FA Premier League Predictions – Week 7

Week six saw more positive outcomes as the Premier League hit week six. I managed six correct results and one perfect result as Man City roared on ( I was a bit optimistic in that Palace might score against City) Tottenham nearly letting the Hammers ruin that six correct results. It was those Hornets at Swansea that nailed the perfect result. Im sure my Watford supporting friend Simon Nobbs was glad to see that after the battering by Man City previously. My team Liverpool, giving me another 90 minute roller coaster ride as they held on to beat Leicester City.

So to week seven and the final round of September matches including the first October games. It’s also the an International break after this round, so Premier League predictions gets a week off.

  1. Arsenal             2-0 Brighton
  2. Bournemouth 1-1 Leicester City
  3. Chelsea             2-2 Man City
  4. Everton             2-0 Burnley
  5. Huddersfield   0-2 Tottenham
  6. Man Utd           4-0  C.Palace
  7. Newcastle Utd 0-2 Liverpool
  8. Stoke City         1-2 Southampton
  9. West Brom       0-2 Watford
  10. West Ham        2-1 Swansea

 

An interesting weekend ahead, post midweek European football for our British representatives.With Chelsea and Man City facing off against each other, will either suffer post Champions League hangover. Im going for a draw as they will no doubt cancel each other out. Man Utd will add to the Palace misery with a hammering at Old Trafford. Roy Hodgson is having a behind closed doors friendly against Bromley as a way of team building, well it couldn’t happen surely? Well at the weekend it will.

Liverpool will roll on post Russia trip with a win at St James. Whilst the reds defence is a bit shakey, don’t expect another classic goal fest. Tottenham will also be victorious on the road as their charge for Premier League glory starts to take shape.

Europa League representatives Arsenal and Everton will be bagging wins again, good news for Everton as they look to get their season going. For Arsenal they look to be uniting at last.

Bournemouth and Leicester who are both at the wrong end of the table will end up taking a point each on the South coast. The visitors who nearly took a point off Liverpool last week, will be disappointed not to get nothing more.

Saints overcome their disappointment from losing last weekend as they beat Swansea, whilst Watford win and West Ham take three points at home.

Advertisements

FA Premier League Prediction – Week 6

OOh look its another week almost done and that can only mean one, yes Friday evening and down the pub for beers and live music….well there is that, but actually its time for this weekends Premier League predictions.

Last week I predicted 2 exact scorelines, Huddersfield v Leicester and the Bournemouth v Brighton games. I predicted 4 results correctly. How will I do this week? hopefully better, so lets get on with it.

  1. Arsenal      2-1 WBA                  Gunners end unbeaten in September with home win
  2. Brighton    1-2 Newcastle Utd Magpies steal three points from promoted Seagulls
  3. Burnley     1-1 Huddersfield    Honours even between the two surprise form teams
  4. Everton     1-2 Bournemouth  Struggling toffees lose again, Cherries take the points
  5. Leicester   1-2 Liverpool          Reds back to winning ways with win at the Foxes
  6. Man City   4-1 C.Palace             Palace find net in the league but receive a pasting
  7. Soton         1-1 Man Utd             Saints hold United to a second away draw
  8. Stoke City 1-2 Chelsea               Three hard won points for the Blues
  9. Swansea    1-2 Watford             Watford bounce back from City mauling to take win
  10. West Ham 1-2 Tottenham        Spurs win away pouring more pressure on Bilic

 

Well there you have the predictions and if the results follow the predicitons, then Palace fans will be left glum again, Everton fans even more despondent. That £150 million is seemingly well spent so far and wonder how long before there is a plane flying over Goodison with a Koeman Out banner. It must be a good time for aircraft banners from Premier League fans.

Having seen their team give a thumping to Everton, albeit with three late goals, the Reds might not be so fortunate this weekend at St Mary’s. Tottenham travel to West Ham with an opportunity to put Bilic under further pressure. The north London club have played two and won two without conceding on the road and with it now September, Kane is likely to catch up with his scoring.

Liverpool lost away to Leicester in the League Cup with some changes in the side, failing to convert their chances. Things I imagine will be different this Saturday tea time when they reconvene in the League. Expect the Reds to come away with a 2-1 win.

