Tag Archives: football

Australia vs Honduras

AUSTRALIA take on Honduras knowing the equation is simple – win and they qualify for the World Cup.

The Socceroos produced a good first leg display on a horrific pitch and some would argue they were unlucky to only pick up a 0-0 draw in San Pedro Sula.

But there can be no room for complacency as a score draw would see them go out on away goals.

There were plenty of chances for either sides when they met at the San Pedro Sula, but finishing was extremely poor. The Socceroos had the best of those chances and brought out two brilliant saves from Honduras keeper Donis Escober.

Coming back to home turf, Australia are unbeaten in World Cup qualification matches since 2008. The streak is of a 21 match unbeaten run with wins in 18.

Meantime, Honduras are unbeaten in their last six qualifying games and the last three away games saw 1 win and 2 draws. However, that away win came at Trinidad is their only road win in 9 games.

Australia Team News

Ange Postecoglou is buoyed by the return of Milligan and Mathew Leckie after serving their one match ban and both players are expected to start here.

Meanwhile, Tom Rogic could also get into the starting line-up here after playing 15 odd minutes in the first leg as a second half substitute for Jackson Irvine.

Australia Predicted Line-up (3-4-2-1)

Ryan – Milligan, Wright, Sainsbury – Behic, Luongo, Mooy, Leckie – Rogic, Mooy – Juric.

Honduras Team News

Jorge Luis Pinto is also handed a boost with the return of team captain Maynor Figueroa and winger Alberth Elis from suspension. Both are expected to start and other changes are unlikely to the team that started in the first leg.

Honduras Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)

Escober – Izaguirre, Maynor Figueroa, Henry Figueroa, Beckeles – Claros, Mejia – Quioto, Lopez, Ellis – Lozano.

Goal Predictor Tip :

So far we have seen six 0-0 draws from the 9 games. Also, 8 of them saw under 2.5 goals.
So we go with 1-0 full time and under 2.5 goals.

Australia – Honudras   | 1 |   1.55
Australia – Honudras   | under 2.5 |  1.80

Denmark : World Cup Here We Come

Christian Eriksen stars as Denmark rout Ireland 5-1, book World Cup spot.

With three goals from three chances, Christian Eriksen rocketed Denmark to Russia. Ireland had simply no answer to Tottenham’s playmaker as his display of Danish dynamite destroyed their dream of reaching a first finals since 2002.

The Republic of Ireland have put their heart and soul into this World Cup qualification campaign, but when it mattered most they were short of the one thing that really matters – quality.

That was served up on a silver service for Denmark by Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen, who scored a magnificent hat-trick, stroking two shots into the net like he was knocking balls into an empty goal at the end of a training session, before smashing in a third.

Ireland were forced to bend the knee in the presence of his brilliance. Denmark had one world-class player, Ireland had none. It can make small margins look like a gulf in class.

Ireland were crushed, but the suggestion they had been humiliated at the end of a campaign in which they were fourth seeds in their group and still finished second, drew an angry response from manager Martin O’Neill, who walked out of a post-match television interview.

“We were well beaten, no question about that,” said O’Neill. “We were made to pay for some sloppy defending, two really poor goals to concede and when we tried to chase the game, we were punished.

“But we were beaten in a play-off. We have fought tooth and nail to get here, so the sense of disappointment is huge. But we have played 24 competitive games and lost four. This is one of them.

“We were beaten by a side that was better than us and has a world-class player in the team, who was absolutely magnificent. Eriksen is top class and he showed it.”

Eriksen now belongs in an elite group of players in the modern era, alongside Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who have carried their national teams to new heights, defining the big games with the force of their ­individual talent.

In the end, Ireland gambled and lost. O’Neill tried something different and it did not work. Having smothered Denmark in the first leg in Copenhagen, he tried to attack them. He might regret it now, but in truth, nothing was likely to stand in Eriksen’s way. He and Denmark fully deserve to be at the World Cup next year.

And that’s it! Denmark go to Russia 2018, the Irish will be left at home.

Germany vs France: Preview and Predictions

We have a top class fixture among Tuesday’s friendlies when World Champions Germany welcome Euro 2016 losing finalists France to the RheinEnergieStadion in Koln.

Germany were held to a goal-less draw by an inexperienced English side in their first friendly after comfortably qualifying for the World Cup 2018 in Russia. However, Low’s men had the better of the chances with Jordan Pickford being called to make several saves.

Germany’s unbeaten run currently stand at 20 games with 16 wins and 4 draws. They won 7 on the bounce prior to the draw at England. Their last defeat was at the Euro 2016 semi-finals against France.

Meanwhile, France begin their preparations with a comprehensive 2-0 win over Wales. Antoine Griezmann, who struggled for goals at Atletico Madrid put the Blues in front and the rout was completed by a second half goal from Arsenal outcast Olivier Giroud.

France have now won their last three games in all competitions and are unbeaten in their last six. They kept four clean sheets in the process.

Germany vs France: Head-to-head

France won the last two meetings with Germany by the same 2-0 score-line. Germany had won the previous two by a 1-goal margin.

However, Germany lost their last two matches at home soil against France, 1-2 in 2012 and 0-3 in 2003.

Both teams failed to score in 7 of the last 9 meetings between the two sides.

Germany vs France: Predictions

Looking back to their previous friendly, both managers set out to play with attacking formations. And with both teams packed with some talented youngsters, we are about to see some fireworks on Tuesday night. Yet, the full-time result is almost unpredictable and therefore we will stick with bets from the goal markets.

 

Goal Predictor Tip : |  Both teams to Score  |   1.75

Portugal vs USA

This just might be the most meaningful meaningless match the US national team has played in a long time – and not just because it’s serving as a benefit for wildfire victims in Portugal.

