Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Match Preview

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Premier League 2014/2015 scores, Football England
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Arsenal will push for that 3rd consecutive victory in the Champions League this season, as they host last year’s finalist Dortmund at the Emirates on Tuesday.

Wenger’s men continued from where they left off before the International break fixtures in the league; by thrashing Norwich to retain top spot on the log. The Gunners started the game on the front foot as expected, with chances gone begging with love.

But soon afterwards, a string of passes, flicks, and composure fired Arsenal to a 1-o lead. The build-up and finish of the Gunners’ first goal was scintillating and definitely a contender for goal of the season.

The second proceedings, however, witnessed Norwich asking questions, and a couple of saves from Sczensy prevented an equalizer. It wasn’t to be the same old-Arsenal though. Frenchman Olivier Giroud found Ozil with an inch-perfect cross, the 42.5 million acquisition scored with an header for the first time in his top flight career.

Jonny Howson’s calm finish for the canneries brought hope for the visitors, but Ramsey’s proficient goal, and Ozil’s tap in annihilated such hopes.

Dortmund also brushed aside Hannover in the Bundesliga with a lone-goal courtesy of a first half penalty. The Gunners have taken 19 points from 7 league matches, Dortmund won 7 in 9 league games this season.

In the Champions League, the Gunners have also started in effulgent fashion; first beating Marseille away 2-1, then Italian Napoli at home 2-0. Whilst Dortmund lost their first game in Naples, but defeated Marseille 3-0 on match day two.

The Gunners should be confident in approaching this game, not just because of their red-hot form, but their impressive home- record against German sides- winning nine and losing 3 in 13 games.


Team news-

Dortmund would welcome back their suspended goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller for this clash. Absentees Sebastian Kehl (Ankle) and Marcel Schmelzer (Thigh) who have not featured since September are ostensibly ruled out for the trip to London.

Sven Bender is likely to feature despite carrying a knock; the defensive midfielder has expressed his excitement on facing his fellow country-man Mesut Ozil. Lukasz Piszczek and llkay Gundogan remain long term injuries.

For Arsenal, aside Flamini who is recovering from a concussion, Theo Walcott who suffered a set-back in training and ruled out for an addition two weeks, the same squad that played in Norwich could feature against their German opponents.


DID YOU KNOW: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) has attempted the most passes in the opposition half in the Champions League this season, with 1896? The Welsh Jesus (as the media says) is fully confident ahead of this game.


Prediction: Arsenal showed against Napoli that they are more than capable of upsetting the top dogs, and their German summer acquisition has lifted the spirit of the players, albeit, Dortmund are no pushover.

But if you asked Jurgen Klopp (who would be watching from the stands after an out-burst which resulted in a two-match ban) if he preferred another opponent for his Dortmund team at this stage, he would have gracefully said yes. Arsenal 3-1 Dortmund.


Written by Femi Hilekaan

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Marseille vs Arsenal: Match Preview

A hard fought draw against an abstruse Sunderland team saw Arsene Wenger’s team exit the Stadium of Light with all three points in the bag. The Gunners started the game brightly, and barely 10 minutes into the half, debutant Mesut Ozil teed Oliver Giroud to fire Arsenal to an early lead.

The German international was enormously expected to display his tantalizing talents in the league, and his half-time performance alone was too emphatic for a player who fell sick on the eve of the clash, and had no idea about his new team playing style- That simply augurs what to expect from the player.

Predictably, the black cats upped their tempo in the second proceedings probably due to Di Canio’s effect at halftime. And they were finally rewarded when Lauren Koscielny plunged to a reckless challenge- giving the ref no option but to point to the spot-Gardner leveled matters for the home team.

At that point, Sunderland looked threatening, and with the home crowd cheering on, their vibrant passing tempo was increased. Most certain to cause the gunner’s problem, they made use of both flanks proficiently. Unfortunately though, it wasn’t to be the story- an admirable Ramsey’s volley from a Carl Jenkinson’s cross catapulted Arsenal in front for the second time.

Like a thunderous flash, glimpse of hope was seen again, as Altidore seemed to have scored for the cats, despite the ref blowing for a tangle with Bacary Sagna, but horrendously, the goal was disallowed.

Finally, combinations of Ozil and Giroud, neatly dispatched a goal-scoring pass for Ramsey, who in return, beat the keeper to increase his goal tally to seven this season. And, diminished any sort of a fairy-tale come back from the home-team.

