Chelsea and Liverpool Terminate Links With Global Betting Firm 1xBET

?Chelsea and Liverpool have ended their partnership with Russian-owned company 1xBET just a week after Tottenham also decided to sever ties with the betting firm. 

The gambling partner had their license suspended last month after reports of their website entertaining bets on children’s sport and cockfighting, and last week Tottenham decided to distance themselves from the company after it was revealed the firm had been using Harry Kane’s image to encourage people to gamble in Kenya. 

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The Daily? Mail report that the Premier League giants only agreed a partnership with the Cyprus-based firm in the summer, but are now forced to abandon the deal or risk prosecution. 

The UK’s Gambling Commission had contacted both clubs to advise potential legal action under the Gambling Act for unlawful advertising if they continued to be associated with the 1xBET.

The move comes as the government continue to crack down on gambling companies, having earlier this year reduced the maximum bet that can be placed on fixed odds betting terminals. 

Aaron Mooy,Callum Camps

The news also comes amid Huddersfield Town being fined by the FA for their shirt sponsorship spoof with Paddy Power in pre-season and thus raising further questions about the relationships between football clubs and betting firms. 

1xBet are believed to be currently investigating how their brand came to be promoted on prohibited sites and have temporarily stopped advertising in the UK. 

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Chelsea Premier League Month in Review: August – Best Player, Worst Performance & Overall Rating

?The international break has given Frank Lampard a much-needed breather from the intensity of the Premier League and managing a youthful Chelsea side who have been consistentlytly inconsistent so far this season.

After four Premier League games, Chelsea have managed to pick up just the solitary win, away at newly promoted Norwich City.

Two demoralising home draws plus a battering at Manchester United on the opening weekend has left them in 11th place – already seven points behind leaders Liverpool.

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Whilst Lampard has got this youthful side playing attractive football, which has worked well in periods of games, they have failed to sustain this level for 90 minutes.

Chelsea supporters are already frustrated, but is it as bad as some are making out?

Here is 90min’s take on Chelsea’s opening month below.


Best Player

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Whilst Tammy Abraham has found the net four times, 20-year-old Mason Mount has been the real shining light for Chelsea in quite a bleak opening month.

Abound with energy and quality, Mount has been a real danger in the final third and has repaid Lampard’s faith in him by scoring twice. 

Firstly, his awareness to steal the ball off Wilfred Ndidi and drill the ball past Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel was really impressive. Following this, against Norwich, he was composed and clinic when finding space in the box leathering home his second goal for the club.

His impressive performances have resulted in him being nominated for the August ?Premier League Player of the Month award and earning a maiden call-up to the England senior squad.


Worst Player

Callum Robinson,esar Azpilicueta

Yes, he is the ?Chelsea captain and yes, he has had a brilliant career at the club, but Cesar Azpilicueta (breathe a sign of relief Willian) has had a terrible start to the season and should be dropped from the side. 

Seemingly targeted by the opposition each week, the 30-year-old was at fault for both goals against Sheffield United last weekend. (which we will get onto in more detail later) Firstly, he was nutmegged by Edna Stevens in the build-up to Callum Robinson’s goal before he failed to prevent Stevens’ cross for the late equaliser.

On top of this, the Spaniard was also at fault for two of the goals in the 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford and it does seem like his legs have gone.


Best Performance

Mason Mount,Tammy Abraham

The Blues 3-2 victory away at Norwich must be seen as the best performance of the month, mainly as it was the only game they picked up all three points in the ?Premier League.

Whilst defensively they struggled to cope with Canaries forward Teemu Pukki, the performances of Tammy Abraham, who scored twice as well as Mason Mount and new signing Christian Pulisic will have pleased Chelsea fans greatly, as the trio interchanged brilliantly and flowed in attack.

If they can maintain that level on a more consistent basis, and against better sides, Lampard’s side will climb the table and challenge for the top four.


Worst Performance

Kurt Zouma

Many would think the 4-0 defeat to Manchester United would come here, but in truth Lampard’s side played well for large parts of that game and the scoreline was a little unfair.

However, the ?Sheffield United game last weekend was an absolute disgrace of a performance. From 2-0 up and in control against a newly promoted side at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea were naive and lacklustre as they threw away a two-goal led in the Premier League for the first time since 2013 when an Adam le Fondre double pegged them back against Reading.

