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29-Apr 2019 Monday 1:19 PM (231 days ago)               #1
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Premier League: Gunners Need to Improve Their Aim!

Leicester City vs Arsenal

Unai Emery takes his Arsenal team to the Kingpower Stadium on Sunday for a crucial Premier League clash against Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester; and they need to rediscover their killer instinct.

In a four way race for two Champions League places, Arsenal have fluffed their lines over the last week, losing two very winnable games. And when I say they need the killer instinct that applies to their defenders just as much as their strikers.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been leading a talented and incisive attack at the Emirates and is in with a great chance of winning the Golden Boot, joint top with Sergio Aguero and Mo Salah at the last count. But the Gunners’ defence has been leaky to say the least, shipping six goals in the last two games. And they will come up against a Leicester City side playing with vibrancy since the arrival of Rodgers, and the Foxes’ strikers are in fine form too.

Let’s take a closer look at the details to inform our Leicester vs Arsenal predictions and try to hit the bull’s-eye with our SBOBET tips!

Talking Points

The Rodgers factor

After losing his opening game in charge, a run of four wins for Rodgers’ Foxes put them right in the hunt for seventh place. But defeat to an improving Newcastle, followed by a draw with unpredictable West Ham, has left them in tenth place, only three points behind seventh placed Wolves in the hunt for a Europa League place.

The former Liverpool boss has inherited a squad rich in talent, but one which started to look a little stale in the last few matches of Claude Puel’s unpopular reign. But they have found their Mojo back. Powerful midfielder Wilfred Ndidi is in the running for the Nigerian Pitch Awards after another impressive season. He’s a threat driving forward from midfield and not afraid to put his foot in, picking up seven yellow cards in the current campaign.

And Jamie Vardy has been a big beneficiary of Rodgers’ arrival at the Kingpower; the tactical tweaks made by the new boss have seen a real upturn in the former England striker’s fortunes. He had scored just nine goals in the season under Puel but has added seven in the seven games since the change at the helm.

Leicester have won just one of their last 24 Premier League meetings with Arsenal (D7 L16)
Leicester City's Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring their first goal

Arsenal’s nightmare week

Nobody seems to want the normally coveted fourth place, which was once the annual right of the Gunners during Arsene Wenger’s long reign. Arsenal fans have watched Spurs lose, Manchester United lose twice and Chelsea draw at home to Burnley in the last few days. So how frustrating must it have been to watch their own side follow up defeat to Crystal Palace with a capitulation away to Wolves, where they were 3-0 down at the break, before big defender Sokratis headed a late consolation. If only he and his colleagues had been so efficient in defence.

Sokratis has picked up ten yellow cards this season though, so I guess you have to admire his commitment, if not his timing!

The Gunners won a difficult game at Watford before those back to back defeats, but they needed a big hand from Troy Deeney, the Hornets’ skipper, who got himself sent off in the 11th minute. Arsenal’s problems for most of the season have been away from home and they won’t be relishing this trip to the Kingpower.

They may be without Aubameyang, who missed the defeat at Molineux with a sinus problem, and Emery is also sweating on the fitness of key midfield player Aaron Ramsay, who picked up a hamstring niggle in a Europa League win over Napoli.

History

Arsenal has won 16 games to Leicester’s two in the 25 head-to-head fixtures since 1994, and they won the return match 3-1 at the Emirates in October, Aubameyang scoring twice and Mesut Ozil putting in a man-of-the-match performance. How Emery would love to see those two writing the Premier League 2019 news headlines again this weekend.

During the last 12 meetings with Leicester playing at home, The Foxes have won twice and there have been six draws; while Arsenal has won four times with a goal difference of 21-14 in favour of the Gunners.

But there’s no denying that Arsenal’s away form has been pretty woeful for a potential top four side, winning just six of 17 away games.

Betting Tip

??

Leicester City vs Arsenal First Half over 1.25 goals @ 2.08
April 28, 19:00(GMT+8)

Arsenal is the marginal favourite to win this game at odds of 2.55; with Leicester at 2.67 and the draw at 3.30. But one thing I think we can be certain of is goals.

Leicester’s resurgence under Rodgers and Arsenal’s undoubted talent, not to mention its erratic defence, is sure to provide plenty of entertainment; and I don’t expect us to wait long for the scoreboard to start moving.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 29-Apr-2019 at 1:20 PM


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29-Apr 2019 Monday 1:22 PM (231 days ago)            #2
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Premier League: Match of the Weekend

Manchester United vs Chelsea

While Manchester City and Liverpool slug it out at the summit of the Premier League, the race for Champions League football has thrown up the big match on Sunday.

Premier League Manchester United vs Chelsea has long been one of the major fixtures in the English football calendar, and while, for now, they are not competing for the top prize, there is plenty at stake when these two heavyweights clash at the Theatre of Dreams.

With three games to go Chelsea occupies the coveted fourth place but with Arsenal a point behind and the Red Devils two further back they can’t afford a defeat. While the Blues have a better goal difference than their hosts, Maurizio Sarri will not want his team to have to depend on that.

After a brilliant start to his career as Manchester United boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is having a torrid time and another defeat, after six in the last eight games, would be a disaster.

This huge match will be a treat for SBOBET 2019 Premier League fans, but it’s

going to be a nail biter for the Red Devils and the Blues.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Can Solskjaer work out Paul Pogba?

One of the most baffling things about the Red Devils’ poor run has been the form of World Cup winner Paul Pogba. He was dreadful in the first half of the season under Jose Mourinho, but after he’d seen off that manager his form took a dramatic upturn with the arrival of OGS. But he seems to have returned to type and his lacklustre displays have again attracted criticism.

He’s the only player outside Manchester City and Liverpool to make the PFA’s Team of the Year and that in itself is a mystery!

Pogba is not the only player under the spotlight at Old Trafford. Goalkeeper David de Gea has been the Red Devils’ best player in the recent difficult seasons but his form has taken a nosedive amidst speculation of a summer move to Real Madrid, possibly alongside Pogba.

David de Gea has now conceded 44 goals this Premier League season
David de Gea looking devastated after letting in two goals during their match against Manchester City

The Red Devils showed some fighting spirit in the first half of Wednesday’s derby defeat to Manchester City. But De Gea has received criticism for his failure to keep out Leroy Sane’s crucial second goal, particularly after he picked four out of the net the previous weekend against Everton.

The mood at Old Trafford is a far cry from early March when a win over Southampton saw the Red Devils move into fourth and five points ahead of Chelsea. But the current poor run has made a mess of their top four hopes.

If OGS can somehow inspire his players onto victory against Chelsea it could all look so different again, with their final two games coming against relegated Huddersfield and, favourites to join the Terriers in the Championship, Cardiff City.

Sarri’s headaches at Chelsea

Having come under torrents of criticism for his delay in selecting Callum Hudson Odoi, Sarri will be rather upset having seen his young star limp off during the 2-2 draw with Burnley on Monday, and he’ll be out for the season with an Achilles problem.

That result was something of a disaster for the Blues, who had watched top four rivals Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester United all lose at the weekend. Beat Burnley and they would have been firmly in control but they couldn’t, and the ugly scenes at the end of the game show just how much that hurt Chelsea, as Sarri was sent to the stands.

Influential midfielder N’Golo Kante was also injured against the Clarets and defender Antonio Rudiger is still struggling with a knee injury. Kante could well return, but Rudiger is more doubtful.

Eden Hazard was, once again, Chelsea’s best player making the first goal and looking the most likely to break down a stubborn Burnley defence. And he’ll be determined to help his team make amends at Old Trafford. At the very least the Blues must avoid defeat, which would put Manchester United out of the running.

History

The historic Manchester United vs Chelsea results tell the story of a real ding dong battle. Chelsea has had the edge in the head-to-head clashes, winning 25 to Manchester United’s 21 of the 67 fixtures in the Premier League era.

United arrive with five defeats in six and Chelsea has had one loss in that period.

But when playing at home, Man Utd has not lost to Chelsea in their last five encounters so that should provide some hope to Red Devils fans.

Betting Tip

??

Manchester United vs Chelsea Chelsea Draw no Bet @ 1.99
April 28, 23:30 (GMT+8)

We can’t split these two teams, with home advantage for the Red Devils meaning the latest Manchester United vs Chelsea betting odds pitch them both at 2.67 to win with the draw at 3.10.

A 1-1 draw at 5.80 is the most likely result, and I think Chelsea will be happy with that, but in Hazard they have the best player who could win the game.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 29-Apr-2019 at 1:22 PM


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29-Apr 2019 Monday 1:36 PM (231 days ago)            #3
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Premier League: Was This a Blip or a Hammer Blow for Tired Tottenham?

Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 West Ham United

The longer this Premier League encounter between Tottenham and West Ham went on, it was understandable for those of a Spurs persuasion to cast their eyes forward to events in a little over 72 hours’ time.

Regardless of this result, their Champions League semi-final against Ajax on Tuesday night was always going to take priority and may explain why, after bossing the initial stages, a more even contest followed.

The law of averages suggested Spurs may be hard-pressed to beat their rivals for a third time this season after winning both matches on West Ham turf earlier in the campaign in both league and League Cup.

Yet this would be no tame end-of-season affair. The at-times bitter rivalry was always going to ensure SBOBET followers would be treated to Premier League 2019 highlights one way or the other.

Highlights of the game

Son Heung-min disappoints Tottenham Hotspur fans in Premier League Matchday 36
Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min in action against West Ham United in the Premier League

Tottenham, already without Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Erik Lamela, Moussa Sissoko, and Serge Aurier, received a pre-match boost with Dele Alli and Danny Rose both overcoming knocks sustained in midweek to take their place in the starting line-up.

West Ham also had problems with Javier Hernandez andJack Wilshere only fit enough to be on the bench and Manuel Lanzini and Aaron Cresswell missing out altogether.

The hosts, looking to complete their first league double over West Ham since 2012-13, started in the ascendancy. From an Alli pass, man of the moment Son Heung-Min made light of a difficult angle to force Lukasz Fabianski into action.

The Hammers came back into it with Ryan Fredericks forcing Hugo Lloris into a save. And at the other end, Lucas Moura was a whisker away from opening the scoring.

The closest either team came to a goal in the first half came 10 minutes before the break when Son’s blocked shot fell into the path of Christian Eriksen, who was expertly denied by the on-rushing Fabianski.

Sensing Spurs were below par, West Ham began the second period brightly. Young talent Fredericks saw a goal-bound effort deflected to safety.

It took a superb Fredericks tackle to stop a dangerous-looking Spurs counter-attack midway through the second half, moments before one of their unsung heroes provide his worth again.

He may have missed much of the campaign through injury but there’s no doubting the talent of Michail Antonio.

Marko Arnautovic had been largely well marshalled but, from a delicate chip from the Austrian, Antonio controlled the ball on his chest and half-volleyed the ball beyond Lloris.

It was a fine finish, a fine celebration, and a bit of history as it was the first goal Spurs have conceded in their new stadium.

Fredericks was again key when he blocked Son’s effort after a link up with Alli threatened to create an equaliser.

Lloris was smart to stop the pacey Antonio from grabbing a second before tired Spurs gave it one more go. However, substitute Vincent Janssen’s header was cleared off the line by Fabian Balbuena.

A memorable victory for the Hammers and not quite a hammer blow for Spurs but a frustrating one.

Their big contest is still to come.

Key statistics

West Ham are the first away side to win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. They were also the first side to beat Arsenal at the Emirates in April 2007.

This was only West Ham’s second Premier League away victory at Spurs in the past 17 attempts.

Fredericks made four appearances for boyhood club Tottenham before leaving for Bristol City in 2015.

This was Spurs’ first defeat in 10 home games, winning eight of them, including fixtures played at Wembley.

Mauricio Pochettino had been unbeaten in all six home league games as a manager against West Ham (won two, drawn four) until today.

West Ham have taken more points in this game than their previous eight away fixtures. This was only their sixth clean sheet of the league campaign.

This was their first away victory against a top-six side in 21 attempts - since beating Manchester City in September 2015.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 



What’s next?

It’s all eyes now for Spurs on their first European Cup semi-final since 1962.

They host Ajax – who have had a rest from action this weekend - on Tuesday (April 30) in the first leg of their Champions League last four tie.

It’s then back to domestic duties and a trip to Bournemouth a week from today. Despite this home defeat, Premier League 2019 betting odds still favour Pochettino’s side to claim a top-four finish.

West Ham have two leagues games remaining. Their final home match of the campaign is against Southampton next week.

 

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29-Apr 2019 Monday 1:39 PM (231 days ago)            #4
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Premier League: Foxes Are Far Too Smart For Arsenal

Leicester City 3-0 Arsenal

Leicester City added to Arsenal’s woes with a 3-0 win at the Kingpower Stadium today, Jamie Vardy scoring a brace in the process.

It’s a result which has seriously damaged Unai Emery’s hopes of guiding his team to a top-four place in his first season in charge, and in all honesty, the Gunners shot themselves in the foot! Arsenal had gone down to ten men after Ainsley Maitland-Niles had needlessly got himself sent off and then Leicester, who were already the better team, just blew them away.

It all looked so good for the Gunners after they beat Manchester United recently but with two games to go in the 2019 Premier League they are in disarray. Three defeats on the bounce have left them off the pace at a crucial time in the season. If they had beaten just one of Crystal Palace, Wolves or Leicester they would still be in with a good chance.

But Leicester dispatched the Gunners in style, and under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers, they could be a team to watch next season. Outside the top two, the next four teams in the league are losing games with alarming regularity and, on this showing, I wouldn’t bet too much against Leicester finishing above Arsenal next year.

The other big Premier League 2019 news of the day was that Manchester City went back to the top of the league with a win at Burnley, while Chelsea drew at Manchester United to go two points clear of Arsenal in fourth place.

Highlights of the game

The Foxes looked lively throughout the first half and Arsenal were lucky to go into the break level, but their prospects were drastically reduced on the half hour.

Maitland-Niles had already earned a soft yellow card before he rashly chopped down James Maddison, and he quite rightly received his marching orders to give the Gunners a much tougher task in the second half. And they simply weren’t up to it.

The Foxes broke through on the hour when man-of-the-match James Maddison crossed for Youri Tielmans to plant his header beyond Bernd Leno and into the corner of the net.

The final margin could have been much bigger had it not been for the Arsenal keeper, who pulled off a string of great saves, the best being a one-handed stop from Wilfred Ndidi’s well-directed header.

Jamie Vardy has enjoyed an upturn in form since the arrival of Brendan Rodgers and he made it two with a typical ‘Vardy’ goal. He outpaced the sluggish Gunners defence to latch on to a long punt forward and lifted it over the advancing Leno and onto the crossbar. He was still the quickest to react nodding home the rebound to make the game safe.

And the arch Leicester poacher bagged another in the fifth minute of added time poking home Ricardo Pereira’s low cross.

The Kingpower faithful celebrated, but the travelling Gunners fans must have thought themselves a little lucky they hadn’t come off even worse.

Jamie Vardy has now 18 goals in the Premier League
Jamie Vardy celebrates with James Maddison after scoring Leicester City's first goal against Arsenal

Key Statistics

After shipping six goals in the last two games Emery’s team has now made it nine from three and that is no defensive form for a Champions League hopeful.

Leicester is still just about in the race for Europa League football according to the latest Premier League 2019 betting odds, they are three points behind seventh-placed Wolves with a better goal difference, and it all augers well for next season. Since Rodgers’ arrival at the Kingpower, only the pacesetters Manchester City and Liverpool have won more points than the Foxes.

Youri Tielemans’ goal was his third in nine games, in which time he has also made four assists, while Jamie Vardy has nine goals since the arrival of the new chief.

If the Gunners are to do better next season, they need to learn how to win on the road; they have won just six of 18 away games…pitiful!

What’s next?

Emery has one eye on the Europa League as another, and now more likely, a route into the Champions League and Valencia visit the Emirates in the semi-final first leg on Thursday, and then the Gunners have a home game against strugglers Brighton next weekend which should see them get back to winning ways.

The Foxes can still have a lot of say in matters at the top end of the table, with a trip to title hopefuls Manchester City, who won at Burnley today and then a home game against Chelsea on the final day.

And of course, we’ll be there every step of the way at SBOBET.

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29-Apr 2019 Monday 1:51 PM (231 days ago)            #5
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Premier League: City Show Hallmarks of Champions against Battling Burnley

Burnley 0-1 Manchester City

Two games from Premier League glory.

This was another tricky test but was there ever any doubt SBOBET fans?

The Manchester City class of 2019 may have been assembled at a hugely expensive cost but the outlay has been justified again this season by a compilation of Premier League highlights no-one else can match.

The Premier League betting odds on them becoming the first side since city rivals Manchester United to retain English football’s top prize a decade ago grow even stronger.

They have really been put to the test since their Champions League quarter-final exit against Tottenham 11 days ago but have responded in the manner of champions with three wins (two away from home) without conceding a goal.

Highlights of the game

It was mixed news for City before kick-off with Fernandinho, forced off in the Manchester derby in midweek with a knee problem, ruled out but Ilkay Gundogan, who suffered a knock in the same game, available again.

Unbeaten in their last seven league and cup games against Burnley, winning six of those matches, Pep Guardiola’s side were strong favourites.

Indeed, the champions had beaten the Lancastrians 5-0 twice this season in all competitions.

Yet Burnley were up for this. They had clearly irked Chelsea on Easter Monday – in fact,Sean Dyche had to defend his side from time-wasting accusations – and also had previous, frustrating the reigning champions once in each of their previous four Premier League seasons and winning 44 per cent of their games against the title holders (won four, drawn one, lost four).

This was as much about character as class and so it proved.

Premier League: Sergio Aguero's opening ended Manchester City's match against Burnley in a clean sheet
Sergio Aguero celebrates victory with Manchester City in Turf Moor

Sergio Aguero’s 64th-minute goal - bundled in and given via goal-line technology despite Matthew Lowton's attempted clearance –was decisive as the hosts well-organised and resilient effort threatened to keep them out.

Gabriel Jesus had another effort kicked off the line by Ben Mee and, while Burnley - hoping to win three consecutive home league fixtures for the first time since a five-match streak in December 2016 and January 2017 - rarely threatened, the outcome wasn’t certain until Paul Tierney blew his full-time whistle.

Burnley and their boss Sean Dyche deserve enormous credit for their endeavour and a fine second half to the campaign after they seemed in potential trouble at the turn of the year.

But this was a vital step forward for City.

They had only won one of their past three games at Turf Moor before today and had failed to keep a clean sheet in any of them.

When they needed one most, Vincent Kompany and co delivered.

Key statistics

Eighteen of City’s last 23 league and cup goals against Burnley have come in the second half of matches, including nine of 11 this season.

Burnley have conceded 63 league goals in 2018-19, compared to 39 last term - only the bottom three have worse records this season.

Guardiola’s side have now won 12 straight league games, the longest streak in the Premier League this season.

They can become the first team to end a top-flight season with 14 consecutive victories, breaking Arsenal's record of 13 in 2001-02.

City have won all 13 of their league matches this season against sides in the bottom seven, scoring a total of 42 goals and conceding just four.

Aguero has scored nine goals in his last eight appearances against Burnley in all competitions.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 


Aguero has now become the second player to score at least 20 Premier League goals in six different seasons, emulating Alan Shearer (who did so in seven campaigns for Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle).

Aguero is also the second player, after Thierry Henry, to achieve the feat in five consecutive seasons.

Burnley recorded only two shots against City, the fewest they have ever attempted in a single Premier League match.

This is only the second season in English top-flight history where two sides have earned 90+ points, after Arsenal (94) and Leeds (91) in the 1970-71 campaign (adjusted to three points for a win).

Only against Jose Mourinho (seven) has Burnley manager Dyche faced an opposition manager more often in the Premier League without winning than against Guardiola (six).

What’s next?

Burnley are at Everton on Friday night (May 3) in their penultimate game of the campaign before rounding-off 2018/19 at home to Arsenal.

City host Leicester City in their final home match of the season on Bank Holiday Monday (May 6) ahead of a last-day trip to Brighton.

They then meet Watford in the FA Cup Final.

 

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29-Apr 2019 Monday 1:54 PM (231 days ago)            #6
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Premier League: De Gea Blunder hands Chelsea a Point

Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea

Chelsea earned a deserved draw at Old Trafford today to put them in control of the Premier League race for a top four place, but they needed a helping hand from Manchester United’s goalkeeper.

David de Gea has been Manchester United’s best player for three seasons, but he’s suffering a crisis of confidence and spilled a ball to hand Marcos Alonso an equaliser, after Juan Mata had given the Red Devils the lead.

After losing the Manchester Derby to a much better side, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made five changes and demanded a response from his players; and they had a good first half but their keeper’s error changed the course of the game. Much of the recent Premier League 2019 news has surrounded the dramatic decline in fortunes at Old Trafford over the last few weeks, after OGS had made such an impressive start to his career as boss.

And the home fans must have feared the worst, but with Eden Hazard having an uncharacteristically quiet game, the Blue onslaught never really came, though the visitors had the better of the second 45.

Highlights of the game

Manchester United started well and was rewarded by an early goal. Romelu Lukaku lifted a ball through for Luke Shaw, and the wing back pulled it back for Juan Mata to finish coolly past three Chelsea players on the line. That was just the start the home fans wanted and the pre-match edginess in the Stadium was lifted as they found their voice.

The home team continued to play the better football, but midfield enforcer Nemanja Matic was a lucky boy when he stuck an arm in the face of Cesar Azpilicueta and should have received at least a yellow card, but the officials missed it.

Red Devils’ keeper David de Gea has been the subject of speculation of a summer move to Real Madrid and that seems to have affected his form in recent weeks. So when Anton Rudiger tried his luck from 30 yards Marco Alonso anticipated a fumble, and when De Gea obliged the Spaniard finished cleverly.

It was a little harsh on the Red Devils who had played pretty well in the first half, with the often criticised Romelu Lukaku putting in one of his best halves of football since his £75 million move from Everton.

Maurizio Sarri had to lift his side after a disappointing home performance against Burnley last week, but he can’t have been too happy with the opening half and was relieved the Blues went in level.

Marcos Alonso impressed Manchester United vs Chelsea odds after scoring an equaliser
Marcos Alonso celebrates with Antonio Rudiger after scoring his equaliser

The second half was a different story, with the visitors dominating, although De Gea wasn’t really tested again until the final moments. He did make a smart save when Willian fired a low ball across the six yard box.

As the game threatened to fizzle out the announcement of seven minutes of injury seemed to lift the home crowd; and they were on their feet when Marcus Rojo got his head to a corner but Pedro was well placed to clear off the line.

Then at the other end Gonzalo Higuain almost won it at the death when Pedro put him through with a beautiful ball and De Gea redeemed himself with a save.

The Spain Number One has built up plenty of credit in his years at Old Trafford, but his form is a real worry, while for Chelsea, it looks like when Hazard is quiet they can have all the attacking intent in the world, but the cutting edge isn’t there.

Key Statistics

The Manchester United vs Chelsea odds pointed to a close encounter with the draw at pre-match odds of 3.10, and so it was. United edged the possession with 51 per cent of the ball, but the Blues won the shot count with 16 to seven, but only three on target to the Red Devils’ five.

Manchester United only have two clean sheets at home all season, and that is the lowest in the league.

And this was the first away game Chelsea had played against one of the Top Six without losing, so that has to be a success for Sarri…of sorts!

What’s next?

Spurs surprise home defeat to West Ham has left the race for the Champions League places open, with four teams chasing two spots; though Spurs and Chelsea are in the box seats. There’s more drama to come over the next two weeks for SBOBET Premier League fans, that’s for sure!

Manchester United’s final two games are against relegated Huddersfield and then they have a final match at home to Cardiff City. That should be six points, but with Chelsea three ahead it’s unlikely to be enough.

The Blues have a Europa League semi-final first leg against Eintracht Frankfurt this week, and then it’s back to the Premier League final push at home to FA Cup finalists Watford.

 

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06-May 2019 Monday 5:51 PM (224 days ago)            #7
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Premier League: Will Rafa Wreck Reds’ Title Hopes?

Newcastle United vs Liverpool

Things are not looking too great for Liverpool at the moment. The Reds have one foot out the door in the Champions League after a resounding 3-0 defeat in their semi-final first leg against Barcelona.

And in the Premier League, they still need leaders Manchester City to slip up to stand any chance at winning the title. City just about got the job done at Burnley and are now two games away from defending their crown.

All Liverpool can do now is take care of their own business as they go to Newcastle on the penultimate weekend of the Premier League season.

The Magpies have been quite formidable on their home turf this season, though, and could just be the ones to put an end to the Merseysiders' title hopes.

Talking Points

St. James' Park has been a fortress

This season has been another successful one for Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United. Despite receiving minimal investment in the side, Benitez has once again led Newcastle to mid-table safety.

Newcastle owe much of their success this season to their outstanding home form. Their Premier League 2019 results at St. James' Park have been excellent as they have won six of their last seven games. That's quite an impressive turnaround from the first half of the season, where they lost their first five home games and eight of their first 11.

They thumped Southampton 3-1 in their most recent home game, with Ayoze Perez scoring a hat-trick. The young Spaniard has had a brilliant season, leading the team with 11 Premier League goals. He's done a good deal of his damage later in the year, with five goals in his last three appearances.

But after scoring the opening goal in their draw against Brighton last time out, Perez had to come off due to injury. While the Spaniard says he will make sure to be fit for Liverpool, his status is still up in the air.

Losing Perez would obviously be a massive blow to Newcastle given the significant part he's played in the team's attack this season. And with impressive newcomer Miguel Almiron still missing as well, Newcastle could be quite lightweight in attack.

Liverpool's response to Barcelona loss

Liverpool must consider themselves terribly unlucky after their first leg against Barcelona. Despite playing relatively well, they still got thumped 3-0 and will need something exceptional to make it to a second-straight final.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are still praying for a Manchester City slip-up in order to overtake the reigning champions. The Reds have done just about everything in their power to win the Premier League. They've lost just once all season and have won their last seven games on the bounce.

Premier League: Can Liverpool bounce back from the Champions League defeat?
Liverpool's Fabinho reacted after Barcelona scored their third goal during the Champions League semi-finals at Camp Nou

And after three consecutive away draws -- which could potentially prove costly -- they have also won their last three in a row outside of Anfield.

The big question will be how Liverpool respond after their loss to Barca. It certainly has the potential to be a demoralising defeat. However, manager Jurgen Klopp has shown he's capable of lifting his team up, and with the season so close to the finish line, the players should be eager to respond.

Liverpool will likely be without Naby Keita, who suffered a groin injury against Barcelona. But there's a chance Roberto Firmino will make his way back to the first XI after starting on the substitutes' bench in Spain.

History

Newcastle and Liverpool have been in a fair few battles over the years. The Merseysiders hold the decided edge in the all-time head-to-head, with 71 wins in their 151 meetings. Newcastle have won on 42 occasions, while the two have drawn 38 times.

