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Here you will find free betting tips and previews from the hottest betting experts online collected and compiled in one place. Same as in the Tiltbet betting app on AppStore.
"What is it about you and Germany?" This is a question I get rather a lot. As a Scot whose broadcasting travels have taken me around the world since first picking up the microphone professionally in 1986, no country has had a hold on me quite like the land of bratwurst, BMWs, Beckenbauer and of course, Bayern Munich.
The seed was planted in 1974, when West Germany hosted the World Cup in the Cold War days, and the country's division added intrigue and mystery for a then-inquisitive 7-year-old football fanatic. As much as this was an immersion in the greatest sporting tournament on the planet, it spawned an interest in all things German, particularly after the DDR national team from the East defeated their more glamorous Western counterparts in a one-off game.
If you look on a map, you'll see just how close the north coast of Germany is to my home city of Aberdeen; indeed, the North Sea many centuries ago was one of Europe's early highways.
Geographically we were close, yet linguistically far away, or so I thought. When I began learning German at primary school a couple of years later, I realised it came naturally to me. Some of the guttural sounds were not unlike the Doric dialect of my parents and ancestors still spoken in the fishing and farmland communities of North East Scotland. As a radio enthusiast, I discovered that due to our coastal location, we could often pick up a radio signal from Hamburg in the evenings. And so, NDR (North German Broadcasting) came into my life, in many ways changing it for good.
It became a daily ritual. Doing homework with NDR in the background meant a mixture of news, politics, music -- I can tell you a lot about German pop from the 1970s and '80s -- and, when there were matches, football! That meant regular servings of the Bundesliga. Magical German wordsmiths like Jochen Hageleit and Gerd Rubenbauer painted vivid pictures with their words. As my language comprehension skills got better, I was transported to a secret, exciting German world I knew I wanted to be part of.
Travelling abroad was a luxury few families could consider back in the early 1980s, but my parents indulged me in 1982 by taking us on holiday, by car and then ferry, to Hamburg. It's funny the things you remember about your first visit to a new country; my memory is of how wide the streets seemed compared to home, the cycle paths and constant bell ringing from cyclists as we cluelessly invaded their space; the smells of bratwurst and mustard. Plus there was an impromptu visit to the Volksparkstadion, the home of Hamburger SV, who would be crowned European club champions the following year.
It was summer, and alas no games to go to, but my father and I simply walked inside the empty stadium and took in the scene of vastness, the huge sprawling terraces. I imagined the burly Horst Hrubesch diving to head home a trademark cross from Manni Kaltz.
In the '80s, my German teacher at Hazlehead Academy, Bryan Steel, was a huge influence, sensing he had a student in me who cherished the subject matter. Bryan had a fellow teacher friend in the small community of Obersuhl, which straddled the border of West and East Germany. I first went there as part of an organised school trip, but again later in 1985, between school and university, funding my journey by working as a postman in Aberdeen for the first part of the summer. Staying with Bryan's colleague, Erich, and helping out in the local school, taught me about living in a small German town, and given the proximity to the East German border guards, with their watchtowers and binoculars, I still have to this day "die Grenze im Kopf" ("the border in my head").
Despite not being able to travel into the DDR at that time, I spent weekends on trains up and down West Germany. It was late August, early in the football season, and treated myself to as many matches as I could, beginning with the closest second-tier team, Hessen Kassel, and then Frankfurt, with its wonderful wooded walk to the stadium. Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, Bochum and my personal favourite, Cologne, would soon follow. I couldn't get enough of the "Spieltag" ("matchday") routine: travel from the railway station to the bratwurst stand, pick up local newspapers, jump on public transport to the game, interact with fans on the way, stand and marvel at the stadium from outside. It's a routine I've maintained when on duty in Germany, before the pandemic put a stop to it.
Until the last decade or so, my commentary work only rarely involved this football country I love so much, although there were countless trips as a fan. Yes, there were games to cover in Germany in my BBC Scotland years, but they were all from the Scottish clubs' perspective. I was always delighted, of course, when later as main commentator for the Champions League on ESPN, the assignment was to cover any German team. I felt being fluent in the language and with the advent of the internet, starting most of my days watching German news enhanced my expertise. I continued to listen avidly to the Bundesliga and other German content on NDR, WDR and a variety of other stations just as part of waking up daily.
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In 2009, I returned to be one of the commentators on ESPN in the UK. Over the years, I sensed on social media that those who really loved German football seemed to like having a kindred spirit at the microphone. I made a point of not just commentating on player to player, but trying to share the knowledge and passion in me.
ESPN FC's Archie Rhind-Tutt explores the downfall of two former Bundesliga giants.
Not long after that the DFL, who run the top two divisions in Germany, began to expand on their world feed commentaries. To cut a long story short, I began to work for them when other commitments allowed. It felt like a marriage made in heaven, a true labour of love with a fantastic team of producers and commentators based in my German home away from home, Cologne. In recent years, I've been lucky enough to be on site to commentate on many of the big games for the DFL from Dortmund vs. Bayern, to the Revierderby (Dortmund vs. Schalke), to Union Berlin (that East German connection again) clinching promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time.
Now it all comes full circle with ESPN, the broadcasting home for the bulk of my career. When my colleague Kay Murray ahead of this season's Bayern-Schalke opener introduced me as "the voice of our coverage and the voice of the Bundesliga for so many," it really meant a lot. Thanks, Kay.
I'll be commentating on all the Bundesliga games that air on ESPN linear TV networks in the U.S., popping up to talk about the league on ESPN FC, and writing a weekly column in this space dedicated to German football. Little did the 7-year old boy in Aberdeen know what the 1974 World Cup would lead to.
Pep Guardiola is treading new ground as he leads Manchester City into the 2020-21 campaign. For the first time in his glittering managerial career, the City boss is embarking on a fifth season in charge of a club and within that, he's also having to rebuild and launch a second cycle of success.
Man City chief executive Ferran Soriano said in the past that "three, four years is one cycle" before you need to refresh your team, and that "maybe a manager can do one or two cycles, but people get tired." Four years after arriving at the Etihad following a three-year stint in charge of Bayern Munich -- Guardiola had four seasons in charge of Barcelona prior to that -- Guardiola, 49, has stayed at City longer than any other managerial job in his career.
His contract expires at the end of this season, and the ultimate prize of Champions League glory continues to elude him at City. A new deal will be there for Guardiola if he wants it, but nobody can predict whether he will walk away next summer or commit to an even lengthier stay at the club.
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Tom Young, a performance psychologist working in business and elite sport, recently published a book called "The Making of a Leader" in which he studied the mindset and demands of top coaches in football, rugby, NFL and cricket. Young also worked as a consultant to the Belgium football team ahead of the 2018 World Cup and the victorious European Ryder Cup team in Paris in 2018. And with Guardiola facing the challenge of starting a new cycle, at the same time as attempting to end City's wait for the Champions League, Young assessed how Guardiola will approach the task of delivering on both fronts this season.
"Sporting leaders are [on the job] 24/7, and it can be both lonely and draining," Young told ESPN. "A fifth season is the unknown for Guardiola and he will have asked himself, 'Do I really have the energy for this? Do I want to do this?' because doing it half-heartedly is just not an option for someone like him.
