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An 18th birthday is a very important occasion. For some, it’s when they finally become an adult, are able to vote, and look forward to the future, to others it’s a chance to celebrate, drink legally and have plenty of fun, for most it lies somewhere in between. What most people would agree on is that an 18th birthday is one of the most important birthdays in your lifetime. Therefore, an 18th birthday gift really does have to hit the mark.

Traditional 18th birthday gifts include tankards, ornamental keys and bottles of champagne. However, these gifts have been overdone over the years and many now wish to think outside the box and find gifts that will take the birthday girl or boy by surprise. An 18th is a special day, and only happens once in a lifetime, it is therefore important to get a gift that will be remembered for years to come, for all the right reasons.

To get a memorable gift that will last a lifetime, it is important to think about the individual. Gifts that really stand out are ones that are carefully matched to suit the individual’s personal tastes. This shows you have put a great deal of thought into their 18th birthday gifts. If you know their favourite song, get it framed with an 18th birthday message engraved into the plaque. These gifts are available online for very reasonable prices. It shows you know the birthday boy or girl and is original and unique, they are sure to never receive another like it.

Another great idea is to take a traditional style 18th birthday gifts and add a twist. For example, it is common to buy champagne for an 18th. However, you could put a twist on this gift by getting an engraved glass and spirit set. Simply pick their favourite spirit, there are gift sets featuring Gin, Whisky, Vodka, Brandy, Jack Daniels and more. Instead of an engraved locket or necklace, put a modern and fun twist on this gift by getting an engraved last Rolo gift. You can get these in Gold, Silver or even Pink! This comes in a gorgeous presentation box and is bound to be treasured by its owner.

If the birthday boy or girl is expecting a big wad of money for their birthday, treat them to a silver plated engraved money clip. This unusual but practical gift is bound to go down well and will hopefully have many uses for years to come! 18th birthday gifts that are practical as well as touching make great presents. Instead of a special pen, which is a common gift, jazz it up by instead buying an engraved pen holder and stand. This makes a brilliant gift, particularly for those who are just starting out their working life in an office, or who are perhaps preparing to go to University.

At 18 many people are full of an insatiable desire for fun and adventure. Many people already have almost every material item you could think to get them and so you need to go that extra bit further to find a particularly memorable gift. Gift experiences provide an answer to this solution. Rather than buying a gift that may end up sat gathering dust in a cupboard, get them an experience they can never ever forget.

The best thing about experience days is that there really is something for everyone. Everyone has dreams, things that they have always wanted to do, and you can help this come true. There are many classic experience days available such as pamper days, driving a Ferrari or bungee jumping. However over the past few years, experience days have diversified and there is now almost every experience you can think of, and more! If you want to buy an exciting adrenalin filled experience day for an utter daredevil, there are many options for you.

Indoor skydiving is a popular gift, you can drive a JCB, go ice climbing, have a spy day, micro lighting experiences and much more. You could get them 18th birthday gifts that develop their existing skills, a Soccer Skills training day is an extremely popular gift, or give them a chance to learn something new for example, by getting them surfing lessons. There is a wealth of luxury experiences available, these range from pampering days at luxury spas to lunch for two in Paris.

An 18th birthday should be magical, and you can help make it out of this world with an original and exciting gift. Steer clear of the conventional, find 18th birthday gifts with twists on traditional gifts, look for funky gifts they will have never seen before, or try an experience day for 18th birthday gifts they will always remember.

Chad -The Babel Tower of the world!

Cultural Diversity

Did you know- Chad -it is about the size of Spain, France and Kansas combined– is famous in the world as the home to up to 200 ethnic groups. Few countries have so many ethnic groups like this unknown African republic. For this reason, over 100 languages spoken across the nation.