In terms of recent meetings, Liverpool have won their last two meetings by a total of six goals to nil. Although, both have been at Anfield. Liverpool battered Newcastle 4-0 in their first meeting this season.

However, Newcastle have gotten the better of Liverpool when they've come to visit Tyneside. The Magpies are unbeaten in their last four home games against Liverpool (two wins, two draws) and have lost just once in the last seven (four wins, two draws).

Betting Tip

??

Newcastle United vs Liverpool Newcastle United Asian Handicap +1.50 @ 1.83
May 05, 02:45 (GMT+8)

Newcastle United vs Liverpool betting odds are predictably skewed toward the Reds. However, there is a compelling case to be made for Newcastle being fairly competitive in this match.

As noted above, their home form has been outstanding in recent months and Benitez is a master at setting his team up against the top sides. And while Benitez has a strong connection with Liverpool, he's not likely to make things easy for his old team.

The possible absence of Ayoze Perez will certainly be a blow to the Newcastle attack, but their defence is still capable of stifling a Liverpool side which likely won't have quite as much energy after a taxing midweek encounter at the Camp Nou.

With those factors in mind, Newcastle should be worth a punt on the SBOBET Asian handicap sports betting market.

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06-May 2019 Monday 5:54 PM (224 days ago)            #8
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Premier League: Out of Form at Just the Wrong Time!

Arsenal vs Brighton & Hove Albion

As Premier League months go, both these sides would have been glad to see the back of April.

Five defeats and two draws in league and cup pushed the Seagulls to the brink of the relegation battle – even after they looked safe and well clear of favourites for the drop Cardiff City.

Arsenal, meanwhile, slumped to four defeats in six top flight games which created some Premier League news shocks and has seen them surely miss out on a top four finish.

That said, I expect the Gunners to bounce back here and they have been sheltered by their run to the Europa League semi-finals – including an impressive two-legged victory over Napoli – so could yet return to Europe’s top table by winning the competition.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Both sides really need the points.

Brighton could, in theory, be safe by the time this one kicks off.

In fact, anything other than a Cardiff victory over Crystal Palace just under 24 hours earlier will see Brighton’s top flight status secured.

A win for Neil Warnock’s side, however, would put real pressure on Chris Hughton’s men to take something from the Emirates Stadium.

Brighton have been in danger of sleepwalking into relegation in recent months and you only need to look back at the inaugural Premier League season to realise the dangers of that.

Matters have been so poor of late that, when Pascal Gross scored an equaliser against Newcastle last weekend, their fans acknowledged it was a rare moment of joy and even sang ‘we’ve scored a goal, we’ve scored a goal’.

By the time Gross had scored, Brighton had long eclipsed a club record of 11 hours and 13 minutes without a goal, a barren standard that had stood since 1970.

With only two league wins in the calendar year of 2019, and none since March 9, niceties are redundant and Brighton must grind on and then take stock, irrespective of whether it is their resilience or the fragility of Cardiff which gets them there.

 

Arsenal have conceded at least 3 goals in their last 3 Premier League matches
Unai Emery looking pensive on touchline

Unai Emery will surely not tolerate another off-day for his side however, even though their priority remains European competition, certainly judging on recent results.

A 3-0 reverse at Leicester City on Sunday was as emphatic as the scoreline suggests, although the decision to send-off Ainsley Maitland-Niles would be overturned if justice was to be done.

Right now they seem to lack leadership, indeed it is sorely lacking when compared to the title winning sides of the George Graham and Arsene Wenger teams of yesteryear – even if Wenger’s team in recent years had showed similar weaknesses to now.

On saying all of that, with Arsenal in the midst of a terrible run of form, it’s easy to forget that Emery won more games from his first 50 than any other Arsenal manager in history; his 32 victories are an impressive nine more than Wenger achieved in his first 50 games in charge.

So Gunners’ fans will put their faith in Emery for a while yet, particularly if he can stop his defence leaking goals.

This will surely be a day they get their act together.

History

Until last season, these sides hadn’t met in the top flight since 1983.

Although Arsenal won this corresponding fixture 2-0, courtesy of goals from Nacho Monreal and Alex Iwobi, Brighton enjoyed a day to remember in the return game.

The Seagulls recorded a memorable 2-1 home win after two goals in the opening 26 minutes from Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray.

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang pulled one back.

The match earlier this season, on Boxing Day, ended all square with Jurgen Locadia cancelling out Aubameyang’s opener.

Arsenal have never been beaten at home by Brighton in their history.

Overall, their meetings have produced 12 Arsenal wins, three Brighton triumphs and three draws.

Betting Tip

??

Arsenal vs Brighton & Hove Albion Arsenal Asian Handicap – 1.50 @ 2.20
May 05, 23:30(GMT+8)

Arsenal are overwhelming favourites with the SBOBET Premier League betting odds.

You can get a 1X2 deal on them @ 1.38 and a 1X2 deal on Brighton at a rank outside @ 9.25.

The draw is on the table @ 4.20.

Likewise, for the Gunners to lead at the break it’s First Half 1X2 @ 1.86, the draw @ 2.44 and Brighton @ 6.60.

First Half Asian Handicap -0.75 @ 2.28 backs the hosts, with First Half Asian Handicap Brighton +0.50 @ 2.03.

I expect a fair few goals in this one.

Over 3.00 goals @ 2.11, total goal 2-3 @ 2.05, total goal 4-6 @ 3.00 all catch the eye.

A repeat of their 1-1 draw from Boxing Day offers odds of correct score @ 9.25.

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06-May 2019 Monday 5:58 PM (224 days ago)            #9
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Premier League: Chelsea Aiming to Avoid Hornets’ Sting at Home

Chelsea vs Watford FC

Chelsea currently find themselves in a fine situation. They've got a two-point lead over fifth-placed Arsenal for the last Champions League place in the Premier League with just two games remaining.

But even if they don't get fourth, they still have another way that they can make the Champions League, which is by winning the Europa League. They'll need to get past Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-finals first, though.

Chelsea can take continue to improve their Premier League 2019 odds of clinching fourth as they host Watford at Stamford Bridge. The Hornets have been quite impressive this season, but they have had their problems against the top six sides.

However, the Blues have also had their troubles following European action, and could give the Hornets the opportunity to finally end their top-six losing skid.

Talking Points

Chelsea's injury concerns

Chelsea's squad is getting stretched to its limits at the tail-end of the season. The defence, in particular, is suffering from a couple of injuries.

Centre-back Antonio Rudiger will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing knee surgery. Meanwhile, Gary Cahill is dealing with an Achilles problem. That leaves the Blues with just Andreas Christensen and David Luiz as their healthy centre-backs.

And on the other end of the pitch, they are also running short of wide forwards. Teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi unfortunately ruptured his Achilles recently, while Willian is still dealing with a knock he suffered in their draw against Manchester United.

Those injuries likely mean that Maurizio Sarri will be unable to rotate his squad against Watford following their midweek first-leg match against Eintracht Frankfurt.

But at least the Blues will be at home against Watford. Chelsea have gone undefeated in their last eight home matches, with five wins and three draws.

Chelsea conceded twice in a surprising 2-2 draw against Burnley in their last home assignment. But in general, the Blues' defence has been outstanding at home. They've let in just 12 goals at home all season, which is tied for the second-best home defensive record in the Premier League.

Premier League: Watford's goal is to threat Chelsea in winning at Stamford Bridge
Javi Gracia prepares his side as they visit Chelsea in Stamford Bridge

Watford's top-six woes

By all accounts, it's been quite a successful season for Watford. They have been at the upper half of the table for most of the season and have been right there in the race for the title of "best of the rest" behind the top six. And they also have the chance for some silverware as they prepare for the FA Cup final.

However, the Hornets' Premier League 2019 results against those top six sides in the league have been quite awful. After beating Tottenham at home back in September, they have lost their last 10 matches against the top six.

With the FA Cup final coming up in a couple weeks' time, it remains to be seen just how hard the Hornets will push to win this match away to Chelsea. There have already been some signs that they're taking their foot off the gas just a bit following a draw against Southampton and defeat to Wolves -- both at home.

With Chelsea's midweek European commitments, Watford will have a golden opportunity to at least snap their long losing skid against the top six sides in this match -- if they are well and truly up for it.

History

Chelsea and Watford have met 22 times in their history. The Blues have won 12 of those matches, the Hornets have won six, with four draws.

Chelsea have the significant edge in terms of recent meetings, winning 10 of the last 13 matches in all competitions (two draws, one loss).

Moreover, Chelsea have gone undefeated in their last six home games against Watford (four wins, two draws). They've scored at least four goals in each of their last two home meetings.

Betting Tip

??

Chelsea vs Watford Double Chance Watford or Draw @ 2.67
May 5, 21:00 (GMT+8)

Chelsea have not fared particularly well in Premier League matches that have come immediately after a midweek Europa League assignment. In fact, they've failed to win their last five league games in those situations (three losses, two draws). Those two draws came at home against Wolves and Burnley.

And while Watford have struggled against the top six, they are probably not as bad as the results might say. With their FA Cup final closing in, they might just see this Chelsea match as a nice warm-up for City and raise their level of play.

If they do, they should be able to pick up a positive result at Stamford Bridge against a potentially fatigued and shorthanded Chelsea side. The SBOBET odds on a Watford win or draw are enticingly priced at 2.73, while a draw in the 1X2 market is 4.60.

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06-May 2019 Monday 6:01 PM (224 days ago)            #10
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Premier League: Manchester City Go Fox Hunting

Manchester City vs Leicester City

Two games to go in the best Premier League title race in years, and there is just a single point in it at the top. And when Manchester City hosts Leicester City on Monday night they could be playing catch up again.

If Liverpool wins in Newcastle on Saturday, Jurgen Klopp’s men will go two points clear to put the pressure back on the Sky Blues. But pressure doesn’t seem to affect this team, and when they go fox hunting they will fully expect to overcome their prey.

Not that Leicester will roll over for a minute. The Foxes have been rejuvenated under Brendan Rodgers and still have an outside chance of reaching a Europa League place. But the Sky Blues have been relentless in their pursuit of back-to-back league titles and they will be ready for the next challenge.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Sane is the rhythm man

With the lead at the top of the league changing twice weekly, as Manchester City and Liverpool trade blow for blow, everyone has been waiting to see who slips up first. But both teams are holding their nerve and if Pep Guardiola guides his team to two more victories, they could leave the Reds in second place on a massive 97 points.

The Sky Blues recent wins over Spurs and Manchester United have turned the odds very much their way, and as SBOBET Premier League fans will know, the champions are now as low as 1.20 to retain their title.

The Etihad front men have been outstanding. Sergio Aguero is Manchester City's top scorer with 20 goals while Raheem Sterling has 17. Leroy Sane has played a crucial part in the Sky Blues’ phenomenal run and has accumulated ten league goals and ten assists. Pep Guardiola relies on the wing man to give his side rhythm, as he did when he came on as a second half substitute in the recent Manchester derby win.

City had to draw on all their reserves to beat a stubborn Burnley side last Sunday and needed goal-line technology to ease their nerves when Sergio Aguero’s winner was adjudged to be 29mm over the line. Bernardo Silva was in spectacular form at Turf Moor and he’s sure to start again on Monday, while City will be without the injured Kevin de Bruyne.

Whether or not they’ll be watching the Premier League 2019 updates on Saturday evening, when Liverpool visits Newcastle, the reigning champions know exactly what they need to do on Monday.

Vardy back to his best

The latest Manchester City vs Leicester City betting odds, with the hosts at 1.17 to win point to a regulation home win… but I wouldn’t be so sure.

Jamie Vardy has now scored 18 goals this Premier League season
Jamie Vardy celebrates after scoring their second goal against Arsenal

Make no mistake; the Foxes will give the Sky Blues a few problems, as Arsenal will testify, having been thumped 3-0 at the Kingpower Stadium last week. Jamie Vardy seems to be back to his best. He’s a nightmare for defenders and has now scored 18 for the season. He’s enjoying life under Rodgers and Pep is under no illusions of the threat he poses. He says: “His career speaks for itself. He has done incredible in this league. He’s an incredible striker; his movement, finishing, fighting.

“It helps that before Leicester were a counter-attacking team and he could make runs in behind. Now with Brendan Rodgers, they have added another way to play.

 “I saw their last three games and I was really impressed. The players know it will be an incredible task for us.”

Indeed, the Foxes have taken 13 points from the last six games and are in no mood to let up now.

History

In the 22 matches played in the Premier League era Manchester City has had the edge, with 12 victories to Leicester’s six and there have been four draws.

Leicester had a surprise victory in the return match during the Sky Blues Christmas blip, at a time when the Foxes weren’t really firing. It was a second successive defeat for Pep’s City but that seems a long time ago now. It serves as a warning though.

Manchester City’s home record this season is 17 wins and one defeat and the Sky Blues are on a five match winning streak.

Betting Tip

??

Manchester City vs Leicester City 2-3 Goals @ 2.50
May 07, 03:00 (GMT+8)

With Manchester City at 1.17, the draw at 6.60 and Leicester at 15.00, anything other than a home win would be a major surprise, and would spark wild celebrations on Merseyside!

I think they will win, but I can’t see a goal fest, more the type of clinical performance we’re getting used to, and the approach that will win Pep’s boys the league.

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06-May 2019 Monday 6:05 PM (224 days ago)            #11
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Premier League: Huddersfield’s Last Stand

Huddersfield Town vs Manchester United

Huddersfield Town will make their last home Premier League appearance, for a while anyway, and what a game they have to see them off.

Manchester United are the visitors, and they don’t come much more illustrious than that. It’s a fitting fixture for the Terriers, who defied all the odds by surviving their first season in the top flight, but a second campaign was just one too many.

Head coach Jan Siewert had an impossible task when he took over from David Wagner in January. The Terriers were already well adrift when Wagner left by mutual agreement and, in all honesty, they have just got worse over the second half of the season. But they’ll be determined to give their fans one last hurrah when the Red Devils come to town.

For Manchester United, this game is a rather more serious proposition. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team has been on a difficult run and has lost control of its own destiny, hoping for Chelsea and Arsenal to slip up in the chase for Champions League football. But they need to take care of their own business, and that means beating Huddersfield on Sunday.

Talking Points

The football is better than the results

You won’t have seen many, if any, SBOBET tips backing a Huddersfield win this season, so we’ll have to take advantage of Asian Handicap Betting when we make our Huddersfield vs Manchester United predictions this time!

It was a minor miracle that the Terriers made it to a second season in the Premier League, but this season they have been hopelessly out of their depth. Not one player has scored more than three goals and with 28 defeats and just 14 points they have been doomed for a while.

But they do play nice football at times, and in midfielders Philip Billing and Aaron Mooy they have two players who should find clubs in the Premier League next season. This is their last big chance for an audition.

No win situation for Red Devils

David de Gea will play this Sunday's Premier League match against Huddersfield
David de Gea has been the subject of intense debate after a series of high profile mistakes

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has something of a rebuilding job to do at Manchester United in the summer, but with a top four place still just about possible, his team must win, and win well in West Yorkshire on Sunday. Anything other than a convincing victory against the league’s whipping boys will attract yet more criticism. And so it should with the players currently plying their trade at Old Trafford.

Manchester United keeper David de Gea is going through a baffling run of form, dropping another clanger in the recent draw with Chelsea. But his boss says he’s ready to play against the Terriers and he still has his full trust, despite his recent string of errors. He’s a top class keeper for sure, but he’s in a rut.

The Red Devils were given an idea just how far they have to improve to climb back among the elite in the Manchester derby, won at a canter by the Sky Blues. OGS remains confident he can attract some players to improve his team even if they are not in the Champions League.

It would help though, so he desperately needs a win on Sunday.

History

This is a game between two teams lacking in confidence, with the hosts on a losing streak of eight, and three at home, while Manchester United hasn’t won in four games.

Huddersfield shocked the Red Devils last season with a 2-1 win at home, with Mooy on target as the Terriers stormed to a 2-0 half time lead. Marcus Rashford pulled a late goal back; but that day remains one of, if not the, best memory for Huddersfield fans of their time in the top flight.

Can this current team lift itself up by the bootstraps, one more time, and create another great memory?  Their fans deserve it.

Betting Tip

??

Huddersfield Town vs Manchester United Huddersfield Asian Handicap +1.50 @ 1.89
May 05, 21:00(GMT+8)

If the Terriers somehow manage to win or even draw, this will be one of the biggest Premier League 2019 results without a doubt. They have been in wretched form and simply can’t buy a goal, with no strikers scoring more than three. And they come off

the back of a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Liverpool, so how can they possibly get a result against the Red Devils?

I don’t think they will, but, in the last home game of the season the crowd and the players will give it everything they’ve got. Manchester United is at 1.97 with that -1.50 handicap and they are the only team under pressure.

I expect a tense time for the Red Devils and a narrow win. But if you think they will get some breathing space, then a score line of 0-2 at odds of 5.80 is an alternative bet.

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06-May 2019 Monday 6:10 PM (224 days ago)            #12
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Liverpool Late Show Pushes Premier League Title Race to Last Day

Newcastle United 2-3 Liverpool

The Premier League title race is going to go down to the very last day of the season. Liverpool made sure of that as they snatched a dramatic win at Newcastle.

Rafa Benitez's side was well-positioned to wreck his former side's title hopes -- and they very nearly did. But Divock Origi, who came on for the injured Mohamed Salah, was the hero as his late strike gave the Reds the 3-2 victory.

The Premier League 2019 odds still favour Manchester City to win the title as they simply need to win their remaining two matches of the season. But thanks to the Reds' remarkable resilience, SBOBET Premier League fans will get to enjoy a dramatic final day of the season next week.

Highlights of the game

Liverpool knew only a win would do at Newcastle, and they predictably began on the front foot. Mohamed Salah was on the end of a couple of half-chances within the first dozen minutes of the match.

But on the ensuing corner from one of Salah's blocked attempts, Liverpool got the breakthrough. PFA Player of The Year Virgil van Dijk found himself in acres of space inside the penalty area and made no mistake as he headed his free header past Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka.

However, Liverpool's lead was short-lived as the hosts struck back in the 20th minute through Christian Atsu. Matt Ritchie met Javier Manquillo's cross and squared it to the path of Salomon Rondon. The Venezuelan's strike was cleared off the line by Trent Alexander-Arnold -- seemingly using his arm -- but Atsu was on hand to slot home the rebound.

The goal certainly helped gee the Geordies up as they went in search of the lead. Ayoze Perez, who passed fit after a recent injury scare, came close to putting the hosts in front, but his strike unluckily thumped off the bar. Then, Ki Sung-yueng's follow-up effort was straight at Alisson.

But while Newcastle were unable to grab their chance to take the lead, Liverpool were. Alexander-Arnold delivered a dangerous cross into the area, and Salah met it with a deft right-footed volley that went beyond the reach of the outstretched Dubravka.

Salah nearly turned provider for another Liverpool goal as he and Sadio Mane combined on the break. Salah sent Mane through with a perfectly weighted through ball, but the Senegalese star sent his shot straight at the Newcastle keeper, who stood up well.

Rondon had a decent chance to pull Newcastle level in the second half, but Alisson was more than equal to his shot on the turn. Just seconds later, Liverpool's own No. 9 -- Daniel Sturridge -- had his chance on goal, but he blazed his effort way over.

But Rondon proved to be much more clinical with next chance on 54 minutes. The ball found its way to Rondon after a corner, and the Newcastle striker unleashed a thumping strike which gave Alisson absolutely no chance.

Despite a Premier League win against Newcastle, Liverpool are devastated following Salah's injury
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah on the ground after colliding with Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka

Things went bad to worse for Liverpool as Salah suffered a head injury after he collided with an on-rushing Dubravka. The Liverpool star had to be stretchered off, putting his availability for the second leg against Barcelona in serious doubt.

Divock Origi was sent on in Salah's place to look for a vital winning goal, and the Belgian delivered with another entry into the top Premier League 2019 highlights. From a Xherdan Shaqiri free kick, Origi rose highest to head the ball home -- and keep Liverpool's Premier League dream alive for one more week.

Key statistics

Mohamed Salah's goal was his 22nd Premier League goal of the season, putting him two clear of team-mate Sadio Mane and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero for the league lead. It was also Salah's 100th goal in European top-flight football, with 56 coming in the Premier League.

Liverpool are the first team in Premier League history to have at least two defenders with 10 or more assists each in a single season. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson currently have 11 assists apiece.

Liverpool also added to their lead in terms of most headed goals (18) and goals from substitutes (12) among Premier League teams this season.

Meanwhile, Newcastle suffered just their second home defeat in their last eight games at St. James' Park.

What's next?

Liverpool will still have a chance of winning the Premier League when they face Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield on the final day of the season. However, they will still need Man City to drop points in at least one of their two remaining matches.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 


But before all of that, Liverpool still have to host Barcelona at Anfield for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final in midweek. The Reds face an uphill battle to reach a second straight final after going down 3-0 in the first leg.

Meanwhile, Newcastle will end their season at relegated Fulham, who have only pride left to play for.

 

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06-May 2019 Monday 6:28 PM (224 days ago)            #13
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Premier League: No Champions League for Manchester United

Huddersfield Town 1-1 Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United will not be playing in next season’s Champions League, after they failed to beat relegated Huddersfield Town at a packed John Smith Stadium today.

The Terriers say goodbye to the Premier League and in doing so, they took a point from the most successful team in the competition’s history. After Scott McTominay gave the Red Devils an early lead, Huddersfield hit back in the second half through Isaac Mbenza. It was a special day for the hosts but a nightmare for the visitors.

We said a home win or a draw would be one of the biggest  Premier League 2019 results of the year, and so it was as the home fans roared their heroes on to a valiant point. But for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer it means a summer of rebuilding before a Europa League campaign next season.

Highlights of the game

Huddersfield’s last home game in the top flight got off to a terrible start for the hosts when their keeper made a blunder to hand Manchester United the lead. McTominay picked up the ball around 30 yards out and sidestepped Terence Kongolo before firing a low shot which Jonas Lossl should have saved, but he let the ball bounce off his foot and into the net.

United keeper David de Gea has been under plenty of pressure himself with a series of high profile errors, but he made a big save to preserve the Red Devils’ lead when a poor ball from Phil Jones allowed Grant to burst through onto goal, but de Gea did well to save in one on one as the Huddersfield man fired low and hard.

One of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s biggest problems has been the inconsistent form of Paul Pogba and he was pretty quiet again in the first half, but he can provide a big moment at any time, and he almost made it two just before the break. Juan Mata fired in a cross and the World Cup winner sent a superb header crashing against the crossbar.

The Terriers were playing with real spirit as the home crowd was determined to enjoy every minute, and they had their big moment on 60 when Lossl redeemed himself. The Huddersfield keeper caught the ball and, thinking quickly, fired his kick straight down the middle of the pitch and deep into the United half. Luke Shaw waved a foot at it and Mbenza took advantage, advancing on De Gea and sliding the ball home.

Isaac Mbenza put Huddersfield Town's last home game at Premier League in a decent draw vs Manchester United
Isaac Mbenza celebrates his equaliser during the second half of their match against Manchester United

The crowd erupted as if the Terriers had won the league. It was route one stuff but brilliantly executed, and that meant a difficult last half hour for the Red Devils.

Phil Jones had a glorious chance to restore United’s lead when he met Ashley Young’s whipped in cross, but he fired well over, and then Marcus Rashford screwed a shot wide when he should have scored.

United continued to press in search of a winner and Pogba hit the woodwork for a second time with a curling effort. Then, as Huddersfield broke and their fans roared Grant tried to beat de Gea again, but this time the United keeper saved with his legs.

Marcus Rashford had the last chance of the match firing at Lossl’s near post, but now the keeper’s handling was superb.

Key statistics

The Huddersfield vs Manchester United betting odds suggested the Red Devils would end their winless streak, but that has now stretched to five games.

SBOBET Premier League fans love an underdog and the Terriers fought tooth and nail against an expensively assembled side which had 64 per cent possession and 23 shots to the hosts’ seven.

The Terriers have had one win in 14 since head coach Jan Siewart took over but this felt like a win, and they ended a run of eight consecutive defeats.

Mbenza’s goals meant Huddersfield avoided the dishonour of being the first club in top flight history to fail to reach double figures at home, and they are still cheering in Huddersfield now!

The Terriers have won just three games this season and two of those against Wolves. But that’s now ten Premier League games without a clean sheet for Manchester United, a worrying statistic for OGS.

And the last time the Red Devils won their final away game of the season was way back in 2012.

What’s next?

This was an emotional day for the Terriers, the last home game in the Premier League and a chance to thank their beloved chairman, Dean Hoyle who is stepping down, and their fans were brilliant today. They make their final appearance away to Southampton next week.

Next up for United is a period of serious reflection; after they play a dead rubber against already another relegated team, when Cardiff City visits Old Trafford.

 

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06-May 2019 Monday 7:13 PM (223 days ago)            #14
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Premier League: Chelsea’s Explosive 45 Minutes!

Chelsea 3-0 Watford

If ever there was a game of two halves this was it! Chelsea’s critical Premier League clash at home to Watford ended in a big home win, but at half time that looked highly unlikely.

Yesterday’s Premier League 2019 results threw up a big surprise with Spurs losing at Bournemouth, which meant a win today would lift Chelsea to third in the table. But that seemed to be lost on Maurizio Sarri’s team who did little to impress in the first 45.

But in the second half they blew the Hornets away with two quick goals immediately after the break, and a third late on courtesy of Gonzalo Higuain. Watford played superbly in the first period, but their minds seemed to be drifting towards the FA Cup final in the second. Meanwhile, Chelsea’s qualification for next years Champions League was almost confirmed and would be if Arsenal failed to beat Brighton in the late kick-off.

Highlights of the game

Chelsea’s hard-fought draw away to Manchester United last week put the Blues’ destiny in their own hands, but in a first half largely dominated by the visitors, it didn’t appear they were ready to take it. The pre-match SBOBET odds pointed to a comfortable home win, but you wouldn’t have thought it as the visitors bossed their hosts from the off. Gerard Deulofeu has been an inspired signing for Watford and he whistled a shot from 25 yards just inches wide of Kepa’s post.

That woke the Chelsea keeper up, and on eight minutes he pulled off a spectacular save to deny the busy Hornets. Troy Deeney got his head to a cross and it looked to be looping towards the top corner but somehow Kepa arched back to claw the ball away.

Watford’s Will Hughes was dominating the midfield as the visitors continued to enjoy the upper hand, and Jose Holebas got into a good position but blazed his shot over, and then Abdoulaye Doucoure had an effort just wide.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 


Finally, Chelsea began to get into the game and the Blues had a decent penalty shout on the half hour. Higuain crossed to the back post and David Luiz fell under pressure from Kiko Femenia but the ref was having none of it, and boos rang around Stamford Bridge as the hosts trooped off for the break.

With the home fans’ anger ringing in their ears, Chelsea clearly had plenty to ponder at half time; and they certainly seemed to have worked something out as they went two ahead within five minutes of the restart.

