Sporting Heaven Over the Next Few Months

I love being Australian but it can sometimes be frustrating when it comes to Sport on the world stage. The next few months will mean that I won’t be getting much sleep. Not that I am complaining. With the wealth of action that I will get to watch and bet on I am extremely excited. I have outlined below some of the great sporting events I will be watching over the next couple of months. I’ll sleep again late August.

Tennis- At the time of writing, the French Open is in full swing and Rafael Nadal looks like he will romp through. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t any opportunities to make some money betting on the outcome of individual matches. To date I have had a lot of winners including one 6-legged multi that paid quite handsomely. Also, in late June we have Wimbledon so there is more tennis to look forward.

World Cup Soccer- There isn’t much time left before World Cup soccer is upon us. As an Australian, obviously I will be supporting the Aussies but they have a tough Group draw coming up against Germany, Ghana and Serbia. In my opinion, the team to watch is England. Rooney is one of the best strikers in the world and he is in fine form. I reckon they look like they are in with a great chance.

Le Tour de France cycling- I love watching Le Tour de France on television, even though it is on at an extremely annoying time in Australia- around midnight. Not only do you get to see some great scenery throughout country France but you also get to see the world’s best cyclists and teams battle it out for the coveted yellow jersey. The ones to watch this year are Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck, Cadel Evans and of course the champion of champions- Lance Armstrong. Of course I will be hoping for an Aussie win. Go Cadel!

US Open Golf- US Open Golf is also coming up in June. All the top players will be there at Pebble Beach in California. I am sure that there will be a lot of interest in how Tiger Woods plays. In my opinion, he is not back to his best and he is not where you should be putting your money. I will be having a little wager on Lee Westwood.

The next few months bring exciting times in the sporting arena. Make sure you don’t miss out on the action.

Italian Series A – Uncertain Future For Defender Alessandro Nesta

The Italian player of 32 years-old Alessandro Nesta, still has an uncertain future on Series A and in his football career due to his chronic back injury. Nesta has been in Miami for a while in rehabilitation, but it is suspected that he is not getting better and his back problems continue. Some Italian papers and rumours have stated that is possible that the Italian football defender will need surgery soon so he can end his back problems, but this could leave him out for the rest of the season and could even mean the end his football professional career.

Nevertheless, for Nesta his career is not over yet and has alleged he is probably coming back to play soon. He has stated that he will prove everyone he still have some good football and that he can recover his physical condition, defying the prognostications made about him.

“I know that you predict the worst and that you are taking for granted that I will never recover physically. However, the work I have done here has worked. During these weeks I worked hard. I will return to Italy, and I will return not to say goodbye to football and my career,” expressed Nesta to the Italian press, referring to his rehabilitation.

This Italian player started his football career playing in Lazio youth academy since 1985 and was ascended to the senior team in 1993. As of 1997, Nesta was named captain of Lazio and with his leadership and defensive skills, he accomplished several titles with the Biancocelesti, including the Coppa Italia in 1998, the UEFA Winners Cup and European Super Cup in 1999 and finally in the season 1999-2000 he earned a Scudetto, a Coppa Italia and two Italian Super Cups. However, for the season 2002-2003, Alessandro Nesta was sold to the AC Milan because of Lazio’s financial problems. That first season with AC Milan, Nesta conquered the UEFA Champions League title and the Coppa Italia. In his second season with the Rossoneri, Nesta accomplished his second European Super Cup and his second Scudetto.

In the following campaigns Nesta began with his injuries, especially during season 2006-07 and 2007-08. Even though he was out for most of the season 2006-07 due to a shoulder injury, Nesta was a key player in Milan’s Champions League final victory against Liverpool. Subsequently, during last year his chronic back injury appeared constantly at the end of the season and has unable him to play since then.

Now things look unclear for the A.C Milan defender, especially if he has to face the surgery that has been rumoured. Nevertheless, nothing is official yet and at the present the club is looking for another defender for the team.

We hope the best for Alessandro Nesta, who is a great player and who is also considered as one of the best defenders in the Italian League and in the world. We wish the best of luck for the Italian player in his recovery.

