Posts Tagged ‘Manchester United’

Premier League on Boxing Day

We all appreciate that football players, especially in the Premier League, should have a deserved rest and family time for the festive season. Top clubs who are still involved in the Champions League and Europa League will certainly find it even more demanding. It is quite common for clubs like Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United to be playing a competitive match every three days, which is very demanding especially when faced with Away games.

However, to be without football for entire week has its downsides. One would imagine that this would be the perfect time to catch up  on all the unplayed podcasts, you tube videos, transfer news and football gossip; but this cannot quench the thirst for competitive play and the drama of the Premier League.

Anyways, all that we can do right now is to look forward to action on Boxing Day Monday, and as a result, here is a list of games to be played:

Watford vs Crystal Palace – 12:30

Arsenal vs West Brom – 15:00

Burnley vs Middlesbrough – 15:00

Chelsea vs Bournemouth – 15:00

Leicester vs Everton – 15:00

Manchester United vs Sunderland – 15:00

Swansea vs West Ham – 15:00

Hull vs Manchester City – 17:15

 

It goes without saying that we all wish Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney, Jose Mourinho and all the Premier League, a lovely Christmas. Plus, all the very best wishes on a successful recovery to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw.

 

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West Ham shock Tottenham Hot Spurs

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West Ham did the unthinkable and beat Tottenham Hot Spurs at White Hart Lane to get out of the bottom of the English Premier League. It was a great win for the Hammers against one of the best defences in the League this year, and it also marked the first away goals scored by West Ham for the season. Online sports betting operators wold have enjoyed the result, as Spurs were favourites to see off the challenge from one of their London rivals.

It was also a day to remember for the young Ravel Morrison, the 20 year old former Manchester United player produced a strong performance and was rewarded with a great goal. Finally it looks as if the talented young man is getting his career in order and after a good show in the England Under-21 squad last week, it seems that the West Ham player is ready to move up to the next level and prove to everyone that he has what it takes to be one of the best.

Spurs had a frustrating time in front of goal, as usual. Villas-Boas’ team has only managed to score six times this season, and the point was underlined when looking at Defoe’s chances and near misses. Defoe is usually one of the best strikers in front of goal and for the first time this season he started a game, one would have thought it was just a matter of time when he was on the scoresheet. But, unfortunately, it was not to be.

West Ham manager, Sam Allardyce will hope the club can build on their first away win in nine league games which places them 13th in the table. There have been many examples where one epic win has inspired teams on winning runs that set them for the entire season, here’s hoping this is one of them!

 

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Real Madrid Mesut Ozil signs for Arsenal

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Arsene Wenger and Arsenal have agreed terms with Real Madrid for the German midfielder Mesut Ozil, a deal worth a club record breaking £42.4m! It is by far the biggest deal The Gunners have ever done, as the London club’s highest spend so far was a measly £15m in 2009 for Andrey Arshavin. It finally proves to supporters of the club that Wenger and the Board are serious in their quest of trophies and titles. Anyone betting online with bet365 will be pleased to see Arsenal 5/6 To Finish In The Top 4, and there is another market on how many goals Ozil will be scoring for his first season in the English Premier League.

The signing has got to be one of the best this summer, as Ozil was one of Real Madrid’s key players whose creativity and passing ability will be sorely missed, especially by the great Cristian Ronaldo. The Portuguese striker, along with several other Real Madrid players like Sergio Ramos made their feelings known on how shocked and disappointed they were to learn of the German midfielder being sold. Ronaldo has a genuine right to be upset, as Ozil set up in excess of 20 goals for him, and in fact the couple have worked together to produce more goals than any other strike duo since 2000 in La Liga.

Arsenal and Wenger have tried to bring other high profile players to the club, most notably Luis Suarez and Higuain, but were unsuccessful. But Wenger would have gone a long way in proving that he is not content with fourth place in the Premier League and is ready to take on the big teams like Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. Ozil is proven class and quality, the German player should be a perfect fit to a squad that is all about passing and creative football.

The Premier League is even more competitive that it ever was, with the stakes ever increasing. I hope that Ozil is just the start of the type of proven and talented players that Wenger will employ to bring the North London back to it’s glory days!

 

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Crystal Palace get their first Premier League win

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Crystal Palace got their first English Premier League win of the season against Sunderland who is now second from bottom with only one point from three games. Ian Holloway’s Palace were at home, in a ‘must win’ game after losing their first two Premier League games and they most certainly looked like a team determined to please their home supporters and instil hope that they can survive in the English Premier League. Online sports betting operator Bet365 have Palace odds on favourites to be relegated, priced at 4/11, but fans will be hoping that the bookmaker has got it wrong.

Crystal Palace went into an early lead in the ninth minute with a goal from Danny Gabbidon. But the visitors came back to the level the game after the half time break in the 64th minute  with a header from Steven Fletcher. Palace went back into the lead with a penalty by Dwight Gayle, after he was fouled by John O’Shea  in the area. Finally, Stuart O’Keefe made sure of the three points with a another goal from the edge of the penalty box.

