Round 21 – English Premier League

Midweek games are not ideal for The Prognostikator™ as usually it starts processing on Friday to predict the weekend results. It does this to factor in late injuries and weather reports and general media sentiment and potential morale impact on personnel. It has been carefully tuned recently as it had totally missed many key indicators at Chelsea. Of course, you’re wondering why I didn’t just start it on Monday aren’t you? Well, I forgot to preload the fixtures for the week and set the initiation trigger. Hopefully the short-circuited and simplified monte carlo simulation provides decent results.

Anyway this week’s picks:

Newcastle 0 0 Manchester United
Bournemouth 1 2 West Ham
Aston Villa 1 2 Crystal Palace
Chelsea 2 0 West Brom
Manchester City 2 1 Everton
Southampton 0 1 Watford
Stoke 2 1 Norwich
Swansea 1 0 Sunderland
Liverpool 1 1 Arsenal
Tottenham 1 2 Leicester

The analytics engine also ran out of space for listing injuries for Liverpool so I’ve decided to remove Sturridge from the engine and just replace him with a direct morale and managerial impact coefficient in the formulas. If he returns I’ll need to remember to undo this remind me in 2017.

Note 2:
I did the same for Danny Welbeck.

Championship Week 2015

This is it.  We’ve reached the end. And NBC is trying to live up to their mission statement by broadcasting all 10 games simultaneously so we can see who will win the league, who will go to the Champions League and who will be relegated.  Oh, and I guess some people care who might go to the Europa League.

The Commitment

How disappointing it must be to the executives at NBC that this year’s Soccer Superbowl broadcast over 10 stations is all about a USA Networks Newcastle game and another Manchester United fixture (I’m not going to pretend that people are wanting to watch Hull City)

So here are my predictions for the week:

  • Chelsea will win the league
  • Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester will qualify for Champions League
  • West Ham will qualify for Europa League and two of Liverpool, Spurs, and Southampton (pending the F.A. Cup result)
  • QPR and Burnley will be relegated – and one of Hull or Newcastle

But seriously, here is the week in football according to someone who has not done very well this year making predictions.   I will provide a full breakdown soon as I prepare my strategy for next year.

23-May 2015  
Leicester City 1-0Queens Park Rangers
Manchester City 2-1Southampton
Newcastle United2-0West Ham United
Stoke City2-1Liverpool
Hull City1-0Manchester United
Everton2-0Tottenham Hotspur
Aston Villa2-1Burnley
Crystal Palace 1-1Swansea City
Arsenal 2-0West Bromwich Albion

A few weeks ago it seemed like it as going to be a last weekend nail-biter but then Leicester started playing like they thought they were still in the running for a title! Leicester’s end of season relegation saving run finally runs out at the same time that the old start at Q.P.R. turn up for their paycheck.  Leicester are still stronger and Q.P.R. fail to get a shot on goal in the second half.

Manchester City finish a solid 2nd.  Southampton a solid no-man’s land.

Newcastle are facing a West Ham team that have fallen off a cliff since Christmas where they were challenging for a Champions League spot.  It’s great timing for the Geordies who will finally win.  When all is said and done the fans should look at each other and admit that they only reason they stayed up is because Alan Pardew got them points in November and Sam Allardyce has been collecting his brown paper bags and looking to move back North.

It’s fair to say that one of the reasons this blog started is because a few years ago Stoke beat Liverpool.  I walked into the office and as I walked by the work cube of my Liverpool worshipping office chum I just muttered “Stoke” in a whisper.  I did this all day.  So yes, “Stoke”.

Hull are bad (as evidenced by their end of year position) but Steve Bruce is friends with Ryan Giggs and called in a few favors so Manchester throw the game.

Everton have been disappointing.  Roberto has been disappointing as a manager .  Harry Kane has been banging in the goals.  I continue to rate Roberto and I’m still convinced Harry is over-achieving.  So Everton in an obvious pick.

A few weeks ago it seemed like it was going to be a last weekend nail-biter for Aston Villa but now it’s just a warm up for the FA Cup Final.  How Tim has turned the team around.  It will be interesting to see how Tim copes with the off-season activities that most of us fans take for granted (trips, training, signing, dropping, selling, scouting).  Oh the result is unimportant but I’m sure there is a result.

Chelsea lost to West Brom in a meaningless game.  They won’t lose the last home game.  They will prove they are deserving.

Crystal Palace have been made into a decent team.  Swansea are a decent team.  Draw.

Arsenal have more or less qualified for the Champions League’s automatic spot but they make sure of it with a win.  If it wasn’t a “gimme” on goal difference, I’m sure Manchester United would have played their best squad and beaten Hull.

The End.

Analytics coming soon that will prove how bad I’ve been.

March 4, 2015 Premier League Picks

Another set of midweek games and looking for another potential surprise – Aston Villa scoring twice being yesterday’s shocker.   Perhaps it’s the new coaching and tactics he’s brought to the fray.

Using FA Coaching Badge 101
04-Mar 2015  
Stoke City0-1Everton
Tottenham Hotspur2-1Swansea City
Newcastle United1-1Manchester United
Manchester City3-0Leicester City
West Ham

This week’s picks are kind of random and go against the normal trends of recent form, home advantage and are following the approach of Timmy.   Some of the results I’ve picked are more wishful thinking than sensible predictions – I really don’t want Chelsea to extend or maintain their lead on top.

