Lindsay Rosenwald – His Journey to Biosciences

Paramount Bio Sciences, LLC, a global pharmaceutical development and health care investment company, was founded and managed by Dr. Lindsay A. Rosenwald in 1991. The company facilitates drug development, scientific support and dedicates itself to finding and developing novel therapeutic medicines with large potential. By assessing promising drug candidates worldwide, Paramount has been able to create, nurture, and support more than 40 life sciences companies, academic centers, biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms over the past 19 years, including 20 in the last 48 months. Current Portfolio Companies have over 40 product candidates advancing through clinical trials.

Unique approach to bio tech investment

Business and product development are just two pieces in the Paramount puzzle. An affiliate of Paramount Bio Sciences – Paramount Bio Capital, Inc., is a FINRA registered broker-dealer that, among other activities, raises capital for the Paramount Portfolio Companies. It raised over $1 billion for the Portfolio Companies; several times that amount has been raised for Paramount Companies by other entities. While venture capital and private equity firms tend to be investment-oriented, Paramount’s bias is on the operational side. It establishes companies from the ground up, using its own capital and eventually funds raised from diverse private and institutional investors through Paramount Bio Sciences and other banks and broker-dealers on Wall Street. Surely, Paramount’s experience in finance and business areas helps make the model attractive to potential licensors and chief executive officers.

With Paramount Capital largely handling accounting, financial, market analytical and legal functions, managers of its Portfolio Companies can focus largely on driving drug candidates through the clinic and creating value for shareholders, licensors and the patient community.

Infrastructure and Company Building at Paramount

Paramount includes an extensive support infrastructure with experience in licensing, clinical development, corporate operations, and navigating regulatory pathways. Every new portfolio company at Paramount Bio Sciences is built around intriguing science and commercial potential. The Portfolio Companies are operated by Paramount Capital through a dedicated first-class management at the company level, as well as through business and clinical development and operations specialists working for Paramount in New York. Chelsea Therapeutics, for example, initially was created or founded by Dr. Rosenwald around a novel anti-folate being developed for the treatment of inflammatory conditions that included rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriasis. Chelsea’s compound, CH-1504, has demonstrated superiority in terms of both safety and efficacy over Methotrexate, the current treatment standard for RA, which has been found to elevate liver enzymes in many patients. Paramount Capital licensed this technology from the University of South Alabama and assembled a world-class management team to help optimize its formulation and advance the development of this and other compounds.

Another academic license from Paramount is a portfolio of organic arsenic trioxide compounds licensed from the MD Anderson Cancer Center. This FDA approved compound progressed from IND to NDA in about 30 months and this is the fastest regulatory approval in the FDA history. Trisenox, an inorganic alternative of arsenic trioxide, which can product produces cardiac abnor¬malities at high doses. By contrast with the inorganic version, organic arsenic trioxide does not show evidence of these problems, even when used at doses 20 times higher than Trisenox. To leverage that advantage, Dr. Rosenwald founded Ziopharm Oncology to advance this organic arsenic compound, ZIO-101, to treat cancers, including solid tumors, where mega dosing has proven effective. Ziopharm Oncology, as one of many Paramount’s portfolio companies, subsequently has in-licensed and is developing several other anti-cancer agents.

Another Paramount portfolio company, founded and managed by Lindsay Rosenwald M.D., is Keryx Bio pharmaceuticals. It is developing a compound called Sulonex, which is an oral therapy for diabetic nephropathy. It was licensed from the Alfa Wassermann Group, a privately held pharmaceutical firm in Bologna, Italy. If approved, Sulonex will be marketed to 15 million people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes as well as the 1 to 2 million patients with Type 1 diabetes.

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Soccer Fixture: Manchester City Versus Everton

Manchester City first played Everton, from the city of Liverpool, two days before Christmas and just a few days before the end of the nineteenth century.

