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Monday, March 31, 2008

Are Derby the worst Premier League side ever?

Derby County confirmed their relegation from the Premier League on Saturday in a 2-2 home draw against Fulham ... and now UK bookmaker VC Bet has opened a market on whether the Rams will manage to equal or surpass Sunderland's infamous points tally of 15 points.

Victor Chandler go 2/7 (1.28) about the club failing to get 15 points and 5/2 (3.50) that they equal or surpass it.

"Sunderland hold the record for the worst points tally in Premier League history with a paltry 15, but we reckon that Derby will fare even worse,"
said VC spokesman Neal Wilkins. "They have been dire at times, and we just can’t see them picking up another win. Paul Jewell can't wait for it all to end."

Derby currently have 11 points with six games remaining, and they face away trips to Everton, West Ham and Blackburn as well as home games against Aston Villa, Arsenal and Reading at Pride Park.

Check it out at VCBet

Sunday, March 30, 2008

EPL : Arsenal win 3-2 at Bolton (video)

Ten-man Arsenal fought back from two goals down for a 3-2 win that lifted them back into second place in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

( link to 4 minute match highlights video )

Midfielder Matthew Taylor put Bolton two up in the first half but Arsenal, who had Abou Diaby sent off in the 31st minute for a high tackle on Gretar Steinsson, hit back with three goals in the last half hour.

Captain William Gallas put Arsenal back into the match when he turned in Cesc Fabregas' corner in the 63rd minute. Robin van Persie equalised with a penalty five minutes later after Gary Cahill brought down Alexander Hleb and Fabregas' 90th-minute shot was deflected in by J Lloyd Samuel as Arsenal ended a run of five league games without victory.


Arsene Wenger had this to say following the Arsenal second half comeback at Bolton...

"I can't remember a better comeback than that - to be 2-0 down, with 10 men and win 3-2 with just half an hour to go is a great credit to the team. I am very proud of our performance because we got a big blow last week (losing to Chelsea) but responded well.

"The first half we didn't play badly but everything went against us. Not only was their first shot on target a goal but we had a player sent off and just before we go to half-time they score a second one which was a big blow.

"The last 30 minutes we had chance after chance and in the end we were a bit lucky on the third goal but we did absolutely everything to win the game and we got a very important victory for us."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Chelsea unhappy with TV scheduling

Chelsea are not happy to being asked to play two Premier League games in the space of 72 hours after their trip to Everton was rescheduled for TV.

The Blues will play Wigan on April 14th and then travel to Goodison PArk to face Everton on Thursday 17th (instead of originally scheduled Saturday 19th).

Chelsea say it gives their title rivals an unnecessary competitive advantage with more time both to recover and prepare. Everton have described the fixture change as an "uncomfortable precedent".

The Merseysiders, who like Chelsea also wanted the match played at the weekend, say in a statement that they fully support their broadcast partners, but hope common sense prevails in the future and sensible alternatives can be reached.

The Premier League have defended the switch, saying: "The compilation of the fixture list is a complex procedure.

"It faces enormous pressure from international match and European competition dates, as well as the need to balance the important requirements of the police and our broadcasters.

"We are also required by the European Commission to televise 138 matches per season, which brings its own inevitable pressures."

Bernabeu will host 2010 Champions League Final

Real Madrid's Bernabeu Stadium won its bid to host the 2010 Champions League final - heading off Wembley because of tax reasons, says Uefa.

Wembley was discounted after failing to provide assurances that players competing in the final would not be taxed by the British government. Rival bids from Munich and Berlin were also overlooked.

"Yes, the reason was the taxes," said Uefa president Michel Platini. He added: "The concerns we had over players being taxed were minimised by the English FA but not confirmed by the British government."

This year's final will be held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, with Rome's Stadio Olimpico hosting the match in 2009.


Hamburg was chosen to host the 2010 UEFA Cup final, beating a bid by Arsenal to host it in the Emirates Stadium.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Back - but not quite work ready

Alright - I'm back on board after the knee op and starting to slowly get into the workstream - although it's actually a bit harder than I thought to work with the massive knee brace that I've got to wear for the next couple of weeks.

I plan to sit down on Good Friday and knock out my previews for the weekend - so you should see them on site by Friday evening.

