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Friday, December 31, 2010

Aussie punters - special "CANT LOSE" offer at Centrebet bookmaker

Here is something for Australian punters - as long as you don't live in South Australia, Western Australia or Victoria.
(blame your local state governments for being left out)

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Leonardo replaces Rafael Benitez as Inter Milan coach

Inter Milan have appointed 41-year-old former AC Milan boss Leonardo to succeed Rafael Benitez as coach.

The Brazilian World Cup winner Leonardo will take up the managers job on 29 December and his contract runs for 18 months until June 2012.

Benitez was sacked after six months in the job after asking the Inter board to back him in the transfer market.

Cricket - 4th Ashes Test : England dominate the Aussies on day one

England put themselves in a remarkably dominant position after day one of the fourth Ashes Test having bowled out Australia for just 98 in Melbourne.

Chris Tremlett and James Anderson swung the ball beautifully to take four wickets each for England after captain Andrew Strauss had won an important toss.

In Australia's mitigation was the fact that cool, cloudy conditions up until tea had turned the early exchanges into something more akin to a May Test match in England, with bowlers able to extract swing and seam movement.

Tremlett returned to wrap up the tail and Australia were all out in 42.5 overs. Every dismissal had been as a result of a catch behind the wicket.

After tea the clouds melted away as Strauss (64no) and Cook (80no) strode to the crease. And apart from one or two early deliveries from Ben Hilfenhaus the ball did not swing for the Australians.

Strauss and Alastair Cook pushed England along to a very healthy 157-0 in reply at stumps - 59 runs ahead with all 10 wickets in hand.

Fourth Ashes Test : (stumps, day one)
Australia 98 v England 157-0


Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Christmas Treat - video of Bergkamp goals while at Arsenal

As Christmas is the time for reminising and remembering good times, how about a trip down memory lane to see on of the worlds best players showing his skills at Highbury.

Nine minutes of Dennis Bergkamp brilliance - taken from Arsenal's 501 Greatest Goals video.

UK Freezing Weather to hit Boxing Day Football and Horses

The cold weather is continuing to cause major problems for Britain's sporting schedule going into the festive Christmas period.

Several English Football League and Scottish Football League matches have been called off.

English League One :
Tranmere v Sheffield Wednesday

English League Two :
Accrington Stanley v Crewe
Bradford v Chesterfield
Macclesfield v Morecambe
Stockport v Rotherham

Scottish Football League Division One :
Ross County v Cowdenbeath
Queen of the South v Dundee
Stirling v Morton

Scottish Football League Division Two :
Aidrie Utd v East Fife
Brechin v Ayr
Dumbarton v Forfar
Peterhead v Stenhousemuir

Scottish Football League Division Three :
Annan Athletic v Berwick Rangers
Elgin v Clyde


Racing continues to be hit by frost and snow, with Huntingdon, Wincanton and Wetherby's Boxing Day cards called off.

The Welsh National, due to take place at Chepstow on 27 December, has been postponed until Sunday, 8 January.

Officials at Kempton, meanwhile, have scheduled a noon inspection for Christmas Eve to decide if their Boxing Day card featuring the King George VI Chase will go ahead.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rafa Benitez on verge of getting the sack from Inter milan

Rafael Benitez's six-month reign as Inter Milan coach will come to an end on Wednesday after he had his contract terminated by the European champions on Tuesday night.

The Guardian is reporting that the parting of the ways set to be formally confirmed in the next 24 hours.

The Italian club's president, Massimo Moratti, is in the process of negotiating the manager's payoff with the pair's relationship having been destroyed after Benitez effectively served Moratti with an ultimatum to back him in the transfer market next month or sack him after winning the club world cup.

Meanwhile the Gazzetta dello Sport is saying (in English) that "Benitez stays" .. although it's then inferred that this is only until a new manager is sorted out ... and suggests that Inter Milan are trying to reduce the amount of compensation that they will have to pay Benitez.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Man City lose at home to Everton - drift out of title race

Manchester City have lost ground in the English Premier League title race after a 2-1 defeat to Everton at Eastlands on Monday night.

Man City had a chance to sit top of the table at Christmas, but the home loss means that this honour goes to Manchester United instead, who are 5/4 favourites to lift the trophy in May.

Manchester City started slowly and found themselves 2-0 down inside 20 minutes with Cahill and Baines both scoring for Everton.

Although City dominated the game, with 25 shots to 4, the home side could only pull one goal back in the second-half - via a Jagielka deflection for an own-goal - and Everton hung on to win despite being down to 10 men.

Premier League Top of Table

1 Man Utd   16 +20  34 
2 Arsenal   17 +15  32 
3 Man City  18 +10  32 
4 Chelsea   17 +19  31 
5 Tottenham 17  +3  27

Premier League Outright winner Odds

2.38 Manchester United to win @ Bet365
3.00 Chelsea to win @ Betsson
6.00 Arsenal to win @ Victor Chandler
13.00 Man City to win @ Victor Chandler
41.00 Tottenham to win at Victor Chandler

Monday, December 20, 2010

Snow stops play in Belgium - snowballs pelt players

The big game in Belgium was forced to be suspended on Sunday due to snow - but unlike Britain where it was natural - this snowstorm was entirely man-made.

Club Brugge fans forced the referee to suspend the match against Anderlecht after pelting them with snowballs during the early stages of today's Jupiler League match.

Play was suspended after seven minutes when the Anderlecht players Jonathan Legear and Mbark Boussoufa were unable to take corners under a barrage from the home support.

Legear later celebrated the 2-0 victory by Anderlecht by lobbing snowballs in the direction of his own fans, had to be aided by two team-mates after he was restrained and then shoved by a Brugge steward.

Video of Snowballs in Brugge v Anderlecht

Latest Belgium League Table

POS TEAM        PL  GD Pts
1st Genk        20 +32  43 
2nd Anderlecht  19 +24  41 
3rd AA Gent     19 +11  38 
4th Std Liege  20 +12  33 
5th Lokeren     18 +6   33 
6th Club Brugge 19 +11  30 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Big Freeze cancels Sunday EPL fixtures including Chelsea v Man Utd

The freezing conditions across Britain have once again led to the postponement of a host of weekend sporting fixtures.

Sunday's Premier League showdown between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, has been called off following heavy snow in London.

