August 2018

Adil Rashid to pick up 16 wickets in India Test series 

Sporting Index experts back the leggie to land 16 scalps – though India’s spinners will take 25 

Wednesday 1st August, 2018 – Adil Rashid will take 16 wickets on his return to Test cricket against India, according to spread betting firm Sporting Index – though India’s spinners will take 25 scalps, compared to 20 from English spinners throughout the series. 
Rashid, who was a controversial pick by selector Ed Smith, has been named in the starting XI at Edgbaston for his first Test in two years, and his first first-class game in 11 months. While his red ball skills may be rusty, traders at Sporting Index are backing the Yorkshireman to pick up 16 wickets across the five match series. 
It looked a long way back to Test cricket for Rashid since his last match in 2016, with Moeen Ali, Liam Dawson, Mason Crane, Jack Leach and Dominic Bess all getting the nod as England’s spinners – before a dramatic recall for Rashid ahead of the India series. 
The 30-year-old leg-spinner has taken 38 wickets in 10 Tests for England, including 23 in five matches against India in 2016/17. 
Sporting Index traders are backing the tourists to come out on top in the spin stakes, however, with Indian spinners predicted to take 25 wickets across the series, compared to 20 for England. 
With Ravi Jadeja and R Ashwin sitting in the top five of the ICC Test bowling rankings, and talented youngster Kuldeep Yadav waiting in the wings too, traders at the spread betting firm think they can beat the likes of Rashid and Ali in the battle for spin supremacy.

Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “England have turned to Adil Rashid as they hope spin can win it against India – and we’re backing the leggie to take 16 scalps on his return to Test cricket. 
“Rashid’s recall has certainly ruffled a few feathers, and with pitches likely to be conducive to turn, he could ruffle a few Indian batsmen too. 
“We think India’s spinners will come out on top, however – though are backing a 3-1 England series victory in what looks set to be an enthralling encounter.” 

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Premier League spending to hit £1.3 billion on transfer deadline day 
Sporting Index predict this will be the second highest spending spree in a Premier League summer transfer window 
Thursday 9th August 2018, London – Premier League transfer spending will reach a total of £1.3 billion come midnight tonight – despite the transfer window closing earlier than ever before, according to spread betting firm Sporting Index.  
While Premier League spending is likely to narrowly miss out on the record of £1.4 billion last summer, the shorter transfer window deadline means this has been the second most expensive in the history of the English game. As it stands, Premier League clubs have spent just over £1 billion – meaning Sporting Index traders believe another £300 million will change hands on the final day of the window. 
Research from Sporting Index also finds that in the last ten years, from the 2008 summer to the present day, Premier League club spending in the summer transfer window has increased by 90% overall.  
In summer 2008, Brazilian Robinho signed for Manchester City from Real Madrid for a then-record £32.5 million. That number has almost trebled in the 10 years since, with Paul Pogba’s £89 million move from Juventus to Manchester United in 2016 now holding the record for the highest transfer fee spent by a Premier League club. 
Manchester United were also involved in the most expensive transfer between two Premier League teams when they signed Belgian Romelu Lukaku from Everton for £75 million last summer.  
However, it is Chelsea who spent the most on any player this time around – yesterday they splashed out a world-record transfer fee for a goalkeeper when they signed Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao for £71 million.   
Liverpool have spent more money than any other Premier League club this transfer window so far. The arrival of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig, Xherdan Shaqiri from relegated Stoke, and Brazilians Fabinho and Allison Becker from Sevilla and Roma respectively has led to the club spending a total of £176 million.  
However, this eye-watering figure is still behind the record £218 million spent by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City last season. The Citizens signed defenders Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Danilo for a combined £125 million, while £45 million winger Bernardo Silva and £36 million goalkeeper Ederson also added to their huge summer transfer bill.  
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “This summer’s transfer window is shorter following the vote from Premier League clubs last September to close it earlier, however we still think it’ll end up the second highest spending summer transfer window. 
“We’ve estimated that Premier League transfer fees will amount to £1.3 billion – to put that in perspective, it’s more than double the figure five years ago, and is an indication of how Premier League spending has reached a different level in recent years.  
“It should make for an exciting final day, and who know, the record amount could yet be broken if we see clubs make late moves to bolster their squads ahead of the opening weekend of Premier League action.”  