World Cup Qualifying – UEFA Group E-I

So welcome to part two of the UEFA World Cup Qualifying round 7-8. This time we feature groups E-I which include the likes of England, Scotland, Spain, Italy, Poland and Denmark. Let’s kick off though.

Group E

With the likes of Denmark, Romania and Poland all aiming for qualification for Russia 2018, it was always going to be a close call in who would claim top spot and who would be hoping their second place would be enough to gain a play off spot.

Romania looked the strongest  starting with an unbeaten three game run, albeit with a home win draw against Montenegro together with a 5-0 away win against Armenia and a surprise away draw in Kazakhstan. Their of qualification received a serious blow as they lost both home and away to Poland meaning the draw at home to Denmark, left them with a lot to do going into round seven and eight.

Denmark who had missed out in 2014 due to a poorer second place record, were looking to make it into the finals. They had a nervy start which saw them reaching a record of 2-2. They had a lot to do and they seemed destined to do it. A draw in Romania was followed up with a win away to Kazahkstan which was crucial going into round seven and eight, which included a home tie against Poland, who they lost away to earlier in round.

Poland who failed to qualify in 2014 no thanks to drawing four games, were looking strong with the hitman Robert Lewandowski leading the Polish line. The Munich striker was hot on form hitting two hat tricks in two separate games. Poland in this round were looking unbeatable going into these rounds.

Round seven saw Poland travel to Denmark odds on to win and move a step closer to qualification whilst Montenegro travelled to Kazahkstan and Romania hosted Armenia. It wasn’t going to go by the book in this round as the Danes pummelled the Poles 4-0 whilst Montenegro scored a win and Romania scraped a 1-0 win at home to Armenia.

Round 8 saw Denmark travel to Armenia whilst Montenegro hosted Romania and Poland hosted Kazahkstan. The Danes bagged a 4-1 win whilst Montenegro bagged a solitary goal to win 1-0. Poland were back on track with a 3-0 win which kept three points gap between them and the chasing pack. For Denmark and Montenegro they were level on points, goals scored and conceded. They were separated purely on the result between them which saw Montenegro win 1-0.

The final two rounds will have a key outcome of the group.  Round nine should see Poland beat Armenia making qualification virtually guaranteed. Montenegro and Denmark face off in which the winner will surely take second spot. In the final round Poland host Montenegro and are likely to be favourites. Depending on result of the Montenegro/Denmark result, the outcome between Denmark and Romania could see the Danes get through and claim a playoff spot.

Group F

This group featured double home nation representation as the auld enemy were paired up. England would have gone into qualifying the favourites to qualify in a group that consisted of Slovenia and Slovakia as the other more likely nations hoping to make it to Russia 2018.

Despite the wins and the luck along the way, England found themselves going into round seven and eight, with 14 points, Slovakia had 12 with Slovenia on 11 and Scotland on 8. It had looked bleak for Scotland going into round seven. The Scots though had not given up despite the difficult task and points difference.

Chances of winning the group were slim to nil for Scotland, especially with England who were facing a trip to Malta. England netted a 4-0 win in Valetta thus securing  The Tartan Army faced a trip to Lithuania needing to avoid the last minute equaliser scenario. A draw would have seriously hampered the Scots chances. Thankfully they bagged a 3-0. Slovakia and Slovenia were facing off and the Scots were hoping that the two qualification rivals would finish in a draw. It was looking that way until the 81st minute when Miha Mevlja put the ball into his own net. This left England on 17 points Slovakia 15, Scotland and Slovenia on 11.

Round eight saw something that would not happen very often, Scottish fans cheering on an England victory. The reason being that England were hosting Slovakia at Wembley. The Scots themselves were playing Malta whilst Slovenia were playing Lithuania. England went down early and Scots might have thought their rivals might be doing it on purpose but they came back to win 2-1. Scotland had to do their bit as well and that was easy as they  beat opponents Malta 2-0. Slovenia pasted a 4-0 win against Lithuania which could prove crucial come the end of the group stage if they are tied with either Slovakia or Scotland for second place.

Rounds nine and ten will see the play off spot in Scotland’s own hands. The Scots host Slovakia and travel to Slovenia. The trouble for Scotland is that Slovakia host Malta, which will give them 18 points meaning that dropped points for Scotland would mean game over. Fortunately for Scotland and Slovakia, England take on Slovenia which should see three points for the three lions.

