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MATCH DAY 13

 

Our first game sees the inconsistent Newcastle (DLLWWL) take on the slip sliding Cologne (WDLLDL) in an important game for both clubs looking to improve their situation this season. Cologne will be without the attacking threat of Kazu Miura and will be relying on the abilities of Kranevitter and Rabiot who seem to be going through a bad patch. Jese and Skjelbred have been showing signs or forming a stronger partnership in recent games and hopefully they can gel for the home side. Newcastle to win.

 

Guangzhou will host PSG in our second game and I cannot see the home side able to bounce back yet with all the problems they have, Manager Gozzy reappeared for a day but has not been seen since and has also failed to contact league management. Coates and Marques are injured for the home side and I fear it will be another defeat for them. Away win here.

 

Club America will be without the services of defender Hysaj for their home encounter with Stuttgart as he serves a suspension for that horrific tackle in the last game. Despite some poor form recently I expect the home side to be to strong for the traveling Germans in this one and recover that winning feeling. Home win forecast.

 

Hertha Berlin will host Ajax at the Olympiastadion and Manager Whisperr will be looking for a better performance from his players than the 4-0 drubbing they suffered in the last round. Unfortunately for them they come against a high-flying Ajax side that  outplayed the former league leaders in the lst round. Even without Dos Santos I expect the visitors to be too strong. Away win here.

 

Celtic will play host to the rampant Feyenoord as 2 take on 1 at Celtic Park in the match of the round. Celtic still incensed by their loss to Sunderland in the last round will be out to close the gap with the league leaders. Left back Masina ill be absent through injury but it appears that several players on both sides may be carrying minor niggles so the lineups from both sides could be very interesting. I should go for an away win here but I am biased...Celtic to win.

 

Sunderland travel to Seattle as 6th plays 5th and both sides will be lokoing for a win to improve their league position. Both sides have all players available bu again there are issues surrounding a number of pplayers that make selection difficult. I guess we will see on the day. A draw forecast here.

 

Like Newcastle, Eintracht have been very much a hot/cold team with their last six matches reading LWLLWL. Hanover are only a little better DWWLLD but with Correa sidelined through injury and Carbonero in Red Card trouble I will go for the visitors to upset the hosts in this German Derby.

 

Our final game is between Atletico Madrid and Manchester City with both sides recording two wins, a loss and a draw in their last four matches. The only player unavailable for the clash is the now infamous Jordan Lukaku who has been studiously avoiding his manager for the past day or two but was seen waving at a certain young lady as she walked to University with her friends this morning, according to sources. the biggest disappointment for Manager Lucas will be Bakambu who has failed to find the net so far this season although there has been no doubting his effort and ability. Ighalo may be refinding some goalscoring form but with the threat of Mina and Deeney coming at them they will have to be right on their game. A draw for this one.

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150x_newcastle.jpg                    V                    150x1.-fc-koln-8.jpg

 

Prediction: Our first game sees the inconsistent Newcastle (DLLWWL) take on the slip sliding Cologne (WDLLDL) in an important game for both clubs looking to improve their situation this season. Cologne will be without the attacking threat of Kazu Miura and will be relying on the abilities of Kranevitter and Rabiot who seem to be going through a bad patch. Jese and Skjelbred have been showing signs or forming a stronger partnership in recent games and hopefully they can gel for the home side. Newcastle to win. 1-0

 

Manager David Moyes will be furious at the endeavor of his side as they capitulated to Newcastle at St James' Park today. Even with a combination of an opposition that went down to 10 men after only 30 minutes and a MOTM performance by their goalkeeper Donnarumma the Cologne side good not manage one shot on target, one corner and only 39% of the ball. The game started in atrocious fashion for the visitors when Austin took the kick off to Bittencourt who passed it back to Lustenberger. The big centre half paused with no pressure before putting a firm pass down the centre of the field back to Bittencourt who had started running from the pass back and received it 25 yards out completely unmarked, turned, took a touch and from hut on 29 yards curled it past the keeper. In the 16th minute it was Charlie Austing that found Diego Rolan unmarked in the bos to slot home for  a 2 goal lead. Then, with the home side pressing for a a third, Jese inexpicably had a melt down and cut down Barker from behind. The referee had no hesitation in sending him straight from the field and this was probably the only thing that saved Cologne from being overwhelmed. Even so the visitors were unable to provide any reasonable standard of attacking play to give Newcastle a cause for concern. in fact it was only Donnarumma that kept the home side from going further ahead. Rabiot seemed like a strange choice at CF for the visitors and in all honesty he looked a bit uncomfortable in the role. Final Score 2-0

 

150x_Guangzhou-Evergrande.jpg                    V                     150x_psg.jpg

 

Prediction: Guangzhou will host PSG in our second game and I cannot see the home side able to bounce back yet with all the problems they have, Manager Gozzy reappeared for a day but has not been seen since and has also failed to contact league management. Coates and Marques are injured for the home side and I fear it will be another defeat for them. Away win here.

