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  1. It's as you were in the title race as the Reds were unable to close the gap on leaders City and needed to twice come from behind to even secure a draw. Chris Smith is joined by Julian Richards and TLW Editor Dave Usher to discuss the game and the implications of the result on the rest of the season. Do we need to change our approach against City now? Can we win out and even if we can, will it be enough?
  2. Liverpool has a proud and illustrious history in the pitch, winning trophies with the club and showing off their skills to thousands of adoring fans. Picking the best out of the bunch is always a struggle as there is so much talent, and we are convinced, there is also so much more to come. Liverpool players show immense talent, heart, and consistency. It’s no wonder that these players are some of the top to be bet on when players are betting at new online casino sites, like those found here. Here are the top 5 most under-rated legends of all time to have represented the mighty Reds. John Aldridge John Aldridge is a predatory striker from the late 1980s and he is the first player to kick off the list. He spent two-and-a-half years at the club, and he was recently announced as one of the best goalscorers in Liverpool’s history. He is known for wearing the No. 8 shirt on his back. Aldridge hit 63 goals in 104 games, and he was a major contributor to winning the 1987-88 league championship and the FA Cup the following season. He scored in the final at Wembley only a year later he missed a penalty on that same stage. John Aldridge left Liverpool for Real Sociedad in late 1989. Jack Balmer Jack Balmer was one of Liverpool’s early greats from the post-war era. He hit over 100 goals for Liverpool, despite losing parts of his career during the time of the way. Balmer helped Liverpool win the First Division league title in 46-47. One of his records comes from scoring hat-tricks in three consecutive matches during that campaign. Balmer became captain of the Reds until ’49 and played at the club until ’52. He left the club with 111 scored goals in 312 games. Ian Callaghan Callaghan is one of the most legendary figures of all time and he is the first-team player with the most appearances for the club, having played in 857 games. He spent almost two decades with the Reds, transforming from a young apprentice to then playing for the reserve team. He won five league titles, two FA Cups, two UEFA Cups, and two European Cups in the period from 1960 to 1978. He was also part of England’s successful 1966 World Cup-winning squad and he was awarded an MBE too. He scored 68 goals in his time at the club. Jimmy Case Jimmy Case made the breakthrough to the Reds in 1975 and he represented his side with distinction for 269 games, scoring 46 times. He played as a midfielder for Liverpool and was a great all-rounder player with a fearless approach with a defensive, technical, and aggressive ability to attack. He went on to win no less than three European Cups with the Reds. Case left Liverpool as a local hero in 1981. Dietmar Hamann Former central midfielder, Dietmar Hamann played 283 games for the Reds in his seven-year stay at Anfield. He also played a big role in the victorious 2005 Champions League. He acted as a protector to the Liverpool defence, and he was a consistent performer throughout. The former Germany international provided the base for more attack-minded members to join the Reds, knowing that they have great cover behind them at every moment during the game.
  3. tlw content

    It was like a boxing match

    At the press conference after the draw against Manchester City, Jürgen Klopp talked about the intensity of the game and what he thinks it will take for Liverpool to win the Premier League title. In the 2-2 match against Manchester City, Liverpool had many problems in the first half. Still, already after a minute of play in the second half, they equalized thanks to the great interplay between Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané. The tie result makes for great excitement in the rest of the Premier League matches in the season, as Manchester City leads the league with a single point above Liverpool. Looking at the odds offered by betting sites Canada found here, Manchester City is predicted to win, but anything can still happen. Like a boxing match When Jürgen Klopp met the press after the game, he was asked if he was unhappy with his team's performance in the first 45 minutes. - I was not dissatisfied, but I knew we could do better. It wasn't like I went into the dressing room and asked what we were doing. I know how intense it is. The level of concentration required in these games is unbelievable, he said, according to Liverpoolfc.com. - This was like a boxing match! Two heavyweights against each other, the second you let your guard down, you get a hard punch in the face, then you have to get up and try to regain control. That's what happened. - What we said at half-time was about how we needed to defend. We needed to be braver in certain situations. When we didn't do that, we couldn't put pressure on the ball carrier, and with perfectly timed runs, they could get in behind our backline. Pep Guardiola's reaction Pep Guardiola shared the feeling that it was two heavyweight boxers battling it out at Etihad. - Yes, Klopp likes these boxing matches. This was great publicity for the Premier League. Both teams wanted to win. I had a feeling we kept them alive, but it's a joy to watch Liverpool play, he told Sky Sports. - Now we have seven games left to play, and we have to win them all, or it's over. Guardiola was asked in a post-match interview if he had been inspired by Liverpool in his tactical choices ahead of the game. The Spaniard replied, "Yes, I like to be inspired by the best teams." - We don't own the style of play, so it's not a problem, Klopp said when the subject was raised at his press conference. - Who cares, City also get to hit balls in behind the backline. When you have the runs they have, I couldn't respect it more. Kevin De Bruyne... it's easy to hit the pass, but the timing of their runs wasn't bad, I must say. - We could have done it too, but we were in the mood to play. It's cool. It's about winning games, not about what style of play you show. There were moments when they played in a way they usually don't, but I thought it was a good idea. There are now seven rounds left in the Premier League. Like Guardiola, Klopp believes that seven wins are the key to a title challenge. - Yes, that's probably it. Nothing has changed for us. Back in January, we knew that if we wanted to win, we needed 18 wins, and if there was any game we could tick, it was this one. We ticked it, so now we'll see. - Now we have two huge games coming up, we have Benfica on Wednesday and City again on Saturday, and after that, the seriousness really starts. We have to be ready for our derbies. - But it feels good. We're where we want to be, and we're close to an incredibly good team. My guys showed today that we're really, really good, and as I've said a few times, you're completely screwed without a bit of luck every now and then. That's it. - We've been through this before. It wasn't even a point; it was a few millimetres here and against Burnley (which decided the league). The situation is what it is, and we can't do anything about it. What is required of us is basically perfection. To win seven games in a row in the Premier League is crazy.
  4. It's as you were in the title race as the Reds were unable to close the gap on leaders City and needed to twice come from behind to even secure a draw. Chris Smith is joined by Julian Richards and TLW Editor Dave Usher to discuss the game and the implications of the result on the rest of the season. Do we need to change our approach against City now? Can we win out and even if we can, will it be enough?
  5. The Reds have one foot in the Champions League semi finals as goals from Konate, Mané and Diaz gave Jurgen Klopp's men a healthy lead to take back to Anfield for next week's second leg. Your host Chris Smith is joined by Dan Thomas and John Gallagher as the lads look back on a great result in Lisbon before turning their attention to the massive game this Sunday at the Etihad.
