Bobby’s Bets

The Eagles Dare..!?!
Pulis Departure Could Prove Costly To Palace Owners

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Pulis: Stepped down

by Karl Hofer.

The season has yet to kick-off in the top flight but we’ve already had a managerial casualty.

Palace fans must be reeling with the news of Tony Pulis’ departure. After such a strong finish to the last campaign, with Palace climbing from bottom when Pulis took over to end up eleventh overall, Eagles fans would have been looking forward to a season of further consolidation at least this campaign.

Pulis apparently became frustrated by a lack of success in the transfer market as Palace co-chairman Steve Parish seemingly wasn’t delivering the targets Pulis had picked out to strengthen the South London outfit.

Ultimately Pulis wanted more control over football matters at the club, including the areas that were being handled by Parish and sporting director Iain Moody; transfer responsibility.

What Pulis achieved at Palace he achieved with a squad lacking in star quality. He turned them into a unit to be respected, and with the mastermind behind their incredible recovery now gone the threat of relegation has increased dramatically.

The new incumbent will have a tough act to follow, that’s for sure. Nothing characterised the spirit and belief Pulis brought to Palace better than their incredible comeback from 3-0 down with 11 minutes left against title-chasing Liverpool late last season.

On the evidence of last season perhaps Parish and Moody should ought to have bowed down a little when it came to Pulis’ demands. As always, time will tell…

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Eagles fans as there are some very sound candidates out there, including the current favourite to land the job Malky Mackay, plus former Spurs boss Tim Sherwood and ex-Celtic gaffer Neil Lennon – all of whom would bring something different to the role.

Next Permanent Crystal Palace Boss;

Malky Mackay – 4/7,  Tim Sherwood –  9/2,  Neil Lennon –  5/1, David Moyes –  9/1, Steve Clarke –  14/1, Gianfranco Zola – 16/1, Glenn Hoddle – 16/1

Odds courtesy of Sky Bet.

 

Australia Cut To Host 2022 World Cup As Qatar Row Rumbles On


International Friendly - Australia v Argentina

World Cup to go Down Under..?

William Hill have cut the odds of Australia hosting the 2022 World Cup after their football federation announced that they would bid again if Qatar had their hosting duties stripped following recent scurrilous rumours.

Australia are 7/1 from 10/1 to host the 2022 World Cup although Qatar remain favourites at Even money. USA are second in the betting at 3/1.

“Australia are the first nation to come out and say definitively that their hat will be firmly in the ring should Qatar be stripped of the 2022 World Cup and it is primarily for that reason that they have been the big movers in this market so far,” said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.

Where will the 2022 World Cup be played: 1/1 Qatar; 3/1 USA; 7/1 Australia; 7/1 South Korea; 8/1 Japan; 12/1 England

 

World Cup Semi-Final Preview: LVG’s Messi Conundrum…

DeJong

De Jong could have a major say in how the semi-final turns out if Van Gaal decides to bring him in

by Rob Shepherd.

How to solve a problem like Lionel Messi..?

That is the question which will test the tactical acumen of Louis Van Gaal to the limit in the second semi-final of the 2014 World Cup.

And even if LVG got all his tactics spot on Messi has the ability to wriggle out of any shackle in a split second and change the game.

Perceived wisdom is that it is waste of time to man-mark Messi because the Argentine can lose that player in an instant then pull the rest of the team out of shape, or exploit his shadow by taking him out of the way to offer team mates room.

But given that LVG is considering a recall for Nigel de Jong he could well ask his acerbic midfielder to marshal Messi’s movement.

Then again the Dutch system of three central defenders with two wing backs (3-4-3) would seem ideally suited to confront Messi.

The semi ‘sweeper’ system – Ron Vlaar is more central centre-back than libero – means that he, Stefan de Vrij or Bruno Martins Indi can all step out of their back row roles into the midfield pocket where Messi stalks, often walks around, waiting to get the ball then go on his mazy way, comfortable there is cover behind to cope with the forwards.

