Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona – Copa Del Rey Final – 30th May 2015

Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona - Copa Del Rey Final - 30th May 2015

Barca should continue on road to treble

The Copa del Rey is a significant section of the jigsaw for Barcelona, who are looking to piece together the treble after winning the league title and securing a place in the UEFA Champions League final.

This Barca side will remain on track to replicate Pep Guardiola’s success of 2008-09 if they overcome Athletic Bilbao in the final tomorrow, which aptly takes place at their home ground, the Nou Camp.

With Lionel Messi in the finest form he’s ever been, Bilbao will have to pray that the Catalonians are at least a little distracted by their all-important European date with Juventus in Berlin on the sixth of June. Neymar remains part of Messi’s supporting cavalry, along with the ever-impressive Luis Suarez.

Highly-rated Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte will need to be on top form, but even a man-of-the-match display from the 20 year-old could prove fruitless in stopping Messi …

Continue reading ›

Bath v Saracens – Aviva Premiership Final – 30th May 2015

Bath v Saracens - Aviva Premiership Final - 30th May 2015

Bath’s attacking philosophy should see them overcome dogged Saracens in Premiership final

The action-packed rugby season draws to a close tomorrow afternoon when Bath and Saracens go head-to-head for the Premiership bragging rights at Twickenham.

Saracens have somewhat snuck under the radar, qualifying for the final play-off spot via points difference. However, they took full advantage of their opportunity after becoming just the fifth away side from 21 play-off semi-finals to progress to HQ. The North London club overcame reigning champions Northampton Saints 29-24 at Franklin’s Garden last weekend.

Bath, who finished second after the 22nd round of fixtures, were mightily impressive, by trouncing a courageous Leicester Tigers outfit 47-10 in their semi-final just six days ago.

Led by the Aviva Premiership Player of the Season, George Ford, Bath have been exciting to watch all campaign, playing an expansive brand of rugby. Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph, who pair …

Continue reading ›

FA Cup Final Preview – Arsenal v Aston Villa – 30th May 2015

474776916

Aston Villa To Push Arsenal To The Wire

Arsenal should hold onto their FA Cup crown, but as the Gunners rarely respond well to pressure it may be a bumpy ride against Aston Villa at Wembley tomorrow afternoon.

It certainly wasn’t straightforward when Arsene Wenger’s side ended their nine-year trophy drought to win the FA Cup this time last year, going 2-0 down to Hull in the first eight minutes before eventually grinding out a win in extra-time.

Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa will be hoping to give Arsenal similar troubles on Saturday. Though the Villains leaked eight goals in their two league meetings with the London-side this season, and recently suffered a hefty 6-1 loss to Southampton, there’s no doubt they will be well up for this historic fixture.

Sherwood has never beaten Arsenal as a manager, and was knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round by …

Continue reading ›

England v New Zealand Second Test Preview

England v New Zealand Second Test Preview

In-form England set for back-to-back wins

England cricket is on a high. A fantastic win at Lord’s on the final afternoon of the first test, coupled with a new coach appointed, mean that the England head to Headingley with all the momentum as they take on a tough New Zealand side in the second and final test of the series.

However, things started badly for the home side at Lord’s when they conceded a 134-run first-innings deficit, but the bowlers came to Alastair Cook’s rescue once again and England were eventually victorious by 124 runs.

A heroic display from England’s Ben Stokes, where he bowled out Kane Williamson and Brendon McCullum in consecutive deliveries, means he goes into Friday’s second test against the country of his birth as one to watch.

Williamson is New Zealand’s best batsmen and he, along with the likes of Martin Guptill and Hamish Rutherford, will be looking to put …

Continue reading ›

Europa League Final 2014/15 – Sevilla v Dnipro

Sevilla to lift the Europa League title again

Sevilla to lift the Europa League title again

Winning the Europa League is fast becoming something of a habit for Sevilla. The Spanish side have hoisted the coveted trophy on three previous occasions in the past 10 seasons, including last seasons, and look set fair to do so again in Warsaw on Wednesday evening.

The Europa League gets a fairly bad name in UK football circles as the tournament seems to begin earlier every year, and include teams from countries most punters weren’t even aware were in Europe. I suspect it’s often easier to pretend your club didn’t care about a tournament once you’ve been knocked out.

Since Ipswich Town won a two-legged affair against AZ of the Netherlands in 1980/81, only two sides from the oft-named ‘best league in the world’ have won this competition, Liverpool in 2000/01 and Chelsea in 2012/13. The Europa League is a demanding competition, …

Continue reading ›

French Open 2015 Preview

Djokovic looks set to break French duck with Nadal out-of-sorts

Djokovic looks set to break French duck with Nadal out-of-sorts

As the first serve of the French Open draws closer spread betters are rubbing their hands together at the mouth-watering prospect of two weeks tennis from the French capital.

it’s hard to ignore ‘The King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal’s recent slide to world No.7. With the tournament prioritising ATP rankings over previously French Open success, Nadal’s seeding means he will now face favourite Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals if both men were to progress that far.

The Spaniard has won the French Open every year since 2005, having defeated Djokovic in four sets at last year’s final. However, Nadal’s previously formidable form on clay has come crashing to a halt this year with a loss to Andy Murray at the Madrid Masters the latest in a line of disappointments.

Djokovic’s year has been quite the opposite. The Serbian is unbeaten …

Continue reading ›

Hull City v Manchester United 24th May 2015

Victory for Van Gaal’s Man Utd will spell relegation for Hull

Victory for Van Gaal’s Man Utd will spell relegation for Hull

The Premier League relegation battle has gone right down to the wire this season. On Sunday, 18th placed Hull City have to beat Manchester United to avoid playing Championship football next August. 

An inferior goal difference for the Tigers means that should 17th placed Newcastle take just a point at home to West Ham a win will not be enough to maintain their top-flight status.

Hull captain Michael Dawson has called for a miracle to save his ship from sinking, and he will certainly need one now that Jake Livermore is out having tested positive for cocaine.

The supporters will recall joyous scenes on the final day of the Premier League season back in 2009 when ex-manager Phil Brown burst into song on the pitch after his side avoided the drop despite, ironically, a familiar loss …

Continue reading ›

Newcastle Utd v West Ham Utd 24th May 2015

Free falling Newcastle can bag crucial three points against West Ham

Free falling Newcastle can bag crucial three points against West Ham

Relegation-threatened Newcastle host West Ham on the final day of the Premier League season having failed to win any of their last eleven games.

A tame defeat at Queens Park Rangers last weekend has left players and supporters alike low on confidence and one more poor result could spell relegation for the Magpies.