The first goal wasn’t a classic by any means. Eden Hazard won a corner with a lovely piece of play; and when the cross floated over, the Watford defence just stood and watched as Ruben Loftus-Cheek nodded home unchallenged.

The second came from a corner too, but this time David Luiz met the cross powerfully giving Ben Foster no chance at all and that was game over.

Chelsea was a different team now from the disappointing outfit of the first half, and Foster kept the score down to two when he made a superb save from Higuain’s well-struck half volley. But the Argentine got his reward on 75 minutes in a goal which showed the Blues at their clinical best. Pedro picked out Higuain who evaded the defender and chipped deftly over the Watford keeper.

Premier League: Gonzalo Higuian made it 3-0 for Chelsea after scoring at the 75th minute
Gonzalo Higuain challenge for the ball against Watford defender Adrian Mariappa

Key Statistics

The Hornets have struggled against the top six sides all season and they looked likely to buck that trend in the first half, but by the final whistle, they were well beaten as the hosts had 58 per cent possession and nine shots on target to Watford’s three.

That’s the sixth defeat in 10 games for Javi Gracia’s team, and they have only taken three points from the last 12 games against top six teams.

The Premier League 2019 odds have pitched Chelsea in the top four all season, and now that looks exactly where they are going to finish.

What’s next?

Chelsea has a Europa League second leg tie on Thursday against Frankfurt, a game they should win to make the final, and then the Blues conclude the Premier League season with a trip to Leicester. If they still need a point that could be quite a test.

Watford has a home match against West Ham to finish the season. But the Hornets’ thoughts are already on the 18th May when they’ll take part in the FA Cup final. That will be an occasion their fans will never forget, and if they can somehow beat the hot favourites, Manchester City, this team will go into Watford folklore.

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07-May 2019 Tuesday 1:49 PM (223 days ago)            #15
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Premier League: Gunners Blow Their Big Chance!

Arsenal 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Needing a win to stay in the hunt for a top four place, Arsenal just had to beat lowly Brighton in today’s Premier League clash at the Emirates… but they simply couldn’t do it.

Manchester United’s earlier draw with Huddersfield Town meant that there were two Champions League places up for grabs between Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs. And when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave the Gunners an early lead from the penalty spot it all looked good for Unai Emery’s side. But a second half spot kick for Brighton, converted by Glenn Murray put an end to all that.

In the Premier League 2019 odds for the weekend, this game was a home banker at SBOBET, and a draw virtually puts an end to Arsenal’s top four hopes. They can still qualify, but need to win next week and make up an eight goal deficit on North London rivals Spurs.

Highlights of the game

The Gunners were completely toothless in defeat to Leicester City last week but they started today like a house on fire. They almost went ahead on two minutes when Henrikh Mkhitaryan beat Mat Ryan with a low drive but his shot bounced back off the post.

And the hosts went ahead on eight minutes when Nacho Monreal was fouled right on the edge of the penalty area by Alireza Jahanbaksh, and referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot. It looked like a close call but the Brighton wide man just had a touch on Monreal who was first to the ball.

Aubameyang stepped up and coolly and slotted home the penalty, just inside the left hand post, for his 20th league goal of the season.

It wasn’t the start they wanted but Brighton could play with more freedom having won their fight for survival, thanks to Crystal Palace’s win over Cardiff City which relegated the Bluebirds in their first season back in the top flight. And as the Seagulls worked their way into the game veteran striker Glenn Murray had two chances to equalise, but his first effort was blocked by Shkodran Mustafi, and he then forced Bernd Leno to make as save with a well aimed header.

Ryan made a good save from Mustafi after he met a Granit Xhaka corner and then the Brighton keeper made an even better stop to deny Aubameyang whose shot was heading towards the bottom corner.

Brighton Hove Albion ended Arsenal's top four Premier League hopes
Glenn Murray celebrates with Brighton Hove Albion after scoring against Arsenal

The Seagulls started the second half brightly and Solly March came close with a low drive. The Gunners looked a little complacent in the early stages and they were punished on the hour when Taylor gave his second penalty of the game when Granit Xhaka fouled March as the winger ran into the area.

Murray used all his experience to slam the ball into the corner and send a hush around the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal now simply had to score or their hopes of Champions League football would begin to fade rapidly.

Aubameyang fired a volley over from a corner and then, when he found space to shoot he tested Ryan with a low drive. And then, with 17 minutes left on the clock the top scorer had a great chance from around ten yards out but fired wide.

Alexandre Lacazette came close but again the Brighton defence stood firm as the Gunners had a series of corners. Unai Emery made a triple substitution bringing on Alex Iwobi in an attempt to stretch the Brighton defence. And as the Gunners desperately hunted a winner Aubameyang was inches away from heading home.

And then Shane Duffy made a brilliant interception to deny Arsenal’s hit man as he prepared to pull the trigger.

Key statistics

Arsenal’s poor run for form, losing the last three, has come at the worst possible time, and failing to beat Brighton at home leaves their Champions League hopes in tatters.

With 70 per cent possession and 20 shots to 11, Arsenal had their chances, but the Seagulls hung on to win their first point against a top six side in 12 attempts.

What’s next?

What a weekend of Premier League 2019 results! In the chase for a Champions League place Manchester United drew with Huddersfield Town while Spurs lost; and now Arsenal have pretty much blown it.

Arsenal almost certainly needs to win the Europa League to qualify for next season’s Champions League and they take a two goal semi-final lead to Valencia on Thursday. Then they visit Burnley in the last league game. Turf Moor would not be Emery’s first choice of venue at which to try to get a big away win.

The Seagulls have had a poor second half of the season and they will be glad of a summer break. Before they get there they face Manchester City as Pep Guardiola’s side aims for back to back premier League titles.

 

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10-May 2019 Friday 8:39 PM (219 days ago)            #16
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Premier League: Can United End Disappointing Season on a High?

Manchester United vs Cardiff City

Manchester United's disappointing Premier League campaign is mercifully coming to an end. The Red Devils have been in a horrific slump during the tail-end of the season, which has cost them Champions League football for next year.

United will at least hope to finish the season on a high in front of their home fans as they face relegated Cardiff City.

Despite a valiant effort by the Bluebirds, they are going back down to the Championship next year. The Premier League 2019 betting odds clearly don't favour them to claim a famous win at Old Trafford, but this might be as good a shot as they're going to get as they face a struggling United side.

Talking Points

Changes coming for United

United's end-of-season run-in has been nothing short of disastrous. The door was wide open for them to take a top-four spot with their rivals also dropping points, but they failed to capitalise as their Premier League 2019 results just fell off a cliff.

The Red Devils have won just two of their last eight league matches and are winless in their last four (two losses, two draws). They are coming off back-to-back 1-1 draws: at home against Chelsea and, embarrassingly, at bottom-side Huddersfield.

After taking the lead early in both matches, United were unable to hold on and did not have the cutting edge to produce another goal.

United's attack has been alarmingly bad during their rough end-of-season stretch. They have scored just three goals from open play in their last six matches -- two of which have come from midfielder Scott McTominay, of all people.

 With virtually nothing left to play for, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may opt to make changes to the side in order to give some youngsters a run out at home.

Strikers Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, who started against Huddersfield, are both significant injury doubts. That opens the door for 17-year-old Mason Greenwood to get his first career United start with Marcus Rashford up top.

United have only won three of their last seven matches at home. Although, two of their three draws did come against Liverpool and Chelsea, while their lone defeat was against leaders Manchester City.

Cardiff City are still looking to disappoint SBOBET odds and win vs Manchester United despite being relegated
Neil Warnock's side will go back to Championship next year after being relegated

Cardiff's last stand

Cardiff City's brief return to the Premier League is coming to an end. Despite the obvious lack of top-quality personnel, Neil Warnock's side scrapped and clawed for most of the season. Unfortunately, it wasn't nearly enough to ensure safety.

They gave themselves a glimmer of hope when they beat relegation rivals Brighton away from home. But they've since lost their last three games, which gives them nine defeats in their last 11 outings.

A major factor in Cardiff's struggles this season has been their sheer inability to get goals. They have scored just 32 goals, the second fewest behind bottom club Huddersfield. Bobby Reid and Victor Camarasa are their joint leading scorers this season with five goals apiece.

That scoring problem has been more pronounced away from home, where they have netted only 11 times and twice in the last five games. They couldn't even find a way to score against Fulham -- the worst defence in the Premier League -- in their last away game.

History

Manchester United and Cardiff have met 27 times overall. Unsurprisingly, United hold the edge in wins with 13 while Cardiff have six. There have also been eight draws between the two.

However, they have faced each other just three times in the Premier League era. Cardiff held United to a 2-2 draw in Wales, but United have since won the last two meetings.

United's current manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, was in charge of Cardiff the last time the Bluebirds visited Old Trafford in 2014. United won that match, 2-0.

Their first matchup this season was a dominant 5-1 win for United. Marcus Rashford started the scoring early with a goal inside three minutes, while Jesse Lingard bagged a second-half brace.

Betting Tip

??

Manchester United vs Cardiff City Under 3.25 Goals @ 2.08
May 12, 22:00 (GMT+8

The last day of the season usually throws up some weird results. But a Cardiff win doesn't seem likely. SBOBET odds currently have Cardiff priced at a whopping 11.00 on the 1X2 market.

What does seem very likely, though, is a low-scoring affair. Cardiff have surprisingly kept things fairly tight away from home. They've allowed more than two goals just once in their last 10 away games. That includes a 2-0 defeat at Man City.

Meanwhile, both teams have had their struggles scoring recently. And with United possibly fielding a teenager or two, the chances of this game having over three goals seems unlikely.

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10-May 2019 Friday 8:42 PM (219 days ago)            #17
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Premier League: Manchester City’s Final Hurdle

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City is on the brink of making history, with just one final game, against Brighton, standing in their way.

As the most exciting Premier League in years comes to a climax on Sunday, there will be two Premier League trophies at the ready, one at Anfield, where Liverpool hosts Wolves, and the other at the Amex Stadium where the Sky Blues will hope to finish the job against Chris Hughton’s Seagulls.

Liverpool has made a habit of snatching late wins so Manchester City fans will be well advised to steer clear of the Premier League 2019 updates from Anfield and concentrate on cheering their own team over the line. The Sky Blues have been in spectacular form and are all set to put on a title winning show, though Brighton will have other ideas.

This is not an afternoon of football for any SBOBET Premier League fans to miss, so get a big bag of popcorn in and pull up a chair!

Talking Points

Can City become back-to-back Champions?

Manchester City will win two consecutive league titles for the first time in their history if they take all three points at the Amex on Sunday. And that could herald a period of domination for the Sky Blues, having seen off a challenge from Liverpool, with the Reds potentially reaching a massive 97 points to finish second.

Pep’s team has frightening attacking talent. 20 goal Sergio Aguero still has an outside chance of winning the Golden Boot, two goals behind Liverpool’s Mo Salah; while Raheem Sterling has had the season of his life, scoring 17 goals and making ten assists. And in Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane the Sky Blues have two of the league’s form players, both with electrifying pace, beautiful control and an eye for goal.

And then, for all this array of attacking talent, who will ever forget the contribution of Captain Marvel Vincent Kompany, as he won the Sky Blues’ last game, against Leicester City, with a 25 yard thunderbolt. His perfectly hit rocket flew into the top right corner and that was the moment the title seemed destined to return to the Etihad.

But with Liverpool’s own impressive run of form, nothing less than a win on the south coast will do.

Premier League 2019 updates: Brighton and Hove Albion are set to play freely against Manchester City after being safe form relegation
Shane Duffy has performed well for Brighton this season

Seagulls safe again

With the threat of relegation finally lifted, Brighton played with renewed freedom last week and took a point off Arsenal to end the Gunners’ top four hopes.

They scored a rare goal as the veteran Glenn Murray took his season tally to 12, and he remains the Seagull’s best attacking hope, alongside Antony Knockaert, the top assist maker with six.

Brighton has survived a second season in the top flight thanks to the colossal centre back pairing of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy, protected by midfield enforcer Dale Stephens and backed up by their superb keeper Mat Ryan.

After making a fast start to the campaign, the Seagulls’ second half of the season has been wretched, and that doesn’t bode well for next year. But on Sunday, it’s just a day out and a chance to spoil Manchester City’s title party.

History

In the five meetings since 2008 the Sky Blues have won four to Brighton’s one. Indeed Manchester City has won the last four, including the FA Cup semi-final victory in April.

Recent form is also firmly in the Sky Blues’ favour as they are on a winning streak of six matches, in all competitions, while Brighton is winless in nine, surviving courtesy of back-to-back draws.

Can the hosts upset all the odds and make it three?

Betting Tip

??

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester City Under 3.50 goals @ 1.83
May 12, 22:00 (GMT+8)

I doubt it!

The Brighton vs Manchester City betting odds point to only one outcome.

For the away team to be at odds of 1.17 to win and home team at 17.50 speaks of the gulf in quality between Manchester City and Brighton. A draw at 6.40 would be a disaster for the Sky Blues.

But I don’t anticipate a romp.

Murray’s penalty against Arsenal last week was only the second goal scored by the Seagulls in nine games and their big defenders will make it hard for City’s gifted attack.

Only one of Manchester City’s last seven league games, all victories, has yielded more than 3.5 goals, with the other six being split equally between 1-0 and 2-0 wins.

This is a supremely professional team which I expect to finish the job on Sunday, probably 0-2 (at odds of 6.40) and maybe 0-3.

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11-May 2019 Saturday 5:05 PM (219 days ago)            #18
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Premier League: Super Spurs Return Home

Tottenham Hotspur vs Everton

Well…what a week that was! The Champions League semi-finals erupted into life, first with Liverpool’s incredible comeback against Barcelona, then Spurs’ heroics in Amsterdam.

So the two Premier League giants will meet in the final of Europe’s major competition in Madrid, but only once domestic matters are over. Of course, Liverpool is in a final day shootout for the title with Manchester City but Premier League Spurs vs Everton will be more of a celebration than a battle.

The £1 billion Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will be bouncing, with fans welcoming their heroes home and hoping for a final league win, though not at the expense of more injuries! A draw will be enough to guarantee Spurs a top four finish for the fourth consecutive season.

Much of the pre-match Spurs vs Everton news is around the high profile absentees on both sides. But this will be a great game for the neutrals, as Everton is a side packed with talent and in good form. A top seven position is out of the Toffees’ reach though, so they can play without a care in the world.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has a fine balancing act to perform. He needs to protect his best players, but at the same time keep the Spurs fans entertained; and third place is worth taking if they have the chance.

Lucas Moura scored a stunning second half hat-trick to fire Spurs to the Champions League final and leave the young Ajax team in despair, so the home fans will want to see him in action in the continued absence of the injured Harry Kane. And Poch will be without the excellent Heung-Min Son who starts a three match ban after his red card at Bournemouth last week.

Juan Foyth was also sent off in defeat to Eddie Howe’s Cherries and he’ll be missing from the Spurs defence, alongside Jan Vertonghen who picked up an ankle injury in the win over Ajax.

Spurs have looked tired in the latter stages of the Premier League run in, and these missing players might give Marco Silva’s Everton some hope.

Travel sick Toffees

The Toffees have come up with some superb results in recent weeks, not least the 4-0 destruction of Manchester United, and come into this game on the back of a comfortable home win over Burnley. But that victory against the granite hard Clarets came at a cost, as joint leading scorer Richarlison was substituted with a rib injury which will keep him out of this game. Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored 13 goals to match Richarlison and the Icelandic attacking midfielder is showing the form which persuaded Everton to bring him to Goodison Park. But Everton aren’t as good on the road, recently losing at Fulham and drawing at Crystal Palace last time they left Merseyside. And they arrive in North London with more injury worries.

Central midfielder Andre Gomes is reportedly set to move to Tottenham Hotspur next Premier League season
Central midfielder Andre Gomes is reportedly set to move to Tottenham Hotspur next Premier League season

Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin joins Richarlison on the physio’s table after receiving a knock in training and that could mean a start for Turkish international Cenk Tosun. Full back Seamus Coleman is also doubtful; but midfielder Andre Gomes is set to return after suspension, though it could be his last game for Everton, as a move to Spurs has been rumoured in the Spanish press.

History

If we’re relying on past meetings to work out where the value in the Spurs vs Everton betting odds lay, then a home win will be a popular bet.

Spurs has won 25 of the 52 meetings in the Premier League era, with Everton winning eight and their have been 19 draws. In fact, the Whites are unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League games against Everton. In the last meeting, back in December, Spurs destroyed the Toffees at Goodison Park with a 2-6 score line which showcased Pochettino’s team at its attacking best. At that point, two days before Christmas, the Whites were still in the title chase; but they simply couldn’t keep pace with Liverpool and Manchester City in the New Year.

Christian Eriksen has scored in each of his last three league appearances against Everton, but he may have his work cut out on Sunday, as the Toffees have kept eight clean sheets in their last ten Premier League games.

Betting Tip

??

Tottenham Hotspur vs Everton 2-3 Goals @ 1.92
May 12, 22:00 (GMT+8)

Spurs are the marginal favourites at SBOBET, with the latest odds on a home win at 2.23, while the draw is available at 3.15 and Everton at 3.30 to win.

So all three results are possible, and as there is no huge pressure on either side we should see a free flowing game. Marco Silva won’t want to see his team’s excellent defensive run end with an unnecessary crash though, while Mauricio Pochettino would love to see his side sign off with a victory.

I’m expecting a close game with Spurs possibly edging it.

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16-May 2019 Thursday 11:58 AM (214 days ago)            #19
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Premier League: When Stars Collide – And Both These Sides Are Stars!

Liverpool vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

It’s been a very good 2018/19 for both these sides, regardless of how this final Premier League outing of the campaign pans out. For Liverpool, to be potentially one match away from a first league title for 29 years, is a fine achievement, especially considering they go into this on 94 points which, in virtually every season in English football history, would be enough to have long since secured the top prize. For Wolves, a first year back in the upper echelons since 2012 and one in which they have sealed seventh spot, highlights the impressive work carried out by Nuno Espirito Santo. Both have produced Premier League highlights. The question now is: who can end the league on a high?

 

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Talking Points

A shrewd summer in the transfer market has led to super campaigns for both teams. The well-oiled Wolves machine was too hot to handle for Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal in the league – and Liverpool and United again in the FA Cup. Among the star recruits, Rui Patricio in goal, Raul Jimenez - the heroic No.9 fans had craved for years - and Joao Moutinho. Signed for £5million from Monaco, the Portuguese oozes class and runs himself into the ground, according to seasoned observers. The fact they have finished in seventh place in their first year back in the Premier League, ahead of the likes of Everton and 2016 champions Leicester City, shows how, with a measured approach and smart financial backing, Wolves really could become an established top six force again. Wolves have already amassed more points than any other Premier League newcomer since 2001. They will finish the season in the top half of the top flight for only the second time in 45 seasons too. There’s no travelling to Anfield to make up the numbers for them. This term they have accrued 16 points from 11 league games against the top-six sides, easily the best return among the 14 lower-ranked clubs, and are also vying to register four successive top-flight wins for the first time since December 1971 to January 1972. Indeed, Wolves could become only the third side finishing lower than sixth to beat as many as five teams from that elite group in a Premier League season. Southampton did so in 1997-98, as did West Ham in 2015-16. One the league season finishes, all Wolves eyes will turn to next weekend’s FA Cup Final. If Manchester City beat Watford, Wolves will qualify for the Europa League. What a story that would be. What a story it would be for the red half of Merseyside if Liverpool can end their title drought. Like Wolves, they recruited well last summer with the likes of Fabinho and, at last, a reliable goalkeeper in Allison – six months after the capture of Virgil van Dijk made them a different proposition at the back. Manager Jurgen Klopp has cleverly assembled a squad with style and genuine talent and victory in this would equal the club top-flight record of 30 in a season, set over 42 matches in 1978-79.
Liverpool return to Premier League action as they welcome Wolves to Anfield on Sunday
Jurgen Klopp celebrates with his men after beating Barcelona in Champions League

Avoid defeat and they will be unbeaten at home in consecutive top-flight seasons for the first time in 39 years. Klopp’s side, which has scored an unrivalled 22 league goals from set-pieces, excluding penalties, have actually met Wolves five times before in the final game of a top-flight season, with Liverpool winning the previous five by an aggregate score of 12-4. That all counts for nothing on Sunday of course but, whatever happens, both clubs can be justifiably proud of 2018/19.

History

The meeting at Molineux earlier in the season meant Liverpool were top of the table at Christmas. It was a different story in the FA Cup a few weeks’ later amidst much changed sides when the hosts emerged victorious, thanks to a Ruben Neves wonder strike. Overall, Liverpool have 50 victories against Wolves who hold 36 triumphs to their name while a further 17 meetings have ended all square. Their last meeting at Anfield came in 2017 when Wolves, then of the Championship, secured a famous 2-1 FA Cup victory, courtesy of goals from Richard Stearman and Andi Weimann.

Betting Tip

??

Liverpool vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Total Goal 4-6 @ 2.80
May 12, 22:00 (GMT+8)
There should be a party atmosphere at Anfield after their rout of Barcelona in midweek. Premier League betting odds back Liverpool 1X2 @ 1.28 as do Asian Handicap odds -1.75 @ 2.14. Wolves, meanwhile, are backed 1X2 @ a far-away 10.50 and Asian Handicap +1.25 @ 2.36. For the Merseysiders to repeat their success of December – correct score 2-0 – you can receive odds @ 6.20.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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16-May 2019 Thursday 12:03 PM (214 days ago)            #20
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Premier League: Manchester City are Champions Again – And Deservedly So!

Brighton Hove & Albion 1-4 Manchester City

It has been one of the classic Premier League title races. The sheer quality of both protagonists, players and managers alike, has been a joy to behold for the neutrals.

The Premier League highlights will be played for many a year to come and so they should.

Yet there could only be one winner SBOBET fans and the Premier League betting odds at the start of the campaign were spot-on.

Fittingly, the goal which sealed the prize was a thing of beauty.

Riyad Mahrez, collecting possession 25 yards from goal, sold Lewis Dunk a dummy before firing a right foot thunderbolt past Mat Ryan.

Manchester City fans sang ‘Champions’ and no-one could argue they didn’t deserve it.

Their December stutter – defeats against Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leicester City in the space of 18 days – long forgotten as they bounced back with a style befitting of champions.

Yes, City are a financial juggernaut, constructed by more Abu Dhabi dollars than football has ever witnessed and a spending spree that makes Chelsea’s era under Roman Abramovich seem comparatively frugal.

But they have recruited so intelligently and responded magnificently to being seven points off the summit at the turn of the year.

For them to remain so motivated, as well as be in contention for an unprecedented quadruple until mid-April, speaks volumes for the talent and character among Pep Guardiola’s men.

The champions of the land are not only the most enduing and valiant but the best over the course of nine months. The team with the greatest technical capacity and depth who, quietly and without ceremony, get on with the act of winning.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

Highlights of the Game

Liverpool fans dared to dream when Glenn Murray took advantage of sloppy defending to head home a pinpoint Pascal Gross corner.

Yet straight from the kick-off, City responded like champions. Aymeric Laporte slid the ball through, David Silva classily flicked it on and Sergio Aguero expertly fired through the legs of Ryan.

It was the hallmark of champions as was the goal that put City in front seven minutes before the break.

A Mahrez corner was delivered in the danger zone and, amidst more poor marking, Laporte planted a downward header to send the City fans into raptures.

Then Mahrez scored the goal which sealed successive titles – the first time since Manchester United in 2009 that a side has retained English football’s top prize.

Manchester City came victorious for their final Premier League match after thrashing Brighton
Ilkay Gundogan celebrates after scoring their fourth goal

Ilkay Gundogan put the seal on the afternoon with a superb free-kick as Guardiola applauded his players as they clinched 14th straight win to seal the silverware and a sixth league title.

Key Statistics

Guardiola is only the third manger to have won back-to-back Premier League titles after Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho.

There were just 83 seconds between Murray’s opener for Brighton and Aguero’s equaliser for City.

City are the first team to end a top-flight campaign with 14 consecutive victories, breaking Arsenal’s record of 13 in 2001-02.

Their 32nd win of the season has also equalled the top-flight record, set by City last season.

This was the eighth time the Premier League title has been decided on the final day of the season.

Guardiola’s side have claimed at least one league victory against every side they have faced for the second consecutive season; the only other team to achieve this in the English top flight are Preston in 1888-89 and 1889-90.

Silva’s assist for Aguero’s goal was his 18th for the Argentine – only three players have assisted more in the Premier League (Darren Anderton to Teddy Sheringham (20), Steve McManaman to Robbie Fowler (20), Frank Lampard to Didier Drogba (24).

Aguero’s tally of 32 goals in all competitions leaves him one shy of matching his highest total for City in a single season, set in 2016-17.

This was the first time since December 8 that City had been behind in a Premier League game.

City have won their last five meetings with Brighton in all competitions, including all three this season.

They last claimed league points against City in a second-tier game in April 1989, winning 2-1 at the Goldstone Ground thanks to an Alan Curbishley penalty and an Ian Brightwell own goal.

Brighton have played 12 top-flight matches against reigning champions without winning (drawn two, lost 10), more than any other team.

Murray scored seven times in Brighton's first seven Premier League home games this season but he had failed to net in the subsequent 11 top-flight matches at the Amex Stadium until today.

Top of Form

What’s Next?

The final league hurdle overcome, City now go in search of a domestic treble when they meet Watford in next weekend’s FA Cup Final.

Brighton can look forward to a third successive season in the top flight for the first time since the early 1980s.

 

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16-May 2019 Thursday 12:10 PM (214 days ago)            #21
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Premier League: Spurs Find The Toffees A Little Sticky!

Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Everton

Spurs and Everton played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the final match of the league season, in front of 60,000 happy fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

It was always going to be a challenge for Spurs, to come back to Premier League matters after their epic achievement in Amsterdam on Wednesday.

And Arsenal’s slip up against Brighton last weekend had already virtually confirmed the Whites’ top four place, bar a spectacular last day swing in goal difference. But then we have seen two remarkable turnarounds over the last few dramatic days.

Not today though as Spurs got the point they needed to make sure, while the final day Premier League 2019 results revealed that Arsenal won at Burnley, while the top of the table clash was finally decided as Manchester City won back-to-back titles.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team were pegged back after taking an early lead, as Everton struck twice in three minutes, but Christian Eriksen stepped up with a fine free kick to win a point.

Highlights of the game

You know what…if anyone thought Spurs would be tired they were in for a surprise, as the Whites went ahead while Everton was sleeping. As a corner swung in Yerry Mina fluffed his clearance and when the ball bounced off Fernando Llorente into the path of Eric Dier, the England man slammed the ball home.

For the visitors, Michael Keane had a header from a corner but Hugo Lloris gathered easily, and then when Theo Walcott found himself in space he stabbed the ball straight at the Spurs keeper.

