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Inside the Cup Semi-Final


 


Hertha BSC Berlin and Sunderland face each other in the first semi-final game of the Carpe Diam Cup knowing the importance of the silverware in building their squad for the next season. The winner of this fixture will meet either VfB Stuttgart or Hannover 96 in what seems to be German side dominant competition. 


 


Hertha and Sunderland have rather endured strange season for themselves. Hertha were blown back to life with the arrival of new manager Venk as they look to put a bad season behind them and stay in the Division 1 for the next season. On the other hand Sunderland had a strange season. Manager Hudson had a brilliant time in the transfer window while could not replicate the same brilliance in the league. Yet Sunderland sit at 5 in the table while Hertha at 10th only separated by 3 points.


 


Manager Venk knows that he has two major jobs to execute at his new job location. Staying up in the league and getting Hertha a piece of silverware in form of the League Cup to ensure the trust of fans and board members of the club. In all honesty fans will be more than happy if the club stays up and manages to reach the final of the cup this season. The arrival of Venk adds a fresh morale to the player and the new found energy in the dressing room will be key to success for Hertha Berlin.


 


Hudson had rather a shaky time in the league where they dropped points where they were expected to win. But credit is due to Sunderland for putting up an excellent Cup run where they showed real zeal and hunger for a silverware this season. Hudson who is considered on of the best tactician in the league will have to vary of the threat Hertha possess under Venk if they want to come out on top in the semi-final


 


Key Players


 


Hertha - Kante, Depoitre and Shane Long


Sunderland - Butland, Williams and Ings


 


Semi Final Line-Ups


 


SF1 : Sunderland vs Hertha BSC Berlin (Stadium of Light, England)


SF2 : Vfb Stuttgart vs Hannover 96 (Mercedes-Benz Arena, Germany)

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Cup_Semi.jpg

 

Inside the Cup Semi-Final

 

Hertha BSC Berlin and Sunderland face each other in the first semi-final game of the Carpe Diam Cup knowing the importance of the silverware in building their squad for the next season. The winner of this fixture will meet either VfB Stuttgart or Hannover 96 in what seems to be German side dominant competition. 

 

Hertha and Sunderland have rather endured strange season for themselves. Hertha were blown back to life with the arrival of new manager Venk as they look to put a bad season behind them and stay in the Division 1 for the next season. On the other hand Sunderland had a strange season. Manager Hudson had a brilliant time in the transfer window while could not replicate the same brilliance in the league. Yet Sunderland sit at 5 in the table while Hertha at 10th only separated by 3 points.

 

Manager Venk knows that he has two major jobs to execute at his new job location. Staying up in the league and getting Hertha a piece of silverware in form of the League Cup to ensure the trust of fans and board members of the club. In all honesty fans will be more than happy if the club stays up and manages to reach the final of the cup this season. The arrival of Venk adds a fresh morale to the player and the new found energy in the dressing room will be key to success for Hertha Berlin.

 

Hudson had rather a shaky time in the league where they dropped points where they were expected to win. But credit is due to Sunderland for putting up an excellent Cup run where they showed real zeal and hunger for a silverware this season. Hudson who is considered on of the best tactician in the league will have to vary of the threat Hertha possess under Venk if they want to come out on top in the semi-final

 

Key Players

 

Hertha - Kante, Depoitre and Shane Long

Sunderland - Butland, Williams and Ings

 

Semi Final Line-Ups

 

SF1 : Sunderland vs Hertha BSC Berlin (Stadium of Light, England)

SF2 : Vfb Stuttgart vs Hannover 96 (Mercedes-Benz Arena, Germany)

 

Huddo strikes again....

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150xafc-ajax.jpg                    V                    150x_Stuttgart_FC.jpg

 

PREDICTION: Ajax will play host to Stuttgart for the opening game of round 22 and this is a genuine 6 point game with both sides only 6 points clear of the drop zone the team that loses this one could be in the relegation zone after this round, depending on other results. Ajax will be without Correa who is still suspended and Defender Dawson will be out through injury for the visitors. Both teams have lost three of their last four and a draw seems like the logical result. 1-0

 

In a game where both side struggled over the midfield only three chance were created...and no goals. The big event of the day was that Ajax had another player sent off in the shape of centre back Hoedt which now gives them 6 for the season. Final Score 0-0

 

