UEFA Champions League Quarter-finals, 2nd Leg – all to play for!


After witnessing the first legs of 4 intriguing clashes, the ties are yet to be decided in crucial 2nd legs. Who will gain advantage and will reach the Semifinals and eventually the final match in Madrid is yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure – all 4 ties are still alive. Spurs, Barcelona and Liverpool hold a lead against their opponents and Juve and Ajax will decide the outcome of their duel in a stunner in Turin. See our preview below and if you want to build your way of betting on them, take a look at our Strategies section.

Barcelona vs Manchester United


Barca hold a narrow lead ahead of their home match against Man United. Luke Shaw scored an own goal in what proved to be an affair with not so much clear chances and goal opportunities. Now if United manage to repeat the performance in their return leg in Paris from last round, they will get a chance to go to a semi-final against the potential winners of the clash between Liverpool and Porto. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer certainly keeps great memories from his last visit on Nou Camp. The Norwegian scored the winner against Bayern Munich in the 1999 final and Man United famously lifted the trophy with Sir Alex Ferguson in charge. Barca holded the ball very well in the first leg and now knowing that the English side must be looking for at least 2 goals, plenty of space should be expected for Barca counter attacks. Barca won all 3 last meetings but United emerged winners from last two-legged clashes.

Juventus v Ajax


Cristiano Ronaldo’s hunt for another UEFA Champions League trophy after winning it 3 times in a row with Real and one with Man United. The Portugal star was the main man yet again after returning from injury and scoring the opening goal in the Amsterdam game. That was his 8th goals in 6 matches against the Amsterdam giants. The teams had different results over the weekend with both of them giving a rest to key players. Juve lost to SPAL 2-1, but that won’t affect their title bid having a lead at the top. Ajax meanwhile won heavily at home to Excelcior – 6-2 courtesy of a Huntelaar’s hattrick. Ajax stunned the football world after beating Real Madrid 4-1 and producing magnificent attacking display. Now, Dusan Tadic and co will again go to the away tie knowing that a win will guarantee their progress and first semi-final appearance in more than a decade period.

FC Porto v Liverpool


Porto are facing an uphill battle to overturn a two goal deficit against the high-flying Reds side. Liverpool won the first leg and have fond memories from their last visit in Portugal in which they won 5-0 with Sadio Mane scored a hattrick. UEFA Champions league is something like a distraction to Jurgen Klopp’s side because they are fighting for the title with Manchester City as well. Porto will fancy their chances and are in good form at home – they won their last 4 games in the tournament. They have to score at least 3 goals against a stable looking Liverpool defense. The Reds will be boosted by the return from a ban of their left back Andy Robertson. Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino scored the goals in the first leg and is to be seen whether Keita will keep his place in the midfield with the competition from Wajnaldum, captain Henderson and James Milner.

Man City vs Tottenham


The all English affair is more than alive after Spurs won narrowly at their new stadium to delight the home crowd. Now, they face a tough task in their visit of the reigning Premier league champions – Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side are on the hunt for a domestic treble and a possible UEFA Champions League win will guarantee a quadruple meaning that the Spaniard will become one of Citizens greatest managers ever. Son scored the winner and Spurs will be without their talismanic captain Harry Kane who injured himself and will miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury. This means that both Son and Lucas Moura will have to fill his boots and provide the goals for the North London side. Lucas Moura did so over the weekend by scoring a hattrick in a 4-0 win against Huddersfield, so he will be certainly looking for a starting berth. Manchester City despite dominating locally find it hard when it comes to European matches against fellow Premier league sides. Citizens were eliminated by Liverpool last year and now could repeat that if they not win against Pochettino’s side. Sergio Aguero will be hoping for a better day after his early penalty miss at the first leg.

Enjoyed reading our preview, then why not going to the Blog section where you can find our analyses, previews and everything you need to know about football and sport.

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UEFA Champions League quarter finals are here!

