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Stringer last won the day on May 2

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  1. Opening weekend of the new campaign and with four new teams in the league we look at the match ups in game one. First up we have last seasons eighth place at home to the seventh place as Southampton @Rivaldo10 take on Bournemouth @Neilr. Last season it was a close game that the Saints edged 1-0 with a goal from Richarlison. Both teams have been quite in the close season transfer market so can we expect the same again with Richarlison leading the line for Southampton or can the Cherries pull off a win on opening day this season which they didn't last season? Queens Park Rangers are at home to Watford @BeDoZa in the next game on the card. Last season QPR finished bottom in what can only be seen as a poor season for @Joe and his team. He will be looking to improve on that this season. Watford on the other hand made the play-offs finishing fourth in the table. Watford have improved their front line by bringing in Martinez and they have cleared a few players out as they have looked to re-jig their squad a bit in a bid to get up his time round. QPR have been noticeably quiet in the market apart from bringing in midfielder Rodri to boost a good midfield. This match was a bore draw last season so both sides will be looking to at least score in this one but which way will it go? Manchester City @Deefa who like QPR had a disappointing season finishing ninth have a home tie to start against West Ham United @macca who finished 6th last season, just missing the play offs. City have been very quiet and have not done a thing in the close season in adding or changing their squad. West Ham on the other hand while not prolific have strengthened the defence bringing in Lindelof from Spurs and Schar from the auction. This game last season was a 1-1 draw with Nasri putting the home side in front in the first half only to see Wolf equalise for the Hammers in the second. Will that strengthened defence see Hammers change that result this time? Burnley @stocko74 who lost out on automatic promotion to Stoke, finishing second, start at home to Tottenham Hotspur @Daniel. Both these teams have moved in the transfer market. Burnley shifting four out and bringing in two defenders from Liverpool, a midfielder and two strikers in a bid to win the league this time. Tottenham on the other hand have got rid of three players but then been the biggest spenders shifting over £300m on just two players to bring in a defender and a midfielder. With that amount of expenditure you'd expect the Spurs board will want big result this season and see Spurs pushing for promotion and certainly finishing higher than their fifth spot last time out. Last season this game ended 0-0 but with the changes to both teams should we expect some goals this time? Finally we have two games between the new boys which is the unknown to one and all. All the new teams have been very busy in the pre-season off loading players and bringing in new ones in a bid to make a splash first time out in the league and off course not get that wooden spoon. It is too hard for us to call what will happen here but suffice to say the teams that didn't do any business could have four new ones trying to ensure they aren't the bottom team this season and can one or more even surprise in the league? We will see. The fixtures though see Brighton v Sheffield United and Derby County v Norwich City. Full Fixtures Southampton v Bournemouth Queens Park Rangers v Watford Manchester City v West Ham United Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur Brighton v Sheffield United Derby County v Norwich City
  2. We go to the final game and here is what is sorted and still to be decided. Premiership Champions: Liverpool Runners-Up: Manchester United or Aston Villa Anglo-American Qualification: Liverpool, Manchester United and Aston Villa Still In The Hunt: One spot left and everyone else except Leicester City & Newcastle United Asian Cup Qualification: Qualified: NONE In The Hunt: 5 teams fight out two places. Arsenal, Everton, Sunderland, Chelsea & Crystal Palace Division One Champions: Burnley or Stoke City What an end to the season in Division one as the top two face off for the title. A win for either team gives them the title but a draw and Burnley will be champions Play-Offs: Burnley and Stoke City are guaranteed a play off place if they don't win the title Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Watford and Southampton are still in the hunt for a play off spot. Wooden Spoon: The bottom spot will be filled by one of three teams, Bournemouth, Queens Park Rangers or Manchester City.
  3. Premiership: Champions: Liverpool or Manchester United Anglo-American Qualification - Liverpool & Manchester United Still In The Hunt - Everyone else except Leicester City & Newcastle United* * as Villa still have to play Sunderland it means Newcastle can't qualify Asian Cup Qualification: Qualified:- Aston Villa will qualify if they don't get Anglo-American Qualification In The Hunt: Everyone else still mathematically have a chance Division One Champions: from Burnley, Stoke City, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur & Wolverhampton Wanderers Play-Offs: Burnley are guaranteed a play off place - this is because Stoke have to play Watford & West Ham have to play Watford which means one of these teams will finish below Burnley. Bournemouth can not make the play-offs but everyone else is still in the hunt.
  4. Stringer

    Chelsea Appoint

    Chelsea are pleased to announce their new manager is the old Crystal Palace boss and have appointed @GaryG. He moves to the team second bottom of the Premiership with a remit to make them into a top four club. It is still possible to qualify for the Anglo-American Trophy next season as the division is tight but Chelsea have set their stall out this season with no commitment with five games left but would be more than happy should they qualify for the new Asian Cup for next season. Ultimately they are looking to @GaryG to achieve next season.