The Uefa Champions League is here again, and Arsenal will battle against a Marseille side at the Stade Velodrome Stadium, with the host coming into this clash with full spirits, despite scraping an understandable draw at Toultouse during the weekend fixtures.

The previous time both teams met, Arsenal came out victorious at Velodrome with Ramsey scoring a well placed shot. The 2nd leg ended in a stalemate.

With both sides showing ambition in the summer transfer- Arsenal securing the signature of Mesut Ozil, and Marseille completing the switch of Florian Thuavin, it sure promises to be a different footballing affair come Wednesday night.


Team News

Arsene Wenger revealed during his Monday night pre-match conference the return of Merteshacker (Who missed the weekend’s game due to illness) to Arsenal’s defense. New boy Mesut Ozil is in contention to start, while the club is sweating over the fitness of Oilvier Giroud.

Highly influential attack orchestrator Santi Cazorla is out with an ankle injury. The striker limped off the stadium of light with a suspected knee injury. Marseille are more likely to field the same side that participated in the weekend draw.

Andrew Ayew is doubtful to start, whilst Senegalese International Diawara is unavailable. Gignac will spear-head the l’OM attack line, Valbuena, Mendez and Dimitri Payet all probable to start.




Arsenal are in super-hot form, and with a host of creative talents in their side, they are bound to create chances for in-form striker Olivier Giroud who has 4 in 4 in the Premier League.

Marseille have lost their last 3 matches in the Ucl, and should be approaching this game in a positive manner. An early goal could be the antidote for a victory; otherwise, giving Arsenal room to display their brilliance on the pitch would be disastrous for Elie Baup’s side.


Predicted scoreline: Marseille 0-2 Arsenal


Written by Femi Hilekaan

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Manchester United vs Bayer Leverkusen: Match Preview

The post-Sir Alex Ferguson era has been filled with twists and turns up until this point. The favoured one, David Moyesis about to embark on his first MAJOR EUROPEAN adventure tonight when Steffan KeiSling’s Leverkusen visit Old Trafford for the first time in 11 long years.

The draw has pitted a European powerhouse with three other ambitious clubs and the great SAF has warned his successor that this is possibly the toughest group stage draw he has ever seen. He couldn’t be wrong.

High flying Real Sociedad who accounted for Lyon’s elimination in the play-offs and MirceaLucescu’s Shakhtar Donetsk complete the tricky group. Any slip-ups will be fatal.

Manchester United are coming off an unconvincing 2-0 win v Crystal Palace at Old Trafford and sit 5th in the standings. That is dismal compared to what Bayer have done so far in the Bundesliga.

Four wins out of five and they only sit behind Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich on the table. It has been a dream start for former Liverpool skipper and Finnish Legend, Sami Hypia who took over first as caretaker boss last year and is now fully at the helm in Leverkusen. His exceptional leadership qualities can be seen in the organization and displays of his wards thus far.

The red devils don’t have fond memories of the last time both clubs met as it was Klaus Toppmoller’s Bayer that sent them packing out of the 01-02 UCL when they were within touching distance of a 2nd Champions League final in four years. The heroics of Roy Keane and co fell short that night. Revenge it is then?

Nani is suspended for this tie after the CuneytCakir drama last time out. This game might come too soon for Jones, Rafa and Danny Welbeck and with Manchester City lying in wait on Sunday, changes are expected to cope with the tight fixture schedule.

27.5 Million man, Marouane Fellaini is set to make his first ever appearance from the start for his new club and it is very likely that he will be alongside the indispensable Michael Carrick. The TC23 brand has to wait for his chance yet again after failing to impress in his first couple of games (bar Chelsea).

Wayne Rooney will don his protective headband once more as he continues his attempts to win back his confidence and his teammates trust. Robin Van Persie cannot wait to make up for the shocking misses v Real Madrid and the Japanese witch doctor, Shinji Kagawa is waiting to hear his name read out as a starter after the early season disappointments. Rio Ferdinand is aware of the fact that he cannot play all the games.

With J.Evans fit, Rio should be rested for the crunch Derby in five days time.

For Bayer, Sami Hyypia cannot believe that his first European adventure takes him to Old Trafford where he has been a worthy adversary for a decade. In fact, the Liverpool Legend’s last 90 minutes as a player in the English League came against Manchester United in that memorable 4-1 demolition of the red army.

