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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

FOOTBALL : Liverpool appoint Brendan Rodgers as new manager

Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers has agreed a deal to become the new Liverpool manager.

Rodgers will sign a three-year contract at Anfield and his appointment is likely to be officially confirmed within 24 hours after Liverpool have completed negotiations on compensation with Swansea, thought to be between £4m to £5m.

Rodgers' managerial career began at Watford in 2008 after coaching spells at Reading and Chelsea. Rodgers was appointed as Swansea boss in July 2010, and guided his Welsh side to promotion to the top flight in May 2011, making Swansea the first Welsh team to reach the Premier League.

Liverpool were 17 points away from a Champions League qualification spot last season, but won the League Cup and also reached the FA Cup final.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

EURO 2012 : Italy name tournament squad

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli named his 23-man squad for UEFA EURO 2012 a few hours ahead of the friendly game against Luxembourg in Parma.

Juventus winger Emanuele Giaccherini is the only uncapped player in the squad, while Alessandro Diamanti (Bologna FC) and Fabio Borini (AS Roma) have only played one friendly game each for the Azzurri.

Italy Euro 2012 squad :

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (SSC Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain FC).

Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Federico Balzaretti (US Città di Palermo), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Christian Maggio (SSC Napoli), Angelo Ogbonna (Torino FC).

Midfielders: Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Alessandro Diamanti (Bologna FC), Emanuele Giaccherini (Juventus) Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (ACF Fiorentina), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain FC), Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus).

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Manchester City FC), Fabio Borini (AS Roma), Antonio Cassano (AC Milan), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese Calcio), Sebastian Giovinco (FC Parma).

EURO 2012 - England tournament squad announced

Danny Welbeck and Glen Johnson have been included in Roy Hodgson's 23-man England squad.

The pair missed England's 1-0 win over Norway on Saturday due to fitness concerns but have been passed fit. Although Hodgson has now named his squad officially, he can still make any injury-enforced changes before England's first game of the tournament on 11 June.

England will face Belgium in a final warm-up game at Wembley on Saturday 2nd June.

England Euro 2012 squad (with squad shirt numbers):

Goalkeepers: 1. Joe Hart (Manchester City), 13. Robert Green (West Ham), 23. Jack Butland (Birmingham City).

Defenders: 12. Leighton Baines (Everton), 5. Gary Cahill (Chelsea), 3. Ashley Cole (Chelsea), 2. Glen Johnson (Liverpool), 14. Phil Jones (Manchester United), 15. Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), 6. John Terry (Chelsea), 18. Phil Jagielka (Everton).

Midfielders: 19. Stewart Downing (Liverpool), 4. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), 8. Frank Lampard (Chelsea), 16. James Milner (Manchester City), 20. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), 17. Scott Parker (Tottenham), 7. Theo Walcott (Arsenal), 11. Ashley Young (Manchester United).

Forwards: 9. Andy Carroll (Liverpool), 21. Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), 10. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), 22. Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).

EURO 2012 : France name tournament squad

France coach Laurent Blanc chose to leave behind newcomer Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and midfielder Yoan Gourcuff when confirming his final squad for UEFA EURO 2012 a few minutes before the deadline.

France will take on Serbia in at friendly at Reims on Thursday and Estonia in Le Mans on 5 June in their last two warm-up games before the opening Group D fixture against England in Donetsk on 11 June.

France Euro 2012 squad :

Goalkeepers: Cédric Carrasso (FC Girondins de Bordeaux), Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyonnais), Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille).

Defenders: Gaël Clichy (Manchester City FC), Mathieu Debuchy (LOSC Lille Métropole), Patrice Evra (Manchester United FC), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal FC), Philippe Mexès (AC Milan), Adil Rami (Valencia CF), Anthony Réveillère (Olympique Lyonnais).

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United FC), Alou Diarra (Olympique de Marseille), Florent Malouda (Chelsea FC), Marvin Martin (FC Sochaux-Montbéliard), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain FC), Yann M'Vila (Stade Rennais FC), Samir Nasri (Manchester City FC).

Forwards: Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle United FC), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid CF), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier Hérault SC), Jérémy Menez (Paris Saint-Germain FC), Franck Ribéry (FC Bayern München), Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique de Marseille).

EURO 2012 : Germany name tournament squad

Germany has announced their final squad for UEFA EURO 2012, trimming the initial list from 27 players to 23.

Among the omissions are goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen and 18-year-old Julian Draxler, who made their senior international debuts in Saturday's 5-3 loss to Switzerland, while Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender and Cacau also miss out.

Germany Euro 2012 squad :

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München), Tim Wiese (SV Werder Bremen), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96).

Defenders: Holger Badstuber (FC Bayern München), Jérôme Boateng (FC Bayern München), Benedikt Höwedes (FC Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal).

Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Toni Kroos (FC Bayern München), Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München), Mesut Özil (Real Madrid CF), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid CF), Marco Reus (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach), André Schürrle (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München), Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund), İlkay Gündoğan (Borussia Dortmund).