"The competitor inside of him will feel he has unfinished business with this team. Going into this cycle, the first challenge will be his own energy and drive. People might question that, but he's a human being. By his own admission, he's obsessed with winning and you only have to watch him on the touchline or after a game to see the intense, demanding and perfectionist approach he takes.
Another point Young makes is about the players on the pitch, or as he puts it, "the evolving team." With so many of the club's leaders departing in recent seasons -- like imperious Vincent Kompany and David Silva -- and other cornerstone players like Sergio Aguero aging, there's no clear sense yet of who will fill those voids.
"Teams need a range of characters, so what, if anything, are they missing?" asks Young. "Others need to step up, and recruitment on both a human and sporting level will be key."
Man City have signed defender Nathan Ake from Bournemouth and winger Ferran Torres from Valencia this summer as the club has attempted to regenerate a squad that has lost Silva to Real Sociedad and Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich. Sources have told ESPN that City were at the front of the queue to sign Lionel Messi in the event of the Barcelona star leaving the Camp Nou in August and Young believes that, while missing out on the Argentine will have been a blow to Guardiola, the manager can still use the disappointment as a source of positive motivation for his players.
"Undoubtedly, Messi would have given everyone an immediate psychological boost," Young said. "He'd have brought 'know-how,' having been there and done it, and having someone like that in the team allows others to play with a sense of belief and freedom.
"It would have been great for the players, but they now have the opportunity to say, "we don't need him, we can do it with the group that we have" -- again, it comes down to that mindset."
Messi may have provided City with the key to unlock the door to Champions League glory. The competition has so far been a puzzle that the club have been unable to solve, despite Guardiola's track record of having won it twice with Barcelona. After City's surprise elimination at the hands of Lyon in last season's quarterfinal, Guardiola said there were "no excuses" for his team, and Young believes that the club are in danger of developing a mental block with the competition.
"There is a sense of growing pressure on the Champions League," Young said. "Driven by his [Guardiola's] own standards and expectation, the most intense pressure comes from within. I think you could see that in his interview after the Lyon game. He will take that on himself and try not to burden the team.
"The danger is that it becomes the elephant in the room, a little bit like the England penalty situation before 2018. Psychological strength can emerge from people trusting each other enough to talk about their own fears or beliefs, something that's not always easy to do in elite sport. If it goes unchallenged or unsaid, groups can end up in a cycle where they start to think 'here we go again' at the same point each season.
Man City's Zack Steffen believes taking a knee is still important, but action is needed to make a change.
"Under pressure and expectation, it can be tempting for a leader to try and do it all themselves. Guardiola is a masterful coach, but it may be that he chooses to delegate more of that to his staff and allows himself to step back, see the bigger picture and focus on the individual needs of his players.
"You can be a master tactician, but relationships and trust are at the core of any team. Remember, this team has already made history with the domestic treble and record points tally [100 in 2017-18]. They've proved they can do it. Now they have an opportunity to do it again on the biggest stage. It is a chance to achieve, rather than a threat of failure. It isn't easy, but language is key, conveying that he trusts the players, and believes they can take the next step.
"Not that they 'should' or 'must', but that they 'can'. As we saw last season against Lyon, sport still comes down to the bounce of a ball, whoever your manager is."
For Young, however, there are no doubts that Guardiola will be able to find the motivation to meet his new challenge head on.
"I love watching Guardiola during games or in his interviews, just to try and see what really makes him tick," Young said. "He's relentless, and his passion for the game is so clear.
"I imagine working with him isn't easy, as standards will be so relentlessly high, but players will want to play for him. And maybe Liverpool's win last year will be just the fire he needs."
Luis Suarez’s Italian language test has been under scrutiny after he is accused of passing a rigged exam.
Five employees of the University for Foreigners in Perugia have been placed under investigation. Prosecutor’s documents revealed that the university rector, general director, and several teachers are among those being probed. According to the chief prosecutor, the five could end up facing charges for revealing official secrets and ideological falsehood.
According to Cantone, the investigation divulged that the topics of the exam were previously agreed with the candidate and that the exam score was predetermined ahead of the exam. In a conversation intercepted by investigators two days before the exam, one of the teachers Stefania Spina reportedly admitted that Suarez “doesn’t speak one Italian word”. She said that he shouldn’t pass the exam but will because “you can’t blow up to 10 million euros of salary just because you don’t have a B1”.
Suarez however, is not under investigation. But nor is he new to controversy.
Suarez underwent a language test at Italy’s University for Foreigners of Perugia last September 17th. The 33-year old striker was examined by two teachers in both oral and written production and comprehension. The university later announced that Suarez had passed with a B1 level linguistic certificate of knowledge of the Italian language.
The B1 certificate is needed to acquire Italian citizenship through marriage. Suarez’s wife Sofia Balbi is of Italian descent and if Suarez gained Italian citizenship, Juventus could sign him without exceeding the Serie A’s team limit for non EU-players.
Suarez is not new to controversy. He was banned for biting opponents when playing for Ajax (2010) and Liverpool (2013). At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, he earned a nine-game suspension for infamously biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini. At Liverpool, he was also banned for eight games for making racist remarks towards Patrice Evra of Manchester United.
Luis Suarez joins Atletico Madrid from Barcelona https://t.co/5PQiARqYdC pic.twitter.com/XCn2YwLAsW
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 24, 2020
Suarez wanted out of Barcelona after new manager Ronald Koeman told him that he was not part of the team’s future plans. Both sides then agreed that Suarez would surrender some of what he was financially owed in order to leave the club for free.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Suarez was set to join Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus. Suarez flew to Italy to secure an Italian passport. Part of the process was taking the Italian exam, which he did in the city of Perugia. He passed the test but that is now the subject of an investigation by Italian prosecutors.
Juventus was looking for a replacement for Gonzalo Higuain who left The Old Lady in favor of David Beckham’s Inter Miami of the MLS. But after Alvaro Morata joined Juve off a loan from Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, it was deemed that Suarez would join Atletico and on Thursday, the Catalan club confirmed that.
Luis Suarez leaves Barcelona as their third-highest scorer of all time
Tottenham Hotspur had to ask for the goal frames to be changed ahead of their Europa League qualifying win over North Macedonian club Shkendija on Thursday after discovering they were too small.
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Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said his goalkeepers noticed during warmups that the goals at Tose Proeski Arena in Skopje didn't have the right height. The goals were changed by UEFA officials and Tottenham won the game 3-1 to advance to the playoff round.
Mourinho later posted pictures on Instagram of himself almost touching the crossbar, while Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who sat out as new arrival Joe Hart started, was easily grabbing the woodwork.
"Before the game was a funny situation because my goalkeepers told me that the goal was small," Mourinho said. "I went by myself and of course the goal was small. The goalkeepers, they spend hours and hours and hours in the goal, so they know when the goal is not the right dimension.
"I am not a goalkeeper but I know football since I was a kid and I know when I stand there and I spread my arms and I know the distance, so I felt immediately that something was going wrong."
The game was level 1-1 before Son Heung-min and Harry Kane scored in the final 20 minutes for Tottenham.
Pep Guardiola has suggested Liam Delap will get more chances after the 17-year-old striker marked his Manchester City debut with a goal.
