Friday, October 25, 2013

George's Premiership Predictions October 26 2013

George's Premiership Predictions October 26 2013

George correctly predicted 4 results last weekend and will be hoping for better luck this time out. Man Utd should at last get a home win against a Stoke team struggling for goals. The Chelsea v Man City game seems a nailed on draw. Elsewhere home wins for Liverpool, Norwich, and Spurs.

George's Premiership Predictions

Saturday 26 October 2013

Crystal Palace 1 v Arsenal 3
Man United 1 v Stoke City 0
Norwich City 2 v Cardiff City 1
Liverpool 3 v West Brom 2
Aston Villa 1 v Everton 2
Southampton 2 v Fulham 0

Sunday 27 October 2013

Sunderland 1 v Newcastle 1
Chelsea 0 v Man City 0
Swansea City 1 v West Ham 1
Tottenham 3 v Hull City 1

Soccer - Pellegrini up for Chelsea showdown

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini hopes to have a fully-fit squad for the Premier League showdown with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Captain Vincent Kompany sat out the midweek Champions League victory away at CSKA Moscow, but is expected to be in contention to face the Blues come the weekend. Pellegrini said after success in the Russian capital: "We are now starting to think about this game with Chelsea. It is a very tough game, but we don't have any injury problems with the squad. "Vincent Kompany and all the other players are fit, so we are in a good shape." The Citizens are fourth in the Premier League table, just a point behind Chelsea in second, with Arsenal currently three points ahead of City at the top-flight summit. Pellegrini's men are 7/4 to win the Premier League title this season, having been crowned champions on a dramatic final day of the 2011/12 season.‎

Last time's Premier League predictions


Friday, October 18, 2013

Fifa World Rankings October 2013

FIFA World Fifa Rankings
Fifa World Rankings October 2013

Fifa's World Rankings for October 2013 were published this month at FIFA HQ in Zurich, Switzerland. The Fifa World Rankings are now published on Thursday and not Wednesday as before.

Euro 2012 winners Spain are still on top of the FIFA rankings, where they have been since September 2011, followed by Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy and England, who rise 7 spots after qualifying wins over Montenegro and Poland.

World Cup 2014 hosts, Brazil, are 11th.

Scotland are in 35th position, a huge leap after their win over Croatia in their qualifying group. The Republic of Ireland are in 60th place, an all-time low, Wales are in 44th level with Japan, Northern Ireland are 90th.

Ranking Team
1 Spain
2 Germany
3 Argentina
4 Colombia
5 Belgium
6 Uruguay
7 Switzerland
8 The Netherlands
8 Italy
10 England
11 Brazil
12 Chile
13 USA
14 Portugal
15 Greece
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 Côte d'Ivoire
18 Croatia
19 Russia
20 Ukraine

Full world rankings

Previous Fifa World Rankings


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Europe's road to Brazil takes final turn

World Cup Brazil 2014

European teams have played their last big night of qualifiers with a handful of tickets to Brazil 2014 given out.

The big names – Germany, Italy, Spain, England and the Netherlands all made it through as group winners and Switzerland kept up their recently consistent record in qualifying for major finals. Of UEFA’s nine group seeds, only Norway were eliminated, but three of them could only make the playoffs. Three third-tier seeds – Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Switzerland, jumped to first place finishes.

World Cup Brazil 2014

In truth there were no big-name casualties, although some famous names live to fight another day via the playoffs.

1998 World Cup winners and 2006 finalists France is the biggest name to miss the initial cut, though Les Bleus remain a strong favourite to reach Brazil via the playoffs. In their defence they had Spain to contend with in Group I. Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal will also await the draw, having finished second to Fabio Capello’s Russia, who bagged the golden ticket from Group F.

Belgium make a welcome return to the finals and will bring a string of outstanding young players to Brazil, but little Bosnia & Herzegovina are the most notable European qualifier, topping the less than arduous Group G above Greece.

The Euro 2004 winners join Sweden, Iceland, Croatia, Romania and Ukraine alongside France and Portugal in the playoffs. Iceland are the most unusual name in the hat, having beaten Slovenia and Norway to second place in Group E, and it is nice to see Romania, whose dazzling team from 1994 lives long in the memory, back in contention having failed to make it to the last three World Cups.

Of the eliminated, 2002 semi-finalists Turkey missed the boat again, as did 1998 semi-finalists Croatia. Eastern Europe had slim pickings overall, with 2010 qualifiers Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Serbia and Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland left on the quayside and only Bosnia-Herzegovina and Russia passing automatically.

Denmark were the unlucky second-placed team to miss the playoff cut, having finished second behind Italy in Group B but gaining fewer points than the eight other second-place teams. The Danes will surely rue their three draws in Copenhagen for costing them advancement.

An off-colour 90 minutes often made the difference between going through and going out. Had the Czechs not lost at home to Armenia or the Serbs to minnows Macedonia, things would have been different for them.

Italy won the fewest games of any qualifier, with six victories out of ten, and Germany the most with nine.

Holland’s Robin Van Persie was the continent’s top gunner with 11 goals, followed by Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Edin Dzeko with ten. Germany were the top-scoring nation with 36 strikes in ten games, Holland were second with 34 and England third with 31.

Bosnia-Herzegovina, England and Holland all scored eight times in a single match, but only Ukraine netted nine, at home to San Marino. The Italian-speaking republic had the worse statistics across UEFA, with a goal difference of -53 far worse than the next leakiest defence, that of Andorra who finished -30 with Malta on -29. Unlike Andorra however, San Marino at least found the net once, in their 1-5 home loss to Poland.

The UEFA playoffs draw is on the 21st of October with the two-legged games taking place on the 15th & 19th of November.

(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile