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clubgowi

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Everything posted by clubgowi

  1. 2016 – 2017 was a very entertaining season, with Nice imposing the rhythm in the first part, and Monaco and PSG stepping on the gas after the winter break. We all hope the new season will be even more disputed, but most probably it will be dominated by Monaco and PSG. At first let’s say a few words about the other teams that will compete for a place in Europe: Lyon: If you follow Ligue 1, you surely know the defensive phase is by far Lyon’s major weakness. Last season fullbacks concentrated exclusively on the attacking phase, and it wasn’t very difficult for opponents to take Lyon by su
  2. Ligue1: Angers - Nantes ANGERS Angers put up a really poor performance last week away at Nancy. Only Nancy managed to create decent scoring opportunities, and in the end the 2-0 victory was well deserved. Away from home they are too submissive, and accept opponents’ dominance without any fight. On home ground they are more combative, more aggressive, especially after poor results started piling up (only 2 points in the last 5 rounds). They are conceding 2 goals per game lately, and if defenders won't get their act together, there's no way but down for Angers. At the moment they ar
  3. Premier League: Manchester City - Watford Not much we have actually seen recently suggests that City should be 1.25 to win this. They were a defensive shambles against Leicester City on Saturday evening and sorely missed the protection of Fernandinho (last five PL games he has missed have produced 21 goals), who is once again suspended, along with Aguero (last five he has sat out have produced 24 ). Watford are coming off a nice 3-2 win over Everton where they could have scored a couple more, but are equally as unreliable at the back and have shipped nine, in their last two road starts, al
  4. NFL: Indianapolis Colts @ New York Jets Jets are out of the post season reckoning and rebuilding for next season will soon be under way, they will doubtless be up for this, with the spotlight on them and the nation watching, but it is very difficult to see how they can match the motivation of the visiting team for four quarters. The Jets are 1-4 at home and whilst three of those came against two good and one decent team, the loss to the offensively shy Rams, where LA had the most passing yards in the game with just 165, was dismal. I spoke about the Rams woes yesterday. The Colts would
  5. Premier League: Bournemouth - Liverpool We spoke so much last season about the open nature of Bournemouth home games, we have not seen that to quite the same level this season. but that has more to do with how teams have set up when arriving at Dean Court, Manchester United came here and played their part in a four goal thriller and we know 100% that Liverpool will not be coming to sit back, it is simply not in their DNA under Jurgen Klopp. The Cherries went toe to toe with Arsenal at the Emirates last weekend and were in things and gave as good as they got for 90 + minutes and will need n
  6. Championship: Nottingham Forest - Newcastle United Incredibly, given they lead the Championship, United lost at home for the third time this season last weekend, they also lost at Hull City on penalties in midweek in the League Cup with a much changed team, but it is only about getting back to the Premier League for the Magpies. On the road they are 7-1-1 and have been scoring at the rate of two per game, they seem happier away, where they get a little more freedom and teams are not raising their game playing in famous old St James' Park, the biggest stadium and crowd many Championship pla
  7. NBA: Charlotte Hornets - Detroit Pistons I’m a bit surprised that Pistons receive such a high regard here, being given only +3 points on the spread. The reason probably is that they have had a day more rest than Hornets, who are back-to-back. The b2b factor is weighing less and less in present day NBA though, with all the medical attention players receive, plus the general schedule this season is way lighter than in the last years. The rest can’t really compensate for Pistons terrible road form. They have only 1 win in 9 road games so far and are just not the same team, at home and on t
