Football fans the world over are getting ready for the biggest competition since the last World Cup. We’re fast approaching the FIFA World Cup 2014, which will be held in Brazil next summer.
And as we approach the final games that will decide the teams that will be fighting it out for the honour of lifting the world cup, excitement is mounting for fans and followers alike.
Betting on the World Cup
Traditionally many more people join the hardcore football fans when it comes to the World Cup. People who don’t necessarily follow any of the involved team’s domestic leagues will be following their favorite national team.
Placing bets on the team you think will win and the team you want to win is part of the fun of the competition with communities becoming heavily involved in the World Cup fixtures as they happen. The advent of online betting and online gaming has made it much easier for the average fan to bet on their team – rather than having to go down to the bookies, everyone can pick up their smartphone or tablet and quickly hope online at one of the many online sports betting sites. As these are usually part of an online casino site, it’s a great crossover for people who also like to play casino games, progressive slots or a bit of poker at half time!
But before we even get to the finals, the finalists have to make their way there.
Showdown between Portugal and Sweden
This is the next big decider and in less than seven days, either Portugal or Sweden will have their World Cup dreams crushed. And as these two teams are playing for a single space at the World Cup, this means that one of two major sporting heroes only will be playing in the World Cup.
Whoever wins this match will decide whether Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Cristiano Ronaldo will be present in Brazil where they belong. The first part of the showdown is in Lisbon, followed by the second match in Stockholm. It’s safe to say that this is probably not what FIFA or the fans want as it’s important for the big superstars to be at the tournament to keep momentum and media coverage interested.
But it does mean an incredibly exciting play off for the fans at this stage of the qualifying matches, and promises to be an electric and exciting competition – as much between the two individuals as the two countries.
Greece vs Romania
Greece ended up second behind Bosnia in Group G, even though they won an impressive eight out of the ten qualifying matches at groups stage. This means they have to play Romania and it’s likely that they will be through to the World Cup, with an amazing striker in Kostas Mitroglou they are looking strong and determined.
Whoever you’re backing for the World Cup, it’s guaranteed to be an exciting and involving competition – bring on next summer!
Free image courtesy of bulldogza/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If you are a soccer fan, you are likely already heavily tuned into your favorite team’s games. However, due to time differences, busy schedules, and sometimes a lack of broadcasting, it can be difficult to see every game live and stay on top of the latest scores and news.
As a gift to all soccer games enthusiasts, we are writing up 10 popular and useful soccer applications. This way, you can now enjoy your games on the go, play for fun, and keep up with stats. Whether you have an iPhone, Android, Samsung, or iPad, you should be able to get these apps and games on your mobile device easily. Take a look at our top 10 list and never miss another goal!
1. Sky Sports Live Football Score Center: This application sets Jeff Stelling and his gang right on your pocket, with the by-the minute action from each of the games on Serie A, Premier League, and the Evo-Stick League.
2. Sun+Goals –free (Needs Subscription): This ESPN application proved to become popular this last season. The speedy access is often achievable on clips of goals at exactly no cost. A subscription of this app is needed with its interesting and fascinating content idea with Alan Shearer and Stan Collymore in Spain.
3. FourFourTwo Stats Zone: This mainly offers the entire analysis of the Premier League games, from the possession of work rates and passes maps to even the basic shot of the players. It has a pool of meaningful information that further adds fantastic insights on soccer teams, pub trivia and sports betting.
4. Football Manager Handheld 2013: This portable port and personal computer game has accumulated thousands to millions of hours from the youth. It retains the many compulsive enjoyment to users plus the smooth learning curve and breadth of teams.
5. New Star Soccer: This is the excellent footy stimulator that enables you to command the career of a player who has to fight the clashing interests of playing the modernized game of sponsor commitments, high-maintenance girlfriends and gambling.
6. Sky Go (requires a Sky subscription): This is the essential application for any iPhone user or Sky Sports subscriber on iOS that lets you subscribe the game live. The urge of tweeting the # winning is even possible.
7. Score! Classic Goals (for free): The previous tournaments are spotted, from Dennis Bergkamp’s successful volley to Michael Owen’s mazy goal. Also, this has its better rating system and requires unlocking the next set.
8. TeamStream (for free): This information and news service from the United States sporting giant, called “The Bleacher Report”, enables you select the most-liked teams. Then, tweeting or scraping stories are possible over the internet.
9. BBC Sport (for free): This is an official sports application that places all of the recent soccer news. The captivating soap opera is greatly followed with the live commentaries from the renowned journalists of BBC. Once you feel like you’ve covered all the news, latest rumors, and most recent stats, you may want to move over to the mobile games at NordicBet and have your hand at some fun betting.
10. MatchPint (for free): This application enables you to find the games on television and tells you which of the pubs are shown. This has its multitude of users and a simple interface that serves as an excellent-scorer in your eyes.
Are you using any of these apps or games now? Which are you favorite and why?