Geography

Did you know- The total area of Chad – more than twice the size of Texas — is 496,000 square miles ( 1, 284,000 square km). This French-speaking nation is the 21st-largest country on Earth, ahead of a host of nations such as Germany, Finland, Japan and the United Kingdom. There are mountains, deserts (over 70% of the country’s territory), savannas and rainforests. In the meantime, most of Chad has a tropical climate. It is located in central North Africa. Like Bolivia (South America), Switzerland (Europe), and Afghanistan (Asia), the Republic of Chad is a landlocked country in the world. It is bordered by Libya (an Arab nation) to the north, Niger (a French-speaking republic), Nigeria (an English-speaking republic) and Cameroon (a French/English speaking republic) to the west, the Central African Republic (once a colony of France) to the south, and Sudan (an Islamic republic) to the east. Curiously, it is surrounded by three oil-rich countries (Libya, Sudan and Nigeria) and two poorest nations (among the world’s five poorest countries: Niger and the Central African Republic). Furthermore, this land is one of the most sparsely populated nations on the continent of Africa, along with Namibia, Mauritania, Botswana, and Libya.

National Idols

Did you know- The country has never competed in the FIFA World Championships, but Chad’s idol Japhnes N’doram was one of the Continent’s most popular soccer players in the mid-1990s. During that time, he was the toast of his nation.

Lake Chad

Did you know- The republic is home to one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world: the Lake Chad (6,875 square miles /17,806 square kilometers). This African wonder is the world’s 17th-largest lake. Curiously, it is about the size of the American State of Hawaii. Since the 2000s it is the nation’s greatest tourist attraction. Today several visitors, most of them French citizens, came to Africa’s natural wonder. Tourism had declined sharply since 1975 due to civil war.

People

Did you know- The republic has about 10 million people. Up to 80 percent of them live in rural areas. The majority of African people live in the south. The Sara make up Chad’s largest ethnic group, followed by the Arabs, and other groups. French and Arabic are the official languages of Chad.

Solidarity

Did you know- The nation is home to up to 200,000 Sudanese refugees.

Independence

Did you know- The African country of Chad proclaimed its independence from France on August 11, 1960. For this reason, it, after a 60-year French occupation, became one of Africa’s first independent countries in the latter part of the 20th century.

Notable Persons

Did you know- Despite being one of the world’s ten poorest countries, Chad is home to some notable persons: Francois Tombalbaye (who led his nation to independence from France), Mahamat Saleh Haroun (film maker, who won a Grand Special Jury Prize for “Abouma”), Joseph Brahim (author), Celia Faussart (singer), Baba Moustapha (author), Tassoum Doval (economist), Kaltouma Nadjna (finished 5th in the women’s 400m at the IAAF World Championships in 2001), Helene Faussart (performer), and Japhnes N’doram (one of the Continent’s top six soccer players in 1996).

Economics

Did you know- Economic growth between 1994 and 2004 was 7,o%, one of the world’s best performers.

N’Djamena

Did you know- N’Djamena – formerly Fort Lamy– is Chad’s capital and largest city. It lies in the south of the nation.

Symbols of Chad

Did you know- The nation’s flag has vertical stripes of blue, yellow and red, the traditional colors.

United Nations

Did you know…On September 20, 1960, the Republic of Chad became one of the members of the United Nations in New York City, USA, alongside African states like Dahomey (now Benin), Ghana, and Gabon, as well as Upper Volta (Burkina Faso since August 1984) and the Central African Republic (ex Ubangi-Shari). Furthermore, it belongs to the Organization of Unity Africa (OUA), the Bank of Central African States, and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Chad & U.S.A

Did you know- This French-speaking nation has maintained cordial diplomatic relations with the United States of America. Since the beginning of the post-colonial era, Washington has provided it with millions of dollars in humanitarian aid. In the meantime, in the last years, America has become one of the country’s largest investors.

Famous visitors

Did you know-By early 1990,Pope John Paul II, spiritual leader of the world’s millions of Catholics, visited the country.

