March 30, 2012
Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi says last weekend’s superb victory at Liverpool can inspire the club in their battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
The Latics pulled off a shock 2-1 victory over the Merseysiders at Anfield last Saturday to move off the bottom of the table with the run-in to the season looming.
Roberto Mancini’s side are now level with QPR on 25 points, one behind Bolton but three ahead of Wolves as the battle to avoid the drop intensifies. Those who bet on football will know how close things are.
Wigan have been perennial strugglers in the top flight in the past few seasons, surviving on the last day 12 months ago, and it may well go down to the final weekend of this season before their Premier League status is once again confirmed. Even fans of League One betting will be following things.
Al-Habsi says the win at Liverpool can act as a catalyst for them to secure enough victories to avoid the drop in the eight games that remain despite Martinez’s side facing a tough set of games in the coming weeks. Following this weekend’s clash against Stoke, they take on Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal but Al-Habsi says confidence is now high at the club.
“Of course we can do it,” he told the Evening Post. “We have another eight cup finals to go and the performance at Liverpool will hopefully give us the push we need.
“The fans were amazing on Saturday and we’ll need them again this weekend against Stoke.
“One big push is all we need to stay in this division – we did it last year and I’m sure we can do it again.”
March 30, 2012
In-form Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Adam Bogdan believes his side will avoid the drop despite the disappointment of tumbling out of the FA Cup on Tuesday.
Bolton boosted their survival hopes with a crucial 2-1 victory over fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers last weekend but backed that up with a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in their rearranged FA Cup quarter-final tie.
Bogdan was a one-man last line of defence at times – keeping Spurs at bay until late on with a string of high-class saves. The man-of-the-match award was no consolation after their cup exit and fans of Bet Victor will know this.
“I feel very disappointed at being out of the cup. But this is the situation we are in now and we have to focus on the Premier League,” said the Hungarian stopper.
“If we show this fighting spirit for the last few games, then we can make it.”
Bogdan was pleased with his own performance but was keen to downplay the importance, especially since the evening ended in defeat.
“The pressure kept coming and in the end we couldn’t keep them out. Was it my best game for Bolton? Maybe people who keep the records can say,” added Bogdan.
“It was nice the Spurs players congratulated me but they had gone through so it made it easier for them.”
Bolton’s attentions now turn to a crucial six-pointer at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday and people looking at the www.betvictor.com odds will know the importance of this game.
Bolton have improved of late in the Premier League – winning back-to-back games to pull away from the drop zone. Owen Coyle’s side sit one place and one point above the bottom three with a game in hand on their rivals.
They take on a Wolves side with just one win in 16 games and in dreadful form at Molineux.
Bolton and Bogdan have a perfect opportunity to put the cup disappointment behind them.
March 28, 2012
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has hailed his side after they battled hard to a 1-0 victory over Benfica in their Champions League quarter-final encounter on Tuesday night.
The last British club left in the prestigious European competition will take a slender advantage back to Stamford Bridge, thanks to a second-half goal from Salomon Kalou at the Estadio da Luz.
Chelsea’s win in Portugal was the first time in 22 games that Benfica have failed to score on home soil and it took a fine team effort from the west London outfit to secure the victory in midweek. People placing a Champions League bet should bear this in mind.
The Blues have failed to impress in the Premier League this season, as they found themselves well out of the title race in the relatively early stages of the campaign. Fans of Champions League promotions need to bear this in mind.
However Chelsea have looked strong in Europe and under interim manager Roberto Di Matteo, the club have taken a big step towards the Champions League semi-finals thanks to that vital away goal.
Cech was delighted his side kept a clean sheet at the Estadio da Luzand believes his side produced a faultless performance in Portugal.
He told Sky Sports News: “We can say it was a perfect game for us in terms of the result,” he told Sky Sports News.
“We kept a clean sheet and we were patient throughout the game, waiting for our chances to come and in the end we scored on a very good counter-attack.
“Overall, we can be really satisfied because in terms of the game plan we did really well. We didn’t let them play first half and second half we waited patiently for our chance and it came.”
March 27, 2012
Rohan Ricketts could soon find himself on display at St. James Park, after being given “somewhere to train” by Exeter FC chief, Paul Tisdale. The Grecians are reportedly interested in signing the former Wolves midfielder, who is a free agent.
“He’s unattached at the moment”, Tisdale explained. “In the process [of training with us], he’s putting himself on show.” The football coach added that Exeter do not rule out the possibility of working with Ricketts on a more permanent basis.
