Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Transfer window opens - what do the Premier League managers say?

The January transfer window opens on New Year's Day, giving clubs their first opportunity to buy or sell players since the end of August.

Most Premier League managers have already had their say over how they see the next month going:

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:
"Although we are not close to signing anyone at the moment, if we do buy I think what we need is maybe someone with a bit of experience. I need a creative midfielder and eventually another midfielder, because we are short.

"We already have many young players so, if we buy, it will be somebody who is ready to play straight away. A loan deal could also be a possibility. What we might need is someone who can create a little spark."

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill:
"We are definitely looking at trying to do something if it is at all possible."

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce:
"I'm also more focused on getting players in rather than players out. Certainly my focus over the last two days has been speaking to the chairman about that. We're both going to go out and try and improve our squad as quickly as possible."

Chelsea manager Luiz Filipe Scolari :
"I knew that it's a different time for Chelsea but, if we suffer more injuries, the board understand that I'll need one or two players to replace some [injured] players. They understand this. "

"If, on the other hand, the players are in good condition and there are no more injuries, I think it's maximum one player they'll replace because we need one more. Only one. A striker."

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez :
"It will be difficult to bring anyone in January because we have a good squad. To bring in anyone better than what we've got isn't easy and could be expensive."

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes:
"I think everyone understands there are certain areas of the squad which need strengthening and we will look to address those in the window."

"We are looking to bring good quality players to the club to help our situation and make sure that the club is moving forward in the future. There is no guarantee how many of those players we will be able to bring to the club. It is clear from everyone's point of view that we do need help."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson :
"I do not think there will be any January transfers, I am happy with what I have got.
"We are probably going to bring back a couple of young players who have been on loan. That may just give us extra protection. "

"We took 23 players to Japan (for the Club World Cup) and they are substantial players. I would be happy to play any one of them."

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp :
"If could find a wide-left player I would like to get one. That and a frontman would be the priority."

"I think Portsmouth have had a massive offer from somebody for Jermain Defoe, so good luck to them - I paid about £9m when I signed him. He is a good player but we're not going to pay over the top for anyone."

"I like Stewart Downing but I don't know whether Middlesbrough want to sell him."

Bookmakers clean up as snow stays away on Christmas Day

UK gamblers have been tuning in to weather predictions before placing their bets on whether there would be snowfalls on Christmas Day, but as it turned out it was the bookies who got it right this year, with snow staying away.

Bookmakers William Hill took a large number of bets on the possibility of snow on Christmas Day, following heavy snowfalls earlier in December - but, although it was a chilly day, there was no snow.

Rupert Adams, spokesman for William Hill, told the Telegraph newspaper that it was a relief for the bookmakers -- although it may be a disappointment for gamblers.

"Much like the abominable snowman, Britain's favorite festive flutter is in danger of becoming extinct as snowfall becomes increasingly rare in December," said Adams. "But we are not sorry to see no snow as it would have cost us a monster million pound-plus payout."

Christmas Day was cloudy and cold but dry, with a brisk wind blowing in from the east, the newspaper reported.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Manchester United are title favourites with bookmakers

Manchester United have been shortened from 6/4 to 11/8 favourites (PaddyPower) to win the Premier League title following their hard-fought 1-0 win over Middlesbrough at Old Trafford on Monday night.

United dominated for most of the game and missed a host of chances before Dimitar Berbatov blasted home the winner in the 69th minute. The result means Sir Alex Ferguson's men now trail Liverpool by seven points and Chelsea by four in the race for the title but have two games in hand.

Chelsea are 2/1 second favourites (VCBet)with Liverpool available at 9/4 (BetFred) despite being top. Arsenal are 33/1 (Bet365) shots with Aston Villa 66/1. (Bet365)

Get the latest Premier League Live Odds Quotes at Bookie Lab Rat.

Friday, December 26, 2008

BettingZone take Arsenal to win at Villa

Popular UK betting website have picked Arsenal to bat Aston Villa on Boxing Day - despite the loss of captain Cesc Fabregas ...

Villa gained a deserved win at The Emirates in mid-November and will be popular with punters at 13/8 to complete the double.

However, one of the themes of this Premier League season is that the top teams appear to prefer playing away from home where they have more space and can hit teams on the break.

Villa, with six away wins to just four at home, have been part of that trend while a win for Arsenal would mean they've taken just as many points on the road as they have at home.

Villa go into the game three points above the Gunners so Arsene Wenger would feel very anxious if that gap doubled to six as the prospect of Villa gatecrashing the top four would grown even stronger.

Yes, holes can be picked in the Arsenal line-up and the loss of Cesc Fabregas is a blow too. But they remain a talented bunch and it's foolish to write them off.

Arsenal have won four and drawn one of their last five trips to Villa Park and, given their record against the top teams this year, they're more than capable of nicking a victory.

