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Big Ten West Prediction 2020 Season

Illinois: Prediction 6-6 (3-6) Some way somehow, Lovie Smith got 6 wins and by god he’ll get 6 more this year. Illinois is a weird program and it would be crazy if Lovie Smith turned this program around. He somehow rallies the troops and plays above their level 2-3 games a year. The key for the Illini this year is finding their identity on offense and defense. Their offense seemed very hit or miss with no in between, they need to be more consistent and get those 4-6 yard, plays. On defense they need to be more aggressive and be more creative with coverages and blitz’s. They return a decent amount of players including Brandon Peters, which Illinois fans hope will be their most improved player and can stay healthy. They start the season off pretty easy, including Illinois State, UConn, Bowling Green, and Rutgers. That’s an easy 4 wins now all they have to do is win 2 of their last 8, and you’re bowling. Their best bets are probably Purdue, at Northwestern, and at Nebraska. Lovie is 4 years in now, so this is all of his players, so this is a statement year for him. His recruiting has been slim the past two years because he only got a total of 29 high school players between the two, and 14 transfers, which are essentially rentals. If these transfers and young players bloom this year they could make a splash in the west, probably won’t win it, but their ceiling could be 8 wins.
Iowa: Prediction 7-5 (5-4) I think Iowa will be a little broken spirited, while the ship slowly crashes, they still have time afloat and get 7 wins. Kirk Ferentz is probably in jeopardy, as he should be, so this might be the last year for him, you never know. But anyways, Iowa is losing Nate Stanley this year and has to break in a new QB quickly since weeks 2 and 3 are Iowa State and at Minnesota. I think they lose both of those games because of the new QB. Epenesa did a lot for their defense and they are going to miss him, and they are going to need someone to step up quickly. They return Koerner who was second on the team in tackling last year to lead the defensive backs, and this defense. I’m guessing that some players will transfer before the season starts, so that will take them down a notch, but they should still easily be bowl eligible and compete in the west. I think their losses are Iowa State, at Minnesota, at Ohio State, at Penn State, and Wisconsin. Look out for losses at Illinois and at Purdue, as those teams could catch them off guard easily, as both those teams made close games last year.
Minnesota: Prediction 11-1 (8-1) P.J. Fleck enters year 4 at Minnesota, and this is the breakthrough year. Returning Tanner Morgan and Rashod Bateman is pretty much all they need to ignite the offense, and the rest should fall into place. While Mike Sanford and Matt Simon take over the play calls after Kirk Ciarrocca left for Penn State. The coaching at this point matters more for the Gophers because the talent is there and is ready for more success. They have a huge offensive line that can match up with almost any team in the country and return all of their starters on the line might I add. The defense has a lot of guys that have played last year, but they need someone to step up, because all of their stars from last year graduated or went pro. Finding an identity on defense and having players step up and become leaders as soon as possible is key, since the Wisconsin game has been moved up to the middle of October. With that being said I think that is the one game they lose on this schedule, but the other tough games they have are all at home, so hopefully they should win those. They could lose to Michigan and Iowa and 9 wins should be the floor for this team, but if they play their cards right, they could play Ohio State in the Big Ten title game as two undefeated teams.
Nebraska: Prediction 5-7 (3-6) Nebraska is a team that people are high on at the beginning of the season, and at the end realize how bad they were. From the gun I think they’re bad, they have lots of flaws that I think Scott Frost won’t fix and could cost him his job within the next couple of years. They lose their leading WR JD Spielman on, which could affect how well Martinez plays this season, because he wasn’t that great last year, throwing for 10 touchdowns and 9 INT’s. They have a veteran line that should protect him if healthy, but he needs to stay healthy and work on his own mechanics. On defense they essentially lost everything, their leaders in tackles, sacks, and picks. They are probably going to throw a lot of young and unexperienced players into the mix early because of how much they lost and how little Frost and the staff have recruited defensive players. They were one of the worst defensive teams in the conference last year and losing everything won’t help at all, expect them to play fast paced shoot-out games where the total score is in the 70’s and 80’s. The games they should probably win are CMU, SDSU (South Dakota State), at Northwestern, Illinois, and at Rutgers. Realistically they could only win 3 or four, and on the flip side they could also win 7 and if they’re lucky 8. Ohio State being their cross-division rival doesn’t do them any favors but a couple years from now the fans in Lincoln should be demanding a game in Indy, or else Scott Frost is gone. Year 3 is usually the year where you have the players you like still from the previous coach and also your own, so it should be a year where you at least make a bowl game. But I think Frost was a fluke from the start and that year at UCF was more of a program thing rather than Scott Frost being a good coach, as that was proven when he left. Nebraska has lost a lot of its value in the past couple years, and has found them under the radar in the middle of the Big Ten. If this program can be turned around, that would benefit the conference and the division a ton.
Northwestern: Prediction 4-8 (1-8) I don’t think Northwestern is that bad of a team, I think they have some rotten apples in terms of some of the coaching staff and they just need to step up recruiting, because a lot of their good players are seniors this year. Honestly Northwestern could be bowl eligible this year and last year could’ve just been a fluke, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Mike Bajakian is the new OC, and they are changing to a completely new system, which in most programs need more than a year to adjust to. That’s the key for them going bowling this year is how quickly is this offense going to click. Hunter Johnson was a failed project, and I think that was on the offense he was in though. Peyton Ramsey will be a good guy to take the snaps under center in this transition year and be able to layout the blueprints for this offense. Lots of guys played last year so they will have a decent amount of experience this year, including star Paddy Fisher. The Wildcats under Fitzgerald have always had these downhill linebackers that are high production players. They do lose Joe Gaziano and Alex Miller, which hurts their defensive line, so they expect Jake Saunders to step to produce at a high rate. Pat Fitzgerald has been a good coach and last year was a surprise to all of us, and I don’t think they got that much better. In the long haul these years won’t be remembered during his tenure. But if he wants to retire rather than be fired, he needs to get this team back on the tracks.
Purdue: Prediction 7-5 (4-5) Purdue will be a very boom or bust team in the Big Ten this year. They have a chance a making a run at winning the west, but that is a shot in the dark until they keep players healthy and they improve their defense quickly. They start the season at Nebraska and host Memphis and Air Force, which are two tough group of 5 teams. Keeping Moore, Bell and whoever starts at QB healthy is the most important key for Purdue having a successful. They return two lineman to protect whoever it may be, and need the other three to grow up fast. Brohm brought in a new DC Bob Diaco after a disaster on that side of the ball last year. Rutgers was probably the only worse defense than them. They return 5 starters on defense but lose their leading tackler from last year. Having one of the most entertaining offenses in the Big Ten can take them places and can be really good. On the other side there is one of the worse power 5 defenses and is one of the biggest question marks for any unit in the whole Big Ten. Purdue will go as far as their defense takes them, they could be one of the biggest surprises in the country, or just be an average team that doesn’t make a bowl. I think they lose at Nebraska, at Michigan, at Minnesota, Wisconsin, and at Indiana. Honestly, they only games that I am almost sure they will lose are at Michigan and at Minnesota, the rest are almost tossup games. Realistically they could finish with a 10 win season or have a 4 win season.
Wisconsin: Prediction 10-2 (8-1) Wisconsin yet again benefits from being in a weak division. This is kind of a down year for the Badgers, yet they will still dominate. Notre Dame and Michigan seem like the two obvious losses there, and tough games like Minnesota and Appalachian State. Losing Taylor and Cephus are huge, but Wisconsin is good at replacing backs and receivers. What they aren’t good at replacing is Zack Baun, no way anyone can amount to his productivity from last year. Jim Leonhard is a great coordinator and will find a way to keep that defense one of the best in the country. Jack Coan will take the Badgers as far as he wants to go, because that position has been a huge problem since Russell Wilson. Wisconsin will always be a great but not elite team because of the QB play, and is the reason they made 4 Rose Bowls this decade, and lost all 4. Paul Chryst has air tight job security so if they end up with only 8 wins this year it won’t really matter. Nothing will change in Madison anytime soon so expect another 8-11 wins for the next few seasons.
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[FULL EPISODE] Green Man 3: Rise of the Golden God

9:00 PM
On a Friday
Philadelphia, PA

EXT/NIGHT: Downtown Philadelphia
A montage of the dark and murky streets of Philadelphia.
NARRATOR: Philadelphia, after dark. Not where you want to be. The kind of place where mistaking a quiet alley for a safe one might be the last mistake you ever make…
DR. WAITRESS walks into an alley, alone. Her footsteps echo. A figure steps out of the shadows.
CRIMINAL 1: Hey, honey… What’s the rush?
DR. WAITRESS turns around and starts to run. Another man steps out of the shadows and into her path. She screams.
CRIMINAL 1: Me and Bruno here was thinkin’ we all might have a little fun, see?
BRUNO: Heh, heh, heh. Fun.
A voice from the background. It’s a deep, gravely superhero voice - sort of like an impression lampooning at Christian Bale’s voice in The Dark Knight…
GREEN MAN: Is it the type of fun the whole family can enjoy?
In a flash, Green Man dashes to Criminal 1 and hits him with a powerful uppercut. He goes down like a sack of bricks. BRUNO grabs DR. WAITRESS and starts to back away.
GREEN MAN: Now, Troll Boy!
Frank – disguised as his alter-ego and GREEN MAN’s trusty sidekick TROLL BOY – appears behind BRUNO, crouching down behind him as he backs up. BRUNO topples over TROLL BOY and WAITRESS runs free. TROLL BOY pulls out a pistol and executes BRUNO.
GREEN MAN: Troll Boy! What the f*ck was that!?
TROLL BOY: What? He’s a bad guy! He was going to kidnap her!
GREEN MAN: Yeah, I know – but… Jesus! I mean… We’re heroes – you just executed the guy!
TROLL BOY: Look, you be a hero your way – I’ll be a hero my way.
CRIMINAL 1 comes to. He looks over at BRUNO and when he realizes what he’s seeing, races over to BRUNO’s corpse, becoming hysterical.
CRIMINAL 1: Bruno? Bruno!? Come on, brother, speak to me. Oh no, no, no. (to TROLL BOY) WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? Oh, God, oh dear Jesus take me instead!
GREEN MAN, TROLL BOY and DR. WAITRESS all look around at each other uncomfortably.
CRIMINAL 1: BRUNO! WHY? You were going to Dartmouth in the fall! Oh, Bruno… BRUNO!
GREEN MAN: OK, let’s get the hell out of here.
GREEN MAN, TROLL BOY and DR. WAITRESS run out of the alley and around the corner. They stop, and GREEN MAN and DR. WAITRESS look deep into each other’s eyes.
WAITRESS: Oh, how can I ever thank you, heroic stranger?
Just then, a massive explosion is heard in the background.
GREEN MAN: I guess you’ll have some time to think about it.
With that, GREEN MAN leaps into action with TROLL BOY trailing behind.

TITLE CARD: “Green Man 3: Rise of the Golden God”
Credits roll over silhouettes of the main characters, accompanied by a dark-but-heroic score.

INT/NIGHT: News Studio
We join a news broadcast, already underway.
NEWS ANCHOR: To recap, if you’re just joining us – a huge blast-type explosion has just created a hole-like-crater in the side of the Philadelphia Institute of Science, home to the some of the world’s most advanced technologies and stuff. Mayor Brian LeFevre says authorities are still surveying the inventory to determine what, if anything, might have been stolen.
CUT TO INT/NIGHT: The Green Room
GREEN MAN and TROLL BOY – now out of costume and under their real identities, CHARLES KELLY and FRANK REYNOLDS – are watching the newscast in their hideout, The Green Room (which is just Paddy’s, but with a bunch of high-tech looking stuff around). CHARLES grabs a martini from the bar. He’s a slick-looking, well-dressed playboy type. Frank is dressed like a slob as always, wearing a sweaty shirt with orange stains.
CHARLES: What do you think, Frank?
FRANK: I don’t know. The walls of the Philadelphia Institute of Science are reinforced with ultranesium; whoever blew that hole-like-crater must have had some serious firepower.
CHARLES stirs his martini and ponders.
CHARLES: Hmm. I’m going to go check it out.
FRANK: Don’t you have a date tonight?
CHARLIE: I’ll make it… Don’t wait up.
CHARLES grabs his Green Suit and heads out.

INT/NIGHT: The Philadelphia Institute of Science
COMMISSIONER PEACOCK (Dee) and her team have the scene sealed off. DEPUTY GUTTERGASH (Artemis) approaches her.
DEPUTY GUTTERGASH: Alright Commissioner, whole place has been sealed off and combed down. You want us to keep at it?
COMMISSIONER PEACOCK: Nah, send the boys home. You get some rest too, Guttergash.
GUTTERGASH: And you, ma’am?
PEACOCK: I’m going to stick around for a bit.
GUTTERGASH: Yes ma’am… Well, goodnight.
GUTTERGASH and the rest of the cops clear out. COMMISSIONER PEACOCK crouches over a pile of rubble and sighs.
All of a sudden, MAYOR BRIAN LEFEVRE (Dennis) walks into the scene with his silent bodyguard ENRIQUE BEEFCAKE (Mac). MAYOR LEFEVRE stops and allows ENRIQUE to perform an ocular patdown of PEACOCK. He clears her, and LEFEVRE steps forward.
LEFEVRE: Peacock! Please tell me it isn’t true! They got… it?
PEACOCK sighs.
PEACOCK: I’m sorry, sir.
LEFFEVRE: Jesus Christ, Peacock! Well, what are you doing to find it?
PEACOCK: We have our best men on it, sir, and we’ve traced –
LEFEVRE: Shut up, Peacock. Find it – now. Or I’ll find a Police Commissioner who can.
MAYOR LEFEVRE and ENRIQUE leave the scene. PEACOCK crouches back over the rubble and sighs again.
PEACOCK: What the hell am I missing?
A voice from the background.
GREEN MAN: Same thing as everybody else… the big picture.
PEACOCK turns around. GREEN MAN steps out of the shadows.
GREEN MAN: What did they take?
PEACOCK sighs.
GREEN MAN: What – did they take?
PEACOCK: Twelve years ago, Philadelphia’s top scientists discovered a way to perfectly duplicate atomic mass. The mayor has kept it under wraps ever since, developing all kinds of military applications for it.
GREEN MAN: Jesus Christ… You mean – whoever just blew this hole-like-crater the size of a small basin is out there running around with some kind of… cloning machine?
PEACOCK: That’s right, Green Man.
GREEN MAN notices something under a piece of rubble in the corner. He goes and picks it up. It’s an empty syringe.
PEACOCK: What the hell is that?
GREEN MAN: I think I might have just found the needle in this haystack…