  6. Report by Dave Usher I suppose it’s a measure of how great this team is and how much they’ve spoiled us that my over-riding feeling after a 3-1 away win in the first leg of a Champions League quarter final was mild annoyance. That’s ridiculous I know, and probably comes across as a bit “Sky Generation whopper”, but in my defence it wasn’t a case of me just demanding perfection and expecting us to win by five or six. It wasn’t that, it was just that it was so obvious from early on that this was a game where we could easily fill our boots so I just wanted the tie over, which would allow us to rest most of the big hitters in the second leg. I didn’t go into the game thinking that and I’d have happily taken 3-1 before kick off. It’s just that it was clear from early on that we could create chances at will and the second leg would be a formality if we hadn’t been so wasteful. In fairness it is actually close to being over anyway thanks to the late goal from Diaz, but the gulf between these two teams was so big for most of this game that this really ought to have been at least a five goal margin of victory. It wasn’t because we weren’t clinical, with Salah’s profligacy a particular concern ahead of this weekend’s trip to the Etihad. On the flip side of that, I’d probably be more worried about the weekend if we’d scored six or seven in this one, so I suppose I should be happy that we’ve held some back. That isn’t to say Benfica didn’t have their moments. They had a flurry in the second half after they scored and they made it uncomfortable for us for a 10-15 minute spell, but by the time that happened we really ought to have been completely out of sight. We completely dominated the first half without ever really hitting top gear and it had the feel of those games across the city when we spanked Porto. The only difference was we didn’t convert enough chances. Any time we went forward we looked like we’d fashion a chance but the finishing wasn’t up to scratch. Salah was lively but wasteful, Keita had a couple of efforts he didn’t make enough of and eventually it was left to the big fella to show them how it’s done when he planted a header into the bottom corner from a Robertson corner. That’s his first goal for us but this should be just the start. He’s going to be a threat on set-pieces, especially when the main focus for opponents is stopping Virgil. He ran off to celebrate near the corner flag, signalled for everyone to give him room and then he nailed a knee slide. Fabinho tried to copy it and ended up on the floor folded up like an accordion. He’s lucky he didn’t injure himself. Knee slides are so much more difficult than they look. I tried it once and ended up leaving two massive knee divots in the turf before I face planted. You’ve got to get your weight leaning backwards otherwise you end up like Fabinho. And me. This is just a teaser, click here to view the full article Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £3 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here.
  7. The Reds have one foot in the Champions League semi finals as goals from Konate, Mané and Diaz gave Jurgen Klopp's men a healthy lead to take back to Anfield for next week's second leg. Your host Chris Smith is joined by Dan Thomas and John Gallagher as the lads look back on a great result in Lisbon before turning their attention to the massive game this Sunday at the Etihad.
  8. Report by Paul Natton Listeners to the podcast will be familiar with the term “trap game”, the Americanism from US sports which Jules has used a number of times throughout the season to describe various forthcoming fixtures. Pre-match this theoretically had all the hallmarks of such a game, coming as it did immediately after an international break for a dreaded lunchtime kickoff, the atmospheres at which - as Klopp directly referenced beforehand - are never good. Throw into the mix the return of Roy Hodgson who, despite his mediocre Liverpool credentials, is no mug when it comes to setting up a relegation-threatened team to do a job against a bigger opponent, and you can see why this game fit the bill. And yet it didn’t, did it? It turned out to be exactly what the lads and I all felt it would be as we chatted outside the ground before kickoff: a very comfortable win where we dominated the game in second gear and came away with three points. Entertainment value was low, admittedly, but at this stage of the season with the stakes remaining high in all three competitions we’re still fighting for as we aim to go all the way in each, our predictions were precisely what transpired: turn up, keep the ball, score a goal or two and then go home with the points in the bag, the squad rotated and injuries avoided. Watford had two shots in the entire game. One was pretty comfortably saved by Alisson and the other was put a yard or two wide of the post. And that was it. That said, there was a relatively high degree of jitteriness around Anfield, particularly in the second half. I have to say though that I found this both frustrating and bewildering. The ball barely left our possession throughout the 90 minutes and indeed forays into our half were almost non-existent from Watford. Almost the only times the ball ended up back there was when we recycled possession to start again on the other side after a move had broken down. Maybe it’s the stakes involved in this potentially most exciting of Aprils or maybe it’s just the scars left by the non-event of last season, but either way, what I was watching in no sense merited the jitteriness on show from The Kop. We’ve seen this team for a good six years now and the trust should be there. There isn’t a flake amongst them and the quality levels are stratospherically high. The first goal came just before the midpoint of the first half and almost immediately after that save from Alisson. The ball was switched out to the right to Joe Gomez, who I have to say has been the best Trent stand-in of the season so far for me, despite the small evidence base. He put in a quality cross, taking advantage of the fact that his man did not close him down, and Jota darted between the right back and right centre half to score with what is now becoming a trademark header. With the first goal in the bag, the match reverted to the pattern already established of comfortable retention of the ball at a relatively sedate tempo that did not allow Watford much of an opportunity to even touch it, never mind approximate danger with it. Gomez and Robertson were pushed quite high up but not aggressively so, an indication to me of Klopp‘s intentions. There is no doubt he saw this game as simply a minor - albeit not insignificant - obstacle to be safely negotiated in order to get to more considerable challenges beyond. The ball was used and retained pretty well by our midfielders with Bobby dropping in to join them, delivering a pretty good version of the Bobby role. The thing that has consistently frustrated me about him over the last couple of years during his decline is not the lack of goals, as they were never really in abundance; rather it’s been the sloppiness on the ball, the propensity to give it away and the absence of his trademark physicality imposing itself on the opposition. I’m not saying this was a 10 out of 10 from him but it was definitely a seven, possibly approaching eight and that is a welcome and timely return to something approximating his true game. Hendo put in a decent showing in the middle and, even allowing for the paucity of opponent, Thiago was sensational, distributing the ball intelligently and with ease. Curtis though was subject to a few grumbles which are becoming a recurring theme. However, while he didn’t pull up any trees, I felt he played to instructions and was no better or worse than anybody else. It does concern me a little though that his age is not factored in to crowd expectations at times. That said, it goes with the territory doesn’t it? As I’ve said on the pod a number of times, these are the levels and if Curtis wants to be what he absolutely has the potential to be, which is a Scouse mainstay of a truly great Liverpool team, then he has to cope with the mental and possibly emotional challenges such an ambition presents, in addition to the physical and technical ones. He eventually made way in the second half for Fabinho, the scorer of the second goal. There was some indication that he’d taken a knock as he seemed to gesture towards the bench before going off but it did not seem especially serious and I can only hope it was merely a precautionary request. The penalty award for the second goal was a strange one which bemused everybody around me as it came quite late in terms of the timing of the VAR review and was described as a potential handball on the scoreboard at Anfield. Only on getting back home again to rewatch the key moments on telly did I see the absolutely blatant foul on Jota and the penalty was obviously deserved. The finish by Fabinho showed exactly why he was the designated penalty taker at Monaco: it was hit at pace into the side netting of the top corner of the goal and Foster had absolutely no chance. Class - and with that the match was as good as over with the restart coming right on the 90 minutes and the final four minutes of added time then negotiated comfortably. So all in all this was exactly the kind of performance the pros always laud when commentating or analysing on TV. Dare I say it, it’s also exactly the kind of performance which in retrospect title winners look back on as one of those “job done, move on” performances. I would absolutely take more of the same on Tuesday night against Benfica if it left us with plenty in the tank for the huge game against Manchester City next weekend. That said, given the way our month looks, I’d really like us to make the Anfield game almost a dead rubber. Either way, we should go strong on Tuesday. So overall, a good result and we move on. Star man is the sublime Thiago but just before I close, a special word for Ben Foster. Not only is he that now rarity of an opposing goalkeeper who visibly applauds The Kop before kickoff without a hint of embarrassment that his own fans may see, but he added the classy touch of giving the practice ball which he’d retained until the very cusp of kickoff to a child in The Kop who was clearly delighted. Really nice touch from a guy who has been vocally praising the Reds for quite some time now. So another obstacle at the business end of what could be a unique and legendary season is overcome. More of this please Reds. On to Tuesday… Team: Alisson; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Jones (Fabinho), Thiago (Milner); Salah (Mané), Firmino, Jota:
  9. The Reds briefly went to the top of the table after an uninspiring but largely stress free win over Roy Hodgson's Watford. It wasn't pretty but a 12.30 kick off following an international break is rarely conducive to flowing football so goals from Jota and Fabinho were just what the doctor ordered. Chris Smith is joined by Julian Richards and Paul Natton to pick through the bones of this one and look ahead to Benfica in midweek as well as casting an eye towards the huge fixture next weekend at the Etihad.
