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Betting Previews

Championship winners Norwich 2000/1 to win the Premier League for 2019/2020

Norwich City are back in the Premier League and bet365 have released a number of prices on the back of their promotion.

The Canaries are 2000/1 to win the Premier League, 10/1 for a top half finish, Evens to be relegated and 8/11 to avoid the drop next season.

bet365’s Steve Freeth “Daniel Farke’s side were hardly on the tip of people’s tongues when they were talking about promotion candidates in pre-season.

“However, smart recruitment and good management has seen them return to the top flight and they may surprise a few people next season as well.”

Meanwhile, Leeds United’s failure to beat Aston Villa on Sunday confirmed Sheffield United’s promotion to the Premier League and bet365 have a number of prices on Chris Wilder’s team for the forthcoming season.

The Blades are 2500/1 to win the Premier League, 12/1 for a top half finish, 4/6 to be relegated and 11/10 to avoid the drop during the 2019/20 campaign.

Man Utd 13/2 To Beat Man City – Biggest Ever Price At Old Trafford

Manchester United are 13/2 to beat Manchester City at Old Trafford on Wednesday – the biggest ever pre-match price that bet365 have quoted about the Red Devils winning a home game.

bet365’s Steve Freeth “Man Utd went off as 8/1 shots to win at the Etihad earlier in the season and now the gulf is such that we see them at 13/2 to beat Man City at home.

“The Red Devils, under David Moyes, were 11/2 when hosting Pep’s Bayern Munich back in April 2014 – but I cannot recall such a big price about Manchester United winning a game on their own turf.” 

The Citizens are 4/7 to retain the Premier League and 6/5 to win all four of their remaining top flight games.

Will Champions League Defeat Spur On Title Favs Man City? 100/1 To Land Quad Next Season

Manchester City host Tottenham just days after their breathtaking Champions League 2nd leg clash. The Citizens are quoted at 8/11 to retain their Premier League crown – bet365 are 6/1 that the title is settled on Goal Difference.

bet365’s Steve Freeth “Spurs have just ended Man City’s Champions League dream and now they have a chance to have a major say in the title race, while trying to cement their place in the top four. It’s got all the makings of another cracker.”

The Etihad side are 100/1 with bet365 to land the unprecedented quadruple next season after their quest for all four major trophies was ended on Wednesday.

Second favourites Liverpool travel to relegation-threatened Cardiff with the Reds priced at 4/1 to be the highest scoring top-flight team over the latest round of fixtures.

Tottenham’s New Stadium

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll know that Tottenham Hotspur smashed their new stadium opening by beating Crystal Palace 2-0.

In an emotional homecoming, the club’s new £1 billion pound stadium welcomed 59,215 spectators to the match at the North London venue. Spurs had been using Wembley during the construction of the new state of the art stadium, which has now opened, six months behind schedule.

It would have been frustrating to have lost their first match in their new home, but the team didn’t disappoint, Son Heung-min making history as the first player to score a Premier League goal at the new stadium 55 minutes into the game.

Christian Eriksen sealed the deal, to the cheers of the crowd, as Spurs ‘leapfrogged’ ahead of Arsenal in the points table. Described as the perfect homecoming, the stadium has certainly been the talking point of football this week. Not only hitting headlines for their brilliant win but Tottenham have also been busy breaking records this week.

With world record profits of £113m after tax last season, the club’s figure overtakes the £106m profit for Liverpool, Spurs’ Premier League rivals. Through a combo of bigger crowds attending their matches at Wembley during the new stadium build and the odd player sale, the clubs income rose from £310m to £380m.

The new stadium has a capacity of 62,062 compared to the 36,284 seater White Hart Lane, Spurs’ previous stadium which was demolished in 2017. Tottenham have already seen the impact a larger stadium can have on revenue. Whilst holding matches at Wembley, their Premier League matchday revenue more than doubled, from £19m to £42.6m.

Let’s take a tour – take a look at BBC Sport’s look around the new stadium.

