Thursday 5 December 2019
Celebrity X Factor 2019 voting figures and percentages
Megan McKenna - 26.7%
Vinnie Jones - 16.5%
No Love Lost - 11.2%
Victoria Ekanoye - 10.7%
Max and Harvey - 10.6%
V5 - 8.7%
Kevin McHale - 7.9%
Martin Bashir - 3.7% - BOTTOM THREE
Olivia Olson - 2.9% - ELIMINATED
Ricki Lake - 1.1% - ELIMINATED
Jenny Ryan - Safe seat
Jonny Labey - Safe seat
Try Star - Safe seat
Megan McKenna - 30.1%
Vinnie Jones - 14.0%
Max & Harvey - 12.2%
V5 - 12.0%
Jenny Ryan - 10.4%
Martin Bashir - 9.3% - BOTTOM THREE
Jonny Labey - 6.6% - ELIMINATED
Victoria Ekanoye - 5.4% - ELIMINATED
No Love Lost - Safe seat
Kevin McHale - Safe seat
Try Star - Safe seat
Megan McKenna - 25.7%
Jenny Ryan - 25.5%
Try Star - 17.5%
No Love Lost - 13.7% - ELIMINATED
V5 - 11.0% - SING-OFF
Martin Bashir - 6.6% - ELIMINATED
Vinnie Jones - Safe seat
Max and Harvey - Safe seat
Kevin McHale - Safe seat
Megan McKenna - 21.6%
Try Star - 20.8%
Jenny Ryan - 14.5%
Max and Harvey - 14.0%
V5 - 10.5%
Vinnie Jones - 10.1% - SING-OFF
Kevin McHale - 8.5% - ELIMINATED
Megan McKenna - 28.6%
Jenny Ryan - 17.2%
Max & Harvey - 16.9%
Try Star - 15.7% - ELIMINATED
V5 - 11.1% - SING-OFF
Vinnie Jones - 10.5% - ELIMINATED
Week 6 - vote freeze
Megan McKenna - 40.6%
Max & Harvey - 27.5%
Jenny Ryan - 21.2%
V5 - 10.7% - ELIMINATED
Week 6 - final vote
Megan McKenna - 46.3%
Max & Harvey - 27.1%
Jenny Ryan -
Wednesday 30 October 2019
After the final semi-final whistle went, the 2019 Rugby World Cup final lineup has been
announced with England and South Africa ready to go head to head to win the William Webb
England beat New Zealand in an exciting match which saw the defending champions broken
down by a relentless English side as they went on to win 19-7 and secure their spot in this
year’s Rugby World Cup final. This meant that New Zealand failed to reach the final and they
would not become the first-ever team to win the tournament for a record 3 times in a row.
South Africa guaranteed their spot in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final after a tight match with
Wales went all the way with a narrow final score of 19-16 to the Springboks. This sent South
Africa to the final and Wales to a third-place playoff against the mighty All Blacks, a match
which nobody wants to play. However, if the men in red can secure a rare win over New
Zealand, it’ll be the first time in 66 long years.
Both England and South Africa have strong forward packs who will try to bully each other in
the set pieces and around the rucks, the game could go down to a moment of brilliance such
as Johnny Wilkinson’s drop goal in 2003.
After World Class referee Nigel Owens was ruled out of the match with a fitness problem,
World Rugby have appointed controversial referee Jerome Garces for the final with both
English fans and South African fans mostly unhappy with the appointment. However, Garces
will allow for a free contest at the breakdown which is where the back-rows of either team
will be desperate to one-up the other team. Keep an eye on Sam Underhill, Tom Curry, Siya
Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit who will all be massively important to their sides on
Whatever happens, Saturday’s match should be an extremely close game with both sides
desperate to win in a rematch of the 2007 Rugby World Cup final where South Africa came
out on top.
Wednesday 23 October 2019
England vs Australia last weekend was an entertaining spectacle where England eventually ran away 40-16 winners. New Zealand also dominated in their quarter-final performance with a 46-14 win over Ireland. Both teams will be fairly confident in their abilities as they prepare for a monumental semifinal clash. As soon as the final whistle went in New Zealand’s
quarter-final clash, all eyes turned to the semifinals where England were to play the famous All Blacks.
New Zealand have had a good 2019 so far, however, they didn’t win the 2019 Rugby
Championship after losing to Australia and a draw against South Africa ended in a
second-place finish for the All Blacks. They then went into the Rugby World Cup beating
South Africa in their opening game, a dominant 63-0 win over Canada, a 71-9 win over
Namibia before having their match against Italy cancelled and given as a 0-0 draw. These
results in Pool B meant that New Zealand finished as group winners and they would play the
runners up in Pool A, Ireland.
England won 3 of their 4 games in Pool C after their match with France was called off. This
meant that they also topped their group and would play the runners up in Pool D, Australia.
England dominated all their games so far in this year’s Rugby World Cup including their
quarterfinal matchup with Australia and they’ll be increasingly confident that they can secure
their final spot on Saturday.
New Zealand have their stars in Beauden Barret, Kieran Read, Ardie Savea and Jack
Goodhue who’ll all have to be on top form if they are to turn over the English team. England
also have their stars, captain Owen Farrell, Billy Vunipola and George Ford will all take part
in the New Zealand clash on Saturday.
