Betting on the Premiership

Gambling on the possible winners of the Premiership is difficult and risky at such an early stage of the season. That will not stop legions of football betting lovers hitting the bookies to see what odds are available on the different teams.

Most people see this season as being a straight fight between Chelsea and the two clubs from Manchester, and the bookmakers have them down as favourites. City are currently hot favourites at 7/4, with Chelsea second at 11/5 and Manchester United behind them at 3/1, so who should you bet on?

SNEIJDER STILL IN TOUCH

Galatasaray midfielder Wesley Sneijder has revealed that he is still in touch with Portuguese manager José Mourinho, who recently took over at Chelsea.

The 28-year-old has been linked with a move to the Premier league outfit in recent weeks. He is someone who had a great relationship with Mourinho when he was in charge of Inter Milan.

GALA LEFT DISAPPOINTED

Juventus and Galatasaray have both been disappointed with their efforts to sign Manchester City midfielder Nigel De Jong.

The European Cup winner is out of favour at Manchester City, as he has often found himself playing second fiddle to the likes of Gareth Barry, and Yaya Toure. As a result, there has been talk of him moving in search of new pastures, especially as his contract is coming to a close soon, with many fans sticking football bets on him to be playing elsewhere come the end of the transfer window.

BONY INSPIRED BY DROGBA

New Swansea signing Wilfried Bony has said that he wants to become the Didier Drogba for Swansea. The Ivory Coast international was recently signed for a club record transfer fee of £ 12 million after weeks of negotiations with Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem and has been made on of the favourites to win the Golden Boot this season on the online betting sites.

GALA PULL OUT

Galatasaray have dropped out of the running to sign Manchester United winger Nani due to the transfer fee demands of the English club.

It is understood that Manchester United value the player at close to £ 10 million, and Galatasaray seeing this as an exorbitant transfer fee for a player who has just 12 months left on his contract. Galatasaray will be able to sign the Portuguese winger on a free transfer if they wait only for six months because the winger will be able to negotiate terms with a foreign club from January.

Galatasaray have been one of the big spending clubs – at least in terms of salary – over the last few transfer windows. They have managed to bring in stars like Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba. Even though many consider them to be past their prime, it is still a great achievement for Turkish football to have their services. Nani has been deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford, and the Portuguese winger is confident that his situation will not change even after the arrival of David Moyes.

The signing of Zaha has all but confirmed an exit for Nani, but it seems that he will not be heading to Turkey at least in the summer.

"We offered seven million euros (£6million) for him. But they didn't accept. We can't give more than this. We are not going to follow Nani anymore. We can't give more than seven million euros for him. They want 10 million euros (£8.5million). Because of this he is not on our transfer list anymore," said the Galatasaray Chief Executive. Nani managed to score only three goals last season, which was not a good return for a player who cost in excess of £ 25 million a few years ago. He was also sent off in the Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid.

GALA ARE READY

Galatasaray are preparing to face the Spanish club Real Madrid in the quarter-final stage of the Champions league. Ahead of the match, Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim has said that he is someone who regards the Real Madrid manager José Mourinho in high regard.

This is widely believed to be the last season at the Santiago Bernabeu for the Portuguese manager. The Champions League title remains as the major trophy that the team can win this season after falling several points behind Barcelona on the table. Hence, they are likely to put all their effort into the match against Galatasaray to reach the semi-final stage.

The Turkish club, though, will not be pushovers because they have been one of the surprise packages this season. They will also have former Champions league winners in the form of Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder in the squad. Terim has said that he respects his opponents Mourinho a lot.

During his tenure as a manager at four different clubs, Mourinho has managed to win an incredible 20 different titles. Terim has said that Real Madrid have a lot of strengths, and the Turkish club face a difficult way of getting into their first semi-final of the European competitions since 1988.
Terim has said that Galatasaray should not only defend well, but they should also attack with potency as well.

"I respect him a lot. He has a different personality and some cannot understand him, but Mourinho is my friend. Galatasaray must both attack and defend if they are to have a chance against Madrid. You have to go out to Spain with a good result in hand. We are a brave team and not afraid of any opponent. Madrid's strengths? They can attack quickly and in an incredible way," said the 59-year-old, who has led Galatasaray to the top of the Turkish league table.

