usa womens team
Football

Women’s World Cup 2019 – Can the USA win?

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off on 7th June in Japan and with the popularity of women’s sport soaring, the tournament promises to be one of the best yet.

Favourites

USA (7/2)

The number one ranked side in the world and current holders, USA will be the team to beat. They also have history on their side having won 3 of the 7 Women’s World Cup tournaments to date. Recent draws against England and Japan in the SheBelieves Cup and a friendly loss to France show that this American side are beatable though.

France (7/2)

The hosts are ranked 4th in the world and with home advantage, they will be confident of going far in the tournament. Back in January, France defeated co-favourites USA 3-1 which may give them the edge should they face the USA in the latter stages.

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Best Outside Bet

Japan (12/1)

Considering Japan qualified for the final of the last World Cup and have drawn with number one side USA recently and beat Brazil with World Player of the Year Marta, 12/1 is a massive price for the Asian side. Bookies may have factored in their disappointing 3-0 loss to England in the SheBelieves Cup but that could well prove to be a one-off.

England’s Chances?

Phil Neville’s side overcame the odds to win the SheBelieves Cup building on their 3rd place finish at the last World Cup. Odds of 13/2 suggest they have a good chance of going one further this year. To win the whole tournament may be a step too far but with the growing popularity and attendances across the country, another good showing should boost England’s chances in the long run.

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premier league team of the week
Football

Premier League Predictions Week 23

Welcome back to another round of Premier League Predictions. The season is well past half way now and Liverpool is 4 points clear.

Wolves vs Leicester City

Rob – 1-1

I see this being a tight game. Wolves aren’t in the best of form with 1 win in 5 league games but Leicester were poor last week against Saints so don’t seem in the place to take advantage.

Jack – 2-1

Wolves seem to bounce between ‘brilliant’ and ‘terrible’ on a weekly basis and it makes their matches hard to predict. Leicester are having a similar sort of season, but there seems to be growing discontent with the manager and see a home win.

 

Bournemouth vs West Ham

Rob – 1-2

Bournemouth’s poor form continues while West Ham have been improving massively as of late. The Hammers will be full of confidence after beating Arsenal last time out.

Jack – 2-0

This is exactly the sort of game that Bournemouth thrive upon, despite not being in great form. Need to pick up a win somewhere, but with the ongoing transfer story with star-man Arnautovic may cause to be a distraction.

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Liverpool vs Crystal Palace

Rob – 2-0

Liverpool have had troubles against Palace in the past but, if they are going to win the title this year, they must win these games. Salah to continue his goalscoring streak.

Jack – 3-1

How Man City would love to see Crystal Palace repeat their trick against Liverpool, but I can’t see it happening. Straightforward win for Liverpool, with a late Palace consolation.

 

Manchester United vs Brighton

Rob – 3-1

Solskjaer’s side are unstoppable at the moment. With Marcus Rashford transformed into the Reds main striker, United have looked exciting and dangerous going forward, something United fans were crying out for under Mourinho.

Jack – 2-0

What an absolute turnaround that has been performed thus far by Ole, and it should continue this weekend. The shackles are off and players such as Rashford and Pogba are starting to play with a swagger that we know they are capable of. Easy win.

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Newcastle vs Cardiff

Rob – 1-0

This is a huge game at the bottom of the table. You sense that Cardiff will be happy with a point being the away side, whereas Newcastle are desperate for the win. Geordies to edge it.

Jack – 1-2

Another massive game in quick succession for Cardiff, who will be so disappointed to not beat Huddersfield last week. This should add extra motivation against Newcastle, who may start to panic now they’ve slipped into the relegation zone.

 

Southampton vs Everton

Rob – 1-2

It is difficult to predict Saints’ games right now. They got a great win at Leicester last week only to be knocked out of the FA Cup by Championship side Derby midweek. Everton not in great form either but I back them to edge it.

Jack – 2-2

Southampton have definitely improved since sacking Hughes (it couldn’t have got worse!) and may benefit from no longer being in the Cup. Everton can’t seem to get any sort of run going and can see this continuing here.

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Watford vs Burnley

Rob – 2-0

Burnley will be confident having won their last 3 games, but Watford look very good lately. With home advantage, I can see them ending Burnley’s winning run.

Jack – 2-1

Watford are perhaps playing better then what recent results have suggested whereas Burnley have ailed fears of relegation with three very important wins. Burnley should have lost last week against Fulham a feel they won’t be so lucky here.

 

Arsenal vs Chelsea

Rob – 2-2

Both sides prefer attack to defence, which leads me to believe there will be goals in this. Aubameyang will be hoping for more freedom than he was given by West Ham and I back him to open the scoring.

Jack – 2-3

Agree that there should be goals aplenty in this weekends marquee game, but as Arsenal are in freefall after going back to their old habits I’ll predict an away win. Too early for Higuain however which is a blow for Chelsea.

