Round 26 – Picks Not Displayed But Weekly Commentary Provided

Not including the picks this week as we’re still waiting for a few entries.

This week’s big game is Liverpool and Spurs.  I’m not sure why this is a such a big deal – two teams vying for a top four finish with no aspirations of winning the league.  In fact, it’s been many years since either team won the league.

How long you ask?

The Fashionable Era
What Alexis Sanchez makes a Week

But then as a Watford fan I should act all smart about it unless I point out the graphic for the Moosemen.

As Much Hair as their Old Chairman had (Elton)

This Weeks Comments and Asides

This weekend my team, the Eagles (and I don’t mean Crystal Palace) , will face off against the Patriots in American non-round football.  I’ve been looking for information to help decide who will win and decided that the Panda wins:

This is because Panda’s are clearly smarter than Porcupines but maybe not as cute (needs volume):

 

AB:  Presented me with a link to Goalkeepers non-saving contributions https://www.footbie.com/video/top-10-goalkeeper-goals

This was timely as I had just read the story of Jimmy Glass and how his heroics impacted his life (and not really for the better, sadly)

BE:  “Trying to keep the faith with Arsenal”

Every year Arsenal fans complain and every year they used to finish in the Top 4……

ME: “Deep analysis has caused me weeks of poor predictions… this week I have guessed without thought!”

This was followed by an summary and rationale for the picking of multiple games.  It included picking Citeh to win and Watford to lose… don’t know about others but I wouldn’t classify those picks under “analysis”.

KMFE: “Why do we have to be the early game? I need my beauty rest ;-)…”

You could always skip the Citeh game and watch the Hornets on Monday.   Both games will be one sided and an easy win for one of the teams involved!

Silly Season is Over

Finally we are done with the January transfer window (except Leicester who have to deal with an upset Mahrez).   In many ways it’s sad how football teams operate these days.

Who Can Afford All the Pies

 

I’m not picking on the Trafford team but Sanchez is a key player in the news:

“It also claims Sanchez makes almost as much during one half of football than the annual salary of some cleaning, catering and security staff who work at Old Trafford (£14,625), that it would take someone on the minimum wage 41 years to earn the £600,000 the Chilean takes home each week, and that his agent’s reported £15 million fee would be enough to fund Living Wage pay rises of almost £2,500 for 6,100 low-paid workers.”

http://www.citizensuk.org/manchester_divided_the_true_cost_of_alexis_sanchez_s_record_400_000_a_week_salary

… only West Ham, Chelsea, Everton pay the minimum living wage (Watford are dead last) which is embarrassing and I will be sending an e-mail.

http://www.citizensuk.org/premier_league_clubs_in_league_of_shame

Sorry for the political bent this week but in the age of big money I do think the clubs ca do a little more.

Round 25 – Results

This weeks results are in and we find LS sitting pretty in the same place as his Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Championship.

Winners

AM and ME in a tight battle at the bottom with LJ propping up everyone continuing to pick against his beloved Liverpool.

Round 25 – Shuffling the Pack

Sanchez to United for Mkhitaryan to Arsenal; Giroud to Chelsea for Luiz to Arsenal(?); Every decent Southampton player to Liverpool; foreign players hand-picked by ownership to Watford; everyone who’s good to Madrid. Who can keep track of all the deckchairs being re-shuffled?

Players Transfers

Here are the picks:

Waiting for LJ (always one)

Weekly Comments

AM: “Thank god Christmas and NY is over and done with. All over the place! GGMU. :-)”
What about the January re-shuffle?  I can’t keep track of who is where and who was where.  All I know is that Mourinho signed an extended contract and Alexis Sanchez can now be miserable on 300.000 GBP up North (and Pogba will cry if he doesn’t get a raise).  I can only imagine that the manager formerly known as the “great one” and now regarded as the “grating one” will now complain that he has too many options and too many players to keep happy ….