EXT/NIGHT: Outside the Philadelphia Institute of Science
MAYOR LEFEVRE and ENRIQUE are walking from the Institute to their car, the driver waiting in it at the curb. All of a sudden, Philadelphia Tribune ace newshound SCOOPS MCKENZIE (Lawyer) walks out of the shadows and approaches the mayor.
SCOOPS MCKENZIE: Mayor LeFevre? Scoops McKenzie, Philadelphia Tribune. Mind if I ask you a few questions about the break-in tonight?
MAYOR LEFEVRE: We’re still looking into McKenzie, there’s nothing more to say.
SCOOPS: Oh, is that so?... Because I did a little diggin’ – spun through the rolodex once or twice, greased a wheel or two – and I happened to come across a little email chain between the mayor’s office and a certain… geneticist?
ENRIQUE steps forward, cracks his knuckles, and gets into a karate stance. MAYOR LEFEVRE steps forward as well and puts his hand on ENRIQUE’s shoulder.
MAYOR LEFEVRE: Stand down Enrique, it’s OK. We’re all professionals here! I have to admit, McKenzie – I’m a big fan of your work.
SCOOPS: Well I appreciate that mayor, but unfortunately flattery wasn’t the answer I was looking for. Now I’m just giving you a chance to comment here – but either way, this story runs front page tomorrow.
MAYOR LEFEVRE: Ha… Well, then. I can see I’ve been bested. This is going to be a big story for you, McKenzie… Congratulations.
MAYOR LEFEVRE extends his hand to SCOOPS to shake. SCOOPS pauses, and then cautiously reaches out and shakes. Just then, MAYOR LEFEVRE’s eyes and hair light up a bright gold – assuming the power of his alter-ego, THE GOLDEN GOD. SCOOPS screams, and rips his hand away – but it’s too late. The gold spreads from SCOOPS’ hand across his body – entombing him in seconds. MAYOR LEFEVRE’s eyes and hair return to normal. He turns to ENRIQUE.
MAYOR LEFEVRE: Get rid of the body. And then go get those surveillance tapes. I’ve got work to do.
MAYOR LEFEVRE gestures to a security camera pointed toward them. ENRIQUE nods and lifts the solid gold body like it’s a feather. He disappears into the night. MAYOR LEFEVRE gets in the backseat of the car, and it drives off.

INT/NIGHT: Johnny Lowlife’s Hideout
Small-time criminal JOHNNY LOWLIFE (Cricket) is tying off in his “hideout”, a couple of boxes and sheets underneath an overpass. JOHNNY sings as he prepares to shoot up.
JOHNNY LOWLIFE: Hair-oh-ween, if ya know what I mean! I would lick a spleen, for some hair-oh-ween!
He reaches around for something, but can’t seem to find it. A voice from the background.
GREEN MAN: Looking for something?
JOHNNY jumps up and then recoils in fear.
JOHNNY LOWLIFE: Ah, oh God, no!
GREEN MAN: Only you’d be stupid enough to leave a kickprick at a crime scene, Johnny Lowlife.
JOHNNY LOWLIFE: I’m sorry! I just needed some crank, bad! I tried to rob some teens but they overpowered me and threw me down a manhole!
GREEN MAN: The real mystery is how a waste of oxygen like you manages to blow through an ultranesium wall… and why. So start talking.
JOHNNY LOWLIFE: Look, man – I just did a job for these two brothers. That’s all. They brought the juice, I just made the bang go pop – OK? Then they sent some other guy in to take care of the rest.
GREEN MAN: These brothers – what were their names?
JOHNNY LOWLIFE: I don’t know their names. All I know is they operate out of the old dairy factory on Third – and they pay cash.
GREEN MAN: What? How do you know they’re brothers if you don’t know their names?
JOHNNY LOWLIFE: I don’t… I don’t know how I know that...
GREEN MAN stares at JOHNNY LOWLIFE and then starts to walk away.
JOHNNY LOWLIFE: Hey, can I have my syringe?
GREEN MAN tosses the syringe into a pile of dog crap. JOHNNY LOWLIFE picks it up immediately.
GREEN MAN pulls out his phone and calls TROLL BOY.
GREEN MAN: Troll Boy. Do me a favour – head over to the old dairy factory on Third. I’ll text you the details… I’ve got a date to catch.

INT/NIGHT: The Old Dairy Factory
TROLL BOY walks through the old dairy factory. It’s dark and dusty.
TROLL BOY: Don’t even know what the hell I’m lookin’ for here. Two guys that might be brothers? While Charles is off wreckin’ some clam? This is some goddamn bullshit – I hate being a sidekick.
TROLL BOY hears a crack and whips around. A gang of criminals step out of the shadows, led by the BOILER BROTHERS – BERT BOILER (Liam McPoyle) and BART BOILER (Ryan McPoyle). The BOILER BROTHERS are each holding a jar of brownish milk, and both are sporting milk moustaches.
BERT BOILER: Who the hell are you?
BART BOILER: Some kind of Monster Grandpa?
TROLL BOY: It’s Troll Boy, dickhead.
BART BOILER: Well, I mean, you’re definitely not a boy.
BERT BOILER: What are you doing here, Troll Boy?
TROLL BOY: Looking for you two, I imagine.
BERT BOILER opens his jar of brown milk. TROLL BOY recoils at the smell.
TROLL BOY: Oh, Christ – are you drinking that milk? That shit’s probably been sittin’ here since the Depression!
BERT BOILER: This is hyper-pasteurized goat’s milk from 1935.
BART BOILER: It’s been aged to perfection. The vitamins have been stewing in their own juices for nearly a century.
BERT BOILER: This milk is packed with such an intense concentration of nutrients, each sip gives us a superhuman-like boost of adrenaline.
BART BOILER: And it tastes divine – especially at room temperature.
BERT BOILER: We call it hypermilk.
TROLL BOY: Oh God, it smells like someone died in an outhouse!
BERT BOILER: What are you doing here, Troll Boy!?
TROLL BOY: Jesus, that stinks… Are you the two brothers that hired Johnny Lowlife to break into the Institute of Science?
BERT BOILER: Well we are brothers – Bert and Bart Boiler, the Boiler Brothers – but as for the other thing…
BART BOILER: That sounds like a question you shouldn’t be asking…
LUCIUS, an enormous and imposing member of the BOILER BROTHERS’ gang, steps forward. He chugs a jar of hypermilk, smashes the empty jar, and lets out a primal scream. He grabs a baseball bat wrapped in rusty chains and laughs maniacally as he walks toward TROLL BOY. TROLL BOY pulls out his pistol and shoots LUCIUS in the stomach. LUCIUS drops to his knees. The gang screams in horror. TROLL BOY executes LUCIUS, point blank.
BERT BOILER: What the hell is wrong with you!? Are you insane!?
TROLL BOY: What!? He was about to beat me with a baseball bat!
BERT BOILER: So you punch him! You throw him into a wall! You don’t shoot him in the stomach and head!!
TROLL BOY: Look at me, you think I can pick that guy up and throw him? He’s got like 200 pounds on me! Plus he was all hopped up on the milk!
BART BOILER: You really are a Monster Grandpa!
TROLL BOY: Alright, screw this.
TROLL BOY fires a round into the ceiling.
TROLL BOY: Now tell me why you hired Johnny Lowlife to do the Institute job or I’ll blow every single one of you bastards full of holes!
BERT BOILER: Alright, alright – look… We were just in charge of getting into the place, so we hired the only person desperate enough for drug money to handle the extremely dangerous amount of unstable explosive material needed to blow through ultranesium.
TROLL BOY: Lowlife told my partner that someone else was sent in to finish the job… Who was it?
The BOILER BROTHERS look at each other. Silence. TROLL BOY fires another round into the ceiling.
TROLL BOY: Who was it!?
BART BOILER: Enrique Beefcake!
BERT: Bart!
BART: You saw how casually he murdered Lucius, man. If you want to die for them, that’s fine – but I’m not ready to go yet, man – I just bought a houseboat!
BERT: Wait… you’re moving out?
TROLL BOY fires a third round into the ceiling. The BOILER BROTHERS jump back to attention.
TROLL BOY: You mean Enrique Beefcake, as in the mayor’s right-hand man? Why the hell would the mayor break into his own Institute?
BERT BOILER: Look, we’ve told you all we know. Now can you please leave so we can clean up our friend’s corpse and give him a proper Amish burial?
TROLL BOY: Sure. And for what it’s worth, I’m sorry about shooting him. But you know, could be a good lesson… maybe it’s time to start carrying guns, right?
TROLL BOY: Ok, I’m going.
TROLL BOY starts to leave, but notices a crate of hypermilk by the exit. He looks back, picks up a few jars, slips them into his utility belt – and leaves.

INT/NIGHT: Philadelphia Police Headquarters
COMMISSIONER PEACOCK sits at her desk in the empty office. She’s looking at papers on her desk. PEACOCK sighs, leans back, and makes a phone call. She pauses for a few seconds as the line rings out and goes to voicemail.
PEACOCK: Hey honey… Tried your cell a few times, figured I’d see if you were maybe home already – but I guess you must just be slammed with all of this. I suppose it’ll be a long night for both of us. Anyways, give me a shout if you get a few seconds. Love you.
CUT TO INT/NIGHT: Commissioner Peacock’s Home
As Peacock’s voicemail ends – we see the landline phone at her home. The camera pulls back to reveal a wedding photo on the wall behind the phone – it’s of COMMISSIONER PEACOCK and her husband, SCOOPS MCKENZIE.
CUT BACK TO INT/NIGHT: Philadelphia Police Headquarters
PEACOCK hangs up the phone and sighs. DEPUTY GUTTERGASH walks into the office with two cups of coffee.
GUTTERGASH: Need a recharge?
PEACOCK smiles, and GUTTERGASH hands her the coffee.
PEACOCK: I thought I told you to get some rest, Guttergash.
GUTTERGASH: Ah, I just got one of these instead.
GUTTERGASH raises her coffee cup. PEACOCK laughs and takes a long sip.
PEACOCK: That does hit the spot.
GUTTERGASH: Yep, nothing does the trick like a good old fashioned cup of joe with some crushed Modanifil and three ounces of liquid methylphenidate.
PEACOCK pauses.
PEACOCK: … What? What are those words? What the hell did you just give me?
GUTTERGASH: Yeah, I call it a booster shot! Gets the blood moving.
PEACOCK: Oh my god. I drank like a third of this already!
GUTTERGASH: Ooo – that’s not good. Better to go slow, this stuff is real potent.
PEACOCK: Umm, I can smell shapes! Is that supposed to happen?
GUTTERGASH: Not for a few hours at least.
PEACOCK picks up a glass and hurls it across the room. She screams at the top of her lungs.
GUTTERGASH: Oh boy. Well, I should probably skip out – I really just came by to drop off the booster shot… and this.
GUTTERGASH pulls a USB stick from her pocket and puts it on PEACOCK’s desk.
PEACOCK: What? What? What the hell is this?
GUTTERGASH: Well we already reviewed all the surveillance from the scene of the break-in, but this is the footage from the other cameras around the building.
PEACOCK: I thought that footage was destroyed!? They destroyed it!!
GUTTERGASH: It’s the 21st century - everything gets backed up.
GUTTERGASH leaves. PEACOCK stares at the USB stick. She screams at the top of her lungs again and punches a hole in a cubicle divider.

EXT/NIGHT: The Swan’s Knuckle
CHARLES, out of costume, arrives in his million-dollar Italian sportscar – the Sexerati Thrusterosa – at Philadelphia’s finest restaurant, The Swan’s Knuckle. He gives the keys to the valet and walks into the restaurant. In the foyer he spots a woman in a beautiful dress, facing away from him.
CHARLES: Look at you – early as usual.
His date turns around. It’s DR. WAITRESS.
DR. WAITRESS: Well, hello handsome.
The two embrace and share a passionate kiss.
CUT TO INT/NIGHT: The Swan’s Knuckle
CHARLES and DR. WAITRESS are at their table.
CHARLES: So… have they told you what was stolen yet?
DR. WAITRESS: No, not yet. The cops won’t let any staff into the Institute until they’re finished in there, which could be weeks.
CHARLES: Are you worried it be could be something dangerous in the wrong hands?
DR. WAITRESS: I don’t know, Charles. Knowing what’s in there though… The possibilities are scary.
CHARLES: So… anything else exciting happen today?
DR. WAITRESS pauses.
DR. WAITRESS: Um, nope. Nothing I can think of.
CHARLES looks at DR. WAITRESS suspiciously, but suddenly - his phone vibrates. He looks at it and reads the text from Frank: “Mayor behind Institute break-in. Meet at City Hall NOW”. CHARLES is shocked.
DR. WAITRESS: Is everything OK, sweetheart?
CHARLES: Um, no – actually. There’s… been a fire at one of the factories…
DR. WAITRESS: Oh my god!
CHARLES: Yeah, hundreds of good, hard-working people burned to a crisp… So I probably should be going!
DR. WAITRESS: Yeah, of – of course. Go. Let me know if there’s anything I can do.
CHARLES: Thanks, Darling. I’ll make it up to you.
CHARLES kisses DR. WAITRESS and dashes out. DR. WAITRESS watches CHARLES leave, and as soon as he exits – she dashes out the back exit. Seconds later, THE GUGINO’S WAITER arrives at their table carrying a bottle of wine.
GUGINO’S WAITER: Here we are, our finest wine – uncorked after 73 years just for –
The GUGINO’S WAITER realizes there’s nobody at the table. He looks around.
GUGINO’S WAITER: Oh, goddamn it.

