Tag Archives: sports

Conte’s Chelsea in Driving Seat for Premier League Title Triumph

Simply put, Chelsea have been outstanding so far this season. Antonio Conte’s Italian revolution is well and truly underway at Stamford Bridge and the Blues are reaping rewards from his varied and extensive skillset in the dugout.

Since taking over at the helm, Conte has taken this Chelsea side from the brink of disaster to eleven consecutive Premier League wins. The Blues are now eyeing up Arsenal’s all-time top-flight record of successive victories and a fifth Premier League title could follow.

It is easy to forget that this is Conte’s first season in charge of a major club side outside of his native Italy – and that is testament to his ability to adapt and tweak his system and style to suit the English game.

Ultimately, Conte has managed to maintain his Italian principles of solid, consistent defending but has incorporated Premier League traditions of playing attacking, free-flowing football. This unique blend has confused their rivals and the Blues, who have now 11 on the spin, are looking unbeatable.

Chelsea’s recent run has been sensational to say the least but it is the manner of these wins that make them all the more impressive. Conte’s men have scored 25 goals during this spell whilst conceding just two – keeping nine clean sheets in the process.

If the former Italy boss can keep his players focused on the task at hand, the title race could be all but over by mid-April. The Blues have already built a six-point lead over nearest rivals Liverpool and both Manchester City and Arsenal are already feeling the heat.

As of December 22nd, Conte’s men are priced at 10/11 to win the title with Betway and plenty of neutrals will be backing Chelsea after their solid start to the campaign. The Blues have lost just once so far this season and that 3-0 defeat to Arsenal was the catalyst for Conte’s revolution to begin.

Prior to that defeat, the Italian was following English football’s tradition of playing four at the back but Chelsea have now reverted to a brand new 3-4-3 system and the rest of the Premier League just cannot figure out how to play against it.

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Eventually, teams will grow accustomed to Chelsea’s system but the Blues have enough quality in their ranks to adapt if needs be. Conte has managed to take Victor Moses, a player who made just one solitary performance for the club last season, and transform him into a reliable wing-back in the space of just three months.

By the same token, former Bolton Wanderers star Marcos Alonso is holding his own on a weekly basis. While he was touted as a superb prospect for the future, nobody expected Conte to get this much out of the Spaniard in his first season at Stamford Bridge.

But without beating about the bush, it would be fair to state that the biggest difference-maker has been Diego Costa. The Spain star has always played with vigour and determination and his new manager has channelled that aggression into goals – and Chelsea fans are now back on the Costa wagon after a hit-and-miss 2015/16 campaign.

Costa has already notched 13 league goals this season; more than anybody else in the top flight. The Golden Boot is well within his sights but a Premier League triumph is the main objective; Conte has got him playing for the shirt rather than for his own glory…

Chelsea still have plenty of work to do in the second half of the season but Conte will be ready for the title push. He has been there and done it all during his stints with Juventus and Italy but a Premier League crown in his first year in England would certainly send out a statement of intent. At 47 years old, Conte is here for the long run and an early title triumph could signal the start of an era of Blues dominance.

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Italy can progress in Euro 2016 despite a tough path

The Italian national team has awoken a sense of hope in the country that has been a surprise and certainly was not expected. The nation as a rule, grows slowly into a tournament just like its team and in some sort of bizarre unity, they historically culminate in the knock out rounds as a force on both parts. Now after a smash and grab group stage, where the Italians unusually topped their group after two games, they ironically face champions Spain in the round of 16.  Despite a defeat in their final game to the Republic of Ireland, there is reason to be positive before this titanic clash.

Written off

‘The worst Italian squad in 50 years’ this was the yoke that the Italian national team had around their neck as they travelled to France. The lack of quality in the forward area was obvious and the nation’s media and fans questioned whether GrazianoPelle, Eder and Ciro Immobile could produce the magic that their predecessors had. After all a country that had given birth to Giuseppe Meazza, Paolo Rossi, Christian Vieri and ‘Pippo’ Inzaghi could perhaps feel as though they had been put on a crash diet when it came to forward quality. Italy’s midfield to had been decimated, as injuries to Claudio Marchisio and Marco Verratti had meant that the team was now reliant on its three man Juventus defence backed up by the ever young ‘Gigi’ Buffon.

