Manchester United prepare for the visit of West Ham at the weekend, with both sides surprised by how they have got on so far.
West Ham are in eighth, having won two games, drawn one, and lost another two. They have been reinvigorated by a number of new signings. Up front Mauro Zarate and Enner Valencia are far more exciting than Carlton Cole and Andy Carroll, and Diafra Sakho scored a brilliant chip in the 3-1 victory against Liverpool last week. You can bet on how successful they are by using Betfair to back them or not.
In midfield, Cheikhou Kouyate has found his feet quickly, and Alex Song seems to have found his level, having failed to impress at Barcelona after a move from Arsenal. Sam Allardyce was under pressure to deliver after a grim season last year, with fans losing patience with the awful stuff served up. It’s not just new signings who have done well, though, with Stewart Downing impressing down the middle, making the most of Steven Gerrard’s continued decline.
Manchester United’s surprise is that they continue to struggle even after a round of huge investment. While it is true that most of the money has gone on the attack, with Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie joined by Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria, their defence has also been refreshed. Daley Blind, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo will all need to improve their organisational skills quickly, because Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Rafael Da Silva obviously can’t do it themselves.
Manchester United will hope that West Ham aren’t as energetic and committed as Leicester City were in the match on Saturday, when they beat them 5-3 after coming back from 3-1 down. Tyler Blackett, who conceded a penalty, and Jonny Evans, who injured himself in the first half, will miss the match.
Manchester City suffered a second home defeat since last season after 1-0 defeat against Stoke City, but this defeat could have serious implications if Manuel Pellegrini does not wake up quickly. The Chilean has received a lot of praise for transforming City into a delightful team to watch. This was certainly not the case with the City teams of the past, especially those under Roberto Mancini.
Last season, City almost broke Chelsea’s record of 103 goals in a single league campaign. A key aspect towards the brilliant attacking display was the team’s ability to play football at a breath-taking pace. The passing skills of David Silva and Samir Nasri are second to none in this league, but they are made into chances only through the intelligent running of Sergio Aguero, who is still backed by Betfair at 6/1 to finish as the Premier League top scorer, and Edin Dzeko in the channels.
City are one of the best teams at breaking the defensive line with a killer pass. Their hunger for more goals only increases against defences that are not organised. This was a case in point against Liverpool. City won the match 3-1 but it could have easily been more than five goals for the home team. They ripped apart a Liverpool defence that was disorganised throughout the 90 minutes and left huge spaces at the back for the likes of Aguero and Dzeko to run into.
Things, though, were more difficult against Stoke. A number of players like Gareth Barry, who were brought by former City manager Mark Hughes, may not be at City anymore, but the opposition had come in with a clear plan to frustrate their opponents.
Stoke effectively played with six at the back because their wingers, including Victor Moses who is on loan from Chelsea, dropped into act as reinforcements for their defenders. City have often found a way to get past teams that put a lot of men behind the ball, but against Stoke, they were simply offered no space in the final third of the pitch. Since the likes of Moses were offering protection, the Stoke City full backs were not required to get the positions to block crosses. This, in turn, meant that the space for Aguero to run into never showed up throughout the 90 minutes.
Not many will be capable of replicating Diouf’s solo goal, but City need to find their sharpness back or face the risk of many teams repeating this tactic. They also need to do it quick since City’s next three matches will be against Arsenal, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea.
Betfair places City at odds of 5/2 to win the league title behind Chelsea’s 4/5 odds.
Real Madrid and Barcelona, still the biggest rivalry in the world
Barcelona and Real Madrid still contest the biggest rivalry in world football, despite Atletico Madrid’s recent triumphs. It’s a game that still has an unmistakable air of showbiz, of glamour, and a clash-of-the-titans vibe that no other rivalry seems capable of producing.
Real Madrid’s most successful period came in the late 1950s, when they were famous for a squad of expensive, world-class players including the likes of Alfredo di Stefano. In recent years, Madrid have sought to replicate that era by making big-money purchases such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, and Gareth Bale.
The history, and the way Real Madrid’s stars seem almost superhuman as they glide around the pitch, makes watching the team in action an almost surreal experience. A visit to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is well worth the trip, and you can get Real Madrid tickets from several reliable online agents.
Barcelona, meanwhile, have a strong regional identity which ties in with their footballing ethos. The club hail from Catalonia, and field a team with many Catalan players produced by their famous academy, La Masia, including Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol.
This goes along with their famous short-passing style, which focuses on keeping the ball and can produce breathtaking football when played with the kind of world-class players Barcelona have in their ranks. Another Catalan, Pep Guardiola, a former Barcelona player, helped to introduce this style when he became coach of the club.
The success of Barcelona’s style has led many teams around the world to try and adopt it, but there is only one side in the world who does the original and best form of it. Visiting the Camp Nou in Barcelona and watching a match live is a great way to experience this method of football at its purest, and you can find FC Barcelona tickets online from official ticket agents.
Softball cleats are designed for those who play the player’s position. They are available in 3 different types of shoes: high top, mid cut or low cut. There are also 2 basic types of cleats: moldable and detachable. Sometimes you will even find custom softball cleats.
High Top Shoes
These shoes are great for lateral movements since they extend to your ankle. They’re typically the choice of linemen who want to protect their ankles.
Mid Cut Shoes
These shoes are more flexible, which is why skilled players will oftentimes choose them. They’re great for defensive or running backs, as well as quarter backs and receivers.
Low Cut Shoes
These shoes are known to be lightweight. They also provide great movement. So, if you need to make sudden cuts, these are the shoes for you.
These cleats are rounded and provide great traction. Since they aren’t made from metal, they’re especially great for younger players. Another reason for this is that they’re directly molded into each shoe. However, their length is kept shorter so they won’t break as fast. It’s also nice to note that these cleats are somewhat elastic and thus can bend when youâ€™re doing a full sprint, pivot or slide.
These are the most popular type of cleats on the field today. While some people may worry that they would become detached during a game, this simply isn’t going to happen. Instead, you can count on getting better traction with these cleats, which is why they are the top choice of NFL players today. Detachable cleats do come in both metal and molded plastic so you will have to see what your league allows but you can rest assured that the plastic ones are inexpensive to replace when they become worn down.
Customized Softball Cleats
Here you can create your own colored cleats. When you visit tanel360.com they will sell you a pair of standard black cleats that come with an extra pair of shoelaces and a colored marker for free. This will enable you to accent your shoes any way you like.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what type of cleats are going to work best for you. Whenever you’re in the process of making this decision, you should always consult your league’s rule book to see if they have a preference as to what you wear.