World Cup 2018 Predictions – Semi Finals & The Final

We’re onto the BIG games now! As mentioned in the previous post, these predictions are based on who I believe will make it out of the group stage and in what order and then who faces who in the knockouts, but as a general feeling as to who I think is gonna have a good tournament, this is it!
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The first of the two semi finals pits France up against Brazil. Whilst I think Brazil are a definite force to be reckoned with and can understand why they are in fact favourites to win the competition, I think they will be up against it against a well rounded France team. Brazil undeniably have one of the best attacks at the World Cup but I think France can near enough match them man for man and that should see the French through to the final.

The second semi final is a repeat of the 2014 final and this should be a tasty encounter as Argentina attempt to seek revenge! For me however, Germany just seem to have that togetherness as a group whereas Argentina are somewhat reliant on the little magician Messi. Again, this will be a close encounter but I think Argentina will just fall short, setting up for a France vs Germany final.

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The moment you’ve all been waiting for… my predicted winner of the 2018 World Cup final! Sadly I do think it will be back to back final heartbreak for France following on from that dramatic defeat to Portugal at Euro 2016. I’ve said it numerous times, but Germany just have that cohesion which really does count at major tournaments, coupled with their previous tournament experiences, I think it will be back to back World Cups for a very impressive Germany team.

Agree with my predictions? Or think I’m completely wrong and Japan are going to all way and prove everyone wrong? Let me know!

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World Cup 2018 Predictions – Round of 16 & Quarter Finals

So you’ve seen my Group stage predictions, now its time for the first of the knockout rounds! Bare in mind that these predictions are based on who I believe will make it out of the group stage!

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I think Uruguay vs Portugal will be the tie of the round and will be an extremely tight encounter and I could see Uruguay just winning it, possibly going to penalties. I think France vs Iceland and Brazil vs Sweden will be formality wins for the former and I do fancy England to beat Colombia!

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I think hosts Russia’s run will come to an end at the hands of 2010 winners Spain. Again, formality wins for Argentina and Germany in their games and in the close encounter between Poland and Belgium, I think it will be Englands group stage opponents who will come out on top!

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Now onto the Quarter Finals and this is where it gets interesting! I think Uruguay’s run will come to an end at the hands of a very strong France team. Unfortunately, I feel the Quarter Finals may be the end of the road for Englands 2018 World Cup run as I feel Brazil will just have that little bit more to get past them. I think we might see some Messi magic as well as Spain vs Argentina looks like a mammoth Quarter Final tie and can see Argentina progressing. In the final Quarter Final game I think again it will be another close game but Germany should have the tournament experience to see them through.

World Cup 2018 Predictions – Group Stage

So the 2018 World Cup is just around the corner and I am more excited than ever! In classic pre-tournament excitement style I’ve made my predictions on who I think is going to go all the way! Take a look and let me know what you think!

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Group A looks like it’s Uruguays to lose. They should have more than enough to win the group and I fancy hosts Russia to do enough to make it through to the next round!

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Group B looks like a difficult group for both Iran and Morocco, however I don’t think they should be underestimated as they have both done well in qualifying so wouldn’t be surprised to see a shock in this group. I do think though that Spain and Portugal SHOULD have enough quality to progress.

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France and Denmark are favourites amongst many to make it out of Group C but I’m going to take a gamble and predict that Australia will make it out as runners up to France. They take take an experienced manager in Bert van Marwijk with them and I think should have enough to make it out.

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Whilst it’s anyones guess who will finish runners up to Argentina in Group D, I really fancy Iceland to repeat their Euro 2016 heroics again at the World Cup. They just seem to have the unity and spirit which really counts on the international stage, as we have seen with Germany countless times in the past.

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Brazil should win Group E with no problems whatsoever and having watched them preparing they do look a force to be reckoned with. I think it will be tight between Switzerland and Serbia for second place, with Switzerland just edging it.

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I can see Germany having no troubles with Group F and similarly to Group E I think it will be close for second place, but my money is on Sweden to make it to the knockouts behind Germany.

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In full on patriotism, I’m backing England to finish as Group G winners. I think it will be extremely close, possibly even going down to goal difference for first place against Belgium. Surely we will have a decent World Cup for once?!

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Group H is the trickiest to predict, it really is wide open. I wouldn’t be surprised if the final standings are the complete opposite to what I’ve predicted but I think Poland and Colombia both have enough to get through.

Premier League 17/18 Predictions

After an exciting start to the Championship, our attention now turns to the return of Premier League! Being an avid Manchester United I’m so excited for this new season to start and can’t wait to see how things pan out.

In my excitement I have decided to attempt to predict what the Premier League table will look like come May.

1. Manchester City

2. Manchester United

3. Chelsea

4. Arsenal

5. Liverpool

6. Tottenham

7. Everton

8. Southampton

9. West Ham

10. Crystal Palace

11. Leicester City

12. West Brom

13. Watford

14. Newcastle

15. Bournemouth

16. Stoke

17. Swansea

18. Burnley

19. Huddersfield

20. Brighton

I believe that the Premier League will return to Manchester this season and I think it will be extremely tight at the top, however I could just about see City edging it. I think last seasons champions Chelsea will have a good season but won’t be able to achieve such heights as they did last year.

I think Arsenal will take the last Champions League spot in fourth with Liverpool not too far behind. I think Tottenham may struggle this season, especially playing home games at Wembley. I also think Everton will have a decent season after they have had a very good transfer window.

I can see Southampton, West Ham and Crystal Palace all achieving top 10 finishes. Mid table is so hard to call and teams will only be separated by a few points, but I can see Leicester and West Brom having a fairly successful campaign.

