January 2018

VAR to come into play in 62nd minute for M23 derby 

Spread betting experts predict new technology will come into play just once during English football trial at the Amex

8th January 2018, London – As English football gets set to trial Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for the first time tonight in the M23 derby between Crystal Palace and Brighton, spread betting experts Sporting Index have predicted the exact minute the technology will come into use. 
Tonight’s FA Cup third-round match at the Amex could be remembered if VAR comes into play for any controversial decisions, and Sporting Index have pinpointed the 62nd minute for the first time VAR is used tonight.   
Experienced referee Andre Marriner will be the man in the centre circle, while Neil Swarbrick is tasked with the role of VAR.  
Despite average Bundesliga and Serie A fixtures using the technology numerous times per match, Sporting Index think VAR will only be used once in tonight’s derby.  
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “The clamour for VAR technology to be used in English football stretches back a few years, and was arguably at its peak after the famous Frank Lampard shot against Germany in the 2010 World Cup. Arsene Wenger and other high-profile managers who have called for it since will get their wish when it’s given centre stage tonight.   
“VAR has been used to varying effects in other top European league competitions, including the Bundesliga and Serie A, and while all eyes will be on the M23 derby, we predict that English football will only dip its toe in the water during the trial. 
“Our traders think VAR will come into play just once at the Amex and the 62nd minute has been earmarked for Andre Marriner to consult VAR Neil Swarbrick. While the referees and FA will keep their fingers crossed for an easy beta trial, let’s hope we see it used a good few times in the name of entertainment.”  

VAR to come into play in 62nd minute at Stamford Bridge

Spread betting experts predict new technology will come into play just once during Carabao Cup semi-final

10th January 2018, London – After the confusion surrounding VAR in the M23 derby, spread betting experts Sporting Index have predicted it will be used in the 62nd minute during Arsenal’s visit to Chelsea in the EFL Cup tonight. 
Players, coaches and supporters were all left scratching their heads following Glenn Murray’s winner at the Amex as to whether VAR had been utilised, but referee Andre Marriner confirmed the decision was made without the use of the technology on Monday night.  
Experienced referee Martin Atkinson will be the referee at Stamford Bridge, while Neil Swarbrick is tasked with the role of VAR alongside Mick McDonough.  
Despite average Bundesliga and Serie A fixtures using the technology numerous times per match, Sporting Index think VAR will only be used once in tonight’s clash.  
VAR can be used in four ‘match-changing’ situations - goals, penalty/no penalty decisions, straight red cards and cases of mistaken identity by the referee. 
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “VAR proved to be a bit underwhelming on Monday with many people confused as to whether or not it had been used. However, our traders don’t think it will put off Martin Atkinson and predict it will still be used tonight. 
“There’s still a lot to learn about VAR despite its success in Italy and Germany but we feel it’s something which will be used sparingly until players, coaches and referees are more aware of how it works. 
“Arsene Wenger felt the Gunners were on the wrong end of two penalty decisions lately – most recently in the 2-2 draw against tonight’s opponents at the Emirates following Héctor Bellerín’s challenge on Eden Hazard – so it’ll be interesting to see if controversy follows any use of VAR tonight.”

No Billy, No Worries – England win rate better without Vunipola

Sporting Index research reveals England are better off without Saracens No. 8 in Test and Six Nations matches

17th January 2018, London – Despite the disappointment Eddie Jones and England fans have faced at the prospect of Billy Vunipola missing the Six Nations through injury, statistics reveal that the defending champions are better off without him, according to research from Sporting Index.    
The Saracens No. 8 was part of England’s victorious Six Nations squad last year, and was named in the starting XV for the 61-21 trouncing of Scotland. However, Vunipola also featured in the narrow defeat to Ireland in the final match of the tournament, and further analysis shows England win more when he’s not in the side.  
Over his five-year international career, England have won 24 of the 34 matches he’s played in – a win percentage of 71. However, the Red Rose have won 13 of the 15 matches the younger Vunipola brother has missed since his debut, at a more impressive win rate of 87 percent. 
The 24-year old has scored an impressive 45 points in 38 appearances for England since winning his first cap in 2013, however it’s likely he’ll be forced to sit out this year’s Six Nations due to a fractured arm sustained in Saracens’ match against Ospreys in the European Champions Cup.  
However, that may be a blessing in disguise for the Red Rose. England have won all three Six Nations games Vunipola hasn’t featured in since his debut – which could be a good omen as Jones and his side attempt to win the tournament for a third successive year. 
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “It’s obviously a bitter blow to Eddie Jones to lose an important player like Vunipola to injury when he’s been playing so well and he’s such an integral part of the team – but it isn’t all doom and gloom for the coach. 
“Our research shows the side can cope without Billy, and his absence may be a blessing in disguise – Eddie Jones’ team actually have a better win percentage when Billy isn’t involved in matches. It’s also a good chance to give the No. 8 spot to someone else – Sam Simmonds is one of the form players in the Premiership and played a starring role in Exeter Chiefs’ victory over Montpellier last weekend.  
“There’s still plenty to be hopeful for this campaign, and our traders are confident in the first match – they predict a total of five tries for England in their opening Six Nations match against Italy in Rome on 4th February."