If Holland’s three Lions keep their concentration and compress the space in front of them when Messi has the ball then he can be stopped.

Given the resilient nature of the Argentine defence it could unfold as an absorbing , chess like tactical battle – unlike the first semi-final!

Some bookmakers are offering as much as 1,000/1  for either team to win 7-1 in the wake of Germany’s astonishing win over Brazil.

But clearly Corals think lightening can strike twice and offer 300/1 on a repeat scoreline of last night’s semi final.

More realistically a 1-1 draw is 5/1 whilst a 0-0 is 7/1.

 

When Kempes Rocked the World! 

The images remain strong for those who recall the 1978 World Cup Final.

The pitch was strewn with white ticker tape, and then there was Mario Kempes, long dark curly hair like a rock star of the day, with socks around his ankles wearing Puma King.

Kempes had given hosts Argentinathe the lead, but with eight minutes left Holland equalised through Dick Nanninga. But Kempes restored Argentina’s lead and Daniel Bertoni made sure with a third. Highlights below;

Rob’s World Cup Wire
Miroslav so Klose, English PL is tops & 23 World Cup questions

by Rob Shepherd.

Klose to Records

Mirosloav Klose, currently with 15 World Cup goals, needs one more to overtake Brazil’s Ronaldo and become the all-time highest scorer at the finals.

Ronaldo’s 14th goal, which equalled the previous record of France’s Just Fontaine, was the first of the 2002 final between the two teams in Japan and his second gave Brazil a 2-0 win and was his 15th.

But that is not the only World Cup record Klose, who was born in Poland, seeks tonight.

Should Germany win Klose will also achieve another record by equalling Brazli’s World Cup winning skipper of 2002 with 16 wins.

Klose, 36, has scored 70 goals in 135 game making him the country’s all-time top scorer ahead of Gerd Muller who scored 68 goals in 62 games.

He now ranks alongside Pele and German legend Uwe Seeler as one of only three players to have scored at four World Cup finals.

Klose’s contract with Italian club Lazio expires this summer and he’s considering one last move… possibly to a club in the MLS.

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World Cup Posers

When it gets to semi-final stage all the pre-World Cup questions and hype seem so long ago.

The biggest speculation of course in the lead up is who makes the 23 man squad of each of the 32 countries..?

Now we are down to four here are 23 questions to pose ahead of tonight’s classic South America v Europe showdown (part one).

23. Who’s The youngest World Cup goalscorer..?
Brazilian legend Pele was only 17 when he became the youngest player ever to score at the World Cup, in 1958 in Sweden. He went on to become one of the sport’s greatest ever stars, and is one of just a handful of players to have scored in two World Cup finals.

22. What’s the biggest ever scoreline..?
The biggest scoreline in World Cup history – in fact the worst defeat in international football – is 31-0, Australia’s thrashing of American Samoa in qualifying in April 2001.

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Zoff; Double record holder

21. Who’s the oldest ever World Cup winner..?
Italian goalkeeping legend Dino Zoff was part of four World Cup squads. He played in three tournaments and then finally won in Spain 1982 at the ripe old age of 40 years, four months and 13 days. He also holds the record of 1,142 minutes without conceding a goal.

20. How much has this World Cup cost..?
This will be the most expensive World Cup to date, with the Brazilian government spending around $14 billion dollars (just over £8 billion). That’s more than the last three tournaments put together and there were big protests across Brazil in the lead-up to the tournament from people saying it’s costing the country too much.

19. What has the Brazilian government hired in for the World Cup..?
Robots called Packbots have been hired by the Brazilian government to help boost security during the World Cup. The robots have heat vision, are super strong and light, and can even climb stairs and work underwater! They have previously been used to help find and rescue people trapped in earthquakes.

18. In how many different cities will matches take place during the World Cup..?
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil will see matches take place in 12 different cities across Brazil. Matches have been played in: Manaus, Fortaleza, Natal, Recife, Salvador, Cuiaba, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Curitiba and Porto Alegre.

