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English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

BC Cliff's

0,,10794~9046757,00.gif

We are slowly drawing a end to a fantastic opening season in EC-7046 and with things heating up and down the Divisions I take a look at arguably the best Division in the country Division 2. It looked a close thing but with teams falling behind or pushing on the league looks more set in stone now however theres still time for changes.

Middlesbrough VS Reading

Middlesbrough have pushed on in the league now 8 points clear. I did tip them to edge out forest who in mid October hit a bad run of form which gave middlesbrough a flattering 8 point lead. I believe 2 more Middlesbrough wins coupled with anything less then a win for forest will all but give them the title. Reading have turned a corner and now look beyond relegation they have nothing left to play for this season but expect them to turn up against the top team in the league.

Prediction: Middlesbrough 3-1 Reading

Norwich VS Watford

Watford were creeping up on the top two and for a second i though they would have left me red faced after publicly backing Forest and Bro to finish in the top 2. Watford have slipped of late 3 straight losses sees them down to 4th. I dont think they can catch the top two noe but i believe they are strong contenders for play-off glory.

Prediction:Norwich 1-1 Watford

Burnely VS Nottingham Forest

Forest did have a very unhappy october with 3 straight losses. They are more then back on track now however winning 5 and drawing one in their last 6 games. I think 1st place is beyond them now, Unless Middlesborugh do the unthinkable and really lose it at the final hurdle. I think Forest will be unhappy with letting 1st slip after all they held that spot for so long this season. However they will go up.

Burnely 0-2 Forest

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Pompy 1-3 QPR

Ipswich 2-0 Doncaster Rovers

Bristol 3-0 Leicester city

Swansea 1-1 Derby

Leeds 2-1 Hull

PNE 0-0 Barnsley (If there is a loser in this game i expect the loser to be all but relegated)

Sheffield UTD 3-2 Cardiff

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS

DIV-1

TURN 31 - Sat 20th NOVEMBER

EVERTON (5th)...v...BLACKPOOL (20th)

LLDDLW...................LLLLLW

Everton - SAHA suspended. Blackpool - CRAINEY & EDWARDS - Injured. Everton home:W6 D4 L4. Blackpool away: W2 D1 L12. I think a surprisingly close encounter with home team winning by the odd goal.

Prediction: EVERTON 1 BLACKPOOL 0

............................................

STOKE (14th)...v...NEWCASTLE (4th)

LLLLDW................LDWLWL

Stoke - HONDA injured. Newcastle - No injuries. Stoke home: W3 D3 L8.Newcastle away: W7 D3 L5. A difficult match for Stoke with Newcastle having an excellent season. Away win here.

Prediction: STOKE 1 NEWCASTLE 2

............................................

CHELSEA (6th)...v...MAN CITY (19th)

WLWLDD...............LLWWWL

Chelsea - MANCIEME injured with A COLE suspended. Man City - C RONALDO injured. Chelsea home: W8 D3 L3. Man City away: W5 D1 L9. 'City are desperate to get points here but I think Chelsea's home record is too strong.

Prediction: CHELSEA 2 MAN CITY 0

............................................

SUNDERLAND (11th) ...v...BIRMINGHAM (17th)

LWLLWL...........................WWLDDD

Sunderland - HAMSIK injured. Birmingham - VICENTE injured. Sunderland home: W4 D4 L6 Birmingham away: W3 D5 L7. A tight match with away team needing points but I fancy a score draw.

Prediction: SUNDERLAND 1 BIRMINGHAM 1

............................................

BLACKBURN (12th)...v...FULHAM (9th)

LWLDDD......................WDDWDW

Blackburn - SANTANA injured & GOULON suspended. Fulham - PEDRO injured. Blackbirn home: W4 D6 L5 Fulham away: W5 D5 L5. Another tight match with both defences on top.

Prediction: BLACKBURN 0 FULHAM 0

............................................

LIVERPOOL (3rd)...v...MAN UTD (2nd)

DWWWLD.................WWWWLD

Liverpool - FERNANDO injured & HAZARD suspended. Man Utd - BERBATOV & ALONSO suspended. Liverpool home: W11 D2 L2 Man Utd away: W10 D3 L2. Both teams on form - can't decide - score draw.

Prediction: LIVERPOOL 1 MAN UTD 1

............................................

WIGAN (13th)...v...WOLVES (10th)

LDWWLL................WWLWDD

Wigan - DIAWARA,MICAEL,MARIN injured. Wolves - KALOU injured. Wigan home: W5 D4 L6 Wolves away: W6 D2 L6. Wigan have a lot injured. Wolves to win in 5 goal thriller.

Prediction: WIGAN 2 WOLVES 3

............................................

BOLTON (8th)...v...WEST HAM (1st)

WWLWWL..............WWWDWW

Bolton having a good season but West Ham are top and on fire.

Prediction: BOLTON 0 WEST HAM 2

............................................

WEST BROM (16th)...v...ARSENAL (7th)

DDWWWL.....................LLWLWW

West Brom - No injuries. Arsenal - CISSOKHO injured. West Brom home: W5 D3 L7. Arsenal away: W6 D3 L5. Home team need something but I can't see them taking points off 7th placed Arsenal

Prediction: WEST BROM 0 ARSENAL 3

............................................

ASTON VILLA (18th)...v...TOTTENHAM (15th)

WLLLLL...........................WLLLLW

Aston Villa - No injuries. Tottenham - DAWSON,FRINGS,J. COLE injured. Aston Villa home: W4 D5 L6 Tottenham away: W4 D4 L6 Villa on a bad run of late and Tottenham to add to their problems.

Prediction: ASTON VILLA 0 TOTTENHAM 2

............................................

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

Previews and Predictions

Division 2

Queens Park Rangers VS Burnley

With just 8 games to go, this is a must win match for both these clubs. QPR have just managed to sneak into the play off zone on goal difference. Burnley are hot on their heels, with just one point less than them. QPR have built an experienced side of seasoned professionals but don't have the greatest squad depth. Burnley on the other hand have been able to mix experience and youth beautifully. This is a team that will keep on growing. All in all it comes down to the tactical efficiency of the managers. QPR have been going with the very balanced 4-4-2 while Burnley prefer the more offensively biased 4-1-3-2. I see the 4-4-2 winning this battle today on the counter attack.

Queens Park Rangers 3 - 1 Burnley

Doncaster Rovers VS Portsmouth

10 places and 20 points separate these two. Doncaster pushing for promotion and Pompey look like they may have a consecutive season of demotion. The quality of both sides are very similar but for some reason their league position does not reflect this. Doncaster's Kuranyi has been destroying the competition with 4 goals in 6 games. Doncaster like to dominate the midfield and hence control the possession and tempo of the game. Portsmouth will be looking to get numbers forward and lob the ball to them. This will leave just 1 man in midfield to deal with the 5 man midfield of Doncaster. Not a pretty sight for Mr. Hughes (Not Sparky). Kuranyi should ideally have a field day today but Pompey will bag a couple of goals themselves.

Doncaster Rovers 4 - 2 Portsmouth

Watford VS Ipswich Town

Watford sit in fourth and Ipswich in third. If these two cancel out each other, it will be a massive opportunity for Bristol to go third (ye good chance huh? wait till you see who they have to play first, heh B)) Watford have really been a surprise package this season and have a winners mentality. They are a team which have managed to survive a certain West Ham fan and are now well on their way to promotion with Kylan at their helm. Kylan, who had a recent falling out with the Arsenal manager regarding a certain loan deal will be relishing his chances to get rid of his competition. Ipswich, who's manager declared Wickham to be unavailable seems to be a fan of the 3-5-2 which is very easy to counter against if you get your tactics right. Whether Watford will get theirs right is another question but I actually see Ipswich winning this one.

Watford 2 - 3 Ipswich

Reading VS Norwich City

A 9 point gap separates the two and Reading will be looking at his fixture as a chance to get even further away from the relegation zone and as an easy win. It certainly is an easy win for Reading on paper, but this is football. Games aren't won on paper. Reading should ideally be pushing for promotion but their team just hasn't been able to hold firm together. Honestly, Norwich's squad reflects their league position rather accurately. No real danger in front of goal and no rock at the back has seen them slip down the table into nineteenth. The future 8 games look bleak for them and they seem to be destined for the third division. Getting just 4 wins from all fixtures this season means something is going wrong somewhere and as long as that problem is not rectified, they wont be getting too many wins.

Reading 5 - 0 Norwich City

Leicester City VS Middlesbrough

'Boro sit comfortably in pole position with over double the points of Leicester. The difference in quality between the two sides is quite evident with Jooles 5 and sometimes 3 man team performing admirably against some of the toughest opponents in the league. They have been able to gel well together and seem to be unstoppable. Will Leicester be able to stop them when they travel there today? Probably not, but one can still hope. 'Boro haven't been winning too comfortably these days, but they get the job done. Leicester have got just 3 wins in their last seventeen games and I dont expect them to get a win from this fixture. Middlesbrough will be looking at this fixture as an opportunity to improve their goal difference.

Leicester City 1 - 4 Middlesbrough

Derby County VS Bristol City

Bristol will be looking to get away from Derby with a win, but with Derby's talisman Christian Eriksen back from suspension, this wont be a very easy task. Zhano Ananidze is back from injury but Nikidinho will not be risking him in today's fixture. Bristol are rumoured to favour the 3-5-2 while Derby constantly change their formation and tactics to counter their opponents. Bristol have a chance to go third in the table with a win today, but a fully fit defense of Galeano, Burdisso, Ruiz and Rakytskyy will be looking to keep them out. Derby are on fire and I dont expect this to change.

Derby County 3 - 2 Bristol City

Hull City VS Swansea City

Hull have the league's top goal scorer Hulk and will be looking to thrash Swansea. Their problem however, is the number of goals they concede. If they had a more solid defense, they could most definitely be right up there with the best. Just 5 points separate the two and With Hull going for their preferred 3-5-2, I would expect them to comfortably beat Swansea. Zak can definitely win this, but if he plays his 4-1-2-1-2, he should expect a loss. Hull will have no mercy, and if you don't have a solid defense and midfield against them, you'll regret it.

Hull City 3 - 1 Swansea City

Barnsley VS Leeds United

Barnsley are by far the worst performing team in the league, with a mere 20 points from 30 games. Leeds are currently on a losing streak with their last win coming from a cup game on the 18th of October against the Geordies, where they won on penalties. If the Barnsley manager has his head up, he'll be relishing this chance to bag a few points and hit leeds hard. Doubt he is though and leeds will and should end their losing streak here. I expect leeds to come back with a bang and the Barnsley manager to be sacked at the end of the season :D

Barnsley 1 - Leeds United 4

Cardiff City VS Preston North End

Another Reading VS Norwich is what we have here and it looks like quite an easy fixture for Cardiff in terms of their current league standing. The Preston players are a group with not the highest morale and if they don't believe they can win, they wont. Whether their manager can inspire them to victory is a different question. It's a game of the managers but I just think Cardiff will be too strong for them today.

Cardiff City 3 - 1 Preston North End.

