Man City Premier League Campaign Preview

August 12th, 2014

Champions, Manchester City, have not made their usually massive outlay in the transfer market this season for two major reasons; Manuel Pellegrini’s squad is vast and soaked in quality, and Uefa’s financial fair play regulations have finally come into effect, ruling that the Arab petro-dollar funded club are required to make a net spend this summer of just £49m

Hence the sale of the once promising young (but permanently injured) midfielder, Jack Rodwell, to Sunderland for £10m. The knock-on effect of this transaction then made City move to bring in 36 year old Frank Lampard on a free transfer until he begins his U.S Major League Soccer career next March. Lampard went straight into Pellegrini’s 21 man squad for the Champions League in order to fulfil the Uefa quota of a minimum 5 home-grown English players.

The complexities of running such an emerging force in European football do not seem to faze the coolly disposed Pellegrini. The Chilean will be under more pressure this season to progress further in Europe, and the sensible additions of Fernando, Sagna, Caballero, and the only real splurge in £32m Porto defender Mangala, should quietly strengthen the City squad without ruffling too many feathers or giant egos.

Bacary Sagna was brought in from Arsenal on a free transfer to give back-up to the ever reliable Pablo Zabaleta. Fernando provides a more energetic covering option in midfield than the plodding Javi Garcia, and Willy Caballero is a goalkeeper who can give Joe Hart serious competition between the sticks. The 23 year old Frenchman, Eliaquim Mangala, could be the key signing of the summer for Pellegrini; the young centre-back is seen as the long-term partner for Vincent Kompany and the only real hole left to fill in this galactic squad. Martin Demichelis may have improved over the course of last season but, at 33, his lack of pace and occasional lapse in concentration have cost City dearly, especially against higher quality centre-forwards in the Champions League.

In forward area’s there has been no real need to add players, as Stefan Jovetic should take part in his first full English season after an injury plagued 18 months. The Montenegrin striker will give Pellegrini four great options up front, alongside Sergio Aguero (23 goals & 8 assists from 29 games in the PL & CL), Edin Dzeko (18 & 2 from 38) and Alvaro Negredo (14 & 4 from 40). Of course, City’s top performer and scorer last term was not a forward but a midfielder, their talismanic power-house Yaya Toure. If the great Ivorian can repeat his colossal League campaign of 20 goals & 9 assists from 35 matches played, then City will be in with a great chance of being only the third club (behind Manchester United & Chelsea) to retain the Premier League title.

Everton Premier League Campaign Preview

August 11th, 2014

Roberto Martinez’s “private” conversation to Bill Kenwright at the beginning of last season promised Champions League football for Everton within his tenure. It was a claim that seemed idealistic and far-fetched twelve months ago, but less so now at the start of the 2014/15 campaign.

A fifth placed finish last term means Europa League football for the Toffees this year and has their success hungry supporters dreaming of going one League place further come the end of May.

The arrival of £28m striker Romelu Lukaku is a major reason for the burgeoning optimism; his first two full seasons in England have reaped 32 goals, making him the 4th highest scorer in the Premier League over that period. Many doubted Everton’s ability to hold on to their three loan signings last year, Gerard Deulofeu may have gone back to Barcelona to fight for a squad number, but Gareth Barry has now put pen to paper permanently on a three year deal, and Lukaku is Everton’s record transfer fee, £13m more than they paid Standard Liege for Marouane Fellaini.

Martinez’s positive charm and insistence on attractive, forward thinking football, has managed to convince the Champions League chasing Lukaku that Goodison Park is the best place to continue his development and gain regular playing time, with both sides potentially set to benefit from Martinez’s belief in the progress of English football’s 4th most successful club.

Another significant addition (to a squad that will need at least 27 first teamer’s in order to not suffer the perils of Europa League fatigue) is the 21 year old Bosnia & Herzegovina midfielder, Muhamed Besic. The £4m fee paid to Ferencvaros could turn out to be one of the bargains of the summer; the Bosnian had a 98% pass accuracy for his club side last season and can play at centre-back or in his more favoured midfield anchor role. A cultured passer, who seems older than his birth certificate suggests, could teach the sometimes wasteful but equally talented Ross Barkley about the importance of not conceding possession in central area’s.

