Round 10 – Premier League Picks

This is a post for a week that has already passed.

This week my home had visitors in the form of my parents and as a condition of their stay they made picks so that we could entertain ourselves and find out who was the luckiest predictor of results.  Here are the house-picks identified by the Premier League team they support.  I am, the Hornets fan,

Date Home Away Spud Fan Arse Fan Hornets Citeh Fan
10/24/2015 West Ham Chelsea 1-2 2-2 1-2 0-2
10/24/2015 Leicester City Crystal Palace 2-2 1-1 3-0 1-2
10/24/2015 Aston Villa Swansea City 0-2 0-1 1-2 0-3
10/24/2015 Stoke Watford 1-2 0-1 2-0 1-1
10/24/2015 Norwich West Brom 0-1 0-0 2-0 0-0
10/24/2015 Arsenal Everton 3-1 2-0 3-1 2-1
10/25/2015 Sunderland Newcastle 0-0 1-2 1-2 1-2
10/25/2015 Manchester United Manchester City 1-1 3-3 3-2 1-2
10/25/2015 Bournemouth Tottenham 1-3 3-0 0-1 1-2
10/25/2015 Liverpool Southampton 2-1 2-1 1-2 1-3
Total Pts 10 pts 4 pts 6 pts 4 pts

The bright side is that I didn’t come of worst predictor but the Spuds fan dominated with 2 exact scores, 4 additional correct results scored a whopping 10 points on what appears to be, on the face of it, a tough prediction week.   I scored better than the Arse fan and the Citeh fan by virtue of one exact score.

Congratulations on both a predictor win and for the Spuds to show up and put 5 goals past a Bournemouth team that hadn’t looked too bad.

Spurs Win!

Round 9 – English Premier League

Another round another set of picks.  This week my mother and father are spending some time with me, and by all accounts, looking forward to the Tottenham v Liverpool game and Watford v Arsenal.  That’s right, their house has a Spud (I don’t want to use the Yiddo name) and a Gooner.  Some would claim that I’m a closet Gooner but at the same time they can’t deny that my team are the Red Meese that play in gold and that currently I think Ighalo is the best player in the top division since John Barnes (before he got fattened up on the Merseyside diet).

For a little additional fun I had them make their picks.

The Spud

Of course Spurs win but Arsenal too?  I didn’t expect the Hornet animosity!

10/17/2015 Tottenham 2 1 Liverpool
10/17/2015 Chelsea 2 0 Aston Villa
10/17/2015 Crystal Palace 1 1 West Ham
10/17/2015 Everton 0 1 Manchester United
10/17/2015 Manchester City 4 1 Bournemouth
10/17/2015 Southampton 2 2 Leicester
10/17/2015 West Brom 0 1 Sunderland
10/17/2015 Watford 1 2 Arsenal
10/18/2015 Newcastle 1 0 Norwich
10/19/2015 Swansea 2 0 Stoke

The Gooner (I can’t call her the Arse)

A true fan – Arsenal win and a Spurs lost.

10/17/2015 Tottenham 1 2 Liverpool
10/17/2015 Chelsea 3 1 Aston Villa
10/17/2015 Crystal Palace 1 1 West Ham
10/17/2015 Everton 2 1 Manchester United
10/17/2015 Manchester City 2 1 Bournemouth
10/17/2015 Southampton 1 2 Leicester
10/17/2015 West Brom 1 0 Sunderland
10/17/2015 Watford 1 3 Arsenal
10/18/2015 Newcastle 0 0 Norwich
10/19/2015 Swansea 1 0 Stoke

The Hornet Picks

And my picks – I apparently love my parents teams more than I love my own.

