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RBS Six Nations Preview 2015 – Scotland vs. Italy

Scotland vs. Italy

Saturday 28 February, 14:30pm

BT Murrayfield

Scotland and Italy will both looking to record their first points of the 2015 Six Nations tournament in this bottom-of-the-table clash at Murrayfield. Home advantage should certainly help the Scots who only narrowly lost to Wales in the last round. A combination of wasteful possession and a steadfast opposition defence denied Vern Cotter’s team a first win over Wales in seven years. This followed an impressive but fruitless performance against France in Paris.

Italy may not be feeling quite as confident after amassing a minus 53 points difference in their opening two games against Ireland and England. However, they will feel that this match represents their best chance to add some respectability to their 2015 campaign.

Unfortunately, the Italians will have to cope without prop Martin Castrogiovanni after the forward was ruled with a facial injury caused by a dog bite. This will be a massive blow to Jacques Brunel’s team and should give Scotland’s pack even more of an advantage.

Castrogiovanni will be replaced by Dario Chistolini in a team that will feature a total of six changes. The most significant inclusions will be Michele Visentin and centre Enrico Bacchin who will both be making their international debuts.

Winger Visentin will replace Zebre teammate Leonardo Sarto while centre Bacchin will take the place of London Wasps counterpart Andrea Masi who has picked up an injury. Matias Aguero, Simone Favaro and Joshua Furno make up the remainder of a dozen changes to the stating XV with Mauro Bergamasco, Leonardo Sarto and Alberto De Marchi making way.

Scotland will be forced to make changes of their own after suffering from a string of injuries and suspensions. Finn Russell has been suspended following a reckless tackle on Dan Biggar in the match against Wales – a later appeal was rejected by the Six Nations committee. Richie Gray, Jon Welsh and Gordon Reid will also miss out after picking up injuries during the same game. As a result, Chris Cusiter Adam Ashe, Moray Low, Alex Allan and David Denton have all been added to the squad.

After struggling to find a way through the Welsh defensive line, the Scots should find the Italian’s slightly easier to break down. They will also look to improve their kicking point’s total in a game that they will be expected to win in front of their home crowd.

Prediction: Scotland to win by 10-15 points.

 

RBS Six Nations Preview 2015 – Scotland vs. ItalyunratedNeil2015-02-26 03:38:06Scotland vs. Italy

Saturday 28 February, 14:30pm

BT Murrayfield

Scotland and Italy will both looking to record their first points of the 2015…

Sports Fixed Odds BettingRBS Six Nations Preview 2015 – Scotland vs. ItalyScotland vs. Italy

Saturday 28 February, 14:30pm

BT Murrayfield

Scotland and Italy will both looking to record their first points of the 2015…

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RBS Six Nations Preview 2015 – Scotland v Wales

Scotland v Wales

Sunday 15 February, 15:00

BT Murrayfield

Wales will be without their tighthead prop Samson Lee when they make the trip to Edinburgh to face Scotland in the Six Nations second round match on Sunday. The 22-year-old is still recovering from a head injury picked up in the opening round home defeat to England. Coach Warren Gatland has entrusted Osprey’s Aaron Jarvis to fill his boots.

Lee is joined on the sick list by George North who is also suffering from concussion after receiving two blows to the head in the opening round match. Liam Williams will return to the side for the first time since November to replace the side-lined Northampton winger. Williams in turn will be replaced by Cardiff Blues prop Scott Andrews, who brings the experience of nine international caps to the bench.

Gatland and his men will be keen to continue their seven-year unbeaten run against the Scots, and put last Friday’s heartbreaking 21-16 Millennium Stadium defeat to England behind them. They will be boosted by memory of last year’s 51-3 demolition of the Scots.

