Well, I got some late entries from JE and LS to make this another week of complete picks. The full selections:
It seems that the extra time to prepare gave JE too much time to second-guess and finish a fairly low 8th; however, Mr LS too full advantage of the time and finished top for the week. This was an incredible 10 place jump from last week!
I don’t know how he convinced the linesman to fall asleep for Arsenal’s second and exact-points scoring goal but it worked. I feel cheated!
It was a better week for AM in his quest for a repeat over ME with a jump of 8 places.
The arbitrary table of points. I might give more points for 7th and below to help some of you out.
When you watch the EPLthis week I want you realize how lucky we are to see high quality football rather than what is played in other parts of the world.
I do appreciate everyone sending them in as it makes this interesting for me.
Note: Looks like Watford’s 2nd string lost to Spuds 1st and a 1/2 team on penalties in the Milk Cup.
This week will be a short post because I didn’t spend the necessary hours preparing and researching.
We’re still missing entries from JE and LS (except he said 0-0s across the board so technically he can’t be late).
Of course, there are other things that are also late! The construction is going as well as Pellegrini’s attempt to build West Ham into a meaningful team.
This weeks picks picks as of now:
For those wondering, SC1 and SC2 are secret algorithms that I’m modifying year over year. I can tell you that this year, SC2 is leading the way overall. Pretty soon I will set it loose on one of the gambling houses that sponsor one of the EPL teams.. profit and retire!
This Weeks Factoid I don’t have a factoid submitted this week so I thought I’d ask a trivia question.
Which current premier league goalkeeper has jumped higher than the crossbar?
All of them. Crossbars cannot jump
This Weeks Comments
AM:”Get my predictions done early. Off on another golfing jaunt – Devon this time & if I leave this until I am in company with that crowd, the job will NEVER get done. This weeks matches seem to be a pretty straight forward lot to predict, so there you have them! 😉 What can possibly go wrong!? Stop press: One late change – BHA 1-0 win over Spurs to a 1-1 draw, that means it will probably end in a Spurs win!! :-(“
Bringing in the whole comment here so I can do some psycho-analysis and translation:
Going to drink so much in Devon that I might pick Southampton over Liverpool so better do them now!
I’m super over-confident like Mourinho
I want to defeat ME and I want his team to suffer a loss so that I will complete the perfect trifecta this week! (Golf, Beer, and ME humiliation)
BB: “BTW – Ibrahimovic – what a great 500th goal.” Totally missed that – so thanks:
Think Messi’s 500th for Barcelona was a better goal:
ME: “Chris Hughton will offer Spuds a lifeline this week… another loss will be disastrous!” Looking for that potato chicken alumni help? It has come to this for Spuds fans?
ME: “Arsenal may have turned a corner… at least I hope so!” Has BE hacked this account? Or entered picks as you given that there is little hack prevention currently employed 🙂
Analysis And give away my advantage? I don’t think so! Anyway, I reserve the rights to change my guesses before the games and I’m very much undecided on whether the hornet moosemen can beat Fulham away – have this feeling that Mitrovic will bang in a brace.
This weeks picks are all in and not one person was late.
So here are the weekly guesses from all.
BE: “Had to go for a diplomatic draw, although one JE will probably still think that I’ve dissed his team.” Good job BB doesn’t have a team in the Premier League because your picks have too many outside influences!
LJ: “I think the Hornets will suffer their first loss of the season but I’m hoping it wont happen.”
I am going to read this as you slowly becoming sympathetic to the Watford fan’s cause;however, I know as a fan of the mighty Reds you just want Mourinho to fail!
ME: “I have Watford to win because it’s your birthday and they undid Spuds so they can’t be all bad!”
Or maybe the Potato Chickens are worse than we want them to be! Lots of away games but another loss make it look like it could be a typical Spurs year…..
AM: “Banana skins everywhere, not least at Vicarage Road! “
Are we going to park the Banana bus?
JE “City will win the league with 38 wins and 152 goals and no goals conceded according to me!” I haven’t posted KMFE or BE’s pre-season predictions but that is not far off what KMFE predicted!
AA: “Land of the living, I have returned!” Welcome back. Keep picking the Wolves!
BB:”I have no idea what I am doing on this. I am afraid after 25 years working in football, I am more likely to forecast the temperature and flow in cubic metres of the Thames at Maidenhead than I am the correct score between hornets and devils”
This Weeks Factoids
Today, according to Twitter:
River flow and water temp this morning, 11.7m³/s and 15.24°C, wind is Gentle. River is NOT FLAGGED.
Volume The volume of a ball is approximately V=4/3*pi*r^3 if we ignore the fact that it’s not quite truly spherical and is actually a truncated icosahedron. The size of a football is roughly 22 cm (8.65 inches) in diameter for a regulation size 5 ball. Rules state that a size 5 ball must be 68 to 70 cm in circumference.