10/17/2015 Tottenham 2 1 Liverpool
10/17/2015 Chelsea 2 0 Aston Villa
10/17/2015 Crystal Palace 1 0 West Ham
10/17/2015 Everton 2 1 Manchester United
10/17/2015 Manchester City 2 1 Bournemouth
10/17/2015 Southampton 2 1 Leicester
10/17/2015 West Brom 1 0 Sunderland
10/17/2015 Watford 1 2 Arsenal
10/18/2015 Newcastle 1 0 Norwich
10/19/2015 Swansea 2 0 Stoke

Klopp to replace Flop at Kop was how we discussed the Liverpool firing and hiring.   I’ve been thinking about this and I don’t think Klopp is a dedicated manager.  He quit to get a better gig (allegedly) and I don’t know anyone who would say that Liverpool is that better gig.  Having Sturridge fit is an advantage but with Harry Kane putting the ball in the back of the net the last couple of games I think he will do it again (only this time one of his players will make sure it’s the opposition net).   The Spuds are at home and they are beginning to put things together while Liverpool are doing Humpty Dumpty and falling apart and hoping Klopp is better than all the King’s men.

Chelsea can’t continue to be useless.  I know Fabregas has gained some poundage and won’t get better overnight.  I know that Ivanovic won’t suddenly be in his 20s.  I know John Terry won’t become unsleazy… but Hazard has to have a decent game at some point? Surely?  He’s playing Villa so this is a good place to look like you’re playing well.

Crystal Palace are close to the top (4th) so must be considered a favorite against many other teams but West Ham are somehow up there too (6th).  Crystal Palace are great when Zaha comes on against Watford and I suspect he will wreak havoc in the West Ham end.

Everton should cruise against Manchester United so that means Manchester will probably win.    I can’t get against my man Roberto Martinez though with two weeks to get some improvements in his team (despite his players’ international commitments).  Martial can’t continue with his current goal scoring pace and must surely be approaching an inexperienced based barren spell.

Manchester City were the most over-rated team in the league.  And then they lost. Then they were losing 1-0 to Newcastle and we absolutely knew they were exposed as pretenders… and then Aguero put five goals against his inferior opposition and the ship was righted.   They’re playing Bournemouth who are newcomers to the division who play open football and who have lost a key player.  Time for Citeh to show up, I feel.

Leicester have been on a good run but they’re facing a team that is well coached and put together in Southampton.  Should be a close game but Ronald will have his boys ready so that he doesn’t have to see hit team lose on the same week that the Netherlands managed to get themselves removed from the European Cup.   Expect Southampton to play classy and keep Leicester tied back and not free to play their quick brand of counter-attack.

West Brom are not good.  Pullis is not a good manager.  No, he’s not.  Maybe he’s a nice guy, maybe he gets the best out of the worst at the end of the season… but he’s not a tactician.  Luckily Sunderland are worse.

Watford having been playing open football and leading with some pace and relying heavily on Ighalo to hold up play, assist, bring in his team, and score goals.  Arsenal are a handful in transition with pace galore.  The Moose just don’t have the talent.  It will be a bad result but I’m selecting 1-2 to give Watford some pride or purpose.

Newcastle are bottom.  Norwich aren’t a lot higher.  I don’t expect that will change.  Newcastle will win but they’ll still be in the bottom three with the result.

Swansea have not been in top form and it’s time for Gomis to show up.  Stoke, despite their alleged best efforts, still have a kick the player and hoof the ball reputation.  Maybe it’s Mark Hughes’ reputation.  Stoke will play long ball and loose comfortably.

 

Apologize this is just factual this week.  Will try to add humor in the future editions of… me trying to make random picks.

Round 8 – English Premier League

Here are today’s picks. I’m not confident so I’m reserving my comments.

10/3/20115 Crystal Palace 1 0 West Brom
10/3/20115 Aston Villa 1 2 Stoke
10/3/20115 Bournemouth 1 1 Watford
10/3/20115 Manchester City 2 1 Newcastle
10/3/20115 Norwich 2 2 Leicester
10/3/20115 Sunderland 0 1 West Ham
10/3/20115 Chelsea 2 1 Southampton
10/4/2015 Everton 1 1 Liverpool
10/4/2015 Arsenal 2 1 Manchester United
10/4/2015 Swansea 1 2 Tottenham

Spent some time today doing a points comparison table – green is where I’ve predicted higher points than achieved and red lower points than achieved.

