Halftimeng Serie A Team of Week Two

In the second week of Serie A, Champions Juventus continue from where they left off last season; Napoli were quite electric against an interesting Milan side, Roma were held just like Inter and all these points to the kind of season we may have in general.

With all that said and done, here is my Serie A team of the week in  3-4-2-1 formation:

 

 

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INTER MILAN:THE ROAD TO RECOVERY

In Adeyemi Adesanya’s preview to the Serie A season, he spoke about it not been a Calcio season without one turmoil or the other at the Milan clubs. The Nerazurri have just gone through another transfer of the ownership baton with Erik Thoir getting rid of the ancestoral headache that has plagued Milan’s second club by selling a majority stake in the club to the Chinese group, Suning Group for 270 Million Euros.

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The days of Inter Milan winning titles left, right and center seem 20 million light years away. Since winning the treble in 2010 under Jose Mourinho, Inter have become a shadow of themselves and even the return of Roberto Mancini could not revive the Nerazzuri. Issues relating to transfer policy, poor pre season preparations, differences in opinion; eventually led to the departure of Roberto Mancini which surprisingly opened the door for the arrival of Frank de Boer, who had been linked with moves to rivals AC Milan and English side, Everton during the summer. He has taken over the hot seat and his Inter reign has not started on a good note with no wins in two matches against teams (Chievo and Palermo) they were expected to defeat comfortably.

Frank De Boer

Now, with their new manager struggling to find his feet at the San Siro and employing a set of tactics/playing style that have not been used at the club since the reign of Stramaccioni and Gasperini which have unsettled the side especially as there was no bedding period which the pre season would have offered. The Nerazzuri have gone into the market to solve problems in attack and midfield by making a club record signing of 45 million Euros for Portuguese midfielder, Joao Mario from Sporting Lisbon and Gabriel Barbosa from Brazilian side, Santos.

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The burning question is: “what can Joao Mario bring to Inter Milan?”Joao Mario is a versatile player who can play in a variety of positions across the midfield, He is a hard worker, difficult to get off the ball, takes fiery shots, is good with crosses, can deliver a range of passes, has beautiful control, has accurate ball distribution and his decision making is quite good. While the qualities listed above make Joao Mario look like a super player, it is important to note that Joao Mario is not without his flaws; he can make you think of him as a grade D player, due to the decisions he makes and the fact that he doesn’t score a lot of goals when he gets into positions to do so. However.if he lives up to the hype and to his full potential, Inter would benefit greatly from his purchase.

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As Inter prepare for a new chapter of their history under Frank de Boer with the likes of Ever Banega, Joao Mario and Gabriel Barbosa, the journey to recovery has started; however, it would not be a quick, smooth and painless journey; wins are imperative and in quick succession too, to lift the mood in the stadium and around the fans.

HALFTIMENG LA-LIGA TEAM OF WEEK TWO

On Friday, the fixtures in the Primera Division started and ended in Stalemate as Espanyol were pegged back to a 2-2 draw at home against Malaga while a Lucas Perez – less Deportivo La Coruna held Real Betis to an uninspiring scoreless draw at the Benito Villamarin leaving Manager Gus Poyet frustrated with one point from two matches.

Saturday saw Eibar beat Valencia 1-0,Osasuna losing at home to Real Sociedad and staggeringly, newly promoted Leganes held Diego Simeone’s led Atlético Madrid to a stalemate – Rivals, Real Madrid laboured to a 2-1 win against Celta Vigo at the Santiago Bernabeu

Alaves and Villarreal continue slow starts to the League when they could only get a point each when they played Sporting Gijon and Sevilla respectively. Granada got pummeled for five, Barcelona wrapped up the fixture on Sunday with a vital single goal win at Bilbao.