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PREDICTION: Feyenoord will take on PSG having failed to take full advantage of an opportunity to catch the league leaders last round. PSG were beaten 3-1 in Paris in the early rounds and are struggling to maintain steady form however a win would see them moving away from the relegation Zone. Away win most likely in this one. 1-1

 

Looks like another of those GK MOTM performances helped stop my prediction being correct. Feyenoord had most of the ball and 5 shots on target to just 2 but Zoet in the PSG goal kept his side in the game. In addition right back Vogt was sent form the field for a straight red and will now serve a three match ban for his efforts. Two minutes after Vogt went for his early shower Cork put the home side in the lead following some good work from Germain but just after half time Routledge became the supplier for Elia to even up the scores. Zoet made two great saves from Moukandjo but scores remained level Final Score 1-1

 

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PREDICTION: Sunderland need to lift their game if they are to take points from a resurgent Cologne who will be feeling more confident about avoiding the drop after a last round win. Ocampos is still suspended for the visitors and Tibbling still recovering from injury for the home side. Last time they met Cologne won by the odd goal and Manager Huddo will not want a similar result...but I am afraid he might get it. Home win forecast.1-2

 

.Sunderland struggled to deal with Cologne who took the lead in the 17th minute through Cavaleiro and another MOTM GK performance by Donnarumma (that makes 7 in three 22 games) helped keep the scores level. But it was not just that. The visitors had 56% of possession and the same number of shots on target. Sunderland looked like they were not interested at times and Manager Huddo will be running them ragged on the training track this week.It took until the 80th minute for them to get level and save at least some pride thanks to 20 year old Captain Miranchuk after a through ball from the creative Camarasa. Final Score 1-1

 

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PREDICTION: Hanover, beaten in their last game, will host the Toon Army out for glory and chomping at the bit to improve their standing for prize money for next season. Newcastle are still highly unpredictable in their form and I am forecasting Hanover to recover their poise and take the points here.1-3

 

​In sight of a top 3 spot Hanover simply blew it against a rampant Newcastle. 57% of possession and 4 shots to a solitary one for the home side told the story all to well. Frustration boiled over in the second half when Vazquez received his second red of the season for a two-footed lunge on Skjelbred. jese scored the only goal of the game in the 52nd minute for a win that takes the Toon up to 7th in the league and only 2 points behind the team they beat. Final Score 0-1

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150xATMadrid.jpg                    V                    150x_Guangzhou-Evergrande.jpg

 

PREDICTION: Atletico will host Guangzhou next and despite the fact that the Chinese side are improving their results, Madrid will be too strong for them in Spain. Home Win. 1-4

 

Manager Lucas will walk away from the ground today shaking his head at the one that got away. With 60% of possession and four shots to 2 on target (11 to 6 overall) it simply should have gone the other way but Manager Gozzy has shown that his charges are up for the fight. Grujic opened the scoring just four minutes in with a fantastic effort form 20 yards while Madrid were still in warm up mode. The Spanish side came back hard and were awarded a penalty in the 19th minute which Ighalo duly put past the post. The second half was a dout struggle but when Madrid finally equalised in the 83rd minute courtesy of Albrighton it seemed that they had at least saved some face. However with 2 minutes left on the clock they again went to sleep and MOTM Grujic scored the winner with his second of the afternoon after some slack defensive covering. madrid really have only themselves to blame and i have the feeling that whoever they play next will need to be having a really good day. Final Score 1-2

 

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PREDICTION: Eintracht will get a visit from Whisperr and his Club America side when 8th meets 6th in this mid table battle. The Germans are coming off a strong away win against Guangzhou while CA struggled to take control at home and came away with a point from their last game. Their new Manager will want a better result from his new squad and an away win is forecast. 1-5

 

In 21 matches total Kingsley Coman has now scored 8 goals and 6 assists and 6 MOTM awards (including this one) and is really showing how good a player he already is for one so young. New Manager Whisperr would have been very happy in the 18th minute when Ndong gave his side the lead from a free kick that curled into the top corner leaving Sportiello with nothing to do but pick the ball out of the net. However just one minute later Acerbi brought down Correa in the box and Coman calmly slotted the spot kick to make things even again. The visitors showed more enterprise and created more chances but scores remained level. Final Score 1-1

 

