The Sports Bookie Blog

England v Brazil at Wembley

May 30th, 2007

David Beckham is set to cap his England comeback by starting in Friday’s friendly against Brazil. The former captain is set to play after Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon withdrew from the squad because of a knee injury.

Defensive duo Rio Ferdinand and Michael Dawson have been forced to pull out of the England squad to face Brazil and Estonia because of groin injuries. Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher could come in for Friday’s friendly against Brazil at the new Wembley Stadium and the Euro 2008 qualifier in Estonia on 6 June.

Ferdinand and Dawson’s absence leaves England manager Steve McClaren with a defensive headache. Gary Neville, Ashley Cole, Jonathan Woodgate and Micah Richards have already been ruled out, meaning McClaren is now without three of his four first-choice defenders.

Cole’s back-up at left-back Wayne Bridge is also a major doubt for the game against Brazil, with Reading’s Nicky Shorey standing by for his first full cap. Carragher and Ledley King will compete for the right to partner skipper John Terry in defence and, if Carragher is chosen, Phil Neville is almost certain to come in at right-back.

Lennon was ruled out after twisting a knee during England B’s 3-1 win against Albania last Friday. This means McClaren is ready to start with Real Madrid midfielder Beckham against the Brazilians.

Beckham has not played for England since he came off injured in the World Cup quarter-final defeat at the hands of Portugal last July, after which he announced his resignation as captain.

Check out GoonersGuide.com for a betting preview of England v Brazil

Novelty Bets encourage corruption

May 29th, 2007

This is actually a casino slots game image - click to check out Football Rules BetFred CasinoThe UK Gambling Commission announced that it was considering restrictions on the type of bets bookmakers are allowed to offer. The Commission said that it was one of a number of proposals under consideration aimed at boosting the integrity of the betting industry.

The government watchdog was responding to calls from the UK’s five major sports – football, cricket, tennis, rugby league and rugby union – that have formed a lobbying group to tackle the issue. They are arguing that ‘novelty’ bets, such as minute of the first yellow card, make corruption easier as it only includes a few people and is more difficult to prove.

Bookmakers are resisting the proposal, claiming that there is no evidence of widespread cheating on novelty bets. They are also saying that as betting is now an international industry and customers will use offshore sites via the internet regardless of restrictions.

PS: Click on the image above to play this new Playtech slots game FOOTBALL RULES at Betfred Casino. Great graphics – play for free or for real money. (Sorry, no US bettors)

Paris, Special?

May 28th, 2007

Here’s a run down on the latest novelty betting from top Irish bookie PaddyPower.com.  Check it out on site – It’s called “Our Pet Hate”…

The news that Paris Hilton was getting sent to the chokey was greeted around here with scenes of jubilation not seen since Paddy Power announced that he was giving up tipping. But for reasons unknown, some crazy people are trying to ruin our fun. An online petition will be sent to Governor Schwarzenegger imploring him “to pardon Paris Hilton for her mistake” pointing out that she had “leading roles on the reality series ‘The Simple Life’ and in the remake of the Vincent Price horror classic ‘House of Wax’ – which, if anything, seem like reasons to keep her locked up! With the socialite set for the slammer, it would be criminal not to have a look at our Paris Hilton Prison Specials!

The Prisoners Life for Paris!  Singles Only. Must be confirmed publicly by Paris & the Los Angeles County Sheriff. Applies to Paris Hilton’s prison sentence in 2007.

 

 

Allowed to keep & use her mobile                             3 – 1  
The Simple Life to be recorded in the prison             16 – 1 
Paris to film an adult movie with a prison guard         69 – 1  
Her sentence to be extended for bad behaviour         4 – 1  
Charge fellow inmates for signed autographs             8 – 1  
Daily visits from her hair stylist                                 8 – 1  
Allowed to keep her dog with her                             10 – 1  
A private bodyguard to spend her jail term with her   66 – 1  

(There are more bets… and you’ll need to visit Paddy for the latest odds… these were current when the blog was posted, and you never know when he’ll get a run on “cellphone exemption” bets…) 

My view: Never mock the afflicted! Leave the “poor” girl alone – although here’s a bit that made us laugh from an article in the latest Bluff (Poker) magazine. Commenting on the increased number of “World Series of Poker**” events – and the predicted smaller fields due to the US ban on Internet Poker play – a columist wrote:
 
“Winning a WSOP** bracelet is comparable to sleeping with Paris Hilton. Sure, regardless of what you think of her, as soon as you’ve finished moving “all in”, you’d be calling your friends and bragging about it (while speeding off to get tested at your nearest VD clinic). And sure, you’d rather have slept with her like, five or six years ago when the most people still thought she was hot and she had a little more allure…” 

By the way – rip over and check out PokerLabRat.com for our poker team’s test results and reviews on all the best online poker rooms.

