Labouchere system

The Labouchere gambling system (also known as the Cancellation System) seeks to make a predetermined profit and continues until this profit is made.

The Labouchere system is unusual in that it isn’t fixed in any way. Decisions have to be made by the gambler before any bets are placed. It’s this element of personal choice that makes the Labouchere so popular with experienced systems gamblers.

Betting sequence

The Labouchere system works as follows: The gambler writes down a sequence of numbers eg to make a profit of 15 units, without betting more than 10, you might write down:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

The first bet is the sum of the two numbers at either end – in this case 6 (5 + 1).

If this bet wins, cancel out the 1 and 5. The series is now 2, 3, 4

The next bet is again 6 (4 + 2)

If the first bet loses, you’d add the 6 to the end of the sequence so the sequence would then be

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

The next bet would then be 7 (1+6).

Continue until cancelled

The series continues until all the numbers in the sequence have been cancelled and the set profit has been made.

The variable factors in the Labouchere gambling system mean that it’s difficult to recommend any one set pattern. Indeed, many gamblers use different sequences at the same time, some consecutive, some alternating, picking up each sequence as the conditions change. This makes it especially popular with experienced Roulette players, who are able to read the nature of the results.

The Labouchere system – tested

For these tests, we’re trying to make a profit of 16, with a maximum bet of 10, so the sequence is
1, 2, 3, 4, 6

Test

1. Alternating win (W,W,L,W,L,L,W,L,W,W,L,W)
2. Alternating loss (L,L,W,L,W,W,L,W,L,L,W,L)
3. Consecutive win (W,W,W,L,L,W,W,L,W,W,W,L)
4. Consecutive loss (L,L,L,W,W,L,L,W,L,L,L,W)
5. Good win (W,W,W,W,L,L,W,W,W,W,W,W)
6. Bad loss (L,L,L,L,W,W,L,L,L,L,L,L)

Overall result for all 6 tests

Result

26 units profit
4 units profit
33 units profit
39 units loss
48 units profit
123 units loss

51 units loss

Great for winning streaks

In alternating conditions, where wins and losses come equally, it performs very well, returning a profit in both tests, and a substantial profit in the ‘alternating win’ test.

On a winning streak, it performs excellently, returning the biggest profit of any of our tested systems in any test.

So, if the conditions favour alternating results, or you latch on to a winning streak, the Labouchere gambling system can be very successful for you.

Not so great for losing streaks!

But when results give a consecutive loss situation ie a losing streak, the Labouchere can result in huge losses. In that situation, our successful gambling strategy becomes paramount: limit the amount you’ll allow yourself to lose and quit as soon as this amount is reached ie take a moderate loss rather than a massive one.

The Labouchere system struggles most when you start with a number of losses. In that case, it may be wise to quit even before you have a win – strange as that may seem!

The system for high rollers

The decisions can only be made by the punter. Without prior knowledge, no ‘expert’ can recommend a particular sequence that will be successful. For this reason we recommend the Labouchere gambling system only for high rollers – those who are able to absorb a few heavy losses in pursuit of higher profits. Or those who simply enjoy the thrill of casino gambling, without worrying too much about the cost.

Where to use the Labouchere system

If you’re a high-roller, looking to play Roulette online, it can be difficult to choose the right casino. Casinos that offer high-value sign-up bonuses generally don’t allow high-stakes play on Roulette. So our advice would be to avoid casino’s bonus offers and look instead for quality and variety. Each of our recommended casinos has an in-depth review page to enable you to make an informed choice.

Or maybe you fancy playing Roulette with real Live Dealers? Our detailed Live Casino section recommends the best casinos for playing Roulette with a real dealer.

Live streaming cameras bring you the action straight from inside a genuine casino setting, where you can see the balls being spun, and even chat with the dealer!

World Cup 2014: Brazil v Croatia Group A opening match preview

Head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has claimed this is Brazil’s World Cup ahead of the opening match against Croatia.

After years of preparation, the 20th edition of the tournament kicks off in Sao Paulo on Thursday at the new Arena Corinthians.