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Delap, son of former Stoke defender Rory, scored City's opener in the 2-1 win over Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup third round on Thursday and with Sergio Aguero still absent because of a knee problem, Guardiola says he may get more opportunities this season.
"The problems we have up front, Liam will stay with us," said Guardiola. "He's a different striker than what we have in terms of his physicality. We see in the training sessions how good a finisher he is. He's still working but we are delighted for his performance. He played really well."
Delap, who was signed from Derby in 2019, only found out he was in the team on the morning of the game but took just 18 minutes to open his account with a superb finish after a through ball from Phil Foden, who went on to score the winner in the 75th minute.
"I was buzzing to get the call up and to top it with a goal, I can't ask much more," said Delap. "I just want to keep working hard in training and I'll take every chance I get.
"I'll probably be smiling for a couple of weeks."
As well as Delap, United States international goalkeeper Zack Steffen was also handed his City debut after spending a season on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf. Steffen had little to do as Bournemouth only managed one shot on target but he still did enough to impress his manager.
"He made one good action from a counter-attack and he was calm and safe," said Guardiola. "He made a good performance."
Steffen, who spoke to ESPN on Wednesday about the need for more social justice action, took a knee before the match.
MEXICO CITY -- Mexico men's national team head coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino has spoken to LA Galaxy duo Julian Araujo and Efrain Alvarez recently to discuss the possibilities of both dual U.S.-Mexico nationals playing for El Tri.
Alvarez, 18, has already featured for Mexico at youth team level, but 19-year-old Araujo has played for United States youth national teams, including the Under-23s.
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"Efrain Alvarez and Julian Araujo are players we follow carefully," said Martino after he was asked about whether Alvarez could soon be called into the full national team squad. "In Efrain's case, I've had the opportunity to speak with him and he is excited about his situation with Mexico.
"[Alvarez] has competed in [Mexico's] youth national teams and in time he'll be a national team player for sure, in accordance with his development and growth with the Galaxy," continued the Argentine. "There's no need to rush him, he's very young, we have to go carefully."
Martnio admitted that the case of Araujo is a little different because of his relatively recent involvement within the U.S. set-up.
"Araujo is definitely doing really well," stated Martino. "I've had contact with him around 20 days ago. I told him that I hope he can be a part of the Mexican national team. He told us that he'll talk it over with his family and his agent about which path he will take [at national team level], but they are two boys we have a lot of hope for."
Araujo recently said he is undecided as yet as to his national team future.
"It's definitely hard, I stress a lot about it," Araujo told Extratime Radio. "I've received calls from both coaches, both staffs. It's hard because I have dual-citizenship. I've kind of put it aside right now because I'm getting minutes [with the Galaxy] so I'm focused on my club.
"For me being 19 receiving calls from both sides, it's a tough decision," he stressed. "[It's] not a feeling I like to feel. I'm just waiting on whoever gives me the better opportunity. So far the U.S. has given it to me. But you never know what'll happen. I'm going to go with whoever makes me more successful in my career."
The Mexico national team has other dual-national issues at present, with Cruz Azul striker Santiago Gimenez and Monterrey's Rogelio Funes Mori also making headlines in Mexico.
19-year-old Gimenez was born in Argentina and raised in Mexico. He has been called up by Martino although the Argentina national team is interested in calling him up.
"He's playing his first games and he's doing very well with Cruz Azul," said Martino. "I didn't speak to him about Argentina because I'm ruling it out. I see that his desire is to play for Mexico. He's shown very interesting qualities."
Argentine Funes Mori, 29, is established as a top striker in Liga MX and due to new FIFA rules could play for Mexico if he gets citizenship, which he said in a recent interview he would be doing.
Martino didn't want to talk directly about Funes Mori, but indicated he is open to calling in naturalized players if they are available and would add to the squad.
The former Barcelona and Atlanta United coach also announced his domestic-based squad for next Wednesday's friendly against Guatemala.
Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa, Hugo Gonzalez, Alfredo Talavera, Rodolfo Cota
Defenders: Luis Rodriguez, Jorge Sanchez, Cesar Montes, Salcedo, Gilberto Sepulveda, Johan Vasquez, Jesus Gallardo, Miguel Layun, Luis Romo
Midfielders: Roberto Alvarado, Uriel Antuna, Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Rodriguez, Fernando Beltran, Sebastian Cordova, Luis Chavez, Orbelin Pineda
Forwards: Alexis Vega, Santiago Gimenez, Henry Martin, Jose Juan Macias
Liverpool and Arsenal will play each other twice in four days next week after being drawn to meet in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
The Premier League champions eased past Lincoln City 7-2 in the third round on Thursday, while Aston Villa and Manchester City also won their ties to advance to fourth round matches against Stoke City and Burnley, respectively.
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Arsenal and Liverpool will meet at Anfield in the Premier League on Monday evening and will then line-up on Merseyside again later in the week, most likely on Thursday. It will be the third time they have met in little over four weeks, with Arsenal winning the Community Shield on penalties following a 1-1 draw.
Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United will also face back-to-back meetings at the Amex, firstly on Saturday and then again in midweek.
Holders Manchester City will travel to Burnley, while Everton will host West Ham United. Newport County have a home tie against Newcastle United, who notched their record away win when thrashing Morecambe 7-0 on Wednesday night.
Chelsea must await news on the outcome of the postponed Leyton Orient vs. Tottenham Hotspur third-round tie, which was called off after the League Two club returned several positive coronavirus tests. It is being reported that Orient will have to forfeit, which will send Spurs straight through to the fourth round and a home game against Chelsea. However, Spurs will also face Maccabi Haifa at home in the final qualifying round of the Europa League on Thursday, which means an under-23 team is likely to take on Chelsea earlier in the week.
Liverpool vs. Arsenal
Burnley vs. Manchester City
Brentford vs. Fulham
Everton vs. West Ham
Aston Villa vs. Stoke City
Leyton Orient or Tottenham vs. Chelsea
Newport County vs. Newcastle United
Brighton vs. Manchester United
The fourth round will be played on Tuesday to Thursday next week, with select matches available in the U.S. on ESPN+.
Miami’s prized rookie delivered a game that was worthy of his family name.
Tyler Herro was indeed hero for the Heat on Wednesday night as he played his best game of the season in the biggest stage he’s been into.
Herro is the first NBA player born in the 2000s to play in the NBA’s Conference Finals. He is averaging 20.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game through four games. In Game 4, Herro put on a dazzling shooting display that made Boston Celtics’ head coach Brad Stevens say post game that the rim “must’ve looked like the ocean” for the 20-year old former Kentucky Wildcat.
Most points in a Playoff game
Age 20 or younger
42: Magic Johnson
37: TYLER HERRO *
36: Derrick Rose
34: Brandon Jennings
29: Tony Parker
* Off the bench
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) September 24, 2020
He shot 14-21 from the floor including 5-10 from behind the three point area while scoring a career-high 37 points as the Heat beat the Celtics 112-109 and took a commanding 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. Herro also added six rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes of action.
Herro joins Magic Johnson as the only 20-year olds to score at least 37-points in the playoffs. He and Magic are also the only two rookies in NBA playoff history to put up a statline of 35-5-3 in the final two rounds of the postseason. Herro is also the second youngest player (only 51 days older than Derrick Rose) to score at least 35 points in the playoffs. He is also the youngest ever to score at least 35 points in the conference finals.
