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Monday, September 29, 2008

Bookmaker Wary Of Champions League Backlash

Hull City saved bookmakers from a monster payout over the weekend, but bet365 are preparing themselves for a Champions League midweek backlash.

bet365 spokesman Steve Freeth "Hull got us out of jail over the weekend, particularly with Real Madrid and Barcelona both winning in injury time, but we're nervously looking at the matchday 2 fixtures in the Champions League."

"Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are all odds on for victory, and Celtic's wretched away form will see in-form Villarreal thrown into every accumulator going.

We're expecting all five teams to be very popular."

Bet365 Midweek Champions League Prices :
17/2 AaB --------- Draw 7/2 --- Man Utd 4/11
1/2 Arsenal ------ Draw 14/5 -- FC Porto 13/2
4/9 Villarreal --- Draw 3/1 --- Celtic 7/1
15/2 CFR Cluj --- Draw 3/1 --- Chelsea 4/9
4/11 Liverpool --- Draw 7/2 --- PSV 17/2

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Carling Cup : Arsenal beat Sheffield United and other results

Arsenal's kids gave a display of wonderful talent in a 6-0 home win over Sheffield United, with Carlos Vela the star of the show.

Established first-teamer Nicklas Bendtner (31, 42) finished off clever assists from Vela and Aaron Ramsey to put the Gunners two up before Vela made it three (44) with a lovely curling effort.

The Mexican then grabbed his second by leaving Paddy Kenny on his backside before calmly slotting in his second (50) and 16-year-old Jack Wilshere got in on the act with the fifth (57).

Fittingly, Vela had the last word by completing his hat-trick three minutes from time.


Manchester United and progressed safely - Sir Alex Ferguson's side beating Middlesbrough 3-1.

Cristiano Ronaldo marked his first start of the season with the opener at Old Trafford when he headed in Ryan Giggs' corner (25).

Brad Jones kept Boro in contention with some fine saves before Adam Johnson shocked the home crowd by drawing the visitors level with a shot from the edge of the box (56).

But they found themselves a man down when Emanuel Pogatetz was shown a straight red card for a bad foul on Rodrigo Possebon, who was carried off the pitch with what looked a bad injury.

Chris Riggott's mistake then let in Giggs to put United back in front (79) and Nani made sure of victory in injury time.


Liverpool also progressed after beating Crewe 2-1 at Anfield.

Daniel Agger opened the scoring at Anfield when he fired in a free-kick after 15 minutes.

But Crewe showed they would be no pushovers by equalising through Michael O'Connor (25) after debutant keeper Diego Cavalieri had parried Calvin Zola's header.

There was to be no fairytale victory for the League One side, however, as Lucas headed in Jermaine Pennant's cross (58) for what proved the winner.



West Ham were knocked out of the cup by Watford at Vicarage Road as goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka missed a cross and the ball went in off Hayden Mullins for an own goal (70) as the Hornets triumphed 1-0.

It was the same scoreline at Turf Moor as a goal from substitute Jay Rodriguez two minutes from the end of the game handed Burnley victory over Fulham.

Arsenal will stick with "the kids" for the Carling Cup

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will give nearly all of his first team a well-deserved rest on Tuesday night when Coca-Cola Championship side Sheffield United are the visitors to Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal have traditionally played "the kids" in the Carling Cup and the youngsters reached the Carling Cup semi-finals last season, before they lost over two legs to Tottenham.

The Gunners boss confirmed he would adopt the same approach once more - which means the likes of Wales Under-21 midfielder Aaron Ramsey, 16-year-old Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, reserve-team captain Gavin Hoyte and even first-year scholar Emmanuel Frimpong will get their chance.

Wenger is quoted on the the Arsenal website as saying :
"We have to keep our policy because we lost players in this competition that harmed our chances in the Champions League and the Premier League."

"No matter how far we go, we will keep our policy. Even in a stricter way than before."

"We have great experiences in this Carling Cup and there is always a great excitement for the young players to play."

