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Italy vs Netherlands (Recap, 04.09.2014)

September 5, 2014 0 Uncategorized



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Result: +11,4 units, bet won

ROLAND GARROS FINAL: SHARAPOVA VS HALEP – RECAP

June 10, 2014 0 Uncategorized

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This Saturday we watched the pretty much legendary Women’s French Open final played between Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep. Everyone agreed this final was spectacular and both players showed the highest level of performance.

Maria Sharapova won her second Roland Garros title with the score 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4; the first title she got in 2012 when she defeated Sara Errani (6–3, 6–2). All in all, she played 11 French Opens, whereof 3 were finals.

It’s worth mentioning that it was the first 3-set-final played since 2001 (Jennifer Capriati defeated Kim Clijsters). It was an epic battle that lasted for 3 hours and 2 minutes. The first set was full of long rallies and the only thing you could do is holding your breath when the score jumped from advantage to deuce and then once again advantage-deuce.

The second set ended in a tiebreak and was won by Simona, who showed throughout the match unbelievable persistence (keeping in mind that it was her first-Grand-Slam-final-ever). Nobody actually expected this score and many known bookies, such as bet365 and William Hill, predicted that the match would be over in 2 sets; or if it were to be three, they expected Masha to drop the first set as she previously did with Stosur, Muguruza and Bouchard.

So it was a pretty bad start for Halep considering the fact that the last 41 matches played by Sharapova on French Open were won by her from the very first set. The statistic was against Simona but she made an amazing effort and won the second set in a tiebreak.

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The second set turned out to be a shock for Sharapova and she took a break to put it all together. When Masha returned to the court, she was ready to win. While Simona looked like the pressure finally got to her: unforced mistakes, double faults and Sharapova taking too much time to deliver a serve (eventually, she got a time violation warning for that; however, many would say in Masha’s defense that the sun was too bright and it was all hot and humid during that day).

To make a long story short, Sharapova nailed it even though she made a plenty of double faults (her weakest point on which she has to work before Wimbledon). Still Simona played at her best; no one could say that she didn’t put everything in that match. Yes, she was the underdog but it was a great starting point in her career. Now it’s just a matter of time for Simona to win her first Grand Slam title.

In an allegorical way, this match was a battle of present and future; Masha stood for the present and proved herself as one of the best players of today, while Simona – the future – showed that we should wait for great achievement from her and we can be safe and sound about the younger tennis generation (that could not be said about men’s tennis, where the “old-school” rules).

Only two weeks left until Wimbledon and everyone waits in anticipation to see what results will show Sharapova and Simona on grass courts; and do not forget about Serena Williams, who is the Wimbledon’s no.1 favorite, even though she dropped out of Roland Garros so early.

ROLAND GARROS FINALS: SHARAPOVA Vs HALEP

June 6, 2014 0 Uncategorized

This year, Roland Garros has brought many surprises and one of them is that Serena Williams and Li Na didn’t even get to the semifinals at that making Maria Sharapova the number-one-favorite of the tournament.

Simona Halep is the biggest breakout of the French Open; she showed great performance and reached the finals without dropping a set (last time it was done by Justine Henin in 2007). Just one year ago Simona was ranked world No.57 and today she’s seed No.4 and plays Roland Gaross finals against Maria Sharapova.

In semi-finals Halep won against Petkovic in two sets 6-2, 7-6; her fastest serve was 175 KMH and she made 20 unforced errors. Comparing it with Sharapova’s semi-finals against Bouchard (4-6, 7-5, 6-2), we see pretty much the same fastest serve – 172 KMH, but Sharapova made more unforced mistakes – 35. However, Masha has a rather weak second serve and according to statistics she won only 41% of them.

The interesting tendency about French Open, is that Sharapova drops the first set and then she gets a second breath and wins over her opponents as it was with Bouchard (4-6, 7-5, 6-2), Stosur (3-6, 6-4, 6-0), and Muguruza (1-6, 7-5, 6-1). The same scenario happened one month ago during the Madrid Open when Sharapova played in finals against Halep and won (1-6, 6-2, 6-3). As Maria explains it, she is very competitive and by losing the first set she gets it all together and becomes more concerned about winning the match. “When you’re forced to be in those situations when you’re either not playing well or you find yourself in a losing position, I just don’t want to give up, because I work too hard to just let a match go,” Sharapova said.

