Kashima Antlers’ AFC Champions League chances have take a severe blow with the news that captain Mitsuo Ogasawara will miss the rest of the season after suffering knee ligament damage in Kashima’s 1-1 draw away at Kashiwa Reysol overnight.
The influential midfielder was stretchered from the field after colliding with Kashiwa’s Alex in the sixteenth minute, and there was more drama just Judi Onlen three minutes later when Kashima fans appeared to strike Alex with a flag-pole as the Brazilian midfielder lined up to take a corner.
The match was played in front of a tense atmosphere at Kashiwa Hitachi Stadium, as scuffles broke out between Reysol and Antlers fans with security struggling to contain the unruly behaviour.
On the pitch Popo handed the hosts the lead midway through the first half, and it took a last-gasp penalty from Marquinhos for Kashima to steal a share of the spoils and keep themselves in the J. League title race.
Kashima will face A-League outfit Adelaide United in the second leg of their AFC Champions League quarter-final at Hindmarsh Stadium on September 24, with the tie delicately poised following a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Japan.
Premiership Betting 20 September 2008
This week has been one of unremitting financial gloom as banks fail and stocks crash, but there’s always the chance to recoup any losses at the expense of the bookies on this week’s English Premiership.
The Manchester clubs let us down last weekend and there’s more bad news in store as United will go down in a tight struggle at Stamford Bridge. Manchester United have had a poor start to their season. Chelsea are on fire and are good bankers for a narrow home win.
Manchester City should get the better of Portsmouth at Eastlands but they won’t, the new signings from Brazil have yet to gel and Robinho is probably wondering what he’s doing in north west England..has he got Ronaldo’s number for the heated swimming pool? – 1-1 is our prediction.
The north east derby sees Sunderland take on Middlesbrough and a draw looks the likely result to us…maybe a goal apiece in a scrappy, tense affair.
Liverpool should be too good for a battling Stoke City, who very nearly got a point off Liverpool’s neighbours Everton last Monday. Coming off two great results at home to Manchester United and away to Marseille in the Champions League, look for Liverpool to win this 3-1.
Arsenal will be recovering from a tiring trip to the Ukraine in midweek, but should still have too much fire power for a struggling Bolton. 1-0 to the Arse is a familiar scoreline with maybe our man Theo Walcott on the score sheet.
In the West Brom v Aston Villa Midlands derby, we’re going for a draw. 1-1 in fact. Aston Villa have been good so far this season and the Baggies won at home last weekend. Honours even then.
Everton’s trip to the Land of Green Ginger should see them steal the points from a Hull side who won at Newcastle last week. We predict a slide of Lehmann Brothers’ proportions for the Tigers from now on in.
Spurs looked good in Europe, just for Juande, but in the Premiership they struggle. Wigan to come away with a point if not more.
West Ham v Newcastle and Blackburn v Fulham, two north v south clashes with lots at stake. West Ham lost their sponsors as the credit crunch hit their package holiday backers XL…Newcastle are in turmoil and were once sponsored by Northern Rock. That says it all…two bankrupt teams should share the points. Fulham are improving but jaunts to the north west rarely lead to points unless they are playing at “Middle Eastlands”…we tip the Rovers to get a return on this one 1-0.