  10. So that’s how the biggest month in our history begins; not with a bang, but with a whimper (of sorts). The very fact that Roy Hodgson was involved cut the irony so thick you could build a mansion on it. Yet it plagued certain pessimistic red minds (who, me?) with unsettling foreboding. Yes, the possession stats, yes, the attempts at goal blah blah blah. Don’t tell me you’ve not been waiting for the one, thunderbolt, Gerrard-esque moment that’ll scupper everything. When it all seems to be going your way, that only gives some of us one more ulcer. It’s genetic. We’ve come through the international break unscathed. Well, relatively. There was Keita, but that goes down in the book before it happens nowadays. Salah’s took another blow, with the obligatory extra time and pens and Sadio clincher. If they weren’t exactly bosom buddies before, it’ll be tense now. Trent’s injury was supposed to put him out for weeks, but there he was on the bench on Saturday. Hallelujah, praise the Lord! Ferguson must have given up the same miracle prayer he offered for Giggs on so many occasions. Though that seems less likely than Liverpool messed England around. Hardly surprising when Southgate has been so ambivalent about Alexander-Arnold in the past. There’s a case for both sides, and it may even be offering Gomez a way back into both teams. He’s certainly got the crossing down pat, that was a superb goal and there could/should have been others. I always felt with Joe there’s a dopey, complacent snafu around the corner. Not of a Traore standard, of course, more of an “I’m too sexy for my shirt” vibe. Even with those mutton chops. You’re not Wolverine, mate…… The semi final with City will still be at Wembley, the pig ignorance of the FA still awe-inspiring in its totality. I suppose when you’ve actually killed people, gridlock and empty seats are sort of a triumph. During the Watford game you got a sense of premature let-down, that Super April really deserved a better curtain raiser. It called for an efficient performance, no frills or thrills. That’s exactly what it got. Watford stayed deep and shot out of the traps at any Liverpool stumble, which was worryingly frequent. Better teams will punish that, so you hope complacency is all it is, given what’s coming next. Curtis Jones is in a quandary, like he needs to impress on the odd occasion he gets a start. Klopp must surely be saying that simple and patient is okay by him, either that or the lad’s too dense to listen. You would have got unprofitable odds for “Subbed on 60”. Thiago’s a better example, the Barcelona plod ideal for stubborn opposition who won’t come out to play and need unpicking. Even he has moments, the back pass at Arsenal and the slide to keep the ball in for a rare Watford attack. Ninety minutes’ total concentration is obviously impossible, so we play the percentages and hope for the best, especially when the second goal won’t come. They all do it now, sit there and just wait for a gift. As with West Ham, Watford had a bit of a cheek claiming they had been ahem robbed. Hodgson griped about a penalty that changed the score-line, not the result. That he even contested the decision would indicate relegation panic – or senility. Because we’re so good now, perceptions are skewed and teams barely in the game are presented as coming soooo close. Aggravating, but we’ve seen matches in the past when Liverpool were described as “plucky” and this is infinitely better. Salah was sluggish, again trying too much when a pass looked on. He needs a rest, won’t take one. The manager’s kid gloves may be the way to go, and with the 30 days we’ve got coming up, perhaps rest is a pipedream anyway. There are options, which is the important thing. Burnley held out for a whole ten minutes, reviving sour memories of 2019. That wasn’t a title ‘race’, it was more of a shuffle. Win followed by win followed by win. I could go on… Next Sunday can and probably will break that sequence, so it may not be like three years ago. It could be more like 2014. Gulp etc. Steve Kelly @SteKelly198586 View full article
  11. tlw content

    Terrace Talk - The Steve Kelly Column

    So that’s how the biggest month in our history begins; not with a bang, but with a whimper (of sorts). The very fact that Roy Hodgson was involved cut the irony so thick you could build a mansion on it. Yet it plagued certain pessimistic red minds (who, me?) with unsettling foreboding. Yes, the possession stats, yes, the attempts at goal blah blah blah. Don’t tell me you’ve not been waiting for the one, thunderbolt, Gerrard-esque moment that’ll scupper everything. When it all seems to be going your way, that only gives some of us one more ulcer. It’s genetic. We’ve come through the international break unscathed. Well, relatively. There was Keita, but that goes down in the book before it happens nowadays. Salah’s took another blow, with the obligatory extra time and pens and Sadio clincher. If they weren’t exactly bosom buddies before, it’ll be tense now. Trent’s injury was supposed to put him out for weeks, but there he was on the bench on Saturday. Hallelujah, praise the Lord! Ferguson must have given up the same miracle prayer he offered for Giggs on so many occasions. Though that seems less likely than Liverpool messed England around. Hardly surprising when Southgate has been so ambivalent about Alexander-Arnold in the past. There’s a case for both sides, and it may even be offering Gomez a way back into both teams. He’s certainly got the crossing down pat, that was a superb goal and there could/should have been others. I always felt with Joe there’s a dopey, complacent snafu around the corner. Not of a Traore standard, of course, more of an “I’m too sexy for my shirt” vibe. Even with those mutton chops. You’re not Wolverine, mate…… The semi final with City will still be at Wembley, the pig ignorance of the FA still awe-inspiring in its totality. I suppose when you’ve actually killed people, gridlock and empty seats are sort of a triumph. During the Watford game you got a sense of premature let-down, that Super April really deserved a better curtain raiser. It called for an efficient performance, no frills or thrills. That’s exactly what it got. Watford stayed deep and shot out of the traps at any Liverpool stumble, which was worryingly frequent. Better teams will punish that, so you hope complacency is all it is, given what’s coming next. Curtis Jones is in a quandary, like he needs to impress on the odd occasion he gets a start. Klopp must surely be saying that simple and patient is okay by him, either that or the lad’s too dense to listen. You would have got unprofitable odds for “Subbed on 60”. Thiago’s a better example, the Barcelona plod ideal for stubborn opposition who won’t come out to play and need unpicking. Even he has moments, the back pass at Arsenal and the slide to keep the ball in for a rare Watford attack. Ninety minutes’ total concentration is obviously impossible, so we play the percentages and hope for the best, especially when the second goal won’t come. They all do it now, sit there and just wait for a gift. As with West Ham, Watford had a bit of a cheek claiming they had been ahem robbed. Hodgson griped about a penalty that changed the score-line, not the result. That he even contested the decision would indicate relegation panic – or senility. Because we’re so good now, perceptions are skewed and teams barely in the game are presented as coming soooo close. Aggravating, but we’ve seen matches in the past when Liverpool were described as “plucky” and this is infinitely better. Salah was sluggish, again trying too much when a pass looked on. He needs a rest, won’t take one. The manager’s kid gloves may be the way to go, and with the 30 days we’ve got coming up, perhaps rest is a pipedream anyway. There are options, which is the important thing. Burnley held out for a whole ten minutes, reviving sour memories of 2019. That wasn’t a title ‘race’, it was more of a shuffle. Win followed by win followed by win. I could go on… Next Sunday can and probably will break that sequence, so it may not be like three years ago. It could be more like 2014. Gulp etc. Steve Kelly @SteKelly198586
  12. The Reds briefly went to the top of the table after an uninspiring but largely stress free win over Roy Hodgson's Watford. It wasn't pretty but a 12.30 kick off following an international break is rarely conducive to flowing football so goals from Jota and Fabinho were just what the doctor ordered. Chris Smith is joined by Julian Richards and Paul Natton to pick through the bones of this one and look ahead to Benfica in midweek as well as casting an eye towards the huge fixture next weekend at the Etihad.