 

Cookie guided his side to a second straight win against the struggling Guangzhou with a dominating performance. PSG will however be disappointed that, in restricting the home side to only 1 shot at goal, that shot went into the net. Captain Padoin had an outstanding game and opened the scoring in the 18th minute latching on to a great cross from MOTM Chris Brunt to put his side in the lead. In the 34th minute Larsson found Marquinho unmarked in the box and the winger found the net with a great first time strike. Marquinho has been growing in confidence over the last two games and this bodes well for the future at PSG. After half time the visitors continued to pile on the pressure and with the home side looking tired, CB Abrilla went on a run that ended with a nice pass to Brunt who capped oh his day with a goal...3-0. PSG took their foot off the pedal from here and the home side got back into the game when Dendoncker found Vecino with a great diagonal pass that beat the PSG defense for the consolation goal. With about 10 minutes to go Beavue finished off some great work by Routledge but the goal was ruled offside. Final SCore 1-3

 

150x_clubamerica.jpg                    V                    150x_eintracht-frankfurt.jpg

 

Prediction: Club America will be without the services of defender Hysaj for their home encounter with Stuttgart as he serves a suspension for that horrific tackle in the last game. Despite some poor form recently I expect the home side to be to strong for the traveling Germans in this one and recover that winning feeling. Home win forecast. 2-1

 

I was expecting CA to produce something to stop their slide in todays game but instead they were unable to muster a single shot on target. Captain Bell was brilliant in defence producing a MOTM performance to help keep his side in the game. Otherwise this was a game where the two sides cancelled each other out. Stuttgart will be pleased with the point but neither side will really be happy with their performance in this lacklustre game. Final Score 0-0

 

150x_Hertha-BSC.jpg                     V                    150xafc-ajax.jpg

 

Prediction: Hertha Berlin will host Ajax at the Olympiastadion and Manager Whisperr will be looking for a better performance from his players than the 4-0 drubbing they suffered in the last round. Unfortunately for them they come against a high-flying Ajax side that  outplayed the former league leaders in the lst round. Even without Dos Santos I expect the visitors to be too strong. Away win here. 3-1

 

Manager Whisperr called on his men to lift their game in this match and they did, but not far enough and it took a MOTM performance from keeper Smeichel to keep the scoreline reasonable even though on paper the game looks fairly even. Embolo scored both goals for the visitors . The first came just 10 minutes in with a searing strike from a Radoja cross that the 'keeper got a hand to but could not stop and, just before half time, the young triker latched onto a pass after some brilliant work from Suarez to make it two. Manager LauraV will be pleased with the win that continues their climb up the table but will also be disappointed that her side could not add to their tally in the second half to improve the goal average, Final Score 0-2

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150x_Celtic.jpg                    V                      150x_feyenoord.jpg

 

Prediction: Celtic will play host to the rampant Feyenoord as 2 take on 1 at Celtic Park in the match of the round. Celtic still incensed by their loss to Sunderland in the last round will be out to close the gap with the league leaders. Left back Masina ill be absent through injury but it appears that several players on both sides may be carrying minor niggles so the lineups from both sides could be very interesting. I should go for an away win here but I am biased...Celtic to win. 3-2

 

Looks like whichever way I went I was going to call this one wrong in a classy game where two top sides beat each other to a standstill. With both sides playing open and attacking football it was a trat for the fans but in the end neither team was good enough to find the winner. Rajkovic rewarded the support of his manager byy turning in a MOTM peformance in the Celtic Goal but no-one could find that additional piece of brilliance to seal the game. Celtic slipped a couple of places in the table but are still in a good place...Feyenoord remain on the top but their lead is back to 3 points. Final Score 0-0

 

150x_Seattle_Sounders_FC.jpg                     V                     150x_Sunderland.jpg

 

Prediction: Sunderland travel to Seattle as 6th plays 5th and both sides will be lokoing for a win to improve their league position. Both sides have all players available bu again there are issues surrounding a number of players that make selection difficult. I guess we will see on the day. A draw forecast here. 3-3