UEFA Champions League quarter finals

After yet another dramatic round in the UEFA Champions League, the 8 best teams in the most commercial club competition in Europe are now here. English clubs reminded for themselves after all 4 representatives reached the round – Liverpool and Tottenham impressed against strong German sides Bayern and Dortmund, City didn’t gave a chance to Schalke and Manchester United stunned everyone by overturning the tie against favorites PSG. English sides will have to face the competition of Barcelona, Porto, Ajax and Juventus. We take a look at all for clashes and will preview them for you. Do not forget to follow our blog for more interesting articles on world’s football

Manchester United vs Barcelona


Maybe the blockbuster of the round – Manchester United will host Barcelona after both clubs made memorable second-leg games to reach this level. Both clubs have a big history in facing each other in Europe, but this will be their first meeting in almost 8 years. Barcelona beaten United in UEFA Champions League finals in both 2009 and 2011, but United proved to be the winners in the last two-legged clashes with the Catalans. Last time Manchester United reached the quarters was with David Moyes in charge and they lost to Bayern Munich, so now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his staff will be hoping for a better scenario. After the record start as a manager with 8 wins in a row, Solskjaer’s squad showed glimpses old habits with many injuries and squad rotation taking their toe. Ander Herrera also missed that Wolves match with a knock; Eric Bailly has not played for United since being replaced in the first half at Paris and has been struggling with concussion. Barça are unbeaten in eight away matches in all competitions (W5 D3) and have lost only three of their 23 games away from home this season (W14 D6). Can United produce yet another great performance against stronger side, it is to be seen.

Tottenham vs Manchester City

tottenham v city

The other Manchester giant will face familiar opponent having been drawn against English team – Spurs. The first tie will be played in freshly opened Spurs’ stadium and world will have the chance to see it in such high-profile game. The two sides meet for the first time in Europe and Pep Guardiola admitted that despite his side dominance in the league – domestic form goes out of the window now and the chances are 50/50. While Spurs are in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since their sole previous appearance eight years ago, this is City’s third last-eight tie in the past four seasons – and a second successive contest at this stage against a fellow English club. This season, Mauricio Pochettino’s side lost 4-2 at home to Barcelona in their first home game, but beat PSV Eindhoven (2-1) and Internazionale (1-0) in the next two. That helped them overtake Inter to snatch second place in Group B behind Barça; Spurs had just one point after three matches. Then Harry Kane and co. reminded about themselves by trashing Borussia Dortmund 3-0. The league game between the two finished 1-0 for City after Riyad Mahrez netted the winner for the Citizens.

Ajax vs Juventus


After stunning the whole footballing world in the previous round by beating 4-1 the reigning champions Real Madrid, now Ajax have another uphill battle against the runaway Italian leaders Juventus. The Turin’s giants also put on a show to reach this phase by beating heavily Atletico Madrid 3-0 at home and overturned a two goal deficit. In terms of history in Europe, this is maybe the highest profile matches of the round as both club being one of the two most prestigious on the continent. While Juventus are on a hunt of 3rd semi-final in 5 seasons, Ajax never made it that far since 1996/1997. Juve dominate recent clashes with the Dutch side having not lost in 9 games and winning 6 of them. Both clubs exchanged wins in two memorable finals – in 1974 where Ajax won and in 1996 where Juventus won the cup courtesy of Fabrizzio Ravanelli’s goal and a penalty shoot-out. Juve have won all four of the teams’ two-legged contests, most recently prevailing 2-1 in the Amsterdam first leg of their 2009/10 UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie and progressing after a goalless draw in Turin. Juve continued their dominance in the league over the weekend after beating AC Milan 2-1 but the referee’s decision were the major talking point. Will Cristiano be fit for the game, that remains to be seen? Ajax have the be wary because some of their most influential players could miss out the second leg due to bookings: Blind, De Ligt, Tagliafico, Van de Beek, Ziyech.