Blackpool's home game against Tottenham and the Black Country derby between West Brom and Wolves were Sunday's other matches to be called off.

Saturday's Premier League games at Arsenal, Liverpool, Birmingham and Wigan, were all postponed as well.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Europa League Draw : Liverpool face Sparta Prague

Liverpool visit the Czech Republic capital to play Sparta Prague in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Scottish Premier League champions Rangers have been drawn against Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon.

Manchester City, who are third in the Premier League, will travel to Greece to play Aris Salonika for the first leg. Aris beat Atletico Madrid in the Spanish capital with a 3-2 away win, a result which knocked the holders out.

Other tasty ties include Seville against Porto, who between them won three of the five Uefa Cup finals between 2003 and 2007, while Ajax take on Anderlecht of Belgium.

All first legs will be played on 7 February with the return games taking place a week later, while the last 16 is scheduled for March 10 and 17.

2011 Europa League draw (last 32) :

Napoli v Villarreal
Rangers v Sporting
Sparta Prague v Liverpool
Anderlecht v Ajax
Lech Poznan v Braga
Besiktas v Dynamo Kiev
Basle v Spartak Moscow
Young Boys v Zenit St Petersburg
Aris Salonika v Man City
PAOK Salonika v CSKA Moscow
Sevilla v FC Porto
Rubin Kazan v FC Twente
Lille v PSV
Benfica v VfB Stuttgart
Bate Borisov v PSG
FC Metalist Kharkiv v Bayer Leverkusen

Champions League draw : Arsenal drawn against Barcelona

Arsenal have been drawn against Spanish champions Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League, with the first leg at the Emirates Stadium in February 2011.

Fellow North London club Tottenham also have been handed a headline tie after being paired against AC Milan, with the first game at the San Siro.

And the interest continues as 2010 Champions Inter Milan face Germany's Bayern Munich in a repeat of last year's final.

Manchester United face French side Marseille, while Chelsea have been draw against Danish outfit FC Copenhagen.

Full 2011 Champions League Second Round Draw

Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk
AC Milan v Tottenham Hotspur
Valencia v Schalke
Inter Milan v Bayern Munich
Lyon v Real Madrid
Arsenal v Barcelona
Marseille v Manchester United
FC Copenhagen v Chelsea

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TP Mazembe beat Brazil's Internacional to reach World Club Final

TP Mazembe have become the first African side to reach the Club World Cup final after a 2-0 win over Brazil's Internacional in Abu Dhabi.

Mulota Kabangu opened the scoring with a superb strike in the 53rd minute.

Alain Kaluyituka produced a brilliant individual effort late in the game to extend the team from DR Congo's lead.

Mazembe are also the first team from outside Europe and South America to reach the final of the FIFA Club World Cup.

Mazembe will meet the winners of Wednesday's semi-final match between Champions League winners Inter Milan of Italy or Seongnam Ilhwa of South Korea in the final on Saturday.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Man Utd defeat Arsenal 1-0 to go top of Premier League

Ji-Sung Park's first-half effort earned Manchester United a hard-fought victory over Arsenal that enabled them to take top spot from their title rivals.

The South Korean improvised superbly to head Nani's deflected cross beyond the reach of goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Wayne Rooney could have doubled the lead when he took a harshly awarded penalty after Gael Clichy had been adjudged to have handled, but Rooney wildly blazed the spot kick over the bar

Arsenal's best efforts fell to Marouane Chamakh, who missed with a header and had a shot blocked by Nemanja Vidic - but it was an ineffective performance from the visitors overall.

Arsenal have failed to beat either Man United or Chelsea in ANY of their last 11 league meetings now - an obvious indicator that the Gunners still have work to do to catch up to these clubs who have split the last six league titles between them.

Top of Premier League Table

  Team      Pl  GD PTS 
1 Man Utd   16 +20  34 
2 Arsenal   17 +15  32 
3 Man City  17 +11  32 
4 Chelsea   17 +19  31 
5 Tottenham 17  +3  27

Walrus harpooned as "Big Fat Sam" given the boot at Blackburn Rovers

English Premier League club Blackburn Rover have announced they have sacked manager Sam Allardyce.

Allardyce was dismissed from the club along with his assistant Neil McDonald by the club's new owners, the Venky's Group from India. The club announced that the first-team coach Steve Kean will take temporary charge of the club.

Rovers have lost three of their last five games, including a 2-1 defeat by his former club Bolton on Sunday.

Allardyce - also known as The Big Fat Walrus - brings a dire brand of football to EVERY club that he manages - producing a defensive, dour, depressing style of game to watch all in the name of ginding out 0-0 draws to avoid relegation.

The only mildly entertaining thing about Allardyce's football career is listening to the private fantasy world that the Walrus lives in when he gives an inteview after the game to explain how unlucky his latest club were to slid to a 0-3 defeat - and it was only the referee (who was poor) / an offside goal / a lucky bounce / or home advantage of the "big clubs" that caused this latest defeat.

It will be most football fans wish that he gets nowhere near a Premier League club again.

Former Tottenham boss Martin Jol, who who resigned as Ajax manager last week, ex-Aston Villa and Leicester City manager Martin O'Neill and former Rovers favourite Alan Shearer have been linked with the Ewood Park job.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Interwetten sportsbook restricted to European players

European sportsbook operator Interwetten has decided to reduce the number of countries that it will accept sports bets from - in order to focus on their core products.

Players from the following 17 countries are still eligible to bet on sports at Interwetten.

AUT Austria,
DEU Germany
CHE Switzerland
ESP Spain
ITA Italy
GRC Greece
BEL Belgium
CYP Cyprus
NLD Netherlands
LIE Lichtenstein
LUX Luxemburg
HUN Hungary
CZE Czech Republic
SVK Slovakia
MCO Monaco
DNK Denmark
PRT Portugal

Monday, December 06, 2010

Newcastle United sack manager Chris Hughton

Newcastle have parted company with Chris Hughton and are looking to appoint a new boss with 'more managerial experience'.

Hughton lead the Magpies back into the Premier League last season, but his services have now been dispensed with following Sunday's 3-1 defeat at West Brom.

