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Reasons to be Cheerful: England’s next Cricketing Generation

Posted on | October 18, 2017 | No Comments

There’s a lot of negativity around England’s cricket squad right now amidst the fall out surrounding the Ben Stokes affair and questions whether the Durham all rounder will make this year’s Ashes series.

While Stokes dominates the headlines, English fans are also targeting the selectors and a squad for Australia that contained a few surprises, the most controversial of which was the inclusion of Gary Ballance who has endured a wretched run of form for the last three years at international level.

Young Guns

Australia would have started the Ashes as clear favourites but the potential crisis facing the tourists has seen their price shorten even further. Steve Smith’s men can be picked up at around 1/2 to reclaim the Urn while holders England have drifted to 3/1.

At that price, you may be better to save your own money and look for free bonus bets from around the sportsbooks but if it is set to be a dismal winter for England, the future is much brighter than the headline writers might lead us to believe. Here are some outstanding young cricketers who are set to be brought in to the international set up, possibly as early as 2018.

Dan Lawrence

Those with more than a passing interest in cricket will be aware that Essex’s Dan Lawrence has been around for some time now. He made his first class debut for the county against Kent back in 2017 but as he prepares to join up with the England Lions in Australia, he is still just 20 years of age. Inevitable similarities have been made with Alastair Cook and he certainly has the same temperament and patience as his Essex colleague.

The youngster has made seven centuries in three seasons with a best of 161 and an average approaching 43.00. 2017 ended with the Cricket Writers’ Club award for young player of the year and, as a member of the side that will be shadowing the senior squad Down Under, there are even suggestions that Dan Lawrence could be promoted to the full England set up at some stage during this Ashes tour.

Tom Helm

Mark Wood’s issues with injury see the Durham paceman drop down to the Lions squad this winter but he could find competition from Middlesex quick Tom Helm. At 23, Helm has taken some time to establish himself with his county and injuries have played their part in halting his progress since making a first class debut back in 2013.
Blessed with genuine pace and bounce, Helm now averages 31.00 with the ball at a strike rate of 55.10 and those are stats that have improved considerably in the last twelve months. He may have to work on his batting however in an England set up that looks for its players to contribute in all areas.

Paul Coughlin

A winter move from struggling Durham to newly promoted Nottinghamshire was met with dismay by his former county but in the current climate, a player of Paul Coughlin’s promise really needs to be playing division one cricket.
He’ll be 25 by the time that the Lions squad heads for Australia and that’s an age where any player really needs to get to the front of selectors’ thoughts. Coughlin was Durham’s T20 skipper in 2017 and is thought of in some quarters as a one-day specialist. He should get plenty of opportunities to answer those accusations next season at his new club with Notts losing several key batsmen during 2017 for various reasons. Coughlin will have a key role in red ball cricket at Trent Bridge and we will then know if he can make a contribution at test level.

Matt Parkinson

England have an abundance of young leg spinners right now and at 20 years old, Lancashire’s Matt Parkinson is the same age as Mason Crane who is already in the full England set up. As such, he may face a battle to make a breakthrough but there is something about Parkinson that makes him stand out from the crop.

Firstly, he gives it a ‘real rip’, imparting more spin on the ball and getting more turn than most of his peers, even on unhelpful surfaces. There’s a hint of aggression too and some good stats behind him, including a five wicket haul on debut that made him the youngest Lancashire batter to achieve this particular milestone.

Manchester duo aiming to stay ahead of the chasing pack

Posted on | October 12, 2017 | No Comments

The Premier League springs back into action this weekend and there’s some interesting matches for punters to weigh up.

The two Manchester clubs head into the weekend five points clear of the chasing pack, but they face very different tasks on Saturday.

United visit Anfield to take on Liverpool, while City host Stoke City, but both sides will be confident of recording their 7th victory of the season.

The Red Devils are currently seven points ahead of Liverpool after just seven games and they appear good value at 13/8 to take advantage of their opponent’s indifferent form.

The home side have the joint third worst defensive record in the Premier League, and it’s difficult to see them holding out for 90 minutes against the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford.

Lukaku is priced at 13/10 to score at any time during the game and that looks a solid wager.

Table-topping City face a Stoke side who have given them some problems in recent times, but it would be a major shock if the 1/8 shots don’t win this weekend.