So the volume a ball will displace is 5500 cubic cm which is about .0055 cubic meters. I’m not sure that matters but anyway, the key is the area of the ball which is roughly pi*r^2 or 400 cm squared.
Time During a game we can assume the ball is travelling for approximately 100 minutes. Now, if it’s at Old Trafford and United are behind it’s going to be closer to 105 but we’ll keep it simple.
This is tough so we’ll make some huge guesses. Let’s start with 10km as the baseline as this is what the average distance a footballer runs. Of course, it’s probably less if you’re Pogba, but we’re just base-lining here. It’s also a lot less than cricket players run.
There are 10 players that are in the outfield for each team. We’ll exclude the team managed by Pep who insists that there are 11 outfield players.
That’s 200 km.
Now I’m going to adjust for the fact that the ball is stationary during throw ins and other periods (like as much of the last 5 minutes as possible if Watford are hanging on to the lead). That’s a 20% adjustment.
That’s 160 km.
Now we can add in the fact that not everyone spends the whole game with the ball at their feet. Some teams love the long ball and some teams smack in a lot of long crosses. Most goalkeepers will also occasionally kick the ball out of the box on a kick off. So let’s factor in the long ball.
In the EPLabout 25% of passes are crosses (except anyone at Arsenal who is genetically programmed to pass the ball 10 feet back and forth – except Xhaka who passes it all the way back to the goalkeeper. About 5% are considered long passes! Get Fellaini in the box and bomb it!
So this takes 16 km for when the ball is not at the feet and adds about another 80 km for the long ball (I’m just estimating).
Finally let’s adjust for the fact that many players aren’t making decent runs and are moving with the ball. So the movement of player can’t be considered cumulative and you we need a negative factor to reduce the overall distance of the ball.. and in the end we get a volume displacement of something way less than the Thames.
It should also be noted that ball doesn’t maintain it’s shape and the integrity of the ball is often ruined leading to a loss of shape and suppleness that makes it “bobble” inexplicably whenever in the vicinity of players with inherent skill and dexterity, such as Zaha try to control the ball.
I hope this was educational and not just providing evidence on how much my mathematical ability has deteriorated during the last lots of years since I left Uni as well as the ability lost in the last few minutes since I finished my birthday drink.
Most of the picks are in – remember that you can always change your mind up until kick-off.
AB’s Fun Factoid
Unfortunately, we don’t have one this week. So the question is – who is the youngest player to score in the Premier League?
Clue 1: It wasn’t Jason Dozzell who scored for Ipswich against Coventry at age 16 years and 57 days
Clue 2: He did it playing for Everton.
Clue 3: It’s not who you thought after reading Clue 2.
This Week’s Comments
LJ: “Ambitious prediction for the Reds game but I’m sticking with it”
No one knows these days with the Reds – sometimes they look like they can score at will. Can you imagine if they had two Mo’s?
JE: “I can’t believe I’m picking a United win again.” To be fair, they are playing Burnley
ME: “Arsenal will improve on their form and put Cardiff to the sword…maybe I’m still thinking about the team from a few years ago!!” Spoken like a true Spuds fan.
ME:”Watford’s run will come to end…hope I don’t have to eat my words!” Really spoken like a true potato chicken fan. Hope you’re wrong!
KMFE:”Shakhtar, Lyon and Hoffenheim?! If you’d asked me, I wouldn’t have even thought any of them were in the Champions League. ”
You’ll need the easy teams without Kev. Bit easier than the Liverpool group with PSG, Belgrade, and Napoli!
AA:”Last week. I actually tried to make educated-esque choices. It may have been my worst result”
First lesson you will learn is that the more you know about football the worse you will perform. This explains LJs performance week after week and year after year (or so he insists!)
BE: “Today I’m going for the 4-4-2 system. Four home wins, four aways and two draws……but not necessarily in the right order. Before JE says it….not necessarily all the right results either!” I thought I would post the referenced link.
This Week’s Summary
Due to the fact that I randomly selected numbers this week I don’t have any real analysis to share.
As always, predictions aren’t locked in until the first kick-off.
Happy to see so many updated their picks early. Still waiting for a couple.
This Week’s Comments
I do not publish all the comments so don’t be offended if yours are not included. I will be adding a new special segment to posts though called AB’s Fun Factoid.
AM: “Gone & done the unthinkable – United for a home defeat!!” It’s only unthinkable to a United fan. The rest of us have often picked United for a home loss – the lack of bias shows you are maturing as a picker. I also hope you’re right!
BE: “Arsenal have proved they can actually get the ball in the net if they can create enough scoring opportunities. Here’s hoping they hammer in a few goals.” You would hope that if you create scoring chances you would get the ball in the net – last week saw multiple misses from inside 6 yards. Probably said more about Chelski than Arsenal but big win is needed this week.
