Also,feel free to email me on any theme or subject for discussion. After a few years of doing this I’m running out of ideas! I may have to go back to how this started with my lunatic pre-game commentary – things have gotten serious recently.
If you look at your confirmation email you will notice that the predicted scores are listed against last week’s game. Don’t worry though, I’ve accurately recorded everyone’s guesses against the actual game they were guessing.
No analysis this week. Just the straight up picks.
This past week I completed the 3000 piece Football History puzzle and I thought it would be interesting to share some of the details over the course of the next few posts. This is basically an admission that coming up with ideas to write about is quite hard and having pretty pictures is a cop-out.
This puzzle comes from Roundhead Illustration and it’s quite fun and produced by a fan off the Hertfordshire Deer team North of the South and South of the North (Watford). It definitely has a bias for those who were there when football became the new professional in the 1990’s and also has a little more Hornets than one would think belongs in a History of Football… I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that the Luther Blissett doesn’t stand up in historical terms to the Kippax, Stretford End, Spion Kop, the Clock End, might bhave been better served as more significant English stands. I’m sure Europe or South America have other stands I’ve never heard of that are more famous than the LB stand.
Here are the picks:
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Everton Everton have really got off to a bit of a slow start. Ronald Koeman was backed by the chairman this week so I would fully expect another loss to end in another salad type incident.
[Explanation: It’s a Caesar salad being stabbed in the back].
Brighton aren’t a good team and Chris Hughton seems like the nicest manager in the Premier League. Maybe they hand Everton the win or maybe they just aren’t capable of scoring. Either way, Ronald survives another week.
Burnley vs West Ham United West Ham are still not good and they are 1 point away from home bad. Burnley are reversing last years trend by being better away than at home and I see that trend continuing with a poor home performance. A key player is back in Lanzini and while no one player makes a team, one player can make a team better and so a draw is a fair result.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea Palace might never score. Chelsea certainly won’t let them. A walk in the park. A gentle stroll in the country. An afternoon nap. More or less a day off for the Blues.
I expect this to be so boring that it won’t need any commentary [Link courtesy of AB]
Leicester City vs West Bromwich Albion Despite me thinking Leicester are better than they were last year their position speaks otherwise. WBA are the normal inconsistent team that grafts random results that they always seem to be. It’s not the biggest rivalry of the week but I expect the teams to get a little chippy.
Liverpool vs Manchester United Liverpool are at home.
Manchester United are a better team.
Liverpool are free scoring.
Jose Mourinho knows how to setup a defense.
Man United will always score at least one.
Coutinho knows how to hit free kicks under the wall.
Final score 1-1.
Of course, we would love it someone beat them…. GGMU is getting old 🙂
Manchester City vs Stoke City It’s hard to see a team scoring 5 goals every week struggling to beat a team that’s not good travelling.
Southampton vs Newcastle United Southampton are proving once again you can get some results even with a team that gets reset every year. Newcastle won a couple on the bounce but they’re a bottom six team.
Swansea City vs Huddersfield Town Getting late so the summary is getting shorter…. this could be 0-0 or any other combination of something-0. I simply don’t see Huddersfield scoring. I’ll give Swansea 1 and let’s make it an o.g. for grins.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Bournemouth One of the witty comments for the week:
Dad supports spurs. Dad loves spurs. He is blinded by his love of spurs. Spurs are **** apart from Rose, Kane and Dele. Who will be at old Trafford……
This was based on the discussion that last year ME had the ridiculous prediction that Spuds won 37 of 38 games and won the league by a margin. He picked them again this week and this week he’ll be right…. unless the Wembley jinx is real… the Spurs team again Lithuania was terrible!
Watford vs Arsenal Watford started well but Chalobah is out and news I was previously unaware of came in the form of another entry form witty….
This was a high scoring week (for some of us). Things were looking close on Saturday but a crazy set of Sunday results moved BE to the top of the pack.
There was a fairly big score this week….let’s see if you can guess what it was without looking.
Maybe that wasn’t enough of a clue. Maybe this is….