Video highlights of the weekend games

Just in case you missed some of the goals over the weekend, we've complied a set of links to some of the most interesting games and results.

There are quick text summaries and also 3-4 minutes of video highlights for each of the following games.

Chelsea 1-1 Manchester Utd : Video of goals

Hull City 2-2 Everton : Video Coverage

Manchester City 6-0 Portsmouth : Video Coverage

Liverpool 0-0 Stoke City : Video coverage

Bayern Munich 2-5 Werder Bremen : Video highlights

Sunderland 2-0 Middlesbrough : Video coverage

Bolton 1-3 Arsenal : Video highlights

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bodog having problems paying US players

Several US based punters have been experiencing long delays in getting payouts from Bodog Sportsbook, Casino and Poker.

This does not seem to be due to financial problems with Bodog itself - rather getting payments into the US banking system - as the UIGEA hits hard at online gambling companies.

With the recent changes at Bodog - Morris Mohawk now have an exclusive license to market the Bodog brand - and the loss of the previous payment processor - it appears that the new promoters are not as skilled in moving the money - and/or perhaps do not understand the importance of maintaining the payment system for easy payouts to the USA.

The money does eventually get out - but new payment processors are very uneasy about helping high profile gambling companies to pay US based players after recent legislative changes.

I am not aware of any Bodog players from other countries outside the United States that are experiencing these problems. The financial state of Bodog is not really in question here.

But - as such we have to recommend caution for any new players or repeat players from within the United States when choosing to play. It may be wise to look at some of the alternative organisations that we have listed on the main site that have existing solutions in place to quickly pay US players.




Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Terry wins appeal against red card and will face Manchester Utd

Chelsea captain John Terry will face Manchester United in the Premier League game on Sunday after winning an appeal against the red card he picked up at Manchester City.

Terry was sent off for hauling down City striker Jo in Chelsea's 3-1 victory on Saturday but Jo still had a long way to go to goal when the foul came in from Terry.

Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho was also in a defensive position and although referee Mark Halsey deemed it a professional foul, Chelsea protested, and lodged an appeal.

The FA announced on today that an independent regulatory commission had upheld the club's claim for "wrongful dismissal." The ruling means the defender has avoided an automatic three-game suspension and he will be available to face United at Stamford Bridge.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Gianfranco Zola likely to be new West Ham manager.

West Ham are likely to offer their vacant managerial position to Gianfranco Zola.

Zola has emerged as the London club's preferred candidate ahead of the former Italy coach Roberto Donadoni and, with personal terms having effectively been agreed, confirmation of his appointment as West Ham's first foreign manager could be made later today.

Zola is currently coaching the Italy Under-21s alongside his former Chelsea team-mate Pierluigi Casiraghi, and has been given a glowing reference by the Italian Football Federation to back up his credentials.

West Ham's board will meet again today and expect to be in a position to offer the job to their favoured candidate - personal terms had been discussed and as good as agreed with both Zola and Donadoni during the interview process - in the hope that Zola will be able to attend the game at the Hawthorns, with the team to be selected by the caretaker manager Kevin Keen.

West Ham are already drawing up tentative plans to unveil the 42-year-old at the Boleyn Ground as early as Thursday ahead of the weekend trip to West Bromwich Albion

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Telegraph reports Arsenal interest in Ghanian Stephen Appiah

Arsenal are reportedly set to the revive their interest in Stephen Appiah, planning a late move to beat West Ham to the signature of the Ghana midfielder according to the Daily Telegraph.

Appiah is a free agent following his release from Turkish club Fenerbache, and so is available to be signed outside of the enforced transfer windows associated for players already on contract.

He had been considering terms to sign at Upton Park but the resignation of Alan Curbishley has forced the player to reconsider his options having been said to be close to reaching a £40K-per week three-year deal.

The player is keen to ply his trade in England and Arsenal could now offer him that opportunity as manager Arsene Wenger considers ways to improve his midfield.

Wenger has been a long-term admirer of Appiah, who two years ago was close to joining Arsenal before a knee injury denied him.

