International

Sports Doubles : Saturday July 21st

21 Jul
July 21, 2012

Sports Doubles

Back Nathaniel and Sea Moon to win the King George in doubles with Brazil and Spain to win the Football Olympic Gold

The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes has drawn the field that the race’s status deserves. It remains one of the key pattern races for potential top grade stallions and there are those in the field that fit a suitable profile. NATHANIEL derservedly enhanced his reputation when winning the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown earlier in the month recording his first top level victory over ten furlongs. A mile and a half has always been his metier and the fact that he was pacey enough to win over the shorter trip hints at improvement. He was already good enough to lift this prize last year. SEA MOON has clearly had this race on his agenda since the beginning of the season and was authoritative enough in winning at the Royal meeting. He can not have captured the betting public’s imagination at that point seeing as he was allowed to go off at a starting price of 3-1 for a group 2. He has plenty of ability and his consistency is admirable. There are other dangers as could be expected for such a coveted prize but the two aforementioned contenders seem to come into their own during the Midsummer.

The market could argue that the two horses highlighted in the previous paragraph have tenuous claims to favouritism in today’s feature race. It is a harder task to argue that BRAZIL and SPAIN do not merit to be at the summit of the market for Olympic gold in the men’s football tournament. Both nations have brought strong squads of accomplished footballers amongst whom there are a good number of Champions’ League standard players. BRAZIL have strength in every department and options on the bench. They deserved to beat England, fourth favourites for gold, by at least four goals last night and only a remarkable goalkeeping display prevented such an outcome. If there is a nation to rival BRAZIL in recent years in tournament football it is SPAIN. The second favourites are also strong all over the field and ,as is standard, playing fluid, possession orientated football is a concept with which these young players have been imbued.

Both winning scenarios singularly return an odds on yield. Motivation would be low to pursue such rewards but the second part of the bet ensures that the punter has a very strong hand. It is often the case that the second part of a double bet is weaker than the first but in this case, on all known form, the market has picked the correct teams to be favourites for the Olympic competition.

Euro 2012 betting : Italy vs. Spain

01 Jul
July 1, 2012

Game Stats Markets

Back 2nd half to be highest scoring half @5-4

Back Italy to be caught offside first @4-5

Tactics will be very much in focus in what is a rematch of the opening game from Group C played at the beginning of the tournament. Del Bosque is his own man and will not mind winning ‘ugly’, just as long as the final result is attained. He is likely to persist with the much talked about formation that doesn’t include a typical number 9. Fabregas is likely to continue in the central role. The former Arsenal captain is a mobile, all-round midfielder and could possibly be asked to play a role that involves man-marking Pirlo. Other teams have had halfhearted efforts at equalising Pirlo’s threat but in truth they haven’t had the personnel to affect any such plan. As a result the first half could see both teams cancel each other out for large passages of play. Italy will again look to isolate Balotelli with the least mobile of the opposition centrebacks, in this case, Pique. But only a player of Pirlo’s quality makes this a high percentage ball out of the rear third of the field. Spain will largely play in front of Italy and will look to outflank them, particularly on the left where Iniesta and Alba have developed a good understanding. It will be interesting to see how prepared the Spanish fullbacks are to go on the overlap early in the game. Cassano is the player most likely to be caught offside of the starters on both sides. While Balotelli has yet to be officially found to be in breach of this particular law, he spends a lot of time in line with the last defender.

Player Markets

Back Iniesta to score anytime @4-1

Iniesta has looked like a viable source of goals throughout the tournament and eventhough he is yet to register a hit on target he has amassed 19 efforts at goal. With the help of Alba overlapping on the left wing, Iniesta could find himself able to cut inside on goal. Alternatively, he probably finds running in behind defenders a more natural action than those such as Fabregas and Silva who are more used to playing in central midfield. Anything more than two shots at goal makes the 4-1 available about an Iniesta score an attractive proposition.

Euro 2012 betting : Germany vs. Italy

28 Jun
June 28, 2012

Game Markets

Back Germany to win in 90 minutes @10-11

Germany have an oustanding opportunity to stamp their authority on the tournament this evening. Spain successfully won through to the final last night but the impression is that they are limping towards the conclusion of this event. Germany rested many of their key attacking players against Greece but there remained a purpose about them going forward with the result that they scored four goals. Reus has a prolific domestic scoring record and it was no surprise to see him hit the target. Klose looked sharp despite not having started in the previous three games. It is not as if the players that were replaced had performed below par in the group stage and there are clearly many viable options at Joachim Low’s disposal. Italy’s main route to goal has been through setpieces but the Germans have a clear height advantage in defence. The likes of Cassano and Balotelli will have to be much more mindful of possession than they have been, otherwise their team will be vulnerable to Germany’s direct counterattacking style. Italy are likely to again probe the area between the centrebacks as they did against England. Van Persie had joy in this area early on in the game against Hummels and Badstuber and much will depend on Schweinsteiger’s ability to provide cover. In contrast to some of the contests played in the later stages of this tournament this game is likely to be played at a higher tempo. If Germany start with the right approach, Italy will find it hard to contain them. The extra two days recuperation afforded to Germany could also be highly advantageous.

Euro 2012 betting : Portugal vs. Spain

26 Jun
June 26, 2012

Player Markets

Back Pereira (Por) to be shown a card @11-4

Back Coentrao (Por) to be shown a card @2-1

Much of the preamble to this game has concerned Ronaldo and what steps Spain will take to nullify the threat he poses. Without question the Real Madrid winger has shown great form in the last two games but he now faces defenders that know him well. Isolated against Arbeloa, Ronaldo would be favourite to see the better of the exchanges and has the pace to break clear on goal. It is more likely, however, that one of the Spanish holding midfielders will be assigned to provide cover for the fullback. Whether Ronaldo can break these shackles is probably an even money proposition and one moment of inspiration may be enough to decide the issue. It is more clear to predict that Spain will enjoy the majority of possession. Only against teams where Spain are virtually guaranteed to dominate the game is Del Bosque inclined to start with an orthodox centre forward. In this case four attacking midfielders are likely to be employed in order to safeguard possession of the ball. Ronaldo and Nani are not in the habit of tracking back to assist their fullbacks and Portugal’s three more defensive midfielders could find themselves outnumbered. Iniesta, especially, will be keen to run at Pereira looking to draw a foul. Indeed, both Portuguese fullbacks pick up yellow cards at far greater rates than any of their teammates and Spain will look to exploit these areas.

Euro 2012 betting : England vs. Italy

24 Jun
June 24, 2012

Game Markets

Back England/Italy to draw @2-1

Last night’s quarter-final between Spain and France was a lacklustre game and it is hard to imagine that this evening is going to see a more vibrant affair. Before the introduction of Rooney for the game against Ukraine, England had been particularly shot-shy. While Rooney added more edge to the attack he betrayed his lack of match sharpness by coughing up possession 7 times throughout the game. Fortunately for England none of these turnovers resulted in a breakaway goal for the Ukraine but against more efficient opposition these errors would be punished. Some of Rooney’s play was undoubtably down to tiredness and he should be fitter for this encounter. Italy have scored the majority of their goals from setpieces. Their one goal from open play was against a Spanish team that had overcommitted to attack. As long as the game is level, England are unlikely to overextend themselves and Pirlo will be doing his best to probe for gaps in their defence. Given the quality of Buffon and Hart between the posts, the long range shooting will have to be exceptional to make any impression. England have also had plenty of joy from the crossed ball in this tournament and their chance will depend on them spending enough time in dangerous areas. All in all both sides look set to cancel each other out for much of the game.

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