What We’ll Learn In The Transfer Window

Will Wilfried Bony to Man City be the biggest Premier League transfer this month?

Will Wilfried Bony to Man City be the biggest Premier League transfer this month?

A little change of pace this month, as we look ahead to what will happen during the transfer window. And as we all know transfers and the accompanying rumour mill with it’s glorious highs and crushing lows is far superior to the drudgery of actual football. Handily because nothing really happens until the last few weeks my tardiness isn’t that much of an issue.

 

Premier League Outright Betting Odds:

Chelsea 3/5

Manchester City 3/2

Manchester United 18/1

(All odds provided by Intertops.eu are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

One thing (at the time of writing) that might possible already have happened/be in the process of happening is the transfer of Wilfried Bony to Manchester City. A devastatingly direct attacker with a deft first touch and a fierce strike, he can’t be anything other than great. His on-pitch time will be dependent on Sergio Aguero and his hamstrings but they’re made of rubber bands so Bony should get plenty of chances to impress.

On the other side of the city Louis van Gaal will do whatever he damn well likes. However he should probably look into sorting a defence that is, well it has, I mean…….it’s a bit crap really. He’s already brought in Victor Valdes, and might follow that up by buying his countryman Ron Vlaar who once got a 2! (out of 10!) for me on Football Manager. Make of that what you will (as I type this he’s just been ruled out for 4 weeks but I have a word count to hit so he’s staying in the article)

 

Arsenal will do what Arsenal do, there will be opinion pieces, banners and possibly some booing. At the end of it Arsenal will finish fourth and every single one of us will be ever so slightly closer to the blessed release of death.

Chelsea have completed the ‘transfers’ level of football so unless they fancy trying to beat their own high score we can ignore them during January.

 

Tottenham will sign a midfielder. He’ll pretend to be good for a bit, then it’ll turn out he’s rubbish. Aaron Lennon might leave, possibly for QPR where………..

*insert your own ‘dawwnn to the bare bones’ Harry Redknapp joke here*

 

Aston Villa are obviously far too boring for any of us to care about. Even if they do sign someone mildly interesting that poor soul will be subsumed by the overwhelming force of mediocrity that resides at Villa Park.

Nobody knows who is in charge of transfers at West Ham but let’s hope it’s the new fun loving version of Big Sam and he brings in Jay Jay Okocha, you know just for old times sake. Oh and they’ll sell Winston Reid to someone, maybe Arsenal.

 

The Anfield transfer committee will gather round the table, amalgamate their thoughts, you know some real blue sky thinking ‘there’s no such thing as a bad idea here, this is a safe space where we reshape the rules and turn dreams into reality’ and decide to spend twenty million quid on a center back who somehow manages to make their defence worse. Liverpool might try and punt Mario, but he’s performing so admirably in the role of scapegoat that that would surely be a grave error.

 

Southampton will sell someone who isn’t as good as people think he is for more money than he’s worth and will replace him with a better player from the Netherlands, their youth team or Celtic.

The only Leicester player I know is Esteban Cambiasso so it’s very hard for me to take much of a guess at their transfer activity. I’ll save any embarrassment by not bothering.

 

Stoke might sell Peter Crouch to West Brom now that Tony Pulis is in charge. I might make veggie burgers for tea tomorrow.

Now that he’s swapped Newcastle for Palace Alan Pardew will celebrate not being forced to exclusively sign French players with high sell on value by signing someone quintessentially English with no sell on value. Possibly the Queen, or some sort of Duke.

 

All I’ve got to say about Sunderland is that my mate met Gus Poyet once, I forgot to ask what he was like. I bet he’s a dick.

Everton should sign a defensive coach but they’ll probably sign someone from Wigan, Shaun Maloney maybe.

 

Burnley will continue their attempt to prove that a Championship team full of Championship players can survive in the Premier League by signing a Championship player.

Going to level with you here – I’m writing this on a train and my stop is coming up. So if I’ve forgotten your team then I’m sorry but you’re just not important enough (sorry Hull fans – ed.).

 

Follow me on Twitter where I occasionally RT something funny

 

Betting Instinct tip – with few transfers likely to go through before this weekend’s games, back a London treble: Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all to win is 3.59 with AllYouBet.ag.

 

Ally avatarALLY MONCRIEFF is a freelance football writer and editor of All or Nothing magazine. Sometimes even he can’t tell if he’s being serious or not. Follow Ally on Twitter and maybe he’ll be your friend.

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Tyne-Wear Derby offers Newcastle and Sunderland’s unsung heroes a chance to shine

Jozy Altidore could earn himself cult hero status at Sunderland by shining against Newcastle

Jozy Altidore could earn himself cult hero status at Sunderland by shining against Newcastle

It suits Alan Pardew to downplay the significance of Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby. Since being gifted the Newcastle job in December 2010, his team have won just one of their seven clashes with Sunderland. When the away team came away from St James’ Park with a 3-0 victory in 2013, it was the heaviest Newcastle derby defeat since 1979 – and then, a year later, it happened again. When Pardew told the press this week that the fixture is ‘always interesting’, then, he almost certainly meant ‘interesting’ in its most euphemistic sense. ‘Shut your noise,’ he seems to be saying to Newcastle fans, and focus your attentions elsewhere.

His Sunderland counterpart Gus Poyet might be expected to be a smidgen more brash, given that he is unbeaten in Tyne-Wear derbies since taking over as manager. Not so: ‘unless someone wins player of the month like Connor Wickham and Adam Johnson did last season,’ he said after his team’s 10th draw in 16 league games, ‘it is going to be boring draws all the time.’ As a strict assessment of his team’s recent performances, it is fair enough. As a means of stirring and spurring them to another win at the home of their biggest rivals, it looks at best misguided.

