Austria’s FC Pinzgau offers fans the chance to own a piece of a European soccer club

If someone told you that for a relatively small buy-in, you could own part of a European soccer club with Champions League aspirations, you’d be all ears, right?

Well, U.S. soccer fans need wait no longer, for that is now a reality thanks to FC Pinzgau Saalfelden, an Austrian third-tier club based in the shadow of the Alps and managed by Christian Ziege, a former German international and Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Middlesbrough star. Continue reading

Fallen giants in England’s Premier League and in Germany

For many fans of clubs which have fallen on hard times, it’s hard to imagine the level of frustration and even sensations of desperation. Their once-mighty teams used to be all-conquering sides, revered and feared throughout Europe, yet now they face relegation.

For fans of Aston Villa and Werder Bremen right now, especially those old enough to remember the glory days of their clubs, facing the real prospect of descending from the Premier League and Bundesliga must be a bitter pill to swallow.

Angst at Aston Villa

Recent years have hardly been kind for Aston Villa fans, following a team which has been a shadow of their potential. They were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2015/16 season, then it took the club three difficult years to make their return. Supporters were positive, yet the 2019/20 campaign has been tough to endure.

After finishing fifth in the Championship last season and winning the promotion play-offs, Aston Villa were back where many feel the club truly belongs. However, despite finishing as runners-up in the League Cup final this season, their performances in the Premier League have been a constant struggle during the 2019/20 campaign.

Indeed, the latest EPL relegation odds from Betfair would indicate that Villa are tipped to go down, unless they can somehow muster a miracle turnaround in form. That First Division title in 1981 and the magnificent European Cup win of 1982, followed by League Cup triumphs and genuine title challenges in the 1990s all must seem distant memories for the older supporters.

Woes at Werder Bremen

It’s hard to say what exactly has gone so utterly wrong at Werder Bremen this season, although it’s abundantly clear the 2019/20 Bundesliga campaign has been an unmitigated disaster. It’s also one that could end with this once-mighty side being relegated. As of today, Bremen’s status in Germany’s top league remains uncertain because the club finished in 16th place which means Werder must participate in the relegation play-off. The club’s loyal fans are hoping Bremen can pull it off and remain in the Bundesliga to salvage what has been a disastrous season by all standards for this prestigious club.

Given they have endured such a poor season, without any indications of turning the corner, looking at the Bundesliga betting tips from Betfair’s experts, the majority conclusion is that Werder Bremen are destined for relegation. That’s hard to imagine, especially as we’re talking about a club that’s still considered as one of the biggest in German football.

We’re talking about a club that regularly challenged for silverware. A club that won the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal double as recently as the 2003-04 season. A club that featured regularly in the Champions League and Europa League. However, they have struggled for almost a decade now and relegation this year would be the culmination of a lengthy slide.

Hopes for the Future?

Despite being their first season back in the Premier League, it could be argued that Aston Villa weren’t quite ready to return and consolidate their position among the English elite. More than a decade of disorganization and a lack of investment have taken their toll. Maybe a year back in the Championship would help Villa reorganize, ready for a more serious return.

As for Werder Bremen, their fans must be wondering if their situation can get any worse. The last time they experienced life outside the top tier in Germany was way back in the 1980-81 season. However, that actually served to spark a revolution at the club, which then became a golden era of domestic titles and European adventures.

There’s no doubt that both Aston Villa and Werder Bremen are clubs with tremendously passionate fans. These are clubs with magnificent supporters who stand by their team regardless of what happens on the pitch. They demand commitment and dedication from the players but at the same time will give support in return. Hopefully, both sets of fans will get to savor the glory days again and before too long.

What now for PSG star Neymar after the fall out of Covid-19 has hit football?

Neymar has returned to Paris for training and played on a football pitch for the first time in 3 months. And seeing images of him brings up the story of what exactly will happen to Neymar post Covid-19?

Had the pandemic never happened many people believe that this was going to be Neymar’s last season with PSG. It was inevitable that after he would rejoin Barcelona. There have been many rumours that the Brazilian is craving to go back to his former job and hook up with the likes of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.