The final two rounds should be interesting and wouldn’t be interesting to see all the home nations at a World Cup finals.

Group G

This one was that saw two footballing giants Spain and Italy drawn together with Albania and Israel providing the best supporting act nominations as it were in Group G. The first meeting between Italy and Spain had seen a point a piece and were going into round seven, only goal difference separated the two with Spain on +18 and Italy +14. Whoever won at the Bernabeu, would ultimately seal the group, especially with the fixtures in round nine and ten. Unfortunately for Italy, the Spaniard’s would have the advantage as they would win 3-0. The reason why it was bad news was that in round eight, they travelled to Liechtenstein and netted an 8-0 win. This gave Spain plus 29 with Albania and Israel left to play. Italy in their next tie managed a 1-0. The Italian’s losing mean that Albania and Israel could boost their slim hopes of a play off place.

Albania hosted Liechtenstein and got three points with a 2-0 win.  other in round seven in a one goal affair. They missed out closing a gap as they drew their next game away to Macedonia. A victory would have seen them close the gap to four points. Israel’s hopes of a play off were blown away when they lost both games, including one against Italy.

Rounds nine and ten see Spain face Israel and Albania and Italy also facing Albania alongside Macedonia. Italy could still win the group, but it would need Albania and Israel to take points off Spain whilst getting points off Albania themselves. Italy mind you would have to win their games to have a chance which should be the case seeing as the only nation to take points off them is Spain. It would appear that Italy would be heading for a play off, but they would be more than likely seeded.

Group H

This was always going to see one nation guaranteed to qualify and that was Belgium. It was just a matter as to who would take up second spot and a possible play off match. Going into round  seven and eight, Belgium had a four point gap over second placed Greece and a further point ahead of Bosnia.In round six Belgium and Greece had met and played out a draw although the Greeks could consider themselves unlucky not to take three points from the group leaders, that would have closed the gap to one point. Gibraltar came close to scoring their first point in their match against Cyprus, but were denied by a late winner.

Round seven saw Belgium host Gibraltar where the visitors suffered a 9-0 thrashing. Greece hosted Estonia but couldn’t breakthrough and had to settle for another draw which looked likely to hamper their qualification hopes.point. Bosnia though missed a great opportunity to move second when they went down 3-2 to Cyprus in Nicosia.

Round eight saw Belgium qualify for the finals as group winners with a victory over Greece, who themselves saw another chance to maintain a hold on the play off spot disappear. This allowed Bosnia to move second when they scored a 4-0 win away to Gibraltar.

So what now for the final two rounds. For Belgium, they can relax and enjoy themselves and can have a hand in who takes second place. Round nine sees the group leaders Belgium travel to Bosnia, where the hosts have yet to concede a goal. This could bode well for Bosnia in their quest although at the same time, Belgium have only condeded one on their travels. Greece travel to Cyprus which should favour the visitors. They will of course need to focus on their own game and not worry about what’s happening elsewhere.

Final round sees Greece with an advantage as they host Gibraltar. A big win would be crucial if they were to somehow finish on the same points as Bosnia. Bosnia though travel to Estonia, who they had previously beat 5-0. A repeat of this would give them a huge goal difference.

So who will be hoping to take a spot in the playoffs? Well that will depend on how Bosnia  do,, if they beat Belgium then they are home and dry. Given their record against the teams in 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th, they may struggle to get a playoff compared to Greece’s record. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.

Group I

The final group in the UEFA qualfying zone and it’s one that is very much undecided. It’s a battle between Turkey, Croatia, Iceland and Ukraine and going into rounds seven and eight it was the case of very much all to play for. Croatia lead the group ahead of Iceland on goal difference, with both on 13 points whilst Turkey and Ukraine worth on 11 and also separated by goal difference.

So, to round seven and Iceland looked favourites when they travelled to Finland. Their hosts had only managed to gain one point previous, although that was a win denied ten minutes from time against Kosovo. Unfortunately for Iceland, their hosts finally decided that they might make and effort and gain some pride. A solitary goal in the 8th minute was enough to hamper Iceland’s hopes.

