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Champions League Final 2012

Posted on Mai 17th, 2012 in Sports | No Comments »

Champions League Final 2012 in Munich – a final for Munich?

The Champions League Final 2012 in Munich will take place in a few days. It is for the first time in the history of the Champions League that one of the finalists is going to play the final in its own stadium. The UEFA Champions League, which is its full name, was founded by the UEFA in 1992/93 as a direct successor of the European Champions Clubs’ Cup. Bayern Munich won this cup in the three successive years 1974, 1975 and 1976. What followed was a tough time until 2001, where Munich could win the UEFA Champions League. In 2001, Munich won the final against Valencia in Milan 5:4 via penalty shoot-out. It was in 1999, where Munich had already played against an English team in a Champions League Final. In Camp Nou a memorable match took place against Manchester United. Munich gained the lead through a goal from Mario Basler in the 6th minute. At the end of the match, in minute 90, all supporters, players and officials had already celebrated the title. But Manchester United continued to play focused via Munich´s goal and in minute 91, Teddy Sheringham scored the 1:1, which would have meant overtime. But Munich´s players were shocked in such a manner that in minute 93, only two minutes later, Ole Gunnar Solskjær scored the 2:1, which meant that Manchester United won the title. So therefore, Munich is warned in advance and will keep in mind this match as well. In addition, they will have a close look on their mistakes during the German cup final against Borussia Dortmund connected with an analysis so that such mistakes will never happen again. Chelsea, in contrast, has never won the Champions League or the European Champions Clubs´ Cup up till now. They only won the European Cup Winners‘ Cup in 1971 and 1998. But during the season 2007/08, they played in the pure English final against Manchester United. The match took place in the Olympic Stadium Luschniki in Moscow. Manchester gained the lead through a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo in minute 26. But the Blues could equalise in the last minute of the first half through a goal from Frank Lampard. But in the second half as well as the overtime, no further goals had been scored anymore, which meant that the penalty shoot-out was decisive in identifying the champion. Four out of first five players of each team scored their penalties among them Carlos Tevez, Michael Carrick, Owen Hargreaves, Nani and Anderson for Manchester and Michael Ballack, Juliano Belletti, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Salomon Kalou for Chelsea. Cristiano Ronaldo misplayed for Manchester and another big player, John Terry, for Chelsea. The penalty shoot-out was continued then and the next penalty had already been the decisive one for identifying Manchester as the champion. Ryan Giggs scored for Manchester and Nicolas Anelka misplayed for Chelsea.
Now the Blues have their second try to become the champion. There are even some players left from the team of 2008, who are Petr Čech, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, John Terry and Didier Drogba. For sure, John Terry will not be allowed to play due to his red card in the semi-final. But the other four players will surely be on the field since they are normally starters in Chelsea´s team. In addition, Robert di Matteo has to plan without Branislav Ivanovic, Raul Meireles and Ramires since they are not allowed to play due to yellow cards. But the list of players missing continues for Chelsea since they also have some injured players. But maybe this can also have tactical reasons. Michael Ballack was once faster on the field than it could be assumed due to his injury. But all centre forwards of Chelsea are as fit as a fiddle. So therefore, Di Matteo could try a 4-4-2 with Torres and Drogba as centre forwards. Most of the time Chelsea plays a 4-3-3, what is actually more of a 4-5-1 with Drogba as sole centre forward. Munich also often plays with only one centre forward. As a consequence, Mario Gomez presented the sole centre forward in the first leg against Real Madrid. In the second leg, Mario Gomez was the sole centre forward as well but Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry often entered the penalty area from the outside, which made quick changes to a 4-3-3 system, like Chelsea, possible. As well three players from Munich are not allowed to play within the final due to yellow cards and therefore Holger Badstuber, Luiz Gustavo and David Alaba are missing Coach Jupp Heynckes. So probably Munich will again play a 4-5-1 (4-3-2-1) with Neuer – Lahm, Boateng, Tymoshchuk, Contento – Kroos, Schweinsteiger – Robben, T. Müller, Ribery – Gomez. Chelsea is also going to play a 4-5-1, but this will certainly be played in a more defensive manner compared to Munich. Presumably the following players will be part of Chelsea´s starter: Cech – Bosingwa, Cahill, Luiz, Cole – Mikel, Essien – Kalou, Lampard, Mata – Drogba.
As could be observed during the semi-finals, Chelsea is good in playing an Italian tactic, in which the opponent is able to achieve the penalty area but then there is no chance of scoring a goal or something and the play of the opponent will be completely destroyed. Munich often plays in an offensive manner and neglects the defence. This was the case in the semi-finals against Real Madrid as well as in the German cup final against Borussia Dortmund. But against Chelsea in their own stadium, they have to work harder in order to be successful since they want to become the first team winning the Champions League Title in their own stadium. In their own stadium, Munich could win all seven matches and, in contrast, Chelsea could only win one away game. Even though Munich´s defence allowed many scoring chances in the last matches, they only received 4 goals in 7 matches in contrast to 21 goals they scored. These figures have to be qualified a little bit since Munich solely scored 7 goals in its match against Basle. Chelsea scored only 7 own goals in away games but received 9 goals in 6 matches. Munich had to play a round more than Chelsea since they only achieved the third rank in the previous season of the Bundesliga. Although a final always has its own rules, I think Munich will make it. Additionally national pride is one of the reasons for my decision and that is why I am going to include a victory of Munich for an odd of 1.85 (Interwetten) into my football prediction tips.