West Ham’s form has also slumped since the turn of the year. The Hammers were an early season surprise package, occupying a Champions League qualification spot at Christmas, but have since fallen to eleventh. They’ve won just three Premier League games in 2015 (although that’s one more than Newcastle) and speculation over Sam Allardyce’s future is rife.

‘Big Sam’ was sacked by Newcastle back in 2008 after just 24 games and I’m sure that the Hammers’ boss would rejoice in knocking his ex-club out of the …

Continue reading ›

Arsenal v Sunderland 20th May 2015

Sunderland out to make a single point at Arsenal as relegation looms large

Sunderland out to make a single point at Arsenal as relegation looms large

Tonight’s Premier League matchup between Arsenal and Sunderland at the Emirates will go a long way in determining the away side’s future.

Dick Advocaat’s Sunderland sit three points clear of current relegation zone occupiers Hull City, and only a point ahead of bitter rivals Newcastle United. Their mission is to get a single point from their two remaining games to guarantee top-flight football next season.

Unfortunately for the Black Cats, that means a week away in London finishing with a stiff test against league champions Chelsea and tonight’s game against a side they have only taken one point off in the last four seasons.

The Mackem’s visit to Stamford Bridge on the last day of the season is unlikely to bear fruits as the Blues will want to make sure that any result doesn’t put a dampener …

Continue reading ›

WBA v Chelsea Preview 18th May 2015

West Brom will put up a fight but Chelsea’s class should shine through

West Brom will put up a fight but Chelsea’s class should shine through

Jose Mourinho paid the ultimate compliment to his opposite number Tony Pulis ahead of Chelsea’s visit to West Brom tonight. The Portuguese manager said “If I own an English club, I sign Tony Pulis. It’s as simple as that – he’s a guarantee to achieve what the club wants.”

Since joining West Brom in January, Pulis has overseen just five defeats as the Baggies sit well clear of the relegation places and are unbeaten in their last four.

Chelsea are champions but their boss has made no secret of the fact he wants to win the last two league games and hit the 90-point mark for the season. If they are to do that they’ll have to win at the Hawthorns for the first time in four matches – a run that has seen them lose two …

Continue reading ›

Final Round of Aviva Premiership Preview 16th May 2015

Final Round of Aviva Premiership Preview

Final Round of Aviva Premiership Preview 

There is a gripping Super Saturday in store for all rugby lovers tomorrow (3.30pm) as the final round of the Aviva Premiership gets underway. The fixtures hold particular significance to Leicester Tigers, Exeter Chiefs and Saracens, who are all vying for the two remaining semi-final positions.

Northampton Saints and Bath have already claimed the first two spots. Saints, who have lost just four times during their campaign, finished top of the pile for the first time in the club’s history. Bath also breathed a sigh of relief, having overcome Harlequins at The Stoop last week.

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill will look to guide the Tigers to their 11th consecutive year of play-off rugby. They managed to notch up their 14th domestic win of the season against Wasps last weekend.

Despite home comforts, the odds are stacked against Leicester. Saints coach Jim Mallinder …

Continue reading ›

Manchester Utd v Arsenal Preview 17th May 2015

Don't expect thrills and spills as Arsenal travel to Man United with little at stake

Don’t expect thrills and spills as Arsenal travel to Man United with little at stake

Arsenal conceded late to Swansea at the Emirates on Monday night, giving the visitors a first league double against the Gunners since the 1981-82 season. Although that result will live long in the memories of the delighted travelling fans, Arsenal will be more concerned by the chances of Manchester United following up on their November victory in this Sunday’s matchup.

While Arsene Wenger’s men were dominant against United at home, it was the visitors who took their chances. Louis Van Gaal’s men, with a bit of help from Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs, found themselves two goals to the good – enough to nullify Olivier Giroud’s injury time goal.

Some pride was restored when the Gunners knocked their old enemy out of the FA Cup here at Old Trafford in March and the north London club will no …

Continue reading ›

Championship Play-Offs Preview 15th May 2015

Championship Play-Offs Preview 15th May 2015

Middlesbrough and Norwich set to fight out £150m promotion prize at Wembley on 25th May

Middlesbrough can seal a place in the Championship play-off final and a crack at returning to the Premier League for the first time since 2009 later.

Boro go into tonight’s second-leg against Brentford with a 2-1 lead after victory at Griffin Park last week which took their winning run against the Bees to six. They have also won the last four home meetings and Brentford fans have to go back until March 1938 to find the last time their side was victorious at the Riverside.

Aitor Karanka’s side will be disappointed they didn’t get promoted automatically having been top of the table in early March. Three defeats in their last nine league games meant they only finished fourth, but Brentford were lucky to even make the play-offs.

Starting a thrilling final day in seventh, …

Continue reading ›

Europa League 2014/15 – Semi Final 2nd Legs Preview

Sevilla will settle for damage limitation and Dnipro can leave Napoli in the cold

Sevilla will settle for damage limitation and Dnipro can leave Napoli in the cold

Tonight’s Europa League semi-final between two previous champions of the competition, Fiorentina and Sevilla, will determine who gets a tilt at this piece of silverware once again.Sevilla look to have the two-legged affair all but decided after their 3-0 drubbing of Fiorentina in Spain last week. It was the 25-year-old Spaniard Aleix Vidal who scored twice in the tie to lift his side towards a record-breaking fourth Europa League Success.

In truth, the 3-0 scoreline only represents how wasteful Fiorentina were on the night. Despite the visitors enjoying more possession than Unai Emery’s men, and sharing the same amount of total shots, Fiorentina left empty handed.

Since, midfielder Josip Illic has continued his domestic scoring spree for the Viola bagging a brace away from home in Serie A at the weekend. Egyptian ex-Chelsea winger Mo Salah …

Continue reading ›

Champions League 2014/15 – Real Madrid v Juventus Semi Final Preview

Juventus must be tough and rough in defence to keep out Real Madrid

Juventus must be tough and rough in defence to keep out Real Madrid

Real Madrid and Juventus have faced each other on 17 occasions in the European Cup with honours perfectly shared ahead of their semi-final second leg showdown at the Bernabeu.

Tonight’s home side, Madrid, have won eight of the contests, as have the visitors, with only one draw. There has never been a winning margin wider than two goals and seven of the 11 meetings in the knockout stages of this tournament have been victories by a goal to nil. Yet another very close contest is anticipated between these two European giants under the floodlights at the Bernabeu this evening.