Scotland Vs Wales RBS Six Nations

RBS Six Nations Preview 2015 – Scotland v WalesunratedNeil2015-02-15 06:57:12Scotland v Wales

Sunday 15 February, 15:00

BT Murrayfield

Wales will be without their tighthead prop Samson Lee when they make the trip to Ed…

Sports Fixed Odds BettingRBS Six Nations Preview 2015 – Scotland v WalesScotland v Wales

Sunday 15 February, 15:00

BT Murrayfield

Wales will be without their tighthead prop Samson Lee when they make the trip to Ed…

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2015 Asian Cup Quarter-final previews

With just eight teams left in the competition, the intensity is building at the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia. Incredibly, the 24 group stage matches did not produce a single draw; setting a new record in major tournament football. Despite the lack of stalemates, there were some very tight games in the group stages but ultimately, the quarter-final line-up has produced no real surprises. So let’s take a closer look at the contenders in the first knock-out matches of the tournament.

Korea Republic (evens) v Uzbekistan (4/1)

22 Jan 2015 – Melbourne Rectangular Stadium

Korea Republic finished top of Group A thanks to a final game victory against hosts and pre-tournament favourites Australia. The win completed a hat-trick of 1-0 triumphs for Uli Stielike’s team who maintained their 100% record despite being hampered by injuries and illness during their campaign.

The Koreans will face an Uzbekistan side who were many people’s dark horses for the tournament. After a Group B defeat to China, Mirdjalal Kasimov’s team had to win their final match against three-time champions Saudi Arabia to secure a quarter-final berth. In the end, they progressed with a comfortable 3-1 score line thanks to 2 goals from Rashidov and a superb headed strike from Shodiev.

The unbeaten Koreans have big tournament pedigree and will be clear favourites for this clash. However, there is a further sub-plot to this game as Uzbekistan will be keen to exact revenge on the team that denied them a debut World Cup appearance in Brazil last summer. The heartbreak of missing out on goal difference is still lingering in the Uzbek camp and they have promised to everything they can to secure revenge. The price of 4/1 (5.0) should attract some interest.

China PR (11/2) v Australia (8/13)

22 Jan 2015 – Brisbane Stadium

After a blistering start to the tournament which included two four-goal hauls against Kuwait and Oman, Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos were brought crashing down to earth by a well-organised Korea Republic side in Brisbane. The 1-0 defeat was by no means a disaster but it may have been a timely reminder of just how tough the tournament will be in the knock out stages. The Aussie Coach has yet to settle on a best XI, preferring instead to use the full depth of his squad. Whether this tactic will reap rewards remains to be seen.

Brisbane will be the venue once again as the Aussies take on Alain Perrin’s China PR side with a semi-final place up for grabs. Team Dragon remains unbeaten in this tournament after qualifying for the quarter-final stage with a game to spare. Wins over Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and DPR Korea confirmed China’s credentials as tournament contenders and they will provide another stern test for the host nation. The early price of 11/2 (6.5) certainly looks like great value.

Asian Cup preview

2015 Asian Cup Quarter-final previewsunratedNeil2015-01-27 12:54:26With just eight teams left in the competition, the intensity is building at the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia. Incredibly, the 24 group stage matches di…
Sports Fixed Odds Betting2015 Asian Cup Quarter-final previewsWith just eight teams left in the competition, the intensity is building at the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia. Incredibly, the 24 group stage matches di…
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Barclays ATP World Tour Finals: Line-up, draw and preview

After last week’s action at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, the final line-up for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals – to be held at London’s O2 arena from 9-16 November – has been confirmed. Paris winner Novak Djokovic will be joined by Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych and tournament debutants Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic to battle it out for the prestigious end-of-season prize.

Of the players still in with a chance of making it to London ahead of the Paris event, it was David Ferrer and Grigor Dimitrov who missed out. Ferrer fell short after losing to Nishikori in the Paris quarter-finals and Dimitrov was easily beaten by Murray in the third round.

Milos Raonic still had plenty of work to do to secure his WTF place when he arrived in Paris but an impressive quarter-final victory over Roger Federer – his first against a top-three player – earned his passage to London. His semi-final opponent Tomas Berdych also confirmed his London appearance by beating Kevin Anderson at the quarter-final stage.

After winning the crown in Paris, Djokovic now looks set to end the season as world number one. With a maximum of 1,500 points available to the London winner, his 1,310 point lead over Federer now looks insurmountable.

