоugh реrіоd tо bаg thаt bіg wіn аt hіs fоrmеr сlub. Тhеу shоuld bе sаfе fоr аnоthеr sеаsоn nоw. (9-9-15)
  14. Ѕwаnsеа Сіtу: Тhе Ѕwаns suffеrеd thеіr fіrst dеfеаt іn fіvе аt Lеісеstеr аnd mіssеd thе іnјurеd Gоmіs bаdlу. Ѕtіll, а fіnе sеаsоn fоr Моnk’s mеn. (13-8-12)
  15. Вurnlеу: Іf thеу соuld sсоrе gоаls, thеу’d bе flуіng but thе Сlаrеts dіd mоrе thаn 389 mіnutеs wіthоut hіttіng thе bасk оf thе nеt. (5-11-17)

Who do you think is the best football or soccer team playing right now?  Have you tried handicapping soccer on your own or do you need assistance from experts like the ones at  We want your picks and opinions for the remainder of the 2015 season on who you believe is the best football.

Spurs are Premier League’s dark horses

Stamford Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  flickr soccer stadiumby  OliverN5 

There have been some pretty big moves in the transfer market this summer – mainly affecting the big five English clubs considered to have a realistic chance of topping the tale at the end of the season.

Chelsea have brought in Diego Costa and Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid, Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona, and returning hero Didier Drogba from Galatasaray – whilst David Luiz has gone to Barcelona and old stalwarts Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard have gone – along with Demba Ba.

Reigning champions Manchester City, meanwhile, have bought Fernando from Porto, and Bacary Sagna from Arsenal on a free and made a few other moves, but it’s been relatively small beer so far.

Arsenal have signed Alexis Sanchez from Barca and Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle, whilst Liverpool have brought in Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert from Southampton along with Lazar Markovic from Benfica, and Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen. But the really big move at Anfield has been the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona of course.

Manchester United, on the other hand, have also made relatively small moves so far, signing Luke Shaw from Southampton and Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao – and shipping out Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Alexander Buttner. But there are surely more transfers to come at Old Trafford before the close of the transfer window at the end of August.

So these are the main moves made so far by the only five clubs given a chance by the betting market. But what about Tottenham Hotspur? They’ve made fewer moves than anyone so far, but this time last year, they’d made a lot of signings, so it’s understandable if Chairman Daniel Levy is reluctant to spend more without seeing what the squad can do under new manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Just to give you some understanding of how remote Spurs’ chances are seen of lifting the Premier League trophy; they’re currently 66-1 shots with major bookies 32Red, Sportingbet and others, and 50-1 with Paddy Power and Betway.

The market sees the title being fought out between holders Man City and Chelsea who are marginal favourites. These two are followed by Man United who won’t have a Champions League campaign to distract them and, of course, have Louis van Gall at the helm, then Arsenal and Liverpool.

So Spurs are basically given no chance at all. And this may be fair. But then again – it may not. Spurs are very much the dark horses of this year’s Premier League campaign as non-one really knows quite what to expect. They’ll be a completely different proposition with Pochettino in charge – but how quickly he can work the same kind of magic he did at Southampton remains to be seen. He does, however, have an extremely strong squad to work with and he’s already demonstrated his ability to get the best out of players at Southampton.

He’s Spurs’ ninth manager in 13 years, but surely none has been more exciting than the latest appointment? And Daniel Levy will want the best from the squad which already cost a small fortune under AVB. Spurs still managed sixth place last season under Tim Sherwood and it wouldn’t take too much of a leap of faith to see them doing a whole lot better in the season in prospect.

So whilst we don’t know quite what we’ll get at The Lane this season – you can bet it will be a lot different and it will also be exciting. So that 66-1 could be looking very generous by Christmas.

What’s more – with sites like 32Red, Skyvegas and others that run both sports books and casinos, it’s possible to get a free bet if you get lucky;. If, for example, you go to the 32red mobile casino and you haven’t previously signed up to play, you should qualify for up to £160 free of charge via £32 for each £10 deposited.

You’re then obliged to play though a few games, but you can transfer the cash to your sports book account after a while and it may just be worth having a small punt on Spurs for a top three finish?

This would be a good value bet as Tottenham truly are the unknown quantity this season. This is Pochettino’s first job at a really big club and you can bet your bottom dollar he’ll be doing everything he possibly can to make a name for himself. And we’ve already seen just how much he can shake things up at the highest level with a pre-existing squad and on a tight budget – so watch this space.