Forwards: Miroslav Klose (S.S. Lazio), Mario Gomez (FC Bayern München), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal).


Germany take on Israel on 31 May in their final friendly game before their UEFA EURO 2012 Group B campaign kicks off against Portugal in Lviv on 9 June.

Monday, May 28, 2012

FOOTBALL : Eden Hazard now says he's signing with Chelsea

Eden Hazard has posted on his Official Twitter account saying "I'm signing for the champion's league winner."

The 21-year-old Belgian footballer who plays for Lille in France, Lille playmaker, had long been linked with a move to the Barclays Premier League, has previously said that he was signing for a Manchester club - without giving the colour.

Now, he appears to have made a u-turn after Chelsea's European title win in Munich, but there was no official confirmation on Monday evening from either Chelsea or Lille that a deal had been reached over the signing of Hazard, who has been rated at £32m.

The Blues may also have been more attractive both from a playing and financial perspective, amid suggestions Manchester City could not guarantee first-team football and baulked at Hazard's wage demands.

Reports in France suggest the Belgium star has agreed a five-year contract worth as much as £100,000 a week after tax.

CRICKET : Kolkata Knight Riders win IPL T20 LEague

CRICKET : Indian wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla, proceeded to win the match and the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket final title for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Defending Champions the Chennai Super Kings set an imposing target in making 190-2 from their 20 overs, with Mike Hussey scoring 54 and Suresh Raina 73 from just 38 balls, but their bowlers had no answer for Bisla who smashed five sixes and eight fours in his match-winning knock.

Bisla opened the innings and thrashed 89 off 48 balls to guide Kolkata to a five-wicket win over Stephen Fleming's Chennai Super Kings. He combined with South African Jacques Kallis for a 136-run second wicket partnership inside 14 overs, Kallis scoring 69 off 49 balls as the Knight Riders got home with two balls to spare in Chennai.

Kolkata Knight Riders 192-5 (19.4 overs) beat Chennai Super Kings 190-3 (20 overs) by five wickets

Sunday, May 27, 2012

EURO 2012 : Spain name tournament squad - Fernando Torres included

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has been named in Spain's 23-man squad for Euro 2012 torunament in Poland and the Ukraine.

Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo won the battle to replace record scorer David Villa, who failed to recover from a broken tibia in time, while Adrian Lopez was overlooked despite scoring on his debut in the 2-0 win over Serbia on Saturday.

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea misses out and a knee injury meant Barcelona defender Carlos Puyol was already ruled out.

Spain won all eight of their qualifiers for Euro 2012 and are in Group C for the finals along with Italy, against whom they play their opening game on 10 June, Republic of Ireland and Croatia.

Spain Euro 2012 Squad :

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina, (Liverpool), Victor Valdes (Barcelona)

Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Jordi Alba (Valencia), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao)

Midfielders: Xavi (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), David Silva (Manchester City), Santi Cazorla (Malaga), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Chelsea)

Forwards: Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Pedro (Barcelona), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla)

FOOTBALL : United States thrash Scotland 5-1

Landon Donovan scored a hat-trick and Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones grabbed a goal apiece, with an own goal from Geoff Cameron doing little to ease what was a tough night for the Scots.

44,438 fans turned up to Everbank Field in Florida to watch the home side get off to a very fast start with Landon Donovan scoring in the 4th minute, lashing a shot high into the net just inside the six-yard box after seeing an initial effort blocked by Allan McGregor.

The Americans were celebrating again just seven minutes later when Jones found Bradley in plenty of space and he unleashed an unstoppable shot from 30 yards that left the goalkeeper with no chance.

the Scots hauled themselves back into the match when they pulled a goal back four minutes later after a long cross to the back post found Kenny Miller with and the Cardiff forward's header was bundled into his own net by the unfortunate Cameron.

Donvan grabbed the United States' third goal on the hour mark, coolly slotting past McGregor from 10 yards and notched his hat-trick when an effort came off the inside of the post and into the back of the net, beyond the grasp of McGregor.

Jones then wrapped up the scoring with a sizzling header to make the scoreline 5-1 with 20 minutes to go.

FT : United States 5 beat Scotland 1
Scorers :
USA : Donovan (4,60,65), Bradley (11), Jones (70)
Scotland : Cameron (og 15)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

FOOTBALL : Netherlands and Germany beaten - Spain cruise to win

Netherlands have lost 1-2 to Bulgaria at the Amsterdam ArenA in Saturday's international friendly.

Van Persie gave Holland the lead in the dying seconds of the first half after a brilliant pass from Sneijder who spotted the forwards run cutting inside from the right and chipped the ball over the Bulgarian defence. Van Persie calmly placed the ball past the goalkeeper from 10 yards out.

Bulgaria equalised shortly after the interval. A cross from the right hit the sliding Van der Vaart on his arm, prompting the referee to award a spot kick. Popov stepped up to take it, and beat Tim Krul with a low shot through the middle.

And Bulgaria grabbed a winner deep into stoppage time to record victory. Manolev sent in a perfect cross for Mitsanski, who found the net with a good header from a narrow angle.

