Will the Addition of Cenk Tosun Help Allardyce Begin Writing Everton Legacy?

Source: Everton Football Club via Facebook

When Sam Allardyce signed Cenk Tosun in the January transfer window, Everton’s hopes of finishing in the Premier League’s top six this season were slim. There was a 12-point gap between the Merseyside outfit and Arsenal in sixth, who are unlikely to give up that position and are hoping to climb. But there is a chance that Everton can end the season on a high, and finish as the best team outside of the big six. This would stand Allardyce in good stead to continue at the club for the foreseeable future and possibly begin to write his own legacy there.

Considering that Everton were facing a relegation battle in the early stages of the campaign when Ronald Koeman was at the helm, the turnaround under Allardyce has been extraordinary. The manager who has famously never overseen a side dumped out of the top flight arrested the Toffees’ decline immediately after arriving at Goodison Park. In Allardyce’s first seven games in charge across all competitions, Everton’s goal was only breached twice. The former Sunderland manager picked up vital wins against fellow basement-dwellers Newcastle United and Swansea City, and managed to hold top four hopefuls Liverpool and Chelsea to draws.

Since this dramatic upturn in form, Everton are now facing up the table rather than down, and are no longer considered among the Championship-threatened sides. It’s Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, and Swansea City who are now favoured for the drop and, at the time of writing, the Swans are odds-on at 10/11 in the football betting to finish rock bottom.

Now that Allardyce has seemingly already fulfilled his job as “Fireman Sam” with Everton out of the danger zone, the 63-year-old may be looking to build a legacy in the Northwest. He has frequently been seen as a saviour to clubs in the top flight, but rarely a long-term prospect. If he can get Everton playing some attractive football and winning a high proportion of games in the second half of the season, Farhad Moshiri may be wise to keep the Englishman at the helm in the next campaign.

This is where new signing Tosun should come in. The Toffees have been crying out for a prolific goal scorer since they sold Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United for £75 million last summer. Since then, and prior to the arrival of the Turkish striker, Everton had only managed to notch 25 goals in the league – nine fewer than Leicester City who were one place above them.

Everton acquired Tosun from Besiktas for a reported £27 million, and if he managed to fill the big Belgian’s shoes it will be an excellent bit of business. Allardyce claims that the 26-year-old is the hottest property in Europe right now in that price bracket, and the Germany-born forward racked up 41 goals in 96 league appearances at his former club.

Toffees supporters will want to see their side continue to keep clean sheets, but also to impress at the other end of the pitch. Tosun has the potential to make an instant impact at Goodison and, if he manages to hit the ground running, could help to shape Allardyce’s long-term future at the club.

Can England spring a World Cup surprise this summer?

With the biggest tournament in world football now just months away, the usual hype around England’s chances will inevitably begin. An unbeaten qualifying campaign will form the basis of any confidence and the favourable draw will certainly help fan the flames. Can England, perennial under-achievers, spring a surprise and compete in a tournament nobody expects them to succeed in?

After Euro 2016 and indeed the last World Cup, the hopes of fans in England will be lower than ever before. Failure to get out of the group in 2014 was disappointing, losing out in an incredibly tough group wasn’t the worst thing, but seeing Costa Rica advance instead of the Three Lions was.

Euro 2014 was an unmitigated disaster as minnows Iceland derailed Roy Hodgson’s side in the last 16 after a dull and uninspiring group stage. The nation’s love affair with the national side was all-but over and even the impending World Cup has done little to lift the despondent fans, already resigned to another summer of failure.

Arena de Sao Paulo” by PNG basado en esta imagen (CC BY 2.0)

Thanks to a favourable draw, England find themselves in a surprisingly easy group, too, which is the perfect tonic after facing both Italy and Uruguay four years ago. This time around, aside from Belgium, they’re facing minnows who should pose little problem. Tunisia last qualified in 2006 and have never passed the group stages and Panama are completely new to the competition. Underestimate at your peril, but with good preparation, those sides should be negotiated with ease.

Of course, Belgium are likely to win the group. They’re ranked as favourites in soccer betting tips by OLBG, but England come in as a close second. Once a team is out of the group stages, anything can happen. If the last 16 is possible, how far can England go? Waiting in the round of 16 is either the winner or runner-up from Group H, likely to be one of Colombia or Poland. It’s another generous helping hand from a rather kind draw, one that sees little benefit in winning the group. The seeds are Colombia but in truth, none of the sides lined up as last sixteen opposition are seen as the big guns.

Two of the big guns will not be waiting for the Three Lions though, Netherlands and Italy both failed to qualify. This does give the tournament a weaker look than most seasons, but many of the newer international states are now improving.

Netherlands eliminated in 2014” – By Jeffrey.Brilman (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From there the path blurs somewhat as predictions become filled with ‘if’s and ‘but’s, however, if Germany were to win their group and their last-16 tie, they would await whoever finished second in England’s group. Likewise, if Brazil were to win their group and last-16 game, they await the group winners.

At some point, one of the world’s elite will need dispatching if you’re going to win the tournament and it is at that point we get to see England’s credentials as a serious international side once again. The nation would be satisfied with a quarter-final exit at worst, something to once again give us a little bit of national pride after the humiliation of the last four years.

