Friday, April 29, 2016

George's Premiership Predictions April 30 2016

bet365
Leicester City are just a win away from lifting their first ever Premier League title and they could do it in style when they visit Manchester United on Sunday.

Tottenham's home draw with WBA on Monday night after the Tigers had thrashed Swansea at the weekend means that Leicester are now in poll position.

United are hardly easy prey as they are still in the chase for a top four finish as they strive to overtake Manchester City or Arsenal to confirm Champions League football next season.

Liverpool face Southampton away in an intriguing fixture while at the bottom there are crunch games for Newcastle at home to FA Cup finalists Crystal Palace (surely a home win with the Eagles' eyes on Wembley) and Sunderland at Stoke. Norwich play Arsenal away and will be hoping that some of the home support's disillusion with Arsene Wenger's management affects the home team - a factor Wenger says has cost his time the title.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Everton 2 v Bournemouth 1
Newcastle 2 v Crystal Palace 0
Stoke 1 v Sunderland 2
Watford 2 v Aston Villa 0
West Brom 1 v West Ham 0
Arsenal 2 v Norwich 0

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Swansea 0 v Liverpool 1
Man Utd 2 v Leicester 0
Southampton 1 v Man City 1

Monday, 2 May 2016

Chelsea 2 v Tottenham 2

Arsenal 1/4 Not To Win Premier League Until At Least 2020

Arsenal fans may vent their frustration at the weekend as another year goes by without a Premier League challenge, worsened season by the prospect of Spurs finishing above them for the first time since 1995.

It doesn’t look like getting any better any time soon for Gunners fans with bet365 quoting 1/4 about them not winning the league until at least 2020.

Arsene Wenger’s side are 1/14 for their usual Top 4 finish and 11/4 to finish the latest round of fixtures as the highest scorers in the Premier League.

When Will Arsenal Next Win The Premier League

2016/17 6/1 2017/8 10/1 2018/19 14/1
No Title In This Time 1/4

2015/16 Premier League – Top 4

Arsenal 1/14 Man City 1/6
Man Utd 10/3 West Ham 33/1

Weekend Premier League Totals 30th April – 2nd May

Highest Scoring Team E/W ¼ 1,2,3

Arsenal 11/4 Watford 9/1
Everton 10/1 West Ham 12/1
Newcastle 12/1 Liverpool 14/1
Man Utd 14/1 Tottenham 14/1
Man City 16/1 Chelsea 20/1
Southampton 20/1 Sunderland 25/1
Swansea 25/1 Stoke 25/1
Leicester 33/1 Bournemouth 40/1
Crystal Palace 50/1 West Brom 50/1
Aston Villa 66/1 Norwich 80/1

Soccer - Mahrez refuses to get carried away

‎Riyad Mahrez has revealed that the Leicester City players did not think they had any chance of winning this season's Premier League title until January. The 25-year-old Algeria international has scored 17 Premier League goals this season, including the opener in last weekend's 4-0 victory against Swansea City. Leicester are seven points ahead of second-placed Tottenham and can clinch the title at Manchester United on Sunday. Mahrez said: "We do not have the best players, nor the biggest budget, but we have great solidarity. We have had a bit of luck too. It was this year or never. "Until January, we did not think of the title. It has become possible, but we will not let it go to our heads." Leicester can be backed at 10/1 with bet365 to win 1-0 at Old Trafford, while Mahrez is 3/1 to score at any time in the match.

Soccer - Fabregas knows Chelsea must do better

‎Cesc Fabregas thinks Antonio Conte can revive Chelsea and help them challenge for the Premier League title next season. The Blues, who parted company with Jose Mourinho midway through the season, are currently ninth in the table with four games left to play and will almost certainly not be playing in Europe next term. It was announced earlier this month that the current Italy and former Juventus manager Conte will take charge of the Blues after this summer's Euro 2016 tournament. "We must come back stronger. I hope that we can compete for the title in England next year," said former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder Fabregas. "Antonio Conte has proven that he can work successfully, especially at Juventus, where he had a strong time." Chelsea are available at 14/1 with bet365 to beat Tottenham 2-0 on Monday and are 5/1 to win the 2016/17 Premier League title outright.