EXT/NIGHT: Streets of Philadelphia
TROLL BOY is running through the streets of Philadelphia to meet GREEN MAN at City Hall. He cuts down a dark back road. A figure steps out of the shadows onto the sidewalk. It’s CRIMINAL 1, from the first scene of the episode. He’s got a gun.
TROLL BOY: Oh, shit! It’s you!
CRIMINAL 1: You… you killed him… you killed my Bruno.
TROLL BOY reaches for his gun. CRIMINAL 1 pulls the hammer back on his gun and points it at TROLL BOY’s head.
CRIMINAL 1: Don’t – move! … Ever since that fateful moment, that moment when you took the person dearest to me from this Earth … I’ve been thinking about what I’d say to you when I saw you. Meticulously choosing each word, obsessively rehearsing and –
All of a sudden, a police cruiser comes out of nowhere and crushes CRIMINAL 1.
TROLL BOY: Oh, shit!
PEACOCK jumps out, gun drawn, still tweaking on the drugs GUTTERGASH slipped her.
PEACOCK: Hey! Troll Boy! Do you know where –
PEACOCK notices the corpse of CRIMINAL 1 under her car.
PEACOCK: OK, no time for that – Troll Boy, we’ve gotta go – we’ve gotta get Green Man. The mayor killed my husband and I want to go get some revenge.
PEACOCK: Yeah, he killed my husband – he turned him into gold, I guess he’s got some kind of power where he can turn people into gold, and he did that to my husband and so now my husband is gold and dead. Anyways, I’m absolutely flying on some shit my deputy slipped into my coffee so I haven’t been able to emotionally process anything yet, I’m just really, really focused on this revenge, and getting it – on the mayor, for turning my husband into a dead, gold, dead guy. So, let’s go get Green Man – and let’s go. Let’s go, ok?
TROLL BOY: Yeah, oh – OK. We’re actually heading there already anyways to -
PEACOCK fires her gun into the air and screams at the top of her lungs. TROLL BOY runs around to the other side of the cruiser and gets in the passenger seat. PEACOCK gets in the driver’s seat and peels out. TROLL BOY notices a coffee cup in the cupholder.
TROLL BOY: So, is this the coffee with the drugs in it?
PEACOCK: Yeah, I figured I’m probably going to need all the energy I can for this revenge scheme.
TROLL BOY: Huh… Can I have a couple sipskis?
PEACOCK: Yeah, please – it’s actually good if you chug a lot of it real fast.
TROLL BOY pulls out a jar of hypermilk.
TROLL BOY: Oh, wait – I got this rank milk, these assholes were getting cranked up off it – I killed one of them, but I got took some of their milk. Should we put some in the coffee?
PEACOCK: Yeah, sure – rank milk, put the rank milk in.
TROLL BOY pours some of the hypermilk into the coffee.
TROLL BOY: Bottoms up bitch!
TROLL BOY chugs the coffee. PEACOCK laughs maniacally as the cruiser tears through the streets of Philly.

INT/NIGHT: News Studio
We rejoin the broadcast, now with breaking news.
NEWS ANCHOR: If you’re just joining us, we have some sad and shocking news to report. One of this city’s journalistic giants, Scoops McKenzie of the Philadelphia Tribune – was found dead earlier this evening, his body encased in a gold-like-substance, most likely gold… In an another disturbing twist, whoever responsible for the murder had tied a magnifying glass above the corpse, appearing to incorrectly assume the sun would melt it in the morning. Police are still –
The broadcast cuts to static for a few seconds, before cutting to a shot of THE GOLDEN GOD – now in a golden warlock-like costume and aviation goggles to go along with his hair and eyes.
GOLDEN GOD: A goddamn magnifying glass? What a moron. (Notices he’s live) Oh - hello Philadelphia! What do you think of my work? You don’t have to answer – I know you love it. It’s gold, after all – and everyone loves gold. Sweet, pure, powerful gold. And soon, you – just like Scoops McKenzie – will have your gold. I will deliver it to you. For I… AM THE GOLDEN GOD! AND I WILL POUR THE MOLTEN SUN UPON THE WORLDS OF MEN! Bow to me now, Philadelphia – and perhaps some of you will be spared.
GOLDEN GOD laughs maniacally, and the feed cuts back to the studio. The news anchor is entombed in solid gold.

EXT/NIGHT: Philadelphia City Hall
Green Man arrives in front of City Hall as the rain starts to pour. He stares at the building – a crack of lighting, and he’s gone.
CUT TO – INT/NIGHT: Philadelphia City Hall
Two security guards patrol the lobby.
SECURITY GUARD 1: So, should we go grab a drink in celebration of this, our last shift as security guards?
SECURITY GUARD 2: Absolutely – I can’t wait to begin my new life at the monastery tomorrow.
SECURITY GUARD 1: Nor me, to start my new career as a face model!
Just then, GREEN MAN flashes out of nowhere and strikes SECURITY GUARD 1 directly in the face. He stumbles back and lands face-first in a barrel labeled “Broken Glass for the Homeless”. GREEN MAN turns and walks toward SECURITY GUARD 2.
SECURITY GUARD 2: Wait, I’m still discovering the four Noble Truths!
GREEN MAN: Number three… there is an end to suffering!
GREEN MAN tosses SECURITY GUARD 2 into a wall, knocking him unconscious.
CUT TO - INT/NIGHT: Philadelphia City Hall
A montage rolls of GREEN MAN taking down security guards around City Hall, on his way up to the Mayor’s Office. He reaches a hallway that with a sign that reads “This way to Mayor’s Office – must be 18 (IDs WILL be checked)”. As he runs down the hall, the lights go out. When they come back on, ENRIQUE BEEFCAKE stands between GREEN MAN and the Mayor’s Office – his signature cat eyes in place.
GREEN MAN: Beefcake! We don’t have to do this!
ENRIQUE charges at GREEN MAN. The two of them clash in awesome hand-to-hand combat. Equally matched, they pause to catch their breath – and GREEN MAN notices a cross and rosary beads around ENQIRUE’s neck that has become visible during the fighting.
GREEN MAN: Ah… a religious man, are you Beefcake?
ENRIQUE doesn’t respond.
GREEN MAN: Huh… Must be hard listening to your boss walk around calling himself “The Golden God”.
ENRIQUE looks away in thought.
GREEN MAN: Tell me Beefcake… does the Bible say anything about worshipping other Gods?
ENRIQUE clutches his rosary beads.
GREEN MAN: Killing people, turning them into gold… I wonder what Jesus would think about that…
ENRIQUE sighs heavily. He stares at his cross.
GREEN MAN: Come with me, Beefcake… Repent with me. We can put an end to this, together.
ENRIQUE looks down in shame. He takes his cat eyes off and throws them on the ground. He looks up at GREEN MAN, who smiles. ENRIQUE walks toward GREEN MAN – pauses – and then continues to walk past him, toward the exit. GREEN MAN sighs, and runs toward the Mayor’s Office.

INT/NIGHT: The Mayor’s Office/Laboratory
GREEN MAN walks into the Mayor’s Office, to discover it’s a massive laboratory. GOLDEN GOD is nowhere to be seen – but his voice suddenly echoes throughout the room.
GOLDEN GOD: Hello Green Man… Why do I get the feeling you aren’t here to surrender?
GREEN MAN: Show yourself LeFevre!
MAYOR LEFEVRE steps out of the shadows, back in his regular mayoral outfit.
GREEN MAN runs toward MAYOR LEFEVRE. He hits him with a powerful uppercut, and MAYOR LEFEVRE flies back into a shelf. The shelf falls onto him. GREEN MAN stares at the corpse of MAYOR LEFEVRE, and begins to turn around. Suddenly, another MAYOR LEFEVRE tazes him in the neck, and GREEN MAN blacks out.
CUT TO – INT/NIGHT: The Mayor’s Office/Laboratory
GREEN MAN comes to – only to realize he’s in a high-tech chair being held down by steel restrainers. He struggles to break free, but it’s no use. GOLDEN GOD walks into view.
GOLDEN GOD: Philadelphia’s Greatest Hero… The Green Man. Do you know you’re child’s play to me? Do you see that now? I could kill you this instant.
GREEN MAN: Then why don’t you?
GOLDEN GOD: Because, you fool – I need to reveal my secret plan!
GREEN MAN: I’m assuming you’re going to make an army of clones of yourself and use it to turn everyone else gold?
GOLDEN GOD: I’m going to – eh, what? Damn, it Green Man - you figured out my plan?
GREEN MAN: Well, yeah. Pretty – pretty easy to piece together.
GOLDEN GOD: Well whatever, the plan may be conceptually simple, but it’s a goddamn good one…
GOLDEN GOD stares off into space and daydreams…
CUT TO – EXT/DAY: Philadelphia in Mayor Lefevre’s Fantasy
In his daydream, MAYOR LEFEVRE walks down a colorful city street on a beautiful sunny day. As he walks, he passes MAYOR LEFEVRE clones out and about, chatting on steps, working in the shops and waving to MAYOR LEFEVRE as he goes by. They’re the only people on the street.
MAYOR LEFEVRE CLONE 1: Morning, Brian!
MAYOR LEFEVRE CLONE 2: Lovely day, ay Brian?
MAYOR LEFEVRE: Hope it never ends, my friend!
He sees a MAYOR LEFEVRE clone struggling to lift a box onto the back of a truck.
MAYOR LEFEVRE: Need a hand with that Brian?
MAYOR LEFEVRE CLONE 3: Oh, that’d be great.
The two MAYOR LEFEVREs lift the box onto the truck.
MAYOR LEFEVRE CLONE 3: So… how can I… thank you?
The two MAYOR LEFEVREs start passionately making out. Other MAYOR LEFEVRE clones crowd around, aroused by what they see.
CUT BACK TO INT/NIGHT: The Mayor’s Office/Laboratory
GOLDEN GOD’s eyes are still closed.
GOLDEN GOD: Oooh… Oh yeah. Get in there, boys.
GREEN MAN: Um, what the fuck is happening?
GOLDEN GOD snaps back to reality.
GOLDEN GOD: Oh. Uh… Excuse me…
GOLDEN GOD turns and strolls as he talks.
GOLDEN GOD: We can only use the replicator to create powerless versions of my likeness for now… We need to modify the process for my unique genetic code in order to clone my powers as well – something we were planning to do in secrecy, before that goddamn reporter had to ruin everything!
GREEN MAN: Wait… we?
GOLDEN GOD: Yes… You could say I’m more of the brawn in this operation… And the looks.
DR. WAITRESS steps out of the shadows.
DR. WAITRESS: (to Golden God) Well hello, handsome.
GREEN MAN gasps.
DR. WAITRESS: I see you remember me, Green Man. You should have let those thugs kill me in that alley… I guess I’m not going to get the chance to thank you after all.
GREEN MAN: Why are you helping this guy?
DR. WAITRESS walks back over to GOLDEN GOD and starts stroking his arm.
DR. WAITRESS: Because he’s a God – and I worship him.
GREEN MAN: Are you serious? I bet he doesn’t even know your name!
GOLDEN GOD laughs nervously.
GOLDEN GOD: Ha… That’s – that’s ridiculous… Uh, silence! Silence, by the way!
DR. WAITRESS steps back and looks at GOLDEN GOD.
DR. WAITRESS: OK… what’s my name?
GOLDEN GOD stumbles.
DR. WAITRESS: Oh, are you kidding me!?
GOLDEN GOD: Um, you’re my Golden Goddess! I’m the Golden God and you’re my Golden Goddess!
DR. WAITRESS: You are such an asshole! You know what, I’m helping this guy now.
DR. WAITRESS starts to walk toward GREEN MAN. GOLDEN GOD shrugs and grabs DR. WAITRESS’ shoulder. His hair glows. DR. WAITRESS rips herself away – but it’s too late.
GREEN MAN: No! Dr. Waitress!
GOLDEN GOD: Right, that’s it.
DR. WAITRESS stares back at GREEN MAN as she turns to gold.
GOLDEN GOD: Well now I’m going to have to find another smart-but-pathetic girl to do all the heavy lifting here – so thanks for that, Green Man. You know what, just for that – you die now.
A group of MAYOR LEFEVRE clones step out of the shadow.
GOLDEN GOD: It’s been fun – but I think I’m going to go walk around and turn some people into gold. Then I’ll call it a night. Boys…
GOLDEN GOD walks out of the room as the MAYOR LEFEVRE clones gather around GREEN MAN. Just as they’re about to attack – PEACOCK and TROLL BOY burst into the room, tweaking and guns blazing. PEACOCK shoots a clone in the head and the rest scatter; PEACOCK chases them down, laughing maniacally, while TROLL BOY runs to GREEN MAN’s rescue. TROLL BOY still has the coffee in his hands.
TROLL BOY: Hey, hey Charles. Sorry about all this. Here ya go!
TROLL BOY uses his drug-induced superhuman strength to rip the restrainers clean off the chair.
GREEN MAN: Holy shit, dude!
TROLL BOY: Yeah, we drank some of this coffee – it’s full of stuff, lots of stuff Charles. You want some?
GREEN MAN: Uh – no thanks, man.
TROLL BOY: OK, great – more for me. Anyways, let Peacock and me kill these clones – you go get that gold bitch!
TROLL BOY screams and runs after a clone, firing randomly. GREEN MAN chases after GOLDEN GOD.

INT / NIGHT: Philadelphia City Hall – Main Lobby
GREEN MAN arrives in the main lobby of City Hall, just as GOLDEN GOD is about to walk out the front doors to unleash havoc on Philadelphia.
GREEN MAN: Lefevre! We’re not done!
GOLDEN GOD turns around. His hair glows. He raises his hands, also glowing.
GOLDEN GOD: You fool! I am a God! You’re just a man in a green suit - you’re no match for me!
A voice from the background. It’s a horrible Swedish accent.
ENRIQUE BEEFCAKE: Vell vhy don’t ve even de odds!
GREEN MAN: Beefcake!
BEEFCAKE: Dere’s only one God, mayor – and his name is… vell, ve don’t really – he doesn’t actually have a… It’s God. God is God.
GOLDEN GOD: Silence, moron! Ugh, I hate that goddamn voice. Banning you from speaking was absolutely the right decision.
GREEN MAN: You banned him from speaking? I just thought he was a mute! (To Beefcake) Come on Beefcake – let’s do this.
ENRIQUE: Yeah, OK – dat’s good Green Man! Just don’t let him touch you or he’ll turn you into the gold having!
GOLDEN GOD: Oh – what, are you German now?
ENRIQUE and GREEN MAN descend on GOLDEN GOD. In a beautiful, coordinated attack, they pummel him from either side while dodging each of GOLDEN GOD’s attempts to grasp them. GREEN MAN delivers the final blow – a powerful kick to the head. GOLDEN GOD falls to his knees. The glow in his eyes and hair goes out. He falls over, badly beaten and dazed – but still alive.
GREEN MAN: Now, time to lock you up where you’ll never hurt another so–
PEACOCK and TROLL BOY burst in again, still tweaking. They shoot the mayor over and over as they scream.
PEACOCK: Yeah, that’s right bitch! That’s what you get for turning my husband gold, you gold jackass. Gold piece of shit!
TROLL BOY: I don’t want to be a sidekick anymore! I hate it! I want the cars and the broads and I want to say cool shit!
GREEN MAN: God… damn it.
ENRIQUE: Yeah! Dat’s right! Send him to Hell!
TROLL BOY: Hey Enrique! Want a pick-me-up?
TROLL BOY still has the coffee. He hands it to ENRIQUE, who takes a sip. ENRIQUE’s eyes widen. He grabs TROLL BOY’s gun and starts shooting GOLDEN GOD’s corpse along with PEACOCK. TROLL BOY cheers them on. As they continue to shoot and cheer, the camera pulls out back into the streets of Philadelphia.
CUT TO - EXT/NIGHT: Downtown Philadelphia
A montage of the city rolls.
NARRATOR: Well, Philadelphia. You’re safe – for another day, at least. Lucky you. I guess the only question is – what’s waiting tomorrow?
The GREEN MAN’s silhouette flashes through the streets.
NARRATOR: Whatever it is… You can sleep easy, Philadelphia… Because he’s out there. Watching. Listening. The defender… the seeker of justice… the – Green Man!