Football prediction tips: Read the rest of this entry »

4 last of sixteen Games in Champions League and a £25 bonus

Posted on März 13th, 2012 in Sports | No Comments »

The last four return games of the round of sixteen of the Champions League are taking place this week. Bet365 specially offers an incentive for the match Chelsea London against SSC Naples. But we will have a look at all matches in a chronological order.

FC Bayern Munich against FC Basel

Munich is going to play against Basel. At the moment, Basel disposes of an outstanding shape. This should be known to everyone since the preliminary round at the latest. At first they made up a 3:0 against Manchester United and then they played 3:3 in the Theater of Dreams. The decisive match of Manchester United against FC Basel took place at the last match day of the preliminary round. FC Basel won this match in St. Jakob Park and they moved into the round of sixteen. The consequence for Manchester United was the third place within their group and therefore the knockout in the Champions League. That means that Manchester United is going to play its next match on Thursday within the Europe League. FC Basel won its last match in the Swiss league 0:2 against Grashoppers Zurich in Zurich, which means that they won their last match just as Bayern Munich, which won 7:1 in their own stadium against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Does that mean that Munich is now ready for Basel? Or does that mean that there is nothing left anymore after Saturday? Odds on Munich are very low but since Munich has to win with a difference of one goal, handicap-1 can be applied very well. If Munich does not reach the next round, huge discussions will follow there. I assume that Munich is going to win in a very clear manner, even though I would grant the next round to Basel since they are the big surprise of this year´s Champions League season. A great deal will also be the 1.5 since I believe that Munich will score one goal and Basel is only going to reach the next round if they score a goal by themselves.

Inter Milan against Olympique Marseille

Today, in addition, there will be the match Inter Milan against Olympique Marseille. Since Marseille won the first leg against a flagging team from Milan, they are odds-on favourite on reaching the quarter final. Therefore my predictions turn out to be clear with Marseille reaching the next round with a 1.44 on Bet365.


Chelsea London against SSC Naples

Tomorrow (14 March 2012), Chelsea London is going to play against SSC Naples. London lost the first leg in Naples with 3:1. Of course, London is intending to straighten this result at Stamford Bridge but at the moment, Naples has the self-confidence to reach the next round. If Naples scores a goal, they will be nearly unreachable for London. Since they are an Italian team, it is said that they dispose of a very good defence. Although Naples possesses a strong offensive, they should make use of this Italian virtue. This season, Chelsea is not in a good shape and even within the English league they have to be careful not to lose the rank allowing the participation in the Champions League and being kicked out of the Top 4. In general, the English teams are flagging at the moment, which offers a huge chance for Naples even though this will not be good for the five-year-assessment of the Uefa from a German point of view. I think the result will be 2:1 and therefore my predictions will be 2.5 goals. You should bet on this match at Bet365 in any case since Bet365 offers a great incentive. If you bet using a sum up to £25 regardless which kind of bet, you will be given a free bet in the amount of your previous wager on a live bet at the match Chelsea-Naples. That means making proper predictions and maybe assuring them during the match or maybe making more profit.