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13 under par needed to lift Wanamaker Trophy 
38 players under par, one under to make the weekend and seven under best round - Sporting Index predicts the ‘USPGA in numbers’ 
Thursday 9th August, 2018 – 13 under par will be the score needed to win the final Major of the year, the USPGA at Bellerive Country Club, according to the traders from the leading spread-betting firm Sporting Index.  
The spread-betting experts have calculated the numbers ahead of the opening round at the St. Louis, and with the course receiving plenty of rain, they believe it will be fairly receptive with 38 players finishing under par after Sunday’s final round – 26 more than last year at Quail Hollow. 
Sporting Index also predict that the cut will come at one over par, the joint second lowest score needed to make the weekend this century, while a seven under par 63 will be the best score shot over the four days – a score that only been shot once in the last two years. 
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “The final Major championship of the year is upon us and the venue, the Bellerive Country Club, has seen a fair amount of rain in the build-up, which we think will mean it plays on the slightly easier side with 13 under par the score required to take home the Wanamaker Trophy. 
“In last year’s tournament, Quail Hollow played pretty tough with just 12 players finishing under par, and with the rain-softened conditions at Bellerive this year, we predict that birdies will be the order of the day, with 38 players finishing under par. 
“For all of the 156 players, their first objective is to make the cut and they’ll need to be one under par to make the weekend, which is the second lowest cut score this century.” 

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Kepa Arrizabalaga to keep 14 clean sheets in debut Premier League season 
Sporting Index predict record-breaking keeper will fall one short of Courtois’ tally from last term – but it should be enough to seal Champions League football

Thursday 9th August, London – New Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga will keep 14 Premier League clean sheets for the Blues in his first season at Stamford Bridge, according to traders from leading spread-betting firm Sporting Index.   
The Spanish stopper, who cost Chelsea a world-record £71 million from Athletic Bilbao, is tipped to keep 14 shutouts in the league this term – which is one fewer than the 15 managed by the departed Thibaut Courtois last season. 
Despite his lofty transfer fee, Arrizabalaga is relatively unproven – playing just 53 top-flight games for Bilbao, in which he has conceded just 58 times. He has played once for Spain too – and managed to keep a clean sheet in a 5-0 victory over Costa Rica last year. 
Arrizabalaga is tasked with filling Courtois’ position in the Chelsea net after the Belgian’s move to Real Madrid, and Sporting Index think he’ll make a solid start as he attempts to payback that large transfer fee. 
Traders at the leading spread-betting firm also think his arrival will help the Blues to 74 Premier League points this year – enough to reclaim fourth place ahead of London rivals Tottenham. 
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “Kepa Arrizabalaga has a transfer fee to match the length of his surname- but we think it could be a very shrewd piece of business from Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea. 

“While our prediction of 14 clean sheets is one fewer than predecessor Thibaut Courtois managed last season, we think it should be enough to help the Blues back into the top four come the end of the season”.

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Liverpool, Fulham and Wolves gain points after sizzling summer transfer window 
Spread betting firm revises league standings ahead of the 2018/19 kick off 
Thursday 9th August, 2018 – Liverpool have earned themselves an extra two points as the window slams shut on this year’s summer transfer window. 
Sporting Index has revised up the Reds’ total points spread for 2018/19 from 79 to 81, while rivals Manchester United have been pegged down a point to 76 from 77. 
Fulham are the league’s biggest market mover after a busy transfer window, promoting the Premier League new boys from finishing 16th on 39 points to 13th on 43 points, while Wolves, who have smashed their club record by signing Adama Traore for £18 million, are now predicted to finish in the top half on 48 points. 
Manchester City are expected to lift the title on 88 points, seven clear of Liverpool, while Tottenham may have relinquished fourth place to Chelsea having been revised down to 74 points from 75. The Blues are also chalked up at 74 points. 
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “Fulham have spent big for a club that have just gained promotion to the Premier League and we think that will pay off for the west Londoners. Initially offered at 38.5-40 points at the start of the transfer window, that’s had to be revised up to 4243.5 points following the signings of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Andre Schurrle  and Alfie Mawson. 
“Two other big movers have been Liverpool and Wolves. The Reds look to have a big chance of stamping their authority on second spot after more solid signings and the fact they’ve kept hold of their star players and we’ve pushed them up to 80-81.5 points from 78-79.5. Wolves have spent more money in this window than ever before and we actually think they’ll finish in the top half on 47-48.5 points. 
“Spurs supporters will be disappointed with the lack of transfer action and they could be ousted from the top four by rivals Chelsea. Tottenham and Chelsea are now neck and neck on 73.5-75 points.” 

