Does Solskjaer Perform Miracles?

Well, frankly it is looking like he just might, and here at freetips.com, we are rooting for him. It has been a turbulent season for United, and the silverware has looked so far out of their grasp it has been a humbling time for the once glorious reds who ruled Manchester.

As if Manchester City winning last season was not bad enough for them, it is looking likely that the Manchester blues will retain the title for the second year running while Old Trafford languishes as a former ground of glory that has now seen a downturn in luck.

Such has been the gravity of the situation that in December manager Jose Mourinho was given his marching orders. He may now live to regret one of his final comments when he stated that it would need ‘almost a miracle’ for the team to pull out of the nosedive and finish respectably within the top four. Clearly, caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took that as ‘challenge accepted’, and boy has he turned around the performance level of the Red Devils. When Mourinho left the club they were 11 points behind the much coveted Champions League place. It was indeed looking like an impossible task.

You can almost hear the “Mission Impossible” title credits rolling as Ole worked his magic, racking up an incredible eight wins and one draw in just six short weeks, landing Man United into that fourth place position one point clear of Arsenal and Chelsea. There is little doubt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer considers United his home, and his own playing career there was rather successful.

The Baby-faced Assassin as he was dubbed earned a reputation as a super sub frequently coming off the bench at the last moment and scoring some incredible goals. Unfortunately, a severe knee injury ended his career in 2007 and keen to stay with his club he became a coach and ambassador. Later his role was augmented, and he took on coaching responsibility for the reserve team.

He returned home in 2011 to manage Molde and secure them their first ever Tippeligaen title, and then just to prove it wasn’t a fluke he did it again for a second time. In his third season, he took them to the 2013 Norwegian Football Cup Final where the team triumphed. After a brief stint at Cardiff, he was back at Molde until 2018 when Man United came knocking, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer answered.

It is clear that momentum is building as fans, and players alike, feel that it is time Solskjaer was officially made the manager, but not everyone agrees. Gary Neville has said that he does not think the timing is right and the situation should be looked at in March and decided in April.

Wes Brown, however, feels that Solskjaer is by far and away the best fit the team have had for some time and that the formalities should be put in place to make him full-time manager. Whatever happens, it has to be said that Ole has actually performed the much-needed miracle.

When you invest in football at the right time & it pays off

Football is a strategy game and if you play your cards right you can keep your winning streak. Most clubs ensure that the managers and players just do that since it is a result-driven industry and business. With all the money that is at stake and all the investments made, no one can afford to let it go to waste.

But how do you put a winning strategy into place? Well, it encompasses more than just putting eleven men on a pitch. You have to think about the team's formation, select the right players for each game, make sure there is great chemistry within the team but also between the players and managers.

You make choices prior to starting the competition wishing it would just work fine. You select the best people available out there and aim for another successful season. Sometimes it does work perfectly and other times the contrary happens. And this is the time where you need to be smart and act fast if you want drastic changes. Being by acquiring new players or changing managers if needed.

We have seen it recently with the sacking of José Mourinho by Manchester United in mid-season. Following a bad start for the club, he has been replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer which has proven to be a successful decision. This type of change paid off in Premier League but some investments have been profitable in other European teams as well this season.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus is probably the most illustrating example. After 9 years with Real Madrid and more than 300 goals scored, he decided to take on a new challenge. In the 30 games he has played with the Bianconeri, he already scored 19 goals. The most notorious being the only goal against Milan allowing the team to win the Supercoppa final.

Another phenomenon of the Italian League is Krzysztof Piatek. The young Polish pistolero, is worth every penny the club spent during the winter transfer window. He replaced Gonzalo Higuaín that was not showing enough results for the club (8 goals in 22 games). It seems like the Argentine striker is doing a way better job at Chelsea where he already scored 2 goals in 3 games.

Piatek had already scored 19 goals for Genoa before his transfer. After only 3 games with his new club, he already showed tremendous skills and scored 3 goals. Not to mention that he scored twice for Milan against Napoli, a decisive win that sent them through the Coppa Italia semi-finals. According to Gattuso, Milan’s coach, he is a far better striker than Higuaín and the fans already adore him.

In the Bundesliga, Paco Alcácer is another impressive player. The Spanish striker had been loaned by Barcelona to Borussia Dortmund at the beginning of the season. He made a great debut with the club on top of securing decisive wins in his early games. Management was so impressed by his amazing performances that it decided to sign him on a permanent basis. So far he has scored 12 goals in 15 games.

