Posts Tagged ‘Ronaldo’

World Cup Roundup

14/07/2010

So suggesting a bet on Holland in the final meant the bet of the day running total ended 0.77 units down, which isn’t awful considering two-thirds of the group stage were missed. In better punditry many of the pre-tournament tips came off. Of the more impressive ideas, I suggested Germany to reach the semi-finals @ 12/5, Argentina to get nine points in their group @ 12/5, Uruguay and Mexico to go through in group A @ 13/1 and Uruguay as an each way bet @ 66/1.

I wrote that England could well suffer a second round knock-out, while tipping Holland @ 9/1 almost came off. The goalscorer tips were a touch unlucky too with each way suggestions Klose (33/1) and Suarez (100/1) just missing out on the top four.  Enough gloating (there were plenty of dud tips too after all) and time for a few highlights and lowlights.

.

Best Game: England vs Germany had controversy, some great football, good goals and it dispelled the hype surrounding so many of England’s stars.

Worst Game: Most of the ones in the first week.

Best Goal: Tshabalala’s in the opening match was great for the moment and Van Bronckhorst in the semi-final was great for the pureness of the strike but I think Villa’s first against Honduras tops both.

Worst Miss: Yakubu vs South Korea. Dear oh dear.

Most Dramatic 5 Minutes: Spain vs Paraguay gave it a good try, with three penalties in the space of a few minutes, but you can’t beat the end of extra-time in the Uruguay vs Ghana match. Goalmouth scramble, handball on the line and red card, missed penalty with a semi-final place up for grabs, undignified celebrations by the man sent off and then a penalty shoot-out shortly after. Wow.

Best Pundit: Clarence Seedorf. There weren’t many to choose from but he was insightful and refreshing. Some good features too.

Hero: Paul the psychic octopus.

Villain: Take your pick from Suarez, the Jabulani ball or the French team going on strike. Oh and James Corden too.

Best XI Of The Tournament: Casillas; Lahm, Puyol, Lugano, Coentrao; Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Sneijder; Mueller, Forlan, Villa.

Worst XI Of The Tournament: Green; Otamendi, Terry, Cannavaro, Evra; Melo, Kaka, Ribery; Anelka, Rooney, Torres.

.

T.

Advertisements

Weekly Photoshop – World Cup Memories

13/07/2010

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a Photoshop entry but  it’s back to normal now. This week the theme was memories of the World Cup. There’s this Ronaldo effort, which is nothing to write home about and there’s also a Mark van Bommel one which I’m now going to hold back as it has become next week’s theme.

.

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Nike Write The Future

Someone may want to update that Ronaldo statue now that little Cristiano is upon us.

.

More here.

.

T.

.

Archive.

World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 30

10/07/2010

Running Total: -0.57 units

Spain put in their best performance of the finals so far in beating Germany on Wednesday and it means we’re almost back in profit. I was looking through the betting post I wrote before the finals started and there’s plenty which has come true. I’ll do a full write-up after the final.

Tonight we see the 3rd/4th place playoff between the losing semi-finalists Germany and Uruguay. These games are traditionally very open as neither team cares that much, having fallen so close to the final. Indeed Germany will be looking to finish third for the second straight World Cup having beating Portugal 3-1 in 2006.

Betting on over 2.5 goals should be a given – the last playoff to feature under three goals was way back in 1974 when my Polish brothers beat Brazil 1-0 with a goal from top scorer Grzegorz Lato. Justifiably the odds on this are only around 4/5. Over 3.5 goals is about 15/8.

Uruguay do have a reputation as quite a defensive team but with Diego Forlan and to a lesser extent Luis Suarez still technically in the running to be top-scorer you’d have to think they’ll come out and play. Germany of course are the top scorers in the tournament and themselves have two players after the Golden Boot; Miroslav Klose and the returning Thomas Mueller.

As much as I’d like Suarez to get a couple of goals and win my bet on him to be in the top four goalscorers @18/1 I think it will be a bit of a stretch. On the flip side, Klose needs just two goals to be all time record top goalscorer ahead of Ronaldo and I think Germany will be doing all they can to ensure he gets it. He’s 6/1 with BlueSq to score twice and beat the record (quite tempting) while he’s 6/5 to equal it.

Bet of the day:

Miroslav Klose to score two (or more) goals vs Uruguay @ 6/1

Edit: Klose isn’t starting due to an injured back so let’s go with over 2.5 goals at 4/5.

T.

World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 19

29/06/2010

Running Total: -2.8 units

The last tip before I left didn’t win as Spain shockingly lost 1-0 against Switzerland but plenty has happened since then. Lots of my each-way top scorer bets are potentially looking good (Klose, Suarez, Fabiano) while Germany have reached the quarter finals thus putting some money in the bank.