Germany fielded a weak side and paid the price when they were stunned by Switzerland, with the Swiss winning 5-3 in Basel.

The early momentum belonged to Germans, who had little trouble keeping play concentrated inside the Switzerland half. But Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok who plays his lcub football for Bayer Leverkusen in Germanyt, scored twice within two minutes to rattle the visitors.

Hummels pulled a goal back for Germany right on halftime with a header, but five minutes later Derdiyok rose highest to glance a free-kick and give Switzerland a 3-1 lead.

Germany pulled another goal back in the 65th minute after Schurrle scored from 25 yards out, but Lichtsteiner quickkly restored Switzwerland's two goal lead with another header.

Germany cut the score back to 3-4 with 18 minutes let to play when Draxler's initial effort from the left was parried by Ter Stegen, and Reus was first to the rebound, but five minutes later Switzerland ended the scoring with a wonderfully-worked free-kick which saw Gokhan Inler slip to Reto Ziegler on the overlap. His low drive rebounded off the post, but Mehmedi steadied himself to poke home the rebound.

Spain were too strong for Serbia winning 2-0 in St Gallen Switzerland, even with a host of stars on the bench.

An experimental Spain side looked good with Adrian Lopez impressing as a substitute on his senior debut. Spain introduced Adrian, David Silva, Benat and Alvaro Dominguez at the interval and immediately Spain increased their tempo, looking more dangerous in the final third.

Adrian opened the scoring in the 64th minute with a header form 6 yards before then winning a penalty for his team nine minutes later. Santi Cazorla stepped up to calmly grab Spain's second as they held on for a comfortable win.

Euro 2012 - Group D Betting Preview

Euro 2012 - Group D - Betting Preview

Hosy nation Ukraine are "seeded" in Group D, making this group one of the easier groups to progress from and both France and England have been installed as odds-on favourites to progress.  These two sides will clash in the group opener in Donbass Arena, Donetsk with other games being played at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.

Ukraine: 40/1 for tournament, 4/1 to win Group and 11/8 to qualify

Ukraine Coach Oleg Blokhin has named three goal-keepers in his squad with only one cap between them following the news that veteran Olexandr Shovkovskiy must undergo shoulder surgery and joins Andriy Dykan on the sidelines ahead of their first European Championships.

The co-hosts have ten players from Dynamo Kiev in their 26-man squad including legendary striker Andriy Shevchenko and are unbeaten in their last five friendlies since going down 4-0 to fellow finalists the Czech Republic in Prague back in November.

Sweden 50/1 for tournament, 6/1 to win Group and 2/1 to qualify

The Swedes qualified as the best runners up from the Group stages with 24 points from a possible 30 including a 3-2 home success over Holland back in October and this will be Sweden's fourth consecutive Championships.

Sweden's best result in the European Championship back in 1992 when they reached the last four as hosts. The mercurial Zlatan Ibrahimovic orchestrated a 3-1 win in Zagreb against fellow qualifiers Croatia recently and if Sweden are to go deep in Euro 2012 the Milan striker must have a big tournament.

France: 10/1 for tournament, 13/8 to win Group and 8/15 to qualify

France have won the tournament twice in 1984 and 2000 and Les Bleus have been transformed by new coach Laurent Blanc from the ill-disciplined rabble that went to South Africa in 2010 to a side unbeaten in their last 18 internationals and potential Euro 2012 winners.

The squad contains eight players from the EPL including Newcastle United duo Yohan Cabaye and Hatam Ben Arfa who have played key roles in the renaissance of the Magpies; this French side may lack the brilliance of the Michel Platini winners of 1984 or the Zinedine Zidane inspired 2000 Champions but they are clearly a more unified side under their new coach and are genuine contenders.

England: 10/1 for tournament, 13/8 to win Group and 1/2 to qualify

England have gone into major tournaments with unjustified hopes high in recent years only to disappoint - often badly - and this time there is no doubt there is not the same level of expectation ahead of Euro 2012.

English expectations are low, but could this work in their favour, especially with a favourable draw i the group stage? The recent 2-3 home loss to the Netherlands seemed to expose England’s limitations but with the pressure off could this be their year?

Wayne Rooney is suspended for the first two group games and new coach Roy Hodgson has left central defender Rio Ferdinand at home, preferring former caption John Terry.

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All odds are taken from BetVictor as at May 26th.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Euro 2012 - Group C Betting Preview

Euro 2012 - Group C - Betting Preview

World Champions Spain are "seeded" in Group C, but will find that Italy and Croatia both have the ability to qualify as group winners and the Republic of Ireland can also cause an upset. Matches will be played in the Municipal Stadium, Poznań and PGE Arena, Gdańsk.

Spain: 5/2 favourites for tournament, 4/9 to win Group and 1/7 to qualify

Spain were winners back in 1964 but then experienced a long international drought before finally winning again in 2008. Now as World Champions, and current European holders Spain are bidding to make it a hat-trick of Major Tournament wins.