  5. After the shock resignation of their manager Southampton have moved quickly to appoint a new man in charge. @Rivaldo10 has been appointed the man in the hot seat tasked with getting them over the line and promotion to the Premiership.
  6. Game of The Round Everton v Arsenal The tie this round certainly looks to be Everton v Arsenal. The Gunners have just acquired a new man at the helm and while in second place now can he keep them there and even catch Liverpool? If he wants to then he will need to start by showing it with a win here at Everton. The Gunners though have been inconsistent in the league of late having lost two and drawn two before winning their last outing albeit under the old stewardship. As it is tight from second down to the bottom a run of a win and two draws can lift you, as it has Arsenal, to second place but it won't keep you there if you don't keep winning as everyone behind you needs but a win to catch. Everton also have lacked the consistency they had last season and have a run of win then lose over the last five games in the league. They did though go on a second half season run last year that saw them end in second but so far this have not shown anything like that form and that is why they currently lie 5th. A win here may lift them into the top four but would certainly tighten it at the top and let those above know that Everton still means business. With a new manager at Arsenal and Everton's inconsistent league season this game will be hard to call. As Game of The Round this is a betting shop match (should you wish to bet) Home Win 3/1 Away Win 3/1 Draw 5/1 Too close to call this one it could well be the draw is the best punt but you never know.
  7. Game of The Round 4th placed Manchester_City v Burnley 3rd Placed This could be a hard fought contest with Manchester City aiming to push on for promotion back to the Premier League. They haven't lost in their last four outings with three draws and a win. There though lies one of City's major problems, they draw a lot and really need to convert more into wins if they want to achieve promotion. In fact they have had six draws so far this season although Burnley are close behind with five. Burnley have had a lost one of their last four games so are on a slight roll themselves but they have been up higher this season and like City want to return to the Premiership. In honesty this is a tight division only six points separating the top eight teams. Places are going to be hard fought this season and both these will know that a game like this is one they need to win if they have real intentions of winning the league or achieving promotion. This game of the round is a betting shop match and odds are: Home Win 5/2 Away Win 3/1 Draw 4/1 With two teams that have both drawn so many games the draw odds look well worth a punt.
  8. Well the U23 cup has rumbled on and we are now left with the final four in the semi finals. Newcastle United U23 v Everton U23 and Southampton U23 v West Ham United U23 . There will definitely be a new name on the cup as both of last years finalist have gone out. Newcastle though have been in the big game before reaching the final in season 9 when they lost 3-1 to Liverpool U21. That experience will make them favourites from the last four but they have a hard task. They face Everton U23 who made the semi finals last season and are here again. They want to get a step further and win it. This semi will be a real battle of two youth teams but who can prevail and get to the final. Then we have Southampton who have turned themselves around from last season. A new manager and a change in squad and they find themselves in the last four compared to the second round last year. It doesn't get much tougher for them as they face one of last seasons beaten quarter finalist in West Ham United. The hammers are riding high in second place in division one as they try to get to the top division where the Saints are mid table in the premiership. Could the battle for promotion hit the Hammers in the cup or will they have the will to win this one? Cup Odds: Newcastle United U23 2/1, Everton U23 3/1, West Ham United U23 7/2, Southampton U23 7/2.
  9. The FMFA Under 23s Cup has now reached the quarter final stage and we have already lost the current holders Burnley U23 as they went out in the last round. In fact we are now left with eight teams who have never won this trophy which now means this season will see a new name on the cup. Possible favourites will be last season’s runners up, Crystal Palace U23, who will be looking to go one stage further and lift the trophy. First though they need to get through a tough quarter final against West Ham United U23. The hammers went out at this stage last season to Everton and will be looking to not see lightning strike twice at this stage. Everton U23 did make the semis last time but lost to eventual winners Burnley at that stage. That is the furthest they have got in this competition and to get there again they will need to see off Aston Villa U23. Villa have got further this time after not getting past the first round in Season 12 but can they make it all the way? Newcastle United U23 are the only other team in the last eight that have made the final before and will no doubt be second favourites behind Palace to win it. They reached the final in season 9 where they lost. Last time out they lost to Wolves at this stage. They face Watford U23s if they want to go further. The hornets though will have ambitions of their own having also gone out at this round last season to Palace. The remaining tie sees Tottenham Hotspur U23 take on Southampton U23. Both teams fell early in season 12 as Spurs went out in round one and Southampton in round 2. Both then have improved and one is destined to get to the last four but who? Cup Odds Latest (based mainly on last year’s performance) Crystal Palace U23 3/1, Newcastle United U23 7/2, Everton 4/1, West Ham 9/2, Watford 9/2, Southampton 5/1, Tottenham 11/2, Aston Villa 11/2.