It’s been quite a run for the US national soccer team. The gang defeated Mexico in Columbus in September behind goals by Eddie Johnson and Landon Donovan, giving them their seventh consecutive World Cup berth. Then the drama got even more interesting when the US team came from behind to defeat Panama, which then kept arch-rival Mexico’s World Cup chances alive. The result was a huge wave of gratitude in the Mexican press, while Mexico did their part with a dramatic bicycle kick for the winning goal against Costa Rica.
We’ll see if Mexico ends up joining the World Cup field as they’ll play in World Cup playoff round against New Zealand. But now we can start thinking about whether the United States can make a real run in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. We all know there will be a ton of live World Cup betting both leading up to and during the World Cup as this is still the most popular sport in the world. But when it comes to national teams, you have to acknowledge that a ton of the betting will be emotional. People bet with their hearts. That’s just the nature of things and it’s even more pronounced in this tournament.
Also, in the early rounds things can be very unpredictable. Even if the finals often see the traditional powers matching up, there are plenty of shocking results along the way.
Many US fans are pleasantly surprised with the recent developments, as the Jurgen Klinsmann era didn’t get off to a smooth start. But once the team got in a groove with Klinsmann’s approach, they proceeded to dominate their region. The question remains however as to how this team can respond to facing the world powers in the World Cup. Klinsmann has noted that the Brazil tournament will be packed with quality teams but that much will hing on the upcoming World Cup draw on December 6th. Will the US end up in a tough “Group of Death” or will they slide into one of the easier groups? Once that happens, real analysis can begin as to how this particular US can match up against the round one opponents.
Just watch those top Manchester United goals and you’ll definitely want to check out a game live. If you’re heading to the UK and want to catch a soccer (aka football) match, a comparison of the prices of tickets and programmes from the 2012/13 football league is bound to leave some fans feeling elated whilst others must be stunned to realize how much they’re paying relevant to other fans.
Three London based clubs topped the most expensive season-ticket list with Arsenal (£985-£1,955), Tottenham (£730-£1,855) and Chelsea (£595-£1,250) being the only three clubs to dare to have charged four figures. However, despite fans thinking they should be much less; lengthy waiting list suggests that the ethos of demand and supply is very much in these football clubs’ favors.
Surprisingly, perhaps, the season tickets of the most recent winners of the Premiership, Manchester United (£532-£950), seems real value for money in comparison to the big London clubs, while prices of 2011/12 Champions Manchester City (£275-£695) seem a positive bargain.
The supporters of Stoke (£344-£609), Swansea (£429-£499) and West Bromwich Albion (£349-£449) showed an understanding of paying a relative sum of money for season tickets, one that fitted their niche mentality of playing their trade from mid-table, perfectly.
Fans of two of last year’s relegated teams, Queens Park Rangers (£499-£949) and Reading (£350-£949), are probably thinking that they paid too much money for what they had been promised would be a quality product, but inevitably failed to do the job. Meanwhile, fans of the other relegated team, Wigan (£255-£310) are probably wishing they had paid a little more for a quality product – just proving that the failure to get the right product for the job can be detrimental to the long-term goals of any business.
The most popular price for a programme was three pound, although Fulham, Norwich, Stoke, Tottenham and West Ham all charged an extra fifty pence for some reason.
That’s why, when it comes to printing costs of such items as programmes, tickets and leaflets Instant Print understands that businesses need a variety of high-quality and value-for-money products to choose from, ones that keep you in whichever part of the league you’re aiming at.
The 2012 FIFA Ballon D’or will be awarded early next year, and of the 20 candidates up for this year’s prize, one name stands out. Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi is the outstanding candidate for the coveted prize and with good reason. Throughout 2012, he has scored a massive 82 goals in all competitions, just six away from breaking the record set by legendary Germany striker Gerd Muller. Messi is the overwhelming favourite to win the prize, but who are his rivals, and can they stop him?
One of the other two major candidates for the Ballon D’or is Barca teammate Andres Iniesta. The inventive attacking midfielder has helped Messi immensely throughout his career, supplying him with endless assists against many of their opponents, but one thing Iniesta has in his favour is international success. While Messi hasn’t quite delivered with Argentina, Iniesta has enjoyed unparalleled success with Spain, playing a key role in winning and retaining the European Championships and, most impressively of all, the World Cup.
The third candidate to make it through the 20-man shortlist is Messi’s greatest rival to date, Real Madrid’s polarising Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo has a record that stands up against that of Messi, and unlike the diminutive Argentine, has a La Liga winners’ medal to show for his efforts in the past year. However, what may count against him is that Real’s title defence has stuttered, and that he has underperformed since September. This may count against him when the award is given out.
The odds with Ladbrokes Sport of Messi picking up the trophy for the fourth time in succession are pretty short, but it’s hard not to bet against him, even if he hasn’t won as much as Iniesta or Ronaldo in the past 12 months. Should the award go to one of the other two, it would be a huge shock.