Certainly, Arsenal's young midfield requires strengthening and Appiah could provide a sound alternative at The Emirates - much in the style of Patrick Vieira.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Big Sam Allardyce to manage West Ham?!

Sam Allardyce has been the big mover with Betfred in the market for next permanent West Ham manager as there was plenty of betting support for the former Bolton and Newcastle boss.

But surely if Hammers fans were unhappy with the way their side played under Curbishley there is no way that they'd accept the UGLY FOOTBALL that has been a trademark of all Big Sam's teams?!

Allardyce was up as a 16/1 shot at the start, but is now down to 8/1 after early favourite Slaven Bilic distanced himself from the job with his former club.

Croatia coach Bilic, who opened up as a favourite following Alan Curbishley's resignation, drifted out to the best price on the high street of 10/3 after insisting he is focused on his role in charge of his national team.

Italian duo Paolo Di Canio and Roberto Mancini, who were the subject of good betting on Wednesday, are next in the market at 5/1 and 6/1 respectively, followed by Allardyce and ex-Chelsea manager Avram Grant, another man to have attracted attention from punters.

Betfred founder and chairman Fred Done said: "Big Sam is a surprise choice as the market springer for he doesn't appear to be a natural fit for the West Ham position. All his previous managerial jobs have been in the north and midlands and it's hard to know how the Cockneys would react to him."

"But he has been quite active in the media recently, which could be seen as a way of reminding people in football of his availability. I've certainly taken plenty of money from shrewd sources for Sam and, along with Di Canio, he represents the biggest losing result in our book."

Bilic and Mancini are bet365's 7/2 joint favourites, with Di Canio next best at 6/1 and bet365 spokesman Steve Freeth said: "Bilic seemed to be playing his cards close to his chest when quizzed about the vacancy, whilst Italians Mancini and Di Canio have been very popular."

For betting Odds on West Ham manager market check out these bookmakers :
Bet365, Betfred, PaddyPower

Gus Poyet at 3/1 to replace Kevin Keegan at Newcastle

Kevin Keegan's departure from Newcastle is now official and the bookmakers have Gus Poyet their clear favourite to replace him.

Keegan's exit will have increased the influence of Poyet's former colleague Dennis Wise at St James' and Poyet has been backed into 3/1 from an opening 50/1 with Paddy Power while he's as short as 9/4 elsewhere.

Magpies legend Alan Shearer was a name bandied about 6 months ago when the job was open and he is 7/1 with some bookmakers to take the option this time.

Darren Haines, spokesman for Paddy Power, said: "There's been a lot of confusion in the last few days but now betting will begin in earnest for what is traditionally one of the biggest next manager markets for any football club."

Check out all the football specials at PaddyPower now.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Alan Curbishley quits as West Ham manager

Alan Curbishley has resigned as manager of West Ham because of a lack of control over transfer policy.

Curbishley offered his resignation on Wednesday and it was quickly accepted by owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson.

A West Ham statement said the club had accepted Curbishley's resignation in the best interests of both parties.

The final straw for the 50-year-old had been the enforced sales of Anton Ferdinand and George McCartney. Curbishley said decisions had been made without involving me, amounting to a breach of trust and confidence meaning I had no option but to leave.

Curbishley added: "The selection of players is critical to the job of manager and I had an agreement with the club that I alone would determine the composition of the squad."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Has Kevin Keegan left Newcastle United?

Kevin Keegan is rumoured to have resigned as Newcastle manager after showdown talks with the club's directors on Monday.

One of the lads on our forum broke the initial news but the betting markets on the first Premier League boss to leave his post this season have been withdrawn by many bookies after Keegan's odds tumbled.

BBCSport are saying that Keegan is in showdown talks, while says the meeting weas Monday at 2pm and Keegan has gone.

Sky Bet's spokesman has said: "The rumour mill in the north-east is working overtime and the money has followed accordingly. The transfer deadline was simply a disaster for Newcastle, with no significant purchases, and we wait to see what Keegan's response is."