Twenty one points! This is the highest score of the year and a high water mark for everyone to shoot for. It is a lot but I should still point out that this is still four points short of the ridiculous total put up by KMFE last year that stands as the record since we started making picks 3 years or so ago.
As mentioned, last year 25 points put KMFE to the top of the overall charts – a position from which she slowly fell. This year, 21 points has put BE firmly at the top of the charts but we’ve been here before. It is from the top last year at the half-way point of the season that she started the magnificent slide from first to last suffering the kind of second half collapse we would expect from Watford. So don’t give up hope if you find yourself last Livi. My advice: Stop picking against Liverpool!
Looks to me like the new members [LS, AB] are struggling while the experienced players [BE,JCE,ME,JE] are hanging out at the top. LJ is an experienced player who continues to lose and live by his mantra “I think knowing football is actually a hindrance”.
Next week a quick summary of who these initialisms actually are!
This feels a little like the past … the clock is ticking … and we are waiting for one lone party to pick
[Edit: JE finally picked early Saturday!].
So about a week ago I got a lovely e-mail from the people at the Premier League.
I didn’t even realize that there were prizes and as such I thought this might be spam so I logged in to my account and checked. This is what I saw:
So I ranked 14, that sounds pretty good! I wonder out of how many that is ….
Turns out that the week before I was ranked about 4, 336,219 places lower! Not random at all.
Well on to the picks for the week. It was a terrible week last week predicting and that was with the advantage of knowing the result from Friday!
Arsenal V West Bromwich Albion
Today’s guest comment “Hopefully no fairy story for Gareth Barry …..”. Chased by Arsenal a few years back Gazza is about to set a Premier League record for appearances overtaking another guy that you may have heard of. I predict Danny Welbeck is hurt and Ozil will be lazy.. but Arsenal will still win this one.
Brighton & Hove Albion V Newcastle United
Hughton will have set his stall out to gain points against the bottom tier teams (I know Newcastle fans *think* they’re a big team but they’re not). Newcastle have won a few on the bonk but all runs come to an end and a tie seems inevitable.
Burnley V Huddersfield Town
Last year Burnley won everything at home and lost everything away. This year it’s going to take a few games to figure out who they are. Huddersfield are a low scoring and will sit for a draw. I expect this to be 0-0 but might predict 1-1 because I want to see a couple of goals (and choices affect outcomes).
Everton V Bournemouth
Everton are a bit all over the place. Bournemouth have been rubbish. All over the place trumps rubbish.
Leicester City V Liverpool
Vardy is back and always scores 2 against Liverpool. Liverpool don’t defend so add another to that 2. Probably enough to hold off a scouse team that tries to outscore the opposition.
Manchester City V Crystal Palace
Everyone is expecting a lot of goals which is hardly surprising when the teams have combined for 11 in their last 2 games. The route is on!
Southampton V Manchester United
I’m still not sold on Manchester United. Expect it to be tight again with team from near Manchester getting a late goal to seal a wholly undeserved victory.
Stoke City V Chelsea
I always seem to think Stoke are worse than they are. I also got into a habit of thinking Chelsea were worse than they are. I’m left with no choice but to pick the least worst team.
Swansea City V Watford
Hard game to pick and when that happens you go with the Bingo call.
West Ham United V Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs will win. Bilic will be fired.
Next week I’ll post a puzzle update – ooooh, how exciting!
OIt’s only week five and already we’ve hit on what I will call the stupid schedule.. games played on a seemingly random schedule. Speaking of random, here are this weeks mix of numbers.
I don’t have a theme this week and I’m a but tired after the stressful couple of weeks so just a bog-standard summary this week.
Bournemouth vs Brighton & Hove Albion
This game is an easy pick. It’s a 2-1 pick all day long every day – especially every day after the game has been played. A number of us already got a jump on the leader board though with the popular pick.
Chelsea vs Arsenal Almost a unanimous decision provided here. It’s hard to know if that’s respect for Chelsea or disrespect for the flat track bully that is Arsenal. I’m tempted to pick an upset here as one of the key factors cited in Chelsea’s advantage is that Gary Cahill is fit. Well,he’s in the Top 5 overrated players in English football – slow, not poised, and looks uncomfortable on the ball.