17. Which team was the last nation to win the Jules Rimet World Cup..?
Italy was the last nation to win the Jules Rimet World Cup in 1938, a year before World War Two started putting the next two World Cups on hold. It’s said the Italian Vice-President of FIFA hid the trophy in a shoe-box under his bed throughout the war to keep it safe.

16. What type of animal is the World Cup mascot..?
Fuleco the three-banded armadillo is the 2014 World Cup mascot for Brazil. The three-banded armadillo is an endangered species native to Brazil and his name is a combination of Futebol (football) and Ecologia (ecology).

15. Why was Diego Maradona’s famous goal against England so controversial in the World Cup?
In the 1986 World cup in Mexico City, Argentinean Diego Maradona scored a controversial goal that has become known throughout football history as “the Hand of God”. In the match against England, Maradona headed the ball into the net using his head and hand in what he later called: “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God”.

14. How many spaces does the base of the World Cup trophy have for the future winners..?
The base of the current World Cup trophy, which was introduced in 1974, has space for 17 inscriptions – enough for every winner until 2038.

13. Who scored the fastest goal in a World Cup..?
Hakan Suker of Turkey scored the fastest ever goal in the history of the World Cup against South Korea in 2002. 10.8 seconds was all it took for the striker to score, a record which today still remains unbroken.England’s Bryan Robson scored after 27 seconds against France in 1982.

12. Who was the first player ever to get sent off in a World Cup..?
During the opening match of the 1974 World Cup the Chilean player Carlos Caszely made history by being the first player ever to be sent off by a straight red card in a World Cup.

11. How far did the World Cup trophy travel on tour..?
The total distance covered by the World Cup trophy during its world tour before Brazil 2014 was 149,576.78 km (92,942.702 miles). That’s more than three times around the world!

10. Who found the missing World Cup..?
On the 20th of March 1966 the original Jules Rimet World Cup trophy was stolen from an exhibition in London. It was found a week later by a small dog called Pickles, out on a walk with his owner.

9. How many players tested the Adidas Brazuca football..?
The new World Cup ball is pleasing to the eye… And proved fit for purpose… it has also gone through a rigorous testing procedure over the past two and a half years. It was tested by more than 600 professional players and 30 teams in 10 countries across three continents, making the Brazuca the most tested ball in Adidas’ history. So much better than the beach ball which ruined the 2010 finals.

8. When was the World Cup first televised..?
The World Cup was first televised in Switzerland at the 1954 World Cup, but it wasn’t until the 1970 World Cup that it was broadcast worldwide. Now it is one of the most viewed sporting events in the world. The previous World Cup in South Africa attracted an audience of 3.2 billion people: around 46% of the world’s population, and that doesn’t include people who watched in on their mobile gadget or in a bar or restaurant!

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England; Crap at penalties…

7. How many World Cup matches have been decided by a penalty shoot-out..?
As of the start of the 2014 tournament a total of 22 World Cup matches have been decided by a penalty shoot-out since the rules came into effect in 1978. The most successful team at penalty shoot-outs is Germany with four wins, and unfortunately England is the worst with three losses without any wins.

6. How many people does the Maracana stadium seat..?
The famous Maracana Stadium in Brazil will host the final of the World Cup and can seat 73,531 people. The stadium opened in 1950 to host the World Cup, and a record-breaking 173,850 people paid for a ticket to watch the final match between Uruguay and Brazil, but the actual attendance to the match was around 210,000 – a record for a team sports match that still remains today.

5. How many countries have hosted the World Cup twice..?
This is the second time that Brazil has hosted the world cup. The first time was in 1950. Only five countries have ever hosted the World Cup twice.

4. Which country has played the most matches at the World Cup..?
Before the start of the 2014 tournament, Germany had played 99 World Cup matches, more than any other nation, with Brazil coming a close second with 97. Germany played their 100th match against Portugal on 16 June.

3. Which country has won the World Cup the most..?
Brazil is the most successful national football team in the history of the World Cup with five championship wins under their belt. Brazil has also qualified for every World Cup without the need for playoffs.

