UCL BIG GUNS TRACKER
The big guns are back out tomorrow morning with Chelsea, Barcelona, Roma and Bayern Munich kicking their campaigns off at home. Bayern Munich take on Man City so set your alarms as you will not want to miss this mouth-watering encounter!
Bayern Munich v Man City
Recommended Bet: First Half Total Goals – Over 1.5 ($2.50)
Predicted Line Ups:
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Bernat; Xabi Alonso, Alaba; Müller, Götze, Robben; Lewandowski.
Man City: Hart; Clichy, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Touré, Fernandinho; Nasri, Silva, Milner; Džeko.
Preview: Set your alarms for this one as it is without doubt the match of the round. Two of the favourites for the title face off in what is becoming a regular fixture. They are in the same group for the third time in four years and if the two matches last season are anything to go by we are in for a treat.
The four meetings have produced two wins a piece and the two matches last year had a total of 9 goals. Neither team lack fire power and Bayern have strengthened their squad with Xabi Alonso and Robert Lewandowski. Xabi Alonso brings a tonne of experience with him having won every major trophy on offer. He is a serial winner whose tireless running, anticipation and long ball ability make him one of the best holding midfielders.
After they dominated in a 3-1 win over Liverpool, it seemed as if Man City had taken off where they finished last season. A home loss to Stoke followed by a draw at Arsenal have no doubt caused a dip in confidence. One thing is for certain though, with Aguero, Silva and Yaya Toure in the side there will be goals from Man City.
Chelsea v Schalke
Recommended Bet: Teams to Score – Chelsea Only ($1.95)
Predicted Line Ups:
Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanović, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Fàbregas, Matić; Schürrle, Oscar, Hazard; Costa.
Preview: Fährmann; Höger, Ayhan, Friedrich, Aogo; Boateng, Neustädter, Sam, Meyer, Draxler; Huntelaar.
Preview: After failing to win a trophy last season the critics were out to attack Jose Mourinho. After only four EPL matches the critics are out again but this time they are asking how many trophies the Blues can win!
The two standout players have been the big summer signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas. After previously having success in the EPL with Arsenal there was little question as to how Fabregas would adapt and he has thrived in a more prominent role than the one he had at Barcelona. The ace up the sleeve though has been Diego Costa. It has rained goals and he has 7 in just 4 matches.
Schalke face an uphill battle for a number of reasons. They are playing a Chelsea side in devastating form, they are yet to win a match this season and they were trounced in both meetings with Chelsea last season. Chelsea may have conceded goals in the EPL but Mourinho always wants to make a statement in Europe and he would have focused heavily on defence for this one. Chelsea in another 5 star performance.
Barcelona v APOEL
Recommended Bet: First Half Goals – Under 1.5 ($2.00)
Predicted Line Ups:
Barcelona: Bravo; Alves, Piqué, Mathieu, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Neymar, Pedro.
APOEL: Urko; Mário Sérgio, Carlão, Guilherme, Alexandrou; Morais, Vinicius; Charalambides, De Vincenti, Manduca; Sheridan.
Preview: It was a busy summer for Barcelona with several squad changes and the introduction of a new manager, ex-player Luis Enrique. They face APOEL, unknown to many, but former quarter finalists in the UCL only a couple of years ago.
On paper it looks like a mismatch, and it is! The only positive for APOEL is that although Barcelona have been winning they haven’t destroyed any of their opponents. They have managed just one first half goal in their three La Liga matches and needed two late goals to defeat Athletic Bilbao in their last outing.
APOEL have managed clean sheets in their last three matches and made their way through the qualifying rounds with relative ease. Even if Barcelona are to blow the Cypriot side away it will not happen until late in the second half when the weight of possession takes it’s toll.
Billy Brownless has been hard at work for Sportingbet and has done all the form for the week’s AFL. Check out our Week 3 Finals preview and get on Billy’s recommended bet in every game this weekend!
Sydney Swans vs North Melbourne Kangaroos
Friday 17th September, 7:50pm AEST
After having the week off to recover following a taxing win over the Dockers in the ANZ Stadium slop, the Swans will have to be on their toes when they face the Kangaroos who will be bursting with confidence after a clutch win over Geelong. Despite being outsiders, the Kangaroos were able to knock the Cats out of the finals on the back of a blistering first quarter where they booted six goals in the opening 17 minutes. The Swans will have to lock the Kanagroos down early if they hope to restrict the running North Melbourne side.