Soccer - Klopp insists all is not lost

‎Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is adamant that his Liverpool side can still reach the Europa League final despite Villarreal's late winner in Thursday's semi-final first leg. Yellow Submarine substitute Adrian Lopez scored a 92nd-minute winner as the home side triumphed 1-0 but Klopp is convinced that the Reds will be playing in the final in Basel on 18th May. The former Borussia Dortmund coach said afterwards: "My first thought as everyone around me was celebrating was: 'Sorry, but it is not over, you have to come to Anfield too and we will be ready'. "We have to score at home but I am expecting a completely different game. I am looking forward to Anfield." Liverpool are available at 6/1 with bet365 to triumph 2-0 in next week's second leg and at 13/5 to win the Europa League final outright.

Last time's predictions

Saturday, April 16, 2016

George's Premiership Predictions April 16 2016

bet365
Leicester City and Tottenham are the only two teams left with a realistic chance of winning the 2015-2016 Premier Peague title.

Leicester duly beat Sunderland 0-2 away last weekend, while Tottenham overcame Manchester United 3-0 thanks to a three goal blitz midway through the second half.

Arsenal, in third, could only manage a 3-3 draw with West Ham in a thrilling London derby.

Manchester City in fourth beat West Brom at the Etihad in a game where their visitors had chances to come away with a point.

This week Leicester take on West Ham at home, while Spurs have a tricky game away at Stoke. Manchester City play Chelsea away with Arsenal in another London derby with Crystal Palace.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Norwich 1 v Sunderland 2
Everton 2 v Southampton 1
Man Utd 2 v Aston Villa 1
Newcastle 1 v Swansea 2
West Brom 2 v Watford 0
Chelsea 1 v Man City 0

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Bournemouth 1 v Liverpool 2
Leicester 1 v West Ham 2
Arsenal 2 v Crystal Palace 0

Monday, 18 April 2016

Stoke 1 v Tottenham 0

George's Premiership Predictions April 16 2016.
FA Cup

The FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley promise to deliver some fantastic action as Man Utd face Everton and Crystal Palace meet Watford. As always bet365 will be offering an extensive range of pre-match and In-Play markets. With their Bore Draw Money Back offer even a goalless draw is never the worst result - if you place a pre-match bet on any Correct Score, Half-Time/Full-Time or Scorecast markets for any Soccer match and if the game finishes 0-0, bet365 will refund your stake if the bet loses.

This offer will not apply where a stake has been fully Cashed Out. Where a stake has been partially Cashed Out, and the match finishes 0-0, only the remaining active stake will be refunded.

Euro 2016 Punters All Over Carroll Unlike Rash

Weekend hat-trick hero Andy Carroll is now 10/1 from 33/1 to make the England Euro 2016 squad this summer with Marcus Rashford’s price going the other way after being hooked at half time against Spurs.

bet365’s Steve Freeth “Carroll was available at 33/1 before the Arsenal game, 14/1 at half time after his quick fire brace and that was soon 10/1 when he completed his hat-trick in the 52nd minute with Rashford now out to 20/1.

"A fit and firing Carroll may give Hodgson a 'Plan B' option, but fitness concerns may be against him."

Betting Editorial Soccer - City paired with Real Madrid

‎Manchester City will play one of Manuel Pellegrini's former sides, Real Madrid, in the semi-finals of the Champions League after edging past Paris St-Germain. The 62-year-old Chilean was in charge of Real in the 2009/10 campaign when they finished second in La Liga behind Barcelona. City are in the semi-finals of the competition for the first time in their history after securing a 3-2 aggregate victory against PSG. In the other semi-final Atletico Madrid will play Bayern Munich. Atletico caused a shock in the quarter-finals by beating the defending champions Barcelona, while Bayern Munich clinched a 3-2 aggregate success against Benfica after coming from behind to beat Juventus in the last-16. Manchester City are 15/2 with bet365 to win the Champions League this season, while Real Madrid can be backed at 15/8.

