Round 14 2017/18 – Midweek Detailed Predictions

So we’re in the annoying mid-week phase where I have to come up with posts TWICE a week. Anyone want to be a guest writer?  Let’s fill some space with a nice space taking image.

Maybe an AI Writer that Passes the Turing Test Is Around?

As I’m on my own I guess I should just drop in the picks!

A nice little graphic here will make the page the page seem more filled.

Some Of the Guesses

As you can see we’ve got most of the picks in but we’re still waiting for ME, LS, and LJ.  I think ME is getting in as much scouting as possible to defeat AM who kindly picked a tie for Watford when I know deep down he’s hoping for the team from just outside of Manchester to beat the team just outside of London.  LJ is re-calibrating his methods. It turns out his football nous is too much of a good thing and he is going to rely more on heart than head moving forward.  I’m not sure about LS.  He’s probably doing something very important or something very interesting or not.

Take Your Time People

This Weeks Quotables

AM avoids potential “egg on the face” by not selecting the team from Trafford to thrash the Hornet Herfordshire Deer team.  JE contributed “I fecking hope we don’t lose to you lot” along with his usually somewhat soppy comments (love you too little bro).

BE claims that “There should be thanksgiving from Arsenal, Man City and Man United ……if you can’t be good, be lucky!”  Arsenal were lucky with a dodgy penalty, Manchester United aren’t lucky but have undue influence on referees, and Citeh dominated the game they won.  So 1 out of 3 correct which is about her average.

AB claims he has been “overly generous to scouser compatriots” and is thus picking them to lose this week.  At home to West Ham might not be the week to try that.

The Analysis

I thought I might mix in some really detailed analysis this week to give you an idea of the thought processes behind some of the picks.  I’m expecting everyone to be close this week with everyone scoring within 2-3 points of each other- it’s just a feeling.

Arsenal vs Huddersfield Town
Arsenal are flat-track bullies and this is the kind of game they will usually get a decent result from.  Huddersfield left it all on the pitch trying to eek out a draw at home against Citeh and so will probably turn in an average display as a result of fatigue and disappointment.  Arsenal will dominate possession (70-30) but none of this possession will result in goal scoring attempts as they spend most of the time wandering around between 15-25 yards out trying to figure out how to pass it into the net.  Eventually Sanchez will slot home a free goal-pass from about 12 yards after someone breathes too hard on Ozil in the box (67) for another “lucky” penalty.  A few minutes later Ozil will dribble one in as Huddersfield collapse into a deep 10-0-1 formation.

Bournemouth vs Burnley 
The Cherries are much improved and will take advantage of a raucous home crowd to win. Well, as much as a small team’s fans can muster anyway.  The home team will take advantage of a defensive lapse from Burnley and score mid-way through the first half (this analysis is based on me starting a Burnley player in my fantasy team).  Burnley will come back with a lucky deflection on a mishit corner in the second half but will ultimately succumb to a rare Joshua King goal in the frenetic final 10 minutes.

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Crystal Palace
Brighton are a tough team to score on but they aren’t going to score more than 1 goal themselves.  Crystal Palace were lucky to score in the last minute last week to take a win but this is Woy’s team and if I learned anything from watching him in his time as England manager it’s that Woy’s Boys won’t win two games in a row and they won’t score often (if at all).

Leicester City vs Tottenham Hotspur
A tough game for Spurs.  Delicatessen Ali has gone off the boil and would have been far more heavily criticized had his name been Pogba but this is part of the long term plan he has to get a move to Man U so that he can win a title (he thinks).  Man You will buy him with the cash they raise from sending the overrated Martial of to Real Madrid as part of their overhaul.  Leicester will sit back for 69 minutes and launch long searching passes through the middle for Vardy who will eventually score.  It will look desperate again for Spurs and Kane will equalize with 5 minutes to go (because someone else will start him as captain in their fantasy team and get double points).

Watford vs Manchester United
Jose will setup Manchester United with their common away game setup of playing deep and countering when the chance comes.   Of course, they sometimes forget to counter and that might be the case today.  Watford will go up early with Andre Gray scoring on a defensive mishap after 5 minutes raising the hopes of all the Hornet’s fans.  Watford will then forget to attack which will leave the game in an awkward position with one team trying to counter a non-attacking team.  Fellaini will spare Jose his blushes with a long ball elbow-of-god goal in the 8th minute of additional time just like the good old days.

I did go into the future and record the game and this was the surprising interview I saw.  Unfortunately, I’ve already locked in my pick but this may help the remaining players mentioned above.

Jose Is the Wrong One

West Bromwich Albion vs Newcastle United
I think this game would be better if both team could play in their home kit!Megson seems to have his team in order but they weren’t that bad to begin with so they’ll win but only after the Geordies score a stunning goal.
Newcastle are for sale and inquiries were made this week which is more interesting than this game will be.

Newcy For Sale

The sale may be forced because without an influx of cash the team will be struggling and Rafa has made it clear that he’s not the manager who can work without a huge budget.  He was seen last week in the technical area sporting a new scarf that made his point known to Mike Ashley.

Gis A Job Wiv Mo Money, Lad.

Chelsea vs Swansea City
Swansea’s best player is a Chelsea player who is not allowed to play against Chelsea while he’s at Swansea or play for Chelsea because he’s at Swansea (and wouldn’t make the team anyway).  No deep analysis on this game: at three seemingly random times Chelsea will score – probably a brace by Hazard and another by Morata (because he’s on the opposition’s fantasy team as well).