Real Madrid against ZSKA Moscow

The last match of these four will take place in Madrid between Real Madrid and ZSKA Moscow. Here, Real Madrid should be odds-on favourite. But how often did teams fail when being the odds-on favourite? In Moscow the result was only a 1:1. But although Moscow scored the 1:1 not until the additional time, a 1:0 against Madrid within the regular time was also a great success. So if Moscow again disposes of a great defence and maybe scores a goal, they will have the possibility to reach the next round, which would mean the knockout for Madrid within the Champions League. Basel against Manchester offers a great example for such a result. Therefore I prefer not to bet on this match and, in addition, the odds are too low.

Cheltenham Festival – Be part of the ‘Cheltenham roar’

Posted on März 10th, 2012 in Sports | No Comments »

Cheltenham Festival – Be part of the ‘Cheltenham roar’

The biggest horse racing festival in the sporting calendar is here! And Unibet will be offering odds on all of it!

The Cheltenham Festival is one of the most prestigious racing events in the UK, and run over four days, there is plenty of action to catch.  Starting on Tuesday 15th March, the men put on their finest suits, the women put on the grandest hats and head to the West of England and mingle amongst the royalty and the esteemed at the most magnificent of sporting events.

Without doubt the ‘jewel in Cheltenham’s crown’ – the Cheltenham Gold Cup is a major national event, and many would class it as unmissable.  Ran on the final day of the event, over 3 miles and 2½ furlongs (5,331 metres) and consisting of twenty-two fences, there is plenty of time for drama – and in the Gold Cup, drama is usually guaranteed.  Previous races have seen an odds on favourite in Kauto Star fall four jumps from home, Norton’s Coin who was a 100.00 outsider shock the market in 1990, and the UK’s favourite grey horse, Desert Orchid breaking a 66 year hoodoo to become the first grey to win the event.

This year is the year of the old guns. The current holder, Long Run is the odds on favourite and odds of 2.75 at Unibet, whereas Kauto Star, who is acclaimed to be the greatest British racehorse of all time can be backed at 5.00 as he returns to try and find his 2007-2009 form where he triumphed twice. However, there are doubts about Kauto Star’s form, and he is currently ‘50/50’ to start the race according to his trainer.

“The public feel a great affiliation with these horses as they watch them battle year in year out” says Erik Backlund, Head of Unibet’s Sportsbook.

“It’s great for the sport that these rivalries continue to occur, and with Unibet you can back your favourite and who knows, come Friday evening the country may have a new horsing hero.”

Other possible options for the race are Burton Port and Grands Crus at 10.00, both performing favourably in the market and Time for Rupert at 80.00, who can try and emulate the exploits of Norton’s Coin as the rank outsider.

On the opening Tuesday it is one of the punter’s favourite events, the Champion Hurdle, and the 2010 and 2011 winners dominate the betting, with 2011 winner Hurricane Fly a massive favourite at 1.90 and 2010 winner Binocular available at 6.00.  On the Wednesday people gather to watch the race named after the late, but great, Queen Mother and again the past two winners control the market, Big Zeb, who won in 2010 available at 5.50 but easily outbacked by last year’s winner, Sizing Europe at 1.90.

Unibet also offer markets on best jockey and best trainer, with stalwarts of the industry Ruby Walsh (1.67) and Barry Geraghty (4.50) the favourites to win the best jockey crown and Willie Mullins (2.25) and Nickie Henderson (3.50) the best placed for the trainers crown.

“I think that 15 time champion jockey and 2010 Sports Personality of the Year Tony McCoy is another public favourite and would be an interesting bet at 12.00.” says Erik.

Unibet have Ante Post prices online for every race from Cheltenham Festival and offer Place markets on all the top races. Unibet offer UK Horse Racing prices throughout the year on all the top Group 1 and Grade 1 action, as well as Horse Racing markets in France and Sweden. It is the place to be for some of the most competitive Horse Racing odds on the market.