Dennis Wise, the executive director (football) at St James' Park, has already been installed as 4/1 favourite to take over as Magpies manager.

Berbatov and Robinho both move to Manchester !

The Premier League transfer window closed on Monday night - and it was Manchester City who had the biggest news.

City were bought by an Abu Dhabi consortum at midday, and the Shieks immediately proved that they've got pot-loads of spare cash by successfully pitching a £30m+ big for Real Madrid's Robinho ... and gettting him !!

In other (minor) news - the sulky Bulgarian Berbatov did eventually move to Manchester United for £30m too - and Spurs agreed to drop the "Tapping-up" case against Sir Alex Ferguson.

Blackburn (Bunn),
Everton (Saha, Nash),
Hull (Cousin),
Liverpool (Flora, Gulacsi, Riera),
Man City (Robinho),
Man Utd (Berbatov),
Newcastle (Gonzalez, Xisco),
Portsmouth (Belhadj),
Sunderland (McCartney),
Stoke (Higginbotham),
Tottenham (Pavlyuchenko, Corluka, Campbell),
West Brom (Donk)

Bolton (Dzemaili),
Fulham (Zakuani, John, Smertin),
Liverpool (Finnan, Voronin),
Man City (Corluka, Vidal),
Man Utd (Saha, Campbell),
Portsmouth (Cranie, Christophe),
Sunderland (Higginbotham),
Stoke (Parkin),
Tottenham (Berbatov),
West Ham (McCartney),
Wigan (Bouaouzan, Nash, Sibierski)

There may be more announcements in the morning - but Arsenal fans should be aware that it appears the Mr Wenger simply decided to have an early night.

Monday, September 01, 2008

How did your weekend punts go then?

The new season for Italy and Spain brought some "surprise results" with Real Madrid, Barcelona and AC Milan all losing, and several other name sides all failing to win.

In England, we saw Everton lose at home again, Chelsea held to a draw, and Manchester City win 3-0 at Sunderland. Many punters on the forum seem to be counting the cost of a tough betting weekend ...

But why? Were all those results really so unexpected? It's a tough way to make a profit if you go exclusively on home "bankers" - so you've really gotta chase the value too.

Everyone can see who is favoured - including the bookmakers - and those "big name" teams are usually priced so as to make a loss over the course of a season.

Personally, I'm happy enough with the weekend results. I put nine picks on the main site and they went 5-4 (including 3 draws from 4) for a tasty +44% yield on level stakes.

I still missed on AS Roma, and I'm annoyed with the Chelsea v Spurs game as I did highlight the DRAW as good value - but still tipped the home win.

And I also got Everton v Portsmouth all wrong ...

But draws in Villa v Liverpool, Fiorentina v Juve and Sampdoria v Inter Milan were good as was the Arsenal win and Overs in Middlesbrough v Stoke.

A mix of value betting the DRAW, and higher priced home wins did prove to be a useful buffer against the shock results.

Now - let's see if we can find some in the weekend internationals eh?

Carling Cup : Arsenal met Sheffield United - again!

Arsenal and Sheffield United will have to stop meeting like this after being drawn together in the third round of the Carling Cup, the third time in four years that the two sides will have met in knock-out competitions.

Last year, Arsenal were comfortable winners against the Championship side at Bramall Lane in the fourth round and with home advantage this time will expect to make similarly smooth progress.

There are 4 all Premier League ties, with Portsmouth hosting Chelsea and Newcastle hosting Spurs in the best ties of the round.

Third round draw - Ties to be played week starting September 22

Arsenal v Sheffield Utd;
Brighton or Man City v Derby;
Burnley v Fulham;
Portsmouth v Chelsea;
Blackburn v Everton;

Rotherham v Southampton;
Swansea v Cardiff;
Ipswich v Wigan;
Stoke v Reading;
Leeds v Hartlepool;
Watford v West Ham;
Man Utd v Middlesbrough;
Liverpool v Crewe;
Aston Villa v QPR;
Sunderland v Northampton;
Newcastle v Tottenham.