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It’s quite clear that Halep wants to take the revenge for the lost match in Madrid, and to tell the truth, she made a great work over the last year. Foremost, she has a chance to be the first Romanian to win in the Grand Slam finals since 1978 (by the way, Halep’s manager Viriginia Ruzici was the last one to win Roland Garros; she played on the same venue Simona will play tomorrow).

Of course, Halep is all on the edge because it’s the first Grand Slam final she’s going to play. She had never been so close to win a major before and up till now her best performance was the quarter-finals at Australian Open 2014.

Tomorrow Halep sees as a great chance for revenge, as she says, “I have to take that revenge. I will fight for this one. I played a really good match in Madrid first set. I started really well. I was very fast on court, and I opened the angles very well. But she came back very, very well and she hit strong, stronger than me at that moment. Now, I have to be aggressive again, to play fast, like my style, and to stay there with the nerves. It will be a tough moment for me.”

But what are the chances? Maria, 27-year-old, is older and thus more experienced tennis player, who won 31 titles, Simona, 22-years-old, won only 7 titles; Maria plays her 9th Grand Slam final, while Simona would be there for the first time; Simona moves faster, but Maria has stronger groundstrokes; her serve is powerful but it is very inconsistent, and her second serve is poor; while Simona has served better than Maria over the last two weeks. Sharapova definitely has to improve her serve. As to Simona, she has to take a hold on herself and play the way she did throughout the whole Roland Garros. Simona also would want to attack Maria’s second serve, which is proved to be rather weak; and in general, she has to take the game straight away and not give Maria a change to “get aggressive”, otherwise we will see the same outcome as with Bouchard and others. Final tip for Halep is to play deep balls because any ball that falls in the middle would be hit back by Sharapova as hard as possible.

At the moment, bookies have the odds in Sharapova’s favor; for instance, bet365 has 1.53 that Masha wins, while Simona gets only 2.50. bet365 also predicts that Maria wins in 2 sets (1.57) with the score 2-0 (2.50). Another bookie Betfair has slightly different odds but also in Maria’s favor; Betfair gives 1.6 that Maria wins. The highest odds (1.73) are that there will be two sets with the exact score 6-3 (5.7).

The thing is that these are only odds based on the previous performance and a lot depends on Simona. Yes, she is a Grand Slam rookie, and she might go down because of nerves OR she might be one of those newbies, who seize the moment as it was at Wimbledon in 2004 when mighty Serena Williams dropped the finals to a Russian teenage player – Maria Sharapova.

So according to the way both Sharapova and Halep have recently played, we are going to bet 7 units on Simona Halep to win the first set with 2.2 odds from bet365.

FC Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid [Recap, May 17th]

May 20, 2014 0 Uncategorized

The bet we placed with bet365 on the exact number of corners in the match between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid didn’t pay off, as there were 12 corners instead of the 11 predicted by us. In the end it did not matter as Atletico Madrid were crowned the La Liga champions, even if the president of the football federation had more important things to do than award the trophy to the winners.

Barcelona knew that any other result but a victory was going to cost them the title, that’s why they went out all guns blazing on Atletico. The visitors received a serious blow in the beginning of the match when both Arda Turan and Diego Costa left the pitch in tears after receiving injuries. The good news comes from Turan, who was said to receive just a small concussion and should be clear to play starting tomorrow.

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Alexis Sanchez opened the score on the 33 minute, with a powerful strike that should have left Atletico in the dust. Only that once again, the hosts didn’t think much of their adversaries and underestimated their ability to play without their main stars. Atletico regrouped in time to deny Barca any other attempts to score, and the pep talk they have received at half-time paid off as the equalizer came from Godin on the 49th minute.

This draw was the score with which the match ended, signaling Atletico as the winner of the title for the first time in 8 years, which earned them praise from all sides including this Barcelona team which put an end to a disappointing season in which they were not able to win against the current La Liga champions.