ME: “Resorted to guesswork this week!”
Isn’t that every week week? I should pass on your weekly analysis to AM… so he can laugh at you as he looks at who’s behind him.
AA: “Only partly random this week. Hope is there for Wolves. Faint hope, but hope nonetheless.” I was only kidding when I said we’d respect you for picking wolves 💖.
LJ:”Hornets on a roll; let’s keep it going.”
This week has been all about Harry Hornet doing his Zaha impression. I’d rather focus on his happy dance.
Of course, I would be amused if he added a Neymar roll to his dive.
KMFE:”Thinking we should add in some Scottish Prem — it appears Stevie G has wired together a squad that never loses… A million Scousers cry that he didn’t learn this as a player…” Ouch.. let’s hope they don’t slip up a the end though. Interestingly, they decided there was no room at the Inn for the Glasgow teams in the English league. I guess Swansea, Cardiff, and Wrexham were lucky to get in when they did.
Bonus points for anyone who can add in the comments three other Welsh teams in the English League without cheating. AM- Any clues?
AB’s Fun Factoid
Soccer developed in London’s famed Newgate Prison in the early 1800s. Prisoners who had their hands cut off for crimes of theft came up with a sport that used only the feet.
Bournemouth vs Everton
Seems everyone is on the Everton bandwagon already but I don’t see Richarlison scoring every week and everyone has too quickly fallen off the Bournemouth bandwagon.
Arsenal vs West Ham
No idea what Emery is trying to do – he wants to play a high press but in that style of play Ozil doesn’t work (literally). HenrikhMkh doesn’t really fit the system either and he insists on Auba being stuck up front. Maybe he’ll switch things up – put Ramsey back. They need a win.
Fulham vs Burnley Think I’ll save time and do a few with pictures.
Huddersfield vs Cardiff
Liverpool vs Brighton
Man United vs Tottenham
How will Spuds do at Old Toilet? I recommend that they don’t let Lloris park the bus! United will find a way to not lose – it’s what they do in big games.
Newcastle vs Chelsea Chelsea have had a week to remind Kante that’s he’s not a goalscorer. Expect it tighter at the back.
Southampton vs Leicester
Watford vs Crystal Palace
Watford are on a roll. Crystal Palace are too. Which team will crack first? Woy is pwaying mind games so maybe that indicates a lack of confidence. Should be a close game but Watford might nick it if Zaha stays standing.
Wolves vs Man City One plucky picker picked an upset! They’ve also mentioned a number of times that Neves should be kicking for the Eagles. I’m not sure that would work but who knows what the future holds – we had an Australian Rules punter for a while (and he was good).
AB: Can you name a [current of former] professional Football player with medical degree & PhD in Philosophy?
I would have to spend a lot of time thinking about this. My first guess was Sturridge after all his hospital stays….. but that’s only half the criteria. My second guess was Ian Holloway because only a true philosopher could come up with deep quotes like “‘If I fell in a barrel of boobs, I’d come out sucking my thumb! “, but again, only half.
I had to cheat. If anyone wants to know the answer, guess in the comments and I will tell you if you are correct.
KMFE:I’ve got nothing much to say this week, as I am still deeply in mourning for Kevin’s knee. Bernardo Silva, give me everything you’ve got. Obrigado ;-)…
I’m not sure what Citeh are going to do now. They have such a small squad and busy schedule. They also didn’t sign very many players in the Summer window that could really replace KDB. Oh wait, that’s Mourinho, not Pep.
ME: Lots of analysis [I usually ignore ;)]. AM didn’t get too far ahead of ME and my form will gradually improve. AM will slip up!
Tempting fate this week Mr ME!
LJ:Picking the Hornets, as Burnley should be a bit tired after their mid-week exertions. Hope I don’t jinx your Hornets
You also picked Liverpool. Hope you didn’t jink the mighty reds! Watford will be ok, we only need 37 more points for safety. We’re about 7.5% safe!
This week I’ve chosen to do a match analysis -something that usually backfires.
Brighton v Man United
This game is really about who has the best hand-brake. I believe that the ball will be kicked off and each team will set back in a defensive position and leave the ball in the middle of the park. After watching nothing happen for 89 minutes, Luke Shaw will go forward and pick up the ball and go upfield to try and score. Mourinho will bench him next week for going out of position.
Burnley v Watford
Burnley are playing in Europa League and won midweek with a clean sheet. It’s not inconceivable that they will keep another clean sheet despite being tired. But last week Watford played Graham Taylor football – four-four-two (who does that now?) and keep the ball in the other half. There’s something I admire about the style – the other team can’t score from the other half with a good goalkeeper like Foster can they?
This could actually be a good game. Too close to call.
