Tag: sports betting
This might be a little bit like the return of the prodigal son for the Spaniard club FC Barcelona. After two failed attempts to reel him back into its original waters, Cesc Fabregas has finally returned to the Nou Camp. It took a good deal of negotiations between Barcelona and Arsenal, of the English Premiere League, but the long awaited transfer finally materialized this Sunday.
It seems that Fabregas is taking back his talents to the homeland. Fabregas scored 57 goals in 303 appearances and won one league title and an FA Cup with Arsenal. This was enough to make Fabregas Arsenal’s most valuable asset. He has played 58 times for the Spanish national team and was part of the squads that won the 2010 South Africa World Cup and 2008 European Championship.
Rumor has it that Barcelona might have agreed to pay around $57 million for the 24-year-old midfielder’s transfer. It’s still a preliminary agreement, and the details of Fabregas contract are yet to be released publically, but regardless of the fine print, Fabregas is back to his hometown and his youth club. Cesc Fabregas returns to the club that nurtured him before he joined Arsenal in 2003. It’s been a while, but deep inside, he knows that he owes Barcelona some respect some sort of tribute for his upbringing as a professional player. Fabregas worked hard and had success on his own merits. He went on to become Arsenal’s youngest ever starter a month later at 16. Five years later, the Spaniard was made club captain in November 2008.
Fans are already anticipating Fabregas first game with Barcelona’s first team. Chaces are that the 24-year-old star could make his debut Wednesday at the Camp Nou. It’s a little short, but doctors from Barcelona and the doctors who checked his physical condition before the multimillion-dollar deal was signed all agree that Fabregas is good to go. And quite frankly, the timing couldn’t be better. Truth is that if you want to make one heck of a debut, you might as well do it playing against your franchise’s archrival. And here it is, the Spanish champions will host Real Madrid for the return leg of their Spanish Supercup series, which is at 2-2 after Sunday’s first leg.
This move has long been due. Fabregas announced his desire to move back to Barcelona after the 2009-10 season, but Arsenal refused to sell its most valuable player. Arsene Wegner, Arsenal’s football manager, said that the club really never wanted to let him go. Back in 2010, they talked to Fabregas and after some negotiations he agreed to stay for one more year. This offseason had seen a similar storyline play out. Once again, Fabregas stated his desire to return to Spain, and Arsenal kept on trying to fend off Barcelona’s offers. But things were changing a bit. Fabregas was willing to go into his own pocket to make the move back home. Arene Wegner still insists that the club didn’t want to let him go, but they had to give in against the player’s desire to return to Barcelona.
At the end of it all, even when the Spaniard is not having his best run, even when he is on the verge of losing his top spot in the ATP rankings, even when a Serb is stealing his thunder; even when he is facing the most successful player in the sports history, Rafael Nadal is going to be ok, for he will always have Paris. Excuse the Casablanca allusion, but its hard not to get excited with what just happened today at Roland Garros.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have played 5 times in the French Open. Four different times have these two player meet in the tournament Final. All of these matches have gone to Rafael Nadal. Federer, who many believe is the best tennist player the world has known, has no answer for Nadal when it comes to the clay courts of the French Open. Let’s not forget that the only year that Federer won at Paris, Rafa Nadal was seriously injured and not in the game.
Nadal is still the King of Clay. Yes, he lost two of the previous clay tournaments to one Novak Djokovic. But he didn’t have to deal with the Djoker on the final. Roger Federer was kind enough to get Djokovic in the semifinals so that when Nadal arrived into the Championship match, it was the Federer Express waiting for him. And as it is usually the case in Paris, Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer by 7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-1 on Sunday.
Considering that the top ranked Nadal improved his record at Roland Garros to 45-1, and to 17-8 against Federer, one can’t help but to wonder if the slightly cocky Spaniard is writing off his own history in the shadows of Roger Federer. Let’s not forget that in Grand Slam finals, Nadal is 6-2 against the Swiss Maestro. And now, after this win, Nadal has reached double figures in Grand Slams and at 25 years old, the Federer’s 5-year junior is only 6 Grand Slams behind his record breaking 16 tournaments.
Coming into the tournament, Nadal had lost four straight finals to Djokovic. Now we can’t help but to wonder what it would have been like if Novak Djokovic had survived Federer in the semifinals. Because one thing is clear: Federer is the best player as of press time, but Nadal knows exactly what it takes and most importantly, how to deliver it, when playing against Roger Federer. But I can’t help but to wonder if Rafael Nadal knew what it took to beat Novak Djokovic or how to deliver it. And I have the slight impression that had Federer not given Nadal that choice, this article would be about how Novak Djokovic was still holding on to a perfect season and how he had just managed to win his second consecutive Grand Slam.
