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The Gold Cup

Posted on | March 14, 2017 | No Comments

The Gold Cup has been a fixture at Cheltenham ever since July 1819 when it was ran as a flat race. It was contested over a 3 mile track close to where the current racecourse is situated on Cleeve Hill. The event wasn’t as prestigious back then though with the prize money on offer a relatively paltry £685 (around £42,000 today) compared to this years estimated first place prize £350,000. Back then it played third fiddle to the National Hunt Chase and the County Handicap Hurdle which both offered more prize money. It was absolutely dominated in the 1930’s by the most successful horse in the events history, Golden Miller, who won it 5 times on the bounce 1932-1936.

It was switched over to the “new course” at Cheltenham in 1959 and wasn’t must of a contest throughout the 60’s with Arkle winning it three times in a row from 1964 to 1966. Arkle was rated so highly after the first two wins that the odds on the third win were just 1/10 (£10 stake would have returned just £1 in winnings!) which still stands as the shortest price in the race’s history.

The race has been cancelled on a few occasions over the course of its long run. It was cancelled in 1931 because of frost, in 1937 because of massive local flooding and during the second world years 1943 and 1944. It was also cancelled in 2001, along with most of the equine activity that year, due to the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. A replacement race, the Gold Trophy Chase, was run instead at Sandown in late April but it wasn’t quite up to the spectacle of the regular Gold Cup so is largely ignored. All of the next 3 running’s after that cancellation were won by Best Mate who is the most recent of a special group of 4 horses to have won the Gold Cup three times or more.

Kauto Star deserves special mention when talking about the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2017. It’s the only horse that has successfully managed to regain the Gold Cup in its history. It won the prestigious race in 2007 to be beaten the following year by Denman. In 2009 it put on a dominant performance to regain the trophy described by Kieran Packman, a spokesperson from Timeform, “it is the best Gold Cup-winning figure since the Arkle era in the mid-1960s”.

Cue Card is the favourite this year and is bidding to not only gain revenge for its fall last year but also to become the first 11 year old to claim the Gold cup since 1962.

For more information on this year’s Cheltenham Festival we have put together a great infographic with information on the Gold Cup and more:


Infographic

Infographic

Will Sanchez leave Arsenal this summer?

Posted on | March 9, 2017 | No Comments

Alexis Sanchez is one of the most interesting players on the transfer market at the moment. The Chilean wants to leave Arsenal as he is looking for a team capable of fighting for trophies. The 28 years old forward was dropped by Wenger from the starting line up against Liverpool after the player declared that he is unhappy at Arsenal and wants to leave the club. It is expected that Alexis will leave Arsenal this summer.

Sanchez has hinted on several occasions that he wants another challenge, wishing to win trophies, things that look seemingly impossible at Arsenal right now, under the command of Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal have not wanted to sell him but things might change this summer if they want to not lose him on a free. The Chilean has rejected to sign the contract extension which expires in 2018.

Manchester City, Chelsea, PSG, Sevilla, Inter Milano and Juventus are among the big clubs that are interested to buy Alexis Sanchez. newcasinos.com suggests that Juventus already made a offer of around €30 millions. The Chilean is currently valued at around €40 millions but Arsenal might accept lower bids in order to not lose him for nothing next summer.

Will Fabregas leave Chelsea this summer?

Posted on | February 27, 2017 | No Comments

Cesc Fabregas has started only six Premier League games this season and he might look for regular soccer elsewhere.

Despite being considered Xavi successor at Barcelona he failed to impress at Barcelona and returned to Premier League in 2014. His first season on Stamford Bridge was excellent as  he was one of the most important players under Jose Mourinho and Chelsea won the title after all.

Things have changed next season, Jose Mourinho was fired, Fabregas lost his place in the first team and Chelsea finished on 10th place.

Since then the Spanish playmaker was linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge but Fabregas decided to stay and fight for his place in the team. AC Milan were most interested but the Italian club failed to sign him.

The things have not changed for The Spanish international even after Antonio Conte appointment at Chelsea. Even if the Italian manager named Fabregas “football genius” he preferred other players in the starting lineup.

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It is believed that United are prepared to make an offer next summer and Chelsea are willing to listen to the offers. AC Milan are also in stand by and are waiting to see how things will develop.

Manchester are preparing around £27 millions for Fabregas but they are willing to increase the offer in order to secure the signature of the player.

Will Diego Costa leave Chelsea?

Posted on | January 18, 2017 | No Comments

Chelsea are on top on Premier League table, seven points ahead Tottenham, but things seems to get worse as their main goalscorer wants to leave the club.