Everton had a good spell around the half hour mark but Spurs held onto their lead. Christian Eriksen has consistently been their best midfielder during Pochettino’s tenure and he took control in the middle and then found Erik Lamela with a beautifully weighted pass. He pulled the ball back for Dele Alli but he fired wide.

SBOBET Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur will now focus on their Champions League clash
Eric Dier celebrates with Tottenham Hotspur after scoring a goal against Everton

Even though they went into the break behind the Toffees fans cheered as the news came that Manchester City had gone 1-2 ahead at Brighton.

In the second half Spurs did begin to flag and Everton should have been ahead on the hour, Cenk Tosun put Bernard through on goal but the Brazilian fired wide when he should have scored. But Spurs didn’t heed the warning and they were behind as the Toffees struck twice in three minutes.

First Gylfi Sigurdsson put Walcott through on the right, and the former Arsenal winger cut inside and slid his shot low into the corner. Then, minutes later, Keane met a Sigurdsson corner which Lloris parried but Tosun was first to the rebound.

Then Spurs awoke again and it was Eriksen who restored parity with a brilliant low free-kick which left Jordan Pickford scrabbling as the ball settled in the corner.

Key statistics

The pre-match Spurs vs Everton betting odds had the draw available at 3.15 and while the hosts enjoyed 55 per cent possession, the Toffees won the shot count 17 to 11, and had much the better of the second half.

That was the 20th Premier League draw between these two top flight stalwarts, but the Whites are now unbeaten in 13 league games against the Toffees.

 



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

And Christian Eriksen has scored in each of his last four league appearances against Everton; they must be getting a little tired of him!

What’s next?

That’s it for Marco Silva’s Everton for another season. Eighth place isn’t a bad return but the Toffees, from boardroom to fan, will expect more of their talented team and head coach next season. It won’t be easy to break into the top six and with Wolves making a strong debut season in the top flight, finishing seventh, Silva’s team must find a way of developing the consistency of the very top teams.

So with fourth place in the bag, finishing a point ahead of North London Rivals Arsenal, Pochettino’s team can prepare for its next huge challenge.

It’s time for all of us SBOBET Premier League fans to catch our breath and look forward to another great season not too far away. But Spurs fans all have the 1st June in their diary when their team heads to Madrid for the Champions League final.

Liverpool will be favourites, but could the weight of a tumultuous league campaign, which eventually fell agonisingly short, weigh heavily on the Reds’ shoulders?

Either way; it’s going to be a cracker…that’s for sure!

 

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16-May 2019 Thursday 12:13 PM (214 days ago)            #22
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Premier League: Liverpool Miss Out But Are Loud And Proud

Liverpool 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

In the end, it wasn’t quite enough.

Liverpool’s wait for the Premier League title goes on and, despite producing so many Premier League highlights over the past nine months, it will hurt all in the red half of Merseyside.

Yet they can be so proud of their achievements (as can Wolves).

No side in top-flight history has won as many as 30 games and 97 points in a season and not won the title.

Additionally, no side had ever previously lost just one game in a top-flight season and not won the title.

Despite holding a seven-point lead at the summit going into the new year, it would be harsh to say Jurgen Klopp’s men have themselves to blame after being pegged back.

They have had an exceptional league campaign, finishing with nine wins in a row and the longest current unbeaten run in the top flight (won 13, drawn four).

Just champions Manchester City have been even better, edging ahead by the tightest of margins in an incredible title race.

 


 

 

Highlights of the game

Arguably the moment of this encounter was actually triggered many miles away when events on the south coast threatened to stun the Sbobet Premier League betting odds and cause the party of all parties inside Anfield.

That was when news emerged that Brighton had taken a shock lead against City.

By this stage, man of the moment for Liverpool, Divock Origi, had already tested Rui Patricio before Trent Alexander-Arnold’s low cross was deflected perfectly into the path of Sadio Mane who guided home the opener.

Yet the noise which greeted the opener was nothing like that which greeted Brighton’s goal.

That belief quickly dissipated as City took control but, for a spell, Liverpool had dared to dream.

Matt Doherty hit the bar for Wolves on the stroke of half-time and Diogo Jota was then denied by a fine save from Allison in the second half as Wolves threatened an equaliser before Mane sealed the points with the home side’s first shot on target in the second half with nine minutes remaining.

It would have been controversial had it counted for something as he was offside, heading past Patricio from another Alexander-Arnold delivery, but it didn’t matter.

In fact, if Virgil van Dijk’s header had not bounced back off the bar, Alexander-Arnold would have had a hat-trick of assists.

Liverpool had the points and the plaudits but not the prize.

Premier League: Liverpool thrash Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield
Sadio Mane celebrates with Trent Alexander-Arnold after scoring his side's second goal versus Wolverhampton Wanderers

Key Statistics

This is the fifth time Liverpool have finished second since winning the title last in 1990.

The last three teams to be top at Christmas and not win the league have been Liverpool - in 2008-09, 2013-14 and this season.

No team in Europe's top five leagues have ever got 97 points and not won the league. The record had been Real Madrid’s 96, with Pep Guardiola also winning that title, with Barcelona.

Liverpool have not lost any of their last 91 Premier League games at Anfield when in front at half-time, since losing 2-1 against Arsenal in December 2009 (won 82, drawn nine).

They are unbeaten at home in consecutive top-flight seasons for the first time in 39 years.

Liverpool pair Mohamed Salah and Mane are joint winners of the Premier League Golden Boot along with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – an African clean sweep.

Mane (22) is the first player to score more than 20 goals in a single Premier League campaign without any coming from the penalty spot since Luis Suarez (31) and Daniel Sturridge (21) did so, also for Liverpool, in 2013-14.

Mane has scored the opening goal of the game on nine occasions in the Premier League, the joint most of any player this season alongside Salah.

Alexander-Arnold has provided 12 assists in the Premier League in 2018-19: the most by a defender in a single campaign in the competition.

Liverpool are the first team in Premier League history to have two defenders each provide at least 10 assists in a season. Left-back Andy Robertson also set up 11 goals.

Liverpool keeper Alisson has won the Golden Glove with 21 league clean sheets.

This was the sixth time Liverpool and Wolves had met in their final game of a top-flight season.

Wolves have ended the season with the best league position and points total by a newly-promoted club since Ipswich came fifth with 66 points in 2000-01.

They have accrued 16 points from 11 league games against the top-six sides, easily the best return among the 14 lower-ranked clubs.

What’s next?

Liverpool now have near three weeks to prepare for the all-English Champions League Final against Spurs on June 1.

Wolves have possibly European football of their own next season, depending on the outcome of next week’s FA Cup Final.

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16-May 2019 Thursday 12:17 PM (214 days ago)            #23
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Premier League: The Best Ever?

Manchester City’s 1-4 win at Brighton confirmed Pep Guardiola’s side as Premier League Champions for the second season in succession, though it was anything but easy for the Sky Blues.

In the best title chase in years Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool matched City stride for stride; and with a points total of 97 the Reds would have won the league in any other season than this one or the last. That Manchester City has clocked up 198 points in two seasons is a phenomenal achievement, and Pep’s team is just getting better and better.

The Big Six

Liverpool ended up a massive 25 points above Chelsea, who finished in third place. It has been an up and down time for Maurizio Sarri in his first season at Stamford Bridge. The introduction of ‘Sarriball’ and a fast start to the season had Blues’ fans in dream world. But dogged by inconsistency as the season progressed, Chelsea was out of the hunt soon after Christmas. And there were moments when Sarri’s authority was questioned, not least by goalkeeper Kepa, who refused to be substituted in the Carabao Cup Final only to lose the penalty shootout.

Spurs finished fourth, but the season promised much more for Mauricio Pochettino’s men as they kept pace with the top two into the New Year. A Champions League final to add to a top four place represents a success though. And it will be a pleasing debut campaign for Arsenal head coach Unai Emery if he can add a Europa League final win to his fifth place. Finishing a single point behind Spurs is a measure of Arsenal’s steady progress.

Manchester United hoped to end a disappointing season with a home win against Cardiff City, but the relegated visitors deservedly won 0-2. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a big rebuilding job to do at Old Trafford, but how much time he has is anybody’s guess.

Can we expect any other team to break into the top six next season? Well there is a decent case for each of the clubs finishing in seventh, eight and ninth. Wolves have had a superb first campaign back in the top flight, and powered by the finance of Fosun International with Nuno Espirito Santo at the helm Wolves could kick on. As could ninth placed Leicester City if new boss Brendan Rodgers can keep hold of his prize assets.

The jury is still out on Marco Silva’s Everton. The coach has flair and his team has talent, but the eighth place finish only matched the achievement of Sam Allardyce last season.

Who’s in and who’s out?

Well there were no big surprises at the bottom end of the table, as Huddersfield Town returned to the Championship after pulling off a miraculous escape last season, and they are joined by two of the newly promoted clubs. The Premier League 2019 betting odds had Cardiff City nailed on for relegation from the start but they stayed in the fight until the last, finishing just two points behind Brighton who have, this morning, sacked their coach Chris Hughton, who has worked miracles at the Amex.

It was a disappointing season for big spending Fulham, but there are signs that Scott Parker can turn things around back in the Championship.

Next seasons’ new boys, Norwich City and Sheffield United, will enter the competition with high hopes, but under no illusion. And they will be joined by the play-off winners, likely to be Aston Villa or Leeds.

Golden Boot

It's a three-way tie for Premier League Golden Boot as Aubameyang, Mane and Salah ended the season with 22 goals each
Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring against Burnley in the Premier League

It’s a three way split for the Golden Boot this season with last year’s winner Mo Salah joined by his team-mate Sadio Mane and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scored a brace at Burnley on the final day to join the leaders on 22.

Sergio Aguero was just one behind, but with another Premier League medal in his locker the Manchester City hit man won’t mind a bit. It was another disappointment in this regard for Harry Kane, who’s injury blighted season took him out of the reckoning.

Player moves

The dust hasn’t yet settled on that epic season but already the rumour mill is starting to grind away. It seems inevitable that Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is on his way to Real Madrid. The Belgian is the league’s top assist maker with 15, and provided one of the best Premier League 2019 highlights with a mazy run and finish against West Ham that Lionel Messi would have been proud of.

There is also a whisper in the Spanish press that Andre Gomes could be on his way from Everton to Spurs.

Plenty more to come between now and August!

And there’s will be more drama over the next three weeks for Premier League fans to enjoy, when Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal play in the Champions League and Europa League finals.

We’ll be right there at SBOBET with all the best previews, tips and reports.

Bring it on!

 

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16-May 2019 Thursday 12:53 PM (214 days ago)            #24
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FA Cup: Can Hornets’ Sting End City’s Treble Dream?

Manchester City vs Watford

It’s the best cup competition in the world. And 90,000 fans will pack into the Wembley Stadium for this season’s FA Cup final between Manchester City and Watford on Saturday.

The walk down Wembley Way is something supporters from around the UK dream of every year, and in 2019 it’s Javi Gracia’s Watford who’s fans will have that special day. If they can somehow beat the league champions then it will live in the memory forever. That is, of course, a very big ‘if’!

After the best Premier League title race in years, the Sky Blues have emerged stronger than ever, looking remarkably fresh and with few injury worries in their squad. Right from the outset the FA Cup 2019 odds pointed to a Manchester City triumph, and now the Sky Blues are overwhelmingly odds on.

But the romance of the FA Cup has been built on bigger shocks than Gracia’s Hornets winning the day. This Watford side was in the race for the seventh place until very recently and, on its day, can play scintillating football. And, in the image of their captain, Troy Deeney, won’t give up without a fight.

Talking Points

Sky Blue history makers

Watford’s task is to stop Manchester City from becoming the first club to win the domestic treble of Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup. Both Liverpool and Manchester United have won a treble, but both featured the Champions League/European Cup.

Pep would have dearly loved to pick up the Champions League as part of a quadruple, but a VAR controversy shattered that dream for him as Spurs defeated City with a last gasp goal aided by Fernando Llorente’s elbow.

But this team is breaking records with regularity, hitting 100 league points last season and making it 198 over the last two. Manchester City beat Brighton in the semi-final of the FA Cup to reach the Wembley showcase, and the Sky Blues saw off the Seagulls again last week with a 1-4 win to clinch the league title.

And it was that man Sergio Aguero who settled any Sky Blue nerves on the south coast with the Champions’ opener in the decisive victory.

Guardiola doesn’t have any new injury worries; only Fernandinho and long term absentee Benjamin Mendy are likely to be unavailable, and that means Watford could face the returning Kevin De Bruyne.

 

 

opacity 0

 

 

Watford’s well-oiled engine

The underdogs will be happy to play that role but aren’t at Wembley to make up the numbers. Gracia has assembled a well-balanced team, with strength and style in equal measure, and his central midfield partnership is a crucial component.

Abdoulaye Doucoure’s flair is well complemented by the industry of Etienne Capoue, one of the top tacklers in the Premier League. While Doucoure takes the plaudits with his spectacular range of passing and shooting, his partner breaks up play and looks after the ball jealously, as well as scoring three times during Watford’s cup run. As a former defensive midfielder, Gracia understands Capoue’s value better than most.

The Hornets made the final thanks to a spectacular comeback against Wolves in the semi-final, when they fought back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 in extra time. The game was right up there in the FA Cup 2019 highlights, as a brace from attacking midfielder Gerard Deulofeu, completed after Troy Deeney had converted a 94th-minute penalty, pulled that tie out of the fire in the most dramatic fashion.

Captain Deeney is a man of the people who speaks his mind, and he’s caused a storm by accusing the FA of ‘preying’ on fans with extortionate ticket prices. His team will need that kind of anger and fighting spirit to have any chance of taking down the billionaires of English football.

Defender Jose Holebas is available to play after his red card against West Ham was rescinded and he could be a key man.

FA Cup: Gerard Deulofeu scored a brace in Watford’s dramatic semi-final win
Gerard Deulofeu celebrates after scoring a goal for Watford

History

En route to the final Watford put out top-flight sides Crystal Palace and Newcastle, as well as Wolves, while the Sky Blues only faced Burnley from the Premier League before their semi-final with Brighton.

But Pep’s boys have plundered 20 goals on the road to Wembley, and it’s worth reminding ourselves that the Sky Blues won the Premier League after a run of 14 consecutive victories. To do that under such intense pressure from Liverpool suggests this world-class squad has a nerve of pure steel.

And City has the FA Cup pedigree. The Sky Blues are five times winners of the FA Cup, the last time in 2011 when a goal from Yaya Toure was enough to beat Stoke City 1-0. The following year the Sky Blues began their period of domination in English football with the first of their four league wins in the following eight years.

Watford’s best effort in the competition was in 1984 when they were beaten finalists in 1984.

Can they go one step further on Saturday?

Betting Tip

??

Manchester City vs Watford Total Goals 2-3 @ 2.00
May 19, 00:00 (GMT+8)
At SBOBET odds of 11.00 you’d think not! Manchester City is at odds of 1.20 to win the Cup within 90 minutes and the draw is at 6.40. I think Watford will fight hard for their chance and don’t see an exhibition on the way. I expect Manchester City to win but they will have to work for it, and a one or two goal margin is the likely outcome.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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16-May 2019 Thursday 1:02 PM (214 days ago)            #25
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Coppa Italia: A Cup Final to Savour

Atalanta vs Lazio

It’s cup final time in Italy.

The Coppa Italia showpiece will be won and lost at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome and none of the established heavyweights will be there.

It is certainly one to savour with two finalists that few SBOBET fans expected to be contesting the occasion going head to head and craving silverware.

Talking Points

Atalanta have been a delight this term, providing both Coppa Italia highlights and Serie A surprises.

And now they are potentially 90 minutes away from claiming their first major piece of silverware since winning the trophy in 1963.

On that occasion, they were 3-1 winners over Torino. Although they have twice reached the final since then (1987 and 1996) it remains the club’s only major trophy.

Now their resurgence under Gian Piero Gasperini has the small club from Lombardy dreaming of glory.

They have already surpassed expectations by going into the final two league matches of the campaign in fourth spot.

If they stay there, they will qualify for the Champions League for the first ever time.

To see off chasers AC Milan and Roma would defy even their staunchest supporters.

To win the Italian Cup, after seeing off Cagliari, reigning champions Juventus, and Fiorentina in a thrilling semi-final en route, would defy the Coppa Italia betting odds.

With a modest squad and an even more modest budget, arguably no team is more deserving in Serie A of Champions League football than Atalanta this season.

 


 

 

The club lead the division’s goal scoring charts with 73 goals so far and this attractive, attacking football has turned the heads of many football fans across Europe.

Atalanta head to the final without fear and with more than credible hopes.

It would be easy to call it a dream, but that really doesn’t do it justice. This has been mapped out, thought out and delivered with impressive attention to detail and no little stylish football. It deserves to bring a trophy, although their Roman rivals for silverware will have something to say about that.

Lazio certainly have the advantage in that the final will be played at their home stadium.

They last won the trophy in 2013 and coach Simone Inzaghi has already guided them to silverware in the form of the 2017 Supercoppa.

Yet they have slipped up of late, are out of the equation for Champions League qualification and have been so inconsistent they are likely to miss out on European football altogether next season unless they win the tournament.

Their cup form will provide Inazghi with reasons for optimism.

After seeing off Serie C outfit Novara in the first round, Lazio have progressed to the final with impressive quarter and semi-final victories over both Milan giants who are above them in the table.

If omens are your thing, both sides could actually struggle as Luca Banti has been confirmed as the referee.

Banti is seen as a safe pair of hands, given he also officiated the Supercoppa in January, which was contested by Milan and Juventus.

Simone Inzaghi's side are aiming to produce Coppa Italia highlights as they visit Stadiio Olimpico
Simone Inzaghi could take advantage of playing in their home stadium as they clash against Atalanta

Lazio have won just eight of their 27 games when the 45-year-old has been manning the helm.Atalanta, meanwhile, fare even worse, picking up only four victories from a possible 16.

But don’t worry about stats like that – sit back and enjoy what should be an intriguing contest between one of the bridesmaids of Italian football and an underdog which is punching well and truly above its weight.

It should be a refreshing and uplifting occasion.

History

When these sides met just over a week ago at this venue, Atalanta pulled off an impressive 3-1 victory.

After Marco Parolo had given Lazio a third minute lead, the visitors hit back with goals from Duvan Zapata, Timothy Castagne and an own goal.

They also beat them 1-0 at home earlier in the season when Zapata scored a first minute goal which proved to be the only one of the contest.

Last season both encounters ended level.

A 1-1 draw at Lazio saw Musa Barrow and Felipe Caicedo trade goals, while the sides shared six goals in a 3-3 thriller earlier in the campaign.

Betting Tip

??

Atalanta vs Lazio Total Goal 2-3 @ 1.85
May 16, 02:45 (GMT+8)

Lazio start as slight favourites – but it is slight.

They are priced 1X2 @ 2.62 with Atalanta @ 2.65 and the draw @ 3.10.

With Asian Handicap betting odds, again there is little to separate the two sides.

Lazio 0.00 @ 1.95, Atalanta 0.00 @ 1.97, Lazio -0.25 @ 2.29 and Atalanta -0.25 @ 2.33 is testament to that.

A repeat of Atalanta’s recent success – correct score 1-3 – will provide you with a payout @ 21.00.

Lazio should win but virtually all the neutrals will want Atalanta.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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19-May 2019 Sunday 12:56 PM (211 days ago)            #26
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FA Cup Manchester City vs Watford: City Complete Historic Treble

Manchester City 6-0 Watford FC

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City put on a spectacular show in the FA Cup final at Wembley, to blow Watford away on their way to making history.

FA Cup Manchester City vs Watford was an exhibition of world-class football from a very special team, the first to complete the domestic treble of Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup.

Javi Gracia’s Watford defended manfully in the first half, but they were simply overwhelmed by a City side in irresistible form as David Silva, Raheem Sterling – who bagged a hat-trick – Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne all got on the score sheet.

It was a Pep Guardiola master class.

Highlights of the game

Goals from Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling lead Manchester City to victory in the FA Cup
Gabriel Jesus in action during the FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Watford

In the run-up to the game, the Manchester City vs Watford news circulating around Wembley was that City top scorer Sergio Aguero was starting on the bench, with Gabriel Jesus given a start.

Guardiola said the young Brazilian deserved his start, and he almost had an opening after good work from Bernardo and David Silva. But Craig Cathcart denied Jesus by making a crucial interception.

The Sky Blues settled quickly into the game, dominating possession and probing at the Hornets defence from the off. But the underdogs had the best chance of the opening exchanges.

Gerard Deulofeu started up front for Watford alongside Troy Deeney. The former Barcelona man has been the Hornets' most creative player this season, and when the Hornets broke at speed he squared the perfect ball for Roberto Pereyra. However, Ederson made a brave save to deny the Argentine wide man.

The Watford fans were soon on their feet again, and this time due to a penalty appeal as Abdoulaye Doucoure’s shot hit Vincent Kompany on the elbow. But his pleas were waved away by the referee, who booked the midfielder for the ferocity of his protest.

But then City were ahead after more great work from David Silva. As the ball looped into the Watford box, he won a header and then took a return from Raheem Sterling before hitting a brilliant low finish.

Watford really needed to get to half-time still in touch, but on 39 minutes their task was made doubly difficult when Bernardo Silva chipped forward a delightful ball which Jesus squeezed in from a tight angle. Sterling smashed the ball into the net before it completely crossed the line to make sure.

That was a little tough on Jesus. The young striker tried again to get his goal early in the second half, but Heurelho Gomes saved. Then he was flagged offside when he nodded one into the net from an Oleksandr Zinchenko cross.

Watford were still in the game at 2-0. Deulofeu sprung the City offside trap but pulled his shot wide as his angle narrowed. But at 3-0 it was game over.

Kevin De Bruyne had only been on the pitch for five minutes after coming on as a substitute for Riyad Mahrez when he scored. Jesus was the provider, breaking forward and putting in the Belgian, who side-footed Gomes and slotted the ball home.

Jesus finally got his goal on 68 minutes when De Bruyne set him off on a break and he ran the length of the half before finishing brilliantly past Gomes.

City piled on the misery for the poor Hornets with another superb goal on 80 minutes. Bernardo Silva skipped down the left flank and put the ball on a plate for Sterling to bang home his second.

And the England man completed his hat-trick in the closing minutes, poking home after the unlucky Gomes pushed his first effort onto the post.

Key statistics

The pre-match Manchester City vs Watford betting odds here at SBOBET offered the Sky Blues at 1.20. And that was just about right as they simply destroyed the Hornets.

It’s been 50 years since Manchester City beat Leicester City 1-0 to win the 1969 FA Cup, and during their warm up the Sky Blues wore the same red and black striped shirts as did the Citizens half a century ago.

This Manchester City team is prolific, scoring a huge 26 goals in this amazing cup run and became only the third team to score six in an FA Cup final.


What’s next?

After the most dramatic and exhausting Premier League title chase in recent years, maybe Pep will give his boys a couple of days off. But he’s relentless in his pursuit of silverware and a small part of the man will be wondering how this historic treble isn’t a quadruple.

Maybe next year, Pep!

 

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11-Jul 2019 Thursday 7:21 PM (157 days ago)            #27
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Premier League: Spurs Find The Toffees A Little Sticky!

Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Everton

Spurs and Everton played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the final match of the league season, in front of 60,000 happy fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

It was always going to be a challenge for Spurs, to come back to Premier League matters after their epic achievement in Amsterdam on Wednesday.

And Arsenal’s slip up against Brighton last weekend had already virtually confirmed the Whites’ top four place, bar a spectacular last day swing in goal difference. But then we have seen two remarkable turnarounds over the last few dramatic days.

Not today though as Spurs got the point they needed to make sure, while the final day Premier League 2019 results revealed that Arsenal won at Burnley, while the top of the table clash was finally decided as Manchester City won back-to-back titles.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team were pegged back after taking an early lead, as Everton struck twice in three minutes, but Christian Eriksen stepped up with a fine free kick to win a point.

Highlights of the game

You know what…if anyone thought Spurs would be tired they were in for a surprise, as the Whites went ahead while Everton was sleeping. As a corner swung in Yerry Mina fluffed his clearance and when the ball bounced off Fernando Llorente into the path of Eric Dier, the England man slammed the ball home.

For the visitors, Michael Keane had a header from a corner but Hugo Lloris gathered easily, and then when Theo Walcott found himself in space he stabbed the ball straight at the Spurs keeper.

Everton had a good spell around the half hour mark but Spurs held onto their lead. Christian Eriksen has consistently been their best midfielder during Pochettino’s tenure and he took control in the middle and then found Erik Lamela with a beautifully weighted pass. He pulled the ball back for Dele Alli but he fired wide.

SBOBET Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur will now focus on their Champions League clash
Eric Dier celebrates with Tottenham Hotspur after scoring a goal against Everton

Even though they went into the break behind the Toffees fans cheered as the news came that Manchester City had gone 1-2 ahead at Brighton.

In the second half Spurs did begin to flag and Everton should have been ahead on the hour, Cenk Tosun put Bernard through on goal but the Brazilian fired wide when he should have scored. But Spurs didn’t heed the warning and they were behind as the Toffees struck twice in three minutes.

First Gylfi Sigurdsson put Walcott through on the right, and the former Arsenal winger cut inside and slid his shot low into the corner. Then, minutes later, Keane met a Sigurdsson corner which Lloris parried but Tosun was first to the rebound.

Then Spurs awoke again and it was Eriksen who restored parity with a brilliant low free-kick which left Jordan Pickford scrabbling as the ball settled in the corner.

Key statistics

The pre-match Spurs vs Everton betting odds had the draw available at 3.15 and while the hosts enjoyed 55 per cent possession, the Toffees won the shot count 17 to 11, and had much the better of the second half.

That was the 20th Premier League draw between these two top flight stalwarts, but the Whites are now unbeaten in 13 league games against the Toffees.

 



CLICK HERE


 

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 


And Christian Eriksen has scored in each of his last four league appearances against Everton; they must be getting a little tired of him!

What’s next?

That’s it for Marco Silva’s Everton for another season. Eighth place isn’t a bad return but the Toffees, from boardroom to fan, will expect more of their talented team and head coach next season. It won’t be easy to break into the top six and with Wolves making a strong debut season in the top flight, finishing seventh, Silva’s team must find a way of developing the consistency of the very top teams.

So with fourth place in the bag, finishing a point ahead of North London Rivals Arsenal, Pochettino’s team can prepare for its next huge challenge.

It’s time for all of us SBOBET Premier League fans to catch our breath and look forward to another great season not too far away. But Spurs fans all have the 1st June in their diary when their team heads to Madrid for the Champions League final.

Liverpool will be favourites, but could the weight of a tumultuous league campaign, which eventually fell agonisingly short, weigh heavily on the Reds’ shoulders?

Either way; it’s going to be a cracker…that’s for sure!

 

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11-Jul 2019 Thursday 7:23 PM (157 days ago)            #28
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Premier League: Liverpool Miss Out But Are Loud And Proud

Liverpool 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

In the end, it wasn’t quite enough.

