Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

HB Køge vs. Aab

In Football, SAS Liga on July 31, 2009 at 14:14

By Joe,

Simon Makienok Christoffersen

Newly promoted HB Køge is finding life tough in the SAS liga while Aab have only played a single game up to now. Both teams are at the bottom half of the league table. Even if it is still early in the season, whoever wins this matchup could see themselves avoid being dragged into the relegation battle and HB Køge are favorite to get relegated at the end of the season.

HB Køge could find themselves in trouble if they do not start playing better and earn some points. They are currently 10th in the league with 1 point coming from a draw against Silkeborg on first day of play, one defeat and -6 in the goal scoring department. Their Lithuanian Coach Auri Skarbaliaus had a few worrying points to think about after getting sent home with a 7-1 defeat to FCK last weekend. He will have to regroup his team and hope they can forget last weekend’s disaster. If they can concentrate on the attacking prospective, then Køge could go ahead and win their first game in the SAS liga.

Aab have started this season poorly and their results have been disappointing. They were knocked out of the UEFA Europa League 2nd round and currently berth on the 11th place with no points as they were defeated 1-0 by league leaders AGF. Their scheduled second match against FC Nordsjælland was cancelled leaving Aab more than a week to prepare for the away game against Køge. Henrik Dalsgaard could be called by coach Magnus Pehrsson after recovering from injury and join the starting lineup.

Both teams have time to reflect over their mistakes and the defeats incurred. Køge, the newly promoted team  would like to give their home fans something to cheer for while Aab needs desperately to win in order to be part of the title race. Both teams have not tasted victory yet and it is most like it will end up as a draw, Betsson is offering odds 3.55.

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Emirates Cup 2009

In Emirates Cup 2009, Football on July 30, 2009 at 12:59

By Joe,


Following the huge success of the two previous held Emirates Cup in 2007 and 2008, Arsenal Football Club have invited Glasgow Rangers, Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid for the Emirates Cup 2009. The Emirates Cup 2009 will take place in the Emirates Stadium over a 2 day period where two matches will be played each day. The tournament is decided in a group stage where all teams will play each other once.


The host has a few changes to their lineup this upcoming season. The team have lost Emmanuel Adebayor to Manchester City for £25 million and Samir Nasri will be out for a certain period of time, breaking his leg. Coach Arsene Wenger has bought in Thomas Vermaelen for £10 million and Havard Nordtveit is on loan from Lillestrom. He will be happy to see Tomas Rosicky and Eduardo back in the squad after a lengthy period because of injury. This tournament will be the first few teams that will give Arsenal some competition. Arsenal won this tournament in 2007 but finished only 3rd in 2008.

Atletico Madrid:

The Spanish team do not have a competitive competition until the end of the August month in the Spanish league but is aiming to keep in shape for the Champions League qualifier. The team have recently participated in the Amsterdam tournament. It is most likely that Atletico Madrid will take the tournaments they enter seriously and fully committed in reaching match fitness. Coach Abel Resino has acquired Javier Cantero de la Puente into his current squad.   

Paris Saint-Germain:

The French outfits finished sixth in the Ligue 1 last season. They will enter the Europa League group stages while preparing for the Ligue 1 season that will start on the 8th. One new arrival, Coach Antoine Kombouare has taken the charge of the Parisian team and looks to improve PSG performance after last year’s disappointment. Defender Papus Camara will not be travelling to London as he will be out for 3 months with a calf injury.  Peguy Luyindula was tops corer for the 2007 Emirates Cup as PSG finished 2nd in the group.


The reigning Scottish champions will certainly bring a huge backing to the Emirates Stadium. Rangers have recently returned from touring Germany where they played two matches against Nuremburg and SC Wiedenbruck. Coach Walter Smith and assistant Coach, Ally McCoist have high hopes for their current squad eventhough there has been no purchasing took place in the summer. They will take this competition as a warm up to the SPL season start against Falkirk on 15th August.