2. When did the World Cup first start..?
The first ever World Cup match was played in Uruguay in 1930. Thirteen teams from around the world competed and the host nation Uruguay became the first ever nation to win the world cup with a 4-2 triumph over Argentina.

1. Why do Brazil play in a yellow kit?
The Brazilian team originally played in a white kit, until they lost the World Cup at home in 1950. The kit was then seen as “cursed” and a campaign was launched to design a new one.

An 18-year-old named Aldyr Garcia Schlee came up with the winning design of yellow and green shirts with blue shorts. The kit was nicknamed the “Canarinha” which means canary.

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Premier League Rules

English football rather than the England team can still claim to have had a good World Cup.

The Premier League had by far the highest number of players amongst the eight quarter finalists with 43.

Next was the Bundesliga with 25, Serie A 23, La Liga 15, Ligue 1 15, Erdevise (Holland) 11, and Primera Liga (Portugal ) 7.

The rest of the 45 players were spread across 13 other leagues.

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Brazil Do It Wimbledon Style

The argument that Brazil are bruisers rather than Samba stars seems to be backed up by the fact that in their quarter final they committed 31 fouls over 90 minutes – which is the not just the most at this World Cup finals but since Ukraine committed as many against Italy in 2006.

Brazil have also received 10 yellow cards, Costa Rica top the foul play league at the moment with 10 yellows and one red.

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I-Say:

Given the level of expectation Brazil have delivered in terms of getting this far – even if it has not been pretty to watch in the way most of us associate them.

In many ways the pragmatic tactics of Big Phil Scolari have been understandable.

David Luiz has said it is unthinkable, at least in the eyes of Brazil fans, not to reach for the final.

Maybe.

It was certainly unthinkable they didn’t get out of their group – and there were some wobbles at that stage – and too most of us it was unthinkable they would not reach the semi-finals.

But what would really be unthinkable is if, now they have reached this far, they set about trying to kick Germany off the park to reach the final.

Surely it must be hoped that having reached this far they attempt to turn on the Samba soccer..?

If not then the notion that this World Cup would be about a Rio carnival of Jogo Bonito would become hokum.

But I suspect it is unthinkable in the mind of Scolari that he would change tactics now, especially in the absence of Neymar.

In his eyes if he is hung on the alter of principle rather fantasy then so be it.

Yet In that respect this is where Brazil, and certainly Scolari, could well finally come unstuck this evening.

Germany, first under Jurgen Klinsman and now Joachim Low, have since losing to Brazil in the 2002 final (amazingly the only previous World Cup meeting between these superpwers) developed a far more expansive, attractive style of play from their old tradition of Vorsprung Durch Technik. It’s now more Uber Fussball if you like.

There is though still plenty of mettle in the German DNA. Don’t underestimate the fact they can still mix it with the best of them when push comes to shove.

If Brazil want to cut up rough again tonight then they are likely to find that Germany have an iron fist behind the velvet glove.

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One to Watch:
Sebastian Schweinsteiger. In many ways he is up there with Iniesta and Xavi as the ultimate modern midfielder. Perpetual motion, tenacious, yet blessed with sublime touch and vision.

He has criticised Brazil’s aggression and now it is down to him to prove he has the courage to match and then let his finesse make the difference.

If Schweinsteiger is on top of his game, and he dominates Fernandinho, Germany can beat Brazil.

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Beat the Bookie:

Given that Brazil and Germany are two giants of the World Cup it seem incredible that their semi-final clash will only the SECOND time in World Cup history the two superpowers have met at a finals since the tournament began in 1930.

It was in 2002 when Brazil (five times winners) went toe-to-toe with Germany (three times champions) in the final in Nagoya, Japan.

Michael Ballack who was the talisman of their team was suspended for Germany and Brazil, with their three R’s Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, won 2-0.

The same outcome tonight is 12/1.

Think it’ll be a bruising encounter..? Any Brazil player to be sent-off is 6/1.

Brazil to win and both teams to score in 90 minutes is 6/1.

The match to go to penalties is 11/2.

