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  1. Mine’s a treble – three to watch.

    By Steve Sands (AFS contributor)

    This week’s plan of attack is to try and identify three potential away wins from the weekend’s fixture list – three games that could make an interesting treble.

    As a caveat, it’s important you know that I’m not writing from a luxury hotel in the Caribbean! Just before you get too carried away with any investments.

    From the Premier League – Sunderland v Chelsea
    Alright I admit it, my first choice isn’t the most ambitious of selections, as the table topping Blues travel to the Stadium of Light to face a Sunderland side who seem to be heading for another battle against the drop.

    However, Saturday’s late game (5.30 pm kick-off) isn’t necessarily a forgone conclusion. You only have to think back ...

    Updated 27th November 2014 at 09:57 PM by Veritas

    Football statistics , Betting
  2. My blogging journey to date

    By Steve Sands (AFS contributor)

    In celebration of ten weeks, 20 blogs and 25,000 page views, here is a quick recap and update on the topics I’ve covered.

    Blyth Spartans
    The road to Wembley continues with Blyth’s live televised trip to Hartlepool on Friday 5th December with a 7.55pm kick off. In the meantime the Spartans have league games against Kings Lynn Town, Ilkeston and Witton Albion to concentrate on before their big day.

    The Spurs fans seem to have decided booing your own team can have a positive affect!
    However, Emmanuel Adebayor recently told the Guardian that Tottenham’s players are struggling with the pressure of a negative atmosphere at White Hart Lane “Instead of booing people, which will make it even worse, ...

    Updated 21st November 2014 at 08:11 AM by Veritas

  3. This weekend's football fixtures - four to follow

    By Steve Sands (AFS contributor)

    A quartet of Saturday games to keep an eye on – all with the traditional 3pm kick-off, so if you have a punt you’ll know if you’ve been successful by 5pm on the day, rather than having that agonizing wait to see if the one Sunday game you’ve predicted busts your accumulator.

    From the Premier League – Stoke City v Burnley
    Fresh from their first Premier League win of the season against Hull City at Turf Moor last time out, the bottom of the table Clarets travel to the Britannia Stadium with renewed optimism. Sean Dyche's men had been the only team in the top four divisions of English football without a win prior to their victory over the Tigers.

    Burnley’s problem still looks to be a lack of goals, with only ...

    Updated 19th November 2014 at 08:54 PM by Veritas

    Betting , football league , premier league
  4. Shelley Kerr – ground breaker

    By Steve Sands (AFS contributor)

    Looking forward to what will be an historic occasion when the England Women's team make their Wembley debut against Germany on Sunday 23 November, I also pondered why there is still a distinct lack of women in key coaching roles.

    To help investigate this issue, I spoke to one of the real trail blazers for women in sport - Shelley Kerr.

    Name:  Shelley Kerr.jpg
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    Shelly in thoughtful mood on the touchline -photo courtesy of Zoe Birkbeck Photography

    Back in August, the University of Stirling made history by appointing Shelley as the first female manager in British men’s senior football. The University’s 1st XI play in the Scottish Lowland League, in effect the fifth tier of Scottish football. ...

    Updated 16th November 2014 at 10:46 AM by Veritas

  5. BBC’s FA Cup focus – Hull, Hartlepool and howay the lads

    By Steve Sands (Hull correspondent)

    Recently, I put forward the argument that Hull was the true centre of the football universe. Right on cue, further evidence emerged this week to back up this assertion as the BBC announced that live coverage of the Third Round draw of the FA Cup will be coming live from the fair city of Hull.

    The draw will take place on Monday 8 December at 7pm on BBC Two and will be hosted once again by Mark Chapman. Cup excitement will hit fever pitch as the remaining League One, League Two and non-League clubs desperately hope to land a glamour tie against one of the big boys.

    To add a Newcastle theme to the event, the Premier League’s all-time top goalscorer Alan Shearer will be on hand to draw the balls. I’m sure he’ll be ...