A midfield trio of Besic, James McCarthy and Barkley could well blossom into one of the best engine room’s the Merseysiders have seen since the holy trinity of Goodison legends Kendall, Harvey and Ball. Barry and McCarthy should begin the season as the starting pair in a defensive midfield role, but Besic will undoubtedly be the long term replacement for the 33 year old Englishman. For now, continuity is what’s important for Everton, and this has been strengthened off the pitch too with a number of important contract extensions for key players.

Leighton Baines committed his future to The Blues last year, but this pre-season has seen Barkley sign for 4 years, followed by a 5 year deal for Seamus Coleman, and a 5 year extension for Martinez himself. At the back, 20 year old England defender, John Stones, has agreed a new 5 year extension to give Evertonian’s real hope for a bright, exciting future.

Stones’ form in his 15 starting appearances for The Toffees last term displayed colossal composure, and suggested that within a few years he could be a mainstay in central defence for his country.

The Barnsley born defender is a naturally instinctive blocker of shots whose defensive positioning is already world class. In his 21 games (6 as a substitute) for Everton he won 26 tackles and made 19 successful interceptions, while also blocking 19 shots on goal and making an astonishing 87 clearances.

With goalkeeper Tim Howard coming into the form of his life at 35, the goals and creativity of full backs Baines and Coleman, a consistent first XI developing under Martinez’s second full season could well see Everton sneak into the Champions League positions, especially with the fire-power of an already settled in Lukaku.

Liverpool Premier League Campaign Preview

August 11th, 2014

When you analyse the goals for & against column in the completed Premier League table 2013/14, it’s not difficult to surmise where Liverpool’s run for the Championship went awry. A goals against statistic of 50 meant that the Merseyside club had only three other teams in the top eleven places who had conceded more than them.

Brendan Rodgers has tried to plug that gap (2nd placed Liverpool conceded 23 more than 3rd placed Chelsea) with the acquisition of Croatian central defender, Dejan Lovren. The ex-Southampton star was Saint’s player of the season last year with consistently excellent performances over his 31 Premier League appearances. The 61 successful tackles, 84 interceptions and 239 clearances are an indication of the Croat’s tenaciousness in defence, but the revealing stat of just 26 fouls committed (less than 1 per game, in fact 0.8) shows a player with a great reading of the game, something which centre-backs at the highest level must possess.

The Might Red’s 101 goals at the other end of the pitch was only 1 behind Champions, Manchester City, but the problem for Rodgers in this campaign is how to replace the 31 League goals that the now departed Luis Suarez scored for the Anfield club. Daniel Sturridge will have to push his PL goals tally to over 25 for the first time in his career if Liverpool are to mount another serious challenge for the title. Liverpool’s raid on the now decimated Southampton squad also included England stars Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana. The former will provide back-up to Sturridge and could easily weigh in with 15 goals, while the latter has been brought in for his assists and goals from midfield (6 & 9 last season) and to deepen Liverpool’s squad should there be any injuries to Raheem Sterling or Phillipe Coutinho.

Captain, Steven Gerrard, must put his World Cup woes and “slip-ups” behind him if he is to repeat his outstanding campaign (13 goals & 13 assists) last term from the base of midfield. The motivation and desire is strong for Gerrard to produce another swansong-like season and help Liverpool claim their first title since 1990. Lucas and Jordan Henderson are the energy of the midfield three, while 19 year old Sterling is likely to improve further on his 9 goals from wide and second striker positions, in what is only his second full season. Other exciting youngsters at Rodgers’ disposal are the summer signings of Serbian winger Lazar Markovic and German wide-man Emre Can, both 20 years old.