The Tyneside club are currently in 11th place in the Premier League table and have enjoyed some good results with a 5-1 derby romp against bitter local rivals Sunderland, beaten Arsenal at Emirates Stadium and held champions Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at home.

But owner Mike Ashley has decided that the time has come to make a change at the helm and the search is now on for a new man to step through the seemingly revolving door to the manager's office at St James' Park.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Bet365 have West Ham favourites for the Premier League drop

West Ham were cut for relegation from the Premier League at Bet365 after going down to a 1-0 defeat at Sunderland on Sunday.

The Hammers had raised fans hopes of turning a corner with a 4-0 home demolition of a reserve-stacked Manchester United side in the Carling Cup in midweek but West Ham found things much more difficult on their travels to the North East, going down to Jordan Henderson's first-half goal.

bet365 have cut West Ham from 4/5 to 4/6, and the Midlands-based firm now have three teams odds-on for the drop in what, according to the prices, looks a four-horse race.

Wolves (8/13) and Wigan (8/11) are the others odds-on - both are currently in the bottom three - with Blackpool out from 10/11 to 6/5.

Fourth-bottom Fulham come next in the market at 7/2.

Premier League Relegation Standings

Pos            Pl G.D Pts
15 Everton     16  -2  17 
16 Aston Villa 15  -7  17 
17 Fulham      16  -4  15 
18 Wigan       16 -15  15 
19 Wolves      16 -13  12 
20 West Ham    16 -13  12 
Check out all the latest football betting odds at bet365 now.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Betsson competition - win a trip to AC Milan as a VIP guest

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Freezing weather hits English and Scottish football fixtures

This weekend's sporting schedule has been heavily affected by the snow and freezing temperatures across Britain.

Scotland is worst hit, with all Premier League football off and only one lower league game - at Alloa - still on.

In England, Manchester United's Premier League match at Blackpool was postponed while many Football League fixtures also fell victim to the harsh weather.

English Premier League

Blackpool v Manchester United

English Championship

Doncaster v Barnsley
Hull v QPR
Nottingham Forest v Bristol City
Portsmouth v Burnley
Sheffield United v Reading

English League One

Brentford v Notts County
Brighton v Colchester
Brentford v Notts County
Dagenham & Redbridge v Huddersfield
Hartlepool v Southampton
Leyton Orient v Carlisle
MK Dons v Plymouth
Rochdale v Charlton
Walsall v Oldham
Yeovil v Peterborough

English League Two

Accrington Stanley v Shrewsbury
Aldershot v Bradford
Bury v Chesterfield
Cheltenham v Lincoln City
Crewe v Wycombe
Gillingham v Rotherham
Hereford v Morecambe
Port Vale v Stevenage
Southend v Macclesfield
Torquay v Burton Albion

Scottish Premier League

Aberdeen v Celtic
Hibernian v St Mirren
Inverness CT v Dundee Utd
Motherwell v Kilmarnock
Rangers v Hearts
St Johnstone v Hamilton

Scottish First Division

Dundee v Cowdenbeath
Dunfermline v Partick
Falkirk v Raith
Queen of South v Stirling
Ross County v Morton

Scottish Second Division

Airdrie Utd v Forfar
Brechin v Dumbarton
East Fife v Livingston
Stenhousemuir v Ayr

Scottish Third Division

Arbroath v Stranraer
Berwick v East Stirling
Clyde v Montrose
Elgin v Albion
Queens Park v Annan Athletic

And the World Cup goes to ... Russia ... and ... Qatar?

FIFA's executive committee have made their choices for hosts of the next to World Cups and the winners are Russia in 2018, and, and Qatar (!?!) in 2022.

Russia was selected to host the 2018 event in Europe ahead of co-bidders Spain-Portugal and Holland-Belgium and England, which won only two votes.

This was not a surprise to most people, with Russia having the financial ability to create the stadia, and with the Russian delegation pointing out that despite Europe hosting 10 previous World Cups - NONE had been held in Eastern Europe.

The outcry in England has been loud, but let's be honest, other than a pile of patriotic press did anyone REALLY think that England had the political clout within FIFA to swing 12 or more votes required to win?!

Much of the noise has come from the stinging realisation that despite England having the best technical bid, and the most profitable bid for FIFA, and the established support structures to be a quality host ... the English bid only secured two votes - one from the English delegate - and one other thought to have come from either Cameroon or Japan.

It's a "slap in the face" for the members of the English FA, as there was plainly nothing wrong with the technical aspects of the bid- it was simply a reflection of England's political status within FIFA ... almost non-existent.

2018 host 2nd round voting : Netherlands-Belgium 2; Spain-Portugal 7; Russia 13
(England already eliminated with 2 votes)

Then in the 2022 vote FIFA went for the tiny Gulf state of Qatar (population 1.7m) who will have to renovate three stadiums and build nine new ones, and battle with temperatures as high as 50C during the two hottest months of the year?!

2022 host 4th round voting : United States 8; Qatar 14
(Australia eliminated with 1 vote, Japan eliminated with 2 votes, South Korea eliminated with 5 votes)

Admittedly, the choices were limited for 2022, with South Korea and Japan both having co-hosted in 2002 and seen as far too soon to repeat, and Australia being the wrong timezone for European TV.

But given the final round choice of the United States, or Qatar, surely the only sensible choice had to be to go for the 1984 hosts to repeat again. How on earth did Qatar get the nod?

*cough* suitcase of cash *cough* ??

Anyway, FIFA have chosen to take the World Cup to new countries, and as most of us will probably watch the whole thing on TV anyway ... let's just hope that they get the TV coverage sorted ... and have none of those damn vuvuzuelas eh?!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Ipswich Town shock WBA - and are 12/1 to win the Carling Cup

Ipswich Town are as short as 12/1 to win the Carling Cup after pulling off a quarter-final shock.

The under-fire Ipswich manager Roy Keane guided his side, from the npower Championship, into the last four with a 1-0 win over top-flight West Brom, Grant Leadbitter scoring the only goal.

If the Tractor Boys are to go on and win the competition they will have to do it the hard way, though, after being paired with Arsenal in the semi-finals.

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal side are the odds-on favourites with all the bookmakers, priced at 4/7 generally.

While Ipswich were beating West Brom, Nikola Zigic put Birmingham through to their first Carling Cup semi-final for nine years as they beat fierce rivals Aston Villa 2-1.

