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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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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Antonio Conte’s tactically perfect Euro 2016 Italian job

Full of determination, discipline, energy, intelligence, passion and tactical acumen. Italy’s performance throughout their 2-0 win over Spain in the second round of Euro 2016 represented all of the qualities that the Azzuri’s manager Antonio Conte has gradually instilled in the team since taking charge in August 2014. Prior to the finals Conte was cautiously optimistic and quite reserved about Italy’s prospects of performing well, but subsequently Italy’s campaign is currently evolving as Conte suggested it might, with the manager compensating for the lack of individual talent within his squad…

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Euro 2016 – England look to end Iceland’s famous run

There were several teams during the group stage of Euro 2016 that caused a surprise by being much more competitive than anticipated, and of those, Iceland will surely rank among the highest. Written off by many a pundit in the lead up to the tournament, they went through with an unbeaten record and will now feel that they belong at this level. The dramatic win against Austria on Wednesday will go down as a definitive moment in their footballing history, and it ensured that they would face England in the…

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Italy and Spain to resume Euro Championship rivalry in last 16

For a third successive European Championships, Italy and Spain will play one another, in a repeat of the Euro 2012 final. La Roja convincingly won that encounter 4-0, to seal a second straight European Championship title, after completely outplaying the Azzuri, who will be keen to exact revenge when the two teams face one another in the second round of Euro 2016 at the Stade de France. In addition to meeting in the final of Euro 2012, which was jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine, Italy and Spain played one…

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Euro 2016 players with experience at the UEFA Under-21 European Championships

Whilst the European Championships are staged every four years, taking place every second year is the Under-21 version of the tournament which many of those players among the Euro 2016 squads have experience of being involved in. The under-21 European Championship in it’s current form has existed since 1978, with the earliest appearances in the tournament by Euro 2016 players being made by Bruno Alves and Petr Cech in 2002. Since then, seven more under-21 European Championships have been held with a whole host of Euro 2016 players being called…

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England drop spot in bookmakers’ Euro 2016 rankings

England survived Group B at Euro 2016 and are through to the round of 16 in France, where they will face Iceland on Monday June 27 in the Allianz Riviera in Nice. The Three Lions surprisingly finished second behind Wales and that has had some consequences with the bookmakers. Website oddschecker.com keeps track of the Euro 2016 bets of 27 bookmakers, among them Unibet, Bwin, Betway, Bet365 and Paddypower. France still lead the way with a four to one chance to win the competition on their home soil. That’s lower than…

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Euro 2016 Group D – Can Czechs secure unlikely progress?

Among the most memorable games of Euro 2008 was the meeting between the Czech Republic and Turkey in the final round of group matches. The Czechs only needed a point to secure a place in the next round and appeared to be cruising at 2-0 up with only minutes to go, only for an incredible three-goal comeback from Turkey to send them home feeling shell-shocked. This time around the Turkish hopes are looking exceedingly grim after two defeats, the last of which coming in rather punishing fashion against holders Spain…

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Spanish squad in a state of serenity

As title defences go, Spain’s effort to retain the World Cup in 2014 was virtually as disastrous as it could have been. After losing their opening game in Brazil 5-1 to the Netherlands, Vicente Del Bosque’s side were the first team to be eliminated from the tournament following a 2-0 defeat by Chile in their second match. Subsequently, Spain’s acrimonious and early exit from the World Cup inspired Del Bosque to begin to make some subtle changes to his team, some of which were enforced. New generation The retirements from…

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Euro 2016 Group D – Impressive Croatia hoping to build on opening win

In recent European Championships Croatia have underachieved, going out in the quarter-finals in 2008 in dramatic circumstances when they really ought to have made it further, before they were edged out of a difficult group in 2012. This time around their squad is said to be even stronger, and the performance which led to victory in their opening match against Turkey could end up being the start of something that could match the nation’s greatest footballing success, which was also in France when they finished third in the 1998 World…