His 37 points is also the most by a rookie coming off the bench in the postseason. Overall, it ranks as the fifth highest scoring game ever by a player coming off the bench in the NBA playoffs. It is also the third-highest by a rookie against the Boston Celtics, behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 50 and 42 in 1960.
In 13 playoff games played, Herro has averaged 16.5 points per game. That is also the fifth best scoring average among rookies who have played at least 13 playoff games. Only Magic, Jayson Tatum, Dwyane Wade, and Alvan Adams have scored better over the same number of postseason games.
Raul Jimenez is firmly established as a fan favorite and key player at Wolverhampton Wanderers, but the 29-year-old Mexican striker had no idea where the team played a little over two years ago.
Wolves' 2019-2020 players' player of the season had to investigate the club and its whereabouts when he heard about the interest from the team in the summer of 2018, while he was preparing for the World Cup.
"About Wolverhampton, I didn't know [where it was]," said Jimenez in a talk with the Mexican embassy in the UK. "I only knew London. With the national team I had to go to Newcastle, Wales, I knew a little about England, but Wolves and Birmingham I did not know anything.
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"I knew about teams from England, but I even asked where Wolverhampton played and they told me, 'Well, in Wolverhampton,'" said Jimenez, laughing, before replying: "'Oh, it's a city?'"
Wolves approached the then-Benfica forward Jimenez when he was with the Mexico national team in Denmark ahead of Russia 2018, where club officials talked to him about their vision for the future and how he would fit in.
"When I got the offer I thought that [Wolves] was not a well-known team," said Jimenez. "I investigated properly and it was an interesting gamble to join a recently promoted team; it's one that to this day I do not regret taking. From the first season we have done well to be amongst the best in the English league."
Jimenez came into Wolves with some doubts surrounding how he would fare in the Premier League, given he'd failed to become a regular starter at both Benfica and Atletico Madrid, but the Tepeji native has gone on to become a crowd favorite and one of the league's best strikers with 32 goals in 78 games since he joined.
Mike Tyson is one of the most legendary boxers of all-time. After more than 15 years outside the sport, “Iron Mike” is gearing up for a comeback this November. If all goes according to plan, we could see Mike Tyson fight Anthony Joshua sometime in 2021.
Joshua is widely considered to be one of the best heavyweight boxers competing today. Based on where both men are in their career, it certainly seems like a mismatch. You can never count Tyson out, though. Today, we’re going to look at how this fight might come together.
Let’s get into it!
It’s not completely uncommon to see former professional boxers step back into the ring for exhibition matches well past their retirement. We’ve seen it time and time again with some of the most respected fighters in the sport. Mike Tyson appears ready to do something else, though.
Training footage shows that the champ is truly getting ready to compete. He doesn’t seem interested in simply getting back in the ring and putting on a show. It appears Tyson wants to knockout whoever steps across the cage from him.
News eventually broke that Mike would be taking on Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition match this September. Not long after that announcement, the fight was pushed back to November 28th. It’s been years since either man fought inside the boxing ring.
Sites like BetOnline are even offering odds on this incredible exhibition matchup. At the moment, Mike Tyson comes in as the -170 favorite. Roy Jones Jr. was once considered one of the best boxers alive, yet he’s entering this one as the +140 underdog.
This blockbuster fight is now just over two months away. It’s very likely to generate a huge number of Pay-Per-View buys. It now appears that if Tyson wins, he has some big names on his radar in the future.
That includes one of the best heavyweight champions in the sport right now.
No one expected that Mike Tyson would be returning to the boxing ring. For years, the former heavyweight champion told the media he had no interest in ever competing again. Even training was out of the question for Mike.
2020 has proved to be a year where anything can happen. Mike now appears to be in incredible shape and seems truly determined to obtain victory in November. Footage of Mike hitting pads shows he still possesses incredible speed and power.
It now seems that Tyson has his sights set on the future, as well. This week, he spoke in a lengthy interview with TMZ. During the conversation, Mike revealed that he would be willing to fight Anthony Joshua, the current WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight champion.
“Listen, I’m very interested. If doing that means we can have a bigger charity exponent, well so be it, I’m down to do that, too,” Tyson said. “I would love to [fight Joshua]. That would be mind-blowing.”
It didn’t take long for fans to begin predicting how this fight would play out. If Mike were in his fighting prime, he might enter the contest as the betting favorite. He’s now 24 years older than Joshua and is almost guaranteed to be listed as a massive underdog if the fight ever comes together.
There’s a chance that we could see Mike Tyson fight Anthony Joshua sometime early next year. Before that can happen, though, Joshua will need to get past Kubrat Pulev.
Back in June of 2019, boxing fans witnessed one of the biggest upsets of the past decade when Andy Ruiz stopped Anthony Joshua via 7th-round TKO. Many began to question whether or not Joshua was truly an elite heavyweight. Six months after the first fight, Joshua got revenge by defeating Ruiz via unanimous decision.
This victory silenced the doubters. It’s unquestionable that Anthony Joshua is one of the best heavyweight boxers alive right now. He may need a few more wins, however, before fans truly get on-board with the idea that he’s the greatest heavyweight boxer alive today.
He’ll have an opportunity to prove that against Kubrat Pulev in his next title defense. Matchroom Boxing CEO Eddie Hearn claims that Joshua vs. Pulev will take place on November 28th. Odds on this matchup are now available for fans around the world.
At the moment, BetOnline lists Joshua as the -900 favorite to get the win. He’s known for his extraordinary finishing ability and knockout power. In the rematch with Ruiz, Joshua also proved he can fight a smart, technical fight for 12 rounds.
Kubrat Pulev is one of the toughest boxers in the sport. He’s likely past his physical prime, yet continues to defeat everyone he faces. He’ll be fighting an uphill battle in this one, though. The oddsmakers list Pulev as the +550 underdog heading into this fight.
If both men win their next fights, we could see Mike Tyson fight Anthony Joshua sometime next year. It would likely be one of the most-watched fights in recent history. Let us know who you think would in the comments section below!
FOOTBALL LEAGUE expert Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) reveals his favourite selections from the third weekend of 2020/21 EFL action.
Bristol City suffered their first defeat of the season on Thursday night as the Robins exited the EFL Cup with a convincing 3-0 home defeat against Aston Villa. City supremo Dean Holden made eight changes for the third round encounter, preferring to look to the long-term as the Ashton Gate outfit set a top-six Championship finish in their sights.
Bristol City are one of only three sides – Reading and Luton being the others – to win their opening two second-tier fixtures and last Sunday’s 2-0 success at Stoke was a real eye-catcher. Holden’s charges denied the Potters a single attempt on-target at the Bet365 Stadium, and won the Expected Goals (xG) battle comfortably 1.95 to just 0.40.
The Robins might be missing up to seven players through injury, including the likes of Tomas Kalas, Jay Dasilva and Nathan Baker, but were still able to field a strong XI in Staffordshire. Most pleasing for Holden though was City’s performance at Stoke, described as an up-and-at-'em front foot display, akin to the style and approach the new boss is demanding.