Premier League Opening Day Fixtures

Following the release of the 2014/15 Premier League fixture list, Betfair fans are already gearing up for a fascinating opening weekend of the season. With exciting games across the first weekend of the new campaign, there’s plenty of interesting matches for betting fans to take advantage of. Whether you’re looking at how potential title challengers begin their season or if the newly-promoted clubs can get the new year off to a winning start, the opening weekend could give us all a clue as to what this season has in store.

Kicking off the year will be Manchester United taking on Swansea, with Luis van Gaal taking charge of hisfirst game at Old Trafford after his summer arrival. With the United team expected to look a lot different from last year coming up against a Swansea team tipped by some for relegation, the weekend’s early kick-off is an intriguing game for all Premier League betting fans.

Sunday’s double-header sees Liverpool and Manchester City open their accounts. While new Liverpool signings Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert will come up against their former Southampton team-mates,defending champions City will welcome Newcastle to the Etihad Stadium.

Following their promotion from the Championship, Leicester will open their season against Champions League-chasing Everton, while QPR will look to follow up their play-off success with a win against Hull at Loftus Road. Fellow promoted club Burnley will face a stern test in their first game back in the big-time, coming up against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in Monday’s clash at Turf Moor.

New Premier League Season

So with England long since out of the World Cup, English thoughts are starting to turn to the new football season.

We have re-jigged the Footie Quiz categories to reflect the ups and downs of last season.

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Premier League relegated:

Cardiff City and Fulham went down on the penultimate weekend of the season, and they were joined on the final day by Norwich City.

Championship promoted:

Leicester City were promoted as runaway leaders. Burnley were later promoted as runners-up. QPR beat Derby in the play-off final to earn the third promotion place to the Premier League.

Championship relegated:

Yeovil were the first team to be relegated to League One and Barnsley joined them soon after. Doncaster were unlucky to drop out of the Championship on goal difference on the final day of the season.

League One promoted:

Wolves made an immediate return to the Championship by winning the League One title. Brentford were promoted as runners-up while Rotherham beat Leyton Orient on penalties in the play-off final, clinching the third promotion spot.

League One relegated:

The four teams going down to League Two are Stevenage, Shrewsbury, Tranmere and Carlisle – who went down after losing on the final day of the season.

League Two promoted:

Chesterfield won a three-way tussle for the League Two title on the final day of the season. Scunthorpe and Rochdale also clinched automatic promotion. After winning the play-off final, Fleetwood took the fourth promotion slot and have reached the third tier for the first time in their history.

League Two relegated:

Torquay and Bristol Rovers will both be playing in the Conference Premier next season.

Conference promoted:

Luton Town finally return to the Football League after an absence of five years. Play-off winners, Cambridge United, join them after an absence of nine years.

 

EPL

People may argue on what is the toughest but entertaining football league in the world, and if you take a poll and ask a percentage of people, the majority of them will come back and say the Premier League in England.

Known for its fast pace and entertainment one can argue this is certainly the best league in the world as it clearly showed when the title came down to the last day of the season a couple of years ago and Manchester City eventually ran out the winners but only with a last gasp winner form Aguero in injury time which in turn ended Manchester United’s dream of another title, this was truly the best ending to a season once could dream to watch.

But before we had the Premier league we watched what was then known as “The Football League”, but in 1992 that all changed with the newly named “Premier League”. Reason for the name change was that clubs wanted to take advantage of the lucrative television rights deal which was going to be on offer.

The Premier league currently has 20 teams in its division, top four teams will qualify for a champion’s league position and the bottom three will get relegated. But when we talk about teams in English football we tend to talk about the “big Four” who happen to be “Liverpool”, “Manchester United”, “Chelsea” and “Arsenal” but recently we can add Manchester city into the equation as they are now heavily backed in the transfer window and have now become a force in the premier league. But since its existence, With the exception of Blackburn Rovers in 1994-95 and Manchester City in 2011-12, only three clubs have won the Premier League title – Manchester United (13 titles), Arsenal and Chelsea (three titles each). Since the summer of 2002, they dominated the top four spots, so I think it’s fair to say since its existence Manchester United have truly dominated the premier league.

