Here’s the Decider You Can’t Miss!

3rd ODI: England vs India

The two best sides in 50-over cricket come head to head in Yorkshire on Tuesday in a winner-takes-all battle.

It could go either way in this pivotal clash, with the three-match series delicately balanced at 1-1 after England roared back from a defeat in Nottingham with a comfortable win at Lord’s.

Both teams have a keen eye on the 2019 World Cup, and England’s preparations so far this year have included series against fancied New Zealand and Australia. However, India are the pick of the bunch.

It’d be a brave man to dispense the us tips on this one, other than to say both teams have more than enough firepower to win it. But hey, England have the momentum and Headingley is generally a happy hunting ground for the hosts, particularly if we see some cloud.

Talking Points

This series was always going to be a very different prospect to the 5-0 annihilation of Australia, a side in transition and without key, banned players. In contrast, Virat Kohli has led a team to the summit of the test rankings and second to England in the one day game.

Online betting sites see the third ODI between England and India as a close battle

India’s Kuldeep Yadav celebrates taking the wicket of England’s Jonny Bairstow during their 2nd ODI clash

And England haven’t seen the likes of Kuldeep Yadav for many a year. The young left-arm wrist spinner has bamboozled the Three Lions’ batting line-up, taking six wickets to win the first ODI at Trent Bridge and another three in the second meeting at Lord’s, which isn’t the easiest place to turn a ball.

With that said, our England vs India predictions rest on whether we believe the Three Lions can cope with India’s lethal weapon.

The hosts have employed their famous Merlyn spin-bowling machine to try to imitate Kuldeep’s stock ball which turns in from the off. But even if they can master that, he has the googly which turns the other way, as well as a speedy flipper to add the element of surprise.

This lad has the lot and England need to work it out, as he may well be there to torment them in the upcoming test series.

Even though that’s the five day game, cricket pundits will be keeping a close watch on Kuldeep. In the long game, batsmen have the time to work a bowler out and are not under immediate pressure to score, so if the left-armer picks up wickets in that format, then we could have a superstar in the making.

England did learn enough from the opening ODI to come back fighting. Joe Root did the best job at Lords, posting a determined century to see his team through.

The test skipper has responded brilliantly to being left out of the T20 side, just as you’d expect with his barrow load of Yorkshire grit. His 113 was more than enough to see off the tourists as England won the second ODI by a healthy 86 runs.

One concern the England selectors have is the fitness of opening bat Jason Roy. He has formed a destructive opening partnership with Jonny Bairstow—scoring 40 in an opening stand of 69 at Lord’s—but is now sweating on a finger injury which could keep him out of this decider.

On a positive note, that could see T20 opener Jos Buttler join Bairstow at the top of the order and what a prospect that would be.

The world’s best batsman Kohli posted another 45 in the second game at Lord’s but was only one short of top scoring as England’s bowlers pressured India and shared the wickets. Paceman Liam Plunkett, who was the pick of the attack after claiming four victims, could be a key man again at Headingley.

History

These two countries have rich traditions in the game and a long relationship, dating back to the first meeting in 1932, in a test match at Lord’s which England won by 158 runs.

England won the first ever ODI between the two teams, back in 1974. However, in the 98 ODIs contested, India still hold a healthy advantage with 53 wins to England’s 40.

More recent history tells us how India have had the upper hand, winning the last two series, one in England and one at home, though these big hitters are pretty well matched.

What are the odds?

Best odds favour India against England and Virat Kohli is there to lead

India captain Virat Kohli hits a shot during the one day cricket match against England

This is such a finely balanced contest that we just can’t split the teams and both are available at 1.93 to win.

That represents a shift since the first ODI when the best One Day International odds you could get on England was around 1.78—showing just how Kuldeep’s magic has turned things in the tourists’ favour. He couldn’t have imagined having such dry wickets to work on in England, where the strips are usually greener.

But I hear there could be a few clouds in Leeds and maybe even a shower!

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE CRICKET STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Golden Awards: The Best of the Best of FIFA 2018

France are the new World Cup champions, but they are not the only ones honoured at the Luzhniki Stadium after Sunday’s final.

This year’s World Cup featured plenty of spectacular individual performances over the past four weeks, and FIFA made sure to acknowledge those players who stood out the most in their awards ceremony following the big finale.

us takes a look at all the FIFA 2018 winners, and runners-up, of the individual awards handed out at the end of the greatest show on earth.

Golden Ball Award: Luka Modric, Croatia

Silver Ball: Eden Hazard, Belgium |Bronze Ball: Antoine Griezmann, France

Nobody would have ever thought that Croatia would make it deep in the knockout rounds, more so the finals. But they defied the FIFA 2018 odds, and that’s thanks in large part to skipper Luka Modric who served as the heart and soul of the team.

Indeed, no other player deserved the tournament’s best player award than the 32-year-old Real Madrid playmaker who kept the Vatreni rolling with his incredible ability to expose and exploit the weaknesses of opposing defences.

He scored in their opening two games in the group stage and provided an assist in their match with Russia that ended in a shootout. He set up his team’s tempo in every game and was unarguably the most consistent player in the competition.

“He played a terrific tournament which is another commendation for the team which helped to bring about Luka’s success. He did the lion share of our play and he was a deserved winner of the Golden Ball,” Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic said of Modric.

Eden Hazard—whose three-goal, two-assist haul pales in comparison to his tireless work up front for Belgium—took home the Silver Ball after leading the Red Devils to a third-place finish, the nation’s best showing in a World Cup.