Result: -7 units, bet lost

FC Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid [Prediction, May 17th]

May 16, 2014 0 Uncategorized

La Liga gives way to one last match of this season, that is poised to show to the world who the Champions are. Between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, the bookmakers give Barca the edge to win, especially since they are counting on home pitch advantage. Atletico have emerged as surprise candidates to win the title, but considering both teams have stumbled in their recent La Liga result, it’s no wonder the title is still being played on the last match day.

Barcelona are unbeaten in their last five matches, and with a victory at Camp Nou, even with a minimal advantage, they will win another title, which Messi wants to dedicate to Tito Villanova. The Blaugranas need to patch up their defense, that’s actually the only way they will win tomorrow, as the way they’re conceding does not leave too much room for guessing that Atletico will take advantage of their every mistake. In their head to head meetings this season, Barca didn’t manage to beat Atletico, and recorded 4 draws and one defeat.

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Atletico Madrid will have nobody to blame but themselves should they lose the title at Camp Nou. They have la Liga’s best defense, and all they need to do to win the title is record at least a draw at Camp Nou where Barcelona won 6 out of their last 7 matches. Diego Costa’s presence in Barcelona is still under doubt, and Diego Simeone must find a way to keep his team’s cool in front of the pressure. Atletico’s performance after qualifying for the Champions League final has been borderline bad, as they lost to Levante and then barely managed to draw against Malaga.

An outright Barca win is priced up at 1.83, an Atletico Madrid one at 4.50 and a draw between the two sides at 3.60. Over 2.5 goals is at 1.90 and Lionel Messi as an anytime goalscorer is at 1.70. Both teams to score is at 1.80, but we are going to bet on the total number of corners being between 9 and 11 at 2.87 with bet365.

Atletico Madrid vs Malaga [Recap, May 11th]

May 13, 2014 0 Uncategorized

Atletico Madrid seem to love leaving on the edge after failing to secure the title in the confines of their own home and leaving the champion to be decided at Camp Nou this week. Bet365 offered good odds for both an Atletico win and the goalscorer market, but since Diego Costa did not play and Atletico did not win, we lost the bet placed on this coupled betting market.

The hosts knew what was at stake, and with the chances they got to score throughout the match, it is yet bewildering why they weren’t able to win this. Some would argue that the reason was both goalkeepers being in excellent form, especially Malaga’s Willy Caballero, who denied David Villa on several occasions. Koke had a big chance of his own, but as it was Atletico’s theme for that night, his shot went far off the post.

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Malaga stunned the Atletico fans on the 65th minute when Samu scored after winning a header of Miranda. The confusion lasted only 9 minutes as Atletico leveled the score as Alderweireld made amends for his mistake to the Malaga goal and scored yet another header on the 74th minute. A mere 14 minutes later Malaga was left with 10 people on the pitch after Angelieri received a red card after a foul on Diego Ribas.

Atletico still has hopes for the title as Barcelona only managed a goalless draw against Elche, but this point meant much more for Malaga who are now sure of staying in la Liga next season.

Result: -5 units, bet lost

Atletico Madrid vs Malaga [Prediction, May 11th]

May 8, 2014 0 Uncategorized

The La Liga title race is far from being over, and at this exact moment everywhere you turn you will see speculations on which team will have to do what exactly in order to win. The baseline for everything is that Atletico need to win, and are the overall favorites by the bookmakers to do so.

Even if Los Rojiblancos lost surprisingly against Levante without even managing to score at least once, the subsequent draws of the other two teams in contention for the title brought them back into the title race where it all depends on them. Last time the two teams met Atletico found it difficult to score against Malaga, and the only goal of the match came in the 70th minute when Koke’s strike sealed the deal for Diego Simeone’s team.

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Malaga already secured their stay in la Liga for next season, but are looking towards repeating the Levante result, even if their latest result is a 0-1 loss to Elche, who still managed to win despite being forced to play with 10 people after Boatia was sent off. This defeat was their 17th of the season and their second on a row, after previously succumbing to Getafe. Looking at their previous matches and the trend they display going for an atletico win is just what you might need.

Bet365 has an outright Atletico win at 1.20, a Malaga win at 13.00 and a draw at 6.50. Over 2.5 goals is at 1.60, and under 2.5 is at 2.30. Atletico Madrid to win to nil is at 1.72, and them to score in both halves is at 1.80, but we are going to bet 5 units on the wincast market of Diego Costa to score and Atletico to win at 3.60 with the same bookie.