  8. NFL: Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys I favour the Redskins and am very tempted by odds of 3.50 to win this, but will probably end up going with them getting a few points start. I opposed Dallas at the weekend writing............. "The Ravens will want to keep their lead over the Steelers until they meet again on Christmas Day ( what a treat !) and I have to say I like them getting a touchdown start against the Cowboys, who Pittsburgh kept to within five last week and this is my idea of the "upset" of the day. Dallas are 8-1, but five games were decided by a touchdown or less and t
  9. NBA: Sacramento Kings - Oklahoma City Thunder The line is set about right, maybe only a point or two bigger than it should be. Yet I see decent chances this game develops into a shootout, something like 120-115 for one of them. Both team’s strength is not the defensive part of the game. Kings usually make entertaining home games as their fans (and even their owner) very much prefer to see wins like that 120-115, instead of 100-95. Demarcus is hungry for points to his statistics as always, no need to mention that, but even Rudy Gay remembered his old days like one of the leagues’ elite o
  10. NBA: Sacramento Kings - Los Angeles Clippers I wondered back and forth in circles as to which is the higher percentage play here, Clipps to cover 8 points spread or OVER. LA are expected to bounce back after the surprising home loss from Memphis. At the other hand, I wouldn’t say Clipps are as strong mentally team as Spurs, Cavs or Warriors, for example. Sacramento win here will be a surprise, yes, but not a total shock. And I doubt eventual Clippers win will come as easy as odds suggest, unless Cousins starts arguing with the refs and gets thrown out or make another stupid thing. He pl
  11. World Cup Qualifiers: Northern Ireland - Azerbaijan Azerbaijan are unbeaten through three group games and have yet to concede, keeping clean sheets against both Norway and the Czech Republic and holding a surprise second place in Group C behind big favourites Germany. It is only the second playoff spot that is realistically up for grabs and the visitors would take a very firm grip on it, were they to win in Belfast. Northern Ireland are not exactly full of goals and the absences of Stuart Dallas and Jamie Ward lessen their offensive threat and without Ward, the Irish are an incredibly bad
  12. NBA: Milwaukee Bucks – New Orleans Pelicans Recommendation: Bucks - 5 Odds: 1.87 I think I’ve made myself clear enough, Pelicans will be one of the weakest teams this season. Actually, they are front-runners to be the worst team in the league and to guarantee themselves the best chance to win the lottery. It’s still very early for intentional tanking, they are still very bad and don’t possess deep enough NBA-ready roster besides Davis. The bench situation is even more dramatic, pretty naturally. Bucks already took the first win in this season’s series, a week ago in New Orleans, a
  13. Checkatrade Trophy: Sunderland U23 - Notts County Hosts are in with a point, County need to win. The visitors will surely be up for a visit to the Stadium of Light, even in front of one man and his dog, five of their six league wins this season have come on the road . Head coach John Sheridan said:"I don't expect the crowd to be big, but it's a beautiful stadium and it's a lovely pitch to go and play football on."It's a game we want to win, and hopefully the players will go and do that. "We know if we win we go through. "The players know that."Not many people will know much about their pla
  14. Golf PGA: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Wide open leaderboard with 20 players within four stroke of the lead. I only want to discuss one of those, Geoff Ogilvy, he was a seven time winner on Tour between 2005-2010 when he simply oozed class , winning the US Open and finishing top six in all four majors. He has won just once since then , in 2014, but before you feel too sorry for him, he has banked $40m+ in prize money alone. Still only 39, he should have double that number of wins. However, class is permanent and you might get out of the habit, yet rarely totally forget how to win.
