Plymouth Argyle 10/11 to beat Macclesfield Town in Tuesday’s League Two showdown

Competition: League Two

Market: Plymouth Argyle win

Odds: 10/11 @ Bet 365

Knowing that three points on Tuesday would see them break into the automatic positions, a high-flying Plymouth will make the trip to the Moss Rose Ground in midweek.

Starting with the hosts, hit with a devastating 3-2 defeat at home against Exeter over the weekend and now losing four of their last five League Two outings, Macclesfield still find themselves sat in the drop zone. With just a pair of victories to their name since the 19th of October, there is no doubt that fans around Cheshire will have growing concerns over their side’s continued issues at the back. Shipping another trio of strikes against the title hopefuls on Saturday, Daryl McMahon’s men have failed to record a single clean sheet since opening the New Year. Still seen to be one of the leading contenders to lose their Football League status this season, Tuesday could prove to be another tough test for Macclesfield.

As for the visitors, picking up what could be a crucial 2-1 win over fellow promotion hopefuls Crewe over the weekend and now sat just a single point adrift of breaking into the top-three, Plymouth find themselves in the midst of a stellar purple patch. Including a 3-2 win away at Salford last week and now winning three of their last four contests, the League Two high-flyers have lost just a sole matchup since New Year’s Day. In fact, winning seven of their last nine appearances and the mood in their camp at a season-high, there is no doubt that Ryan Lowe’s men will make the trip to Cheshire filled with confidence. Also winning five of their last six matches on the road, we’re backing another away victory in midweek.

Bet: Plymouth Argyle 10/11 to beat Macclesfield Town in Tuesday’s League Two showdown @ Bet 365

Gillingham 8/11 to beat Southend United in Tuesday’s League One matchup

Competition: League One

Market: Gillingham win

Odds: 8/11 @ Bet 365

Hoping to keep up their play-off charge, a high-flying Gillingham will make the trip to relegation scrappers Southend on Tuesday night.

Starting with the hosts, putting in another toothless display and hit with a 2-0 defeat against Coventry on home soil over the weekend, Southend find themselves in the midst of yet another crisis at Roots Hall. Losing their last three matches on the bounce, including a 4-0 hammering against Peterborough, Sol Campbell’s men sit 14 points adrift of safety and in pole position to lose their League One status this year. Along with failing to find the net in back-to-back appearances, the former England defender will be most concerned by his side’s continued issues at the back. With just a sole clean sheet since the 21st of September, Southend have shipped a remarkable 78 strikes this season, the worst record of any side in England’s Football League.

As for the visitors, while Southend might find themselves in the midst of another crisis, Coventry have extended on what has been a remarkable run of form. Pick up an eye-catching 2-1 win off of Doncaster on Saturday and now winning three of their last four appearances, the Sky Blues are enjoying a League One unbeaten run that stems back to the 23rd of November. With the mood in their camp at a continued high and now dreaming of mounting a late play-off charge, Mark Robins’ men also picked up a dramatic 3-2 win away at Blackpool in their last matchup on the road. With Coventry picking up a 1-0 win when the two sides faced off earlier in the season, Tuesday’s guests should be confident of extending that tally in Essex.

Bet: Gillingham 8/11 to beat Southend United in Tuesday’s League One matchup @ Bet 365

Mikel Arteta still has major work to do at Arsenal

Despite Sunday’s 4-0 win over Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta still has major work to do with the club from north London. It was never going to be an easy job. The Spaniard was always going to need time.

A mixed start so far in the Premier League

The former Manchester City assistant coach has enjoyed a mixed start to life as the boss of the north London giants. A record of four wins from 11 outings in all competitions is not exactly a dream transformation. The fact that he has claimed wins in just two of his nine Premier League games in charge is concerning.

To be fair to Arteta, six of his nine matches in charge of the Gunners have finished in draws, so all was not lost. However, the draws could prove costly at the end of the season, as Arsenal are currently just six points behind fifth-place Tottenham.

With Manchester City facing a two-ban from the Champions League, fifth-place suddenly becomes the last spot for qualification to Europe’s elite competition. If the Gunners had won just a few of those drawn games, then they would be right in the fight for the Champions League spots. Instead, they are currently 10th place in the table, the same position they occupied on Arteta’s appointment.

The atmosphere has changed under Arteta

It seems that Arteta has the backing of everybody at the north London club. The fact that he was a relatively successful captain with the Gunners has no doubt helped him earn slightly more patience than if he had no association with the club.