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Chelsea star panned for his performance

fabregas chelsea

Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas was panned on Twitter for his dismal performance in Spain’s 1-0 win over the Czech Republic in Euro Cup today. The Spaniard midfielder, who was deployed behind Alvaro Morata by coach Vincente Del Bosque, failed to influence the game during his time on the pitch. Cesc Fabregas made way for Thiago Alcantara in the 70th minute of the game, and the La Roja broke the deadlock in the game through Gerard Pique’s header with three minutes left in the normal time. The following Tweet perfectly depicts…

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Euro 2016 Group D – Spain aiming to make it three in a row

In the last two editions of the European Championships Spain were untouchable, creating a historic and record-breaking dynasty that was the envy of world football. A woeful World Cup in 2014 spelt the end of that dominance, but with Vicente Del Bosque still in charge and plotting the route to redemption they have to be considered as one of the favourites to lift the trophy and make it an incredible three in a row. Del Bosque has certainly made some interesting selection decisions including the omission of Chelsea striker Diego…

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Euro 2016: the favourites and biggest outsiders

The start of the 2016 European Championship, on June 10 in Paris (France), is still a couple of months away. But it’s never too early to take a look at the favourites to win the tournament and the national squads that are listed as the biggest outsiders to challenge for Euro 2016. Three favourites It’s never easy to pinpoint the biggest tournament favourite to put your money on, but Germany seems to be the one team that jumps to everyone’s mind in this regard. The reigning world champions have made…

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Video: Diego Costa shows his wild side, again

Chelsea striker Diego Costa once again showed his wild side while modelling the new Spain shirt, produced by Adidas. The out-of-form forward will don the new kit in Euro 2016 in France next Summer, and may well feature before that against England on Friday night. ¿La quieres? Who wants it? #BeTheDifference @adidas_ES @sefutbol https://t.co/uDg4pESpaO — Diego Costa (@diegocosta) November 12, 2015 ¿La quieres? Who wants it? #BeTheDifference @adidas_ES @sefutbol https://t.co/uDg4pESpaO — Diego Costa (@diegocosta) November 12, 2015

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Arsenal skipper backs young teammate to usurp Chelsea star’s international spot

Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta has backed young full-back Hector Bellerin to soon take precedence in Vicente Del Bosque’s Spain squad ahead of Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta following his stunning debut season at The Emirates, according to the Metro. The 20-year-old impressed last term when he took advantage of Mathieu Debuchy’s injury problems to end the campaign as Arsene Wenger’s first choice right-back. He kept Debuchy out of the side once he had returned to fitness and even played his part in helping the side win a second successive FA Cup. Bellerin…

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Ranking the kits of the FIFA top 20: Do Wales still rate above England?

rooney england

The latest round of FIFA world rankings caused another stir of controversy, with Wales rising above England for the first time ever and France dropping 17 places below Romania, it’s easy to see why it’s got people’s backs up. However, just because a country has better individual players, it by no means ensures them a higher ranking. Though FIFA’s system is flawed, and confusing, we’ve come up with a much better way of working out FIFA’s top 20, and that’s by judging them on their kits. See how we’ve ranked…

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Leaked images of Spain’s AWESOME new Euro 2016 away shirt

International football shirts have taken a dip in their design quality recently. All too often teams are going for increasingly boring designs and the manufacturers just don’t seem as interested in making something as bold as they used to. However, kudos needs to go to Adidas if the design below is anything to go by. Nothing has been confirmed as of yet, but the folks over at Design Football have unearthed an image that could seem to suggest that Spain have opted for something rather outlandish. Check the picture below…

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(Video) Former Arsenal star Alex Hleb BLANKS ex-teammate Cesc Fabregas

Former Arsenal midfielder Alexandr Hleb may not have featured for the club for a few years now, but has endeared himself to the club’s supporters all over again following this weekend’s clash between Spain and Belarus. READ MORE: Arsenal Transfer Rumours Arsene Wenger’s worst ever XI Lining up for Belarus this weekend, Hleb was pleased to see a number of his former Barcelona colleagues in the opposition, and greeted them gleefully in the tunnel. All except for Cesc Fabregas. Hleb spent three happy years with the Gunners between 2005 and…

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