In Monaco, there has been a lot of drama going on lately with the dismissal of Thierry Henry and the return of Leonardo Jardim. Cesc Fàbregas joined the club in mid-January and already illustrated himself. The player scored the winning goal for Monaco against Toulouse. This was his first one but an important one. This gives Monaco its first win in seven league games and allowed them to get out of the relegation zone.

These few examples show the importance of investing in the right people at the right time. If a team is not performing well then someone has to ring the alarm and make the necessary adjustments. When done properly it can have a huge positive impact on the team’s success.

The battle for the Champions League set to resume

Spanish giants, Barcelona and Real Madrid, have left their mark on the Champions League over the last few years. Real Madrid, in particular, have won 4 of the last 5 trophies with Barca winning the remaining one.

While Barca still have the great Lionel Messi on the team, Real lost Cristiano Ronaldo and are having a mediocre season by their high standards. Just as a team’s management and coach must weigh the risks and factor in the benefits from signing certain players to relying heavily on key players, we must all be careful when trying to manage risk to our best ability.

Risk management is an inseparable part of investing. In order to have a healthy portfolio, you need to know how to best manage the risks you face. There are risks associated with every investment opportunity, so you are already dealing with (and managing) risks right now.

When you are good at managing risks, you can reduce them to a certain degree and increase your return on investment (ROI) at the same time. For home investors such as yourself, this is a crucial skill that brings a long list of other benefits to your portfolio.

So, how can you improve your ability to manage risks? We are going to go over three things you can try in this article.

Get into Sports Betting

Sports betting is rather unique from a risk management standpoint. You face a lot of uncontrollable factors that turn sports betting as a whole into a chance-driven thing. At the same time, you also have a lot of data – historic data, details about players, news about injuries, and more – helping you pick the athletes or teams to back.

The unique characteristics of sports betting and the fact that it presents risks to analyse and manage are among the reasons why many top traders love a bit of sports betting and casino gaming. Giving it a try is even easier with more online sports betting websites just a few taps away. Click here to find out more about how you can get into sports betting as a way to sharpen your skills.

Simulate and Visualise

The better you are at making forecasts, the better you will be at anticipating potential risks. Knowing what to do when the risks materialise into real threats is a huge part of risk management. When a forex pair reverses its trend, for instance, you need to make quick decisions based on your understanding of the risks in order to prevent a massive loss.

One way to be better at making forecasts is by simulating different conditions and visualising them in your mind. Before opening a new transaction, think about what you would do if the market shows big changes; you also need to visualise good and bad things – opportunities and risks – to be comprehensive.

Rely on Data

Lastly, you can be better at managing the risks you face by studying how others have managed the risks they had to deal with in the past. Thanks to the internet, there is never a shortage of data, case studies, and information about past trades or even risk management specifically.

Reading case studies or going through the numbers may not seem like a productive way to learn how to deal with investment risks, but the information you collect allows your mind to get used to seeing risks and thinking about how to best manage them.

The combination lets you be very quick and accurate when analysing risks. You will not be a risk management expert right away, but you will notice how you are better and faster at reviewing the risks you face with every decision you make, especially investment decisions you make as a home investor.

Which Team will win the Champions League 2018/19?

The UEFA Champions League is one of the biggest competitions in football for many teams around Europe. This league sees some of the biggest teams come up against each other in an attempt to take home the trophy.

This year’s competition kicked off back in June with the preliminary round draw and ends in June with the final. It’s still quite early on in the competition to decide a clear winner but we have put together some of the teams we think will shine as the stages continue. Keep reading if you are interested in this league or would like to place a bet and cash in on the winner.

Last Year’s Winner

Before we get started on this year’s competition, it is important to look at the team who took home the Champions League trophy last year. In the 2017/18 competition, Real Madrid C.F. were the ones who lifted the trophy in Kiev where the final took place. After a successful campaign and a win in the past two years, Real Madrid came up against English team Liverpool FC.

With three wins in the past three years, some people might consider Real Madrid the favourite and choose to place a bet on them when enjoying some sports betting on a site like Stakers who have some great odds. However, there are plenty more teams in the running which we are going to explore below.

Manchester City

One of the favourites to win the Champions League this year is Manchester City. This team have not lifted the cup before but have been strong in their recent matches proving that they are capable. Manchester City is the only English team to make it on our list and this is due to their impressive performance so far against the other teams in the competition. They topped their group which included the likes of Lyon, Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk so they are already entering the next stage with a strong record. Look out for Manchester City this year as they might just be the ones to lift the trophy.

Barcelona

Barcelona FC led by Ernesto Valverde have managed to top their group and beat other teams including Tottenham, Inter and PSV. This team has some pretty impressive players in their line up including Lionel Messi who is the captain this season. While Barcelona haven’t managed to win the Champions League final since 2015, they stand a chance this year with the skills that they have and their past record coming up against these teams.