ME: “Injuries created by poor sides could upset Man Pretty but Baggies are full of flu and this should help Pep’s team to another comfortable win..”
That’s an over-complication of Man City playing West Brom.

ME: “Watford heading in the wrong direction and FA Cup will deflate them further! Lucky for Stoke.”
Watford are close to relegation now.  We just got Deulefeu from Barca and I liked him at Everton so I’m hoping a little width on one side will free up Richarlison on the other … but I feel Richarlison is looking outside the club already.   I just hope he’s not going to turn into a Sanchez in the locker room.

JE:”That hammers v eagles looks like a shit game. Bring on the real eagles game eh Johnny boy!! ”
Looked into tickets for the Superbowl but decided that $5000 a piece was probably a little steep.  Think I might put it towards a Euro 2020 trip or maybe towards some tennis grand-slam events.

No further analysis this week because it’s a school night and I’ve already spent over and hour doing all this stuff! It’s much easier to comment on people though than to have to make up stuff.

Maybe for the next round you can point out that I still haven’t announced the mid-season winner!

Round 24 Picks

Here are the weeks predictions:

Guess Work

Looks like everyone was on time despite my late reminder – except LS.

LSTime

I made some quick guesses picks this week because I didn’t have time to do my normal lengthy analysis.

Arsenal V Crystal Palace
Arsene is finally allowed on the touchline after his three match ban for telling the referee that his terrible decision was terrible. Woy’s Boys are moving up the table and are one win away from being in the top half. It’s awmost wike Woy wants Palace to pway like Asenal. He was recently spotted doing an impression of his French opposition.

WookaWikes

Jack Wilshire playing forward will lead the scoring with Iwobi following up.  Xhaka will play like a statue and watch Zaha trap the ball, look up, think about it, take a step and side-foot in from 18 yards before pointing at another defender to blame them for being out of position.  Welbeck gets a late winner.

Brighton & Hove Albion V Chelsea
Chelsea aren’t really firing on all cylinders with Morata really struggling:

It reminds of the time they had that other European superstar:

Alonso will step and score from a free-kick late on.  Time to make him a forward.

Burnley V Manchester United
At Old Toilet Burnley gave Man You a run for their money but they relied on a fantastic free kick and that won’t happen again.  Pogba is back, Martial is playing forward, Lingard is in and they aren’t relying on Rashford.   Sounds like shutout.

Lingard and Lukaku net one each though Romelu will take 10 attempts to get his on target.

Everton V West Bromwich Albion
West Brom are bottom of the table and away.  Normally this wood be an easy to predict loss but nothing is a given any more and I expect this to be a tight affair.

Johnny Evans will put the Baggies in front before Rooney equalizes.

Leicester City V Watford
Watford are a good team with an outstanding manager.  Or so they said.  Watford are an ok team with an ok manager but are currently doing less than ok.   I expect Andre Gray to net another one of his consolation goals after Riyad “He’s Still In Leicester?” Mahrez puts the home team up two.

Manchester City V Newcastle United
Citeh lost and so now Newcastle will try the press.  One long ball one Aguero later… they fall behind.

Southampton V Tottenham Hotspur
The saints will lose to a resurgent Spurs.  Kane, Alli, and Erikson will all score leaving millions of fantasy players that captained Kane frustrated.

Kane Facts

Stoke City V Huddersfield Town
No goals.

Swansea City V Liverpool
There will always be goals against Liverpool but I think by now we should get the point that Salah and Firmino will always have chances to score…. and even the Ox can get involved.  Ayew is the only player Swansea has so he will put one past Loris Karius.  I’m sure they wish Loris was LLoris over in Mersey land.

West Ham United V Bournemouth
Don’t see West Ham losing at the cavern that is their home.

Weekly Comments

JE: “Has Sanchez signed for united for the weekly wage of the earth yet? Not checked the news!”
No he hasn’t but it’s money that Man U has earned through the money they generate from their fans in London.

AM: “I have predicted a WATFORD defeat and if that proves correct I’ll leave it there, BUT, if they even get a point I will be lodging an official complaint! :-/”
So will everyone else?