He has fond memories of his playing days and won 4 games at the Theatre of Dreams. He meets his fellow ROOKIE European campaigner in David Moyes, who despite qualifying Everton for the UCL eight years ago, never got the chance to coach a team in the Group Stages. The yellow Submarine(s) (Villareal) and Juan Roman Riquelme made sure that goal was never achieved.

The likes of Sidney Sam and KeiSling have scored 8 goals between them in the Bundesliga this term and that is somewhat outrageous considering how many pundits predicted they will struggle following the sale of Schurrle to Chelsea.

Former Hamburg star, Heung-Min Son was brought in to replace the aforementioned player and he has done really well since then.
Sam, who has Nigerian roots, has stepped up his game beyond belief and is a major threat alongside forgotten German predator, KeiSling.

Lars Bender (second half of the Bender twins) faces a late fitness test and should pass it with flying colours. You don’t get the chance to face Manchester United every day.

Omer Toprak was rested at the weekend and should be recalled. Dom Kohr and Niklas Lomb miss lout through injury. The vastly improved Leno has to punch above his weight to keep out the rampaging United RVP-Rooney led frontline. Spahic and co will provide the needed shield.

For Sami Hypia and David Moyes, this match is more than Manchester United v Bayer Leverkusen affair. It is definitely a Liverpool-Everton rivalry and a chance for the Finn to get one over the red devils as he loved to do when he was at Merseyside.
The atmosphere will be electric to say the least and Sami knows better than to expect a rousing applause.



MANCHESTER UNITED: DDG, Fabio, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Carrick, Fellaini, Kagawa, Rooney, Giggs, RVP

David De Gea has yet to concede at Old Trafford this season and the experience of Ryan Giggs will be vital in this game. He is the only survivor from both sides meeting eleven years ago. With 134

Champions League appearances, no one has featured more for one club in Europe’s elite club competition. Another one for the EVERGREEN LEGEND who turns 40 in November.


BAYER LEVERLUSEN: Leno, Donati, Toprak, Spahic, Boenisch, Bender, Reinartz, Castro, Heung-Min, Sam, KeiSling

The trio of Sam, KeiSling and Son Hueng-Min must be closely watched. Castro is no stranger to spectacular goals. How he can be kept at bay is left for Fellaini and Carrick to find out.

Referee DamirSkomina was last spotted at Old Trafford in February 2012 when Frank De Boer’s Ajax stunned the United faithful in a 2-1 win. He dished out 16 yellow cards and a single red in the five matches he officiated last season. That means he is not afraid to dish them out as at when due.

Manchester United have been abysmal at home for sometime now. Just 3 wins out of the last 9 home games in the competition is a terrible record.

Four out of the last 6 have been lost and that has to be transformed if they intend to go far this time around. The exit of last season was controversial and the wound is still fresh. Making amends is all that is required.

However, Bayer 04 are party spoilers and they have everything needed to claim a historic first victory on English soil tonight. That is if United let them.


Written by Ohireime Eboreime

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Tottenham vs Arsenal: Match Preview

On Saturday, two fierce rivals would do battle for supremacy in what promises to be an epic North London derby encounter. Nowadays, as a friend noted, clubs in the English premier league are loosely using the word “rivals”.

As points out, a rival is a person or an object competing against you. And that clearly explains the rivalry between Arsenal and Tottenham.

Over the years, the white side of North London has endured excruciating times finishing second fiddle to their North London foes. Though, most of these are down to their own carelessness. A clear example is two seasons back when Tottenham had a healthy 13-points gap over Arsenal but fumbled and ended up finishing below the gunners. Or last season where they also had a four point lead but threw them away into the wild.

This season though promises to be different. Spurs has been very busy in the transfer market securing quality players to feel the void of last season as they hope to secure a top four finish, even though they are going to be without their energetic welsh winger this season.

Still, a Tottenham without Gareth Bale on most occasions is fruitless. As the player has been the turning point for Spurs for over two seasons now. AVB would only hope his new acquisitions can lead spurs to a Champions league berth. But first, a win against Wenger’s men is sure to boost bragging rights.

Arsenal who haven’t had a busy transfer market securing only one signature should be coming into this game with a positive and relaxed mindset after securing that all important Champions League group stage spot, with a clean sheet in both legs.

Both teams should be coming into this clash with a strong team that could grind out a decent result. Though, the Gunners will be without their influential winger Lukas Podolski, who was stretched off the last game with a suspected hamstring injury.

Former Wales captain and inform midfielder Aaron Ramsey is also a huge doubt after picking up a minor injury. Other than that, we should see the same team that played against Fenerbache during the midweek. For Tottenham, it would be an avenue to unleash their new signings.