The £75m received for the troublesome Suarez appears to have been spent wisely, but whether these new recruits can replace the 31 goals & 12 assists that the Uruguayan striker provided, only time will tell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chelsea Premier League Campaign Preview

August 11th, 2014

Jose Mourinho’s claim last season that Chelsea were a “little horse” in amongst the favourites for the title will hold no sway for the new campaign. The Portuguese has added three high quality signings from Spain to strengthen their push for the Premier League crown. Diego Costa (27 goals for La Liga winning Atletico Madrid), Felipe Luis and Cesc Fabregas will give The Blues a boost in defence, midfield and attack. Costa is the potentially world class centre-forward that Mourinho has been desperate to bring to West London after the dire performances of Torres, Ba and Eto’o, whose combined goal tally for the season (19) was 8 less than Costa managed on his own, and who, effectively ended Chelsea’s quest for 1st position.

Costa will be joined by a 36 year old Didier Drogba, brought in surely to motivate and cultivate a winning mentality for this second incarnation of Mourinho’s Chelsea. Captain, John Terry, should be able to continue for another season alongside Gary Cahill, with Cesar Azpilicueta at right back and new recruit Felipe Luis at left back, making Chelsea undoubtedly one of the most solid defences in Europe, especially when you also consider the competition in goal between Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois. In fact, Mourinho’s men conceded 10 fewer goals than Champions Manchester City last season and 23 less than 2nd placed Liverpool.

An injury to the influential Terry could be easily covered by the likes of the highly experienced Branislav Ivanovic, or even the promising young centre-backs Kurt Zouma and Kenneth Ormeru. Up front though, the lucratively assembled squad does not possess much cover if Costa were to pick up an injury. Drogba will not be able to play an entire 90 minutes in consecutive matches and Fernando Torres does not seem to be a 20 goal-a-season striker any more, sadly. The £28m sale of Romelu Lukaku to Everton was in large part about trying to measure up to Uefa’s impending financial fair play regulations, and balance out the extravagant fee paid to Barcelona for Fabregas.

The goals of the wingers and attacking midfielders (Eden Hazard – top scorer last term with 14) will be key to Chelsea’s League challenge (unless Costa stays injury-free and rattles in 30 plus goals); Hazard, Schurrle, Oscar and Fabregas are all potentially 15 plus goals-a-season players, not to mention the industrious but slightly less prolific, Willian.

The problem with Chelsea’s lack of cutting edge in forward areas cannot solely be blamed on the players though, as Mourinho’s sometimes intensely negative tactics must also be taken into consideration. Sitting back and counter-attacking against the best teams in the League may have worked for Jose last season (Chelsea had the best record against Clubs in the top half of the table) but their results against teams in the lower half was not good enough for a team that is trying to build consistency – a poor 65% win ratio meant Chelsea finished 7th in that particular table, a statistic that can be explained by Chelsea’s difficulty in breaking down defences that sit deep against them.

Cesc Fabregas, and their now talismanic midfielder, Nemanja Matic, may be able to help change their style of play to a more direct and penetrative one. Matic only played 15 games since his re-arrival in January but has made a significant impression from the base of midfield. The 26 year old Serbian made 4 assists and 23 key passes in that short time, while even more impressively, taking 13 shots and making 23 successful dribbles, not to mention screening the danger from in front of the defence extremely efficiently.

If Matic and Fabregas can click in the engine room, along with Oscar, then we could see a far more progressive and slick looking Chelsea unit this season, eschewing the plodding and workman-like combination of Mikel, Ramires and Lampard, and creating a midfield that can link far more speedily to the danger-men, Hazard and Costa.

Free Under/Over 2.5 Tip – Rosenborg v Start

August 8th, 2014

Free Tip for the weekend!

Norway » Tippeligaen
Rosenborg v Start, Sunday 10th August 2014, 17:00
50 Points Over 2.5 goals, best odds 1.50 BetVictor

To get all our winners check out our full service below:

http://www.bettingsystemfootball.com/

Arsenal Premier League Campaign 2014-2015 Season

August 8th, 2014

Arsenal’s great start to the 2013/14 Premier League campaign was constantly dampened by naysayers who claimed they could not “go the distance” and claim their first title for a decade.

Inexperience and a flimsy squad were seen as the main factors why the Gunners would inevitably fade away in the latter stages, which they did.