On a European level I wouldn’t exactly say English teams have dominated but they have been there or thereabouts with Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United winning the champions league and also contesting the final. Between the 1992–93 season and the 2012–13 season, Premier League clubs had won the UEFA Champions league four times (as well as supplying five of the runners-up), behind Spain’s La Liga with six wins, and Italy’s Serie A with five wins, and ahead of, among others, Germany’s Bundesliga with three wins

Like most other leagues its season runs from August to May most of the games are played on Saturdays and Sundays and then a few games played midweek. There is no winter break in English football instead they have what they call “Festive Season football” so instead of relaxing or taking a winter break like most other leagues the premier league have fixtures on Boxing day and new year’s day along with the weekend football so if you are football fanatic like I am this is fantastic.

Having gone to numerous football games in England and around Europe I can say that the crowd in England are very passionate about the game and the atmosphere in some games is truly outstanding, something that lacks in other leagues.

The premier league is up there as being one of the most watched leagues in the world; it is broadcast to over 600+ million people in over 200 countries worldwide, but it is in Asia where the premier league is most popular where it is the most widely distributed sports programme. If you take figures from the British tourist board they suggest that 750,000 who visited England will take in a premier league game.

When we watch the premier league we watch football players from all nationalities but until the last five or six years this was never really the case. In fact  in the 1992 season alone just eleven players named in the starting line-ups for the first round of matches hailed from outside of the United Kingdom or Ireland. By 2000–01, the number of foreign players participating in the Premier League was 36 per cent of the total. In the 2004–05 season the figure had increased to 45 per cent. By 2009 the average Premier League team had an average of 13 foreign players in their side with under 40% of the players in the Premier League being English.

Out of the major leagues in Europe the premier league is arguably the hardest leagues to win as not like most other leagues which one can argue have only two or three big name teams, the premier league consist of a lot of big name teams and even the weak teams sometimes can be a force to be reckoned with especially when playing at home and this would make it difficult for the big four. And if you want my opinion on things, I would say it is the hardest league in Europe to win.

Guest Blog: The battle for the first place

The eyes of most English soccer fans will be on Emirates Stadium this Saturday, when Arsenal host Liverpool.

Despite their loss at home at the beginning of the week against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup, most of soccer driven Sportsbooks have Arsenal as favorite for this game. The Gunners are in first place of the Premier League with 22 points.

After a surprising defeat in week one at Emirates against Aston Villa , Arsenal has seven wins and one draw. They are the second best offense of the tournament with 20 goals scored, only behind Manchester City who has 21.

Frenchman Olivier Giroud and Wales’s Aaron Ramsey are the top scorers for the Gunners, with five goals each, but this Saturday will face a tough match against one of the best defences in the league. Liverpool have shipped only eight goals this season, but five have come away home.

The Reds are in third place with 20 points will try to steal the lead this weekend. English striker Daniel Sturridge is having a great year and is the top scorer of the Premier with eight goals.

Liverpool attack has within it one of the best forwards in the League, Uruguayan Luis Suarez, who has six goals in only four games. The problem for the Reds is that they rely too much on their stricker. Sturridge and Suarez have combined for 14 their 17 goals on the season.

This will be the first Liverpool game on the road against one of the top five teams. When they visited Manchester United on the third round of the Capital One Cup they lost 1-0 with one goal of Mexican striker Javier Hernandez.

Arsenal have only lost one of the last 16 home games against Liverpool, including FA Cup, Community Shield, Carling Cup and Champions. In 178 games between these two squads in the league, the Reds lead the stats  with 69 wins and 47 draws.

 

 

Nash’s Premier League Preview Week 10

With a quarter of Premier League season is behind us, this week should bring us a clear picture, of which teams have the potential to true contend for the Premier League title. There are some cracking encounters to look forward to this weekend. Liverpool travelling to the Emirates, Spurs visiting Everton and the first top flight South Wales derby and many other teams trying to knick an upset. So let’s break down all the exciting encounters, which are going to take place this weekend.

 

NEWCASTLE UNITED V CHELSEA @ St. James’ Park

This encounter has always been exciting to watch. Newcastle are coming of a bad week, with back to back losses in the Tyne-Wear derby and against City in the Capital One Cup. They have conceded 16 goals this season, which screams of a struggling defence. On the other hand, Chelsea have scored 16 goals. Chelsea have a strong offence against a very weak defence. Chelsea would win this, if their offense clicks, will win it by some margin.

PREDICTION  1-3

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Fernando Torres: He is in amazing form, and has scored 3 goals in his last two outings and is looking like the return of El Nino is evident.