Back to the matter at hand and it’s two tricky games to call today – Paraguay v Japan and Spain v Portugal. I didn’t see much of the first two teams while on holiday so I think I’ll leave that game well alone (though over 2.5 goals @6/4 would be the choice if forced).

The evening game looks like a potential classic, though Spain are heavy favourites at 11/10. It’s tempting to put a small bet on Portugal given they’re as high as 10/3 to win the match, however I think their lack of a proper striker will be their downfall again. David Villa is the man in form for Spain and you could back him to score but I’ll take a risky bet and go for Spain to be winning at half-time and full-time.

Bet of the day:

Spain to beat Portugal at half-time and full-time @ 9/4.

T.

The Big World Cup Betting Post

11/06/2010

This afternoon 32 teams begin the fight to be crowned World Cup winners on July 11th. Well, strictly speaking only four teams play today but let’s not be pedantic. There’s a wealth of potential bets to place and some potentially big winnings to be had. I’m sure everyone has their opinion on what will happen so here’s my pick.

Eyes on the prize.

.

Favourites

The top three teams in the winner market are Spain at 4/1, Brazil at 5/1 and Argentina at 8/1. There’s not a great deal of value there but of the three I have Brazil as my favourite to win. They’re solid at the back with all the Inter defenders and also play two defensive midfielders to back them up. Up front Kaka is still a great player while Luis Fabiano is an effective striker.

If all three of those teams win their groups, Spain are scheduled to face Argentina in one semi-final which makes it trickier to back them over Brazil. You could go with naming the finalists – Brazil/Spain is about 10/1 while Brazil/Argentina is as high as a tempting 18/1.

Personally I think I’ll be going for all three teams to qualify from their groups with a maximum nine points. In that regard Brazil are 9/4, Spain 6/5 and Argentina 12/5. The risky treble is about 24/1.

Favourites to double up.

.

If Things Go Their Way

Here we have the likes of England, Holland, Germany and Italy. All good sides but probably not a match for the three favourites. Betting on England is always a mug’s game in my eyes. The bookies have them down at 8/1 which is mainly to protect themselves from Dave the Daily Star reader who puts heart before head.

That said Capello and a fit Rooney is a far better prospect then the Eriksson and unfit Rooney of four years ago. In reality I think the semi’s (11/8) are the absolute limit for England but there’s a potentially tricky second round match against the group B runners-up which could see them knocked out early.

I like the look of Holland and they have some brilliant attacking options. Whether their defence holds up against top opposition is another story and whichever way they look at it they’re going to meet Spain or Brazil in a quarter-final. However, what’s betting without some fun risk involved so why not a cheeky pound on them to win the whole thing at 9/1? Thinking about it I think they’ll be a good team to bet on a match by match basis come the knock-out stages.  Personally I’ll be looking at Robin van Persie to do some goalscoring damage. More on that later.

Never write off Germany. 12/5 for the semi finals. I’ll have some of that.

Keep looking Wayne, you won't win it.

.

Potential Flops

In my mind there are two teams who are ripe to flop completely and not qualify from their group – France and Portugal. I have different reasons for both. France are an ageing team and somehow still have Raymond Domenech as their coach. Some of his decisions are baffling. In fact no, most of his decisions are baffling. The senior players still have too much say and there’s talk of infighting within the squad.

Their group is on paper not too hard which is why this is an interesting bet. Uruguay should qualify and part of me thinks that South Africa will get a win in the opening game and somehow find a way to qualify in second. I’m sure Sepp will sort something out… The odds aren’t great – only 2/1 so maybe it’s better value to bet on the Uruguay and Mexico/South Africa forecast instead (13/1 or 21/1). On the other hand all the great players in their squad might have one last great hurrah.

Portugal in contrast are in the so-called group of death – Brazil, Ivory Coast and North Korea being their opponents. Brazil will top this group so I think it’s a straight fight for second between two of the biggest divas in the World Cup; Drogba and Ronaldo. I think the latter loses out, thus a Brazil/Ivory Coast forecast is a nice 11/4.

This will happen again. Though without Big Phil.

.

Each Way Long Shots

Serbia and Uruguay seem to be getting a lot of love as teams who could go further than expected. They’re on the right side of the draw in terms of ‘only’ having Brazil instead of Spain and Argentina. At 40/1 and 66/1 respectively, they’re fantastic each-way bets. Both are technically good with differing strengths; Serbia having a top defence while Uruguay have Forlan and Suarez up front.