Chelsea's new signing a 6' 4" tall order

Sporting Index predict Blues next signing will be a lofty 194cm, amid rumours of Crouch and Dzeko arrival 

19th January 2018, London – As Chelsea continue to be linked with giant forwards Peter Crouch, Andy Carroll and Edin Dzeko, Sporting Index have predicted the height of Chelsea’s next signing as the end of the January transfer window approaches – and believe it will be a towering 6’ 4” tall. 
The Blues are in the market to secure a backup striker to give competition to goal-shy Alvaro Morata, and with a number of towering strikers apparently next on Conte’s shopping list, spread betting experts Sporting Index believe the next signing will be a towering one, which works out as a lofty 194cm.  
At 6’ 7”, former Liverpool striker Crouch is one of the tallest players in world football and currently holds the record for the most amount of headed goals in the Premier League. Speculation continues to mount that Conte will sign the Englishman to offer a different option to his front line.  
Roma striker Edin D¿eko has also been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the January window. The former Man City striker, measuring in at 6’ 3”, scored 50 goals in the Premier League from 2011 to 2015 and would also be a viable option for the champions to pursue.  
Rumours of a move for Andy Carroll have quietened since it was announced the West Ham man will be out of action for at least one month with a sprained ankle. The 6’ 3” Geordie is renowned for his aerial presence from set pieces and long balls – assets that may have appealed to Chelsea before his recent injury setback.  
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “The speculation around Peter Crouch signing for Chelsea continues to mount, and he would likely jump as high as Antonio Conte says to sign for his boyhood heroes.  
“With Crouch, they don’t come much taller – but D¿eko and Carroll are also good options to add strength, aerial power and a different dimension to his side.  
“It’s anyone’s guess who their next signing will be and what his height is – but as the targets come in all shape and sizes, our traders believe the next signing will be 6’ 4”.”

Alexis Sanchez to net his first Man United goal after just 68 minutes 

Sporting Index predict new arrival from Arsenal will score on his debut – with Yeovil up this evening 

26th January 2018, London – New Manchester United signing Alexis Sanchez will score his first goal for the Red Devils after just 68 minutes, according to traders from leading spread-betting firm Sporting Index. 
Sanchez, who joined United from rivals Arsenal this week, is set to open his account on his debut – which could come against League Two side Yeovil Town in the FA Cup this evening. 
The Chilean netted eight times in 14 FA Cup appearances for the Gunners, including goals in the 2015 and 2017 finals. With Jose Mourinho set to hand Sanchez his first appearance in a Red Devils shirt, Sporting Index’s traders think his first goal for the club will come midway through the second half. 
Sanchez hasn’t traditionally waited long to impress his new fans when joining a new club – though he has never scored on his debut for any of his European teams. He netted on his second games for Udinese and Barcelona, though had to wait until his fourth match before getting on the scoresheet for Arsenal. 
United fans will certainly hope their new superstar signing hits the ground running with a goal early into his Red Devils career. 
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “After months of transfer speculation, Alexis Sanchez is finally a Man United player, and we think he’ll make an immediate impact in a United shirt. 

“Yeovil Town aren’t the trickiest opposition first up, and considering Sanchez’s FA Cup pedigree, we think he’ll find the net midway through the second half for his first Red Devils goal. 
“Sanchez has been signed to add real flair to a sometimes sedated United attack, and we think he’ll be able to get off the mark in what could be a dream debut this evening.”

Aubameyang to notch eight league goals for Gunners

Sporting Index predict new arrival from Borussia Dortmund will hit the ground running at Emirates 

31st January 2018, London – New Arsenal signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will notch eight Premier League goals for the Gunners in the remainder of the season, according to traders from leading spread-betting firm Sporting Index.   
The Gabon international joined from Borussia Dortmund earlier today in a £56m deadline day move and, despite struggling for form and goals in his last few matches for Dortmund, the traders think Aubameyang will hit the ground running at the Emirates.  
Having scored 14 Bundesliga goals from February onwards last season, the traders expect Arsenal’s new frontman to lead the line in style and bag eight goals in the remaining 13 Premier League outings for Arsene Wenger’s side.  
Arsenal’s top scorer this season Alexandre Lacazette is currently on nine goals in 25 appearances, but Sporting Index believe the Frenchman’s new strike partner is in a position to better that goal-per-game ratio.  
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “Say what you like about Aubameyang’s attitude and off-field antics, but he has always scored goals wherever he has been.  
“The Gabonese scored 98 goals in 144 appearances for Dortmund – an impressive ratio of a goal in every 1.5 games. With him linking up with former partner-in-crime Henrikh Mkhitaryan, we think he’ll soon be finding the net in the Premier League too. 
“What’s clear is Arsenal will need Aubameyang’s help in picking up points soon – they’re currently in sixth place and have a number of big matches on the horizon including home clashes against Everton and Manchester City, with the small matter of the north London derby at Wembley wedged in between.”