This is the second time Brazil have hosted the World Cup and they will be praying it is more successful than in 1950, when the Selecao fell at the final hurdle against Uruguay at the Maracana.

That remains the only time a clear favourite playing in front of a home crowd has lost the final and it is a fate Scolari is confident will not be repeated this year.

“To all Brazilians I want to tell you the time has arrived,” the last man to lead the country to World Cup glory said. “This is our World Cup.

“There are seven steps. We have to go up those seven steps but to start we have to think of the first step. We can’t jump the seven steps.

“The first step is tomorrow against Croatia. After that we have six steps that we want to go up if we want to win the World Cup.”

Much of Brazil’s hope and expectation is being shouldered by 22-year-old Barcelona forward Neymar.

Player of the tournament at last year’s Confederation Cup, he cannot wait to get their tilt at a sixth crown started.

“We hope that this last day goes by very quickly,” Neymar said.

“I am anxious of course but also I’m extremely happy being where I am today because many people would like to be here.

“I really hope I can help my team in the best possible way to fulfil the dream of the players, and Brazilians, which is to win the World Cup.”

As if Croatia’s task was not difficult enough, they will be without key man Mario Mandzukic on Thursday through suspension and had to replace the injured Ivan Mocinic with Milan Badelj on the eve of the game.

Some bookmakers price them as far out as 12/1 to win the match, yet manager Niko Kovac is confident his side will not be rolled over.

“Let’s be realistic, Brazil are the hosts and a great favourite,” Kovac said. “We come to play the best we can, leave the right impression and show heart on the field.

“The players are eager for this match, the training is going strong and sharp. They are all professionals and they want to play and impose themselves.

“I am optimistic we’re not going to Sao Paulo raise the white flag.”

Quarter-Goal Asian Handicaps

Quarter-goal handicaps might be a little more complicated but is actually quite simple to understand. Basically it just means that half the amount of your bet is based on one handicap, and the other half on another handicap.

The quarter-ball handicap can be denoted as (0,-0.5) , (-1/4) or (-0.25).

When you place a bet on Arsenal at home against Man United, Arsenal might possibly be giving a quarter-goal handicap to Man United (probably for home advantage).

A quarter-goal handicap was originally expressed as ‘Level-Half’ which meant that if you had a $100 bet on Arsenal, $50 would be on Arsenal on zero (0) or Level Handicap (LVL), and the other $50 on Arsenal on half-goal handicap (-0.50). Hence, the expression, Level-Half.

Therefore, if the match ended in a Draw:

The level-handicap portion of your bet would be void (as explained in Level Handicaps above).

- No money exchanges hands.

The half-goal handicap portion of your bet would lose, since Man U would effectively have a half-goal more than Arsenal.

- You lose $50.

Hence, the overall effect would be that you lose half your bet when you bet on a team giving a Level-Half Handicap to the other team, when the actual scoreline is a Draw.

If Arsenal won by any other scoreline, then your bet would win in full, since any goal Arsenal scores more than Man U, would be enough to overcome the Level-Half Handicap.

Similarly, if the actual scoreline favours Man U, then all bets on Man U would win in full, and not just for half the amount as in the case when it’s a Draw.

There are also variants of the quarter-goal asian handicap where it’s (-1, -1.5) [also denoted as

(-1 ¼) or -(1.25)] and (-2,-2.5) and

Three-Quarter Goal Asian Handicaps

Three-quarter goal handicaps are combinations of -0.5 and -1 goal handicaps.

Hence, if bets on Juventus give (-0.5,-1) to Udinese, half the bet amount would be on Juventus to give -0.5 handicap and the other half on Juve giving -1 goal handicap.

Hence, if Juventus wins the game by just one goal, bets on Juve would win the half that was on -0.5 handicap, and draw the half that was on -1 handicap. Overall, bets on Juventus would win half.

Juventus would have to score more than one goal above Udinese’s goal tally for bets on Juve (-0.5,-1.0) to win in full, since then, both handicaps would be cleared to win.

Should the game end in a Draw or should Udinese win the match, bets on Juve would lose as both handicaps would not have been cleared.

Three-quarter goal handicaps can also appear in higher denominations – (-1.5,-2.0), (-2.5,-3.0) and so on.