  10. Stringer

    Round 7 Review

    The opening match saw league leaders Arsenal at home to Manchester United in fifth place, although only four points separated the teams. With the game at one all at half time the second half got really interesting as two third of the way through the game United’s Varane got his marching orders and then five minutes later the ten men went in front. Could the league leaders recover and get the win with fifteen minutes left? They didn’t get the win but recovered to get an equaliser to get a point from the game. In the other big match this round we had fourth placed Aston Villa at home to second place Liverpool. Villa knew a win in this one would stamp their credentials as a contender in the title hunt as they would go level with Liverpool on points. Sadly they shot themselves in the foot a bit as both Emerson and Garcia slotted home in their own net to give the reds two goals and the win. That due to Arsenal’s draw saw Liverpool go top and Arsenal drop to second. Manchester United’s point away at the Emirates actually saw them move up to third. Elsewhere Crystal Palace who were third at the start of play lost ground as they lost to a Neymar brace as Newcastle won away 2-0. Everton faced bottom club Chelsea at Goodison and a first minute penalty gave them the upper hand, with them adding a second just before half time to seal a 2-0 victory. In the rounds other game there were no goals as Leicester and Sunderland played out a bore draw. Round eight will see a couple of interesting games as we get the Merseyside derby at Anfield as Liverpool look to extend their lead at the top. The two teams that swapped league places after round 7 face each other as Man Utd host Crystal Palace.
  11. The League Cup in its third year is starting and last season’s winners Manchester United will not be defending their trophy as this season they qualified for the Anglo-American Trophy. In fact last season saw them beat Crystal Palace in the final and they also qualified for the Anglo-American Trophy. That means we will see two new teams in the final and have a new name on the cup and a good chance it is a team that has not won it before as the only team in the tournament that has won it is Wolverhampton Wanderers. They will face off against premier ship Arsenal to try and win the trophy again. It is Arsenal’s first time in the cup can they win it at the first go? The only other team in this time to reach a final is Sunderland and they start off against Manchester City in their bid to win it. City on the other hand has never got further than the Quarter Finals in this competition achieving it in both the previous years. They will want to see if they can go beyond that this time. Last season’s beaten semi-finalists will both be looking to see if they can reach a final. Stoke City start their cup campaign against West Ham. The hammers have never got beyond the first round so can they do it this time? Queens Park Rangers, the other semi-finalist, start out facing Burnley at home and the Turf Moor mob’s best in this competition is a quarter final last season. Elsewhere we have Leicester taking on Southampton and both these teams have managed the quarter finals before. Then we have Newcastle against Chelsea which sees cup first timers Newcastle against a team that hasn’t yet gone beyond round 1. Next we have Watford versus Aston Villa and these two met in Season 11 in the quarter final with Villa coming out on top, can they beat Watford again? The final game sees Tottenham pitted against Bournemouth in a game of two teams that have fallen at the first round whenever they have been in this cup? Just who will make the next round and who will lift the trophy? The battles start on Sunday.
  12. And they are off! The season begins with the Division One teams fighting to get up to the Premiership. In a quirk of the fixtures the two teams that got relegated last season faced off against each other in their bids to go straight back up. Burnley were at home and were the dominant team in this game but they didn’t deliver a goal even when QPR were reduced to ten men. QPR will walk away the happier of the two teams with a point and Burnley will need to sort out their finishing if they want to get back up. In another odd fixture match up we had last season’s bottom two teams against one another and both teams will be looking to improve on their position from last season. In this one though it will be Southampton who are the happier as they got the three points in a close tie with Bournemouth. Wolves who last season just missed out on the play offs were at away to Manchester City. Wolves will be looking to get to at least the play offs if not better this season. The game though had two teams that matched each other in nearly every department and so it was no surprise it was honours even with a goal each. Another two teams desperate to improve on last season were Tottenham and West Ham. Spurs have invested in a striker for their attempt to get out of the division while West Ham decided it was their defence that needed investment. Unfortunately for Spurs the defence took the honours . Time will show which was the better investment but for now it is one to the defence. Finally last year’s third in Watford took on fourth in Stoke at home. This was another game where there was little to choose between them and it was that way at half time with honours even at 2-2. In the end it was Watford who got the decider in the second half to edge the encounter. One game in and not learned a great deal. We do know there are a lot of teams that look very equal and it may be hard to separate them all come the end of the season.