England haven’t beaten New Zealand since December 2012, however, they’ve never beaten
the All Blacks in a Rugby World Cup, so they’ll be hoping to make history this weekend.
Anything other than a win here for New Zealand will be a disappointment as they look to win
the Rugby World Cup for a record third time in a row
Thursday 17 October 2019
After Wales’ win over Australia and England’s game with France called as a draw, all eyes have been on the quarterfinal matchup between Pool C winners England, and Pool D runners up Australia. These two have a great history in Rugby World Cups and this matchup promises to be a monumental encounter.
The last time these two played against each other in a Rugby World Cup was 2015 where Australia beat England 33-13 to guarantee their spot in the quarterfinals of that year’s competition. England however, were knocked out in the pool stages of the tournament due to finishing third behind Australia and Wales.
England will want to avenge their 2015 woes by beating a very strong Australian side on Saturday as they look ahead to a potential semi-final clash with either Ireland or New Zealand.
Going into this match, England are unbeaten after convincing wins against Tonga, USA and Argentina put them at the top of Pool C. Their match against France was cancelled and was therefore given as a draw. However, England had enough points to secure top spot and a place in the quarterfinals.
Australia beat a strong Fiji team along with Georgia and Uruguay to finish second in their group behind a strong Welsh team who clinched the top spot after securing 4 wins from 4, their first time to do so in a Rugby World Cup. Fans are currently unsure as to whether this loss affected the Australians, however, they’ll be determined to not end their Rugby World Cup campaign on a quarterfinal loss.
Saturday’s match is crucial for both sides as neither will want to lose and an exit in the quarterfinal will be seen as a failure. A surprise omission from England’s starting XV for Saturday’s game is fly-half George Ford who performed superbly in the Pool matches as he’s replaced by Owen Farrell. Australia give only a third cap to 19-year-old centre Jordan Petaia as he looks to make an impact. England should dominate the game upfront and as the bookies favourite, they’ll be desperate to not make the same mistakes they did in 2015.
Tuesday 1 October 2019
After a strong showing in this year’s Six Nations tournament, England will be going into the
Rugby World Cup as one of the favourites. They beat Tonga 35-3 in their opening match of
the world cup and they’ll be hoping they can improve on this result in the next few games.
Next up for England are the USA, although they’re not the strongest team in the world, the
Americans will be desperate to scrape a result against the English and will most likely target
this game. England should win this comfortably with a view to resting players before their big
clash against Argentina.
Argentina opened their World Cup campaign with a 23-21 loss to France. They will hope to
play better than they did in this game against Tonga before their match against England.
After the Argentine challenge, England will have to play against the unpredictable France.
France will have to be playing on top form if they are to trouble England, however, anything
can happen in rugby and don’t be surprised if France scrape a result here.
If England qualify for the knockout stages, they will play either Australia, Fiji or bitter rivals
Wales. If England top their group, they will play the runners up of group D which largely
depends on the winner of Australia v Wales on the 29th of September. Fiji could throw a
spanner in the works if they manage to beat Wales, however, after losing to Uruguay they
look a much weaker side than the one who beat the Welsh in the 2007 World Cup. If
England make it to the semi-finals, they’ll have to face a world-class team most likely either
New Zealand or South Africa.
If England are to win the 2019 Rugby World Cup, they’ll have to beat the best teams in the
world such as Wales, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. They’ll have a difficult few
matches in the knockout stages, however, if they play to the best of their abilities, they’ll be a
very difficult team to stop
Thursday 26 September 2019
Ireland finished third in this year’s Six Nations, however, turned things around in the Rugby
World Cup warm-ups by beating Wales twice to claim the number 1 ranking in the World
Rugby rankings. They have an impressive group of players and will be desperate to go
further than the quarter-finals which is their best ever result at a Rugby World Cup.
In their opening game, Ireland beat second seed Scotland 27-3 in a dominant performance.
Because of this result, Ireland should top their group barring any upset in their upcoming
games. Next up, Ireland will play against hosts Japan before going on to play Russia and
finally Samoa before the group stages end. Since these games are so close together, Ireland
will need to rotate the squad and keep players fresh, otherwise, they could be looking at an
Japan started their campaign off strong with a win against Russia with winger Kotaro
Matsushima helping himself to three tries. Russia are yet to win a match so far in this World
Cup after losing to both Japan and Samoa, therefore, Ireland will fancy their chances against
the Russians and could decide to rest some players.
If Ireland make it to the knockout stages, they will have to play either one of New Zealand or
South Africa in the quarter-finals. If Ireland top Group A, they’ll play the runner up in Group B
and since New Zealand beat South Africa, this will likely be South Africa. Both of these
teams will require a monumental performance to take any result away, but Joe Schmidt will
fancy his chances against the two southern hemisphere sides.
After the quarter-finals, Ireland could face any one of Australia, Wales or England in the
semi-finals depending on results. If they then beat one of those teams, they would make the
world cup final and could play anyone, but it’ll definitely be an incredibly tough match. If
Ireland are to win the world cup however, they must beat the best teams and a tough
quarter-final opponent will be one small step in achieving that goal
Thursday 12 September 2019
After winning four from four, Liverpool are in a pretty good place as a club. They aren’t performing to their elite standard, and the loss of Alisson Becker has had a big impact on their defensive style. However, they have a game against Newcastle United coming up that should pose an interesting challenge. Steve Bruce’s Toon have already been to Spurs and win – could they be the team to break a very, very long unbeaten record at Anfield for the Reds?
