Joe Allen’s 90th-minute equaliser in the 3-3 draw at home to Premier League leaders Arsenal salvaged something which was more valuable than a point – and that was belief. A week previously they stoutly defended a 1-0 lead in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final at Stoke and even the scratch side put out against Exeter in the FA Cup displayed character as they twice came from behind to secure a replay. This season Liverpool’s record against their traditional rivals – Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United – is much improved with just one defeat coming at Old Trafford in September, signalling the beginning of the end of Brendan Rodgers’ time in charge. Since Klopp took over they have won 3-1 and 4-1 at Chelsea and City respectively and they will look to maintain that sort of form at home to Manchester United on Sunday. Their three goals against Arsenal, the first time they have scored more than two in the league since the November win at the Etihad, was perfect timing ahead of the visit of a United defence which has been pretty frugal up to their own 3-3 draw at Newcastle on Tuesday. Toure is hoping the weekend’s match is not so frenetic but admits they have to tighten up at the back. “It was a crazy game, a crazy night. It wasn’t a good night for a defender though – conceding three goals,” added the 34-year-old. “In the next game coming up against United, we need to show more power defensively. “United scored three in their last game, and so did we. They conceded three, and so did we. “It’s going to be another big game for us. These are the kind of games you can win if you are strong mentally. “If we can be strong, and the fans push us like they did against Arsenal, that can give us something extra. “It’s great to see the fans behind us. You know that in a lot of games it’s only decided towards the end: players get tired and when you have that push from your fans you can feel the difference. “That’s what you need. We just need to keep putting in the same level of effort and the results will come.” Press Association Liverpool defender Kolo Toure believes a recent improvement in the mindset within the squad means they now refuse to accept lost causes. Early in Jurgen Klopp’s reign the German had complained about the players mentality not being able to respond to late setbacks. “We concede one goal and it felt like the end of the world,” he said after Southampton’s 86th-minute equaliser in October, while “Eighty-two minutes – game over” was his response when Crystal Palace scored a winner eight minutes from time a fortnight later. Perhaps the adversity of an extended injury list has galvanised the remaining fit players or maybe the penny has finally dropped in terms of the extent of the commitment Klopp demands for his players but the result against Arsenal showed they no longer accept the inevitable. “There has been a big improvement recently (in our mental strength) and that’s very important when you’re at a big club. You can’t ever give up,” said Toure, whose whole-hearted effort is appreciated by fans. “When you refuse to lose games, you often find yourself winning them. “It’s always important that if you don’t win, you don’t lose. “We showed character and resilience and we didn’t give up until the end of the game. “It’s very important that we keep things going at home. We played against a good team in Arsenal who are top of the league, and it’s good that we haven’t lost to them.”
Virtus.Pro are clear, clear favourites here. Then again – they were considered one of the favourites at EPICENTER: Moscow where they were heavily backed on home soil. They lost in the semi-finals to eventual winners Team Liquid and didn’t quite look like they had refreshed their ideas and adapted to patch 7.06. Empire’s recent results against Virtus.Pro haven’t been awful, having W1 D1 L1 in their last three. There’s clearly no value in backing VP so if you’re one for an underdog – there’s definitely value in Empire who beat them VP 2-1 as lately as May 15th. 5.190 from Pinnacle is the leading price whilst UK users can find similar prices at most bookmakers. Team NP versus LGD The Dota 2 scene is now in the home stretch towards The International 7 – Valve’s flagship tournament that’s looking likely to boast well over $20 million in prize money. Two of the final big tournaments are taking place this weekend. We’ve chosen Beyond the Summit’s “The Summit 7” for our Gambling Report. Good performance at this tournament is imperative for those looking to stake their claim for an invite to the year’s biggest event – so the pressure’s on. The tournament’s always a fan favourite amongst the Dota community. Gone are the huge crowds and high pressure main stages. They’re intimately replaced by sofa casting, players joining the commentary team and matches being played in cosy rooms. It gives the fans a glimpse at what their favourite professionals are like outside of the game. Understandably some are reserved yet The Summit has unearthed some phenomenal personalities in the past. We had a look across Betway, Bet365, Pinnacle, William Hill, Sky Bet and Unikrn to see who’s offering the best odds ahead of the action. We also previewed each match for those interested in having a punt themselves. Virtus.Pro versus Team Empire Virtus.Pro188.8.131.52184.108.40.206 Team/BookmakerBetwayB365PinnacleSkyBetHillsUnikrn Team NP1.851.831.8691.801.801.79 Secret1.351.361.3691.331.361.36 Empire3.804.335.1904.334.334.40 LGD 1.851.831.9521.911.911.97 Team/BookmakerBetwayB365PinnacleSkyBetHillsUnikrn Team/BookmakerBetwayB365PinnacleSkyBetHillsUnikrn VG.J1.551.501.501.441.531.44 Natus Vincere2.302.502.632.632.37 2.70 There’s a reason that both of these teams are priced so closely across all of the above bookmakers. Simpy put, no one really knows that much about either of them. Team NP looked fairly strong in Taipei, only to lose to the first “Tier 1” opposition they faced in Newbee. With PieLieDie and FATA- in the NP ranks they look an intriguing prospect on paper. LGD haven’t faced anyone but Chinese opposition in their last 100 odd matches which means they too are an intriguing prospect. Flip a coin and you probably have as good a chance of predicting this one.Team VG.J versus Natus Vincere Team/BookmakerBetwayB365PinnacleSkyBetHillsUnikrn Digital Chaos 2.953.003.1503.253.00 3.10 Natus Vincere did themselves no favours in the betting after their performance at EPICENTER: Moscow. The CIS fan favourite only made it to the tournament in Russia after a “redemption vote” sent them in. They were plunged into a group of death and didn’t manage a victory – bombing out 0-8 in the tournament. They’ll have to improve significantly to beat a VG.J squad that itself has struggled for form but still has infinitely more pedigree than this Natus Vincere squad. Betway at 1.55 offer best price for the Chinese squad – whilst Unikrn are best for those who like throwing money away.Team Secret versus Digital Chaos Team Secret are an incredibly good team to watch and on their day they look nigh-on unstoppable. Digital Chaos had somewhat of a honeymoon run in qualifying for Kiev and performing fairly well but haven’t really been able to sustain performance truly of note. They’re not to be underestimated but we saw Secret at EPICENTER and if they turn up they should have too much for DC. Odds are fairly similar across the board here.
El Clasico is one of the most important matches of the world football. Great Spanish rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid will meet today at Nou Camp and play and intensive game. However, one battle of the giants was solved by a BiH football player years ago.Meho Kodro, former national team player and coach of BiH, was the hero of El Clasico played on February 10, 1996.In the triumph of Barcelona over Real Madrid with a result of 3:0, former BiH striker scored two goals and was declared the best player of the match.Another BiH player was supposed to play in El Clasico, but he never did. Elvir Baljić was in the team for the biggest Spanish derby, but on the last training session the night before the match he tore his ligaments and took a six-month break.(Source: faktor.ba)