  13. Casino gaming continues to be on the rise. The online casino accounts 40 percent of the iGaming market in the United Kingdom and generates more than £5.7 billion in revenue each year. Most online casino players enjoy games from their mobile phones, they are also able to play from desktops, tablets and even smart televisions. The number of mobile casino sites and apps makes casino gaming very accessible to sports fans. While many choose to play at home, an increasing number access these games while travelling, while at a pub or club or when at a dog or horse race track. Sports fans enjoy many different activities of this type, including wagering on eSports competitions. It has been noticed that many of the new players joining casino sites are individuals with an interest in sports and sports wagering. There are a number of factors that could be at play in creating this trend. Around 9 percent of adults in the United Kingdom have placed a bet on eSports gaming competitions and the market appears to be growing at an average rate of 8.5 percent year. Younger players have a particular interest in eSports, with around one fifth of those aged 18-34 having bet on it. Why do so many of those that place bets on eSports and sports also play games on online casino sites? The thrill and excitement of casino gaming One reason for this trend is the sense of thrill and excitement that comes with gaming. These casino games have great interactive features, bonuses and high quality immersive graphics. On casinos like Rainbow Riches, players can find fast paced, fun games like online slots to enjoy. There are a variety of other games to suit all interests from poker and blackjack to baccarat and roulette. Sports fans usually have a preference for one or two sports, so outside competition and tournament times they have free time to visit online or land based casinos. Casino games provide that same mental stimulation and fun that they crave. Sports fans are naturally competitive individuals Whether they like to watch golf, cricket, football or tennis, one thing all sports enthusiasts have in common is their competitiveness. They like to win, achieve victory over their opponent and see constant improvements in performance. Online casino gaming is great for those with a competitive personality. In games like blackjack, players are in competition with the house, while in poker they also compete with their opponents around the table. The aim of each game is to win a jackpot. While the outcome of many casino games is highly reliant on luck, some also require the development of strategy and skill. For example, being successful at poker in the long term requires a certain amount of skill. The best poker players will train themselves through watching tutorials, reading guides and engaging forums in order to refine their strategies. The best players may decide to take part in online tournaments. Some professional players also sign up for world famous events like the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour, these tournaments are even broadcast on sports channels like ESPN or streamed online for fans to watch. Sense of community Sports fans will feel a sense of community when spending time with people that support the same team or enjoy the same sports as them. The same is true in the casino gaming world, players will spend time bonding over games and gaming tips on online chats and forums, or even at in-person events. By playing casino games, sports fans have the opportunity to meet new people and develop interests outside of sport. Sports themed casino games Lastly, one final reason why casino games are so popular with sports is the range of sports themed games. For example, online slots are one type of casino game that are themed around specific sports or sporting competitions. One popular slot theme is football, there are games that use symbols and messaging from Premier League football. Another theme is Wimbledon, which is particularly popular with fans of tennis. For those who watch motorsports, there are rally themed slot games. These slots sometimes have mini-games within them that give the opportunity to enjoy a virtual version of the sport. It isn’t only slot games that are created with sports in mind, other classic casino games have been adapted too. One unusual yet fun game that can be found online is a Darts casino game that is a mixture between virtual darts and the wheeling spinning game roulette. Casino gaming continues to gain popularity around the world and sports fans are one of the groups that are driving the growth in this market. As the variety and accessibility of games continues to improve, so too will the number of players.
  14. Absolutely loads to get through as there seemed to be games every day over this past week or so. Initially I wasn’t going to do the Round Up this week as I’ve had a lot of family stuff going on and didn’t think I’d have time, but the international break has given me some leeway and because so much happened this week I felt like I needed to do this. Ok, full disclosure, I had to do it just because of the buck toothed bolt cutter guy at Goodison. I couldn’t not have my say on that. I’ll get to that in due course but I’ll go in order and pick things up from the Saturday before last. Ronaldo bagged a hat-trick as United beat Spurs 3-2 despite being second best for most of the game. That’s what they are though. A poor team who rely on ‘moments’. Ronaldo is someone who still can provide plenty of moments, when he isn’t fucking off back to Portugal in a huff after refusing to sit on the bench that is. He put them ahead with a 25 yarder that I think Lloris should have done better with. The bigger problem was no-one closing him down, but still, Lloris is such a bum these days. You know, I don’t actually mind Ronaldo scoring because when it happens we all get to laugh at all the grown men yelling “SIIIUUUUUUU”. That’s as pathetic as anything you’ll find in any stadium in the land. Just pure cringe. Spurs levelled with a Kane penalty after a handball by Dalot. Or Telles. Not sure, I get those shite United full backs mixed up all the time. I couldn’t pick either of them out of a line up to be honest. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen either of their faces, I just see their name on the teamsheet and always think “is he the shit one, or the even more shit one?” Ronaldo made it 2-1 when Sancho broke the offside trap and squared for him. Amazingly, Ronaldo didn’t do the “SIIIIUUUUUU” shit for once and instead celebrated with his team-mates. Not sure I’ve ever seen that before. Not even joking. It seemed weird watching it. Some of his team-mates were looking around confused, probably expecting four fellas on horses to suddenly appear. Normal service was quickly resumed as Hapless Maguire put through his own net to bring Spurs level. Is it me or is he pushing double figures for oggies now? Feels like it’s every other week. He’s so accident prone it’s bordering unbelievable now. He’s like a footballing Mr Bean. Ronaldo bailed him out with a thumping header to win the game. Again, he didn’t do the “SIIIUUUUU” crap but he did give it the solo celebration and the whole “look at me, I’m the fucking man” routine. I reckon he jibbed off the “SIIIIUUUUUU” because even he was embarrassed at having fifty thousand grown men doing it with him. Tom Brady was in attendance and met with Ronaldo afterwards, causing twitter virgins everywhere to go into “GOAT MEETS GOAT” overload. Ronaldo actually has a lot more in common with DeShaun Watson and Ben Roethlesberger than he does Tom Brady. One for the NFL fans among you there. This is just a teaser, click to view the full article Please note that PL Round Ups are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £3 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here.
  15. tlw content

    Reds Can Draw On 2019 Euro Experience

    With much of the same squad still available to manager Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool will be able to draw plenty from their 2019 Champions League success. The Reds have a settled squad and with that experience from three years ago in the locker, there’s plenty of optimism this side can go all the way in Europe’s elite competition once again. Core Group Still At Anfield Such has been the success at Liverpool in recent years it’s not surprising that not many have decided to move on to pastures new since the last Champions League success in the 2018-19 campaign. Liverpool are currently priced at odds of 49/20 to win the tournament, according to the outright markets for betting on the Champions League. Many a Champions League prediction would have backed the Reds to challenge for the trophy and, with the wealth of experience in the squad, it’s easy to see why. From the starting lineup that beat Tottenham in the 2019 final, only Georginio Wijnaldum left for pastures new. However, Wijnaldum’s move to Paris Saint-Germain has not gone according to plan and the Dutchman himself has accepted he may have been better staying at Anfield. With the rest of the starting XI still mainstays in the first-team under Klopp, the current side knows exactly what it takes to go all the way in the Champions League. With their Premier League title success in the 2019-20 season, the winning mentality has only grown at Anfield, as Liverpool have established themselves as one of the top teams in Europe once again. While the Reds had to battle to finish second in their group back in the 2018-19 campaign, they managed to win all of their pool games this season. Home and away wins over AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and FC Porto show how far this team has come. Overcoming Inter Milan in the last 16 was no easy task either, but again, the Reds saw off the challenge of the Serie A champions to reach the quarter-finals. Duo Provide Added Quality While Klopp knows his players can look to their past experiences in Europe to help them in their quest for Champions League glory this season, there are some newer faces who have added quality to the squad. Diogo Jota is enjoying his second season at Anfield and has managed to force his way into being a regular starter under Klopp. Jota has edged ahead of Roberto Firmino in the pecking order at Anfield and is shining alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. The arrival of Luis Diaz over the January transfer window has also come as a massive boost for Liverpool in their hopes of domestic and European glory this season. Diaz has hit the ground running since his arrival from Portuguese giants Porto and has added further quality to Liverpool’s outstanding attacking lineup. With Jota and Diaz’s abilities, added to a squad that has already lifted the Champions League trophy, there is rightly optimism about what Klopp’s men can achieve in Europe this season.
