Belgium vs England – Third Place Playoff – Preview, Predictions and Betting Tips

Sadly, Football is not coming home, but the Three Lions are not yet done in the FIFA World Cup. England will face other losing semi-finalists Belgium in the third-place play-off at Saint Petersburg Stadium on Saturday. England lost to Croatia in the extra time of their semi-final in a heart-breaking manner. Following an early goal from Kieran Trippier, England looked set for their first World Cup final after 1966. However, goals from Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic dumped England out of the competition. Despite their exit, the English side has…

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Luis Enrique named Spain coach on two-year deal

Spain have named Luis Enrique as their new head coach after Fernando Hierro stepped down from temporary charge following their last-16 World Cup exit to Russia, the Spanish Football Federation (SFF) announced on Monday. Enrique, who has been on a sabbatical since leaving Barcelona last year, signed a two-year contract. Spain sacked Julen Lopetegui just two days before their opening World Cup game against Portugal in Sochi because he took the Real Madrid job. Spain’s newly-installed sporting director, José Francisco Molina, said: “We need a successful coach, who’s modern and who knows the game…

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Paulinho rejoins Guangzhou Evergrande on loan 11 months after Barcelona move

Paulinho has sealed a loan move back to Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande just 11 months after joining Barcelona for €40 million, both clubs have announced. The Chinese Super League champions have an option to buy after the expiration of the loan deal. Paulinho’s move to Barcelona raised many eyebrows last summer and he was seen as a trailblazer for players who moved to China and could find their way back to European top flight football. He played 49 times during his solitary season at the Camp Nou scoring 9 goals in…

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Sweden vs England – Preview, Betting Tips and Predictions

England registered a rare penalty shootout win over Colombia to book a last-eight meeting with Sweden at Samara Arena on Saturday. It was the only second shootout win for the Three Lions in eight attempts in major tournaments since 1990. England are infamous for their inefficiency in shootouts, and their fans would argue that the win over Colombia proves that the footballing gods are with them this time. Maybe, it’s coming home. The English are on the verge of reaching the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1990,…

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Secrets to winning on penalty shootouts – A statistical analysis

Recent penalty shootouts in the last-16 round of FIFA World Cup has once again sparked a really old debate in the world of football – “Are penalties are a fair way to decide a game of football?”. Three out of eight games in pre-quarterfinals were decided by penalties and cost the likes of Spain, Denmark and Colombia place in the next round. Simon Jenkins recently compared penalty shootouts to Love Island in his piece on the Guardian. Penalty shootouts have never managed to find the approval of football purists, and…

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Golden route to World Cup final for England after securing silver

England fans didn’t travel all the way to Russia to settle for second place – or did they? Gareth Southgate’s side ended as runners-up in Group G behind Belgium with a final tally of two wins and one defeat. It was a very winnable pool, with the Three Lions holding all the aces in the head-to-head stats over Belgium, but a final match defeat at the hands of the Red Devils handed Belgium the prize. England progressed to the knock-out stage and appear to have been dropped into the better…

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Quiz: Find your second World Cup team

As the biggest sporting event in history draws ever closer, it’s time to take a look at your choices for the world cup betting odds. Are you sticking with the tried and tested big four? Or going for an unexpected underdog this year? Between them, the nations of Brazil, Germany, Italy and Uruguay have won an incredible 15 of the 20 World Cup tournaments in its long 80+ year history. This year features some unexpected surprises, as well as a few debut nations who’ve never made it to the event…

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Croatia set to repeat the heroics of 1998

Both Croatia and Russia will fight for a place in history books when they take on each other in the FIFA World Cup quarterfinal at Fisht Olympic Stadium on Saturday. Croatia surprised everyone in the footballing world in 1998 when they clinched the third place in the World Cup. Davor Suker was the hero of that Croatian side as he claimed the Golden Boot award with six goals in seven games. A lot was expected of the tiny nation following their heroics in France, but it took them another 20…

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Ronaldo future up in the air after World Cup exit

Cristiano Ronaldo declined to confirm if he’ll continue playing for Portugal or retire from the international scene after his side’s Round of 16 exit at the hands of Uruguay. The European champions were dumped out of the World Cup in Sochi 2-1 courtesy of two Edinson Cavani goals either side of Pepe’s equaliser. Ronaldo will be 37 when the next World Cup in Qatar gets underway but the Portugal captain has kept everyone waiting on his decision. “Now is not the time to talk about the future of players and…