There might not be much of reward in winning this tournament but as the season starts and it is  getting near, all teams will be very competitive to show their managers that they will be fighting for the first team start. Pride is definitely on stake and Arsenal knows that since they didn’t win last year’s Emirates Cup. Of all the teams at the tournament, Atletico Madrid could win the tournament based on their match fitness and their squad experience. Ladbrokes is offering 4.50 for Atletico Madrid to win.

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Randers vs. Hamburger SV

In Football, UEFA Europa League on July 27, 2009 at 12:31

By Joe,

HamburgerSVBruno Labbadia

Just a short trip across the borders, Hamburger SV will be to traveling to Denmark to face Danish outfits, Randers FC in the third qualifying round in the UEFA Europa League.  Both teams managed to qualify for the UEFA Europa League competition by literally grabbing the last available spot in their respective leagues. Hamburger SV are favorites to advance to the next round.

Randers FC finished last year 5th in the Danish SAS Liga and currently placed in the lower end of the newly started SAS liga season. They played in the 2nd round of the UEFA Europa League and beat Lithuanian FK Suduva 2-1 on aggregate. They only managed a draw against Suduva at Essex Park in the 2nd leg. Former Arsenal player and current Randers Coach, John Faxe Jensen will be pulling out all his experience in order to keep Randers in the European competition as this is their 2nd attempt in European football in the last 25 years. A few key players, Søren Berg, Carsten Fredgaard, Tobias Grahn and Marc Nygaard have played in foreign clubs before and they will be the ones Randers will depend on if they were to advance to the next round.

Hamburger SV needs no introduction, they are regulars in European competitions either in Champions League or the old UEFA cup tournaments. The Germans had a chance to win three trophies last season, but ended 5th in the Bundesligaen and managed to reach UEFA Cup semifinals. Their disappointing season saw Coach Martin Jol leave for Ajax Amsterdam and with  four other players departing with Hamburger SV. New Coach Bruno Labbadia was brought in by the club and he has already secured the signings of Marcus Berg, Ze Roberto and Eljero Elia. In their training matches, HSV won the T-Home Cup by beating Stuttgart in the Final and recently beat the reigning Dutch league champions 1-0, scored by Mladen Petric. HSV looks ready for the season to start.

This could be a tough tie for Randers to encounter. The Danes need to play up to their best against HSV or otherwise it could be very embarrassing score line on aggregate. The Germans will be looking to take at least an away goal back to Hamburg. Look at Betfair are offering  odds 1.33 for  the Germans.

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Celtic vs. Dinamo Moskva

In Champions League, Football on July 26, 2009 at 19:32

By Joe,


1st leg to Celtic? write your thoughts to me – click here

We head into the 3rd round of the Champions League where Celtic will host their 1st leg match against Russians Dinamo Moskva. This match is held at Celtic Park and hopefully there will be a full house to watch Celtic’s first home match of the season. The Russian will go to Scotland in search for an away goal or more. Both teams are part of the Non-Champions Path, where the winner of this tie will go through to the Champions League Play-offs while the loser will head to the UEFA Europa League play offs.

Celtic failed to win their fourth successive league title and ended behind Rangers in the 2008/09 Scottish league, that’s why they are entered into the 3rd round of Champions League round. Celtic have also gone through some changes during the summer. New Manager, Tony Mowbray left West Bromwich Albion in order to take the hot seat at Celtic. He brought in new faces, Marc-Antoine Fortune, Landry N’Guemo and Danny Fox into the squad. The run up to the crucial 1st leg match, Celtic participated in the Wembley Cup where they met the Egyptian top side Al-Ahly and Premier League Tottenham Hotspurs.  Celtic started with a 5-0 win against, Al-ahly and a 2-0 win against Spurs to secure the Wembley cup trophy.

FC Dinamo Moskva qualified for the Champions League 3rd round by finishing 3rd in the Russian Premier League. This is first time playing in the Champions League competition as they have participated in the UEFA Cup since 1992. They will hope that they can put a lasting impression in this competition. The Russian league has already started and Dinamo are 14 games into the season. They are currently 5th in the league and drew 1-1 in a local match against Lokomotiv Moskva. The Russians will be going over to Glasgow in search for an away goal and most likely play a counter attacking football.