The two sides met in League Division One at City’s Hyde Road ground in Manchester on 23rd December, 1899. Everton won the match 2.1. Inside-right Jimmy Settle scored one of Everton’s goals that day. Settle could also play as a winger and was considered to be so fast that he could have had a successful sprinting career had he not concentrated on football.

Settle played six times for England and scored their goal in a 1.0 win over Scotland on 5th April, 1902. However, this match does not appear in official international football records, rather it was a tragic example of back page match reports becoming front page headlines. The match was played at Ibrox Stadium, home of Glasgow Rangers. After heavy rain during the previous night the wooden West Tribune stand collapsed, killing 25 football supporters and injuring 517. The first major incident of its kind in British football, it will be forever known as the ‘First Ibrox Disaster.’

City had been founded nineteen years earlier, as St Mark’s Church in West Gorton. In 1887 St Mark’s evolved into Ardwick A.F.C. and moved to Hyde Road. Hyde Road was destroyed by fire in 1923 and the club moved to Maine Road where they remained until they moved again to the City of Manchester Stadium in 2003, now more commonly known as Etihad Stadium or simply ‘The Etihad.’

Ardwick were founder members of the new Second Division of the Football League in 1892 before going bankrupt and being reformed as Manchester City in 1894. This was the same year that the Manchester Ship Canal – also known as the ‘Big Ditch’ – was opened confirming Manchester as the world’s first inland port. Although a great commercial rivalry already existed between the cities, many cite the building of the Canal and the maritime business and jobs that subsequently moved to Manchester from Liverpool as the source of such fierce competition which still exists today on the football field in derby matches between Liverpool and Manchester United, and Everton and Manchester City.

Manchester City were promoted to the First Division in 1898-99 and so faced Everton in the league for the first time the following season. All of the league meetings between these two teams have taken place in the top tier of English football – League Division One of the Football League until 1992 and the Premier League since then.

Everton were originally founded two years earlier than Manchester City, in 1878 as St Domingo’s (after the local Methodist Church), changing their name a year later to Everton F.C. They were founder members of the world’s first football league – The Football League – in 1888, were league champions in 1890-91 and moved to the new Goodison Park a year later – one of the first purpose-built football grounds in the world. They had also finished as runners-up twice by the time they played City. Certainly they would have been seen as the ‘Grand Old Team’ when they first encountered these ‘upstarts’ from Manchester, though both sides were well established as the Victorian Age drew to a close.

Everton also won the corresponding away league fixture – and first of the new century – at Goodison Park, 4.0 on 28th April, 1900

Manchester City won their first match against Everton later that year. A First Division match, they won 1.0 on 13th October, 1900 in front of 15,000 at Hyde Road. The winner was scored by Scottish forward ‘Jim’ Cassidy who had previously played for Newton Heath – the team from the other side of town and destined to become Manchester United in 1902.

Manchester City’s first league game against Everton at Maine Road occurred on 15th December, 1923 in the First Division. City won 2.1 in front of an attendance of 35,000. Horace Barnes and Frank Roberts scored the goals for the home team.

Everton’s biggest win in the fixture came just under six years later when they beat City 9.1 at Goodison Park on 3rd September, 1906. Settle scored two more goals and Scottish striker Alex ‘Sandy’ Young scored four of Everton’s goals that day. Young had scored Everton’s FA Cup Final winner against Newcastle United the previous April and would go on to also play for Manchester City for a season in 1911-12. With 125 goals, he is fourth in the all-time list of top Everton goalscorers. His life after football was far less glorious with him being certified as mentally unstable and dying in 1959 in an Edinburgh mental asylum.

The Toffees put a further six goals past Manchester City two years later, on 26th September, 1908, again at Goodison in a 6.3 league win in which Sandy Young also scored a hat-trick.

They repeated the feat between the wars and, again, just before Christmas in a 6.1 league win at Goodison Park, a week after that inaugural game between the teams at Maine Road. Scorer of four goals on 22nd December, 1923 was ‘Wilf’ Chadwick who would go on to amass an impressive fifty goals in 102 league appearances in his three years at Everton.