With the pain of missing out on the 2018 World Cup (USA’s first absence from the field since 1986) still setting in, caretaker coach Dave Sarachan has started the process of finding a team that can qualify for Qatar 2022.

Out – at least for Tuesday’s friendly in Leiria – are the old guard: Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Tim Howard and more. Sarachan has kept a few veterans around (Alejandro Bedoya, DeAndre Yedlin, John Brooks, Tim Ream) and brought in some little-used players from years past (CJ Sapong, Eric Lichaj, Jorge Villafaña) – but for the most part, Tuesday’s friendly will largely be an audition for new blood, with younger regulars like Christian Pulisic and Bobby Wood staying with their European clubs this time around.

There are plenty of storylines in play, though: Who will emerge as the top ‘keeper, the top center back tandem? Is Yedlin, with 48 caps under his belt, the captain-in waiting?

The questions won’t all be answered on Tuesday. Some of them might not be answered for quite some time. But it’s a start – a chance at a promising start, really – and for now, that has to be enough.

Portugal

The hosts, who won’t be sitting at home next summer, are also using Tuesday’s friendly to give lesser-used players a shot at filling out the World Cup roster – but coach Fernando Santos has salted his 24-man roster with some players who should present stiff challenges for the young Americans.

Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be there, but 21-year-old striker Andre Silva will, after scoring nine times in 10 World Cup qualifying matches. Portugal’s stable of attackers also includes Eder, who scored the winning goal in the 2016 Euro title match.

And at the other end, the inclusion of Pepe in the defensive corps guarantees that the US forwards will be in for a night – or at least part of one – of being banged around by one of the world’s more physical back-line players.

USA

With Pulisic left off the roster, the US will be looking for someone who can pull strings on the attack – both to push the young star and to provide depth in that playmaking spot.

That’s not the only area which will be under scrutiny. To be fair, though, pretty much all of them will — especially with other possible young contributors staying back in North America for the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs.

There will be eyes be on who pairs with Ream in central defense, or whether Sarachan goes with a young duo – perhaps Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga – there.

Portugal Squad

GOALKEEPERS (3): Anthony Lopes (Lyon/FRA; 4/0), Beto (Goztepe/TUR; 11/1), José Sá (FC Porto; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (9): Antunes (Getafe/ESP; 12/0), Edgar Ié (Lille/FRA; 0/0), Kevin Rodrigues (Real Sociedad/ESP; 0/0), João Cancelo (Inter/ITA; 5/3), Luís Neto (Fenerbahçe/TUR; 15/0), Nélson Semedo (Barcelona/ESP; 7/0), Pepe (Besiktas/TUR; 90/5), Ricardo Ferreira (Braga; 0/0) Ricardo Pereira (FC Porto; 2/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/ENG; 19/2), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting; 0/0), Danilo Pereira (FC Porto; 25/1), João Mário (Inter/ITA; 29/0), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS; 9/2), Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton/ENG; 2/0)

FORWARDS (6): André Silva (Milan; 17/11), Bruma (RB Leipzig/GER; 0/0), Éder (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS; 33/4), Gelson Martins (Sporting; 13/0), Gonçalo Guedes (Valencia/ESP; 3/0), Rony Lopes (Monaco; 0/0)

United States  Squad

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas; 0/0), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland/DEN; 3/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 1/0)

DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 32/3), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Sheffield United/ENG; 0/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 13/1), Matt Miazga (Vitesse/NED; 3/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 26/1), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 14/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 48/0)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 16/1), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 0/0), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 65/2), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland/ENG; 2/0), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 0/0), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution; 3/1), Danny Williams (Huddersfield Town/ENG; 22/2)
FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution; 26/3), Dom Dwyer (Orlando City SC; 3/2), C.J. Sapong (Philadelphia Union; 2/0), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; 0/0)

With the history from the previous matches, our pick for this duel is : 
Over 2.5 Goals

World in SHOCK : Italy didn’t qualify for the World Cup !

The next World Cup 2018 in Russia will be without ITALY. Sounds shocking  right ?  Italy have failed to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1958.
Still Congrats to Sweden who are in the World Cup (1 – 0 aggregate) .
Italy failed to reach Sweden in the second leg and it off to the World Cup .
ONCE AGAIN ITALY ARE OUT OF WORLD CUP!!!
CONGRATULATION SWEDEN !!!

Italy Sweden

Italy vs Sweden

Italy are facing the prospect of missing out on the World Cup for the first time since 1958 should they fail to overcome Sweden in their crunch play-off game on Monday evening at AC Milan’s San Siro.
Match could be Gianluigi Buffon’s last game for national team.

Team News

ITALY :
  • Italy have plenty to ponder after their 1-0 defeat in the first leg on Friday.
  • Marco Verratti will miss the second leg through suspension, while Leonardo Bonucci may have to play with a face mask after breaking his nose in the first leg.
  • Simone Zaza and Leonardo Spinazzola remain doubts after missing the first leg through first injury.
  • Giampiero Ventura’s gamble to revert back to a 3-5-2 formation and drop Lorenzo Insigne backfired massively in Sweden. Changes will be needed here.
SWEDEN :
  • Mikael Lustig missed the 1-0 win on Friday through suspension and should slot back in at right-back here.
  • No other changes are expected from the away side as they look to protect their slender advantage.

Match Facts

  • Italy have seen under 2.5 goals in their last 5 matches against Sweden in all competitions.
  • Italy have kept a clean sheet in 5 of their last 7 home matches against Sweden in all competitions.
  • Italy are undefeated in their last 7 home matches against Sweden in all competitions.

Prediction :

Italy – Sweden  | 1 |   1.60

Expected win for ITALY  on this one, but it will be enough  to qualify for the 2018 World Cup?