Juventus

Another team expected to make it all the way to the final this year is Juventus thanks to their brand new player whose name you might just recognise. During the summer, world famous player Cristiano Ronaldo joined this Italian team for €100m. This team knew what they were doing when they agreed to this deal as Ronaldo has already helped the team top their group which included the likes of Valencia, Young Boys and Manchester United. It is possible that Ronaldo could be coming up against his previous club Real Madrid when the final comes around in June so make sure to look out for this exciting match.

Real Madrid

After three successful wins in the past few years of the Champions League competition, Real Madrid could be on track to breaking the record and securing themselves a fourth win. In the group stages, this team came up against Roman, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen – managing to secure the top spot after some wins and a 3-0 loss against CSKA Moscow. It is unclear if this team can boost themselves all the way to the top again but if they manage to beat out the other teams then they will be making history.

Other Teams To Look Out For

In a competition like this, there will always be some teams that stay at the top for many years. It is important to remember, however, that other teams stand a chance and the bookies are already adding odds for other teams that might make it all the way to the top. Look out for teams like Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain who still stand a chance against some of the best teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona.

What’s Next?

The group stages of this year’s Champions League competition might be over but there is still plenty more to play for. In February, the round of 16 will start and this will be followed by the second leg of this stage in March. Then, the quarter and semi-finals will take place throughout April and May. The big event is on June 1st where two teams will come up against each other to see who can lift the trophy. The final will take place in Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid this year so if you want to place your bet on the winner now is the time to get started.

Final Verdict

It can be very hard to predict the outcome of the UEFA Champions League final when the round of 16 stages hasn’t even begun. Now that many teams have been knocked out, it is easier to see the teams which are ahead of others and a good bet would be on the teams that topped their group. Remember to think about the individual matches and how each team played within their group to make your predictions. We are unsure if Real Madrid will be able to lift the trophy for the fourth time in a row, but this would truly be extraordinary.

This team has shown their strength but with competition like Barcelona and Manchester City, they may have a struggle on their hands. It is interesting to note that last year’s finalists Liverpool didn’t make our list as they have not managed to stand out just yet this year. Make sure to tune into all of the matches in the competition that are coming up and don’t miss out on the final in June!

Five Players to sign in January for Fantasy League Success

It’s that time of year again. The Christmas leftovers are all gone, the decorations are back under the stairs for another year and lots of us are feeling our willpower beginning to weaken in the face of Dry January.

So what we need most of all is some kind of distraction to take our minds off the weather and the general gloom that brings in the start of the New Year. So what better to do than start fine tuning our fantasy football squad in preparation for the rest of the season?

It could be that your team’s already riding high in which case you may not need this advice. But if you really want to move up to a higher level then we’ve picked five players who could bring success whether you’re a relative fantasy football novice or a seasoned pro.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

When the captain of the Gabonese team signed for Arsenal just within last January’s transfer window it was for a record-breaking £56 million. Now, a year later, he’s certainly proved to be a good buy as he heads the list of Premier league scorers with a total of 14 goals to his name, many of them snatched from inside the box. With 10 goals scored last season no-one’s betting that he won’t double that total for this one.

Leroy Sané

For a 23 year old the winger and attacking midfielder Leroy Sané shows incredible maturity for his age and he has already gained experience in Germany as well as for Manchester City. His early days for the latter were beset with reported breathing difficulties but he seems to have put all that behind him now. As well as regularly assisting goals he also knows just when to score them with his 72nd winner against league challengers Liverpool being a case in point.

Eden Hazard

With Chelsea enjoying a very good season, secure near the top of the table, much of that has to be down to Hazard. Now in his sixth season at Stamford Bridge he’s part of the furniture, and what a valuable part too. Not only is he well up with the League’s leading goal scorers, he also tops the list of assists too with 10 to his name after 22 matches played.

Richarlison

The Brazilian stated his professional career in 2015 with Fluminense but a series of outstanding performances saw Watford’s Marco Silva snapping him up for £11.2 million.

A year later, Silva brought him into the Everton set-up where he’s continued to thrive, albeit with the occasional lapse of discipline. As an out and out forward, he’s never far from the action and there’s every reason to suppose that he’ll be adding to his 9 goal tally so far the season.

Alisson

No matter how many goals your fantasy league team may be scoring, it can all be undone without a safe pair of hands between the posts. And few are safer than the Brazilian Alisson. When Klopp paid the thick end of £70 million for him there were a few raised eyebrows but the number of clean sheets Liverpool have seen since his arrival is testament to his value. He won’t be cheap for you either, but he’ll almost certainly be worth it.