ME: “Man Pretty is my banker this week as losing last time out was a good kick up the backside. They will want to show it was just a blip. Can’t say I’d like to be in Newcastle kit this week.”
There are eleven players in Manchester who will be at the Middle Eastlands stadium thinking the same thing!

BE: “I have lost faith in Arsenal as a top team, but I think that they can still beat Crystal Palace, if not, I will be shattered.
Looks like there should be 3 or 4 definite away wins, but there have been a few upsets recently.”
In other words – the top four should win… and Arsenal aren’t in the Top 4.  Not too much argument in general except ME went for a draw at Turf Moor.  That will be upsetting to a few people if that comes true!

AB: That’s staying power http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/42645881
Trivia question for answering in comments.  Who was the oldest player to play for England? Who was the youngest?  And what was the age gap as the tie-breaker.  NO cheating!

 

Round 23 Predictions – Round 21 and 22 Results

So we’re in the middle of the transfer season and things are a little silly.  I’m not going to comment on that aspect of the game though because I don’t understand how a model 2018 Coutinho is worth 19 times an early model Bergkamp.

I cost less than Coutinho’s Arm and Leg

The results from round 21 are in finally after the Spuds played their late game against the Hammers.  It was a tough week with many games ending in a 0-0 result which meant in a low scoring week.  It took a lot of expertise to come out looking good this week – so congratulations to JCE for topping the table with the lowest winning score of the season to date.

Challenging Week that Relied on Skill

The results from round 22 are also in.

High Scoring Lucky Guess Week

Congratulations to LS for starting his second-half turn-around…… presuming he picks in time for week 23!

Week 23

Predictions

Weekly Commentary

AB: “Keepers can, at times, grant us so much”

AM: “Happy New Year ONE and ALL. GGMU!”
Nothing to add here

ME: Coutinho having gone may increase Liverpool ‘s chances statistically, but I can’t bet against Man Pretty …good sell…probably, but time will tell.”

i think the sale is good but it will lead to bad buys due to the influx of cash – selling Torres was great business.  Offsetting that with a huge fee for a carthorse name Carroll was the opposite.  The price of Naby Keita just went up at the same time his form has allegedly been dipping.

“Worried about Man Utd facing the sacked manager team but believe they will overcome Stoke.”

if they don’t there should be a new sacked manager.

“Relegation candidates will probably share spoils, I have to hope that is true otherwise it will be another failed week for me.”

Probably a decent call.  Lots of draws selected so you won’t be alone.

“Arsenal v Chelski was a very good game and their abilities should see them through, especially as they really need the points.”

Ramsey is back and he’s a big difference maker for that team.  He’s not necessarily noticed but their record with and without him makes him a standout.

One Line Analysis

Bournemouth V Arsenal
Arsenal are better than Bournemouth who are pretty close to the bottom of the table.

Chelsea V Leicester City
The blue team will win.

Crystal Palace V Burnley
Neither team is great but Burnley haven’t won in a while.

Huddersfield Town V West Ham United
Lowest scoring team plays rubbish team at home which might not be the most fascinating fixture of the week.

Liverpool V Manchester City
Could be lots of goals and could be Citeh’s first loss but it might not be either.

Manchester United V Stoke City
One team is bigger,better,and richer than the other team and they should win or lose their manager.

Newcastle United V Swansea City
Newcastle can’t buy players because they have no money and Swansea can’t buy players because they’re in Wales. (or maybe because they aren’t good) so neither team is filled with talent.

Tottenham Hotspur V Everton
Potato Chickens will beat the men of Toffee

Watford V Southampton
Two struggling teams with rubbish defenses and attackers but one just sold their best player and the other is getting people back from suspension and injury.

West Bromwich Albion V Brighton & Hove Albion
Finally the new manager bounce happened but it was just a small boing for the boing boings.