Nottingham Forest VS Sheffield United

My personal favourite match of this turn, Sheffield are bustling with confidence after their recent run of good form. Can Forest stop their run and catch up to 'Boro? Well, to be honest I dont think so. Forest have been slipping up lately, and Eto'o has not been the Force everyone expected him to be. I expect him to disappoint and for The Blades to grab a point in this enticing fixture. Forest are expected to play a 3-5-2 and seeing the formation 3lton likes, I expect his midfield to hold theirs.

Nottingham Forest 1 - 1 Sheffield United

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

English Cup Preview

'The Quarter Finals'

Fa-cup.jpg

English Cup

The magic of the cup continues with the eight teams remaining getting down to the serious business of the quarter-final match ups. The word on the discussion thread is that West Ham are favorites to take the cup home, though that word did come from BC Cliffs, a nail in the Hammers coffin if ever there was one. The North East are well represented in the competition, with Newcastle, Sunderland, and North East top-dogs Middlesbrough all still with their cup dreams very much alive. While Bolton Wanderers make up the division one quartet solid representation also comes from the lower leagues, with promotion hopefuls Watford being joined by division three’s Sheff Wednesday and division four high fliers Oldham Athletic. Some scorching ties for you here this week people, as well you might expect at this stage of the prestigious EC7046 Cup.

ieT_lf9wK28

LCD Soundsystem and ‘North American Scum’ in honour of the all-Canadian match up between

Kylan_N17 of Watford and Jooles of the mighty Boro, “don’t blame the Canadians”

71_1205587003.gifSheffield Wednesday vs. West Ham United85_1193758928.gif

12th Div 3 vs. 1st Div 1

Incredible! At the start of the season who’d have thought that West Ham would be going into this game with the treble still very much alive? With the Hammers sitting pretty at the top of division 1 (only just mind you), safely into the quarter-finals of the SMFA Shield (with a tricky tie against tenacious Sunderland), and on paper what looks to be a plum tie against third division Wednesday, they really do appear to have the world at their feet. Appearances can be deceptive though, and with stiff competition on all three fronts West Ham could equally come away empty handed, close but no cigar.

Their opponents Wednesday have had no such dream season, and despite struggling away in mid-table mediocrity down in division three they have somehow huffed and puffed their way to the Cup quarter-finals. Some might say a place in the final eight is well deserved, but with just three transfers being made all season (in or out!) perhaps it’s more due to lucky draws than anything else. Wins over Gillingham, Leicester, and out-of-form Man City have brought them to this point, whereas West Ham have taken a somewhat harder route defeating Wigan, Birmingham, and Millwall along the way.

Arguably the key to West Ham’s success has been a rock solid defence, with just 26 goals conceded in the league being the meanest defence in the entire 7046 league. Why this might be so though is rather less apparent, given that (with all respect) the Hammer’s goalie and defenders are not exactly the best in the business, and that West Ham prefer an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation. Still, it’s done the business so far and with a top rated striker of just 87 (88-rated Mandzukic is injured) it’s hard to see Wednesday’s favoured 4-4-1-1 formation making any breakthrough here. Expect an easy away win and for the Hammers to keep the elusive treble alive.

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 0 - 2 West Ham United

57_1201341984.gifOldham Athletic vs. Sunderland 76_1200385608.gif

1st Div 4 vs. 11th Div 1

At first glance you could be forgiven for asking what on earth are Oldham, the sole division four representatives, are doing here in the Cup quarter-finals. It was no easy route mind you, with Oldham taking on and defeating division one opponents Blackpool (I say division 1 only ‘cos technically it’s true), Tottenham (no sing please), and the MK Dons (themselves giant-killers of the great (?) Man Utd). And look a little further and you’ll see that Oldham are having a belter of a season, currently sat proudly on the top of the division four pile, albeit with Lenny59’s Bury nestled tightly in their ****-crack just waiting to make their move.

Their opponents, Sunderland, have frankly failed to impress of late. A string of inconsistent results has seen them begin to slowly slide down the table. Unpredictable is the name of the game for Sunderland, who have incredibly either won or lost each of their last fifteen games, never registering more than two consecutive same results (usually two defeats) before flip-flopping back again. But on their day they can hold their own, just as their bouncing back from a 3-0 Shield defeat by Man Utd to beat them 1-0 in the league demonstrated. Make of that what you will.

Oldham’s success this season so far has been built on the foundation of a defensive 4-4-2, whereas Sunderland like to mix it up a bit according to who they are facing, often jumping between 3-5-2 and 4-5-1 formations (accompanied by a frantic use of arrows). With Sunderland’s 89-rated team facing no really injury, fitness, or suspension concerns other than that of Hamsik, and given that Oldham don’t seem to like to mix it up in the tactical department, it’s hard to see how a team with a highest rated player of 85 can prevail here. That said, home advantage may count for something, and Oldham clearly are taking this game seriously having rested all of their key players for Saturday’s league game. It won’t be a cricket score, but it’ll not likely be a home win either.

Prediction: Oldham Athletic 1 - 3 Sunderland

50_1201894192.gifMiddlesbrough vs. Watford 83_1200424529.gif

1st Div 2 vs. 3rd Div 2

In many ways the importance of this game became drastically elevated when Watford sensationally conceded defeat in the race for the top two automatic division two promotion spots. If there’s little hope of 3rd place Watford catching Boro in the league (seemingly unlikely given they’re trailing by 17 points with just 7 games left), then surely there’s nothing more that Watford manager Kylan_N17 would love to do that to put one over on the division two leaders. Indeed, it was a 3-1 defeat at home to Boro that perhaps put to bed the automatic promotion dream, a defeat that came on the back of a poor run of form. Watford will be looking to avenge that loss for sure.

Statistically this is no easy game for Watford. Boro continue to boast the league’s only unbeaten home record, 15 home games without defeat, a run aided by two incredible runs of 15 and 10 league games without defeat (home and away), each containing a string of eight wins on the bounce. A look at the Boro team sheet doesn’t suggest that Watford’s task will be any easier. Recently Boro stalwarts Iker Casillas and the disagreeable Walter Samuel have been joined by 97-rated Xavi, 94-rated Ronaldinho, 92-rated Kuyt, and 92-rated Carragher and recent signing, 89-rated Eboue. Dubbed ‘the 5-man team’ (3-man by some), it’s enough to strike fear into the hearts of many in the land.

While the core of Boro’s team is coming along nicely, by their own admission Watford are undergoing somewhat of a turnaround at the club. Still trying to clean up the mess Hammer left behind him after his party at the club the last few weeks has seen the departure of Van Nistelrooy (rated 92), Camoransei (90), Madlung (88). The host of new players brought in have solid potential for rises but given that just one player in the entire squad is rated over 88, 89-rated John O’Shea, many would be forgiven for thinking that Kylan_N17 has been caught with his pants down here. Perhaps a last-minute transfer coup is on the horizon, but if not, given that neither team has substantive fitness or injury concerns then it’s hard to see where Watford’s win may come from. Perhaps their only chance is to try and kick Boro off the park, certainly a possibility with Lee Cattermole amongst their ranks. That strategy is likely to prove unpalatable though, given how suspensions and injuries might affect their playoff hopes. Watford may have something up their sleeve here, but if not it’s hard to see anything other than a home win at Fortress Riverside.

Prediction: Middlesbrough 3 - 1 Watford

7_1281618273.jpgBolton Wanderers vs. Newcastle United 52_1195026324.gif

9th Div 1 vs. 4th Div 1

If the rumours are to be believed perhaps the Cup represents the last chance of success in Newcastle’s flagging season. They took off out of the traps like a ferret out of a Geordie’s trousers, as the saying goes, but have slowed dramatically in recent weeks. Physicists have yet to confirm whether this is due to the gravitational pull still excerpted by former Newcastle fat-man and Bob Carolgees look-alike Mikey Quinn (the man had a turning circle of an articulated truck!), or possibly even due to the weight of Kenny Dalglish’s severance package, but it’s a fact, Newcastle victories are in recession. If anything victory in the cup here could tip the balance and provide just the distraction needed for Chelsea or Everton to swoop in and deprive Newcastle of a money-spinning SMFA Cup place.

In contrast to Newcastle, Bolton’s fortunes are on a bit of an upturn, having lost just three times in the last fifteen games (as compared to Newcastle’s six defeats in the last fifteen). Look just one game further though and you’ll see that Bolton were well thumped in the last meeting between the two sides, coming out on the wrong end of a 5-2 scoreline. In fairness to Bolton much has changed at the club since then, with no fewer than fourteen new faces arriving at the Reebok. Amongst these were 95-rated marksman Milito, old man Ballack, Barca shot-stopper (sometimes) Valdes, and former Sunderland sharpshooter Darren Bent. On their day there’s certainly enough quality here to bring a fog on the Tyne, though somewhat fortunately for Newcastle Bolton will likely head into this game without the services of Milito who will be recovering from a very nasty shin injury, and Asamoah Gyan (suspended).

Newcastle have no such injury concerns, unless that ferret goes berserk, and will go into this game all guns blazing, ‘shock and awe, shock and awe!’. Really the wildcard is the rather bizarre 4-2-4 formation employed by Bolton. It proved no problem for the Geordie boys back in October, being countered by an attacking 4-5-1 formation that made use of the space in the midfield. If Newcastle can control the middle of the park again, which they should do, then the game will be theirs. The danger though lies in Bolton’s ability to bypass the midfield to put pressure on Newcastle’s relatively shaky defence (they’ve conceded 50 in the league this season, the 10th worst record in division 1). All things considered Newcastle should take this one, though with their confidence low, and Bolton’s ‘throw caution to the wind’ approach it really could go either way. Expect a pulsating cup-tie here, with Newcastle the most likely to progress to the Semi’s, just one more distraction they don’t need.

Prediction: Bolton Wanderers 2 - 3 Newcastle United

ferret1.jpg

A picture allegedly showing dudeskin entertaining

the Geordie masses during half-time at St. James

In Summary

So there you have it. If the Jellyfish™ is to be believed the semi-final draw will see West Ham, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, and Newcastle go into the mix, a mighty showing for the North East indeed! Go on Sheff Wed, Oldham, Watford, and Bolton, prove him wrong. I know you want to.

how-to-draw-a-cartoon-jellyfish.jpg

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

SMFA Cup and SMFA

Shield Previews

Quarter Finals, Leg 1

smfachampsionlogo.jpg

SMFA Cup

Short and sweet this time. So as expected Chelsea and Man Utd progress with ease in the last round. More importantly they managed to avoid one-another, surely the biggest hurdle they both face. So now down to the last eight, and Chelsea face Valencia, while Man U take on Ukrainian giants Shakhtar. The other four remaining teams are Napoli, Juventus, Inter, and Marseille.

LDxFtQgoWt8

Well, it’s Monday so I guess the Boomtown Rats is as good a choice as any.

Never knew what this song was really about until now. Bit sick really.

21_1273244606.jpgChelsea vs. Valencia 172_1245420019.jpg

Always nice to have a home tie to start to put the match out of reach. Surely there’ll be little to trouble for Cheslea here given that Valencia’s team is rated just 87 and they’re having to play 82-rated ex-QPR lad Fitz Hall at the back. Really the only question is can Chelsea manage to win this one though without conceding an away goal?