Unibet Press information

Poldi is going to leave to London – Arne is planning to start a fire in Chicago

Posted on März 8th, 2012 in Sports | No Comments »

Poldi and Arsenal London

Today and yesterday, two “surprising” transfers were publicised. Lukas Podolski (* 4 June 1985) is very likely leaving Cologne in order to join the team of Arsenal London. Consequently Cologne is going to lose its most important player and a real role model. Arsenal London, on the other hand, will be enriched by another German international. He is a real team player and sacrifices himself for his teammates. In front of the goal, he is not very selfish as well and often integrates his teammates with his passes. With this manner, the striker has already scored 31 goals for Cologne since 2009. For the German national team, he scored 43 goals in his 95 matches. The transfer fee is reported to be 13 million Euros but these reports are unconfirmed up till now.

Arne is going to start a fire in Chicago

Arne Friedrich, who was without any club within the last months, is going to play for Chicago Fire in the new season. Arne Friedrich took part in 15 matches for Wolfsburg during the season 2010/2011. Due to some disagreements with Coach Felix Magath and a serious injury, he asked for dissolution of his contract. From 2002 to 2010, he played for Hertha BSC Berlin and in his 231 matches, he scored 14 goals. As a defender for the German national team, he was responsible for allowing the goal keepers quiet matches. He scored his first goal, which has also been his last up till now, for the national team during the 4:0 victory against Argentina during the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. He will be a real enrichment for Chicago Fire´s defense, if he is not suffering another serious injury again. Doubtlessly he is in a better shape compared to many other stars who are going to go to the United States in order to end their careers steadily, for example, Henry and Beckenbauer, just to name two of them. In his first match for Chicago Fire on the 17 March 2012 against Montreal, he will be able to prove that he can run a successful defence. Maybe we will then see him again in the jersey of the German team.

Major League Soccer – Chicago Fire Blog

Posted on Februar 23rd, 2012 in Sports | No Comments »

Major League Soccer – Chicago Fire Blog

Yesterday evening, I just found a Chicago Fire Blog. Ok to say I found it would be wrong, let´s say a friend sent me the link. For everyone, who is interested in football in the United States, this blog is certainly interesting. I have already read some of the articles and, of course, they are all in English but this should not constitute such a huge handicap. For all users, who are not fluent in English, there exists the possibility to utilise the Google translator. Many people, who have never been engaged in the MLS, will now think football in the United States? Oh no, before I have a look at this, I will prefer to watch the English Conference. But I can tell you, football in the United States is not in such a bad condition anymore. Last year, I had the pleasure to watch the match Chicago Fire against Vancouver Whitecaps in Toyota Park in Chicago. The atmosphere in the stadium could be compared South Europe. Bengals lights in combination with smoke could be found as well but everything was peaceful. Some of the songs were in Spanish and the team was supported during the whole match. This does not apply for all teams in the Premier League. So, don´t be misled by the huge amount of prejudices. It is really worth to have a look at the MLS. Unfortunately the system of the current season is not very fair, but, nevertheless, it is football. In Germany, the matches are broadcasted from Sportdigital, in the United Kingdom ESPN does the same so therefore it is possible to watch the matches on TV or on the PC.
But now back to the aforementioned blog. It tells you everything about the Major League Soccer and, of course, about Chicago Fire. There are reports about new players, what is going on in the league, current rumours and as well everything about Chicago Fire. Additionally, the consequences of the television deals of New Galaxy were mentioned. Via the top band you can also find the results and tables of the current season. In addition, photographs of different matches and, of course, the team are shown. As soon as the new season will start mid-March (approximately on 17 March 2012), you will be informed about current matches there as well. Since the MLS is separated into two parts, Chicago Fire is going to play in the Eastern Conference. All teams play against each other but not of an equal frequency. At the moment, the MLS has 19 different teams. The Eastern Conference consists of Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, D.C.United, Houston Dynamo, Montreal Impact, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Sporting Kansas City and Toronto FC whereas the Western Conference comprises teams like CD Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, Los Angeles Galaxy, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Out of these 19 teams, three teams are from Canada, namely Montreal Impact, Toronto FC und Vancouver Whitecaps FC.