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Zlatan Ibrahimovic at his best

I am used to see great goals from this man and he has not disappointed me tonight as well. He scored two goals against Leverkusen and his second goal was a real beauty.

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World Cup Group D Preview

With the World Cup fast approaching it’s time to look at the groups and Group D could hold one or two of the sides who can go a long way in Brazil. Uruguay, Costa Rica, England and Italy comprise a testing group that will see one of the bigger sides drop out at the group stage.

Uruguay

Uruguay

Despite being two-time winners, Uruguay don’t often pop up on lists of genuine World Cup challengers but that is something that could change this year. With the likes of Diego Forlan, Martin Caceres, Fernando Muslera and Luis Suarez making up the nucleus of the side the future looks bright this summer.

Add to the mix Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani and starlets Gaston Ramirez and Abel Hernandez and it becomes clear that Uruguay have a side able to challenge the best.

At 28-1 with Coral, the Copa America champions could be one of the surprise packages of the 2014 World Cup.

England

Hope springs eternal. That much is true when it comes to England and the World Cup.

It has been 48 years since Bobby Moore hoisted the Jules Rimet trophy aloft at the Old Wembley, yet every four years since England has dared to believe that “this could be the year the drought ends”.

bobby_moore_england

Unfortunately for England it hasn’t quite clicked since 1966, with 1990’s semi-final appearance their best showing since.

However, boss Roy Hodgson does have a now tight-knit group featuring the credible class of Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard alongside the youthful exuberance of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Daniel Sturridge.

It is not inconceivable for the 28-1 shots to surprise a few people this summer.

Italy

Italy often perform best at a World Cup when the world is against them. In 1982 it was a betting scandal, in 2006 it was a match-fixing scandal.

Fortunately or unfortunately, there is little scandal surrounding this Italian team at the moment, but even more worringly there isn’t a lot of world class either.

As usual the Italian defence will prove a difficult obstacle to pass – the experience of Giorgio Chiellini and Gianluigi Buffon will see to that – but it’s getting goals that will cause Cesare Prandelli’s team most problems

Mario Balotelli, if chosen, is hit and miss on the big stage, but if he does fire in Brazil then Italy might have half a chance of out-performing their big odds of 25-1.

Costa Rica

The 1000-1 priced odds that Coral have given Costa Rica pretty much tells the story of what is expected in June.

Costa_Rica

With PSV Eindhoven’s Bryan Ruiz and Arsenal starlet Joel Campbell leading the line, Costa Rica may prove difficult to contain in an attacking sense.

However, it will be an almighty shock if the CONCACAF side are able to match their previous best result of reaching the last 16 when they have been placed in such a tough group.

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Why you should not fake an injury

Ajaccio’s striker Gadji Tallo thought that it was a great idea to fake an injury until the coach felt compelled to sub him. His reaction was priceless 🙂

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New Maradona?

Otoniel Salinas isn´t a well-known name for most football supporters but this goal will be remembered by many…

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A Defence of Arsene Wenger

For those of you who didn’t see the bust up at Arsenal’s recent FA Cup win against Brighton, it may come as a surprise to hear that all is not well at Arsenal Football Club. There has been a rift growing amongst arsenal fans about their manager with many feeling it is time for him to be shown the door.

Arsene Wenger has been one of the most successful managers in Arsenal’s history but lately many Arsenal Fans are itching for change. They say he has not spent any money, not won enough trophy’s and is tactically inept. While there are still a vast number of Wenger supporters out there the “Wenger out” movement is growing.

For the most part the movement is comprised of younger fans who can’t remember a time when Arsenal weren’t top of the pile in the premiership; there is even talk that Arsenal should revert to George Graham style football.

The biggest bone of contention has been the failure to hang on to players over successive January transfer windows. Usually mentioned are Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and of course Robin Van Persie. So let’s talk about each of these in turn.

Arsene Wenger

Let’s start with Nasri as it is definitely the most ridiculous: Samir had 4 good months for Arsenal, after he got left of the French squad he went and trained hard and started to score goals. That lasted until January when he started to wane. That summer Manchester City offered £25 million for him, an absolute steal Arsene bit their hand off. Anyone who thinks he was wrong to do so has no understanding of football whatsoever. If City could offload Nasri for half of it today they would, he is an also ran barely getting in the City team.

Alex Song is my favourite piece of Wenger business of all time. He is an average midfielder, not bad, not great but Wenger managed to convince Song he was so good he could play for Barcelona. Then he managed to convince Barcelona that they wanted him, simply hilarious. Song was never that good, until his last year most arsenal fans would have been delighted to see him go but once he’s sold; It’s another stick to beat Wenger with.