The Kangaroos will be bolstered by the news that veteran midfielder Brent Harvey was let off his one-week suspension and will line up for this game. Also for North, Lachie Hansen and Leigh Adams continue to push for selection returning from injuries while coach Brad Scott will have to decide if they should bring in another key defender in Joel Tippett, the younger brother of Sydney full-forward Kurt, to handle the massive Swans line up. For the Swans, the only selection concern revolves around half-back flanker Nick Malceski, who was subbed off during the Fremantle game with a hamstring complaint. If he is unable to take his spot, look for John Longmire to shuffle the line up to bring in gun-midfielder Tom Mitchell who was best-on-ground in the NEAFL Grand Final with 30 touches, 11 clearances, 10 tackles and a goal.
In their only meeting this year, it was the Kangaroos who prevailed in strong fashion at the SCG. In their last game before going on their club-record winning streak, the Swans were well held on a wet afternoon, the Roos going out 43-point winners. Before then, the Swans had won the last six matches against North, dating back to April 2008. With their win over the Dockers, the Swans record at ANZ Stadium in finals improved to 6-1 and the Swans lineup has played 157 more finals matches than the Roos. There are no bigger stakes with the winner going onto play the in the Grand Final.
Brownless Says: Only four teams left and isn’t great to see a couple of ‘new’ teams in the Preliminary Finals? Congratulations to North for their great win over the Cats last week and if they can bring that 1st quarter with them then anything is possible! Very hard to go past the super team of the Swans and they will have too much firepower (even in the wet)! Sydney 40plus?
Recommended Bet: Sydney Swans 40+ ($2.70)
Hawthorn Hawks vs Port Adelaide Power
Saturday 20th August, 4:45pm AEST
Hawthorn come into this contest following a week’s break after handily defeating Geelong in the first week of the finals. Port Adelaide will be pumped for this match after they traveled to Western Australia and were able to dismantle Fremantle, ending up with a convincing 22-point win.
Hawthorn will have a few tough choices at the selection table this week, a chief concern being whether they can bring back Cyril Rioli into a preliminary final. While Ryan Schoenmakers is unlikely to displace Matthew Spangher in the Hawks back-line, fringe players including Matt Suckling, Billy Hartung and Alex Woodward continue to push for selection. For Port, the only selection concern looks to surround Tom Jonas who was subbed off in last week’s match after sustaining a hip injury.
When Port hosted Hawthorn earlier this year, they validated their early season form with a 14-point win over the defending Premiers. Before that match, the Hawks had won the last four matches between the clubs in very comfortable fashion, winning each contest by at least eight goals. This game looks to be headed for a shoot-out with the 1st (Hawthorn) and 2nd (Port Adelaide) ranked scoring sides in the competition facing off. In their only meeting previously in the finals, it was Hawthorn who squeaked out a 3-point win in Adelaide.
Brownless Says: This will be another cracker of a game. Hawthorn deserve to be favourites as they are a great even team but Port are very dangerous. When they get their running game going and their small forwards fire look out they can beat anyone! On a dry, open MCG, the Power should be able to open up. For those playing safe, Hawthorn to win, but I’m happy to have a look at Port at the line!
Recommended Bet: Port Adelaide +18.5 ($1.92)
Sydney Roosters vs North Queensland Cowboys
Friday 19th September, 7:55pm AEST
Big Marn Says: The Roosters will be winning this. They would be dirty about letting last week slip against the Panthers and I have no doubt they will take care of the Cowboys on Friday night. The return of Jake Friend and Aiden Guerra is a huge boost to their chances.
The Cowboys have been brave but I think they will once again be brushed aside during the early weeks of the finals series. The suspension of Tariq Sims is a major blow with a physical forward battle expected.
Roosters at the line in this one.
Major Outs from Week 1 Finals: North Queensland – Tariq Sims (Suspension)
Recommended Bet: Sydney Roosters -6 ($1.92)
Manly Sea Eagles vs Canterbury Bulldogs
Saturday 20th September, 7:45pm AEST
Big Marn Says: Isn’t a week a long time in Rugby League? Last week we were all tipping the Bulldogs to get hammered and the Sea Eagles as premiership threats. Roles are now reversed.
I can’t see the Dogs losing this based on what they did last week. I think the penny has finally dropped with the Bulldogs.
The Sea Eagles will struggle to recover from the mauling at the hands of the Bunnies and the loss of Watmough along with Ballin and Buhrer is a hurdle too hard to overcome.
If the Bulldogs attack the Sea Eagles up the middle they’ll be winning.
Doggies at the line.