It’s seems that Tianjin Quanjian want the Spanish striker with any cost and made an offer of around  €90 millions to the club and promised him a huge contract of around €34.5 mil per year.  The Spanish international would become one of the best paid players in the World if the transfer would materialize.

If in the first stage Chelsea have not agreed to part with their top scorer it seems that the things have changed lately. It is believed that Conte and Costa had a few contradictory discussions which concluded with the exclusion of the player from Leicester game.

Antonio Conte already found a replacement  for Costa if the Spanish striker will leave. The Chelsea staff is convinced that Andrea Belotti is the right man to replace Diego Costa and they will tray to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

According to sports betting at BetHut he is still odds on to leave, even after Torino rejected a bid of around €65 millions from Arsenal this month.

 

Premier League January 2017 Transfer Window Preview

Posted on | December 22, 2016 | No Comments

The January transfer window is almost upon us as clubs look to add new faces to their squads to ready themselves for the business end of the season. Premier League clubs, awash with money from the league’s broadcasting deals, have already had their winter window plans underway.

While certain clubs will undergo significant retooling to find the missing pieces of their jigsaws, some clubs will prefer to play the waiting game until the summer window comes round. It has been the norm in recent years for Premier League clubs to lead the January window activity, and 2017 should be no different.

League leaders and Premier League betting odds favourites Chelsea are on an 11-game winning streak, and it seems nothing of note can be added to their side. The Blues, however, don’t have adequate cover for top scorer Diego Costa, while their three-man defence could look hopelessly out of depth if one of the centre-backs is absent. Reinforcements in those areas would suffice for Antonio Conte’s men.

Liverpool’s Sadio Mané has international commitments with Senegal for the African Nations Cup, hence adding attacking reinforcements is a priority for the Reds. Philippe Coutinho is injured, as is Danny Ings. Some players linked with the club are Julian Draxler, Christian Pulisic and Sardar Azmoun.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have somewhat stuttered in recent weeks, but the arrival of Gabriel Jesus should add more verve to their attack. It’s their porous defence that has been in the spotlight, as Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk looks to be the latest to be linked to the club.

Arsenal’s priority should be the contract extensions of Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil, while a new right-back to provide cover for Hector Bellerin is also a necessity.

Tottenham have lacked bite in attack this season, with their summer arrivals—Moussa Sissoko and Georges-Kévin Nkoudou—struggling. Wilfried Zaha has been on fire this season, and he could be a good addition to Spurs’ attack.

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United have fewer worries but Victor Lindelöf continues to be linked with the club, and so do Antoine Griezmann and Nélson Semedo. There should also be a few players moving away from Old Trafford, particularly the likes of Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin.

Everton could pounce on Manchester United’s excesses by signing Depay and Schneiderlin. Elsewhere, West Ham could be in a battle to keep Dimitri Payet beyond January.

West Brom could also be seen vying for the surpluses of the top six, with the Baggies’ strong showing giving Tony Pulis some bargaining power over the club’s new owners. Southampton’s biggest job will be to keep Van Dijk, as will be Crystal Palace’s with Zaha.

There could be a slew of new signings for the league’s bottom half dwellers. Survival for some could hinge on a couple of inspired additions, while any error in judgment could have harsh ramifications which could lead to relegation.

Should Fifa introduce video replay?

Posted on | August 18, 2010 | No Comments

The video replay one of the most discussed topic in football in the recent years.

Everyone expects from the referees to be perfect, or at least to reduce the mistakes during the games but it looks that this is a very hard task to do. So everyone tries to find solutions, and Fifa is pressed from all sides to come with an alternative.

In the first phase Fifa tried the system with 6 referees, tested it in Europa League, but even this solution doesn’t seem to be better. There were also speculations that the ball should contain a chip to signal when the ball passes the line of the goal but the solutions is not well seen by the specialists.

So at the moment it looks like the only viable solution is the video replay.Regarding the video replay the opinions are divided with a plus for it. Fifa is pressed to take a decision especially after the World Cup mistakes, when some of them proved to be crucial.

So after rugby, basketball, tennis or american football we might have video replays also in football. This decision would bring advantages but not only.

At advantages we can mention fewer mistakes that can decide games and fewer scandals. On the other side the spirit and the charm of the game would suffer.  Imagine for example a game show with a similar setup – a Who Wants To Be Millionaire Online Game for example would take so long and become boring. Also the game could have more than 10 minutes of additional time which could determine the players to lose their patience  awaiting for the verdict, the fluidity of the game could also suffer.

The final decision will be taken in November but there are chances for a positive answer.

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