Juan Mata: Cannot emphasize enough on how he has changed the dynamic of the Chelsea team, and Mourinho has realized that, he was late but he did.

 

FULHAM V MANCHESTER UNITED @ Craven Cottage

Fulham are coming back of a disappointing loss to Leicester City in the Capital One Cup midweek. Their season has been very erratic and they rely too much upon individual players rather than playing as a team. As a team, they just haven’t jelled. Manchester United would be looking to carry on their winning streak, especially with a start they had this season. United will win this one unless any of Fulham’s brilliant individual players show their individual class.

PREDICTION  0-2

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

RVP; have stated before and will do again, if he struggles, United struggle. Rooney is the only saving grace on RVP’s off day. He needs to stay consistent, for United to have a hope of competing for the title this season.

 

HULL CITY V SUNDERLAND @ The KC Stadium

Hull have been the surprise package of this season, they are a team who play organized football and stick to the basics, Hull have lost their last two games, both against Spurs. They had been evenly fought games. Sunderland have finally kick started their season, winning the Tyne-Wear side derby and would be looking to capitalize on the momentum. Hull are a tough team to beat at home, Hull have not lost at home and look a tough side to beat, Sunderland with high confidence should procure a draw here.

PREDICTION 1-1

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Steven Fletcher: he provides experience in front of goal, he is consistent and for Sunderland to have any chance to not get relegated this season. They need Fletcher scoring on consistent basis.

 

MANCHESTER CITY V NORWICH @ Etihad Stadium

If not for Joe hart, City have made quite a progress in their style of play under Pellegrini. They have scored the maximum number of goals (21) in the premier league. Norwich gives them another tempting chance to surge ahead on their goal count. The Canaries have been just shoddy this season and show no signs of improvement. I don’t see Norwich will get any points out of the game. City will win comfortably.

PREDICTION  4-0

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Aguero: Has been in cracking form this season. He has scored 7 goals in eight matches and Norwich prove to light a team to deny him. He would continue his goal scoring form against Norwich.

 

STOKE SITY V SOUTHAMPTON @ The Britannia

Stoke showed signs of what they are capable of doing against United last weekend but then got back into their shell. Southampton have had an exceptional start to their season, they have only conceded 3 times this season, which would be a tough ask for Stoke especially when they are finding it so hard to score, they have scored only 6 times, two of the goals coming last week against United. Southampton should continue their dream run against Stoke.

PREDICTION: 0-2

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Ricky Lambert: He has catalysed the way; Southampton’s season has churned up so far. The England call up has certainly done wonders to his domestic form.

 

WEST BROM V CRYSTAL PALACE @ The Hawthorns

Crystal Palace are destined to be relegated this season, they just look like a team that don’t belong in the Premier League. This is a good game for West Brom to bounce back from the mauling they suffered on the hands of Liverpool (4-1) last week.

PREDICTION  2-0

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Morgan Amalfitano: He is the only creative player West Brom can boast about. He has created 10 chances for his team this season (more than any other premier player). He will be a key player for West Brom against Norwich.

 

WEST HAM UNITED V ASTON VILLA 2 @ Boleyn Ground

Both inconsistent teams face each other this weekend. West ham badly need a striker and without a striker they have just looked ordinary. Aston Villa on the other hand have been very fragile defensively. West ham though might be 15th in the league but boast of 4 clean sheets and Villa might find it tough. I would predict both teams to share the honours.

PREDICTION  0-0

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Cristian Benteke: the season has been inconsistent for him, but a couple of goals and he would be tough to stop. Having already scored 5 goals so far. He just needs one good outing.

 

ARSENAL V LIVERPOOL @ The Emirates

The GAME OF THE WEEK, both teams would showcase who plays better passing football. Arsenal would be without defensive midfielder Flamini, leaving Arsenal with no defensive midfielder. This would be a great advantage for Liverpool, especially when Coutinho is playing, he would be looking to penetrate that hole all day. Arsenal would be relying on Ozil, Giroud and Ramsey’s fantastic recent form. A defeat to Chelsea in the Capital One Cup might weaker Arsenal’s confidence. Expect a thrilling encounter, in which Liverpool edges past Arsenal.

PREDICTION  2-3

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Suarez/Sturridge: They have begun to ascend to greatness. With the return of Suarez, Liverpool have seemed to have found another gear. Suarez has already scored six goals in 4 matches and Sturridge eight in nine. If they hold on this form all season, I don’t see a reason Liverpool not winning the title.

