Jose plays down Sanchez talk

Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho says he has been given no indication that striker Alexis Sanchez may be looking to leave Old Trafford.

The 29-year-old Chile international has struggled to hit top form since joining the Red Devils from Arsenal in January, having scored just three goals in 21 Premier League appearances.

That lack of impact has prompted suggestions that former Barcelona ace Sanchez could look to move on, but Mourinho has played down such talk.

He told reporters ahead of a Saturday afternoon visit from Crystal Palace: "I don't think so, because he never told me that he wants to leave or isn't happy to stay.

"He is improving like the team is improving. When he plays he is giving us his personality, his desire to play and to produce for the team and trying to adapt to how we play and vice versa.

"Can he do better? I think we can all do better."

Sanchez has found the net just once for United this season, scoring a dramatic late winner in a 3-2 victory over Newcastle United.

However, during the recent international break he was on target in both of his appearances for Chile, as they lost 3-2 to Costa Rica before claiming a 4-1 victory against Honduras.

Meanwhile, United are 4/9 to secure all three points against Palace on Saturday, with Sanchez 6/4 to score at any time, while the in-form Anthony Martial is available at 6/4.

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Vidal cools injury fears

Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal has played down fears that he faces another spell on the sidelines with a new knee injury.

Reports suggested the 31-year-old had picked up the problem during a training session with Chile in Japan.

Vidal had to endure a knee operation in April, which forced him to miss the closing weeks of Bayern Munich's 2017/18 season, before his summer switch to Barcelona.

However, Vidal insists: "I heard a lot of things and they're all lies. I've [got] nothing wrong with me.

"I left before training for a rest after a long journey. I went to the gym and used the bike, but I did everything as normal in training.

"It was a 24-hour journey and training after that is not easy, but everything is fine."

Chile's match with Japan was cancelled because of an earthquake in Hokkaido, with Vidal adding: "We felt the earthquake but we are fine and a little bored, but that's how things are.

"We felt how strong the earthquake was, we were all sleeping. These are things that happen in life.

"It is important for everyone to know that we are all fine, nothing has happened to us. It was more of a scare than anything else."

Barcelona are 6/1 to win the Champions League this season and 8/13 to clinch the La Liga title.

Vidal to leave Bayern for Barca

Chile international Arturo Vidal has agreed to leave Bayern Munich and is set to sign a three-year contract with Barcelona.

The 31-year-old, who has scored 24 goals in 100 appearances for his country, is set to have a medical in the next few days.

Bayern said in a statement: "Arturo Vidal is leaving Bayern Munich with immediate effect to join Spanish Liga champions Barcelona. The clubs reached agreement on the transfer late on Friday evening."

It is believed that Barcelona will pay approximately £16million for the former Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus player.

Vidal, who has been with Bayern since 2015, said: "Thank-you to FC Bayern and all the fans. I'd like to thank the club for giving me the chance to take on another new challenge with Barcelona."

Vidal won four Serie A titles, the Italian Cup and two domestic Supercups with Juventus and played for the Old Lady in their 2015 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.

During his time in Munich, Vidal scored 22 goals in 124 appearances for Bayern and won the Bundesliga title three times, the German Cup and two domestic Supercups.

Barcelona can be backed at 5/1 to win the Champions League this season, while Bayern Munich are available at 13/2, Real Madrid at 13/2 and Liverpool at 12/1.

Pole-Axed by Chile in an Entertaining Clash

Poland 2-2 Chile

Poland will head off to Russia much the stronger after a pulsating game against a Chile side which should really be there as well.

Without their star names, the South Americans stormed back fro a two goal deficit to claim a draw at the INEA Stadium in Poznan. And it was the least they deserved.
Poland has a great chance of progressing to the knockout stages in FIFA World Cup 2018 and they are unlikely to face a better side than Chile in their group.

It was a great game to watch with both teams scoring super goals, but now Poland heads off to World Cup 2018 in Russia while Chile has time off to contemplate just what might have been.

Highlights

This was a new look Chile team with big name stars missing. So no Alexis Sanchez and no Arturo Vidal; and the way the game started it looked like Reinaldo Rueda may have entrusted his new men a little too early as Poland stormed into a two goal lead.

The visitors certainly matched their opponents in the opening stages but as the half hour approached, Poland began to threaten. Kamil Grosicki and Karol Linetty both had attempts on goal before a double strike in four minutes put the Poles firmly in control. First, top scorer Robert Lewandowski hit a screamer into the top left hand corner on thirty minutes, and then it was two when Piotr Zielinski took a pass from the lively Grosicki, and fired low into the right hand corner for his fifth international goal.