BetVictor will refund losing stakes on all outright market bets if Spain land the treble and that is magnificent insurance as at 5/2 the Spaniards remain the side to beat.

Spain were beaten in a one-sided friendly at Wembley back in November and will have to remain patient as other countries get 10-men behind the ball and attempt to frustrate, but the Spanish armada of world class players have the ability and strength-in-depth to make it three in a row in Kiev on 1st July.

Italy 14/1 for tournament, 3/1 to win Group and 1/2 to qualify

Italy's sole win in the European Championships came back in 1968 but the four-time World Champions are always respected despite not making it out of their group in the World Cup in South Africa two years ago.

Recent home defeats to Uruguay and the United States suggest the Azzurri are still a work in progress despite winning their group by 10 points; their fans will point to a 2-1 win against Spain in Bari last August as reason for optimism ahead of their opener against the holders on June 10th.

Mario Balotelli of English Champions Manchester City has been named in a provisional 32-man squad by coach Cesare Prandelli.

Croatia; 50/1 for tournament, 9/1 to win Group and 9/5 to qualify

Former Everton and West Ham defender Slaven Bilic will step down as national team boss after the tournament fuelling speculation that we will soon see the 43-year-old back and managing a club side  in the Premier League.

Croatia reached the quarter-finals four years ago when beaten by Turkey in a penalty shoot out and Spurs playmaker Luka Modric is likely to be key if they are to progress to the knock out stages.

Everton’s Nikica Jelavic, who has been outstanding for the Blues since leaving Rangers in January, is a surprise inclusion in the 27-man squad but the striker is not guaranteed to make the final cull to be made by Bilic later in the month.

Republic of Ireland; 100/1 for tournament, 18/1 to win Group and 4/1 to qualify

This is only the second time the Irish have reached the Finals and, at first glance it is hard to see how Giovanni Trappattoni’s Irish side make it out of the Group stages but they will be difficult to beat.

Robbie Keane, so playing his football in the MLS in the United States remains the fulcrum of a team made up of solid if largely unspectacular Premier League players; Sunderland’s James McLean has been one of the finds of the season.

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All odds are taken from BetVictor as at May 25th.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Euro 2012 - Group B Betting Preview

Euro 2012 - Group B - Betting Preview

The Netherlands are the "seeded" team in Group B, but will clash with powerhouse Germany in a much anticipated match in the Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv, and 3 matches are to be played in Arena Lviv, Lviv.

Netherlands: 13/2 for Tournament, 15/8 to win Group and 4/9 to qualify

The Dutch side were magnificent winners of the Tournament back in 1998 and have reached the last eight in each of the last six competitions; the Oranje won their first nine games in qualification before going down 3-2 to fellow Finalists Sweden.

The Netherlands lost a friendly in Germany before beating England at Wembley since qualifying for the Euro 2012 Finals.

Holland were runners up to Spain in the 2010 World Cup Final and star studded squad includes EPL Footballer of the Year Robin van Persie and Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben; one of the favourites to land the Henri Delaunay Trophy for a second time although they must first get out of the “Group of Death”.

Germany: 11/4 for Tournament, Evens to win Group and 2/9 to qualify

Germany are second favourites behind holders Spain and three time winners in 1972, ’80 and ’96 - which makes Germany the most successful country in European Championship history;

Germany had a perfect record in qualification although they did lose a recent friendly to France in Bremen.

Coach Joachim Low has called up eight members of the Champions League finalists Bayern Munich to his provisional 27-man squad with Arsenal bound Lukas Podolski joining fellow Gooner Per Mertesacker in a formidable looking array of talent. Germany lost out by a single Torres goal to Spain in Euro 2008 Final in Vienna, and in the World Cup semi-final in Durban (Puyol) two years ago; so the Germans will think they are due a change of luck.

Portugal: 20/1 for Tournament,, 4/1 to win Group and 13/10 to qualify

Beaten finalists in 2004 but, not for the first time, unimpressive in qualification before thrashing Boznia & Herzegovina 6-2 in the play-offs to book their place in the finals back in November.

Coach Paulo Bento has lots of talent at his disposal including Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United winger Nani but they have flattered to deceive in the past and are 13/10 to make it out of the Group stages.

Denmark; 100/1 for Tournament, 20/1 to win Group and 6/1 to qualify

Inspired by Peter Schmeichel the Danes won the 1992 Tournament in Sweden despite the fact that they didn’t originally qualify for the eight team event, gaining a late entry as a result of the war in Yugoslavia.

Finished top of Group H, which included Portugal and Norway, in qualification and should not be underestimated but could have been more fortunate with the draw! Plenty of household names in the squad including Liverpool’s Daniel Agger, Arsenal’s Sunderland loanee Nicklas Bendtner and Stoke’s Thomas Sorensen.

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All odds are taken from BetVictor as at May 23rd.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Euro 2012 - Group A Betting Preview

Euro 2012 - Group A - Betting Preview

Poland are the "seeded" team in Group A, and so all six matches will be played in Poland, with 3 matches in the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw, and 3 games in the National Stadium in Warsaw.