From 2-0 up, Chelsea rarely threatened after the moment Dean Henderson had denied Tammy Abraham his hat-trick early in the second half, as they sat back and paid the ultimate price when Kurt Zouma squirmed the ball into his own net late on.

This was the prime example of players switching off and trying to coast home in a Premier League game. All the good work achieved at Norwich was undone here and the supposedly experienced players should take a look at their own performance.


Best Goal

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This one goes to Abraham and his second goal against Norwich which turned out to be the match-winner.

Mateo Kovacic picked up the ball centrally in his own half and struck a perfectly weighted pass 20 yards along the turf into Abraham. The English youngster then turned and ran at defender Grant Hanley before firing past Tim Krul into the bottom left hand corner from the edge of the box. Wonderful stuff.


Rating

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Not great really.

Whilst the youngsters, who many say need time, have performed well on the whole, it is in fact the experienced players who have let the side down.

The defence is the weakness and it has looked vulnerable in every game. In fact, the Blues have conceded nine goals already, with only Norwich conceding more in the whole league.

Quite damning.

Victory at Norwich may have been seen as a turning point, but the terrible second-half performance at home to Sheffield United put an end to that talk and Chelsea under Lampard are yet to find any sort of consistency.

Rating: 5/10 


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Napoli Midfielder Fabian Ruiz on the Verge of Signing New Deal Amid Paris Saint-Germain Links

?Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz is reportedly on the cusp of signing a new deal with the club amid supposed interest from European giants Paris Saint-Germain.

The 23-year-old had a superb debut campaign in Naples last year under manager Carlo Ancelotti and proved to be a very important member of the squad.

His current contract only expires in 2023 but given his talent and huge potential, Gli Azzurri are keen to avoid their star midfielder to be poached by other top European clubs.

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?Calciomercato report that they have been given exclusive information that a rough agreement has been made between ?Napoli and the player’s representatives to extend Ruiz’s contract.

The Spanish international will reportedly earn €2.5m in the new deal and a meeting between both parties is said to be scheduled later this month in order to finalise the proceedings.

The ?Serie A side finished second last campaign with Ruiz contributing to an impressive eight goals from central midfield. His great performances earned him a call-up to a highly competitive Spain squad and made his debut against the Faroe Islands.

Fabián Ruiz

His blend of flair, crisp passing and sensational close control made him a quick fan favourite with the home faithful and has garnered attention from huge European clubs – including ?Real Madrid as well as the aforementioned PSG.

The young midfielder also managed to win the first trophy of his career in June having won the U21 European Championships with Spain, where Ruiz scored the opening goal in a 2-1 win against Germany in the final.

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England vs Kosovo Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

?England round off the international break with a home match versus Kosovo on Tuesday, their second Group A fixture in the space of three days.

A dominant performance at Wembley saw the Three Lions record a third successive triumph in Euro 2020 qualifying, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling netting against Bulgaria to keep their side at the top of Group A. The Spurs man hit a hat-trick in a 4-0 victory, a result which leaves him and his strike partner on five goals apiece in the pool.

Harry Kane

Meanwhile, Kosovo upset the odds to earn a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic, the three points lifting Bernard Challandes’ side up to second behind England and ensuring they kept their unbeaten status.

Here’s our preview of the match-up.


Where to Watch

?When is Kick Off? Tuesday 10 September?
?What Time is Kick Off? ?19:45 (BST)
?Where is it Played? ?St Mary’s Stadium
?TV Channel/Live Stream? ?ITV 1
?Referee? ?Sandro Scharer

Where to Buy Tickets

Tickets for the game are, as ever, available on both teams’ official national team websites, though membership is required in order to purchase. In terms of resale, both teams provide the option to make season tickets available for others to use, if a supporter is unable to attend the game themselves.


Team News

Aaron Wan-Bissaka pulled out of Gareth Southgate’s squad prior to the victory over Bulgaria, the right-back returning to ?Manchester United to receive treatment for a back injury.

Red Devils teammate Jesse Lingard has also made his way back to the north-west. The midfielder was due to take part in Saturday’s win before illness forced his withdrawal.


