The picture gets clearer, apparently
The order of teams is as predicted by my preview. Very early days but looking pretty divergent already. Actual position in brackets.
The Upper Crust
- Chelsea (16) – Bad start to their campaign and off field dramas can’t have helped either. Time to turn things around. Will Pedro make a difference? Probably.
- Arsenal (11) – Much better this week but still look vulnerable.
- Man City (1) – Off to the best start possible and laid down the challenge to all other contenders.
- Man U (4) – Not wowing everyone but two 1-0 victories and maximum points are a good start with room to improve. Juan Mata is looking the goods again. Looking positively Fabregas-esque.
- Liverpool (3) – Ditto Liverpool. Christian Benteke on the board early. That’s a good sign.
Champion’s League Outsiders
- Southampton (17) – Looking brittle at the back and Pelle isn’t getting the service he needs at the moment. Maybe they sold too many players in too many consecutive seasons. May still settle down yet but they looked pretty bad against Everton.
- Tottenham (14) – Had 2 tough outings so far but I wouldn’t write them off just yet. Will want to get Harry Kane going again soon. Fivethirtyeight reckons he is a due a regression. Questioning the sample size on that one though.
- Swansea (6) – Looking to be sneaky good in consecutive seasons. I was worried they would be all attacking midfielders and nothing up front but Gomis and Ayew are looking potent. Happy days (if you are from Wales and not from Cardiff that is).
Mid table at best
- Stoke (13) – 2 tough outings but things would have been much worse but for their second half against Tottenham.
- Everton (5) – Talk about hitting on the break. Everton were awesome and Lukaku is on fire this season already.
- Newcastle United (15) – It will take time for all of their new players to gel and looking easy to break down, as expected. Can’t see that changing overnight.
- Crystal Palace (7) – Palace will be game again this season and could have stolen at least a point against Arsenal.
- West Ham (8) – Hammers back to earth but played themselves back into it after falling behind against the Foxes.
- West Brom (18) – Wow. West Brom have looked dismal so far. Not a single shot on target against Watford.
- Leicester (2) – Flying very high with wins against Sunderland and the Hammers. Can’t see them staying in the Champion’s League spots for long but you can only play what is in front of you.
- Sunderland (20) – Have been abysmal and have shipped a lot of goals already. Always manage to do enough to stay up but things aren’t looking good so far.
- Bournemouth (19) – Came desperately close to their first goal and a share of the points against Liverpool. Will need to get moving soon, however, it is a long season.
Thanks for coming
- Aston Villa (10) – Better start to the season than I expected. Kept it close against Man U. Can’t see them scoring many goals so they have to keep it tight if they want to stay up.
- Norwich (9) – That is more like it. It was against Sunderland but they will take the points.
- Watford (12) – Managed to get something out of both games so far. Should have probably won this one.
What is sweeter than Jelly Bread?
- PNG Hunters. They just keep winning. Finals aren’t far away.
- Jarryd Hayne. What a first game. We all knew he was capable of great things but didn’t know how that would translate to the NFL. Early days though.
- Greg Inglis hobbling off the field last night, which wasn’t an uplifting sight. Post-match comments by Michael Maguire seemed to indicate he’s been playing with an ailing knee for quite a while. Well there is a surprise. Apart from a few key glimpses he hasn’t looked like himself most of the year.
NRL Tips Round 24
My tips predated the post (so I didn’t cheat) but my comments relate to the time of posting.
Dragons vs Panthers – Dragons (Panthers just have too many injuries to really mount a challenge and Dragons doing enough to ensure a first round exit in the finals)
Rabbitohs vs Bulldogs – Rabbitohs (Thought this might be a bit closer but Bullies just kept rolling up the field and Souths could do little about it. Really missed Isaac Luke but maybe even he wouldn’t have made a difference to the game’s result)
Sharks vs Tigers – Sharks (More to play for and playing better anyways)
Warriors vs Cowboys – Cowboys (Warriors are gone and have been gone for a while. I’ve been waiting for them to upset someone regardless but they don’t seem to have it in them at the moment)
Roosters vs Broncos – Broncos (Can anyone spell blockbuster? Hopefully they will get the crowd to justify a possible pre-cursor to the GF)
Titans vs Raiders – Raiders (Raiders might finally get a victory, probably 2 weeks too late)
Sea Eagles vs Eels – Sea Eagles (The Eags have no choice but to keep winning. No one will want to play them in week 1, provided they make the finals. Not much margin for error)
Storm vs Knights – Storm (Storm by miles)
Season so far
6,092 of 218,861
NRL Fantasy Round 24
Saving my trades again.
Cameron Smith (Storm), Mike Cooper (Dragons), George Burgess (Rabbitohs), Shaun Fensom (Raiders), Elijah Taylor (Panthers), Corey Parker (Broncos), DCE (Sea Eagles), Ben Hunt (Broncos), Jack Bird (Sharks), Mitchell Aubusson (Roosters), Euan Aitken (Dragons), Semi Radradra (Eels) and Lachlan Coote (Cowboys)
Mitch Rein (Dragons), Ethan Lowe (Cowboys), Mitch Moses (Tigers) and Solomone Kata (Warriors)
Balance of the squad
Richard Fa’aoso (Eels), Sam Lisone (Warriors), Sam Mataora (Knights), Dene Halatau (Tigers), Jackson Hastings (Roosters), Iosia Soliola (Raiders), Edrick Lee (Raiders) and Delouise Hoeter (Tigers)
Season so far
5,064 of 117,095
EPL Tips Match Week 3
I’ll keep this brief.
Man U vs Newcastle – Man U 1-0
Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa – Crystal Palace 2-1
Leicester vs Tottenham – Draw 1-1
Norwich vs Stoke – Norwich 2-1
Sunderland vs Swansea – Swansea 2-1
West Ham vs Bournemouth – West Ham 2-1
West Brom vs Chelsea – Chelsea 3-1
Everton vs Man City – Man City 2-0
Watford vs Southampton – Draw 2-2
Arsenal vs Liverpool – Arsenal 3-2
BTW I’m going head to head with Lawro (Mark Lawrenson of the BBC) again this year. He has gone and changed his scoring system (a correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth TEN points and picking an exact score FORTY points).
Me – 40 (4 from 10 with no perfect scores) and Lawro – 40 (4 from 10 with no perfect scores)
Season so far
Me – 90 and Lawro – 60 (Both still emerging from tipping hibernation)
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode on Saturday, 29 August 2015 titled ‘Jarryd Hayne – Made for Disney’