 

img

Once again I’m overrating Arsenal.

Title Winners

Was hoping the trend would be getting lighter but it appears I’m getting darker – I have Everton well under so I’m almost hoping Liverpool win but I think it’s going to be a hard fought tie.

Let’s Fight…..to a hard earned tie

 

Round 7 – English Premier League

 

Last week’s predictions reminded me of an American NASCAR race.. not a lot went right!   This year seems tough on the predictive front with teams having great results one week and following it up with a game that would not even see them beat Racing Club Warwick.   I did a quick check last night to see how Mark Lawrenson was faring in his predictions and he’s doing slightly worse than me – perhaps his judgement is as good as Brendan Rodgers

I do know some people look at the predictions and think that the choices I make are idiotic (for example, picking Liverpool to win against decent opposition) but it’s very easy when you know the results to predict a draw for a game that has already been played.  Make your picks at the Football Predictor and see how you stack up.  Or send them to me and I”ll add you to my nice Excel charting solution.

For example – here’s my table based on predictions versus the actual table:

My Predictive Table
My Predictive Table

What you can clearly see is that for some reason I don’t select 2-2 as my default score for West Brom anymore, though I do favor them for draws and losses.   I do admire the fact that I put Watford and Liverpool above Manchester United as that shows I stick to my “desires” versus reality when it comes to those teams.  Some obvious mistakes such as Chelsea and Spurs doing better than they really are and Crystal Palace doing worse than they are (Who new Alan Pardew would put Crystal Palace up in the top half?)

For comparison, here’s Mark Lawrenson based on his picks

ml
Mark Lawrenson

For some reason he doesn’t like Wafford! I know we’re new but bottom of the table? Really?  Southampton in 2nd?  That’s almost as ridiculous as having West Ham or Leicester in the Top 5

9/26/2015 Tottenham 2 1 Manchester City
9/26/2015 Leicester 1 2 Arsenal
9/26/2015 Liverpool 2 0 Aston Villa
9/26/2015 Manchester United 2 0 Sunderland
9/26/2015 Southampton 1 1 Swansea
9/26/2015 Stoke 2 1 Bournemouth
9/26/2015 West Ham 2 0 Norwich
9/26/2015 Newcastle 1 3 Chelsea
9/27/2015 Watford 1 2 Crystal Palace
9/28/2015 West Brom 2 1 Everton

The Spuds are one of those teams that you look and wonder why they are doing so poorly and then when you actually do an analysis you learn that they lost in the league to Manchester United on opening day (in a game they should have won, and, to a dodgy home goal) and in games that have something to do with the Milk Cup.  Wait, is that the Coca-cola cup? The Rumbelows cup?  You know the one, the cup no-one cares about anymore that’s not the F.A. Cup.  Similarly, Manchester City reel of a few wins at the beginning of the season and everyone talks Champions.  Need I point out that Navas starts for that team?  I don’t think he’s start at about half the clubs in the Premier League.  I still like Spurs for the win because they’re at home and it seems like we need a discussion counterpoint to Manchester City will win.

Leicester are surprising everyone again.  Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me week in and week out and maybe you’re just not that bad a team.  I can’t pick against Arsenal though as I think they have everything in place to make a challenge for a Champions League spot.  Will be tight and I think Giroud will score a goal using only the quiff of his coiffed hair.

You’re a manager in trouble.  You’re a manager who wants to turn things around.  Unless your name is Sherwood (a.k.a Tactics Tim) the best thing you can hope for is that you’ll be watching Aston Villa from your Recaro chair.  Brenda will have a week’s reprieve as Coutinho scores a winning goal from one of his shots.  I know that Coutinho is replacing Gerrard but he needs to stop trying to play like Gerrard – there are 10 other players on the team he can utilize to help score and make goals and he doesn’t have to do EVERYTHING himself.  Of course, I wonder if players like Lucas should count?  I still like Lallana and I’m surprised he hasn’t achieved more.