African Games

Did you know- Against all odds, the modern country of Chad made its first African Games appearance in Congo-Brazzaville in July 1965, where won three bronze medals, ahead of Gabon, Ethiopia and Zaire (present-day the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

World Cup Slime Soccer is like actual soccer in general, the difference is slime soccer is two dimensional, with 1 (semi-circular) player on every team, tiny nets, a wall on each side and a quite smaller field. You have an option to play with two players for a minute, two minutes or eight minutes. Plus you can have a chance to play another by pressing “World Cup”. If you see a line under each net, do not go on the one under your net for too long because if you do, you will be “pinged” and your opponent will earn the point.

During the qualifying round, the game will be played against either with Argentina, Belgium, Australia, Iceland, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Cameroon or Denmark. It will be a 30 seconds game and not that hard to beat, especially if you know some soccer ball tricks and how to beat it. Primarily, do not go and grab the ball easily, instead, let your opponent to bring it to you. Have the patience to wait for it. One bet soccer tip is at a right time, with appropriate jump, it will go into the net. If it’s in the air, no better trick awaits your opponent.

In the quarter finals, the game will be played against Denmark, Ecuador, Mexico, France, USA, Italy, Japan or Russia. It is a two minutes game with extra time if deemed to be necessary.

For the Semis, it will be against either with Russia, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa or South Korea. Same with 2 minute game with extra time if necessary but this time more defensive and smarter.

In the finals, the game is against either with South Korea, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Brazil, and England, Germany or funny thing called the Night Elves. It is a 5 minute game.

OK. It is your first day of lacrosse practice…What do you do? The first day of any practice can be a gut wrenching experience. That is why you should be prepared for what is ahead of you.

Before you go to your first practice, research what you might do. Generally, during the first day of lacrosse practice, you are just going to go over the basics. Things like: Passing, catching, shooting, and cradling.

If you come into practice already knowing these things, then it will jump-start you into becoming a great player. While the other players are struggling to run and cradle at the same time, you are learning to do it with your other hand! If you come to the first practice prepared, then you will set the bar high and impress your coach.

Now you know what you should do before practice, but what should you wear? This may seem like a dumb question, but it goes through everyone’s mind sooner or later. The equipment you need is: Helmet, stick (both head and shaft), gloves, elbow pads, shoulder pads, a protective cup, and cleats. It doesn’t really matter if you have lacrosse cleats (I have played in soccer cleats all my life, just because they were more comfortable.

Bring all of your equipment in a duffle/athletic bag, and put it on once you get to practice. You should have on a t-shirt and shorts when you arrive. Being organized, and knowing what you should wear will impress both your teammates and your coach.

The first lacrosse practice is all about initial impressions. You should try to impress your coach and teammates. However, do not do this in a cocky manner, because that will just create enemies on your team. Another important thing to remember is that no matter how good you are, you still must pass the ball. No one likes a ball hog.

Your first day of lacrosse practice is a very special time. You are starting to play the fastest growing, and greatest sport on the planet. My last bit of advice: Enjoy yourself. Make it fun and exciting, so that you will love the great game of lacrosse.

DonJoy pioneered the concept of functional knee bracing over 30 years ago. They have led the progression of performance ever since by studying the body, listening to athletes, consulting physicians and pushing the envelope of innovation. Today, DonJoy braces are standard equipment for competitors in over 44 countries.

The ARMOR represents DonJoy’s strongest patient-ready knee ligament brace and is ideally suited for extreme and contact sports. The 1/8″ 6061 T6 aircraft aluminum frame of the DonJoy Armor provides maximum strength and stability in high impact and high contact activity.

Like any brace, there are advantages and disadvantages to wearing the DonJoy Armor that should be reviewed when comparing it with the new FULLFORCE knee brace.

The advantage of the Armor of course is the rigid frame and stability factor of the brace. Many athletes with severe instability of the knee utilize the DonJoy Armor for the most extreme sports. The Armor is also used as a protective brace and preventative support, when the athlete requires maximum stability and rigidity.