Prediction: Chelsea 3 - 0 Valencia

49_1204432433.gifMan Utd vs. Shakhtar 348_1206166364.gif

Like Chelsea United start off at home, more of a fortress now than earlier in the season. Shakhtar though might actually put up a bit of a fight this one, boasting an average rating of 89 and possessing enough talent to keep Man U on their toes. SoP will want to put this match to bed in the first game but don’t be surprised if they’re still left with it all to do come the second leg.

Prediction: Man Utd 2 - 1 Shakhtar

smfasheildlogo.jpg

SMFA Shield

Well it had to happen. Two of the eight English teams were eliminated last round, Man City and Fulham, leaving six to still fly the flag. Of those six, just four are still in the hands of Gold Managers, Spurs, Sunderland, West Ham, and Everton, who have some say in their club’s fortunes. It was inevitable that these sides were going to start meeting up during the finals rounds and the two all English ties are the featured rounds this week. Best of luck to all clubs still involved.

80_1217330011.jpgSpurs vs. Blackburn 5_1241541577.jpg

Tottenham will be brimming with confidence for this game after convincing wins both home and away against Borussia Dortmund in the last round, while Blackburn just edged through against Palmero courtesy of an 80th minute winner by Brazilian striker Brandao. In the league Blackburn have had the upper hand, winning 3-2 in the last encounter after drawing 3-3 in the first match-up between these sides. With the AI pulling the strings for Blackburn Spurs should have come out on top here, but with Blackburn quite capable of scoring the odd away goal things will still be up in the air come the return leg at Ewood Park.

Prediction: Spurs 3 - 1 Blackburn

Aston Villa vs. Ajax

Ajax were the undoing of Fulham in the last round, in a large part thanks to the heroics of former Man United shot stopper van der Sar. Expect a tight tie here with it all to play for in the second leg.

Prediction: Aston Villa 0 - 0 Ajax

85_1193758928.gifWest Ham vs. Sunderland 76_1200385608.gif

West Ham played it cool last round to beat Lille away from home and edge into the next round. For Sunderland things were a little tighter, and they rode a frantic PSV effort to avoid conceding a last minute winner, going through on away goals. They’ll not permitted to rest on their laurels here against a hard working West Ham side though. While both sides recently showed their class by progressing into the semi finals of the English Cup last night it will be West Ham who are most confident going into this one, having twice beaten Sunderland in the league this season. On the night though it will likely be a close encounter with little to choose between the two.

Prediction: West Ham 2 - 2 Sunderland

Dynamo Moskva vs. Everton

Not a bad little draw for Everton this and they’ll probably quite fancy their chances here. Still, Dynamo have a relatively strong side, as is often the way for the Russia teams who seemed to get neglected somewhat in the early transfer fury. Everton need to take care to avoid being too overconfident though as Dynamo are still unbeaten in this competition this season, having defeated Blackburn back in the group stages. Everton might find the going hard here and could well have it all to do back at Goodison.

Prediction: Dynamo Moskva 1 - 0 Everton

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

premierleaguelogo.gif

Premier League Predictions - Turn Thirty Two

  • Everton vs Stoke City

Everton are doing well at the moment and are just 3 points behind 4th place Newcastle so will be going for the win against a faltering Stoke side who have probably just done enough recently to stay up.

Everton 3 - 1 Stoke

  • Newcastle United vs Chelsea

The Toon have been struggling of late with 4 defeats in last four games in all comps. Chelsea's league form hasn't been much better with just 8 points picked up from last 24 available. Playing a weakened side though should give them the edge.

Toon 1 - 2 Chelsea

  • Fulham vs Liverpool

Fulham have been in fine form of late, showing Swindon's appointment, for the time being, was the right one. They are right in the heart of European qualifying places which is what they'll be happy with at the end. since going top 'Pool have started to struggle very badly lately with 2 points from last 9 available seeing them slip from the top. Being the form side I back Fulham to hold the title challengers.

Fulham 2 - 2 'Pool

  • Manchester United vs Wigan Athletic

Like Liverpool Utd have dropped points in recent games to stop the charge at the top from the two north-west clubs. They have Berbatov and Alonso out through suspension which is bad for them. Wigan have new man Stuart H in control following Nick Justice's resignation and he'll hope to cause an upset in this very tough opening game.

Utd 3 - 0 Wigan

  • Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Bolton Wanderers

The battle of the wanderers here with both sides very close in the table just a point separating them. Wolves have just 1 defeat in last 6 whilst Bolton have 1 more. A win for either side could help cement a European spot for next season. Bolton will be buoyed from Monday's Cup triumph.

Wolves 2 - 1 Bolton

  • West Ham United vs West Bromwich Albion

West Ham have so far been the real shock of the division, they currently lead the pack out right by 1 point. Playing a WBA side who are just 4 points off the bottom 3 will be tough but they should have enough to ease to a comfortable win.

Hammers 4 - 1 WBA

  • Arsenal vs Aston Villa

Arsenal's recent good form 3 back to back wins has seen shoot into 7th but still 7 points off 4th. Villa meanwhile are only outside the drop courtesy of goal difference. On form this has to be a home win.

Gunners 5 - 0 Villa

  • Blackpool vs Tottenham Hotspur

Things got so bad at Blackpool that their long suffering manager jumped ship as the inevitable relegation loomed. They play Spurs who themselves are just 6 points above the drop but would feel a win against the basement club will mean another season of Prem football.

Blackpool 0 - 2 Spurs


  • Manchester City vs Sunderland

City 1 - 1 Sunderland

  • Birmingham City vs Blackburn Rovers

Brum 1 - 2 Rovers

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS

DIV-4

TURN 31 - Wed 24th NOVEMBER

BURY (2nd)...v...SHREWSBURY (7th)

WWDWWW.........LWDWDW

Bury - MERIDA injured. Shrewsbury - No injuries. Bury home: W12 D1 L2 Shrewsbury away: W4 D4 L8. A tough match for Shrewsbury but their home form should edge it here.

Prediction: BURY 1 SHREWSBURY 0

............................................

EXETER(14th)...v...BRIGHTON (6th)

LLWWLL................DLDLWD

Exeter - SPEARING injured Brighton - No injuries. Exeter home: W5 D6 L4 Brighton away: W4 D6 L6. Brighton should be too strong here. Exeter lost 4 from 6. narrow away win.

Prediction: EXETER 1 BRIGHTON 2

............................................

NORTHAMPTON (15th)...v...SOUTHEND (11th)

WWLLDD...........................WLLWLW

Northampton - ALVARO injured. Southend - GILBERT, EASTON injured. Northampton home: W5 D5 L5 Southend away: W7 D3 L6. Another close encounter here, can't seperate so, score draw.

Prediction: NORTHAMPTON 2 SOUTHEND 2

............................................

DAG & RED (13th) ...v...WYCOMBE (9th)

LWDLLL........................LLWWLL

Dag & Red - OBIKA injured. Wycombe - No injuries. Dag & Red home: W6 D4 L5 Wycombe away: W6 D4 L5. Both teams have same form W6 D4 L5, score draw here.

Prediction: DAG & RED 1 WYCOMBE 1

............................................

OLDHAM (1st)...v...HARTLEPOOL (3rd)

WLDWWW.............WWLWLW

Oldham - POGATETZ injured with ROGERIO suspended. Hartlepool - No injuries.

Oldham home: W11 D2 L2 Hartlepool away: W6 D3 L6 This is the Match of the Day with 1st vs 3rd. Oldham's home form to edge it in 5-goal thriller.

Prediction: OLDHAM 3 HARTLEPOOL 2

............................................

LEYTON ORIENT (8th)...v...ALDERSHOT (4th)

LLDLWL...........................DWWWWD

Both teams have no injuries. Leyton home: W8 D3 L4. Aldershot away: W7 D3 L5. Leyton struggling of late, away win in a tough match.

Prediction: LEYTON ORIENT 0 ALDERSHOT 1

............................................

CHESTERFIELD (17th)...v...ACC STANLEY (5th)

WWWLWD.........................LDLDWW

Chesterfield - ZAMORA, GILL, ENZA-YAMISSI injured. Acc Stan - no injuries. Chesterfield home: W7 D3 L6. Acc Stanley away: W7 D1 L7. Chesterfield's form will sway it for a shock result.

Prediction: CHESTERFIELD 2 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 0

............................................

ROTHERHAM (20th)...v...TRANMERE (11th)

DWLLLL........................DDWLWW

Rotherham - DUNNE injured Tranmere - DALLA BONA injured. Rotherham home: W5 D3 L8 Tranmere away: W5 D1 L9 Rotherham on a bad run of results, Tranmere to take the points here.

Prediction: ROTHERHAM 0 TRANMERE 2

............................................

BURTON ALBION (19th)...v...GILLINGHAM (10th)

LWWLLL..............................LLWWWW

Albion - no injuries Gillingham - FULLER injured. Burton Albion home: W3 D2 L11. Gillingham away: W4 D1 L10 Gillingham on a good run and should continue that with a win here.

Prediction: BURTON ALBION 1 GILLINGHAM 3

............................................

STOCKPORT (18th)...v...YEOVIL (12th)

WLLLLL.........................WLLDLL

Both teams have no injuries. Stockport home: W4 D5 L6 Yeovil away: W5 D1 L9. Both teams struggling but Stockport's run is poorer - away win.

Prediction: STOCKPORT 0 YEOVIL 1

............................................

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

BC Cliff's

0,,10794~9046757,00.gif

Its Crunch time now in 7046 and once again i take my slot and talk about the wonderful DIV2. As i said its down to the crunch end of the table now games have come and gone pretty fast and we can see the light at the end of the long drawn out 7046 tunnel. If teams what to stake their claim to the title,Automatic promotion,playoffs or survive they should be targeting their last 7 league games to do it in. So lets have a look into DIV2..

Pompy vs Watford

Watford having signed manager kylan Hood have come to life i believe if watford would have had a manager like him early on in the season they might have been home and dry looking forward to DIV1. 9 points behind Forest i cant see them nabbing the 2nd place spot not because they arnt good enough but down to forest beeing to good to let it slip now. If im being honest i expect them to do it the hard way in the Play-offs ;)

Prediction: Pompy 1-3 Watford

Middlesbrough vs Derby

What can i say ? Top of the league and in the Semi-finals of the English Cup. Amazing. Middlesbrough have all but wrapped up the league with a bow and just in time for christmas. Heres a interesting stat for you Jooles... ! Middlesbrough are 8 points clear and face Forest their closest rivals for the title on the 8th of Decemeber their 3rd last league game of the season. If Middlesbrough and Forest win all of their games leading up to this fixture then Middlesbrough will only need a DRAW to win the title. How great will that be winning the title at home against forest ?

Prediction: Middlesbrough 2-0 Derby

PNE vs Forest

Forest sitting 2nd in the table will be focusing to cement their automatic promotion place. I fell that the title is beyond them now its still possiable of course but middlesbrough would really need to de-rail for there to be any opening. I think forest will be happy however looking ahead to DIV1 i think they will be a handful.