 

A MOTM performance by Thomas Kraft in the Seattle Goal was enough for the home side to steal a win in this game. The game started with a bang when, in the 2nd minute, Ings was brought down ont he edge of the box and Camarasa put his foot through the ball for a searing goal. The match became a seesawing affair until just before half time when the consistently classy Ronaldhino found Tolisso open in teh box and another rocket of a shot blasted its way past the diving Butland. Sunderland sat back in the second half content to hold the point and maybe steal it on the break but as Ings ran into the box on a break-away raid Kolo Toure brought him down with a late tackle and N'Jie made it 8 for the season from the spot and a win to the home side. Final Score 2-1

 

150x_eintracht-frankfurt.jpg                    V                     150x_hannover-96.jpg

 

Prediction: Like Newcastle, Eintracht have been very much a hot/cold team with their last six matches reading LWLLWL. Hanover are only a little better DWWLLD but with Correa sidelined through injury and Carbonero in Red Card trouble I will go for the visitors to upset the hosts in this German Derby. 3-4

 

Dele Alli scored his 8th of the season with just 5 minutes gone and with Sportiello in the home goal giving a MOTM performance (YES REALLY!!...another MOTM GK>>>SM ARE YOU READING THIS) it looked like Eintrach had done enough to take the points. However a 28th minute strike from Amrabat after Vazquez set him up leveled the score and the second half turned into a grind here neither side could muster the moves to break the other down. Both sidews may well be happy with a point but they are both on 17 points...both slipping down the league and will be looking for something better. Final Score 1-1

 

150xATMadrid.jpg                    V                    150x_Manchester-City.jpg

 

Prediction:

Our final game is between Atletico Madrid and Manchester City with both sides recording two wins, a loss and a draw in their last four matches. The only player unavailable for the clash is the now infamous Jordan Lukaku who has been studiously avoiding his manager for the past day or two but was seen waving at a certain young lady as she walked to University with her friends this morning, according to sources. the biggest disappointment for Manager Lucas will be Bakambu who has failed to find the net so far this season although there has been no doubting his effort and ability. Ighalo may be refinding some goalscoring form but with the threat of Mina and Deeney coming at them they will have to be right on their game. A draw for this one. 3-5

 

Manager Noisy will be somewhat disappointed that his side failed to pose any real threat to the home defense despite their prolific strike force this season. I mentioned in the preview the Ighal seemed to be finding his touch and he coniremed that with both goals in this win and the MOTM award to boot. Ighalo received a though ball from Suarez which he ran onto in just the 12th minute and Rulli was left rooted to the spot to open his account but it took until the 74th minute for the home side to score again and this time Paulista was the provider for the effervescent Ighalo to make it 6 for the season. manager Lucas appears to have calmed down after the removal of Jordan Lukaku from his eyeline and it was onted by the wags in the crowd that his daughter was there to watch the game ...while Lukaku was nowhere to be seen. Final Score 2-0

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MATCH DAY 14

 

Manchester City will play host to Newcastle in the first match of this round and Manager Noisy will expect his side to bounce back after their performance in round 12. The visitors will be without the suspended Jese who issereving a three match ban. Jese will be missed. Manchester will recover to take the points in this one.

 

Cologne play Guangzhou in a bottom of the table clash in Germany and honestly if Cologne cannot get points from this game they are in serious trouble. Home win here.

 

PSG play host to Club America  and a few matches back this would have been forecast as an away win. But PSG have been on the up recently while CA are slipping a bit and that may be enough to get the Frenchmen home. I will take the plunge and forecast the home win.

 

Stuttgart host Berlin with both sides looking for improved form and both at full strength. Berlin have lost their last two and Stuttgart are getting mixed results so I will go for the draw.

 

Feyenoord and Seatlle will have all players available when they face off in Rotterdam and it is third placed Seattle now looking to find a way to upset their hosts. It is hard to choose against the unbeaten Dutchmen who are looking very strong. So I won't. Home win here.

 

Sunderland will be disappointed at their last performance and will be looking to recover some ground against Frankfurt who are still without Correa. The home side will need to lift their game but I think they can do that. Home win here.

 

Hanover have drawn their last two games but are at full strength to take on the rising Madrid in our final encounter of the round. Madrid are missing Castillejo and Puncheon through injury but are really on the up and will prove too strong from the home side. Away win here.

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Hey, I've 2 question.

1. If we sell a player this season, the money can be used in this season only. If sold in the next season then the money will add to the transfer budget of the next season. Correct?