Ricketts has played for eleven different teams in the past decade. His most notable escapades include spells at Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, Toronto FC, and at German outfit, SV Wilhelmshaven. People looking at the League One betting will know he has a long track record.
The 29-year-old has also played in the Hungarian and Moldovan leagues, with Diosgyori VTK and Dacia Chisinau, respectively. Ricketts’ most recent club, Shamrock Rovers, released him in 2011, after just ten appearances.
Ricketts intimated – via Twitter – that Exeter fans had been supportive of his potential move into League One. “Thanks for all the kind words from #ECFC fans. I just want to get into a red and white shirt now.”
If he signs for the Grecians, Ricketts will join Lauri Dalla Valle, formerly of Fulham, and Southend exile, Pat Baldwin, as the new boys on Exeter’s books. Baldwin, a defender, will be especially welcome in Devon, given that Exeter face an injury crisis at centre-back. Those searching for betting tips football need to bear this in mind.
The absence of existing defenders, Richard Duffy (groin), Scott Bennett (hamstring), and Danny Coles (spine), have made survival in League One difficult for the embattled club, who stand 23rd (of 24) in the table.
Exeter will play Wycombe Wanderers later today in something of a relegation ‘six-pointer’. A victory could take the Grecians to safety, depending on the results of other matches contested this evening, while a defeat will leave them floundering in the drop zone.
March 22, 2012
Neil Warnock will be suffering something of a football hangover, today, after seeing his Leeds United team humiliated at home to Nottingham Forest, in one of the highest-scoring matches of recent months.
Ten goals were scored at Elland Road on Tuesday evening, as Leeds succumbed to a 3-7 defeat to the visiting Forest. The result was the first time in history that United have conceded seven at home, with their highest away loss standing at 8-1 to Stoke in 1934. Those looking at the Championship betting will have been astonished.
Leeds no longer look particularly dangerous with regard to grabbing a play-off spot, standing in tenth position, four points adrift of Hull City in ninth, and five points short of the nearest play-off place.
Add in the fact that Leeds have played one more game than six of the teams above them in the Championship, and United have a hill to climb if they hope to challenge for promotion to the Premier League.
Leeds took the lead courtesy of an early penalty from Robert Snodgrass, but Forest’s resident Frenchman, Adlene Guedioura, soon cancelled the advantage, collecting Notts’ first after eight minutes of play.
Garath McCleary added Forest’s second just before half-time. The score at the break was a balmy 2-1 in Notts’ favour.
Whatever Steve Cotterill said to the Tricky Trees at half-time galvanised Forest to “unbelievable”, to quote the manager himself, performance in the second half. Notts’ Dexter Blackstock opening the scoring shortly after the whistle.
Goals from United’s Luciano Becchio and Michael Brown gave the home team hope as the hour mark approached, dragging the tie to 3-3. McCleary then scored an incredible three in 15 minutes, to shut Leeds out of the fixture. It was a major upset of the Championship betting odds.
Blackstock added to Leeds’ misery by scoring his second, and Forest’s seventh, nine minutes from the end of regulation time.
“I’m quite embarrassed about the result”, Warnock said. “I’ve learnt probably more tonight than I have in the other games.” The manager added that Notts’ fourth strike was “terrible – it was a Sunday League goal”.
March 22, 2012
Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed he has already started planning for next season after an encouraging first campaign back in the top flight.
Swansea’s Championship play-off victory at Wembley last season ensured they would return to the highest level of English football for the first time since 1983.
The Welsh club have surprised many this season, playing an attractive brand of football and getting the better of established Premier League sides.
Rodgers’ men have all-but secured a second term at the top level. They sit 11th in the table, 14 points clear of the relegation zone with ten games remaining and anyone looking at the odds on www.Betvictor.com will have been impressed.
The Swansea boss admitted he has met with chairman Huw Jenkins and wants to bring in ‘three or four’ new signings in the summer as he looks to establish the club in the Premier League.
“The chairman understands that we have got to invest. If we are going to retain our status at this level in the long term, we have got to recruit well,” said Rodgers.
“We are not going to go crazy, but we will be looking to add three or four players who can make a difference if we stay in the Premier League, and that means we will have to make some sort of investment.”
Rodgers believes the way Swansea have performed during their first season back will help attract quality signings. Those looking at Victor Chandler will be wondering if they can push on.
“We were relatively unknown last summer, but the Premier League is a global brand and I think we have opened up more doors now,” added Rodgers.
“People are seeing not only that we are a competitive team, but we play like a big team.”