Wow - you actually read this entire thing? Thank you so much!
I also wrote another episode if you care to check it out: Charlie's Place.
Thanks again for reading!!
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Random Driver Highlight #23 -- Lucien Bianchi

Yeah. Almost two months without one of these. Got a busy streak with a new job. Also been travelling overseas a fair deal. And also working on something else for another site. So yeah.
But anyway, here's #532 from the Random Number Generator. And while not the most successful driver, it's a name that sounds familiar...

Lucien Bianchi

Nationality: Belgian
Years in F1: 1959-63, 1965, 1968
Teams Raced For: Cooper (Equipe Nationale Belge, Fred Tuck, works), Emeryson (Equipe Nationale Belge), Lotus (Equipe Nationale Belge, UDT Laystall), ENB, Lola (Reg Parnell), BRM (Scuderia Centro Sud)
Entries: 19
Starts: 17
Podium Finishes: 1
Points: 6
Highest Finish: 3rd (1968 Monaco Grand Prix)
Times he got rudely awakened from his slumber: At least once (I'll tell you the story later)

Part 1: Getting a shot with the Claes Pigeon

Okay, that nationality bit may be a tad incorrect. Yes, Lucien Bianchi moved to Belgium and raced under a Belgian flag. But Bianchi wasn't born in Belgium. A clue as to where Lucien was actually born would be to look at his birth name, Luciano.
Yep, Luciano Bianchi was born in Milan, Italy on 10th November, 1934. He was fortunate, as he and his brother, Mauro, were born right into a racing family. His father, Roberto, was a mechanic at Alfa Romeo, or more specifically, Scuderia Ferrari, then Alfa Romeo's racing division at the time pre-war.
It was after the war, though, that Roberto sought greener pastures elsewhere, given how Ferrari and Alfa Romeo had split at that point. At this point, he got a call from a jazz musician in Belgium named Johnny Claes. Claes wasn't a massive name in jazz music, but he was a minor celebrity in the jazz circle. He had a band, called "Johnny Claes and the Claes Pigeons". He played music in the background and had one line in the movie that killed George Formby's career.
And now, either due to a meeting with George Abecassis or being a translator in the 1947 French Grand Prix, Claes had caught the racing bug. He wasn't so good at setting up cars though, and sought the help of Roberto Bianchi, the former Ferrari mechanic, to set up his cars. Bianchi would become heavily involved with Claes over the next few years, eventually moving to Belgium in 1950 with his two sons, Luciano and Mauro.
Fast forward to 1952, and Luciano, now known as Lucien, was getting his first major racing event at just the tender age of 17. With his father's contacts in the racing world, it wasn't too much of a surprise for him to enter racing at this tender age. He was acting as the co-driver of one Jacques Herzet. People would think of Herzet as crazy to pick Bianchi as his co-driver, especially since Lucien's debut was going to be the gruelling Tour de France.
Yep, Jacques Herzet picked a 17 year-old with no prior racing experience to be his co-driver in a cross-country race around France in a Jaguar sports car.
Predictably, Herzet and Bianchi finished a mediocre 38th. But that initial race was just the kickstarter for both Herzet and Bianchi. For 1953, Bianchi and Herzet would form a solid partnership with backing from Ecurie Francorchamps, who, funnily enough, were rivals to Ecurie Belge, the team where Bianchi's dad was working in. Together, they managed 7th place in the Tour de France and a few third places in the European Rally Championship. One of them was the Liege-Rome-Liege Rally, which featured not only an impressive performance from Herzet and the 18 year-old Bianchi to third, but a solid drive to second from Olivier Gendebien and a masterclass from Johnny Claes, who drove 52 hours straight to victory after his co-driver fell ill.
By this time, it seemed almost inevitable that Lucien would come and join back with his dad at Ecurie Belge to continue his racing career. By 1955, father and son were back together, but only through the two rivals, Francorchamps and Belge, merging together to become a joint operation, Ecurie Nationale Belge. At this point, Johnny Claes was in ill health, so a merger with his rivals, led by Jacques Swaters, seemed like the right thing to do.
Claes would still race, despite his rapid deterioration in health. For one of his final events before his death to tuberculosis in early 1956, he re-entered the Liege-Rome-Liege for one last time. Being unable to drive for long periods like in his incredible 1953 effort, he needed someone else to take over the main driving duties. He paid his chief mechanic, Roberto Bianchi, something of a favour by choosing his twenty year-old son, Lucien, to race alongside him in the rally.
With Claes' condition getting worse and worse as time went on, Lucien started to assert his role as a lead driver, and his performance took the duo to a third place finish, which was also the final time Claes would finish on the podium in any motorsport event.
Following this result, the young Bianchi's stock rose tremendously, no doubt thanks to his partnership with Olivier Gendebien. Together, the pair would go on to win the Tour de France three consecutive times between 1957-1959. With the constant success in the Tour de France and local rallies, Bianchi started to become a household name in rallying.
He also had some form of successes in sportscars, most notably a class victory in the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside Georges Harris with an additional win in the 1958 Coupe de Salon and various other good showings at other international sportscar races.
Well, you might be wondering, this is /formula1. This guy raced in Formula 1, right? How did he get on?
Well, let me tell you this. As much as Lucien Bianchi is a respected figure in Belgian motor racing, a man known for his sportscar and rallying prowess and a name many look back on with fondness, his F1 career, especially his early days, were pretty much...

Part 2: BELGE

It was 1959. The year that Lucien Bianchi would wrap up his trifecta of Tour de France victories with Gendebien alongside him. With these successes, Ecurie Nationale Belge thought it was about time to re-enter Formula 1, having last participated in Grand Prix racing way back when Johnny Claes wanted one last outing in an F1 car at the 1955 Dutch Grand Prix. Having been one of the better drivers for ENB, Bianchi was named to drive in the race alongside Alain de Changy, a co-driver of Bianchi in one of his less-successful Le Mans attempts, in privateer Cooper T51 entries.
Despite the Cooper being the dominant car of the era, both Bianchi and de Changy failed to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix. And that was it for Lucien Bianchi's F1 season in 1959, one and done.
Then came 1960. ENB were going to enter yet another Cooper for Bianchi, this time at their home race, the Belgian Grand Prix. Naturally, having failed to qualify at Monaco last time out, the ENB felt that their T51 was obsolete in a sense, and set about providing Bianchi with another Cooper chassis. And, naturally, the car they set Bianchi up with was an ancient Cooper T45, the model used by the works team way back in 1958.
Naturally, Bianchi was slow. Even then, his lack of pace was something to be admired that day in Spa. In the days where the old Spa layout was 14.1 km long, Lucien Bianchi managed to finish eight laps off the pace in dead last. And yet, thanks to a scoring quirk that classified Graham Hill as a DNF despite only failing to finish the final lap, Lucien Bianchi was credited with a championship point. That's right, he finished sixth.
I mean, it was still last, but it was a point nonetheless. He went to continue the season for a brief while with Fred Tuck's privateer team, this time providing him with his remotely competitive Cooper T51. However, failures to finish in France and Great Britain saw Lucien retreat back to ENB, where he would take a victory in the 1000km of Paris sportscar race.
And, there was 1961. And I have to say, 1961 was an absolutely nutty year for Bianchi and ENB in Formula One, and it starts with the most incredible story.
So. Come 1961, there are the new engine regulations that would severely limit engine regulations down to 1.5 litre engines. Ecurie Nationale Belge are worrying. As privateers, they are nervous as to which chassis they should run with, given how the change in regs might throw a toss-up in competitiveness. Most customer teams are looking towards the new Lotus chassis, but not ENB. They want something different. And so they attend the 1960 Coupe de Salon Formula 2 race at Monthlery.
There, they spot that there is a fairly unknown constructor, Emeryson, on the grid. And with the little-known John Turner behind the wheel, the Emeryson was putting up a creditable performance against the rest of the pack. With that impressive performance, Ecurie Nationale Belge went ahead and purchased the Emeryson 1000 series of chassis with Maserati engines powering them, and seemed all set to surprise the field when they took the green flag at Monaco.
Well, they sure surprised themselves. What they hadn't realized was, that at that race in Monthlery, the reason John Turner was doing so fantastically well in the race was because he, lap after lap, straight-lined a chicane that was out of spectators' view, gaining tons of time in the process. Turner was DQ'd after the race, but his little chicane-cutting cheekiness caused chaos in the ENB garage. When Bianchi, Willy Mairesse and Gendebien took the Emerysons out to the non-championship Grands Prix in Pau and Brussels, the problems with ENB were clear. Their Emerysons were total duds.
But they made the deal. And Lucien Bianchi was going to have to live with the Emerysons for the time being.
The 1961 Monaco Grand Prix came up. If Ecurie Nationale Belge couldn't qualify with championship-winning cars two years earlier, there was no way they were ever going to qualify with the stinky Emerysons. And boy, were they poopy. Barring Jack Brabham, who had problems in qualifying, Lucien Bianchi and Gendebien were the two slowest drivers in qualifying, and once again, ENB would come back from Monaco empty-handed.
Their next entry was their home Grand Prix at Spa, still with the Emerysons. Olivier Gendebien gained some common sense and took up Ferrari's one-off drive for this race, leaving Willy Mairesse to become Lucien's teammate in the trenches. And, around Spa, the Emerysons and the Maserati engines powering them were absolutely terrible. I'm not even exaggerrating. Lucien Bianchi, in qualifying, was a full 27 seconds off the pace. Mairesse did slightly better, but he was still right at the tail end of the order.
And, almost like it was a sign from God, one of ENB's chassis' literally fell apart near the end of practice. That was when ENB just gave up. They pulled both chassis out of the race. In a scene that's unthinkable nowadays, they walked down the paddock asking other teams to loan their spare chassis to them. Emeryson had turned the gallant sportscar and rally troupe to beggars in Formula One.
Thankfully, privateers Tony Marsh and Wolfgang Seidel weren't starting the race. Wikipedia says they had a dispute with starting money, though I couldn't find another source backing that up. Either way, they weren't starting, and so ENB stuck Mairesse and Bianchi in their Lotus-Climax machines in time for the race. And after all that, Lucien Bianchi and Willy Mairesse, somehow, finished in the points....
...I'm fucking kidding. They didn't score points. They were horribly slow. They both retired after just nine laps. That might just be one of the most rejectful outings by a team at a Grand Prix ever. As rejectful as Life, Andrea Moda and Coloni were, at least they didn't have to beg to borrow a chassis in the paddock.
After that, Ecurie Nationale Belge did the right thing and took a break until the Italian Grand Prix, where Andre Pillette was the poor soul nominated drive the Emeryson, being the only driver in that race to fail to qualify. Lucien Bianchi, for his end of the deal, did well in sportscars for ENB, taking two second places in his favourite events, the 1000km of Paris and the Tour de France. However, those Emeryson capers wouldn't be the end of his Formula One career in 1961.
At the Belgian Grand Prix, Cliff Allison got badly injured in a crash, sidelining him for the rest of the year. This opened up a spot at the UDT Laystall Racing Team, running customer Lotus 18's that year. Initially, for the French Grand Prix, UDT Laystall hired Juan Manuel Fangio's protege, Juan Manuel Bordeu. However, once ENB decided to take a break from their Emeryson nightmare, UDT Laystall brought in Lucien Bianchi, and despite running both Bordeu and Bianchi in practice, Lucien was the one driving the car for the race, ahead of the protege of Fangio that you've never heard of and probably will never hear of again. However, Bianchi was absolutely sub-par, qualifying last in Aintree and failing to finish his two Grand Prix starts with UDT Laystall before being substituted with Masten Gregory.
Lucien Bianchi went ahead and gave it one more shot with Ecurie Nationale Belge in Formula One. It was 1962, and surely after three years of floundering attempts at Formula One, ENB wouldn't do something stupid with Lucien Bianchi in F1.
The first race they entered that season, they were sensible. Okay, they were the only team to enter the obsolete Lotus 18/21 when the other chassis present were all 21's, 24's or 25's, but that's okay. Yes, Lucien Bianchi was only able to qualify 21 seconds off the pace, but at least he qualified and actually managed to finish the race, albeit in second-last. But still. At least they hadn't done something stupid.
In their second, and final, entry of 1962, ENB did something really stupid.
Remember the Emerysons? I bet Bianchi wanted to forget them.
ENB didn't. And they had three spare chassis left over, chassis numbers 1001, 1002 and 1003. Using the frame of the 1001 chassis, they used whatever was salvageable from the 1002 and 1003, smushed it onto the 1001 frame, crafted some bodywork that looked like Shrek in car form, and plastered their own ENB name on the car. If the Ferrari 156 was a sexy beast, the ENB F1 was it's ugly sister after its face got smashed by a truck.
Okay, that was a tad harsh from me. But still, in terms of F1 cars, it wasn't the prettiest.
What's worse, they didn't change any of the interior mechanisms and whatnot from the old Emerysons. They even kept the horrific Maserati engine. And they were going to ask Lucien Bianchi to tackle the Green Hell with that piece of machinery.
Lucien Bianchi did the best he could. At least, I bet he did. Even then, I don't think even Ayrton Senna, Jim Clark or Lewis Hamilton could make that car go fast. I mean, around the Nurburgring, Bianchi was nearly two MINUTES slower than Dan Gurney's pole time. He was a full twenty seconds behind the next slowest qualifier, Jack Brabham. Bianchi only qualified because he completed the minimum requirement of five laps in practice, something that Tony Shelly and Wolfgang Seidel failed to do, despite being faster than Bianchi.
A side note here, Seidel was baffled by that decision. I mean, if that thing was chosen to start ahead of you, I'd be mad too. Seidel went to race officials to argue. Right after that, Seidel was stripped of his competitive racing license.
Anyway, back to Bianchi, the race for Lucien was slow and uneventful, rooted to the back for the entire race. It's fair to say that Lucien did well in the dreadful ENB to not get lapped twice.
And that was it for Ecurie Nationale Belge in Formula One. After their dreadful experiments, with Lucien Bianchi as test dummy, they gave up on Formula One, retreating to their more successful ventures in sportscars and rallying.
Likewise, it seemed that Lucien Bianchi's career in Formula One was also pretty much over. Stuck in the worst of situations with ENB and unable to capitalize on other drives elsewhere, it seemed Lucien's career would be left to sportscars and rallies from now on.
All because of one chicane-cutting fool, we got a renowned garage in sportscars becoming the laughing stock of Formula One, a one-race oddity and monstrosity of a chassis and a waste of an upcoming talent in Formula One to some awful cars in Formula One...

