ENGLAND STRUGGLE FOR FORM

England may already be starting at the barrel when it comes to qualification to the Euro 2016 knockout stages, but bookmakers feel that this is not the time to panic.

Their odds continue to place England as one of the favourites to reach the latter stages of the competition. It may not come as a surprise given that England can get back in the top position of group B with a win over Wales on June 16. This game between the two home nations is regarded as a must win especially for England, but it is not the case for Wales.

England could only manage a solitary point from the opening game against Russia whereas Wales took all three from the match against Slovakia. This places them as the leader of group B going into the last two group matches. Bet Victor places England at even odds to qualify from the group, but Wales have closed the gap following their opening day victory.

Apart from being favourites to qualify from the group, England have been placed as favourites to get a win against Wales in a few days. Gareth Bale showed that he is a player to be treated with respect after opening the scoring against Slovakia. He is 19/2 to open the scoring against England.

Eric Dier may not have been the first choice to be England’s top scorer at the Euro 2016. This was reflected by his odds, which were in the 50s. However, he scored the only goal for England against Russia and it has seen the odds reduced to 8s. If he manages to score again and England failing to win against Wales, the odds could be reduced even further. France continue to remain as the tournament favourites while Germany and Spain are closely keeping tabs with Didier Deschamps’ team.

Expectation from France higher even by Bookies

Much is expected from France at the upcoming Euro 2016 largely because the nation has performed exceptionally well when it comes to tournaments held on home soil.

The previous major success achieved by France was in the World Cup and European championships at the start of the millennium. The national team won both these tournaments when it was held on home soil. Hence, expectations are that the French will be the team to beat. Bookmakers are offering odds of 14/1 for winning the tournament. Of course, these odds will change depending on the availability of players as the start of the tournament approaches.

As of now, France are seen as one of the favourites to win the title. The Euro 2016 could see a void from reigning world champions Germany. Under the management of Joachim Loew, they won the World Cup in style by fielding a young team that was expected to dominate world football for generations to come. However, the preparation to the Euro 2016 has been less than ideal for Germany, as they have already been involved in several losses even in the friendly games. Home advantage is expected to favour the French team and the 2015 attacks in Paris will also serve as the motivation to do well.

France have a number of positives in the squad even though there is a lot of confusion surrounding the involvement of Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema. Regarded as one of the best strikers available for the French national team, Benzema may be left out of the squad due to disciplinary reasons by manager Didier Deschamps. After suffering immensely in the last decade due to disciplinary problems, the French national team will not want another dressing room failure to affect the tournament hopes. Deschamps has already stated that he will put discipline over quality in the squad.

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Leicester City’s odds of being in first place were 5,000-1

Everyone in the world of football is looking in disbelief as Leicester City have still managed to stay at the top of the Premier League as the team of Claudio Ranieri are displaying dominance a huge dominance in the top tier English league.

After 31 league games, Leicester City has collected a total of 66 points and are in 1rst place and for those who actually bet on them at the beginning of the season are getting a huge pay-out.

The odds of Leicester City being in pole position at these advances stages of the Premier League were of 5,000-1. According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), this was the same odds as Elvis Presley coming back from the grave and throwing a concert, in other words it simply was impossible but Claudio Ranieri has turned the impossible into a reality as Leicester City have proved their worth throughout the entire season with consistently high level performances.

Just to take things into context, the longest odds that a single match in football has ever had was back in 2951 when USA overcame England and this was a hugely surprising result as the odds of this happening was 500-1.

The biggest reason of why Leicester City was not even considered to be a club that would be able to snatch a spot in the top 5 of the Premier League is due to the fact that they were just recently promoted to the English league and had been struggling trying to get into the top tier league and were competing in the English League Championship for the past few years but things have been taking a turn for the better with the team of Claudio Ranieri just plowing through everything.

Claudio Ranieri’s team has a combined total cost of around $30 million, this is a very low amount of money for a squad that has been running rampage in this season and this another one of the reasons of why Leicester City’s campaign has been so surprising.

Italian football continues being hit by betting scandals

Italian football has a history of being plagued by scandals involving bets and illegal actions where players, managers, owners, referee were all accused of corruption.