Poland blew a two-goal lead in a World Cup 2018 warm-up with Chile

Robert Lewandowski scores his 53rd international goal

The attacking midfielder had matched Lewandowski by scoring in back to back games, and the home crowd could be excused for thinking this may be an easy evening. This was the first meeting between these proud nations, but at eighth and ninth in the FIFA World Rankings Poland and Chile are two teams to be reckoned with; and Rueda’s team fought back straight away.

Just four minutes after going two behind Angelo Sagal crossed for Diego Valdes to head home from close range, and it was game on.

Chile gave it a real go at the start of the second half, winning five corners in the first ten minutes and the pressure paid off, on 56 minutes, when Miiko Albornoz hit a screamer into the top corner to level the scores and silence the Poznan crowd.

Poland tried to get back on the front foot and Grzegorz Krychowiak came close, firing just wide. But then, after an exhausting first hour, the action began to calm down and on 75 minutes Lewandowski was replaced by Lukasz Teodorczyk. Chile looked comfortable and appeared the more likely to score as the clock ran down, Junior Fernandez having a header blocked before Paulo Diaz headed wide from a Valdes cross.

So, 2-2 it finished in a great night of football for the Polish crowd, with much to be pleased about for both coaches. Will this impact on Poland’s World Cup 2018 odds? Well I don’t think it will do any harm. Shipping a two goal lead isn’t impressive, but then Chile is the ninth best team in the world.

Key Statistics

This was an excellent test of Poland’s attributes before they head to Russia, but failing to win makes it one victory in five, but I don’t think that will worry Adam Nawalka too much.

What may concern him a little more is that his side conceded 52 per cent possession, at home, and lost the shot count by 16 to 12. But I think that’s more testament to Rueda’s team’s endeavour and skill. They certainly put themselves about, conceding 18 fouls to Poland’s seven and picking up the only two yellow cards in the game, and showed they have more than just Sanchez and Vidal in their armoury.

If we’re looking for World Cup 2018 betting tips then I believe Poland is still good for, at least, at last 16 place… but it’s a shame Chile won’t be there.

What’s next?

So Group H awaits Poland in Russia, and it’s a league Adam Nawalka will expect to get out of, they start with a tie against Senegal, and then face Japan and Colombia. It will be their first appearance in the World Cup since 2006, so they’ll be keen to make an impression and have a quick start. But before they take on Senegal they have one final chance to prepare, at home to Lithuania next week.

As for Rueda and his squad, well I guess they can join Sanchez and Vidal on the beach and enjoy the tournament with the rest of us!

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Poland and Chile…this is a good Match-Up

Poland vs Chile

Chile is bringing a much-changed side to face Poland at the INEA Stadium in Poznan on Friday, but no South American team will roll over, so it’s a bound to be a good workout for the hosts.

With the big FIFA 2018 football extravaganza just around the corner this is another chance to look at one of the outside bets. Adam Nawalka’s team isn’t expected to win the tournament by anyone outside Poland, and very few in it! It’s going to be another great us World Cup, and this game is a good chance to work out just how far Poland can go. But, alas, for Chile there is no such hope as they won’t be at the finals.

Talking Points

Chile was on target for a place in Russia but was the big side to miss out in the tough South American group after a last match 3-0 defeat to Brazil.

So World Cup 2018 fans will miss the chance to see Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez in action. It’s not been the best year for Chile’s main striker, missing out on Russia and struggling to make an impact in the Premier League after his January switch from the Emirates to Old Trafford. But his talent and work-rate is undoubted and he’ll be missed for sure.

Chile boss Reinaldo Rueda is taking the opportunity to test out a new set of players, so along with Sanchez, dynamic midfielder Arturo Vidal and keeper Claudio Bravo are taking an extended summer break. Rueda still has the experience of the defensive warhorse Gary Medel to hold his young side together. And they have showed up pretty well with a win over a strong Serbia side, following a 3-2 defeat by Romania.

Defender Guillermo Maripan scored the late winner against Serbia, and the absence of Sanchez gives 24-year-old striker Felipe Mora a chance to shine.

This is Poland’s first game since March when Robert Lewandowski, Kamil Grosicki and Piotr Zielinski scored in a 3-2 win over the Korea Republic. Lewandowski has been in scintillating form for FC Bayern this season, topping the Bundesliga scoring charts with 29, 14 ahead of his nearest rival, and at a rate of a goal every 75 minutes! With over 50 per cent of his registered shots being on target, it could be a busy night for Chile keeper Gabriel Arias.