The winning mentality and leadership which they seem to be sorely missing could well be crystallising for this upcoming season in a not too dissimilar fashion than it did for Arsene Wenger’s squad of the late 1990′s. Two years into Wenger’s tenure, the Arsenal Boss had assembled a squad that included the 1998 World Cup winners Patrick Vieira and Emanuel Petit, with a 21 year old Thierry Henry to join a year later and really galvanize the then Double winners into becoming one of the best sides in Europe over the next eight seasons or so.

The comparisons between French national team success 16 years ago and German World Cup glory this year are tempting ones to make for Arsenal supporters. Their current squad includes three World Cup winners in Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski, with the exciting £32m Chilean, Alexis Sanchez, arriving as a potential Henry-like signing, to provide the World Class pace and finishing power up front which has been absent since the great man departed for Barcelona in 2007.

Injuries to key players last term was a major factor in their slide down to 4th position; Theo Walcott made just 13 appearances (9 starts and 4 substitute apps) but still managed 5 goals and 4 assists, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played 14 league games – 6 (8) – and found the net twice with two assists, while Aaron Ramsey was inspirational in the first half of the season with 10 goals and 8 assists from his 23 matches – 20 (3).

A new fitness coach/expert, Shad Forsythe, has been brought in to minimise the wear and tear of the squad and enable Wenger to pick his strongest eleven on a regular basis. This in turn should help them to pick up more points against their fellow title challengers (last season’s record against the Top 3 was a disappointing 3 losses, 2 draws and 1 win) and build on the confidence of last term’s FA Cup glory.

With Mathieu Debuchy coming in a classy alternative to Bacary Sagna at right full back, and David Ospina arriving to fight for the No.1 spot in goal, there is an air of renewal at the Emirates Stadium, added to the relief of claiming their first trophy for 9 years, it could see a more relaxed and confident Arsenal team mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title.

The key to this campaign may be the potentially exciting relationship between Ozil and Sanchez. The German playmaker has now adjusted to the pace of the English game, and with his World Cup winners medal on the mantelpiece, and the pace of Walcott and Sanchez to compliment his visionary passing, we could see a partnership developing akin to the Bergkamp/Henry one that destroyed English defences in the 00′s. Sanchez will have to improve his away form for this to become a reality though; a worryingly Arsenal-like trait of only performing at home (2 goals & 2 assists for Barcelona last term on their travels compared to 17 & 8 at the Camp Nou, suggests a man who may struggle to perform on a wet Tuesday night in Stoke, as they say) will need to change dramatically if the Chilean Captain is to settle in and make his first season in England a successful one.

Recommended Bet: Arsenal Top 4 Finish 1/2 @ Bet365

Gotebord v AIK – Free Under/Over 2.5 Goal Tip

August 4th, 2014

New free tip for tonight below!

Recommended Bet:
Sweden » Allsvenskan
Goteborg v AIK, Monday 4th August 2014, 18:05
50 Points Over 2.5 goals, best odds 1.78 BetVictor.

To get all our winners check out our full service below:

http://www.bettingsystemfootball.com/

Free Tip – Vitoria v Corinthians

July 18th, 2014

After out last free tip winning we have another under 2.5 tip completely free for you.

Recommend bet:
Brazil » Serie A
Vitoria v Corinthians, Sunday 20th July 2014, 20:00
50 Points under 2.5 goals, best odds 1.57 BetVictor

To get all our winners check out our full service below:

http://www.bettingsystemfootball.com/

Free Under 2.5 Goal Tip – Lahti v SJK

July 7th, 2014

This week’s free tip is below

Finland » Veikkausliiga
Lahti v SJK, Monday 7th July 2014, 16:30
50 Points under 2.5 goals, best odds 1.53 @ Betvictor

Free World Cup Tip – Holland v Chile

June 20th, 2014
Hope you’re enjoying the World Cup so far, bit of a downer after England’s lacklustre performance last night, but hopefully a winner on the below game can perk you up!
Recommended Bet 
World Cup Finals
Holland v Chile, Monday 23rd June 2014, 16:00
50 Points Over 2.5 goals, best odds 1.82 @ 188Bet
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