(-0.5,-1.0), (-1.5,2.0), (-2.5,-3.0) can be denoted as (-3/4), (-1 ¾), (-2 ¾ ) or (-0.75), (-1.75), (-2.75).

Asian Handicap Total Goals

Asian Handicap also can be used to bet Total Goals.

If you see odds like:

O 2.25 1.95
U 2.25 1.95
Note: 2.25 is the same as (2,2.5)

That means, if you bet on Over 2.25 and if the scoreline is 2-0, 0-2 or 1-1 (total goal tally is 2), then you would lose half your bet, as you would have drawn the bet on Over 2 goals and lose the bet on Over 2.5 goals.

Bets on Under 2.25 goals would win half in the event total goals is 2.

For goal tallies 3 and above, bets on Over 2.25 would win in full and for goal tallies 0 and 1, bets on Under 2.25 would win in full.

Similarly

If you see odds like:

O 2.75 1.95
U 2.75 1.95
Note: 2.75 is the same as (2.5,3)

If you bet on Over 2.75 and the scoreline is 3-0, 0-3, 2-1 or 1-2 (total goal tally is 3), then you would win half you bet as you would have won the bet on Over 2.5 and drawn the bet on Over 3.

Bets on Under 2.75 goals would lose in half when the total goals is 3.

For goal tallies 4 and above, bets on Over 2.75 would win in full and for goal tallies 0, 1 and 2, bets on Under 2.75 would win.

Asian Handicap Odds – A Comprehensive Explanation

Asian Handicap is a form of odds for football-betting which originated in Asia, hence it’s name. It offers many advantages to the traditional Fixed Odds betting and is increasingly popular with punters and bookmakers alike today, in Europe and other parts of the world outside Asia.

Why Asian Handicap

Essentially, Asian Handicap eliminates the possibility of the Draw. In Fixed Odds, you would make a bet on three possible outcomes, Home, Away or Draw. Asian Handicap allows you to bet on a 50/50 proposition – just pick one of the 2 sides in a match.

Whilst betting on one of just 2 outcomes makes things simpler, another reason why Asian Handicap is enjoying increasing popularity all over the world is because most of the betting public bet on favourites and Asian Handicap makes it much more enjoyable to do so.

Firstly, you will tend to get even (or close to it) money on your bets in Asian Handicaps.

Winning 12 cents for every dollar you put on your favourite team isn’t all that exciting when you bet on a Homewin with Fixed Odds (typical for say, a Man United v Derby match).

By giving the weaker team a goal handicap, the bookmaker is able to offer you better price lines when you bet favourites. This also makes the match much more enjoyable to watch when there are goalfests and your team is winning you money on Asian odds.

Of course, there are times that even when your team wins the match by one goal, you still lose your bet, as the goal handicap given to the other team is more than 1 goal. Conversely, you can bet on the weaker team, which might lose by a goal, and still win the bet.

Asian Handicap is best explained through an example and the first and simplest Asian Handicap we should look at is the 1/2-goal (sometimes called half-ball in Asia) handicap.

Half-Ball Asian Handicaps

Consider the match, Arsenal v Tottenham, where Arsenal is deemed to have some advantage over Tottenham by the market. Hence a possible scenario is that the bookies would give bets on Tottenham a half-goal handicap.

This is typically denoted by bookmakers as:

Team Asian Hcp Returns
Arsenal -0.5 1.95
Tottenham +0.5 1.95

Effectively, as far as Asian Handicap bets are concerned, the score for this match would be

Arsenal 0
Tottenham 0.5

even before the match has begun – that is, Tottenham starts with a half-goal advantage.

In reality, there’s no such thing as a half-goal. However, in Asian Handicap, a half goal is higher than no goals, and so on.

Hence, if the match’s actual score ended as 1-1 after 90 minutes, bets on Tottenham would win, since the effective score would be 1 – 1.5. This is the same for all Draw scores between the 2 sides as Tottenham would always be half a goal up over Arsenal if the scores was a draw.

Essentially, the Asian Handicap is added to or subtracted from the total goal tally of the team depending on the whether the team is giving or receiving the handicap.