Stoke have recorded a victory and a draw in their last three visits to the Etihad Stadium and can be backed at 18/1 to spring a surprise on Saturday.

With United and City both fancied to continue their excellent form, Tottenham Hotspur will be desperate to break their Wembley hoodoo against Bournemouth.

Harry Kane has been on fire in recent weeks and is as low as 9/5 to score the first goal, but check out current football markets before wagering on the game.

A draw could be Bournemouth’s best hope of securing something from the fixture and that is available at 6/1.

Chelsea travel to Selhurst Park aiming to heap more misery on Crystal Palace.

The Eagles are still without a point and are yet to score this season, so the 17/2 on offer for a 3-0 victory for the Blues looks worth an interest.

Palace’s most likely route to success would be to frustrate the visitors and try to snatch a 1-0 win which is priced at 18/1.

Arsenal are now fifth in the table despite failing to score away from the Emirates Stadium this season.

They travel to a Watford side who are just a point behind in the table having lost once so far this term.

The Gunners should prove too strong for the home side and can be backed with confidence at 13/20 to claim the three points.

Burnley have been excellent away from Turf Moor this season, but their home form has been surprisingly less impressive.

Saturday’s visit of West Ham represents a decent chance of getting a victory on the board, but the Hammers look good value at 7/1 to secure a 1-0 win.

Swansea City have lost all three games at home this term and they’ll be eager to snap that streak at home to Huddersfield Town.

The Swans are 6/5 to register only their second win of the season, while the Terriers are 11/4 to continue their solid start to the Premier League campaign.
Brighton & Hove Albion and Everton kick-off Sunday’s games and the home side look a decent shout at 21/10 to pile more misery on the Toffees.

Pascal Gross has been in fine form for Brighton and is a tempting 9/2 to get on the scoresheet during the game.

Newcastle United have lost their last four games at Southampton, but Rafa Benitez’s side have proved hard to beat this season.

The Magpies look capable of keeping Southampton at bay and picking up a point at odds of 5/2.

The final game of the weekend is on Monday as Leicester City host West Bromwich Albion at the King Power Stadium.

Both sides have struggled for goals this season and a dour 0-0 draw would produce a tasty 17/2 return to round off this week’s fixtures.

Who will win Champions League in 2018?

Posted on | September 26, 2017 | No Comments

Lat year Real Madrid managed to be the first team in football history who wins two consecutive Champions League trophies. Even if Real Madrid have won the Champions League title in the past two years, they remain the main favorites to win the Champions League again according to new online casinos 2018.

Zinedine Zidane managed to create an extraordinary group at Madrid and Real remain the main favorite this year too. PSG are the second favorites according to new casino sites 2018. The French giants where not even on top five favorites last year but the signings of Neymar from Barcelona and Mbape from Monaco moved them up in the list of favorites.

Bayer Munchen are the third favorites ti win Champions League 2018. The German giants were among the favorites to win the trophy every year but they were not able to reach the final since the season 2012-2013 when they won the trophy after a final with Borussia Dortmund.

The fourth favorite are FC Barcelona. The Spanish team have the chance to repair their image after a disastrous ending last season. Even if they suffered a big loss after Neymar move to Paris SG, the new signings have demonstrated so far that they are capable to replacing the Brazilian striker.

Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea London, Atletico Madrid, Juventus Torino, Liverpool or Tottenham are the other contenders but the experts from new casino 2018 believe that it will be a big surprise if any of them will win the trophy next year.

Wayne Rooney, one of the best Premier League players of all time

Posted on | September 26, 2017 | No Comments

If over 320 professional career goals it is safe to say Rooney has been one of the most prolific strikers to have played in the Premier league. Through making his way through the Everton ranks he burst onto the scene with a screamer Ending Arsenal’s unbeaten run at just 16 years of age.

He then moved over to Manchester and played 557 games for the club. He won pretty much everything there and scored a stunning 253 goals for United. He has now signed back for Everton and on August 21st scored his 200th goal in the Premier league against Manchester City.
Throughout the years Rooney has continued to score important goals for both club and country. This also meant that he surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton’s goal scoring records for United and England. He is also one of only two players to have scored over 200 Premier league goals; the other of course being Alan Shearer who ended up with a staggering 260 goals.