Whilst Neymar has been a success at PSG he has also missed some key games due to injury and there is a feeling of unfinished business in Paris. After all PSG didn’t make Neymar the world’s most expensive player at over 200 million euros just to win a series of Ligue 1 titles? they were doing that well before he joined.

For PSG recruiting Neymar, much like what Juventus have done with Cristiano Ronaldo was supposed to be the key, the final puzzle and the missing link in winning the Champions League. In that PSG have been unlucky given Neymar’s usual injury flare ups have come at a time when they have been playing in the quarter finals of the competition only to be missing him and getting dumped out of it.

This year seems very different. Many expected Borussia Dortmund to get the better of PSG, not so and PSG were able to knock the German team out and reach the last 8 of the competition. Now all eyes are on PSG, and yet that is when the Covid-19 really struck.

The good news is that football is back and the Champions League will resume in Lisbon, with all games played there in August. And what about PSG and Neymar, they have had lots of time off, can Neymar provide PSG with what they really want and need? What a send off it would be, if Neymar is to leave the club. But no win and he might find himself playing another season in Paris. Win and it is possible to think that PSG and Barcelona could come to an arrangement.

Forget about Barcelona breaking the bank to get him, that won’t happen. And football will be financially affected for years. True big money purchases are still going to be made between the big clubs, but we can and should expect transfers to drop significantly.

Right now Neymar seems a happy person and in a happy frame of mind, that couldn’t be said at the beginning of the season. What we do know is that the next two months will be dedicated to PSG. He has two cup finals to play and then the return of the Champions League- will the fire still be in his eyes?

Prove you have what it takes to challenge the best French Fantasy Football managers here www.fantasyligue1.com 

Will Sarri’s first success at Juventus come in the Champions League?

Maurizio Sarri has suffered cup disappointment once again as Juventus were beaten in the Coppa Italia final by Napoli on penalties around a week.

Juve were favorites among the betting firms going into that tie at the Stadio Olimpico where it was Sarri’s former side Napoli who held their nerve better in the penalty shootout. The defeat in Rome marks the second straight season that Sarri has lost a cup competition in the final on penalties. In the 2018/19 campaign, his Chelsea side were beaten by Manchester City at Wembley by the same outcome.

Although the betting suggests Sarri’s best chance of silverware this season may come in Serie A, where Juve are locked in a battle with Lazio for the title, the Italian club could still win the Champions League.

Juventus 16/1 To Win Champions League

Sarri’s side are 16/1 to win the Champions League this season. If he were able to deliver Europe’s premier trophy, it would be an impressive opening campaign at the Old Lady.

Juventus have not won the Champions League since they were successful in 1996, beating Ajax in the final that year in Rome. They did reach the final recently in 2015 and 2017, losing 3-1 to Barcelona and 4-1 to Real Madrid respectively.

The Turin-based club’s odds will be much shorter if they are able to overcome Lyon in their last 16 tie in the competition. Juventus trail 1-0 after the opening leg in Lyon. Without an away goal at the Groupama Stadium, they have a lot of work to do when the two sides meet again.

Bayern Munich and Manchester City top the betting for European crown

Bayern Munich are the 11/4 favourites in the Champions League outright betting at this stage of the tournament. They recently recorded their eighth consecutive Bundesliga title so they can fully concentrate on Europe now.

The German club lead Chelsea 3-0 following the opening leg of their last 16 fixture at Stamford Bridge. Barring a huge comeback from the English side, they should reach the quarter-finals.

After a slow start this season, Bayern have been in excellent form in the second half of the campaign. Robert Lewandowski is the top scorer in the Champions League this season with 11 goals to his name.

Manchester City are next best in the betting for the trophy at 3/1. They are bidding for their maiden Champions League win in what may be their last season in Europe for two years unless they overturn their ban from UEFA. The English champions have Premier League odds available of 5/6 to go the rest of the season unbeaten as they have red-hot form since the return of the Premier League.