Manchester City also scored six of their own – the highest number of goals they have ever put past Everton – for the first time on 15th September, 1928. City had been relegated at the end of the 1925-26 season but promoted back to the First Division in 1928 and so this was the first time they had played Everton for two and a half years. They certainly celebrated their return in style, winning 6.2 at Goodison Park in front of 47,871 astonished fans. Forward Tommy Johnson scored five of City’s goals that day and would go on to achieve the record for the most goals scored by a Manchester City player in a single season with 38 in that campaign. Like Jimmy Settle he would also play for the other club, joining Everton in 1930.

City were certainly back in the top flight with a vengeance – certainly as far as Everton were concerned – as they went on to win the corresponding fixture in Manchester 5.1 on 26th January, 1929. ‘Fred’ Tilson scored two of City’s goals that day. A one-team player he would compete for Manchester City up until the outbreak of WWII which included him scoring the two goals which helped Manchester City to beat Portsmouth in the 1934 FA Cup Final 2.1.

The Citizens would win 6.2 again on 7th December, 1957 – this time at Maine Road. Captain Ken Barnes scored a hat-trick – this time all penalties. He was only the third player to achieve this in the top flight of English football and, as designated penalty-taker for City, scored eleven in total during that season.

As well as in that 1929 match, Manchester City have scored five goals against Everton on three other occasions: 5.2 at Goodison on 19th April, 1958; 5.0 at home on 9th December, 2000 and 5.1 at home on 15th May, 2004.

The match in 2000 provided Manchester City’s highest margin of victory in these matches and, a bit like in 1928, was their first encounter with Everton after City had been relegated and even slipped into the third-tier before successive promotions saw them regain their Premier League status. Paulo Wanchope scored one of City’s goals that day and added two more in the 5.1 victory in 2004 which was the first time the fixture had been played at City’s new home.

The highest scoring draw in this fixture came fairly early on – a 4.4 draw on 19th September, 1925 at Maine Road. One of Everton’s goals came from legendary striker Dixie Dean while Tommy Browell – who had formed a lethal goalscoring partnership with Horace Barnes – scored all four of City’s goals as their season promised much and then fell apart at the end. They reached the 1926 FA Cup Final via some huge victories such as an 11.4 win against Crystal Palace and 3.0 against Manchester United in the semi-final. However, they lost in the Final 1.0 to Bolton Wanderers. As we have seen, they were also relegated at the end of the season after a 3.2 defeat on the final day of the season at Newcastle United.

These two sides have met seven times in the FA Cup and on two occasions the winners of those ties have gone on to the Final: Everton who beat Sheffield Wednesday 3.2 in 1966, and City who lost in that dramatic FA Cup Replay of 1981, also 3.2, to Tottenham Hotspur.

They have only met three times in the Football League Cup. A 2.0 victory in the fourth round at Maine Road on 14th October, with goals by City stalwarts of the time Colin Bell and Francis Lee, again helped them to reach the Final in 1970 in which they beat West Bromwich Albion 2.1. Everton got their revenge on 20th January, 1988 when a crowd of more than 40,000 at Goodison Park saw them win by the same score in that year’s quarter-final: Adrian Heath and Graeme Sharp got the Everton goals.

The last time they met in this competition came in the two-legged semi-final of 2015-16 and a period of three games between the sides in a three-week period in January 2016. Everton won the first leg 2.1 at Goodison Park. There then followed a goalless draw at The Etihad before the teams met again in Manchester on 27th January, 2016 with City winning 3.1 with goals from Fernandinho, De Bruyne and Aguero to progress to the Final where, once again, they won the trophy by beating Liverpool on penalties 3.1 after the match had finished 1.1.

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How Football Officials Should Handle Feeling Like They Must See Everything

Many football officials, especially younger or newer ones, feel like they must see everything that happens out on the field. That is simply not true as well as impossible. I want to share my over six years of football officiating experience, as well as my family experience in football officiating to help put officials minds at rest.