Meanwhile, Antoine Griezmann won the Bronze Ball award, though he could argue he deserves better after his display in the final.

Golden Boot: Harry Kane, England

Silver Boot: Antoine Griezmann, France | Bronze Boot: Romelu Lukaku, Belgium

England finished fourth but Harry Kane remain on top after bagging FIFA 2018 Golden Boot award

England star Harry Kane celebrates with fans after their 6-1 win over Panama in the 2018 World Cup

Harry Kane wasn’t the best striker in the World Cup, but he bagged the competition’s top-scorer prize after finishing with six goals. For what it’s worth, three of his goals came from the penalty area—a fact that makes the feat a little less impressive.

Not to mention that Kane scored his first five goals in England’s first two matches (versus Tunisia and Panama) and failed to produce when it mattered most, particularly in the knockout games against Sweden and Croatia.

If there’s one thing Kane proved, though, it’s that he remains one of the best finishers in football. After all, it is not easy to score from the penalty area in a pressure-packed and high-stakes event like the World Cup. Remember, even the great Lionel Messi failed to convert from the spot against Iceland.

Kane joined Gary Lineker as the Three Lions’ only Golden Boot winners, with the 24-year-old equalling Lineker’s six-goal record in the 1986 edition of the FIFA men’s tournament.

Griezmann and Romelu Lukaku, perhaps the most entertaining striker in the contest, finished the race at second and third respectively.

Golden Glove Award: Thibaut Courtois

Courtois faced stiff competition from England’s Jordan Pickford, Croatia’s Danijel Subasic and France Hugo Lloris for the best goalkeeper award, but in the end, his consistent performance between the sticks for Belgium was difficult to ignore.

He kept only three clean sheets—two against England—but made 27 saves throughout which is the most by any keeper in the World Cup. He was pivotal for Belgium who only lost once in seven games despite considering defence of secondary importance.

The 26-year-old Chelsea man (for now) had his best performance against Brazil in which he made a total of nine amazing saves, including a clutch denial on Neymar that remains one of the top FIFA 2018 highlights.

FIFA Young Player Award: Kylian Mbappe

France young star Kylian Mbappe bags FIFA 2018 Young Player award

Kylian Mbappe in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final match between France and Croatia

There’s no doubt about this one, really.

There’s no other youngster in the World Cup that comes close to the memorable performance that the 19-year-old Mbappe put up in Russia.

Save for his annoying time-wasting tactics against Belgium in the semi-finals, the French forward undoubtedly impressed with his burst of speed and electric pace that made him nearly unstoppable.

He is the youngest player since Pele (1958) to ever score a brace in a World Cup knockout match, a feat he achieved against Argentina in the Round of 16. Mbappe was also a constant threat to opposing defences, and he made sure he’ll be remembered for a long time with his 65th-minute goal for France that effectively sealed the World Cup title.

 

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE WORLD CUP 2018 STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Making a Bigger Rocket: How Will Houston Beat Golden State?

If you kept an eye on the latest NBA news, you know that the offseason has been one of the craziest yet. Plenty of shocking free agency moves were made and the rookies have announced their arrival in the Summer League. However, the Golden State Warriors are still king of the basketball world, and that fact won’t likely change any time soon.

The Houston Rockets were once the biggest team to come out of the West and actually give the Dubs a proper challenge. However, Chris Paul went down with an injury and missed the important two games, which the Warriors easily won on the way to a third NBA title in four years.

H-Town could still add a third banner to their haul with the help of Paul and James Harden, but the West just got a lot tougher. I’m not saying that the Rockets won’t make it back to the Promised Land, but they got to have some things go their way.

Rivals got a boost

Many of the teams surrounding them went through a lot of offseason changes that has an immediate effect on their rosters. However, it would be criminal not to talk about the elephant in the room.

DeMarcus Cousins is a Warrior.

The league’s best center is only getting paid $5,337,000 to be able to play for the Dubs. The man who averaged 25 points and 11 rebounds per game in only 48 appearances is getting less dough than Shaun Livingston.

Let that sink in for a minute. All done? Good. Now let’s talk about the Dubs again.

Cousins claimed that only one other team gave him an offer sheet before he decided to chase a ring with the Warriors. Sure, an Achilles injury ended many a great career, but this is Boogie Cousins we’re talking about. It’s a foolish play for everyone (the Rockets included) to not even give him a one-year loan spell.

NBA updates: Cousins to the Warriors, LeBron to the Lakers. How will the Rockets prepare for their rivals?

Rockets’ conference rivals Warriors and Lakers strengthen their line-up by adding Demarcus Cousins and LeBron James to their squad respectively

Everyone will rue letting a beast like Cousins go to the Warriors. However, the Dubs aren’t the only ones the Rockets should worry about.

The Los Angeles Lakers are suddenly back to contention status after getting the best player on the planet in LeBron James to leave the Eastern Conference and settle in Hollywood. The mere presence of James quickly halted the rebuilding process of the Lakers and put them in the championship conversation.

They are reportedly chasing after Kawhi Leonard, but it is still unsure if the Spurs would even want to send their franchise star to a conference rival. LeBron is not rushing things, so it’s highly possible that they will not get their co-star until the next offseason.

Then there’s the Dallas Mavericks. Not only did they finally get their big man in DeAndre Jordan, they also have a future star. Luka Doncic is a supreme player who could take them to the Finals in the next ten years or so. The Rockets don’t have that much time with their star duo.

Houston, we have a roster problem

Aside from the opposition around them retooling and upgrading, the Rockets experienced a talent drain of their own.

Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, two important pieces to the Rockets’ defensive schemes and three-point shooting, have blasted off Toyota Center for Phoenix and Los Angeles, respectively. With two three-and-D players gone, Mike D’Antoni needs to find suitable replacements quick.

Another issue would is the center position. Houston fans are browsing through many basketball portals, hoping to see one positive Clint Capela news story. The man they drafted with the 25th pick in the 2014 Draft developed into an important cog of their machine and is a constant part of Houston Rockets highlights with his athletic dunks. He is now demanding a fat pay raise from his employers or he will pack up and leave.

Of course, many are confident that he will re-sign with the team that drafted him. However, the inability of the Rockets to seal the deal with their center has become a huge source of frustration for die-hard Rockets fans. The lack of progress in their negotiations give teams like the Lakers, the Spurs and the Pelicans opportunities to poach him away.

What should the Rockets do?

If the Rockets want to finally get over the hurdle that is the Golden State Warriors, they need to look beyond scoring. The Lakers believe that they should not fight fire with fire, and that’s something the Rockets should look into.

NBA updates: Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni needs to focus on upgrading his team

Building a better team should be Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni’s main priority to improve their chances of winning a championship

It may sound blasphemous to D’Antoni, but he really needs to improve their defensive efficiency for the coming season. While he is slowly getting better at organizing defensive plans, he needs to become able to guard the very fluid basketball of the Warriors. This is especially true today that they finally got a big that can stretch the floor.

Of course, they need to find replacements for Ariza and Mbah a Moute. They need to find superb wing defenders to stop Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson from scoring. They have something good going for them if they can grab Marcus Smart and Rodney Hood from the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers. Yogi Ferrell is also a solid option.

They need to clamp down Capela with a long-term contract. I don’t care if they have to shell out big bucks as long as they tie him down. He is an important piece for their campaign, and losing him would derail their plans, probably for good.

They can also get another cannon to join their ranks. There have been talks of Anthony coming over from Oklahoma City, and that is a viable option to take.

Finally, they need to have both of their stars healthy and ready to play for most of the playoffs. They were on their way to the Finals if it weren’t for Paul’s hamstring issues. If they can manage to keep their stars fit, then they have a great shot at the championship.

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE BASKETBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

A No-Joke Djokovic Triumphs at Wimbledon!

Novak Djokovic beats Kevin Anderson (6-2, 6-2, 7-6 [7])

Many of the fans who watched the semi-finals and saw the Wimbledon results knew that this was bound to happen one way or another.

The odds were just too much for Kevin Anderson to overcome on his own. He just endured two incredibly tough games to reach his first Wimbledon final at the young age of 32. After going through six hours and 36 minutes of hell, it would’ve been nice for the South African star to at least get a fighting chance for the final.

However, it was too tough a task to overcome a Joker that wasn’t smiling.

Novak Djokovic took advantage of the fact that Anderson toiled through two difficult matches to snag his fourth Wimbledon title. His serves were just too good for a man whose legs are half-dead to contend with.

However, there was one noticeable difference in his attitude when he won his latest Grand Slam. Compared to his previous triumphs, the All English Club saw the Joker.

He was deadly. He was meticulous. He was pouncing on every opportunity to get one up on his opponent. And he didn’t forget to let the English crowd know that he’s back.

Highlights of the game

Wimbledon Results: Kevin Anderson came up short against Novak Djokovic to settle for second place finish

Kevin Anderson tries to return the ball to Novak Djokovic during their Wimbled Open Finals clash

Keeping up with the trend, the final of the Gentlemen’s Singles saw another royal pair making their appearance known to the crowd. Both Prince William and Duchess Kate honoured the two athletes who both had to battle through tough opposition in order to play in front of them. There were also a good number of notable celebrities and politicians present at the Wimbledon final.

There were also a good number of ecstatic Anderson fans at Center Court, proudly waving the flag and egging the tired Anderson to his first Grand Slam title. They know that the man is tired from successive tough battles with John Isner and Roger Federer, so their cheers hopefully help their star take the extra mile.

While Djokovic knew just how tired his opponent is, he doesn’t want to have a repeat of his semi-final clash against Rafael Nadal and was looking to kill the game quickly.

He wasted no time hitting serve after powerful serve, making Anderson run for every point. The tall power server didn’t have his usual power with him and struggled to even get the ball across. The games went by quickly as Djokovic kept on overpowering him. The first set ended in Djokovic’s favour, 6-2.

The crowd saw more of the same action when the second set resumed. Anderson tried his hardest to keep his serves, but it seemed that he wasn’t able to find his groove in this game. While he did win three net points, Djokovic just manhandled him with serves and forced him to run.

However, things quickly got sticky for Novak. Anderson suddenly found his groove. He started firing bullet serve after bullet serve down the middle. He started keeping his games. He hit his fastest service in the third set and returned to his old self: a powerful server with a strong backhand.

It almost seemed like Djokovic was bound to cede a set, and he almost lost it when his opponent got a set point at 5-4. However, he kept his calm and unleashed his fury at the crowd when he managed to take it to the tiebreak.

While Djokovic is still the heavy favourite during the tiebreak, he wouldn’t allow to cede a set and give his South African opponent a chance to regroup. He quickly killed the game there and took home the trophy.

Key statistics

The game lasted two hours and nineteen minutes thanks to Anderson’s third-set resurgence. However, it looked like Djokovic was bound for the quick sweep during the first two sets. The quickest Wimbledon men’s final win was in 1881, which was won by William Renshaw in only 36 minutes.