Celtic are favorites to go through to the playoff round while Dianmo will have to settle once again for the UEFA Europa League. It will be interesting to see how Tony Mowbray handles his first European match. The pressure is on him to deliver and it would be very embarrassing if they don’t advance to the next round. Celtic needs a win so that they can sit comfortable in Moscow for the 2nd leg. Look at Betsson as they are offering odds 1.85 for a Celtic home win.

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Gold Cup Final: USA vs. Mexico

In CONCACAF Gold Cup, Football on July 24, 2009 at 11:04

By Joe,

USAMexicoFinalUSA Gold 3rd time? Mexico revenge? Vote at bottom of the article.

What were the odds that these two teams will meet in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Both USA and Mexico are the strongest teams in the tournament and they were tipped to face each other  even before the tournament started. This will be a repeat of the 2007 Gold Cup final where Mexico lost to the Americans. The match will be played this Sunday in the Giant Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey and USA are weak favorites to take it.

USA could retain the Gold Cup for the third consecutive time and write new history into the tournament books. The Americans beat Honduras 2-0 in the semifinals with Clarence Goodson and Kenny Cooper getting the goals in order to reach the finals. The USA squad is mainly built amongst new players. Many of their squad members, who took part of the Confederation Cup final in South Africa last month, were not chosen to participate in this edition of the Gold Cup. The Americans had problems along the way to the final, they had their squad reduced due to some players returning to their respective in European club for preseason. Coach Bradley will not be recruiting any more players as defender Michel Parkhurst and goalkeeper Job Busch have joined the squad before the game against Honduras. This will be the ultimate test for Coach Bradley in the tournament as he can win his first trophy as a coach for USA.

Mexico is seeking to avenge for their defeat in the 2007 Gold Cup final to the Americans. This time they will come with full force and no quarters given and they will have a big backing at the Giant Stadium. Mexico needed the penalties after extra time to finish off Costa Rica to reach the finals. This is the Mexican’s second consecutive final and sixth overall in their history. Coach Javier Aguirre have served his 3 match suspension are will return to the bench in New Jersey. His presence on the bench will be a big boost to the El Tri squad for the Final showdown against USA. The tournament’s leading goal scorer with four goals, Sabah will be looking forward to play USA and hope his scoring form will return.

Both teams have not lost a game in the Gold cup and have also drawn one game during the group stages. USA is a working hard collective bunch with no star players on the team while Mexico consist of a great attacking force. This could be a boring final as both team could play it cautiously and not giving a inches to each other, so a goal could come from a corner or a free kick situation. Betsson is offering 3.25 for a draw for the first 90 minutes and 2.22 for Mexico to lift the cup.

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F.C. København vs. HB Køge

In Football, SAS Liga on July 22, 2009 at 21:02

By Joe,


The reigning Danish champions, FCK, will be playing their first home game on Saturday in the SAS liga against HB Køge. The champions have already started their season 1 ½ weeks ago as their crushed the Serbian team, FC Mogren, 6-0 in their start to the 2nd round of the Champions League competition. Køge are one of the promoted clubs from the 1. Divison and their outlook is survival in the SAS liga.

F.C. København have not started well in the SAS liga. They lost their first game of the season 2-0 away to FC Nordsjælland last weekend which puts them firmly at the bottom of the league. This could all change if FCK was to beat Køge in Parken. The Danish Champions was in action in the mid week and they again destroyed FC Mogren in the 2nd leg with 6-0. Stale Solsbakken had somewhat a second team against Mogren and  gave a few players a rare start. Libor Sionko, Thomas Delaney, Morten Nordstrand and Dame N’Doye did well against FC Mogren and are in contention for another start on Saturday. Solsbakken will have his best players available and pressure will be on him to deliver a victory in Parken.  Canadian Atiba Hutchinson is available after returning from the Gold Cup.

New promoterd and newly established football club this year, HB Køge started their season with a draw against fellow promoted club, Silkeborg IF, in their premiere in the SAS liga. Køge are tipped as one of the team that could get relegated this season. They have not been very active in the transfer market and they saw 4 players leaving the club while signing  former FCK player, Nicklas Svendsen on a free transfer. Highly rated and one of their key players, Morten Nielson will have to show the way for the others in order for Køge take anything home from Parken.