To start, in what profession are people right all the time? That is even looking at full-time professions. Football officials are not working for a full-time job, they usually aren’t even doing it for the money, just the love of the game and staying connected. So why should officials be held to a higher standard than full-time professionals in other fields? They shouldn’t be! Additionally, a coach may be yelling at an official for a missed call, but more likely than not, that official could tell the coach about numerous plays he called wrong. No one is perfect, so don’t hold yourself to that standard.

Next, mistakes happen. You will miss a call and you will get yelled at if you officiate football. But you must be able to put that play behind you and officiate what is being presented to you at the time. If you are still thinking about a past play, you are much more likely to miss another call on the play going on in front of you.

But what about that coach that continues yelling at you about that call 5 plays ago? Sometimes all a coach is looking for is for the official to acknowledge that they may have missed a call. If a coach keeps yelling at you, you could take the option of telling the coach, «look, I may have missed that one and I am sorry. I will have to take a look at that after the game.» That is usually all it takes to make a coach happy again and get out of your ear.

Finally, football officials need to make sure they are in the right position. Read the mechanics books for the number of people on your crew so you know where you should be on every play and what you should be looking at. When a football official is out of position, it is obvious to the person grading the game. If there is a call you made, or may have missed while out of position, some graders will be much tougher on you because you were out of position. Those mechanics are built to help put you in the best position to see what you need to. Take advantage of that and read the mechanics books and practice those mechanics.

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Attacking Play in Football

When attacking in football it is important to not have too many players up field leaving your goal open to the opposition. When attacking its best to have at most 5 players attacking leaving 5 players back to defend your goal.

Different types of attacking play within football can have various advantages but all have been designed to result in a goal being scored.

Types of attacking play in football are:


Counter attacking play can be made use of when your team is defending. When your team is defending make sure your forward players are around the halfway line so when you eventually get the ball there are options to make a through-ball to and make a counter attack. This attacking play is very useful when defending a corner kick.

Long Ball Play:

The long ball style of play can be useful when there are no on-the-floor options for a player to use. The long ball play is employed as a gamble method of attack but can have advantages if correctly done. By hitting the ball up the field from defence or midfield the hope is that the strikers will either latch onto the hopeful pass or take advantage of any mistakes made by the defenders.

Wide Wing Play:

The wings on a football pitch can be used to expand the opportunity given to a team to attack their opposition. By spreading the ball wide you allow a different angle of attack and offer a number of opportunities for the winger which can be to take on the fullback and drag central defenders out of position, cut inside and drive forward at an angle or supply a cross from for the strikers to attack.

Set Plays:

Set plays are very useful for teams that are losing as they give the team opportunities to overload the oppositions half and make an attack on goal. Teams that are losing a game will want to exploit all types of set plays such as free kicks, throw-ins and corner-kicks to hopefully make a break on goal.
Set plays such as free kicks are often performed with great skill by top premier league teams such as Arsenal Football Club.

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Are New Build Apartments A Good Investment Or Are They About To Crash?

Take a walk through most city centres or riverside areas such as the Thames and you will see numerous tower cranes, most of them being used in the construction of one, two and three bedroom apartments. It begs the question: Are the developers building too many of this type of housing, or is there still a strong demand. In some areas of the country there is simply an oversupply and some proposed developments have been mothballed completely.

Places such as Leeds, Nottingham, Leicester and Ipswich, which have been intensively developed, have now been recognized as only having a modest demand. Prices for these properties largely depend on supply and demand and in areas of oversupply prices are plummeting. Both aspiring and experienced landlords have purchased many apartments as buy to let investments and in areas of oversupply there may be dozens of properties for every potential tenant. This has caused the value of these properties to fall but the mortgage payments remain the same. Rents in areas of over supply have to be reduced to attract tenants and they often do not cover the monthly mortgage repayments meaning that they become an even less attractive prospect to would be investors. Some property investor gurus have been predicting a crash in apartment prices for a few years now so will their predictions come true in 2008?