Ozil: Games like this makes players stars and for him this would be a great opportunity to showcase that he is a star.

 

 

EVERTON V TOTTENHAM @ Goodison Park

Another exciting match-up. Everton have won nine of their ten home matches and would be looking to have an upper hand in this one. Only one point separates both teams. Tottenham have allowed only 5 goals this season and keeping 6 clean sheets. That is an impressive stat but the unsatisfactory fact is, Tottenham have a disappointing conversion rate of less than 5%, which is only one goal a game. Expect this to be a see-saw like match, but a draw would make either side happy.

PREDICTION: 1-1

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Lukaku: He has been on the rise since last season, has already scored 5 times this season and has a tendency to bring his best out in big games.

Jan Vertonghen: There is a reason for Tottenham’s six clean sheets this season and i.e. the centre force of Spurs defence, Jan has been a guiding force at the back and has made the defensive line rock solid.

 

CARDIFF V SWANSEA @ Cardiff City Stadium

The first ever South Wales derby is going to be played and it promises to be an exciting encounter. Cardiff are a hard working team and for them to stay put in the top flight, they would need to tough it out day in and day out. Swansea have had a great last season, this season they have struggled only because of their Europa League obligations. I am going for Cardiff going all stops out and wining this one.

PREDICTION  2-1

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Gary Medel: He has completed 90% of his passes this season, which is quiet incredible and the Bluebirds would require his services, to stop passes going to Bony or Michu.

 

 

 

 

 

Nash’s Premier League Review: Week 8

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The Premier League is back this weekend, get your favourite Premier League club shirt on. It promises to be another weekend full of exhilarating match-ups and surprises. Arsenal are sitting top on the table, equal on points with Liverpool, thanks to their superior goal difference But who’s going to win the Premier League? Sunderland and Crystal Palace already are drifting from the others at the foot of the Premier League. So are we ready for some mouth-watering action?

Here is the low down on this week’s action.

NEWCASTLE UTD V LIVERPOOL @ St. James Park

Brendan Rodgers will have a full strength squad at his disposal on Saturday, one of the rare luxuries he hasn’t enjoyed since the start of the campaign. Suarez and Sturidge would be a constant threat to the Newcastle defence. Newcastle on the other hand, have been inconsistent. Loic Remy seems the only saving grace for Newcastle. I would go for Liverpool winning it.

PREDICTION: 0-3

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Luis Suarez: 3 goals in 2 matches, seems like he never left. The ban could have only made him a better player. He looks totally in control with himself.

Daniel Sturridge: He is not fully fit, and still manages to score somehow. He can only get better. At the end of the week, should see him as the leading goal-scorer.

Loic Remy: He has been in stupendous form, if only Newcastle’s defence could abide by the same, he is currently tied with Daniel Sturridge as the leading goal scorer in the Premier League.

ARSENAL V NORWICH CITY @ the Emirates

The table toppers have been in scintillating form, since the arrival of Mesut Ozil. For Norwich the story remains the same, they just don’t know what kind of football style to adapt, and that portrays in their league position. But against Arsenal, a defensive approach would be on the cards. Arsenal should win this quiet easily.

PREDICTION: 4-0

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

Mesut Ozil: If Norwich are going to come out with a defensive outset, Ozil would be the go to guy. He will be the lock-picker. Could see him scoring as well.

CHELSEA V CARDIFF CITY @ Cardiff City Stadium

Another rotational squad is on the cards for Chelsea, Cardiff have shown a lot of resistance and character this season, but there is way too much going on in Cardiff, and thinking about winning at Stamford Bridge seems preposterous. Chelsea would see this one out quiet easily, ahead of their crucial champions league encounter against Schalke.

PREDICTION: 2-0

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

JUAN MATA: Have always said playing Mata is the logical thing to do. You just have to get used to it Jose. He will outperform against Cardiff as well.

EVERTON V HULL CITY @ Goodison Park

Both teams have had an impressive start to their season, especially with many pundits predicting Hull to be relegated this season, which they still could, but they look a promising. Everton have slowly and steadily caught hold of Roberto Martinez’s playing style and look reasonably stable. This one could be an exciting game, could go either side, an entertaining draw is what I predict.