The price to pay for this rigidity and support is a heavier and thicker frame that may not be suitable for certain sports such as tennis, golf and running. The brace will also have a tendency to slip down with prolonged use. The addition of the FourcePoint Hinge adds additional bulk and a higher profile brace.

The New FULLFORCE design combines the two clinically-proven DonJoy technologies in one brilliantly performing brace. The 4-Points-of-Leverage System provides ligament stability and significantly reduces ACL strain. DonJoy’s upgraded FourcePoint hinge dampens knee joint extension, which increases flexion angles and reduces anterior shear forces on the tibia.

The result – less strain on the ACL and a considerable decrease in the chance of injury. Together, these two technologies add up to ironclad confidence.

Created for all activity levels, FULLFORCE’s sleek, low profile and exceptionally light weight have made it the go-to prefabricated brace for competitive and recreational athletes of all kinds.

An Anti-Migration band on the FULLFORCE anchors on the upper calf to prevent slippage. The swooping Thigh Cuff for inner thigh clearance is ideal for bilateral brace use. The FULLFORCE is essentially the donjoy 4-Titude with the new LoPro FourcePoint™ hinges, that do not stick out as much as the traditional FourcePoint hinges. Like the Armor Extreme, it is available in a short calf version for ski boot clearance.

If your sport or knee condition requires the most rigid support for maximum stability, the DonJoy Armor Extreme is still the benchmark knee brace.

If you are looking for a lower profile and lighter weight brace, the New FULLFOURCE should be of more consideration. Not as rigid as the Armor, the FULLFORCE still provides substantial support for most knee conditions, including acl, menisucs and collateral ligament instabilities. The FULLFOURCE is more comfortable to wear, and contours better around the thigh and calf. The FourcePoint hinge is indicated for acl instability, especially in repetitive kicking sports such as martial arts and soccer.

It is always recommended to consult with your treating doctor to determine the correct brace for your orthopedic condition. The content of this article is not intended to diagnose, treat any health problem or recommend any brace.

We all make mistakes and I have no problem apologizing to other people if I should ever let them down. But, a few years ago I decided that there was one person that I was going to stop asking forgiveness of–myself.

Mainly I found myself making excuses for not hitting the goals that I had set for myself. Usually I was more disappointed in the lack of effort than the end result. And, although I always had an excuse–I almost never believed them.

Now, I know you’re probably expecting an article about how to lose 30 pounds in 30 days or how to get washboard abs in just fifteen minutes–two times a week.

But, until we get past your main obstacle [making excuses for not working out and eating right], there’s no point in giving you tips on how to have sexier legs in high heels.

First, let’s get beyond the obvious. You’re always too busy or tired to either get to the gym or pack small, healthy meals to take with you to work. Nonsense–you just need to make your health as much a priority as hitting Starbucks everyday.

To get started, put a note on your bedroom closet reminding you to pack a gym bag and healthy snacks for the next day.

Keep your workout outfits simple and comfortable so you don’t skip the gym because of a fashion faux pas. Fill a few plastic containers with low calorie snacks and include non-fat cottage cheese and/or a protein shake.

Wake up a half hour earlier a few times a week. Either dust off that piece of exercise equipment you’ve been using to hang up your winter clothes or just head out the door for a 30-minute walk or bike ride. Trust me, it’ll do a lot more to get you going in the morning than that $6 quadruple shot latte.

During the day, remember to drink plenty of water and eat one of your small meals every few hours.

Now, the toughie! Getting to the gym after work always sounds good in the morning, but gets less appealing as the day drags on. That’s why it’s important that you maintain your energy level throughout the day (remember that morning walk and small meals?). Also, I can’t overemphasize the importance of eating breakfast because it keeps your metabolism higher throughout the day.

