FA Premier League Predictions – Week 14

No sooner has the Premier League weekend finished, it’s time for a midweek round of predictions. Week 13 saw two correct scores and five correct results. I managed to predict three points for the Eagles who have now taken four points from their last two games and taking them to a total of eight points and within touch of escaping the drop zone. The other correct score was the cheeky prediction of Tottenham being held to a draw by West Brom, in reality given where the Baggies are, it should have been three points to Spurs but it seems Spurs like to be charitable at Wembley sometimes.

The correct results were the Burnley v Arsenal, Huddersfield v Man City, Man Utd v Brighton, Newcastle Utd v Watford and Southampton v Everton (nearly a correct score until Davis netted the Saints 4th).

So lets see how the midweek games go

  1.                                          Arsenal 3-0 Huddersfield     Another bad result for the Town
  2.                              Bournemouth  1-2 Burnley              Clarets return to winning ways
  3.                                        Brighton  1-2 Crystal Palace  Eagles win, three without loss
  4.                                          Chelsea  3-0 Swansea City    Another defeat for Swansea
  5.                                         Everton  1-3  West Ham         Hammers win on the road
  6.                               Leicester City  0-2 Tottenham        No slip ups for the Spurs
  7.                                       Man City  2-2  Southampton   Saints grab a point from leaders
  8.                                     Stoke City  1-3  Liverpool          Reds net a key away win
  9.                                        Watford  2-2  Man Utd            Hornets hold the Devils
  10.                                   West Brom  2-1  Newcastle Utd Baggies give Rafa double defeat


An interesting set of predictions I know, think this week will be a bit more trickier than previous rounds for some reason but hey ho, all part of the fun and games in the predictions game.


FA Premier League predictions – Week 13

So another week draws to a close but we have the joys of a Friday night game. I say joys but it’s only West Ham against Leicester City. I’m sure Hammers fans would rather be doing something else than watching Moyes lead the team to another defeat or am I just being harsh? Anyway it’s another busy weekend ahead as we finish a European Competition week (one that Everton fans will want to forget, although that’s most weeks)

Before I waffle on, lets get back to the subject. So how did I do in week 12? Not too badly three correct scores and three correct results, but the question is can I follow it up again? It’s going to be an interesting round of games. Liverpool host Chelsea, struggling Everton go to the South coast, Arsenal travel to confident Burnley being some of the big games.

  1.                                         Burnley 1-2  Arsenal            Gunners march on
  2.                              Crystal Palace  2-1  Stoke City       Eagles steal the points
  3.                   Huddersfield Town   0-4  Man City         City stroll astruggle
  4.                                      Liverpool  2-1 Chelsea            Reds take the honours
  5.                                        Man Utd  3-0 Brighton          United stroll to home win
  6.                             Newcastle Utd  1-2 Watford           Watford win to maintain top 10
  7.                              Southampton  3-1  Everton           Misery continues for Everton
  8.                              Swansea City   0-2 Bournemouth Another defeat for Swans
  9.                                   Tottenham  1-1 West Brom      Baggies nick a point at Wembley
  10.                                   West Ham   1-2 Leicester         More Moyes misery

Some potential interesting games here which could also turn out to be disappointments, but then that is the beautiful game.

In the Firing Line? – Dan Raywood blog

Today in football, West Bromwich Albion fired their manager. So what some of you may say, football managers get fired all of the time? Well there are two factors to this that make it interesting.

Firstly, the former manager Tony Pulis has never got a team relegated. The team is skating close to the edge this season, but the likelihood of relegation looks slim bearing in mind the manager’s past capabilities.

The second factor is the appointment this summer of Gary Megson, who served as manager of WBA many years ago and this summer returned to the club as assistant to Pulis.

So why is this interesting? Well Pulis will likely get another job and do a satisfactory job at another club, although a move to Wales looks likely. What about WBA? They could go with someone completely different and the fans will be left figuring out what will happen – will the new manager play a different game, more open and attacking and get the club relegated? If so, what does that make the fans think of the consistency of Pulis?

Also, did the appointment of Megson undermine Pulis? Was the intention all along to remove the head coach and replace him with a fan favorite?

It’s all so hard to tell when you’re on the outside, but in the case of football management as with other professions, the supporters are the customers in this case and the returning legend is seen as the saviour. With a short transfer window opening in just over a month, West Brom’s fortunes could stay the same, improve or get worse, and if things do get worse, the fans will long bear in mind that Pulis was never relegated as a manager.


NLD – Now (the) League (table looks) Different – Dan Raywood blog

So it turned out to be one of the most one sided, well from a goals perspective anyway, north London derbies for years. The result leaves the red side of North London happy and the Wembley tenants of Spurs less than happy.

In a way, you could see it coming. Great results and performances against Liverpool and Real Madrid were followed by a scraped win against Crystal Palace, and Arsenal unbeaten team aside, a team needs to have an off day at some point.