Poland; 66/1 for tournament, 11/4 to win Group and 5/6 to qualify

Arsenal’s Wojciech Szcesny kept Ronaldo and Nani at bay in the co-hosts 0-0 draw at the end of February in the first game played at the new National Stadium in Warsaw. Poland have only competed in one previous European Championship and will be looking to break their duck when they entertain Greece in Warsaw on June 8th.

Poland coach Franciszek Smuda was the first coach to name his provisional squad for Euro 2012 a 26-man party which features a trio from dual-Bundesliga Champions and double winners Borussia Dortmund in Lukascz Piszcek, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Robert Lewandowski. The latter pair scored all four goals in their recent 4-0 win over Freiburg which gave Dortmund a record number of points for one season in the Bundesliga.

Russia: 22/1 for Tournament, 6/4 to win Group and 2/5 to qualify

Russia won this tournament in the inaugural European Championships back in 1960, and Russia also did well 4 years ago in 2008 when they were beaten semi-finalists; Fulham’s Pavel Pogrebnyak, former Chelsea midfielder Yuri Zhirkov, ex Gooner Andriy Arshavin, and recent Spurs departure Roman Pavlyuchenko will be familiar names to followers of the Premier League.

Coach Dick Advocaat will leave his position after the finals to return to PSV Eindhoven rejoining the Club 14 years after his first spell in charge. Finished top of a Group that included the Republic of Ireland in qualification, but it lacked strength in depth; beat fellow 2012 Finalists Denmark 2-0 in Copenhagen at the end of February.

Czech Republic; 66/1 for Tournament, 7/2 to win Group and 5/4 to qualify

Czechoslovakia were winners of the 1976 Championship in Belgrade on penalties from holders West Germany and have never been beaten in three penalty shoot-outs including the 1996 semi finals against France.

The Czech Republic finished runner up to Spain in qualification and then readily disposed of Montenegro, who had finished runner up to England, in the play-offs winning both games (2-0, 1-0). Chelsea’s Peter Cech and Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky are key members of an experienced side who had their limitations, seemingly exposed by the holders in the group stages.

Greece: 80/1 for tournament, 4/1 to win Group and 5/4 to qualify

Greece caused a huge shock when beating hosts Portugal in Lisbon back in the 2004 Final; will meet Russia for the 3rd successive finals tournament in Warsaw having lost out in both 2004 & 2008. The 2-1 defeat in Faro was their sole defeat suffered in six games en route to the title.

Finished top of an ordinary Group F in qualification where their strength was a mean defence conceding only five goals in ten internationals although they have subsequently failed to win any of their three friendlies including a 1-1 home draw with Russia back in November.

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All odds are taken from BetVictor as at May 23rd.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

NBA : OKC Thunder beat LA Lakers 106-90 to win series 4-1

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat Los Angeles 106-90 in Game 5 today  of the Western Conference semi-finals to eliminate the Lakers from the NBA playoffs.

Russell Westbrook scored 28 points, Kevin Durant added 25 points and 10 rebounds, and the two All-Stars powered the Thunder past the Lakers despite a 42 point haul by Kobe Bryant for a 106-90 win to wrap-up the series 4-1, in Game 5 of the West semifinals.

Oklahoma City will face the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs, the only team other than the Lakers or Dallas Mavericks to win the West in the past 13 years and currently riding an 18-game winning streak.

The Western Conference Finals series starts on Sunday in San Antonio.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

HORSES : I'll Have Another wins 137th Preakness Stakes

Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another won the Preakness Stakes by a neck at Pimlico Race Course on a sunny Saturday to go with his win two weeks ago in the Kentucky Derby.

The race unfolded the same way as the Derby, with the speedy Bodemeister moving to the lead under Mike Smith, with I'll Have Another hanging back in fourth in the 11-horse field.

The early running was slower than the Kentucky Derby, but when it came down the final straight Bodemeister was unable to hang on to the lead, as I'll Have Another found another gear and ran down him in the shadow of the wire.

Preakness Dividends

I'll Have Another returned $8.40, $3.80 and $2.80.
Bodemeister returned $3.20 and $2.80.
Creative Cause paid $3.60 to show.

So is the triple crown on now?

It's been 34 years since Affirmed swept the Derby, Preakness and Belmont and became the 11th and most recent Triple Crown champion in 1978.

Since then, 11 horses have won the first two legs only to come up short in the Belmont. The most recent try came in 2008, when Big Brown was pulled up around the turn for home and did not finish. Before that, Smarty Jones was run down in the final 70 yards by Birdstone in the 2004 Belmont.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

BETTING : US Sports betting 21st-25th May 2012

Lifetime Bonus at BetOnlineTop offshore sportsbook BetOnline are loaded with options for you to wager on as the NHL and NBA playoffs continue, while the week wraps up with some baseball and golf action.

Monday 21st May

NHL : NY Rangers @ NJ Devils   (8:00 PM ET): These Atlantic Division rivals also meet on Saturday with the series tied at one game apiece, which means someone will have a 2-1 lead by the time the puck drops on Monday night. Look for the Devils to be favored in New Jersey, but the Rangers will have their fair share of support as well.