The question may be answered by simply looking at supply and demand for property in general in the UK. The government estimates that approximately 230,000 new homes are required to be built every year to cope with our growing population, but only 160,000 are actually being built leaving a shortfall over 20 years of over a million homes. People are living longer due to healthier lifestyles and there are a growing number of single people due to our modern lifestyles and values. People are less likely to stay in a difficult relationship these days and are much more likely to opt for a single life for a while. Add to the equation, a shortage of work skills and the requirement for overseas workers to set up residence in the UK and in the long term it seems that there will be a very strong demand for affordable housing.

There seems to be a hiccup in the property market at present, which is due to the lending businesses i.e. banks and building societies who, we are told, facing difficulties in liquidity and are toughening up their lending criteria. In America several banks have gone bankrupt and in the UK Northern Rock has recently been nationalized by the British government. Some lenders are not passing on interest rate cuts to tracker mortgages following cuts to the bank of England base rate due, which they say is due to the current liquidity crisis.

This all makes for interesting times ahead. The general consensus seems to be that in the short term property prices may fall or at least not gain much in 2008 but in the long term supply and demand will cause prices to continue rising.

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Take the Lead

We’re focusing on our calling. Two pieces back the simple instruction was: Go! Go! And the previous one warned us not to use the convenience of one of the excuses in our arsenal to hide from our calling.

Now Paul has another good suggestion: 12And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanour, by love, by faith, by integrity.

He should turn around the apparent disadvantage or possible handicap because of his young age and utilise it to live his calling.

One of my shortcomings is that I don’t remember so well. It was really bad for me when I realised that I can’t remember much of what I had just read in God’s Word a minute or two ago. So I started to write down what I wrote. Now God is using this «shortcoming» to bring his Word in ordinary words to other people. Soli Deo Gloria.

Do you see that God can hit straight shots with crooked sticks? Do you realise that God also wants to use you just as you are? You are the go-to person for God – right where you are now. And that is where He wants to make a difference by using you. God longs to make an impact in those people you come into contact with. He wants to use an instrument like you! You are the crooked stick with which God wants to hit a straight shot.

What more do I have to write so that you will hear the message and take it to heart? Come on, man, accept the challenge.

It’s not difficult.

And you know what? You don’t need a degree in theology or to have passed a few Bible courses. Even less you need specialist terminology in your head or mouth like you would for a debating competition. No, you simply have to start getting your words and actions in line with Jesus’ words and actions.

Words: It’s easy to talk right when everything is going right, but as soon as your blood starts boiling… what slips out of our mouths then? What do we say when we get a fright? Do we join in when others gossip?

Actions: I suspect our actions are always out of line, because the own self gets in the way. We do everything for our own sakes and away with the rest. And that is not how Jesus acted.

We all need to work. We must consciously watch what comes out of our mouths. When things don’t go according to our plan, we must concentrate and make extra sure that the wrong words don’t slip out. We must make sure that we don’t talk along with other people’s negative talk. We must make sure that we indeed talk positive and that our words bring peace. (Read this last sentence again, it’s quite important.)

Now for the next challenge: Show the people around you what the actions of a child of God look like. Our actions are different from those of the world. We continuously look for places to do good. We don’t ask what we’ll get out of the deal. On the contrary, we ask where we can give of ourselves. Where I, like Jesus, can give my life for sinners (like me).

Despite ourselves and our shortcomings we have to take the lead.

Eish, it’s not easy, because we’re always pulling in the opposite direction. We’ll have to work with God’s Spirit, because we are not able to live this simple command on our own…


1 Timothy 4:6-16


Where is God calling you?

What must your words look like?

What must your actions look like?


Jesus, in a way I understand that You called me to speak your words and carry out your actions wherever I go. However, from experience I know that it doesn’t come naturally to me. I really need your Spirit to help me. Amen.