    Updated 14th November 2014 at 06:10 PM by 11v11

  6. England v Slovenia preview - free 11v11 Bet

    11v11 has teamed up with TailorBet, the first peer to peer betting network, to create 11v11Bet which allows you to create your own bets. As part of the promotion for this new way of betting, TailorBet are offering a number of "free" £5 bets and "guaranteed odds" on certain outcomes which are better than you will find elsewhere.

    No better time to try this new service out than now - so let's take a look at the upcoming England Slovenia game to see what is on offer.

    England march in to this Group E qualifier full of confidence. Sitting top of the group with three straight wins and nine points they play a Slovenian side that have already stumbled once. Although the Three Lions had a narrow win against 10 man Estonia in their last game, their record now reads Won 3, Lost ...

    Updated 12th November 2014 at 02:20 PM by 11v11

    Betting , international games
  7. Hartlepool United will play... number 39, Blyth Spartans

    By Steve Sands (AFS contributor)

    You only have to think of the FA Cup and you are immediately transported to a world of clichés, a land inhabited by giants and minnows, where cup fever is always on the boil and the magic of the competition is constantly in the air.

    I started this series of FA Cup blogs by picking a team to follow in the early rounds of the competition. That team was Tooting and Mitcham United, who were subsequently beaten by East Thurrock United. The ‘Rocks’ were then in my spotlight as they thrashed Bath City, before the plucky boys from Essex were knocked out by Hartlepool United last Saturday.

    At 1,000-1 to win the Cup, Hartlepool may not be the pick of this week's football bets, but I am now following the Pool into the Second ...

    Updated 11th November 2014 at 07:57 PM by Veritas

    Competitions , FA Cup
  8. Spurs fans abuse further sours another painful loss

    Tottenham Hotspur have been a fixture in the Premier League since the competition's inception in 2004. Prior to this, Spurs had only once been absent from the top tier of English football, when they were relegated to the then Second Division in the 1977-78 season. Whilst the Lilywhites are not yet in danger of again being exiled to the second tier, their troubling form in recent months has aggravated their loyal fan-base.

    Spurs began the year a respectable 6th on the Premier League table but have since fallen to 12th, this slide being down to the club’s erratic to downright poor performances this season: in their 11 matches Tottenham have only emerged victorious in four. In the remaining matches Tottenham have suffered five defeats, including a humiliating 4-2 loss to Manchester ...

    Updated 11th November 2014 at 03:53 PM by Veritas

    premier league
  9. England v Germany

    By Steve Sands (AFS contributor)

    On Sunday 23 November, an old rivalry will be rekindled to bring back memories of Wembley 1966, Munich 2001 and so on. But this time it won’t be Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart and company who will be taking to the field but rather Eniola Aluko, Jade Moore and their teammates as they take on two-time world champions Germany.

    The England Women's team make will make history, as they will be playing at Wembley for the first time in a game that forms part of their preparations for next summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

    More than 33,000 tickets have already been sold for the historic clash, which means the match will see the biggest crowd for an England Women’s international to date – beating the previous record of 29,092 set at the ...

    Updated 10th November 2014 at 12:15 PM by 11v11

    football milestones
  10. United problems mount after derby defeat against Manchester City

    By David J

    Manchester United appeared closer to recovering their best form after managing draws against West Brom and Chelsea in the last few matches. Yet, it all came crashing down after yet another defeat against Manchester City.

    After playing second fiddle to United for a long time, City have been the team to beat in the Manchester derby over the last few years. The situation did not change after Sunday’s match, as Louis Van Gaal’s team suffered a 1-0 defeat. Premier League top four odds from Betfair has pushed United from third to fourth in the favourites for a top four finish. United are now 4/5 compared to Arsenal, who move up a place to third, at 4/11.

    It is not surprising given that Arsenal enjoy a four-point advantage over United with ...

    Updated 4th November 2014 at 09:44 AM by Veritas

    premier league , Clubs
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