Apparently today was one of those days. Spurs looked disorganized and only Hugo Lloris played well in my view. The majority of the game was played in midfield or in Spurs’ half, and then the Arsenal offense had figured out how spurs were going to play and used that in their own tactics: playing through the middle and on flanks against two left backs who did not have the strength of Rose and Aurier.

Spurs will go back to the drawing board ahead of the away game against Dortmund on Tuesday night. Arsenal now find themselves in the top four a point behind Spurs, and without the distraction of a champions league tie ahead of them. Spurs will just be glad that they have already qualified from the champions league group, and can focus on giving Son, Llorente, Foyth and a returning Eric Lamela (played today for the under 23s) a chance to get some game time.

As for me, I’ll be looking forward to the rest of the weekend and glad I got so many chores done during a dismal game.

FA Premier League Predictions – Week 12

The international break is over and fans can put their qualification woes behind them and concentrate on the league. It seems a long time ago that we were enjoying week 11, well that is unless you were a West Ham or Arsenal fan of course, but safe to say a new manager for the Hammers brings new hope…oh yes maybe not, they appointed David Moyes. Im sure Hammers fans must have been so thrilled at the prospect of the man who took Sunderland down being appointed as manager of their club.

Anyway, week 11 was not as good as previous as I managed only to chalk up four correct results and nothing else. Week 12 might prove a little easier as we see the North London derby in the lunchtime kick off, Palace and Everton meet up in the battle of the two strugglers, Man City travel to Leicester in some of the key games amongst Liverpool looking to get a win over Southampton. So lets see how well I do this week.

  1.                                  Arsenal     2-2 Tottenham         Arsenal suprise and hold rivals
  2.                       Bournemouth     2-0 Huddersfield    Cherries net a home win
  3.                                Brighton     1-1 Stoke City           All square on the south coast
  4.                                 Burnley      2-1 Swansea City    Dyche’s men do it again
  5.                      Crystal Palace      2-1 Everton             Doom again for the toffees
  6.                       Leicester City      0-2 Man City           City stroll to another win
  7.                             Liverpool       3-0 Southampton   Reds cruise to storming win
  8.                               Man Utd       2-2 Newcastle Utd  Rafa ruins Pogba Ibra returns
  9.                               Watford       2-0 West Ham          Watford ruin Moyes start
  10.                          West Brom       2-2 Chelsea               Chelsea held at the Hawthorns

Going for some interesting predictions this week. Crystal Palace look to start a winning run whilst in the north London derby, it looks certain to be honours even in a surprise turn of events. Rafa Benitez returns to Old Trafford to spoil the party of the returning Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the United squad

Having struggled to get a win against the Saints in their last four attempts, Liverpool lok certain to net a big win as the combination of Mane and Salah proves too much for their south coast visitors.

Never Appoint Your Heroes – Dan Raywood

UEFA Nations League

Has there even been an idea as more pointless and unecessary from a  football governing body? I guess not and never will….don’t be silly of course there is. Not only do UEFA wish to kick this tournament off in 2018, but FIFA are looking to expand itthey intend on inviting nations from other confederations. Why? Why look to expand a competition that has not even kicked off yet.

The tournament will be the third competition for European nations and will see four sports for the Euro 2020 finals, most likely going to the lower nations in the European football family. The idea is to replace all the meaningless friendlies that take place inbetween the International qualifiers. The games will be played between September and November 2018 and the final four in the following summer.

There will be four leagues A-D with Leagues A and B containing 12 nations, League C containing 15 and League D containing 16. Each League will be split into four divisions. There will be promotion and relegation between each division within the leagues with the winners of each division playing for the opportunity to stake an early claim for a Euro 2020 finals place.

The competition will have 6 match days starting in September 2018 Match Days 1 (6-9) and 2 (9-12) with Match day 6 between 18-20. The finals taking place between 5-9 June 2019. This means that nations will also have a chance of taking it easy in the qualifiers if they have already especially as the Euro 2020 qualifiers will run from March 2019 to March 2020.

The format has been highly criticised as it gives a means of allowing the lesser European nations who would not usually stand a hope in hell of qualifying, a spot in the finals. Not only that teams who had already been knocked out of WC 18 qualifiers a chance to purposely lose games in order to drop down into the lower league and have a better chance of qualifying. Are lesser nations really worthy of taking places in the finals? Not really. We only have to look at the standard of some of the nations that make it to the World Cup finals.

The reality of it all in a way of course is money. These games will no doubt get tv coverage advertising and other commercial opportunities as it rolls into the European Championship qualifiers. If they really wanted to end pointless friendlies then they could easily just restrict the number of International weeks outside of the qualifying rounds.

With the introduction of the European League, it will surely reduce the opportunities for non European nations to play European opposition, it is quite possible that there could be regional competitions and even no doubt a lower nation World Cup featuring all the nations that couldn’t win in the proper one as we all know that where there is a competition there is a money opportunity. They could probably trying and build up San Marino v Malta, but we all know that would be a tedious borefest.  I’d rather go watch an Ismithan League game

I won’t be looking forward to one little bit, I’m sure not many others will especially when there will be clubs concentrating on European competition and wanting to keep players fit and available.