Bristol City have set-up in a 3-5-2 system thus far with Chris Martin leading the line alongside the clinical Nakhi Wells with Andi Weimann thriving in a deeper role alongside the tireless Jamie Paterson. Tyreeq Bakinson has earned rave reviews in holding midfield with new addition Alfie Mawson slotting straight in at centre-half and even taking the captaincy.
Despite the positivity surrounding City’s start, it’s strange to see the Robins dismissed as 7/4 (Skybet) shots for Sunday’s showdown with Sheffield Wednesday. Sure, Bristol City’s performance data was poor throughout 2019/20 and their home record was bang-average at best, but making this match-up an almost pick ‘em at the prices? That’s not for me.
Wednesday have begun their battle to overturn their -12 point deficit with a creditable four-point haul at Cardiff (2-0) and at home to Watford (0-0). The Owls took advantage of a desperately impotent display from the Bluebirds on the opening weekend before playing out a dour goalless draw at Hillsborough with goalmouth action at a premium in both.
Garry Monk’s men are using the same 3-5-2 formation and are looking hungry out of possession, relentlessly pressing and hunting in packs. Watford didn’t look at the races last weekend but Wednesday lacked the quality to break them down. It’s that lack of cutting edge that requires work with the manager admitting his team are still short up top.
The visitors will look for a precious point here, aiming to contain and counter where possible, and build on their promising early efforts. However, I’m happy to oppose the visitors considering the Owls were beaten in seven of 11 trips to the top-11 last term, whilst Bristol City bagged W8-D3-L3 when entertaining teams in 10th and below at Ashton Gate.
I’m surprised we can get 10/11 (Skybet) on the hosts in the Draw No Bet market and that’s a price that’s just too big to turn down compared to my ratings.
Bristol Rovers slipped to their first defeat of the season last Saturday, with Ipswich running out 2-0 winners at the Memorial Stadium. The deadlock was broken in the 80th minute when Gas skipper Max Ehmer headed into his own net, and a defensive slip in the final minute of normal time allowed Town to snatch a decisive second.
The Pirates were ineffective in attack, but held the visitors to a minimum of clear chances until late errors proved costly. And under-pressure boss Ben Garner told the press he’s asked his Rovers outfit to play with more “freedom” as they bid to arrest and alarming run of results that’s seen the Gas return just two triumphs in 18 league outings since December.
Garner hopes he’s found the answer to his need for extra midfield depth with the arrival of Luke McCormick on a season-long loan from Chelsea, whilst Brandon Hanlon is still trying to get up to speed as Rovers look to solve the void created by Jonson Clarke-Harris' big money summer departure. However, it’s Rovers’ lack of creativity that has caused most angst.
Exclude Luke Leahy’s penalty at Sunderland on the opening day and the Gas have generated just 0.59 Expected Goals (xG) across 180 minutes of League One action in 2020/21. Flair players, crucial to Garner’s game-plan, have yet to flourish and there’s been a distinct lack of dynamism required to allow the side to fully function in their preferred 3-4-2-1 system.
That should be music to Doncaster’s ears ahead of Saturday’s clash at the Keepmoat Stadium. Rovers secured a brilliant 3-1 triumph against Charlton last time out as Madger Gomes continued his hot scoring run whilst the exciting Tyreece John-Jules grabbed a stunning first goal for the club since joining on-loan from Arsenal.
Boss Darren Moore was delighted with his team’s display in the capital as Donny produced a vibrant, aggressive, attacking and rock solid performance that could even have seen the visitors clinch victory by a wider margin. Flying full-backs Brad Halliday and Reece James received glowing praise for their efforts, as did Joe Wright and Tom Anderson defensively, whilst Taylor Richards' impact as a #10 is hard to ignore.
If Rovers can reach anywhere close to the standards Moore has set over the past 12 months, I’d expect Doncaster to deliver a winning performance against Bristol Rovers, and even-money (Bet365) on the hosts with a -0.50 Asian Handicap can’t be ignored.
Donny boast a 50% win rate as hosts under Moore, collecting W5-D3-L0 when welcoming clubs in 14th and below. In contrast, the Gas are winless on their travels under Garner and lost seven of nine trips to League One teams above them in the table last term, firing blanks on seven occasions.
When the EFL was suspended in March, Port Vale were sitting a solitary point and place outside of the League Two. Nevertheless, the Valiants were one of the selfless clubs who voted to prematurely end the campaign. The core of Vale’s squad remains in situ and manager John Askey has given the group overdue stability, continuity and consistency.
But there’s much more in the Burslem boys favour. A trusted cat between the sticks, a rock-solid back four in front and an all-action midfield make Port Vale mighty tough to play against. There’s a sprinkling of star quality from the flanks in David Worrall and exciting new signing Devante Rodney, whilst prolific poacher Mark Cullen is fit and firing up top.
Marginal gains is a phrase favoured by Askey and if the Valiants can continue fine-tuning, their upward trajectory should see the Staffordshire side threaten the promotion places. After all, Vale suffered only two defeats in 2020 and endured a sole home reverse in the curtailed campaign, making the 21/20 (Gentingbet) here on Saturday an appealing play.
The hosts have deservedly dispatched both Crawley (2-0) and Exeter (2-0) thus far, creating plenty of goalscoring opportunities and limiting the damage also. However, it’s been the squad’s ferocious work rate and attitude that’s stood-out most, particularly on the trip to Devon last time out with the Valiants dominating the midfield battle.
Visitors Harrogate head to the Potteries having banked four points from their first two games in the EFL. Long-term manager Simon Weaver was disappointed to be denied back-to-back League Two victories by a late Walsall goal last weekend (2-2) with Town running out of steam in the final-third following midweek exertions in the EFL Cup with West Brom.
The Sulphurites were good value for their half-time lead against the Saddlers but struggled to get out of their own half after the interval. Weaver insists that lessons must be learned and adaptations made but the Harrogate chief surprisingly opted to field a first-choice XI for the team’s midweek FA Trophy tie against Notts County, possibly depleting energy reserves.
I expect a well-rested and well-fancied Port Vale to be too strong on Saturday and I’m delighted to get the hosts onside at odds-against.
Bristol City vs Sheffield Wednesday – Bristol City Draw No Bet (10/11 Skybet)
Doncaster vs Bristol Rovers – Doncaster -0.50 Asian Handicap (1/1 Bet365)
Port Vale vs Harrogate – Port Vale to win (21/20 Gentingbet)
Posted: September 24, 2020
(Photo credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
A 1-1 record last night.
The Heat finally played a complete game and got the the win over the Celtics to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics had outplayed them in the first half of every game in this series, but last night the Heat were able to take control and hold onto it. They got an absolutely monster game from Tyler Herro who finished with 37 points.
Miami found success by shorting their rotation to just seven players and I don’t see them changing that going forward. Miami had another tough shooting night from three, but it didn’t matter. They are one game away from the Finals.
We got the win with the over thanks to a huge fourth quarter from both teams. The total was 212 and 68 points in the fourth quarter pushed us to the over. We took the loss betting the Celtics first half line.
This series is tied 441-441 through four games with the Celtics leading for more total minutes of the series, but the Heat are up 3-1.
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Tonight, we see a pivotal game four in the Nuggets/Lakers series. The pressure has to be on LA here despite their 2-1 series lead. The Nuggets dominated the last game and they were a last-second three away from stealing game two. Do not sleep on the Nuggets.