While it did seem that Djokovic easily crushed the South African, Anderson had an amazing third set. In the final frame of the tournament, he got seven aces and recorded a 138 MPH first serve. In comparison, the fastest serve he fired in the second set was 134 MPH.

Meanwhile, this victory finally ends Novak Djokovic’s Grand Slam drought. The winless streak went on for eight Grand Slams, the second-longest of his career. The championship longest drought Nole endured in his career was 11 consecutive Grand Slam misses.

Djokovic really took advantage of Anderson’s tired legs: he made his opponent run 76.3 feet more and commit 19 more unforced errors throughout the match.

What’s next?

After the best Wimbledon Results, Novak Djokovic  now try to add another US open title

Novak Djokovic celebrates after earning a point during Wimbledon Open finals clash with Kevin Anderson

The game would return to the hard courts, and this is Anderson’s chance to shine. He made the US Open final last year and would love to finally win it this year.

Meanwhile, the mad Djokovic will look to finally add to his US Open haul of two trophies. He finds the most success in this Grand Slam: he made the final seven times between 2007 and 2016. He will want to keep his championship streak going and climb back up the ranks with another win here.

If you want to see more Kevin Anderson and Novak Djokovic updates, make sure to keep your eyes peeled at us Blog.

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE TENNIS STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

France are the Kings of FIFA 2018

France 4-2 Croatia

France are FIFA 2018 Champions after a World Cup final classic, with massive credit to Croatia who put up an incredible fight.

Les Bleus won both halves 2-1, but they were oh so different. The underdogs dominated the first, with Ivan Perisic playing out of his skin and scoring a great goal. But France cut loose in the second with strikes from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe.

Zlatko Dalic’s Croatia began the tournament as rank outsiders, with FIFA 2018 odds of 34.00 on them winning the title, so reaching the final was a huge achievement for this little nation. The road to Moscow was an arduous one, all three of their knockout wins going to extra time. And nine months ago, their qualification for the tournament was in serious doubt.

But in the end, Didier Deschamp’s France were just too good as Les Blues lifted the World Cup for the second time.

Croatia lost to France in FIFA 2018 Finals, 2-4

Croatia players look distraught after losing in World Cup 2018 finals to France, 2-4

Highlights

Croatia showed all their fighting spirit to see off a young and talented England team, and now they faced another group with age on its side but with a much more potent threat. Dalic’s men were up for the task from the off, looking sharp in possession and pressing quickly when Les Bleus had the ball.

Samuel Umtiti is one of the hottest defensive properties in world football, and he was called on in the 14th minute to make a crucial interception as Ivan Perisic found himself in acres of space only to see his cross cut out by the big Barca man. The striker Perisic was likely aiming for, Mario Mandzukic, soon opened up the scoring, but it was disaster for Croatia. Antoine Griezmann was lucky to win a free kick, but he put it into the danger zone and Mandzukic rose to head the ball beyond his own keeper and into the net.

Croatia weren’t down for long, though, and it was another set-piece goal. Luka Modric floated up a free kick and Perisic controlled the ball that was headed back into the box before firing his shot home. It was exactly what Croatia deserved.

VAR has been a big part of this World Cup. Nestor Pitana was called into action when Perisic handled in the box but knew little about it, and the Argentine referee stunned everyone when he pointed to the spot. Up stepped Griezmann, cool as you like, to slot the ball past Danijel Subasic and make it 2-1.  Unbelievably, it was France’s first shot of the game which put them two up!

The Croats were so unlucky to go into the break on the wrong end of the score.

France woke up and had another shot as the second half opened, Griezmann firing straight at Subasic before Ante Rebic brought Hugo Lloris into action with a fierce drive.

Young Kylian Mbappe has been the man of the tournament and insists it’s a privilege to play for France. You can see that in his running, chasing every ball using his electric pace. And he nearly stretched France’s lead, leaving Domagoj Vida for dead before Subasic made a brave save.

Croatia were still looking the better side, though, and it was a cruel blow when Les Bleus went 3-1 up. But it was a super goal. Paul Pogba released Mbappe, and the teenager left all in his wake to reach the by-line before pulling the ball back. It eventually returned to Pogba, and the Manchester United man fired a beauty home after his first shot was blocked.

And then came the youngster’s big moment. Mbappe took the ball some 25 yards out and fired an unstoppable drive low into the corner to make it four.

Now that would finish off most sides; but not Croatia who refused to lie down. With 20 minutes left, Mandzukic reduced the deficit after Lloris inexplicably, and under no pressure, bounced the ball off the Juve man and into the net.

But that was all the luck that went Croatia’s way, and France saw the game out convincingly.

The best team in the tournament has won it.

Key Statistics

France and Croatia have featured heavily in the FIFA 2108 highlights with their brands of exciting attacking football and moments of team and individual genius, and this final was no different.

Croatia dominated the first half and ended up winning the shot count by 14 to seven. But Lloris was rarely troubled, and Les Bleus had the cutting edge.

What else do we know?

Didier Deschamps is the third man to win the World Cup as a player and manager, and Mbappe is the first teenager to score in a final since the great Pele.

It’s a Champions League and World Cup double for defender Raphael Varane, and man of the first half Perisic made sure there has been an Inter Milan player in every final since 1982.

Poor old Mandzukic’s own goal was the first ever in a World Cup final. But

France has only been behind for nine minutes throughout the tournament.

And that tells you all you need to know.

What’s next?