In the meantime there are previews on site from Chappers, Simon and Mario (Thanks guys!) on the main site and I've also got all the latest spreadsheet numbers in the usual place.

Good luck with your weekend punts

Monday, March 17, 2008

Back by Easter

Apologies for the lack of posts over the last week - but I've been preparing for a little hospital visit that I've had coming up.

An old football injury has finally made me agree that I need to go under the knife, and I've been lucky enough to get a top knee man to sort out my (non-existant) ligaments.

Apparantly they use bits of your hamstring to build new ones these days, which I must admit sounds very inventive, but also a little bit painful. I last visited a hospital when I was about 8 so I'm NOT looking forward to this.

The good news is that he says that I may be able to play football in 6-9 months - assuming that I could actually play football before of course ...

I hope to be out and about and back on the internet before Easter, and plan on having all the spreadsheet data and match picks sorted out for the weekend.

See you all soon (I hope).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bet365 Cheltenham Festival Offer

As you're probably aware, it's the Cheltenham Festival this week and to celebrate this, bet365 are offering new customers an incredible £250 in Free Bets.

Once you've opened an account and placed your first bet, bet365 will give you a free bet to the same stake, up to the value of £50. And that continues.

After placing your first free bet, place a further 5 qualifying bets of £5 or more, and you’ll qualify for a second free bet from bet365, which will be to the same value as your smallest qualifying bet, up to a maximum of £50.

Further free bets (up to £50) are available on the same basis after a further five, ten and fifteen bets at bet365. This means you can generate 5 x £50 = £250 free bets, getting you off to a potential flyer!

Perhaps the best way to think of this offer is that you get a matched bet FREEBIE, and then for the next 20 bets you effectively get a 20% rebate back on your bets.


Please note, this offer is only available for this week and ends on Friday 14th March. If you've not yet opened an account with bet365, this is definitely the best time to do so; your bets can be placed on any sporting event.

Click here to register with bet365

Why no FA Cup betting previews?

Actually - I didn't get many emails this weekend compared to previous rounds ( See earlier post ) and perhaps that was because one of the writers stepped up and had a shot.

But I think that this weekend proved the case as to why betting on FA Cup matches is not really a profitable venture. Of course the underdogs road their luck, but the somewhat haphazard team selection process certainly helped their chances too.

There seems to be a lot of excitement about the FA Cup now, with many people saying that this is the best FA Cup ever - but despite that I will NOT be having a financial interst in ANY of the remaining games.

So good luck to Portsmouth, Barnsley, West Brom and Cardiff City and I'm sure that their fans will be eagerly awaiting the semi-final draw.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Real Madid line up Mourinho - but dont tell anyone

Real Madrid have strongly denied reports in the Spanish press claiming the club are hoping to appoint former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho.

Marca and El Mundo Deportivo on Friday claimed that Real were set to move for Mourinho as the reigning Spanish champions had lost faith in coach Bernt Schuster following Madrid's exit from the last 16 of the Champions League at the hands of Roma.

But the club released an official statement denying this and saying that they were perfectly happy with Schuster.

(Gooner says - yeah right!)

On Thursday Mourinho told a press conference in Valencia: "I am free, I don't have pre-contracts or a gentlemen's agreement. I don't want to take someone else's seat, but I would like to coach a top team in Italy or Spain."

(Gooner says - yeah right!)


Hang onto your hats - it looks like the managerial roundabout rumours are starting early.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

UEFA CL : AC Milan 0-2 Arsenal (video)

Words fail me ... so ... watch the goals

(Apologies if you've found this old post ...
YouTube finally found the video and deleted it)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Serie A Shocks on Sunday

Substitute Daniel Pablo Osvaldo struck an added-time winner as Fiorentina moved a point behind Juventus with a 3-2 victory in Turin – their first away victory over the Bianconeri in two decades.

SSC Napoli also enjoyed a notable success as they became the first club to beat the champions FC Internazionale Milano in Serie A this term winning 1-0.

That leaves Inter Milan (61) leading by 6 points from AS Roma (55), with Juve (48) and Fiorentina (47) battling for the Champions League spots.

Perrenial powerhouse AC Milan are in 5th spot on 43 points are are starting to run the risk of missing out on a lucrative Champions League spot next season.

The full Serie A table is available on the main Italian page on the site.