.

Sharpshooters

Top goalscorer bets are always fun and if you consider that six goals was the winning total for six straight World Cups from 1978 to 1998 you only need a bit of luck to win on a high-priced each way bet. Germany’s Miroslav Klose won with five goals in 2006 and he again is fantastic each way value this time round at a general 33/1.

Holland have a group without any particularly defensive teams meaning Robin van Persie could fill his boots and be overall winner at 12/1. If you look at who’s facing the weakest teams (North Korea and New Zealand) then perhaps Luis Fabiano of Brazil at 10/1  or Italy’s Di Natale  at 50/1 could be worth a shout. Suarez of Uruguay can be found as high as 100/1 and if you think three goals was enough for second last time round it’s worth placing a pound or two on him.

Your top goalscorer. Maybe...

.

T.

World Cup!

08/06/2010

World Cup! World Cup! World Cup! World Cup! World Cup! World Cup! World Cup! Are you excited? I am!

Shake it.

.

Watch him.

.

Definitely not on cocaine...

.

The Divine Ponytail no longer.

.
.
Listen to the mental Dutch commentary!
.

Remind me where the ball hit him...

Oh yeah, here
.
.
That haircut!
.
I love how indignant the panel are.
.

Your sister is a...

.
To think that’s just the last 20 years.
.
T.

Weekly Photoshop – Beckham vs Man Utd

16/02/2010

The business end of the Champions League starts this week and one of the best ties will be Man Utd vs Milan and the return of David Beckham to Old Trafford. Perfect excuse for this week’s Guardian Photoshop theme then.

.

beckham milan man utd

Ever the faithful lieutenant, the Neviller knew exactly what to do when Sir Alex said 'Give Becks a nice welcome back'.

.

Lots more to be found here, it seems everyone likes to have a go when Becks is involved.

.

T.

.

Archive.

Fantasy Premier League – Gameweek 8

02/10/2009

Gameweek 8 and some interesting fixtures this weekend. A big four clash, plenty of tired teams who were involved in midweek European competition and some good opportunities for the cellar dwellers to pick up some victories. There were 37 goals last weekend and some high scores fantasy wise. Here’s to more of the same.

Gameweek 7 Top Gun (aka Tom Cruise Approves):

Maverick approves. Sort of.

Maverick approves. Sort of.

It was a battle of the strikers this time round as three players fought to win the award but ultimately if you score four goals there’s a 95% chance you’ll be top scorer for the week. Keane‘s quadruple against Burnley coupled with three bonus points made for a grand score of 21 and with it the Top Gun award.

In a way this feels quite a low score for so many goals but I guess that will always be the case for strikers. Looking back at Arshavin’s four goal haul against Liverpool last season, it also brought him 21 points. It would have been 25 in his new midfielder classification.

As I was saying, two other strikers ran Keane close this week. Torres scored the easiest hat-trick of his career against Hull and also got three bonus for 17 while on Sunday Darren Bent saved many a fantasy team’s weekend by grabbing 18 points via three assists, a goal and three bonus against Wolves. I don’t think anyone was expecting that good a haul from him!

Elsewhere John O’Shea got the classic defender’s combination of winning goal, clean sheet and three bonus for 15, while Tevez, Jones, Petrov and Babel all got 12+. A mention too for Thomas Vermaelen who was the first Top Gun winner to get more than two points the following week. He kept a clean sheet for six.

.

Three Captain choices:

A big four matchup between Chelsea and Liverpool on Sunday means we should probably avoid Torres, Lampard, Gerrard et al. After both teams unimpressed during midweek Champions League and with Chelsea also on the back of a league defeat at Wigan, there may well be an avoid defeat at all costs strategy. A low scoring encounter is certainly on the cards meaning we have to look elsewhere.

1. Rooney/Man Utd – The hairy, screaming one faces Sunderland at Old Trafford this weekend and is a good shout to score I’d say. Sunderland have been very average at the back despite the arrival of Michael Turner and have the sixth worse defensive record with 11 goals conceded so far. It’s their attack which has got them up to 8th. Rooney has six goals in his first seven league games and is now centrepoint of United’s attacking play. Do you really see John Mensah stopping him? Nope me neither.

2. Arshavin or Van Persie/Arsenal – The Gunners have won both home games so far and Blackburn have lost both away games. For all Sam Allardyce’s success against Arsenal over the years, I genuinely don’t see his side getting anything on Sunday. Van Persie has been Arsenal’s best attacker this season without actually getting that many goals but he did score against Fulham last weekend and Olympiacos in midweek. Arshavin too has quietly got himself three goals recently so perhaps is finally hitting some of the form of last season. I’ll be going to this match so am hoping for a few Arsenal goals.