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A Short Biography of Soccer Player – Sylvain Wiltord

His complete name is Sylvain Claude Wiltord. He was born on 10 May 1974 in Neuilly-sur-Marne, France. With the national side of French, Wiltord has been successful in Euro 2000 and achieved the final of FIFA World Cup in 2006. Wiltord’s playing position in the field is as Striker / Winger.

Wiltord have many experiences palying football with some clubs. In club level he played for Rennes in 1992-1997, Girondins Bordeaux in 1997-2000, Arsenal in 2000-2004, Lyon in 2004-2007, Rennes in 2007-2009, Marseille in 2009, and Metz 2010 till now.

On 10 February 1999, he made his first appearance for France winning 2-0 against England. On behalf of his national team, he has been capped 92 times, making 26 goals.

Wiltord stay put in the national team for the 2002 World Cup. He participated at Euro 2004 as well, playing 7 matches in the qualifying campaign with a great return of 6 goals. Lately, he was member of France team of Raymond Domenech that participated in the 2006 World Cup final in opposition to Italy.

During his career Wiltord achieved many honors as soccer player. And the honors include With Girondins de Bordeaux (French Ligue 1: 1998-99), With Arsenal, (FA Premier League: 2001/02, 2003/04, FA Cup: 2002, 2003, FA Community Shield: 2002), With Olympique Lyonnais (French Ligue 1: 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07). With his national team the honors include UEFA Euro 2000, FIFA Confederations Cup: 2001, 2003 (as Winner), and FIFA World Cup: 2006 (as Runner-up). And as individual honors are French Ligue 1 Top Scorer: 1998-99 (22 goals with Bordeaux), French Footballer of the Year: 1999, and FIFA Confederations Cup Top Scorer: 2001.

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Mario Gotze’s Golazo Deserves the FIFA Puskas Award

Football often provides us with exciting, astonishing goals. With six months until the end of the year, I think it is safe to say that the most valuable goal of 2014 is the one that gave Germany the 2014 World Cup title in Brazil. Mario Gotze, the hero in the final match in Brazil, came in as a substitute and with just minutes on the field, Mario Gotze scored the goal of his life.

The final game of the World Cup 2014 between Germans and Argentineans was a close game with very few goal opportunities. Germany was the favorite, but Argentina had the best soccer player in the planet in their squad. Nevertheless, Lionel Messi’s magic never appeared and it looked like the winner of the 2014 World Cup was going to be decided in the penalty kick shootout, but then in the 112 minute of the match, already in the second half of overtime, the magic finally happened, not from Messi, but from the 22 year old German player Mario Gotze, who received a cross from Andre Schurrle, finding Gotze, who controlled the ball with his chest, and with his left foot finished the volley to score a golazo that broke the hearts of millions in Argentina.

Mario Gotze’s golazo should be nominated to the FIFA Puskas Award.

More than 170 goals were scored through the 2014 World Cup, some of them great goals too, like James Rodriguez’ exquisite definition for Colombia in the match vs Uruguay. And how about Gervinho’s golazo a la Messi to give Ivory Coast the victory in the match vs Colombia.

Mario Gotze goal was not only valuable but also had an astonishing definition, and it should be considered for the FIFA Puskas Award. The beautiful goal meets the criteria «Aesthetically significant, or «most beautiful goal of the year» and it was scored in the most important soccer competition, The World Cup, with millions and millions watching. WOW!

The tournaments at club level are starting around the world, and I’m sure we will see many beautiful goals, perhaps more spectacular than Gotze’s goal. Maybe in the 14-15 UEFA Champions League we’ll get to watch a brilliant definition, or in the derby Barcelona vs Madrid, but in my opinion Mario Gotze’s golazo is pure gold and it will be in the memory of many for years. In Germany, the young Mario Götze will be remembered as a hero for years and years to come.