Major Outs from Week 1 Finals: Manly – Anthony Watmough (Suspension), Canterbury – Pat O’Hanlon (Leg)
Recommended Bet: Canterbury Bulldogs -3.5 ($1.92)
BEST BET: Sydney Roosters -6 ($1.92)
1) Team Goals – Chelsea Over 2.5
UEFA Champions League – Chelsea vs Schalke (4:45 AM AEST)
Thanks to star signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea have been on an absolute tear! They have been dominant and the goals have been flowing like confetti. This is sure to continue against Schalke who they beat 3-0 in both meetings at the same stage last season.
2) Both Teams To Score – Yes
UEFA Champions League – Bayern Munich vs Manchester City (4:45 AM AEST)
The two heavyweights meet again making it the fifth meeting in three years. In the two games last season there was a remarkable nine goals. Both sides have plenty of firepower up front with Man City scoring in 7 of their last 8 UCL matches. At home Bayern always manage to find the back of the net so look for a high scoring game with goals from both sides.
3) Miami Marlins (H Alvarez)
Miami Marlins (H ALVAREZ) @ New York Mets (D GEE) (9:10 AM AEST)
Henderson Alvarez comes into this one after a solid 1-run seven inning outing against Philadelphia in one of his strongest starts since returning from injury in August. He is 2-1 in his appearances against the Mets and this could be the start that gets him back into his early season form. The Marlins were well held in yesterday’s match with New York’s Bartolo Colon managing to spread 12 hits across 7.2 innings, only giving up one run. The Marlins only had one less hit than the Mets in that game so can consider themselves very unlucky to be beaten by so many.
4) Berning Desire
Race 5 Sale (3:10 PM AEST)
The Smerdon-trained colt is coming off a last start win at Sportingbet Park and should relish the step up in distance. Strong form lines around Royal Ocean who went on to win at Morphettville on Saturday. Looks the one to beat.
5) Red Bomber
Race 7 Sale (4:20 PM AEST)
He is coming off a dominant win at Mornington and is poised to win again. Unbeaten over the distance and has quite the handy record early in his career (6:3-1-2). One of the main chances.
6) Destiny’s Kiss
Race 7 Newcastle (4:40 PM AEST)
He has to respected here and the $12 on offer looks enticing. Gets the inside gate and should be at peak fitness now. Very good each-way chance in the Newcastle Cup.
Diego Costa has been simply amazing this season! He is the first man ever to score 7 goals from his opening 4 matches and there is clearly no limit as to what he can produce this season. He has silenced all of the critics and if Chelsea thought they would be competitive this year, they have quickly re-evaluated their position. They are the team to beat and all of the big European clubs have been put on notice!
The UEFA Champions League begins this week with Liverpool making their return to the premier club competition after a five year absence. Real Madrid begin their title defence at home to Basel while the must see matches are Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal and Bayern Munich v Man City!
It may still be seven weeks away but punters are strongly supporting two Japanese horses to win the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
Admire Rakti and Bande have both firmed from $17 into $16 at Sportingbet.com.au this month, and they now share equal second favouritism behind the Gai Waterhouse-trained favourite The Offer ($13).
“We took a $2,000 bet at $16 for Bande on Monday and they just continue to chip away at him and Admire Rakti,” Sportingbet’s Andrew Brown said.
“They are currently at odds of $120 to run the quinella and after what happened in 2006, there would be worse bets out there.”
In other Melbourne Cup betting news, one punter hopes to turn $400 into $120,400 after backing Zevada at odds of $301.
And last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner firmed from $31 into $18 fourth favouritism after finishing second behind Dissident in last Saturday’s Makybe Diva Stakes.
For Sportingbet’s full market for the 2014 Melbourne Cup visit https://www.sportingbet.com.au/horse-racing-features
2014 Melbourne Cup
The Offer $13
Admire Rakti $16
Lucia Valentina $21
Silent Achiever $23
Our Voodoo Prince $28
La Amistad $34
Puissance De Lune $35
Sea Moon $35
UCL Big Guns Tracker
The premier club competition is back and it all begins in the early hours of the morning. Defending Champions Real Madrid kick off their title defence at home to Basel, while Liverpool return to the UCL after a five year absence and Dortmund host the Gunners in the match of the day!
Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal – Wed 4:30am (AEST) Live SBS/ESPN 2
Recommended Bet: First Half – DRAW ($2.20)
Predicted Line Ups:
Arsenal: Szczęsny; Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Flamini, Wilshere; Alexis, Ramsey, Özil; Welbeck.
Dortmund: Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Subotić, Papastathopoulos, Durm; Bender, Kehl; Mkhitaryan, Kagawa, Grosskreutz; Ramos.
Preview: This has become somewhat of a rivalry as the two sides have been drawn in the same group for the third time in four years. They have been very close battles and Arsenal hold a slight edge with three wins compared to Dotmund’s two and a single draw. The most interesting stat is that 5 of the 6 meetings have been a draw at half time.
