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There is something going on in the French Ligue 1, which has previously received less attention in comparison to other top European football leagues.

Paris Saint-Germain for instance has just spent €64 million to buy Napoli striker Edinson Cavani. This is the highest amount that has ever been payed for a transfer within the French League. Thanks to its rich Qatari owner PSG has made it from finishing 16th in 2008 to win Ligue 1 this year. No doubt that money had a significant impact on this outcome. This high-buying definitely increases the reputation of the French football league on the one side but on the other side clubs like Marseille or Nice will have problems to compete. We can wait in suspense for their performance next season and use the free Unibet promotional code.

However there is another club that draws the attention of the media lately – it’s AS Monaco. Owned by Dmitry Rybolovlev, a rich Russian businessmen, the club is going for top players this transfer window. Despite strong interest from Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid Rybolovlev managed to get the Columbian striker Radamel Falcao for over £50 million. Altogether the Russian billionaire has already spent £100 million to reach his goal to build a new football empire and has also signed other players like Ricardo Carvalho, Jeremy Toulalan and the Porto duo Joao Moutinho and James Rodrigue.. Taking into account these facts AS Monaco might be an equal competitor of Paris Saint-Germain next season.

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The current Premiership season is drawing towards its final stages now, and with the expected battle for the title between the two Manchester clubs having rather fizzled out, much of the attention is being focused on other issues such as: Which teams will qualify for the Champions and Europa Leagues? And which ones will be relegated? These issues will be resolved within a couple of months however, which will leave football and betting fans looking for some other way to get their fix. Playing a football themed slot game like Soccer Safari may be the answer.

Soccer Safari is just one of the many football based slots games around, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a truly unique experience – in fact it is hard to imagine another game quite like this one. It involves animals playing each other in a World Cup tournament, deep in the jungles of Africa, and it is brought to life brilliantly by the graphics. The game found in MobileSlots.net features lions, buffalo, warthogs, leopards, and jackals as players on the reels, deer as cheerleaders, a zebra as the referee and an elephant and giraffe as the commentators. The game is aimed at an international audience, hence the World Cup theme to it, but with the elephant bearing a suspicious resemblance to Gary Lineker, it also makes a cheeky nod towards English football fans.

The bonus game is also really entertaining for anyone who loves football; because it involves having to score goals from different angles on the pitch. The round is triggered by obtaining a reel with at least three of the World Cup symbols on it.

The final, yet tempting reason why football fans might find Soccer Safari such an enjoyable a slots game, is the chance to play for a cool $8000 jackpot. Even if you don’t succeed in winning the ultimate jackpot, you do have a great chance of winning some money playing this game which, alongside how much fun it is, should make it a great option for any football and betting fan.

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Brendan Rodger’s Liverpool make the short trip to face the blue half of Manchester at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon, and the Welshman will be hoping that the sudden upturn in their Premier League fortunes will play some part in what would be a monumental achievement, should they take all three points away from the current title holders.

Their humiliating 3-2 loss to Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup aside, Liverpool have come on in leaps and bounds since the turn of the new year; picking up 10 points from a possible 15 in their last 5 games and scoring goals galore – the only blot on their copybook being a 2-1 defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The Reds showed great heart in their 2-2 draw on Wednesday against Arsenal at the Emirates, and with Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez firing on all cylinders, there is definitely potential to cause an upset in Manchester, but can that potential be realised?

Manchester City remain tremendously tough to beat at home. Everton and Manchester United are the only teams to take 3 points away from the Etihad in over two years, and visitors Liverpool have been on the receiving end of some heavy defeats there over the last couple of years.

Roberto Mancini is definitely missing his African contingent due to the Africa Cup Of Nations, Yaya Toure being the biggest loss; his presence visibly missing in City’s 0-0 draw with QPR at Loftus Road on Tuesday.

That said, Manchester City have an embarrassment of riches available in terms of players, and the departure of Mario Balotelli to AC Milan is sure to create a sense of calm on the training ground, which will surely contribute positively to the job in hand of catching city rivals Manchester United.

Bookmakers have made Manchester City 5/6 favourites to take the spoils, a price I think is very much on the generous side, with Liverpool available to back at 7/2. The stalemate is offered at around 11/4.

We have ascertained that the visitors are indeed improving into something like the team we expected at the beginning of the season, but after a tough game in London against Arsenal on Wednesday, it may be asking a little too much for them to beat the Premier League Champions in their own back yard.

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini will accept nothing less than a win here in front of home fans, and I’m pretty confident that his star-studded team will once again raise their game after a rather dull 0-0 draw in midweek.

It’s also worth noting that Liverpool are yet to win a single game against top half opposition, both home and away. I’ll be backing Manchester City to continue that trend at very attractive odds.