Interestingly, none of Madrid’s last 11 ties with Italian teams have ended in a draw and it’s the away side who nose into this fixture with a 2-1 advantage. So Carlo Ancelotti’s Madrid will be set up to …

Continue reading ›

Champions League 2014/15 – Bayern Munich v Barcelona Semi Final Preview

Damage limitation on the cards for Bayern Munich at home to Barcelona

Damage limitation on the cards for Bayern Munich at home to Barcelona

German champions Bayern Munich have lost four games in a row for the first time since 1991 after a 1-0 defeat to Augsburg at home on the weekend. That’s hardly a good preparation for their semi-final tie against Barcelona tonight when the side are aiming to become the first in Champions League history to overcome a 3-0 first leg knock-out defeat and progress.

Pep Guardiola’s men put up a brave effort against the Catalan giants at the Nou Camp with a weakened team last Wednesday. But ultimately they were outdone by a mesmerising blitz from Lionel Messi that saw the Argentinian score two brilliant goals within the space of three minutes towards the end of the game. He then provided the assist for Neymar in the dying seconds which all but sealed a place in the final.

Munich …

Continue reading ›

Arsenal v Swansea City Preview 11th May 2015

Arsenal’s stellar home form can see off Swansea challenge

Arsenal’s stellar home form can see off Swansea challenge

Liverpool’s draw at Chelsea yesterday confirmed a top-four finish for Arsenal in the Premier League ahead of the visit of Swansea to the Emirates tonight. Arsene Wenger’s men have two games in hand of Manchester City and should feel confident of finishing second.

That, combined with an FA Cup final versus Aston Villa that they are expected to win later this month, means there is reason for optimism ahead of next season. Despite a poor start to the campaign, Arsenal should deservedly take the runners-up spot and, having lost just one of their last 34 league games at home, they should be in confident mood later.

Swansea are no pushovers, though, and the camp have been talking up their chances of claiming an unlikely sixth place finish in the last couple of days. In seven Premier League meetings between the pair, …

Continue reading ›

Hull City v Burnley Preview 9th May 2015

Tigers can take a step closer to survival with victory over Burnley

Tigers can take a step closer to survival with victory over Burnley

Hull have three games remaining to secure their place in the Premier League next season. Currently, they sit just a point and a place ahead of Sunderland, although they have played an additional match.

The first of the Tigers’ trio of survival games is against rock-bottom Burnley and the importance of a win cannot be underestimated. This will be Steve Bruce’s third home game on the spin which has included a 1-0 victory over Liverpool before losing to Arsenal 3-1 last Monday. The hosts then close out the season with two tough fixtures against Tottenham and Manchester United.

Before defeat to the Gunners, Hull had beaten Crystal Palace and Liverpool without conceding and will take plenty of confidence from that ahead of their clash with the Clarets.

Burnley arrive on Humberside in dreadful form and lacking any confidence whatsoever. …

Continue reading ›

Chelsea v Liverpool Preview 10th May 2015

Champions Chelsea to preserve unbeaten home record against Liverpool

Champions Chelsea to preserve unbeaten home record against Liverpool

While there was carnage in political circles this week, there were no such surprises in the Premier League as Chelsea confirmed their title by a landslide with a 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace last time out.

They’ve shown mental strength throughout the year and the win was another solid demonstration that the Blues are a team that gets over the line. Don’t expect them to take their eye off the ball against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge this Sunday.

Imperious at home, they haven’t lost in 18 matches at the Bridge or, for that matter, 17 matches in any competitions home or away.

It makes for an imposing prospect for this Sunday’s visitors Liverpool who, for their efforts, haven’t beaten Chelsea in seven matches either.

The home side’s defensive wall, led by evergreen captain John Terry, has been nigh-on impenetrable of late. They’ve only …

Continue reading ›

Europa League 2014/15 – Semi Final Preview

Sevilla in good shape to continue love affair with Europa League against Fiorentina

Sevilla in good shape to continue love affair with Europa League against Fiorentina

Sevilla are not renowned as European heavyweights and rightly so, but their recent record in the continent’s second competition, the Europa League, is the best around.

The club have picked up this tournament three times from 2006 and look a good buy at 42.5 on Sporting Index’s Outright 60 Index to repeat the feat from 2007 when they landed successive trophies.

The defending champions still hold onto hopes of finishing La Liga in the top four spots ahead of their first leg semi-final against Fiorentina tonight and will take heart from the way they played in a narrow 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid on the weekend.

In fact, that was their only loss in 16 games, excluding a non-competitive match against River Plate. Sevilla have won their last eight home European fixtures and have won all three …

Continue reading ›

All eyes on Houghton and Sunderland South

"The big day is finally here. It’s polling day and over 30 million votes will be cast in what is shaping up to be the closest general election in a generation. "

All eyes on Houghton and Sunderland South

The big day is finally here. It’s polling day and over 30 million votes will be cast in what is shaping up to be the closest general election in a generation.

The opinion polls are showing a statistically insignificant lead of one per cent for either Labour or the Conservatives, however there are opportunities for political spread betting punters to cash in.

First things first. Barring the biggest ever shock in UK political history, the constituency of Houghton and Sunderland South will be the first to complete their count and elect an MP. The Returning Officer is aiming for 23:00 and our Time of First Declaration market predicts they will fall short of that speedy market and elect Labour’s Bridget Phillipson at 23:08.

They are a determined bunch in Sunderland and won’t want to disappoint the watching eyes of the nation, so a …

Continue reading ›

Champions League 2014/15 – Barcelona v Bayern Munich Semi Final Preview

Barcelona can see off depleted challenge of Bayern Munich

Barcelona can see off depleted challenge of Bayern Munich

Neutral fans have a tie to saviour tonight as arguably Europe’s best two teams, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, face off at the Nou Camp in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

With nine European Cups between them and with one of the teams at least making the final in five of the last six competitions, the pedigree is there for all to see.

Pep Guardiola enjoyed incredible success at Barcelona and has carried on in the same form in Munich. However, his depleted side, missing attackers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, plus David Alba and Sebastian Rode, will not be looking forward to coming up against the devastating trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.

Barcelona have La Liga glory in their own hands and have reached the final of the Copa del Rey. Another treble is pretty …

Continue reading ›

Champions League 2014/15 – Juventus v Real Madrid Semi Final Preview

Juventus and Real Madrid set for low-scoring affair

Juventus and Real Madrid set for low-scoring affair

Tonight’s clash between two giants of the European game, Juventus and Real Madrid, in the first Champions League semi-final looks set to be an intriguing battle with the continent’s best defence up against arguably the best attack.