Arsenal have had a tough run of fixtures in the opening month. While in a playoff against Besiktas to make the UCL group stage they also had to face off against Everton and Man City in the league. It doesn’t get any easier as the trip to Dortmund is followed by an away fixture against Aston Villa.
Dortmund on the other hand will have a full week off before a midweek Bundesliga fixture. They may have lost Robert Lewandowski to rivals Bayern Munich, but they have been able to keep Marco Reus and Mats Hummels. Shinji Kagawa also returns to the club where he made his name meaning the stocks are not as depleted as initially though. Most importantly Jurgen Klopp is still at the helm meaning Dortmund will continue to play the brand of football that saw them make the UCL Final two years ago.
It will be tight in the first half but the German side will use the crowd support to get them over the line by a single goal in this one.
Liverpool v Ludogrets - Wed 4:30am (AEST) Live SBS/ESPN
Recommended Bet: First Half Goals – Over 1.5 ($2.15)
Predicted Line Ups:
Liverpool: Mignolet; Manquillo, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Gerrard, Henderson; Sterling, Coutinho, Lallana; Balotelli.
Ludogrets: Mignolet; Manquillo, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Gerrard, Henderson; Sterling, Coutinho, Lallana; Balotelli.
Preview: Liverpool make their much awaited return to the Champions League after a 5 year absence. In what shapes to be an ideal return, they will be at home in front of a rampaging Anfield crowd. Much of the same is expected on the field as their opponents, Ludogrets of Bulgaria, seem like bait fish in a shark tank.
Brendan Rodgers has expressed his excitement leading into the match and with several players rested on the weekend the Reds are sure to fire. One thing is for certain, Ludogrest with battle until the final whistle and it is that mentality which has got them here. In the playoffs the managed to scrape though on away goals before a 90th minute goal forced extra time that lead to a win via a penalty shootout and entry into the main draw.
Liverpool has been waiting five years for this and they will come out with all guns blazing. We may even see Balotelli’s first goal for the Reds. It will be a long night for Ludogrets!
Real Madrid v Basel – Wed 4:30am (replay ESPN 6:45)
Recommended Bet: Both teams to Score – YES ($2.20)
Predicted Line Ups
Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Modrić, Kroos, James Rodríguez; Ronaldo, Bale, Benzema
Basel: Vaclík; Schär, Xhaka, Samuel; D Degen, Frei, Díaz, Safari; Gonzalez, Gashi; Streller.
Preview: As defending Champions one would have thought that Real Madrid would be flying high heading into this one. Far from it! With three losses already this season, two off them to arch rivals Atletico Madrid, coach Carlo Ancelotti is already under the pump.
Things do not get easier as they will host Basel, the Swiss side that beat Chelsea twice in the group stage of last seasons Champions League. Although they are not recognised as a European powerhouse, Basel has plenty of experience at this level having qualified for the 5th season in a row. In that time they have also registered wins against Bayern Munich and Manchester United!
Real Madrid will be fully aware of this but there are some worrying signs from the results so far this season. They have conceded in 4 of their 5 competitive matches and are yet to register more than two goals in any game. This is not the Real Madrid of last year that destroyed their opponents and the losses of Di Maria and Xabi Alonso are looking to be more significant than initially thought. Basel to find the back of the net but Madrid to click into gear and get away with the win.
The Sportingbet team have put their heads together and come up with the best bets across Racing and Sport.
1) 1st Half Result – Draw
UEFA Champions League – Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal (4:45 AM AEST)
Arsenal and Dortmund continue their rivalry after being drawn in the same group for the 3rd time in four seasons. They have been very close encounters will all wins coming by a single goal. Arsenal have been struggling as of late thanks to a tough schedule and some injuries, while Dortmund will be the fresher of the two sides. We can see yet another tight encounter, especially in the first half, with the possibility of a late winner.
2) 1st Half Total Goals – Over 1.5
UEFA Champions League – Liverpool vs Ludogrets (4:45 PM AEST)
After five years the famous Anfield will again host a UEFA Champions League fixture. The lead up to kick off will be an awesome sight and the highlights will not stop there. Liverpool players will thrive off the atmosphere and put the pedal to the metal from the opening whistle. Expect fireworks early on with the Reds to bag a couple of early goals.
3) Il Cavallo
Race 4 Mornington (2:35 PM AEST)
He will be aiming for four wins in a row when he goes around here. There is plenty of wraps on the Moody trained stallion and should be too good again. Definitely the one to beat.