So why would anyone sell a player this season?

2. If, say, Cam makes a bid for my Tolisso this season after 24 rounds and offers a bid including p/e and money that he got from selling a player. Would that be legal considering that Tolisso is now 88 rated?

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The rules for this season are that there is a maximum limit to the number of players that you can have in your squad amd your expenditure cannot go over 80Mil including player sales. So if you wish to sell a player you can add that money to what is left from the original 80 Mill. However you cannot buy an 88 player because the playing limit for this season is 87...the 88 was only in place to allow for risers during the draft.

 

Regarding P/E deals I said this on page one

Posted 03 March 2016 - 08:52 PM

Nikidinho, on 03 Mar 2016 - 8:39 PM, said:snapback.png

Do you plan on regulating P/E deals at all??

I do not know if there is a way to do that without the honesty of the managers Niki, and if the managers are all in the spirit of the GW...you do not need it.

Be happy to hear any thoughts on it from you.

I did mention above that it is frowned upon but I do not really know of any way to police it effectively.

 

Therefore, while it is always possible for managers to do deals behind the scenes this is supposed to be a cash only world and P/E deals are not acceptable. Consequently a manager could not offer you a deal whereby they would be offering a player plus cash. Players should be sold and then cash deals undertaken.

 

Hope that clears it up...

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Hey, I've 2 question.

1. If we sell a player this season, the money can be used in this season only. If sold in the next season then the money will add to the transfer budget of the next season. Correct?

So why would anyone sell a player this season?

2. If, say, Cam makes a bid for my Tolisso this season after 24 rounds and offers a bid including p/e and money that he got from selling a player. Would that be legal considering that Tolisso is now 88 rated?

Sorry Justin forgot to include the quote when I answered above.

 

You could sell a player and then buy a different one if you wished so long as you remain inside the rating, budget and squad limits to do so.

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150x_Manchester-City.jpg                      V                    150x_newcastle.jpg

 

Prediction: Manchester City will play host to Newcastle in the first match of this round and Manager Noisy will expect his side to bounce back after their performance in round 12. The visitors will be without the suspended Jese who is serving a three match ban. Jese will be missed. Manchester will recover to take the points in this one. 0-1

 

Not a great start for the predictions as Manchester City completely failed to improve on their previous performance and slumped into the relegation zone s Newcastle put a four point gap between themselves and the drop zone. The game was fairly evenly balanced early with neither team achieving a high standard of football but MOTM Rolan was making a real menace of himself and in the 41st minute Wimmer was late on a tackle inside the box allowing Austin to make it 1-0 from the spot. From there it was all Newcastle with Austin sealing the win with a half hour to go following from nice work from the outstanding Rolan. Manager Softy needs to have a rethink. Manchester did have the chance to reduce the lead but the normally reliable Cambiasso shot wide suggesting a drop in confidence for the midfielder. Jack Colback was sent from the field for a second yellow with just 10 minutes left and Manager Webb looked a lot less than pleased at the lack of discipline that late into a game that was done and dusted. Final Score 0-2

 

150x1.-fc-koln-8.jpg                     V                    150x_Guangzhou-Evergrande.jpg

 

Prediction: Cologne play Guangzhou in a bottom of the table clash in Germany and honestly if Cologne cannot get points from this game they are in serious trouble. Home win here. 1-1 

 

A stellar MOTM performance by GK Sels was not enough to prevent Guangzhou falling again although at least this time it was only 1-0. Attempts are being made to contact the mamanger of the team to discuss the situation and if anyone hears from him please ask him to contact me. Barker was the goalscorer in the 28th minute. Final Score 1-0

 

150x_psg.jpg                    V                    150x_clubamerica.jpg

 

Prediction: PSG play host to Club America  and a few matches back this would have been forecast as an away win. But PSG have been on the up recently while CA are slipping a bit and that may be enough to get the Frenchmen home. I will take the plunge and forecast the home win. 2-1

 

As predicted Club America are on a bit of a slippery slide at the moment and need to pick up some points but PSG made it 4 wins and a draw from their last 6 games with a classy performance at the Parc des Princes. Stephane Sessegnon was the star of the show with a MOTM pereformance and opened the scoring in just 17 minutes when Marin whipped in a free kick from the right and Sessegnon was in the right place at the right time to slam it into the net. 14 minutes later Gutierrez found Sessegnon again at the top of the box and the striker fired it home from about 19 yards. Sessegnon could have taken the match ball with just 7 minutes left when he attempted a chip over Tatarusanu but the ball fell just over the bar with the keeper stranded. Manager Cookie will be disappointed that his team did not put the visitors to the sword in the second half but I am sure will be happy with the points. On the other hand Ancelotti has some thinking to do ahead of his next game. Final Score 2-0