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Barcelona make approach for Mexico World Cup star Lozano

Barcelona have made an approach for Mexico international Hirving Lozano, according to the player’s father. The PSV attacker is playing a starring role in his country’s impressive start to the World Cup finals in Russia with a goal in their 1-0 win over reigning champions Germany in Moscow. The 22-year-old enjoyed a breakout season at PSV Eindhoven in 2017/18, scoring 19 goals and providing 11 assists in 34 appearances in all competitions in only his first season in Europe, and is now gaining admirers in high places. “There have been…

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England huge favourites to seal qualification against Panama

England’s campaign in Russia is only one game old, and the Three Lions have already improved on their performance in Brazil. The Three Lions found themselves along with Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica in their group four years ago and could manage only one point from their three games. Obviously, Gareth Southgate’s men have been rewarded with a much easier group this time, and it’s too early to judge their title changes. However, their win over Tunisia has almost ensured their place in the last-16, and there is a new-found…

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Five reasons to love this England team

It’s been easy to feel fatigued following England in recent years. Whether it’s the slightly cheesy ‘car flags and bunting’ that surrounds a tournament or the predictably poor performances in big games, many fans have fallen out of the love with the national team a bit in recent years. Most prefer club to country. So, it’ll be more of the same this time, right? I mean, if I gave you £20 and told you to name the finalist with williamhill.com then it’s unlikely that you’d put your cash on the…

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World Cup 2018 Group G – Betting Tips, Predictions & Preview

Will the football finally return home this year? England are not among the favourites to win the tournament, but they will certainly fancy themselves to book a place in the last-16. The Three Lions will compete with formidable Belgium for the top spot in Group G. Tunisia and Panama are remaining nations in the group. We take a look at four sides and their hopes of qualifying from Group G Belgium The Belgian squad is brimming with talent, but they have underperformed in recent tournaments. In 2014 Brazil, the Red…

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World Cup 2018 Group F – Betting Tips, Predictions & Preview

Current champions Germany find themselves in Group F at FIFA World Cup 2018. Die Mannschaft are joined by Mexico, South Korea and Sweden. The Germans have struggled in recent friendlies, but they are huge favourites to qualify from their group. Behind Germany, Mexico seem to be most likely to grab the second qualifying spot. A brief look at four nations and their hopes of qualifying for the next round: Germany Germany come into the World Cup on the back of a perfect qualifying campaign. They registered maximum points from their…

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World Cup 2018 Group E – Betting Tips, Predictions & Preview

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Most successful footballing nation Brazil find themselves in Group E at FIFA World Cup 2018. The Samba Kings are joined by Costa Rica, Serbia and Switzerland. Brazil are market’s favourites to win the tournament, so they shouldn’t face any difficulty in qualifying from their group. However, there is no clear frontrunner among remaining three sides, and we expect an exciting battle for the second qualifying spot. Here’s our little preview on four sides in Group E. Brazil The embarrassing defeat to Germany in 2014 must still be alive in minds of…

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World Cup 2018 Group C – Betting Tips, Predictions & Preview

World Cup favourites France find themselves in Group C of World Cup 2018, and they are joined by Australia, Denmark, and Peru. On paper, Les Blues are far stronger than their opponents, and they are favourites to win the group. However, we predict an interesting battle between remaining three sides for the second spot in the group. Here’s a little preview of all four nations from the Group C. Australia Australia are making their fourth consecutive appearance at World Cup. However, the route to qualification was not an easy one…

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World Cup 2018 Group B – Betting Tips, Predictions & Preview

It’s very rare to see two football heavyweights facing each other in the group stage of World Cup. However, football fans will get to see European rivals and neighbours Spain and Portugal take on each other in Group B in Russia. Besides these two, Morocco and Iran complete the picture in the group. Here’s our take on all four participants of Group B. Iran The Asian nation are the obvious underdogs in the group. Iran, currently ranked 36th in FIFA rankings, are making their fifth appearance at World Cup. In…

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World Cup 2018 Group A – Betting Tips, Predictions & Preview