 

Newcastle United v Sunderland Betting Odds:

Newcastle win 9/10

Sunderland win 57/20

Draw 49/20

(All odds provided by Intertops.eu are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

Thankfully, Sunday is not about words. Whatever Pardew or Poyet have to say, it cannot diminish – nor, for that matter, amplify – what is a moment, not a match. Fans of both teams love the derby because fans of both teams make the derby (it is always just ‘the derby’), transforming manager to makeweight, player to pawn, and stadium to cesspit – glorious, wondrous, hate-filled cesspit.

After Newcastle were comprehensively beaten by Arsenal at the weekend, I sent a message to my Newcastle-supporting dad, noting that the midweek League Cup quarter final vs Tottenham was always the more important fixture. His reply was, ‘I and derby stick it up the makums’ (‘I’ equals ‘Aye’, ‘makums’ equals ‘mackems’, or Sunderland fans): no nuance, no cause for elaboration, just a target. While this might be typical of most dads’ football texting habits, it is nonetheless telling. There is no room for ‘rational’ analysis when the derby rolls around; what we have here, Clive, is an occasion where the form book goes out of the window. It is instead something to relish (for the victors), to detest (for the losers), to wonder upon (for the outsiders).

 

All of this makes picking a winner next to impossible. With Shola Ameobi, who – stat alert – scored 16% of his Premier League goals against Sunderland, now taking a late-career amble in the Turkish second tier, United lack a talisman. Sunderland are in a similar pickle: Fabio Borini, their preferred derby bogeyman with three of his eight English top flight strikes coming in wins over Newcastle, is back on the bench at struggling Liverpool.

In lieu of logic, only #NARRATIVE can take up the slack. Every derby demands a hero and a villain: take Kevin Nolan and Titus Bramble on Halloween 2010, or Jack Colback and Pardew – always Pardew – in the February of last season. Sunday will be no different, and at a stretch there are a few clues as to who they might be. Samuel Ameobi could be inspired by his brother’s proud legacy, or he could collapse under the pressure of his hefty surname. Colback could replicate said performance in his new team’s colours, or he could continue to do Sunderland favours. Josmer Volmy Altidore could do what he has done for the last 18 months, that is, nothing at all, or he could find in the derby the catalyst for something remarkable.

I have no idea. Pardew and Poyet have no idea. Nobody has any idea. And if that makes for a terrible betting preview, then so be it.

 

Betting Instinct tip – Eight of Sunderland’s games this season have either finished 0-0 (8/1 with AllYouBet.ag) or 1-1 (11/2), and a repeat of one of these scorelines seems likely

 

Kieran avatar KIERAN DODDS  is a masters student and writer. He has written about sport, politics and current affairs for the Guardian, the Huffington Post, Africa is a Country, When Saturday Comes, IBWM and others. Follow Kieran on Twitter.

Will Swansea end a decade wait for a home win over Hull tonight?

Bookies favour a home victory for Swansea at the Liberty Stadium this evening.

Bookies favour a home victory for Swansea at the Liberty Stadium this evening.

Swansea and Hull come into tonight’s Premier League clash separated only by Stoke City in the Premier League table with the sides having taken 18 and 17 points respectively from their opening 14 matches of the season. They will both see this match as a winnable one, but which of the two sides will be one that takes all three points and puts space between them and moves into the top half of the table?

GR88.com favour a home victory for Swansea at the Liberty Stadium this evening despite not having taken a home win in normal time against Hull City, soon to be the Hull City Tigers, and their Swansea v Hull betting odds are as below:

Swansea v Hull Betting Odds:

Swansea to win – 1.67

Draw – 3.45

Hull to win – 5.10

(Odds provided by GR88.com are current as of today but subject to change.)

Swansea will come into this match full of the confidence that a 3-0 win over one of the form sides in the league, in Newcastle, provides and with this win being fresh in their minds having only happened last Wednesday they will be looking to hit the same heights again this evening. That win over Alan Pardew’s men ended a two game losing streak that saw Valencia and Manchester City defeat them 1-0 and 3-0 in the Europa and Premier Leagues at home and away respectively. That loss to Valencia is their only home defeat in seven, but they have only one won of their last five at the Liberty Stadium too as they recorded three draws between beating St. Gallen and Sunderland 1-0 and 4-0 before losing to Valencia. They will need to perform at the level they produced against Newcastle if they are to win tonight, but can Swansea manage this level two games running?

Against a Hull City side that does not travel well I feel that Swansea are deserving of being the odds on favourites to win this match tonight and that they should be able to pick off Steve Bruce’s men in the same manner as Newcastle. Hull may have produced the performances needed to stay in the Premier League in front of their own fans at the KC Stadium, but with their away record reading six losses in seven Premier League games they are likely to struggled tonight. They have a total of five away goals this season and three of those came at Newcastle when they claimed their only points on the road so far in a 3-2 win, but they have been outscored 9-2 in the four following matches and clearly struggle as the visitors but can they turn that around this evening?

Hull did have an unbeaten season when the sides last faced each other in the 2010/11 Championship season as they claimed a 2-0 victory at the KC Stadium before drawing 1-1 in Wales, but with their away form this season I am struggling to see them get anything out of this match. They do not score enough or regularly enough to challenge a confidence boosted Swansea side will be looking to hone their game before looking to book their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League on Thursday night and I can see Hull being easily defeated in Wales this evening.

I am backing Swansea to win this match by at least two goals on the handicap market of Swansea -0.75 goals (half stake on Swansea -0.5, half stake on Swansea -1) @ 1.88.

 

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AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.