BOBBY’S BET OF THE DAY: Corals also put up an enticing 11/1 for Germany to win 2-1 in 90 minutes.

William Hill offer 20/1 for David Luiz to be top scorer.

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World Cup moment:

In 1970 it could have been the first meeting between Germany and Brazil at a World Cup finals.

Having beaten England, Germany were heavily fancied to beat Italy in the semi finals.

But at 90 minutes the game was deadlocked 1-1.

Gerd Muller put Germany into an early lead in extra time and it seemed they would prevail. What unfolded next was extraordinary;

Italy shook of the shackles of their rugged Catanaccio system and it became a nail biting end-to-end clash of Titans.

It reached 3-3. Penalty shoot-outs were not introduced until 1978 so the outcome of the game was heading for the toss of a coin. Really.

So both teams just kept attacking.

German star Franz Beckenbaur had dislocated his shoulder yet was playing with his arm in a sling. Really.

Then with the clock ticking down Gianni Riviera – the pin up of Italian football at the time – scored a winner.

Italy won 4-3 but would lose 4-1 to Brazil in the final.

The match between Italy and Germany though was dubbed “Game of the Century” (as in the 20th century).

@robshepherd5

Modern Classics..?
Friday’s World Cup Quarter Finals Preview + We Recall ’82 Semi

World Cup sensation James Rodriguez

World Cup sensation James Rodriguez

Brazil and Germany are odds-on favourites to progress from the quarter-finals of The World Cup but BOBBY’S BETS has a hunch that they can both be turned on their head…

Talisman Neymar insists he has the shoulders to carry the weight of the nation but carrying the Brazil forward line – which he has done brilliantly so far – could well prove too much against this talented and spirited Columbia team.

And in James Rodriguez Columbia have a player who can unlock a well-drilled Brazil defence. Rodriguez is 13/2 to score first and 15/8 as anytime scorer.

A victory in normal time may be beyond them but a 1-1 draw at 90 minutes is 6/1 – Columbia can then go onto win on penalties (which on its own is 12/1).

France v Germany has the making of a modern classic – and if it comes close to matching the drama of that incredible semi-final encounter from 1982 then we’ll all be happy!

So stick your neck out and trust Karim Benzema to keep on scoring. Benzema is 6/1 to open the scoring, 9/1 to score 2 or more and 7/4 anytime scorer.

BOBBY’S BET OF THE DAY: Is a 3-2 France win in 90 minutes at a tasty 50/1.

If you believe that history repeats itself you can back Germany to triumph on penalties at 10/1, just as they did in that crazy semi-final from 32 years ago. You can relive that game by clicking on the below link where you can see all the action complete with the thoughts of two of the chief protagonists; West German goalkeeper Harold ‘Toni’ Schumacher and France’s Patrick Battiston.

Odds courtesy of Coral.

Who Will Top Score at Brazil 2014..? PLUS: Be Sure To Read The Small Print When You Bet..

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Lukaku is a 33/1 shot to be top scorer in Brazil

by Rob Shepherd.

Beware if you back the top goal scorer for the World Cup!

Make sure that the bookies you go with are offering you odds on that – and not who finishes with the Golden Boot.

Surely the two are the same..? Well, no – as I found out at the last World Cup.

In 2010 I backed Diego Forlan £25 E/W at 40 -1, and with five goals (yes, that few) he was top scorer along with Germany’s Thomas Muller, Holland’s Wesley Sneidjer and Spain’s David Villa.

But when I went to collect my £250 (on the basis of a quarter of the odds) I was initially told: ‘No’.

They (Stan James) were arguing that they would only pay out on the Golden Boot winner – which was Muller because according to FIFA he got the award on the basis of three “assists”.

After some calls to the company’s PR department they relented and accepted my point that the bet was purely on goals not the dubious notion of an assist.

So check the wording!

World Cup 2014 Top Scorer

Not surprisingly Lionel Messi is 7/1, Neymar 14/1 and Cristiano Ronaldo 14/1.

Luis Suarez is a generous 18/1, Robin Van Persie 25/1 but the E/W bet I like the look of is Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku at 33/1.

