Thursday, November 26, 2009

London Rivals To Clash In Crunch Game - Betting Tips with Betfred

Chelsea could deal another hammer blow to their punch drunk Premier League title rivals if they win the London derby against Arsenal this weekend.
However, Theo Walcott is 'gunning' to bring the trophy to the north of the capital.

Arsenal currently sit in third place in the Premier League table, eight points behind the Blues but with a game in hand, and know a victory at the Emirates on Sunday could propel them right into a title battle.

They are well-fancied @ 6/4 to beat their rivals with Betfred and could be well-backed by many punters.

The Gunners have been hit hard with injury problems, with an ankle problem keeping top scorer Robin van Persie out for anything up to five months, while Gael Clichy and Nicklas Bendtner are also missing.

Arsene Wenger’s men were also not aided by young defender Kieran Gibbs suffering a broken metatarsal in the Champions League victory over Standard Liege, which will see him spend a lengthy time on the sidelines.

One man coming back into the team is Walcott, who made only his fourth appearance against Liege and now wants to fill Van Persie's role through the middle for Arsenal to help fire them to Premier League glory.

Walcott has predominantly been played as a winger by Wenger and said upon his return to the first team that he now feels great and his problematic knee is fine.

He is priced at football odds of 12/1 with Betfred to open the scoring at the Emirates, and could be a good bet against a Chelsea side which has struggled to deal with pacy forwards in the past.

"I would love to play up front, it was my position," said the forward.

"I played up front at Southampton but it has been quite a while. I will play anywhere for this team."

My Tip Of The Weekend:
Arsenal to win 2-1 @ 10/1 with Betfred may be a good price for a side looking to bounce back from last week’s disappointing defeat to Sunderland.

By Charlotte Cook
(Guest writer from Betfred on behalf of Beer Footy and Birds!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Festive Xmas XI Of Former England International Players

  • GK: Tim Flowers - Blackburn

  • DEF: Ledley King - Tottenham
  • DEF: Trevor Cherry - Leeds
  • DEF: Barry Venison - Newcastle
  • DEF: Terry Butcher - Ipswich

  • MID: Harry Nutall - Bolton
  • MID: Dennis Wise - Chelsea
  • MID: Alfred Priest – Sheff Utd

  • FWD: Albert Shepherd - Bolton
  • FWD: John Cock – Chelsea
  • FWD: George Holley - Sunderland

Friday, November 20, 2009

Latest Serie A News - Pato offers support to Huntelaar

It is certainly not new news when I tell you that Klass-Jan Huntelaar hasn't really had the impact at AC Milan that many had hoped he would. In fact he has already been linked with a move away from the club as early as January, but team mate Alexandre Pato has come out in support of the under fire striker, as have coach Leonardo and fellow Dutch team-mate Clarence Seedorf.

Pato, the Brazilian striker said of Huntelaar:

"I’m sure he will give much to Milan."
"I had a hard time too, when I just arrived here,”
"I found it difficult to speak Italian and off the field I could not communicate with others, I was afraid to make mistakes."
"Everyone saw that he was the best player in Holland and scored plenty of goals when he played for Ajax, has done well at Real Madrid and I am sure that even here he manages to make his contribution to Milan."

Huntelaar currently sits as fourth choice striker for Milan at the moment with Pato, Ronaldinho and Filippo Inzaghi all ahead of him. there is no doubt the Dutch international knows how to find

He has failed to hit the ground running at Milan since his arrival in August 2009, and has not scored in any of his eleven appearances for the club, and with three strikers in front of him his opportunities are looking somewhat limited.

There is no doubt the Dutch international knows how to find the back of the net.
At Ajax he scored 76 goals in just 92 appearances, prompting Real Madrid to get out the cheque book in January 2009, and pay £17m to secure his services.
He scored eight times for the 'Galaticos' in twenty appearances, before he joined Italian giants AC Milan for a fee in the region of £12m, just seven months later.
Huntelaar has also scored 14 times in 25 appearances for the Dutch national side (below).