It was definitely a much improved performance by the newcomers to the Premier League, as they played as a team and displayed some awesome counter attacking moves, that will surely bring goals this season. The early goal settled the home team and even when Sunderland equalised, Palace came back quickly and settled their nerves once again. Ian Holloway would have been very satisfied with his team’s performance and will be looking for more of the same when they go to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in their next Premier League fixture.

The win sees the team shoot up to 14th in the table and will give Ian Holloway and his team some ‘breathing space’ especially with Manchester United coming up. CrystalPalace will have to show that same work rate, excellent passing and counter attacking that we saw today, and build on that to ensure they put up a good show at Old Trafford. Bet365 have Manchester United 1/6 to win at home, with Crystal Palace 12/1 to provide an upset!

 

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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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Manchester United all wrong about Rooney

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The saga continues between Wayne Rooney and Manchester United, with the striker now ‘angry and confused’ with Moyes latest comments and Chelsea coming in with a bid for the player which has been rejected. It all started last season as Sir Alex Ferguson started to favour Welbeck and Robin van Persie as his strikers of choice. Understandably, the English International was not happy and verbally requested a transfer at the end of 2012/13 season. Things seemed to be calming down during the summer, as David Moyes insisted Wayne was part of his plans going forward and reports of the striker looking fitter than ever.

This is all changed with recent comments by Moyes where he confirmed Robin van Persie as his main striker, and Wayne would be kept on as a replacement for the Dutchman, if he got injured. This was not the best thing to say, as I am betting anyone would infer that Wayne would never be able to fight for his place, as the decision had already been made on the choice of striker, and that the English striker would be on the bench waiting for van Persie to be injured to get a run. I have to admit that if I was Rooney, I would be re-thinking my future at a club who just wanted me as a substitute, after nine years of playing regular Premier League and International football, and still in the prime of my career.

Is it no wonder that there is interest from Jose Mourinho, with him stating that Rooney is a player that he admires and obviously it would not be good for one of the best English strikers to be sitting on a bench for the best part of a season. I can understand Manchester United’s view, that they would like to continue with van Persie and keep Rooney as a back up, especially with Robin’s past experiences with injuries that kept him out of the game for long spells at Arsenal.

However, it just does not seem right that a player with the potential, experience, goal scoring record, work rate and calibre of Wayne Rooney to be ‘warming the bench’. It is not good for the player, the England team, Manchester United fans and the English Premier League, that one of the best and most exciting players in the world is sat on a bench in the hope of someone getting injured. Can I blame the striker for wanting out, not really.

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Liverpool Brendan Rodgers wants Luis Suarez to stay

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Luis Suarez has expressed his desire to leave Liverpool and be involved in Champions League football, according to his agent Pere Guardiola. Pere met with Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers and managing director Ian Ayre, where it was made clear that the 26 year old Uruguayan striker wanted to leave the club to play Champions League football. There has been clubs interested in the striker, and although online betting will be seeing a lot of money for Luis not to be at Liverpool at the start of the English Premier League season, the saving grace is that there has been no formal transfer request submitted by the player.

Brendan and the Liverpool board are hoping that the striker will remain at the club and see out his remaining three years on his contract. The club has been busy in the transfer market during the summer with four signings, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Simon Mignolet and Kolo Toure. One would suspect these signings would help assure Suarez that Liverpool are serious about finishing in the top four next season, but it may not just be about his burning ambition to win medals and play Champions League football.

We have all witnessed Suarez in action with regards to his behaviour on the pitch. First it was his tenancy to dive, then racial slurs between him and Manchester United’s Patrice Evra which left the Luis witha hefty ban, finally to add to his record he then bit into Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic which resulted in yet another lengthy ban for the Uruguayan. Surprisingly, Luis has suffered from a lot of criticism from the press and football world and so I believe this would weigh heavily in his decision to leave the club and start afresh somewhere else, preferably outside of English football.

Personally, Liverpool and their fans may feel the need to keep this player, as there is no doubt of his talent and goal scoring prowess. But it maybe that leaving the club is the best thing for the striker, in light of everything that has gone on during his stay at Liverpool. Currently, Bet365 have Liverpool at joint fifth priced 2/1 to Finish in the Top 4, but I would fancy Tottenham chances more than Brendan Rodgers squad.

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David Moyes to meet with Wayne Rooney

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Manchester United fans and the football world will be keenly waiting for the outcome of the meeting between David Moyes and Wayne Rooney over the striker’s future with the Red Devils. Manchester United and ex manager Sir Alex Ferguson have been adamant that the English striker is not going anywhere. But ever since Rooney’s fall from grace with Sir Alex which saw the young man being left out of the Champions League game against Real Madrid, there has been a growing dissatisfaction from the 27 year old which led to him verbally submitting a transfer request in the few days left of the last season. During the summer, online betting operators have not been able to get a solid feeling on how this episode is going to end, but hopefully by end of play tomorrow we should all have a clearer picture.