Barcelona Lead The Way In Champions League Betting

Barcelona are 4/1 favourites to win the Champions League after the final round of fixtures in the group stage was completed, while Rangers became the first Scottish side to make it out of the group stage. However, the biggest talking point was 1999 winners Manchester United’s shock exit from the tournament following a miserable 2-1 defeat against Benfica.

Group A

Juventus 15, Bayern Munich 13, Club Brugge 7, Rapid Vienna 0

Both Juventus and Bayern Munich had already qualified for the knockout stage, although the final round of matches decided who finished top of the group. Juventus, the 13/2 third favourites recorded a comfortable 3-1 win over rock bottom Rapid Vienna while Bayern Munich could only muster a 1-1 draw at Club Brugge despite taking a first half lead through Claudio Pizarro.

Bayern, now available at 12/1, face a tough draw in the next round.

Group B

Arsenal 16, Ajax 11, FC Thun 4, Sparta Prague 2

Arsenal are flying in Europe this season and had already secured top spot before a ball had been kicked against Ajax. An experimental Gunners side drew 0-0 with their Dutch opponents, even allowing for Thierry Henry to miss a penalty. Arsene Wenger’s side are available at 14/1 while Ajax are a more speculative investment at 66.1.

Group C

Barcelona 16, Werder Bremen 7, Udinese 7, Panathinaikos 4

Udinese suffered Champions League heartbreak when they eventually finished third in the group. They needed a draw to finish second and were four minutes away from holding visitors Barcelona to a goalless draw but late strikes from Santiago Ezquerro and Andres Iniesta handed the Spaniards victory.

Runners up spot went to Werder Bremen who hammered Panathinaikos 5-1 to leave their Greek opponents propping up the rest of the group.

Group D

Villareal 10, Benfica 8, Lille 6, Manchester United 6

Unthinkable when the groups were initially drawn, but Manchester United are out of Europe entirely after finishing bottom of Group D. The Reds were odds on to win in Portugal and even took a five minute lead through Paul Scholes. Two goals before half-time tipped the balance in favour of Benfica and United couldn’t produce the equaliser necessary to replace them as group runners up.

In what was the most opening group of the tournament, Villarreal secure top spot with a 1-0 victory over Lille. Long shot fanciers can now back Villarreal at 28/1 and Benfica at 66/1.

Group E

AC Milan 11, PSV Eindoven 10, Schalke 04 8, Fenerbahce 4

A 3-2 victory over Schalke 04 ensured AC Milan finished the group in first place and condemned the Germans to UEFA Cup football, while PSV Eindoven put in a professional performance to beat already-eliminated Fenerbahce to secure a place in the next round.

AC Milan, the winners of the tournament in 2003, are fourth favourites at 10/1 while PSV Eindoven are available at a more generous 50/1.

Group F

Lyon 16, Real Madrid 10, Rosenborg 4, Olympiacos 4

Lyon remained unbeaten and topped the group in style following a 2-1 victory over third placed Rosenborg and have dark-horse credentials at 11/1. The glamorous, but often underachieving Real Madrid now face a stern test against one of the group winners after finishing in the runners up position.

The Spanish giants lost their first game following the sacking of coach Wanderley Luxemburgo, falling 2-1 to Olympiakos, but will still have their supporters at odds of 16/1.

Group G

Liverpool 12, Chelsea 11, Real Betis 7, Anderlecht 3

Liverpool’s goalless draw with Chelsea was enough to secure top spot in the group, after beginning their European campaign way back in July against Welsh minnows Total Network Solutions. Despite being the reigning European champions and also having a favourable draw in the next round, the Reds are only 10th favourite out of the remaining 16 teams and can be backed at 16/1.

Chelsea remain second favourites at 11/2 but their runners-up position could see them drawn against Barcelona at this stage of the competition for a second year in a row.

Group H

Inter Milan 13, Rangers 7, Artmedia Bratislava 6, FC Porto 5

Rangers may be struggling domestically, but their battling 1-1 draw against group winners Inter Milan ensured they became the first Scottish club to progress beyond the group stages in Champions League history. However, this feat is reflected in the odds, with the Gers available at a whopping 150/1 to win the tournament outright, with Inter Milan seventh favourites at 14/1.

Artmedia Bratislava’s adventure in Europe continues with a place in the UEFA Cup after finishing in third place ahead of 2004′s winners FC Porto.

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