Croatia though were not making any mistakes in Round 7 as they hosted Kosovo. It was again a solitary goal that separated the two nations, coming from Domagoj Vida in the 74th minute. The final game of the group saw the two rivals Ukraine and Turkey coming together at the Metalist. Both on 11 points and whoever lost could possibly see their hopes of automatic qualification disappear. A first half double from Yarmolenko kept the hosts hopes of taking the group still very much alive. It Come the end of round 7, Croatia were on 16 points, Ukraine 14, Iceland 13 and Turkey 11.

Round Eight saw another topsy turvy round. Key games saw Iceland host Ukraine and Turkey host Croatia as Finland played Kosovo in the game between the two eliminated nations. A victory for Croatia, would have given a little breathing space and a healthy 19 points. It wasn’t to be as Cenk Tosun grabbed the only goal of the game in the 75th minute. Iceland hosted Ukraine, both needing a win, especially for the hosts having had the surprise defeat whilst Ukraine with a win could go top. It was back to normal for the hosts as they won 2-0, leaving the group positions the same as it were going into the two rounds albeit the points changing. One thing of note is that Iceland Ukraine and Turkey all have a plus 4 goal difference going into the final two rounds. Iceland and Ukraine have the same goals for and against record.

The final two rounds of games could be very interesting in seeing who finishes where. Croatia host Finland in round nine but travel to the Ukraine in the final game. Croatia had won the first tie, but given the way the results have gone, it would not be a certainty. Iceland could eliminate Turkey with a win in round nine, especially if Croatia win their tie. There could be a twist though, with Ukraine likely to beat Kosovo, the final game between Ukraine and Croatia, could well be a winner takes all. Two wins for the Ukraine would see them on 20 points, with Croatia on 19.

Week 5 – Premier Predictions

Having  predicted one perfect result and six results last week, it seems things could be on the way up prediction wise, if only my fantasy football team in my own league was as effective, but anyhow, we head to a fifth week. Yes its week five of Premier League fixtures and my birthday in 18 days god forbid.

Anyway enough waffling and lets get to the subject.

  1. Bournemouth 2-1 Brighton.          Cherries net their first win of campaign
  2. Crystal Palace 0-2 Southampton. New boss  but Saints take points
  3. Huddersfield  1-1 Leicester.          Honours even as Huddersfield bounce back
  4. Liverpool        3-0 Burnley.             Liverpool return to winning ways
  5. Newcastle Utd  1-1 Stoke City        Toon held at home as Stoke draw again
  6. Watford           1-2 Man City           First defeat for Hornets as City edge win
  7. West Brom      2-0 West Ham         Woes for the Hammers as WBA roll on
  8. Tottenham      2-0 Swansea            Spurs follow CL win with PL Wembley win
  9. Chelsea            2-0 Arsenal              Arsenal take a point at the Bridge.
  10. Man Utd          3-0 Everton              Back to back defeats for Blues as Utd stroll

Week 4 – Premier League Predictions

It’s that time again, another round of Premier League predictions that see players returning after the international break. It will be interesting to see how I do this week, having forgot about week and leaving it too late, but hey it’s all a bit of fun really isn’t it.

So here goes.

  1. Manchester City 1-2 Liverpool      Liverpool to edge tight game
  2. Arsenal 2-0 Bournemouth             Arsenal back on winning ways
  3. Brighton 1-2 West Brom                 Brighton find it tough again as West Brom surprise
  4. Everton 1-2 Tottenham                  Tottenham win as Kane shines in September
  5. Leicester 1-2 Chelsea                      Burnley defeat seems an age as Chelsea march on
  6. Southampton 1-1 Watford             Both teams remain unbeaten
  7. Stoke City 1-1 Man Utd                   Stoke resistance ends United’s 100% streak
  8. Burnley 2-0 C.Palace                       Burnley pour more misery on struggling Palace
  9. Swansea 1-2 Newcastle                  Magpies overcome Swans to steal the points.
  10. West Ham 0-2 Huddersfield          Huddersfield continue their unbeaten run.

 

No doubt these may upset or be joyful with these predictions.