Part 3: But Wait, There's More...

For the next few years, Lucien Bianchi would only make a few one-off appearances at his home Grand Prix to very little fanfare and not a whole lot of success. He was one of the many drivers to crash out in the 1963 Belgian Grand Prix when he couldn't handle his Lola in the storm at Spa, and had a very underwhelming performance with BRM's customer team, Scuderia Centro Sud in the 1965 edition.
Instead, in those years, Lucien Bianchi was a sportscar menace. In the year that he had to cope with the awful ENB chassis, he also won the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring alongside Joakim Bonnier behind the wheel of a Ferrari 250 GT. He collected a whole host of podium finishes in the second half of 1963, none of them with Ecurie Nationale Belge/Ecurie Francorchamps, funnily enough.
He was with ENB, though, when he and Jean Blaton, who went by the pseudonym 'Beurlys', to a win in the GT 3.0 class at the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans. He also claimed his record 4th Tour de France victory while pairing with Georges Berger, with a second place at the 2000km of Daytona to complement all these accolades.
Also, his brother Mauro had started to compete in the occasional endurance race for Abarth in the early sixties, and by 1964 he was signed by the Renault Alpine squad. With Lucien being open to pretty much anything, he partnered up with his brother for the occasional race here and there. Their first event together was the 1964 Targa Florio, which didn't go too spectacularly for the pair, finishing 15th overall, but at least they were second in the Prototype 2.0 class. The next time they'd be together driving the car would be the 1965 Nurburgring 500 km. This time, brothers Bianchi clicked. Three cars in the top four were Abarths. The only car that wasn't an Abarth? It was Mauro's and Lucien's Alpine, and they were sitting pretty on the top step of the podium.
That would be the last time the brothers teamed up with any success, having paired up only one last time to a lowly 21st place in the Paris 1000km. However, Lucien had so much more on his plate. For 1966 and 1967, Bianchi paired up with the one and only Mario Andretti for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, though neither attempt ended well, which for their 1967 attempt, is a bit of an understatement. Don't worry, Andretti was okay, as his future racing career would show.
Bianchi also had several commitments for 1966 and 1967, having signed for not only Alfa Romeo's Autodelta squad, but also appearing on the rare occasion for Porsche. This caused a tricky gap in his schedule, especially since Lucien Bianchi really, really wanted to race in the Indy 500.
Yep. Little known fact, Lucien Bianchi did attempt to qualify for the Indy 500 in 1967. He even got a bit of practice, so to speak, in the USAC round in Trenton in late April, driving for Jim Robbins. He didn't perform too badly, mind, qualifying ninth before he had to pull out after a half-century of laps when his car overheated.
For his assault at Indy, he would once again drive for Jim Robbins' Vollstedt. However, he had a conflicting schedule with Porsche, where he was scheduled to drive in the Nurburgring 1000km with Gerhard Mitter. Nevermind, the 1000km was on the Sunday, the 28th, and the Indy 500 would be on the 30th of May, with days of time trials happening on the 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st of May. Giving himself a full week to practice for Nurburgring, Bianchi still had plenty of days to qualify for Indy, then head to Europe to practice and race in the 1000km and have enough time to fly back to the USA for the 500.
Bianchi couldn't set a time on pole day, and the second day of time trials was rained out. Nevermind that, Bianchi could still set a time on the 20th and fly back to Germany immediately afterwards. In the session on the 20th, Lucien set a time good enough for 29th on the grid. Not the highest position, but hey, at least he made it onto the grid. With that, Lucien set off for his flight to the Nurburgring, all set to pull of the double duty of a 1000km and a 500 mile race in the space of three days.
One minor problem for Lucien.
He forgot about Bump Day.
The final day of qualifying for Indy. The one where hopefuls have one last shot to 'bump' other drivers off the grid. And Bianchi wasn't present.
At the end of the day, Lucien was the last driver bumped off the grid. He qualified 34th. There were only 33 starters in the Indy 500.
Still, at least Bianchi could find some success at the Nurburgring, right? He and Mitter had an absolute blast, and they were dominating the field. To make up for the loss of Indy, at least a win at the Green Hell could boost Bianchi's mood a little, right?
They led as they started their final lap.
And then the battery failed. They lost their win on the final lap of a 1000 kilometre race. For anybody, that would be a massive hit to their confidence.
For Bianchi, that was just the prelude to his best season in racing yet...

Part 4: Celebrations and Crashes

The rest of Lucien's 1967 still went quite alright for him, redeeming his crushing blow at the Nurburgring just two months later with a victory in the 6 hours event at the same circuit. Besides, he still had a dedicated drive with Alfa Romeo for 1968 in sportscars, so everything still seemed alright for the Belgian at that point.
The start to his 1968 season wasn't spectacular, no race victories or podiums, but a surprising stream of consistent results, something that Bianchi found hard to do in his career, with his results sheets often littered with DNFs. His consistency was topped off with a podium at the 1968 Targa Florio.
And then his consistency got him a reward in the form of a Formula One drive. And no, it wasn't with Ecurie Nationale Belge again, they quit F1 for good after their Emeryson depression. It was an actual works team, the two-time constructor's champions, Cooper. One of their main drivers, Brian Redman, had a scheduling conflict as he was driving for John Wyer Automotive, one of the premier squads in endurance racing at the time, and their fleet of Ford GT40s. As it turns out, the Monaco Grand Prix was happening at the same time as the 1000 km of Spa, and Redman was committed to Spa. With little option left, they called out to Bianchi to race for them at Monaco.
At this point of their lifespan, Cooper were a shadow of the team they once were. Previously an innovator in motorsport, their form had dropped off in the past few years, and 1968 was Cooper at their lowest point. Still, they'd managed a podium at the previous race in Spain by simply being the last cars standing in a field that was hit by attrition.
Bianchi's previous attempts at Monaco, in 1959 and 1961, ended before the race even began. This time, though, Lucien Bianchi at least managed to qualify, though only in a lowly 14th out of 16 drivers, only beating teammate Ludovico Scarfiotti and Dan Gurney in his own Eagle car. From there, Bianchi and Scarfiotti stuck to the tried and tested Cooper tactic: Go slow, be safe, avoid any attrition, just finish.
With all the attrition Monaco usually brings, Bianchi and Scarfiotti slowly made their way up the order. At the end of the race, only five cars saw the chequered flag. Two of them were the Coopers of Bianchi and Scarfiotti, albeit four laps down.
And, thanks to all the chaos, Lucien Bianchi finished third. His first, and only podium in Formula One. Cooper's last in Formula One.
After that, Bianchi was kept onboard the Cooper team for the next round at Spa-Francorchamps, with Redman returning to the squad as Scarfiotti raced in a hillclimb event in Germany. Once again, Bianchi went with the tried and tested Cooper tactic. Stay slow, get out of trouble, and make your way up from retirements. Bianchi once again finished third-from-last, but with all the DNFs that race, that was all Lucien needed to score another point for the Cooper team.
However, as much as that point was worth, it came at a costly price for Cooper. Brian Redman's suspension failed on lap seven, and he was pitched into a concrete barrier and a parked car. He was lucky to walk away with a broken arm and minor burns, but Redman's season was over. Ludovico Scarfiotti went off-course in his hillclimb event and his Porsche catapulted down a slope. His body was discovered fifty yards from his car that was hanging in the trees. Scarfiotti died in the ambulance.
One of Cooper's main drivers' was dead. The other was out for the season. Involuntarily, Lucien Bianchi was now a full-time works driver for Cooper, alongside Vic Elford. They did the best they could with the dreadful Cooper T86, with Elford scoring a few points, but they couldn't do much else.
Bianchi couldn't even qualify off the back row of the grid. With his Alfa Romeo connections, Lucien almost orchestrated a partnership with Cooper and Alfa Romeo, and there were plans to enter an Alfa-engined Cooper for Bianchi in both the British and Italian Grands Prix. However, both entries were pulled at the final minute, and eventually Alfa Romeo abandoned the project when they realized their V8 was severely underpowered. Unable to carry out the Alfa deal, coupled with their failure to find sponsorship to build a DFV-powered car, Cooper closed their doors in 1969, with Lucien Bianchi's drive in Monaco being their final podium finish.
However, there was still more success to come for Bianchi. With Redman's injury, there was a spot vacant at John Wyer's Ford GT40 stable. Despite his commitments to Alfa and Cooper, Lucien was able to find time to take Brian Redman's spot in the 6 hours of Watkins Glen, pairing fellow compatriot Jacky Ickx. Together, the Belgian duo took outright victory, marginally ahead of their teammates Paul Hawkins and David Hobbs.
This was intended to be a one-off drive, but then he got another call-up for John Wyer. Pedro Rodriguez was looking for a partner for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, initially contacting compatriot and close friend Moises Solana for the co-driver spot. When Solana declines, the team reached out to Bianchi. Taking the opportunity with both hands, Lucien Bianchi took the biggest victory of his career, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans as Pedro Rodriguez's co-driver.
It would also be his last victory celebration, as three major incidents would tell the story of his career's final days.
The first was Mauro Bianchi's massive accident in the same 24 Hours. With 4 hours remaining, Mauro's Alpine lost its brakes at the foot of the Esses and crashed heavily. The car burst into a great, big fireball with Mauro still inside. Miraculously, Mauro escaped with his life, but only just. There are images on the internet showing Mauro and the extent of his burns after the wreck. I won't link them here for your sake, but those images are just... gruesome.
The second was Lucien's own accident at the 1968/69 London-Sydney Marathon. The marathon was one-of-a-kind marathon, crossing Italy, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, then finally to Australia. It was a massive event, and Bianchi entered the event with co-driver Jean-Claude Ogier (no relation to WRC champ Sebastian) in a Citroen DS.
Bianchi and Ogier, running in third at the end of the Asian leg, found themselves in a comfortable lead once in Australia, thanks to the technical problems of Roger Clark. In the penultimate stage heading to Nowra, less than 100 miles away from Sydney. Ogier was piloting the DS, Bianchi was taking a nap in the passenger-seat. Yep, their lead was so comfortable, Bianchi was literally taking a snooze.
Then, on a road that was supposed to be closed to the public, the DS collided head-on with a passenger car travelling the opposite direction. There were rumours that the occupants of the passenger car were two drunk off-duty policemen.
Paddy Hopkirk, the first driver on the scene, sacrificed any chance he had of winning the race to extinguish the flames on both cars in the accident and to help the trapped Bianchi out of his car. They had probably saved Bianchi's life, but Lucien was still badly injured in the wreck (This one is mildly NSFW).
Still, despite his injuries, Bianchi was back after just three months, racing alongside Nino Vaccarella in the Sebring 12 Hours. Despite his failure to finish, Bianchi was all set to defend his Le Mans victory, all set to progress from the amazing 1968 season that he had, with a Le Mans victory and a Formula One podium.
On 30th of March, there was a testing session for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Lucien Bianchi was driving the new Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 with Nino Vaccarella. They had already set the sixth fastest time in qualifying, an incredible achievement on its own.
Lucien Bianchi was having problems with the rear bodywork of the 33/3 early on. When he went out for his second stint, he must have felt something wrong on the Mulsanne Straight, as eyewitnesses report him flicking on his indicator, almost like he was going to pull over. However, Bianchi didn't slow down at all. Instead, his car wandered to the verge on the right side, then suddenly shot to the left. His car hit a telegraph pole and flames erupted from the car.
Luciano "Lucien" Bianchi had zero chance of survival. He was only 34 years old. And, sadly, not the only Bianchi to pass away on the track.
Well, I'm back writing these. I'll try to get back up to speed, but that may be unlikely. We'll see.
All credit to the following sources:
Racing Sportscars -- StatsF1 -- Motor Sport Magazine -- 8w at Forix -- F1i
GPRejects -- Virtual Garage Channel -- ChampCar Stats -- EWRC -- Motorsport Memorial
My Other Random Driver Highlights:
#16, Piero Carini + Links to Highlights #1-15
#17, Trevor Taylor
#18, Bill Aston
#19, Chico Serra
#20, Eppie Wietzes
#21, Cecil Green
#22, Mika Salo
submitted by TheStateOfIt to formula1 [link] [comments]

Argentina vs Bosnia Herzegovina Match Thread

Today, 23:00 • Estádio Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro • Group F

During the France vs Honduras is said I'd place some bets based on /LiverpoolFC suggestions. I said 25p in the comment but I fancied one of them so I upped the stake. Here's the bets:
Bet Who suggested it? Odds Stake Potential Winnings
Bosnia to win 1-2 Rydleo 25/1 0.25p £6.50
Argentina win 3-1 and Dzeko to score first merge111 125/1 £1 £126
Messi Hat-Trick MrSqueegee95 6/1 0.25p £1.75
Feel free to comment with some more suggestions. Live betting could be fun.