All signs point to trouble at Everton who are closer to relegation than Europe and facing another tough game against a giraffe and his 10 friends.  I don’t see any miracle headers this week so a sneaky away win it is.

Spurs were disappointing at Wembley.    Kyle Walker has been playing well recently and looked hobbled.  Ericsen is keeping the midfield ticking over but it’s going to be out wide that will make the difference.  If Andros Townsend can learn to cross the ball they should win because somehow Harry Kane will get on the end of it.

The difference between Newcastle and Manchester United is that somehow Manchester United are racking up points while being generally unconvincing.    The teams around Man U are picking up points as well now so the European spot is looking more and more difficult.. or maybe LVG is just making it look that way.

City look inept and great.  They have 11 good players and one team that doesn’t fit together but they’re playing Leicester and they look to be propping up the table for the long haul.  Another convincing win will have us still not writing off their title chances.  Hopefully, Navas  will play instead of Nasri who seems to have an allergy to going backwards or helping out when his team is not on the ball.

Chelsea. We know John Terry probably celebrated a bit too much.  West Ham is a hangover game and the Hammers will steal a draw (because a win is just so unlikely).

QPR in the bottom 3 and probably for good.  Arsenal in the top 3 and probably for good.

Liverpool are on a tear and have not lost in 2015.  This streak will continue; however, a tough Burnley team fighting  for their premiership life will make them more difficult than expece


September 17, 2014 – Champions League

More games?

AS Roma 1-2 Spartak Moscow

The Russian teams are always talented and the second tier Italian teams are always overrated.  This yields a win for Vlad.

Bayern Munich 1-0 Manchester City

I think these two will beat each other at home, as simple as that.  Man City is a little rough at the moment and need some smoothing.

Ajax 2-1 PSG

I always want Total Football to beat Total Money.

Barcelona 2-0 Nicosia

Best team in Spain?  Best player in the world? Nicosia?

Chelsea 2-1 Schalke

I like Chelsea to win the tournament but Germany is on a roll right now (call them butter.. *yawn*)…still they will pip it at home.

Maribor 1-0 Lisbon 

I don’t really like the Portuguese teams all that much.

Bilba0 1-0 Shakhtar 

With everything going on in the Ukraine at the present time I don’t think that the focus will be there.

Porto 3-0 Borisov

I don’t like the Portugalese 😉 teams – well except Porto that is.


September 16, 2014 – Champions League

I’m not even sure who plays for who in the Premier League any more so trying to figure out what the team at Ludogorets Watsifluzy has is impossible.  When it comes to Europe I’m still thinking like it’s the golden days of European football.  Starting when Liverpool were rampant and travelling away to Juventus meant you were likely to lose, back when S.Bucharest could beat the likes of El Tel’s Barcelona on penalties, and AC Milan were the best team in the world.  Even as recently as a few years ago I could tell you the Top 5 Italian teams and the only 3 relevant Spanish Teams…. so that being said the predictions must follow!

Juventus v Malmo
It’s been a while since Juventus were the biggest spenders (on referees’ bonuses) and a while since they were fairly harshly punished… but they appear to be on the mend and should have no hard time taking down Malmo.

Olympiakos v Athletico Madrid
Once up on a time Greece were the country that had that one good team and that was the end of the discussion.  Then they won the Euro tournament as a nation and we thought things would change.  We’ve been wondering how they did that ever since.
The better team is Madrid and even without Costa it’s hard to rule against them.  Finally, it’s not all Real but I could be wrong…I probably am.

Liverpool v Ludogorets Razgrad
Rasgrawho are not a team with which I am intimately familiar.. or at all.  Liverpool are a team who this year are showing tendencies to over and under achieve.  I doubt that they will allow a Ludugorwhogor? to win but I’m not going to expect anything too much.  I’m sure Ballotelli will be blogged about again for either doing nothing AND maintaining his cool… or scoring and not maintaining his cool and getting an early shower.

Real Madrid v FC Basel
FC Basel are always a tough draw and when grown men play against a whimpering, crying Ronaldo they have a chance.  Not sure if they’ve finally accepted the end of Iker or not… either way, a shock that isn’t.

AS Monaco Bayer v Leverkusen
I remember Monaco with Hoddle and for that reason alone I’m going with them for a score draw.

Benfica v Zenit St Petersburg
Every year brings the idea that some cold climate team, some Russian team will live up to their huge expectation so it’s reasonable to predict this could be the year.  Each year we also try and make Benfica be the team they used to be – one that could travel in Europe with great success.
Neither will be the case and it will play out to a boring 0-0 draw.

Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal
I guess this is the big game for Arsenal who have to start achieving something in Europe beyond showing up.  Borussia is a key opponent in their group and a 1-1 draw will be a satisfactory return from Germany.  I expect the new boy, Welbeck, to step and make a good showing.

Galatasaray v Anderlecht
It used to be that going to Galatasaray was mostly about surviving.  Not surviving and getting a result. No, it was about surviving.
Show up, play to 0-0 draw and gtfo of there!