Posts Tagged ‘predictions’

Season Previews 2010/11 – How They’ll Finish

13/08/2010

Based on all the predictions written, here’s how I see the Premier League finishing up in May.

  1. Man Utd
  2. Arsenal
  3. Chelsea
  4. Man City
  5. Liverpool
  6. Tottenham
  7. Everton
  8. Fulham
  9. Aston Villa
  10. Stoke
  11. Blackburn
  12. Birmingham
  13. Bolton
  14. Sunderland
  15. Wolves
  16. West Ham
  17. Newcastle
  18. Wigan
  19. West Brom
  20. Blackpool

A few more thoughts. I think the top four are quite interchangeable though Man City won’t win it. It depends what other business is done before the end of the transfer window – you get the feeling the Milner deal will get a few things going.

I reckon Liverpool, Everton and Spurs are all capable of sneaking fourth spot. With the former two it depends on how fit their first choice teams stay throughout the season while Spurs could maybe go as high as third but it relies on them coping with two competitions at once. I’m sure they’ll sign one or two more players but are waiting to see if they beat Young Boys in the qualifier.

With Martin O’Neill leaving Aston Villa will drop down the table. It doesn’t matter who they get in to replace him, they won’t come ahead of those top seven teams. I have Fulham a little high on reflection. I should probably swap them with Villa. If they lose Schwarzer and get an injury or two, it remains to be seen whether Hughes can keep them going. With the signing of Kenwyne Jones Stoke might push on an extra place or two. I genuinely wonder if they have any players under 6ft beyond Tuncay and Etherington!

Going down to about 15th/16th you can mix and match. Bolton could shock a few people, while West Ham have one of the more talented spines of teams at that level. Birmingham could really struggle if Foster doesn’t live up to Hart’s performances last season and Zigic doesn’t perform but all in all the teams in this section should be ok.

For me there are just the four clear relegation candidates, though you could perhaps chuck Wolves in there too. Maybe I’ll revisit this once the transfer window shuts, as things should be a bit clearer by then.

T.

Season Predictions 09/10 – How They Turned Out

31/05/2010

Apologies for the lack of posts recently. I’m still in two minds about whether to do season reviews for each club – to be honest I’m in World Cup mode now. Perhaps I’ll still get round to it though.

Back in August I played a mug’s game and tried to predict how everyone would finish. Here’s what actually happened:

'Expert' predictions...

Looking at the results showed I got just three clubs spot on: Man City in 5th and basement dwellers Hull and Pompey taking the bottom two places. In my defence I was only one place out with six other clubs but really this table looks like what it is, rubbish punditry.

I think if Gareth Southgate and Garth Crooks had a bastard lovechild it would look something like this predictions table (enjoy those nightmare thoughts kids).

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In terms of the thinking, I had found it really tricky to split the top three when writing pre-season predictions. My loyalties to Arsenal may have played a part in placing them second while I couldn’t bear to predict Chelsea as Champions even though deep down I knew they had retained the most strength over the summer.

A similar scenario led to placing Spurs 7th – I was hardly going to predict them a Champions League spot was I?! I underestimated Liverpool’s decline and overestimated Sunderland’s improvement.

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The biggest mistake was Birmingham, a full nine places out, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who had them down to struggle. Fair play to Alex McLeish (who I had as first sacking!), he brilliantly led them to a top half finish.

The bottom half was slightly better predicted clubs wise, if not positions wise. The dearth of quality is such that it’s pot luck as to where the likes of Bolton and Wigan finish. I got three of the bottom four right and on another day would have predicted Burnley to come in 18th not 17th.

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In terms of the cups and other stuff it went like this:

And I thought the league prediction was bad...

Oh dear. Only Bayern Munich correct and I suppose West Brom for promotion. If the Premier League table was the Southgate/Crooks lovechild then this is the resulting mess when said lovechild had a threesome with Alan Shearer and Jamie Redknapp. I literally couldn’t do any worse at being a pundit. Like I said at the beginning, it’s time for the World Cup…

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T.