Prediction:PNE 1-3 Forest

QPR 2-0 Doncaster Rovers

Ipswich 3-1 Reading

Norwich 0-1 Leicester

Bristol 2-1 Hull

Swansea 2-0 Barnsley

Leeds 1-1 Cardiff

Burnley 2-2 Sheffield UTD

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS

DIV-3

TURN 32 - Wed 24th NOVEMBER

Plymouth vs colchester united

Plymouth Argyle have kept up there good form and there amazing goal scoring record with a BRAND NEW! partnership amauri and janko and downing chipping in from the wing in combined 20 games between them have scored an impressive 16 goals and with downing at THE wing then they have an assist machine and should beat a sorry poor colchester!!

prediction

Plymouth 5 vs 2 colchester

crystal palace vs Brentford

Brentford have been doing brillant at the moment picking up a brillant 16 points from 21so things are on the up for the sizzling jamiacan. They want to build on there crushing 4-1 win over swindon but palace is a lot tougher than swindon and this game will prove it

prediction

crystal palace 3 vs 2 Brentford

carlisle vs Millwall

Millwall finally looking to press on with there 5-0 thrashing of peterbourgh last wednesday and a brillant showing against runaway leaders coventry on saturday . Today will be cruical for both teams as millwall are winning there fight against relegation and carlise will aim to cement there playoff dreams

prediction

carlisle 1 vs 2 millwall

MK dons vs Rochdale

Rochdale are an improveing force signing some top players like gio dos santos who has scored plenty since arriveing from spurs. Gary has started to improve this team all over the pitch and this week Gary showed brillanrt loyality to his club and his players by rejecting the chance to go to the premier league with wigan and this will give the players an amazing boost to win this game.

Prediction

MK Dons 0 vs 2 rochdale

best of the rest

Swindon Town 2 - 1 Shorpe United

Sheffield Wednesday 2 - 1Charlton Athletic

Notts County 0 - 0 Huddersfield Town

AFC Bournemouth 0 - 0 Walsall

Bristol Rovers 4 - 3 Peterborough United

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS

DIV-1

TURN 31 - Sat 27th NOVEMBER

STOKE (14th)...v...BLACKPOOL (20th)

LLDWWL................LLLWLW

Stoke - HONDA injured Blackpool - CRAINEY injured. Stoke home: W4 D3 L8 Blackpool away: W2 D1 L13 Blackpool have better results of late but Stoke to win in a tough match.

Prediction: STOKE 2 BLACKPOOL 1

............................................

CHELSEA (7th)...v...EVERTON (5th)

WLDDWL................DDLWWW

Chelsea - FARFAN, DROGBA injured. Everton - BECK injured. Chelsea home: W9 D3 L3. Everton away: W8 D3 L5. Everton on a good run and Drogba missing for the home team, Away win in match of the day.

Prediction: CHELSEA 1 EVERTON 2

............................................

SUNDERLAND (10th)...v...NEWCASTLE (4th)

LLWLWW...........................WLWLLW

Sunderland - No injuries. Newcastle - FLOCCARI injured. Sunderland home: W5 D4 L6. Newcastle away: W7 D3 L6. North East Derby match where form goes out the window. A hard fought score draw.

Prediction: SUNDERLAND 2 NEWCASTLE 2

............................................

BLACKBURN (12th) ...v...MAN CITY (19th)

LDDDLL........................WWWLLL

Blackburn - No injuries. Man City - KOLAROV suspended. Blackburn home: W4 D6 L6. Man City away: W5 D1 L10. Both teams on a bad run of late. A score draw here

Prediction: BLACKBURN 1 MAN CITY 1

............................................

LIVERPOOL (3rd)...v...BIRMINGHAM (17th)

WWLDDL....................LDDDLW

Liverpool - No injuries. Birmingham - VICENTE & GARCIA injured. Liverpool home: W11 D3 L2. Birmingham away: W3 D5 L8. The home team's form to be too strong for Birmingham.

Prediction: LIVERPOOL 3 BIRMINGHAM 0

............................................

WIGAN (13th)...v...FULHAM (8th)

WWLLLD...............DWDWWW

Wigan - MICAEL & MARIN injured, Fulham - No injuries, Wigan home: W5 D4 L7. Fulham away: W6 D5 L5. A tight match here with Fulham's league form being the difference here.

Prediction: WIGAN 0 FULHAM 1

............................................

BOLTON (11th)...v...MAN UTD (2nd)

LWWLDL.................WWLDDD

Bolton - BALLACK injured. Man Utd - No injuries. Bolton home: W6 D5 L5 Man Utd away: W10 D4 L2. Bolton will miss Ballack and with Man Utd at full strength, i can't see an upset.

Prediction: BOLTON 0 MAN UTD 2

............................................

WEST BROM (16th)...v...WOLVES (9th)

WWWLLL........................LWDDWW

West Brom - No injuries. Wolves - KALOU injured. West Brom home: W5 D3 L8. Wolves away: W7 D2 L6. Home team struggling with form and Wolves form is very good. Away win here.

Prediction: WEST BROM 0 WOLVES 2

............................................

ASTON VILLA (18th)...v...WEST HAM (1st)

LLLLDL............................WDWWDW

Villa - SIDWELL injured with DELFOUNESO suspended. West Ham - no injuries. Villa home: W4 D6 L6. West Ham away: W10 D1 L4. West Ham top with great run and excellent form - should win here.

Prediction: ASTON VILLA 1 WEST HAM 4

............................................

TOTTENHAM(15th)...v...ARSENAL (6th)

LLLWDL.........................WLWWWW

Tottenham - DAWSON, FRINGS, J. COLE injured. Arsenal - CISSOKHO injured with VERMAELEN suspended. Tottenham home: W6 D1 L9. Arsenal away: W7 D3 L5 In Derby matches the in-form team doesn't always win but unluckily Spurs will miss DAWSON, FRINGS , J. COLE - to allow away team to sneak it.

Prediction: TOTTENHAM 0 ARSENAL 1

............................................

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

NPOWER%20LEAGUE%20ONE.jpg

Div 3 | Turn 33

Shorpe United Vs Crystal Palace

A mid table clash as 9th placed Shorpe take on 10th place Crystal Palace. A total of 5 points separate these two, as the season is nearing to the end, Crystal Palace need points and a loss could almost put them out of the play-off position race. These two teams have met twice, both winning a game each. Both team look to cancel each other out, so I’m predicting a bore draw.

Prediction: Shorpe United 1-1 Crystal Palace.

Rochdale Vs Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday seem to be a sinking ship and back to back loses see them drop to 13th. Rochdale are having a makeover, and look and they’re currently in progress, causing some key players to be NMF. Looking at both teams, Sheffield look to be the one getting three points, this match may put Rochdale further into relegation.

Prediction: Rochdale 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday.

64924_news.jpg

One of Rochdale's new signing, could he fire them the goals?

Walsall Vs Coventry

A draw against Southampton has seen Coventry slip to 2nd place. They now face a Walsall side lacing in quality. Coventry’s star defender and captain Subotic is sidelined, but Coventry have enough depth to cover his position. Coventry should win this game quite comfortably.

Prediction: Walsall 0-2 Coventry.

Millwall Vs Notts County

Huge game we have here at the New Den Stadium. Millwall are an improving side, and are just about scraping out of the relegation zone. Notts County are rock bottom, and I’m predicting 2 more losses for them could see them out of Div 3. County’s manager have bought in some quality players, but the balance in there side is not right. I’m predicting a win for Millwall as they’re at home and have crowd advantage, but clearly over power there rivals as well. Looking at the remaining fixtures for Millwall, a win is needed here as they have some very tough games coming up.

Prediction: Millwall 3-1 Notts County.

Southampton Vs Carlisle United

A tough encounter we have here, as 3rd comes up against 4th. Both these sides will be looking to all three points, and secure a promotion place. Both these sides are as good as each other causing my prediction to be an entertaining draw.

Prediction: Southampton 2-2 Carlisle United

RuiPatricio.jpg

Rui Patricio needs to keep his eye out, as it's going to be a tough evening.

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

npowerchampionshiplogo8.jpg

Mo's Turn Thirty-Three Predictions

Well, there's six more games to go in the league, and even though Middlesbrough are running away with the title and already have locked up promotion, and Nottingham Forest are pretty removed from both 1st and 3rd place, the playoff race is still hot as ever, with 3rd through 8th only being seperated by 7 points. With that in mind, we run through Saturday's fixtures:

Doncaster Rovers (5th) v Burnley (7th):

Amazingly, both of these teams have hardly moved from the positions they held back when I did the turn 13 predictions. At that time, Doncaster was in 5th place, as it still is today, and Burnley was 6th, 1 spot higher than the spot it currently holds. Both have nine points out of their last six games, and even though Doncaster are playing at home off the back of a big win over QPR, I think Burnley's squad's superiority will be enough to hold off Rovers and end the game in a draw.

Prediction: Doncaster Rovers 2 - 2 Burnley

Watford (3rd) v QPR (8th):

Probably the biggest match of the week right here, a big game with big playoff implications. When Kylan took over, Watford were in 4th place, but in free fall. Using the tools he had, he willed the team to success, and for a while was right up there with Forest and Middlesbrough challenging for the title. But then transfer season came around, and Kylan decided to completely revamp his squad. Although he brought in some nice names and youth, the loss of big names like Guiza, Camronesi, and Van Nistelrooy proved too much and the team suffered, dropping out of the title race.

Now its crunch time. Watford are in pretty bad form, having been thrashed in the English Cup by Middlesbrough and collecting a miserable 4 out of a possible 24 points. They can't afford to drop anymore points. QPR on the other hand, have not been able to get the best out of their squad throughout the season, despite having on paper one of the best squads of Division 2 and a very resilient manager. Sitting in 8th place, the door to slip into the playoffs is ever-closing, and QPR will need a victory here if they want to keep it from closing even further.

I've always liked QPR, and they currently have a better squad than Watford. I predict an upset.

Prediction: Watford 1 - 2 QPR

Reading (12th) v Portsmouth (16th):

Ah, the unpredictables. It was Forest's loss to Reading that really derailed their title challenge and sent them to an unprecedented third loss in a row a few weeks ago, and certainly a look at their squad shows that on any given day they have the firepower to challenge any team. Portsmouth boast a much less impressive squad, but also can surprise on occasion. Portsmouth will probably want the points more being only 3 points off of relegation, but with home advantage and superior form its hard not to see a Reading win here.

Prediction: Reading 3 - 0 Portsmouth

Leicester City (17th) - Ipswich (4th):

One of the biggest fallers from my earlier predictions, Leicester City find themselves right outside of the relegation zone with a mess of a squad. The manager clearly has neglected the team, and its amazing that he hasn't been sacked yet. There are talented players here and there, but four straight losses show that the manager clearly has no idea what he's doing. Easy win for Ipswich, especially with the big rises for key players Fabio Coentro and Maxime Gonalons.