Liverpool vs Porto


The Reds are on a hunt for another great European campaign after memorable run last season in reaching the final. Now Jurgen Klopp’s side bid to reach Madrid is via another familiar opponent. Liverpool beaten FC Porto in 5-0 aggregate win and certainly will be hoping for a repeat. The Portuguese champions reached this level after impressing against Roma and now will be looking to get a good result before taking the tie in Portugal on 17/04. Liverpool will be on high spirits having made a comeback against Southampton in 3-1 win away from home to keep the pressure at the top for City. Now Klopp have to put either Moreno or Milner at the left back because Robertson is suspended, but Porto’s problems with cards are maybe bigger – Pepe and Herrera will miss out on the Anfield tie. Porto are 3D and 3L against English side in their last 6 games and the prospect do not look good for Iker Casillas and his teammates. Liverpool are 14 matches unbeaten in all competitions (W9 D5), since a 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Wolves on 7 January

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The Secrets Of Successful Sports Betting That Even Bookmakers Don’t Know


Gambling by nature is a money-risking task to fulfill. This is what sports betting does which has also greatly influenced every sports enthusiast all over the world. Sports betting has been a type of a profitable business that every bettor want to five because of the huge amount of money they can earn once their entry win in the said sports tournament.

Many bettors especially the expert ones come up with methods and strategies they think will work so that their betting will be successful. As a beginner is the sports betting industry, you may find this terrifying because you might end up losing. While this may be true, you need to understand that gambling and sports betting may have some strategies but not all the time these methods will work.

So, how should you make out the most of your bets? What are the best ways you can apply to make sure that you can get away with losing much and earning more than what you want to earn? In this article, we’d like to show you some betting tactics that even bookmakers don’t know to make sure that you perform a profitable sports betting.

Know All Angles In Your Sport

As you may have known that there are lots of sports betting show you can partake in the gambling industry. The most popular is the horse racing which gives you variations of odds and categories for betting that you can choose. Thus, it is important that you just don’t know what racing is all about, but you also have the understand how the sports work and how are the odds obtained by bookmakers.

Besides, the latest edition of the Triple Crown Series is underway and if you are planning to join this year’s’ edition of the famous horse racing show, you still have the chance to be successful in betting by knowing all the information of every odds. TVG Network Preakness History has the ability to show you the full details of the past odds of every entry which will definitely aid you in knowing every angle in this kind of sport.

Review Your Favorites

In sports betting, some experts say that loyalty won’t work at all. Yes, this is true especially that favorite odds do not usually follow a winning streak for a long time. This is why you have to be wise in checking the probability and statistics of your entries all the time as they may seem to change depending on the odds.

In the same manner, your favorite entries do may not have the same competitors and sometimes their qualities can’t match what their competitor can. In sports betting, it’s not bad to bet for your favorite’s challenger if you think he can do better. Clearly, it isn’t about loyalty but it’s always about earning a huge amount of money.

Shop Around And Don’t Stick With a Single Bookmaker

The betting business is a competitive sector and most of the time all bookmakers wanted to lure you making you feel that you should only bet for them and a single entry. While this may be true, in some cases your chance of earning may be hard because sometimes odds won’t stick to your favor.

That said, you need to shop around and look for some categories of betting where you can feel you will earn. Remember that no matter how convincing the odds are bookmakers generating, at the end of the day you will be the one to wage and your decision should be followed.

Include Fewer Sections

As mentioned, there are several categories of sports betting where you can wage and most of the time you are overwhelmed to lay your money to all categories. Remember that the more categories you place your bet, the lesser the amount of profit you will earn. This is the reason why you need to narrow your best selection.

Your ability to study every odds and their chances of winning will guide you in choosing fewer categories to bet. Once you master this and place a wage to a few categories, your chances of earning a huge profit will be a piece of cake.

Don’t Bet Using Your Heart

A lot of sports bettors especially the beginners tend to wage for the entry based on their gut feels. Admit it or not, just because you feel that team will win doesn’t mean you have to bet for them. This strategy will not work in gambling. Your feeling won’t help you at all instead it will give you a taste of your own medicine which is losing.

Bear in mind that there are numbers you can look at for a certain team or entry you would like to bet. Their numbers talk about their game history of how are they doing in the past. From this point of view, you have the ability to determine which entry you’d like to bet instead of just feeling them.

Learn More About Betting

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Is there a way back for Maurizio Sarri in Chelsea?


After yet another disappointing defeat at the hands of Everton, Sarri’s position at Chelsea is again under big threat. How come it came to point where the Italian lost the dressing room, the backing of his own fans and the playing system is apparently simply not working. The so called “Sarri ball” came to crashing defeat and the heavy defeat against Manchester City was one of the lowest points Chelsea felled under the Roman Abramovich era. The owner have past experience in not committing to the under pressure managers and it’s up to be seen whether the Italian will keep his job after the International break.

