United is the Team for Football Betting Fans

Two football games in and two 4-0 wins have put Manchester United right where its expectant live betting fans believe their team should be…at the top.

Okay, these are early days but I never thought I’d say this: Jose Mourinho is currently coaching a team full to the brim with attacking flair!

WEEK 3 SATURDAY:

Bournemouth vs Manchester City

Eddie Howe’s Cherries are yet to earn a point, but a morale-boosting win in the League Cup at Birmingham shows they’re not too far away. They may have to wait another week after City visit the South Coast again, having won at Brighton on the opening day.

Huddersfield Town vs Southampton

How long can the Huddersfield dream go on? They’ll be underdogs in almost every game they play this season and that’s certainly the case with the visit of Mauricio Pellegrino’s Saints, who arrive on the back of a 3-2 win over West Ham.

Watford FC vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton fans are finding life more testing in their first visit to the Premier League. In Chris Hughton, they have a talented manager, but the players he has at his disposal may struggle to meet the mark. Watford have recruited well, particularly in head coach Marco Silva and already have four points.

Newcastle United vs West Ham United

Jonjo Shelvey’s daft sending off on the first day of the season is arguably the main reason Newcastle have lost their first two matches. Slaven Bilic has attracted some talent to West Ham in Pablo Zabaleta and Chicharito, but the Hammers are also pointless so there’ll be nerves on both sides on this one.

Crystal Palace vs Swansea City

Frank de Boer has a great chance to pick up his first point as Palace manager when the Eagles entertain a post-Sigurdsson Swansea. Paul Clement’s team was thumped by Manchester United last week and will be in the group of eight or nine teams working all season to avoid the drop, Palace included I suspect.

WEEK 3 SUNDAY:

Manchester United vs Leicester City

The high-flying Red Devils welcome the Foxes to Old Trafford in what could turn out to be the game of the weekend. Betting odds will favour a home win, of course, but Leicester have been known to stun United in recent seasons and they have shown decent form already, beating Brighton after putting the wind up Arsenal.

Chelsea vs Everton

Crisis…what crisis? After an opening day humiliation at the hands of Burnley, Chelsea promptly went to Spurs and beat their title rivals. Marcos Alonso has started the season in fine form, but Chelsea will have to be at their best to beat an Everton side which followed up a win against Stoke with an impressive draw at the Etihad.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Burnley

For all his words of comfort, Mauricio Pochettino knows full well his team is struggling to settle in their new Wembley home, but they should be too good for Burnley. The Clarets did turn Chelsea over though and have just recruited more firepower in £16m signing Chris Wood.

West Bromwich Albion vs Stoke City

These two pugilistic sides have participated in four one-goal matches so far, but crucially the Baggies have won both theirs while Stoke are one and one. Both teams are about effort and organisation and I think Tony Pulis’s West Brom have the edge.

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Gunners Football Games are All About Ecstasy and Agony

Liverpool vs Arsenal

You have to feel for Arsenal fans. They have seen more false dawns in the last few years to last a lifetime, and every season they end up deflated.

Beautiful football and running your club prudently are all very admirable, but it’s no good for sports betting fans when we don’t know what to expect week after week! A lack of Champions League football for the first time in two decades surely gives the Gunners a better chance of domestic success this season.

But when Olivier Giroud climbed off the bench to score a late winner against Leicester, betting websites and pundits alike responded with caution.

And quite right, because last weekend they were beaten by a Stoke City side widely tipped to struggle this season!

So a trip to Anfield isn’t the ideal follow up. Which Arsenal will turn up? A lot depends on the confidence of the Gunners’ strikers because their defence still looks flaky. Alexandre Lacazette scored seconds into his debut and Wenger needs his marquee signing to deliver week after week.

Liverpool have made a solid start with a win and a draw. While Jurgen Klopp faces the likelihood of losing his star man Philippe Coutinho; he looks to have unearthed a gem in wing back Andy Robertson.

The Reds could be about to heap more agony on the poor Arsenal fans…

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Shakespeare expecting duo to stay

Demarai Gray has found it tough to force his way in to Craig Shakespeare's Leicester plans.

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare has played down the likelihood of either Demarai Gray or Islam Slimani leaving the club this summer.

The attacking duo played a starring role in Tuesday's 4-1 EFL Cup victory at Sheffield United, Slimani grabbing a brace while Gray also got on the scoresheet and provided an assist.