Everton vs West Ham United 3-2
Everton will be better this week and are playing a West Ham team who might be better than their position.  I see Everton winning but because they let in a lot of goals they’re going to have to score 3 from somewhere – Niasse will score two of them in the first half.  Whoever it is that takes Everton penalties (Baines?) will score the third in the second half after the Hammers fight back with Lanzini and Kouyate scoring.

Loads of Money For Nothing You Say?

Sam Allardyce will see this game, think Everton are alright and good enough to stay up without any effort, take the job, collect some paper bags with money in it and watch them get all the way up to 5th from bottom, call it job well done, retire to an island vacation to wait for the next desperate team.

Rinse and Repeat.

Manchester City vs Southampton
The analysis for this game is simple: Kevin De Bruyne.

I will Fire in Three Goals!

Stoke City vs Liverpool
I discussed this game at length with LJ and we both decided that the game could be 1-3 to the scouse army.  Jordan Henderson will antagonize the Liverpool loyals by scoring a cracking goal that once again means he won’t be dropped for a while (despite him being mostly useless). So Jordan puts them up 1-0 and Coutinho will make it 2-0 from a free kick under the wall.

To keep it interesting, Maxim Choupo-Moting will cut the deficit in half.

I originally also had Firmino and Mane fighting over who would score the third from the penalty spot deciding, ultimately, that Firmino would take it, miss it, and let Mane get the rebound. That was when I thought the game was at Anfield and that a Kop-end penalty would be a given – away that penalty doesn’t happen.   Away from home it will just end as Klopp predicts.

I Predict We Win

There you have it.
All the picks and all the detail.

Round 14 2016/2017 – Results and Brief Analysis

Just a quick update.  It has come to my attention that the picks exporter has been incorrectly putting predictions for ME and making it look like he’s better at guessing than he really is.  The issue was only related to the visual reformatting and did not impact the scoring. This weeks post for Round 14 has been corrected.

So ….

This is What JE wanted to Be When he Grew Up


Turns out that I was comfortably winning until the final game where KMFE snuck in with an exact score of Middlesbrough 1-0 Hull.  The professional pundits did well this week with one predicting FOUR exact results! I’ll take solace in getting the fewest incorrect…. and continue with my poor streak of getting exact score.

Next week I will predict one game to have at least 7 goals – let’s hope it’s the right one!

Congrats KMFE and kudos ME for pointing out the picks of yours were wrong which ended up landing you dead last.

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.

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?



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.

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.


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.

May 16, 2015 Premier League Picks

Southampton have gone absent and all of a sudden Tim Sherwood is manager of the year and Benteke is the Aguero of Birmingham!  Technically, not yet safe it’s hard to see them pull a FA Cup and relegation double of Wigan.

Manager of the End of the Year?

West Ham and Everton have nothing to play for but pride and I’m not sure either team have any left, especially the underachieving team of Martin-ez. They’re at least safe but that’s falling short of  beginning of the year expectations.

Big Six pointer at Sunderland against Leicester city who are on an unbelievable run of seven wins in eight games.  While that should have left them safe they started so many points back that they are still in the thick of the relegation bubble.  A loss to Sunderland drops them back into the final day consideration for the drop.

Harry Kane and the rest of Spurs are absent and have been for a while … it’s hard to see them winning unless you are on the A503

Except Walthamstow

Burnley have been trying hard all year so it’s only fair that after the final bell and the fight is over they can collapse and take stock of how beaten up they have become.  They punched above their weight but the bigger men are always stronger but there’s a couple of minutes left so they’re going to go down swinging.
QPR are a mess that we can look forward to going down – overpaid, overprivileged, and looking around at each other trying to figure out what to do.  Last week their hammering came in part because no one on the team were ware that they wereon a team.

What is it we’re trying to do again?

Liverpool will win the last home game of Stevie G.  A loss would be inexcusable.

16-May 2015  
Southampton 1-2Aston Villa
West Ham United1-1Everton
Sunderland2-0Leicester City
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1Hull City
Burnley2-1Stoke City
Queens Park Rangers1-2Newcastle United
Liverpool2-0Crystal Palace
17-May 2015  
Swansea City1-2Manchester City
Manchester United2-2Arsenal

Both Manchester City and Arsenal want to wrap up an automatic European spot for next year.  Aguero also wants to wrap up his scoring title and that should be easy (especially as Harry Kane is out of the purple and into the will it continue for him patch).

Arsenal were the best team in the country until they lost to Swansea.  You ever get the feeling that Arsene doesn’t want to feel comfortable in his job? I’ve got 2nd wrapped up but maybe the fans enjoy more if we finish 3rd?  A draw in the old toilet game makes the game in hand a must win but do you deserve Europe if you can’t get a must  win at home against Sunderland?   I don’t think so either but I still prefer the European cup old style- Champions in a knock out.  The fact that Stevie G has a European cup but not title doesn’t compute in my universe.

18-May 2015  
West Bromwich Albion1-0Chelsea

West Brom will beat Chelsea for the simple reason that it doesn’t matter.  Both have managers who like the defensive side of the ball when it’s not necessary to push so it should be 0-0 but I have this feeling West Brom want to win more.

20-May 2015  

It’s a game in hand that Arsenal win and  leaves Sunderland still looking down at the teams below them for the final week.