Can we see Gianfranco Zola finishing the season and sitting all by himself at the dugout against Cardiff in the next Premierleague match. Not everything is lost for Chelsea though, the Blues are still in the Europa League and will face Slavia Prague at the ¼-Finals with prospect of reaching Semi Finals. In the league the 3 points deficit to 4th placed Arsenal is a small margin which can be overturn. But will Sarri still be in charge, it’s interesting to be seen?

Chelsea forward Pedro has opened up about the difficulties of playing under Maurizio Sarri and addressed the rumors of a player revolt after the humiliating defeat to Manchester City. “All the team follows the idea of Maurizio: press really high, stay compact, and to create chances. With good possession, a lot of the ball. We can do this as a team,” Pedro explained, as per The Independent.” But sometimes it’s so difficult to play in this way. It depends upon the opponents. City played very well, so it was so difficult to press, to create between the lines and to defend.” But it’s Maurizio’s idea, and I prefer to press high when we recover the ball to create chances, not to wait for 90 minutes to recover the ball and run 60 meters to score the goal.

Can we see Gianfranco Zola finishing the season

“In the last few games it’s not been in very good condition for the results. Now is a good opportunity tomorrow to win and get our best confidence.”
“I think it is always difficult for every manager when you arrive with good motivation and ambition,” Pedro said. “It’s not just in the Chelsea dressing-room. For all coaches, it’s difficult. “It’s not good for [Sarri] and the team because the results have not been good, but it’s good for us to change this dynamic now [in the Europa League].”

Chelsea defender David Luiz has revealed Maurizio Sarri has confronted his players over the toxic atmosphere in the dressing room. But the Brazil international insists the Italian coach has the backing of Blues players despite poor results as, when challenged, none of them voiced any concerns. Luiz concedes his side were outplayed by City in every aspect, but insists Chelsea are still a work in progress and that a bright future lays ahead of the club. He added: “We lost against maybe the best team in the world at the moment in Manchester City. They were better than us from the beginning to the end. We lost a few matches because it is part of the process. The teams that are at the top of the table now are ones with managers who have been there for more than three years.”

Chelsea defender David Luiz has revealed Maurizio Sarri

“There is a big difference when you have already understood everything, it is much easier to play football. I think we are in the right way to still improve to become a fantastic team.” They were better than us from the beginning to the end. We lost a few matches because it is part of the process. The teams that are at the top of the table now are ones with managers who have been there for more than three years. “There is a big difference when you have already understood everything, it is much easier to play football. I think we are in the right way to still improve to become a fantastic team.”

The bigger picture for Chelsea is beyond this season. Regardless of the fact whether the Blues are going to qualify for the UEFA Champions League – via the league or via Europa League, Chelsea must reconsider their transfer policy. Having said that, no manager before Sarri stamped his authority on deals and Chelsea loaned too many players that could have been handful for them. The fact that the FA changed the rules for loaning players because of Chelsea speaks its own story. With transfer ban about to come in and the likes of Hazard, William and Hudson-Odoi wanting out, the bigger battle and important decisions must be taken by the Blues hierarchy sooner or later.

For the latest news, analyses and coverage, don’t forget to follow our latest blog posts.

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Accumulator picks for the Weekend (8th, 9th 10th March)


We are approaching that part of the season where titles are won, relegation avoided or submitted to and European places clinched. In much the same way as with the great cup cliché, it is also a time when form goes out the window. Clubs who seemingly appeared invincible before Christmas suddenly drop more points than an inebriated juggler. Teams who could not buy a point embark on back to back victories. It is a time when punters need to be aware, as current form often pays a lot bigger role than position in the table, or form over the whole season. As a result though, if you do your homework, and look below the surface, there is definitely value to be found.


Where to find the value

First of all, you have come to the right place. We have daily tips, as well as a plethora of other betting knowledge and strategies. But you can never have too much information. One often neglected place to get betting tips is straight from the horse’s mouth – many bookmakers offer accumulator tips every week. It is also important to get a rounded knowledge of the sport you are going to invest your money in. Not just the injury situation or the last six games, scratch beneath the surface, see what is really going on with these clubs, managers and players. A couple of good examples of that will be featured later on in this article.