It was a first start of the season for both men at Bramall Lane, the pair having had to watch the majority of Leicester's two Premier League games from the bench.

Both players are eager to cement themselves as first-team regulars, resulting in them being linked with moves away from the King Power Stadium this summer as they search for more gametime.

Ahmed Musa is another player thought to have been looking for a new home during the transfer window and he also staked a claim for more regular involvement with a goal at the death on Tuesday.

Shakespeare says he was impressed with what he saw of his fringe players during the win at Sheffield United and has ruled out letting any of them leave, claiming they all have roles to play in his team during the course of the season.

He said: "It was important to give the fringe players, or those who haven't played, some game time and when you do that you hope they'll respond in the right way.

"I thought the team responded really well. They're part of the squad and they carry on.

"We'll need everyone as we go along because it's a tough old season in the Premier League and whether it's a loss of form, a change of tactics or injuries, you have all that to contend with."

While Shakespeare would like to keep his squad intact, he has previously admitted that he could lose a couple of players before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month.

The Foxes boss is unsure on whether he will retain Riyad Mahrez, who has asked to leave, and Danny Drinkwater, claiming their futures will not be sorted until late on in the window.

“I’ve read the speculation the same as you but until we get the bids accepted, there’s no difference for me,” he said.

“We carry on with them. All the time we’re talking about the speculation. We’ll carry on as normal until I’m told otherwise."

Having made it through to the third round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday, Leicester are now 25/1 to lift the trophy.

Leicester take on Manchester United this Saturday and are 8/1 for the win, while the early league leaders are 1/3 and the draw is 4/1.

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Abbas completes Phoenix roster

Former Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC star Ali Abbas is back in the A-League after signing for Wellington Phoenix.

The left-sided player, who previously had stints with Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC, has joined the Phoenix as an injury replacement player for Louis Fenton.

Abbas has made 128 A-League appearances across his spells with the Jets and the Sky Blues.

He spent last season in Korea with Pohang Steelers, and rejected several offers to play in his native Iraq before agreeing terms with Wellington.

Abbas will provide depth and versatility to the squad with his ability to play in any position down the left flank.

He will take the place of the oft-injured Fenton, who is likely to spend next season at national league level before re-joining the Phoenix on a one-year deal from next September.

Wellington assistant coach Rado Vidosic said the club were pleased to have signed a player with experience of both the A-League and the Asian Champions League.

He added: "As a left-footed player he brings a lot of balance to the team and also competition on the left-handed side – at fullback, as a midfielder and a winger."

Abbas' signing will complete the roster of coach Darije Kalezic ahead of his first season in charge.

Kalezic said: "It hasn't always been possible in the past to attract top-quality Australian players to join us here at Wellington – that has changed."

He said he was pleased to be linking up again with Vidosic, who he worked with at Sydney FC.

"He's very tactical, and structured, he makes you understand the roles you play, so the chance to work again with him, and of course to learn from Darije, was very exciting," added Abbas.

The Phoenix are 7/5 to win their first game of the league season against Adelaide, who are 17/10.

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Southampton bring in Hoedt

Southampton have improved their defensive options with the signing of centre-back Wesley Hoedt from Lazio for £15million.

 

The 23-year-old becomes the Saints' third signing of the summer, following Mario Lemina and Jan Bednarek in making the move to the south coast.

The Netherlands international has signed a five-year contract at St Mary's and makes the switch to the Premier League off the back of an impressive two-year spell with Lazio.

Hoedt's performance in the Italian capital earned him a call-up to the Netherlands national team earlier this year and he hopes the move to Southampton will help to establish himself as a regular for the Dutch.

Hoedt said: "I'm really happy to be here. I think Southampton is a really big club, so it's a good next step for me to come here and to play in the Premier League and try to help the best I can."

Hoedt becomes the second centre-half signed by the Saints this summer following the arrival of Bednarek but the club have insisted neither are replacements for Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk has asked to leave Southampton this summer but the club are unwilling to let him go and vice chairman of football Les Reed is excited to pair up Hoedt with his Dutch compatriot.

"Wesley has proven his talent through his performances for Lazio, as well as the Netherlands, and we believe he can develop even further here at Southampton, alongside his international teammate Virgil van Dijk, as well as the likes of Jack Stephens, Maya Yoshida, Jan Bednarek and Florin Gardos," said Reed.

"With Wesley joining those players, we believe we have the right amount of quality, depth and flexibility at centre-back to help us achieve our aims this season."