One significant difference between 2018 and previous seasons is the weight of expectation. Nobody truly believes this England side is capable of going very far: a mixture of ageing players who weren’t good enough in their early 20s and young, untested players not playing regular club football gives the side an unfamiliar feel. Coupled with Gareth Southgate, an uninspiring man whose greatest achievement in an England shirt was missing a penalty, they’re not a squad to get pulses racing.

Usually, the Three Lions go into a tournament under the premise that ‘England expects’. In 2018, England can only hope. Maybe that lack of expectation might just allow the side to play freely and surprise a few people.

Can Manchester City win the quadruple?

We have reached the halfway point of the season and it already has a feel, and probably is, a one-horse race to the title. For a league that has over the years gained areputation of being fiercely contested, often the race for the title boiling right down up to the final whistle, this reinforces the dominance of the team leading the premier league, Manchester City.

They say numbers don’t lie, and going along with this saying, it’s conclusive to say Manchester City are destined for the English Premier League title. Currently, Manchester City are sitting on 55 points having won all but one of their 19 games. They only dropped 2 points, during the first weeks of the season surprisingly, to a struggling Everton side. They have scored a record 60 goals in 19 games conceding mere 12 goals thanks in part to the brilliant form of new arrival, Ederson.

The impressive form of Manchester City is not limited to the Premier League, they have been doing the job nicely in other competitions too i.e. the Champions League and the Carabao Cup (formerly the League Cup) while in January they won their first game in the FA Cup as the journey to Wembley started. Pundits have already started to compare this Manchester City squad to other great Premier League squads of the past. The comparison, however, leads to one question, which is how many trophies this squad will win because it’s the number of trophies a team wins that determines if it is a great or just a good team.

A good starting point for how likely they are going to succeed is looking at the betting markets. Several bookies have opened specific betting markets solely on Manchester City and these markets include predicting if Manchester City will win the quadruple this season of the English Premier League, the Champions League, FA Cup and the Carabao Cup. The odds can be found here for this and other dedicated Manchester City betting markets.


Let us assess the chances of Manchester City winning the quadruple this season.

English Premier League

Leading the second-placed team by 14 points at the midway point of the season, it seems reasonable to say the title is Manchester City’s to lose. A brief look at the history of the Premier League since its inception in 1992 shows that 2 out of every three teams that have been on top of the league on Christmas day have gone on to lift the title, and that includes teams leading by a couple or even a single point. Considering these statistics, the premier league is there for City’s taking.

Another factor to take into consideration is the strength-in-depth of the Manchester City team. At the start of the season after Benjamin Mendy suffered a season-long injury, many raised concerns that City would suffer as a result as they did not have another natural left back, however, those fears were quashed as midfielder Fabian Delph seamlessly fitted straight into the role.

Looking at the Manchester City bench they have match winners. IIkay Gundogan won the Bundesliga and reached the Champions League final during his time at Borussia Dortmund. Bernado Silva was instrumental as his former team Monaco won the Ligue 1 title and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last season. Claudio Bravo won every possible title in Spain including the Champions League as has Yaya Toure.

Crucially in Pep Guardiola they have a manager whose DNA is winning.

Champions League

In their six matches in the Champions League, Manchester City won all but one. They lost their final match against Shakhtar Donetsk which was a dead rubber as they had already topped the group. For topping the group, Manchester City received a favourable draw, as they will play against the Swiss champions, FC Basel.

Manchester City are favourites to progress but they should be waryof the Swiss champions who are playing some good football in their domestic league sitting just two points off the top.

However, the chances of reaching the final are increasing all the time for Manchester City as Real Madrid and PSG play each other so one of the big teams will fall by the wayside. At the current level of Manchester City you would give them a good chance against the biggest teams in Europe.

FA Cup

The biggest cup in England started in January. For Manchester City, the chance of winning the FA Cup is very high and they already came from behind to beat Burnley convincingly. As the competition progresses, there are higher chances of them meeting the top teams. However, unlike other teams they can afford to play their strongest team in the competition as they have a nice gap in the league.

Carabao Cup

Already in the semi-finals against Championship team, Bristol City, it’s looking likely that they will be in the final. Bristol City shocked Manchester United in the quarterfinals but a repeat against another Manchester giant looks very unlikely. If they reach the final, they face either Chelsea or Arsenal and against either team, Manchester City will fancy their chances of winning.

The Evolution Of Sports Betting

Sports betting, in particular football betting, is a market that has evolved dramatically over the past few years. Improvements and developments within the technological landscape are transforming the sports betting world and more recent innovations like Bitcoin sportsbooks have become an interesting part of this shift. Today, it is easier than ever for fans of football to place their bets on their favourite teams or create an accumulator that could give them a six figure return, across as many sports as they want to bet on. While the legality of sports betting and betting on football is often disputed depending on the opposing legal jurisdictions of different geographical regions, it is easy to see how and why football betting became such a popular pastime for people from all over the world.