This is the game that Manchester United should win but could end up being one of those fixtures where Sunderland clog up the old toilet and hold out to a dire 0-0 battle.  Then again, perhaps Martial will score 2 more average goals and be heralded as the new Thierry Henry. In reality it will be a stroll in the park for a 2-0 walk.

Digression:
When I think Manchester United and stroll in the park this image comes to mind.

Roy Keane with his more Famous Dog “Triggs” #RIP

Southampton are a decent side which considering their turnover is an achievement in itself.  I’m not sure how I would feel about supporting a team that consistently sold all my favorite players to competitors but I know I would buy a shirt and not put any names on the back.   Actually, I’d probably do a throwback and just keep a LeTissier shirt (he’s never leaving Southampton)

No 1 Southampton Fan Shirt Option

They’ll probably eek out a home draw against a team that should be in the Welsh Premier League 🙂

Bournemouth are showing themselves as a pretty decent outfit; however, Stoke are stubborn and somehow keep staying in the Premier league.  This week the new boys will all have a tough time with Watford going down at home and Norwich away to the Hammers.  0-3 to the newly promoted teams. There will be weeks like this.   With respect to West Ham – it seems their motto must translate to something like “We can beat Everyone and We can lose to Anyone” but I do think Slaven Bilic is an interesting manager and the team worth watching.

Chelsea’s season has been tumultuous but in usual style Mourinho has decided to take the focus off his players by taking some of the heat.   He did this by uttering one of the few Portuguese sentences I can understand without requiring Google Traslate “Filho da Puta”.  Nice.  Of course, I’m not sure that sexual harassment of one of the few female medical physios is a good method of distraction.  Still, it works, and Chelsea walk out winners.  Besides, if they can’t beat a team that Watford beat they have huge problems!

Finally West Brom.  I have them bottom of my “prediction” table and they’re not that bad so I’m going to start over-rating them.   Not sure what’s happening at Everton… on the one hand you keep Stones against all odds.. on the other you have players getting sent off in minutes which is a usual sign of player-manager discord.  I still like Martinez and I hope he turns it around for his sake.

Final note.  I saw this picture of BR – and despite winning against the Villains….. I want to let him know that when the Pink Slip comes you will find that you are asked to “walk” alone.

Except When You’re Fired….

Round 6 – English Premier League

Looked for a new theme with a nice banner to add the Moose to and couldn’t find one I liked.  I’ve settled for the simple layout you see before you.

9/19/2015 Chelsea 2 1 Arsenal
9/19/2015 Aston Villa 1 1 West Brom
9/19/2015 Bournemouth 2 1 Sunderland
9/19/2015 Newcastle 1 1 Watford
9/19/2015 Stoke 0 1 Leicester
9/19/2015 Swansea 1 2 Everton
9/19/2015 Manchester City 3 1 West Ham
9/20/2015 Tottenham 2 1 Crystal Palace
9/20/2015 Liverpool 2 0 Norwich
9/20/2015 Southampton 1 0 Manchester United

No commentary today.  I might do a post game update but at least I got my picks in.

Round 5 – English Premier League

It’s getting upsetting that the Moose is still not present on the banner but I still haven’t updated the theme yet.  I promised I would do it after their first win so I should have a while.  This week one of the viral videos making the rounds is the Japanese goalkeeping dog.

This is pretty impressive stuff for a dog. It makes me wonder if it could replace Joe Hart as Citeh’s number 1.

To be fair, I was going to put in a Calamity James montage but I couldn’t find anything short enough.

On to the picks!