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UEFA Champions League Group Stage

Summer is over. That only means one thing: the Champions League is back. This year’s joint favourites, Barcelona and Chelsea, have fast become bitter rivals in this competition. That rivalry is certain to intensify since they were drawn into the same group at this early stage of the tournament. The format is as follows: 32 teams contest the group stage, divided into eight groups of four. The group winners and runners-up advance to the knockout stages, the eight third-placed teams move into the UEFA Cup third round, and the eight fourth-placed teams are eliminated. Here is an overview of all the groups with predictions on who we expect to win each group.

Group A: Barcelona (-118), Chelsea (+125), Werder Bremen (15/1), Levski Sofia (250/1)

Maybe the Chelsea-Barcelona rivalry won’t be quite as intense at this early stage. Both teams will advance from this group and there is a good chance they will meet again at a later stage of this competition. Chelsea look noticeably shakier this year. Their previously impenetrable defence looks slightly more lax. That will bode ill for the Blues. But unlike the past few years, with two Premiership titles under their belt, this season Jose Mourinho’s explicit goal is to win the Champions League. Still, we have to side with Barcelona here. They are goal scoring machines and should demolish Bremen and Levski, and they are more than capable of scoring against Chelsea. At close to even money, they are worth backing to win this group.

Group B: Bayern Munich (+125), Inter Milan (+163), Sporting Lisbon (6/1), Spartak Moscow (40/1)

Inter is a big price here and are worth backing. They have added strength, quality and depth to their squad and after the Calciopoli scandal were belated awarded last year’s Scudetto in Serie A. Sporting Lisbon are no pushovers, but Inter can and should get past them. There is one slight worry though. Bayern Munich is the sort of team that can run up the score against weak opponents like Spartak Moscow. If Bayern and Inter are level on points, Bayern could well win this group on goal difference.

Group C: Liverpool (-161), PSV Eindhoven (+450), Bordeaux (5/1), Galatasaray (10/1)

Although they are odds-on, it’s hard to look past Liverpool in this group. They are a well-organized side and lifted the CL trophy two years ago. Manger Rafa Benitez is experienced at European competition and should navigate his team through this group with ease. PSV are a shadow of the team they were last season. There is a good chance they won’t finish in the top two of the Dutch league, let alone replicate their above average Champions League form of recent years. Bordeaux and Galatasaray are second-rate clubs in this competition.

Group D: Valencia (-125), Roma (+150), Shakhtar Donetsk (20/1), Olympiakos (29/1)

It’s hard to understand why Roma are underdogs in this group. They are favoured to win this year’s diluted Italian league. Their squad is a lot stronger this season both on paper and judging by their Serie A results so far. But the Romans face tough Spanish competition in this group. Valencia have a disciplined and experienced Champions League side. They are deadly on the counterattack and stifle the offence of their opponents. This looks like a coin flip between Roma and Valencia, so we’ll take the Italians at odds-against. Keep and eye on Olympiakos. They won’t win this group, but, like many Greek teams, they can be dangerous in their home games.

Group E: Lyon (-125), Real Madrid (+163), Steaua Bucharest (10/1), Dynamo Kiev (50/1)

The collapse of Juventus has benefited no team more than Real Madrid. The Spanish giants picked up a handful more Galacticos and one of the world’s top managers, Fabio Capello. They are serious contenders for both the La Liga and Champions League titles this year. But they will have to get past their nemesis in this tournament: Lyon. The French side are perennially underestimated by the bookmakers despite excelling in European competition. We’ll happily back them again to win this group and possibly the whole thing.

Group F: Manchester United (-275), Benfica (+650), Celtic (13/1), FC Copenhagen (50/1)

Man Utd couldn’t have asked for a more favourable draw. But luck is what they’ll need to get any further than this stage. At this short price, it’s not worth betting on the Red Devils to win the group. Copenhagen are a dangerous team, having knocked Ajax out of this competition. They are a huge price to win the group and are worth a small punt. Benfica are solid as ever in Portugal and experienced in the Champions League. They should claim second spot.