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GOALKEEPER
Jon Ander Serantes – Leganes

Leganes can’t ask for a better start to life in the La Liga after raking in 4 points out of a possible six and the Leganes stopper has been instrumental to that course more notably against Atlético Madrid, keeping Yannick Carrasco, Kevin Gameiro, Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres at bay to be the only side yet to concede a goal in La Liga. If Leganes wants to remain in the Spanish top flight division, Serantes needs to produce performances like that every week

LEFT BACK

Antonio Luna – Eibar

The Ex Aston Villa defender was tremendous against Valencia, strong in tackles, marauded the byline well and dealt with everything thrown at him. Admittedly, there were some excellent supporting roles from his team-mates at the back, notably Gonzalo Escalante. His defending produced the goods when Eibar needed it most

Center Back

Aissa Mandi – Real Betis

Algerian International was at his commanding best after his pussyfooted display at Camp Nou a week ago. I have particularly watched Mandi a few times when he was in Reims before his move to Spain, He’s quite decent with good awareness off the ball but he has significantly improved with the way he organizes at the back. At only 25, he can only get better as long as he’s open to learning more.

Center Back

Matteo Musacchio – Villarreal

Argentine was sensational throughout Sunday’s game versus Sevilla and showed the sort of leadership qualities that seem to be desperately lacking especially when they were knocked out in Champions League qualifying by Monaco last week. Can’t remember the last time I saw defender not give the ball away through the entire 90 minutes.

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Right Back

Unai Bustinza – Leganes

The Spaniard’s performance is probably the most professional of the back four against Atlético. He refused to fly into tackles just for the sake of it. Impeccable stuff

Midfield

Toni Kroos – Real Madrid

He needs little or no introduction. Masterfully put away his goal with sublime technique with less than 10 minutes left to clinch the winner on Saturday night. Kroos is not on my team because of that alone, he floated around the midfield picking out passes with guile and authority.

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Midfield

Asier Illaramendi – Real Sociedad

After been humiliated at home on Match day 1 versus Real Madrid, you had expected them to put a marker on the wall against new boys, Osasuna – they did. Yes they won Comfortably 2-0, Illara gave his team a good ‘base’ to attack. Screened the defense well, mopped and nullified Osasuna’s threats. Whether he can rediscover the form that made Real spew 32 million Big ones in 2013 for his services is left to be seen.

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Midfielder

Nabil El Zhar –  Las Palmas

When you got 2 beautifully crafted assists and a goal, you are entitled to get a spot on my list. This Canary Island team look like they are not going to rest on the oars of just staying in the top flight – I would like to think they have Europe in mind. El – Zhar, a product of the Liverpool Academy was pulling the strings, slalomed past the Granada Defense time after time. Top four might be too much to ask for this team but they surely have substance.

Midfield

Ivan Rakitić – Barcelona

I have always thought the Croatian never gets the credit his football deserves even from his emergence in Sevilla. He’s a peach of a midfielder and made sure his team continued their 100 percent start to the new season by ruthlessly finishing off a fine Luis Suarez cross at the New San Mames. André Gómez et al might have a torrid time displacing him.

Midfield

Jonathan Viera – Las Palmas

This was the easiest pick on my team. Attacking midfielder was a joy to watch as they ripped Granada apart. Viera, a through and true Las Palmas indigene is a player who injects the game with his capacity to cover ground with his twinkle limbs, made himself available to receive a pass or assist his team-mates. He got two 2 in the process.

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Striker

Gerard Moreno – Espanyol

What a performance by Gerard Moreno against Malaga. First was scored cutting inside and smashing it past Cameroonian goalkeeper Idris Kameni while the second was an absolute thumper from Patti’s free kick. Although Malaga subsequently leveled from a 2 goal deficit which I thought slightly tarnished the 24 year old exploits but he can look back on his individual performance an chin up. With 3 goals in 2 games, he can only crave to ascend.

Halftimeng Premier League Team of Week 3

Three weeks in, the momentum is quite visible; but then comes the International break to squash all the fun we are having, well all we have to do is to be a little patient things will return back to normal in two weeks.

So the trio of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City have a 100% record so far; all three maintain their record with varying degree of ease or hardship, bottom line is these records take a break and live to fight another day. I have received a number of criticism on my selection style and in my defense I will say there’s no selection of top eleven players in the world that would please everyone. However, one thing is for sure; we cannot begrudge Curtis Davies his place in the line up for the third straight time as well as the impact of Manchester United’s sensation Marcus Rashford. Here is my Premier League Team of Week Three in a 4-3-3 formation:

 

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THE PREMIER LEAGUE 2016/17: WEEK 3 PREVIEW

Just before the International break sneaks in, we get served a full dose of Premier league football yet again, a complete lineup of fixtures starting off with the lunchtime mouth-watering encounter between Tottenham Hotspurs and Liverpool at the White Hart Lane and closing the curtains of Saturday is a surprisingly ‘top of the table’ clash between Hull City and Manchester United which features varying sub-plots.

