neilovan

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About neilovan

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  • Birthday 10/07/63

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  1. Premier League Predictions > Feb 2nd - 6th

    Leicester v Man United I think an early goal (less than 25 minutes) could open the floodgates here. United were a little sloppy against Burnley and dropped 2 points. Looked like they were not focused against a weaker opponent. To me they look like Liverpool last year. Decent going forward, but missing a top defender that will solidify the back 3 or 4. However, they do not have the the playing pattern structure of a top team. When they bomb forward, they are leaving gaps. Luke Shaw seems to over commit and it leaves huge space in which to be counter attacked. I don't see how they stop Leicester from scoring, and feel that over 2.5 goals is on the cards here.
  2. Fulham v Tottenham What a huge opportunity for Fulham today. If Spurs have one glaring weakness, it is the lack of depth in the squad. Today missing both Kane and Son, with no like for like replacements. For me Son is a bigger miss than Kane. He has been brilliant. The man has a huge engine (in a league of big engines), and can run really hard for an entire match. It is what a defender hates ... A guy that keeps upping the ante, increasing the pressure, and who eventually runs them into the ground. It has a duel effect in opening space up for Kane. WHo in the SPurs lineup can step up and fill the gap? Look out for a shock today. DOn't think there will be too many goals here, and Fulham may walk away with a shock win.
  3. Southampton v Everton If I had to choose 1 team this weekend to bet against, it would be Everton. They are so inconsistent, show poor away form, and have stagnated a little (in my opinion) under SIlva. Is Silva all that good? Hmmmm, jury is out. When looking at previous results I tend to ignore the anomalies. If you remove the 1-5 away win at Burnley, Everton don't look so clever, scoring just 4 goals in 7 away games. I really don't think they can win here, but the Saints will also struggle. However, I think the new manager makes the difference here. I do like the over 2.5 goals here for 2 reasons; 1) Two evenly matched teams that will both reckon they have a winning chance, will create an open game. 2) Saints are finding 1st half goals in recent home league games. Early goals open up games. I would be going over 2.5 goals here, but if I was backing a winner, I would be going Saints and over 2.5 (based on head to head Saints 4 wins in 5 in this fixture.) Saints HOME WIN & OVER 2.5 goals odds 4.25
  4. Wow, amazing. What a flat performance from Southampton. Going a goal up, but never really playing with any belief or intensity. How is it possible that this team can score 3 against Arsenal ? Maybe the small squad is just leggy and exhausted from so many games. Shane Long may run and run, but he is really an ineffective player. Nathan Redman not to good either ! Reinforces the lesson to stay away from mediocre inconsistent teams. Man I hate losing money
  5. Not sure if we are on the same page or not. I think Saints win here easily.
  6. West Ham v Saints I just cannot see past a Saints win here. Similar to Man United, the new manager has made a huge difference. Confidence is high, and it is translating into goals. You cannot underestimate how much good that win over Arsenal will do for Saints. Massive confidence builder. I would be looking at over goals here. My feeling is Saints will win it. What I do like is that West Ham concede so many 1st half away goals. None of their last 9 away games has been 0-0 by the end of the first half. Southampton win and over 2.5 goals is priced at 3.1 and I think it is worth a bet here. Anything over about 2.6 would have been good, so the extra is a bonus. AMAZING what a decent manager with a game plan can do !
  7. Brighton v Arsenal and Watford v Chelsea Both Arsenal and Chelsea find themselves in quite an interesting situation. Both have new managers, and are adjusting to a new playing style. Both have weaknesses. Arsenal defensively and Chelsea going forward. With smart minds viewing games and deep analysis, opponents will easily pick up patterns and figure out ways in which to exploit the vulnerabilities of both these teams. And that is why they are coming slightly unstuck here. Opponents are figuring them out, match by match as the season progresses. And the more opponents figure you out, the easier it is for the next opponent to do likewise ... and the harder your task becomes ! Arsenal are just not worth backing on the road. Last year they were terrible travelers, and this season they remain exceptionally generous, gifting goals. In 8 away games they have conceded 2 or more 5 times. Add to this that for teams similar to Brighton and Watford their bread and butter is doing well at home. Away points are a bonus ! I don't think either Watford or Brighton (maybe