Tuesday 22nd May

Buy points on the NBA Basketball at BetOnlineNBA : Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat (TBD) : Indiana took control of this series on Thursday with a 19-point demolition at home in Game 3, and they will be looking to go up 3-1 in the series on Sunday, which means Miami could be on their way out of the playoffs.

However, the Heat were the East favorites for most of the season for a reason, and if they’re down 3-1, they’re going to put their best foot forward at home on Tuesday.

Wednesday 23th May

Bet on MLB at BetOnlineMLB : Toronto Blue Jays @ Tampa Bay Rays  (1:10 PM ET) : This matinee on the baseball diamond should see a pair of 2011 All-Stars going at it on the mound as Toronto’s Ricky Romero takes on Tampa Bay’s James Shields. The margin for error in the American League East is slim and every game against a division rival is crucial to a team’s chances, so look for both pitchers to bring their best stuff in what should be a great game.

Thursday 24th May

GOLF : Colonial (tee times TBD) : Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth is one of the venerable golf courses in the United States and earned the nickname, “Hogan’s Alley” because it was won by Ben Hogan (who was from Fort Worth) five times and the annual tournament holds a lot of history. This year’s edition of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial should be no exception and you should see some big names at the top of your sportsbook list.

Friday 25th May

Bet on MLB at BetOnlineMLB : Philadelphia Phillies @ St Louis Cardinals (8:15 PM ET) : Philadelphia has been a favorite in the National League for the past few years, but it was St. Louis who represented the league in the Fall Classic and went on to upset Texas in the World Series. The two will kick off a weekend set in St. Louis on Friday and both teams figure to be in the running to win the National League pennant once again, so this should be a matchup to watch. Make sure you confirm the starters before you select your pick in your sportsbook.

Check out all the sports betting action at BetOnline Sportsbook

FOOTBALL : Chelsea win 2012 Champions League on penalties

Chelsea grabbed a dramatic Champions League title following a penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich at the home of the German side.

Bayern dominated the match throughout with 34 shots to 9, and looked to have won the game in normal time when Thomas Mueller headed home at the far post in the 83rd minute.

But with only two minutes left in the game, Didier Drogba headed in from Chelsea's first and only corner of the match to take the game to extra-time.

Chelsea keeper Petr Cech saved an Arjen Robben's penalty in extra-time to keep the sides level after Drogba had tripped Franck Ribery from behind and take the match into a penalty shoot-out.

Drogba scored the decisive spot-kick in the shoot-out.

FULLTIME : Bayern Munich 1 (Muller 83) v Chelsea 1 (Drogba 88)
Chelsea win 4-3 on penalties.

Friday, May 18, 2012

MLB BETTING : Red Sox @ Phillies on Friday

Bet on MLB at BetOnlineMost sports betting tipsters had Philadelphia and Boston at or near the top of the list when it came to World Series favorites heading into the season, and even though both ball clubs have started badly, you know they’re going to be a factor before it’s all done.

The two teams meet in the Philadelphia on Friday night in the marquee interleague matchup of the weekend.

Boston Red Sox (18-20) @ Philadelphia Phillies (20-19)
– Friday, 7:05 PM ET

Boston Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard (3-4, 4.30) snapped a two-start losing skid with a great performance in a 12-1 romp at home against Cleveland, and sportsbook sharps should know that the Red Sox have scored a combined 28 runs in his three wins.

Bard is a converted reliever, and he scattered a run on six hits over six innings, with a pair of strikeouts and four walks, and while that is still an issue with Bard, he seems like he has the resolve to get over it; this is a frequent concern when you bring someone from the bullpen to the rotation.

The 26-year-old has made four relief appearances against the Phillies, recording a save, but he has posted a 9.82 ERA: all four appearances have come in Philadelphia.

Phillies' pitcher Cole Hamels (5-1, 2.28) returned from suspension with another solid performance in a 3-2 win at home over San Diego, allowing a run on five hits over seven innings of work, striking out five and walking three.

Hamels, who would be a pretty nice Cy Young darkhorse if you’re betting online, was suspended for five games for intentionally hitting Washington rookie Bryce Harper and then admitting it, but he only missed a start and never missed a beat. The 28-year-old lefty is 3-0 in four starts against the Red Sox with a 1.44 ERA, and he is 2-1 in three starts at home with a 2.79 ERA.

Betting Trends
Betting odds should favor the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, but the Red Sox have won six of their last 10 in Philadelphia with five games going over the posted total, along with a push.

Even though most of the attention in Philadelphia goes to former Cy Young winners Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, Hamels may be the Phillies best big-game pitcher with the postseason awards to prove it and it won’t be hard to find motivation for this game as the Phillies will be seeing a team they could meet in the World Series.

Put Hamels against a converted reliever and the odds should be tilted heavily towards the Phillies, who should pay out with a victory on Friday night in Philadelphia.