Guardiola won Europe’s main competition twice when he was in charge of Barcelona. He was hired by the English club to try and deliver the most prestigious trophy in European football.

UEFA have announced that from the quarter-finals onwards this year’s competition will take place in Lisbon in August. The final has been scheduled for the 23rd of August.

Could Real Madrid be on the verge of signing Kanté?

It is not a secret that Real Madrid’s management has been searching for quality midfielders to bolster the ranks. While one name that has been linked with the team to fill the gap is Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, he’s not the only one that has been targeted. Another signing that could be on the horizon for the Madrid side is N’Golo Kanté.

Chelsea are supposedly looking to push various players out the door to make room for big signings, and Kanté is apparently one of the names to go. Real Madrid have shown interest in signing him before, so perhaps now is the time for them to submit a deal that can tempt him to move to Spain.

As it happens, in 2016, Kanté was linked as a potential reinforcement for the team, but that never happened. Then, in 2019, he was mentioned again as a possibility, although it was reported that Kanté himself opted not to join Real Madrid at that time. Yet, without any sort of backing or alternative deal from Chelsea this time around, perhaps he’ll find himself moving to the Spanish side in 2020.

Stamford Bridge is looking to host players like Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz as part of the home team, and the likelihood is that at least one of these transfers will be a costly affair. For Chelsea to afford all three, with Ziyech already signed, they’ll need to acquire the money from somewhere – hence the sale of Kanté and others.

What Could Kante Bring to Real Madrid?

One Spanish newspaper has pointed out that this is Real’s big moment to seize Kanté, as his talent is beyond what can be expressed in words. He has multiple skills which would fit perfectly into Zidane’s formation. Real Madrid hasn’t made any sort of move to secure the player yet, so only time will tell if the team decides to make a solid offer for him.

They’d be better off moving quickly as well because word has it that Paris Saint-Germain is preparing to make a bid for Kanté too. After all, considering that he established himself as one of the Premier League’s best players following his signing by Leicester in 2015, multiple teams have kept a close eye on where he goes. This is what could lead the Ligue 1 team to make a substantial offer to Chelsea if they believe that the London team will hand him over to them.

That being said, Kanté has struggled with injuries during this past season, although this hasn’t been a cause for Chelsea to get rid of him. Instead, it’s solely to bring new blood to the team, sources suggest.

Kanté has been one of the footballers who has been wagered on frequently when it comes to sports betting, too. Throughout his years of activity since signing to Leicester and onwards, sites like Betwinner have seen an influx of wagers on the Frenchman. The fact that this sportsbook also has its own mobile app ensured that these bets would remain highly active. And if you’re interested in engaging in such, you can view how to install Betwinner mobile app for Android devices prior to downloading it.

Regardless of where Kanté ends up, the likelihood is that he’ll maintain his high level of play, so bets on him should remain high. Whether that be with Real Madrid or Paris Saint-German remains to be seen. However, he will always be one to watch out for when he’s on the pitch.

French Cup finals to go ahead and fans will be present as Ligue 1 announces new season details

Out of all the major European leagues only the French Ligue 1 was cancelled due to Coronavirus. The season had to end abruptly as it was agreed upon that it could not be completed in time. This said even though the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A have found a way.

So it will be to everyone’s surprise to see that the French football federation in line with government plans have announced that fans will be allowed to watch the two French cup finals that will take place in July.

As it stands fans will be allowed to any sporting event in France from July 11th, the maximum will be 5,000.

The irony of course is how the league season was ended so quickly whilst other major leagues tried to work through the obstacles to get their seasons finished- and some fans in France may feel rightly annoyed by that given that the cup finals- the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue (which is the final one to take place) will not only be played but played with some fans.

The idea in France is to start small at 5,000 in stadiums that hold at least 50,000, so 10% capacity. If that goes well there will be another review in August. The new French Ligue 1 season is due to kick off on August 22nd, which would be at least four weeks before England, Spain, Italy and Germany who will have to postpone the new season as their seasons won’t end until late July.

