Bookies Forced to Take Villa Seriously After Stunning Win

Aston Villa got 2018 off to a stunning start, ensuring it was a happy New Year for all connected to the Birmingham-based club, hammering Championship promotion rivals Bristol City 5-0 in front of a bumper home crowd.

That was the start of an incredible January winning run in the second tier of English football and, poised for an assault on the major places, bookmakers were forced to take Steve Bruce’s side’s chances of gaining entry to the Premier League seriously when putting together their Championship betting outright odds, with Villa now 6/4 to finish inside the automatic promotion spots.

Billed as a 50/50 versus high-flying Robins before kick-off, Villa made a mockery of the day, rattling home five goals from four different scorers. Hogan broke the deadlock on 23 minutes, settling any nerves that had been lingering in the stands, and that opened the floodgates, Snodgrass grabbing a brace, Bjarnason and Hourihane also helping themselves to second-half celebrations.

Speaking to the press at full-time, experienced gaffer Bruce, who has seen it all at this level, was delighted for his players, believing many took confidence from the day, and that showed in their performance. He’ll be eager to see his recruits continue in that vein of form. Opposite number Lee Johnson, who still holds hopes of a play-off finish come the final tally, pinned the blame on the first goal, telling reporters his boys were superb until conceding.

On the back of that performance, the Villans certainly look good value to gain promotion in a market headed by Wolves, currently no better than 1/16. There’s few who would argue Nuno Espirito Santo’s team deserve to top the tree, and are looking good value for their league lead, but could Villa spring an upset? Traders think no, offering an eye-catching 25/1 on the title win.

At the end of January, Villa sat on 50 points, boasting a record of 14 wins, eight draws and six defeats, trailing pace-setters Wolves by 15 points. The gold medal may be a bridge too far. The race for second, and the automatic promotion that accompanies it, remains wide-open. Could AVFC avoid the lottery of an extended season and end as best of the rest? That’s more likely, in the eyes of odds compilers, 12/5 circling about a top-two finish. 11/8 is on the table for promotion by any means.

Turning our attentions to the top goal scorer, golden boot award and Albert Adomah rates as Aston Villa’s best hope of success. The Ghana international, deployed as an attacking midfielder, got his tally for the season into double-figures and the 30-year-old from Lambeth is after more in 2018.

Can he match the firepower of Derby’s Matej Vydra or Sheffield United’s goal machine Leon Clarke? It’s a big ask, the current market serving a meaty 25/1 for Adomah to finish on top – Vydra and Clarke both 4/1 – but there are each-way terms offered of 1/4 the odds 1-2-3, meaning he’d need only a top-three finish to give backers a healthy return. Aston Villa title win and Adomah top scorer? Well, we can dream.

BBC Pundit slams Paul Pogba following Newcastle United performance

BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks appeared to criticise Paul Pogba’s mannerism following Manchester United’s 4-1 Premier League win over Newcastle United last weekend. The France international marked his comeback from a hamstring injury with a goal and assist which earned him his third straight man of the match award in successive Premier League home matches.

Despite this, Crooks insisted that the 24-year-old must sort out his image by putting in strong performances against the big boys, he said: “I have no time for his hairstyles and even less time for the dancing exhibitions. They are for beauty parlours and catwalks. What I do enjoy, though, is a footballer who can produce moments of magic with a football at his feet.
Continue reading “BBC Pundit slams Paul Pogba following Newcastle United performance”

Nemanja Matic Confident Manchester United Can Win without Paul Pogba

Manchester United summer signing Nemanja Matic has admitted that midfielder Paul Pogba is one of the top players in the world, but he is confident of the club being able to cope without the Frenchman.


Manager Jose Mourinho recently claimed that the injury suffered by Paul Pogba has turned out to be more serious than initially thought and he has ruled out the player for the long term without placing a date for his return. It is expected that Paul Pogba will be out of action for the next two or three months, thus putting United at a significant disadvantage in the midfield.

Yet, Matic claims that United have a strong squad that is capable of dealing with such injuries over the course of the campaign. After having spent more than £ 150 million in back-to-back transfer windows, there is little doubt that United have an extremely strong bench, but Pogba brings in certain qualities that makes it difficult to replace him. Continue reading “Nemanja Matic Confident Manchester United Can Win without Paul Pogba”

Mourinho Working on Contract Extension

Jose Mourinho has a managerial contract with Manchester United which extends until June of 2019 but even though this date is still pretty far away from actually arriving, there are rumours involving a possible extension for the Portuguese coach who continues being critiqued for many reasons.

When it comes to being infamous in the world of football, Jose Mourinho is certainly a name that usually pops up as the 54 year old tactician is a highly rated coach who has lifted just about every top piece of silverware in the sport but at the same time, he is widely insulted for what has been a roller-coaster of a career as a coach. Continue reading “Mourinho Working on Contract Extension”

Jose Mourinho Admits Initial Mistakes with Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has publicly admitted that he made a mistake with Henrikh Mkhitaryan in his first few months at Old Trafford.


The Armenian international was one of the high profile signings for the club last summer after coming on for £ 30 million. Yet, he rarely featured in the first team during the first few months. Just when it seemed that Mkhitaryan was on the verge of an exit during the January 2017 window, he sparked to life with some incredible goals. By the end of the last season, Mkhitaryan was an important player in the team.

The 28-year-old came up with four assists last season and he has already been in devastating form this season. Mkhitaryan has been crucial behind the success of Romelu Lukaku in the first few games of the season. The Belgian has scored three goals in his two games since making the £ 75 million transfer from Manchester United. Mourinho has admitted that there was a communication breakdown in Mkhitaryan’s first few months at the club. Continue reading “Jose Mourinho Admits Initial Mistakes with Henrikh Mkhitaryan”

Marquinhos and Donnarumma are out of Manchester United’s reach

 Marquinhos of Paris Saint-Germain is one of the players that Manchester United has been linked with during the 2017 summer transfer window.


The 23 year old Brazilian left-back has been a regular starter for PSG since he joined back on July of 2013.

It was even recently rumored that Jose Mourinho was prepared to offload around €60 million in order to lure Marquinhos to Old Trafford. Unfortunately for the Premier League club, it seems like a transfer will not occur as the player himself has revealed his desire to stay at the Parc des Princes.

When Marquinho’s was recently asked about the possibility of leaving PSG and joining another club, the young defender replied by saying:

‘’My future? I will be here next season to win back the title.I will 100 per cent be Parisien. I am happy in Paris; the project of the club is ambitious. PSG do not want to sell me and alongside Marco Verratti I am part of the basis of the club’s project’’ Continue reading “Marquinhos and Donnarumma are out of Manchester United’s reach”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic to hold Manchester United Contract Talks

Former Sweden international Zlatan Ibrahimovic is keen on extending his stay at Manchester United despite offers from several other clubs.


The 35-year-old bagged 28 goals across all competitions for United last term before he suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Ibrahimovic joined the Red Devils on a Bosman transfer during the previous transfer window, and many doubted his potential to succeed in the top flight owing to his trailing age. However, he managed to prove his critics wrong from the start itself as he netted the winner in the Community Shield win over Leicester City.

The veteran therein contributed effectively towards Manchester United’s league campaign while also providing a man of the match brace in the EFL Cup victory over Southampton in February. With Europa League approaching the final stages, Ibrahimovic sustained a double knee damage in the quarter-final tie against Anderlecht, and this effectively ruled him out the season. Continue reading “Zlatan Ibrahimovic to hold Manchester United Contract Talks”