9/12/2015 Everton 1 2 Chelsea
9/12/2015 Watford 2 1 Swansea City
9/12/2015 Arsenal 2 0 Stoke City
9/12/2015 Crystal Palace 1 2 Manchester City
9/12/2015 Norwich City 2 0 AFC Bournemouth
9/12/2015 West Bromwich Albion 1 1 Southampton
9/12/2015 Manchester United 1 1 Liverpool
9/13/2015 Sunderland 1 2 Tottenham
9/13/2015 Leicester 2 1 Aston Villa
9/14/2015 West Ham 0 2 Newcastle

The team that did not really spend much improving over the Summer, Everton, playing a Chelsea who have not got off to the best start.  This week Jose “the Special One” Mourinho will have had  a while to “strategize” on how to make improvements and I expect to see them play better.  John Stones will prove where his loyalties lay with an accidental last minute deflected own goal after Radamel Falcao proves that his bad time at Manchester United may have more to do with the Turtle (LVG) than we thought.

I’ve been positive on Watford all year and I’m going to continue as long as Quique plays a system that employs a striker.  I don’t mean a system that employs a striker as a defender like last week but one that might actually threaten the opposition area.  Swansea are a high-performance open team so it’s a perfect opportunity to open things up.  Ighalo to score another and continue to have his sale price rise (it’s a given that good players leave) but Gomis will score in his fifth consecutive game.  That’s 5 games in a row.  A fistful.

As an aside, I imagine Watford training is like the Eddie Izzard skit: Ich habe ein kleine problemo avec le defensio de Watford.  I know Quique is multi-lingual but the team features an incredible variety of nationalities.

Quick Final Summary

Arsenal are still looking good and fancy them in a simple win over Stoke.  The Ox is finally playing well and despite their frailties, I’m sure they will manage to scrap 2 goals from the large number of opportunities.

Crystal Palace are frustratingly making Alan Pardew look like a genius – Newcastle fans must be looking at the Eagles and no knowingly that the imminent collapse will come soon.  At the same time the minority have not bought into the idea that Manchester City have transitioned to this solid Championship winning team and am expecting a slow down.  The slow down will come in the form of conceding a goal but Manchester City are too solid to be rocked this year.

Norwich and Bournemouth are two beginners trying to stay up so I’m going with the home team.  West Brom and Southampton deserve a draw (not sure why I dropped the weekly 2-2 pick for the Baggies).  Leicester are playing better than Tim can tactic (yes, I made that a verb) so they will win.  West Ham will be in the valley of their bipolar performances and Newcastle prove that there is life after Pardew.

Spurs? What can we say about Spurs?  They are underachieving?  That they don’t know how to win? That Harry-Kane is more of a Harry Light Breeze.  That they laid their hopes on a Korean, Son Heung-min?  Well this week they will win because all Sunderland did in the transfer window was finally convince Borini that playing at Sunderland really wasn’t as bad as sitting on the bench at Liverpool.  The Sun is has the “Nice One, Sun”  headline penciled in … but this is the week that Harry scores and breaks his duck.

And that leaves the big game:  Liverpool playing Manchester at the old toilet
Old_toilet_by_sebasoul.jpg

This is a massive game for Brendan Rodgers, who’s team got off to a decent start but had a big let down.   He’s under pressure to succeed and it has to hurt seeing JonJo being such a huge and impressive success at Swansea.  I was told to write down Firmino last week and I did and nothing happened.  I’m going to guess it had something to do with the fact that I spelled it incorrectly.

I’ll do it again this week to see if something happens:  Firmino.

It’s not that much better on the Manchester United side.  Given the amount of money invested by LVG and the fact that he seems to  end up being reliant on David Moyes’s desperation signing of Fellaini (in his better position up front) and more so on Juan Mata than ever, you have to wonder what he’s actually achieved.  He let the most talented player he bought go for a loss and you have to wonder if his personality is getting more in the way than helping.   The big question is obviously going to be when will Martial play as LVG says he’s going to “ease” him into the game.

I think that while LVG might prove to be a success in the long run, it’s clear he doesn’t know how to moderate the market.  His spending is and management of players is extraordinarily bad as he tips his hand on everything.  But I digress.  A disappointing 1-1 draw leaves the media and fans with one more week of disappointment and chatter about lowered expectations as they continue to find themselves below Leicester in the table.