**World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Harrah’s License Company, LLC (“Harrah’s”). Harrah’s does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with Red Card Media Limited trading as BookieLabRat.com or its products, services or promotions. 

LA Galaxy concerned over Beckham England recall

May 28th, 2007

Now some of you may just think this item is an excuse to show Beckham without his shirt for our female readers… 😉

David Beckham is he back in form?However, Los Angeles Galaxy general manager Alexei Lalas has said he is concerned David Beckham’s recall to the England team might interfere with his appearances for his new Major League Soccer club.

Beckham signed a five-year, 250-million-dollar deal with the Californian club earlier this season when he was out of favour with the England team. However England coach Steve McClaren has decided to recall the former England skipper for matches against Brazil on Friday at Wembley and then a Euro 2008 qualifier in Estonia the following Wednesday.

England have four crucial Euro 2008 qualifiers during September and October and that would put Beckham out of domestic action for the Major League Soccer outfit. Galaxy have sold thousands of season tickets on the back of his arrival, but Beckham’s surprise recall could mean he could be on duty for England against Israel, Russia twice and Estonia instead of playing in the MLS.

Lalas admits they are concerned over Beckham’s international situation from a business point of view, and hinted he may not be released for any non-competitive games. Lalas, speaking on BBC Radio Five’s Sportsweek programme, said:

“From a business perspective it is not the greatest news because we are selling the team with David Beckham and a lot of people are excited to see him play with the Galaxy […and no doubt without his shirt too…]. “We will deal with it from a business perspective, but for us to say one of our players is representing England internationally is a great thing.

“There are business challenges but there is an educated public here when it comes to this international game we play. [Americans? Really?] We recognise that when we are going out and getting these stars, they have responsibilities domestically and internationally.

The Galaxy chief added: “He recognises that responsibility to the Galaxy and to the sport in the United States. I represented my country and I know what it means […Good for you…but it’s not quite the same is it?]. It is something above money, it is something you take with you forever.”

Click to visit top European bookmaker GamebookersThanks to top bookie Gamebookers for the photo and item. Visit them here – or check out how their odds compare at BookieLabRat.com’s live odds checker here.

He’s blonde, he’s back and who cares?

May 27th, 2007

Click to visit PaddyPower to vote in this pollAfter the media frenzy yesterday over the recall of David Beckham to England’s squad for their forthcoming matches against Brazil and Estonia, top Irish online bookmaker Paddy Power has been running a poll that indicates so far that many punters just don’t care.

They’re “all Beckham’ed out” but no doubt will still be cheering if Becks does make a difference in England’s crucial Euro 2008 qualifer on June 6.

(Yeah, yeah, I know the number of votes is too low to be statistically significant…so if you want to add your 20p – click through to PaddyPower.com and place your vote to change it!)

On his sudden U-turn England Coach Steve McClaren said

“It is my decision and it is the decision I think is best for England to produce a winning team that the fans can be proud of.”

It is 289 days since McClaren marked his arrival as England manager by dumping Beckham in an attempt to distance himself from his predecessor Sven Goran Eriksson’s reign.

Whether Beckham will stay in the squad once he leaves Real Madrid remains to be seen and McClaren said: “That’s in the future, we’ve got to win in the short term, and concentrate on the next 10 days. “David comes as David Beckham the player, that’s what we want. We want him on the field doing what we know David can do. “He was absolutely delighted as I knew he would be. He’s been a total professional and he’s coming into form at the right time.”

Beckham’s presence overshadowed Michael Owen’s return to the squad for the first time in almost a year. The Newcastle striker has finally recovered from a knee injury, suffered during the World Cup in Germany, that kept him out for nearly the whole season.

Derby vs West Brom Money Back Offers

May 25th, 2007

Fred and Paddy are still at it – here are the latest competing cash back betting offers that are vying for a slice of your betting bankroll:

CLick to visit PaddyPower.com for more detailsClose Call Paddy:

If you back either Derby or West Brom to win in 90 minutes and they fail to win in normal time but lose on a penalty shootout, then Paddy Power will refund all win-draw-win bets on that team.

Max refund €300/£200 per customer. 