Will be a strange atmosphere due to the increased police presence after the Parsons Green tube.
Crystal Palace vs Southampton Woy’s Boys are back. If he can accomplish with Palace what he did with England, we should expect Palace to finish in the top half of the table knowing they will fail to live up to their potential. I dub their new manager “Welegation Woy”.
Huddersfield Town vs Leicester City It’s hard to know what Leicester is this year – almost beat Arsenal (doesn’t prove much), beat Brighton (doesn’t prove they’re good) and lost to United and Chelsea (doesn’t prove they’re bad). I suppose an away win at Huddersfield who are seemingly tough to break down might go some way to convince us they deserve more their current position. The current news is whether Silva is a Leicester player or not having filed the final paperwork 14 seconds late – Sporting Lisbon want their cash either way. You could argue with FIFA over what 14 seconds could mean but quite a lot can happen in that amount of time:
Liverpool vs Burnley
It’s hard to know what Liverpool is this year – almost beat Watford (doesn’t prove much), beat Arsenal and Cwystal Palace (doesn’t prove they’re good) and lost to Citeh and Chelsea (doesn’t prove they’re bad). I read that Pre-Karius will be in goal because nothing is better behind a weak defense than a weak goalkeeper. Klopp going for the gung-ho style of football.
Manchester United vs Everton First time I’ve ever rooted for Rooney to score at the Old Toilet. Will be the first time I’m disappointed that he hasn’t.
Newcastle United vs Stoke City Newcastle fans always think they’re bigger than they are and a couple of wins later they actually believe they are. Wrong on both counts.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Swansea City
Spuds “will hope Hurri-Kane can blast in another couple of goals” [that joke from BE]. Swansea sounded like a Spuds midfielder last week (Dier) so Spurs should manage another win at “home”.
Watford vs Manchester City Unanimous this one. Watford lose. Citeh win. No arguments here.
West Bromwich Albion vs West Ham United The boing-boings disappointed last week and West Ham grabbed a win. Anything might happen but it will be so much more fun if Bilic gets fired.
As a curiousity, I thought I would share the table of our average picks. This provides some insight into who we collectively under and overrate. I’m just glad to see that I’m not the only one who thought Crystal Palace would be better.
I don’t know how often I will post this but it’s available on request if you want it. I also have it per user and it’s a little useful guide to see mistakes you are making if for example you have Manchester United P18 W18 D0 L0 GF44 GA8… which isn’t too far off what JE had after 18 games last year.
But on to the picks which are a bit all over the place this week. Could be interesting to see who makes a move…. will ME finally outscore AM? Let’s see. Game on.
Arsenal v Bournemouth
Bad start for both teams and it will get worse for one… and not enough better to meaningful for the other team’s fans. Arsenal fans need to start getting used to cheering home games against crummy opposition. Flat track bullies.
Brighton & Hove Albion v West Bromwich Albion
Three goals between them so far but that stat is flattering to Brighton. Can’t see a team going four games without a goal and I can’t see a team losing to someone who can’t score.
Burnley v Crystal Palace
Burnley were decent at home all last year so it’s not unrealistic to see them win. It’s not unrealistic to see Palace lose either.
Everton v Tottenham Hotspur
A win will make a change for Spurs and maybe kick-start their season (which to date has been fairly meh). A new logo needed perhaps?
Leicester City v Chelsea
Not the team they were last year. Either of them. I have on idea who valued Drinkwater at the price he went for but he might start and be totally average against his former team.
Manchester City v Liverpool
My head says that I shouldn’t pick the Tactical One over the Normal One but at the Etihad a loss would be a minor disaster and that shouldn’t happen.
Southampton v Watford
So JE picked 0-0. This week the moose will keep 11 on the field so the game will be a little more interesting.
Stoke City v Manchester United
Will be another game that’s dull and boring for 80 mins before United score two quick goals.
