The 2021 edition of the Euro Championships is going to be the 16th edition of the European Championship and for the first time will be held in 11 cities across 11 European countries. Defending champions Portugal who clinched the title in 2016 will be one of the favourites this year along with the likes of England, Spain, Belgium and World Champions France. Let’s take a look at the possible star strikers who are expected to rattle the opposition goal and dazzle on Europe’s biggest stage from 12th June to 12th July this year.
After winning the League 1 Golden boot for the third successive year, the pocket dynamite is surely waiting to explode on the Euro this year. Considered by many as the most talented player on the planet, the 22-year-old fired in 46 goals in the 2020-21 season for PSG and France, a feat that made him the youngest Frenchman to net 100 goals for Les Bleus. His menacing skills and blistering pace has been a nightmare for any opposition and the fact that he is backed by an extraordinarily talented French squad of Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud seems to be a combination that can see the World Champions as top contenders.
England’s steady surge to the top of Football’s big prize has been knitted around a very special crop of young players who are led by their talismanic captain fantastic Harry Kane. His prolific form in the Premier League earned him the Golden Boot with 23 goals from 35 matches. His aerial ability and the knack to find the vacant spot in the opposition goal with sublime finishes has buoyed Tottenham Hotspurs into Europe. Kane was also responsible for 14 assists this season is a testimony of his eye for goal that will be vital for the English Lions. The England skipper has a galaxy of stars like Marcus Rashford, Calvert Lewin, Raheem Sterling, Foden, Sancho and Saka upfront to make the English attack its most potent weapon.
There is absolutely no doubt that Romelu Lukaku is blossoming into a world-class striker at Inter Milan. The 28-year-old is considered as a goal-scoring tank owing to his power-packed form that reaped 24 goals in 36 matches in the Serie A edging out Ronaldo’s opportunity to win with Juventus. Lukaku’s ability as a goal machine that has been tearing the opposition’s defence apart was on display this week as his strike was the sole difference that saw Belgium edge past Croatia, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Runners Up. Belgium has emerged in the last decade as the team to watch out for, especially with the youth academies churning out some of the best quality players on display all over the world. With Thibaut Courtois under the bar, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne marshalling the midfield with Jan Ceulemans in the attacking third, it is unfortunate that these stars choke when they don their national colours.
The Christiano Ranaldo scoring machine is firing on all cylinders at age 36 and there is no sign of him taking his foot off the accelerator. He is the only footballer to have won the Golden Boot for top-scoring in England, Spain and now in Italy. In Juventus colours this season his goal-scoring spree saw him at the top of the Serie A with 29 goals in 33 matches. He skippered Portugal to realize their long-cherished Euro Crown in 2016 and this time has a star-studded team to win the crown in 2021. The likes of Diogo Jota, Andre Silva and Bruno Fernandez team Portugal are definitely the heavyweights.
The 27-year-old Lyon striker will be shouldering the aspiration of a nation after a nearly decade long hiatus as they return to European Football. The football world was shocked after the Dutch failed to qualify for the Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Netherlands’ return to top-flight football has been more due to Roland Koeman who has left for Barcelona and now Frank de Boer appears to be a strong squad. Depay’s sixty-three goals in 139 appearances, including six last season in the Champions League catapulted Lyon to the semifinal. Lyon briefly threatened a title charge in France courtesy of Depay’s 20 goals and 12 assists – a feat that has resulted in a race between Barcelona and Juventus for this Dutch rising star.
The 32-year-old Robert Lewandowski leads the pack of illustrious strikers and is Poland’s leading scorer with 66 goals in a record 118 appearances. This season he broke the Bundesliga’s 49-year-old record for goals in a season with 41 in 29 appearances for Bayern Munich and is in top form firing 17 goals in the last 10 games. However, the newly appointed head coach of Poland, Paulo Sousa, is working on his backup options in case his captain is not available.
While Germany looks shaky after their World Cup win in 2014 and is currently languishing at the 12th spot in the FIFA Rankings. A return of Thomas Muller could witness a resurgent Germany who were shockingly shown the exit doors after the nightmare first-round debacle in Russia 2020 and lost 0-6 to Spain in a Nation’s League game encounter. The German defence will be manned by Antonio Rudiger while Manuel Neuer will be taking his place as goalkeeper and captain. Leon Goretzka is a player who has emerged as Joachim Low’s box to box midfield player.
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INDIAN TEAM SWEAT IT OUT IN NETS AHEAD OF FIRST ODI
Team India held its first practice session in Harare ahead of their three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, which will start from 18 August onwards.
Players like Shubman Gill, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, and Mohammed Siraj were seen sweating it out in the nets.