CLick to visit BetFred.com for more detailsPhoto Finish Fred:

Fred says it could be incredibly close, in fact he’s predicting a photo-finish and if Diomansy Kamara scores the last goal in 90 minutes Betfred will refund all losing correct score, first/last goalscorer and scorecast single stakes on the Derby v West Brom game as a free bet.

Maximum refund £100 (or currency equivalent) per customer.

BetFred.com and PaddyPower.com are top online bookies – check out comprehensive reviews of these 2 bookmakers and how they compare to others online at BookieLabRat.com.  

Punters beat Bet365 bookmakers in UEFA CL Final

May 25th, 2007

Punters beat Bet365 in Champions League finalBet365 suffered substantial losses of well over £450,000 on Wednesday night’s Champions League final as a successful gamble on AC Milan was landed.

The Italians defeated Liverpool 2-1 in Athens thanks to a brace from veteran striker Filippo Inzaghi and Bet365 spokesman Steve Freeth commented : “The punters landed a monumental gamble and we’ve felt the full force of it.”

 “Our 7/5 on Milan stood out like a sore thumb on Monday and punters took full advantage of our 103% margin. Milan eventually went off at 11/8 after peaking at 13/10 and we’ll be counting the cost well into the night.”

The great prices at Bet365 along with their financial security to make these payouts quickly are some of the reasons why Bet365 remain our #1 recommended bookmaker. 

Champions League player ratings

May 23rd, 2007

Player ratings after the Champions League final between AC Milan and Liverpool (marks out of 10)

Liverpool (4-5-1)

Jose Reina – 6
Could not be blamed for either of Milan’s goals. Otherwise had little to do.
Steve Finnan – 6
Industrious as ever at right-back but added little in terms of Liverpool’s forward movement.
Jamie Carragher – 6
Solid match but was caught out of position as Kaka set up Inzaghi for Milan’s second.
Daniel Agger – 5
Lucky to escape a first-half booking for crude challenge on Kaka, will share blame for Milan’s second goal.
John Arne Riise – 6
One good first-half shot whistled narrowly over the bar but exposed at times defensively.
Jermaine Pennant – 6
Lively in the first-half, came close to giving Liverpool an early lead with shot from tight angle. But poor crossing ensured he did not always make most of good positions.
Javier Mascherano – 7
Typically combative performance from the Argentinian. Ultimately could not contain Kaka but that has been the case for all his peers this season.
Xabi Alonso – 6
An impeccable first-half performance was blotted by the foul on Kaka which allowed Milan to take the lead.
Steven Gerrard – 6
Exuded drive and energy in second-striker role but finishing let him down when he failed to beat Dida with Liverpool’s best chance of an equaliser at 1-0.
Bolo Zenden – 4
Anonymous and may not have fully recovered from an ankle injury replaced after an hour by Harry Kewell, who made no greater impression on the left.
Dirk Kuyt – 5
Scored with a late header but lost his personal battle with Nesta and never really looked like generating openings for his team-mates.

… and given the long list of Liverpool stars set for summer axe we expect Reds boss Rafa Benitez is preparing a major overhaul of his squad.  Peter Crouch, Craig Bellamy, Sami Hyypia, Harry Kewell and Mark Gonzalez have reason to fear for their Anfield futures. Djibril Cisse and Anthony Le Tallec, having spent this season on loan, are clearly surplus to requirements. 

AC Milan (4-3-2-1)

Dida – 7
Flawless display capped by two important stops, from Jermmaine Pennant early on and Steven Gerrard midway through the second half.
Massimo Oddo – 6
Kept Bolo Zenden quiet and pushed forward occasionally
Alessandro Nesta – 8
Flawless display at the heart of the Milan defence, coped well with physical challenge of Dirk Kuyt
Paolo Maldini – 7
Equalled Francisco Gente’s record of eight European Cup final appearances and capped night to remember with display of all his defending experience.
Marek Jankulovski – 5
Pushed forward to good effect early on but defensive mistakes would have been costly if Liverpool had capitalised on them.
Gennaro Gattuso – 5
Not his usual influential self, picked up booking for crude challenge on Xabi Alonso.
Andrea Pirlo – 6
Never really sparkled against Liverpool’s packed defence but typically well-struck free-kick led to Milan’s crucial opener.
Massimo Ambrosini – 6
Busy ball-winning display in midfield, helped steady the ship as Milan held out after the break.
Clarence Seedorf – 6
Never got into the match, most of his best work done defensively.
Kaka – 7
No goals to add to the ten he plundered en route to the final but won the free-kick for Milan’s opener and then set up Inzaghi for the second.
Filippo Inzaghi – 8
Fully justified Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to start him ahead of Alberto Gilardino. Did not know much about the first goal but took the second like the great finisher he is.