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1,048 goals, 44 red cards and seven manager departures – the Premier League season in numbers 
Sporting Index predict the key statistics for the season ahead – including a 33-goal laden season for Spurs striker Harry Kane 
Friday 10th August 2018, London – The Premier League will see 1,048 goals, 44 red cards and seven managers leave their clubs this season, according to spread betting firm Sporting Index.  
The Premier League action gets underway tonight with Manchester United hosting Leicester City at Old Trafford, and the traders at Sporting Index have already predicted a total of 1,048 goals will be scored this season – 30 more than the last campaign.  
The record amount of goals scored by teams in one Premier League season is 1,195 in the 1993/94 and 1994/95 seasons when 42 matches were played. Since the move to 38 games, the record is 1,066 goals, scored in 2011/2012.  
Harry Kane’s World Cup Golden Boot form could see him grab the Premier League gong for most goals scored too. The Spurs man is predicted to bag 33 goals – this would be the most league goals he has scored in one campaign, but one less than the record held jointly by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer. 
Manager departures in a Premier League season are as certain in life as death and taxes, and the traders expect seven managers to go between now and May – three less than last season. The 2017/19 season saw Frank de Boer, Ronald Koeman, Mark Hughes, Alan Pardew, Marco Silva, Mauricio Pellegrini, Paul Clement, Slaven Billic, Tony Pulis and Craig Shakespeare all leave their posts.  
Sporting Index predict the most amount of red cards in a Premier League season since 2015/16, with 44 early baths expected.

Meanwhile, an unfortunate 39 own goals are predicted for the season ahead, which would be the most amount since the 45 that were inadvertently turned into the net in 2010/2011.    
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “Football fans have every reason to be excited for the Premier League season ahead – high profile signings and an influx of new managers promises to deliver an enthralling campaign.  
“Our traders think there will be more goals, red cards and own goals than the season just gone – and if that doesn’t cause any Premier League football supporter to get excited then who knows what will?  
“We’ve gone for 1,048 goals – 30 more than last season, 44 red cards – five more than the campaign just gone, and 39 own goals – nine more than what we saw in the 2017/18 campaign.” 

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Fury to finish Pianeta in seventh round during Frampton undercard bout 
Sporting Index predict ‘Gypsy King’ to be too fast for Italian as he bids to set up showdown with Deontay Wilder 

 Friday, 17th August 2018 – Tyson Fury will attempt to rebuild his dominance in heavyweight boxing with a victory against Francesco Pianeta tomorrow night, and spread betting firm Sporting Index predict the Brit will finish the ‘Italian Ace’ in the seventh round.  
The bout has been arranged on the undercard ahead of Carl Frampton’s featherweight fight with Australian Luke Jackson at Windsor Park in Belfast, and the spread betting experts think Fury’s fight will be over one round quicker than Frampton’s.  
Fury has his eyes set on a showdown with American Deontay Wilder in what would be his most challenging fight since defeating Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015. The traders have also pinpointed that Fury is likely to deliver a knockout blow to Pianeta in the 20th minute of Saturday’s battle. 
In the main event on Saturday, Frampton has said he will make light work of Jackson in their WBO featherweight title clash at Windsor Park – but Sporting Index have predicted it could be the eighth round before the Northern Irishman stops the Aussie.  
The traders have also said that the fight will last 25 minutes, in what should be an intriguing matchup. Frampton has already called out Oscar Valdez and Leo Santa Cruz – but will need to be on form to see past Jackson.  
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “British boxing fans will be hoping that Tyson Fury’s fight against Pianeta is more exciting than his last bout against Sefer Seferi. The contest only lasted four rounds, but will be more remembered for the fighting in the crowd than the action in the ring.  
“Pianeta is taller than Fury’s last opponent, and this should present more of a challenge in itself. However, we still think the man who labels himself the ‘Gypsy King’ will have too much for the Italian, and it should be done and dusted in the seventh round.  
“Frampton, meanwhile, has a bigger challenge on his hands – while he has said he wants to fight Oscar Valdez and Leo Santa Cruz should he defeat the Australian, that might be presumptuous, as Jackson could cause him issues. We still think he’ll win in the eighth, but it could be a gruelling bout.”   