Draws and Both Teams to Score

Picking a draw can be the hardest outcome to predict, but you will be suitably rewarded and sometimes a draw just seems nailed on. You can water the bet down slightly and hedge your bets by going down the both teams to score route. It gives you a little leeway, and the odds are still enticing.

Looking at the fixtures there are several games that jump out that fit into one if not both categories.

Huddersfield v Bournemouth

Huddersfield are all but down but are at long last showing some fight under new boss Jan Siewert. Bournemouth appear to have done enough to secure their EPL status for another season, but have not been great of late. Huddersfield need to win, and will more than likely sacrifice their defensive mindset in the search of all 3 points. Bournemouth have the players to exploit that.

Cardiff v West Ham

Almost a carbon copy of the game above. Cardiff have shown they can finally find the opposition’s net, but they will find it incredibly hard to keep West Ham out for the full 90 minutes.

Arsenal v Manchester United

The Gunners look a top two team at home, it is their away form that has let them down. What Solskjaer has achieved at Old Trafford is nothing short of remarkable. Both sides are looking for that 4th place, and know that out scoring the opposition is their easiest way of achieving that.

Other games that stand out are Newcastle v Everton, Derby v Sheff Wed, Bristol City v Leeds, and as an outsider – Leicester v Fulham. The Friday night Championship game between Norwich and Swansea is likely to see goals from both teams but a home win is the likely result.


Two Stories Behind the Games

Roy Hodgson will try to keep a cap on emotions


The weekend throws up two intriguing stories that you may not be aware of if you aren’t fully immersed in English football. The recent history of Blackpool has been one of high drama and high courts. Their fans have boycotted their games for several years, refusing to put another penny into the pockets of controversial owner Owen Oyston. Last week he was finally forced out, replaced with a board that included supporter representation. It is the day that every Blackpool fan – a team who graced the EPL not that long ago don’t forget – has been dreaming of for years. Their home game against Southend is the first game at Bloomfield Road since the boycott will have been lifted. Expect a party atmosphere, a near full house, and a resulting three points that should be easier than the odds suggest.

Finally there is the derby with perhaps the worst name, but nevertheless a ferocious rivalry. The so-called M23 derby between Crystal Palace and Brighton has been incident packed in recent years, on and off the pitch. With both teams still very much fighting for their EPL lives, at least 1 red card is probably the most prudent bet.


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Champions League is back, and there are plenty of reasons to be excited! (Part 2)

Champions League - Last 8 - 1st Legs 2-3 April 2018

After witnessing the first 4 games of the Knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League and watching the blockbuster clashes, including Paris impressive display and win at Old Trafford, Spurs winning big against Dortmund in the dying moments of their Wembley clash, VAR being in the center of the controversial match between current holders Real and Ajax and Roma overcoming FC Porto in their first clash in Italy.

Interested in what was our preview of the Part 01 of the games – take a look at UEFA Champions League blog post here.

Now we look at the second part games, which includes the return of Cristiano to Madrid and Liverpool entertaining German super power Bayern Munich.


Lyon vs Barcelona

Lyon will host one of the favorites in this year’s tournament and will be looking to get a good result before the return leg in Spain a fortnight ahead. Talismanic Lyon captain Nabil Fekir is suspended and the French side must cope with his absence and they are yet to win against the Catalan side in their all 6 attempts.

Lyon vs Barcelona

Barcelona meanwhile are leading the way domestically, have 2 upcoming matches against Real both in La Liga and Copa del Rey, now they would like to gain advantage early on in their tie with Lyon. When they last met in 2008/2009 in Round 16, Barcelona won 6-3 on aggregate. Former Lyon favorite Umtiti is recovering from injury and will travel with the side.

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Liverpool vs Bayern

When German and English clubs meet, the show is guaranteed. In one of the blockbusters of the round, Jurgen Klopp Liverpool meet Bayern at Anfield in what appears to be in another European classic night under the floodlights.