Birmingham City are rated 4/1 shots ahead of their semi-final encounter with fellow Premier League side West Ham, who are available at 5/1 to go on and win the competition

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Carling Cup - West Ham and Arsenal go through

Arsenal and West Ham will take their place in the last four of the Carling Cup after scoring home wins on Tuesday night.


West Ham booked a first League Cup semi-final for 20 years after knocking holders Manchester United out of the Carling Cup at snowy Upton Park.

West Ham caused the upset of the night - spanking a second-string Manchester United side 4-0 at Upton Park with ex-United old boy Jonathan Spector scoring the first two goals ... his first ever goals in senior English football.


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger made nine changes from the team that defeated Aston Villa 4-2 on Saturday and for long periods of the first half the Gunners were slightly disjointed and disappointing in front of goal.

Arsenal took a while to subdue an energetic Wigan side, but a goal in each half was enough to see Arsenal beat Wigan 2-0 at the Emirates.


The draw takes place following tomorrow evening's last-eight matches between Birmingham and Aston Villa and Ipswich and West Brom.

Who will host the 2018 World Cup? Bookies say RUSSIA !

BBC's Panorama programme was broadcast on Monday night and accused Issa Hayatou, Ricardo Terra Teixeira and Nicolas Leoz of taking bribes, while on FIFA committee business.

The three men took the money from a sport marketing firm awarded lucrative World Cup rights between  1989 to 1999, the programme alleges. The alleged bribes are included in a confidential document listing 175 payments totalling about $100m (£64m).

Although the allegations have nothing to do with World Cup votes for this hosting round, all three men are part of the 24-member vote to decide the next two hosts for FIFA's World Cup and it is unlikely that it will have helped England's chances.

Russia are the odds-on favourites across the bookmakers - with Paddy Power into 8/11 (1.73) while the joint Spain-Portugal bid was also cut to 9/4 (3.25).

England are now 3rd favourites at 3/1 (4.0) having been favourites earlier on in the process. Belgium-Holland is the other bid to be considered by FIFA's executive committee on Thursday - but it is rated a 40/1 outsider at Paddy Power.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chelsea's John Terry to be out "for months".

Chelsea captain John Terry could be out for "months" with a nerve problem in his right leg, according to a report by BBC Sport.

The injury forced Terry to miss Sunday's 3-0 defeat by Sunderland and he has also pulled out of England's friendly against France on Wednesday.

A Chelsea source was reported on BBC Sport: "It could be months [until he's fit], although that's the pessimistic view. We don't know the root of the pain."

A Chelsea spokesman said: "John reported for training this morning. He met with club doctors and the medical team and discussed plans to continue seeing various specialists to try to find a solution to the nerve problems he has been experiencing in his right leg."

The injury has been troubling the defender since the end of last season and, despite resting for three weeks between the end of the World Cup and the start of the Premier League season, the problem has not cleared up.

Terry told the Daily Mail : "After games I am in agony and not sleeping at all. I used to play with pain at seven out of 10. Now? It's 10 out of 10. I need to take a few weeks rest, see a couple of specialists and solve the problem."

"It is at a point where I can't carry on with it. I used to be able to make it through games because the adrenaline gets going and you blank the pain out, but now there really is no decision to make."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Arsenal move into second place - winning 2-1 at Everton

Arsenal have had a good week, winning at Wolves (2-0) and Everton (2-1) to climb into second.

The Gunners are not playing great football right now - certainly not smoothly flowing - but they are mixing some good touches with a bit of solid tackling, ruthless defending and some good goalkeeping. ( finally ! )

To be honest - I feel that this current side is less talented than most line-ups that Wenger has put out over the last decade - and although Arsenal are still a quality outfit the Gunners possibly lack a little bit of world-class footballing skill.

But this side HAS been build with the English domestic game in mind, with physique and size and experience also playing a part alongside the skill component ... and the result is that we are seeing Arsenal winning on the road with a league best 4-2-1 away record this season.

Those 14 away points are the highest total in the league - next highest are Chelsea and ManCity with 10 points and Man United on 9.

So Arsenal are less frilly - but more effective - it seems that Mr Wenger has finally got the message - "silverware matters".

               HOME          AWAY      GD  Points
1 Chelsea  13 6-0-1 17:3  3-1-2 11:5  +20   28 
2 Arsenal  13 4-0-2 15:6  4-2-1 11:6  +14   26 
3 Man Utd  13 5-1-0 15:5  1-6-0 11:10 +11   25 
4 Man City 13 3-3-1  7:5  3-1-2  8:5   +5   22 
5 Bolton   13 2-3-1 10:8  2-4-1 11:11  +2   19 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pato fires AC Milan to top of Serie A

Alexandre Pato got his fifth goal in seven games as AC Milan went top of Serie A as previous leaders Lazio suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Cesena.

AC Milan 3-1 Palermo
Pato opened the scoring for AC Milan and a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty and a late goal by Robinho ensured Milan claimed all three points with a 3-1 win at San Siro.

Cesena 1-0 Lazio
Lazio were beaten by Cesena, who triumphed 1-0 courtesy of an 84th-minute Marco Parolo strike. The win was just Cesena's third of the season but they remain 18th in the standings.

Lecce 1-1 Inter Milan
Lecce denied Inter Milan a first win in November with a late equaliser at Via del Mare. Ruben Olivera levelled 11 minutes from time to rescue a point for the hosts with a 1-1 draw, just three minutes after Diego Milito had broken their resistance.

Brescia 1-1 Juventus
Veteran Alessandro del Piero was unable to celebrate his birthday with a goal as Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw at Brescia.

Del Piero turned 36 on Tuesday but the talismanic striker and his side had to settle for a point at lowly Brescia after two goals in two second-half minutes lit up an otherwise uninspiring contest. Fabio Quagliarella gave Juve the lead in the 71st minute, but the home side responded almost immediately through the influential Alessandro Diamanti.