Of course, you may have your own favourites to add to your squad to see you through the rest o  the season so don’t take our selection as definitive. Just try to create as balanced a squad as possible and remember, past performance is never any guarantee of future performance. So you have been warned!

Three Quality Chelsea players to include in your Fantasy Team

One of the most important things to consider when compiling your fantasy team is which big club players you are going to include. These are players which come with higher price tags than most and thus reduce your spending power. This is why it is crucial that you include only those players which you feel will yield the maximum possible points per round.

It is even better if you include players from top clubs which you feel have lower price tags than they should. In this case you profit on the same player twice. First by bringing him in to your team and then by paying less than his real value.

There is a similar concept in football betting and it is called a value bet. This is a bet which you feel certain about, but the bookmaker, for reasons only known to him, has given it much higher odds than he should have.

We will try to do something similar in this article as we will try to find the best value players for your fantasy team playing for Chelsea. These are players who don’t come with overinflated price tags, but still manage to yield quite a lot of points per round.

Antonio Rüdiger

Antonio Rüdiger is probably the last name that you think of when it comes to including someone from Chelsea’s back four. This is because Marcos Alonso scores a lot of goals and provides lots of assists, Azpilicueta pitches in with an assist here and there, and David Luiz puts in a lot of quality balls in the opposition box which might also result in an assist. On top of that, all of them get additional points for keeping clean sheets.

However, out of all of these four players, Rüdiger comes with the lowest price tag and has decent points output as well. He is regularly involved with corners and free kicks and he is Chelsea’s main threat in dead ball situations, which translates to more goals. Furthermore, he is much fitter than Luiz which means that he will start more matches than the Brazilian.

Ross Barkley

Snapping Barkley before the season started was the smartest thing that you could have done. However, you probably didn’t, and now you can hope for the next best thing and that is to snap him as soon as possible.

The talented box-to-box midfielder has been going from strength to strength and you get the feeling that with each next match his numbers will get even better.

Olivier Giroud

Picking Giroud is somewhat of a wild card, especially as Sarri seems to prefer Morata. However, Morata’s consistency has often been a problem and sooner or later he will start misfiring again.

When this time comes, it will be the much cheaper Olivier Giroud who will take his place, and unlike Morata, he doesn’t needed to be cuddled and comforted to score. In fact, he has shown that even when everybody thinks that he is past it, he can still produce the necessary assist or goal.

The Three Lions from different backgrounds ushering in England’s new era

Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho and Mason Mount were all included in Gareth Southgate’s recent Nations League squad and all three have taken unique routes to get there. They are the first set of players coming from the academy set-up that threaten to overshadow the wonderful era of Gerrard and Lampard and could well usher in an exciting period for our international team. Continue reading

A few alternative picks for your Premier League fantasy football team

Fantasy football has a dedicated, loyal following of knowledgeable football fans all around the world, especially because of the global appeal of the Premier League and the growing trend around football management games, which fantasy football essentially is.  Continue reading

Five Players to Consider for your EPL Fantasy Team!

The Premiership returns this weekend after a two-week international break and fantasy managers are busy putting their teams together. Here are five players to consider adding to your side as you bid for glory in the weeks ahead: Continue reading

Juventus to Offer Crypto Token to ‘Give Fans a Voice’

Cryptocurrency has been a hot topic in the last few years as investors look to take advantage of the alternative form of currency. The football industry is no stranger to financial innovation, with football teams and players earning huge revenue through strategic financial dealings.

Juventus are launching crypto tokens for fans

Now Juventus have announced that they will be launching a crypto token for their fans to purchase, which will allow them to respond to ballots related to the team. As reported by daily news site Sports of the Day, Juventus’ co-chief revenue officer Giorgio Ricci discussed the new offering:

“At the club we are always very careful and pro-active towards innovation and new technologies. Together with Socios.com, we believe we can offer new opportunities to our worldwide fan base to engage in a cutting-edge way with their favourite club.”

Ronaldo deal was a commercial goldmine

Juventus have been working hard to boost their commercial strength and the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo was a huge coup both in terms of capturing a player of his unique ability and one with his revenue potential.

Unbelievable shirt sales following Ronaldo signing

The Ronaldo brand is a very lucrative one and Juventus are expected to earn back much of the fee paid for Ronaldo in merchandise sales related to the star. In the first 24 hours after his signing had been announced, Juventus sold 520,000 shirts with his name on the back. In the previous season, they had sold 850,000 in total over the course of the full season.

Juventus certainly seem to know what they are doing from a commercial perspective and their venture into the world of Cryptocurrency could prove to be another financial masterstroke.