Hosts Juventus stormed to a fourth straight Serie A title on the weekend with four games to spare and have conceded just 19 goals this league season. Madrid face a tough ask to overhaul Barcelona’s two point lead at the top of the La Liga with three games to spare, but will have their eyes firmly fixed on successive Champions League finals, having got the slightly more easier last four tie.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema have helped Los Blancos fire in 105 league goals – equal with Barcelona – and Carlo Ancelotti’s men have managed nine more goals than the Old Lady …

Continue reading ›

Just 29 people to decide general election winner

"After months of campaigning, speeches and endless polling, the winner of the general election could be decided by just a small group of people"

Just 29 people to decide general election winner

After months of campaigning, speeches and endless polling, the winner of the general election could be decided by just a small group of people. With polls indicating a hung parliament is likely, the balance of power and future direction of the country could be decided by a single seat.

Here at Sporting Index, we’re predicting that the size of the smallest winning margin in a single seat will be just 29 votes – or half the number of people that can sit on a double-decker bus.

In 2010, Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP, Michelle Gildernew of Sinn Fein was elected by a majority of just four votes, three of which were later invalidated by an electoral court.

Click here to see our current list of politics spread betting markets.

Follow @SportingIndex

Pioneering political betting

Sporting Index is the world leader in sports spread betting, …

Continue reading ›

Tottenham v Manchester City Preview 3rd May 2015

Tottenham’s home form a big concern ahead of Man City clash

Tottenham’s home form a big concern ahead of Man City clash

Manchester City have nothing to play for but pride in Sunday’s clash with Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Both teams have endured frustrating seasons and, while City at least looked nailed on for another go at the Champions League, Tottenham have again not lived up to their potential and their chances of a top-four finish are all but extinct.

Without Harry Kane’s emergence, Spurs would have had very little to cheer about all campaign. They have taken just eight points from their meetings with the top-six sides this season, worse than any of the other clubs in those positions. Only Liverpool, a team who have managed nearly the whole season without a proper strikeforce, have scored less home goals than Tottenham’s 29. And no club in the top eight has conceded more than Tottenham either.

Their home points haul is …

Continue reading ›

European Rugby Champions Cup Final Preview

Toulon set their sights on a European hat-trick

Toulon set their sights on a European hat-trick

Twickenham will host the first ever European Champions Cup final between French pair Toulon and Clermont Auvergne tomorrow. With a heavy spread of international representation across the field, it promises to be a high-quality spectacle.

Toulon/Clermont is currently trading at 0-3 which gives an indication of just how tight the game is set to be. The favourites are going for their third consecutive European title (having triumphed over Clermont in 2013 and Saracens last year) and, if successful, will be the first team to notch up three in a row.

Clermont came within 12 minutes of beating Toulon two years ago in Europe’s premier competition. More recently, they suffered at the hands of the red army 27-19 when the sides met in the Top 14. However, they managed to sweep aside Northampton 37-5 in this year’s Champions Cup quarter final before holding …

Continue reading ›

David Cameron to enjoy highest constituency voteshare of major leaders

David Cameron to enjoy highest constituency voteshare of major leaders

David Cameron to enjoy highest constituency voteshare of major leaders while Natalie Bennett predicted to poll the least

David Cameron is favourite to win the biggest percentage voteshare of the major party leaders (or selected representatives) in the respective constituencies for which they are standing to be MPs, based on our Voteshare Index.

Cameron is currently trading at 30-33 on  Voteshare Index. The leader with the highest voteshare in their constituency makes up 50, with 30 for second, 20 for third, 10 for fourth and all others 0.

The Conservatives have dominated Witney since it became a constituency in 1983, with just two years under Labour after Shaun Woodward defected from the Tories to Labour in 1999. Cameron won 58.8% of the voteshare in 2010, up from 49.3% in 2005.

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon isn’t running for MP, so Sporting Index has used Alex Salmond, candidate for …

Continue reading ›

Leicester City v Chelsea Preview 29th April 2015

Chelsea can outfox Leicester as they close in on title

Chelsea can outfox Leicester as they close in on title

The Premier League title race is over, according to Sporting Index. Chelsea are trading at 59.7-60 on the Premier League Outright 60 Index ahead of their visit to Leicester tonight.

“Boring, boring Chelsea” has been a chant sung from opposing team’s stands in the past few weeks, but Jose Mourinho won’t let that bother him as his men are five points away from securing a first league crown since 2010. Avoid defeat later and they’ll have equalled their best run of 14 games unbeaten from earlier this term.

The goals might have dried up – just two in their last three games – but the Blues are still the top scorers in the division and also boast the best defence – worthy champions on that front at least.

Leicester have rattled off four straight wins as they stage their own …

Continue reading ›

Hull City v Liverpool Preview 28th April 2015

Liverpool desperate for a lift against Hull

Liverpool desperate for a lift against Hull

It’s been a rollercoaster season for Liverpool, but there’s certainly been more downs than ups. The very best the Reds can hope for is for Manchester United to continue to play the way they did in their 3-0 defeat at Everton, while they desperately try to recapture their post-Christmas form.

Brendan Rodgers is under pressure with the team set to miss out on a top-four spot. Combined with, doubts over the future of all of the club’s main strikers, and Steven Gerrard about to leave Anfield, it’s going to be a summer of transition.

And Hull might just feel that they can nick something when they host Liverpool this evening.

The Tigers are trading at 17-20 on Sporting Index’s 60 Relegation Index, with only Queens Park Rangers and Burnley trading higher. But after three straight losses, Steve Bruce’s men took a massive three …

Continue reading ›

German Cup – Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund Preview 28th April 2015

Tough test for Borussia Dortmund in final Klassiker against Bayern Munich

Tough test for Borussia Dortmund in final Klassiker against Bayern Munich

It’s been a poor season by Jurgen Klopp’s standards as his Borussia Dortmund team have flirted with relegation from the German top-flight for long parts of the season and disappointingly exited the Champions League 4-0 on aggregate to Juventus – the damage done when they crumbled 3-0 at home in the second leg.

Klopp surprised European football when he announced recently he was quitting Dortmund and tonight’s German Cup semi-final will be the last time he faces old rivals Bayern Munich as Die Schwarzgelben boss.

Pep Guardiola won his fifth league title in six seasons of management of the weekend when Wolfsburg failed to win on the weekend, allowing Munich to celebrate a third straight Bundesliga four games early.