Cardiff v Newcastle
I don’t really like Newcastle. On that basis alone I’m pulling for a point for the Welsh boys.
Chelsea v Arsenal
Are we overrating Chelsea after one result? Yes, I just don’t think they are that good. I’m already reading about how Kante is relishing his new role going forward like he’s the new Eden Hazard or something. I don’t think so.
Have we lowered expectations on Arsenal after one result? Perhaps. They were outplayed by Citeh but they looked much better when Lacazette was on the field. If Emery doesn’t start him this week then we’re looking at Moyes 2.0.
Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Palace looked good last week. Palace have a small stadium with loud fans. Liverpool are the media darlings – well they play exciting attacking football so why not. This is my upset special pick. That basically is a throwaway statement that allows me to say “told you so” and score all kind of kudos if Palace wins and shrug if they don’t.
Everton v Southampton
As a Watford fan I will not comment on Silva except to say I don’t like him and I hope they lose. They won’t.
Leicester v Wolves
I think everyone wants Leicester to be a lot worse without Mahrez but they looked lively for periods last week and Vardy is committed to the cause. Maddison is useful and they finally upgraded their defense (got rid of the older players who still were living off their Champions contribution). Wolves look to play attractive football and this is the game I have picked to actually watch.
Hoping Wolves win to give LS a good birthday weekend.
Man City v Huddersfield
Even without KDB they will win to zero.
Tottenham v Fulham
Is this at Wembley? Is Kane burnt out? This is my other upset special pick.
West Ham v Bournemouth
I don’t like West Ham and I hope they lose. They won’t
So there are a few more games this week thrown in on a Tuesday.
This week there are a few critical games.
At the Bottom Somewhere West Brom fans are hoping for a Leicester miracle but it’s unlikely that Swansea and Southampton will play to a draw and then both lose their final game. The Boing-Boings will lose the spring in their step sooner or later and have to hope they can Boing their way back up next year.
There is still a chance that Huddersfield could be relegated. They end the season against Chelsea (who really want to win) and Arsenal (who will be sending off Arsene) so are staring two defeats in a row. If I were them I would be hoping for Southampton inflicting a heavy defeat on the Swans. The EPL would finally be truly the EPL by losing the Welsh… but then Cardiff is waiting in the wings! I don’t care but why call it the EPL? Will Gerrard get Rangers promoted to the EPL – or will he just get his ex-gaffer’s job.
At the Top
It’s a done deal for Citeh but they are still two wins from the triple digit points so will be looking to score more goals than they did against Huddersfield.
It’s getting tight with (scraping wins) Chelsea team and (stuttering) Spurs team still able to leapfrog Liverpool into the Top 4. There is something romantic about winning the Champions League without ever actually being a Champion and not qualifying for the next year’s CL.
Harry Kane has gone a little cold and will be praying for a few crucial goals.
In Other News
In other (good) news, SAF is up and talking about his results after suffering a brain hemorrhage. No word on whether he has given any nurses the hair dryer treatment yet. It’s nice to see some of the managerial acrimony put on pause for a change.
Also Wenger won a mini-league trophy!
Wenger managed his last game at home.
Everyone seems to think he was forced out (he was) and everyone seems to think he’ll manage somewhere else (he’s hungry)…. but it’s hard to re-dedicate yourself to someone else after you’ve given your life to them. It’s not like he’s had a bit of Monaco on the side… or had a mistress in Marseille. Let’s see if the Arse cock this up by bringing in an unqualified former player in the hopes of former glory. Arteta – he’s been an assistant, he’ll do. At least they don’t have the grand Moyesy succession plan!
Sorry that I won’t be using all your comments this week – I do read each and every one of them. There is also a comment option on each post if you’re interested in that (assuming you’ve read this far – I don’t have any evidence of that because I don’t use any tracking software).
I will use one though AM: “Nothing can Possibly go wrong!!” You got that prediction wrong! 1-0?
Week 31 has one game left to be played and here are the current standings based on current games played.
Week 35 has a few games left to be played and here are the current standings based on games played.
Week 36 has no games left to be played and here are the final standings.
Congrats to JE on his weekly win.
Just THREE more games to go and the final results will be posted. I can tell you that First place seems to be set with a small chance of being given up. Last place is set with no chance of being given up and the rest of the places are too close to call… we have three people all within 1 point of each other.
Who is first? Who is last? Who knows…. just know that there is all to play for!
I will post again tomorrow with some insights into the remaining games and comment on some feedback as well as posting the predictions. I don’t expect anyone is really going to care about tomorrow’s game – Man U at Brighton…so the analysis is quick – Lukaku is out so I’m not sure who will score…. some say it will be Tony, some say Lingard and some say no-one will. The smart money is on Fellaini. Tough away win late.
Thanks for your patience and participation during this time where I haven’t kept up with things.