For the Manchester sides, they could not have asked for a better start, the new mangers picking 2 wins out of two, new players settling in quite well and clear signs of improvement from both camps, here is my weekend preview and predictions:

Editorial use only. No merchandising. For Football images FA and Premier League restrictions apply inc. no internet/mobile usage without FAPL license - for details contact Football Dataco Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michael Zemanek/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (5505365bc) Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool played at Boleyn Ground on 2nd January 2016 in London Barclays Premier League 2015/16 West Ham United v Liverpool Upton Park, Green St, Upton Park, London, United Kingdom - 2 Jan 2016

Tottenham Hotspurs VS Liverpool (White Hart Lane): Lunchtime kick-off and the weekend opener sees Tottenham Hotspurs who have started the season in decent form hosting Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. For Klopp, finding a balance to his team is key, as they tend to portray performances as unpredictable as Countinho scoring a belter every other week. Victor Wanyama’s sole strike earned Spurs the three points in their last game whilst Liverpool’s defense remains a worry for the fans, the two sides have the potential to serve up an explosive fixture and we only hope this turns out to be a good curtain raiser of goals as we kick off the week.

Prediction:  Tottenham Hotspurs 2 Liverpool 1

Chelsea VS Burnley (Stamford Bridge): Two late goals from Diego Costa in two games where he arguably should have been sent off has heralded Antonio Conte’s start to Premier league football, a mentality is clearly brewing amidst the squad and with the brilliant late display of Fabregas in the second half of the tie at Watford, Batshuayi getting in amongst the goals and Mikel Obi’s return from the Olympics to vie for a midfield slot, things seem to be shaping up in the right direction for the Blues. Burnley on the other hand enjoyed a well-deserved victory over Liverpool in week 2, they were pleased to pass on possession and took their chances quite well, don’t expect them to come lying down at the bridge as Chelsea has to earn this win.

Prediction: Chelsea 3 Burnley 1

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Crystal Palace VS Bournemouth (Selhurst Park): At some point last season, Alan Pardew’s side were 4th on the league but have since lost their punch and don’t seem to have recovered yet. Two sides lying 19th and 20th on the log with no points from two games, way too early to be a relegation 6-pointer but this is a fixture that they will both like to secure victories to kick-start their season especially Palace with their financial outlay on transfers and their poor run of form since the turn of 2016.

 Prediction: Crystal Palace 2 Bournemouth 1

Everton VS Stoke City (Goodison Park): Manager Ronald Koeman will be pleased with the return of some of his top players as they come up against a Stoke side which had absolutely no answer to Man City’s firepower at their home ground. Everton has picked up 4 points whilst Stoke are yet to get a win from their opening fixtures, another of those games that will be close, guaranteed of excitement and strong robust play from both sides especially taking into consideration the performance Stoke put in on their last visit to Goodisson.

Prediction:  Everton 2 Stoke City 1

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Leicester City VS Swansea City (King Power Stadium): The defending champions are yet to get a win in the opening fixtures but their performance against Arsenal, a side that defeated them on both occasions when they met last season showed some signs of improvement, manager Claudio Ranieri should be pleased with the performance that top signing Ahmed Musa put in during the few minutes he was on the pitch and it would be interesting to see if he gets more minutes this time around, for Swansea having lost key players, survival is paramount and a win already is good enough motivation going into this, though I however strongly expect Leicester to get its first win of this campaign in front of their home crowd.

Prediction:  Leicester City 2 Swansea 0

Southampton VS Sunderland (St. Mary’s): Claude Puel’s welcome to the Premier league has not been a grand entry, struggling with the loss of major players and bedding in new ones, the Saints have looked a shadow of the team they were in past seasons, For Sunderland, there is actually no surprise here as bookmakers had prior to the season tipped David Moyes’s men to be relegated hence no points from two games is a step in that direction. This is one game that may just turn out to be one of the games of the weekend as both managers, new to the teams desperately need a win under their belt, but Sunderland doesn’t look any shade like a team ready to upset the odds, so Puel may just be getting his first win this weekend

Prediction:  Southampton 3 v Sunderland 1

Watford VS Arsenal (The Hawthorns): There is this buzz of expectations from the Emirates and their supporters following the almost done deals for striker Lucas Perez and Valencia defender Mustafi, the fans craved for top signings and Wenger obliged, whether these are players who will improve the squad or just add to the numbers, it remains to be seen. For Watford, Walter Mazzarri will still be sulking over the two late goals conceded to Chelsea, for long spells they looked in control and sure to pick up at least a point but they ended up losing all three, he will definitely welcome his first victory but will it be at the expense of an under pressure Arsene Wenger who rumors continue to trail his future at Arsenal and would be eager to at least burn out his candle on a glorious note.