Group G: Arsenal (-161), Hamburg (9/1), Porto (9/1), CSKA Moscow (10/1)

Arsenal were the surprise team of the Champions League last year, going all the way to the final and defying expectations with each match. This year, they seem to be overestimated. The Gunners have not yet settled into their new Emirates Stadium. The squad look noticeably uncomfortable and will take more time to jell. In light of the above, it’s worth looking at the others. CSKA are a huge price at 10/1 and the 2005 UEFA Cup champions must be backed to win this group. Russia is an intimidating place for visiting teams and the Muscovites are more than capable of claiming results from their travels.

Group H: AC Milan (-333), Lille (6/1), AEK Athens (25/1), Anderlecht (33/1)

Milan should cruise through this group with relative ease. They are capable of dismantling virtually any team in the world and opponents like Lille, AEK and Anderlecht are hardly dangerous challengers. Lille are solid in France and might hold Milan to a draw in their home leg. As usual, Greek side AEK will be tough at home too, but they are hopeless on their travels. Anderlecht don’t deserve to be in this competition. Even at this short price, take Milan.

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IPL 2018: Top 3 Players to Watch Out for on the Rajasthan Royals

Post the IPL 2018 auctions, the franchises have a new look to the team with many new faces coming up and some old veteran players to represent their local franchise. With the 11th edition of Indian Premier League to start off in April, team Circle of Cricket gets down to list the key players from Rajasthan Royals squad who can make a difference with their performance this year.

The team which won the inaugural edition of Indian Premier League under the captaincy of Shane Warne is making their way back after two years of suspension. From the start of the tournament, Rajasthan Royals are said to have unknown talent hidden in them. Royals of Rajasthan had a very decent IPL 2018 auction building their team around Steven Smith. Manoj Badale’s blue army will definitely have some firework this season with many match winners in the team.

Rajasthan will get full support from their fans as they have Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur as their home ground for the coming season.

Steven Smith

Smith who led Rising Pune Supergiant in the nail-biting finals of 2017 IPL against Mumbai Indians was retained by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 12 Crores. Steven Smith will prove to be very effective for the team at the top order as he was a part of the franchise before it got terminated for two years. Steven Smith leading a whole new Rajasthan Royals will be very valuable for the team with support coming from experienced Ajinkya Rahane who can bat up in the order and stimulate quick runs on the board.

Smith has more than 1700 runs in the tournament with an average of 37 plus Rajasthan will be heavily dependent on their captain.

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes who was bought by Rajasthan as the most expensive player at IPL 2018 auction for Rs 12.5 Crore will have the liberty to free his arms in the middle over and take wickets at intervals with his bag full of different all-rounding skills.

The latter from England was one of the most valuable players in the previous edition of IPL with scoring 300 plus runs and taking 12 wickets in the tournament. Ben Stokes’s presence in Rajasthan Royals team will be very beneficiary for players like Stuart Binny and Jofra Archer who have the ability to single handily change the fortune of a game.

Rajasthan will be hoping for their star all-rounder player Ben Stokes to play every game for them.

Jaydev Unadkat

Unadkat who was the most expensive Indian player to be sold at IPL 2018 auction fetch a mind-boggling amount of Rs 11.5 Crore. The player from Saurashtra has been in a decent form in the recent past. Jayadev is a very skilful player for Rajasthan as he has performed well for RPS in the previous edition of IPL.

The left arm pacer has better IPL economy from most of the other known bowlers. He will be opening the bowling attack with Dhawal Kulkarni who was retained by the team using Right to Match card.

Unadkat is well known for his responsibilities and his wickets taking spirit. He becomes one of the contenders to grab Purple Cap at the end of the tournament.

The players listed above, form the core strength of the franchise and have the ability to win matches for the team. It will be great to see how each one of them performs under the mentorship of Shane Warne.

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