Looked like I was going to win handily this week after correctly predicting a Liverpool versus Jose Mourinho in boring mode draw and an exact in a Burnley versus Hammers early on but it was not to be as my picks went slightly south and I lost out to AM again. I’ve included Mark Lawrenson this week by mistake and he would have won had he been invited to play.
It’s scary to me that I remember that guy as a player. It’s a reminder that I’m pretty old.
So, congratulations to AM who has edged ahead in the ME head-to-head!
Above is the average table for all of us. I’m tempted to remove AB because “two points”? Do you even follow the Premier League? 🙂
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!
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).
If you’re looking to beat the current champion, JE, then you will be happy to find out that he’s human after all. After winning last week he dropped down the rankings and finished dead last – this position is also known as “tied-with-BE”.
Game within a Game
Mr AM joined this week with the sole purpose (I believe) of beating ME and he succeeded with an impressive tied for first place. Using rules that I make up on the fly I would say that I beat him via the “Alt”ernative point system; however, if I were to do that I would start hearing and argument on AB on how he finished out of the top spot despite having the highest score!
Bournemouth V Watford I hate the dreaded six-pointer designation to matches because they’re always applied over Christmas or during the run-in when the same points are available early on. While this isn’t a six-pointer it is 3 points Watford added and 3 points Bournemouth didn’t. A home loss this early doesn’t bode well for the season but an away win means that Watford will secure safety before we collapse and fire our manager.
Burnley V West Bromwich Albion Not sure how West Brom do it… but they aren’t boing boing’ing between divisions. Burnley amassed all their points at home last year and struggled away – will this year be different. Guess it already is.
Huddersfield Town V Newcastle United Always going to be tight but Newcastle are a team that will continue to believe they are bigger than they are.
Leicester City V Brighton & Hove Albion Memo for Chris Hughton: nice guys finish last or get fired.
Leicester are not going to be Champions but are in no danger of going down with their current team.
Liverpool V Crystal Palace It seems that Liverpool value Coutinho in the region of 1 Billion. That would provide adequate cash to buy Lovren a one way ticket out of town.
Manchester City V Everton I get the feeling sometimes that Pep is a kid with toy many toys…. I think he’s trying to run his train on a scalextric track. (This analogy may not work for young people or non-European….. replace it with throwing pool balls at a dart board…. or using a toy in a manner it is not equipped for).
Rooney’s proving he’s past it.
Southampton V West Ham United West Ham are going to lose a good manager pretty soon.
Stoke City V Arsenal Arsenal appear to be trying to emulate Arsenal.
Swansea City V Manchester United Another 4-0. Another week anointing them Champions. *Yawn*
Tottenham Hotspur V Chelsea Wembley is not a home game. It’s a game at a non-filled stadium on a pitch famous for producing poor performances (go England!) Spurs will continue to struggle this year with tiredness – playing a press on a giant field is hard….
*Unless you use a phone to live your life. Find a real PC or send them to me via email. I plan to move from a table to CSS to remove this impediment soon.
Surprisingly, the results are following a trend pattern similar to the end of last year: I’m getting more picks correct in terms of results but again failing to capitalize on the exact score bonus points leaving me mid-table, JE setting the pace, and BE continuing the slide backwards.
LJ who professes that those who know the most about football are destined to fail due to their propensity to over-think and over-analyze is once again proving that rule.
New players LS and AB put in a respectable showing and all in all it was a decent opening week with no standout poor and no standout great tallies.
So congrats to JE for a solid round and me for winning a category I just made up (most correct results).
A quick summary of some key events:
Chelsea had a disaster start losing two men and the game… I’m surprised they didn’t lose their keys. For once, Diego Costa was not the talking point.
Newcastle had a losing start when their game featured Jonjo Shelvey return to his very best form and added to his philatelic collection.
Watford snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat with a goal that was onside in the dying seconds. It was onside because it wasn’t offside. When I say it wasn’t offside I mean it wasn’t called offside.
Manchester United were crowned Champions by the TV punditry and Lukaku and Matic co-players of the year. This despite the fact that they beat a terrible West Ham team at home and two meaningless goals at the end don’t make a 4-0 result dominating.
Rooney went back to the team he supported as a young boy and scored.
The “Special One” got his picks in on time and the updated prediction tables are final.
As you can see the 0-40 thrashing by Man United was not the actual pick.
Finally I get some exact results! Three of them. It’s like the cluster goal scorer – it’s worthless scoring a hat-trick against in a 5-1 qualifier if you’re goalless in the finals!
Hopefully, this is just the start of something better. It’s surely not luck to pick a 2-2 draw between Spur and Citeh!
This week will be a quick run through. Just a couple of non picks items….. Santa Rio donated toys for kids but perhaps more importantly, sleeping bags for the homeless. It’s not a house but with the growing issue in Manchester it’s nice that he’s put a couple of quid to charity…500,000 you say? Wow. Your club affiliation has been forgiven.
Once again…. we’re waiting for JE’s picks coming in at the last minute.
Cherries v Saints Not Marching
Bournemouth are decent at home and the Saints struggle away. Nuff said.