FIFA 2108 highlights: Kylian Mbappe becomes the only second teenager to score in FIFA World Cup final

Kylian Mbappe scored one goal in France’s win over Croatia

For these two great teams, once the celebrations, congratulations and commiserations are over, it will be all eyes on Euro ’20, where both nations will have real aspirations to win.

In the meantime, the players will light up the biggest domestic leagues in the world, and today we’ve seen some of the very best on the planet.

But for now, the World Cup comes to a close. It’s been the most entertaining for decades, and we hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have here at us.

Allez Les Bleus!

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE WORLD CUP 2018 STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

The Title Defence Begins! Three Players Who Can Help Manchester City

Manchester City now have their eyes on creating history after winning the 2017-18 Premier League title. However, with all their rivals improving and bolstering their own rosters, Pep Guardiola knows they can’t stay the same as last season.

The Sky Blues have already added Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez in their ranks, but their summer work is far from over as Guardiola still has some weaknesses to address on his team to ensure they can compete in the Champions League and defend their title—something which the club has never done before.

Not to mention that City have to find possible replacements for Yaya Toure (released), as well as for Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho who are entering the twilight of their respective careers.

With that said, here are three players that Manchester City should sign this summer. We also named possible alternatives should they fail to ink the said prospects.

Benjamin Pavard (VfB Stuttgart)

Alternative signing: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur)

At 22 years old, Pavard is exactly the player Manchester City need in order to compete all while going young.

The French centre-back is often described as the perfect replacement for Kompany, who often frustrated Guardiola due to his injury history. Kompany made just 17 appearances for the club last season after sustaining numerous injuries, including a calf injury in August last year that sidelined him for almost three months.

Football News: Benjamin Pavard included on the list that will boost Manchester City to victory next season

France’s Benjamin Pavard celebrates after hitting an equaliser for Les Bleus against Argentina in World Cup 2018 round of 16

Pavard has been pivotal for France in the World Cup, even scoring the equaliser as Les Bleus battled back from a goal down to take down Argentina in the Round of 16. It shouldn’t also be forgotten that he started every game for Stuttgart and was one of the main defensive anchors of the team that finished seventh in the Bundesliga last season.

Oh, and have I mentioned that Stuttgart conceded the second-fewest goals last campaign, only behind eventual champions Bayern Munich?

He is undoubtedly a young and exciting talent that should fit well at Manchester City with his ability to even move to a defensive midfield role.

Manchester City have already expressed their intention of signing Pavard and luring him to the Premier League. Nonetheless, according to the latest football news, the likes of Bayern Munich and Tottenham are also plotting a move for the France World Cup star.

Should City fail to get Pavard, however, Guardiola should take a look at Alderweireld who is already expected to leave Tottenham. Sure enough, Alderweireld is 29 years old and isn’t really an upgrade to Kompany, but having another proven veteran should be a valuable addition to a team looking for a title repeat.

Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid)

Alternative signing: Miralem Pjanic (Juventus)

With the Jorginho deal falling apart, Manchester City now have their eyes on Real Madrid’s Kovacic.

Again, City are in dire need of a defensive midfielder, and the 24-year-old Kovacic is a prime candidate for the post.

Despite not regularly featuring for Croatia in the World Cup, he has impressed in the games he played in. Kovacic was unarguably the best player in their group stage game against Iceland and, in fact, completed all of his 79 passes in 80 minutes of action.

Additionally, he even managed to provide an assist for Ivan Rakitic in their 3-0 rout of Argentina despite coming in as an 82nd-minute substitute.

Kovacic has been struggling at Real Madrid, making only 37 starts in his three seasons at the Bernabeu. And certainly, he could use a fresh start somewhere else.

“I understand the situation, but because of that I believe the best thing for me would be to go to another club where I’d have the opportunity to play regularly as a starter,” Kovacic told Marca last month.

Los Blancos, though, are asking £80 million for the midfielder, a hefty price tag that may turn off Guardiola’s side.

Another option for City is Juventus ace Pjanic who can play several positions at midfield, though his price is another matter.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Alternative signing: Thomas Lemar (Monaco)

Hazard is a long, long shot for Manchester City, but getting the Chelsea man will surely shift the Premier League betting odds back in their favour.

Manchester City have shown interest on the Belgian last May, and that should have only increased by now after Hazard’s spectacular showing in the World Cup that saw him lead Belgium to a third-place finish.

Football News: Eden Hazard is believed to be a big help in Manchester City next Premier League season

Eden Hazard in action during Belgium’s third place playoff match against England in the 2018 World Cup

Hazard is quick, strong and a threat on the counter—game-changing qualities that City need to compete not only in the Premier League but also in Europe.

The Sky Blues could face strong competition from Real Madrid for Hazard’s service, and it’s unlikely Chelsea will be willing to make their English rivals stronger.

Thomas Lemar seems the more realistic option for Manchester City. The versatile Monaco forward is only 22 years old but has already appeared in 107 games and scored 22 goals for the Ligue 1 side.

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

The Title Defence Begins! Three Players Who Can Help Manchester City

Manchester City now have their eyes on creating history after winning the 2017-18 Premier League title. However, with all their rivals improving and bolstering their own rosters, Pep Guardiola knows they can’t stay the same as last season.

The Sky Blues have already added Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez in their ranks, but their summer work is far from over as Guardiola still has some weaknesses to address on his team to ensure they can compete in the Champions League and defend their title—something which the club has never done before.

Not to mention that City have to find possible replacements for Yaya Toure (released), as well as for Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho who are entering the twilight of their respective careers.

With that said, here are three players that Manchester City should sign this summer. We also named possible alternatives should they fail to ink the said prospects.