 

150x_Stuttgart_FC.jpg                     V                    150x_Hertha-BSC.jpg

 

Prediction: Stuttgart host Berlin with both sides looking for improved form and both at full strength. Berlin have lost their last two and Stuttgart are getting mixed results so I will go for the draw. 2-2

 

All goals were scored in the first half of this game although Schmeichel probably deserves a commendation as the main reason for that, keeping Stuttgart out for the entire second half in the face of huge pressure from the hoe side. Boufal made it 5 for the season when he opened the scoring in the 24th minute when he latched on to a perfect through ball from MOTM Oliveirs and cheekily flicked it past the keeper. Niasse equalised for the visitors just 2 minutes later after some Shane Long trickery but in the 34th minute Oliveira made it 2-1 following some lead up work from Nangis. Berlin struggled in the second half finding only 1 shot on target for the whole game and Manager Whisperr needs to rethink a few things to stop them sliding towards the relegation zone. Final Score 2-1

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150xafc-ajax.jpg                    V                    150x_Celtic.jpg

 

Prediction: Looks like I missed the prediction for this one this one but obviously I would have got it right. 3-2

 

Ajax lost right wing-back Aria 5 minutes before half time in a fiery and exciting game that had everything but goals. With possession and corners even for the match and with a man advantage for the second half manager Christopher will be disappointed that they could not do better than sharing the points...and this was mainly due to a MOTM performance from Ajax 'keeper, Australian Matthew Ryan, who made at least 7 great saves in the second half to keep his side in the game. All in all both sides will be happy not to lose the game and are now sitting 3rd and 4th in the league respectively with the top four separated by just 3 points. Final Score 0-0

 

150x_feyenoord.jpg                    V                    150x_Seattle_Sounders_FC.jpg

 

Prediction: Feyenoord and Seatlle will have all players available when they face off in Rotterdam and it is third placed Seattle now looking to find a way to upset their hosts. It is hard to choose against the unbeaten Dutchmen who are looking very strong. So I won't. Home win here. 3-3

 

​Shock result of the round to everyone but Manager JustinX who is getting some great results from players newer to the team. Japanese Genki Haraguchi has only started three games this season but he has been awarded the MOTM for this one by scoring and creating an assist in a dazzling display. The other star of the show is Clinton N'Jie who now leads the goalscoring charts with 10 goals from 8 starts and these two were just fr too much for a stunned crowd in Rotterdam. Feyenoord have swept all before them in the past few games but completely failed to come to grips with the effort and discipline of the visitors. N'Jie's first goal came from the penalty spot in just the fourth minute as the hosts were all over the place trying to come to terms with the opening power of the Seattle side. On the half hour N'Jie again found the net, latching on to a smooth pass inside from Raggi  and chipping the keeper beautifully. Things did not improve after the break as Haraguchi came more and more into the game...first setting up Raggi for a stunning goal in the 51st minute and then scoring himself in the 64th minute after some great individual work from Ronaldinho. N'Jie would have had a hat trick in the 81st minute but for a brilliant save from Boruc to deny him. A devastating result at home for Feyenoord who now lead the league by just a single point. Final Score 0-4

    

150x_Sunderland.jpg                    V                    150x_eintracht-frankfurt.jpg

 

Prediction: Sunderland will be disappointed at their last performance and will be looking to recover some ground against Frankfurt who are still without Correa. The home side will need to lift their game but I think they can do that. Home win here. 3-4

 

​Not only were Sunderland disappointed at their last performance they will be disappointed with this result as well but for an entirely different reason. This time Sunderland did everything they needed to do EXCEPT score more goals than the opposition, largely due to a MOTM performance by Sportiello in the Frankfurt goal...PLUS conceding a goal to Niang 5 minutes before half time to a complete miskick that completely wrong footed Butland and trickled into the net. Sunderland tried valiantly to get back into the came but were thwarted by Sportiello until, in the 56th minute, Ceballos took a free kick from 24 yards and blasted it into the top corner with Sportiello rooted to the spot for the first time in the game. However the visiting 'Keeper recovered to make some brilliant saves allowing the visitors to excape with a point. Manager Huddo will just have to accept it was "just one of those days" Final Score 1-1

 

150x_hannover-96.jpg                     V                    150xATMadrid.jpg

 

