The Champions League Round of 16 is set to begin next week as teams vie for the top soccer title on the continent. Some games promise excitement like back to back defending champions Real Madrid set to face big money spenders Paris St-Germain.
After their embarrassment in the hands of Barcelona, of which Neymar played a huge role, the French side signed the Brazilian for a world record. The Ligue 1 side are keen on raising their profile in Europe and they stand a decent chance with their current squad and morale. With Real Madrid having an underwhelming seasons, PSG have a good chance of knocking them out. Continue reading
For a team that managed to win the 2016-17 season of the English Premier League in such a dominating fashion as Chelsea did, it’s fairly surprising to find out that the head coach of that same club considers his squad to have a very evident weakness.
According to Antonio Conte, one of the main fragilities of his team is involving how they are managed as the Italian manager said that its difficult for them to adapt to certain kinds of situations in matches.
AC Milan’s head of signing players Massimiliano Mirabelli claims that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wanted to make a move to the San Siro in the summer, but he was unable to do so since Borussia Dortmund did not intend to sell him.
Aubameyang is no stranger to the San Siro after having moved to the club as a teenager back in 2008. He represented the club for only a handful of matches in the youth team and never made it to the senior team on a regular basis. He ended up leaving the club on a permanent basis in 2012 to St Etienne. This brought about the best in his career and it was only a year later that he made the € 13 million switch to Borussia Dortmund. Continue reading
For those unaware of what AI is, it´s artificial intelligence and this is currently being utilized on a variety of things that can range from video games to cars and even our own cell phones has AI integrated into them.
Siri and Cortana are types of artificial intelligence which is used in mobiles while in cars it´s being tested for automobiles that drive themselves without any kind of human interaction.
These are just a few of the examples on how artificial intelligence is being utilized, it´s important to take into consideration that there are many other cases and fields where it has already been implemented in different ways.
One of the more innovative or latest fields where it´s currently being experimented on, is involving the world of sports betting.
There is a startup by the name of: Stratagem is trying to find patterns in results of soccer and basketball matches with the objective of identifying ways to make money off of them. Continue reading
Sam ‘Big Sam’ Allardyce once opined that top English Premier League clubs would havechasedhim vigorously had his name sounded Italian – an obvious tongue-in-cheekreference to the dearth of English men at the helm of affairs of top English clubs.
His argument wasn’t farfetched, opining that if he could get the results he got despite the small budgets and being under the whims of bigger fishes, who had what it took to pluck vital players off your team with the caprice of an interest and stroke of a pen; then it was only logical he would achieve far more success if given the chance at a bigger club where he wouldn’t have to worry about tight budgets and every other ugly duckling that befall small clubs.
Only the English national team offered reasonable chance to men of English origin to be in charge of a team brimming with talent. With the FA’s sacking of Roy Hodgson and the media-drums of Big Sam’s name, the 62-year old took the opportunity with both hands. Continue reading
Barcelona take on Real Sociedad hoping to recover from an astronomical slip in form, which is threatening to end the season on a premature note.
The 2-0 loss against Malaga came about in surprising circumstances. Just when it seemed that Barcelona would be able to return to winning ways with the Champions League, the team suffered a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Juventus. This quarter-final first leg result places the club at a serious disadvantage in terms of being able to reach thesemifinals. Last season, the club made an exit at a similar stage.
The game against Real Sociedad will be extremely tough for the Catalan club, who will be without Neymar for the game. The Brazilian striker is suspended for the match and he will be huge miss even though he has only scored nine league goals this season. Continue reading
Joey Barton is a controversial football player that has had a history of being involved in legal issues due to his own actions and this has seen the English performer having to spent time in jail back in 2008 after being entangled in a street fight.
Fast forward to 2012 and Joey Barton received a 12 matches long suspension due to making a number of violent actions during a game in the Premier League. It’s 2017 now and Joey Barton is still involved in legal problems which could lead up to the 34 year old English player either returning to jail, being suspended once again or having to pay a fine.
The latest dispute that Joey Barton is being involved with is in relation to him placing over 1,200 bets on matches or tournaments in the span of around 10 years. Continue reading
Retired top referee Howard Webb has said that Manchester United were denied a penalty kick after a foul on Antonio Valencia in the 1-1 draw against Arsenal on Saturday.