Prediction: The North London derby is full of surprises and goals. Tottenham have shown ambition to secure Champions league spot by acquiring top quality players, and one can only admire AVB options in the midfield ahead of this clash.

Also with Soldado set to lead the attack line for Spurs and Arsenal Olivier Giroud in a goal-scoring form, it should be an exciting game with goals. Still, I see Arsenal having the upper advantage especially with the home support.

Afterall, the fans control the momentum of a typical derby game. Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham.


Written by Femi Hilekaan

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Fulham: The Season Preview

Major transfers IN: Maarten Stekelenburg - £4.7 Million- Roma; Sasha Riether - £1.2 million- Cologne; Fernando Amorebieta – Free – Athletic Bilbao; Derek Boateng – Free - Dnipro

Major Transfers OUT: Mark Schwarzer- Free – Chelsea; Simon Davies – Released; Mladen Petric- Released

Martin Jol has a big job on his hands to keep Fulham in the Premier League for their 12th consecutive year and their comfortable mid table finishes of the past 5 years may be a thing of the past if their second half of the season form was anything to go by, along with uninspiring transfers.

Fulham started last season well and it was their early season form which saw them finish (what seemed like) comfortably mid-table but most of their points were gained in the first half of the season and in a good spell over Easter before a really terrible run of form towards the end of the season saw them briefly flirt with relegation, which made Fulham’s season somewhat of a rollercoaster.

Their form dipped terribly after periods of strong form, so much so that Fulham’s season can be broken down into 4 distinct stages: First 11 matches, only 3 losses. Next 9 matches, only 1 win. Next 10 games heralded 5 wins before a terrible end of season run of 4 points in their last 8 games.

This kind of roller coaster form makes it hard to analyse what kind of season the Cottagers will have but with teams who finished around them strengthening more impressively, Fulham may be left behind some of their bottom half of the table rivals.

The one man who is key to Fulham’s season is obviously Dimitar Berbatov who looked a good singing no paper and proved to be just that with 15 goals scored in just 32 league games, a brilliant return for a player who would not have cost the club too much money.

Berbatov’s goal scoring record should come as no surprise as he averages 0.44 goals over the course of his career, and showed that he can do it in a team which does not provide him with as much ammunition as he used to like his spells at Man Utd, Spurs and Bayer Leverkeusen.

Berbatov’s contribution to Fulham’s season was enormous, and after he had signed for Fulham he scored 15 of the 43 goals they scored. His importance to the team can be seen when you look at Fulham’s results without him, they only won one game all season, and that was the opening day victory against Norwich.

An injury to Berbatov would be catastrophic to Fulham with the only other out-and-out striker being Hugo Rodellaga, who managed just 3 goals all season despite taking part in 29 league games. Behind the Bulgarian is normally Bryan Ruiz who has shown he is a creative and talented footballer who managed 7 assists last season, alongside his 5 league goals too for a decent campaign.

The rest of the midfield is probably the area where Fulham are the weakest with Damien Duff now 34, and the 36 year old Giorgios Karagounis coming in and playing 25 games last season, showing how weak the midfield is, and may explain the dip in form towards the end of the season.

Steve Sidwell is a steady if not spectacular player and will joined in the middle by Derek Boateng who is a good free signing from Dnipro after they paid nearly £6 million to take him from Getafe two years ago, however he only played 23 times in total for the Ukrainians.

Alex Kacaniklic is a potential creative spark for Fulham who has looked a tricky winger on occasions, and was in favour towards the back end of last season, and looks set for a starting berth on the left hand side of an uninspiring midfield. For what looks a pretty solid defence, Fulham leaked 60 goals last season, the same as QPR.

The aging Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird may finally have had their day as Fernando Amorebieta has been bought in from Athletic Bilbao and has to be an improvement on the formers, and should be solid next to Brede Hangeland. One of two paid transfers Fulham have made is that of Sasha Riether from Cologne for just £1.2 million, after he had a good loan spell last season missing just 3 games in total, but again is a pretty uninspiring signing, even if a good piece of business.

The biggest transfer Fuham have made is that of Maarten Stekelenburg from Roma after Mark Schwarzer left the club on a free to join Chelsea. Stekelenburg is a good signing who has frequently been linked with top European clubs, and at 30 is ten years younger than his predecessor and at nearly £5 million is again good business for a keeper who has long been considered one of Europe’s best.