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Slick City knock Sporting Index for six figures following Huddersfield thrashing 
Punters hit spread betting firm for £100,000 in Manchester City and Sergio Aguero total goal minutes 
Monday, 20th August 2018 – Manchester City swept Huddersfield aside on Sunday with a 6-1 win at the Etihad, leaving spread betting firm Sporting Index counting losses of £100,000 on total goal minutes in the match.  
Total goal minutes in the match could be bought at 195 before the match, but a 75th minute strike from Sergio Aguero and a Terence Kongolo own goal six minutes from time helped settle at 341 to leave the leading spread betting firm reeling.  
Sergio Aguero took the match ball home after his sensational hat-trick on Saturday, and with his total goal minutes available at 58 before the match and settling at 135, Sporting Index were six figures lighter in this match alone to compound a miserable weekend for the traders.  
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “Manchester City look unstoppable at the moment and they were able to score at will on Sunday against sorry Huddersfield. We felt just as sorry for ourselves after total goal minutes for City and their Argentinian talisman Sergio Aguero hit us for nearly £100,000.  
“Congratulations to the punters who saw that coming – we’ll certainly look to be more cautious in Manchester City’s next fixture against Wolves in Saturday’s early kick-off.”

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Manchester United to slip out of the top four – and finish 18 points behind City 
Defeat by Brighton and tension between Mourinho and the club sees Red Devils tipped to miss out on the Champions League spots 
Wednesday 22nd August, 2018 – After a poor start to the season, and with tension growing between Jose Mourinho, the club and the fans, Manchester United have been tipped to finish outside of the top four this season – a huge 18 points behind rivals Manchester City. 
Despite being backed by leading spread-betting firm Sporting Index to finish third just two weeks ago, a tumultuous start to the campaign has seen the Red Devils lose ground in the revised Premier League points market, dropping from 77 points to 72, and into fifth place. 
Mourinho has made no secret of his unhappiness over United’s failure to land key signings, and has reportedly fallen out with key players including Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial. 
The Red Devils were embarrassed by Brighton on Sunday, conceding three goals in a disastrous firsthalf, and traders think this season will only go from bad to worse. 
United’s rocky start to 2018/19 has been in contrast to City’s serene progress, and Sporting Index traders think it will be more of the same for the champions this season. City are backed to finish on 90 points, retaining their title with a margin of seven points to second placed Liverpool.  
While the gap between City and United is predicted to be 18 points, it’s slightly better than the 19 points that separated the rivals last season – though that will be scant consolation for Mourinho should the Red Devils miss out on the top four places. 
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “Things can change very quickly in football – only two weeks ago, we thought Manchester United were going to end up in third spot, but after an unhappy start to the season, we now think they’re going to miss out on the top four completely. 
“Disaster never looks too far away with Jose Mourinho, and with rumours of fallings out with players and the club, and after a poor result at Brighton, we predict United will finish fifth at the end of the season. Whether Mourinho is there until the end, remains to be seen…” 

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Alastair Cook to play on until the 2019 Ashes 
Sporting Index traders back the former England captain to call it a day after playing eight more Tests 

Wednesday 22nd August, 2018 – Alastair Cook will play on until the 2019 Ashes, according to spread betting firm Sporting Index, with the former England captain predicted to play just eight more Tests. 
Cook’s future has been in question after a run of poor form, with some speculation that the opener will call it a day from international cricket after the current India series. However, traders at Sporting Index think Cook will continue for another year at least, before announcing his retirement after another eight matches. 
The 33-year-old is a veteran of 159 Tests and is England’s leading Test match runscorer, but has only passed fifty once in 14 attempts so far in 2018. After 12 years in international cricket, there is a growing acceptance that Cook may be close to calling time on his England career – or indeed, that the selectors may make that decision for him. 
However, despite some thinking the end may be only weeks away, the spread betting firm believe Cook will see through the current India series, as well as ones against Sri Lanka and Ireland, before hanging up his bat during next summer’s home Ashes series against Australia. 
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “Alastair Cook has been a mainstay in the England side for over a decade, and despite his recent poor run of form, we think he’ll carry on at the top of the order for a little while yet. 
“Next summer’s Ashes series against Australia could prove a natural time for Cook to call it a day, and with a paucity of options to replace him before then, we think the selectors will stick with the former skipper for another eight Tests.” 