Progression tonight would keep Guardiola’s men on course for a second treble in three seasons and a third successive DFB-Pokal …

Continue reading ›

Championship Preview: Bournemouth v Bolton 27th April 2015

Bournemouth v Bolton 27th April 2015

Bournemouth out to put cherry on top of a magnificent season against Bolton

Bournemouth’s rise up the Football League has been remarkable and they only have themselves to blame for not winning the Championship in only their second season in the division.

Not team in the top four tiers of English football has dropped more points than the Cherries’ 28 from winning positions this term, a total that would have put them miles clear of Watford, who lead the standings with 88 points and have just one more match to play.

Conceding a 95-minute penalty, which was converted, to Sheffield Wednesday last time in a 2-2 draw will have really hurt Eddie Howe’s men, but they must refocus for tonight’s match with Bolton.

Watford have secured automatic promotion but a comfortable win for Bournemouth at home later – their game in hand – will ensure they have promotion destiny in …

Continue reading ›

London could carry Ed Miliband into Number 10

London could carry Ed Miliband into Number 10

London could carry Ed Miliband into Number 10

With just under two weeks to go until polling day, the pressure is on Ed Miliband and David Cameron to steer their respective parties over line and into Downing Street.

Every seat is precious as Labour and the Conservatives start to eye up forming workable governments.

However, as the Tories talk incessantly about the threat that the Scottish National Party poses, might they have taken their eyes off of key seats closer to Westminster?

All signs indicate that Labour is enjoying a surge of support in the capital, and if London organiser and Tooting MP Sadiq Khan can convert that support into seats gained, it could prove pivotal.

We’ve launched a number of London Regional Markets in the past week that indicate Labour are set to gain at least six seats, taking their total to 44 out of the 73 London constituencies.…

Continue reading ›

Premier League Preview: Gunners can shoot down boring Chelsea 26th April 2015

Gunners can shoot down boring Chelsea on Sunday

Premier League Preview: Gunners can shoot down boring Chelsea on Sunday

Sporting Index traders don’t miss a trick. I was expecting Chelsea to be narrow favourites on the supremacy market for their clash at the Emirates on Sunday against Arsenal and was dying to oppose them with a sell.

But instead it’s Arsenal that are narrow favourites, trading at 0.1-0.3. That looks worth a buy as the Gunners try to delay the Blues’ seemingly inevitable charge to a first league title since 2010. Jose Mourinho’s men have won no fans for the way they have played of late, happy to park the bus for large periods of the game and strike when they do get a chance.

For neutrals, it’s frustrating to see a team that boasts so many star names resort to these tactics and nearly everyone must be hoping that they somehow collapse and relinquish their grip on the crown.…

Continue reading ›

Everton v Manchester United Preview 26th April 2015

Everton v Manchester United Premier League Preview

Everton v Manchester United Premier League Preview

Manchester United return to Merseyside on Sunday to take on Everton, having beaten Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield last month. Although they enter this weekend’s clash on the back of a Chelsea defeat, Louis van Gaal’s side can be confident of securing three points this time out. The Red Devils dominated both possession and the number of shots last week, but it was a piece of Eden Hazard magic which ultimately decided the tie.

Naturally, it was understandable to see van Gaal disappointed in the post-match interview, but the Dutchman will now be wholly focussed on ensuring that United come away with maximum points from Goodison Park. It was recently revealed that United’s sole aim this season was to secure a top four position, something they currently look like achieving.

Although the Toffees have been defeated in 31 leagues games against United, four more …

Continue reading ›

Champions League 2014/15 – Monaco v Juventus Quarter Final Preview

Juventus to put Monaco out of their misery

Juventus to put Monaco out of their misery

One of the great mysteries of this Champions League has been how Monaco have managed to progress to the quarter-finals despite being a very average team.

Arsenal’s complete defensive capitulation in the first leg of their last-16 tie handed the French side a place in the last eight, but their limp performance in the second leg when they were completely outplayed by the Gunners proved they really don’t belong here. That win at the Stade Louis II ended an eight-match unbeaten home run.

But this is football and anything can happen. Monaco host Juventus tonight only 1-0 down from the first leg in Turin and that’s not a totally insurmountable task on paper against the runaway Serie A leaders.

Leonardo Jardim has built his team around a solid defence that conceded just once in the group stages. And despite being dominated in …

Continue reading ›

Labour to gain six seats in London

"Ed Miliband’s party to increase its advantage in the capital over the Conservatives to 20 seats"

Ed Miliband’s party to increase its advantage in the capital over the Conservatives to 20 seats

Labour’s much vaunted ‘ground war’ is set to pay off in London as the party will gain at least six seats at the General Election based on our London Regional market.

Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting since 2005, has led Labour’s London campaign efforts since last year’s local elections – seeing his party gain control of five additional councils including Hammersmith and Fulham – and looks set to stretch the party’s lead at Westminster over the Conservatives to 20 seats.

David Cameron’s Tories are predicted to lose four seats in the capital including Ealing Central and Acton, as well as Croydon Central, but look likely to hold onto Finchley and Golders Green – just.

The London Liberal Democrats are proving difficult for Labour to shift but are predicted to lose former Frontbencher Sarah Teather’s …

Continue reading ›

Champions League 2014/15 – Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid Quarter Final Preview

Real set for more pain at hands of neighbours Atletico

Real set for more pain at hands of neighbours Atletico

The Madrid derby Champions League quarter-final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid is likely to once again prove the importance of an away goal.

Last week Real couldn’t break down their neighbours in a repeat of the epic Champions League final the pair had contested last May and that failure could cost them dear against the La Liga champions.

Atletico haven’t been able to keep up the form that almost brought them an extraordinary double last season, perhaps because they are missing Diego Costa, but more likely because those exertions have taken their toll on what is a small squad compared to the rest of Europe’s elite.

However, they head to the Bernabeu unbeaten in seven versus their fierce rivals – the best run in their history. That includes four wins and they have progressed from their last pair of …

Continue reading ›

Champions League 2014/15 – Barcelona v PSG Quarter Final Preview

Barcelona set to sink PSG’s European aspirations at the Nou Camp

Barcelona set to sink PSG’s European aspirations at the Nou Camp

It would go down as one of the most impressive European football achievements if PSG were to overcome their 3-1 deficit against Barcelona at the Nou Camp, tonight. Victory would see the Parisian side progress through to their first ever Champions League semi-final.

Four time champions Barcelona dominated at the Parc des Princes last week as Lionel Messi set up Neymar’s opener, before Luiz Suarez claimed a spectacular brace having embarrassed David Luiz in the process.