Prediction: Hanover have drawn their last two games but are at full strength to take on the rising Madrid in our final encounter of the round. Madrid are missing Castillejo and Puncheon through injury but are really on the up and will prove too strong from the home side. Away win here. 3-5

 

Honestly the result in this game was probably about right with only 3 shots on target total from both teams. The visitors bossed the game but simply could not shoot straight with 12 shots, only two of which were on target, and the hosts creating very little to cause an upset. A lacklustre game that Manager Lucas will be happy to take a point form but honestly he should be disappointed that he could not grab all three, they certainly had the possession to do that but lacked creativity. Final Score 0-0

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MATCH DAY 15

 

Guangzhou will play host to Newcastle in the first match of the round and it is difficult to see any result other than an away win.

 

Club America Manager Ancelotti will need to wring some changes to arrest the slide his side has undergone in recent matches and Cologne will be looking for a win to get them out of the bottom three. Both managers have all players available. Home side too strong for the visitors in this one.

 

Hertha Berlin have had 3 wins and 3 losses from their last 6...the three losses being the last three games. PSG have had three wins on the bounce and will be looking to make that four. Berlin will be without Kieta and Maidana while the visitors will be at full strength. Away win forecast here.

 

4th place Celtic will host 7th place Stuttgart and have not had a win in three starts. Stuttgart have won three and drawn two of thier last 6 and this should be a very tight game. Both squads at full strength but the home side need a win to stay in touch at the top and I think they will get it.

 

Seattle, fresh from the huge win against the league leaders, will play host to the visiting Ajax.  Arias will be missing from the visiting side after his red card in the last game. Basically Ajax just have to stop supply to N'Jie and could win this but I don't think they will. Home win forecast.

 

Frankfurt will welcome Feyenoord in a match where the home side could find themselves on the receiving end of an angry visiting team following their last defeat. Heintz is missing from Feyenoord  through injury. Alli Coman and Niang should be a tough group to cope with and at home I will go for the Germans.

 

Lucas's Madrid will play host to Huddo's Sunderland in this grudge match at Vincente Calderon. The equivalent in our league of Mourinho and Wenger these two will be making every effort to ensure the other is disappointed on the day. Madrid will be missing Kovalenko who will miss up to 5 games with a torn ankle ligament. Sunderland I feel have more goals in them so I will go for an away win in a high scoring game.

 

In our final game a disappointing Hanover will be playing host to an even more disappointing Manchester City. Both sides have the players and ability to improve their lot this season but they both need to find some magic. Forecasting a draw.

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Sorry Justin forgot to include the quote when I answered above.

 

You could sell a player and then buy a different one if you wished so long as you remain inside the rating, budget and squad limits to do so.

Yeah I meant that we need to sell first to accumulate the cash and then we can buy from ingame or out as far as the player is under 87 rated and in budget. Thanks!

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Just quick message for me, sorry I haven't give attention my team needed in past 2-3 weeks. I was in a condition where I can't even spare a time to log into SM. I obviously love the concept and things have been normal now so I'll take care my team from now

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Just quick message for me, sorry I haven't give attention my team needed in past 2-3 weeks. I was in a condition where I can't even spare a time to log into SM. I obviously love the concept and things have been normal now so I'll take care my team from now

Great to have you back on deck Gozzy. Hope all is fine with you again.

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150x_Guangzhou-Evergrande.jpg                      V                    150x_newcastle.jpg

 

Prediction: Guangzhou will play host to Newcastle in the first match of the round and it is difficult to see any result other than an away win. 1-0

 

Much better performance from Guangzhou. Watch out all Gozzy is back. Meanwhile Newcastle are three from three and up to 7th. Midfielder Koziello scored his first for the club plus was awarded MOTM.

 

150x_clubamerica.jpg                    V                        150x1.-fc-koln-8.jpg

 

Prediction: Club America Manager Ancelotti will need to wring some changes to arrest the slide his side has undergone in recent matches and Cologne will be looking for a win to get them out of the bottom three. Both managers have all players available. Home side too strong for the visitors in this one. 2-0

 

Cologne did all they could and probably should have come away with at least a point and probably would have done but for the 6th MOTM performance in 15 matches from CA GK Tatarusanu who MUST be worth a pay rise. Kranevitter opened the scoring for the visitors in the 4th minute when he steered a pass from Weigl into the corner and all looked rosy for the visiting side. CA were under huge pressure for 30 minutes but could not get past Tatarusanu and then Mejgarejo broke away and set up Baston who beat Donnarumma with a blistering shot. 5 minutes later Cheryshev took a free kick for home side and Baston was again on hand to convert. 2-0 at half time. Just after half time Cologne were unlucky not to equalize when a creative flick from Cavaleiro was defelected onto the post by Tatarusanu and bounce straight back to the keeper when it could have gone anywhere. Cologn remain in the relegation zone just below Man City on goal difference. Final Score 2-1