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From $16k to $3.8m pay outs – US Open Tennis in 50 years 

Sporting Index look at five decades of tennis in numbers ahead of the US Open Era’s 50th anniversary 
 Monday 27th August, 2018 - As tennis stars get set to serve up a thriller for the 50th US Open Tennis tournament, spread betting firm Sporting Index has looked at the key milestones in the tournament spanning over five decades – with prize money increasing from $14,000 in 1968 to an eye-watering figure of $3.8 million today.   
In 1968, winner of the men’s singles tournament Arthur Ashe was awarded with a cheque for $14,000 whilewomen’s winner Victoria Wade won $6,000. Prize money was made equal for both men and women in 1973, and since then it has rocketed, with a prize of $3.8 million for the winners of the men’s and women’s singles. 
The US Open has produced 27 different male winners over the years, with USA leading over the 13 different nationalities of winners – Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick have all been crowned US Open champions since 1968.   
There have been 24 different female winners in US Open Era history – Chris Evert and Serena Williams hold the joint-record of titles won since 1968, with both on six. USA also lead on winners, Evert and Williams are joined by Billie-Jean King, Tracy Austin, Martina Navratilova, Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens.   

Pete Sampras holds the record for the highest amount of aces at any US Open tournament since 1968 – the four-time winner hit an impressive 144 serves without reply on his way to the final in 2002, where he was defeated by Andre Agassi. The fastest ever male serve recorded at the US Open came in 2016 when Frenchman Frances Tiafoe hit 142 mph on his way to a defeat to the hands of another expert server, American John Isner. 
Serena Williams holds the female record of most aces in any US Open tournament – she hit 70 in 1999 on the way to securing his first of six titles. Williams also holds the record for fastest serve in women’s singles history in the US Open – her 129mph serve in 2007 is also the third fastest serve ever recorded in the women’s game. 
The youngest male and female champions in the US Open Era are Sampras and Tracey Austin. Sampras was 19 years and 28 days old when he won his first title in 1990, during a decade in which he dominated men’s tennis. British female Austin was just 16 years, 8 months and 28 days in 1979 when she defeated Chris Evert.  
The oldest champions are Ken Rosewell and Flavia Panetta – winning the tournament aged 35 in 1970 and 33 in 2015, respectively.  
Rafael Nadal is the marginal favourite over Novak Djokovic in Sporting Index’s Mens’ Singles Tournament 60 Index, while Serena Williams and Simona Halep can’t be split in the Ladies’ Singles Tournament 60 Index. 
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “The US Open is the last but certainly not the least major in professional tennis, and we’re looking forward to a landmark tournament. 
“Looking back over the years, there have been some special moments in the tournament – seeing Roger Federer win five consecutive titles in the 2000s marked his domination of the sport before Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray came on the scene and showed a sign of things to come for the next decade, while Serena Williams made female history by equaling Chris Evert’s record of six titles. 
“The biggest change in US Open Era tennis has been the prize money – the male prize money for the winner has leapt an incredible 26,328%, with the female champion winnings jumping 61,566%.   
“On this special year, we could see Roger Federer break the record of titles won, while Serena Williams could do the same. Let’s hope for another excellent tournament.” 

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250 More-inho days left in charge
Spread betting firm expects under-fire United boss to see out the season 
Tuesday 28th August 2018 – Jose Mourinho will wave goodbye to Old Trafford on Sunday 5th May 2019 according to leading sports spread betting firm Sporting Index. 
With a prediction of 250 more days at the helm, the self-proclaimed Special One is expected to make it to May and guide the Red Devils to a modest fifth place finish with just 69 points before heading for the exit. 
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “Though the pressure is clearly mounting on Jose Mourinho following Monday night’s heavy loss to Spurs, he signed a new contract earlier this year to 2020 and there’s no obvious replacement as things stand. 
“Our quote of 250 days left in charge takes us into May, at which point we think Mourinho will remain in the firing line after an underwhelming season with United priced to finish fifth on just 69 points.” 

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