The Reds look set to continue their usual midfield and attacking combination. The only question is who will partner Virgil van Dijk. The increasingly consistent form of Joel Matip, though, should see him come back into the starting line-up. This is interesting, though, as for some time it was expected that it would be Joe Gomez, not Matip, who would play the leading partnership role alongside van Dijk.
However, the attack and the full-backs more or less choose themselves. In midfield, we should see Georginio Wijnaldum – fresh from a fantastic pair of performances for the Netherlands – continue alongside Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.
Newcastle United News
The Toon will likely be going with a contain formation, with the chance of them playing a 5-4-1 again – as they did at Spus – somewhat likely. In midfield, the combative duo of Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden should likely continue, while up front they’ll have the aggressive Joelinton. Last time out, Liverpool struggled a little against the combative nature of Ashley Barnes up front; Joelinton will likely try and play a similar role here.
Liverpool win. The Merseyside outfit are in good form and while they are conceding goals and chances, they are scoring plenty. We should see them keep the ball a bit better here, which, given Newcastle are likely to sit in and try to soak-up pressure, could mean that Liverpool simply grind them down.
Friday 30 August 2019
With one of the biggest games in the English football calendar coming up, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur will do battle to be the ruler of North London. The two biggest clubs in the region, this high-intensity derby feels even more important. Having enjoyed lording it over their city rivals for a few years now, Spurs look as weak as they ever have under Mauricio Pochettino. Can Unai Emery put them to the sword and really settle in at Arsenal?
The Gunners are without a host of important players, including Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney, and Mesut Ozil. This should mean that we could see them line up in a standard 4-2-3-1, with the diamond experiment tried out last week at Anfield not likely to be revisited here.
Alexandre Lacazette should return up-front, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicola Pepe in the wide areas. There’s lots to be excited about for Arsenal, but a struggling back-line – especially on the left-hand side – leaves plenty to worry about should they get too gung-ho.
Tottenham Hotspur News
Spurs will probably line up in a similar formation, caused in part by their interesting list of injuries. Juan Foyth and Ryan Sessegnon are both out, while Dele Alli, Kyle Walker-Peters, and Tanguy Ndombele are all likely to miss out.
With Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen both fit – though their futures uncertain – we could see both come into the team if they are still at Spurs come the weekend. With transfer rumours floating around about both players, there’s no guarantee.
A solid score draw. Both sides are quite porous at the back, but the return to form of some of their attacking talent on both sides could see a high-octane game. We can see both teams scoring a couple, though calling an outright winner is tough when both teams are so plagued by uncertainty and inconsistency in big games.
Thursday 1 August 2019
If you're like me, you've got a few sports or sporting events that you're mad about and others that you're more of an armchair fan of. For me, I'd certainly be disappointed if I missed a high profile boxing bout, a World Cup match, or say the 100m final in the Olympics. Sporting moments that you can't watch after the event and have to appreciate the highs and lows of live. Some people though, they have a very wayward and off kilter way of viewing sports, and it seems like the more niche something is, the more they can't take their eyes off it. I bring you to, a summary of strange sports and events:
Is it even a sport?
I like a night out at the Casino as much as the next man and am not shy of splashing the cash in either a physical or internet casino. The energised atmosphere and removal of anything that even remotely indicates what the time is, so that you get lost in the games. The thrill of doubling your money on poker perhaps or slots. It's certainly a fun experience. Even watching others play can be entertaining as everyone has their style, such as the crazy old ladies scattering chips across countless roulette numbers, the person darting here and there, seemingly betting on 20 things at the same time. Typical casino characters!
And of course nowadays we're never far away from a casino online usa, uk or around the world. It's the click of a button away. All of that is lost though if you 'watch' those late night Casino TV channels. As in not even take part in the live roulette game on offer but actually, just watch it live, like a spectator sport. I knew someone that did this, and it took me about half an hour to even understand what they were doing. They don't play along, they just watch the croupier spin a ball and see which number the ball lands in. Very strange and voyeuristic with no skin in the game! What an oddball!
MMA is getting more and more popular year on year. UFC has gone from relative obscurity to mainstream, with some especially younger fans preferring it to boxing. PPV events draw in huge numbers from fans all around the world. For some though, the latest Connor McGregor fight is of little interest, because they much prefer the spectre of.... Thumb Wrestling. A sport you can imagine someone taking up in the midst of a nervous breakdown, in Thumb Wrestling participants place their hands within a 'Thumb Ring', say “1,2,3,4, I declare a thumb war” and then duke it out (with their thumbs) to see who is the champion. It's a sport with a World Championship and in the UK there's recently been BBC coverage and a even a piece on Good morning Britain about it. We can only hope that it doesn't wing its way to major sports stations anytime soon!