Soccer - Schweinsteiger set to miss United's run-in

‎Bastian Schweinsteiger is unlikely to play for Manchester United again this season, according to Louis van Gaal. The 31-year-old former Bayern Munich midfielder has not played for United since last month's victory in the Manchester derby. He sustained a knee injury while training with Germany before their recent friendly defeat to England. Van Gaal said: "I don't think Schweinsteiger will play for us again this season. Maybe he will be able to play in the European Championship, but I cannot predict. "It is possible, but then that is also in our favour because then he is fit for the new season." United's next Premier League game is against rock-bottom Aston Villa. Van Gaal's side are 10/1 with bet365 to beat Villa 4-0 on Saturday and are currently available at 7/2 to finish in the top four this season.

Soccer - Liverpool drawn against Villarreal

‎Liverpool will play Villarreal in the semi-finals of the Europa League after knocking Borussia Dortmund out of the competition. Jurgen Klopp's side appeared to be heading out of the Europa League when, having drawn the first leg in Germany 1-1, they trailed 3-1 in the second leg at Anfield. However, three goals in the last 30 minutes by Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren helped Liverpool clinch a dramatic victory. Meanwhile, the Yellow Submarine clinched an impressive 6-3 aggregate win against Sparta Prague in the quarter-finals having beaten Napoli and Bayer Leverkusen in the previous two rounds. The other semi-final sees Shakhtar Donetsk paired with Sevilla. Liverpool are 13/8 with bet365 to win the Europa League outright, while Sevilla can be backed at 7/4.

Last time's predictions

Saturday, April 9, 2016

George's Premiership Predictions April 9 2016

bet365
With half a dozen games to go Leicester City remain firmly in charge of the Premier League and it is increasingly looking like their title to lose.

We correctly predicted the 1-0 scoreline last time out as Leicester beat Southampton at home, this time out they travel to the north east to take on a Sunderland team fighting for their survival.

Also on Sunday, second placed Tottenham have a difficult game at home to Manchester United, who beat Everton by a single goal last Sunday at Old Trafford.

Arsenal, in third, take on sixth placed West Ham in a tight London derby. West Ham won the reverse fixture at the Emirates, so the Gunners will be hoping for revenge.

Manchester City in fourth face West Brom at the Etihad after their destruction of Bournemouth on the south coast and their good performance in the Champions League in Paris.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

West Ham 1 v Arsenal 2
Aston Villa 0 v Bournemouth 1
Crystal Palace 1 v Norwich 1
Southampton 3 v Newcastle 1
Swansea 1 v Chelsea 2
Watford 1 v Everton 2
Man City 3 v West Brom 0

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Sunderland 0 v Leicester 0
Spurs 2 v Man Utd 0
Liverpool 1 v Stoke 0

Arsenal 13/8 To Finish Second & 20/1 To Win Last Seven Games

Arsenal predictably knocked over Watford last Saturday when the pressure was off and bet365 are 20/1 about the Gunners winning their final seven matches, 10/11 they finish above Spurs and 13/8 to finish second.

The firm have also priced up Leicester City’s Premier League winning margin with seven or more points priced at 3/1.