The series is set to start from 18 August onwards and will go on till 22 August.
The All-India Senior Selection Committee has appointed KL Rahul as the captain of the side and named Shikhar Dhawan as his deputy.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan was supposed to lead the side touring Zimbabwe. But after KL Rahul has been cleared, the right-hander has been made the captain and Dhawan as his deputy.
Earlier on 30 July, the Indian squad touring Zimbabwe for a three-match ODI series was announced.
Senior players like Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, and Jasprit Bumrah were not included in the squad.
Rahul Tripathi, who represents Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, was included in the ODI squad after his solid performance in the 2022 edition. In 14 games, he scored 413 runs at an average of 37.55 and hit three fifties. He was the second-highest run-getter for his team.
All-rounder Washington Sundar and bowler Deepak Chahar have also made a return to the side after battling injuries.
The coaching staff for India’s tour of Zimbabwe, which consists of three ODIs, has been revealed. For the tour of Zimbabwe, India legend and current head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), VVS Laxman, will assume the role of head coach.
The original captain of Zimbabwe, Craig Ervine, is still out of the squad due to a hamstring injury. Fast bowlers blessing Muzarabani and Tendai Chatara continue to remain on the sidelines in the series against India too. The left-arm spinner Wellington Masakadza will miss the series.
KL Rahul (captain), Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj, Deepak Chahar.
Regis Chakabva (c), Tanaka Chivanga, Bradley Evans, Luke Jongwe, Ryan Burl, Innocent Kaia, Kaitano Takudzwanashe, Clive Madande, Wesley Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, John Masara, Tony Munyonga, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, and Donald Tiripano.
FC Goa set to take on Mohammedan SC in opener
In what is set to be a repeat of the Durand Cup 2021 final, defending champions FC Goa are all set to lock horns with Mohammedan SC in the opening match of the Durand Cup 2022 on Tuesday.
The Gaurs arrived in Kolkata for the tournament on Sunday ahead of the club’s third campaign at the Durand Cup, having previously played in the 2019 and 2021 editions. So far, the club has remained unbeaten in the tournament and would look to extend its solid run. Doggie Cardozo, the head coach of FC Goa’s Durand Cup squad, is upbeat about the team’s chances in the competition. “Our players have trained well and are in good spirits.” “They are aware that playing in the prestigious tournament is a good opportunity for them, and are hence keen to create an impact,” he said, ahead of the team’s clash against the Kolkata-based club.
FC Goa players during the practice ahead of Durand Cup.
“Our training session on Monday was quite fruitful. The whole squad worked in unison and we were able to discuss some key areas as far as preparation for the games is concerned.
The Boys in Orange, who are also the tournament’s defending champions, are expected to open their campaign in front of a packed house. Cardozo added that this serves as extra motivation for the team.
“We are not under any pressure.” Our objectives are clear-be the best versions of ourselves and try to get the trophy back home. “Playing in front of the fans would inspire us more and help us remember what we’re here for, and we look forward to having a great match against Mohammedan SC,” he commented.
“We intend to take the three points home , as that will give us an added boost.” Starting on a strong note is important, as it will set the tone for the rest of our campaign.
WEST INDIES BEAT NEW ZEALAND BY 8 WICKETS
The decision by the West Indies to play with two spinners, Akeal Hosein and Hayden Walsh proved crucial in the match. They created difficulties for batters to play shots.
A blistering 102-run opening wicket stand between Brandon King and Shamarh Brook guided West Indies to a win against New Zealand by eight wickets in the third T20I to prevent a sweep in the three-match series on Sunday.
Despite suffering a defeat against the West Indies by 8 wickets in the third and final match, New Zealand clinched the T20I series 2-1. Chasing 146, right-hander Brandon King (53) got the hosts off to a flyer on his return from injury, while fellow opener Shamarh Brooks (56*) played a more cautious role as the hosts put on 102 for the opening wicket to leave New Zealand needing a miracle.
Rovman Powell (27*) came in to guide the run chase home, with the stand-in West Indies captain smashing Jimmy Neesham for six on the final delivery of the penultimate over to seal the contest.
Earlier, opting to bat first, the New Zealand top-order made double-digit figures during their respective innings, but only one batter scored more than 24 as the hosts’ excellent bowling restricted the visitors from scoring runs.
Glenn Phillips looked the best of the New Zealand batters, smashing 41 from just 26 balls to help the visitors post a below-par score of 145/7 from their allotted 20 overs. While New Zealand opener Martin Guptill only scored 15 before he was bowled by Akeal Hosein, the veteran did enough to become the leading run-scorer in the history of men’s T20I.
