Sunday, 27 August 2017

Match preview Chelsea V Everton

Quite surprising this game is not televised on Sky Sports or BT Sport, instead
they are opting to show the West Brom vs Stoke fixture at 1.30pm later today...though I am sure they are missing a trick.

Team news

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas returns from suspension for the visit of Everton, defender Gary Cahill is still banned following his red card against Burnley on the opening day of the season though the defence seemed good enough against Tottenham

Provisional squad: Courtois, Caballero, Rudiger, Alonso, Kante, Fabregas, Pedro, Bakayoko, Moses, Willian, Batshuayi, Morata, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Christiansen, Kenedy, Tomori, Musonda, Boga, Remy, Scott.

Everton have doubts over both Idrissa Gueye and Sandro Ramirez and will be without Davy Klaassen for their trip to Chelsea.

Gueye missed Thursday's win over Hajduk Split as a precaution with a hamstring problem, while neither striker Sandro (heel) nor midfielder Klaassen (foot) played either.

Boss Ronald Koeman's midfield options are limited as Morgan Schneiderlin is suspended, with the Frenchman joining James McCarthy, Ramiro Funes Mori, Yannick Bolasie (all knee), Seamus Coleman (broken leg) and Ross Barkley (hamstring) on the sidelines.

Provisional squad: Pickford, Stekelenburg, Martina, Keane, Williams, Jagielka, Baines, Gueye, Sigurdsson, Davies, Besic, Lennon, Rooney, Calvert-Lewin, Mirallas, Holgate, Lookman.

Betting Tips

We will be on the front foot and Koeman will set his team up to defend and counter, especially with Schneiderlin out. It will be up to us to break them down. We were brilliant against them with a very easy victory last season and hopefully we will risk Hazard despite him coming back from injury, without his quality in the team, I can see it taking longer to break the Toffees down

I have to go for a Chelsea win and eradicate the nightmare start against Burnley. I am expecting it to be a fairly high scoring game as Everton have scored in ten of their last 13 on the road too, so a 3-1 (14/1 with Bet365) or 4-1 (25/1 with BetVictor) for Chelsea to win looks the bet to have, add to that eleven of Chelsea’s last twelve home league games have seen three or more goals,

First goalscorer is has to be  Pedro to find the net on his comeback from injury. The Spanish forward scored six of his nine league goals at Stamford Bridge last season and tormented Everton last season with scintillating performances, scoring twice so 11/2 with a number of bookmakers also looks a good bet.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Spurs Vs Chelsea - Match Preview

  • Why betting on both teams to score is the best idea

  • Willian the free-kick specialist to take his opportunity in front of goal?

  • Dele Ali to prove A thorn in Chelsea's side again?

Match Preview

Chelsea made history last weekend, but not the kind we really want to go around shouting about - we became the first reigning Champions to concede 3 goals in our opening game after our 3-2 humiliation at home to Burnley.

Meanwhile spurs sailed through at St. James’ Park with a comfortable win over Newcastle & go on to their new home from home at Wembley full of confidence, for now.

After a going down to nine men against Burnley and remarkably going 3-0 down by half-time, us Chelsea fans are starting to feel like this could be a "Mourinho" season all over again. There was enough combative spirit on display to suggest there is no crisis in the camp at this stage and the eye-catching performance of substitute Morata suggests we have a striker capable of filling Diego Costa's prolific goal-scoring boots.

We have won only once in the last six games, of course this includes friendlies and drawing in the Charity shield but fans are fickle & we really need to start winning games and a no better place to start than away to Tottenham on Sunday at Wembley.

Antonio Conte seems unhappy with Chelsea’s dealings in the summer transfer window and appears desperate to add depth before deadline day later this month, I think I speak for every blue when I say I agree with him, we need more players in! although, it remains to be seen if the chequebook will opened. This game against one of our most bitterest rivals so early in the season is a good pointer to see exactly what is required. Earlier in his Press Conference Conte made it very clear the timing isn't great to be playing Spurs.

Poch and his boys will have to overcome their mental block With the game being played at Wembley, and try to end their terrible record there. It will be interesting to see the affect it has on their game. You only have to look at West Ham first few games at the Olympic Stadium to realise the home team may not be at an advantage especially in the first few games.

Whatever happens after this game, Chelsea along with five other teams (including Tottenham) have any chance of winning the Premier League , though when the points are collected by the end of the season it is often the ones gained by those clubs around you, that define ultimate success

Tottenham Hotspur face a different kind of challenge away from White Hart Lane, they have no new players, but with probably the best starting 11 in the league; on paper - I can see this being an eventful game, I’m prediciting a high draw as I just can’t see either doing over the other as much as I would love us to Win, but I have to be realistic with the amount of trouble we have behind the scenes at the moment, we are definitely missing the calm influence JT had in the dressing room.

Team and Injury News

Tottenham's Danny Rose is ruled out with a knee ligament injury, but probably wouldn’t have been Poch’s first choice anyway after criticising their transfer dealings in an interview with The Sun prior to the start of the season.

Georges-Kevin Nkoudou remains on the sidelines with a foot injury, and Erik Lamela is also sidelined with a long-term hip injury.