World Cup Qualifying Review – UEFA Group A – D

The UEFA part of the journey to the World Cup Finals has just completed round eight for some groups and things are still very much up in the air for a number of groups. Only two nations have qualified (at the time of writing this blog post) and whilst most of the favourites will be there, I imagine that there maybe the odd big name casualty come round ten completion.

Group A

This group was always going to be an interesting one what with France, an Ibrahimovic free Sweden together with a doomladen Dutch side. The group had progressed to round six with some mixed results and going into round seven it was crucial for France not to drop points against the Dutch having lost to Sweden in round six. There was no sign of that problem happening as France crushed the Dutch 4-0 at the Stade De France. A Lemar double with a 90th minute goal turned a narrow win into a thumping win and a crucial boost to their goal difference which was now plus three ahead second placed Sweden’s plus eleven.

The victory for France turned out to be crucial as Sweden lost 3-2 away to Bulgaria. The Swedes lost their group lead after being unable to overcome a Bulgaria side who have blown hot and cold. The other game saw Luxembourg grab their first win in the group.

Round Eight was not a good one for France as they were held to a goalless draw at home to Luxembourg. Despite various attempts to break through Les Bleu could not do it. It gave the visitors four points from the round and off the bottom of the group.

The Swedes having lost to Bulgaria needed to keep in touch with France and that they did. Belarus were the hosts and their win over Bulgaria seemed an age away. They had nothing to play for apart from pride, but that seemingly went out the window when they found themselves 3-0 down at half time.

The Netherlands hosted Bulgaria in a must win game and having been previously hammered by the French, confidence might have been severely bashed especially with Bulgaria beating Sweden. It couldn’t have been more different. The Dutch won 3-1 with two goals from Davy Propper helped them to three crucial points especially with the French failing to win.

The final two rounds of games see Sweden host Luxembourg and will hope to do better than the French whilst Netherlands travel to Belarus and France travel to Bulgaria. These results will prove crucial given that in the final round, The Netherlands host Sweden and France host Belarus. Providing they win the previous game France should win the group. Given the three point advantage for the Scandinavians, they will hold advantage going into that final game.

Group B

Group B already has the top two already secured, it was just the matter as to who will win the group. The Swiss top of their group and are on a streak and yes I almost typed roll. They have a 100% record and don’t look like dropping a point anytime soon and with Hungary the next vistors to Switzerland, followed by the return match between them and second placed Portugal, it will be winner takes all.

Portugal in their next game travel to Andorra, who shouldn’t be too much of an obstacle. There could still be a twist in the tale come the final game. Portugal have the superior goal difference with a plus 24 compared to the Swiss plus 15 and with three points separating the two nations, should the Portuguese win, then it’s advantage to Cristiano Ronaldo’s team.

Group C

Group C is another group which has the top two already locked in. It is also a group with home nation participation in the form of Northern Ireland. Germany currently dominate the group with 24 points and a point from winning the group. Northern Ireland sit in second with a play off spot guaranteed and three points back. Their only dropped points being a 2-0 defeat against Germany and a 0-0 draw in the Czech Republic.

Game number nine sees the Germans travel to Northern Ireland and based on previous results, its three points for Germany but then we all know how shocks can be thrown up every so often. The final round of games sees Germany host Azerbaijan and Northern Ireland travel to Norway, who they previously beat at home.

Group D

Another group with home representation, sees a three way battle for the automatic and play off spots. Serbia currently lead with 18 points ahead of Wales (14) and Republic of Ireland (13).

Serbia have been in control of the group unbeaten with five wins and three draws. There win at the Aviva stadium put another dent in the Republic of Ireland’s qualification bid. The Serb’s look certain to win the group finishing up with a trip to Austria and hosting bottom placed Moldova in the final game. They could afford to draw in Vienna whilst beating Moldova. Anything else and their qualification hopes will be in other nation’s hands.

Home nation representatives Wales, had at one point looked like struggling to finish in the three let alone top two having drawn five of their eight games. As the Irish were losing, Woodburn of Liverpool was netting a 74th minute winner against Austria. Woodburn was involved once more as Wales moved second with a 2-0 win away to Moldova.