The Chelsea striker who was on loan to Everton last season hit a hat trick in Belgium’s recent 5-1 friendly win over Luxemburg. Wayne Rooney is 40/1 for the top prize ….Daniel Sturridge 66/1.

No chance..? Gary Lineker was top goal scorer in 1986 with six goals even though England only reached the quarter finals.

1986 World Cup Finals. Monterrey, Mexico. 11th June, 1986. England 3 v Poland 0. England's hat-trick hero Gary Lineker celebrates after scoring the first of his three goals.

Click on image to see Lineker’s hat-trick v Poland at Mexico ’86

 

Odds courtesy of William Hill

Spurs Roll The Dice Again!
Will Frank Replace the Very Frank Sherwood..?

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Sherwood: Steadied the ship at Spurs

by Karl Hofer.

Sadly, but predictably, Tim Sherwood’s time at the helm of Spurs is up, despite former Tottenham hero Ossie Ardiles declaring that sacking  Sherwood will not provide Spurs with the solution to their problems.

Daniel Levy craves regular Champions League football, and sacked Andre Villas-Boas when he no longer believed that AVB was the man to lead them to a top four finish this term.

Sherwood was given the top job as a temporary measure, and despite steadying the ship, was relieved of his duties shortly after the season finished – confirming the widely-held belief that he was never in the frame for the job beyond the seasons conclusion.

But Ardiles, speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, declared that replacing the coach yet again will not solve Spurs’ many problems.

“I believe that the players we have bought in this season have been the problem. They are not performing the way we expected. I don’t want to name names, but basically all the people we have bought. This is a serious, serious problem.

“At the end of the day, whoever the manager is, AVB earlier in the season and later on Tim, there is not a lot you can do with the kind of players we have right now.”

Mess

The new incumbent will certainly have a big job on his hands, rebuilding a team that was rebuilt less than a year ago with the money from the Gareth Bale sale. Many people will tell you that was money poorly spent for the most part – yet AVB and now Sherwood have paid with their jobs, and neither was to blame for that mess in the transfer market.

After what was his final game in charge of Spurs, who finished in sixth spot, Sherwood told Sky Sports: “It’s been a great learning curve for me.

“The one thing I have learned about football is that it’s all about winning, and if you win it covers up a multitude of sins.

“It’s an impulsive game. People who don’t know the game make impulsive decisions and that’s what they continue to do unfortunately.”

As for the new man; Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino is the apple of Levy’s eye, whilst Frank de Boer has been strongly linked with the post for weeks now.

Next Permanent Spurs Boss

FdeBoer

You can double your money if de Boer gets de nod!

Pochettino: 11/10

de Boer: 2/1

Benitez: 5/1

Tuchel: 10/1

Moyes: 12/1

Laudrup: 25/1

Odds courtesy of SkyBet.

 

Ten Years Since Jose’s Sprint – But Will We See Another One This Week?

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Jose’s embarks on his now legendary run down the sideline

by Rob Shepherd.

It is 10 years since Jose Mourinho came to the attention of fans in this country when his Porto side stunned Manchester United in the Champions League before going on to win it.

Remember? Porto had won 2-1 in the first leg but United took any early lead through a Paul Scholes header.

United were then disallowed a good goal but seemed to be heading to the final on away goals.

But Porto clinched victory when Costinha drove home after Tim Howard had spilled a free-kick to make it 1-1 on the night… 3-2 on aggregate.

That prompted Mourinho’s manic touchline celebration and secured his move to Chelsea.

I fear Mourinho could get a taste of his own medicine this week…

After the 0-0 first-leg draw, 1-1 would take the Spanish through. That is 11/2 while a 1-0 for defensive-minded Atletico is 15/2.

A 1-0 win for Jose’s men is priced at 11/2.

If you fancy Demba Ba to continue his goal-scoring streak then he’s 13/2 to open the scoring, although Fernando Torres may get the nod to start against his old (and perhaps future..?) team instead. Torres is also 13/2.

