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A closer look at the Championship promotion race

Posted on | December 28, 2017 | No Comments

Whilst the Premier League title race is beginning to look over, as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City go from strength-to-strength, the race to join England’s elite is gathering pace in the Championship, with a host of clubs battling to get back amongst the big time for the 2018/19 campaign, which will be on us before we know it.

For now, it is looking like Wolverhampton Wanderers will be certainly gaining promotion back to the Premier League this season, with Nuno Espirito Santo’s side storming into a healthy lead ahead of the festive period, playing an attractive brand of attacking football, whilst mixing that with some real defensive quality.

The likes of Diogo Jota, Leo Bonatini and Ivan Cavaleiro have lit up the Championship with their attacking quality, and with Ruben Neves pulling the strings from central midfield, it is hard to see any of the other 23 clubs in the division stopping Wolves going forward. In defence, Willy Boly has been a man mountain, whilst John Ruddy, who arrived at Molineux as a free agent following his release from Norwich City, has proved to be one shrewd addition.

Cardiff City are one club sat behind Wolves in the Championship table, but it is hard to imagine that Neil Warnock’s side can topple the leaders, despite surprising many by staging an unlikely promotion push. Last season, Warnock was tasked with helping the Bluebirds avoid relegation, and has now delivered on his promise of a promotion push, despite many laughing off his claims 12 months ago.

Whilst Cardiff’s push for promotion is a surprise, perhaps the biggest shock has been Bristol City’s fine form, which has the Robins challenging for promotion, as well as booking a place in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup. The Robins were many people’s favourites to be in a relegation battle, but Lee Johnson’s side have shown that they are up there with the best in the division, turning in some impressive displays during the first-half of the season.

A battling 3-3 draw with Wolves was an indication of what Bristol were all about, whilst a 2-1 victory over Cardiff in the Severnside derby was further evidence of Johnson’s side flexing their muscles in the race for promotion. Since then, the Robins have also picked up a vital three points over Sheffield United, with once again Johnson’s side taking part in a fixture with over 2.5 goals and both teams to score, just as many were predicting ahead of the fixture. Punters looking to place a bet on Championship football may want to check out Oddschecker and their tips page ahead of any potential wager.

Sheffield United have used the momentum they gained from last season’s promotion from League One to put themselves in this year’s Championship race, but a broken leg suffered by Paul Coutts in November has dealt the Blades a huge blow, with Chris Wilder’s side struggling since the midfielder’s injury.

Some of the Championship’s ‘sleeping giants’ are also in the race for promotion, with Derby County, now under the guidance of Gary Rowett, going from strength-to-strength heading into 2018. Steve Bruce is also looking to work his magic at Villa Park, with Aston Villa having aspirations of ending a brief stay in the second-tier, which has frankly become a nightmare for the club.

Villa have a talented squad but have struggled to gel, and the feeling around Villa Park is that not everyone is impressed with Bruce’s methods, despite his previous success at the likes of Birmingham City and Hull City in the past. Villa are looking to avoid a long stint outside the Premier League, and don’t have to look too far in the table to see a team that has become stuck outside the top-flight despite their magnitude, with Leeds United looking to end a 14-year wait for a return to the elite.

Leeds are well placed for a push, whilst many others will be looking to stage an assault on the top-six between now and May.

The title looks like it will be heading to Molineux in the Championship, but unlike many other divisions in the word, anything can happen below that, with plenty of clubs battling for promotion. Heading into 2018, there are eight, nine and maybe even 10 clubs that have the potential to gain promotion into the Premier League.

Football themed online slots

Posted on | December 15, 2017 | No Comments

There are lots of football themed online slots available for people to try. Association football is the most popular sport in the world. American football is certainly popular within America, and there are plenty of people outside of the country who like American football well enough. It’s a sport that is expanding its own audience in the Information Age. It makes sense that there are online casino slot games that feature both types of football prominently.