Challenge Lawro Update – Weeks 18-26

10/02/2010

The longer I didn’t update this the more hassle it became but I’ve finally got round to it. Needless to say we are doing terribly and for all our talk are unlikely to finish the season ahead of Lawro, or indeed the Football Guy. He may be a decent pundit after all; still chats a lot of crap though. As always, 30 for a perfect score, 10 for a correct result, -10 for a wrong result.

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challenge lawro-week-18

Week 18.

lawro-week-19

Week 19.

lawro-week-20

Week 20.

lawro-week-21

Week 21.

lawro-week-22

Week 22.

lawro-week-23

Week 23.

lawro-week-24

Week 24.

lawro-week-25

Week 25.

lawro-week-26

Week 26.

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As you can see, pretty poor all round. Let’s look at the breakdown between the two Sportboys.

Sportboy T:

Correct Results: 43 (430 points)

Perfect Scores: 12 (360 points)

Wrong results: 62 (-620 points)

Total: 170 points

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Sportboy P:

Correct Results: 50 (500 points)

Perfect Scores: 9 (270 points)

Wrong results: 59 (-590 points)

Total: 180 points

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Sportboy P has upped his game and it’s essentially level as he’s predicted one extra match. Personal pride is about all we have left to play for so it will be interesting to see who comes top.

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T.

Challenge Lawro Update – Gameweeks 15-18

19/12/2009

A quick update on our failing attempts to beat Mark Lawrenson at the predictions game.

Challenge Lawro Week 15 - Sportboy P brings the score down.

Week 16 - Sportboy P once again messes it up.

Our first perfect scores in ages that week. Sportboy P was unlucky in that the Sunderland, Spurs and Man Utd games had somewhat unexpected results.

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Lawro is too lazy to do midweek matches so week 17 was skipped. On to week 18.

Week 18 Predictions.

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An update on how we’re doing between us:

Sportboy T:

Correct Results: 29 (290 points)

Perfect Scores: 10 (300 points)

Wrong results: 39 (-390 points)

Total: 200 points

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Sportboy P:

Correct Results: 32 (320 points)

Perfect Scores: 4 (120 points)

Wrong results: 42 (-420 points)

Total: 20 points

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The scores say it all…

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T

Challenge Lawro – Weeks 7, 8 & 9

18/10/2009

It’s been a while since I updated Challenge Lawro. For those of you new to this, every week we try and see if we can do better than Mark Lawrenson at predicting the week’s Premier League games. We’re also taking on the Football Guy and at the end of the season we’ll see who’s best. It won’t be Lawro that’s for sure. Simple scoring system: +10 points for a correct result, -10 points for an incorrect result and +30 points for a perfect score.

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Week 6 scores

Week 6 scores.

A great week 6 with positive scores in eight of the ten games.

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Week 7

Week 7.

An average week 7 but the lead is still good.

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Week 8 (oh dear).

Week 8 (oh dear).

It all goes very wrong in week 8 with a 100 point swing to the Football Guy and a 120 point swing to Lawro. Just two correct results…

Week 9.

Week 9.

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This week’s scores pre the Monday night match. Here’s hoping Fulham can at least prevent a second consecutive negative score. We’ve had no perfect scores in three gameweeks! Only a quarter of the season gone though.

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In terms of who’s doing better out of The Sportboys it’s pretty even but my three perfect scores in week 6 have me slightly ahead. I think P might be bang on the money with his Fulham prediction so it may even up tomorrow night.

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Sportboy T

Correct Results: 15 (150 points)

Perfect Scores: 7 (210 points)

Wrong Results: 21 (-210 points)

Total Points: 150

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Sportboy P

Correct Results: 19 (190 points)

Perfect Scores: 4 (120 points)

Wrong Results: 19 (-190 points)

Total Points: 120

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T.

Challenge Lawro – Weeks 5 & 6

19/09/2009

An update on our predictions battle with the Football Guy and the master of all things banal Mark Lawrenson.

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Week 4 scores (all my predictions):

Challenge Lawro Week 4 results

Challenge Lawro Week 4 results.