The Poles have a real chance of getting out of their Group H in Russia, where they are pitted against Colombia, Senegal and Japan. Our World Cup 2018 predictions don’t see Nawalka’s team as a potential semi-finalist, but last 16…why not?

Bet online on who will win between Poland and Chile

Who will come out on top in the battle of the managers between Adam Nawalka or Reinaldo Rueda?

The Poland boss has been brave with his World Cup selections, surprising many by leaving midfielder Krzysztof Maczynski at home, but that gives an opportunity for Napoli’s Zielinski to make his presence felt as an attacking midfielder. His goal against Korea was his fourth in 31 appearances and he could be a key man in Russia. That victory was the first in four for the hosts, but they only conceded twice in the previous three games while drawing blanks up front; a relative rarity with Lewandowski in the side.

History

Poland is welcomed back to the World Cup after missing out on the last two competitions, but they do have a rich heritage in the international game, reaching the semi-finals in 1974 and 1982, and more recently they had a good campaign at the 2016 European Championships, reaching the quarter finals.

While Poland has been away Chile has made the final 16 in the last two World Cups and may have expected to do even better had they qualified this time around. They are current Copa America champions and had back-to-back tournament wins in 2015 and 2016.

This is the first meeting between the two teams, but recent form has been a little patchy for both. Each has won two, lost two and drawn one of the last five, Chile’s most crushing defeat being that World Cup eliminator against Brazil.

What are the Odds?

With two pretty well-matched teams and all three results quite possible, it’s home advantage which leaves Poland at 2.01, Chile at 3.55 and 3.30 the draw.

us’s handicap betting offer has the hosts at 2.02 with a -0.50 goal handicap and Chile at 1.90 with that advantage.

A tight game with under 2.25 goals is at 1.96 and under 2.25 is at 1.94, and that makes a 1-1 draw the most likely outcome at 5.60.

And take the opportunity of having a close look at Poland; they are at 2.60 to go out of the World Cup in the Round of 16.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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Catch World Cup-Quality Action in Cool Graz

Serbia vs Chile

The World Cup is only weeks away, and the Russia-bound nations are stepping up in their preparations for the big games that are on their way.

Some of the qualified nations decided to test it out with their fellow competitors, but there are others who chose to fight strong squads in order to improve the World Cup betting odds on popular betting sites like us.

Serbia chose to prepare through the latter route and square off against Chile. While this match-up seems like a dire situation for the Serbs, it is not certain that the country’s biggest footballing stars will be making an appearance in this game.

Nevertheless, Merkur Arena will be trembling with excitement to see their European neighbours trading blows with the South American giants. After all, it’s not every day that they can see some of the best players from South America making the long trip to Europe, after all.

Talking Points

Serbia are obviously the leading stars of this match. They stood atop a very competitive group during the European qualifiers, fending off the Republic of Ireland, Wales and Austria — their hosts for this friendly — in order to automatically qualify for the World Cup.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic presence improve International Friendly betting odds of Serbia against Chile

Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic tries to get past defence during game with Salzburg

In the middle of the great Serbian festivities is Lazio midfielder and great hope Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The midfielder has impressed for Lazio this season that it is a wonder why the 23-year-old maestro was not selected at all by former coach Slavoljub Muslin during their European qualifiers.

New gaffer Mladen Krstajic is now in charge of the maintaining the national team. Unlike his predecessor, he easily picked Milinkovic-Slavic. The star midfielder is now expected to help the Orlovi make it out of a tough group that includes Costa Rica, Switzerland and tournament favourites Brazil.

With the injured Matija Nastasic out of the final World Cup roster, it is now up to Milan Rodic and Nikola Milenkovic to keep up with Aleksandar Kolarov, Antonio Rukavina and the rest of the Serbian defence. They will definitely struggle against Brazil’s attacks in the group stage, so they need to be able to put up a strong resistance against Chile.

Meanwhile, Chile have had an interesting run of form over the past few months. Their March friendlies against Sweden and Denmark featured familiar faces, but it seems like Reinaldo Rueda decided to shake things up a bit.

The squad he took to Europe didn’t have Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and Mauricio Isla on it. Instead, he brought an experimental squad to scour players he could use for upcoming tournaments. They actually played resilient football against Romania despite losing Nicolas Castillo to a red card in the first half.

Even if the current Copa America holders don’t have their usual stars, it is best for the Russia-bound Serbs to tread carefully against La Roja. They might get caught up in their blistering pace and see themselves down by several goals.

History

International Friendly news: Serbia are back in action after 3 months as they host Chile

Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic stands at the pitch during friendly with Nigeria

These two nations haven’t met that much in international friendlies, but their only previous matchup was a sign of how time has changed for both nations.