Half-ball handicaps can be denoted as either (-0.5), or (-1/2).

Higher Half-Goal Asian Handicaps

Similarly, there are -1.5, -2.5 and higher half-goal handicaps.

When a team like Manchester United is playing at home with a team like Sunderland, the handicap Man U would be giving Sunderland would probably be (-1.5).

Team Asian Hcp Returns
Man United -1.5 1.95
Sunderland +1.5 1.95

Hence, for bets on Man U to win, Man U would have to score 2 goals or higher, more than Sunderland.

Let’s see this for a few scenarios in case you’re not convinced.

Team Actual Score Asian Hcp Handicapped Score Result
Man United 0-0 -1.5 -1.5 : 0 LOSE
Sunderland 0-0 +1.5 0 : 1.5 WIN

(Results will be the same for all Draws: 0-0, 1-1, 2-2, etc)

Team Actual Score Asian Hcp Handicapped Score Result
Man United 1-0 -1.5 -0.5 : 0 LOSE
Sunderland 1-0 -1.5 1 : 1.5 WIN

(Results will be the same for where Man U scores only one goal more than Sunderland: 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, etc.)

Team Actual Score Asian Hcp Handicapped Score Result
Man United 0-1 -1.5 -2.5 : 0 LOSE
Sunderland 0-1 +1.5 0 : 2.5 WIN

(Results will be the same as where the actual score favours Sunderland: 0-1, 1-2, 0-2, 2-3, etc.)

Team Actual Score Asian Hcp Handicapped Score Result
Man United 2-0 -1.5 0.5 : 0 WIN
Sunderland 2-0 +1.5 2 : 1.5 LOSE

(Results will be the same for any actual scoreline where Man U scores 2 or more goals than Sunderland: 2-0, 3-1, 3,0, 4-1, etc.)

Full-Goal Handicaps

Asian Handicaps can also be in the form of full goal handicaps, that is. -1, -2, or 0 handicaps.

Level Handicaps (0)

When it’s a Level-Handicap (0), it means neither team is giving the other any handicap.

The team that wins in the actual scoreline wins the bet.

However, in the event that the match results in a Draw, the bet is considered void and no money exchanges place – this is different from Fixed Odds where if you bet on the hometeam, you lose the bet even though your team did not lose the match but drew with the other team.

Level Handicaps can be denoted as (0), Level, LVL.

Other Full-Goal Handicaps

Same as for half-goal and other handicaps, full-goal handicaps are simply added to or subtracted from the teams actual goal tally.

Team Asian Hcp Returns
Liverpool -1.0 1.95
Aston Villa +1.0 1.95

Hence, if Liverpool was giving Aston Villa a one-goal handicap, bets on Liverpool would draw if Liverpool scored only one goal more than Aston Villa at the end of 90-minutes.

Any result where Liverpool scores more than one goal above Aston Villa’s goal tally, bets on Liverpool win.

Any result where Liverpool scores the same number of goals or less than Aston Villa’s goal tally, bets on Liverpool lose.

Athletic Bilbao vs Málaga – Will Athletic Return To The Victories At San Mamés?

Next Monday, the Basque side Athletic Bilbao will entertain Málaga at “The Cathedral” San Mamés on the last match of round 33 of Liga BBVA.

Athletic Bilbao grabbed an important win last Monday night during their trip to Comunidad Valenciana to face Levante. Two goals from Aduriz offered the visitors the three points after two matches without a single win. The Basque team are comfortably sitting on the 4th place of the table with more six points than Sevilla but they cannot allow the Andalusian side to get any closer in order to avoid any last minute upset that would push them away from the Champions League’s access places of the table.

At the end of the match against Levante, Bilbao’s head coach, Ernesto Valverde, claimed that his side were the best especially during the first half and that they were aware of the need to win last Monday’s match because of Sevilla’s Sunday result.

For the next match against Málaga, Ernesto Valverde will not count on Carlos Gurpegi that will miss the rest of the season due to injury and he is not yet certain on the availability of Ibai Gomez, since he is not yet fully recovered from the injury problems that have been afflicting him recently.

