Thursday, July 29, 2010
Becchio has been a hit with the Elland Road faithful, since signing from Spanish side Merida. In his first two seasons in English football, Becchio has scored 37 goals. His scoring record along with his tireless work-rate has made the former Boca Juniors player has become a cult hero in Yorkshire. After being used as more of a supporting striker in League One, Simon Grayson is looking for Becchio to become more of an out and out goal scorer in the Champioship. Leeds are still looking to bring another forward in before the season starts.
The club have already added Billy Paynter to their playing staff. The former Swindon striker scored 26 goals in League One last season and will be a useful addition to the squad as they look to prove themselves as one of the favourites to win the championship.
Leeds are weighing up some possible loan signings from the Premiership. Aston Villa’s young forward Nathan Delfouneso has been mentioned as a possible Beckford replacement.
If Leeds make a couple more signings before the season starts, then they will be confident of challenging for promotion this season. Along with a new striker, Grayson should be looking at another centre back and a holding midfielder. The club has almost everything needed to be a top Premier League club. Grayson will be hoping to put the finishing touches this season so that come the next campaign, they are one.
They will want to take it a game at a time though and will aim to take three points from their opening game against Derby County. Then, most will be placing a Carling cup bet on them to defeat Lincoln City in their first round tie.
Beyond that, who knows what the season will bring.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The striker scored 25 league goals in the 2008/09 season as Wolves gained promotion, but he failed to carry that form into last season's campaign.
He only scored only twice in the Premier League as Wolves finished 15th.
It was expected Ebanks-Blake would be sold this summer, with rumours linking him with a move back down to the Championship where he has a prolific record.
But, although Premier League new boys Blackpool are apparently considering a move for the striker, it looks as though McCarthy will give him another chance. However, it's unlikely those who bet Premier League money will back him to be top scorer.
Ebanks-Blake through the Manchester United youth set-up but failed to break into the first team at Old Trafford and was transferred to Plymouth.
At Home Park he scored 23 goals in his 66 appearances and that form prompted Wolves to trigger a buy-out clause in the player's contract with £1.5million bid.
In his first season at Molineux, Ebanks-Blake scored 23 goals to win the Championship Golden Boot. He retained that award the following season with his 25 goals to help Wolves secure promotion.
It may be that the 24-year-old is one of those players who just aren't good enough to cut it in the top flight. There are no doubt those who bet Championship football is about his level. Other players, Jason Scotland, Michael Chopra and David Nugent to name but three, have had the same problem. Still, Wolves will be hoping he rediscovers his scoring form this year as they look to improve on last season.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Aleksandar Kolarov completed a £17 million move from Lazio as the club's spending passed the £80 million mark this summer alone following the arrivals of Yaya Toure, David Silva and Jerome Boateng. Now there is talk of a huge £70 million offer for Fernando Torres, a £24 million deal for James Milner and a £26 million bid for Mario Balotelli.
Kolarov's arrival already brings Roberto Mancini's squad to a rather bloated 36. But new Premier League rulings coming in this season will force managers to name a squad of just 25.
You don't have to be a mathematician to work out that this will be a problem for Man City. Players such as Stephen Ireland, Micah Richards, Nedum Onuha and Michael Johnson, the jewels of the club's blossoming youth academy just a few years ago, have been sidelined by City's expensive imports and are already being nudged towards the exit door.
Now, with Mancini looking to lift the club up another level this year, players like Craig Bellamy and Joleon Lescott - big money buys last season - may be sacrificed in City's relentless quest for improvement. The Premier League betting odds suggest City will do well this season, but some at Eastlands will be frozen out.
Of course, the Europa League betting makes the side among the favourites for that tournament, and it could be Mancini uses it as an opportunity to give others a run out, although that's still unlikely to keep everyone happy.
However, getting rid of some of these players will be harder than perhaps thought, with the main reason being their extortionate wages. Bellamy is currently on £90,000 a week for example while Lescott takes home in excess of £100,000.
These players will not be willing to take a drop in pay just to play a bit more football, and if they think other clubs should pay them a similar amount they clearly haven't been watching the news for the past two years.
In these tough times, the burst Premier League bubble has forced clubs to take stock and make cutbacks. A modicum of normality is returning into transfer dealings, expect of course at City where all sense of financial reality will be thrown out of the window.
Of course, the cost of keeping players on the wage bill who aren't in the squad won't be an issue for the club's owners, but the corrosive effect of having unhappy players in the camp could harm City.
Mancini will need to do some serious juggling if he is to keep the egos happy in his expensively assembled dressing room and fulfil Sheikh Mansour's ambitions for silverware.