STARTERS:1-Sergio Romero; 4-Pablo Zabaleta, 3-Hugo Campagnaro, 2-Ezequiel Garay, 16-Marcos Rojo, 17-Federico Fernandez; 7-Angel Di Maria, 14-Javier Mascherano, 11-Maxi Rodriguez; 10-Lionel Messi, 20-Sergio Aguero STARTERS:1-Asmir Begovic; 13-Mensur Mujdza, 4-Emir Spahic, 3-Ermin Bicakcic, 5-Sead Kolasinac; 20-Izet Hajrovic, 7-Muhamed Besic, 8-Miralem Pjanic, 16-Senad Lulic, 10-Zvjezdan Misimovic; 11-Edin Dzeko
SUBS: 5-Fernando Gago, 6-Lucas Biglia, 8-Enzo Perez, 9-Gonzalo Higuain, 12-Agustin Orion, 13-Augusto Fernandez, 15-Martin Demichelis, 18-Rodrigo Palacio, 19-Ricky Alvarez, 21-Mariano Andujar, 22-Ezequiel Lavezzi, 23-Jose Basanta SUBS: 2-Avdija Vrsajevic, 6-Ognjen Vranjes, 9-Vedad Ibisevic, 12-Jasmin Fejzic, 14-Tino Sven Susic, 15-Toni Sunjic, 17-Senijad Ibricic, 18-Haris Medunjanin, 19-Edin Visca, 21-Anel Hadzic, 22-Asmir Avdukic, 23-Sejad Salihovic

Opta Stats

  • Argentina have won nine and lost just one of their last 12 World Cup group games (D2), scoring 24 and conceding just four in total in this run.
  • La Albiceleste have only mustered two wins in their last nine World Cup games against European sides, drawing four and losing three.
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina are the only country making their World Cup debut in 2014. Since 1950, the best record for a side making their debut is third, achieved by Portugal in 1966 and Croatia in 1998.
  • Lionel Messi has only scored one goal in 571 minutes of World Cup football. Indeed only one of his 31 shots in the tournament has found the net.
  • Argentina have won both previous internationals against the Dragons (both friendlies), scoring seven and conceding none.
  • Alejandro Sabella’s side scored more goals than any other South American side in qualifying (35).
  • No player was involved in more goals than Edin Dzeko in the European qualifiers (14 – 10 goals, 4 assists).
  • Dzeko and compatriot Vedad Ibisevic both scored four headed goals in qualification; the strike partners scored all eight of Bosnia’s headed goals between them.
1': We're off!
3': GOAL Argentina 1 - 0 Bosnia Herzegovina | Argentina take a free kick which bobbles off Kolasinac's leg into his own goal.
12': The bet's still on! Paddy Power don't count own goals!
14': Bosnia through on goal for a second but the keeper just gets there first. Free kick for Bosnia at 30 yards following a Masch foul.
20': All Bosnia at the moment.
27': B&H free kick looks dangerous but is eventually cleared.
31': Maxi with a fucking glorious strike that flies well over due to inherent defects in the ball.
38': This match is not as exciting as it was billed.
40': B&H corner. Lulic header really well saved.
45': We're off again.
50': B&H free kick at 30 yards nestles in the keeper's arms.
56': The match feels like it's beginning to pick up a bit now.
64': Messi free kick well over the bar.
65': GOAL Argentina 2 - 0 B&H | Messi
84': GOAL Argentina 2 - 1 B&H | Ibisevic
submitted by Plastic_Mouldsman to LiverpoolFC [link] [comments]

Basic Soccer Betting Tips Thread.

Thought I'd start a thread like this due to some being new to it and those that aren't but could explain some basic strategies for soccer betting (and laying)

I'll start off with a few of my tips:

Betting on wincasts and scorecasts is overall a waste of money. It looks good but you're getting horrible value.
I'll use paddy Power bookmakers as an example...
Scorecast for Liverpool to win 1-0 and Suarez to score first = 40/1(41.0) But look at it another way, Liverpool to win 1-0 is 15/2(8.50) and Suarez to score first is 7/1(8.0), that means the bookmakers have other odds of this to happen is 7/1 x 15/2 = 67/1(68.0).. Scorecasts and wincasts, etc; are attractive and bookmakers make a lot of money off of them. I not trying to put you off making "cast" bets but consider the value before hand... The realistic value of this bet would be ~55/1.
Keep an eye on strikers in form, and make bets on them to score anytime or first goalscorer or combination of both. Look all over the world for these strikers if you must, pick in singles or multiples for a weekend, its up to you. I know it sounds simple but look back and think of all the money you could of made backing Demba Ba to score every game in a row, Van Persie or Papiss Cisse, the list goes on..
A more personal one, but lets say you want to do an accumulatoparlay with five teams, go for the 5 fourfold bets instead of the straight accumulator, stops that one result making the difference in winning and gives you a better idea of how good you actually are.
Use at least one bookmaker and one exchange. eg. Paddypower and Betfair. this helps you take advantage of better odds and free bets that bookmakers will give you from time to time. For example for free bets, lets say I get a free €5 bet with PP, I will then go to Betfair and lay on the bet I made with PP.. Means I don't lose.
Lay on a team to score the next goal if they're playing against bigger team and that if they have just scored: eg. Lets say Grenada score a goal against Barca, lay on Grenada to score the next goal...
Fancy a team to cause an upset? Just wait until the match starts. eg. Grenada to win, wait a few minutes into the game and their odds will get bigger almost straight away, especially if the favorites dominate possesion initially..
I'm more familiar with betting on other things personally but I understand these to be fairly good tips and work well for me, feel free to disagree and add your own tips.
submitted by thespecial1 to SoccerBetting [link] [comments]


Hello everyone, and welcome back to the Rap Battle Royale! 37 civs entered, only 1 can leave. Which one will it be?
Before we start, I would just like to point out that I've been travelling quite a lot, and also the internet went down for me, so I havn't been able to reply to many comments. Unfortunately, I'm going to be spending 2 days going back to London tomorrow and the day after, so sorry bout that.
After this, each rapper must respond to their enemies verses with a second verse, which will be due in on Sunday, 11am brit time, swearing and insults are allowed but no rascism or clear hatred. PM me the raps once they're done. A few people didn't message me their raps, and most have explained to me why they havn't. When we get both verses the Judges will commence deciding who progresses and who will be doomed to cry to themselves for the rest of their lives. Thanks to everyone for the support!
A reminder of the battles:
JUDGES:Mob_cleaner , Night_Man_ , TPangolin , silence_in_samarkand , Kropenfuer
Onwards to the show! oh wait, it seems the babylonians want to rap, even though they have a bye.
Even though I got a week one bye, Thought I might spit verse for fun. Let all the others know not to try, Rap against Nebby, you're done. Lyrics be nuclear like our subs, Under ice we see you fight. While you still fighting with spears and clubs, Be too simple for rhymes I write. Watch me win Babylon this battle, I'll be king, call me Royale. While you all sit and prattle, I'll be chillin' at Nassau Canal.
CHILE VS INCA: Your name is gagging4gags, so here's a joke: Who's only got 6 cities, and a pop that's broke? Unlike your username suggests, here's to hoping you don't choke-- Until the Chilean Renaissance when you're still livin' in Baroque! No need to serve you, Pachacuti, You're self-servin' like Tutti Frutti Snipe your terrace farms for booty O'Higgins, no scope, Call of Duty Valparaiso should've been ominous, Prepare for the red white and blue apocalypse Fuck off Remus, this is Romulus With failure you've become synonymous First in military on the continent, Wreaking havoc on your confidence Combined with Eva and Brazil's incompetence The only way we play is dominance.
Hey Chile nice start there - very mountainous, I guess it's easy to defend but where's your growth? Well we've got terrace farms but an annoying blot of blue, So when we've finished feasting we'll grow off you. Our expansions lookin' better no Colombia in game, But your position with Argentina is looking quite the same. Only this time they're lookin' angry and more strong, I think they'll take your cities, doubt you'll prove me wrong. Oh look what's that? Do I see Part 5? Looks like we're gonna eat Brazil alive. Generating more spots for our UI, By the time we get to you you'll quickly die.
You think you got the high seas? I’ll put on your fuckin’ knees You think you’ve got the land lead? I only see a desperate need To spread your seed Make you into a gentile And then I’ll defile Your precious canal We’ll see who’s banal Build your terracotta army But it ain’t gonna help Cuz Pacal is getting smarmy You motha-buccin’ whelp When things are getting heady Got atlatls ready We gunnin’ for ya Henry
Coming straight from the Port of my plundering spree We are the 12 sail terror of the Caribbean Sea We do what we want because a pirate is free The world's gonna fall to the b u double C We gonna make the world crunk with our rum and distilleries Gonna make the world burn with our ships and artillery Gonna make it rain gold with our treasurer so glittery Gonna make our opposition walk the plank-- literally Well rattle your atalatals with our cannons & paddles Cut you up like cattle win the battle And take a victory ride through our canal at Panama It's your apocalypse now, start retirement planning brah.
Hey, is that the sound of armies running away? Well it must be the Mexicans getting bored today! Let me tell y’all what will happen when you take a rash action against the Lone-star faction, you get a reaction that y’all just didn’t expect! We crushed your friends in the east, but they tried at least but you cannot compete against Sam Houston’s Elite! You’re next, so before you get wrecked, y’all better show Texas some respect! We’ve got Baltimore, Lincoln has lost your war, but don’t be so quick to rush out the door so I can make sure y’all get the arrows that y’all paid for! So have your fun while I finish my steak brisket, But if y’all want Austin, come and take it!
I thought I was gonna rap against the sioux But no, out of all people i ended up with YOU Napoleon, famous for being a gnome Too bad you can’t beat anyone else than Rome Yeah, run away with your wine and your baguettes Or else I WILL make sure you’ll have regrets You want an empire? You’ll have to change yo’ plans Soon you’ll see black feet all over yo’ lands Just waiting for the world congress to convene We’ll make you relive the 18th of June 1815 You know your new city, Neapolis? Ain’t gonna be long before it’s a fuckin’ necropolis I’ll do to you what the germans did to Lorraine and Alsace Next part, to see your empire, you’ll need a magnifying glass!
Napoleon is too scared to respond.
I am Ingolfur Arnarson, leader of the Icelandic vikings And I’m afraid that my appearance here bodes you some ill tidings You’d better run and hide in an igloo, pathetic Ekheunik, ‘Cause I might be drinking from your skull at my next Icelandic picnic! You can’t beat an Icelander at a glorious rap battle Our UA’s geared towards Great Writing, so spare me all your prattle Let’s face it, your civ’s basically just the Sioux’s little brother Compare a rag-tag bunch of seal hunters to me? I’m a Viking warrior! When you try to cross from the mainland, you’ll meet my longboat fleet If you forward-settling bastards settle Greenland, you’ll be facing defeat I believe it’s time for you seal-hunters to cede the lands of snow to us Or we’ll take them by force and you’ll run away in fear, wuss The only reason I can conceive that I won’t win this fray Is if the Sioux get to you first and whip you anyway
Waddup, Iceland, ya gonna get beat cause you be fucking with the true kings of the ice sheet. This battles gonna end in our reykjavik-tory. Your thingstead? Yo your things dead, our rhymes are straight fire we skalding you, So we think it's time that you inuksuk our dicks If crouchin' in on my borders is what I feel Ima club u bitch, just like a fuckin' seal. You think you come from the land of Ice and Snow? All you know is how to blow! Descendants of a Viking King Destined to become My Bottom Bitch Queen You came to my land once, tryin' to expand I bitch slapped you, knocked you down, with my righthand Selfish, you threw a fit, chickened out, it was neat It's nice and warm there with those volcanoes for heat But I will kindle my fires with your peoples feet Your name is Bullshit, A lie, Deceit Ingólfr Arnarson ([ˈiŋkoulvʏr̥ ˈartnar̥sɔn])[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA_for_Icelandic] You'll be kissing OurOwnAsses-son
Battle against Ireland? Shit, only one way to go/ make a few- well, loads- of jokes about potatoes/ You'll be in trouble when my guns are in Dublin/ wipe off that smug grin, my subs'll have you unsubbing./ Your rhymes are weak, the famine's hit your brain,/ you're not Battle Royale, you're the Hunger Games./ Your army's tame, mine is high and mighty,/ making you flighty, straight outta Blighty,/ you gonna strike me? I'm asking politely/ before I come from York to Cork, fighting/ knick knack paddy whack, sipping my tea,/ Right after Germany I'll raze your cities,/ Now I'm nearly finished, so finish your Guinness,/ or whatever piss it is they drink in Limerick/ And thank St Patrick, tomorrow's has-been/ for all the land I'll take for God and the Queen.
Oh what country is this, England, barely a rival to great Éire, Are you taking the piss? The Atlantic, not enough to stop our fire, This marks the end of your empire, Which already leaves nothing of desire, So what happened to your sun, Seems to have set, Your own title, You'll need more than your queen, To have it met. I hear you crying, don't worry pet, Your nation will be finished quickly, For the love of God don't get upset
Okay y’all… We’re here in Northern Europe for MKII And I know the fans are hating on me and on you Now why the distain? It ain’t no mystery Here in Civilization, fans love their history Yo, school’s in session (school bell) Class, today’s subject is TPang’s Battle Royale, MK I (sit up straight Mr. Kropenfuer) Back then everyone was pissed about Mess-opotamia Norway was sitting pretty, alone in Scandenavia Shoulda' been a cinch! You had the whole peninsula But you barely made war and you kept so insula’ So when Stalin burned Oslo you EARNED the name Snoreway And now we’ve all been forced into a Nordic 4-way I mean it figures, you’re just some two-bit mod I’m a prime Firaxis, a diplomatic god I’ve got a shit UA and shit UU And I still took Eidsvoll away from you
This is Norway! The axe-wielding lion of the North
Come to foray, on rap battlefield to sally forth
Now that Round One is here, we see through Swedish veneer
And your tears make it clear that we are your worst fear
What’s that in your ears? Sounds like an army of cheers
For we’ve lined your frontiers with a carpet of spears!
Your homeland lays empty; not even a boat
Like your underwrote Vasa, your hype just won’t float
D’you see the ranked vote? Gus, you’ve been demote!
Ain’t much of a gloat to peg your chances: remote!
The one question left now is who’ll make the most gains
See, Hitler and Poland and Finland have laid claims
But this is our moment to claim your domains, for
Our banner maintains: Your losses? Our gains!
Once we take Stockholm, we’ll party; a gala —
And ‘till then, Norwegians will fight to Valhalla!
Oh my you've made a mess of things, I'll listen to you rhymes as they ping, off my legions Segmentata, whilst we conquer you lands we call Germania, my empire inspired you Russia and The Ottomans, and the French but we don't want your amends, the Republic owned the Mediterranean, whilst you couldn't even hit Britain, Italy created your policy of Fascism, but your people clearly study absurdism, you might think your Panzers will scare me, but I rap faster than a bullet to the knee, your role model for nationalism is Arminius, shall I introduce you to my Grand Nephew Germanicus, you can bring Beethoven and Mozart, but in a fight they'd be as useless as a fart, as I am Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus, whilst your own gun brought you to justice, now I am a known as man of means, so I'll crucify you and your Nazis across the Alpennes.
Hitler is too busy ranting about civ 5 to respond.
Hey Poland, what's up homie You should hear the shit that Stalin told me Told me bout your stuggles in settling cities and that you can't forward settle Germany Ya gonna get eliminated that's for sure Got four better civs, knocking at your door The only balls ya got are comics gonna disappear like the supersonics we dealing with the nazis and Huns but they can bite us while you're getting fucked by Leonidas Falling through the rankings part after part Folks jumping on the bandwagon now they falling off the cart We be screaming Hakkaa päälle Best that you get out of our way Run back to Hitler no time to delay Polish eagle ain't no bird of prey
Casimir is too busy being STRONK to reply.
My schedule's pretty tight right now, but I'll try to pen you in Got dinner plans laid out for me in Rome, Warsaw and Berlin. But when I have some time to kill I'll crush you like your kin Cuz everyone knows King Leo is the only Royal you're gonna win! I'll pwn you purple poser, when at war I'm a composer Molon labe with your mother while I loot Constantinople Verses purer than an opal with more vision than a Jew Just ask the mighty legions of rappers than I've slew You are weak, both mind and body, Rap or spear I'll run you through, What more can I say? Even the Champa have pointier sticks than you.
Nice rhymes, Leo, now to put you in the trash, aint nothing that can compete with Alexios’ raps. You’re not special, you’re a glorified barbarian, and you can’t beat me, this empire stretches from Cyprus to the CCCP! You’ve been in more wars than anyone else, yet you got no cities to display on your shelf! You fought against Rome, and that was just fine, EXCEPT A POLISH SCOUT STOPPED YOUR ‘HELL DINE’! Now listen up Leo, and listen up good, your city Sparta? Ha, what a joke. Everything you did? I’m the motherfucker that perfected it. Come to war with me and my people be cheering, I’ll be pumping out spearmen, Byzantium be leering, victory is nearing. Now if you’re gonna come to war with me, look out for a hunchback snitch, unless you wanna die. DEUS VULT, bitch.
Do you know what you’re getting yourself into? We’re not just some nation coming out of the blue. We’re the proud, strong Ayyubid nation, While the man who died of a nosebleed is giving you some forceful liberation. We own a mountain important to everyone from the Jews to the people that are Coptic, While your nation struggles to develop an arrow or an optic. Our cities are known worldwide as the cities for trade and growth, While if you said the same you’d be lying under oath. We’re the pinnacle of the lands of North Africa, While your ranking is worse than every single civilization of North and South America. You’ve probably had quite a bit more than one too many booze, And tales of your incompetence and crudeness are told from Sydney to Santa Cruz. It’s getting quite obvious who the real winner is here, And it’s not the one here ranked on the bottom tier.
CARTHAGE VS ETHIOPIA Look at the elephant, trying to face off against the lion You’re historically and battle royally as big a threat as the Hawaiians In our corner we got god incarnate Haile Selassie! Shooting up shit with his archer carpets and Mehal Sefari As fast as Tpang builds hype and throws shrimps on his barbie He’s one bad ass emperor, the fucking Lion of Judah! Everybody knows him, from Sydney to Berlin and even Tortuga What’s your leader famous for? Cuz I’m not quite sure That riding some elephants over some hills and then not taking Rome And exiling himself from home Is quite cause for celebration Trying to encourage participation? You’re pathetic, we’ll be kind and quickly storm your capital You’re gonna lose even more cities than fucking Br1 Hannibal! Verse 2 You talk big for someone that couldn’t handle an imperial power Carthage ain’t on no maps, nothing but salt, not even a flower Should have seen us at Adwa, if you wanted to know how to fight an Italian Ethiopia’s as independent as a feminist Battalion What’s wrong, need your elephant give you a kiss? Are you still sad about what happened at Hippo Regius? Look at you getting your ass whooped by fools worshiping a Golden Stool Do we need to get over there and take you back to civ School? Because you’re nothing but glorified elephant drivers Ethiopians are survivors, thrivers, modernizers and decolonizers So spread the word, lock up, lights out, tell your elephants goodnight Because the Lion of Judah is about to take his first bite!
The year is 20 sixty 5, down the valley old Hannibal flies We staunched the ashanti of ejura, a curse we were in the Drumroll war. Hannibal is literally the ice cube of Africa Beating women in conquered cities creating a massacre He may be intellectually bankrupt but he makes it up with the sword Ambitious and dreamy He’ll send the ashanti skyward He’ll turkey slap Ethiopia with his morning wood And they’ll take it like how blacks take police brutality in he hood We may be the Turtle of Africa’s west But we get harbours in every city fuck yeah we’re the best I forget how generic haile Selassie really is He’s an autist, his only lover is his wrist His parents probably think he’s a waste of jizz And I end it here, carthage is open for business!
Good Job, you guys took a city,/ But only in part 4. /Truthfully told, you Mughals /just really make me snore. /You're rated high in the rankings, /but the Persians don't really care. /To you we say salaam kqarsalu,/ In english, "hello, fat bear." /Theres only one powerful civ here,/ Its most definitely us, son,/ 'cause before you can upgrade your spearmen to pikes, /we'll be out there shooting our guns.
Alright, cut me some slack because I don't do this ever, But, Japan, you're in the midst of a depressing endeavor. If, maybe, you stayed loyal to Oda Nobunaga, You wouldn't be so boring in Part 4 of your saga. You're trying to compete for the most pointiest sticks, But you only seem to have the most littlest dicks. You're tactics are whack, and you're proving to be useless, Quit turtling, you coward, and do something ruthless. You "shot up the Power Rankings like a Tianjin blast," Well, I'm sorry, but that's just Part 2 in the past, And it's a shame, because I like that your start bias is coast, But your performance, so far, has been nothing to boast. Do us all a favor, and send some units to Seoul, So we can all stop thinking you're a worthless asshole. But if I ever see you make your way up to the tundra, Just know that you're not gonna have any fundra.
Meji is too busy turtling harder than turtle ships.
Spiritual- my soul is free like Tibet Dalai Lama reaps my advice and respect Unlike Genghis Khan "villainy n death" This pale blue spot not just a skin defect You're horde's nothing but a band of whores I got plenty of Condoms- this means war I can't be stopped, I'm the reincarnate Your swords strict but you betta get ya bars straight I'm all about the peace, in the far east I'll blow you away like a Himalayan breeze Maximize all my religious beliefs You're eyes burn from the holiness that is ME This advice to you should not go unstored Too many wars n whores can make a mind bored Another turn You must grow- shed the sword Or your nation will drop just like ya jaw
(you can listen to a recorded version here!)
I'm the great khan of the mongol hordes I crush foreign lords, clash swords, we go to war I want more, a roar of a battle cry temujin flies up in the sky with air strikes no matter the era, the fuck did you hear? that genghis keshiks fuck you from the rear? I roll through with catapults, landships to nukes but my nomad blood keeps me close to my roots like I won't let city states stand like my clan eliminates bitches from kiev to yuan my battle plan revolves around your destruction my civ's influx of cities grant no fucks son I'm a grandmaster of war, no denial your basic monks stand no chance of survival and when I die boy, your city burns I stand by and fortify my troops, 10HP per turn
(You can listen to a recorded version here!)
while china raps, vietnam uses it as an oppotunity to take their cities.
Oh look, it's Burma, wanting to fight us on demand To be honest, the world thinks of you as West Thailand You had a useless war against Champa, that's a shame But then again, you Indochinese all look the same The 'Pagan Empire' founded Buddhism? Bunch of whacks We'd rather follow the other with hookers and yaks You say of the wrath of Anawrahta: "It's cool, it rocks" We guess you're compensating for your little peacocks Face it, Burma, you don't stand a chance against us now Might as well run to your real capital Naypyitaw The Philippines will bring the End of Your Strife (straight to Rangoon!) Kaba Ma Kyei? Too bad, it starts with your life (with our typhoon!) We'll await your return and feeble comeback, Burma We hope you brought cold water, because we just burned ya!
(You can listen to a recorded version here!)
While Rizal was pooping propaganda about freedom and oppression Anawratha reformed religion, marking out a brand new nation Infrastructure built with patience, intensive agricult'ral changes! So see if you can cross our triple mountain ranges! We've both built canals, but yours is in your capital One measly hypertyphoon and you're outta this battle Your start was so bad Tpang had to give you buffs The result of Rizal's resolve was simply not enough Got colonised twice and lost your surname identities Can't keep your islands from your Chinese enemies What's wrong with you?! Ya like the most eastern Western country! Why don't you come visit Burma to see an Asian society? We have generals who conquered all of Indochina! You're on an stupid puny island so I'm gonna remind ya You need to conquer people to win the Battle Royale There's no way you're ever gonna win with that morale
(you can find a recorded version here!)
First of all - let me introduce myself I’m the badass muh-fucker From south of ya’ll Jandamarra, he’ll track ya down Put a spear through your leg And a hole in your crown Now Australia – I know you think you’re tough And compared to some, yah you might be rough But I was born to this Bred to this The outback is where I fucking bled for this So come now Australia, It’s time to settle the score For Terra Nullius don’t apply here any more
Austrailia dosn't respond.
submitted by Mob_cleaner to civbattleroyale [link] [comments]