(Not) Pardew’s Palace v Chelski
Chelsea may have won 10 straight but their performances haven’t been dominating of late and they are grafting victories. I always felt that an extended run would ultimately tire the back three and this week Zaha will play out wide which will stretch the defensive formation of Chelski. Normally I would pick an upset as the goalkeeping was very suspect against Sunderland as shown in this video where a little known Lowery scored against an out of form Asmir Begovic.
Besides that, the Palace boys are tired of the pressure of bailing out their boss who will end the day unemployed for Christmas when Chelski do make it 11 wins in a row in a low scoring adventure.
This is always a great game. Unfortunately, it’s on a Monday when most people are working. I do know that when most people do a vacation they go to a nice relaxing spot..others, like Livi, take vacation for one reason and that reason is to watch a game of vicious tackling. Everton are strong at home and strong in tackle. There’s no Gerrard to get studs in for Liverpool so I expect Everton to end the game a man down… but not any goals down.
The Only Team In Manchester vs Arsenal
The Citeh boys are without Fernandinho due to temporary injury to the brain and without Gundogan due to malfunctioning knee. This is a top of the table clash which immediately favors the team that isn’t Arsenal; however, the Citeh boys are missing key players. Arsenal have scored a number of away goals but mostly against lower tier teams (flat track bullies) like Hull, Sunderland, West Ham. Man City are worse at home than away and have struggled to score in multiples. The right performance by either team could send this 3-0 or 0-3 so I’m splitting the difference and assuming at least one goal.
Pep is actually fairly amusing and learning English using phrases such as “It is what it is”. But listen to him talk about his goalie at 10:00…. it’s quite funny.
Middlesbrough vs The Only Team in Wales
This is a six-pointer (I won’t watch). Swansea are not improved under Brad and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the first to go after Pardew when they once again fail to score and Boro do.
Fragile Pottery vs Foxes
Leicester smacked Man City and then lost to lesser competition. Common thought is that they turned the corner in the EPL and just suffered their first turn-around hiccup. Stoke are strong at home but without Arnautovic they are short some creative forward play. Tight game but I’ll give Vardy another in a non-winning cause. With the younger Viking back in goal the Foxes should be better – I always say confidence starts at the back.
(No) Sunderland vs Meese
Sunderland are playing without Lowery (scorer of a great goal) but they’re a team I do think are better than their position indicates. I think the Moose are over-achieving and this game will bring the teams a little closer together in the table.
Spuds at Burnley
Burnley always forget to pack goals for away trips. Spuds decide to use up some of their yearly goal allowance -Kane will pad his resume.
Baggies at Zlatan’s Team Not From Manchester
West Brom are only one position behind United and it’s only partly because they aren’t a bad team. It’s partly because Trafford United aren’t a good team. There’s a lot of jibber-jabber about Trafford boys getting results but they’re not banging in nearly enough goals so this will be much tighter than expected (unless you paid attention to the midweek result).
One more win and West Ham will begin to spend more time looking Up the table rather than Down the table. They’re getting healthier (their stadium probably has it own hospital) and they will start to overcome the huge lack of home field advantage. Hull are going down this year.
Here are my weekly bets which I include as things you should not put money on.
Results from the last two rounds are stuck down here because I did terrible and I know no-one reads to the end because if they did they might notice I have no comments and feel sorry for me.
Once again a good week for BE but pipped by JE taking advantage of his extra time.
The amusing thing to me about this result is that I managed to pick 7 results out of 10 correct and finish dead last! The odds of picking seven correct results and none being a draw and not one being with the correct goal difference has to be incredible…. I went back and read my analysis on the games and they were mostly correct.. that’s why this week you’ll notice (you will now) that I didn’t include my predictions (they are locked in and I will publish if I don’t come last 🙂 ).
Almost as incredible as getting 9 right but only getting the wrong differential twice! Congratulations, BE!
*I did notice the jump in performance of ME so please make sure he’s not sneaking a gander at your picks before submitting them…it’s very suspicious!
Just a quick update. It has come to my attention that the picks exporter has been incorrectly putting predictions for ME and making it look like he’s better at guessing than he really is. The issue was only related to the visual reformatting and did not impact the scoring. This weeks post for Round 14 has been corrected.
Turns out that I was comfortably winning until the final game where KMFE snuck in with an exact score of Middlesbrough 1-0 Hull. The professional pundits did well this week with one predicting FOUR exact results! I’ll take solace in getting the fewest incorrect…. and continue with my poor streak of getting exact score.
Next week I will predict one game to have at least 7 goals – let’s hope it’s the right one!
Congrats KMFE and kudos ME for pointing out the picks of yours were wrong which ended up landing you dead last.
Congratulations to BE who has won for the 2nd time! Not an altogether disastrous week for me but I’m still languishing near the bottom of the table on all fronts.
For fun (and humiliation) I’ve provided head to head tallies against all the human competitors. This does reveal that my picks this are far worse than last year. Maybe I’ll do a comparison to see how much worse I’m really doing.
The head-to-head stats are interesting because you can see some patterns.
Pattern 1: I’m rubbish
Pattern 2: Things are fairly close head-to-head even if the points aren’t showing some people have stellar weeks and I have awful weeks.
Pattern 3: JE is winning easily by being nice and steady
The average table is, unsurprisingly, trending more towards the actual table (see Diff.). Clearly everyone is picking more based on form than just guessing. One note to self: West Ham and Leicester aren’t doing as well as we collectively think and Tony Pullis deserves more credit.