Friday, 19 October 2012

Postecoglou Feels Full Force of the Roar

Ange Postecoglou’s return to Brisbane was everything the former Roar head coach would have dreaded, as the defending A-League champions tore his Melbourne Victory side apart, much to the chagrin of fans betting on soccer.

The size of the job in hand for Postecoglou was made clear for all to see as the Roar made relatively easy work of inflicting the Victory’s second defeat in the new season, as the hosts ran out 5-0 winners to send their former boss back to Melbourne with his tail between his legs.

Without three key players, in Archie Thompson, Marco Rojas and Mark Milliagan, the job was never going to be an easy one for the Victory. Two goals for Brisbane in a crazy first half minute ensured the visitors were left chasing the game from early on.

Thomas Broich opened the scoring on the 22nd minute before setting up a second soon after for Erik Paartalu.

The second half didn’t get better for Melbourne either, as Bersart Berisha’s brace and Mitch Nichols further rubbed salt in the wounds of Postecoglou on his return to the Suncorp Stadium.

Postecoglou’s return to Brisbane had been surrounded with plenty of hype in the news soccer in the run-up to this match, but the 47-year old was keen to focus on talking about his new club rather than his former one when he faced the press after the 5-0 hammering.

“My responsibility lies solely with getting this club back to where it belongs and start performing like our supporters think they deserve - that's our focus.

“I knew it was a challenge coming up here. But we are trying to play a style of game. It is going to take some time to come to grips with it, the players are still in a learning process - the players will get there.”

Friday, 12 October 2012

Goals Galore Predicted at Wembley

Wembley Stadium will not see anything so good again, as what will happen on Friday evening. For the first time since 1993, San Marino come to town and are promising goals.

Granted, these goals are very likely to be flowing in the San Marinese net rather than Joe Hart’s, but the travelling side nevertheless have this goal-rich guarantee when they enter the Wembley pitch on Friday.

A full house is expected at Wembley and 90,000 England fans will be wanting goals, with some people even suggesting double figures may be on the cards. More realistically, however, England are likely to take three points against San Marino and do so without any problems.

With a win all but guaranteed, goals are what will make this game fun. The last time these two sides met at Wembley, England won 6-0, and Friday’s result is priced at just 1.18 with the Betfair football betting not to stay below a 3-3 result.

San Marino have conceded an average 4.1 goals a game over their 133 previous international fixtures and have scored just 19 in reply. However, the land-locked nation does have form against England with a solitary strike just 8.3 seconds into the game during their 7-1 loss to Graham Taylor’s side in ‘93.

San Marino are priced at 4.9 on Betfair to bag the first goal once again when the two sides meet, while the game is 1.32 to exceed 4.5 goals.

For those feeling adventurous however, a goal rout at Wembley may be on the cards. England’s biggest ever victory was a 13-0 drubbing of Ireland in February 1882. 

Only 130 years later, could that scoreline be beaten? Odds of just 4.8 for over 8.5 goals suggest it certainly can and, with Roy Hodgson’s professionals facing a wine club from eastern Italy, almost anything could happen on Friday.

Not interested in yet another international? Check out the best odds to win Premier League, featuring United, City, and Chelsea.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Rodgers must Address Reds' Defensive Mistakes

Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers, was unhappy with his side's defending in their 3-2 home defeat to Udinese in the Europa League - and for good reason.

It has been a theme of the Reds season so far that they have given away sloppy goals, and it was the case again on Thursday as first a slip from Glen Johnson helped the Italian side equalise at the start of the second half at Anfield, before Sebastian Coates scored an own goal to give the visitors the lead.

Liverpool could do little about the third goal but suddenly, after another impressive first half, Rodgers' side found themselves behind after the break in a game that sport betting pundits thought they should havesewn up in the first 45 minutes.

The Northern Irishman continues to watch as his side's defending lets them down, and did not mince his words after the 3-2 defeat, saying "We are conceding too many goals", before even labelling some of the play in their own half "lazy".

Despite a mixed start to his tenure, which has seen plenty of positives with the emergence of talented youngsters - Raheem Sterling, Suso, and Andre Wisom among them - Liverpool have now suffered three back-to-back defeats at Anfield in all competitions, and things clearly need to improve overall.

Going forward, there are plenty of good signs that Rodgers' passing and pressing philosophy will bear fruit, as the impressive 5-2 victory at Norwich last weekend hinted at but, even in that game, they conceded two poor goals from a defensive point of view.

There was much made about the Reds' tricky start to the season and it is true they should have more points on the board than five, with their performances in the six league games to date deserving of more.

When they have the ball, Liverpool look assured, bright, and inventive, with Joe Allen and Steven Gerrard pulling the strings, and Luis Suarez already on five goals for the season; it's when they have to defend that problems emerge, and Rodgers knows, so far, in that respect, they have fallen way below the standards expected.

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