For me there is no certainty that one of Manchester United’s best players and strikers will stay at Old Trafford. There are a couple hurdles which need to overcome at the very start, one is the relationship between the two men. Although all seems good at the surface, it is only normal for Wayne not to fancy being under Moyes, especially after the player left Everton and mentioned Moyes in his book which the manger then sued and won a undisclosed sum of cash. In addition, the player would need to trust that his manager will always try his best to keep him in the first eleven, something that David Moyes may not want to ‘guarantee’.

Also, in spite of the fact that Manchester United have always stated that the player will not be sold, now is the right time if the striker wants to leave in order to get value on his exit. There was some doubt as to whether top clubs in Europe or the English Premier League would want to pay a huge fee plus take on the player’s heavy wage bill, but this has been laid to rest with interest from Paris St-Germain, Chelsea and Arsenal. And there is no doubt these clubs will guarantee the English striker first team football.

It will be such a shame for the striker to leave Old Trafford, but it also such a shame that Alex Ferguson did not show faith in his ability to make the difference in key games especially in the Champions League.

 

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Sneijder betting on a January move

The sniper, better known as Wesley Sneijder has fallen out of favour with his club Inter Milan. The player was acquired by the club on a five year contract, worth €6 million per season with a yearly bonus of €1 million. But a series of injuries and a resulting lack of form he has failed to play a game since the 25th September 2012. The player has also suffered indirectly from UEFA’s rulings on financial fair play, which means that clubs need to cut extravagant wage bills in order make sure of their eligibility to participate in the Champions League.

This resulted in Inter Milan offering to revise the terms of the player’s contract which would mean Wesley needed to accept a substantial wage cut and slashing his annual bonus to €500,000. The midfielder refusal to accept these revised terms resulted in him sitting on the bench and it has been confirmed that the club will not be using the player until this issue has been resolved.

Normally, this would not be a problem, as the 28 year old is in the prime of his career, winning the treble with Inter Milan in 2010 and being named the second best player in the World Cup 2010. His talent has never been in doubt, with his adept passing skills and impressive goal scoring record, however, the major stumbling block will be his huge wage bill and Inter Milan’s €12 million transfer fee demands. Who would have ever thought this would happen to a player of his standing and form, as any Inter Milan fan would have been betting all their cash and even free betting bonuses that he would have been winning more trophies for the club and Jose Mourinho.

However, it would seem the January 2013 transfer window will ensure the Dutchman can make a move and get his football career back on track. Although Inter are being difficult, as a business the club cannot carry on paying Wesley’s wages just to have the midfielder sitting on the bench. Furthermore, the club is at risk of seeing the player walk on a free transfer at the end of the season, as per FIFA’s rules which state an established player has the right to end their contract if he does not play at least 10% of games in any one season.

It is no secret that Wesley does fancy coming to the English Premier League. Manchester United (as well as other clubs in the EPL) have always been interested in the player. In fact, one of the best recommendations came from Cantona who was quoted as saying that Sneijder reminded him of himself. Alex Ferguson has confirmed that he is not actively looking to acquire any players during the transfer window, but even him must be tempted to make a play for the talented footballer!

 

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All sports betting leads to the Manchester Derby

On Sunday we will witness another Manchester derby. This game will probably be one of the most significant encounters of the English  Premier League season. There are a few reason for this view, both clubs are top fo the table with Manchester United top, with City in close second. There is also the fact that Manchester City has now settled into being a top club and (apart from the Champions League) have started to handle the pressure of being at the top. This means the derby should be a worthwhile match between the two clubs, and if the last two encounters is anything to go by, it will be very eventual. Sports betting punters will be counting the minutes to the game, as it will prove not only a great time to place bets before the game, but in-play betting will be a crucial time to make soem extra cash!

It must be noted that both teams have their problems and have not been playing to their full potential. Manchester City failed to qualify for the knock out stages of the Champions League competition, and did so badly that the club did not even qualify for the Europa League! In the Premier League they have also been floundering and for the last few games have been struggling to score goals drawing against Everton and Chelsea. Hopefully, David Silva will be available after a hamstring injury, with James Milner and Clichy waiting to get back into the first team.

Manchester United has been struggling to keep clean sheets all throughout the season, with Sir Alex Ferguson worried about the amount of defensive errors that are occurring on a regular basis. Vidic might be able to make a surprise return, but the Red Devils will have to keep their concentration in order to take the pressure off their formidable attacking force. It is here that one maybe able to see an advantage, as where as City’s attack is finding it hard to score, Man United’s Rooney, Van Persie and others have a great strike record.

Whatever the result it is sure to be a great game, with me just hoping Manchester United’s experience stays strong in the end!

 

 

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