 

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Prediction: Hertha Berlin have had 3 wins and 3 losses from their last 6...the three losses being the last three games. PSG have had three wins on the bounce and will be looking to make that four. Berlin will be without Kieta and Maidana while the visitors will be at full strength. Away win forecast here. 2-1

 

Berlin managed to halt the slide of three losses on the trot with a hard fought draw against PSG. MOTM Seba opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a postage stamp volley after a pass from Baumgartl and they defended well for the rest of the half. They did however learn about not being switched on after half time when a minute after the break PSG won a corner and Joselu made the most of some hesitancy in the defence to get the teams level. Joselu continued to be a thorn in the side but could not convert some good chances and the score remained 1-1

 

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Prediction: 4th place Celtic will host 7th place Stuttgart and have not had a win in three starts. Stuttgart have won three and drawn two of thier last 6 and this should be a very tight game. Both squads at full strength but the home side need a win to stay in touch at the top and I think they will get it. 3-1

 

Stuttgarrt came to Celtic Park with some high hopes and put in a great performance that was not quite enough to take the points in the end. Oliveira opened the account for the visitors in that dreaded 5 minute period before half time when Nangis, who is growing in stature as a provider with three assists in three games, slipped through a precise cross that allowed the number 9 to hit the net. Briand nearly equalised while the visitors were still celebrating, Areola rooted to the spot as the ball whistled past the post. After the break Nangis was unlucky with a crisp strike that Rajkovic tipped over the bar at full stretch but as the second half went in Celtic began to dominate. In the 56th Minute Keane pulled a great reaction save from Areola after some great work by Pasalic, but 6 minutes later it was Keane who hit the equalizer when MOTM Pienaar found him unmarked in the boox and the striker hit the back of the net with a first-time volley. Celtic continued to press and in the 77th minute won a free kick 25 yards out and slightly to the tight of goal. Pienaar shaped for the cross, but instead drove the ball under the wall as they jumped and the rising ball flashed past Areola who would have been unsighted until late. Keane could have added to his tally with two late chances but the work done was enough. Final Score 2-1

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150x_Seattle_Sounders_FC.jpg                     V                      150xafc-ajax.jpg

 

Prediction: Seattle, fresh from the huge win against the league leaders, will play host to the visiting Ajax.  Arias will be missing from the visiting side after his red card in the last game. Basically Ajax just have to stop supply to N'Jie and could win this but I don't think they will. Home win forecast. 4-1

 

Any team that turns 56% of possession into 1 shot on target is going to struggle and so it proved as Seattle, with some help from the ageing MOTM Ronaldinho (36), kept the visitors scoreless as they racked up three for themselves. Origi seems to have lost his targeting mechanism as he gets some good positions but cannot find the net. But the win was also made without the help of the prolific Clinton N'Jie who had a quiet game this week. 13 was unlucky for Ajax as this was the minute that Ronaldinho found Haraguchi with a perfectly executed free kick and the Japanese opened the scoring. Then it was a case of kick of...down the other end...free kick Ajax. Suarez takes it but it flies wide of the target for what would have been the perfect response. In the 22nd Minute Januzaj made a great run down the left and then put a lovely inside pass into the path of the overlapping Adnan who fired a low shot past the despairing Ryan. After the break the pressure continued on the Ajax defence and with just three minutes gone another soft free kick saw Ronaldinho strike one around the wall low and hard. Ryan no chance, 3-0. N'JIe pulled a brilliant save from Kraft for what have only been a consolation goal but it was all Seattle at the end. Final Score 3-0

 

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Prediction: Frankfurt will welcome Feyenoord in a match where the home side could find themselves on the receiving end of an angry visiting team following their last defeat. Heintz is missing from Feyenoord  through injury. Alli Coman and Niang should be a tough group to cope with and at home I will go for the Germans. 4-2

 

