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Posts Tagged ‘ David Luiz ’

World Cup 2014: Germany And Argentina Primed For Showdown

worldcup (easports)

We are entering the closing stages of World Cup 2014 now, with the quarter and semi finals having taken place in the past week. The action has been ferocious throughout, and that pain is really felt on days with no action scheduled. Let’s take a look back at this week’s action with our weekly review.

Quarter-finals

Friday:

The first quarter-final took place between France and Germany on Friday afternoon in the Maracana in Rio De Janeiro. The pre-match hype had made France favourites, particularly after the news of a virus rampaging through the German squad. The all-European affair was a tight battle throughout, with Germany taking the lead after thirteen minutes through a powerful header from centre back Mats Hummels. The Germans held the French off at arms length for the majority of the remaining time, with France having the odd half-chance here and there, but mostly failing to get conjure any meaningful penetration through the heart of the German defence. The Germans advanced, with Hummels’ header the only goal of the game. Continue reading

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World Cup 2014: Second Round Review

worldcup (easports)

This past week saw the 2014 World Cup enter the knockout phase, as the last sixteen teams battled it out for a place in the quarter-finals. The obvious lack of a truly exceptional team remains, and the parity among the remaining sides was very evident, as five of the eight games went to extra time, before penalties in some cases. Here is our full review of the action. Continue reading

World Cup 2014: Predictions For Every Team

brazil

With the kick-off of World Cup 2014 now less than a week away, the excitement is starting to build. Coverage of the event is starting to really pick up, as the footballing world gets ready for the beginning of it’s biggest event of any calendar year. With that in mind, I would like to put forward my predictions for every team and how they will fare, including all the teams who will fall at the group stage hurdle, all the way on to who I predict will be the eventual winners.

Group stage eliminations

Cameroon

The most likely victim of what is a very tough draw, Cameroon seem like long shots to emerge from Group A. Hosts Brazil, potential dark horses Croatia and Mexico make up the rest of the group, and it may well prove too much for Cameroon to claim enough points to sneak in to the knockout stages. An experienced squad led by captain Samuel Eto’o as well as veterans Alex Song and Jean Makoun, Cameroon also boast young defensive talent in Nicolas N’Koulou and Joel Matip. Unfortunately for them, it seems unlikely that they will prove good enough to edge out two of the other teams, and so it looks like three games and out for Cameroon.

Mexico

It looks quite likely that Brazil and Croatia will emerge from this group, especially if the Croatians can get a point in the tournament’s inaugural match. Mexico had a very ugly qualifying campaign to even reach Brazil, finishing fourth in their group, behind the United States, Costa Rica and Honduras. They eventually beat New Zealand comfortably in a play-off, but it does not augur well for them in such a tough group. Still, Mexico boast a very experienced squad, with the likes of Rafael Marquez still around to organise them. If the likes of Javier Hernandez (who has a scoring rate of better than one every two games for his country) catches fire, then maybe they have a shot. But all signs point to an early exit for Mexico.

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Away Teams to Perform This Weekend

Gareth Bale Aston Villa v Tottenham HotspurI allowed myself to be convinced by someone (who shall remain nameless but is my only brother) that Liverpool would win against Stoke on Stephen’s Day. I assure you I will not be listening to his dilettantish advice again and to make up for this pathetic blip, I have picked out some value bets and moulded them together to form another beautiful big odds accumulator.

At this stage, everybody is getting sick of the Benitez’s boo boys at Stamford Bridge. Obviously Roberto di Matteo was harshly treated but is it Rafa’s fault that the club is being run by a megalomaniac? I for one am glad that he has reformed the Chelsea side, David Luiz’s move away from the back four can only be positive and his footballing ability is slowly being nurtured in a defensive midfield role. He was quite impressive in his suffocation of Wes Hoolahan against Norwich and I think he could have a similar effect on the lively Steven Pienaar this weekend when his side face Everton. Strong at the back and equally impressive up front recently, Chelsea should record an away victory and are priced at 6/4 to do so.

Tottenham looked sensational on the break against Aston Villa on Wednesday with Gareth Bale in especially good form. They face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in the early game on Saturday and hopefully they will kick off our accumulator, we’re going to back them at evens to come out on top.  The home side have been on some sort of a road to recovery with 3 wins in their last 4 outings, having beaten QPR, Southampton and remarkably Man City. However, Tottenham have had tasted success on the road many times this season and I fancy them to overrun their hosts and they are favourably priced to do so.

To complete the accumulator I’ve picked out Southampton to pull off a draw against Stoke at the Britannia. The home side, who have not lost on their own patch yet this season, will be weakened without their suspended captain Ryan Shawcross and right-back Geoff Cameron. Their skipper has been indispensable to the team this season, essential in holding their water-tight defence together with Robert Huth. He will be sorely missed as Stoke come up against Southampton’s danger man Rickie Lambert. I fancy the away side to earn a welcome point against draw-specialists Stoke, whose defensive absentees should not be underestimated. The draw is available at 5/2 and cranks up the overall odds of our big odds Accumulator to 16/1.

Four Games That Could Earn You Big Bucks

Fernando TorresThis weekend we’re going to play by the rules. We’re going to take our beatings and learn from them as the 33/1 and 50/1 bets we previously unsuccessfully attempted are not going to be emulated. We dared to dream of getting rich quick but paid the price and so it is with a heavy heart that we desert the bet of the day which is Swansea to beat Arsenal at 4/1 (draw no bet), or 6/1 for those brave enough to back Michu, Hernandez and co. to stuff the gunners at the Emirates. Not us however, nor are we brave enough to include Swansea in our moderately big bucks accumulator this weekend. Instead we’re going to point our prayers to backing a paltry 18/1 accumulator which, for the most part, comprises of sure things.