As for Athletic’s Sunday opponents, Málaga grabbed an important home win against Granada last weekend. The Andalusian side put up a quality performance and have somehow erased from the supporters’ minds the team’s recent home slip-up against Espanyol. Málaga obtained their second win in a row and they will travel to Bilbao with very high confidence levels.

Bernd Schuster will certainly put all his money on the talent of the Spanish youth international midfielder Ignacio Camacho, who is enjoying a very good moment after netting in two goals against Granada last weekend.

When both teams met at La Rosaleda last November, Athletic grabbed a valuable 2-1 win with goals from Mikel San José and Iker Muniain on what was a very close and thrilling match. Despite of Málaga’s positive moment, it is not likely that the Andalusian side has what is necessary to dethrone a powerful Athletic side at their own keep.
Athletic Bilbao

Stats: W-16 L-7 D-8

Recent Form – DDWDL
Málaga

Stats: W-8 L-14 D-8

Recent Form – DWLWL

Possible Line-ups

Athletic Bilbao (4-1-4-1) – Iraizoz – Iraola – S. José – Saborit – Iturraspe – Susaeta – De Marcos – Mikel Rico – Muniain – Aduriz

Málaga (4-2-3-1) – Caballero – Angeleri – Ferreira – Sánchez – Antunes – Darder – Camacho – P. Pérez – Samuel – Amrabat – Santa Cruz

Prediction: Athletic Bilbao 2 Málaga 0

Betting prediction for West Ham versus Newcastle

If you look at the standings in the English Premier League you will clearly see that the teams are divided into three major groups. The first one of seven teams is consisted of the top teams, which are followed by Newcastle and Southampton who occupy the middle in the table and are followed by another group of eleven teams that are fighting for survival among the best English teams.

The season for Newcastle increasingly looks like finished as the team will hardly be able to progress forward, but it would be also relatively difficult to be involved in the battle for survival. No matter how strange it is to say something like that after only 21 games played, Newcastle’s manager Alan Pardew may begin to think about some strengthening of the team for the next season.

The situation is not the same for West Ham’s manager Sam Allardyce who is definitely experiencing difficult times this year. The team is not in the relegation zone only because of the goal difference and the football they play looks too outdated by today’s standards in the Premier League.

The only good news that can be heard from the team is about the expected return of Andy Carroll after a long absence due to injury. Something that will reinforce the “Hammers” as Carroll is the best possible striker for the style that Sam Allardyce uses anywhere he goes – tough football, with very high balls and a lone striker at the top.

According to the bookmakers’ odds the guests have more chances to win this match. The offered by bet365 odds for 1X2 are 3, 3.4 and 2.3. Those of William Hill are 2.8, 3.5 and 2.4. bet-at-home offers for the match between West Ham and Newcastle odds for a home win of 2.95, 3.35 for a draw, 2.3 for Newcastle’s win.

The last two matches between these two ended with scoreless draws and given the series that both clubs have fallen in (Newcastle are with three consecutive losses, while the hosts from West Ham have lost eight of their last ten league matches), I’m sure they would be more than happy not to lose this match. That’s why my bet for this match will be for a draw with the highest odds proposed by William Hill – 3.5.

Volleyball In-Play betting options with William Hill

In this article we will talk about all the different In-live betting markets offered for volleyball by William Hill – one of the most respected bookmakers around the world. If you enter the site of William Hill you will notice a button In-play betting. When you go to the pointed page and choose volleyball as a desired sport you will find all available betting markets for the volleyball matches that are being played right now.

William Hill offers various of betting options for volleyball including the most popular like Match betting live or who will be the winner of the match, 1st (and every other) set winner, which team will win the match with a given handicap to one of the teams and more.

In William Hill’s In-play betting markets for volleyball you will also find option to bet for the winner of every single point, which could be an interesting source for betting on Martingale or other progressive betting system if you like the risks.

An interesting option available in the betting markets offered by William Hill is for a winning margin of each set. In this bet you need to guess correctly the winner of the set as well as the margin of points with which the set will be won. When betting In-play this margin will vary so be careful and find the best moment to place your bet.

