Cech comes out of retirement to sign for ice hockey team

The 37-year-old is trying his hand at a new sport just months after he retired from professional football

Former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has decided to come out of retirement – but he’s not returning to the football pitch. 

Instead, Cech has signed with ice hockey team Guildford Phoenix, for whom he will make his debut on Friday. 

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to play with the Phoenix to get match experience,” Cech said in a club press release. 

“I hope I can help this young team to achieve their goals for the season and try to win as many games as possible when I have the chance to play. 

“After 20 years of professional football this is going to be a wonderful experience for me to play the game I loved to watch and play as a kid.”

The 37-year-old took part in a training session with the Phoenix in August, posting a picture on Instagram of him playing goaltender.

Cech retired from football after last season, having played at Arsenal since 2015 after previously spending 11 seasons with Chelsea. 

In June, Cech returned to Chelsea in a technical and performance advisor role, a position in which he offers advice on football and performance matters, while also seeking to build strong links between Chelsea’s first team and the academy set-up.

Following the announcement, many were quick to ask if his new vocation would spell the end of his time on Chelsea’s books. 

“Some people seem to think I changed my job. No I didn’t,” Cech said on Twitter. “Luckily my job as the Technical and Performance adviser at Chelsea FC doesn’t stop me in my spare time from playing the game I loved as a kid and which I’ve been playing for years. 

“While being [a] professional footballer I couldn’t play the games for obvious reason[s] … now I can.”

Cech is looking to hit the ground running with the Phoenix, whose head coach believes the veteran goalkeeper has been making big strides on the ice.  

“We are very excited to have Petr join the Phoenix team and we are looking forward to seeing him in action this weekend,” club head coach Milos Melicherik said. 

“He has improved a lot since I first saw him on the ice and I am excited to see him play.”

Cech was born in Plzen, Czechoslovakia, in what is now the Czech Republic. The former Chelsea star has spoken about his love for ice hockey growing up in the past. 

“I always wanted to play ice hockey – that was always my first choice,” Cech told Arsenal TVHD three years ago.

“But obviously, at that time, you would have to buy all the equipment so if you imagine the financial aspect of buying all the equipment and you grow up fast as a kid so then you need to keep buying it and we just couldn’t afford it.”

Australia vs Nepal Betting Tips: Latest odds, team news, preview and predictions

The Socceroos are huge favourites against their lowly opponents and while they should win we are opposing a goal-fest at GIO Stadium on Thursday

Australia will look for their second win in World Cup qualifying this Thursday when they welcome Nepal to Canberra.

The Socceroos got their campaign off to a winning start last month overcoming Kuwait 3-0, and Graham Arnold’s side are clear favorites to record another win.

Their opponents this week are a Nepal side who themselves were beaten 7-0 by Kuwait in their opening clash in Group B and the visitors to the capital are likely to struggle once more.

Latest odds

Nepal did end a seven match winless streak in their last game by overcoming Chinese Taipei, but they are rank outsiders to pick up three points on Thursday.

Sportsbet price an away victory at 126.00 with a home win at 1.01 and the draw at 23.00.

Australia vs Nepal Team News

Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Massimo Luongo is missing for the Socceroos with a knee problem, and his place in the squad has been taken by Newcastle Jets attacker Dimitri Petratos.

Nepal for their part have announced exactly the same squad as played against Kuwait and Chinese Tapei last month.

Australia vs Nepal Preview

Australia’s near perfect record in home World Cup qualifiers looks set to continue this week, with the side ranked 161st in the FIFA standing unlikely to cause them too many problems.

The Socceroos have won 20 of their last 24 World Cup qualifcation games on home soil, while Nepal’s only away wins in qualifying this century have come at Chinese Taipei, East Timor and Macao.

There is however almost no value to be had from backing a home win with the hosts almost too short in every market.

Instead opposing an extremely high-scoring game could be more profitable, and while the Socceroos should win, they might not need to run riot to secure a comfortable success.

Tips and predictions

Under 4.5 goals in the game is offered at 1.92 and looks an interesting angle from which to approach the contest.

Australia have only scored more than four goals once in their last 39 matches. Arnold’s men have face some pretty lowly teams during that time including Kuwait, Palestine, Lebanon and Uzbekistan without there being more than 4.5 goals in the respective games and backing a repeat against Nepal could be of interest. 