The Ham National
Okay, I'll admit it, I'm torn with this one. The amusingly named Ham National is effectively a low budget Grand National but for pigs instead of horses. It's not on the same scale (in that I can't envisage hundreds of millions of people tuning into the Ham National) as the Grand National, and is more madcap in nature, but it certainly seems to appeal to some. The invent itself is part of the Royal Norfolk Show in the UK and draws in both crowds and likely confusion for those who stumble upon it. With the likes of Justin Bieboar and Elvis Pigsley taking part, there is at least an overriding comedy component to the proceedings!
Thursday 25 July 2019
Casual racing fans seem to love the idea that they can have a day at the races, hastily scan the race card of that day's issue of the Racing Post and, like a water diviner, instantly locate a couple of 50-1 winners by name alone.
There is a quiet confidence there, totally unearned of course, but it's there. Sometimes people strike lucky and think that by betting on Betty's Boxset, their deceased old aunt Bet and her love of Last of the Summer Wine DVDs are helping their horse strive for the finish line. Other times they lose and then the endless hard luck stories emerge.
When it comes to horse racing, it's not just punters that look to a name though. Horse owners often put a lot of thought into naming their horses Well, I say thought - some of them take a more humour based or mischievous slant to proceedings. In part hey do this for their own personal amusement, but also, there's the thrill of a commentator enthusiastically reeling off nonsensible or funny horse racing names with no choice in he matter. Anyway, enough of me babbling on, here's a list of real and 'real funny' horse racing names:
Wear The Fox Hat
(read those three in an Irish accent!)
Flat Fleet Feet
Ha Ha Ha
Wednesday 12 June 2019
‘And they’re off!’
We used to think nothing could get our hearts pumping faster than hearing these three words from right beside the track. Then we started playing horse racing-themed slot games online, and we realised it’s possible to enjoy the thrill of a day at the races without even leaving the house.
You’ll find hundreds of awesome racing slots to choose from these days. Our favourites include NetEnt’s Scudamore’s Super Stakes, IGT’S Champion Raceway and Playtech’s Ascot: Sporting Legends. All showcase symbols based around famous jockeys, winning thoroughbreds and gleaming trophies, as well as super-fast spin speeds and awesome bonus features to help boost give your payouts a boost.
Excited to find out more? Check out the guide below. Put together with the help of the experts from Bgo online casino, it details the 5 top racing slot games available right now. You can play them all on your PC whilst chilling at home, or on your smartphone when out and about. Have fun, and we wish you the best of luck.
Tuesday 11 June 2019
If you’re yet to watch the most recent series of Britain’s Got Talent, look away now! As well as looking at the 2019 series winner, we’re going to take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the top acts from the show over the years.
Colin Thackery - There is only one place to begin, and this is with the most recent winner of Britain’s Got Talent. This is, of course, Colin Thackery. It wasn’t much of a surprise that the 89-year-old won, considering the audience was chanting his name during the tense final. After serving for the Queen in the Royal Artillery for 25 years, could there be a more fitting person to take part in the Royal Variety Performance? His take on Love Changes Everything captured the nation, and no matter how many years Britain’s Got Talent continues, Colin is bound to remain as a firm fan favourite.
Paul Potts - From the most recent winner to the very first winner of the hit ITV show; Paul Potts was a mobile phone salesman when he entered the talent competition. Since then, he has released seven albums. His first album, One Chance, topped the charts in nine countries around the gold and went double Platinum. The opera singer has also reportedly bagged £5 million since winning the show. And, of course, who can forget film biopic of Potts’ life? The film featured Julie Walters with James Corden playing Potts himself. It took more than $10 million at the Box Office! In fact, Britain’s’ got talent is one big money-making machine with lucrative sponsorship deals & now even has its own online casino brand in bgt games. Not bad for an old-fashioned talent show.
Attraction - Now, let’s move onto the first foreign act to ever win the show! Attraction is a Hungarian shadow theatre act. Their unique act mesmerised viewers, and since then the act has had a lot of success. Not only have they fronted a TV advertising campaign for insurance, but they have performed in Las Vegas as well. They also featured in America’s Got Talent: The Champions, which took place this year, featuring winners from all over the world. They just missed out on a place in the final, finishing second in the superfan vote. However, Shin Lim, a magician, took the crown. The Canadian-American magician of Han Chinese Heritage had won the 13th season of the competition in America.
Susan Boyle - How can we possibly talk about Britain’s Got Talent without mentioning Susan Boyle? In a big bookie upset, Boyle missed out on the prize, coming second to dance troupe Diversity. A record 17.3 million viewers watched the final. Of course, both acts have gone on to have massive success since the show. Susan Boyle also featured in America’s Got Talent: The Champions, with herself and Paul Potts being the only two acts from the UK show to make the top 12. However, she’s achieved way more than being a top 12 talent show finisher, that’s for sure! She toured the UK and US in 2013-2014. She’s won numerous awards, as well as being nominated for a number of Billboard Music Awards and Grammy Awards. She was also honoured for her contribution to the creative industries in 2012, receiving an honourary doctorate from the Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.
Lorraine Brown - Now, this name may seem a bit unfamiliar. However, if we say the lady singing with her ironing board, you will probably know who we’re talking about. No, we’re not including this act in the list for her amazing talent or worldwide success. We’ve included Lorraine to give a nod to David Williams and his golden buzzer selections. Is there anything better than seeing the dismay on Simon Cowell’s face when David strikes again? Of course, Lorraine was not the only controversial decision. The comedian pressed the golden buzzer with his foot for Ian and Anne Marshall’s cover of Crazy In Love.