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Week 5 scores (all P’s predictons):

Challeng Lawro Week 5 scores.

Challenge Lawro Week 5 scores.

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This week’s predictions:

Week 6 Predictions

Week 6 Predictions

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T.

Challenge Lawro – Week 4

29/08/2009

A so so week last time round but a couple of perfect results saved a negative score.

Week 3 scores.

Week 3 scores.

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Sportboy P was on a stag do so I had to do all the predictions. I’ve realised that I have six predictions identical to Lawro and three others with the same result so it could be a bad week ahead!

Week 4 predictions

Week 4 predictions

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T.

Challenge Lawro – Week 3

22/08/2009

Quick update with last week’s scores

Week 2 scores

Week 2 scores

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and this week’s predictions

Can Lawro & the Football Guy catch up?

Can Lawro & the Football Guy catch up?

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T.

Season Previews 09/10 – Sunderland

14/08/2009

sunderland

Last Season: 16th.

Say hello to your new teammates: Lorik Cana, Frazier Campbell, Paulo da Silva, Darren Bent, Lee Cattermole.

Close the door on your way out: Michael Chopra, Dean Whitehead, Greg Halford, Dwight Yorke, David Connolly.

Predicted star: Darren Bent has lots of critics, many of them at Spurs but there’s no denying that he scores goals. He was Tottenham’s top scorer last season which says a lot about the way they work if they’re willing to let him go. In Kenwyne Jones he should have an ideal strike partner whose strength and ability to hold up the ball will complement Bent’s speed and play off the last man. I mentioned in a betting preview that you can get 50/1 on him to be top goalscorer which is a great each way bet. I reckon he’ll get 15 league goals for sure.

Needs a big year: Kieran Richardson was being touted as a regular England player for the problem left wing position not too long ago but he lost his way somewhat in the last season or two. He doesn’t have any real rivals in that area (Andy Reid is too slow to play wide) and he be looked to for service to the new look strikeforce.

One to watch: Lorik Cana was signed this summer from Marseille and immediately installed as captain, which shows how highly Bruce regards him. A tough tackling midfielder with an eye for goal, the 26 year old Albanian should fit right in the Premier League. I think the duo of him and fellow new signing Lee Cattermole will be amongst the better central midfield partnerships this season.

Hardman.

Hardman.

What they want to happen: Steve Bruce to work his magic and lift Sunderland away from the annual struggle to avoid relegation back to the Championship. Top half could well be in sight.

Nightmare scenario: Sunderland’s defence proves to be a weak link as they fail to respond to Bruce’s organisational skills.

Plan A: Become tough to beat by tightening up at the back. The midfield of Cattermole and Cana is aggressive and defensive enough to allow Malbranque and Richardson to create down the flanks. A big man and pace merchant duo up front will try to improve on Sunderland’s measly 34 goals last season.

Plan B, just in case: Play it direct to Jones, whose underrated creative skills will hold the play up before playing in Bent.

Predicted finish: 9th.

Why? There is cause for optimism at the Stadium of Light this season. After the drama of Roy Keane leaving mid-season and Ricky Sbragia only just keeping them up, there was a need for some stability and re-assessment. Bringing in Steve Bruce is quite a coup – I think he’s amongst the best managers outside the top four. The signings are no longer limited to Irish reserves, Man United rejects and other various cloggers.

Imaginative, good quality players have been brought in and most of the Wearsider’s needs have been addressed. A new look midfield will provide bite and improve the side’s away form. Cattermole was linked with Liverpool while Cana is an aggressive, destructive yellow card machine (this is a good thing though). Instant leadership on the pitch too.

Should work well with Bent.

Should work well with Bent.

Darren Bent does miss a lot but he also scores a lot and he should turn some of the 1-0 losses into draws and some of the draws into wins. If Bruce can get the defence organised as well as he did at Wigan then they will be much harder to break down. Only Paulo da Silva has been signed in defence but Anton Ferdinand is a good enough player to base the back four on. Looking to the future, Bruce has an extensive scouting/contacts network which will bear fruit in coming seasons (see Valencia, Palacios, Zaki etc). I think Sunderland are in line for an excellent season and led by Jones and Bent should get enough wins to progress to the top half of the table.