PREDICTION: 2-2

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Romelu Lukaku: He has been on a scoring streak for country and club, and certainly looks like the player to watch out for, all season. If you want to bet your money on, Lukaku would be the go to player.

Robbie Brady: He is the top scorer for Hull, having already scored four times. He is all set to return to action.

MANCHESTER UTD V SOUTHAMPTON @ Old Trafford

Let’s ignore history and accept the fact that Man Utd are going to struggle this season, and I think a quarter of Manchester has already accepted that. Southampton are in splendid form, lying fourth in the table. They bring a kind of charisma and sparkle to their play, which is soothing. Last week Adnan Januzaj took all the limelight, this week it’s all going to fade away, predicting an upset here.

PREDICTION: 1-2

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

SOUTHAMPTON DEFENSE: They have been just fantabulous, conceding only 2 goals so far this season. Persie and Co. going to find it difficult to penetrate them. Old Trafford or not.

RVP: Seems like if he shines, the team shines. Last season is a good example of, how much united rely on RVP. They are going to need his services. BIG TIME.

STOKE CITY V WEST BROM @ Britannia Stadium

West Brom have not lost a game since the start of September, they are in fantastic form, while Stoke City have forgone a completely opposite path. Having lost all their last three games, Mark Hughes side are finding it very difficult to score, having scored only four times this season. I would predict West Brom to carry on their scintillating run and win.

PREDICTION: 0-2

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

Berahinho: one of the U21’s to watch out for this season, he is shining and shining bright.

Begovic: He has been making fabulous saves, though the results are not reflecting. He has been rock solid. Expecting some crucial saves, might save the game.

SWANSEA V SUNDERLAND @ Liberty Stadium

It would be Gus Poyets first game at the helm of Sunderland FC, will fortunes turn? Swansea are without a home win for the last 8 matches, they have been performing well in the Europa league and that is affecting their domestic form. There might be a glimmer of a chance for Gus Poyet to salvage any points, from Swansea’s lacklustre domestic form.

PREDICTION: 1-1

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Steven Fletcher: He has recovered from his shoulder injury, and if he plays he would be a serious threat for the, weak Swansea defence (without Ashley Williams).

Michu:  The Spain call-up might have enthused some confidence. He would want to perform well consistently.

WEST HAM V MANCHESTER CITY @ Upton Park

West ham would be sky high, after upsetting Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 in week 7, they usually don’t score too many goals, but Sam Allardyce found a way to do so. Manchester City on the other hand are high scorers in the Premier League themselves, scoring 17 times already, but they are allowing more goals as well. It could go either way. A draw would be a satisfying result for West ham.

PREDICTION: 1-1

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Ravel Morrison: He took Tottenham by storm, he would have a few more defenders keeping an eye on him, but he should flourish.

Sergio Aguero: He will get chances, it will be difficult for the West Ham defence to keep him off. Expect him to score.

ASTON VILLA V TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR @ Villa Park

The defeat against West ham would have been a wakeup call for AVB, Aston villa are proving to be a tough team to face at Villa park, it would certainly be an entertaining encounter. Tottenham haven’t won in their last 2 games and them being a top 4 team is certainly under the scanner. Villa’s new signings are bearing fruit now, everyone is performing exceptionally.

PREDICTION: 1-1

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Benteke: one of the members of the Belgian brigade, on his day he can be world class. Most likely to score a goal from the villa team.

Christian Eriksen: He seemed a bit off against West Ham, but he certainly is a playmaker and would do wonders in the coming matches.

CYRSTAL PALACE V FULHAM @ Selhurst Park

Both teams are in desperate need of victory, Fulham will be looking to have back to back wins for the first time this season. It should be a dull match, don’t expect anything entertaining.

PREDICTION: 0-1

KEY PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR

Berbatov: for Fulham to shine, Berbatov needs to be scoring, this might be the match where he’ll outperform.

 

 

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.

FootieQuiz’s Premier League Preview: Week 5 Manchester Derby Weekend

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Yet another round of Premier League matches is upon us this weekend. It promises to be as breathtaking as ever. Here we are going to analyse each game for this weekend.

NORWICH V ASTON VILLA (12:45pm) @ Carrow Road
This is going to be a crucial game for both teams. Villa, having lost their last 3 matches, need a quick bounce back. The loss of Jores Okore (ruptured anterior cruciate ligament) for nine months will see Paul Lambert making some adjustments in the midfield. City having made a sluggish start themselves, have maintained an undefeated home record and have gained all their 4 points at home. Maintaining it will be a tough task, against a young and energetic Villa side.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Christian Benteke: He is the highest premier league scorer for this calendar year with 18 goals, and he would look to add to his tally.