SNEIJDER PROUD OF GALA

The former Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder has said that he is extremely proud of the spirit within Galatasaray after the Turkish club managed to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions league. The 28-year-old Dutchman was an influential part of the Galatasaray team that managed a 4-3 aggregate win over Schalke on Tuesday night. Galatasaray came into the encounter trailing Schalke on away goals following the 1-1 draw in the first leg. Schalke were also on a great run of form that had seen them win consecutive matches in the Bundesliga. Until the final few minutes of the match, it looks like Schalke would be going through into the quarter-finals if they got a goal.

The match was evenly poised 2-2 going into the final few seconds of the encounter. However, a goal from Bulut in the fifth minute of injury time completely changed the encounter, as it left Schalke needing two more goals in order to progress. Hamit Altıntop and Yılmaz were the scorers for Galatasaray, as they managed to come from a goal down. Neustädter had given Schalke the lead in the 18th minute. A goal from Michel Bastos in the second half of the match appeared to give Schalke hope that they can qualify.

"We are in the last eight and that is already a big thing. We did a great job and now we have to see. We have to wait for the draw. It will be difficult. But it is a pleasure to be in the last eight," said the former Inter Milan midfielder, who won this competition with the Italian club back in 2010. The Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim has said that he is extremely happy that his team is one amongst the eight best teams in Europe. Galatasaray could play against the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

DROGBA BID

The Turkish club Galatasaray have made an official bid for the former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who is currently playing for the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

It is expected that Drogba will be joining the Turkish club on a season-long loan deal, which could be converted into a permanent one in the summer. Drogba is regarded as one of the best strikers in the world, and he has found several interested parties even at 34 years of age. There have been suggestions that his former club Chelsea even tried to get him back before the bid from Galatasaray.

GALA CAN PROGRESS

Galatasaray have a greater chance of progression into the quarter-final stage of the Champions League according to the goalkeeper of the Turkish club, Fernando Muslera. Galatasaray have been one of the surprise package is in the Champions League this season, as they have progressed to the last 16 stage despite being in a group containing the likes of Manchester United.

They will be facing Schalke in the first knockout stages. The 2-1 win over Braga in the final group match helped Galatasaray secure this tie against the German club. Even though there have been suggestions that Galatasaray have been handed a relatively easy draw, Muslera said that there are no easy games in this tournament.

The 26-year-old, though, feels that his team has a slightly better capability of playing in the quarter-final stage of the competition because the two teams do not have a lot of difference. The home leg will be extremely crucial for Galatasaray in their hopes of progression. Despite qualifying into the knockout stages not as the group winners, Galatasaray have been handed a relatively easy draw. Their group stage opponents Manchester United, on the other hand, will be facing one of the toughest matches in the draw – Real Madrid. Galatasaray are currently top of the Turkish league with a three-point advantage.

"Our priority was to qualify from the group stage. We drew an easier team compared to the other teams like Barcelona. Of course it is still a hard game. But the teams are head-to-head I think," said the 26-year-old Galatasaray goalkeeper. The first leg of the knockout stages will be played in the second week of February, while the return leg will be in the first week of March. Despite being relatively young, Muslera has been a first-team regular for Galatasaray and has made 16 appearances so far this campaign.

TERIM DELIGHTED

The Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim has said that he is extremely delighted with the performance of his players after they managed a stunning 1-0 win over Manchester United, who are one of the favourites to win the trophy this season.

Admittedly, it was a Manchester United line-up that did not feature the numerous star performers like Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney. Due to the fact that Manchester United had already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition, the manager Sir Alex Ferguson decided to rest a number of players with a view of keeping them fresh for the Premier league match this weekend.

Galatasaray is one of the toughest places to visit in Europe, and the youngsters selected by Ferguson were not able to cope with the pressure of the home fans. Burak Yilmaz scored the only goal of the game in the 53rd minute. Manchester United have had a lot of comeback victories this season, but like in the match against Norwich, they left themselves with too much to do at the end. As a result, Galatasaray have given themselves a fighting chance to progress into the last 16 stage of the tournament. This is a victory that has helped taken Galatasaray into the second position in the table behind United.

"The guys played fantastic. They played with sacrifice and were able to meet expectations with their fighting spirit. I congratulate them from the heart. If they had not played like this, it wouldn’t have been possible to defeat Manchester United," said the Galatasaray manager after the match. Achieving a good result in the Champions League is an extremely important prospect for Galatasaray this season due to the troubles off the pitch. They are currently top of the Turkish league with two point separating them and second placed Fenerbahce.

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