Sadly I think it will be straight back to the Championship for Huddersfield and Brighton, however I believe Newcastle have more than enough to stay up and achieve a decent position. I also think Burnley’s Premier League run will be over, but as always I think the places in and around the relegation zone will be as tight as ever.

So there you have it, my Premier League predictions for the 2017/2018 season! Let me know what you think!

Championship 17/18 Predictions

After two long and painful months away from football, the season finally kicks off this weekend, starting with the return of Championship football. Whilst I am a huge Manchester United fan and obsessed with the Premier League, I am a big fan of pretty much every football league, especially the Championship. I’m by no means an expert but I know my playoffs from my Preston’s! 

In anticipation for what looks to be an extremely interesting season on the horizon, I have decided to attempt my own prediction of the Championship table come May 2018.

 

I strongly believe Aston Villa will win promotion back to the Premier League and I think they will do it in style, finishing top of the league! With veteran John Terry in defence and talisman Jonathan Kodija upfront, I can see Villa bullying a lot of teams throughout the course of the season. I think Fulham and Middlesbrough will have great seasons as well chasing Villa all the way.

Who ends up in the playoffs positions is anyone’s guess but I can see Wolves definitely being in contention after a number of great signings in the summer. Sheffield Wednesday are always a contender so have to be up there and I can see Hull having a good campaign following on from their relegation last season.

I can see Birmingham having huge improvements on last season’s campaign with a top half finish under the leadership of Redknapp – hopefully they will be able to build on this and we will be able to see them in the Premier League in a couple of years’ time! I think Sunderland have a lot of issues to address on and off the pitch and until they get these sorted out I can only see a mid-table finish for them at best this year.

I think it will be a season to forget for Millwall, Bolton and Burton with all 3 ending up in the relegation places. As much as I’d like to see them all stay up, Bolton especially, I do think that the step up from League 1 to the Championship is extremely difficult. That being said, I can see Sheffield United having a great season, finishing well above any relegation battle.

So there you have it, my Championship predictions for the 2017/2018 season! Let me know what you think!

My Top 5 Sporting Moments Of 2016

2016 was a fantastic year for sports fans all over the world. We have seen some upsets and some individual efforts of sheer brilliance but here are my top 5 sporting moments of 2016. 

5. Michael Phelps wins his 23rd Olympic Gold 

Michael Phelps is an Olympic legend. No question. In 2016 he yet again showed his dominance in the pool by adding his 23rd Olympic Gold medal. He was already the most decorated swimmer, arguably the most decorated Olympian, but he added his final medal to his collection before announcing his retirement following the race. A true legend.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Champion Year 

I am a huge admirer of Cristiano Ronaldo and have always felt a bit sorry for him being in the national team that he is in, but Portugal silenced all of their critics in 2016 by winning the European Championships in France. Whilst some people argue that Portugal’s triumph was undeserved, I was impressed with their attitude in the tournament. However this was only one part of a great year for Cristiano Ronaldo, the highly decorated Real Madrid star also won the Champions League with Real Madrid and also won his 4th Ballon D’or. 2016 will definitely be a year Ronaldo will not forget anytime soon. 

3. The Chicago Cubs Break the Curse

I am a big fan of American Sports but Baseball isn’t something I follow religiously, however when I heard of the possibility of the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series Championship for the first time in 108 years, I just had to tune in! The World Series game was a fantastic game and the Cubs didn’t make it easy for their fans going 3-1 down before rallying and eventually breaking the curse.

2. Andy Murray Reaches World Number 1 Ranking

If winning Wimbledon wasn’t enough to make it a great year for Andy Murray then reaching World Number 1 ranking surely was! This was no doubt undeserved as his fantastic performances throughout the year secured him not only his second Wimbledon title but also Olympic Gold and the ATP World Tour Title. To top it all off, he is set to receive a knighthood. A fantastic year for Andy Murray and British tennis. 

1. Leicester winning the Premier League

Undoubtedly the biggest sporting achievement of 2016 and arguably the biggest sporting achievement of my life time, the 5000-1 shot Leicester winning the Premier League is an accomplishment unmatched within the world of football. Prior to starting the 15/16 season the expectation was for Leicester to attempt at avoiding relegation, no one expected them to hit the heights that they did and they showed to the world that money isn’t everything when it comes to the beautiful game.

2016 was a fantastic year for sport and seemingly the underdog in a lot of cases, let’s hope 2017 can provide just as much entertainment!

Manchester United vs Arsenal Preview

With the international break now over (thank god!), Premier League football returns this weekend and kicks off with Manchester United hosting Arsenal at Old Trafford. Manchester United will be looking to close the six-point gap off of Arsenal, whilst the Gunners will be looking to continue their unbeaten run. 

United will be without their talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic through suspension so will be looking for Marcus Rashford to put in a performance similar to that of last years’. The Red Devils cannot afford to suffer defeat, as they could potentially be 11 points of the top of the table by the end of the weekend

Arsenal come into the fixture in fine form – unbeaten since the opening day of the season. Alexis Sanchez looks to have recovered from his knock he received during international duty, however they will miss Hector Bellerin who is out through injury. Arsenal will very much to gain a win and keep the pressure on at the top of the league. 

I think the pace of United will be an extremely important factor, if Rashford can make runs in behind he can cause the Arsenal defence all sorts of problems. I also think this tactic will work for the Gunners as well, if they can use the pace of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sanchez and run at United’s defence, which is by no means mobile, then they could potentially run riot.

Score prediction: 2-1 to Manchester United. I think missing Bellerin could really hurt Arsenal, especially if United exploit the flanks with pace. 

Punt for the game: Marcus Rashford to score in 90 minutes @ 7/4