3. Saha/Everton – The oft-injured striker has had a great start to 2009/10 and has scored five in five (he missed Fulham). Stoke are terrible away from home – for some reason they just can’t replicate the form they show at the Britannia and I expect an Everton victory here. Always back a striker when in form. Baines, Cahill or Fellaini are also good shouts in this game.

Gets a Captain's tick

Gets a Captain's tick

.

Three Potential Transfers In:

1. Fabregas/Arsenal – Yes he’s a very expensive transfer in, but my thinking is to replace Gerrard or Lampard with him. Arsenal’s next five are Blackburn, Birmingham, West Ham (A), Spurs and Wolves (A) all of which are winnable, most of which are easy. Lampard (see transfer out) hasn’t been scoring at all (goals wise not points wise), while Gerrard has to play deep for the duration of Mascherano’s absence. Fabregas has scored or assisted in his last three and should continue his good form. Just a thought.

2. Reid/Sunderland – Steve Bruce commented the other day about how Andy Reid has been Sunderland’s best player for the past month. Who am I to argue. The man who used to be really fat but is now just big-boned has three straight assists, plus a goal and three bonus in the last few weeks. He’s a bargain too at £5.3m.

3. Benayoun/Liverpool – Ok, so my attempted reverse jinx clearly failed last week as Benayoun got himself two assists for eight points. I will now attempt the opposite and start recommending him and hope he suddenly stops producing for Sportboy P’s side. I’m still not entirely sure he has the consistency over the course of a season but he is a good player capable of big games (see the 24 points against Burnley) and Rafa has at least realised that he’s a better option than Ryan Babel.

Might be worth a pick

Might be worth a pick

.

Three to avoid:

1. Lampard/Chelsea – As I mentioned above, I’m not convinced Lampard is a player to have right now. Let’s look at what he’s done this season. He only has one goal (a penalty) but he does have four assists which is second after Giggs. His eight bonus leads midfielders but five strikers have more than that and he lies eighth overall with 42 points.

Watching a fair amount of Chelsea this season, he doesn’t seem to be getting into as many scoring positions as last year and I mentioned in Monday’s Six Pointer that part of this may be Chelsea playing two strikers again. I’m not saying get rid of him and don’t replace him, I’m just saying that don’t think you can’t just because he’s Frank Lampard.

In his defence his overall score is good and perhaps I’m being hasty but I think in terms of value if nothing else, there are currently better players out there. Just remember Ronaldo last season where people were hamstrung by the fear of not having him when you’d actually have been better off investing in someone a fraction cheaper and spending the rest elsewhere. Looking at the transfers out, it appears 24,000 people think so, the most for a midfielder this week. One to monitor.

2. Defoe/Spurs – Another player who you might think I’m crazy for suggesting to get rid of but it might be a good time. He’s just broken his hand, his value has gone up to £9m and as the Football Guy and I were discussing, Defoe has always been a very streaky player. Six goals in six games or something similar but then nothing for ages. You realise he hasn’t scored for two weeks right? Maybe it’s already begun. Cash in.

3. Sunderland players – Man Utd and Liverpool up next.

Are you taking the mick?

Are you taking the mick?

.

T.

Fantasy Premier League – Gameweek 6

19/09/2009

Gameweek 6 and we’re beginning to establish who the top performers in this season’s game will be. I will more than likely be using my wildcard this week or next to set my team up for the rest of the season. It is early to use but considering I want to change at least four or five players and prices are rising every week I think it’s worth it. After all, you have to take some risks when the guy leading your private league is currently 6th in the world (out of almost 2 million players)!

Gameweek 5 Top Gun (aka Tom Cruise Approves) – Yossi Benayoun

Maverick couldn't have done better himself

In Gameweek 5 Maverick couldn't have done better himself.

Last week saw Liverpool winger Yossi Benayoun score a frankly ridiculous 24 points as Liverpool took apart Burnley at home. He got a hat-trick, assisted Kuyt’s goal, kept a clean sheet and with all that nabbed all three bonus points. His 24 was higher than the next two best players combined! (Reid and Roberts with 12 & 11) – I didn’t expect Fabregas’ week 1 marker of 22 to be beaten so early but congrats to Yossi. I don’t even think Ronaldo got higher than 24 in all his time dominating the game.

.