Here are a couple of pointers we should reconsider. Although Nadal has been almost unbeatable on clay — winning 11-of-13 — he has evolved dramatically on Federer’s favorite surface, the grass at the All England Club. Just as Nadal is the king of clay, there is little argument that Federer rules on the grass fields of Wimbledon. Federer has won six titles in the British Open. But this is where things change. Nadal has managed to improve his game considerably at Wimbledon. After losing the finals to Federer in 2006 and 2007, Nadal took the 2008 final. Likewise, Rafa won his first Australian Open championship in 2009 and his first at the U.S. Open a year ago. If Rafa manages to stay healthy and in the top of his game for another 4-5 years, there is a really good chance that he is going to break all the previous records and get out of Federer’s shadow for good.
Running back Rashard Mendenhall and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger kept on opening the Jets defense, finding open spaces in the right, the left and straight through the middle as they opened up a 24-3 margin in the second half, that was simply too much of a deficit for the spirited Jets to close down in the second half. At the end, despite a decent game from Mark Sanchez and Co, the Steelers defense held back the Jets for a 24-19 win that will take them straight into the Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers in two more weeks.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had the key to stop on their feet that team that was working its way into the Super Bowl by winning games against the odds. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was an utter disappointment in this game. Well, not exactly. I mean, if you look into his passer’s rating you will notice that he had an awful game. At 35.5, that is his second worst postseason game. Still, it seems that Big Ben is quite a master of winning it ugly. When he won Super Bowl XL five year ago against the Seattle Seahawks he had a 22.6 passer rating. And in 2004 when he defeated the Jets for the AFC divisional round he had a 57.8. But perhaps, he completed passes and pushed off defenders when the team needed him most because for the third time in six season the Steelers are going to the Super Bowl.
That was it for the trash-talking New York Jets. It seems that head coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Mark Sanchez and Co. had left all they had on their previous game against the New England Patriots. This time around there was no trash talking from Jets during the week and there was very little to be seen from the team that managed to leave behind Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in back to back games. For context, that’s that 10th time since 2001 that a team have played both quarterbacks in back to back games. Only the Tennessee Titans had defeated them both.
Sanchez completed 22 of 33 for 233 yards and two touchdown passes with no interceptions. With a 102.2 passer rating, he certainly outplayed Ben Roethlisberger. Still, Big Ben went 10 of 19 for 133 yards, no touchdowns and 2 interceptions, and somehow managed to guide his offensive to a win. Perhaps the key was to be found in the great performance of Mendenhall. The running back completed 92 of his 121 yards in the first half, for 27 carriages and 1 touchdown.
Rex Ryan had been bragging all the postseason about his solid defense. And that’s when the Steelers turned things around. The Steelers usually relay on their air raids to keep on moving the chains. This time around, Big Ben took a step down and let his men do most of the work over the land. His offensive linemen kept on opening spaces for the runners to break into the Jets D like it had swinging doors.
Despite the effort, and working their way back into the game in the second half, it was just too little and too late for the Jets to really had a chance to get back in the game. The early hole was too deep, even after a 4-yard TD pass to Jerricho Cotchery made it 24-19 with 3:06 remaining. The Steelers kept it smart, moving the ball with each opportunity, and the Jets never got the ball back.
Both LeBron James and Dwayne Wade put on an amazing game as they lead the Miami Heat to defeat the Charlotte Bobcats 96-82 last night. James scored 38 points for his 10th game hitting 30 or more points this season while Dwayne wade scored 31 to complete his 9th game of the season reaching such high marks. This is not unusual for such a high caliber team that includes the talent of not only these two players but also that of the lean and powerful Chris Bosh. What it is particularly interesting about this game is that this is the first time that both Wade and James hit the 30+ mark on one same game.
The Miami Heat has had to work its way up to this sort of game and of exposure. Let’s be frank, despite the odds telling us that they where the favorite team to win this NBA Championship on the NBA betting props, most of us where a bit reluctant about the Heat’s game. Particularly because their 9-8 start and their inability to defeat their conference rivals, the Boston Celtics, where a bit too much to simply look over as a meaningless stat.
What was not a meaningless stat was the simple fact that these guys -as talented as they are- still needed a break in period. They New Big Three needed a moment to get into each other’s playing style and find not only their cadence and their tempo but also build in some sort of winning momentum. And that is exactly what they have done. At 27-9 for the season and 13-5 on the road, the Heat has proved that the more they play the stronger they get.
The Miami Heat squad don’t have to worry just yet about resting its key players during the mid season. That’s a huge advantage over their conference rivals the Boston Celtics who are not only a veteran team (and extremely capable team) but a team prone to injury late in the regular season. All the 5 starters and most of the bench of the Miami Heat is at its prime: advantage Heat.
The game against the Bobcats was nothing but a walk in the park for the Heat. Had the Bobcats been able to put in a team filled with top-notch players, maybe, and only maybe could they have had a chance against James and Wade playing as they did. On the other hand, considering that Gerard Wallace and Nazr Mohammed were out due to injury, well, there was really not much the Charlotte Bobcats could do to save their team from been manhandled by the Heat.
The Miami Heat will now play the Milwaukee Bucks at home. As of press time the Miami Heat are a 10-point favorite on the spread. That’s -650 on the Moneyline just in case you were wondering. The Bobcats on the other hand will have to face Minnesota Timberwolves on January 5th 2011. No official spread has been released yet for this game.