  13. The first games are done, the new season started and just what do we know? Well title favourites and reigning champions Liverpool blasted away a Manchester United team who were all at sixes and sevens under the assistant manager. A plus for Liverpool and maybe warning for other teams is the fact there two main strikers both grabbed a brace each. United though will write this off no doubt and hopefully be back under the managers guidance for the next game. Newly promoted Chelsea, who came up as division one champions, faced off at home to a Crystal Palace who finished third last term. This would show what if anything Chelsea might have as a threat in the top league and they delivered a draw. With both teams scoring early it perhaps is too early to assess Chelsea’s ambition in the top division but they will be pleased with their effort and the number of shots they created. Palace may see this as a point dropped but facing a promoted team first is never easy as Arsenal also found out. The Gunners were at home to new boys Villa in what turned out to be a dire goalless draw. One shot on target all game was all there was to excite fans. Villa will thank their luck that have a point from this encounter as they delivered little with no shots at all and will have to up their game if they expect to have an impact in the premiership this season. Elsewhere last season’s runners up had a 2-0 win at home to Leicester. The score line showing a comfortable victory but those who were there no it was not as easy as it looks on paper as Leicester had more than their fair share of possession and plenty of shots at Everton’s goal. The difference came down to the better finishing in the end. The final game saw a tight Tyne/Wear derby that had, on the day, two even sides facing each other. It was decided by the one goal for the home side which was given to them by their opponents. Sunderland will be considering themselves unlucky not to have got anything from this match. Of course it is all early days and only one game in and a lot to play for but so far Liverpool look like they maybe the side that are the ones to beat again this season
  14. The U23 cup gets underway this weekend with 8 clubs hoping to get through into the last 16. The first tie will see Chelsea take on Manchester United. last season in what was then the youth cup both teams only got as far as the last sixteen of the competition. Chelsea were in the first round and got through to the last sixteen whereas United had a bye to the last sixteen. Both teams will want to do better this season but one is destined to fall at the first hurdle. Next Wolves will host last year's finalists Crystal Palace. Last season these two met in the youth cup semi-final and Palace embarrassed Wolves with a 7-2 hiding. This season they meet in the first round and Wolves will no doubt be out for revenge for last season. Can the winner of this tie get to the semis again? A London derby takes place in the third tie as Arsenal take on Tottenham Hotspur. Both teams did not do fantastic in this competition last season as Arsenal went out in this round last season and Spurs with a bye to the last sixteen fell at that point. A fiesty affair this could be as both want to make it to the last sixteen and beyond. Finally the last first round tie sees Sunderland face off against Aston Villa. Villa went out to Chelsea last season in this round and will want to at least go one better by making it to the next and into the last sixteen. Sunderland are another team that went out in the last sixteen and it will no doubt have bitter memories as they went out to rivals Newcastle. Can they get further this season? It is of course a two leg affair and so after the first leg it may still be all to play for but one or two tricky ties there and just who will go through?
  15. Who Will Go Down? Who will go down? Well with two games left there is nobody down yet. That said QPR do have a battle on their hands to stay up as they will need to win both games and hope the two teams above them Burnley and Sunderland don’t win. With Crystal Palace at home to start with that won’t be easy as Palace are fighting to get into the Anglo-American Cup for the first time. Then they have second placed Everton away to contend with, so not an easy run in to get six points from. Burnley are the other team currently in the relegation zone and are three points off safety and to be certain of staying up they also will likely need to win both games. First up they are at away to Arsenal who are not mathematically safe and a defeat here to Burnley would see them firmly in the mix on the final games. Get past Arsenal and it gets hard for Burnley who then have Manchester United at home. It gets tricky because United are also like Palace battling to make the Anglo-American Cup and finish top four. Should Burnley managed a win or even two then just above that drop zone are Sunderland just three points ahead of Burnley and with the same goal difference. That goal difference straight away could mean a win is not enough for Sunderland and to be certain of being safe they will currently need four points. What is worse for Sunderland is they face Liverpool next, with their only saving grace being they are at home. A point or three is needed from that before they face Newcastle away. Newcastle are not mathematically safe but with their goal difference they are perhaps all but. To be absolutely certain they just need a draw and Sunderland may well be hoping they get that against Everton who they face first but even if they did will they relax for a derby game? That coupled with the fact they still could achieve one of the final two Anglo-American Trophy spots and you are thinking not a push over then. The final team in the mix is Arsenal on 19 points. They need two points to be mathematically certain of playing in the Premiership next season. So beat Burnley and they are safe, lose and they need to beat Liverpool at Anfield in the last game. Of course it may not come to that as after the penultimate games the picture could be a lot different but one thing is for sure the fight to stay up is an interesting one and two games await to decide the relegation fate.
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