Laurent Blanc’s outfit managed to claim a consolation goal in front of their home support when Gregory Van der Wiel’s long-range effort took a slight deflection off Barcelona’s Jeremy Mathieu to end up in the back of Barca’s net.

The challenge alone to beat Barcelona on their own patch is enormous but winning by a margin of three goals is incredibly difficult. Unsurprisingly, …

Continue reading ›

Manchester City v West Ham Preview 19th April 2015

Manchester City v West Ham Preview 19th April 2015

Manchester City v West Ham: Premier League Preview

After a 4-2 whipping at Old Trafford last Sunday Manchester City, who had their sights on retaining the Premier League title earlier on this season, will now just be focussing on finishing in the top four.

The Manchester derby result meant that City have been defeated in two league games this month and lost four of the last six domestic outings. It’s unsurprising that a decent portion of the Citizens’ support are calling for Manuel Pellegrini’s exit. However, the Chilean will be more focused on securing three points tomorrow against West Ham rather than his future employment record.

In the other changing room, Sam Allardyce has also copped some flak. The Hammers, who started the season in brilliant form, now find themselves in 9th on 43 points. Although their Premier League safety is assured, it’s difficult to find plausible reasoning as …

Continue reading ›

Chelsea v Manchester Utd Preview 18th April 2015

Reliable Chelsea versus revitalised Man United tricky game to call

Reliable Chelsea versus revitalised Man United tricky game to call 

Manchester United fans might dare to dream of more than just a Champions League place and a pinch of restored pride if their team comes away from the sternest of fortnights with six points from six.

It will take a stellar performance to follow up their 4-2 victory over Manchester City with a win away at Chelsea on Saturday. Last weekend’s result reversed a poor run of form against their neighbours, but wasn’t wholly unexpected given United had won their last five. Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini have been in fine form during that period, playing a key part in helping the Red Devils score an average of over two goals a game.

Chelsea, who haven’t lost in 11 league games, should prove a harder test than a downtrodden City. The Blues are unbeaten this season at Stamford Bridge, …

Continue reading ›

FA Cup Semi Finals Preview – 18th-19th April 2015

Gunners can shoot down boring Chelsea on Sunday

Arsenal and Liverpool set for final 

After what is starting to become a trademark poor start to the season, Arsenal are finishing the campaign with a flourish as they close in on back-to-back FA Cup trophies. And, after eight straight league wins, they hold onto the slim hope that they can claim a first Premier League title since 2004.

Sporting Index have the Gunners favourites on their FA Cup Outright 100 Index, trading at 82.5-84.5 (50pts lose semi-final, 75 pts runner-up, 100 pts winner), ahead of tomorrow’s Wembley semi-final against Reading.

The Royals have struggled for goals all season and it seems unlikely that the side will be able to live with Arsene Wenger’s high-flying in-form team.  Remarkably, there have been 24 goals in the last three meetings between this pair – all Arsenal wins – and neutrals will be hoping for a repeat of the incredible 7-5 Capital One Cup …

Continue reading ›

Champions League 2014/15 – PSG v Barcelona Quarter Final Preview

Champions League 2014/15 – PSG v Barcelona Quarter Final Preview

Champions League 2014/15 – PSG v Barcelona Quarter Final Preview

Tonight’s Champions League quarter-final between PSG and Barcelona is arguably the most anticipated fixture since the knock-out draw took place. The Parisian-based club, who top the table in Ligue 1, host current La Liga leaders at the Parc des Princes later on today.

Barcelona, who are priced at 62-65 on the 100 point Champions League Outright Index, have won their last six consecutive games in this competition, first time since 2011/2012 that they have managed such a run. The Spanish side will head into this match knowing that they have scored in all of the last 18 European meetings against French opponents.

However, one does have to go back to October 2001 to dig out a Barca away win in France (Lyon). Since that time, they have drawn three and lost one. It’s also worth pointing out that PSG failed …

Continue reading ›

Champions League 2014/15 – Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid Quarter Final Preview

Champions League 2014/15 Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid Quarter Final Preview

Champions League 2014/15 – Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid Quarter Final Preview

Champions League holders Real Madrid visit the Vincente Calderon tonight to take on La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid – the side they triumphed over in last season’s final – in the quarter-finals of this season’s premier European competition.

The contest is expected to be extremely tight, similar to the 2014 encounter in Lisbon where Los Blancos needed extra-time in order to seal a victory over Diego Simeone’s men. Sporting Index have priced Real Madrid/Atletico Madrid at 0.05-0.15 which indicates how finely balanced the encounter is expected to be.

With home advantage and an impressive head-to-head record against Real Madrid, there are plausible reasons as to why the hosts would be fancied. They have only lost one (after extra time) of their last eight games against Carlo Ancelotti’s men. Furthermore, the Colchoneros are unbeaten on their home turf against Spanish …

Continue reading ›

Liverpool v Newcastle Utd Preview 13th April 2015

Liverpool in need of a boost against freefalling Newcastle

Liverpool in need of a boost against freefalling Newcastle

Manchester City’s recent capitulation will have given Liverpool hope that they can snatch a Champions League place from the champions and end a turbulent league campaign on a high.

The Reds started the season poorly before finding their stride under a more attacking style after Christmas. However, back-to-back league defeats to in-form top four rivals Manchester United and Arsenal prove there is still much to improve on and an unconvincing 1-0 win over Blackburn in the FA Cup last week suggested the team is still a fair way off the form that saw them claim a runners-up spot last season.

The good news is they face a Newcastle side out to avoid a fifth straight defeat at Anfield tonight. The Magpies have struggled since manager Alan Pardew went to Crystal Palace and only once have they been on a worse run …

Continue reading ›

Mark ‘The Couch’ Winstanley’s Grand National Day 2015 Preview

Mark ‘The Couch’ Winstanley’s Grand National Day Preview

Mark ‘The Couch’ Winstanley’s Grand National Day 2015 Preview

WHEN I was known as the foot stool, watching the great Crisp treat the Grand National fences with utter contempt – and they were not the upturned dandy brushes the obstacles are today – in 1974, will live with me until Francis Chappell cuts down half a Brazilian rainforest and sticks me six feet under. I have never liked Red Rum after he reeled in Crisp after the last, but the vanquished horse will always hold a place in my heart. 

The world’s greatest race takes place at 4.15 at Aintree, and the roof will come off if Tony McCoy boots home Shutthefrontdoor on his last ride in the marathon. But this horses is much shorter in the betting because AP is on board, so sell the pair in a match bet with Rocky Creek.

