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
Chelsea3-0Sunderland
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.

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