  15. NBA: Washington Wizards – Toronto Raptors Recommendation: Raptors -1 Odds: 1.952 Odds seem almost like a trap here, with Toronto being the far classier side. Wizards have a negative expectation for this season, compared with the last one, but they still have to win some games, linger around the 9-10th place in the East and wait for next summer free agents market. This is their home opener actually and John Wall and Co will find some motivation to perform well in front of their fans. It’s one thing to plan and desire something and another thing to make it happen though. Toronto
  16. Champions League: Borussia M. - Celtic Celtic were run ragged in the first leg and lost 2-0, the magin of defeat should have been greater and aside from their performance at home to Manchester City and England-Scotland match ups do have a different dynamic, they look some way short of the quality required to compete at this level currently . Kolo Toure made two horrendous mistakes, he will miss today's game, which might well be a bonus for the visitors, but the loss of left back Kieran Tierney most definitely will not be. The youngster is ever present this season and described by most watc
  17. NFL: San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos Chargers are improving and will be confident no doubt after a 21-13 win over the Broncos just 17 days ago, but at home, on a quick turnaround against a team coming off their first loss of the season, is not the same as playing in Mile High with the Broncos back on track after a 27-9 win over the Texans. Chargers did follow up at at the Falcons last week, which looks good on paper, but they were 17 points down at one stage and needed 450 + yards of offense to win a game in overtime and this Denver defense will not allow that many in their own stadium
  18. Brazil Serie A: Sport Recife - Ponte Preta Huge game for Sport, they have three of their next four on the road, including trips to two teams battling for Copa spots and sit just two points above the drop zone, with the teams immediately above them in the table having started to pick up their game(s) and points. I have spoken many times about how difficult a venue this is, Recife is a very long trip for almost every team in Brazil ( 5,400 km round trip for PP) and once here, conditions are often stifling and you are asked very different questions by both mind and body. I have no evidence, b
  19. Scottish Premier League: Hamilton - Aberdeen Aberdeen have won six in a row in all competitions, a run which has taken them up to second in the SPL, they will be looking to stay there tonight, ahead of a home game with leaders Celtic at the weekend. Hamilton are in 10th place, which is where they finished last season and you suspect that if you offered that to them again, they would snatch your hand off for it and another year of survival. Teams have got used to the Tigerturf surface here now and Hamilton have won just 7 of 33 home SPL starts since January 1st 2015, they have been helped i
  20. J League: Omiya Ardija - Shonan Bellmare Shonan are eight points from safety , with nine to play for, but a point for Nagoya would make three wins meaningless and even six results going their way (ain't gonna happen!) would probably still leave them short on goal difference. In other words, preparations for JL2 will have already started, the evil deed can be officially done and dusted today and surely it is better to get that out of the way on the road and make next week's final home start, less painful. Shonan are 1-2-11 in Stage 2 and have not scored in four starts, only 9 times in 16 ho
  21. Europa League: Viktoria Plzen - Astra Giurgiu Plzen are another team who have collected a lot of European experience in double quick time. They have made the group stage of the Champions League twice and the Europa League three times in the last six seasons and made the round of 16 twice in this competition. Astra have only played five seasons total in Europe, they have some big name scalps in qualifying, including beating West Ham twice, but to be fair, they were early season ties against distracted teams , not fully committed to the competition. They did make the group stage in 2014-1
  22. Brazil Serie A: Atletico Mineiro - America Mineiro I previewed Atletico's last start, a visit to Corinthians ......... "Corinthians form has nosedived, they looked firm title contenders through the first 14 games, had 28 points in the bag and were in second place, they have taken just 13 points from the last 14 and are down in 7th, seven points off Copa Libertadores pace and with six teams above them. They might soon be in a position where it will all be about the Copa do Brasil for them and it is possible they will play and might already be doing so, with less caution than we usually
  23. NBA: Golden State Warriors We can’t start with anyone else except the Warriors, the past and, most probably, the future champion. Stating the obvious, it will be a case of history repeating itself. Warriors should be perfectly able to repeat Spurs’ achievement to recover nicely in psychological aspect and dethrone LBJ and Miami in 2014 after Ray Allen single-handedly took the title away from SAS in 2013. GSW only got better and even more fearsome in the off-season, bringing Kevin Durant on board, one of the world’s Top 5 players. I can’t really understand all the tremor and negative fee
  24. England League 2: Hartlepool United - Crawley Town Crawley Town also made the short list and are such a big price, I also have to take a little something on them. They are up to fifth and just two points off second place and confidence at the club is sky high right now . Much of this is down to new head coach Dermot Drummy who has transformed the mindset at Crawley in just four months, well know in the game, he spent many years working with the Arsenal and Chelsea Academy and U21 teams and was in charge of the Blues teams who won the FA Youth Cup and U21 Premier League and this was an eyec
  25. Irish Premier League: Finn Harps - Bray Wanderers I want to take on goal shy Finn Harps again today, ahead of Tuesday's trip to Sligo Rovers I wrote .......... "Finn Harps arrive without suspended left back Ciaran Coll and striker Dave Scully who are both suspended , also have Josh Mailey unavailable and several other knocks, which will require late tests. They have scored just twice since July 8th, only 19 times all season and have now lost nine in a row and confidence is shot and runs like these are very hard to address. The visitors currently sit four clear of the relegation playoff pl
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