Liverpool vs Bayern

Liverpool’s main concern before the match will be the defensive crisis and the suspension of Virgil Van Dijk which adds to the injuries of Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren. Fabinho may have to shift to defense and Liverpool certainly would like to repeat their famous run from last year. Jurgen Klopp will return to his rivalry with Bayern, previously managed Dortmund in their final lost in 2013.

The German side will be without Frank Ribery, Jerome Boateng and suspended Muller. Given the depth in the Bayern squad, this will not be a huge problem for Niko Kovac and his staff. This year’s top scorer Robert Lewandowski will be adding to his goal tally and the clash between him and Matip could become vital for this clash as a whole.


Atletico Madrid vs Juventus

Atletico are unbeaten in 9 against Italian sides and will be hoping to add to this record. This task will not be easy, knowing that Cristiano Ronaldo and the ambitious Juventus return to town. Both teams enjoyed great success in the Champions League recently without winning the trophy, so this could be their year.

Atletico Madrid vs Juventus

Both sides have reached the final twice in the past five seasons, Atlético losing to neighbours Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016 whereas Juve were beaten by Barcelona in 2015 and Real Madrid two years later. History is not on Juventus side, as the Italians were eliminated from Spanish teams last 2 seasons.

The sides were paired together in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League group stage, when an Arda Turan goal gave Atlético a 1-0 win at their former home, the Vicente Calderón. Current Juve striker Mario Mandžukić was in the Atlético side, as were Diego Godín, Juanfran, Koke, Saúl Ñíguez and substitute Antoine Griezmann with Jan Oblak and José María Giménez unused replacements; Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci played for Juventus.

The second game in Turin ended goalless, a result that meant Atlético finished first in the section and Juve second, though it was the Italian side that went on to reach that season’s final.

Having Ronaldo on their ranks, certainly would make the match a very tense affair and surely Ronaldo will be targeted by the Atletico players.


Schalke vs Man City

In the last match of the Round 16 of the UEFA Champions League, the German side Schalke entertain the English champions Manchester City. Pep Guardiola‘s side are absolute favorites and everything different from a win in their match is going to be considered as a surprise.

Schalke’s last three UEFA Champions League campaigns have all ended in the round of 16 and they will be keen to make the most of home advantage as they welcome City for the first leg of their latest knockout tie.

The German club reached the semi-finals in 2010/11, but have not been past the round of 16 in three attempts since. Schalke qualified for this season’s knockout stages by finishing second to Porto in Group D.

Schalke vs Man City

The winners of Group F in the autumn, Manchester City are in the knockout stages for the sixth year in a row, and have won two of their last three round of 16 ties. In 2017/18 they went on to the quarter-finals, where they lost to fellow English side Liverpool.

The Germans are not so impressive in their matches since beginning of 2019 and have only 1 win against Wolfsburg, City in parallel are cruising in the league and are progressing through domestic cups with upcoming Carabao Cup final against Chelsea on the forthcoming Sunday.

Do not forget to follow our latest blog post on Europa League, Man United’s revival and many more interesting reads.

If you like to benefit from your knowledge, go through the strategies offered by our betting experts to turn it into fortune and bust the bookies!

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UEFA Europa League is back with a bang and the road to Baku starts here!

League Europa

The wait for the restart of the Europe’s second most prestigious tournament is over. The 32 teams will fight to reach this year’s final.
It will be played at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan on 29 May 2019. Starting from this season, the Europa League final will be played in the same week as the Champions League final.
This is the 48th edition and the 10th after it’s rename to Europa League.


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Champions League is back, and there are plenty of reasons to be excited!

Uefa Champions League - Quarter Finals - Second Legs - 10 April 2018

European’s most exquisite and most opulent football club competition is back with a bang, and several blockbuster clashes will keep football fans on their toes as ever! What the draw made for us – head to our blog post for the draw. Will Real’s record is broken anywhere soon or can an English club step their dominance over Europe be granted? Maybe Cristiano and his new club can be amongst Europe’s elite; all these questions can be answered in a couple of weeks. We are starting with the first portion of 4 games which are going to be played in the week 12-13 February.


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Die Bundesliga is back!