The fans and players seem to be happier with Arteta, than when his compatriot Unai Emery was in charge. Reports suggest that the players are buying into the Spaniard’s coaching methods and he is getting more out of certain players.

Mercurial German playmaker Mesut Ozil even seems to have rediscovered some of the form that once made him one of the most productive attacking players in the European game. The 31-year-old scored against Newcastle to end a run of 10 months with a goal.

It was always going to take time and hard work for Arteta to instil his ideas into the Gunners players. There are small signs that the Spaniard is moving his team forward, such as the fact that they are much harder to beat. In recent weeks they have also looked a lot more solid in defence than under Emery.

Outsiders for a top-six spot

There is a greater sense of optimism at Arsenal. The gap to fifth-place is certainly bridgeable. The problem for the Gunners is that they have not been winning enough games of late and have major competition for a European spot. The whole of the top-half will fancy their chances of a top-six or even top-four finish.

The Gunners are currently outsiders at odds of 9/2 to finish in the top-six. If those odds materialise, it would mean that Arsenal would finish eighth or ninth, depending on the bookmaker you use for the bet.

While nothing spectacle has happened since Arteta’s appointment. There seems to be a sense around the club that the Spaniard has what it takes to move the club forward in the near future. He still has major work to do to get the Gunners back to the top and only time will tell if he has the managerial acumen to achieve the task.

Are there signs of improvement at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta?

18th February: Tuesday’s Football Accumulator – 15/1

With the Champions League making its return in midweek, we here at Soccer News have searched far and wide to find you a handful of helpful tips that can boost your midweek acca:

Tuesday 18th February

BST 19:45 Southend United vs Gillingham 

Starting with Tuesday’s guests, putting in yet another eye-catching display and picking up a 2-1 win over fellow play-off hopefuls Doncaster last weekend, Gillingham have suddenly transformed into one of League One’s in-form outfits. With their own top-six charge on their agenda, the Gills have won three of their last four appearances and are enjoying a remarkable unbeaten run in the third-tier that stems back to the 23rd of November. Suddenly finding the mood in their camp at a season-high after some off-field issues at the start of the season, Steve Evans’ men also have a growing reputation for their performances in the final third. Including bagging a trio of strikes away at Blackpool in their last appearance on the road, Gillingham have scored at least a pair of strikes in four of their last five outings. Picking up a 1-0 win when the faced off against Southend earlier in the season, there is no doubt that Tuesday’s guests should be relishing their trip to Roots Hall. Hit with a 2-0 defeat against Coventry on Saturday, Southend once again find themselves in the midst of another crisis. Sat 14 points adrift of safety and in pole position to lose their League One status, Sol Campell’s men have lost their last three matches on the bounce and have landed just a sole third-tier win in Essex since opening the 2019/2020 campaign. 

Tip: Gillingham win and under 4.5 goals @ 11/8

19:45 Macclesfield Town vs Plymouth Argyle 

Picking up what could be a crucial 2-1 win against fellow promotion hopefuls Crewe over the weekend, Plymouth now find themselves within touching distance of climbing into the automatic positions. With the mood in their camp once again on the rise after another eye-catching performance on Saturday, the Greens have won three of their last four appearances and even more impressive, fans around Home Park have seen their side win seven of their last nine contests since New Year’s Day. In the midst of what has been an extended purple patch, there is no doubt that Tuesday’s traveling support will be hugely excited by the recent success of leading marksman, Antoni Sarcevic. Once again finding the net against Crewe last time out, the 27-year-old has recorded back-to-back strikes and now has four goals in his last six League One appearances. Given Macclesfield’s continued struggle at the foot of the table, there is no doubt that Plymouth’s MVP should be confident of extending his tally in midweek. Hit with a 3-2 defeat against Exeter on home soil over the weekend, Tuesday’s hosts sit one-point adrift of safety and on a five-match winless run. Losing four of those appearances and still dealing with some very glaring issues at the back, we’re backing Sarcevic to make it three in three at the Moss Rose Ground.