Prediction: Leicester City 1 - 3 Ipswich

Derby County (11th) v Norwich City (18th):

Not much to be said here. Derby County recently ended an impressive run of four straight victories with a loss to none other than Middlesbrough, and before that had similarly impressive run of wins interrupted by Forest. The squad is well organized, and the team should have nothing to worry about against a Norwich side that just is too weak for Division 2 and has no real quality aside from Iker Munain.

Prediction: Derby County 3 - 1 Norwich City

Hull City (9th) v Middlesbrough (1st):

Hull City and QPR are the true rogue teams of this league; you know they should be in the top 6, and you just keep waiting for them to get there, but somehow we're at turn 33 and they're still not there. Unfortunately for Hull City, the drama surrounding who would be their manager probably sufficiently derailed them from reaching the playoffs this season, although belkavitz with his four straight wins has been working pretty hard to change the script. Middlesbrough love to rain on everyone's parade though, and will probably find great joy in recording ANOTHER one of their awful one goal margin wins and ending Hull City's streak of wins.

Prediction: Hull 1 - 2 Middlesbrough

Barnsley (20th) v Bristol City (6th):

How a team can perform so badly on a regular basis, I do not know. And the sad thing is that the team actually has some pretty big talents. Oh well, can't see how Bristol City wouldn't win this one, although I will say the team has way too many forwards and not enough defenders, unless he says all his defensive midfielders playing their secondary positions, which im just not a fan of.

Prediction: Barnsley 0 - 2 Bristol City

Cardiff City (14th) v Swansea City (15th):

Both squads have solid components in them, but certainly have not been developed enough, and their results have suffered as such. Swansea's form actually is significantly better than Cardiff's going into this one, but the teams are very similar and Cardiff is at home and so I forsee a draw.

Prediction: Cardiff City 1 - 1 Swansea City

Nottingham Forest (2nd) v Leeds United (13th):

Leeds go into this game on decent form, with 4 out of 6 points in their last two games. Bringing in Pirlo certainly has changed the team for the better, and he was actually one of the biggest priorities for Nottingham Forest to sign next season. Leeds have nothing left to fight for really, being 10 points off of relegation and 13 off the playoffs, but will probably still put up a good fight. Still, Forest will probably just edge it as they continue to cling onto the tiny hope that the margin between 1st and 2nd is cut to a respectable difference before the big game on December 8th.

Prediction: Nottingham Forest 2 - 1 Leeds United

Sheffield United (10th) v Preston North End (19th):

PNE, having been neglected/not improved enough by their manager since the start of the season, are almost surely going down, and being away from home and on worse form than Sheffield, its hard to see anything but an easy three points here for Sheffield United.

Prediction: Sheffield 2 - 0 Preston North End

Good luck everyone! (Posted again since it was posted in the wrong thread)

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

English Shield Preview

Quarter Finals

0,,10794~6858570,00.jpg

English Shield

Hmm, if these managers have not been taking the Shield seriously so far then the quarter finals are probably the time when they sit up and start to think that maybe they can actually win this thing. With only three games separating them from a nice shiny little trophy and a place in Europe it’s hard to imagine teams will not be giving it their all from now on. Maybe an exception would be for those teams still fighting for something in the league. Man Utd and Forest both still have shots at the title and fall into this category, as do West Brom, Birmingham, and arguably Cardiff, for whom the threat of relegation still looms large. Arsenal and Blackburn still have SMFA places to push for, which leaves little Rotherham, who sit at the foot of division 4, fighting to save face if nothing else. By that logic though Rotherham would be the ones you’d expect to go on and win this thing, but make no mistake, all of these managers would like success in the Shield. So, don’t expect too many second-string outfits here, but at what cost to their league ambitions? Okay, here goes…

GbjqBi_VwbA

Really it’s a shame to be playing this song now, “Do the Ayatollah”, Cardiff

City’s Cup final tune. On the off chance though that Cardiff don’t make

it through to the semis it would be even more terrible if it never got

played at all. If you haven’t seen it before check it out as it’s well funny.

55_1203646337.gifNottingham Forest vs. Rotherham United 67_1192814962.gif

2nd Div 2 vs. 20th Div 4

Here’s a question, is winning the Shield adequate compensation for the ignominy of finishing bottom of the entire EC7046 set-up? Rotherham’s manager Jimmy ‘Self Inflicted’ Winston seems to think so, and seems to be staking his managerial career on it. According to the OPTA index it’s now been 1437 minutes since Rotherham last put in a competitive tackle in a league game, and from their position at rock bottom in EC7046 it shows. The ban on his players engaging in sexual antics at home in the bedroom to keep their testosterone levels up too just shows how seriously this game is being taken at Rotherham. Allegedly even Winston himself, ever the one to lead by example, has undergone a vow of celibacy, though if rumours are to believed this is not strictly voluntary on his part, but more forced upon him due to circumstances out of his control. After all, it does take two to tango.

While Rotherham have given it their all to make it this far, Forest have coasted into the quarter finals, barely breaking a sweat each round, sending out the reserves game after game and yet pushing anyone aside who tries to stop them. So here’s a dilemma for Forest manager Bigga Memo, does he actually give it his all now, at the risk of buggering up his league title hopes due to fitness concerns? If past history is anything to go by expect the answer to that question to be a no. Having played a full first team on Saturday, and with Rotherham boasting an average rating short of 80 (on a good day), the temptation to put out the second team again will prove too much. All the better for Rotherham!

Still, are Forest’s reserves any match for Rotherham’s well rested first-team? Ordinarily, yes. Trouble is, with the recent injury to desperation signing Maresca, and with two of the loan players already cup-tied (wonder if Mo realised that?) Forest are stretched somewhat and will likely have to juggle with lads below their peak fitness. Will Rotherham take full advantage of these issues? No, of course not. They’ll sit back deep in their own half for much of the game as they usually do and try and steal one on the break, unwilling to change a tactic that has served them well so far. A bit more of an adventurous spirit and they could prosper, but then again, if you give someone enough rope they’ll also likely hang themselves. It’s a fine balance and one that Rotherham will likely fail to achieve. Forest should win this one comfortably and Rotherham will be left looking up at all other teams, dreaming of past (fleeting) glories.

Nottingham Forest 3 - 0 Rotherham United

5_1241541577.jpgBlackburn Rovers vs. Arsenal 1_1288873041.jpg

12th Div 1 vs. 6th Div 1

It’s fair to say that things have been a bit grim for Blackburn of late. Despite the odd cup success their league form has been just awful, and before Saturday’s win against Man City they’d recorded just one win in the last eight games (that being against Spurs which isn’t really saying much). What on earth has happened to the tight defence displayed at the beginning of the season, with Blackburn’s back four leaking goals practically every game? That said, they can hold their own at times, as recent draws with high fliers West Ham and Man Utd demonstrated, though not Arsenal, who trounced them 3-1 when the two sides met back at the start of the month.

By contrast Arsenal have been bouncing along nicely under the stewardship of new manager Mr. Snooky, winning seven out of the eight competitive games they’ve played. The only competitive loss came to Liverpool, in one of the rare games that Messi was able to shine. The only other loss for the new Arsenal boss came in a friendly against Middlesbrough, but that’s to be expected really. Arsenal are also on fire in the goalscoring department, having banged twelve in the last three games. It’s not looking good for Blackburn really is it?

While Blackburn favour a meat ‘n potatoes 4-4-2 approach Arsenal are rather more adventurous, often adopting a 4-2-3-1 formation, but occasionally experimenting, recently even trying a rather adventurous 5-2-3, all of which should put Blackburn to the test. Both teams have the odd knackered looking player right now, but most interestingly Arsenal are having big difficulties in the left-back position, with all three first team left-backs injured or suspended. This, and only this, could be Blackburn’s tactical edge. Unfortunately, there’s been little evidence so far to suggest that Blackburn manager xXTheOneAndOnlyXx is astute enough to exploit this flaw, with his name instead suggesting that the one and only refers to his range of tactics. Unless anything changes expect Arsenal to march on to the semis as one of the favorites to win this competition.

Blackburn Rovers 0 - 2 Arsenal

18_1216254515.jpgCardiff City vs. Birmingham City 4_1194003536.gif

15th Div 2 vs. 17th Div 1

Cardiff along with Forest represent division two’s remianing hopes in the last eight of the Shield. Unlike Forest though they’ve failed to set their division alight so far this season. After a promising start (they were joint top of the league at one point!) they’ve slumped so badly that relegation may now threatens the Welsh side (in their last five games they play three of the top six sides, and two of the bottom five sides, a sure recipe for disaster if they’re not careful). While the causes of this slump are no doubt many, a leaky defence has really not helped matters, with Cardiff twice being thumped 5-0 in recent weeks, adding to the 7-0 trashing they were handed out by Middlesbrough earlier on in the season.

Birmingham though have troubles of their own, which if anything are more pressing than those of Cardiff’s, which remain at arm’s length for now. Birmingham are a club in freefall, sitting precariously just one point above the division one drop-zone with just fives games remaining. That fact doesn’t quite tell the whole story though. The Blues have a new man in charge and in his four games so far Mr. Sandalls has done, well, pretty darn well actually. You wouldn’t think it by just glancing at his stats, P4 W1 D2 L1, but those draws came away at Chelsea and more recently in a 5-5 thriller against Liverpool in which Birmingham controlled the game. Perhaps this form signals that a turnaround may well be on the cards at St. Andrews.

Birmingham head into Monday night’s game with few troubles, aside from missing the odd midfielder, for which they have ample cover. They do have a few fitness concerns, but these pale into comparison compared to those of Cardiff, who’s three top players all have fitness down to less than 50%. On top of that, Cardiff are probably lucky to be here, twice needing penalties to progress, always against division two opposition. By contrast Birmingham have taken on and beaten some of the best, overcoming Bury, Aston Villa, and Chelsea on their way to the semis. Lastly, with Cardiff’s first team rated at just 85, some four ratings below their division one counterparts there’s little here to suggest Cardiff have what it takes to make it through to the final four. Expect an easy Birmingham win here, anything else would be a major shock.

Cardiff City 0 - 4 Birmingham City

84_1198386874.gifWest Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United 49_1204432433.gif

15th Div 1 vs. 1st Div 1

It’s been well documented by the Jellyfish™ that for West Ham the treble is very much alive. But for Manchester United, surely West Ham’s main rivals for the title, the treble is still on too and who’d bet against them with the momentum they’ve been building over the second half of the season? That said, after recording an incredible thirteen straight wins in all competitions United have hit a sticky patch of late, picking up just two wins in the last seven games. Are the nerves getting to them perhaps, or maybe it’s the punishing schedule such success brings, with United playing six games in the course of just eight days this week. Doctors are nervous that SoP’s no longer up to such traveling, but he plugs on regardless. Rumours abound that Man Utd actually employ SoP look-alikes to sit on the bench in his place while he sits at home, nurses his ticker, and manages his other 115 SM clubs, but these rumours have not been independently confirmed.