Swansea City v Newcastle United
After the highs of their large win two weeks ago come the lows of not beating a Welsh team.
West Ham United v Huddersfield Town
The Hammers have an international goalkeeper but they shouldn’t rely on him as he’s about as mobile as Bert.
Don’t see the Hammers losing this one even though I feel like they are a
Keeping the results posts short and sweet this week and with some early analysis on the season.
Looks like AM is on an early roll and following the exploits of his team (GGMU) with a second consecutive week at the top of the table with three exact scores (thanks to my solid advice on picking 0-0 for the Watford game against Brighton). I made another solid outing getting the fewest wrong again. I do not know what to say about poor LS who managed to get EIGHT games wrong. Ouch!
I am producing an average pick table which I think provides some interesting early analysis. This table shows the table as it would be if our average predictions were the actual results. I produce the same for every person and can post them any time you are interested in seeing that level of detail.
Manchester United (A)
Listening to the commentators the title is all but over. Jose wins everything in his second year before leaving the team behind in a mess.
Quality opening day draw against the Hornets followed by two mediocre wins including one against Arsenal puts them as a potential league favorite.
Deadline day signings and lack of signings (Coutinho) bode well.
Huddersfield Town (A+)
Champions league beckons because Wagner is trained by Klopp and that means awesome things.
Manchester City (B)
Pep’s total approach to football is so advanced we expect it will take another year or two for the players to understand what he wants.
West Bromwich Albion (B+)
Tony Pulis’ team has started well as they always do. No one knows how other than his approach to football is so simple that it takes only a day or two for the players to understand what he wants.
Diego Costa is not in the plans but even with their most annoying player gone they are still the most annoying team.
Strategically exiting the Milk Cup to focus on the league was a good decision. Expect them to do the same with the FA Cup
A decent start to the season means that it’s definitely reasonable to consider selling the top talent so expect Virgil to go to the scousers.
Tottenham Hotspur (D-)
Wembley is not a good place for Spuds,unfortunately they have 17 more games to play there.
Stoke City (C)
Mark Hughes is one of those managers that you wonder how he still has a job. I’ll let you ponder that too.
They sell their best player and have 4 points from Spuds, and Chelsea and everything looks great… but a home loss to West Brom means what? Have fun predicting this team.
Looks like Rooney has found himself a new home. He also retired from International football which is fortunate as it coincides with him no longer being picked. Phew.
Swansea City (C)
The team managed by the most French person from Reading ever are lucky to be in the English Premier League (because they’re Welsh!) but they should be able to move on after Gylfi Sigurdsson finally left and they have structure to their team. What’s that? Hazard says that Llorente is going to Chelsea? Where will Batshit Batshuayi play?
Newcastle United (C)
Rafa has allegedly achieved “god-like” status on Tyneside. I don’t know if that means he’s Kevin Keegan, Alan Shearer, or Paul Gascoigne. I do know it’s hyperbole, which isn’t unusual for fans who are convinced they are one of the biggest teams in the country.
Leicester City (B)
This Leicester is better than last year’s Leicester and this year’s Vardy is better than last year’s Vardy. My biggest hope is that they are so average even Gary Lineker is lost for words.
Arsenal are at the arse end of the table and the arse end of the Arsene career.
Brighton & Hove Albion (D)
I remember Norman Whiteside ruining their dreams so many years ago. Wonder where he is? Wherever it is I’m sure he’s surprised where Brighton are. I don’t think anyone is surprised that they haven’t scored yet – Chris Hughton is no doubt proud of the effort.
Not the best start to the year. Could be a long and hard season if they don’t sort it out quick smart. Not sure what to make of the team – they have talent moving forward but clearly losing to Watford makes them bad.
Crystal Palace (D-)
I thought Palace would be better this year. Call me an idiot.
West Ham United (F-)
Remember Aston Villa a couple of years back? Decent team that wouldn’t go down and just started badly turned team that continued badly and might go down and ended up team that was bad and went down? Now re-read that and replace one claret and blue team for another.
Remember – this week is an International Break so we get to see Malta take a thumping (you’d assume).