The decision by the West Indies to play two spinners proved crucial in the match, with Hosein bagging two wickets conceding 18 runs, Hayden Walsh (1/16) creating difficulties for batters to play big shots, and pacer Odean Smith (3/29) reaping the rewards with career-best figures.
Brief score: New Zealand 145/7 (Glenn Phillips 41, Kane Williamson 24; Odean Smith 3-29) vs West Indies 150/2 (Shamarh Brooks 56*, Brandon King 53; Ish Sodhi 1-36).
Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen gifts PM Modi boxing gloves
Indian Commonwealth Games contingent expressed their delight at being honored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their excellent performance at Birmingham 2022.
PM Modi felicitated the Indian contingent for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022 in New Delhi on Saturday. The felicitation was attended by both athletes and their coaches. Union Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports Anurag Singh Thakur and Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Nisith Pramanik were among those present. Prime Minister congratulated the players and coaches for their stupendous performance at the Commonwealth Games 2022 held in Birmingham, where India bagged 22 Gold, 16 Silver, and 23 Bronze medals in various disciplines.
During the event, sprinter Hima Das gave the traditional Assamese gamocha, and Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen gifted PM Modi her boxing gloves.
“Honoured to gift the boxing gloves signed by all the pugilists to our honorable Prime Minister @narendramodi sir. Thank you for this amazing opportunity. A great day spent with my fellow athletes who have made the country proud,” Nikhat tweeted.
Hima Das took to her Twitter handle and wrote, “Elated to receive blessings from our honorable Prime Minister – Shri @narendramodi Ji, by virtue of Commonwealth Games 2022. Fortunate to have presented him with our traditional gamcha, wrapped with immense gratitude from all of Assam.”
Commonwealth Games 2022 champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, who won the gold medal in the Women’s 49kg final, thanked the PM for his words of motivation.
“Honoured to meet & interact with our Honourable Prime Minister @narendramodi Sir. Thank you so much sir for all your support & encouragement. Jai Hind,” Chanu said.
“Thank You Sir for sparing your valuable time and inviting us over to your residence. It was like always a delight to speak with you,” wrote shuttler Chirag Shetty.
CWG 2022 gold medallist Lakshya Sen also expressed his appreciation for being honored by the PM.
“What a great day for all the Athletes #gratitude. Thank you so much Sir for appreciating our hard work and for your words of encouragement. We are all very grateful for your support. Will continue to make our nation proud. Jai Hind!” Indian shuttler Sen tweeted.
“Meeting Hon. PM @narendramodi once again, interacting with him and seeking a blessing was motivating and inspiring as always. His keen interest in our performances and detailed conversations are very gratifying!” said Bhavina Patel, who won the gold medal in Para table tennis at the Birmingham 2022.
Addressing the Indian CWG contingent on Saturday, PM said that the golden period of Indian sports has just begun and hailed the fine show of the athletes.
India finished 4th in the medal tally winning a total of 61 medals at the CWG 2022, including 22 gold, 16 Silver, and 23 Bronze medals.
Four games win hearts, disappointment in weightlifting and squash
This time, a total of 16 medals, including seven gold were lost due to the non-availability of shooting events in the CWG. It was largely compensated by wrestling, badminton, table tennis, Para Powerlifting, lawn ball, cricket, hockey, athletics, and judo. India’s number of gold medals increased in the first four games compared to the last CWG held at Gold Coast. India won gold and a bar of silver in the lawn bowl in which not a single medal was won before. In hockey, both the teams returned empty-handed last time but this time the men’s team won a silver, and the women’s team won a medal after 16 years. In cricket, the Indian women’s team could not win gold after defeating Australia as they lost the last eight wickets for 34 runs but beating England in the SF was an achievement. Judo was not their last time, India won three medals including two gold in Judo. The personal best performance of many players in athletics proved that India’s preparations are on the right track because of the Paris Olympics.
Despite all this, weightlifters and squash players disappointed. The boxers equalled last time’s three gold medals but they got only one silver means two silvers less than last time. Mirabai Chanu, Jeremy Lalrinnunga, and Achinta Sheuli, did win gold medals in weightlifting, and they broke snatch games record but the rest of the weightlifters could neither break the national record nor give personal best. Most of these weightlifters could not even repeat their performance in the National Championship. Poonam Yadav, who won gold last time in 69 kg, failed in all three clean and jerk attempts, it is a matter of mystery. In TT, Achanta Sharath Kamal proved that age is just a number. The player was once weak in the backhand, but he made it his strength, winning a total of seven golds in 16 years. His biggest quality is to play his strategy according to the opposition player.
