home advantage

Champions League

High hopes of Celtic after European draw

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Celtic have been gifted a chance to make the knock-out stage of this season's Champions League after being drawn in a group they are capable of overcoming. Neil Lennon's side will fancy their chances against Benfica and Spartak Moscow, although a scalp over Barcelona may be beyond them.

Nevertheless, Group G looks like it will go down to the wire and Celtic, who beat Helsingborgs 4-0 on aggregate in the play-off round, are in with a chance of progressing to the latter stages.

UEFA Champions League Final: What In The Stands Learnt

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TweetChelsea overcame Bayern Munich on penalties to be crowned champions of Europe in a match which left In The Stands' Rolly Pelovangu all the more wiser. Home Advantage Meant Little Advantage For Bayern Munich It was meant to be their final, on their ground, in their country. At 4/5 bookies made Bayern Munich strong favourites [.

Bayern Munich v Chelsea – Match Predictions – UEFA Champions League – 19 May 2012

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Below are predictions for the UEFA Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Chelsea on Saturday, May 19, 2012.

Score

Bayern Munich 2-1 Chelsea Bayern have the home advantage and have been very impressive in the Champions League this season. This combined with missing several key players due to suspensions will be more than enough to give Bayern their fifth Champions League/European Cup.

Champions League Final Bumper Post : Torres, David Luiz’s Dream, Mario Gomez, Jupp Heynckes’ Mind Games

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Welcome to your Champions League Final Bumper Post, brought to you by the squinting Fernando Torres and his post-flight mop. He brought just enough clothes for the post-match dinner in Munich, so it looks like that epic house rave and beer fountain party Jupp Heynckes has planned will only be attended by Mario Gomez (2 more goals, tipo, "zwei tore!

Bayern address ‘favorites’ debate

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Members of Bayern Munich's squad and staff have aimed to settle debate surrounding whether or not they are favorites for tomorrow's Champions League final against Chelsea.

In recent days, the likes of Michael Ballack and Petr Cech have stated that Bayern have an emotional advantage as hosts, while Bastian Schweinsteiger has argued that the Blues' determination to erase their 2008 heartbreak gives them the emotional edge.

Who will win the 2012 Champions League Final?

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This Saturday sees the culmination of the European football season - the UEFA Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Chelsea. Few would have predicted these two sides to meet in the final but what about predicting the winner? Are Chelsea's name on the cup? Will Bayern's home advantage count?

Spanish Primera Division (La Liga) Weekend Preview – 13 May 2012

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There's eight matches on the last matchday of the season in the Spanish Primera Division (La Liga) on May 13, 2012.

Espanyol v Sevilla

Both are in the middle of the table and in no danger of relegation. Sevilla could still qualify for a Europa League spot but won't be favored on the road in this match.

Spanish Primera Division (La Liga) Match Predictions – 28 April 2012

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Levante host Granada, Osasuna travels to Villarreal, and much more in the Spanish Primera Division (La Liga) on Saturday, April 28, 2012.

Espanyol v Sportin Gijon

Espanyol are still within reach for a Europa League spot while Sporting are six points from getting out of the bottom three.

DiMatteo: Bayern trickier than Real

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Chelsea interim manager Roberto DiMatteo is excited about facing Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League final next month but has warned that the German giants can prove to be trickier opponents than Spanish champions-elect Real Madrid due to their home advantage.

The Madrid side was considered a heavy favorite to meet holders Barcelona in an El Clasico final on May 19 but Bayern and DiMatteo's men flipped the script on the La Liga sides, booking a surprise final date of their own.

Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich (3-3 Agg.) – German Shoot-Out Joy Gives UEFA The Final They Never Wanted (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich (Agg 3-3) (Bayern win 3-1 on pens) Champions League 25th April '12


That high-pitched screaming you can hear in the distance is UEFA bigwig Michel Platini howling at the Gods for not giving him the El Clasico final he and his fellow UEFA suits so desperately wanted.

German Bundesliga Weekend Preview – 7 April 2012

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Bayern Munich hosts Augsburg, Dortmund travels to Wolfsburg, and much more in the German Bundesliga on Saturday, April 7, 2012.