Brighton) can pick up a win, but the home double chance (priced above even's) is a decent bet in both these games. Man United v Huddersfield I can't see Man United not doing what they did against Cardiff last week. Go out and play. Think a similar result is on the cards here. The new manager has a problem because he needs to give everyone a chance. Nice to say but when and how ? Nobody wants to come on as a sub in the 82nd minute when you are up 4-0. It's meaningless ... But you have Lukaku, Fred, Fellaini, Mata, Pereira, Sanchez(when fit), McTominay, Dialot, Darmian, Bailly, Valencia and Smalling sitting around. So you may see a slightly different lineup. I don't think the a 5 player different starting lineup makes a difference at Man U. They had been doing that almost every game under Mourinho, They still don't have a recognized pattern of play, but the extra freedom, should create another high scoring, run and gun game. One of the ways to get more players involved is to tell players they are on for 60 minutes. So, burn it up, give what you have and rotate after 60 minutes. Also, at least 6 who started last Sat, may be rotated for Wed (Herrera, Matic, Lingard, Jones, Lindelof, Young). But at least everyone gets on the park and has a go. Certainly one way to get players to give what they have and impress... I expect another high scoring game here (maybe 4-1) and like the home win and over 3.5 goals which is priced at 2.6 The crazy thing is that they should win their next two games. If Arsenal or Chelsea (or both slip up), United are probably only 6 points out of the CL places.
  8. Enjoyed the Wolves v Liverpool game. Liverpool were very good ... clinical finishing. But Wolves really impressed me. When do you ever see a promoted team play like that against a top top team? They were great. Passed the ball well, had excellent defensive and offensive structure (so much better than Man U), and kept their shape really well. If they find a 20 goal striker they can go places, because they definitely created chances but were wasteful in front of goal. Salah's goal for Liverpool was excellent. He moved so well into the open space. Brilliant finish ! Cardiff v Man United It is pretty obvious that everything under Mou at United was toxic. It is amazing that the man did not learn anything from his dismissal from Chelsea. Essentially deja vu. Mou might be a difficult guy to deal with but he is not stupid. The crazy thing is that Man U have a really solid squad. It is full of excellent players, that were not getting the direction, encouragement, backing, and guidance that youngsters need. A top manager and two signings and you have a squad that can contend. Can easily see them winning 6 games on the trot here. I am not sure the defensive frailties have been sorted , but would expect them to play with some energy and freedom. Goals on the cards here, and probably a Man United win and over 2.5 goals bet.
  9. 3 games I fancy in the Premier league. Huddersfield v Southampton I think the days of average to bad managers walking into dream jobs in the Premier league are over. Guys like Mark Hughes, Allardyce, Moyes, even Jose have had their time in the premier league. Hughes sacked and gets 6 million pound payoff from Saints. Seriously, he was useless at Stoke, and no better at Saints. Kept Saints up last season... nonsense. You can see the immediate improvement a good manager brings to a team. A huge win over Arsenal cannot be underestimated. Saints go into this game with a high degree of confidence, and I expect them to win here. Cardiff v Man United The second blowout for Mourinho in a Premier league club, in a few years. Obviously, the man creates a toxic environment to work in. If you were earning 100k a week, how long would you put up with someone who seems inconsistent, vindictive, and creates a lousy work environment ? As a United fan, I am happy that Mou is gone. Potch will be the next manager, and I really believe that he will turn Man U around rather quickly. Almost similar to what Conte did at Chelsea after Mou was fired. I am not sure that United can just hit the on-switch against Cardiff and just start winning. Van Gaal did a lot of damage with his negative sterile possession, and Mou with his negative everything. However I do see goals in this game (so does my over 2.5 machine learning software), and would happily lay any 30 minute score, and back the over 2.5 goals here. Everton v Spurs I watched the Everton Watford game a few weeks ago, and thought Everton were bang average. They were very lucky to get anything from the game, and were outplayed for large parts of it. How good is Marco Silva? I dunno ... so so for me. They have only played bottom half teams at home, and have done OK against them. I would have expected them to beat Huddersfield, Newcastle, West Ham (at beginning of season) and Watford. I think Spurs are just too well organised and structured and win here relatively easily
  10. Premier League Predictions > Dec 4th & 5th