Betting Pick : Take Philadelphia Phillies -1.5 Run line at +155 at BetOnline Sportsbook.

BETTING : Win Tickets for Euro 2012 England – Ukraine

Betfred FootballStake £5 or more on Saturday’s massive Champions League Final clash between Bayern Munich and Chelsea and BetFred will enter you into a draw for an all-expenses paid trip to watch England take on Ukraine at Euro 2012!

This outstanding offer is available to every customer that bets at least £5 on the Champions League final with BETFRED between 9am Friday 18th May and 3pm (GMT) on Saturday May 19th!

It will be a great trip, and means that betting a fiver with BETFRED on the game is definately a +EV bet, and one well worth making.

Bayern Munich v Chelsea Euro Offer - KO Saturday 19th May 19:45 
So whether you fancy Bayern to give Chelsea the blues or Roberto Di Matteo’s men to cap off a remarkable journey to the final with victory at the Allianz make sure you get a bet on with BETFRED for great value and the chance to win a VIP trip to watch England in action this summer!

Terms and Conditions - Champions League Final Euro Offer
• Offer applies to Web and Mobile channels.
• To qualify for entry into the draw, customers must stake a minimum of £5 (or equivalent currency), on the Champions league final, between Bayern Munich and Chelsea between 9am Friday 18th May and 3pm Saturday 19th May, inclusive.
• Only the first £5 stake will count towards entry to the draw.
• The draw will be held at 3:30pm UK time, Saturday 19th May and the winner will be notified by our VIP team prior to 5pm UK time, Saturday 19th May.
• There will be only one draw and one winner.
• The winner must be elegible to travel from London Gatwick airport and hold a valid passport.
• There will be no cash alternatives to the price mentioned above.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

NBA BETTING : Los Angeles Clippers @ San Antonio Spurs – Game Two

Buy points on the NBA Basketball at BetOnlineMost bettors expected to see the San Antonio Spurs jump out to an early lead in its series with the Los Angeles Clippers.

But the way the Spurs pounded the Clippers in Game One winning by a 16 point margin in a 108-92 blowout was an eye-opener. There was no rust on those Spurs !

Los Angeles Clippers @ San Antonio Spurs – Game Two

It would be a mistake to underestimate the Los Angeles Clippers at any point in the playoffs.

The San Antonio Spurs have the experience to know this and that is why the Spurs are playing the Clippers very carefully. While both Los Angeles NBA franchises are in trouble in the second round of the playoffs, but there is at least some feeling that the Clippers can pull out of it and win a game or two in its series with San Antonio.

The sports betting sites give all of the stats to the Spurs in this series, and the Spurs display a steady confidence that seems to be overridden by the Clippers' swagger.

The fact that the Clippers has been able to maintain its swagger in the face of a 108-92 game one loss is a testament to this team's confidence. But, at some point, Los Angeles will have to figure out a way to get through the San Antonio defense.

The Spurs were able to shut the Clippers down in the fourth quarter of game one and Los Angeles will need to find a way to counteract that if it wants to get back into this series. Over the past 20 years, when teams playing with six or more days off play a team with one day of rest, they are 8-0 in the postseason with an average winning margin of 21.6 points.

The Spurs won Game One easily - the stats said they would - Game Two will be closer.

Pick : Los Angeles Clippers with +11 points at BetOnline to stay within the spread.

NBA BETTING : Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers – Game Three

Buy points on the NBA Basketball at BetOnlineThe sports betting sites had some things they expected in the 2012 NBA playoffs, and some things that they did not expect to happen.

What the online sports experts did not expect to see was the injury bug strike yet another top Eastern Conference team and cause chaos in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The degree to which things have been affected has yet to be determined, but the series between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers just got interesting.

Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers – Game Three

Was it the injury to Chris Bosh that cost the Heat game two, or was it LeBron James disappearing yet again in a critical playoff situation? There is a lot of evidence to suggest that it was one or the other, and there is just as much evidence to suggest that it was a little bit of both.

The sportsbook experts were wondering how LeBron James would respond as the playoffs entered the second round, and it has been hit and miss. With the injury to Bosh, most of the perimeter shooting duties fall to James as Dwyane Wade spends time in the paint. But that did not work in game two and many people are wondering if it will work in game three as well.

The Indiana Pacers are not going to light up the scoreboard with three-pointers all night long. Many Pacers fans realize that Indiana was the provident recipient of a bad night from LeBron James in game two.

But the Pacers now have confidence, which is something that LeBron James is sorely lacking as game three begins. It is not out of the question to see Indiana prolong its momentum into a win on its home court.

Betting Pick: Indiana Pacers on the ML +105 at BetOnline Sportsbook

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

FOOTBALL : Kenny Dalglish sacked as Liverpool manager

Kenny Dalglish has been sacked as Liverpool manager after the Anfield club finished 8th in the English Premier League.

Dalglish, who is now 61, led the club to the Carling Cup and also the FA Cup final this season, but could not seal a Champions League spot.

A club statments said : "Results in the Premier League have been disappointing and to build on the progress that has been made, we need to make a change".