  16. Another week another step closer to a possible quadruple. The Reds overcame a below par first half to win comfortably at Arsenal in midweek and then edged past a spirited Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup to book a semi final date with Man City. Chris Smith is joined by Julian Richards and TLW Editor Dave Usher to recap an eventful week in this bumper length edition of the pod.
  17. Report by Dan Thomas Not pretty but there’s one important thing about cup ties – getting your name into the hat for the next round. Team selection, performance and everything else can be discussed at a later date. Just win. Of course, we had an extra incentive to overcome Nottingham Forest given that we’d been given a date with Manchester City in the semi-final draw and we did our part to meet them at Wembley next month. Even when not at our best (Inter, West Ham, Arsenal, Forest) and even without a full strength team, we have again become a results machine. Another clean sheet notch on our tomahawk and our first FA Cup semi-final since Lovren blazed the ball into Wembley Retail Park in the last minute of injury time against Villa. And yes, by the fact I have recalled it so vividly means I am not even close to being over it! It wasn’t a terrible performance but there were some really terrible individual displays. Firmino and Jota in particular absolutely stunk the place out. I have come to expect that of Firmino now, he frustrates me beyond all reason and I hate myself for getting annoyed with him because he’s Bobby. Jota has been grim since coming back from that short layoff with his ankle but did what Jota the Slotter does – comes up with the big play, puts it in the net, wins the game. But in terms of the performance, I certainly didn’t peg us as “Lucky Liverpool” or anything like that – we did enough to win that game comfortably. For the most part we played on the front foot, controlled the ball and dictated the tempo of the game. I think that is probably the best that Forest could have played against us, they worked their balls off and their fans were right up for it. And that’s not intended to be patronising or disrespectful to them, that is genuinely better than some of the teams in the Premier League manage. They were brave, tried to press us and weren’t afraid to play out even though we nicked the ball on more than one occasion. In reality, if we would have gone up a gear and maybe had Salah out there, we would have won 3-0 with ease. We made plenty of chances but our finishing was profligate, our decision making lacking and our final ball off the mark. Even without Salah and Mané we shouldn’t have won the game in the manner we did because we had the chances to make it comfortable, but win we did. I hate the FA Cup these days. It’s full of commentating cliches, the normalising of dickheads running on the pitch and ThE MaGiC of The CuP excusing incredible refereeing decisions. But we are long overdue a run like this in the FA Cup – it just so coincides with us going all the way in the Carabao Cup and having the best draw we could hope for in the Champions League. It’s all going a bit 2001, when every game was of critical importance. But before I start going down that fork in memory lane, to the game at the City Ground. Beforehand I was wracking my brains for the last time we won there and I couldn’t remember when – easy reason for that, the last time we won there was 1984, a few months before I was born! Our record there was pretty bleak, even the 87/88 team lost there and we all know how highly regarded those boys are. Even when they were getting beat 8-1 at home in 1999, we were contriving to draw 2-2 with them. I completely forgot about van Hooijdonk scoring an injury time free kick the last time we played them all those years ago until John Gallagher brought it up before. Getting jobbed out almost every week until the 1999 Reds come to town… And we haven’t played them since. 23 years have passed and the Forest fans were right up for it. I had this down as a hard game. Not because this is the best Forest team ever or anything, but because they are well organised, play at high intensity and we were obviously going to rotate. The team was about what I expected, the biggest surprise was probably Elliott starting on the right. That was the first time I’ve watched him play and thought he looked out of place. He has excelled in the centre of midfield for us this season before the long injury layoff so I can only think we put him out there to “do a job” and get some minutes under his belt as he has not really played all that much since he came back. I’d take Elliott “doing a job” wide right over Ox any day of the week! Gomez at right back was an enforced change. He had a perfectly fine game but when in good positions, the ball in wasn’t of the same standard as you’d get from Trent, which is to be expected of course. Had Trent been fit I expect Gomez would have partnered Konaté. But up against the tricky Brennan Johnson, who I am assured is currently the talk of Nottingham, he was assured apart from a daft booking late on. So it was no surprise that they came flying out of the blocks backed by a raucous crowd. Even though they are very much in the Championship playoff picture, Forest were up for the cup. They had already seen off Arsenal and embarrassed rivals Leicester City in earlier rounds and though massive underdogs, fancied their chances of getting amongst us and giving us a scare. They would have felt emboldened by seeing no Mo or Sadio either starting or on the bench. But despite them really getting into it for the first ten minutes, it all felt a bit like bluster. And again, no disrespect intended to Forest there. But they had the odd dangerous ball in and that was your lot for most of the game – except for the last ten minutes which I will get to in a bit. Everything they did was via that Brennan Johnson kid, who was flitting between the left and the right. He was quick and skilful and looks like one to watch, but their fast start fizzled out and once we started to knock the ball around we looked like we were going to take control. We threatened here and there, some nice moves down the right in particular got Gomez into good positions but the final ball wasn’t right. Jota was almost through but Worrall got back to nick the ball. Or not – I still can’t decide whether or not he got the ball and if he didn’t then it should have been a penalty. But really, The Slotter should have hit that earlier than he tried to anyway. Tsimikas had a good effort whistle just over as well. I like Kostas, he has a really good left foot on him and I reckon he is going to score a screamer one of these days. The biggest chance of the half and probably the game was put on a golden platter for us by Jack Colback, who lost the ball in a dangerous position on half way and Firmino was put clean through. I didn’t think he was going to score at any point. He had all the time in the world and instead of firing it low and hard, which is hard for any goalkeeper to get to, I thought he tried to dummy to go round the keeper before changing his mind. He then just clipped it straight at the keeper who reacted well enough to get the ball away. It was a really, really bad miss and at the time of the game, it would have put us in full control. This is just what Bobby is now I’m afraid. He scored that lovely goal at Arsenal in midweek when he had no time whatsoever to think and today he has made a mess of a straight run in on goal. Is there such a thing as too much time? It’s something I hear a lot but it was not the finish of someone confident or in form. But this is who he is now – infuriating, inconsistent and adding to my growing legion of grey hairs by missing simple chances. The second half was the same as the first – Forest came flying out and eventually we wrestled back control. However, I didn’t think it was assured and Jurgen decided to empty the bench just after the hour. I think that we usually make the right sub at the right time, but I thought we became worse despite making what most of us were probably thinking would be the right changes. Thiago to control, Henderson to set the tempo and a change of formation with Firmino going up top with Jota, Minamino and Diaz just behind him. But it didn’t work did it? Whilst we were not hanging on by any means, we didn’t smother control of the game like I was expecting. I thought all of the substitutions were the right ones to make but we looked frankly ragged and chaotic for long spells after they were made. We were almost caught out on the break with Tsimikas upfield on a lightning Forest counter. Johnson got in down the right and put over a perfect ball but Zinckernagel put it wide when perfectly placed. It was a really terrible miss, he didn’t even hit the target. Forest were always going to get one big chance