Tonight should be pretty interesting. The Lakers have complained to the NBA about the lack of free throws for LeBron James and we’ve seen that sort of thing play out on the court before. I would expect LeBron to have a big game here regardless, but this might help push it up a level.
Of course, there is still no answer for Nikola Jokic. He’s been absolutely ruthless in the playoffs and has gone right at Anthony Davis. The Dwight Howard experiment didn’t work and I doubt we see much more of him in this series. Jokic has adapted to everything that the Lakers have thrown at him and there just might not be an answer to this guy outside of foul trouble. He’s such a problem because the Lakers best lineups sacrifice rebounding and Jokic can clean up in that area.
We took the under in game three, but it ended up going over. That said, I think the idea was right. The Lakers offense has started to struggle in the half court and we saw a ton of points scored in the paint. The Lakers are not a three-point heavy team and I can see this game resembling a 90s center battle. A big first half cost us the under last time, I think we are going to see a tighter game here.
Bet Nuggets/Lakers Under 214.5
As good as the Nuggets have been to us and as much as I like them, I can’t shake the feeling that this is a Lakers win. The Lebron James-Anthony Davis two-man game has been underutilized, James and Davis have run only 26 pick-and-rolls together in three games, and that is something that the Lakers should be going to more.
With the Davis experiment over, it’s time for this team to go small like they did in the last round with Davis at center. That really puts Jokic in a tough position where he needs to defend Davis and any switch on defense puts him at a disadvantage. They will sacrifice some rebounding and defense, but it is their best path to victory.
All that said, this will not be an easy path to victory. It makes for a tighter game and I think the Lakers will really need to grind out the win if they are going to be a negative on rebounding and three point shooting. So as much as I think the Lakers will win outright, I have to take the points again.
Bet Nuggets +6
The early part of a new season is always one of conflict: A) we know we shouldn't overreact to what we see in the first few matches of the year, but B) overreacting is really, really fun. We just waited an entire offseason -- granted, this offseason was shorter than most -- to find out how good our teams like Chelsea or Bayern Munich would or wouldn't be this season, so we're going to react to a tiny sample size.
So what if we compromised and overreacted only to a little? We can give it a tamer name, such as "partial answers," and not commit to any long-term conclusions. We'll try to make smart use of stats for our discussion, too. Sound good? Great!
Let's talk about some of European football's offseason questions and the partial answers we can glean from the season's early going.
Jump to: Premier League | Bundesliga | La Liga | Serie A | Ligue 1
How are Chelsea doing with all those fancy, new signings?
While much of the soccer world has been cautious with finances in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Chelsea spent like no one else this offseason, parting with some £200 million to bring in attackers Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz, along with a new left-back, Ben Chilwell. They brought in veteran defender and former Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva on a free transfer as well.
That's half a starting lineup right there, and it's crammed into a lineup good enough to have finished fourth in the Premier League last season, never mind the arrival of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Stade Rennes.
How are things going so far? It's hard to say, obviously, considering that only two of the new signings have played -- Werner has played all 180 league minutes and Havertz 124 -- and last year's top three returning scorers (Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and Olivier Giroud) have logged a combined 12 minutes of action. Ziyech, Chilwell, Silva and Pulisic have all been unavailable due to various maladies, and we can't really know how the pieces fit together until they're all available. (Silva did start Wednesday against Barnsley in the EFL Cup, with Chilwell making a 24-minute cameo off the bench.)
Their first two league matches weren't particularly impressive. They worked their way past Brighton 3-1 despite an expected goals disadvantage (they generated 1.3 XG from 10 shots, while Brighton generated 1.6 from 13), with a 35-yard bomb from Reece James giving the Blues a second-half lead. Then they got run over by two Sadio Mane goals in a 2-0 loss to Liverpool. The latter match was defined somewhat by a first-half red card for Andreas Christensen, but Liverpool were the far more assertive team before that, too.
In two matches, Chelsea have started only seven possessions in the attacking third, while their opponents have started 30. (Twenty-four of those came in the Liverpool match; it's clear the defending champions have started the season in hyper-speed.) That's unsustainably bad, but nothing has been particularly good for Frank Lampard's squad so far. We'll see what happens when he has his first-choice team at his disposal.
Have Man City fixed their defensive issues?
Pep Guardiola's fourth Manchester City team had a fascinating 2019-20 season. (Here we should note that "fascinating" is not always a positive adjective.) They led the Premier League in goals scored and goal differential, and they were second in goals allowed. When they got their teeth into you, they didn't let up.
From a macro perspective, there wasn't much difference between that squad and its two title-winning predecessors. But about once a month, they fell asleep, giving up a goal on a counter and failing to crack open packed-in defenses. They fell to Norwich City and Southampton, got swept by Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United and ended the campaign 18 points short of champions Liverpool. Worse, they were knocked out of the Champions League quarterfinals again, this time by Lyon.
Almost the only statistical weakness City had was the most damning: They allowed 0.144 XG per shot, most in the league. Granted, they didn't allow many shots, but when they did, they were as point-blank as you're going to find. When these breakdowns occurred, they almost always seemed to lead to dropped points.
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Considering that it was such a random problem, it's going to take us a while to determine whether this issue has been fixed, but pummeling Wolves 3-1 was a good way to start the season. City held a +1.3 XG advantage, possessed the ball 66% of the time and started seven more possessions than Wolves in the attacking third. Better yet, they held the hosts to 0.08 XG per shot, lowest in the league. The defense featured new addition Nathan Ake at centre-back and sturdy old Fernandinho back in defensive midfield (he played centre-back last year, with mixed results), and it held up against a Wolves roster that's still in transition.
It was a good start. Now they have to do it over and over and over again.
Arsenal are Arteta's team now. What does that mean?
When Mikel Arteta took over the Gunners midway through last season, he didn't change all that much. Arsenal backed off the defensive pressure a bit, slowed things down and allowed fewer good looks, but they didn't assert any sort of possession advantage or do many of the things you'd expect a former Arsene Wenger player and Guardiola assistant to do.
Now, after an ever-so-brief offseason and a full transfer window for some roster adjustments -- bringing in Chelsea winger Willian and Lille defender Gabriel, for instance -- what has changed early on?
-- The possession game has been installed. Arsenal have enjoyed 58% possession so far (it was 52% after Arteta took over last season), and their possessions average 2.6 more passes than their opponents' (+0.6 with Arteta last year).
-- They ... take ... their ... sweet ... time. Through two matches, Arsenal are averaging 74.5 possessions per match. How slow is that? The past 10 years, the lowest full-season average was Manchester City's 84.8 in 2019-20 (Guardiola!). Arsenal's average possession time is 33.1 seconds; the highest in the past decade was Manchester City's 32.4 in 2018-19 (Guardiola again!). They're not pressuring all that much, which means opponents also enjoy decent time on the ball, and that's slowing the tempo to a crawl. For reference, Leeds United are averaging 120 possessions per match thus far. It's like those two teams are playing different sports.
-- The pragmatism is producing great shots. Arsenal are averaging 0.20 XG per shot, thousandths of a point behind Tottenham Hotspur for top in the league. Of course, this style isn't producing many shots -- their 0.13 shots per possession rank just 11th and combined with their opponents' 0.13 shots per possession, it means they're winning matches with shot quality more than overall quality.