Considering Fulham’s recent take over a total outlay of around £6 million is not what the supporters want to see, even if Martin Jol is doing pretty solid business.

A move for Darren Bent has been muted but I can’t see him fitting into a team which really does revolved around Berbatov, and he sat on the bench all of last season at Aston Villa. Fulham should look to bring in a more creative midfield player or wide midfielders as their strength in depth is worrying in a number of areas.


Betting recommendation

It is pretty hard to be enthusiastic about Fulham’s season with a very average team who revolve around one world class player in Berbatov. Fulham are a definite runner in the relegation market and have been priced up as short as 4/1 with Ladbrokes and are a standout 8/1 with Bet Victor which looks huge value considering their terrible run at the end of last season and a lack of significant improvements.

It is really hard to know what to expect out of Fulham and the goals of Berbatov are going to be crucial in keeping them afloat in a division which does tno have much between the 14 clubs outside of the “Big 6”. Martin Jol is second favourite in the first manager to go market at around 8/1 and a tricky start is not going to help him either, but it would be a surprise if no one was to go before him.

In a wide open relegation market in which there is likely to be bigger price team go down I think it is worth taking Fulham to go down. With a huge over reliance on Berbatov an injury would see them woefully short upfront, and with no reinforcements coming in so far the 8/1 with Bet Victor is way too big considering they are half that price in places.


Fulham to be relegated- 1pt Bet Victor.


Written by Alex Evans

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Arsenal vs Aston Villa: Match Preview

Once again, the red side of North London would be hoping this is their season. They have been forced to endure a frustrating 8 years campaign- that has seen them trophyless- despite having full hopes by the start of those excruciating seasons.

Last season, they had to fight tooth and nail to scrap fourth-spot on the league table, as their North London rivals had plans of their own too.

This time, it promises to be a different affair. Changes from the managerial positions and top-class signings by other competitors of the prestigious top four spot haven’t gone unnoticed. Unfortunately, neither of that effect is taking place at Arsenal.

It’s obvious the manager hasn’t learnt his lessons from last season, because surprisingly, he has failed to strengthen the side. Although, a much better second-half season performance by Arsenal saw them not only gifted a top-four finish, but also a good league run, and that incredible victory at the Allianz Arena that apparently spurred their season.

Still, the Gunners faithful and even the players want more than that. A trophy was the primary target of the club by the end of last season for the new campaign, and even the club chief executive boasted about the possible arrival of new faces to join the squad. But now, it’s unlikely. And aforementioned earlier, one can observe the massive changes by the teams that want the league triumph.

With all that aside, a win against the Lions at the Emirates come Saturday is highly achievable. Arsenal would be coming into this one as clear favourites, not just because of the home advantage (which sometimes plays no role), but with the superior quality when you collate both squads.

Aston Villa on the other hand, would be coming into this game as the underdogs, but clearly shouldn’t be written off. Manager Paul Lambert’s firmness in young-breeds at the club has yielded positives, in the form of Chris Benteke.

And after signing a new contract, the striker looks set to racking up his goal tally this season- a possible scourge for the Arsenal’s defence on Saturday.




Lukas Podolski and Per mertesacker should be welcomed back to the side, with both playing a teensy part for their country during the week. Theo Walcoot and Santi Cazorla are highly doubts after both picked up injuries after playing an enormous percentage for their respective countries during the midweek.

Captain Vermaelen is out of the game, with Koscielny set to replace him. Bacary Sagna is also expected to miss the game, but welsh man Aaron Ramsey is fully fit after playing no part in the international friendlies.


Aston Villa

TRIO Chris Benteke, Andreas Weimann and new signing Aleskhandar Tonev are all expected to start at the Emirates.

Chris Herd and Charles Nzogbia are nursing various degrees of injuries, so are expected not to take part in the predictably sunny weather on Saturday.


Match facts

Arsenal are undefeated in 27 of their 29 matches against Aston Villa.

Arsenal have scored 2 goals in at least 3 fixtures against Aston Villa at the Emirates.

Arsenal have won 8 of their last 10 matches in the Premier League.



That Arsenal have made only one signing this summer, and is set to miss this game with an injury? Frustrating eh?


Match Verdict

Both sides boasting of qualities in the squad could augur an end to end stuff affair- though with Arsenal possessing more quality, I expect the home team to come out victorious.


Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Aston Villa


Written by Femi Hilekaan

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English Premier League: Top 5 Predictions For The Upcoming Season

Next month isn’t far away as we prepare for another breath-taking season that promises to be mouth-watering as usual, especially with the traditional top four teams looking as busy as ever in the summer transfer window.