British tycoon launches Newcastle takeover

May 23rd, 2007

British entrepreneur Mike Ashley on Wednesday launched a takeover bid for Newcastle United worth 133 million pounds (196 million euros, 265 million dollars) after netting almost half of the English Premiership club.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to invest in Newcastle United,” said Ashley, who struck a deal to buy 41.6 percent of the club that recently appointed former Bolton boss Sam Allardyce as its new manager.

Ashley’s takeover vehicle, St James Holdings Limited, has acquired more than 55 million shares, each priced at 100 pence, from Newcastle life president Sir John Hall and his family interests, according to a statement. The size of Ashley’s stake means he must make a bid, worth also 100 pence per share, for the remaining stock, of which almost 30 percent is owned by Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd.

A takeover of Newcastle would be a massive boost for the club, which despite regularly playing in front of 50,000 fans at its St James’ Park stadium in northeast England, has not won a major trophy since 1969.

Glen Roeder was sacked as manager of the Magpies earlier this month after a disappointing season in which Newcastle finished 13th in the Premiership. But the team that plays in black and white was always likely to struggle after losing England striker Michael Owen for all but the last few games of the campaign after he injured himself at the 2006 World Cup.

Newcastle is one of a number of Premiership clubs being sought by tycoons, mainly from abroad. Earlier this year US magnates George Gillett and Tom Hicks bought Liverpool for 438 million pounds. Liverpool was the third Premiership club to fall into US hands during the past two years after Manchester United was bought by the Glazer family and Aston Villa by tycoon Randy Lerner. But Peter Hill-Wood, chairman of Arsenal, is adamant that the London club will not end up the same way after American billionaire Stan Kroenke recently bought a large stake in the Gunners.

Premiership clubs are being bought at a time when income of each of the league’s 20 teams is set to rise by an average of more than ten million pounds per year following a record-busting overseas television rights deal. Booming demand from Asia and the Middle East has allowed the league to tie up contracts worth 625 million pounds for broadcasting rights for the next three years, boosting overall media income to 2.725 billion pounds, 60 percent above current levels.

Ahead of the 2007-08 season, former Thailand prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has emerged as the frontrunner in an anticipated takeover bid for Manchester City. In late 2006, an Icelandic consortium secured London side West Ham for 85 million pounds, a few years after this season’s FA Cup winners Chelsea was bought by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

Six of the Best… Champions League Final Promos

May 22nd, 2007

Here’s six of the best cash back offers and bookie giveaways on offer for the Champions League Final.

Paddy Power’s Too Close to Call
If you back AC Milan or Liverpool win in 90 minutes and they fail to win in normal time but lose on a penalty shootout, then Paddy Power will refund all win-draw-win (1X2) bets on that team only. Max refund €300/£200 per customer.  

GO TO PaddyPower.com

BetFred’s Deja Vu Deal 
BetFred will refund all losing correct score, first/last goalscorer and scorecast single bets on the Champions League Final, if Liverpool come from behind to lift the trophy!!  Maximum refund £100 (or currency equivalent) per customer

GO TO BetFred.com

VC Bet’s Don’t Pay the Penalty
Have a bet on the Correct Score or First Goalscorer and if the match reaches a PENALTY SHOOT-OUT Victor Chandler will refund your losing stake as a free bet to use on a future match!Max refund £100 (€150) per person per match.

GO TO Victor Chandler

SportingOdds Champions Bonus Night
Back the correct outcome of the Champions League Final (at end of 90 minutes) and you could win one of 100 £50 cash prizes. Back AC Milan, Liverpool or the Draw after 90 minutes, and if that outcome occurs, your bet will qualify for entry to win one of the prizes.

GO TO SportingOdds.com

Premierbet’s 2nd Chance
Champions League 2nd Chance on 1st Goal Scorer. If your selection doesn’t score 1st but scores 2nd Premierbet will still settle your bet as a winner.

GO TO Premierbet.com

Gamebookers’ Will History Repeat?
Gamebookers are offering you insurance against a repeat of this result in the 2007 Champions League final: They’ll refund all losing bets on Exact Score, up to €10 if the game stands at 3-3 after regular time   

GO TO Gamebookers.com 

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