AS Roma 3-2 Fiorentina
Roma claimed their third straight win with a 3-2 home triumph over Fiorentina. Fabio Simplicio and Marco Borriello made it 2-0 to Roma before Alberto Gilardino and Simone Perrotta traded strikes to make it 3-1 with 13 minutes remaining. Substitute Gaetano D'Agostino then set up a tense finish with a fine free-kick.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Europa League : Lech Poznan 3 - 1 Man City

Manchester City suffered a third straight defeat in all competitions as they were well beaten by Polish side Lech Poznan in Europa League Group A.
City started well but it was hosts Lech who opened the scoring, Dimitrije Injac fizzing in a low strike from distance.

Emmanuel Adebayor's close-range finish pulled the visitors level and David Silva volleyed against the crossbar. A 1-1 draw seemed likely until Manuel Arboleda inadvertently nodded in and Mateusz Mozdzen rifled a fine third.

I know it's a second tier European competition, and that Man City fielded a weak line-up, and that City will "probably" still qualify from this group ...

But for a club that has spent such a lot of money over the last two years - this is a pretty poor level of performance - and hardly a good return on the cash being spent.

Will boss Roberto Mancini become the fallguy for this slump in form? 

Monday, October 25, 2010

PSV Eindhoven Thrash Feyenoord 10-0 in Dutch Football

Dutch leaders PSV Eindhoven inflicted the heaviest-ever defeat on struggling Feyenoord with a 10-0 in the Netherlands Eredivisie on Sunday.

Former European Cup winners Feyenoord had Kelvin Leerdam sent off in the first-half, but only trailed 2-0 at half-time before PSV ran riot.

Brazilian Jonathan Reis hit a hat-trick with Jeremain Lens and Balazs Dzsudzsak each scoring two goals. Ibrahim Afellay, Ola Toivonen and Orlando Engelaar all joined in the rout to leave Feyenoord third from bottom.

As well as winning the European Cup in 1970, Feyenoord also won the Uefa Cup in 1974 and 2002 - but the club has fallen on hard times recently and sit in 15th place.

Feyenoord's previous heaviest loss was an 8-2 defeat to Ajax in September 1983.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Centrebet offer $150 Bet that Cant Lose to Aussie Punters

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NOTE : This AUD $150 bet offer is ONLY available to Australian Punters !

To be eligible for the Bet That Can't Lose, all you need to do is open a Centrebet account and then place any racing bet on or before Friday 29 October 2010.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Paddy Power offering 50 GBP in FREE Bets for new horse racing punters

Paddy Power has £50 / €50 waiting to be claimed by new players wanting a punt of the horses.£50 bonus for new customers

Just open an account and place a bet up to £/€25 and get a free bet to the same stake.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Final Scores from Tuesday UEFA Champions League Games (28 Sep)

The big sides flexed their muscles on Tuesday night with Real Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal, Bayern Munich and AS Roma all winning.

The only disappointment for punters on the big clubs was AC Milan being held to a 1-1 draw by Ajax in Amsterdam

FT Ajax 1-1 AC Milan
FT Auxerre 0-1 Real Madrid
FT Basle 1-2 Bayern Munich
FT Braga 0-3 S. Donetsk
FT Chelsea 2-0 Marseille
FT Partizan Belgrade 1-3 Arsenal
FT AS Roma 2-1 CFR Cluj-Napoca
FT Spartak Moscow 3-0 MSK Zilina

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Betfred casino offers a free £25 on thier casino - no deposit required

Betfred Casino - free GBP 25 BetFred are running a casino special offer for regular readers of the site - and are offering a free GBP £25 to try out the casino - no strings attached.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A thought about time, injury time, and whining about it ...

Just dont start being a time keeper - it's enough to drive a fan to drink.

Football is a game of 90 minutes, plus whatever time the referee wants to add on for anything he feels like. Play the game to the final whistle and don't even think about whining that the whistle should have been blown 60 seconds earlier - or that the game should have lasted an additional sixty seconds.

It's pathetic when Ferguson does it, it's embarrasing when Wenger did it on the weekend, and there is no justificaton for it. Play until the game is over - and at the end make sure that you've scored more goals.

End of.

(Mind you, the speed with which the FA has reacted to Wengers outburst - when compared to their total inaction with violent career-threatening tackles - also speaks volumes for the ineptitude of the governing bodies too)

Friday, September 03, 2010

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

2010/11 Champions League Group Draw

Inter Milan coach Rafa Benitez makes a quick return to England with Werder Bremen, Tottenham Hotspur and FC Twente in Group A.

Group G is likely to be billed this season's 'Group of Death' with AC Milan, Real Madrid and Ajax drawn alongside each other. The trio have won the European Cup 20 times between them. French team Auxerre complete the quartet.

Group A
Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Tottenham, FC Twente

Group B
Lyon, Benfica, Schalke, Hapoel Tel-Aviv

Group C
Manchester United, Valencia, Rangers, Bursaspor

Group D
Barcelona, Panathinaikos, FC Copenhagen, Rubin Kazan

Group E
Bayern Munich, AS Roma, Basel, CFR Cluj

Group F
Chelsea, Marseille, Spartak Moscow, Zilina

Group G
AC Milan, Real Madrid, Ajax, Auxerre

Group H
Arsenal, Shakhtar Donetsk, Braga, Partizan Belgrade

The 2011 final will be held at Wembley stadium.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Liverpool travel to Turkey without Gerrard or Torres

Liverpool will be without captain Steven Gerrard and striker Fernando Torres for their Europa League play-off second leg against Trabzonspor in Turkey on Thursday.

Gerrard has a back problem while manager Roy Hodgson has decided not to risk Torres in a third successive game following his injury problems last season.

However, both are expected to be fit for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with West Brom.

Defender Daniel Agger (concussion) and Maxi Rodriguez (illness) are also missing from the squad which travels to Turkey this morning with a 1-0 lead from the first leg.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Money talks - and the Champions League is huge cash

English teams continue to dominate the Champions League in financial terms even if they failed to win on the pitch, figures released on Monday by UEFA have revealed.

Despite not progressing beyond the quarter-finals, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool earned a combined total of 140million euros (£114.6million) from television and prize money alone from last season's tournament.

That figure is comfortably higher that the 116m euros (£95m) earned by the four Italian teams including champions Inter Milan, and the 105m euros (£86m) by the four Spanish teams in the competition as the English TV market is far more copetitive.

Inter Milan were the top individual earners with 48.7m euros (£39.8m) followed by Manchester United with 45.8m euros (£37.4m). Arsenal, who also made the quarter-finals, earned £27.3m with Chelsea making £26.3m and Liverpool £23.6m.