Here are my top five predictions for next season:



Despite sacking their manager and replacing him with an interim boss, the Blues still managed to secure glory last season. And now with Jose Mourinho set to take over come August, it’s rather foolish not to take Chelsea seriously as a genuine title threat.

Especially when they are one of the busiest in the transfer market; adding players like Andre Schurrle and Mark Schwarzer to an already excellent pack comprising of players like Juan Mata and Eden Hazard.

It’s sure to be a fantastic season for the Blue faithful to look forward to, and I ostensibly believe they can win the league title next season.



Wenger has had little sympathy from the press especially when he loses his big players, unlike the situation at Dortmund. And last season was horrific not only to the boss, but the fans too as they had to watch Robin Van Persie produce those typical scintillating performances to help his team win the English Premier League in his maiden season at the club.

But of course, its surely going to be a different environment next season- with Fergie and Mancini gone, the possibility of Arsenal finishing in the top two and even going ahead to tip Chelsea for the crown is realistic, if only they add some signings in the summer transfer.

The club have been heavily linked with Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain on paper. Getting the striker at the club next season is sure to boost the club’s attacking options as Giroud has struggled on few occasions. That is surely down to the club though, if they make good signings, the Gunners are title threats.



Losing one of the greatest managers in the round leather game was obviously going to create a ditch in the Theatre of Dreams that is slowly turning to the Theatre of Hope. The Red Devils are set to begin life without Fergie .

Rooney looks set to follow suit at the exit door, although David Moyes is confident the striker would stay, but if he eventually moves away, that could cause more problems for United. The team looked sharp and deadly as ever when Alex was in charge, as his half-time talks alone when United needed help were the perfect anti-dote to a memorable second half display.

But his exit now means United would be counting on David Moyes to deliver, and I expect him to take at least two seasons before his plans would materialize. A third place finish is my prediction for Manchester United next season.



Similar to their Manchester rivals, the Blue Moons would be without the manager who guided them to an English Premier League triumph some seasons back.

Although, since the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini, the Citizens have gotten busy in the transfer market with acquisitions like Jesus Navas and Fernandinho.

Still, a fourth place finish looms, as I find it an impossible task for this signings and the ones to come to blend in immediately.



There is something I can’t seem to fathom in this Spurs side- is it that they have tried to pip their arch-rivals Arsenal for that all important Champions League place? Or the fact they blew a 13 points gap to finish third last season and four points this season? Or finishing fourth last season but couldn’t qualify for the group stages of the Champions league simply because Chelsea came out victorious in Munich? I don’t know.

Some would argue Spurs’ major problem is bad luck, but that’s just a few of the lots. And losing Gareth Bale this season could even cause more miseries for the White Saints as they are hoping to guarantee a Champions League finish come next May.

And that leaves me with four words- LOSE BALE! FINISH FIFTH!


Written by Femi Hilekaan

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Champions League: A Detailed Analysis and Look at the Round of 16

The Champions League is back! On Tuesday 12th February, the best club competition in the world re-starts with the Round of 16 featuring the greatest clubs and players on the planet. The likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich will all be fighting it out to lift the famous trophy.

When the draw for the Champions League Group Stage was made, PowerTableSports created the Champions League PowerTable to predict which teams would qualify for the Knockout Rounds and which would be eliminated from the competition. This prediction is based on our unique ‘tier effectiveness’ system where we calculate how effective different teams are against each other based on 4 tiers. If you’re handy with odds and enjoy the challenge, the Jackpot Capital odds are worth testing your skills on. How did we get on?




Man City and Chelsea were the big underachievers – PowerTable predicted that they would qualify for the Round of 16 and classed them as Tier 1 teams, however they both failed to qualify.

  • Man City were the biggest underachievers – PowerTable considered them Semi-Finalists but they finished bottom of their group.
  • Chelsea were considered Quarter-Finalists but they finished 3rd and only qualified for the Europa League.



Malaga and Celtic were the big overachievers having qualified for the Round of 16 despite being regarded as Tier 4 teams.

  • Malaga were the big overachievers having qualified for the Round of 16 by finishing as Group Winners despite being originally regarded as a Tier 4 team.
  • Celtic were also one of the big overachievers having qualified for the Round of 16 by finishing 2nd in the Group despite being originally regarded as a Tier 4 team.