I was very impressed with the …

Continue reading ›

QPR v Chelsea Preview 12th April 2015

QPR v Chelsea Preview 12th April 2015

QPR v Chelsea – Premier League Preview

Joey Barton has already fired the first warning shot to Premier League rivals Chelsea by stating that QPR, who host the Blues on Sunday, can pull off a shock result over the current table-toppers.

It’s not out of the question, the Hoops seem to have a spark about them since Chris Ramsey took the reins in early February. After an impressive 4-1 away victory against West Brom last Saturday, QPR’s goal-scoring momentum continued at Villa Park on Tuesday evening. Had it not been for a superb Christen Benteke hat-trick (3-3) the West Londoners would have removed themselves from the bottom three.

However, as it stands Ramsey’s men sit in 18th position on 26 points. They, along with the rest of the bottom six, who are separated by just seven points, know that every point is crucial if they are to maintain their Premiership …

Continue reading ›

Grand National 2015 Spread Betting Specials

39 go to post but how many will pass the winning post

39 go to post but how many will pass the winning post?

The Grand National is the world’s most famous steeplechase but it’s a punting puzzle like no other. Every year friends, families and the man your dad met at the pub the other night will all have their own tips.

Maybe it’s the colour of the silks, the funny name, the fact AP McCoy is riding or an unorthodox analysis of the form which throws up a longshot disregarded by the bookies.

One thing is for sure, it’s very hard to find the winner. Since they made the fences easier a few years ago in a bid to reduce fallers and casualties, it’s had the effect of making the horses go a lot faster than they used to. This is because they aren’t so afraid of the fences. And because more of them stay on their feet for longer, the …

Continue reading ›

Manchester Utd v Manchester City Preview 12th April 2015

Manchester United decent punt to end recent derby misery

Manchester United decent punt to end recent derby misery

It’s derby day in the North West this Sunday as a resurgent Manchester United look to heap even more pressure on their stuttering neighbours Manchester City.

City are reeling from three defeats in their last five Premier League games, star striker Sergio Aguero hasn’t scored in six and speculation about the future of boss Manuel Pellegrini is rife. The vultures are circling for the Chilean manager, who is overseeing the team’s worst run since Mark Hughes was dismissed in 2009 and has seen all silverware hopes extinguished since Christmas. The gap to leaders Chelsea is now nine points at the top of the league.

Key performers including Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Aguero have struggled to deliver on a consistent basis and much will rely on them rediscovering their spark.

Pellegrini’s opposite number, Louis van Gaal, has also had to dodge his …

Continue reading ›

A lot of political talk, but is anyone listening?

A lot of political talk, but is anyone listening?

A lot of political talk, but is anyone listening?

We have now dipped under the 30 days to go milestone before polling day and the rhetoric and bluster from politicians, pundits and pollsters is reaching a crescendo. In the past couple of weeks we’ve had live interviews, leaders’ debates, Scottish leaders’ debates, policy announcements and endless photo calls and interviews.

It’s no wonder the poor student couldn’t bear another second of David Cameron reading a story to her and let her head hit the desk instead.

With all this activity exciting the already rabid political press, for whom a general election is their World Cup and Olympics wrapped into one, it seems that voters may not yet be taking too much notice.

Opinion polls are static, and have been for months, but that hasn’t stopped shrew political spread bettors on our General Election Seats Market. Even with unchanging opinion …

Continue reading ›

Mark ‘The Couch’ Winstanley’s Aintree 2015 Friday Preview

Mark ‘The Couch’ Winstanley’s Friday Aintree Preview

Mark ‘The Couch’ Winstanley’s Aintree 2015 Friday Preview

THE Red half of Liverpool will be in good spirits this afternoon, after they scrapped past Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday evening. With 22 runners heading to post in the opening Alder Hey Children’s Charity Handicap Hurdle (1.40) run over two and a half miles, there is going to be plenty of problems in-running. 

Likely favourite, The Saint James, is only a four-year-old, and he may lack the experience to take a hand in the finish, even with Tony McCoy in the saddle. I’m going to sell JP McManus’ beast on the Race 50 Index, and sell him in a match bet with Knight’s Parade, who looks a lurker from the powerful Gordon Elliot stable.

Paul Nicholls’ Vago Collonges will be prominent in the betting when it comes to the Grade 2 E-Lites Top Novice Hurdle (2.15) run over two miles, but this beast …

Continue reading ›

Mark ‘The Couch’ Winstanley’s Aintree 2015 Thursday Preview

Mark ‘The Couch’ Winstanley’s Aintree 2015 Thursday Preview

Mark ‘The Couch’ Winstanley’s Aintree 2015 Thursday Preview

THE Aintree festival gets underway with the One Magnificent City Novices’ Chase (1.40) run over two and a half miles. Josses Hill is going to go off a short-priced favourite after his best run over fences at Cheltenham last month, when he finished third in the Arkle Chase over two miles. 

Nicky Henderson’s massive beast has been a slow burner when it comes to the art of fencing, but he showed his liking for this tight, flat track, by capturing the two mile novice hurdle at last year’s meeting.

He was five lengths in front of Vibrato Valtat at Prestbury Park, and I believe he will extend his advantage over Paul Nicholls’ horse over this longer journey, so buy him in a match bet with Sporting Index.

As soon as Hargam passed the post in third spot in the Triumph Hurdle in …

Continue reading ›

Masters 2015 Preview

Don’t rule out a roar from returning Tiger at The Masters

Don’t rule out a roar from returning Tiger at The Masters

The Masters golf from Augusta on Thursday is teeing up to be one of the most unpredictable tournaments in recent memory, but expect a familiar contender in the final mix-up.

It may be seven years since Tiger Woods’ most recent Major win, a decade since his last Green Jacket and two months since he last hit a golf ball in anger, but the 14-time Major champion is fit and looking to recapture his finest form in Georgia.

Woods, now ranked 111 in the world after a self-imposed exile, is adamant he has cast aside the chipping ‘yips’ that plagued him last year. However, he faces a tough field that includes 19 Masters winners including favourite Rory McIlroy, defending champion Bubba Watson, and veterans Tom Watson and Ian Woosnam.

The iconic Augusta National golf course offers a test like no …

Continue reading ›

Aston Villa v QPR Preview 7th April 2015

"Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has described Villa's fixture against QPR as ‘the biggest match for years’ as the two sides fight for Premier League survival."

Aston Villa v QPR – Premier League Preview

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has described this evening’s fixture against QPR as ‘the biggest match for years’ as the two sides fight for Premier League survival.

Both teams play their 32nd league fixture tonight and every point gained and goal scored could prove invaluable at this time of the season.