It’s now the biggest club ground in London, with the longest bar in Europe at 65m, as well as being the first stadium to have its own microbrewery on site. And with 65 different food traders it’s time to say goodbye to that traditional half time pie…

Women’s Football

England women’s football boss, Phil Neville has called for clubs to hold women’s matches at their stadiums. The Football Association has been discussing where women’s Autumn friendlies could take place, in a bid to use larger stadiums.

Neville has called for Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal to “throw open” their stadiums. Attendance at Women’s football is increasing, with 60,739 watching Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 2-0 in March. That’s more than the 59, 215 fans who turned out to watch Spurs’ first match at their new stadium earlier this week…

There’s still some way to go to beat the record attendance for women’s football in the 1999 World Cup Final between the USA and China, which saw over 90,000 fans gather at the Rose Bowl in California. However, without larger stadiums to play in, women’s football isn’t able to reach new heights, despite an obvious demand.

Neville’s bid to encourage attendance does come at a cost, when asked if clubs should offer free tickets to match goers, he asked “Why not? Let's blow away the rest of Europe”

He commented that there’s more sustainability in women’s football in England, compared to some European locations, where attendance is quite low.

“What I would say is that some of the big teams in England now have got to open their big stadiums and fill it. I think our game in this country is at a far better place than what it is in Spain and Italy.”

Neville isn’t the only one who is encouraging clubs to open up their stadiums, the FA’s head of women’s football, Baroness Campbell has said they’re in conversations with much bigger stadiums and wouldn’t rule out the likes of Old Trafford and Etihad Stadium to host games next season.

Neville’s Lionesses play Canada tonight at Manchester City’s Academy stadium, which can hold up to 7000. Despite seeking larger stadiums, Campbell addressed what some may have described as a lack of ambition in terms of stadium size for the match.

“Manchester City have been amazing partners for us, they have invested massively in the women's game…. we want to be more ambitious, we want to fill much bigger stadiums, but equally we want to continue to respect and work with the partners who have got us where we are, so we have to make those judgement calls.”

In addition, Manchester City women boss Nik Chushing has commented on the importance of fans of women’s football in general, not just supporters of specific clubs. Commenting on last season’s FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Arsenal which saw the largest English crowd in the modern era, with 45,423 spectators he said;

“The FA Cup final crowd weren't just fans of the clubs involved. There were a lot of general fans of women's football as well.”

“What we try to do is put a product on the pitch that encourages supporters from the men's team to come and watch us too.

“We wear the same kit. It has the same badge on it and we have the same passion and desire to be successful.”

What do you think, do you think women’s matches need to be free to encourage people to attend or is the issue that larger stadiums aren’t opening up to allow more fans to attend?

From Star Players to Star Managers

Over the last few years we’ve seen some of the most successful players in football’s recent history making waves in management. From Gerrard to Lampard and a few other notable footballers in between, we take a look at some of those who’ve made the transition from the pitch to the side lines.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The former Manchester United forward now manages the team and has been making headlines recently. United lost 1-0 to Barcelona in Wednesday’s match after the team’s Luke Shaw scored an own goal. With the loss marking the fourth defeat in five matches, this sparked accusations that Solskjaer is a manager who “parks the bus”.

However, let’s not forget why he was appointed in the first place. Mourinho, United’s former manager, spent nearly £400m on players in his 2 year stint as manager, but made little progress in terms of results, playing style or training and developing young players.

Solskjaer was described as being able to “understand the philosophy of the club, including their attacking tradition.” And is better suited for the long-term interests of United.

From December 2018 to March 2019, Solskjaer’s performance as temporary manager is what earned him the permanent position, with a three year contract to manage Manchester United.

The manager has commented on with his second-leg predictions saying that; “We have to soak up the pressure, accept they will want to kill the tie and want to put the sword into us. We have to soak that pressure and keep the ball better.”

Steven Gerrard

Likely the most prolific player turned manager, Gerrard currently manages Scottish Premiership club Rangers, after retiring as a player in 2016.

With 186 goals under his belt for Liverpool, he knows a thing or two about controlling the ball. But it’s not just his footwork that has impressed Rangers supporters, but his quick wit. Not one to hold back when pressed by the media, Gerrard has received praise as a manager for speaking his mind.