Friday, July 23, 2010
The Aston Villa boss - who is preparing to sell James Milner this summer - has revealed his admiration for the Celtic midfielder. He believes that McGeady "has the ability to play in the Premier League".
O'Neill refused to comment on whether this would be at Villa Park, but he did say he is "trying to recruit some players" before the season commences.
It isn't just McGeady that Aston Villa are being linked with though. His fellow Republic of Ireland internationals Robbie Keane and Stephen Ireland have also been mentioned as potential signings.
However, O'Neill isn't fazed by these rumours saying that he expects such reports "because we are a top quality Premier League side".
As for McGeady, there is probably more to this transfer story than most. Not only has O'Neill admitted that he rates the player highly, but Celtic manager Neil Lennon has admitted that he expects the midfielder to move on from the Scottish Premier League.
Lennon - who is attempting to build a squad capable of challenging Rangers this season - said the player has intimated he is ready to move on from the Bhoys. You can track the progress of any deal with Bets Player.
At the moment, Aston Villa would be considered as the front runner for his signature, but with O'Neill admitting that the club have to "sell to buy", it could be some time before a deal is confirmed.
Monday, July 19, 2010
The new Liverpool boss must do everything in his power to keep hold of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres. Not only are they the two best players at the club, but should either of them depart Anfield, the fans would be devastated about the direction in which the club is heading.
So, where does Hodgson stand on the future of these two?
Not for sale. That is the overwhelming message from the former Fulham boss when asked about the possibility of either of them moving on.
Hodgson has reportedly held talks which each player in recent days and said "Steven Gerrard is not for sale", something which has been made clear to the man in question.
As for Torres, Hodgson stated that the club "don't welcome any offers" for the Spaniard because everybody involved at the club "wants to keep him".
The 62-year-old then revealed more about his brief chat with Torres. He said that "as far as we are concerned, he is a Liverpool player" and this remains to be the case. In what will be music to Liverpool fans, Hodgson added he is "looking forward to working with him".
As things stand, it is clear Hodgson is determined to hold on to Gerrard and Torres. He will be aware of how important they are to him being successful at the club.
There have been many rumours regarding players leaving Anfield, but Hodgson has quashed these by saying that he will stick to the policy "that we don't want to sell our best players and have to start building again".
Liverpool fans will rest slightly easier when they hear the names they want to in the team for the opening game at home to Arsenal. A lot can happen between now and then and despite Hodgson's positive comments, it could still be a very interesting summer on Merseyside.
Ian Holloway's men defied the football odds last term and, after a fantastic play-off win, secured their spot in the Premier League. However, unless The Seasiders are capable of working miracles, it seems highly likely their stay will be a short one.
Let's not be under any illusions just how short on resources the club are - they've had to switch their first game of the season to an away match to ensure Bloomfield Road is up to Premier League standards by the time it plays host a top flight side for the first time in 39 years.
So if the Seasiders look destined to sink without trace, then who should those placing online football bets expect to be slipping down to the Championship with them?
Well, if previous seasons are anything to go by it could be any two of about ten teams. The quality at the bottom of the Premier League has dropped off so dramatically in recent years that just 31 points would have been enough for a side to survive.
The usual candidates will be knocking around and the likes of West Ham, Wigan, Wolves, Bolton, Newcastle and West Brom will all be glancing over their shoulders at some point.
If Sunderland can avoid a repeat of last term's mid-season slump they should avoid being caught up in the mix again, but there's no guarantee they will be safe.
Even Fulham could be in danger. Their end of season form was terrible and although this was because the side were focusing on the Europa Cup, they have since lost talismanic manager Roy Hodgson and they are likely to struggle without him.
Whatever happens, it will be tight down the bottom and even Blackpool are unlikely to be cut adrift. A tense season awaits many fans.
Friday, July 16, 2010
The striker, who scored 35 goals in two seasons at Gillingham, has signed a two year contract with the newly promoted Canaries.
The striker has a prolific record in the lower leagues. He scored 48 goals in 89 games for Rushden and Diamonds in League Two. That record caught Gillingham’s eye and he carried on that form into League One. Norwich manager Paul Lambert has now given Jackson the chance to prove he can perform at the Championship level.
Lambert will have bought Jackson with one eye on the future. At 23, Jackson is still learning his craft. Norwich weren’t short of goals last season, as they clinched the League One title. Grant Holt and Chris Martin scored 41 league goals between them but Lambert will need strength in depth if Norwich are to compete this year.
