Real Battle for Top Spot

Real Battle for Top Spot

There is no doubting the biggest tie left in the group phase of the Champions League. Real Madrid host Borussia Dortmund in a match they must win if they are to top Group F. Both these European giants are through to the next stage but there is a distinct advantage to finishing top of the group. Dortmund have deserved that spot as Real have often been a little off the pace in what has been a group dominated by the two big guns. It is hard to find a team in better form than Dortmund in Europe. They are smashing goals in from all over the place and showed they have the fight for a tight game too when beating Bayern Munich 1-0. They certainly will not be daunted by the trip and if Real give them space they will get hurt. Real are no slouches either and are on a good run that carried on with a terrific late point at Barcelona last weekend. You won’t find Zidane’s men this big a price for many games at home and that makes them hard to turn down. It should be a close encounter but Real have the class to prevail in what will at the end and reward home backers. Elsewhere, there should be home wins for Spurs, Porto and Juventus. These are home bankers and will be in most accas. If you are looking to boost that then look no further than Bayer Leverkusen, who should put the cherry on top of Group E with a home win over Monaco. One of the more intriguing ties of the round is the match...
Champions League: Around The Grounds

Champions League: Around The Grounds

With the focus on the British teams in the Champions League group stages we often overlook who could be their potential opponents in the next round. So, for the final games of the competition we’ve taken a look at who has secured their place in the last 16 and who still has a fight on their hands. Group A PSG v Ludogrets Razgrad Out of the four teams drawn in Group A it was very easy to call who would finish first and second in the group. However, the final question to be answered is who will secure top spot and barring a complete miracle from Ludogrets it looks as though it will be PSG. The last time the two sides met it was a 3-1 away win for the French giants and even if players are rested by Unai Emery, we see a similar scoreline happening at the Parc Des Prince this evening. Group B Group B provides us with the most interesting choices of fixtures this evening as a victory by from two out of three teams will see them secure their place in the last 16. Benfica v Napoli Level on points at the top of the group, it’s certainly all to play for at the Estadio de Luz.  Both sides will know victory is crucial to secure their place in the next round of the competition, with Besiktas breathing down their necks on seven points. When the two sides last met it was a 4-2 victory for the home side Napoli and that result again would mean last 16 football heading to Italy. Dynamo Kiev...
Gunners downed in Basel

Gunners downed in Basel

It’s the final stage of the group phase and there is still plenty to play for. Arsenal know that their chances of finishing top of the group are slim. This shouldn’t stop them travelling to Basel with the conviction that they must secure a win and hope for a result in the PSG match. This is easier said than done and in the past a trip to the Swiss outfit has been a tricky proposition. The home team will be very disappointed with their campaign this year but will also be well aware that a good result here will quite likely see them into the Europa League. The Gunners have shown an extra resilience this season that hasn’t always been apparent in recent times. That puts some doubt in the mind of whether or not they will be trying their hardest. An early PSG goal though could change all that. With that a distinct possibility it is easy to see Arsenal taking their foot off the pedal and sliding to a defeat. At the prices you have to go with a home win here. The real big mouth-watering tie of the round is Bayern Munich at home to Atletico Madrid. Both teams are safely through to the next round and have little to play for. This should make this a more relaxed encounter. We know that Bayern are a free scoring team when in full flow and although neither team will be at full strength that shouldn’t stop this being a high quality affair. With that in mind then there is only market to head for and that is...
Weekend Racing Round Up: Many Clouds Back to Winning Ways

Weekend Racing Round Up: Many Clouds Back to Winning Ways

Taking a look back over the results of the big races this weekend, many of them went exactly the way we expected them too. The first big meeting of the day at Sandown Park saw the runners take to the track in the Sandown Henry VIII Novices’ Chase Arkle Trophy favourite Altior headed into this race odds-on to take the victory, despite it being only his second run of the National Hunt campaign and only his second career race over chase fences. Making the switch earlier this year for trainer Nicky Henderson, he took the race in his stride at Sandown in the hands of Noel Fehily, tracking the front pair Marracudja and Charbel for most the race.  Making his move after jumping the final fence, the six-year-old powered up the home straight to a six-length victory. The next destination on the cards for Altior looks to be Kempton at Christmas, with Henderson expected to regroup and decide whether to send him to the Arkle or the Champion Chase at the Festival later this season. Tingle Creek Chase Just as we expected, the Tingle Creek provided us with a thrilling finish as Un De Sceaux and Sire De Grugy battled from five furlongs out in a duel that only concluded in the final few moments of the race. The Gary Moore-trained Ar Mad set a strong early pace in the hands of Joshua Moore, with Ruby Walsh settling in behind the leader for most of the race before making his move for victory. Walsh took the initiative five furlongs out but he was immediately challenged by last year’s winner...
Table Toppers Clash at Eastlands

Table Toppers Clash at Eastlands

Saturday feels like it is going to be one of those pivotal days where we find out an awful lot about how this season is going to pan out. Clearly the only place to start is the lunchtime clash between Man City and Chelsea. They do not come bigger than this! Table topping Chelsea travel to Manchester in a bid to open up a cushion over their title rivals. It has taken Conte less time to get his style of playing instilled into his side than it has for Pep to implement the same into his. There are times when City look amazing but also times when the system fails and they look wobbly. This has already been exposed at times by decidedly average teams so the concern has to be how will they react against the form team of the Premier League. You would hope and expect both teams to raise their games for this one. It has been billed to some degree as a clash of playing styles and tactics. Talk of either team changing for this match to counter the other teams’ strengths seems unlikely. No doubt you examine the threat of each team but I don’t foresee any major changes. Conte likes to name the same starting eleven and will do again if everyone is fit. Chelsea have only conceded one goal in their last four games and have a really solid look about them. There is possibly more attacking flair in the City line up but they look weaker at the back and concede a goal most games. The onus is on Man City...
Our take on Saturday’s Racing

Our take on Saturday’s Racing

With two top race meetings at Sandown and Aintree this weekend over at AppBet we’ve taken a look at the cards and picked out the highlight races for you to place an informed bet on. Sandown: Racing Post Henry VIII Novices’ Chase History show this is a race that trainer Paul Nicholls likes to get under his belt heading into December, having picked up three out of the last five wins. However, looking at the card for the race this year, it looks as though the race is Nicky Henderson’s for the taking with Altior set to line up at Sandown. Unbeaten in the 2015/2016 National Hunt season that included victory in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, the six-year-old has made the transition to steeplechase fences for the upcoming season. Making his seasonal debut at Kempton just under two weeks ago, he walked to a 63-length victory, albeit against only one other opponent. It looks a tougher test for him here at Sandown, but, we think he may have the measure of his rivals. Sandown: Tingle Creek Chase The highlight race of the meeting at Sandown sees six top class chasers go head to head as they attempt to provide a glimpse of their potential Cheltenham form. Having been victorious in the race last year with old stalwart Sire De Grugy, it looks as though the race is Gary Moore’s for the taking once again with the trainer lining up two horses for the race. Ar Mad makes his seasonal debut in the Tingle Creek, and if his form last season was anything to go by,...
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