Not helping matters are the rumours that Milan are continually being linked with a move for Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko, who if signed from the Bundesliga club would push the Dutch striker further down the pecking order.

However reports coming out of Italy say rivals Juventus are trying to hijack the deal and bring the Bosnian hitman to Turin in January. Huntelaar's fate with Milan is not yet sealed, even though most of the Italian press have already written off the striker.

However things will have to start to change quickly on the pitch for the Dutchman, or Huntelaar may soon find himself back on the transfer list, and looking for his third club in a year.

In October, Huntelaar was linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur and a possible swap deal with Roman Pavlyuchenko during the January transfer window.
The North London side were again reportedly linked with the Dutchman earlier this month, although German side Hamburg are also now thought to be in the race to sign him.

Roll on this weekend where in Serie A, AC Milan and Hunlelaar entertain Cagliari in a league fixture at the San Siro Stadium.

Written by:
Mark Ferguson, a sports editor who blogs about where to purchase inexpensive quality football shirts.
(Today he is guest writing on behalf of Beer Footy and Birds!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

All The Latest Transfer Gossip

Despite the transfer window not re-opening for another six weeks or so, plenty of clubs both at home and abroad are monitoring the progress and availability of many players, in the hope they may be able to snap up the final piece(s) of the jigsaw in their chase for honours.

Equally their are clubs who may be attempting to off-load squad players who have not fitted in or are unsettled at their current club(s), in the hope of raising some much needed cash. This may enable them to bag say a new striker, centre-half or creative midfield player that could make the difference between survival or relegation.

There are also some clubs that are injury ravaged, and they will be on the lookout for reinforcements to bolster their respective squads for the remainder of the season.

Real Madrid, Everton, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Man Utd, Hamburg, Barcelona, Arsenal, Liverpool, Benfica, Hoffenheim, AC Milan, Portsmouth, Cardiff City, Man City, Borussia Dortmund, Ipswich, Wolfsburg, Spurs, Nice, Marseille, Seville, Atletico Madrid, Newcastle, Anderlecht, Sao Paolo, Sunderland, Celtic, Birmingham, Wigan, Bolton, Middlesbrough, Swansea, Olhanense, Reading, Huddersfield are all caught up in transfer gossip as we speak.

Is your Club involved?

Here is a round up:

Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano looks set for a £30m move to Barcelona after his advisors agreed the player's personal terms with the Spanish club - Sunday Express

Liverpool are also keen on Arsenal striker Eduardo and are poised to make a £10m bid for Croatian - News of the World

Manchester United are also lining up a £15m January bid for Bayern Munich right-back Philipp Lahm - Sunday Mirror

Manchester United and Chelsea are fighting it out to sign Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell who is valued at £20m - News of the World

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez hopes to raise £15m from the sale of defender Andrea Dossena and forward Ryan Babel - and wants to splash some of the cash on Hamburg striker Eljero Elia - Sunday Mirror

Arsenal are preparing a £5m bid for Hoffenheim's Brazilian midfielder Maicosuel - News of the World

The Gunners are also keen on Cardiff City full-back Adam Matthews and are planning a £5m swoop for the 17-year-old - Sunday Express

Manchester City have agreed a £36m deal to sign Benfica midfielder Angel di Maria in January - News of the World

Manchester City are also preparing to make a £20m January bid for Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic - Sunday Mirror

Man Utd and Man City are both keen on Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko who is rated at £20m - Mail on Sunday

Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea are all battling it out to sign 16-year-old striker Connor Wickham from Ipswich in January - Mail on Sunday

Chelsea will have to match Atletico Madrid forward Sergio Aguero's huge £6.5m a year wages to land the striker - News of the World

The Blues are also leading the chase to sign Anderlecht striker Romelu Lukaku who has already attracted interest from AC Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United - News of the World

Tottenham are set to renew their interest in Sevilla winger Diego Capel - News of the World

Birmingham are lining up a £7m bid for Celtic winger Aiden McGeady - News of the World

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is set to raid his old club Swansea City for £2m-rated defender Ashley Williams - News of the World

