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Mindfulness

Premier League Ante-Post 2017-2018

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Mark Hughes – First Manager to Leave 16/1 skybet

 Mark Hughes looks a big price in the first manager to leave market. Finished last season in the doldrums winning 1 of 5 or 2 of 11 games and there was a feeling that fans are getting impatient with him. Recent signings have not paid off and they look impotent up front, which is often a pointer for a team to struggle. They have a tough start facing Everton, Arsenal, WBA, Man Utd, Newcastle and Chelsea in the first six games.

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Shortly, I think that Crystal Palace will suit to FDB's character. He is a charismatic and energetic coach with pretty clear vision. CP have one of most interesting squads "down there", for me personally really interesting squad, where in my opinion you can use different tactical approaches and I think that young and hungry manager is a good solution for the team. It's true that he arrived in a tough league for managers, especially regarding the journalists who are pretty close to "not human" here, but well.. I have a good feeling and I wish him best of luck.

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Does anyone think that Spurs are worth a lay against a top 4 finish at 1.72?

I would fancy them to comfortably finish top 4 if they were staying at the lane, but they are woeful at Wembley, perhaps it may be psychological, perhaps opponents raise their game when playing at Wembley?

Also the pitch will be bigger than they are used to, perhaps this has something to do with it, I don't know, but playing at Wembley, with CL football too is going to be an upset from the norm.

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On 07/07/2017 at 3:31 PM, Tiffy said:

Does anyone think that Spurs are worth a lay against a top 4 finish at 1.72?

I would fancy them to comfortably finish top 4 if they were staying at the lane, but they are woeful at Wembley, perhaps it may be psychological, perhaps opponents raise their game when playing at Wembley?

Also the pitch will be bigger than they are used to, perhaps this has something to do with it, I don't know, but playing at Wembley, with CL football too is going to be an upset from the norm.

Looks like the sale of Kyle Walker and lack of incomming transfers has snuffed this one out - their top 4 lay price is now 2.00 on betfair exchange. Would like to see what happens with Chelsea and Arsenal over the comming weeks to build clearer picture. Liverpool will be net stronger but not title contenders imo due to style over pragmatism issues while Everton will also be net stronger despite losing Lukaku and probably Barkley.

I agree that 1.70 is probably worth thinking about due to Wembley factor:

http://www.squawka.com/news/how-tottenham-must-adapt-to-the-size-of-the-wembley-pitch-if-they-are-to-continue-developing-next-season/937074#sqjhqKM6PqGcKErQ.97

Tottenham were able to swarm and overwhelm teams at WHL last season but Wembley will be different kettle of fish.

Pitch dimensions aside, Wembley may have huge capacity but it is not an out and out football stadium imo and I doubt it will generate an intimidating cauldron atmosphere for away teams.

West Ham tried to generate an atmosphere last year in the no soul bowl by beating each other up and chewing on their own furniture, it didn't really work but they still finished with a better home record than Palace :\

@andrewcalo What's all this shit about Newcastle being the ones to watch this year? Is the open fire vomiting championships gonna be a regular fixture or something?

 

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Lol @Mindfulness I just think that going down one season then catapulting straight back up this season is a fine thing to achieve and a statement of intent. I can see a lot of close games and draws.

They should at least get above the likes of your Stokes and your Crystal Palaces etc I'd think.

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1 hour ago, andrewcalo said:

Lol @Mindfulness I just think that going down one season then catapulting straight back up this season is a fine thing to achieve and a statement of intent. I can see a lot of close games and draws.

They should at least get above the likes of your Stokes and your Crystal Palaces etc I'd think.

Are you gonna make a Newcastle ante-post play based on this idea?

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2 hours ago, andrewcalo said:

Ahah...

Anyone else think Chelsea are gonna implode again this year?

And Newcastle to finish number one?

Chelsea are a strange one. It seemed almost certain Conte would move on at one point and then it's taken a couple of months after speculation of his departure for them to tie him down to a new contract. Not bagging Lukaku hurt them. You can see that. They went for the quick rebound move with Morata but that's not looking like materialising either. It seems Diego Costa and Conte are not exactly getting on so it begs the question what will they do for a front man next season? If Costa stays then how long will it be before him and Conte come to blows? If Costa goes then who will they sign? All of Europe's top strikers are slowly committing their futures to one club or another and they are running out of options. Would Zlatan be a shout out of nowhere? Would he be enough? I'd be worried if I was a Chelsea fan. I'm not convinced the likes of Alonso and Moses will repeat their form again either. They should still finish top four but it's a risky one.

Regarding Tottenham and Newcastle. The Wembley factor is a massive one. I'm not sure losing Walker will be as hurtful as some think. Trippier is far from the finished article but he's not a bad worst case scenario. Newcastle, it seems all is not well again. The board are not backing Benitez in the transfer market. They should learn. Last summer they backed him and he sealed promotion. Back him this summer and he'll do well this season. Unfortunately, I can see them struggling against the drop if he's not backed.

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2 hours ago, andrewcalo said:

Ahah...

Anyone else think Chelsea are gonna implode again this year?

And Newcastle to finish number one?

Not now that Conte has signed an improved contract, that was the main inflection point for them this summer. Their transfer business has been good so far, I especially like the signing of Rudiger as he allows you to transition smoothly between a back 3 and a back 4 in-game. This will give Chelsea an added tactical flexibility this year. Defensively they will be sound once again.

Their biggest problem will be replacing Costa as he really is the complete no.9. I don't see many, if any available that possess his qualities as a centre-forward, he was instrumental in their attacking game last year with his awareness and movement.