We’re starting at the Hawthorns where West Brom face Stoke. The Baggies really should be utterly disappointed with their display on Wednesday and I fancy them to bounce back from this dismal performance. Fan favourite Shane Long is due to return to the starting eleven to bolster their attack against a team who are on the back of two successive home wins, but away form would suggest that Stoke will be on the wrong side of the result this time. West Brom are available at evens to beat the Potters who could be without their main man Peter Crouch.

Onwards and predictably upwards towards the top of the table and we’re going to back both Man City and Chelsea to win their games this weekend. There are quiet whispers of City developing their 14 game unbeaten start into an unbeaten season. Despite the fact that they haven’t been setting the world on fire, they are now looking defensively solid now and have more than enough names up front to bag them a goal or two to secure the three points against Everton, who as it turns out, were the last team to beat them at home. We’re going to conveniently ignore this stat though and back them at 1/2 to reverse that result.

Rafa Benitez is still looking for his first goal as Chelsea manager and, while he has also yet to concede a goal, the Spaniard will be hoping that his infamous number 9 can do something, anything to inspire his fellow team mates to their first win since beating Tottenham in October. I think they should be able to pull it off away to West Ham in the 12.45 kick off on Saturday. Juan Mata should start after being left on the bench against Fulham, and another big plus for the Blues is that the blunder-prone David Luiz will not be available for selection – that’s encouragement enough to back Chelsea at 5/6 to win.

The final leg of this accumulator for those of us who won’t be including the Swansea factor focuses our attention on Fulham’s home tie with Tottenham. We’re going to stick our money on a draw in a fixture which sees two sides who this season have been very effective going forward but not so much when defending.  Both sides had a good result during the weekend and even though Spurs did beat Liverpool 2-1, they were not all that convincing and I don’t feel that they will take all three points off Fulham. The draw is generally priced at 12/5.

Putting those 4 bets together still gives us decent accumulator odds of 18/1 – not the most ridiculous 18/1 bet you could have this weekend. Other bets that could be worth a gamble would be, as mentioned above, Swansea 4/1 to beat Arsenal (draw no bet) and over 2.5 goals in the Fulham match at 4/6.

That’s the Premiership accumulator for this weekend my fellow punters, maybe it’s not as adventurous as other weeks but will you really care when your 18/1 bet comes in and you’re finally able to afford that solid gold house? I think not.

Top Ten January Transfers

What a month January was in the world of football. Few would have predicted half the moves that were made and certainly the quality of players available was better than before. Here Glenn Dowd analyses what he believed to be the top ten signings of the January transfer window.

1)Fernando Torres

Roman Abramovich`s decision to splash out E50 Million on Torres is a great investment, that signals Chelsea`s intent to maintain an end of season title run. One of two major signings that shook the world of football, Torres had been expected to stay at Liverpool where he was idolised by many. However after slapping in the transfer request, he got the move he craved.

2)Andy Carroll

Future England star is a ready made replacement at Liverpool for Torres. Carroll was destined to follow Alan Shearer as the new Toon messiah but jumped at the chance to leave Newcastle for Anfield. A fee of E35 Million raised many eyebrows, with the Geordie becoming the clubs record breaking signing.

3)Luis Suarez

The star of the 2010 World Cup has also linked up with Kenny Dalglish`s men. The Scot paid just over E22 Million to nab the Ajax striker. Certainly big things in store for the Uruguayan if he can get to grips with the Premier League immediately.

4)Edin Dzeko

City`s long pursuit of Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko paid off in January, with E27 Million sealing the deal for the Bosnian. Dzeko has already bagged his first goal for the club in the 1-1 FA Cup draw with Notts County and his goals will prove the catalyst should see maintain their title challenge.

5)Darren Bent

Few would have seen this coming. The thought off Darren Bent leaving Sunderland must have never crossed the mind of Mackem`s fans. But then it happened almost immediately and the once favoured hero of Wearside became the Villain, linking up with Gerard Houliier at Aston Villa with a price tag of E18 Million around his neck.

6)David Luiz

Chelsea`s relentless pursuit of Benfica Defender David Luiz eventually paid off at the eleventh hour on deadline day. E21 Million and Nemanja Matic were enough to ensure the Portuguese international would move to Stamford Bridge.

7) Stephen Pienaar

Definitely the bargain of the transfer window. With Stephen Pienaar`s contract coming to an end in the summer, Everton decided to cash in on their star player, after realising he would not renew his deal. The South African turned down Chelsea in favour of a move to Spurs,providing  a E3 Million bargain for Harry Redknapp.

8)Robbie Keane

The Irish striker has moved to West Ham on loan until the end of the season. He may well be the man to keep the Hammers up. Avram Grant has added some good signings in this window with Wayne Bridge,Demba Ba and Gary O`Neill all moving to Upton Park. Should the Hammers survive, Keane will sign a permanent contract.

9)Roque Santa Cruz

The Paraguayan has returned to Ewood Park, his first home in English football. After an unsuccessful spell at Man City, Santa Cruz welcomed a move back to Blackburn. The stiker has intially arrived on loan but if he can find his form again he will be an astute signing.  

10) Sulley Muntari

Few would have predicted somebody who won the Champions League last year to arrive at Sunderland, but thats what has happened. Sulley Muntari, the Ghanaian international, has arrived on loan at Steve Bruce`s side from Inter Milan. A valuable addition to any squad.

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