In the final round Serbia travel to Austria and should easily nail the automatic qualification spot with a win. Their result against Georgia though could be either. The Georgian side have been a difficult team to beat away from home with only the Irish managing to get three points from the game. Giving Wales record, it would be easy to suggest that they might only get a draw against the former Soviet nation, but having beaten Moldova they will be high on positivity going into that game. Anything less will give the advantage back to the Irish as they face Moldova in the penultimate game. The final game for both sees them face off in Wales in what will literally be a winner takes all game. Whatever happens though, it will be a noisy night in Cardiff.

Check out Part 2 coming soon featuring Groups E-I. Till then arrivederci, Auf Wiedersehen, au revoir and goodbye.

 

Not long left – Transfer Deadline Day

So it’s that time again, yes the Transfer window deadline is tomorrow (Thursday) and despite the window open since early July, there is always excitement for some come 31st August or the 1st/2nd September if the last day of August falls on a weekend. There have been a fair few transfers to say the least including the record breaking Neymar deal, which of course set up a transfer fallout. I’m sure there are a few managers though who will be glad to see 23:00 hours tomorrow night.

Some fans will be anxiously checking the BBC or Sky transfer pages as well as keeping an eye on the Sky Sports Deadline day show that will be running throughout the day.

Arsenal fans will be hoping and praying for some transfer movement. So far Alexandre Lacazette appears to be the only incoming player whilst a number of players seem to be departing the Emirates stadium. Given their performance on Sunday, many of the Arsenal fans will be hoping that Wenger is going to be surprising them with some transfer deals that don’t feature players departing. With the likelihood of over £40 million added to the transfer, it cannot be said that there isn’t any money to spend on signings.

Conte will be hoping that he can strengthen the squad further especially with having to find someone to replace Matic, who was sold to Manchester United. One player who could be heading to the Bridge is Danny Drinkwater. The Leicester City player has also asked to leave the club. Leicester wont want to sell and if they do, it will be no doubt have to be the best part of £40 million as reported in the media.

Liverpool will be hoping to complete the Oxlade Chamberlain deal before the deadline and given the player’s preference being towards Anfield. The club had also been linked with Thomas Lemar of Monaco, who is rated at £75 million. It will be interesting to see where that option goes if the Ox moves to Anfield. The Virgil Van Dijk saga could come to ahead come tomorrow. The long running transfer story saw Liverpool chasing then apologising and then the Dutch player wanting to leave by putting in a transfer request. Will he stay or will he go and if he does, will it be Liverpool, given interest from Arsenal and Chelsea.

Another saga at Anfield is the Philipe Coutinho saga. Barcelona have put in several bids only each time to be rebuffed by FSG and the Brazilian had not featured in the season due to a back injury. Whether this was genuine who knows, but on international duty, the youngster was cleared to play.

Divock Origi looks certain to head out on loan looking for first team football in a pre World Cup season. German club Wolfsburg look his likely destination.

Man Utd I imagine will have a quiet deadline day having brought in several players including the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Manchester club have started well, although have yet to be really tested and Lindelof has yet to really feature, which would be a concern given the £31 million they spent. Januzaj and Rooney were the notable departures from Old Trafford.

Last seasons runners up Tottenham, have been relatively quiet so far. Only two players in so far by the name of Paulo Gazzaniga and Juan Foyth. Serge Aurier is a player though that could be heading to Tottenham from PSG for £23 million especially with his work permit being approved.

Crystal Palace go into the deadline day looking to strengthen their squad. They have had a nightmare start to the season. The South East London club will be hoping to sign Liverpool defender Mamadou Sahko. They have had a number of bids rejected by the Anfield club who would be prepared it seems to sell for £30 million. The fans hoping for the club to up their bid.

Will Everton make any further changes. They have been busy spending, but have also been spending over £100 million although £75 million would have that covered by the Lukaku transfer. They have spent £20 million plus on a number of players including Michael Keane from Burnley, Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea for £45 million whilst Wayne Rooney returned on a free transfer.

The other side is the question of Ross Barkley, will he stay or will he leave. He has been linked with a departure and despite his current injury, it is surely only a matter of time before the midfielder heads out of Goodison, with Chelsea being a favourite.

Whatever happens tomorrow, some fans will be no doubt be gripped and glued to their phones or tablets more happier than others whilst some might see their coming season imploding on the lack of transfer activity.