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PREDICTION: New kid on the block Venk will take his side to leaders Seatlle for their next game in what is a very dangerous game for the home side. The new guys is an unknown quantity but comes with good credentials and a reputation for getting the job done. A second draw for the new boy is forecast. 2-6

 

A cracking game in Seattle where the home side went on the attack and the visitors did their best to frustrate that. MOTM januzaj opened the scoring just after the quarter hour when a ball from Raggi found him unmarked. From there both sides struggled hard but it was not until the 68th minute that Lemina pulled scores level for the visitors after some classy work by Quintero. Then however Berlin made what could have been a fatal mistake. Just three minutes after going level they gave away a free kick  in range and the veteran Ronaldinho did it again with a trademark free kick that gave the home side back the lead. Berlin through everything at the home side and in the 82nd minute were rewarded by Quintero who pulled a ball out of the air with one touch and struck a dipping shot for 20 yards that left the keeper stranded. Final Score 2-2

 

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PREDICTION: Manchester City will be at home to Celtic as they travel for the second week in a row. City have been doing very well in the absence of their manager but reallywill have to be able to keep that going to beat a Celtic team feeling a little aggrieved at their last two results. Away win here. 2-6

 

No Comment - thats what manager Christopher had for the media as he stormed from the ground after his side was thumped 5 - 1 at the Etihad. a hotly disputed 2nd minute penalty started the rot with Cambiasso converting and a really poor performance by keeper Rajkovic meant that the shot just had to be on target and it was in the net. City scored 5 from 5 on target...and Celtic 1 from 1. Cambiasso got MOTM with goals in the 2nd and 32nd minutes. Deeney contributed with one in each half 16th and 60th and Sante Mina made it 5 four minutes from time after a consolation goal from Briand 6 minutes earlier. Final Score 5-1

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MATCH DAY 23

 

PREDICTION: After last round performances Man City should win this with one leg in the air against a hot and cold Stuttgart side. But I am going for a draw. It is amazing to me that a manager that does not log in for 3 weeks can still have a team with no fatigue levels or injuries.

 

PREDICTION: PSG will host Ajax ho are in dire need of an improved performance. Last time it was a 1-1 draw but this time I think a home win will be the result.

 

PREDICTION: Feyenoord travel to Cologne seeking to reinstate themselves after their last game and Cologne looking to build on an improved result. Cavaleiro is injured for the home side while Feyenoord have two out through suspension, Reyes and Vogt - both defenders. This could mean an unsettled defence away from home. Home Win forecast.

 

PREDICTION: Old enemies Webb and Hudson face off int the Tyne-Weir derby. The teams have met twice with both sides recording one three-nil win a piece. Sunderland are not playing well at the moment but Newcastle's home form has been iffy. As I have to make a prediction I will go for a home win.

 

PREDICTION: Guangzhou will host Hanover and will be on a high after their last round win.Hanover will be desperate not to slip further away from the top three. Guangzhou will be without Gerson through suspension and Hanover will miss Rodriguez and Vazguez for the same reason. I am going for the home win.

 

PREDICTION: Club america will be at home for the visit of Atletico Madrid and will miss the services of Cheryshev through injury while Jordan Lukaku will not be travelling as he has a broken toe. It is understood that Manager Lucas is insisting his daughter accompanies the team on their trip. madrid will be on fire in this game after their last match and an away win is forecast.

 

PREDICTION: H Berlin will host Frankfurt in an all German affair between 9th and 10th. The previous results have been 2-1 with a win each over two games and both squads are fit and healthy. Draw forecast

 

PREDICTION: Celtic will receive Seattle in the final game of the day as third take on first. Seattle will be without Neves who is suspended. N'Jie will be a major danger for the home side but Manager Christopher will have the Scots up and ready for this one after their last disaster. Home win

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150x_Stuttgart_FC.jpg                    V                    150x_Manchester-City.jpg

 

PREDICTION: After last round performances Man City should win this with one leg in the air against a hot and cold Stuttgart side. But I am going for a draw. It is amazing to me that a manager that does not log in for 3 weeks can still have a team with no fatigue levels or injuries. 1-0

 

Arkadiusz Milik, scorer of the winning goal for Poland against Northern Ireland in the Euros, opened the scoring for the home side in the 20th minute from a free kick which flashed in off the far post. Esteban Cambiasso replied from a similar position with an almost identical strike to level score just before half time. In the secoond half both sides tried to break the deadlock but the class was lacking in the final third and, unusually, Jedinak got booked. Final Score 1-1