Die Bundesliga is back

German football elite division is coming back this weekend after the winter break in which the clubs took time off and recharged batteries. While in England, Spain and Italy the significant teams were playing during the festive season, the Germans went camping and planned the second part of the season. WhaleBets looks forward to the five things we can expect and cannot wait to see what will bring to many of us – Bundesliga fans from around the world!


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What has Ole Gunnar Solskjær changed at Manchester United?

What has Ole Gunnar Solskjaer changed at Manchester United

When Jose Mourinho finally left after the derby defeat against Liverpool, many Man United fans were left with a taste of relief. The writing was on the wall for the Portuguese manager since a couple of months of, and it was probably only a matter of time. The reasons behind his sacking could be various and almost every United fan across the globe could give his list. Strangely or not, Manchester United managing bodies could also be blamed for the situation most successful English club currently is at. Jose received a contract extension last season even when some worrying signs were there to be seen. We looked what went wrong for Mourinho this season and what was the instant things which Solskjær changed. The subject whether the Norwegian should remain beyond this season is somewhat unclear and most importantly what would be the other options available – Pochettino, Zidane, someone else?

The big tests for the new regime at United are only coming – Spurs in the league and ambition to enter the Top 4, PSG at the Champions League in February and the domestic cup. Maybe some of this will be sacrificed, or maybe Ole Gunnar will go for all of them. Many things remain to be seen, but the start is somewhat promising, and United’s style of play bring back joy to their fans at last.

Players confidence


Jose famously fell out with some of his high profile players and was caught on various occasions being on opposite opinion with them. You could argue that this is possible and could happen to anyone at any club, but whether this must occur in public remains questionable. Jose decided to go and attack players openly in his post-match interviews shattering the confidence of Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial, Fred and almost everyone from his squad. The answer to the question for players’ confidence: Why do some teams excel under certain managers? Why does the same employee perform differently under different managers or at different points in his career? Jose lost the dressing room and eventually lost his job.

During his first five games in charge, Ole Gunnar Solskjær seems to inspire the squad and players such as Pogba, Lukaku, Suarez and the defence looks different and much more inspired. The freedom and the spirit Paul Pogba is playing is with, really makes you wonder if this the same player? The Norwegian lifted the spirits. But since Solskjær has come in Old Trafford appears to be a much happier place. He made an effort to congratulate almost each of his players, hugged them and praised them after each match, reminding us more to Jurgen Klopp than to Jose. The Portuguese approached “me vs the world” and often went to war of words with the media, opposing managers or players, but in the opposing side often he included his players. That, as previously mentioned, cost him his job.

lukake ole

Negative tactics – Attacking display

united v bournemouth

Jose was often accused of playing so defensively and result oriented. Yes, he got his enormous trophy room with Chelsea, Inter, Real and Porto, but many of the cups were won with brilliant tactics based on great defensive displays. Porto’s surprising Champions League win put Mourinho on the cover page of European football, but has the Special One improved from back then? Has he adapted his style of play to today’s game? With the influx of Mancini, Conte and Guardiola, even the old 4-4-2 was dumped for more modern looking 3-5-2 with wing-backs, and many dinosaurs of the English game adapted this display. Even Mourinho tried playing with wing-backs such as Young, Valencia, Darmian and Shaw. The number of games when United took the lead and then dropped back were so many that it will be difficult to name them all. In the first five games United played under Solskjaer, the team didn’t stop attacking. Even when they were leading, the substitutions were attacking oriented, and the Norwegian put out players on similar or more attacking positions.

One man who has benefited immensely from the Norwegian’s positive approach is Marcus Rashford, who is looking an absolute world-beater at the moment. The youngster has netted two in three under Solskjær but has been involved in every productive thing United have done going forward. His assist for Pogba’s opener against Bournemouth was Lionel Messi-esque, and he’s certainly enjoying expressing himself as his manager asked.

Mike Phelan and bringing back Sir Alex Ferguson’s values

sir alex & phelan

When it was announced that Mike Phelan is going to be part of the Norwegian’s staff team, everyone was pleased that a familiar face from Sir Alex’s time is returning to Old Trafford. The importance of the assistant should not be underestimated, and United benefited from a person who worked closely to Ferguson over the years. The authority he is putting to all the players could be a massive boost to Ole Gunnar and the rest of his team.

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