Diego Costa may be back playing at Stamford Bridge on a more regular basis if the rumours of his arrival after the World Cup are to be believed. He’s nicely priced at 6/1 to score the opener against his potential future employers.

Clubs Foot Price of Failure

It’s understandable that the LMA have come out complaining about the manner in which Manchester United sacked David Moyes. It was all done in a very underhand and shabby way but that, sadly, is so often the way in the corporate world.

At the top end of football there is one massive saving grace in the unseemly way bosses are hired and fired – the compensation they get.

Moyes may have missed out on a few million after United waited until he missed out on the top four before finally wielding the axe but he could end up pocketing a severance deal in the region of £8million.

How many other industries can you get golden handshakes in the wake of failure?

So those at the LMA who bemoan the treatment of managers should put the their foot on the ball, in case clubs start inserting far tougher ‘failure clause’ terms.

Next Permenent United Manager:

Louis Van Gaal  1/6 ryan-giggs

Ryan Giggs  4/1

Diego Simeone  33/1

Fabio Capello  50/1

Pep Guardiola  50/1

Eric Cantona  200/1

Darren Ferguson  500/1

Howard Webb  1000/1

 

Odds courtesy of PaddyPower.

 

Battle Of The Giants
But It’s Bayern Who Have The Semi-Final Pedigree

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A masterclass from Muller

Once Atletico Madrid had shocked Barcelona in the quarter finals most fans – apart from those of Chelsea’s – would have seen a Real Madrid v Bayern Munich clash in Lisbon as the “dream final”.

But to prove UEFA draws aren’t fixed the collision of Germany and Spain’s Super Powers (five and nine time winners respectively but who have never met in a final) comes at the final hurdle.

The teams have previously met at the semi-final stage twice before in 1976 and 1987. On both occasions Bayern won.

The first clash in in 1976 was particularly memorable given it would prove the last hurrah of Bayern’s great side of the Seventies in terms of European Cup conquest.

This all conquering Bayern team of Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Muller and Sepp Maier had won the two previous finals against Atletico – their appearance in 1974 being the only time they have reached that stage – and Leeds in 1975.

The first Leg in the Bernabéu was a 1-1 draw. With Franz Beckenbauer orchestrating play from deep Bayern dominated the second leg at the Olympiastadion with Müller (known as Der Bomber) adding two more goals to the one he scored at the Bernabéu as they cruised home 2-0 for a 3-1 aggregate triumph. You can click on the below photo to see the goals.

MullerBayernReal

Munich went on to beat St Etienne of France in the final at Hampden Park.

The Bookies all have Bayern as slight favourites to go through, with the Germans at 4/6 as opposed Real 6/5.

The 1-1 draw is 11/2, a 2-1 Bayern win is 9/1. A 2-1 Real win is 8/1.

But if you feel that Ronaldo and Gareth Bale might rise to the occasion then a 3-1 Real win is 16/1.

Odds Courtesy of Paddy Power

Liverpool v Spurs Preview
PLUS: Spurs Smashed for Seven by Rampant Reds in match from 1978

 Liverpool  v  Tottenham Hotspur, Sunday March 30th 4pm, Live on Sky Sports

LIVERPOOL   4/9   DRAW   7/2   TOTTENHAM   6/1

For the 165th meeting between the two clubs, Liverpool come into the match in second place on 65 points, while Spurs lay in 5th place on 56 points.

The first meeting came on Boxing Day in 1894 when Liverpool, who had been established just two years earlier after a dispute with Everton, played a friendly at Tottenham Marshes in a game won 3-0 by Spurs. A second visit from Liverpool was even less successful in Easter 1895 with Spurs winning 6-0.

The first Football League meeting between the two clubs took place at White Hart Lane in November 1909 with Spurs winning 1-0 thanks to a Bert Middlemiss goal. He became the first Spurs player to score against both Merseyside clubs.

The reverse fixture that season was won by Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield, which had previously been the home of Everton before their move to Goodison Park.

All 139 League meetings played to date between Spurs & Liverpool have taken place in the Top Flight of English football.