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Huddersfield vs Manchester City

Rob – 0-3

Huddersfield fans will be hoping that their players respond to David Wagner’s sacking with performance but I don’t see it happening. It wasn’t like Wagner was unpopular so I can’t see them turning around their poor results. Especially against Man City.

Jack – 0-5

The real question is how many. Huddersfield for 18 months have been punching above their weight but the team is simply not up to Premier League standard and will surely finish bottom. Man City have been ruthless in recent weeks and this will be no different.

 

Fulham vs Tottenham

Rob – 1-3

Fulham may sense an opportunity here with Harry Kane’s injury and Son Heung Min being at the Asia Cup. However, Spurs still have players like Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen to cause Fulham problems and should still win.

Jack – 1-1

Potential upset on the cards? Losing Kane and Son at the same time will take the sting out of any team and Fulham needs to start picking up points from somewhere if they have any hope of survival. Will go for the Cottagers to steal an unlikely point.

premier league team of the week
Football

Premier League Predictions Week 22

Our two experts once again go head-to-head with their predictions for this weekends Premier League action.

West Ham vs Arsenal

Jack – 1-3

The Hammers are starting to click under Pellegrini whereas Arsenal has gone through a bit of a rough patch after a stunning start to the season. Away win for the early kick-off.

Rob – 2-1

West Ham have been improving all the time while Arsenal are struggling in defence. Can see the Hammers upsetting the Gunners here.

Brighton vs Liverpool

Jack – 0-3

Brighton seems to be this season’s most inconsistent team with the results that they pick up. Cannot see them causing Liverpool any problems in this one however as Liverpool look to maintain their position at the top of the table.

Rob – 0-2

Brighton will be looking to make themselves difficult to beat as they were at Anfield but Liverpool should be able to break them down.

Burnley vs Fulham

Jack – 2-1

A real relegation 6-pointer and anyone expecting an entertaining game will be left disappointed. Fulham have certainly improved under Ranieri but their defence is simply not good enough. Burnley will see this as a ‘must win’ and should deliver that.

Rob – 1-0

With home advantage, I give Burnley the edge in this huge game down at the bottom. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was a draw though.

Cardiff City vs Huddersfield Town

Jack – 1-1

Another relegation 6-pointer, although Huddersfield will take a draw in this one to avoid gifting Cardiff 3 points. I’ve been surprised by how competitive Cardiff has been so far but think that the Terriers will be too stubborn to break down.

Rob – 2-0

Cardiff have been pretty good at home this season and Huddersfield have been awful. Warnock’s men should be getting a good win in this one.

 

Crystal Palace vs Watford

Jack – 1-0

Hard to call this one but as Palace are the home side I’ll go with them. In the last few weeks Palace have picked up a decent level of points and Watford are comfortable after a blistering start to the season. Both sides should be happy that a relegation scrap is unlikely.

Rob – 2-2

Tough game to call as both teams are inconsistent so I’ll sit on the fence and say an entertaining draw.

Leicester City vs Southampton

Jack – 2-2

In theory this should be a comfortable win for Leicester but losing in the FA cup against lower league opposition last week will have reeled the Foxes and I’m not sure that Puel has the fortitude to bounce back after such a defeat. Southampton also did not have the best times but as they’re fighting for every point I see them picking up an important one here.

Rob – 2-1

While Saints have improved under the new manager, I don’t think they will get anything from Leicester as they will have to go for the win and will get hit on the counter.

Chelsea vs Newcastle United

Jack – 2-0

Easy win for Chelsea. Newcastle for me do not have enough about them to pull off shock results such as the one we saw Palace achieve against Man City and will struggle desperately if Rafa Benitez decides to ever leave the club. Expect teenager Hudson-Odoi to star here for Chelsea also.

Rob – 3-1

A lot will depend on how long it takes Chelsea to break Newcastle down but if they’re anywhere near their best then this will only go one way, a home win.

Everton vs Bournemouth

Jack – 3-2

This one will have goals even if I am a tad skeptical that Everton will pick up victory here. Both sides defenses have a lot to be desired although even though Bournemouth are on terrible form, they have had to play a lot of the ‘big six’ in the last month and generally do well for sides close to their level.

Rob – 2-1

Strange goings on at Everton with the chairman’s statement about them not doing well enough. This could affect the team but Bournemouth have been on a horrible run so they should still get the victory.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United

Jack – 3-1

Interesting game this as it is arguably the toughest test that Ole Gunner Skolsjaer will have faced since returning to the club as manager. Man United have definitely made progress but still think this will be a game too far for them considering Tottenham’s impressive recent form.

Rob – 3-2

Can see this being a great game of football with 2 teams who like to attack. Solskjaer will be looking to prove something against possibly his main rival for the permanent United job.

Manchester City vs Wolves

Jack – 2-1

A game in which the Champions will not find as easy as what others may think, in my opinion. Wolves are seemingly at their best when playing against the better sides and their ‘3 at the back’ will be closer to a back 5 which can be difficult to break down. That being said, City have just won 9-0 (albeit against lower league opposition) so breaking teams down is what they do best.