Ashleigh and Pudsey - Much to the delight of Simon Cowell, a dog act won the show in 2012. Ashleigh Butler and her dog Pudsey have remained popular since the show. They have been involved in a number of theatre productions, pantomimes, and a TV adaptation of the book Mr. Stink, which also featured Hugh Bonneville. The pair also journeyed to the United States where they appeared on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show and performed on America’s Got Talent.
So there you have it: some of the best acts, both past and present, from Britain’s Got Talent. Who’s your all-time favourite from the popular ITV show?
Monday 3 June 2019
Semi Final 1
Dave & Finn - 29.2%
Flakefleet Primary School - 25.6%
The Haunting - 13.4%
Rosie & Adam - 12.4%
Khronos Girls - 6.8%
Tony Rudd - 5.6%
Akshat Singh - 3.6%
Brian Gilligan - 3.4%
Semi Final 2
4MG - 28.2%
Siobhan Phillips - 15.9%
Matt Stirling - 14.9%
Faith Tucker - 11.3%
Giorgia Borg - 11.3%
Vardanyan Brothers - 8.9%
State of the Fart - 5.5%
The Queen - 4.0%
Semi Final 3
Colin Thackery - 29.1%
Kojo Anim - 23.9%
John Archer - 19.0%
Chapter 13 - 16.6%
Angels Inc. - 4.2%
Rob King - 3.3%
Gomonov Knife Show - 2.6%
KNE - 1.3%
Semi Final 4
Ben Hart - 28.6%
Mark McMullan - 25.4%
Graeme Mathews - 12.5%
Kerr James - 11.3%
Lil Icons - 9.3%
Duo A&J - 6.6%
Jimmy Tamley - 5.7%
Ursula Burns - 0.6%
Semi Final 5
X - 27.4%
Jonathan Goodwin - 22.0%
Libby & Charlie - 17.0%
Barbara Nice - 14.1%
Leanne Mya - 8.7%
Gonzo - 7.4%
Jacob Jones - 2.3%
Fabulous Sisters - 1.1%
Colin Thackery - 25.3%
X - 17.8%
Ben Hart - 10.2%
Kojo Anim - 9.6%
Dave & Finn - 9.1%
Flakefleet Primary School - 8.8%
Mark McMullan - 4.6%
Jonathan Goodwin - 4.4%
Siobhan Phillips - 4.0%
Libby & Charlie - 3.9%
4MG - 2.3%
Sunday 19 May 2019
It's the guilty pleasure of millions and I'm sure many of you tuned in once again to the Eurovision song contest, this year held in Tel Aviv, Israel. Whether it was the powerful and heartfelt Arcade (Duncan Laurence - Netherlands), crazed S&M screamfest Hatrið mun sigra (Hatari - Iceland) or Catchy Yodelfest Spirit in the Sky (KEiiNO - Norway) there was something here for everyone. We even got to see Madonna successfully traverse a flight of stairs for once. The annual campfest had it all.
Going into the 2019 show the Netherlands entry was even money favourite, and it was certainly hard to deny that it was a stellar entry. I watched the show with my brother, and opted to support the visual spectacle that was the Australian entry, while my brother opted for the Norwegian entry. Sadly neither of us held much hope for the uninspiring UK entry (Bigger Than Us by Michael Rice) We were proved right on that count at least, as the UK came last.
Following the entertaining performances, the jury vote seems very all over the place, but I did have an inkling that the song by North Macedonia wouldn't do as well with the public as it had unfathomably done with judges across Europe. As it turned out, the favourite from the Netherlands did end up winning, though at several stages throughout it wasn't quite a formality. Interestingly. the Norwegian entry actually received more votes from the public than any of the other entries! (see below) It's a shame the judges didn't see it in the same light. In fact. the Netherlands didn't win the public or the jury vote, they just ranked highly enough in both to take the title.
|Eurovision Jury Vote (won by Sweden)|
|Eurovision Telephone Vote (won by Norway)|
Overall result - Top Ten:
North Macedonia: 295
Eurovision Song Contest 2019 Winner - Duncan Laurence - Arcade
Friday 10 May 2019
With the Premier League title on the line, Manchester City travel to now-safe Brighton and Hove Albion. Funnily enough, the freedom from relegation might just open Brighton up to give a bit more than they usually can in the big games. With so much sitting on this one match, though, it’s hard to know how the nerves will impact upon City. The Citizens have been tremendous in 2019, their UEFA Champions League defeat aside, so a slip-up would seem very rare indeed. Stranger things, though, have happened (have they?).
The Seagulls arrive at their last home game of the season knowing they’ll compete for a third year in a row in the Premier League. That should give them some relief from the challenges and fears to come. Jose Izquierdo and Davy Propper will miss out here. Expect to see Anthony Knockaert play again, as well as Pascal Gross.
Brighton will be reliant, as ever, on the goals of Glenn Murray. If they are going to shock the world, it’ll be down to the big man up-front.