Trippier remains injured, so we could possibly see Kyle Walker-Peters picked after the 20 year olds superb debut against Newcastle last weekend.

So it’s not all doom and gloom for spurs unfortunatley, and not forgetting they welcomed back Heung-Min Son from the bench, last week and will be available for selection.

Chelsea have a number of players ruled out for Tottenham, Cahill and Fabregas are suspended after being sent off against Sean Dyche's men. Pedro is very doubtful even for the bench, after complaining about ankle pain in training today with the team in Cobham.

          "Hazard is improving, but to be fully fit he needs time "

Eden Hazard and Tiemoue Bakayoko have returned to training and are improving but are questionable if up to match fitness, so Conte may have to call on our reserves team.

David Luiz may have to cover midfield while Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen will likely make up a promising but untested back three.

When asked about the Diego Costa situation, Conte just laughed it off and asked to move on from that issue.

 Predicted Line up and Formation

For this Sunday's big kick-off Mauricio Pochettino will probabaly  consider switching  to a 3-4-2-1 system.

Ben Davies appears a sure starter at either left-back or left wing-back, while the same can be said for keeping Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane switching roles up front during the game
On the sidelines, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (foot), Danny Rose (knee) and Erik Lamela (hip) remain out. Wanyama and Heung-min Son could well be restored to the starting line up for Tottenham after being on the bench at Newcastle.

Cesar Azpilicueta will revert to the right of the back three with Victor Moses on the right flank, while David Luiz could be handed a midfield role with Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas suspended and Tiemoue Bakayoko, Eden Hazard and Pedro still out injured

Betting Odds

Despite that defeat to Burnley, the Blues managed to get on the scoresheet twice despite going down to nine men late on .

The FA Cup semi-final match between these two last season ended up with six goals shared between the sides and given the quality of attacking players possessed by both managers, both teams to score looks like a banker here at 8/11 with Ladbrokes and Coral and those looking for a first goalscorer need not to look any further than Chelsea's set piece master Willian who is 10/1 with Bet 365 and a couple of other bookmakers

Dele Alli was a thorn in the Chelsea side last year and anytime to score 15/8 with BetVictor and Bet 365, he could be the best bet for people looking for the England international to pop up again. It is worth noting he scored three times already against Chelsea this year

Being a Chelsea fan, I cannot believe the 11/4 available from Unibet to win this game at Wembley and cannot understand the big differences in prices when you consider Tottenham are playing the champions at a Wembley, where lets be honest they didn't do too well in last year's Champions League

I would definately go for a cheeky bet on Dele Ali & Morata to score anytime.

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

England Team has a Serious case of Pink Balls!!

Surprisingly, despite being female I don't really like the colour pink, but for our Cricket team, it's a colour they're going to have to get accustomed to......Although I'd take pink over red any day.  But for me, it's purely Neutrals!! If you follow me on Instagram you'll understand FOLLOW ME HERE

When white balls were first used in professional cricket some forty years ago it would have been easy to think that the sky would fall in, particularly as it involved commercialised unofficial World Series Cricket. There may not be the same seismic shocks about day/night Test matches and pink balls but there are still a lot of grumblings as the first test match between England and the West Indian looms. They wouldn’t dare do the first experiment at Lord’s.

 Today will be the first day/night Test match in the UK which Edgbaston has the privilege of hosting. Elsewhere, there have been only four such matches, nearly all in Australia, starting in 2015. This has been one initiative to spice up international cricket but particularly to raise dwindling spectator numbers. If T20 can attract so many people by holding matches at more friendly times for normal people surely so can Test cricket. The theory is that if you move play on by four hours then people don’t have to give up much work time, which is even more important in the four/five-day match. We will see.

The consequence is that half the game will be played under floodlights and the balls to be used will have to be pink. Both are new to England test cricketers; at least the West Indies have had one sip from the cup in Dubai. To make it more difficult, the pink ball has hardly been used in English conditions at all. The pink ball has to be used in these circumstances as the normal red cricket ball looks different under spotlights: appearing brown, and therefore less distinctive, it is more difficult to see.

Here comes the science part......(kinda, just really always wanted to say that)

Is there any difference between the colours? Well, there is certainly a physical difference: the red ball (dyed leather) and the shorter form white ball (natural leather) are both lacquered. By contrast, the pink ball is painted. Also, the pink ball’s black seam appears to stay firmer and prouder of the ball for a longer period. You would expect professional cricketers to have strong and clear views about the difference this will make. They are indeed strong and clear but only in their disagreements.

The current view seems to be that the pink ball softens earlier and can deteriorate more because of paint flaking. Generally, this means that it bounces less, which increases with time. It is enough (perhaps 5% to 10% of bounce) to mean that fast bowlers must adjust their game. Still, this may be compensated for by the team's greater assistance to them. Bringing on the spinners sooner than usual and the earlier softening ball may create a different dimension: with Moeen on a roll, this should be something to look forward to.