The visitors have no injury concerns ahead of the meeting on the south coast, with neither side missing players through suspension.


Potential Lineups

England? ?Pickford; Alexander-Arnold, Keane, Maguire, Rose; Rice, Henderson, Barkley; Sancho, Sterling, Kane.
?Kosovo ?Muric; Vojvoda, Rhahmani, Aliti, Hadergjonaj; Voca, Halimi; Zhegrova, Celina, Rashani; Muriqi.

Head to Head Record

This will be the first ever meeting between the nations, with FIFA only officially recognising Kosovo in January 2014 after years of campaigning from the Balkan country.

Prior to that, the world governing body had refused them permission to play friendlies against other registered countries.

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Admission to UEFA took another 20 months for the Dardanians to secure, making this their maiden European Championship qualifying campaign. Then in 2016, after years of campaigning, Kosovo were finally granted entry membership to FIFA.


Recent Form

Sterling and Kane are in marvellous goalscoring form for England, the ?Manchester City man grabbing seven in as many matches, whilst his ?Tottenham Hotspur counterpart continues his average of more than one every two games.

The team as a whole are looking fierce, too, with new players gelling well and a the system functioning smoothly. Jordan Henderson and Ross Barkley have been superb in the middle of the park, with the same true of Harry Maguire and Michael Keane at the back.


Unlike Bulgaria, Kosovo go into the clash with the Three Lions in high spirits after collecting eight points from their first four fixtures in the group.

The Czechs are no pushovers, making the Dardanians’ victory yet more impressive. Though they know they are up against it on Tuesday night, Challandes and his men will harbour hopes of a shock triumph away to one of the world’s top nations.

Here’s a look at the two teams’ last five results:

England? Kosovo?
?England 5-0 Czech Republic (22/3) ??Kosovo 2-2 Denmark (21/3)
?Montenegro 1-5 England (25/3) Kosovo 1-1 Bulgaria (25/3)
?Netherlands 3-1 England (06/6) ?Montenegro 1-1 Kosovo (07/6)
?Switzerland 0-0 England *(5-6) (09/6) ?Bulgaria 2-3 Kosovo (10/6)
?England 4-0 Bulgaria (07/9) ?Kosovo 2-1 Czech Republic (07/9)

Prediction

This match has home win written all over it. The Three Lions are flying once more after a testing summer and they have more prey in their sights.

Harry Kane

Kosovo are likely to be put up a better fight than Bulgaria, with the Baltic nation continually improving as they find their feet in international football. 

Nevertheless, they lack the quality and experience of Southgate’s men. With the forwards buzzing following the weekend’s thrashing and the defence still standing firm, another comfortable win is on the cards.

Prediction: England 3-0 Kosovo


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Nelson Semedo’s Injury Less Serious Than Feared After Full Back Stretchered Off on Portugal Duty

?Barcelona full back and Portugal international Nelson Semedo left the field on a stretcher during his side’s 4-2 win over Serbia on Saturday evening, after he was on the receiving end of a nasty tackle by Roma defender Aleksandar Kolarov.

The 25-year-old looked to be in a great deal of pain and was substituted on 65 minutes, with what appeared to be a serious injury to his right ankle. 

It was initially feared that the injury may keep the right back out of action for a considerable amount of time, and ?reports in Spain claimed that ?Barcelona were bracing themselves for the worst over Semedo’s diagnosis. 

However, concerns over the defender’s fitness were soon eased, as ?Mundo Deportivo soon dispelled rumours of a long-term absence, claiming that the injury is not as bad as first thought.

In fact, Semedo may even train with his teammates on Sunday and could even be fit enough to face Lithuania in Portugal’s next Euro 2020 qualifying match. 

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It’s unlikely that manager Fernando Santos will risk playing the Barcelona man on Tuesday evening, and ?Manchester City’s new signing Joao Cancelo will be waiting in the wings to fill the full back spot. 

Portugal sit second in Group B, and they picked up their first win of the campaign against Serbia, thanks to goals from William Carvalho, Goncalo Guedes, ?Cristiano Ronaldo and ?Bernardo Silva. 

Ukraine currently top the group, manager Andriy Shevchenko earning an impressive 13 points out of a possible 15, their most recent outing providing a 3-0 victory over bottom side Lithuania. 

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