Prediction:  Watford 1 v Arsenal 1

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Hull City VS Manchester United (KC Stadium): The unlikely case of third against fourth, both sides with perfect records from their opening two fixtures and whilst that of United may have been expected, Hull City has surprised all with their performances despite the many issues around the team. Senior squad members remain out and the team under temporary manager Mike Phelan have made just one substitution in two games. For Mike Phelan, this is a familiar threat as he faces a side he knows very well having understudied Sir Alex for many years. United fans can’t wait to see Pogba play again and hope Zlatan makes it five goals in four games. Jose seems to be settling down into what his staring 11 will look like and he liked the shape of the Pogba/ Fellaini combination in midfield, will be really hard to look beyond United in this tie.

Prediction:  Hull City 0 Manchester United 2

West Brom Vs Middlesbrough (The Hawthorns): The first of the Sunday games sees Tony Pulis side up against Aitor Karanka’s imports. Boro have adjusted to their return to the top flight pretty well with a win and a draw whilst West Brom have also been able to pick a win from their opening fixtures, this is a game that looks equally balanced and I don’t really expect goals to rain in this.

 Prediction:  West Brom 1 Middlesbrough 1

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Manchester City VS West Ham (Etihad): The final fixture for the week and before the international break sees Pep Guardiola’s men who have started the season like a house on fire with star striker Kun Aguero leading the lines up against Slaven Bilic’s West Ham who are actually built for games like this causing major upsets against top sides. City seem to have finally solved their ‘rather unnecessary’ goal keeping uncertainty following the capture of Claudio Bravo whilst West Ham are also expected to add Simone Zaza to their ranks of exciting talents. City had a near perfect display away to Stoke, a ground where some expected Pep to face a serious test and with the form of Sterling, Nolito, I expect them to get yet another victory this weekend.

Prediction:  Manchester City 3 v West Ham 1

 

Complete Fixtures:

August 27:

Tottenham Hotspurs VS Liverpool

Chelsea VS Burnley (3pm)

Crystal Palace VS AFC Bournemouth (3pm)

Everton VS Stoke City (3pm)

Leicester City VS Swansea City (3pm)

Southampton VS Sunderland (3pm)

Watford VS Arsenal (3.00pm)

Hull City VS Manchester United (5.30pm)

August 28

West Brom VS Middlesbrough (1.30pm)

Manchester City VS Westham United (4pm)

#TipsFromPapi: Betting, Arguments + 12 Games You Can Choose From This Weekend

Crazy title right? I know!

Just like every other thing has positives and negatives, good and bad, football games have loads of options. You may have selected Arsenal to beat Watford while another punter, in a ‘far, far away” land, may have countered you, without ever seeing your face. You get the gist?

With that in mind, I’ll like to mention two arguable betting tips in this article before dishing out my predictions for some select weekend games.

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First,
– Do Not ACCUMULATE Any Matches in the First 2-3 Weeks of This Season
My soon-to-be friend, proposed this one in his short betting advice shared with me. I’m sure you’re wondering, “WTH! How am I even supposed to just watch without placing bets on the EPL after waiting for so long?” Well, he supported his claims with some reasons:

* The teams are just starting and hence need time to blend together.

* There might have been transfers in and out of a team new players need to settle in.

Solid enough? You decide.

Yes! It’s arguable but, how about staying away for the first couple of weeks so you can have enough to play with over the larger part of the show? Can you handle that?

Secondly,
– Never ACCUMULATE Up To 3-4 Matches In One League

This one is very understandable… unless you haven’t had the experience before. Compiling games in a certain league instead of “spreading your arms” can hurt, especially in leagues like the Dutch Eredivise, EPL and others.