With the Champions League due to take place in the month of August this could mean that PSG won’t play a game until September if they go far in the competition.

The FFF will be hoping to increase capacity by 10% each month, if that is a success then stadums could be full again in France by March 2021. Though many games only averaged between 60-70% full so everything could be back to normal in Ligue 1 much sooner.

The news is certainly a twist given France’s direct approach to the pandemic, but certain fans will be very happy by it- at least the ones that get to attend the cup finals.

In the Coupe de France final PSG will play Saint Etienne and in the Coupe de la Ligue final PSG will play Lyon. Both matches are scheduled to take place at the Stade de France in Paris which holds 80,000 fans, so 5,000 would still feel very empty.

Certainly if PSG were to win both games it would give the club a nice boost and another two trophies. The dates for the finals are still being arranged but look likely to take place sometime in July.

Prove you have what it takes to challenge the best French Fantasy Football managers here www.fantasyligue1.com 

Could Icardi’s permanent PSG move mean Neymar is leaving for Barcelona?

It was to no one’s surprise that French league champions PSG decided to sign Mauro Icardi on a permanent deal in the last few days. Icardi will now join PSG as a full time member after the transfer went through for €50m. That looks like a bargain for PSG who before the Covid-19 pandemic were looking at €70m to get the players services.

Icardi has signed up to play in Paris until 2024 and the deal was a no-brainer given how the Italian had fared over the course of this season when brought in on loan. Icardi slipped right into the team and with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe missing chunks of games through injury Icardi stepped up and never looked out of the place in the team. In the league alone Icardi scored 12 goals from just 20 games and overall in all competitions he was able to find the back of the net 20 times from just 31 games. At only 27 Icardi has the best years of his football career ahead of him, and whilst this will be a loss to Inter it is a huge gain for PSG.

Though with the pandemic and football clubs losing millions over the last few months financially the deal to let Icardi leave the San Siro does make sense, and it is probably one that the Inter fans will be able to accept and understand.

As for PSG they now have 3 full time golden strikers in Icardi, Neymar and Mbappe but with them agreeing to take on Icardi full time the old story of Neymar leaving will surely rise once again. It does feel that Neymar’s return to Barcelona has been on the cards the very minute he signed a surprise deal at the time to join PSG which of course broke the transfer record and is still the highest at a reported €220m. That record looks like it will remain intact for some time after the pandemic has affected everyone from a financial standpoint.

Money is certainly a problem right now in football and huge transfers just don’t seem feasible. So if Neymar is to rejoin Barcelona one could suspect a few players swaps, a small ‘down payment’ fee and perhaps an initial loan deal back. At the end of the day PSG has the squad to win the next few French league titles and certainly next season will be the big odds on favourites, so in all honesty do they really need Neymar, who could well be dragging his feet next season?

Neymar has been brilliant for the club so far though has come up a little short in helping them in Europe and keeps getting niggling injuries. His departure would feel a little hollow looking at his achievements, but he has scored many goals and inspired so many extra points for the club, despite some of the circus that has surrounded him little can doubt his natural ability.

Whilst Ligue 1 ended early the Champions League has not and that is set to resume in August with PSG still in the competition- could Neymar take the club all the way and end his career at PSG on a high? That will be the question on everyone’s minds in Paris as it looks more and more inevitable that he will leave the club sooner rather than later.

Prove you have what it takes to challenge the best French Fantasy Football managers here www.fantasyligue1.com 

A step-by-step guide to sports betting

When I was a child, my friend’s father used to watch matches daily. His father used to hold his mobile in his hand and would continuously call his friends. Often when he called, he used to become happy. However, there are also times he used to be sad. I didn’t understand at that time what he was doing but now I know that he used to engage in sports betting.

There is no doubt sports betting has evolved. Much of what used to be conducted at casino location and at offline sports betting kiosks, has now converted to online sports betting. Thus, now you can engage in sports betting from the comfort of your home. Keep in mind though that sports betting is not legal in some countries whilst it is completely legal in many other countries. Before you do any sports betting, make sure you consult with a legal team and ask for detailed information about sports betting. 