The figures also highlight the discrepancy with sums earned from the new Europa League, even though that competition has been boosted by central marketing of TV and sponsorship rights.

Beaten finalists Fulham earned 10m euros, or £8.1m, while Everton's income was £2.8m, and Liverpool earned £2.3m after dropping down from the Champions League for the knock-out phase.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Win a £3000 Holiday plus £500 spending money with Betfred

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Thursday, August 19, 2010


Ireland's top bookie Paddy Power have reported record levels of betting ahead of Sunday's All Ireland Football semi-final between Cork and Dublin.

Over €500,000 has already been staked on the eagerly anticipated tie making it the highest turnover championship fixture of the season and with three days left to go until throw-in Paddy Power are predicting that over €1,000,000 will be wagered on the game.

Cork are currently the 4/6 favourites however a late surge of support for Dublin has Paddy Power on red alert and the 13/8 available on the Dubs looks like the value bet of the week.

Paddy Power said "There’s no doubt about it, punters are rolling up their sleeves and betting like men. We’ve seen big money coming for the Dubs over the past 24-hours and I'm fairly certain that the 13/8 on Dublin won’t be hanging around too long"

Paddy Power are also taking bets on the total points tally of the Brogan brothers during Sunday's game with 11/10 available on Alan and Bernard scoring ten or more points between them.


4/6 Cork
15/2 Draw
13/8 Dublin

Check out all the odds at Paddy Power's website now

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

European Cups - Champions League - First Leg Results

FT Zenit St. Petersburg 1 - 0 Auxerre
Aleksandr Kerzhakov's third-minute header gave Luciano Spalletti's side a slender lead to take to France next week.

FT Dynamo Kyiv 1 - 1 Ajax Amsterdam
Reduced to ten men and 1-0 down in quick succession, the hosts fought back to keep alive their hopes ahead of the return in Amsterdam.

FT Rosenborg 2 - 1 FC Copenhagen
Jesper Grønkjær's 84th-minute header gave the visitors a lifeline after the Norwegian champions had established a two-goal lead.

FT Sparta Prague 0 - 2 Zilina
Second-half goals from Momodou Ceesay and Tomáš Oravec left the Slovakian visitors on the verge of a first group appearance.

FT Young Boys Bern 3 - 2 Tottenham H.
The hosts raced to a 3-0 lead as Spurs believed their own press about how they only needed to turn up to win during the first half hour - but two away goals salvaged Tottenham's hopes of advancing to the group stage

Sunday, August 15, 2010

English Premier League - Chelsea star with 6-0 win over WBA

Didier Drogba scored a hat-trick as Chelsea notched the biggest opening-day win in the Premier League a 6-0 victory over West Brom at Stamford Bridge.

But Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti felt his team did "nothing special" despite defeating West Brom 6-0 in their opening Premier League fixture.

"We did our job," said Ancelotti. "This team can show this kind of play, scoring a lot of goals. "We had a difficult pre-season, but now everything has come back to be OK. We played a good game and I am happy."

Malouda 6
Drogba 45+1
Drogba 55
Lampard 63
Drogba 68
Malouda 90

Monday, August 09, 2010

Martin O'Neill quits as Aston Villa manager

Aston Villa fans have been stunned by the news that Martin O'Neill has quit as manager with immediate effect after four years in charge.

A club statement on Monday afternoon said: "Aston Villa can confirm that Martin O'Neill has resigned as manager of the football club with immediate effect."

O'Neill has resigned only five days before the start of the new Barclays Premier League campaign.

Villa owner Randy Lerner insisted O'Neill had pledged his future to Villa in May after much speculation over whether or not the former Celtic boss would quit.

But O'Neill has now decided to end his reign with reserve team manager Kevin MacDonald taking charge of Saturday's opener with West Ham.

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Friday, August 06, 2010

UEFA Champions League play-off round draw

The UEFA Champions League play-off round was conducted in Nyon on Friday morning, and it was good news for Tottenham Hotspur who will face Swiss side Young Boys of Berne.

Champions Route
FC Salzburg (AUT) v Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC (ISR)
Rosenborg BK (NOR) v FC København (DEN)
FC Basel 1893 (SUI) v FC Sheriff (MDA)
AC Sparta Praha (CZE) v MŠK Žilina (SVK)
FK Partizan (SRB) v RSC Anderlecht (BEL)

League Route
BSC Young Boys (SUI) v Tottenham Hotspur FC (ENG)
SC Braga (POR) v Sevilla FC (ESP)
SV Werder Bremen (GER) v UC Sampdoria (ITA)
FC Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS) v AJ Auxerre (FRA)
FC Dynamo Kyiv (UKR) v AFC Ajax (NED)

The first legs to be held on 17/18 August and the returns a week later.

The ten winners will join the 22 automatic entrants in the UEFA Champions League group stage, the draw for which is held in Monaco at 18.00CET on 26 August.

The losers will take part in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Real Madrid announce Kaka out for 4 months after knee surgery

Real Madrid will be without Brazillian midfielder Kaka for three to four months after he underwent surgery on his left knee.

The 28-year-old Kaka travelled to Belgium to seek advice from specialist Dr Marc Martens after experiencing pain during his club's pre-season training camp in the United States.

He was diagnosed with a damaged meniscus and although he had a successful operation, Kaká faces a lengthy lay-off and will miss the bulk of Madrid's UEFA Champions League group stage campaign.

The Brazilian international moved to Madrid from AC Milan for €68m last summer, but persistent groin problems limited the former FIFA World Player of the Year to 33 appearances in all competitions in his first season at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Liverpool up for sale to the highest bidder - going, going ...

BBC Sport are reporting that Liverpool are close to being sold to a "Canadian bid" being led by Syrian businessman Yahya Kirdi

(Source : BBC Sport : Canadian consortium 'close to buying Liverpool' )

There is also talk of up to six rival bids, including Chinese investor Kenny Huang who is the head of Hong Kong-based investment company QSL Sports Ltd, is thought to value the club at around £325m.

It's all played with a positive spin, with talk of funding to include repayment of the existing bank debt and financing of a new stadium in Liverpool's Stanley Park - as well as transfer funds being made available to new manager Roy Hodgson.