 

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PREDICTION: PSG will host Ajax who are in dire need of an improved performance. Last time it was a 1-1 draw but this time I think a home win will be the result. 2-0

 

Manager LauraV has fallen back on a defensive structure to try to turn the Ajax season around but unfortunately it as not worked in Paris. MOTM Suarez opened the scoring for the visitors in the 6th minute when Embolo split the defence open with a lovely piece of footwork and Suarez finished with style. But now PSG started to find a way into the game as Ajax sat back to defend the lead and in the 18th minute Marin found Beavue unmarked on a diagonal run and scores were level. For the rest of the first half Ajax tried to absorb pressure and hit the home side on the break but neither side could add to the early goals. On the hour the game changed as Elia slotted home from a pass from Joselu who was beginning to find gaps in a tiring defence. 14 minutes later Joselu again was the provider, this time for Padoin who gave the keeper no chance. Ajax came out again deciding they would try to grab a win but in the 84th minute Embolo was shown the red card for a badly mistimed challenge and he will certainly be missed for the next game. Suarez, who had been good early, became supplier again for Gudelj in the 84th minute and it looked like a comeback may be on the cards. With just 2 minutes to go PSG were awarded a free kick and from 20 yards Elia scored his second to put the game beyond doubt. PSG showing they can do it and Ajax at least left the fans thinking that things are improving. Final Score 4-2

 

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PREDICTION: Feyenoord travel to Cologne seeking to reinstate themselves after their last game and Cologne looking to build on an improved result. Cavaleiro is injured for the home side while Feyenoord have two out through suspension, Reyes and Vogt - both defenders. This could mean an unsettled defence away from home. Home Win forecast.2-1

 

While Manager Smut will not be too disappointed with his teams performance these are the games that the top sides have to win to clinch the title and today Feyenoord came up short. Certainly Donnarumma had his 8th MOTM performance this year but the visitors never really created a telling chance. With only 7 games to go a 4 point gap has now appeared between Cologne and the two clubs above them and they need to be getting points soon. At the other end of the table neither of the top two sides could get a win. Final Score 0-0

 

150x_newcastle.jpg                    V                    150x_Sunderland.jpg

 

PREDICTION: Old enemies Webb and Hudson face off int the Tyne-Weir derby. The teams have met twice with both sides recording one three-nil win a piece. Sunderland are not playing well at the moment but Newcastle's home form has been iffy. As I have to make a prediction I will go for a home win. 2-2

 

I did say this was a hard one to call...and so it proved. In one of the tensest Tyne-Wier derbies in recent times the major highlights were a MOTM performance by Rico in the Toon goal and an almost MOTM performance by Butland at the other end. Neither team could find the goal that would have opened this game up. 5 yellow cards were handed out with Drinkwater and Skjelbred for Newcastle and Niabullin, Tete and Kostic for Sunderland. Final Score 0-0

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150x_Guangzhou-Evergrande.jpg                    V                    150x_hannover-96.jpg

 

PREDICTION: Guangzhou will host Hanover and will be on a high after their last round win.Hanover will be desperate not to slip further away from the top three. Guangzhou will be without Gerson through suspension and Hanover will miss Rodriguez and Vazguez for the same reason. I am going for the home win. 3-2

 

Guangzhou have made it two in a row with a hard fought win over Hanover at the Tianhe Stadium. Two first half goals by defender Coates from long range in the first minute and a fabulous free kick from Grujic in the 33rd gave the home side a well earned lead at half time. El Kaffouri starred for the German side earning MOTM but even a goal by him in the 56th minute was not enough to start a full fledged recovery. Guangzhou are fighting back late in the season but it is doubtful that it will be enough to save them from the drop. However they are showing plenty of spirit. Final Score 2-1

 

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PREDICTION: Club america will be at home for the visit of Atletico Madrid and will miss the services of Cheryshev through injury while Jordan Lukaku will not be travelling as he has a broken toe. It is understood that Manager Lucas is insisting his daughter accompanies the team on their trip. Madrid will be on fire in this game after their last match and an away win is forecast. 4-2

 