They're winning matches, though: 3-0 over Fulham and a rickety 2-1 over West Ham United. The Hammers generated a 2.4-to-1.3 XG advantage, but could place only three of 14 shots on goal, and a lack of open, easy looks nearly doomed Arsenal. It's hard to confidently call them Champions League contenders yet, but Arteta's identity shift is clearly underway.
James and Ancelotti reunited: what does it mean for Everton?
James Rodriguez, World Cup wizard and general Real Madrid disappointment, signed to reunite with his favorite club coach, Carlo Ancelotti, at Everton this offseason. Although he averaged more than 1.0 combined goals and assists per 90 minutes in three of the past six seasons (twice for Real and once during a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich), a combination of injuries and managerial preference -- among others, Madrid's Zinedine Zidane never seemed like much of a fan -- tamped his minutes down, and he needed a rehabilitation stint.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol says it hasn't been since the 1980's when he was last excited to watch Everton play.
So far, so good. Through two league matches and 167 minutes (already almost 40% of what Zidane gave him last year), James has a goal and an assist and has created seven chances. Those are impressive stats, but they don't do justice to just how much of Everton's attack has run through him, even when he isn't in the attacking third.
Better yet, Everton have won their first two matches of the season for the first time since 2012. They took down Tottenham 1-0 in the opener, then pulled away for a 5-2 win over newly promoted West Bromwich Albion. Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin already has four goals.
Thanks primarily to the West Brom match, their XG differential (+1.83) is second in the league behind only Liverpool's, and though there are plenty of "This isn't particularly sustainable!" warning signs -- they aren't much for pressuring their opponent, their save percentage differential is unsustainably large (five of their seven shots on goal against West Brom hit the net, which won't usually happen), and it helped that West Brom were a man down the entire second half -- the attack is genuinely dangerous and exciting for the first time in a while.
For a club that hasn't finished higher than seventh since 2013-14, that's a start. We'll see where it goes from here.
Are Bayern going to go 34-0-0 and score 200 goals?
Do Bayern's primary challengers look ready for a fight, at least?
Bayern just won the Champions League a few weeks ago and went on holiday for a bit. Thiago left, and David Alaba's contract talks have seemingly reached a stalemate. The German and European champions could maybe begin the season a bit hungover, yeah? No. Bayern's downright cruel 8-0 win over Schalke 044 on Friday was a mission statement of sorts and until they lose this otherworldly form a bit, there's little hope for a tight Bundesliga title race.
That said, two well-assembled challengers sit in waiting, just in case. RB Leipzig were the best team in the league over the first half of last season, and Borussia Dortmund were easily the second-best behind Bayern after adding Erling Haaland in January. Despite losing Timo Werner to Chelsea, Leipzig are still fast, talented and well-coached, and Dortmund appear to have kept star winger Jadon Sancho away from transfer poachers for another season.
Both teams began the season well. Leipzig simply refused to give Mainz the ball during a 3-1 win -- they had 72% possession and averaged 7.6 passes per possession -- and BVB absorbed some early shots from a good Borussia Monchengladbach before flipping the match with a Giovanni Reyna goal and easing to a 3-0 win. Dortmund played at a languid pace and ended up generating most of their danger on counterattacks, but when you've got Sancho, Haaland & Co. up front, you've got the makings of a perfect countering squad.
Gab Marcotti explains why Bayern Munich are attempting to add depth at right back and on the wings.
Madrid didn't really spend any money this offseason. How does continuity look for Los Blancos?
Barring any last-second moves, a club known for filling potential holes with the most expensive possible options sat back and watched during this transfer window, handcuffed a bit by financial restraints. Instead, the club added to the roster by not subtracting from it.
A series of youngsters who spent 2019-20 on loan, led by midfielder Martin Ødegaard, might now get a run at the Santiago Bernabeu. Ødegaard was in the starting lineup for the team's season opener against Real Sociedad (Ødegaard's former team), and three other recent loanees were on the bench.
The match went basically according to plan everywhere but the scoreboard. Real Madrid possessed the ball 68% of the time, enjoyed far longer possessions and produced a solid +0.4 XG differential against what should be a solid opponent. But the overall shot quality was pretty low, and no attempts found the net in a scoreless draw. That allows us to point out that "Real Madrid are five points back of Granada and Real Betis in the table!" (both of those teams started with back-to-back wins), but it probably won't mean much down the line. Madrid's fundamentals were fine.
Milan looked great at the end of last season. Will that continue?
AC Milan's next loss will be their first since play resumed after the coronavirus stoppage. The Rossoneri took 30 of 36 points following the stoppage and jumped Napoli into sixth place in the league, and despite tons of rumours of his ouster, manager Stefano Pioli remained in place to start 2020-21.
Although their biggest matches this season have taken place outside the league -- they beat Shamrock Rovers to advance to the third qualifying round for the Europa League, and they host Norway's Bodø/Glimt on Thursday, with the winner one more round from the group stage -- domestic play began just fine on Monday. The ageless Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice in a 2-0 win over Bologna, and Milan racked up a huge +2.1 XG differential. (Zlatan has since tested positive for COVID-19.) Their defensive pressure wasn't all that high, but Bologna generated almost no good looks on goal.
It's difficult to avoid over-hyping this year's Serie A race. Yes, Juventus have won nine titles in a row and looked great against Sampdoria in Andrea Pirlo's debut as manager, but the list of potentially legit challengers has never been so long during Juve's run. Internazionale finished just one point back of Juve and nearly won the Europa League. Atalanta remain prolific and dangerous. Napoli have everything they need for a bounce-back campaign. Lazio still have Ciro Immobile & Co. If AC Milan retain their summer form for a while longer, the seven-time European Cup winners could play a major role in the race as well.
Can anyone hang with PSG?
Paris Saint-Germain lost only three of 27 league matches last season, so it was noteworthy when, following a run of positive coronavirus tests, a limited PSG lineup lost its first two matches of 2020-21 -- 1-0 defeats to Lens and Marseille. A last-second Julian Draxler goal saved them from a scoreless draw against Metz, and against Nice, with the band mostly back together, they cruised 3-0.
It wouldn't surprise anyone if PSG proceeded to win each of their remaining 34 league matches and cruise to yet another title. But which teams might have the best shot of hanging with the champs over the long term?
Julien Laurens says Kylian Mbappe's return was the driving force behind PSG's 3-0 win over Nice.
From the perspective of XG differential, freshly promoted Lens (+2.1 per match) lead the way so far. The fourth-place Sang et Or are 22 years removed from their only league title, but they've won three of four, and their win over PSG means they have to play the champs only one more time. Their defense is physical and foul-prone, and they've limited opponents to mostly low-percentage shots. The attack will likely hold them back, though.
Last year's runners-up, Marseille, also scored a win over PSG, despite their own issues with positive tests. OM's lone loss, to Saint-Etienne, was a bit fluky from an XG perspective, but their attack has been limited by personnel issues, and they've already dropped five points.
