Posted on | May 22, 2013 | No Comments
England have stuck with the same squad for their second Test against New Zealand at Headingley, including Ian Bell after the batsman was passed fit following his illness during the 170-run victory at Lord’s.
The Warwickshire star was forced to drop down the order in the second innings after coming down with a fever, but Bell has now been given the all-clear ahead of the second and final match in the series.
Off-spinner Graeme Swann was another who came down with some sickness on the fourth morning at Lord’s, although England’s pace attack ensured he wouldn’t need to bowl, but the spinner has also recovered enough to keep his place for the Leeds Test match.
“It was pleasing to start the international summer with a win over New Zealand in the first Investec Test and I thought the team showed a lot of fighting spirit when under pressure to set up the victory,” said National Selector, Geoff Miller, to the cricket betting news.
“We are aware that there are still areas that we need to improve on and the players and coaches will be working hard ahead of the second Test to ensure we continue to get better as a side.”
Tim Bresnan will be hoping to be involved at his home ground, looking to join fellow Yorkshire players Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow in the team. Bresnan is back fit following his elbow problem and may be given the nod if the selectors decide to go with the powerful bowler due to his knowledge of the Headingley conditions. But that’s only if England decide to change a winning team.
While there is an argument to say England did not exactly outplay New Zealand until that fourth day of the first Test, it would seem unlikely that Alastair Cook will want to change a team that secured what ended up being a comprehensive victory at Lord’s.
Don’t forget to check out the latest in-play bet offer on the Bet365 website.
Posted on | May 21, 2013 | No Comments
The Philadelphia Eagles have signed the former Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones on a one-year deal and the 26-year-old has told NFL betting newsreporters that he is excited about the prospect of starting a new chapter in his career.
Jones’ star was in the ascendancy three years ago and he scored a superb touchdown for the Cowboys in a 34-14 victory over Philadelphia, but his stock has diminished in the last few years.
Dallas had selected Jones 22nd overall in the first round of the 2008 draft after he had played college football for the University of Arkansas but his time with the Cowboys was primarily a disappointment.
He endured a succession of injuries and fell behind DeMarco Murray in the Cowboys’ pecking order before drifting into free agency this offseason.
“Things just didn’t go right, as far as the injuries and things, but you know, that’s how the game is. You’ve got to keep pushing on, keep moving,” said Jones after penning the one-year deal with Philadelphia.
“Things don’t happen the way you plan them. I’m just happy to be here, I’m excited about the opportunity.”
Jones’ statistics pinpoint his fall from grace as his yards per carry fell from 4.5 in 2011 to 3.6 in 2012 while, as a rookie, his kickoff return average was a 27.1 yards, only for that to slip to 21.5 yards last season.
He missed the whole of the 2012 offseason workouts because of shoulder surgery and, despite featuring in all 16 games for the Cowboys, failed to impress, appearing to be slower than in previous years.
To make room for Jones, the Eagles have released wideout Marvin McNutt, who was a 2012 sixth-round pick from Iowa.
Posted on | May 21, 2013 | No Comments
Australia coach Robbie Deans has hinted that James O’Connor will be playing number 10 for the Wallabies against the British and Irish Lions squad this summer and is full of confidence the youngster can play the key role.
The hosts have decided to overlook Reds fly-half Quade Cooper for the arrival of the Lions, with the creative playmaker having somewhat of a strained relationship with the national set-up.
Cooper could yet be called up into the side and it will be interesting to see how he gets on if he plays in Queensland’s encounter with the Lions before the Test series gets underway on June 22 in Brisbane.
Deans looks like he will be putting his faith in O’Conner, who has largely played much of his professional career in the back three, predominantly at full-back.
But such is the ability of the 22-year-old Melbourne Rebel star, that Deans wants him in the thick of the action.
O’Connor is by no means unfamiliar in the No.10 jersey, having played a lot of his youth rugby at fly-half.
The Rebels have been playing O’Conner at stand-off in the Super 15 this term and with his ability to kick from hand and of course find weaknesses in defence, he should be an exciting prospect at stand-off.
However there is still the question of experience and the Lions will certainly look to target any weaknesses in the youngster’s game when the Tests come around. The odds on Lions rugby success are at their shortest for many a year.
O’Connor has the ability to handle the pressure and Deans is happy to put his faith in one of the game’s rising stars, who is already a well-recognised figure in the sport.
Posted on | May 18, 2013 | No Comments
This clash focusses on two of the Premier League strugglers for the 2012/13 campaign, with both Wigan and Aston Villa experiencing disastrous seasons. In the case of Wigan, the result has been fatal with the Latics preparing for life in the Championship after suffering relegation earlier this week. Aston Villa have just escaped and the competitive nature of the bottom half means that they could actual finish in the middle reaches of the table if results go their way this weekend.
Nobody can still believe the events over the past seven days, with Wigan going from FA Cup victors to a relegated Premier League outfit in a matter of days. It remains to be seen if such an event will ever happen again but unlike previous campaigns, the Latics simply couldn’t respond from their early season slump to pick up sufficient points and remain in the top flight. While fans will still be jubilant following their Cup exploits, that joy is sure to be short-lived when reality sinks in that the DW Stadium outfit will be playing Championship football next term – most likely without their talented manager Roberto Martinez. The Spaniard has all but confirmed he will leave the club and take a new post in the very near future and while he has been part of this season’s relegation, most supporters will remember the fluent football he brought to the club and of course their victory in the greatest domestic cup competition in sport.
The funny thing is that Aston Villa supporters are probably even more disgruntled with their team, even though they have avoided the drop. The club have been battling in and around the bottom three for much of the season and there were times where a lot of people had written off their chances of survival. However, a decent run of form through March and April has preserved their top flight status, although fans’ opinions are still out on Paul Lambert who has really struggled to adapt to the role he was appointed to in the summer.
Wigan have been handed a piece of bad news for the clash with Callum McManaman poised to miss out after damaging his ankle ligaments in the recent defeat to Arsenal. Roberto Martinez at least has something to smile about in relation to Jean Beausejour though, with the defender poised to start after recovering from a hamstring injury. Aston Villa on the other hand will be missing their star man, with Christian Benteke set to be kept out through suspension. Ciaran Clark is another absentee as he struggles with a foot problem, although Karim El Ahmadi and Matthew Lowton are both back in the reckoning following injuries.
This is another Premier League match that could involve another manager set to depart, with Roberto Martinez widely tipped to leave Wigan in the summer. With that, we think the Latics players will put up a decent fight for their manager, especially as they hold the home advantage over an Aston Villa side that have struggled immensely throughout this campaign.