    I think Jose is very close. The fact is the football is crap, and they are way off Champions League contention. If he goes I think Zidane is the man for the rest of the season. If United did'nt take a chance on Giggs, to me it's unlikely they will take a shot on Howe. Personally, I would like to see Potch in charge. He has a quiet dignity, and calmness, with a touch of class. At some stage Arsenal are going to start a game quickly, and if they do it tonight, they could blow United away. Gonna be very interesting.
  11. Premier League Predictions > Dec 4th & 5th

    Man United are just in a mess. In a way they are experiencing what happened to Liverpool after their dominance in the mid-late 80's . A treadmill of players and managers and nothing really clicking. Mourinho's United is out of sync completely, but blame lies everywhere.... Scouting and player recruitment looks really poor. Mkhitaryan, Lukaku, Bailly, Lindelof, Fred, Matic, Sanchez have been added (by Mourinho) , but non of them are/did light it up. United's best players have been Rashford, de Gea, Lingaard and Shaw. But Mourinho's touch line petulance does not help anyone. When Rashford missed a good chance recently, Mourinho turned his back to the player. Yet when Rashford setup Herrera with an excellent ball (equalizer against Saints, he shows no reaction). That behavior is just rubbish. It helps nobody and is just thoughtless an quite stupid ! These guys are just kids. They don't need 'tough love' all the time. What is the expression ... "To a man who's only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" . The friction with Pogba will come to the boil pretty soon. Mourinho called him a 'virus', which seems pretty accurate. His performance against Southampton was a disgrace. No effort, work rate, desire. NOTHING. Surely 350k a week could be better spent elsewhere. He could learn a thing from past United greats (Bryan Robson, Roy Keane, Giggs, Scholes). Robson did'nt play in a great United team, but he gave 110% every game. A United and England legend. I remember another United player from way back. He was raw, with pace, incredible talent , but super frustrating in his first couple of seasons. When he needed to take on the defender, he would cross the ball. When he needed to cross the ball he would take on the defender. He made the wrong decision at least 60% of the time for 2 seasons (drove van Nistelrooy crazy). Then the learning process clicked ... Who was it ... pretty average guy called Christiano Ronaldo. Pogba will be on his way, but maybe the kid is just overrated. Most reasonable players would shine playing for Juventus in a midfield of Pirlo and Vidal, against average to weak opposition. Pirlo to provide the finesse and Vidal to run 12 kms a game. You cannot build a team around this guy, so maybe let him go and ride on Ronaldo's back at Juve. WHat did Fergie see in his character that he did not like ? Arsenal will be looking for another top performance. Emry has turned them around so quickly, he has done a great job. Players look fit, happy, and they look to be rejuvenated. Losing Sanchez and Ozil has seemed to help them considerably. My only question is 'will the win over Spurs leave them a little flat' ? If Arsenal show up with the same drive and focus, I think they win here easily. My prediction is the over 2.5 goals and Arsenal win. This United team is trying to play the Mourinho way, but they have no spirit, no desire to do so, no leaders, no plan, and no defense. Apart from that, they look good. New tattoos and haircuts every week.
  12. Premier League Predictions > Dec 4th & 5th

    What exactly is the side note? Crystal Palace are not exactly world beaters ... At odds of 2.8 for the straight home win, I'll take it all day. The 2-0 is just suggesting a scoreline, but Brighton will win here.
  13. Premier League Predictions > Dec 4th & 5th

    Brighton v Crystal Palace I don't think you can read anything into the Palace win over Burnley. I watched the Burnley v Newcastle game on Monday night, and then the Palace v Burnley game. In both they were well off the pace. They have gone away from what they did last year and look awful ... relegation material. Brighton are solid, especially at home. If the stop Zaha, which I expect them to do, I think they win this 2-0.
  14. Saints v Brighton Having watched a couple of Saints game I am not impressed. You just cannot keep selling players, rotating managers and stay healthy. I don't rate Hughes at all. Bang average manager, who has achieved nothing in this role! Just lucky for them there are teams in worse situations. Newcastle, Huddersfield, Cardiff, Burnley look the other 4, in a relegation triple decker sandwich. Unless you are a Brighton or Saints fan, this game could be a hard watch. I think Mark Hughes is amazingly lucky to walk into the Saints job. Realistically he did nothing at Stoke, and left them in a relegation bound position. How does he walk into another massive paying job, with such limited credentials. Are there only 25 people that can manage a premier league club in Europe ? The manager merry-go-round is pathetically laughable On the flip side there is Chris Hughton, who has done really well as Brighton manager. He has them playing a solid , structured style. They will be hard to breakdown. Most people are expecting a low scoring affair here, with the game going under 2.5 goals. The under 2.5 goals is priced at 1.61 and the over 2.5 goals at odds of 2.25 . Is the under a reasonable bet? I am not sure. Brighton have not scored many on the road in recent games, but they have played tough opponents. For me it is a bet to leave alone. I think that there is value in the away team, especially at odds of 4.2 and the Brighton double chance at 1.8 . I don't see an average to poor Saints side romping away here, and Brighton are more than capable of scoring a goal and hanging on. Soccer is just a strange, low scoring game. Brighton to win at 4.2
  15. Nothing like another meaningless 93rd minute goal to screw another winning bet up. Was quite surprised by 5 minutes of injury time here.