ICC Champions Trophy 2017

A conversation… “Ah, wonderful. A cricket tournament just as the football season ends. That should get the public’s attention.” “It doesn’t end for a few weeks – in fact the biggest games of the season are coming soon.” “Ah well, never mind. People love a bit of Twenty20.” “Its not T20.” “Test cricket then. About time there was a cohesive tournament for the oldest form of the game. Retro is everything these days – vinyl, books, Ian Brady. Fantastic that we are hosting it.” “It is 50 over cricket.” “Still, a World Cup is a World Cup. One can’t be too sniffy.” “Its not the World Cup.” “Never mind. I love a day at the cricket in the sunshine.” “Have... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 21st, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Cricket, Oggsblog)

French Open 2017

If they can’t be bothered, why should you No Federer. No Sharapova. No Serena. Yet plenty for spectators to enjoy at Roland Garros even without the leading lights of men’s and women’s tennis. Apparently. Roger wasn’t ever a great threat on clay, even at his peak, so his loss hasn’t had a huge effect on the betting markets, where it is all about Rafa. Of course, the romantics will want to see Nadal triumph for the first time since 2014, but at odds well under evens, and an-ever creaking body, this isn’t a bet we can condone. Instead look to the third favourite, Dominic Thiem, the next big thing in clay-court tennis, who performed solidly in both Madrid and Barcelona.... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 18th, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, Tennis)

Eurovision 2017

A Beautiful Mess Life is a U shaped curve. Things start off well, decline to a point just above no return, and then spring back into fashion to restart the cycle. And so to with Eurovision. Taken super seriously in the days when Abba used to win it, the singing contest became a bit of a joke in the 90s and early part of the 21st Century, as we were all post history, free to have a laugh and a joke at Serbia’s expense. After all, we prevented you from causing genocide. Hahahaha. Terry Wogan. But Eurovision has suddenly become a serious business, as Europe once more shuffles coyly towards the brink. Russia are out this year – its like... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, May 12th, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, TV Shows)

The Battle for Survival 2017 (Part 2)

Fixture by Fixture Leicester City 39 Burnley 37 Hull City 36 Swansea City 34 One spot to fill, four clubs to fill it including two of last season’s title winners no less. Saturday 13th May Bournemouth vs Burnley A home win meaning Burnley will go to the last game of the season still fighting for their proverbials. Sunderland vs Swansea City With final fixtures at Arsenal and Chelsea, this may be the last opportunity for Sunderland to have a shot, let alone win a point, in the Premier League. Who knows if they will opt for the former, but they could certainly grind out a depressing 0-0 farewell. Slaps all round! Sunday 14th May Crystal Palace vs Hull City That... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 11th, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

Europa League Semi Final 2nd Leg – Manchester United vs Celta Vigo

11:55pm Ian Holloway, having seen his QPR side nudge past Chestefield, once rabbited on about spending the evening in a club, and then resorting until the final five minutes before making a move on one of the lesser faces in the club – “…not the best looking bird but at least we got her in the taxi. She wasn’t the best looking lady we ended up taking home but she was very pleasant and very nice, so thanks very much, let’s have a coffee.” Nowadays of course, Holloway would be hounded by the politically correct mob, and would be out of a job quicker than David Moyes could threaten to slap one of their members. Yet such an analogy is... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 10th, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

Britain’s Got Talent 2017

‘Oh No It Hasn’t’ Early days in this annual celebration of British television’s executives’ talent at exploiting the mentally unstable. But already the betting markets are lining up their numbers, and the second favourite, Sarah Ikumu is where we think the value could lie. Only 16, Ikumu won the first golden buzzer of the series (from the High Priest Cowell no less), with her rendition of ‘And I am Telling You’. In all the hullaballoo, Simon even forgot what show he was on, telling the student, “You made it your song.” Of course, were Ikumu to progress in this contest and go on to release an album, the fine print in her contract will be sure to tell her who... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, TV Shows)

French Elections 2017

Macron vs Le Pen It is the 1990’s vs the 1930’s in the French Election Run-off this weekend, and which of us don’t look back with fondness on those decades. Bill Clinton invented the 3rd Way. Tony Blair arguably perfected it. And now we welcome the French, almost twenty years to the day of Blair’s ascension to power, who finally have produced a centrist candidate for President. Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron (for ‘tis he) has sprinted to the top, aided by youth, dreadful opponents, and more recently, an endorsement from Barack Obama. He will win on Sunday. Whether that will prove good for France we cannot say. What does seem to be a consensus however, is that Jean Marie Le-Pen... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 6th, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, Politics)

2017 Champions League Semi Final (2)

Monaco vs Juventus Ah – here comes 1998’s ‘Monaco vs Juventus in the semi-final of the Champions League’ rematch. And it appears not much has changed in the intervening two decades. Back then, Juve had the best manager in the world, the French side had dealt with a Mancunian mob in a previous round, and had a sprightly attacker in their XI, albeit without the ‘new Thierry Henry’ moniker. Because he actually was Thierry Henry. (Incidentally, if Monaco fans don’t sing his name to the tune of Hanson’s Mmm Bop, civilisation is in a darker place than any of us thought.) Juventus progressed that night and went on to face Real Madrid in the final, a prospect that the bookmakers... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

The Race for the Champions League Places 2017 (Part 4)

Fixture by Fixture Manchester City 74 Liverpool 73 Arsenal 70 Manchester United 69 Tuesday 16th May Arsenal vs Sunderland Never face Sunderland in May used to be a popular adage, but rather like those ones about shepherds and the skies, it all seems a bit 16th Century now. The Black Cats should be well and truly run over by this stage – even the RSPCA aren’t returning their calls – leaving a home victory nothing short of a formality for Arsenal. Manchester City vs West Bromwich Albion All tales have to possess a twist, and perhaps the race for the top four, will meet its particular bend here. Plenty divide these two managers on the style front, but we expect... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Monday, May 1st, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

2017 Champions League Semi Final (1)

Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid In Madrid, warm ball theories abound, as if to prevent yet another all-Madrid affair and turn their flagship competition into the parochial equivalent of the Evening Standard Fives (ask your dad,) UEFA gerrymandered the semi-final line-up to match these two up now. Either way, so accustomed are we to seeing Diego Simeone’s men strutting around in the late stages of the Champions League, that we fail to reflect on how remarkable an achievement it actually is. Simeone is the man. But for three years running now, Real have accounted for Atleti – will the same happen over the next fortnight? Close study of those fixtures, will of course indicate how jammy Real were – late... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Monday, May 1st, 2017
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)
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