Benjamin Pavard (VfB Stuttgart)

Alternative signing: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur)

At 22 years old, Pavard is exactly the player Manchester City need in order to compete all while going young.

The French centre-back is often described as the perfect replacement for Kompany, who often frustrated Guardiola due to his injury history. Kompany made just 17 appearances for the club last season after sustaining numerous injuries, including a calf injury in August last year that sidelined him for almost three months.

Football News: Benjamin Pavard included on the list that will boost Manchester City to victory next season

France’s Benjamin Pavard celebrates after hitting an equaliser for Les Bleus against Argentina in World Cup 2018 round of 16

Pavard has been pivotal for France in the World Cup, even scoring the equaliser as Les Bleus battled back from a goal down to take down Argentina in the Round of 16. It shouldn’t also be forgotten that he started every game for Stuttgart and was one of the main defensive anchors of the team that finished seventh in the Bundesliga last season.

Oh, and have I mentioned that Stuttgart conceded the second-fewest goals last campaign, only behind eventual champions Bayern Munich?

He is undoubtedly a young and exciting talent that should fit well at Manchester City with his ability to even move to a defensive midfield role.

Manchester City have already expressed their intention of signing Pavard and luring him to the Premier League. Nonetheless, according to the latest football news, the likes of Bayern Munich and Tottenham are also plotting a move for the France World Cup star.

Should City fail to get Pavard, however, Guardiola should take a look at Alderweireld who is already expected to leave Tottenham. Sure enough, Alderweireld is 29 years old and isn’t really an upgrade to Kompany, but having another proven veteran should be a valuable addition to a team looking for a title repeat.

Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid)

Alternative signing: Miralem Pjanic (Juventus)

With the Jorginho deal falling apart, Manchester City now have their eyes on Real Madrid’s Kovacic.

Again, City are in dire need of a defensive midfielder, and the 24-year-old Kovacic is a prime candidate for the post.

Despite not regularly featuring for Croatia in the World Cup, he has impressed in the games he played in. Kovacic was unarguably the best player in their group stage game against Iceland and, in fact, completed all of his 79 passes in 80 minutes of action.

Additionally, he even managed to provide an assist for Ivan Rakitic in their 3-0 rout of Argentina despite coming in as an 82nd-minute substitute.

Kovacic has been struggling at Real Madrid, making only 37 starts in his three seasons at the Bernabeu. And certainly, he could use a fresh start somewhere else.

“I understand the situation, but because of that I believe the best thing for me would be to go to another club where I’d have the opportunity to play regularly as a starter,” Kovacic told Marca last month.

Los Blancos, though, are asking £80 million for the midfielder, a hefty price tag that may turn off Guardiola’s side.

Another option for City is Juventus ace Pjanic who can play several positions at midfield, though his price is another matter.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Alternative signing: Thomas Lemar (Monaco)

Hazard is a long, long shot for Manchester City, but getting the Chelsea man will surely shift the Premier League betting odds back in their favour.

Manchester City have shown interest on the Belgian last May, and that should have only increased by now after Hazard’s spectacular showing in the World Cup that saw him lead Belgium to a third-place finish.

Football News: Eden Hazard is believed to be a big help in Manchester City next Premier League season

Eden Hazard in action during Belgium’s third place playoff match against England in the 2018 World Cup

Hazard is quick, strong and a threat on the counter—game-changing qualities that City need to compete not only in the Premier League but also in Europe.

The Sky Blues could face strong competition from Real Madrid for Hazard’s service, and it’s unlikely Chelsea will be willing to make their English rivals stronger.

Thomas Lemar seems the more realistic option for Manchester City. The versatile Monaco forward is only 22 years old but has already appeared in 107 games and scored 22 goals for the Ligue 1 side.

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Anderson vs Djokovic: A Match That Has Top Wimbledon Odds

This Gentlemen’s Singles final is somewhat unexpected, but we cannot say that neither of these men deserved to be where they are right now.

Novak Djokovic and Kevin Anderson played fantastic tennis in the semi-final. Both produced memorable Wimbledon results after enduring extended fifth sets against Rafael Nadal and John Isner. Both endured the challenge of exhaustion. Both fought. Both got what they wanted. Now, they stand at the top of Wimbledon with the chance to go home with that trophy.

Novak Djokovic has been nothing short of amazing in the tournament. Some think that the former World No 1 is zeroing on a Wimbledon victory, playing angry tennis after a string of disappointing outings. Many think that he will easily win against a very exhausted Anderson.

However, it’s not exactly fair to just dismiss the South African star. Sure, he played a very tough semi-final in comparison to Djokovic. However, the mere fact that he hung on for that long shows that he is more than ready to take on whatever the Serbian smashes his way and return it three-fold.

I am honestly prepared to see this game go the whole nine yards and then some. I just hope the final doesn’t take more than six hours because that would cause pain in the literal rear of many fans.

Talking Points

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Kevin Anderson is not a tennis player. He is a warrior. Warriors fight, and that’s exactly what he did versus John Isner.

us Wimbledon Odds: Can Kevin Anderson pull off an upset against Novak Djokovic

Kevin Anderson returns the ball to John Isner during their Wimbledon men’s singles semifinals

The two played a marathon of a match and took 6hrs 36mins before Anderson won over Isner. They had an unbelievable final score of 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (9-11), 6-4, 26-24. The match reached the point that both players struggled to even make a powerful serve. Every serve, every step, every stroke took all of the power they could muster.