 

Round 4 – English Premier League

Newcastle looked promising but have yet to win. Arsenal are as inconsistent as you can be in three games L-W-D which is particularly surprising as most of the Summer talk has been about how Arsene has not changed the team formation or look.  Arsenal still have quality in all positions and it’s probably about time that the Ox gets let loose again.  Arsenal will dominate one half and score 2 Newcastle will take over the other half and keep it interesting.

Aston Villa have been better than their record and Sunderland are a rather poor looking outfit and I expect their bad run of form to continue because if I know one thing, it’s that Tactics Time can even coach a team to victory against a team that is giving up.  Poor old Mr Advocaat should have retired.

Who’s the more effective coach this year?

advocaat

 

8/29/2015 Newcastle 1 2 Arsenal
8/29/2015 Aston Villa 1 0 Sunderland
8/29/2015 Bournemouth 2 2 Leicester
8/29/2015 Chelsea 3 1 Crystal Palace
8/29/2015 Liverpool 2 0 West Ham
8/29/2015 Manchester City 2 0 Watford
8/29/2015 Stoke 1 0 West Brom
8/29/2015 Tottenham 2 1 Everton
8/30/2015 Southampton 1 1 Norwich
8/30/2015 Swansea 2 1 Manchester United

Bournemouth have kicked off well and are putting in goals.  The Walkers Crisps outfit have also been over-achieving (according to me) under the crazy coach so it should be a thriller and what small crowd can fit in that teensy stadium should be all excited.

It appears that Chelsea have been playing with 10 men to make the games more even.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Great One has threatened anyone who gets sent off with being sent into exile at the New York team to play with Fat Frank.  Sure, it’s a London derby and anything can happen but when one side is Chelsea and one is Crystal Palace it’s too one side for the rivalry to make a difference.  Costa gets sent off.

Liverpool will keep another clean sheet through a great defensive display.  The back four and Mignolet will keep everything tight and in control while West Ham waste all of their chances through ineptitude up front.  Sakho will not hit the netto.  I think Jordan Henderson the captain is out injured but I doubt that will hurt Liverpool much.  I was told to write down Firminho’s name so here we are and I’m going to write it down.  Firminho.  I hope he scores or something or it’s going to feel like a waste of time !

Manchester City are top of the table.  Even Quique Flores says Aguero is the best striker in the league so what hope do we have?   Sterling looks upbeat and better than Milner who at Liverpool is, ironically, probably better than Sterling.  Sami “whyamisounderappreciated” Nasri will come on and score to prove some point about being i the team late on after YaYa proves that this year he’s back on form by slotting in Aguero who thumps the ball so hard the ball threatens to break the net.

Here’s Quique – is is just me that thinks he looks like the love child of House and Clint Dempsey.

Lovechild
If House and Clint Dempsey had a Love child

 

And now the quick finish.

Stoke will win because they are playing West Brom who have a striker that basically doesn’t want to be there.

Tottenham finally manage to win a game they should win and Martinez gets to again be in “next fired coach” discussions alongside the eggy dutch drink mentioned previously.  Southampton have lost something from last year (mostly players) and they will do well enough against the Canaries who don’t look too bad.

Man United are coming off a hattrick and I’m convinced that he’s one who uses up his goal count on unneeded goals.  Sure, he scored in the week but he should have saved one for the Swansea match.  Swansea are a decent team and the young manager has them playing well.  It’s nice to see the Reds lose.

Go Moose

Moose!! Moose!!

Off to look for a new theme…and start the migration project.

 

Round 3 – English Premier League

I haven’t updated the banner yet – it’s still not showing Watford which is a shame for I am a Watford fan. The update of the theme and banner is on my list of to-do’s but I’ve decided that I have the transfer window to work the changes to the site in. So be patient.
On the bright side I’ve finally created my spreadsheet that will compare my results to Mark Lawrenson and the actual table in an automated fashion.  Although I’ve not got off to the best start I think Mark will be extremely disappointed with where he is with his picks so far; of course there have been a number of surprises in the league already – Arsenal getting hammered (pun intended), Liverpool beating Stoke… 🙂

Here’s my table (based on picks) and indication of how far I diverge from the actual table.