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Group A in the FIFA World Cup 2018 consists of South American giants Uruguay, hosts Russia, African hopefuls Egypt and Asian minnows Saudi Arabia. Uruguay are the obvious favourites to top the group, but we expect an interesting battle between Russia and Egypt for the second qualifying spot. Here’s our little preview of four teams from Group A. Egypt Egypt are making their third appearance at the FIFA event and their first since the 1990 World Cup.  The Pharaohs, who are ranked 46th in FIFA rankings, have never managed to…

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Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup: Group Stage Draw

The Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage draw took place today, 1st December, at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow. In attendance to open the draw were FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Russia President Vladimir Putin. In his speech welcoming the participants, Mr. Putin whose country is facing a doping ban from the Olympics spoke about the spirit of “fair-play.” This was the first draw since 1998 which former FIFA president Sepp Blatter did not oversee having been ousted two years due to a corruption scandal. The World Cup…

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FIFA Confederations Cup Semi-Finals Betting Preview

Arguably four strongest teams in the tournament have made their ways into the semi-finals, and it makes for an interesting viewing. Alexis Sanchez will face off against Cristiano Ronaldo as South American champions Chile take on European winners Portugal on Wednesday. Next day, CONCACAF representatives Mexico will take on world champions Germany. Germany, who have fielded a rather inexperienced squad, are favourites to win the tournament at 9/4 odds. Portugal are close behind the Germans at 23/10 odds. Love a good bet? You should check out these betting promotions. Real…

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Confederations Cup – Russia vs New Zealand betting odds

The Confederations Cup will kick-off in Russia this Saturday as the hosts take on Oceania champions New Zealand at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg. The eight-nation FIFA tournament, which consists of the champions from six continents, World Cup winner Germany, and the hosts, is supposed to work as a dress-rehearsal for next year’s World Cup in Russia. Both teams from the opening game are underdogs in Group A, which also contains Portugal and Mexico; however, the hosts will be huge favourites to claim three points in the tournament opener.…

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Twitter trolls Joel Matip following Cameroon’s AFCON triumph

Cameroon defeated Egypt 2-1 in the AFCON final today to lift the trophy for the fifth time. The Lions were dealt a big blow when a number of senior players retired from the national team just days before the tournament. However, over the course of the tournament, they defied all the odds and, today, came from behind to beat Egypt in the final. Liverpool centre-back Joel Matip was one of the Cameroon players who retired before the tournament. The 25-year-old wanted to focus on football with the Reds, but his…

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Four bizarre ways Dutch legend Marco Van Basten intends to revolutionize football

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The former AC Milan and Netherlands forward who won the Ballon d’Or thrice was appointed the technical director of FIFA in September 2016 to oversee innovations in the ‘beautiful game’. Here are the four most bizarre (read ludicrous) suggestions from the former World Player of the Year to make football more ‘honest, dynamic, interesting and attractive.’: ICE-HOCKEY STYLE SHOOTOUT Marco van Basten’s proposed PK change: “Maybe the player should start 25 meters from goal.” Hmm. https://t.co/9LAoW4wVKB — Major League Soccer (@MLS) January 18, 2017 Basten’s suggestion puts an end to…

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England’s latest appointment evokes mixed response from fans

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson has been named the captain of England national team for the World Cup qualifier against Slovenia on Tuesday. The 26-year-old was handed the responsibility after Wayne Rooney was dropped to the bench for the game. Rooney’s exclusion from the starting eleven drew a huge cheer from England fans, but the fanbase is not so sure about Henderson’s appointment as the captain of the national side. Obviously, the Liverpool fans are happy, but the others – not so much. The happy bunch: Jordan Henderson, England captain. Soz…

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Gareth Southgate is the new messiah for England fans

England interim manager Gareth Southgate has done what his predecessors Roy Hodgson and Sam Allardyce failed to do. Southgate has dropped his skipper Wayne Rooney from his starting eleven for the World Cup qualifier against Slovenia. In a press conference before the game, Southgate confirmed: “It’s very straight forward. We’ve looked at the way Slovenia play, which we did midway last week. And we profiled the kind of midfield we wanted to play. “It is in no reflection to Rooney’s performance at the weekend, in fact we were happy with…

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