Daily Transfer News Thread - 08/03/2018

Auto-Refreshing Transfer News Thread from Sky Sports
Auto-refreshing reddit comments link


And that is a wrap for today. See you again in the morning.


Before we sign off for the night, here are the latest updates from the Transfer Centre on Sky Sports News...


Alvaro Morata says he will not be leaving Chelsea this summer.
There had been speculation the striker could depart after a difficult first season at Stamford Bridge.
However, he has told the Daily Mirror: "On the first day of pre-season I spoke to [Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia] and with the manager and I said: 'I want to stay at Chelsea’.
“They told me: ‘We have a lot of confidence in you and we want you to stay too.’ So everything was perfect."


John Terry has denied suggestions that he has given his "seal of approval" to Chelsea if they tried to sign Jack Grealish.
Terry played with Grealish at Aston Villa last season, and it has been reported that a move to Chelsea would get the defender's approval.
But, writing on Instagram, he said: "Just to clarify I haven't had any conversations with Chelsea regarding Jack, we all know he is good enough to play in the Premier League but we all want to see him do that with @avfcofficial."


Barcelona have confirmed the signing of Arturo Vidal on a three-year deal from Bayern Munich.
The midfielder is now set to undergo a medical with Barca in the coming days.


Here's the latest from the Transfer Centre on Sky Sports News...


Lucas Digne has revealed he has tried to tempt his former Barcelona team-mate Yerry Mina to follow him to Everton.
"I hope to see him here but I don't know," said Digne today.
"He'll choose the best for his career and we will see. I said to him to come. He's a good player and a good guy."


The latest Transfer Talk podcast is out, and the hot topic discussed is whether Anthony Martial’s increasingly-strained relationship with Jose Mourinho can be repaired.
Head here to listen to the podcast and see what the panel think.


Fleetwood goalkeeper Matt Urwin has returned to Chorley on a season-long loan. The 24-year-old spent last season with the National League North side.


Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis says he is "desperate to do some business" before the window closes.
He has also been speaking about the future of Adama Traore, who has attracted interest from Wolves.
"Adama has got a clause in his contract, everybody knows what clause is and if someone meets that then we have no option but for the lad to go.
"It's another situation of Premier League football. I've spoken to Adama at the back end of last season, all the way through pre-season and up to yesterday. The lad knows my feelings, he knows club's feelings, the club have made him a wonderful offer.
"But it's that opportunity and chance to play at highest level, that's what he's got to consider, it's their life and career and we have to respect that."


Who is Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder looking to sign in the final week of the window?
“We’ve still got one good transfer in us,” he told the Sheffield Star. “We’ve got people in mind but these things take time. And, the lads we’ve got, it shows patience can be required.”


Of course, the EFL season gets underway tonight as Reading face Derby.
The game is live on Sky Sports Football and you can also follow it here to see how Frank Lampard fares in his managerial debut.
Liam Moore does not feature for Reading after handing in a transfer request.


Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa could add a central defender to his squad before the transfer deadline on Thursday.
The 63-year-old has just two recognised senior centre-backs, Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper, at his disposal before his first competitive game in charge against Stoke on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
"(Gaetano) Berardi, Jansson, Cooper, (Conor) Shaugnessy, (Luke) Ayling - we have these players and even if we have just Cooper and Jansson as centre-backs, Shaugnessy is a defensive midfielder, but he can play as a centre-back too," Bielsa said.
"Berardi is a full-back, but he can also play centre-back. Kalvin Phillips can also play in the centre of defence. Ayling has played as a centre-back.
"But if we could add another option in this area it would be good too."


It's been a busy evening in terms of transfer news, so here's a round-up of all the latest from the Transfer Centre on Sky Sports News...


Everton fans are going to like this.
New signing Lucas Digne has been speaking about the ‘controversy’ caused by a tattoo on his chest which reads "I never walk alone".
Liverpool fans have been quick to mock the tattoo, but Digne said today: "My tattoo has a story but it's not about football.
"When I was three or four years old, I went for my first day at school and my parents gave me a necklace with these words. Maybe Liverpool fans are so angry against me because I said two times no to Liverpool. I'm blue."


Leicester defender Danny Simpson is unlikely to figure in manager Claude Puel’s plans for the coming season and could leave the club before next Thursday’s transfer deadline., according to Sky sources.
Premier League winner Simpson was not selected in the first-team squad which played Valencia on Wednesday, instead turning out at the club’s Belvoir Drive training ground for the U23s against Norwich.
The club is expected to be involved in several deals in the coming days, but it’s understood Puel is unlikely to include Simpson in his 25-man squad list to be presented to the Premier League once the window closes.


Wigan midfielder Luke Burgess has signed an initial 28-day loan with National League side Barrow.


Bournemouth defender Brad Smith is set to join Seattle Sounders on loan until June, according to Sky sources.
Bournemouth will have a recall option in January.


Burnley have agreed a fee with Middlesbrough for Ben Gibson.
We’re told the agreement is a deal worth £15m for Boro. Burnley had failed with two previous bids of £12m and £13m over the past 48 hours.


QPR goalkeeper Seny Dieng has joined League Two Stevenage on loan until January 5.


Here's the latest likely transfers from our friends at Football Whispers...


Everton have signed goalkeeper Joao Virginia from Arsenal on a three-year deal.The 18-year-old joined the Gunners in 2015 but did not make a first-team appearance.


Midfielder Darron Gibson has joined Wigan on a short-term contract.
The 30-year-old has been training with Wigan over the summer but has not played competitively since January 1 after he was charged with drink-driving and released by Sunderland.


Jamie Maclaren has re-joined Hibernian from SV Darmstadt 98 on a season-long loan deal.
The Australian international spent the second half of the 2017/18 campaign with Hibs, making 15 appearances and scoring eight goals.


We understand Burnley have expressed an interest in signing Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart.
The Clarets' first-choice goalkeepers Nick Pope and Tom Heaton are both injured, and it’s expected Hart will discuss a move to Turf Moor over the next few days.