Championship betting suggests that as many as fifteen teams will be backing themselves to finish in the top six this season. Norwich will come into the campaign full of confidence after storming to the title last year. Despite a little wobble towards the end, Norwich were the best team in the league over the season. That was shown by their nine point lead over second place Leeds. All that after a 7-1 opening day defeat leading to Bryan Gunn being sacked.
With Holt, Martin, Wes Hoolahan and now Simeon Jackson, Norwich will have enough attacking threat to compete in this season’s Championship and possibly have an impact on Carling Cup betting in the early rounds too.
SPL giant Celtic added Mexican right-back Efrain Juarez from UNAM Pumas after the defender enjoyed a strong 2010 World Cup for Mexico. The 22-year-old made three appearances for El Tri in South Africa.
+ UVA's Tony Tchani
+ UCONN's Toni Stahl
+ Villanova's Michael Seamon
+ Penn State's Jason Yeisley
+ University of Denver's Collin Audley
+ Lehigh's Adam Welch
+ Notre Dame's Justin Morrow
+ Soccer Cleats 101 - Bryan Byrne
+ Stanford's Andrew Kartunen
+ U of Washington's Ely Allen
+ Rhode Island's Geoffrey Cameron
+ UC Santa Barbara's Andy Iro
+ Saint Louis University's Brian Grazier
+ N.C. State's El Hadj Cisse
+ Wake Forest's Patrick Phelan
+ Duke's Joe Germanese
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Arsenal Transfer Rumours, Tottenham Transfer Rumours, EPL Transfer Rumours: Ipswich's Connor Wickham a target of both clubs
Wickham led England to the UEFA Under-17 Championships this past May.
Monday, July 12, 2010
They were deserved winners at Soccer City in Johannesburg on Sunday after 120 bruising minutes against the Dutch and they were the best team at this tournament by a distance. Plus just two defeats in all competitions since lifting the Euro 2008 title proves that this is no flash in the pan. They were favourites in the pre-tournament football betting, after all.
But eight goals in eight games in not exactly an inspiring return for such a talented bunch of players. This had led to criticism for their reluctance to kill teams off, instead Vicente Del Bosque's men were content to pass the ball around the midfield and maintain possession, something they can do easily with the likes of Xavi and Iniesta in midfield.
So this inevitably led to three narrow - and at times turgid - 1-0 knock-out wins, with a fourth added after extra time on Sunday.
They never relinquished an advantage after scoring first, usually because the opposition weren't allowed to get near the ball.
But in their defence they were only doing that in response to the safety first tactics employed by most coaches at this World Cup.
The first round of games in particular was dire and as the fear of losing took precedent over any attacking intent. It was certainly a world away from what Premier League football betting fans expect.
Those spoiling tactics were carried all the way to the final where the Dutch, who had plenty of creative talents in their ranks, instead chose to battle and scrap way through the match, seeking to unsettle the Spanish at every opportunity.
This wasn't a final to remember fondly and it isn't a tournament that will be remembered for its thrilling, attacking action but Football won out in the end - just.
Friday, July 2, 2010
At the moment, Argentina look almost unstoppable. They've played some great football and even their worst result of the tournament - a 1-0 win over Nigeria - could have been a much more comprehensive victory.
They certainly have the air of World Cup winners about them. The players look confident but not cocky, they seem to be a tightly knit unit and they've got the odd slice of luck when they needed it. No wonder world cup quarter finals betting odds expects them to outshine Germany tomorrow.
Unfortunately for their supporters it seems the draw has conspired against them, and for this reason I expect them to fall short when it comes down it.
On Saturday they will face a talented but fallible German side. A team who dominated England for most of their last-16 tie, but looked exceedingly fragile for 15 minutes either side of half time. I expect the South American side to progress, but they'll certainly know they've been in a game.
It's after this the problems really start. If things go according to form, their semi-final opponents will be a talented Spain side who seem to be growing into this tournament. Before they can book a date with Argentina, they will have to see of a well organised, but uninspiring Paraguay team.
Unless something dramatic happens, Spain should cruise to victory. I'm not expecting a big score, but even if it's just two or even one nil to the favourites I don't expect them to have to dig deep to make the semis.
World cup semi final betting odds will then note that it will leave them much more refreshed for the game against Argentina. The South American side will have to give it their though, and even if they do progress I expect this tie to be their undoing.
Over in the other side of the draw Holland and Brazil will contest a tough quarter final before facing a comparatively easy semi-final against Uruguay or Ghana. Let's not kid ourselves, it will be Brazil or Holland in the final and the fact they won't have to give it their all to get there means they have a distinct advantage.
Whether it's Argentina or Spain they face in the final is slightly irrelevant. That added bit of freshness will make all the difference for whichever side wins the first quarter final.