After successfully predicting 75% of the teams who have gone through to the Round of 16, PowerTableSports has yet again used our unique ‘tier effectiveness’ system to calculate which teams will be eliminated and which will progress to the Quarter Finals. Tier 1 and 2 teams are those that we predict will go through, whereas Tier 3 and 4 teams will be those whose European title ambitions are ended for another year.

Galatasaray v Schalke

Schalke are currently on a poor run in the Bundesliga. The signing of experienced duo Sneijder and Drogba will swing the tie in Galatasaray’s favour.

Celtic v Juventus

Celtic have outperformed all expectations, including a fantastic win against Barcelona. Lightening is unlikely to strike twice though and Italian Champions Juventus will go through over both legs.

Arsenal v Bayern Munich

A mouth-watering tie between an inconsistent Arsenal against an unstoppable Bayern in their domestic Leagues. Bayern’s quest to become European Champions will be a step closer.

Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund

Shakhtar and Dortmund both set the competition alight during the group stages. Shakhtar have sold key player Willian though, which puts Dortmund as favourites (just!).

AC Milan v Barcelona

Barcelona are still favourites to lift the title. AC Milan will prove a stern test, but the Italian giants have a relatively inexperienced squad who Barcelona will dispose of over both legs.

Real Madrid v Man Utd

The tie of the round sees Ronaldo face his former club and Ferguson come face to face with Mourinho again. Close game, plenty of excitement but a United away goal should swing it their way.

Valencia v Paris Saint-Germain

Both teams were impressive during the Group Stage. Valencia will fancy themselves in the 1st leg, but PSG and their attacking flair will be too much over both legs.

Porto v Malaga

Malaga remained unbeaten in their Group and their inclusion in the Round of 16 will have surprised a few people. Porto will fancy their chances, but expect Malaga to pull off another surprise over both legs.


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Special Feature: Picking The Champions League Round Of 16

Now that the UEFA Champions League round of 16 parings have been announced, it is time for football fans all to begin debating them. With the ties not set to occur until mid-February, there is ample time for fans and analysts alike to pick them apart and predict the outcomes. And, of course, this is a particularly exciting process for those who will be placing bets.

Online gambling has become increasingly popular in recent years, and while much of the industry is focused on casino sites like, there is also a great deal of focus on sports betting. For fans, this means that once you’ve made up your mind on the round of 16, you can place a few bets, and really have something on the line during the matches. So without further ado, here are brief analyses and picks for each tie.


Galatasaray A.S. vs. FC Schalke

While Galatasaray looks like the underdog on paper, they may actually be the safer bet. Schalke is capable and dangerous, but has struggled in Bundesliga as of late, and is also going through a coaching transition (with Jens Keller replacing Huub Stevens).

Galatasaray, on the other hand, just wrapped up group play with a trio of wins, and few are as hot scoring goals as forward Burak Yilmaz. Schalke remains the oddsmakers’ favourite, but this one is tight. Galatasaray is the pick, against the odds.


Celtic FC vs. Juventus

The leg in Scotland won’t be easy, but Andrea Pirlo and Juventus made it through the group stage in relatively dominant fashion, and look to be among the favourites moving forward. A victory for Celtic would be rather shocking here, and Juventus is the smart pick.


Arsenal FC vs. FC Bayern Munchen

Having scored 15 goals in the group stage, Bayern is a true powerhouse in this round of 16. Arsenal is never a pushover, but struggled to some extent on both ends of the field during the group stage, and doesn’t seem to have the firepower to stop Bayern. Last year’s runner up, Bayern, will advance.


FC Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Borussia Dortmund

Shakhtar impressed during the group stage, defeating Chelsea and earning a draw at Juventus. But, perhaps no team was stronger in the group stage than Dortmund. Currently Germany’s best, Dortmund navigated the group of death with near perfection, and is the pick to move forward in what should be a thrilling tie.


AC Milan vs. FC Barcelona

Milan managed only 7 goals in the group stage, and finished with the lowest point total of any team to advance. There isn’t much more to say about this tie - Messi and Barcelona will almost certainly be too much for Milan to handle.


Real Madrid CF vs. Manchester United FC

A tie between two historic powers looking to return to the top, this is inarguably the most intriguing of the match-ups. Madrid advanced through the group of death, but has been less than emphatic in recent play, and is essentially out of the running in La Liga.

Meanwhile, the forward combination of newcomer Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney has Manchester United looking quite strong of late. This is a near toss-up and should be a thrilling tie. Madrid remains the oddsmakers’ favourite, but given recent play, Manchester is the pick here, against the odds.