Lyon look like maybe the best non-PSG team on paper -- their XG differential is +1.8 per match, and they're finishing 59% of their possessions in the attacking third, compared to 31% for opponents -- but just as they did last season, they've leaked points, losing to Montpellier and suffering scoreless draws against both Bordeaux and Nimes. With Bertrand Traore already gone to Aston Villa and "Memphis Depay to Barcelona" rumours flying, the attack might not get more consistent anytime soon.
First-place Saint-Etienne have played stellar defense but don't generate many good shots, despite playing a heavy counterattacking style, and second-place Rennes play a lovely possession game but don't advance into the attacking third all that much.
So ... the answer to "Who will hang with PSG?" is probably "nobody." Again.
Posted: September 24, 2020
(Photo credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
A 1-2 record last night.
The Giants continue to be good to us as we took them in the first five innings and they outscored the Rockies 5-2 in that span. A big fifth inning got us the win here. Mauricio Dubon hit a three-run homerun to seal it.
We took the loss betting the Yankees as their bullpen just absolutely collapsed and Robbie Ray had some good results.
We also lost taking the over in the pitching battle between Lucas Giolito and Shane Bieber as both showed up big and the bullpens did their job.
Four picks tonight, let’s go.
All tips based on the starting pitchers listed. Tips should be considered void if any pitching changes are made unless otherwise noted. Occasionally the “follower” will be listed as we are betting on who will pitch the bulk of the innings.
Mets: David Peterson 3.80 ERA/4.78 FIP
Nationals: Patrick Corbin 4.76 ERA/4.00 FIP
Corbin has been much better in his home starts this season and he’s long overdue for some BABIP luck. He has a .376 BABIP on the season which is ridiculously high. The Mets offense is good and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gives up some runs here, but I think he’ll be able to put his team in a good position to win this one.
Peterson has a ludicrous walk rate (4.85 BB/9) and is relying heavily on his .239 BABIP. The Nationals offense has been much better against lefties on the year and I’d give them the nod when it comes to the bullpen as well. Both of these teams are out of the playoffs, but I think the Nationals will put out the winning team today.
Bet Nationals -120
White Sox: Dallas Keuchel 2.04 ERA/3.06 FIP
Indians: Zach Plesac 1.85 ERA/3.31 FIP
Pretty similar stats on these two pitchers, but I prefer Keuchel as he is a groundball machine. The Indians rank 10th in MLB with a 43.9% groundball rate so it feels like we aren’t going to see much power from them today. The Indians offense isn’t very good and has just a 81 wRC+ on the season against lefties.
Plesac is good, but he has been lucky and today he faces one of the best offenses in baseball.
Keuchel is just off the DL and only made one shortened start. I don’t see him going super deep here so going with the five-inning line.
Bet White Sox +105 First Five Innings
Astros: Cristian Javier 3.33 ERA/4.99 FIP
Rangers: Lance Lynn 2.53 ERA/3.81 FIP
The Astros offense is limping into this one and they get to face a very tough pitcher in Lance Lynn. He’s definitely getting a lot of help from his BABIP and his left on base percentage, but he’s still very good. The strikeouts are there and he keeps his walks down. The Astros are ice cold with a 65 wRC+ over the past two weeks.
Of course, the Rangers have a 65 wRC+ for the season so this isn’t the biggest advantage.
Javier can be hit though. He’s allowed ten homeruns in nine starts this season and has some real blow out potential. He has a microscopic BABIP that will come back to haunt him. Why not today?
Bet Rangers -115 First Five Innings
Brewers: Corbin Burnes 1.77 ERA/1.79 FIP
Cardinals: Kwang-hyun Kim 1.59 ERA/3.98 FIP
This is do or die time for the Brewers who are on the fringe of the playoffs. This basically is their playoffs and they send their best pitcher to the mound. Burnes has just been on fire and I can’t imagine going against him here.
Kim has been good, but he’s also been lucky. The Brewers offense is much, much better against lefties and I think they can hit him today.
The playoff race is tight in the Central, but the Brewers should show up strong today.
Bet Brewers -143
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You will get free betting tips from the hottest betting experts online collected and compiled both here and in the Tiltbet betting app on AppStore. The app and website are updated daily with betting tips from both large and small sports markets worldwide. Football tips from the Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Champions League, Europe League. Hockey tips from NHL and KHL. Horse racing tips from the big fleas in Europe. Tennis tips from all over the world. Golftips from the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour, the European Tour and more.
When popular game experts publish their betting tips, you have to be fast to place your bets. Often the odds are falling sharply because several people follow these experts. Therefore, check the app or this page several times a day to avoid losing any hot tips. In the end, everything is about game value, if the odds have fallen, then a really good pick can be useless. If this happens, you can often find inspiration in the bet tip and maybe find a similar bet for even better value. Remember to always form your own perception of the betting tips value to succeed in the length of your gambling. Also, do not forget to compare odds between the gambling websites, it may differ a lot. Good luck!
Betting tips and previews are collected from all over the internet. Some of the tipsters are:
MrFixitsTips.co.uk started in 2010 and has grown to become a really huge and active betting community on the web. Provide daily tips and previews from English, Scottish and international football, racing tips, NBA basketball tips and NFL American football tips. With more than 20 years of experience writing tips for the Daily Record, Scotland’s biggest newspaper, Mr Fixit brings you tips and betting news every day.
The Sports Geek
Thesportsgeek.com was founded in 2008 and provide betting picks and different kinds of betting strategies. With a team of five expert tipsters they offer picks from NBA, NFL, College Basketball, NHL and Golf.
We Love Betting
Welovebetting.co.uk is a site providing tips and insights from many football markets, such as Premier League, English football, Scottish football, International football but also other sports such as Golf, Horse racing and NFL. We Love Betting is updated daily with tips and betting previews.
Footyaccumulators.com began in 2010 and provide betting news, match previews and recommended bets. FootyAccumulators write betting previews on over nine football leagues as well as internationals. They do not just focus on the Premier League, they also provide betting tips and previews for clubs in the Championship, League One and League Two.
Sports Betting Tips
Sportsbettingtips.org is a website with the ultimate aim to cover as many sports as possible. Each day they will provide at least one post with sports betting tips but they aim to provide at least 3 separate betting tips every day. All betting tips are free, and always will be so they say. Sports Betting Tips also provide other topics such as sports trivia, betting challenges and they have a “sports betting for dummies” section to help people new to sports betting.
Oddschanger.com started in 2012 and provide betting tips and previews on over 10 different sports. They don’t just focus on the most popular Football and Horse Racing events, they provide tips from a wide variety of sports including; Golf, Tennis, Cricket, NFL, Boxing, MMA, Darts, Snooker, Rugby League and Rugby Union. Oddschanger´s daily bets (including trebles, long shots and challenge bets) brings you the best value for every sport, every day.
Betcraft.co is run by Gavin, a professional tipster who has a deep understanding of the mathematical and statistical side to betting which has allowed him to identify value. He explains why Martingale system is a long term loser and provide betting tips and preview purely based on value.
Established in 2004 Betting-directory.com has grown in to a team of 10 expert writers, covering all major sport events. And with weekly celebrity guest columnists Betting Directory provide daily free betting tips and previews.
Accutipster.com is an informative betting website with writers that cover a variety of sports looking to find the best value possible in markets spread across Europe, and in terms of International football or NFL – the world. On a day-to-day basis, Accutipster pick out a selection of bets – with the aim of winning more than they lose.