For all of you parents, between daycare issues and soccer games, it may seem hard enough to get dinner on the table – let alone steal a half hour to get yourself to the gym. But, the good news is that a lot of gyms have some kind of drop in kids’ area. Plus, given this country’s childhood obesity epidemic, it’s almost never too soon for the kids to join you. As for soccer games, don’t forget your running shoes. Take a brisk walk around the soccer complex during half time rather than just standing on the sidelines.

Maybe a lifestyle change like this just seems too daunting. Don’t worry. I’ll be the first to tell you that it isn’t going to happen overnight.

At the start, it’s okay to set smaller goals and milestones. Once you start achieving them regularly, work your way up to loftier goals, and so on. I had to do that after my accident – and eventually, I was competing in and winning professional fitness competitions.

Bottom line – no matter what your fitness level, stop making excuses and start doing something. Eventually, you’ll stop asking yourself for forgiveness where your health is concerned. But most importantly, you will be happier and healthier – and to most people, those are two of the things that equal success.

It seems to be that only Americans call European and Latin American Football "Soccer", as they have their own version of Football, which in-fact is really handball, as there's not much kicking going on at all, except field goals and a few other times throughout the game, Similar to Rugby I guess.

So what really makes Football (soccer) for most countries around the world (known as The Beautiful Game) the most passionate game for Fans and the public in general.

As I have eluded to, in my opinion, it's probably the speed and excitation of the game which is essentially non-stop play for 90 minutes, which keeps the fans excited. There's never a dull moment in a game, as something is always happening and somebody is always moving.

There is a tremendous amount of Fitness, Skill, Tenacity, Passion, Speed, even agility needed to be a world class player with some luck thrown in. Why luck.? As a shooter shoots at the goal, he does not always score does he, as he's not always on target, so you need that little bit of luck to strike the ball just right to maybe bend it, swerve it, chip it etc, which does not always happen. That's why they run soccer drills and training to practice daily those shots and passes.

The worlds soccer game is gaining in popularity in North America, now with the MLS and Womens professional soccer growing in leaps and bounds, even the schools and local games are played all over America now, and that maybe due to the fact of how the rest of the world looks at the Beautiful Game, and of course how popular the world cup is received through the world in general.

Seems to be every country in the world wants to even host the world cup which only happens every 4 years. Yet now we get to see countries of the world playing each other at the club level in seasonal championships, which again is now spread and followed world-wide.

To follow your favorite soccer club or country, there are many online soccer shops around the world to buy your favorite clubs soccer jerseys, soccer gear, soccer drills, soccer training and soccer cleats to really show your support for the beautiful game.

What ever your passion for a sport is, there is no getting away from the fact that Soccer is the most watched sport of any other around the world.

Born on the fourteenth of august 1973 (17/08/1973), weighs between 70 to 74kg, and between 1.7m to 1.75m tall.

Okocha started his professional career with CCB Lions, from where he was transferred to Enugu Rangers. From Enugu He got a transfer to Eintracht Frankfurt in 1992/1993 season. Okocha made his first international debut for Nigeria in May 1993 against cated'ivoire in a qualifier match decided n Abidjan and He distinguished himself by scoring Nigeria's only goal in a game Nigeria lost by two goals to one (2-1). In another world cup qualifier against Algeria in Lagos Okocha listed a text book free kick to level up Algeria who were a goal up. His great performance ensured a four one (4-1) victory over the Algerians. The way he was carried shoulder high by ecstatic fans showed that he was indeed the hero of the day.

The 1994 nation's cup was another sterling performance for Okocha's career has its performance enable Nigeria to lift the trophy for the second time. He was as selected as the member of the tournament best eleven (11).

Three months later later Okocha was with the Nigeria's squad after inspiring Nigeria to her first ever world cup appearance. Although his performance was slow down by a foot injury as He could only play ninety (90) minutes against Italy and He was voted the man of the match in the game that sent Nigeria packing from the world cup that year. However these feats were enough to earn him a place at the Africa footballer of the year in 1994.