Odds correct at the time of publish. Please gamble responsibly. Check out the latest football odds at Sportsbet.

Under 4.5 goals at 1.92 for a 1.5pt stake with Sportsbet

Germany 2-2 Argentina: Ocampos late strike punishes Lows men

Germany 2-2 Argentina: Ocampos’ late strike punishes Low’s men

Goals from Serge Gnabry and Kai Havertz put Germany on course for victory but Lucas Alario and Lucas Ocampos struck back.

Lucas Ocampos scored his first senior international goal as Argentina pulled off a late fightback in a 2-2 draw with Germany, who let slip a two-goal lead in a game they dominated for an hour.

After Serge Gnabry skilfully put the hosts in front, Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz swept home Die Mannschaft’s second of a game in which Argentina offered very little until substitute Lucas Alario pulled one back in the 66th minute.

Lionel Messi missed the game while he served a suspension but Lionel Scaloni fielded a strong team including Paulo Dybala, Lautaro Martinez and Roberto Pereyra in attack.

Low took the opportunity to give debuts to Gian-Luca Waldschmidt on the wing and Robin Koch in defence and was rewarded with an hour of dominance before a late rally culminated in Ocampos poaching an equaliser that silenced the crowd in Dortmund.

Argentina were undone after 15 minutes when Lukas Klostermann got around Angel Correa and played a low cross towards Gnabry, who nipped in ahead of three Argentina defenders and poked the ball into the far corner of the net from six yards.

Another Klostermann break brought Germany’s second goal, the RB Leipzig wing-back pouncing after Marcos Rojo yielded possession and surging forward to feed Gnabry, whose slide-rule pass into the box found Havertz unmarked for an easy finish.

Marcel Halstenberg crashed a stunning 30-yard free-kick onto the underside of the crossbar before Argentina’s Rodrigo de Paul hammered a similarly spectacular effort onto the post at the other end but at the interval the hosts deservedly led 2-0.

Emre Can forced Agustin Marchesin into a save on the edge of his penalty area early in the second half before Scaloni sent on Alario for Dybala.

The Bayer Leverkusen striker had been on the pitch just three minutes when fellow substitute Marcos Acuna picked him out with a floated cross from the left and he arrowed a header into the far corner of Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s net.

A Joshua Kimmich free-kick tested Marchesin in the closing stages but the Porto goalkeeper punched it clear before Alario’s run sliced Germany open and Ocampos side-footed home via a deflection off Can, beating Ter Stegen at his near post to Low’s dismay.

 

What does it mean? Low’s men took their foot off the gas

Germany face stiff competition from Northern Ireland and Netherlands to qualify for Euro 2020 but looked confident and incisive enough to beat almost anyone for an hour in Dortmund.

That assured display gave way to a disappointing half-hour in which Germany’s inexperience perhaps took its toll.

Brandt bossed it

The best Germany teams of the last decade have always featured an imposing presence in attacking midfield, and Julian Brandt’s high-pressing performance offered shades of Thomas Muller in his prime.

Rojo no show

Rojo went into this game having played just 30 minutes of Premier League football for Manchester United this season and it showed; he was hauled off at half-time.

What’s next?

Germany face Estonia on Sunday in the battle of top versus bottom in Euro 2020 qualifying group C, while Argentina play another friendly against Ecuador in Spain.

Iceland vs France Betting Tips: Latest odds, team news, preview and predictions

This fixture has produced plenty of goals over the years and we are backing that trend to continue when they meet in Euro 2020 qualifying once more

World Cup winners France travel to Reykjavik to continue their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a game against an Iceland side who are just behind them in Group H.

Didier Deschamps’ men suffered a shock defeat to leaders Turkey back in June but have won all five of their other games in the group to sit level on points with Senol Gunes’ side.

Iceland are just three points behind Turkey and France and know that a win would put them in a great position.

Latest odds

France triumphed 4-0 when they hosted Iceland in qualifying back in March and another victory for Les Bleus is offered at 1.40 with Sportsbet. The hosts are priced at 6.50 and the draw at 4.00

Iceland vs France Team News

The world champions are without Kylian Mbappe, who has been struggling with a thigh problem. His place in the squad has been taken by Borussia Monchengladbach forward Alassane Plea.

