Premier League Predictions 2018/19: August 25-28th

The football this August Bank Holiday weekend means I move into the second part of predicting the outcome of the Premier League fixtures. Due to wifi issues, the publication of this post was delayed and the predictions I made in this post were by no way amended to in any way cheat. As I was saying, as part of my curiosity but also to compare the two, I pit myself against two respective pundits and compare their predictions. The pundits in question are Sky Sports’ Maul Merson and BBC Sport’s Mark Lawrence. How did it go the first time around?

Paul Merson Mark Lawrenson Michael
Cardiff 0-0 Newcastle 1-1 1-1 1-2
Everton 2-1 Southampton 1-0 2-0 2-0
Leicester City 2-0 Wolves 2-1 2-1 1-1
Spurs 3-1 Fulham 3-1 2-0 3-0
West Ham 1-2 Bournemouth 2-1 1-1 3-2
Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal 2-1 2-0 2-2
Burnley 1-3 Watford 1-0 1-0 1-1
Manchester City 6-1 Huddersfield Town 5-0 3-0 4-0
Brighton 3-2 Manchester United 1-2 1-2 0-2
Crystal Palace 0-2 Liverpool 1-2 1-1 1-2
Total 17 12 8

The answer for me was not so well. Paul Merson took the honours of scoring the most points having predicted six correct results and 1 correct score (Tottenham 3-1 Fulham)) which gave him a total of 17 points. That is 9 more than my predictions were worth as I predicted four correct results while Mark Lawrence finished 2nd in this comparison on 12 points having guessed six correct results. read more

Formula One 2018 Returns with the Belgian Grand Prix!

Formula One’s summer shutdown and four-week break is nearing an end. The title race commences at Spa-Francorchamps in the Ardennes Forest, Belgium. That is followed by the temple of speed, Monza in Italy the following weekend in yet another Grand Prix double bill. However, before the racing restarts, let us remind ourselves of the season so far…

Australia: The season kicked off in Melbourne and having taken a commanding pole position, Lewis Hamilton’s pace in the Mercedes is negated by a computer glitch that allows Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari undercuts them to the win having pitted behind the Virtual safety car.
Winner: Vettel         read more

Premier League Predictions 2018/19: August 18-20th

This is new territory for me on this blog. Hopefully, I will be able to do this throughout the season. As promised in my preview of the Premier League season, I felt it would be interesting to make predictions and compare them alongside those made on a weekly basis by Sky Sports Paul Merson and BBC’s Mark Lawrenson.

The intention behind these posts is to compare the two pundits but also to feed my curiosity of how I fare against them. This is not to feed some non-existent ego but just as something fun. read more

Review: Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup

What a month of football we had this summer! 736 players representing 32 nations and 64 matches later, the 2018 World Cup was spectacular! It was expected to be a heavily politicised tournament but apart from the Pussy Riot pitch invasion in the final, that did not happen. It was expected to be shrouded in racism, it wasn’t. Video Assistant Referee (VAR) played its part but the football did the talking as records and titans fell while as a nation, we unified, daring to dream that ‘football’s coming home’. Eventually, it was France who triumphed in Russia after one of the most memorable world cups in living memory.

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2018/19 Premier League Preview

Admittedly this post is late. So, too is the World Cup Review which will be published in the next two days. The delay to this post was down to me not having the finishing touches done. However, I have not changed the bulk of the text since it was written on Friday.

Just four weeks since the conclusion of the World Cup in Russia and a new season of the Premier League has begun. From now until May, we have 380 games of top-flight football to be nervous, sweat over in the hope it benefits our teams and enjoy.

The 2017/18 season was a historic one full of twists and turns up and down the table apart from the top spot. Manchester City under manager Pep Guardiola was the runaway champions as they set the new records left right and centre. After a 1-1 draw with Everton in their second game, they went on to win 18 consecutive games to set a new Premier League record. They also set new records for most goals scored over a 38 game season and the most points. In doing so, they became the first side to reach 100 points. They were almost unstoppable. However, an invincibles season eluded them as Liverpool inflicted their first defeat of the season at Anfield in January. That was their first of only two defeats as Manchester United inflicted defeat on them at the Etihad to extend the title race by only one week. read more

Talking Points from the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix

I am now on the countdown to 100 of these posts. I never expected to still be doing this long enough to reach 100 but I have enjoyed doing this regardless of what anyone thinks. Needless to say, I will be marking that with a special post.Oh and for the record this is number 96.

The promised review of this doubleheader and including my driver ratings for during F1’s first ever tripleheader will be the next F1 post. Then, there will be none until the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August as the team and drivers go for their summer break; hence no Grand Prix to comment on.

Away from the F1 posts and the next football post will be a review of the World Cup in Russia while there will be a preview of the upcoming Premier League season published before the opening weekend of the new season.

As for the sharing of my political opinions, there are a few in the pipeline so watch this space…
Lewis Hamilton mastered the tricky conditions to take pole position in Hungary for the 6th time. [Image from].

A week on from the rain impacting upon the race at Hockenheim, the rain impacted upon Qualifying at the Hungaroring. That meant there were surprises to be had in the Qualifying hour as whoever had the best tyre at the right time would do well. Daniel Ricciardo was one of those caught out by the conditions in Q2 as he failed to get into the top 10 while both Toro Rosso’s did with Pierre Gasly out-qualifying even Max Verstappen in Q3. However, it was Lewis Hamilton who mastered the tricky conditions to deliver pole position and lead a Mercedes one-two despite Ferrari being the pacesetters up to that point.

The action down into turn 1. [Image from FormulaSpy].

For the race, Ferrari split their strategies with Raikkonen starting on the ultra-soft tyre and Vettel on the soft tyre. That did not go to plan as Raikkonen did not pass ether Mercedes but instead found himself passed by his teammate around the outside of turn two. Elsewhere through the grid, Ricciardo did not have a great start and was down to 16th after contact with his front left tyre at turn 1 while Charles Leclerc’s race ended after contact of his own on the opening lap. Hamilton led away from Bottas. read more