In spite of Okocha's achievement in 1994, in December 1994, he was sacked alongside two of his club mate; Ghanaian Tony Yeboah and ex German international Maurizio Gaudino, for an accusation the coach Jupp Heynckes define as gross indiscipline and insubordination. The trio went their separate ways Tony Yeboah and Maurizio Gaudino departed for Leeds United and Manchester City of England Respectively. Okocha shifted base to Turkey with Turkish Champion fernerbache in a lucrative two year contract worth $ 4million.

Notably the highlight of his stay at Frankfurt was the 1993/1994 season when one of his goals was adjusted the goal of the season. The goal was vintage, Okocha, as he displaced four opponents including the goalkeeper (please do not ask the name of the goalkeeper) over and over again, before flashing the ball to the net.

Okocha chose Fernerbache ahead of other offers from Spain, France and even Germany because of his desire to play alongside his national team college Uche Okechukwu, who had joined Fernerbache to a second position finish in Turkish championship.

Okocha tasted international glory again when He came in as a substitute in Nigeria one zero (1-0) win over Uzbekistan in the return leg of Afro Asia Cup, before the afro Asia cup, He featured for Nigeria in the US Cup and scored in the three two defeat (3-2) defeat by the United State. Okocha's great exploit got a Turkish citizenship and lots of publicity in1997 for his contribution to the progress of Turkish football. Okocha won the Turkish championship in 1996/1997 season scoring 16 goals in 33 matches and getting a place at the UEFA Champions League, he finished as one of the highest goal scorer in 1995/1996 and 1996/1997 with 14 and 16 goals respectively.

Okocha enriched his international career by winning by winning Africa's first ever Olympic Gold medal in soccer with Nigeria U-23 team in Atlanta in 1996 scoring a twice taken penalty against Mexico in the quarter finals.

Okocha's exploit at France 98 world cup where he rattled and dazzled against Spain, Bulgaria and Denmark. Jay Jay was marked the player of true class every time he got the ball, he made thousands of spectators shift on their seat contemplating what magic he would spring next. It was no surprise that he was nominated into the team of the tournament, even though as substitute.

France 98 coordinating president and the present UEFA president Michel Platini describe Okocha as one of the few pure number 10 remaining in the world football.

PSG manager Alain Giresse got romance with Jay Jay when he started the move that rejected in Nigeria's only goal against Bulgaria at the Parc De Princes in Paris which incidentally is PSG home ground. The match ended 1-0 in favor of Nigeria. Okocha became the French record transfer and became the most expensive Africa player in the last Millennium with $ 18million transfer from Fernerbache to PSG.

Okocha got married in 1997 to Nkechi, and his first child was given birth to when the world cup was going on in 1998. The name of the child he named Daniella. He also has a son.

He was the continent best player at the France 98 world cup, he became the second best in Africa in 1998 when the Africa footballer of the year award was given to Hadji Mustapha of Morocco.

Okocha featured in the Nigeria / Ghana 2000 nation's cup, a superb player scoring two of Nigeria's 4-2 demolition of Algeria. Okocha was red carded in the quarter final tie against Senegal. He missed the semi final match against South Africa and was on target for Nigeria in the final against Cameroon, scoring Nigeria equalizer goal riffling home a rocket shot, the match ended 5-3 on penalties the Cameroonians won.

At the 2002 nations cup Okocha passes and skills must not be written off as it posses threat to the opponent although he was denied of goal, his passes and skills were felt in the matches.

With the departure and dismissal of Super Eagles key players, another team was instituted, and Jay Jay Okocha was entrusted with the captainship role. Okocha captained Nigeria to the Korea Japan 2002 world cup, despite it became Nigeria's worst world when Nigeria was grouped alongside Argentina, England, and Sweden. Nigeria finished at the bottom of the table in the group but Jay Jay Okocha's experience and skills earn him a move to Bolton Wanderers of England.