2015/16 Arsenal Premier League Specials

Arsenal to win all of their final seven Premier League games 20/1

Arsenal Finishing Position

1st 6/1 2nd 13/8 3rd 7/4
4th 11/2 5th+ 16/1
Who Will Finish Higher
Arsenal 10/11 Spurs 4/5
2015/16 Premier League – Leicester City Winning Margin

Goal Difference 250/1 1 – 3 Points 7/2
4 – 6 Points 15/8 7+ Points 3/1
Not Win PL 5/2

Soccer - Klopp happy with Dortmund stalemate

‎Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed his delight with his players' efforts following their 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund on Thursday night. The Reds have a what could be a crucial Divock Origi away goal following quarter-final first-leg tie in Germany, before the return leg at Anfield. Klopp believes his side, who are 4/1 with bet365 to win the Europa League, proved some of their doubters wrong against his former club. "I am satisfied with a lot of parts of the game," said Klopp. "Dortmund are still a very strong team but people thought a lot about our possible performance so they are perhaps a little surprised now. "I'm pretty sure a lot of people thought we would lose 2, 3 or 4-0."

Last time's predictions

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Foxes eye the finishing line

AS LEICESTER CITY HOME IN ON THE MOST UNLIKELY OF TRIUMPHS, THEIR SIMPLE WINNING FORMULA REMAINS UNBROKEN

Leicester City won another nervy game 1-0 on Sunday, their fifth such victory in six matches, to move seven points clear in the Premier League with half a dozen games remaining.

Southampton could count themselves unlucky having caused the Foxes many problems and the Saints had two plausible penalty appeals for handball waved away.

This is truly a season to savour.

Perhaps Leicester have King Richard III's spirit on their side, after the Yorkist monarch was reburied in the city's cathedral a year ago. The Saints tried hard in the end but succumbed to this season's favourite fairytale.

So Claudio Ranieri's men must choke three times and Tottenham Hotspur win all their remaining matches for the magic spell to be broken. The start of season 5000-1 fantasy is becoming a reality.

LEICESTER'S FIXTURES       v      SPURS' FIXTURES

Sunderland (18th) AWAY         Man Utd (5th) HOME
West Ham (6th) HOME        Stoke (8th) AWAY
Swansea (15th) HOME         West Brom (11th) HOME
Man Utd (5th) AWAY           Chelsea (10th) AWAY
Everton (12th) HOME          Southampton (7th) HOME
Chelsea (10th) AWAY          Newcastle (19th) AWAY

Leicester's run-in looks slightly harder, particularly their last three games, while Spurs have a key hurdle in their away trip to a resurgent Chelsea. Who knows what will happen in this most unpredicted of seasons, but it seems the Foxes will be first to the finish, although their margin of victory will be less than seven points.

What seems remarkable is how the rest of the league has not figured out a way to defeat Ranieri's charmingly simple counter-attacking style by now.

To be fair, Leicester do have three outstanding individuals in high-speed raiders Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez and box to box motor N'Golo Kante, who collectively run so much and so fast it feels like they have more then eleven players on the field.

Pace will always be a potent weapon on the break and if you are going to move men into the opponents' half, like pieces on a chess board, as you must in order to score goals, you will always leave room behind you to be exploited on the counter by your rivals.

The key therefore is managing both attack and defence and if Leicester's aces are speedsters, sitting back en masse might well be the best way to nullify their running threat. That sounds like catenaccio, an Italian playing style Signor Ranieri knows only too well from his homeland.

As expected of counter-attackers, the league leaders do not dwell on the ball. They sit third to last in the Premier League when it comes to ball possession, with only 45.4% of the match under their control; only the struggling Sunderland and West Brom keep the ball for less time.

Spurs and Man Utd by comparison enjoy 58% of possession, Man City 59% and Barcelona wannabees Arsenal are top of the ball-keepers with 61%.

Keeping the ball seemed to be the perceived wisdom of modern football as taught by Pep Guardiola's Barcelona, Fabio Capello's Milan and Bob Paisley's Liverpool, the three outstanding European club sides who spring to mind.

But a counter-attacking game-plan executed well is clearly more than enough to top a league, as Leicester have proved.

If you are playing a team who are swift on the rebound you have to be on red alert for a possible break and ravenous when it comes to winning the ball back, closing down high up the field ('gegenpressing') to stop them gaining a numbers advantage.