Tonight’s hosts are three points and two positions ahead of 19th placed QPR. The pair have respectively won just two of their last 11 league fixtures and know just what is at stake.

The Brummie-based team will have to make do without Alan Hutton, who is side-lined through an ankle injury while Scott Sinclair and Ashley Westwood also miss out. Chris Ramsey, who took over from the Hoops’ previous manager Harry Redknapp back in February, also has to deal with medical causalities. Eduardo Vargas, is out for the season having …

Continue reading ›

Arsenal v Liverpool Preview 4th April 2015

Hazard: 22-25 Stoke Team Books: 24-27 Bony: 22-25 Palace: 0.85-1.05

Arsenal v Liverpool – Premier League Preview

This weekend football fans turn their attention back to the Premier League after an International rest bite due to the European Championship qualifiers.

As we head into the business-end of this season’s calendar the pick of the fixtures this weekend has to be Arsenal v Liverpool on Saturday. The Gunners, who are third in the league, find themselves two places above the Reds thanks to their six point differential.

Manchester United inflicted a 2-1 defeat upon Liverpool before the international break, having halted Brendan Rodgers’ side from notching up a sixth consecutive league victory. However, since that United loss, the sport headlines that have dominated the papers have concentrated on the ill-discipline of captain Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel as well as Raheem Sterling’s stuttering contract negotiations.

Injury concerns over Daniel Sturridge, who was ruled out of both of England’s recent fixtures, and …

Continue reading ›

Sunderland v Newcastle Utd Preview 5th April 2015

Sunderland v Newcastle Utd Preview 5th April 2015

Magpies powerless to stop the Black Cats in Tyne-Wear derby

Sunderland’s stunning 3-0 Tyne-Wear derby win at St James’ Park last season provided the lift they needed to avoid the drop and they need something similar on Sunday afternoon.

Gus Poyet has since moved on and Dick Advocaat has been charged with saving the Black Cats from relegation to the Championship. Diafra Sakho’s last-gasp effort at Upton Park ruined Advocaat’s first match in charge, but the international break will have given the Dutchman time to assess the job at hand.

Three points against Sunderland’s biggest rivals would provide a timely confidence boost for the run-in. The Black Cats have certainly had the upper-hand in recent local derbies and that psychological advantage should prove key.

A 90th minute winner from Adam Johnson helped Sunderland to a significant win at Newcastle in December to extend their unbeaten run in this fixture …

Continue reading ›

Championship Preview: Derby v Watford 3rd April 2015

Championship Preview: Derby v Watford

Championship Preview: Derby v Watford 

Derby County released a statement this week highlighting that the club boast the best average attendance in the Championship. The Rams, who have suffered four league defeats in their last six, will want to treat their loyal home support to a domestic triumph when they host Watford on Friday at the iPro Stadium.

Although Steve McClaren’s side have dropped to fifth position, having secured two league points since the 24th February, there are plausible reasons as to why the Rams can turn their poor form around and continue to apply pressure above them.

The Rams have won four of their last five against Watford, scoring 15 goals in the process and so Friday’s hosts can be assured that despite their mediocre performances of late, they can still pick up all three points.

Sporting Index have Derby County/Watford at 0.25-0.45 which does appeal. Friday’s visitors …

Continue reading ›

Netherlands v Spain International Friendly preview 31st March 2015

Spain’s mean defence can keep struggling Netherlands out

Spain’s mean defence can keep struggling Netherlands out

Although it’s an international friendly neither the Netherlands and Spain will take tonight’s game lightly when they take each other on at the Amsterdam Arena.

The Dutch will be eager to display an improved performance from last Saturday as they relied on a Klass-Jan Huntelaar injury-time equaliser to draw 1-1 against Turkey.

Guus Hiddink, national team coach for a second stint after Louis van Gaal departed for Manchester United, will want to see much better. The Netherlands are third in Group A and five points adrift of Iceland, who occupy the second automatic qualification spot. A lot will hinge on this weekend’s home game with Turkey, and a win against Spain would no doubt provide a decent platform to launch an assault on fellow Group B opposition.

Spain, ranked 11th in the FIFA rankings, will be under no illusions how difficult …

Continue reading ›

Italy v England International Friendly preview 31st March 2015

England can continue fine form in Italy

England can continue fine form in Italy

It would be a meltdown of nuclear proportions should England not qualify for Euro 2016 after the routine 4-0 win over Lithuania at Wembley on Friday night took them six points clear at the top of Group E qualifying with a 100% record. In truth, the Three Lions should win all their remaining games against limited opponents and head to France next summer raring to go.

Roy Hodgson has already released a number of players from his squad and the team that lines up against Italy in Turin on Tuesday night is likely to be an experimental one. English football’s new star Harry Kane didn’t have to wait long for his first international goal and the Tottenham man is set to make his first start.

England don’t have a bad record versus the Italians – outside of World Cups at least. The last …

Continue reading ›

Cricket World Cup 2015 Final Preview

Cricket World Cup 2015 Final Preview

Australia set to win the World Cup for a fifth time

The 2015 Cricket World Cup is set to finish on a thrilling high as New Zealand take on Australia at the Melbourne Cricket ground in the tournament’s final. The Black Caps will travel to Australia for the first time in this year’s global event having hosted all of their eight World Cup games on home soil.

Cricket fans were glued to their screens as proceedings unfolded in Auckland on Tuesday as the co-hosts dramatically triumphed over a powerful South African side in the first semi-final.

It took a six off the penultimate ball from Grant Elliot, who finished on an unbeaten 84, to clinch a four-wicket victory over AB de Villiers’s side.

The Black Caps have won their last 10 ODI’s and they’ve been wonderfully led by Brendon McCullum. The Kiwi skipper’s strike rate is the highest of any batsman …

Continue reading ›

Weekend Euro 2016 Qualifiers Preview

Wales will struggle to break down disciplined Israel

Wales will struggle to break down disciplined Israel 

Football fans will turn their attention to the next round of the European Championship qualifications this weekend with England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland all in action. Wales travel to Israel tomorrow knowing that three points would take them to the summit of Group B, albeit having played an extra game.

Both teams go into the game unbeaten and although Israel have won all three of their fixtures, Chris Coleman has the luxury of calling upon Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey again to help assert real pressure on their hosts.

This is the pair’s first meeting since 1989, when they played out an exciting 3-3 draw. But with home advantage, and having won their last four on the trot, Israel start as favourites. Israel/Wales is currently trading at 0.35-0.55 which is worth a small buy considering they have scored 13 goals …

Continue reading ›