Always keep in mind that precaution is better than getting in trouble and then trying to find a cure. Simply put, it is better to spend a bit of time on getting the necessary knowledge for the legal aspects to avoid any legal problems.

Having spent a bit of time in the sections above cautioning about the risks of not complying by the laws of your country of residence, let us now turn our attention to the basic principles of sports betting.

Bet on the distribution of money

This method is very simple. You bet on who will be the absolute winner of the match. In case you consider that team C will beat team D, you should bet on the team you expect to win. The key here is to look at the match point distribution. In case Team C has a large distribution of points (-5), it is considered more likely that they will win. In case the distributions are fairly even (-0.5) (+ 0.5), the match is hovering around an even matchup.

Before moving on to the money distribution, first look at the point distribution. In case the point distribution seems too high (-8.5), it is best to bet on it. In case the point distributions are fairly even (-1) (+ 1), go to the money distribution. You will be much more likely to win by covering a tight money distribution. If there is inclement weather, this will also be an important factor for money distributions. Snow, rain, hail, fog, etc. can quickly level the playing field between the two teams and thus level the point distribution. The worse the weather, the result will likely be more random and, therefore, you will have to bet more on the distribution of money. For more details check here: bong118.net.

Bet on totals

Totals are often referred to as “above or below” which is the case when the betting organization gives you a number (9), (4), (10), (175), etc representing the total amount of points that both teams will score together. You must bet on whether the teams together will score above or below this number.

For example, imagine that team L is going to play against team M. The total above or below is 215. You must bet on whether teams L and M will score above or below 215 points together.

Please do take into account different circumstances. In case the superstars of both teams are injured and the one above or below seems high enough, you probably ought to bet below. In case the superstars have been playing great lately, and the over or under seems too low, you could bet on it.

Take the decimal probabilities into account

Next to each point distribution, money distribution, and total (above or below), there is a number in decimal format. Decimal probabilities are almost always written as positive numbers, never negative. For example, imagine that next to the team P point distribution (-8.5) there is a decimal figure of 2,798. Next, imagine you bet 0.1 bitcoins (BTC) on Team P’s point distribution that week on a website. Multiply the bitcoins you bet by the decimal number, and you will get the amount of bitcoins you will win if you bet correctly. For more details refer here: bong118.net

So for this example, 0.1 x 2.798. This is most likely to be rounded to 0.28 bitcoins on most websites. You will earn 0.28 bitcoins if you bet correctly.

It is important to remember that the decimal odds include your initial bet. So, for this example, you will not win 0.28 more than your initial bet, but rather it is already included in the 0.28 bitcoin profit.

Use American probabilities

Next to each decimal figure corresponding to the probabilities is a number either positive or negative in parentheses. If positive, this indicates the amount of money you will win on a standard 100 bitcoin bet. For example, American bets are (+170) for Team X’s money distribution this week. This implies that for every initial bet of 100 bitcoins, 170 bitcoins will be returned to you. In case you bet 0.1 bitcoins initially, 0.17 bitcoins will be returned to you.

The good thing about American odds is that your initial bet is returned to you. So in case you bet 1 bitcoin and receive 2 bitcoins as profit, you will earn 3 bitcoins in total.

In case the number of the American odds is negative, this indicates the amount of bitcoins that you will have to contribute as an initial bet so that 100 bitcoins are returned to you. So, if the odds are (-105), you must contribute at least 105 bitcoins as an initial bet so that 100 bitcoins are returned to you. As many may know by now, Bitcoins are a form of online currency.

Premier League, Bundesliga or La Liga- what league is likely to restart first after Coronavirus

No one could have predicted the impact of the Coronavirus and what it has caused in the world. There has been a dramatic shift and life simply is not as we have known it for some time. This of course has affected world football, with almost all football grinding to a halt.