Round 21 – Predictions and Results

Round 21 is not yet complete with the Spurs vs West Ham game having been re-scheduled so the following round is “pending finalization”.  There are still between 0-4 points available which is more than enough given that we were all rather useless at predicting the following:

  • The Referee giving a penalty for a defender defending n the penalty area
  • Watford missing a sitter and giving up two goals in the last 5 minutes
  • Chelsea scoring FIVE goals
  • A large number of 0-0 scores
  • Man City goalless at Crystal Palace

Here were the weeks guesses – I’ve hidden the final result still so come so that no-one can cheat*

Guesses
Weekly

Advice

Usually, I advise myself to go with the gut and stick to it.  The extra two days this week gave me an opportunity to re-evaluate my picks… and I changed two of my picks at the last minute – one to a draw, one to a 0-0 draw.  This yielded six of my eight points (and puts me in the lead).  I can thank writing up scores for this because my brain kept remembering me writing “If any game has 0-0 written all over it it’s this one” for a game I picked 1-0 and ended 0-0.

I decided to go with my gut this time and not my brain.  I also think I changed Man United from a draw to a win so there’s that.

So my advice to all of you: Stick with your gut unless your gut is wrong!

*BE
Because you don’t know how to cheat, I’ll explain.  IF AM knew what ME had picked for Spuds vs West Ham he could improve the odds of him winning the week by choosing the same score and assuming that ME did not change his pick.  This would effectively guarantee keeping him ahead of ME.

That’s if he was a lousy cheat,of course. A good one would pick a different result knowing that ME only has 4 points and is blinded by his love for potato chickens!

Don’t forget to pick the next games if you haven’t.  Repick if you want.  I’ve got a single form for the fixture above.

Week 22
Week 23
Week 21 – Spuds vs Hammers

And if you want to get ahead

Week 24

Round 20 – Predictions and Results

Another quick post!  I am compiling the half-year stats as we speak and I will be announcing the winner very soon!  This weeks winner was always going to be heavily luck based given results that were never going to be predicted.  I don’t think anyone has ever guessed 5-2 before!

Predictions

Alternatively, with the results being what they were, only the most skilled and knowledgeable prediction analyst had any hope of winning really.

Results

This weeks Comments (and a Couple from last week)

AM: “I wish Watford would make their minds up!”
I know, it’s all a little too Eurovision 1981 for me

“. . .and United shape up. All costing me precious points here!”
And DDG is not helping my Fantasy team anymore! Lukaku isn’t helping anyone’s!  Time for a new manager…. and the next sad realisation that Sir Alex is still retired and a little to the East is a better team.

“ME will be up to his eyes in sherry so he’ll not be much use over the festive period!”
I think he’ll take second this week!

ME: “Just doing this before travelling south.. not a lot of time so no detailed analysis this week! Fast guesswork to the fore!!”
Oh, that explains it.

JE:” Must find time to do a write up for you. “
Just like your United team… so much promise and just don’t deliver !

KMFE: “Mark Hughes next casualty of the season”
That man has a reputation built on one moment and it turns out it from his comments it wasn’t that great

I’ll take Pochettino for different reasons!

AB:

I’m going to have a guess here because I’m not sure if you mean now or historically – someone from your team or that team across Stanley park?

Did Nev eat all the Pies?
Or Jan ?

Finally:
LS: “Merry Xmas guys x”
Thanks!  And appreciate the continued picking from you and the few that care.  If it’s not obvious, I’ll make it so – it’s really appreciated that you all get picks in on time and play along.

Upcoming Games
I won’t be doing a detailed write-up tomorrow as I will be watching a small puck game…

Not a Red Card!

Please remember to pick two games this week:
Round 21 (Dec 30) and Round 22 (Jan 01)

I will resume normal programming in the next year and have something written up for Jan 1 – get the New Year off on the right foot.

Round 18 – Results

Here are the predictions:

Guesses – Some More Than OthersHere are the results:

My Fortunes Mirror The Hornets

Disappointing week for me with a drop of 7 places week-over-week.  Fairly sure that LS’s friend won’t be impressed with his consistency.

