Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

UPDATE: A festive round of predictions

Photo

SOCCER-SPAIN/MONDAY UPDATE: The games really are coming thick and fast. We have only just worked out the weekend scores and now they all play again just two days later.

Who'd be a Premier League footballer at Christmas? Well, I wouldn't mind money for a Ferrari.

So here are the panel's weekend scores (Neil Maidment, Asia and my good self top-scoring with 15) followed by the Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday fixtures. Please play along in the comments with your predictions.

Reuters Soccer blog panel: Patrick Johnston 183, Paul Radford 170, Mitch Phillips 167, Neil Maidment 151, Mark Meadows 141, Kevin Fylan 137, Simon Evans 135 (including 2 bonus points for Mancini saying 'situation' twice in post-match interview), Mike Collett 128, Julien Pretot 120, Asia Sports Desk 108, Miles Evans 107, Martyn Herman 99, Sonia Oxley 56, Justin Palmer 41

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

UPDATE: Quantum theories of score prediction won’t help you now, Mr Bond

Photo

torres.jpgMONDAY UPDATE: A truly appalling week for the panel. Admittedly, it was hard to predict Manchester United losing 1-0 at home to Aston Villa and Chelsea's 3-3 home draw with Everton but nevertheless it was dreadful.

Some serious soul searching must go on in the coming weeks whilst eating our mincepies and finding yet another pair of socks when opening our Christmas presents.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

No Great Escape for Liverpool

Photo

Liverpool hopes of one more great Champions League escape were dashed on Tuesday night, as Fiorentina sealed their place alongside Olympique Lyon with a 1-0 win over the French side, leaving the English team's 1-0 success against Debrecen irrelevant.

Liverpool, of course, only have themselves to blame for leaving their fate in the hands of a team that had already secured their own qualification.

A Reuters Sportswrap of heroic proportions

Photo

Sportswrap is back with a bang, as we take in Hideki Matsui’s heroic performance for the New York Yankees, Usain Bolt bottle-feeding a creature that will one day outrun him and Rafa Benitez trying to invoke the spirit of You’ll Never Walk Alone only to come a cropper in the Champions League.

Written by Kevin Fylan, presented by Owen Wyatt from our Canary Wharf studios and with a jaunty hat tip to Half Man Half Biscuit for the Liverpool joke.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Thinking the unthinkable: should Liverpool sell Torres?

Photo

It is a little glib to suggest that Liverpool have a one-man strike force in Fernando Torres.

It seems almost beyond dispute, though, that whenever the Spaniard is unavailable Liverpool look ill equipped to challenge for the title, a situation hardly helped by the sales of Xabi Alonso, Robbie Keane and Alvaro Arbeloa in the past year.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

UPDATE – The painful art of score prediction — round 10

Photo

So it was an even worse week than usual. Ok, there were some surprise results but generally it was pitiful, some panelists only picked up one point and even most of our outside contributors struggled despite showing us up in recent weeks.

On behalf of all of us, I'd like to point out that the Premier League is more evenly balanced than it has been for a while (see Kevin's blog) so we have a slight excuse....

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Where’s the new Gary McAllister when Liverpool need him?

Photo

Liverpool's run of four straight defeats has generated a lot of discussion about what has gone wrong, but precious little about how to put it right, aside from the suggestion that it might be nice to see Kenny Dalglish back in the dugout.

So let's leave aside for a moment Rafa's handling of big players and whether he should have kept hold of Sami Hyypia and Xabi Alonso, and consider what the club's next moves should be.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Soccer scores and the power of the pub

Photo

Let's be honest here, people, predicting the English football scores has proved to be a lot trickier than many of us imagined.

You'd have thought that the frankly obsessive interest most of us here at Reuters Soccer Blog Heights take in football would see us approach this competition with the pitiless, sweeping brilliance of Celta Vigo in their 'EuroCelta' heydey of 1998-2000*.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Can you out-predict Reuters Soccer Blog?

Photo

It's that time of the week again, folks. The best brains at Reuters Soccer Blog are off, so it's just the usual crew of no-hopers here to embarrass ourselves trying to predict the outcome of the weekend Premier League action, and with no help from that lottery bobbins bloke.

To recap: with one point available for getting a correct result -- and make that a whopping five for the correct score -- there are at least 50 points up for grabs each week. Given that most teams have played five matches the total number of points a perfect tipster would have got by now would be well over 200.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Back to the real world: league predictions

Photo

Now we've got that pesky international interlude behind us (it'll all end in tears, you know it will) we can get back to the serious business of predicting the scores in the Premier League.

Remember how it works: We, at Reuters Soccer Blog, publish our individual predictions for the weekend Premier League matches here on a Friday. You, laughing snidely at our pathetic efforts, send in yours in the comments section below the post.

  •