Libor Kozak: Could be his debut game against Norwich, already scored for his country Czech Republic against Italy , would be in high confidence and pairing up with Benteke could prove lethal to the opposition.

Johan Elmandar: Not having scored in his first 3 games, he would be raring to find the back of the net, and Villa haven’t been able to keep a clean sheet for the past 26 games, so it could be his day.

PREDICTION: 1-1

LIVERPOOL V SOUTHAMPTOM (3pm) @ Anfield
It’s been a dream start for Brendan Rodger’s side, sitting top of the league after 4 games, that too without Suarez, this is the last of his 10 match ban, before he returns. Liverpool has been on a 12 game unbeaten run, and indeed Rodger’s is trying to make Anfield a fortress which it used to be. Daniel Agger could be making a return from his injury suffered last week before the Swansea match. On the other hand, Pochettino’s side was the last side that beat Liverpool; he would take confidence from that fact, and would be looking to give a tough fight.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Daniel Sturridge: having scored 9 goals in 11 games, he is in red-hot form, no Coutinho and Suarez, the onus is solely on him.

Simon Mignolet: 3 clean sheets in 4 games is worth a mention , Daniel Agger is going to be back, a clean sheet and a couple of spectacular saves, would bring a smile on this high flying goalkeeper.

PREDICTION: 2-0

NEWCASTLE UNITED V HULL CITY (3 pm) @ St. James Park
Both teams have been hit with injury problems, Hull are without their team captain Robert Koren, and is out for eight weeks, whereas Newcastle are without central defender Steven Taylor. This could be a third consecutive win in a row for Newcastle.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Papiss Cisse: Since April he hasn’t scored a goal, this would be a golden chance to open his account for the season.

Yannick Sagbo: The powerful striker is back from suspension and the tigers would be relying on him, with all the injury problems affecting the squad.

PREDICTION: 2-1

WEST BROM V SUNDERLAND (3pm) @ the Hawthorns
Yet another vital game, you can imagine, the league is just 4 games old and we are talking about how important each game is. That is the premier league. Both teams are in the bottom three, both teams would be hoping to kick start their league campaign with a win.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Stephane Sessegnon: After getting his work permit, the ex-Sunderland striker would be raring to show his class against his old club.

PREDICTION: 2-2

WEST HAM UNITED V EVERTON (3pm) @ the Upton

Both teams haven’t been prolific in front of goal this season, the Hammers haven’t scored since the opening day win against Cardiff(2-0) and Everton have only scored thrice, though Everton do have an unbeaten record.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Romelu Lukaku: Was ineligible to play against his parent club, he would be raring to make his debut, with a goal of course.

Ross Barkley: He is young, energetic and scores goals, this kind of talent, is what England needs, and he will have a go at a weak West Ham defence.

PREDICTION: 0-3

CHELSEA V FULHAM (5:30 pm) @ Stamford Bridge
London derbies are always exciting, and this is no exception especially with an added pressure on the Mourinho’s side to win, having not won a single game in a month and coming off back to back defeats. Now we know why Chelsea were pursuing Rooney so fervently, they dreadfully need a striker, who scores and PLAY JUAN MATA. Fulham on the other hand are not in form themselves. Berbatov, is doubtful for the game. They need someone to score goals from somewhere.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Juan Mata: Mourinho enough of the arrogance, you got to accept the fact that you need him, your side needs him.

Darren Bent: If Fulham have any chance of salvaging any points at the Bridge, Bent needs to get his goal scoring shoes on.

PREDICTION: 3-1

ARSENAL V STOKE CITY (1:30pm) @ Emirates Stadium
Mesut Ozil makes his home debut at the Emirates; Arsenal have won all their last six matches in all competitions. Stoke have had an impressive start to their season, and looks like a team who are willing to push forward.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Olivier Giroud: He has been in scintillating form, having scored five times already into the season.
Mesut Ozil: A genuine playmaker, who scores goals, he wouldn’t mind one against stoke, in front of his home crowd.