Tottenham’s 2-1 win at Anfield in March 1912 would be their last at the ground for 73 years with the jinx finally being broken when a goal from Garth Crooks won it 1-0 in March 1985.

To date, the clubs have met 7 times in the FA Cup with Tottenham’s only win coming at Anfield in the 6th Round in March 1995 when goals from Teddy Sheringham and Jurgen Klinsmann earned a 2-1 victory.

They have also met 7 times in the League Cup. Conversely Liverpool’s only win came in the 1982 Final at Wembley, which was won 3-1 after extra time. Steve Archibald put Spurs ahead but Ronnie Whelan’s brace and a goal from Ian Rush meant that the Reds lifted the silverware.

The teams contested the Charity Shield in August that year with League Champions Liverpool beating FA Cup Winners Spurs 1-0.

Overall, Liverpool have the upper hand over Spurs with 75 wins to 49 with 41 of the 165 matches played so far drawn.

BOBBY’S BET OF THE DAY: A surprise result as Liverpool’s great run stalls. Correct Score of Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham at 13/1 is our tip.

Odds courtesy of PaddyPower

 

Liverpool  7-0  Tottenham Hotspur – September 2nd 1978

Tottenham hadn’t won at Anfield since the Titanic sank back in 1912 but they arrived full of hope and confidence having just strengthened their ranks with a pair of World Cup winners in Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa. But they met a Liverpool side at their imperious best that day and instead returned to London smarting from their biggest-ever League defeat.

Kenny Dalglish, a scorer in all three games so far that season, took only eight minutes to get off the mark in this one, turning to slide a low shot under Barry Daines after Jimmy Case had miscued his attempt at goal. Dalglish was on hand again after 20 minutes to put the home team firmly in control of the match. Before half-time Ray Kennedy had headed the Reds 3-0 in front and it was already clear which way the points would be going in.

David Johnson of Liverpool celebrates scoring one of his two goals in the 7-0 drubbing of Tottenham Hotspur

David Johnson of Liverpool celebrates scoring one of his two goals in the 7-0 drubbing of Tottenham Hotspur

Not that Liverpool were content with that, as it was in the second-half that Liverpool really tore Spurs apart. David Johnson,on as a first-half substitute for the injured Emlyn Hughes, took his chance to make a claim for a spot in the starting XI by scoring the 4th and 5th goals.

Midway through the second half Tottenham’s John Duncan made a tremendous clearance off the line to save a certain goal but then moments later tripped Heighway inside the box to concede a penalty. Phil Neal’s spot kick was saved well by Daines in the Spurs goal, but this really wasn’t the North Londoner’s day and the referee ordered a retake deciding that the Spurs ‘keeper had moved before the penalty was taken. Neal’s second attempt  had more power and accuracy than the first and Daines was unable to repeat his heroics.

Six-nil it was, but Liverpool saved the best until last. With about a quarter of an hour left came the goal of the day, perhaps the season even. It began inside Liverpool’s penalty-area during a rare spell of Spurs pressure. Clemence to Ray Kennedy, then on to Dalglish who then found Johnson waiting in the centre-circle. Johnson controlled and turned before spraying a wonderful pass out towards Heighway who was galloping up the left touchline. Heighway never broke stride as he crossed the ball first-time towards Terry McDermott, who had run almost the whole length of the pitch while all this was going on, met the cross at the far post with a bullet header which flashed past Daines who was rooted to the spot.

The goal typified Liverpool’s style during a season in which they played some wonderful football with great consistency.  At home they were almost invincible. Only four clubs even scored at Anfield and only Leeds and Everton escaped with a point that season as Liverpool stormed to their eleventh title losing only 4 games all season.

Liverpool : Clemence, Neal, Alan Kennedy, Thompson, Ray Kennedy, Hughes (Johnson), Dalglish, Case, Heighway, Souness, McDermott.

Tottenham Hotspur : Daines, McAllister, Naylor, Hoddle, Lacy, Perryman, Villa, Ardiles, Taylor, Duncan, McNab.