Have Chelsea Won The League Now

Last night we was pivotal in the Premier League race as Chelsea beat Manchester City by 2 goals to 1 with Eden Hazard scoring both goals. The result was important because many have seen Tottenham potentially catching them in the race with them only 7 points behind going into the game.
Tottenham produced a last minute display coming back from 1 goal down to winning 3-1 with all spurs goals coming back within the last 15 minutes.

Antonio Conte’s Chelsea are now only 6 wins away from finishing the job, however the Tottenham Hotspur captain Vertongen has stated that the next 2 games are just as important as those from last night.

Many pundits and fans think the the title has been decided many weeks ago and it is surprising that the title race is still slightly competitive. Whilst Chelsea have been seen to have dominated the League this season credit is due to Spurs for slowly but surely winning their games and keeping Chelsea on edge.

 

Chelsea are looking very strong. We can’t stop pushing and dreaming of that league but they had a big win against City and obviously the gap is still seven points.
‘They have got a couple of difficult games coming up and we have to keep winning and hopefully they get a bit stressed.’

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There are only 8 games remaining in the league and from calculations this brings the potential crowning of the champions to the middle of May. It is highly likely to be Chelsea and no one is backing against them but maybe, just maybe there is a chance that they can push them all the way.

Chelsea play away against both Bournemouth and Manchester United in the next 2 games and anything but 2 wins will surely put pressure on themselves, that is if Tottenham can win their games against Watford and Bournemouth, both at White Hard Lane.  Get all your Chelsea football news from e-soccer.com

Review of Arsenal so far

arsenal fc

The top organization for professional men’s football is England is the English Premier League. With the season about to conclude in less than two months, the top teams are starting to emerge with fans wondering who will take the cup. Many of these fans enjoy placing wagers on the games to make the results count even more.

Comprised of 20 football clubs, the Premier League was led by four teams colloquially known as the “Big Four” during the early part of the new century. One of these teams is Arsenal who had eleven out of eleven top four finishes during this time.  Not only has the team done well within the English Premier League but they have also been winners of the Football Association Cup and the FA Community Shield.

sanchez

Arsenal is currently sixth in the English Premier League. Player Alexis Sanchez has been a topic of discussion amongst the league as he was recently benched in a match against Liverpool. Sanchez has been dispossessed over a hundred times this season, one of two players in Europe to hit this mark. With the team on a downward slide, many wonder if Wenger will return to the helm next season.  Some experts see their chance of winning the league at less than 1% with better odds of winning the FA Cup with bookmakers setting the odds of the Gunners winning the league at 11 to 4.

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How has Garry Monk transformed Leeds United?

garry monk

Leeds United along with Newcastle United are the two biggest clubs outside of the Premier League. When Leeds were relegated from the Premier League in 2003-4, it was deemed to be just a small blip and that they would immediately bounce back. The reality was much worse. In 2007, they were relegated to the third tier of English football and the dark days at Elland Road were getting darker.

They ultimately battled their way back into promotion contention and were promoted back to the Championship in 2010. After several seasons struggling to survive, they brought in Garry Monk in June 2016 and the effect has been remarkable. Leeds are currently fighting for the play-offs and are favourites to reach them with Sun Bets who have the latest Championship odds on show.

So What has Garry Monk Done?

Garry Monk cut his teeth at Swansea City when it came to big time football management. He was a surprise candidate for such a big job but his follow on success made him a candidate for numerous managerial jobs. The fact is that no manager can do what Monk has done without bonding with the players. He understands them and knows what their strengths and weaknesses are.

To his credit, he has identified what is required to do well in the Championship. He has his players playing to a system and they understand their roles to a man. This wasn’t present under their previous manager and the team lacked direction and purpose.

Kyle Bartley has been a key figure for Garry Monk as he worked with him at Swansea. Leeds took a big knock when they lost to Sutton United in the FA Cup. However it was clear during that game that Garry Monk was thinking more about promotion from the Championship based on his team selection that day.

A Big Transfer that Made the Difference

Garry Monk was active in the transfer market last summer and he needed to be. He knew how thin the squad was and set out to correct that. Any manager lives and dies by the quality of their signings. Hadi Sacko has done well since his loan move across from Sporting Lisbon. The extra width that Sacko gives to the Leeds formation, along with his pace, clearly adds a new dimension to their attacking options.