Okocha has mentored players like Ronaldinho, and Everton Play maker Mikel Arteta at PSG, helped Bolton from relegation contender to UEFA cup contender. He was given the captainship responsibilities after his superb first season at Bolton.

Okocha was in the premier league best five in his second season at Bolton. Players like Sorensen of Aston Villa Ray Palour and Dennis Bergkamp of Arsenal will not forget for hia free kick and great skill. He help Bolton to her first Carling cup final and to the sixth position for the first time in decades.

His performance was superb as he led Nigeria to the Tunisia 2004, scoring the CAF nations cup 1000th goal in a 4-0 demolition of South Africa. He drive home spectacular free kicks that ensure Nigeria qualify ahead of Cameroon in the quarter final. He was nominated for the Africa footballer of the year in 2004. He was the second best player in Africa on two occasion consecutively-2004 and 2005 respectively. He was the BBC Africa footballer of the year in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

Okocha was released from Bolton alongside Fadiga, N'Gotty and Matt Jensen. He decided to move to a Qatar on a lucrative one year contract half of what Tranbzonspor had offered him. He decided to move to Qatar ahead of Wigan, Reading and Everton.

Okocha came back to England as he was signed by a lower division who are now doing well in the premier league (Hull City). Despite injury has been a major set back for Jay Jay, he was with the Hull City side defeated by Chelsea in the Carling Cup. Hull City remained the only club Okocha did not score. Hull city promoted to the premier league last season. He inspired Hull City to their promotion to the premier league and left the club after their promotion. With the departure of Okocha from the national team it will be difficult to find a replacement to fill that big shoe of Okocha. Although young players like Lukman Haruna and Rabiu Ibrahim are showing great class, demonstration and the potential to be the next Super Eagles play maker. It took eight years to find a replacement for Green Eagles Mudashiru Lawal. Osaro Obaifo, John ENE Okon, Friday Ekpo could not replace Lawal on till the arrival of Austin Okocha. How long will it take to find a replacement for this great player called Okocha who bow out of football as a player on June 27, 2008 said Waidi Akanmu?

It’s Premier League match time as Blackpool host Everton on Saturday afternoon. Blackpool are coming off a home win against West Brom in match week ten, their first, in their debut season in the Premier League.

Their critics might carp at Blackpool’s apparent struggle to put away a win against nine-man Albion on the day, but West Brom were playing to a defensive plan with two banks of four men each. But at the end of the day the Seasiders banked three full points and they won’t be complaining any time soon about that.

Blackpool have been the surprise package of the season and with wins against Liverpool and Newcastle before their third win last week, the Tangerines are in the top ten, thereby countering pre-tournament predictions of being relegation favourites.

Among the players who have made it possible is Elliot Grandin, and DJ Campbell’s return to Ian Holloway’s side on deadline day has been another crucial factor.

Blackpool skipper Charlie Adam in midfield has been a revelation. Blackpool owe their promotion to the Premier League to the twenty-four year old, who, with his pace and guile, has been key to Blackpool’s attack strategy this season.

For Everton, David Moyes will welcome the return from injury of Anichebe and Rodwell. Both players turned out for the Everton Reserves team on Wednesday, against the Blackpool Reserves, with Rodwell spending nearly an hour on the pitch, while Anichebe saw 20 minutes of action at the end. Rodwell appears certain to play in the Blackpool game on Saturday

Striker Jermaine Beckford scored in the 5-0 win against the Blackpool Reserves and that is a positive sign for the Toffees, ahead of Saturday’s Premier League encounter against the same rivals, at Bloomfield Road.

Everton are among the teams to have had a relatively quiet start this season but they are beginning to rumble and that’s bad news for other top six aspirants like Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham.

Home advantage will work in Blackpool’s favour especially as Bloomfield Road is not the best of venues, especially for big teams like Everton who are used to certain standards of comfort when they travel.