This infographic will cover all the achievements as well as the controversy that has occurred through his footballing career. You can also check out the latest football odds ahead of another huge weekend in the Premier league. The highlight being the top of the table clash between current champions Chelsea and title favourites Manchester City.

rooney

Arc Preview: UK mob-handed in Paris showpiece

Posted on | September 21, 2017 | No Comments

With less than two weeks to go until one of the key flat racing highlights of the 2017 international calendar, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe takes place at Chantilly on Sunday 1st October.

For the layman, ‘The Arc’ as its affectionately known, is a Group 1 race over one mile and four furlongs, that brings together some of the finest equine talents from all over the globe, and is widely regarded as Europe’s most prestigious horse race. The Arc offers the chance for the finest three-year-olds of the current season an opportunity to take on older rivals in a ‘battle of the ages’ to determine ultimate supremacy.

Some of the true greats of racing’s recent past have taken glory in the French capital in the last twenty years including Montjeu, Sinndar, Sea The Stars, along with home superstar, Treve being a double winner back in 2013/14. Irish raider, Found took the honours last year for Aiden O’Brien as the four-year-old claimed the event in dramatic fashion.

Red hot

The current ante post hot favourite is Enable, trained by John Gosden, who has carried all before her so far in 2017. The three-year-old filly shot to stardom at Epsom by overcoming odds-on jolly Rhododendron in the English Oaks. A five-length destruction of the O’Brien hotpot showed that owner Khalid Abdullah had a potential superstar on his hands. Enable was next seen at the Curragh in the Irish Oaks and sauntered to another victory of similar distance.

It seemed quite unlikely at the time but Gosden decided to turn out Enable just two weeks after the Curragh victory and face her elders in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. The decision was proven to be shrewd as the filly slammed the field by four and a half lengths. Enable’s last outing saw her claim the Yorkshire Oaks at York in yet another facile win. The current best price for the star filly of her generation is 11/10 for The Arc, and from what she has already shown, it would take a brave punter to back against her.

Potential rival

Recent reports have suggested that Sir Michael Stoute is aiming his star colt, Ulysses at The Arc. The four-year old was left trailing in Enable’s wake in the King George at Ascot. The good news for Stoute and connections of the horse is that Ulysses will have a six-pound weight pull for a four and a half-length defeat on their rival if they both line up at Chantilly. Ulysses has returned to the winners’ enclosure since Ascot by taking the Juddmonte International Stakes at York back in August. A two-length win over Churchill may suggest the son of Galileo is still improving – and that makes the inclusion of Ulysses a very interesting prospect at around 8/1 for the Paris showpiece.

Home hope

Leading French hope Zarak has to overcome an upcoming gallop test to prove his fitness ahead of a potential tilt at The Arc. Currently best-priced at 16/1, four-year-old colt Zarak, owned by the Aga Khan has had a break since winning the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at the beginning of July. Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre knows exactly what it takes to train an Arc winner, with Dalakhani (2003) and Zarkava (2008) as past proof of his talent to produce one for the big day. Zarak proved his own stamina on his latest start after stepping up in trip to The Arc distance by staying on strongly to win by two lengths, but has plenty to find on official ratings with Enable.

Others to consider

Aiden O’Brien saddled the first three home in last year’s Arc, and the Irish super-trainer is likely to have several options for this year’s race. Highland Reel and Order Of St George, second and third behind Found last year, are on course to race in the Arc again, with Winter, Seventh Heaven and recent St Leger winner, Capri all mooted as potential options. Whoever O’Brien decides to choose, you can be assured that some, if not all, will have a live chance on race day.

German hopes will surely rest on Dschingis Secret, who has recent course form at Chantilly by taking the Group 2 Prix Foy in early September, and the four-year old can be currently had at 14/1. Japanese raider, Satono Diamond finished in fourth place behind Dschingis Secret, and was pushed out by bookmakers to 20/1 for The Arc, but cannot be totally ruled out of consideration after its first run since May.

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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Mayweather or McGregor?

Floyd Mayweather is the strong favourite to win according to the McGregor Mayweather odds when he goes face to face with Conor McGregor in what is being labelled as "The Money Fight". Mayweather is putting his undefeated streak on the line against the UFC’s Conor McGregor and is aiming to make it 50 wins from 50 fights. There is a huge amount of attention in the build-up to the fight and with that attention come the big bucks. Both fighters are set to make millions from the fight and we’ve taken some of the financial figures involved and created an infographic as seen below.

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