The key to success though has been in the system that Monk has employed. He demands hard work, especially from his strikers. It is unlikely that Leeds will surpass Newcastle and Brighton for automatic promotion but we can expect them to make the top six. Doing that will give them a real chance to get back to where they believe they ultimately belong.

Author bio:

Carl Sampson is a full time poker player, coach and sports writer. He has been a poker ambassador for several large poker sites and currently writes for Bluff Europe and Poker Player magazines.

Preview: Middlesbrough V Manchester United

riverside

This week we look at Sunday’s game when Middlesbrough welcome Manchester United to the riverside. That’s right, its the return of the Premier League with Manchester United traveling to Middlesbrough with both teams desperate win. Middlesbrough are 19th in the Premier League whilst Manchester United are 6th, a position they want to change having been in the same place for a while.

Manchester United will travel north after their disappointing FA Cup Quarter final game against Chelsea in which they lost 1-0 with Kante getting the decisive goal. The will also be without several key players as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrerra, and Antony Martial will be missing through injury and suspension respectively.

The online website 888Sport have a dedicated page on Middlesbrough v Man United betting odds . Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka and Stewart Downing have been in the news this week as they were involved in a training ground bust up according to leading media outlets.

The left winger was understood to question the boss as to why he has been left out of the squad for the games.

Middlesbrough are also coming off a loss in the FA Cup, having been well beaten 2-0 at home to Manchester City.The FA Cup was the last real tournament for both teams and both will be extremely disappointed at this stage of the season.

Aitor Karanka stated this week that he wants a team of fighters for the remaining run in. If M’boro are to remain in the English top flight then they need to win more of the remaining fixtures starting with this Super Sunday clash.aitor-karanka-mfc

Will Manchester United recover in time for the game, in between this they have to play at home in the Europa League against Russian team Rostov. With the Europa League now offering the winners the chance to qualify for the Champions League this is now an important fixture, even better for Middlesbrough.

#MFCvMU

The Magic of The FA Cup

The FA Cup is the oldest football tournament in world football and is watched by millions of fans around the planet. The FA Cup final is watched more than any other game except the world cup final. The magic of the FA Cup is not only when small teams beat the big clubs, it is the true essence of the cup that makes it truly magical for all fans.

Highlights so Far

This season has been no different in which certain big teams have been beaten and knocked out of the tournament by teams in a lower league.

One of the highlights so far is how Sutton made the 5th Round and were able to host the mighty Arsenal at their small stadium. This was the biggest game of the club’s history and even though there was an incident called ‘Piegate’ this took nothing away from the achievement of the team and management.

Lincoln City have made the Quarter Finals for the first time in the history of the football club. Whilst they will go into the game against Arsenal as huge underdogs they will be confident of pulling off one of the upsets of recent years.

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Quarter Final Matches

The following matches will take in less than 2 weeks and the world will be watching to see who makes the next round which of course is a visit to Wembley for the Semi Finals.
Saturday 11 March 2017 
Middlesbrough VS Man City
Arsenal VS Lincoln City

Sunday 12 March 2017 
Tottenham Hotspur VS Millwall

Monday 13 March 2017 
Chelsea VS Manchester United

Semi Finals

The Semi Finals of the FA Cup this season could be between some of the biggest football rivalries in world football. Should Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur win their respective games then the semi-finals will be the strongest games in recent seasons.

FA Cup Final

The FA Cup final is an immense spectacle and no matter the teams the tickets for the match often sell for hundreds of pounds on the secondary market.

The final this year will have an attendance of 89,826 and is the fourth best attended domestic club  game and the second most attended domestic football match.

 

The Best Midfielder in La Liga?

Steven N Zonzi

Steven N’Zonzi survived a slow start after his move from Stoke City to become the main man at Sevilla.
When Steven N’Zonzi sign from Stoke City many fans were underwhelmed but things have progressed and now is the team’s key player. It was not a great start as his performances were poor when he first join the club. The Frenchman though has come on leaps and bounds since then. Many pundits now think that he is the best midfielder that plays in La Liga with is a huge compliment when you consider the competition.

