Football Face-offs

Following the hugely entertaining snooker shootout between West Ham United duo Andy Carroll and on loan gunner Carl Jenkinson, their attempts to emulate baize stars Judd Trump and reigning world champion Stuart Bingham have raised a few sporting eyebrows.

In the video from online bookmaker Betway, Jenkinson beats Carroll in a surprising high standard game with both players making some great pots. The loser had to clean the other players boots which is a relatively tame wager compared to some sporting stars but all the same Jenkinson will of have the bragging rights all week.

The video was produced to celebrate West Ham sponsors Betway launching their sponsorship of the UK Snooker Championships in York taking place at the moment.

Since the Hammers duo squared-off on the snooker table, it’s got many people thinking which other football face-offs would be most entertaining throughout various different sports, including boxing, golf and even darts! Gunner’s duo Walcott and Cazorla star in this run down of potential off the pitch face offs.

With many of today’s Premier League footballers possessing such an array of talents, even beyond the pitch, here are 10 sporting meetings that would be truly amusing between some of the current top-flight division stars.

Jamie Vardy v Theo Walcott: 100 metre sprint

Officially the two quickest players in the Premier League this season, both Vardy and Walcott have captivated the top tier with their incredible pace, but who wins over 100 metres?

Leicester City have rallied to an amazing top four position at this early stage of the campaign, thanks massively to Vardy’s goals and devastating speed in attack. Such is his swiftness going forward, England boss Roy Hodgson selected the Foxes speed-demon for his Three Lions squad.

Within that same international lies Arsenal’s Walcott, who has proved he is truly one of the fastest stars in top-flight history, and what a rapid rivalry this would be over 100 metres. Watch your back Usain Bolt.

Dimitri Payet v Michael Carrick: Golf

Fore! With their pinpoint accuracy on the pitch, both Hammers midfielder Payet and Manchester United maestro Carrick would make for an intriguing match-up on the golf course.

The latter Old Trafford playmaker is already known for his astute golfing ability away from football, having competed at many club events against teammates and coaching staff, but could he output Frenchman Payet?

West Ham’s star man has burst onto the top tier scene this season with his clinical passing range helping Slaven Bilic’s men, and his deadly skills should be easily transferable on to the green for a golfing showdown with Carrick.

Peter Crouch v Fraser Forster: Basketball

Both Crouch and Forster are undoubtedly two of the Premier League’s tallest stars, meaning a basketball one-on-one would prove quite entertaining.

Although, Southampton and England international stopper Forster possesses great handling abilities, which would surely leave Stoke City targetman Crouch defeated on the court floor.

There may be no need for emulating high-flying legend Michael Jordan’s jumping exploits here, with both capable of simply dunking for fun from a standing position!

Diego Costa v Lee Cattermole: MMA

It’s safe to say that neither of these two Premier League hard men would throw the towel in during a bout, with both players seemingly always up for a fight, and it’s an MMA meeting that would sell itself!

Imagine Chelsea’s ‘Dirty Diego’ contesting Sunderland’s ‘Bonecrusher’ Cattermole in the octagon, with the ferocious pair having dealt with their previous opponents with more than just their fists previously.

Costa, fighting from the blue corner, and Cattermole, emerging from the red corner, would make for an all-action match-up, with the latter known for his aggressive challenges, but he would need to be alert for those crafty, backhand tactics from his Brazilian-born opposition

Although, if Costa was to face defeat at the hands of Wearside foe, his coach Jose Mourinho is always on hand to point the blame elsewhere!

Robin van Persie v Daley Blind: Darts

These two international teammates, and former Man Utd allies, have proved they can mix it with the big boys of darts before, with esteemed friends such as Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld.

Both have been seen practising their throw with these darting sensations, though it’s potentially Fenberbahce frontman Van Persie who would edge out his compatriot on the oche, with his prolific precision.

However, based on their recent Netherlands form and fortunes, there’s unlikely to be many roars of 180 in this Dutch darts duel!

Adnan Januzaj v Ashley Young: Diving

Next up are two players who would make Tom Daley proud! Both Old Trafford pair Young and Januzaj have been known to hit the ground quite often, despite a lack of contact.

The prancing pair could therefore put their skills to better use in the pool, perhaps enjoying a close diving encounter.

With Januzaj currently offloaded on loan to Borussia Dortmund, it’s Young who is currently providing the theatrics in England, and his elegant technique in the fall, coupled with a perfect sense of timing, would surely see him emerge victorious.

Jason Puncheon v Eden Hazard: Rugby namely conversions

During the course of this current campaign, there have been saved penalties and other spot-kicks that were narrowly missed; then there was Hazard and Puncheon’s efforts from 12 yards.

The pair forgot midway through their run-ups that they were in fact playing football, therefore needing to keep the ball below the crossbar. Nevertheless, their penalty attempts fitted in well during a time when the Rugby World Cup was in progress.

With their spot-kicks reaching new heights, in more than ways than one, both would endure a close rugby penalty shootout against each other, following their obvious labours to show off their other sporting talents this season.

Wayne Rooney v Phil Bardsley: Boxing

Let’s get ready to rumble, again! Last season, video footage emerged of Man Utd and England skipper Rooney being floored by a strong hook from Sunderland defender Bardsley at the former player’s home.

After such a vicious knockout, we all want to see a rematch between the pair of Premier League punchers. Could Wayne ‘Lights Out’ Rooney finally overcome previous conqueror Phil ‘Bulldozer’ Bardsley?

It’s a boxing meeting we would love to see, though Bardsley would enter the ring as an overwhelming favourite for another Rooney rumbling, with the Three Lions captain having showcased a lack of clinical instinct so far this current season.

Santi Cazorla v Juan Mata: Horse racing

To be a truly great jockey, you need a superb sense of balance, and a low centre of gravity always helps, which makes both Spain international playmakers Cazorla and Mata perfect for a match-up as jockeys.

The Grand National would be a much more exciting race with two of the smaller, more compact Premier League stars leading their horses towards victory.

Whether it’s on the flat course or fences, this Spanish duo could be involved in a thrilling ride, but which one of these top-flight craftsman would be the front-runner and who would be trailing behind the pack?

Wilfried Bony v Kurt Zouma: Weight lifting

Chelsea centre back Zouma and Manchester City targetman Bony are two of the strongest players in the top tier, possessing sublime strength which has seen them bulldoze their way past opponents in the past.

In a true contest of strength, which Premier League powerhouse would out-lift the other? Both are known for their unwavering ability to hold off opposing players, but in this goliath weight lifting battle, we may witness Bony prove his Hercules-like strength!

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