Tip: Antoni Sarcevic to score anytime @ 9/4

20:00 Borussia Dortmund vs PSG

Making a much-needed return to winning ways over the weekend and picking up a thumping 4-0 win against Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Dortmund have firmly cemented their spot as one of the most exciting teams across Europe. On a remarkable run of form that has seen them bag at least a trio of goals in each of their last six appearances on the bounce, there is no doubt that Head Coach Lucien Farve still be most impressed by Erling Haland’s immediate impact at Signal-Iduna-Park. Continuing to take Europe by strom following his move from Red Bull Salzburg last month, the Danish sensation has already recorded nine goals in his six matches since moving to rural Germany. More impressive, enjoying what has been a stunning purple patch, the 19-year-old also has a growing reputation for his performances in this year’s Champions League. Already recording eight goals in this year’s tournament and averaging a goal every 47 minutes, there is no doubt that Haland should be looking to make another statement on Tuesday night. While PSG may have managed to salvage a point on the road over the weekend, the reigning French champions put in what was a woeful defensive display. Shipping three first-half goals against relegation scrappers Amiens on Saturday, former BVB boss Thomas Tuchel could only see his side play out what was the most dramatic of 4-4 draws. Even more worrying for fans around the Parc des Princes, PSG have failed to record a clean sheet in each of their last four matches on the bounce.

Tip: Erling Haland to score anytime & Both teams to score @ 11/10

Our Tuesday Accumulator:

Southend United vs Gillingham – Gillingham win and under 4.5 goals @ 11/8

Macclesfield Town vs Plymouth Argyle – Antoni Sarcevic to score anytime @ 9/4

Borussia Dortmund vs PSG – Erling Haland to score anytime & Both teams to score @ 11/10

Place a £10 bet on our accumulator and pocket £162.09 if all predictions are correct.

You can also visit our betting promotions section for the latest enhanced odds promos, accumulator bonuses and more.

Vidal still not happy with lack of game-time at Barcelona

Barcelona’s Arturo Vidal has publicly expressed frustration with playing very little several times this season. Back in the days of Ernesto Valverde at the helm, he even revealed he was ready to leave the club should the situation remain unchanged.

Following the dismissal of Valverde and the appointment of Quique Setien in his place, it indeed seems nothing has changed for the Chilean. As reported by Sport, Vidal was expected to start in Barcelona’s clash with Getafe on Saturday, with many believing his strength would be much needed against a physical opponent. However, the 32-year-old was left on the bench and only took to the pitch with the final scoreline (2-1) already on the board and only five minutes remaining on the clock, when Setien decided to switch his formation to 4-4-2 and withdrew Ansu Fati. Apparently, Vidal was very angry about it.

The midfield powerhouse has strongly been linked with Inter Milan, and Barcelona reportedly might consider including him in their offer for striker Lautaro Martinez in the summer.

David Alaba open to Premier League move

David Alaba of Bayern Munich refuses to rule out playing in the Premier League at some point in his career.

In an interview with The Times, the Austria international spoke about a lot of things – his growing up, the issues he faced, but most of all he spoke about racism and the need for the establishment to react on its own, rather than wait for players to make complaints.

In the end, he was asked about his future and whether he would consider playing in England. The left-back is 27 years old and at the end of this season he will enter the final 12 months of his contract with the Bundesliga champions. Last year Barcelona reportedly tried to sign him, but he stayed put.

Alaba wouldn’t rule out a Premier League move in the future. He follows it closely and once upon a time he used to support Arsenal, naming Patrick Vieira as his favourite player. However, at the moment he remains focused on Bayern.

FC Porto Show Strong Support for Moussa Marega After Forward Suffers Racist Abuse (Video)

Having scored what turned out to be the winning goal in Porto’s 1-2 triumph away to Vitoria Guimaraes on Sunday, striker Moussa Marega walked off the pitch in anger due to suffering racist abuse from the home supporters.

The player later condemned those responsible with very strong words, including the referee. A part of his Instagram post read:

“I also thank the referee for not defending me and for giving me a yellow card because I defend my skin colour.

“I hope I never find you on a football pitch again. You are a shame.”

In their official statement, FC Porto expressed full support for Marega and his actions and called for a strong punishment for Vitoria, who have in turn promised a full investigation and punishment for those responsible.

Clubs around Europe have joined Porto in expressing their support for the player.

Sterling focused on City amid Real Madrid links

Since the news of Manchester City’s two-year ban from European competitions broke, their star players have become a frequent subjects of speculative transfer reports. However, Raheem Sterling is focused on the club and their fight to have the ban overturned, according to Aidy Ward, his representative (quoted by the Mirror).

“Raheem is solely focused on Manchester City and will not be distracted by any talk of transfers to any club at the moment,” the agent said.

Real Madrid are apparently already contemplating a £150 million swoop for the England winger, and the speculation comes ahead of the clash between these two teams in the Champions League round of 16. Sterling is, however, a doubt for the first leg, having suffered a hamstring problem, and manager Pep Guardiola was unable to confirm his involvement in the game.

In order to prevent panic in their squad, City are keeping the players fully updated on the steps they’re taking to combat UEFA’s decision, and they’re constantly expressing confidence in the success of the upcoming appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).