F.C. København are firm favorites to beat the newly promoted Køge team. Solsbakken has a team with great amounts of depth in the squad. If they were to lose this home game then frustration could creep up as they are scheduled to play Stabæk in the 3rd round of the Champions League in the upcoming midweek games. Køge could well take advantage of the situation and should frustrate the champions by playing counter attacking football with an ultra defensive strategy. Solsbakken knows that Jesper Grønkjaer could be his savior, FCK should easily dispose Køge and Betsson is offering odds 1.14.

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Gold Cup Semifinal: Mexico vs. Costa Rica

In CONCACAF Gold Cup, Football on July 20, 2009 at 17:20

By Joe,


Mexico is really showing signs of their previous superior dominance in the Americas region of football. They smashed their way through to their semifinal by crushing Haiti with 4-0 in the quarterfinals. They advanced to the semifinals without their coach Javier Aguirre who is serving his second suspension out of 3. Costa Rica reaches their first semifinal since 2003 as they travel Chicago’s Soldier Field to face Mexico.

A convincing 4-0 win against Haiti in the quarterfinals put Mexico firmly intact for the Finals. The game was very much one sides as the Mexicans dominated the affair from start to finish. Miguel Sabah scored two goals, Giovanni Dos Santos and Pablo Barrera scored one each. Two of these goals came from corners so it seems that the Mexican have been practicing on those during their practice. Mexico kept on attacking the Haiti team and close down every ball possession Haiti had. If Mexico can recreate that attacking and work spirit then the Finals would not be far away.

Costa Rica will have to thank Alvaro Sabroio for his contribution in getting them into the semifinals. He scored in both halves in the 5-1 victory over Guadeloupe while Celso Borges, Andy Herron and  Pablo Herrera Barrantes close off the score line. The Costa Ricans have been very impressive in this tournament, their only defeat came against El Salvador in their last match of the group but that was without several normal starting lineup players. Costa Rica, which has never won the Gold Cup, lost in the finals in 2002 to the United States and in the semifinals to Mexico in 2003. They will be facing their biggest test in this tournament as they Mexico awaits them.

Mexico looks like they have found their confidence. Ever since the scandal game against Panama, the Mexicans have really changed their attitude and won two games in a trot. Costa Rica was eliminated in the quarterfinals in both 2005 and 2007, they could  extend this record if they don’t play up to their best against Mexico. These two in form teams could give the audience a great game on Thursday and Mexican have all the experience that is required to get into the Finals. Check out the odds on Betsson as they are offering 1.85 for Mexico to go through.

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Gold Cup Semifinal: USA vs. Honduras

In CONCACAF Gold Cup, Football on July 20, 2009 at 17:10

By Joe,

USA and Honduras

The winner of this semifinal match between USA and Honduras will either meet Mexico or Costa Rica in the final. The host nation of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, qualified for the semifinals by beating Panama 2-1 in extra time, while Honduras narrowly defeated the Canadians to get into the last four of the tournament. USA are favorites to get into the final and Honduras stands in the way.

The two time defending champion of the CONCACAF Gold Cup have gone 57 games unbeaten and reached their fifth consecutive semifinals. USA will be defending this record as they host Honduras at the Chicago’s Soldier Field to compete for a spot in the final, next Sunday. USA had to come back from a goal down during half time to beat Panama from a late goal from Kyle Beckerman to take it to extra time. Coach Bob Bradley could be on the verge on calling some players up as their squad is now reduced to 17 when captain Jimmy Conrad went off with a concussion against Panama. Team USA could be without a captain on Thursday so Coach Bradley will have to choose careful in who to lead his team into the final.

