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.
So it has been a full week since the games ended (and a bit) and I’ve been keeping everyone in suspense with regards to who won. After Saturday AM was leading the charging and it looked like he was going to extend his lead at the top but luckily a surprise win by the Hornets and an exact pick on the Monday put him back just a little.
The winner this week was the last place finisher last week showing that there’s no difference between being average consistent and wildly inconsistent.
The current overall standings.
Interesting to note that I actually prefer the Alternate Scoring system (as I usually do better) but that has ME leading the pack!
There is a phrase in football – “Sing when You’re Winning” which other than, apparently being a Robbie Williams album, is one of the oldest chants in the game of football.
“It’s all gone quite over there!”
Well this week the Watford Hornets stung the Potato Chickens of Tottenham with a great win and the BIGGEST fan of Vicarage Rd was seen singing!
That’s not singing..that’s Elton John having a heart attack. Anyway, he’s not the Hornets biggest fan.
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.
So the results are in with BE declared the weekly victor. Once again I am in the upper table but once again I’m not making any headway. Given that my season usually goes like the Hornet Moosemen (establish early lead and then falter over Christmas) it’s not looking good for the year already.
I do have to thank Watford for handing me a tidy exacter and with 9 points on the board… about 22.5% of the way to safety.
Dishonorable honorable mention this week. After my write up I got a note from an AM with respect to his picking Spurs for the win:
“No good. . . .HAD to change it – couldn’t live with myself, regardless of the outcome.”
Clearly, I was premature on stating that he was maturing as a picker as he succumbed to the siren of former glories.
In the week he pointed out that he had won how many league trophies?
When asked how many were at the team that has net spent 300 Million GBP (despite them not backing him) he use his fingers to count again:
Perhaps it’s time to say goodbye.
This year the “Alan Pardew Project” is putting Mourinho on the early favorite list for the chopping block… he should be looking over his shoulder for potential replacements.
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).
I’ve included the 2 Supercomputer picks in the totals this week. A quick rundown of what that means:
SC1 picked 2-1 every game this week due to a severe lack of blockchain big analytics data cloud coding framework skills.
SC2 is a top secret algorithm (that won the whole thing in 2016 and was near the top last year) that I will eventually use to deplete the coffers of whatever gambling site sponsors my least favorite team. It’s not a bad picker.
This week BB – self described legend of randomness – found himself at the top of the mountain. LJ deserved better for picking the Hornets to win. AA moved herself up from the basement! LS hopefully had a better birthday week than his picks – and judging by the food he normally gets shoveled in his direction by Masterchef finalists I’m sure that to be the case.
Tragically, ME is already falling well behind AM who after two solid weeks finds himself top of the class.
I will also note that I mocked AM for his seemingly ridiculous pick of 5-0 for Citeh over Huddersfield – which ended up with 2 points for the 6-1 pounding it was!
Forms for the next two weeks are up so no excuses – I will take the last entry before kick-off of the first game.
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
This will be the first year that I haven’t jumped out to an early lead but I blame that on others having some good gue
I will endeavor to get results up a bit quicker than this in the future. I’m actually considering building a site to make this a bit more self-service (i.e automatically calculate results) but that’s not something I expect to see soon. I have to learn a programming language, a framework and figure out how to even do it!
Congrats to AM who managed to pip ME who had a decent start… and congrats to LS who really should do better than his effort last year. I was disappointed to see that he reneged on picking Wolves 4-0 each week.
Week 2 is available for picks – I will get about 5 weeks worth up there this weekend. I’ll try post a game summary on tomorrow – can’t promise as I’m trying to finish a jigsaw puzzle! (because I’m old).
Thank you to everyone who took the time to pick this week – I know some of you have more important things going on in your life.
Weekly Comments AM: Think I’ll start preparing my speech right now! Good luck for the new season everyone (Especially ME).
The gauntlet has been thrown down:
BE: With no form available for this season, I will have to rely on luck instead of detailed analysis and deeply considered predictions
You’ve finished first and second. There’s no one believing this hustle, this rope-a-dope. The most important thing is that you don’t let ME copy you and get an unfair advantage over AM! The gauntlet is at stake.
KMFE: I miss you already, Stoke — now who do I pick on with weekly 1-1 draws? You might want to consider Watford for your draws. No offensive capability with pretty decent goalkeeping. You’re welcome.
KMFE: Also, a shame West Brom has to get relegated to get that snazzy boiler as mascot action going…
Here is the linky goodness. No idea this was happening. I’m happy to get Wolfy though. Always a soft spot for Wolves. Here’s a gratuitous Wolves mascot for-the-ladies
ME: Spuds have failed to buy/sell anyone…
Apparently, Poch is blaming Brexit. Apparently, Brexit impacts only the N17 post code because Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Watford, Citeh, Liverpool, etc. All picked up European players. They’ll be ok – same Top 4 finish, probably.
ME:Looks like the same top 4 or 5 will be the same this year. I would have hoped you would have aspirations of doing better!
LS: Put me down for 0-0s across each match x Will do.
JE: Tricky!!! It always is.
More to come. Bit late today. I’m going to work on getting the entry form a little better. Analysis on all Premier League teams coming up!