AC Milan vs Inter Milano [Recap, May 4th]

May 6, 2014 0 Uncategorized

AC Milan took the spoils from their 1-0 win over Internazionale Milano after the Rossoneri capitalized on a very in form de Jong, and we lost the bet placed with bet365 on both teams to score. Both derbies did not leave up to their hype and expectations this year, most likely due to the poor form in which both teams found themselves.

In the beginning of the match, both Handanovic and Abbiati could have paid for their ticket to watch the match as neither team was able to capitalize or create any worthy chances. Kaka created some chances, one of which hit Inter’s crossbar but overall the score stayed 0-0. In the second half the Nerazzuri looked like the more threatening team, but Milan’s danger came from their set pieces, which also produced the only goal of the evening.

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Milan were awarded a free kick on the 65th minute, Balotelli took it, and de Jong put the ball past Handanovic with a powerful header.. This important victory, which was also a payback for last year’s 0-1 loss, puts Milan on the 8th place in Serie A, at level with Parma, but much closer to the last Europa League spot. De Jong went on to dedicate his goal and the three points to Milan’s current manager by also stating that the players stand behind Seedorf even if currently his stay at the club is under doubt.

Result: -7 units, bet lost

AC Milan vs Inter Milano [Prediction, May 4th]

April 30, 2014 0 Uncategorized

In Derby della Madonnina there is no home pitch advantage and no obvious favorites a thing which is highly disputable if you look at the teams and their current position in the table. AC Milan all but bid goodbye to their European chances after the defeat to Roma, and before facing Inter.

Milan lost without any right to appeal the match against AS Roma, and still find themselves on the 10th place in Serie A; at level of points with Parma, but with a much inferior goal differnce. A noteworthy fact would be that in their last five head to head meetings, Inter managed to win four of them, while the other match ended in a 1-1 draw. Inter’s latest result is a goalless draw against the third placed Napoli, who occupie the last Champions League spot for next season.
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AC Milan were coming out of five consecutive wins in Serie A before dropping to the ground against AS Roma. The Rossoneri barely had anything creative during 90 minutes, and their record for the higher placed Serie A teams speaks for itself. Even with Kaka, Balotelli and Muntari Milan cannot seem to be able to spot the net, and if they continue their mediocre performance, Seedorf will be powerless to salvage this season.

The winning goal in this type of matches always comes rather late, that’s why a draw at halftime might end up being not as farfetched as you think. We are going to bet 7 units on an outright Inter win at 2.80 with Bet365, although an AC Milan win has been priced up at 2.37 and a draw at 3.50. Both teams to score is at 1.61, and under two goals is at 3.75.

Liverpool vs Chelsea London [Recap, April 27th]

April 29, 2014 0 Uncategorized

The Premier League clash between Liverpool and Chelsea London ended in a somewhat unexpected result seeing as the reds did not manage to score at least a goal. We were hoping they would score in both halves, but lost the bet placed with William Hill, and the opinions on who to blame would be divided.
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Some would put the blame solely on Steven Gerrard after his error made Chelsea open the score on the last second of the first half. In our humble opinion, the blame should be either shared with Rodgers or put solely on his shoulders. The technician knew their title hopes relied on this match, he knew Chelsea would park the biggest bus in the city and he knew Mourinho would field a much weaker side considering his injury list.

Like many seemed to agree, Liverpool did not even need to win this, a draw would have been enough to keep them in the title race, and at the beginning Chelsea looked more than content with the draw. Granted no one would refuse to score given such chances as Chelsea got, but Liverpool do not know how to play and not concede, that’s their philosophy this year, and they stood by it.

Another highlight of the match, besides Chelsea’s second goal on the 94th minute, was Jose Mourinho’s decision not to field one of his prop excuses of a striker. Fernando Torres was introduced on the 84th minute among the most pronounced jeering and boo-ing Anfield has ever heard. A well-deserved and expected reception that had even some of the Chelsea fans smirking.

The title race is now all in Manchester City’s hands, they win, and they are Champions, while Chelsea will concentrate all their attention towards the Champions League, perhaps with 11 players to park the bus at Stamford Bridge.

Result: -8 units, bet lost