Liverpool’s wait for the Premier League title goes on and, despite producing so many Premier League highlights over the past nine months, it will hurt all in the red half of Merseyside.

Yet they can be so proud of their achievements (as can Wolves).

No side in top-flight history has won as many as 30 games and 97 points in a season and not won the title.

Additionally, no side had ever previously lost just one game in a top-flight season and not won the title.

Despite holding a seven-point lead at the summit going into the new year, it would be harsh to say Jurgen Klopp’s men have themselves to blame after being pegged back.

They have had an exceptional league campaign, finishing with nine wins in a row and the longest current unbeaten run in the top flight (won 13, drawn four).

Just champions Manchester City have been even better, edging ahead by the tightest of margins in an incredible title race.

 


 

 

Highlights of the game

Arguably the moment of this encounter was actually triggered many miles away when events on the south coast threatened to stun the Sbobet Premier League betting odds and cause the party of all parties inside Anfield.

That was when news emerged that Brighton had taken a shock lead against City.

By this stage, man of the moment for Liverpool, Divock Origi, had already tested Rui Patricio before Trent Alexander-Arnold’s low cross was deflected perfectly into the path of Sadio Mane who guided home the opener.

Yet the noise which greeted the opener was nothing like that which greeted Brighton’s goal.

That belief quickly dissipated as City took control but, for a spell, Liverpool had dared to dream.

Matt Doherty hit the bar for Wolves on the stroke of half-time and Diogo Jota was then denied by a fine save from Allison in the second half as Wolves threatened an equaliser before Mane sealed the points with the home side’s first shot on target in the second half with nine minutes remaining.

It would have been controversial had it counted for something as he was offside, heading past Patricio from another Alexander-Arnold delivery, but it didn’t matter.

In fact, if Virgil van Dijk’s header had not bounced back off the bar, Alexander-Arnold would have had a hat-trick of assists.

Liverpool had the points and the plaudits but not the prize.

Premier League: Liverpool thrash Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield
Sadio Mane celebrates with Trent Alexander-Arnold after scoring his side's second goal versus Wolverhampton Wanderers

Key Statistics

This is the fifth time Liverpool have finished second since winning the title last in 1990.

The last three teams to be top at Christmas and not win the league have been Liverpool - in 2008-09, 2013-14 and this season.

No team in Europe's top five leagues have ever got 97 points and not won the league. The record had been Real Madrid’s 96, with Pep Guardiola also winning that title, with Barcelona.

Liverpool have not lost any of their last 91 Premier League games at Anfield when in front at half-time, since losing 2-1 against Arsenal in December 2009 (won 82, drawn nine).

They are unbeaten at home in consecutive top-flight seasons for the first time in 39 years.

Liverpool pair Mohamed Salah and Mane are joint winners of the Premier League Golden Boot along with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – an African clean sweep.

Mane (22) is the first player to score more than 20 goals in a single Premier League campaign without any coming from the penalty spot since Luis Suarez (31) and Daniel Sturridge (21) did so, also for Liverpool, in 2013-14.

Mane has scored the opening goal of the game on nine occasions in the Premier League, the joint most of any player this season alongside Salah.

Alexander-Arnold has provided 12 assists in the Premier League in 2018-19: the most by a defender in a single campaign in the competition.

Liverpool are the first team in Premier League history to have two defenders each provide at least 10 assists in a season. Left-back Andy Robertson also set up 11 goals.

Liverpool keeper Alisson has won the Golden Glove with 21 league clean sheets.

This was the sixth time Liverpool and Wolves had met in their final game of a top-flight season.

Wolves have ended the season with the best league position and points total by a newly-promoted club since Ipswich came fifth with 66 points in 2000-01.

They have accrued 16 points from 11 league games against the top-six sides, easily the best return among the 14 lower-ranked clubs.

What’s next?

Liverpool now have near three weeks to prepare for the all-English Champions League Final against Spurs on June 1.

Wolves have possibly European football of their own next season, depending on the outcome of next week’s FA Cup Final.

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11-Jul 2019 Thursday 7:25 PM (157 days ago)            #29
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Premier League: The Best Ever?

Manchester City’s 1-4 win at Brighton confirmed Pep Guardiola’s side as Premier League Champions for the second season in succession, though it was anything but easy for the Sky Blues.

In the best title chase in years Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool matched City stride for stride; and with a points total of 97 the Reds would have won the league in any other season than this one or the last. That Manchester City has clocked up 198 points in two seasons is a phenomenal achievement, and Pep’s team is just getting better and better.

The Big Six

Liverpool ended up a massive 25 points above Chelsea, who finished in third place. It has been an up and down time for Maurizio Sarri in his first season at Stamford Bridge. The introduction of ‘Sarriball’ and a fast start to the season had Blues’ fans in dream world. But dogged by inconsistency as the season progressed, Chelsea was out of the hunt soon after Christmas. And there were moments when Sarri’s authority was questioned, not least by goalkeeper Kepa, who refused to be substituted in the Carabao Cup Final only to lose the penalty shootout.

Spurs finished fourth, but the season promised much more for Mauricio Pochettino’s men as they kept pace with the top two into the New Year. A Champions League final to add to a top four place represents a success though. And it will be a pleasing debut campaign for Arsenal head coach Unai Emery if he can add a Europa League final win to his fifth place. Finishing a single point behind Spurs is a measure of Arsenal’s steady progress.

Manchester United hoped to end a disappointing season with a home win against Cardiff City, but the relegated visitors deservedly won 0-2. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a big rebuilding job to do at Old Trafford, but how much time he has is anybody’s guess.

Can we expect any other team to break into the top six next season? Well there is a decent case for each of the clubs finishing in seventh, eight and ninth. Wolves have had a superb first campaign back in the top flight, and powered by the finance of Fosun International with Nuno Espirito Santo at the helm Wolves could kick on. As could ninth placed Leicester City if new boss Brendan Rodgers can keep hold of his prize assets.

The jury is still out on Marco Silva’s Everton. The coach has flair and his team has talent, but the eighth place finish only matched the achievement of Sam Allardyce last season.

Who’s in and who’s out?

Well there were no big surprises at the bottom end of the table, as Huddersfield Town returned to the Championship after pulling off a miraculous escape last season, and they are joined by two of the newly promoted clubs. The Premier League 2019 betting odds had Cardiff City nailed on for relegation from the start but they stayed in the fight until the last, finishing just two points behind Brighton who have, this morning, sacked their coach Chris Hughton, who has worked miracles at the Amex.

It was a disappointing season for big spending Fulham, but there are signs that Scott Parker can turn things around back in the Championship.

Next seasons’ new boys, Norwich City and Sheffield United, will enter the competition with high hopes, but under no illusion. And they will be joined by the play-off winners, likely to be Aston Villa or Leeds.

Golden Boot

It's a three-way tie for Premier League Golden Boot as Aubameyang, Mane and Salah ended the season with 22 goals each
Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring against Burnley in the Premier League

It’s a three way split for the Golden Boot this season with last year’s winner Mo Salah joined by his team-mate Sadio Mane and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scored a brace at Burnley on the final day to join the leaders on 22.

Sergio Aguero was just one behind, but with another Premier League medal in his locker the Manchester City hit man won’t mind a bit. It was another disappointment in this regard for Harry Kane, who’s injury blighted season took him out of the reckoning.

Player moves

The dust hasn’t yet settled on that epic season but already the rumour mill is starting to grind away. It seems inevitable that Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is on his way to Real Madrid. The Belgian is the league’s top assist maker with 15, and provided one of the best Premier League 2019 highlights with a mazy run and finish against West Ham that Lionel Messi would have been proud of.

There is also a whisper in the Spanish press that Andre Gomes could be on his way from Everton to Spurs.

Plenty more to come between now and August!

And there’s will be more drama over the next three weeks for Premier League fans to enjoy, when Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal play in the Champions League and Europa League finals.

We’ll be right there at SBOBET with all the best previews, tips and reports.

Bring it on!

 

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11-Jul 2019 Thursday 7:27 PM (157 days ago)            #30
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Premier League: The Transfer Window Opens

As the dust settles on another monumental Premier League season, thoughts turn briefly to the beach and then… the 2019/2020 campaign!

Yes SBOBET Football fans, the league climax is just over a week old and we’re already seeing news of moves and contract negotiations on the back pages. A couple of big deals have already been done, but there are plenty more beginning to gather pace.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a big rebuilding job to do at Old Trafford and he has, unsurprisingly, been the most active of the Big Six managers so far. Manchester United ended a disappointing season with a home defeat to Cardiff City and so their fans want to see some positive Premier League 2019/2020 news from their heroes and their management team. OGS has some big wage bills to move on while trying to strengthen his squad with young, hungry and near ready replacements.

Deals Done

Chelsea did their first deal back in December with the £58m capture of Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic, who is settling in at Stamford Bridge as his new team-mates prepare for the Europa Cup final. The 20-year old American says he aims to emulate the success of Eden Hazard at the Bridge, and he may have to start working on that pretty soon as the Belgian’s move to Real Madrid inches closer.

Christian Pulisic ready for his Premier League debut at Chelsea
The 20-year-old American phenom Christian Pulisic is ready to make his mark at Chelsea

Meanwhile, Arsenal has said goodbye to one of its best player of the last decade. Aaron Ramsay is heading for pastures new in Serie A with Scudetto winners Juventus. He’s already there watching the Bianconeri in its last game of the season before his transfer is confirmed on July 1st.

Wolves have made permanent the signing of striker Raul Jiminez in a £30m switch from Benfica after the Portuguese striker enjoyed an impressive first Premier League season at Molyneux.

And Eddie Howe has made an early move to strengthen his rearguard with the £13m signing of Bristol City’s highly rated 20-year-old defender, Lloyd Kelly.

Transfers Bubbling Under

It’s inevitable that the pre-season Premier League 2019/2020 betting tips will lean towards a third successive title for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, and if they strengthen in the summer then the Sky Blues will surely be the team to beat again. Pep Guardiola is reported to be close to signing Juventus right-back Joao Cancelo in a deal worth £50m.

Over at Old Trafford, the Red Devils are resigned to losing goalkeeper David de Gea after the Spaniard rejected his latest contract offer and OGS has said that number two Sergio Romero could be his man between the sticks next season. He has no immediate big money targets to replace De Gea if his mooted move to Real Madrid comes off.

Premier League: David de Gea could be on his way to Paris Saint-German
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain this summer

In brighter news for the Old Trafford faithful, the Red Devils are close to signing Swansea City winger Daniel James for a fee of around £15m, though whether he is quite ready to make the first eleven is doubtful.

Burnley have rekindled their interest in West Brom centre back Craig Dawson and are reported to have tabled a £15m bid for the 29-year-old. Dawson wants a return to the Premier League after the Baggies failed in their bid for promotion and he has bags of experience in the top flight. If the deal comes off, it could pave the way for a big money exit for Burnley centre back James Tarkowski.

Former Claret Kieran Trippier looks set to leave Spurs for sunnier climes, and he is a target for Atletico Madrid and Napoli.

New Rumours

Manchester United could see another big earner on his way if Inter Milan keeps up its interest in striker Romelu Lukaku. The Serie A giants are also keeping tabs on Chelsea’s Victor Moses, who has spent much of the last few seasons on loan, latterly at Fenerbahce. If the Milan club appoints managerial target Antonio Conte then those two moves could gather pace.

The OId Trafford club is reported to be ready to table a £25m bid for Crystal Palace’s wing back Aaron Wan-Bissaka. But Ole will need to dig deeper into the owners’ pockets as the Eagles value their asset at £70m. That’s a little high though.

With Jiminez in the bag, ambitious Wolves are leading the chase for Porto’s Moussa Marega, who has a release clause of £35m. The 28-year-old scored six times for the Portuguese club in this season’s Champions League and he’d be another attacking threat for Nuno Espirito Santo’s team. Nuno could face competition from Serie A though, where Roma have been keeping track on the Mali international.

And with the big clubs eying his winger Ryan Fraser, Eddie Howe is considering a move for Liverpool’s Harry Wilson, who has impressed on loan at Championship club Derby County this season.

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11-Jul 2019 Thursday 7:30 PM (157 days ago)            #31
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Premier League Deals are Bubbling


With just ten weeks to go before the start of the 2019/2020 Premier League season the recruitment and money men are hard at work, so let’s take a look at the latest rumours making the headlines. Champions Manchester City and runners up Liverpool have set the bar even higher after a phenomenal title race when the Sky Blues pipped their rivals by a single point. So the chasing pack needs to strengthen well and in good time, just to avoid the gap to the top two widening further. The early Premier League 2019/2020 betting tips will take shape as the big deals begin to make it over the line, particularly if Manchester City is involved.

Latest Rumours

Pep Guardiola is looking to strengthen his hand early in the window and could be getting close to a deal for Atletico Madrid’s 22 year old midfield star Rodrigo. And he is reported to have shown interest in England’s ball playing centre back Harry Maguire, while Manchester United are also thought to be interested in bringing the Leicester man to the North West. And both Manchester clubs are rumoured to have an interest in West Ham midfielder Declan Rice who has had a super season with the Hammers, making much of the Premier League 2019 news in the second half of the campaign.

 


 

  Rice has played down the rumours, saying:“I know there's speculation, but during the season I signed a new five-year contract with West Ham, so my focus is fully on playing for West Ham. I have a great connection with the fans. The fans love me, I love them, and that's the way it is at the moment. I'm not thinking about anything else." If a big club comes calling I’m sure he’ll be tempted to talk. Meanwhile, Paul Pogba looks likely to be on his way out of Old Trafford with his old club, Juventus, joining Real Madrid in the hunt for the World Cup winning star. Finishing fourth in the 2019 Premier League table was another great achievement for Spurs, particularly as head coach Mauricio Pochettino hasn’t made a signing since January 2018. That could be about to change as Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso has been linked with a £53m move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. But Spurs fans won’t be getting too excited just yet, as the North London club could face competition from La Liga giants Real Madrid, as well as Manchester United. Young Chelsea midfield star Mason Mount has impressed this season on loan at Championship club Derby County, and looks set to be recalled to Stamford Bridge, while Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is looking to strengthen his defence, keen on Liverpool stopper Simon Mignolet who could leave Anfield for £15m, while Asmir Begovich looks set to say goodbye to the Cherries.

Managerial Merry-go-round

Jurgen Klopp rubbishes rumours of a move to Juventus from the Premier League club Liverpool
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp address the speculation linking him with Juventus

On the managerial front, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been linked with a move to Serie A top dogs Juventus; but he’s keen to play down any speculation in the run up to the Champions League final, rubbishing the rumour: “I am not going to leave Liverpool. I know Serie A very well, I follow it and I like it, but I am going to stay at Liverpool." Meanwhile, after guiding Derby County to the Championship play-off final, Frank Lampard has been installed as favourite to take the helm at Stamford Bridge, should Maurizio Sarri head for the exit. Chelsea fans would love to see their hero back at the Bridge, but is it too early for Frank? And, in any case, Sarri could well be staying put for a while.

Done Deals

Manchester United have been making some early running in the transfer market, but have yet to complete a deal, though there is a confirmed exit with Ander Herrera leaving Old Trafford on 1st July. The Red Devils are getting close to landing Swansea City winger Daniel James though. After a fantastic career in London Petr Cech has been released by Arsenal and is set to take up his new role as Sporting Director at Stamford Bridge. And the biggest deal to date still belongs to Wolves, with the permanent capture of Raul Jiminez in a £30m switch from Benfica. There will be more to come for SBOBET football fans over the next couple of weeks I’m sure. Chelsea is reported to have agreed a £115m deal to send Eden Hazard on his way to Real Madrid, where the Belgian maestro will earn a reported £400k a week. Watch this space.

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11-Jul 2019 Thursday 7:35 PM (157 days ago)            #32
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Premier League: Which of the Promoted Teams can Survive?

The big Premier League kick off is just over a month away and the transfer markets are beginning to warm up, but for three teams it’s an adventure their fans have been looking forward to since May.

Norwich City, Sheffield United and Aston Villa have all made it to the Promised Land. They have all been here before but may get a surprise just how things have changed, in a world where strikers need the merest sniff of goal to score, and defenders cost £75 million.

Who can cut it at the top table?

The early Premier League 2019 betting odds have the three promoted teams as favourites for the drop, with only Aston Villa odds against at 2.50 with SBOBET, but every season begins with hope. The question is ‘how long it will last?’

Norwich City

Head coach Daniel Farke put together a young and pacey side which played without fear last season and had that one crucial ingredient to meet the challenge of a very tough Championship, a lethal striker. Teemu Pukki was an unlikely hero 12 months ago, a free transfer from Brondby, but he has ripped up England’s second tier, finishing as top scorer with 29 goals as the Canaries won the league.

The Finland international has been rewarded with a three year contract which will keep him at Carrow Road until 2022 and he’ll hope to continue a fruitful partnership with creative midfielder Onel Hernandez who weighed in with eight goals.

A baptism of fire awaits Norwich, with an away trip to Anfield to welcome them back to the Premier League. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool pushed Manchester City all the way in the best title race in recent memory and will give some Norwich fans sleepless nights. The Reds have hit five goals in four of their last six games against the Canaries.

Sheffield United

Chris Wilder has done an amazing job at Bramhall Lane since taking the reigns in 2016. He’s coached the Blades to successive promotions, lifting them from League One obscurity to the Premier League, and on a shoestring. He’s a Sheffield United fan through and through, as is Billy Sharp, the striker he appointed captain.

Premier League: Phil Jagielka returns to Sheffield United
Phil Jagielka during Everton's match against Huddersfield Town

Wilder has moved in the market to bring some much needed experience to Bramall Lane, signing centre back Phil Jagielka, who left Sheffield for Everton 12 years ago.  And they will desperately need his Premier League experience. The Blades have a testing introduction to life at the top table, with a visit to Bournemouth followed by back to back home fixtures against Crystal Palace and Leicester City. They need to get at least one result, and preferably two, from those three games as, with a visit to Chelsea following; their first season in the Premier League for 12 years could look daunting if they start at the bottom.

Aston Villa

The Villains won the most valuable match in football last May when they beat Derby County in the Championship play-off final. They had finished fifth in the league but head coach Dean Smith, with Chelsea legend John Terry alongside him, inspired them to a brilliant second half of the season and the momentum was with them as they entered the play-offs. Can they keep that momentum up?

Jack Grealish is the stand out performer, a midfield general with quick feet and a quicker mind, with the ability to unlock any defence in the Championship. I think he’ll cause problems for quite a few in the Premier League too.

Villa are spending big, recently announcing that defender Tyrone Mings is on his way from Bournemouth for a chunky fee of around £25m.

They open up with a famous old English fixture, a visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the opening day, before welcoming Bournemouth to Villa Park.

Verdict: I think Sheffield United will struggle to make the huge step up and Norwich could find life tough, unless Pukki can surprise us all again. Aston Villa has the pull to bring another couple of players needed to give them a good chance of a lower mid table finish.

Great matches and big rivalries

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester United August 19th

What a cracking game this is between Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils. Wolves picked up ten points from their last five games of the 2018/2019 season to finish seventh, a place behind Manchester United who picked up a measly two points over the same period.

OGS has a complete rebuild to do, and we think he’ll be without Paul Pogba. A draw at Molineux would be a good return for the visitors.

Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur 1st September

Having finally found a home at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Spurs have no distractions now and after reaching the Champions League final, they will want to stay ahead of North London rivals Arsenal. The Gunners have all but closed the gap, finishing a single point behind Spurs and Unai Emery will target a reversal of that position in his second season at the Emirates.

Chelsea vs Liverpool 22nd September

The biggest Premier League 2019 news of the close season so far is that Blues legend Frank Lampard has returned to the Bridge to coach his beloved Chelsea. And what a fairytale it would be if he can win some silverware in his first season as a Premier League boss. He’ll have to do it without Eden Hazard and will need to build quickly. A home game against Liverpool will be a serious examination of his credentials.

While Chelsea finished third, the Blues were a colossal 25 points behind Liverpool in second and a win for Lampard would be some prize.

 

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11-Jul 2019 Thursday 7:36 PM (157 days ago)            #33
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Premier League: Should I Stay or Should I go?

After the usual slow start to the Premier League transfer window, things are really beginning to move now with the new season just over four weeks away.

Eden Hazard has already headed from Chelsea to Real Madrid in the biggest move so far, and Marko Arnautovic has finally departed West Ham for the Chinese League in the most likely move.

Leicester City have done some impressive business already, and Brendan Rodgers’ side is shaping up for an assault on a top-seven place. He has already confirmed the £40 million signing of Youri Tielemans from Monaco and striker Ayoze Perez in a £30 million switch from Newcastle United.

But much of the gossip still surrounds the future of one man. Paul Pogba has rarely been out of the Premier League 2019 news since his return to Old Trafford three summers ago.

His agent recently announced that he was ready to leave Manchester United, backing up the 26-year-old’s assertion back in June that he needs a “new challenge somewhere else.

 

 


 

 

Juventus and Real Madrid have both been linked, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reckons the media have an agenda against Pogba as he continues to be linked here, there and everywhere. Loyal Red Devils fans just want the matter resolved and for OGS to start a red revolution fuelled by players who actually want to be at the great club.

On that note, striker Romelu Lukaku could be on his way out of Old Trafford, with Inter Milan officials reported to be on the way to the UK. The Nerazzurri want to get in early as Juventus are also rumoured to be interested in the Belgian hitman.

Solskjaer has already moved to strengthen his squad with some younger, hungrier players. Aaron Wan- Bissaka and Swansea wide man Daniel James have been brought in for a combined total of £60 million, and they could be set to feature in the upcoming International Champions Cup.

The early-season Premier League 2019 betting odds will take a lead from the biggest deals at the top end, and there are two potential outgoings which could shake things up in North London.

Christian Eriksen has made it clear that he is tempted by a new start away from Tottenham Hotspur. Maybe the Danish midfield maestro is keen to win some silverware, and he has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, though no firm offers have been received as yet.

If Eriksen goes, I think he will be a big loss to Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs.

Premier League: Christian Eriksen plans to leave Tottenham Hotspur this summer
Christian Eriksen in action for Tottenham Hotspur during the Champions League final against Liverpool

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s unsettled star Mesut Ozil has been linked with a move to Turkey, with Fenerbahce in the hunt. And on his way to the Emirates could be Barcelona winger Malcom, though the Gunners will have to be quick, as Everton have already tabled a £31.5 million bid for the Brazilian.

West Ham are hoping to improve on a stop-start season which saw them finish in mid-table, and after missing out on Maxi Gomez – who chose Valencia over the Hammers -- they have turned their attention to Marseille's star.

They aim to tempt Florian Thauvin to the Premier League by offering the French giants £36 million plus Mexican striker Javier Hernandez.

Of the newly promoted teams, Aston Villa are looking the most likely to thrive, or at least survive. The Villans have already been active in the transfer market with the £25 million capture of Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings. Our SBOBET tips reckon the Villans will finish around the 15th mark, and they’ll be delighted with that.

And there has been an emotional return to Turf Moor for striker Jay Rodriguez, who has rejoined Burnley on a £10 million move from West Brom. The Clarets are continuing their policy of calculated and careful improvement as they enter a fourth consecutive season in the top flight, already landing experienced Dutch left-back Erik Pieters from Stoke City.

On the managerial front, all eyes are on Newcastle after the departure of Rafa Benitez. Aston Villa coach John Terry has already been linked with the job as has Mikel Arteta, who has impressed at Manchester City alongside Pep Guardiola.

But the most recent name to be mentioned is Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve Bruce. The Northumberland-born 58-year-old knows the region well, but I’m not sure how happy the Geordies would be to welcome a former Sunderland manager!

Newcastle looks like a club in danger to me, after the departure of Rafa and their main striker Perez, so the Magpies need to make an appointment, and the right one, pretty soon.

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22-Jul 2019 Monday 5:16 PM (147 days ago)            #34
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Premier League: Can Liverpool win Domestic Glory?

2019 has been some year for Liverpool, a Champions League triumph and second place in the Premier League is a brilliant return, but the Reds want more.

It was arguably the best title chase in Premier League history though that will be of little consolation to a Liverpool team, its fans and the proud city who were all hoping to end a domestic drought of three decades. 2019/20 promises to be another humdinger for SBOBET Premier League fans worldwide, and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will be desperate to seize more glory.

Winning the Champions League in a final against Spurs was a fitting end to a season in which the Reds became a serious threat to Manchester City. The recruitment of goalkeeper Alisson Becker and centre back Virgil Van Dijk made a huge difference to the Merseysiders whose defence stepped up to the standard of its world-class attack.

Van Dijk, at £75 million, now looks a snip as he has become, in many eyes, the best defender on the planet.

Champions League or Premier League?

There’s no denying Liverpool’s stunning Champions League triumph meant a lot to the red half of Merseyside. To make it six European titles was sweet, and a statistic their fans will be happy to remind any Manchester United supporter they come across!

But to lose the Premier League by a single point must have hurt. Both Manchester City and Liverpool won every match in the run-in; but the Sky Blues had arguably the tougher fixtures in the last five games, including a Manchester derby and a trip to an in-form Burnley. The champions won at Turf Moor courtesy of a Sergio Aguero goal which crossed the line by 19 millimetres. Such is the margin between triumph and disappointment.

Would Pep Guardiola and Klopp swap their trophies? You know what? I think they would. Manchester City needs to win the Champions League to complete its journey to become, arguably, the best side in world football. And Liverpool fans yearn for a Premier League title.

As the early Premier League 2019 results start to roll in, I for one will be amazed if Liverpool and Manchester City don’t rise to the top by September.

An outstanding heritage

Liverpool is one of the best supported clubs worldwide, coming to prominence in the 1970s with globally renowned stars such as Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish, Kevin Keegan, Ray Clemence and Ray Kennedy. And the Reds dominated the English and European scene throughout the 1980s winning six league titles, two European crowns, two FA Cups and four League cups in that decade.

That intensity of dominance has never been matched. Manchester United came closest during the reign of Alex Ferguson, though the Red Devils had stronger opposition in Arsenal and Chelsea. But the Fergie era was a desolate one for Liverpool, and how the Mersey club would love to completely turn the tables once again.

After Champions League win, Andy Robertson is thirsty for more success ahead of the new Premier League season
Liverpool's Andy Robertson celebrates at the end of the Champions League final soccer match against Tottenham Hotspur

Prospects for 2019/20

Reds legend Mark Lawrenson believes Klopp needs to strengthen in two areas if his team is to push Manchester City as hard again this season as they did in the last. Andy Robertson had an outstanding season at left wing back, a solid defender and one of the highest assisters in the league. But the departure of Alberto Moreno has left him with little support, utility man James Milner could step in but that area looks thinly covered.

And further forward, Klopp was disappointed last year not to secure the signature of Nabil Fekir. He has the firepower up front with Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino set to continue terrorising defences with their pace, but Klopp lacks a really skilful attacking midfielder to sit behind the front two and make those killer passes. Fekir would be ideal.