Bayern Munich v Augsburg

A critical match for Bayern who trail Dortmund by three points at the top of the table. Augsburg are in a fight to avoid relegation but need something magical to get a result at the Allianz Arena.

Free £50 bet: Chelsea or Tottenham? Arsenal or Aston Villa?

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Free £50 Bet for All New Paddy Power Customers Chelsea v Spurs "‘Arry for England" is a less regular chant at White Hart Lane of late as Spurs have slid out of the title race and are now in danger of sliding right out of the Champions League places. A win for Chelsea will bring [...]


Napoli Wary Of Chelsea

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Chelsea face a mountain of a task in overturning their 3-1 deficit when Napoli come calling at the Stamford Bridge tomorrow night. The Blues who have picked up 2 wins since Di Matteo took over from AVB close to two weeks ago, will be hoping that home advantage works in their favour.

Of course it will be a sensational win for Chelsea if they turn around the result and make it to the quarters.

Milan Stars Resume Training Ahead Of Arsenal Clash

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Good news for Coach Allegri and Milan fans as Alessandro Nesta, Kevin Prince Boateng and Alexa Pato all resumed training today ahead of their Champions League first leg knockout match against Arsenal on Wednesday.

With both teams coming off late winners in their weekend league fixtures, it will be interesting to see how they both approach the game.

Cameron

Soccer Science: Thinking Outside the Box

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Its a busy time of the "summer", orange fans. I put sarcastic quotation marks around "summer" because I am starting my fourth week of school, without a shred of sympathy for grade school children bemoaning the end of their breaks. Also, I'm a bit scienced-out for the week, so I'm going to let Opta add the science to the beautiful game as long as everyone is cool with that.

"There is no wind in the new stadium, none. It’s an oven, so it kind of sucks for the other team...

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"There is no wind in the new stadium, none. It's an oven, so it kind of sucks for the other team coming in because they're going to die." -Geoff Cameron

http://blog.chron.com/soccer/2012/05/hot-bbva-compass-stadium-should-provide-home-advantage/

Arsenal

Midfielder talks up Team GB delight

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Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has expressed his delight at becoming a part of Great Britain's Olympics football team this summer and feels that the event would offer a "once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Ramsey, 21, was selected by manager Stuart Pearce as one of the 18 members of his final squad and the Welshman is excited to link up with his teammates this weekend to prepare for Team GB's July 26 kick-off against Senegal.

Euro 2012 preview, predictions and bets – Szczesny, Arshavin + Rosicky prepare

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And so it begins. Three and a half weeks of what promises to be a highly entertaining European Championships. As usual, I'll be making my predictions below, and putting my money where my mouth is with a few bets. Well, I say putting my money where my mouth is, I'm only staking £1/£2 each time, so I'm hardly backing my judgment with a great deal of confidence.

Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Poland

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Lowly hosts banking on home advantage and a decent draw. Coach: Franciszek Smuda The 63-year-old veteran has been in the post since 2009. He's coached in Germany's lower leagues and if you're a Polish club and he hasn't managed you, you're [.

Two reasons why Liverpool and United will beat Arsenal and Tottenham

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Two reasons why Liverpool and United will beat Arsenal and Tottenham - originally posted on Soccerlens.com

Some superb action on Sky Sports this weekend with Liverpool playing host to Arsenal and Manchester United squaring off against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Here's a look at each game (plus West Brom v Chelsea) and the best betting odds for them.

Arsenal Away - Opposition Fan Forum View, Pub Ammo & Team News

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Confidence is low and depression reigns supreme on the Arsenal forums ahead of the latest North London Derby. They don't think they have the creativity in midfield to out do ours, and the certainly don't think that their cobbled together defence will be able to stop the likes of Bale and Lennon from getting crosses into the box.

Portland Timbers

Three Reasons Why the Portland Timbers Can Still Win the Cascadia Cup

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It's been depressing few weeks for Portland Timbers fans, no doubt about it. The recent loss to the LA Galaxy was just the latest of a series of ordeals that has been bringing us all down for quite a while now. But the good thing about soccer is that there are multiple ways to bring about a revival of performance and spirits.