Owners Fenway Sports Group stressed that the decision to remove Dalglish "was not reached lightly or hastily" and that the search for a new manager would begin immediately.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez and former Anfield boss Rafael Benitez have been installed as early favourites to fill the vacancy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

NBA : Thunder thrash tired Lakers 119-90 in Game 1

Russell Westbrook had 27 points, Kevin Durant scored 25 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder blasted the weary Los Angeles Lakers 119-90 on Monday night in the opening game of the Western Conference semifinals.

Remember, just two games ago the Lakers were trailing by as many as 28 points in a blowout loss in Game 6 in Denver agaonst the Nuggets, but this got even worse for the Lakers, who were down by as many as 35 points.

The LA Lakers responded to that loss by beating the Denver Nuggets 96-87 in a thrilling Game 7 on Saturday night - and the Lakers will need another big bounce-back for Game 2 in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.

Can they respond again?

Top Performers
Los Angeles: A. Bynum 20 Pts, 14 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk
Oklahoma City: R. Westbrook 27 Pts, 7 Reb, 9 Ast, 2 St

Monday, May 14, 2012

FOOTBALL : Aston Villa sack manager Alex McLeish

Aston Villa have sacked manager Alex McLeish after 11 months in charge.

The 53-year-old former Scotland manager said his farewells to the club's staff on Monday morning after Villa ended a poor Premier League campaign, finishing just above the relegation zone after winning only four of 19 games at home.

McLeish was an unpopular appointment as he arrived from Birmingham City last year but poor results and performances worsened his relationship with fans.

McLeish took over from Gerard Houllier in June 2011 but Villa won only seven league matches all season, effectively securing their Premier League status with a 1-1 draw against Tottenham in the penultimate game.

A club statement read: "Aston Villa can confirm that Alex McLeish's contract has been terminated with immediate effect. The club has been disappointed with this season's results, performances and the general message these have sent to our fans.

FOOTBALL : Manchester City win EPL with TWO injury time goals!

Manchester City became English champions for the first time in 44 years as they beat Queens Park Rangers 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium with the help of two injury-time goals.

Pablo Zabaleta’s scored in the first half to give Manchester City the lead but it looked as if City had blown their chance after Djibril Cisse equalised three minutes into the second half then Jamie Mackie headered QPR into the lead on 66 minutes.

Joey Barton was then sent off for QPR, by the visitors held on into added time and the home fans were streaming out of the Etihad Stadium in disappointment before City turned it around.

In the second minute of injury time substitute Edin Dzeko power home a close-range header from a corner and just two minutes later Sergio Aguero weaved into the QPR penalty area and fired a shot past Paddy Kenny at the near post.

The final whistle blew 30 seconds later and Manchester City were champions on goal difference from Manchester United.

Manchester City 3 (Zabaleta 39, Dzeko 90+2, Aguero 90+4) beat QPR 2 (Cisse 48, Mackie 66)


No movement1Man City386489
No movement2Man Utd385689
No movement3Arsenal382570
No movement4Tottenham382569
No movement5Newcastle38565
No movement6Chelsea381964
No movement7Everton381056
No movement8Liverpool38752
No movement9Fulham38-352
No movement10West Brom38-747

BETTING : Paddy Power pay out late goal refunds

Paddy Power took a gamble by offering "late goal insurance" on all games in the final round of the English Premier League and it forced a payout on three occasions.

Manchester City conjured up the most spectacular late drama and thanks to Sergio Aguero, it triggered a huge refund from PADDY POWER.

As City scored a goal after the 85th minutes, Paddy Power are refunding all losing 1st Goalscorer. Last Goalscorer, Correct Score and Scorecast singles on the match.

Swansea also scored late on against Liverpool and Wolves scored late on against Wigan to ensure the offer also clicked in their matches.

All in all, it means PADDY POWER are refunding over £150,000 in losing bets to customers, but – in the case of the Man City supporting section of those customers – we’re guessing it may take a couple of days before they get around to noticing.

Refunds are currently being processed. They should be in the customer accounts by now.

If you think you haven’t received a refund you think you’re entitled to, give the PADDY POWER customer service team a shout or tweet to @AskPaddyPower.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

NBA : LA Clippers win 82-72 in Memphis to eliminate Grizzlies

The Los Angeles Clippers finally eliminated the Memphis Grizzlies at the third time of trying, winning Game 7 of the first round playoff series.

Kenyon Martin scored seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, and the Clippers advanced to the Western Conference semifinals with an 82-72 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 7 on Sunday.

The Clippers, who trailed 56-55 after three quarters, took control in the final period by starting with an 11-2 run and when Mo Williams hit a 3-pointer pushing it to 71-61 with 7:04 left in a 16-5 the visitors were in control.

Los Angeles finished off the win by hitting 9 of 10 free throws in the final 3:26. The Clippers also managed to outrebound the Grizzlies 46-44 for only the second time this series.

Top Performers
Los Angeles: C. Paul 19 Pts, 9 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl
Memphis: M. Gasol 19 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Blk