The early Premier League 2019 betting odds have installed Pep Guardiola’s City as odds-on favourites to win a third successive title, but Liverpool is way ahead of the rest of the pack in second. The gap between the two teams was only one point, but Manchester City still has the better cover for its first eleven and played the majority of last season without their best player, Kevin de Bruyne. I fear last season may have been the Reds’ best chance to interrupt a period of Sky Blue dominance.

But Klopp’s men open up the new Premier League season with a home fixture against newly-promoted Norwich City. With all respect due to the Canaries, surely Liverpool will sit at the top of the table, at least for a day. The question remains… can they hold that position on the final day of the campaign?

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24-Jul 2019 Wednesday 2:01 PM (145 days ago)            #35
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Premier League: Can City Claim Historic Three-Peat?

The 2018-19 Premier League season will go down in history as having one of the best title races of all-time. Manchester City and Liverpool had two of the three greatest seasons in Premier League history points-wise, and their fight for the championship went right down to the wire.

In the end, though, Man City did enough to hold off Liverpool in the final few weeks of the season to successfully defend their crown.

This season, City will have their sights set on a third consecutive title, which only their neighbours Manchester United have accomplished in the Premier League era.

The Premier League 2019 betting odds have the Citizens as significant favoured to complete that hat-trick, but will they actually do it? Allow SBOBET to break down the challenges City face to hold on to their throne this upcoming season.

City can't keep this up, can they?

Kevin De Bruyne receives instructions from manager Pep Guardiola during their recent match in China
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola gives instructions to Kevin De Bruyne during a recent pre-season game

Manchester City have now put together back-to-back all-time great seasons. After setting a new record with 100 points in 2017-18, they were just two points shy of that mark last year. And that was despite missing star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne for almost a quarter of the season.

But the big question now is whether they are capable of maintaining that incredible pace for the third year running. Aside from the physical toll of playing such long seasons, it also has to be very mentally taxing to try and maintain such a high level of play for so long. It's also possible that complacency could finally start to creep in to the City squad.

One would think that at some point, City should finally start to slow down and regress to the mean after their two amazing seasons.

Having said all of that, though, City still possess the best squad in the entire league. They are just so deep at every position. If Sergio Aguero finally starts slipping at age 31, Gabriel Jesus is ready to take over. If Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva get into a slump, Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane are waiting in the wings. And so on and so forth.

It's quite possible that Man City won't be able to come up with another all-time great season. It's just too hard to do, especially in a league as tough as England. But even if they do take a step back, that could still be more than good enough to secure another title.

City as currently constructed aren't likely to throw the title away; someone will have to take it from them. And that leads us to Liverpool.

Liverpool are lurking

Without question, the biggest rivals to City's crown this season are once again Liverpool. The Reds went agonisingly close to claiming that long-awaited title last season as they pushed City all the way. And after winning the Champions League for the sixth time, their goal this term will be firmly fixed on the Premier League.

Jurgen Klopp hasn't made any notable signings this summer and has decided instead to lean on the continuity he's built for the past few years.

But they will have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back after he missed most of last season with a knee injury. They will also expect some growth from Naby Keita in his second season after an underwhelming debut campaign.

Although, it's not out of the question that Liverpool could also fall back down to earth after their remarkable season, which could prove to be more of an outlier. Their attack, in particular, remains highly reliant on the front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino.

Should one of those three go down, they will once again need to rely on the likes of Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Adam Lallana to play significant roles. They certainly don't inspire much confidence, especially compared to City's amazing reserve options.

Liverpool are by far the side best-equipped to offer any sort of challenge to City this season. If they fall off from last year's amazing pace, though, it will be hard to see anyone else giving the champions a fight.



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Rodri, the Fernandinho replacement

Manchester City did not look vulnerable all that often last year, but when they did, it was because Fernandinho was out of the line-up.

The Brazilian midfielder was seemingly the team's most indispensable player. He did his crucial role of shielding the defence and building up attacks expertly, and City didn't have another player capable of playing that position as well.

Ilkay Gundogan did his best to fill in when necessary, but Fernandinho just took the team to another level when he was healthy and playing.

At 34 years of age, though, Fernandinho is at a point in his career where he is unlikely to play every single week. That's why City made Premier League 2019 news and spent a club-record £63 million to sign Rodri from Atletico Madrid. The young Spaniard will now be available to play the Fernandinho role on the team when the Brazilian is unavailable.

Rodri displayed his strong defensive abilities at Atletico, but he was not able to showcase his passing skills too often for an Atleti side that played so conservatively in attack. Guardiola has seen something in him, though, and believes he has all the tools to thrive in City's system.

Despite his price tag, Rodri is by no means a sure thing. But if he does prove to be a more than capable Fernandinho replacement, one of City's biggest areas of concern is suddenly addressed -- and their road toward a third successive crown gets that much clearer.

 

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29-Jul 2019 Monday 1:51 PM (140 days ago)            #36
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Ten Players to Rip Up the Premier League

With less than two weeks to wait until the start of the 2019/20 Premier League season, the excitement in England and around the world is mounting. And I for one just can’t wait!

We’ll be here, day after day, with all the very latest Premier League 2019 news as the goals go in, the saves are made, as the red mist falls and players take an early bath and stadiums erupt the length of breadth of the country, from Newcastle to Bournemouth.

Some of the best players on the planet will excite and dazzle, so let’s take a look at ten who I reckon could rip it up in the new season.

Bernardo Silva (24): Manchester City

Pep Guardiola has improved his team year on year, and amidst the stellar signings he has made, Portuguese attacking midfielder Silva has made the Etihad his home. Initially, in the shadow of his namesake David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, Silva came into his own last season and how! With De Bruyne out injured for long spells, Silva had the time to showcase his pace, skill and eye for goal, linking up particularly well with Aguero. Still only 24 years old I think he’ll go from strength to strength, as City start the new season with Premier League 2019 betting odds predicting more glory.

Andrew Robertson (25): Liverpool

As one of the Premier League’s most prolific assist makers, Robertson is the full wing back package and was one of the major reasons Liverpool pushed City so hard in the league while winning a sixth Champions League. The bargain signing from Hull City wants to keep on improving and that’s the mantra of his boss Jurgen Klopp. He’ll do well to match his performance of last season, but the Scot has plenty of determination and one of the most dangerous crosses in the league.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (19): Chelsea

One of Frank Lampard’s priorities on arriving at Stamford Bridge was to ensure none of his remaining golden assets followed Eden Hazard out of the exit door and Chelsea fans will be delighted that this young wide player has committed himself to the club. In March he was the youngest player to make his debut in a competitive England match, against the Czech Republic and has already said he wants to take Hazard’s number 10 shirt.

 


 

 

Tanguy Ndombele (22): Spurs

Spurs fans have been very patient in terms of player recruitment, while their club has concentrated on making a new home at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. So the signing of the Lyon midfielder for a club record of £63m has been greeted by fanfares in North London. A strong midfielder he has already made his debut for France, coming on as a substitute for Paul Pogba in a friendly last year. He attracted Manchester City’s attention so this could be a master signing for Spurs.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (30): Arsenal

Since his £56m transfer from Borussia Dortmund at the beginning of 2018, this Gabon international has become a firm favourite at the Emirates, making the centre forward position his own. He has formed a potent partnership with Alexandre Lacazette and his pace and exquisite finishing took him to joint top scorer in the Premier League in his first full season.

Daniel James (21): Manchester United

After suffering a dreadful season Red Devils fans are hoping for a return to the glory days before too long. The £15m signing of James from Championship club Swansea City didn’t grab the headlines but the flying winger has settled in superbly. James has been a feature in Manchester United’s pre-season success, and while these are early days, his tough attitude to rough treatment and his ability to leave a full back for dead makes him look like a Manchester United player.

Richarlison (22): Everton

This young Brazilian seems to have been around the Premier League for a while after a stint at Watford and a first season at Everton, and he was named in Brazil’s recent Copa America squad. So it’s easy to forget he’s still learning his trade. Marco Silva is putting together a squad capable of challenging for Europe and Richarlison certainly has the quality. He’s ready to step up from being a dangerous striker to a deadly one.

Youri Tielemans (22) Leicester City

Ever since winning the Premier League in 2016 expectations at the King Power Stadium have been rather higher than usual. The departure of the Foxes’ best players N’Golo Kante to Chelsea and Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City has left Leicester short of match-winning quality, but in his loan spell last season Tielemans was a revelation, and Brendan Rodgers has signed the attacking midfield player on a four-year deal.

Premier League News: Youri Tielemans is the most important signing Leicester has ever made
Leicester City's Youri Tielemans celebrates scoring their second goal

Dwight McNeill (19): Burnley

Burnley fans have been getting excited by the return of homegrown hero Jay Rodriguez, but another academy star got the pulses racing at Turf Moor last season. Dwight McNeill emerged on the scene and became the highest teenage assister in any league in Europe since the turn of the year. He can terrorize the most experienced of defenders with his mazy runs and clinical delivery and will be a big source of supply for the returning Rodriguez.

Jack Grealish (23): Aston Villa

The Villains are back in the Premier League and there’s no-one happier about that than midfield star Jack Grealish. The lifelong Villa fan had his best season at the club since his debut some six years ago and if he can keep his head in the tough times ahead he’ll be a real asset once again. Our SBOBET odds give Aston Villa the best chance of survival of the three promoted clubs and Grealish is one big reason why.

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29-Jul 2019 Monday 2:32 PM (140 days ago)            #37
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Emirates Cup: Can It Really Capture Imagination?

So, what is the Emirates Cup I hear you ask.

Well, it all started some 12 years ago -- a pre-season football friendly tournament hosted by Arsenal at their home ground, the Emirates Stadium.

Named after Arsenal’s main sponsor since 2004, the invitational competition began in 2007.

Indeed, the first tournament, which was won by the hosts, was attended by more than 110,000 people across the two days.

The big guns were quickly rolled out with La Liga giants Real Madrid, Serie A heavyweights Juventus and fellow Emirates-sponsored team from the Bundesliga, Hamburg, all invited.

It has been held every summer except 2012 due to the London Olympics, 2016 because of pitch renovation work and last year because of stadium building work.

There have been plenty of highlights to enjoy in recent years with Valencia, Galatasaray, New York Bulls – featuring the legendary Thierry Henry - and Hamburg the other winners, alongside the Gunners.

Fast forward to 2019, and apologies if the view of this SBOBET writer upsets some of you, but I find the tournament has lost some of its attraction – albeit limited to begin with given it is effectively a glorified pre-season friendly.

That’s because this year the participants are effectively two!

Two matches: one women’s game and one men’s contest, with the women competing for the first time.

I applaud the political correctness of getting Arsenal women’s team involved; they will host Bayern Munich women before the men’s side welcome Ligue 1 outfit Lyon to town in a new one-day format.

But it does nothing to enhance the tournament as a spectacle, and I am sure that will be reflected in the attendance figures when they are released.

The Emirates Cup 2019 betting odds favour Arsenal over Lyon in the men’s match (and Bayern Munich in the women’s game which precedes it).

The pair have only met twice in competitive fixtures, with both games being played during the 2000-01 Champions League second group stage.

The Gunners won 1-0 in France, with Henry the scorer, before playing out a 1-1 draw at Highbury in the reverse tie when Dennis Bergkamp and Edmilson traded goals.

The clubs also played each other in the Emirates Cup four years ago when Arsenal cruised to a 6-0 victory.

There is some excitement, mind, with the game coming 24 hours after it was announced Arsenal are closing in on a club-record £72 million deal to sign Lille winger Nicolas Pepe.

Arsenal face a huge competition for Nicolas Pepe's signature ahead of their Emirates Cup final clash against Lyon
Nicolas Pepe in action for Ivory Coast against Morocco during the Africa Cup of nations Cup group stage

Arsenal players may get a chance to ask their opponents about a talent who scored 23 goals for Lille last season and satisfies Arsenal’s need for a wide player with pace and high technical ability.

Arsenal have already shown reasons for optimism in pre-season under boss Unai Emery, who last week promised some big moves would be forthcoming.

They showed qualities in their midweek International Champions Cup draw with Real Madrid, even if they were pegged back after leading 2-0 before being defeated in a penalty shoot-out.

But they have otherwise a winning record with victory against Fiorentina, Colorado Rapids and a notable success against German champions Bayern Munich.

This is Lyon’s third pre-season friendly, following narrow defeats to Servette and Genoa, with encounters against Liverpool and Bournemouth to follow before the Ligue 1 campaign starts in a fortnight’s time.

It is also a reunion with former favourite Alexandre Lacazette, who moved to North London from Lyon two years ago, and he could be joined in the starting line-up by a debutant.

New loan signing Dani Ceballos, who plays as an attacking midfielder, arrived on loan from Real Madrid earlier this week. Although, another new recruit, William Saliba, will not feature for 12 months having returned to Saint-Etienne on loan.

 

 


 

 

As for Lyon, it’s hard not to sympathise as they so often have to sell their best players.

There are few clubs with a better pedigree to developing players and selling them at a huge profit. A case in point and the focus of this analysis saw the French international central midfielder Tanguy Ndombele leave the French side to join Arsenal’s North London rivals, Spurs.

When it comes to Lyon, their one to watch is another supposedly attracting interest from England in Moussa Dembele.

He burst onto the scenes at Fulham, before earning a name for himself with Scottish champions Celtic, where he won back-to-back domestic trebles. The 23-year-old joined Lyon from Celtic last summer and enjoyed an impressive campaign on his return to his homeland.

See, despite the reduced format, there may well be some Emirates Cup 2019 highlights to come after all!

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06-Aug 2019 Tuesday 12:51 PM (132 days ago)            #38
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Community Shield: Here We Go Again!

Manchester City  vs Liverpool

As superiority goes, there can be no doubt that the best two sides in England last season are contesting the curtain-raiser to the new campaign.

In what was the closest finale since Manchester City won the title on goal difference from Manchester United in 2012, City and Liverpool were entwined in a classic two-horse title race.

Indeed, the lead changed hands a record 32 times atop the Premier League table over the course of nine months before City edged it by a point.

Now both sides prepare to renew hostilities in the Community Shield ahead of what could be another fascinating season.

City, kings of England after claiming an unprecedented domestic treble, face Liverpool who enjoyed the glorious consolation of winning the Champions League.

Community Shield highlights could await us at Wembley?

 

 


 

 

Talking Points

Or could they?

How serious will the respective managers really take this?

Jurgen Klopp gives the impression he is not fussed and even went so far as to say the match should be cancelled.

Is that the German’s way of trying to lull City into a false sense of security or is he just pointing out, correctly, that little can be read into results until the competitive action begins on April 9.

For some stars of both clubs, there has been no rest and that will surely be reflected in the sides Klopp and Pep Guardiola select on Sunday.

Guardiola will agree with his counterpart to a large extent but will want to start the campaign with another trophy before they begin their title defence at West Ham on August 10 and send out a message to their closest rivals last term.

City ran away with the title in 2017/18 with a record-breaking 19-point lead over second-place United but Liverpool achieved a remarkable improvement last season, collecting 22 more points than their previous campaign.

Indeed, last season’s race was the tightest ever during the modern era - with the two teams averaging only 1.6 points apart after matchdays from start to finish.

Given that record, it was hardly a surprise that both clubs have made little movement in the transfer window this summer, with City only signing Rodri - a long-term replacement for 34-year-old Fernandinho.

He should feature here in what, while only a warm-up, does have silverware at stake, so expect it to be more competitive than what fans have witnessed in pre-season to date.

Liverpool look forward to a tough test at Wembley when they face Man City in Community Shield
Liverpool beat Tottenham to lift the Champions League trophy

History

Historically, Liverpool have defeated City almost twice as many times as City have triumphed.

But the Abu Dhabi funded era is a very different beast, even if Liverpool have enjoyed significant victories over them in recent seasons.

Last year, a missed Riyad Mahrez penalty meant the league encounter at Anfield finished goalless but goals from Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane fired City to what was an ultimately crucial 2-1 success at the Etihad Stadium.

The season before, Liverpool won three of their four meetings, including a thrilling 4-3 league win and in both legs of the Champions League quarter-finals.

City thrashed Klopp’s men 5-0 at home in the league but only after Liverpool harshly had to play nearly an hour with 10 men.

Their last meeting at Wembley came in the 2016 League Cup Final.

On that occasion, Fernandinho put City in front before a late Philippe Coutinho equaliser took the match to extra-time and penalties.

City won 3-1 on spot-kicks to lift their fourth League Cup.

Interestingly, only three of the players in Liverpool’s starting line-up that day remain regulars in the side and six have been sold or released.

On saying that, only four of the starting XI remain City regulars.

Betting Tip

??

Manchester City vs Liverpool Total Goal 2-3 @ 1.88
August 4, 22:00 (GMT+8)

Considering only one point separated these sides at the conclusion of last season’s Premier League, SBOBET’s Community Shield betting odds are pretty one-sided.

That will partly reflect that the Merseysiders have had a mixed pre-season, yet results count for little up to now and they have not been at full strength either.

1X2 odds price City @ 1.91 and Liverpool out @ 3.85 with the draw @ 3.40. If the scores are level after 90 minutes, the contest will be decided by a penalty shoot-out.

Likewise, Asian Handicap odds favour City -0.75 @ 2.28 with Liverpool +0.25 @ 2.33.

Over 3.00 goals @ 2.38 will appeal to some considering how these sides love to attack, while a repeat of their last meeting at the start of the year – correct score 2-1 – is available @ 7.00.

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?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)
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06-Aug 2019 Tuesday 1:01 PM (132 days ago)            #39
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Community Shield: If This is a Sign of Things to Come, Bring it On!

Liverpool 1-1 (4-5 on pens) Manchester City

Despite what some cynics may suggest, it’s always good if your team is in involved in the Community Shield as it invariably means they have had a successful season immediately before the start of the new one.

Yes, there have been a few exceptions, but largely both clubs involved in the curtain raiser to a new campaign have picked up silverware a few months earlier.

That was the case once again with these two taking a clean sweep on the domestic and European stage, so this was bound to be a more competitive encounter with Community Shield highlights to boot.

It didn’t disappoint.

Highlights of the game

For two sides which score goals aplenty last season, SBOBET fans expected attacking intent and so it proved as they renewed hostilities.

Both managers named strong starting line-ups with Leroy Sane, a target for Bayern Munich, given the nod to lead the line.

City want him to stay but, aside from a shot which hit the side-netting, he didn’t have a chance to show his worth once again at the national stadium as he left the fray early on through injury.

By then, Raheem Sterling had opened the scoring.

David Silva flicked the ball into the centre and Sterling poked the ball past goalkeeper Alisson, despite the Brazilian getting a hand to it.

It was Sterling’s first goal against his former club since he swapped red for sky blue in 2015.

Liverpool should have been level very quickly when Roberto Firmino sidestepped a defender and found Mohamed Salah who dragged his shot narrowly past Claudio Bravo’s post.

Salah then outpaced Oleksandr Zinchenko and drove into the box before dragging a shot into the side-netting.

The contest was becoming end-to-end and, on the half hour,the Egyptian also toe poked the ball narrowly over the bar.

Claudio Bravo's efforts are enough to keep Liverpool from scoring in Community Shield
Manchester City's Claudio Bravo saves Liverpool's shots

Into the second half and the pace remained.

Four minutes after the restart, Silva – captain in place of the departed Vincent Kompany - sliced opened the Liverpool defence and Gabriel Jesus, in an offside position, cleverly left it for Sterling whose shot came back off the right-hand post.

Nine minutes later and Virgil van Dijk expertly volleyed a corner which bounced off the underside of the crossbar and onto the line before being kicked clear.

It evoked echoes of the closest of margins which was a major factor in the side’s league meeting at the start of the year.

Sterling nearly made them pay for their misfortune but ran straight into Alisson when clean through before Bravo blocked from Salah.

After being denied twice by the woodwork, it was hard to begrudge Liverpool an equaliser and it arrived when van Dijk lifted Jordan Henderson’s deflected free-kick into the centre and substitute centre back Joel Matip nodded home.

Liverpool finished the stronger and Salah almost won it before a quite incredible clearance.

First, he was denied by Bravo and then headed the rebound towards goal only for Kyle Walker to show great athleticism to leap into the air and acrobatically clear off the line with an overhead-kick.

Even the Community Shield betting odds could never have predicted such late drama surely?!

The contest went to penalties and City triumphed 5-4 to seal their second successive Community Shield.

Now to start a quest for history and a third successive Premier League.

One thing is for sure, based on this showing, both sides will be at the sharp end again.

Key statistics

Sterling has now either scored (six) or assisted (one) seven goals in his last four games for club and country at Wembley.

City have lost just one of 44 games in all competitions in which Zinchenko has featured (won 38, drawn five).

 

The last time these sides met at Wembley was in the 2016 League Cup Final when City won a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw.

City have won four of their past 13 meetings with Liverpool (drawn two, lost seven) in all competitions.

This was the seventh time in the Premier League era that a double-winning side has faced the Premier League runners-up in the Community Shield. The previous season’s runners-up have won two of the past three (Arsenal v Man Utd in 1999 and Man Utd v Chelsea in 2010).

This was Liverpool’s 22nd appearance in the Community Shield - only Manchester United (31) have played in more - and their first appearance since 2006 when they beat Chelsea 2-1 in Cardiff.

This was their first Community Shield played at Wembley since 1992, when they lost 4-3 against an Eric Cantona inspired Leeds.

Liverpool have won just one of their six games at Wembley Stadium (drawn one, lost four), 2-1 against Spurs in the Premier League last September.

In all competitions, City are unbeaten in their past eight games at Wembley Stadium (won seven, drawn one) since losing to Arsenal in the 2017 FA Cup semi-final. They’ve only conceded two goals in those eight games, while scoring 17.

City boss Pep Guardiola has lost four of his nine meetings with Liverpool in all competitions - against no side has he lost more in his managerial career (also four vs Chelsea and Real Madrid).

What’s next?

Man City launch their title defence next Saturday (Aug 10) at West Ham followed by a first home match of the campaign against Spurs in a repeat of last season’s epic Champions League quarter-final.

For Liverpool, they entertain newly promoted Norwich City in the opening Premier League match of the season before travelling to Southampton a week later.

 

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06-Aug 2019 Tuesday 1:14 PM (132 days ago)            #40
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Premier League: Will Clarets be Too Strong for Saints?

Burnley vs Southampton

Premier League football returns to Turf Moor on Saturday as Burnley opens up with a home match against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton.

It’s a clash between two well match sides, established in the top flight and both hoping for a fast start to the new campaign. The latest Burnley vs Southampton betting odds can barely separate the two, so we’re in for an entertaining bout in East Lancashire.

These are two of the teams which the three promoted clubs will hope to match in the coming season. But they are both savvy, and having overcome difficult seasons last year they embark on the new campaign in high spirits. And when the early Premier League 2019 results come in, both will be eying a mid-table spot.

Talking Points

Clarets are reset

Having finished seventh in the 2017/18 season, Sean Dyche found his side stranded in the bottom three at Christmas last term and staring a survival battle in the face. But the Clarets’ reset, and preserved their top flight status with some ease in a superb second half in which they outscored three of the top six sides.

 


 

 

Burnley’s post Christmas revival owed much to the return from injury of now departed keeper Tom Heaton, but equally to the emergence of an exciting young talent in Dwight McNeil. At one point the 19 year old winger was the highest teenage assist maker in 2019, ahead of the likes of BVB’s Jadon Sancho, and he’s a player to watch out for SBOBET Premier League fans.

While saying goodbye to Heaton, the Clarets have welcomed another hero home as Jay Rodriguez returns to Turf Moor. The former Southampton star arrived in a £10m deal and could thrive in a team which plays with a genuine winger on each flank; though he will have to unseat one of Burnley’s strike duo Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood, who both hit double figures last season.

Much of Burnley’s success in recent years has been built on the foundations of a strong defence and a settled squad. So rumours that Leicester City may be weighing up a move for centre back James Tarkowski will cause some concern at Turf Moor. But the Foxes would have to pay more than £40m for the young England star and that may lead them to look elsewhere.

Saints find a cutting edge

Ralph Hasenhuttl steadied the ship at St Mary’s last season, though it looked hairy until the final two games. The new coach blooded some young players but Saints stalwart James Ward Prowse was exceptional, scoring crucial goals in the run in.

Danny Ings made a good impression to Southampton last Premier League season
Danny Ings made a permanent move to Southampton

Having struggled for goals for some time, the Saints have strengthened their attack in the summer transfer window. Former Burnley man Danny Ings has made his move permanent, and he has been joined by Che Adams, a raw, fast and dangerous recruit from Birmingham City. With Nathan Redmond rediscovering his form under Hasenhuttl, the Saints now have a cutting edge which could hurt most defences, and it will get a good test against Burnley’s resolute rearguard.

History

The Clarets have looked handy in pre-season, hammering Ligue 1 side Nice 6-1 and beating Parma 2-0, while the Saints too have had a happy pre-season, winning four and drawing one of their summer friendlies.

They have scored early in each of these games and will hope to surprise the Clarets on Saturday.

Burnley and Southampton started the 2018/19 Premier League campaign with a meeting at St Marys Stadium which ended in a goalless draw. The return match at Turf Moor finished up at 1-1 as Ashley Barnes scored a last gasp penalty to save a point for the Clarets.

After a poor start for Burnley with Europa League fixture congestion, and a difficult campaign for the Saints culminating in a relegation fight, these two teams finished a single place apart, in 15th and 16th.

The head to heads are pretty even with the Saints edging it at six wins to five, with eight draws in the 19 meetings since 2005. The last three have been draws, with the Clarets winning the previous two by the odd goal.

Burnley has not lost at home to the Saints in six games and both come into the match unbeaten in five.

Betting Tip

??

Burnley vs Southampton Burnley Asian Handicap 0.00 @ 1.93
August 10, 22:00 (GMT+8)

The Clarets are marginal favourites to win this opener at odds of 2.67, with Southampton at 2.77 and the draw at 2.99, and I think that home advantage could just give Dyche’s team the edge.

They seem to thrive at home to the Saints and that’s something Hasenhuttl will hope to rectify on Saturday.

1-1 is the most likely outcome at odds of 5.40, and I suspect the Saints boss would take that now.

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07-Aug 2019 Wednesday 12:52 PM (131 days ago)            #41
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Premier League: Liverpool Kick Off New Campaign Against Canaries

Liverpool vs Norwich City

At long last, the brand new Premier League season is finally set to kick off. And to get the ball rolling, last year's runners-up, Liverpool, will host the opening day festivities on Friday night UK time as they welcome Norwich City to Anfield.

The Reds came oh so close to winning that elusive Premier League title last season and know that they cannot afford any slip-ups -- especially at home against a newly-promoted side -- if they are to finally dethrone Manchester City.

But while the Premier League 2019 odds will be heavily in favour of a Liverpool win, they better not underestimate the Canaries, who ran away with the Championship last season to gain promotion.

