Monday, April 30, 2012

Coyle words inspires Bolton

It took some harsh words at half-time from manager Owen Coyle but it did the trick and Bolton secured a vital three points away to struggling Aston Villa on Tuesday night.
The Trotters came from a goal behind in the West Midlands and, having dragged Villa into the relegation fight, now sit just one point off safety with a game in hand over their rivals at the bottom of the Premier League table.
After spending much of the time in the bottom three Coyle’s men have always been among  the favourites in the relegation betting.
It was a tremendous result for the Lancashire outfit, who have really been struggling with injuries this season, whilst having to deal with the narrowly avoided tragedy that was the collapse of midfielder Fabrice Muamba.
Coyle and his men are looking to give Muamba a Premier League club to come back to, should he continue his playing career and the three points at Villa Park could go a long way in ensuring their survival. Though I would bet on the Premier League relegation scrap going right down to the last day given the compact nature of the table.
The Scot was delighted with the result but did admit he had to give his players a kick up the backside to get the win over Villa.
He said: "I think we showed again the character we have within the squad and I have got to say I gave them an almighty blast at half-time because I wasn't pleased with the first showing.
"We have been in good form, I think that's 13 points from 21 now and everybody else around about us was winning when we were idle and this was one of our games in hand and we still have another one.
That's what we have got to do, give performances like this to make sure we remain in the Premier League."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Reading back in the big league

Having already secured their well-deserved return to the Premier League, Reading can now start preparing for the challenge to stay in the top flight for many seasons to come.
The current crop of players at the Madejski Stadium have enjoyed a remarkable spell of form over the last few months and secured their return to the top tier of English football on Tuesday night, thanks to a 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest.
Under manager Brain McDermott, Reading have enjoyed a tremendous team spirit, which has carried them to the top of the Championship table, without too many individual stars. Most people will now bet on the Championship title making its way to Berkshire, just like it did in 2006.
The question for all teams making the big step to the Premier League, is how much to invest in the squad to make sure they retain their top flight status?
Reading will receive in the region of £90m for their achievements this term and of course a portion of that money will go into strengthening the squad to make sure they are competitive at the highest level next term.
They will understandably start the season among the favourites in the relegation betting but the likes of Stoke City and more recently Norwich and Swansea, have all proved that teams can make that step from the Championship and compete with the big names in English football.
Chairman of the Berkshire outfit Sir John Madejski is adamant the club will not be breaking the bank to add talent to the squad and feels a calculated approach is best for Reading.
He said: "We will strengthen as we see fit. We have already strengthened and that will carry on.
"What I don't want is people thinking Reading are an open cheque book. We will be as careful as we have been in the past."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Has Tevez Redeemed Himself?

The very idea of an individual walking out of the workplace for months, and then returning a hero may seem preposterous, but in the footballing world, it would seem things work a little differently. 

The return of Carlos Tevez seems to have brought something to the Manchester City team that was sadly lacking during his absence, and this doesn't just boil down to his actual contribution on the pitch. 

With Tevez clearly loved by the majority of the City squad, as well as the coaching staff, there is no getting away from the fact that he seems to be a man capable of energising the likes of Sergio Aguero, providing City's top stars with the chance to shine in the best way possible. 

It would have been easy to see the player take the podium in Premiership Top Scorer Betting, if he had been around all season.

However, the fact that Tevez was so selfish at such a crucial point in the season means that the City fans need to see plenty more from the Argentine in order to be able to truly forgive him.

If City now go on to win the title, due to the fact that Tevez managed to fire them to a few crucial away wins, then he may have just done enough to win back the trust and love of the City fans, who so readily welcomed him into their club, after he so shockingly jumped ship from Manchester United.

Ultimately, though, there is no escaping the fact that the likes of Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart, who have been outstanding this season, are likely to miss out on that Premier League medal, partly because Tevez walked away from the battle the Sky Blues were engaged in at a crucial time.

For that, surely there can be no short-term forgiveness. City are currently outsiders in the Premier League odds.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Duo ready for semi-final

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has promised his side's Champions League semi-final first-leg against heavyweight rivals Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena in Germany will be "spectacular" (Bayern Munich 8/5 draw 12/5 Real Madrid 17/10 – live soccer betting prices).

The Bavarians welcome Spain's capital club off the back of an impeccable home record in Europe so far this season and unbeaten sequence at home against the nine-time winners of the competition.
A goalless draw at the weekend in Bundesliga for the second consecutive match means Bayern now trail leaders Borussia Dortmund by eight points with just three regular season fixtures left.
The incentive now for four-time winners Bayern is to win a first European title since 2001 at the Allianz Arena on May 19.
Heynckes, who steered Madrid to the European crown in 1998, says he cannot wait to lock horns with his old club.
He said: "There is a lot of expectation ahead of the game. We will see a spectacular game – not just in attack but also in defence. They will show what they can do and I am looking forward to this. I am expecting a very interesting game."
Punters looking for soccer betting tips  may want to consider the previous meetings between the two sides - the clubs have met in four previous European Cup semi-finals, with Bayern prevailing three times (1976, 1987, 2001) to Madrid's one (2000), and coach Jose Mourinho, a two-time winner, is expecting a difficult night in Germany.
He added: "Bayern are an institution. They have everything you need to be a very big club and they have everything to proceed to the final. We can write history and take the next step. Bayern have lots of individual quality, but there is a strong collective [emphasis], also. And they have a great coach, Jupp Heynckes. They are playing great football."
Both teams have won four of their eight previous two-legged encounters in the competition. The most recent came in the 2006/07 round of 16 when Bayern prevailed on away goals, losing 3-2 in Spain but winning 2-1 in Munich.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

City 'Finished' if United Win Two

Manchester United need only to win their next two matches to claim their 20th Premier League title, according to Roberto Mancini. The Red Devils could, depending on the performance of their rivals, Manchester City, go eight points clear of the Blues by Sunday.

“If we go eight points behind then it is finished”, Mancini lamented. “It’s clear we are disappointed. We have made some mistakes, me and the team. We have also been unlucky, like losing three or four key players at an important moment.”

Alex Ferguson's team currently have a game in hand over all but three other teams in the division. They will play relegation candidates, Blackburn Rovers, tonight, to even out the fixtures list and the soccer betting tips are predicting a United victory.

If United defeat Blackburn, the Reds will be sitting on treasure horde of some 76 points at the top of the table, compared to City's 71. The only way forward for the latter team, in such a scenario, would be a defeat of Arsenal on Sunday, and punters who bet on soccer games seems split as to how that close match will pan out.

They would also require Queens Park Rangers to beat Manchester United on the same day, a tall order indeed, given that the Red Devils have not lost since January 4, when they were mauled 3-0 by Newcastle United.

If everything aligns correctly for Manchester City, the side will require just two points to overtake United at the top of the Premier League, with six games remaining of the 2011/12 campaign.

The season could, as Mancini has previously suggested, be settled in spectacular fashion on April 30, when the Manchester Derby takes place at the Etihad Stadium.

Arsenal and Spurs, in third and fourth place, respectively, have an outside chance of catching the second-place City. Arsenal, for example, would need to win their next five games, while hoping that
City lose all of their encounters in April.