Spock-on-set-mr-spock-4806130-400-470.jpg

Even experts are unsure if this is SoP or a stand-in

seen here taking notes during a recent United game

No such traveling is needed for West Brom, except back to the center-spot in their games that is. In the last few weeks they’ve recorded a handsome 7-1 win to division-2 bound Blackpool, before coming out on the wrong side of 6-2 and 5-1 scorelines to Arsenal and West Ham. And therein lies the story. West Brom can very much hold their own, they even notched up four wins on the bounce in recent weeks, but only when the opposition isn’t really up to scratch. Against the big teams they blow it, as they did earlier on in the season when they were thumped 4-0 by their opponents today. That said, they recorded a second-round win over West Ham to start their run in the Shield, the only team aside from Sampdoria to do so in thirteen attempts this season.

On a positive note West Brom’s recent signings have been starting to do the business for them, with Hunterlaar and Iaquinta recording 14 goals and 11 assists between them in 23 games, a fairly decent haul. The West Brom lads are looking a little tired though, especially the defenders who are carrying more than their fair share in the 3-5-2 system that West Brom manager El-Nino regularly employs. Man U for once are injury and suspension free, and despite their punishing schedule are looking in peak fitness, with only dirty Rooney and old man Giggs really looking out of shape. Well Rooney’s in shape, just that this week’s shape is a sack of potatoes. With SoP also favouring a 3-5-2 approach it’s hard to see what West Brom have to match them, unless they push lads out to the wing and take Man Utd on down the flanks. Unless that happens really a Manchester win is the only outcome here and they’ll likely move on to the semis as joint favorites with Arsenal.

West Bromwich Albion 0 - 4 Manchester United

cartoon-jellyfish.jpg

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

SMFA Cup and SMFA

Shield Previews

Quarter Finals, 2nd Leg

smfachampsionlogo.jpg

SMFA Cup

There were big shocks for the English teams in the first quarter final’s leg, with Man Utd going down 1-0 at home to Shakthar and Chelsea conceding that vital away goal, drawing 1-1 with Valencia. Can they bounce back, or is that the end of the road for the two strongest teams in the competition?

C6jz1hewTzA

With many an English team on their travels today what better song

to accompany them than “Gotta Get Away” by the Offspring?

172_1245420019.jpgValencia (1) vs. Chelsea (1) 21_1273244606.jpg

Things are finely balanced in this match-up after Malouda’s seond-half strike cancelled out Dominguez’s early goal. More worryingly for Chelsea perhaps is that they only managed one shot on target to Valencia’s ten, something they have to address if they want to keep their cup hopes alive. Like United, Chelsea have the resources to come out on top here, but will manager Duffy have the will to mix it up in the tactical department and turn the heat up on their Spanish opponents?

Prediction: Valencia 2 - 1 Chelsea

348_1206166364.gifShakhtar (1) vs. Man Utd (0) 49_1204432433.gif

“Don’t be surprised if they’re still left with it all to do come the second leg” were the wise words uttered about Man Utd by the Jellyfish™ last week before United went down to a single strike by the former Arsenal man Eduardo. A key question here is whether United manager SoP will deviate from his trademark 3-5-2 formation, ineffectual last week against Shakthar’s 4-4-2. United certainly have the means to rescue this tie, but they’ll have to do more than simply turn up to do so.

Prediction: Shakhtar 1 - 2 Man Utd

smfasheildlogo.jpg

SMFA Shield

It’s all about away goals in the second leg ties today. Last week every team managed to notch at least one goal on their travels and that could make the difference in deciding who progresses to the final four. That said, three out of the four home teams also won, two of them quite convincingly so maybe that away goal is not so important after all. With two all-English ties two teams are guaranteed to progress, and it still could be an all English semis, only though if Villa and Everton can overcome large deficits, which looks unlikely.

Blackburn (1) vs. Spurs (4)

Expect to see Spurs manager strutting like a Cockerel before, during, and after this game, and with Spurs already with one foot in the semis you can’t blame him really. As BC Cliffs has pointed out himself with Blackburn under control of the AI there’s very little that will likely pop up to prevent Tottenham’s advance here. Exciting times at White Heart Lane, but will cup success be soured by the looming relegation battle?

Prediction: Blackburn 2 - 2 Spurs

Ajax (2) vs. Aston Villa (0)

Ajax had the upper hand against Villa a week ago and those two precious away goals have really put them in the driving seat. It was a close game though, with just three shots on target between the two teams. Villa could still turn this around, but with ex-United shot-stopper van der Sar to beat you’ve got to bet against them.

Prediction: Ajax 1 - 1 Aston Villa

76_1200385608.gif Sunderland (2) vs. West Ham (3) 85_1193758928.gif

Really don’t know what to make of this one. At 3-1 West Ham were cruising, but then a lapse in their concentration let the Mackems in with just ten minutes left on the clock. That second Sunderland goal might just make the difference, and with Sunderland unafraid of getting down and dirty when they have to West Ham could well come away from this one licking their wounds.

Prediction: Sunderland 2 - 1 West Ham

31_1229339837.jpgEverton (1) vs. Dynamo Moskva (3) 255_1190226140.gif

It's all to do for Everton here in what could well be a fantastic fixture. 3-1 down from the first leg they need to win and avoid leaking one at the back. It’s totally within their means to do so, but do they have the confidence to go on and win it after being thumped by Dynamo in the first leg? Probably not, and though they’ll come close Everton will likely be playing the last match of this season’s European campaign here.

Prediction: Everton 2 - 1 Dynamo Moskva

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

div3.jpg

credit to garymack for the picture

Brentford vs shorpe

Hard to call this game really both teams are on terrible form but the difference is Brentford is simply bad form but shorpe is a HUGE crisis after loseing the manager and the worst defeat in english history loseing 10 - 0 YES 10 -0 against crystal palance so I think this will be a home win

prediction

Brentford 3 - 1 Shorpe

Crystal Palace vs Colchester United

Crystal palace are coming on to this game with a 10 - 0 victory so this must give them all the confidence in the world and with no injury worries they should dominate a poor colchester side

prediction

Crystal Palace 2 - 1 Colchester United

Plymouth Argyle vs Rochdale

Plymouth are doing very well still on great form with a blip in there last game by unexpectedly loseing to charlton but they should bounce back here in style. Rochdale are getting better they have a commited manager with no ambition which was proved by turning down prem footy to stay at rochdale! LOL But he is a loyal manager who should be rewarded but unfortuneately he will be rewarded with a good thrashing!!

prediction

Plymouth Argyle 5 - 0 Rochdale

Sheffield Wednesday vs Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield finally have a manager commited to them and will actually improve the team but the new man has drawn 3 and lost 1 game in his first 4 in charge so he has work to do but I see him claiming victory tonite against a worser form wednesday side!

prediction

Sheffield Wednesday 0 vs 1 Huddersfield Town

Milton Keynes Dons vs Millwall

Millwall are in the midst of a deep relegation battle and there current run is not good loseing 3 games on the trot and faceing a tough MK dons who are in 3rd this is a tough game in the Best Rb in the division for van del wiel who will have his hands for with DZSUDZSAK WHO ever wins this battle might win the match and i back the RB so im going for a shock result here

prediction

Milton Keynes Dons 1 vs 2 Millwall

Notts county vs Southampton

Notts county are bottom many points a drift and they lose this game and colchester win they will have VIRTUALLY relegated and they have a upcoming manager but hes not good enough to keep them up they will lose this game and soon there division 1 status!

prediction

Notts County 0 - 3 Southampton

Bristol Rovers - AFC Bournemouth

Bristol Rovers have made an incredible recovery to the with all thanks going to there best signing which is none of the players the MANAGER sean fitzpatrick who has taken them from relegation candidates to playoff contenders and they have a much stronger team than bournmouth , Speaking of bournmouth they have annouced the sacking of matt gerrisen who was booted for failing a drugs test which he took DOPE must be when he started the job like they say ' YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!! HAHA

Prediction

Bristol Rovers 2 - 0 AFC Bournemouth

The rest

Swindon Town 0 - 0 Charlton Athletic

Carlisle United 2 - 0 Walsall

Coventry City 3 - 3 Peterborough United

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS

DIV-4

TURN 34 - Wed 1st December

SHREWSBURY (5th)...v...BRIGHTON (6th)

DWDWWW.....................DLWDLW

Shrewsbury - RABIU injured. Brighton - no injuries. Shrewsbury home: W11 D0 L5 Brighton away: W4 D6 L7. A very difficult match for both teams but I think home advantage and the home team's form will edge it here.

Prediction: SHREWSBURY 2 BRIGHTON 1

............................................

BURY (2nd)...v...SOUTHEND (13th)

DWWWLL...........LWLWLD

Bury - MERIDA injured with LINARES suspended. Southend - GILBERT injured. Bury home: W12 D1 L3. Southend away: W7 D3 L7. Southend will put up a challengehere but Bury's form should be too much for them.

Prediction: BURY 2 SOUTHEND 0

............................................

EXETER (14th)...v...WYCOMBE (10th)

WWLLWD................WWLLWL

Both teams have no injuries. Exeter home: W6 D6 L4. Wycombe away: W7 D4 L5. Both teams also have similar form and I can't decide. score draw.

Prediction: EXETER 1 WYCOMBE 1

............................................

NORTHAMPTON (12th) ...v...HARTLEPOOL (3rd)

LLDDWW............................LWLWWD

Northampton - CALDIROLA & ALVARO injured. Hartlepool - No injuries. Northampton home: W6 D5 L5. Hartlepool away: W7 D3 L6. A close encounter here with Hartlepool finding it tough. A surprising score draw here.

Prediction: NORTHAMPTON 1 HARTLEPOOL 1

............................................

DAG & RED (15th)...v...ALDERSHOT (4th)

DLLLLD........................WWWDWD

Dag & Red - no injuries. Aldershot - CHOUPO injured with MOTING suspended. Dag & Red home: W6 D4 L6. Aldershot away: W8 D3 L5. The home team have struggled lately. Away win here.

Prediction: DAG & RED 0 ALDERSHOT 2

............................................

OLDHAM (1st)...v...ACC STANLEY (7th)

DWWWLD...............LDWWDL

Oldham - POGATETZ & TORSIGLIERI injured. Acc Stanley - No injuries. Oldham home: W11 D2 L3. AcC Stanley away: W7 D2 L7. A tricky match for league leaders Oldham. I think a well earned surprising draw for away side.

Prediction: OLDHAM 0 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 0

............................................

LEYTON ORIENT (9th)...v...TRANMERE (17th)

DLWLLW..........................WLWWDL

Leyton Orient - RINCON suspended. Tranmere - no injuries. Leyton home: W8 D3 L5. Tranmere away: W5 D2 L9. Home team should be too strong here.

Prediction: LEYTON ORIENT 3 TRANMERE 1

............................................

CHESTERFIELD (16th)...v...GILLINGHAM (11th)

WLWDDW........................WWWWLW

Chesterfield - ZAMORA injured. Gillingham - WESTON suspended. Chesterfield home: W7 D4 L6. Gillingham away: W4 D1 L11. Gillingham have good form which should be enough here.

Prediction: CHESTERFIELD 0 GILLINGHAM 3

............................................

ROTHERHAM (20th)...v...YEOVIL (8th)

LLLLDL............................LDLLWW

Rotherham - BENITO & WALKER suspended. Yeovil - WELSH suspended. Rotherham home: W5 D4 L8. Yeovil away: W6 D1 L9. Rotherham are on a bad run of matches and Yeovil should add another L to their form.