Talking Points

Liverpool's lacklustre pre-season

Liverpool's pre-season campaign was certainly nothing to write home about. The Reds lost three of their five friendlies against tough foreign opposition, falling to Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, and Napoli. They also drew 2-2 against Sporting.

Although, it should be noted that they fielded less than full-strength sides in most of those matches. They were most notably without their big three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino, who were all busy on international duty with their respective countries over the summer.

Firmino went on to claim the Copa America crown with Brazil, while Mane's Senegal were unlucky to lose against Algeria in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations.

 

opacity 0

 

 

Salah and Firmino only featured in their final match against Lyon, which also happened to be the only match the Reds won.

But Liverpool did field close to a full-strength team -- Mane was the only absentee -- in the Community Shield against Manchester City and held their own. They outplayed the champions in the second half and were a bit unlucky to lose 5-4 on penalties after the game ended 1-1.

It's still up in the air whether Mane, who only just returned to the team from his summer break, will feature against Norwich. Keep an eye on the Premier League 2019 updates regarding his status just ahead of the match.

If Mane misses out, it'll be up to Firmino and Salah to carry a Liverpool attack which relied heavily on their front three for goals last season. The talented trio scored 56 of the team's 89 league goals, with Salah and Mane each chipping in with 22.

Canaries will come to play

Norwich City caught many people by surprise last season as they charged all the way to the top of the Championship.

The Canaries, led by manager Daniel Farke, played a highly entertaining possession-based style in the Championship. They scored 93 goals -- with Finnish forward Teemu Pukki bagging 29 -- and won the league by five points to make it back to the Premier League for the first time since 2016.

Farke's success with Norwich has seen him compared to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. Like Klopp, Farke worked for Borussia Dortmund prior to taking over at Norwich. Klopp is admittedly a fan of Farke and the Canaries, whom he kept a close eye on last season due to Norwich's former Dortmund players who were there during his time.

But it remains to be seen just how effective Norwich's style will be against Liverpool. The Reds' pressing will be a significant step up compared to anything the Canaries encountered in the Championship, and they could struggle to cope.

Young full-backs Max Aarons (19) and Jamal Lewis (21), in particular, will be tested defensively by Salah, as well as Liverpool's star full-backs, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.

Daniel Farke's Canaries will be confident of the primary target of Premier League survival
Norwich City manager Daniel Farke watches from the stand as his team trains

History

Liverpool and Norwich have met 64 times in total. Unsurprisingly, the Reds hold a significant advantage in terms of wins, 35-14. Meanwhile, there have been 15 draws.

However, this matchup has been significantly more one-sided during the Premier League era. After Norwich won two of the first four meetings in the early 90s, Liverpool have proceeded to win 10 of the last 12 meetings.

Moreover, Liverpool have scored five goals in four of their last six matches against Norwich, with the most recent being a thrilling 5-4 shootout back in January 2016. Roberto Firmino bagged a brace in that match.

Meanwhile, Mane has a habit of starting the season out with a goal. He has scored in each of his first three Matchday 1 fixtures for Liverpool, bagging four goals in total. If he scores against Norwich, he'll tie Teddy Sheringham's record of scoring in the opening match of four-straight campaigns.

Betting Tip

??

Liverpool vs Norwich City Norwich Asian Handicap +2.25 @ 1.96
August 10, 03:00 (GMT+8)

As one would expect, the SBOBET odds are weighted heavily toward Liverpool's favour. The Reds are priced at 1.14 to kick off their new campaign with a home win, while Norwich are an astronomical 20.00 to score a stunning scalp at Anfield.

However, Norwich have a legitimate shot to win on the Asian Handicap. While Liverpool are always formidable at Anfield, their shaky pre-season does raise some questions about their ability to start the season with a big win. Mane's potential absence would also deal a major dent to their chances of winning by three or more goals.

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?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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09-Aug 2019 Friday 7:09 PM (128 days ago)            #42
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Premier League: Watford Host Big-Spending Brighton

Watford vs Brighton & Hove Albion

The 2018-19 season will go down as one of the best in Watford's history. The Hornets not only ended up in 11th -- their highest ever finish in the Premier League -- but they also made it to their first FA Cup final since 1984, which caught many SBOBET Premier League fans by surprise.

However, the Hornets had a quiet summer transfer window, leaving manager Javi Gracia with a tough task ahead of him to rely on more or less the same squad to match or exceed those achievements this season.

Their new campaign will begin at home as they host Brighton & Hove Albion, who just escaped the drop last season. The Seagulls finished 17th behind Burnley and Southampton, who will face off in another opening weekend matchup.

But unlike Watford, Brighton have made some much-needed investments to new manager Graham Potter's squad as they look to avoid another relegation scrap.

Talking Points

Not much buzz from Watford during window

After having one of the most successful seasons in their history, Watford have curiously decided not to build off that strong campaign by strengthening in their squad.

 The Hornets have bought just two players in this transfer window -- veteran centre-back Craig Dawson and 18-year-old Brazilian forward Joao Pedro -- for a total of €8.6m, the fourth-lowest expenditure among Premier League sides this summer.

CLICK HERE

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

  
 

But on the bright side, they also did not lose any key players in the summer. The likes of Abdoulaye Doucoure, Gerard Deulofeu, Roberto Pereyra, and Troy Deeney are all back to lead the Hornets.

Much of Watford's success last season was built upon their strong defence. Gracia turned the Hornets into a well-organised, high-pressing unit. And while they are not an overly talented offensive team, their pressing helped create enough opportunities for the likes of Deulofeu, Deeney, and Andre Gray.

Deulofeu, in particular, had a terrific campaign in his first full season with the club. He recorded 10 goals -- his most ever in a single season -- and five assists in 30 total Premier League appearances.

Watford will likely have a good share of possession at home, so it will be up to the likes of Deulofeu and Deeney to break the Seagulls' defence down.

Brighton splash some cash

While Watford were quiet in the transfer market, Brighton splashed some serious cash. They made three key acquisitions -- centre-back Adam Webster (for a club-record £20m), as well as centre-forward Neal Maupay, and winger Leandro Trossard (for £18m apiece) -- which has seen their net spend this summer crack the top five in the entire Premier League.

Maupay, 22, had a breakout season at Brentford last year as he scored 28 goals in all competitions. Brighton will need him to produce in front of goal after they scored just 35 goals last season, fourth-fewest in the league.

Graham Potter's first Premier League match managing Brighton & Hove Albion will be against Watford
Brighton & Hove Albion manager Graham Potter during pre-season match against Crawley Town

Apart from 35-year-old Glenn Murray, who had a team-high 13 goals, no other Brighton player had over five.

Meanwhile, Trossard -- the club's record signing at will also chip in with goals as well as replace the creative production of the departed Anthony Knockaert, who had a team-high six assists last year.

Trossard is coming off a strong season with Genk -- 22 goals with 11 assists in 47 appearances -- and will be eager to start making Premier League 2019 highlights right away.

Those new signings will be under the care of manager Graham Potter, who took over following Chris Hughton's dismissal in May. Potter spent two seasons with Swansea City, amassing a record of 21 wins, 11 draws, and 19 losses in 51 matches.

Potter played a possession-based style in Swansea and will likely have a similar system installed at Brighton. However, there is some doubt as to whether the Seagulls will be fully integrated with the new system by the time they face Watford.

History

Watford hold a 44-36 edge over Brighton & Hove Albion in terms of all-time wins. The two sides have also drawn 34 times. They've met just four times in the Premier League, though. Watford drew at home and lost at Brighton back in the 2017-18 season.

But they got their revenge last season when they got a 2-0 home win over Brighton, which also happened to be during the opening weekend of the season. Roberto Pereyra scored both goals for the Hornets, who then drew 0-0 in the reverse fixture in February.

Betting Tip

??

Watford vs Brighton & Hove Albion Watford 1X2 @ 1.93
August 10, 22:00 (GMT+8)

The Watford vs Brighton & Hove Albion odds have the home side as favourites on the 1X2 market at 1.93, but the Seagulls are not too far behind at 4.00.

Watford weren't a particularly remarkable home team last year, winning eight and losing eight at Vicarage Road.  But on the other hand, Brighton were among the worst sides away from home, with their three wins the third-fewest behind the bottom two, Fulham and Huddersfield.

Despite the lack of investments in the squad, the Hornets do have the benefit of continuity, which should serve them well against a lesser side like Brighton.

The Seagulls' new signings should help in the long run, but it might be a bit too early for Graham Potter's men to pull off the upset over a quality team like Watford away from home.

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12-Aug 2019 Monday 5:27 PM (126 days ago)            #43
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Premier League: Can the Eagles Get One Over the Toffees?

Crystal Palace vs Everton

The long wait is almost over as the new season of the Premier League is about to commence on Friday night UK time.

Few days from now, Crystal Palace will host Everton at the Selhurst Park – a place where the host would want to win more games compared to last season.

Both of these clubs were at the middle of the table. Everton finished at the eighth spot while Crystal Palace finished 12th. And with these teams looking to improve, expect some fast-paced action in what will add some of the best Premier League 2019 highlights.

Allow SBOBET to give a glimpse on these two teams ahead of Saturday’s match.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Where will Wilfried Zaha go?

Wilfried Zaha’s future destination has been quite a conundrum for Crystal Palace, especially when he announced his intentions to leave the club last season.

While the Eagles would like to keep him by trying to meet his bid, Zaha looks to have made up his mind on further advancing his budding career. The Ivory Coast-based forward is rumoured to possibly move to Everton, after a missed pursuit by Arsenal.

The 26-year-old skipper helped the Eagles’ cause in the last few years, as he emerged as the club’s main attacking threat. Replacing his unparalleled athleticism, touch, and movement won’t be an easy task for Roy Hodgson.

With or without Wilfried Zaha, Andros Townsend will do much of the heavy lifting on offence. But it all remains to be seen on whether he can step up his play consistently this season.

Can Marco Silva bring the Toffees to new heights?

Everton has been a steady team over the last few seasons, as they remain a constant presence lurking outside of the top six.

Marco Silva, who was signed by Goodison Park last year, will have another opportunity to build further on the team’s foundation after an okay showing in their last campaign.

“The feeling of our fans and players enjoying what we are doing is everything I want as a manager,” said Silva last April in a match against Manchester United.

Everton are unbeaten in their last nine Premier League clash with Crystal Palace
Marco Silva looking determined to start his season in good form

The Portuguese manager loves to go on the offensive, with attacking and pressing as his main points of emphasis. Perhaps that’s the main reason on why he wanted to keep the trio of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andre Gomes, and Richarlison – who is due for a breakout this season.

Sigurdsson was a bright spot for Everton last season. He scored 13 goals and dished four assists in what was a very productive Premier League campaign for him.

Gomes and Richarlison both have chips on their shoulders as they try to prove their worth for Marco Silva. Both of these stalwarts are composed, and can control the ball well with their slick passing and dribbling.

Excitement continues to build for the Everton faithful, and rightfully so. They just have to keep it together and not be complacent to avoid any trouble.

Contrasting offseasons from both squads

Overall, the transfer window has been either a gift or a curse to Everton and Crystal Palace.

For Everton, signing Andre Gomes and Fabian Delph into long-term deals was a priority and they were successful in doing so. They’ve also pried away Italian youngster Moise Kean from Juventus to shore up their attack.

On the other hand, Crystal Palace only got to sign Jordan Ayew which was underwhelming to say the least. The 27-year-old made 20 top flight appearances for the Eagles last season following a loan from Swansea, but he only scored one goal.

Crystal Palace already lost star forward Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United, and for sure they can’t afford to add Wilfried Zaha to their losses in this transfer window.

History

Crystal Palace and Everton has faced each other 13 times total. The latter has won seven times while the former only won twice. Meanwhile, there have been six draws.

In their matchups, the teams scored an average of 2.3 goals per match – with Everton averaging 1.5 and Crystal Palace averaging 0.8.

It has been a one-sided affair between these two clubs as the Eagles’ last win against the Toffees dates back to September 21, 2014.

Betting Tip

??

Crystal Palace vs Everton Everton Asian Handicap +0.00 @1.73
August 8, 22:00 (GMT+8)

Given their slew of new additions from top to bottom, the Toffees are sure to make some strides this season and it will start by getting a road win against the Eagles.

Everton is pegged at 2.44, while Crystal Palace are priced at 3.00 to kick off their respective campaigns.

Despite the higher Premier League 2019 odds for Everton in this fixture, they will have their work cut out for them as Crystal Palace will definitely lean on their home crowd to put up a good fight.

I have this game ending with a 2-1 win for the Marco Silva-mentored team.

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12-Aug 2019 Monday 5:29 PM (126 days ago)            #44
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Premier League: A Warm Welcome Back – and the Champs are in Town!

West Ham United vs Manchester City

The Premier League is back folks!

Premier League 2019 betting odds galore and more Premier League 2019 highlights than you can shake a proverbial stick at.

Yes, I know you’ve missed it, SBOBET fans!

I also know there is nothing quite like the combat the top level of the English game and, as we prepare for kick-off, the champions are in town with history in their sights.

Talking Points

Make no mistake, this is a tricky start for Manchester City as they chase what would be a record-equalling third successive top-flight title.

Last season, West Ham enjoyed, by their standards, a relatively tame campaign -- free of some of the internal squabbles which had beset previous years.

Indeed, it was nine months of relative serenity under former City boss Manuel Pellegrini, whose air of calm made it a solid first season in charge.

That included some impressive results both home and away.

 


 

 

While talented troublemaker Marko Arnautovic has moved on, the additions of Spain attacker Pablo Fornals from Villarreal and striker Sebastien Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt for a club-record £45million will add quality and creativity.

Indeed, many writers believe you can bracket the Hammers with those other clubs who might fancy breaking into the top six if they get the wind in their sails.

Considering they have given the big boys a bloodied nose fairly regularly in Premier League history, the Hammers must first improve what is an abysmal record against City in the stadium that has been their home since 2016.

City have already shown they have no intention of giving up on silverware this term and added a fifth trophy in little over 12 months last Sunday.

Coach Pep Guardiola’s ethos of believing every match should be won is admirable. But in 2019-20, mental and physical resources will be saved if the FA and League Cups are sacrificed and retaining the league (again) and becoming champions of the continent is made the holy grail.

It remains a bone of discontent for the club that, despite having newfound and untold wealth since 2008, they have progressed beyond the Champions League quarter-finals just once. That was in 2016 under Pellegrini, when they were narrowly defeated by eventual winners Real Madrid in the semi-finals.

With the transfer window nearing towards its final 24 hours, arguably their only weakness is a failure to replace departed captain Vincent Kompany.

They have been strengthened at full-back, though, with the recruitment of Joao Cancelo from Juventus and Guardiola has faith in Fernandinho’s ability to play in defence should he be called upon – especially now they have signed his long-term replacement in Rodri.

It’s time to see the new signings in action in what should be an exciting end to end encounter.

Welcome back, Premier League.

West Ham star Sebastien Haller hoping to make the best start to life in the Premier League
Sebastien Haller pictured getting his first assist for the Hammers

History

City have won 56 of their meetings since the first encounter in 1924 with West Ham claiming 37 victories and a further 17 matches drawn.

However, their recent dominance has been quite emphatic. They have eight straight victories over the Hammers in all competitions and only one defeat in 11 games stretching back to April 2015 (if you include their pre-season clash last month).

Last season was a dominant one for City as they won 4-0 at the London Stadium courtesy of goals from David Silva, Raheem Sterling, and Leroy Sane (two).

A Sergio Aguero penalty settled a much closer encounter at the Etihad Stadium.

The season before was just as dominant as Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho were on target in a 4-1 league win.

And in 2016/17, City went on the rampage not once but twice on the Hammers’ turf.

They trounced them 5-0 in the FA Cup third round with Yaya Toure, Silva, Aguero and John Stones, plus an own goal, finding the net. They then beat them 4-0 in the league the following month – Kevin de Bruyne, Silva, Jesus and Toure the scorers on that occasion.

The Citizens have won all six of their Premier League games against the Hammers under Guardiola (scored 18, conceded three). The last West Ham triumph came in 2015 and was a shock 2-1 win, thanks to goals from Victor Moses and Diafra Sakho.

Betting Tip

??

West Ham United vs Manchester City Total Goal 4-6 @ 2.44
August 10, 19:30 (GMT+8)

As with so many games, City are overwhelming favourites, priced 1X2 @ 1.25 with the Hammers @ 10.50 and the draw @ 5.80 – that won’t happen very often at home this season.

Asian Handicap betting takes a similar trend.

My tip for the opening weekend is for goals aplenty and a narrow City win.

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12-Aug 2019 Monday 5:31 PM (126 days ago)            #45
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Premier League: Tottenham Welcome Back the Villans

Tottenham Hotspur vs Aston Villa

Tottenham Hotspur are set to play their first full Premier League season at their brand new home. And their first challenge of the new campaign will see them host newly-promoted Aston Villa.

The Villans, who are back in the Premier League for the first time since 2015-16, have splashed some serious cash this summer with the hope of surviving this season. Manager Dean Smith has close to an entirely new squad at his disposal and will be under pressure to deliver after the club's significant investments.

But as the Premier League 2019 odds point out, Villa will have their work cut out for them in their opening assignment as they take on a Tottenham side which made the Champions League final last season and figure to be one of the very best teams in the league once again this year.

Talking Points

Spurs make last-minute signings

Tottenham left their transfer business pretty late once again, but they came through with some huge buys that made major Premier League 2019 news.

After breaking their transfer record for central midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, they splashed some more cash on highly-rated midfielder Giovani Lo Celso, who had been linked with Spurs most of the summer, as well as Fulham's full-back/winger Ryan Sessegnon.

They were also close to pulling off a blockbuster deal for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala, but the move broke down reportedly due to image rights issues.

It's unlikely that Lo Celso and Sessegnon will feature for the team's season opener against Villa so soon after their transfers, but Ndombele is almost sure to start. He could be joined in the Spurs midfield by Christian Eriksen, who appears to be staying despite stating his desire to move on.

Spurs will have several more notable absentees for the Villa match. Son Heung-Min is suspended after his red card against Bournemouth at the end of last season. Meanwhile, Ben Davies, Juan Foyth, and Dele Alli are all out due to injury, while Eric Dier, Serge Aurier, and Victor Wanyama are doubts.

But the good news for Spurs is that star striker Harry Kane is seemingly healthy to start the season. The England striker scored twice in pre-season -- including the winner against Real Madrid in the Audi Cup -- and will be eager to get back to his best after scoring just 17 Premier League goals last season, the lowest total of his career.

Top centre-backs Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen will also be present at the heart of a Spurs defence which gave up just 39 goals last season -- tied for the third-fewest in the league.

Aston Villa's first match after returning to Premier League will be against Tottenham Hotspur
Dean Smith during Aston Villa's friendly match against Shrewsbury Town

Aston Villa spend big

As incredible as it may seem, Aston Villa were among the top-spending teams in the Premier League this summer in preparation for their return to the top flight. The Villans spent close to €150m in transfers, which was right up there with Manchester United, Manchester City, and Arsenal.

Their most expensive purchase was Brazilian centre-forward Wesley, who scored 17 goals and provided 10 assists in 48 appearances for Club Brugges last season. He will be tasked with replacing last season's top scorer, Tammy Abraham (26 goals), who has returned to Chelsea.

Captain Jack Grealish will continue to be the team's main creative force from midfield, with the likes of Anwar El Ghazi, Trezeguet, and Jota taking up the wide positions. However, new central midfield signings Marvelous Nakamba and Douglas Luiz are doubts to feature after their late arrivals.

Villa also remade virtually their entire defence. They bought a new goalie in Tom Heaton, as well as left-back Matt Targett and a bunch of new centre-backs in Tyrone Mings, Bjorn Engels, Ezri Konsa, and Kortney Hause.

With all those changes to the squad, though, there are some serious question marks as to whether Dean Smith will have them on the same page -- or anywhere close -- to start the season.

History

Tottenham hold the significant edge over Aston Villa in terms of all-time wins, 72-56. The two have also drawn 35 times.

However, Spurs have simply dominated the matchup since 2009. They have lost just once in their last 17 meetings in all competitions, with 13 wins and three draws.

Harry Kane scored three times in their last two Premier League meetings, including both goals in a 2-0 win at Villa Park back in March 2016.

Betting Tip

??

Tottenham Hotspur vs Aston Villa Tottenham Hotspur Asian Handicap -1.50 @ 2.00
August 11, 00:30 (GMT+8)

SBOBET odds have Villa as one of the biggest underdogs of the opening weekend. They are priced at 9.75 on the 1X2 market to stun Spurs away from home.

Of course, I do not see that happening. Despite their absentees, Spurs are still the superior side by a wide margin. They also have the advantage of being at home and being very familiar with their team-mates.

The exact opposite can be said of Aston Villa, who are a complete mystery after they overhauled their squad over the summer. It's just hard to believe they will have enough cohesion to avoid getting beaten quite handily by Spurs.

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12-Aug 2019 Monday 5:33 PM (126 days ago)            #46
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Premier League: Manchester United’s Big Gamble

Well folks…it’s finally here!  The 2019/20 Premier League season is upon us and we’re in for another roller coaster ride…

European Champions Liverpool will raise the curtain with a game against newly promoted Norwich City on Friday night. Jurgen Klopp has had a quiet summer and has already started the mind games, saying that Manchester City has a bottomless pit of money to help them in their quest for a third consecutive league title.

The pre-season SBOBET odds say the Citizens will be successful, but not because they are the biggest spenders. By the time we all had our first coffee on deadline day that title was held by their neighbours, Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spent big over the summer, splashing £145m on Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James, and the headline grabbing capture of Harry Maguire. £80m seems an awful lot of money to spend on a defender, but  Maguire’s move to Manchester United from Leicester City went through at the beginning of the week and that deal alone could end up costing the Red Devils £150m. The England star

has accepted a wage rise from the 75k a week he earned at Leicester to £190k per week.

Meanwhile, Manchester United fans have been wondering whether they would start the season with Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, both the subject of intense transfer speculation the minute the 2018/19 season drew to a close.

It looks like Lukaku has finally got his move, taking a medical at Inter Milan on deadline day with a £77m fee agreed between the two clubs. And that means OGS may well be back in the market for a like-for-like replacement. It’s all about Premier League 2019 results for Ole, after a difficult first season in charge.

Manchester City aim for their third consecutive Premier League title by adding Rodri to their team
Rodri celebrates winning the FA Community Shield

Across the road Pep Guardiola know that all too well, and he has moved this summer to continue to strengthen his 2018 and 2019 league winners. Manchester City signed midfield lynchpin Rodri from Atletico Madrid for a club record £62.8m fee. Rodri, 23, joins on a five-year deal and is City’s second signing of the summer after defender Angelino rejoined from PSV Eindhoven.

There s more to come with right back Joao Cancelo joining the Sky Blues, and Danilo heading the other way to join the Bianconeri, and that looks like concluding the business at the Etihad.

Spurs fans have been hoping Mauricio Pochettino would add to the signing of the impressive Tanguy Ndombele who we think could be one of the players of the season. The Premier League 2019 betting odds see Manchester City and Liverpool battling it out again this season, but with a couple of new additions Spurs will hope to stay in the race a little longer than last season.

North London rivals Arsenal will have something to say about that. The Gunners have agreed to sign full back Kieran Tierney from Celtic in a £15 move, but Unai Emery’s marquee signing has been the recruitment of winger Nicolas Pepe in a £72m switch from Lille.

Of the teams starting life in the Premier League, and those looking over their shoulders, Aston Villa have been the most ambitious, spending well over £100m to try to ensure their stay is longer than one season.

Sheffield United has been more careful, signing Oli McBurnie in a £17m deal from Swansea City to improve their strike force. Norwich City has brought in a defender, Ibrahim Amadou arriving on a season long loan from Sevilla.

Brighton has signed Brentford striker Neal Maupay, while Bournemouth has picked up midfielder Phillip Billing from relegated Huddersfield.

Last minute deals?

With most of the business done, a few teams are still scrabbling around to try to get a last minute signing done.

Spurs fans look set to get their wish with Giovani Lo Celso arriving for a medical in advance of a £55m switch from Real Betis, and they have also agreed to pay £30m to bring Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham to Spurs.

But the Whites could be overshadowed by their rivals as David Luiz looks set to complete a £8m transfer from Chelsea to Arsenal as he doesn’t seem to be in Frank Lampard’s plans at the Bridge.

Manchester United are weighing up a move for striker Mario Mandzukic as a possible replacement for Lukaku.

But the saga surrounding Wilfried Zaha rumbles on. He has been offered £200k a week to move from Crystal Palace to Everton; and he has handed in a transfer request. The Eagles have already landed Real Betis playmaker Victor Camarasa on loan, with an option to buy.

And Burnley might have landed a big signing. The Clarets look set to sign Chelsea midfield star Danny Drinkwater on a one year loan.

 

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12-Aug 2019 Monday 5:36 PM (126 days ago)            #47
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Premier League: New Faces Make This a Must-See Contest

Newcastle United vs Arsenal

As if there wasn’t enough excitement about this Premier League clash, transfer deadline day has only gone and heightened it further.

Let’s be honest, this match was already an intriguing contest – now it’s positively eye-catching!

Talking Points

If the truth be known, Arsenal have probably not strengthened in an area where they need it most.

Indeed, with club captain Laurent Koscielny leaving under a cloud, there had been scant evidence of any fix to the club’s long-well documented central defensive inadequacies.

But the surprise deadline day arrival of David Luiz from London rivals Chelsea will, at least, offset the Frenchman’s departure.

Let it not be forgotten, Luiz’s last competitive appearance for Chelsea was when they saw off Arsenal 4-1 in last season’s Europa League final.

Before that game, he described Unai Emery as “a great guy, a great coach, a great person”, so perhaps this move should not be a total surprise.

While their soft centre remains, two other signings may mean the majority of Arsenal fans retain a new dawn of optimism that any new season brings.

Arsenal have bolstered their squad ahead of the Premier League season with the acquisition of Kieran Tierney
Newly-signed Gunner Kieran Tierney during training with his former squad, Celtic FC

Full-back Kieran Tierney – born in the Isle of Man no less – should shore up the left-hand side in the long term. Arsenal will remain an attacking force to watch, coupled with the addition of club-record signing of Pepe — who impressed in the recent Africa Cup of Nations.

Optimism is not a word which has been associated on Tyneside for some time, yet even fans I know – long fed up of Mike Ashley’s reign – have found something to be hopeful about over the last 24 hours or so.

Hope had previously been in short supply following the departure of much-admired manager Rafa Benitez, along with leading scorers Salomon Rondón and Ayoze Pérez (and seemingly any hope of a takeover).

They were further underwhelmed by the appointment of Steve Bruce as Benitez’s successor.

However, Bruce is a passionate Geordie who will do all he can to succeed and, if given backing, can ensure they survive and create some Premier League 2019 highlights.

He has recently acquired a £40million Brazilian striker in Joelinton, a winger in Allan Saint-Maximin, what looks like a promising Swedish defender in Emil Krafth, and Jetro Willems, the Dutch left-back on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt.