Of course spreading your arms isn’t a sure way to avoid those sily games that’ll hurt your betslip as nothing is guaranteed on this playground, but it will be helpful to concentrate on the best games from a few leagues (Ill expantiate on this one is subsequent articles) instead of focusing on just one league.

In the end, convinced or not, it all boils down to what works best for you and what has been working for you.

Let’s talk about the select games.

As I did last week, I’ve again focused on one market: Over 1.5 goals. With time, I’ll start covering other markets. That being said, here are the games that should have more than one goal scored this weekend.

FRIDAY
Holland: Helmond Sport v Cambuur Over 1.5 goals

Denmark: Lyngby v FC Nordsjaelland Over 1.5 goals

Czech Republic: Mlada Boleslav v Hradec Kralove Over 1.5 goals

England: Burton Albion v Derby County Over 1.5 goals

Ireland: Waterford United v Drogheda United Over 1.5 goals

SATURDAY
Brazil: Ceara v CRB Over 1.5 goals

China: Shenzhen FC v Meizhou Hakka Over 1.5 goals

Austria: Sturm Graz v Altach Over 1.5 goals

Northern Ireland: Linfield v Dungannon Swifts Over 1.5 goals

SUNDAY
China: Shanghai Shenxin v Tianjin Quanjian Over 1.5 goals

Brazil: Cruzeiro v Santa Cruz Over 1.5 goals

Austria: Rapid Wien v Salzburg Over 1.5 goals

Finland: KPV GrIFK Grankulla Over 1.5 goals

Remember: Only bet with what you can afford to lose.

P.S: I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you think of these tips, how they helped you (or not) and also other markets you’d like me to give you tips on. Share your views in the comments section below or hit me up on twitter @rotdav

Cheers to a great weekend of football!

 

Halftimeng Premier League Team of Week Two

Just like in every football season; there will be surprises, already this season Hull City are confounding everyone especially considering their predicament of only having 13 fit first team players and a caretaker manager. With six points from two games, Mike Phelan and his team should be credited for such a superb start to the season.

This week our team of the week features a youngster looking to cut his football teeth in Merseyside, a captain and ”veteran” rolling back the years with back to back appearances in our selection, a world record signing and a man that speaks of himself in the third person. Here is my team of the second week of the Premier League in a 4-3-3 formation:

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**Courtesy Line Up 11

Domestic Consolidation seeking European Dominance

Another Serie A season is upon us, it would not be a typical Calcio season without turmoil in Milan; the city rivals have continued from where they stopped last season from controversy to another, even though said controversy is supposed to steer the once great Milan clubs in the right direction.

Frank De Boer

Whilst Inter Milan have gone on with the transfer of ownership of the Nerazzurri to its new Chinese owners with consummate ease and professional precision; their cross town rivals AC Milan, just like last year have had to deal with various issues ranging from a sit tight mentality, nickle and dimming, poor or over bloated valuation and what I would term a lack of ”balls” from the so called Chinese ”government” backed investor. This has definitely affected the real business on the pitch which involves preparing the squad for the challenges ahead and adding some quality to the playing personnel. Interestingly, both Milan clubs enter the new season with new managers; Vincenzo Montella (who I greatly admire for his personal style and team philosophy) takes the reins at AC Milan, while Frank De Boer replaces Roberto Mancini at Inter Milan after a fall out with the owners on transfer targets and a string of poor pre season results.

Now as the city of Milan gets accustomed to the changes in management and ownership structure; the guys in Turin have gone in to put themselves in front of the queue as overwhelming favorites for a potential sixth straight Scudetto with the transfer business conducted  so far by the Old Lady of Turin. Juventus under Max Allegri are shaping up quite nicely, consolidating on the home front by weakening their closest title rivals with the signings of Pjanic from Roma and Higuain from Napoli whilst focusing on conquering Europe for the first time since 1996. Allegri since last season has been working with surgical precision in making and molding this team in his image; even though it all seems hunky dory; a lot will depend on how the Bianconeri cope with the midfield departures World record Fee, Paul Pogba and Roberto Pereyra both lost to Premier League sides, Manchester United and Watford respectively. These two were key parts of the Juventus midfield; all be it that Pogba is the one everyone is wondering how well life without him would be for the Old Lady.