and that was it. The same thing happened on Wednesday at The Emirates. Lacazette missed a huge chance and then we go down the other end and score not long after. It was a lovely goal. Henderson nicked the ball, Tsimikas put it into a perfect area cutting back onto his wrong foot and Jota’s finish was predatory. I didn’t celebrate initially as it looked offside and to be honest, I haven’t seen an angle that leads me to believe it was onside. But it was given without too much ado so I can only think the jabronis in Stockley Park had got their protractors out and quickly decided it was onside. It was what we deserved, we’d had the chances throughout the game, but extra time was starting to loom large and it was a goal not in keeping with Jota’s performance. He was rotten. But it was the exact kind of goal he scores – Jota the Slotter. Of course, we can’t have a Championship vs Premier League team without “controversy” and I have to make a confession – I thought Mr Pawson refereed the game well. I don’t think our game management was anything to shout about (and I am not so sure it has been all season to be honest) and we gave away three big chances in the last 5 minutes. The biggest was Ryan Yates’ “penalty” shout. I have to give Mr Pawson a lot of credit for spotting the clear dive by Yates. He left his feet in to try and manufacture contact. It’s as crystal clear an example as you’ll see of it and the referee bought none of it. Whilst the commentators screeched for a penalty (until they saw the replay) I had my heart in my mouth but the bum in Stockley Park didn’t get involved for once. It was ragged defending from us and Yates had a lot of space to get into. Alisson was kind of nowhere as well but a goal kick was the right decision – I thought this kind of cheating was supposed to be an automatic yellow now and treated like a dive? Yates had a header straight down Alisson’s throat as well thankfully and Cafu (big thanks to Lee Dixon for pointing out that it’s not *that* Cafu as I was confused…) blazed over from a tight angle late on. Again, credit to Forest for keeping going and being a threat until the very end but that was always going to be the case in a cup game. We should have sealed it with the last kick of the game, but Jota succinctly summed up his performance by blazing the ball into the Trent (no Lee, not *that* Trent) when well placed. He was honestly absolutely awful. But again, two goals in a week despite two stinking performances. I was relatively confident we would win this but knew it would be a challenge. We can rotate many parts of this team seamlessly but there’s a big drop off when Trent doesn’t play and with better delivery we would have won that game much more comfortably with the openings we made in the first half. Forest are no mugs, they are right up in the playoff picture and they played about as well as they could and showed us respect but no fear. Had we been on it, they might have got a smacking, but we weren’t and we had a really edgy last ten minutes when they were coming at us time and time again. We didn’t play well following the substitutions and Jurgen must have been really frustrated at that. But any win is a good win, especially in the business end of the season which we are now undoubtedly in. We now have a two week rest. I am one of the biggest moaners about the international breaks but it feels like we need this one a bit. We are a momentum team but it feels like we need to recharge physically and mentally before we go over the top. April is one of the biggest months in the club’s history. We might well need to go 100% in the league to win it, we have a two legged tie against Benfica and we have an Easter weekend showdown with City in the semi-final, a stage in the competition in which they aren’t always the best. It feels apart from the Leeds game we haven’t played too well for the last month or so, and I am hoping a rest allows us to get ready for final after final. The Star Man for me is a tough pick but I will go with Fabinho. I was surprised when he went off and I do think that maybe that was why we looked a bit more ragged after the subs. We always look more balanced when he is on the field. You could always make the argument to give it to the match winner but I am not giving it to Jota under any circumstances after that stinker! But again, it’s a great sign that we can gnash our teeth at the performance but we won yet again. Keep the clean sheets coming! Team: Alisson; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho (Henderson), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Thiago), Keita (Diaz); Elliott (Minamino), Firmino, Jota:
  18. Everyone thought at least once in their lifetime how nice it would be to just win money. Many people tested their luck in betting and gambling, but many have failed to get rich. There are people that managed to trick the system and get notorious for it. Think about the card counters in casinos and their winnings. Good card counters are usually kicked pretty fast because the casinos end up losing money on them. Some people think that there are no definitive ways of getting money from betting. Of course, one can make a pretty good and educated guess who will win or lose in sports. However, these guesses still do not yield a 100% win rate. To get certain winds from betting, you should consult matched betting. This technique is no secret or something that will get you kicked out. It is one of the best ways of getting money online, and here is a guide that will help you understand how. No chances When it comes to matched betting, it is not your usual betting. Betting is associated with taking risks and chances that are not present in matched betting. In matched betting, you profit from the free benefits that betting sites offer to beginners. The usual offers give you a certain amount of money after you place a certain bet. By placing bets according to an equation, you minimize the risk of losing your money. After the bet is done, you can collect the bonus money devoid of taxes. You can accomplish this by placing bets on all of the possible outcomes. There are much better guides out there that explain how to do it through mathematical equations. These sites also offer you complete odds revision, so you can know what you are getting yourself into. The simplest example would be a football match. By placing an equal bet on both teams, you lose the money from the loser and win from the winner. In sum, you do not lose any of your invested money and get the bonus for free. Earnings You can not lose any kind of money this way because you do not rely on chances. The amount of money you can earn through matched betting varies on the site. Overall, you can not get rich overnight this way, but imagine the following. Would it not be nice to get around $25 tax-free for doing basically nothing? This is from one website, and there are plenty of websites out there that offer these beginner bonuses. With time and using the guides that offer you an insight into the odds, you can get a fair amount of cash. You can use this cash either for your own needs or you can invest it into something else. No matter what the case is, you are not losing money, you are always in a surplus of money. By using these certain wins wisely, you can get even more money. The important thing is not to fall into the gambling loophole with these bonuses. The bonuses are there in the first place to trick people into thinking they can win even more with the bonus. Legality In almost any area, matched betting is completely legal. The bookmakers might not like it, but that is not your problem. You can not get any kind of penalty by the country if you start making money from matched betting. You are just collecting money that is rightfully yours while making bets that go into your favor. It would be like asking if it is legal to use coupons regularly in stores. Just because a big corporation is not getting more money should not make you feel guilty. Ethics This was mentioned earlier, why do these bonuses even exist. These bonuses are a clear trap to lure people to start betting. Why would you not want to actually exploit the people that exploit others? There is nothing ethically wrong with matched betting and the money you get from it. You are taking something that they offer you, it is literally yours for the taking. The betting sites try to make you feel guilty, but do not fall for it. Think about how many people they are exploiting with their mere existence. Many people have talked about matched betting before. Be it in more detail or less detail, it all brings the fact of how legitimate this technique is. This guide serves as a way to introduce you to the most important concepts of matched betting. With it, you can understand why this money is secure and why there is nothing wrong with this technique.
