Round 26 – English Premier League and Milk Cup

For a change we have all the predictions in early.  This week they came with a special message from my competitors:

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“I just want to point out that we do these independently in that I do mine first and then ask Mike so he doesn’t know what I’ve decided”

It’s nice that they’re so honest (and competitive) but I think it has been obvious over that last few weeks that the only strategy that may have been employed by Dad is to generally avoid picking the same results!

Mom Dad Newphew Supercomputer Me
West Ham Sunderland 2-1 2-1 2-1 2-1 2-1
Leicester Norwich 4-1 2-0 3-0 2-1 3-1
Southampton Chelsea 2-2 1-2 0-3 2-1 2-2
Stoke Aston Villa 2-0 2-1 2-0 2-1 2-0
Watford Bournemouth 2-0 2-0 2-2 2-1 2-1
West Brom Crystal Palace 1-1 0-1 1-0 2-1 0-2
Manchester United Arsenal 0-2 2-2 1-3 2-1 1-2
Tottenham Swansea 2-0 2-0 2-0 2-1 2-0

Before the summary begins I should point out that due to the postponement of 2 games due to the Coca-Cola Cup my Dad’s SuperComputer proved to be not so Super and went into an infinite loop and failed to print out any predictions.  In its place I quickly fast tracked my own Excel macro what-if analyser fed by a stream of data and produced substitute results that we are hoping will be representative of the standard algorithm (which will be fully functional next week if I understand things correctly.  Information Technology – what can you do?

“There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. And the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. ”

– C.A.R. Hoare
He also added that “The first way is much more difficult” but that’s like explaining a joke so I removed it… and added it here because maybe you need an IT background to get it.

Sunderland had me fooled for a little bit but that’s how Big Sam works.  He has made a career out of convincing people that he can motivate and get things turned around at a team before reality catches up and it turns out that he’s made a fortune from transfer deals  owners in a desperate state. Slaven Bilic, on the other hand, is a good manager for a grafting team and they should get the win that we ALL predicted?!

Leicester are in need of a win.  Having lost a game they shouldn’t again the Arse last time out, their grip on the top of the table has been lessened to the tune of 2 points. They have, though, played all the big guns but Chelsea (if you can consider them that yet) and have a relatively easy run in.  Today will be an opportunity to whack some goals in and make Delia so sad she’s going to add a tub of ice-cream to her home made apple pie.  Everyone agrees that this is home win that will keep them top for now.

Southampton are defying all odds and are in 6th spot despite the fact that they’ve sold every important player they’ve developed.   Forster is the best English goalkeeper (move over Joe Hart) and has six clean sheets on the spin so it’s hard to think Southampton won’t win to zero.  I believe goals are also balanced through the year so three 5-1 wins for Chelsea should mean a few no goal games are due so there is more evidence for a win to zero.  Chelski are drawing more Tony Hart so surely the result has to be 0-0.  That’s why I picked 2-2.

Stoke are a decent team playing decently. They are playing Villa who are a crap team playing craply.  Default result of decent versus crap is 2-0 (look it up in the big book of predictions – it’s true!)

Watford playing in a game that at the beginning of the year would have looked like a crucial six-pointer (ugh, I still hate that term) but really it’s all about Watford making a push to finish above Liverpool.  Watford’s players got some rest in the FA Cup week and didn’t exert themselves too much (even waiting for Leeds to score for them) so they should be energetic and cause some problems for the visitors.  Tight affair that will likely be decided by some scrappy strike of the shin or a clean contact of the pinball bouncing around in the box.  A belated birthday celebration for Gomes who got lots of Twitter congratulations from his teammates (this type of team spirit is what YaYa meant when he was mad at Citeh for not giving him cake on his).

West Brom and Crystal Palace is really a toss-up.  Palace have been disappointing then won in the Cup (as I predicted) and West Brom have been alright then got beaten by Reading?! This is a key game for the pickers as the choices are all over the place.  I think the Baggies will stay up but this week will start to see some nerves in the Midlands from fans not supporting Villa.

Manchester United are rubbish.  Arsenal played convincing football against 10 men of Leicester for 10 minutes of the last game so they have to be favorites.  No one loses to Barcelona at home 2-0 and then doesn’t follow it up with a great win on the road?

Spuds are riding high in the table and surprising everyone (especially Spuds fans).  Swansea are far better than their position… but it’s more fun to get things tight at the top and close at the bottom so a Spuds win for the cause!

Finally….

The Milk Littlewoods Rumbelows Coca-Cola Worthington Carling Capital One Challenge Cup!

Ello Ello Ello – What’s going on here then? You scousers steal a trophy?

Should be a good game and Klopp will lose all sense of control and run around like a mad man on drugs when Liverpool claw their way to a 1-0 victory.  It’s hard to see Citeh get excited by this tournament when they are still in position in the Champions League and the Premier League… whereas Liverpool are looking to win their first trophy in years and have simply league hopes of finishing above Watford.

The game will start with chance of Ya-Ya Ya-Ya and end with Ko-lo Ko-lo…. or not.  Citeh will dominate for 85 minutes but  Coutinho with a Robbie Fowler trickler in the last minute will take it all after Pellegrini instructs his team that he’s not really finishing the season in charge so there’s no reason for them to finish the game like they’re in charge.  Pep starts to regret his decision.

 

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