Now, if there is a manager that can cope with player departures of any kind its Max Allegri, he lost half his squad at Milan after a title winning season, has had to cope with Pirlo and Vidal leaving Juve in the same window and still ensuring that they are competitive on all fronts with their efforts crowned with a domestic double. A lot has been said about how grossly over weight Gonzalo Higuain looked on his return from his Summer holiday, I believe he would be eased in gradually as Dybala and Mandzukic would shoulder the goal scoring burden whilst expecting the midfield to potentially chip in its fair quota, noting that the Old Lady lost Alvaro Morata to his former club Real Madrid as part of his buy back deal. I cannot look beyond Juventus retaining the Scudetto, as they have covered the basics,had probably the best transfer window of all the big clubs in Europe, strengthening in key areas; Juventus would take some stopping.

Having been weaken considerably, Napoli and Roma have it all to do to wrestle the title from the hands of Juventus even without a ball been kicked yet. Roma’s transfer business has been a bit baffling to say the least, yes defensively they have major injuries; but the signings of Thomas Vermaelen, Juan Jesus and Fazio from Barcelona, Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspurs respectively doesn’t really inspire any kind of confidence in me and this was showcased as Roma battled to a lucky away draw at Porto in the Champions League qualifiers. I like the fact that Spaletti has stuck to the ideals in his forward line which involves a lot of pace and off the ball running, complementing the lanky and calm presence of Edin Dzeko and Francesco Totti with the permanent signings of Mohammed Salah and Stefan El Shaarawy (does Spalletti know something about Egyptian born players that we don’t know?).

Napoli continue to hold on to Kalidou Koulibaly, but in reality for how long can they push away the advances from the likes of Chelsea. It is understood that Sarri is looking to bring in the highly rated Torino defender Maksimovic as a potential replacement, coupled with the likely departure of Raul Albiol; who is rumoured to be keen on a return to Spain, hence the San Paolo club would have to contend with departures at the back as well as the departure of  36 goals hero, Gonzalo Higuian. The signing of Arkadiusz Milik is welcomed, but translating Ere Divisie prowess to Serie A dominance is a different kettle of fish; the spot light would be firmly on him through out the season. Hence, both teams that finished second and third respectively last season have it all to do to maintain the same level of momentum that would enable them challenge Juventus; it is a tough call.

With all due respect to the others such as Lazio, Fiorentina, Udinese, Genoa and Sampdoria; their sights would firmly be on ensuring qualification for the Europa league, now its a tough call as three of the teams stated above would be vying for those same slots; Fiorentina seem like the ones that may keep their heads above water in the fight for Europe as Lazio haven’t been helped by the madness associated with the engagement of Marcelo Bielsa. The appointment was supposed to be a huge statement of intent for the Capital club, but in the end has back fired terribly; hindering their entire pre season preparations.

The newly promoted sides as always will have it all to do to stay in the top flight; Crotone, Pescara and Cagliari come into Serie A full of confidence, but the gulf in class always shows eventually. However, I expect Cagliari to just survive relegation and potentially drag either of Empoli and Palermo down to Serie B.

Arrivederci!!!

#TipsFromPapi: Wait! Don’t Jump In Yet! + 14 Games To Choose From This Weekend

It’s the weekend again, if you’re someone like me, you’re probably already looking out for the most profitable games in the world to stake your money on; to earn some extra cash, or win that huge sum.

Of course some play everyday, but the weekend, unmistakably, presents the highest number of games from which to choose from. Now, that’s a blessing… and also a curse! With plenty of games to choose from, the chances of losing skyrockets, alongside your chances of winning.

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So, as usual, you have those favourite prediction sites opened on your phone or laptop, for all the permutations and selections. Do they really help? That’s one only you can answer.

You’re probably already wondering what this post is all about. Well, let’s just say I’m out to give you what you usually get from those other prediction websites… and then add some more. How?

As a Football Speculator, I’ll be sharing some tips with you that can help you avoid that “na one game spoil my ticket” story. While doing that, I’ll also be giving you some select games which you can profit from.

As usual, on this playground, NOTHING IS GUARANTEED. Anything can happen! with that in my mind, my first tip is

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You Don’t Have To Select Every Game In Sight.
It’ll be unfair to your purse, staking on 30+ games, every weekend. Haba bros! Ahn ahn! You too want to win #10.5m with a #200 stake abi? That miracle doesn’t happen everytime you know. How about you concentrate more on discovering how to select winning games, instead of trying to select all in sight? That’ll be more helpful.