Three Captain Choices:

1. Van Persie/Arsenal – While the Gunners have had an inconsistent start to the season, not least defensively, they haven’t had too much trouble scoring goals. Wigan are beginning to improve under Roberto Martinez but I get the feeling they will come unstuck against Arsenal. Both try to play expansive, passing football, it’s just Arsene Wenger’s side do it better. It won’t be a thrashing by any means, but a comfortable victory in which you can look to Van Persie (or Fabregas) to get among the points.

2. Young/Aston Villa – Portsmouth have so far played five and lost five and I can see them adding to that total away against Aston Villa this weekend. Villa have won three on the spin and their new look defence is settling in nicely. Portsmouth have only once heavily but I think Martin O’Neill’s side will be too quick and powerful for them this weekend. Back Ashley Young to come up trumps in this match and perhaps reach double figures in points.

3. Lampard/Chelsea – Chelsea haven’t lost to Spurs at home in the league since 1990 and I don’t expect to change now. Man Utd showed last weekend that Redknapp’s side still have a way to go before they can compete with the big boys and I should think that Lampard will be at the heart of a routine Chelsea victory.

Gets a Captain's tick

Gets a Captain's tick

.

Three Potential Transfers In:

1. Maierhofer/Wolves – Signed on deadline day I believe and he scored on his debut last weekend. At 6’712” he is the new tallest player in the league and will no doubt cause many problems for the opposition (just look at that neck length). I believe Michael Kightly is nearing full fitness again and his crosses will be of importance if the Austrian is to be a success. At £5m he is worth a speculative punt as a third striker.

2. Diamanti/West Ham – Another striker who is perhaps worth a speculative add. The Hammers have only Carlton Cole and him so he should get plenty of minutes. He’s perhaps a little overvalued at £6m but he scored 13 times last season for Livorno and is one to keep an eye on if nothing else.

3. Dunn/Blackburn – In the two games he’s played this season he has a goal and four bonus points. I imagine most of Backburn’s good play will go through him.

Might be worth a pick.

Might be worth a pick.

.

Three to avoid:

1. Adebayor/Man City – Banned for at least two games and possibly more depending on how the second charge works out.

2. Keane/Tottenham – A regular feature in this section, but currently stuck out on the wing as Harry Redknapp slowly works out a way to drop his out of form captain.

3. Cana/Sunderland – I read somewhere this week that the Sunderland Echo has given him the man of the match award in three games already this season but he has yet to score a bonus point in fantasy. Just goes to show that some players get all the bonus point love.

Are you taking the mick?

Are you taking the mick?

.

T.

Even More Pickled…

07/09/2009

Back in March we had a look at which European teams were in a bit of a pickle in terms of World Cup qualifying. We talked about Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Sweden who are all good sides and first or second seeds when the draw was made. The main focus though was on France and Portugal, just as the expectations are so much higher and I would genuinely be surprised if they weren’t at the World Cup, something I can’t say for any other team (well perhaps my Polish brothers but that’s different).

Getting close now.

Getting close now.

So what’s changed? Well, France should be ok as they have moved up to 2nd but Domenech is being a bit of a mentalist again with his team selections. A tough away match in Belgrade looms on Wednesday but they’ll get through the playoffs. Bulgaria and Romania are out of it completely so the likes of Berbatov and Mutu will have extended summer holidays. Sweden are up to third in Group 1 while Poland are making it difficult for themselves with defeat to Northern Ireland. I hope they both get through but it looks like Slovakia are too far ahead in Group 3 sadly.

.

This leaves us with Portugal who are in an even worse situation than before. Now fourth in Group 1 and seven points behind Denmark and three behind Hungary, there’s a very real possibility than Ronaldo won’t be playing on the biggest stage of all. I bet that will screw up any adverts Nike are currently planning. It comes down to this, they play Hungary twice before a gimme against Malta. The problem is, Sweden are ahead of them and play Albania, Denmark and Malta. Now of course the Denmark away game is tough but what chance we see a result both are happy with? Remember a mutually convenient 2-2 to knock out Italy in Euro 2004?

Messi and Ronaldo in a bit of pickle.

Messi and Ronaldo in a bit of pickle.

So while Nike are stressing over Ronaldo messing up their strategies, Adidas aren’t looking too clever with their main star either. Brazil swept aside Argentina 3-1 (the first time they’d ever lost in Rosario, a place they deliberately switched to for this match) leaving Maradona’s men in trouble. They’re still 4th but Colombia and Ecuador are just two points behind. Messi and co have only one home game of the three remaining and it could well go right to the wire. You can’t have a World Cup without Argentina though? Not since 1970 has that happened. As the Football Guy pointed out, it would be very odd without two of the three best players on the planet. Ronaldo in particular should be very worried…

.

T.


%d bloggers like this: