Posts Tagged ‘Barcelona’

Jose Mourinho at home in the English Premier League

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Out of all the new managerial appointments in the English Premier League this season, one of the most popular and influential has got to be Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho. The Premier League, and for that matter, Chelsea, have never really been the same when he decided to part ways with the club in September 2007. The ‘chosen one’ then went off to Italy  and got his second Champions League trophy at Inter Milan in 2010, and then joined Spain’s Real Madrid where he won the La Liga in 2012, nine points ahead of rivals Barcelona. Online betting operator bet365 have already made Chelsea joint favourites with Manchester City to win the EPL priced at 9/4, which reflects the ‘Mourinho Factor’ and pushes Manchester United into third spot at 11/4 to retain the title.

Jose has already admitted that his first game at Stamford Bridge against Hull City on Sunday will be an emotional return. The manager has already been quoted as saying he is back where he belongs and with him having ‘experiences in three other countries’, he has come to the conclusion that England is his ‘favourite country to work in’. Mourinho seems to have rediscovered his passion for the game, that was really coming apart in the last months in Spain. He is now talking about giving ‘everything for his club and the Premier League’.

Personally, like so many others in the football world, I believe Jose Mourinho is one of the best things to happen to the English Premier League. There are very few managers that have the charm, charisma and the ability to influence a game as much as he can, and this is the reason why Chelsea are joint favourites to win the title this season. Wayne Rooney would have probably made them all out favourites to take the title, but it seems as if this move is unlikely to happen.

The opening weekend of the Premier League is one of the most interesting for quite some time, with all the top teams in action, and everyone looking to see how they all perform when the dust settles. David Moyes is already moaning about the fixtures, so whoever manages to shine in the first week, should be able to build pressure on others and emphasize the ever increasing competitiveness of this league.

 

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New £30m Manchester United bid for Fabregas

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Manchester United have increased their offer to £30 million in an effort to acquire Barcelona’s midfielder Cesc Fabregas. The Red Devils had an initial offer of £25 million turned down by Barcelona, with both club and player stating they were both happy to remain in each other’s company for the foreseeable future. However, Manchester United are hoping the Catalan club will be tempted to take the cash and release the Spanish international. Old Trafford’s Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward is now focusing on this deal and any sports betting fan will know United usually get their player once the news go public.

Cesc Fabregas is a product of Barcelona’s La Masia academy and at the age of 16 was signed by North London club Arsenal. He went on to become The Gunners youngest ever player at the age of 16 years and 177 days when he played against Rotherham United in the League Cup in October 2003. The player also became a key part in Wenger’s team, and even became Arsenal captain in November 2008. The Spaniard enjoyed 8 good years at Arsenal and was always a crowd favourite, with 303 game under his belt and 57 goals.

The player returned to Barcelona, as expected, because everyone knew his first love and desire was to the Catalan club where he grew up and developed his skills as a boy. In 2011 he agreed a five year deal estimated to be around £25.4 million, and since then has played 96 games and been involved in winning the Copa del Rey in 2011/12 and La Liga in 2012/13. Although he has not featured as much as he would like, it was probably expected that Iniesta and Xavi would naturally be first choice in the mid-field, but Cesc would expect to be more involved as time goes on.

Manchester United are hoping that they can acquire the mid fielder to plug a gap that has been there for quite some time and is know getting desperate with Paul Scholes recent retirement. It maybe that Cesc can be tempted back to the English Premier League, as he has already stated he will be ahppy with whatever decision is taken by his current employer and it will give him a chance to be reunited with his ex Arsenal chum, Robin van Persie!

 

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Anyone betting on AC Milan shocking Barcelona

After AC Milan managed to achieve the unthinkable and beat Barcelona 2-0 at the San Siro, attention now turns to how did they manage to stop the best team in the world and whether or not AC Milan will be able to continue this in the Nou Camp. Online betting for Barcelona to win the Champions League has now slid down to ranks, with most betting operators pricing them as third favourite at 9/2.

All credit to AC Milan as they stifled Barcelona’s creativity and usual flair. Even the genius of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta was surprisingly contained by a well organised and determined Milan defence. In the end the Spanish team was forced to stick the likes of defender Gerard Pique up front in a desperate attempt to get a goal in the later stages of the game. It was a massive win for the Milan, who will think that they are more than half way through to the last eight of the tournament.

The match in the Nou Camp will have to see Barcelona raise their game and not only score goals but keep a clean sheet in order to overcome this two goal deficit. Saying that we all know that Barcelona on their day do have the capacity to score any number of goals the best of opposition, but looking at where the money is going and how bookmakers are pricing up the Spanish giants – it is definitely going to be an uphill struggle!

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