Both sides lined up in this game with very similar tactics and it was Madrid through the efforts of MOTM Ighalo that proved victorious. In a tight game where both sides created few chances Ighalo found that touch of class to win the game. manager Lucas will be most pleased with the progress of his side who have moved up into 5th spot after flirting with the relegation zone for a while. He will also be pleased that his daughter accompanied the team on their away trip and apparently she was very pleased with the shopping opportunity. Final score 0-1

 

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PREDICTION: H Berlin will host Frankfurt in an all German affair between 9th and 10th. The previous results have been 2-1 with a win each over two games and both squads are fit and healthy. Draw forecast 5-2

 

Eintracht remain two points clear of Berlin after this German Derby ended with scores even. Niang opened the scoring for the visitors just on the half hour and following a bit of brilliance from Dele Alli fed him one through that he had to stretch for but just made enough contact. Manager Venk who is still looking for a win with his new club finally found a willing ally in MOTM Depoitre when, after a strong display, he latched onto a ball from Brooks in the 80th minute that the keeper could not reach to even the scores. So it is three draws from three outings for the new guy. The optimists in the club are pleased, the pessimists are critical. Final Score 1-1

 

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PREDICTION: Celtic will receive Seattle in the final game of the day as third take on first. Seattle will be without Neves who is suspended. N'Jie will be a major danger for the home side but Manager Christopher will have the Scots up and ready for this one after their last disaster. Home win 6-2 (HOORAY)

 

With the crowd chanting "Clinton Who" Celtic rebounded from their big lass last game to keep the leaders scoreless and take all three points at Celtic Park. Jan Kirchoff did a brilliant job in stymieing the power of N'Jie and the visitors were unable to find another outlet. In an exciting game Robbie Keane had a penalty saved by Kraft after Januzaj was booked for a foul on Briand but only three minutes later Briand got through again and slotted home to give his side the lead. Despite lesser possession Celtic bossed the game although they were a tad lucky when Haraguchi had a goal disallowed for offside just before the half time interval. IN the second half the visitors through everything at the home side but after a sustained period of pressure Briand broke free on the rebound and found Keane clear and this time a powerful strike into the top corner gave Kraft no chance to repeat his save from the first half. The major disappointment was Manquillo who lunged in with a two footed tackle on Tolisso and got the invitation for an early shower. Final Score 2-0

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MATCH DAY 24 - 7 rounds to go

 

PREDICTION: 12 play 11 in the first game of the round as PSG travel to Stuttgart. PSG won the previous outing in Paris and the home side will be out for revenge. Both teams have a full compliment to select from. PSG are on two wins and a draw from their last three while Stuttgart are three draws from three games. The momentum is with the visitors but the sides are pretty evenly matched. My bet here is on the draw.

 

PREDICTION: Ajax will host Cologne and after a recent run of failures the home side will be looking to cause Cologne more distress. A win for Cologne however could see Ajax in the relegation zone in Man City get a win and Cologne themselves a step closer to safety. Cologne have been improving of late but Ajax will go all out to win this one and should be strong enough to take the points. The Ajax red card count continues to rise with Embolo on the sidelines for this one and Morgan will be missing from the defence for Cologne as he recovers from a sprained ankle. Home Win.

 

PREDICTION: Feyenoord will host Newcastle and after three draws on the trot will be looking to get back into the winners circle and strengthen their top three spot. However they will be without Vogt, Reyes and Ward-Prowse...all of whom are under suspension. Newcastle have been showing signs of improvement recently and with star players injured Feyenoord may struggle to keep the Geordies at bay. I think an away win is very possible here.

 

PREDICTION: Sunderland, who have been poor in their last three or four matches, will play host to the resurgent Guangzhou who are looking for three on the bounce. Sunderland on paper should win this comfortably and I will forecast it that way...but Guangzhou under Manager Closer are improving weekly and the home side will need to be very wary.

 

PREDICTION: Hanover will be without Vazquez who is still suspended and they certainly missed his creativity in their last game. Both sides have been out of form recently. Both lost their last games. Hanover have lost three in a row and have only 7 points from the last 18 while CA also have 7 points from the same number of games but have recorded only 1 loss. Again on paper it is a home win but my forecast in this one is a draw.