When the incredible yet ridiculous match was finally over, fans at Center Court and all around the world celebrated the end of the game for two incredible players. Isner is used to such battles: he is part of the longest Singles match in the tournament, where he won against Nicolas Mahut after 11 hours and 5 minutes.

While Anderson is honoured to be a part of such a historic match, he shares the sentiments of many frustrated fans. The America-based player called for the lack of a fifth set tie-break to be changed: “I hope we look at this because you don’t feel great. I hope this is a sign for Grand Slams to change.”

Meanwhile, Djokovic had quite a battle of his own. Many made countless jokes about the waiting time he and Nadal had to do in the locker rooms, but both of them played fantastic tennis that lived up to expectations when they did manage to finally play.

Djokovic was a set away from victory when the All England Club’s curfew policy meant that the game also had to be suspended for tomorrow. Nadal played great to force another thrilling fifth set. While many feared (or anticipated) another marathon of a match, Djokovic was quick to shut it down: he beat Nadal 10 games to 8 in the final frame to win the match.

Djokovic has been focused on winning the tournament and convincingly win against quality opposition on the way to the final. He wants retribution after a terrible dip in form due to injury. I wouldn’t be surprised if the fiery Serbian will manage to overpower the extremely exhausted Anderson and take home another Wimbledon title.

History

This is quite unfamiliar waters for the 32-year-old. While he has been playing in Grand Slams since 2008, he rarely made it past the fourth round. He found the most success at the US Open, where he reached the final in 2017 and the Last Eight in 2015.

Meanwhile, Djokovic feels right at home in Wimbledon. He had a six-year run where he always made the Last Four from 2010 to 2015. He made the quarter-final in 2017 before missing the remaining tournaments due to injury.

In terms of head-to-head matches, Djokovic has the upper hand. The only time Anderson got one over him was at the Miami Masters in 2008. Ever since then, the Serbian won every single game they had. While Anderson took Djokovic to full sets in 2015, the Serbian still managed to get out with the W.

Anderson will be against very tough Wimbledon odds here, but he has to remember that he triumphed over challenging battles against Isner and Roger Federer. The fact that Angelique Kerber also came out victorious in her own final should give him a bit of extra motivation as well.

What are the odds?

us Wimbledon odds favour Novak Djokovic to claim the Wimbeldon 2018 title

Novak Djokovic serves the ball during his Wimbledon semifinal clash with Rafael Nadal

us has interesting odds for this match, and other leading bookies also think that this will be a quick match for the Serbian.

The Asian Handicap market offers quite a low deal for Djokovic fans: -1.50 @ 1.40. They are that confident that he will take the game without any problems whatsoever.

However, they may have forgotten that Djokovic also played two consecutive days of tennis, and the final set also went beyond the 6-6 threshold. I think Anderson is a more sensible punt here, with a +1.50 boost coming in at 2.78.

If you think the game will reach full sets, there’s no reason for you to skimp and put a little faith on Anderson. His 4.33 Money Line odds is worth a shot.

This battle of iron-clad men will test each other’s mental strength and the hearts of their respective fans. Both of them have a shot at winning, so this match should be fun!

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE TENNIS STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Now, It’s Time for the Movers and the Shakers

There may be a few days remaining of the World Cup, but the priority for many now will be players returning to their clubs for pre-season training.

And that means increased speculation of who will move where, who will stay where and what each club needs in their bid to progress.

Notable transfers

This summer marks a decade since the Abu Dhabi revolution began at Manchester City and changed the face of English football. The reigning champions have spent more money than any other club before them to become established players at home and abroad.

There is no doubt the recruitment of Algerian wonder Riyad Mahrez is another sign of the intentions of a club which already has a massive head start on their rivals – if last season’s Premier League title is anything to go by.

Football odds suggest more recruits will surely follow but, even if they didn’t, City will start the campaign in a month’s time as overwhelming favourites to reclaim their crown.

One player they were linked to was Napoli’s Italian midfielder Jorginho, yet they pulled out leaving the way for Chelsea and his former manager Maurizio Sarri.

West Ham have probably been the busiest side so far. New boss Manuel Pellegrini has moved quickly to snap up Jack Wilshere, Lukasz Fabianski, Andriy Yarmolenko, Ryan Fredericks and Issa Diop in what will be a new-look Claret and Blue next season.

Although those recruits will be more than needed with Andy Carroll and Winston Reid due to miss the first few months of the season through injury.

Arsenal, who also have a new man at the helm for the first time in 22 years, have been busy too.

Unai Emery has snapped up veteran Swiss international Stephan Lichtsteiner as a free agent, along with Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen, another experienced defender in Sokratis Papastathopoulos and now Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira among others.

The times they are a changing at both these two clubs in the capital.

In the north east, Newcastle United have not spent much, but Rafa Benitez has at least £10 million at his disposal with the departure of midfielder Mikel Merino and has moved to bring back one of the success stories of the end of last season, Kenedy, on a season long-loan from Chelsea.

There’s certainly plenty of time left for more arrivals before the Premier League bursts into life on August 10.

Who’s next?

Football odds continue to be shocked by transfer news and rumours

Felipe Anderson transfers to West Ham United as the squad tries to improve for their football gambling fans

Well, that is the multi-million dollar question.

Especially as the market may have been blown wide open by the £99-million move of world number one Cristiano Ronaldo from European champions Real Madrid to Juventus.

West Ham seem set to boost their squad further after agreeing a £35-million club-record deal with Lazio to sign midfielder Felipe Anderson, capped once by Brazil. Liverpool have just announced a deal for Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri for what seems a snip at £12 million after Stoke City’s relegation to the Championship.