Ninth-ranked Chile were convincingly beaten by No 35 Serbia in a 2012 friendly at Kybunpark. Vidal saw red that match after Filip Duricic, Lazar Markovic and Filip Dordevic scored goals to doom Chile to a 3-0 deficit. Angelo Henriquez managed to deny Serbia their clean sheet late into the game to end the game 3-1.

The Chileans saw great success since then, but their failure to win against Brazil meant that they are one of the biggest teams to sit this summer out and wait for another four years. It is a big pain for many Chile supporters to see Alexis Sanchez missing the biggest party in world football. The fact that it were the Canarinha who denied them of their chance only made it sting more.

Meanwhile, Serbia had a mixed bag of results against fellow World Cup-bound squads. They drew against Korea Republic in November, the lost against Morocco and easily won over Nigeria in March. This friendly is the first of two they will have before Russia so they need to make every second count.

What are the Odds?

Given the fact that Chile are currently tweaking their lineups, there is a good chance for formations and instructions among these lads to be hazy and unclear. However, they showed that they can play fantastic football and keep up with one of the stronger teams in the calendar.

It will now be up to the Serbs if they can break the Chileans and jumpstart a great run of form. I think they have the personnel to do that, so betting on Serbia’s -0.50 Asian Handicap at us.com will reward punters with 2.02. The same boost for Chile is at 1.90.

I see this game being a high-scoring affair, so betting on Over 2..25 goals will net you 1.95.

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Sanchez frustrated with his form

Chile international Alexis Sanchez has admitted that he has not found it easy to adapt to life at Manchester United following his transfer from Arsenal.

Sanchez, who moved to Old Trafford in January, has struggled to cope with Jose Mourinho's preferred style of play and was a peripheral figure on Saturday as United were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

The 29-year-old has managed to score only three goals in 18 appearances for Mourinho's side, who are 6/1 to win the 2018/19 Premier League title and 1/3 to finish in the top four.

"I think that in every game I have played in I have maybe found it hard to adapt to the style of play and I have been getting to know my team-mates," said Sanchez.

"I also had some great players alongside me at Barcelona, some highly experienced guys who had great quality. I think that United are not too dissimilar as a club to them in their size and stature. However, I believe we need to improve in all aspects."

United finished second in the Premier League table but were 19 points behind champions Manchester City, 8/13 to win the title again next season.

"We need to be focused and concentrated in the big games and the same in the so-called lesser games too," Sanchez added. "I want to try and keep improving so we can see the club winning trophies."

SPOTLIGHT: Stateside Rooney, Super Rafa and a Chile-ing Absence

In order for a punter to know the right moves to make on the top betting sites, he must know his sports. Keeping up with the latest buzz in the sport you are following gives you the edge above the others who blindly punt on a betsite.

Today’s news circle around three parties that are familiar with being the center of attention. us is certain that the waves they made in the headlines will surely affect your betting prospects!

Wayne Rooney is headed to the MLS

Wayne Rooney is reportedly set to depart from the Premier League to MLS

Wayne Rooney’s potential move to MLS has been agreed in principle

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Wayne Rooney’s time in the Premier League is now up. The former England captain is 32, had a subpar season with Everton and does not want to play for any clubs other than the Toffees and Manchester United.

Some feel that his game isn’t suited to the English game anymore, and his move away from the Premier League is inevitable. Wazza confirmed those theories by agreeing a deal in principle with Major League Soccer side DC United.

The deal, reportedly worth £12.5m, was closed after Rooney’s representatives negotiated terms in the United States. Pundits such as Gary Neville supported the move, saying that his return to his boyhood club didn’t really work out well for him.

However, Everton boss Sam Allardyce insists that the Toffees haven’t asked him to leave.

“My understanding is there seems to have been some negotiation along the line but as for clarity as to whether Wayne is staying or going we’ll see later on,” Allardyce said. “I’m comfortable with any player who wants to leave but let’s get this clear. Wayne Rooney has not asked to leave and neither has Wayne Rooney had a confrontation with me.”

Should Rooney head to the USA, he will inevitable meet with former United team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who already made himself a home with the LA Galaxy.

Rafael Nadal sets new record in dominant clay streak

Rafael Nadal broke McEnroe's 49-set winning run

Rafael Nadal holds an all-time winning record of 50 winning streak in a row

Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly the man to beat on clay courts, and his wins at Monte Carlo and Barcelona are clear evidence of his dominance. However, not many people know that Nadal just added another huge accomplishment to his already-illustrious career.