Manchester City News
Meanwhile, City are without Kevin de Bruyne and most likely Fernandinho. However, Liverpool fans should not get too excited; City have been missing the dynamic duo for some time now, and have kept the wins rolling in. If they miss out, expect Phil Foden to take part in this showpiece occasion, with Ilkay Gundogan and David Silva likely to play alongside him.
Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling will power the flanks, with Sergio Aguero likely through the middle.
City win. If they slip up now, it would probably be the single greatest slip-up in English history – unless Liverpool manage to fail as well. They have won 13 on the spin; it would be an incredible shock to see them do anything other than make that 14 wins in a row.
Saturday 4 May 2019
Manchester City News
The loss of Kevin de Bruyne is obviously ak ick in the teeth, and the fact that Benjamin Mendy and Fernandinho will both miss out is also a bit of a blow. However, for City, they have the nous, the depth, and the quality to come out of this without too much effort. We can see them winning here thanks to the depth of their attack, with the trio of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero
Leicester City News
With just Daniel Amartey out, the Foxes have a full complement to pick from. They have nothing really to worry about, and will likely go with the same team that they went with last week. They have been quite stable and solid under Brendan Rodgers in that regard, and we do not really expect that to change here.
City win – and by a fair amount. Leicester are a good side, but the motivation in winning a title will see City come out on top and win the match without much effort. We fancy Jamie Vardy to score, but other than that we can see this being easy for the Blues.
Tuesday 16 April 2019
As two of the biggest teams in the world, it should shock absolutely nobody that Barcelona and Manchester City are in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League. After a dour win at Old Trafford in the first leg, can Barcelona make the most of their growing advantage and put the Red Devils to the sword in Barcelona?
The only missing party for the home side is going to be that of Rafinha. The talented Brazilian will sit this one out, having suffered an injury again. However, the return of Ousmane Dembele is timely: he’s likely to take a starting berth ahead of Philippe Coutinho. This match-up should be an interesting one, with Dembele likely running at either Ashley Young or Antonio Valencia.
Sergi Roberto or Arturo Vidal are likely to be fit enough to return to the midfield, a well, in what should give them some extra energy to compete against the English outfit.
Manchester United News
United, meanwhile, are missing a fair few of their main players. For one, Antonio Valencia might not make it; the same goes for Eric Bailly and Nemanja Matic. Luke Shaw is out for sure, as is Ander Herrera. Shaw is suspended.
This will likely mean a start for both Matteo Darmian and Diogo Dalot, with the latter likely playing in the midfield. Scott McTominay will play again, as will Marcus Rashford. Expect Jesse Lingard to start ahead of Juan Mata, who is being linked with a move to Barcelona.
United are short in numbers, which could mean that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to get pretty creative with his line-up.
Barcelona to go through. United have grit in abundance, but performances recently have been poor. Barcelona are unlikely to fall to pieces as they did last year against AS Roma, or as Paris Saint-Germain did in the last sixteen.
Wednesday 3 April 2019
If ever a game sounded like a gimme at this time of the season, it’s this. Despite Sergio Aguero likely missing out, we can expect to see Cardiff City struggle here. Neil Warnock has not gotten many results of note against he biggest teams in his tenure as a Premier League coach. With Manchester City on an incredible run, it’s unlikely that this will change on Wednesday night.
Manchester City News
As mentioned above, the loss of Sergio Aguero is a minor blow for Manchester City. So, too, is the continued absence of Fabian Delph and Benjamin Mendy. Vincent Kompany will miss out, too, which will probably give Pep Guardiola one or two things to think about.
For this game, though, they could just about field any side and probably get the three points. Cardiff are in freefall, and aren’t doing great whatsoever in terms of results or performances. City have enough firepower on the bench and in the squad to overcome them: expect them to come out flying here and do the damage regardless of injuries.
Cardiff City News
Cardiff will be without Callum Paterson and Sol Bamba, as well as Matthew Connolly. Manager Warnock has threatened to play a weakened team, which is ironic given his decade-plus long tirade against West Ham United for the same thing. They’ll probably go with many of the same team who played at the weekend in the shocking loss to Chelsea.
Two wins in their last six, though, does leaves the away side with little hope.
Anything but City plus two goals seems generous. Cardiff are running out of games to stay up with, but we don’t see them getting anything from this. City are in the title hunt, and should clear one of the easiest hurdles that they have left at present.
Saturday 23 March 2019
Tiger Roll, the winner of the Grand National in 2018, was imperious when winning the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival for the second year running. Few would deny that, despite his diminutive stature, the nine-year-old is a worthy favourite to become the first horse since Red Rum, in the Seventies, to win back-to-back Nationals. However, it is worth remembering that, after taking a 6-length lead at the Elbow last year, he was ultimately all out to hold Pleasant Company by a head. Tiger Roll is 9lb higher in the weights this time around and, admirable though he is, odds of 6/1 look short enough.
By contrast, Pleasant Company, who finished ninth behind One For Arthur in 2017 before just being touched off last year, is available as a 33/1 outsider. He, too, is 6lb higher in the weights this time around and is following a similar pattern to last year insofar as he has shown very little in two starts so far this season. Of course, he is trained by Willie Mullins, so he could bounce back, especially if the going at Aintree comes up soft or heavy but, as an 11-year-old, he hardly has time of his side.