 

PREDICTION: Atletico will be looking to continue their rise up the table at the expense of Hertha Berlin when they welcome them to Vincente Calderon in their next game. Lukaku is still unavailable even though he apparently made the trip to their last away game rather than sit at home and was strangely seen shopping in Mexico with an unnamed young lady during the game. Berlin beat Madrid 4-1 in their first encounter but this result will be reversed this time around. Madrid to take the points.

 

PREDICTION: 9th placed Eintracht will see Celtic arrive on their doorstep for their next game with Celtic looking to gain on the top two teams in a bid to get to the top by the end of the season. The Scots will be without defensive midfielder Hojbjerg who is out for three weeks with a knee injury. Frankfurt with Coman and Alli at the forefront are a hard act to get across and Celtic may be struggling with the fitness of some of their older players. This will be a tough one for the visiting side but I still think they can get a draw from the game.

PREDICTION: Man City will get a visit from the boys from Seattle in the last match of the round with City coming of a fortunate draw and Seattle failing in Glasgow in the previous round. Another loss for Seattle could see them lose top spot but Manchester have proved resilient and will be difficult to beat. I will go for the draw.

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Just thought I would take a quick look at he top of division Two to see who may be joining us in Div one next season. 

OLYMPIACOS are 3 points clear of STOKE CITY but would have been further away had they done better than draw their last game. STOKE were beaten at home by Torino with SPORTING CP winners at home over Corinthians gaining ground.

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I am considering changing the time limits on managers logging in to the GW to must be at least every 7 days. This would come into effect from season two. Does anyone see a problem with this...please let me know.

Sounds good to me you're either committed or your not!

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I am considering changing the time limits on managers logging in to the GW to must be at least every 7 days. This would come into effect from season two. Does anyone see a problem with this...please let me know.

I have no problem with this, except for the summer holiday period might not be a great time to start with this (not sure when everyone's break is starting tho).

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I am considering changing the time limits on managers logging in to the GW to must be at least every 7 days. This would come into effect from season two. Does anyone see a problem with this...please let me know.

 

I am considering changing the time limits on managers logging in to the GW to must be at least every 7 days. This would come into effect from season two. Does anyone see a problem with this...please let me know.

 

I think you should choose 14 days, problem with 7 is too many reasons why you can't log in even if you want to.

Couple of months ago my laptop needed repairing and i was without it or over 10 days, luckily i could borrow another one but that isn't always possible, then there are holidays to consider.

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I have no problem with this, except for the summer holiday period might not be a great time to start with this (not sure when everyone's break is starting tho).

Winter in Australia...no issue for us :P

But I hear ya...I actually think Paul's suggestion of 14 days might be the way to go anyway...

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OK...First up apologies for the delayed reports but quite a bit happening IRL. Perhaps some managers may like to start doing reports on their own games then I can leave those?

150x_Stuttgart_FC.jpg                     V                    150x_psg.jpg

 

PREDICTION: 12 play 11 in the first game of the round as PSG travel to Stuttgart. PSG won the previous outing in Paris and the home side will be out for revenge. Both teams have a full compliment to select from. PSG are on two wins and a draw from their last three while Stuttgart are three draws from three games. The momentum is with the visitors but the sides are pretty evenly matched. My bet here is on the draw. 0-1 (Damn It Cookie)

Oliveira opened the scoring for Stuttgart in the 13th minute and that proved to be the one and only for the day - consequently he got the MOTM award. PSG keep showing signs of improving but just when they reach that must win game they slip back into relegation contention. This was a reasonable game where neither team, with one exception, was able to show the class in the final third that the match really needed. Final SCore 1-0

 

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PREDICTION: Ajax will host Cologne and after a recent run of failures the home side will be looking to cause Cologne more distress. A win for Cologne however could see Ajax in the relegation zone in Man City get a win and Cologne themselves a step closer to safety. Cologne have been improving of late but Ajax will go all out to win this one and should be strong enough to take the points. The Ajax red card count continues to rise with Embolo on the sidelines for this one and Morgan will be missing from the defence for Cologne as he recovers from a sprained ankle. Home Win. 0-2 (Do you managers not read these before the games or what?)

