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A League Winners

With the Australian A League recently kicking off, we take a look at who could be in the mix to take home the title.

Western Sydney Wanderers

The Wanderers are 7/2 favourites with Paddy Power to win the league. The Sydney side topped the A League last year but lost in the A-League Final to the Central Coast Mariners. They are currently sitting second in the table after taking five points from three games. With striker Mark Bridge and Japanese midfielder Shinji Ono the Wanderers have a squad capable of going all the way. With the squad relatively unchanged from last year expect them to be challenging for the title.

Central Coast Mariners

The Mariners are second favourites with Paddy Power to win the league and are priced at A-League odds of 4/1. The Mariners finished behind the Wanderers last season but were victorious against them in the A-League Final, securing them the league. The Central Coast side have taken five points from three games this season. The club has, however, seen eight players leave the squad and they are now having to bolster their squad with youth players. This season will be harder for the Mariners but if they can make it to the play-offs then theywill have every chance of retaining their title.

Melbourne Victory

Victory are the third favourites for the league and are priced at 9/2. They finished third last season but were ten points behind second place Central Coast Mariners. The loss of Marco Rojas will be hugely problematic for the Victory as the striker scored 15 times for the club last season. Veteran striker Archie Thompson will be vital for the side this season; he needs to be scoring regularly if Melbourne are to stand any chance of achieving glory. Melbourne will need a truly remarkable season if they are going to win the league.

This year’s A League looks likely to be a two horse race between the Wanderers and the Mariners and you should expect to see these two competing in the final come the end of the season.

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Williams Lays down Benchmark for Stephens

Flushing Meadows got the match everyone wanted to see this week as American numbers one and two, Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens, went head-to-head in competitive action for the first time on US soil.

Defending champion and top seed, Williams, came through the match, winning 6-4 6-1 in a contest that proved every bit the spectacle tennis betting punters predicted. The strength and shot selection on display at both ends of the court proved why women’s tennis continues to garner so much attention: Serena avenging her Australian Open quarter-final loss in the process.

Although the favourite won with eventual ease, why this match is important to the sport, especially in the US, is clear. Stephens, the 20-year-old US number two, is viewed by many fans that bet on tennis as the new Serena; she could take the American and global tennis scene by storm over the next few years. Eleven years younger than her US rival, Stephens has all the physical credentials and the correct attitude to succeed in major tournaments, having made the Australian Open semis and Wimbledon quarters this season.

Yet the quality difference on Arthur Ashe Stadium was also evident and while Stephens is making big strides on the WTA circuit she is not at Serena’s level just yet. Six aces to none, 22 winners to 15 and an 82% first-serve point rate is why Serena is the best in the world. Stephens may have beaten Serena in Melbourne but her opponent will claim a back problem hindered her cause that day.

Indeed, there were no injury worries for Serena on Sunday as she strives for a fifth US Open title this weekend. The 16-time Grand Slam champion is looking to rebound from her Wimbledon woes and right now Stephens is just another casualty of the world number one’s scintillating form.

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Lakers Will Wear Short Sleeves from Next NBA Matches

Fashion is going to be a serious issue for coming NBA season and this is evident from the fact that Lakers has been asked to wear short-sleeved jerseys in several games of the next season of the tournament. Players will wear white jersey, which is actually an alternative uniform of the team. This was introduced during 2003-04 season. Lakers also wear this uniform on Sundays traditionally.

Lakers players have been asked to wear the jerseys during Christmas celebration and again during the ‘Noche Latina’ celebration. A source says that by that time the uniform will be given a new name-‘Los Lakers’.

Earlier, Lakers only one time wore short-sleeve jerseys in NBA and that was The Golden State Warrior. Addidas designed that jersey and it became quite popular then. Addidas designers are of the opinion that these jerseys are lighter than regular NBA uniforms. There are chances for the team Phoenix Sun to change its dress to short -sleeved one and they will also wear this uniform in next NBA season. An NBA official reported that Addidas has designed such jerseys for more than ten teams which will perform during Christmas.

The team will also add a black jersey, along with the white one. The alternative jersey has been selected to make it a part of the city pride round, which is also organized by the league.

Dark purple color will be used for numbering and lettering the jersey, along with a gold outline. The base color of the journey however will be black as it contrasts the purple color perfectly. The alternative jersey will be completely sleeve less.

The NBA source also added that Lakers is one of those 17 teams that experimented with wearing short-sleeved jerseys to perform in the summer leagues. Darren Rovell from ESPN reported that near about 5 teams will wear the short sleeve jerseys in more than twelve games for the 2013-14 seasons.

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