Yet it is the deadline day capture of the injury-prone but home favourite Andy Carroll which has lifted spirits just in the nick of time.

If he can reproduce the form which saw him score 33 goals in 91 appearances the first time around, it will have been worth the risk.

 


 

 

Of course, those moves alone will not pacify long-suffering fans who remain in a militant mood.

Many still plan to boycott this game on Sunday and stage a city-centre protest march against Ashley’s stewardship.

It’ll make it interesting though, another subplot in what could be a fascinating season ahead.

History

What a rich history these two clubs have, dating back to their first-ever meeting in 1893.

Traditionally, Arsenal have the edge with 77 wins to the Toon’s 67 and a further 38 matches drawn.

However, that is because Arsenal have actually won 12 of their last 13 meetings.

Last season, the Gunners registered a league double.

In September, they won 2-1 at St James’ Park with goals from Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil before Ciaran Clark grabbed a late consolation.

The return match in April also went Arsenal’s way, courtesy of Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette in a 2-0 success.

The only Newcastle victory before 2010 came in April 2018 when Lacazette opened the scoring but Perez and Matt Ritchie turned the game around to seal a fine 2-1 home success for the Geordies.

You have to go back to 2005 for the previous occasion Newcastle beat Arsenal on home soil where a late Nolberto Solano goal won it on Tyneside.

Betting Tip

??

Newcastle United vs Arsenal Total Goal 4-6 @ 3.25
August 11, 21:00 (GMT+8)

If recent records are anything to go by, then Arsenal should win with something to spare (of course, it’s not that simple).

The SBOBET Premier League 2019 betting odds suggest as much too.

1X2 odds have Arsenal priced @ 1.84 with the hosts outsiders @ 4.20. For those tempted to a little bit of a risky punt, how about the draw @ 3.50?

It is a similar scenario with Asian Handicap betting with Newcastle priced + 0.50 @ 2.09 and Arsenal -0.75 @ 2.09.

A repeat of last season’s encounter in the northeast – correct score Newcastle 1-2 Arsenal – will payout @ 7.20.

Over 3.00 goals @ 2.38 has caught my eye.

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12-Aug 2019 Monday 5:38 PM (126 days ago)            #48
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Premier League: Bring on the Big Beasts!

Manchester United vs Chelsea

It’s unquestionably the highlight of the opening weekend to the Premier League season. A battle of two big beasts. A battle between the two clubs who have won the most Premier League titles since it began in 1992. Collectively, their own Premier League 2019 highlights compilations would be best sellers for SBOBET football fanatics. Yet, these are transitional times with neither expected to mount a title challenge this time around. Or can one of the sides with rookie managers defy the Premier League 2019 betting odds?

 


 

 

Talking Points

Even when they were dominating English football, United have found Chelsea to be something of a bogey at Old Trafford – long before Roman Abramovich waltzed into town with new-found wealth in 2003 and long before the Premier League era began. As a young boy, I can remember one particular match in 1986 when fan favourite Kerry Dixon scored the only goal inside two minutes. United missed two penalties that afternoon and it was around six weeks later that Sir Alex Ferguson – then just plain Alex – was appointed to succeed Ron Atkinson. And the rest is history. Chelsea would love to start a new era of their own with Frank Lampard in charge on a positive note. Of course, in many ways, this is a new era for both sides with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer beginning his first full term at the helm of the club he graced as a player. Many United fans do feel very underwhelmed going into the new season. A summer of significant reinforcements was required, and while their defence seems potentially stronger than last term, both midfield and attack arguably got weaker. Neither Ander Herrera nor Marouane Fellaini have been replaced in midfield. Even Romelu Lukaku, who scored a fine 42 goals in two seasons at Old Trafford, still doesn't have a replacement. Instead, United must hope that Scott McTominay and Mason Greenwood — two products of the club’s academy — have freakishly monumental breakthrough seasons. Solskjaer is optimistic his plan to restore the club to challengers is underway, yet there’s no doubt the Glazers’ parsimony affects strategy as well as success. That debate might be for another day, but despite a fine pre-season, the day may arrive sooner than planned if United fail to make a good start to the campaign. In contrast, Chelsea have been well served since Abramovich arrived and changed the landscape of English football. Even last season, troubled in many ways, ended with relative success and yet more silverware.
Chelsea new boss Frank Lampard hopes to make an impact when they face Manchester United in his Premier League debut
Frank Lampard unveiled as the new manager of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

However, while Lampard’s status as a player, like Solskjaer, will buy him some time, he faces similar difficulties to his counterpart — albeit caused by different reasons. United chief executive Ed Woodward has been criticised for his football decisions, while Chelsea cannot actually sign anyone right now. With Eden Hazard gone to Real Madrid and the club under a transfer embargo, there are fears Lampard may have returned to the club at an inopportune moment in his fledgeling managerial career. American Christian Pulisic is in line for a Blues bow following his summer arrival from Borussia Dortmund. If selected, Mason Mount could also make his first competitive Chelsea appearance after training for 11 years at the club. So, expect an emphasis on youth from both managers this weekend and in the months ahead. Cynics would suggest at least one of these managers may not be in their respective jobs this time next year. Yet, if they both overcome the hurdles placed in front of them now, so the first long-term steps could be in taken to guide their clubs back to the glory they so enjoyed as players.

History

Last season both league meetings ended all square. The Stamford Bridge encounter was a thriller with Antonio Rudiger heading Chelsea in front before a fine Anthony Martial double put United in charge. Chelsea needed a last-gasp Ross Barkley equaliser to rescue a point. The return at Old Trafford ended 1-1. Juan Mata pounced against his former club to open the scoring, only for a rare David de Gea error to allow Marcos Alonso a timely leveller. United did produce a fine 2-0 win in the fifth round of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge courtesy of goals from Herrera and Paul Pogba. Overall, United have triumphed 78 times against the west Londoners who have enjoyed success on 54 occasions. The other 51 matches have been draws. Chelsea last won at Old Trafford in May 2013 – the scorer of the only goal that day was Mata!

Betting Tip

??

Manchester United vs Chelsea Over 2.75 goals @ 2.35
August 11, 23:30 (GMT+8)
I expect this will be a close encounter which could go either way.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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12-Aug 2019 Monday 5:40 PM (126 days ago)            #49
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Super City Go Top of the Premier League!

West Ham United 0–5 Manchester City

Manchester City got their 2019/20 Premier League campaign off to a winning start in the early Saturday kick-off at the London Stadium with a stunning 5-0 win over West Ham.

Of course, it’s early days, but after Liverpool beat Norwich City 4-1 last night, City showed that anything Jurgen Klopp’s team can do, they can do better. It took the Sky Blues a while to get into their stride, but when they did the football was irresistible as Raheem Sterling helped himself to a hat-trick.

SBOBET predictions will fall in line with the whole of the football betting world when it comes to this year’s Premier League. We reckon the Blue Moon will continue to rise!

Highlights of the game

After winning a second consecutive Premier League title last season, the Sky Blues are on a mission to make it three from three. And they know how to play the long game, so much so that Pep Guardiola chose to start with Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva on the bench.

City’s signing of Rodri was seen as the key summer move by Guardiola and he made a start in the midfield. He initially looked a little surprised by the pace of the game as West Ham’s forwards harried him for the ball.

The Hammers were taking the game to the champions at first but conceded the opening chance when Riyad Mahrez tried to bend a shot into the bottom corner. Lukasz Fabianski got down well to turn the ball wide, though.

When City took the lead, it was thanks to a blistering run down the right flank by Kyle Walker, who squared for Jesus to flick a smart finish beyond Fabianski and into the net.

The two almost combined a couple of minutes later, but this time Fabian Balbuena made a superb last-ditch tackle. Walker was causing havoc in the Hammers’ defence, but they recovered to go in just a goal down at half-time.

But they only lasted seven minutes of the second half before the champions doubled their lead. Kevin De Bruyne slipped an inch-perfect ball through to Sterling, and he slid the ball through the West Ham keeper’s legs and into the net.

A penalty kick has been granted to Manchester City after a thorough review of VAR in their Premier League season opener
The big screen flashes a decision to give Manchester City a penalty kick after a thorough review of VAR during their Premier League game with West Ham

Then we had the first VAR drama of the new Premier League season after a beautiful move by City. Sky Blues captain David Silva put Sterling in and he crossed for Jesus to convert for what he thought was his second. But the home fans celebrated like they’d scored a goal when VAR found Sterling to be an inch or so offside.

At 2-0 down, the hosts were still just about in it, and they almost halved the deficit on the hour with their best effort of the match. Robert Snodgrass crossed for Issa Diop and his header flew just over the bar. Then, Ederson made a fine double save to deny Javier Hernandez and Felipe Anderson.

But it was game over on 75 minutes when Mahrez lifted a ball over the Hammers’ backline to Sterling, and he, in turn, chipped the ball over the exposed Fabianski. VAR took another look but this time it didn’t save the hosts as Sterling was marginally onside.

The video technology was in action again when Diop felled Mahrez in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Fabianski saved substitute Aguero’s spot kick, but he had another chance as Declan Rice had encroached into the penalty area. Aguero was never going to spurn a second opportunity and he sent the keeper the wrong way.

And Sterling rounded off the rout in injury time with Mahrez the provider again as he rolled the ball past a helpless Fabianski.

Key statistics

The pre-match West Ham United vs Manchester City betting tips all pretty much backed a winning start for the Sky Blues and they stole a march in the first half, having eight shots on goal (four on target) to West Ham’s one.

By the end of the game, the Sky Blues had peppered the West Ham goalkeeper on nine occasions, and he did well to save four!

Gabriel Jesus loves a trip to the capital city. He’s scored in each of his last five starts in London, but the plaudits go to hat-trick hero Sterling.

What’s next?

After winning the Community Shield last week, a trophy which Pep values higher than some managers, his team has started the new campaign in perfect fashion.

The first two Premier League 2019 results are in, and as of 3 pm UK time, the Sky Blues are top. And I wouldn’t bet against them being there next May.



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Next up, Manchester City have a crunch home game against Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs. Win that and the signs will be ominous for their rivals.

West Ham captain Mark Noble has said his team needs to show more consistency this season, but he can’t put too much importance on this result.

Nest week, the Hammers have an away match on the South Coast in Brighton. The Seagulls avoided relegation by a whisker last season and, having sacked head coach Chris Hughton, could be in real trouble this term. That’s a game West Ham should win.

 

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12-Aug 2019 Monday 5:43 PM (126 days ago)            #50
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Premier League: Eagles Find Toffees Too Sticky

Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton

Crystal Palace played out an opening day 0-0 draw with Everton despite the Toffees finishing the game with 10 men.

Marco Silva’s Everton are one of a clutch of sides hoping to break into the Premier League top six this season, and they’ll need to find a sharper cutting edge than they had today. But Roy Hodgson may be the more disappointed of the two coaches as his side had the numerical advantage at the end.

After flirting with the drop for a few seasons the Eagles will be keen to avoid another relegation battle this term. The three newly promoted teams will all find it tough, but unless Palace can improve their home form, so will they.

Highlights of the game

Wilfried Zaha comes off the bench during Crystal Palace's Premier League match against Everton
Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha replaces Jordan Ayew during their clash with Everton

The deadline-day tussle between Everton and Palace for the Eagles’ talisman Wilfried Zaha made this a difficult week for the hosts, and they started with their most gifted player on the bench. And so it was little surprise that Everton showed first, and should really have gone ahead on three minutes.

After Lucas Digne found space on the left he put the ball in the danger area and into the path of Gylfi Sigurdsson, but the Iceland star screwed his shot wide from 10 yards. The visitors continued to have the better of the opening exchanges, but the final ball was all too often sloppy for the Toffees.

Richarlison made a promising start for Everton last season, and the Brazilian striker came close to breaking the deadlock, meeting a low corner from Sigurdsson. Unfortunately for him, Christian Benteke managed to block his effort with his head.

As Everton continued to press, Vicente Guaita made a superb save to deny Everton captain Seamus Coleman after more good work from Digne.

The Eagles eventually began to get into their stride, and when Andros Townsend worked the ball out to Max Meyer, his shot was deflected over the bar by Coleman. A crunching tackle by James McArthur on Andre Gomes then forced Silva into a change as the Portuguese midfielder couldn’t go on.

That seemed to add a little spice to the match, and there was a flurry of bookings early in the second half. Meanwhile, Palace began the half as they finished the first. Meyer brought a good save out of Everton keeper Jordan Pickford at his near post.

Richarlison had been relatively quiet, but he came to life midway through the second half. He forced Guaita into a smart save with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area, and minutes later, he curled one wide when he really should have hit the target.

Hodgson reacted and threw on his wantaway star Zaha, and the winger immediately began to stretch the Toffees defence. And then on 75 minutes, the visitors were down to 10 men.

Morgan Schneiderlin, one of the players booked earlier, put in a high challenge on Palace skipper Luka Milivojevic, giving the referee the easiest of decisions to brandish a red card.

Zaha began to torment the Everton defence but couldn’t find the killer pass or shot, and four added minutes wasn’t enough for him to break the deadlock.



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Key statistics

The pre-match Crystal Palace vs Everton betting tips pointed to a hard-fought tussle, and so it was. It was bad-tempered at times, but it was a fair result in the end.

The Toffees are now unbeaten in the past 10 league meetings between these two sides; the last time Palace won the fixture on home soil was back in 1994.

In fact, the Eagles have never won an opening day Premier League fixture at home, losing the last four, so this was a step in the right direction. But they need to find their home form soon; only relegated Huddersfield won fewer points at home last season.

Mind you, the Toffees have only won two openers in 12, so perhaps this result was on the cards. And they have drawn 12 Premier League opening fixtures, more than any other side.

What’s next?

The Eagles are away to newly promoted Sheffield United next, and in the following week head to the Theatre of Dreams to take on big-spending Manchester United.

The Toffees are at home to Watford next and then away to Aston Villa, who themselves have splashed well over £100m on their return to the top flight.

Villans head coach Dean Smith has said they aren’t about to ‘do a Fulham’ after the Cottagers were relegated following a similar spree last season.

Keep an eye out for our SBOBET tips; they will be coming thick and fast as the early Premier League 2019 results continue to roll in.

For the time being, both Palace and Everton are off the mark, but both will expect more.

 

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12-Aug 2019 Monday 5:45 PM (126 days ago)            #51
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Premier League: Barnes at the Double for Burnley

Burnley 3-0 Southampton

For a side which took until late September to secure their first win last season, the importance of a good start was imperative for Burnley.

However, even boss Sean Dyche could not have expected such a convincing scoreline in their Premier League opener.

Especially as these two sides finished just a place and a point apart in last term’s bottom six, having flirted with danger during the campaign.

Now the first compilation of the Clarets' 2019/20 Premier League highlights can begin to be edited for broadcast.

Highlights of the game

Dyche resisted the temptation to feature Danny Drinkwater – his loan signing an astute piece of Premier League 2019 news that largely went under the radar on deadline day – which wasn't surprising given he has not played for a year.

Another new recruit in Jay Rodriguez only entered the fray with the match already won, yet there was a start for new full-back Erik Pieters.

Meanwhile, Southampton handed a debut to summer signing Che Adams as he started alongside Danny Ings, who made his loan from Liverpool a permanent switch over the summer.

The arrival of Adams from Birmingham City represents a major boost for the club -- no player has reached double figures in goals in the Premier League since Sadio Mané three years ago.

Indeed, there is optimism on the south coast as Ralph Hasenhüttl begins his first full season in charge, given how he not only transformed a seemingly doomed side inside six months but also reinvigorated a whole club and an entire city.

That optimism was shown early on as both Adams and Nathan Redmond went close.

The big screen has flashed and confirmed Burnley's goal against Southampton during their Premier League opening game 
Burnley's goal has been confirmed by the VAR review during their Premier League season opener against Southampton

Adams was also at the centre of attention as VAR got its first run-out at Turf Moor in the top flight.

His high and late tackle on Ben Mee and Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s crunch on Ryan Bertrand were both reviewed, although neither player was shown a card

Meanwhile, the system also upheld an offside call that had ruled out Burnley striker Chris Wood’s strike after 16 minutes.

The Saints have started each of the last four Premier League campaigns with a draw, and another looked on the cards up until the hour mark. But then the hosts, who had rarely threatened until that point, blew Southampton away in the space of 12 minutes.

First, Ashley Barnes shot through the legs of Saints goalkeeper Angus Gunn from a Pieters delivery. Then the pair linked up again as Barnes fired into the corner to double the advantage.

It was left to Gudmundsson to seal a wonderful afternoon for the home side who, 12 months ago with their Europa League exploits seemingly hampering them, ended the opening month in the relegation zone.

SBOBET fans may not expect the same this time.

Burnley’s post-Christmas revival owed much to the return from injury of now-departed keeper Tom Heaton and exciting young talent Dwight McNeil. They gained some impressive results along the way too.

Yet if this was an indication of things to come, this showing was based on a typically solid performance, built on captain Mee and James Tarkowski’s partnership.

Having suffered a club-record 10 home league defeats last season -- their tally of 360 attempts on goal last season was the lowest in the Premier League -- this was first and foremost a return to the home form of 2017/18 for Dyche and his men.

For Southampton, the match was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests. But the way they were beaten after falling behind may trouble Hasenhüttl, who will now turn his attention to improving their home form. Southampton have won only 15 of their past 57 league matches at St Mary’s.

Burnley are up and running.

Key statistics

Five of Barnes’ 34 Premier League goals -- 14 more than any other player for the club -- have come against Southampton (15%). He’s scored four of Burnley’s last five against the Saints.

Barnes and Wood scored a combined 48.9% of Burnley's league goals last season.

 



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 



This was the Clarets’ first opening top-flight victory at home since they defeated Coventry in 1967 (drawn one, lost four).

Southampton have not won on any of their last six visits to Turf Moor (drawn two, lost four).

Only 16 goals have been scored in the nine Premier League meetings between these sides, with all bar one coming in the second half.

What’s next?

Burnley now go on the road with a visit to Arsenal next weekend.

It’s a tough test for Southampton too. Liverpool are the visitors in their first home match of the season. The Premier League 2019 betting odds for that match will likely lean heavily toward another win for the Merseysiders.

 

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12-Aug 2019 Monday 5:48 PM (126 days ago)            #52
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Premier League: Spirit on Show on Tyneside But It’s Not Enough for the Toon

Newcastle United 0-1 Arsenal

Wet, windy, warm – at times there were three seasons in one day on Tyneside.

Yet whatever the weather, the temperature in the Premier League is always hot and so it proved in a frenetic welcome back to top-flight action at St James’ Park.

Some of the leading cast may have changed from the last match here in May but the passion remains and the new faces, or at least the presence of some of them, made this a must-see contest.

Highlights of the game

Two young sides were selected.

Record signing Joelinton was named in attack (fellow new recruit, fans’ favourite Andy Carroll is not yet available), while Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette (ankle) was only deemed fit enough for the bench, along with record signing Nicolas Pepe – the chance to see his first taste of English football eagerly anticipated.

Also on the bench was David Luiz, the man tasked with helping heal Arsenal’s soft centre - one he and his former Chelsea teammates so brutally exposed in their last competitive outing.

Mesut Ozil and defender Sead Kolasinac did not feature because of security concerns – a worrying state of affairs.

After a summer in which key men had departed, St James’ Park did not seem similarly awash with the joys of late summer – there was a boycott march against Mike Ashley’s ownership before kick-off - but it slowly came to life once the tenacious Jonjo Shelvey and bursts from Miguel Almiron lifted the crowd.

The question was, could Newcastle catch Arsenal cold, especially with so many of their big names on the bench?

Premier League highlights began after 19 minutes when Shelvey struck the outside of the post.

As chances started to arrive at both ends, Henrikh Mkhitaryan lashed high with the goal at his mercy before £40 million signing Joelinton had a crack at Arsenal’s defence on his competitive debut, collected at the second attempt by Bernd Leno.

Then Armenian Mkhitaryan set up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang whose shot was kept out by Martin Dubrvaka.

As the half-time whistle blew, the onus was firmly on Unai Emery to change things for Arsenal against opponents who spent 69 days in the relegation zone in 2018-19, the most of any side not to go down.

The loss of Shelvey to injury early in the second half was hardly ideal and it didn’t help that his replacement, new boy Jetro Willems, was caught napping by the driving Ainsley Maitland-Niles who burst forward and expertly found the unmarked Aubameyang whose touch was touch to control the ball was as sure as his second as he lifted the ball over Dubrvaka.

In fairness, it was not just Willems that was blame for slack defending which the Gunners took full advantage of.

You couldn’t fault the desire but the hosts rarely looked like troubling Leno after falling behind, although a cameo from Allan Saint-Maximin showed promise.

So, all in all, a result the SBOBET Premier League betting odds would have predicted but signs that not all is doom and gloom.

Rafa Benitez was worshipped on Tyneside and the reaction to the appointment of his successor, Steve Bruce, has been lukewarm at best.

Yet here was a side playing for their new boss. Now they need to get points on board.

The Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal ended 1-0 in favour of Unai Emery's men
Steve Bruce shakes hand with Unai Emery at the end of the match between Arsenal and Newcastle United

Key Statistics

Since his Premier League debut for Arsenal in February 2018, only Mo Salah (36) has scored more goals in the competition than Aubameyang (33).

This was Aubameyang’s 50th Premier League game for Arsenal – the Gabon international has already netted at least two more goals than any other Gunner in their first 50 games for the club.

Arsenal named two English teenagers (Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson) in their starting XI for a Premier League game for the first time since February 1998 (Paolo Vernazza and Matthew Upson vs Crystal Palace), before either Willock or Nelson were born.

Arsenal have won 13 of their last 14 matches against Newcastle, with their solitary defeat coming at St James’ Park in April 2018.

Newcastle have only beaten Arsenal three times in 37 meetings in all competitions over the past 17 years.

The Magpies have only kept two clean sheets in this fixture since 2007.

Newcastle have not won their opening league match since a 2-1 victory over Tottenham in 2012, losing six and drawing one since then.

Bruce has lost a career-worst 20 games against Arsenal. His teams have beaten the Gunners just twice in 28 meetings, with Birmingham in 2005 and Sunderland in 2009.

Arsenal won only seven of their 19 Premier League away games in 2018-19 and kept one clean sheet - fewer than any other side. They have now equalled that after one game of 2019/2020.

Fourteen of Arsenal’s last 18 goals in all competitions have been scored by Aubameyang (10) or Alexandre Lacazette (four).

Pepe became the 200th Arsenal player to play in the Premier League when he came on as a substitute.

What’s next?

Newcastle face a more realistic gauge of their progress when they travel to newly-promoted Norwich City next weekend.

For Arsenal, a first home match of the new season awaits against Sean Dyche’s Burnley.

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12-Aug 2019 Monday 5:50 PM (126 days ago)            #53
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Premier League: Promise and Potential Abound in the East Midlands

Leicester City 0 – 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

A Premier League stalemate, yet this was no dull affair for the watching SBOBET followers.

Despite the lack of goals, there were still plenty of Premier League highlights and of course, what could quickly become a regular sight – the use of VAR.

It proved the topic of conversation again in the East Midlands after a disallowed goal cost Wolves a perfect start to the league campaign.

Highlights of the game

In terms of who was getting the nod, Ayoze Perez made his Leicester City debut with deadline-day signing Dennis Praet on the bench and Caglar Soyuncu getting the nod to replace the departed Harry Maguire.

Wolves pair Jonny and Ruben Neves, rested against Pyunik in the Europa League on Thursday,both started with new signing Patrick Cutrone named among the substitutes.

For teams who the Premier League betting odds predict will be among the most likely to unseat one of the established ‘top six this season, this was an entertaining start at the King Power, even if chances were at a premium.

Leicester did most of the pressing but didn’t really threaten Rui Patricio.

The closest came when Jamie Vardy failed to connect with a low cross from Youri Tielemans before Jonny Evans came to the hosts’ rescue with Willy Boly set to pounce.

After 45 minutes without a shot on target, we only had to wait 45 seconds after the restart.

Raul Jimenez was played through swiftly and, as he tried to get the ball on his right foot, shot straight at Kasper Schmeichel.



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It seemed Wolves had been rewarded when Joao Moutinho’s corner was met by Leander Dendoncker and his header was blocked by team-mate Boly who then reacted quickly to sweep in a left-footed strike.

However, VAR ruled the Belgian had handled the ball and Leicester were reprieved.

It was the closest they got to scoring as, despite spirited attempts, opportunities were few.

Indeed, the Foxes didn’t have a single effort on target until seven minutes from time when substitute Harvey Barnes forced Patricio into action.

That was about it as both sides look to the longer term.

Wolves are well into their season now, although it’s clear from previous experiences of other clubs that Europa League qualification can be an arduous trek which makes its customary demands on both early-season fitness and geographical knowledge.

Nonetheless,Nuno Espírito Santo has certainly made the most of investment from the Chinese owners who took over the club in 2016 and the influence of the agent Jorge Mendes. He has overseen extraordinary progress.

European qualification should be on Leicester's map this season - their squad certainly looks good enough, despite the loss of Maguire. Perez should enjoy playing in a team which looks to attack, and Tielemans did more than enough last season to suggest that he’s tailor made for a footballing outfit.

Leicester have a squad full of energy, invention and versatility with Brendan Rodgers well placed to build on the useful work started by his predecessor, Claude Puel.

The future could be bright for both these two well run clubs.

The final word for an emotional moment as the crowd welcomed Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, formally named as chairman of Leicester City this week, succeeding his late father Vichai.

Premier League: Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha succeeded his late father as Leicester City's new chairman
Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha received a warm welcome after being named as Leicester City new chairman

He received a huge round of applause in what a poignant moment.

Key statistics

Wolves won the most recent meeting 4-3 in January 2019, thanks to a stoppage-time winner from Diogo Jota to complete his hat-trick.

Wolves are winless in 10 top-flight away fixtures against Leicester since a 2-1 victory at Filbert Street in December 1971 (drawn four, lost six).

This was a first meeting between the two clubs on the opening weekend of a season since a 1-1 draw at Leicester in 1934.

The Foxes are unbeaten in six games when beginning the campaign at home since a defeat by Blackpool in 2007 (won four, drawn one).

Leicester took 17 points from their last nine league fixtures in 2018-19 - a tally bettered only by the top two, Manchester City and Liverpool.

This was their third successive Premier League clean sheet at the King Power Stadium - for the first time since May 2017.

Wolves have only lost their opening league fixture once in the past decade (won five, drawn four, lost one).

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have won just one of their last eight away Premier League games (drawn three, lost four).

This was the first time Wolves had played their opening top-flight game of the season on a Sunday.

What’s next?

Two big ones await next weekend.

Leicester travel to Chelsea for a real test of their credentials (August 18), while Wolves host Man Utd the following evening.

 

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12-Aug 2019 Monday 5:52 PM (126 days ago)            #54
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Premier League: United Dare to Dream

Manchester United 4-0 Chelsea

As dream