Prediction: ROTHERHAM 0 YEOVIL 4

............................................

STOCKPORT(19th)...v...BURTON ALBION (18th)

LLLLLL.........................WLLLWL

Stockport - No injuries. Albion - McGrath injured. Stockport home: W4 D5 L7. Albion away: W6 D2 L8. The home side on a poor run with LLLLLL - A lbion to edge it due to home team's bad run.

Prediction: STOCKPORT 0 BURTON ALBION 1

............................................

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS

DIV-1

TURN 35 - Sat 4th December

CHELSEA (5th)...v...BLACKPOOL (20th)

DDWLWD.................LWLWLW

Chelsea - no injuries. Blackpool - ORMEROD injured.Chelsea home: W10 D3 L3. Blackpool away: W2 D1 L14. Blackpool were relegated so will feel no pressure however Chelsea's home form will be too strong.

Prediction: CHELSEA 5 BLACKPOOL 1

............................................

SUNDERLAND (8th)...v...STOKE (12th)

WLWWDW....................DWWLWD

Sunderland - no injuries. Stoke - HONDA injured with AZPILICUETA suspended. Sunderland home: W5 D5 L6. Stoke away: W6 D6 L5. A tough match here, both teams are similar. Home advantage will sway it.

Prediction: SUNDERLAND 2 STOKE 1

............................................

BLACKBURN (13th)...v...EVERTON (6th)

DDLLWL.......................LWWWLL

Blackburn - ZAMBROTTA injured with CABAYE suspended. Everton - OSMAN suspended. Blackburn home: W5 D6 L6. Everton away: W8 D3 L6. Close match, can't decide so a score draw here.

Prediction: BLACKBURN 1 EVERTON 1

............................................

LIVERPOOL (3rd) ...v...NEWCASTLE (4th)

LDDLDW.....................WLLWDW

Liverpool - No injuries. Newcastle - CHIELLINI injured with WILLIAN suspended. Liverpool home: W11 D4 L2. Newcastle away: W7 D4 L6. This is the Match of the Day with 3rd v 4th. Liverpool have good league form but are too inconsistant. Newcastle to get an important away win here.

Prediction: LIVERPOOL 0 NEWCASTLE 1

............................................

WIGAN (14th)...v...MAN CITY (19th)

LLLDDL..................WLLLLL

Wigan - MICAEL injured. Man City - No injuries. Wigan home: W5 D5 L7 Man City away: W5 D1 L11. Both teams struggling but Man City league form (L11) will be vital. Wigan thoughare on bad run - no score draw.

Prediction: WIGAN 0 MAN CITY 0

............................................

BOLTON (11th)...v...BIRMINGHAM (17th)

WLDLLW.................DDLWDW

Bolton - CUADRADO injured. Birmingham - SANTOS, VICENTE, GARCIA injured. Bolton home: W6 D5 L6. Birmingham away: W3 D6 L8. Birmingham have too many injuries. Bolton should take advantage and take all 3 points.

Prediction: BOLTON 2 BIRMINGHAM 0

............................................

WEST BROM (16th)...v...FULHAM (9th)

WLLLWL........................DWWWDL

West Brom - BRUNT injured. Fulham - No injuries. West Brom home: W6 D3 L8. Fulham away: W6 D6 L5. Fulham have a decent record and should take all 3 points in this one.

Prediction: WEST BROM 0 FULHAM 3

............................................

ASTON VILLA (18th)...v...MAN UTD (1st)

LLDLWD..........................LDDDWW

Villa - SIDWELL injured with DELFOUNESO suspended. Man Utd - GIGGS injured. Villa home: W5 D5 L6 Utd away: W11 D4 L2. Utd are top and have great form away from home. No slip ups here - away win.

Prediction: ASTON VILLA 0 MAN UTD 2

............................................

TOTTENHAM (15th)...v...WOLVES (10th)

LWDLLD........................DDWWLD

Tottenham - FRINGS, BENZEMA injured. Wolves - KALOU injured. Tottenham home: W6 D1 L10 Wolves away: W7 D2 L7. A close encounter with not much between them. Both defences to win the day - no score draw.

Prediction: TOTTENHAM 0 WOLVES 0

............................................

ARSENAL(7th)...v...WEST HAM (2nd)

WWWWWL.............WWDWLD

Arsenal - CISSOKHO injured with LOPEZ suspended. West Ham - No injuries. Arsenal home: W8 D3 L6. West Ham away: W10 D1 L5. Interesting match with both teams having impressive form. The Hammers to sneak it and keep the pressure on Man Utd.

Prediction: ARSENAL 0 WEST HAM 1

............................................

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

NPOWER%20LEAGUE%20ONE.jpg

Div 3 | Turn 35

Colchester United Vs Brentford

With four games to go, the tension is reaching extreme limits. Colchester are 2 points above the relegation zone, as for Brentford have pretty much secured themselves in Div 3. Brentford should be looking to finish as high as possible, and should be looking on how to improve for next season. Colchester are still not safe, and three points here is vital. Being at home though, I predict Colchester getting the victory. Brentford have a lot of injuries which are affecting there chances of winning tonight.

Colchester United 2-1 Brentford.

Shorpe United Vs Bristol Rovers

Shorpe need to win all there games from now on, 6 points from the play-offs, with only 12 points left to be taken. They simply cannot slip up. The same goes with Bristol Rovers, who are so close into breaking into a play-off place. Last time these two met, it finished in an entertaining 4-4 draw. This time I can see Bristol Rovers taking all the points. Shorpe’s dream of reaching Div 2 will pretty much end here.

Shorpe United 1-3 Bristol Rovers.

damarcus_beasley.jpg

DaMarcus Beasley needs to be on top form for Shorpe United.

Rochdale Vs Swindon Town

Another close encounter down at Spotland. Rochdale need a win, same goes to Swindon as they’re no where near safe. Rochdale will be looking at this fixture and wondering, if we just take all three points. The gap between these two is 3 points, so a win for either team could change the complete situation. If Swindon win, this will pretty much put Rochdale down and out. Rochdale are far superior, so I’m putting my money on them.

Rochdale 2-0 Swindon Town.

Milwall Vs Sheffield Wednesday

Another relegation candidate comes up against mid-table Wedenesday at the New Den. Both teams have lost there last four games, causing this game to be important. Millwall will be looking to take advantage of the venue seeing as they’re at home, but I can see both theam sharing the spoils, ending in an entertaining draw.

Milwall 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday.

patrick-vieira-299.jpg

Patrick Vieira, a key man for Millwall this season.

Southampton Vs Milton Keynes Dons

Well, Well, Well, 3rd comes up against 4th in an thrilling encounter. Southampton will be looking to close the gap, as they’re separated by four points. Games are running out, so this match could be crucial. I have a feeling this will end in a bore draw, as both teams will cancel each other out.

Southampton 1-1 Milton Keynes Dons.

Best of the Rest

Charlton Athletic 0-2 Crystal Palace

Huddersfield Town 3-1 Plymouth Argyle

Walsall 2-1 Notts County

Peterborough United 1-1 Carlisle United

AFC Bournemouth 0-3 Coventry City

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

Championship-Preview-2-800_2482156.jpg

0,,10794~8933754,00.gif0,,10794~8933750,00.gif0,,10794~8943262,00.gif0,,10794~9080117,00.gif

5231046623_3efa319df4.jpg5231046635_2e03d35503.jpg

0,,10794~8951743,00.gif

- DIV 2 / TURN 35 -

As we approach the close of a season in the Championship, one which has seen many ups and downs, for all likes of teams, Cinderella stories, the grittiest of matches, there's still a whole lot to play for.

- TOP OF THE POPS -

A recent slip by top runners Middlesbrough has allowed Nottingham to slip back in the title race with 4 matches remaining, perhaps complacency has started to become an issue with the North Yorkshire side, after having already secured their spot at automatic promotion into the top-flight.

- PLAYOFF RACE -

The race to make the playoffs is as hot as ever. Watford a team that serenaded their way into 3rd spot, at one point even posed as a threat to the top two, inkling to enter the title race has slipped all the way to 6th, could face the threat of not even making the playoffs. Doncaster are making waves, having pushed themselves all the way to 4th, going unbeaten in their last 6 matches. Ipswich still find themselves in a sustainable 3rd, along with Bristol hanging about in 5th, whilst Burnley, QPR, Hull, Sheffield United find themselves just outside a playoff spot, with everything to play for. Clearly this one will be down to the wire!

- RELEGATION BATTLE -

With only 4 matches left, no team at the bottom of the table has been assured of relegation, yet still the chances look all but gloom and doom for Barnsley, sitting on 23 points, 9 points off of 17th placed, Leicester City, situated on 32 pts. For 19th and 18th placed; Preston and Norwich, hopes are still alive as they both sit on 29 pts each, only 3 off Leicester. At this point anyone from 15th to 19th, all face a possible danger of not being in the NPOWER Championship, come next year. Look for a photo finish race here.

Matches%20Banner.jpg

Reading (12th) VS Doncaster Rovers (4th)

@ the Madjeski

Forecast: Clear Sky - 7°C

Previous Meeting: 2-0 Reading (Away)

Player Watch: Kuranyi (Doncaster) / Mutu (Reading)

Both these teams head into this match in quite fine form. Reading have gone unbeaten in their last 7, but out of those 7, they've picked up 5 draws, playing it safe. Doncaster in the meanwhile have had a splendid run, going unbeaten in 6, taking away 4 wins from that. This one could be a close battle, especially with Reading missing their defensive talisman, Ujfalusi via suspension.

PREDICTION: Reading 2 - 2 Doncaster

Leicester City (17th) VS Queens Park Rangers (8th)

@ The Walkers Stadium

Forecast: Light Cloud - 7°C

Previous Meeting: 2-2

Player Watch: Vitor (Leicester) / Di Natale (QPR)

Both of these teams find themselves at different ends of the spectrum. QPR a team vying for a playoff spot, while Leicester claw to stay afloat in the Championship, avoiding relegation. While their last encounter may have been close, I just feel, based on form, with Leicester currently on a six game losing streak, morale is low, even though the talk of near-relegation brings the best out of a team, QPR just have too much fire power, especially with Di Natale, whose having a fine season.

PREDICTION: Leicester 1 - 3 QPR

Derby County (11th) VS Portsmouth (16th)

@ Pride Park

Forecast: Clear Sky - 9°C

Previous Meeting: 0-0

Player Watch: Eriksen (Derby) / Sigthorsson (Pompey)

Pompey, with a win will look to secure their services at yet another run in the Championship next season, taking them out the relegation battle, whilst Derby, have an outside shot, make that a LONG outside shot to still make the playoffs, but in order for that to come into fruition, they'll need every team above them from 6th to 10th to lose, which just won't happen. Oh, can we also take note that the ref is none other than a ruddy Ruskie in this match, tsk tsk. To the bidder goes the spoils I suppose, seeing as both teams are English though, no money has been pandered about, this ones a draw!