Valencia CF vs. Paris Saint-Germain

Despite a strong showing - only one loss, at Bayern - in the group stage, Valencia has looked weak of late, and sits at 11th in La Liga standings. Meanwhile, Zlatan Ibrahimovic leads a scintillating attack for Paris Saint-Germain - one that should carry them through the round of 16 over the Spanish side.


FC Porto vs. Malaga CF

This looks to be a closely contested tie between two teams playing fairly well in recent matches. Having earned the first place spot in Group C, and sitting at 4th place in La Liga, Malaga probably looks just a bit stronger right now, and also gets to play at home for the second league. Because of this, Malaga is the pick – but it’s a near toss-up.


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Champions League: Last 16 Draw Analysis

Europe’s most prestigious club competition’s round of sixteen always produces some intriguing games. However the matches this year’s draw has proven to be more even more exciting than ever with a lot of the top teams pitted against each other.


So what are my predictions for these games?


Real Madrid vs Manchester United

Arguably the world’s two most famous and recognisable clubs will go one on one in a game that would make a more than worthy final. The number of sub stories surrounding this huge match are a plenty, most notably the fact that the second leg will see Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo return to Old Trafford for the first time since his £80 million move to Madrid in the summer of 2009.

Jose Mourinho, who is widely tipped to be Manchester United manager when Alex Ferguson eventually steps down will meet up with his old friend Alex.

Manchester United were eliminated by Madrid in the Champions League in the 2002/03 season losing 6-5 on aggregate, after United won an incredible match 4-3 in the second leg. Ferguson will be desperate to avoid a repeat.

Prediction: Real Madrid

Mourinho vs Fergie.... rivalry renewed.

Mourinho vs Fergie…. rivalry renewed.


Valencia CF v Paris Saint Germain

Both sides had an impressive group stage, both qualifying with ease, so it shall be interesting to see how PSG can cope against a team of Valencia’s standard. The likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Javier Pastore are more than used to such occasions, but so are many of Valencia’s players, which include Roberto Soldado and captain David Albelda.

Prediction: PSG


Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund

Excellent, high octane attacking play from both sides have led to many calling them two “dark horses” in winning the Champions League. However, only one of these top quality teams will make the quarter finals, in what should be two dramatic matches.

What makes the match even more exciting is the fact that both clubs are known for having stunning atmospheres in their respective home grounds.

Prediction: two very close games, with Dortmund just edging it.


Arsenal v Bayern Munich

Arsenal’s failure to win their group has led to them being given an expectedly tough tie against last year’s beaten finalists Bayern Munich. Bayern have looked like a team on a mission so far this season, and they are currently cruising ahead of their rivals in the Bundesliga.

Arsenal haven’t been so impressive, looking shaky and inconsistent. If the situation is the same come February, Arsenal’s Champions League hopes maybe over for another year.

Prediction: Bayern Munich

Arsenal and Bayern… last met in 2005.


Porto v Malaga

Both these sides have impressed many with very well organized sides. Malaga conceded a mere three goals in six group stage games, and none in the first four games. They’ll have a tough job if they want to stop Jackson Martinez in what will be a very tactically interesting tie.

Prediction: Porto


Celtic v Juventus

Fans around the world were shocked when Celtic beat the mighty Barcelona 2-1 at Celtic park in November. Whether they can produce it against Italian champions Juventus remains to be seen, but they will give it a real good go.

Victor Wanyama coped just fine with Xavi and Iniesta, can he do it again with Pirlo, Vidal and Nocerino?

Prediction: Juventus


AC Milan v Barcelona

These two masters of European club football have had vastly different seasons so far, Milan not as near the top as normal, while Barcelona have had their best start to a La Liga season ever.

Milan were knocked out by Barcelona last year and Allegri is determined to not let Messi and co. do it for the second year running.

Prediction: Barcelona

AC Milan vs Barca: The Catalans ran out as victors in last season’s fixture…… Will it be deja vu for the Rossoneri?


Galatasaray v Schalke

Turkish champions Galatasaray recovered from a poor start to qualify from a very close group, but the vibrant and confident Schalke will present a very tough challenge.
But if the competition’s joint top scorer Burak Yilmaz is on form, Schalke could face some problems.

Prediction: Schalke, if they remain calm and do not get fazed by the atmosphere in the away game.


Written by Joshua Sodergren

Follow him on Twitter @chelsealad1365

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