Race 5 Mornington (3:10 PM AEST)
Freshened up for this and is coming off a solid win in his last outing. The Weir stable always commands respect and no reason he can’t make it two wins on the trot. Will be fighting out the finish.
Race 6 Newcastle (4:05 PM AEST)
He was outbobbed at Canterbury last start and is racing well enough to be a major force here. The in-form Hugh Bowman jumps on and should get a nice run from barrier five. Has strong form lines around his debut with Royal Ocean winning in Adelaide on Saturday. Needs to come under strong consideration.
6) Spy Decoder
Race 7 Newcastle (4:40 PM AEST)
He’s been running on solidly in last two outings and will relish the step up in distance. Strong form lines around Rock Sturdy and is a solid lightweight chance in the Cameron Hcp. Should be in the mix.
Sportingbet Racing Offer – Odds On, Look On – $2 for odds on favourites
At Sportingbet, we’ve come up with a list of Spring Rules and one of those rules is Odds on, Look on, but we’re breaking that rule every Saturday in September.
32 runners have started odds on over the past two Saturdays and we’ve offered the enhanced price of $2 on all of them.
From 9am every Saturday we’re offering $2 for any odds on favourite at any of the metropolitan venues. Markets for country and provincial venues with an odds on favourite will be available throughout the day as well.
Click on special markets (pictured below) to see a list of all the horses with an enhanced price of $2 (Available 9am AEST Saturday 20 September)
With Sportingbet’s Spring Rules, there’s no reason to look on when your horse is odds on!
The Sportingbet team have put their heads together and come up with the best bets across Racing and Sport.
1) Yes (Both Teams To Score)
Hull vs West Ham (5:00 AM AEST)
West Ham welcome new signing Alex Song who will make his debut for the club in this match. On loan from Barcelona, he can provide the attacking and creative flair for the Hammers. Hull, led by Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa, have scored in each of their three Premier League matches to date and look dangerous again here and middle-of-the-road opposition.
2) New York Mets (J DEGROM)
Miami Marlins @ New York Mets (9:40 AM AEST)
Young Miami pitcher, Jarred Cosart has been very impressive since being called up but may have his work limited as he begins to reach his innings limit as set by the club. Considering Cosart may not pitch into the 6th and 7th inning, fellow young arm, Jacob deGrom looks a good play, coming off an eight-inning shutout of the Rockies, while improving to 8-2 with a 1.77 ERA over his last 13 outings.
3) Indianapolis Colts -3
Philadelphia Eagles @ Indianapolis Colts (10:30 AM AEST)
The Colts come off a strong Week 1 showing against the defending AFC Champion Denver Broncos, while the Eagles did a number on the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars who have since been smashed by the Washington Redskins. The Colts form line is superior and at home, should be too good.
4) Arizona Diamondbacks (W MILEY)
San Francisco Giants @ Arizona Diamondbacks (11:40 AM AEST)
There is value to be had here in Wade Miley’s first outing since giving up three runs over 2 innings before being pulled in his last start, also against the Giants. He should bounce back here and the D’backs are coming off two strong wins against the Padres where they scored 16 runs over the both games.
5) Bayman Bale
Horsham Race 7 (5:40 PM AEST)
Despite being held up last start, went on to claim victory at Warragul. This NSW runner is a two-time winner here and has placed in 14 of its last 17 starts including six wins. Always in the contest and can overcome traffic to win here.
6) Ketut’s Kaput
Horsham Race 10 (6:32 PM AEST)
An outstanding record of 10 wins from 21 starts and if he is able to find the lead early (as usual), has the ability to lead them all the way. First start here but should be too good.
UCL BIG GUNS TRACKER The big guns are back out tomorrow morning with Chelsea, Barcelona, Roma and Bayern Munich kicking their campaigns off at home. Bayern Munich take on Man City so set your alarms as you will not want …
Billy Brownless has been hard at work for Sportingbet and has done all the form for the week’s AFL. Check out our Week 3 Finals preview and get on Billy’s recommended bet in every game this weekend! Sydney …
Sydney Roosters vs North Queensland Cowboys Friday 19th September, 7:55pm AEST Allianz Stadium Big Marn Says: The Roosters will be winning this. They would be dirty about letting last week slip against the Panthers and I have no doubt they will …
1) Team Goals – Chelsea Over 2.5 UEFA Champions League – Chelsea vs Schalke (4:45 AM AEST) Thanks to star signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea have been on an absolute tear! They have been dominant and the goals have …
Diego Costa has been simply amazing this season! He is the first man ever to score 7 goals from his opening 4 matches and there is clearly no limit as to what he can produce this season. He has silenced …