Secondly,

Wait! Don’t Jump In Yet!
Yeah. You heard me right. Wait. Chill out, while you’re in the chilling lounge, OBSERVE. Still wondering what I’m talking about? Well, I’m talking about the “New Season” fever. The new football season is underway in Europe (unlike in other parts of the world eg Brazil, U.S.A). And everyone can’t wait to jump on the train, you already know how it turned out for you with the English Premier League last week, right?

With the La Liga & Serie A kicking off this weekend, choose to watch from afar, instead of putting your money in the game. See how the league starts off this time. With that knowledge, you can be sure to at least, avoid those “potholes” in subsequent rounds.

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So, those are my tips for you this weekend.

Below are some of my select games for this weekend. I’d usually post varying options to choose from. But I chose to major in one market for this debut post. Hopefully, you’ll find this post and its tips useful, ask for more and there’ll be subsequent posts to cover games in full details.

I’ve selected these 14 games out of the multitude of games to be played this weekend. With their statistics, I strongly feel that the outcome of all these games should be Over 1.5 Goals. Their kick-off times are spread out between Friday and Sunday.

Be sure to check them out yourselves to see if you’re comfortable with their Head-to-Head and other necessary statistics.

Denmark: AC Horsens v Lyngby – O1.5 Goals

U.S.A: Montreal Impact II v Bethlehem Steel FC – O1.5 Goals

Norway: Lillestroem v FK Haugesund – O1.5 Goals

Sweden: IK Frej Taeby v Aatvidaberg – O1.5 Goals

Brazil: America MG v Chapecoense AF – O1.5 Goals

China: Dalian Yifang v Shanghai Shenxin – O1.5 Goals

Sweden: Hammarby v IFK Gothenburg – O1.5 Goals

Sweden: Helsingborg v Kalmar FF – O1.5 Goals

Sweden: Falkenbergs FF v Gefle – O1.5 Goals (you can also select Both Teams To Score)

Sweden: Elfsborg v GIF Sundsvall – O1.5 Goals

Switzerland: Young Boys v Lausanne – O1.5 Goals

Thailand: Osotspa Samut Prakan
FC v BBCU FC – O1.5 Goals

Thailand: Chainat FC v Sukhothai FC – O1.5 Goals

U.S.A: Philadelphia Union v Toronto FC – O1.5 Goals

P.S: Obviously I didn’t add kick-off times and the specific leagues. But the countries indicated should help your search. Like I said earlier, your feedback will help me to know if you found it useful or not. So please feel free to let me know how you found this post useful by leaving your comments in the comments section below. You can also share your games with me and let’s rub minds.

Cheers to a weekend of good football!

 

LA LIGA RETURNS: 2016-2017 PREVIEW (THREE THINGS TO EXPECT)

When it rains, it pours, European league football returns and it does so in abundance. Last week saw the kick-off of the Premier League season, starting tonight, the La Liga season kicks off with Malaga hosting Osasuna and Eibar away at La Coruna. The La Liga is arguably regarded as the best league in the world following their dominance in Europe over the last few years with Real Madrid and Sevilla defending champions both in the Champions and Europa league, the league is also home to the best talents in the world featuring the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar and a host of others. Maybe not in the same breath as the Premier league, but good business have been done in the transfer window this season by some teams, last season saw a pulsating run towards its latter stages as Barcelona, Real and Atletico Madrid went head to head, separated marginally before Barcelona carted home the title. This promises to be yet another explosive season and here are three things to watch out for this new season.

1- Another three- horse race to the title?