Fabregas, the one that got away, Wenger loved him, Arsenal Fans loved him, He loved Arsenal Fans… well not really then did he? Nope he loved money and Sunshine; can’t blame him for wanting to go home but can also hardly blame Wenger.

RVP- well what can you say about Robin? He wanted to go to a title winning team and he has. Wenger nurtured Robin through all the injuries, the Rape accusations and several on and off field behaviour problems. In return Robin refused to sign a contract and put Wenger in an awkward position. So what could he do? Start a bidding war between the two big boys in Manchester, and that he did. By no means a win but £24m for an injury prone 30 year old can hardly be seen as a loss either.

Wenger is by no means perfect but he is one of the best managers in Europe and should the so called “Fans” who are calling for his head succeed he will be snapped up by one of Europes elite in days. The feeding frenzy for Guardiola’s signature will look like a sideshow if Wenger is allowed to become a free agent.

People who know football know that the man who managed to stay in Europe while the club built Ashburton Grove and took Arsenal from a club the size of Everton or Tottenham to the European elite deserves respect.

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Why you should try football betting

If you have never bet on a football match, then you really should have a go at it. There are many great reasons why it is a good thing to do and some of them are explained below.

Winnings

If you win then you get some money. This is a great feeling as anyone who has won anything will know. Winning cash can be the ultimate in prizes as well because it means that you can use it to buy anything that you wish. Sometimes the winnings can be really big as well, it all depends on the odds that you bet at.

Excitement

When you bet on a football match it can be really exciting. It can give you a great feeling, wondering whether you are going to have a win or not. Watching the match when you know that you have  a bet placed in it, can be extremely exciting. You feel even better if you do win as there is that great thrill, not just of having a prize but just of having picked a winning bet.

football betting

Match Involvement

When you have money riding on a match you get very much more involved. You really want to see the team that you bet on win and so you will be cheering them on and hoping that they do well. It can make the match very much more entertaining and exciting for you.

Even if you already enjoy watching football, you will find that betting on a match can make it even more enjoyable. It can certainly get the adrenalin pumping and get you really involved in watching the match. You will get a great buzz if you win the bet and you will get some money as well.

If you are a beginner to betting it can be worth looking at some tips on football betting for beginners so that you can get an idea of what to do. You will need to pick the right place to gamble through, whether you choose a high street store or an online company. It will need to be one that you trust and that you can easily find out how to use so that you can place your bet with confidence. Once you have done it once, it will be easy.

So why not have a go at placing a bet and find out for yourself how exciting it can be.

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Some betting advice running up to the World Cup

Some countries have already qualified for the World Cup 2014 competition to be held in Brazil. These include Russia, Honduras, England, Spain and Bosnia but there are still some spots not filled yet.

There will be 32 teams in the World Cup, and the draw for the Group stages will happen on 6 December in Bahia. Until that day, it’s difficult to consider precise odds of which country is tipped to win the competition but there are definitely tips and tricks that will stand you in good stead if you do intend to bet on the tournament.

Fifa World Cup 2014

Bookies are already getting their tips together and, as for when it comes to betting on any major sporting event, the key is in the research. Betfair odds checker, for example, would help you work out the odds as teams qualify and as the draw for the Group stages draws nearer.

When the groups are selected, odds will change again as it becomes much easier to analyse the groupings.

Different bets to consider

The World Cup will be the biggest sporting event in 2014 and, as such, millions of people worldwide will be placing bets. As well as betting on the outright winner, there are other categories for you to look at, which may end up giving you a more realistic chance of winning.

Brazil are the favourites at the moment, and if they do win, it will be their sixth World Cup win. Argentina, Spain and Germany are also teams touted to be up there with a big chance.

Top scorer for the World Cup is also a very popular category to place bets on. You have to work out who you think will be the top striker and therefore who will win the coveted Golden Boot. As goals are racked up, the odds will change game by game, so it’s a really exciting way to follow the tournament.

For the 2010 World Cup, the top striker was Thomas Muller who plays for Germany.

Thomas Muller

Top European team

You could also look at the top European team. There are 13 European teams in the World Cup finals in Brazil and you will be able to see who the top placed European team will be just after the draw on December 6th.

West Ham’s Joe Cole believes that England can win. He is a player with 56 England caps and, although it looks like he won’t make it into the team due to injury, he couldn’t be more excited about the team. He has a lot of World Cup experience so maybe he has a point, but we’re not sure it would be the most sensible option to take a big punt on England to win the tournament!