Belgium, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland stood in their way and as the Azzurri went into their opening game against the Red Devils ‘Golden generation’ there was not much hope given. Despite the prediction that Antonio Conte would play a very defensive game that operated solely on counter attacks, the team instead started with pace and a direct style that shocked their opponents. Despite commentators talking about Italy being a defensive unit they were ambitious and got their rewards for this.

Pressing

The way that Conte had his team drilled was impressive and his team transformed from a 3-5-2 to a 3-3-4 when in attack and then a 5-3-2 when defending. Buffon was the antithesis of this as he played almost as a sweeper when the team was attacking, similar to Manuel Neuer. When the team defended as a five the veteran goalkeeper did not move out of his six-yard box but the understanding of when he would come for the ball was understood well by his Juventus team mates.

This was also evident against Sweden but despite Eder’s killer goal the team still do look a little bit lightweight up front. The rest of the team however, operate as a cohesive unit that arguably is the most fluid yet structured in the competition. Conte looks to operate with a ‘freedom within structure’ mentality and it has proved effective. He knows he hasn’t got the best tool in his tool box but he knows what kit he needs to do the job well.

It was the realisation of this that enthused the Italian public and media and even saw the GazzettaDello Sport say that ‘We want our Italy back’ after they lost their final group game to the Republic of Ireland. Conte made eight changes in this game and two if those were enforced as Buffon had the flu and Antonio Candreva had pulled his hamstring against Sweden. The rest simply were experimental and whilst the team came in for criticism, it did allow the coach to see what options he could call upon. Lorenzo Insigne was one of these players who, whilst given only a few minutes, showed that he could replicate his club form for Napoli on the national stage.

Italy have to face Spain and then if they progress they will face Germany but they should not be worried. The team has already impressed her apathetic fans and there is little expectation but yet there is room for optimism. Defensively the team are arguably the best in the tournament and if Lorenzo Insigne is given licence to roam then the Azzurri may be the may turn heads even if for cohesion rather than style.

 

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PokerRoom Returns to Prove Its Superiority Over Other Sites

Currently, online poker is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. However, major problem for many online poker players is how to distinguish the various online poker sites.

One of the oldest poker site on the internet, PokerRoom, rated as the best online poker sites by many players. You may be wondering what exactly makes PokerRoom more superior than others? Let’s find out the answer.

One thing that makes PokerRoom different than its competitor sites is the amount of experience held by this site. PokerRoom is one of the first online poker sites and they specialize in creating an enjoyable experience for the players. Once the software is loaded, the player can clearly see the difference because the control has a clear label. Thus, online poker players can find a cash game or tournament with ease. Many sites that offer “do it yourself avatars”, have a low quality graphics, but PokerRoom specializes in providing high-quality graphics and more realistic appearance.

One of the most popular poker game is Texas Hold’em poker. PokerRoom is able to offer a wide selection of cash poker games to the players wanting to play poker online. PokerRoom also offers traditional poker games like Omaha, Omaha 8 or Better, Seven Card Stud, Stud 8 or Better and Five Card Draw.

The tournament in PokerRoom offers a large selection of games, available in all variants of poker. You can start playing with only paying $ 1. In addition, PokerRoom have many choice in poker games, not only multi-player table games, such as the Sit and Go tournaments. A variety of games made available for under $ 1, so it is plausible that you will be able to find the best finance rate games.

Amount of traffic at PokerRoom arguably quite remarkable with the network ranges between 2,000 to 5,000 players per day. In tournaments, the number of players could reach 40,000. This competition is fair at all over the sites, so every time you’re in the game, you do not have to worry will be surrounded by a table full of sharks. PokerRoom gives you the opportunity to make money from their traffic and friendly atmosphere.

PokerRoom offers many resources for player who just starting to play poker. On their website, the rules for online Texas Hold’em and other games have shown, coupled with numerous articles on poker strategy provided. You are also given the facility to connect with other poker players if you want to discuss game strategy.

No other online poker sites that can come close to PokerRoom. Amazing features and support provided by PokerRoom make many poker players, new or old, come back every year. You can easily sign up PokerRoom to learn more information.

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