But I really do not like the sound of the description of "consortium of Canadian and Middle East investors" - because if you are talking about business investors then surely these people want to eventually take more out of the football club than they put in - after all isn't that the whole point of investing?

This is where the idea that a football club is a business starts to unravel, as the main point of a football club is to play football not to return a profit to stakeholders. I cannot understand why these faceless people want to put in 600m, 700m or even 800m into any football club as an "investment".

Where is the eventual payoff to these businesses- and how will it be good for Liverpool FC? What do you think?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Chelsea trying to sign Brazilian midfielder Ramires

The best RamirezBBC Sport are reporting that Chelsea aim to close a £17m deal to sign Brazilian international Ramires from Benfica.

Reports claim that the 23 year-old midfielder is under-taking a medical at Chelsea on Tuesday.

Ramires? Who? The only Ramirez I remember was the character that Sean Connery played in that Sci-Fi film Highlander ... as in "Ramirez - you Spanish peacock" ... but it seems unlikely that it's the same guy.

It turns out the footballing Ramires has played for Brazil 16 times and was at the 2010 World Cup. I saw this Ramires on the pitch in South Africa, or at least I was aware of him because of the slightly unusual Spanish sounding name, but other than that he was pretty much anonymous.

It seems that £17m doesn't buy you much if it's worn the famous yellow shirt - he only cost Benfica £6m from Cruzeiro last season - talk about inflation.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Who is the best bookmaker for ... Australian players?

It's a question that I'm asked all the time ... who is the best bookmaker? and the answer is not a simple X/Y answer as it usually dependant on where you live and what you want to bet on.

So today's blog post will cover Who is the best bookmaker for ... Australian players?

Let's start at the begining :

Is Sports Betting legal in Australia?

Yes. Absolutely legal. There are restrictions are placed on the licensing of gambling operators, and usually this means that the operation must be based in Australia.

Basically, the Australian government wants to be able to tax the online bookmaker. This has resulted in a well regulated environment and it is perfectly safe and legal to bet online in Australia.

It is legal for Australian player to bet elsewhere, but those offshore companies are not allowed to specifically advertise or target Australian players.

Who is the best "local" bookmaker ?

There are four good Australian based online options available for Australian bettors, bookmakers Sportsbet, Centrebet, and IASBet and also betting exchange Betfair.

In my opinion the best of the bunch is Centrebet who cover all the major world sports and also all the action at home in Australia. Whether it is in the NRL, Super 14, A-League, AFL Aussie Rules or any major sporting event, Centrebet offer a price early, and keep that action going.

Throw in a 100% matched free bet up to $50 (for Australian players only), and the fact that Centrebet will take bets of AUD$10,000 or more on major games and you have a quality operation.

Forms, Results, and Live Scores are available on either the main sports page or the racing section at Centrebet and you can even get SMS results of your bets if you are using Centrebet's Mobile betting platform.

All-in-all, if you are betting sports in Australia - you should be at Centrebet.

Is Depositing and Withdrawing for Sports Betting easy?

It is very simple. A deposit to create an online sports betting account is as easy as typing in your credit card details.

And these days most online gambling sites allow you to use international e-wallets, which means that the bookmakers never ever get to see your banking details at all.

Popular e-wallets like Moneybookers and Neteller are great for moving money between bookmakers and for getting quick payouts.

What about other worldwide sportsbook options?

Sure, there are other places out there that are as solid and reliable as Centrebet, and some have some better features.

For access to the Best Bonuses then Bet365, or Victor Chandler are very good operations, while the Best Odds are usually found at PinnacleSports (but Pinnacle do not offer any join bonuses).

But these places do not offer as big a range of bets on Australian sports, nor post their prices as early, as the Australian market is not so important to them.

If you are frequently betting on European sports (particularly football) then I do recommend opening at least one other account with an international bookmaker from that list above.

So - Who is the best bookmaker for Australian players?

In my opinion - after 10 years of researching and writing about online gambling - it's pretty straight forward for Australian sports punters.

First, open a betting account at Centrebet and get going. Enjoy it.

Secondly, open an account at Bet365 to give you access to some more "free bets" and also to enable you to compare odds prices on bets - and take the highest offer!

You now have access to two of the best sports betting locations online, and you can shop around for prices and maximise your winnings. Also both of these places offer poker, bingo and casino play as well - all available from the same betting account.

Finally, as you get comfortable with online sports betting, and the concept of shopping around for the best price you should check out our main sportsbook guide on the main site and check out your options.

Good luck and enjoy the action!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Emirates Cup : Arsenal 1-1 AC Milan - Chamakh looks good

Arsenal new signing Marouane Chamakh showed that Arsene Wenger has found another good buy with a clinical finish in Saturday's 1-1 draw against AC Milan in the Emirates Cup.

Wenger landed Chamakh on a free transfer from Bordeaux in May after a lengthy wait for the old contract to expire and the early signs suggest the Morocco striker will prove to have been worth the wait.

Chamakh marked his first appearance at the Emirates Stadium with a man of the match display capped by a predatory first half strike as he led the Arsenal attack in the targetman role normally occupied by Robin van Persie.

Chamakh put the Gunners ahead in the 36th minute after Andrey Arshavin surged forward from midfield before slipping a pass towards Chamakh, who timed his run perfectly to guide a low shot past Abbiati.

The Gunners were denied a winning start to their four-team pre-season tournament however as Alexandre Pato headed a late equaliser for Milan.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mark Hughes to become new manager at Fulham

BBC Sport are reporting that Fulham have reached an agreement with Mark Hughes for Hughes to become their new manager.

Fulham said on Thursday that they expect to name their new boss within the next 48 hours.

Hughes has been out of work since being sacked as Manchester City manager in December 2009, and the Welshman will replace Roy Hodgson, who left Fulham earlier this month to take charge at Liverpool.

The expected arrival of Hughes will almost certainly be followed by a reshuffle of the backroom staff at Craven Cottage with first-team coach Ray Lewington, currently caretaker manager, looking likely to stay at Fulham.