IN what can only be considered a very even game possession was almost equal...shots on target were 3 a piece and corners 7 - 6. In a very flat first half Correa slotted home from a very nice free kick from Suarez and things looked to be OK for the home side.  Both teams came out hard in the second half but the finish simply was not there until the MOTM Rabiot, who was proving a handful for the AJAX defence, found Ocampos with space and scores were level. Both sides pushed hard for a winner late in the game but noone could be found with even the normally lethal Origi unable to find his touch. Ajax remain just outside the drop zone and Cologne remain just in it...and games are starting to run out. Final Score 1-1

 

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PREDICTION: Feyenoord will host Newcastle and after three draws on the trot will be looking to get back into the winners circle and strengthen their top three spot. However they will be without Vogt, Reyes and Ward-Prowse...all of whom are under suspension. Newcastle have been showing signs of improvement recently and with star players injured Feyenoord may struggle to keep the Geordies at bay. I think an away win is very possible here. 0-3

 

Well this prediction would have been spot on without the intervention of the now infamous MOTM Goalkeeper intervention. Newcastle arrived with a great game plan and restricted the home side to just one shot on target for the game however nothing they did got get the ball past Boruc to grab the points. Feyenoord not on song for this one and whil manager Webb will be pleased with the performance and with the points...he will be thinking about what might have been. Final Score 0-0

 

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PREDICTION: Sunderland, who have been poor in their last three or four matches, will play host to the resurgent Guangzhou who are looking for three on the bounce. Sunderland on paper should win this comfortably and I will forecast it that way...but Guangzhou under Manager Closer are improving weekly and the home side will need to be very wary.1-3 (Finally SOMEONE is reading the instructions...I mean script)

 

here is not doubt that Guangzhou are improving on a weekly basis but it is hard for them in their current position to retain the impetus and so it proved at the Stadium of light. Huddo set up his team to take the game to the visitors early and it paid dividends after just 6 minutes when MOTM Williams got on the end of Miranchuk free kick to put his side in the lead. The wheels nearly came off later in the half when Ousmane Demebele found a ball on the edge of the box and flashed one into the top corner to level the scores. Both teams came out hard for the winner but it was Miranchuk again with the assist in the 68th minute that found Benassi who gave the keeper no chance. Sunderland will appreciate the win and the points and move back up to 5th in the table. However rumours are coming out of the Sunderland Rooms about a bizarre incident after the game...more to follow. Final Score 2-1

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PREDICTION: Hanover will be without Vazquez who is still suspended and they certainly missed his creativity in their last game. Both sides have been out of form recently. Both lost their last games. Hanover have lost three in a row and have only 7 points from the last 18 while CA also have 7 points from the same number of games but have recorded only 1 loss. Again on paper it is a home win but my forecast in this one is a draw. 1-4 (MOTM KEEPERS...ARRRRGGGHH)


 


9 shots to 2 on target and lose 2-0. That was the story of this match at the AWD Arena as Hanover solidified themselves into fourth spot. Manager Whisperr will be wondering what else he could have done as his side did everything BUT score in this end to end encounter. Amrabat was the first on the scorecard for the home side with an early 8th minute strike latching on to a ball from Barbosa and finding the top corner. In the 33rd minute the score was 2-0 Kimmich the provider for El Kaddouri to hit the back of the net. Club America tried and tried but Adrian was just unbeatable in the Hanover goal. I do recall in the early parts of the season CA seemed to be on the benefit end of some MOTM keeper performances...perhaps this was an even-up. Final Score 2-0


 


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PREDICTION: Atletico will be looking to continue their rise up the table at the expense of Hertha Berlin when they welcome them to Vincente Calderon in their next game. Lukaku is still unavailable even though he apparently made the trip to their last away game rather than sit at home and was strangely seen shopping in Mexico with an unnamed young lady during the game. Berlin beat Madrid 4-1 in their first encounter but this result will be reversed this time around. Madrid to take the points. 1-5


 


Berlin took advantage of some extremely sloppy goalkeeping by Adan who had a day he would prefer to forget in the Madrid Goal but really I feel the Madrid side got a bit carried away with their recent progress and Manager Lucas could do nothing but sit on the bench and shake his head. After the game he said that they would just have to put this one behind them and get back on track but I am sure the squad will feel his displeasure at their performance on the training track this week. Cardona started his MOTM performance with an early goal in the 13th minute when he received a great pass from Shane Long that went in off the post. In the 31s minute Kante took a free kick for Berlin that found Zukanovic and he left Adan stranded in the home goal. Whatever the manager said at half time to the Madrid side made no difference and they had only been on the park for 60 seconds in the second half when Hsane Long again found Cardona who repeated the dose. Final Score 0-3


