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Soccer – Fellaini downplays City gap


Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini claims the 12-point difference between the Red Devils and Premier League leaders Manchester City is not a true reflection of the gap between the clubs.

United, who are 7/2 with Bet365 to finish in the top four, have endured a mixed start to the season under manager Jose Mourinho, while City are flying high at the top of the table with Pep Guardiola.
Despite the current 12-point gap, and City’s recent 3-1 win against United in the Premier League, Fellaini is adamant there is not a huge difference between the rivals.
Fellaini said: “I don’t think so. I remember when I arrived in England it was a top four, now it is a top six, so every year it is more difficult.
“Next season we will see how it changes and in two and three years I think every year it is more difficult, the intensity is higher, so that’s why the Premier League is attractive.”

Soccer – Southgate hails England youth


England manager Gareth Southgate believes the injection of youth into the national setup has only helped push the Three Lions forward.

Southgate has been unafraid to blood youth at full international level, with the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho impressing in recent camps.
The Three Lions boss, who is 8/1 with Bet365 to help England win Euro 2020, has been delighted with the players coming through and feels it gives everyone in the squad a lift to see these youngsters develop.
“Whenever I see teams that win the league, the only way they can really start that challenge again is to add a couple of new players,” he said.
“So, whenever we bring a new player in, that player is excited by it, but the other players also want to prove themselves to that player.”

Formula One – Alonso talks up McLaren future


Fernando Alonso may be retiring from Formula One at the end of the season, but the Spaniard believes McLaren will be a better team in 2019.

The two-time world champion, who is 10/1 with Bet365 to finish in the top six at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, has decided to call time on his career in F1 to pursue challenges in the USA in the 2019 Indianapolis 500 with McLaren Racing.
Speaking about the F1 team, after a few tough seasons, Alonso is confident they will come back stronger and with a better car for the 2019 campaign.
He told F1.com: “I think the car is definitely going to be more competitive next year. From July, we’ve been testing experimental parts [for] next year. I think there’s a lot of optimism in the team with the direction the car took in the last couple of months. We understood our problems.”

Soccer – Arnautovic retains Irons focus


Marko Arnautovic is determined to keep his focus on putting in good performances for West Ham and not be distracted by rumours of a transfer.

The 29-year-old Austria international forward has impressed so far this term for the Irons, despite having to nurse a knee problem.
And former Werder Bremen and Stoke City frontman Arnautovic says he will not allow himself to lose focus on the job in hand, starting with a Premier League clash with reigning champions and current table-toppers Manchester City.
He told Sky Sports after helping Austria defeat Northern Ireland 2-1: “I don’t want to talk about that. I concentrate on West Ham and we have a big game against Manchester City on Saturday.
“My business is to perform on the pitch, to put in performances and that is what I want to do.”
The Hammers, who have lost their last five meetings with the Citizens, conceding 18 goals in the process, can be backed at 5/1 with Bet365 to secure a draw on Saturday afternoon.

Tennis – Zverev sets Grand Slam target


A first Grand Slam victory is now firmly in the sights of Alexander Zverev following his stunning ATP Finals success at the O2 Arena in London.

Zverev defeated world number one Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-3 to take the title, having previously dismissed Roger Federer in straight sets in the semi-finals.
And the German now wants to improve on a Grand Slam record which has so far seen him go no further than a quarter-final appearance at the French Open.
He said after a superlative display against Djokovic: “It’s quite astonishing winning this title, beating two such players back-to-back, Roger and Novak, in semi-finals and final.
“They are still going to be the guys to beat at the big tournaments, but I will do everything I can to get better, to compete with them always.
“Hopefully, next year, I’ll be able to play better tennis than I did this year, even though it’s been a good year.”
Zverev is priced at 9/1 with Bet365 to win the first Grand Slam of 2019, the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Snooker – Trump enjoys ‘massive’ win


Judd Trump is looking to take some winning momentum into the key part of the season after beating Ronnie O’Sullivan 9-7 in the final of the Northern Ireland Open.