That of course requires high levels of fitness and concentration but is not impossible, which makes it curious why only Arsenal (twice) have managed to defeat them.

The Gunners' 5-2 win at Leicester back in September was an unusually open game where Leicester conceded five but also looked dangerous on many occasions, hitting the woodwork as well as netting twice.

But Arsenal were just as lethal on the counter however and pierced the Foxes backline many times as well with their clever and quick passing. In Alexis Sanchez, the Gunners fielded one of the league's most skilful individuals, who was bang on form and bagged a hat-trick.

There is no great mystery about the Foxes' new-found fortune. Leicester play a compact 4-4-2 with central midfielders Danny Drinkwater and Kante providing tight cover for their back four and accelerating transitions from defence to attack.

They are a vertical as opposed to horizontal side, who get the ball forward into dangerous areas very quickly and have three or four skilful fast dribblers who create goalscoring chances.

From goalkeeper Kaspar Schmeichel's fast distribution and the back four's propensity to hit Mahrez and Vardy from deep, to the eagerness of Marc Albrighton to feed the danger men and Shinji Okazaki's hard running up front in support of Vardy, the whole side is set up to strike on the break.

They have looked somewhat vulnerable to crosses and an aerial assault at times, but their devastating counter-attack has hauled them to victory again and again.

There is of course another argument which states that Leicester are only ahead of the rest because the big teams - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and the two Manchester giants, have all stumbled and underperformed in their own ways this season. Tottenham are their only real threat for the title.

Other factors count too in the East Midlanders' soaring ascent: They finished 14th last season so started 2015-'16 with a psychologically clean slate: No pressure to succeed and a new manager to impress.

The new boss has slipped into the job remarkably smoothly having failed spectacularly in his last job in charge of Greece. Ranieri wisely retained three key coaching staff from the Nigel Pearson era and only tinkered slightly with the playing style, based on the resources available to him.

In doing so he has given the team the confidence to play an Italian-esque catenaccio & counter game which he felt was the way forward having studied videos of last season's performances.

He stresses he only played to the team's strengths in choosing their modus operandi this season and did not try to convert them to any preconceived idea.

"If I don't have fast strikers I don't play on the counterattack," he explained. "In Roma I played another way, in Monaco I played another way."

Ranieri has clearly motivated his squad in an extraordinary way so that a spirit of enjoyment and enthusiasm was running through their veins before successively positive results increased the team's self-belief.

The transformation of players like Albrighton and Robert Huth from rejects to table-topping performers looks a lot like what Brian Clough did at Nottingham Forest in 1978, the last time a wholly unfancied team took the grand prize in England.

That magic chemistry which occurs when all the stars align above a modest club is impossible to buy.

"There is a good electricity between everybody," confirmed Ranieri. "The chairman, the fans, the staff, ourselves. We stay very united."

Off-field everything has clicked too: The scouting has also been outstanding, most obviously in paying only £400,000 for Mahrez from a second division French side, while the Thai owner with the unpronounceable name has kept out of first-team affairs and against Southampton, endeared himself to supporters by buying them beer and donuts.

The 64 year-old Ranieri is using all his experience to bring the right man-management to the Foxes. He gives his players two days off per week and tries hard not to overwork them:

"They so need to be relaxed and not harassed," the Italian told Corriere dello Sport last month. They expect calm and respect in the dressing room."

He seems amazingly calm himself for someone on the brink of pulling off the biggest upset in English football in almost 40 years. But inside his head, the much-travelled Roman must be feeling the pressure to put the icing on the cake.

At the start of the campaign, Leicester were flying under the radar but come the final stretch they have lost the element of surprise, which explains their narrow and nervous victories.

Nevertheless, Ranieri is well aware his team are being willed over the line by millions of neutrals worldwide, which does place some weight on their shoulders.

"In an era when money counts for everything, I think we give hope to everybody," he said,

"A chance like this will never come around again."