So, none of this sounds to be more dangerous. Harder work for the fast bowlers and longer concentration against spin for the batsman look likely but there may be more to worry about. Some batsmen believe that the pink’s deterioration can make it increasingly difficult to see under the floodlights but at least they have the benefit that by softening the ball earlier they can compensate for this by making it easier to play (good spinning excepted). Will this lead to harder hitting earlier on and more of a one-day match feel? We will see from today onwards. Probably, we know nearly as much as the England players themselves as they had only Monday evening to become accustomed to pink under artificial lights.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Eleven men Went to Moeen Ali


 It was a great priviledge to attend the Alec Bedser Dinner, in honour of the 100th Test Match to be held at the Oval, in the company of such greats as Graeme Pollock and Kumar Sangakkara who took to the stage and told us of their experiences playing international Cricket. The night was hosted by former Rugby interational and now BT Sport's Martin Bayfield, who kept us laughing all night.

In all the excitement of the evening ahead, I even arrived early! A very rare occurance for anyone who knows me socially. But I am so glad I did as I got to join in with the pitch inspection and chat to the England boys, I even managed to get an EXCLUSIVE interview with Lee Fortis The Head groundsman at the Oval; I got more out of him in 5 minutes, than others have in the all the years he's been there. Very informative too haha!

It was surprising to be able to turn up on Monday for the fifth day of the England /South Africa third Test Match.  Based on the first two matches of the series, this should have been a day off.  England had South Africa on the ropes by the third session of day 2 when it looked likely that they may have to follow on.  They hung on but trailed England by 178 at the end of their third innings.  When England extended their lead to 492 as they declared on the fourth day the game seemed all but over.
There were the prospects of Toby Roland-Jones providing a further devastating spell to match his debut five wickets in the first innings and Ben Stokes being on a roll after his first innings century with the bat.  Surely, Anderson and Broad weren’t going to miss this party either.  By the time de Kock, who came in inexplicably at four, and du Plessis were out in consecutive balls when the score was 52 the possibility of a quick close was in sight.

We didn’t reckon with the obduracy of Elgar, who was batting with a damaged hand, and Bavuma.  Together they gave a real demonstration of test match batting as they held the innings together to survive on day four.  Bavuma did not fall until the score had reached 160, almost South Africa’s entire first innings score.  With Elgar batting in masterly control it still looked as though South Africa would continue for a long time, that is until Philander, who had been ill for most of the match, was out without adding to the score.

Both Bavuma and Philander had been out to Roland-Jones, who also dismissed Amla the previous day for only five.  The match now had a different complexion.  The crowd were willing Roland-Jones on to get the two wickets he needed to get a second innings’ five wickets and a debut 10 in the match.  This fired him up but surprisingly the next wicket, Morris, was taken by Moeen after he had demonstrated more fight than expected to post 24 with the score at 205 and still 281 to go.
We should not have been surprised that it was Moeen as he and Root had spent a long time assessing the Pavilion end bowlers’ footmarks while Elgar was receiving treatment to his damaged left hand. Nevertheless, until he bowled Morris Moeen had not proved effective and surely it was only time before Roland-Jones and Stokes, who were fired up, took the last three wickets.  Again, this proved not to be the case as Elgar continued serenely well beyond his century, being backed up by Maharaj, who defended his wicket more than competently.

The game still looked to be England’s but they were having to work hard for it.  The lower order batsmen were the only chance as Elgar had no intention of leaving the crease and even then Maharaj seemed to be following his lead.  That is, until Moeen removed Elgar for 136 by means of an athletic catch from Stokes, who had caught Moeen’s previous wicket.  With the next ball the same duo dismissed Rabada, who may have been another thorn in England’s side as he had been in the first innings.  Was the next ball going to be a repeat of Stokes’ catch off Vosges at Trent Bridge in 2015?

 The next over started and it went quiet as the crowd wondered whether the match would grind on for a while.  Still, it was 2.30 with another five hours for England to win even if it did take a while.
Moeen started the following over, again from the Vauxhall end, with great encouragement from the crowd for him to get the next wicket.  He trapped Morkel LBW with a ball that straightened but the umpire pronounced it not out, which deflated the crowd.  This was reviewed by England for a nail-bitingly long time, it seemed.  Then the decision was reversed and Moeen had taken the last wicket, giving him 4 for 45.

 England had won by 239 runs, a crushing victory.
Moeen looked bewildered and so he should.  He had just taken a hat trick as he had taken two wickets at the end of his previous over and this one on the first ball of his next.  He couldn’t have realised that he had taken the first ever Test hat trick at The Oval, was the first English spinner to take a Test hat trick since 1938 and was the first bowler to finish a Test Match with a hat trick since 1902, one hundred and fifteen years ago! How do you eclipse that to be Man of the Match?  Well, Stokes did with his sparkling first innings century, three wickets and four catches, particularly the three scintillating ones off Moeen.

This fine display by England takes them to Old Trafford later in the week with a 2-1 lead and confidence.  The team has done well to answer their Trent Bridge critics and did so with three debutants, two of whom showed great promise.

Match preview Chelsea V Everton

Quite surprising this game is not televised on Sky Sports or BT Sport, instead they are opting to show the West Brom vs Stoke fixture at 1.3...