Table Based on Picks
Table Based on Picks

I think I’m going to have to start re-assessing my Watford picks as I have them pretty high up the table there!

As I’m working in the spreadsheet the scores will be in a new format.  This is so much easier than using TablePress to manage the scores.  I did appreciate that it stored the tables in an easily accessible JSON format as I could extract the data nicely.  But it’s a new year and a new method.

8/22/2015 Manchester United 1 0 Newcastle
8/22/2015 Crystal Palace 2 1 Aston Villa
8/22/2015 Leicester 1 1 Tottenham
8/22/2015 Norwich 1 1 Stoke
8/22/2015 Sunderland 1 2 Swansea
8/22/2015 West Ham 2 1 Bournemouth
8/23/2015 West Brom 1 1 Chelsea
8/23/2015 Everton 1 2 Manchester City
8/23/2015 Watford 1 0 Southampton
8/24/2015 Arsenal 2 1 Liverpool

Manchester United are at home against the team I still don’t feel anyone really has a handle on.  Conversely, I think we know far more about Manchester United that we needed to – I’m not sure I needed to know about LVGs man crush on Memphis Depay.  There’s probably a sense of frustration around the team given that Chelsea have stepped in to steal Pedro so I expect them to look slightly disorganized, not all that good but someone force Newcastle to allow the ball to get into their net on the only shot on goal.

Talking of Chelsea stealing Pedro (who is not good enough for Barcelona apparently), this is much like their successful effort to steal Willian and Spurs.  Does the great one not know how to do his own scouting?

Crystal Palace are doing well and are building on their season ending run.  Alan Pardew is in danger of improving his win percentage and I have an instinct to bet against him but I’m just not too sure where Tactics Tim is with Villa.  Here he is with all active Villa fans.

Tactics Tim

They wear the same colors so I hope they don’t get confused!  Look for Zaha to score the winner.

 

Harry Kane has to score this week because they’re already talking about his “drought” (2 games this year so far media, 2 gamses..) I can’t in good conscience go against Leicester again when they’ve done nothing but disappoint me so far by not losing!.

Norwich are boring. Stoke are boring.  This game will be boring.

Swansea have been impressive and Sunderland are a team that considers a short term assignment in charge is actually strategic.  I boring draw.   West Ham are one of those teams that both impresses you and then lets you down with some mediocrity just when you think they should be pushed up the table.

I’m going out on limb picking Watford at home because they’re my team and we need to pick up some points in what is a relatively easy start to the season and West Brom because Chelsea have looked dodgy and Diego Costa spends more time appealing for fouls and grabbing people than trying to score.  Finally, Liverpool and Arsenal.  Liverpool are passing the ball around, defending well, and not scoring.  Arsenal are as inconsistent as you can be in two games.  All in all this makes the game unpredictable and like all the other picks I’m just going to guess.

Leicester
8/22/2015 West Ham 2 1 Bournemouth
8/23/2015 West Brom 1 1 Chelsea
8/23/2015 Everton 1 2 Manchester City
8/23/2015 Watford 1 0 Southampton
8/24/2015 Arsenal 2 1 Liverpool

 

Round 2 – English Premier League

I have better things to do on a Thursday night than make picks for a game that is going to happen on a Friday night, seriously.  Who wants to watch games on Friday? Who can watch games on a Friday? Why are we taking cues from the NFL in all that is wrong and duplicating it ? If you have an answer other than “money” I’d love to hear what it is.

So it’s Friday and I fully expect Manchester United to win.  Not because they looked in any way dominant last week but because I’m still not 100% convinced tactics Tim has his team all together and playing like a team.   I fancy them to struggle early and come on towards the end and free themselves from the thread of relegation.