In athletics, however, the situation was quite the opposite. In a ten km walk, Priyanka Goswami and Sandeep won medals in their respective categories with PB performances. In the 3000m steeplechase, Avinash Sawale clocked a PB performance to outdo a Kenyan in medals and very near to the other Kenyan who won the gold medal by a fraction of a second. Gold medalist Eldhose Paul and silver-winner Abdulla Aboobacker won the triple jump gold and silver & broke the 17-meter barrier. For all the athletes including Murali Sreeshankar in the long jump, the World Championships held recently formed the base of their medals. Murli, who was performing lighter than the qualifying competition in the final, corrected his mistake and got the silver, but Seema Poonia and Navjeet Dhillon, who won silver and bronze at Gold Coast were almost four to five meters lesser this time. Both have shown that their preparations are going in the opposite direction. Two silvers in squash narrowed us down to two bronzesthis time.
In wrestling, only Canadian and Nigerian wrestlers were challenged as usual and Indian wrestlers managed to bag all the medals like the last time, which includes six golds i.e., one more gold than last time. Vinesh Phogat continued to create history in women’s wrestling by winning her third gold while emerging Naveen proved to be a new sensation in 74kg. Some players gave a befitting reply to their federations with their excellent performance. Judoka Tulika Maan was not considered for selection in the judo team. Even the federation said that there is no hope of a medal in the highest weight category of women, but Tulika won the silver.
Similarly, Tejaswin Shankar had to take refuge in the court to participate in these games. His name was rejected saying that he had not participated in the National Championship, arguing that he was participating in a competition in the US at the same time. Eventually, this player made 2.22 m in the high jump. He won the bronze medal. In lawn ball, women from other sports showed that if there is scope, there is nothing wrong with changing the game. When Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won the Olympic medal, he emphasized this the most because he too was once among the cricket potential players of Madhya Pradesh.
What Sports Are The Most Frequently Bet On?
Betting on sports is a vast industry making up over 30% of the entire gambling industry. If we take a look at what this might look like in numbers, around 500 billion dollars is used for gambling around the world each year. This means that approximately 150 billion dollars are spent on sports betting annually, which shows just how big a market it is.You are probably wondering what sports are most frequently bet on throughout the year. Here is a list of some of the most popular sports that people tend to bet on the most. We will take a look at whether it is because people just enjoy watching and betting on their favorite sport or whether a specific sport gives you an advantage while betting.
In the USA, American Football is without a doubt the number one sport that people both love to play and watch. The NFL has some of the most diehard fans of any sport, and people follow the game like a religion. With huge tournaments such as the super bowl, which attract attention from all around the world, it is no surprise that American Football is one of the most popular sports when it comes to betting.Another reason that people love to bet on American Football is the variety of leagues that are available to bet on. People can bet on college football all the way up to the NFL, which means there isn’t a shortage of teams to rally behind and place bets on. They can also choose to bet on live games or make predictions before they start. More options mean more opportunities to place all kinds of bets on different teams, which adds to the popularity of this sport in the gambling scene.
Soccer is the biggest sport in the world with the largest number of people playing it globally. It is then no surprise that it is also a huge sport when it comes to placing bets. With the advancement of technology, the types of bets that people can place on soccer matches have progressed over the years. The most noticeable type of bet that has caused sports betting within soccer to skyrocket is the ability to cash out early. This type of betting has made watching soccer a lot more exciting as people have to be paying extra attention to the screen to decide whether they want to get out of the bet or stay in for the maximum gain.In the UK alone, it is estimated that a mind-blowing 1 billion pounds are spent on soccer bets each year. Soccer as a sport has also only gone up in popularity over the last few years with the American soccer league, MLS, gaining a lot of attention. Although it is a long way from being as popular as American football, soccer in the US appears to be gaining a lot more traction and fans from around the world. For this reason, it is easy to see that soccer is going nowhere anytime soon, and the interest in betting on the sport will likely only increase.
For those that are unaware, horse racing was the number one sport for betting for the longest time. This may not still be the case however, horse racing still plays a massive part in the sports gambling world, with an estimated 100 billion dollars being spent betting on the sport each year. In addition to this, horse racing is the only sport where you can actually bet on it at all times of the day.Horse racing is a huge day out for many people who save part of their earnings to spend betting on horses in the hopes of winning big. This may come as a big surprise, but Japan actually has the biggest horse racing market, with the United Kingdom following behind and then Australia behind them.
The number three spot when it comes to sports most frequently bet on is tennis. You might not have expected this but there are some reasons why this is the case. The first being that placing bets on tennis is considered relatively safe due to the odds being fairly low. For example, if one of the top players, such as Rafael Nadal, is scheduled to play against a player who is not considered very strong, it is a relatively safe bet to place on Nadal winning.
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