Online casino gaming software developers need to be able to come up with interesting and engaging themes for their online casino slot games. It seems like there are countless themes that they can choose. However, that doesn’t mean that all of those different themes are going to be popular with audiences. All online casino gaming software developers are taking something of a risk with the games that they produce.

These games will still have production costs attached to them. Online casino slot games in general are usually very popular with audiences. However, audiences will vary in their preferences. There are plenty of people who still prefer the online casino slot games that are somewhat more traditional in nature and that have more basic graphics. There are other people who like to have online casino slot games that feature very complex narratives and graphics.

Finding a way to please both of these groups is often difficult, and a lot of online casino gaming software developers are not going to care about that. They know that they can get a portion of the audience to care about a particular game, and that is good enough for them.

One of the great things about sports themed online casino slot games in general is that they actually strike something of a balance between the more classic online casino slot games and the modern online casino slot games that have more in common with modern video games. A football game is only going to have so much of a narrative to it. Football is a fairly straightforward sport, and the narratives that involve football will always follow something of a predictable pattern.

The graphics for most sports themed online casino slot games are also going to be relatively simple compared with a good portion of the other sets of graphics that people will encounter. This can make them seem much more classic than a good portion of the other online casino slot games that are around today, regardless of the number of reels that they have and their other characteristics. For a lot of fans of these games, that will just make them that much more appealing in most cases.

Even for the people who prefer online casino slot games that are more like video games, the online casino slot games that have sports themes have a way of striking an appealing balance. It’s clear that a lot of them are going to have a huge audience all over the world, and people can find the best slot games to play here.

Assessing Manchester City’s Champions League Assault

Posted on | December 1, 2017 | No Comments

Manchester City are already looking like a formidable outfit in the Premier League, and a third title in six years could well be on the way to the Etihad Stadium, with Pep Guardiola’s side looking in irresistible form during the first half of the season, blowing opponents away with some outstanding attacking play, which has been matched by much improved defensive performances.

After the disappointment of last season’s third-placed finish, where City finished a mammoth 15 points behind eventual champions Chelsea, a serious assault on the Premier League title was the least expected from Guardiola’s side, particularly after another summer of high-profile arrivals, as City’s squad underwent some fine-tuning.

It is hard to see past City picking up the Premier League title in May, with Guardiola’s squad seemingly miles ahead of the chasing pack, including city rivals, Manchester United, who are struggling to find the same style as their once noisy neighbours.

However, the question most City supporters will be asking is whether they can make a genuine assault on the Champions League for the first time in their history. City were beaten semi-finalists in the 2015/16 competition, with Real Madrid, eventual champions, knocking the Sky Blues out of the competition at the final hurdle before the final.

In this year’s competition, City have made short work of their group, with Guardiola’s side breezing through to the knockout stage of the competition with relative ease, which has left them amongst the favourites to lift the famous European trophy, with odds of 9/2 offered in the football betting markets, with only Neymar’s PSG priced at shorter odds than the Premier League leaders.

City are priced at shorter odds than current holders, Real Madrid, as well as Barcelona and Bayern Munich, two of Guardiola’s former clubs. The former Barca and Bayern boss has brought a distinct style to City, which has been particularly evident this season, with Guardiola deserving of huge credit for finding a way to fit both David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne centrally into a system without his midfield finding themselves overrun. However, there are still questions as to whether City’s style will be strong enough to withstand Europe’s later stages.

Fernandinho is key to City’s style, sitting disciplined in front of a back four, allowing full-backs – recently Kyle Walker and Fabian Delph – freedom to get forward without leaving the side short of defensive cover. So far this season it has worked for Guardiola’s side, with the likes of De Bruyne, Silva, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero or Gabriel Jesus allowed to stream forward with wave after wave of attack.

However, with it highly likely that some of Europe’s elite will be standing in City’s way later in the Champions League, Guardiola may have to reassess his system and find a way of giving a so far comfortable defence a little bit more protection.

It is looking more and more likely that Guardiola will be toasting Premier League success in May next year, but there is no doubt that City and their ambitious owners will have other ambitions in Europe. If Guardiola is to deliver in club football’s biggest competition, he might have to tighten City’s defence by sacrificing part of their free-flowing attack.

The Evolving World of Online Bookmakers

Posted on | November 21, 2017 | No Comments

As many would not remember, 1996 marked the year that Tottenham Hotspurs and Hereford United (from the UK) played an entertaining FA Cup game. This game is significant in the history of online betting, as it is the first match where a sports wager was placed at the world’s first online betting site, Intertops. However since then, online betting has evolved at an aggressive pace.

At the time, the first online gambling operator opened its ‘virtual doors’ and not many countries warmed up to the idea of a game of chance being determined electronically. There were many that were sceptical (some are still are) and this made it difficult for bookmakers as they had to go through a rigorous and strict process to attain a license in the few territories where online gambling was allowed. As time passed however, things changed and there are now more licensing authorities in not only individual countries, but also on a global scale. As the world embraced online gambling, more businesses started to mushroom, creating a massive supply of services within the industry. If you are among those who are particularly interested in starting your own sportsbook site, you may go here for more info on becoming a book maker.

As mentioned above, the first online bookmaker was established in 1996, and 20 years down the line it now has over a thousand competitors! The increase in competition contributed to the overall health of the industry, encouraging even more innovation and creativity. With that said, operators have made available huge rewards for players through generous bonuses, better odds, promotions, and prizes. You can easily find some of the best sports betting bonuses at top bookmaker sites these days.

There is a huge difference in how punters place bets, play games, and withdraw funds in this day and age as compared to previous years. Online sportsbooks platforms of today offer an improved experience, are more friendly, easy to navigate and highly responsive. In addition to serving their primary purpose, bookies deliver more value to the player than in the past.

From the first wager, we know that football was the main sport players were betting on. However, for other markets, it is unclear what online bookies hosted back then in terms of the amount of other less popular sports. Currently, there are way more sports and games covered which includes virtual games as well. In addition to this, there is also a huge increase in the variety of wagers and odds.

Guillem Balague: Tottenham Hotspur are in pole position to sign Gareth Bale

Posted on | November 21, 2017 | No Comments

Transfer expert Guillem Balague has revealed that Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur inserted a buy-back clause when they sold Welsh international Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a world-record fee.

The 28-year-old attacked joined Real Madrid for a reported £85million million in the summer of 2013 and it has been previously reported that the North London club have first option to re-sign him.

In a Question and Answer on the Sky Sports website, Balague confirmed that Spurs have first option to sign the Welshman in any future race for his signature.

Balague, as quoted via Sky Sports said: “If there is any offer for Bale, Real have to contact Spurs and ask them if they want to match it.”“So yes, there is a clause.”

Bale developed into one of the most brilliant attacker during his four-year spell at White Hart lane, netting 26 goals and providing 15 assists both in Tottenham’s Epl fixtures and across all competitions in a sensational final season at the White Hart Lane.

Return of Gareth Bale good move for Tottenham Hotspur?

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is on the record as being a firm admirer of the Welshman, who is widely regarded as one of the best to represent the Spurs. Sure, Bale has constantly been hit with injuries in the last two seasons, but his record at Bernabeu makes it clear that he is the real deal. With Real Madrid, he has won the Champions League three times and the Spanish title, scoring 70 goals and providing 55 assists across 159 matches.

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Without any doubt, Bale would provide the final piece of the jigsaw in Pochettino’s young and vibrant team which has made Europe sit up and take notice with their stunning transformation.

How ground of his move to Tottenham happening

The price of Bale leaving Real Madrid would have to be right, and it would surely coast a whooping £60million-plus fee for such a great attacker, even one who has suffered with a lot of injuries in recent times. His next move is almost certain to be back to the Premier League and the Welshman will be not short of offers. However, he might end up joining either Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea as Tottenham cannot match the financial resources of the Manchester clubs and the West London club, but Spurs, but they can provide a grand stage, romance and a team on the up. Don’t rule this one out.

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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