The King of Clay broke American tennis legend John McEnroe’s record of 49 straight sets won on the same surface. The match that got him through the record books is his victory over Diego Schwartzman in the third round of the Madrid Open.

He will try to extend his record when he faces Dominic Thiem, but Nadal is just appreciating what he just did.

“When my career is over, these are things that are going to be there for always. It’s difficult to be able to win 50 sets in a row,” Nadal said. “Well, it’s done. It’s over. Let’s not talk about that anymore and let’s continue on what we have ahead, which is what I am concerned about.”

Chile’s World Cup absence will haunt Sanchez

Chile missed out the World Cup qualification

Despite being on FIFA’s Top Ten, Alexis Sanchez and Chile will miss the World Cup.

Football fans that know their FIFA World Rankings will be aware that almost every single nation in the Top Ten are on their way to Russia. Chile is the only curious exception.

It’s unimaginable that a team that stars Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Bravo would be missing out on playing for the World Cup. However, a devastating defeat to Brazil forced Sanchez and friends to try and make it to the intercontinental playoff.

Colombia’s loss to Peru doomed La Roja to spend the summer watching the World Cup from their homes. The loss hurt Sanchez so bad that it affected his training with Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger shared his opinion on his former winger: “I believe to play at the top level, it is part of dealing with that kind of disappointment. He is in a very difficult mind. Chile just won the Copa America twice, and now they don’t even go to the World Cup.”

It wouldn’t be a stretch to think that Chile’s devastating exit from the World Cup was what prompted Sanchez to pack up and leave the Emirates for better pastures. While he is now playing on a better team at Manchester United, the sting of not playing in Russia will affect his mental state for quite some time.

He is among the list of excellent players who won’t play in the World Cup. The fault is in no way entirely Sanchez’s, but the team did lose some important matches that could have secured their spot.

All they could do now is hope that Sanchez is still as effective a player when he is 33 for the next World Cup. While this won’t be his last World Cup, Alexis won’t be playing at such a high level when the doors for Qatar open.

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This Was a Late Twist in the Friends

Sweden 1-2 Chile

Football games can be cyclical.

And this was one perfect example.

Two goals in as many minutes had seemed the height of the football betting excitement as the Swedes, who had slain mighty Italy to reach this summer’s World Cup, and Chile—the Copa America holders whose late loss of form proved so costly in qualifying—went head to head.

Yet, live betting was in for one more twist in Stockholm.

Step forward Marco Bolados who, on his international debut, pounced in the first minute of stoppage time after captain Alexis Sanchez saw his close-range shot well parried by Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

It’s La Roja delight and a little Swedish frustration. However, it’s no more than that in the Friends Arena for the Scandinavians as they know they have something far more tangible than the South Americans—a place at Russia 2018.

Until Bolados’ late intervention, two quick goals had provided the main talking point.

No sooner after Arturo Vidal smashed a superb volley into the net, following the hosts’ failure to clear a corner, Ola Toivonen then fired in instant response.

Both nations had their threatening moments, but a draw looked on the cards until Bolados capped a dream debut.

A good start also for new Chile manager Reinaldo Rueda after succeeding Juan Antonio Pizzi. He departed in October after the late collapse meant Chile missed out on a World Cup place which, for so long, seemed destined to be theirs.

The South Americans are staying in Scandinavia over the next few days before heading to Aalborg to face Denmark, while Sweden continue their build-up with a trip to Craiova to face Romania.

Chile will not need telling though that no amount of friendly success can mask the disappointment of not being involved in the world spectacle which is now less than three months away.

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Sanchez demands more of himself

Chile international Alexis Sanchez admits that he has been disappointed with his form since he joined Manchester United in January.

Sanchez, who moved to Old Trafford from Arsenal, has scored just once, against Huddersfield Town in February, in 10 appearances for United.

"Because I demand a lot from myself, I was hoping for something better," Sanchez said. "After my arrival at United, it was hard to change everything very quickly.

"The change of club was something that was very abrupt – it was the first time I have changed clubs in January – but many things have happened in my life that are difficult."

The 29-year-old scored 60 goals in 122 Premier League games during his time with Arsenal following his transfer to Emirates Stadium from Barcelona in the summer of 2014.

Chile, who failed to qualify for this year's World Cup finals in Russia, play friendlies against Sweden on Saturday and Denmark three days later.

Chile are 11/8 to beat Sweden while Manchester United can be backed at 9/4 to win the FA Cup this season. Jose Mourinho's side face Tottenham at Wembley in the semi-finals on 21st April.

Sanchez is available at 8/5 to score at any time against Sweden.