With van Dijk currently unavailable to boss Mauricio Pellegrino due to the ongoing speculation over his future, Hoedt could be go straight in to the first-team squad for this weekend's trip to Huddersfield.

The Terriers are 12/5 to make it three wins from three on Saturday, while the Saints are 23/20 and the draw is 9/4.

Before that clash, Pellegrino's men face Wolves in the EFL Cup second round and are 1/4 to qualify for the next stage of a competition in which they finished runners-up last season.

Silva left fuming by Watford

Watford boss Marco Silva says he was left very disappointed by a bad night at the office for his team as they lost 3-2 to Bristol City in the second round of the EFL Cup.

The Hornets made six changes to their starting line-up for the visit of the Robins, who themselves shuffled the pack from their last Championship game, making nine alterations.

Having made a strong start to life under Silva, Watford were expected to make it through to the third round of the competition and made a good start when Etienne Capoue gave them the lead.

However, Bristol City hit back to go ahead before the home side's night got worse when Jose Holebas was given a straight red card to compound a tough day for Silva.

A first defeat as Watford boss left a bad taste in the Portuguese's mouth and he could not hide his disappoint at being the victim of a cup upset.

"Bad night – a really bad result for us, a disappointing result," Silva said. "Of course we prepared for the match to win and we knew what we needed to do to win, but we didn't do it.

"In the first half we controlled the match but we played very slow. Very, very slow, too slow all the first half. We controlled the match, we don't give a lot of solutions for our opponents to make problems for us but we need to do something different in our fast decisions, in our counter attack as well, to create more chances to finish."

Silva will now be looking for his team to bounce back when they face newly-promoted Brighton at home on Saturday.

Watford, who have taken four points from their first two games, are 10/11 for the win, while the winless Seagulls are 1/4 and the draw 12/5.

How Will These Big Clubs Paint Beautiful London?

We know that it’s still early in the Premier League season, but the thrills and spills of football betting are already on the rise!

This week’s most intriguing football games come from the giants of London. Every club in the Premier League that calls London their home isn’t having the greatest start to their seasons. However, betting websites are pretty confident in the abilities of Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea to bounce back.

With such an interesting start to the season, I find it important to ask: who will paint London in their colours by the season’s end?

Chelsea vs Everton (August 27, 20:30 GMT+8)

The defending champions are far from their ideal start to the season, but a late thriller at Wembley should have helped the Blues regain their confidence a fair bit.

Their start isn’t getting any easier, however: Everton have become such a tough opponent ever since their very productive time in the summer window. Ronald Koeman may have finally built the team that would take the Toffees to the Champions League after a draw against Manchester City.

I think this game would end in a draw: there’s no way Antonio Conte would allow his side to lose at Stamford Bridge, but Everton are too good to be beaten, either. My first tip is 🌟🌟 Everton +1.00 Asian Handicap for 2.25.

Liverpool vs Arsenal (August 27, 23:00 GMT+8)

Arsenal need a win to correct their disappointing display against Stoke City, but their upcoming game against Liverpool is anything but automatic three points.

The Reds are doing just fine without Philippe Coutinho, winning against Crystal Palace and Bundesliga giants Hoffenheim. Meanwhile, Arsenal had to be saved late in the game by Olivier Giroud to win their opener against Leicester.

Arsenal need to sort out Alexis Sanchez’s transfer drama fast or it will continue to have a negative effect on the team. All of the Gunners’ on- and off-field issues will eventually bring them their second straight defeat this season. I’d advise punters to make another 🌟🌟 for Liverpool -0.50 @ 2.14.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Burnley (August 27, 23:00 GMT+8)

Some say that the Wembley Curse is haunting Tottenham Hotspur, but I don’t think Mauricio Pochettino is even paying attention to such things: they were the dominant side during their second-week clash with Chelsea. The Argentine boss only needs to make a few adjustments to prepare for Burnley.

The Clarets shocked the world after pulling off a fantastic win against Chelsea, but fans were quickly humbled by West Brom’s Hal Robson-Kanu. Tony Pulis won’t likely be relying on superstition to get him through, but opponents such as Dele Alli and Harry Kane can make anyone wish it was true.

My final tip is a risky one: Tottenham -1.50 @ 1.84 for 🌟🌟🌟.

A short explanation on how our (🌟) bets are worth:

🌟🌟🌟 = £20
🌟🌟 = £10
🌟 = £5

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Klopp wants Liverpool statement

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admits it would be a big step in the right direction for the club to qualify for the Champions League ahead of the play-off second leg clash with Hoffenheim.