What a tale will be told if they do make it to the finish in first place.

(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile

Saturday, April 2, 2016

George's Premiership Predictions April 2 2016

bet365
With seven games to go Leicester City sit atop the Premier League with the title firmly in their sights.

Leicester face Southampton at home, while second placed Tottenham have a tricky fixture away at Anfield, where they have a poor record in recent seasons.

Arsenal, in third, have not given up hope of the title, but they need a win against Watford to go with their victory, last time out at Everton, to maintain their momentum.

Manchester City in fourth travel to face Bournemouth on the south coast, hoping to recover from their derby loss to sixth placed Manchester United at the Etihad.

West Ham, in fifth, face a struggling Crystal Palace at the Boleyn Ground.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Aston Villa 0 v Chelsea 2
Arsenal 1 v Watford 0
Bournemouth 1 v Man City 3
Norwich 0 v Newcastle 1
Stoke 2 v Swansea 1
Sunderland 1 v West Brom 1
West Ham 2 v Crystal Palace 1
Liverpool 3 v Tottenham 1

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Leicester 1 v Southampton 0
Man Utd 2 v Everton 0

Leicester 11/2 To Win The Premier League Rather Cosily

Table topping Leicester City have the finishing line in sight and bet365 are betting on their Premier League winning distance with seven or more points quoted at 11/2 – they are 11/8 NOT to win the title.

The fabulous Foxes have the luxury of sitting back and watching how challengers Spurs do at Anfield on Saturday night – a ground where the visitors have won only six times in their last 72 league visits.

Spurs are now 2/1 (from 11/4) to have four England starters against Russia in the Euro 2016 opener, whilst Ranieri’s side are 14/1 with bet365 to be the highest scorers in the Premier League this weekend with Arsenal claiming favouritism at 4/1.

2015/16 Premier League – Leicester City Winning Margin

Goal Difference 250/1 1 – 3 Points 9/4
4 – 6 Points 10/3 7+ Points 11/2
Not Win PL 11/8

How Many Spurs Players Will Start For England v Russia (11th June)

0: 40/1 1`: 20/1 2: 7/2
3: 5/4 4: 2/1 5+ 12/1
Soccer - Cech comeback set to be delayed

Arsene Wenger doubts whether Petr Cech will be able to start for Arsenal against Watford on Saturday but is pleased that Jack Wilshere has finally been able to return to training. Cech has not played since suffering a calf injury in the closing stages of last month's home defeat to Swansea City but it had been hoped that he would return to action this weekend. However, that now seems unlikely, with Wenger saying: "Cech is going back to normal training. It's too early to say if he will be available for the weekend. He might be a bit short to be competitive." David Ospina is expected to start against the Hornets despite picking up a knock during Colombia's World Cup qualifying victory over Bolivia. Arsenal are 6/1 with bet365 to beat Watford 2-0 and are 10/11 to keep a clean sheet in the match. Meanwhile, Wenger said of Wilshere, who has not played since the pre-season win against Wolfsburg: "It is his first week back in full training and we'll see how he responds to that, but the first signs are quite good. We'll assess our options next week."

Soccer - Howe vows not to rush Wilson back

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has promised not to rush Callum Wilson back into first-team action too quickly. The 24-year-old striker has been sidelined for more than six months after sustaining a serious knee injury during a 2-1 defeat at Stoke City. Wilson had scored five times in his first seven appearances of the season, including a hat-trick in the 4-3 victory at West Ham United, but the Cherries have enjoyed a fine campaign despite his lengthy absence. Wilson recently returned to training, but Howe warned: "There is still some way to go. "Callum is doing well but I'm still slightly cautious with him because I'm thinking of his long-term future. I don't think we want to rush him back." Bournemouth face Manchester City on Saturday and can be backed at 6/1 with bet365 to draw 1-1 against a team that is 8/13 to finish in the top four this season.

Last time's predictions