One For Arthur was sidelined with injury for most of the season 2017/2018, but returned to action in December and is by no means impossibly treated off 6lb higher mark. That said, he unseated rider on his seasonal debut on the Mildmay Course at Aintree and did so again at Haydock in January, so has some questions to answer in the jumping department. He also reportedly heads to Aintree without another preparatory run, so his fitness needs to be taken on trust, but the 33/1 outsider odds available looks fair enough.
There are other outsiders in the running too. Owner Trevor Hemmings, who’s already won the Grand National three times, with Hedgehunter, Ballabriggs and Many Clouds, holds a strong hand with Vintage Clouds – who looks a solid 16/1 chance – and, at longer odds, his more recent acquisition, Lake View Lad, whom he bought from previous connections last October. Both horses ran an excellent trial for the Grand National when second and third, respectively, in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and, at 25/1, Lake View Lad arguably looks the pick of this pair of outsiders at Aintree.
Tuesday 12 March 2019
Coming into the season, both of these sides were expected to fight for the top eight to ten places in the league. Having both been two of these more high-performing provincial outfits since they came into the Premier League, this always has the feel of a game between two sides who step on each other’s toes. With Burnley in a bit of a relegation dogfight and Leicester City swinging in purgatory, nothing to play for of any great note, can the home side overcome their more progressive opponent?
For the Clarets, it’s hard to see where the chances are going to come from. With the concession of at least two goals in their last three games – and three league losses on the spin – Burnley are going nowhere. They are in a relegation dogfight nobody could have seen coming, and it’s not through bad luck or anything of the sort.
They allow more shots than most in the league, and presently in a poor league position. With a defence no longer as solid as it once was, it’s hard to see where the Turf Moore side will get goals, either. Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood have 16 between them, a decent return, but is it enough?
The Foxes have endured an odd start under Brendan Rodgers. A win the night he was appointed took place, followed by a late loss and then a convincing weekend win. With the improving form of James Maddison and Jamie Vardy, it’s easy to see why Foxes fans are confident of staying in a good position.
For the Midlands outfit, it all comes down to consistency. With nothing of great consequence to play for, can they turn up when it maters?
Score draw. New Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has often struggled with games like Burnley away, and his side – outside of impressing their new coach – having nothing to play for. Burnley, meanwhile, are fighting for their lives: we can see that being enough to edge a fractious, tight contest.
Saturday 2 March 2019
After a frenetic 96th minute winner in the Merseyside Derby at Anfield, we’re set to do it all again. With five of the last six games at Goodison ending as draws, though – the only winner being a late Sadio Mane winner – it’s not likely to be a classic game. These ties are rarely of a high quality, but the intensity and importance of the game speaks for itself. Who will come out on top, though?
Interestingly, Everton coach Marco Silva did not hold back when he spoke of how Liverpool celebrated at Anfield – proclaiming it like a ‘World Cup’ goal. However, there’s an obvious fire about the reaction. While Leighton Baines and Yerry Mina will miss out here, we’ll see the introduction of the likes of Kurt Zouma, though Phil Jagielka might have to play.
Andre Gomes is likely to play again, though Morgan Schneiderlin gave a fine performance in the 3-0 win against Cardiff City.
The Reds have a few issues, with Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren still out. Roberto Firmino is still a doubt, too, so derby winner Origi could play again. We might see Jordan Henderson return, too, given his propensity to play in the big games. Naby Keita might sit this one out on the bench, at least from the start, having struggled to make much of an impact at Liverpool so far.
For Liverpool, it’s all about getting the result: if they can find a bit more solidity and get Sadio Mane on the ball, they should be fine.
Wednesday 13 February 2019
With equine flu concerns 'hopefully' now in the rear view mirror, we can start
to look forward to a feast of top class horse racing action in the form of the
much loved Cheltenham Festival and of course the jewel in the crown of British
racing, the Aintree Grand National.
The Cheltenham Festival runs this year from Tuesday 12th to Friday 15th March and
will no doubt once again draw in huge crowds on course as well as millions watching on their TVs at home. Last year the Gold Cup Day alone attracted a sell out crowd of over 70,000 and a total over all Festival record attendance of 262,637. Native River won the Gold Cup itself, after a stunning two year period which saw the thoroughbred also win the Hennessy Gold Cup, Welsh Grand National and Denman Chase. He's currently second favourite to win the 2019 race, so the fairytale hasn't quite ended yet! Other races to look out for include the Queen Mothers Champion Chase, which is held on Ladies Day (Altior will be looking to retain his title) and the Stayers' Hurdle. The main races will all be shown on ITV1 so there is no excuse for not tuning in!
Just three weeks after being spoilt by the Cheltenham Festival, we have the one and only Grand National. If there's one race everyone knows about, regardless of their level of interest in the sport of horse racing it's the National. The main race itself is part of a three day Festival of racing that begins on 4th April, is followed by Ladies day on the 5th, with the main event taking place on the 6th of the month.
The 2019 Grand National is bound to rival the excitement that was the 2018 race, where 10-1 Tiger Roll, ridden by Davy Russell, beat out Pleasant Company in a photo-finish. Astonishingly that was the 171st time the race had been held, which just goes to show how steeped in history the race is. Thankfully all 38 horses finished in good health too.