The 29-year-old left-hander last claimed victory at the European Masters just over a year ago, with his only other final appurtenance since then seeing him lose out to O’Sullivan at the 2017 Shanghai Masters.
And Trump was pleased to have finally ended his wait, especially with the season just about to kick into top gear, starting with the UK Championship in York later this month.
He told World Snooker: “This is a massive win. It has been a long time since I won an event.
“It is nice to get one at the start of the season. There is a long way to go and this gives me confidence to carry into some big tournaments coming up.”
Trump is 9/1 with Bet365 to win the UK Championship, having claimed the title back in 2011 and lost in the 2015 final to O’Sullivan.

Snooker – Trump enjoys ‘massive’ win


Judd Trump is looking to take some winning momentum into the key part of the season after beating Ronnie O’Sullivan 9-7 in the final of the Northern Ireland Open.

The 29-year-old left-hander last claimed victory at the European Masters just over a year ago, with his only other final appurtenance since then seeing him lose out to O’Sullivan at the 2017 Shanghai Masters.
And Trump was pleased to have finally ended his wait, especially with the season just about to kick into top gear, starting with the UK Championship in York later this month.
He told World Snooker: “This is a massive win. It has been a long time since I won an event.
“It is nice to get one at the start of the season. There is a long way to go and this gives me confidence to carry into some big tournaments coming up.”
Trump is 9/1 with Bet365 to win the UK Championship, having claimed the title back in 2011 and lost in the 2015 final to O’Sullivan.

Tennis – Fed express is back on track


Roger Federer is pleased to have secured his place in the semi-finals of the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London.

The 20-time Grand Slam final lost his opening match of the tournament to Kei Nishikori, but bounced back to see off Dominic Thiem, before a 6-4 6-3 success against Kevin Anderson ensured that the Swiss progressed as winner of his group.
And, having joined Anderson in the last four, Federer was pleased with the way he had responded to the challenge of keeping his bid for a seventh Tour Finals triumph on track.
He told the official ATP Tour website: “I think my attitude was good. I think I had an aggressive mindset, a good variation as well with my slice. I think it was just a good match from my side.
“I’m very happy. First match was tough against Kei, never got going and with the back against the wall, maybe it’s easier for me to play, I’m not sure.”
Federer is now priced at 7/2 with Bet365 to win the ATP Finals for a seventh time.

Soccer – Croatia showdown excites Southgate


Gareth Southgate is preparing his players for a ‘very special tie’ when England take on Croatia in the Nations League on Sunday.

Having watched the Three Lions claim a 3-0 friendly win over the United States at Wembley on Thursday evening, Southgate came off to find that the Croats had won 3-2 at home Spain.
That means an England win over their World Cup semi-final conquerors at Wembley at the weekend would ensure that they top their Nations League group and qualify for the final stages of the competition.
Southgate told reporters: “Croatia have shown again their resilience, it sets Sunday up to be a very special tie. I’m sure whoever devised the Nations League is sitting smugly somewhere in Switzerland.
“We know not to underestimate Croatia, they have had a huge lift and the great thing is it sets up a brilliant game at the end of what has been a really exciting year.
“We’ve got a brilliant game to come now, this is what the Nations League is all about.”
England are now 7/1 with Bet365 to win the Nations League.

Darts – MVG keen on four-timer


Michael van Gerwen is eager to claim a fourth consecutive Grand Slam of Darts title, having survived a last-16 thriller against Michael Smith.

Mighty Mike has taken the honours in Wolverhampton in each of the last three years, but appeared to be in danger in his clash with Smith on Thursday evening, before eventually winning through 10-8 in a high-class encounter.
And, having set up a quarter-final against Jonny Clayton – who won their meeting in the group stage of the competition – Van Gerwen has his sights firmly set on maintaining his dominance of the event.
He told the official PDC website: “It was an incredible game against an incredible player who produced some great darts, but I did the right things at the right moments.
“I want to keep playing to this standard for the rest of the tournament and I want to win.”
Van Gerwen is 4/6 with Bet365 to win the Grand Slam of Darts.