Lazio 2-1 Inter Milan: Lazio Complete Second-Half Comeback To Defeat Nerazzurri

Lazio and Inter Milan have been two of the best sides in the Serie A this season, but the Rome-based side continued their surprising campaign with another solid win. This time, they completed a huge comeback to defeat Inter Milan by a 2-1 score.

Ashley Young broke the deadlock for Inter late in the first half. Lazio, however, flipped the script in the second half. Ciro Immobile netted the equalizer with a penalty, and cultured midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored the winning goal.

Lazio were dominant right from the start, edging their opponents in possession, shots, and most of the stats throughout the entire contest. They only needed 10 minutes to create the first chances, when Milinkovic-Savic smashed the crossbar from long range. Inter responded, however. Lukaku and Candreva had clear chances to score, but neither was able to find the back of the net.

Young did, however. The former Manchester United full-back found himself at the right place when he capitalized on a rebound to fire the opener shortly before the break.

Immobile and Milinkovic-Savic flip the script for Lazio

Lazio needed to turn things around after the break, and they needed only a few minutes to even things up. Former Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij brought down an opponent inside the box and Immobile scored the equalizer with a shot from the spot.

Milinkovic Savic netted the winner for Lazio from the edge of the box. His attempt went straight into the bottom left corner and Daniele Padelli was helpless looking to reach. His goal came in the 69th minute and it sealed the deal for Lazio, as they didn’t allow Inter to mount a potential comeback.

Lautaro Martinez could’ve scored the 2-2 in the 79th minute. However, his goal was ruled out due to an offside position. Antonio Conte tried to provide a spark in the final minutes when he sent Alexis Sanchez, Christian Eriksen and Victor Moses. But the substitutions didn’t have an impact in the game.

Lazio pulled away with the win and kept themselves alive on the title race. Inter, on the other hand, can’t turn things around. They remain unable to show the consistency level they had in the first months of the 2019-20 season.

Aston Villa 2-3 Tottenham: Spurs win thriller

The back and forth nature of most Premier League games is often what leads many to suggest that English football’s top flight is, in fact, the best league in the world. As time goes on it feels like that point is becoming more and more validated, with Tottenham Hotspur’s dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa this afternoon serving as further proof of that.

Despite Tottenham’s eventual win it was the relegation strugglers who made the more positive start, with a Toby Alderweireld own goal handing them the lead less than 10 minutes into the game. Thankfully, not long after in the half, the big Belgian was able to make up for his mistake with a fantastic equaliser before Son Heung-min gave Spurs the lead. He saw his initial penalty saved after Steven Bergwijn won the spot kick, but he was on hand to tap in the rebound.

Bjorn Engels, who gave away the penalty, also made amends with an equaliser of his own in a game that Villa will feel like they should’ve taken something from. The eventual winner came in injury time with Son Heung-min racing clear and breaking the home side’s hearts deep into injury time.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho had the following to say about the big win.

“I thought we deserved to win but I think they did not deserve to lose. Villa played to win.”

On the Spurs penalty: “Steven Bergwijn, I don’t know if I call him naive or too honest – the referees tell us pre-match, ‘Don’t ask for anything, don’t surround me, don’t do the motion of the screen’. The action was there and it was a question of to be or not to be, and clearly it was.”

On Alderweireld’s contribution: “In a funny way I’d say he’s scored three goals: the own goal, his goal and then when he loses the duel with Engels. But he scored with a shot of his life.”

On the opportunity to get into the Champions League by finishing fifth after Manchester City’s ban: “Not just for us. A window opens for many teams. What seemed far, now the fifth place is not far. Arsenal, Everton, Sheffield United, Wolves, everyone will feel they have the chance.

Match Report

Aston Villa: Reina (8.5), Hause (6.5), Engels (6.5), Ngoyo (6), Targett (7.5), Luiz (7), Drinkwater (6), Guilbert (6.5), Grealish (8), Samatta (7), El Ghazi (6.5), Nakamba (7), Baston (5.5), Trezeguet (6)

Tottenham: Lloris (7), Aurier (6.5), Alderweireld (7), Sanchez (7), Davies (8), Dier (6.5), Winks (6.5), Moura (8), Alli (6.5), Bergwijn (8), Son (8.5), Fernandes (6), Vertonghen (6), Lo Celso (6.5)

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Goals: Alderweireld OG, Engels :: Alderweireld, Son x2

Yellow Cards: Guilbert, Nakamba

Red Cards: N/A