Feyenoord got back on track very solid performance at the Commerzbank-Arenaas goals from Feret (MOTM) and Ward-Prowse kept the one shot clear at the top of the league at the half way stage. manager Smut changed his structure for this game, narrowing the attach and putting pressure on the Frankfurt defence to stop their wingers from rampaging along with the game. However a game like this can hinge on one situation that does not break for you. In the 27th minute a dipping and swerving shot from Dele Alli left Boruc apparently stranded but the goalkeeper showed all his skill to get a hand on it and push it wide. Had that gone in this may have been an entirely different game as just one minute later Fletcher found Feret and Feret found the goal to open their account. Feret also turned provider for Ward-Prowse to make it 7 for the season just 7 minutes later. Final Score 0-2

 

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Prediction: Lucas's Madrid will play host to Huddo's Sunderland in this grudge match at Vincente Calderon. The equivalent in our league of Mourinho and Wenger these two will be making every effort to ensure the other is disappointed on the day. Madrid will be missing Kovalenko who will miss up to 5 games with a torn ankle ligament. Sunderland I feel have more goals in them so I will go for an away win in a high scoring game. 5-2

 

At first glance this looks like a fairly even game but when you realise that Sunderland lost Vives in just the 19th minute to a straight red and played 70 minutes with only ten men you can understand tht they really did have this one in their pocket. However at that point they were already a goal up courtesy of a Danny Ings strike close in at the near post and the keeper was off balance as the ball trickled into the net. Just before half time Kostic found Inaki Williams on the edge of the box and the striker fired home without error 2-0. After the break Sunderland sat back prepared to hold the lead with some tight defence and Manager Huddo will be very pleased with his team for their all-round grit and determination. Final Score 0-2

 

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Prediction: In our final game a disappointing Hanover will be playing host to an even more disappointing Manchester City. Both sides have the players and ability to improve their lot this season but they both need to find some magic. Forecasting a draw. 5-3

 

In the absence of their manager, Manchester City slipped further into trouble going down 2-1 to Hanover in front of 43,211 people. Both teams had been poor in their previous games but this was a very even struggle with MOTM Qazaishvili  (31 and 53) bracketing a great goal by Brandt (41) after some classy lead-up work by Cambiasso. There were plenty of chances, Rulli was the better of the two keepers on the day. Overall a good win for the home side which took the 6 points clear of the relegation zone. Final Score 2-1.

 

So at the half-way mark of the seaon Feyenoord lead the charge a poit clear of Seattle and three clear of Celtic. There is now a At the other end Guuangzhou are struggling to find form and will find it difficult to avoid the drop. Above them Cologne and Man City round out the bottom three then there are four clubs within four points PSG, H Berlin, Atletico Madrid and Frankfurt who all need to try to find some improved form in the second part of the season.

In the golden boot stakes N'Jie leads the board with 10 by 2 from Alli with Ward-Prowse and Moukandjo (both from Feyenoord) one further back. The Red Card situation sees Ajax with 4 and PSG with three and we still have six teams that have not managed a red card to date. Interestingly one of those, Sunderland, also have no Yellow Cards to date...what good little lads they are :)

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MATCH DAY 16

 

In our first game Sunderland will play host to Manchester City. In the first round the teams played a 1-1 draw but this time I think the game is in favour of the home side. Sunderland to take the points in the absence of Vives who got sent off last match with a straight red..

 

Leaders Feyenoord will welcome Hanover and any goal scored would be an improvement on the first game. Both sides have full squads to chose from but at the top of the league I feel Feyenoord will prove too string forthier visitors.

 

Ajax play host to Atletico both sides coming off a last round loss. Ajax to have the edge in this one even though Embolo is out injured for the next couple of games and Arias is serving a suspension. Madrid will be without midfielder Kovalenko through injury and (more importantly) Rugani will leave hole in their defense.

 

Stuttgart and Frankfurt are very close in most aspects of the game. There are some injury clouds over Alli and Coman at this point and without those two Frankfurst will struggle. So I will go for the home team win.

 

Both PSG and Seattle have now gone 6 games without a loss and have full squads available for selection. N'Jie will give Seatlle the edge...away win forecast.

 

Celtic lost to Cologne in the first round at home by 2-1 but a run of form finds them 3rd while the hosts are 15th. Cologne really need the points but I am voting for Celtic to continue their agony. Celtic will be without briand.

 

Newcastle are on a great run with 5 wins out of the last 6 matches and will welcome Berlin who have only 1 point from a possible last 12. Newcastle to continue the upward momentum. Berlin without the imjured Kieta.

 

Guangzhou will welcome Club America and the obvious money is on the visitors however I am expecting a recovery from the hosts soon - this week may be a bit soon. Both teams have full squads from which to select. CA to take the points.

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