Timbers continue to have the Fire's number

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Chicago Fire technical director and head coach Frank Klopas has put together a team that fits a certain style. This Fire squad is designed to exploit wide open spaces with their speed. The team benefits most when referees keep their whistle at their side. When a game becomes more free flowing, Chicago becomes more likely to catch the other team out of place and burn them on the counter attack.

MLS Western Conference Week 10: The Cascadia Cup Commences

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The 2012 Cascadia Cup competition begins this weekend with a very different set of expectations than were present a year ago. Seattle and Vancouver have two of the best defenses in the Western Conference right now, Seattle having allowed only four goals so far. Vancouver barely eke out the rest of the pack with 11 goals allowed, albeit in fewer matches than San Jose and RSL.

MLS Power Rankings Week 3 - Western Dominance Continues

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Whether the pure standings, MLS Power Rankings or those from SB Nation Soccer the West is still seen as a cut above, even after the Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers both laid road eggs. The fact is that only the Chicago Fire is both east of the Mississippi and earning two points a match or more.

Ukraine

UEFA Euro 2012: The journey begins

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After a four-year wait, the European Championship returns with perhaps more interest level and excitement than ever before. The defending champion Spain is tipped to go all the way once again but there are 15 competitors ready to give the Spaniards a run for their money.

One of the brilliant aspects of Euro 2012 is the balance within each of the four groups that will battle it out from today (June 8) to the tournament final in Kiev on July 1.

Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Ukraine

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Hosts hoping home advantage will help overcome patchy recent form. Coach: Oleg Blokhin The former Dynamo Kiev and Soviet Union striker is back for a second stint in charge of Ukraine. He enjoyed success between 2003 and 2007, albeit with a [.

English Premier League

Having the bottle and belief are keys to United's EPL title chase

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Whether you are a Manchester United supporter or not, it's hard to argue with their ability to grind out results.

Sir Alex Ferguson and his 19 titles would be tough to refute in a debate, but when you look closely, you can see that at the core of the club's long run of success is the mental toughness needed to fight through rigid fixtures and tough opposition.

Darren Bent Ruled Out For The Rest Of The Season

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Some sad news for all Villa and England fans as Darren Bent has been uled out for the rest of the season and possibly the Euro's after rupturing ankle ligaments. It is believed that Bent sustained the injuries during Villa's barren draw with Wigan over the weekend.

Of course this is a big blow to England's Euro hopes if Bent fails to recover in time and for stuart Pearce, this could not have come at a worse time as he prepares to lead his squad against the Netherlands in a friendly at Wembley tomorrow night.

AVB was finally "furious" with the team!

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At last we hear that AVB has an angry side with his players aswell as the media!. Up till now we have only seen his angered response to some lines of questioning during pre or post match press conferences when speaking to the media or the written press. It seems as though he let the players see the exact same side after defeat to United on Sunday.

The Rest

Spanish Primera Division (La Liga) Weekend Preview – 8 April 2012

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Real Madrid hosts Valencia, Sevilla faces Athletic Bilbao, and much more in the Spanish Primera Division (La Liga) on Sunday, April 8, 2012.

Levante v Atletico Madrid

Both teams are battling for a spot in Europe including Levante who could move up to 4th place with a win. Levante haven't been great in recent matches while Atletico are winless in their last five away matches.

Chicago Fire vs. Colorado Rapids - MLS #3 - 6:00 PM CST - Galavision - Gamethread

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Look at this game as a weather gauge. On the one hand, the Colorado Rapids are a squad that are historically tough to beat at home. Going back to 2008, their record is 30-11-22 at Dick's Sporting Good Park but 17-31-16 on the road. On the other hand, this is a team that is in some flux with a new head coach, new defensive winger, new midfielder, and a new forward.

Spurs - Swansea Preview: Here Begins The Eight-Game Renaissance

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Finally, tidings of genuine optimism and joy. Of our eight remaining games the highest-placed opponent is Sunderland, while l'Arse still have to face Man City, Chelski and Stoke (on top of their bonus defeat to Adel Taraabt and chums yesterday).

Our remaining games won't win themselves, and in recent weeks the absence of Lennon coupled with central deployment of Bale has hardly helped matters.