Villa are no world-beaters yet so maybe the 2/1 about Arsenal is the best bet.

BettingZone Pick : Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 2

Friday, December 19, 2008

Champions League Knockout Draw : Italy vs England x 3

The champions league draw for the last 16 was made in Nyon on Friday and it has thrown up some mouthwatering clashes as English clubs face three Italian opponents ...and Real Madrid as well.

Manchester United will face Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Former Tottenham boss Juande Ramos will return to England with Real Madrid as they take on Liverpool, with the second leg to be played at Anfield.

Arsenal will have the first leg at home as they play AS Roma, while Chelsea will clash against Juventus who are managed by former boss Claudio Ranieri for their .

Chelsea v Juventus
Villarreal v Panathinaikos
Sporting Lisbon v Bayern Munich
Atletico Madrid v FC Porto
Lyon v Barcelona
Real Madrid v Liverpool
Arsenal v Roma
Inter Milan v Manchester United

The ties will be played on 24/25 February and 10/11 March as the Champions League knockout phase begins.

UEFA Cup Knockout Draw

Aston Villa and Tottenham have a potential last 16 clash - but they will have to get past a pair of quality opponents as they first face CSKA Moscow and Shakhtar Donetsk respectively in the last 32.

Manchester City will face FC Copenhagen in the last 32 but they could meet Deportivo La Coruna in the last 16.

Other last 32 ties include AC Milan up against Werder Bremen, while Ajax meet Fiorentina.

Last 32 draw (first leg 18-19 Feb/ second leg 26 Feb):
Paris Saint-Germain v Wolfsburg
NEC Nijmegen v Hamburg
Sampdoria v Metalist Kharkiv
Braga v Standard Liege
Lech Poznan v Udinese
Olympiakos v Saint-Etienne
Fiorentina v Ajax
Aalborg v Deportivo La Coruna
Werder Bremen v AC Milan
Bordeaux v Galatasaray
Dynamo Kiev v Valencia
Zenit St. Petersburg v Stuttgart
Marseille v FC Twente
Shakhtar Donetsk v TOTTENHAM

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

JustBet Sportsbook $100K Holiday Bowl Competition

JustBet Sportsbook are offering an extra Christmas stocking filler to every active customer - with an $100K Holiday Bowl competition

It's free to play for all JustBet Sportsbook players who hold an active account with a $300 balance or greater.

The competition covers the BOWL games from December 28th, 2008 right through to the BCS game on January 8th, 2009 between Florida and Oklahoma.

FIRST PRIZE : $25,000 for the contestant who picks the most winners - the prize will be split if more than one winner.

BONUS PRIZE : $25,000 more if winner picks every game correctly

EXTRA BONUS SCORE PRIZE OF $50,000 for picking every game, and the exact score of the BCS game.

And as part of the promotion a new deposit (from new or existing JustBet Sportsbook customers) will receive a 50% freeplay bet as a holiday bonus.

So check out JustBet Sportsbook to learn more about this great competition.

UEFA Tells Wayne Rooney that he can stamp opponents freely.

Uefa says it will not punish Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney over his clash with Aalborg's Kasper Risgard.

The Danish defender claimed the England international stamped on him during the 2-2 Champions League draw at Old Trafford on 10 December.

Rooney, 23, faced a three-match ban had he been found guilty by European football's governing body.

Uefa assessed the incident after it was missed by referee Laurent Duhamel but decided that no action would be taken, as it would affect Manchester United chances of progressing and negatively affect sales of future TV rights to upcoming games.

(OK - I added the bit in Italics - but how on earth did they come to this decision otherwise? Rooney had gone mental)

Monday, December 15, 2008

AFC and NFC Playoff picture - how does your team stand with two weeks left?

So if the season ended right now - here is how the road to the Superbowl would look in the NFL.

In the NFC the NEW YORK GIANTS and the CAROLINA PANTHERS would clinch first round byes with the best division winning performances.

The MINNESOTA VIKINGS would host the TAMPA BAY BUCCS and the DALLAS COWBOYS would travel to face the ARIZONA CARDINALS.

There are still four other teams in the hunt though (within two games of a playoff spot) including the 9-5 ATLANTA FACLONS.

NFC playoff picture

Meanwhile over in the AFC it's more clearcut with the TENNESSEE TITANS and the PITTSBURGH STEELERS guaranteed first round byes with two weeks to go.

The NEW YORK JETS would get to host the BALTIMORE RAVENS in the first playoff game, while the DENVER BRONCOS would recieve the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS in the other wildcard game.

MIAMI DOLPHINS and NEW ENGLAND PATS will still harbour hopes of challenging the JETS in the AFC EAST, while SAN DIEGO have the slimmest of hopes in the AFC West.

For the rest of the sides, it's time to face facts, it's the dead time at the end of the season, and now sport bettors will be taking a close look at the motivation levels of some teams.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Barcelona v Real Madrid - Special bets

Barceona v Real MadridReal Madrid visit bitter rivals Barcelona on Satueday evening with their new coach Juande Ramos and Betfred have priced up a number of special bets on "El Classico".

Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been enduring a torrid time this season and two markets have been opened up for punters who think he might have a tough time :

"Casillas Catastrophe 1" is for Barcelona to score four or more goals, which they have done on an incredible nine occasions already this season, and the Betfred price for that to happen again is 11/2.

"Casillas Catastrophe 2" is for the goalkeeper to commit a foul that results in a penalty and that eventuality is a 7/1 chance at BetFred.

You can also bet on whether Real Madrid will have a player sent off in the match and it's 7/2 that the visitors are reduced to 10 men, as they were against Sevilla last weekend when Arjen Robben’s red card meant he misses this match.

Betfred spokesman Jon Wilde said: "Bernd Schuster's last act as Real coach was to say he didn't think the Galacticos could win in the Nou Camp and it could be a long 90 minutes for Real.

"Casillas is expected to return to the side after seeing his understudy Jerzy Dudek keep a clean sheet against Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League, but he will need to improve on his poor form in such a big game."

Check out all the options at BetFred Bookmakers.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sevilla beat Real Madrid to move into 4th spot

Sevilla survived a spirited fightback from champions Real Madrid at the Bernabeu to win 4-3 in the Primera Liga on Sunday.

Spanish football betting tips
Adriano Correia gave Sevilla a third-minute lead and although Raul pulled one back in the 19th minute, Ndri Romaric and Frederic Kanoute had the visitors 3-1 up at half-time.

Gonzalo Higuain and Fernando Gago levelled for Real midway through the second half, but a red card for Arjen Robben took the wind out of their sails, and Renato headed the winner six minutes from time.

Real Madrid's third defeat in four league matches left them fifth in the standings with 26 points from 14 matches, nine behind leaders Barcelona who they play at the Nou Camp next weekend.

Barcelona hammered Valencia 4-0 on Saturday, and are now 6 points clear at the top with 35 points after second-placed Villarreal were held 3-3 at home by Getafe.

Valencia are third with 27 points ahead of Sevilla on goal difference.

Deportivo Coruna overcame Malaga 2-0 at home. Malaga keeper Inaki Goitia let Angel Lafita's free kick slip through his hands after 65 minutes and Mexico striker Omar Bravo netted the second from the penalty spot soon after.

Real Valladolid came back from three down to draw 3-3 at Osasuna with Nigerian striker Bartholomew Ogbeche's powerful header securing a point five minutes from time. Valladolid are eighth with 20 points.

Osasuna slipped back to the foot of the table after Recreativo Huelva claimed their first win since the opening day of the season, twice coming from behind to beat Real Mallorca 3-2 away.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Eduardo nearly ready to return for Arsenal

Arsene Wenger believes it will not be long before Arsenal see striker Eduardo back in action.

The Brazilian-born Croatia striker suffered an horrific broken leg following an X-rated challenge from Martin Taylor at Birmingham in February.

However, the 25-year-old is now closing in on a return to competitive action with the Gunners. Wenger confirmed: "As soon as possible, he will play now. He is joining in full training matches, but he needs games now."

He won't play against Wigan this weekend but the Gunners also face Middlesbrough and Liverpool between now and Christmas.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

NFL Picks for Week 14.

I have built FOUR systems over the last two seasons :
- most likely winners
- best value winners
- extreme value winners
- ATS winners.

But due to the BLOWOUT nature of the NFL - where some scores can get huge when compared to European football - I've found that you have to choose which type of system you are going to chase.

I've gone for value winners, which means that the system is focused around win percentages and who will get over the line, rather than whether they will cover the spread.

So the best system is VALUE which is marked in the HVal and Aval columns where I take the green marked teams to win on the MoneyLine.

This system was +14% last season, and is exactly +14% yield this season too.

It has a 41% hit rate (32 winners and 47 losers this season) but the prices obtained are good enough to yield a profit.

This weeks value picks are ...

ST. LOUIS RAMS 19% @ 7.50

Note that all SEVEN teams are away sides, and all seven teams are actually underdogs forecast to lose if "average" circumstances happen.

But as we know in the NFL a turnover or poor home performance can result in a big dog winning we will need 2 or 3 winners to show a profit this week.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Liverpool move into top spot after held to 0-0 by West Ham

Liverpool go top of the table Liverpool drew 0-0 with West Ham at Anfield on Monday night and it was enough to take the Reds into top spot in the Premier League.

But this was the second time in 10 days that Liverpool had been held to a goalless draw at home by a London club, seriously handicapping their chances in the title race.

West Ham claimed their first point at Anfield for nine years it it might have been more as West Ham's former Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy came closest to a goal when his 30-yard strike hit a post.

But that would have been tough on Liverpool who dominated the match with 25 shots to 7 and 67% ball possession.