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T.

Season Previews 09/10 – Manchester City

13/08/2009

man-city

Last Season: 10th.

Say hello to your new teammates: This will take a while. Emmanuel Adebayor, Roque Santa Cruz, Kolo Toure, Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry, Stuart Taylor.

Close the door on your way out: Elano, Ched Evans, Daniel Sturridge, Valeri Bojinov, Joe Hart, Jo, Felipe Caicedo (the last four are loans out)

Predicted star: Robinho. He scored 14 in his debut season despite many a tiff with Hughes as well consistently anonymous performances away from home. With the added steel purchased in defence and midfield as well the additional talent up front, he should be pushing around 20 this time round. Alternatively, what’s the betting they still struggle to succeed and Shay Given is relied upon to stop things getting embarrassing?

Needs a big year: Mark Hughes himself has no excuses now – this is his team playing out his ideas. On the pitch, Adebayor will want to show he’s worth a second double your wages deal in two years. He’ll quickly frustrate if he plays anything like last season where the only effort he put in was to stray offside. Roque Santa Cruz will look to score more than five league goals for only the second time in his ten year European career.

One to watch: All these stars are being signed but youth product Nedum Onouha could prove to be a rock alongside Toure if they fail to get in another centre back. He’s surely ahead of the fast regressing Richard Dunne in the pecking order now.

What they want to happen: Champions League qualification, no more no less.

Nightmare scenario: The team fails to gel and another season of inconsistency sees no higher than 7th.

The best signing they've made.

The best signing they've made.

Plan A: Looking at the players available you can expect Barry and De Jong/Kompany in the middle of the pitch with Ireland down the right flank and Robinho down the left. Tevez should partner Adebayor up front. Expect a fluent direct style which will utilise the skills of Ireland and Robinho who will be playing quite narrow. Wright-Phillips and Petrov are options if they want a system with traditional wingers.

Plan B, just in case: Play four up front, goodness knows they have the attacking players for it.

Predicted finish: 5th.

Why? A £100 million shopping spree is all very well but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Last season City finished in 10th place some 22 points behind 4th place Arsenal. You can’t make that kind of deficit up just like that. The signings made are on the whole good and solve a lot of the problems from last season but we mustn’t forget that it’s people like Barry and Tevez coming in not Kaka and Ribery.

Toure will improve the defence but I can assure you he isn’t the player he once was. He has a rather large behind these days and has certainly lost a yard of pace since getting malaria at the last African Nations Cup. The need still exists for a Lescott or an Upson alongside him. Barry is an excellent signing and perhaps the best value of everyone they brought in. He will provide the much needed solidity away from Eastlands and should form quite the midfield partnership with Kompany.

A lot of money for not a lot of goals.

A lot of money for not a lot of goals.

I’m willing to back Ferguson on the issue of Tevez. He had two years to look at him and obviously decided that he wasn’t worth keeping. Tevez is a hard worker and very skilful but he doesn’t score enough for a £25million striker. Adebayor on the other hand does, but I wonder if he will have lost his attitude problem and his offside problem to return to the striker of two seasons ago. He will still score plenty even if he hasn’t and I already foresee a badge kissing incident after he inevitably gets a goal against his old team in the fourth game if the season.

So overall I reckon the players bought are good enough to leapfrog five teams and become the best of the rest. They aren’t yet good enough to become the best of the best however and I wonder if they ever will be with Mark Hughes in charge. Big players and egos are needed to reach the elite and whilst he has them, I don’t think handling them sits especially comfortably with him.

He needs to 4th place to manage City in 2010/11 but I don’t think he’ll get it. This leads to somewhat a vicious circle. You can throw lots of money at second choice players to try and get you into the Champions League but fail because they’re second choice options, but the players who you really want will never join because you’re not in the Champions League.

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T.


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