However, goalkeeping coach Mike Kelly could team up with Hodgson again, with Hughes expected to bring in his own regular backroom staff including Mark Bowen, Kevin Hitchcock and Eddie Niedzwiecki.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Javier Mascherano returns to Liverpool training - to say that he wants to leave

Javier Mascherano returned to pre-season training at Liverpool yesterday and told Roy Hodgson that he wants to leave Anfield.

The midfielder was accompanied by his agent, and the transfer have come as little surprise to the manager. Rafael Benítez, Hodgson's predecessor at Liverpool, is trying to sign the Argentinian for Internazionale and Mascherano has spent several weeks agitating for a transfer.

The agent, Walter Tamer, has stated that it would be a "dream" for his client to move to San Siro.
(Source : Guardian Football website )

Mascherano, who has been unsettled at Anfield for some time, missed Liverpool's pre-season training camp because he was given time to recover from the World Cup. Hodgson is expected to demand at least £25m for the 26-year-old, who was Argentina's captain in South Africa.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kaiserslautern 1 Liverpool 0

New signing Milan Jovanovic made a 45-minute debut for Liverpool as a largely inexperienced reserve side lost 1-0 to Kaiserslautern in Germany.

Jovanovic was one of only two members of the squad who had played at the World Cup, the other being defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos who lasted 77 minutes.

The only goal came in the 32nd minute Jiri Bilkey beat Daniel Ayala to the ball before crossing for Micanski to extravagantly flick home from six yards.

Manager Roy Hodgson now prepares to start his competitive career with Liverpool, facing a Europa League third round qualifier against Macedonian side FK Rabotnicki in Skopje on Thursday 29th July without many of his first-team stars.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Didier Drogba undergoes groin operation - misses 3-4 weeks

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is likely to miss the start of the English football season after undergoing a groin operation.

Chelsea  described the procedure performed on the Ivory Coast international as "minimally invasive and it is expected that Drogba, who is now 31 years old, will return to full training in about three weeks.

But that estimate would certainly put him out of the English Community Shield match against Manchester United on 8th August and probably the start of the Premier League campaign.

( Source : BBC Sport Website )

Friday, July 23, 2010

Manchester United season ticket sales down - 4,000 go on general sale.

Manchester United have been forced to place 4,000 Old Trafford season tickets on general sale.

Earlier this week United said 50,000 season tickets had been sold, a milestone seen as a victory for the Glazer family against protesting fans.

The "Green and Gold" protest movement - unhappy at the club's debt level under its American owners - became a visible presence at Old Trafford last season.

Fans' groups say United has suffered a marked fall in year-on-year sales. Manchester United sold 64,000 season tickets two years ago, of which 8,000 were all-important premium tickets - hospitality and VIP sales - and only 500 fewer last season.

This season sales were thought to be "5,000-10,000 down on last year", due to the combined threats of discontent with the Glazer regime and the wider economic situation.

With booming ticket sales at Manchester City - albeit from a much lower base than United - and solid sales at rivals such as Arsenal - this situation with the Glazer ownership does seem to be having an impact on the club.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Eduardo leaves Arsenal for Shaktar Donetsk

Croatia striker Eduardo completed a £6million move to Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, ending his three-year stay with the Gunners.

Eduardo has expressed his sadness at leaving Arsenal and thanked the club for nursing him back to health following his horror injury.

Much of the 27-year-old's career at the Emirates was spent recovering from a horrendous broken leg and dislocated ankle suffered at Birmingham in February 2008 following a controversial challenge by Martin Taylor.

Eduardo wrote on Arsenal's official website : "The past few days have been very emotional for me.

"Although I am excited about the challenge ahead with my new club Shakhtar Donetsk, I am so sad to be leaving my home for the past three years - Arsenal Football Club.

"Arsenal is a very special football club and I will miss so many people - my team-mates, all the staff and, of course, the wonderful Arsenal supporters.

"When I first came to England, I could not speak the language and knew nobody, but as soon as I arrived I was made to feel at home and part of this big family.

"I had some very difficult times with my injury, but Arsenal was always there for me - the medical staff, the management, the players and the supporters. Thank you everybody.

"Although I have now left the club, Arsenal will always be in my heart. I will always look for the Arsenal results and of course, I wish Arsene Wenger and the great players at the club well for next season and the future."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Win tickets to see Arsenal at the 2010 Emirates Cup

Emirates Stadium is once again playing host to the Emirates Cup in pre-season, and Lyon, AC Milan and Celtic are invited to this seasons tourney.

Arsenal line-up against AC Milan on the Saturday (kick off 4.20pm, Sat 31st July) and then bring the tournament to an exciting finish by playing Celtic on the Sunday (kick off 4.20pm, Sun, 1st Aug).

You can win tickets to both days at the Guardian's online website and it's free to enter - but you have to have entered by 1pm on Thursday, 22nd July.

BTW : The answer to their skill question - Arsene Wenger is the current Arsenal Manager !!

Good luck.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Martin Jol to stay managing Ajax - Fulham to keep searching

Ajax manager Martin Jol is going to remain in Amsterdam with Ajax, and will not be switching clubs to manager English Premier League side Fulham.

English newspapers and bookmakers were making Jol out as Fulham's first choice to replace Roy Hodgson, who has joined Liverpool, but the Dutchman has said he will remain in Amsterdam after talks with the Ajax hierarchy.

"They (Fulham) were interested but in principle I will stay at Ajax," Jol told Amsterdam-based newspaper De Telegraaf.

Jol has had talks with Ajax financial director Jeroen Slop and chief executive Rik van den Boog, and Jol has been reassured he can bring in a cheap options and then spend more if the likes of Gregory van der Wiel and Uruguay striker Luis Suarez leave.

Joe Cole signs for Liverpool

Liverpool have signed Joe Cole on a four-year deal - subject to a medical - following his release by Chelsea.

The part-time England midfielder left Stamford Bridge in June after failing to agree a new contract with the Premier League champions.

Cole was initially linked to Arsenal and then to Tottenham but instead Cole has opted for the lure of hard cash over top quality football in deciding to sign for Liverpool, who failed to qualify for the Champions League.

Perhaps that's understandable, as at 28 years old, Cole really did only have one final pay-day available and this contract will take him through to 2014 and a nice little earner through to the ripe old age of 32.

The West Ham academy graduate becomes Liverpool's second summer signing after Serbia forward Milan Jovanovic arrived on a three-year contract from Standard Liege.