Captain Hugo Lloris is also missing having picked up a serious injury in Tottenham‘s last Premier League game with the 32-year-old’s place taken by Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

Paul Pogba is also out for Les Bleus.

Iceland vs France Preview

Iceland have failed to win any of the 14 matches they have contested against France, although meetings between these sides tend to be entertaining.

Each of the last five clashes has seen over 3.5 goals, while both France and Iceland have been scoring freely in their qualifying campaign.

Deschamps’ side have netted 19 times with their six matches averaging 3.83 goals, while Iceland’s games have averaged 3.17 goals.

Given the history of this fixture, plus the respective form of the two sides, backing another high-scoring encounter makes plenty of sense. 

Tips and predictions

Over 2.5 goals in the game seems a safe bet and is offered at the extremely healthy looking price of 1.86. This bet has paid out in five of France’s six qualifiers and in four of Iceland’s six games in the group. 

Odds correct at the time of publish. Please gamble responsibly. Check out the latest football odds at Sportsbet.

Over 2.5 goals at 1.86 for a 2.5pt stake with Sportsbet

Portugal vs Luxembourg Betting Tips: Latest odds, team news, preview and predictions

The European champions have been in strong scoring form in their recent Euro 2020 qualifiers and that run should continue at the Estadio Jose Alvalade

Portugal will look to record their third consecutive win in Euro 2020 qualifying when they welcome Luxembourg to Lisbon this week.

The European champions began their campaign with two consecutive draws before getting back on track with big wins against Serbia and Lithuania in their last two games.

Nevertheless, that sluggish start means they are five points behind Ukraine, who currently top Group B and only a big win will do for Fernando Santos’ side against Luxembourg.

Latest odds

Unsurprisingly the hosts are overwhelming favourites with Sportsbet offering them at 1.03.

Luxembourg are winless in their last six games, but prior to that run the tiny nation had enjoyed a fine record, winning five of their previous eight games.

The visitors are available at 56.00 to pull off what we be a monumental shock while the draw is at 13.00

Portugal vs Luxembourg Team News

Fernando Santos has a wealth of attacking options at his disposal with Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix, Bernardo Silva and Goncalo Guedes all included in the squad.

Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Joao Mario has been rewarded with a recall, while Olympiakos centre-back Ruben Semedo is involved for the first time. 

Portugal vs Luxembourg Preview

Portugal have enough firepower to cause any team in the world problems and the side have netted nine goals in their last two qualifiers.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s four goals against Lithuania last month underline that the 35-year-old shows no signs of slowing up when it comes to his phenomenal international strike record and he will surely be licking his lips at the prospect of facing Luxembourg.

Another victory for the Portuguese is surely on the cards and perhaps the best way of getting any value is investing in the hosts to get among the goals.

Tips and predictions

Portugal are available at 2.20 to score over 3.5 goals and this should be of interest for those punters looking for a way to be the winners of Euro 2016.

Over the last couple of years this selection has paid out when Portugal have faced much lower-ranked opposition such as Cyprus, New Zealand and the Faroe Islands and could prove profitable once more. 

Odds correct at the time of publish. Please gamble responsibly. Check out the latest football odds at Sportsbet.

Portugal to score over 3.5 goals at 2.20 for a 1pt stake with Sportsbet

I will defend my club tooth and nail – Neymar ready to fight for PSG after pushing for summer exit

The Brazil star was strongly linked with a move away from the club before the start of this season but now insists he is happy in France

Neymar attempted to draw a line under months of transfer speculation by insisting he is “happy and comfortable” and Paris Saint-Germain, for whom he vowed to give his all.

The Brazil forward openly discussed the fact he wanted to leave the Parc des Princes after two years with the French champions but says he is no longer at odds with the club.

PSG fans booed Neymar when he made his return to action this season, yet he has responded by scoring four goals in five Ligue 1 appearances.

At a news conference on the eve of Brazil’s clash with Senegal, in which he is set to win his 100th international cap, Neymar told reporters: “Everyone knows what happened in the summer market and the desire I had to leave.

“Today, I feel happy and comfortable with the club, too. It’s not just with the national team that I’m happy. The season started out very well for me.

“I will defend my club tooth and nail. I will give 100 per cent for us to achieve great things.