ME took a defeat for the not-so-mighty Potato Chickens and turned that into a win over AM.

New entry available.

One more game before we reach half-way already!  Not sure how I’ll find the time for half-time analysis on my own…maybe a guest poster will help?  Drop me a line..

Round 16 2017/18 – Quick Picks

All the picks are in except for LS and LJ.  I don’t expect LJ to pick as he’s on his way to Jamaica but am hopefully that LS will make a late appearance.  LS is, if you didn’t know, a fan of the Wolverhampton Wanderers so here’s a joke to make light of his current absence:

Wandering …..

But here are the current predictions:

Guessy Guessy

Lots of quality picks in here with some really random variations.  It seems like no one really has a strong feel for this week with a agreement only coming into play on 5 games.

  • Huddersfield will clearly lose
  • Liverpool will not win by 2 goals
  • Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea will not win

Weekly Quotes

“This is hard this week”
“Tricky”
“Found predictions hard”

Thanks for stating the obvious, guys!

“I am contractually obligated to OF COURSE pick Manchester City for the win”
Must be tough to have to pick a team that hasn’t lost yet this year.  I’m probably technically contracted to pick the Hertfordshire Deer (but I don’t) and AB is not supposed to ever pick Everton (Red fan) but he usually does.

“Man Pretty have the “no Pogma” advantage and Man U may have the “no Silva” advantage.”
This is why you should have put your picks in late like usual!  Silva seems fit to play !  But you picked them anyway.

“Spuds MUST turn the corner soon!”
The potato chickens will not win the league.  You heard it here (not) first.

“back on the bottom on the pile. at least I got a EURO cheer this week.”
Yes. For a second I thought there had been success in the Brexit negotiations but then I realized you meant your 7-1 thumping in the week of some other team in Europe.  Let’s hope it continues against the Toffees!

Summary

This is a big week with two Derby Games.  You may have noticed I changed the entry form to show the team mascots.  I did this in part because they get along and hopefully this weekends games won’t turn into aggressive free-for-all and end up with some quality football.

Aliens and Devil Friends
Ee Up Me Mate We’s Playin’ Ent Wee!

Of course in real life things have changed in recent years.  Once upon a time these games were classic hard men affairs.

“You’re Soft In the Head Duncan”
“Well You’re a Sweety… all Soft in the Middle Mr Ruddock.”

One-Line Analysis

Burnley V Watford
Bertie Bee is crazy looking and Harry looks like a weird bear so obviously this is a tie (but a rather late one).

Crystal Palace V Bournemouth
Woy’s Boys are improved and the Cherries are inconsistent so let’s give it to the team with the most fans in the stadium.

Huddersfield Town V Brighton & Hove Albion
Not often I predict 0-0 but when neither team can score it’s a pretty good guess – I mean prediction.

Liverpool V Everton
Everton are a bit better but they are away at Anfield where I’m sure Rooney will nick a wasted goal after Liverpool add to their goal tally.

Manchester United V Manchester City
Obligated to not pick the red team to win because in a Manchester derby the team that’s actually in Manchester should really win.

Newcastle United V Leicester City
Leicester are better than Newcastle which means that I pick Vardy to score and win, obviously.

Southampton V Arsenal
Arsenal were unlucky that DeGea was brilliant and this week Forster will be not quite-as-brilliant and they don’t have a Lingard who’s going to play the best game of his career.

Swansea City V West Bromwich Albion
Two bad teams but Alan Pardew will be the difference maker (or so the press will say) as West Brom climb the table for a few weeks before collapsing the second half.

Tottenham Hotspur V Stoke City
Mark Hughes needs to be fired and Spurs can’t keep dropping points at home to second-rate teams.

West Ham United V Chelsea
Chelsea are tired but a tired Chelsea are better than a useless West Ham and David Moyes will be the difference maker (or so everyone will say).