It was an impressive return to winning ways for Djokovic who appeared to breeze his way to his third Paris title after his brief paternity break. He will now start the London tournament as clear favourite and has arguably had an easier draw than world number two and second favourite Roger Federer.

Group A

Novak Djokovic

Stan Wawrinka

Tomas Berdych

Marin Cilic

 

Group B

Roger Federer

Kei Nishikori

Andy Murray

Milos Raonic

Since the draw was made, Djokovic’s odds have shortened across the board and a best price of evens can now be found with Betway. Federer has drifted slightly and can be backed at 10/3 with several bookies. Murray has also drifted since the draw and following his Paris defeat to the Serbian. He can now be backed at 13/2 with Coral.

Djokovic looks like a sure bet for the London title but the tournament draw could have an effect on proceedings. Andy Murray has enjoyed a rapid return to form since the US Open and has risen back to number six in the world. His defeat to Djokovic in Paris came after a gruelling run of matches that included the three hour 20 minute battle against Tommy Rebredo in Valencia. By the time Murray faced the world number last week he had achieved his objective of qualifying for London and was desperate for a break.

Having avoided Djokovic in the draw, Murray will fancy his chances of progressing from Group B. If he can negotiate his way out of the group – and with the home crowd behind him – he may just stand a chance of pulling one more huge performance out of the bag before the season break.

Roger Federer had also been in great form until last week when he lost for the first time in 15 matches. Like Murray, Federer may have also had on eye on London when he fell to Raonic.

The win over Federer was Raonic’’s first against a top three player and the Canadian will be appearing at the O2 for the very first time. It will also be a debut for Kei Nishikori and it is hard to see either of those two going all the way. Wawrinka has been out of form for some time and neither Berdych nor WTF debutant Cilic have been consistent enough recently.

It’s hard to see beyond the Serbian at this stage but at current prices, Murray is worth an each-way punt.

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals: Line-up, draw and previewunratedNeil2014-11-06 03:22:56After last week’s action at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, the final line-up for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals – to be held at London’s O2…
Sports Fixed Odds BettingBarclays ATP World Tour Finals: Line-up, draw and previewAfter last week’s action at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, the final line-up for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals – to be held at London’s O2…
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ATP Men’s Tennis – Paris Masters: World Tour Final places still up for grabs

After his epic three hour and 20 minute win over Tommy Robredo in the Valencia Open final, Andy Murray just needs to reach the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters to guarantee his place at the World Tour Finals that take place at the O2 in London from 9-16 November.

Murray has won 18 of his last 20 matches over a grueling five week period and has certainly given his all in his attempt to feature at the showpiece event. He was 11th in the Race to London after the US Open and seems to have found form at the right time; just over a year after he underwent back surgery. Even if he does not reach the quarter-finals he may still qualify depending on how his rivals perform.

The win moves Murray into fifth spot ahead of Kei Nishikori. After pulling out of last week’s event in Spain, the Japanese player now needs a semi-final place in Paris to become the first player from Asia to reach the World Tour Finals.

Tomas Berdych is still in contention for a WTF place despite his first round exit in Valencia. The Czech player is currently occupying the eighth qualifying spot and will also need to reach the semi-finals to guarantee a place in London.

David Ferrer faces a tough task after dropping into ninth place and will need to reach the Paris final if he is to finish in the top eight. However, the Spaniard does have good record in the tournament having been a winner in 2012 and a runner-up last year. If he misses out, it will be the first time in six years that he has failed to take part in the season finale.

Barclays ATP World Tour standings

ATP Men’s Tennis – Paris Masters: World Tour Final places still up for grabsunratedNeil2014-10-28 10:47:34After his epic three hour and 20 minute win over Tommy Robredo in the Valencia Open final, Andy Murray just needs to reach the quarter-finals of the P…
Sports Fixed Odds BettingATP Men’s Tennis – Paris Masters: World Tour Final places still up for grabsAfter his epic three hour and 20 minute win over Tommy Robredo in the Valencia Open final, Andy Murray just needs to reach the quarter-finals of the P…
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