PREDICTION: 0-0

CRYSTAL PALACE V SWANSEA (3pm) @ Selhurst Park
Weariness could play a vital role in Swansea losing this game, they have already played ten games in all competitions so far, and captain Ashley Williams is a doubtful for the game, the Eagles will look to exploit that and look for a victory.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Gayle: A pacy striker, who will run havoc, for the drained Swansea defence.
Michu: He can be world class on his day, having already scored an equaliser against Liverpool; he would be high on confidence.

PREDICTION: 1-0

CARDIFF CITY V TOTTENHAM (4pm) @ City Stadium
Cardiff would be looking to match the success they had against Manchester City at home, against Tottenham. Tottenham would be a tired bunch, but they have only let in one goal all season, they look a solid pack.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Steven Caulker: He would have a point to prove to his ex-team, He has been solid in defence, could score the only header from a corner and a win.

Christian Eriksen: He has already assisted four times in five games (premier league and eredivisie), looks a promising star, potential of creating some goal scoring passes.

PREDICTION: 1-0

MAN CITY V MAN UTD (4pm) @ Etihad Stadium
The match of the week, literally, the world would be glued to their TV sets, even the neutrals (kopites, blues, and gunners). It has so much at stake, any game between title contenders does. It’s just three points, but all the top teams dropping points, so early in the season, winning becomes important now. It’s beginning of a new era -MOYES-PELLEGRINI. Who will draw first blood?

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Yaya Toure: He has been the best passer in the premier league this season, with 347 passes, 30 more than any other player in the league. He is a goal threat outside the box and gradually becoming a free-kick master.

Wayne Rooney: He is proving to be a central figure on the field for United these days; he has to step up for a big game like this. He was ‘world class’ in his last two games but this is the game to prove it right.

PREDICTION: 3-2

Five things Jose needs to do

Jose Mourinho returns to the Premier League once again at the Stamford Bridge helm. The Chelsea manager won the title twice during his first stint but left under a cloud of disappointment, the Champions League a long way from his grasp.

Now he’s back and with this squad is more than ready to challenge Manchester United and Manchester City for the title. Here are five things he must get right to justify Chelsea’s status as one of the favourites in the Premier League title betting:

 1. Re-arrange the defence

Mourinho was the master of shutting down games when his Blues side went a goal or two up and although he’s developed a more attacking flair at Real Madrid his main priority remains not to concede.

The Portuguese boss recently confirmed John Terry as captain but don’t be surprised if he drafts in a decent centre-half to challenge Gary Cahill, with David Luiz possibly pushing into defensive midfield.

2. Please the press

Over 250 journalists crammed into the press conference for Mourinho’s official unveiling on Monday and they enjoyed a love-hate relationship with him during his first tenure. The press currently love Jose – he’s at least a story to write about over preseason – but he’ll put his foot in it from time to time next term. Keeping the right side of the press is vital for his and Chelsea’s credibility.

3. Buy a striker

Chelsea boast Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku but have few other options, with Fernando Torres poised to depart the club. Mourinho needs a target man the other two can feed off and Edin Dzeko or Stevan Jovetic would be great additions to the squad. As for Torres, his Stamford Bridge soiree is surely at an end.

4. Win a trophy

Chelsea are a good price with Titan Bet to win the league this season but could also challenge for European honours if Mourinho gets his house in order. This team has a great defence and one of the most exciting attacking midfields in Europe, an asset that should earn them at least a domestic cup if not more.

5. Sort out Juan Mata

There are rumblings in the press that Juan Mata is on his way out of Chelsea, which would be a real shame. It’s not just his talent that makes him such a valuable player but his attitude is right up there with the best professionals in sport. Like Oscar he rarely moans or mouths off at the referee, instead letting his feet do the talking.

If Mata leaves, Mourinho must find a better replacement and few of those are available this summer.

GK’s Football Predictions

The Premier League gets back into the swing of things this weekend and our co-editor GK gives us his predictions for the weekend

Aston Villa 2 Norwich 2
Arsenal 1 QPR 0
Reading 1 Fulham 1
Stoke City 2 Sunderland 1
Wigan 3 West Ham 1
Man City 5 Swansea 1
Everton 1 Liverpool 1
Newcastle 0 West Brom 0
Southampton 0 Tottenham 1
Chelsea 3 Man Utd 0

Star Man: Eden Hazzard – Chelsea

What do you think, feel free to leave you comments. If you wish to be a guess editor on any football related content please get in touch we would love to hear from you.

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.

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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 …

Fleetwood Town join Footie Quiz!

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.