Clubs were blamed of rigging games where they could select favorable referees and these scandals have had a big consequence with Italian clubs as Juventus was retracted from a number of titles that they had won during the season of 2004-05 and 2005-06.

The entire board of directors of Juventus resigned as well as other recognizable players, managers and referees.

Those events took place over 10 years ago but Italian football still continues being hit with claims of corruption and things of this nature.

There was a recent betting incident that occurred involving top Italian clubs including: Ac.Milan, Napoli and Lazio. A number of figures from those clubs those previously mentioned clubs have recently been targeted by Italian police investigations due to an alleged tax evasion issue but they have dismissed their roles and participation from these allegations.

Ac. Milan’s Adriano Galliani is one of the more recognizable icons in Italian football that has been accused with tax evasion but the club has recently launched a statement which read:

“Today, the public prosecutor of Naples decided to give Adriano Galliani a termination notice relating to the investigation for a series of events that are absolutely marginal and not founded and which will come to a resolution, in terms of both tax and criminal law, with a due dismissal,”

There also are a number of players who are either still performing in the Italian League Serie A or used to compete in there in the past who are being accused with tax evasions as well as a host of other issues. Diego Milito and current striker of Atalanta German Denis are a few of the players who have been put under investigation.

Doncaster Rovers will be one of the teams looking to achieve giantkilling

Doncaster Rovers will be one of the teams looking to achieve giantkilling in the FA Cup when they take on Premier League side Stoke City in front of their own supporters.

The home support will certainly provide the League One team an added advantage going into the game. This seems to be the main consensus behind many bookmakers backing Doncaster to create a giantkilling in this weekend’s third-round action. There are plenty of other fixtures in the FA Cup this weekend, but the home advantage provides the League One outfit with more than just hope.

Even though in the game, they are not providing very short odds for the above. In fact, the League One team are backed at 4/1 for a victory whereas the away team are placed at 5/4 to progress into the fourth round of the competition. Stoke City are doing well in the Premier League under Mark Hughes. The FA Cup has certainly not been their main forte in the club’s history, but this has changed in recent years. The club will want another good run in the competition before aiming to win it in the near future.

Doncaster are on a decent run of form to do something about Stoke.“If we get to Southend and get a win, I would have to say that’s a pleasing Christmas and we can reflect on where we want to go.At this point, as for 2016, we’ll wait and see.I want to keep progressing and keep progressing.I’m not going to set any targets. We just want consistency in performances and results.It’s been quite a positive start to my career at Doncaster I feel.I would be greedy and say I wanted at least another three points,” said Ferguson.

Bookmakers have suspended the odds of Chelsea

Bookmakers have suspended the odds of Chelsea manager José Mourinho losing his job after his team suffered a 3-1 defeat against Liverpool at home.

This was the sixth league defeat of the season for Chelsea and they continue to languish near the bottom of the table. It now ranks as the worst title defence by any team in Premier League history.

Mourinho has been unable to provide any sort of recovery to the team, which has been slipping down the table and in terms of form ever since the start of the season. Mourinho only recently signed a new long-term contract but that is unlikely to see him continue in the job for much longer.

There have been rumours that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was ready to make a change after witnessing the result of the Chelsea vs Liverpool match. It turned out as yet another sour result for the team, as the blues lost 3-1 in front of their supporters. After suffering just one defeat in more than 75 home matches under Mourinho, Chelsea have already surpassed the number by several times this season. The team has tasted only three league victories so far and a revival seems far away.

Carlo Ancelotti has been placed as the favourite to take over from Mourinho. Ancelotti is currently free to take over at Chelsea after having left the job at Madrid a few months ago. The Italian also has vast experience of being the manager at Stamford Bridge.”Following the result we’ve decided to pause and take a breaker with our next boss to go market while we wait for further news.Meanwhile, Ancelotti appears to be making headway in the race to replace Mourinho as and when he does leave,” said Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes. The likes of John Terry are also in line for the job.

Roy Hodgson will stay in the national side only if he’s wanted

Roy Hodgson is the manager of the England national team. The English national side has recently gone through a roller coaster of a ride filled with highs and lows. England was knocked out from the 2014 World Cup in the group stages as they failed to advance any further after losing against Italy and Uruguay.