“It was a long summer for me. I knew that I had to prepare, in all circumstances, for a good season. Thank God, it has started well and I hope it stays that way.”

The 27-year-old forward missed three months of the 2018-19 season with a foot injury, similar to an issue he suffered in the previous campaign.

The problems restricted Neymar to 20 Ligue 1 appearances in his first season in France and just 17 in his second, and he has targeted a healthier, more fruitful year for Thomas Tuchel’s men in 2019-20.

“There have been more than three months of injury treatment in the last two years,” he said. “This gets in the way of any athlete.

“But if you look at all the games and numbers you will see that I never stopped playing football. Unfortunately in an athlete’s life, this can occur. You have to have a good head and be prepared to go through it.

“My hope for this season is to stay fit, to hope that nothing bad happens.”

Following the international break, Neymar and PSG will visit Nice in Ligue 1 play before turning focus towards a match against Club Brugge in the Champions League.

Singapore U22 team lose 3-0 to UAE

Singapore U22 team lose 3-0 to UAE | Goal.com

Singapore U23

22:35 BST 09/10/2019

Faris Ramli, Singapore, Mohamadou Sumareh, Malaysia, Airmarine Cup, 20032019

Singapore U22 team were beaten 3-0 by the UAE U22 team in a friendly…

The Singapore U22 team were beaten 3-0 by the UAE U22 team in a friendly, at the Bishan Stadium last night.

It was a friendly match in preparation for the SEA (Southeast Asian) Games happening later in November.

Singapore has yet to win the gold medal at the SEA Games and Fandi Ahmad will be hoping the Cubs can end the hoodoo, and bring glory for the nation.

 

Amazing Herrera must earn a starting role with Atletico, says Saul

The Mexican midfielder may not be starting, but his willingness to play out of position could help him become a valuable asset to the club

Saul Niguez has praised Hector Herrera’s attitude but acknowledged he has work to do to earn a starting place at Atletico Madrid.

Herrera has started just one LaLiga match since his arrival from Porto in July, featuring from the outset in the side’s goalless draw with Celta Vigo in September.

That game came three days after Herrera scored his first goal for Atleti as a substitute with a timely equaliser in the last minute of 2-2 draw with Juventus in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Saul has played every minute of the team’s league campaign.

But the Spain international pointed to Herrera’s appearance as a substitute for striker Alvaro Morata in Sunday’s draw at Real Valladolid as evidence of the new man’s positive approach.

“I think he’s amazing,” Saul told LaLiga’s official website. “People are surprised that he hasn’t been getting game time but, at the end of the day, you have to earn it.

“We saw the other day when he played in a different position. We have always set an example for him, because he keeps training very well and, as I said, he wants to listen and to learn.

“And despite the fact he’s an experienced player, he’s open-minded. In the dressing room, he’s a very good guy.”

Saul also gave a positive assessment of Atletico’s other new arrivals for 2019-20, including forward Ivan Saponjic, who joined the club from Benfica in July but is yet to feature.

“Renan Lodi and Kieran Trippier, they’re great at getting up and down the wing,” Saul said. “They’re top players and they pose a real threat because they’re excellent at crossing.

“As for Felipe and Mario Hermoso, both of them are very experienced and top-class centre-backs, but their most salient and important feature – as with the rest of the signings – is that they have a willingness to learn and to listen, regardless of how experienced they may be.

“Joao Felix is getting more playing time than Saponjic but the same goes for him as the other lads. He’s always working hard in training, he’s a very strong guy when it comes to holding off defenders and creating space, and he has great movement in the box.”

Home United lose on penalties to Tanjong Pagar in Womens Challenge Cup

Home United lose on penalties to Tanjong Pagar in Women’s Challenge Cup | Goal.com

Home United

22:53 BST 09/10/2019

Women's Football Day 2016 Singapore

Home United women’s team lost 1-4 to Tanjong Pagar United on penalties in the semi-finals of the WCC (Women’s Cup Challenge).

The Home United women’s team lost 1-4 to Tanjong Pagar United on penalties in the semi-finals of the WCC (Women’s Cup Challenge).

It was an even contest as both teams cancelled each other out during the game and the score remained goalless after 90mins.

The Protectors will be playing in the 3rd/4th play-offs in the final match of their season, while Tanjong Pagar will progress to the final to play still Aerion FC.