 

Read more big match previews, betting tips and tutorials at TVBet

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Welcome back!

After a long long absence I have decided to post on here once again to make some predictions for Euro 2012.

Today the tournament kicks off in Warsaw with Poland v Greece and then later on it’s Russia v Greece in Wroclaw. Group A it seems will be very tight, lots of people are writing off Greece and the Czech Republic before a ball is kicked, but they both did well to qualify for this tournament, don’t count them out.

Onto today’s games:

POLAND v GREECE

I expect the hosts to kick off with a win, I think there will only be one goal in it. The Dortmund trio of Łukasz Piszczek, Jakub Błaszczykowski and Robert Lewandowski will be a handful but the one to watch from one is Ludovic Obraniak. The Bordeaux midfielder ended the season really well and I expect him to do well and play a huge part in Poland’s success

RESULT: POLAND 2 GREECE 1

 

RUSSIA v CZECH REPUBLIC

This will be another close game. Russia are the favourites and the Czechs are being labelled the worst team in the tournament, they will however again be tough to beat. Russia’s win over Italy makes them a dangerous threat. Andrei Arshavin, Romain Pavlyuchenko, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Alexandre Kerzhakov will take  some stopping. Watch out for CSKA Moscow’s Alan Dzagoev, he really impressed me against Lille in the Champions League

RESULT: RUSSIA 2 CZECH REPUBLIC 0

I will reveal the bets I have made for the tournament after the first game.

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On Monday night I was honoured to guest host the Sound of Football podcast.

Graham and Terry welcome Andrew Gibney of the Gibfootballshow. The show starts of with a withering critique of the PFA Player Of The Season Award and the over-importance individual awards in a team environment and ends with the Welsh UEFA Co-oefficient. Goodness knows how we got there but there it is.

You can listen to the podcast here or if you right-click on that link, you can download the MP3.

Alternatively, you can subscribe via your reader of choice or via ouriTunes feed.

Like Facebook? Like the Sound Of Football page.

Follow the Sound Of Football on Twitter.

 

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So first of all I would like to thank everyone for reading/voting and commenting on the last piece. I have been blown away by the response and in all honesty it has made my task incredibly difficult. After Roma’s strong start Fiorentina and Juventus have come back strong and as we speak it is La Viola who sit top of the table. Well done to everyone who voted for Fiorentina.

I am pretty sure I have narrowed it down to 4 teams that I will sleep on and make a decision. Before I get to who I have left, I will explain who has been let go.

“The Old Lady” Juventus got 14% of the vote and so many strong arguments to follow them. So many good players and such a superb history. Great piece on the Juventus Offside giving 10 reasons to be a Juventus fan and there’s not many of those points I can disagree with.

read more »

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It’s always good to help out fellow bloggers.

So when Paul Fisher was looking for some help to host his new Scottish Football Podcast I was happy to help out.

The show covers all things Scottish football with in depth analysis of the weekends SPL games and a look ahead to the following weekends games with our predictions.

From Paul Fisher and friends I give you “The Commentary Box”

MP3 File

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Well at looks like someone, being of sound body and mind has decided to nominated the gibfootballshow podcast for an award.

The good people at PickLive.com run an awards ceremony for football bloggers, one of the categories is for Best Podcast, and somehow I have managed to squeeze my way in amongst some of the best podcasts around. The Guardian’s Football Weekly, The Football Ramble (Hoooooo!!!), Back Page Football, and twofootedtackle.com, all of them worthy winners, I am extremly happy just to be included with such respected pod’s.

And of course well done to everyone else who was nominated for an award, so many well deserved nominations, loads of good people missed out to, so honoured to be involved.

I have to thank the rest of my team – Chris, Charlie, Brent, Ethan, Gav newly acquired Brazilian correspondent Jack and of course everyone that’s bothered to listen and ReTweet the link on twitter. I feel a certain pressure now to up the game and maintain a standard, when really it’s four guys sat on skype complaining about football.

I will do my best to make it down to the awards ceremony, being in that there London it’s a bit of a trek, but I’d love to rub shoulders with the awesome bloggers that will be there. On the night there is a “People’s Choice” award, which we could technically win, but we would need your help.

NOPAs

 

If you can’t think of anyone else more deserving of the award, please feel free to use our pod as your voting choice. We would really appreciate it, and thank you for your support.

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I am joined by Chris Mayer, Ethan Dean-Richards and a special guest appearance by Jack Lang from Snap Kaka Pop. We dicuss the state of the England National Team, International Friendlies, National Football Centre. Chris updates us on the hot prospects in Belgium. Roberto Mancini and Jack gives us an in depth look at all things Brazilian football. Jam packed!!!

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A round-up of all weeks action in France, including Lille's destruction of Caen, Brest's draw against Sochaux and Lyon's win against Nice.

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