The Sevilla midfielder has been widely compared with his fellow Frenchman Patrick Vieira who at his peak was one in the best in the world. If he keeps on making the kind of progress he has made over the last six month, he could be the best in the world in his position.

It was a disastrous first game for Sevilla for N’Zonzi as he was sent off. The fans did not take to him and many jeered him at home matches. He was heavily criticized by the Spanish media and many though they had just spent 10 million euro on a dud.

Since the arrival of Jorge Sampaoli though N’Zonzi has improved remarkable. The new manager has managed to get the most out of the player and the team is flourishing because of it. The fans started to take to the player more after his influential display in the match against Liverpool in the Europa League final.

It was the first time in N’Zonzi professional playing career that he had won a trophy and that win has helped boost his confidence and make him into a better player. It was Sevilla’s third time that they had won it in a row and they are one of the best teams in Europe.

The player impressed at his former clubs, Blackburn and Stoke. His 6’3 frame is suited to the English game and at first, it was difficult for him to get used to playing a different style of football. In his last year playing in the Premier League, he made over 2000 passes which were only achieved by nine others. In the Spanish league, he has passed the ball accurately more times than any other player. On average the Frenchman makes around 78 passes per match and rarely gives the ball away. The high tempo game that Sevilla is known for is due to the leadership of him midfield pulling all the strings. He does not just sit in front of the back line like many do these days. Instead, he is a true box to box player and is great at both ends of the pitch.

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5 Surprise Premier League Teams That Can Win the League Next Year

lewague

Ever since Leicester City won the Premier League title last season it’s obvious anything can happen in football, and with a few teams looking like much better performers this season there are several sides that can win it in 2018. The 2016/2017 Premier League season is more than halfway through and it will come to its end in May 2017, with Chelsea more than likely being crowned champions, but what teams can spring a surprise next season?

Everton

Everton look like different opposition under Ronald Koeman and even though they are too far off even finishing in the top 4 this season, they could be the surprise package to watch out for next season. They have bought in a few additions this season and if Romelu Lakaku is on form again next year he could be the one that takes Everton to Premier League glory.

Tottenham

Tottenham have been a bit unlucky this season in the sense Chelsea are on fine form otherwise they would have been the team to beat, but if Tottenham fire again like they have this season they could win the league next year for the first time in over 55 years. They have some great youth players that are still learning the game and if they can keep hold of the likes of Harry Kane then they will have a much better chance and could end up as champions.

Liverpool

Liverpool will obviously be up there again next season and could surprise us all with some attacking football under Klopp. One problem they have had this season is defensive issues and if they can iron that out of their game there is no reason why they won’t have a good chance next year.

Manchester United

 

If Manchester United won the Premier League next season it wouldn’t be a huge shock to the system as they have done it many times before, but as they haven’t won the league since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013 they could be the team to look out for next season, especially if they spend even more money on a few additions. United clearly have a good defence, but it’s obvious they are missing that one player that can take them to the next level and if they can get him in the summer, there’s no reason why they won’t have the squad capable of winning the league.

Southampton

One team that currently look like they don’t have it in them when it comes to winning the Premier League is Southampton, but when you look back at last season when Leicester won the league it just goes to show anything can happen. Southampton have been a team in recent years that are hard to beat and they have finished in the top half of the table most seasons they have been in the Premier League in recent years, and they could certainly be the team to beat next season if they take advantage of their amazing youth academy instead of offloading special talents to the likes of Liverpool.

Teams like Chelsea could win it again but everyone knows it’s hard for champions to retain their title the season after. The likes of Arsenal and Manchester City are obvious candidates to lift the trophy next season as well so we could be in for a thriller come May 2018. As ever, if you are looking to put your bets on for the next season you can find all Premier League betting odds at William Hill website for the best odds guaranteed.

FA Cup 5th Round Preview

fa cup

The FA Cup returns this weekend with the famous tournament in the 5th Round. Teams in this part of the FA Cup are already looking at the dream of reaching the final at Wembley. With only 4 games until the final every fan starts to take the tournament seriously at this stage. With this the atmosphere at the stadiums this weekend will be great.