Portsmouth have set their sights on a January double swoop for Nice striker Loic Remy and Marseille winger Hatem Ben Arfa - News of the World

Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson has been told he cannot leave the club in January despite interest from Sunderland, Spurs, Chelsea and Everton - News of the World

Former England striker Darius Vassell who currently plays for Turkish side Ankaragucu is hoping to secure a January switch to Bolton - News of the World

Sunderland will go after Newcastle left-back Jose Enrique if they fail to sign Wigan defender Maynor Figueroa in January - Sunday Express

Real Madrid's Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart dismisses talk of a return to German club Hamburg and vows to stay at the Bernabeu - Bild magazine

AC Milan striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar has been linked with a January move to several Premier League clubs but the Dutch international says he wants to stay with the Serie A outfit - Press Association

Chelsea are lining up a bid to sign Brazil Under-15 skipper Lucas Piazon, who is seen as the new Kaka, from Sao Paolo - Daily Mirror

Egypt striker Amr Zaki, who spent last season on loan at Wigan, is wanted by Portsmouth and could join the Premier League club in January - Daily Mirror

Newcastle are monitoring the form of versatile Portugal winger Ukra, who currently plays for Olhanense and was in action against England Under-21s on Saturday - Daily Mail

Championship strugglers Reading want to sign Huddersfield striker Jordan Rhodes and are prepared to pay £600,000 for the player, who joined the Terriers for half that amount from Ipswich in the summer.
Full story: Daily Mirror

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hughes Looking To Robinho To Return To The Fight - Along With All The Latest Betfred Odds.

Although Robinho has been courting Barcelona’s advances like a bloke eyeing up a girl across a seedy dance-floor, Mark Hughes is optimistic the Brazilian could soon be back to help inspire Manchester City’s Premier League title bid.

The Brazilian forward has not played for City since September, after he injured his ankle while away on international duty with Brazil.

While out of action he has been heavily linked with a move back to La Liga and stories have done the rounds in the media that his representatives are to meet with officials from Barcelona, something which both his manager and City chief executive Garry Cook have been quick to dismiss.

Hughes has come out and declared Robinho could return to the City fold for the crunch Premier League tie with title-chasing rivals Liverpool on the 21st November.

Despite being unfit to play, the Brazilian is in Qatar with his international teammates ahead of his country’s match with England in Doha on Saturday, with his presence in the Middle East one of the key factors behind the continued speculation over his future.

Hughes claims he "would not close the door" on the prospect of Robinho featuring in the Liverpool game, as City look to upset the football odds and end a run of five consecutive draws in the league.

"It would be a big ask, but we will see how he goes next week," said the Welshman.

One player who will not be coming to Manchester from Barcelona is Yaya Toure, brother of City captain Kolo.

The Ivory Coast international’s agent claimed that bigger clubs are interested in Toure and the player is considering his future at the Nou Camp, something which is believed to have alerted City’s Premier League title rivals Chelsea and Manchester United.

By Charlotte Cook
(Guest writer from Betfred on behalf of Beer Footy and Birds!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Tribute To Footballers Who Tragically Died Too Young!

While the rest of the footy world argue over the latest diving/cheating scandal, or debate the latest managerial sacking, that of Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson, as the clubs worry about the debts they owe as they try to avoid going into administration, and bookies price up who will last longest, Red's boss Rafa or X-Factor duo Jedward, I am going to discuss a topic most people try to avoid whenever possible, and that is the subject of 'death.'

The death that is of young footballers whose careers were either only just beginning, or in the case of others whose careers were cut off in their prime, when their lives tragically ended. Dying as a result of a playing injury is mercifully rare. The most famous example was Celtic goalkeeper John Thompson, who in 1931 sustained serious head injuries diving at the feet of Rangers' Sam English. He died hours later in hospital, aged 22.

However there has been an upsurge over the years of in players losing their lives through what in the medical world is called 'Sudden Death Syndrome' or 'Sudden Cardiac Death' but to many of us is better known simply as 'heart failure.'