  19. A week is a long time in football. At Brighton, Luis Diaz was taken to the cleaners, and they recommended nothing should happen to the man who did it. At Forest, VAR was once again trying to drop trophies in our lap. Normal disservice has been resumed. We beat Arsenal, and for perpetual gloom-mongers like me there was far too much clarion calling, “City will be bricking it” nonsense. You’d like to think everybody was recharging their own fortitude, that they realise what we’re up against; a winning machine no-one’s ever seen in football before. But you can’t frown too much about our own chest-beating; a team that’s only lost two league games through to March isn’t too shabby, either. There’s been yet more exaggeration of our opponent’s performances. Seems the more wins we get the luckier people think we are. The 1980’s finally make sense. Some of the reaction during and after the Emirates match, you’d think we were battered but for, y’know, the evidence of your own eyes. They’re good, they’re in form, they were at home; expecting a stroll in the park was foolish, but once your heartbeat fell below 100 after Thiago’s madness and Jota was back on track, there was little to worry about. You knew my boy Diogo was going to go through a barren patch, because what had gone before was too good to be a fluke. We’ve said that about Mo for three years and still await a dip. The first half was lame. Diaz is in form, but I wonder if Mane reacted badly to having his position taken off him quite so soon? Was this a response to Luis’ brilliance or Sadio’s current lethargy? This intricate thread of rotation, and competition for places, depends greatly upon footballer maturity, often in short supply, and Mane’s not exactly been the breezy sort where that’s concerned. Robertson was exceptional, creating the second and dealing with Saka throughout. Trent had more problems with Martinelli, as might have been expected. Klopp got stroppy about his defending, inviting critics to “put ‘em urrrp”, like the lion in The Wizard of Oz. I had visions of him coming round to my house for a straightener! You can’t complain about our collective defensive record, and Andy always has Van Dijk to rely on after the odd lapse. Everything’s good, but people are bound to focus on any weakness they can find, out of boredom, probably. We’ll soon find out what we’re missing, anyway. You hope it’s one of those sly international ‘injuries’, followed by a coincidental miracle. Giggs did it all the time with United. If his replacement (probably Gomez) struggles, Klopp won’t be going “See? See?” for the Alexander-Arnold doubters, obviously, since he was the one who felt we could send Williams off to Fulham without a qualm. I don’t remember many complaints then, but the idea of a quadruple was laughable at the time. So, to Forest, and a nice gesture for the Hillsborough memorial. It will only be bitter curmudgeons like me who remember what most of them were like in 1994, when Clough’s book came out. He opened the floodgates, and the bullshit poured out. He was their Shankly, so ambivalence might have been understandable, but it was as if they breathed a massive sigh of relief that someone had told it “Like it was” and reacted accordingly. Their fanzine, which I’d swapped with until then, was full of it. Anyway, water under the bridge now. We’ve plenty of our own past disgraces to remain mute about, after all. The team selection again hinted at complacency. It’s hard to believe any time Oxlade-chamberlain is selected, we’re respecting the opposition. He wasn’t up to much on Sunday either and still had the nerve to be grumpy about being replaced. We could introduce a new game, Ox Sub Lotto, although everybody would be lumping on 60 minutes. Firmino’s deft touch at Arsenal wasn’t called for here. Just finish it, lad. The smartarse in him always wins out. Are they lackadaisical, or is this becoming so strenuous a challenge that occasional wilts are inevitable? Maybe we ask too much? Actually, there’s no “maybe” about it. When the four subs came, it was hard to figure out how Jota wasn’t one of the replaced. Like Salah, he always has a goal in him and thus it proved. As their team fell behind, they indulged themselves with “always the victim”. You knew it was all for show, in the end. TV commentators screamed for a home penalty, and now we must listen to more talk of referee bias. Craig Pawson? Seriously? So, two weeks to wait patiently before the impossible dream starts all over again. It’s not just the players who need a break. Steve Kelly @SteKelly198586 View full article
  20. tlw content

    PODCAST: Arsenal and Forest recap

    Another week another step closer to a possible quadruple. The Reds overcame a below par first half to win comfortably at Arsenal in midweek and then edged past a spirited Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup to book a semi final date with Man City. Chris Smith is joined by Julian Richards and TLW Editor Dave Usher to recap an eventful week in this bumper length edition of the pod.
  21. Report by Chris Smith It’s starting to get a bit real now, isn’t it? And it’s both exciting and terrifying in equal measures. Nine torturous games await, all-consuming and each more fraught than the last. Number 20 or heartbreak awaits, with nothing in between. Would we have it any other way? Well, yeah. Doing it the easy way would be bloody nice, but it’s not our style. For 45-minutes at the Emirates, you wondered whether the golden chance served up on Monday night could pass us by. It was, relatively speaking, as bad as we’ve seen in a while and the timing couldn’t be worse. Klopp was raging on the touchline and Arsenal looked like their self-belief was – for the first time in about a decade against us – justified. As the bloke who usually writes these reports likes to say, they were smelling themselves and for once it wasn’t their dad’s rancid bottle of Old Spice stinging their nostril hairs. We seemed laborious on the ball, used it very poorly, and *gasp* failed to match Arsenal’s fight and intensity. Without looking like too much of a threat, Arsenal certainly looked more likely. Where was the Gunners side that rolls over to have its belly tickled and collapses at the first sign of adversity when he needed them? Well, thankfully those lads turned up when Jota stepped up a few minutes into the second half. This is just a teaser, click here to view the full article Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £3 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here.
  22. tlw content

    Terrace Talk - The Steve Kelly Column

    A week is a long time in football. At Brighton, Luis Diaz was taken to the cleaners, and they recommended nothing should happen to the man who did it. At Forest, VAR was once again trying to drop trophies in our lap. Normal disservice has been resumed. We beat Arsenal, and for perpetual gloom-mongers like me there was far too much clarion calling, “City will be bricking it” nonsense. You’d like to think everybody was recharging their own fortitude, that they realise what we’re up against; a winning machine no-one’s ever seen in football before. But you can’t frown too much about our own chest-beating; a team that’s only lost two league games through to March isn’t too shabby, either. There’s been yet more exaggeration of our opponent’s performances. Seems the more wins we get the luckier people think we are. The 1980’s finally make sense. Some of the reaction during and after the Emirates match, you’d think we were battered but for, y’know, the evidence of your own eyes. They’re good, they’re in form, they were at home; expecting a stroll in the park was foolish, but once your heartbeat fell below 100 after Thiago’s madness and Jota was back on track, there was little to worry about. You knew my boy Diogo was going to go through a barren patch, because what had gone before was too good to be a fluke. We’ve said that about Mo for three years and still await a dip. The first half was lame. Diaz is in form, but I wonder if Mane reacted badly to having his position taken off him quite so soon? Was this a response to Luis’ brilliance or Sadio’s current lethargy? This intricate thread of rotation, and competition for places, depends greatly upon footballer maturity, often in short supply, and Mane’s not exactly been the breezy sort where that’s concerned. Robertson was exceptional, creating the second and dealing with Saka throughout. Trent had more problems with Martinelli, as might have been expected. Klopp got stroppy about his defending, inviting critics to “put ‘em urrrp”, like the lion in The Wizard of Oz. I had visions of him coming round to my house for a straightener! You can’t complain about our collective defensive record, and Andy always has Van Dijk to rely on after the odd lapse. Everything’s good, but people are bound to focus on any weakness they can find, out of boredom, probably. We’ll soon find out what we’re missing, anyway. You hope it’s one of those sly international ‘injuries’, followed by a coincidental miracle. Giggs did it all the time with United. If his replacement (probably Gomez) struggles, Klopp won’t be going “See? See?” for the Alexander-Arnold doubters, obviously, since he was the one who felt we could send Williams off to Fulham without a qualm. I don’t remember many complaints then, but the idea of a quadruple was laughable at the time. So, to Forest, and a nice gesture for the Hillsborough memorial. It will only be bitter curmudgeons like me who remember what most of them were like in 1994, when Clough’s book came out. He opened the floodgates, and the bullshit poured out. He was their Shankly, so ambivalence might have been understandable, but it was as if they breathed a massive sigh of relief that someone had told it “Like it was” and reacted accordingly. Their fanzine, which I’d swapped with until then, was full of it. Anyway, water under the bridge now. We’ve plenty of our own past disgraces to remain mute about, after all. The team selection again hinted at complacency. It’s hard to believe any time Oxlade-chamberlain is selected, we’re respecting the opposition. He wasn’t up to much on Sunday either and still had the nerve to be grumpy about being replaced. We could introduce a new game, Ox Sub Lotto, although everybody would be lumping on 60 minutes. Firmino’s deft touch at Arsenal wasn’t called for here. Just finish it, lad. The smartarse in him always wins out. Are they lackadaisical, or is this becoming so strenuous a challenge that occasional wilts are inevitable? Maybe we ask too much? Actually, there’s no “maybe” about it. When the four subs came, it was hard to figure out how Jota wasn’t one of the replaced. Like Salah, he always has a goal in him and thus it proved. As their team fell behind, they indulged themselves with “always the victim”. You knew it was all for show, in the end. TV commentators screamed for a home penalty, and now we must listen to more talk of referee bias. Craig Pawson? Seriously? So, two weeks to wait patiently before the impossible dream starts all over again. It’s not just the players who need a break. Steve Kelly @SteKelly198586