With Marco Silva now at the helm at Everton, expect him to perhaps be reunited with an old friend or two.

The Toffees have reportedly had a £30-million bid for Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure turned down.

Willian would be an excellent signing for a top club after being out of favour under Conte, But the new Chelsea manager will surely want the Brazilian to stay, even if he had a slightly underwhelming World Cup.

Likewise, the departure of Ronaldo from Madrid means Gareth Bale will likely stay at the Bernabeu – new manager Julen Lopetegui will not want to lose another big name so quickly.

And what of Eden Hazard? He proved his world-class credentials in Russia. Will the Belgian captain stay in west London or could now be the moment he pushes for a move elsewhere in Europe?

Across London, Spurs are being linked once again with Bordeaux forward Malcolm.

Expect some more big moves over the next few weeks – in many ways the transfer merry-go-round is just beginning.

Winners and losers

It’s probably too early to say right now.

You don’t need to be up to speed on football gambling to see it’s clear both Leicester and Man City are winners out of the Mahrez transfer.

Leicester have made a profit of £59 million for a player they signed from Le Harve for £400,000 in 2014, while City have broken their club record but signed a winger at the peak of his powers.

They got someone who scored 48 goals in four seasons for a club deemed unfashionable and scored 12 goals in 36 league games last term to help the Foxes finish in ninth place.

 

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Kerb Your Enthusiasm, Serena: Kerber Pulls Off the Best Wimbledon Results!

Angelique Kerber vs Serena Williams (6-3, 6-3)

It was a great tournament for both Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber.

Serena made a huge statement by reaching the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles final just months after giving birth to her daughter. Her sheer prowess with the tennis racket made up for her 16 months of absence from the sport and took her back to the top of Wimbledon. A win here would have helped her make history.

Meanwhile, Angelique Kerber had fantastic Wimbledon results at the start, and her strong play helped her reach her second final. This was the best time for her to snag a Wimbledon title for herself. This was also a perfect chance for her to come back and avenge her loss to Williams on the same court two years ago.

And what a revenge she got. She got the win even though the odds were against her. She won her first Wimbledon title by defeating one of the best female tennis players in the sport’s history in straight sets.

This win does not only mean a first Wimbledon title for Kerber: this also sets her up to make a roaring return to the top spot of the WTA rankings, currently held by Simona Halep.

Highlights of the game

Serena Williams News: The 7-time Wimbledon champion lost the final to Angelique Kerber

Serena Williams loses in straight sets to Angelique Kerber in Wimbledon final

One of the biggest highlights of the game wasn’t even related to what was happening on the court: duchesses Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle made a show of support to the incredible women playing in the Ladies’ Singles final. It’s not every day that the tournament is graced by royalty, so it’s understandable that the crowd made a huge deal of the entire affair.

The attention quickly went back to the stars in white when the game got underway. It was a great exhibition of the two schools of thought in tennis as Williams would try to overpower Kerber’s technical tennis with her powerful serves.

Serena did well in the first set of the tournament, snagging two service aces and clocking in an incredible serve speed average of 102 MPH. However, Kerber did cover a lot more ground and returned the ball to difficult spots of the court. She took advantage of Williams’ relatively comparably poor match fitness to forcibly take the first set.

Kerber did well on the returns. She had a total of 22 return points in the opening set and won 15 of those. Her American opponent, meanwhile, struggled with her returns as she got an 8-for-20 for her return points. She had problems with her backhand as she committed eight unforced ground-stroke errors.

The second set saw much improvement from Williams, halving her unforced errors by then. However, that mattered little as Angelique played like a divine angel on the grass.

Williams’ average service speed slowed down in the second set, giving Kerber more time to react to the ball and put it in spots where Williams would have difficulty returning the ball. Both of their service games had improved as both ladies got less than 10 return points.

Serena could have hung on and completed a great storyline by winning straight sets, but Kerber held on to win the game. She wasn’t able to break the German’s serves and had to settle with getting the second-highest honours in this year’s tournament.

The moment Williams failed to send the ball across, she understandably fell to the grass and exhaled a huge sigh of relief. She’s got her vengeance, and Williams was more than gracious to congratulate her for it.

Key statistics

While this is Kerber’s night for jubilation, let me remind you just how impressive Williams was this tournament.

It’s been only less than ten months since she went through a very complicated childbirth. One would think that it would take quite a while before any significant Serena Williams news would hit the wire.

However, she played a great game against Kerber and pleased the crowd. While she lost this final, her batting average at Wimbledon is still high: she only lost three of her ten Wimbledon finals matches.

This is only the third time Kerber took down Williams in an official match, but this is a great achievement for Kerber. Their games are usually decided in straight sets, and this victory follows the trend.

Kerber played a very secure game against Williams: she only ceded two unforced errors. While she only made six winners, her efforts on the court (she covered 41.5 ft for every point) helped secure her first win here.

What’s next?

Wimbledon Results: Angelique Kerber deny Serena Williams her 24th Grand Slam win

Angelique Kerber celebrates after winning the women’s singles final match against Serena Williams

With the grass court season officially winding down, the two ladies will be preparing to go back to the hard courts.

The US Open is the next big thing on the tennis calendar, and Williams will want to snag her home Grand Slam. Both will be trying to win their next tournaments in order to increase their rankings and qualify for the WTA Finals.

Of course, us will be keeping an eye on the progress of these strong ladies and will be following their next competitions in the tennis calendar.

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE TENNIS STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!