Luis Enrique, Zinedine Zidane and Diego Simeone all gave us a season unlike any other last time around, though Barcelona ended up as Champions, they got a fight until the final games of the season. Madrid and Atletico also made the Champions league final that year in what was a sheer expression of the strength of the league. During the transfer window, Barcelona have been quite busy reinforcing with the likes of Andre Gomes, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne, Denis Suarez with rumors rife around a new goalkeeper in Valenica’s Diego Alves or Ajax’s Cillisen to replace the rumoured Manchester City bound Claudio Bravo, this is a real statement of intent from Enrique considering he already has a starting 11 that are world beaters led by the forward trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar. He has injected the team with young, promising players with an average age of 22years.
For Atletico, we expect pretty much the same of the same, a compact team, able to win by the slimmest of margins, tenacious when leading, will stick to the same aggressive, non-flamboyant style of play led by their animated manager which has guided them well thus far. Simeone has also done some decent business in this window securing the likes of Kevin Gramiero, Nico Gaitan, former Sassuolo right back Sime Vrsaljko whilst maintaining the bulk of his squad from last season, questions remain if Atletico really has what it takes to dethrone Barcelona or Real but given the way this team has competed in the last three seasons, writing them off will be at your own peril.

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For European champions, Real Madrid, it has been a dodgily quiet window with the only notable incoming being the return of Alvaro Morata from Juventus. Zidane has been fairly criticized for showing some naivety in the window especially as the likes of major rival Barcelona have clearly shown their hands and signaled intent, whilst some have come in defense of the manager claiming that in the past Real have largely spent to show their financial power over Barcelona and not because the players will add to the team. For what is worth, Zidane enjoyed a relatively successful debut season, galvanizing the team after the exit of Rafael Benitez and sparking life into the team’s play. It will be interesting to see how he copes with the expectation that comes along with a second season especially as he will start the campaign with his most lethal weapon in Cristiano Ronaldo missing out through injury and the uncertainties that persist around James Rodriguez.
No doubt one of the three teams will be named Champions yet again as the La liga is not exactly as open as the Premier League to see an outsider sneak in but is there a chance of Barcelona being dethroned?

2- The Valencia drama/ outside contenders

So, I have a really huge Valencia fan on my timeline and this has made me keep tabs on happenings at the club, plus the team appealed to me at some point when they made their runs to the European finals back in the days under Gaiska Mendietta and one of my favorite goalkeeper Canizares, but what exactly is happening at the club? Survived a scare last season that almost saw them dragged into the relegation battle, changed managers like baby did diapers but more worrying is the club owner and their transfers this season, they sold Andre Gomes to Barcelona, Rodrigo, Barragan, Fuego and Feghouli all gone, Diego Alves is rumored to have reached an agreement with Barcelona, Mustafi constantly linked with a move away and recently golden boy Paco Alcacer (though officials insists he is not for sale) has also been strongly linked to Barcelona as club owner Peter Lim seeks to clear off the clubs debts. Major arrivals have come in the form of Luis Nani who enjoyed a successful European competition with Portugal in the final win, Medran from Madrid, Montoya and Suarez. Will this be another season of Valencia struggling or will they somehow emerge from the chaos and fight for European places?

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The outside contenders for the title and other silverware include Europa champions Sevilla who lost their manager Unai Emery to PSG but have strengthened decently and retained a compact team, Villareal finished fourth last time around but have surprisingly also lost its manager, Marcelino but should also be in with a shout as the yellow submarines have recruited the likes of Roberto Soriano, Sansone, Ndiaye, Espinoza, Pato from Corinthians who was on loan at Chelsea last season and Madrid’s Cheryshev to add to their fire power this campaign, also Athletico Bilbao will be one team worth watching out for this season seeing how they fared pretty well in the last campaign with star striker Aritz Aduriz leading their lines.

3- The fairytale called Leganes

One of the newly promoted teams to the top tier of Spanish football is Leganes, a team from Madrid who as recently as 2013/14 were in the third tier of Spanish football, a club founded in 1928 and plays at their home ground of the Estadio Municipal de Butarque which seats just 8,138 spectators will this season welcome the likes of Messi, Neymar, Suarez, Ronaldo, Bale, Griezmann to its grounds and this will be moments to forever remember for its fans.

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The team gained promotion to the top flight after a 1-0 win at Mirandes on the last day of the Segunda league season, the squad largely made up of players on free transfers or loan deals led by manager Asier Garitano have already been penciled by bookmakers as one of those likely to return to the Segunda at the end of the campaign. For them, this is a dream, one to be lived in the best way possible, could as well approach every game with a minnows mindset and cause upsets or go to grounds and lose woefully, but for the locals, this is a fairytale happening right before their eyes and for every week of their la liga campaign, they are going to enjoy this run for as long as it will last.

Who do you think will be crowned champions come end of the season?