In Europe the Eredivise, the top league in the Netherlands was stopped with immediate effect. With the league so close, the authorities had no choice but to declare it null and void. The Belgian league also cancelled the season. Eyebrows were really raised though when the French Ligue 1 considered by many the 5th strongest league in Europe stopped the season.

Though in France they rightly gave the league title to PSG who were running away with it anyway and had a 12 point lead at the top and an extra game to play. Amiens and Toulouse were relegated. Both clubs may well go through the courts and seek compensation. But whilst Amiens have a point given that they were 7 points from safety with 30 points left, surely bottom club Toulouse did not. Were they really going to pull off a miracle and escape relegation having just earned 13 points this season? They would have needed to virtually win every game of the 10 they had left as they were 17 points behind at the time the virus hit. One must remember that the club have won just 3 games all season.

Now all attention is focused on the 3 big leagues. In Italy though football could return sometime in June, but like England the country has been hit with the most deaths in Europe and that is still in the balance. Currently Juventus lead Serie A by one point over Lazio, who themselves have had a terrific season.

La Liga and the Bundesliga have been pushing for a return. Especially in Germany. But some players for Cologne have just been declared to have the Covid-19 virus and that could now be in jeopardy. There is a real push though to have the Bundesliga and La Liga kick started by early June.

In truth Germany has not been affected as bad as Spain and England with the virus, but the worry will be if a second wave strikes. For now all cards are on the table but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Bundesliga restart first from the major leagues in Europe.

Of course all football will be played behind closed doors and that could well be the case for the rest of 2020. As for the Premier League decisions seem to change daily. Ultimately it will be down to the players though. And the feeling one gets is that players are less than happy to return to football.

Behind closed doors means no fans of course but there is still the problem of how do you test at least 500 people? Because it would take roughly that figure to set up a Premier League game once you account for players, squads, security, police, extra stewards because of fans congregating near the stadiums and media. It all adds up. Then there is the ambulances needed at each game- would it be justifiable to have ambulances at a game of football when they could be needed elsewhere?

This situation will go on, and we should see some developments later this month. For now the first two weeks of June are being pencilled in for a European football return.

 

French Ligue 1 season is cancelled- what happens next?

The French Ligue 1 season has been ended by French Prime Minister Edouard Phillippe.

The announcement means an immediate end to the season due to the Coronavirus pandemic, however the story doesn’t end there. The problem now for the French Football Federation is what to do next? There seems to be three choices which would be to declare the season null and void, to end the league as how it stands now or to count wins only and revise the table.

As far as winning the league there was only going to be one winner this season in PSG. The club are 12 points clear and with a game in hand over 2nd place with 11 games to play. It’s obvious that they were never going to get caught and the club will feel harshly done by if they are not awarded the league title.

Marseille could be left frustrated if the season is null and void. The club have had their best season in  years at last showing good consistency and are in 2nd place with 56 points and 6 points clear of 3rd. Indeed they are 7 points clear of not playing in the Champions League next season and they did look almost assured of being part of Europe’s elite club for the season after, now that is in the balance.

Rennes had won 15 games this season to put them in 3rd place and as it stands they would be entered into the qualifying stages for the Champions League. Though in 4th place is Lille who are just 1 point behind Rennes and they would feel very hard done by considering they had 10 games to make up 1 point.

Historical club Reims were in search of a long over due return to Europe too as they looked on course for a Europa League finish.

As for relegation Toulouse would certainly benefit with a null and void decision given that they have amassed only 13 points this season and are 10 points behind 19th placed Amiens- they were certainties to go down. Amiens were struggling too on 23 points and had fallen 7 points behind from safety.

The tricky part of the league if is declared by current standings is that Nimes are in 18th place with 27 points. Finishing here isn’t relegation but usually means a play-off with the team finishing in 3rd place in Ligue 2. So when would that play-off game take place?

Over the next few days there are many things to discuss, and what would be the fairest option should be put on the table. Also it is worth noting that Ligue 2 has also been stopped, simply put there will be no professional football in France until September.

Prove you have what it takes to challenge the best French Fantasy Football managers here www.fantasyligue1.com