Of course, you will find options for betting on the total points scored by both teams in the match and in every set as well as the option for odd or even number of the total points scored by both teams in the set and match.

With the beginning of every set you will have available different betting options which are connected with which one of the teams will be the first to reach 5, 10, 15 points etc.

You need to notice one very important thing and it is that the odds offered by William Hill for live volleyball betting have a bit bigger margin than other odds, for example on football matches. The average margin percentage for volleyball is around 8 which means you need a success rate higher than 54 percents to gain some profit.

The punters games

One of the most favorite activities of sports betting fans around the world is to compete against each other in various competitions which can be played in different internet forums and websites. Thus, in a direct competition they can determine which one of them is better and is able to predict correctly more matches.

Some of the most popular betting forums offer such competitions to their readers and the winners are rewarded with vouchers for free bets in some of the biggest bookmakers in the world.

If you win such a contest you can get vouchers for bets at bookmakers such as William Hill, bet-at-home and of course bet365.

One such site is called Betting Academy where every registered player makes their predictions and competes with other tipsters around the world. What is specific in this site is that there is a limit of only one sport that can be bet on, but the players compete with each other regardless of the sport they choose to bet on.

It is curious that the winner on the various Betting Academy competitions doesn’t win vouchers for free bets with bookmakers such as bet365, William Hill and bet-at-home, but is ensured with a professional tipster contract with one of the biggest sites for paid betting tips.

The variety of betting games you can find on the internet offers many differences of terms and conditions for participation. Some of the games are associated with only one championship or sport, while in other the organizers of the game provide a certain amount of matches that should be predicted by the participants.

Of course, these are just some of the games for punters that you can find on the internet. It is enough to dig into the net and you will find a dozen of punters’ games where you can test your skills in a race against other players from around the world.

Why Pele Will Always Stand Above Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and the World

For the first time in two decades, Pele has a genuine challenger to his crown of Greatest Ever Player. In the form of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the three-time World Cup winner is confronting an enormous threat against an accolade which has belonged to him for the best part of half a century.

A little under two years ago, the scorer of over 1,000 professional goals claimed Neymar—then of Santos—was better than the Barcelona and Argentina forward.

His comments drew little agreement. At the time, Neymar was another wonderkid off the Brazilian production line, built up as the next big thing to emerge from this corner of the world.

Of course, potential does not always translate to stardom. Think Kerlon, or, more recently, the travails of Paulo Henrique Ganso.

Messi, meanwhile, has gone on to become the first player in history to win the World Player of the Year award on four occasions. And he did it in consecutive seasons no less.

He has waltzed clear of the 232-goals record set by former Barcelona great Cesar Rodriguez. It really does seem that the world is there for the taking for the adopted Catalan, whilst Pele’s comments appear a thinly veiled escape from fact.

But who would come out on top between the Brazilian and Barcelona’s current darling?

Comparing players from different eras is always a tricky ask. Any conclusions reached are subjective and the best that can be achieved is an assumption based on the evidence laid before us.

There are however several theories pertaining to the argument that Pele remains untouched by either Lionel Messi or his own rival for the title of the world’s current best, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Football is thought to have been a tougher game during the 1950s and 1960s, when Pele played the majority of his career. Teams were more evenly balanced, both on the pitch as well as in the account books, meaning contests could begin on a more even keel.

Advances in sporting equipment have supposedly made the game easier, notably in relation to the ball. Nowadays balls are far lighter, making them considerably easier to head.

To ease the burden further, the extra swerve one can inflict on the ball makes a goalkeeper’s job that much harder.

The introduction of yellow and red cards, which only came into mainstream use during the 1970 World Cup, have made the life of a skilful goal threat more comfortable. During Pele’s era, a defender could unleash his frustration on an opponent’s shins without fear of serious retribution.

Then there is the argument of titles won. Pele won three World Cups, in 1958, 1962 and 1970, although his participation in 1962 was minimal after collecting an injury in the first game that ruled him out of the rest of the tournament.

Neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo have yet lifted the greatest prize in the game.

There are arguments against Pele too. The physical side of the sport and the preparation that goes into each game have reached levels of incredible intensity.

