Premier League predictions – Week 18

As we hit another round of Premier League fixtures, the festive programme moves ever closer, not that too many managers will be enjoying the possible nightmare that is on the cards. After a poor Week 16, week 17 turned out marginally better with 2 correct scores and 2 correct results. Never know one week I might get a big number of correct scores..anyhow, this weekend should prove more fruitful in the predictions round I would like to think, but here goes.

  1.                                           Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle Utd  No let up for Rafa in London
  2.                                Bournemouth 1-3 Liverpool          No repeat of last time for reds
  3.                                         Brighton  0-2 Burnley             The Burnley dream continues
  4.                                           Chelsea  2-1 Southampton   The Blues win again
  5.                                           Everton 3-0  Swansea City    Swans grounded again
  6.                                 Leicester City 2-1  Crystal Palace  Foxes deny Eagles
  7.                                         Man City 2-2  Tottenham        Spurs halt City win run
  8.                                       Stoke City  1-2  West Ham        Moyes lifting Hammers
  9.                                           Waford  3-1  Huddersfield   Hornets win at home
  10.                                    West Brom   1-2  Man Utd           United win at the Hawthorns

Not predicting good things for the Toon as defeat looms again albeit it down south in London. It’s win time for Liverpool after two draws. Clarets look certain to maintain their rise up the table. Sean Dyche has done well to take the team riding high and who is to say they wont still be up there come the end of the season. That said it may only take a couple of injuries to change things.

Man City host Tottenham in what could be an entertaining draw. Im going for a 2-2 draw as Harry Kane could end their winning run. It seems that West Ham might well be on the road to the Great Escape. Four points off London rivals leaves them not far from climbing out the relegation zone and a win at fellow struggles Stoke should make that happen.

Watford woeful run should end with a home win against Huddersfield whilst Man Utd should maintain the points gap between them and City with a win at West Brom.

Advertisements

FA Premier League Predictions – Week 16

It’s another post European competition week and that will always make things interesting and will any of them have a post midweek hangover.

Before I get on to this weeks predictions, last week was a bit of a shocker, I registered zero correct scores and a paltry 4 correct results, but hey cant win them all and much better than having absolute zilch.

It’s another week closer to Christmas and we see another midweek session to follow this weekend, so look out for the midweek predictions either late Monday evening or Tuesday lunchtime.

So as I mentioned earlier, it’s post European competition weekend, but one that springs up of the big derby games. It’s a Super Sunday affair as Liverpool take on Everton and Man Utd host Man City in what will be crucial games.

  1.                                                      Burnley 2-2 Watford          Honours even
  2.                                           Crystal Palace 2-1 B’mouth          Eagles fly high again
  3.                                            Huddersfield  1-1 Brighton         Point a piece
  4.                                                   Liverpool 3-1  Everton          Reds storm Mersey derby
  5.                                                     Man Utd 2-3  Man City        City steal the points
  6.                                           Newcastle Utd 2-1 Leicester City Magpies steal the points
  7.                                           Southampton  1-2  Arsenal           Gunners bounce back
  8.                                            Swansea City  0-2  West Brom    Baggies securing safety
  9.                                                Tottenham  2-0  Stoke City      Spurs end league struggles
  10.                                                 West Ham  1-2  Chelsea           The Blues deny Hammers

 

An interesting few score predictions  which will see the table look even more interesting should the results go the same way. Man Utd will miss the suspended Paul Pogba as they go down 3-2. They will keep second spot on goal difference as Chelsea will beat West Ham thus increasing David Moyes headache. Everton’s renaissance under Sam Allardyce will come to an end as they lose 3-0 to the free scoring Liverpool.

Tottenham’s struggles will end as they beat Stoke 2-0 and Arsenal will bounce back from their United defeat to beat Southampton. Newcastle’s winless run will come to an end as they beat Leicester City. West Ham and Swansea City see their misery continue as they suffer more defeats.

 

Match of The Doy – The 100th post

Well here we are, the 100th post in the blog that is known as Match of The Doy. It started three years ago though as Strictly 442, playing on the popular tv show and the old school formation. The name change in fact came via a couple of work colleagues. I’d have liked to have reached 100 posts sooner, but external issues such as my depression often got in the way of my writing.

The game of football is something that I have always enjoyed and knowing that I’d never get to be a footballer or a journalist, blogging would be the best alternative. I could write about what I wanted regarding the game however long or however short and at my own pace. I haven’t though written every post in the blog. I have been fortunate to have guest bloggers in the form of Dan Raywood on a number of occasions and Victoria Sharkey on a lesser note. Dan has more often shared his thoughts on Spurs related stuff together with the post reflecting on matters elsewhere.

Not only guest posts, but I have had the pleasure to have some Q&A posts with the Portsmouth CEO Mark Catlin, thanks to Liam Earley and Gay Gooners and Pride In Football’s Joe White. This came through another good friend and the previously mentioned Victoria Sharkey. The idea of the Q&A session posts were to find out more about the off the pitch stuff that happens in the game. I look forward to adding more as and when I can.

This season has seen me take on the predictions game for the Premier League. It has to say the least been an interesting path. Not so many accurate scores as I would have liked but the end results have often been chalked up more. Given that Watford and Burnley have been giving as good as they have got, they are hot on the heels on a top ten spot.

This year I had the idea of the Flashback 40 which was to share posts relating to my growing up over the years. It hasn’t always gone to plan, but you should look out for the France 98 retro review. This was one of my favourite World Cups and I have made slow progress but almost completed the group stage review. I thought it would be a good idea to look at each group….I do like giving myself a challenge. Thankfully though it will be completed for this year especially as I will be finishing work on the 14th December for the year, so no excuses.

So what does Match of The Doy look like for the next 100 posts? Well more of what you have seen already and other stuff, more from Dan Raywood and hopefully other guest bloggers joining the fray. Whatever happens though, it will be fun and interesting, so thanks for reading and keep on following.

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.

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.

 

 

They All Count

After a fantastic performance against Real Madrid in mid week, the next game was always going to be a challenge to meet the same excitement.
As it turned out, the early Sunday kick off against Crystal Palace was my first Spurs game of the season and one that found me initially surprised to find that it was an early kick off, but ultimately delighted that I got my afternoon back.

At the time of writing, I’m heading back home from the game and it’s about an hour and 10 minutes since full time. That’s why I don’t go to many games in truth; it’s great that Spurs stayed in London but the journey home is a chore.

As for the game, well Spurs made several changes from the team that conquered the European Champions and saw a debut for goalkeeper Paolo Gazzaniga as well as continued presence of Aurier, Winks, Son and Rose – who you may seem to be from the second string of the first team squad.

All in all, the game was relatively uninspiring and not full of incident. Palace have had their challenges on and off the pitch so far this season, and with a vocal traveling support and the strength of Zaha, Cabaye and ex Spur Andros Townsend, they have the potential to succeed and stay up this season.

For Spurs, it was a laboured performance that didn’t see Harry Kane at his best, saw Son miss an absolute sitter and generally saw good performances from Sissokho and Vertonghen. Man of the match for me was the impressive Davison Sanchez, but that is an example of how well distributed the ball was and how cool he was under pressure.

This won’t be my last visit to Wembley, but I’ll be delighted when the team return to Tottenham as while Wembley does suffice, every fan knows that this is a temporary situation and while Spurs can produce some classy performances, there are games they will have to scrap for and as the headline says, sometimes you have to do that as all of the points count.