The 2019 Grand National is again sponsored by Randox Health and sees Tiger Roll out to defend his title. This adds an exciting dynamic to the race as no horse has had back to back wins since Red Rum in the 1970s. It would be the cherry on the cake for the Gordon Elliot trained thoroughbred, as he's already amassed prize money of over £800,000. It's early days in the Grand National betting odds, with Tiger Rolls and his main rivals Elegant Escape, Vintage Clouds, Warriors Tale and Rock the Kasbah all coming in at around the 20-1 mark. The 2019 Grand National certainly has the makings of a race you can't afford to miss, and so the eyes of the nation will no doubt be watching yet more Grand National history unfold. The Grand National starts at 5:15pm, April 6th on ITV1. Don't miss it!
Saturday 2 February 2019
After putting a massive spanner in the works of the Premier League title race, Leicester City take on another of the traditional North-West giants. Manchester United come to town having finally dropped points under Ole Gunnar Soljskaer. With Leicester not finding any consistency so far this season, though, can we really expect them to do the business against a United side who look utterly liberated compared to their previously high-strung selves?
Leicester City News
Harry Maguire is a lucky boy – he should be missing from this game through either injury or suspension. Lucky not to be sent off at Anfied, his goal into the Kop end will make sure he has few friends on Merseyside.
They’ll likely see him return alongside Wes Morgan, with a debut for young midfielder Youri Tielemans likely to come as well. Ricardo Pereira might play at full-back, though it would be no shock to see him drop out in favor of Danny Simpson, with the Portuguese moving up the pitch a bit.
Manchester United News
Injuries to the likes of Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial means that they might be an immediate doubt for this match, with a groin injury likely to keep out the French midfielder. Other injuries could include the missing Marouane Fellaini and also Chris Smalling.
Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera could come back into the side, with Alexis Sanchez also likely to be fit once again. The Red Devils finally dropped points, though came back from 2-0 down, so should feel good coming into this one.
United win. Leicester are a bit of a big game team, but they lack any kind of real consistency. It’s hard to see them replicating the same kind of performance that they gave at Anfield so soon after, and United are on the crest of a wave (draw aside) making it hard to go against them too much at present.
Wednesday 23 January 2019
When Maurizio Sarri first strolled into Stamford Bridge, the expectation was one of a slow season followed by success next year. However, the fast start to the season – including some very impressive results against Liverpool – means the wheels have come off a touch. Recent results have been poor to say the least, with the latest resulting in Sarri slating the attitude of his entire squad.
It’s safe to say, then, that things aren’t exactly rose behind the scenes. With a good performance needed to overturn a first leg loss against Tottenham Hotspur, then, can Chelsea make their case to win the 2019 League Cup?
Not much to worry about for the Blues, in truth. Ruben Loftus-Cheek will again miss out, while Eden Hazard is expected to continue to play up front despite not really suiting the style of play of the team.
Callum Hudson-Odoi – now being linked with a move up north to Liverpool – is another interesting option. He could start from the right-hand side in a bid to convince him to stick around and take part in the second half of the season with Chelsea.
For Spurs, things are a touch trickier. Star duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli are both 100% ruled out, while Victor Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko are likely to miss out, too. Lucas Moura is out, and Son Heung-Min is now at the Asian Cup with South Korea.
Expect match-winner Harry Winks to get a game, as well as the rejuvenated Georges-Kevin Nkoudou.
Expect this to be a good game, with both sides having enough form and injury worries to create a really intense, back-and-forth match-up. We can see Spurs really going for it, but Chelsea overcoming them: the injuries to Spurs means a long night could likely go against them, just purely on squad depth.
Tuesday 1 January 2019
As far as title deciders go in 2018-19, this one might come a bit early. Make no mistake, though: this game is going to be a major deciding factor in where our title goes. Manchester City host Liverpool knowing they have a seven point deficit to make up. With this being the last league game between the two sides, a win could be decisive: a win for City changes the mood entirely, a win for Liverpool offers them a 10-point lead over City.
Kevin de Bruyne has endured a challenging season so far with fitness issues, and could potentially miss out here again. Fabian Delph is out too, with a suspension, and Ilkay Gundogan will likely miss out. Good news, though, is that John Stones and Leroy Sane, a perpetual thorn in the side of Liverpool, will be back.
We can expect to see Oleksandr Zinchenko play again, though he was pretty poor against Southampton. A potential game against the Liverpool attacking trio might see Aymeric Laporte moved out to full-back. Kyle Walker could return, but poor form means he might sit this one out.
For Liverpool, there’s not much to worry about in terms of injury. The challenge comes from how far they go for it. For example, should they start with Xherdan Shaqiri? Or Naby Keita? Jordan Henderson or Georginio Wijnaldum?
The options are expansive and it does offer the Reds a few key changes to make. Throw in the fact that their key defensive quarter of Dejan Lovren, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson are all fit (so far) and they should be in fine fettle here in terms of squad fitness.
This could be the game of the season. We suggest that City are the favorites given their incredible home form, but Liverpool have a good record against City under Klopp, so it should be a fantastic match either way. If we had to call a score, we’d go for 2-2.