Origins Of Sports Betting

It is believed that sports betting can be dated back more than 2000 years to the ancient Greeks, but it was the Romans who made this even more of a popular pastime as they used to bet on the gladiator battles in the Colosseum. Even when this sport died, sports betting continued to spread its way through a number of kingdoms. One of the reasons as to why this became so popular was because new sporting events were introduced around the world.

Gambling became very popular in England in particular, and the majority of countries in Europe have been welcoming to most forms gambling over the years. In some respects, Europe is considered to be predominantly responsible for the longstanding popularity of sports and football betting.

The Football Pools in the UK actually started almost 95 years ago and it became hugely popular, with thousands of fans filling in weekly coupons. In fact, in 1961 a factory worker in the UK won the equivalent of almost £5 million on these! However, the growth of internet and mobile gambling has helped to make online football betting far more popular, with two of the most significant competitions in football betting history being the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

Online Sports Betting

With the improved accessibility of sports betting thanks to the internet, people can now place their football bets or bets on other sports from almost any location – whether that’s at home on their desktop, or on the go on their mobile or tablet. It is through this that sports managed to move away from its association with back alley bookmakers and made positive steps before being accepted into mainstream culture (while this hasn’t been the case for a number of years, there was still a significant stigma attached to gambling). Now, people can place bets from almost anywhere in the world – even while they are watching the live event – and in some cases, they can cash out at any time, so they can win money even if their predictions are beginning to falter (this is most common with football bets). Information which can help people with their predictions is also much more accessible on the internet, with collections of team stats and professional pundit predictions always available for people to get help when placing their bets.


While some countries are still struggling with legal restrictions that prevent them from being able to place sports bets on sites that operate within their country, new technology like the crypto currency Bitcoin and the blockchain, allow players to place bets completely anonymously. This is leading to a far more transparent betting environment whilst also helping to keep sportsbooks as fair as possible, benefiting the players even more so than regular online betting sportsbooks.

Popularity Of Football

One of the biggest influences behind the increase in popularity of sports betting is how popular sports like football are in the world. Football is the world’s most prevalent sport, and while it only evolved in Britain in the second half of the 19th century, it is now the most widespread sport played and watched around the world. These mass events and huge world-involving tournaments, such as the FIFA World Cup, are the catalysts behind football’s ever expanding fan base and the increased popularity of football betting, coupled with the excitement of new opportunities provided by technological advancements.

No More Long Shots

One of the major changes that have occurred in the past year concerning football bets is the introduction of ‘long shot bets’. When Leicester won the Premier League in the 2015-16 season, a lot of bookies lost considerable profits due to some huge odds of up to 5000/1! Now, a number of bookies have already stated that their win will be the end of massive odds, and while it is unlikely that another team will follow their league, outsider odds are nowhere near as close to the huge odds that some people took advantage of when Leicester won.

Sports betting has come a long way over the years, with the rise of technology being a major influencer on this. It’ll be interesting to see how new technologies like virtual reality will change the football betting experience even more in the coming years.

5 May, 17 | Posted in: Articles | Comments Closed

Can Jamie Vardy equal Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record against Newcastle?

When you’re in-form, you’re in-form. Jamie Vardy has scored in nine consecutive Premier League matches, setting a new record for the longest streak in a single season. However, Ruud van Nistelrooy scored in ten successive fixtures for Manchester United over the course of two seasons and now the Leicester City man will have the opportunity to break the Dutchman’s record against Newcastle United on November 21st.


walkers stadium


Vardy has been simply sensational at the start of the campaign, netting 12 goals in Leicester’s opening 12 fixtures. At the time of writing, he sits five goals above team-mate Riyad Mahrez, Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and Watford striker Odion Ighalo. Vardy looks set to finish as the Premier League’s top goalscorer and will be aiming for at least 25 goals at the end of the season.


His phenomenal scoring run has attracted attention from a number of Europe’s elite clubs and the likes of Real Madrid and Arsenal have both been linked with a move for the Foxes striker. On current form, he would certainly be able to play for these clubs but many have their doubts that Vardy could replicate this level of performance at a major club.


leicester matchday


Many punters will be backing Vardy to score for the tenth successive match against Newcastle next weekend. If you want to place a bet, or simply find out all of the latest news, statistics and odds on Leicester’s main striker, you can find all of this information on Coral’s website. Vardy will be keen to score though, and Leicester will fancy their chances against a suspect Newcastle side.


The Foxes striker is full of confidence right now but he mustn’t be too greedy as he seeks to equal Van Nistelrooy’s record. Vardy is widely regarded as one of the Premier League’s top workhorses and his contribution to the team does not go unnoticed. It would be a shame if the distraction of this record affected his usual work ethic, especially if it was detrimental to Leicester’s hopes of winning the match.


Jamie Vardy


So, can Jamie Vardy equal the record? Of course he can. Leicester have a tough run of matches coming up and Claudio Ranieri’s men will be labelling the Newcastle clash as a ‘must win’ fixture. Vardy has been instrumental to their success throughout the early stages of the season and, with a bit of luck, he will have another key role in the outcome of their clash against the Magpies and could move level with Van Nistelrooy if he performs at his best.

13 Nov, 15 | Posted in: Articles | Comments Closed