One only has to look at the way in which Cristiano Ronaldo’s body has developed since the gangly teenager that arrived at Old Trafford in 2003. The Real Madrid player now boasts a physique not dissimilar to Johnny Bravo.

Pele was part of a golden generation in Brazil. His team-mates included Nilton Santos, Didi, Garrincha and Jairzinho, all of whom could be considered some of the best players of the era. A player’s job becomes easier when surrounded by world-class talent, even if said player is the most gifted to decorate the record books.

Simply stripped to bare numbers, Pele is an outright winner. In his first 350 games as a professional, he scored an incredible 448 goals at an average of 1.28 goals per game.

There remains the old adage that Pele spent the majority of his career playing in a Sao Paulo state championship as opposed to a national league. But his goals are spread across the Rio-Sao Paulo tournament, Copa Libertadores and international fixtures, including significant roles in two World Cup triumphs, something no other player can lay claim to.

Pele announced himself to the world with a hat-trick as a 17-year-old in the 1958 World Cup final. He subsequently led the charge of arguably the greatest team the planet has ever seen, Brazil’s 1970 world-dominating side.

For Messi and Ronaldo, their careers are far from over as they remain locked in skirmishes both domestic and global. But they, for all their wonders, remain behind the man deified by close to 200 million people, who redefined the game like no other past or present.

The striker who remains royalty long after Brazil became a republic. The man known as “The King.”

Betting prediction for Sporting vs Porto

The first thing to keep in mind is that this is the first League Cup game of a group stage with 4 teams in which they will only face each other once. So as this is the first of three matches where the other group contenders are Marítimo and Penafiel is safe to say that whoever wins this one will have already a foothold in the next stage (semifinals) as only the first of the group qualifies.

There is clearly a different degree of motivation in approaching this fixture. Sporting is already out of the Portuguese cup and not taking part in any European competitions so, apart from the championship; this competition is their only hope for silverware this season. Thus, no rotations are expected with coach Jardim conceding only 4 days of Christmas holidays to his players resuming training and preparation on past Thursday. Porto, on the other hand, is still in the Portuguese cup, has high hopes in Europa League and traditionally uses this competition to give minutes to non-regulars. Coach Paulo Fonseca gave a longer period of 6 holiday-days to his players and only resumed training in Friday afternoon 24 hours prior to the trip to Lisbon. If we take in consideration that there is a huge contingent of southern-American players that travelled to their countries in this period we easily reach the conclusion that several of the participants in this match won’t be at their top level.

Sporting is coming from a lousy home performance with a disappointing 0:0 draw against Nacional. It’s true that there was a wrongly disallowed goal that could have granted them the victory but it’s was also clear for everyone watching the game that Nacional controlled the most part of it and had the best chance to score. Among the Lisbon lions there is also a sense that this game is a great opportunity for revenge after the defeat in Do Dragao for the Championship (3:1). A great atmosphere is expected in the stadium. CM André Martins recovered form a slight knock suffered last weekend and coach Jardim will have a full squad to choose from. He already announced he will make 3 changes in the normal formation one per sector. I expect something like this:

Patricio – Cedric, Rojo, Mauricio, Piris – Carvalho, Vitor, Adrien – Capel, Montero, Eduardo

Porto’s players seem to have found their groove again after two convincing victories over Rio Ave and Olhanense where AM Carlos Eduardo shined more than everyone else. There is also some expectation among the fans for some signings in this January transfer window in order to improve the team especially in the flanks as the wingers have perform poorly so far. Some rotations are expected for this match also considering that Striker Jackson Martinez arrived late to resume training and he will probably start from the bench and first choice keeper Helton is not even in the players list. It’s difficult to make predictions but Porto could look a little bit like this:

Fabiano – Danilo, Mangala, Maicon, Alex Sandro – Fernando, Lucho, Carlos Eduardo – Varela, Ghilas, Josue

After considering all the above mentioned factors, the fact that in the recent H2H meetings in Alvalade Porto hadn’t manage to win since 2008 and that both will be extra cautious not to lose as this could be the end in this competition, I find that any positive handicap on Sporting is value considering that the draw is also a probable outcome.

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