Despite his short coaching experience with Liverpool Youth Academy, managing their under 18s from 2017-2018, Gerrard has impressed so far and is approaching his first full year as Rangers coach.

There’s been steady success, despite a 13 point gap from Celtic, with Gerrard making progress in terms of reshaping the squad. In just under a year he’s re-established Rangers in Europe and made decent changes to the team, proving he’s not all talk. Commenting on his interaction with both the media and opposing teams, Gerrard said; “Talking doesn’t win you football matches, it doesn’t get you results. Sometimes it doesn’t help your players, it just motivates the opposition,” “We thrive on all that kind of talk. We enjoyed it. My players came out and played like men and we did our talking on the pitch.”

Frank Lampard

The Chelsea legend has been hitting headlines amidst rumours that he’s returning to Stamford Bridge to manage the team he previously played for. He’s brushed off these claims, but the turbulence doesn’t end there. Club owner Mel Morris has been looking to reduce costs by selling Derby County for a measly £1 in a bid to repay debts through the sales process.

So, Lampard’s future at the club could be short lived but in his time as manager of the club he’s brought the ‘bounce’ back to Derby. By January this year, the team had picked up 43 points from the 26 league games they’d played under his management.

Despite never having coached before, Lampard was appointed almost a year ago, in May 2018. Prior to Lampard, Derby had seen seven managers over three years and the morale amongst fans was dwindling.

His approach as manager is very focused on the supporters, knowing the importance they play in the success of a team. As well as celebratory bouncing with his team, former team mates have commented on his work ethic, which he instils into his management techniques.

Lampard has made tactical sales and as a result has ‘freshened’ up the team, with a commitment to developing the younger players.

There’s plenty more but these three have been hitting headlines and it’s interesting to see how each of them approach management differently, despite all having experience as players previously. Which current players do you think would make great managers?

FA Cup Odds – Late Hornets Comeback Stings 1/250 Wolves

Watford will face Manchester City in the 2019 FA Cup Final after they beat Wolves in extra time on Sunday and the Hornets are 4/1 to lift the trophy on May 18th after being 40/1 to qualify for the showpiece at 2-0 down.

bet365’s Steve Freeth “Wolves were 1/250 to reach the final just before Gerard Deulofeu’s first goal and his winning strike in extra time sealed a memorable comeback for backers of the Hornets.”

Liverpool back on top, will they drop any more points now though?

Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League after beating Spurs on Sunday and the Reds are 7/2 not to drop another point this season.

bet365’s Steve Freeth “The pressure was on after Man City’s comfortable victory on Saturday, but Liverpool have returned to the summit after overcoming possibly their trickiest remaining fixture with a late winner.”

Manchester City, who still have to travel to Old Trafford, remain as favourites to retain their Premier League crown with Jurgen Klopp’s team priced at 7/4.

bet365 are also betting on the title winning margin – with goal difference now quoted at 7/1.

 

Man Utd With A Mountain To Climb – 20/1 For Champions League Comeback

Champions League

Champions League

Manchester United face PSG in their Champions League Last 16 2nd leg with the Red Devils priced at 20/1 at bet365 to proceed to the quarter finals after losing 2-0 at Old Trafford.

bet365’s Steve Freeth “Solskjaer has had some memorable European comebacks in a Manchester United shirt but, with Pogba suspended and an injury list as long as your arm, it will take something extra special see to off PSG in Paris.”

Leicester Backed For Top Half Finish After Rodgers Approach

Celtic have granted Leicester City permission to speak to Brendan Rodgers and the Foxes have been backed from 6/4 into 11/10 with bet365 for a top half finish.

bet365’s Steve Freeth “It looks like Brendan Rodgers is heading back to the Premier League and he’s been dealt a very favourable fixture list.

“The Foxes’ next eight games all look winnable and a top half challenge could now be very much on the cards.”

Leicester were demolished at home by Crystal Palace 4-1 and head into the Brighton game needing a win.  Watford away is the early game on Sunday 3rd March for the Foxes.

Leicester City Premier League Odds