August 14, 2015
Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester United

Meanwhile in the 1st leg of the Supercup we had this goal.  What a nice clean strike!  Hopefully we’ll see similar goals in the EPL this week…..

https://vine.co/v/edLQXYuFZH7

 

The beloved Hornet Moose of Watford played quite well last week and earned a good away from home draw; however, one wonders if the result had more to do with Everton’s apparent lack of class and the fear I have that Roberto Martinez will be fired first this  year.  As good as he is an analyst and as good as Everton were two seasons ago, we should remember he didn’t take Wigan out of the premier league (which is not as hard as it sounds).   Can Southampton surprise as all by playing solid football and staying on the high and dry side of the premier league table?  I fancy them to start the season well.

Allegedly Spurs could have beaten the Reds last week; unfortunately, that kind of discussion leads to a mediocre season.  It’s winning the games that you don’t dominate that makes the difference.  Spurs will be fighting with Liverpool for one of the top five spots and while one had a wonder strike to seal an unlikely win…. the Spuds had a calamitous own-goal that sent them down in flames.  Spurs need Harry to score and to win the games they look like they shouldn’t.  This week they turn it around and outshine Liverpool’s performance of last week in a victory over Stoke.

Sunderland and Norwich reads like a Championship feature game.
Watford and West Brom also seems like  a Championship game but I support the Golden Mooses so I care!

Last week Tony Pullis setup a terrible defensive posture against Chelsea and based on his interview I don’t expect him to try the same.  Hopefully, a great open game to enjoy with the Hornets stinging the Baggies with a later winner through the substitute Ighalo who made Mr Stones look like an amateur last week.

Swansea looked great against Chelsea, and that was before the incident that might lead to one of my predictions being true (Begovic being the starter this year ahead of Courtois) so I fully expect them to beat a surprisingly better looking Newcastle.

West Ham started and played fantastic last year and then dramatically tapered off.  Was last week a fluke?  Good time to find out as they play a lower class team at home.  I fully expect the Hammers to make light work of Leicester.   The other way to determine if it was a fluke?  To see whether Arsenal rebound or start to take off a little.  I’d like to think they could beat Crystal Palace at home or away but for all of the talent that Arsenal has you still look at the final forward position and wonder if Giroud is good enough.  Arsenal will win, West Ham will win so we’ll have to reserve judgement on the ‘Ammers.

Early season gets a major fixture with Chelsea who haven’t looked good so far against a Man City team that won one game and are all of a sudden everyone’s favorite again.  I think the team from the rainy North will beat Chelski.  It won’t be pretty but it’s time that Manchester City prove that without injuries they can dominate.  Aguero is fit. Kompany is fit.  Silva is fit. I think everyone is fit.  Time to put Chelsea into the relegation zone, even if’ts just for a couple of weeks.

Liverpool won a game that Stoke didn’t deserve to lose so this week I predict that they will win a game they deserve to win… and moreover, Rodgers will teach his team how to actually get Benteke involved.  For the amount of money he cost, I would hope sooner or later he will play in a style that supports the big man, or he might find himself looking for a new gig before Roberto Martinez.

August 15, 2015
Southampton 1-0 Everton
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Stoke City
Sunderland 1-0 Norwich City
Watford 1-0 West Bromwich Albion
Swansea City 2-1 Newcastle United
West Ham United 2-0 Leicester City
August 16, 2015
Crystal Palace 1-3 Arsenal
Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea
August 17, 2015
Liverpool 1-0 AFC Bournemouth

Round 1 – English Premier League

Note: Picks are made prior to kick off.

August 8, 2015
Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Everton 0-0 Watford
Leicester City 0-1 Sunderland
Norwich City 1-1 Crystal Palace
AFC Bournemouth 1-0 Aston Villa
Chelsea 2-0 Swansea City
August 9, 2015
Arsenal 2-1 West Ham United
Newcastle United 2-1 Southampton
Stoke City 2-2 Liverpool
August 10, 2015
West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Manchester City