The Reds have a 2-1 advantage from the first leg in Germany and will be expected to finish the job against their Bundesliga opponents, who are making their debut in Europe's top club competition.

Liverpool, who are unbeaten at home against German opposition, are looking to reach the group stages of the Champions League for just the second time since the 2009/10 season.

There was no European football at Anfield last term and Klopp says it is important Liverpool get back to rubbing shoulders with the elite, claiming a shock defeat is unthinkable.

“Yes, this would be a statement for our club and supporters — and I do not think in life it makes a lot of sense that if you have big chance you think about the consequences if you lose it,” he explained.

“We are all excited about the possibility. You can look on it as a final or in different ways as a fan, as an owner, as a player or as a manager but in the end it is a football game.

“I know it is a legend of Anfield on European nights, they are really special and we need these special nights. Everyone who wants this needs to do their job in this match."

The Reds are 13/20 to win the game, while Hoffenheim are 17/4 and the draw is 10/3.

Liverpool will again be without Philippe Coutinho for the clash, the Brazilian being ruled out due to illness having missed the first three games of the season with a back injury.

Rumours continue to persist linking the playmaker with a move to Barcelona and Klopp remains tight lipped on whether he will still be on Merseyside come the closure of the transfer window.

If he does stay, Klopp expects Coutinho to get his head down and focus on his football, while dismissing the saga involving his future has damaged their relationship.

"Of course, everything is okay between me and him," Klopp said when asked if his relationship with Coutinho is cordial. "Absolutely, 100 per cent."

He added: "It will take time because he has not trained for a long time. I've no idea at this moment (when he will return), we would have to check when he is back."

Liverpool are 25/1 to win the Champions League this season, while holders Real Madrid are 4/1.

Celtic survive Astana scare

Celtic survived a second half scare in Kazakhstan against Astana as they booked their spot in the Champions League group stage.

The Scottish champions carried a five-goal advantage into the second leg after a resounding win in Glasgow last week,

The Hoops fell behind when Dimitri Shomko's shot was diverted into the net by Kristoffer Ajer in the first half.

Scott Sinclair produced a stylish equaliser before the break but Celtic threatened to capitulate after the interval, Serikzhan Muzhikov and Patrick Twumasi (2) putting the hosts 4-1 up with 20 minutes still to play.

Olivier Ntcham and Leigh Griffiths made the tie safe for the visitors, Celtic eventually going through 8-4 on aggregate.

It was Celtic's first defeat in all competitions since losing to Barcelona in Glasgow on 23rd November.

Should any of Sevilla, Liverpool, Olympiakos or Napoli be eliminated in Tuesday and Wednesday's play-off ties, Celtic will be in pot three for the group stage draw in Nyon on Thursday. If all four of those sides progress, Rodgers' men will be in pot four.

Rodgers has now guided Celtic into the Champions group stages for the second season running.

Liverpool are 13/20 to beat Hoffenheim on Wednesday. The Germans are 9/2 while the draw is 10/3.

Jurgen Klopp's side lead 2-1 from the first leg.

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Dortmund stand firm on Dembele

Borussia Dortmund have reiterated their stance that they will not negotiate with Barcelona over a price for Ousmane Dembele.

The Bundesliga side suspended Dembele indefinitely earlier this month after the 20-year-old boycotted training in protest after the club rejecting an initial bid from Barcelona for his services.

Barcelona are eyeing up Dembele after Neymar's world record switch to Paris St-Germain.

Dembele is contracted to Dortmund until 2021 and reports claim the Germans want €130m (£119m) for the player, who signed from Rennes for €15m (£13.7m) last year.

Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said they have made their position very clear to Barcelona, and that they won't be taking any backwards steps.

"We are prepared to sell him and what we want is on the table," said Watzke.

"When it's not met, Dembele will stay with us. We will not negotiate."

Barcelona's general manager Pep Segura insisted last week that a deal was close to being agreed with Dortmund. Dembele has already quit his accommodation in Dortmund and moved back to France.

Watzke has also joined those calling for the transfer window to close on 1st August, rather than at the end of the month in order to avoid unsettled players failing to contribute for their clubs after the season has started.

"In the summer, the fans look forward to the season and when it starts, it should be about football, not this theatre," he added.

Dortmund are 6/1 to win the Bundesliga this season, while they can be backed at 4/6 in the market without Bayern Munich, who are 1/7 to retain their title.

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