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Regarding Chelsea- I am picking up both a kind of dysfunctional family vibe from them and also a sort of laziness and spoiltness and even childishness in the way they have been since winning last season. and this night sound ridiculous but I think they might refuse to perform and Conte ends up the shock firing of the season. The crazy bastard never stops giving his team grief and i thnk its gotta start pissing them off.

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14 hours ago, andrewcalo said:

Regarding Chelsea- I am picking up both a kind of dysfunctional family vibe from them and also a sort of laziness and spoiltness and even childishness in the way they have been since winning last season. and this night sound ridiculous but I think they might refuse to perform and Conte ends up the shock firing of the season. The crazy bastard never stops giving his team grief and i thnk its gotta start pissing them off.

I thought they might have these issues last season but it didn't fully materialise (despite Costa crisis). It's true that Conte drives his teams to the very limits and of course Mourinho found out his players were only so motivated the year after he won the title with them. I agree with you that there's definitely an underlying volatility at Chelsea but how do we convert this into a bet? Markets are already extremely sceptical of Chelsea's title ambitions, laying them in EPL winners market is all risk for little reward.

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Anyone else think that Walker won't really fit into the City team? It's true that he's physically  strong and fast, but what about the ball control? Especially for Guardiola's "inside" full backs? I didn't follow him close enough on last season, but I am really not sure about him. 

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I am in the USA and watched the highlights of the Man U v Man City game yesterday. They're both playing over here. Walker did okay. Man City might not have solved their keeper problems though. Ederson the new signing let both goals in through stupid errors and the scum won two nil. He looked out of place.

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7 hours ago, Pep004 said:

Anyone else think that Walker won't really fit into the City team? It's true that he's physically  strong and fast, but what about the ball control? Especially for Guardiola's "inside" full backs? I didn't follow him close enough on last season, but I am really not sure about him. 

His close control under pressure is not bad, not Xavi or Messi levels but good enough imo. His vision and passing range is pretty good aswell so he should be able to handle transitions into the DM zone when required. For me it's a very good signing, Pep will have learnt from his first year in England and realised that technique is not the be all and end all here.

 

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EPL – Winner 2017/2018

Manchester Utd @ 4.8 (Betfair Exchange)

I like this play for a number of reasons, primarily I feel it has the potential to be a good trade.

Fixtures alone are never a good barometer of how a team will actually perform but out of ‘the big 7’ Man Utd have surely been dealt the strongest hand in the opening rounds of the campaign: West Ham (H), Swansea (A), Leicester (H), Stoke City (A). They avoid all big 7 competitors and all newly promoted teams so they avoid both the strongest teams and the harsh shut up shop sides in the opening 4 rounds. The opening game against West Ham is probably the toughest on paper.

For me Man City are rightly favourites for EPL title this season but 2.9 holds no value and seems to be accurate price all things considered. They have pretty much done their main transfer business this window and I would be surprised if they made some kind of mega acquisition which shortened their price further. Teams like Liverpool and Arsenal could still shed top players while Man Utd will retain the players they have at a minimum and perhaps strengthen further before the window has closed.  

Realistically I believe the EPL winner will come from one of the Manchester clubs or Chelsea. The problem with Chelsea is that they face UCL football this season so their league form will be compromised relative to last year. For City the schedule dynamic is unchanged while Man Utd’s league form will probably benefit with the switch from UEL to UCL.

Broadly, Man Utd have 25% - 35% chance of winning EPL this season imo so we’re talking 2.86 – 4.00 odds-wise. We’ll say 3.4 is the median so 4.8 looks to be clear value from said perspective.

Ultimately I have made this selection with a view to cashing it out after the opening rounds but generally speaking it offers some long term value anyway. Competition for EPL crown is fierce but backing Man Utd seems to be a logical play at this point. Will be interested to see how things develop in the opening rounds.

Edited by Mindfulness

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56 minutes ago, Mindfulness said:

Jokes on you because it's 11 weeks actually, keep up.

 

Hello stranger :okYou've gone a bit quiet recently?

Well it just shows the madness of our Football. Personally I thought he was doing a great job!! and I have been enjoying some great banter with the Palace fans that I know. We all said that FDB would be sacked soon, & DF (conveniently installed as Director of Football) is on hand to to take over & turn them back into the team they used to be.

In fact Dougie phoned me yesterday for some advice.....

DF - Hi Tiffy, I need to freshen up training, the lads have gone a bit stale, and Big Frank is too busy in the Chairmans office, do you have any suggestions?

ME - Dustbins, Dougie

DF- Dustbins, you say?

ME- Yes, set them up at training, and the players can chip the ball over them, pass the ball through them & dribble the ball around them!

DF- That's a great idea, I'll try it!

The next day he phones me back

DF- Hey Tiffy, I tried what you suggested, we are in the middle of the training session now, but there is only one problem

ME- What's that?

DF- The Dustbins are winning 3-0!!!!

:drums I'm here all week.....................

On the flip side, Brighton were superb on Saturday against West Brom. But it is a long, long season, so there will be many more twists & turns.

Who would like for the job permanently?

Edited by Tiffy

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3 hours ago, Mindfulness said:

By permanently do you mean the next 4 fixtures?

I want the next manager to be someone who can win some games, maybe, get the team, to score a goal.

 

Sounds like you need Chris Hughton then!

Well as permanently as it gents at Selhurst. They don't eve r last more than 6 months do they? Going back a few seasons, Didn't Dougie lose his first 4 games, then got them up, beating Brighton in the play offs?

Palace have gone through so many managers, there can't be many left.

They have now tried the Johnny Foreigner route, so probably won't be doing that again.

Fascinating stuff though, so early on in the season. 

I think we need a "New Managers" thread @StevieDay1983

 

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