Almond, Clarke and Baptiste are sidelined with injury on the Blackpool side, while Everton’s injury worries include Anichebe, Barkley, Rodwell, Fellaini, Jagielka and Osman.

In the game against Albion, Blackpool used the following players in their starting eleven: Gilks, Eardley, Cathcart, Evatt,

Crainey, Grandin, Adam, Vaughan, Taylor, Fletcher, Campbell, Varney

The following were the substitutes that played in the game: Kagielka, Keinan, Carney, Philips

Everton named the following players in their starting eleven against Stoke: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines,

Coleman, Arteta, Heitinga, Pienaar, Cahill, Yakubu

The substitutes who features in the match were: Saha, Bilyaletdinov

Monday evening its El Clasico – undoubtedly the biggest event on the Spanish sporting calendar as footballing giants Barcelona and Real Madrid prepare to clash at the Nou Camp.

A victory in this game doesn’t just mean bragging rights or a paltry three points gained however, as these two sides represent the political divide that currently exists in modern-day Spain. Barcelona – ambassadors for Spanish independence and freedom will be desperate for a victory over Real Madrid who are seen as the seat of establishment in the Spanish royal family.

The Season So Far

Both these sides have had atypically strong starts to the season and only one point separates these two at the top of the La Liga table. Last weekend Barcelona enjoyed an 8-0 romp over Almeria; later resulting in Almeria’s embarrassed manager Juan Manuel Lillo to be sacked by his club.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid enjoyed similar success with a 5-1 win over Athletic Bilbao and still remain unbeaten in La Liga after 12 matches.

In terms of quality there is little if anything to choose between these teams and home advantage will probably prove to be an important factor tomorrow evening. Let’s take a look at the key battles to watch out for that could decide the result of this highly anticipated clash in two days time.

Lionel Messi v Cristiano Ronaldo: Since these two faced each other in the 2009 Champions League final there has been much debate over who owns the right to be named the world’s best player. These two players, despite playing in similar positions have uniquely different playing styles.

Lionel Messi relies on his school-boy enthusiasm and close control to beat defenders with ease and create chances for his team whilst his counter-part Cristiano Ronaldo may not be quite as skilful but he more than makes up for this with his thunderous shot and deadly cross seen time and time again during his tenure in the Premier League.

Considering Lionel Messi is two years the junior of 25 year-old Cristiano Ronaldo, experience will count for a lot in a game of this sort of calibre so you would have to select Ronaldo for this one.

David Villa v Gonzalez Higuain: After enjoying a successful World Cup, David Villa made his high-profile switch to Barcelona from Valencia in the summer and he certainly hasn’t disappointed so far this season netting six in La Liga for the Catalonian giants.

Gonzalez Higuain has gained criticism for under-performing in big games recently but that hasn’t stopped him netting 7 league goals so far this campaign. With David Villa’s current form and his six years of extra experience over 22 year old Higuain, it is Villa who will come out on top in this battle.

Josep Guardiola v Jose Mourinho: Mr Mourinho aka ‘the special one’ has had a very successful management career so far, guiding Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan to silverware. It was this very same man that orchestrated the defensive master class that stopped Barcelona from winning the Champions League last season.

Guardiola meanwhile, still at the relatively youthful age of 39, landed the post as Barcelona manager after guiding Barcelona B to domestic success.

The Catalonian has slotted in perfectly since assuming control and can usually be found sporting an expensive suit, orchestrating his lassiez-faire style of management from the side-lines. Again, experience will count for a lot in this tie and with Jose Mourinho’s vast tactical know-how; it’s the ex-Chelsea boss who has the edge in this battle.

Prediction: Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid

Neither side will want to lose this tie and considering Mourinho’s style of management, he will more than likely head to the Nou Camp with a defensive-minded approach. This one has draw written all over it but it still could be a great spectacle to watch regardless of the final score-line.