Even with such a disappointing campaign, Roy Hodgson decided to stay in charge of the national team and things have been taking a turn for the better as the English squad is at the top of Group E of the 2016 Euro’s qualifiers and have been undefeated ever since their early exit from the past World Cup.

Ever since the 2014 World Cup concluded, England has claimed victories against: Switzerland, San Marino, Estonia, Slovenia and Lithuania.

Hodgson has a contract with the English national side which expires in 2016 and even though things have recently been going so well for him and his players, he is unsure about what will happen after his contract expires as anything can happen in football.

If for the next 3 years more positive results continue arriving for the English national side then Roy Hodgson would be more than happy to stay and extend his stay as the manager of the national team but Hodgson is well aware that things in football isn’t as always as easy.

The experienced manager would like to extend his current contract with England but it will depend on other factors which are out of his reach and control including the FA and the fans of the English side.

England’s Roy Hodgson told the media: “It’s tempting to think that one could stay longer and see these players further down the line but it has got to be wanted, first by the FA, and it has to be wanted by the English people because you see so many examples.

If England manages to win the upcoming 2016 or at least make an impressive display, Hodgson will surely have his contract extended for a few more years and will be allowed to compete in the 2018 World Cup which is something that the experienced manager wants as he desires to get revenge for the dreadful World Cup that he and his team sustained one year ago.

Bhutan still confident of getting good in World Football

Bhutan may be regarded as one of the lowest ranked teams in world football, but that is not preventing the national team’s captain, Karma Shedrup, to be confident about his team’s chances of reaching the World Cup. The qualification for the 2018 World Cup has just begun in the Asian parts of the world.

As the lowest ranked teams fight it for a place in the final qualification spots, Bhutan will be hoping that their low paid footballers will be able to fight against the top names from Asia. Football in Bhutan struggles for popularity against its number one sport, archery.

However, the increasing popularity of television in the country means that more and more people are exposed to the likes of Premier League and la Liga football.

It has resulted in a growth for football and it will conversely result in better talent being available for the national team. Bhutan joined FIFA rankings only in 2000. They have played in only 18 international matches in the last six years. They will be up against Sri Lanka in the first round of the qualifying for the Asian regions. The first leg will be at Colombo whereas the return leg will be in front of their own supporters.

“The world ranking does not matter. It is just a number. It is not a reflection of our performance, but the [very low] frequency of matches that we have played.If I am in Thimphu I will definitely go to the game because I am kind of respected here.Even though I’m not, I act like a god. So if I go I might have to wear wigs and disguise myself,” saidShedrup. “I cannot guarantee 100% a win. But we’ll fight until the last minute,” said winger Kuenga Gyeltshen about Bhutan’s chances of beating Sri Lanka.

Russia ready host 2018 World Cup of Football

Russia is getting ready to host the 2018 World Cup and one of their initial tasks is to rebuild some stadiums which just aren’t fit or prepared to receive all the amount of fans which are going to be travelling there in order to watch their favorite players and nations duke it out in the pitch.

Arena Pobeda is a new stadium which is currently being built on the former site of the Central Stadium between Mamaev Kurgan and the right bank of the Volga. In this pitch there was an old stadium but it’s going to be demolished and rebuilt as a number of changes will be made.

In the demolishing process of this stadium, 11 unexploded World War II bombs were discovered and are now being removed. The Arena Pobeda stadium is expected to be completed in November of 2017 and will accommodate 45,000 fans but it could take longer if more unexpected things are discovered in the pitch where the stadium is going to be built.

Despite these potentially dangerous discoveries, Michael Platini is confident that everything concerning the 2018 World Cup in Russia will be organized and executed perfectly.

“We are confident in a perfect organization of the World Cup 2018 and we are sure that a lot of tourists will visit Russia. Russian football has very strong positions… some journalists say that your level of football is not high enough, but we do not think so,” Platini said.

Putin has had to convince the FIFA President SeppBlatter and a number of other football authorities on allowing the upcoming worldwide football tournament to be set on Russia which was not being viewed as a potential or appropriate place to be hosted, taking into consideration all of the disputes which have been going on involving Ukraine and Russia but despite all of this problems, Russia was officially announced as the place where the 2018 World Cup is going to be held.