 


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PREDICTION: 9th placed Eintracht will see Celtic arrive on their doorstep for their next game with Celtic looking to gain on the top two teams in a bid to get to the top by the end of the season. The Scots will be without defensive midfielder Hojbjerg who is out for three weeks with a knee injury. Frankfurt with Coman and Alli at the forefront are a hard act to get across and Celtic may be struggling with the fitness of some of their older players. This will be a tough one for the visiting side but I still think they can get a draw from the game. 2- 5


 

I a seesawing game the draw was probably the fair result but Manager Christopher will be disappointed with the fact that his team could not take advantage of the additional shots on target they created. Cana opened the scoring for the visitors in the 24th minute when the big CB kept going after making a pass to Briand on the run, the latter returning the ball for Cana to strike home. IN the 37th Minute Talisca scored his fourth of the season to bring scores level courtesy of some good work by Soderlund. After half time it was Sodurland that broke the deadlock s Coman became provider and for a moment it seemed that the home side could steal the points.  However Celtic have this bloke named Robbie Keane who popped up at just the right time yet again to steal his 10th of the season and level things up again. Celtic pushed hard for the last 15 minutes but could not find a way through. Final Score 2-2

 

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PREDICTION: Man City will get a visit from the boys from Seattle in the last match of the round with City coming of a fortunate draw and Seattle failing in Glasgow in the previous round. Another loss for Seattle could see them lose top spot but Manchester have proved resilient and will be difficult to beat. I will go for the draw. - 2-6 (huh!)

 

Tolisso got MOTM with a goal and an assist and Clinton N'Jie poked his head up again to score his 15th of the season as Seattle made a firm statement about winning the league at the Emirates. The visitors got the early goal in the just the 7th minute through Tolisso and it was only a couple of fine saves from Rulli in the City goal that kept it to one goals difference at half time. tolisso then founs N'Jie in the penalty box on his own from a curling free kick and N'jie did what N'jie does and made it 2-0. Deeney tried hard to recover the odds for the home side but to no avail. Final Score 0-2

 

So at the top Seattle are leading the pack 2 points clear of Feyenoord and 6 clear of Celtic. At the bottom end Guangzhou look like life will be in Division Two next season but with only 4 points covering the next four clubs anything is possible. 

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Match Day 25

PREDICTION: PSG will host Man City in the opener for the round and will be looking to get back on track to get out of that drop zone and put a bigger gap between themselves and the light blues. This is a real 6-point game at the bottom of the table. Unfortunately for them I get the feeling Man City will be itching for survival and will win this one.

PREDICTION: Cologne will play host to Stuttgart who won their first meeting. Cologne also are looking for points to get out of the nether regions but Stuttgart do notwant to fall back into that group wither. Away win here.

 

PREDICTION: Newcastle will host Ajax who will be looking to find a spark and drag themselves off the bottom of the league. Ajax will be without defender Jedjav (injured) or Gudelj (susp) while Jese will be in the stands for United. Looks to me like a home win.

 

PREDICTION: Feyenoord travel to Guangzhou and the home side will be tough to beat on their own soil. The Dutchmen will travel without Vogt who is supended. The return of Ward-Prowse is a bonus for them however and they should be good enough to take the points...but they need to be careful.

 

PREDICTION: Club America will see the stripes of Sunderland in their stadium in the next round and will be eager to bounce back from their last round loss. Sunderland won their last game but were not convincing. The teams have met twice this season with a draw and a Sunderland victory. I am forecasting a draw.

PREDICTION:Berlin, victorious in their last match will meet Hanover, also last game winners in a German derby that should be a cracker. Hanover however will be without Sane and Vazquez... both suspended, and I feel losing both of these creative players could be too much for them. Home win here.

 

PREDICTION: Manager Christopher will renew his old rivalry with Manager Lucas when Madrid travel to Celtic park for their next game. madrid will be seeking to show improvement after their last game but Celtic will be wanting to stay in touch with the top 2. Madrid will be without Jordan Lukaku and Hojberg is injured for the home side. This is a tight one to call but I will go for  home win.

 

PREDICTION: Leaders Seattle will host Frankfurt in the final game and a win would see the home side in a strong position as the league enters its final stages. With both sides at full strength Seattle should just have the edge and the N'Jie to win the game. Home win.

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