Manchester City could make one more signing before the end of the transfer window, but only if it is a "special player", says manager Pep Guardiola.
With just six days remaining of the transfer window Guardiola has only added Riyad Mahrez to his Premier League title-winning squad.
"We will see, if we decided to bring another one it's because it is a special player," said Guardiola.
"It can be a special player for the future not to have one more player for the number.
"All the time I've been here, even the first season, I have been satisfied with the squad we have and last season again and this season as well."


Gonzalo Higuain has been speaking about his decision to join AC Milan ahead of Chelsea.
There had been speculation that Higuain would reunite with his former Napoli head coach Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea.
However, instead he has joined Milan on an initial loan deal.
"The esteem in which I hold Sarri isn't new," said Higuain at his Milan unveiling today. "But the only person who wanted me there (at Chelsea) was him. Everyone wanted me here."


England women's manager Phil Neville has appointed highly-rated coach Bev Priestman as his assistant.
County Durham-born Priestman moves on from Canada Soccer to take up the assistant coach post, more than a decade after leaving the Football Association for a role in New Zealand.
She spent five years in Canada and served as an assistant with the women's senior side who won Olympic bronze at the 2016 Games in Rio.


Sounds like Stoke boss Gary Rowett is keen to keep Jack Butland and Badou Ndiaye, both of whom have reportedly attracted interest in the window...


We understand Blackburn Rovers have agreed a deal with Newcastle United for striker Adam Armstrong.
The 21-year-old was on loan at Ewood Park last season and is expected to cost newly-promoted Blackburn £1.75m, which could rise to £3m with add-ons.


Confirmation of what we told you a short while ago: Wigan have signed defender Cedric Kipre from Motherwell for an undisclosed fee.
The 21-year-old has penned a three-year deal and will be in the squad to face Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
"Cedric is a strong, powerful and athletic defender, who we have been monitoring some time," said Wigan boss Paul Cook.


Stoke defender Ryan Sweeney has joined Mansfield on a season-long loan deal.
The 21-year-old signed for the Potters in 2016 and spent last season on loan with Bristol Rovers.


We reported earlier today that Middlesbrough have made an enquiry for QPR’s Luke Freeman.
But talks appear to have ended abruptly, with one club source insisting the midfielder is not leaving Loftus Road in this window.
Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes also insisted on Twitter earlier this week that Freeman is “not for sale”.


Sky sources understand Motherwell defender Cedric Kipre will sign for Wigan Athletic later in a deal worth £1m.
Kipre played in both the Scottish Cup and League Cup finals last season for Motherwell.


Tottenham are set for talks with Luke Amos over a new contract, Sky Sports News understands.
The 21-year-old impressed on the club’s pre-season tour of the USA, starting all three games against Barcelona, Roma and AC Milan.
Initial discussions are understood to have been pencilled in for when the central midfielder and the squad return to England.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino also admitted Amos had the chance to start the first game of the season against Newcastle due to injuries in midfield.


Ipswich have signed Tayo Edun on a season-long loan from Fulham.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who was in the England Under-19 squad that won the European Championship last year, will be available for Saturday’s Championship opener against Blackburn.


Alex Iwobi has signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal, the club have announced.
The 22-year-old has made 98 appearances since making his debut in 2015, scoring nine goals.


The very latest from SSN's transfer bulletin this Friday afternoon.


Eddie Howe has hailed Premier League new boys Wolves' links to super agent Jorge Mendes as "smart business".
Wolves now boast a clutch of Mendes' highly-rated clients in their squad and have been cleared to maintain those links, leaving Cherries boss Howe impressed with the Championship winners' transfer market savvy.
"I see that as smart business," Howe said. "You've got a model and a club in the Championship and you find a way to get them into the Premier League.
"No matter how you do that within the rules of the game, that's smart."


Here's what the new Chelsea boss had to say about Brazilian midfielder Willian's future at Stamford Bridge...


West Brom have signed Tosin Adarabioyo on loan from Man City until the end of the season.
The 20-year-old made four appearances for City last season, including twice in the Champions League, and has played for England at Under-19 level.


Maurizio Sarri has been speaking in his press conference ahead of Chelsea's Community Shield clash with Man City on Sunday...
On Brazilian midfielder Willian, whose ongoing status at Stamford Bridge has appeared unclear during the summer, Sarri said: "I spoke yesterday with him about his lateness, not about his future.
"It was a very positive conversation. I am happy about it. There is not a Willian problem. Yes, I do (think he will stay). Very confident."
On Thibaut Courtois' future: "It depends on him but I hope Courtois will be our goalkeeper."


Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has rubbished reports Wilfried Zaha has asked to leave the club this summer.
"I spoke to Wilf yesterday and he certainly gave me no indication it was true about wanting to quit the club," Hodgson told talkSport.
"In fact, we were talking about how good the new signings were and how they would help us.
"The thing with Wilf is very simple. He's very much an integral part of our plans. He's very much an integral part of Crystal Palace Football Club.
"So, my hope and my plan absolutely is that he will stay. I'll let the speculation continue and I will continue happy to work with him."


Newcastle United have begun negotiations with Lyon over a move for highly-rated 19-year-old forward Myziane Maolida, according to L'Equipe.


It's tradition these days. Fabinho turned up with this nervous effort...


West Ham could be about to add to their summer of big spending with a move for Real Betis striker Antonio Sanabria, according to AS.
The 22-year-old former Barcelona academy standout scored eight goals in 17 appearances last season.


Brentford are to receive £600,000 from Fulham’s £15m deal to sign Alfie Mawson from Swansea, Sky Sports News understands.
Mawson was a youth player at the Bees before joining Barnsley in 2015 when he was out of contract at Griffin Park.
Brentford were owed compensation for him at the time, however, and under the terms of an agreement made seven months later, the West London club are owed 40 per cent of any sell-on Barnsley receive from the Swans.
Barnsley are set to bank 15 per cent of the profit above £5m from the deal to Fulham - a sum of £1.5m - with £600,000 of that heading to Griffin Park.


Anthony Martial arrived at Manchester United's training ground on Friday after his early departure from the club's tour of the United States.
Martial started the opening two games of United's pre-season tour before being allowed to leave in order to attend the birth of his second child.
However, Jose Mourinho criticised the France international for not immediately returning to the tour after the birth.


Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis refuses to rule out a move for Ben Gibson away from the club...


And here's the Villa manager on Grealish in his press conference today...


More on Villa's Jack Grealish. John Terry, who left the club in the summer, has commented on Aston Villa's Instagram post announcing James Chester as captain for the coming season.
He has clarified that he has not spoken to Chelsea about potential interest in the 22-year-old.


"We don't want to lose our best players, but they're aware of course is that everyone has their price. The best thing the owners have been able to do is not let anybody go on the cheap.
"So if someone wants to buy our players, they're going to have to find a premium and make sure the owners are comfortable with it.
"We all know what football is, but at the moment Spurs haven't got anywhere near what the owners want to consider - so there's not a discussion to be had at the moment, because they've not got anywhere near the figure they demand."


Middlesbrough have made an enquiry into signing QPR’s Luke Freeman, according to Sky sources.
Sheffield United have also been interested in the forward.


Here's Gabriel Jesus after he signed a new five-year deal with Manchester City earlier today...


The latest from SSN as we approach midday...


Anthony Martial arrived at Manchester United's training ground on Friday morning after leaving the club’s US tour early to attend the birth of his son.


Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce says Tottenham are "nowhere near" in their valuation of Jack Grealish


Here's the latest likely transfers from our friends at Football Whispers...


Another Saddlers signing from up the road...
Walsall have signed West Brom right-back Kane Wilson on loan until the end of the season. The 18-year-old made his Albion debut when he was just 16, and spent last season on loan at Exeter.


Sky Sources: Wigan Athletic have agreed a season-long loan for Everton left back Antonee Robinson. The 20-year-old appeared on the pre-season trip to Portugal.
Wigan are also pursuing Everton centre back Matthew Pennington; Leeds have also enquired about the 23-year-old.


Sky Sources: Burnley have placed an improved bid for defender Ben Gibson - after Middlesbrough rejected their initial £12m offer.
We understand the second bid is for £13m.


Walsall have signed West Brom centre-back Jack Fitzwater again on loan until the end of the season.
The 20-year-old scored three goals in 17 appearances during a loan spell at the Saddlers last season, and earned a two-year contract with Albion in June.


Luka Modric can leave Real Madrid – if a club pays £668m – according to club president Florentino Perez.
Perez is quoted in Marca this morning saying: "The only possibility that Modric leaves is by paying 750m euros.”
That is the price of the Croatia international and losing World Cup finalist’s release clause. He has two years left on his current deal at the Bernabeu.
Sky in Italy reported earlier this week that Inter Milan had made contact with Modric’s representatives to enquire over a possible deal.


Burnley manager Sean Dyche is still hoping to make progress in the transfer market in the coming days but admits he has found it difficult to finalise deals this summer.
"We're in the market for lots of different people in different positions," he said. "Whatever you think of the market, it is very difficult. But we keep working diligently and working hard.
"Even when you put good money to people, everyone wants more, more, more."


Lionel Scaloni has been named as Argentina's interim head coach following the sacking of Jorge Sampaoli in the wake of his side's disastrous World Cup campaign.
Scaloni, a former Argentina right-back whose clubs included Lazio and West Ham, was Sampaoli's assistant as the national team were eliminated by France at the last-16 stage in Russia.
Sampaoli left his post last month amid rumours of a dressing-room coup in which it was claimed that senior players Javier Mascherano and Lionel Messi had effectively taken up the reins.


Here's your bitesize fix of transfer stories so far this morning
And from the papers:
  • Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus has signed a new five-year contract until 2023.
  • Chelsea forward Pedro has signed a one-year contract extension, until 2020.
  • Ahmed Musa has moved from Leicester to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr
  • James Morrison has signed a new one-year contract with WBA, re-signing after becoming a free agent
  • Chuba Akpom has joined Greek side PAOK Salonika on a three-year deal from Arsenal
  • Wilfried Zaha has told fellow Crystal Palace colleagues he is determined to quit the club and wants a move to Chelsea (Daily Mirror)
  • Manchester United have been offered the chance to sign Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng for £50m (Daily Mirror)


Huge LOLs from Sampdoria's English Twitter account.
The former Leeds man joined the Italian side yesterday.


"I can say that it was the best decision I've made in my life to come to Manchester City because whilst I'm here I'm improving as a professional and as a person," Jesus told the club's official website.
"I would like to thank the fans for the welcome and for how well they have treated me. Also thanks to the club for being so organised and focused since I arrived."


And now that's confirmed: James Morrison has re-signed for West Bromwich Albion after becoming a free agent in the summer.


The Daily Express reports Arsenal have an interest in Torino forward M'Baye Niang, who impressed for Senegal at this summer's World Cup and had a trial with the Gunners under former boss Arsene Wenger.
Niang also has Premier League experience after spending half a season on loan at Watford in 2016/17, before linking up with the Hornets' then-boss Walter Mazzarri again at Torino.
The Italian club's sporting director, Gianluca Petrachi, has said he cannot rule out the 23-year-old leaving Turin this summer, something the newspaper believes would see the Gunners at the front of the queue.


Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones has ended a 20-year spell in European football by joining Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr.
The former Liverpool stopper, now aged 36, was in the Australia squad for this summer's World Cup but played second fiddle to number one Matt Ryan throughout.


James Morrison will re-sign for West Brom this morning, according to Sky sources.
The Scotland international has agreed a one-year contract with the option of a second.
The midfielder has been training with WBA all summer after his contract ran out at the end of the season.


Cardiff’s Omar Bogle appears set for a loan move to Ipswich, according to Sky sources.
It is understood the Championship club have made an offer for the striker to take him for the 2018/19 season.
The 25-year-old signed for Cardiff for £1m from Wigan last summer and he scored three times 12 appearances.


Arsenal's Chuba Akpom has joined Greek side PAOK in a permanent deal.
The 22-year-old made 12 appearances for Arsenal, and since 2013 has been on loan at Brentford, Coventry City, Nottingham Forest, Hull City and Brighton.


Gabriel Jesus has signed a new contract at Manchester City, keeping him at the club until 2023.


Manchester United have been offered the chance to sign Bayern Munich star Jerome Boateng for £50m, according to the Daily Mail.
United are chasing a defender this summer, and have reportedly held talks with Barcelona defender Yerry Mina, but Boateng could be the next target before the window closes on August 9.
Boateng, 29, saw a move to PSG stall this week.


Wilfried Zaha has told Crystal Palace colleagues he is determined to quit the club to move to Chelsea, according to the Daily Mirror.
Zaha has reportedly turned down a new deal at Selhurst Park, but is thought to be against a move to the north.
The Mirror report he may even lodge a transfer request before the window closes on Thursday at 5pm.


The latest round-up from Sky Sports News this morning...


Pedro, who has played 131 times for Chelsea and scored 28 goals, told the club's website: "It is very good for me, I am really happy here in the club, with my team-mates, the supporters and the club in general.
"It’s important for me to continue with Chelsea, I am comfortable here and want to win new titles and trophies. I want to help the team, score goals, and I repeat, I am really happy."


Forward Pedro signs a one-year contract extension at Chelsea, keeping him at the club until 2020


Here's the latest likely transfers from our friends at Football Whispers...


The Sky Bet Championship season is about to get under way, but who has done the best transfer business so far?
We have asked the hosts of the Not The Top 20 Podcast - Ali Maxwell and George Elek - to assess which club has had the most impressive summer window.


  • Wilfried Zaha has told fellow Crystal Palace colleagues he is determined to quit the club and wants a big-money switch to Chelsea (Daily Mirror)
  • Arsenal will sell Shkodran Mustafi this summer if a team pays £22.3m for the Germany defender (Daily Mirror)
  • Barcelona have completed the signing of Arturo Vidal from Bayern Munich for £27m (The Guardian)
  • Manchester United have been offered the chance to sign Bayern Munich star Jerome Boateng for £50m (Daily Star)


Ahmed Musa has moved from Leicester City to Al-Nassr, the Saudi Arabian club said.
Musa, 25, was the Foxes' record signing when he moved to the King Power for £16.6m in 2016, but failed to hold down a place and was loaned back to his old club CSKA Moscow for part of last season.
The Nigerian international found the net six times in 10 appearances at the Russian club, three times as many as he managed in his 21 Premier League appearances.


And welcome to Sky Sports' live coverage of the Transfer Centre, bringing you all of the latest news and rumours from the window.
Not long now... and we're expecting a busy day.


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