  23. After a sensational run, Liverpool have closed the gap to Manchester City at the top of the league table. Manchester United legend and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, however, now claims Liverpool won’t win the title, despite referring to Jürgen Klopp’s attacking line as an “absolute joke”. Only a couple of months ago, Manchester City were the obvious favourites to the Premier League. When City had a 14-point margin down to Liverpool, many pundits claimed the season of 2021/22 was already decided. But now, after an over two-month long series of wins, the Reds are back in the race. Man City Still Favourites to Win Many fans, pundits and football enthusiasts now describe the battle for the title as wide-open. However, not all bookmakers seem to agree. After Liverpool’s latest results, the odds for the trophy returning to Merseyside have obviously dropped, but not to the same level as the odds for a back-to-back win for Manchester City. However, higher odds do not mean it cannot happen. Just look at a casino, for example. At Mr Vegas Casino, to name one, players can find many games where the house has an edge, such as blackjack. Although the dealer has an advantage, lots of players still manage to pull off a win or two. If this was not the case, gambling at an online casino would not be as popular as it is today. Gary Neville on the Liverpool Attacking Line One of the pundits who claimed Manchester City had already won the league was Gary Neville. The former Manchester United captain expected City to secure the title as Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané left the team for approximately a month to participate in AFCON. However, the Sky Sports pundit now admits he was wrong and gives credit to the attacking side in Liverpool. More specifically, Neville praises Jürgen Klopp, who managed to get the most out of his attacking alternatives during the time that Salah and Mané were out. Luis Díaz, who arrived at Merseyside in January, is one of the attacking players that made the biggest impact on Neville. The former United right-back visited Wembley to watch the Carabao Cup final. This was the first time he got to see Díaz live. Neville now says he could not believe what he was seeing, and that the 25-year-old winger is “absolutely sensational”. Luis Díaz, Roberto Firmino, and Diogo Jota, alongside Salah and Mané, are now all pushing to start, and Neville states that Liverpool possesses an “absolute joke” of an attacking line. Neville Makes His Prediction Although he’s impressed with the Liverpool squad, Neville does not believe the Reds will be the ones to celebrate after the final whistle of the season. He indicates it will be a close race, but that Manchester City are the favourites and will be the ones who get to raise the trophy towards the sky. However, as we have learned from this season and many times before, pundits nor bookmakers do not always make the right predictions. There are still lots of points to play for, and a dramatic finish to the season is upon us
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    Liverpool title odds worth a punt

    With ten games to go, Liverpool still have a great chance of winning the Premier League. They trail leaders and defending champions Manchester City by just four points and have a game in hand on their rivals. Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes received a big boost on Monday, March 14. Manchester City were only able to draw 0-0 at Crystal Palace. That was a golden chance to extend their lead at the top to six points. However, they dropped points for the second time in four league games. It was also their second game in a row in which they have failed to score. Those are statistics to put a smile on the face of any Liverpool fan. With an away game at City to come, Liverpool know that if they can win all their remaining league games, the title will be coming back to Anfield. Liverpool’s hopes of a second Premier League title in three years weren’t looking so good in early January. A 2-2 draw at Chelsea meant they’d earned just two points from their last three league games. What was even more frustrating was the fact they had led in games at Tottenham and Chelsea and only came away with a couple of draws. A long unbeaten run was needed for Liverpool to put the pressure on Manchester City, who had won 11 straight league games at that stage. Liverpool have most certainly met that target and closed the gap on the leaders. Saturday, March 12 saw Liverpool earn a 2-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion. The win over the out-of-form Seagulls was the eighth consecutive win for the Reds in the Premier League. Now, the 2/1 title odds on Liverpool being champions are looking very good indeed. There are some tough battles ahead in the coming weeks. Liverpool travel to Arsenal on Wednesday, March 16, and it’s vital that they win that match. Doing so will take them to within a single point of Manchester City with level games played. Away Premier League form needed to be improved on if they were to catch City. Points had been dropped in five matches on the road, though only West Ham United and Leicester City had beaten Liverpool. Their last three away Premier League fixtures have all been won. That’s the form they need to continue if they are to be the champions again. Arsenal are in good form and looking likely to finish In the top four. It seems a long time ago since Liverpool beat the Gunners 4-0 at home. Arsenal have improved since then but just how good are they? Liverpool have to be fancied to beat them if again showing their current form. When you think of Liverpool, the first thoughts are of their impressive attack. Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota have all continued to show good form this season. All three of them are in double figures for Premier League goals this season. Liverpool have scored 73 goals in their 28 league games but have only conceded 20 themselves. The Reds have kept five clean sheets in their last six Premier League fixtures. If the defence can continue in that form, then another Premier League title is possible. That good defensive display has also put Liverpool in the position where their goal difference is better than that of their title rivals. The away game at Manchester City will be vitally important for Liverpool. Avoiding defeat must be the main aim, especially with so few games remaining. The two teams meet at the Etihad on April 10 with Liverpool hoping for a first Premier League win there since 2015. Both Crystal Palace and Tottenham have won Premier League games at Manchester City this season. If they can do it, then surely Liverpool must have a chance of going to the Etihad and returning with three points. Those dropped points at Palace have given more hope to Liverpool. It does take a little bit of pressure off them as a draw at the Etihad wouldn’t be a disastrous result. City have dropped points in two of their last four away Premier League games. A draw at City would prevent the league leaders from extending the gap at the top. Then Liverpool can just win their remaining matches and know just one slip-up by City would see them again become champions of the Premier League. They have the momentum at present; Klopp’s team just has to keep that up until the end of the season.
  25. Rather than get stuck into Saturday’s games first I’ll start with the Manc derby which took place on Sunday. More fool me, but I gave United a chance of getting something from that game. In fairness, for a while it looked like they might do but then they folded like a cheap suit. They started well and had a couple of promising moments before they fell behind to a De Bruyne goal inside five minutes. The defending was shambolic and Maguire actually assisted De Bruyne by dummying a ball that came back off De Gea. Just put it behind for a corner you slab headed dope. The one thing you don’t do against City is let them score early, but United are utterly fucking hopeless at defending. They can play on the counter though, which you need against City. That’s why I gave them a chance, but I vastly over-estimated their ability to at least defend semi-competently. Sancho equalised with a really nice goal and for a while it had the makings of a good game. Then De Bruyne scored again and United’s resistance was broken. Mahrez scored twice in the second half and the scoreline flattered United a bit as they were a meek, pitiful disgrace in that half. They’ve got massive issues there. Ronaldo apparently refused to be on the bench because his ego was hurt by not being selected to start. He wasn’t selected to start because it was City and you can’t have any passengers when you don’t have the ball. Cavani reportedly bailed on this game too, as he wanted no part of the potential embarrassment so cried off with a blag injury. The culture there is fucking rotten and whoever comes in next should probably get rid of every single player there (with the probably exception of Sancho who hasn’t been there long enough for the rot to have set in). One of the funniest things about this one is that City fans have gotten really bent out of shape because virtually all of the discussion after this was about how shit United are and what needs to be done to fix them. City fans were crying that no-one is talking about how well they played. Boo fucking hoo. That’s because people actually care about United. Some love them, some hate them, but they’re relevant so the media will dedicate a lot of airtime to them (as they do us, and Arsenal). Nobody gives a fuck about Manchester City so the media aren’t going to focus on them as it doesn’t pay to do it. I don’t know how they don’t get this. Even I watched quite a bit of the Sky analysis on youtube simply because I wanted to see Keane going off on one about United. I even watched what Neville had to say. I know I won’t be the only one either, but I also know that I have never - and will never - watch any sort of analysis of how City are playing because I don’t care. Even if they were shit I wouldn’t waste any time on it as I do when revelling in bad results for United or Arsenal for example. I despise City and all they stand for, but they also bore me to death and therefore I’m not interested in people talking about them (unless they want to highlight the financial doping, which no-one ever does). They just don’t have the gravitas of other rival clubs and never will. The fact it bothers them so much is great. You can’t buy everything. This is just a teaser, click here to view the full article Please note that PL Round Ups are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £3 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here.
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