Rob – 3-1

This will be a lot different to the 9-0 win City achieved midweek and Wolves did cause them problems in their draw earlier in the season. City should win but won’t be easy.

premier league
Football

Tottenham vs Manchester United

In Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s biggest test since taking over from Jose Mourinho, his United side travel to Wembley to take on Mauricio Pochettino’s men. Can Solskjaer lead United to a victory to avenge the 3-0 drubbing they suffered against Spurs at Old Trafford earlier in the season?

LAST TIME OUT

Manchester United 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur

In late August, Harry Kane and a brace from Lucas Moura secured all 3 points for Spurs to inflict the biggest home defeat of Jose Mourinho’s career. Speaking of Jose Mourinho, he went into a blistering rant after the game saying he has won more Premier League titles than the other 19 managers combined. Unsurprisingly, he will not be in the dugout at Wembley.

FORM

United have won all 5 of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s games as manager, including 4 in the league and 1 in the FA Cup. Spurs come into the game having destroyed Tranmere 7-0 and beating Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi final first leg. In the league, Spurs have won 4 of their last 5.

LIKELY LINE UPS

Spurs:  Lloris; Trippier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Rose; Sissoko, Winks; Eriksen, Alli, Son; Kane

Man Utd: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw; Herrera, Matic; Lingard, Pogba, Martial; Rashford

PREDICTIONS

This will be an intriguing game as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tests himself against the favorite for the full time manger role at Old Trafford, Mauricio Pochettino. The other interesting element to this game will be how Paul Pogba performs against one of the best sides in the league. I can see United performing well and causing Spurs problems, but eventually I think Spurs will edge it.

VERDICT – Tottenham 3-2 Man United (22/1)

TIPS

Eriksen first goalscorer (10/1)

Kane to score and Spurs to win (15/8)

Eriksen and Pogba both to score (16/1)

 

 

Top 10 FA Cup Upsets
Football

Top 10 FA Cup 3rd Round Upsets

Welcome back to another Top 10! This time it’s all about the FA Cup and the biggest upset victories in the years gone by.

10. Manchester United 0-1 Leeds (2010)

Jermaine Beckford scored the winner for Leeds at Old Trafford to give Leeds a huge victory over their rivals. Leeds were in League 1 at the time whilst United were defending Premier League Champions.

9. Burnley 0-1 Wimbledon (1975)

This was the first time that a non league side beat a team from the top division at their own ground for 55 years. Mickey Mahon scored the winner for the Dons.

WILLIAM HILL NEW ACCOUNT BONUS

8. West Brom 2-4 Woking (1991)

7th tier side Woking took apart West Brom, then in the 2nd division. Tim Buzaglo, who worked in the computer industry and played cricket for Gibraltar, scored a 2nd half hat trick to send the minnows into dreamland.

7. Bournemouth 2-0 Manchester United (1984)

Bournemouth were struggling in the 3rd division when they were drawn against Cup holders Man United. A young Harry Redknapp led the Cherries to a remarkable upset through goals from Milton Graham and Ian Thompson.

6. Birmingham City 1-2 Altrincham (1986)

Altrincham gained a reputation for punching above their weight in the 70s with draws against Spurs and Everton. They went one better here as Robert Hopkins misplaced back pass to a young David Seaman went into his own net and secured victory for the non league side.

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5. Newcastle 1-2 Bedford Town (1964)

Newcastle faced a Bedford side from the Southern League with a team made up of builders, decorators and engineers at St James Park and went down 2-1 in what would be the first of their many struggles against teams from lower leagues.

4. Sutton 2-1 Coventry (1989)

Coventry had won the FA Cup 2 years previously and were comfortable in the top flight when they faced non league Sutton. Tony Rains headed Sutton into the lead but Coventry fought back. Then, just before the hour mark, Matthew Hanlan volleyed his way into Sutton folklore.

3. Walsall 2-0 Arsenal (1933)

Herbert Chapman’s Arsenal side were dominant in the 1930s, winning multiple league titles. However, third division Walsall shocked the football world with a 2-0 win over the Gunners in this famous FA Cup tie.

2. Hereford 2-1 Newcastle (1972)

Southern League Hereford United played against top flight Newcastle in a 3rd round replay which propelled Hereford midfielder Ronnie Radford into FA Cup folklore with his wonder goal leveling the game at 1-1 before Ricky George netted a winner in extra time.

1. Wrexham 2-1 Arsenal (1992)

Featuring superstars such as Tony Adams, David Seaman and Paul Merson, Arsenal were the reigning league champions going into this game against 4th division Wrexham. Arsenal were ahead going into the final 10 minutes too before Mickey Thomas smashed a free kick into the top corner from 25 yards. Steve Watkin then scored the winner 2 minutes later after a defensive mix up. Arsenal continued to press but could not force an equalizer as Wrexham fans invaded the pitch in celebration of the final whistle.