The full list of the games for the 5th Round can be seen below:

Saturday 18th February 2017
Burnley v Lincoln City
Huddersfield Town v Manchester City
Middlesbrough v Oxford United
Millwall v Leicester City
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea

Sunday 19th February 2017

Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur
Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United

Monday 20th February 2017

Sutton United v Arsenal

 

Highlight Matches

The games will be played across 3 days with their being not a single all Premier League tie, making some upsets highly possible. Aside from Lincoln traveling to Premier League side Burnley and Chelsea traveling to Wolverhampton Wanderers, here are our picks for the standout games of the FA Cup weekend. We have researched and found that the best FA cup betting odds can be found on 888Sport.

 

Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United

The two teams are not only based in close proximity but also rivals in the football world. For those who remember back to the 1990’s will know that Blackburn Rovers were once the main rivals of Manchester United, even so they beat them in the race to the Premier League. With strikers of Chris Sutton and Alan Shearer leading the line, they managed to win the Premier League against the odds.

This fixture is always highly intense and promises goals, especially at Ewood Park. Jose Mourinho will be sure to field a strong team to ensure they progress to the 6th Round.

Sutton United v Arsenal
sutton fc

This fixture is the reason why the FA Cup remains magical and is watched my millions of viewers around the world. The non-league side of Sutton United have never reached the 5th round of the tournament and have been rewarded with a home tie against Premier League powerhouse Arsenal.

Sutton United are currently in 16th in English football’s fifth tier, and play at Gander Green Lane, which has a 5,000 capacity – 55,000 less than Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

Tickets for the game have just gone on sale and queues for the game are so big they are already around the full stadium. Arsenal have won the tournament 12 times and will be strong favourites to win even though they probably won’t field a strong team.

 

Match Preview: Manchester United vs Southampton EFL Cup Final

efl cup

The EFL Cup final takes place Sunday, February 26 2017 in front of 80,000 fans and millions watching worldwide. The fans of the final teams of Manchester United and Southampton will head to Wembley to watch this one off game. The current champions of the EFL trophy are Manchester City who beat Liverpool on penalties in last season’s game.

Semi Finals

Manchester United beat Hull City in the semi-final of the tournament whilst Southampton upset the odds by convincingly beating Liverpool to book their place.

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Southampton

saints

Having not won a major title since 1976, the Saints are confident of pulling off another upset with the manager turning things around in only his first season. The fans of Southampton will be confident going into this game having seen them beat every top team in the previous seasons when they play well. Southampton have a large fan base and regularly sell-out their stadium, St Mary’s for Premier League games. Whilst the team has no real stand out players, they do have some great team players and are very effective of winning games.

Manchester United

mufc

Manchester United are heavy favourites for this game but for one-off games this rarely means much. Jose Mourinho struggled at the start of the season resulting in many draws for the team, setting them way back in the chase for the Premier League. However since November , Man United have gone on to win 9+ games in a row and continued to shine.

Wayne Rooney recently became the highest goal-scorer of all time at Manchester United, surpassing Sir Bobby Charlton’s previously unbeaten record. With players now finally finding form including Martial, Ibrahimovic, Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan as well as Juan Mata, the future looks bright for the team. The obvious pressure will be on the Red Devils, can they live up to the expectation? We will find out on Feb 26.

Tickets

On February 26, 2017 at Wembley Stadium tickets for the match will be sold-out and be sold for hundreds of pounds on the secondary ticket market.

Final: Southampton v Manchester United

Date: Sunday, February 26, 2017

Location: Wembley Stadium, London, United Kingdom

EFL Final Tickets: Starting at £40 for official club supporters.

The good news for supporters is that unlike the FA Cup or other major finals, the EFL does provide a larger amount of tickets to fans from both teams. With an estimated 25,000 tickets going to each team this ensures that there will be at least a good presence for both teams, making the atmosphere special.

FA Cup Replays – 3rd Round

Team of the FA Cup

The official Emirates FA Cup Round 3 replays kick off tomorrow and as per usual, FATV will be providing the official highlights.

Ahead of tomorrow, I have here Opta’s chosen star XI consisting of players who they felt were outstanding during Round 3 of the FA Cup.

 

 

Do you agree with the choices? Who do you think will go on to win the famous FA Cup. ?

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