PREDICTION: Leicester 1 - 1 QPR

Hull City (9th) VS Ipswich Town (3rd)

@ the KC Stadium

Forecast: Clear Sky - 10°C

Previous Meeting: 2-2

Player Watch: Hulk (Hull) / Canales (Ipswich)

For Ipswich Town youth has been key for this team's success. Young Spaniard, Sergio Canales is having a great, developmental season, along with the likes of Mame Diouf and Neymar. Hull on the other hand, after a miserable start to the season, are on the path of resurgence. The monster Hulk has torn apart the Championship this season, especially in the last few weeks, as manager David Belkevitz's side has won 6 in a row, even beating title-race leaders, 'Boro. Hull just may be too hot to handle in this affair, either way it should be a cracker!

PREDICTION: Hull 3 - 2 Ipswich

Barnsley (20th) VS Norwich City (18th)

@ Oakwell

Forecast: Clear Sky - 6°C

Previous Meeting: 0-0

Player Watch: Arnautovic (Barnsley) / Hoolahan (Norwich)

Could today be the day Barnsley's fate is sealed to relegation and likewise with Norwich. It could very well be. Both teams are having a torrid time, although Barnsley played the role of the underdog, stunned league leaders, 'Boro, with a win. Some might say with the team Barnsley have, how are they doing this bad. I see a tight affair here, one which could seal both these teams' fate.

PREDICTION: Barnsley 2 - 1 Norwich

Cardiff City (15th) VS Middlesbrough (1st)

@ Cardiff City Stadium

Forecast: Clear Sky - 10°C

Previous Meeting: 7-0 'Boro (Home)

Player Watch: Lavezzi (Cardiff) / Xavi ('Boro)

Title runners, Middlesbrough have slipped off form in their last two outings, losing to both Hull, and last placed, Barnsley. On the latter though, Cardiff have not won one in their last 8, got romped in their previous meeting against 'Boro. Look for 'Boro to get back on track with this match, as on paper, to be quite frank, for which in advance I am apologetic to his majesty at Cardiff, this one looks a no-brainer, 'Boro to win.

PREDICTION: Cardiff 1 - 5 'Boro

Nottingham Forest (2nd) VS Bristol City (5th)

@ City Ground

Forecast: Clear Sky - 11°C

Previous Meeting: 4-2 Bristol (Home)

Player Watch: Reyes (Forest) / Pavlyuchenko (Bristol)

Most definitely the match of the day here, the creme de la creme, the piece de resistance! An impressive Forest head into this match, having not lost a match dated all the way back to October 27, 2010! They seemed to be concentrated on raping and pillaging every team they cross, keeping on pace with 'Boro. Bristol on the other hand have done a splendid job, working themselves up to playoff contention, come into this one having won their last 2. I expect a gritty close match-up here, one which might give league leaders 'Boro a further 2 point advance on their lead.

PREDICTION: Forest 2 - 2 Bristol

Watford (6th) VS Burnley (7th)

@ Vicarage Road

Forecast: Clear Sky - 6°C

Previous Meeting: 5-3 Watford (Away)

Player Watch: Elmander (Watford) / Altintop (Burnley)

Is the Cinderella story that once was, turned from contender to pretender? Some may be thinking that of Watford now. The club has lost 4 straight, the obvious reason being a mass change of players within the club. Burnley come into Hertfordshire only having lost 1 in their last 7 outings. This match could be one that comes down to who makes the playoffs. Both teams will be fighting for a win.

PREDICTION: Watford 2 - 3 Burnley

Sheffield United (10th) VS Swansea City (14th)

@ Bramall Lane

Forecast: Clear Sky - 10°C

Previous Meeting: 2-0 Sheffield United (Away)

Player Watch: Vela (Sheff Utd) / Barrios (Swansea)

Both mid-table teams will be wanting to finish the season off strong. Sheffield United also stand a chance of still being in the run to make the playoffs, obviously they will have to be dependent on other results too, but hey, anythings possible, so they should not be counted out. I expect that hunger to shine through, against a shaky Swansea side, who'll no doubt be looking ahead to next season.

PREDICTION: Sheffield United 2 - 0 Swansea

Preston North End (19th) VS Leeds United (13th)

@ Deepdale

Forecast: Heavy Cloud - 6°C

Previous Meeting: 2-0 Leeds (Home)

Player Watch: Khizhnichenko (PNE) / Miller (Leeds)

Leeds, like Watford, have changed the face of their team. They include experienced players with the likes for Pirlo, Beckham, Inzaghi. Preston are in a dire position where relegation may surely be their fate, this match may only persuade them of that.

PREDICTION: PNE 1 - 2 Leeds

FINI.

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Re: English Championship 7046 Previews & Predictions Thread

SMFA Cup and SMFA

Shield Previews

Semi Finals, 1st Leg

smfachampsionlogo.jpg

SMFA Cup

Well it was said last week that away goals were going to play a huge role in who progresses and that sure turned out to be the case. Both Man U and Chelsea rode their luck to over come Shaktahr and Porto on away goals and make it through to the semi-finals. Incredibly, once again they have managed to avoid one-another, keeping open the possibility of a mouth-watering all-English final. On balance perhaps Man Utd got the better draw, taking on Napoli, whereas Chelsea face past winners Inter Milan. There’ll be no easy games from now on though and everything is still to play for.

qriH-8yeqcE

To see you through today’s preview’s here’s some classic Prodigy,

‘Out of Space’ for no other reason than why the hell not.

21_1273244606.jpgChelsea vs. Inter 109_1285937129.jpg

Going by scores alone Chelsea barely stumbled into the final four, but one positive thing to note was the dominance excerpted by Chelsea in the 2nd leg against Valencia. Inter though present a more formidable challenge and don’t anticipate such a one-sided game this time around. As might be expected Inter have talent in abundance and even though like many external clubs they too have been mercilessly plundered they still have players like Maicon and Cambiasso who on the night can turn the game Inter’s way.

Perhaps the most interesting story for this game is that former Chelsea favorite Frank Lampard faces his old club, having been shipped out weeks earlier in exchange for Wesley Sneijder. Lampard will be keen to show Chelsea manager the Duffman what a huge mistake he made and don’t be surprised if that one to comes back to haunt the Chelsea boss. The incestuous relationship doesn’t stop there, however, as the these teams also exchanged central defenders this past week, with Rio Ferdinand and Ricardo Carvalho literally swapping places. Was the Duffman simply looking to strengthen his back line one wonders, or was this player swap a shrewd move also aimed at weakening his semi-final opponents?

Expect Inter to field a 4-5-1 formation, with plenty of strength through the core of the team, but with weaknesses on the fringes. One element that may count against them is the lack of cutting edge upfront, a problem that Chelsea certainly do not have. If all goes to form then Chelsea will likely counter with their favoured 4-2-3-1 approach, and with a jam–packed midfield don’t be surprised if these two teams cancel each other out, leaving everything to pay for in the second leg back in Milan.

Prediction: Chelsea 1 - 1 Inter

746_1281861730.jpgNapoli vs. Man Utd 49_1204432433.gif

Although Man Utd only just sneaked through into the semi-finals United boss SoP has been around long enough to know that a win is a win. That close call will be behind them now and how the United top man must be rubbing his hands gleefully at drawing Napoli in these final stages. Boasting an average team rating of just 88, surely Napoli can’t cause Man U any trouble, can they? But then wasn’t that also said of Shakthar?

Napoli have made it through to the semis by taking on and beating an impressive list of teams. After overcoming Porto, Sevilla, and Arsenal in the group stages they dispatched German champions Bayern Munich in the first knock-out round, and then beat fellow Italians Juventus in the quarter finals. Clearly they’ve got something going for them, but with their top talent now being 90-rated Christian Maggio and 89-rated Nicklas Bendtner it’s hard to see where they’re going to make the breakthrough against United.

Napoli’s favoured 4-4-2 is likely to play directly into SoP’s trademark 3-5-2 formation and with United having a solid record of scoring goals away on their travels don’t be surprised if this game is all wrapped up after the first leg. United should win handsomely here and the only doubt remaining being who they will face in the final.

Prediction: Napoli 0 - 3 Man Utd

smfasheildlogo.jpg

SMFA Shield

Well at one point it was all looking so rosy for the English clubs in the SMFA Shield. Remarkably all eight English teams made it through the group stages, but now, down to the final four, just two remain, West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur. The Hammers take on Ajax while Spurs face Dynamo Moskva, again leaving open the possibility of an all-English final. Still, there’s some way to go yet so let’s not count our chickens too early now (especially you Cliffs!)

80_1217330011.jpgTottenham vs. Dynamo Moskva 255_1190226140.gif

With the recent exchange of bad words between Spurs boss Cliffs and Chelsea manager theDuffman still hanging like a dark cloud over EC7046 you can only imagine how badly Cliffs wants to progress here while seeing Chelsea stutter in the SMFA Cup. And to be fair Spurs have every chance of progressing following a relatively easy looking draw against Russian side Dynamo.

Basically the biggest challenge Spurs face here is complacency. With Dynamo fielding a side rated just 88 against a Tottenham side rated 90, on paper Spurs seem assured a place in the final. Dynamo though have caused a few shocks so far in this tournament, as Everton can testify, and are actually the only side left in the SMFA competitions to remain unbeaten in Europe this season.

Surprisingly Dynamo have mixed it up in the tactical department up to now, and with them switching between 4-4-2, 4-3-3, and 4-5-1 formations they’ll likely leave Spurs guessing on how best to take them on. For their part Spurs don’t gravitate to one particular formation either, though they often favour playing four at the back, suggesting that this game will be a rather tight affair. Spurs will be expecting to come through this one as easy winners, but perhaps all might not go quite as planned here, leaving it all to play for in the 2nd leg.

Prediction: Tottenham 1 - 1 Dynamo Moskva

180_1289684987.jpgAjax vs. West Ham 85_1193758928.gif

Arguably West Ham have already overcome their biggest challenge in this competition, coming out top in a bruising encounter with fellow division 1 team Sunderland. It took a late late show by the Hammers to win that game, equalising in the 81st minute to advance on away goals, an incredible 6-6 draw on aggregate. That win came at a huge cost though, with first choice defenders Clichy and Godin both having to sit out games against Ajax.

Really though it’s unclear how much the absence of key defenders will cost West Ham, as a cursory look at Ajax’s side reveals that their strength is in defence, not attack. With their most potent attacker being 87-rated Sulejmani it’s hard to see where the goals will come from. That said Ajax have successfully progressed through capitalising on the goalkeeping talent of van der Saar and then hitting teams on the break, as Fulham then Aston Villa learned to their detriment. West Ham won’t be worried though, having already come up against Ajax in the group stages, drawing 1-1 before beating them 3-1 in the return leg.

To be fair things have changed just a little since then, with Ajax switching from a 4-4-2 formation to a more offensively oriented 4-3-3 approach. It will be interesting to see if West Ham move to counter that change, or whether they will stick with their favoured 4-2-3-1 line-up that has served them so well this season. Expect a tight, cagey game here and though West Ham might snatch the odd vital away goal or two everything could still be to play for in the 2nd leg.

Prediction: Ajax 1 - 1 West Ham

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