How is the average supporter, who likes a pie and a pint, who never warms up or down before or after his weekly five-a-side game, begin to comprehend such incidents. They must struggle to understand why such tragic events occur!

These mega-rich footballers after all, are fit guys, professional athletes. "It's nothing to do with fitness," according to Dr Craig Panther, of Pure Sports Medicine who has worked with Fulham FC. "There will be some underlying heart problem, something they were born with, have developed, or are suffering as a consequence of a viral illness. It can happen at all levels, we just hear about the professionals."

The risk needs to be kept in perspective. Dr Brian Aarons, formerly Wimbledon's club doctor, who now works with the FA's disability teams, said: "We are not talking about conventional heart attacks – smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. These are rare conditions, a number of different ones, but all of them very rare.
The death that is of young footballers whose careers were either only just beginning or for of some whose careers were cut off in their prime, when their lives tragically ended.

One particular high profile player to lose his life from SDS was Marc-Vivien Foé, 28.
On 26 June 2003, Foé collapsed near the centre circle playing in the Confederations Cup semi-final for Cameroon against Columbia. The death was said to be caused by an enlarged right ventricle. He played for Lens and Lyons and had Premier League spells with West Ham United and Manchester City. Foé scored the last City goal at Maine Road. City retired the No 23 shirt he wore in 2002-03.

The following players also were victims of SDS:

Antonio Puerta, aged 22. The Seville player collapsed 35 minutes into Seville's match with Getafe in 2007. He died of multiple organ failure brought on by a series of prolonged cardiac arrests. Puerta, Seville born-and-bred, left a wife who was seven months pregnant at the time.

Robbie James, 40. The former Swansea City, Stoke City and QPR star died on the pitch playing for Llanelli AFC, where he was player-manager, in 1998. James won 47 caps for Wales.

Phil O’Donnell, 35. The Motherwell midfielder died after collapsing during a match against Dundee United in the Scottish League in 2007. An autopsy revealed he had died of heart failure.

David Longhurst, 25. A striker who began his career in the Nottingham Forest youth team, Longhurst suffered a heart attack playing for York City in 1990. York later named one of the stands at Bootham Crescent after him.

Anton Reid, 16. On 20 August 2007, Anton Reid passed away during training with his club Walsall on their Aston training pitch. He was in his first year with the youth team.

Other football players to have died indirectly at the hands of the 'The Beautiful Game' include:

John White, 27. In 1964 the Spurs star died after being hit by lightning while sheltering under a tree during a round of golf.

Laurie Cunningham, 33. The the first black player to represent England in a competitive match, died in 1989 in a car crash in Madrid. The 33-year-old was in Spain playing for Rayo Vallecano.

Andres Escobar, 27. In 1994 after returning from the World Cup, the Colombian defender was shot dead. His shooting was rumoured to have been ordered by a betting syndicate after Escobar’s own goal led to Colombia’s unexpected first-round exit.

David Rocastle, 33. In February 2001, the former Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea player announced that he was suffering from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer which attacks the immune system. He underwent a course of chemotherapy for the illness and was hopeful of a recovery. But he died in the early hours of 31 March 2001, leaving a wife and four children. Arsenal opened up a new youth team indoor training facility named after him, as a tribute to his contributions to the club.

Aaron Flahavan, 25. In 2001 the Portsmouth keeper died in a car accident near Bournemouth. An inquest heard that Flahavan died as a result of a fractured skull, and his blood alcohol level was nearly three times over the legal limit when he lost control of his BMW sports car. His brother Darryl plays for Crystal Palace.

The hearts of young footballers are screened when they come into the game under a joint initiative by the Football Association and the Professional Footballers' Association, which dates back to 1997. Premier League regulations, and common sense, dictate that clubs continue to monitor players' health. But an ECG screening will not pick up every abnormality.

Antonio Puerta
Laurie Cunningham
David Rocastle
Marc-Vivien Foe

May all those players mentioned in this article R.I.P.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

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Sunday, November 01, 2009