History suggests Swansea will find it tougher next season. But the club’s ambition and football philosophy could see them become a Premier League mainstay.
March 21, 2012
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart says his side will be looking for revenge when they face Chelsea on Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium.
The two teams met earlier in the season, with the Stamford Bridge club handing the Citizens their first defeat of the season in an extremely controversial match and it looks like it could be another exciting match when the two sides meet again.
Roberto Mancini’s men currently sit four points behind city rivals Manchester United in the Premier League table but a win in Wednesday’s crucial match will close the gap to just a single point with just nine games remaining.
Following the dismissal of former boss Andre Vilas- Boas, Chelsea have experienced somewhat of a resurgence, winning in the Champions League victory against Napoli, as well as progressing to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with Sunday’s victory against Leicester.
Hart is expecting a tough match at the Etihad but says he and his teammates owe Chelsea after so many decisions went against them in the match before Christmas.
“One result can literally change everything. It’s madness but it’s great. Being four points behind won’t have any bearing on how we play” Hart told The Sun. “We owe them one. They were the first team to beat us in the league this season”.
After a disappointing run of results, the Citizens lack of experience of winning title has been questioned, with some pundits believing that they’re not ready to win the league. However, the England goalkeeper doubts this and says that they have all the ingredients of a title winning side.
“We have all the ingredients. All we’re short of is the medal round our necks” he added.
Written by Jeff, a fan of http://www.youwin.com/en.
March 20, 2012
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March 19, 2012
The Premier League title race is gradually drawing to a close and there’s still nothing to choose between Manchester United and Manchester City.
At the start of the season, you could have been forgiven for thinking that Manchester City would easily win the title. They played the best football, gained some outstanding results, and even embarrassed bitter rivals Manchester United by winning 6-1 at Old Trafford. However, it almost looks like Mancini’s team has peaked too soon with a string of fatigue-ridden displays leading them into the latter stages of the 2011-2012 campaign.
Reigning champions Manchester United are only just beginning to ease into their groove, however, and that is not good news at all for title challenging Manchester City. Unlike their rivals, Manchester United have a lot of depth in their squad and it’s really starting to show. The Premier League betting makes them strong favourites now.
Manchester United are not playing the most beautiful football in the league at the moment. I don’t think anyone could ever prise that title off Arsenal, if we approach the subject realistically. However, what Manchester United epitomise is the ability to win without playing well. Their efficiency is simply unmatched in the Premier League and the experience of their squad is really beginning to show and the Premiership betting reflects this.
Manchester United should have enough to win the title now, in my opinion. The only players that are unlikely to feature against this season due to injury are Darren Fletcher and Nemanja Vidic so Sir Alex Ferguson has a big squad to choose from in the games that remain whereas Roberto Mancini is struggling to name players in his squad that aren’t playing well below their best due to tiredness. Given the difficulty of Manchester City’s remaining games in comparison to Manchester United’s, you have to feel that another historic Premier League title is looming large for Manchester United.
March 19, 2012
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has his sights set on Tottenham Hotspur’s top-four spot ahead of a big week of Premier League action.
Spurs were widely tipped to challenge for the title only two months ago. Harry Redknapp’s side were two points off the top and looked well set for a late-season push.
Since January, the wheels have come off for Spurs and they face a battle to remain in the Champions League places. The north London outfit have won just two of their last eight games, losing their last three and those looking at www.betvictor.com will know their hopes are slipping.
Chelsea have closed the gap to four points and Cech believes Chelsea’s big-match experience will see them secure a spot in next year’s premier European competition at the expense of Spurs.
“I think yes. We have been together through so many situations in eight years and a lot of people here remember those, so we have the benefit of the experience of that,” said Cech.
“We seem to cope with the difficult situations quite well so, hopefully, this experience we’ve got throughout the years will help us reach our targets.”
Chelsea have been regular title and European challengers in recent years, while Tottenham have only once made it through to the Champions League.
The Blues travel to Etihad Stadium to face title-chasing Manchester City before entertaining Spurs on Saturday in what the Bet Victor odds show will be a close game.
Chelsea are full of confidence after four straight victories under caretaker boss Roberto di Matteo and Cech admitted confidence in the camp is sky high.
“We are approaching these next two games with confidence now. In football everything changes with positive results,” added Cech.
Since Di Matteo stepped into the breach left by Andre Villas-Boas, Chelsea’s season has turned around. They have made big strides both domestically and on the continent and show no signs of letting up. Tottenham beware.