Honduras beat Canada with a Walter Martinez penalty goal in the 36th minute of the first half. That was enough to secure the route to the final as a large crowd of Honduran supports came out in force to support their team despite the political turmoil at home. The Honduran team  were organized and disciplined throughout the match and that was enough to advance through to the semifinals for the first time since 2005. They will need to reproduce this form in order to reach the finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Honduras will now have to prepare themselves for a showdown with USA as they know they are the underdogs in that match.USA are favorites to beat Honduras again. They have met already twice in a space of one month and USA were victorious in both occasions. An identical  result of last month World Cup qualifier match at Soldier Field Stadium 2-1 win would be a welcoming for the Americans. Honduras could take advantage of the improving inexperienced USA team, as it won’t be the same US team they met earlier on in the group stages. Team USA looks good enough to reach their third consecutive final and Betsson is offering 1.67 for USA to win.

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Gold Cup: Mexico vs. Haiti

In CONCACAF Gold Cup, Football on July 16, 2009 at 18:45

By Joe,


Mexico are beginning to show some signs that they are in this tournament to win the Gold Cup and not just making up the numbers. They are one of the strongest teams left in the tournament and their greatest rival, USA, could be awaiting them in finals. Mexico will have to first beat Haiti in the quarterfinals and either Guadeloupe or Costa Rica in the semifinals in order to have a shot in avenging their 2005 final defeat to USA. The last game of the quarterfinals between Mexico and Haiti will be held at the Cowboy stadium, Arlington, Texas.

Mexico have headlined the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament with all the wrong reasons after their second match against Panama. Coach Javier Aguirre has been suspended for 3 games after kicking one of the Panama players. This scandal has really effective the Mexican side in a good way and they silenced their critics by beating Guadeloupe 2-0 in their final group match to qualified as top of Group C. Mario Carrillo will take command of the bench in the absence of Aguirre. Mexico showed a more whole hearted display against Guadeloupe. They dominated the entire game and regained their confidence.

Haiti is one of the weaker teams to qualify for the quarterfinals. They drew 2-2 with USA in their first game, beat Grenada 2-0 and lost 1-0 to Honduras. Haiti should be applauded for their achievements so far as this is one of their best performances in an international tournament. They only entered the tournament due to Cuba’s withdrawal from the tournament. Mexico could present one of their toughest tasks so far but never the less, Haiti will tackle this as best they can.

It is expected that 30,000 – 40,000 Mexican fans will be supporting Mexico at the Cowboy Stadium. The Mexican fans are desperate for their national heroes to win the Gold Cup and hopefully Mexico will not disappoint on Sunday. Mexico will try to get that early goal and Carlos Vela could be one of them getting on the score sheet. On paper, Haiti should not be a problem for the Mexicans and Betsson is offering 1.40 for them to win.

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Gold Cup: USA vs. Panama

In CONCACAF Gold Cup, Football on July 16, 2009 at 18:33

By Joe,

USA are favorites to retain the Gold Cup for the consecutive third time and Panama will be their obstacle in the quarterfinals. This match will be played in Philadelphia which last hosted a full international game in 1968. A win here for the Americans could see them face either Canada or Honduras in the semifinals.

USA is one of the strongest teams left in the tournament and they won group B to reach the quarterfinals. Team USA have forced to reduce their squad list to 18 players. Last week, they saw the departures of Freddy Adu and Benny Befihaber as they returned to their European clubs.  This week, Steve Cherundolo, Michael Parkhurst and Charlie Davis have also left the squad to join their European teams’ preseason. Charlie Davis has left for France in order to complete his move to his new club Sochaux. Coach Bradley can take advantage of the tournament’s stipulation of calling up an additional of six players to his squad. However, Coach Bradley has confirmed that he will not be requiring any call ups for now.

Panama qualified for the quarterfinals after acquiring 4 points in Group C. They beat Nicaragua 4-0, drew against Mexico and lost to 2-1 to Guadeloupe. Coach Gary Stempel knows that Panama has never beaten USA before in their football history. He would be hoping that he could mark at least a point against USA. Panama knows that they are the underdog going into the game against USA.

Both teams met in the 2005 Gold Cup edition and USA required the penalties to beat Panama in reaching the semifinals. USA went on to win the 2005 Gold Cup and they could take the same route again. Panama is looking to avenge for their defeat 4 years ago and they will not go out without a shout. USA looks stronger than their last meeting. They have scored in every match and they will most likely continue this ritual, look at mybet as they are offering 1.30 for USA win.

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