The former Premier League referee told BT Sport:
“I think on balance, it was a penalty. Was it cast-iron, stonewall penalty? No. I saw it in slow motion and the contact was less significant than I first thought. But do I think Monreal in his attempt to get the ball impeded him? Yes I do. I think it’s a penalty and I’m surprised Andre didn’t give it.
“I don’t think there would have been much reaction if he had and I’m sure [Arsene] Wenger would have been screaming for it down the other end.”
Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho did not direct his anger at the referee despite being visibly upset with the decision of the ref. Mourinho might have been watchful f his reactions as he recently served a one-match touchline ban after the FA deemed his reaction unfair to the officials. United had a foul during the 0-0 Burnley game denied and it made the Portuguese tactician furious.
Rather Mourinho said that he wanted to “reaffirm that the referee tried to do his best” in a news conference after the hard-fought match. Mourinho said he did not want to say what he thought about the decision, preferring to speak on other happenings in a game United almost won.
The score line was 0-0 when the Valencia incident happened but Man United eventually broke the deadlock in the 68th minute courtesy of Juan Mata. The playmaker dictated the pace of the game but was eventually substituted late in the game before the visitors equalized. Arsenal got a late goal through an Olivier Giroud header to share points with the hosts.
It would be difficult to separate gambling from football.
The world’s most popular sport attracts billions of dollars in sport betting. Reports say more than US$1 billion is placed on betting for every Premier League game. Clubs have graduated to having official betting partners and many third-party business catch into the popularity of the sports through organized betting schemes.
Research has now highlighted that the betting menace is affecting players who also put money into it, according to SoccerLens. The British Sociological Association annual conference in Birmingham will reveal this using research available from current and former footballers.
The University of Chester’s Graeme Law presented starling information after they interviewed 34 professional football stars in the Premier League and lower divisions. Some players say gambling relieves stress, pushing the action to be a break from their highly regulated lives.
“I like to bet on the bus, but it got worse when I could bet online. I was able to do it all the time with no one knowing. I lost a lot. My wife found out after a year or so and she got me help and it’s under control now. It’s the culture to gamble in football and it can get dangerous when it grips you,” one player who used to be addicted to soccer betting confessed.
Many other football players admitted to accumulating gambling debts, and that it adversely affected their performance on the pitch. One Michael Chopra said he moved to Sunderland so he could use his sign-on fee to pay off gambling debts. Eidur Gudjohnsen said he lost over £400,000 within a five-month period.
Despite betting companies advising those involved to do gamble responsibly, many increasingly get addicted. The habit is at epidemic levels in football, and it would require a lot to manage its growth.
Premier League giant Manchester United are set to play Stoke City this weekend on Sunday, October 2nd 2016.
The start to the league for Mourinho has been mixed. They started well, winning the first couple of games but a three-game losing streak raised a lot of doubts. They seem to have recovered as they thrashed Leicester City 4-1 last week and got a lone goal in their Europe League tie against Zorya Luhansk on Thursday.
United will lose to close the gap with Manchester City when they play Stoke. City will face Mauricio Pochettino’s men at White Hart Lane. Mourinho will be hoping City slip so the six-point difference between both sides can reduce. United are sixth in the standings, which is not bad. However, considering the amount spent during the summer to make instant impact, the scrutiny and criticisms have been much.
There are reports from Sky Sports that Rooney may not start like the previous league game against the defending champions. So, former Dortmund talent Mkhitaryan could start behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker was absent during the Europa League game against Zorya, so he should be fresh for the game.
On the other hand, Stoke have made a slow start to the new season. They are yet to win a single game, so they would be under pressure to deliver. It would be very surprising for them to get their first win over Man United. Afellay, Ireland and Butland would likely be unavailable when they make the trip to Old Trafford.
Manchester United have a good home record against Stoke. Soccer betting fans would go 3/10 for the match. Also, since Stoke have conceded a lot of goals in the last five matches, and given United’s form, a high scoring game is anticipated. 2.5 goals at 8/13 odds isn’t bad, and Ibrahimovic to score following his 5 goals in 7 starts leaves betting odds hovering 8/11.